Category Archives: Movies

Not ready

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Now that my time in Baltimore is coming to a close I wish I could tack on a few extra…years. Or at least weeks- there are so many things I would do if I could just work and not have to worry about school! I’m taking advantage of my time here though, and I’ve been keeping busy with good times and good people.

I worked a 12-hour shift on the 4th, but after I got off I walked down to the inner harbor with my friend Suzanne to watch the fireworks. It was crowded, but not a mad house, and because we walked we didn’t have to worry about parking or traffic, so that was perfect. We found a nice spot on the dock, with a lovely breeze, and it was mighty fine. Everyone at work had been saying that they’re so over fireworks, but I love them. It was a great display, and I loved listening to the kids behind us try to guess which colors would come up next. Afterwards we walked back to Suzanne’s place, and because I had a shift the next morning I crashed on her couch since she lives down the street from the hospital (and has air-conditioning. I’ve been dying of the heat at night).

My friends Scott and Emily hosted a barbeque on the 5th, and then yesterday I went tubing! I had never really been tubing before (my SCA crew tried once, but my tube burst, so then it turned into walking/swimming down a river instead), and it’s so fun! I love Maryland- there are fireflies, and wild strawberries, and friendly people, and beautiful wilderness-y areas- it’s just a great state. We were on a river in Monkston, which is actually where I did the moonlight race with my friend Josh last year. It was nice seeing it from a different perspective, and the scenery was really lovely. The water was freezing when we first got in, but then we got used to it, and then it felt incredible. I got super sunburned on my legs, but it was otherwise an almost-perfect day out.

I had meant to go run after tubing, but it was much too hot, so instead I took refuge in the cool darkness of a movie theater. I had been dying to see Much Ado About Nothing, but no one wanted to go with me (it’s only playing at one local theater, and they don’t do student discounts, so you have to feel pretty strongly about seeing a movie to go there), so I had a little date night by myself. I put on a sundress, and earrings, and I would’ve treated myself to some raisinettes, but I wasn’t hungry. Part of me was worried that I would fall asleep once the lights went out after my long day in the sun, but that was never an issue, because the movie was excellent. Joss Whedon likes to reuse actors, so I had lots of feelings about the cast, but they slipped seamlessly into Shakespeare. Clark Gregg is adorable, and made a great Leonado, and Reed Diamond was delightful. I also loved Jillian Morgese as Hero, and Amy Acker and Alexis Denishof were both very good, but I lost my heart to Fran Kranz from the first episode of Dollhouse, and so he stole the show for me. He’s just so cute!

Even aside from the terrific cast, it was a great movie. Joss Whedon wrote new music for the Shakespearean songs, and so the soundtrack was interesting, and fit perfectly. It was actually shot at Joss Whedon’s house (which is very nice- I’m jealous of his pool and big yard), and everyone seemed very at ease. It was easy to believe that this was purely a passion project- Whedon did it while working on The Avengers, and apparently he likes to have people over to do Shakespeare on a regular basis, which I think probably contributed to the sense of intimacy (and sounds like a very pleasant way to spend an evening, sitting around with friends, drinking wine and reading Shakespeare). It was funny, and attractively shot, and I would see it again in a heartbeat- I half-wanted to stay for the next showing.

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Mission Accomplished?

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My internet has been truly terrible for the past couple of weeks, but there’s nothing I can do about it. As a result though, I’ve been trying to watch a two-hour movie all evening, and I’m only halfway through.
I’m watching Into the Wild. I read the book the summer before my freshman year of college as part of my orientation, and I hated it. I hated Chris McCandless, and I hated how John Krakauer admired him for being brave and independent when he was actually just selfish and stupid. I’ve read it a couple of times since then, and never liked it, but this is my first time watching the movie, and it’s pretty good. It’s startling how much Chris reminds me of someone (not really a friend, but someone I care about)- he even looks like Emile Hirsch, which gives me Feelings. Watching someone starve to death isn’t like reading about it, and when they look like someone you know…I felt weird watching while I ate my dinner (and I spilled salad all over my bed. I can’t wait until I have a place that’s big enough for a bed and table).
I’ve spent three hours on hold with my dream hospital this week, and never even got through to leave a voicemail. It’s making me crazy- it’s the only place I want to work, which is a dangerous way to feel (I was devastated in high school when I didn’t get into Vassar, so I should know better than to get emotionally invested in that kind of thing, but it’s hard not to sometimes). It isn’t the hospital though- I want to be in Anchorage. I’ve been trying to think of places that might be acceptable Plan B’s, and while it’s a big wide world out there, nothing else feels right. Into the Wild is reminding me why I want to go- I want to live at the edge of the world.

Next step

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My class had our Transitions meeting today, and it gave me a lot to think about. If I stay in Baltimore it’s highly unlikely that I’ll get the kind of placement I want (L&D, pediatrics, ED, or psych (I might get psych actually, but it’s my fourth choice)). If I apply to do Transitions in St. Louis I’ll be at a pediatric hospital, but it’ll be in Missouri over the summer (Baltimore summers are bad, but Missouri is a whole other level), and I won’t know anyone, and will have to find a place to live for seven weeks, and someone to take over my place in Baltimore (I can’t afford to pay rent on two places at once). My sister and brother are in Missouri and so I might get to see them, but they’d be two hours away, and I won’t have a car. There’s also a site in Cape Cod, but that doesn’t feel like a realistic option because it’ll be ruinously expensive to find a place during the height of tourist season (as much as I’d love to be on the beach, it just doesn’t feel like a responsible choice). So it’s down to Baltimore or St. Louis. Fortunately, I have a couple of weeks to think it over and weigh the pros and cons.

I’m utterly beat. It’s only Monday, and I have a big couple of weeks, so there isn’t any time for tiredness, but Mondays are long days, and I have a headache. My clinical instructor didn’t post our assignments until almost 5:00 today, so I missed my weight-lifting class, and by the time I got back to Charles Village it was prime gym time, and I didn’t see the point in going all the way up to campus to stand around hoping a treadmill eventually opens up. I’ll go tomorrow though- I have a new system, with stickers and a calendar on the fridge, so hopefully that will be motivating. It’s so tempting to ignore my work and read, or watch Little Mosque on the Prairie, but I need to be more responsible than that. Instead, I’m going to take a shower, and then finish my diabetes powerpoint, and then go to bed. My clinical is doing a simulation with the med school tomorrow, so I need to be well-rested (that doesn’t make a ton of sense, since I’ll just be pretending to work with a patient, instead of actually helping real sick people, but I’ll be representing my clinical group, so I want to do a good job).

I didn’t get to see the Oscars last night, but I watched a few highlights, and now I really really want to see some movies. I can’t believe I didn’t see Les Mis when it was in theaters.

Dashing!

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It has been quite a week (It’s felt like much longer. Months. My pharmacology test was so long that halfway through I was pretty sure I had always been taking it- I was born in the testing room, and would in all likelihood die there). I’m close to the other side of things though, so now things feel more ok, and I’m almost nostalgic for the good old days of studying all the time. I miss my study buddies.

My appetite is still wonky, but I’m being better about eating even without feeling hungry because I got really hypoglycemic the other night and it was not good. Feeling hungry and then eating is so great- it’s one of those feelings you don’t necessarily think about all the time, but you miss it if you don’t feel that way for a week. They had free breakfast at school all week and it felt like such a waste because I love free food but I couldn’t enjoy it (at least not as much as I would normally).

Assuming I passed everything I’m halfway through my nursing program. Every semester feels like a full year in and of itself, and this one was very full. Full of stress, and tears, and worries, but even more full of new perspectives, and growth, and joy, and wonderful people. This program is so intense that the bonds we make are extra-tight because we all really rely on each other for strength and understanding, and I would be lost without my friends. They’ve been incredible, especially lately, since I’ve been spending almost every waking hour with them and my life has been more or less falling apart. I can’t believe the program is half-over and my time with these incredible people is going to have to eventually end (we’ll stay friends, but it’ll be different).

Last night I went out for a celebratory dinner with my friends Scott and Judy. We had Mexican food, and then strolled over to 34th St for some holiday cheer.

I didn’t take any pictures (that one is from National Geographic), but it was really terrific-just another great thing to add to my list of reasons why I love Baltimore. I especially like the neighborhood where they do the lights- it’s called Hamden, and it kind of reminds me of Allentown in Buffalo. If I stay here I might look into living there- it has a nice sort of blue collar/hipster feel that I enjoy.

I don’t have much of a plan on the day, which feels a little weird. I need to go into school for a bit to hand something in for Birth Companions, and there’s an end-of-the-semester party tonight, but other than that I’m free. I might go to the movies (there are lots of things playing right now, but I’d really like to see Silver Linings Playbook, or The Sessions), or Christmas shopping, and I really should go to the gym. I have the whole day ahead of me.

I love this song. My friend is going through a breakup right now, and The Lumineers are his breakup soundtrack, which makes me feel a little conflicted about how happy their music makes me, but it’s so nice when you have the same taste as your friends.

A Major Award

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Edit: I totally fixed the ginger! My problem was trying to skimp on the sugar (I think? I don’t actually know why it came out the way it did, but I did use less sugar), so I just had to bring balance back to the universe. Next time I’ll plan ahead and make lemon sugar, but this time around I just used regular.

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Shona from Absolute Frankness nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award (thank you Shona)!

So here’s the deal:

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1) Post eleven facts about yourself
2) Answer the questions the tagger has set for you and create eleven questions for people you’ve nominated
3) Choose eleven people to give this award to (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post
4) Go to their page and tell them

That’s cool and all, but as I’ve mentioned in a previous post (that includes a picture of Lancaster, so now I’m a little sad), I don’t play by the rules (because I don’t have 11 blogs to nominate). I will answer the questions though, because I love questions, and I’ll come up with my own that people can (and should) answer in the comments.

Facts first:

1. I’m eating chicken and carrot sticks for dinner, and I’m eating dinner sitting on my bed because my roommate is sitting at the dining room table.

2. I walked out of Mass this morning after the priest used the phase “promoting sexual confusion” about Maryland legalizing gay marriage.

3. I went out two nights this weekend, and it was great.

4. I haven’t been to contra dancing in more than a month and I totally miss it. I might go this week though, since I don’t have clinical on Thursday.

5. I leave water glasses all over my room.

6. While I was leading a group at my psych rotation about dealing with stress one of the patients suggested that a good response to being upset by messy roommates is leaving another mess so they’d see how annoying it is. I outwardly acted like this was a bad idea, but I’ve done it before. I’m kind of doing it right now actually.

7. I had half of my leftover burger from last night and a mug of hot chocolate for breakfast today. It may sound weird, but it was really tasty and surprisingly good fuel for when I worked out later.

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8. I left a jar of yogurt and berries in the fridge at the hospital and I’m sad because they’re probably going to throw it away and I really liked that jar (it was from cookie butter. I guess now I need to buy more…).

9. There’s a house near my apartment that decorated for the holidays by putting up a plastic nativity scene that includes a big green alien. It’s kind of awesome.

10. I still haven’t hung my Picasso poster yet-it’s been in the same spot against my wall since the day I moved in.

11. The other night I was overcome by the need to move to Rochester. I seriously felt like it was Fate, and that if I didn’t I would miss out on something huge and important. That feeling has since passed, but I kind of wonder if it had to do with this random guy that I only barely know but still kind of think I’m fated to marry. Wouldn’t that be cool? It would make life so much easier.

And now questions!

1. What’s your favourite smell?

This one is really hard, and I’ve been thinking about it since I saw my nomination. I do love the smell of coconut a whole lot, and bread, and citrus, but the first thing that sprang to mind was hot pine needles, so I’m going with that. You know the dry ones on the ground in the forest during the summer? That’s a heck of a good smell. Baby smell is also nice, and I’m partial to men’s deodorants.

2. Would you rather go to Swansea or Portsmouth?

I’m guessing these are Swansea in Wales and Portsmouth in England (as opposed to Portsmouth in Virginia or New Hampshire)? Tough call. I don’t know a lot about Wales, but Doctor Who seems to go there a lot, and he’s never all that happy about it. Google Images shows castles though, which I imagine are nice. Portsmouth seems to have a big curvy tower though, so it’s really hard to pick. I’m going to say Portsmouth though, for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

3. Savoury pancakes or classic lemon and sugar?

Lemon and sugar. Well…I do love a good cheese pancake actually. Both. Savoury for dinner, lemon and sugar for dessert. And then a stomachache!

4. What did you have for lunch today?

A tortilla. Isn’t that sad? I was working on making candied ginger (it didn’t come out right, but I have loads of it, so I’m still giving it for holiday gifts) and cooking tends to kill my appetite.
5. What was the last book you read?

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. I picked it up while I was home on break, but I was so busy socializing with my family that I didn’t really read it until I came back to Baltimore. I had read it before, but it holds up well.
6. Would you live in an Enchanted Forest?

An evil one? Who am I kidding, yes.

7. If you were a Fairy Queen what would you be queen of?

The Enchanted Forest. Or midwifery. I know Queen Mab is the fairy midwife, but aren’t fairies created by babies laughing anyway? I bet that happens often enough to keep us both busy.
8. Would you like to live in the countryside or the city?

Countryside, but a special countryside that also has Trader Joe’s and Carbon Leaf concerts.
9. What’s the best Christmas movie?

Muppet Christmas Carol. Bar none.
10. Do you wear hats at all?

Not really. I have a bunny hat with floppy ears, but it has to be pretty cold for me to wear it. I love hoods though.
11. Would you have brought the ring to Mordor or let Sam do it for you?

Did Sam ever offer to go by himself? It seemed like it kind of ruined Frodo’s life, so that’s a point against going, but it also really cemented their friendship, and Sam would be a good friend to have. I’d go. I have such a yes-bias that Sam would just have to offer and I’d agree because I didn’t have anything better to do (excepting homework, but I’m usually ok putting that off if a friend wants to hang out).

And now my questions to YOU!

1. Where should I move next year? (Seriously. Tell me.)

2. What do you want for Christmas?

3. If you were hosting a theme dinner party what theme would you use? (cost is not an issue)

4. What movie are you most looking forward to seeing?

5. What was your favorite ever New Years Eve?

6. Would you rather have a corgi, or a Great Dane?

7. What was the last really delicious thing you ate?

8. How do you think Gossip Girl is going to end? (just in case anyone watches. My only friends who like the show aren’t caught up yet and I want to talk about it.)

9. What’s your favorite bar food?

10. If you could commit a crime and get away with it what would you do?

11. Can you fix candied ginger that caramelized instead of crystallized?

Downsides

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I ran 11 miles with my friend Emily today, and it was actually decent. It felt better than last week’s 8, despite the hillier course, probably because I had sports beans and water with me. Emily is a better runner than I am, but she was happy to go at my pace for the most part, and we had a pleasant time. I’m not going to break two hours this half, but that’s ok. It would be nice, but it just isn’t in the cards.

While we were out running we passes a bookcase on the street, and afterwards we went back and I bought it. My books have been on the floor since I moved in, and it looks much better this way. I also have a place for a bedside reading lamp now, which is helpful. It’s open on the sides, which is good for reaching stuff from my bed, but makes my book situation a little precarious. I may have to figure out some bookends.

I had high hopes for the day, but it didn’t pan out the way I would have liked. After I set up my bookcase I developed a raging headache, so I tried to take a nap with limited success. My friend Scott came to fetch me for dinner at 5:00, and his call woke me up, but I still felt pretty crummy. I decided to do my best and go anyway, but quickly realized that I wasn’t in any shape to be good company, so I came home, just in time to get horribly sick. I’m usually pretty healthy, but I had a flu shot on Friday, so I kind of wonder if that might have brought this on. Either way my head is still splitting, and I feel fever-y and uncomfortable. I don’t have any Advil or anything, and while I would normally borrow/steal some from my roommates I don’t feel comfortable doing that now, so I’m just pushing through. People survive without that stuff, and I can too. Scott and Judy gave me some Ibuprofen while I was at their house, and it probably had enough time to at least partially absorb before I threw up, so that’s good enough.

Being sick is the pits, but the real issue is food. It was a wretch to leave Scott and Judy’s when they had made a delicious-smelling dinner (leg of lamb. Of all the days to get sick, I had to pick the day with leg of lamb. It smelled incredibly, even through my suffering. They even had nice farmer’s market smoked salmon, but I didn’t take any because I was so nauseous), especially since I really haven’t eaten today. I had some carrots and hummus, and peanut M&M’s before my run, jelly beans during, and chia seeds and frozen raspberries in water, and ramen noodles after, but I also ran 11 miles and vomited, so that all didn’t count for very much. I had planned on making soup today, as a way of using up some odds and ends and incorporating all the nutrients I need into one easy package, but that didn’t happen. Instead, I tossed and turned in bed for a couple of hours trying to sleep through my headache, before eventually giving up and going downstairs to forage. I don’t know what I’m going to eat this week, I honestly don’t. I have carrots, but no hummus (I was going to make more today, but that didn’t happen), and a withered zucchini, and about 1/4 of a cabbage, and lots of kale (I don’t even have eggs, because I missed the market today to go running). There’s potential, but everything requires cooking, and I wanted something quick so I could get back to bed as soon as possible. In the end I microwaved a potato that I ate with butter, salt, and pepper. Instead of having lamb. Sigh. Because I can be thankful for small favors I do appreciate my stomach accepting the potato, but it made for a grim dinner.

My head is still killing me, but I’m not actually tired, so I’m watching Heidi. I have to be back in fighting condition by tomorrow- it’s one thing to waste a day and miss a dinner, it’s another thing entirely to bail on an Avett Brothers concert. And doula training. I do not have time for this malarky.

Moonrise Kingdom

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I have the day off from school today, but I have a test tomorrow, so I’m not going dancing tonight. Instead, I went to the movies with my roommate last night, to see the new Wes Anderson picture Moonrise Kingdom. There’s a theater a few blocks from our apartment, and it’s super cool, in a reclaimed industrial kind of way. There’s a bar component, though I’m not sure whether people are allowed to bring their adult beverages into the theater itself, and it’s all exposed brick, and twinkle lights, and rusted steel stars. The theater is almost cave-like, the walls look like rough stone, and there’s a crazy high ceiling, and the pre-show announcements are 1960’s-ish. It’s a great effect, and I’m a big fan.

(I didn’t take those pictures, but I wanted to illustrate my point. I’m not taking credit though.)

The movie itself was just lovely. Ninety-four minutes flew by in what felt like half an hour. Wes Anderson does such a nice job of framing things, it was really very prettily done. The story itself was cute, and sweet, and sort of romantic, but not really the point, which was how attractively done the thing was. I liked the characters, but they didn’t feel as fleshed out as Max Fischer, or the Tenenbaums- they were interesting, and I felt for them, but I didn’t really get to know them. The cast was great though, especially Edward Norton, and Bruce Willis, who I love, no matter how many terrible movies he’s in. There’s just something very sweet and bulldoggy about him that speaks to me, and he was perfect for this role.

The music was less of a focus than in other Wes Anderson movies, but I think that actually makes sense, because kids don’t really think about music the way older people do (at least I didn’t). It was pleasant, and different, but I’m not running out to buy the soundtrack. What I did like, and it actually kind of struck me, was that although the music was less prominent than in his other movies, there was a scene where the two leads are dancing, and Anderson was able to show two kids dancing in their underwear and have it be natural, and sweet, rather than uncomfortable. They ran away because they were in love, and they were playing with very grown-up roles, but they danced like children, and it wasn’t sexualized, or creepy at all. It’s hard to portray kids realistically, but this was a good example.

I also adored Kara Hayward as Suzy, the female lead. She was like a tiny Margot Tenenbaum, and I was really impressed with her performance (and her pretty blue eyes- they’re like blueberries). Her character was tough, and smart, and broken, and she brought her kitten and a supply of wet food when she ran away from home, so she clearly understood about priorities.

My friend Emily told me the other day that she hates Wes Anderson, and didn’t think The Royal Tenenbaums was at all funny. At first I was scandalized, but I don’t actually think of Tenenbaums as a funny movie-it has funny parts, but I wouldn’t call it a comedy. Moonrise though, is very funny. And beautiful, and sweet. I’m not sure whether my friend would agree, but I would wholeheartedly endorse it to anyone who doesn’t already hold a grudge against Wes Anderson.

My day off got off to a great start with a 3-mile run with my friend and neighbor Jen. Jen is a total badass, and does Crossfit, and runs marathons, and already has a Masters in Public Health, and we’ve been talking about running together for ages, but never got around to it until this morning. Running with someone is great. It really really is, especially on hills, when it would be too tempting to give up if you were by yourself. She’s thinking about running the half in the fall too, so we’re going to try to run together more often. We got up early today, and she took me on an interesting loop around a close-by area that I didn’t know even existed, and will have to explore.

When I got home from my run I had a glass of water with fresh cantaloupe, and some overnight oats that I put together last night with frozen blueberries and raspberries, giving them a pleasant purple-y pinkness.

I’ve already started planning my next dinner party, and I know I want to get more creative with beverages. It’s all well and good to not serve any alcohol, but I feel as though I should have fun drink options, and I’m thinking about attempting my own ginger ale. Yeast is pretty magical stuff, and I haven’t even scratched the surface of the things it can do. The rest of the menu still illudes me, but I’d like to have another dinner before the end of the semester, so I need to pick a date, a menu, and a guest list, because there are just too many nice people in my program, and it’s very difficult narrowing it down so that everyone gets a chair and plate.

My books are calling to me, and I have a full day of studying ahead, so I should get started. I love and hate how fast this week is flying by.

Winter’s Bone

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2011 was a great year for movies. I loved The King’s Speech, and Black Swan was incredible (I’m still not sure whether I liked it, but it was very good), but Winter’s Bone was just amazing. I didn’t give it much thought until I saw Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games, but it’s been on my mental que for a couple of weeks now, and I finally got to it tonight (my mom staunchly refused to watch it, but she’s off achieving her Manifest Destiny, so my dad and I are bumming around, eating dinner in the kitchen and watching movies she wouldn’t like).

It’s powerful stuff. Ree Dolly, (Lawrence’s character) is a lot like Katniss, and even though she’s great in both roles she’s far from a one trick pony. She plays scared and defensive and hungry really well, but it’s more than that- you can’t help rooting for her. She shoots squirrels, and stands up to drug dealers, and is a total badass, but she’s also a loving sister and daughter. Honestly, Winter’s Bone is practically the prequel to THG, there’s so much overlap, so people can body snark away, but Jennifer Lawrence was the perfect casting choice.

The movie itself is very very dark, but extremely compelling. My dad isn’t a fan of the South, but I liked how everyone was always offering guests food and drinks, even if they were about to brutally beat them, and all the families had lots of dogs. The scenery was beautiful (it was filmed in MO, but it looked a lot like how I imagine West Virginia- woods, and lakes, and mountains), and the soundtrack featured a lot of twang, and banjos, so that was right up my alley. It actually fit into my image of an underserved area where I might work off my student loan debts, but hopefully with less hillbilly mafia activity. The women in the movie were really interesting characters, my dad compare it to Macbeth, and that feels accurate. The men caused a lot of problems, running off, and cooking meth, but the women were right there with them, matching violence with violence, and being creepy as all get out. It’s sort of hard to see how a good egg like Ree came out of that environment, but even though the movie tries to end on a positive note the outlook after the final curtain didn’t look good, and it certainly wasn’t a happy movie by any stretch.

I know that Winter’s Bone was nominated for Best Picture last year, so saying it’s good is like recommending someone try Starbucks, but for whatever it’s worth, I really liked it. Jennifer Lawrence didn’t get Best Actress, and The Hunger Games isn’t going to get any major awards, but she’s on her way.

Not the moss-gathering type

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I have this fantasy, of moving to a place, and buying (or even building) a house, and staying there forever. There would be a garden, and fruit trees, and chickens, and I could make whatever decorating changes I wanted because I would never want to sell the place, so who cares about resale value, because it’s mine forever, until I die and it belongs to my children. I want to be established, to live in a place for a long long time, and know people, and have a groove where I fit because I’m slowly dug it out, Grand Canyon-style. You’d think this would stem from a childhood spent moving all the time, but in fact I’m no stranger to immobility. I went to the same school for eight years (woo combination middle and high school!), and  I’ve lived in the same house since I was a baby (with the exception of four years of college).

I used to think moving house seemed really exciting, and my dollhouse people moved in and out of their houses on a weekly basis, but my solid home base stopped seeming that way around high school, when I realized I do not want to live in Buffalo forever. I love my parents’ house, and I love Buffalo, and when I lived somewhere else it was always very exciting to come back, but that isn’t what I’m talking about when I say I want to put down roots somewhere and never leave. There’s nothing wrong with staying in your hometown forever, but I also want to explore, so I’m a little conflicted on the issue. I want to see the world, but I also want to settle down, and the first desire really messes with the latter.

One of the (many, many) things I felt insecure about in college was the fact that I didn’t have much history with anything, or anyone. I didn’t stick with the same group of friends, or the same team, or even the same school, and I always felt a little jealous of people who had been in the same place with the same people doing the same thing for four years (the new theme of my blog is Caroline is Jealous). Instead, I had a lot of different experiences, sort of like getting the tasting menu instead of having a big burger, and I think it worked out just fine, but it’s only made my settling down fantasy stronger. I figured that grad school would hold all the answers, because graduate degrees take a long time.  I would go to school, and after four or so more years of education I would be so fond of the place I would just stay there forever, which would be possible, because nurses can pretty much do that, unlike academics, who spend even more time living in places where they won’t end up because those jobs are much harder to come by. Except of course things don’t work out that way.

I felt sort of rejected when I didn’t get into the BSM-MSN program at Hopkins. I got into an amazing program, and I’m super super lucky, and grateful, and terrified by the prestige, but I felt a little slighted. It seemed like they didn’t want me to get too attached, and I was on probation until I showed them that I deserved to be a midwife. I felt unloved (by a school I don’t even go to yet, which should be a good bench mark for my crazy) and unworthy. I wondered if it was a sign that I should let go of midwifery, and just be a nurse, at least for a few years. And then, out of my gloom, a little voice whispered to me that this just meant I didn’t have to commit to Hopkins and Baltimore, that I could go anywhere, and do anything, and armed with a nursing degree from one of the best schools in the world, it wouldn’t just be a pipe dream.

In roughly fifteen months, I’ll graduate from Johns Hopkins with my BSN. Maybe I’ll stay, and get my Masters there, maybe I’ll end up somewhere else entirely. Right now, it’s impossible to know. For now, it makes me feel like Vianne Rocher, from Chocolat, just following the wind until I meet my version of Johnny Depp with an Irish accent, and we plant that garden.

The Hunger Games

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And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for, my Hunger Games movie review!

Wow. Wowowowowow. First of all, I had some high expectations going in. I loved the books, and because there are only three, I needed the movies to be incredible so I could enjoy more Hunger Games-related agonizing anticipation, and I wasn’t even slightly disappointed. Honestly, just writing about it is getting me jazzed up again.

Lillian and I both dressed up, but our costumes were subtle, and the pictures we took were kind of lame, so I’m not going to post them, but it totally helped get us psyched. I went as Katniss, in…pretty much normal clothes (brown pants, tall brown boots, green shirt, jacket with my mockingjay pin, you know, the usual), and Lillian was Cinna, all in black. There weren’t very many people in costume, which was kind of disappointing, but the people who made the effort committed and went whole hog, with face paint, and wigs, and they looked great. It’s just more fun when people are willing to look a little silly.

(Just to add to my extremely tense state, last night I drove for the first time without a licensed driver in the car with me. My little sister and I had tickets for the midnight showing, and my parents weren’t about to come pick us up at 3:00 in the morning, so I put on my big girl pants and drove. And we survived! I lived to blog the tale! My heart was racing the whole time though, despite the fact that the streets were pretty much empty, so I was about as hyped up as is humanly possible.)

The theater was packed, but we got there an hour early, so Lillian and I found good seats, and settled in with kale chips (we scoff at concession stand offerings), and soaked in the atmosphere. It was…a lot of kids. The average age in the room was probably fifteen, and I was slightly apprehensive about how well-behaved people would be once the movie got going. Everyone was great though, I guess because the people who show up for the midnight screening want to actually watch the movie, and not disrupt things by yelling “Team Peeta!” every time Josh Hutcherson came on screen.

(Team Peeta! Wooo!)

The movie itself is just wonderful. I’ve read the book (twice), and I was still on the edge of my seat. I’m a known soft touch, but it made me cry at all the right places, and they hit a really great balance of action and romance. I don’t think Josh Hutcherson is very attractive (he isn’t bad, just not my type), but I was dying for him. He’s such a great Peeta, and I love Peeta, so I love him. They didn’t try to make the movie into Twilight though, which was really important. Personally, I would have kissed the heck out of Peeta in that cave, but I’m glad they showed more restraint, because it made Katniss seem nicer. Her character can come off as really calculating sometimes, especially when you aren’t privy to her thoughts, so by having her tone down her faked affection they were able to keep her likable without having to do voiceovers or something like that so people would understand why she was pretending to feel something she didn’t. I thought it was very well done, and Jennifer Lawrence was just terrific.

One of my favorite things about the movie was that it looked beyond the arena, and showed what was happening in Panem during the Games. I was a little confused about why people were talking so much about Seneca Crane (I mean, it’s a great beard, but he’s barely a character), so I thought it was great that they showed the Gamemakers running things behind the scene, and the people in the Districts watching. It gave the whole thing a new layer of depth. I had never really thought about what it would be like to watch the Games, only how it would feel to be a part of them, so that was very interesting.

The whole thing was just great. I can’t put it any more simply. I loved it, and I cannot wait to see it again.