Monday, May 26, 2014

Adulthood Angst....

In my last post I wrote about how I related to Tris because of her angst... in the book she is dealing with first love and trying to find her place in her world. In the book Tris feels she has to make one choice and follow it wholeheartedly, but because she is Divergent she has multiple paths and that is how life is. Thankfully (and sometimes not so thankfully) we all have multiple paths.

I am grad-school and I am almost at the end. I hopefully have one more semester... though I feel I have said this a few times because I had to delay my thesis a few times. This has given me time to think of what I want to do with my life.

When I was in high school I wanted to be Abigail Chase, Diane Kruger, character in National Treasure.  She was a confident, and though she was a history nerdy girl she was was also very sexy. Also, she knew everything about everything, which was cool. For like split second I thought about doing Political Science but then I realized I loved history and escaping into the past. So I decided to pursue history in undergrad. I moved to Boston, on an almost gut reaction, because from almost the moment I visited it felt like it was home. Plus it didn't hurt that it was one of the most historical cities in the US. And basically minus the really cold winters and spells of homesickness I love Boston and I have been blessed with a second family here.

Now I am grad-school, and thinking about my future I often wonder if this path I chose going into library science and history is what I am suppose to be doing. For awhile I thought about leaving everything I know and going on missions. But the more time I thought about it, it didn't feel right. I had a passion for it but over time I lost it and sometimes I feel I have no idea what to do...
Sometimes, it scares me because I am usually a person with a five year plan, but I feel my five year plan has changed a few times. Right now I am embracing I don't have a plan, because right now I can hide behind the idea of just working on my thesis. I can put off real life and trying to be an adult. I guess this why I relate to Tris... she is still trying to make decisions of her life and figure things out.  Fortunately for me I am not also trying to fight a corrupt government (thank goodness).

Even though I am trying to figure things out I am glad I have some solid things to hang on to. I have my family, my second family, my friends, my faith... all these things have held me up and held me together and I a thankful for those. Also I am glad to figure out that like Tris we don't have one path and one choice. 
A previous post Figuring some things out...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

2 books in 2 weeks

... okay maybe in 2 1/2 weeks.

Now that Grad school is over for the summer and thanks to some vacation time (with long flights) I was able to get in some fun reading. I read two very different books... one I thought I would love as it is about WWI and one I wasn't so sure about but ended up loving.

Click on link below for another review
The first one was Stella Bain by Anita Shreve about a WWI nurse, and at the start of the novel has lost her memory and we follow her as she tries to paste her memories and her life together. While it starts in WWI, it seems to be more background to the story and sadly did not satisfy my WWI taste. I wish I could write more about the plot but I feel I would give some spoilers away. I will say even though it is written in third person, which usually as a feel of the author knowing all that will happen it had a feel that the author was discovering things as we were. This made for some choppy sentences and it took a few pages to get used to but once I did it made me feel like I was going on the journey with Stella Bain. The worst thing was I never really felt I related to Stella and while she goes through so many struggles I also didn't really have empathy for her. I saw this book last Christmas in an airport book store, and I almost bought it on whim but after reading it I am glad I waited to check it out from the library and save some money.


The next book was Divergent by Veronica Roth I am not ashamed to admit that I am jumping on the fan wagon of this book post movie, but I am not reading it because of the movie, which I have not seen but want to now. I am reading it because my friend recommended it to me. I don't usually read futuristic books (minus the Hunger Games) because for the most part I'd rather live in the past, however I loved it book. It is another post-apocalyptic world, though unlike the Hunger Games, the society is trying to create a perfect utopian society, though that seems to be a veil hiding true struggles. The society is broken up into different fractions in order to preserve order of society, even though as children they go to school together, they hardly interact with each other. Beatrice "Tris" is raised in the Abnegation fraction, which focuses on selflessness and humbleness, but she has never felt to truly belong. The book starts on the day she and her brother, Caleb. take a test to see what fraction they should spend the rest of their lives in. When Beatrice takes the test she is said to be Divergent, which means she has broken the system which makes her a danger to the structure of society so she must keep it a secret. Now she must choose if she wants to stay in the Abnegation fraction or choose her own path. (I don't want to give it away what she chooses because I feel like its a spoiler but because movie trailer ad basically gives it away, I will say she chooses Dauntless). Dauntless are the fighters and the warriors of the society. Though this fraction so different than anything Tris has known she learns to fit in, and make friends, but she is always worried her secret will be found out...

I am so glad I saw this book on sale and my mom bought it for me. These post-apocalyptic books are not my norm so I can only compare it to the Hunger Games. I was talking to my friend, who recommended it to me, and she and I agreed we could relate to Tris more than Katniss (I guess we are still teenagers going through angst). I also liked that Four (the crush) because he was a fighter. I mean Peeta is great for his pure heart but he wasn't much of a fighter... which is why I liked Four he could be strong without taking Tris' strength away (as a character) and though he was strong he had fears to overcome. One thing I didn't like was how fast the action went sometimes I had to go back and re-read passages to make sure I understood what was happening.
Divergent Trailer

Now I don't like waiting for book two... I know it is published (but I am on a long waiting list at the library) and I could buy it but I feel hesitant buying books because in a few months I will be moving to a new apartment and I don't want to pack up more books.  

Monday, May 19, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me

my sister holding me when I was 1 hour old
So I love my birthday, not because of the gifts, but because it means my friends (from all the different parts of my life) get together and it is lots of fun. I have had some friends that have been in my life for a long time so we have lots of birthday memories together (LOVE!). This year has been no different very memorable...

niece, sister, nephew and I 
First lets go back to last Friday when I flew to my mom's house in the desert of California. We have had a very long winter here in Boston so it was nice to pull out my summer clothes and feel the very warm sun on my skin. Though it was mother's day my mom treated me to mother daughter pedicures and the woman giving me a pedicure asked "you're so pale where are you from?" "Boston," I said though being of Irish and English descent I will never be dark. My mom basically spoiled me for the week treating me to good dinners out and one of my favorite meals (Stuffed green peppers). She bought me some new cute shoes and a relaxing week (a massage, a few strawberry margaritas, and other treats). While the treats were good it was  great to spend the week with my sister, niece and nephew. Also my Grandma made me dinner at her house and bought me my favorite cake (German Chocolate). So thanks mom and step-dad for the awesome treat of that week...
Awesome auntie time
with step-dad
Then when I got back to Boston I had a great dinner with some of my good girl friends where I got a some
bookish things and a Starbucks gift card. Then today I received a one year subscription to Netflix. Books, coffee and movies... my friends know me so well. Okay, I know I started out this post saying I don't care about the gifts and I really don't...a co-worker asked me "what I wanted?" and I couldn't think of anything. I feel so blessed that I can't think of anything I want. It is not about the gifts it is about having friends and family that I know that will love and support me.

However, I don't want anything materialistically my friend asked me at dinner "What is one thing I want to do this year?" And my answer is to finish my thesis and FINALLY graduate grad-school. I can't imagine my life not being a student but I sure would like to.

Here are some memorable birthdays since moving to Boston...

From top left down:

  • 21st birthday dinner with friends and Dad, then getting baptized the next day... great to have dad for both occasions
  • Going to my first Red Sox game and it being Lester's no hitter
  • Graduating college a few days before my 23rd birthday.
  • It wasn't really for my birthday but my bible study went to Rochester, NY for the Lilac festival and it was around my birthday time so I remember it as my 24th birthday
  • Doing Karaoke for my 25th birthday
  • Birthday party to help me raise support to go to Honduras
  • Last year going to Newport with my mom and seeing the beautiful mansions. 
my first birthday

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Summer Movies-- A little behind

Now that school is over I got some time to watch movies, and do a little catch up on normal life. My budget isn't very big so most of my movie watching comes from checking out DVDs from the library, even if I have to be a long waiting list... patience is a virtue right?

The first film I saw was Austenland, it came out late August, but I couldn't find it in theaters near me. I thought I was going to like it, a friend even mentioned that it was a movie made about me. It is about a girl, Jane, who is OBSESSED with Jane Austen. She spends all her savings to go to an Austen style retreat in order to act out a Jane Austen novel. But discovers she doesn't want this fake style of love but instead she wants real love. However she will discover which man truly has her heart's interest.

What I liked- The premise of the story is great and personally I would love to go off to an Austen style resort. I also really like JJ Fields, who has played Henry Tilney in Northanger Abbey, and he plays the snooty resident Mr. Darcy well. And though he is the resident Mr. Darcy, you can tell he has a bit of a soft the end he turns out to be a history professor.
What I didn't like- the sexual innuendos, if this was a real Jane Austen experience it wouldn't happen because they didn't happen in Austen's time. Also in one scene Jane, Keri Russell, is talking about how couples didn't even touch before they were married and then in the next scene is making out with a guy. I thought that was a little hypocritical, since she wanted the Austen experience.  

Overall- Glad I watched it once since I was intrigued by this movie, but I don't feel the need to watch it again. My heart will always will remain with Jane Austen, but I don't like when people try to remake her work. Also if I want to watch JJ Fields as a Austen hero I will watch him in Northanger Abbey.
Here is JJ Field in Northanger Abbey
The other film I watched was Pitch Perfect, and I really liked it. When it came out and when all my friends were talking about it, I was hesitant to see it, I don't know why... I love acapella music.
Its a story about Beca, Anna Kendrick, reluctantly going to college when her real dream is to move to LA and become a professional DJ. Through an agreement with her dad she joins the Barden Bellas and actually ends up liking it. Through out the film the club is controlled by a tight fisted girl, who is so focused on winning that she can't actually get past her own view point. However, at the end the girls work together to make a good acapella performance. It is PG-13 so there are some sexual references but nothing I thought over the top.
What I liked- There is a love story, though I wouldn't say it takes center stage to the plot. Jesse, Skylar Astin, is cute and he pursues Beca even when she is kind of mean to him---but he still stands up for himself when needed. There is singing, which is awesome because life should be more musical. They reference The Breakfast Club, which works in the plot. And the girls work out their difficulties (with no cat fighting) and learn to appreciate their differences.  
Clip: "Just the way you are" 

What I didn't like- The head girl, Aubrey, has two incidents where she vomits and they just make really over the top, unnecessary and gross. Also in the movie Jesse is really focused on the endings and without giving any spoilers away I thought the ending fell flat (after such a good performance). 
The Bella's final performance

Over all- Cute movie, I can see it going on my list of movies to watch when I feel blue, because musicals always cheer me up and it is nice to have modern day musicals.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Some frivolous-ness


I am celebrating being done with this semester, with some frivolous YouTube time... 

Song: A Thousand Years
By: Christina Perri

I don't know all the films and TV shows but the ones I recommend ...
Pride and Prejudice (1995)
Little Dorrit
Downton Abbey
Kate and Leopold
Ever After
North and South
Becoming Jane
The Paradise
The Sound of Music
Mansfield Park
Sense and Sensibility
Lark Rise to Candleford
Wives and Daughters