Friday, April 6, 2012

Hunger Games

Remember when I used to post kind of regularly and actually had some interesting stories?  No?  Me neither.  Ah but such is life.

I did realize that I have desperately failed you by not posting ANYTHING about The Hunger Games.  No book review, no movie review, no post about how much I LOVED this series.  So I'm going to do it here.

For about the past year, everyone I know and their grandmother was reading The Hunger Games.  Big blockbuster books always make me a little nervous - what if I don't like it as much as everyone else?  Then you're the weird girl who constantly has to explain why she didn't like the book that everyone else is obsessed with.  

But after I had heard from the 14736867926th person that I needed to read The Hunger Games, I decided to take the plunge.  After my exams were over in December I bought the first book.  And read it in a day.  And loved it.  And proceeded to read the second book.  In another day.  And then the third.  In a third day.  And then I had this weird Hunger Games hangover and couldn't really adjust back to reality for a few days.  

The series was mesmerizing.  The books are Young Adult (YA) and very easy to read.  The story, however, is geared to a much broader audience.  I honestly cannot remember the last time that I had a reading experience like I had while reading The Hunger Games.  It was similar to my Harry Potter experience, but different in an important way.  I waited for years in between Harry Potter books (where I read the available books again and again and again). But all of The Hunger Games books were already out!  No waiting!  It let me get absorbed in the series in a different kind of way that I liked.

So without further ado, my review of The Hunger Games.  

Many years in the future, after famine and war and floods and eventually a new peace, the U.S. is no more.  Instead there is the Panem which is made up of Twelve Districts and a Capitol.  To maintain its dominance over the districts the Capitol requires each district to send a boy and girl tribute every year to the Capitol to participate in the annual Hunger Games: a brutal, televised fight to the death that is required programming for all citizens of the Panem.  The winning tribute brings riches, fame, and glory back to their district in a hopelessly self-perpetuating style.

Enter Katniss Everdeen.  Katniss is a sixteen year old girl from District 12, located near modern Appalachia.  Her father died years before in a mining accident and has dedicated her life to taking care of her mother and younger sister, Prim.  When her sister's name is drawn to be the District 12's Tribute, Katniss volunteers to go in her place.  Peeta Mellark is chosen as District 12's male tribute.  Together Katniss and Peeta head to the Capitol with their coach, Haymitch, and District liaison, Effie, to participate in the 74th Hunger Games.

I won't say much more about the plot, I don't want to give anything away, but I really do think you should go read it.  You can purchase The Hunger Games here.

Now for the movie.  I loved it.  I thought it was a really great film adaptation of a really excellent book.  No movie is ever exactly like the book, it can't be.  But I thought that this movie was pretty true to the book.  They spent some time showing what was going on outside of the arena while the Games were going on.  I liked the context that those scene gave.  I liked how they portrayed the differences between people from the Capitol and people from the Districts.  

What didn't I like?  I felt like a few of the details of the movie were confusing.  In the book they really explain Haymitch's role in the Games.  In the movie it was just explained in passing that he was their coach and mentor.  I also found that a few of the relationships fell a little flat.  But as a whole, I think they did a great job and I'm excited for the sequel!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Samantha Brick

Over the past few days, Samantha Brick has taken the internet by storm.  If you haven't heard, Samantha is the woman who wrote an article about women hating her for being too beautiful.  If you haven't read it, you can find a it here.

This article has launched a firestorm of comments: some good, some bad.  One woman even said that Brick looks like a "pit bull chewing on a wasp."  Mean.  

I feel for Ms. Brick.  Not because I think I'm too beautiful, but because I think the main point of her article has gone over everyone's heads.  Women love to bring each other down.  Someone does something better than you?  You automatically hate her.  She's prettier, she's smarter, she has more money, she has better clothes, the list could go on and on.  It doesn't matter that you completely rock your job or that you have flawless skin if her hair is just the right shade of chestnut brown.

For one, I hope we can stop criticizing Ms. Brick's looks.  I also hope that as women, we can stop beating up on each other and taking away from each other's accomplishments.  It's time that we start celebrating each other and encouraging each other to be the best that we can rather than tearing each other down at every chance.  

And if this post starts an internet frenzy....well so be it.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patty's Day!  The one day of the year that everyone actually wants to be Irish.  Unfortunately I had to take the MPRE this morning (this is the test that the ABA gives out that tests the ethical requirements of lawyers) so I was unable to take full advantage of St. Patty's Day ACTUALLY FALLING ON A SATURDAY.  It's all good though - since this test has been looming large for a while now I wasn't able to really do much of anything for my birthday (which was this past Thursday).  

So my friends and I are painting the town green tonight.  To celebrate my Irish heritage birthday we are going out for Mexican which is my favorite.  Hopefully, I'll remember to bring my camera with me (and then, you know, actually use it).  

I hope you all have exciting St. Patty's Day plans too! 

Before you go, here's some St. Patrick's Day goodness.

An Irish blessing:

May you always have...
Walls for the winds
A roof for the rain
Tea beside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
Those you love near you
And all your heart might desire.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Springing Ahead

I know it's been a while, but I have not fallen off the face of the earth.  I know I sound like a broken record, but school has been CRAZY busy over the past month or so.  Unfortunately when things get busy, blogging's kind of the first thing to go.  I also got a Kindle for Christmas which means any extra time I do have gets spent reading (BTW, if you haven't read The Hunger Games yet, DO IT NOW!)

This past week I had spring break so I spent a few days back home in Virginia.  It was a restful week (one night I slept for 13 and a half hours.  not exaggerating) and I was glad that I got to spend some time with my family and friends.  

One of the best things about spring break is that it's an opportunity to restart.  Over the break I got caught up on some work that slipped off my radar during the semester.  I managed to lace up my sneakers and get a few good runs in and restarted my training for the Marine Corps Half Marathon (which will be here before I know it!).  I know the next week is going to be crazy (I'm taking the ethics portion of the bar next Saturday - yes on St. Patty's Day!) and have bunches of work to get done this week.  I'll pretty much need another spring break after next week.  

I also started toying with the idea of restarting this blog.  I'm thinking a make-over might be exactly what this thing needs.  I'd like to keep my web-address but I'm looking for a new title.  Unfortunately I'm pretty uncreative which is where you guys come in!  Come up with a new name for this blog!  It'll be like a contest except the only thing you'll win is my respect and gratitude.  

So I realize this post kind of went no where, but it did let you know that'm still alive, so we'll say that was the point.  Happy Daylight Saving Time!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl

If you were in America last night (and paying at least the tiniest bit of attention to pop culture) you know that yesterday was the biggest unofficial American holiday of the year.  I was really happy with the Super Bowl: I'm not a huge football fan, but if I had to pick a team I would without a doubt root for the Giants.  I also hate Tom Brady with the fire of a thousand suns, so to see him lose is always fun.  

Football aside, I do always enjoy Super Bowl Sunday.  To me, Super Bowl Sunday is a good food, good friends, good beer, good commercials, good time kind of day.  I have to admit, the commercials this year were a little bit of a disappointment.  But it was the Super Bowl, so there were a few gems in there.  Here were my favorites:

There is no such thing as too many monkeys in advertising

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


If you caught my New Year's post (not linking it, it's only a few entries back) then you may remember that one of my New Year's resolutions was to have more balance in my life.  This is kind of an "all-inclusive" resolution, but one thing I definitely wanted to work on was adding a little more balance to my work-outs.  I wanted to do more cross-training (truth: any kind of cross-training would be more than I was doing last year) and I wanted to incorporate weights into my routine.  I have been successful with one of these and unsuccessful with the other.  

The cross-training has not happened yet.  I had the best of intentions today, but sometimes these things don't work out.  The gym I belong to in Charleston is pretty good.  There are a lot of locations all across the Low Country, so you're never far from one.  Which I like a lot.  They have a wide variety of classes offered all day.  Which I also like a lot (actually these are the two reasons I joined this gym, but I never really take advantage of these things).  Two of them have pools.  

So today I decided to skip my run and go for a nice swim instead.  I got all ready, packed my gym bag, and drove over to one of the locations that is advertised as having a pool.  Technically the gym does have a pool.  I mean there is a large-ish, in-ground pool-like structure, but in no way, shape or form was it the type of pool that I expected to find at a gym.  I was expecting lap lanes and found a place where you can splash around with your kids.  A few gym members were bobbing around on pool noodles and I knew that there was no way that I could swim laps there.  Pretty disappointing.  I think I'll give the other pool location a shot, but I think this time I'll do some investigative work before.

Ok, so the cross-training's been a total bust.  But the weight lifting has not.  And I'm excited about it.  A few weeks ago I bought a book on weight lifting for women.  More specifically I bought this book:

which you can purchase here
This book's pretty intense.  I don't know if I'm as weight-lifty as the guy who wrote it (ok, actually I do know that I'm not nearly as weight-lifty as he is.  Exhibit A: I said "weight-lifty").  But its full of great information and misconceptions about women and weight-lifting, comes with a nutrition section, and (here's the best part) SIX MONTHS of weight lifting work outs.  

It's broken down into stages and each stage is made up of two work-outs that you do for a certain amount of times.  In stage one, you do each of the two work-outs 8 times or a total of 16 lifting sessions.  The best part is that it's not a long, drawn out sequence.  Both sequences in stage one are only five exercises long.  Even when I really took my time today, I was done in less than twenty minutes.  Which is totally great and really manageable.  And if soreness is any kind of indication of effectiveness, it's totally working - I'm crazy sore from my Monday weight lifting session and I'm simultaneously looking forward to and dreading the soreness I'll feel tomorrow.

I think I'll take some before and after pictures, but I won't post them until I see a major difference.  So there's that to look forward to :)

Hope everyone's having a great week so far!

Election Season

I know this is going to sound a little strange, but we are in the middle of one of my favorite seasons - ELECTION SEASON!  I've always had a love of all things politics.*  Growing up, politics were frequently discussed at the dinner table - my dad representing one party, my mom the other.  

Although this isn't a "normal" way to grow up, I'm glad I grew up in this sort of environment. My parents taught me from a young age the importance of being invested and involved in the political process.  Since my parents didn't necessarily agree with each other most of the time I got to hear both sides of almost every argument on just about every issue.  

What started as family dinner conversation grew into a passion.  I don't think that The West Wing helped anything on that front.  I was OBSESSED with that show in 7th grade and used to chat about the story lines with my history teacher (as a side note, how great is the cast of The West Wing???  I mean seriously, look at that cast!  Rob Lowe! Allison Janney!  Martin Sheen!!).  In college I majored in Political Science, specifically I graduated from the American Government department.  

photo cred

Right now I am VERY excited to be in South Carolina.  Last night was the New Hampshire primary which means they are onto South Carolina!  Virginia is never an exceptionally important state in the primary process because it's usually one of the Super Tuesday states or the primary is so late that the candidate has already been decided.  But not now.  And what happens in South Carolina is going to matter.  And I'm going to be here to witness it.  I would just about die if I had the opportunity to meet one of the candidates.  

Even though I can't participate in the primary (I'm a registered voter in Virginia), I am so excited to have the opportunity to get to witness the process.  The ads are all over TV and I'm sure (and sooner rather than later) the candidates will start showing up in charming Charleston.  I love the democratic process.  And even more I love when people get excited about engaging in that process.  Here's to the next two weeks - can't wait to see what they have in store.

*As I love politics, I do have rather defined political views.  I enjoy talking about politics, but I try not to use this blog as a means of putting my political ideas out into the blogosphere.  This post is simply intended as a way of me sharing a passion with my readers without engaging in the political nitty-gritty.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  I know I'm a day late, but I think we can all agree that being on time just isn't my style.  I rang in the New Year with some of my dearest friends.  Honestly, I was excited for 2012 to begin because 2011 was not the best year of my life.  Nothing really bad happened, but it was a difficult and trying year.  Needless to say I'm pretty excited to have a fresh start.  

Last year I only made three resolutions: to be optimistic, to finish a half marathon, and to take time for myself everyday.  How did I do?  Well, I finished the half back in February, but I don't think that I did very well on my other resolutions.  I struggled with some personal things and let a lot of things get to me in ways that I shouldn't have.  I also let school/work/other obligations eat into any time that I had earmarked for myself.  

So what's on tap for 2012?  Looking ahead - two more semesters of law school will be under my belt, hopefully a decent summer job, a few trips to visit friends over the summer, and I'm going to be a bridesmaid (I know, again) in October.

Now for resolutions.  There are only a few things that I want to accomplish this year.  First, and most importantly, I believe that I need more balance in my life.  This kind of transcends everything.  I need to make more of a point to enjoy myself during school (as in taking a break from the books on Friday nights and having some actual fun).  I need to make more time for friends.  I need to get rid of known stressors (like all of the clutter that is currently occupying way too much space in my bedroom).  I'd even like to become more balanced in my approach to working out (that's right - no more running only!  I'd like to incorporate free weights, swimming, and maybe even pilates into my life this year).  

Other than that, I'm going to stand up for myself a little bit more this year.  There had been several times over this past year where I let people do things that hurt me, times where I should have put my foot down and stood up for myself.  I could pick these moments out as they were happening, but let them slide anyways.  This year, I'm going to say something and not give people the opportunity and permission to do so.  

That's really it for this year.  I hope that 2012 is filled with love and joy; good times and memories; friends and laughter.  Happy New Year to you all, dear readers.