Visit to DC: Part I-Valentine and Friends

I had wanted to go to Washington DC for a while. I hadn't visitedsince Close-Up Government in 7th grade and I love taking weekend trips, so Kevin decided to make a special Valentine's Day weekend out of it. It was also great because I was able to see some friends from school who I hadn't seen for almost two years. Kevin booked a hotel room at Donovan House. Although the room wasn't as nice as it looked in the pictures, the location was pretty convenient to get everywhere we wanted to go. We rented a car in Manhattan anddrove down after work on Friday, and it took a little overfour hours. Though we were extremely exhausted by the time we got to the hotel, we tried to make the ride down as enjoyable as possible by eating munchies, stopping for dinner, and alternating driving.

Saturday morning we walked to breakfast at Commissary and on the way, down a random alley, we came across some amazing street art. Stumbling across things like this is what makes traveling so exciting and enjoyable.

After spending the afternoon at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (details on the museum to come in the next post), Kevin and I got ready to meet up with my Michigan friends for dinner and drinks. We Pizza Paradiso in Georgetown. Since Georgetown is very college-centric, we walked to a classier establishment–Degrees in the Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown. Even though drinks were pricier than they would have been if we had gone to a college bar, it was actually the perfect spot to relax on the plush couches, have a few cocktails and catch up.

After a generous offer by my friend Elena, our group of six met up again for brunch at her place on Sunday. She's a great cook, and we were spoiled with a delicious, wide variety of food including fruit salad, curried potatoes, eggs, pancakes, french toast and doughnuts. Needless to say, we were stuffed.

My weekend in DC being able to explore, catch up with friends, and spend time with my boyfriend

was the best Valentine's Day I could ask for. And while my visit did not entice me to want to move there, I'm definitely looking forward to visiting DC again in the near future.


Film Review: The Fighter

Last night I saw The Fighter with Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale. I really didn’t have any intentions of seeing it, but I agreed to go along simply to spend more time with a friend who was only visiting for a few days. The Fighter definitely exceeded any small expectations I had for the film. Those are actually my favorite movie experiences–when you go in not having any expectations and not even really knowing what the movie is about just to be thoroughly entertained and end up really enjoying the film. Let’s just say I’m very happy I agreed to see it. Since it’s a film about boxing and I know nothing about boxing, I figured it wouldn’t interest me much, but there was so much more going on than simply boxing. It’s the story of not one but two men–brothers–who are boxers and the relationship not only between them but also their large family.

The film sent me through a roller coaster of emotions. Dickey Ecklund, played by Bale, goes through a drug addiction, and although it’s a serious matter and he messes up a lot he still has big heart and big personality, and he keeps the audience chuckling. He is quite a character to say the least. Micky Ward, played by Wahlberg, is the younger, less outspoken brother. Together they make a fantastic team which is evident by the end of the film despite all of their problems. In addition, even though their family is dysfunctional they all stick together no matter what, and they remain loyal.

The Fighter is a motivating film that shows that you should always have faith in your abilities and never give up. If life throws you an obstacle that you cannot climb over pave yourself a new path. That is what Dickey finally does when he realizes his days of professional boxing are over. He instead focuses his efforts on training Micky so that Micky can win the title he never did.

Audiences love a good story of an underdog’s struggle to make it to the top, and this film executes it wonderfully. I also love the fact that it’s based on a true story. During the credits at the end of the film, a short clip of the real half-brothers is shown. Bale mimicked the real Dickey so well I was really astonished. Not only was his acting amazing but he also lost a ton of weight to play the role. He looked skeletal and his eyes looked shrunken. He was believable

as a drug user.

Another reason why I think The Fighter is an excellent film is because the setting took place in the 90’s and everything from the clothes and big hair to the cars were accurate of the 90’s style. Finally, I liked that the two brothers were from a small town, yet no matter how successful they became, they remained loyal to their town. They seem like average working class men in construction–they don’t wear nice clothes, drive nice vehicles, have an especially nice house or go anywhere particularly extravagant, but they are champions inside. They truly are the town heroes.

If you liked Million Dollar Baby with Hilary Swank and Clint Eastwood I’m sure you’ll enjoy The Fighter as well. I whole heartedly recommend it.”