I just finished Lev Grossman's The Magicians today, and I loved it! To put it simply, the novel reminds me of Harry Potter, except aimed for a more adult audience. Okay, well to be honest, I never actually read Harry Potter, but based on the few clips of the movies I've seen here and there, I'm claiming that they are similar in several ways. If nothing else, it's the realm of wizardry that correlates the two–a story centering around a boy who pursues a life of magic and encounters strange, sci-fi like characters along the way, all while trying to figure out his life's purpose. Quentin, the main character, is moody and self-destructive. The oscillating first and third person narrative causes the reader to become frustrated with him because he has so much potential and has all the tools he needs in front of him, yet he is never satisfied. Essentially, the novel is about Quentin's quest for happiness. I felt so invested in his character by the end of the novel that even I was wondering what had to be done for him to finally be complacent. I guess I'll just have to wait until the next novel to find out. The sequel, The Magician King, will be released next summer.
Inception is a brilliantly complex movie that kept me interested the whole three hours in length. Leonardo is probably my favorite actor (although Joseph Gordon-Levitt was looking pretty hot in this movie as Leo's partner too). I was waiting in anticipation for several months for the release of Shutter Island, and although it wasn't a bad movie by any means, it didn't blow me away either. While the plot for Shutter Island was pretty good, Inception seems to have been better produced. I liked the combination of action and thriller in Inception. Thank god there wasn't a corny love triangle thing going on. I am so tired of those kind of movies. Therefore, all the unexpected gun action that took place was a pleasant alternative as odd as it sounds.
1. The look on his face when he woke up on the plane after barely escaping alive. He could hardly even believe it himself that he made it back.
2. What would have been the point of Cobb traveling through time and dreams in order to find Saito (the Japanese man who was going to clear his record so he could go home to his family) and bring him back to reality if he wasn't going to actually see his kids in real life?
3. Cobb never looked at his kids' faces when he was under because he didn't want to mistake his dream for reality like his wife did. At the end of the movie, his own father takes him to his kids and he and the audience see their faces for the first time, thus supporting my belief that he wasn't dreaming anymore.
4. I think that Director, Christopher Nolan, only made the ending ambiguous as a shock factor to get his audience members talking about the movie and speculating about whether Cobb did or did not escape the dreamworld. The outcome is up to each individual audience member's own interpretation, but I choose to be optimistic.
Overall, Inception was an excellent film and I recommend it to those who enjoy a multi-layered storyline that forces you to pay attention in order to keep up.
It is quite possible that I had more fun at the American Museum of Natural History looking at all of the ancient animal bones as an adult than I did when I was a little girl. I forgot how cool dinosaurs are until I was face-to-face with a skeleton of a T-rex towering above me.
Unfortunately I didn't get to the museum until 1.5 hours before closing, so I had to rush a bit in order to see the majority of displays on the four floors. It was fascinating just observing the things on display at the museum, but next time around I will definitely plan on staying longer in order to read the descriptive texts about each one. I especially loved the atmosphere in the Milsetein Hall of Ocean Life. It was dimly lit and the walls were dark blue making it feel as if I were in a giant aquarium. In addition,
“”The Milstein Hall of Ocean Life is home to the Museum's beloved
94-foot-long model of a blue whale, a powerful evocation of the massive yet graceful nature of the largest animal ever to roam the planet.””
a good website too with descriptions about the permanent exhibits, limited time exhibits, upcoming events and lots of other information.
This past weekend I completed my first project with New York Cares, the city's leading volunteer organization. I decided to sign up with New York Cares when I realized that I actually have more free time now after having finished up with school even with a full-time job. As a student my work was never really done. Not only was I a full time student but I also had an internship and was involved in several other extra curricular activities. There was always more reading or studying to be done for one class or another, so it was often difficult me to fully enjoy myself on weekends with the nagging in the back of my mind that I still had work to do in advance of classes on Monday. Now that I don't have work to do on weekends, that frees up my schedule tremendously, and I figured that it was time for me to give back and make good use of some of the new free time I've acquired.
or even being around young kids, but I figured that since sports are something I'm familiar with, that would be the easiest way to be able to relate to the kids.
While the first thing I did when I returned home from volunteering was to crawl into bed and relax for a few hours, I'm still very happy that I completed my first project with New York Cares. Isn't it funny that I feel like I took just as much away from this experience as I gave? I suppose that's what making a difference is all about in a way. When doing something makes you contemplate life and appreciate the thing you're doing, it becomes a mutual exchange with both parties benefiting.
Good New Year's Eve. Every year everyone makes so much hype about New Year's Eve plans–First it's choosing which group of friends you wish to spend it with, then figuring out where you're going, what you're wearing, who you'll be kissing at midnight, etc. It's frazzling.
This year (partly due to the fact that I was stuck in an airport for 24 hours and made it back to the city already exhausted with only two days to spare before the ball dropped) I didn't really have the same anxiety about my NYE plans. Yes, I did buy a sequins dress for the occasion two months in advance, but I really hadn't given it much thought besides expressing my adamance not to go to an obnoxious, overcrowded club and to not pay more than $50 to get in any bar.
Having no expectations when it comes to NYE seems to be the best way to go into it. Just think of it as another day–well it is, but it also just happens to be a night celebrating the first day of a new year and “”new beginnings.”” No, I did not have an “”epic night”” in which I had an awesome buzz and was magically kissed by a handsome male as everyone yelled “”Happy New Year!”” but at the same time no, I did not have a horribly disappointing night. I was with friends simply enjoying myself and their company just like any other night I'd meet up with friends for drinks.
I'm not saying one shouldn't hope for an epic NYE. Everyone should have at least one of those. But we should be realistic about our expectations and that way we won't set ourselves up for disappointment. I think the same goes with New Year's Resolutions. If one has to really contemplate a resolution to implement in the new year, it's not genuine and will most likely be given up after a month or two
into the year. No one is forcing you to make a resolution, so there's no use in making an empty promise if it's not something you really want to do. Last year I didn't make a resolution. This year I simply said that I'm going to try to eat more fruits and vegetables. I make no promises that are unrealistic or unachievable. I feel content and I'm truly looking forward to all that 2011 brings.
This was my first Thanksgiving away from my family ever in my whole life. Originally I didn't think it was going to be a big deal. In my family, my mom's side of the family gathers for every holiday. We cook. A ton. And drink. Lots of wine. And laugh. Uncontrollably. I can always count on ridiculousness to ensue at any gathering. We're loud (and sometimes downright obnoxious), we know it, and we love it. I figured that this Thanksgiving would be like the rest, and buying a $400 plane ticket home, when Christmas is a bigger deal for us anyway, seemed unpractical since I only left Michigan four months ago anyway. My parents even shipped me boxed mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing and a bottle of wine to make my own little Thanksgiving dinner at home.
Day Parade, and I had a blast. Then when I came home I thought I'd just sleep away the majority of the day. But of course, aftwe waking to an empty apartment, the loneliness quickly set in. I tried to diminish longing to be home by blasting music while I made my dinner for one and I put myself to work cleaning my bedroom, but before long I was confronted with sadness again which had evolved into a knot in the pit of my stomach.
While I don't consider myself a New Yorker yet and I'm not sure I ever will since my roots are in Michigan, I certainly can say that I've been “”initiated”” into the New York lifestyle where everyone has experienced loneliness and almost everyone has spent a holiday without their family. To my wonderful family and friends who I thought I could be strong enough to spend a holiday without missing, boy was I wrong. I miss everyone tremendously, and although I was physically in another state, my mind allowed me to spend the day re-living past holidays together. What I finally realized, and maybe spending the day alone is what it took, is that it doesn't matter if family gatherings sometimes seem monotonous and boring in the traditional sense, it's being together under one roof for yet another year that makes it special.