Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Burning

I've been putting off talking about this for months, because I wanted to share it for the first time in a state of accomplishment and with lots of cool pictures, but I am feeling suffocated by the idea of doing something totally new with my time and not telling anyone about it. So I'm going to share a tiny bit now, and do a much bigger post with more details later.

Once a week for the past nine weeks, I've been heading down to one of College Station's fire stations in the evenings. The city offers a free 12-week class called Citizen's Fire Academy, and my friend Christina, who is running the class, encouraged me to participate. And ya'll, it is AWESOME. If your city offers something like this, you should definitely do it. 


We were given our own fire gear for the duration of the class, including heavy boots, a helmet and a thick jacket and pants set that are way too big for me. We got to see the dispatch center, where all the emergency calls come in. We get to play with fire extinguishers and ride on the fire trucks and work the hoses and cut open cars with the jaws of life. (No, we don't get to slide down the pole.) At the class' conclusion, we're going to the fire school, and participating in a live burn.*

I have learned SO MUCH. I'm fascinated by the firefighters' work, and having a blast taking the class, but I could never do what they do. (I get freaked out by medical stuff, and every firefighter has to be EMT-certified. They showed us how to insert IVs one night, and I squealed and covered my eyes while they stuck a detached dummy arm. What a pansy.)

There's a CFA graduate that has been at every class taking pictures of all the cool stuff we're doing, and has promised CDs of the photos at the end, so I want to write a bigger, better post once I have the photos. But I just wanted to share now, in case anyone — okay, me — needs a reminder that you don't have to be at a certain point in your life, or have a certain amount of money, or have completed certain goals in order to have big adventures.

*I don't think I'll actually get to do the live burn, because of a scheduling conflict. I was bummed, but Christina told me it was just putting everything else we've done into effect, and that I shouldn't be upset.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Infidelity and Movie Adaptations

Because I'd never seen any of Woody Allen's movies before, I put several of them on my Netflix list and watched them back to back: Annie Hall, Match Point, Midnight in Paris.

I also recently finished reading The Last Letter From Your Lover, and The Emperor's Children. I'm about 1/4 of the way through Anna Karenina. (You can follow me on Goodreads here.)

On Sunday, we finally watched the Leonardo DiCaprio version of The Great Gatsby.

All of these pieces of art were lovely (except Annie Hall, I hated Annie Hall), but after the credits rolled on Gatsby, I just felt this overwhelming sadness.

I'm tired of watching movies and reading stories about infidelity. Do we, as a culture, have this idea that staying with your partner, fulfilling your vows, loving one person until death do you part is boring? I don't think it has to be boring. I don't think it has to be cheesy or sappy either, ahem, Nicholas Sparks.

It makes me sad that, off the top of my head, the only happily married book or movie characters I can think of are Arthur and Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter series.

I know that books and movies are a means of escaping your own life for a bit, but why do we want so badly to escape into lives that are even more messed up than our own? What is the appeal of escaping into someone else's life, when theirs is in shambles from their poor decisions or the decisions of their significant other?

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My friend Sara and I went to see Divergent yesterday. We both really enjoyed it, despite both of us having major problems with/reservations about the book (though I hear many of my problems with it get answered in the third book; I just got book two from the library). Shailene Woodley was a much better actress than I expected her to be, and made the character of Tris much more likable than she was in the book. We agreed that it was probably one of the best book-to-movie adaptations we'd seen, with so little detail left out.

On the way back home, we were talking about Woodley's next role in The Fault in Our Stars, which is coming out this summer. I really, really want to see it. Because the author was involved in the production, I figure he couldn't ruin his own book by making the movie not as good, right? Sara didn't want to see it at all, because she loved the book so much and couldn't bear the thought of the movie not living up to the book.

Which makes sense. It's a good, hard read. I've read it twice, and both times Matt has walked in on me clutching the book to my chest and sobbing. It makes you think about life, and death, and it seems like a daunting task to take it from words into pictures. I just hope they can do justice to such a beautiful book.

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Have you seen Divergent? What is your favorite book-to-movie adaptation? Are there any topics that you're tired of reading about?

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Weird Occurrence Outside the Ladies' Room

Last night I was complaining to Matt that I didn't have anything going on in my life that was worthy of blogging about. Which was a weird thing to say on a Sunday night, after I had packed my weekend full of friends, family, day trips and coffee dates.

The thing is, sometimes I like having a "separate" real life; it's nice to go out and live without having to worry about documenting every second of it. I don't need my whole life to be blog-worthy. But even if I'm not documenting anything, sometimes I still wind up with some weird stories.

On Friday night, Matt and I went to a free concert in Downtown Bryan at the Grand Stafford Theater. We went to see this band:


It was promoted as an "indie jazz" concert, so we went with some friends who used to work with our church band and choir groups. (The concert was really more bluegrass-y, but I thought it was cool because they each had like, four instruments apiece on stage, and they kept switching them out. I am not really musically inclined, and it always makes me a bit jealous to watch people who are.)

Anyway, about halfway through the show, I went to find the ladies' room, and there was a girl standing in front of the door marked "women." I asked her if she was in line, and she looked at me confused, so I repeated myself and she nodded. But then I noticed there was a second ladies' room door, so I pushed on the door to make sure it wasn't occupied and, when it wasn't, I gestured at the girl to let her know it was open and that she could go first.

And that's when I realized that she didn't speak English. She had no idea why this chick was gesturing at her to go into the bathroom. Her friends grabbed her and she moved away from the door.

So … I think I accidentally propositioned another woman?

Have you had any crazy misunderstandings lately?