Books, Geekiness, Writing

Ultimate Harry Potter Tag

I am a bit of a geek. If I’m honest, I’m totally a geek. Harry Potter is one of my loves, so for your amusement (and mine), here are some of my best and worsts from the world of Harry.
1. Favorite book: My favorite book is definitely Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s the first time that we don’t deal with Voldemort plus, we learn a lot about how Harry’s parents die. Plus we’re introduced to Lupin, who is an awesome character and Sirius, who is definitely a complex character.

2. Least favorite book: My least favorite book is probably Chamber of Secrets. I don’t like Lockhart as a character. He seems very flat to me. He’s not really nice and he works as a villain of sorts but he seems like an annoying side plot.

  1. Favorite movie: My favorite movie is The Half Blood Prince. I feel like that movie does a good job bringing us to the last two movies and the end of the story. I also love that the story focuses on Snape and Draco and how the two are intertwined. I also love that Ron and Hermione spend the whole movie questioning Harry (doubting him) and Harry ends up being right. And that Harry loves that book and later finds out that it was Snape’s.
  2. Least favorite movie: I’m going to say Deathly Hallows part 2 because it was the end.
  3. Favorite quote: “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” I think that this quote tells us so much about Sirius’ character and it really speaks to one of the themes of Rowling’s story. It’s all about the choices that we make. No person is truly all bad or all good.
  4. Favorite Weasley: Ginny because she is at least as strong of a female character as Hermione is but she is strong in different ways. Or rather she shows that strength differently. Ginny isn’t afraid to be who she is and she is able to stand up to her brothers.
  5. Favorite female character: Minerva McGonagall. She is the most amazing character and then her being played by Maggie Smith.
  6. Favorite villain: Delores Umbridge. That woman is at least as evil as Bellatrix but she is not seen that way initially. It’s not until at least part way through Order of the Phoenix that you truly realize how awful this woman really is.
  7. Favorite male character: Sirius Black. Sirius is such a multidimensional character. He has so many flaws but at the same time he means well. He’s the type of character that you could know in real life. For all of Sirius’ flaws he truly loves Harry as a son even though he has moments where he doesn’t seem to know if he’s looking at Harry or James.

10.Favorite professor: Flitwick because I’d love to take Charms.

  1. Would you rather A)wash Snape’s hair or B)spend a day listening to Lockhart rant about himself? Probably wash Snape’s hair because I don’t know that I could listen to Lockhart for any length of time without wanting to off myself.
  2. Would you rather duel A) an elated Bellatrix or B) an angry Molly? Uhm, is there really a difference here? Either one would be a formidable opponent. I guess an elated Bellatrix. She’s more likely to make mistakes.
  3. Would you rather travel to Hogwarts via A) Hogwarts Express or B) flying car? Hogwart’s Express, obviously. Who wouldn’t want to ride on that train and get sweets off the trolley?
  4. Would you rather A) kiss Voldemort or B) give Umbridge a bubble bath? Well, if you kissed Woldemort you’d probably be killed so I’ll take my chances with Umbridge and the bubble bath.
  5. Would you rather A) ride a Hippogriff or B) ride a firebolt? I think a broomstick would be fun to try, so the firebolt.
  6. Is there a character you felt differently about in the movies? No. I thought that was one of the things that was done really well on screen was the characters and the actors they chose and how they were portrayed. All excellent.
  7. Is there a movie you preferred to the book? I think that Chamber of Secrets is better on screen than it is as a book. Of course, it doesn’t follow the book too closely so that may be why.
  8. Richard Harris or Michael Gambon as Dumbledore? I preferred Richard Harris. It was very hard for me to see the switch after Harris died.
  9. Your top thing (person or event) that wasn’t in the movie that you wanted there the most? I can’t think of anything that wasn’t there that I really wanted to see.
  10. If you could remake any of the Harry Potter movies which would it be? Possibly Prisoner of Azkaban. I wish it was closer to the actual book.

21.Which house was your first gut feeling you’d be a part of? Ravenclaw. It was actually very close. I think I would be a hat stall…

  1. Which house were you actually sorted into on Pottermore? Hufflepuff (Puffs for life!)
  2. Which class would be your favorite? Charms. I love the idea of being able to modify everyday things. Transfiguration would probably be a close second.
  3. Which spell do you think would be the most useful to learn? Accio? Or possibly some of Molly’s cleaning spells.
  4. Which character do you think you’d instantly become friends with? Hermione or Luna.
  5. If you could own one of the three Hallows, which would it be? The cloak. I wouldn’t want the wand because to many other people want it and you’d be killed over it. The stone is just sad.
  6. Is there any aspect of the books you’d want to change? Nope. They are amazing exactly as they are.
  7. Favorite Marauder? James. I have a lot of curiosity about James as a child and how he changed as he grew up. He is clearly a person who had strong morals but I wonder what happened to him from the ages of 11 to 17 that completely changed how he behaved. I think that James was one of those people who was truly good at heart and may have made some bad choices. I also think that he regretted those choices later on.
  8. If you could bring one character back to life, which would it be? Fred Weasley. I think separating the twins is simply cruel.
  9. Hallows or Horcruxes? Hallows.
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Nursing School, Uncategorized

I Quit Nursing School

Ok, so maybe I didn’t quit, exactly. Still, there are those moments that you have where you are frustrated and tired and don’t really see why you’re still doing this. After all, in the midst of it, the end seems to never come and you just don’t feel as though going forward is an option. I mean, I’ve got a job right?

So here are the reasons I’ve come up with to keep myself going even when I want to curl up in a ball and give up.

  1. This isn’t never ending. It only seems that way. Seriously. When I started I felt like this was never going to end. Now I only have eight months left and I still have days where I feel like it’s never going to end. This is especially true when the day has been bad. It will end. Eventually.
  2. Attitude is a self-fulfilling prophesy. We all have bad days. Sometimes we have bad weeks. It’s easy to let the bad take over your attitude and that makes everything worse. While nobody expects you to be “Happy Fun Ball” (props if you know what that’s a reference too), if you’re always thinking down, things will always look down. Try to think up a little.
  3. Why did you start this journey? Most people have a reason why they went to nursing school. Nobody does this on a whim (it’s to hard to get in to even consider that ish). Find that reason and remember it. Keep it in the front of your mind so that when you have that bad day you remember to keep going.
  4. Remember that you are smart enough to do this. I mean, you’re here right?
  5. It’s worth it. The end result is completely worth it. It just is. Think about how many people want to be where you are right now.
  6. There is an end. This is worth repeating. It seems exhausting and never ending and in truth it is. There are long days and long nights and paperwork that seems to never end. It will end though.

I need a countdown somewhere…

I hope everyone had a good day. Most of you probably had a better day than me. 😉 I’m still going… Frustration and all.

Writing

A little oops…

So, I messed up. I was supposed to post three times last week and failed. I posted once. I wasn’t feeling so hot most of last week. I will make up for it today, however. I present you with a short story, written by me. It’s not great but it’s not horrible. Feel free to critique at will. Just please don’t be nasty. Also, it is mine. Don’t take it and use it for your own or anything.

An Eternity

The rain hit the window and was producing a slightly depressing state. The grey sky reflected her feelings as she stared out. She sighed and glanced around the room. Books covered every flat surface of the tiny apartment. A careful observer would notice that they all had one thing in common. Vampires. Twilight, Dracula, Fifty Shades of Grey, Lilith, Salem’s Lot, Interview with a Vampire. She had found and read nearly every book that she could find. She had movies of all the same titles strewn about the couch. She had looked up every last legend that she could find online.

When she first met Alex, she had thought that he was amazing. He was a true gentleman. He opened doors for her, held her hand, brought flowers, everything that you could possibly think of that you could want in a boyfriend. True, he was a bit old fashioned and seemed to think that technology was pointless but that just made him more endearing to her. It wasn’t until he started to ask her about her thoughts on supernatural creatures that she began to think something was odd.

At first the questions were typical. Did she enjoy werewolf movies? What about vampire movies? Did she believe in ghosts? She had started to think that Alex must be some kind of crazy ghost hunter. She started to research him. Everybody has an online presence, right? Not Alex. In fact, the only references she could find to any Alexander Drioux were scattered and not of this century. There was mention of one from 1622 and another that appeared in 1836 but both of those men were living in France. She managed to find another Alex Drioux in Canada in 1911 but again, that couldn’t possibly be him.

Then she found the picture. It was an old picture that appeared on a website of notable French families from the 1800’s. Next to a very pretty young girl was a man who looked exactly like her Alex. The caption for the picture had the man listed as A.L. Drioux, a family friend. The girl in the picture vanished several years after it was taken and was never heard from again. A.L. Drioux also vanished. That was when she started to wonder. Alex had near perfect French and had told her he grew up there and moved to Canada for college, eventually coming to the United States to experience New Orleans. That’s where she had met him, just three months ago. Alex never needed money. His parents had left him a trust fund, he explained. They had died when he was only ten. He had no siblings and his parents had been only children. All of his grandparents were also deceased. Alex was alone in the world.

He loved her name, he had told her. Charlotte was such a regal name. He had laughed when she told him everyone called her Lotte.

“May I call you Lotte? Just like in the Phantom of the Opera, perhaps?” His voice had that vague accent that made his words seem to run together.

After discovering the picture, she asked him about it. He had chuckled. It must be some old ancestor.

“Perhaps you could do my family tree for me some day, Lotte? Maybe I have a coat of arms someplace that you could find.”

She had giggled but it hid unease. Something was off, not quite right. That was when she had started digging into vampires. For two weeks she had not spoken to Alex but she had dug through books and movies, scoured the internet trying to find every piece of information that she could. Finally, yesterday she had called him and asked him to come over. She was beginning to think she was crazy but she had to ask him.

The knock on her door brought her out of her reverie. She walked across the room and peered out the peephole to see him there, looking composed, as always. She opened the door and smiled at him.

“Lotte,” he said, smiling at her, “I had begun to think that you were not interested in me any more. I missed you.”

Alex went to come in, like he usually did but she stopped him. He couldn’t see the mess within and she knew as soon as he saw it, she would have her answer. Her hand rested on his chest for a moment as she leaned upward and kissed him gently. He smiled back at her. Then she stepped back and let him in.

Alex looked around the room and his eyebrows went up in surprise. He walked quietly over to the table and picked up a book.

“Dracula? I had no idea you were so interested in vampires.”

“It was research,” replied Lotte quietly. She reached into the folder sitting on the table and pulled out the pictures she had found. He had seen them before but he seemed to see them in a new light.

“I see. You think that is me?”

Lotte nodded. She was hardly breathing. “Is it?”

Alex looked at her carefully, as though thinking about what to say next.

“If I said that it was, would you believe me?”

Lotte nodded.

“If I said that it wasn’t, would you believe me?”

Lotte nodded again. “I just want to know the truth Alex.”

“What do you want to hear?” he asked her. “Do you wish to be spirited off by some vampire like in those silly stories?” He pointed toward the copy of Twilight sitting on the table.

Lotte thought it was interesting that he never raised his voice or sounded annoyed. He merely asked her as though he found her amusing. For the first time, Lotte found herself somewhat frightened. Alex took a step toward her and she instinctively stepped back, as though she anticipated a monster being there.

Alex sighed and took a step back.

“Goodbye Lotte.”

Alex turned and walked out of the room, quietly shutting the door behind him as he left. Lotte stood there and stared as he left, wondering. He had never answered her question.

Alex walked down the flight of stairs back out into the rainy day. He pulled the hood of the rain jacket he wore up. He started down the sidewalk feeling let down. Another girl who he had thought could love him, gone. He continued down the sidewalk until he came to a small café. He stepped inside and ordered a coffee and beignets. Coming to New Orleans had been a brilliant decision on his part. The food was fantastic. The waitress brought him his order and he sat in the chair and pondered. He took a sip of the coffee and pulled a small notebook out of his bag. A black and white picture fell out of the front. It was the same picture Lotte had found. It had been taken in 1855. Alex had loved Marie. Then she had begun to suspect that he was not who he claimed to be and eventually she left him for a gentleman that her parents picked out. Alex turned to the back of the notebook and crossed out Lotte’s name and phone number. Perhaps next time, the girl would not think he was a monster. In four hundred years he still had not found a girl who would love him for who he was. He would not give up though. After all, he had an eternity to find her.

Uncategorized

Reflections on a quote

“From childhood’s hour I have not been as others were, I have not seen as others saw.” -Edgar Allen Poe

This particular quote has always been one that has spoken to me. I suspect that’s at least partially because of the fact that I was a sensitive child. I didn’t have a lot of friends and I never felt much like I fit in. When you cry at school, you get labeled a baby and nobody wants to be friends with that person. I was also very much a reader. I can see the benefits of that now but at the time it felt as though I was cut off from other kids. I didn’t like most sports (hockey and baseball being the exceptions) and I was incredibly uncoordinated in any case. So while other kids played games during recess in middle school, I sat off to the side and read a book by myself.

I loved Star Trek for the ideas that it proposed. Meeting new species and exploring the world. A place where everybody was equal. I made up stories in my head and read books about secret worlds in closets or by traveling through a tesseract (my spelling may be off there…). Ultimately, all the books resulted in my realizing that I see the world through a different lens. Or perhaps the books resulted in that lens being different. Either way, I saw things differently. Time resulted in that sensitive person building a thick wall where I saw lots of things but never felt like I was a part of those things. Going through high school and generally feeling like you’re an outsider looking in is a strange thing. I have no nostalgia. I look back at those years and it’s like recalling a tv show. I watched things happen around me. I have wondered sometime how that experience is different if you actually experience it.

The people who see life through a lens, separated from it – the outsiders, I suppose – are a unique group of people. What happens to those people? Well, I know that in my case, I eventually had some therapy and accepted that those were my experiences. Time can’t be turned backwards. It is what it was and thinking about how it could have been different is a useless thing. Other people don’t handle things so well. I laughed when I saw the seen in Billy Madison where he calls up a kid he bullied when he was in school and later that kid saves him. I laughed through Napoleon Dynamite, thinking about how, in a slightly bigger school I might have been able to find a few more people and perhaps have had some of those best friend moments where you look back with someone and laugh about an inside joke.

Seeing the world differently is not such a bad thing. It’s only when you allow it to separate you from the world that it becomes bad. The world is a rough place and it certainly could do with more kindness. That doesn’t mean that in those dark times it’s a good thing to build up a wall and become isolated. This is much easier to recognize more than twenty years later but it’s an important lesson and one that I suspect few people realize. Perhaps, as children, we need to learn to protect ourselves, especially if we are very sensitive. Perhaps the world would be very different if sensitivity was viewed as a good thing instead of a bad thing. Just some things to think upon.

Fitness, Healthy Eating, Running

Diet changes that stuck (and some that didn’t)

Over the past few weeks, I have been trying to evaluate what I still need to do in my healthy eating and fitness quest. I mean, progress was made for sure. I am in a much better place than I was a year ago. There is still a lot of room for improvements though, so I thought I’d stop and look and what’s working and what isn’t and more importantly, what needs to change.

So the first thing is in the fitness arena and that really involves the facts that a) the running is going well even though I don’t always get to run as much as I want and b) the rest of the fitness stuff is not working so well. I don’t like being in the gym. I like the actual process of lifting weights, usually but I have reservations about dragging my butt in there especially when there is a nice track that I can run on. I’ve even fallen off on the yoga which is very bad because it means I’m getting no muscle work. That needs to change. I need to figure out a way to get some kind of strength training in on a regular basis. Even knowing that it helps my running that much more to go and build muscle, I still struggle. It’s a work in progress for now.

The remainder of this is food centric. The positive things include that I have eliminated a huge amount of bread from my life. This includes cereal which has always been a weakness for me. I think once we get to a place where I feel more inclined for warm oatmeal and (healthy) baked breakfast stuffs this will be better. Just getting rid of the bread has helped though. Of course this past week hasn’t been good in terms of bread because I made this wonderful bread with cheese yesterday for dinner (it went with spaghetti, which is worse but I digress) but I’m going for the thought that as long as it’s not a typical part of my diet then it’s good. I’ve still managed to eliminate most of the processed foods from my diet. This is very good because they are the worst for you, obviously. I’m trying to focus on including yogurt more and increase veggies again. It’s easy to forget the veggies. Again, hopefully shifting to a place where I can cook with the oven without melting in the kitchen will help.

I’m trying to come up with a good tracker for my bullet journal. If I find one, I’ll share. That’s where I am though. It’s an ok place. Just keep moving forward, right?

Life, Nursing School

Nurses are patient advocates

This statement has been said to my class since the first day. A nurse’s first and most important job is to be an advocate for their patient. To ensure that the person they are taking care of is being taken care of in the best way possible. That their rights and dignity are protected. That they walk out of the hospital (or where ever else) well (or as well as can be) knowing that somebody was doing their level best to listen to them and care for them.

We’ve all seen the memes talking about how nurses spend all day taking care of patients to the neglect of their own needs. Skipping breaks, not going to the bathroom, staying well past their shift end to chart because the didn’t have time to do it. All of that is par for the course and yet so few people realize it. Those who come to the hospital are rarely at their best and often are going through their own personal hell. It’s fair, I think, for them to not realize that they are not the nurse’s only (or perhaps even primary) concern. Nurses don’t often get recognized for they what they do although I will say that they are at least treated better in the eyes of public opinion than teachers often are. That’s a blog for another day though.

So the video of a nurse being arrested for protecting her patient’s rights is disturbing to me. It should be disturbing to anybody and generally, people do seem outraged. But seriously, does it have to come to this? Do we need to come to a point where a nurse needs to stand and print out the hospital policy for a police officer and still ends up in handcuffs for refusing to violate the very policy that she is showing him. A violation which I would guarantee would cost her her job and would likely cost her her nurse’s license. And still people defend this police officer.

Really? Let that sink in. There are people who think the police were in the right to handcuff a nurse for refusing to violate the duty she has to her patient. For what? A vial of blood that by the officer’s statement was to prove the victim’s innocence? First off, does anybody really buy that? They wanted to prove his innocence? We don’t have a legal system that works like that. Secondly, anybody who thinks that the police have a right to tell you to disregard the rules of your employer because the police said so needs to really think about their position here. That’s a dangerous precedent that places the police above the law.

Please, don’t get me wrong. I have enormous respect for police officers. They do a job where they put their lives at risk by simply going to work. It’s not for the faint of heart. They get into some pretty terrible stuff and see some things that no person should ever have to see. However, at a certain point we need to look at what we are willing to allow to happen. No, not all officers would do this… although, those defending the officer are saying that he was following his superior’s orders, so perhaps they believe that any officer would have done the same. I choose to believe that most officers would not have gone that route though.

Ultimately, this is opening up a dialogue and that’s good. The nurse involved has said that she wants to ensure this never happens again. Perhaps we all need to have a dialogue though. Talk to the people who serve you. In every capacity. Take the time to listen to them and what they have to say. Police officers, nurses, rescue personnel, fire fighters, teachers… all of them have a unique position in this world. All of them do jobs that few people choose to do and most do those jobs as well as they can. A little respect and taking some time to actually listen would do us all a world of good.

Oh, and next time you get a moment, tell your nurse thank you.