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Some Thoughts On The Hunger Games

My Thoughts:

1) I read the series in about a week, after I read in Entertainment Weekly that Jennifer Lawrence would be portraying Katniss in the films, after I had seen Winter’s Bone.

2) The series has it flaws, and THG is probably the best out of all them, but upon re-reading the books everything made a little more sense and was more fluid. For me, reading the series marathon-style left me missing some of the subtle emotions and details in favor if getting through the plot. So read the series twice. DEFINITELY.

3) I am not a huge fan of either Gale OR Peeta. I liked Peeta better after the second reading, but ultimately I never felt like I could identify with either guy. That is to say, I was not particularly attracted to either one. That may sound strange, considering they are fictional characters, but when it comes to fictional characters, the author must craft one that readers can relate to on multiple levels. A character must be relatable to the same sex, attractive to the opposite sex. I find neither Peeta nor Gale particularly attractive.

At first I thought I liked Gale because he was rougher and tougher and tell-it-how-it-is. I disliked Peeta because he seemed like a push over and a gullible fool who blindly loves a girl who clearly is treating him like shit. After re-reading the series, I came to dislike Gale’s violent tendencies. He was almost too extreme, for my taste. Peeta, while he seemed less soft, and was very noble and loyal, he still blindly loved Katniss while she treated him like shit. After the first time I read the books, and after the second time I read the books, I said I liked Peeta better after he’d been tortured by the capitol because he at least seemed to have a reasonable distrust in Katniss and in her behavior. Yes, yes, yes, he was tortured into thinking she was more evil and manipulative than she actually was, but I felt like he should have been suspicious of her intentions far earlier.

All that being said, I don’t take issue with the fact that Katniss ended up with Peeta. In fact, I think it’s the only option that made sense. Going into the games really fucks with you, and only Peeta could understand that like Katniss does. And the fact that they had to go through it twice? Holy shit. Katniss is already a somewhat volatile person, before she goes into the games. Now that she’s gone through them twice she’s horrifically scarred. She’d seen people die in front of her eyes. She has gone through psychological and emotional torture. If she flips the fuck out because she’s got lingering PTSD, Gale is NOT the kind of person who is going to hold her in his arms and wait until she feels better. He is going to tell her to suck it up and get over it. Tons of other people went through the same thing, why does she deserve to be so affected?

Peeta on the other hand has been through the same thing as Katniss, but add onto that physical torture. He is the only person who can understand Katniss’ pain. He understands the lingering nightmares and “bad days.” Surely, he has them himself. And his loyal and sweet nature allows him to recover a bit better from his experiences than Katniss, but he’s the only one who can take care of Katniss the way she needs to be taken care of. No matter how much she might deny her need to be looked after, she does. In that way she’s like Haymitch. Haymitch would never acquiesce to needing someone to look after him, and he only begrudgingly and belligerently allows Katniss and Peeta to do so, and Katniss is the same way. Fortunately she’s not so far gone that she’s totally objected to it.

4) The movie, so far, looks INCREDIBLE. Jennifer Lawrence in BOMB. And the more I read about Gary Ross the more I like him. Seabiscuit and Pleasantville are both well crafted films and I’m very excited to see what he has done with The Hunger Games.

5) New THG trailer during Superbowl Pre-show this coming Sunday… FUCK. YES.

6) March 23rd. 2012. I’ll be there.

7) Goodnight.

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Legos: The IKEA Conspiracy

I’m pretty sure IKEA created Legos. They bear a striking resemblence to one another in their building directions.

I’m pretty sure the minds behind IKEA created Legos however many years ago so that they could prime the minds of children to not only be able to put together their furniture, but to be attracted to it BECAUSE of its resemblance to Legos.

I’m pretty sure it’s a conspiracy.

I’m pretty sure IKEA is going to take over the world. Now that they’ve conquered Scandanavia, it’s only a matter of time before unique and one-of-a-kind pieces are replaced with mass produced, easy to assemble, pieces.

Hmm… sounds a bit like Legos, no?

(OK, maybe that last one is a bit of a stretch, but it just feels like so much more than coincidental, am I right?)

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Lettuce… again?

Previously On The Civil War Story: Kate’s marriage has just started and she and Joseph are not totally used to each other yet. 

It was March and it was cold. It was snowing lightly. It was thick, heavy snow, that never seemed to accumulate more than dust would.

Kate walked down Main Street with a home spun cloack wrapped around her shoulders and head. She ducked into the shop as quickly as possible carrying a basket of fresh greens. There were two patrons mingling quietly at the front of the store and as Kate walked toward the back she noticed Joseph’s face fell a bit as he spied her take for the day. She felt the same way. Lettuce was hardly filling and on a cold day like today they always hoped for something a bit more hearty.

She had been feeling sick the past few days, but this morning that sickness had turned to intense hunger. She was by no stretch of the imagination starving. They owned a shop, they did well for themselves. But both she and Joseph strove for something fresh. They were tired of rice and brans and potatoes. They enjoyed cauliflower and broccoli, and spinach was surprisingly hearty, but today she only managed lettuce from the local gardener, and that was better or warmer weather, not when you were trying to keep warm. These random cold days were more a mental battle than physical one.

Once the shop closed she started dinner. Downstairs she could hear Jospeh and his sister going through the days inventory, double-checking the purchase information and credit accounts. Joseph came upstairs and Kate asked if his sister didn’t want to stay for dinner. He insisted he’d asked her and she’d refused. Besides, that meant more for them, right? He didn’t eat any of the leftovers though. So Kate, not wanting to waste, polished off the excess serving, and she did so easily.

“Joseph?” she called to the sitting room where he was reading the newspaper.

He turned around waiting for her inquiry. Kate put down the dishes she was cleaning and walked over to the chair he was sitting in. She squatted down so she was slightly below his eye line.

“I’m pregnant.”

Joseph’s expression remained neutral for a moment and Kate feared she’d announced it all wrong. But before she could react to his reaction he smiled at her and grabbed her face and kissed her gently. She smiled back, as if asking if he was happy. The looked he returned suggested as much and he kissed her again, and returned to his newspaper. She was happy that he seemed happy, though she was admittedly hoping he would have said something.

She stood, still looking at him, somewhat expectantly, somewhat curiously, wanting to know what he was thinking. It was expected that once they marry they begin a family, but as her partner she wished he’d at least said something.

She shrugged it off to exhaustion and returned to the dirty dishes. Joseph gave a great sigh.

***

Next on The Civil War Story: Peter and Mr. Windt arrive in the deep South and Peter gets a glimpse of what his life is going to be like for the next few years. 

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War Horse

War Horse is a very inspirational movie that is sure to give your tear ducts a work out. Does it deserve to be nominated Best Picture? I don’t think so. No offense to the horse, but there aren’t enough people in it. To be fair, all the people are fairly awesome, but for it to deserve Best Picture for me, it needs a little more umph. It was basically just a bunch of cliches and dramatic film-making. Cinematography Oscar? Absolutely!! Animal training Oscar? If only there were such a thing!

Really, what it needed more of, was that sharp, bossy French girl. She needed to live so she could grow up and be destined to fall in love with Albert. So there, Steven Speilberg! What a crap movie you’ve made without a proper romantic thread! (totally kidding obviously)

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The Late Mrs. Bates

OK OK Ok Ok ok ok okay…

So I’ve spotted the actress who plays Mrs. Bates (Maria Doyle Kennedy) on Downton Abbey in/on at least two other works. And I must admit, considering how emotionally invested I am in Downton Abbey, I have a lot of trouble disassociating the actress with her evil Downton character.

Example #1: Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey, has penned and produced a miniseries about the sinking of the Titanic. A picture published in Entertainment Weekly inculded “Mrs. Bates,” leading me to dream that the character Mrs. Bates drowned on the Titanic along with Patrick, the heir of Grantham (though obviously these are completely different characters). Oh, wouldn’t everyone’s lives be so much easier had Mrs. Bates died on the Titanic?? Anna and Mr. Bates could have lived happily ever after far sooner.

Example #2: I am literally 3 minutes into Albert Nobbs, Glenn Close’s Oscar nominated film/role, and upon realizing the same actress is playing a house maid (ooooh, I feel like I know so much about rich Brits!), I immediately laughed maliciously for her low station in life (though Anna and Mr. Bates’ respective stations are no higher on Downton Abbey), and wished her the worst of character development.

Example #3: Upon IMDB-ing Maria Doyle Kennedy – SHE WAS DEXTER’S FUCKING NANNY FOR A FEW EPISODES!! That’s where I know her from. It’s such a shame. She was such a nice, even a perfect nanny, for Dexter’s son… and now she’s gone over to the dark side of period pieces. *shaking my head*

This is what Downton Abbey had done to me. Pitted me against talented actresses.

*sigh*

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Dual Follow-Up (Spoiler post for CWS)

So I was just thinking about that dream I had last night that I posted about earlier and how it might possibly apply to my Civil War Story (CWS). All you readers out there don’t even know it yet, but **SPOILER ALERT** Peter and Kate get together in the end.

So here’s what I’m thinking: That idea that two people are so well suited for one another, and even though they try to stay apart for no good reason, there is an equally no good reason for them to stay that way. Kate’s hesitance comes from her husband leaving her. If she protects herself she can get by just fine. If she were to open herself up to someone and let down her guard, she could get hurt all over again and she doesn’t want that.

Peter is a little more clueless on the matter of love. He’s sort of a stereotypical guy who doesn’t realize until the last minute that maybe his feelings are romantic in nature, rather than just friendly. They have a brief, maybe, day of happiness, imagining themselves being together, but then Peter heads off to war, not unlike Kate’s husband. Ohhhhhhhhh brother this does not sit well with Kate. History has repeated itself in her eyes. So she disengages from the relationship. She isn’t so much mad at Peter, though she admittedly peeved, but the way she sees it, she’s protecting herself. She made a mistake but it’s not irreversible, so detach now and forever hold your piece.

So when Peter comes back from the war, finally, he basically is ready to get back together. He does realize Kate’s thought process and that she’s just trying to protect herself, but he also feels like that’s not a good enough reason to not be together. He admits to his folly, but he doesn’t apologize for it. And when two people are so at ease with one another, as they are, and the only reason they are not together is because they don’t want to get hurt, why, that’s no reason at all. Everyone would be so much happier if they just submitted to themselves.

“Do you really, honestly, believe that I would abandon you?” Peter might ask Kate. Admittedly, perhaps not, she thinks. And despite herself she wants to be with Peter. She can’t think of a good reason not to be with him. Rationally speaking, she says it’s because she doesn’t want to get hurt again, but she and Peter are like magnets. Even after he returns and the war is over and they try to remain acquaintances they somehow always end up in the same place at the same time. And they have a good time.

So yeah. Isn’t it kind of lovely? Nothing like another dream to help put a long-developing story into perspective and add some depth and understanding to character motivations.

=)

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Personality Analysis (At The National Stock Show)

I’ve done one of these before, but they are always kind of interesting. They’re basically a twist on a horoscope. So I’m going to analyze my analysis. Say if I think they are spot on, if they need an addendum, or if they couldn’t be further from the truth (or at least my perception of it!!).

“You let wishful thinking take place of thorough investigation.” –> This sentence doesn’t make complete sense to me. I wouldn’t say I submit to “wishful thinking” per say, and thorough investigation is very broad.

“You are popular and always have many friends.” –> Of course my insecure self doesn’t think this, and while I’d agree that I have a wide variety of friends, I fear that I don’t have enough close friends.

“You would do well in your own business.” –> A palm reader in high school told me I’d go into business. I’m coming around the idea I guess, but it’s just something I’ve never really thought about for myself. Then again, a business can take on many forms, more than I probably conceptualized as an 18 year-old.

“People never know for certain what you are going to do next.” –> I’m not totally unpredictable, but I suppose I can zig when others think I might zag.

“You have a tendency to lose interest rather quickly.” –> I don’t think so, that feels rude to me. I would flip it around and say I have a tendency to become very interested very quickly.

“People find you honest, conscientious, and trustworthy.” –> I like to think so.

“You have a strong desire to stay young.” –> Well I’m only 24 years old, but I do desire to stay young at heart for sure.

“You are open minded and adaptable to most situations.” –> Rather than open-minded I’d say I’m just not close-minded. I’m not a hippie who will try anything and everything, but I’ll adapt to the situation I’m in, for sure.

“You have a deep respect for human dignity and cannot abide injustice.” –> Respect for human dignity, YES, “cannot abide justice”… I’m not really sure I’m as proactive as that might suggest.

“If you are pushed too far, you do blow up.” –> It takes A LOT to make me truly angry, and the anger subsides as quickly as it came on.

“Your wits are sharp, and you generally remain calm and forceful under stress.” –> This is like two different statements in one sentence… I like to think I’m witty, if my execution doesn’t always show it. I do generally remain calm under stress, but forcefully? I honestly am not sure how that manifests… forcefully?

“You have a tremendous capacity for endurance.” –> Was this just because I have a long signature? I like to spell out my whole name???? There are a lot of forms of endurance, what type they are referring to I’m not sure, but physical endurance – running for miles and miles – is one type of endurance I do not have. Haha.

Then they give a description of my astrological sign, Aries. I’ll give you a few excerpts:

“Being first is what turns them on. They plunge in and prepare for victory while others dilly-dally in the thinking stage.” –> Um, not really. Maybe when I was a kid. Such a trait can be somewhat unattractive to me.

“They accomplish so much in so little time, it is understandable why these people are so impatient.” –> I feel like most of the time I’m very patient. When I’m the most impatient is probably when I think/know I’m right, and think I know the right/fastest way of doing something.

“They have fiery tempers that burn out as quickly as they fire up. Once Aries has blown his top, he’s forgotten about it, and rarely holds a grudge.” –> Absolutely. Though luckily I get truly angry hardly ever. The thing about my anger is that I can generally put it in perspective rather quickly, and that’s probably the quick burn out. I can fairly quickly realize I’m being ridiculous and begin to let it go (though I’ll never forgive Emily for breaking our science experiment and then ditching us!! She-devil!!)

“They are impulsive and not the best judge of character.” –> I suppose I can be impulsive, but I think I’m actually a pretty good judge of character. Though to be fair I read guys a little better than girls. Guys are just more straight forward. With most girls you have to dig in and figure things out before deciding if they’re a good egg or not. Also, I believe everybody is fundamentally good, so I start from there and if I notice any issues I build a mental case file to be built upon over time.

“Generosity, love to share their ideas, visions and toys with select friends.” –> Toys is not the right word, but select friends is appropriate. I am somewhat guarded as to how much I share about myself with others I don’t know well yet.

“Aries are very giving and loving in a relationship but won’t tolerate being neglected or ignored. They are not huggy and snuggly parents as parents but they will joyfully take their kids fly fishing or play a gam of catch.” –> Though this seems titled toward a male, it actually perfectly fits me. It makes me kind of sad that I’m not a more “huggy or snuggly” person, but as long as I make good emotional connections that should be enough. And I’ve only ever been in one relationship, so it’s hard to say exactly how I am in one.

“Aries in The New Millenium” –> You can tell how old this trick is when they are still referring to The New Millennium.

That’s it. Lot’s of caveats to these statements. I’m most intrigued by the business related comments because I’ve never thought of myself as a businesswoman, but more than one form of shoddy fortune telling has brought it up, so who knows!

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The Wheels On The Bus On The Beach

That sounds like a Bones episode title, no?

Anywho, I had an interesting dream last night. Well, not interesting per say, but just with a slightly different angle than usual. Well, maybe not that either, maybe it’s totally on par with most of my dream, but whatever. It felt a little different than usual to me.

So it sort of morphed from the house here in Centennial to the Cabin, to a large HF suite to a rented beach house, and thusly, beach location. Then I think it was probably a family owned beach house but whatever, details are not terribly significant. We were walking around the hallway and checking out our beach suite and it was cool. This concept probably comes from looking for houses for pond hockey tourney in February.

Nothing particularly exciting was happening. I had a girlfriend. Like legit lesbian-style. It was all cool though, we just hung out with my fam and had a good time. Skip ahead a short period of time and we boarded a school bus/city bus/train. And everyone would probably have to be sharing seats, and instead of finding my own seat I decided to hunker down with my now ex-girlfriend. Or at least we’d grown apart somehow, IDK. But then she was telling me about how she was having a 30th birthday party with some of her friends and I was like oh, that’s cool. I wasn’t necessarily poking around for an invitation, but I was trying to play it cool and not be sad that only a short time ago I would have attended her 30th birthday party.

It was a mutual break up, though basically initiated by her. So there were still some unresolved feelings, you might say. Inconsistencies in my understanding of why she wanted to break up. And I didn’t hate her for it, but right as I was waking up my dream self did start to think about bringing up that she liked my family and my friends a lot. Her parents were either dead or just not around and generally unsupportive, so she seemed to sort of develop a parent/daughter relationship with my parents to help fill the void. It was kind of sweet actually. She really seemed to fit in comfortably with my family’s and my crowd, to the point where I felt like she was cutting herself off from a good thing in her life. And there wasn’t any real big dramatic catalyst for us to break up, so neither should there be any big catalyst for us to get back together, but I just felt really strongly that everyone would be better for her being in our lives.

Maybe there was a hint of us not thinking we were lesbians and then sort of being in denial about it and trying to act like we didn’t really like each other that way. Well, that kind of thing isn’t usually what I worry about in my dreams, whether I’m a girl or a guy, straight or gay, cause in the end it’s the interpretation of the dream that is more important than the specific aspects of the people, places, and things that appear. Those are usually pulled from memories anyway, and could be an amalgamation of a multitude of memories.

So that’s it. I just thought the interaction and underlying feelings on the bus were interesting. Very subtle and not overly dramatic. I only wish I’d not woken up, just to see where the conversation went. Even if it went nowhere. It almost feels like my subconscious giving me a life lesson about relationships! Hahaha.

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Zombies!

Last night’s dream went very much like I imagine The Walking Dead is like, though I’ve never seen a whole episode of that show.

Out of nowhere a zombie epidemic spread, starting at a hair salon that I was at, or at least that’s where the first zombie I saw came from. So I ran home and people ere turning into zombies, and there was a small group of local survivors and we were hiding out in a large school or something. Actually, it was probably something like the Lifetime Fitness here in Centennial, which is fucking HUGE. And I had been there on Saturday so that’s a legitimate memory that could have inserted itself into my dreams.

The zombies weren’t completely stupid, and we were relatively secure where we were at even though the zombies basically knew we were there. Near the end they gave us a reprieve. They were like we won’t attack you for 3 days or something random like that. Like they were trying to draw us out or something. I don’t get it either. Intelligent zombies?? What is this, the Borg??

But so amongst us survivors I guess we thought it would be a good idea to procreate?? Yeah, this is the weird ass place my mind goes when I’m dreaming about sentient zombies. And it makes perfect sense to get a bunch of women pregnant with 3 days off from zombie attacks right? Cause then you’ll just have a bunch of pregnant and vulnerable women in 5 months or so. Then after that, their children. WHATEVER…

Someone was randomly pairing people up, I had one good girlfriend, and we were sort of hoping we’d get good matches. I was not happy with my match. He was kind of douchey. Maybe akin to Schmidt on New Girl. He was like yeah, let’s do this! That’s basically when I woke up and was like even though I’m vaguely interested in seeing where this going, it’s already been a very long and taxing dream. And so I altered the ending to turn into romance. So the guy I’m paired up turns out not to be too douchey and actually quite respectful. The first night we don’t even talk to each other. Then the second and third nights we talk. Then after that we spoon and get used to sleeping next to another person. It’s a small emotional win, like there’s security in knowing that other person is there and they have your back should anything suddenly happen.

There’s one instance where one of us goes and stays somewhere else after an important meeting and that’s kind of the catalyst for admitting our feelings for one another. And then eventually, of course, we fall in love and blah blah blah that’s basically the end of the story. I guess we survive and kill all the zombies or something. And live happily ever. HAHA, my stories always end like that. Pretty lame, but as I’ve said before, I’m a sucker for romance. And bad romance in my head is way better than bad romance in actual TV shows and movies.

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A Quick Downton Abbey Shout Out

Upon reviewing my previous Downton Abbey posts and tagging them, I realized I forgot a few players from the second season. Clearly I’m not totally smitten with them, as I forgot to mention them, but they are nonetheless part of what makes Downton so addictive, and without which it might not be so polarizing, so here they are:

Branson: such an Irish gentleman.

Ethel: Poor misguided soul. A little slutty and ultimately made it work, but I was never very fond of you.

Jane: You were cute as a button, not unlike Anna, but you just didn’t carry much with it. Your brief fling with Robert was less than exhilarating. I only found it uncomfortable that Robert was cheating on his wife, Cora, who is a bad ass American. No bias there, of course.

That’s it for now. If I think up some more, I’ll pass another amendment.

~Lady Caroline

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