LEGO Pics in the Snow

There’s been a lot of snow in Cincinnati during the last week, and I figured I’d take advantage of it to take pics of some of my snow-themed LEGO sets!

Iceklaw’s bear mech. #LEGO

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Iceklaw. #LEGO

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Microfighter AT-AT stomping around the snow. #LEGO #StarWars

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Microfighter Snowspeeder zooming along. #LEGO #StarWars

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The snowplow clearing up the roadways. #LEGO

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Plowing and salting, plowing and salting. #LEGO

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Noah, A Review

I’ve wanted to see Darren Aronofsky’s NOAH since it was first announced, and last night I finally got around to doing so. I’ve seen lots of criticism for the movie, but I wanted to watch it myself and pass my own judgement.

I liked it a lot, 4/5 stars.

Noah is actually a pretty legit movie version about the events of the Flood… if you know Jewish Midrash (legends), that is. And that’s why I wanted to watch it myself, because I knew Aronofsky delved into the midrash and other rabbinical texts as sources for his dramatic retelling. If you’ve read some of the sources, as I have, a lot of what was in the movie–the Watchers (nephilim), the look of the angels (beings of fire with six wings, first time anyone has them right!), the look of Adam and Eve pre-eating of the fruit as beings of light (YES!), the strange animals roaming the land (e.g. that scaly dog-like animal), the state of the world as the Flood is decreed (barren of vegetation, dusty, drained), the construction of the ark, how the animals arrived and lived within, the birth of agriculture after the Flood–all of this would’ve been old news. The newness would’ve been how Aronofsky interpreted for his film. It’s perfectly understandable to me why so many people were confused as heck when they saw the movie, thinking that the sparse verses in Genesis were the sole source.

It is still a dramatic retelling, so the writers took liberties even with the midrashic sources, extrapolating events (especially Noah’s behavior while in the ark) based on known outcomes, having a made-up character to enhance the family struggles between generations, but it’s a movie and that’s what its supposed to do. At the end, I felt I had a decent dramatic account of the story of the Flood and the birth of the modern world that, while maybe by taking different roads, still arrived at the same destination the text in Genesis does.

Goals for 2015

A few years ago I stopped making New Year resolutions, because in all honesty, I suck at seeing them through. I do like the idea of goals, however. They are more attainable, and my ratio of achieved vs abandoned is a lot better. Last year my only stated goal as I started 2014 was to make it through. Along the way I added some more concrete ones, like get furniture for my apartment, take a mini-break in DC, begin my BSN program, all of which I achieved. Emboldened by that streak of successes, I’d like to set myself a few concrete goals for 2015 right from the start.

  1. Get back to writing. It’s no coincidence that I’ve started blogging again; I need to get myself back to the keyboard, back to words. I love Nursing, but I also love Writing, and I’ve neglected the latter for a few years now. So I want to get back to writing regularly, so I can get my mind back in Writer mode, my fingers flying over the letter keys, my words flowing in sentences other than “Patient A+Ox4. C/O pain in RLE, PRN oxycodone 10mg given at 1430, Pt reported relief.”
  2. Get back to game writing. Related to the above goal, I’d like to get back into writing for games. This one is tricky because I’ve been out of gaming for a while, so it involves a related goal of getting back into gaming as well. However, I’ve been dipping my toes back in the gaming pool since last summer, and I know that what I want is to write material for Fate Accelerated Edition, so there’s some focus here.
  3. Edit my first novel. I want to finally edit my finished first novel, written for NaNoWriMo 2011. It needs the edit for sure, but overall I feel it is a good story that needs to be done and set free out into the world. This is the year I want to do that.
  4. Finish my Bachelors of Science in Nursing. I’m already enrolled in the RN-to-BSN program, so this is a matter of completing all my classes, putting up with forced group projects and APA Style papers and annoying PowerPoint presentations, until I’m done. Depending on whether some classes I took before transfer or not, this goal may actually be finished in 2016, but that’ll just be the tail end of it, just like the start of it was in 2014. The meaty center happens in 2015, and I intend to devour that meat down to the bone (sorry, I’m hungry).
  5. Visit Puerto Rico. It’s been over 5 years since I last went to the island, and I miss my family and my homeland. I want to–need to–go back this year, to see my grandparents, my aunts and uncle and cousins, visit my parents’ graves, and recharge my Puerto Rican batteries (la mancha de platano, for those that know).

These five goals are a good start for me, as I think they are very doable with some planning and perseverance. I certainly have more goals in mind, especially on the personal/relationship arena, but those I’ll keep to myself for the time being.

As I’ve said before, I am excited about 2015!

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

2014/2015This past year, 2014, was interesting, to say the very least. I started it in a new city, hundreds of miles away from everything I had ever known, during the start of what would be a bitter winter, with a 1-month old kitten as my roommate. I had no idea what would happen, except that I needed to make it through.

This was a year of rebirth. I started the year simply existing, putting one foot in front of the other repeatedly because that’s what I had to do. I would wake up, go to work, come back home, sleep, then repeat it all over and over. If I wasn’t working, I was out driving around, getting to know my city, but not engaging with it. I was still dealing with some emotional baggage, although slowly I was making sense of it all.

Sometime around the start of spring, existing gave way to surviving. Little by little I started to take control of my new life, and although I faltered here and there, the general motion was forward. I began to feel at ease being a nurse, having people’s health entrusted to me. I made mistakes, but I learned as well, I learned a lot. Not only did I drive around the city, I visited places, talked to people, went to local events. And when I needed a break, I drove 10 hours away to spend a week in Washington DC. And my life changed.

In DC I saw old friends I hadn’t seen in years, rekindling friendships that had simply been put on pause. In DC I met with a new friend, one I had met online, one I had tried to meet once before but couldn’t due to circumstances. In DC I met Megan. After one Hello, I was hooked. After one magnificent day among the monuments of Washington DC, I was enchanted. After a few weeks, I was in love. Surviving gave way to living.

The rest of the year feels like a magnificent blur. Being in a long-distance relationship, I have traveled a lot in order to spend time with Megan, and I have loved every minute of it, every mile of it. I continued to grow in my career, and began to plan for the next step in my development as a nurse, applying to hospital jobs, and deciding to go back for my Bachelors in Science of Nursing.

As 2014 closed and I looked back on the first year of my new life, I was filled with satisfaction, with happiness, with pride, with love. Yes, there were tough moments, but they all led me to that next milestone, that next achievement. I made it through, I survived it, I lived it.

And now it’s time for 2015, and I look forward to all the wonders, all the challenges, all the blessings it has in store. It’s gonna be a fantastic year.