Monthly Archives: July 2011

Ohhhhhh Mexico.

So it is currently 12:40something in the morning and I simply can’t fall asleep. I have no idea why, well maybe I do but it isn’t important. I’ve been missing my travels today; especially England. I’ll do or say something and it will take me right back to 2008 and I will get intensely sad and then I just tell myself to get over it. But rather than bore you with a post on that, I set a challenge for myself: to choose seven pictures of somewhere I’ve been and post them here.

A couple of years ago my family went on a cruise to Mexico. I chose seven of my favorite pictures that I took, and I’m going to post them below. Please note: all of these images are my own personal images. I took all of them and they have only been slightly edited (in terms of sharpness, etc.)

In case you are wondering, I shoot my pictures with an SLR Nikon D60. I have two lenses I use: 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor and 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED AF-S DX VR Zoom-NIkkor. To see the full set of pictures, here is a link to my never updated flikr.

Click on any image below for a larger view.

A Mexican Sunset

Contrasting Skies

 

Shadows

Lovebirds

A giant chess board in the middle of the ship

My horse Captain

My brother, the giant

 

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There Once Was a Boy Named Harry, Destined to be a Star…

So my darling family and I went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter. It was so amazing and lovely and the best night everr! I made a few new friends (we are facebook friends so it is pretty legit). I dressed up as Bellatrix, my sister dressed as Professor Trelawney, and my mum dressed up as Professor Umbridge. My dad went as a muggle. Everyone loved our costumes– they kept telling us over and over again! A few girls even asked if they could take their pictures with us, and it turned into taking pictures with everyone in costumes. My favorite pictures are at the end of the post.

Now for SPOILERS.

As far as my thoughts and concerns with the film: I really enjoyed it. I think it is a great adaptation for the portion of the book that was primarily filled avec war-related things. I am extremely sad that Fred’s full death was not in the movie (though I hear through many an internet rumor that it is going to be on the deleted scenes) and OH MY GOSH WHAT THE ACTUAL  FRICK! LAVENDER BROWN! EATEN BY A WEREWOLF! (Which I thought was Greyback but I’m not certain. Guess I will just have to go see it AGAIN. Darn.)

There wasn’t too much I remember being changed from the book. Except for the whole Harry grabbing Voldy by the neck and throwing themselves off the bridge. That made me slightly laugh just a little (most things Voldemort do). I am quite certain that when I reread the book I will find other things that were left out, but honestly I knew this is what was going to happen– I mean there is just no way that they would be able to have such a faithful adaptation concerning all these battles and whanot. But this was definitely much better played out on the big screen than it was in my head whilst reading the book. So mad props for that.

ALAN RICKMAN FOR ALL THE AWARDS. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. THEM.

I did like all of the humor that was added in, especially anything McGonagall and the awkward hug between Draco and Voldemort. I also love all the little Ron moments (“that’s my girlfriend you numpty” and “frankie first year” etc) and of course the kiss that everyone has been waiting for. Our audience cheered!

And of course there was the BADASSMOFO NEVILLE LONGFREAKINGBOTTOM. That’s all that needs to be said on that.

And lastly the best line of the night: “NOT MY DAUGHTER YOU BITCH” Our audience also cheered for that one.

And things I did not like so much: the epilogue. Like, the entire thing. And Harry was supposed to FIX HIS ORIGINAL WAND WITH THE ELDER WAND AND THEN DESTROY IT AND THEN DESTROY IT NOT NOT NOT NOOOOOOOTTTTTT DESTROY THE WAND WITHOUT FIXING THE ORIGINAL WAND booooooo writers.

Other than that slight error, it was fantastic. And I’m going to see it again this weekend. Yay!!!!!

Bella-trix-not-swan

The girls who asked to take our picture

Baby Her-me-on-ee

More costumers

Dumblydoor photobomb

secret lovers

The most AMAZING Dumbledor EVERRR

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Harry Potter 30 Day Challenge: Day 6- Favorite Professor

For favorite professor, I am going to have to go with Horace Slughorn. For these challenges I’ve been trying to strictly stay with the books and not let the movies influence my opinions, but I have to break that rule with this one. I adored Slughorn in the books and while he wasn’t as…..”plump” as I would have liked, the movie version of Slughorn is one of my favorite portrayals of any character. I mean, he is such an outrageous man, clearly collecting and showing off favorite students, and an awesome potions teacher (from love potion to Draught of Living Death on the first day of class! wowza!). Can you see Snape teaching the students to make a love potion? Me neither. Living Death? Yiz. Let’s not forget the funeral for Aragog and the kind words he spoke….before taking his venom and most likely selling it in Knockturn Alley.

Despite accidentally teaching Tom Riddle about horcruxes, Horace steps up to the plate and helps in the final battle of Hogwarts. Fav-o-rite.

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Harry Potter 30 Day Challenge: Day 5- Favorite Book Cover

Alrighty this will be a short one. Favorite book cover!

USA Version:

I remember first getting this book— I loved the green and the swirls and the mysterious glow coming from that column thing.

UK Version:

I’m not really attached to any of the UK covers, so choosing a favorite cover was…interesting. They sort of all just made me laugh a little. So I chose Half Blood Prince for the UK version as well. I think the scene portrayed on the front of the book is such a pivotal scene, and look at all that fire! Dumblydore you be hawt.

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Harry Potter 30 Day Challenge: Day 4- Favorite Villain

[This is part of an ongoing series. To see previous posts, click here.]

If anyone really knows me at all, you won’t have to guess at what my answer to favorite villain will be. (And I have a lot to say, so be prepared.)

Draco Malfoy (surprise, surprise).

Okay so you have this kid, this tiny little eleven year-old whose father is a death eater, mother is a nasty witch, and aunt who not only is a death eater, but completely and utterly in love with he-who-must-not-be-named. No wonder he turns out the way he does. But here is why he is my favorite. Draco is from a wealthy, not to mention powerful, family. They get what they want, and they are— at least in the beginning of the novels— accepted by the dark lord. Yes, Draco is a spoiled little brat (as seen in the shop when being fitted for his robes) but if you really look at it, Draco was never really horrible to Harry until Harry declined his friendship. In the robe shop Draco was civil, and on the first day of school Draco, who is used to being the center of attention has to battle egos with the famous Harry Potter. So what does he do? Extends a hand of friendship. He wants to team up with the boy who lived. Who wouldn’t?

Sure, he goes about it the mean way, insulting the Weasley family, but it is ultimately Harry who rejects the offer of friendship thus creating a rivalry between the two. And Draco, who is forced to follow in his family’s footsteps to please h-w-m-n-b-n, and gets assigned the task of killing Dumbledore. But he can’t. JKR narrates that he begins to lower his wand before Snape comes in a finishes the task; Draco himself says he has to do it, he has no other choice. The entire sixth book he is struggling with pleasing his family and doing what is right. And then of course we come to the seventh book in which Draco is forced to perform acts for Voldy. And we musn’t forget the scene at Malfoy Manor when he is supposed to identify Harry. Anyone who went to Hogwarts during that time would know that when there is a Ron and Hermione, there has to be a Harry Potter nearby. But he doesn’t identify him in front of Bellatrix. He simply states “It might be.”

All in all, I think Draco is a seriously misunderstood villain and while he does boarder on villain-turned-good, I do think there is too much hate and malice in him to be anything other than mildly civil to the golden trio. Aaaaand that is why he is my favorite.

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Harry Potter 30 Day Challenge: Day 3- Favorite Character

[This is part of an ongoing series. To see previous posts, click here.]

Okay this one was extremely difficult. I have always avoided this answer, or either shouting the first character that came to mind, because I simply couldn’t choose. (I’m also this way about most things. Ask me to pick a favorite anything and my answer will change about every twenty minutes or so.) However the time has come for me to actually choose a favorite character. I thought about the strengths and weaknesses of all the characters like the good little nerd I am and have finally made my decision…

Snape. Snape. Severus Snape. Once I began thinking about everything each character had been through I just could not think of a better character than Snape. You have a boy who fell in love with a girl (and fellow witch) and remained close friends with her until those other idiot Gryffindors provoked him into calling Lily a mudblood, therefore ruining their friendship and creating the angst/drama with James, Lupin, and Sirius. Then he turned death eater, only to realize when Lily and James were attacked/killed that he actually wanted to be good. Then he switched sides becoming a double agent; ultimately sacrificing himself for Dumbledore’s wishes: protecting Draco’s soul. When Dumbledore whispers “Severus, please” and then he kills him– I die. Maybe I am getting too mixed up in a fictional world, but for Snape to put aside his own feelings, his own friendship to kill a man (granted, one who is already dying) to protect Draco and save face with the death eaters is simply amazing. By the time we reach the seventh book I didn’t even know if I could trust him or not (just another show in how brilliant JKR’s writing is) and by the time you get to the prince’s tale…I don’t know. I think it is just one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking scenes in the entire seven volume story.

So to make an extremely long answer short, I would say Snape sacrificed and overcame so many trials, all for the love of the mother of the boy who lived.

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Harry Potter 30 Day Challenge: Day 2- Least Favorite Book

Continuing the Harry Potter 30 Day challenge. (Yesterday‘s topic was favorite book.)

I must say, it is really difficult to pick a least favorite book. I chose OotP because it is the hardest to get through for me; about halfway through I feel that for every one page I read, four or five get added on to the end. I never think I am going to finish it in a decent amount of time. That being said, it really is a wonderful book. I think each book offers so much valuable information (that sadly we didn’t get in all of the movies) to the overall story. Umbridge is a complete and utter terror and she is a fantastic villain. Half of the time I just want to throw the book across the room because I hate her so very much! So…yes, choosing this one for length over content.

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Harry Potter 30 Day Challenge: Day 1- Favorite Book

In honor of Deathly Hallows coming out in just one week, and the London premiere today, I thought I would participate in the Harry Potter 30 Day challenge! Here we go!

My favorite book in the series has got to be Deathly Hallows. I love all the books for various reasons but this one is, to me, the best; the most climactic of the series. For an author to write two, three, even four books is amazing, but to write a story that only continues to grow and become more engaging and more fascinating— for seven freaking books— is utterly bewildering. The end of this book deserves an award, and any book that can keep me crying for the majority of it, not to mention completely sobbing at the end, has to be my favorite. [And I just have to mention two words that really sum up what I’m talking about: Snape. Lily.]

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Dear dad: it may be best if you just don’t read this one. Well, at least the first half.

Why is it that I always feel the need to blog at one in the morning? What is it about this time that makes my brain go, “HEY YOU! YES YOU! BLOG! BLOG NOW!” I always do this; I get my computer because I know this blog will just be freaking fantastic and then I sit down and realize yeah, no, it won’t be. Partly because I have already forgotten what brilliant thing I was going to share with you, and partly because I think to myself I’m totally Carrie Bradshaw and this is great and I can be a brilliant writer like she is, no big deal. Except I don’t blog about sex. Which is why she has a column in a newspaper and I….don’t even have a job.

But then I have to remind myself that yes, Carrie Bradshaw is a fictional character with poor taste in men, and that one of these days that job will come around. And here we find ourselves at what I like to call “unpopular opinion time”. I’ve been doing an experiment. Well, not really an experiment but let’s call it that because it makes me feel smart. I’ve seen episodes of Sex and the City from time to time, usually late at night when the mood strikes to clean my room. But then I realize it is already clean, so I must look for things to clean, and in doing so, watch some SATC. I like it well enough, but I never really saw enough of the show to keep track of who was dating who and who Samantha was sleeping with. Then one day my friend really wanted to watch the movie (the first one) and I was all okay yes I will watch it with you. So we did. And it was good, nothing great or mind blowing (though let’s be honest, there was a lot of other blowing in that movie) and so I decided that the time had come to watch the first season.

And quite frankly, I’m underwhelmed. I know, I know, it takes place in the 90’s and yes, I adore the 90’s. I grew up in the 90’s- I am a 90’s child forever. But seriously. Carrie’s hair. MIRANDA’S HAIR. Charlotte and Samantha had great hair the first season but oh my gosh I thought this show was supposed to be full of…good fashion? When do we get the good clothes? I mean, Sarah Jessica Parker has a rockin body and she always looks decent, but I suppose my premature viewing of later seasons has ruined the first for me. Does anyone else feel this way? Does anyone else honestly care? Probably not. But the other thing I have to say is Oh. My. Gosh. I absolutely hate, loath, and despise Mr. Big. I mean the man is such an ass! And seeing as I’ve seen the movie, I know how things end up and may I just say Carrie Bradshaw I am completely disappointed in you.

Now that I have gotten that out of the way, I don’t really remember what I wanted to talk about. I suppose things in my life, but those are pretty mundane and boring. I mean, I am enjoying life– today I bought my costume for the Harry Potter premiere, but other than that it has just been filling out applications to schools and applying for out of state certification. Oh, yes, and watching a lot I mean A LOT of Doctor Who. And I think Matt Smith is quickly overtaking David Tennant as my favorite doctor.

I know, who am I anymore? Crazy world.

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