Sunday, August 31, 2014

Harry Potter Challenge Day 31

So what now…

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As you may notice, this month long challenge actually only covers 30 days.  And with August being 31 days long, it left me with an extra day. So I wasn't sure what to do. Obviously something Harry Potter related. So, I'm considering making butterbeer cupcakes this Labor Day or my next day off after that, because I'm actually at work right now. *shhh*  

So I guess I'll ask you, my dear reader, what is your favorite part of Harry Potter?  If you worked in the wizard world, what job would you want?  Who is your favorite character? How has Harry Potter shaped your life?  Chime in and tell me!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Harry Potter Challenge Day 30

Describe the effect HP has had on you and your life.

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Well as previously stated, it saved me during a very bad time in my life.  It resparked my interest in reading and especially magical books.  It’s not just a fandom or an obsession, Harry Potter to me is a way of life.  And whether people find that odd or not, Hogwarts is my home.  If you don’t like it, well I’ll just curse you I guess.  Stupefy!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Harry Potter Challenge Day 29

What wizarding world job would you want to have?

Omg, all of them?! Seriously.

I think writing for the Quibbler or Daily Prophet would be fun.  Or if I was a professor at Hogwarts, doing DADA probably.  Or being an auror and running around after bad wizards.  I don’t care what job I have in the wizarding world, as long as I’ve got magical powers.

This quiz said I’d be an auror. HEY-O!!

While this one said I’d most likely be a professor, but also possibly a shop keeper in Diagon Alley.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

August Banned & Challenged Book Club

This August for Banned and Challenged Books Book Club, I decided I needed to take on a behemoth.  That’s right, I put on my Wellies and went on to tackle the White Whale…and I somehow survived (don’t ask me, I’m as surprised as anyone).

Moby Dick by Herman Melville is considered quite a literary feat by some, clocking in at over 800 pages.  I mean, it’s no Game of Thrones book, but it’ll do.  I actually started either before August or relatively soon in, I don’t remember specifically when, but obviously the book takes a bit since it’s nearing the end of August when this post is going up.

The epic story is told by the narration of Ishmael, a sailor who signs on under Captain Ahab.  The Captain has lost a leg to a fearsome whale and he’s determined to see the beast’s bloody end.  So from Ishmael’s perspective, we get to see the Captain’s crusade against the White Whale and the colorful cast of crew members who are along for the ride.

I really enjoyed the story…or rather, the idea of the story.  Something gets lost to me in those 800 pages.  The story jumps from gambit to gambit and loses the integrity of this Captain’s obsession with his pursuit.

There are at times quite funny moments.  In one section, Ishmael seems to compare whale schools to societal seasons.  The whales migrate from warm to cold water as socialites would from “it” destination to destination.  There is also quite a chargedly humorous moment when Ishmael is talking about sperm (though not sure if it’s actually sperm or something just related to the sperm whale).  And he’s running his hands through it and talking about how profound it is.  I really can’t even explain how thoroughly hilarious this is.  It’s a freaking riot.

If you have the time, I suggest the read.  It really is an epic story and worth the time if you have it.  Consider what you would do with an obsession?  How it would drive and consume you?  Now imagine if it were over a whale?  Melville’s story may be dense with words, but if you can pick through them, you’ll find a good story.

You’re probably wondering why this book is on the banned/challenged list.  Well, you’re not the only ones wondering.  One district cited it was against its “community values,” and didn’t set well.  They must have looked into the whale as something other than a whale…because I’m not seeing any subtext.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“[…] whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul;” pg. 1

“But that same image, we ourselves see in all rivers and oceans. It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all.” pg. 4

“For to go as a passenger you must needs have a purse, and purse is but a rag unless you have something in it.” pg. 4

“Yes, these eyes are windows, and this body of mine is the house.” pg. 14

“[…] whether it was a reality of a dream, I never could entirely settle.” pg. 37

“And here shipmates, is true and faithful repentance; not clamorous for pardon, but grateful for punishment.” pg. 66

“Through all his unearthly tattooing, I thought I saw the traces of a simple honest heart; and in his large, deep eyes, fiery black and bold, there seemed tokens of a spirit that would dare a thousand devils.” pg. 71

“I’ll try a pagan friend, thought I, since Christian kindness has proved but hollow courtesy.” pg. 73 (fave of the book)

“How it is I know not; but there is no place like a bed for confidential disclosures between friends.” pg. 75

“The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon my soul is grooved to run.” Pg. 243

“Why so? Because a laugh’s the wisest, easiest answer to all that’s queer;” pg. 246

“[…] when all possibilities would become probabilities […]” pg. 289

“Out of the trunk, the branches grow; out of them, the twigs. So, in productive subjects, grow the chapters.” Pg. 419

“[…] for there is no folly of the beasts of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men.” Pg. 556

“There is wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness.” Pg. 612

“Thrusted light is worse than presented pistols.” Pg. 676

I know, I put WAY too many quotes.  But the source material is huge, so I figure I’m allowed.  If you have the time or the dedication, I recommend giving this a try.  It’s not easy, but it’s an amusing story.

Harry Potter Challenge Day 28

Who would be your nemesis at Hogwarts?

Oooh, good question except I don’t have any nemeses in real life, so why would I have them there?

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But since I have to answer, probably Pansy Parkinson.  She just really irritates me.  So I have a feeling we’d get into a snark competition with each other constantly.

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But also, Umbridge.  Because we all hate that bitch.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Harry Potter Challenge Day 27

Invisibility Cloak, Resurrection Stone, or Elder Wand?

Cloak!  All day, any day. 

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I could literally become a ninja.  Also, the other two seem less useful because I don’t want to become a super wizard and people who come back from the dead go crazy, basically.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Harry Potter Challenge Day 26

If you were able to use one spell without a wand, what would it be?

Accio.  Because then I can just accio my wand and get anything else I need.  Boom, lawyered.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Harry Potter Challenge Day 25

Are you satisfied with the epilogue?

Book version, absolutely yes.  I think it ties up characters nicely and leaves a little taste of what life was like for them being, you know, not at war.

Movie version, eff no.  If you’re casting characters for 17 years later, find some older actors.  I’m sorry.  The make-up for that scene was ridiculous because not a single one of them looked convincingly in their 40s.  And we know the power of movie make-up, so it’s no excuse that they looked the way they did.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Harry Potter Challenge Days 23 & 24

Day 23: Parts of the books or films that made you cry?

Oh god, okay.  Well let’s start with the books…

Cedric’s death.  Sirius’s death.  Dumbledore’s death.  The entirety of Deathly Hallows.  Not fucking kidding on that last one, guys.

Movies, it’s pretty much the same scenarios.  I don’t always cry at these moments with each rewatch, except one in particular.  Every time, and I mean every single time that I watch Deathly Hallows pt 2, I ball like a baby when Harry sees Lupin, Tonks, and Fred.  Like, hysterical can’t breathe crying.  I’m a very emotional person, okay?

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God, I’m tearing up just looking over Tumblr for these pics.

Day 24: Any particular scene you wish was in the movies that wasn’t?

Well, like previously said, there are things missing that bum me out.  The Department of Mysteries and Peeves especially.  But if we’re talking one specific scene…

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That one.  Also, all the sass was missing from the movies.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Harry Potter Challenge Day 22

Harry Potter or Twilight?

What?  What the hell kind of question is this?  Did anyone contemplate this question? 

I’ll admit, I’m a fan of Twilight.  I think the books are light and easy to read and I don’t have to think about story or plot or anything of significance.  Love triangles are classic book material.  But, the emotional depth of Harry Potter far outreaches Twilight.  Harry Potter addresses social issues through a child’s lens and is actually making people into better human beings.  I don’t mind a sexy vamp, but Harry Potter is and will always be the better story.  It’s one for the ages.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Why I Disagree With the Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS ice bucket challenge has been running rampant around social media the past few weeks.  The point of the challenge is to donate ten dollars to ALS Association or other charities (though most chose ALS), and dump a bucket of ice water on yourself.  Then once you are soaking wet, you challenge three other people to do it.  Or you can skip the bucket and donate 100 dollars instead.  Hmmm…

I have some serious issues about the whole challenge.  Let me preface by saying the donation part is not at all what I have an issue with.  On the contrary, that’s part of what I wish was emphasized more.
The point of the challenge seems to me to guilt or even bully people into doing it or face donating 100 dollars.  Oh my!  I don’t want an ice water bucket dumped on me, and I also don’t have a problem donating 100 dollars either, I just don’t know if I have 100 bucks to give at the moment.  The idea that I should feel guilted/bullied into donating is crap.  I donate money when I can, which isn’t as often as I like, but I also don’t need a “challenge” to do it. 

The other point, that I didn’t realize at first but saw someone else mention, is the self congratulatory nature of the ice bucket challenge.  It’s a pat on the back for anyone who does it.  Because you donated a whole ten bucks?  And made a video about it?  I would do the ice bucket challenge, donate 100 bucks, and not post a video.  Because the video and recognition isn’t the point.  The donating money to good causes is the point.

This challenge has raised a lot of money for ALS, and that’s wonderful.  Lou Gehrig’s disease is absolutely terrible, and I cannot imagine what people suffer when living with the disease.  In no way am I belittling the good this money will do to fight a terrible disease.  But do people really need to be challenged to donate money?  Are people that selfish?  Why can't you donate without having been challenged to do it?

I also don’t appreciate the water that is being wasted.  When other countries are struggling to get fresh and uncontaminated water, and here in our first world nation we are just dumping buckets of it out…it really pisses me off.  How many gallons of water have been wasted in this challenge that could have been fresh drinking water for a rural town that has none?  I realize the inherent argument in that it isn’t the same water they would have access to, but it is water from the same earth that we all inhabit.  And in an attempt to do something good, we’re throwing away another good we could give.  Or flaunting the availability of tons of fresh water…

This whole challenge is bringing up the feeling of exactly why I like organizations like  I donate 25 dollars in a loan (or whatever amount you can afford) to someone who uses the money to fund their project.  Be it fresh water, or education, or what have you that 25 (ish) dollars helps them and they eventually pay you back.  So that same money can go to help someone else.  A donation of even just 25 dollars can help people over and over again.  For people who are tight on finances but want to make a difference, this is an amazing opportunity!

I’m not saying making one time donations are bad, especially not for medical research and assistance.  What I’m saying is more people should donate because it’s a good thing to do and not because you’ve been challenged to do it.  The whole thing just bothers me.  Give because it’s right not because someone challenged you to.

With that being said, tomorrow when I get paid, I’ll be going to either or to help finance a water project in deference to those who don't have water and in defiance against the water that is being wasted in my opinion.  If anyone challenges me to the ice bucket challenge, I will not take part and I will not donate 100 dollars instead.  One, because I really don’t know if I have that kind of money to throw around anyway, and two, I won’t waste water that we take for granted.  I’m not going to challenge other people to behave differently.  But I will ask that people give to good causes when they can and not when they’ve been issued a challenge.

Harry Potter Challenge Day 21

If you could bring one of the characters back to life, who would you choose?

Again, I can only pick one?!  That’s just cruel.  There are so many beloved characters that are axed off in these books.  So much heartbreak.  I mean, I’ve mentioned Sirius and Lupin and Tonks and how much I love all those guys.  But I’m going a little off the wall with this answer.

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Bring back Hedwig.  She was one of the most painful deaths because it happens so quickly, and it’s truly the end of Harry’s innocence.  She was there from the beginning and suffered just as much as he did.  Poor girl.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Harry Potter Challenge Day 20

If you could meet one member of the cast, who would it be?

Dear lord, you want me to only pick one?  Are you serious?  That’s not possible.  For reals.  Because I would obviously want to meet Emma, so we could become best friends.  But I would love to meet Dan, or Maggie Smith, or… no wait, Matthew Lewis.  He got so fine.  Or Alfie Enoch, who also grew up so fine.  Like I said, how can I pick only one?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

How the Green Brothers, the Mountain Goats, and Nerdfighteria Changed My Life

I was introduced to John Green through a video in late 2013.  The video in question was him discussing the American healthcare system and why it’s incredibly...well, screwed up.  This video, on a topic I find in no way interesting, kept me chuckling.  I realized maybe this guy was worth looking into.

And then I realized how late to the game I was.

John Green and his brother Hank Green had started making videos years ago, and had amassed a cult (a really cool one) following.  I started at the beginning and watched through all the videos from their Brotherhood 2.0 project.  I started watching Hank play video games with his wife and friends (Mario is the best).  I watched their side projects (Lizzie Bennet Diaries).  I read John’s books (OMG FEELS).  I listened to Hank’s music (Accio Deathly Hallows, incendio book sales embargoes).  Which I then memorized (A quark is a fundamental constituent of matter).

I was a woman hooked.

When one of them recommended something, I would look into it.  Which is how I got addicted to the Mountain Goats.  I bought their album The Sunset Tree because it featured the only Mountain Goats song I knew at the moment, which was “This Year.”  Little did I know at the time, that the song I had come to enjoy would end up being my anthem through one of the most difficult transitions in my life.

So all this is going on in the fall of 2013.  I was working two jobs, spending time with my friends and S.O. at the time, and basically just trying to make life count.  And I thought I was doing a pretty good job at that.  Disaster struck when my living situation turned sour.  I’ve written a whole post about that here so I won’t delve into it, but I’ll just say that my world was rocked and not in a good way.

Things became unbearable for me.  I did my best to shrug things off, but it got worse and worse, and harder and harder for me to be positive.  Then my relationship ended as well, so around the 1st of the year of 2014, I was in a really dark place.  I stopped coping with my problems and tried to drink them away instead.  Side note, that doesn’t work.  So while I was working on not using alcohol as a coping mechanism, “This Year” became my anthem.   I made it my alarm so I woke up to it every morning.  I listened to it whenever I felt overwhelming stress.  I didn’t completely stop abusing alcohol, which I wouldn’t end up doing until I moved away, but that song...that one song made things better.  “I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me.”  I would repeat that line to myself so many times that I lost count.
And once I admitted to myself that I was a nerdfighter, I joined a few communities.  The beautiful thing about being a nerdfighter is that anyone can be one and true nerdfighters won’t judge you for being different.  We all just want to make the world suck less, and that means accepting people for who they are.  So in all my struggling, I found a community willing to accept me for who I was, completely and without hesitation.  And that’s a warm feeling to have in a dark and lonely place.

I was going to do whatever it took to survive, and I did.  I moved home out of that toxic environment.  I found new nerdfighter friends in Michigan.  I came back to my old job and started volunteering at a new place.  And I’m pleased to say that apart from a couple things, life is really great right now.  John and Hank Green, the Mountain Goats, and nerdfighteria became my foundation in that time of turmoil.  They all saved me from a dark place and I’ll never be the same without them.  DFTBA!

Harry Potter Challenge Day 19

Books or Films?

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Yet again, how is this even a question?!  While I give a lot of credit to the films for being very representative, they aren’t completely the books.  And it wouldn’t be possible for that to happen because then the films would be hours and hours long.  That’s not really the way the industry works.  They like profitability.  So no mini-series for me…for now.  I really hope that’s how they do a remake in like 50 years.  BBC HP mini-series.  Ah, a girl can dream…

There have only been a few times when the movies have shined higher than the books, and it’s minute.  Harry’s scene at Aragog’s death with the pincers, that is one of them.  But overall, the books cannot be beat.  Also the movie bastardized a couple of different characters and that makes me a giant squid of anger.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Harry Potter Challenge Day 18

Least Favorite Book

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As I mentioned with the movies, it is also the same with the books.  The first two are very introductory and geared towards the young readers.  Which is obviously fine, that’s how JK got followers in the first place.  But I don’t find myself nearly as attached to them as to the other books.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Harry Potter Challenge Days 15, 16, and 17

I am going to be up north all weekend, and while Harry Potter is usually always on my mind in some way (I should make butterbeer cupcakes soon...), this weekend will be a technology free zone for me.  So I'm posting the whole weekend today.  Let's begin...

Day 15: Who would be your best friends at Hogwarts (pick 3)?

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Ok, so first, obviously Hermy and I would be tight.  We’d totally hang out in the library and learn shit together and save everyone’s lives.  We’re awesome like that.

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Second, Luna is my homegirl.  We’re both weird and quirky and misunderstood.  I’d totally help her find her missing possessions or save her from sleepwalking, and she would teach me about nargles and Crumple-Horned Snorkaks which we would then go on vacay to find.

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Lastly, I don’t know if it would qualify as a friendship or more of a stalking thing, but Oliver Wood and I would become very close…and I would obviously find some way to make him fall in love with me.

Day 16: Favorite Professor

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McGonagall all the way!  She’s Scottish and snarky.  Her class would be the best.  I’ve always enjoyed teachers who have a teasing relationship with the class.  I think while she’d be strict, it is because she wants us to succeed.  But ultimately, she would be fun.  If not her, then Snape.  So I could just ogle him and ask him to say things in his sexy voice.

Day 17: What would your wand be made of and what would be in its core?

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A long time ago my bff found this awesome website about wands.  It was super in depth and amazing, and I’ve yet to be able to find it again.  The damn internet is too big!  (that’s what she said)  If I had to go off just picking my own, I’d probable say 9 inches, Ash, with a unicorn hair.  Length would be decent, ash wands are known to be loyal to their holders (loyalty is big with me since I’m Huffle), and this is strengthened when the core is unicorn hair.  Also I think unicorns are pretty.

That being said, I’m going to take a wand quiz or two and see what those say…

Ok Cupid determined my wand to be 9 ¾ inches, Oak, with Phoenix feather.  So in my initial guess, I was close on length. You can take the quiz here.

Another quiz (here) determines which character’s wand wood would you share.  No shock, I got Hermione. Considered as an uncommon type, Vine wands are said to be sensitive when it comes to choosing their rightful owners. Those who own Vine wands are said to be people with hidden depths in their personality and who often seek for a greater purpose. Characters who use wands made from Vine include Hermione Granger.”


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Harry Potter Challenge Day 14

Team Voldemort or Team Harry?

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How is this even a question?  I can fight evil and be awesome, or I can be evil and be an evil wizard’s bitch?  C’mon.  Voldemort doesn’t treat his staff very well because he doesn’t love anyone.  He can’t love anyone.  I don’t want to be part of that!  I’d much rather be Team Harry and conquer and win.  Also, Voldemort doesn’t offer any benefits to his employees except maybe death.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Harry Potter Challenge Day 13

Least Favorite Movie

I have the tendency to get bored during the first two.  The movies are introductory and more geared towards kids obviously, because as the movies get darker they get more adult.  But they’re still good.  I still love them, just not as much as the other ones.  I love vanilla ice cream, just not as much as I love chocolate.  Hooray ice cream metaphors!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Laugh Can Hide A Lot

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They say "Laughter is the best medicine."  And in some ways, I believe that.  I notice when I force myself to smile more that it becomes contagious.  That people return the smile.  That a day spent with laughter is a day not wasted.  But as I've mentioned before, struggling with depression or any mental illness can make smiles hard to come by.

Robin Williams' death, like most celebrity deaths, shocked people.  But one of the reasons it is even more shocking is not because of drugs or anything like that, but that this man who brought so much humor to the world, apparently killed himself.  Laughter can brighten your day, but it can also be a mask.

Mental illness is not something that can be seen or touched, but only felt by the person who deals with it.  Sure you can see the outward signs, but when someone is happy-go-lucky and smiling all the time, you never know what is really going on inside their head.  That's why depression and anxiety and other mental illnesses are so terrifying and dangerous.  Because people suffer in silence.  Because we can't tell from the outside that people need help until it is usually too late.

I suffered in silence.  I tried to kill myself secretly.  Because I didn't know what to tell people or what to say, or how to deal with the onslaught of judgment for the fact that I was a kid dealing with those kinds of feelings.  Mental illness doesn't pick and choose; it doesn't have a preference for men or women, adult or children.  Mental illness will take anyone.

So please, if you need to, ask for help.  There are people in the world who want only to help bear your burden.  You're not alone, as much as it may feel that way.  Don't feel the need to hide behind a mask.  Please seek help.  Whether you believe it or not, the world would be a dimmer place without you.

You can call a national hotline or find a more local one here.

Harry Potter Challenge Day 12

Your favorite pairing:
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Oh man, I could go so many ways with this post.  Namely, I never shipped Hermy and Ron in the first place.  I was always pining for Harry and Hermy.  My OTP!  But besides that, if we’re talking real couples I have two favorites.
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First, again as previously mentioned (see this is the problem when I’m too thorough), I love Lupin and Tonks.  He brings her to reality while she lightens his life.  She takes him for who he is, which is once a month moody and vicious (aka werewolf PMS).  He accepts her ever-changing style and clumsiness.
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My second favorite real couple is Mr. and Mrs. Weasley.  They stick together through everything.  Having a lot of kids, with not a lot of money.  Arthur’s strange obsessions.  Being ginger.  I mean, this couple survives everything. 

Now is the fun part, couples I wish were a thing…
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Does anyone else imagine Dumbledore (prior to the gay announcement) and McGonagall having some mistake sex?  Can’t you see that happening?  They’re stuck in this school together, and one night they’re both talking about how badly they need to get some and then BAM, it’s the next morning before classes and McGonagall is sneaking back to her room as a cat…yeah, I can see that happening.
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Also, the movies ended up doing this even though it wasn’t in the canon, but Luna and Neville.  They’re both kind of quirky and adorable and love odd things (nargles vs. plants).  It is just too cute.  Also, they would have pretty children.  Because Neville is damn fine.  I also ship that ADORABLE couple in the background. They are so cute!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Harry Potter Challenge Day 11

The character you relate to the most:
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As previously mentioned from my favorite female post, I relate the most to Hermione, hence she’s my fave.  I was a little girl who grew up in books, and still lives there.  I like learning and knowing things.  I believe I’m a source of support for my friends, and sometimes the voice of reason.  Also, my hair can get ridiculous.  It can, look!

I can sometimes feel like the odd one out, like Hermione and that whole Muggle-born thing.  I have often been crushed in romantic pursuits (damn you, Lav Lav).  So Hermy’s my homegirl.  OMG can I get that on a shirt?!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Harry Potter Challenge Days 9 & 10

A little bit late on the 9th but it's my blog so I do what I want :)

Day 9: Least Favorite Male Character and Why

Ooh, this is tough.  Because the beauty of Harry Potter is that even the evil people have redeeming qualities or you can attribute their evil lifestyle to how they were raised.  Even big bad Voldy was that way.  He was incapable of love because he was conceived under a love potion, and thoroughly despised by his father.  That does not a well adjusted child make.  But since I have to choose… I guess I’m going to have to go with Peter Pettigrew, aka Wormtail.

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The only redeeming thing about him is that he did the Dark Lord’s bidding because he was a chicken shit.  He’s weak.  That being said, he’s lucky Harry didn’t kill him.  Because at 13 years old if I met the person responsible for my parents’ murder, I’d fuck that person up a lot.  Peter couldn’t stand up and be brave so he became a tool for someone more powerful.  His actions resulted in the deaths of Harry’s parents and the incarceration of Sirius because he got blamed.  Plus it just fits that his animagus is a rat.  And that his codename is Wormtail.  It’s too perfect.  Rowling, you damn genius, you!

Day 10: Pick one: Horcruxes or Hallows?

On the one hand, horcruxes can theoretically allow you to live forever, even though you have to murder people to do it.  On the other hand, Hallows can give you immense power over life and a cool coat for sneaky business.
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If I had to pick an individual item, I’d go for the cloak of invisibility.  First, it’s really pretty.  I mean, seriously guys, it's really really pretty.  Second, think about how much you could save on going to the movies?  Would that be awesome!  The movies are ridiculously expensive, okay...

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But if I had to pick overall, I’d go horcruxes.  The reason being, what if I only killed bad people?  Yes, I know murder isn’t right, blah blah blah.  But what if I could only murder despots or religious zealots?  I’d get to live forever, plus we’d be rid of a few assholes on the planet.  Just something to think about…

Friday, August 8, 2014

Harry Potter Challenge Day 8

What do you think would be your favorite subject at Hogwarts?

Um, all of them?  If I’m going to magical school, I’m going to love every single damn thing because it means I’m a mother fucking wizard!

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But Siriusly (see what I did there *wink*), I think I’d love Charms.  The idea of learning all these spells that will be useful in everyday life?  That’s awesome.  I also think based on my proclivity for defensive classes (eff yeah, self defense), I would love Defense Against the Dark Arts.  I thoroughly enjoy learning about bad stuff (I have a habit of reading about serial/famous killers), so I think I would fit well in this class.  But I would also totally love Care of Magical Creatures because it would be the wizarding world equivalent of playing with puppies all day.  Although in CoMC, puppies that could actually kill you.

So in conclusion, all the classes! Except maybe Arithmancy.  I’m not a huge math fan.

Self Love in Today's Society

It’s not a huge shocker that diets are all the rage and body shaming is at an all-time high (or low really, if you think about it).  Society is constantly telling everyone, but especially females, what they need to be, to look like, etc.  So it gets incredibly difficult to be okay with yourself when everything around you is contradictory.

I used to hate myself.  Really, I’m not joking.  I absolutely hated myself.  I didn’t think I was cute or pretty or beautiful.  I was constantly critiquing every aspect of my body.  My stomach wasn’t flat enough or my was butt too big.  My pores on my nose were just huge and disgusting.  My hair was never the right color.  I was smart, but not smart enough.  I didn’t have any useful talents.  Every day, every look in the mirror, all I felt was disappointment and hatred.

And then after a long time and a lot of mental reprogramming, I came to a pretty interesting conclusion.  I decided to love myself.  And tell society to fuck off. 

The road to that realization was long and difficult, but ultimately worth it.  I got sick of thinking I wasn’t enough.  We have a finite number of days on this world, so why was I spending it seeped in hatred and depression?  Not worth it.

So I began to love myself.  I stopped judging myself every time I looked in the mirror.  I stopped calorie counting.  I stopped comparing myself to other women.  I stopped telling myself she was prettier or thinner.  I just stopped.

It wasn't easy.  It was one of the most difficult things I've ever done.  To reprogram my mind to cease being so negative to myself.  I still have moments even now.  I don’t think it is something that will ever completely go away, but it is certainly more contained.

Am I the ideal weight I want to be?  No.  But no longer do I feel the desperate need to lose weight.  I know that a lot of it is trying to fit in exercise, which is my weakness.  I need companionship or I can’t motivate myself enough to do it.  I've learned to love the body I have.  I realized that there are guys out there that don’t care.  Crazy, right?!  Society has been telling me all along that guys only like you when you’re skinny…those fucking liars!  I’m curvy and bodacious and I still had a boyfriend.  So yeah, being skinny does not equal finding meaningful relationships.  And if your partner says you being skinny is prerequisite for the relationship, then he/she’s an asshole.  Anyone worth having in your life will love you for exactly who you are.  Waist size and all. 

The point is to be healthy.  And that means both sides.  On one hand, your food choices should be healthier.  Eat more veggies and fruits, better fats and proteins.  But on the other hand, don’t starve yourself or constantly work out.  Eating disorders don’t just cover “fat” people.  They’ve advanced enough to label work out anorexia.  Stop the I-need-to-lose-three-pounds bullshit.  Don’t be a Regina George!

Also we need to stop shaming each other, “fat” or “thin.”  Those are in quotes by the way, because they are arbitrary terms.  It’s subjective.  We need to appreciate ourselves and other women and men for who they are and what size they are.  I’m goddamn sick of living in a society that doesn’t accept that I’m a pretty awesome person no matter my goddamn jeans size.  Which is a 14, by the way.  Yeah, I got hips and a butt.  And they look damn good.

I’m going up north next weekend to the beach.  And I’m wearing a bikini.  And if anyone has anything to say about that, they can suck it.  Because I love my body and everyone else should accept that.  *insert me giving the middle finger to society here*

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Harry Potter Challenge Day 7

Favorite Female Character and Why

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I think it’s probably what a lot of HP fans who are a girls would say, but Hermione.  I dealt with loneliness and isolation when I was younger.  When I started reading Harry Potter, I identified with her.  And I still do.  She’s smart, strong, selfless, brave, and will do anything to protect the people she loves.  She freaking wiped herself from her parents’ memories to protect them.
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If I were to pick someone other than her, I would pick Tonks.  She’s funny, a Hufflepuff, and falls in love with Lupin to make the cutest couple ever!  Her untimely end still kills me, and I wish we would have gotten to see more of her, especially her family dynamic.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Harry Potter Challenge Day 6

Which house would you want to be in? What house do you think you would get?
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I want to believe I'm brave enough to be in Gryffindor.  I know I have moments where I'm not afraid to stand up for what I believe in, but I also think Gryffindors can at times be too rash or fool hardy.  

On Pottermore I was sorted into Hufflepuff.  And the more I think about it, I’m happy to be a Hufflepuff.  Even though the house gets completely ragged on, which is bullshit and I explain why we’re awesome in this post, Hufflepuffs are awesome.  And I’m proud to be one.  Every day I'm Hufflin'.
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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Harry Potter Challenge Day 5

Favorite Male Character
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I really like Sirius and Lupin.  Sirius perseveres going to prison, and we aren’t talking Martha Stewart prison, this is some super super max shit going on...anyway, he goes there, and everyone thinks he betrayed his friends which resulted in their murder, and all he wants is to support his godson and clear his name.  He had a family that loathed what he became and the people he was friends with, and wanted nothing to do with him.  And he just kept trucking along.  Being a little shit, but doing good in the world.  Lupin, arguably, had it even harder.  Because every month, he fucking loses his shit and has no control over it.  He won’t be able to know what he’s done because he is quite unbelievably not himself.  That is some serious life suck.  But he comes out of it, he becomes a teacher (well for a year), and lives to fight on with his bad self.  Also, he snags a super hot/awesome/badass wife who is clearly my role model for existence (besides Hermione). These two guys are the best father figures Harry could ask for, but they get destroyed by war. I tear up every time I see Harry's reaction to Sirius falling away. Dan Radcliffe can freaking act, people!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Harry Potter Challenge Day 4

Day 4: Least Favorite Female Character
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Pansy Parkinson or Lavender Brown.  Both of these girls epitomize the “daft girl syndrome” of girls who hang on men and don’t embrace that they are intelligent human beings.  Granted, neither gets much screen time in the movies nor much page time in the books (and granted it has been two years since I read them).  But from what we get of their personalities, they just kind of suck. Sure Lavender sticks around for the final battle, and meets a sad end. But Pansy, she's just kind of a bitch. And Pansy isn’t even liked by her own author. Lav, well, she tried to best Hermione in the matters of romance so c’mon.  I don’t like Hermione and Ron together anyway, but don’t get in my girl Hermy’s way in anything.  She’ll take you out, fools!

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