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 I always forget about this account - but now that LJ seems to be having a nervous breakdown, signing in juuuuuust in case, LOL

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Just going to leave this here....

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Okay - so I am very off the band wagon with the 30 days of Potter (which, face it, amuses only me but I've been having fun!)  due to  - one guess - YES!  Work!  Pffft.

HOWEVER - I *do* have a pic gifty for the HP around here.  Yes, it is a shot from the DH filming.  No, it is not a 'spoiler' per say, but a CONFIRMATION OF AWESOME. 

See icon for hint.

100 Days to Part I.... )
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 It's shark week!  Discovery has done well in answering the question "How do we keep this interesting after 20 years?" with Craig Ferguson as host!  Yay!

Today I was asked 'you dive - do you have any good shark stories?'

Well, I have 2 tales that amuse me.  As to if they are good or not, the listener can be the judge.

2 Sharky Tales that make me want to go back to Australia NOW.... )
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 Ah, ships.  The basis for more winging, screaming, squeeing, and outlandish behavior than anything else in fandom.  Although, the hissy fit thrown in certain areas over JKR telling people that Remus' "J" stood for "John" was also an epic laugh, I must say.

But, I shall not digress.  In cannon it's always been R+H for me - their bumbling towards resolution entertained me wildly, and they are a sweet fit. As for *fandom* - I've always been a quiet Puppy shipper, because I seem to love angst.  There have been so many very talented fanfiction writers through the years who have written wonderful fics, and Remus & Sirius just seems to work together well.  I think I also like this little fantasy because you can actually make it work from the source material.  The foundation of why the Marauders even became Animagi sets off this thread, I think.  Well, at least to me.  Certainly there was the very basic thrill of doing something so wild and so outrageous, but it wasn't easy and the others could easily have gotten bored and just gone to find better things to amuse themselves with.  Then you layer on Remus & Sirius as the last survivors who have been through hell together, and yes we can just go on and on.  I just *like* them together.

Of course, I cannot let this day pass without a shout-out to Hogwarts/Giant Squid, because their love is so basic and primal, how can it not make one all woobie inside? And I have it to thank for the fact that I can never see one of those old woodcuts of a squid attacking a boat without picturing the castle nestled there in the arms of the beast, not some poor doomed schooner.  
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 Have just come of several really rotten weeks at work.  Left to my own devices, I probably would have spent this Saturday locked up in the house, watching cartoons and pretending that I was actually going to get dressed at some point and go out, only doing so if actually forced by lack of food.  

The sister, however, was a Good Egg and didn't let me.  She woke me up @11am and invited me to go strawberry picking, saying I needed to get out, have Niece & Nephew therapy, and play in the sun.  I wavered for about 30 seconds, then managed to rally.

One of the great things about living on the edge of one of the largest food production regions in the world is that a good hour or two in the car leads one to *extraordinary* food stuffs.  This time the goal was an organic berry farm on the Pacific Coast about an hour and half away, and actually the drive was the best part of the day.  Nico opted to ride with me and Sebi and we spent the entire time talking about:

  • Our mutual love of Baseball (and how we still need to go to a game)
  • Nature camps (and how Nico thinks it's not fair that I don't get a summer break so I can go with him)
  • Hockey (and how this year we will go to TWO games)
  • Football (and how we're going to get Grandpa Rex (that's my dad) to take us to all the Cal games)
  • Rugby (and why mummy won't let him play until he's bigger, but that's okay and oh my GOSH Auntie, you played it?!?)
  • Nico's growing Karate prowess
  • Oceans vs. lakes vs. Bays
  • How he needs to read an entire chapter book to earn a Nintendo DS and agreeing that Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone will be tough but should earn him the device AND some games
  • How Voodoo dolls work - and that he may ONLY practice good magic with one if he makes one
  • That he is *offically* old enough to watch Doctor Who now, and how much he loved watching it and yes, we must watch it together (Tori has started them with Nine & Ten and they are getting to watch certain episodes - no 'Are you my mummy?' for them yet!)
  • How kite surfing is really tough, but boogie boarding is more awesome
  • Why Sebi is smelly but wonderful (with spontaneous song & howling time to boot - AROO!)
  • Specualtion on why the sea lions all sit on the same rock covered in their own poop
  • That when Nico is a teenager he and I are going to Australia to go surfing but I have to promise not to let the sharks get him
  • How beautiful the coast highway is and how lucky we are to get to see it (kid has depth, I'm telling you)
  • And - best of all - how Auntie is the most fun grownup ever and how I should never ever change and that I promise to always be fun
I now have 3 pounds of perfect sun ripened strawberries, a very happy but tired dog (he actually *bounced* with excitement - a new place with all his fav. people put him in a canine glow, which was totally amusing) and a need for Bisquick so I can make proper strawberry shortcake, although I may just go for heavy cream and brown sugar.  Which, may I say, is the best decision I've been faced with in a month.

All in all, a better option than coocooning, and I hope all have had similarly good relaxing Saturdays :)

Highway 1 - next stop on your left, Asia

Nico giving Sebi a good scritch (after that damn dog took a serious dirt bath - Sunday will consist of BATH TIME)

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 A song that reminds me of Potter, hmmm.  Strange at it may be the first one that pops in my head is "Down with the Sickness" by Disturbed, because in my fanish mind I pictured Remus as a closet fan of loud, angry rock and roll and he would have totally put on the headphones and blasted this particular ditty, probably in the company of a bottle of firewhisky.  And gotten up to go back to saving the world the next day of course.

However, 'Drive' by Incubus is probably my number one 'Potterish' song, as I was always more focused on the adults of the series, and this one stuck with me.  This is one Remus and Sirius listen to quietly, late at night in Grimauld Place, with only the light of the fire and a bottle of wine between them.

Lyrics for 'Drive' under cut )
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What, I have to say more?  It's REMUS, for goodness sake!

Fine - well, I adored Remus from the start because he reminded me of all the great teachers I had had growing up.  Fun, but clearly making you learn, even in spite of yourself at times I'm sure.  Then we get to the real story behind his life, and my rarely seen instinct to knit someone a sweater, make them soup, and just *be there* kicked in.  Now I'm not weird about this (well, slightly, but I'm not having marriages on an astral plane, nor did I suddenly hate Tonks because 'she got mah MAN!' - damn 'fans' can be scary) but as a character in the books I just love him.  No, he's not perfect by any means.  He's written to be stubborn and morose to a fault and even if you can clearly see his motivations, you can want to throw the soup at him just as much as you want to politely feed it to him.  He struggles against gross injustice with dignity (mostly) and that's a character type that I personally enjoy.  

Hmmm, I may be trying to hard to be sane and not obsessive....  Look, I was part of a triumvirate of smart, put together, adult women who created and nurtured an entire website dedicated to The Awesomeness of Remus.  I cried buckets when he died.  I am STILL MAD he died, even if I understand 'the point' JKR was making.  I don't care - I'm still cross, and still feel it wasn't necessary... but I didn't write the book or create the character, I just love him to bits and always will.  My niece and nephew know that I love Remus, and accept that this is just part of who I am. Although, and this amuses me no end, they call him 'Professor Lupin' mostly: to him, he's a super cool teacher.  To me, he's a wonderful man who lived with a terrible situation and did the best that he could. He's just Remus.

Beyond Remus, I love Neville, Ron & Professor McGonagall dearly.  And I love Peeves - I'm so sorry that the people who only know Potter through movies have never taken the step to the books - they have NO idea what they are missing by not having Peeves in their lives *just* for a start!
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 OKay - I have at some time listened to a few of the WRock bands - Draco & the Malfoys and the Remus Lupins, I know.  I also had a Chrstmas album of some Wrock sort given to me.

I've never really been into this side of fandom - that's what it comes to.  In terms of Music and HP I'm most familiar with A Very Potter Musical to be honest. 

Fanfic Music is rather amusing as a whole - I get the tribute tunes side of it, and some of it is really clever: I think the best Wrock is the tongue in cheek style, because let's face it if you took yourself too seriously in this genre we would be in a noticeable Point and Laugh situation. 

Long live satire!
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So Day 4: 04. Your favorite movie

Hmmmm.  There are Pros and Cons to all of the films - each of them have some fabulous scenes, all of them have Steve *Hack* Kloves RUINING RON which is an unforgivable sin, although despite him Grint & the last few directors seem to have put Ron back on course.  But, for overall tone, it will come as no surpirse that I'll take PoA as my fav. film, just as it's my fav. book.  It is by no means perfect but I really do love Curon's take on the wizarding world (minus the talking heads and turning Tom the Inkeeper into an SNL reject).  Plus any movie that gives me Oldman, Thewlis & Rickman going at each other, no matter how briefly, is a good one.

And now I am off to A Meeting which - with any luck at all - will put an end to the latest cycle of work-related despair, just in time to start Budget Season!

See - that's why I'm being diligent with my Potter Posts - *nobody* needs to hear me go off on anything else just now.

(Edit - LOL I jsut read ahead on the list & see we get an ENTIRE DAY to hate on Steve *bastard* Kloves.  Yes!)
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 I maintain that I am 51% Ravenclaw and 49% Slytherin, so by a majority ruling, Ravenclaw.  I'm no Gryffindor, and I doubt I have the goodness of soul to be a good Hufflepuff.  At least for extended periods of time: I do mercy in bursts.

Although the past couple of weeks I'm more in a Slytherin frame of mind, because I have been cunning in my tactics to crush the stupid and WIN at all costs, to satisfy my own ambitions of Blowing This Popstand, which seems to be under the control of Winky (post-firing phase) and an Umbridge cousin.  And there's nothing wrong with that.
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02. Your favorite book

Oh lord, who reading this wee blog doesn't know this?  

'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' is, was, and always will be my favorite.  It captivated me; where I had just idly listened to the others, this one pulled me in quickly and made me hungry for more.  I don't really know why, and I'm not going to launch into some sort of sad, pseudo intellectual critique of the book.  I just loved it.  

I think the first tip of the hat was that the tone was certainly changing.  Also, you started to see the mythos really start to gel.  And then we met R.J. Lupin, and I was in love.  Lupin was the first sympathetic adult who appeared who had more than one dimension, and he became more interesting with each pass through the story.  And what an entrance, really.  I thought he was interesting and certainly couldn't wait to see what fate would fall to this particular Dark Arts teacher.  Love bloomed when he sent gum up Peeves' nose, and settled in firmly by the end of that wonderful chapter.

Then we get to that astonishing climax, that went across multiple chapters and threw everything at us at once - secrets, shapeshifters, falsely accused convicts,  time travel, a show down with pure evil, werewolves... good lord.  I remember actually shouting at the CD deck in my car (I listened to these before I read them) "NO!  LUPIN CAN'T BE EVIL! NO! NO! NO!".  Probably not the most eloquent reaction from an English major, but I was actually gobsmacked.  And this book also taught me to start reading these novels more closely, as I hadn't sussed the werewolf issue, but on a re-read actually smacked myself for being so blind.  And maybe that's why I love the book so much - I was just too caught up in enjoying it to waste time pondering things, but on rereads it just gets better each time.

Now if you will excuse me, I need to retire to the library.

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Okay - I'm getting really caught up in the 'countdown to Deathly Hollows' and am about to do a full series re-read, so it makes sense that I yoink  Alphie's "30 Days of Harry Potter" and have some fun with it.

#1: Discuss how you got into Harry Potter.
Well, it's all down to a combination of my mother and Jim Dale.  Harry Potter didn't really hit my radar until the run-up to the publishing of 'Goblet of Fire'.  I'd heard of the books, and remember thinking 'how are these Boys Own Adventure books with wands on top of the NYTimes bestseller lists?', but never picked one up.  At the time I was still in consulting, and snagged a job that had me taking a 4 hour commute to Central California twice a week, and begged my mother to loan me books on tape.  Her library is HUGE, so rather than go through it all, I asked for a suggestion, and she gave me Book 1, saying I would be amused with it and would enjoy remembering my own days in British school and my many hours spent reading Enid Blyton & the like.  I figured I had nothing to lose, and accepted it.  It took me a while to warm up to the story, but I really enjoyed listening to Jim Dale, so I stuck through it.  It was okay, but I still didn't see the point of the fuss.  Book 2 was a bit better, but still I was not hooked. 

Then she gave me Prisoner of Azkaban, and my fate was sealed.  I *loved* that book. It's still my favorite, and probably always will be... but will save details for the *next* post. 

The list of questions is under this cut for those who want to play :) )
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So last night sis & I went to see Adam Lambert perform in San Francisco.  We were totally chufffed - as people know we are (or were, eh) big AI Stans, and were *massive* supporters of Adam on the show.  So, given the chance to go catch his show, we were all over that.  The order of the night was 'get glam!" , so I dug out the sparkle smokey eye shaddow and pink glitter nail polish and sis even scored a maternity top with tasteful number of sequins, and off we went!

The crowd was *ridiculously* eclectic - all ages, all backgrounds: clear AI-Moms, tweenies, glam kids from SF, you name it.  That alone was fab!  The fellow in front of us in line to get in was a scream to talk to - a 50+ SF bear-queen who was a terrific gossip.  We had such a blast just talking to him it was nuts.  It was a great intimate venue in The City - about 3000 with the general admin on the main floor (we sat in the 'old people section' up top & reminisced about concerts we were on the floor for  - the Pogues, Nirvana, Iggy Pop - yep, we're old(er). But sis (and baby Mina) needed the seat - that was my excuse ;)

AI folks will recognize the opening act - Alison Iraheta - and she was really good; amazing that she is still only what - 18? - that rocker voice of hers is astonishing and I was reminded how much I enjoyed her cover of 'Heartbreaker'.  And that's really it - she can easily be the next Pat Bennatar, with that rock voice with the operatic flair.

Next act we never heard of but DAMN - Orianthi, who turns out to be a 25 year old Aussie guitar wiz.  Serious, serious guitar grinding topped with a terrific cover of 'Voodoo Child' (if you can do JiMi right, you are Good People): I did my homework today and she is really something else. 


So finally we get Adam - and by all that is Holy, the man delivers. Seriously.  We've got so many over-produced talentless twits on the radio these days, it's such a nice night to go hear someone who can really sing.  And Adam Lambert can sing.  oh he's a total diva, and yep you can see his theatre roots, but so what?  Makes it all that more fun.

He did all the big hits off of his album (LOVE 'Strut' and yes, he and the dancers broke out the Malfoy Canes to it)  plus he did the two showstoppers that got him to the finals on AI - his cover of 'Ring of Fire'  and "Whole Lotta Love'.  Unf!  We danced for about 2 hours straight, and just had a fantastic time.   My only 'hmmmm' moment was the cover he chose that night for 'Mad World' which was about 2x too fast - and kinda ruined it, but what ever.  He did the only song of his I hate "Down the Rabbit Hole" 2nd, got that out of the way, and then just wowed for the rest of his set.  He also gets points for doing his shows like Elton John - he burns through fast songs, then does very stripped down versions of slow songs with single accompaniment to give the band/dancers an off stage rest while he sits for a bit while still performing, then goes back to the high energy songs to finish - so he's out there performing for you the entire time.

The man can sing - his voice is astonishing, really.  All those vocal theatrics on the albums, he can and does perform them live, with very little changes.  He's just a total pleasure to listen to.  Also, double points for having a 'glam rock' themed tour complete with age-appropriate stage effects - smoke, light balls & lasers.  Sis & I joked about feeling like we were back at the Pink Floyd nights at the SF Planetarium from the 80s.

So - Yay! I'm excited we scored the tickets and we had a great time: the show AND the crowd were amusing (on the train home, Tori sat next to a fellow concert goer - an 87 year old grandma with major Lambert Love: *awesome*).

JUST what I needed after a week of unbridled idiocy at work.  Whee!


Jul. 21st, 2010 01:17 pm
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Just found out that the opening act for Adam Lambert is Alison Iraheta!!!!! YAY!

Friday is going to be awesome!!

Now must go find sparle-rific preggo wear for the Sis.

Sent from my iPhone

Who Knew?

Jul. 16th, 2010 11:04 am
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So I get an urgent email at work warning me that California has declared an epidemic of Pertussis.  Que? 

Turns out this is the clinical name for Whooping Cough.  Now, I can understand renaming some diseases due to their scientific name being unpronounceable without training, but Pertussis is kinda cool.  Sort of, I don't know, like a Roman landowner or something you'd name the 3rd moon your space station is built on in a B-movie.  And "Whooping Cough" sounds, well, gross in comparison: I don't need to be coughed on, let alone Whooped on.

On a small public service note: those of you with kiddies in CA, don't think that this is a signal to not leave your homes until further notice: epidemics in the *legal* sense of the word is very clearly defined when levels of infection are still very low just so that the State authorities have the mandate they need to stop the infections from getting worse.  Yes, epidemics technically include the Black Death of 1347 - 1351 and the Flu epidemic of 1918, but those are not what we're talking about.  Right now the most impacted counties, Marin and San Luis Obispo have seen 47 and 33 cases per 100,000 respectively.  There is a very effective and simple vaccination for Pertussis given to kids 2 - 6; talk to your pediatrician if you have any questions.

Pertussis.  I would totally name a pug that.... 
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...provided you thought "Oh look - it's a crochet of a unicorn who's aspirated from vomiting rainbows!".

WHY?  Because I was challenged by a friend.  As a response to this nonsense.

I don't know if that says more about my character or the character of my friends.

Stop frowning: put on proper eyes, take away the Rainbo Ralph (TM), and I've designed I very nice little unicorn pattern!

Why yes, there are other views.

Don't tell Sophie!
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Nico just called: it would seem that the new baby will be a girl.  Who will be named Mina Charlotte, which is a delightfully normal and pretty name (Thank God).

Although yes, i did have this convo with the mum-to-be:

"Nina or Mina?"
"Mina as in 'Harker'?"
"Well I'm making her 'Baby's First Dracula' as soon as I get home!"
"OMG - Goth baby!"
"You know it!"

Mina is joining us... well right in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner by the current timeline. I'm happy for Nico: he will still have the onus of being the middle child, but the benefit of being the only boy which will help his wee sensitive soul.  I'm happy for Sophie, too, but as she will be essentially 9 years older than this baby they will exist in different orbits around the same planet.  Damn: the baby will be around Sophie's age now when Sophie heads off to college.... 
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Oh, how this adorable little film made me daydream.

I mean, aside from bagging & tossing the hutts into the can, what's not to love to pieces??

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What Moffet has done with the tone of Dr. Who is *perfect*.  Sure, I loved the over the top dramatics of Davies, it's just for fun after all.  But tonight's episode was just as enjoyable with so much less fuss!

This is me, refusing to make a "Spoooooooooooilers!" joke, but hey - SPOILERS for The Big Bang. )
Oh my - as if Christmas isn't hard enough to wait for as it is!
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