November 2010 archive

(59 entries)

November 30, 2010

Congratulations, you Professor Higginses, on your glorious victories!

I finished NaBloPoMo and blogged every day! I am a winner!

Who else is a winner? Stand up and be congratulated!

And regardless of your status as a NaBloPoMo non-participant, participant or winner, don't forget to enter the book giveaways! I'll allow entries for the rest of the day today and pick winners tomorrow, so you'd better enter while you have the chance!

srah | 1:35 PM
Tags: nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

He Who Must Be Driven

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 30: How has Harry Potter affected you/your life?

I went out this weekend and bought a Dark Ford, which can be summoned from a distance by pushing a thing on my arm¹. Its original name can be rearranged to spell more nefarious things². It speaks to me in Parseltongue³ and once lived on the back of some guy's head4. Also, it has Sirius, but only for six months, and then I guess he will be released. For these reasons, I have named my new car....

The new hot model

Ford Foldemort

¹ Well, it has remote-start that I can hold in my hand or could - if I wanted to - sort of balance on my arm. And the doors can be unlocked from afar, which I couldn't do with my previous vehicle. But we have not yet reached KITT-style car-summoning technology.

² So far I've come up with: "sniff our do", "do info surf", "food, fun sir", "odors if fun", "sod off, I run", "nod if for us", "I'd so run off", "Uri nods off", "duo riffs on", "I, don of furs" and "odour sniff"

³ No it doesn't. But it does talk to me and interact with me in ways I didn't know cars could do! I feel like I'm in the future!

4 What? No. Now I'm just making up lies.

srah | 1:25 PM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

November 29, 2010

Je m'appelle Claude. Je te ploo plee.

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 29: What would your Animagus form be?

It's never established as absolute, but it seems like Patronuses and Animagi are usually the same animal. So... probably a fox again.


Anyway, I saw Deathly Hallows, Part 1 again this weekend, so here are some further thoughts to fill up more space:

  • I can't believe I didn't mention it the first time I saw the movie, but it was really exciting to me that we actually got to see Neville in Part 1, since I spent the entire book whining about how we didn't get to see the protagonist of the Harry Potter series until page 570.
  • I love it when Fleur-Harry is riding a thestral with Bill in the Seven Potters scene and she hugs him tightly and presses her cheek against his back. One of my favorite TV tropes is people swapping bodies and actors having to portray each other's mannerisms¹. Sometimes I forget that Polyjuice doesn't actually exist, and that is in fact Daniel Radcliffe snuggling up to Domhnall Gleeson, not Fleur-in-disguise².
  • Speaking of Domhnall Gleeson, doesn't anyone in the Harry Potter universe think it's kind of strange that Bill Weasley looks a bit like Mad-Eye Moody? What was going on in the first incarnation of the Order of the Phoenix, anyway?
  • I really disliked James and Oliver Phelps in Sorcerer's Stone, but they have steadily grown on me. I love Fred and George. I hope that Part 2 will include at least a bit of the Weasley mourning and give one of the twins (I have no idea which is which) a chance to be a bit more serious for a time.
  • Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches was one of those things that was not absolutely essential to the plot so I wouldn't have been able to justify leaving it in... but I miss it. Introducing it early on in the book is so entertaining for the later interactions between Ron and Hermione.
  • I didn't notice it the first time, but since Jennie pointed it out, I also enjoyed watching Ron watch Hermione play the piano instead of trying to learn.
  • I think there is either a conspiracy underfoot or a subliminal waterfall in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1. I have now seen the movie twice, and both times, I had to get up to use the bathroom right around the time Harry and Hermione go to Godric's Hollow. I can't remember the last time I had to leave a movie theatre during the film, and now I've done it twice! Eventually, I would like to see that scene in its entirety.
  • In the scene after Ron leaves, but before Harry and Hermione go to Godric's Hollow, they're camping out near some kind of cliff on ground with a really weird, unearthly surface. Where the heck is that? The only British cliffs I know by name are the White Cliffs of Dover, but as far as I can tell from pictures, they don't have that weird surface.
  • The Harry/Hermione locket-fueled dream makeout scene was even grosser this time, but the Harry/Hermione dancing scene was cuter, since I knew that it was not going to result in makeouts.
  • I thought it was very moving in the book when Ron and Hermione were calling out for each other in Malfoy Manor. I'm not sure why they took that out, except that maybe it's one of those things that sounds better on paper than on film.
  • This scene hasn't actually happened yet, but I thought of it when Harry was speaking Parseltongue in Part 1: It seems so silly that Ron should be able to "fake" speaking Parseltongue by just mimicking the sounds that Harry makes, and yet have this fake-Parseltongue actually work. I feel like this is analogous to someone actually being able to carry on a conversation with Joey Tribbiani in French or with Bert Limbec in Spanish. You're just making noises that sort of sound like that language!

¹ Red Dwarf was great at having people swap bodies or have huge personality changes or meet parallel universe versions of themselves and I think that made it a lot of fun to watch, to see how the actors handled the changing portrayals.

² I was, however, very aware that David O'Hara was playing Harry-within-Albert-Runcorn, and I still don't quite understand why his portrayal of this character consisted of walking around like he had pooped his pants. Was that how he mimics Daniel Radcliffe's natural walk? It was very strange.

srah | 12:28 PM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, harry potter and the deathly hallows, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

November 28, 2010

Call me - hic - Winky!

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 28: Favorite magical treats

I would like to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter mainly to taste all the wizarding treats that I've only been able to imagine. And I would most like to taste the butterbeer!

Hermione may also be a house-elf.
My friend Molly had a housewarming party that coincided with the opening weekend of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1. We are both big Harry Potter fans, so I made pumpkin pasties and brought Witches' Brew and the makings of homemade butterbeer. The butterbeer recipe I found online used cream soda and a butterscotch flavor. It mentioned that the recommended butterscotch schnapps is actually less alcoholic than butterscotch extract, so I used that. I topped my butterbeer with a healthy¹ spray of whipped cream. Once I finished my first butterbeer, the foam from the cream soda and the whipped cream had made a thick head that was left over in the cup, so I poured myself another one to try to mix that creamy stuff in. After the second one, the creamy leftover stuff had only increased, so somehow a third one seemed necessary. And so on and so on.

According to Harry Potter canon, it would seem that only house-elves can get drunk on butterbeer. Guess that makes me a house-elf!

¹ Not healthy.

srah | 10:41 PM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

Tell 'em Harry S Turkey sent you!

Happy Emily Elisabeth Day to Emily Elisabeth, purveyor of presidential lore and much much more! Go on over and wish her a happy birthday! Thus far, I have celebrated Emily Elisabeth Day by giving my sister a President Ford bumper sticker and by starting one of the few Sarah Vowell books I haven't read yet (Sarah Vowell, since I discovered her second, reminds me of EE instead of the other way around). Celebrate as best ye can with the hours that remain!

srah | 9:19 AM
Tags: holidays, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, presidents, save november

It smelled like turpentine, it looked like Indian ink

Happy belated Pins and Needles Day! (Whatever that means.)

I didn't know, before I looked up that video, that these songs are also by the same band:

The Searchers should not be confused with The Seekers:

The 60s were a bewildering time for those of us who learned about them after the fact, through oldies radio.

srah | 8:45 AM
Tags: holidays, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, save november

November 27, 2010

In which Harry Potter's Wheezy finds him

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 27: Top 3 favorite chapters

It is hard to limit myself to just three.

  1. Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33 - The Prince's Tale
    In which all is revealed about Snape
  2. Deathly Hallows, Chapter 19 - The Silver Doe
    In which Ron returns to Harry and Hermione, saves Harry and destroys Slytherin's locket
  3. Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 23 - Christmas on the Closed Ward
    In which we meet the Longbottoms (I would have forgotten about this one until I had to come up with a favorite missing scene!)

srah | 7:37 AM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, harry potter and the deathly hallows, harry potter and the order of the phoenix, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

November 26, 2010

Something from the trolley?

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 26: What magical job would you want after Hogwarts?

Cakes are on my mind, and I made pumpkin pasties and butterbeer last week so I've already made my entrée into the wizarding baking world. Someone has to invent and bake those treacle tarts and pumpkin pasties and cauldron cakes¹, and why shouldn't it be me? I will be some kind of magical bakery impresario. I'm sure that there's some way I could magick up these delights once I've invented them, so I don't have to get sore feet from standing around mixing and baking things. I will sit in a cushy chair, think up ideas, wave my wand around, and the products will bake themselves. Then my staff and I will sell them on the Hogwarts Express food trolley and in our retail locations in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. Come and eat of our wares!

¹We at Srah's Wizarding Treats take no responsibility for Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans.

srah | 9:04 AM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy

Happy National Cake Day! I baked my first cake around 1990-91, then there was a long gap. I don't remember baking another cake until 2004 or so. In the last couple of years, I have developed an interest in cake experimentation, especially when experimentation involves combining booze and cakes. Here are some of the cakes I have baked in the past:

I built you a cake Super Bowl cupcakes I made Margarita cake Butterscotch Father's Day cake Oh Cake Castle-shaped margarita cake The cake I made for the work party Raspberry-Almond Cake Cupcake close-up Peppermint Icebox Cake

Recipes available upon request, if I can remember how I made them.

srah | 8:58 AM
Tags: baking, holidays, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, save november

November 25, 2010

'But as they left, Harry was sure he saw Neville slip the sweet wrapper into his pocket.'

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 25: Was there a scene in the books that wasn't in the movies, but you wish it was?

Gilderoy Lockhart
I wish we'd had an opportunity in the Order of the Phoenix film to see St. Mungo's, meet the Longbottoms and re-meet Gilderoy Lockhart.  

Alice & Frank Longbottom
I love to see the wizarding versions of things like government buildings, pubs and bookstores, so why not a hospital? The scene is not essential to the plot of Order of the Phoenix, but it is pretty darn essential to the character development of Neville Longbottom, protagonist of the Harry Potter series.

srah | 5:37 PM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, harry potter and the order of the phoenix, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, neville longbottom

Custard, good. Jam, good. Meat, good!

It's Parfait Day and a trifle has layers, sort of like a parfait, and also Thanksgiving Day is a great day for being lazy. So instead of a blog post, here is a link to the episode of Friends with the trifle.

srah | 5:09 PM
Tags: friends, holidays, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, save november

November 24, 2010

It's funny because Dumbledore appears to be saying 'poo'.

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 24: Favorite HP related GIF/photo/fanvid

I may have gotten a little carried away there.

srah | 5:12 PM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, 30 rock, a very potter musical, a very potter sequel, arrested development, blackadder, freaks and geeks, harry potter, how i met your mother, mad men, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, the it crowd, the mighty boosh, the office, the simpsons, wall-e

I hate you, Nermal! Almost as much as I hate Mondays!

Happy Zachary Taylor Day! Everything I know about Zachary Taylor I learned from a coloring book I had as a child, so allow me to inform you that the most important fact of his presidency is that his horse used to graze on the White House lawn. You're welcome! For more information on Zachary Taylor, and a number of other subjects, I'll let Tracy Jordan take over:

srah | 7:58 AM
Tags: 30 rock, holidays, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, save november

November 23, 2010

Either I'm off my nut, or he is... Or you are!

Happy National Cashew Day! I don't think I've ever cooked or baked with cashews, but if nutshealth.com¹ is to be believed (and why wouldn't you trust, anyway), they are less expensive than some other types of nuts. Last year for Christmas I made spiced pecans, which I'm sure you could also do with cashews, if you so desired. This year I'm going to try to marry the spices from that recipe with the possibly-healthier (or at least more-potentially-salmonellaey) binding agent from this one, using egg white instead of oil. But it will still be with pecans (or maybe almonds!) because I want to use Top Shelf nuts for my holiday treats. None of these cheap cashews for my friends and family.

Holiday nut experimentation! So... my life is pretty exciting.

¹ I haven't explored the website because I have decided Nuts' Health is the nut equivalent of Men's Health Magazine, and I want to maintain the illusion.

srah | 5:15 PM
Tags: cooking, holidays, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, save november

You ask me 'bout this thing we share/ And he tenderly replies/ It's Guy Love/ Between two guys

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 23: Favorite friendship

First, a little mood music:

Here's how their first meeting went:

Or, if you prefer:

srah | 12:04 PM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, ron weasley

November 22, 2010

We're a congress, Mr. Adams, not a literary society.

This is the last book giveaway for the month of November!

Today is Stop the Violence Day, so today I'm giving away a novel about the motivation, action and aftermath that surround a violent act: Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. Jodi Picoult is a great storyteller and looks at controversial topics from a lot of different viewpoints, showing how many of the things we argue and worry about most are usually not black-and-white but shades of grey.

Here's the description of this book from

Best known for tackling controversial issues through richly told fictional accounts, Jodi Picoult's 14th novel, Nineteen Minutes, deals with the truth and consequences of a smalltown high-school shooting. Set in Sterling, New Hampshire, Picoult offers reads a glimpse of what would cause a 17-year-old to wake up one day, load his backpack with four guns, and kill nine students and one teacher in the span of nineteen minutes. As with any Picoult novel, the answers are never black and white, and it is her exceptional ability to blur the lines between right and wrong that make this author such a captivating storyteller.

On Peter Houghton's first day of kindergarten, he watched helplessly as an older boy ripped his lunch box out of his hands and threw it out the window. From that day on, his life was a series of humiliations, from having his pants pulled down in the cafeteria, to being called a freak at every turn. But can endless bullying justify murder? As Picoult attempts to answer this question, she shows us all sides of the equation, from the ruthless jock who loses his ability to speak after being shot in the head, to the mother who both blames and pities herself for producing what most would call a monster. Surrounding Peter's story is that of Josie Cormier, a former friend whose acceptance into the popular crowd hangs on a string that makes it impossible for her to reconcile her beliefs with her actions.

At times, Nineteen Minutes can seem tediously stereotypical-- jocks versus nerds, parent versus child, teacher versus student. Part of Picoult's gift is showing us the subtleties of these common dynamics, and the startling effects they often have on the moral landscape. As Peter's mother says at the end of this spellbinding novel, "Everyone would remember Peter for nineteen minutes of his life, but what about the other nine million?" --Gisele Toueg

Jodi Picoult lives in New Hampshire and almost all of her books take place in that state or neighboring Vermont. So to win this book, please comment below with a fact about New Hampshire or Vermont by November 30.

Other things you can enter to win:

srah | 11:05 AM
Tags: books, holidays, jodi picoult, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, nablopomo 2010 giveaways, save november

Floo powder power! Floo powder power! Floo powder power!

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 22: Favorite mode of transportation (apparition, broomstick, floo powder, etc.)

The Hogwarts Express is probably my favorite mode of magical transportation, although there's nothing about it (that I can think of) that makes it particularly magical. It's also a form of transportation that seems to only run between King's Cross and Hogsmeade¹, so it's unusual in that respect. In terms of everyday transportation, I would pick Apparition. In thinking about my answer to this question I ruled it out at first, because it's a little scary and potentially dangerous. On the other hand, when I was a 15-year-old Muggle learning to drive, that seemed scary and potentially dangerous as well. With enough learning and practice, driving is no longer scary and is instead practical, so I'm guessing that Apparition could be the same. It would be so awesome to get places quickly without having to establish Portkeys or find a Floo-enabled fireplace. If I could Apparate and do summoning charms, I think my life would be totally awesome (and totally lazy).

¹ It's not really covered in the books, but I imagine there must be young witches and wizards who don't take the Hogwarts Express, and get to Hogsmeade in some other way to meet up with those coming on the train. It would be bizarre if Scottish wizards and witches had to get down to King's Cross in order to take the train back to Scotland. That said, with Portkeys and Floo Powder and all that, it wouldn't take a long time if they had to do so.

srah | 6:51 AM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

November 21, 2010

World Hello Day

hello world!
hello world!

hello world!

hello world!
hello world!
hello world!

hello world!

¡pןɹoʍ oןןǝɥ

(This may take a moment to load.)

srah | 11:38 AM
Tags: holidays, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, save november

I wasn't interesting. And he was. Interesting... and brilliant... and mysterious... and perfect... and beautiful... and possibly able to lift full-sized vans with one hand

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 21: Which actor would you most like to meet?

I'd love to meet The Grint¹, Ian Hart, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Dawn French, John Cleese, Evanna Lynch, Sean Biggerstaff², David Tennant, Robert Hardy, David O'Hara, Bill Nighy³ or David Thewlis4. But if I could choose only one Harry Potter actor to meet, it would be... and don't judge me on this... because it's not for the reason you'd think... Robert Pattinson.

I would like to meet Robert Pattinson because I feel like there's always been a twinkle in his sparkly vampire eye, like he thinks the Twilight series is as huge a load of garbage as I do. I like to think that he is laughing his way to the bank, rather than actually enjoying that drivel. If I can confirm that this is true, I can go back to thinking of him, positively, as Cedric Diggory.

¹ (30/2)+7=22

² That's what she said.

³ And Bill Nye.

4 This is how I envision a meeting with David Thewlis going: "HEY! HEY I LIKE YOUR MOUSTACHE! I LIKED YOUR MOUSTACHE WHEN YOU WERE A WEREWOLF! Okay, I have nothing to say."

srah | 10:57 AM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

November 20, 2010

To offer you the sort of help/ You never get from a spouse

Today's book giveaway is the 1985 dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale. description:

Respected Canadian poet and novelist Atwood presents here a fable of the near future. In the Republic of Gilead, formerly the United States, far-right Schlafly/Falwell-type ideals have been carried to extremes in the monotheocratic government. The resulting society is a feminist's nightmare: women are strictly controlled, unable to have jobs or money and assigned to various classes: the chaste, childless Wives; the housekeeping Marthas; and the reproductive Handmaids, who turn their offspring over to the "morally fit" Wives. The tale is told by Offred (read: "of Fred"), a Handmaid who recalls the past and tells how the chilling society came to be.

What I was doing at 6pm todayGoodreads description:

It is the world of the near future, and Offred is a Handmaid in the home of the Commander and his wife. She is allowed out once a day to the food market, she is not permitted to read, and she is hoping the Commander makes her pregnant, because she is only valued if her ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she was an independent woman, had a job of her own, a husband and child. But all of that is gone now...everything has changed.

The ALA has ranked The Handmaid's Tale #37 on their list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books: 1990-1999. To enter to win this book, comment below and tell me some of your favorite banned/challenged books.

Other things you can enter to win:

srah | 10:20 AM
Tags: books, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, nablopomo 2010 giveaways

I am nothing if not predictable

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 20: What would you change in the epilogue?

In the epilogue and all the post-Deathly Hallows interviews J.K. Rowling has done, the thing I would change is: More showing, less telling. Don't just tell me what happened to the characters, show me. I don't want you to tell me that Dumbledore was in love with Grindelwald in a post-series interview after you had the opportunity to show it in the book and didn't bother to put it in.

This is the best moustache that my Photoshop skills could give you.
And I want more epilogue, or none at all. I want nineteen more Harry Potter books to cover the intervening years, which will also show rather than tell me the story of how Neville Longbottom and Hannah Abbot came to fall in love and show me who the heck Rolf Scamander is. The epilogue was fine, but I would have liked it more if it was a whole book. Whyyyyyyyyyy do you introduce me to Rose, Hugo, James, Lily, Albus and Scorpius only to take them away again? Why do we know that they exist but don't know who they are?

Wait, on second thought, forget all that. The answer to your question is: Ron should have had a moustache.

srah | 9:23 AM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, harry potter and the deathly hallows, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

November 19, 2010

There are SO MANY WORDS to choose from!

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 19: Favorite quote

"Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike."
- Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

srah | 6:51 AM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, harry potter and the order of the phoenix, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

November 18, 2010

He's like a real-life Robin Sparkles

He looks like a Real Grownup Actor here, more Van Johnson than Van Wilder
Congratulations on being People Magazine's Sexiest Man of the Year, Ryan Reynolds! According to Yahoo! News, his reaction to this great honor is:
"Now it's going to be, 'Sexiest man, take out the garbage.' That does sound better," Reynolds said. "The most difficult part is going to be organically working this title into a conversation with random strangers."

I am a bit conflicted about his new movie Buried, because while I like the idea of a movie with nothing to look at but Ryan Reynolds, I also worry a little about a drama where the only actor carrying the entire film is the guy who has played Guy Who Is Too Old To Be Doing Whatever He's Still Doing But Refuses to Grow Up in almost everything else he's been in. I mean... not that I doubt you and your dramatic acting abilities, Ryan! You, um, you... well, I'm sure you'll do fine, and if not, you'll at least look pretty doing it. Roger Ebert liked it, so that's probably good enough for me.

Anyway, just remember, Sexiest Man, that whatever else you do, you will always be Macro from The Odyssey to me.

srah | 6:34 PM
Tags: nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, ryan reynolds

Who has two thumbs and already saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?

Last night, Jason's boss at the drive-in movie theater unexpectedly announced that they were doing an private showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 for employees and their friends. So Jason, Tyler and I bundled up in our blankets and Snuggies and went off to see the movie a day early.

I'm sure that some of you don't want to be spoiled, so I'll put the rest behind the jump. Read if you dare!

srah | 5:11 PM
Tags: harry potter, harry potter and the deathly hallows, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

It's hard to identify other things I love by their smells

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 18: What would your love potion smell like?

Amortentia "has a different aroma for everyone who smells it, reminding each person of the things that they find most attractive."

So my potion would smell like cilantro and nothing but cilantro, because I hate everything on earth that isn't cilantro. Gingerbread, new babies, new cars, happiness: I hate them all. Cilantro + me = 4EVA. All you cilantro-haters will have to deal with the fact that you think my love potion smells like soap!

srah | 7:03 AM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, cilantro, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

November 17, 2010

Kill the spare!

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 17: Death that hurt/shocked the most

The death of Cedric Diggory was unexpected and shocking, not just because it was the first major death of the books but also because Cedric was a classmate of Harry's. For all that he was an adult in the wizarding world, he was still only seventeen and a student. Authors, especially authors of children's books, usually keep child characters safe, so the fact that he was killed is pretty shocking. And the way it's presented doesn't sugarcoat it - it's pretty blunt and final.

Oh Cedric, how we miss your pre-sparkling days
From high above his head, he heard a high, cold voice say, "Kill the spare." A swishing noise and a second voice, which screeched the words to the night: "Avada Kedavra!" A blast of green light blazed through Harry's eyelids, and he heard something heavy fall to ground beside him. Cedric was lying spread-eagled on the ground beside him. He was dead.

Goblet of Fire was the first Harry Potter book that I bought on Opening Night, and I devoted the entire weekend to reading it, building a set of rituals (mostly related to staying up late and eating snacks) that would continue through the release of all the later Harry Potter books. I remember eating pickles, reading and crying at 3am when the Harry Potter books took a sudden turn for the darker, the innocence was lost and I didn't want to go to sleep.

Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory.

srah | 5:14 PM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, cedric diggory, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

'I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.'

Happy National Young Reader's Day!

Today's book giveaway is I Capture the Castle, a book that is characterized as a young adult book, but which I didn't read until this summer. The description, according to Amazon:

I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle"-- and the heart of the reader-- in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments.

There's also a movie version:

If you'd like to win a copy of the book I Capture the Castle, just comment below before the end of the month and tell me a fun fact about castles (or a specific castle).

And while you're at it, you can visit the other giveaway pages to enter to win a copy of Jane Austen's Sanditon or The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.

srah | 7:16 AM
Tags: books, holidays, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, nablopomo 2010 giveaways, save november

November 16, 2010

I am Ravenclaw with Hufflepuff leanings. Is that a thing?

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 16: House you would want to be in

Maybe it's because I've always identified with the house, but I feel like Ravenclaw is the house that has been most poorly treated by Warner Brothers¹. For some reason they changed the house colors from blue and bronze to blue and silver and the house animal from an eagle to a raven. If you want a scarf for any other house, you can just buy it from the Warner Brothers store, but if you want a real, authentic Ravenclaw scarf then you have to have a sister with mad crocheting skillz.

¹ Although the scarlet of Gryffindor looks pretty purple on my screen.

srah | 12:28 PM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, ravenclaw

No, not on clothes...

Happy Button Day! I will celebrate it by listening to Roy say "button."

srah | 12:05 PM
Tags: holidays, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, save november, the it crowd

If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 15: Top 3 least favorite characters

I don't want to pick the obvious characters who are mean and evil because I think a lot of them are quite good at being mean and evil. The characters I dislike more are those that I think I'm meant to like and do not. The best (and highly controversial) list I've come up with:

  1. The movie version of Seamus Finnigan (why is he always exploding?)
  2. Dobby (he has good intentions, but why must he accomplish them in the worst way possible?)
  3. Sirius Black (irresponsible, immature, says one thing and does another)

Now get to eviscerating me in the comments!

srah | 7:16 AM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

November 15, 2010

I admit I have not been recycling/ In fact, I've been openly encouraging people to be wasteful

Happy America Recycles Day! And hooray for recycling! Recycling is great, but unfortunately, a lot of people don't think about the other parts of the waste hierarchy (I would also add Research and Reflect to this list).

I just attended a session about "green" issues in the workplace at my conference, so I'm a little pumped up about the subject.

Research & Reflect

How are you using things in your everyday life? Are there ways that you could be creating less waste? What are some ways that you could easily cut down on waste? Which ways would be harder? What are you willing to change in order to cut down on waste? Where's the line that you draw? Have you looked into whether products that call themselves "green" actually any greener than their competitors? Going green doesn't have to be a huge decision - there may be a number of little things in your life that it won't bother you too much to change.


What can you do to create less waste? It might mean carrying around a reusable water bottle, or refusing to "let" yourself forget your reusable grocery bags or just refusing free stuff.

I've noticed that a lot of the tchotchkes¹ you can get at conferences or for participating in activities have more of a green slant, but the result of that is that I now have WAY more reusable drinking containers and reusable grocery bags and free t-shirts than I need or will ever use. So while it's nice that they're giving out "greener" tchotchkes, it's not a good thing if they're going to end up in a landfill. A lot of people don't think of this as a big environmental decision, but you can say no to free food and free t-shirts, and that may mean that one fewer of those objects will be produced. Or, depending on the food or object, you might be able to find a place where you can donate it so that it can be reused.

I've noticed that even if environmental impact is not your main concern, there might be other issues that are close to your heart and certain actions you can take might have a two-fer effect. If you're interested in exercise, eating better, saving money, reducing dependence on foreign products or creating jobs, maybe there's a way that "going green" can tie into your other issues.


One little thing that I did at work was that I got tired of never having the right plastic flatware around for the food I wanted to eat, and being the one who always bought new plastic flatware for the office. I would wash the forks, knives and spoons so that I could reuse them, but not everyone did that, so our supplies dwindled over time. In what was as much an economic decision as an environmental one, I went to Target and found the cheapest set of reusable flatware on clearance². A few pieces have gone missing over the years, but we still have a decent set and other odds-and-ends pieces have been added. Since then, many staff members have brought their own reusable glasses and a set of reusable plates, which are all handy for lunches and for celebrations.


Many products nowadays are created so that it's more cost-effective to replace them than to repair them. Computers, for example, tend to last about 3-5 years before they're obsolete. At that point, you dispose of a big hunk of plastic and metals and battery acid and whoknowswhatelse and then you buy a new one. Wouldn't it make more sense if you could keep the computer itself and just swap in/out new parts? Unless you or a friend knows how to do this, probably not. People are much more likely to just replace the unit rather than having it repaired.

Another thing that ties into repair is choosing items based on the life they're going to have, and not settling for products that are going to have to be replaced quickly/regularly. It would be great if there were some kind of mandate out there that when your computer had reached the end of its lifecycle, you sent it back to Dell and they had to deal with recycling/reusing the parts. Same with refrigerators or cell phones or irons or trendy fashions. Here, Forever 21, you dispose of this cheaply-made sweater now that I'm done with it! It would be nice if these companies had some kind of incentive to make products that would last longer, or use reusable parts.


Recycling is good. Keep doing it! How far are you willing to walk with a plastic bottle if the garbage can is closer? I was raised in Michigan, where we have 10¢ bottle/can deposits, so I think my tolerance for carrying recyclables around might be higher than the average.


Sometimes there is no other option than throwing things away, but you also want to think about how you're disposing of things. Batteries, paint and light bulbs might all have chemicals in them that shouldn't be put in a landfill and all have special methods of disposal.

In Conclusion

No one is going to be perfect and there may be environmental solutions out there that aren't a good fit for your budget or your lifestyle. I have a 5-minute drive to work every day that I could very easily walk if I got up a little earlier, but I really want my sleep. Instead I try to find other things to change to make up for it. What's important is that we all band together to make all those little changes so that we can make up for all the damage Will Forte is doing:

What are you doing to combat the forces of Will Forte?

¹ My spellchecker does not like the word tchotchkes, but its only suggestions for alternatives are "latchkeys", "hopscotches", "crotchless" and "hotcakes."

² It would have been even more re-usey if I had just gone to the thrift store and bought odds-and-ends pieces from incomplete sets, but I didn't think of that at the time!

srah | 7:09 PM
Tags: environment, holidays, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, save november

November 14, 2010

You called?

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 14: Favorite spell

I would like to be a witch, because I think that my innate laziness would be infinitely helped by access to summoning charms. Accio TV remote!, I would shout if it was a little out of reach (if I owned a fellyvision or even knew what one was). Accio keys!, I would shout when I wanted them and couldn't find them. Accio blanket!, I would shout if I were a little bit chilly. Accio salmon!, I would shout if my personality were drastically changed and I suddenly developed an interest in fishing. Or maybe that last one wouldn't necessarily require a personality change. "Oh, you're saying we're going to stay out here in The Outdoors until we catch something? Well then heeeeeeeeeere fishy fishy fishy!"

srah | 8:12 PM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

November 13, 2010

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

It's time for another giveaway!

If you're not familiar with Sanditon, it's one of Jane Austen's unfinished works. When she abandoned the work in 1817 (months before her death) it consisted of the first eleven chapters, which have been picked up and completed by several authors over the years. This version, published in 1975, is attributed to Jane Austen "and another lady" (it has also been attributed to Marie Dobbs and Anne Telscombe, one or both of which may be pseudonyms for the actual author). Here's the premise of the book:

When Charlotte Heywood accepts an invitation to visit the newly fashionable resort of Sanditon, she is introduced to a full range of polite society, from the local reigning dowager Lady Denham and her impoverished ward Clara, to the handsome, feckless Sidney Parker and his amusing, if hypochondriacal, sisters. A heroine whose clearsighted common sense is often at war with romance, Charlotte cannot help observing around her both folly and passion in many guises. But can the levelheaded Charlotte herself resist the attractions of the heart?

If you'd like to win this book, just comment below using a valid email address and tell me a fun fact about England or Jane Austen herself, or tell me what your favorite Jane Austen novel is. You can enter any time between now and the end of the month. If you're selected at random as the winner, I'll contact you to get your mailing address. Don't forget, you can still enter my other book giveaway!

srah | 10:40 PM
Tags: jane austen, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, nablopomo 2010 giveaways

Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur. Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr, purr, purr.

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 13: What pet would you want to have? (owl, cat, rat or toad)

I don't think of an owl as a pet, but as more of as a service animal. It's not an animal that sticks with you (Hedwig always seems to be in the Owlery during the school year and in cages or out delivering during the summer) and it's certainly not very cuddly or loving. I don't think of Hedwig and Harry's relationship as a pet/owner relationship, but more like an employer/employee relationship with occasional biting. It also seems like there are some school owls available at Hogwarts and families have their own owls at home, so you could still send letters even if you didn't have an owl of your own.

Toads and rats are also not very cuddly or adorable, so the winner is a kitty! If your kitty is part Kneazle, it can also help to protect you, because Kneazles (which are commonly interbred with cats) have an "uncanny ability to detect suspicious and distrustful people". Finally (and perhaps most importantly) a kitty is also the best pet for making YouTube videos magical moving pictures:

What other reason could we need?

srah | 6:30 PM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, pets

Cute doctors: doctors who are cute

There have been rumors this week that George Clooney was spotted around town, scouting a location for an upcoming movie. None of these rumors seem to include any reports of anyone actually talking to this supposed George Clooney, though, so the cynical part of me thinks that it was probably just a guy who looked kind of like George, or maybe a well-groomed Bigfoot.

It would not be totally unheard of for a movie to be filmed here, and if it turned out to be true, it would be the most exciting celebrity sighting since I did or did not see Kal Penn at Kroger¹.

I don't know anything about this supposed movie that supposed George Clooney is supposedly making in town, so I am just going to jump to conclusions and decide that he is representing Hollywood in acting on my Twitter demands:


srah | 8:07 AM
Tags: movies, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, srahtown

November 12, 2010

The truth is, in the end, I'm pretty useless without friends

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 12: Who would you want to be friends with at Hogwarts?

Who wouldn't I want to be friends with?

Well, I would not have any Slytherin friends. I don't object to Slytherins on principle, but the few Slytherins we meet in the books are not particularly nice people. I wouldn't rule it out, if it turned out that Daphne Greengrass or Tracey Davis were nice once you got to know them.

Go Ravenclaw!

My first choices, if I get to pick my Hogwarts friends, would be Neville and Hermione. I think Harry and Ron would probably come with the territory but we wouldn't be close. I also don't think I'd be close to Luna. We'd be in the same house and the same group of friends, but would rarely interact one-on-one. I'd probably be on good terms or even close friends with other Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs like Padma Patil, Hannah Abbot and Susan Bones. I would avoid Justin Finch-Fletchley.

I think I would probably roll my eyes a lot at Lavender and Parvati and all the girls squealing over Cedric Diggory (and Gilderoy Lockhart for that matter). I would probably have a crush on Fred and/or George and/or Lee Jordan, especially if I was in Harry's year and they were Older Men.

srah | 10:22 PM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

Ex-boyfriends are off-limits to friends. I mean, that's just, like, the rules of feminism.

For those of you who would like to celebrate Elizabeth Cady Stanton Day in a different way... here's some macros related to a movie with a character named Cady. I have always assumed it was a reference to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, because otherwise... why name the character that?

One of the following is a special dedication for Alfie, but only she can guess which!

What are your favorite Mean Girls quotes/macros?

srah | 9:45 PM
Tags: holidays, mean girls, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, save november

Take heart, for Mrs. Pankhurst has been clapped in irons again

Happy Elizabeth Cady Stanton Day! There don't seem to be any movies about Elizabeth Cady Stanton, so instead I will share with you a movie I watched recently about the later generations of suffragists who picked up where she left off.

(I don't think this is actually a very good trailer, in that it doesn't tell you a lot about what the movie is about or how moving it is. You may want to watch this section of the film as well.)

If you have an opportunity to watch this, I recommend you do so!

srah | 9:25 PM
Tags: holidays, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, save november

Three dimes, a hundred dollar bill and 87 ones

Dear srah-of-six-years-ago:

You wondered, while right in the thick of graduate school:

Grownups, will there ever be a day when I can read again? Does Real Life include the joy of reading for fun?

Yes, srah-of-six-years-ago, being a grownup means that there is finally time to read for fun, and to finally read fiction again. And this, more than anything else¹ is the thing that prevents you from wanting to go back to school and get a PhD.

¹ With the possible exception of having not yet stumbled upon a topic you'd like to spend several years of your life researching and writing about. And regular paychecks. And not feeling guilty when you're not studying and you feel like you're supposed to be. And... everything.

srah | 6:51 PM
Tags: books, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

Oooh, that was a particularly juicy one!

This sketch will not get out of my head today.

srah | 5:53 PM
Tags: nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, saturday night live, video

November 11, 2010

What say you, Draco? Will you babysit the cubs?

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 11: Favorite professor

I feel like I have said enough about Remus Lupin('s moustache) already this month, so here's a damn video for you little bastards.

srah | 10:03 PM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010


I dreamt last night that I was in this giant furniture store that spanned acres and acres, with a river and trees and plants right inside the store. I met some of my fellow shoppers and then all of a sudden we were in an ensemble romantic comedy (à la Love Actually) with hilarious misunderstandings and estrangements and reunions. And I, as the spunky best friend, hooked my do-gooder volunteersy friend up with Kyle MacLachlan, who had just been to Ghana with Semester at Sea and was obsessed with that country. Then they set off to go build houses in Ghana together or something.

srah | 12:05 PM
Tags: dream, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

November 10, 2010

Lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals and fruit bats

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 10: Favorite magical creature

To prepare for today's question, I finally sat down and read all 42 pages of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which I've had sitting around for months did extensive research on the topic.

Now I'm armed with knowledge of all kinds of Fantastic Beasts, both those that appeared in the Harry Potter series and those that make their only appearance in this guide to magical fauna. So I've picked one of each:

    He is, of course, in pyjamas


    Ministry of Magic Classification: XX (Harmless/may be domesticated)

    The ghoul, though ugly, is not a particularly dangerous creature. It resembles a somewhat slimy, buck-toothed ogre, and generally resides in attics or barns belonging to wizards, where it eats spiders and moths. It moans and occasionally throws objects around, but is essentially simple-minded and will, at worst, growl alarmingly at anyone who stumbles across it. A Ghoul Task Force exists at the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures to remove ghouls from dwellings that have passed into Muggle hands, but in wizarding families the ghoul often becomes a talking point or even a family pet.

    This is the only picture of a Jarvey I could find. The artist appears to have also illustrated many of the other Fantastic Beasts


    Ministry of Magic Classification: XXX (Competent wizard should cope)

    The Jarvey is found in Britain, Ireland and North America. It resembles and overgrown ferret in most respects, except for the fact that it can talk. True conversation, however, is beyond the wit of the Jarvey, which tends to confine itself to short (and often rude) phrases in an almost constant stream. Jarveys live mostly below ground, where they pursue gnomes, though they will also eat moles, rats and voles.

srah | 9:20 PM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

November 9, 2010

We have nothing to fear but fear itself and also this one other freaky deaky thing

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 9: What would your Boggart be?

I just got back from a conference in Indianapolis. This conference always happens in November, and it's always a challenge to work NaBloPoMo duties in around sessions and receptions and dinners and all the activity that conference-going infuses into my humdrum life. So yesterday morning, when I was writing my day 8 post before going to my first session, I thought, "I should read the day 9 question now, and start formulating my answer." So I read it yesterday morning, thought about it all day, thought about it as I fell asleep (fortunately I did not have boggart-infested dreams), then thought about it again on the drive home.

I'm afraid of a lot of things, but after all that thinking I can't decide which is the worst, and therefore which form my boggart would take. So instead I've decided to reframe this question as, Which character's boggart would be closest to your own? I suppose if I were to steal another book character's boggart, it would probably be Molly Weasley's, because some of the worst nightmares I've ever had were about my family members dying. But if the movies are included, my boggart would probably be whatever the hell that is that Parvati's boggart turns into. That is the ridiculous one? It is way scarier than the snake.

srah | 9:51 PM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, fear, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

I really do have better things I could be doing...

Triceratops and her human scale companion, Bust of Thomas Jefferson, Tiny Princess Leia, Squirting Emperor Palpatine and R2-D2 would like to wish you a happy Parade Day!

srah | 9:15 PM
Tags: holidays, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, save november

The telling of a story, like virtually everything in this life, was always made all the easier by a cup of tea.

According to Emily Elisabeth's master list, November 1 was National Author's Day and National Family Literacy Day, November 6 was Book Lover's Day and November 17 will be National Young Reader's Day. According to an email I got from Better World Books, November 8 was also National Bookstore Day. So I guess November is trying to tell me something, and that something has to do with books. I have decided therefore that I will hold a couple of used book giveaways on this here blog (idea shamelessly ripped from EE¹). I have several books to give away but I'll try to spread them out throughout the rest of the month.

So come and get a free book, everyone!

Today's book will be one of my favorites, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, which I always seem to have an extra copy of because I cannot stop buying it over and over. Several times I have bought a copy at the Friends of the Library's monthly used book sale because I felt sorry for it, so lonely and unbought. Then I get home and say to myself, "I already have several copies of this. Why did I buy this?" and donate it back to the sale. Then I go to the next month's sale and go, "Oh, but it's so lonely!" I am stupid, but at least my stupidity results in some profits for the Friends of the Library.

If you would like to break the cycle and get a free copy of this book, please leave a comment below and share a fun fact about Botswana, where the book takes place. It's fine if you don't know anything about Botswana yet - you can just do some research and tell me something you learned that you thought was interesting. You can comment any time in the month of November, and I'll select a winner at random at the end of the month. Please be sure to leave a valid email address so I can contact the winner and get their mailing address!

¹ If you do not want to learn about detecting in Botswana and would instead like to learn about Donald T. Regan or word origins, please visit Emily Elisabeth's blog! There will be something for everyone this month, assuming that everyone likes detecting in Africa, Donald T. Regan or word origins. And why shouldn't they?

srah | 7:26 PM
Tags: books, holidays, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, nablopomo 2010 giveaways, save november, the no. 1 ladies' detective agency

November 8, 2010

What do you like me to call you when we're alone together?

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 8: Which character are you are most like?

I feel like everyone's going to say Hermione, and that was my first thought too. But then I considered it a little more and I think I'm going to go with Arthur Weasley. Why not? I've always thought I'd probably make a pretty good dad.

srah | 8:03 AM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

November 7, 2010

What, exactly, is the function of a rubber duck?

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 7: What class would you most want to take?

I always think it's interesting when the students I send abroad have an opportunity to take an American Studies class in another country. Even if it's not in a formal academic setting, one of the most valuable experiences students have abroad is the opportunity to see their home culture from an outside perspective, but it's especially interesting when they find themselves learning about America in a foreign classroom. For this reason, I think it would be interesting, as a Muggle, to take a Muggle Studies course and see the way our culture is taught in a wizarding classroom.

This is assuming, though, that I would be coming to Hogwarts from a Muggle background. I suppose as long as we're imagining things, I could be coming from a long line of wizards. I still think Muggle Studies would be interesting, because I think I might be a bit like Arthur Weasley in that respect. But on the other hand, it would be useful to learn some Defense Against the Dark Arts, especially if I had an opportunity to learn it from Lupin and his moustache and his handy supply of chocolate.

srah | 11:51 AM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

November 6, 2010

Give her hell from us, Peeves!

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 6: Favorite villain

This isn't a question I've really given much thought to, so to answer the question, first I tried to remember who all the villains are. There are probably some minor villains¹ (and perceived villains²) that I forgot, but this is what I came up with:

  1. Quirinus Quirrell
  2. Voldemort (via diary)
  3. Peter Pettigrew
  4. Barty Crouch, Jr.

  5. Hem, hem
  6. Dolores Umbridge, Voldemort and Death Eaters
  7. This is a weird one. I suppose Draco could be considered a villain, and you're led to believe that Snape is one too, but there isn't really a central villain in the way that there is in the other books.
  8. Voldemort, Death Eaters, etc.

I guess if I were going to pick my "favorite villain", it would be the one who's most useless and worst at stirring up evil, and therefore less of a threat to the characters we love. That's probably Draco Malfoy, with his half-assed attempts on Dumbledore's life in Half-Blood Prince and extensive sneering throughout the other books.

But from a literary standpoint, I'd say my favorite is probably Dolores Umbridge, because she's the kind of character you don't see much in fantasy novels and movies: the power-mad bureaucrat. It's notable that while every other villain has some connection to Lord Voldemort, she represents only herself and the Ministry of Magic. This makes her the kind of villain who could actually exist in our own universe. She has her mandate from the Ministry to watch over Hogwarts and Dumbledore, but she's sadistic because she chooses to be. I think I would probably be interested in reading a life about the early life of Dolores Umbridge if J.K. Rowling were to write one. What turns someone into an Umbridge?

¹ For example, I did not include the dungeon troll.

² All the people Harry blames for things before he stumbles onto the real villain. Like Filch and Karkaroff, for example.

srah | 12:10 PM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

November 5, 2010

Remember, remember what rises from embers

Today is Doughnut Appreciation Day, but there aren't enough doughnuts in this town to appreciate. So in honor of Guy Fawkes Day, here is a picture of a guy with Fawkes:

(Apparently you're going to get some Harry Potter even in the non-Harry Potter posts!)

srah | 10:05 PM
Tags: doughnuts, harry potter, holidays, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, save november

I find their choice of prize highly illogical, as the average Trekker has no need of a medium-size belt.

I've been doing NaBloPoMo for several years and I've never won a prize, but I've also never donated a prize. It always seemed like really crafty people were the ones who donated NaBloPoMo prizes. But this year something on the NaBloPoMo site inspired me with an idea of something I could actually do. So the prize I'm offering will be a mix CD:

and some kind of homemade treat, to be determined by me and the winner once they're selected. Cookies? Spiced nuts? A cake that will arrive a bit smushed? Only time will tell!

srah | 6:48 PM
Tags: nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

And Jane Austen novels!

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 5: Favorite pairing

I will allow the Ministry of Magic and whoever made this video to answer that for me:

While Ron and Hermione are definitely my favorite canon pairing, I think an honorable mention should go to Voldemort and Quirrell:

srah | 12:34 PM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, a very potter musical, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

November 4, 2010

We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup

Happy National Candy Day! What a great excuse to eat candy! As if I needed an excuse! I bring you, in celebration of this joyous holiday, some candy-related haiku:

On the decision-making process for choosing Halloween candy

My halloween treats:
Junior Mints and Take 5 bars
Kids, try something new!

A Take 5 bar has
Too many textures with both
Peanuts and pretzels.

Fun-sized Take 5 bars
Are better than big Take 5s
They're less peanutty.

Junior Mints? You know
Of my love
for these nuggets
Of soft gooeyness.

On trying a new seasonal treat

Caramel apple
Flavored Hershey Kisses:
I tried them tonight.

"They will be good or
They will be just terrible."
It was the latter.

Well, not terrible.
Just what you'd expect of fake
apple flavoring.

On candy canes

Four for Glen Coco!
And none for Gretchen Wieners.
You go, Glen Coco!

srah | 11:24 PM
Tags: candy, haiku, holidays, junior mints, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, save november

You can't go to Pigfarts. It's on Mars.

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 4: Top 3 favorite characters

My top 3 Harry Potter characters are:

  1. Neville Longbottom
    Neville's one of the characters I most enjoyed seeing grow and change throughout the books. He started out timid and lonely, with low self-esteem, but you could see that as he had opportunities to stand up for himself, win points for his house and find subjects that he could excel in, he gained confidence in himself throughout the series. You might not have expected that the Neville Longbottom losing his toad in Sorcerer's Stone would turn out to be the bad-ass of Deathly Hallows.

    This is what Neville Longbottom looks like now. Whaaaaaaa?
    I had this dream that, since Trelawney's prophecy could have referred to Harry or to Neville, that it would be revealed in the last book that Neville was The One who would save the world from Voldemort. Then I spent most of the time I was reading Deathly Hallows getting more and more frustrated that he wasn't in it. My hero didn't appear until page 570! In the end, though, even if he didn't single-handedly destroy Voldemort, he destroyed the next-to-last Horcrux and joined the ranks of the trio, Dumbledore, and (strangely enough) Vincent Crabbe in contributing to the destruction of Voldemort. You go, Neville!
  2. Arthur Weasley
    I love Arthur's curiosity and interest in Muggles, who are pretty looked-down-upon in the wizarding world. I know that feeling, of being a supporter of the underdogs, and it also makes me feel special that there's someone in the Harry Potter universe who is as interested in my world as I am in his.
  3. Remus Lupin
    He is a very interesting, complex character, especially when you look back at how he's grown from his Hogwarts days. Considering Sirius went a teensy bit loony being locked up in Azkaban for years, Moony turns out to be most normal and mature of the bunch. He should have been Harry's godfather, because he would have been a better influence/example/parent figure. Also, and perhaps more importantly, he makes the list because in the movies, he has the cutest moustache.

Following the example of Jennie!, I am not including the main trio, since Hermione and Ron would probably come in slightly ahead of Lupin.

As a special bonus, my favorite A Very Potter Musical/A Very Potter Sequel characters are:

  1. Draco
  2. Umbridge
  3. Lupin (there's that moustache again!)

srah | 5:36 PM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, a very potter musical, a very potter sequel, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

November 3, 2010

True love is the greatest thing, except for a nice MLT, where the mutton is nice and lean

Happy Sandwich Day, everyone!

srah | 9:02 PM
Tags: holidays, jason segel, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, ryan reynolds, save november

Dolores, I live in fear/ My love for you's so overpowering I'm afraid that I will disappear

30 Days of Harry Potter - day 3: What would your patronus be?

I established, once upon a time, if I lived in the universe of His Dark Materials I would want my dæmon to be a fox. So I suppose if I lived in the Harry Potter universe, I would choose the same animal for my Patronus.

Red Fox Pup(s) Morro Bay, CA 28 May 2008

I share a Patronus with Seamus Finnigan (but I don't think that says much about shared personality traits, because Dolores Umbridge and Minerva McGonagall both have cats). I think our Patronus could hold its own in a fight; foxes are pretty feisty with a lot of sharp bits. Which leads me to another opportunity to quote myself:

Here is my problem with Patronuses: What the hell is an otter going to do in a fight? (Don't even get me started on Cho's swan.) Harry's stag is always running at Dementors and tossing them around with its antlers. Is Hermione's going to roll over on its back and distract the Dementors with cuteness as it tries to open a clam on its soft little belly? Actually, that does sound pretty cute. Awww, wook at de widdle ottew - Hey, where did Harry Potter go?

srah | 8:15 PM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

November 2, 2010

What a stupid lamb.

Yesterday, according to Emily Elisabeth's master list, was National Author's Day, and today is Look For Circles Day. In honor of these two holidays, I bring you this thing that I did not make myself, but which I am posting for the sake of blogging about these holidays.

funny graphs and charts
see more Funny Graphs

srah | 5:50 PM
Tags: books, holidays, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010, save november

You're Harry Freakin' Potter!

According to The 30 Days of Harry Potter, today's topic is your favorite movie, and I already missed yesterday's, which was your favorite book. So, since Gretchen and Jennie! have already done this, let's see mine:

We are not judging your dress robes, Ronald. We are judging your hairstyle.

  • Prisoner of Azkaban (3)
  • Order of the Phoenix (5)
  • Half-Blood Prince (6)
  • Goblet of Fire (4)
  • Deathly Hallows (7)
  • Sorcerer's Stone (1)
  • Chamber of Secrets (2)
  • Half-Blood Prince (6)
  • Prisoner of Azkaban (3)
  • Order of the Phoenix (5)
  • Sorcerer's Stone (1)
  • Goblet of Fire (4)
  • Chamber of Secrets (2)

I'd say my most important decision-making factor when ranking the books was character development, while for the movies I was basing it first on watchability (Chamber of Secrets... yawn...) and second on whether or not the male characters needed haircuts. Seriously, Goblet of Fire. Seriously.

srah | 12:45 PM
Tags: 30 days of harry potter, harry potter, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

November 1, 2010

In an action that surprises even me...

I hereby declare that I am participating in National Blog Posting Month. I've been thinking, that since I'm such a blog slacker, November would be a good time to pick it up again (and getting on the NaBloPoMo wagon gives me an excuse for the fact that I'm not on the NaNoWriMo one). Today in quick succession I learned that

  1. Jennie! is doing both NaBloPoMo AND NaNoWriMo, so it certainly would be a shame if I weren't doing either
  2. and

  3. Emily Elisabeth has declared that we must save November, and in listing off holidays for each day of the month, has inadvertently supplied me with blog topics for an entire month.

So while I'd expected that I'd wimp out, it turns out I'm on board, and finally back to blogging (for a month anyway). Is anyone still out there in ReaderLand to cheer me on?

srah | 12:38 PM
Tags: blogging, nablopomo, nablopomo 2010

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