Point Me

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Assorted Sorting

I hope that everybody had a wonderful holiday! I've been lucky enough to get some time off this week, which has been great for getting a chance to catch up on housework. This Christmas, I've given myself the gift of organization. Hooray for cleaned out drawers!


Friday, December 23, 2011

MOAR POLITICS

I know that it's not very festive of me to be talking so much about politics so close to the yuletide. My apologies. I AINT GONNA STOP NOW THOUGH!

I'm sure most of you have heard about the dangerous "Stop Online Piracy Act:" A proposal that would mandate that internet service providers protect us from ourselves on the internet. I'm absolutely uncomfortable with the idea that major media conglomerates, who control so much of what we see and hear already, would have the power to censor the internet, carte blanche.

If you're unfamiliar with what's at stake, perhaps a little rap will help clear things up. I'm in love with this anti-SOPA song by Dan Bull.



Preach.

I think what has upset me the most about this is the lack of care politicians have taken to actually consider this seriously. Refusing to hear from opposing experts, not paying attention during the hearing and then bragging about it (as if his constituents think this is cute??), and blatantly admitting they have no fucking clue what they're attempting to make a law: This is not democracy. It's amazing how blatant it is that the lawmakers are in the pockets of the MPAA and big pharma- "people" who have enough money to buy the power to censor us all. It's disgusting.

The hearings on this bill have been pushed to the new year, presumably with the hope that we'll forget about it over the holidays. UNLIKELY!

You can sign a petition urging Obama to veto this bill here. Use this tool to find out who your congressman is here and call them up (Calling is said to be 5 times more effective than e-mailing!) Don't open the door to censorship.If SOPA was passed, I could absolutely be sued for the stuff I posted on this blog.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This Festive Time of Year

Last night, I once again watched my favorite Christmas Classic- The 1951 version of "A Christmas Carol" starring Alistair Sims. I know I've written about my love of this film on my blog before. Re-watching it this year though, it struck me quite keenly how relevant the mindset of the pre-salvation Scrooge is to the current political discourse.

The vitriol against the poor- that they take advantage of the system, that they don't work hard enough bears a notable resemblance to the attitude of the literature's most famous Miser.


"At this festive season of the year, Mr Scrooge,'' said the gentleman, taking up a pen, ``it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.''
"Are there no prisons?'' asked Scrooge.
"Plenty of prisons,'' said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.
"And the Union workhouses?'' demanded Scrooge. ``Are they still in operation?''
"They are. Still,'' returned the gentleman, `` I wish I could say they were not.''
"The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?'' said Scrooge.
"Both very busy, sir.''
"Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,'' said Scrooge. ``I'm very glad to hear it.''
"Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude,'' returned the gentleman, ``a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?''
"Nothing!'' Scrooge replied.
"You wish to be anonymous?''
"I wish to be left alone,'' said Scrooge. ``Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned: they cost enough: and those who are badly off must go there.''
"Many can't go there; and many would rather die.''
"If they would rather die,'' said Scrooge, ``they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population." - Dickens, A Christmas Carol, Stave 1

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm handing you no blarney.

Did you have a favorite Christmas song when you were growing up? I did, and it's a little unusual...



I blame/thank it for single-handedly inspiring the obsession with Celtic music that I went through in Middle School.

I'm also only really partial to this version by Dennis Day, a second generation Irish immigrant (born Owen Patrick Eugene McNulty - talk about switching it up with your stage name!). The vocals are nice and casual and gentle, and the instrumentals are the best. Go ahead and shop around, I doubt you'll find a preferable Irish-inspired holiday tune!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Is this real life?


This morning I heard this story on NPR while I was driving in to work, about Evangelicals in Iowa and how they are divided on which candidate to back. Is it bad that I actually wanted to throw up listening to some of these men on the street?

I just find it very, very hard to imagine people taking any of these republican candidates seriously. I guess, more to the point, I find it hard to believe that infringing on other peoples personal lives (ie: anti-homosexuality and anti-reproductive choice) could be the sole motivator for political involvement, when there is so much more we could be accomplishing. Also that none of them see the irony of beating their bosoms over wanting small govt., while simultaneously picking candidates solely on the basis of "who will boss around people I don't care for the most."It also galls me the exorbitant amount of time and money utilized by churches trying to establish their moral compass as law.

I guess too that the escalating rhetoric leading into this primary season is really starting to get my goat, as a civic minded citizen and an American with no religious affiliation. All this pandering to the evangelical zealots has given candidates ground to demonize every group that doesn't take the bible as law.



“I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they’re my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.”


“Many on the left” and “in the scientific community, so to speak” are “afraid of discussion” about "God" "or a creator" in public school science classrooms. Santorum says that "science will only allow things in the classroom that are consistent with a non-creator idea of how we got here, as if somehow or another that's scientific.” 

I'm fed up with the fact that these bigots are being cheered for clearly valuing only the opinions of some- while villianizing (and convoluting *coughnewt*)  others with language clearly designed to divide America on religious and racial principals.  And I guess what really pisses me off is the fact that an entire powerful subset of America is down with that.

Anywho. I'm sick of feeling maligned by politicians because I am an atheist and value secular science. It's got nothing to do with the civic duty of the president, and it's none of their business anyways. Can't wait for this circus of tactless puppets to be done with, and hope to c'thulu that none of them end up in the white house.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Buckleberry Ferry- Follow Me.

Threadless is having an AMAZING sale right now- 9.99 t-shirts, with an additional 30% off with the code HAPPYFUZZY. Plus- Free shipping on orders over $75. Clearly, this was an opportunity to pick up some christmas gifts. To rack up enough dollar signs to get free shipping, I couldn't help but pick up something for myself.

My choice?

"The Brandywine"

What an awesome homage to J.R.R. Tolkien and also to booze. Can't wait to rock it!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

70 years on...

It's definitely still infamous.



Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Attention Naughty Listees!


Tonight is the spooky celebration of Krampusnacht!



 That is, the night that Santa's evil demon companion terrorizes small children and punishes them for their various misdeeds. It's a tradition grown from alpine folk lore, where the castigation of bad kids takes equal air time with the reward of St. Nick's gift giving during the holidays.


This involves having a creepy cloven hoofed monster loitering nearby as children sit on Santa's knee, waiting to do the dirty work of scooping the naughty ones into his barrel backpack. Then comes the beating with birch swatches and rusty chains, and the dragging you away to hell business. Watch the F out! Krampus doesn't dick around.



More and more, Krampusnacht is also becoming a night for drunken revelry, as adults adopt the guise of the demonic holiday helper and boozily parade through the town at night; no doubt frightening all the children in their wake into good behavior and inspiring hope that Santa's the one coming down your chimney.


 Muahahaha...Enjoy all! I think I'll pick up some beer with a spooky label tonight to celebrate.


Monday, December 5, 2011

He's too much!

"The Year without a Santa Claus" - 1974 is one of the most beloved Rankin-Bass holiday stop motion animation cartoons. Perhaps it's not quite as ubiquitous as "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" - 1964, but it's characters are definitely more popular- Namely, the Miser Brothers.

Afterall, Yukon Cornelius and that elf who wants to be a dentist don't have people making awkward tribute videos of them, do they?



I'm not sure which one I like better. The dour pre-teen Snow Miser has better special effects, but the Heat Miser Dad has way better dance moves!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

First of the Season!



 Now that the weather is cool and blustery, my desire to knit has boiled back up into my bones. I finished this hat over the weekend, and I'm fairly pleased with how it turned out.


I was inspired by Alex Tinsley's "A Most Bespeckled Hat". Though there are some key differences in the finished products. Hers uses a much thicker yarn, while mine was made out of some yard sale purchased sock weight stuff Paul's Mom gave me for my b-day.


Here's what I learned!

1. Ribbing is your friend- If you compare Ms. Tinsley's hat to mine, you'll see that hers has a has slouchier, less fitted look, while mine is a bit beanie-ish. The main difference is hers has a longer ribbed cuff that lets the hat get all loosey goosey. I will keep this in mind for further slouchy endeavors.

2. You've got more yarn than you think- I probably could have made this hat quite a bit bigger/slouchier, but I was paranoid about running out of yarn before I could finish (what with it being a ball of unlabeled stuff). I ended up with quite a significant surplus of the blue yarn, because I was so worried about running out. Now I'm not sure what I'll do with the odd amount of waste. Oh well!

3. Polka dots are fun! - This was an easy bit of colorwork that really came out looking cool. It was a great refresher on knitting in two colors after a long haitus. I would also recommend it as a good way to try two colors as a beginner.


PS: When I first saw this picture I couldn't believe that's what I look like now. I guess I've sort of lost track of how long my hair has gotten! And I'm not planning on cutting it till the winter is over! I'll be like Rapunzel in no time, I'm sure (minus it glowing when I sing, I guess.)

Here's to the coming season of many projects!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Oh, hell to the no...

Why do you do this to me science? Why?

George Whitsides, a chemist from Havard, has led a team of robotic experts to combine two of my least favorite things; unsettlingly agile robots and unsettlingly agile cephalopods. 

Using the squishy flexibility of squids as unholy inspiration, they have created "Soft Robot".



While this prototype is kind of clumsy (1:28 - 1:40 esp. - I'm not having nightmares about this one yet), it does make me fear a future where slippery overlords with electrodes for hearts squeeze under my door in the night.

THIS DOES NOT BODE WELL

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011- "Nice tits bitch!"

Hey all,

I hope you had satisfying and relaxing holidays. Ours was very good!

For me it was a Thanksgiving framed by two films. The first, I watched the day before turkey day, while recovering from a nasty cold- "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" (1967), which some of you probably know is the musical Daniel Radcliffe is currently starring in on broadway.

The '67 movie was enjoyable, but terribly terribly campy. The costuming and set design did a pretty good job of highlighting the tackiest looks of the era. I liked it as a very archetypal musical, with lots of predictable personality types and plot turns, and lots of good old fashioned sexism (there's literally a song about how "A Secretary is not a Toy"). The music was pretty good too. It's a solid show.

I enjoyed the film too as a vantage point into mid-century NYC. There's lots of good shots of the urban landscape. I particularly enjoyed this shot of Times Square, nearly 50 years ago:

Look at how much of the actual buildings you can see! And how much smaller they seem too.

It was also fun to see D. Radcliffe himself perform his version of the show the next morning in the Macy's parade. It was a nice point of comparison.



I thought he did a good job! Who knew H.P. could dance so good?

On Thanksgiving night, Paul and I watched some decidedly tackier fare together: "Thankskilling" (2009), dubbed by its own creator as "The Ultimate low budget experience."

It's a modern b-movie classic about college kids who get hacked up by a homicidal demon turkey whilst on Thanksgiving break. Here's a hint about what kind of movie this is; The very first shot of this movie is an extreme close-up on a busty woman's nipple.The lady is dressed in a flimsy pilgrim costume with her boobs hanging way out Here's what comes next:



I don't know if I can really do it justice by describing it, but I can say I'm continually unsure if I loved or hated this movie. Can I add that there is a scene where the turkey rapes a lady? And finishes by yelling "you just got stuffed?"

I just...I dunno.



Happy start of the gift-giving season!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Caturday XXXVIII

I wonder what he thinks he is experiencing...



PS- Turkey Day post to come!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Go Pats


You know what's awesome? Tonight is MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL. Yeah!

These last few years, I've really started to get into the whole American football thing. Now I usually spend the latter half of my week looking forward to seeing the Patriots play, and I can say quite honestly that football is my favorite sport to spectate. And not just because of my imaginary football boyfriend, Wes Welker.

 He's been struggling with injuries a lot this season. I can't help but hope though he'll replay his historic 99 1/2 yard touch down at some point again this year. That's possible right? Just because only a dozen people have ever done that ever doesn't mean that he couldn't do it twice in one season...RIGHT?



Anyways - The Kansas City Cheifs are toast tonight. TOAST.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

ASDIAOFNSGSG!1!GNDG

That is the sound of my brain exploding. I've reconstituted it in order to write this post.

It all started a few days ago when my second cousin, raised in a very christian family, posted this cartoon on facebook:


Hahaha, get it? Evolution isn't real, it's all millionaire liberal scientists colluding with the media to trick us into not believing the bible.

For some reason, this led me to torturing myself reading like 3 years of backlog of these "After Eden" comics, which only served to make me more and more annoyed.

There are a few repetitive messages to them, we're all cursed and fallen, the days god took to create earth are literal days, and people who buy into evolution are fools who think their parents are monkeys.

It turns out these comics are directly partnered with Kentucky's notorious Creation Museum. There are even a few comics depicting people getting converted at said museum. NOW GET READY FOR SOME IRONY!

Part of the museums facilities include, admittedly, very beautiful gardens and a petting zoo. You can go for camel rides there, just like the Magi.

And among their collection of fauna, they have....


A zorse. That's right. The cross bred combination of a zebra and a horse. A creature that only exists because of human intervention and *gasp* complimentary genetics. The selective breeding of zorse hybrids is even expressly discussed in Darwin's evil Origin of Species. These animals only started existing in the 19th century because members of the British aristocracy got bored at their country estates. Hardly a good example that everything in creation was rescued by a 600 year old man in a gopher wood boat. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rapunzel Rapunzel Let down your hair....

So I can climb your golden stair.

I know I've kind of been talking about this a lot lately, but I really really enjoyed Disney's new-ish film Tangled (2010). After seeing an early teaser for it way back when, my expectations for it were really low.



The cheesy jokes, the hair with kung fu skills, the people falling off a cliff, it all seemed a little.....hackneyed. It distinctly reminded me of the type of worn out humor that you'd see in *shudder* Dreamworks talking animal movies. It turned out though that a lot of the footage in that trailer was either changed or not used.

I will admit that the story was still kind of predictable.But, such are fairy-tales and adventure stories. I think it was a really solid, straight forward telling of a classic children's tale.

I liked the characters. Rapunzel's character was surprisingly dynamic, far beyond the impression you get initially from her big-eyed bobblehead look. And Mother Gothel was a really awesome villain. I also got a kick out of the horse, he was a good mix of anthropomorphic personality and realistic mammalian behavior. The only one I didn't like was the lizard sidekick, he kind of only existed to cut away to during emotional moments.

I think what I enjoyed particularly about it was the music. The tunes are still popping into my head. I like this one best:



I'll admit too that I was a little skeptical of the animation style, being brought up in the era of hand-drawn Disney. I have to say though that I stopped noticing that the style wasn't old school pretty quickly, and the 3-D look actually allowed for a really pretty style for the film.

I also appreciated the Monty Python homage in the bar scene. Aw yeah!

Anyways, it's quite a good movie. It's making me excited for the next generation of Disney films.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rated C for Clean

Doing laundry has gone from a very labor intensive activity, to a down-right easy one. So easy, that it's kind of boring to sit around and wait for our clothes to be clean.

Designer Lee Wei Chen has created a way to simultaneously take laundry back to the time where it was an interactive process, and take it to a more futuristic level. Behold! The Arcade Game Washer:


 The concept is pretty cool. Load your clothes and start playing. The success of your laundering is dependent on how well you do at the game. If you're a noob, you have to add more coins to get to the rinse cycle.

It's a neat marriage of household chores to gaming. However, I am lousy at most old school arcade games. I would probably go broke trying to get my clothes clean this way. I like it's potential as a teaching household item for moms though. It could make doing laundry fun for kids/teens, and every quarter they put in could be put towards a college fund or a savings account or something.

Also a practical place to keep all the pocket change you come across doing the wash.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Carcassonne

Ok, I've officially owned this game for a month. Paul got it for me as a birthday prize. I love it and I'm kinda sorta obsessed with it.



The best way I can describe it is, it's like a competitive puzzle. You take turns drawing different tiles and laying them down to create a landscape full of monasteries, roads and castles. I've been foisting playing it on pretty much everybody who comes over. It's fun with a lot of people, because more aspects of the game come down to chance. When you're only playing with two, you have a lot more control over what you can strategize and accomplish.

I'm getting pretty good, if I do say so myself (though Paul is still beating me like 2/3 games). I'm taking all comers. Let's play!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

For Ladies Only

At my work, we have a tea box that is randomly filled with the rejects from our donated food. Usually things are run of the mill, you get your earl greys, your breakfasts, your herbal greens. Today we have:


"Absolute Natural: Women's Tea"

Obviously, I was compelled to try it. What made this tea so lady specific? It looked pretty normal in the tea bag and smelled surprisingly like chicken bouillon and celery seeds. When I added the water, the ingredients separated out in a weird way, causing  a white powdery layer to form on the top of the bag that was a little disturbing. I forge onward.

The taste is surprisingly mild and herby- not salty like the smell led me to believe. A little bitter, a little spicy, very complex and a bit sweet. It tasted pretty wholesome while it was hot. But as it cooled it started to get more medicinal and kind of nasty.

I did a little research and found out it contains dong-qui, red dates, and goji berries. I found this on a forum about "natural breast enhancement". Apparently it helps keep your boobies big when you're trying to loose weight.

Dong qui, also known as Chinese Angelica, is a root used in ancient herbal medicine used to treat lady problems (PMS and Menopause), anemia, and fatigue. It's also traditionally associated with causing miscarriages.

Red Dates, also known as jujubes, are a natural sedative/ stress reliever. It's powers also include laxative, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and wound healing properties. It is also a traditional contraceptive!

Finally, Goji berries , also known as wolfberries, are supposedly good for cardiovascular and ocular health. They are a well known trendy "super fruit."

So basically, this stuff is a witches brew of weird medicinal herbs. Also, kills babbys dead.

Get your own here!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Eid

Yesterday was the celebration of Eid, a huge holiday for the Muslims of the world. 3 million Muslims dressed in white flock to Saudi Arabia to complete a pilgrimage known as the hajj. For an in-depth look at what being at this event is like, I highly recommend this awesome documentary from the Vice Guide to travel.



It seems overwhelming! What a mass of humanity.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Shape

Paul was reading me something last night about shape note singing. It's a type of musical instruction where each note of the scale has it's own shape, and it's supposed to make learning how to make reading music easier.


It was an early type of religious music sung by pilgrims in revival era New England. But as religous fervor lagged in the godless north, the practice moved southward. It was used to make choral participation accessible to everybody in the community. This led to the formation of Sacred Harp groups, America's original participatory singing society.

Singers sit in a square, all facing the middle. It's always a cappella. And it lacks, shall we say, the more complex subtleties of other religious/classical singing. Namely: dynamics do not exist. It is always as loud as possible.



Personally, I think this is pretty awesome! It looks like fun to sing, a style of music that's made for the joy of blasting out a killer harmony, and not necessarily made for joy of the listener.
As a kid (and still to this day) the only part of church I enjoyed was singing the hymns. This is pretty compelling to me. There's actually a lot of opportunities to join in in Western MA. Maybe if I work up the nerve!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

NO POWER NO PEACE

Or not. I dunno. Today commences the 5th day I am without electricity. I am hopeful it will be back on tonight, but we'll see.

Because of the dangerous nature of the storm and all the downed power lines, we've been keeping kitty inside for safety. This has made her go insane! Her new habits include: Gnawing on the edge of the table, jumping onto the highest places possible, running around like crazy and hissing at nothing, climbing inside the sofa, etc. She's a little wild!

One of the things I've missed is my netflix shows. Considering that some helpful utility worker severed our cable line and threw it across our yard (WHAT.), it will probably be awhile before we have internet at home again. The show I'm jonesin' for the most is Baccano!

It's an awesome 16 episode story with some really wonderful characters and a fun mythology. It tells the story of 18th century alchemists living immortal in gangland NYC. The story weaves together plots from a few different time lines, making for a rich and complex story.

My favorite characters are probably Isaac and Miria, the shows comic relief. They're a pair of over-acting criminals who get away with their crimes by virtue of their silliness.



I also have a soft spot for Jacuzzi Splot, the bootlegger with a tattooed face and big anxiety problems. He's got to have a good cry before he can do anything heroic!

Please South Hadley Electric! I wanna find out what happens  next! Also, getting sick of going to bed at 8. Thanks!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Somebody Come and Play - 1970




This song is simultaneously bouncily cheerful and doggedly sad. It's one of Sesame Street's more complex treasures. It really does capture the co-existing optimism and loneliness of being a kid on the hunt for a playmate.

This video is of the original appearance of the song on the show, and features a very bummed baby orangutan with nobody his age in his pen. Later incarnations of this song used significantly prettier and cheerier scenarios. But I think the original bleak setting was a really interesting choice - it makes the song seem sadder, and more pressing. Somebody get that monkey a playmate already, I can't stand it! Poor guy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

THAT'S RACIST


 By now you've probably seen this poster campaign encouraging people not to dress up as ethnic stereotypes for Halloween:




I guess I shouldn't be totally surprised at the controversy around these messages, but the turn that the conversation around them took really made me feel obligated to chime in. I get the two sides; "People should get a sense a of humor/ Don't tell me what I can't do" vs.



And I'll admit I'm on the latter team. I don't really think it's funny or appropriate to dress up like an unflattering caricature of a race, regardless of the reasons. It perpetuates stereotypes and deepens the divide that prevents us from understanding and respecting other cultures, while making the wearer look like a clueless inconsiderate asshole.

At the same time I understand the other argument, to a certain extent, especially if you live in a mono-cultural community with no real exposure to actual people of these races (which is why this poster campaign putting a real face to the ethnicity is very well done). Halloween is supposed to be a time to dress up and have fun and act foolish and satirize the world- so I kinda sorta see the other side (even though I don't agree - it's totally racist).

But there was one argument/comment that popped up more than once that really blew my mind:

'If I can't dress like a bandito then nobody can dress like a ghost because I don't have a tan and I find it offensive.'


Are you kidding me? Are you really trying to equate dressing up like an ethnicity to dressing up like a spectral being? My apologies- I didn't realize that your parents were ghosts and that you were born and raised in the ghost culture, with all their rich and celebrated ghost traditions. I'm so embarrassed I reduced your proud undead history to that old stereotype of a sheet with eye holes. I can't believe that guy over there dressed like a ghostbuster! How insensitive to all the spirits they've imprisoned from your culture over the years. Shame on him.

Seriously. Ghosts are not a race. WTF.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sagan Songs



Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking rock out with their thoughts out.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pottermore!

Oh hai guys! I've been lucky enough to get in on the beta testing of the new Harry Potter fan site Pottermore. I thought I'd dish a little on what it's like and what I liked.


Basically you get to go through little interactive vignettes from each chapter, finding objects that you can collect (like books, important props from the story, and the golden snitch) and uncovering new content about characters from JK Rowling. I think getting to read the exclusive content is probably my favorite of the site so far. Getting the life stories of Prof. McGonagall and Quirell, and the story of how the Dursley's met was very fun and interesting!

The art style on the site is very rich and beautiful. It really captures the mood of the books well. And I think that's something kind of important to keep in mind about the site: It's meant to serve sort of as an accompaniment to the books. Reading the feedback comments from other people in the Beta, it was clear some people were expecting there to be a lot more to it, for it almost to be a living movie you could act out. It's more like a series of explorable moments. With that said, there were a few things on it that I'd like to see improve.

1. There's no music - I think that would enhance the feeling of the site a lot.

2. The two most exciting interactive pieces, that enable you to earn house points, are not functioning optimally right now. You're supposed to be able to do spells in a wizards duel, but that piece has been "under maintenance" since I first signed in. There's also a place to make potions - but they take a REALLY long time to brew and sometimes the interface is a little clumsy. I wasted a whole bottle of Billywig Stings because I couldn't figure out how to hold the bottle properly. What a waste of Galleons!

3. You can buy pets on Diagon Alley, and they become your avatar. You have to pick really carefully because you can't change it. Not that I hate my choice of the traditional black cat, but now I wish I'd picked the Siamese instead and there's no turning back!

OK though- Here's the cool stuff. You get to go through a series of personality tests to get your wand and sort you into your houses. Here's what I got!

My Wand: 11 1/2 inches, Ash and Unicorn Hair, unyeilding

My House:

Slytherin Bitches! Haters Gonna Hate!

I'm actually really pleased with it. I feel like the test got it right. I'm ambitious and resourceful.Plus, I think I would kinda hate those foolhardy Gryffindor jerks if I was at Hogwarts. F pointless heroics.

Right now we're in second place with in the House Cup - Ravenclaw is winning. Despite having the most members, Gryffindor is in 3rd (BOO LOSERS) and, naturally, Hufflepuff is a losin'.

Anyways, it's a lot of fun, a great way to rediscover the books and learn more about the characters. I can't wait till they put up the rest of the content. Pottermore is pretty sweet.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that they randomly assign you a user name. Mine turned out to be pretty alright: WolfsbaneRose139. Look me up when you can get on!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

In love with

All of a sudden, I am all about Cyndi Lauper. She's just so awesome.



I particularly get a girl crush on her around 1:57. I love that she took a song about staying out all night partying and made it seem so innocent and sweet.

It's hard to believe that she's 58! She's still lookin' pretty hot.


She's actually playing on the 23rd in Boston! That would be fun to see!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Caturday XXXVI - Avada - cat - davra

Ever since Roosevelt has become an indoor/outdoor girl, I've been thinking about solutions to give her a little more autonomy in her comings and goings. Frankly, it's a pain to have to constantly by letting her in and out,and she's not a big fan of being out all day long. I think something like this could be a really cool solution. AND OMG IT'S THE BURROW!

Heights Workshop Builds 'Harry Potter' Cat House: MyFoxHOUSTON.com


Now if only there were a spell to keep her from bringing mice inside. Yuck!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Last 5 Books I Read


Pet Sematary- Stephen King
This was my first ever Stephen King book, believe it or not. It was really quite good for reading at the beach over the summer. Quick paced, exciting visuals/descriptions, and good spooky tension to keep you turning the pages. The build up of creepy happenings is actually a lot scarier (for me at least) than the actual climax. King does a really good job though of taking a morbid premise and expanding on it in every conceivable direction.  Solidly spooky and super appropriate for our coming Hallows Eve,

Tinker, Sailor Soldier, Spy- John LeCarre
I picked up this book because I could recall my Grandpa talking about how much he had enjoyed it when it first came out.Literally the day afterward, I saw a commercial for the movie remake starring Gary Oldman. Strange timing! This is a really solid spy story taking place in the heart of the cold war. The characters a richly painted and the espionage lingo sprinkled heavily throughout draws you into a dark seedy underworld of British Intelligence. A pretty good mystery with layers like an onion.

Going Postal- Terry Pratchett
This was a good book to bring with me on vacation.  Like most Pratchett books, the story was light and humorous, painted with the creative brush of the metaphysical Discworld. It follows the tale of an ex-con appointed/sentenced to the lifetime position of Postmaster General, forced against his will to revive the ailing postal system. The humor in this book is among the silliest I think I've read from Pratchett, with a strong Monty Python feel.

Journal of the Plague Year- Daniel Defoe
This book was written in an autobiographical style, from the perspective of a citizen who rode out the Black Death in 1655. However, it's actually a very well researched bit of historical fiction from Defoe, originally published in 1722. Now, given that the 70 odd years that passed between the plague and the novel is dwarfed by the nearly 300 years to me reading it today, it reads like it might as well as been a first person account. Despite its age, this book reads very easily. I got a kick out of the scientific explanations and cures for the plague that were still accepted as fact in the 18th century, knowing how horribly wrong they were now. It's a fascinating but morbid peek into the lives of those who lived during one of the biggest modern pandemics. Fun for history/ 18th century fans!


The Screwtape Letters- C.S. Lewis
This is a fun and thought provoking read. Lewis examines internal struggle against sin from the perspective of a slick devil that wants to eat your soul. It does a good job of reflecting the internal monologues that guide our daily life, and illustrating how our thoughts lead respectively to paths of good or evil. The Demon Screwtape is a despicably fun narrator, that serves as a ready foil for the piety and perfection of being Christian. The tone is so convincing that you almost forget that Lewis blanketing science, humanism, evolution and democracy as the work of the devil. It's a thought provoking treatise on human nature, and poses some interesting arguments as to how we should be spending our mental energy and time on earth. I deem it a must read.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Spooky Dining

Halloween home decor! I really love these crow/skull salt and pepper shakers. Makes your goulash ghoulish!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Same Old


"It is all a fake, of course; the figures in the popular art are falsely drawn; the real women in bathing suits or tights are actually pinched in and propped up to make them appear firmer and more slender and more boyish than nature allows a full-grown woman to be....As a result we are more and more directing the desires of men to something which does not exist—making the rĂ´le of the eye in sexuality more and more important and at the same time making its demands more and more impossible. What follows you can easily forecast!" - C.S. Lewis, 1942

Friday, October 7, 2011

DIsney Confessions!

OK! My latest obsession is http://waltdisneyconfessions.tumblr.com/.

It is like the seminary confessional website Post Secret, but it is all teenagers posting their opinions about disney.

It's actually gotten me thinking about the music and movies from this media giant that I like best. OMG I should write a confession you guys!


My Top 5 Favorite Animated Disney Movies - As Depicted by Disney Confessions!
5. Lilo and Stitch
4. Hercules
3. Up
 
 2. Tarzan
1. Beauty and the Beast

OUCH- She doesn't even consider her a princess you guys!

Do you have a top 5?