Archive for the ‘general thoughts’ Category

I am the type of person who likes structure.  Who plans and nitpicks and re-plans and comes up with various contingency plans in case something goes wrong.  No, I’m not a stick in the mud; *cough*anal retentive*cough* I just like to be prepared.  Why then, with less than 30 hours before the new Harry Potter premiere did I decide I needed to change my costume?  Because I absolutely bonkers.  Clearly.

On my way home from work there is a costume shop.  They are advertising Harry Potter ‘stuff’ is 20% off.  I pulled in just to scope it out yesterday, not realizing they were closed.  (This shop seriously has the WORST hours ever).  In the window they had three death eater costumes.   I got to thinking, how fun it would be to show up as a death eater and surprise everyone who thought I’d be attending as Ginny Weasley Romilda Vane.  (Don’t get me started on why *I* couldn’t be Ginny Weasley, I am bitter over this because yes, HP is SERIOUS BUSINESS so stfu and stop mocking me IT ISN’T JUST A MOVIE GOSH).

I called my friend Anna, (who sucks because she went to California and will NOT be seeing the midnight premiere with me) gushing over the idea.  Anna encouraged me.  I love her for this reason.  Oh, and also because if she were with me she’d be dressed as Bellatrix and would look like an utter rock star.  /continues story

I stopped at Party City and looked for a cloak to wear.  Found none.  Went to Joann’s, looked at patterns and fabric to make one then finally ended up at Walmart, where I bought black bed sheets.  Oh, I got a white party mask, some silver spray paint and a paint pen to create the mask at Joann’s but that was actually the least of my worries, the mask was easy-peasey.

I got home and began working on the mask, and told my mother my plan to somehow convert bed sheets into a hooded cloak.  God bless her, she agreed to help me and actually ended up making the whole thing for me.  I had figured I’d be on my own.  Plus she had a head cold and was feeling pretty miserable, so her help was even MORE appreciated.  You gotta love that she was indulging my particular brand o’crazy.  We googled something resembling instructions and she got to work.  It took her about three hours but when we were done we had a hooded cloak.

I’ll throw on some black pants and t-shirt, the cloak and my mask and I’ll be the baddest DE around.  Oh, and I’ll have my wand and requisite dark mark on my arm.  I just really hope it can be washed off before I go to work tomorrow; I don’t particularly relish trying to explain it at a meeting tomorrow afternoon.  I also can’t remember which arm the mark is supposed to be on.  I’m thinking it goes on the left arm, but I’m left handed so drawing this could be tricky.  If I had more time, I probably would have bought a pattern for a cloak and had a nicer version made, I’d also have roughed up the mask a bit more and done some more texturizing/patina but for one night of use I’m content.

So… on that note, I am nearly ready to head off to the premiere.  Camera is ready!

The boy who lived.

Posted: July 10, 2011 in general thoughts
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There are things that change your life.  Marriage for instance, or having a baby… not that I see either of those things happening to me in the foreseeable future…  but that’s not the point of today’s post.  Today, I am unleashing my inner fan girl and I’m going to talk about Harry Potter, because yes, “the boy who lived” changed my life.  The books introduced me to an entire new world, allowed me to make wonderful new friends (all across the country!) and helped me to become a much better writer.  It reinvigorated my imagination and is some of the best “page-turner” writing I’ve ever read.

As most everyone probably knows, the final installment in the HP movie franchise will be released this Friday and after Friday it will officially be over.  (I’m not sure how I feel about pottermore exactly, so at the moment Friday is the end for me, I don’t know if this community JKR is creating will actually do anything to extend the series that for me (sadly) is coming to a close).

I will be seeing a midnight showing with a group of 40 or so people, and I will be in costume as will most everyone in the group.  I told a few people this, co-workers for instance and they seem to think I’m nutters.  They do NOT understand it at all, my NEED to see this film at midnight, surrounded by other HP lovers.  On many levels that saddens me.  I first read the books in 7th or 8th grade and was utterly addicted.  All through high school and college I attended book launch parties and midnight premiers and was in seventh heaven at each one.  Surrounded by people and fans who loved the characters as much as I did, who wanted to go to Hogwarts and put on that sorting hat, who could recite their favorite lines for you from memory… how could you NOT want to be a part of that?  It’s a once in a lifetime moment!   As for the dressing up… I’m all for dramatics.  If it makes it more fun then why not do it?  It’s certainly not hurting anything and doesn’t make me a daft ninny.

That being said, I’m not sure what else I wanted to accomplish in this post, but HP means enough to me that I felt it necessary to write something about it.  I’m so sad its ending, excited for the final film (goose bumps every time I see a trailer on TV) and hope that you are out there enjoying HP that night so you don’t miss out on the once in a lifetime moment.

I won’t be posting Thursday, except perhaps to show off my costume.  A review and pictures from the premier will be up Friday evening when I get home from work.  I’ll leave you with my favorite quote from Goblet of Fire:  “It’s a strange thing, but when you are dreading something, and would give anything to slow down time, it has a disobliging habit of speeding up.” 

Depending upon the time of the year, I have to watch a certain film.  For instance, at Christmas I don’t want to watch It’s a Wonderful Life, I want to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Shitter’s Full).  During Halloween I want to watch Hocus Pocus, and anything involving zombies.  During the summer… Well, I’ve got to watch a few films in order for it to feel properly like summer.  In no particular order, my top 5 summer films I watch year in and year out:

1.  Major League

Wild Thing is rocking some slick frames.

I love me a good baseball movie.  (Hey did you hear that the Pirates are above 500 and 1.5 games out of first place?!  It’s been YEARS since they’ve played well.  I’m not a fair weather fan, I watch the Buccos even when the were blowing chunks but it’s nice to go to the game and catch a few wins… anywhoo…BACK TO THE BLOG).  In particular Major League is my favourite baseball movie (though props need to go to The Sandlot  and Rookie of the Year featuring crazy teeth himself, Gary Busey).  Major League features Charlie Sheen as “Wild Thing” (pre Torpedo of Truth days) as well as Wesley Snipes and Bob Uecker as the loveable announcer.  It’s an 80’s movie to be sure, but the gags in it are just as funny today as they were back when I first saw it.  It makes me want to head on down to the ball park and boo the Indians (as a Pittsburgher I have a hatred of all things Cleveland… Never mind the fact that Cleveland swept my beloved Buccos when they in Cleveland back in June  -_-).

2.  Independence Day

How's it sit, pretty cunning don'tcha think?

This is a story all about how my life got flipped turned upside down, it’ll only take a minute just sit right there and I’ll tell you how aliens blew up the White House and the Fresh Prince and Bill Pullman saved the day.  Seriously, how can you NOT want to watch Independence Day?  It also helps that it typically plays around the 4th of July.  We kick some alien booty.  It also is the first time I remember seeing one of my favourite actors in a film.  (Adam Baldwin aka Jayne Cobb from Firefly).  Cookies to the person who can tell me who he plays in the film WITHOUT using IMDB.   Oh, and let’s not forget the always amusing Randy Quaid and Jeff Goldblum.

3.  Meatballs

Released in 1979, I wasn’t even born when Bill Murray was out in the woods in this campy (PUN!) movie.  Murray plays a camp councilor who leads a rag tag bunch of misfits in an Olympic-type game of challenge against a rival camp.  I shouldn’t love this movie but I do.  Heck, I’ll even watch the sequels if they are on TV.  It reminds me of those summers long ago when I went to camp.  I only wish my music camp had been as awesome as this one.  Do kids even go to summer camp anymore?  It was all the rage during my middle school years, now I don’t know any kids who go.

4.  Wet Hot American Summer

Best Counselors Ever.

I know, I know… two camp movies on the list?  Shaddup.  This film is fairly new (it’s only 10 years old I believe) but it’s perhaps one of the best ‘worst’ movies I’ve ever seen.  If you’ve not indulged in watching this gem, it is available on Netflix.  Let me run through the cast list for you:  Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Ian Black, Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon, Ken Marino, Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Banks AND Bradley Cooper.  Oh, and Marguerite Moreau (you might know her as Connie from the Might Ducks films)!  There are too many of them for me to put in all the links but you’ve got to admit that is an ALL STAR cast.   There are so many things I love in this movie.  Michael Ian Black and Bradley Cooper have a ‘commitment’ ceremony on the edge of the lake, and sex in one of the storage sheds.  Paul Rudd though is the best.  He cheats on”Connie  and is an all around douche.  He is busy making out with Elizabeth Banks and lets a kid drown.   I won’t tell you what he does to the drowned kids ‘swim buddy’ you’ll have to watch it and see for yourself.

5.  Jaws

Nothing makes you want to go jump in the ocean more than Jaws does right?  Oh sure, Discovery Channel has bought into the whole ‘sharks are scary awesome’ idea with Shark Week, but nothing is as awesome as Spielberg’s 1975 classic.  Let’s not forget that it also stars Roy Scheider (not to be confused with Rob Schneider) who played Captain Bridger on SeaQuest.  SeaQuest was like crack when I was growing up… I NEVER missed an episode.  Let’s not forget the Jaws soundtrack.  Two notes on a tuba, that’s all it took to make a villain.  DUH-DUH.  DUH-DUH-DUH.

in·au·gu·ral

[in-aw-gyer-uhl, -ger-uhl]

–adjective

1. of or pertaining to an inauguration: Harding’s inaugural address.

2. marking the beginning of a new venture, series, etc.: the inaugural run of the pony express.

We are marking the beginning of a new venture.  Inaugural…  It just sounds so austere, so regal…  what movie is worthy of the inaugural post?  There are too many to pick from but I will focus on three, count ’em, three movies.  Three movies that were ‘firsts’ for me.  Fitting for the first post I think?

Movie 1:  The Secret Garden

This is the first movie I remember seeing in a theater.  I was eight or nine years old at the time, and while I think I saw other movies in the theater (Disney movies no doubt) I REMEMBER The Secret Garden.  Why do I remember it?  Not because it was a film of fantastic cinematic quality but because the girl who sold my mother and I tickets, gave me (or my sister… the details are a bit sketchy actually) a promotional pin for the movie.  Those of you who are fans of Office Space might know this as flair.  I still have the pin somewhere in my plethora of childhood mementos.  Looking back on it now, that is why I remember this trip to the movie theater.

I’ve watched the movie more than once since 1993 and it is part of my DVD collection.  I bought it out of the $5 bin at Walmart in a combo pack with the Alfonso Cuarón version of A Little Princess.  (Two movies for $5?!  JACKPOT!)  It’s a fairly faithful adaptation of the book (which I also recently re-read) and the young girl playing Mary, Mary quite contrary was fantastic despite her young age.  Toss in the always amazing Dame Maggie Smith as Mrs. Medlock and the film stands the test of time.  I wish more children’s movies were like this one.  Is anyone else tired of penguins and talking dogs and kung fu pandas or is it just me?

thesecretgardenhermionegranger

Side note:  When I first read the Harry Potter books and before Emma Watson was cast as Hermione Granger, I pictured “Contrary Mary” as Hermione in my head.

Movie 2:  Twister

Twister was the first movie I convinced my parents I was old enough to see (I was 11 or 12 at the time) when I really wasn’t.  It was PG=13 for a reason apparently… my frail preteen mind couldn’t handle it.  I saw the movie when I lived in Buffalo, New York with a girl named Tiffany.  Tiffany who had a love of Barbie dolls and ended up with all of my favourite Barbie dolls and my collection of fabulous Barbie clothes which I am still somewhat bitter about today.  I digress.  Tiffany and I went with her parents to see Twister.  I remember having to get up and leave the theater more than once because I was so frightened by the film.  I used the convenient excuse of needing to use the bathroom to save face.  It wasn’t exactly the tornadoes themselves that scared me but the sound, the howling wind the creaking buildings and the breaking glass… oh and the one storm chaser whose forehead met up with a spinning saw was a bit gruesome, but yes, the sheer noise was terrifying.

I’m proud to say this movie no longer terrifies me though.  I can watch it and be amused by the cows and by the fact that Cary Elwes was in it as the “bad guy.”

caryelwestwister

My dear sweet Westley will always come for me.  That’s what she said.  No really.  Anyways… on to #3.

Movie 3:  Armageddon

Armageddon was the first movie I saw at a drive in theater.  Another significant first as many kids today have never experienced a drive in.  That sort of depresses me as I find them to be great fun.  I’m lucky to have two drive in theaters with in a half an hour drive where I currently live.  I try and make at least one trip a summer out to see a flick.  Right, back to the world exploding… or well being hit by a massive asteroid. I saw this movie with my friend Shane, her brother and her parents.  We popped up the hood on their minivan and stretched out in the back with some sleeping bags.

stevebuscemiarmageddonI’ll admit that the premise of this film is pretty absurd.  An asteroid can only be destroyed by drilling into its surface and detonating a nuclear bomb.  The only people that can do it are some off shore oil-rig drillers?  Really?!  That’s all you got NASA?  Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck (OH AND STEVE BUSCEMI!) will save the day?  No wonder you’re facing budget cuts.

Still… as absurd as I think the premise is now, I enjoyed the movie when I saw it at the drive in.  I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and I cried when Bruce Willis had a video chat with his daughter (played by Liv Tyler) before signing off for good. To me this is a classic ’90’s film.  Like Independence Day it was a bit ‘out there’ as far as the plot went, but it didn’t matter, it was a summer blockbuster and it was the film to watch and as a middle schooler you watched anything and everything as going to the movie theater was what you did.  It is what was ‘cool’.

Those are my firsts, what are yours?