Saturday, September 28, 2013


So I assume we're still doing this, right?  =P  Totally and completely kidding.   I know we're all busy and preoccupied with other stuff.

Since there wasn't a topic posted, it's a "Hey How's Life?" week.  Up until the past week, though, there hasn't been much to report.  To begin with, I guess, Angie's boyfriend Chris finally found a police officer position!  He'll be working for Bratenahl, a private city near Cleveland.  I guess it's not as safe as it sounds, though.  Even though the community is gated, the surrounding area is really crappy, so I guess those cops usually have a lot to do.  We're all going to worry about him, of course, but at least he won't be bored.  Something else awesome is that his badge number is birthday!  We all had a good laugh about that.  I guess there's a chance that he might double badge with Eastlake, since the position in Bratenahl in only party-time, but that's still up in the air.  Right now anything in that field is progress though, since his commission from the police academy ran out, literally, on the day that he was sworn in.  (For those unfamiliar with the process, a graduate of the police academy has only one year after graduation day to find a job.  If they don't, they have to re-take all their academy courses and re-spend all that money).

Secondly is that I am having LASIK done.  I went to the LASIK Vision Centers of Cleveland, and they told me that although my prescription is pretty high, I have a thick cornea, and that's essential for the surgery to be effective (or is it "affective"...?).  I'm nervous for it, but I really feel like I need to do this before my eyes get any worse.  I should really get them back to square one ASAP before I have to spend even more money on extremely thick lenses.  The surgery is going to be expensive, but I have the money now, so I think it'll be a good time to finally have it done.  The freedom from glasses and contacts is going to be so liberating.

Thirdly, guess who's back!

Remember Sport?  Well the big guy is back!  We're only fostering him, but he's doing pretty well considering he's been here all of about two days.  The little family we adopted him out to found a new place, and unfortunately, that place has a zero-tolerance policy for anything with even a little bit of Pitt Bull.  We're on the waiting list for Lake County's no-kill shelter, and the list is fairly short, so I'm anticipating he'll be at the shelter probably before Halloween.  None of us are going to be happy to see him go, but he's just too much for us.  Just imagine Duo as an active puppy, with longer legs and the ability to leap from couch to couch...and who takes advantage of that ability more often than we can handle.  Still...we'll always love him.

School is going fairly well.  To prepare for my LASIK, I know I'm going to have to get super ahead on stuff because I'm not supposed to read for extended periods of time for about a week afterwards.  It's actually pretty hilarious because the consent form says, "Rest as much as possible after surgery," but, "Try to refrain from reading or watching TV for the proceeding week."  Then WTF am I supposed to be doing while I'm resting?!  =P

And speaking of TV...ONCE UPON A TIME STARTS TOMORROW!!!!!  Who's excited and has two thumbs?  THIS GIRL!!  Also, did we all get the chance to see Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Sleepy Hollow?  Because those two shows are awesome so far, and those who didn't watch should catch up while it's still early.

I love and miss you guys!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

And I thought I had no free time in college . . .

I really ought to post about my own topic, oughtn't I?

Okay, so new Harry Potter movie, screenplay by JK, all new material. Couldn't be awesomer, yes? Yes.

Here's what I want:

Luna. She doesn't have to be a huge part, but I'd like to see her at least a little. Honestly, I would LOVE it if these movies were framed as stories that Luna is telling to her boys about the adventures of their great-grandpa. That way, the movies can still be their own stories, but there's that taste of the familiar for all us die-hards.

Non-British wizarding society. I am really excited to see how wizard society functions in the US. Things like castles and candles and enchanted forests fit really well with the image of a country like England with over a millenia to its name. They fit less well into US society, so I really want to see that transfer.

Similarly, non-modern wizards. Wizards are notoriously "behind the times" -- still using candles and carriages and things of that ilk. So if we're set in the 1920s, are they that much further behind? Or non-modern wizards still more or less the same?

Familiar characters. And by that I mean characters we know from the series, but as we never got to see them in canon. Not so much Dumbledore (though he'd be awesome, I feel like he'd steal any scene he was in), but maybe Bathilda Bagshot, characters we know by name but never saw fleshed out.

Newt. I know, I know, we know next to nothing about this guy. And yet, in my head, I've got a wonderful picture of this nerdy, awkward, absent-minded intellectual. That may be entirely wrong, but I'm excited to see this character that JK cares so much about.

Yay universe expansions!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Wizarding World in Other Countries

So, the story is supposed to start in New York, right? So, I'm curious as to what the American wizarding world is like and how it is different from England.

Do we have a Pentagon of Magic? A President of Magic? Do we have different modes of transportation, sports, wands, etc? What is the American wizarding school? Is it a boarding school like Hogwarts?

I know all those questions are unlikely to be answered, but I really curious as to whether we'll see any cultural differences.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Chimera

I.Am.So.Excited for these movies!!!!

Specific to the movies, I can't wait to meet Newt Scamander himself.  I mean, one of his descendants married the lovably-odd Luna Lovegood, so he has to be at least a little bit interesting and eccentric.  I also can't wait to see some of these magical beasts.  I own Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and there are so many that I've always said, "Gee, I wonder what that would look like..."  For instance, the chimera.  I know they're one of the most dangerous creatures in the wizarding world (if not the most dangerous), but a creature with that many combinations in it has to look a little hokey, right?  The only way I manage to imagine it is disjointed and cartoon-y, so I really hope we get to see one that's well-blended and more realistic.  There are so many more that I want to see: doxies, fairies, the rest of the species of dragons,...

OMG CHIMERA!!!  RUN!!!  This is really the only "realistic" looking rendition I've seen in artwork.

Generally, the additional stuff that I want to know about the Harry Potter series is just what these movies promise: more about magical wildlife.  I know, none of you are surprised, but wildlife is fascinating to me, and learning about animals and creatures that have abilities that are even cooler than the ones we know about already is very exciting.

I'm sorry that this post is late  =(  There's no excuse, unfortunately.  I completely forgot...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Harry Potter Lives Again!!!

So, it's Maggie's week to choose a topic, but as Maggie is pretty miserably ill at the moment, I'm not going to make her. I'm gonna switch weeks with her. I'll provide the topic today. And the topic is this (it's Harry Potter related. I'm never going to get tired of talking about Harry Potter, so please let me know if you all have a threshold for it, okay?):

You have all, I hope, by now heard the news that JK Rowling is writing screenplays for a new Harry Potter movie series based around Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the adventures of Newt Scamander. You have also, I hope, heard that the stories will be set largely in 1920s New York, a time before Harry and Voldemort and all our most familiar characters. So my question for discussion is this:

Directly related to the movie, what are you hoping to see? This is largely uncharted territory, after all. We're not going to go into the movie knowing a plotline or characters or anything like that. So what would you like to learn from the movies?

Secondly, more general, what more do you want to know about the wizarding world in general? What do you wish could have been included in the books?

Have at and celebrate, my fellow Potterheads!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Apparently Germans think I'm hawt

This has got to be quick because I have 90 bajillion things to do and not much time to do them in.

For those of you who don't know, I went to Germany to present research over Thanksgiving 2010. It was fun, but included a few... strange encounters with German men. First, I was waiting for a session with the composer from Finding Neverland (I know, awesome, right?!) and I was bored so I pulled out a notebook and started writing (something for Sleeping Beauty class, I think). A few minutes later, this guys walks up to me and gibbers at me in German. I put on my best "whowhaHUH?" face and say the ONLY german phrase I know - "sprechen zie English?" (I know, it's spelled wrong. Not looking it up.) Anyway, turns out he thought I was a journalist or something, but he spent the next 10-15 minutes chatting me up before they finally let us in for the event. It was weird, but kind of nice - always nice to know some guy thinks you're pretty enough that he'll introduce himself out of the blue, right?

The second was much weirder and makes me wish just a tiny bit that I'd had pepper spray. A few mornings later I was getting the early train into town for some sight seeing, and this homeless guy sat down across from me. He kept gibbering at me in German through the whole ride, trying to get me to understand him (I didn't) and looking at me in a way that made me very nervous. I was VERY glad when my stop came up and I could get off the train!

Aaaaand now I have 10ish pages of reading, studying for a French exam, and two topics for major projects to settle on, and I have to be back in class in 12 hours. CIAO!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Campfire Man

My stranger was almost a lead-in to a romantic drama. Woe is me. 

At this point I was in high school and to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure which year it was (one if the ones in the middle).  A close friend of mine was having a birthday party which was unlike any party I'd ever been to. There were tents in her backyard and a fire and a ton of people I didn't know and I'm pretty sure half of the people who came either hooked up or got baked (I remember! It was junior year).

I did no such thing, of course, and found myself by the fire where there were only a few others. I end up having this amazing conversation with this guy whose name I don't even remember and I'm actually not sure he even really knew the birthday girl.  When I say this was almost a romantic lead in, I'm serious: he was attractive, he held a meaningful and intelligent conversation with me for at least an hour, and sincerely wanted my phone number. And that holds the record of still being the only time in my life where  a strange gentleman wanted my number and I wanted to give it to him.

To this day I believe that he called me and it simply got lost in the flurry of my sister's wedding week because a cellular was not a norm in my life at the time. 

I even tried to follow up and get his number via my friend and you know what? She couldn't even tell me who he was! 

Danger! Danger!

I can think of two incidences of stranger danger.

(1) I was vacationing in Florida with my family, and I ended up bumping into some random guy at the beach who asked my name. I gave it to him, he gave me his, and I moved on. But, as he was leaving the beach, he caught me alone and asked if he could have my number. I told him no, but he insisted on giving me his number. But, he didn't have a pen or paper on him, so he asked if I would go back to his car with him! Which I told him no. So he insisted that he tell me his number and I repeat it back to him until I had it memorized!

My cousin saw the guy, but she didn't come rescue me because she wasn't sure I wanted to be saved! 

(2) Maggie came back our room in BG, talking about this guy who had been muttering angrily under his breath behind her the whole way, and she was certain he was going to try to kill her or someone or something. But from her description of the guy, I recognized him as someone from one of my classes who was known for having "oddities." So I talked to him in class the next day, and said, "I talk to myself when I'm angry or upset about something because it helps me think things through. I'll have to be more careful when I'm out and public. I didn't realize I looked like a murderous madman."

EDIT: Sorry, I meant to publish this tomorrow, and I forgot to hit the "schedule" button!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Stranger Danger? Not so much . . .

Maggie and I have totally fallen off the wagon, guys, and I'm sorry. School just started, and it has been insane and exhausting for both of us. I'm gonna try to get us back on track, though, I promise!

As for this week's topic, I also have two stories. The first is offered because the second . . . maybe doesn't quite count? I dunno; I'll let you all be the judge.

So story #1:

It was one of those winter days in BG -- you all know the ones I mean. Biting wind, freezing temperatures, the whole nine yards. Well, I have sensitive eyes. I always have. They water at the drop of a hat, which is why I've always had the amazing ability to make myself cry on command.

Well, this winter day, the wind was awful, and my eyes were just streaming from it. I could barely see where I was going. And some fellow student walking in the other direction stopped me and asked, very concerned, "Oh my God, are you okay? Is anything wrong?" Because she thought I was crying because I was upset.

It was really sweet, in a time when we barely slow down to give acquaintances more than a "Hey, how are you doing?/Fine thanks" exchange, for a stranger to stop a crying girl to make sure everything was all right.

Story #2:

I make friends with people on the internet. I write fanfiction, as you all know, and I have been doing so for quite some time. And one of my internet friends, Sarah, became my friend because of some of my Ron/Hermione fanfiction. We started chatting back and forth about Harry Potter and what have you, and eventually became really close.

Now, Sarah lives in England, and so when I was going on my London trip back in 2009, I posted on my blog asking for sights I should make sure to see, and Sarah asked if I would be interested in/not creeped out by meeting in person. Of course I was (she's not the stranger of this story, don't worry).

So we set up a time and place to meet on the trip's mostly free day, and the two of us wandered around the city together for most of the day and had a wonderful time finding places my ancestors were buried and debating Harry Potter and being schooled in English history (I was the one doing the schooling, ironically enough), and around dinnertime, Sarah asked if I wanted to meet another Harry Potter internet person who lived in the city.

Stranger danger! But I said sure, and met Sheri, who was (and still is) a lovely person even if I don't care at all about her guinea pigs, and they took me to a Mexican restaurant in London and we spent the meal discussing differences in language between the UK and US, and Sheri and I have been friends ever since!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

I Look Like I'm 12, But I Sign Like I'm Deaf...

I have two memories to share for this prompt:

HILARIOUS:  Mom and I attended the Geauga County Fair this past weekend with a friend of mine from work.  I should note here, though I don't know how it could really be relevant, that I was wearing my hair twisted up into a clip, a plain white t-shirt, my black goucho capris, and flip-flops.  Mom and I arrived after my friend, and were standing at the "Credit Card Only" line at the ticket counters.  Like most fairs and events of this sort, there's a discount available depending on your age.  Well, the woman behind the ticket counter took Mom's card (after Mom said "two please"), then looked over at me and asked, "Twelve and under?"

Really?!?!  Mom and I bust up laughing because it was just so ridiculous.  I mean, I'm used to getting weird looks whenever I tell people I'm twenty-five, and I know that I look young, but come on!  Eleven?!?!  I looked at her and told her no, I'm twenty-five, and she turned to Mom and asked if I was telling the truth.  WTF?  I still can't believe it.  I get the people who think I'm eighteen or twenty-one (again, I know I look younger than I am), but that's just silly.  Mom and my friend contend that it's because I was "wearing too much clothing" to be considered any older, and as I looked around at some of the teenagers at the fair, it made sense.  There were some outfits there that made me shudder and wonder if the wearers owned a full-length mirror.

MOVING:  When we were in undergrad, I worked over one summer for a small privately-owned Panera-ish restaurant called The Stone Oven Bakery & Cafe located in Beachwood Ohio.  On this particular day, I was assigned to run the cash registers.  A man and a woman stepped up to my register, and the woman ordered first.  Then, when it was the guy's turn, he started signing in ASL to her.  He spoke very well, but I noticed he wasn't wearing a hearing aid that I could see.  Anyway, I had to essentially treat her like an interpreter the entire time, which was taking forever and got really annoying really fast.  We had a line that was practically out the window, and they were just slowing it down.  I finally got sick of it and started signing to the man myself.  His eyes lit up, and he exclaimed, "She's signing back to me!"  I was able to get their order out much faster, and the gentleman complimented me on knowing Sign even though I'm completely Hearing.  It was satisfying for me to know that I had learned something in college that I could apply to real life every once in awhile, though now my Sign is extremely rusty.  He also said I should be given a raise, but that never boss laughed at me for that one...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Stranger Danger!

But not really...

This week's prompt is to tell us the most memorable encounter you've ever had with a stranger.  It absolutely does not have to be scary or confrontational (i.e., an assault or a creeper).  It could be one that was moving, one that was hilarious, or one that sticks out in your mind for some other reason.  And hey, if you can come up with more than one, that's okay too.

I know, it's random, but I had a strange encounter with a...well...stranger last week that amazes me still.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Oh hey, it's Thursday again

I gotta tell you guys, turns out Thursday was not a good choice for me. If the universe wants to just cancel Thursdays for the rest of the semester, that would be totally fine with me. In fact, cancel Wednesdays while you're at it, they're no fun either (though for difficulty reasons, rather than length reasons).

You guys mentioned your "# year" plan? I'm lucky if I have a "Next week" plan with all the busy-ness in my life right now!

A lot has happened since I last talked to you guys. As Katie told you earlier this week, I have finally moved into my apartment, and I absolutely love it so far. It's far enough away that I feel like I really am LEAVING school when I go home for the night, but not so far that I can't walk it easily (if I plan right). It is right next to everything (including some dangerous places like Chipotle, Old Navy, and most importantly Barnes & Noble!) but I'm on the back of the complex so it's very quiet, even in the middle of the day. And, it has lots of closet space which is just awesome! :-)

The other part of this change is the classes. Luckily, I passed out of all but one of those exams I was studying for (WOO!) so I'm not in any remedial coursework - the theory is without 4 other tests to study for I'll be able to study for, take and pass the one I failed, especially since I only failed by a few points. All excited about school, I decided to sign up for 5 classes, 2 Library and 3 Musicology. Many musicologists thought it would be too much, but going on the advice of some other dual majors ("Library courses are really easy! Take it and get it out of the way!") I did it anyway. Needless to say, I dropped the extra library course by the end of the first week.

My remaining classes are a mixture of ridiculously easy and ridiculously hard. The big one, for me, is M-551: Intro to Historical Musicology. We're required to write a paper a week, on a topic that requires original/primary source research. This would be okay if I had a background in the topic, but he assigned us "American Sheet Music from 1830 to 1880." Guys. I know jack-s**t about that era in American music. I mean, I know that's the point, but I don't even know where to start each week, in coming up with a topic. It was that class that made me decide I couldn't handle 5. I need all the extra time I can get to research these stupid papers!

[I feel like, since I'm doing a lot of complaining about M-551, I should say something nice about it. In fact, it is very interesting to do this research once I've decided on a topic, because I get to learn about handling positively ancient music, in one of those fancy manuscript library places (there's one on campus!) kind of like in A Discovery of Witches. I've wanted to do that for forever, so now I have an excuse and that's cool. Also, he wasn't too mean in our first presentations yesterday - critical, yes, but not ever in a "You're an idiot!" way like some teachers might have.]

Everything else has been pretty easy so far - Z-401 is "Computer-based Information Tools," a necessary evil for my library degree. Seriously, our lecture today was on Search Engines. SEARCH ENGINES! Then there's M-539: Music Bibliography, and I'm not sure what it's about yet, since we had a sub last week, but we talked about library catalogs, how to use them, and a little about the cataloging back-end, which is a particular interest of mine. And lastly, M-603: Methods of Musical Scholarship. It's a variable topic course, and I lucked out because this semester they're doing Film Musicology! My kind of stuff! Anyway, that one involves lots of reading so far, but I can already tell it won't be nearly as difficult as M-551, and it will be infinitely more fun because I actually CARE about the subject matter! YAY!

And that's about it. Apologies if I miss lots this fall. I will try to take time on the weekends to write up and schedule posts, but there's no guarantees - weekends are my best times for research, and until I have a paper for the next week, I feel guilty if I'm not working on that...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

life update

Hey, all
I have a temporary job now, nothing too exciting. Classes have started back up and all the student workers left, so there’s this auction house that needs someone to scan all these documents that have been piling up. So that’s what I do, I scan.

I’m not complaining too much. It brings in some money, but working 8 to 5 makes it really hard to get any writing done, and I would really like to finish Merlin so I can start sending it out and hope for something.
About half the staff working at the auction house started in temporary positions, so maybe something will come out of it, but I wouldn’t be too excited about it. It doesn't really seem like an area I would be interested in working in. But, I’m with Katie. It’s not about what I want to be doing, it’s about taking what comes my way so that I can do something, make some money, and then work on what I want to do.

I think after this job is over (if it doesn’t turn into anything else), I’ll start looking at some part time stuff or a temp agency. I would really like some income, but I would also really like time to get some creative stuff done.
James and I went to DragonCon last weekend, and it was pretty cool. I got to go to a ONCE panel with the actors who play Archie, the Blue Fairy, and one of the writers. The three of them were a really funny group and it was pretty awesome to be there. I also went to a Meet with Tonks hour and Nat Tena is really funny, really cute, and also shorter than you might think. I was really worried I’d be star struck around these people, but I wasn’t. They’re just normal people like you and me and it was really cool to speak with them.

My job is pretty much paying for the room that we didn’t get anyone to share with us to split the ridiculous cost with. So, yay!

Katie mentioned her 3 – 5 year plan, and I have more a 1-3 year plan, which is get a job to pay for the wedding, finish Merlin, find a publisher, and start on book two. Life plan, bam! Go!
Also, I went to writer’s panel that I will be posting and tagging on facebook.