today's the 28th of July...

... and two very exciting things popped up while I've been roaming around New England and stumbling over Rhode Island's beaches* these past few days (in the 100 degrees heat which is always great...NOT).

1) The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner received the 2011 Mythopoeic Award! (Actually this was a couple of weeks ago, but I only found out about it like...yesterday.) :D I can't imagine a more deserving series. If you haven't read any of the books yet, go straight to the library to hold the Thief (the first book). Don't make me track you down to throw the books into your windows or hide them under your pillows! You wouldn't want that, and tracking you down would make me feel weird, so uh...please read these books?

2) Exclusive pictures of Josh Hutcherson as Peeta and Liam Hemsworth as Gale released thanks to Entertainment Weekly! I refuse to post the EW cover here because the photoshop is a tad ridiculous, so instead here are my favorite stills** from the movie they've shown so far.

Best friends.

Josh/Peeta. With an apron. And bread.
Before anyone freaks out about Josh's seemingly still brown hair, remember that it's just a lighting trick! Take a look at the slideshow. His hair is definitely dirty blonde and it falls in waves over his forehead; don't worry. :)
*takes sigh of relief*

I think the Hunger Games makeup crew got it right, don't you think? :D

* Rhode Island's beaches are made up of shells and rocks, so we couldn't have this dramatic run up to the water with our hair flying behind us, and with smiles and laughter etched onto our faces. Instead we had to slowly walk over rocks so we didn't fall and break our teeth, while occasionally letting out a tiny squeak or two. Still, the view was breathtaking.
** Is it just me being sappy, or is the still with Jennifer and Liam is too adorable? Awwww.
*** EDIT: More Hunger Games promo pictures are right here (thanks to Bookshelves of Doom)



Hiya! Believe or not, I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth after seeing Harry Potter. Hurrah! There’s just been a lot of work to get done over the weekend, and sadly, I can’t find the USB cord for my camera and I really really wanted to post a couple of pictures from the midnight premieres because everything was fantastic there.

But it’s been 4 days since the release of the movie, and it seems that the USB cord itself dropped off the face of the earth, so I don’t think I can put off writing about the movie any longer for a couple of pictures.

Tee hee, I can hear some of groaning, “No Nonie! Not another Potter post! The official teaser poster for the Hunger Games came out! That's the new movie news. Get with the times already!" but hey, I never got closure on last week. :D So here’s Day #1 (or Day -3) with just a couple of my thoughts on the film:

I walked out of the theater wanting to jump in the air and cheer with happiness. That never happened before with a movie before. Of course, it’s not fair to judge it like that since this series holds a sentimental value with many people but still; we have to acknowledge that the filmmakers did a good job here. Coming from the bottom of my heart, I think this is the best film in the series. :D

I'm pretty sure most of you who wanted to watch the movie have already seen it, but I can't be too sure, so beware of spoilers!

  • The first part was all about the dynamic of the trio, and this second part is all about Hogwarts, and Harry himself of course. It was just a bit surprising seeing Emma and Rupert not having much to do.
  • Call me silly, but in the first few shots of the Gringrotts heist scene, I actually thought it was Emma under all the Bellatrix make-up. Helena BC was that phenomenal. She nailed Emma's facial expressions.
  • I loved Professor McGonagall’s geeky, happy giggle after setting the statues to life. And she had the first tear-inducing line in the movie: “It’s nice to see you Potter.” The audience burst into a big “AWWWWW” when she said that.
  • Fred's death scene from the book is not here. The scene they replaced it with, where he's cornered, alone and wandless, by a Death Eater, is chilling. It's horrible to watch, but so cinematic.
  • I can’t even talk about the Snape vs. McGonagall duel without getting speechless.
  • Actually, there are so many scenes in this movie I couldn’t talk about without getting inarticulate, just because of the sheer awesomeness of it all. Like in my notes about this movie I wrote a couple days ago, I had "EEEEEEEEEEEEE" written out next to McGonagall’s name just because I just couldn’t explain it any other way.
  • Next to Alan Rickman’s name I have this random scribble. It’s not even an “EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” Just a large, random scribble on the page.
  • And that, friends, should explain how incredible he was in this movie. Even an “EEEEEEEEEEEE!” can't describe him. He stole every scene he was in, and played broken-hearted-but-nevertheless-heroic Snape with perfection.
  • I would like to hand over an award to the person who decided to to put in the line “You have your mother’s eyes” line in Snape’s death scene. That was GENIUS. Everyone says that to Harry, but it means so much more when said by Severus Snape. Everything else in his memories was heartbreaking, especially the scene where he's holding a dead Lily, crying, with baby Harry in the crib sobbing. Just heartbreaking.
  • His death was also the most horrid. It's not shown directly, but seeing the silhouette of Snape and hearing it was dreadful. I hate Nagini.
  • But hooray for Neville for cutting its head off! The whole scene is just epic. I think I cheered the loudest here. I’m very, very, very thankful that they didn’t mess up the Prince’s Tale or Neville’s role in the story. The character developments of Snape and Neville were my favorite parts of the book, so they were the two parts I was most anxious about, but they delivered. Thank you, thank you, thank you Steve Kloves and David Yates!
  • Neville’s line about being mad about Luna was the cutest, and most spontaneous thing about the movie.
  • I loved Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy)’s scene when he hesitates to go over to the Death Eaters, and loved Narcissa Malfoy too. The scene on the bridge where Draco and Narcissa kept on walking but Lucius turned around, looking around a bit lost and sad was a wonderful way to end the Malfoy family storyline.
  • The third tear-inducing line after McGonagall’s and Snape’s was Dumbledore’s: “Harry, you wonderful boy. You brave, brave man.” Michael Gambon delivered that line faultlessly. Some people started crying so loudly that it got distracting. Heh.
  • I loved how they showed a disgruntled Filch getting ready to clean up the castle during the final scenes. Once a Hogwarts caretaker, always a Hogwarts caretaker. ;)
Staring contest time.

The Technical Parts

  • I’m sort of curious as to why they decided to not have the huge crowd of people during the final battle between Harry and Voldemort. To make the victory more subtle? I did like the Harry-Hagrid hug though.
  • I'm also curious as to why they decided to make Bellatrix and Voldemort turn into confetti-like pieces when they died. (But evil people never die normally in fantasy movies so...hmm...)
  • The screenwriting was great. They changed the book for sure, but it all fit somehow.
  • But Tonks and Lupin deserved more (or they should've gotten in a line before the battle about Teddy!). Lupin's line about Teddy would appear to come out of nowhere for the audience members who didn't read the book.
  • The music by Alexandre Desplat is beautifully haunting; it’s the ideal soundtrack for this movie. Just listen to "Severus and Lily," "Statues," "Courtyard Apocalypse" and "Lily's Theme."
  • Um, though I love Desplat's score, I definitely burst into tears when I heard the original John Williams theme during the epilogue. Hearing John Williams sort of sealed the ending; It all started with John Williams and ended with John Williams. It was the perfect way to bring it to a full circle.
  • I'm one of the HP epilogue-lovers *ducks from flying shoes* so I enjoyed how the epilogue played out here. I think they did good job aging the actors, and Albus Severus was adorable. (A couple of people did snort when Harry said his name, though.) :) I just wished it was longer though. Another two minutes wouldn't have hurt...
  • Who else liked the Chocolate Frog jumping out the window like it did in the first movie? :) The little references to the other movies made me happy.

There's so much more I could talk about, but ah, I think I shall end here. :D

I think they ended the series in the best possible way. It still amazes me that they kept the series going for 10 years with almost the same cast and crew they started with. It was breathtaking really. This is a bit late, but thank you to all the directors, the crew who brought the world alive, and of course the actors, Daniel, Emma, Rupert, and all the supporting actors for bringing the characters, the ones we love or love to hate, alive. And of course, thank you JK Rowling for putting everything in motion. :D

Geekiness Alert: After discussing with friends and brother, we all realized that instead of comparing Voldemort with Darth Vader/Anakin, it should be Snape vs. Darth Vader.

Voldemort = Emperor Palpatine! Full character discussions likely to come soon. :D

Geekiness Alert over.


"Please excuse my mawkishness Harry but..."

Day #2

...In about 3 hours Deathly Hallows Part 2 is going to start rolling in the theater, and well, then it's going to end. It's been an emotionally draining week to be honest. I've finished rereading the books, and I just finished our HP movie rewatch. I hate being mawkish but MY CHILDHOOD IS ENDING IN 4 HOURS NOOOOOO!! it's going to be....strange, for the lack of a better word, to not be able to call up my friends about the new HP trailer or to not watch a new Rupert Grint interview on Mugglenet.

It is the last couple of hours before the movie so here are a couple of my favorite moments from the series: quotes, fanart and gif-wise. :)

"A breeze ruffled the neat hedges of Privet Drive, which lay silent and tidy under the inky sky, the very last place you would expect astonishing things to happen. Harry Potter rolled over inside his blankets without waking up. One small hand closed on the letter beside him and he slept on, not knowing he was special, not knowing he was famous, not knowing he would be woken in a few hours' time by Mrs. Dursley's scream as she opened the front door to put out the milk bottles, nor that he would spend the next few weeks being prodded and pinched by his cousin Dudley...He couldn't know that at this very moment, people meeting in secret all over the country were holding up their glasses and saying in hushed voices:
"To Harry Potter - the boy who lived!"

"But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve ft mountain troll is one of them."
- Sorcerer's Stone
What Hermione says (Order of the Phoenix film):


“Wit beyond measure is a man’s greatest treasure.”
-Luna (Order of the Phoenix)
"It is our choices, Harry, that show us who we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
- Dumbledore (Chamber of Secrets)
"When in doubt, go to the library."
- Ron (Chamber of Secrets)
"So top grade's O for Outstanding," Hermione was saying, "and then there's A-"
"No, E," George corrected her, "E for 'Exceeds Expectations.' And I've always thought Fred and I should've got E in everything, because we exceeded expectations just by turning up for the exams."
- Order of the Phoenix

"Percy wouldn't notice a joke if it danced naked in front of him wearing one of Dobby's hats."
- Ron (Order of the Phoenix)

(Neville by Forbis)
“We’ll all keep fighting, you know that right, Harry?”
-Neville (Deathly Hallows)

(Lily's Letter by Shyduck)
When I’m 80 years old and sitting in my rocking chair, I’ll be reading Harry Potter. And my family will say to me, “After all this time?” And I will say, “Always.”
- Alan Rickman

‎"No story lives unless someone wants to listen. The stories we love best do live in us forever. So, whether you come back page by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”
-JK Rowling
I believe that this is what I'm going to be like when I watch the movie. NOOOOOOO I AM NOT PREPARED FOR THIS!!


The Artistic Talent of Harry Potter Fans aka Fanart

Day #3

(harry potter by Ekara)

(Neville Watercolor Sketch by feliciacano)

(Being Harry Potter's Friend by Kumul8--click for larger version! :D)

(teddy tries to remember by burdge-bug)

(Enough Responsibility by burdge-bug)

And I could not stop laughing when I saw this. :D


Hogwarts Hogwarts Hoggy Warty Hogwarts, teach us something please...

Day #4

One of my favorite aspects of Harry Potter is Hogwarts. Any school student can connect to the
setting because there's always teachers: eccentric teachers, caring teachers, the everyone's-
favorite-teacher teachers, strict teachers who always assign you loads of homework even though there's something important coming up, and teachers who'll hate you no matter what you seem to do (very very rarely though).

(Hogwarts Staff image via link)

And our school has a team system. It's very similar to the four houses in Hogwarts except we don't get sorted in on our first day and we get randomly placed so it doesn't matter at all. What makes it fun is that some of our teachers care and instead of calling them teams, they call them houses. :D

Oh, and then there's the endless social drama that we have to try earnestly block out because it's nearly impossible to get back out when we're pulled into it. Not good.

Definitely more exciting than the drama are the classes. Learning our subjects is a bit different than learning Hogwart's subjects, because umm Harry's subjects are...magical. Writing an essay about the toxins in soap for Chemistry is not like writing up an essay on the purposes and benefits of a bezoar for Snape's Potion class, but the classes can get similar (or *cough* you can pretend they're similar if you're a desperate Harry Potter fan).

Last year my friend and I while thoroughly discussing how similar our school was to Hogwarts in Chemistry class compared our teachers to Hogwarts' teachers, and our classes to Harry's classes (because you know, it's important to learn the skills of comparing and contrasting!)

When we compared classes we saw that:

Chemistry = Potions.
US History = History of Magic
English = Charms (the comparison is a stretch but both classes are fun and we learn vocabulary and latin prefixes from both of them!)
Biology = Herbology
Personal Fitness = Quidditch class from the first book
Math = Arithmancy
Astronomy = Astronomy :D

Defense Against the Dark Arts was left out of the list unfortunately, because it's a bit too magical, unless you count Personal Fitness as DADA because you're definitely learning how to defend yourself sometimes (learning how to run quicker is part of defending yourself)...

And there's also Transfiguration but there's no hope at all with finding a class we can equate it with.

So yes, if you ignore DADA and Transfiguration, you'll see that there's not many differences between we learn and what Harry and his classmates learn or between our schools and Hogwarts (except the fact that Hogwarts is a boarding school and it's not real ). YEAH.
Who's your favorite Hogwarts teacher and what's the one class you would like to
if you got the chance to go there? My favorite teacher is McGonagall. I think she and I would've
gotten along splendidly...maybe. My favorite class probably would've been Charms though, or
maybe DADA? :D


"Now let's have a beach party...in London!"

Day #5: Harry Potter Youtube Frenzy

14 minutes and 37 seconds of Harry Potter spoofery for your viewing pleasure. Ah-ha! :D

An egoistical Harry is priceless. :P

This montage saved this year's Oscars. Hurrah!

(P&P trailer here because it's so much more funnier if you've
seen the original :D)

(Stranger than Fiction trailer here)

This is probably one of the weirdest parodies I've seen, but I'm saying that's a good thing. :D (It's produced by University of Michigan students (yay!) and the lyrics for Act 1 Scene 1 is right here)

GAH. There were so many more videos I couldn't find. I should think about bookmarking them next time if I ever find them again, don't you think? Heh.


And the final countdown begins

*cue the final countdown music*

Day #6

How it all began:

It was a TV Spot that changed everything. I think it was the TV spot below in fact, because I vaguely remember laughing at Ron's response to Professor McGonagall transforming into a cat, and this was the only spot I found with that scene in it.

My brother and I turned on the TV on a November night after working on what seemed like countless hours of homework. My dad just happened to walk in as soon as the spot started running, and watching it together, all three of us got amused with the various complications the characters were getting into in it (someone blew up a feather!). My dad especially liked the graphics in the McGonagall transforming part, so as soon as the spot ended, he immediately asked us if we wanted to see it. We answered with a yes, as eagerly as a 7 year old and a little 5 year old could.

So off to the movie theater we went a couple days later and I walked out of the matinee show blown away. Three best friends! Harry! Ron! Hermione! Magic! A mysterious school! Weird teachers! Hagrid! Dragons! Evil villain! It was my first foray into a fantasy world and I was delighted in every bit of it.

Then I got the real book for Christmas, which changed everything once again. JK Rowling became my author hero and the world of Hogwarts and the magic became real. (....And Dan, Emma, and Rupert became my favorite actors in the whole entire universe for portraying my literary heroes onscreen.)

It's strange to think it's been a decade from that point, but it has been a wonderful decade. :)

If you're a Harry Potter fan, how did you first get started on the series? Or...if you're not much of HP fan, where did you first hear about it? :D


I can hear the crickets chirping over here

Next week I'm planning to do something Harry Potter-y everyday because the end is coming on Friday (it's here already?!), and I've been a poor poor fan indeed. So everyday starting from tomorrow and ending on Friday, I'll be posting Harry Potter related videos, art or.....umm, oh, er...yeah...I haven't exactly planned out anything yet, but expect SOMETHING!

Meanwhile, here's John Green's video on conquering his biggest fear, heights. *shudders*

As someone who's downright terrified of high places, I found John Green's act very inspiring and heroic.