Posts Tagged With: Harry Potter

identity crisis (or F**K YOU Pottermore)

When I need a break from studying I simply open another tab on my laptop and see what the world has to offer.
Today the world offered me two things that piqued my interest.
1. Loads of information about visiting New Orleans (this will be another post)
2. Pottermore

I ended up at Pottermore because when I realized today is the last day of July, I remembered it’s Harry Potter’s birthday. (the thought process was a bit more complex than that but not quite interesting enough to share)

When I realized it was Harry’s birthday, I thought I’d see about getting sorted into a Hogwarts house.
I did this a billion years ago when Pottermore first became a thing. Of course, I can’t remember my information from this sorting. (I was assigned a random word and some numbers as my username.)
I do know I was sorted into Ravenclaw.
Now, I’ve always sort of felt like I was more of a Raven-puff (Huffle-claw?), a delicate balance of both Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff houses. But the fact that the most legit sorting device placed me in Ravenclaw was more than good enough for me.
Though I often wonder if I’m truly clever enough to be a true Ravenclaw.

Anyhoo…
Today the sorting hat placed me in Gryffindor.
Um…what now?

So I immediately do the only possible thing I can.
Because Nora will feel me on this.

(side note: While I am bossy and bushy haired like Hermione. I’m not an insufferable know-it-all. I do remain calm in crisis, and plan, and think things through like Hermione. I am bright and brave like Hermione. Hmmm…I may actually be talking myself into this foolishness…)

Glutton for punishment that I am, in the intervening twenty-five minutes between texts, I get right back on Pottermore to be sorted again. Back to back.
It only gets worse.

(side note: For the record, I am NOT a hater! My own Thing 1 is a Slytherin, as is her Husband N. And good on them! But they possess certain qualities that fit Slytherin house that I don’t.)

I’m over here like, from Ravenclaw to Slytherin?

Right there with you, Buffy.
Full on identity crisis! (Yeah, yeah, based on a made up website about a made up world about a made up school…etc. I know it’s ridiculous, but I’m feeling it, therefore it’s real!)

What’s curious about this entire situation is that my wand and patronus remain the same throughout.
My patronus is a cat. (A ‘duh’ absolutely comes at the end of that sentence.)
My wand is rowan wood with a dragon heartstring core. 11 1/2 inches with unbending flexibility.
(Y’all! that wand is mine x infinity and here’s why: rowan is the “sevice-tree” with a long mythological history. Heartstring is directly linked to living my intention, and dragons are just about as BAMF as you can get. 11 1/2 inches is the size of a Barbie doll, my favorite childhood toy. And unbending flexibility? Well, I’m as unbending AF yet also fairly flexible.)

My Ilvermorny house remained the same as well. (Thunderbird) “Thunderbird house is sometimes considered to represent the soul of a witch or wizard.” That struck a chord in me too.

Anyway, I don’t cotton to this whole sorted into Slytherin house. (No offense, Bear.)
But…Nora may have saved the day!!

Has anyone ever said with unmitigated joy, “Mercury is in retrograde.”!?!
I suspect not.
But today I did!
And when Mercury once again gets itself together, I shall return to Pottermore and set this house situation straight.

This is seriously how I spend my time when I’m not studying. I’ve spent the last three hours on this sorting snafu!
I’m going to need to get it together and get back to studying!

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all time favorite literary charaters

I hate New Yorkers

Thing C posted this to my facebook wall Friday afternoon. We share a strong common love for The Great Gatsby. We talked about the post at breakfast Saturday morning. I remarked that it’s funny and sad because it’s true. He agreed, especially the I hate New Yorkers part. We laughed that Nick was all, “bye Felicia” to New York to go home to the midwest.

Nick Carraway, without a doubt, is one of my all time favorite literary characters.

Actually, this reminds me of a question from the “Proust Questionnaire”: Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Here is my answer: Nick Carraway, Katherine Minola (from Taming of the Shrew), Colonel Christopher Brandon, Princess Elizabeth (from The Paper Bag Princess), Kate Cummings (from The Secret of the Strawbridge Place), and Ron Weasley.

My love for Nick Carraway began when I first read Gatsby in American Lit my junior year of high school. I’m acutely aware that there is many a Nick Carraway character analysis out there in the world. But what I love about him is that he’s hopeful, but realistically so. Not like Gatsby with the unattainable green dock light. Nick is at once involved in the shenanigans yet remains apart from it. He understands what he sees and isn’t blinded by all the gilt trappings. He understood that though Gatsby was doomed, because he would never be able to relive the past, his intentions were pure.
One of my favorite lines is this one about the Buchanans: “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

Katherine is less shrew than misunderstood. It’s rather obvious her younger sister is her father’s favorite. It’s rather obvious he takes no interest in Katherine other than to wonder why she’s not more like her precious sister. Being big sister is not easy…especially when you have a parent that constantly pits you against each other.
That would make me bitchy too.
She’s also more savvy than most of the men in the story…that’s surely irritating! She has to be married off to one of these idiots? Again I say, that would make me bitchy too.
(disregarding all the ploys to get to Bianca)
Enter Petruchio.
He’s her match in every single way. And throughout all his “mistreatment” of her she never truly loses herself. She tricks him into believing he “tames” her.
The love and respect between Katherine and Petruchio is real.
And finally when they return to Padua for her sister’s wedding she can use her true voice and is respected for it. “Fie, fie! Unknit that threat’ning unkind brow. And dart not scornful glances from those eyes.”
It’s all a matter of how you’re perceived.

Colonel Brandon is so much more than he initially appears. He seems so quiet and not terribly interesting at first glance. But as we spend more time with him we learn that his integrity is the hallmark of his character. He has great capacity for love. He has great patience and his kindness is overwhelming. I love his friendship with the Dashwood ladies. Especially his love for Marianne. She learns to appreciate the strength and sincerity of his love.
When he and Elinor are discussing Marianne’s “immature” romantic notions and he disagrees with Elinor that Marianne should “wise up”, he says: “When the romantic refinements of a young mind are obliged to give way, how frequently are they succeeded by such opinions as are but too common and too dangerous!”
How precious is this man?

The Paper Bag Princess is a children’s book by Robert Munsch. A favorite of my girls when they were little, so much so that when invited to a come-as-your-favorite-princess birthday party Thing 1 went as this spunky princess.
Princess Elizabeth is set to marry a prince called Ronald, but a dragon comes and burns down her castle and kidnaps her betrothed. Does Elizabeth give up? Absolutely not! She dons a paper bag and sets out to save Ronald.
She’s a “can-do” kind of girl. She’s all about being the hero of her own story.
Girl Power!
Here’s a cute reading:

Kate Cummings is a girl growing up in Ohio during the depression. She is smart and spunky. Kate is brave and loyal. She has so much heart. This girl is passionate about everything she does from reading Sherlock Holmes to learning how to do the breast stroke. She loses her patience when tested, but never her kindness.
Kate and her friend Oscar spend their summer searching for the secret of the farm where she lives, the old Strawbridge Place. It’s rumored to have been somehow connected to the Underground Railroad. Their summer is an adventure which changes both their family’s lives.
I met the author when I was nine years old. She inscribed this book and it’s “sequel” to me. It’s in my top twenty favorite books of all time.
Kate is a hero but she’s also just a regular girl.
Kind of like:

Ron Weasley is best known as the redhaired sidekick of boy wonder, Harry Potter. Now I adore Harry, but Ron is my absolute favorite character from that series. Even more than Sirius Black, and I freaking LOVE him! Ron is stalwart and true. He is a fierce friend who would never betray the trust of his friends. He’s much brighter than he receives credit for…especially when Hermione is always flexing her brain.
Ron understands the importance of family, and this goes beyond the other Weasleys. He’s a pureblood without the bigotry that’s occasionally associated with being such.
Ron stood up to “notorious mass murderer Sirius Black” with a broken leg to protect Harry and Hermione. Ron wasn’t afraid to make sacrifices for the good of others, even at the age of eleven when he climbed on the horse on the giant chessboard.
I love Ron’s sense of humor. I love his loyalty. I love that he’s not starstruck by Harry, he just befriends him. He’s flawed, that’s for sure. He’s occasionally jealous of the attention Harry gets. He struggles with his personal insecurities but never waivers. Even when he leaves during the never ending camping trip, his loyalty never waivers.
Book Ron is better than movie Ron. Only because something was lost from page to screen.
Weasley is our King!

Who are some of your favorite literary characters?
Please share in the comments.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

blowing a kiss

I find myself missing my mom today.
I don’t know if it’s simply “that time of year” with my birthday rapidly approaching. Or if it’s that I’ve seen so many robin birds in the last two weeks. Or if it’s because it’s gray and cold today.
Maybe I just miss her.
It’s actually kind of strange because I honestly feel like I miss the idea of her more than I the physicality of her. That probably has to do with the fact that we lived so far apart and didn’t see each other that often.
Maybe it’s just knowing she was there was enough.

At the end of her life, she and I were not speaking often, I was wrapped up in my dad being very sick and burning miles back and forth between VA and SC. But learning how sick she was for so long before she actually died, I’ve figured out that it wasn’t just that I wasn’t reaching out to her, it was that she had stopped communication. She was keeping her illness a secret.
I wonder why she did that. She loved to play the martyr, but not seeking treatment when you’re as sick as she was…well that’s just ridiculous if you ask me.
It wasn’t my choice though. I can’t say how I would choose to behave if I was that sick, diagnosed or not…though I’m pretty sure I’d fight the good fight and do what I could to be well. I can assure you I wouldn’t keep it a secret.
I’m not quick to volunteer information, but I sure as hell don’t hide it.

I miss being able to talk to her whenever I want. To pick up the phone with any big or little thing that runs through my head. To send and receive mail on a whim. We were the quick to send each other any old thing from the crazy post card I found at Tower Records a million years ago, to trinkets like little redhaired Kelly doll or a new color book and box of crayons. She would have adored and fed my (and the Things) love of MLP.

I’m tickled to find myself choosing little trinkets to send to Thing 1 or Thing 2. Carrying on the tradition as it were. It’s as meaningful to them as it is to me. I mean, who doesn’t love getting mail? But more than that, isn’t it lovely to know someone is thinking of you with affection enough to send you a little something?
Thing 2 just got a little box of yellow smiley face gumballs from me. Randomly, because I saw them and they made me giggle. She was so happy to receive them, not only does she know she’s loved, the gumballs were yummy, too!

I suspect when the day comes that I get grandbabies I’ll do the same for them. Just a little love wrapped up with postage affixed waiting in the mailbox. How perfect is that?

It seems absolute crap that I’ll never get to talk to my mom again. Never hear her voice. Laugh with her. Get frustrated or angry with her.

There is so much unresolved baggage between my mom and me. Here’s the thing though, even if she was still here it wouldn’t get sorted. That’s simply not who she was. I’ve come to accept that.
I’d just like to hear her call me baby or tell me that she loves me.
I’d like to tell her I love her.
When I was little and we spoke on the phone, we would always blow a kiss before we hung up. Literally, “mwah, pfff” (kiss sound, blow sound).
I have the very last card she sent me on my magnet board above my desk. It’s a Mother’s Day card. It’s kind of funky like me, kind of sappy like her. She wrote, “I love you, Mommie” just like she signed every other card she ever gave me. But this was the last time she ever wrote it. She died almost exactly six months later.

The robin birds are out in force. I have a strong desire to call her to report the news.
Maybe she knows.
The pragmatic part of me knows it’s not the case but it seems kind of sweet somehow to think it.

I’m not sad. I’m…what? Thoughtful? Yes. Thoughtful. I’m in the positive place of memories and I’m filled with love.
As Sirius told Harry,”The ones that love us never really leave us…and you can always find them in here.”
For good and bad, my mom is in my heart. She always has been and will always be.

Categories: loss, love, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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