21 July 2011

We Create the Magic

It’s a story that is, by now, well known. The young woman, travelling through England on a train, when a story pops into her head. A boy, a magic castle. With no pen, she lets those beginning ideas roll through her head, the start of the story of Harry Potter. She never could have imagined, then, how that journey and that boy would change her life. How far she’s come. With her words, this young woman, Jo, brought magic into the world and into the hearts of so many young people, who desperately needed a Hogwarts to which they could escape. My dad was the first to bring me that magic. It was the summer of 2000, the middle of July, and we had just moved from Texas to Colorado. After living in hotels and travelling a bunch, we finally got a house on base, and I think part of the reason my dad got us the books was to keep my sister and I occupied while he worked on moving everything and painting and other such stuff. I was a desperately shy child. While my sister was the one going outside and introducing herself to the kids in our cul-de-sac, I stayed holed up in our half-furnished bedroom, reading whatever books we had (I mean, she read the books that summer, too, but I definitely…stayed holed up with them). It took me a little while to get excited about the book (the first chapter is not the most exciting opening chapter of a book), but soon I was drawn into the world of Hogwarts and its magic. I read each word, clutching the book, drawn to a friend because he loved the books too. In those early years, as a 7 year old, I desperately wanted Hogwarts to be real. I “played Harry Potter” on the playground with friends, imagined people were Death Eaters, and waited anxiously for a letter to Hogwarts. Sure, even at that young age I knew magic couldn’t exist, that there weren’t really witches and wizards and Voldemort, but I so desperately wanted that world because I found friends there. In the magic world of Harry and Ron and Hermione, I found refuge. I travelled along with them without ever leaving my home, learning valuable lessons of courage and love and loss. I wrote to Jo Rowling as a young girl, desperately wanting to talk to this author who had begun to define my childhood. I was ridiculously happy to get that generic response and picture back from her, even if I knew she hadn’t actually read my letter. To see her signature and feel that thick parchment was like a small wave from a different world. It was Jo telling me that I could create Hogwarts for myself. She was letting me know that the magic was in me, and I didn’t need a wand to bring it out. It would take another 4 years for me to truly realize that and carry out those words of wisdom, but I knew it deep down. For years, I was a private, though enthusiastic, Harry Potter fan. Still desperately shy in my preteen and early teen years, I didn’t know how to show my passion. Sure, as a kid I’d made friends because of Harry, but it was no longer “cool” to admit that you liked Harry Potter. I desperately needed a Hogwarts to escape to, but my eleventh birthday came and went and my wishes went unanswered. Of course Hogwarts didn’t really exist in Scotland, but I couldn’t stop hoping… And then…Hogwarts became a real place. In 2007, I discovered the fandom. I discovered PotterCast and Wrock and The Leaky Cauldron. I posted incessantly on the LeakyLounge, joining in and sometimes writing their chapter discussions, becoming “Resident Luna Biographer.” I was making friends again. Through the combined magic of the internet and Harry Potter, I wasn’t so alone anymore. 2008, I went to Terminus. And there, I feel I truly did discover Hogwarts. For Hogwarts isn’t a place, but a feeling and a state of mind. It’s a place where anyone can be accepted, regardless of any superficial traits society usually judges people on. It’s a place where you find people so like you, who want to be your friend, discuss topics, and work together to make the world a better place. I finally had my Hogwarts. I finally had my classmates. Wrockstock, LeakyCon, Wrockstock again, going to concerts…I had discovered a type of magic in my life. We cried together, laughed together, danced together, worked together to change the world through the Harry Potter Alliance. We got in trouble, had adventures, and travelled places we might not have otherwise. We discovered parts of ourselves that had been pushed away to fit in with the Muggle world. At Hogwarts, we became ourselves. Hogwarts is real, for us. So, no. I never got an acceptance letter to Hogwarts, brought to me by an owl. I never walked down Diagon Alley, strolled the corridors of the castle, sat down to tea with Hagrid. But that didn’t matter much anymore. Because I got an acceptance letter of a different kind. I got a letter of acceptance from the fandom, from my fellow fans telling me they loved me and wanted me around them. I had a place to escape, people to talk to, and a whole life of love ahead of me. That’s what the magic was. I didn’t have a physical Hogwarts, but I had everything about Hogwarts I loved. As Jo had told me with her words so many years before, I could, and did, carry the magic inside myself. It’s no secret that Harry has helped me “through all the hard times,” as RiddleTM so wisely sings. With Harry, I learned over and over again how to grieve. Dumbledore’s wisdom showed me that life went on, that the dead never truly leave our world. We keep them alive. We have the magic to do that. And whenever I lost hope, Harry helped me realize there was still something, someone, worth fighting for. Hogwarts would always be there, waiting for me, no matter how hard the times. Dark days, truly, but always I could find a safe haven in that magical world. There is magic in our world. The magic of words that say so much more than the letters give away. The magic of a hug, a smile, a dance. The magic of rain falling. The magic of music and how it can change our world. The magic of a spirit living on long after it’s dead, living on in me, simply because I will not forget. The books are over. The movies are over. We have Pottermore to look forward to, but many people are treating this past week as if Harry’s magic is ending. But I don’t believe it is. As Harry and Dumbledore taught me, nothing is ever lost. As long as I remember Harry and his friends, as long as I carry their story with me, the story will never be over. Not for me. I can let the story continue as long as I choose. That’s the magic in our world. Because of Harry, I’ve made friends. I’ve learned how to fly after I’ve fallen. I’ve had so many experiences and adventures. I’ve cried and I’ve laughed. I’ve recovered from the darkest days of my life. Harry brought me so much. For 11 years. 11 years. After all that time, I haven’t forgotten his magic. So, no, I don’t think I ever will. We’re the Hogwarts Class of 2011, yes. It’s been 4 years since the last book came out, and we cried over Fred and Lupin and Harry’s courage. The movies are over, bringing yet more tears. But, the magic of Hogwarts lives within us. We will never leave those hallways, not really. It’s our home, the one place most of us ever found refuge. We saw ourselves in Neville, Luna, Hermione, Tonks, Dawlish… We learned how to fly. “It’s the end of an era, and I’m seeing clearer that nothing will ever be the same.” ~Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls Certainly, nothing ever will be the same, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the magic. The magic lives on. There is magic in our world. Jo, you taught me how to look for it and bring it out. You taught me how to let it live in my heart and soul. I can’t thank you enough for that, Jo. But these stories and these characters have not left our world. The words continue to spin magic, bring about change, be a comforting wave and hug. We are the Harry Potter generation, and as long as we do not let this magic end, it never will. “The stories we love best live in us forever. So whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” — Jo Rowling Hogwarts is our home. The magic is in our hearts. It’s real for us, no matter what the Muggles think. Carry that magic with you for the rest of your life, and you’ll never truly be alone.

21 July 2009

Two years: The magic of our world

Two years ago, I had finished the last book of the series that has changed my life more than I could ever imagine. I'd stayed up all night to read the book, and excitement and adrenaline kept me awake until 4 in the afternoon, when I collapsed out of exhaustion on my bed. I was still processing everything that had occurred, and itching to start reading the book again so I could go and reread storylines and find hints and see what little things I missed. I would still tear up when I remembered Fred dying. I DESPERATELY wanted to discuss the book with someone, but two people in my house had yet to finish the book, which made that little bit impossible.

Now, two years later, I've had more than enough opportunity to discuss Deathly Hallows in detail with almost EVERYONE. I've traveled far outside my home state, by myself, to enjoy life and talk and laugh and experience with people who welcome me. Oh, how far we've come.

July 21st, 1997, and no one had heard of you. Now one decade later there's queues at the door, people placing their orders and shouting for more. How far you have come. How far you have come. RiddleTM

12, 10, or 5 years ago, everyone reading this note discovered Harry Potter. Maybe it was introduced or recommended to us, or maybe we found it on our own. Some of you resisted at first. But somewhere, whether at the end of the 1st book, or a little farther along, we all fell in love with the story and the characters and the love and friendship inside the books. Somewhere along the way, every one of us was captured by the magic of these books.

I myself discovered the books in July 2000 at the age of 7. I never would have guessed back then when I was playing Harry Potter with my neighbors that I would still be discussing the books and dressing up as characters 9 long years later. But something, something about these books has caught me. Kept me wanting more, kept me wanting to spread the love and the power behind these books.

And we grow up with Harry the Boy Who Lived who has helped us through all the bad times. RiddleTM

I really do feel as though I grew up with Harry and his friends, making many of the same mistakes they did and learning about life and love and growing up and responsibility right along with them. As the tone of the books got darker, and Harry realized a little more about the cruelty and also beauty of life, I did this also. And, honestly, Harry has helped me through ALL the hard times. Whether I was sad, upset, confused, lonely, or lost, those books helped me. If not to cheer me up, certainly to let me get lost in a different world, focusing on the characters and their lives instead of mine.

I never would have dreamed even 5 years ago that there was a whole community of people full of love and light and laughter and acceptance, who all loved Harry Potter to pieces. I still can't believe it when I go to a fandom event and am suddenly surrounded by so much love and hugging and welcome.

For so many years, there was no place I felt like I truly fit in. I had a small group of friends, but I didn't feel like they really UNDERSTOOD me, as cliche as that sounds. I'm not saying I had an awful life, but I certainly never had what I have now. My friends in the fandom are like none of my other friends. They love me no matter what, they are there to support me, they don't judge me for any of my ideas or mistakes I make. They are ALWAYS happy to see me. And the hugs--that's one thing that is so different and that I miss whenever I'm not with the fandom.

I know I wouldn't be the same person I am today if I hadn't discovered the HP books and the loving community that surrounds them. I've traveled far outside my comfort zone and done so many things I never would have done otherwise. I've learned that you don't have to be famous to be friends or talk to a famous person. I've seen so much about life, and I've learned that ANYONE can make a difference in the world through any small gesture. More than anything, Harry Potter has taught me to love myself for who and what I am--and to not judge myself to harshly for what I'm not. It's taught me that most people don't care about the little things, as long as you are there for them. It's taught me the importance of friendship and trust and love and the willingness to fight. :D More than anything, it has shown me what a true friend is and how to be one.

Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open. Dumbledore, Goblet of Fire

This quote applies so much to our fandom. I'm friends with people of all ages, all different religions, backgrounds, beliefs, and ideas about the world. But our love and our hope that we can change the world transcends every other difference that might otherwise separate us. No matter who we are, we all believe that we need to fight evil in the real world. Judgment doesn't occur often in the fandom, because we are accepted for WHO WE ARE and no one else. For many of us, including me, the fandom was the first place we found real friends. And because of this, it's hard to not accept someone as a friend--because people here are kind and sweet and generous and caring and accepting. To turn down a friend like that doesn't make any sense when we have so few other friends.

"It was important, Dumbledore said, to fight and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then could evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated..." Half Blood Prince

The Harry Potter Alliance is one of the most beautiful and giving charities I know of, all with a foundation around the love in the Harry Potter books. The weapon we have IS love, and we can use it to fight poverty and sickness and genocide and injustice all over the world. It may not always work, but all we can do is keep fighting if we hope to keep the world a better place for everyone.

It's an end of an era, and I'm seeing clearer that nothing will ever be the same Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

This line is true. Nothing was the same after Deathly Hallows came out. But, not in a bad way. For me, Deathly Hallows opened the path to journey into the part of the fandom that only occurs when a bunch of true fans gather in one place. It took me out of just participating online and threw me into meeting people and making lifelong friends. It showed me that I could be loved and accepted by other people. It thrust me out of my comfort zone, traveling to meet people and discuss books and present my own ideas about the connection inside the Harry Potter books. I can't believe how far I've come, how far we've all come, since that first day we journeyed with Harry on the Hogwarts Express and were opened to the world of magic and love.

Farewell, now, Jo, we wish you the best
As first generation readers, we are blessed
We will always love you and Harry
There will be nothing said to the contrary.
A line from my poem, The Final World

None of us got an acceptance letter to Hogwarts when we turned 11. I know I was disappointed by this. But, in a way, we did all receive an acceptance letter of a different kind: an acceptance letter into the fandom, to join in the fun and laughter and hugs and joy. We have created Hogwarts for ourselves, have created Harry's world ourselves. We don't need the spells and potions, because our love creates the magic for us in our world. Jo's creation has become something much larger I think than anyone could have imagined, for we have created it for her in the real world, with magic coming from our hearts rather than our wands.

It's beautiful, and I thank the universe every day that I am a part of it.

I love you. Every one of you. Thank you so much!

17 July 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince movie review

I realized as I was about to post this that this OBVIOUSLY contains spoilers. I'd think you would realize that since it's a REVIEW, but I don't want to make anyone mad. So:

*funny noise John makes on PotterCast*


*end funny noise*

So, I hoped to write this after I had first seen the movie at midnight Wednesday. Well, not RIGHT after, but after I'd gotten my 3 hours of sleep. However, since I saw it for a second time last night, I think a lot of my opinions will be better processed now, without the excitement of seeing it at a midnight premiere and only 3 hours of sleep. Wow. Okay, long introduction to why I have yet to write this...ON TO THE BLOG!!!!

Overall, I very much liked it for what it was: A Harry Potter movie. I think a lot of people judge them too harshly. THEY AREN'T THE BOOKS. And they'll never be the books--be as good or as thorough or anything as the books. I like both the books and the movies, but as ENTIRELY SEPARATE entities. I love the books more (obviously), but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the effort and the fact that they are very good movies as far as movies go.

I agree with people who say it's the best Potter yet. They included the most important IDEAS from the book. Not necessarily details or scenes, but they got across the ideas and themes of the book much better than they have for any other Potter movie. By this, I mean:
They got across the fact that Malfoy is not really a Death Eater. He hesitates, doesn't really want to, and really just wants to save his family. I LOVE TOM FELTON.
They got across the Harry/Dumbledore relationship very well. Congratulations, Michael Gambon. FOR ONCE, you didn't screw it up.
They included Hermione's jealousy.
They at least included how much Harry liked Ginny. I didn't like how they portrayed Harry/Ginny very much, but more on that later.
They got across the Half-Blood Prince thing. And left you wondering if Snape was good or evil.
Mmm...Horcruxes. Well, at least they talked about it. But...they also left a lot of loose ends that I have no clue how they're going to tie up in the next movie.

I mean, there are some things I'm confused about and that I didn't like. But I think I have to wait until the last movie--because they might tie up these loose ends and I just can't figure out how, but they have figured out how. My only REALLY big one is:

How the heck is Harry supposed to know what the Horcruxes are and where to look for them?!
Dumbledore quote from the movie: They could be anything. The most commonplace of objects.
NononononononononoNO. *shakes head vigorously* That is the exact opposite of what Dumbledore said in the book! The Horcruxes are very specific things, that Tom Riddle/Voldemort chose for a reason. And Harry's supposed to be looking for things from the founders--the cup and something unknown from Ravenclaw. I mean, I could care less whether they include the specific memory Harry saw to show him these things, but Dumbledore could at least MENTION "Oh, and I believe Voldemort chose things from the founders for his Horcruxes because he felt a special connection with Hogwarts." That took me 5 SECONDS TO SAY. It's not hard to include!

So, I don't know how Harry's going to know what to look for in the next movie. How does he know the snake's a Horcrux? How does he know about the founder thing? Jokingly, I said that Hermione will probably just figure it all out because that's what they do in the movies. And maybe they will do that. I just think that was a very big thing to leave out of the movie, and I'm really not sure how they're going to "fix it" in Deathly Hallows in a non-stupid way.

One other thing I was confused about was how they're going to establish that Harry now owns Kreacher and Sirius' house...I mean, this one is easier to fix with some finding of Sirius' will or mentioning of, but...I'm just not sure.

Now, on to my comment about Harry/Ginny. One big criticism I have is that the movie was too Ron/Hermione oriented, and not enough on Harry/Ginny.It did a good job establishing how much HARRY liked Ginny, but they never really started their relationship, and they never ended their relationship...you know, since it never happened. And, I mean, I know the book talks about both relationships...but in the book really all that is shown is Hermione's jealousy and how much SHE likes Ron. Ron doesn't really come to realize how much he likes Hermione until he leaves during Deathly Hallows. I mean, really, Half-Blood Prince was very much a Harry/Ginny book (with Ron and Lavender's obnoxious relationship in there too) and Deathly Hallows was when Ron and Hermione's relationship REALLY finally was established as fact.

But, I suppose this isn't something that is a huge deal in the grand scheme of the movies and the next movie. It was just something that very much bothered me... :D And I think...unless I want to get super nitpicky, those were the things that really bothered me about the movie.

I thought Michael Gambon finally did a rather good job.* I'm not entirely sure if this is because Michael Gambon decided to act better, or because the screenwriter wrote Dumbledore better in the script so that Gambon would play him better, but it doesn't really matter either way. The ending of the movie was wonderful. He did an AMAZING job in the cave, drinking the potion, and later on top of the tower. The casual chatting with the Death Eaters was PERFECT. It really did seem just like someone who knew they had to die.

And Tom Felton was PHENOMENAL. He's such a lovely actor, and he did such a good job as Malfoy! The crying in the bathroom, the dueling scene with Harry, the scene on the train, and the scene on top of the tower were all perfect, and I am so thankful that he's the one who plays Malfoy, because he's wonderful. =)

In general, all the actors have grown so much both as people and as actors. The movies keep getting better, and I've heard wonderful things about Deathly Hallows, including that Bill and Fleur's weddding is there, Umbridge is there, and the Battle of Hogwarts is 30 minutes long. Certainly, I'm not going to make any harsh criticisms about the movie series until I've seen the last Deathly Hallows movie and see how they finish out the series. :)

And, yes, I've already seen it twice.** I'm seeing it at least twice more--once with my friend Colleen on the 27th, and then in IMAX for my friend's birthday. If you have yet to see it, and for whatever reason you read this entire blog post despite the spoiler warnings, GO SEE IT. NOW.

Finally...yeah. Sorry it's been so long. So much for BEDA teaching me to write more often. ;) I'll really try to write more blogs--I'm considering trying BEDAugust, but it depends how that goes once school starts up again halfway through the month. We'll see.

Cheers! DFTBA!

*I'm not saying he was amazing. But he didn't screw things up, and actually managed to seem like Dumbledore from the books.
**I needed to process everything without the excitement of a midnight premiere. Plus...I just wanted to see it again. =)

31 May 2009

This is Never Going to End: LeakyCon 2009

I’ve been back in the “real world” for about 7 days now. It’s surreal, really. The weekend went by so fast, full of wrock and dancing and screaming and little sleep and laughing and hugging and friends. My voice isn’t totally back to normal, it took a few days for my feet to stop hurting, and I was exhausted for days. But it was more than worth it.

For me, LeakyCon started on Friday. I arrived at Logan airport, very exhausted, and met Julia so we could go to the hotel. In the lobby, I met Susie, but got changed in my room before we got me registered. Near the information desk, I ran into Cody and Shoshana. We stood around talking for a while, then I headed off to the vendor room with Susie and Cody, where I asked Frak to draw me and Neville =D Then, Cody and I went to the Darfur and Human Rights HPA simulation, which was incredibly interesting…and I got to meet Andrew Slack, which was great! I also got to talk to Karen, who helped me with some ideas on how to start an HPA chapter at my school. Lunch was provided by Au Bon Pain (woooo…) and eaten in the park with Cody since it was quite nice in the shade.

After lunch, I got my sticker for the Nerdfighter Nosh and then we went to it. There, we met Ellie, who is awesome. Hank and John were hilarious, telling jokes and teasing one another. John ate some toilet paper and Hank sang songs. I got both of them and Maureen (who I snuck up on. Muahahaha) to sign books/CDs for me. We also got to see the trailer for Finding Hogwarts, which looks absolutely phenomenal—Bre is awesome. Once we had our things signed, Cody and I headed over to the Wizard Rock Panel—they announced the winners for the Wizrocklopedia. Congrats to everyone, but especially RiddleTM for getting so many awards and Ariel for being Best New Artist. We then went to listen to Melissa talk about her book. And, that night was Rock Night in the Castle—I was in the 2nd row. All of the sets were absolutely amazing—Gred and Forge was awesome, getting all of the bands on stage! I had a lot of fin dancing and jumping with Dinah and Cody and Shoshana and people. The Harry and the Potters set was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! When we all got in that big circle, and then all went to the middle, jumping and screaming…I just felt so connected to everyone in the room, even the ones I didn’t know. We were together, we were happy, and we were loving being alive. It reminded me so much of why I love the fandom. On our way back to the hotel, we ran into Scott and Kirsten of The Blibbering Humdingers and Ashley and Emma of Bella and LeStrangers, who decided to go into the glass lobby (with no air) and play for us. It started out very mall, but grew to quite the amount of people. They took turns playing until about 3:15, and we went to bed around 4:00

Saturday morning began obnoxiously and loudly with an intercom telling us to “evacuate the building. This is not a test.” We sleepily put on shoes and headed downstairs, where we discovered it was a false alarm, and to go back upstairs. It was annoying, not the best way to start the morning, but hilarious to look back on now. Anyway, after a quick breakfast and shower, I went to Lena’s “Fountain of Fair Fortune” opera, which was…well, it made me quite emotional, and it was interesting to actually see it performed. Then, of course, there was PotterCast, which was mostly John and Sue arguing a lot about house elves (some things never change) and the Ministry of Magic playing—they’re always awesome. Lunch was provided by Shoshana and eaten in the vendor room while we watched a show by The Blibbering Humdingers and Bell and LeStrangers (yes, again). Then, we headed over to the Imperial Ballroom around 1:00 to get in line for the Wrock Afternoon show. It turned out they moved it to the Plaza at 3:00, but we weren’t about to give up our spots in the front of the line, so we waited for over 2 hours. We sang songs, mostly Accio Deathly Hallows, until a hotel employee told us we couldn’t sing in the hallways! =O Towards the end of our waiting time, Hank came up to us and said, “So, I hear you’ve been waiting here a really long time…” Then we started talking to him about random things (cell phones, horses, his song, handcuffing his fingers) for quite a while, and somehow we all managed to not freak out!! It was very exciting, and a lot of fun.

Anyway, it was definitely worth waiting in line for those 2 hours. =) The concert was absolutely amazing. It's kind of hard to put into words...but....it was AWESOME. I'd never seen RiddleTM live, and I love their music. It's beautiful. =) They are incredibly talented, and I was so happy to actually see them play. The Mudbloods were great, as always--I thought it was particularly funny that Adam wasn't wearing shoes, but only green socks. The Moaning Myrtles are awesome. That's all. And, the Remus Lupins!!! Okay, so I'm not quite as obsessed with them as some wrock fans are. Yes, Alex is hot. Yes, their music is awesome. But I'm not obsessed with them. However, ALEX LIT HIS GUITAR ON FIRE AND THEN SMASHED IT ONSTAGE!!!! I'm sure you've seen youtube videos of this, but if not...go look them up! It's fantastic. I also bought a shirt and two Cds. Since the show didn't start until after 3:00, it wasn't over until after 7:00...So I ordered a cheese pizza which Cody, Shoshana, and I ate only 4 slices of while we were getting ready for the ball in Shoshana & Madeleine's room. And we didn't end up getting to the ball until about 8:30, which was actually earlier than a lot of other people. We left the rest of the pizza on a table in the castle...I'm assuming it was eaten by some hungry people happy for free food. =D

The ball was amazing. =) I danced with Olivia, the other Olivia, Cole, Katherine, Anna, and Cody. We taught Melissa our quidditch dances, which she thought were great. I also danced with both Maureen and Hank, which was awesome! Though, we also scared Maureen....Olivia V grabbed her arm to come dance with us and she screamed. But, she still came and danced with us later. Mostly, it was a lot of fun, even though my feet were in pain I danced the whole time....And, it ended once again with "Total Eclipse of the Heart" (epically danced to by Melissa and Alex), an a-capella of "The Weapon" and then "The Leaky Song" We didn't hang around long once it ended at midnight--we ran (okay, not literally) back to our room to change for the 1558 show.

1558 was awesome =) Uh...I don't think I can list all the bands that played....Nope. We did see The Blibbering Humdingers and Bella and LeStrangers again (3 times in about 24 hours!) Umm..."For Jo" by RiddleTM almost made me start crying...because at that moment, in that room, I felt so connected to everyone. And, we were all leaving each other for the most part the next day. =( But with our silent cheers, waving bottles and wands in the air, and just the overall atmosphere, I really felt the love and connection of everyone in that room. By the time the last few bands were playing, I was sort of falling asleep on one of the beds with Madeleine and Kirsten (of the Blibbering Humdingers). It didn't end until about 3:30. On our way back to the room, we ran into Hank (I think he was on our floor. I'm not convinced, but we kept seeing him) and just started talking to him. I think it was something about how late it was that made us totally not fangirly and made us actually able to articulate something. =D

Uh....so I woke up around 7:30 I think on Sunday, but I didn't actually head down to the Departure Breakfast until about 9:00 because I....was too tired at 8:00 (I took a shower and sat around first). I ran into Shoshana first, and got some things to eat. Then we wandered around the ballroom talking to people...At one point I sat down with Olivia and people, and we decided to go thank Melissa/MJ after a while. =) Frak finally gave me my drawing of me and Neville, which is beautiful. Then it started to get to the point where everyone was leaving. =( I sat down with Susie and Michelle, then went to Au Bon Pain to get lunch (again). Basically the entire afternoon, I sat in the lobby talking to people, including Kristina and Alex Day because I couldn't get into Susie's room. I wanted to go to Hank's show, but I wasn't sure how to get there. So...I didn't go. Obviously, I couldn't go to the wrock show that night because you had to be over 21. I'm not really sure what I did that night...I think I sat around hoping someone would talk to me, then went up to the room when no one did and waited for people to come back. We didn't go to bed until about 3:00...

And, I didn't wake up on time on Monday. I woke up at 7:15, but somehow still made it out of the hotel at 7:30 (though I think I woke up Jules, and I'm sorry about that) The subway to the airport took forever to get there, and I thought I was going to be late, but somehow I was still about half an hour early (before the boarding). I fell asleep for about 30 minutes on the plane, but mostly just read and was sad that LeakyCon was over. =(

It's basically been a week now. And I really, really miss it. I miss the community, I miss the love, and I miss the connections. As Cody said, I keep expecting to walk down the hall and give people hugs. There's just so much acceptance and joy and love in the fandom, and I miss not having that around me constantly, especially since I'm so far away from everyone.* I love how sweet everyone is--always happy to meet you, and eager even if you're shy. Hank was pretty right when he said that even JK Rowling didn't deserve the HP fandom. Which is in no way a criticism of Jo. It's a compliment to us--and our awesomeness. I really hope to go to Wrockstock, and Infinitus, and LeakyCon 2011. I just wish there was more in between.

I love you!!!!!!!! I miss you!!!!!!! THIS IS NEVER GONNA END!

11 May 2009

Tonight...10 days before

Okay. I have had so many emotions tonight. And, like Cody said, the best place for me to get them out is by writing them down.

Tonight, Melissa had her ustream chat...usually it's her Book Club, but this week there was no book. Instead...it was....amazing. The best one I've been to yet. First, Melissa started by talking about LeakyCon. Which of course brings out so many strong emotions of me. Excitement, but also...I don't know. I'm very bad at putting how I feel into concrete words. But I always get so many strong emotions with Harry Potter conferences. Because it reminds me of the whole fandom, and the whole experience, and just how amazing our fandom is. I feel so welcome, so loved, so....wow. I always cry when I get together with people from the fandom, because it's just so amazing.

Then she started reading poetry...which doesn't really bring emotions about Potter, but brings up emotions in general. She read Frost and Millay...and all of it is so beautiful. I'm a huge poetry/literature nerd, so I loved that. And I always just start thinking way too much when I listen to or read poetry. Especially if it's Frost.

But what really brought out the strong emotions and the tears was when Melissa started reading from her book and her interview with Jo. She read a few portions that just made me laugh, and she also read the beautiful few paragraphs about the release in Israel. That part ALWAYS makes me smile and feel warm inside. THEN she read the final chapter, Deathly Hallows. Again, I'm awful at putting emotions into words. But it just brings out memories of that night and how I felt when I was reading it. I didn't think it was OVER, but I knew it would be...different. I wasn't sure if it would be bad different, or just...different. Whatever it would be, I didn't like to think about it. As Melissa said, "See you on the other side."

My life WAS different after Deathly Hallows came out. But I really think that's when everything started for me. Because that's when I really got to know people in the fandom, rather than just reading TLC. I got really into the reading groups on Leaky Lounge, and I started really talking to people and making good friendships and....I felt like everything was really still the same, except we knew everything. We were still the same fandom, and we were never going to let these books go. It's who I am, who we are, what we...need. It's beautiful, and it's amazing, and there's nothing else I know that's quite like it.

In just 10 days, I get to go to LeakyCon. I can see Melissa, and Sue, and John, and Frak. I can see wrock shows and dance the night away. I get to see Cody, and Shoshana, and Julia, and Susie, and everyone else from the fandom that I haven't seen since August. It's hard to think about, because it's just so...amazing. And I'll cry. I know I will.

I love our fandom. And I love Melissa even more now.

Thank you, everyone!
This is never gonna end!

10 May 2009

Like a moth to a light?

So, I haven't written a blog in over a week, and it feels really...weird. Honestly, it does. After a month of blogging every single day, it's strange to not blog for so long! I mean, it's really nice, as well, because I don't have the pressure to finish a blog at a certain time every single day. But I also really miss it. Like I said in my post on the 1st, it was nice to have that one thing I did EVERY SINGLE DAY. A bit of rhythm and regularity. But I also just miss reading other people's blogs and having them comment on mine and commenting on theirs. I mean, I don't blog for the sole reason of getting comments, but it's fun. Very fun. It was a nice community. And I still talk to them on Skype, although school's been getting crazy, so....I don't have as much time anymore. Anyway. I have a few things to share with anyone who might be reading this blog.

Part 1: Epic Moth Story
If you follow me on Twitter, then you heard me ranting about this on Thursday night. The background of this story is that I hate moths. Well, more specifically, I hate moths when they're around the area where I'm sleeping. At camp it's okay because they fly up to the cabin ceiling, which is far, far away from where I'm sleeping. Or, they also tend to just stay on the outside of the cabin walls. Nevertheless, if a moth gets too close to me in the cabins at camp, I get angry. And a little creeped out. One time, this moth the size of a hummingbird got in the cabin, and we were all freaking out. Tinkerbell (one of the counselors) was whacking it with our broom, but even she was freaking out when it flew towards her face. Mostly, though, I get angry and creeped out when they get in my house. Especially in my room or my bathroom. I mean, okay, moths are kind of pretty if you're looking at pictures of them or looking at them outside. But it's the same thing with butterflies. I'm completely certain that if a butterfly got into my room and was flying around my light when I wanted to sleep, I'd freak out then too. The main reason I hate moths is because they're so FUZZY. They more extremely creepily, and...well, it's intruding in my area, when I'm trying to sleep. Go away, little moth, GO AWAY!!!!!! And they are way too attracted to lights.

Anyway, it was about 9:50 Thursday night. I'd brushed my teeth, gotten in my pajamas, gotten everything ready for the next day, turned off my computer....I was standing at my bed about to take out my contacts, when my cat jumped on my bed, all excited and meowing. Literally one second later, in came the moth flying around my light. CRAP. I didn't scream, but I ran out and closed the door to my room, hoping it would fall and my cat would eat it. No such luck. This moth was indestructible and INCREDIBLY obsessed with the light on my ceiling. I tried turning off the light and leaving on the hallway light, but no luck. Instead, it disappeared behind my bed. At that point, I went and got our broom. I got it out from behind my bed, but then it just flew straight up to the light AGAIN. Ugh. I was thoroughly annoyed, and now it's like...10:15. So, I just keep smacking the light...it flies around for a while, then lands back on the light again. This goes on for a while....it lands on the light, I smack the light, it flies around the light, then it lands on the light again. And Repeat. And Repeat. Ugh. Around 10:35, I think I had finally wore it down. It was sitting on the side of the light that I could easily see, so I smacked the broom RIGHT ON IT* and it fell down onto the floor, mostly dead. Then my cat ate it. And there ended the epic moth story of May the 7th. *sigh* Stupid moths!!!! I wanted to sleep, and I'm pretty sure it knew that and was taunting me like, "hahaha, you think you're going to sleep! THINK AGAIN." It was also taunting my cat, because she couldn't get up to the ceiling to catch it. "hahaha, you can't catch me! I shall live!!!!!!!" That was one EVIL moth. I killed it, thankfully, but it was EVIL.

Okay. *deep breath* Further story. So, every year, the Freshmen English classes at my school put on "Shakespeare Festival" in May in which freshmen choose a scene from a Shakespeare play to perform. Now, since it's freshmen, they usually suck. I fully admit it, even though I was a freshmen last year. We're not good actors. But, still. There's a difference between good acting and good preparation. I mean, my group last year did the second scene from As You Like It. None of us were particularly good actors, but we had our costumes and props and our timing and our lines memorized. So, while it wasn't good ACTING, it was a fairly good production. And people liked it, they thought it was funny, because Ian was in a fat suit for his role**

However, this year they've relaxed it so much...now it sucks even more. You no longer have to do a scene from a Shakespeare play. You have to do an adaption of a Shakespeare play. So people try to put on fashion shows or game shows or they try to sing. Or, there was a TEN MINUTE LONG PUPPET SHOW. I wanted to kill myself. We all did. Plus, no one has memorized their lines this year. And they have a month to do this...more than a month, actually. So people have lines written on their arms or are just holding their script on stage!!!!*** Sheesh. And I'm not mad because it's bad acting. Again, I'm mad because it's awful preparation. Extremely painful to watch...especially when they make a big deal and their eyes get all wide when they forget a line. That's like, the first rule of theatre: Don't acknowledge when you mess up. And I just feel bad for poor William! =(

Also, LeakyCon! 11 DAYS, 16 HOURS!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited to see everyone that I haven't seen since August. I'm officially going to Nosh with the Nerdfighters now, and...well, I'm just super excited. It's going to be amazingly awesome! And I seriously can't wait. *antsy*

Hopefully I'll get back to blogging at least every few days, rather than waiting 8 days. Sorry.

Also, look, FUB! It was my math notes...and my teacher didn't even know! Made of awesome!

Cheers! DFTBA!

*Win! I felt so powerful when I hit it and killed it! YES!!!!!!! (okay...sorry...I just really don't like when bugs are in my living space. I do respect them, though)
**He was one of the wrestlers, and he had to somersault in a fat suit. Oh my geez, those rehearsals were HILARIOUS.
***"Let me just discretely unfold my script here and read my line..." *shoots self in head* Really, freshmen? REALLY?!

01 May 2009

Different without BEDA

Okay, it just felt incredibly strange not to have to post a blog today.

I mean, okay. I know that I complained about not having any ideas for blogs and I rambled on a lot and I'm sure half of it wasn't even funny. But, nevertheless, I had an incredible amount of fun posting a blog every day. Sometimes it was good to think about what to blog about...instead of other things. Sometimes (some very rare times), I actually had a great blog idea and got really excited about writing it! And, mostly, it was really nice having one thing I did EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Some normality, some rhythm, something to go with all the hectic things in my life to keep me sane and calmed down.

I guess it was nice not to have the pressure or whatever to post a blog today. I mean, okay. There was never REAL pressure. Maureen wasn't standing there with a knife to my throat screaming, Write, damn it, write! You post this blog before midnight today, or you die! Come on!!!!! WRITE! That would be scary. Very scary. And I wouldn't necesarrily put it past Maureen either.

Anyway, it was completely my choice to do BEDA, and to push myself to think of something to blog about EVERY SINGLE DAY. Basically, what I'm trying to say, is that I enjoyed BEDA. It was a very nice part of my life, and it made the month of April a bit more manageable, especially this last week. I've met so many great people, who want to talk to me and think I'm funny* and...are amazing.

So, taking a leaf out of Lindsay's book....A toast!
Here's to:
Seeing if Joe can stay up all night (until 6:00 am BST)
The Count Censored
Dr. Who <3
Gay Joe/Lesbian Nena**

EPIC 8-hour Skype calls/chats
"Joe being weird"
Speaking in different accents
Randomly saying RAWR

Avoiding homework to talk to frieds
Typos. EPIC typos.

To Charlee, Nena, Abby, Anna, Dasha, Ellie, Trevor, Tobias, Arka, Reese, Chelsea, Madi, Joe, and Lindsay.

I will keep blogging, both here on the ning and on my blogspot. Now that I've gotten into the hang of it, I don't see how I could go back.

Oh, and watch this video of mine, maybe? *nods*

Cheers! DFTBA!
RAWR. =)

*Maybe something fell on their heads, because I'm definitely not funny....
**This argument went on forever on Twitter and Skype. EPIC. EPIC.