On Top of the World

Well behaved women rarely make history.

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The Hurricane Party (presented by Thor)

This past weekend was supposed to be our last hurrah before school starts. We were going to the Connecticut Science Center on Saturday and back-to-school shopping on Sunday. Plus a meal out, a family movie night, something like that. But Hurricane Irene had other plans. So we spent Saturday trying to do everything we were going to do both days plus get ready for the hurricane. We were moderately successful. The science center was great, we’re mostly ready for school, and we survived the hurricane so we must have been adequately prepared (aside: our grocery was completely out of batteries, bottled water, and peanut butter. Only the batteries were on our list but the peanut butter made me giggle. Apparently it is the survival food of choice. We bought candles, seaweed, and a bag of lemons.)

Hurricane, by Aeris

The Hurricane at Our House, by Aeris (6)

Aeris’ hurricane preparation was creating a hurricane party, which we then participated in the day of. We lost power first thing Sunday morning, around 6AM. Aeris was ready to party immediately so I got a preview, but we waited until afternoon to really get into it.

The party, which was really more of an amusement park in the girls’ bedroom, was presented by Thor because he’s the god of weather (my 6 year old is bright). It included a dance floor, a library, a line to see Thor’s hammer, an interactive show in which Aeris dressed up as Thor and told us about hurricanes (proving she paid attention at the science center) and a haunted boat ride that ended with two t-rexes trying to eat our boat (a laundry basket).

Party over we decided to go for a walk in the hurricane. An earlier plan had been to get in the car and drive down to watch it at the shore so, in comparison, that was tame. We got about 20 feet from our house before the fire department told us to go back in our house. Yes, the fire department. It was kind of funny. But we pressed on to the top of the hill, which is really only a half a block away. It was very wet and very windy. We stopped being crazy and went back inside until it died out.

Our evening walk was longer and we saw many fallen trees and few fallen wires. The rest of our neighborhood had power by the time we got back, but our street was still dark (and is still today /whine). So we heated up soup on the grill and played Disney Apples to Apples by candlelight. Our family motto: when life gives you a hurricane, buy a bag of lemons and party with Thor.

25 Things About the Last Harry Potter Movie (SPOILERS)

Caveat: I’m tired! And I’ve only seen the movie the once. And I’m tired. I use words like “perfect” and “flawless” and “love” and it’s likely that those are overstating it BUT the point is I am very happy with the film. Here are my 25 kinda incoherent first impression thoughts:

1. Ron is Han Solo! (And the trio scene on the steps is very RotJ Ewok Village Bridge too. Plus Hermione’s “I’ll go with you” is in the running for my favourite moment.)
2. HBC as Hermione as Bellatrix is perfection
3. Snape clutching Lily’s body A++
4. Harry and Snape A+++
6. He said my line!!!! My line is in the movie!!!!!!!!!!!
7. Minerva McGonagall is my HERO
8. Since you threw out the book for the Battle of Hogwarts (not complaining! good on you!) couldn’t you have done the same for 19 Years Later? Stupid epilogue.
9. Except OMG Albus Severus Potter you are one adorable child.
10. And, movies, I do appreciate that you stick to your hardcore Harry/Hermione slant right to the end. Harry’s married to Ginny and Hermione’s married to Ron but that’s not gonna stop you from ending the movie with Harry and Hermione front and center.
11. Yes, Ron was there. But that was not a trio shot y’all. That was Harry and Hermione are Soulmates and also Ron is here. Kinda. In a blur.
12. I got all the way to 12 and haven’t mentioned the Malfoys yet. This is a CRIME. Malfoys FOREVER.
13. I didn’t like Narcissa in the Half-Blood Prince but she is perfect in Deathly Hallows. NARCISSA MALFOY IS ALSO MY HERO.
14. And Molly, yes, of course. But Narcissa ❤
16. Everything about my Malfoys is perfect.
17. This is a comment about Snape being flawless.
18. Was Grindelwald in this movie? No. Was anything about Dumbledore's past explained? No. Do I care? No. Do I maybe prefer it? Yes. (Aberforth was cool)
19. 19 is my favourite number. My first impression favourite thing is: Malfoys.
20. Women are well represented in this movie. Hermione, Luna, Minerva, Molly, Narcissa…
21. How cute are Neville and Luna?! And Neville kicks ass.
22. Still mad about how old Lily&James look but then Alan Rickman gets to be every Snape except the 11 year old (and he's wondrous) so, OK. Also, 11 year old Snape and Lily are darling.
23. Oh yeah, that dragon was boss.
24. I think I am happy with everything in the movie except Ginny. And that wouldn't matter except that I love Ginny in the books. Oh and Helena Ravenclaw was kinda pointless?
25. I love Harry Potter.

Harry Potter Movie Week = Harry Potter Meme

Rank the books.
1. Half-Blood Prine

But he understood at last what Dumbledore had been trying to tell him. It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew — and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents — that there was all the difference in the world.

I go back and forth between this one and the third and I might call The Prisoner of Azkaban the ‘best’ of the books. It is brilliantly plotted, beautifully poignant, and can stand alone outside the series. But six is my favourite. All my favourite characters have a role, it builds wonderfully to its climax, and it is crafted as much as written — like Prisoner of Azkaban and a welcome return after how overworked Order of the Phoenix feels. Every one of the books has its merits and moments but Half-Blood Prince is my favourite.

2. Prisoner of Azkaban
3. Deathly Hallows
4. Sorcerer’s Stone
5. Goblet of Fire
6. Order of the Phoenix
7. Chamber of Secrets

Rank the movies.

1. Goblet of Fire

This film, more than any of the others, had me saying “I need to watch it again! Right now!” after my first viewing. Harry’s ultimate journey can be summed up in the one he takes in this film: from his wide-eyed smile when he enters the Weasley’s wonderful tent and says “I love magic” to the moment he sets his jaw and steps from behind the grave to meet Voldemort straight on.

2. Prisoner of Azkaban
3. Half-Blood Prince
4. Deathly Hallows Part 1
5. Order of the Phoenix
6. Sorcerer’s Stone
7. Chamber of Secrets

TBD: Deathly Hallows Part 2
(The middle three switch around a lot tbh.)

5 Favourite characters.

1. Narcissa Malfoy
2. Ginny Weasley
3. Severus Snape
4. Fleur Delacour
5. Luna Lovegood

1. Hermione Granger
2. Ron Weasley
3. Bellatrix Lestrange
4. Luna Lovegood
5. Barty Crouch Jr.

5 Favourite ships.

1. Lily/Snape (Always.)
2. Harry/Hermione
3. Ron/Luna
4. Ginny/Draco
5. James/Sirius

What character would you say you are most like?

Ginny Weasley

“…size is no guarantee of power,” said George. “Look at Ginny.”

Your Hogwarts house.

Gryffindor or Slytherin

Would you rather own The Invisibility Cloak, The Resurrection Stone or The Elder Wand?

The Resurrection Stone for all the reasons Harry wants it.

Out of all the characters that died, if you could bring one back, who would it be?

Regulus Black.

Nineteen years later. Are you happy how it turned out, or do you wish something was different?


Do you prefer the books or films?

I don’t compare them so I can enjoy both.

If you had to meet one member of the cast, who would it be?

Oh, if I had to — Emma Watson. I have met Alan Rickman. And Fiona Shaw.

Any particular scenes you wished would have been put in the movie but it wasn’t?

Snape’s Worst Memory and Kreacher’s Tale

Any particular scenes that are better in the movie?

Nearly everything about Ron and Neville is better in the movies. I love the end of PoA when Sirius has Dumbledore’s line that Harry’s parents are alive in him.

Your favorite quote:

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

A Heavy Heart to Carry: Bucky Barnes

ca·thar·sisnoun the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, especially through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music.

So I made a fanmix about Bucky.

I’m a longtime Avengers fan but where I liked Captain America, I never loved him. I liked him best in relation to others. I liked his friendships and his romances and his roles. But Steve Rogers by himself — well, honestly, he bores me (that doesn’t mean he’s boring — just to me). But James Barnes? I love James Barnes. If I were in charge Steve’d’ve stayed dead and Bucky’d’ve stayed Cap. But I get that Steve has to be Captain America (or more precisely Captain America has to be Steve Rogers) because of the movie. OK. Steve can be Cap. But why, why, WHY does that mean Bucky has to die? (Oh, I remember. MARVEL HATES ME.) I mean I am really, really, really tired of the solution to all “problems” (as in, it’s only a problem because they decide it is) being someone dies. Death is not synonymous with Change, Drama, or Plot. It sort of IS becoming synonymous with Lazy. But I digress.

The main theme of this mix is fatalism. Living it and fighting it. Losing power and taking power. Embracing destiny with eyes wide open. Wishing for something different. There is a good deal of violent imagery. And a lot of direct references to death. It begins and ends with some measure of hope but there is a darkness throughout. It’s not a cheerful mix. But why would it be? Finally, Natasha Romanova is all over this mix, including the cover art, because …she belongs there!

LISTEN HERE; Liner notes follow

Written in the Stars; Tinie Tempah ft. Eric Turner
I used to be the kid that no one cared about
That’s why you have to keep screaming til they hear you out

Through My Own Eyes; Aaron Carter & Kayla
Lookin’ at life through my own eyes
Searchin’ for a hero to idolize
Feeling the pain as innocence dies
Looking at life through my own eyes

Shoot Your Gun; 22-20s
Don’t you see your father?
Don’t you feel the love?
Don’t you see your brother?
Don’t you feel the love?
Well could you be a mother
Could you ever find the love?
That you would not place yourself above

Winter Soldier
Better Off Dead; The Sounds
I’ve been fooling myself
I can’t explain why I’m still here

Avalanche; Thea Gilmore
So you’re shouting
But you’re shouting softly
So no one can hear you
And get the wrong idea

The Death of Captain America
World Spins Madly On; The Weepies
I watch the stars from my window sill
The whole world is moving and I’m standing still

Running Up That Hill; Placebo
And if I only could
I’d make a deal with God
And I’d get him to swap our places

Captain America
Heavy In Your Arms; Florence and the Machine
I was a heavy heart to carry
My beloved was weighed down
My arms around his neck
My fingers laced to crown

I was a heavy heart to carry
But he never let me down
When he had me in his arms
My feet never touched the ground

21 Guns; Green Day
One, 21 Guns
Lay down your arms
Give up the fight
One, 21 Guns
Throw up your arms into the sky

Set Fire to the Third Bar; Snow Patrol ft. Martha Wainwright
And miles from where you are
I lay down on the cold ground
I, I pray that something picks me up
And sets me down in your warm arms

Heavy Heart
Let It Be; The Beatles
And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine until tomorrow, let it be

Weight of the World; Chantal Kreviazuk
And I don’t know who I was trying to be
All those lies
I used to carry the weight of the world
And now all I wanna do is spread my wings and fly

What, you want to grow old and retire?
Naked As We Came; Iron and Wine
One of us will die inside these arms

Eyes wide open
Naked as we came
One will spread our
Ashes round the yard

James Buchanan Barnes
I’m Still Here; Johnny Rzeznik
And I want a moment to be real
Wanna touch things I don’t feel
Wanna hold on and feel I belong
And how can they say I never change
They’re the ones that stay the same
I’m the one now
‘Cause I’m still here.

1. Intro
2. This is from the best cartoon ever, Liberty’s Kids, and represents young adorable sidekick Bucky.
3. Love/Hate song for James and Soviet Russia.
4. Winter Soldier. Nod to fan outrage (that I obvs don’t share) intended.
5. This is my Civil War era song for practically everyone but it is even more applicable as our James is literally programmed, and trying to break free.
6. And then Steve dies.
7. And James takes up the shield even though he doesn’t feel worthy.
8. But he is. This is a song from the pov of America/the title of Captain America/the (mighty) shield. Yes, James breaks up with Russia to have an angsty relationship with America.
9. Then America tries to break up with him.
10. James and Natasha. She’s also around in 3, 4, 6, 9, 13 and 14.
11. James accepts he’s likely to die. Message to fan outrage (that I obvs share) intended.
12. Dear Marvel, I can think of 20 things James could do instead of die to free up Steve to be Cap. No love, Me.
13. James and Nat, how it should end. Nod to how it did end (in her arms) intended.
14. Yeah, this song is just about him, okay? ❤

10 Reasons to Like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

1. It’s based on Mickey Mouse.
2. Hiccup is the main character.
3. Nicolas Cage is …Nicolas Cage.
4. There is a Tesla Coil.
5. The Tesla Coil plays music! (and I love the song!)
6. The romance is adorable. Especially when they are young.
7. Sorcerer’s Shoes!
8. There’s briefly a Salem Witch.
8a. (Since she’s so brief) They ride the eagles that are on the Chrysler Building.
9. Science + magic is my favorite kind of mash up.
10. The hero’s girlfriend SAVES THE WORLD.