Posts Tagged ‘Harry Potter’

Quiltbag Wizards – A Harry Potter Story

April 20, 2020

People started filtering into the appointed meeting place in the late afternoon. Some walked boldly into the room and some walked in with eyes cast toward the floor. Some people knew each other and chatted quietly. Others grew bold enough to talk to strangers. There were refreshments and some found solace by cramming cookies into their mouths and sipping punch. By early evening, the room was nearly full even though it was quite large. It was easier to get lost in the crowd as that crowd grew.

Thalia Spindle had entered the room relatively early and had grabbed a few cookies and a cup of punch and had sat down. Her hair partially covered her face which was maybe her way of hiding from the world. Thalia could see that there was a makeshift stage set up along with a podium and just seeing it triggered her social anxiety. She had come to the meeting from her job as a filing clerk at her ministry post. She had walked the whole way, trying to dissuade herself from going. She had nearly talked herself out of walking in the door six times before she finally did it. When enough people walked in after her, there was no going back.

Finally, a young man walked toward the podium. He stopped and said hello and waved at a few people as he walked. His smile was welcoming and Thalia felt a little more at home just seeing it. The man pulled out his wand and used a voice amplification spell.

“Welcome everyone,” he said. “For those who do not know me, my name is Martin Thatcher. You were all invited here to ignite a movement. Too long we have remained quiet and kept our lifestyles secret just because it made people uncomfortable. We cannot let ourselves waste away in a closet. Things are changing in the world and we can help that change.” He paused and gathered himself. “My name is Martin Thatcher and I am gay. I am gay and I am proud.”

The applause started slowly but soon the whole room was clapping. A relieved and happy expression passed over Martin’s face and he wiped away a single tear.

“Thank you,” Martin said as the applause died down. “Thank you so much. That means a lot and I’m not just saying that. We will not be silent anymore. Now I want to present to you our keynote speaker. She is a legend. She was present at the Battle of Hogwarts. She was a member of Dumbledore’s Army and the Order of the Phoenix. She fought against evil in all forms. Please welcome the wonderful Luna Lovegood.”

The applause rang out again as Luna walked to the podium. She waved and smiled and then amplified her voice with a spell.

“Welcome. It is so good to see all of your happy, smiling faces. You are here because you are more interested in living your truth than being what the world may want you to be. My father passed along a love of seeking the truth out even when everybody thinks you are wrong or crazy. We are not wrong. We’re here and we’re queer.”

She took a breath and continued. “I had the great honor of studying at Hogwarts under Albus Dumbledore. He was a real war hero and a legendary mind when it came to magic. He made every single person there feel safe. Except that he was not allowed to feel safe. Not many people are aware but Albus Dumbledore was gay. He obviously did not feel comfortable sharing that with many people, even some of those who were closest to him. He was betrayed by a lover and then locked that part of himself away from the world.”

“We have to do better. The muggle world is waking up and being more accepting, our world can do the same. When I attended Hogwarts, I was often accused of not speaking clearly even though that’s what I thought I was doing. Let me be absolutely clear now. I am polyamorous and pansexual. I have married three different people over the past few years since I graduated from Hogwarts. I’m tired of being treated like it’s strange.”

“Know that this group will always support you. We will accept you for who you are. I know not all of you want to come out but those who do, we are there for you. You can stand up and be counted with us by your side. We love you when your friends and family won’t. If you are looking for allies, your search is over. Welcome to the Quiltbag Wizards Association.”

The crowd began to applaud and go to their feet. Thalia was one of the first to her feet and she was clapping wildly. She started cheering and tears were running down her face. She felt like a burden was being slowly lifted. These were her people.

Lessons

December 28, 2019

It had been a roller coaster for Carly Weatherby in the past decade. Like many young wizards and witches, she had attended Hogwarts, excited about following an old family tradition. She learned a lot about herself at Hogwarts. She was sorted as a Ravenclaw and learned that she loved to learn and moreover she loved to teach. She happily tutored a lot of her fellow students and looked forward to maybe having a career in teaching. She wanted to help students explore new horizons in their lives and into their future. It was something that just instantly clicked in her just the same as memorizing spells and learning new charms and potions. She made a lot of friends and, bit by bit she was able to learn to set aside studying to have a little fun with her friends. She was never the stuffy academic but was able to remain wide-eyed and excited about new things.

There was just one problem. It was not a problem for Carly but it ended up being a problem for Hogwarts. The school had often been seen as a little more conservative than Ilvemorny or Beauxbatons but less conservative than somewhere like Durmstrang (of course). A lot of old families clung desperately to tradition. Carly had actually been named Joseph when she was born. In between years six and seven, Carly came out as transgender which her parents and family were very accepting of. They supported her decision to undergo a transformation spell that physically turned Joe to Carly in order to match her inner self. The spell itself was physically painless but it ended up resulting in emotional scars. While her friends were supportive, other students and the staff could be cruel.

Officially, the school kept referring to her by her dead name and they refused to move her to the girl’s dormitory. She was constantly getting chased out of the girl’s bathrooms. She was misgendered in classes and some people at Hogwarts just could not wrap their heads around the simple change. Carly was still the same person she had always been, she was just now living her completely true life as well. Students stopped wanting to be tutored. Carly’s grades suffered and the school graduated her because they probably wanted her out. That was the year of Dumbledore’s sabbatical but Professor McGonagall had been comforting and supportive. It did not spill over into the school’s board of governors and Carly was ostracized.

Carly had applied for teaching positions throughout the wizarding world, not feeling ready for her dream job of teaching at one of the great wizarding schools. She was flatly turned down because her reputation preceded her. Nobody wanted their kids to be exposed to Carly’s innocent true nature which they saw as wicked and unnatural. Carly became cynical and frustrated over the whole thing and began to fade into obscurity. She delved into research instead of teaching and started to show up on many radars. She was hired by a small collective in northern Africa that was doing good work researching weather magic. Carly eventually became an expert in lightning and storm magic. She invented a way to store lightning for use as magical power. She and a colleague were even able to provide small bursts of magic to squibs.

It was during this time that she met and fell in love with a young vampire named Sura, a lovely woman native to Sudan. The two bonded over their rejection from society and their mutual love of learning and knowledge. They made a home together in the shadows. While Carly made a sort of name for herself in weather magic research, she slipped through the cracks of academia at large. Her first true love of teaching was almost a distant memory, a dark frustration that reminded her that she would never be truly accepted by the wizarding world. She and Sura did their best to be happy but Carly knew something was missing and Sura knew that it had wounded Carly.

Then the second great Wizarding War happened and Carly waited with anxiety for the results of the Battle of Hogwarts. Sure, there had been plenty of bad memories at the end of her stay there but there had been plenty of good ones before then. Even though she knew they had done her wrong, she did not and could not wish death or injury on any of them. Her favorite teacher Professor Mcgonagall was still there and Carly feared the worst. She knew that everywhere people were fighting the Deatheaters which were the most visible symptom of the hate and prejudice that Carly had experienced. She had a twinkling of hope that the exploits of the great Order of the Phoenix might banish some of that hate and bring some light back into the world.

She was not disappointed. Many things changed in England after the Battle of Hogwarts. There was a concerted effort to change hate into love everywhere people looked. People found it a bit harder to listen to darkness after the King of Darkness had been defeated. The joy of victory spread from Hogwarts and the world began to change bit by bit. The bigots were expelled from the Ministry and the tide turned against them. People’s minds started to open bit by bit thanks to young luminaries such as Luna Lovegood speaking up about the right to be different. Best of all, Professor McGonagall became the new headmaster of Hogwarts and the first female headmaster. McGonagall reached out specifically to Carly and asked her to take her pick of subjects to teach. Carly hesitated only as long as it took Sura to convince her to take the position.

Carly moved back to a much more enlightened Hogwarts and brought Sura with her. While students were curious about the new transgender professor with the vampire girlfriend (soon to be wife) but they were kind and respectful. They were even supportive. Sura happily agreed to work in a staff position when Carly vouched for her. Carly felt herself healing deep inside a wound she had barely acknowledged but had darkened her heart. She felt love and light shining all around her as a new day dawned for the wizarding world. A much kinder, more inclusive world to be sure.

The War Veteran

July 27, 2019

In the midst of the Battle for Hogwarts, Henry Redwell had been hit with the Cruciatus curse. He had been one of the many students who took up their wand against the Dark Lord’s army. It had never been his wish to be a fighter, to be in a war but it had been necessary. He still had no doubt that had they not fought back, He Who Must Not Be Named would have slaughtered them all after he had been done with Harry Potter. They had fought for their very survival and they had barely survived. Henry had done his best with what few lessons he knew but the students of Hogwarts were not really trained for such things especially with the meddling of Umbridge and Snape.

Henry’s older brother had been friends with Cedric Diggory and so Henry had met him on holiday several times before entering Hogwarts himself. The Redwell family had always been members of Hufflepuff going back ages and so Redwell had entered that house. His older brother had looked after him until graduation and by then Redwell had his own friends to keep him safe. The Redwells were loyal and so Hufflepuff made sense. They left the courage to Gryffindor, the usual champions against evil. Still, when the truth came out about Harry Potter trying to save Cedric’s life during the Tri-Wizard cup, Henry felt inspired by the story and all of the subsequent stories of Harry and his friends.

All told, Henry Redwell had probably been destined for a Ministry job or to take over the family shop. All of that changed in the Battle for Hogwarts but a lot changed that day for a lot of people. He had been fending off the attack of a death eater when he was hit from behind with the Cruciatus curse. It might have only been a moment or it could have been the hours that it felt like but the pain was excruciating nonetheless. He had been saved by Professor Lupin who took out both Death Eaters. Henry’s future wife Felicity Partridge had pulled him to safety and tended to his wounds the best she could. A smart man would have left it there but Henry Redwell had found his bravery.

Henry spent his remaining years in Hogwarts working toward a new goal. He asked Felicity, a girl with a truly brilliant mind, to tutor him and he poured himself into his studies. His grades saw an immediate improvement and with that momentum, he pushed himself even harder. As he walked the halls of Hogwarts, he would not stand for bullying. When he heard about a problem, he set out to put it right. He tried not to use force if talking worked and soon his friends were following his example. He was no leader but he had started a small trend that helped everybody at Hogwarts. He wondered briefly if this was what Dumbledore’s Army had felt like. He humbly shook that thought away and continued working toward his goal.

When he graduated Hogwarts, he just barely had the grades to become an Auror. Part of his acceptance as an Auror was due to his extracurricular anti-bullying behavior. He had shown that he wanted to be part of the community in a positive way while also protecting that community. He was accepted into a new global task force. The British government had been briefly compromised by the rise of the Dark One. If there had been closer ties within the worldwide wizarding world, aid might have come to England and the Battle at Hogwarts might have been completely different. So much could have been different. This new task force would root out dark wizards and try to stop another Grindelwald or Voldemort from rising to power.

Many people in England wanted to call them The Snake Eaters but thankfully it was agreed that this was a bad call. Having been at Hogwarts, Henry knew that there was still a lot of animosity against the Slytherin House. However, Henry had forgiven most of the ones he knew and the world was starting to warm to the idea of giving second chances to the least complicit snakes of the world. Henry’s compassion led to him getting command of his own squad and he had put one together after a lengthy interview process. He had recruited his own wife, Felicity, as the team medic.

Henry had forbidden the use of any magical methods to coerce captives to give up their wicked friends. Torture or tricks would only create animosity which would make reform all the more difficult. This meant no Veritaserum, no Imperius Curse, and definitely no Cruciatus Curse. Henry had picked a squad with near limitless patience so that they could obtain information purely through conversation. His team armed Henry with all of the knowledge he would need to outthink and connect with the person across the table.

Henry walked into the interrogation room carefully, closing the door slowly behind him. He sat down in front of a young woman with an intricate snake tattoo on her face. They had chased her through Bath, lost her, and then found her again and caught her in Blackpool. Henry took a deep breath and smiled gently at the young woman. He set his folder down in front of him. The woman spat in Henry’s face, the wad of spit hitting where his nose met his right cheek. His file never faltered and he slowly wiped the spit off and opened the folder.

“Now then,” Henry said. “Let’s have a little chat.”

Snake Skin Pt. 2

July 13, 2019

Mera and Clark walked cautiously into the huge, empty warehouse. It smelled like a renovation site for sure but there was the scent of something wild underneath it all. Their wands did not cast nearly enough light but it gave them a perimeter. Mera watched the rear as Clark watched the front and was, therefore, leading the way. Their wands were at the ready, just as they had been so many times before. Mera knew that whatever was in the warehouse had seen her and Clark. She also knew that Clark must have realized that too. It was a measured decision, though, since neither could fight blind.

As they stepped beyond the light shining from the door, some movement suddenly entered their small circle of light. It was absolutely silent and an absolute blur of motion. Whatever it was, it had claws which stretched out toward the two wizards menacingly. Clark’s wand snapped up and he called out “Protego!” and a blue shield appeared in the air. The claws scraped against the energy of the shield and sounded like knives on steel. The shield flickered and failed but the beast had already disappeared back into the darkness.

“Shit!” Clark muttered. “It’s pretty damn big!”

“Too big for you?” Mera asked. “It’s no bigger than an Erumpet and we’ve taken care of two of those.”

“Not helping,” Clark hissed. “Watch yourself. It’s fast. What is it? You’re the scholar between us.”

“I’m not sure yet,” Mera said. “I need more info than just the claws.”

They kept moving through the darkness. Now that they knew that the creature was a hunter, they could not stay still out in the open. A few yards further and another shape loomed in their light but this time it was at ground level. Mera saw a glimpse of gray and a feline structure and she reacted immediately. She pointed her wand and called out “Reducto!” and the shape crumbled to dust violently.

“Um, Partner,” Clark said. “Did you just disintegrate our target?”

“No,” Mera said. “I had a hunch on what it might be and I was right.”

“Well, then what is it?” Clark asked.

“It’s called a Forge Tiger,” Mera said. “It uses available materials to create statue clones of itself to confuse and corral its prey.”

“Are you telling me we are dealing with an actual copy cat?” Clark asked.

Mera groaned. “Yes. That’s where the term comes from.”

“And why is it not attacking us?” Clark asked.

“My guess is that it’s pouting because we destroyed its statue,” Mera said.

“Then let’s destroy some more,” Clark said.

“You got it,” Mera said.

They started moving again and when they saw a statue, they hit it with a destructive spell and took them apart. Six statues crumbled one by one and the last one looked hastily constructed. As that last statue fell, there was a roar of challenge and desperation. A brilliantly purple tiger leaped out of the darkness, claws out. Clark pointed his wand at it and called out “Manus Fortis!” and a gigantic glowing blue hand reached out and snatched the tiger out of the air.

As Clark lowered the tiger to the ground, Mera pulled out a glass vial. It was a powerful sleeping draught that she had brewed herself as she had learned in the dungeons of Hogwarts. She unstoppered the steel flask and held it up, pointing her wand at it. She called out “Caligo!” and the liquid evaporated into a small cloud. She guided that cloud to the tiger and as soon as the tiger started to breathe it in, it fell asleep. It stopped struggling against Clark’s spell. Clark pointed his wand again and calmly said “Incarcerous” and the beast was suddenly bound in ropes.

“Good job, partner,” Clark said. “Let’s drop the copy cat off and then I owe you a crab cake.”

“I think I deserve two crab cakes,” Mera said with a smile. “and a beer.”

“A beer?” Clark asked. “It’s a deal.”

Mera smiled and thought to herself that maybe snakes can shed their skin. Maybe people can change for the better and then their life does the same. She was living proof. She hoped that her old housemates out there were doing the same. She hoped that they were happy. She hoped that the good times were finally here and that the darkness was well behind and the world was safe. She hoped and sometimes that was enough.

Top 11 Fictional Jobs I Might Want

February 18, 2017

I am currently working at a paralegal internship and soon I will get undoubtedly get a job in the legal field. This got me thinking about where I might have ended up if things had gone differently. Of course, they have gone differently in the past, leading to my rather eclectic list of former jobs. But I started to think about my favorite television shows and movies and the jobs fictional characters have. What if I could have any job even a fictional one? Here is a list of the top 11 fictional jobs I might want.


11. Grim Reaper
(Dead Like Me)

In the world of Dead Like Me, dead people who are not ready to pass on can be chosen to act as reapers which is way more peaceful than you would expect. With a simple touch, a reaper takes a person’s soul just before they die. Doing so makes sure that the person feels no pain when they die which helps with their transition to the next step. One of the cool things would be that I would suddenly be in a peer group that included a mish mash of different people from very different time periods. So, I could hang out with a young hippie from the sixties along with an ex-thug from the twenties. It would be a very rewarding job. Everybody has to die someday and, in the world of Dead Like Me, people are destined to die at a specific time and place. So, without any reason to think I could prevent death, I would want to make that experience as comfortable as possible. If possible, I would want to be assigned to the accidents and misfortunes department like the characters of Dead Like Me. The big downsides are that I would never see or talk to my friends and family again and I would have to die to get hired. Those are huge downsides.


10. Stargate Program Researcher
(From Stargate SG-1)

One of my favorite aspects of watching Stargate SG-1 is watching the team encounter new worlds with new cultures and civilizations. In the movie and on the television show, I admired Daniel Jackson because he was using years of study to help unravel ancient mysteries that had to do with both peaceful and hostile aliens. I would love to work with a lower priority SG team so I could get off Earth and explore the ruins of alien cultures that influenced cultures back on my home planet. Of course, things are bound to get dangerous with the Goa’uld and other hazards but that would be a risk that I could live with in order to do such important work. Of course, I do not know how well I would do in a military system. Daniel Jackson was afforded certain freedoms and exceptions that I feel I would not receive as Jackson was one of the first people to crack the stargate technology. I think I would learn to adapt but obviously, it would not be my first choice.


9. Auror
(From Harry Potter)

While I am much more interested in defending people than prosecuting people these days, I do recognize the importance of law enforcement. In the world of the Potterverse, Aurors are basically a magical version of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They use magic and their wits to track criminals who are abusing magical abilities or using forbidden spells. I feel like an Auror book or movie should be in the making. Fantastic Beasts broached the subject but it was only the B-plot but the theme in Harry Potter was that authority is not to be trusted. I think I would be a great investigator but I have already read too many mystery books and movies. The Aurors in America seemed pretty uniform but they were also given a lot of leeway in the way they investigated crimes. In England, I would have been a Ravenclaw but here in America, those qualities would carry over. I would know the spells I needed to defend myself and disable fleeing or combative criminals. It would be a dangerous job but I would think with proper training I could manage things. One might be afraid of a Voldemort or Grindelwald situation but those situations seem to be few and far between for the wizarding world.


8. Jurassic World Tour Guide
(Jurassic World)

Jurassic World exists 22 years after everything originally went to crap in the first movie/book. It is a pristine theme park where you can observe a lot of dinosaurs in realistic settings with little to no danger. These behemoths are kept at bay by state of the art technology and qualified professionals. The only reason that goes badly is the reason it always went badly: somebody gets greedy. If that had not happened, the park was an efficient machine that was more nature preserve than zoo although there was plenty of allusions to zoos and aquariums. There is also the issue that the things in the park are not real dinosaurs. They are featherless hybrid creations but if I was watching their T-Rex in action, I would not really care. The awesome power of these creatures would be so interesting to be around all the time. Watching people’s faces as they see one for the first time would be amazing. Learning everything I could about them so that I could explain to park visitors would be pretty cool too. Even working perfectly, there is plenty of risk working at Jurrasic World but I guess I would hope that the technology and safeguards would work.


7. Theme Park Writer
(From Westworld)

I love writing. I could not keep myself from writing if I tried. When I do not write, it just floods my imagination especially when I am trying to sleep. Westworld is a theme park where robots are programmed to carry out live action roleplay with human park guests. If the guest wants to be a good guy, there are bad guys to kill and people to save. If the guest wants to be a bad guy, there are good guys to kill and dastardly crimes to commit in a safe environment. There are technicians who work on the robots but there are also writers and designers who make the storylines. I would love to spend my time doing that. Taking the same characters and repurposing them for slightly different stories would be so much fun. Of course, there are the dangers of the robots gaining sentience but that would not really be my problem unless they came after me. There are some ethical concerns but really, as far as I would know, the robots are just fancy animatronics in cowboy clothes. It would give me a chance to write stories with good guys or bad guys in the lead role.


6. Watcher
(From Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

In the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, magic is real and has been unleashed in the world. There are demons, vampires and other nasty things that are more than ready to prey on human beings. Magical warrior women (and girls) known as “slayers” are tapped to fight these creatures. Of course, suddenly becoming a supernaturally strong is not enough to fight evil successfully. Knowledge is power and these slayers are backed up by “watchers” who teach the slayer about fighting the undead. Watchers are usually bookish types, the Q and M to a slayer’s Bond. Among other things, I have been the bookish type. I love to research things and read up on things to arm myself against the world. In this scenario, I would be using that passion to examine eldritch threats to the human populace. I would be helping to guide a young woman in combat, usually without having to do any of the fighting. The only problem I would have is that I would be largely helpless if my charge was killed. Of course, I could study magic to negate some of my relative physical weakness.


5. Space Cowboy/Smuggler
(From Firefly)

The crew of the Serenity spaceship takes a lot of less than savory jobs on the very outskirts of civilization. Of course, they take a lot of the riskier jobs because they do not want to run into the Alliance for two big reasons. If I was serving on a different ship, we would probably not be taking jobs that were quite that dangerous. Sure, there would still be rough jobs and there are always Reavers out there but there should not be dangerous black ops operatives or as many sketchy jobs. I am not inexperienced with firearms (which I would hope not to use). The job also seems like it would include a lot of downtime between jobs. When you pick up a load of cattle and have to fly it to another planet, there’s some rest time between destinations. Of course, there would always be the risk of being arrested by the Alliance but they are pretty corrupt. It would only be the worst offenses that we could not pay our way out of.


4. Mystery Shack Employee
(From Gravity Falls)

Gravity Falls is a little town in Oregon where strange things are happening. There is also an extradimensional tear and a lot to do with what appear to be Old Ones. Did I mention that this is an all ages show? The show follows a brother and sister who are twins who are staying with their Grunkle Stan for the summer. Stan owns and operates a tourist trap called the Mystery Shack which is kind of a museum of the weird. Some of the exhibits are real but most of them are not. Every day would be an exercise in both creating art projects and writing imaginary lore about supernatural creatures. I would have to keep customers safe from the real supernatural creatures and objects in town but that would be fun. Reading the journals would be all I did during lulls when I was not selling cheap trinkets to visitors. The residents of Gravity Falls are pretty dumb but are also kindhearted so it would be a pretty pleasant place to live.


3. Dal Riata Bartender
(From Lost Girl)

I have worked in the service industry before although it was only for a few months as a summer job just before college. It was often a long day of working on your feet with only the hope of enough pay to handle your commitments. However, most people were nice enough and those who were not eventually left and you usually did not need to deal with them again for a while if ever. The people watching was very interesting as I saw tables with all sorts of compositions. The regulars were often the nicest people I could meet and I also felt supremely satisfied at the end of a good day’s work. The Dal Riata is a bar exclusively for faekind in the world of Lost Girl. It is a way station where those with faerie blood can stop in and rest and relax without having to hide what they are. If you think that faeries are all glitter and sparkles, you would be wrong. Faekind is often incredibly dangerous even with powers meant to be beneficial to humankind. However, the reason I would want this job is because the Dal Riata is basically Switzerland. It is the one zone in town where fighting amongst the Dark and the Light is forbidden. So, I would get to meet all sorts of interesting creatures while being protected by an ancient truce. Of course, that would mean I would have powers of my own but that is just an additional bonus.


2. Muppet Crewmember
(From the Muppet Show)

If you look back far enough in this blog, you will know that I used to work in professional theater. I still have an undying love for the theater even if I have moved on professionally. The atmosphere backstage is controlled craziness. It may look crazy but everybody knows where they are supposed to be and they have practiced every minute over and over. Of course, the Muppet Show is more of a vaudeville show which has more elements of improvisation and chaos. The show almost never goes as planned except when it does. While there are definitely a lot of interruptions, huge expensive-looking musical numbers often go off without a hitch. In addition, the show continues to book hugely popular human celebrities even with a reputation for those guests getting abused. We do not see a lot of crewmembers beyond Scooter, Gladys and Kermit as many performers double as crewmembers and vice versa. However, I would love to be a crewmember on The Muppet Show. First, I would be a muppet which means I would be nigh impossible to kill. Second, I would get to work with really cool celebrities and my coworkers would be absolutely insane in the best ways.


1. Librarian
(From The Librarians)

Having recently watched The Librarians, I was totally jazzed about the main characters of the show. That is actually the show that gave me the idea for this list. A couple years ago, as I was spending days putting up campaign signs, I was told that my great memory for details especially of literature and film would serve me well in a new profession. I briefly considered studying to become a librarian. Of course, this show is about Librarians who travel the world and collect magical artifacts and save the day. They do so by using research and intelligence, two things I love to use. To be in the field and put the details of legend, mathematics and art history to practical use would be amazingly fun. Of course, every adventure has the possibility of incredible danger but I would have the satisfaction of knowing that I am saving the world on the regular. Also, I get to hang out with Santa Claus and see and experience the wonder of magic.

Media Update 12/29/2016

December 29, 2016


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

I love the Harry Potter films a lot and I was glad that they finished that story and contained it by itself. That book series (and movie series) created a whole big magical world but only stayed in a small part of it. We mostly only saw the magical world of London which is a small fraction of our planet. After the books were written, we got a little information on how magical schooling is done in America but not much. Of all ways the Harry Potter world could be continued in film, I did not expect them to do a period film about the author of one of Harry’s textbooks. We follow a British wizard as he journeys through New York City in the thirties. This movie felt a lot more grounded than most of the Potter films. It is full of a similar sense of wonder but the world is different. There is no Voldemort and all the familiar characters who are alive are an ocean away. It is a fresh new story in a new world with similar rules. We also finally get to see a movie whose hero is not a fricking Gryffindor and is instead a Hufflepuff. It is interesting to see the Wizarding world in times past because it seems that it once was closer to the human world. Instead of robes, we see the wizards actually wearing real clothes which makes way more sense. This is a story about every life being precious, even when there is a constant threat of terrorism or war. It is an important message right now and always. I definitely recommend this movie and I look forward to the next movie in the series.


Doctor Strange

I never really read any Doctor Strange comics but I was definitely aware of the character. When I saw him, he was often assembling a makeshift team of heroes to battle some threat to the Marvel Universe. He was the resident magical expert in Marvel and he faced down unimaginable threats without batting an eye. I was excited when this movie was announced because I wanted to really get to know the character outside of a team-up story. I knew a bit of his origin story and it is a tale that confirms that sometimes good things can rise from tragedy. Every single Marvel Cinematic Universe movie has been great especially when working with a character who the average person on the street would say ‘who?’. They do a great job at making their properties into iconic characters who also feel real. The first choice they made in this film that showed they were on the right track was casting Benedict Cumberbatch. Over and over he has proven to be a great actor. Playing Stephen Strange requires a certain amount of confidence and arrogance that Cumberbatch is used to portraying. He can look pathetic and he can look powerful. The casting of Tilda Swinton is a little regrettable but not a mistake as she is great in her role. On top of that, we have the always excellent Chiwetel Ejiofor who I first encountered in Serenity and knew he would continue to be awesome. I also really liked Benedict Wong who plays the practical and serious Wong who I know was Strange’s assistant in the comics. I definitely recommend this and I am overjoyed that Marvel keeps churning out awesome movies.


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

I first heard about this series when I saw the book in my mother’s car where it had been left by her granddaughter (technically my niece). I had heard that the book was good and from what I heard, Tim Burton was probably a good choice for adapting it. Burton failed at adapting Alice in Wonderland but magic in the modern world is something he has experience with. Burton is kind of hit or miss for me but I respect him a lot as a filmmaker. This movie was so refreshing as Tim Burton movies go. Burton purposely did not use a lot of the digital effects and plastered-on make up that have become a crutch for him in more recent years. He also did not use Danny Elfman as a composer. I love Elfman but the two definitely needed a break from each other. The source material is obviously good because the movie follows an interesting mystery without a lot of the pointless quirkiness. It feels like Tim Burton became stuck creatively at some point and this movie may be a sign that those juices are flowing correctly again. This movie definitely has charm and the characters are so likable and interesting. Eva Green is very commanding and Samuel L. Jackson is great as the conniving villain. Asa Butterfield is the audience’s proxy as the everyman who is curious about this new world. There is an underlying creepiness and otherworldliness that is fun for a Halloween enthusiast like me. The world building is a little shaky but I was willing to trust in it and it has paid off so far. I am interested to see if this series continues. I recommend this definitely.

Music of the Week:
BabyMetal w/ X Japan – Akatsuki

Beastwars – Damn The Sky

DMX – How’s It Goin’ Down

Panic! At The Disco – LA Devotee

Los – Hustle Hard

Weekly Update:
– It’s my birthday!
– This week’s theme is “Magic is Just Out of Sight”
– I really did not watch much this week
– I watched a little bit of The Office
– A smidgen of Arrested Development
– I watched a cute film called Dear Santa starring Amy Acker
– I also watched a weird movie called Georgia Rule
– The holidays were so busy and they are not even done yet

Expelliarmus!

October 31, 2008

I have an admission to make. I love Harry Potter.  There are many reasons why I am a little… hesitant to admit this.  For three years I campaigned against the Harry Potter series.  I never was one of the crusaders that believed it was satanic.  I was part of the group that thought that since it is popular it’s crap.  Also the first movie was absolutely wretched. And why hadn’t Lord of the Rings been a topic of public conversation?  This Rowling woman couldn’t be be better than Tolkien. No way.

Well, I still think she isn’t.  However, after I saw the movie version of The Goblet of Fire I started to really get it.  I delved into the mythos… down the fanboy rabbit hole I usually frequent.  I was sucked in after an hour of research.  I read The Prisoner of Azkaban and gave up hope of escaping.  I embraced it instead.  Then I watched The Order of the Phoenix and resolved to read all of the books before reading the last one.  I read or listened to The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire, The Half-Blood Prince, The Order of the Phoenix, The Chamber of Secrets and finally the Deathly Hallows.  It’s all pretty good. And yes I did read them out of order. I also saw the movies out of order.

It’s true that I like the magic and fantasy of it. But even better than that is the relations between the characters and the way that magic is treated often as an everyday occurence.  The Wizarding World, as it’s called, is plagued with a lot of the problems we all have. They have the O.W.L.s which are like our S.A.T.s, they have beauracracy and stupid politicians, they have terrorists and laws.  I often thought that if I had magic powers things would be easier but perhaps I’m better off just dreaming about it.

I urge people to get over themselves and check this out. This is not a book just for kids. I’m 25 and I enjoy it. I know a 50 year old who loves it so age means nothing.  My favorite characters are the twins Fred and George Weasely who are very much like the jokers and goofballs I end up being friends with. I can recount a history of these types of people.

Anyway. Read a book!


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