Tag Archives: blogging

Hiatus! (Or, Amber’s Blogging A Music Festival. BRB!)

Blogentaries and Domestica are suspended this week due to the fact I am covering the annual NXNE festival on my music blog.  Between all of the panels, performances, films and trying to blog it all in timely fashion, I simply cannot be every-blog at once.

Come check out what I’ve been up to!  It’s been a blast so far and the festival’s just begun.

NXNE 2012 at Open ‘Til Midnight

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DVD Blog-entary: To Save A Life – Virgin Viewing

I’ve been intrigued by this film for some time now, ever since seeing the trailer for it online.  I walk into it with a dual hesitation:  1) will it appropriately handle the topic of teen suicide?; and 2) how Christian will this Christian film be?

Despite being a staunch Pagan, I do not mind Christianity per se.  I do mind feeling preached to, being told I am evil for differing beliefs or being beaten about the head with a proverbial Bible.  I have devout friends that I love dearly.  I enjoy the music of Jars Of Clay, a Christian band.  Can To Save A Life straddle that fine line and remain appealing to all audiences?  Can it treat teen mental health and problems realistically and accurately?  Preliminary reviews suggest it does, but let’s find out, shall we?

Obviously, expect major spoilers…  scroll to the end if you just want my final opinion.

To Save A Life:  Live Blog-entary

  • Is it bad that from the moment I heard the original title, How To Save A Life, all I can do is sing The Fray song of that same name whenever I think of this film?  Speaking of, they definitively have a Christian slant to their music and I LOVE THEM.  Be like The Fray, movie.  Be like The Fray.  *clicks play*
  • Outreach Films… Accelerated Entertainment.  Well, 2 hours isn’t accelerated, but it’s definitely outreach.
  • We begin with a funeral inter-cut with a Goonies-esque moment on bikes and talk of treasure hunts.
  • Damn, little boy!  Diving in front of a car?  That’s some serious bromance.
  • The guilt is screamingly apparent:  Jake’s BFF Roger spends his life with a hindering limp after saving his life, and winds up dead at 17… I’m wagering by his own hand.
  • “Basketball jones!  I gotta basketball jones!”
  • You know it’s a Christian film when the lead girl is introduced in sixties style pigtails.
  • Ugh, jerk.  You diss your friend for a not-that-pretty snob?  Lame.  How do you diss a sweet kid who saved your life like that?  Main guy Jake is a d-bag, indeed.
  • And they never talked again until Roger was dead…
  • Did he just make a “did yo’ Momma” joke?  Bwahahahaha.  Between this and the rap music to set the “cool kid scene”, it’s trying a little hard.
  • Typical woman:  “I want kids, so you want them” – at age 17.  Oh my lord.
  • OMFG they’re both going to Louisville!  Yay, dumping your friend for brainer girlfriend who soothes your “dad lives through me” speech a la Andrew of The Breakfast Club.
  • Oh my God kid, you’re a high school senior.  Stop fake sportscasting while shooting hoops alone at night.
  • Shooting up the ceiling of the school, eh?  Well, that will get you attention.  Hey Jake, guess who played a huge role in this downward spiral?  Yep, you.
  • Did he seriously just call a full court press more intense than a suicide? *facepalm*  And Jake fist-bumped that shit?  *headdesk*
  • Pastor just happens to come to the basketball game and “introduce himself” to Jake.  Yep, Christian movie.
  • CHUG! CHUG! CHUG!  Kegger!!!!!111111
  • The music sounds like it was composed by the “Friday” people.  Sung well, though.  Guess they blew their soundtrack budget on the studio players.
  • Of course, randomly the school loser du jour arrives in a wizard hood thing at the cool kids party to be mocked in front of Jake, thereby initiating the plot…
  • Oooh teen sex!
  • Bwahahahaha, DrunkJake is hilarious.  Jumping off a roof and shit.  At least his girl jacked his truck to keep him from a DUI.
  • ARRGH!!!!  “The Dawson’s”.  The Dawson’s what?  And why does only a single Dawson merit a sign?  My inner grammar nazi is sobbing.
  • Well, at least you know you suck, right Jake?
  • Wow, Dad, way to shit on his parade.
  • “Can he pay yo’ bills?”
  • Jake’s so angry at his failtastic parents, his non-religious ass just went to church.  Wow.
  • Rainbow-phobic…. Oh, lovely.  Irritated.
  • Oh wow, it’s a Christian concert for teens!  Rock out, teen band!  Everybody clap and sing!  You can order the album by phone from Time Life records.
  • “Waaaah!  You want me to apologize for stealing your truck?  You were supposed to buy me roses and wine after deflowering me.  And now you’re thumping Bibles and my daddy left me for a cult.”
  • Wow, this bitch is insensitive.  “Oh so your former bestie killed himself?  Whatever!”
  • LOLZ half the Bible group kids are stoners and Jake’s listening to Hooked On Jesus tapes.  Bwahahaha.
  • And here come the cool kid friends to shame him for talking to the lesser minions of their school.
  • This pastor talks about Christianity like smoking up for the first time…. Ahh, gateway religion!
  • And here she comes to reclaim her trophy boyfriend and dreamy future baller meal ticket.
  • They have an actual belt for the beer pong champion of their clique.  OMFG.  These kids are so cute.  They’re like kids without parental supervision for the first time.
  • MySpace.  REALLY?
  • This Coke chugging sock game is brilliant.  This pastor is pulling some serious prankery.
  • Amy my dear, no one is judging you.  Unless you previously humped the entire church youth group.
  • “There are people out there killing themselves and you’re chugging soda through a sock.”  EPIC QUOTE.
  • Aww, Jake started a lunch group at school for the church kids.  You go, Jake.
  • Amy moved on to his teammate way too fucking fast.  Hoor.
  • “Get your bling – buy a class ring!”
  • *snort* They baptized him in the ocean.  These are moments where I feel this film drifting from a plot into an infomercial for Buddy Christ
  • A-dork-able: he asks about how often girls shave their legs.
  • Jake’s dad is a wanker.  I loathe him every minute he’s on screen.
  • Oh pardon me, it’s OUR-Space.
  • Aww, Jonny is a-dork-able in every way.  He’s my favourite.
  • Dude! Pro-life vs pro-choice action up in here.  Have to agree though:  it’s her body.  Not yours.
  • This is so not this boy’s day.  Finds out he knocked up the girlfriend, walks in the door and watches his mom bail on his cheating POS father.  After several minutes of fluffy fun in quads and ice cream, it’s like boom!
  • “God is not some little genie or vending machine.”  *snort*
  • Christian prayer moment with meaningful music crescendo…
  • OMG, nosy kid, just because you have a pathetic haircut doesn’t mean you can eavesdrop and manipulate people.  Just go get some scissors.
  • Wow… How did no teacher notice the walls covered in Burn Book drawings?
  • Well look at that, bitchy Amy.  Your only friends are the church kids.  Learned a lesson?
  • WTF is wrong with wanker hair son of the main priest?  Calling a bomb threat with a kid’s cell phone to make his life hell?
  • Okay, wouldn’t it have been simpler to start yelling that asshole has his cell phone and therefore, the kid’s been falsely accused?  Also, what cops don’t search a kid under arrest for a bomb threat and find his pill bottles of suicidality?
  • Hooray!  Open abortions:  Jesus’ pleasing compromise solution to teen pregnancy.
  •  Wait, Jake deferred a semester (as I would have said), but Amy didn’t?  Um… WTF?  She was offered early entrance for her awesome grades and they couldn’t defer her?
  • Close on a magical highway shot…. and a life saved…
  • There are more soundtrack songs featured in the credits than throughout the entire two-hour film.

 

Final Verdict:  It’s a little too heavy on the Christianity to be fully accessible, which is a shame, since the topics of teen suicide, self-harm and pregnancy are handled realistically.  The message is powerful and needed, and while in the end, it’s not God preventing the suicide, but human decency and compassion, the fact remains that the middle half of the film is beating you over the head with being Christian.  A shame.  Worth a watch, but not a movie I’d ever watch again or purchase.  Hooray, Netflix!

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Live Blogging: The Twilight Saga – Breaking Dawn Pt 1

I am an ironic Twilight fan, in that I wouldn’t call myself a fan of the books in the sense of “what amazing literature!” or “how wonderfully Meyer fleshes out the backstory for her secondary characters!”, but rather, “this is a gloriously bad soap opera that swings back around to enjoyable – especially with alcohol” girl.  This isn’t to slag anyone who’s a through and through fan; it’s just to preface what will come with an understanding that I view the series through the lens of sarcasm and LOLZ.

That said, Breaking Dawn is, by miles, my least favourite book of the Saga.  Aside from glorious exchanges between Rosalie and Jacob, I pretty much want to slap everyone for the entire first half, get mildly interested in the beginning of book 2, then roll my eyes at the end, shrieking, “REALLY?  That’s it?” and wishing there was more Alice and Alistair.

I don’t hold high hopes for the movies, then, but I am a completist.  Even though I loathed Eclipse, and still think New Moon is the best film (and book) of the series, I must see this one too.

Armed with pizza, wings, and a frightening amount of alcohol in my veins courtesy of drinking these (Adios, indeed!), I’m settling in to watch.  I’ll be randomly commenting on things I see as I go and posting the results, so enjoy the madness!

Live Blogged:  Breaking Dawn, Pt 1

  • Voice-over: KStew tells us to grow up; on screen: Jake wah wah fursplodes.  Beautiful.
  • “Does no one have vision?!”  Now THERE is the Alice we all know and love.  There has not been nearly enough fun with Alice in the series. As always, NEEDS MOAR ALICE.
  • I wonder if Edward ever gets pissed about that dreamcatcher still on her bed….
  • Rob, you’re a good guy, but you really don’t handle these Monologue-ward moments…  They’re always kinda wooden/odd.
  • Peeping Kellan!  Peeping Jackson!
  • In walks the Megabitch – er Rosalie… Cold as Ice plays in my head…
  • And of course, Alice is so adorable and could she please make an appearance in my life to molest or at least snuggle with kthxbi?
  • Charlie wins at everything.  Seriously, Billy Burke is 30% of my reason for watching these movies.
  • Okay, I have never seen a less enthusiastic bride.  Fer serial.
  • Ahhh!  Now she’s had her smoochie times, all better!
  • Yeah, totally do not buy this Tanya as able to make Bella jealous.  Fugly.
  • These speeches are why I am NOT having any speeches at my wedding.
  • CHARLIE. <3  OMFG love you.
  • Renee is LOLZ.  Get that bitch a karaoke machine.
  • The Jake scene…. I almost liked him…
  • For all of my criticisms of these movies, Billy and Kristen are perfect together in their scenes.
  • Edward totes gives her the sex eyes and bam! Bella is pregnant before the sexing.
  • Bella is having an existential crisis over something she’s been demanding forever. WTFuckery
  • Sex-crazed Bella is LOLZ
  • Vampire shock! Dun da dun!
  • “I wanna cooooooooooooooooooool rider!” *Jake rides in*
  • *swoon* Rosalie calling Jake a dog…  I’m serious – the unending barbs between them is the best part of the book IMO.
  • Okay, the whole doggie voiceover? So failtastic cheese.
  • Edward hits Yahoo; learns the facts of life. Carlisle wishes he’d thought to pack condoms.
  • Edward has a point: Bella is a total bitch for just storming on ahead, not caring about what her dying would do to Edward or the Cullens.
  • Mmmmmm bloodshake!  Om nomm nomm!
  • LMAO @ everyone mocking Renesmee.
  • OMG Bella looks so gross and yuck and Cryptkeeper and OMG BRB hiding face EWWWWWWWW!
  • Bloody baby is icky please bathe it now.
  • Older Renesmee is hot, just sayin’.
  • Oh, Edward…. Jacob imprinted…. so yay, no killing but um…. yeah. Poor guy.
  • “Don’t panic, Edward; she’s just too stoned to writhe. LOLLERSKATES!”
  • DUH DUH! RED EYES!
  • Execution for poor grammar=epic winning.

Et voila!  Part one of the last book is in the can…  And considering how meh the source material was, Condon did a good job.  My one bitch – and Rosenberg really is notorious for this – is the cutting of the Rosalie-Jacob barbs, like the dog dish and such.  It would have been much needed comic relief.  Then again, she has a tendency when adapting these books to cut small moments that, to me, are actually important (ex: Bella crying when she realizes Edward is taking her to prom, not changing her ass).  How the bitch does so well with Dexter, I do not know.

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DVD Blog-entary: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – The Virgin Viewing

Project Intro/First Film
Second Film

We’ve reached the last of the films I’ve actually seen any part of, which is kind of exciting.  It means the next five are all absolutely fresh.  That said, I barely remember any of this one, because at the time, I had no interest in the franchise and didn’t know the backstory, so nothing made much sense.

The book was sorta meh for me; I enjoyed it mostly, but again, like the first, it began a little slow for me.  We’ll see how the movie fares now, in the third installment of the Blog-entary of Harry Potter.  Snacks prepared… Accio movie!

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The Blog-entary

  • Um, isn’t it illegal for Harry to cast spells back home?  Why is he making light?
  • Aw, Harry is no longer a Baby! so I can no longer tag him as such.
  • Float away, you ignorant cow!  Bwahahaha!  Dudley got owned by a button.
  • Um… Harry, did you leave Hedwig?! WTF?  You prick!
  • What’s with the Rasta bus ghost thingie? LOL
  • There’s Hedwig! Now I’m okay again.  I was enraged for a few minutes.
  • What’s with all the Beatles hairdos on the Weasley boys?  *facepalm*
  • There’s a chill in my bones…. oh shit, it’s a Dementor!  Don’t just stare, Harry… Oh, er, oops.
  • Okay, what the hell?  Lame ass choir, GTFO.  I want my food porn and Dumbledore 2.0.  Speaking of, I like him way better.  The first one was too kindly and docile.  Dumbledore always struck me as the Gandalf for the series.
  • Trelawney is a total ROFLcopter…  I couldn’t take this bitch seriously, either Hermione.
  • “You’re gonna suffer, but you’re gonna be happy about it.”  Oh, Ron. You’re still the best.
  • Draco got a wankery haircut too!  What the hell?  Was this the precursor to Bieber bowls?
  • “You’re supposed to stroke it.”  That’s what she said.
  • Oh, Hagrid! You’re so bloody naive… Like a big, hairy child.
  • “I’m the king of the worlllllllllllllllllllllld!”
  • Malfoy is a goddamn idiot… but we all knew that.
  • On a cinematography note, I am so glad to be rid of Columbus.  He’s done great work before (Rent) but this is a vast improvement.
  • You know, they know how awful the Dursleys are. They are BARELY guardians. Why couldn’t they sign off on his form?
  • Snape so has a boner for Hermione.  Jerk off.
  • Seriously, Harry?  NOT the time to dream up shapes in the clouds storming by.
  • Mischief managed!
  • Ugh, stupid singers!  Knock them down, Harry!
  • God Harry, your anorexia is going to kill you.  EAT! ;)
  • Buckbeak :(
  • Why does Harry not question the fact that Lupin a) knows how to use the map and b) even knows it’s a map?
  • Bam! Bitch went down! Bam! Hermione, super bitch!
  • BUCKBEAK :(!!!!!
  • “Why don’t you run along and play with your Chemistry set?”
  • Puppy!
  • BUCKBEAK :D!
  • Expecto motherfucking Patronum!
  • O hai Sirius! Here to save you, LOLZ.
  • Harry breaks his brooms almost as often as his bloody glasses.  #random

Final thoughts:  One bitch:  the constant fade to black, fade back in device got extremely tired.  Very one trick pony.  The creatures continued to be rendered in awesome ways.  NOT ENOUGH NEVILLE.  I know shit has to be cut, but bloody hell! I’d happily take another ten minutes to have a few more moments with the Weasleys or Neville.  I also miss the parts where Hermione would be dying from homework and such, and it would have been nice to see them faking their charts for Trelawney.

Next:  my favourite book, Goblet of Fire! Whee!

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DVD Blog-entary: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – The Virgin Viewing

For a run-down on this little project, and my blog-entary on the first film, click me.

Unlike the first film, I have seen maybe five minutes of this one – the still above being from those five minutes, actually. This will be very virginal, indeed, although Goblet of Fire will be the first film I haven’t watched ANY part of. This was one of my favourite books, so if they do it wrong, RAGE! Ready, set…. Accio movie!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The Blog-entary

  • Ahh! Baby!Harry’s voice is changing. This is seriously weird, still. I am kind of wishing I’d watched as they were released, so my mind wouldn’t be wrestling with the whole nudity deal. It’s just ODD. It’s not like Kate Winslet did movies as a tween, only to screw with my head with Titanic or The Reader or… Man, she gets naked a lot. I approve of this, but I digress. Baby!Harry and Hedwig!
  • Oh lord… Dobby’s voice… Is he the Jar Jar of the fandom? He was so cute in the books, but ick… Nails on chalk board…
  • I love that the Dursleys are stupid enough to think bars and nails can stop magical people from entering or leaving. Fail.
  • Baby!Ron’s voice is also changing… Ahh!
  • The Weasleys’ house is way nicer than the books make it out to be. They practically make it sound like a shack or something, or at least rundown. It’s really cozy and bright!
  • How do you mispronounce words you’ve just heard, Harry? Yeesh!
  • Lockhart: just as slimey and game show host-ish as I predicted.
  • Baby!Draco grew the most between movies. He looks…. ick. How did Emma crush on him? Lucius is so trying to be Jeremy Irons, but not as cool.
  • Is it bad that my biggest concern during the flying car debacle was poor Hedwig?
  • Ha ha Snape, Dumbledore owns you.
  • Finally! Plants! Poor Baby!Neville; no one cares about him. He fainted? Whatevs. Leave his body on the floor.
  • ROTFLMFAO at the Howler.
  • Aww, Mrs. Norris :( Kitty. Even if she is a fucking evil kitty, it still makes me cringe to see her hung up like that.
  • Okay, Hogwarts is run by wizards. How can they NOT tell that someone has bewitched a broom or whatever, realize cheating is going on, AND STOP THE GODDAMN GAME? It’s pissed me off the entire series.
  • “Who cares?” Indeed, Baby!Ron. No one gives a shit about Lockhart’s safety. And I thought so long before finishing this book.
  • Stupid children. If Harry was going to sic the snake on anyone, it would be Draco.
  • Harry really should have learned from first year not to wander the castle at night. It NEVER does him any good.
  • *shudder* I so would not drink hair for any reason…
  • Myrtle doesn’t really moan…. She just squeals. And I still don’t like how they show the ghosts or the lack of Peeves mischief
  • Petrified Hermione is creeeeeeepy
  • Aww, Baby!Ron’s voice cracks so badly when he freaks out.
  • As much as I hate Snape, his pwnage of Lockhart is awesome.
  • Riddle is so annoying… arrgh… Smug little fucker.
  • I want a pet Phoenix. ZOMG cuteness!
  • Ha ha, Lucius… Go cry, emo blonde. Baby!Harry just glared your ass down….
  • … and then, Dobby owned you. *snicker*
  • Awww…. I love Hagrid… He’s so sweet and cuddly….

Final thoughts: Needs more Hedwig! I’m also missing the moments of Hermione scolding the boys over not doing their work or paying attention, little scenes from the books. It’s like her character suddenly lost that attribute in the second film, and while she definitely became less of an annoying bint over the course of the books, she never lost that bit of nagging. Better than the first film, though; the pacing was much better.

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DVD Blog-entary: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – The Virgin Viewing

True facts: I was never a part of the Harry Potter phenomenon. First of all, I have a huge bias against anything that explodes, because generally, it’s not a good experience for me. Case example: Avatar. I even avoided Lord of the Rings because, again, no one would shut the hell up about it. Back in 2002, I moved in with my dad to help fix my finances. Little brother was big time in love with Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Being as he watched the first films of each non-freaking-stop, I eventually caved and watched The Fellowship. Aside from annoyance at the ending (it should have ended where the book did), I really enjoyed it. And I so do not dig fantasy, as a rule. Now buoyed by little brother being right, I watched the first Harry Potter film. Or tried to. I got bored 40 minutes in and wandered away. Two or three years later, my ex rented Prisoner of Azkaban, and again I tried to watch. The problem this time was that I had no idea what the hell was going on half the time, due to not knowing the canon established in the first two. I tuned out because I was mad. When late 2010 hit, I got an ereader, and also decided to try and read all of the most challenged books in the US (out of spite at censorship, of course). At the behest of two friends and having them on the list, I read the first book, promising to try and stay with it for the first three. With a few misses along the way (do NOT dig Order of the Phoenix; didn’t care for the first book; Deathly Hallows ended way too conveniently for me), I enjoyed the books. My favourite was Goblet of Fire, by the way, with Chamber of Secrets right behind it. Now, the ending of the films is upon us… and here, she arrives at the point: I’ve still never seen an entire film of the series. It strikes me that I should TRY to watch them again, although frankly, I’m afraid that having seen Radcliffe’s grown-up junk via Equus, that Baby!Harry will be a strange sight. I’m in no rush; I’m sure the fans have sold out every showing for the next two weeks for the final one. But I will give them a go and when I do, I’ll be blogging my thoughts as I watch. Will I notice every difference from the books? Unlikely, from one reading. My brother tells me that the first film is one of the worst in his opinion, so my aim is to soldier through the first two at minimum before being allowed to give up. But maybe, being such a total newbie, I’ll see the films in a different light from those who grew up living and breathing Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. Stay tuned… and you best believe Imma go all Expecto Patronum if you don’t like what I have to say…

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: The Blog-entary

  • Accio movie! Let’s talk casting: McGonagall is older than I expected, but this isn’t a bad thing. Hagrid is EXACTLY how I saw him. Dumbledore… well, I’ve seen a lot of clips with the second Dumbledore, and I have to say, Dumbledore #2 is the one closer to who I saw. I also pictured Dudley as looking… more evil?
  • Random: I suddenly thought of the epic fail fanfic of all time, My Immortal. Dumbleydore! LOL.
  • Owl-palooza chez Dursley!
  • The look on Daniel’s face when the first two wands trash Olivander’s is priceless. Bwahahaha.
  • HEDWIG!! Okay, I care way more all of a sudden. I’m such a suck for animals.
  • Baby!Ron! All ginger-riffic. Seeing them so young is really jarring, to be honest.
  • Baby!Hermione is a total bitch. I’m just sayin’. I know she is supposed to be an annoying know-it-all, but she’s REALLY annoying out the gate.
  • 40 minutes to just get on the damn boats to Hogwarts. I remember now why I got bored out of my mind… I had no emotional investment and started watching after Hagrid takes Harry away. Shopping and boats. Not quite endearing for a doubter.
  • LOLZ at Baby!Neville. Totally adorable. And Baby!Draco is perfect. Douche-tastic as expected.
  • KITTY! Yup, still animal-obsessed.
  • Sorting Hat time… dum da dum! Baby!Ron is by far my favourite of the kids thus far. The hat is freaking creepy…. I wanna call Chris Hansen on it. It’s so…. clingy to their heads…
  • Ghost special effects? Kinda lame. Typical of Chris Columbus, though… too cutesy. I want my ghosts creepy and mischevious.
  • Snape was also perfectly cast… creepy right down to the serial killer greasy hair.
  • Obvious green screen is obvious during flying lessons.
  • Puppy! Well, sort of a puppy…
  • “She needs to sort out her priorities!” One of the best lines in the whole damn series.
  • All of the feast scenes are serious food porn… Om nomm nomm!
  • Professor McGonagall: hot bitch in charge! Huzzah!
  • Horrible joke about balls in mouth here… er, Snitch…
  • I still really don’t like the way they’ve portrayed the ghosts… and there’s no Peeves. Fail. Although, Mrs. Weasley’s jumpers are as hideous as I would have imagined. *shudder*
  • Also, I expected Lily Potter to be a knock-out, you know? Not a supermodel or plastic pretty, but girl next door “holy hell!” pretty. She just looks like a slim soccer mom. Not how I thought of her at all. It’s really disappointing to me. She’s probably the worst casting so far, in my eyes.
  • Aww! Norbert is so cute! You know, except for the part where he sets people on fire.
  • Is it just me or does Baby!Daniel not play scared well enough? He never really seems sufficiently upset by things like, oh, VOLDEMORT? He seems too steady for a kid having one fuck of a year.
  • Fluffy drool….. UGH!
  • I’m realizing we never saw any fun lessons in Herbology… Hmm. Boo. I always enjoyed Neville having that one talent.
  • The chess game was bad-ass… I’m pretty sure I would have peed myself and turned back.
  • Okay, dude. Voldemort’s little ‘eyes in the back Quirrell’s head’ bit is seriously disturbing.
  • Ah, the house cup…. such a way to make students want to attack each other… What a bad idea for a school of wizards, huh?
  • Hahaha, Baby!Draco’s about to cry. *points and laughs*
  • I love Hagrid. Way more than Dumbledore. Somehow, it seems this means the films have failed, to a degree, since Dumbledore is intended to be beloved, the father Harry never got to be raised by.

Final conclusion: not enough time with the secondary characters. Some weren’t even introduced! Not enough fun with the ghosts of Hogwarts. The movie begins too slowly, only to rush through other parts of the story. Daniel’s green as an actor, but it’s slight and forgivable. Hermione’s TOO annoying for the first half – it’s almost a caricature, it’s so over the top. Baby!Ron is the best of the trio, the end. Next up: Chamber of Secrets. Stay tuned…

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The Purposeful Social Networker

For my birthday, fiance and I finally got off our asses and saw Fincher’s The Social Network, the film chronicling the somewhat dramatic and most definitely embellished creation of Facebook and the subsequent lawsuits against Mark Zuckerberg for various forms of intellectual property theft and reportedly skeezy business dealings.  The film is fantastic, with biting dialogue and an incredible score.  It also raises a key point that few teenagers grasp in Generation Wired:  the internet is written in ink, not pencil.  In other words, once it’s out there, it can safely be assumed it will live on forever, one way or another.

I have always been aware of this fact; it’s why I usually indicate my postal code as 90210 when signing up for online accounts, and give a completely wrong birthday in many cases as well.  I have online pseudonyms to protect my privacy, and also use privacy settings with gusto.  That said, my Google Alert search on my birth name, in addition to telling me that there are name twins in Spokane and New Jersey, reveals that even letters to the editor during my university days live on, happily searchable online, with two words and a click.  Searches on my commonly used online handles reveal a plethora of information that I might not necessarily want known.  For anyone with a little knowledge about my life, it’s very easy to dig up a few skeletons, even on someone as net-savvy as I generally am.

I remember a former friend, whose job involves summarizing blog and other internet hits on various companies and famous people, who was unable to mention certain brands and trademarks on her public Twitter, lest the clients find out she was speaking of them.  Paranoia?  Not so much; one slag of, say, Harry Potter, would potentially have her ass being handed to her.  Then again, she was dumb enough to use her first name and last initial as a handle, so really, she’d castrated herself moreso than necessary.  Keeping her Twitter public to chat with celebrities as if they were friends also didn’t help.

That said, what of those of us who choose to be public?  What does this say about us?  I keep my Twitter public, and often spout off on personal topics.  I never reveal anything that would betray my identity (my fiance has a codename, as one example; I never refer to an employer by name), but I am pretty open.  I blog here, about my personal life, and also mention it on my music blog.  In this day and age, where archives are endless, what possible value could there be?  Aren’t we all doomed, as Zuckerberg is in Fincher’s film, to be remembered as the guy who compared farm animals to women, or similarly awful labels?

I believe, as someone whose passion lies in helping the mentally ill, that it is important for those who are currently in the trenches of their own personal wars – often teens and young adults, being as they spend so much time online – have the ability to connect with those who have made it, or are making it.  I believe that the only way for me to see value in misery is to turn it into cautionary tales and wisdom to be passed along.  I believe in connection, in its purest form, that life is now online as much as offline.  Zuckerberg gets that, too.  It’s why he understood the potential for Facebook and pushed onward.  The world is truly smaller, these days, with the advent of technologies like webcams and Skype, among others.  We may not have Hoverboards and self-adjusting clothing as predicted in Back To The Future 2, but we have a hell of a lot of new gadgets and tools to make and keep friends we may never have found without the internet.

The blog may also be educational, with some writers making a living by instructing and coaching others on a variety of topics.  I, too, choose to contribute here, blogging on political issues, the complexities of the music industry and why some artists need to be thrown off their high horses.  A well-tagged, well-composed entry may yield thousands of viewers who can read one blog and understand an issue that may have been a vague one before.  I pride myself on being thorough, and am pleased when some of the entries that matter the most to me are hit time and time again.  Knowledge is power; Julian Assange is likely going to prison for daring to turn that power over to the public, but he believes in that balance.  I believe in it, too.

For those who dare to be exhibitionists on the World Wide Web, there’s a smart way and a stupid way.  I firmly believe one should be bold, speak up, contribute to the discussion.  When doing so, however, protect yourself.  Opening yourself up means opening up to all kinds – good, bad and batshit crazy – so play safe.  Have an email with a pseudonym that is strictly for online site sign-ups; it centralizes spam and protects your identity.  I’ve had mine for half my life.  Avoid posting clear photos on public sites; you simply don’t know who’s a stalker.  My Gravatar is obviously not me.  Choose usernames more creative than ‘LucyDBToronto’ if going public, and codename your friends and family, even.  One of my public blogs had a key for who was who that I held privately, to ensure privacy.  Avoid using the same username everywhere; have different names for different ‘levels’ of connection.

Most importantly, know your privacy settings and when to use them.  Because your ‘farm animals to women’ will live on longer than any blog or email account, whether you like it or not.

 

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