Friday, 29 July 2011

Harry Potter as Anime

I discovered this through twitter and it seemed appropriate to post it during my temporary Harry Potter obsession. Even if you didn’t like Harry Potter, it’s still a cool piece of art.

A new look for Mad Men

I love Mad Men. I’m about 2 seasons behind everyone else but catching up fast. When I watch it, I wish I was a cross between Joan and Betty. Without the issues and old-man groping.

So I think this re-imagining of the Mad men title credits for later seasons – with a more groovy-60’s cartoon vibe that is just awesome.

Mad Men Opening Titles Re-Design from Paul Rogers on Vimeo.

B re-reads Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

As promised, inspired by seeing Harry Potter 7.2 a few weekends ago, I have discarded my should-read pile and started re-reading the Harry Potter novels from start to finish.

I have all the books of course and they sit on my shelf, all happy and pretty full of literary merit but they are not frequently re-read. The only one I’ve re-read recently is book 7 because I’m trying to read it in German and I like to look through the proper English after struggling with words like ‘Geheimnisw√§chter’ (secretkeeper).

So I would like to admit straight up that the real reason I haven’t blogged in so long isn’t laziness, it’s because every moment I’m not at work/dance/out/eating, I’m reading Harry Potter. The books are just as un-put-downable now as they were when I first read them oh so many years ago. I still can’t stop at the end of chapters and I still hate when Ron is so nasty to Hermione and I still desperately want to go into this world and have a wand ‘choose’ me and fly a broomstick or a Hippogriff and all those other wonderful, magical things.

So, first up with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

(Yes – Philosopher’s Stone, not Sorcerer’s Stone – christ, why does America have to fuck everything up?)

The opening is so wonderfully exaggerated with how vile all three Dursleys are and how desperate Vernon is to escape the Hogwarts letters and the truth about his hated nephew. Seeing the magic of Diagon Alley and Hogwarts for the first time through Harry's eyes is so thrilling and of course meeting all the characters for the first time (particularly the Weasleys!), know what they'll get up to over the next few books and how all their relationships will develop.

Of course, the reason to re-read the series – aside from pure enjoyment – is to pick out all the foreshadowing. And by gum, there is a lot of it. Harry having eyes like Lily’s is mentioned in the first few chapters when Hagrid, the first magical person he meets, comes to give him his letter. The misunderstanding of Snape and Quirrell mistakes, the knowing Sorting Ha - there are little clues and hints everywhere! It’s like a smug treasure hunt where you know what you're looking for, unlike those poor fools reading it for the first time.

Random trivia – Quirrell’s first name is Quirinus. Quirinus Quirrell. Tee hee. Love Rowling’s use of same-letter names; Severus Snape, Minerva McGonagall, Poppy Pomfrey.

So, the first book took me about 4 days to finish, but only because I had just small gaps of time in which to read. It was actually really nice to be reading a book that wasn’t full of adult angst, just a great story, told in a short book. For some reason, I never seem to read short books anymore. Short books are wonderful!

Is it weird that I’m looking forward to putting the book away for another 5-10 years so I can re-re-discover it all over again?

Never trust a man who poses with an iguana.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Adding to the list…

The original ‘purpose’ of this blog was as inducement for Jane and myself to read all the un-read books on our bookshelves. While Jane is actually managing to do this, I am…kind of…failing. I’ve read 2 books on my list so far and it’s been 3 months. I’ve started another 3 but that doesn’t count for much.

Now I’ve decided to really stuff myself up – bookshelf-wise – and re-read the Harry Potter series from start to finish. This is inspired by watching the 8th Harry Potter movie over the weekend. See review here.

I’ve re-read parts of the series on and off over the years. Particularly book 7, because I’m reading the German version and it makes me want to read the events in a language I can understand. Yet I doubt I’ve sat down and read any of the books cover to cover since my first reading so many years ago. With Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, that’s totally a deliberate choice because in that book Harry just…shits me. He’s really an annoying little bugger who needs and good punch in the face. Plus, that book needs a good editor to take a good slash at it and cut it in half. All the others I can’t wait to re-read! I suspect sitting down again and really working through them I’ll notice all those signaling moments and events and have lots of ‘AH-HA!’ realisations. Bookshelf project – stalled. Harry Potter re-reading project – begun.

Image courtesy of I Love Charts tumblr.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

I want it

Image courtesy of I Love Charts.

Dear cyclist

Dear cyclist,

The City Council have marked out your own special lane at great expense. Please do not randomly swerve out of it. You are just asking to be run over.

From, driving B.

C'est le fromage!

Happy Bastille Day!

I don't know about you, but I don't remember a whole lot of French from high school. I remember some, but considering I did it for the whole five years, I really should remember more. (I remember the school trip to France, that's for sure. Nobody forgets the Eiffel Tower on their sixteenth birthday. Or the bottle of vodka they got as a present, which got lost and then stolen. Or that other thing that happened...)

Anyway, the reason for this random French interlude? Apparently Brisbane has it's very own French Festival! (I know, I had no idea either.) It's on at South Bank, on Saturday the 16th of July, in honor of Bastille Day.

So, if French food, stalls and stalls of French stuff to buy, CanCan and burlesque dancers, a circus troupe and a fashion parade sound like your idea of a good time, well, you should head on over!!

There's bound to be heaps of cheese, too.

Brisbane French Festival

Friday, 8 July 2011

The cider dilemma

So, I’ve been sick. A really serious cold / flu thing that really knocked me around and put me in major negative sick leave in my new job.

Knowing I was feeling lousy, my wonderful family and friends gave me all sorts of things to help me feel better. There were amazing cupcakes (no photo – they disappeared too fast), offers of drugs and dinner, tim tams and tv shows.

Probably the most unexpected gift was from my Dad, who dropped DVD’s around to my place last week, along with a bottle of cider!

My Dad is not a cider drinker, but we’d had family dinner a few nights previously when cider and my fondness for it came up and then he’d been in Dan Murphy’s and spotted a special ‘winter cider’, so bought it for me to make me feel better. Awwwww.

Here it is:

Now, the dilemma – do I drink it hot or cold? It says you can go either way. What to do? I don’t want to stuff up my special winter cider experience. Apple with cinnamon and vanilla cider does not cross one’s path every day.

Solution: drink half the bottle cold, half the bottle warm.

I am a genius.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Keep Calm

Yes, I know, the Keep Calm poster meme-thingy is old news, at least in terms of the internet.
But B's been sick, and I'm still writing up two book reviews, so I thought I'd stick up some of the best ones - my personal favourites. (I believe they call this kind of content "filler"...)

**Disclaimer: I should probably note that I didn't really record where all these images came from (other than Google Image Search) but I'm absolutely not trying to take credit for creating any of them myself.
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