Archive for harry potter

lavoris and the wizard people

well dear reader, it’s been a few days since i wrote anything on here.  last semester came and went. and then winter break (or as i rather enjoy calling it, christmas break) came and went (by the way, i happened to have a quite a fabulous break and did some quite fabulous stuff, but i’ll be letting you know about that later.  it isn’t quite the time for that yet).  and now i’m back here at the university of connecticut for yet another extended period of growth, learning, and education (it happens to be my sixth one of those in case you were wondering).  seeing as it’s a new semester with new teachers and new work and new toothpaste (i’m currently using the “original cinnamon flavor” paste that is sold by some company called “lavoris” [which seems to be owned and/or operated by another company known as “charlesflora consumer products, llc”].  interestingly, the company’s website mentions a bunch of different mouthwashes that they sell, but no toothpastes [you can, however, purchase a tube from cvs online. thank goodness].  even more interestingly, i happened to purchase this wonderful variety of paste at ocean state job lot.  that being said, with consideration toward the lack of representation on the company website, there’s a good chance that it’s toxic and/or carcinogenic.  oops.  but the flavor’s not bad.  you always have to take the cons with the pros, i guess), things have gotten a bit backed up.  there’s probably a good deal of laziness involved as well, but we’ll just blame it on lots of stuff to do.  if nothing else dear reader, it makes me look better, and seeing as i’m the one writing, looking better sounds like a good plan.

that being said, we can move onto the important (yeah…) stuff.  it just so happens that this semester, i’m taking my first ever university english class.  technically speaking, everyone is required to take an intro-level english class when they get into the school, but i took care of that requirement in high school, so i didn’t.  it’s been rather interesting.  it’s a fun little class about the bible.  uh oh… he said bible but didn’t have a disclaimer at the top of the page.  how does that work?  well you see, it is a bible class.  but it’s also called “the bible as literature”.  so it’s not really a bible class.  it’s like a normal english class with a normal english book but with many more biblical allusions (seeing as every word, theoretically speaking, is referencing the bible… because it’s in the bible).  that’s the way it’s supposed to work at least.  faith does creep into the discussions occasionally, often by accident, but those flames are usually quenched in a timely manner.  i must say, dear reader, it’s a really different way to take the bible and read it.  it’s kind of like trying to watch a uconn vs tennessee women’s basketball game and appreciate the good play of both teams from an unbiased perspective (in the terms of the laypersons [so politically correct], that means it’s hard to do).

just this past yesterday, we handed in our first essays for the class.  my decision-making skills were shown to be a bit hazy with this paper, dear reader.  basically, i wrote a thesis that contradicts thousands of years of jewish tradition and literary merit (and because i know you’re all so interested and curious, my paper was about how while abraham [normally seen as one of the uber-cool guys and big time patriarchs in jewish tradition and history] did do a lot of good stuff for the jews and set their big long journey in motion, he also cursed them with his mistakes and led to a lot of israelite woes long after he had died.  does it line up to anything that anyone thinks?  probably not.  but hey, college is all about experimenting).  as far as trying to make a good impression with your first paper goes, that was kind of, in a word, dumb.  but i had a genius idea as i was trying to decide what to write about and went with it.  i suppose we can just see how things turn out when i get it back.

the one thing that i really took out of writing this paper, however, was that coming up with ideas (even if they are crazy, and maybe even moreso if they are) and writing about them can be a pretty cool thing.  creativity, in a nutshell, is top-notch.  being in a major of quite a musical degree, dear reader, i don’t get to do that a whole lot.

so wait a minute here.  why the heck does he keep writing the stupid “dear reader” thing?  sure, maybe it’s an endearing thing to say… once.  but saying it again and again is just overkill.  with that thought, i agree.  and as such, an explanation.  i’ve actually been plagiarizing that phrase.  i know, not very nice, but it’s getting proper acknowledgment now, so that makes it okay(ish).  i came across a cute little link recently (with the help of the oh so powerful facebook mini-feed [which i’ve have been known to appreciate and, dare i say, praise in the past]) that happens to incorporate said phrase and that i feel shares and exposes my sentiments on creativity quite perfectly.  plus, it’s got harry potter, so how can you go wrong?  it’s a fantastic multimedia experience by some crazy dude named brad neely.  basically, mr. neely took the first harry potter film (which may involve the stone of a certain sorcerer and/or philosopher) and wrote his own script for it called “wizard people, dear reader”.  simply put, you turn down the volume on the movie, crank the volume on the audio file, click play on both at (approximately) the same time, and let the magic (no pun intended) unfold before your eyes.  i must warn you, our friend the narrator does have a bit of a potty mouth at times, but with exception to that, it’s quite a ride.  i provide you with  the “re-envisioned” (as they call it) audio here so that you can join the adventures of hp, the wretched harmony, and ronnie the bear.  you can “just say no” and leave here untainted or click the dazzling link and go for it.  the choice is yours.  all i can say, dear reader, is don’t choose incorrectly.

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so apparently the hallows are deathly now

and finally it has arrived. for anyone that has been living in a wifi-less cave since 1997, that “it” refers to the seventh and final installment of the heavily-acclaimed harry potter series (which just so happens to be called “harry potter and the deathly hallows” [and by the way, our great friends at yourdictionary.com define a “hallow” as… well, they don’t. and neither does any other online dictionary. apparently, it’s not a real noun. intriguing? i’d sure say so]). now, while the novel has been out for a great number of minutes (not even counting the many more minutes that online bootleg copies were available prior to the novel’s actual release), i do not yet have it. i did not go and wait in line at midnight to pick it up. apparently, i’m not a good fan. sorry. in fact (to be quite honest with you), i’m still in the middle of reading the sixth book (also know as “harry potter and the half-blood prince”), so at the moment, a copy of the new one wouldn’t do me so much good. but considering my reading and all the frenzy surrounding the new movie and book has put me in a bit of a harry potter mode (and/or mood), i will use my potter expertise to make a prediction.

so here you go: at some point during the course of the novel, harry is going to die. or if not, lord v-ster is going to die. and if neither of those happen, then both will live.

yup. that’s it. my prediction. oh and by the way, i’ve been thinking about it, and from a personal, emotional standpoint, i think i’ll be able to handle the situation if harry lives or dies. as long as j.k. writes it well, it’ll be fine with me. but if this story ends with harry becoming the “messiah” and sacrificing himself and dying so that the world can be rid of evil and become a better place, i’m going to be rather mad. if she really wrote seven hugely successful books and then ends it like that, it’ll be a huge cop out. like the end of the third matrix movie. yeah, that was a huge cop out. not that it wasn’t good the first time, but honestly, you can’t write a better story than the first one (cough, cough, the greatest story ever told, cough). so you really shouldn’t bother trying. please miss rowling. don’t do it.

oh and by the way (again), if you read the book and find out what happens, congratulations. you did it. awesome for you. but don’t let me know. i really don’t want to know until i read it. thanks. so go, read, and enjoy. it’s the end of an era, you know.

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harry potter is a pansy

that’s right.  i said it.  harry potter is a pansy (which, by the way, is defined as “any of various plants of the genera achimenes or viola, having flowers with velvety petals of various colors”.  though, i’m actually more referring to the slang definition, which is given on urbandictionary.com as “someone very pathetic and wimpy, generally used as an insult against both sexes” [with a dramatic visual representation offered here]).

now please don’t misunderstand what i’m saying. kicking the v-man’s butt over and over is pretty sweet.  finding the sorcerer’s stone (or philosopher’s stone, if you’re feeling worldly), chamber of secrets, and everything else that’s been found isn’t particularly shabby either.  i could go on.  but there’s no need.  we’ll just leave it at the fact that when it comes to doing impressive things with a british accent, harry potter’s right up there on the list (notice that i didn’t say he was first on the list.  in my eyes that spot is still held by the one and only hugh laurie. though in all actuality i’m not sure if all his impressive deeds as dr. house [of the acclaimed medical drama “house, m.d.”] count because he has to fake an american accent in order to do them. so that debate is up in the air, but anyway).  between what he’s done and how he talks, it’s safe to say that he’s a pretty cool cat.  and in order to be utterly truthful, i’ll have to admit that i did spend the past week reading “harry potter and the order of the phoenix” (book review:  buy the book.  rip out the first 400 pages of the book. burn [or destroy in whatever way you feel suitable] the first 400 pages of the book. the remainder is now a good book) in preparation for the cinematic release of the aptly titled “harry potter and the order of the phoenix” movie on the 11th of july (which happens to be this coming wednesday). so when i throw around a word like “pansy” it’s not out of disrespect.  just out of… a slight bit of chutzpah, if you will.

because, you see, in this potter-ridden world (which will officially become super-crazy-harry-potter-mania-land once the new movie and new book have both been released), it takes such a slight bit of gall to make that kind of floral remark (pun noted).  and i stand by it.  but why, you ask. why must i say such blasphemous things about “the boy who lived”?

the answer lies within a blog post that i just so happened to write last year (that would be 2006, for all the laymen and women out there).  on the 27th of september.  it happens to be entitled “hoboken, new jersey“.  click the link. read it.  then come back and we’ll talk.

 good, you’re back.  now, of course, you understand my issue with mr. potter (though if your first thought was just “but what does ‘pizza’ have to do with anything?”, please click the back button on your browser and try reading it again). one of the most intriguing (or at least heavily written about) situations thus far in the series of extremely long novellas (and no, there is no possible way to make a case for any of j.k. rowling’s magical books being called novellas, but i like the word. so i’ll use it) is harry’s head.  more specifically his forehead.  and even more specifically the scar upon it.

we could talk about what people think of the scar or how the scar got there or how dashing the scar looks when harry throws back his hair in the wind, but we’ll leave those for another day. today’s issue is how the scar feels. and most of the time for harry, it hurts (well, moreso the older he gets and as things progress, but this isn’t a spoiler. it’s a botanic discussion [pun noted, again]). basically, the more and more you read out of these books, the more and more excuses, reasons, and explanations you are given about why this pain occurs. for brevity’s sake we’ll skip those and simply move ahead to the real explanation (which also happens to be my explanation).  two words: migraine headaches.

yes. it is that simple. harry is no more special than the rest of us (leaving the whole being a wizard and saving the world repeatedly thing aside). he simply suffers from a not-so-rare condition of aching head known commonly as a migraine. but where’s the proof, you say. well, right here. unfortunately, all that can be viewed without paying lots of cash is the abstract.  but apparently, this article was kind of a big deal a week or two ago (it even made an appearance on cbsnews.com).

before we proceed any further, i would like to make a statement of thanks to doug.  he was my psychology lab t.a. last semester, and i didn’t really like him all that much.  i think that i more didn’t like having to go to a pointless psychology lab once a week, but i vented that frustration onto doug. but thanks to him, i now know how to use all of the scholarly databases that the wonderful university of connecticut pays for and thus was able to obtain a copy of the full article “harry potter and the curse of the headache”.  so thanks doug. you’re a good guy.

anyway, i can’t post the full article because i might get sued and/or arrested. and in my opinion, getting sued by the people at a journal called “headache” would be too ironic to even live through. you’d probably just spontaneously combust. so to avoid that, i’ll just recap the important points (and just so you know, this article is fantastic. it’s wonderful to see that a bit of humor and fun-poking still exists in the “real world”, as can be seen in this portion from the extended version of the abstract referring to the pain from [or in] harry’s scar: “the major and perhaps only trigger is proximity, either physical of legilimental, of harry’s arch enemy, he who must not be named. [well, we shall be brave … lord voldemort!! there, we said it.]”

the “research” was basically one of the dudes wanting an excuse to re-read the harry potter books again.  out of the many times that harry is dumbstruck with scar pain, nine instances that offer the most vivid and discernable descriptions of the situation are chosen. thankfully, right off the bat the researchers make sure to rebuke the claim that the headaches (and just so you know, the terms “headache” and “scar pain” are pretty much interchangable from this point on) are simply caused by post-traumatic drama from the attack on baby harry.  this can’t be the case, however, since the first recorded headache (which is assumed to be the first experienced headache) does not occur until eleven years later. if the headache from trauma-induced from that occurence, they would have begun to occur much earlier in harry’s life. this, instead, leaves the door open for alternate explanations, and with established symptoms such as extended periods of pain, nausea and vomiting, photophobia, phonophobia, unilateral location, and severe pain intensity, the most logical explanation becomes a migraine.

some nay-sayers have made the claim that this is untrue. many say that harry’s ability to feel the sharp pain one moment and then lose it a moment later is an indication of something other than a migraine.  i, however, disagree.  i think that such a situation never actually occurs. when harry’s pain recedes, it does not go away.  it simply backs off.  especially in his later years when he has been experiencing such pain for a long time, he has learned to deal with it.  the sharp pains do come and cause excessive debilitation, but in between, the pain still remains, be it at an “manageable” level.

basically, i read the “phoenix” book and (just like all the rest of you who have read it) had to deal with harry’s whining for several hundred pages.  and whenever his scar hurt, he complained about it.  he often tried to be “manly” and act like it was no big deal, but he always made a point of getting it out there. now if this mysterious pain from his scar was really some incredible thing that linked him with the voldster, i might pay attention.  but in my opinion, it has nothing to do with that.  the kid stays up half the night doing homework, gets himself tons of detentions, and is, overall, a giant ball of exploding stress.  and he wonders why he has migraines?  when you really think about it, the whole thing is kind of ridiculous. why keep writing about it? it’s just a headache. and if you want to push it all a step further, you could make the claim that it gets worse when he’s around ‘morty simply due to a subconscious psychological reaction caused by his brain’s recognition of his one-time attacker.  all in all, it’s quite simple.

so the next time you’re sitting there thinking that harry potter is all that and a bag of potato chips, you might want to rethink.  i’ll admit that he might be all that.  but the chips?  not so much.  luckily, i still have both “harry potter and the half-blood prince” and the oh-so-close-to-being-released “harry potter and the deathly hollows” left to read. my hope is that being a good and upstanding member of british society, j.k. rowling will at some point in one of these books come clean with the issue and admit that harry simply suffers from migraines. and when that moment does finally come, you’ll all be able to join me in a rousing rendition of “harry potter is a pansy”.  or he could just stop whining about everything. that would work too.

until then, i simply leave you with this.

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