“The chains were one word, repeated a thousand times in golden ink…”

Yesterday I was angry and I needed to vent. Thank you all for reading and sharing and commenting. It’s lovely to know that nearly everyone feels the same way about Lynn Shepherd showing her ass.

Today I’d like to take the negativity from yesterday and let it go by talking about something it saddens me that Lynn will never understand:

The gloriousness that is fandom.

We were wizards attempting to dress as muggles for the QWC.  I made that Weird Sisters shirt myself.

We were wizards attempting to dress as muggles for the QWC. I made that Weird Sisters shirt myself.

Order of the Phoenix was released 2 days before my birthday in 2003. At the time, the only person I knew who also read Harry Potter was my little brother. He was 14 and a slow reader, and not much good at speculating.

(Oh, um…spoilers from this point on.)

acid popsSo, Sirius had just fallen through the veil and I was FUCKING WRECKED. I had no one to talk to about it, of course I took to the internet.

There were tons of forums full of kids that couldn’t spell or construct a sentence and I was sad that it looked like I would have to walk away without finding anyone else to talk to.

Then I found diagonally.org. The thing that was different – that was EXCEPTIONAL – about this site was that it was populated entirely by adults. Text speak was not welcome. These were grown ups who happened to be invested in this series for “children,” just like me. These were adults that somehow found this series we were supposed to be ashamed to be reading intellectually stimulating enough to compose theories so involved they could have been confused for a Masters thesis.merope dead snake

It was like I’d found a second home. A family.

The most beautiful thing was that we weren’t all just rabid fangirls and boys, all up on Jo’s jock. We had arguments. We disagreed with each other and the choices she’d made for this world she created.

It was amazing.

hamlet endingWe all knew Harry was a horcrux from the day we finished Half-Blood Prince.  We argued over the placement of chairs in Dumbledore’s office.  We all agreed that Albus was a sick fuck.

I still talk to the people I met there on a DAILY basis, even though the forum no longer exists. We are all friends (true friends) because fandom brought us together.

A few years later (in mid-2009) I was going through a particularly rough time and whiled away many hours playing a game that started life as a facebook app. My oldest played too, and continued playing even after I’d lost interest.

He asked me one day in early 2010 if I would start playing again, because he wanted it to be something fun we could do together.

She dressed up too.

She dressed up too.

How could I say no to that?  He explained the things that had changed since I had last played, one of the things being Clubs.  He told me I should join a Club so that I could make new friends and participate in activities, but that I couldn’t join HIS Club cos that would be too weird.

I found and applied to the Harry Potter Fan Club.

Which is where I met Heather D.

We were fast friends.

Like, the kind of friend that you make and immediately wonder where the hell they’ve been your entire life.  The kind of friend that you feel a connection so instantly and so strongly that it’s like you’ve ALREADY been best friends for forever.

And we still are.

<3  I can still kick her butt in book trivia, but she pwns me with the movies.

<3 I can still kick her butt in book trivia, but she pwns me with the movies.

So, listen, Lynn Shepherd.  You may not feel like Harry Potter is worthy of adults.  You may not GET it.  That’s okay.  But don’t try to tell me that it’s not worth anything.

Because it is.

friends…friends…friends…friends…

Thank you, JK Rowling for bringing me Heather.  Thank you for bringing me La Qui No Habla and Scarah (who made the gifs up there) and RedQueenMeg and Aurora Sinistra and Ealbiest and MT and Gryffin82.  They have made my life richer than I can ever express.

Tell me about your fandom experiences?  I could use some happy now.

Harry Potter Drinkalong the Sixth

Actual conversation -

Me:  I know you also hated the HBP movie, give me suggestions for this drinking game tomorrow, cos I can’t come up with anything other than “DRINK EVERY TIME SOMETHING DIDN’T FUCKING HAPPEN.”

Mel:  OH GOD, THAT FUCKING MOVIE.

I don’t even know. I mean, that’s really what I hated. Nothing fucking happened. It was like just two fucking hours building up to Snape easily slipping away from murder while his pals ran alongside him, giggling.

Drink every time you consider switching over to QVC.

I’ve seen this movie exactly ONE TIME.  In the theatre.  And I’ve probably said this before, but am too lazy to check and see if I’m repeating myself, but this is the movie that made my dad swear he’d never watch anything Harry Potter related with me ever again.  Because I was SO.  ANGRY.

Because it still makes me mad (and ZOMG, YOU GUYS!  You have much ranting in store for you tonight!) I couldn’t even come up with a decent list of rules.  Twitter was NO HELP cos you guys are all jerkfaces (but I still heart you), so I decided that tonight is all BONUS ROUND.  Pick your rules (please, only a few – I don’t want any of you passing out or going to the hospital because of me I DENOUNCE ALL FUTURE LIABILITY, OKAY?), and bring your memes.

Tweetchat seems to be sometimes up, sometimes down, so!

Click to embiggen!

So…this should be fun, right?  See you all there!

“I’m dying! I’m dying, look at me! It’s killed me!”

PoAI thought I’d started this post, like, a month ago.  Either I never got around to it (which is HIGHLY LIKELY) or it was deleted through blog chicanery (which I’m not entirely willing to discount).  Regardless, I figured that since we’re watching Prisoner of Azkaban this Friday, I should write this post before I’m all frothy about the movie instead of the book, right?  Right.

I realized when I sat down to compose this tonight (or last night [or last WEEK], depending on when you’re reading) that even though I think I’m the BEST at taking notes when I’m reading, I’m really not.  Because I end up highlighting things without making notes for myself or making notes that really don’t make any sense a month later, since I’m no longer in the same state I was when I originally wrote them.

That makes this post difficult to write.  LUCKILY I have a rum-based cocktail sitting next to me, and a willingness to not make a whole lot of sense/piss people off with half-thought out rantings.

For a long time, Prisoner of Azkaban was my favourite Harry Potter book.  I liked the first one, was kind of annoyed by the second one, then this one BLEW ME THE SNAPE AWAY!

Unfortunately it was followed by GoF, but I’ll be talking about that when I get there.

I was kind of worried about re-reading it this time cos I’ve been noticing all the little things that make me want to smack things during this re-read, but there was little that I found crotch punch worthy in this one.  In fact, there was a lot that I found just as delightful as I did the first time I read it (and the 20 subsequent reads [don't you judge me]).

Things I looooooooove:

  • That bit up there in the title.  TAKE THAT, MALFOY!
    it's killed me
  • “Potter, you can skin Malfoy’s shrivelfig.”  TOTALLY A EUPHEMISM!  Now I know where the Draco/Harry shippers were coming from.
  • Remus Lupin and Sirius Black.  Not gonna lie, guys.  I’ve read more than my share of WolfStar fanfic.  …and now I’ve mentioned slash twice as my reasons for liking this book.  LET’S MOVE ON!
  • There’s a good deal of mystery and just general decent worldbuilding that goes on in this one.
  • Oh, and this:
    hermione socks malfoy
  • This book gave us the opportunity to make this:Rory Weasley

Now that I’ve reached my gif limit for the WHOLE YEAR, I get to rant about some of the things that REALLY REALLY BUG ME.

  1. Dementors.  Specifically, how they speak.  Their mouths are “gaping shapeless holes” and they don’t seem to have a way to talk, so how are they notifying Fudge that Sirius is talking in his sleep?  And how does Dumbledore know that they’re all pissed at him for not letting them onto the grounds?  This is very strange to me and I find it bothersome.
  2. WHY THE HELL WOULD FUDGE AND HAGRID AND MINERVA ALL TALK TO ROSMERTA LIKE THERE WERE NO KIDS PRESENT?!  And after 12 years, how is this gossip still juicy?  Surely people knew all about Sirius Black being their secret keeper?HOW IS THIS NEWS?!
  3. Draco doesn’t speak.  He drawls. Everything.  I associate a drawl with people from the US South, so this led to some interesting scenes in my head.
  4. Crookshanks placed the order for the Firebolt for Sirius.  He used Harry’s name, but had them “take the gold from Gringotts vault number seven hundred and eleven -” which is his own vault.  HOW DID NO ONE NOTICE DRAWS ON THE ACCOUNT OF A FUGITIVE?  And why weren’t his assets frozen or whatever while he was in Azkaban?  Em?  Can you help with this one?
  5. The night of the End of Year Feast, we learn how many NEWTs Percy got and that Fred and George “scraped a handful of OWLs each.”  Why, then, are our trio forced to wait until the summer after their fifth year before they found out how they did on their OWLs?

[sigh]

…but whatever, you know?  I still think this book is pretty great, and even though I can’t think about the above things too much (or the fact that its implied that medieval wizards and witches allowed muggles to be burnt at the stake, while saving themselves) because they make me more than slightly ragey – I will read this one again without TOO MUCH eyerolling.

Bring on Goblet of Fire.

“Really? Were there escapators?”

Chamber of Secrets Pottermore CoverDude.  I know.  My post about PS/SS was…shit, January third?…um, okay.  So, my post about PS/SS was almost three months ago, and I feel like a total slacker.  BUT, this IS Year of Reading Whatever the Fuck I Want, so if I want to wait THREE MONTHS between reading these books I damn well can.

I re-read Chamber of Secrets this week.  And…I’m not gonna lie.  I enjoyed it a whole lot less than I remember enjoying it the last time (which I think was in 2010, so…), and now I’m totally concerned.  Like, GoF has ALWAYS been my least favourite of the Harry Potter books.  Always.  What if I enjoy it this time?  What if I hate HBP upon re-reading it this year?

WHAT THEN?!

Anyway, yeah.  I did not like this book so much this time around .  Really?  I spent a lot of the time I was reading huffing and sighing.  Because this is supposed to be the book that offers that “A HA!” moment upon re-reading.  Y’know, when you re-read and you get to give the knowing wink and nod cos you totally get that the diary is a horcrux and ZOMG HARRY HAS SOME OF VOLDEMORT INSIDE OF HIM SO HE’S TOTALLY A HORCRUX TOO!!!!  Right?  That’s how you’re supposed to feel upon re-reading CoS.

If you’re a normal person.

Or…not me.  Because while I DID THOSE THINGS, I also spent much of the book reading with a distinct “I am not impressed” look on my face.

What?  You don’t believe me?  Fine.  I had my 6y/o take this picture because I knew you wouldn’t.unimpressed

Here are some of the many, MANY things that bothered me during this re-read:

  • Petunia tried to hit Harry in the HEAD with a fucking FRYING PAN.
  • Harry thinks that Draco makes Dudley seem “kind, thoughtful and sensitive.”  REALLY?!  Dude.  You’ve known Draco for NOT EVEN A YEAR.  In that year he’s ratted you and your friends (read:  Hagrid, who is really an irresponsible douchebalrog and nothing you can say will sway me from this opinion) out, tried to steal your not-really-a-friend’s Remembrall, and just been kind of an 11y/o punk.  WHICH HE IS.  On the other hand, you’ve got Dudley who has tormented you with his bully friends for TEN YEARS, but…y’know…no big, right?  Ugh.
  • Arthur Weasley shares his office with an “old warlock called Perkins” and Celestina Warbeck is a “singing sorceress.”  MAKE UP YOUR GODDAMN MIND WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO CALL THEM.  If they’re witches and wizards, FINE.  But don’t go slipping in warlocks, sorceresses (where are the sorcerERs, btw?), hags and whatever the fuck else without offering some explanation.  Are they all the same?  Are they not?  I DON’T KNOW BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T BOTHER EXPLAINING THAT SHIT.
  • Molly Weasley “conjures” a feast.  That’s in direct violation of the Exceptions to Gamp’s Laws of Elemental Transfiguration.  Maybe she didn’t actually conjure it up, but then you’re losing us with the laws you try to set up in later books.
  • Ron uses magic to open the trunk of the Ford at KC.  Where the hell is Mafalda Hopkirk?  Why wasn’t anyone notified then?  WHAT GOOD IS THE TRACE IF NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION?!
  • Gilderoy Fucking Lockhart.  Listen, I have so many problems with this character, it’s not even funny.  Or, maybe it’s kind of funny, I don’t really know.  I’m dropping the bullet points cos I have to move to numbers JUST FOR LOCKHART.  Sad, yeah?
  1. How old is he?  If you buy the movies as canon (which I kind of don’t, but for the purposes of this post, we’ll accept them, ‘kay?), there’s that scene in his office where we see that picture of him in his Ravenclaw gear.
    (sidenote:  A RAVENCLAW?!  MERLIN’S PANTS, WE’RE JUST LETTING ANYONE IN NOW?!)

    ravenclaw lockhart

    We’re supposed to buy Kenny as under 17? Excuse me while I die laughing.

    This means he was a student at Hogwarts, and without KNOWING his age, we know that he’s young enough to have been there while Dumbles and Minerva were working there.  PROBABLY around the age of the Marauders, right?  And yet – no one seems to remember him from his school days?  WHAT THE HELL?!

  2. He’s completely incompetent and I KNOW that Hagrid tells us he was the on’y one that applied for the job, but FFS.  Dude can’t even handle some Cornish Pixies, he leaves them to his second year students to take care of.  This is ridiculous, and they should have just left the post UNFILLED instead of letting this asshole teach children.
  3. Guys.  Guys.  He is RESPLENDENT.  Now, I love the word resplendent as much as the next person, but you know what it always makes me think of?  That episode of King of the Hill (season 7, ep 23 – Witches of East Arlen) where Bobby starts learning MAGICK from David Cross?  Yeah, that.
    Yes.  This.

    Yes. This.

    GILDEROY LOCKHART IS TOTALLY DAVID CROSS!  How did I never see this before?!

  • I’m done with Lockhart for now, but now I need to talk about something else.  Right before Hallowe’en, everyone is getting sick with colds and we learn that Poppy Pomfrey has a Pepperup Potion that takes care of that virus lickety split (sidenote: how much does it suck to NOT GET A DAY OFF FOR A COLD?).  BUT THEN Filch gets all pissy cos he’s got the flu.  THE FLU.  Why is Poppy able to take care of the cold but not the flu?  I was talking about this with Em the other night and she suggested that maybe potions don’t work on squibs?  It’s an interesting theory, but I don’t understand why potions work on muggles, but not squibs?  This is totally sloppy.
  • I’m also a bit annoyed that Filch gets angry about the mud Harry has tracked all over the floors.  If you have magical boarding school, why would you hire someone who CAN’T DO MAGIC to be your caretaker?  Filch has to do all this shit by hand, while watching everyone around him clean up spills and shit with their wands.  I’d be in the worst mood ever all the time, too!
  • Why does Dumbles open the back of Colin’s camera to see if he took a picture of his attacker?  If you’re going to use a camera with film, even if you have magic, why would you RUIN THE FILM BY OPENING IT IN AN OPEN AND LIT ROOM?!  Bah.

Now that I’ve spent the last 1000 words ranting, I feel like I’ve given the impression that I hate this book.

But I don’t.  I still succumb to the magic of Harry Potter, just like I always have.  I’m just reading semi-objectively for the first time.

Some things I love:

  • Borgin wears a pince-nez!  Heeeee!  This tickles me.
  • The Valentine delivering cupids.  Especially the one that “twang[s] his harp in a threatening sort of way.”
  • When Hagrid gets taken to Azkaban as a PRECAUTIONARY MEASURE.  Plus, my husband makes me laugh every time I mention Harry Potter by saying “NOT AZKABAN PRIZZAN!”
  • Fred and George, always.  And Lee Jordan.
  • The fact that there’s little Quidditch.
  • We learn that the Weasley’s live outside of Ottery St Catchpole, and later that Hermione’s patronus takes the form of an otter.  AWWWW, TWOO WUV!
  • FAWKES!
    fawkes

…and now I think I’ve rambled on long enough.  Thanks for sticking with me.  Which is your least favourite Harry Potter novel?  Is it this one?  Is it for the reasons I’ve outlined, or something I missed?

YoRWtFIW

It’s good to have a turn to be a king for a day…

 …or for a week or for a year or for a year and a day.

So, a year ago today Heather was putting on the pressure.  For, like, the 20th time, she was emailing me about participating in NaNo.  Even though it was already 11 days into the month she was all “JUST SIGN UP!  We will write together and it WILL BE FUN!”

Okay, maybe I’m taking some liberty with her words.  I’m sure I still have the emails in my inbox (because I’m an email hoarder and I never delete ANYTHING) but I’m way too lazy to go digging for them.  You have no idea how many emails Heather and I have sent each other in the last year, and we can just keep it that way, thank you very much.

But I digress.

A year ago today I was trying to come up with some way to get Heather off my back.  I really didn’t want to do NaNoWriMo, and I had no really valid reason not to.  Heather has only one less kid than I do, plus she’s got that whole job at the zoo thing going on, and all I was really doing at the time was moderating a game forum.

That night, I thought of something else she’d been bugging me to do.  Blog.  I’d been putting that off, too.  “I have no idea what I’d write about!”

“Books.  You’d rant about books like you always do in chat.  You’re funny.  People will read it.”

So the next morning I secured booksnobbery at wordpress for my very own.  I had other names at first, but they were TAKEN and I never really thought anyone would read this stuff, so I didn’t think there would ever be a chance for people to get upset at the name.

My first post was this Harry Potter Rant (which I meant to do a series of [but then kind of forgot about until JUST THIS MINUTE AS I TYPE THIS], which is why it’s called THE FIRST, dur).  The beginning doesn’t make much sense because I was already referring to my About page (which has since kind of changed, because at the time all it said was “I hate everything, except books.  And music.  Sometimes I hate those too.”) and I don’t know why I thought referring to something people wouldn’t have read first was a good idea?  As of this writing, that post has had 51 views.  Which is a little less than 1 view a week, and that’s how I’m choosing to think about it, so don’t take that away from me.

Heather pimped me out on twitter and I had, like THREE FOLLOWERS the first day.  ZOMG, so exciting, right?

But then the only people to read my next few posts were Heather, Em and Meg and while that was nice that they were reading, I wasn’t entirely sure about whether I wanted to keep doing it.

I kind of thrive on feedback and approval.  If this isn’t something you know about me, we haven’t known each other long enough.

SO THEN!

Then I got the not so brilliant idea to start Trashy Tuesdays.  The first Trashy Tuesday post was Zombies vs Unicornsand I’m not going to lie and say that it was a huge success right off the bat because it wasn’t.  I mean, it kind of was, but that post still has less than 100 views.  Listen to me, acting like 100 views on a post is nothing.  It’s not, don’t think that.  The majority of my posts are still under 100, so – even though we’ve come a long way, it’s not like we’re big time or anything.

Trashy Tuesday was fun for a while, but zomg, it was so tiring.  My first post to break 100 views was a Trashy Tuesday (the one for Clan of the Cave Bear) and I know you’re all probably like “WHAT THE SNAPE, SJ?!  WHERE’S TRASHY TUESDAY NOW?” but I stopped doing them on the regular back in April.  I’ve read some trashy books since then, but they’re best when Megiggles is around to do illustrations (don’t even lie and tell me they’re not cos I’ll call you out for being a Liey McLiarson) and since she’s kind of super busy and junk, it’s not as much fun.

MOVING ON.  Trashy Tuesdays brought about the Dodisharkicorn.  Dude.  Dodisharkicorn is pretty much (other than my kids) the thing I’m proudest of creating.  I didn’t do it by myself, though.  Nope, that was Megiggles and I both.  She joined the blog as a contributor in the spring (I know, she doesn’t post much BUT SHE IS SO BUSY and she still totally draws things for me when I ask nicely) even though she started drawing things for me long before that.

Also, there are still some links on here from when Meg had her own blog.  Please ignore those, she deleted it when she was only being visited by me and Russian Pr0nbots.

Holy hell, this has become much longer than I intended.

Okay.  So.  Things I never thought would happen with my blog.

  • That people would actually read.  As of this moment, WordPress says there are over 500 followers, but that’s a lie, because a lot of those are twitter.  Whatever.  I have close to 300 ACTUAL BLOG FOLLOWERS and while they may not read every day, that’s way more than the 10 I thought I’d end up with.
  • That I’d become friends with some of my favourite people ever.  Before I started this blog I did not know Amy or Susie or Mandy or Heather…um, I’m drinking right now so I’m terrible with coming up with other people I didn’t know before.  I DIDN’T KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE, OKAY?  But now I know a ton of you and I read your blogs and goof around with you on twitter, and you guys are so completely effing awesome, it makes me smile just to think about it.
  • That people would want me to write stuff for them.  I’ve guest posted for Shouty Men in Shiny Armour and Angelique at Sappho’s Torque and I’m an actual contributor for Insatiable Booksluts and I have more books specifically for review than I could have dreamed of a year ago.
  • THAT WE WOULD HAVE ACTUAL FANS!  No, not just any fans.  Fans that would CREATE THEIR OWN DODISHARKICORNS AND BUY DODISHARKICORN STUFF!  (um, if you want your own Dodisharkicorn stuff, there are links in the sidebar and once enough people buy things that there is any money to do anything with, we want to host giveaways and junk)

So, that’s how I’m ending this post.  There’s some really cool Dodisharkicorn stuff out there, and it makes me smile just to think about it.  That’s the best part of this year.  You all rule.  Thank you.

Dodisharkicorn by Art

Dodisharkicorn EATING Art

Cut Paper Dodisharkicorn by Nikki

Dodisharkicorn Gets Political by Nicole

Em calls this the Puffinarwacorn, it’s the Lisa Frank version of Dodisharkicorn

Kate takes Dodi to work with her EVERY DAY!

Aw, Angelique takes Dodisharkicorn to the gym!

Okay, so – that’s really all I have.  Thanks to every single one of you that has read, commented, liked or shared over the last year.  I appreciate you all and I’m so glad to know you.

<3 <3 <3