Author Archive

Who’s the baddest of them all?

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 | Author: Kim

Time Magazine has been coming out with Harry Potter articles, lists and reviews left and right. It is only natural, considering Harry Potter is one of the most important and influential series of our time.

Their most recent list, the 10 baddest Sorcerers, has to be one of my favorites thus far.  While we all cheer for Harry and love the good guy, there is something to be sad about the baddies as well.  Why else would there be a “Team Slytherin”?

At the top of Time’s list is Sauron and I must say I agree.  He’s really the most dangerous of them all.  His one ring has powers that no one can comprehend.  And the battle to destroy this one ring caused death and destruction in a big way.

Second on Time’s list is The Emperor, Star Wars’ main baddie.  Bravo. I’ll agree with that one as well.

Our main evil man, Voldie, only clocked in at number 5.  I’m not really sure time understands the significance of the words Avada Kedavra.  Or that they really get just how dangerous Voldemort can be.  Isn’t it Voldemort who believes in the purification of the wizarding race?  Did Time miss out on the important of that? Did they miss the symbolism and similarities between wizard purification and genocide?

Time, I don’t know if you’ve got this one in the bag.

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What Are You Seeking?

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 | Author: Kim
What is it that attracts us to the Harry Potter series? Is it the fantasy world? The epic struggle of good and evil? Or is the deeper meaning really what brings people to love this series? 
 
Some people have chastised this series, claiming that it is heritical and blasphemous.  That it goes against Christian teachings.  But for many others, Harry Potter has taught them moral lessons that weave who they are.  Harry is not labeled as a “Seeker” by accident.  He seeks. 
 
Potter seeks the good in people, all people.  He seeks a better world for his fellow man.  He seeks the one thing we want more than anything: Love.  His journey for love is our journey.  When we suffer a loss, we can turn to Harry Potter for solace.  We can comfort ourselves in the knowledge that he too sought love and family.  And in the end, his family was there with him, until the very end.
 

Lily speaks first: “You’ve been so brave.”

“You’ll stay with me?” Harry asks.

“Until the very end,” responds James.

In these days leading up to the final hurrah in the Harry Potter saga, we remember what we love so much about this series.  We remember that Harry is a boy, yearning for acceptance, family and love. 
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Category: Uncategorized  | One Thought

The REAL Magic!

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 | Author: Kim

With the opening of the final chapter of the Harry Potter movie saga this weekend, there really is no way to escape Potter fever.  Everyone has jumped on board.  Those most loyal, of course, have been awaiting this moment for years.  We’ve been sitting on the edge of our seats, going crazy with anticipation.  We’ve debated, analyzed, done everything we could to soak in every moment leading up to the final moments.

With this being the end of the incredible saga, lists are sprouting up everywhere. From the greatest moments in Potter to the best one-liners to your favorite magical creatures. Time Magazine recently released their list of the Top 10 magic spells in the series.  I must say, I don’t agree with most of the list.

Of course, in terms of magical spells, Expecto Patronum has played the most important part.  It has been the most powerful spell for the viewer.  The second Harry utters those words, chills run through our spines and the tiny hairs on the back of our necks prick up.  Those two small words hold so much power and so much meaning.  They’ve saved Harry and his crew more times than we can count.  And so I completely agree that this would be the top of the top in terms of magical spells.

Coming in scond on Time’s list is a flyig charm. Here, I disagree.  Yes, a flying charm is amazing.  And has played an important role in the series.  We all remember Ron and Harry hijacking a Ford Anglia in their second year.  And Hagrid’s flying motorcycle has an important place that goes under the radar in the series. But to say that it is one of the best spells? I disagree.

Have we forgotten the second year, when Ron was jinxed to barf slugs?  Anyone that has played the Lego Harry Potter game can attest to that spell being quite useful as well as humorous.  And what about the ever important Expelliarmus? Has one spell ever really helped Harry more? Personally, I am a fan of Petrificus Totalus. It has proved useful in so many ways, to both good and evil forces.

Never seen in the films themselves, I find that Muffliato would be incredibly useful and cool.  I’ve been a student, I’ve wanted to have secret conversations with friends.  Nothing would be more useful than a spell to muffle someone’s hearing.

What do you think? If you had to pick a favorite spell, what would yours be?

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Category: Blog Post, Fun  | One Thought

What Would Potter Be Without Music??

Saturday, April 02nd, 2011 | Author: Kim

Recently, a friend and I discussed the important of music in film.  I asked him what was his favorite musical score.  His response? “I don’t know, geez.  Back to the Future?”  Clearly, a well-thought out answer.  Granted, the score from Back to the Future is amazing.  It was obvious, however, I was being brushed off.  He considered the topic not important and uninteresting.  I was appalled.

Music is one of the most important things in a film. Have you ever tried to watch a movie with no musical score?  Without a single song?  Try it.  It’s very creepy.  There are so many scores out there that make a film.  Indiana Jones would not be half as kick-ass without the theme song.  How could Indy possibly get through all of his tight scrapes and close calls without some musical accompanyment?  And who doesn’t get goosebumps upon hearing those first few notes from Star Wars?  The Imperial March does Darth Vader justice for sure.
For me, I get goosebumps upon hearing the film score from Harry Potter.  Even listening to the podcast, with music in the background, I get chills.
The Harry Potter films are made great for many reasons, one of which is the musical score to go along with the film.  Hedwig’s Theme, possibly the most recognizable piece of music in the film series, is a leimotif.  A leitmotif is a theme that specifically associates with a certain person, place or thing.  Literally, it means “leading motif”.  While Hedwig’s Theme is named after Harry’s favorite pet, it triggers our brains to instantly think of Harry Potter.  As soon as a person hears those first fourteen notes, they know what is coming next.

The Harry Potter film series has a lot of wonderful things going for it.  The acting is superb.  The set design is beyond amazing and really transports the audience to another world unlike our own.  The costume design is unreal.  One other thing that is spot on?  The music.  John Williams is an absolute genius.

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Category: Blog Post  | Tags: , ,  | 7 Thoughts

Racist Dursleys!

Thursday, March 31st, 2011 | Author: Kim
Back to the Burrow is my absolute favorite chapter in Goblet of Fire, perhaps in all of Harry Potter.  For me, imagining the Weasleys and the Dursleys in the same room is too comical.  They are total opposites, not just because of their magical differences.  The Weasleys are a people of meager living.  They do not have the grandest posessions or the shiniest new toys.  The Dursleys are a people that pride themselves on having the best.  Their status in society is based on what they have, not who they are.  I often wonder where the Dursleys would stand if they were involved in the fight against Voldemort.  I don’t necessarily believe that they would be on the side of the Death Eaters.  I do, however, think they would be indifferent.  They would stand aside and let people like the Weasleys fight the good fight for them.
Another interesting thing I thought of today while listening to the newest podcast is racism, not just in Harry Potter but in all of literature.  Sometimes, it is blatant and obvious and smacks you in the face.  Other times, it is so deeply buried, you have to stretch your imagination pretty far to catch it.  In Lewis Carroll’s Alice novels, racism is a prevalent theme that doesn’t hit you over the head.  It is disguised in such a way that it doesn’t stand out as one of the major themes throughout the novels.

Racism runs through the roots of Harry Potter.  From the Death Eaters and Voldemort to house elves, it is prevalent in so many places.  One place that I often overlook is with the Dursleys.  For me, because they are not central characters that are involved much past the start of each book, I often tend to forget them.  But listening and re-reading over this chapter only sparked a reminder for me.  They are elitists.  They believe that they have the best, are the best, will always be the best.  Harry is different.  Even though he is family, he will never measure up to the Dursleys and what they have.  So while the Dursleys may not exhibit the most blatant of racism in the Harry Potter novels, they sure do have the same views.  If they were a part of the Wizarding World, you can bet that they would treat house-elves with disdain and loathing.

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Category: Blog Post, Canon, Potter Humor  | Tags: ,  | 6 Thoughts

Grims Are 30% Off??

Thursday, March 24th, 2011 | Author: Kim
My job can sometimes get tedious.  We are nearing the end of our quarter and the work is piling up.  I need something to get me through the long hours of exhaustive research.  And so I whipped out my iPhone and downloaded some of the older episodes of Potter Pensieve that I had previously listened to months ago.  You can never go wrong with some Harry Potter chat.
While listening to an older episode in which Adam and Heather were discussing the Grim, Heather made a point that if you go to a dog shelter, a large majority of the dogs are black.  I just shook my head and laughed upon hearing this.
It’s so beyond true.
I have one black dog, a lab named Dora.  She’s sweet and loveable and people are afraid of her.  My other dog, Robin Hood, is one of those cute little dogs that people love to look at and think she is so sweet.  Robin Hood is filled with piss and vinegar.
My husband and I have been looking to get another dog for quite some time.  What can I say?  I’ve got a bleeding heart and want to help all animals in need.  Needless to say, we spend a lot of time at local dog shelters in search of the next great animal to fit in with our crazy family.  Ok, so what’s your point, Kim?  I know that is what you are all asking, since my life isn’t interesting enough to be its own post.
Currently, all of our local dog shelters are offering discounts on black dogs and cats.  If you come in and adopt one of these animals, you will get 30% off the adoption fee and they will throw in some doggie care items for free.  Despite the fact that many black animals are incredibly sweet, they will always carry a stigma.  They will always be thought of as that bad omen.  People will always continue to cross the street at the first sign of a black cat.
I sort of want to adopt a black dog out of spite! Show all the naysayers that they are great animals.

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Category: Blog Post, Fun  | Tags: ,  | 3 Thoughts

The Ignorance of Non-Potter Fans! ;)

Friday, March 18th, 2011 | Author: Kim
Having a seven year old child really makes a person revisit and relearn important life lessons.  Yesterday while at the dinner table, my family and I got into the discussion of what to do if someone is being picked on.  My daughter, ever the shy little violet, is very upset about teasing and bullying that has been occuring in her class.  She wants to stand up to the bullies but is afraid.
My husband advised her to keep her head down and her nose clean.  Essentially, stay out of it.  And here is where Harry Potter comes into the story.
I tell my daughter that she should do what she thinks is right, even if it isn’t easy.  I then tell her that is what Harry Potter would say.  She’s had a love affair with Harry before she could say his name. For years, he was Hair Pott. And so this was a great example for her.  Something with which she could associate.  Harry always chooses the right path, even when things are hard. Even when his life is on the line. Granted, Abby’s life won’t be on the line in this situation.
And then, the epic battle of the decade began.  My husband, a man who has never read this amazing series, launches into a shpeil about Harry only wanting to stay out of trouble, not caring about what is right, just wanting to be with his friends.  He told the Sorting Hat to pick Gryffindor because he didn’t want to get picked on.  He isn’t brave and courageous.  He just wants to keep his head down.
Imagine me, sitting across from him, mouth agape.  What is he even talking about? Did I actually marry this person?! Is he crazy?
I restrained myself from launching across the table, jungle cat style.  I then stated my arguments as to why he is a doofus.  And yes, I actually used the word doofus.  Harry did not pick Gryffindor to stay out of trouble.  He did not keep his head down, ignoring what was going on around him.  If you want examples of kids who just stayed out of the way, there are plenty.  But Harry is not one of them.  Harry is brave and courageous.  He doesn’t do things for the glory.  He acts out of the goodness of his heart.
And let’s be honest.  If Harry had kept his head down, we’d all be in a world filled with darkness and evil magic right now.
I then had to remind myself that no matter how much I’d like it to be true, Harry Potter is a fictional character.  And the changes of Lord Voldemort showing up in Washington D.C. are slim.  Yet I felt the need to defend my favorite guy against the ignorance my husband chooses to display.
Honestly, we got married?! How did that happen?

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I Am NOT Obsessed

Friday, November 19th, 2010 | Author: Kim

I feel incredibly annoyed… And ususal, I try to keep my gripes to myself, but this is something that everyone can relate to.

A girl I work with just said the following:

“It’s about time Harry Potter ends. Let’s be honest, they are just derivative. I mean, growing up as someone who really likes fantasy, they just aren’t earth-shattering. They’re just so boring. I guess if you’re a kid though, you get obsessed.”

Now, I’ve had issues with said co-worker in the past and I’ve tried to just keep my mouth shut around her, since I hate to ruffle feathers at work. But is she for real!? J.K. Rowling hasn’t sold millions of copies because kids get obsessed. She’s sold millions of copies because the series is, in fact, earth-shattering. It is so much deeper than just a plain fantasy story. It is a story about friendship and love. About doing what is right. It is a moral tale of a young boy who was forced to make difficult choices at a young age. It is a story of growing and learning. It is so much more than just a basic fantasy story about wizards and other worlds unlike ours.

I seriously feel insulted. As an adult who began reading the series as an adult and not a child, it’s revolting to think of myself as an “obsessed child”. And frankly, I think it’s revolting to think of youngsters who read the books as “obsessed children”. You really think millions of people are just obsessed because it’s fantasy? I’m pretty sure we’re all obsessed because the series is meaningful, brilliant and worth being obsessed over…

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Category: Blog Post, personal life  | Tags: ,  | 3 Thoughts

Harry Potter Villains??

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 | Author: Kim
Everyone is amped up for the big premiere this weekend.  Even my husband, who isn’t normally into the amazing series, has Potter fever.  The same can be said for CNN.com, which was flooded with articles about the famous wizard this morning.
One particular article that I enjoyed?  The Harry Potter Villains index.  Reporter Natalie Avon compiled a list of some of the most fearsome Potter villains out there.  Of course, Voldemort is on there, listed first.  One villain, however, that I was surprised to see?  The Dursleys.  Sure, they are terrible.  They have been nothing but cruel to Harry from the time he was a boy.
But villians?  I’ve never thought to put that term on them.  I lumped them into a category with grumpy old curmudgeons.  They are unhappy, competitive, miserable and nasty.  But evil? When compared to Lord Voldemort, I’d say they are an incredibly mild version of the word.  We’ve already seen what old Voldy can do.  How will they amp up his nastiness in the newest Potter flick?

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The Un-Funk of Kim

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 | Author: Kim

This has been an incredibly long week for me.  On top of all of the normal stresses of work and family life, I was deprived of a new and adorable soul mate Shiba Inu.  I campaigned for days, finally convincing my husband that this dog would be a perfect fit for our family.  We drive our excited butts over to the shelter only to find the dog has already been adopted out.

I came home from work feeling depressed, mopey and miserable.  I didn’t think I’d be able to get out of my funk.  Maybe I’d eat the rest of the ice cream cake sitting in my freezer, then sulk some more.  I flicked on the television and flopped down, doing nothing but moping.  All of a sudden, something happened to make me happy.

That’s right, folks.  A commercial.  A crummy commercial, you ask?  No, no.  A commercial for the new Harry Potter movie.  And then I remembered, I’m going to see it this weekend.  I’ve only got to get through two more days until the movie I’ve been dying to see is in my reach.  My stomach got this warm bubbly feeling in it.  I was suddenly taken out of my funk!

Oh, Harry Potter.  I love you!

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