Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Team Potter. Team Rowling. Team Magic.

I'm a really fantastically huge Harry Potter fan. And I'm not referring to my weight (though after this coming weekend... phhhhhhew). I LOVE Harry Potter and I love it for very geeky English teacher-type reasons. Oh what's that? You want to know those reasons? Well SHORE I'll tell you!

First, I'd like you to tell me what other series of novels anyone from the age of 6 to 99 can find some sort of meaning, entertainment, and identification with. What other series of books can you sit down with your 8 year old little brother, your 22 year old college student, and your 70 year old grandma and all enjoy a story on so many different levels. Truly, it's a very universal story (even if it IS about wizards, elves, and owls) that speaks to people across generations, languages, and even cultures. That's pretty amazing if you ask me. The only other series that comes to mind with such universal appeal and significance is the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis. And that's saying something to be in the same category as CS Lewis. Not even Tolkein has such universality in my opinion (back off Tolkein nutters! Back I say!).

But if that's not geeky enough for you...

Try this.

As an English teaching hopeful (I'll get back there someday!) I could teach any literary concept based on these novels. Theme, plot, character development, irony, climax, really anything. I've never been so impressed with any other author than I am with how JK Rowling is simply a story-teller, and I'm a big Steinbeck fan! Girl can tell one really great story in its most foundational constructs. Geek buzzer! I warned you! Story-telling is an art, really, and Rowling's a professional artist in this respect (cue awesome metaphor).

Another geek element - I really like the fantastical, magical, and other-worldly. Who wouldn't want to leave the dull-drums of our own practical world behind and visit one where Giants still roam the hills and mermaids swim in mountain lakes? I think it does everyone some good to step out of this reality for awhile and into something magical. I mean that's the whole POINT of Disneyland in my opinion.

Also, I like listening to someone else's story for awhile and see how they deal with the ups, downs, twists and turns of what they're facing. And whether it's an evil power-lusting Wizard or a large paper due next week you've not even looked at (shudder), or something more tragic like the death of a loved one, we all face hardships in our lives and it's nice to read about someone else overcoming the odds while they're learning and growing along the way. Stories can inspire us, move us to action, or simply give us a couple of peaceful hours away. Books always do that for me - and who doesn't simply love a good story for the sake of a good story? Amen.

Alright alright... all this geekery aside... Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 the movie? AMAZING!!! No really, I was good for another 3 hours of that movie no problem! Give me a pee-break and refill my Diet Coke and onward!! Though I have my opinions about the whole book to movie genre (thievery!) that's been the film industries only avenue for creative movie-making the last 5-10 years (good thing we still have talented writers dear Hollywood, or you would sure be hurtin for some originality right now - psh), I find the Potter movies a decent supplement to an excellent literary series. I feel they've done an alright job considering most movies fail completely in conveying the magic of the novel. Given the constraints - these movies are okay. Sure - movie-goers only (I refer to them as lazy posers) won't understand the quirky quakery of the Dumbledore book-readers know, or truly how Loony Luna Lovegood is, or the motherly love of Mrs. Weasly that makes you feel you're always at home, and particularly, the conflicted nature of my favorite character Professor Snape. All that said, the movie still left me happily floating in a magical story for awhile, leaving boring old reality behind and becoming a part of someone else's story for awhile. Someone else's amazing fantastical magical story! Harry Potter's story.

Cheers to Potter! Cheers to the genius of JK Rowling! And Cheers for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1! I recommend them all... the books, the author (duh), and the movies.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

You need shoesy's?

Well why don't you go ahead and try and win THESE?!?! Eh? It's worth the try anyway I'd say. And listen fellas - I feel any of you would look simply smashing in some wellies just like your lady-friends would. Well, maybe not just like them... but close-ish. Look at it this way - what girl wouldn't make out with you if you presented them with a pair of pink boots such as the below. A crazy girl that's who! And you were too good for her anyway. Mean old bag.

Here are the boots a la The

And here are the rules:

Contest Details: Three Ways to Enter!

1. To enter to win please leave a comment on this post.

2. Link back to this post on your blog–please leave the URL as a separate comment. (This option will reserve you a special spot in my heart, a stiletto-shaped spot.)

3. Tweet this contest, leave another comment with your tweet, be sure to include your @Twitter username. (And while you’re at it make sure to follow @theshoeologist)

Contest will close on Wednesday, December 15 at 12:00 midnight, Pacific Time. Winner will be chosen at random (which is why you want to enter as many times as you can!) and announced on Thursday, December 16.

NOW FOR THE IMPORTANT PART!! I love having these contests and free giveaways on my blog. That being said, the best way for me to be able to do that is for more people to know about Please “like” me on Facebook. Please share the link for this contest. Tell you friends, co-workers, family, the barista at your morning coffee place, tell everybody.

Good luck! I feel I might win these though. Ya know how you just get that feeling? Like, 'Yeah I'm gonna win!' No? Well, it's a good feeling. Let's hope it pans out.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cruise-Wear: help needed

Remember how I'm going on a cruise over Christmas while the rest of you will shiver-YER-timbers somewhere not as pleasant, warm, and tropical? Remember? Oh well, let me remind you.


Me (I'm positive I will look just like that! Ahem... mostly...):

So that said, I'd like to call on all you cruise veterans as to what in the world one packs for a cruise in the Mexican Riviera. After last weeks Carnival Cruise a-drifting events, I plan on packing some extra Luna bars and novels just in case. But other than that, I'm a little stumped as I know it won't be tropically unbearably hot, perhaps even a little nippy on the boat and off, but at the same time, don't nobody want to be caught in lovely weather with only long pants, a sensible long-sleeved cotton tee, and jacket. How much sun should I pack for? How much "nip" should I pack for? And more importantly folks- how much "fashion and glam" should I pack for? Don't cruises get a little uppity when the dinner bell tolls? Far be it for me to show up "island-frump" style and be the focus of disdainful glances and shaking heads as my breezy cotton Batman Crimefighter tee and linen shorts clashes like a tsunami on the shore with everyone elses black cocktail frocks and pashima scarves. Right? The horror! The horror! I can't think of anything worse than being "under-dressed dahling, really..." Oh first world conundrums. I've seen my grandma pack for a cruise before - and she looks sharp! She always lays out some fancy things, always classy things, and very few "casual" things. But she's just generally a classy lady so there's SOME bias.

So go ahead,  explain to me the gamut of Cruise wear one must never be without - and/or more importantly - what one musn't ever consider if they are to show their faces on a cruise again. The fancy, the casual, the weather required, and all the inbetweens.

I WOULD like you to know I bought this sunhat:
 and this waterproof watch (it's described as unisex... I don't judge) for the adventure.

 But as to the rest? Inexorably stump-ed. Help!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Something worth saying

I love a man in a wedding band. Now hold up. Before you start calling me a home-wrecker or a no good *&!#$ who !!&% with another women's *&^%$#... let me explain.

A man in a wedding band symbolize something to me. He symbolizes true manliness, commitment, and responsibility. He's publicly declaring "I've put away childish things, and become a man." Or at least, had the courage and fortitude to take the first step into the bright and promising unknown: entwining himself to family, fatherhood, husbandhood, posterity, and provident living. Welcoming the encompassing mantle of expectation and hope; a hero's cloak for his children, a protectors and providers cloak for his wife. Loyalty. Ability. He holds for himself a higher standard of achievement because he no longer lives, loves, and works just for himself. Selfless and sacrificing.

I love a man with a wedding band and I respect the man that gives everything he has to give and then 25% more to fulfilling everything that means. There's something to be said of good men these days - few and far between - but courageous and steadfast. I want a man who wants a wedding band.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This winter...

My greatest dream is to sport something akin to the below whenever humanly possible. And I'm not being ironic.

 I'm being serious
 I really like these

And I want to wear one

Or all...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A conundrum

I DVR'ed the Walking Dead via AMC on Sunday night. Why did I do that? Well, let me tell you about me and scary things. I dont like scary things. A definition of scary things is required here, however, as I feel there are categories of scary things that fall into "scary but tolerable" like dreams about getting eaten by a shark or walking through a low ceilinged room with dangling spiders overhead (insert TERRIFYING here) that you forget as soon as you wake up and then there's "scary that sticks with me for weeks and makes me jumpy at the slightest apartment creak or slammed car door and leave the light on when I go to bed" sort of scary. These types of scary things fall easily into the realm of Horror movies. Horror movies about ghosts and spirits and the DEVIL (hate those ones most) and manic-flesh-slashing-deranged-hooked-chainsaw-weilding serial killers. Yep. Can't handle it. Won't handle it. Pass 100 times and throw in some Mary Poppins. There's also the term suspenseful. I can handle suspense such as Inception (I just got a thrill chill!), or even Thriller/Suspensefuls like JAWS or Predator or even some "murderer" shows like that one with Shea LeBeof where his neighbor is a serial killer. What is that? Anyway... those I can handle. I hope you can see a pattern, albeit a line of sorts, of where I can cross into the realm of handleable "thrills" and where I most certainly not venture (i.e. Paranormal Activity, The Ring, The Grudge, Exorcist, Poltergist... sick... etc).

So back to the Walking Dead. There are two things that don't ever really scare me - Aliens (pro-X-files!) and sometimes Zombies. I think the Aliens don't bother me because they seem truly fantastical and even cartoonish in most cases and Zombies because they're generally dumb. As in not smart. As in walking grotesque bodies that you only have to avoid or ping in the head or flame throw to be rid of them. Also - I sorta believe in Aliens to an extent but not in a "take over the planet minions!" way and I don't believe in Zombies. I believe in ghosts and the devil. Shudder. Do I ever.

The Zombies in Walking Dead, based on the preview, seemed gruesome (i.e. COOL!) but dumb. Also, the show seemed unique, suspenseful, and maybe something worth actually watching on TV which one is hard put to find these days, right? However, I also questioned if it was too scary for me to be able to turn it off and sleep soundly an hour later. Pros and Cons were thought through... and in the end... I set the DVR just to have it on hand if I should decide I could handle it. Sunday night it recorded, and Monday night, after finishing some homework and browsing some Monday night TV (booooorrrring) I consulted the DVR. And there awaited the Walking Dead. Hm. In my apartment alone - con. Not generally scared of Zombies - pro. Blessed/cursed with a vivid imagination - con. Heard it's more suspenseful than scary - pro. ... ... ...

I dove in. Promising myself if I felt too scared I'd turn it off and never look back. I mean, I saw 5 seconds of a Paranormal Activity 2 preview once when I was running on a treadmill and my nights were ruined for a week! This is the type of wuss puss you're dealing with.

Back to the diving in. (I have not put the scariest pictures on here because I know that some of you would have nightmares like me... except the last one... the last one is pretty freaky!)

I saw some of this:

And that:

and more of this:

Behind YOU!!! Scared ya ;)

Truly - I covered my eyes once when dude had to shoot the little girl Zombie in the head because there IS one thing I can't stand (other than spiders and the devil) and that's possessed kids. I think the idea of having a being so innocent as a child be so incandescently evil freaks the freakys out of me. Sometimes I can't stomach a lot of bloody violence either - BUT - because it was Zombie heads being blown to smithereens... it was different. Think of Orcs in Lord of the Rings losing their heads or being pounced on with swords and spears. Meh... not too big of a deal. The Zombies had become de-humanized and that made the literal watching of head explosions a little more tolerable. These things... I stomached. And I made it through Episode 1.

Afterwards, I did a little self-assessment. How do I feel? Well, I feel okay. Am I scared? Hmmmm... no I don't feel scared. How's the blood pressure? Normal, normal. How do we feel about going to bed in 30 minutes? Feel pretty good.

Truth: there was some tossing and turning that night - but I don't think (because I can't give you a 100% assurdity) it was because of the Zombies. They're dumb Zombies. Smart Zombies? Now, that may be another story. And on Tuesday night, when coming back from my night class around 10pm, I turned the corner to my parking structure and swear on all that is flame-throwing and head blasting that the dude I saw about 40 yards in front of me walking towards the building had a distinctive Zombie "gait". Ya know what I mean? One shoulder higher than the other and a lead weight strapped to his foot; dragging it in tow. Sent a thrill up my SPINE! Pheeeew. Luckily he was just out for a little nigth smoke. Sure glad he wasn't a Zombie.

So here I am, feeling rather proud I made it through the first episode of 6, but also still a little weary. Shore I'd made it okay through the first, alone, in my apt... but what of the next? Surely it will get more gruesome, more frightening (more frightening than a decomposed crawling Zombie torso? Yish! You see the dilemma), and more head explodey... We're BOUND to witness someone bitten and slowly turned into a raving (though dumb) hungry for human flesh Zombie. Can I stay on board? Can I push through? I don't know! And I'm still unsure if I should find out...

A conundrum of the most epic proportions I'd say. I think gathering a group of the same sort of weary and/or Zombie show watching folks may help soften the proverbial "scary things" blow. Or maybe we'll all just end up spending the night on my floor together - baseball bats clutched to our breasts. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Creativity Suck

I'd like to tell you how "busyness" sucks the creativity out of me. I don't know if I have a lot of creativity to suck - but when it's sucked - it's sure sucked dry. Suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked (high five to the person who knows that reference!).

So, as you can see, my blog posts have been tolerable at best. As of late, they've consisted of some random pictures and mockery here, an attempt at (what turned out to be) a lame contest (Dear Heidikins, I owe you garbage bags. Contest fail) there, and so on and so forth. And guess what? This one isn't going to do much better. I have 20 minutes before class starts, squeezed in between a very busy work day (don't we all!), a MPPASA meeting (it sounds important cause it is), and realizing I haven't eaten anything since the half turkey sandwich, chips, and Diet Coke I trackled (it's meant to say tackled but I like trackled... sounds intense!) in my car on the way out to Sunset Ridge Middle School for Utah Scholars presentations. Can I explain to you were Sunset Ridge Middle School is? Edge of the world. It's true. One more step and over you'd go. Whoosh!

So there's my excuse for blogging failure/cop outs: busy work, busy school, busyness. Giant creativity suck (side note: boy carrying helmet and sporting a sleek leather jacket and goatee just gave me a rather winning smile as he walked by my eagerly typing form... day improved! Helllooooo sir ;)), and it also seems my ADD hasn't decreased much either (Squirrel! (double high five for that reference)). I haven't been all ho hum and boringness though. No! I've done stuff! I attended some Halloween par-tays (one... cough) last weekend which were a jolly good times, watched AMC's Walking Dead (note to self: sleeplessness adds to creativity suck) and done some life planning here and there. The life planning takes up valuable brain power, right? Proof! Here's what I've planned:

1. Cruise in December (and I will continue to bring it up until the day I cruise and then the mockery will turn to photos of sandy beaches, blue waves, me in this sunhat, and Cabana boys).
2. Oh snap! I just realize I was supposed to sign up for Spring semester YESTERDAY! (move to #1 of plans)
3. Walk in Spring Convocation
4. Legitimately Graduate Summer 2011
5. Plan "Congratulations You're a Master!" trip to Italy in September
6. Research MPA jobs in London... then really any job that will take me in London
7. Er... keep my bathroom clean


And that's it really. I mean those are the "big" plans. Generally my thoughts are week to week and sometimes, day to day. Phew. Example: "work out tomorrow or live alone forever with those extra 10lbs you seem determined to cling to." It all adds to the bigger picture in one way or another. Alright, maybe that was a pathetic bit of an example. Much like this post is a pathetic excuse for a post.


Where'd that leather jacket boy go?


(checking watch)


Guess I'll sign up for Spring semester.