December 12, 2015

One More Ghost

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Dead Tree Sandwiches,WTF Did I Just Write? — Katrina @ 11:11 pm

After Ebenezer Scrooge had his fateful Christmas Eve encounter with the spirit of Jacob Marley and then the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, he vowed to change his ways and become the nicest guy in the world. He bought the Cratchits a Christmas feast and promoted his nephew. We all know that.

But that next night, suddenly another spirit visited him.

Scrooge: Another spirit! What is it now? Who are you?

Ghost: Oh, don’t worry. I’m just here to have you rate your experience with the Past, Present, and Future Ghosts. Would you say you were satisfied with their overall message? What parts of your experience stood out the most for you?

Scrooge: Hmm, hard to pick just one. But perhaps it was what the Ghost of Christmas Future showed me that was the most eye-opening.

Ghost: Yeah? Go on.

Scrooge: He showed me that little Tiny Tim would die, and then that I would die. If I did not change my ways.

Ghost: Alright. Is that all?

Scrooge: It was devastating to my very core.

Ghost: So you have made changes in your life that should prevent these things from happening?

Scrooge: I believe so.

Ghost: It’s just that, well, you’re still going to die eventually no matter what you do. People might actually be mourning you when it does happen if you’re kinder, but you’ll still be dead.

Scrooge: Oh. Well, what of Tiny Tim? At least he’ll have a full life if I pay to have him cured.

Ghost: I wouldn’t count on it. I mean, it’s like 1830, and while it’s not clear what exactly he even has, it seems like some degenerative disease that no one can really do anything about anyway.

Scrooge: So you’re saying what the third Ghost showed me was all going to happen for sure? I asked if these were the things that will be or what may be, and he did not answer. He did not say anything actually.

Ghost: Yeah, that one isn’t actually able to speak. But I’ll make a note of that you did not get your question answered.

Scrooge: This is unbelievable! I went through all that with the Ghosts only to find there’s nothing I can do.

Ghost: That’s not exactly true. You should still be a good person as you’ve vowed to do. You’ll have friends and all. You won’t be so alone. You’ll have fun. That’s what’s important, right?

Next day, Ebenezer Scrooge returns to being a miserly asshole, and dies the following year. No one comes to his funeral because they’re over at Tiny Tim’s funeral.

December 6, 2014

Goblet of Fire

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Dead Tree Sandwiches — Katrina @ 1:25 pm

So I’ve been rereading the Harry Potter books lately (most of the way through Order of the Phoenix right now).

The fourth one, Goblet of Fire, is interesting in several spots.

Earlier on, there’s the Quidditch World Cup, with Ireland against Bulgaria. Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge is trying to communicate with the Bulgarian Minister of Magic, who doesn’t seem to be able to speak English, through silly pantomiming and whatnot. When the match is over, the Bulgarian Minister makes a comment, and Fudge is like “what? you do speak English?” and it turns out the Bulgarian Minister was just fucking with him the whole time for teh lulz.

Every time I read this part I find myself wondering, “So there’s the Bulgarian Minister of Magic. Where’s the Irish Minister of Magic? He or she would surely be there, too.”

Then I realize that Cornelius Fudge is probably Ireland’s Minister. In reality, Ireland is a separate country from the UK. But it seems in the Wizarding world, Ireland’s magical society is under the same jurisdiction as the UK’s.

Of course, when you think about it, it isn’t that weird that international borders in the Wizarding world might be drawn a bit differently. But interesting that the way it’s demonstrated is implying Ireland is not its own country.

A little later, delegations from two other magical schools arrive at Hogwarts. One is Durmstrang, which Dumbledore says is “to the north”, and if Hogwarts is in Scotland, I guess that school might be in Norway. Though the name of the school is a play off the German expression “sturm und drang” (storm and stress). Though the headmaster, Igor Karkaroff, is Russian. And one of the students, Viktor Krum, is Bulgarian.

The other is Beauxbatons, pretty clearly French. They moment they arrive at Hogwarts, they’re full of nothing but snooty complaints. When Fleur Delacour is chosen Triwizard Champion, the others literally fall into crying and tantrums.

And in the tournament itself, while Cedric, Harry, and Viktor are all doing well, Fleur is just terrible. Got attacked by grindylows. Though her failure in the maze was of course not her fault. At first, it feels sexist, that the only female champion is doing so badly. Then I remember that, no, her doing badly is not because she’s female. It’s because she’s French.

Between this and the Ireland thing…

Yes, yes, Rowling. We get it. You’re British. 😆

December 27, 2013

Themnal

Since the family is moving out of Grandma’s house this weekend (which has eaten up my time and made the daily posting here rather difficult but whatever), I have been occasionally just claiming items around the house I feel like keeping that no one else cares about anyway. One item I snatched last week was Grandma’s 1982 hymnal.

When I went home that night, I looked through the Christmas songs in it. Some I never heard of anywhere else, while others were very familiar and were sung on Tuesday night, as well as ones not done then but heard of nonetheless.

One song was Good Christian Men Rejoice. Only the lyrics didn’t say that. It said “Good Christian Friends Rejoice”. Huh.

Then Christmas Eve night, at the service, singing some of the very familiar songs out of copies of the same hymnal, I noticed some of the slight variations to the lyrics from more popular versions. In the second verse of Hark the Herald Angels Sing, where it’s usually “Pleased as man with men to dwell”, it instead read “Pleased as man with us to dwell”. And in the third verse, where it’s usually “born that men no more may die” it was “born that we no more may die”, and then where it’s usually “born to raise the sons of earth” it was instead “born to raise us from the earth” or something like that. Plus a few other little alterations like that, which never occurred to me much before. Until I saw the “Good Christian Friends” thing and put it all together…

The hymnal… is gender neutral. 😮

MIND = BLOWN

January 1, 2013

Best of 2012?

So I was at Barnes and Noble yesterday and looking at the science books, when I see a few that are compilations of the best science articles of 2012. Sounds neat. So I took a look. Good stuff for the most part.

And then something about brains… I had a bad feeling about this one. So I flipped to it…

*headdesk*

Yup, you guessed it. It was more “teen brain” bullshit. It starts off about how we all know teenagers are reckless and stupid and whatever other choice stereotypical traits. And says this is because their brains are still developing.

Stuff we hear over and over. But then the realization that this was a best of the year thing. That right alongside advances in real stuff like molecular biology or analytical chemistry, you get this teen brain bullshit being touted as some great discovery.

This is what’s in the mainstream and influencing policy and encouraging discrimination and making the lives of my young friends more and more difficult. While guys like Robert Epstein and Mike Males are still mostly unheard of. Shit.

December 29, 2012

It Should Have Been Neville

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Dead Tree Sandwiches — Katrina @ 4:59 pm

Alright, here’s another Harry Potter gripe.

Complete with Harry Potter spoilers, in case that’s an issue five years after the final book came out and a year and a half after that book’s movie.

Bellatrix Lestrange.

She was all-around terrible, having among many other things killed Sirius Black, tortured Hermione, and crucio’d Neville Longbottom’s parents into permanent brain damage.

But who kills her in the end? Molly fucking Weasley.

I mean, that is what brings us the famous “NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!” line, as Molly went toward Bellatrix when she saw she was battling with Ginny at the time, and was already grief-stricken from having lost Fred.

But it should have been Neville. True, true, Neville already showed his stuff in slicing Nagini in half with the Gryffindor sword. Yet it seemed like part of his growing strength should have also included avenging his parents. After finishing off Nagini, he should have sliced off Bellatrix’s head.

Instead, Molly Weasley had the honors. Yeah, she was clearly aching to show her badass side, too, after all the coddling she does the rest of the series. Just seems like Augustus Rookwood, who caused the explosion that killed Fred, should have been the better target. Or at least Antonin Dolohov, who killed the Gideon and Fabian Prewett, who were her brothers.

Or maybe she was avenging Sirius, with whom she had some constant friction. That’s a weirdly sweet way of looking at it.

Still, though… Neville was due! :doitnow:

December 5, 2012

Snape

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Dead Tree Sandwiches,Decrees!,What the hell? — Katrina @ 7:30 pm

I hereby decree…

Snape was an asshole.

Alright, if a warning is still needed five years later, the following contains Harry Potter spoilers.

Okay then…

Severus Snape was an asshole and deserved what was obviously an awful death by Nagini the snake.

Oh, what’s that? He was a selfless hero?

Maybe. He might have actively tried to save Harry’s life a couple of times and was integral in Voldemort’s downfall. But it doesn’t change the fact that he was an asshole.

It doesn’t change the fact that, having saved him or not, he still treated Harry like shit for several years. Ron and Hermione, too.

Okay, Snape was butthurt that James Potter bullied him at school and married the girl he was in love with. I can see how that sucks. But treating their son like crap about it, their son who never did a thing to him except be James Potter’s son, is inexcusable.

And yet, at the end, we find Harry has given his second son the middle name “Severus” and was telling him that the man his middle name comes from was the bravest man he had ever known. Snape hands Harry a memory strand as his last action, and suddenly Harry forgets everything else and decides Snape should be ordained as a saint or something.

It’s an interesting philosophical thought, though. Recognizing someone for having done something heroic despite that person having in general been a total vindictive asshole. One might call it forgiveness. But this goes beyond forgiveness. This is reverence. Reverence by the main person to whom this otherwise hero was decidedly awful. And it wasn’t even for-his-own-good awfulness. None of the other Hogwarts professors were anywhere near as disrespectful and downright cruel to Harry as Snape was (well, except for Umbridge, of course!). And that’s even considering the two who turned out to be active Death Eaters. There was no reason for it. I mean, sure, he was helpful and heroic and brave and all that when it came to taking down Voldemort. But why be a jerk to Harry? Because he was sad and heartbroken about Lily?

And even then, that didn’t explain why he was nasty to Ron, Hermione, and Neville. And to anyone who wasn’t in Slytherin for that matter.

Come on, Harry, should have named him Albus Remus instead.

December 26, 2011

Getting Kids Reading

Now for a juvenile, literary edition of…

SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!

People who are all like “we’ve got to get kids reading!”

There’s been ads for James Patterson books on TV, and some recent ones start off with “James Patterson gets kids reading!” Because he’s apparently written young adult lit now, so it shows a pre-teen reading from a book about middle school.

Because if there’s anyone who truly knows what middle school is like, it’s authors in their sixties!

But, what, they couldn’t just advertise the book? They have to include some crap about “getting kids reading”?

That takes away the “here’s something you’ll enjoy” factor and turns it into yet another “getting kids to do things adults want them to be doing”. Okay, the implication seems to be “it gets them reading BECAUSE it’s enjoyable”, but it still makes it being enjoyable to the young reader secondary to satisfying some cliched expectation. Because, after all, the world cares nothing for kids’ personal desires and cares entirely for what adults desire for them.

Also, maybe someone should tell these adults that when kids are reading, they’re generally -gasp!- inside and sitting! Oh noes, they’re getting fat! So send them outside to get exercise. Then bitch that they aren’t reading enough.

December 12, 2010

Sparkle Sparkle

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Dead Tree Sandwiches,Decrees!,What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:36 pm

I hereby decree…

Leave Twilight alone!

Jesus Christ, am I sick of everywhere I look, mostly online but also some offline, there’s the exact same stale attacks on the popular Stephenie Meyer book series “Twilight”. I used to read most of the Cheezburger sites on a daily basis, but stopped because it seemed like every damn thing on any of the sites was something whose entire humor seemed to be that it was mocking Twilight or Justin Bieber. Honestly, it’s fine once in a while, but all the damn time? There’s other shit in the world, you know!

It’s the same shit, too.

“Oh noes, Edward Cullen is a sparkling vampire? That’s an insult to real vampires! I’m offended!”

“Oh noes, why is Bella so attracted to Edward when he’s totally stalking her? That’s not a healthy relationship!”

“Haha, for Bella it’s a choice between a dead guy who’s 100 years older than her or a werewolf.”

“Oh, God, it’s sooo poorly written!”

I actually did read Twilight recently. It didn’t exactly blow me away, nor really keep me hooked, but I didn’t find it anywhere near deserving of the venom it gets all the time. True, I haven’t read the other three books yet, so we’ll see how I feel then.
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December 11, 2010

Deathly Hallows

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Dead Tree Sandwiches,Idiot Box — Katrina @ 8:30 pm

So this afternoon I finally got over to the damn movie theater to see “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1”. Usually when I go see the Harry Potter movies for the first time, I get annoyed. Yup, I’m that person who is all “WTF? that’s not how it happened in the book!” Though more specifically, I can understand deviation from the book in some circumstances, like perhaps trying to save time or not having to cast more people when they could substitute it easily in another way. Better than in “Half Blood Prince” when they pretty much just started making shit up.

For example, in this movie, after they all left the Dursleys’ disguised as Harry, they ended up at the Burrow instead of the Tonks house like in the book. But it was a change that didn’t make much difference.

But that’s about all the deviations really were. The movie was great! They even left in one of my favorite lines: after they all take the Polyjuice Potion to turn into Harry, Fred and George say “we’re identical!” I LOL’d.

They even left in the evil spirits from the locket teasing Ron before he smashed it with the sword.

Although, I could have done without the spirits’ image of Harry and Hermione making out naked. Yeah, guys, I know Rule 34 is quite popular but the movie doesn’t need it! 😆

August 21, 2010

Libraries Are Silly

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Dead Tree Sandwiches,What the hell? — Katrina @ 5:29 pm

Remember almost two months ago when I mentioned that libraries around here have weird hours? How they close too early to be convenient on most days and have too short or no hours on weekends?

Well, soon after I wrote that, when visiting the local library on a Saturday, I saw a sign taped to the window saying that starting July 6, they’d be open an extra hour on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, closing at 6pm rather than 5pm. Still closed Sunday, though. I stared at this sign, recalling before when I tried to come right after 5pm one Friday to find it closed. Did I do that? I only said anything on here. Hadn’t said anything to them.

And then I went there again today to read some more of Twilight (you heard me) to find another taped up sign. Saying that as of August 15, the library would be open on Sundays year-round.

My friends…

I am powerful. Make a note of it. 😀

This has been Day 90 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 10.

June 25, 2010

Libraries

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Dead Tree Sandwiches,What the hell? — Katrina @ 7:57 pm

I like libraries. There’s something uplifting about the idea of a public institution existing for the sole purpose carrying lots and lots of information for the people to seek out freely at their leisure. Public school doesn’t fall under that category because you’re forced to go, which kills the leisure part and turns acquisition of knowledge into a hated chore rather than desirable enlightenment.

Tried to go to my local one today after work, only to find it had closed at 5pm. Normally, this one stays open until 9pm Monday through Thursday but Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, only until 5pm. Or rather, Sunday is only open until 5pm during the school year, and is closed in the summer. These hours are long compared to those of some other local libraries, which close at 5pm every weekday and are closed weekends.
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December 22, 2009

Separate Worlds

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Dead Tree Sandwiches,What the hell? — Katrina @ 9:53 pm

You know what annoys me? Think of any fantasy or sci-fi storyline, be it a book, movie, video game, or whatever, in which there are separate worlds or universes that somehow end up getting access to one another. One I’m thinking of is the His Dark Materials trilogy. The Chronicles of Narnia is like that to a point. Harry Potter sort of. Such is also the case in the game Kingdom Hearts, which I’m currently playing and is all kinds of awesome.

Yet there is one common theme: the worlds having access to one another is apparently a BAD thing. So in some stories, the very object of what the protagonists are doing is to close the worlds off from one another, because that allows evil to seep through or is otherwise not the natural, correct order of things. Even though the protagonist is often making friends from denizens of these other worlds, they’ll have to separate forever because they can’t coexist when they’re from different worlds.

(I’m going to be giving away ending details to the His Dark Materials trilogy, so if you don’t want spoilers for it, go out and read it before you read this further. You’ve been warned.)
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May 20, 2009

Don’t Just Ban… BURN!

Filed under: Dead Tree Sandwiches,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 12:33 pm

Here, read this.

:dubious:

Yup. Some Wisconsin library got bullied into banning certain books, as well as firing the library board members who dissented. Let’s have a look.

On Monday night, The West Bend Common Council voted for a second time not to reinstate four members of the library board because of their views. The Council upheld its April 21st decision because of the board members’ refusal to remove controversial books from the young adult section of the library prior to a formal review.

Oh, heavens, how dare those horrid rogue board members have such reprehensible views that, oh, library censorship is bad! Not like a library is supposed to be a house of information and knowledge or anything. Libraries are supposed to be, uh, well… I’m not sure exactly. Considering it would have only some info and not others. (Maybe something along the lines of a youth rights organization’s casualty list. That’s right. I went there.) :cute:

The board members are accused of promoting “the overt indoctrination of the gay agenda.”

And that would be…? It’s always some vaguely defined “agenda”. Gay agenda. Liberal agenda. Doesn’t mean anything but used to stir the unwitting ignorami of the world into a frenzy of paranoia. Of course, if their idea of a “gay agenda” involves such horrible things like treating gay people as equals and not beating the shit out of a guy for wearing pink, then I hope paranoia is the least of what they are beset with. How dare these rogue board members be tolerant of others! The nerve!
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December 7, 2007

Good Writing

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Dead Tree Sandwiches — Katrina @ 8:05 pm

Been meaning to bitch about this for a while, but then I suppose it came up more after I was reading something about criticisms of the Harry Potter books. No, I don’t mean the Christian fundamentalist whining we all already know about. I mean the members of the “official writing community”, or something.

Eww! Rowling uses too many clichés! Eww! They’re just kidsy magic stories! Eww! This will just make kids be interested in bad pop culture writing and not Rudyard Kipling! Eww!

Wow.
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July 23, 2007

Finished

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Dead Tree Sandwiches — Katrina @ 5:17 pm

Well, late last night actually.

Holy hell, what a good book! Been feeling pretty good about it all day.

And when it was announced before the book came out that two people die… who exactly was that referring to? Like twenty people die!

And one kinda sorta died. Hehehe. That was a serious WTF moment. As well as making me think “hey, she stole that from CS Lewis!”

Not sure how I felt about the epilogue, though. Seemed nice. Seemed to be overkill. Don’t know.

But… mmmmm…. good book.

My favorite lines?

“Wow! We’re identical!”

“NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!”

The thing with Dudley at the beginning was just adorable. Heh.

Except some of the little nuggets of info that had been promised were never mentioned. Or maybe I just need to find out what exactly some of it referred to.

But, yeah, yeah, goooood book. I approve.

This has been Day 61 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 7.

July 21, 2007

Past Couple of Days

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Dead Tree Sandwiches — Katrina @ 10:37 pm

Wednesday night, Dad and I saw Order of the Phoenix at the movie theatre. Not bad.

Thursday was a disturbingly unproductive day at work. I hate it when that happens. And I hadn’t visited any of my message boards or been on IM since Tuesday. There is a very good reason for that. Many acted too early.
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