Something NEW (to me) in Harry Potter?

I’ve been re-listening to Harry Potter in preparation for our trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I’ve read all of the books several times (some more than others) and have listened to the audiobooks at least 5-10 times (depending on the book) in the last 10’ish years.  Since Goblet of Fire is my favorite, it’s the one I’ve read and listened too the most.

So! Consider my surpise when I noticed SOMETHING NEW this time through! When I first started listening to the books, I often picked up new bits I’d missed reading the books. But I  have not heard ANYTHING “new” in years.

Until last night! Harry, Ron and Hermione are walking the grounds before the second task when the see Viktor Krum diving into the lake from the Durmstrang ship! This was after the Yule Ball so Ron expressed a little bit of joy at the idea of the giant squid getting him, and Hermione commented that he probably thinks the lake is warm since where he comes from it’s so cold.

But I never remembered them seeing him do that! Are we to assume he was practicing his plan for the second task? Or was he just swimming for the hell of it? And how am I still finding “new” stuff in these books after reading and listening to them SO MANY TIMES!


ACK. I wrote this post several days ago to save for a day I didn’t have any thing to say. And then guess what happened today? (Friday!) I heard ANOTHER “new” part in Book V!

Kingsley and Mr. Weasley are faking a business like conversation before Harry’s trial at the beginning of the book. Kingsley says to Mr. Weasley, “…the delay on that firelegs report held up our investigation for about a month.” To which Mr. Weasley says, “If you had read my report, you would know the term is firearms.”


Now, I haven’t read book 5 that much because I really don’t like the Dumbledore/Harry issues in the book, so discovering new things in this one is not as exciting as book 4, but still. I’ve probably read/listened to it at least 5 times all the way through!


Another 50 Shades Public Service Announcement…Just In Time for the Movie.

I’m publishing 2 entries today so this one is NOT the “only” one showing up on my blog. I AM A PRUDE!

I do my kids a favor and leave one topic off-limits on this blog: SEX. I can write about boob sweat and crotch chaffing but not SEX. And I will continue to respect that so that I don’t embarrass them to the point of wishing for death. This is not a difficult topic to avoid because I’m pearl-grasping prude of the utmost order and have never thought if only I could talk about sex…. NO WAY! BRING ME MY SMELLING SALTS!

HOWEVER…it is time to remind you all of a video I shared out years ago that discusses how “50 Shades of Grey” is an awful example of good/safe/healthy BDSM. Laci Green is wonderful but she is frank and her language is NOT safe for work. She explains why the book is not a good example or guidebook for BDSM and it’s something to keep in mind if you enjoy the books or the movie.

That said: I HAVE NOT READ THE BOOKS. Nor will I see the movie. For a few reasons, but mainly because…as I mentioned before…I’m a prude. And while I have no problem with the existence of erotica and I’m very glad people read sexy books and enjoy them, they are not for me. I’m not even comfortable with the nudity/sex on cable television, I’m definitely not going to read some sort of BDSM erotica.

But if you like it, Laci gives recommendations for others that are more in tune with proper BDSM guidelines for safety and health. Enjoy the 50 Shades books and movies, but don’t use them as a model for experimentation in your own life.

Now I’m going back to never talking about this stuff again. I highly recommend Laci Green videos for all things, however. She’s not a prude, she even does sex talks at universities and she’s smart and fun and a good soul. Watch her while I go clutch my pearls some more.

About that Podcast I recommended…

serial-social-logoSo, do y’all remember me writing about how much I loved the podcast Serial awhile back? I’m not sure I stand by that anymore.

(Do I give a Spoiler alert here? I mean, this is a true story that’s out on the internet, not a scripted TV show no one knows the ending of. I don’t know. I guess if you haven’t listened to the podcast and don’t even want to know how they handled the story, then this might spoil things. But if you’re not sure you care, or maybe considering listening to it, then I don’t think this will spoil things. But I DON’T KNOW! POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD?)

I did really like it. And while a lot of people complained when the host went from actual investigating of facts to “discussing of personal opinions” …I didn’t mind that. I felt like that made a lot of the characters, including the host as she was a character herself, 3-dimensional and not just “someone who saw this ________” or “someone who did this _________” BUT! The second the last episode played without any sort of wrap-up reminding the listeners that Hae Min Lee was still dead, it suddenly felt very exploitive.

I think I expected the final episode to kinda remind people of that, since it did feel like culture – as a whole – was discussing this podcast like it was the latest episode of Scandal and forgetting there’s still a dead 18-year old girl at the center of the story. I mean…I understood that excitement, it was a well-done podcast. I didn’t mind the fervor around it at first, but I did feel like it was the job of the podcast to bring everyone back to reality in the end. And they didn’t.

The final episode was fine, I liked that we got to hear from the producers more and I liked that Sarah Koenig was very honest about how often she changed her mind about things, but it surprised me that no one ever said – when discussing other potential suspects, “And it keeps me awake at night knowing the real murderer could be still out there.”

Why didn’t they say that? There were small little things like that, that I expected on the last episode, to bring it all back from the “Law & Order” feel of a TV show you’re trying to guess the ending of, to a REAL story involving a REAL tragic murder. And none of that happened. No thoughts on how – if the wrong guy is in jail – there could be a murderer still roaming free. Not discussion about how, if the right guy is in jail, they’ve dug up a traumatic phase in everyone’s history for nothing. Sarah Koenig did not keep the 4th wall up at all, she often discussed how the popularity of the story led them down new paths of investigation. So why didn’t they discuss how that same popularity made them feel more like they were writing a scripted television show than doing a journalistic piece on a possible botched trial?

I don’t know…I guess I just expected some “real” talk on the last episode, maybe even some discussion about how the popularity of the podcast got weird considering there’s still a tragic murder in the center of it all. Maybe just a gentle reminder to people writing blog posts and podcasting like it is a television show…that it’s NOT a television show. It’s a true story. It might deserve a little more respect than, say, your recap of The Good Wife.

But nope, just a basic wrap-up. Good, but just missing a lot, to me. Missing a lot that would have made me feel comfortable with people joking about their addiction to it. I don’t know, it just went from “Holy Cow…this is an interesting look on crime investigation and murder trials!” to “Why am I saying I’m addicted to a story about a girl’s murder?”

I’ve been sitting on that for weeks, trying to decide how I felt about it all. And then they started offering swag with the show logo – and that felt REALLY weird. Maybe after there’s a second season with a different story it won’t feel weird. But right now, all that logo means to me is “A story about the murder of an 18-year old girl!” And who wants that logo on their coffee mug?

And then there was MORE digging by other journalists and agencies and there were podcasts about podcasts and I DON’T KNOW…It just got weird. REALLY WEIRD.

So, I’ve stopped talking about it completely. I don’t recommend it anymore. I still think it was well done and if it hadn’t gotten so popular, none of this would sit wrong with me. But since it became a pop-culture hit, something that Entertainment Weekly wrote about, I felt like the last few episodes should have maybe brought the people listening back down to earth a bit. I definitely don’t think they should be selling swag until that logo stands for something other than Hae Min Lee’s murder. When someone asks me if I listened to it, I give them this long speech that basically says what I’ve said here.

Yes, I listened to it. I thought it was well done, but the popularity of it all freaked me out and I had trouble listening to the last few episodes without thinking about Hae Min’s family, knowing that I was one of 40 million people listening to the story of their daughter’s murder.

What about you? Did your feelings change about it? Did any of the fanfare sit weird with you?

Things I’m Currently Loving

  • Agent Carter: If you like Action movies with badass female leads? Then this is will be your new favorite TV show. She’s an independent badass who has to fight one helluva patriarchy in her workplace environment. It seems that I might be the only person watching this show – if the ratings are any indication – so get yourself to Hulu where I think all episodes are still free, even if you’re not a Hulu Plus subscriber. And I’m 90% sure you can watch them on GO! There are so many crappy women characters on television – go watch one that kicks a whole lot of ass.
  • The Subtraction Project: I know I’ve talked about loving this here before, but there are so MANY ways to love it now I wanted to talk about it again. There’s the 30-day challenge but it’s ON Demand! And there’s a podcast! And there’s a book coming out! As someone who has been downsizing her “stuff” for years so that she can EVENTUALLY downsize her house (we may die in this very empty house before it ever even makes it on the market) – your life can ONLY be improved by subtracting. There is no better feeling than just letting go. Whether it’s getting rid of half of the 12 giant serving spoons you have (REALLY? When was the last time you needed ALL 12?) or narrowing your 15 pen cups to 3…you’ll be lighter with every prompt, I guarantee you.
  • U.S. District Judge Callie Granade: She has ruled FOR gay marriage TWICE in the last week in Alabama. And while there have been copious amounts of negative responses…they have been WAY overshadowed by positive responses. Even when I’ve perused comments on local news Facebook pages, the negative stuff is no where near as common as then, “Holy Shit. So we may not be the 50th state on this wagon after all!” type of comments. People are shocked, but in a good way. And while there’s a stay and many are not optimistic we won’t see our way out of it, I’m still super euphoric that this happened to begin with. This judge was appointed by Bush. These cases were on no one’s radar because no one expected them to be ruled on in this way. AND SHE DID IT TWICE. Gay marriage may not be legal in our state at the end of this stay, but Judge Granade did her part and she did it beautifully and I will forever be grateful for her.
  • Afterlight Photo Ap: If you like playing with actions in Photoshop? This app will give you what Instagram never could: CONTROL! I can adjust temperature, sharpness, light, AND it gives a bunch of awesome filters. I still upload my photos to Instagram, but I don’t use the filters or anything anymore, I do it all in Afterlight. I love it too because you can leave the photos the size they are, or crop them to a different size, and THEN you can add the white background around it to make it square. I don’t want all of my photos to be square, but you have to in order to put them on Instagram. Now I can make them any size I want, or leave them the original size, and then Afterlight just adds the white border around it to fill in the area to make it square. BOOM.

    We don't often get a chance for snow pictures, so glad Gregg Gelmis got this shot yesterday!

    A photo posted by Kim Holmes (@misszoot) on

    This picture is the perfect example. Because it had other people in it, I didn’t necessarily want to put it on Instagram without their permission (I try to avoid that if possible, unless it’s a big group shot that I’m seeing other people share across their social media) so I cropped only myself and made it square in Afterlight! Way easier than trying to work within Instagram rigid square framework.

So! What are you loving right now?

Fall Television Is Here!

This is our second FALL TV Season starting without cable. We turned it off some time last summer so the Fall Season wasn’t too blind for us as we had been seeing premier commercials for a bit. But this Fall? I have NO idea what new shows are starting. Unless it’s featured on a Netflix or Hulu ad, the only way I hear about it is if it shows up on my Twitter or Facebook feeds. So…am I trying any new shows this season? Only one: Flash.

I’ve been following Grant Gustin’s career since he played a small-but-important role on Glee, giving us a gay male character who was confident and masculine. It was nice to see. He did a few small things after that but when they cast him as Barry Allen for a two-episode arc on Arrow to introduce him for a new show, I was SO EXCITED. And from the moment we saw him rushing to the scene, obviously late, I thought this guy really is Barry Allen! He played the character PERFECTLY and I was so excited to see him take the stage this year.

It is NO SECRET that I’m a superhero fan. I love all superhero movies and television. I will give it a chance every time and most times I stick with it. Superman has always been my least favorite because I grew up with Christopher Reeves and no TV show or movie since has compared to how much I adored him. I didn’t even try to stick with Smallville or Louis & Clark. I like the more recent attempt – Man of Steel – better than anything I’ve seen since I was a kid but probably because it felt SO DIFFERENT that I didn’t long for my childhood Superman.

But – for the most part? I love it all. So I am very biased.

BUT FLASH WAS SO GOOD. EEK. I loved Iris, I loved the team at S.T.A.R. Labs, I love Grant Gustin who feels so much like comic book Barry Allen that it’s just weird. I love it all. It’s the one and only new show I’ve committed to watching and I’m so glad because it was SO GOOD!

I also watched Arrow which never disappoints, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. which almost lost me a bit last year before it gained it’s momentum. This new season seems to already have some interested character shifts and I’m pulled back in immediately.

Like I said, I love my superhero shows.

I also have a couple of sitcoms that made me laugh this week. Modern Family which always seems like a hit or miss for me. I never hate an entire episode but there’s often storylines that make me irritable. But, on the flip side, there’s always storylines that I love too and the Pilot was GREAT because I loved the “Summer of Fun Without Alex!” storyline and the “Jay doesn’t put any effort into his appearance” storyline. The “Lily’s smile is crazy” storyline wasn’t great…but like I said, there’s always one that irks me. Brooklyn Nine-Nine also cracked me up and I’m really glad Hulu reminded me of it or else I wouldn’t have even thought to pull it up.

I think that’s all I’m watching so for. I’m weeks behind on Doctor Who if that tells you how little I’ve been watching TV lately. The only show I pull up anymore just because is Drunk History because A) It cracks me up and B) It requires no commitment. The episodes stand alone. I used to keep the TV on while I worked on my laptop in my bedroom but my laptop has been crapping out on me so I don’t even have it playing in the background anymore. That means I’m not even watching a lot of my favorite late night TV (in the morning) anymore. TV is a weird thing for me lately. I have to make a conscious decision to set aside time to watch it, so it needs to either be something I just love, and something I can watch with the kids so it can be our snuggle time. I don’t watch any “adult” TV for that reason, even though I really want to check out Transparent that everyone is talking about. But it’s hard to find time without the kids to sit and watch TV, so that show will be put on the back burner for now.

Are you watching anything new this season? What about old? Since I don’t have cable can you tell me what I might need to watch that I haven’t heard about yet?