hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home
Over Labor Day weekend, I dragged the hubby to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, at Universal Orlando.
It was, without a doubt, once of the best vacations I’ve ever been on. Butterbeer! Hogwarts! The Hogwarts Express!
I felt just like the little 12 year old fangirl I really am. (Of course, all my good Harry Potter shirts are Doctor Who crossovers… and holy fuck! There were probably as many Whovians as there were Potterheads walking around.)
Harry Potter was my introduction to the world of fandom, but I wasn’t ready for it back then. Once I was ready, I’ve embraced it with open arms. The fan fic alone is nothing short of incredible. I’ve published two - one was way more popular than the other. And I have to agree with the citizens of AO3… the first one is the better one.
I even began knitting a Quidditch sweater. Of course, Pottermore sorted me into Ravenclaw… which - if you’re a book nerd like me - is absolutely shitty. All the fucking merch is based on the movies. Ravenclaw’s house colours are blue and bronze. NOT blue and silver. Our crest features an eagle. NOT a raven. So yeah, long rant short: I’m making my own Ravenclaw things.
I’ve been quiet because 1) knitting that fucking Quidditch sweater has been taking all of my free time and 2) I’m being bullied at work.
Yeah. I’m 40 fucking years old and I’m being bullied.
I can’t defend myself the way I want to (adulting is hard), but I am defending myself. In my review today, the only bit I scored poorly on was “plays well with others” because of this person. In my defence, my boss only circled the lower score because he was being honest, but we all know why I don’t play well with others. It’s a long story and there’s a lot I can’t say so…
There you go.
Knitting. Harry Potter. Fan fiction. Working.
I’ve taken a break from actively studying Ukrainian for the summer (see: Quidditch sweater), but I’ve been listening to a lot more pop music. I’m catching more words which is amusing because I still have the vocabulary of a newborn. I also managed to fight through three chapters of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Ukrainian during the flights to and from Florida. I missed probably 90% of the words, but I recognised enough words to make myself feel good and follow the story.
I’ll start again in October. I just needed a break - I feel like all I’m doing is studying, but I’m not making any progress.
I also received the Hunger Games trilogy (finally!) from a Ukrainian bookseller and I’ve gotten through the first chapter of The Hunger Games with relatively little trouble, amazingly enough. Even without the vocab.
I’ve pretty much decided that I’ll be translating my good Harry Potter fan fic to Ukrainian. I want to do it for a bunch of reasons, but mostly because I want some practice in writing. Writing will also drive the vocab home and will probably force me to contact someone I don’t know to help with the slang.
I guess we’ll have to see. Life isn’t going anywhere near the direction it needs to be going in… but I’ll survive this. I always find a way.
back to basics: kids’ books (and some ridiculously cheesy vampire disaster)
I love that the hubby tolerates my complete obsession with male/male fan fiction. Although there are moments when I’m not sure if he’s trying to change the topic, be funny or is actually deaf… We were watching a commercial that said something about self-publishing books and I said out loud, I wonder if they’d publish male/male fiction. He said, “Mailman fan fiction?”
I think I love him more every day.
Which is either pretty awesome or pretty gross.
I’m having a good (too good?) time on Facebook playing with my friend’s husband. We’re both huge Potterheads, horror fans and like ghosts and other scary things, so we’ve been bonding. She’s not into any of the paranormal / horror stuff and has a great sense of humour regarding our shared obsessions.
It’s nice to have friends that understand that not everything is flirting, or sexual in nature… even if it includes writing mailman fan fiction.
I have to go to Pittsburgh for work next week and I’ve been slacking on the Ukrainian learning for a while. We have a new employee who has made my life a complete and utter shitshow. I’ve fallen so far behind at work that I’ve been working late and going in early. All because of one person. It’s insane.
It doesn’t help that one of my coworkers - one I thought I was friendly terms with - became an uber bitch because I moved downstairs to work with my department. She’s keeping important accounting data from me and thinks she’s my boss. Riiiiiiiiight. There’s been some arguing as to who can lay claim to me: service or accounting. I have pushed hard for service, since I have very little to do with my fellow accountants. It shouldn’t be like this. The worst thing is everyone hates that coworker. E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E. Dude, if I’m ever her boss, I won’t be. Firing her will be my first official act as controller.
So… as always, I push the Ukrainian aside because it’s not a priority. It’s a want, not a need. It’s hard to balance what I should be doing with what I want to do. And what I want to do is write more Drarry fic and knit my Quidditch sweater. Not study. Especially not after a shit day at work.
Anywhoooo. I bought those books in the picture for the flight to Pittsburgh. I figure they’re small, they’ll travel well, and they’re right at my vocab level, give or take.
Now, I just need to decide if I can live with just my iPad or need to drag along my laptop. I have a feeling I’m leaving both behind and surviving with just my phone. It’s four days and I have a lot of Ukrainian to try to catch up on. Same with the knitting. It’s just that it’s HARD to write pr0n on the iPhone and it’s even harder to publish. (10 kudos so far on the new one! WOO!)
this is ridiculously amusing
I’ve been to London three times, walked up and down this bridge countless times, and never once noticed the shadow.
HOW THE FUCK DID I MISS A PENIS BRIDGE?!?!
Photo from here: 32 Pictures That Will Make Londoners Laugh Every Single Time
*sigh* all that work… headed to the frog pond
My first socks done toe-up and TAAT are headed to the frog pond. Somewhere, somehow, I screwed up pretty badly and there’s laddering up the borders of the pattern. It looks terrible on the needles and even worse on the foot. I’m not sure if it was because I did them two-at-a-tme, I counted completely wrong, or if I managed to drop a stitch on both socks in the exact same spot. All of which are, sadly, very likely to occur and may have even happened simultaneously. That’s how bad they are.
I don’t want to frog them, but as I looked at how fucked up they were, I realised that - more importantly - I hated knitting that fucking pattern. I mean, REALLY hated it.
I love the way Hermione’s Everyday Socks are knitting up, even though I’ve just started a pair in that pattern. (Socks for a friend, unfortunately.) I think it will look equally awesome in that red. And HES isn’t nearly as boring to work on.
It’s really weird how that happens - both are four row repeats, both are relatively simple combinations of knits and purls - but one is infinitely more fun to knit than the other.
I ended up buying a new Forester last Friday and broke it in by heading to Woodstock for Black Mountain Symphony’s record release party. 492 miles from the Subaru dealership, to Seabrook Town Hall, to my house, to Woodstock and back to my house - I’m already at 1,000 miles.
Have I mentioned I’ve only had the damn thing a week?
It was a hard decision and one I didn’t make lightly, despite how it may seem.
My dream car - my BMW - doesn’t come in a stick until you get to the 335, and I need an X-Drive (all wheel drive). When I found one, the sticker on it was $51K. FIFTY ONE THOUSAND. FOR A CAR. I still can’t get past the fact that my very first house was only $32K and I still can’t justify buying a car that costs more than a house. (Even though my current house has an insurance replacement value of $289K, I can’t use that for comparison. I just can’t.)
I know, I know… and I did know it was going to be ugly. I could go down to a 320 / 328, but I don’t want an automatic that thinks it’s a stick. I refuse to drive anything but a stick.
So… my car had had these ongoing issues with the fuel line. It kept throwing up “Check Engine” errors and the dealership was kind of playing hit or miss with the repairs. The first time, it was $500 for a new gas cap and some kind of fuel container thingy. This last time, it was $300 for a stupid gasket. (There were some tests, but seriously? $300 for what ended up being a $6 part.)
When I got it back, the car stunk like gas, but I was told that it was natural and the smell would go away. I didn’t have anything to worry about unless the check engine light came back on.
I don’t know about you, but worrying if my fuel line was going to go while I’m on the backwoods of MA / NY isn’t my idea of a good time. Worrying about whether or not the car would spontaneously combust wasn’t particularly enjoyable, either.
Maybe those are stupid concerns… but the car was paid off. If it hadn’t been, I’d probably still be scared shitless to drive it, but sucking it up until I could afford to pay it off.
I got a brand new 2015 Forester - approximately the same exact car (minus the horizontal roof rack thingies), with technology befitting a car seven model years newer - for the same exact payment as my old car.
I suppose I could have done a lot worse.
I have mixed feelings about it, which sounds completely weird, right? I love it - I really do - but it’s just that I didn’t want a damn car payment.
I have mixed feelings about Black Mountain Symphony’s new album. It sounds ‘flat’. I thought it was my speakers in the new car because I hadn’t tweaked them, but my iMac, iPhone, and Jamie’s car confirmed that it just sounds flat and shitty. Maybe it’s because I’ve heard the songs live a bazillion times and that energy didn’t carry over? I don’t know, but the first album sounded so crisp and clear that the mix on this album is really disappointing.
My other complaint with this album - and it’s definitely petty - is that I wasn’t listed on the liner notes, but someone’s dog was. We all joke that I’m the #1 fan, the miles I’ve put on my car, the amount of money I’ve put in tip jars, the fact that I’ve let them stay in my house (not once, but twice)... all of those are testaments to my dedication to them. I know they sincerely appreciate me. I’ve NEVER doubted that. Not for a second.
It would have been nice to get a public thank you… and there are quite a few others who are surprised that I was left off.
Especially in light of someone’s fucking DOG being thanked.
I’m not going to lie. It hurts.
I’ll get past it because it is so petty and minor in the grand scheme of things, but for now, I’m just going to let it bother me so I can get it out of my system.
I contacted another immigration law firm this morning. I laid out the reasons why I think I can claim citizenship and asked them simply if they thought I could and how much it would cost for that privilege.
I guess we’ll see…
sounds right to me
I had a blast at the Ukrainian Festival. Although I didn’t speak to anyone in anything other than English, by the end of the trip, I was confident enough in my accent to shout: “Героям слава!” every time someone said, “Слава Україні!” (Call: Glory to Ukraine! // Response: Glory to her heroes!) It’s kinda the Ukie equivalent of “USA! USA!”, if you need context.
The best vendor - and the only one I purchased anything from (!!!!) - was the Toronto Ukrainian Genealogical Group. They were so helpful when it came to giving me pointers on where to start looking for information on my grandparents. Granted, I know all I need to know to get their birth certificates and pursue Ukrainian citizenship, but now I’m curious about the rest of it. It doesn’t hurt, I guess, that I started to read Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin and realised that my grandparents’ families were saved because they lived on the Polish side of the border when the holodomor occurred. If they had lived in Soviet Ukraine, it might have been a different story. Then again, they got damn lucky they weren’t swept up in the insanity when Stalin decided he had to kill all the Poles…
It’s sobering to think of all the what-could-have-beens. It’s even more sobering to think that my grandparents lived through this part of history. (The key word there being LIVED.) That’s what got me curious about digging deeper and finding out more about my great grandparents in addition to anything more I can find about my grandparents.
I did learn something else. Something that I wasn’t expecting.
I’m not a Ukrainian (Roman) Catholic. I’m a Ukrainian (Greek) Catholic.
I always assumed that being a member of a Ukrainian Catholic church - and being sent to an American Catholic church for CCD - meant that I was a Roman Catholic. (At heart(?). I’m an agnostic in practice.) It turns out that the reason my American-flavoured religious education didn’t jive with the little bit of Ukrainian-flavoured religion I knew was because they weren’t the same thing. Fascinating.
Does it change the way I view organised religion? No. Does it make me want to go back to the church? No.
It’s just an interesting piece of trivia and something new to research.
So… I’ve managed to come back from Toronto with more questions than answers and yet another kick in the ass to work harder on my Ukrainian.
I was expecting one and not the other.
I’m not discouraged by either.