Tuesday, 30 September 2008

I'm Crazy Like The Rest of Us


1) What is your favorite thing you've ever written?

Oh, I don't know. There's this great Ira Glass video where he basically says we all suck. "For the first couple years you're making stuff and it's not that good... but your taste is killer and it's good enough that you can tell that what you're making is still sort of crappy. A lot of people never get past that stage and they quit. It's only by actually going through a volume of work that you'll be able to catch up and close that gap."

So, um, me? I am so in that stage. And I'm only marginally proud of some of my writing (and the opposite of proud of the rest of it), and the stuff I've written that's most real is about this guy I loved and that is such a cliche, but all my other real significant feelings--the ones that turn into good stories, hopefully--are stuffed down instead of me. So, I wrote this in 2006 along with a whole bunch of other equally crappy stuff about being in love and being in love with a douchebag and it's still the most real I've gotten. Ira Glass, please save me from myself.

"I remember the first time I realized I loved you. We were sitting on that swing at the top of the hill under the tree. We were quiet for so long because you had crashed and I had crashed and for once it wasn't into each other and it wasn't together but there we were, on the swing at the top of the hill under the tree. And the wreckage was all around but below, not at the top of the hill."

2) Why do you girls all read literary books, most of which were assigned reading at one point in time or another? Why not trashy chick lit or sTori Tellings? Why no US Weekly or Heather Mills McCartney’s memoirs? Why does it always have to be either Harry's Potter or smarty smart books that provoke meaningful intelligent conversation. Why am I the only trashy reader on this board!!

Dude, the first book I ever wrote about was Bunny Tales: Behind Closed Doors at the Playboy Mansion.

3) If you could be 20 again and money and family obligations were not a concern, what are five things you would want to do? If you were 60 and money and family, blah, blah, blah, what are 5 things you would want to do? What accounts for the difference between the two?

I hate questions like this. ("I feel like it's a life and death decision that I don't have the capacity to make.")

4) In Marie Claire there is a section called "what I love about me" where women share their most favorite attribute (physical and otherwise)

Physically, I've become very attached to my tan, freckled shoulders this summer. Otherwise, I like that I can remember stuff real good and also that I don't lie to myself.

5) And my question for the oracle of the Collective is: What is the meaning of life?

Change begins with me.

6) I have friends who have lived in LA for years and still love it. My question to you is: Why are they insane and was it LA that made them that way? Aside from the weather, doesn't LA suck it? Hard?

It is so trendy to hate LA. I used to be a hater, but the sort of ignorant kind that I hate myself, the kind that said things like, "all there is is concrete, ew," and "traffic makes me want to die--LA SUCKS! HARD!" and "everyone here is so fake!" and "can't people just slow down and appreciate life??" without any sort of grasp of the city itself or who it was or why I would even dare like it. I was 19, though, so that's how I excuse my lame-o behavior.

I think loving travel makes it impossible to hate LA, because LA is a destination just as much as anything else. I don't mind living in a destination either, especially not this one with it's sprawling metropolis of different people groups, hard to find off ramps, beaches and mountains and freeways, limited-release movies, film sets, Mickey Mouse, amazing food, concert halls, small-town pride, also almost all of my favorite people.

One of my dear friends, Amanda, is a lover, too and you can't hate LA and also love her:

People who don’t love Los Angeles don’t want to give it a chance, and I think they may pay the same sort of attention to detail in other areas of their life. Los Angeles is a big huge monster of a place, but it isn’t what the movies say, and it isn’t what’s on T.V., it almost isn’t anything at all. It’s a complex relationship, all the best ones are. It takes time and energy to love, and the payout is immensely rewarding. [Like Prince Said]

Besides, as someone who grew up in humid Chicago covered in bug bites all summer long, I don't know if I'll ever be able to give up these mosquito-free summers. And these friends of yours? Are they cool? Because I'm always looking for more people to party with.

7) In addition to you all being great entertaining writers, don't you all take pictures? Please show us at least one photo you've taken that would qualify as a favorite, and tell us when you took it and why you love it.

I don't know if these are my favorites because I don't keep track of my photos very well. But here are two I like that also mean something.

At a coffee place in DC in 2006 when it was raining. My heart was so solidly lodged there, I cried when I went home.

From the roof of my office building. So much of my life takes place within this photo.

8) Not to bring up politics again or anything but what would you do with your first 100 days in office?

I hate politics. If I ever, God forbid, ended up in any sort of political office, I would do everything I could to change this fucking two-party system. The new president better be thinking this way too come January.

9) What song best sums up the history of your love life?

Speak, Nickel Creek
Please Don't Tell Her, Jason Mraz
Clarity, John Mayer
(Look! That video is totally a love letter to Los Angeles!)

(So, there are three songs. I'm a drama queen.)

10) Who is the best-developed character in the history of literature?

I defer to Heather!Anne! who is in charge of all literary criticism in my life. (She said Severus Snape.)

11) What is one thing you love about each of your fellow Collective-ers?

Heather!Anne! never complains about having to go first every week, and never complains about picking up after the rest of the world, but always complains about jelly bean and M&M shortages.

Kat!'s hobbies. There are so many things about her that are brag-worthy, but this one with it's knitting needles and model ships are the things I would wish in myself. She's the un-cliche version of treating every day like a new sheet of paper.

Jennie!'s version of spilling her guts is letting them leak out on weak days, and the way she does this, with her humor and her heart not only make it impossible to not love her, but make me hug her closer (like global warming).

12) What is one thing a person can do to make you judge him/her severely?

Um, EVERYTHING. I'm way more judgemental that I should be and I get judge-y about so many things. The first thing that comes to mind, though, is ignorance. I can't handle people talking about stuff and spouting opinions and acting all know-it-all-y when they have no idea what they're talking about it.

13) What was your horoscope yesterday? Is it accurate?

Did you know you could FREE horoscopes at horoscope.com?! That's right, TOTALLY FREE! I was shocked, thinking I would have to pony up some hard-earned cash for this treasured fortune:

Adopting a slightly pushy attitude is what you need to avoid today. Useful planetary aspects light the way for a better understanding of what makes people tick: being flexible works much better than being demanding. Don’t expect others to do the things you’re not prepared to do!


I had a teacher in high school who could guess people's astrology. She was always right. Isn't that interesting? I constantly am avoiding my slightly pushy attitude, because everyone knows that being flexible is what makes people like you and making people like you is how you get free stuff.

14) Answer with the first thing that pops into your mind. You can have one wish, what is it?

I would love a free pass for air travel. Kind of like that black Amex card that can get you into clubs or whatever, except this would get me on any flight in the world, whenever I wanted, and it would be FREE! And I could use it for friends and family too and then you all could come and we'd have Collective meet-ups everyday.

Monday, 29 September 2008

What is that mysterious ticking noise?

heather 1) What is your favorite thing you've ever written?

All the books say that when you are writing fiction, your characters will take over the dialogue, and if you deprive them the ability to say what they want to say by failing to properly transcribe it, the bottom falls out of your story and you lose all sense of authenticity. I was pretty sure that was horseshit until this one time when I was writing a story and the characters really did start talking to one another. One of the characters, she said this really, really dirty thing, and I could hardly bring myself to type it. But I did. And it turned out to be my favorite sentence I've ever written. It's simultaneously hilarious and lascivious and despicable and exactly the kind of thing you hope would spring to your very own lips if you found yourself in such a situation.

2) Why do you girls all read literary books, most of which were assigned reading at one point in time or another?

You know how, in high school and college, athletes gets razzed because they never do assigned reading, but professors pass them because they're athletes? Team Captain: Heather! Anne! I didn't even crack open a book until I was 24. I had a lot of catching up to do. (I still have a lot of catching up to do.)

3) If you could be 20 again and money and family obligations were not a concern, what are five things you would want to do? If you were 60 and money and family, blah, blah, blah, what are 5 things you would want to do? What accounts for the difference between the two?

You know, I think that being 20 with no money and more familial obligations than a Levitical priest made it so that when I was 30, I would stick it to the Man, take my backpack to Europe, and cut everything out of my life that wasn't sustenance for my soul. So, probably I wouldn't be 20 again. But I hope when I'm sixty I'm still the same as 30, with more wisdom and escrow.

4) In Marie Claire magazine there is a section called "what I love about me" where women share their most favorite attribute (physical and otherwise). What's yours?

Physically, I am very proud of how tall I am. Otherwise, I like that I can laugh at myself. And how I am stupidly empathetic.

5) And my question for the oracle of the Collective is: What is the meaning of life? (Caitlin)

When Jesus decided to tell people his mission on earth, he quoted from the prophet Isaiah. What he said was that he was going to bind up the brokenhearted, and be good to poor people, and release people from oppression (physical and otherwise). I don't know about the meaning of other people's lives, but mine is to do that: to bind up brokenhearted people. And to read Harry Potter over and over and over.

6) Heather Anne: Did you get another job? Are you once again under The Man's thumb or are you still free and writing like the wind and junk? And if the latter, what are you writing and does it involve amorous vampires or bawdy wenches (God, tell me you're not writing romance novels).

I will never be under the Man's thumb again. I am writing and junk, like the wind. And also I am whoring my skills out to small companies who need help not getting gobbled up by the IRS.

7) In addition to you all being great entertaining writers, don't you all take pictures? Please show us at least one photo you've taken that would qualify as a favorite, and tell us when you took it and why you love it.

April 2008, Jardin des Tuileries in Paris. It was the last picture I took in Europe this year, because my camera battery went dead right after and I couldn't find my charger
— even though I was living out of my backpack.

8) Not to bring up politics again or anything but what would you do with your first 100 days in office?

Sadly, I can't answer this question because I don't understand the true scope of what it means to be the executive of the United States of America. I'm not qualified to be president. And the fact that I know that is what sets me apart from Sarah Palin.

9) What song best sums up the history of your love life?

Rocky Top!

10) Who is the best-developed character in the history of literature?

Snape, Snape, Severus Snape

11) What is one thing you love about each of your fellow Collective-ers?

I love about Kat that she's a brilliant badass with a soft gooey center. I would absolutely pick Kat first for my team in anything.

I love about Jennie that she is equally hilarious in person and writing, and that she makes loyalty look so easy, and that sometimes she drunk-texts but never regrets it. I also love that she is involved in an ongoing covert war against Rush Limbaugh.

I love about Abigail that she sends me quotes like this:
Plus meanwhile I'm so sure Vanessa can't take care of herself, being an accomplished felon hailing from the rough streets of Hudson River Trailer Park via some maple-syrup harvesting commune in Lesbian, Vermont, pop. most of Vermont, and besides, I'm so sure she would even make it down that many flights of stairs. She'd give up halfway and be like, "I should just call these stairs and tell them how I feel."
And only Abigail and Jacob and I in the universe know it for how perfect those words are. Plus, she can (and will) argue the finer points of Biblical interpretation or the merits of The Hills with equal passion.

12) What is one thing a person can do to make you judge him/her severely?

He could repeatedly set his Facebook status to something politically ignorant when he doesn't know crap about politics, and I should know as knowing him unto even biblical proportions was once a favorite pastime.

13) What was your horoscope yesterday? Was it accurate?

"You're a risk-taker by nature and while you might not fight oil well fires or run with the bulls, you do take chances that others would shy away from. Today brings the chance to do just that!"

I think that means my investments are still on fire, so yeah, pretty accurate.

14) Answer with the first thing that pops into your mind. You can have one wish, what is it?

I wish I had a strawberry-banana smoothie and thicker skin so the world couldn't beat me up so easily.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Phone It In, Lawbreakers!

Time to 'fess up, hoodlums. When, where, and how did you break the law? And, do you have pictures?

Also, we'll be posting our answers to your questions next week. So, if you have any more questions for any or all of us, post them in the comments. We'll answer anything.

You know we love you.



Thursday, 25 September 2008

I fought the law and the law...well, you know.

Jennie At first, I was worried about posting all the illegal things I've done because my parents read this. But then I realized they know about the ALLEGED underage drinking and the ALLEGED streaking of The Hollow when I lost my bra (being naked outside is illegal, right?) and the ALLEGED speeding and that time Mary and I ALLEGEDLY set a tiny fire in the parking lot of our apartment complex and got caught by a security guard on a bike and when I ALLEGEDLY climbed the fence to go swimming and that time I ALLEGEDLY ran through like three tollbooths in Chicago (I WAS LATE TO A WEDDING I HAD TO). So, you know, that's no big deal. But what if someone from work finds this? I'd better keep my mouth shut.

Here's this, though:

L 001

This may or may not have belonged to the Pubic Public Library.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

criminal record says I broke in twice


appendix a

(So maybe that's not the actual key, but that's what it looks like. Jennie can verify!)

appendix b
Evidence that I did not cheat:
me and the latex
(something latex)

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Sunday Bonus!

Abs heather Jennie

Our little Abigail's Southwest Airlines blog-o-spondent video is up. You only have three hours to vote, so please do it now!

Voting is open until 1:00 p.m. PST.

Friday, 19 September 2008

avast, me hearties

You know what doesn't make our tummies hurt? Talk Like a Pirate Day. Because. Um. Pirates = awesome. It's like the easiest math in the world.

Apparently lots of other stuff makes our tummies hurt, though. What about you, Internets? What makes you want to poo your pants?


Dear Internets, please use today's comments to NOT ONLY tell us what makes your tummy hurt, but also ask us some questions. We will answer them in a couple weeks. You may ask us as a group, or if you want to know where Kat learned her sweet cooking skills or how Heather Anne got so nice or if Abigail has ever considered stalking Ed Helms or how many times Jennie fell down yesterday . . . you may ask us individually. You get it. I mean, it's pretty easy. Please ask lots, otherwise our posts will be really, really short.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

tastes like burning

Jennie Once upon a time, there was a hurricane so powerful (or something) that the winds reached all the way to Ohio. And, as Ohio is unprepared to deal with hurricanes PLUS ALSO they'd sent a bunch of their electric company peoples down to Texas, the power was out for days and days and days. Then I had to throw away lots of food. Like . . . lots of food. That made my tummy hurt. Although, it probably would have made my tummy hurt worse if I'd eaten that salmon so . . . silver lining?

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Things that make my tummy hurt.

(In no particular order)

Fox News
District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 1695 (2008)
My boyfriend's driving
My job
Denver, Colorado
Sarah Palin
Chili cheese fries
Falling in love
La Traviata
The Miami Dolphins
Bill O'Reilly
Being an ass
The Christian Coalition
Global warming
Returning phone calls
Ann Coulter
Falling out of love
Animal cruelty
Raw onions
My mother
Election coverage
Pickled herring
The internets
Yucca Mountain
SWANCC v. USACOE, 531 U.S. 159 (2001)
Elliot Smith
Having my picture taken
Bubble gum flavor
IMAX in 3D

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

And Pepto Bismol has grossed me out since my friend Isaac chugged it because he was so sick.

In 2005, one of the seven things I said most often was "my tummy hurts."

(ALERT! I just linked to my old blog! The one I wrote when I was in college and emo and stuff. Come back! Save yourselves!)

Slowly, over the last three years, I've said it less and less as I figured out what to eat, and I figured out that fucked up relationships not a happy life make, and that where and who you live with makes all the difference in the world.

(I sure am sentimental today. It happens sometimes. I can't help it. I love sorting through my memories almost as much as I love change although I hardly ever admit the former.)

When I was in college and my tummy hurt, it hurt because it couldn't do it all. It couldn't work all the time and have complicated relationships and try to balance out the flippity-floppity bump-bump bump-bumpity of my heart, and I was feeding it whatever I could find. If I don't eat regularly (which I didn't for about 6 years in there), I get cravings. The kind of cravings that pregnant women like to brag about and not pregnant people like to joke about. What Abigail? You're hungry and all you want is bbq chicken? You won't eat anything else? Are you pregnant, hahaha? It's not funny, actually, because a) I've been hearing it my whole life, and b) what is this? A romantic comedy? Quick, develop twenty-seven plot devices to make sure we all are panicked en route to the hospital and if possible have the father be thousands of miles away, desperate trying to get back. And maybe he could befriend a good samaritan who will give him his seat on the plane... what was I saying? I've seen way too many bad movies.


I finally figured out about 10 different meals that I like. And every week I go to Trader Joe's and buy them. And I swear to you, if I do not deviate from this plan, my tummy does not hurt. It's a good thing I have those because things that make my tummy hurt: eating out, anything cooked in butter, too much cake, pork, and juice on an empty stomach.

Then there's all the non-food things. Like finding out people I trusted shouldn't be trusted. Or saying something that was only for one person to hear, and then finding out others heard it. Any story where anyone accidentally hits "reply all" instead of "reply sender." Losing cash. When my phone rings and it's someone I'm not expecting a call from because I immediately think they're mad at me. Tragic news. Getting too cold. Slamming on the brakes. Especially when my friends are in the car. Being late to something important. Steroids for my asthma. Waiting for the call.

Good thing I don't react to complaining. Otherwise I'd be dead.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

heather I hear tales of a place in the middle of the country where the American electorate isn't radically polarized — where fear-mongering Republicans don't spook people with "family values" tales of the horrors of allowing gay people to adopt children, where fiscally-manipulative Democrats don't promise to take your boss' Christmas bonus and split between all of your lesser-paid pals. I think they call that place Iowa.

I wouldn't know about that because I live in a place where the majority of people practice situational constitutionalism — happy to give up their rights so long as the person in power agrees with them, happy to vote Republican so long as someone from a pulpit told them to do so.

Other people live in a place where the boundless government of the Democratic party is the only answer worth listening to. To these people, all Republicans are nothing more than gun-totin' hillbillies, religious zealots who blow up abortion clinics.

If you are determined to support Barack Obama no matter what, you will overlook the insult tossed out by his wife when she said: "Barack will never let you go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed." You will ignore his worrisome church ties. You will cover your ears when mention is made of his broken promise to operate within the public-financing system in this election.

If you are determined to support John McCain no matter what, you will overlook the fact that he chose a completely unqualified, unvetted running mate. You will look the other way when someone shows you how he has waffled and pandered to the religious Right in the last two years.

Someone will say Barack Obama did this, and someone else will argue that John McCain did that. Back and forth they will go until the only sound in the country is shouting and storming, and you realize no one was ever really listening at all. Everyone was just waiting for his turn to talk.

Last week I was scribbling away on a piece of paper in the kitchen when Amy said from the living room, "Whatcha doin? Writing the Deceleration of Independence?"

"Yes," I said. "How'd you know?"

"That's what you do when there is blank paper in front of you," she said.

I said, "Sometimes I write the Constitution."

"Ah yes," she said, grinning across the room. "But when you do that, you hum My Country 'Tis of Thee."

I love the United States, I do. And this moment, if I were to look in the Mirror of Erised, I'd see millions of people making intelligent, thoughtful decisions about the coming election. Decisions based on facts. Decisions bearing in mind the actual role of the president of the United States. We'd listen to one another. We'd respectfully disagree. And then we'd vote, because that's what "free country" means, after all.

This week's Collective topic is "Things That Make My Tummy Hurt."

The thing that makes my tummy hurt is this year's election. And even so, I cannot look away.

The thing that makes my tummy better is this video:

Friday, 12 September 2008

Phone It In: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Let's recap what we've learned this week, shall we?

a) Kat! is a Slytherin who would rock Hogwarts castle with her potion making skills, and introduce the magical world to flashlights given the chance.

b) Jennie! is a Gryffindor whose Seussical prose would make her great friends with Peeves the Poltergeist.

c) Abigail! is a Gryffindor who would love to get her hands on a Time Turner.

d) Heather! Anne! is a Hufflepuff who has actually tried to get through to Platform 9 3/4 on more than one occasion.

Tell us, friends, what book would you love to live inside, or at least travel to on occasion, if you had the chance? You know, in addition to Harry Potter.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

oh, the places you'll go

Jennie That's it. I give up. I tried to find a book other than Harry Potter that I'd want to live in, but I JUST. CAN'T. DO IT. Even during the darkest Voldemort years, no other book could compare to the joys of being inside Harry Potter (heh). Believe me. I tried to come up with something.

My first thought was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but I don't suppose it'd be much fun to live in that book unless you were Charlie or Charlie's family or, of course, Willy Wonka. The Oompa Loompas are basically slaves YEAH I KNOW they get paid in cocoa beans but cocoa beans are not as good as money. They're better. HAHAHA. Ahem. Anyway, all the other characters in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory seem horrid. I'd rather hang out with Peter Pettigrew's dead, moldy finger than Violet Beauregard.

My next thought was, of course, Pride & Prejudice. Mainly because of The Darcy, but also because I've always thought it'd be sort of fun to fanny about with the press releases in fancy dresses saying things like, "Thither goes Wickham!" and "Quite the contrary, I assure you." But then I decided that if I had to wear a fancy dress all day long and not say inappropriate things and NOT break up Lizzie and Darcy, I'd probably throw myself under a carriage the first chance I got.

And then, you know,
I thought, "what ho!"
To a Seuss book I will go!

The Lorax? Well, sure.
But I'm not too mature.
For environment woes, Kat is the cure.

The Cat in the Hat is more my style,
But should we hang out, even just for a while,
I'm sure, pretty sure, we'd end up in exile.

If, by some chance, we end up on the lam,
I wouldn't mind trying some Green Eggs and Ham,
I'm quite sure I'd like it, quite sure, Sam I am.

Perhaps Horton is lonely with only the Whos.
Perhaps for a while, he might tell them adieu.
I'm sure he would like if I taught him kung-fu.

But if I should go,
I'm not so gung-ho,
about all this speaking in rhyme, you know?

Seriously, how annoying would that be?
I think I'll just stick with Harry Potter,
if that's all right by you.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Damned near impossible to see.

One of the biggest problems with posting third is that sometimes, like the best seat in the movie theatre or the last fudgsicle in the freezer, all the best answers are already taken. This is one of those times. So even though it feels like I'm phoning it in a bit, I'm gonna go out on a limb and proclaim to the world (or at least the internets portion of the world) that if I could live inside one book it would be the book(s) of Harry Potter. And if I had to pick just one of the book(s) of Harry Potter I would pick and the Prisoner of Azkaban because I LOVE REMUS LUPIN. There. I said it.

Now I know there is some debate as to which house (into which) I would be sorted (into)*, but make no mistake about it, if I were a witch I'd be Slytherin. You may think differently because the internet is kind and good and thinks the best of everybody, but I know my own heart and I am as selfish as the day is long, I am as spiteful as the night is dark, and I hate people more than anything on God's increasingly brown and disgusting Earth. I am Slytherin, but I am no supporter of Voldemort.


There. I said it.

Listen, the fact of the matter is that were I to live in the book(s) of Harry Potter, chances are very likely I'd be no witch at all. I am muggle material through and through, or more likely squib, relegated to the ranks of the overlooked, the unwanted, always looking in at what I so desperately want but will never ever have. And it sucks. But it's my lot in life; it's not a lot, but it's life.**

Some other things that suck:
  • Quills. If wizards would just use a goddamned pen like everyone else, ink wouldn't be running all over everybody's junk all the time.
  • Lumos. The tip of one's wand never seems to light up more than a tiny circle around one's feet. You want to see in the dark? Use a flashlight.
  • Platform 9 3/4. The wall is halfway between platforms 9 and 10. Whence the 3/4?
And some other stuff. But my head is full of goo and I have the sinus headache from hell so I'm going to stop writing now.

*Help me, Sister Bernadette!
**What the hell is this from?

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

How little are they? I mean, are they like scary little?

Like all decisions wherein I have to make a Serious Commitment, I am divided on this issue. If I got to live inside of a book FOREVER, how would I ever choose? Here's three tempting tales.

1. Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

This was always my favorite book of the Little House series because there wasn't as much terror and hard life on the prairie and there was always a lot of food and neat, friendly animals. Things would be a little different--they don't have internet there and they actually do walk to school in the snow uphill both ways--but if I got an obliviate charm I would like it. Except the parts where we'd eat our pets.

2. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Time travel is kind of my pet sci-fi interest. I read articles about how it's possible and I love bad movies about it. This book was heart-breaking, but just in the way that humanity already is. I like my heartbreak with a side of forever love and time travel, thank you.

3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling


Monday, 8 September 2008

Better be... GRYFFINDOR!

heather A long, long time ago, Vahid asked us what book world we would travel into if we had the chance. It's a great question, so we needed some time to think it over. Okay, that's a lie. It is a great question, but I knew my answer right away. Even you knew my answer right away.

In the magical world of Harry Potter, I would be a Chaser on the Hufflepuff Quidditch team. My best subject would be Charms, my worst subject would be Potions. I would grow up to be a reporter for The Daily Prophet or a teacher at Hogwarts, and I would make 9,300 Galleons a year.

What about you?

You can get sorted here. (Abigail! and I have an issue with that quiz. If you'd rather, we can sort you.)

You can find out how much magical money you make here.

And you can pick your best and worst subject right here!

Defense Against the Dark Arts
History of Magic
Ancient Runes
Care of Magical Creatures
Muggle Studies

Oh, and Abigail's a Gryffindor. Kat and Jennie are Ravenclaw. Don't let them tell you any different.

(Yes, that's a Prefect badge.)

Friday, 5 September 2008

I'm gonna go watch a moooooovie

Jennie I was going to be brief and just tell you what movies I saw and what movies I didn't see, but why do that when I can tell you all that PLUS ALSO babble about all the movies I DID see? I saw a lot them. Well. Not as many as I could have, but more than I normally do. Anyway. Movies. Go!

Summer movies I meant to see in the theater and still might see, provided I don't forget, which, let's face it, is what will happen:

Iron Man
Pineapple Express
Tropic Thunder

Summer movie I almost saw, but decided not to because I didn't want to tarnish my childhood memories any more than Alvin & the Chipmunks already did:

Indiana Jones

Summer movies I saw plus some babbling:

The Dark Knight - This is the first ever movie I saw on opening night and by opening night I really mean Friday morning at 12:01 or whatever. I don't have anything to add to what's already been said about this movie so I'm just going to say this: Christian Bale is hot, The Joker was way scary, and that pencil thing was disgusting.

Get Smart - I didn't have high expectations for this movie, really. I mean, yeah, Steve Carell is funny. We know this. And Anne Hathaway was all sorts of awesome. The movie wasn't ground-breaking or brilliant or anything, but it was a lot of fun and that's about all I can ask for in a movie.

Mamma Mia! - OH MY GOD, you guys, I HATED THIS MOVIE. SO MUCH. To this day, I'm not even sure why I wanted to see it, but I think it had something to do with wanting to hear "Dancing Queen" in movie-theater-sound. This is similar to why I went to see Walk the Line in the theater, because I really just wanted to hear them play "Ring of Fire." The difference between Walk the Line and Mamma Mia!, though, is Walk the Line was awesome and Mamma Mia! made me want to poke out my eyes and then use my eyeballs as earplugs.

Sex and the City - You know, I wanted to like this movie. I liked the show a lot. But the more I think about it, the more I hate it. People kept talking about how it was fun to see the characters again, so who cares if the movie wasn't the greatest. Yeah. I guess? But . . . no, you know what? The movie wasn't good. It was way too long and every storyline was terrible and Carrie's weirdo wedding hat thing was ugly.

The Strangers
- I'm going to be completely honest with you. Heidi and I only went to see this movie because we wanted to get a 123 GoBox. We almost just got the Go Box and then left, but we felt like losers, so we saw a movie, too. This movie scared the shit out of me. LITERALLY. OK, not literally. But close. When we got back to the apartment, we turned on all the lights and I opened every closet to make sure no one was hiding inside.


Wanted - Gunfire! Explosion! Looms? OK? Michael Scott reviewed Wanted, so why don't you just read that.

WarGames - Technically this movie didn't come out this year, but they showed it in theaters this summer, so it totally counts. We ended up only seeing about three-fourths of this movie, because the satellite feed or whatever got all jacked up, but we saw that three-fourths for free so . . . awesome. Maybe it was the computer that jacked up the satellite feed. Can we say sequel? Oh wait, there already was a sequel.

The X-Files - You guys know how much it hurts me to say this, but The X-Files movie kind of sucked. Yeah. I said it. I can say it, because I love me some X-Files. I guess it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't very X-Filey. I know Tooms got smooshed by an escalator or whatever, but couldn't they have brought him back? Maybe he had a twin brother. Also. Skinner was in it for like 5 minutes. And Scully's hair was too long, it made her head look giant. And Mulder's beard was weird and distracting. And maybe my hopes were a wee bit too high and that's why I didn't really like the movie that much. It's sort of like the Sex and the City movie, where it was fun to see the characters again, but if you judge the movie on its own merits, it kind of blew chunks. I have more thoughts on this, but I'm going to stop now before the X-Philes reading this kill me, kill me dead.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Our life is not a movie or maybe.

Hi, my name is Kat and I don't watch television. You probably already know that about me, but now I am going to BLOW YOUR MIND: I didn't watch a single movie this summer. Nope, not a one.

But I had to have a post for today so these are the books I read in May, June, July, and August, and subsequently reviewed at Collective favorite, Goodreads:

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, which was recommended to me by my good friend and Collective favorite, Grad School Reject. I gave it 4 stars, and said some drivel about Stevens being an interesting foil, a cold white heart to size up against my cold black one. Obviously I was drunk.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, about which my dearest Alex remarked, "Are you reading this because everyone on the Collective is obsessed with it?" Answer = yes. 4 stars, though I wish I could have given it 3.5 (it got boring once everyone had to go off and get married to the wrong people.)

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, recommended to me by my boyfriend Ryan Adams. "Bloop bloop bleep," I said, and gave it 3 stars. Obviously I was drunk.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman, which I've been meaning to read since I was 10 but could never find the book. I wish the internets never existed because that's where I found this book. It sucked. 2 stars.

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, a continuance of my long overdue Austen education (a remedial course was required as a prerequisite to joining The Collective). I'll reproduce for you my review in its entirety: "No, it is 'Fanny' that I think of all day, and dream of all night. Heh." Obviously I was drunk. 3 stars.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Okay, now I know you're going to say that I already read this back in January, but I was desperately in need of a re-read due to circumstances I choose not to discuss (June 10, apparently). Also, SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! FIVE STARS!

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I have no idea why I read this. Obviously I was drunk when I bought it. 4 stars.

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell, thus beginning the series of books that I read because I saw them on PBS's Masterpiece first and thought they were delightful. (Okay, okay, I do watch the occasional television program. Sue me.) This particular miniseries had some British heavyweights, among them no less than Dame Judi Dench and that cute boy who played Mr. Bingley in the most recent P&P adaptation. I generally love Gaskell, but I thought the movie was better. 3 stars.

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster, thus concluding the series of books that I read because I saw them on PBS's Masterpiece first and thought they were delightful. (Okay, okay, I do watch the occasional television program. But only very occasionally.) I really liked the chapter titles. 4 stars.

Netherland by Joseph O'Neill, which was recommended to me by pretty much the entire reading world. Also, SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! FIVE STARS!

Persuasion, by Jane Austen, further continuing my long overdue Austen education. Possibly my favorite so far. 4 stars.

Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens. You guys, I heart this book so hard. 5 stars.

Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro, which I read because Jennie!, Abigail!, Grad School Reject, and I thought also Peefer but I could be wrong, all read it, and I am nothing but a sucker for peer pressure. So this is what I said about it: "So I was reading this and reading this, thinking heck, this book isn't so sad, until I got to the last page. And then I locked myself up in the bathroom because I couldn't stop crying." Obviously I was drunk at the time. 4 stars.

The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams. I never get any of the theatre questions right on Jeopardy! (Okay, okay, I do watch the occasional television program. Sue me.) so I've been trying to sprinkle in a play or two here and there. 2 stars.

Which leaves us with the book I am currently reading. But I won't tell you what that is because I haven't finished it yet and this is a spoiler-free zone. Even though I already know that Tess dies in the end.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Wherein I frighten you with my obsessive list-making skillz and my bad taste in movies

All lists are based on the movies released in May, June, July, and August according to this list.

Wide Release Movies I Saw This Summer
rated in order of how much I liked them and since I'm not very good at deciding how much I like things this is based on whether I'll rewatch it or not:

1. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (bonus award: most anticipated summer movie)
2. Sex and the City: The Movie (second most anticipated)
3. Wall-E
4. Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
5. Get Smart
6. Mamma Mia
7. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
8. What Happens in Vegas
9. The House Bunny

Further disclaimer: I actually enjoyed all of these movies, so I felt bad ranking them. This was a good summer for movies. Also, I don't really rewatch movies so I don't know why I thought that would be a good way to rank. I HATE RANKING. IT SUCKS.

Limited Release Movies I Saw This Summer:
Henry Poole is Here
I totes feel guilty about this category because, hi, I live in the capital of limited release movies. I take it for granted.

How Much I Spent on Movies This Summer:
$75 exactly which is about $8.30 per movie
Not bad. Most I spent for a movie was $14, least was $2.

Movies I Meant to See But Fell Through the Cracks:
Iron Man
Made of Honor
Son of Rambow
Kung Fu Panda
Kit Kittridge: An American Girl
Pineapple Express

At $8.30 a movie I saved myself about $70!

No One I Know Saw These Wide Release Movies:
Speed Racer
You Don't Mess With the Zohan
The Happening
The Love Guru
Meet Dave
Swing Vote
Tropic Thunder
The Rocker
Death Race
The Longshots
Babylon AD
Disaster Movie

Wide-Release Movies I Totally Had Zero Interest in Seeing
(in addition to the above list):

The Strangers
The Incredible Hulk
Hellboy II
Journey to the Center of the Earth
The Dark Knight
Step Brothers
X-Files (sorry, Ashley)
The Mummy
Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Clearly, I don't like scary movies or comic book movies. I actually tend to enjoy comic book movies once I'm watching them, but they are never on my "must see list" which is always so long that I never stretch my comfort zone.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Goodbye, summer.

heather So the page has turned on another season. Of course, thanks to global warming there's really no such thing as a proper seasonal weather change anymore, and another generation of polar bears will be without homes at the end of "autumn", but whatever let's talk about movies. (This election has my angst level sitting on a constant 10, you guys. I'm really sorry.)

I saw a lot of movies this summer, and rather than drone on and on about them (as is my wont), here are my reviews in 10 words or less.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
: C.S. Lewis's misogyny replaced with bad-ass Susan Pevensie. Awesome!

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: The world hated it, but I kinda liked it.

Sex and the City: The Movie: So glad Aidan Shaw didn't show up! Hate that guy.

Kung Fu Panda: Best Dreamworks animation to yet, brilliant kung fu sequences.

Get Smart: Kind of made me fall in love with Anne Hathaway.

Wall-E: Best movie of my whole life. Will own DVD!

Wanted: Amy loves to see Angelina Jolie shoot guns. Me: meh.

The Dark Knight: Still having nightmares about the Joker.

Mamma Mia:
The hottest hot mess ever. Colin Firth, *smooooch*

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2: Shut it, you. I love these books and this movie.

Space Chimps: Shockingly funny.

It's fall television time now, and it's election season too. Maybe I'll just put on my headphones and drown myself in Gossip Girl. Hurry up, Office! Hurry up, 30 Rock!