accio movie tickets

Happy Independence Day, everybody!  Since there’s a fireworks ban in San Antonio due to drought, Trey and I are spending July 4th enjoying a Harry Potter marathon in preparation for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (out in theatres July 15th).

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been so excited about a movie premier since X-Men: First Class!  Oh, was that just this summer?  I guess I get excited about a lot of movies.  Still, I’m pretty excited about this one. I mean, of course, it’s going to fall short of the amazing writing of J.K. Rowling in her book (all movies do), but it’s still going to be amazing.  Which is why I’m forcing myself to wait until after seeing the movie before re-reading the entire series.

In honor of the upcoming final installment of the Harry Potter saga, here are a handful of my favorite movie quotes.  Enjoy!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Dumbledore (Richard Harris): about Every Flavor Beans

“I was most unfortunate in my youth to come across a vomit-flavored one, and since then I’m afraid I’ve lost my liking for them. But, I think I could be safe with a nice toffee. (eats it)  Mm, alas, earwax.”

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Draco Malfoy ( Tom Felton): to Harry disguised as Goyle

“Reading? I didn’t know you could read.”

Gilderoy Lockhart (Kevin Braughnaugh): after suffering from his own memory charm

“Amazing!  This is just like magic!”

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint): reading Harry’s tea leaves

“Oh yeah… well, Harry’s got a sort of wonky cross… that’s trials and suffering. And, uh, that there could be the sun, and that’s happiness, so… you’re gonna suffer… but you’re gonna be happy about it.”

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint): about Fleur Delacour

“There she was, just walking by…you know how I like it when they walk.”

 Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith): about the Yule Ball

“We and our guests gather in the main hall for a night of wellmannered frivolity.”

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Uncle Vernon (Richard Griffiths):regarding the dementor attack on Dudley

“Look at him Petunia! Our boy’s gone yumpy!

Luna Lovegood (Evanna Lynch): regarding her radish necklace

“It’s a charm actually…keeps away the nargles. I hope there’s pudding.”

Kingsley Shacklebolt (George Harris): regarding Dumbledore’s dramatic exit via Phoenix

“Whoa.  You may not like him, minister, but you can’t deny, Dumbldore’s got style.”

Harry Potter and Half Blood Prince

  Severus Snape (Alan Rickman): mocking Harry’s accusation of Draco

“You just… know? Once again, you astonish me with your gifts Potter. Gifts mere mortals could only dream of possessing. How grand it must be, to be the chosen one.”

Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint): discussing what makes girls attractive

Hermione’s got nice skin…as skin goes, I mean.”

Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe): regarding Ron’s reaction to a love potion 

“Alright, fine, you’re in love with her…have you ever actually met her?”

Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon): regarding Ron asking for Hermione instead of Lavender at the hospital

“Oh, to be young and to feel love’s keen sting.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

 George Weasley (): in response to Fred asking how he feels after having his ear blown off

“Saint-like.  I’m holy.  I’m ‘holey’ Fred, get it?”

Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint): regarding Harry leaving to find the horcruxes on his own

“Leave Hermione, are you mad?  We wouldn’t last two days without her.  Don’t tell her I said that.”

 Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe): in response to Ron asking if Hermione would be mad at him forever

“Well, just keep talking about that little ball of light touching your heart, she’ll come ’round.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

TBA!  I’m so excited!!!

to dance

I see dance being used as communication between body and soul, to express what it too deep to find for words. 
~Ruth St. Denis

When I was little(er), my parents signed me up for beginning ballet and tap classes.  I vividly remember the two numbers we performed at our recital:  “I am a Koala Bear” (tap) and “We are Dancing Poodles” (ballet).  There’s video evidence out there somewhere. 

One of my greatest regrets in life is that I didn’t continue to dance.  In fact, I all but stopped.  The closest I got when I was a little older was gymnastics class.  And when I was older yet, musical theatre.

The first show I auditioned for after college was “Threads of Hope,” written by Spartanburg natives Bob Showalter and Ed Connelly, directed by Jimm Cox and performed by the USC Upstate Shoestring Playters.  I didn’t even intend to audition at first, I was just there for moral support for mi madre.  But the director asked, in quite a loud voice, “why aren’t you auditioning for my show?” So I did.  Sure, I could pull out a random song to sing a cappella, but the dance audition was something I wasn’t expecting.  Much to my surprise, I was cast as a Primary Dancer. Primary Dancer?  Me?  The extent of my training was first position and shuffle-ball-change.  But I did it.  And I loved it. 

As the years went by, I got cast in shows with increasingly more difficult dancing, and was regularly pulled to the front of the group.  Sometimes, I was the example:  “Come, we dance!”  Thanks, Carlos.  The most dificult stage dancing I ever did was when I was cast as Demeter in CATS.  The Jellicle Ball was insane, and while it totally kicked my butt and left me out of breath, heart racing, it made me feel completely alive.

Some time later I signed up for an adult dance class.  It met once a week for 8 or 10 weeks and was taught by the amazing April Schaefer.  And, while I wasn’t the best, I was near the top of the class.

Season 8 of So You Think You Can Dance is gearing up and it brings back that little feeling of regret.  Oh how much I regret not continuing to take dance lessons.  Because watching other people move like that, like they’ve been dancing their entire lives, brings me to tears. 

I’m a bit partial to Contemporary dance, mostly because it’s so emotional.  It’s feeling the music with your entire body.  It’s ecstacy and pain and guilt and regret and joy and sorrow and love all expressed by the movements of a body. 

Oh how I wish I could do that.

I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance.  ~Friedrich Nietzsche

dear reader

I always love it when an author acknowledges you as “dear reader.” It’s like they know you’re there and they appreciate your reading their work.  It opens that fourth wall right up and acknowledges the bond that is formed when you read a book.  Certain books touch you, affect you, and change the way you think, even feel about things.  The best books inspire you. 

When I’m shopping around for a book, I always open it up and read a page or two from the middle.  I don’t choose a book for the plot or the subject matter, I try to choose a book based on the author’s writing style.  The vocabulary, the turn of phrase (fyi: I love the phrase “turn of phrase”…I also keep trying to spell phrase with an f), the use of punctuation, these are the things that make me want to read (or not read) a particular book.  I think it’s this reason that being called “dear reader” warms my heart.  Because, not only did I choose that author, not just the book, but that author is glad I chose them. 

There is currently a stack of four books on my nightstand, just waiting for me to dive in, and for some reason I can’t choose where to start.  My father, for as long as I can remember, has always been able to read two, three…sometimes four books at a time.  Quite frankly, I’m just too ADD for that.  And yes, that is self-diagnosed. 

What was I saying?

Ah yes.  I can’t seem to choose, because I can’t seem to decide who’s voice best suits my recent mood. 

As I write this, I’m watching You’ve Got Mail.  And right now it makes me want to go curl up in a corner at Barnes & Noble and get lost in the pages of some deep piece of fiction. 

I don’t know why I felt like sharing all this today, it’s not even what I was thinking about when I clicked “new post” on my blogger dashboard page.  I guess all this is meant to say thank you, dear reader, for blindly following my random thoughts…it really does mean a lot.

happiness

Have you ever had a peice of art overwhelm you?

Van Gogh’s  Starry Night leaves me with a sense of melancholy.

Anything by Jackson Pollack leaves me pensive.

Coolidge’s Dogs Playing Poker makes me smile.

Wood’s American Gothic makes me feel hearty.

Valdes smiling worms make me giggle (that’d be the artwork I bought back in June).

 

But this painting, by a child in the Spartanburg Foster Care system fills me with absolute joy.

 

At the mall there’s a huge bulletin board called the Community Art Wall.  For the better part of the summer, the display on the bulletin board was by the children of Foster Care Spartanburg.  Mostly finger paintings.  Some of them had various animals, houses, hearts and stars.  But it was the above painting, by a child named Marcell (I think – it was hard to read on the back of the picture), that captured my heart.  Every time I walked past it, I would stop and stare.  Quite frankly, the only thing that kept me from just sneakily taking it was the fact that it was by an orphan. 

About a month ago, I was shopping with mom and I wanted to show her the picture.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before, but mom suggested I call Foster Care and just ask about it.  So I called…and left a voice mail.  About a day later, I got a voice mail.  I left another voice mail.  I got another voice mail. 

After the longest game of phone tag in the history of the world, I finally spoke with Cindy at Foster Care Spartanburg, who told me that I was more than welcome to have the picture. 

I picked it up a couple weeks ago and it’s sitting on my dresser, waiting to be framed. 

If you, or anyone you know, is interested in adopting or hosting a foster child, please contact Foster Care of Spartanburg, www.fcspartanburg.com.

game day

First and foremost, let me say (in the loudest voice you can imagine):

GO COCKS!!!  When Trey and I got off the plane in Phoenix, the first thing we did was check the game score on his phone…we landed in just enough time to catch the last five minutes.  And we’re pretty sure we were the only people in Arizona cheering for an East Coast  team. 

More about Arizona later…this post is about football.  More specifically, football season. 

You can feel it in the air.  It’s not just fall; it’s not just the cooler temperatures, or the leaves turning colors…it’s the excitement in the air that comes with the game.  It comes with the hype and the rivalries and the anticipation.  It comes with the tailgating and the face painting and the crowds cheering.  It’s an energy that is completely contagious…whether you’re a die hard fan or not. 

Because football, more than about strength or agility or strategy, is about heart.  That’s why we love a football movie.  That’s why The Blind Side busted box office records and why We Are Marshall and Remember the Titans left countless grown men teary eyed in theaters across the country.  I love a good football movie…LOVE it.  It’s filled with hope, fear, love, family, comedy, suspense and usually a little romance…a football movie has everything. Even if you’re not a big football fan. 

I can’t get into a game unless it’s a team I’m invested in…USC Gamecocks, Carolina Panthers, Appalachian State Mountaineers and whoever makes it to the Super Bowl (but we all know that’s just good for the commercials and the half time show).  But even though I don’t spend my days in front of the tv watching the games, I still check up on the scores – because there’s a sort of community that comes from sharing in the losses and victories that go down on the field. 

Football is about heart.  Happy game day.

let’s twist again

For those who know me well (and even those who know me not-so-well), it’s not hard to miss the fact that I am technologically resistant.  It’s not that I’m techno-ignorant, it’s that I quite simply don’t like change.  Technology reminds me that life moves too fast.  I well remember the good ole days when mom’s Motorola bag phone for the car was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. Also…did I mention I don’t like change.  Well, I don’t. At all. 

So, as I’m sure you can imagine, I dread every two years when the time comes to upgrade my cell phone.  D-R-E-A-D it! Trey loves it because it means he gets to upgrade to some other ridiculously technological device (I’m pretty sure the new model of the Droid can make pancakes). I hate it because two years is just enough time for me to get 100% comfortable with the phone I already have! 

However, the last time I got a new phone marks a significant moment in my technological history.  My Nokia Twist is is the first cell phone I’ve ever had that I actually liked.  I mean, actively, purposefully, would-recommend-it-to-anyone liked! Aye, but here’s the catch…I’m also soon to be on number four.

My first Twist literally snapped in half and was held together by a single cable that  was attached at the swivel ring.

My second Twist got in an accident: I forgot it was in my lap when getting out of the car and it went SPLAT, face down on the driveway, permanently making the screen go all wibbly.

My third Twist just decided yesterday that it no longer wanted to have a vibrate mode.  I always, ALWAYS have my phone on vibrate.  Mostly because ring-tones confuse me – I hear that song I like and just start singing along, it never registers that that means “answer the phone, ya dumb-butt.”

So today, I went down to the Verizon store (where the devil lives) to see if they could smack some sense into my beloved Twist the Third.  Sadly, no.  My new Twist should arrive in the mail Wednesday or Thursday. I’ll call it Quatro. 

I love my phone.  I love the way it looks, I love it’s size, I love that the swivel ring lights up when I get a text, I love that I can choose what color it lights up, I love that it fits comfortably into my front pocket, and I love all it’s features…but please, just for once, it’d be great if it’d actually WORK!

when I grow up

Ask your average 3rd grader and they’ll have a ready made response…ask your average college student and they’ll stare at you blankly as tears well up in their eyes and they fight back the urge to kick you in the shin.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

An astronaut, a cowboy, ballerina, teacher, doctor, lawyer, investment banker, missionary, preacher, photographer, actor, lounge singer, scuba diver, international spy…

As my 29th birthday was fast approaching, I realized something: I still don’t know the answer to that question.  But, thankfully, I’ve grown out of the desire to cry and kick people when they ask me.  Somewhere along the way, we make a timeline for ourselves.  I thought that by 25 I’d be married, thinking of children and well on my way to my desired career path.  Now I’m 29 (holy cow…I’m TWENTY NINE!) and only one of those things has been checked off the grand To-Do list of my life.  And strangely, that’s an okay place to be.

So, maybe I can’t tell you what I want to be when I grow up, but I CAN tell you this:  I do not want to be a stock supervisor, store manager, courier, receptionist or office manager.  And since I’m no longer any of those things, I find myself both terrified and excited at the prospect of finding a new job…even better, a career.  The things I’ve loved doing in each of my past jobs were the things that were extra, not the things in my job description.  At the Gap, I loved dressing the mannequins; at Hallmark, I loved arranging displays; at the law firm, it was decorating for Christmas.  It’s the creative aspects that I got to include in each of my past jobs that I really enjoyed.  Whether it’s arranging words on a page, designing fliers and invitations, ripping out the bathroom floor only to build a new one, or arranging displays of knick-knacks, I’m happiest when my creative side can play.   

When I grow up, I want to create :)

hail to the chief

The top 10 actors I would most likely vote for should they run for President (please note that in this particular scenario my decision has nothing whatsoever to do with how well they might be able to run the country and everything to do with how awesome they are otherwise):

10. Kevin Kline – Have you seen Dave? Go rent it. Really. Because how can you NOT want Kevin Kline as president after hearing his rendition of Hail to the Chief? “Hail to the Chief, he’s the one we all say hail to.”

9. Bill Pullman – If you don’t trust Bill Pullman to save your country (and the world) from alien invasion after seeing Independence Day, well then you just don’t have any faith. Not only is he totally dashing (a fantastic presidential characteristic), he’s level headed and cool as a cucumber.

8. Diane Keaton – She’s confident, strong, no-nonsense but not without a sense of humor. Oh, and also, when I vote for her I’m not voting for her character in The First Wives Club, I’m voting for her in The Family Stone. Just so that’s clear.

7. Colin Firth – Why not have a Brit? Since I’m making the rules here, I say I’ll take a State of the Union Address with a British accent ANY DAY.

6. Annette Benning – While I know she wasn’t the president in An American President, her character made me think she could have been. Which is why Annette has my vote. She fights for the little guy.

5. Don Cheadle – I just love him…don’t you?

4. Sigourney Weaver – Sigourney Weaver could rule the country and the world and she’d kick some ass and take some names along the way – all while looking totally stunning. Like Bill Pullman, she could also totally save us from Alien (get it? Alien???) domination.

3. Michael Douglas – If Annette Benning’s performance in An American President as the president’s girlfriend earns her a place on this list, then certainly Michael Douglas earned his spot by playing the president. He also rocked my socks off in The Game. Which is why he’d have my vote.

2. Tom Hanks – I mean, the name speaks for itself. If Ronald Reagan can be president when all he did on the silver screen was play a cowboy, then Tom Hanks can certainly take over – he’s brilliant. And also selfless…he did offer to jump into a volcano to save a small island. “He can GET the job, but can he DO the job.” Heck yes he can! – “I’m not arguing that with you!”

1. Morgan Freeman – Okay, I’d have a hard time not voting for Morgan Freeman for president if he really ran. Seriously. Even if you only take his performance as the voice over guy for Visa, I’d still vote for him. But when you add in The Shawshank Redemption and Batman Begins (that is purely a reference to his particular character, not the movie as a whole)? How could anyone in their right mind NOT vote for this man?

I hope you found that entertaining and took it as a glimpse into how my twisted mind works…but not as any sort of insight into how I actually vote. Just so that’s clear.

bah-humbug

Bah-humbug.

There are seven Christmas cards hanging from my window at the office. There is a snowman snow globe sitting on my desk right in front of me. There is enough Christmas music on my computer to play continuously for over seven hours and not repeat at all. The office Christmas decorations should be here any day.

All this, and I thought we still needed a little something…perhaps a Christmas smell. I spent ten minutes in Walmart on the air freshener aisle looking for a nice evergreen or spiced apple scent to brighten up my bubble. But I found something better (good thing cause there was nothing else but clean linen and floral)…pumpkin pie. For just $5.97 I could make my bubble smell like my mother’s oven on Thanksgiving morning (post turkey of course).

I took the Glade Plug-in to the office and found a nice, out of the way outlet in the lobby, yet close to the receptionist window, to place my new found holiday scent. I put it on the lowest possible setting. And people loved it. Clients asked me what it was so they could get it. All the staff said it smelled wonderful.

Then along came socially awkward attorney. Ebeneezer Scrooge. The Grinch. “Who authorized this smell?” What? That’s the most ridiculous question I’ve ever heard. From then on, every time he walked through the lobby he would make comments under his breath. Grr. It’d be different if he had to smell it all day long and it honestly bothered him. No. His office is as far away from the lobby as you can get and still be in the building. No, his complaint is that it’s something out of the ordinary. It has nothing to do with the fact that it smells good or bad, but that it hasn’t always been there.

This makes me want to beat him with his own stupid hat.

Methinks I’ll be leaving him a lengthy voicemail full of Christmas music…”You’re a rotter, Mr. Grinch. You’re the king of sinful sots. Your heart’s a dead tomato splot with moldy purple spots, Mr. Grinch. Your soul is an apalling dump heap overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of deplorable rubbish imaginable, mangled up in tangled up knots.”

give thanks

I am thankful for…

Friends who have stood by me through thick and thin (you know you you are), a family that loves me unconditionally, MUFFINS, Trey, music, St Ives 24 Hour Moisture advanced body moisturizer, Harry Potter, Frank, Roger, even Rufus, great neighbors, my church family, Disciple I, my co-workers (well, most of them), my job, my house, my car, text messages, my big blue water jug, girl’s night, nights out with the gays, theater, hot showers, candles that aren’t too smelly, foot massages, naps, cozy socks, scarves, mashed potatoes, almonds, man laughing, inside jokes (SEA BASS!), being an adult with my mother, being a kid with my father, being totally ridiculous with my sister, silent laughs, singing in my church choir, learning new things, good beer, feta cheese, old friends, new friends, being on stage, fleece blankets, new cleaning supplies, helping Trey with his house, leaves that blow around my car, pumking pie, apple pie, key lime pie, peanut butter pie, busy lawyer pie, derby pie, french silk pie, lemon merangue pie, any pie, ranch dip, tater tots, my dark gray hoodie, yoga pants, having conversations without speaking, people who never give up on talking to me even though I suck at keeping in touch, parking lot conversations, knowing this is it, Nathan (my 4 year old fan), hope, justice, peace, faith, love…and most of all, for grace. Because without grace, I would have nothing to be thankful for.