Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking forward.

As I sit here, alternating between writing this and getting ready for a party at my friend's house tonight, I'm trying to look back on this year and think about what has really stood out. This year hasn't been particularly memorable. I don't mean that it's been bad, but it hasn't been spectacularly good either. It was just another year.

If I learned anything at all then it's that I need to stop trying so hard to fix things between myself and other people. Too many times I wanted to make things right and everything just got worse. One of my few resolutions for the new year is to stop trying to keep people in my life when they won't make the same effort to keep me in theirs. Because what's the point then? Sometimes I don't want to be the one who has to fix everything, sometimes I want to see that other people want things to be fixed, and that they don't want to lose me. I'm sick of people just dropping me out of their lives like I don't have feelings. Just once, I want someone to fight for me.

I think I changed a lot during this year. The way I think, definitely, and the things I want to do with my life (mostly I have no idea, but I think that's starting to change). I'm sick of people doubting me and telling me my dreams will never come true. I don't understand why people don't believe in me, but it just makes me even more determined to prove them all wrong.

Hockey has come to play such a huge role in my life. I honestly don't know who I would be if I didn't have hockey in my life.

This year meant the end of the Harry Potter series, but it also made me realize that some things don't really ever end, and that the bonds made through it don't ever really break.

My dislike for school reached an all-time high, so much so that I am actually worried about my GPA for this semester.

I wasted my entire summer on one boy who, in the end, just forgot about me and apparently met someone new. Not sure about that. But I'm pretty sure about it. That was kind of a big thing for me. I shed way too many tears over him but I've finally been able to move on with my life.

I am who I am and I'm not going to change for anyone. If people can't deal with that, then I'm not going to deal with them.

I'm hoping that 2012 means new and exciting things for me. Hopefully at this time next year I'll be celebrating the new year in Europe, as I will be applying to study abroad for next fall semester. If I don't go, then I have plans for the following summer (in 2013), to go somewhere. I don't care what anyone says, I'm going to get my butt out of this country for a while because I do not want to be one of those people who talks and talks about going places and then never goes anywhere. We live on such a big and wonderful planet that I can't even think about not trying to see as much of it as I can.

This year has been an interesting one, at any rate. I could make all the normal, boring resolutions like lose weight, write more, keep in touch with people and blahblahblah, but those are just things that I try and do all the time.

It's time for a change in my life. I don't want to be a small-town girl with small-town dreams; I want to try new things and see new things and become someone new. I won't let myself be stuck in one place because of other people, and I know that the people who do matter will make the effort to stick with me no matter what I do or where I go.

Out with the old and in with the new. I want 2012 to be unforgettable.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

130.

Something I've always wondered about is how people would react if I died. Would they be distraught? Simply sad? Would they sob until they felt completely drained? Or would they be dry-eyed, unwilling to accept my death?

I guess what I'm really wondering is how much of an impact I've made in people's lives. Would they feel my absence so intensely that they couldn't rid it from their minds even though they wanted to? Or would my death slowly fade to the background, just one of many others?


"Are you awake?" That was my mom I hear yelling up the stairs.

"Yes!" In fact, I was still in bed, and had barely lifted my head from the pillow to yell back. As soon as I heard the front door close, I shut my eyes again, trying to get back into my dream. You know--you're having a great dream and you're getting up to a great part and then something kicks you out of it--like your mom yelling at you to wake up even though it's only 8:30 in the morning and your first class isn't until 11:30.

I slept until my third alarm went off. One alarm just wasn't enough for me. I needed three. I slid out of bed, resembling a zombie the way I staggered around my room, looking for a clean pair of pants. Grey skinny jeans? Dirty. Dark blue skinny jeans? Can't find them. Black pants? In the hamper. I pulled them out, sniffed them and decided no one would really notice if I just used a few extra squirts of perfume.

I pulled off my Avery t-shirt and threw on a bra and clean shirt, leaving my skin exposed to the cold air for as little time as possible. The clock read 9:15. Plenty of time to spare.


I wake up. I go to school. I go home. Usually I'll kill time on the Internet, spending too many hours on Facebook or Twitter or YouTube. Or all three. Somewhere in there, I'll fit in homework and working out. Then I sleep and repeat. Where's the break in the monotony? Day in and day out, it's the same things over and over again. Where's my escape? What will this lead to? Only more monotony, but instead of waking up and going to school, I'll wake up and go to work, always dreaming of something more, something out of reach, something unattainable. What escape is within my reach? Is there a way out?


I sat down at my desk--second row from the door, fourth seat back--and gulped down some coffee. I placed my notebook on my desk and my textbook on top of my notebook. Same routine. Sometimes I think I preferred a routine. I would always know what was going to happen. If I had a routine, then I would always know what to expect. I would know that nothing could go wrong. There wouldn't be anything to catch me by surprise, like a punch to the stomach from someone when you think they're going in for a hug.

I began to think of more normal things, like what I was going to have for lunch when I got home because this was my only class of the day. Which homework should I do first? What workout should I do today? Maybe I should just nap instead.

My professor walked into class and my mind went blank, and the monotonous drone of his lecture filled my ears and my eyes glazed over.


It might be a little sick but sometimes I envision different death scenarios. What would be the quickest? What would be the most gruesome? How long would it take for me to bleed to death if I sliced my stomach open? What if I jumped off the top of a building? If I threw myself in front of a speeding vehicle? If I drove my own car into something at a high speed? Would that kill me or would I merely experience unspeakable levels of pain and then be thrust into therapy and onto medication until people believed I could function normally again?


Class ended and I practically sprinted out of the classroom. I was starving. I needed to get home and eat. The walk to my car went quickly, except for the part where I was looking on the wrong level of the parking deck, which only added fuel to my frustration and hunger.

Every day when my classes ended, it was like a race to my car. I wanted to get out of this place as fast as I possibly could. I didn't want to spend any more time there than necessary. I hated school. I hated those people who had their lives all fucking planned out. I hated the ambitious people who were doing double or triple majors and seventeen and a half minors and were already planning on graduate school and what they would be wearing to their wedding and how many fucking kids they were going to have and how they had so much to do but it would be so worth it.

I hated those people because I was the exact opposite. I had no idea where I was going or how I was getting there. I hated routine and I loved it. I wanted to know what was coming so I could prepare myself but I hated that trapped feeling I got when the days started to blur together because they were all the same.

I finally found my car and escaped the confines of the parking deck, thinking once more of the leftovers in the refrigerator at home.


The funny part is I have absolutely no reason to kill myself. I just happen to wonder these things from time to time. I don't know if it's weird to fantasize about my own death but it can't be that weird. It's something everyone faces.


I pressed down on the gas pedal a little harder, urging my small car to get up to speed faster as I merged onto the parkway. My coffee thermos leaned over a little precariously in the shallow cup holder--I steadied it as I cut over to the left lane and quickly reached 80 mph. That was maybe a little fast for this section of the parkway but I couldn't help it. Driving, to me, was a way I could forget the world for a little. The faster I drove, the more alive I felt. The emptier the highway, the faster I drove; the more alone I was, the harder I hit the gas pedal. I craved that adrenaline rush. The white lines blurred on the pavement; the grass was a green smudge on the side of the road. I passed by exit signs so quickly I could barely read them, but it didn't matter where I was as long as I could push the speedometer ever higher.


Sometimes I wondered what it would be like to start a day out completely normal and then die. Like, I went to school, went to class, and then just didn't make it home. What if I bypassed my exit on the parkway and kept driving until I had no idea where I was and then crashed? The worst part would be doing that and then not dying, because then people would realize how twisted my mind really was and they would be all over me about it. Why can't someone just wonder about death without being thrust into a psych ward? Everyone's so sensitive about something that happens to all of us.


Exit 163. Mine was coming up. I was in the middle lane. I stayed there. I pushed the gas pedal closer to the floor. The engine groaned a little but the needle of the speedometer moved past 80. 90. I could see the bend in the road up ahead. 100. The steering wheel began to shake in my hands. 110. 115. My hands were sweating with the effort of gripping the wheel. 120. The bend. 125. How would people react? 130.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Things to do.

  • write
  • make lists
  • take naps
  • drink tea
  • take walks in the sun
  • read
  • indulge occasionally in something you want
  • have chocolate
  • go for a long drive with no destination
  • do something you've never done before
  • frolic in the changing leaves
  • stop thinking about him
  • take care of yourself
  • buy pretty clothes
  • go apple picking
  • drink hot chocolate in the evenings
  • paint your nails bright colors
  • take pictures
  • go to a city you've never been to before
  • be carefree
  • watch a good movie
  • wrap yourself in blankets
  • embrace the change in seasons
  • make some change for yourself
  • enjoy

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Always.

July 21, 2007, the final Harry Potter book came out. I stood in line at midnight to get it and I stayed up all night to read it, feeling as though some chapter in my life (no pun intended) had just ended. But it wasn't quite over yet.

July 15, 2011, the final Harry Potter movie came out. I was at the theater at midnight to see it with my friends, and I cried like someone close to me had just died when the credits began to roll. It was at that point I felt like some part of my life had really and truly come to a close.

I saw the movie four times in theaters, most recently on Wednesday (the 17th). I was surprised at the number of people still flocking to the theater to see it. Granted, they put us in one of the smaller theaters, unlike the one I saw it in at the midnight premiere. But the atmosphere couldn't be more different. These people on Wednesday were just casual fans, or maybe people who were bored and couldn't think of anything else to see.

At the midnight premiere, I was surrounded by my friends and people who are just as crazy about Harry Potter as I am. People dressed up (myself included), had their books, watched the first part of the seventh movie while waiting. There was a legit race to the theater when they finally let us in.

There was cheering at all the right moments. When Neville killed Nagini. When Molly Weasley uttered her famous line, "Not my daughter, you bitch!" When Ron and Hermione kissed. When Voldemort was defeated. There was cheering and clapping for all the great moments.

There were also subdued moments and tears. When Fred died. Seeing Remus and Tonks dead. Snape's death. The Prince's tale. The Resurrection Stone scene. Hogwarts being destroyed. The very end, seeing all the kids on the train, pulling away from the station for the last time. The last time I would ever see the Hogwarts Express pulling away from King's Cross.

I know there's Pottermore to look forward to, but I still can't help but feel as though I've lost someone close to me. There's no more anticipation, no more looking forward to something completely new. People think I'm just being overly dramatic or emotional, and that maybe I should just get over it, but I won't. Harry Potter has always been there for me, and it will always be there for me, until the very end.

Because it's real for us.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Five things to be happy about.

  • summer thunderstorms
  • thinking you have a ton of work to do but really have nothing
  • Mondays that don't suck
  • being told that someone really does value you
  • feeling absolutely safe and content in the arms of the guy you like

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Five things to be happy about.

  • lazy Sundays after a hectic Saturday
  • chocolate donuts
  • talking to a friend you haven't heard from in a while
  • finishing your homework before two in the morning
  • new boots

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Five things to be happy about.

In an attempt to blog a little more often, I'm going to do this thing that I saw on this girl's blog here. It's also my attempt to be a little less depressed all the time and to think a little more about the things that make me happy.

  • brightly colored nail polish
  • that crunching sound your skates make on the ice
  • driving with the windows down and the music loud
  • cups of tea
  • getting the perfect amount of sleep

Saturday, July 2, 2011

DFTBA.

I would be lying if I said I was never insecure. Let's be completely honest, what girl doesn't feel insecure from time to time?

I'm not one to read girly magazines on a weekly basis, but occasionally I'll indulge and read some Cosmo online. I basically just read it all for laughs, because I believe half the things they write about how girls should act/dress to get guys to like them are ridiculous. For example, I saw this article on how to be a good girlfriend, and was immediately offended by the very first thing on the list. I can't cheer for a sports team that I like? Just because I'm a girl doesn't mean that I can't get into sports. And I'll drink as much as I want, thanks very much.

Any guy that wants to go out with me will learn and have to accept the fact that I am a diehard hockey fan and player. My social life revolves around my hockey schedule. Very frequently, I find myself saying, "Sorry, I can't, I have hockey." And I'm a huge, huge, huge New York Rangers fan, so on most nights during the hockey season, you'll find me screaming at the TV when I watch my team play. If you can't get over that, then we just won't work out.

That applies to everything. The "advice" that Cosmo gives its readers is ridiculous. Do this, not that; wear this, not that...honestly, I'm not going to bend over backwards or change my style just to impress a guy. Yeah, relationships require give and take, but they shouldn't require so much that you're practically becoming a different person.

But sometimes, when I'm on a Cosmo-reading binge, I start to wonder if maybe some of their advice is worth listening to. It's usually after I've been feeling down about myself that I tend to start reading their relationship and dating articles, because sometimes I feel like I'm lacking experience in that area. I've only ever had one serious boyfriend, and when it comes to pursuing a guy, I start to hesitate and falter and second-guess myself. Constantly.

I'll wonder what he's thinking of me, and wonder if he thinks, "Hey, this girl is a great friend, but not someone I see myself dating." Am I not girly enough? Is that why I find myself lacking experience in the dating area?

Then I catch myself thinking like that and pull myself out of this funk. Sometimes it's hard for me to believe my own words, but I try to keep telling myself that if a guy is going to want to be with me, he'll want me to be me. He'll accept my hardcore obsession with hockey and Harry Potter. He won't tell me to dress differently or act differently. He'll go with my mood swings and not run as far as he can in the opposite direction when I start to hit a downward spiral.

As arrogant as it sounds, I just need to remind myself every now and then that I am awesome, and no one can change those things that make me so awesome.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Huskies to Red Hawks.

I've probably blogged about this once or twice, in passing, without too many details, but due to a lack of any better ideas, and because people keep asking me about it even though it's been over a year since I left, here is the entire, comprehensive, detailed account of why I left Northeastern, if I like Montclair better, and if I miss Boston.

I started visiting colleges during my sophomore year of high school. I know, that's early. I don't actually remember every single school I went to, but a few were Cornell, Emerson, Northeastern, William Paterson, Rowan, SUNY Purchase, Sacred Heart, and NYU. My dream school is and always will be NYU, but they rejected me. Bastards.

I ended up only applying to three schools: NYU (my reach), Northeastern (second choice), William Paterson (safety). I thought about applying to Purchase, but in the end, I just didn't. I kind of regret that, but not so much that it's tearing me apart on the inside.

I got into NU and Willy P, like I thought I would, and was basically set on going to Northeastern, unless NYU accepted me. Which they didn't. So in September of 2009, I moved on up to Boston to start what I thought would be the first of five years as a Northeastern Husky.

And at first, it was great. I loved it, both academically and socially. I spent a lot of time wandering around Boston in my free time, getting to know the city, which was awesome, because I've always wanted to live in a city, though my preferred city is New York. No offense, Boston, but you can't live up to New York in my eyes.

Somewhere around Christmas break, I found myself thinking about leaving NU and going somewhere else. At first, there was never really a concrete reason as to why, but I wanted to. This will sound really weird to probably almost everyone, but it was after I left Northeastern for Montclair that I realized why I never regretted my choice to leave my school, my friends, and my then-boyfriend.

To put it very simply, I have absolutely no idea what I want to do with my life. I still don't. Northeastern has a great co op program, where you do internships during your time there. And that's fantastic, if you know what you want to do. A kid in one of my classes at Northeastern was telling me about he hadn't been on a co op yet because he'd kept switching his major because he didn't know what he wanted to do. He spent a lot of summers and winter breaks catching up on classes so he could do at least one co op.

I didn't want that to be me, struggling to keep up with classes and trying to figure out what I wanted on the spot. My roommate at the time summed it up with this aggravated Facebook status: "Please, as soon as possible, plan out the next four years, and the rest of your life. Sincerely, Northeastern."

Montclair might not be a big-name school like Northeastern is; most people look at me like, "wtf is a Montclair" when I tell them where I go to school, but I like it. It's perfect for me. Being at Montclair is opening up a whole host of opportunities I definitely would not have had if I'd stayed at Northeastern.

I got to play another year of girl's hockey with my old team; I'm planning on studying abroad next summer (were I at Northeastern, I wouldn't be able to afford going abroad with their tuition bill). But what I love best of all is that the pressure to immediately plan out my life is much less than what it was at Northeastern. I'm declared as an English major, and I think that's what I'll stay as, but I can take a variety of other classes, to see if anything strikes my fancy.

So yes. I like Montclair. I don't mind commuting. And yes, I miss Boston. I don't miss Northeastern; if anything, I miss the freedom I had while living away from home, but my parents pretty much just let me come and go as I please, plus I have a car now, so there's really not that much difference, except I have to be quiet when I come home drunk. I miss living in a city, I miss going to school in the same city as one of my friends; though now I go to the same school as two of my friends, and I can spend free weekends down at Stockton with my best friend/wife.

So there you have it. The next person who asks me if I miss Northeastern will be decapitated because I'm getting sick of explaining myself.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Things that annoy me: A general list.

Something ticked me off on Facebook today, a harmless comment made by someone that just unfortunately pushed me over the edge. So here it is, a list of things that annoy me.
  • Stupid people.
  • People who claim things without valid reasoning.
  • Flyers and Capitals fans.
  • Being cut off by another driver who then proceeds to drive extremely slowly.
  • Getting stuck behind people driving BELOW the speed limit. Just get off the road.
  • People who wear Uggs in late May.
  • High school girls who think they're the shit.
  • Obsessive Twilight fans.
  • Being told that I'm too old to like/do certain things.
  • People assuming things about me because I'm from New Jersey.
  • School.
  • One letter text messages. What was the point?
  • When I keep dying in a video game and have to keep doing the same mission over and over and over and over.
  • Being told I can't be a Rangers fan because I don't live in New York.
  • Being told that I'm short. CONSTANTLY. Seriously, SHUT. UP.
  • Not being able to find a job.
  • Having to find a job.
  • People who hate Harry Potter for NO REASON AT ALL.
  • People who hate Harry Potter in general.
  • When my parents harp on and on about how I'm fat and should lose weight. Thanks. You really know how to help my already crappy self-esteem.
  • When my Nintendo DS dies and I'm in the middle of a Pokemon battle.
  • Being broke.
  • Being called "little one." Don't call me that.
  • When I make lists like this and people are like, "haha, I'm going to annoy you with these!" and then they do and piss me off more. I make lists like this 1. for fun, and 2. so you DON'T piss me off by doing any of these things.
  • Doing the dishes.
  • Living far away from my friends so I can't see them often.
  • This crappy, miserable weather.
  • People being cheerful when I'm pissed off.
  • Immature people.
  • People who don't realize they've crossed a line and should step back before I severely injure them.
That's all for now.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Evolution of Disney princesses.

It's not exactly a secret that I love Disney movies, specifically Disney princess movies. Doesn't matter how old I am, I refuse to hide that fact. The only retail job I would probably actually LIKE is at the Disney store. Unfortunately, the ones near me aren't hiring.

But even though I'm a huge fan of Disney princesses, I still have my preferences. Belle is my absolute favorite, hands down, no competition whatsoever. I found this post here about her that basically sums up how I feel in a much more concise and clever way.

But anyway, I love the evolution of the Disney princesses. In the beginning you have the princesses like Cinderella and Snow White, who are old-fashioned and traditional. They don't do much for themselves and instead wish and wait for what they want.

Then you have the princesses like Belle, Ariel, and Jasmine, who want more out of life than what's expected of them, but they still need a little push out the door. I guess Rapunzel, even though she's one of the more recent Disney princesses, falls into this category too, because she never actually decides to leave her tower until she meets Flynn.

Disney improved their princesses even further, with ones like Mulan and Tiana, who don't just wait around wishing for things. They go out and do what they have to do. In this most recent generation of princesses, Disney finally fixed what everyone complained about; how girls are capable of getting what they want on their own and without a man. Mulan set out simply to protect her father and there's no romance in that movie. I mean, it's implied, but it's definitely not the main point. Tiana (The Princess and the Frog) wants her restaurant and works as hard as she can for it. She's a little single-minded when it comes to her restaurant but, unlike Cinderella, who just wishes on stars, Tiana goes for what she wants.

Even though I like to sometimes preach about women being independent and not needing men, I think I relate best to the Belle-Jasmine-Ariel category, because I know what I want but I think I'm struggling to stay afloat a little. That was like a failed metaphor. But whatever.

Anyway, this picture here sums up everything I just said with fewer words:


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Box of Crayons

Once upon a time, there was a box of crayons.

All the crayons in the crayon box were segregated by their colors, but each section was really good friends. The blues got along with the greens, the reds loved the yellows and pinks and oranges, the grays and whites were all great pals, and the browns and blacks got along famously.

Then one day, the box of crayons was taken off its shelf and opened. All the crayons spilled all over the floor and the colors mixed together. The browns were squeezing with the greens, the blues got cozy with the yellows, and the reds and blacks chatted it up.

One green crayon and one pink crayon really connected. They talked and cuddled and laughed the time away. But then it came time for all the crayons to be rounded up and put away. Each crayon was placed back in its own section and of course, the pink and green crayon were very sad that they had to be separated so soon.

They promised to keep in touch but it was hard. They were each at the farthest corners in their little sections but somehow, they managed to stay wonderful friends. Every so often, they would even be able to get together when the crayons were spilled all over the floor or table or carpet. They learned that distance is no excuse for letting a relationship fall apart.

One day, after being spilled all over the floor, the crayons were not put back in their usual organized fashion. The pink crayon and the green crayon were overjoyed when they realized they were next to each other. And so they lived happily ever after.


Author's note: This is not to be taken too seriously. I wrote it in about ten minutes a few years ago and I just thought I would try to keep up with the short story theme for this week. Hopefully I'll have another one for tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The view from my window.

In order to avoid ranting about my depressing feelings and mood swings, I'm just going to leave you with a series of pictures, all taken from my bedroom window, over a period of...maybe a year? I think that sounds about right.














Monday, April 18, 2011

All was well.

Due to a lack of time because I need to do homework and study (I hate the end of the semester; there's so much to do), I'm just going to post an essay I wrote about Harry Potter. I've mentioned before how much I love and adore and obsess over this series, and I wanted to share this. It was supposed to be a literary journalism/cultural critique piece, and I think my essay turned out pretty well. So enjoy.


My Letter From Hogwarts Is Just Late

Some people might think this is weird or claim that I’m just making these details up, but there are some nights that I just don’t forget.
            Six years ago, on July 15th, around 10:30 pm, I was standing outside a bookstore in Maine with my dad. I was fourteen years old and we were on vacation.
            A day or two before we’d learned about this midnight release party for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and I’d convinced my dad to take me even though we had to be up early in the morning to drive home. I needed to have this book—mostly because I wanted something to read during the car ride home but also because it was Harry Potter, and Harry Potter was important. To me, anyway.
            I nodded my head slightly for each person in line, counting silently in my head. I was thirteenth in line. I clutched my small Dobby doll in my hands, adjusting his movable ears so they stood straight.
            The doors to the small bookstore opened at 11:00 pm sharp and the enthusiastic crowd was let in for Harry Potter themed games and trivia questions and socializing. I met a Rita Skeeter, a human sized Dobby, and numerous clones of Ron, Hermione, and Harry himself.
            It was my first experience being with other people who were just as obsessed with Harry Potter, counting down the minutes until the book was released and we could hold it in our hands.

I wonder if J.K. Rowling (Joanne Kathleen) ever thought that one day her book about a boy who finds out he’s a wizard would ever become as big as it has. She started out destitute, with no job and a child to feed; a mere five years later, Forbes magazine estimated her worth at one billion dollars.
            Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was rejected by twelve publishing companies before someone took a chance on it; it was published in June of 1997. I’m sure that investment has paid off, considering Harry Potter is now a global brand worth about 15 billion dollars. The final four books consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows sold 11 million copies in the first day of release in the United States and the United Kingdom. The previous one, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, had sold 9 million copies in its first 24 hours.
            The rights to the films were purchased in 1998, and the first one was released in November of 2001. The film series is the highest grossing film series of all time, with over 6 billion dollars in receipts. The series won the Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema at the 2011 British Academy Film Awards.
            Now, ten years after the first film was released, and fourteen years after the first book was published, as we slowly approach the release date for the second half of the final film, I’m starting to wonder what will become of us obsessed fans when we have nothing to look forward to anymore. Will it still be a huge part of my life? Or will I, as well as others, put the books on the shelves and move on?
            For the past six years, Harry Potter has always been there for me. There was always another book, another film, another midnight release party or midnight premiere to go to. There was always something to discuss, whether it be what we thought would happen in the final book, or what we thought the films would take out or add or change.
            Harry Potter has brought together so many people, it’s hard to imagine it ever ending. From Harry Potter fanfiction to Harry Potter themed Tumblr blogs, from all the different conventions to the theme park in Florida, from a small community on YouTube to wizard rock (wrock) festivals, Harry Potter has always been there.
            Hogwarts has been my escape from reality, a fictitious home for me to return to whenever I wanted. I’ve never wanted anything else to be real as much as I wanted Hogwarts and Harry and Hermione and Ron and the Weasleys to be real.
            I know so many people whose lives have been changed by Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, the Chosen One. Harry Potter isn’t just a book series, or a film series. It is a cultural phenomenon that has brought people from all over the world together.
            And in my opinion, Harry Potter will never really end.

Two years after my first book release party, I went to attend my second, and final, one. I’d been preparing for weeks, counting down the days and rereading the first six books. I spent the days leading up to July 20, 2007 reading about preparations for the release.
            People in London had started lining up two days before the 20th to ensure that they would be among the first to buy the book. Less insane fans started lining up at 7:30 am on the 20th, dressed as their favorite characters and counting down the hours.
            As for myself, at 6:00 pm that afternoon, I’d gone over to the Barnes and Noble where I would be later that night to reserve two copies of the book and purchase a gold wristband that designated me as one of the first hundred people that would get their books.
            Upon arriving at the bookstore, around 9:30 pm, I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. There were so many people milling around. Some were sitting in the hallway outside the store, others were reading other books; meanwhile, there was a whole line up of Harry Potter activities going on upstairs.
            Bookstores across the country had been preparing for this night, as it was sure to be their biggest party of the year. In New York, for example, booksellers prepared by putting finishing touches on cauldrons, replicas of Diagon Alley, and Harry Potter themed snacks and drinks, like butterbeer.
            11:59 pm. A countdown had begun. It was like New Year’s had struck; when the clock turned twelve, cheers filled the store. Books were purchased and taken away by happy customers; I was the thirteenth person in my line. I got my two reserved copies and escaped the madness that was Barnes and Noble on midnight, July 21, 2007.
            On the way to the car, my dad and I passed people who had already cracked open the pages, beginning the final installment. I saw people who’d already flipped to the end to see what happened. I clutched my book tight to my chest the whole ride home.
            This was the last time I would ever read a Harry Potter book for the first time.

What’s great about Harry Potter gatherings is that there is never any shortage of things to talk about. Sometimes all it takes is just one little thing to turn it into something bigger.
            Between the releases of the sixth and seventh movies, one of my best friends sent me a link to a song called “Lumos Flies,” a Harry Potter parody of the Owl City song, “Fireflies.” From there, I became so involved in the online Harry Potter community, it was like I lived and breathed Harry Potter.
            And there wasn’t just one YouTube channel that started and continued because of Harry Potter. There were dozens and dozens of them. One channel I started following extensively was the one called fiveawesomegirls. It was a collab channel with five girls who had become friends because of Harry Potter. A few of them hadn’t even met in person when they started this channel, with each girl making a video every weekday.
            From there, I discovered wizard rock bands like the Ministry of Magic, The Whomping Willows, The Parselmouths, and Diagon Alley.
            In November of 2010, my friend and I went to the New York City Wizard Rock Festival in Brooklyn, where we danced all night to songs that were inspired by the Harry Potter series.
            Things like wizard rock are what have really launched people into the eye of the community. Kristina Horner, for example, who has a YouTube channel that I subscribe to, is one of these people. She got her start with writing Harry Potter fanfiction, then moved onto making videos on YouTube. She is a member of the previously mentioned fiveawesomegirls channel, and a singer in the band the Parselmouths. They sing songs from the point of view of two Slytherin girls.
            Because of this series, she gets to travel around the country going to Harry Potter conventions and speaking at them. Without Harry Potter, her life would be vastly different.

Three years after the final book had been released, setting records in book sales, the final film opened in theaters. The midnight premiere drew in approximately $24 million in about 3,700 locations. The previous film, the Half-Blood Prince, opened at midnight with sales of $22.2 million, at 3,003 locations. Despite the fact that the series had come to a close, the phenomenon that is Harry Potter hadn’t died down a bit.
            It was 7:00 pm when my friend and I arrived at the movie theater for the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One. We weren’t the first ones there, though we were among the first dozen to arrive.
            We picked some good seats and for the next five hours played Harry Potter themed hangman; I played Harry Potter Lego (Years 1-4) on my DS; we watched as more and more people filed into the theater.
            As each hour chimed, someone would announce how much time was remaining. To pass the time, people played charades, passed out homemade versions of The Quibbler, Luna Lovegood’s father’s quirky magazine, and chased around a human Golden Snitch.
            The previews began and people continued to talk excitedly over them, booing Twilight as it came on the screen. When they ended and the theater went completely dark, a hush fell over the crowd like a blanket.
            The end had begun.

But will there ever really be an end?
            The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has opened in Orlando, Florida, where you can drink butterbeer at The Three Broomsticks, buy a wand that chooses you, go to Zonko’s and Honeydukes, and ride through Hogwarts.
            It is the closest people will ever come to Hogwarts besides traveling to Europe and seeking out the castles where Hogwarts scenes were filmed, and people are flocking to the theme park. It’s received good reviews and was well received by Harry Potter fans and non-fans alike. The grand opening for the cast and crew of the films, J.K. Rowling, and the media took place on June 16, 2010; it opened for the general public two days later.
            While I haven’t had the opportunity to go there yet, people I follow on YouTube and a few of my friends have been there. Their tales of how amazing and detailed and accurate it was to the books only make me want to go more. I’ve spent so much time wishing Hogwarts was real and that I could be there, surrounded by the magic and the people, that I can’t imagine what it will be like walking through the gates and seeing Hogsmeade, the Hogwarts Express, and the castle of Hogwarts standing before my eyes.
            Not to mention the numerous Harry Potter conventions and festivals that take place all over the country and throughout the year. Just recently, the Miami Yule Ball was held in Miami, Florida. LeakyCon will be held in July in Orlando, just in time for the midnight premiere of the second half of Deathly Hallows. LeakyCon is a charity conference that had its first year in 2009, in Boston, with only about 740 attendees. The next year, that number jumped over a thousand, and for 2011, that number has only increased even more.
            It’s not the only charitable event that revolves around Harry Potter; for the past four years, the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) has been working to inspire people around the world to get involved in social issues the world faces. Some of their successes include raising funds for thousands of women and children in Darfur and Myanmar (Burma), as well as collecting and donating thousands of books for a youth village in Rwanda.
            I think the greatest thing about Harry Potter is that it isn’t just a popular series; it uses its popularity for good. Because of all the people that love and adore Harry, they can do something great for the world. In 2010, the HPA and other communities raised over $123,000 for the Haitian people through Partners in Health.
            Will all these things come to an end when the films finally come to a close? It’s hard to imagine them stopping after fourteen years of fandom.
            The days are ticking away to the end of what truly is a cultural phenomenon. But as Stephen King said, “I think Harry will take his place with Alice, Huck, Frodo, and Dorothy and this is one series not just for the decade, but for the ages.”
            Harry Potter has made the world a smaller place, bringing people together from unlikely places and in unlikely ways. Things like that don’t just vanish into thin air.
            But no one can really tell what will happen. Sure, the fandom will continue, but the same obsessive air that surrounds it now will probably disperse a little. With nothing new to look forward to, the less obsessed may retreat from this thriving community.
            As for myself, I only know that once the credits start to roll in July, so will the tears. But I won’t be alone.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Things that annoy me: Hockey edition.

As we all know by now, there are plenty of things that annoy me. Today, though, because it's a beautiful spring day and because the Rangers just beat the Flyers in a shootout to keep their playoff hopes very much alive, I'm going to address things that annoy me: the hockey edition.

"Sidney Crosby sucks. I hope he never plays in the NHL again."

For those who don't know, because not everyone I know is quite as obsessed with hockey as I am, Sidney Crosby is the young captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins. I'm what you would call a casual Penguins fan, and mostly because I adore Sidney Crosby, but they're my fallback team in case the Rangers don't make the playoffs.

Crosby has been out since January, having suffered from a severe concussion. A few weeks ago, my dad told me that it might be so bad that he actually might never play again, which, as a Crosby and a hockey fan, was disheartening to hear. And here comes the part that really pisses me off to the extreme end: when people say that they hope he never plays again and he sucks and he's a crybaby and whatever else their tiny little brains can think of.

Seriously? Can't we all, as hockey fans, embrace and respect the amount of talent that he has as a player? I'm sure if he played for whatever team you support, you'd be singing quite a different tune and praying for his swift recovery. But no. Instead, people have to narrow minded idiots who can't appreciate talented players on other teams.

I hate the Devils, but when Zach Parise was out with his concussion, I wasn't sitting around hoping he would never play again. He's a good player even though he plays for my least favorite team. I hate mindless idiots who can't even bring themselves to respect talent around the league.

Being a mindless idiot.

This just annoys me in general, mindless idiots, but when I heard about this story, I could do nothing more besides shake my head at the types of people that exist.

The Dallas Stars played the L.A. Kings last night, and the Kings won 3-1. I'm pretty neutral about Western Conference games, since, well, I live on the East Coast, and it's a lot easier to get access to Eastern Conference games, but I'm not even talking about the win.

Apparently after the game, a Kings fan was beaten close to death by a bunch of Stars fans. It could've been the other way around because I'm honestly not really sure and I can't find a story about this.

But the point is, why can't someone support their team without having to be afraid of getting beaten up by others? I mean, really, I don't think I can stress enough that people should be fans of hockey in general as well as being fans of their team. There really is no cause for an innocent fan to be beaten to a pulp in the parking lot after the game.

EDIT: That actually happened at a DODGERS game. Different sport, same story.

Pretending to know everything about hockey.

When I go to Rangers game, this is what annoys me the most. I'll be sitting there enjoying the game, and some idiots behind me will be talking very loudly about the game, thinking that they sound so smart when they actually just sound like pretentious imbeciles.

When the Rangers are on the powerplay, for example, more often than not, most people will be screaming, "SHOOT IT SHOOT THE PUCK SHOOT IT NOW WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING SHOOT IT." Um, hey, open your eyes, THE PLAYER ISN'T EVEN IN THE ZONE YOU FUCKING DIPSHIT.

Or, hey, look, someone on the opposing team IS STANDING RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM. That means THERE IS NO SHOOTING LANE. Do you want them to shoot it and have it blocked by the other player? That can result in the puck leaving the offensive zone and a potential odd man rush.

Something else is when the Rangers (or any team) pass the puck back to their defense. "HEY IDIOTS YOU'RE GOING THE WRONG WAY," is a common phrase I hear when that happens. But sometimes, mindless-people-shouting, you have to go back in order to go forwards. If you just charge senselessly ahead without giving everyone on the ice time to prepare and organize themselves so perhaps a play can be run, usually nothing good will result. It takes patience, sometimes.

So just shut up, sit down, and watch the game. If you think you can do better, then get your skates and equipment on and prove it.

"The New York Rangers suck."

I'm sure I could say the same thing about your team. Get outta here before I rip you a new one.

The Philadelphia Flyers.

Suck it, Flyers. You might have made it to the Stanley Cup Finals last year, but everyone still hates you.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Nostalgic for those days of past.

On the way down to my grandma's house today, driving along the all too familiar Garden State Parkway, sitting in the backseat for once, I was staring out the window, gazing at the clouds, thinking about what a nice picture it would make, if only I wasn't too lazy to pull my camera out.

The clouds were just the right amount of puffy, mixing white and gray, seeming to be at a standstill. I have this fascination with taking pictures of clouds because looking at them, it makes me imagine a world of possibilities. The sky seems endless, timeless. It just goes on forever, stretching across a land of opportunities and dreams for me to chase.

Then I return to reality, where I'm sitting in the backseat of the car, my parents in the front and my cousin next to me, and my brother in the third row. It's like a small home, where I can feel completely comfortable and at ease. It makes me think of late nights, driving home from wherever, and just watching the lights pass by the window, gradually easing into a slumber, feeling safe and protected, as long as my parents are up in the front, driving to our destination.

Sometimes I feel like I'm slowly losing that comforting feeling, the older I get. The older I get, the less we take family trips, the less time I spend at home, and the more time I spend doing things that require me to step outside of my comfort zone. I wish things could remain easy forever, and I didn't ever have to grow up and be responsible for myself. I wish I could return to the days of childhood when the days seemed endless and going inside at the end of the night was the worst thing ever; when the ground was lava and going to Dunkin' Donuts on our own seemed like the coolest thing ever; when naptime was acceptable.

Oh, nostalgia. I yearn for those days more than ever now that I'm facing the years of my 20s. But for someone who wants a lot out of life, I need to spend less time looking back and more time racing forward. But I think it's okay for everyone, every once in a while, to remember, cherish, and wish for their childhood.

Friday, April 1, 2011

BEDA.

Happy April, all. Because I have tons of free time on my hands, have no other obligations, and can't imagine myself doing anything more interesting, I'm going to attempt to do BEDA. I say "attempt" because I've never succeeded before, but there's a first time for everything.

By the way, for those who are wondering:

"tons of free time on my hands" = I have none.

"no other obligations" = I have school and hockey; they take up a lot of time in my life.

"anything more interesting" = Well, this is mostly true; but I just want to challenge myself.

Since I have nothing better to talk about, I'll just fill you in on all the interesting things I'm doing this month, so if I do end up failing at BEDA, then, well, at least I put my excuses out there at the beginning.

This weekend (the 2nd), I'm going down to my grandma's house near Point Pleasant. We're gathering to celebrate my birthday, my aunt's birthday, and my uncle's birthday.

Next weekend (starting Thursday, the 7th, through the 10th), I'm actually going to be busy. On the 7th, I register for classes for fall semester, then I'm driving down to Stockton with my friend Paul. On the 8th, we'll be hanging out there all day, so I'm not really sure how I'll get a blog done that day, but I'll figure something out. That night, we're celebrating Jessica's friend's birthday, so that should be fun. On the 9th, I'm driving home early in the morning (I have to be leaving Stockton by 7:30 at the latest), so I can go to the Rangers game that's at 12:30 with my dad and my brother; it's their last home game against the Devils. Then, on Sunday, it's officially the start of spring hockey season! I have my first game that night.

Then, April 29th, 30th, and May 1st, is BAMBOOZLE 2011. It's one of the highlights of my year; this'll be the fifth year I'm going. I almost just go for the sake of going now, for hanging out and just being around a ton of people who have all gathered for one thing: a love of music and going crazy. But this year I'm actually excited to see a few bands, so I'm pretty pumped for that weekend.

So yeah, those are my plans for this month. As of yet, I don't have anything else exciting lined up, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Currently Reading: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (C.S. Lewis)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Things people say that annoy me: Harry Potter edition.

I'm a big reader. I own a lot of books. And with all the books I've read, it's hard to pick a favorite. But I do have a few favorite authors/series, and they include:
  • Harry Potter
  • The Chronicles of Narnia
  • Maureen Johnson
  • John Green
  • Scott Westerfeld
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • The King Raven trilogy (by Stephen Lawhead)
And so on and so forth.

I get pretty defensive when people start criticizing my favorite books. I get most defensive about Harry Potter. So, with that being said,  here is a list of things that people say about Harry Potter that really, really, really annoy me:

"I hate the epilogue. It sucks."

WELL TOO FUCKING BAD. Did you write the book? No, I don't think so. So just sit down, shut up, and accept what happened.

This really annoys me. When I first read the epilogue, I was like, "Oh, that's nice. Happy ending, yay." And that was that. But then later on, after more people had finished reading the book, the threads and forums started to buzz about the epilogue. Tweets and status updates and blog entries about how they hated the epilogue SO MUCH. Then I really started to think about it. Some arguments I heard were that she just got lazy and ended it like that (or something along those lines), it was just like a fanfiction, what a terrible ending, blah blah blah.

I reread the books from time to time, and after finishing the whole series (again), I got to thinking about what a hard life Harry really has. His parents are murdered, he has to live with his awful aunt and uncle, he constantly has to fight off Lord Voldemort, people turn on him at one point, and he really doesn't have anyone who completely understands what it's like to be him and all the hardships he faces. So maybe J.K. Rowling, after putting him through all that shit and making his life as difficult as it can be from ages 11 to 17, wanted him to live out the remainder of his days in peace. Why shouldn't he get married and have kids? What, should he just live alone and be miserable forever?

To the people who complain about the epilogue: What are you looking for? What did you WANT to happen? Did you want Harry to continue being miserable? Did you want the wizarding world to continue to live in misery and distrust? Like, seriously. Get over it. It's happened, it's done, you can't change it.

"Ginny is such a slut."

EXCUSE ME. NO. GTFO. NOW.

I really don't understand AT ALL how people manage to come to the conclusion that Ginny is a ho. Because she isn't, at all. She's one of my favorite characters (third to Hermione and Luna); she's a really well written and developed character. In the beginning of the series, she's really shy and awkward, especially around Harry, but once she gets to school, and as the years pass, she really becomes independent, tough but not too tough, smart, and attractive.

Being attractive and noticed by boys DOES NOT MAKE YOU A SLUT. Geez. Sleeping with them makes you a slut. She's like any average girl, who is testing out relationship waters, seeing what she likes in guys. She dated Michael Corner, Dean Thomas, and Harry Potter (who she eventually married). I wouldn't call that being a slut. Not even close. So she's been in three relationships. Big fucking deal. So have some of my friends. There's nothing wrong with being in more than one relationship in your life. Why was it such a big deal when Ginny was?

"The plan was, which I really hope I fulfilled, is that the reader, like Harry, would gradually discover Ginny as pretty much the ideal girl for Harry. She's tough, not in an unpleasant way, but she's gutsy. He needs to be with someone who can stand the demands of being with Harry Potter, because he's a scary boyfriend in a lot of ways. He's a marked man. I think she's funny, and I think that she's very warm and compassionate. These are all things that Harry requires in his ideal woman. But, I felt — and I'm talking years ago when all this was planned — initially, she's terrified by his image. I mean, he's a bit of a rock god to her when she sees him first, at 10 or 11, and he's this famous boy. So Ginny had to go through a journey as well… I feel that Ginny and Harry, in this book, they are total equals. They are worthy of each other. They've both gone through a big emotional journey, and they've really got over a lot of delusions, to use your word, together. So, I enjoyed writing that. I really like Ginny as a character." -J.K. Rowling

"Harry should have died."

No. He should not have.

How did you want the series to end then? Did you want Voldemort to take over and make everyone his slaves? Yeah, that's a great ending. NOT REALLY. Sure, I joked about Harry dying too. But IT WAS A JOKE.

Did you really expect, in the Harry Potter series that HARRY POTTER would die? "Oh, but then it would be boring and just like every other series where the main character is successful at the end." THEN GO WRITE YOUR OWN BOOK. You can write about how the main character dies and everyone is miserable and the dark wizard kills everyone. Yeah. Great story. Not.

Who would read a book where the main character died and nothing was resolved in the end? It's a story of conflict, and the conflict needs to be resolved.

And technically speaking, Harry did die. He just didn't stay dead.

"Why did she need to say that Dumbledore was gay? That's stupid, it wasn't in the series."

I've heard this several times and I don't have that much to say about it. Sure, it seems kind of pointless because, yeah, the series is over. Dumbledore being gay doesn't change anything that happened, and it was never mentioned in any of the books. But, being a writer as well (well, sort of), I've come up with some logical reasoning for why she did this.

I think it's simply because she spent so much time with these characters, it was like they had become real people. When you spend that much time writing and developing characters, they start to take on their own personalities. Yeah, it sounds silly, but it's true. And I think that Dumbledore just ended up being gay. That's all.

So why tell everyone? Well...why not?

"Snape sucks. I hate him."

DID YOU NOT FINISH READING THE WHOLE SERIES? Like, did you skip a few key chapters somewhere?

Like seriously, you're either a) a complete idiot, b) not done reading the series yet, or c) in need of a serious kick to the head, if you think that Snape sucks.

He was loyal, THE WHOLE TIME. What else needs to be said? Even when doing horrible things like killing Dumbledore or making Harry suffer or letting everyone think he was faithful to Voldemort, he was doing it all for Dumbledore and Harry and Lily and The Order of the Phoenix. He was Dumbledore's man, through and through.

"Harry Potter sucks. Twilight is so much better."

Go die.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Quarry Cats.

This weekend is what the entire year has come down to. Three games. Just three. But they decide our fate. Do we go to California? Do we play in Nationals? Do we show people how good we are?

Only if we want to.


The one thing that transferring to Montclair has given me that Northeastern could never have given me was the chance to play on this team again. Above everything else that has happened this year, playing on the Quarry Cats has made me realize that transferring was the best decision I ever made. It made me realize how much I really love hockey, how big a part of my life it is, and how without the girls on my team, I wouldn't have had a social life or some of the closest friends I've ever made.

When I first came back and heard the news, I was excited but also nervous. I hadn't actually played on this team in two years. What would everyone think? Would I be that awkward person who was on the team but wasn't really part of the team?

As it turns out, that didn't happen at all. I arrived for my first dryland/practice, and fit right in. It was like I had never left.

The season progressed. We started out on a high note, winning all our games. It was great. We felt fantastic. Until, of course, we hit a sour note and lost all our momentum.

Then it was up and down until Polar Bear, where we really clicked as a team, both on and off the ice, despite being accused otherwise.


And now it's come down to this. As Herb Brooks said, great moments are born from great opportunity. That is definitely what we have here tonight. We have the opportunity to show everyone how good we are, and then to go to California and prove it again.

In the 1980 Olympics, no one thought the U.S. team would do what they did. But they did it. They beat the Soviets, and then beat Finland the day after to take home the gold. They did it. And so can we.

No one is expecting us to win this weekend; they say our chances of going to Nationals are slim at best. So let's prove them wrong. Let's leave everything on the ice this weekend. Let's put all our hearts into this game, and screw the haters. Let's come away from this weekend with no regrets, no thoughts of, "Oh, I should have done this instead of that."

And no matter what happens this weekend, I want my team to know that getting the chance to play one more year with them was possibly the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I'm thankful for that every day. I fucking love all of you. Without you guys, this year would not have been the same.


Districts: here we come.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Something about mountains.

Something that helps me feel less stressed out and like I'm about to die is talking to my friends about things that we want to do after college. Also, hearing that I'm not the only one who feels like their life is a mess with no direction comforts me. One of my best friends and I had such a conversation last night and I remembered this:

One thing that I forgot to add to my list of things I want to do (in this blog post; "In my lifetime...") is hiking the Appalachian Trail. From Georgia to Maine. The whole thing. And not in quick snatches of time, doing little bits of the trail every once in a while; I want to disappear from society for 4-6 months and hike the whole damn thing.

I feel like people wouldn't get this impression from looking at me, but I love hiking. And I don't mean just like strolling through the woods on a nice, easy sloping trail; I like hiking up mountains, scrambling up near-vertical faces, using ladders and metal rungs to climb higher and higher, walking along a sheer drop, above the treeline.

The best feeling when hiking up a long, steep trail is arriving at the top, with the world at your feet, nothing but clouds and the tips of other mountains around you. It's purely exhilarating. No matter how much you cursed yourself for choosing to hike a trail that seemed short (only a little more than a mile) but turned out to be a mile CLIMB with few to no flat stretches, once you reach the top, you forget the difficulties you faced in getting there and just appreciate the fact that you have gotten there.

My dad, cousin, and brother hiking in Maine.

Views don't get much better than this.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In my lifetime...

I just watched this video here, and it kind of inspired me to think of some things that I want to accomplish in my lifetime.

Here we go:

1. Write a book and actually finish it.
2. Get said book published.
3. Backpack through Europe.
4. Study in another country (preferably England).
5. Live somewhere that is not New Jersey.
6. Drive across the country.
7. Fall in love.
8. Gain 100 followers on this blog.
9. Graduate from college.
10. Meet J.K. Rowling.

I realize that some of these might take time and will be somewhat difficult to achieve, but these are just ten things I want to do before I die. And I will make them happen. Don't doubt me.