Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Finally back on here

I haven't been able to post on here for awhile because I was having problems logging in, since the Blogger people wanted me to update my blog to have new features and stuff. To do so I had to make a Google account. Today I decided to just go to Google and create an account there, and it turned out I already had one, cause I'd made a Froogle wishlist. So now things are set up.

Anyway, not much happening here. I took my laptop into Staples today to get a diagnostic done, so depending on how long it takes them to do the diagnostic, I won't have my laptop with me. I am happy I finally got around to it, cause of something I'm working on that I'd rather not talk about quite yet.

I pre-ordered the last Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, from Barnes & Noble the other day. I am excited about getting it.

Speaking of Harry Potter, you'll notice that when I played around with the page elements for my new blog page, I added a Harry Potter countdown to the footer. This countdown is courtesy of and counts down the days until the release of Deathly Hallows and the Order of the Phoenix movie, which premiers a week before DH comes out.

I also changed the blog description, since with my new format the description ended up in the header. It now says "Because even gym leaders (and college students) need a place to sort out their thoughts...". I think it's clever.

I am very tired tonight, maybe cause I stayed up really late last night (till around 1), probably cause I knew I could sleep in cause I had the day off. I was mainly trying to type up as much of this one thing I'm doing as I could, since I knew I would likely not have my laptop for a few days.

American Idol is coming on now but I don't think I'll watch it. Although I do need to stay downstairs to watch the dogs...well, either way I'll see it, cause it's recording for my parents and brother, who are gone (bro at work, parents at the gym). There isn't anyone who immediately catches my fancy at the moment. I may know better once it's down to the top 12. But last season I had faves as early as before the top 24 (Kat McPhee for girls, and Will Makar -- who narrowly missed the top 12, being one of the last pre-top 12 guys to be eliminated, along with Gedeon McKinney--for guys).

Speaking of reality shows, The Amazing Race has started again, and it's All-Stars this time around, bringing back teams from previous seasons. A few of them are pre-season 5 (when I started to watch the show) so I don't know much about them. But my fave team from season 5, Charla & Mirna, are back, which I'm really excited about. (You can see video of them here). I hope they win, cause a girl-girl team has never won the race before. Also, they got eliminated along the way in season 5, so for them to win would be great. I was just watching a video on and there Charla says if they win she will spend her share on financing her and her husband's attempts to have a baby via in vitro. That's interesting. Mirna wants to use her share to help her and her new husband finance their new life together (she just got back from her honeymoon right before starting this season!).

Anyway, I hope they win. Basically anybody except Dustin & Kandace (the "beauty queens" from last season) and Rob & Amber (the "engaged couple" from season 7 who met each other on Survivor: All-Stars...they're married now though).

I'm tired, and Mum and Papa are home now, which means I can go upstairs if I want...I don't have to be at work till 5pm tomorrow, so I may stay up later tonight too. Not too late though.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Harry Potter, weekend off, long days at work, video making addiction?, got Kat McPhee CD...and other stuff

Yesterday, I finally got up the nerve to rent Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the only currently available Harry Potter movie I hadn't seen yet. I rented it at this little video store called Videos for You that is located near my work, along with Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns and an Olsen Twins movie called Getting There. I set up an account there last week and so far I've rented movies there twice now (including yesterday) on Fridays because those have been my early days (7-4) and I've had Saturdays off the last couple weeks.

I have to admit the movie was good and followed the book well. They cut out a lot, like the entire Quidditch World Cup match. But at least the events went all in order, whereas in Prisoner of Azkaban they had Harry get his Firebolt at the end rather than the beginning, for instance. However, it takes its time to get to things, not getting to the first Triwizard task until about an hour into the movie (since the movie is 2 hours long, this is like halfway into the movie). Also the beginning of the movie is a bit different. It starts with the scene of Voldemort and Wormtail in the old Riddle house where they are discovered by Frank Bryce, who is subsequently Avada Kedavra'd by Voldemort. This is from chapter 1 of the book. Then the movie cuts to Harry waking up from a bad dream and he, Hermione, and the Weasleys leaving for the Quidditch World Cup. They don't leave for the Cup until chapter 6 in the book, and Harry is shown in chapter 2 waking up from the dream that is the chapter 1 scene at the Dursleys', not the Weasleys'. In other words, they cut the Dursleys out entirely, as well as chapters 2-5 of the book. Chapter 8, which details the events of the Cup match (including the Weasley twins' bet with Ludo Bagman) is cut. In the book, Harry tells Ron and Hermione about his dream while they're heading back from the Cup to the Burrow via the Portkey. But the movie makes it seems as though he told them on the Hogwarts Express, since it cuts to the train right after Crouch and the other Ministry people run off to investigate who conjured the Dark Mark. Parts of chapters 10 and 11 seem to have been cut. The scene of Moody turning Malfoy into a ferret is moved to after the scene where he tells them in class about the Unforgivable Curses, whereas in the book the ferret scene happened before the Unforgivable Curses class. A bunch of the stuff leading up to the revealing of the champions (parts of chapter 14 and 16 and pretty much all of chapter 15) are cut, except that the arrival of the students from Beauxbatons (who are of both sexes in the book, not just girls) and Durmstrang, which doesn't happen till chapter 15 in the book, is moved in the movie to the opening feast scene, which makes sense anyway. Parts of chapters 17-19, like the Weighing of the Wands, are cut. Chapter 20, which covers the first task, is pretty much intact, except that the part where Hermione helps Harry practice the Summoning Charm is cut (her appearing in the champions' tent to try to help Harry right before the first task is probably their attempt to show her trying to help him). Pretty much everything leading from there to the Yule Ball (chapters 21-22 and part of 23) aside from Ron and Harry trying to get dates is cut, probably because it is not viewed as important. Chapter 24, where Rita Skeeter writes a defaming article about Hagrid, does not appear, although they kept the idea of Bagman talking to Harry because he wants to help him with the tournament, although Harry refuses the help, moving the scene to right after the 2nd task (instead of before the task). Chapter 25, where Harry tries to solve the egg clue in the prefects' bathroom, is pretty much intact, except the Marauder's Map parts don't appear. The 2nd task chapter (26) is basically intact, except that Harry gets the gillyweed from Neville rather than Dobby (since they cut Dobby from the film), which actually kinda works because part of the fake Moody's plan was to get Harry to learn about the gillyweed by planting (no pun intended) the plant book Harry could've found info on it in on Neville. Chapters 27-29 are cut, except for the brief part where Harry finds Barty Crouch and then reports to Dumbledore's office (supposedly to tell him about Crouch, rather than about his dream about Voldemort as in the book). Chapter 30, with the Pensieve scene and Harry and Dumbledore's discussion afterward, is intact, as is most of Chapter 31 (the chapter dealing with the Third Task) except for the stuff about Skeeter being an animagus, Mrs. Weasley and Bill arriving to watch the third task, and the part with Harry and the Sphinx and the spider. Chapters 32-35 (the graveyard scene and the immediate aftermath with the fake Moody and the Veritaserum) is pretty much exactly the same, just made faster-paced with less of Voldemort's monologue. Chapter 36, where Dumbledore and Sirius (who only appears in the movie when he and Harry talk via the fire) hear Harry's story and Dumbledore and Fudge disagree about Voldemort's return, is cut. Chapter 37, the final chapter, is basically the same -- it has Dumbledore telling the school the truth about Cedric's death and everybody leaving. The parts where Hermione shows off the captured animagus Skeeter, where Malfoy and company try to taunt the trio, and where Harry gives his winnings to Fred and George is all cut.

(Thanks to the Goblet of Fire Chapter-by-Chapter Guide @ The Harry Potter Lexicon for summaries of the book chapters that I used for info in the above paragraph).

Overall, though, it was pretty good but not really worth buying. So far, I have figured that the only Potter film currently available I would feel like buying is Prisoner of Azkaban, which I actually already own cause I bought it on VHS while Christmas shopping soon after it came out.

In other Harry Potter stuff, the release date for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (the 7th and final book) was announced this week, which I just found out last night when I went to to download the latest MuggleCast. It is July 21, 2007. I am just excited that the book is coming out soon. Some people, according to MuggleCast, aren't happy and think the date is too soon. I think it's a decent date. Why wait till 2008, especially since it was just released that J.K. Rowling finished Deathly Hallows in an Edinburgh hotel about a month ago?

After working 6 days straight, 5 of them closing, I have today and tomorrow off, which is very nice. I watched the other two movies I rented this morning (the Mewtwo Returns one was interesting, but Domino--see picture below--is kind of annoying) since I had to return the movies by 6 p.m. today.

The days have been long at work though - 8 hours a day for so many days is pretty tiring.

I was thinking today that I am getting addicted to making videos. I think this because I have trouble when listening to music. When I hear a song, I find myself thinking what kind of video I could make to it. I find myself doing that on my laptop more than anything else. I haven't been working on updating my sites like I planned, working on planning what my University Studies A.A. will be in, stuff like that.

Today I went to Wal-Mart to get a couple extra work shirts, after Papa told me I should after seeing me going to work on Friday with a shirt with stains on the sleeves (from cleaning the oven). I bought the shirts, a $25 pair of pants, shampoo and conditioner, and...drumroll...KATHARINE MCPHEE'S DEBUT CD!!! I heard that it was coming out, and Mum and Papa were planning to get it for me for Christmas but it wasn't out yet. I got it for $13.88, a pretty good price.

Here's a pic of the album:

Katharine McPhee's debut album

Other than that there's not really anything to tell, except that I've been making "mixes" of music on CD-R's I've been buying from Big Lots (there's one in the same shopping center as Stater Bros). I have 9 now, and they are basically made up of songs that were on my computer and songs from CD's that I had ripped onto my computer. Now that I have my Kat McPhee CD, I am going to listen to that too.

Good night. I'm tired. I stayed up really late last night.