O’ Children – The Orphans of Harry Potter

The influence of a song on a scene in Harry Potter

I was laying in the tub today trying to grasp a slippery thought. I have most of my semi-deep, to semi-ridiculous ideas while neck deep in the suds. Goes back to my deep and unabiding love of bath bombs from Lush. The problem was that I had had a song on repeat in my head for two days. It was maddening. Especially when it is only a few bars of it. It was as if the thought was made of eel and Vasoline in equal parts, and every time I got just enough of it to push the song into coalescence it slipped through my mental fingers. By the time I had become sufficiently pruned, and the last of our sad little hot water heater was sputtering its last blessed drops, I had figured it out. I had the epiphanic moment.

The song was “O’Children” by Nick Cave, and the Bad Seeds and the scene was the dance scene from Harry Potter 8.

The connection that had been bouncing around my neurons for two days  Weird right. But I

Hey little train! Wait for me!
I was held in chains but now I’m free
I’m hanging in there, don’t you see
In this process of elimination

have funny thoughts pass through my brain a lot while nackt in der Badewanne (naked in the bath – practicing my German). There is a scene in Harry Potter 8 that is both lovely and mellow; until this point, I wouldn’t have described it as brilliant.  But it is utterly brilliant, and wonderfully written now that I think about it. When Harry and Hermione are waiting together in their tent. Ron had just left their expedition in a fit of madness and rage. Both Ron and Hermione are feeling down in different ways. It is an exceptionally well-acted scene, showcasing the talents of Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliff. They are listening to the radio, waiting for news, for death, for anything, when Nick Cave comes on. His voice is melodious but dark and deep and slow.  This is definitely not music you would usually dance to.

Do you remember where you were when you saw this scene? Did you hate it? Love it? In the Harry Potter film universe, it is one of the most divisive scenes ever written. On first watching, you could assume that it is hinting at a possible romantic connection between the lead characters. But, not everything has to be about romantic love. Harry and Hermione are completely worn down like butter scraped over to much bread. The body language of the scene suggests this. Hermione is almost fetal while Harry is at the far edge of the scene. The lighting of the scene suggests a somber dark and shadowy environment. Harry walks over to Hermione and takes her hand and begins to dance in a goofy way. For one blissful moment, they escape their lives

O children
Lift up your voice, lift up your voice
Children
Rejoice, rejoice

and dance together in the joy of friendship. A way that two friends would do to cheer themselves up. To bring a moment of levity into their world that is falling apart. The music is, for me, one of the best selections in a cinematic scene ever done. Bold words.

Here me out, and take a look at the lyrics.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – O’ Children

[Verse 1]
Pass me that lovely little gun
My dear, my darling one
The cleaners are coming, one by one
You don’t even want to let them start

They are knocking now upon your door
They measure the room, they know the score
They’re mopping up the butcher’s floor
Of your broken little hearts

O children
Forgive us now for what we’ve done
It started out as a bit of fun
Here, take these before we run away
The keys to the gulag

[Chorus]
O children
Lift up your voice, lift up your voice
Children
Rejoice, rejoice
Come on, come on, come on, come on

[Verse 2]
Here comes Frank and poor old Jim
They’re gathering round with all my friends
We’re older now, the light is dim

And you are only just beginning

O children

We have the answer to all your fears
It’s short, it’s simple, it’s crystal clear
It’s round about and it’s somewhere here
Lost amongst our winnings

[Chorus]
O children
Lift up your voice, lift up your voice
Children
Rejoice, rejoice

[Verse 3]
The cleaners have done their job on you
They’re hip to it, man, they’re in the groove
They’ve hosed you down, you’re good as new
And they’re lining up to inspect you

O children
Poor old Jim’s white as a ghost
He’s found the answer that we lost
We’re all weeping now, weeping because
There ain’t nothing we can do to protect you

[Chorus]
O children
Lift up your voice, lift up your voice
Children
Rejoice, rejoice
[Outro]
Hey little train! We are all jumping on
The train that goes to the Kingdom
We’re happy, Ma, we’re having fun
And the train ain’t even left the station

Hey, little train! Wait for me!
I once was blind but now I see
Have you left a seat for me?
Is that such a stretch of the imagination?

Hey little train! Wait for me!
I was held in chains but now I’m free
I’m hanging in there, don’t you see
In this process of elimination

Hey little train! We are all jumping on
The train that goes to the Kingdom
We’re happy, Ma, we’re having fun
It’s beyond my wildest expectation

Hey little train! We are all jumping on
The train that goes to the Kingdom
We’re happy, Ma, we’re having fun
And the train ain’t even left the station

The lyrics talk of a world being destroyed by the adults of the system, and it is up to the children to sort it out. It is hopeful. The bombs may be dropping, the world might be ending, but lift your voice children for there is always hope. Rejoice in that.

This is what the Harry Potter story is. I think it is even more powerful when you think of Harry and Hermione as lone orphans. Harry against his will, and Hermione to protect her parents. Both children, fighting a battle and losing. Alone in the world, and now abandoned by their third. Lift your voice children and dance.  Rejoice.

It is a really damn powerful scene, and I have so much more appreciation for it now that I can look at it through the lens of time.

Graphic Novel Review – Book Love by Debbie Tung

All the book loving feels.

 

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“The book I’m reading is about a magical world of dragons and wizards! They go on adventures and explore unknown places! And then at the mansion in Hertfordshire, a wealthy man, and Mr. Darcy…Oh, wait…that’s a different story.”

“You’re reading two books at the same time again, huh?”

 

About

From the publisher, “Bookworms rejoice! These charming comics capture exactly what it feels like to be head-over-heels for hardcovers.

Book Love is a gift book of comics tailor-made for tea-sipping, spine-sniffing, book-hoarding bibliophiles. Debbie Tung’s comics are humorous and instantly recognizable—making readers laugh while precisely conveying the thoughts and habits of book nerds. Book Love is the ideal gift to let a book lover know they’re understood and appreciated.”

My Thoughts

On one hand, I do believe that Debbie Tung is my spirit animal.

 

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The feels. 

 

Who else but my spirit animal could understand my profound love of books? Thank you, Debbie Tung, for illustrating what I feel so deeply when I hold a book. I literally cried when Harry Potter was over and was straight up depressed that I live in a world with no powers or anything cool.

 

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You understand my pain.

 

But on the other hand, I almost feel like I need to give up my book cred now. This book was just too long with too much love. At least it is for one sitting. This book reminds me of a gigantic chocolate milkshake. The largest chocolate milkshake in the history of all milkshakes. On the first sip, your taste buds are literally doing the salsa with all the flavor. On the 50th sip, it is still great but you are losing some of the subtler flavors. On the 150th sip, you are nauseated and will not drink another chocolate shake in the near future. This book is like that, well not the nauseated part.  I will happily adore, embrace, remember and understand her love of books (and mine as well) for about 50 pages. I have been in every one of the scenarios she draws adorable cartoons of. Believe me, I agree and get it. After page 50 it gets repetitive. There are only so many different scenarios in which I can get all the feels in one sitting. After page 100 it loses me.

 

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I have huffed so many books.

 

If a reader were to pick this up and randomly turn to any page, read it, smile, and move one about your day it would be perfect. Seriously perfect. These are scenarios that a reader can visit again and again.

I would recommend this for an adorable coffee table book. One that you turn to occasionally when you need a smile, read a few pages, get the feels and put down.

*All images are illustrations by Debbie Tung*

 

What am I Eating? Sour Cherry Jam

It’s my jam…

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Excellent cherry porn courtesy of Sugarlovespices.com

In my personal quest to try all 1001 Foods before you die list, I have come across both the exotic and the more mundane. However, what is ordinary to one person is downright unapproachable or extraordinary to another. That is why this little quest is so much fun. There is so much to learn about and experience in this world, and while I get to taste all sorts of different things, I also try to learn a little about what I am trying so I have some context.

Sour cherry jam is one of the more mundane foods on the list, but no less delicious. It has an absolutely extraordinary flavor. Basically, a cherry pie shoved into a jam jar minus the crust. Who likes the crust anyway? This type of jam is about as “cherry” a flavor as it can come. I want to put it on ice cream, and bread, and my face.. oh um. Not really the bread. I am gluten intolerant. But you get the idea…

I came across this recipe for a fancyfied version of Sour Cherry Jam, and it looks incredible. The method can be found on SugarLovesSpices It takes something delicious, the basic jam recipe, and adds booze to it which makes it more delicious. Boozy = more delicious, usually. Maybe that’s just me, but pairing Grand Marnier, lemon and cherries seem like a heavenly combination.

Sour Cherry Jam with Lemon and Grand Marnier

  • 6 cups sour cherries, washed, dried and pitted
  • 2.5 cups organic cane sugar
  • 1 lemon, the juice
  • 2 Tbsp Grand Marnier
  1. Wash jars and lids and place them on a baking sheet in the oven at 250° F. Let dry for about 1/2 hour.
  2. Stir together cherries and sugar in a large saucepan. Add lemon juice and Grand Marnier.
  3. Bring to a boil on medium heat, stirring frequently.
  4. Remove the foam on top
  5. Cook for about 40 minutes.
  6. Loosely blend with a hand blender.
  7. Ladle jam into warm jars, wiping the rims and close tightly.

Oh, holy crap… FEED ME SEYMORE

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Review – Diary of An Oger by Valeria Dávila, Mónica López, Laura Aguerrebehere (Illustrator)

Change your underwear you stinky ogre.

 

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Image courtesy of goodreads.com

Thank you, NetGalley, Chouette Publishing, and CrackBoom! Books for an advanced English translated readers copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

Synopsis from the publisher, “My dear diary: this is the end. There are no ogres left. The world is wrong. What does this ogre hide? Is it true that he teaches wrestling with sticks and belching and snot courses? Is it true that the pant is never changed?
The intimacies never before revealed of an ogre with style. Surprising, crazy, secret: a newspaper that you have to spy on yes or yes.”

I am always thrilled when I get an opportunity to review a children’s book. In general children’s books bring a genuine smile to my face, and this book is no exception. Oger’s are funny creatures. Who demonstrate poor hygiene, and poorer life choices. Generally, from Shreck to Harry Potter their depiction is of a smelly, but a lovable brute who is steadily falling all over themselves, and eating fly ice cream. Pratfalls and fly ice cream are funny concepts and relatable for kids. The author took something that could be scary and made it funny which is excellent for kids! This is why this is such a great book. I mean, who doesn’t think that an award given to an ogre who never changes their underwear isn’t funny.

My only real complaint is that it doesn’t have much of a plot and because of this, it relies heavily on the great graphics. I think plot-wise, the author could have hammered home how important it was that ogers need to become ogers of old. She touches on it, but it seems a bit disjointed.

Graphically, Laura Aguerrebehere did a great job conveying the silliness of the ogers. The graphics are bright and again fun to look at.

This is hilarious! Graphics, pacing, everything. I think boys or girls would get a total kick out it!

 

 

The Tiki Putt – Gresham, Oregon

Where Tiki Gods go to die.

The Tiki Putt – Portland Bucket List

I am not sure what to say about this place. Maybe I went to the wrong glow-in-the-dark

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Let me get some Scandia Love.

putt-putt, but this was less than stellar. Here is the thing… I was raised in Las Vegas as a child of the 1980s, we had Scandia. Scandia was freaking awesome. No, it did not have neon and blacklights and tiki torches, but it did have a killer putt-putt range including a castle and water hazards. It also had a batting cage, water bumper boats, two different race car tracks for bumper cars, and a great arcade. As it got older, it did get a bit dated, but C’mon! It was a Vegas landmark.

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Confused shark seems confused. Where did my ball go?

Enter the Tiki-putt. It had cinderblocks painted neon colors, murals on the walls, and a course where you have absolutely no clue where to go or what to do next. It was lame sauce. Which may or may not be because I am utterly spoiled on the putt-putt front from Scandia.

mid course
Look I have a cleverly placed tongue that makes it near impossible to get a shot through.

When we went to the Tiki Putt it was really crowded, and the crows looked like people having a great time. Kids jubilantly swung their putters and winging balls god knows where. Little ones where constantly marveling at the white lint that was now visible on their black t-shirts under the black lights. My husband and I got into the spirit of things. We winged, and we wanged balls all over a glow in the dark luau. We practically broke a hole with one of mark’s shots. His shot popped out the side of a rock formation and nearly tripped me. They have this cool spinning tunnel that affects some people with vertigo, I, of course, am one of these lucky individuals. That gave me a chance to run back in forth through the tunnel like a six-year-old. That was fun!  At this point, we could give a literal rat’s testes about keeping score or even staying track, but neither did anyone else there. So when in Gresham do as the Greshamites do, have some unhinged fun!

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This would be awesome for children if I only understand it. It looks like an Avant Gard Declasse for those artists that want to become one with their art. 
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The saddest after party in the VIP lounge of your favorite dance club. Wait, that’s a swimming pool room or something, 

The Tiki Putt Can be found at:

Contact:

By Phone: 503-201-9007

In Person: 1694 NW Fairview Dr. Gresham Or 97030

Email: thetikiputt@gmail.com

The Spiral Jetty is Crazy Dedication and Smells of Fish

When your view on life is shattered, it helps to witness of feat of pure ingenuity and dedication.

 

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The Spiral Jetty from Space. (https://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/18/arts/design/18spiral.html

About five years ago my father battled stage three throat cancer. What followed was the worst 6 weeks of our collective families life. However, this isn’t about cancer but what my husband did to cheer me up afterward.

 

When my father was diagnosed, I moved back to Vegas temporarily to help my mom and dad. Cancer is a bitch. It isn’t just the emotional and physical toll on the person affected, but it also dramatically changes all the people that they love and love them in return.  After my father’s treatments, I was drained to the point of desperation and depression. My dad is a hero of mine, and I needed a pick me up from all this adulting.

 

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The building of The Spiral in 1970 The Getty

Enter Mark, my husband. He flew down mid-trip to stay with me, and help me cope, and when we drove back to Portland, we turned it into an impressive road trip. Road trips are fantastic, as long as you don’t have kids. With young kids they are purgatory.

 

Ever hear of the Spiral Jetty? I did when I was in college (went to college for Landscape Architecture), and have always wanted to see it. It is a giant earthwork that is only accessible by a long 15ish mile offroad journey through the desert. We did this in my Scion Toaster. We off-roaded in a Scion XB for 15 miles both ways. I still think this is crazy, but you know DEDICATION TO ART!

spiraljettyThe Jetty is only viewable some years, other years it is submerged under the Great Salt Lake. The Artist Robert Smithson said of the sculpture,“I am for an art that takes into account the direct effect of the elements as they exist from day today.” It is effective. As a viewer, you never know if it will be visible or not. It adds a bit of drama to the offroad trip. You have no idea what you will find. The sculpture forms a 1,500-foot-long, 15-foot-wide counterclockwise coil jutting from the shore of the Great Salt Lake. Over the years, the Jetty has developed a patina of crunchy pink salt crystals over the black rocks.  It also smells like the worst fish market ever, but aside from that it is wholly beautiful and seems entirely at home in the lake.   The artist worked in the middle of the desert for years to create this thing. People should see it as a salute to his profound dedication. It cheered me up substantially and I loved striking it off my bucket list. It was worth the trip.

Weird Beauty Products, and why you should just give up and Use Lush

Lush is so, so good.

Don’t you feel a little confused about all of the beauty products out there? From a seaweed bath soak that comes complete with dead crustaceans attached, to an eyebrow product that literally stamps your eyebrows on, it is hard to know what you can use that makes you feel good and is not made of crap. Sometimes literally.

For me personally, that means drastic simplification. I enjoy wearing makeup and usually when I wear makeup I don’t look like a clown. Except when I attempt winged liner.

You are bathing in suds and glory.

That is a whole bunch of next level crap I haven’t mastered. My life just doesn’t seem to allow me much time to do a full face of makeup except on date night. Even then.  Sorry hubby, get used to it.  I do however search out for products that smell good and make me feel right about my very limited beauty routine. Specifically, they are bath bombs and the Whoosh shower gel from Lush.

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Yaaaas queen. Let me huff you. (Image courtesy of lush.com)

The bath bombs need no explaining. They are a bomb of awesome that is plunked with anticipation into your bathwater. They fizzle, glitter, and smell amazing. Cleaning your tub sucks. But who the hell cares! You are bathing in suds and glory.

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The aptly named sex bomb. Jasmine lusciousness. (Image courtesy of lush.com)

The shower gel is for me the most perfect smell and this is coming from someone who has a pretty extensive perfume collection. I sometimes sit in the restroom and just huff it. There is something about the herbal/citrus smell that gets to me. I have searched pretty hard for something that smells like an equivalent, and have yet to find anything.

The third beauty product I am going to mention here is perfume. I like to smell like a french whore. Yes, I love myself. Yes, I know that that is not something that is generally aimed for. Yes, I am ok with this.

I think I have pretty good taste in perfumes, but what the hell do I know. Fun fact about me: I am slightly anosmic. Which means that I have very little to no sense of smell. It is not entirely gone, I can smell some things. But generally, they have to be very strong or very specific. This carries into they way perfumes smell for me. Belk.jpegMy very favorite fragrance that does not wholly annoy my ultra sensitive nose of a husband (aren’t we a pair) is by MAC cosmetics. It smells like I have slathered honey and sexiness all over my body. It is called Velvet Teddy. See see, french whore.

Sometimes I sit in the bathroom and huff it

Close second concerning smell is all class, Coco Chanel. I feel so fancy wearing it. Two very different price points. Depending on the day and if I want to feel a little low-class slutty, I wear the Velvet Teddy. High-class “Pretty Woman” slutty, it’s all Coco Chanel. If I want to keep it all to myself, just the shower gel after a shower.