Hey, I bet you thought I forgot about the rest of the Non-Contest winners, didn't you? Well, I have been thinking about you a lot. I just haven't written. My road is paved with good intentions... I wonder where it leads?
Anyway- on to today's guest of Honor... Kettie!
Kettie is awesome!
I can't remember exactly when I first met Kettie. She is friends with a friend so I'm not sure if it was through the friend, or if it was when I flunked out of the Singles Ward and got sent to a family ward or not...?
My first week in the Piney Creek ward in Denver, there sat Kettie. She was very welcoming and made me feel right at home.
Not long after I was in the ward I was called to be [ugh] ward camp director (any potential Bishops out there that may be reading this- don't get any ideas. Girls camp is not my favorite calling). Kettie was the ward Young Women's president- as well as in the Stake YW presidency (pulling double duty- yes, she's that awesome). I was also called as the YW sports leader. So I think it was through the YW program that I got to know Kettie the most.
Camp. What can I say about camp? Ummm... It was fun. No really, it was. I've decided though that girl's camp is a lot more fun as one of the girls though, rather than a leader. Especially a working peon of a camp leader who can't even make it to the Saturday certifying clinics. It's a good thing Kettie was there to pick up the slack for me- even though she was already doing double duty, she helped me out as well. Camp itself was fun. Even our silly skit- which now, two plus years later- I don't really remember the point of, was fun at the time.
On my birthday, my friends surprised me by taking me to the circus for the first time ever in my life! Kettie was in on that, the little stinker. Desiree had said that she and Kettie were taking me out to dinner, or some other ruse- only to drive me all over town to get me lost (not hard in Denver, I never did get my bearings there)
and then took me to the Denver Colosseum where the Ringling Brother's Circus was waiting for us- as well as a whole pack of friends that I wasn't expecting. It was awesome. Seriously.
My favorite memory with Kettie though, is when I volunteered to help her paint her house. Oh. My. (that is also where I first met Vern.) We didn't mean to match our outfits, it just turned out that way. But I can't remember the last time I had so much fun painting. (Oh man, I just thought of it- I should have stolen her before and after pictures off her Facebook... oh well, too late now)
Let me tell you a little about Kettie though, other than her obvious awesomeness. She is a cyclist. A major one- like someone who goes out and ride all over the countryside... for fun! And she climbs mountains. Why, oh why someone would climb a mountain so high that the snow never melts is beyond me. But she's pretty amazing that way. I don't think there are many impressive peaks around that she has not conquered. And she's super musically talented and very spiritually knowledgeable It's kind of ridiculous how awesome she is. I miss her lots and lots.
Maybe one day she'll include me in one of her little getaways... of course, I'll sit at the bottom of the mountain and wait for her to come back.
Yesterday was a benchmark. One year back in Idaho. Ugh.
First of all, I can NOT believe that it's been a year. Time flies when you're trying to escape under a certain time limit. But I'm here. I'm resigned. For now.
I got really excited there for a while when I found out my company has facilities in the UK. I talked to my director who told me to email our CEO who passed on my info to the UK CEO who passed on my query to the chief recruiter in the UK. Seriously- I was so excited. I was starting to fantasize in my head about what it would be like to live in London (what I would have to do to leave: what I could take and what would have to stay behind, selling Dory if need be, etc). How would I get around, what would I do, where would I live... all kinds of things I was thinking about. Then I got this email:
..."The migration of workers from outside of Europe to the UK has been a point of keen debate in the UK Parliament in the past 18 months. This has resulted in some draconian legislation coming into force that has made ICT’s and all non-European migration for work nigh on impossible on any large scale as well as extremely expensive for businesses. In addition to this legislation, clinical and medical staff are required to be registered with the relevant UK professional health board (General Medical Council / Nursing and Midwifery Council) before they apply to the UK Boarder Agency for immigration clearance. Registering with the relevant UK professional health board adds an additional 6 to 9 months to the recruitment cycle. One final hurdle HCA International are legally required to complete is a procedure called a Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT). In short, this mean the Chief HR Officers need to provide documentary evidence to the UK Boarder Agency that no British or European citizen is capable of completing the role.
It is possible to move from the US to the UK but it is a costly, complicated and time consuming adventure..."
Depressing? I think so. So now I'm working on the next plan. I don't know what that is yet. So stay tuned.
So on the anniversary of my homecoming, I was driving to work when an awful thing happened. I hope it's not some kind of bad omen. I do everything I can to not hit animals while I'm driving (bugs don't count- they are not animals, they are a nuisance and the more that die, the better). I brake for squirrels, and I even wrinkle my face in silent hope whenever I see a mouse running across the freeway in front of me- hoping that the tires will just miss it's little vermin body. So yesterday, when I was driving to work and a bird hit my windshield, it did not go well with me (or the bird, probably). I saw the bird take flight and swoop toward my car. I don't know if it's some dare game that they have going on, but the birds can usually swerve out of the way at the last second. This one must have been having an off day, because he didn't get out of the way in time. The crunch was sickening and the splat of gunk and feathers left behind caused me to only hope that he died instantly and wasn't suffering on the side of the road somewhere. I cried the rest of the way to work. What a horrible way to die for a bird. As grateful as I am for modern conveniences, it makes me sad the way we torture nature.
Anyway, I hope that's not a precedent of how the next year is going to be. *shudder*
So- more anticipated than the movie.. is the story of my trip! I know you've been dying inside till you got to hear about it!
Thursday morning I put myself together and headed down to Salt Lake. My friend Lisa Witt flew in from Denver just to see me and go to the movie with me! How awesome is that? She is my movie premier bestie- and when we didn't get to go to the last movie together it was really sad. So we made sure to get together this time.
Her flight was delayed so I went shopping. There is nothing that a big, fat, straight girl loves to help her shop more than a little, skinny, gay guy (oozing sarcasm) but I still managed to come up with some pretty killer deals. It was all boring shopping though- work clothes. But my rule is for everything new I have to get rid of something old. So now I have to go through my closet and decide what gets thrown out.
I picked her up at the airport and we went to check into our room and dump off our stuff. I was so excited to play Mormon Tour Guide for her cuz I thought she'd never been to Salt Lake before- but she's been there and done all the stuff I was going to take her to- so we just drove around looking for something to do. We randomly decided to get manicures! I think we threw them for a loop when we asked for nails with lightening bolts on them (in honor of Harry- obviously) I had to draw a lightening bolt because something got lost in translation.
She got Ravenclaw colors- and though green is my favorite color I didn't want to do Slytherine... so I did Gryffendor.
We were both starving so we had an early dinner and headed to the Olive. Oh Olive, How I love thee.
Then we drove by our theater to see how the line looked and though it was still early, there was quite a line so we thought we'd just go in and see what the line for the double feature looked like (we had tickets for 7.1 and 7.2)
We played the Harry Potter alphabet game- the folks next to us even got in on it a little bit. I, Y, and X are really hard. After round one when you've used Igor Karkaroff, Yaxley and Xenophilius Lovegood- those letters are hard to fill.
Anyway, then we watched Harry Potter-ish videos. This one was my favorite.
Ahem... ok... so when the finally let us in the theater, they gave us our special edition Harry Potter 3D glasses. Then we just had to wait for the movie to start.
It had been a very long day- and I won't lie- I fell asleep through a few parts of 7.1. I was TIRED and I've already seen a kajillion times anyway. And I'd much rather nap through the first one- then even blink during the second one.
Then... the movie. So good. I bawled. I love Snape. I just have to remind you of that. I don't want to be a spoiler though- so enough of that.
We both died that night. We were planning on staying up all night talking and giggling- but it's a sign we're aging. I was so tired!
Before long we had to say goodbye! BOO! But it was a lovely visit though and I hope we get to do it again soon!
I'm super sad that Harry Potter is over. It's all done. No more. Kaput! But I'm glad that I got to be a part of it. Oh- I almost forgot-
Dear obnoxious teenager that I stood next to in line- I could tell from the first word your accent was fake. And the longer you did it, the dumber you sounded. Don't ever do that again. Oh, and drawing the deathly hallows all over your arm isn't cool either. Just get it tattooed and be done with it.
So... I'm a nerd. I come from a long line of nerds. And one of the zillions of nerdy things that I like to do is theme things. I have dates with my nieces and they're themed. I'm just... weird that way I guess.
So for the last Harry Potter movie release, I made a special treat mix for those in my wait-for-hours-in-line-in-the-freezing-Idaho-weather-until-the-stupid-theater-opens-the-doors group.
It's super easy and really fun!
I went to the bulk section of the candy store and got:
Cockroach clusters (peanut clusters)
Chocolate Galleons (the gold coin thingies)
Pastel Witches Hats (Non peril mints)
Berty Botts Ever Flavor Bean (the real ones- with some jelly bellies to supplement them)
and Droobles Best Blowing Gum (which I did NOT try- because I let the kids go first and when kids spit out a candy- you know it's not good)
You can also add licorice wands (good and plenty) but I think they're gross.
And did I ever tell you about the time I made Dragon Eggs and butter beer?
It was at the premier of the Half Blood Prince.
They were fairly easy to make.
A boiled egg, wrapped in ground Italian sausage and cheddar cheese, rolled in egg yolk then breaded with Italian breadcrumbs. Then bake it for... some amount of time and some temperature..? They were fab-yoo-luss!
The butterbeer was a little less successful. I mean, it tasted ok, but it was so sweet that no one could finish even a mugful. It was Butter and butterscotch (like the ice cream topping) melted and mixed together then thinned down with some cream soda (recipe found here) Tasty but sa-weet! Yowzah!
... because I can't imagine why they cast these people.
Don't get me wrong- these people have all grown on me and I love them for the work they have done- but initially I did not see these people in the parts and really struggled with it. But this was all before I decided in my head that the books and movies had to be seen as separate entities, only then could the fan be truly happy.
Alan Rickman as Severus Snape
I can hear you now... "What??? Bakeshow, you've blogged about these guys a zillion times in the last couple of months. We thought you loved Alan and Snape!?" I do, dear friends. Trust me. BUT (that's a big but!) when Harry's parents die- they are about 21 years old- and Snape is an old school fellow of theirs, in the same year which would make him about 32 ish when Harry first arrives at Hogwarts. I love Alan to teensy tinesy bits and pieces- but when they cast a 60 something man to play a part that should have gone to a 30 something actor... it really bugged me. Of course I love Alan as Snape now- but at first...
Geraldine Somerville and Adrian Rawlins as Lily and James Potter
Same reason. Too old! Plus- it says repeatedly in the books that Harry is a near exact replica of James- (and here James looks more like Stan Laurel)
They could have cast this way better- especially for a part that doesn't really require a lot of acting skills (smiling at Harry from the Mirror of Erised)
Let's just say now- that all the characters that were supposed to be around Lily and James' age- were too old (Peter Pettigrew, Lupin, Sirius and so on...)
Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter
Blasphemy? I don't think so. He wasn't how I pictured him. Of course now- I can't see anyone else in the role, but at first I was not on board.
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge
She is not squat and toad-like enough... but once I saw her in the role- really into it- she is deliciously evil enough to pull off the Hogwarts High Inquisitor.
Of course, like gazillions of others, I read the books before the movies came out (not long before, mind you. I was very resistant of jumping on the Harry Potter bandwagon. I don't like to do things because everyone else is doing it- it was the same with Twilight. I read them before I knew how popular they were... are... whatever) Anyway- I had pictures in my head of the characters and some of the people cast fit the bill exactly, some not so much. Of course, now, ten years later, they've grown on me and I can't see anyone else in the roll- but there were a few that were perfect (for me) from the get go. Let's talk about them today.
Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley
Seriously. When I read the book- before the movie was announced or anything- this is who I pictured as Ron. I think of the whole franchise, he is my favorite. :) I love Ron!
Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore.
Don't get me wrong, I like Michael Gambon, but I think that Harris's Dumbledore was perfect. Major shame that he passed away before he could finish out the series.
Oliver and James Phelps as Fred and George Weasley
These silly trickster twins are picture perfect for the roles they were born to play.
Maggie Smith as Professor Minerva McGonagall
She is such a beautiful, gracious lady- but she plays the stern tartan wearing witch with flare! Perfect!
David Bradley as Filch
Seriously, he's awesome. He's a fantastic actor! (I know, I've seen him in real life!) and it seems as if this role was written for him. He absolutely embodies the role of the creepy custodian.
Robbie Coltrane as Rubeus Hagrid
Partially due to some great filming techniques, partially due to the fact that he's just built to be Hagrid, I wouldn't mind if this gentle (half) giant knocked my door down to tell me I was magical.
Robert Pattinson as Cedric Diggory
Before anyone really knew who he was- he was Cedric. I giggled in delight the first time he jumped out of that tree on the way to the Quidditch World Cup. He is *exactly* how I pictured Cedric and *exactly* how he is described in the books. Well done, Casting Director. Well done.
There are lots of lame-o quizzes out there that fans can take that will sort them into the Hogwart's houses. But most of them are just stupid and give you a random answer at the end anyway.
I've only ever found one that had questions more in depth than:
Which color do you prefer?
You know, the stupid ones where you know a certain answer will get you certain results. I can't remember where the quiz was! I want to say it was on Mugglenet when they first started, but I honestly can't remember for sure. But it had a lot of questions- like fifty, and really got to know you before it sorted you.
I was sorted into Hufflepuff. I thought at first that was kind of a bummer, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that's not far off the mark. Let's examine:
"values courage, bravery, loyalty, nerve and chivalry." Yeah, where I know I'm loyal and chivilrous, I know I am equally not brave or nerve....ous (hahahahaha!).
"values ambition, cunning, leadership, resourcefulness, and most of all, pure wizard blood." This describes everything that's not me. I may talk big, but I'm not one who is out to conquer the world... and I get along with pretty much everyone. I don't care what their background is- if they are nice to me, I'll be nice to them.
"values intelligence, creativity, learning, and wit." Personally, I think this is where I belong. But the test showed I belong in:
"values hard work, tolerance, loyalty, and fair play." This is not a stretch for me. I mean, I would prefer Ravenclaw I think, but this works too. Either way, I would definitely be on the Quidditch team.
It's Harry Potter Week at BitterHarpyPress! I just decided so I can't post much today- so I'll just start with a video that has been stuck in my head for a few weeks (misery loves company). (remember a few posts ago when I talked about Professor Snape??? This is what I was chanting when I wrote his name--- go on, scroll down to look at it, then come back and watch the video.
Catchy, inn'it? Come back tomorrow for more HP! :)
So- because of the wedding cake I did last week, I've been asked for business cards. I thought I would just stick with the name of the blog address- bitter harpy cakes. The other day, when talking to a certain family member about it, she burst out something along the lines of "That's stupid! Who would buy a wedding cake from a bitter harpy?!"
Ok... personally, I like the name and I think it's different. But, I guess I can see where she's coming from. I am willing for other opinions to be heard- so will you please take the survey to the left and let me know what you think before I put business cards together?
Have I ever told you that Independence Day is my favorite holiday? Well, it is! I mean, I love me some Halloween and Christmas and stuff, but I love July 4th! It's summertime, and there are fireworks involved. Plus, I'm incredibly proud to be American [insert Lee Greenwood song here]. I am terribly lucky to live here, and have the freedom to worship, to speak my mind and to choose my own future. I love that I am part of a great legacy. I'm not exactly sure if they came with the Mayflower folks, but some of my ancestors were among the first settlers in the New World. Others came after they joined the church- and from there pushed west and helped settle Utah.
I'm made up of a little bit of everything.
My genes are English, Irish, Italian, Danish, German and some others...
My stomach is Italian
My preferred accent is British (witch includes English, Scottish and Irish)
But all these things mixed together make me American!
My favorite American things:
The flag (I think it's one of the most interesting flags- and the symbolism is beautiful)
Fireworks (technically, I think these are Chinese, but the when they are for an American celebration- they become one of my favorite things)
Disney (born and bred America, you can't help but love the Mouse and his crew)
The Pledge of Allegiance (nuff said)
Baseball (it's been years since I've played- and I've been itching to- but it's still fun to watch other play)
The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (because they are both very close to my heart)
Microwaves (thirty second meals? Yes, please)
Our Military (they sacrifice thier lives to protect our way of life- and trying to help others have a better existance. Hooray for them- and thier families who let them go!)
The Star Spangled Banner (the song, not the flag- cuz I already mentioned the flag- silly. I just think the words are incredibly beautiful- and when sung properly by someone who can hit the notes? Gorgeous!)
Teddy Bears (because Teddy makes everything better)
I have been really good all week and not putting all my favorite heart throbs. But the walls can be contained no longer.
*NOTE* I am talking about characters here- not necessarily the guys who played them in the movies (although, I wouldn't kick them out of the restaurant).
Edward Rochester from Jane Eyre. I love him. I Love him I LOVE him! I don't cry often when I read mushy books- but I bawled (BAWLED I tell you) when he describes to Jane how he feels when she's away (somewhere around chapters 22 or 23... read it and then come back and tell me how much you love him too! Seriously)
Snape Snape Severus Snape. Just a wonderful man- I don't care what you say! Painted to be the bad guy, but a good guy from the beginning. Sure, he has a past, but he's fully repented of it and is trying to make amends, even if it means keeping alive the child of his only love. The child he loathes, yet loves.
John Thornton from North and South (ok, this might be a taaaaad influenced by the actor.) What a lovely, pathetic man. The line where he says, "No one loves me but you, Mother." I always shout, "I LOVE YOU!"
Captain Wentworth from Persuasion. Love him. His love is constant and endures years of thinking he's not good enough for his beloved. His heart never wavers. Sigh... Again, his letter to Anne (chapter 23... I die!)
Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. His quite stoic-ness is so lovely. He's not the best at expressing himself, a little shy at times, but he loves Lizzy beyond what his words can convey. His actions did not show her he loved her, so he had to change his outward behaviour to prove to her that he loved her, even when he was in doubt of that love being returned.