Thirty Day Challenge: Day Three

Day Three: A Book I Love

SUCH A HARD QUESTION! Mainly because I love so many books. I’ve recently been jonesing to reread the Harry Potter series.

Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home. ― J.K. Rowling

However I will always have to go back to the first literary character I fell in love with: Sherlock Holmes. (Not a new subject for me, my ‘love’ has been documented a handful of times on my blog, most notably here). My favorite book, however, isn’t by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Although it may not be ‘cannon’ I still love it. A book I keep coming back to time and time again is The Beekeepers Apprentice by Laurie R. King (you may recall that I pulled a sentence from the book for yesterday‘s post and have referenced it several times (1 | 2 | 3) in my blog as my favorite book, at least I am consistent in this). I first came across this audiobook when I was in my teens (12-15 and it was on a cassette tape). I was happy, a couple of years later, when I came across the physical book in a book store and thoroughly delighted when, upon reading the book, I realized I had only ever listened to the abridged version. So many more adventures to experience with Russell and Holmes!

TheThe Beekeepers Apprentice Beekeeper’s Apprentice was the only book I took with me when I moved to Rome for the semester. It’s my go to book when I go to venues or have some downtime for some reading (and am not in the middle of a book). As a result there are a handful of ticket stubs and memories from past musicals tucked away. It’s fun to flip to a random stub and start reading from that point. I’ve read it enough that it only takes a paragraph or two for me to remember the back story up to the point that I’m reading. Like I said, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but this book will always be up at the top of list.

Until tomorrow
~ Q

Previous 30 Day Challenge Posts:
Five Ways To Win My Heart | Something I Feel Strongly About

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LOEB: Going on a trip – into a fandom, sort of

After taking a week off of the League, the prompts are back with: Take a trip to anywhere in pop culturedom. What fictional town, time, or world would you want to visit? Aka possibly the hardest question to date. I read way to much fantasy/sci-fi, so to figure out where to go I sat down and looked at my book shelf. HUGE mistake. Instantly there were too many ideas (Long partial list at the end of the post, wont bore those who aren’t into lists).

I ultimately had to follow Mr. Potter and go to school. I love the old Wizarding School of J.K. Rowling’s creation. If I could visit Hogwarts (and Hogsmeade) that would be amazing. Whether I tried to get points by throwing stuff through Moaning Myrtle or try to earn them for my house as we compete for the cup. Through thousands of pages Rowling spun a web that lay a firm foundation for those who have imaginations to leap from room to room, forever envisioning what goes on at Hogwarts when Harry and Company aren’t there.

I’d love to be stuck in literary limbo there. This may sound weird, but come with me on this tangent (or skip to the end of the paragraph). We did this play in high school called Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (by Tom Stoppard). That play follows the characters of Rosencrantz and and Guildenstern through their part in Hamlet. However, rather than inventing where there were in the story (for instance having tea with one another) we follow the characters into limbo. A state where they no longer truly exist, they just wait, until it’s time for them to be important to Hamlet’s story again. Now unlike these two, who were in a void, I’d want to be in Hogwarts. To just go out of my own story for a spell and have all the time in the world to traverse the trick stair cases or wander the halls. It’d obviously be a magical experience.

The best part about visiting Hogwarts are all the layers to the grounds. You have the school itself, then the permitted grounds (green houses, Quidditch pitch, etc), then the restricted sections (forbidden forests, tunnels out of the school, etc) but you’d also get to go to Hogsmeade. An all magical town with an awesome joke shop and candy store. When I was a little kid my family would take vacation out to visit family friends in Montana. In the town where the family lived there was this candy store that we were madly in love with. I’m pretty sure we got a jaw breaker every year, and every year it took us weeks to finish the thing. Of course that made it the best purchase, it lasted longer than the vacation. When I imagine Honeydukes I imagine that candy store, only on crack. Of course I’d have to finish my time in the village with a trip to The Three Broomsticks for a swig of butter beer before heading back home. (As a side note, I had a version of butter beer made of cream soda with a dash of rum and a dash of butter extract – if memory serves – it was oddly good. I’ll have to make it again for the Halloween season (which is the last time I had it).)

To follow other league member’s visits check out the master list, other vacation options include joining an otter in a band or check out a pretty interesting hotel room. Other members are visiting Q’s lab, Eternia, Gotham, Goodwill Haunting makes a roadtrip of it, Hill Valley, Jurassic Park, Zion, Paris Opera House (loved how they chose where to go!), the Power Broker, and Jathniel (like me) had many ideas.

Anyway, that’s my choice, Harry Potter – what a shock. (Although some might have assumed I’d stick with Sherlock or the Doctor)

Until next time ~ Q

Other options that flooded my brain:

  • 221B Baker Street-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (I’ve actually been, there’s a museum. Although the real one was supposedly re-numbered because so many people wanted to see the real place where the character lived)
  • Asteroid B-612-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (the caged flower, with the volcanos that need to be tended)
  • Axis Institute-Catherine Jinks (With courses in basic lying, pure evil, manipulation, misinformation and mutation it’d be a school that’d always keep you on your toes)
  • Belesse Casle-Vivian Vande Velde (Not sure if that’s the name of it or not, but I’d love to take a stroll with Oliver the Cat)
  • Camelot (of Arthurian legend)
  • Camp Calamitas-J.I. Greco (Zombies anyone?)
  • Camp Half-Blood (or New Rome)-Rick Riordan (I’ve been to both Athens and Rome and I’ve always been interested in the mythology. I must go to these camps)
  • City of Progress/Freelan- James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet
  • Florin/Guilder-William Goldman (and the cliffs of INSANITY)
  • Giant Peach-Roald Dahl
  • Green Gables-Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • G.R.O.S.S. club house-Bill Watterson (Oh to be a fly on the wall when Calvin and Hobbes got in a fight about rule changes or decrees)
  • Haven
  • Heart Queendom of Wonderland-Frank Beddor
  • Highbury-Jane Austen
  • Hotel Dolphin-Stephen King (despite the likelihood of death, I need to know what is wrong with that room!)
  • Isle of Berk-Cressida Cowell (I want my own pet dragon!)
  • Illyria-William Shakespeare
  • Lyra’s World-Philip Pullman (Only so I could see my soul represented as an animal. When things are only theoretical, you can interpret them or explain them in so many ways. When it becomes physical, it gets harder. For instance it’d be harder to explain away why people call you a snake when one is with you always, showing others what you are)
  • Kingdom of Wisdom-Norton Juster (I’d want to skip any feasts though, and I’d need a quick trip to the Island of Conclusions)
  • Middle-Earth-J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Midlands-Terry Gookind
  • Narnia-C.S. Lewis
  • Neptune High (I could have totally been a Watson to Veronica’s Sherlock)
  • Neverland-J.M. Barrie
  • Oz-L. Frank Baum
  • Panem-Suzanne Collins (post the second revolution, that way I could look in the history books/old magazines)
  • Pemberley-Jane Austen
  • Pern-Anne McCaffrey (see Isle of Berk)
  • Shiz University-Gregory Maguire
  • Sleepy Hollow-Washington Irving
  • Stormhold-Neil Gaiman
  • Storybrook (I’d probably be stuck there having been the servant of some fluffy princess…or maybe I am stuck in a cursed town…Storybrook-Story City…it’s all so obvious now)
  • The T.A.R.D.I.S. (through all of space and time)
  • Troy-Homer (Was she really that beautiful, the face that launched a thousand ships)
  • Uglyville-Scott Westerfeld (or New Pretty Town. Uglyville has shenanigans and NPT has killer parties)
  • Uriel-Madeleine L’Engle (or the star watching rock throughout A Swiftly Tilting Planet)
  • Vincent Plum Bail Bonds-Janet Evanovich
  • Warehouse 13 (I never forget a face – obviously that means I have a secret ability that would work well at the warehouse)
  • Wayside School-Louis Sachar
  • Winterfell-George R.R. Martin (How big are dire wolves, or is it all hyperbole)
  • Wonderland-derived from the SyFy mini series Alice
  • Wonderland-Lewis Carrol (Tea with the Hatter and Hare is a must on this visit)
  • Wonka Factory-Roald Dahl (I wonder what the lyrics would be to my song as the Oompa Loompas carted me off)
  • Xavier’s school for gifted youngsters (If I got a power/ability to go with it)

Clothes vs Outfits

Very rarely do I wear “outfits”. Usually I just throw something together and hope they coordinate enough to pass as acceptable clothes for work. This doesn’t always pan out (yesterday I wore this shirt to work…I paired it with a denim skirt in hopes to ‘dress it up’ enough for work). I’m not a fashionista by any means. In the future I imagine I’ll be a reluctant contestant on What Not to Wear. However today I actually pulled together an outfit. One that once I saw it made me think ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s‘ (complete with cat-eye sunglasses). Only suitable for a work environment that is usually jeans and a business casual top. I think I get the Tiffany’s part from all the sparklies I wore, and then just wearing black with the sunglasses is reminiscent of the movie cover, only she’s in a dress. The best part was I picked the various elements based on the fact that I heard it was suppose to be triple digits in our part of the state. I don’t think it ever actually made it that high but that is neither here nor there. What’s the outfit you ask? Well here is a rough polyvore creation of what it looked like. OutfitIs this what being an adult is all about? Maturing enough to pull yourself into an outfit mentality over whatever works? I feel like one could make a metaphor about that, but that’s not my style. I just like sparkly stuff and not sweating like a wildebeest. Not going to lie though, I felt pretty snazzy today. That being said I know if I plan an outfit on purpose it will not work. So I’ll just wait for the next time I accidentally pull an outfit off and enjoy the randomness that occurs until then. Until next time ~ Q

LOEB: What movie, TV show, book, etc. turns you into a blubbering baby every time you see it?

Being a child of the late 80s/90s when I read the prompt for this week’s League of Extraordinary Bloggers the first thing that popped into my mind was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In both forms I tear up but at vastly different parts.

First up the movie. Every single time Dobby dies I cry, not nearly as badly as I did the first time but all the same. I think this is an amazing feat because it was completely fabricated (the character). I mean a bit of CG and a prop were what they were going off of but its just so sad. Here this elf gives it all for thesee kids and then he says he’s just happy to be with them. That was a right cheery way to end that movie. Granted, with the subject matter you could hardly end it at a circus right?

In the book, I’m sure there are different spots that I cry at because dear JK did an amazing job at making the characters real. (To this day I have issues reading/watching the 5th book because my hatred for Umbridge is so strong. Never did I hate Snape or even Voldemort as much as I detest Umbridge.) In fact this week’s prompt has sparked a renewed interest to reread the series. Granted I am listening to them on audiobook and have completed the first book so it’s a bit easier to manage since I can then multitask. Refocusing, a time I cried that is burned in my head was the fall after I graduated college. Where I worked at the time allowed you to listen to music whatever while you worked so long as it didn’t interfere with yours/others performance. That meant we usually brought earbuds. I was listening to the 7th book and was luckily out on my lunch break when Harry went to the forest to meet Voldemort. I was driving around town and I started crying. There is something about that scene, when his parents come to meet him and Series and Remus as well that just makes me so sad. So here I am driving back to work crying. I had to reign it in quickly, it would not do to have tear-stained cheeks at work. That was a bit embarrassing. I’m not sure what I would think if I was driving around and saw someone crying behind the wheel of the car next to me, I’d probably think something bad had happened (a death or breakup perhaps) not that they were listening to a book.

As I continued to think of this topic another thing that triggers the waterworks in the ‘TV’ department is Doctor Who. Of course when Rose is forced to leave the Tenth Doctor I cry (still have issues watching that entire season because I know what happens. However even before this prompt was posted I initiated my Dr. Who re-watch. I’m only on the fourth episode of the first season though, so still no Ten. Rose yes, Ten no. ). Another episode that always gets me though is the Human Nature/The Family of Blood. Basically the Doctor makes himself human to outrun some bad aliens and falls in love. However the aliens find him and he has to go back to who he was, but that ends the existence of the man he has become. He just never gets to be happy and with the one he wants to be with. I think all that emotional baggage just sets me up so when I see the Doctor years later checking in on a kid whom he taught I am pushed over the edge and tear up. They reappear at a veterans memorial and salute the kid, who had fought in WW1.

I am sure there are other things I cry at but these were the ones that readily (and persistently) popped into my head when I got the summons earlier this week. In other news sorry for the hiatus. I’ve been working late and prepping for the road trip I am taking with a friend. Which will prompt another hiatus starting tomorrow. I don’t plan to have a laptop so I may or may not be posting next week. Bear with me and I will return to regular posting (as long as I’m not too back logged at work) the week of the 22 where topics will include reviews of Gone with the Wind, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and board games with family members.

Until next time~Q