Category Archives: books

Neville Longbottom: Love of My Life

Yesterday, Go Fug Yourself posted the above picture of the Harry Potter cast, featuring Neville Longbottom aka Matt Lewis. Let’s review the past decade, shall we?

His taste in ties has also markedly improved.

WHOA. As the Fug Girls wisely noted, this development is both unexpected and AWESOME. I linked the original post in my gchat status yesterday and received several comments on it, including one from a friend who asked if Young Draco there was Neville, because she couldn’t fathom that Hottie McHotterson Clive Owen, Jr. there is everyone’s favorite dumpy Herbology enthusiast. But he is. The only thing that makes me happier than an adorably homely kid implausibly growing into his doofy eyebrows (see Hoult, Nicholas) is when that adorably homely kid represents one of my all-time favorite, deliciously awkward, oft-maligned characters. Poetic justice is sweet, my friends.

My love of Neville is so blinding that I never even considered the possibility that he is not everyone else’s favorite, too, until I had this conversation over gchat this morning (abridged for your sanity):

Friend: ahahahah ive been internet stalking him since gfy put that picture up
 he should have been harry
me: No!
 Neville is my favorite
 Neville was always my favorite
Friend: heheh that is why you are strange
  but ultimately vindicated
  by hotness
me: And badassery!
 I’ve been saying since about book 4 that JK should just kill harry and make the next book “Neville Longbottom and the Herbology Hut”
  he’s such a BAMF in book 7
Friend: yea
  it was kind of hard to believe for me actually
  like WOAH all of a sudden
  i felt like she should have given more clues that he had that potential
me: Um, maybe you just missed the clues
Friend: well he was always a doof
  up until book 7
 like he tripped and broke that prophecy ball
 and everyone was like “oh neville, good job you stunned someone (except they werent even paying attention at the time)”
me: No! he was so cool!
  I am re-reading right now
  I’ll tell you whenever he does something cool
Friend: hahaha good
  because i never noticed really 

So now I’m on an official mission to prove to this friend that Neville Longbottom is, always has been and always will be a Bad Ass Motherfucker, one book at a time. For each book, I’ll give you a brief plot summary from the perspective of the real hero of these books, and then a detailed analysis of exactly why Neville is cooler than you in this book. It goes without saying, there will be spoilers.

Neville Longbottom and the Disappearing Toad

Toad is absent because it vanished. Obvi.

Oh my gosh, it’s my first year at Hogwarts and I’m so excited! If for no other reason than I get to get away from my terrifying grandmother and my maniacal uncle who keeps dropping me out of windows/trying to drown me. But they’re so proud of me, they even gave me a pet toad named Tr–hey! Where’d he go? He was JUST here…

I got sorted into Gryffindor! I took the longest of anyone, actually, because I possess so many good qualities, the hat couldn’t decide where to put me! Plus we had a nice discussion about song-writing, because that poor hat just sits alone in a cupboard all year with nothing to do but consult his rhyming dictionary and muse over the fact that nobody ever stops to say, “hey hat, how’s it going? Have any new songs you’d like to try out on me?” We bonded over being severely under-appreciated as characters, and I get the sense that this little chat will prove really useful in about 7 years time.

The school year’s going ok, except that everyone treats me like a moron despite being in no way the worst in my class. We were supposed to be making feathers fly the other day and Seamus lit his on fire. It’ll be a miracle if Crabbe and Goyle pass a single class, and everyone knows that only idiots get sorted into Hufflepuff. The only thing I’m exceptionally bad at is potions and well… you can’t win them all. The first day of class, my cauldron melted and I got boils all over me. Worst of all, Snape was more concerned with taking points away from Harry for some asinine reason than getting me to the hospital wing. Worst. Teacher. Ever.

Speaking of Harry, my friends are pretty cool most of the time. I say most of the time, because for kids that sneak off in the middle of the night all the time, you’d think they’d be better at it. I got locked out with them recently, and not only did we almost get caught by Filch, but we got locked in a room with a three-headed demon dog, like the River Styx is hidden in the third floor corridor or something. Apparently it was standing on a trap door, and Harry’s all, “Let’s find out what’s underneath!” Because I guess he forgot about the DOG FROM HELL, LITERALLY, standing on top. 

I swear, that kid has an invincibility complex. You’d think he’d be a little more cautious after that first incident, but noooo, he tells Malfoy a story about some dragon and then goes prancing around on the astronomy tower late at night with Granger. I tried to warn him that Malfoy was sending Filch after them, and then I got caught too, because the world is an extremely cruel and unjust place.

So as a result of just trying to be a good friend, I lost 50 points for Gryffindor, became a social leper and got stuck with Forbidden Forest Detention Duty looking for hemorrhaging unicorns. To make matters worse, Hagrid went frolicking off with Hermione and Harry while I was left with Fang and Malfoy, because that makes TOTAL SENSE, Hagrid. Leave the sociopath alone with the world’s most useless boarhound and a defenseless kid! Well, that punk snuck up behind me and I panicked, but can you blame me? It’s like Hell as envisioned by Lisa Frank up in that joint, all schizoid centaurs and unicorn-eating monsters. Who wouldn’t be a little twitchy?

After that delightful experience, I just focused on passing my exams and laying low, seeing as everyone hates me now for ruining our chances at the House Cup with my my craptastic roommate Harry. Then I heard that asshat of a friend was sneaking out with his cronies AGAIN. I tried to convince them not to, since their last little excursion resulted in a creepy detention and social suicide for all, and what happens? Granger HEXES me. So thanks for that, amiga. I had to spend all night paralyzed on the common room floor because of you. Fred and George drew all over me in sharpie.

Meanwhile, the three stooges were off to fight Voldemort, because that’s a BRILLIANT idea when you’re 11 and have mastered approximately three spells. Miraculously, they only slightly mangled themselves in the process. As a reward for their idiocy+luck, Dumbledore gave them back all the points they lost jaunting around the castle at night, but we were still only tied for the House Cup. Until I tipped us over the edge when I got 10 points for not succumbing to peer pressure. Yeah, that’s right, I WON THE HOUSE CUP. And if you’ll excuse me, I need to take advantage of being the most popular boy in school for five minutes before everyone forgets about me again in the next book.

Most Badass Moment of the Book
During a Quidditch match, Malfoy is busying himself by insulting Ron and Neville. Ron and Neville start a Gryffindor v. Slytherin rumble, with Ron going after Malfoy and Neville singlehandedly taking on Crabbe and Goyle. Unfortch, it lands Neville in the hospital, and yeah, it was a bad idea for runty Neville to take on those overactive pituitaried goons, but it’s the thought that counts. Plus, it shows he has his friends’ backs; even in the face of abject failure, he’s willing to throw a few punches for a fellow Gryff. 

#1 Reason Neville is Cooler than You
He has a toad. Toads are notoriously uncool:

“Sorry,” he said, “but have you seen a toad at all?”
When they shook their heads, he wailed, “I’ve lost him! He keeps getting away from me!”
“He’ll turn up,” said Harry.
“Yes,” said the boy miserably. “Well, if you see him…”
He left.
“Don’t know why he’s so bothered,” said Ron. “If I’d brought a toad I’d lose it quick as I could.”

The uncoolness of Trevor the Toad and the fact that Neville doesn’t even care automatically makes it round the corner back to coolsville. Neville is the original hipster. And not those awful hipsters who stop listening to a band or switch canned beers because they became too “mainstream.” Neville is a legitimately cool hipster who will drink PBR no matter who else is drinking PBR because he. likes. it.

Stay tuned for Book 2!

Year 2
Year 3

Judging a Book By Its Cover: Part 2

You may remember that last Thursday was Teen Lit Day, and as a celebration, I finally started reading an abandoned book from my childhood, The Changeover: A Supernatural Romance by Margaret Mahy. Where we last left off, I’d read the first chapter and was pretty skeptical. Our Heroine had just had some sort of premonition and was trying to convince her mom that this guy who reads romance novels is a witch. I said the book was not badly written, and at the time, I was not lying.
Well, I finished the book yesterday, and I’m here to give you a full recap. Let me start by saying that at no point during this entire novel does anyone glow:

Now that we’ve cleared that up, I feel compelled to say that if this book and I had a relationship,* it would be my abusive ex. I thought that if I stayed with it long enough, I could fix it, and there were moments where I really thought I would. But in the end I realized that this book was bad for me, and there was nothing I could do about it. I was a worse person, too, for being with this book–I shouted at it, verbally abused it, even threw it down and paced around the room in anger sometimes, but I kept going back to it, holding on to the hope that our relationship would get better. It didn’t.

There were so many things wrong with this book, it’s hard to know where to begin, but I’m going to limit my review of this book to two parts: The Supernatural and The Romance. Know now that this is going to be spoilertastic, hopefully so no one ever feels the need to read this book again. Seriously, it’s that bad. I was going to mail this to my sister when I finished so she could read it, but now I’m not going to because I love her too much.

The Supernatural
Let’s start with the plot, shall we? This is the “supernatural” story line, which theoretically should be the focus of the story but is actually just an afterthought designed to get the two characters together. I came to this book with an open mind; supernatural books aren’t really my thing, but I’ve never really tried to read them so I didn’t want to judge. Besides, I really like some supernatural-adjacent things, like Doctor Who or Harry Potter or Runaways. So I do believe that it’s possible to write a supernatural-genre book that I would like. But this was just not one of them.

This was the basic plot: Our Heroine, Laura, picks up her stupidly-named brother, Jacko, from day care. On their way to visit their useless, oblivious mom at her job, they pass some normally boarded up store and now it’s all colorful and friendly. They go inside even though it says on the doors that it’s only open Thursday afternoons and no sort of reputable business operates like that. The man who runs the shop is creepy and old and smells like rotting peppermint, but instead of leaving immediately they stick around and the man puts an indelible stamp on Jacko that he uses to suck out his life-force. Jacko gets really sick and so Laura goes to Sorry who’s a complete asshole (but we’ll get there), but eventually he and his witchy mother and grandmother say they can help. Unfortunately they must not be very good witches, because the only thing they can think to do is turn Laura into a witch (this is the “Changeover”) and then have her approach the Bad Guy wearing dark glasses so he doesn’t know she’s a witch. That is seriously their plan. Anyone who’s ever read anything knows that a plan that relies heavily on dark glasses is absolutely not going to work, except that it does this time. Nothing goes wrong in the plan. Also, Sorry was really concerned about the Changeover, but nothing bad came of that either. Laura’s all happy and peaceful now that she’s a witch, and can even accept the fact that her father left her and her family because he loves his new wife more than her. I’M SO SURE.

My primary problem with the plot is that it was just too easy. There are no twists and turns. Maybe I’ve been reading too much Patrick Ness, but this plot was unpredictably predictable. It was like Mahy wrote the romance parts of this book, then sneezed and the plot appeared all scattered and uninteresting. And holey. There were so many story lines in this book that she hinted at and then completely abandoned. My favorite is that in addition to hyping up the Changeover as super terrible and dangerous (it wasn’t that bad), Sorry keeps telling Laura that his mother and grandmother have some hidden agenda for turning her into a witch. She needs to find out if there’s another way to save her brother without the Changeover. So Laura asks one of them “Do you have a secret agenda? Is there another way?” And she’s like, “I totes have a secret agenda, and there’s no other way.” And that’s the end of that. No further discussion of secret agenda or alternate solutions.

In addition to the plot being dumb, the pacing was just really bad. For instance, this book is about 260 pages long, and Jacko makes his miracle recovery on like page 200. So what do we read about for the next 25% of the book? Not much. In general this book is long stretches of romantic interlude punctuated by the actual plot. I’m all for romance, but this just didn’t make any sense. You don’t flirt with a guy for like 30 pages while you’re brother is off dying somewhere. Which brings us to…

The Romance
There’s an episode of Doctor Who where an alien learns everything it knows about human interaction by reading Agatha Christie novels, and so goes around murdering everyone like it’s And Then There Were None. I think Sorry learned everything he knows from reading romance novels, because he acts like a romance novel archetype: Sexually-harassing, condescending asshole with a tortured past (disclaimer: I’ve only read one romance novel in my life but I’m assuming they’re all the same). She’s all “My brother’s cursed! I need your help because you’re a witch!” and he’s all “I’m an asshole! I’m going to touch your boobs now, but it’s ok because I stammer and had a troubled childhood and am tortured and shit.” “Cool! I see absolutely nothing wrong with that,” says Our Heroine.

He’s also like all the bad parts of the Twilight men mashed up together: Jacob’s overconfidence and overt sexuality plus Edward’s insane stalking skills. There were so many disturbing things about Sorry’s character, but this one may be the worst:

The photographed woman, naked, and smooth as satin, reclined, smiling at Laura just as she smiled at Sorry, but the glance meant something different. To Laura, it was the smile of a sister, not a siren. Pinned to the corner of the poster over the woman’s head was the small photograph she had observed with curiosity nearly twenty-four hours earlier… [she stepped] in between islands of homework to study the photograph. She was staring at herself — made grainy with enlargement –as if a detail had been selected from the the background of some other photograph and blown up beyond the capacity of the image to hold a clear outline… Laura, looking from her own picture to that of the naked goddess extending herself languorously to the left, sighed and shook her head.

INAPPROPRIATE REACTION, LAURA. This is where you run from the room and straight to the police to get a restraining order. Instead, she stays there, to see Sorry standing in the door watching her, and instead of apologizing for being a perv, he’s like, “sorry the picture’s blurry. you wouldn’t stop moving while I was pretending to take a picture of something else with you in the corner.” Then he goes over to her and fondles her. Further proof he’s a sexual deviant:

“It’s too personal, really… like standing in the dark and looking in at someone’s window.”
“But that’s quite an interesting thing to do,” he said. “And harmless, as long as people don’t know you’re there.”

I guess he and Laura deserve each other because, she is kind of a creeper too.

He kissed her very gently. It reminded Laura of the soft but heavy kisses Jacko used to give when he was just learning to kiss, and found it very disturbing, for it seemed as if he kissed her for Jacko in the past, himself in the present and for another unknown child somewhere in the future.

Omg what? Ew. That is not how it’s supposed to work, Laura. The romance part of this book is so disturbing. And it is 90% of the book. I kept hoping Sorry would have some kind of transformative moment, but he didn’t. He took the poster down at the end, but only because Laura asked him to, not because he realizes how creepy it was.

This book was just… ugh. For a book that bills itself as a romance, I wanted to vomit on it several times. In the words of Cher Horowizt, “And like, we’re expected to swoon? I don’t think so!”

*Thanks to Forever Young Adult for making me see all books it terms of human relationships now.

Always Judge a Book By Its Cover

Apparently today is Teen Lit Day! This is especially exciting to me as I am in a major Young Adult phase right now. Until a few months ago, I pretty much exclusively read non-fiction for a solid two or three years. Then my sister and Markus Zusak decided to convert me. I suddenly remembered, “Hey, fiction is kind of fun too! And these fast-reading YA books are way more satisfying than the nonfiction book about plants that’s taken me a month to read.” And so I started diversifying my reading selection. While I still read some nonfiction (and even occasionally, adult fiction), there’s now a constant stack of YA library books sitting on my nightstand.

I wasn’t always a big fan of teen lit. When I was growing up, my librarian mom was on some sort of YA Literature Something Something Committee, and as a result, she was full of reading recommendations. Though the ones I did read were indeed good, I stringently ignored most all her suggestions because I had serious reason to question her judgement. Repeatedly, she recommended The Changeover: A Supernatural Romance by Margaret Mahy. Despite her best efforts, my sister and I both refused this book on the grounds that (in addition to a Supernaturally Embarrassing title) it had absolutely without question the worst, most eye-searingly awful cover in the history of book covers. Even my 12-year old self in overalls and novelty socks could see that. So instead I stuck to my Dad’s suggestions and read things like Oscar Wilde and P.G. Wodehouse. Sorry Mom! I’m sure Calico Bush and that one with the girl rollerskating on the cover were great books! Maybe you should’ve led with those.
Since I’ve started on this YA kick though, I’ve regretted not reading that book. The cover was so awful! How could I not have been curious enough to open it? I decided to get it from my house, only to discover that my mom had thrown it away! But I was not to be deterred. I went hunting on Amazon in the used book section and, even though there was no picture, decided that the “1985 Mass Market Paperback” edition was the one for me. I ordered it on a Sunday night, and guess what? This book is so magical that it was sitting on my doorstep when I got home Monday evening. I eagerly ripped open the package, and I was not disappointed:
And if the cover didn’t completely sell you on this book (because you don’t have eyes?), check out the description on the back:

Laura had noticed the looks Sorenson Carlisle gave her at school. They were looks that meant more than just friends. And even though he hardly spoke to her, she knew there was something very special about him. She knew he was a witch.

So when Laura’s brother Jacko falls deathly ill, Laura must go to Sorry — for she can see Jacko is possessed. And Sorry tells her there is only one way to save him: to give up her morality, and “changeover” to what he is himself.

 “Go while you still can,” Sorry warns her. Laura will not listen. He offers her life, death, or the supernatural–but the choice she makes must be her own.

Up until now, I hadn’t read this book because I had a stack of library books that were due I wanted to save it for a special time, and what better time than Teen Lit Day! I started it last night. Can it live up to its (alarming) 5-star rating on Amazon (where I have rectified the lack of picture)? So far I’ve only read chapter 1, and it’s all still up in the air:
Page 1: Ooo I really like the first paragraph. This could be good! Also, we’re in NZ apparently. Bonus factor numero uno!
Page 2: Now we’re talking about teenage bodies changing. I’m less into that… Apparently Our Heroine is pleased with how her body’s turning out, though I guess she’s kind of a butterface. This makes me uncomfortable.
Page 3: Uh oh, our heroine’s just gotten some kind of premonition. I say uh oh because she knows something bad is going to happen today, and also, uh oh this is turning into one of those Lois Duncan books I used to read but don’t think I would like today. No matter how much I love YA, there are some things I can’t turn back the clock on.
Page 4: Mirrors/funky reflections are involved. This doesn’t bode well.
Page 5: Our Heroine wants to stay home from school and lock herself in her room to avoid anything bad from happening, but her mother is not impressed.
Page 7: Little Brother has something called a “Ruggie.” Wtf is a Ruggie? I don’t speak NZ.
Page 8: Oh I think a Ruggie* is some sort of stuffed animal (a pink crocodile named Rosebud). Also, Our Heroine’s family has the world’s crappiest car. The mom has to like, push it down a hill, start it while it’s moving, and then the kids have to run and catch up and also jump in the car. Sounds dangerous.
Page 9: On which Space Invaders features heavily. I hope this is a recurring motif.
Page 10: Apparently Our Heroine has had these premonitions, or “warnings” before. First, when her dad ran off with is girlfriend, and second, when Sorenson “Sorry” Carlisle showed up at school. And I’m pretty confident that his name is pronounced the way Gilbert Blythe would pronounce it, being that we’re in NZ and they talk funny.
Page 11: Turns out Sorry’s mother never married! Scandalicious! He seems to be a pretty nondescript guy who who just sort of blends, in a studious way. But apparently he smiled at Our Heroine the like, three times they’ve interacted, and this is significant for some reason. The mother continues to be unimpressed by Our Heroine’s “warnings.”
Page 13: Our Heroine reveals why she’s sketched out by Sorry. “Sorry Carlisle is a witch! No one knows but me!” Uh… I realize it said this on the back of the book, but it doesn’t come out any less ridiculous here. +1 to the mother for saying what we’re all thinking and pointing out that witches are female. Then, instead of dismissing the business entirely like a normal person, she’s like, “Well, I would believe it if you accused his grandmother or mother of being a witch. They’re nutso.”
Page 14: Our witchy-man friend also reads romance novels. No one sees a problem with this.
Page 15: But he drives a vespa! Bonus factor numero dos! Our Heroine’s mother asks her to look out for the little brother, which even if we hadn’t read the back cover means something bad’s going to happen to him. We also actually meet Sorry for the first time on this page. He has tricky eyes.
Page 16:  Our Heroine and her witchy-man friend share a cunning smile, like he knows that she knows that he knows that she knows.
And Chapter 1 Ends! The outlook is not great. But I must admit, as much as I’m concerned for the content, this book is not badly written. There were some stylistic things I didn’t like, but I’m willing to give it a chance. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Happy Teen Lit Day, everybody!

UPDATE: Read the rest of the review here.

*Edit: I read further and a Ruggie seems to be some sort of security blanket or something, distinct from the pink crocodile.

Puffiest in the World

Several months ago, before I actually started publishing things on this blog, I wrote this entry after spending a weekend being all sad-sack and watching Anne of Green Gables because I had a cold. It just sat there in my drafts folder for ages, but after reading Forever Young Adult‘s reviews of the books and the movies, I felt inspired to go back and post this.

When I’m sick, I enjoy being pathetic and helpless and part of this process involves reliving my childhood by watching things like the Anne of Green Gables movies. I love these movies, but can never convince anyone but my sister to watch them with me. Like many things about which I proselytize (Doctor Who, This American Life, graphic novels, whatever YA book I am currently reading), I frequently come off too strong and have the opposite of desired outcome. And since my sister lives in Texas, I usually enjoy Anne’s puffed sleeves all alone.

On this particular occasion, however, my awesome friend Bright Contradiction came over and was like, “Omg I love those movies SQUEEE Marry Me Gilbert Doilies Currant Wine Rollings Reliable Baking Powder Puffed Sleeves!!” or something similarly (and appropriately) enthusiastic. We debated the pros and cons of Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel but settled on the latter because Gilbert Blythe: Original Flavor is starting to make me feel like a pedophile. I hope I never reach a point where Med School Gilbert seems too young and I have to start watching Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story. Ready to swoon over my first fictional crush, I popped in the DVD.

I think because I was watching with Bright, I was no longer in this pathetic, illness-fueled, childlike state, and for the first time, I was watching through adult eyes. Up until this point, I’d always been able to view the movie through my 10-year-old-colored glasses. This was… different.

I know from experience that those glasses can be hard to put back on. Five or six years ago when, cleaning out my bookcase, I discovered one of my favorites–The Boxcar Children–and made the mistake of rereading it. As a child, this book was exciting and adventurous. I wanted to go out in the woods and collect berries and sleep on a bed of pine needles! As an adult, this book makes me question the mental health of the author, because the plot is illogical in a way that no sane adult should ever be able to conceive. Similarly, upon re-watching after many years, Swiss Family Robinson turned out to be kind of racist/generally offensive, and isn’t it really weird how a married couple addresses each other as Mother and Father? No matter how cool coconut bombs are, there are some things that are hard to overlook as an adult.

So, can my love of Gilbert Blythe endure the list of things I never picked up on as a child? Let’s assess the gravity of the situation.

Captain Morgan Harris is like SUPER old, comparatively. At this point, the writers of this movie started playing fast and loose with their source material, so the time-line is a little hard to gauge. But by my best guess, Anne is max 18 or 19. When you’re small, all adults seem like they’re the same degree of oldness. Too bad I realize now that Captain Morgan is old enough to be Anne’s father. His own daughter is like 14!!! That is not an appropriate distance between potential step-mother and daughter. There’s no explaining away that age difference. Captain Morgan, you are a creeper.

By the way, only old men wear hats like that. Which is fitting, because you are old.

“Alabaster brow,” eh? When I was younger and didn’t understand half the words Anne used, I thought that meant she was a really thoughtful and talented writer. She is not. At least not at this point in the story.

I just noticed that that watch makes no sense, either. How do you read such a thing?

Diana ends up with this guy: I know Anne shares my opinion of Fred Wright, but why does the Best Friend always have to end up with Mr. Collins?

Is Dianna offended by Anne’s comment about the doilies? Or about how incredibly dull she just realized her fiancé is? You be the judge.

That dress is not as beautiful as I remember. There are like weird shoulder holes! And wtf with the rosebuds everywhere? It reminds me of that season of Project Runway where Awful Angela (who Wikipedia tells me is an organic farmer??) kept putting rosettes all over everything. And then she won the Macy’s challenge and they actually sold her stupid be-rosetted clothing in stores. Point is, this dress is not. good.

Essie and Blonde Pringle (Myra?) disagree with me.

In general, the clothes are not always as cool as I remember. Some of them are legitimately cool. Some of them are this corduroy vest that Gilbert wears:

Even Gilbert seems to be regretting the decision to propose in this outfit, which admittedly you can’t see very well because what I learned tonight is that the director of this film did not like medium shots. 

Gilbert says “sorry” funny. Nah, just kidding. Even as a little kid his accent was hilarious. You Canadians! You’re so funny!

Poor Gilbert. He really is sore-y, Anne! And you just knocked him down with your flower basket!

The hair in this movie is insane. Seriously, seriously insane. I guess this particular look is good in that it represents the level of Anne’s distress, because she looks like she could be institutionalized here.

It’s so big it doesn’t even fit in the shot!

Jen Pringle will give you nightmares. Seriously, just look at her crazy eyes. She will definitely grow up to be some kind of murderer. As Bright pointed out, she probably already tortures animals in her spare time.

“Hello, I’m a psychopath. I’m going to grow up and eat someone’s internal organs for fun.”

    At the end of the day, though, it doesn’t matter that Gilbert is wearing a corduroy vest or Morgan Harris is old. This movie still has so many awesome parts, like the picnic with Mrs. Harris, or Pauline hiding her fancy outfit from Mrs. Harris, or Mrs. Harris on the train, or really anything involving Mrs. Harris. But most of all, it doesn’t matter that Gilbert wears a corduroy vest because he’s still the dreamiest dreamboat ever to come out of Canada. And I will gladly take all of the ludicrous parts of this movie just for the way he gazes at Anne in the last scene. It’s really hard to capture with one frame, but this is the look of someone totally, irrevocably smitten:

    And if I can’t get over those other things, there’s always booze.

    Plus I finally figured out why I like Hailee Steinfeld so much:

    Megan Follows = Hailee Steinfeld.
    They make the same. facial. expressions. all. the time. Seriously, go back and watch. It’s uncanny.

    Blame Canada

    Every six weeks, E, F and I get together in one of our respective cities for a fun-filled weekend of food and frivolity! Two weekends ago was one such visit, and I’ve been meaning to write it up ever since. Unfortunately, this process was hampered by a couple of things:

    1. I did not have my phone to take a key picture during the trip, and so had to create a mock-up of the scenario in gimp using only laptop touchpad, since I don’t own a mouse
    2. I had a house guest this weekend and only had time for a quick blog about the law of diminishing returns and how it relates to bars
    3. I have been too busy reliving my childhood romance with Gilbert Blythe*

    Anyhoodle, two Fridays ago, I met up with E in New York, and together we took the train to Med School on the East Coast where F goes to school. I call it Med School on the East Coast because for a solid year, this where F would tell people she went to school. Secret: it’s in Connecticut and sometimes F sees James Franco at Starbucks.

    Our weekend went pretty normally (food, food, more delicious food, margaritas, champagne, food), with one key exception–we went ice skating with a bunch of F’s Med School Friends! Now, I’ve been ice skating maybe four times in my life, each spaced several years apart. I was extremely terrible. But that is neither surprising nor the point of this story! No, the point of this story is that we had to drive to the ice skating rink, but when we tried to leave, someone had parked a U-Haul directly behind our (and another) vehicle. Despite the fact that there were like 17 more appropriate places to park in the parking lot. And who brings a U-Haul to an ice rink anyway???????? The other car of Med School Friends was either unsympathetic or oblivious, because they left. Actually, since the ice rink had closed, almost everyone left except us and the U-Haul. Also, the U-Haul was Canada-themed, and this is what it looked like, to the best of my memory:

    Not my best work, admittedly… But not U-Haul’s, either.

    So strictly speaking, Celine Dion was not featured on this particular model, though I think we can all agree that it would have been better if she had been. Instead was some (presumably) Canadian person with his gaping mouth opened jubilantly to the skies. But there really was a creepy line about singing sands in Canada, which apparently is a thing, although “singing” seems a bit of an exaggeration.

    While F and her Med School Friend went to find the owners of the U-Haul, E and I decided our best course of action would be to redecorate it. Serendipitously, it had snowed about a million feet on the East Coast that week, and we borrowed liberally from an adjacent snowbank. We set up some rules and aimed exclusively for Celine Dion’s mouth, though thanks to our abysmal skills the closest we ever came was a tooth. The entire truck was soon polka-dotted with snow.

    Unfortunately, some kids came by and we had to pretend to be Responsible Adults Who Do Not Get in Snowball Fights with Inanimate Objects. F and MSF eventually returned, only to tell us that the U-Haul could not be moved because the very considerate owner had taken a jaunt to the grocery store with key in tow. Enough cars had left by that point, though, that MSF was able to maneuver out of his spot and we were able to go home to margaritas and Mexican food.

    Sometimes it’s hard to declare a clear winner in a snowball fight, but that day, the U-Haul definitely, definitely lost.

    Much Improved

    *Seriously, y’all, Anne Shirely is stalking me. First, I found an old blog draft I wrote MONTHS ago before I actually got around to publishing anything about the Anne of Green Gables movies and how Puffed Sleeves are just not as awesome as you remember them at age 7 (perhaps I will post this sometime). Then, my favorite blog started reviewing the Anne of Green Gables books. And now I’ve gotten into a fight with a U-Haul truck that heavily features PEI and its singing beaches. I took this is as a sign from the universe that I needed to read the Anne of Green Gables because, truthfully, I never had. I know! Most shocking!! But my sister loved them growing up and I made a point not to read things my sister liked just to be contrary. This is how I didn’t see The Princess Bride until I was 17. Anyway, I am now rectifying my wrong now and Gilbert is just as much a dreamy, dreamy dreamboat as he was in the movie.