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Showing posts from September, 2014

My Definitive Harry Potter Book Rankings

In preparation for my upcoming trip to Orlando and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I took some time to read all seven Harry Potter books in a row. It was definitely worth it. I'd forgotten how amazing that whole series is from start to finish!

But with seven different books, all covering a different year in Harry, Ron, and Hermione's life, there have to be some stronger books than others. So with that, I give you my Definitive Harry Potter Book Rankings. (Movie rankings to follow - I'm watching a movie a day!)

Spoilers Abound!

#7: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

With the first book comes a whole lot of exposition, and not as much main plot. The actual story isn't as much discovering the importance of the Sorcerer's Stone (or Philosopher's Stone, depending on where you live) than it is Harry adjusting to living in a world of magic and establishing his friendship with Ron and Hermione.

Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher: Quirrell

Best Part: I gotta …

Doctor RevWho: "Time Heist"

Okay, this is a Doctor Who story I can get behind. It is complete, it doesn't make my brain hurt trying to keep track of everything, and it all makes sense.

"Time Heist" was what I was hoping for: a caper with a twist. If we look at it in the right order, the Doctor and Clara get a phone call from Ms. Karabraxos, an old lady who was the richest person in the world, but she is now dying with one regret: that she took the last two creatures of a species, imprisoned one of them, and made the other act as security for her bank. When a solar storm destroyed the bank, she thought the species was extinct.

Her request to the Doctor was to penetrate the bank and save the species. The Doctor took Clara, gathered two other people - Psi and Saibra - that would be able to help (with the promise of being paid at the end), constructed a plan, and then wiped all their memories, so that they would have no trace of guilt as they entered the bank - which is what the species ("The Tell…

Floyd the Chipmunk - the Story

Who is Floyd?

A student? A coworker? A boyfriend?
No to all three! Floyd has been a very special part of my life ever since nine years ago in October. 

Was Floyd a real chipmunk?
Yes he was! 

Did you run him over or something?
Um...what? 

Y'know, that's why he's stuffed.
That's just morbid, and totally Janitor-from-Scrubs-esque! And he was a little crazy! 

Okay, if that's not the story, then what is?
If you insist, I will tell you! 

Long, long ago, I was a mere sophomore in college in New Ulm. My big brother had just graduated, leaving me as the alone on the hill. I had carry-over friends from MLS, and I'd made a couple more friends over the year, but I still hadn't found anyone who could really be my best friend. 

Then I was invited one night in the fall to a "Girls Night" by some girls down the hallway from me (and my roommate, who I'd barely talked to freshman year but someone suggested I room with her because she was really nice) - one of whom I knew …

Doctor RevWho: "Listen"

Well that was certainly confusing.

First we thought the Doctor was talking to us. (At least I did.) Then Clara and Danny are on a date. Then they're not. Then we see a young Danny. Then we're back on the date. Then we're in the future. Then we're in the Doctor's timeline! Then we're on the date again?!

Did I mention this episode was written by executive producer Steven Moffat, known for his crazy storylines and confusing plots?

So apparently the Doctor has discovered a new alien that freaks him out, but is the alien really there? Did we just discover that the Doctor was paranoid the whole time since Clara ended up being the one to scare him without him knowing it was her? Then what was under the blanket?!

Why don't we just talk about the stuff I did get. Danny clearly has issues, because he gets upset at Clara twice, but he apologizes and she's okay with it. (Probably should have just started with the drinks like you were supposed to and take it slow.) …

The Procrastinator's Movie Review: Cuban Fury

Cuban Fury

Release Date: April 11, 2014

Who was in that one again? Nick Frost, Rashida Jones, Chris O'Dowd, and Olivia Coleman

I can't remember the plot. Nick Frost plays a man named Bruce Garrett who used to love salsa dancing as a kid - he competed and won a bunch of trophies with his sister - but bullies who beat him up caused him to give it up. In present day, he's overweight and works at an office where his new boss Julia (Jones) is cute and awkward and also can do a bit of salsa! Unfortunately Drew (O'Dowd) is a jerk who decides he's going to be with Julia, and Bruce decides he's going to take up salsa again to win her, with the help of his sister (Coleman).

The review: You probably didn't hear about this movie when it came out, which is a shame - it's great! It's a bit raunchy (no nudity, but lots of innuendo and blatant stuff too), but also very funny with great dancing. The editing does a great job of making it look like Frost and Coleman and J…

The Disney Update

I am now less than 30 days away from my Disney vacation! Since it gets closer every day, I'm going to fill you in on a couple of things I've planned so far.

Flights

I fly out on a weekday evening and return on weekend night. I'm doing both flights direct, with no layovers. (Just the way I like to travel!) I'm flying with Frontier, which has decided lately to add on a gazillion surcharges, including the carry-on bag. I will check my yellow Disney suitcase, which I have taken on all my Disney trips lately and I love to death.

Rental Car

I have rarely rented a car (considering I'm only a few years past the rental-car-privilege-age of 25), but I've had pretty good experiences in Denver and Tampa. This will be my first time renting in Orlando, which has been known to be a very good rental car destination, considering the millions of tourists that go through MCO.

The one problem is that my flight gets in on Tuesday at 11:30pm, and I'm worried that if I come in late…

Doctor RevWho: "Robot of Sherwood"

When I heard the title of this episode, my mind automatically went to, "Robin Hood...as a robot!"

Happily, my mind was not correct.

Instead of going with an obvious concept, writer Mark Gatiss (of Sherlock and Game of Thrones fame) goes with a different concept, and it works out brilliantly for this episode - my current favorite of the season.

As I was explaining to my father today, Doctor Who is full of genres. I have a hard time calling it sci-fi, because sometimes the sci-fi concept is used very loosely in an episode. (If you have time to look back at other episodes, try out "Midnight," which is a psychological horror episode at its finest.) The genre here was definitely action adventure, and all but guaranteed that I would enjoy it.

My favorite Doctor Who episodes are usually the ones that don't take themselves incredibly seriously. There is a lot of fun involved, with entertaining banter and a clever plot. My favorite episode 2-parter of all time, "Si…

SYTYCD Wrap-up

Was there ever any doubt?

I mostly tuned in to the last half of the finale (work commitments prevented me from seeing all of it) to see if anyone would de-throne Ricky, but America stuck with their choice from pretty much Day 1. Everybody thought Ricky would win, except for, well, me.

I didn't see it right away. His dancing reminded me of other dancers and didn't really stick out. To be honest, no one this season really stuck out for me, and it wasn't till last week that I realized I was rooting for Zack.

I'm okay with the decision, and one of these days I'll be rooting for the person that wins! I always seem to side with the second-tier people because I think they don't get enough love, or I'm sick of all the hype the main people are getting. Eventually I will side with the overhyped person - probably when pigs fly.

Before I finish, I gotta mention the Top 10/All-Star dance near the end, done to The Temper Trap's "Sweet Disposition." That son…

Doctor RevWho: "Into the Dalek"

It's hard for me to adjust to the fact that there were two new Doctor Who episodes two weeks in a row, and there will be another one this Saturday. We fans haven't had that pleasure since the spring of 2013, and that was a pretty long time ago.

Plus, if you put the past four Doctor Who episodes together ("The Day of the Doctor," "The Time of the Doctor," "Deep Breath," and "Into the Dalek") three of them feature a Dalek in some form. I honestly have some Dalek-fatigue, and came into this episode looking forward to getting it out of the way so we could have some new episodes with new villans or threats.

I did like this episode, however. It allowed the Daleks to feature in a different way than usual: by injuring one in such a way that he turned into a good guy.

I spent quite a bit of the episode pondering why exactly the Doctor and his friends miniaturized themselves in the first place. Why repair an injured Dalek? Didn't one of them a…