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Writer's Block: Globetrotting

If you were given the opportunity to spend two weeks in any country in the world free of charge, which country would you choose, and why?

GERMANY. No question, I would go back in a heartbeat. True, it might be more sensible to use the "free of charge" part of this prompt to go somewhere more expensive like Japan or France, but I would find plenty of use for that money on FOOD ALONE.
I strongly believe that there are few pleasures greater on this earth than a freshly baked German Butterbrezel.

Seriously though: in my experience Germans are fun and accepting people; why wouldn't they be? Their country is beautiful, their language is seductively clunky and there is simply no beating German food!

Klaine and Captain Crack Harkness

So...as part of my effort to get my friend (who is heavily into Torchwood right now) into GLEE as well, I promised to write her this crossover fic. The following are texts/IMs between Kurt and Blaine.
The last bit is a reference to her idea that SPOILERS SEASON FOUR OF TORCHWOOD!! Ianto is alive and well in LA :)
Enjoy!  <3

Monday

DivaBoy[1:15]: WHY CAN’T THIS SCHOOL HOLD DOWN A DECENT HISTORY TEACHER!?!

Warbler01[2:00]: Something wrong bb?

DB[2:02]: Sorry, it’s nothing. We have a new sub in History and his name is Mr. Harkness but he wants us to call him “the Captain”…which pretty much explains everything right there.

W[2:02]: ??? Weird…

DB[2:03]: He also essentially called Santana a slut. Which is TOTALLY TRUE *ahem ahem* but still NOT COOL.

DB[2:03]: B/c she’s in Glee Club.

W[2:03]: I see.

DB[2:05]:  On a side note: you should wear suspenders and riding boots more often.

W[2:05]: ??

TUESDAY

DB[3:00]: EWWWWWW! Santana totes hooked up with Mr Harkness!

W[3:00]: Are you sure? How do you know??

DB[3:00]: She told everyone just now!!

DB[3:01]: Oh god, now Rachel’s threatening to tell ms Pillsbury.

W[3:02]: That might not be a bad idea…

DB[3:02]: Right. I forgot that when Rachel says anything it’s **written in gold**  :I

W[3:03]: :(

DB[3:04]: :(

W[3:04]: *sigh* do u have any idea how ridiculous it is for u to b jealous of Rachel?

DB[3:04]: ...anyway

W[3:04]: I’m serious Kurt. You’re really special <3

DB[3:06]: :) Blushing doesn’t go w/ this outfit you know…

W[3:06]: I’ll try to contain myself :)

DB[3:06]: Aww! Shoot, mr Schue is here, gtg!

THURSDAY

W[4:00]: So did Rachel alert the authorities?

DB[4:00]: Thank god no.

DB[4:01]: Finn convinced her Santana was lying (I am NOT CONVINCED :P)

DB[4:01]: Especially b/c he checks out everyone in class.

W[4:02]: Everyone? ;)

DB[4:02]: EVERY.ONE.

W[4:03]: 8O

DB[4:03]: IKR!?

W[4:03]: Well that’s…progressive.

W[4:04]: Is he at least a good teacher?

DB[4:04]: Um…

DB[4:05]: He’s pretty good. I’m just not sure all the things he’s teaching us…happened.

W[4:05]: Like?

DB[4:06]: Like, is it true that Cleopatra had mind control?

W[4:06]: Um. No.

W[4:06]: Definitely not.

DB[4:07]: Right. That’s what I thought but he was talking about it like he KNEW her and REALLY thought she did.

W[4:08]: Well, ppl at the time might have THOUGHT she did, because she could manipulate ppl so well…but mind control is not a real thing.

DB[4:09]: I know MIND control isn’t, but I was never SURE that was what he was saying anyway.

DB[4:09]: It was weird. And he was talking about how she would sleep with all these guys and then they did whatever she said because she like…bit them or something.

DB[4:10]: idk.

W[4:10]: There’s no such thing as sex-control either.

DB[4:11]: Ew.

W[4:11]: Or like, sex parasites or whatever you’re talking about…

DB[4:11]: Stop texting me about sex I don’t want to hear it!

W[4:12]: *ROLLING MY EYES SO HARD AT U*

DB[4:12]:  If you’re going to be crude I’m not going to keep texting u :(

W[4:13]: I’m sorry <3

W[4:13]: Can I make it up to you with a movie tomorrow night :) ?

DB[4:13]: Ok! :D

FRIDAY

DB[2:01]: I hate Cpt CRACK!!!

W[2:01]: Oh no! Why??

DB[2:01]: He gave me detention b/c I told everyone Atlantis doesn’t exist :(

DB[2:02]: and now I can’t make our movie tonight L L

W[2:03]: Aww! Courage!

DB[2:03]:  SHUT UP BLAINE!

W[6:00]: So how’d it go?

W[6:15]: Kurt?

W[6:31]: :(?

DB[11:30]: 8I

W[11:32]: Speaking to me again? :)

DB[11:33]: I just had a very very weird detention.

W[11:34]: haha more alien invasions?

DB[11:35]: Umm….

DB[11:35]: Yeah.

W[11:36]: haha this guy sounds weird :P

DB[11:37]: A dinosaur flew up to our window and tried to lick him.

W[11:37]: Pardon?

DB[11:38]: And then he OPENED the window to LET IT IN and he was talking to it and getting really excited and like practically crying and everything

W[11:38]:-I think autocorrect is messing with us because it still sounds like you’re talking about a dinosaur :P

DB[11:39]: It was a TETRADANYL or a PETRADACTLE or—idk THEY DON’T TEACH US SCIENCE IN LIMA, OHIO!!

W[11:40]: 8I

DB[11:40]: And then he was singing (BEAUTIFUL voice btw finally he gets interesting as he’s leaving :P)

DB[11:40]: And laughing and talking about having to “get to LA, right now!!” and then he

W[11:42]: ?

W[11:43]: DID HE KISS YOU TOO??

DB[11:44]: …a little.

W[11:44]: 8I

DB[11:44]: I told you it was a weird day.

W[11:45]: 8I

DB[11:46]: Will you come over?

W[11:46]: Yes!

 

Pet Peeve 411:

After weeks of doing absolutely nothing, you are invited to two parties. They are at the same time on the same night. The slightly less appealing one is the one you've already agreed to go to, and it's being thrown by the close talkative friend of your boss.
Bugger.

  On the plus side, I'm reading a fantastic new book, and feeling slightly ashamed of how long it's been since I did that. Even reading through the Sherlock Holmes series is beginning to feel like cutting corners in gym because, excellent thought they are, every story begins so similarly that I find myself flipping around with a confusing sense of deja vu.
  Anyway, the new book is The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie. It's a satire on action/suspense novels, which is not usually my cup of tea because I dislike thrillers and satire often goes over my head. Still, I've been watching a lot of Hugh Laurie when he was just a bitty baby (re: about 25), and I can practically hear the novel being narrated in his snarky, slightly foppish voice.
It's a good thing.

The Holiday II

In apology for the lack of lucidity and relevance in my last entry, please accept this far superior review of the Holiday:

Jude Law

Watch it.

The Holiday

     If only as a break between facebook quizzes, I'm going to review one of the movies Elise and I watched last night.
     The Holiday, staring Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet and Jack Black, is a shameless chickflick with a predictable plot and at least one cast member who I have trouble taking seriously in any and all roles. Yet for some reason, I have watched it at least twelve times, and  I still enjoy it.
     Elise and I decided on the Holiday because we both wanted to watch Jude Law be an adorable, sexy single dad. Ironically, he is a very pretty single father in real life, but we both find a distinct difference between the widowed father of the two sweetest, politest little girls in England whom he just wants to protect from getting hurt any more that he plays, and the divorced father of four children by two different women, neither of whom he is in a relationship with and one of whom is the nanny with who he cheated on his beautiful girlfriend, that he actually is.  It just isn't the same. Yet somehow, watching him blush and cry repeatedly and do a bit for his kids called "Mr Napkinhead" that is exactly what it sounds like...you forget all that. It's the slightly unnerving, slightly intriguing appeal of a good actor. I can't help but think about Robert Downey Jr who once said "I know very little about acting, I'm just a very talented faker."  I personally think RDJ is more than that: he's also a born performer, but even I can see what he's getting at.  There is certainly a distinction between an actor like Johnny Depp, and one like Jude Law, who I think falls into the "Talented Faker" category.
     With the exception of Kate Winslet, I think everyone in the Holiday fits into that title, and perhaps that's part of its appeal. The actors aren't playing elaborate fantasy people going through the same almost-believable love story that's been told again and again, they're not putting that much effort into deluding the audience; they're just having fun and playing people they would like to be. In short: the movie doesn't take itself too seriously, and thus it is infinitely re-watchable: you won't blame yourself or miss much if you get distracted checking your email or picking up the phone, but any time you do check in you'll find good looking people playing out a sweet, heartwarming story.
     If you've thought about this movie before, but been turned away by the idea of Kate Winslet and Jack Black as a romantic pair, give it a chance. He is funny, talented and wonderfully endearing, and she, when not set in any other time period when round angelic faces were the ideal, is just unusual looking enough to avoid the obnoxious male fantasy of movies like Knocked Up.

     On a personal note (oh, who am I kidding, this is all a personal note. My whole live journal is incredibly me-centric, which is why no one but me ever reads it :P) The character of Arthur, an aging Hollywood writer who Iris (Winslet) befriends, fit very well into Elise and I's ("Elise's and my?") movie planning project.
     She loves old movies, I quite like them. She loves classics, and I haven't even heard of an embarrassing number of them. Usually I am the only person I talk to who actually likes a film in black and white, and even if I get a responsive audience the conversation rarely gets beyond "Audrey Hepburn is one of my favorite actresses." "I love Breakfast at Tiffany's!" "Me too!" "Oh my God, we should watch it some time!" "Yeah!" and then we watch the Holiday.
      Elise likes old movies I've never even heard of. She outright calls Cary Grant "sexy." Good looking? Yes. But somehow having the gall to call him sexy bespeaks a level of immersion in old movies that I can never hope to match.  I think I need to stop writing now because a friend of mine is relentlessly attempting to talk to me over fb chat about a guy she just met and I don't feel like I'm actually being productive here.

       As long as I'm updating more today than I normally do in a week I figure I might as well go all out and put in some nice things about Elise.
-While I was writing my entry about...well, generally, my frustration with her, she brought me flowers for my room :) (don't go nuts here: she found flowers while she was cleaning the kitchen and wanted to get them out of there--but at least she didn't just throw them away! They are quite pretty :) )
-She brought up one of my shirts (again, cleaning the kitchen) and a sweater she found and asked if it was mine (ok, well, she did it in a nice way. It sounded sweeter in my head.)
    I've run out. I feel like there was another thing but the very sketchy old guy who owns this place distracted me by coming into my room, then leading me out and trying to explain how he wanted to move furniture around, then trying to kiss me repeatedly.  Damn him.  
        
      Also had time to read other peoples' responses to the writer's block prompts. Turns out a lot of people took the TSA at Hogwarts question as a suggestion that airport workers should molest little kids.
      Really guys? It's Live Journal. It's not telling you to molest children. You know what the question is; answer it or don't.

Writer's Block: Speak and spell

If you could cast one type of magic spell, which would you choose, and why?

I'm going to assume this is also meant to relate  to Harry Potter (which I assume has something to do with the premier tonight) and name a Harry Potter spell.
I would like to be able to cast Cheering Charms.
I've been traveling a lot recently and that means I've been seeing a lot of grand buildings, sweeping hillsides, fascinating boutiques...and stony faced, apathetic people milling around them. I would like to spread random thrills of joy to total strangers. I think that would make me happy.
             Ok, I'm a little paranoid about people being able to find my lj, so I'm trying to set myself some limits before I start ranting about things I wouldn't say out loud. This is one of the many times when I feel like paranoia is totally justified...but only because I'm a terrible person.
             Has anyone ever, when you were feeling shy/attending middle school, given you that speech about how everyone else is so worried about what you are thinking of them that they don't actually have time to think mean or judgmental things about you? As a quiet child, I got that speech a lot, and I have some problems with it. The main was that I know for a fact that while I spend a significant amount of my time worrying about what other people are thinking about me, I spend even more time judging them. And I'm not alone.
             As a general rule, the more insecure a person is the more they judge others. It's a defense mechanism. It's a calming technique. It's how I know, when I'm around a lot of insecure people, or just one person up close, that they are keeping up a steady stream of, probably negative, thoughts about me. It's irksome, not the least because it's something that it's hard to call people on. If you suddenly throw down you broom and scream "I KNOW YOU'RE THINKING BAD THOUGHTS ABOUT ME! I CAN HEAR YOU! STOP IT!" you sound like you're fucking insane.
              And, if you think that tactic is going to work for you, you probably are insane, or at least a little unhinged.
             For this reason I am afraid that if someone hears that I have an lj, or even just suspects it, they might google live journal and a couple of my interests and very easily find me. To non-stalkers I know that sounds paranoid to the point of arrogance--who would go to that much trouble to find out things I won't say to their face?
              But the thing is: I've done it, and I know other people who do it or things like it.
              Think hard: how far have you gone to figure stuff out about someone you wanted to impress, a crush maybe, or a colleague, or an old school friend? Reading a paper they published--well, they want people to read that. And looking through their face book profile--they put that information up themselves, so it's harmless. And when you click on the home button your news fed pops up automatically: is it your fault he and his friend are having a conversation right there on the screen in front of you? What a crazy coincidence! Are they talking about Iron Man II? Maybe you should read up on that. Movie reviews can be so confusing; you should just see what he said.
              Fail.
              For me the only thing to do is accept that 1)there are no secrets on the internet and 2)there is a difference between what you think and what you say out loud.
              For instance: say I have a housemate--let's call her Elise-- who I think can be a little bossy sometimes. I recognize that there is cleaning we need to do and I appreciate how hard she is willing to work. However, when she works she seems to become short tempered and makes many disparaging comments about the state of the house which sometimes hurt my feelings because my previous housemate and I were working so hard before Elise got here.
              Even in that very cleaned up version I feel like saying that outright to Elise would mean we were embarking on a real social journey together. In the best case Elise would hear what I was trying to say, would not have realized she was being a bit negative, or that it's hard for me to hear things like that when I'm working, and we would both try to approach work from then on with, (for me,) a bit more motivation and, (for her,) a sunnier outlook. In the worst case her hard, tough exterior would get the better of her, she would sideline my complaints as me being lazy and/or ditsy like Amy (with whom she never got along,) and things would continue as they are, made just a little worse by the fact that I would no longer have a plan.
             Obviously, especially as we are pretty cut off from anyone else where we are, I don't want to take this too lightly. Writing things down, as I have done above, is a good step in between thinking and talking--and it should be read as such. If I don't say something to a person's face it's because I recognize that those are just feelings I am experiencing, that the person can't help me with or change. 
             The things that go through my head are not always that fair, and sometimes involve a lot of foul and very aggressive language. Saying those things out loud would be an act in and of itself, and one that I would hold myself responsible for.  To demand that someone tell you exatly what they're thinking or feeling--or to look upon them as disingenuous or cowardly if they do not is a huge mistake.
            A whiny, self-important part of me might say that Elise is a bossy bitch who dominates situations even though she doesn't know what she's doing, a spiteful part of me adds in, totally irrelevant to the conflict, that Elise is triangle shaped and has no chin, making me doubt all the stories she tells about guys checking her out and hitting on her.
           I could never respect myself if I were the kind of person who said things like that out loud. I don't care if there are some people who don't respect that; it's me I'm going to have to life with for the rest of my life.

...in other news: drunk Italians need to stop looking for me and stay the Hell out of my library.
            

Writer's Block: What's under Snape's cape?

If you could cast one type of magic spell, which would you choose, and why?

 
The Hufflepuffs. All of them.
Seriously, if I were a Deatheater trying to turn students at Hogwarts towards my nefarious purposes, or an Order member trying to overthrow Snape/Umbridge, Hufflepuffs would be the way to go. Everyone suspects Slytherins all the time, Gryffindors are likely to be launching their own rebellion without any prompting, and Ravenclaws would never risk being caught either way.
The Hufflepuffs are an organized group of under-appreciated kids with magic powers who nobody pays any attention to. Imagine those wands are guns and then tell me we don't have a fucking riot on our hands.

For anyone who's lost out there...

  Hi! So I recently spent six weeks alone in a foreign country and, though it ended up being amazing, the first few days were rough. Really rough. Normally when I need to remove myself from where I am I pick up Harry Potter and read until I can't keep my eyes open. For the first time in my life, I couldn't do it.
  I couldn't read Harry Potter, I could barely stand to call my family and listen to their voices. Anything that normally reminded me of comfort now made me so homesick I felt nauseous. I dropped Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on my bedside table with shaking hands and it stayed there untouched for a month and a half.
  I had to find something, and shortly I did: youtube clips. They weren't too long, and would usually end just about the time I started to feel sick. I could see people--familiar but not beloved--moving and walking and talking and reminding me how to function in the real world. I didn't have to follow complex plots and--unbelievably, stunningly, miraculously--I found I could still laugh.
For anyone who's lost out there, these are the videos that helped me out. Enjoy.

1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbBs2OcR8a8 This is a musical number from the fourth season of How I Met Your Mother, and I think it really only spoils a tiny bit of that one episode. You don’t have to follow the show to enjoy this, though loving Neil Patrick Harris does help. I took many years of dance and, like most late-starters in any hobby, improved dramatically without ever becoming outright good. On the Right to be Pretentious Scale I think this puts me somewhere above pointing out good form (well pointed feet, etc) but definitely below correcting people who pronounce Pyotyr Tchaikovsky’s name wrong. I hope commenting on choreography falls somewhere in this range: I actually quite like that a lot of the grouping is unevenly distributed (especially at the end) because it detracts attention from the inevitable coat fumble or one-person-in-the-back-row-who’s-off-time-all-the-time. I’m willing to make a lot of allowances if it means more Neil Patrick Harris singing. Period.
2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWEfmYEh6Vg If you haven’t watched the new Sherlock Holmes movie yet, do so immediately. If you don’t ship Holmes/Watson by the end you’re doing it wrong. Try reading the books instead. Seriously. They’re pretty gay. This video might be especially popular with me because I was raised on the Disney Hercules and always adored this song. I have to say I think my favorite aspect is the use of bit players as the muses (1:16 with the blank-faced policemen gets me every time). Props to xSlashtastic for, first of all, having a fabulous screename and, secondly, putting this vid together so very well.
3) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRuNxHqwazs Just for fun, infinitely quotable and, like all good satire, slightly haunting with its accuracy, I recommend this vid and its sequel for your amusement. The twenty or thirty parodies along your side menu are of varying quality, browse at your discretion. Rated for some language.
4) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDIBchVxSmE  This is for all you Star Trek fans out there. It's William Shatner singing to George Lucas and Lucas's Lifetime Achievement  Award ceremony, and it pretty much embodies the beauty of Shatner's showmanship. If you enjoyed that you might try http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nxcw7ln9AU wherein Shatner and Leonard Nimoy argue about Leonard's bicycle.
   If all else fails, Whose Line is it Anyway rocks my socks out of the sulkiest of sulks. It’s nearly all gold, but my personal favorite would have to be this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDhamZOl5Po
   If you’re looking for shows to get you through though weeks I recommend 30 Rock and How I Met Your Mother. In 30 Rock Tina Fey makes your job seem easy, your coworkers sound reasonable, and 40 look like the new 25. How I Met Your Mother makes no pretense of being exceptional writing or acting which, though I love it, is as it should be. The characters are engaging and the subject matter is reliably clean as the pretense of the show is a man telling stories to his kids. Good clean fun.
  I hope these help and hey, even if they didn't, taking the time to watch them or even just reading to the end of this post is doing the most important thing of all: trying. You're looking for help. You feel bad, but you know there's something that can help you. Maybe it's that walk in the park you've been thinking of taking, Maybe it's talking to that friendly librarian. Maybe it's a Youtube video. The important thing is you are trying every option, pressing every button and pulling all the levers. Good for you :)