This is not a blog post. It’s an apology that there isn’t a blog post today. I’ll be back to my regular midnight-blogging schedule tomorrow. I’m too tired tonight.
I got sad tonight because I realized that I only have a year left to become a teenage super-sleuth. But I have a plan.
First I’ll get my hands on a kids’ magazine from the early nineties. I’ll turn straight to the back page and order me a spy kit from the ad that’ll inevitably be advertised there. While I wait for that to arrive, I’ll thumb through the rest of the magazine. I’ll also finish watching Veronica Mars (what better way to research?).
When the package containing my spy kit (complete with night vision goggles, invisible ink, and voice-recorder) arrives in the mail, I’ll sniff out some crooks. (Ideally, this is about a week from now. Exams’ll be done, and I can focus all my energy on sleuthing.) When I’ve found some shady characters, I’ll follow them. I’ll plant bugs. Sooner or later, I’m bound to catch one of them red-handed for something! Then, my peers will hear about my sleuthery and will hire me for 50 bucks a pop! It’ll be great.
Before you know it, I’ll have business cards made up that say “Teenaged Super-Sleuth” in big, bold font. In a little over a year, I’ll have to change it to “Former teenage super-sleuth,” though.
I don’t feel like writing. I pretty specifically feel like not writing, curling up under the covers with a cup of hot chocolate and an episode of Veronica Mars. I also pretty specifically feel like not studying for my history exam. But! I do have all of my history lecture notes now. In penance for classmates’ notes, I sent them a photo of a duck wearing a hat. Such a good photo. Oh man, that photo made my week when I first saw it.
My head has hurt all day. I took an advil (actually I took two) but nothing changed. I feel sick. I’m tired. I had really good leftovers for dinner. I’m broke.
I don’t have a job for the summer and I don’t know what to do.
Here’s that duck pic
The other day (yesterday? the day before? who’s to say!), I was watching one of Ali’s (RogueBlueJay on Youtube) BlogTV shows, as I sometimes do.
He brought up that he thought the Harry Potter books should have been adapted into a TV show rather than movies. Earlier this evening (read: 2:15 this morning), I went onto my friend Sam’s Tumblr and read the same idea, reblogged from this person who I don’t know but I’m sure is lovely. Sam engaged in a bit of discussion about this, and it reminded me of some of the points Ali brought up, and some of the things I’d thought of. I wrote the following thing in Sam’s Ask, (anonymously because she’s had my Tumblr password for coming up 5 months now):
The best part about the idea of a HP TV series is, in my opinion, the opportunity to expand on the universe. You’d get more insight into secondary characters. More McGonagall for example. Plot wouldn’t have to be entirely Golden Trio centric like the movies, though I think the season-long arcs should remain true to the original. And as long as Jo Rowling had a role in production, or got a say in writers, I think it’d be great. -N
So yeah, those are some of my opinions on that. Another thing which Ali brought up was switching actors. I’m not sure if you necessarily would need to do that based on ages, but I can definitely see it being desirable (because adorable child actors don’t always grow up to be watchable adult actors) and manageable. Ali suggested that new actors wouldn’t have to try and emulate the last actor’s work, either. Like in Doctor Who, they could make their character, their ‘regeneration’, their own.
Personally, I totally see the appeal of this. I could always use me some non-Pottermore expansion on the HP universe. (Not a huge fan of Pottermore, though I am a Ravenclaw, which is awesome!)
I also wanted to expand a bit on something I mentioned in my message to Sam: the focus on other characters. Obviously there’s already this huge outside-of-text canonical universe that Jo’s created, and a lot of that could go into the show. All of the outside information she has on Lee Jordan, or McGonagall, and even Bill and Charlie Weasley. What were their years at Hogwarts like?
And there could be flashback episodes! Episodes for the Marauders, or the original Order of the Phoenix (in the 5th season), or more background info on what the teachers were like as students! And sprinkled in there, maybe some episodes about the founders? Wouldn’t that be great?
Another thing I’ve been curious about, which hasn’t been addressed by Jo, to my knowledge: training. How does one train to become a teacher at Hogwarts? What about political training? Are there any post-Hogwarts certifications that you need to go through? Or do witches and wizards enter the workforce at 17?
I see this great opportunity for storytelling here. Weaving together a story far more complex than the movies could portray. A universe broader than even the books could manage. Drawing out themes that were barely touched on in the books, let alone movies!
I know it’s not likely to happen any time soon, but thinking about this has gotten my excited, truly, actively excited, about Harry Potter for the first time in a while.
Today, we cleaned.
We vacuumed the carpets, we mopped the tile floors, we washed the dishes, we threw out the piles of garbage, we scrubbed away pictures of penises from our table, and we scraped mould off the countertops. (None of that is by any means an exaggeration, by the way.)
It’s weird, having the apartment clean. My bedroom is always tidy, and is usually clean, but the living room, bathroom, and kitchen are always completely disgusting. Uninhabitable. Vile. And this evening, they’re not.
The four of us worked for an hour (the most time we’ve all spent together since moving in) and our apartment came out as well as it possibly could. It’s an Easter miracle!
It’s funny, this is probably the most I’ve ever talked to Cole, even though we’ve lived together for months now. I feel like I got to know all of the other roommates pretty well, but not him. Literally all I know about him is that he’s in business, he’s approximately my age, he’s gay, and he grew up near the border. Also I know his first name. I’m thinking he might work for CSIS? (For all of you American folk, that’s like the Canadian CIA. Except that instead of doing Serious Crime Stuff they mostly accompany the Queen on her flights to and from Canada. As far as I’m aware.)
So it was kind of an odd experience today, all of us (save for Cameron, who went home because he had no exams) working together.
It was kind of nice. I wish we’d done it more often.
There are thousands of people in this hall. It is absolutely silent. Row upon row of teenagers and twenty-somethings are sitting at their tables, waiting for an announcement
Just moments before, it wasn’t so quiet. People chatted nervously, asked last-minute questions about when this was published or who that author was, and dashed for the washrooms at the back of the hall. One girl, huddled over her desk, even lit up a cigarette, and smoked it without any of the professors or TAs noticing.
But when the exams started being passed out, silence fell over the giant hall. Anticipation mixed with nervousness was thick in the air. The setting sun streamed in from the windows on the far side of the hall, glinting on the backs of the metallic chairs. We have two hours to write the exam. An essay and four mini-essays.
“Raise your hand if you don’t have an exam yet,” a voice booms. An entire section of people in the back-right corner raise their hands. The TA in charge of handing out their papers turns red, and looks down. He quickens his pace.
We start writing a few minutes later. We all scan through the assignment, and read our options. Some of us are glad: we’ll pass the class. Others aren’t.
Fifteen minutes for each mini-essay. One hour for the full essay. Not impossible.
Scour your brain for the answers. The Book of the City of Ladies. 1409. No. 1405. 1427. 1409. Trust your gut, Nicole.
Who wrote about Universities? Doesn’t matter. That’s one point out of 80. Just write. Why do you remember that was written in 1873, but not the guy’s name? Don’t think about that. Write.
The sound of two-thousand pens scratching on two-thousand papers is distracting. It’s hard to concentrate. You get stuck on one word, reading it over and over again. Circumcision. Why? It’s not even an important word. It doesn’t matter. Move on.
The essay. Try and construct a thesis. Truth. Fact. Non-fiction. Non-fiction is hard to write. There. That’s the thesis. Build on it. Um. Truth is hard to understand. No. It is hard to depict truth. No. Whole truths cannot be represented. Closer. “To bake an apple pie from scratch you must first invent the universe.” Why am–Oh. Okay. Because of the complex nature of truth, it cannot be portrayed in its entirety through literature. Non-fiction is hard to write.
Some people leave early. Some people are there to the very end. It doesn’t matter. It’s over.
I’ve been rereading Christine de Pizan’s The City of Ladies* today, because I have an English exam tomorrow evening which I’m wildly unprepared for. (Pizan’s going to be on the exam. I’m not just procrastinating.) But anyways! I’d say that the first 2/3 of the book is good. Great, even! I’m all for female empowerment! (Like, seriously, I’ve been on an odd amount of feminist rants lately.) But then it goes downhill. Quickly.
In the last third, all Pizan seems to talk about is martyrdom, and women who killed themselves for a cause. It gets tiring, hearing about all of these women who were supposedly empowered because they killed themselves after being raped. I can understand the desire to commit suicide, absolutely. Especially after something as traumatizing as rape. But come on! That doesn’t show female empowerment! And they weren’t killing themselves because they weren’t able to live with the trauma of rape. They were killing themselves because they were no longer chaste.
Plus, there are a few stories of women who killed themselves after their husbands died. Again, I can understand the urge to commit suicide. But seriously! These stories don’t belong in a book about empowerment! That the idea of living without a man is so repellent that you can’t bear it? Better to die than to live unwed?
And I know, I know, it was a different time. 1405 was a while ago. But it still irks me, I guess. I’m still allowed to be mad, right? Like when old people are racist? As my mum says, “It explains; it doesn’t excuse.”
*I should probably specify that I’m reading the abridged Penguin: Great Ideas version of the book.