Harry Potter does Orlando?

Malnurtured Snay turned me onto the story, from the BBC news website, and I’m still rubbing my eyes in horrified disbelief. What is it? Well, apparently Universal Orlando is opening The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2009.

Okay, I admit, my first reaction was something like, “Oh, cool. I wanna go!” But then my brain engaged and I realized it’s DISNEY. Disney who ruined Winnie the Pooh, and edited one of the funniest lines out of Beetlejuice, which is fine for tv, but not so fine for re-released videos. One of the things I like about Rowling’s world is that it isn’t all shiny and clean and, well, Disnified. I’m cringing inwardly at the thought of humidity-drenched folks dressed up like witches and wizards, frolicking in the Florida sunshine. Or worse, cartoon-ized versions of the characters. I mean, can something like the “Hogwarts Quidditch All-Stars” animated series be far behind?

Okay, Okay, I know that Universal isn’t REALLY a Disney park, but can you honestly believe it’s going to be any better just because it’s Universal Studios and not Disneyworld? I mean, okay, I remember liking the backlot tour at Universal in California, but that was before Universal was into attractions. I mean, when we went, they hadn’t even opened their ET exhibit (it was in the very early 80’s if you must know).

And still, I’m leery about this, because while the movies are fun, and it’s the movie-verse that will likely be given the most weight in the design of this park/attraction/whatever, I still believe that Diagon Alley and Hogwarts are best served by existing in our imaginations, and not in plaster and paint with an all-day pass.

Link to the actual BBC News article is here.
Link to the Universal Studios Harry Potter World page is here.

Thursday Thirteen – 0705.31

Thirteen Things about MissMeliss

13 things that begin with H

  1. Haiku: The first non-rhyming poetry form I remember encountering. I don’t write much of it, but it’s distilled emotion appeals to me.
  2. Hail: Ice from the sky is just amazing…and it can be beautiful, when viewed from within shelter.
  3. Hair Coloring: Like this is a surprise? I haven’t seen much more than an inch of my “real” hair color since I was fifteen, and I’ve been through some really scary colors, including once dying it gothic black. (It was TOO dark for me.) Now? I’m really loving the Special Effects Atomic Pink and Cherry Bomb woven through my Aveda Chocolate hair.
  4. Halloween: Even if I don’t dress up, I love Halloween. I love decorating the house, carving pumpkins, and being known as one of the houses on my street where kids can get the good candy.
  5. Harpsichords: I like the kind of buzzy, reedy sound they have, and I love the way they blend with a gut-stringed cello.
  6. Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh: I don’t remember when I first read this book, but I loved it from the first, and I totally identified with Harriet. I still have a box of notebooks, and I still make observations about people and places. Also, like her, I have a special fondness for using my middle initial.
  7. Hats: I’ve been a “hat person” ever since my grandmother first uttered the words, “Put a hat on that baby!” as my mother was taking me to the beach one day. My collection now includes fedoras in three colors, newsboy caps in plaid velvet, and a bouquet of berets, among others.
  8. Haunted Houses: I’m okay with the carnival version of these, but I really mean old, forlorn, unloved houses – and even warehouses – because somehow they speak to me. I used to ride my bike to a cafe job I had one summer, and I’d always leave early enough to have the time to stop by a house in Willow Glen with an overrun front garden, complete with reflecting pool and cherub fountain. As well, the Maxwell House in Georgetown, CO, holds a special fascination for me, though my former teacher who still owns property in that city assures me it’s owned by a perfectly normal, nice family.
  9. Herbals: An herbal is a sort of almanac of herbs, but it contains notes and lore as well as fact. I love my herbal, both as a resource, when writing, and just as a bathroom book. It’s the kind of thing you turn to when there isn’t a net connection available, and you desperately need to know why wormwood is toxic, or what hyssop really does.
  10. Hiding Places: Big enough for a person, like the wardrobe in the middle room at my grandmother’s house was when I was five, or small enough for just a letter or a piece of jewelry, like the hidden drawers in our headboard, I like hiding places. I like the natural version, too, those special sunny rocks at the perfect bend in a creek, or that little hollow in the cliff just past the tide pool on a favorite beach, or even just a corner of the back yard, where there’s honeysuckle and a tall tree – hiding places are amazing.
  11. Home: I tend to be a nesting-type person, so while home isn’t a specific geographic location, it’s definitely a place I need to be as often as possible. Home isn’t just a house, either, it’s a house that has life and love inside its walls, and acts as a personal haven to those who dwell within.
  12. Honey: Drizzled over hot cornbread, stirred into steaming tea, or just sucked from a spoon, honey is sweet without being cloying, and carries with it the essence of flowers, and something a little dark as well. Sugar is convenient. Honey is magic.
  13. Hula Hoops: I’ve never been particularly good at using them, but I’ve always loved trying. As a child, my friends and I all went through hula hoop phases, either trying to spin them on our hips, or using them in place of jump ropes. More recently, a hula hoop became a training tool when I took Cleo through a basic agility class – she’ll jump through hoops for the right reward.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

I Don’t HATE…

…any of the games we regularly play, but I seriously think we should retire Dinner at Joe’s for a while. Oh, sometimes it’s amazing, but mostly it’s sort of annoying. I think there are ways we could be better at it. I think the refs could ask for descriptions differently and lead the audience toward better endowments, for example, but mostly, I think we over-play it, and it needs a rest.

I was in both the Friday and Saturday night shows this weekend, and I was a bit nervous on Friday because we’d been yelled at for not bringing enough energy to our matches the previous week. We played Dinner at Joe’s and it did get big laughs, mostly because Craig was given the character of the volunteer’s dog. We also played Foreign Movie, and the other team played Five Things, and Blind Line, and Forward/Reverse, but I cannot for the life of me remember what else we played. It wasn’t a bad show, either, I’m just blanking on it. Oh! Stunt Double.

Last night was fun for me because I got to try something new. My team played Dinner and Joe’s and we also played Slo-Mo, and Lil J and I did the commentary for it, which we’ve never done before (either of us), but it wound up being really funny, with no dead time, and I think using an English accent for it was a good choice. We played five things – only got to three, but the audience loved it. The other team played Arms Expert and Blind Line and Stunt Double.

Went out for a late dinner after the show, and then was talking with a troupemate in the garage, afterward, and there was this massive spider crawling up one of the posts, and he and Fuzzy want to play with it. Rather, he went to play with it and Fuzzy snapped pictures. It was about an inch long, not including legs, tapered body, white spots on abdomen, big fangs, and turned and hissed when troupemate poked it with his umbrella.

I stayed in the car and watched.
I don’t DO spiders.

No idea what we’re doing today. Maybe a movie. Maybe just hanging around the house.

It’s a rainy afternoon, and rainy afternoons are good for being quiet and puttery.


I have two shows of notes to type up, a new hairstyle, and something about a spider to blog about, but I’m tired and really not feeling writey tonight.

Consider this a teaser, I guess.

Will blog in the morning.
(By morning I mean, sometime after the sun has risen on Sunday, not necessarily actually before noon.)

Do You Know Where YOUR Towel Is?

Towel Day :: A tribute to Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

As some of my friends know, I’m all about silly holidays like the random ones BlueMountain used to have in their list. Because, who DOESN’T want to celebrate International Hat Day, really?

This morning, someone on the ComedySportz forum had posted a link to Towel Day, an annual event commemorating the life and works of author Douglas Adams.

As The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was one of the first non-Trek science fiction works that captured my attention (largely because my 12-year-old self responded to the cheerful irreverence of the book), I find it fitting to remember the guy who wrote it.

So, my towel is in my CSz bag, and yes, I will have it nearby all day.

So where’s YOUR towel today?
C’mon tell me.
All the hoopiest froods are doing it.

Friday’s Feast 0705.25

Name a sound you like to hear.
While I realize that most of you are expecting me to say “rain on a tin roof” or “the soft sighing of my dogs,” both of which are sounds I do like, the one that is coming first to my mind is a little bigger. It’s the sound of an orchestra tuning. The way the strings begin with discordant tones, and then settle into the all-too-familiar A-440, the way the brass and woodwinds start out with breathy sounds, but warm into confident ones. It’s always so exciting, and full of possibility, and to me, it’s the musical equivalent of the countdown to launching a rocket.

What is your favorite kind of cheese?
I like most cheese, and it’s difficult to pick a favorite. I love sharp Cheddar in combination with crisp apples, or even sometimes with olives, or on sandwiches with roast beef and strong mustard. I like Brie at parties. I like Monterey Jack in quesadillas, with or without the addition of peppers. Muenster and Swiss are my favorites for slicing on most sandwiches, but then there’s Provolone, as well. It’s easier, I think, to talk about the one cheese I don’t like, that I actually don’t remember the name of, but smells sort of like caramel. Or maybe I’m remembering wrong and it LOOKS like caramel? (It might be Geitost)

Do you sleep late on Saturday mornings? Why or why not?
Sometimes. I didn’t used to, but after I married Fuzzy this changed. I mean, YOU try leaving a soft bed when there’s a cuddly spouse and two sweet dogs sending out alpha waves and psychic “Stay…” messages! As a child, though, I never slept late. I would get up and read or watch tv, or go play outside in the first rays of the sunshine. And sometimes, if I didn’t have a show and a late dinner the night before, I still do this, get up and take early morning walks, or go write for a while…though I then go back to bed after.

Main Course
When was the last time you forgot something? What was it, and how long did it take to remember it?
If I’ve forgotten it, how can I remember? See above and the name of the evil cheese. More seriously, I’ve been completely scatterbrained lately. I never used to be, and it’s frustrating in the extreme.

Fill in the blank: I notice trees when it’s cloudy. I completely do. It’s something about how the green of their leaves looks more vivid against a grey sky, or maybe it’s the quality of the light. Walking through such light is like walking on the fringes of fairyland and the trees arch to become a corridor of magic in my overactive imagination.

Rainy Days and Mondays…

…don’t get me down; they inspire me to write. Today, however, I really wanted to just sleep, and I did take a nap instead of having lunch, if you must know.

As for the weekend, and the non-nap parts of the day? Bullet points are my friends.

  • Friday Night: Received new cell phone from UPS and it melted in my hand after making brown electrical smoke. Went to Cingular store to exchange it, then to Jamba Juice and then to Mimi’s for take out (mmm, quiche and salad). Exchanged phone subsequently turned out to be both broken and illegally returned by an employee who put it in a new box. Watched Stargate as Cingular kept us home too long to go to CSz. Missed phenomenal show.
  • Saturday: Went back to Cingular, got NEW new phone. Went to Cracker Barrel for comfort food. Went to Jamba Juice and then to CSz where I played, but it was an off-kilter night. It didn’t COMPLETELY suck, but it wasn’t at all focused or cohesive. After the show, went to dinner with troupemates, and celebrated D’s birthday.
  • Sunday: Slept and puttered and ate tacos and watched movies and wrote.
  • Monday: Worked from 7:30 AM – 11:45 AM. Slept from noon to 1:30. Worked til 4:30. Went to lunch. Went to Workshop even though I wanted to stay home and sleep. Workshop helped me feel better. Came home happy and wired. Ate dinner while watching season finale of Heroes. Had brief but nice chat with friend.

And since I’m having fun with lists, and we played Seven Things as a warm-up at Workshop, here is my list of Seven Things in My Day:

  1. Woke to the happy surprise that it was raining. As chances for rain today were below 40%, had not been expecting actual precipitation.
  2. Was awake and functional before eight AM despite having been up til almost four.
  3. Caught an episode of Star Trek Voyager that I’d never seen before, spontaneously captured by TiVo.
  4. Chose to nap instead of eat lunch, and woke feeling refreshed and clear-headed.
  5. Left for Workshop with enough time to get an iced almond latte on the way, and still make it to the Arena early and before the rain came.
  6. Had my favorite bra break (the plastic “underwire” snapped in two) during dinner – an excuse for new lingerie!
  7. Found out that even though NBC canceled Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip the remaining episodes of the completed first season are airing on Thursdays beginning this week.
    • And with that, I’m off to bed.

Thursday Thirteen – 0705.17

Thirteen Things about MissMeliss
Thirteen Things that Begin with “G”

  1. Garlic It’s a staple in my cooking, whether I’m chopping it for pasta sauce or chili, or to mix into scrambled eggs, or roasting it to serve with a crusty baguette and hot soup. It means “home” to me.
  2. Genie This is the American version of the French word, which actually doesn’t share etymology with the more correct “Djinn,” but I have an affinity for trickster characters, especially tricksters who use magic.
  3. Georgetown, CO I lived there when I was seven-ish, and it was an idyllic place to be a small child. A part of me still yearns for small town life. I just want the small town to also have a decent bookstore, cafe, a coastline, and internet access.
  4. Gestures When you come from an Italian family, talking with your hands doesn’t mean “sign language” but broad passionate gestures. I’ve restrained myself a lot, but when I’m truly comfortable with people, they come out.
  5. Ghirardelli Square The stores have changed a lot since my first visit there, in 1980, and watching the molten chocolate pour down isn’t quite as magical as it used to be, but this is still my favorite San Francisco tourist attraction, and I used to love taking the bus down Van Ness on weekends when I was at USF, and hanging in the square, watching the street performers and sipping hot cocoa.
  6. Ghost Stories Like many people, I like to be a little scared, and I like my fiction a little dark. But ghost stories don’t have to be dark – sometimes they can be merely mysterious, and other times romantic.
  7. Gingerbread Classically spicy, always tastey, and did you know it’s fabulous with dark chocolate sauce?
  8. Gipsy Kings, The They’re French, but they sing in soulful, earthy (yes, both at once) Spanish. I love their rough voices and their guitars.
  9. Green It’s a cool, wet color for me, one I associate with beach glass, kelp forests, and dark, soft moss.
  10. Groovous In my effort to decrease my use of the word “cool” I started using “spiffy” and “nifty,” but sometimes they’re not strong enough. “Groovous” which is my spin on “groovy” is unique enough to suit me, and tends to get attention as well. Plus, it’s fun to say. I like words that are fun to say.
  11. Guessing Games I’m good at closure, so it’s natural for me to like such games.
  12. Gypsies Like “Genie” above, it’s the romantic, fictional gypsies I refer to here.
  13. Gyroscopes I remember playing with a toy gyroscope my grandfather gave me, letting the ball spin as I turned the contraption in different directions. It fascinated me, but I don’t have the math finesse to ever be good at physics.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!