I start my job tomorrow!!!!!

Which is good, because I’m not a very good housewife.

I'm sometimes a little more enthusiastic than this...

I’m also learning that living with a boy is fraught with complications.

Although, to be fair, I think Eric is a fairly clean member of their species. Sure, the bathtub had muddy footprints in it upon my arrival (a huge mishap if one knows my penchant for tubs) but that wasn’t so hard to clean.

After all, I did visit my brother in several of his apartments, and one of them had a literal layer of grime, dirt, and scum in the tub. So I can handle a few footprints.

(Plus my travels through South America and Southeast Asia has given me a wide experience in what a truly awful “bathroom” is.)

However, while I always thought Eric to be fairly anal, he is when it comes to his side of the closet and his desk and his gear and his car. The kitchen and basic cleaning? Not so much. I am well known as a messy, chaotic disaster of a housekeeper and organizer, but apparently, my this-is-so-gross-I-can’t-stand-it level comes a lot sooner than a that of a boy.

I can’t say I really mind cleaning our charming little apartment–especially the kitchen, which is my favorite room. (It has granite countertops! I feel like a queen!) It’s kind of fun to clean our dishes and unload our dishwasher and cook food that we bought.

But, I’m getting bored. I hardly ever get bored–I always have a book, or a project, or show/movie lined up. I always have a blog I want to write, or a place I want to research, or a place I want to explore, or stuff I need to plan (I do a lot of planning).

Not to mention catching up on all of my blogs and Pinterest.

However, I know only Eric here, and I never realize how social I am in Bozeman until I leave it.

That combined with my very real fear of driving here (SO MANY cars! going SO FAST!) and the excessive heat, I am getting a little stir crazy.

I’m really, really excited for my job. While our apartment is in Aurora/Centennial–kind of far away from the city–my main office is right in the middle of everything. I might even get to take the light rail there, which to my little city self, sounds pretty exotic and exciting.

Who knows how long that will last. 🙂

Well, since I only have one day of orientation before I have a four-day weekend, I’ll be sure to keep all you loyal readers updated on my new, grown-up, big girl job!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

It’s time for my first movie review!

And, fittingly, it’s for one of my favorite series.

The last movie (tear) was really quite good. It didn’t have the charm of the 6th (one of my favorites) but it also left some of the angst from Part 1 behind.

Like with every movie, there are small things left out (sometimes several words that I think really made the scene in the book) but, after all, when does the movie really live up to the book?

Especially such a book, filled with webs untangled, mysteries revealed, heart-wrenching moments, and J.K. Rowling’s incomparable storytelling.

The movie, unfortunately, failed to capture (**spoiler alert**) the sheer elation of Harry and the rest of the Wizarding world upon the defeat of Voldemort, but it did a decent job of grabbing the bittersweet moments of growing up, and then watching your children leave you, as well. There were certainly the triumphs–Ron and Hermione kissing, the death of Voldemort, Snape’s true allegiance–and the heartaches–the Resurrection Stone, Fred, Harry facing his demise.

I had a big problem with Harry telling Ron and Hermione he was sacrificing himself, and with him simply breaking the Elder Wand in half, but these details still did not detract from the overall feeling of the film.

The ending was corny, of course–as was the books–but hey, doesn’t Harry deserve a little corniness after all he’s been through? Although I must say, Hermione ages really well.

I have read that many critics are calling this the best movie–my favorites are still the 4th and 6th movies–but it is a satisfying end to the series.

It was fun to watch several of the older movies before watching the finale. While the characters have changed immensely, they still have the same core about them–Emma Watson, while she has certainly physically changed, doesn’t sound so much different from her eleven-year-old self meeting Ron (who is eating, no surprise) with a bit of disgust and disdain in her voice. And Harry, of course, remains his troubled yet awed by this new world self as he has from the beginning. Ron remains the brave, goofy sidekick–although I am glad that Ron had his heroic moments, as well. One of Rowling’s most powerful abilities is to, while giving her characters slots, is to also make them immensely more complicated that merely the hero, the sidekick, and the smart best friend.

The movies, for the most part, give us a glimpse of these complications, and let’s us visit their world and get to know the characters in a different way from what the books provide.

I urge anyone reading this, if they have not done so, to read the books through and through, to truly gain the magic of the tale of Harry Potter. It’s hard for me to describe how much these books have affected me; not only did they help me learn about right and wrong, the power of humanity, the immense changes present in every life, they also enhanced and deepened my already dear love of reading and writing. If one woman can create a world like this, a world that really has impacted our world, what kind of world can I invent? The books also gave me a glimpse of the sheer complications of people, and a fascination that still exists today.

I feel like I am not doing a very good job at explaining what these books mean to me…so much for my years of English literary education, huh?

Anyway, while there are certainly gaping holes in the movies, they provide a good foundation for the stories, and if anything, make the stories even more British.

I kind of don’t want it to ever end–but we must put away childish things.

Although, I might have to see the movie again and revisit this topic. 🙂

The End of Harry Potter (and, coincidentally, the End of my Childhood)

Well, ladies and gents, this weekend I FINALLY got the see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2!

In IMAX, no less. It was my first IMAX experience, additionally, and it was kind of insane.

Just another thing to add to my I’m-a-little-town-girl-in-a-big-city-now feeling!

(In case you didn’t get that, I’m officially living in Denver now!)

The LAST movie was a bittersweet feeling. I’ve been obsessed with the series ever since that fateful day in the library, at around age 10, when I gathered all of books from the “New This Week” section into my weekly reading pile, as was my custom (I was really cool) and among them was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

No one else in my town had really heard of the book, all of my friends thought I was insane when I told them all about this wizard kid named Harry Potter, written by some guy named J.K. something. (Sorry, Ms. Rowling, I have no idea why I thought you were a man…forgive me in my naivete).

Well, now, fifteen years later, it’s a worldwide phenomenon, and while my inner rebel always wanted to eschew the phenom, I never could. As a kid who relied on the characters of books to be her main social life, Harry Potter and his cronies were some of my best buds.

This last movie parallels my life strangely. No, I’m not on an epic quest to save Wizarding kind or  the world, but I have moved away from my hometown and my parent’s house with the intent never to return again. I have left my childhood behind–and this movie is a symbol of that. Harry’s childhood ends too, rather abruptly, and while I held on to mine a little harder–I am 24, but part of the continued living-at-home was forced by the economy and my obsession with international travel–it still is a phase over.

The books and movies themselves were also such a major part of my childhood, that the ending of them also symbolizes a new phase. Every book has been linked with my various ages, and while I can read and watch them again–and believe me, as obsessed as I am, I will–but they are over. Time to say farewell.

Just like the end of a childhood, the end of the book series, while it can be mourned and celebrated, also disappears quickly in the new details, troubles, and joys of the new chapter.

So, no, while my days are not spent on an endless camping trip, hunting Horcruxes, and my childhood is not ending on an epic quest, I am starting a new (very much less epic) quest of my own.

So far, my days are spent going to the movie theatre alone, being a VERY TEMPORARY house-wife for my now live-in boyfriend (a.k.a I get the mail, clean the tub, make dinner and bake a lot…whilst reading and writing as much as I can) and getting lost every time I drive out of our apartment complex.

And I must say, these events are quite epic for me.

Stay tuned for further excitements and trials in the big city! Plus the beginning of my new job on September 1st!

(AND for a review of the final movie!!)

The Pitfalls of Packing

I am a terrible packer.

this is me every time

You’d think that after several lengthy trips abroad, living in an apartment and the dorms on-and-off, I’d get the hang of it.

But, no.

For example, when packing for my studying abroad in Peru, one would think I had bought the plane ticket the day before: not only was I frantically packing an hour before we were to leave for the airport, but I also assumed that because Peru was south of the equator, it would be warm in Cusco in January (it’s summer, right?), a city set at around 13,000 feet.

Therefore, I had many clothes I couldn’t actually wear, terrible rain gear, and I spent the first several weeks freezing until I gave in and bought some alpaca wool.

I remember my first shower: although my host family did not have central heat, I had assumed they would have hot water, so my first night I dove into that water shivering with cold and excitement.

I almost bit my tongue off holding in the scream as the cold water poured down and left me freezing for days. I eventually learned that flushing the toilet would give me several glorious minutes of lukewarm water, but that was much, much later.

(I’m making myself sound terribly brilliant, I know.)

The school I was going to was also freezing–even when it got slightly warm outside, the walls would emit cold, I swear.

The next time I traveled abroad, you would think I would have been more prepared: this time, I knew more about the climate, and this time I knew to bring more books and less shirts.

But, no.

My pack was bursting constantly, and every time I bought a souvenir I ended up leaving several shirts behind. I also ended up losing my headlamp on the first night (I still think it was stolen, but everyone else seems to think this is a ridiculous claim for some reason).

Strangely, I am no better at packing up everything I own. Part of the reason is that I have to extract it from everything else in the basement (of which there is a lot) and collecting it from all the other rooms in the house. (And convincing my sister that if she hasn’t noticed a shirt missing for the last five years, it’s mine by now…if it ever was hers in the first place).

I also need to decide what I actually need to bring, while piling all of the other stuff, mostly kept out of purely sentimental reasons, into organized boxes in the basement.

I’m not sure how organized they are going to end up, considering I have about two-and-a-half days until I leave!!

AND I’d better get back to it, as I’ve barely started……….