About This Blog
A blog about my life, universe, etc. At any given time you might find something endlessly interesting or just me ruminating on something else, which no one (not even myself) finds interesting. That's the way blogs go, I suppose. Anyway, I was eleventh in line, and you weren't. Hah!

About Me
Columbus, OH
Political Score:
Temp @ JPMorgan Chase
Ohio State University
Political Science, International Studies
High School: Home Educated
Reading, standing in line for things, writing, research

About My Family
My mom is a
lawyer in Pickerington; my stepdad and dad are computer guys, and my stepmom (who works with my dad) is an engineer. My sisters are, in order of age, a photographer, an artist, and a person too young to have her own website. My brothers are, in order of age, living up north, and again, a person too young to have a website. At some point soon I'll be collecting links for my aunts, uncle, and cousins. ^_^

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Star Wars: Episode 3 Line (Hollywood)
My Star Wars Line page

NaNoWriMo 2007:
My Novel: Cipere Lumen

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 Winner

NaNoWriMo 2006:
My Novel: The Manatee Conspiracy

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 Winner

NaNoWriMo 2005:
My Novel: Beyond the Cliffs of Kefira

Official NaNoWriMo 2005 Participant

NaNoWriMo 2004:
My Novel: sul Okyar tir taTz'ileea

National Novel Writing Month

Monday, June 30, 2003
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE'RE BACK IN BUSINESS: A couple of things have happened in the last 48 hours that have made me very happy.

First of all, the world of Harry Potter fanfiction is up and running again. Since Order of the Phoenix came out, there have been a half dozen updates at WitchFics -- yes, Anna's stuff has sex in it, but it's worth skimming just to get to the rest of the Truly Excellent Work she's written -- and now Barb has put out a Cookie for The Lost Generation (we're getting close to That Fateful Halloween Night now, too!) If only certain never-going-to-be-finished fics would now be finished, I'd be a happy camper. We'll just NOT talk about my terminal epic, which has been trashed beyond redemption by Ms. Rowling (not that we didn't expect that, but I don't have Barb's fanbase or Anna's cadre of fellow authors to support me, and anyway, the epic didn't get started three years ago, when it should have been. I do see an opening in the post-OotP world, but who knows; fanfic is a different world now than it was in 2000, and back then I was aboard George Lucas' bandwagon, not JKR's.

But back to the happiness -- my annual passport expired, as you can read in my earlier post this morning, and in just five days, I will have hit 6 months of working at Disneyland. This is notable for a few reasons: first and foremost, this is the longest job I've ever had. No, I'm not kidding; the one at Wendy's only lasted from July to November, and January to July beats THAT hands down. Second, I haven't even been TEMPTED to marginally cheat at ALL in any aspect of this job. At Wendy's and Burger King (The job I had for ONE week) stealing fries was common, and taking soda so routine it was actually a job benefit. You couldn't pay me enough to give any of my friends a discount they're not eligible for at DL; I even make sure to put down the real times I come and go for my breaks (the way you're supposed to). I don't think I've ever had really serious honesty issues in the past, but I feel downright proud and stuff that the temptation has really been snuffed at Disney. Not even hunger or a car that won't start has caused me to be dishonest, and that's not a bad thing. Third, at six months, you're eligible to transfer to a different department. As some of my friends are no doubt well aware (and a lot of strangers are, too, I'm sure), I was not particularly thrilled at the idea of Retail Work when I got hired at Disneyland. My usual quote is something like "I said, put me anywhere except Custodial and that's what they did -- I work anywhere but Custodial." No offense to the Stores people (a lot of really amazingly cool people work in Stores) -- but sales and stuff just isn't me. I feel like the worst part of my job is the moment when I ask for my Guest's money, and I long for a position where it feels like we're doing things to make Happiness, not to make a sales goal. On the fourth of July of this year, I will become eligible to apply to any other position at the Disneyland Resort. Many of which place more of a priority on the Magic than Stores does. I can't WAIT. It also, BTW, would be nice to be paid more, get more hours, and/or get into a better union. Mine stinks. So, umm, there you go.

Thirdly, this Pirates movie is going to rock. I walked by the Rivers of America today after park closing and watched them taking down the screen and bleachers (I think there'll be another day, maybe two, of traffic buildup -- Fantasmic! is dark until the 2nd, so the river has to be clear by then for sure). I still can't believe that Orlando Bloom walked through our little theme park! I'm sad that I missed it (I'll be posting my X Games trauma story soon), but I so can't wait for this movie. Unfortunately, DL scheduled me for the 9th, for a shift that goes to 10:15pm. I will therefore be trying with all my might to give that shift away. I'd rather go hungry in San Diego than miss this movie!

Lastly, I got my Comic-Con stuff in the mail. This thing is SO going to rock. I can't wait. I'm saving up my money now -- I need $56 for the hostel, for sure -- and planning to be conservative in terms of cash outflow. Even if it means packing enough food for five days (four nights) and lugging a lunch every day. I WILL make this happen, my father's allowance system notwithstanding.

Overall, I just feel like this is a month for beginning over again. Morning is breaking and all that. Having said that, I think it's time for bed; I put a high value on avoiding my family as much as possible, and my father and stepmother set their alarm for 4:30am.


I CAN NOW GET INTO DISNEYLAND FOR FREE!! It may surprise you to learn this, but today is officially the first day when I can actually get myself into Disneyland for free. Now, you may say, "Sarah, you've been working for Disney since January, and practically live there even when you're not working. What do you mean, you haven't been getting in for free? Have you been a REAL freak and throwing money in the wishing well just on the principle that Michael Eisner and Cynthia Harriss don't get paid well enough as it is (ignoring the fact that all donations to the wishing well go to the DisneyHand charity fund)??"

The answer, of course, is that I pre-paid for for a year's worth parking and entrance privileges back on June 29th, 2002. My pass expired at midnight. Now I can get into Disneyland for free, and it's not like I could have used my annual passport to do it. Of course now I'm even more attached to my job than I was before. People are calling me a "lifer."

In case you're wondering, I did in fact go into the park, get a parking ticket from the M&F structure guys [who examined my passport closely for a minute, because they recognized me as a CM and because of the date], get a bunch of copies of the current park map, buy an AP exclusive pin, and get legitimate FastPasses for Haunted Mansion and Indy (and "THIS IS NOT A VALID FASTPASS" tickets for Splash Mountain) with my annual pass, before doing my eight hour shift at the Star Trader. I'm going to make a shadowbox display of my AP stuff, to memorialize it all. BTW, it turns out that the FastPass machines do, in fact, print your ticket or pass number on each and every FastPass. I checked to be sure.

In the interests of full disclosure, I probably wouldn't have done this if they hadn't blocked CMs from coming into the parks on Saturday (BTW, Saturday was TOTALLY dead, especially in Tomorrowland/Fantasyland/Toontown and in DCA). Because they did, it was like, a challenge to me to go find my annual pass and just come into the park as a Guest, because I could. When it turned out that the day after the Premiere was my last day of the pass, I just couldn't help myself...

Tomorrow I'm going to the Parks early to enjoy my first real day of getting into them for free. For the record, I logged over 850 hours with the Annual Pass (that is, getting into the Park using the AP as my form of admission -- all but about 20 hours occurred between June 29th and January 4th). I paid $220 for the pass; without adjusting for all the parking fees I saved (or the discounts I got at the AMC and in the parks themselves), that comes out to $0.2588 per hour. See, if you're insane like me, the Annual Pass really is a good deal.


Wednesday, June 25, 2003
AMEN, SISTER:I agree completely with what this OTHER Melissa (not the Melissa I referred to below, a different one altogether) says about JKR.

Back Online


Tuesday, June 24, 2003
HERE'S HOPING: Melissa's going to find out if her consulting-person-thingy will happen. Good luck, Melissa!

In other news, Comic-Con is definitely on (the hostel accepted my reservation!), I'm working on the 4th of July, I just flooded the poor Psychic Serpent mailgroup with about 15 emails (responses to a day and a half of posts all at once), and I'm hungry at the weirdest hour. Oh, and I've been REALLY SICK, and today was the first day I walked out of the house, drove anywhere, or ate anything that wasn't prepared for me and more or less handed to me right off the stove. Heh. We learned a new choreography, too, and I'm thanking my Tylenol substitute for getting me through it (and for keeping me up all night).


Sunday, June 22, 2003
THE DETAILS OF MY WAIT FOR OOTP:This is the story of how I waited for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and then how I went about reading it. No spoilers were released in the writing of this entry.

I called the Burbank B&N around 12:26pm on Friday, the 20th. Someone had posted on the LUN boards that the official word was that there wouldn't be any copies for people who didn't pre-order. Well, I didn't pre-order (there was a mixup about what bookstore I'd be at, and which county it would be in), so I was concerned. The guy told me they'd have 150 copies left over for non-pre-order types like me. I hung up the phone, said aloud to the empty house, "I'll be there in an hour", and ran around like a madwoman getting dressed. I had to go get gas, and luckily on the way I remembered that I had forgotten my printout of the directions to the Burbank store (they're really easy directions, but I tend to obsess over the little stuff like that), so I drove back after getting gas to grab them. One quick stop at the Taco Bell got me my lunch, and then it was off to Burbank!

There was nightmarish traffic on the 5 (I was really freaking out, even though it was only 1:30pm, and became convinced that everyone was driving to THIS one bookstore just to buy all the copies of Harry Potter), so I didn't get to Burbank until 2:14pm. I got into the store around 2:28pm, and immediately accosted employees and managers with demands for information. I hope I was polite, and that I didn't scare them too much. There was another group of girls there (maybe 16-20 years old) who were waiting for HP. We all wandered around the store (hovering a lot around the windows by the exit), waiting for 5:30pm -- the time when they said they would set up the tables for the line. I found the bathroom, I discovered they only had Russian versions of Chamber of Secrets (I need Sorcerer's Stone first), and I gave a lot of dirty looks to the little kids (who I was sure would try to get in front of me and keep me from getting my book).

Around 4:30pm, I started hanging out near the bargain books section. You see, my friend Stefanie and her kids (and niece and nephew) were going to be at the Burbank store -- that's why I chose that location -- and I wasn't sure what time they would arrive. Simultaneously, I knew that the store was planning to start the lines (outside the store) for General Sales (that's me and most of Stefanie's crew, who were gathering tickets for other people who we knew were coming) and Pre-Orders (Stefanie and her son), around 5:30. I was RIGHT by the window next to where they would be putting the Pre-Order line. Anyway, about five minutes after I started lurking there, this woman comes up to me and says "is this the line for Harry Potter?" I told her that I wasn't necessarily waiting in line, that the real line wasn't going to start until we were all outside. But she decided to wait where I was waiting -- and there was blood in the water! Within five minutes, a half dozen other adults had come and decided our impromtu line was just as good as the real thing, and that we could all go outside and have our lines there when the store directed us to move! I was first in line! Ack!!!!

Thankfully, it turned out there were people already waiting outside in line (me and my silly authority-driven nature). Three of them (one person who I think works at Disney, like me, and then a father and son pair) were in the General Sales line. The pressure was off! A girl named Andrea, who just finished the eighth grade (woot!), sat next to me. She was reading VC Andrews, but we got to talking (it was a very long wait) about all kinds of stuff. Around 6pm, Stefanie and her crew arrived; Stefanie and her son went to grab a spot in the Pre-Order line, and the rest of them joined me and Andrea. I insisted that Andrea (and her friend Amy) would get to be before them, though, when the book was actually sold. Since they were going to be giving their spots up to people who weren't even there, they didn't mind much.

Around 6:15ish, the store's personnel came out and gave out tickets. The Disney girl, right after she got hers, realized she needed to be in the OTHER line, because she had pre-ordered. So I was third, number 024, after the man and his son. Val had arrived not long before they handed out tickets; we went over to wait with her, Stefanie, and Stefanie's son (once you got a ticket, it guaranteed your spot in line for when the book was actually being sold, so you could do other stuff). Once they got their tickets (total of two; turns out Stefanie only pre-ordered one, because only her son is *that* into Harry Potter), we went to this funky restaraunt called The Islands for dinner. Stefanie was really sweet and paid for everyone, even me and Val. I totally owe her.

We basically killed time after that. Val and I walked around a bit, observed the various cute activities for the kids (make your own wand, make a Snitch, predict what Dumbledore will tell Harry, that sort of stuff) but left the materials and all for those under 18. Well, Val did get a free pair of HP-style glasses. Anyway, we spent a lot of time in the Cafe -- Stefanie did bible study, I worked on translating my Disneyland Cast Member Reference Guide into Russian, Val talked on the phone -- until friends started arriving. Most of the Lining Up people came -- Larry, his son, Marc, Steve, Peter, Corey, Josh, Jeneatte, Carrie, the other Steve, Aris, Greg, etc. -- though only Larry, Mark, one of the Steves, and I think Aris actually got books. Most of them went to a showing of The Hulk before coming (some were at the ArcLight, so they got there pretty late).

Around 11:25pm, we got into our line. I was the first in our group out there -- and guess what? The man and his son who were before me didn't show up! So I was first in line. There was an impromptu line out there -- the store had announced you could start lining up at 10pm -- but I had the earliest ticket and just got in front of those people. Andrea joined me, and not long after, the rest of our crew did, too. It was quite a sight -- me, Larry's son, and Andrea on the ground, and everone else standing up and talking all around us. We totally blocked the walkway. Andrea's friend came with fries from In-and-Out, and even offered me some, but I was still full from eating at the Islands earlier (excellent chicken ceasar salad there, BTW). There were some (3) protesters praying really REALLY loudly (the store made them go to the basement parking garage thing -- Larry went and joined them, but I guess he got tired of the screaming prayers and came back up), but it was otherwise pretty peaceful.

Around 11:57pm, the store started getting people into the building, from the Pre-Order line. Right at midnight, they handed the first copies to the first people in that line, and they ran over and paid (everyone got Sorted into a House at the beginning of the night; your house determined what register you went to -- I was in Slytherin, at the leftmost register). Then they all tried to escape. When Stefanie and Val got their books (they were about 85 spots from the front, so it took a bit), Larry tried to read the first sentence out loud. I shouted "NO!" and was really pretty rude about it, but DARN IT, I was trying to avoid that sentence for months and months, and I wanted to be able to read it in the book for the first time. It's going to be oh-so-fun being 100% spoiler-free for Star Wars: Ep. 3, I'm sure. Anyway...

Around 12:24am, the last of the Pre-Order people went in. Once they had almost all bought their books, a store employee escorted us (starting with me, holding a sign that said "GENERAL" on it, so they'd know that they'd switched from pre-orders to normal sales) through a sort of obstacle course, between trees and tables of books, over to where they had the HP books stacked. They handed me a copy after checking that I had a ticket, and sent me over to the registers. There was someone else in front of me, probably the last Pre-Order person, at the Slytherin register, so I had to wait until her credit card transaction cleared before I could pay. Then it was like, here-is-my-money-take-it-so-I-can-leave (it didn't help that by then, I REALLY had to go to the bathroom) for me, but she kept asking (with some kind of accent I didn't recognize) if I was a member of the Readers' Advantage Club. I'm not, so it cost $19.47. I gave her my money, she gave me the change and receipt, and I left, book in hand!!!!!

After that, we all gathered for a bit of discussion, and for Stefanie to take a picture with everyone holding their copies of the books (and Peter holding his brand-new cell phone). Larry and the others who had arrived later decided to go eat (I think at Harry's, just for the irony of it all), but Val, Stefanie, and I all had to go. Val has a final exam or something on Monday, I have to do my Nimbus paper rewrite, and Stefanie had been up all day and had five kids to get home. So I ran into the store, went to the bathroom, came back out (everyone had split by then), and walked back to where I had parked my car, underneath Macy's. I was really pretty good about not getting all fangirly about having the fifth Harry Potter book in my car, but then again, I also managed to traverse the 40 miles from Burbank to home in around 27 minutes! I just stopped once -- at that same Taco Bell -- for dinner.

I started actually reading at 1:50am, with my giant Dr. Pepper and personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut (I love that partnership with Taco Bell, I can get GOOD food at the WEIRDEST hours), and read until 8:54am. Sometime in there, around 2:30-3am, my dad woke up and talked for about 15 minutes (the subject was student loans, because THAT'S why I was up, no, really, just to talk to him) and got all annoyed because I bought my own copy when one was going to come for my brother today (I don't know if it came or not, but if it did, they hid it from him). Then around 5:45am I had to do the dishes for about 45 minutes. So I figure it took around 6 hours. I could have read it faster, but I wanted to savor the thing, you know? I only intentionally skipped one part, which was about a page long.

I plan to re-read it tonight (which, now that this report is done, actually this morning), after writing a Percy one-shot, watching an episode of Stargate that I had to tape because I was waiting for this book (I did that halfway through writing this report, actually), finishing Cirque du Soleil's Varekai, and eating something (did that too). It took almost 5 hours to get this report organized, thanks to all the interruptions and distractions and stuff. I've resumed reading HP fanfiction, with Ch. 29 of Anna's Jewel of the Nile and Ch. 24 of Barb's Triangle Prophecy. I did a bunch of posting tonight on FictionAlley as well. I guess you could say that I'm back in the game. Was the waiting worth it, both in terms of how long it was from GoF to now and from when I got to Burbank until when I actually got to read the book? I'm not quite sure. Ask me again tomorrow!


HARRY POTTER IS MY KING: The Burbank folks were giving out misinformation as late as 11:30, and to children as young as 11 years old (the youngest person who came up to me and said that they told her no one was going to be able to get a book except for pre-orders, is going into sixth grade in August). I'm glad I got my book, and I'm glad I got to be first in the "general sales" line, but I'm pretty sure I won't be heading back to that store anytime soon. See my post AFTER this one for the full details of my night.

I finished the book at 8:54am this morning, exactly seven hours and four minutes after starting it. Sometime in there I was interrupted by a VERY EARLY morning money talk with my father (who thinks that if you're up and reading the first newly released HP book this MILLENIUM, and it's 3am, it must mean you were waiting for him to come and talk about student loans) and by having to do the dishes (I waited until 5:45am, which just shows how good I think the book is, as I was risking the wrath of my stepmother by waiting so long).

The remainder of this entry consists of SPOILERS for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. DO NOT highlight the remainder of this post, or read the remainder of this post, if you do not want immediate exposure to crucial plot points, random tidbits of data, or my personal analysis of either. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.


Well. I read it. Took seven hours (in one way less time than I would have thought, and in another way, more -- read on to understand why), and probably ensures I'll continue to have a head cold for an extra day, since I stayed up all night to read it. But I think it was worth it, even though I have mixed feelings about this book.

You see, I'm a fanfiction kind of girl. I tend to get really into fanfiction once I start (on a per-series basis -- I'm not into Babylon 5 fanfiction, for instance, but I DO like Stargate fanfiction), and the delays between the time I finished Goblet of Fire and the time they released Order of the Phoenix got me hooked. I'm on FictionAlley, WitchFics, and a couple of other sites as a reader, and have published HP fanfiction on FA. What does that have to do with this book? Well, for starters, I've already read three different versions of Harry's fifth year (and a Hermione-based trilogy starting in his sixth year), and oh yeah, I had these plans of my own for an epic three-part finish to GoF. Some of those authors are pretty darned good, and let's face it, I kind of like my own ideas. I've never been in the situation I'm in now -- JK Rowling's version of Harry's 5th year is at least the fourth I've seen executed, and probably the eighth or ninth that I've seen conceptualized. Of course, there aren't that many different ways people have gone with HP fanfiction in the past, you see, and 80% of it can be described with one sentence: "Mary Sue (an American exchange student) comes to Hogwarts in Harry's fifth year, and crazy romance stuff ensues, with lots and lots of snogging in the Astronomy Tower."

Still, a big part of me was expecting Harry to move in with Sirius, for us to see Draco turn good (even though I'm a MAJOR opponent of that concept in fanfiction, and for the last year I've argued rather heatedly against the idea), for Hermione to fall over and start snogging everything in sight (see again the above part about arguing heatedly, and my published works). That sort of thing. It went way way WAY beyond speculating what's in the next book (which I've done a lot, especially in the Star Wars area), and straight into deciding what stuff works best, through trial and error. Ten thousand monkeys at keyboards produced some REALLY excellent ideas, and despite my best efforts (including a three-week hiatus from the fan community), they were all floating around in my head. Sirius' house at Ascog was a more pressing interruption for me than rumors of Hermione's death (well, at least until the part where nearly EVERY fan of Harry's all decided to put themselves in danger all at once), and that's saying something, because thousands of girls were worried about Hermione, and only one author that I know of has put Sirius at Ascog.

But did I like the book? I'm not sure. Yeah, there was a lot of conflict in me over specific points (I like how you get into St. Mungo's better in JKR's version, but I'm quite attached to Barb's method of getting into the Ministry of Magic), and not just little ones either (see my soon-to-be-published post-OOTP fiction from Percy's perspective), but more to the point, perhaps, is what I thought of THIS version (in other words, can we leave aside the issue of canon vs. fanfiction and questions of who the REAL Harry Potter is, at least for long enough to write a review!) And I don't quite know.

From the very first page, Harry comes off as angry. Really angry. Up until now, Harry has been, in many respects, a borderline Mary Suish person to me, because I've never really gotten inside his head. I've sort of respected his point of view, and for brief instances, I've identified with his situation (the beginning of POA, and his amazement at getting two weeks of deciding what he can do with himself, hit close to home for a formerly homeschooled college student). But here I really felt immersed in his anger, and was actually getting angry on his behalf. I rather like how JKR did this, especially since pretty much all the young boys I know are probably more likely to react with shouting and throwing things than with tears (which is how I tended to write my own post-GoF stuff -- a weepy or depressed Harry was always in the back of my mind). Still, it was disturbing, especially because the anger went unabated for close to 600 pages, and was an undercurrent to the entire book. Normally Harry's moods fluctuate every chapter or so -- angry at Aunt Marge, confused and worried about his own status, free and happy at having a bit of freedom, frustrated at his own weakness in the face of the Dementors -- but here, the anger never really goes away. I remember thinking aloud every couple of dozen places... "he's still angry?" And by the time Hermione confronted him (in a rather passive manner, through Ron) about it, I could see her point. At the same time, part of me was still angry right along with Harry. For heaven's sake, it's not like he could take it out on the person who he was angry at!

Which is, of course, the whole point of this book, as far as I am concerned. Harry has never been good about telling authority figures the things they needed to know, in the past. He doesn't tend to trust anyone but Dumbledore, and then only when there's no choice (and when the dust has settled from the various relevant catastrophes), does he do any kind of confiding (in anyone other than his best friends, and maybe Sirius). Now, here, it seems like he might be finally ready to start acting a little more like a grown-up, in a sort of give-and-take relationship with the people who can help him (who knows, though, it's easy to feel a certain way if you're never allowed to follow through), and he's denied at every turn. Too young to join the Order (YES. Even though they're so late on this issue that they're finally wrong, there should have been SOMEONE to mention to Harry that he was too young to go around saving the world and keeping all the information to himself YEARS AGO), no you can't write to Sirius (and by the by, let's also not give you access to our twenty gazillion better methods of talking to him until it's too late for you to think it'll do any good), let's-just-pretend-we-don't-know-each-other stuff from Dumbledore, etc. This is probably the first time in HP history where Harry really DOES have to take matters into his own hands. The fact that for the first time, his schoolmates have proven themselves fully capable of being independently useful, is icing on THAT cake (and even though we didn’t get an indoctrination-into-the-Order scene out of Dumbledore, I think that Neville, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, and that Luna chick ought to be included along with Harry at the soonest possible opportunity), and ought to tell us a little more about what’s coming in the future (after all, now we know that Harry and six friends can do more, materially, to fight Voldemort and ten Death Eaters, than five Order of the Phoenix members can do – and only once did Dumbledore really need to intervene).

There’s all kinds of plot details I’m intrigued about. I won’t say much about the Big Death that was involved, except that NEXT time, I absolutely REFUSE to listen to any spoilers or rumors WHATSOEVER. I spent the better part of 150 pages wondering if THIS would be the character to bite it. Oddly, I never once even CONSIDERED Sirius to be the person who’d die, and I had exactly the same reaction that Harry did when he first went down – okay, so when’s he going to walk back out? I wish we had seen something of Remus or Snape’s reaction to Sirius’ death (or hint of Peter’s continued existence!), but I guess that’ll be fanfiction fodder for the next few years. Harry’s first kiss was with the person who was so obvious that everyone was convinced it wouldn’t be her – a lot of the book was like that, actually. A number of villains remain exactly as two-dimensional as they were in the previous four books, there isn’t a hint of homosexuality anywhere, Hermione still studies and wasn’t really surprised to be a Prefect (though I was that Harry wasn’t), we still don’t know anything about any Ravenclaw other than Luna (who deserves a few Nimbus papers of her own), Draco is still an obnoxious prat who may or may not be Truly Evil (TM ). If only Percy had learned from his mistakes in GoF, I’d consider every major plot point to be right on. And there were enough surprises and twists to keep me interested.

Do I have any predictions about the next book? Plenty, but I want to re-read all five, in order, one right after another, before voicing them. Do I wish some things were a bit different? Sure. Do I wish I could strangle Umbrige, or better yet have Voldemort do it? Of course. Am I completely thrilled that 85% of what I thought was going to be in this book, is different in a way I didn’t expect? Absolutely. Am I going to write a bunch of fanfiction based on or incorporating this book? Heavens, who won’t? I can think of more questions, but those are the big ones, and for some reason, I really wanted to get my first review out less than 24 hours after getting the book. I’ve got 27 minutes left, so I’d better publish this thing already. Stay tuned for further analysis, probably better written and more coherent than this was.

This ends the spoiler section of this post.


Friday, June 20, 2003
SAY IT AGAIN SamizBlog is up and running! I posted two sentences I am sure are correct, both in terms of grammar and in terms of truthfulness (I DO have a tent, but no apartment...); more substantive stuff will be up soon enough.

In other news, I might have seen Sara driving home from Disneyland the other night, Larry has apparently quit his job, and I'll be going to the Barnes and Noble in Burbank (instead of the Borders in Mission Viejo) for the Harry Potter release tomorrow night. Woot!


Thursday, June 19, 2003
LONG DAYS, SHORT NIGHTS: Just FYI, this whole week I've been working closing shifts on West Side. Lots and lots of 2am closings. Today and tomorrow are nice, I'm working 2:30pm to 11:00pm. Practically banker's hours. Anyway, realistically, don't expect many posts on nights when I'm working. Even tonight, with all this extra time, it's 2:30am and I'm about to take my shower and go to sleep. I have to be at work in 12 hours, and I want to get SOME stuff done before I go in tomorrow. Plus, I need to catch up on sleep...


Monday, June 16, 2003
FEEL GOOD QUOTE OF THE DAY: I got a feel-good quote yesterday. One of my leads said to me (I just started working Stock Team -- back of house, where you don't do any of the cash register/checking in packages/etc. work, and instead mostly focus on getting product on the floor and properly displayed -- on Sunday night) that I needed to get back out on the floor (i.e. front of house) because...

"We need people who know what they're doing."

Heehee! I know what I'm doing! Even though I got some other good quotes (good job, you're doing great, this is excellent, etc.) yesterday, this one makes me feel really good about myself for some reason. I bet it's the TJ in me. Anyway, happy feel-good quotes make me more energized for work, so yay! Now, I'm going to go eat lunch.


ISHTE HAD A GOOD IDEA: And imitation is the purest and most legally risky form of flattery! Thus, I'm making my own LaunchCast station. Woohoo!

My LaunchCast Station


THE TREND CONTINUES: Looks like everyone else is moving away from Blogspot. Am I next? I don't know. Probably can't afford my own domain or any of that, which excludes MT (the one service I'd be most interested in). On the other hand, the continuing difficulties at SamizBlog are REALLY ANNOYING.



IF ONLY I'D SHUT UP ONCE IN A WHILE: I'm pretty sure I could qualify as "adorable." Thank you for your attention, you may resume your lives now.


Saturday, June 14, 2003
I'M TRYING TO DECIDE How I'd feel if I were Josh. On the one hand, it seems like a lot of people really really don't like him on TAR4. On the other hand, I completely cannot respect the opinions of 99% of those people, because they say things like "Tian and Jeree are the only reason I like this show." I mean... gah. Overall, I would rather be hated by people who love T&J than liked by them. It'd make me feel better about myself on so many levels.

And I have to admit, I can understand why people would find Josh annoying. I mean, there was a bit of that for me at the beginning of the line. But he's cool, and he stands up for what's right, and... yeah. Plus, he found ME annoying and got over it. So, yay him.


THE ABSENTMINDED CAST MEMBER: I forgot I have to work today. D'oh! Luckily Scheduling called to shift-change me to a 7:45pm start (from 9:30pm), and that reminded me. What's funny is that this was already a shift change. I'm sort of miffed that I won't be in DCA Strollers (where they pay you to stand around and fill out crossword/wordsearch puzzles), but it'll still be a stroller shift (which are nice, because there's very little suggestive selling and NO demonstrating product type stuff). This may be my last front-of-house shift for a while; I'll post the new schedule on the SF later tonight.


NO. WAY. It turns out I'm a Libertarian. Who knew?

Libertarian - You believe that the main use for
government is for some people to lord it over
others at their expense. You maintain that the
government should be as small as possible, and
that civil liberties, "victimless
crimes", and gun ownership should be basic
rights. You probably are OK with capitalism.
Your historical role model is Thomas Jefferson.

Which political sterotype are you?
brought to you by Quizilla


Friday, June 13, 2003
I ALMOST FELL OFF THE WAGON: I nearly went and read some Harry Potter fanfiction. This, the day after I finally remember to tell people that I'm avoiding all fanfiction and fan speculation until June 21st (or later, even). Thankfully, Anna at Witchfics is apparently also on fanfiction hiatus -- Jewel of the Nile has not been updated. I'm so happy about this (normally I could scream -- it's been like, 2 weeks since she posted anything!!!!) I'm going to go practice dance for an hour or so in front of the TV.

Which reminds me, the whole exercise/weight loss/healthy lifestyle wagon is one on which I am still firmly ensconced. Seriously, I'm in Store Search at Disneyland... just wait and see, in September I'll be wearing medium in GIRL shirts (my current shirt -- the Pirates of the Caribbean one -- is a men's medium). Larry will still make weird jokes about not looking at the design on the shirt (you fill in the gap there), but it'll be a smaller design on a SMALLER SHIRT and that's what matters. ^___^


Thursday, June 12, 2003
THIS SOUNDS VERY THIRD-WORLDISH TO ME: I mean, sure, storming the yadda-yadda and off with their heads and all that was once commonplace in Europe, but it was, you know, 300 years ago. Isn't Western Civilization supposed to be, I don't know, over this stuff by now?


In other news, Outlook is working again. Don't ask me why.


I KEEP FORGETTING TO MENTION That I'm on a hiatus from all Harry Potter fanfiction stuff. All of those items are going to a dump folder in Outlook Express, and are hidden from my view until I deign otherwise. If you have something you gotta say, don't say it on HPFanfiction, Psychic Serpent, etc. And please, don't say anything about OotP or fanfiction -- only canon books or my upcoming Nimbus 2003 paper, thanks -- until after June 21st.


I GOT AMBUSHED TODAY: My dad ambushed me today. I should have found an excuse not to be at home between 5 and 10pm like normal, but I didn't. Now I'm on an allowance. Luckily, my dad was the one who ambushed me, so it's a really GOOD allowance. Unluckily, it's not like I get to stop working or any of that; I just have to give up most of what I earn. Good golly, it's such a joy having my parents as cosigner types. Fortunately, my family never reads the blog, so they don't care that I say stuff like this online.

BTW, Frank abandoned his blog in favor of LJ.


THIS IS REALLY FUNNY Megan posted this link on Oogsan like, forever ago (more like 5 days, but still). I finally read it, and when I input this URL, I got...

Eleventh in order to the second
one line and exactly what I can provide you
with size 2, it
would all to be
TAKEN CARE OF. ways which
pretty much
to be TAKEN by the
11, 2003 Jackie of REALLY
really lame. But anyway, now giving
me also adding TITLESBut I
need the new
site. I think
switch acounts. posted
by Sarah
at 1:47 AM.

Totally awesome, no?


DID YOU KNOW, I rule! Seriously. I do. Even the almighty Josh thinks so.


Wednesday, June 11, 2003
UMMM, CREEPY... I just tried messing with my archive links (because the newest one never, ever, ever works for me -- try clicking the June one to see what I mean), and deleted the "lloannna" part of the URL (not the one that indicates my blog, but the second one -- it comes after the date). I got this:


So... yeah.


TWO THINGS: First, and foremost, SamizBlog is still down. Darn it. Stupid templates are just not working!

Second, and far more important (I'm trying to leave you with the best stuff in your head, see, the stuff you'll want to remember), I HAVE A LOVE THREAD!!!! Four whole entire people (hi, Erik, Jim, Mary, and Larry!) have posted about me in the LUN love threads. Darn it, I feel loved!!!! Whoohoo!!! When Josh is allowed to be on non-private forums again, I'm SO linking to my love thread. MY LOVE THREAD!!! *dance*


Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Another Blog Of Note: I like this one. Andrew Sullivan linked to it, and I will too.

Cinderella Bloggerfeller


Jackie Of Inder!!!! Jackie is my friend, Jackie works at Disneyland, Jackie is a lead, and Jackie has made a Jackie Finder!!!!!!!!!!! WOOHOO!!!

Jackie of Inder, Lead Extraordinaire

This is SO the new Link of the Moment.


IT'S ONE GIANT CONSPIRACY: Outlook has failed me, folks. It will not open. I've moved to Outlook Express -- and it can't talk to my SMTP server. Consider me muzzled until further notice, because I can't send emails except via Yahoo and that's a pain on multiple levels. I AM reading my email, as best I can, but it took weeks of trial and error to set up my old folder system, and working without it is surprisngly difficult, especially since I'm trying not to read anything having to do with Harry Potter. Glargggh.


Saturday, June 07, 2003
WHAT ARE THEY SO AFRAID OF, ANYWAY? It seems to me that these people are absolutely terrified of open debate -- or even of simple consensus amongst the masses. What's up with socialism, anyway, that it's all for the people and never from them?

As you may now, France is now undergoing a series of strikes protesting the government's pension reform. Among the strikers, the Communist Union "Confederation Générale du Travail" is using unacceptable methods that violate the most basic human rights. Today it has vandalized and burnt the employers' union offices in several cities. Worse, this organization has prevented, in the city where I leave, a meeting by a democratic political party and violently intervened in a demonstration by people who protested the strike, in order to make sure that demonstration would fail.

Furthermore, the government is taking no steps to maintain public order and guarantee people's freedom of goverment and expression. The city of Toulouse was blocked during the morning of yesterday and not a single step was taken by public authorities to end this blocking. On the contrary, the police collaborated with the unions in order to make sure that people could not pass. In the demonstration I just mentioned, not a policeman was dispatched to protect us against the assaults of the communist union's members.

I realize that this is small stuff compared to the atrocities taking place in several countries. Nevertheless it is taking place right in the middle of Europe and it would be of great help if this state of things were publicized by your organization. I can provide you with further testimonies about the events I am referring to, if needed. We badly need the help of the international community in fighting these constant violation of human rights by the communist union.

source:SamizData.Net AND Steve Den Beste.


Friday, June 06, 2003
I SHOULD HAVE MOVED QUICKER: Because then all of this would be TAKEN CARE OF. Glargh. SamizBlog is hereby suspended until further notice -- I can't update the template at all. It's just... not working. And ALL of the help system links at Blogger take you to a generic "we couldn't find that page" page. If I'd started SamizBlog a few weeks ago, this wouldn't be a problem now (it's giving me trouble because it's on the new system... stupid Google). Anyway, I'm still gathering a list of corrections and additions for the blog, when it's running again.


AND YET, THIS LOOKS SO MUCH COOLER: And so it is that, this day in the suburbs of outskirts of a town which was originally a suburb to Los Angeles, that golden city of yore (THIS is why I should have a bed time, people), we have decided (whoa, sudden use of first-person plural) to stick with size TWO. Wheee.


I JUST NOTICED: That you don't necessarily have to have huge type to make this technique effective. We shall see, yes, my precious.


I THINK I LIKE THIS STYLE A LITTLE BETTER:Even though it reeks of superior bloggers like Andrew Sullivan, I rather like this style (where there's no extra line break involved) better. Since I've got an enforced line break after the date or after the timestamp/comment line, and I'm not a huge fan of excessive white space.


MELISSA SURE IS SWELL: Let anyone who was in doubt rest assured, Melissa of H_L is indeed a way cool, swell, articulate person who's very helpful in all manner of ways which won't get talked about on this blog but which are nonetheless appreciated.



Sorry for the giant letters there. But HAH! Brian *IS* Stansberry. What took fifteen minutes at Surfside and what resulted in nothing improving took three seconds for Brian and he's already come up with a vastly superior explanation to "your friends are idiots" (which is what Surfside gave me). If Brian were an ISP, I'd so switch acounts.



Heh. That sounds obnoxious. Anyway, I added them all to the bottom of the Recommendations file. Basically, I looked through all the matches (including the "find similar" ones) for Lloannna, and the basic matches (NOT the "find similar" ones -- there were 50 pages already) for Parker-Allen. There's some deeply disturbing stuff out there. And the worst of it is written by yours truly...



Hrm. If I use a "font" command and make the font a size 2, it doesn't look half bad. It looks awfully big and intense, though...


EGADS. Egads, egads, egads, egads. All I can say is, you learn all kinds of REALLY WEIRD STUFF about yourself when you google your username (especially if, like me, you've had the same one for a decade or more). These are my two favorite sites that talk about me, feature something I did, whatever. One is truly disturbing (and almost 6 years old), the other is really cool and quite recent.

The Harry Potter Historical Timeline has a list of fanfiction that is set in the "past" of the Harry Potter universe. They've linked to my story at Riddikkulus, "Christmas Dilemma," which I set in 1865 (it's about Dumbledore).

The Juvenile Scribblers' Club posted a really strange poem I wrote in high school. I'm not sure why, it's really lame. But anyway, it's there, for you to... *cough*... enjoy. It's really really lame. And scary. And it doesn't rhyme or have any kind of a meter and good GRIEF I should not have been allowed near a keyboard on whatever day it was that I wrote that. Glegh.


I don't like how it looks. I'm going to fiddle around with that thing until it looks better to me.

I'm also adding yet another blog to the list of blogs that I like. This one is cool, even though the URL is rather long.




But I need to see how it looks. Hrm.


Fifth (something I forgot to add), I'm trying yet another commentary system. I think EZBoard is just too hard (hah, surprise, surprise). I may delete Antiphony, or just keep it as a place for my fanfiction and other site commentary. In any event, check it out -- now when you hit the comment spot, it'll store it at HaloScan. You can see quickly what kinds of comments have already been made.

Also, and I guess this is the sixth item, I'm toying with some LiveJournal-esque stuff, as well as titles for my blog entries (probably just in bold/all caps). Especially if I can arrange for some money to be at PayPay and therefore finally get a Boomspeed account to speak of, look for new features in the coming months.


A couple of things...

First, I'm officially moving anything I might decide to say in Russian over to my new site. I call it "SamizBlog," a twist on the old "samizdat" publications of the Soviet era (it means, basically, "self-published"), and though I've considered that particular Russianism (it's a contraction, like Agitprop) to be a favorite for years, I can't refrain from saying "thanks, guys," to the folks at SamizData.Net, who gave me the push to see that it's the perfect sort of thing to call a blog.

Second, I wanted to let you all know that I'm probably going to start saying more pundity-stuff, and also more fangirlish stuff, in the coming weeks and months. It's that time of year again, when I get sick of treating the internet like a giant plaything and start reading gazillions and gazillions of political stuff. Even SamizBlog will get into the act, I might add -- since I'll be largely publishing my Russian Disney translations and my political diatribes about Russia and liberty and stuff, there. Rest assured, though, I'll still find time to make strange comments about things no one but me and the two people who actually read this blog (hey, my audience is fully 28.5% of the audience that Rick Dees claims listens to his morning program! Go me!) will understand. ^_^ Also, expect to see more academic-minded stuff up here once Nimbus 2003 is over. And, if I can get an account going with Boomspeed (for real), prepare yourselves for lots and lots of artsy picture fests and me-reading-stuff-aloud. Whoohoo!

Third, I've made some updates to the Recommendations and Friends lists (which are increasingly filled with links to stuff -- and the Friends page is increasingly about people I don't know...) Check it out.

Fourth, the Link of the Moment is now Friendster. They won't let me put up a childhood photo of myself, which pretty much bites, but I was there before Josh, and that's always worth something.


I'm about ready to actually start singing (who was it, Mary J. Blige? Missy Elliot? Someone...) that song about drama. You know, "No More Drama." They say that one line ("no more drama") a lot, and that's exactly what I feel like shrieking at the top of my lungs at some people. I don't think any of those people read this blog, but if they do, PLEASE... I'm not a feelery person and all this conflict stuff is driving me to tears. Actual tears. It's incredibly depressing. When it's almost painful to check on one of your favorite message boards, you know there's a problem. And boy, oh, boy, do we have a problem.

Anyway, now that I've said that, I feel better. Not a lot better -- not as better as I WOULD feel if we would all just get along (for heaven's sake, we sleep together on the streets for between one and fifty nights annually, getting along is a matter of SURVIVAL), but still. Just watch, though, in the next HP book there will be some huge fall-out between all the characters and I'll start crying because Art isn't posting on the boards anymore. When did I become such a *girl*, anyway?


Thursday, June 05, 2003
Just an FYI here, I've lost at least 200 hundred emails from yesterday. I can't guarantee that anything any of you sent me between 12pm (noon) yesterday (the 4th) and 12pm today (the 5th) was received, and I'm absolutely certain that everything from 6pm yesterday until 6am this morning is definitely not going to make it to my inbox. I sent a half-dozen messages out and I have no idea if they were recieved or not; if I don't get a reply to them by the end of tomorrow, I'll resend them.

My ISP claims not to know anything about any of this, and the tech guy was
pretty much convinced that it was Yahoo's fault. I tried explaining that
this affected Topica, EZBoard, and even private email, but it didn't do me
any good. They do not have anything in their backup systems -- so if you
sent me an email in the last day and haven't gotten a reply, just send it
again (to be on the safe side). Thanks.

ADDENDUM: Idiot tech guys who think they're so smart. Even if this guy is 35 years old, I was STILL online back when he was a teenager. "Tell your friends to use the right email address." Yeah right. As though I can't tell the difference between technological incompetence on the part of people I know and incompetence in GENERAL on the part of people who I apparenty pay WAY TOO MUCH to for internet service.

"This is to prove to you that your email is working correctly, a good way to test this is to make sure your friends are putting your email address correctly in their to box.

What we recommend is you sending YOUR FRIENDS an email and have them reply. This is the best way to solve that problem."


Tuesday, June 03, 2003
Melissa pointed out that the Geek Test link is broken. Oif. What the heck is wrong with me??? Anyway, I fixed it...


WHOOHOOO!!!! It works! Thanks sooooooo much to Melissa, who in the pre-dawn hours was kind enough to interrupt her... uh.... "busy" schedule... to post the first message anyone other than me has ever posted on this board! YESSSSS!

See, it's right here

What's even better is that these links should work for non-EZBoard members, since I made the thing open to anyone. I plan to add a link in my AIM profile and all of that. Darn it, SOMEONE is going to post on those boards.


I'm beta testing new links to Antiphony. Now, if you want to comment on a post, there's a link that will take you to the Make a New Topic area of the boards. Hopefully, I will find out soon if that feature works.

Meantime, I realized that I never gave a final verdict on The Matrix Reloaded. I liked it better the second time through, but still not nearly so much as I liked The Matrix.


Monday, June 02, 2003
I also have to give credit to Val for linking to the Geek Test.


I got 41.61736% - Major Geek...


Thanks to Janet from IR, I got another self-test...

Book Worm Meter for Sarah

Shut In 93%
7% Out Of The House
Intellectual 95%
5% Moron
High Attention Span 95%
5% Low Attention Span
Bookitude 96%
4% Book Burner
Book Worm 94.75%
5.25% Bug Stomper
Take your bookworm readings.


Sunday, June 01, 2003
Eeep... I have seriously neglected the Nimbus 2003 situation. Between being swamped with email and work and all that, and being so tired, I failed to send that thing in for the LONGEST time. Plus, a whole day's worth of emails (sent and recieved) definitely got eaten by my server -- I'm sure of it now, because some of the digest lists I'm on are missing numbers. Anyway, I sent the paper, such as it is, to the people who needed it. I seriously need to sit down with that thing and iron out the wrinkles (right now, it is about as wrinkled as the t-shirts on the bottom of my laundry bag), though. I've hardly made any progress on it since April.


Because only so many people can be eleventh in line.