My Favorite Podcasts

It wasn’t until quite recently that I started listening to podcasts. I had always been ambivalent about the medium. I find radio frustrating, because I want to be able to choose my own music, thank you very much. I often find talkshows boring, and I also didn’t quite see how podcasts would fit into my daily routines. Either I’m devoting my full attention to one thing, like reading a book, and there’s lot’s of things I would rather be paying attention to than a podcast, or I’m splitting my attention, for example while doing laundry and listening to music, and I thought podcasts would have too much of a narrative for that kind of half-engaged listening. Oh boy, how wrong I was.

Podcasts are ideal. They make you feel like your time on autopilot was actually well spent. I can listen to a podcast during laundry or cleaning or basically any chore, or I can listen to it during my daily commute, and I will feel like that was time well-spent instead of time spent doing boring responsible stuff. This change of heart was brought about by one podcast in particular: Witch Please.

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Happy International Kissing Day

Oscar Wilde: “the curve of  your lips rewrites history”

You got that right. Today, July 6th 2017, is International Kissing Day. The perfect time for Frenzied Fangirl to list some of her favorite kisses in pop culture. Why? Well why the hell not?

For a fuller experience, check out the playlist I made of all my favorite songs about kissing.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES IS MY BEST FRIEND LILA TO ENTER THIS BLOG POST. IT HAS MANY WONDERFUL SCENES IN IT THAT SHE STILL NEEDS TO EXPERIENCE IN THEIR FULL GLORY, NOT CHOPPED UP INTO GIFS.

Lila, love, the first one is Dean & Rory – Gilmore Girls. You know it already. Do not click the “Read more” link!

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Carry On, Simon

I first read Carry On before I even had a blog. Had I had one at the time, I would have written about it as once, but it was not to be. However, this book is so brilliant and fluffy and reassuring that I felt a strong urge to re-read it 0ver Christmas break (if you’re not reading about British wizards and/or detectives and speculating where they fall on the Kinsey scale, is it even really Christmas???) So I’ve re-read it, and here is my review. Contains Spoilers

Five stars. Brilliant book. Amazing. Such lovable characters. Give me more of the magnificent world of Mages, please. Carry On tells the story of Simon Snow’s final year at his wizarding school Watford. It addresses the difficulty of being the “Chosen One” and criticizes the Harry Potter universe in a way that is so respectful yet so accurate.

I’m going to oversimplify a little for the sake of making my point, but you’re going to have to deal with it. Continue reading

Merry Christmas!

This is a very disorganized post listing all of my favorite Christmas-related pop culture. That means books, film, TV and music. All of these put me in the Christmas spirit Merry Christmas, y’all.

FAVORITE CHRISTMAS SONG OF ALL TIME: Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl

Kurt & Blaine singing Baby It’s Cold Outside on Glee

Klaine was amongst my very first OTP’s. When this song aired, they hadn’t gotten together yet, and I was so sure they would in the Christmas ep, but then I had to wait even longer… Oh, the torture of being a frenzied fangirl.

 

A Very Sorry Christmas by The New Mendicants

I like this song. And I wanted to share a Christmas song that was not (yet) incredibly well-known, so here we are.

 

Studio 60  season 1, episode O Holy Night

Blogpost(s) about the absolutely crazy amazingness of Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip are forthcoming. I must first finish my West Wing-binge, though, because I can’t handle more than one Sorkin-show at the time. Either way, Christmas is the time for romance and so it is for Jordan and Danny. Damn, I need to watch this again.  Continue reading

The Best and Worst of Fictional Mothers

 

“My mom smiled at me. Her smile kind of hugged me.”
R.J. Palacio, Wonder

This post is for my mother, whose smile always kind of hugs me.

Lily Evans & Molly Weasley from Harry Potter

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This fanart of James and Lily was done by Aicha Wijland and I found it here.

Usually I would limit myself to one character per fictional universe, but in the case of Molly and Lily I’m willing to make an exception. After all, a mother’s love for her children is a central theme in the Harry Potter series. First, of course, Lily saves Harry from Voldemort with her maternal protection. Then, years later, Molly Weasley adopts Harry like he’s one of her own children. And let’s not forget that it was Narcissa Malfoy that saved Harry’s life in the Forbidden Forest.

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I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying.

Catelyn Stark

I have no words for Catelyn Stark. She is so utterly brilliant. Of course, there isn’t a single lady in Westeros that doesn’t kick ass, but when it comes to motherhood Lady Stark really wrote the book.

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She’s not afraid to tell her children the truth, even the arrogant male ones that are successors to the estate. She’s willing to fight for Bran’s wellbeing when it comes to that and she loves all her children equally and fairly. And let’s be honest, it can’t have been easy to love an eleven-year-old pre-pubescent Sansa, no matter how much I have come to love her.

Lorelai Gilmore

This might send me straight to the psych ward but Lorelai Gilmore is everything a mother should be in the 21st century. Lorelai Gilmore, I think, is much like my own mother in the way she approaches motherhood and that is the highest complement I could give. Lorelai is the funniest. Lorelai is the coolest. Lorelai is good at giving motherly advice and offering comfort, she is fair and honest and although she behaves as though her daughter, Rory, was a unexpected gift, I think much of Rory’s loveliness is due to Lorelai’s great parenting.

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Of course, the Gilmore Girls have their flaws. (Gasp!). Lorelai sometimes acts or speaks before thinking and Rory can be utterly selfish. What matters is that the Gilmore Girls, in spite of these shortcomings, love each other unconditionally. What matters is that Lorelai is always responsible when it comes to Rory, and that Rory’s selfishness is rarely aimed at her mother.

Mother Gothel from  Rapunzel

Here’s a quick reminder that not all mothers in fiction are lovely darlings like Lily and Molly, fierce protectors like Catelyn or sarcastic little shits with a heart of gold like Lorelai. Some are terrible.

Mrs. Jumbo from Dumbo

Some mothers are absolutely lovely, though.

 

Explaining Slash Fiction

When I mention to people that I am a writer, and yes, that I write fanfiction, and yes, that I often write this fanfiction about men who fall in love with men, I am sometimes accused of fetishizing homosexuality.

A girl recently told me the following story: She was visiting a pub with her girlfriend when a group of men approached them and asked whether they’d make out so that the men could watch and enjoy the show. She felt violated by the experience, and a debate unfolded over the fetishization of lesbians, both in porn and mainstream media. The idea that women have sex because women enjoy it is somehow incomprehensible to many people. Instead, such people assume that women’s sexuality is there for straight men to enjoy. This fetishization is a disgusting, dehumanizing practice.

However, as a straight girl and an avid writer and reader of homoerotic (slash) fanfiction, I do not feel guilty of fetishizing gay men. Of course, I cannot speak for all of the fangirls all over the internet, as there are multitudes of people and viewpoints out there. I can only say that I consider fanfiction to be an innocent hobby, and in this article I will attempt to tell you why. Continue reading

Why I Dislike Dumbledore

Some thoughts I had when re-reading the Harry Potter books as an adult.

When I was a child, I liked Dumbledore. He was wise and kind and quirky, like my grandpa. He seemed to have a pretty good idea what he was doing, and when Harry kept the Philosopher’s Stone out of Quirrell’s hands, I considered the whole thing a job well done. Dumbledore had left Harry, Ron and Hermione just enough clues to solve the mystery, and the Golden Trio had successfully completed their task.

At the time, I was perhaps seven years old. I thought when you were eleven you were basically an adult yourself.

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But you’re not. Eleven is not old enough to play a game of lethal wizarding chess. Twelve is too young to fight a basilisk. Thirteen is no age to be traveling back in time to save an innocent man from doom and the age line around the Goblet Of Fire was put there for a reason. Continue reading

Displays Of Sexism In The Great Hall

Both Durmstrang and Beauxbatons were co-ed schools. Repeat after me: in the Harry Potter books, both Durmstrang and Beauxbatons were co-ed schools.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think there is anything harder than adapting a long, detailed and immensely popular book into a film. Inevitably, vital scenes will have to be cut, and frenzied fans like myself will be disappointed by these cuts. Do you all remember the scene with the Weasleys getting stuck in the chimney at the Dursleys’ house? I would have paid good money to see that. Also, Ludo Bagman never made it into the film, leaving me to wonder forever how handsome he actually was.

Yet I think that the filmmakers that worked on the Harry Potter franchise did a remarkably good job of adapting those books into movies. Most of the central storyline is in the scripts, and on top of that the movies are designed with such incredible eye for detail that you really feel as though you are entering the Wizarding World; the films never do harm to the dreamlike fictional quality of the Harry Potter universe. If anything, they add to it.

Of course, there are a few things that haven’t gone entirely to plan. For example, Dumbledore asking Harry a question “calmly” was turned into a crazed shouting match in the Goblet Of Fire film. This discrepancy has become quite infamous all over the internet, although it never bothered me much. The intonation of a single sentence isn’t important to the story; I would argue that, in a film, the fiery delivery of the line adds to the excitement. So no big deal.

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There is one other way in which the Goblet Of Fire film deviates from the book, and that is a more disturbing difference. Have a look at the pictures below. The top one shows the boys of the Durmstrang Institute entering Hogwarts to take part in the Triwizard Tournament. The one below shows the entrance made by the all-female student body of Beauxbatons.

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There are two things wrong with this scene. Continue reading

Why I Am Obsessed With The Marauders

Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite Harry Potter book. It introduced a whole set of new characters that I immediately fell in love with: Sirius and Remus, and yes, even Peter. Of course, Lily and James had been previously mentioned, but their characters also got a more in-depth description in the third installment of the series.

So I loved that particular book because it gave me more information about them: the infamous Marauders of Hogwarts and Lily, who I imagine acted as a sidekick to their quartet as soon as she took up with James. So yeah, I love those guys. I probably love them more than any other characters in the book, and that’s a little odd: they hardly get the kind of in-depth attention a character like Harry gets, or Hermione or Snape or almost anyone else apart from, say, Seamus Finnigan.

Yet there is an explanation for my obsession, and I’ll share it with you. Be warned, though: after reading this post you won’t be able to ever think of the Marauders again without gross sobbing. Their storyline is just so freakin’ tragic. Continue reading

The Reading Habits of a Gryffindor

The sorting of people as well as fictional characters into Hogwarts Houses can be a useful tool for distinguishing personality types. That’s why I’m going to do a bit of sorting in this blogpost, focussing on the ways one’s Hogwarts House relates to one’s reading habits.

My belief that I am a complete Gryffindor was recently reaffirmed. Sometimes, I doubt my House because I am not, in the stereotypically Gryffindor way, impulsive. I do, however, have a very strong sense of right and wrong and I value justice greatly. I am
opinionated, which you’ve probably figured out if you’ve been following this blog for a while. Even in my reading habits, I am a Gryffindor.

Gryffindors are likely to have strong opinions about books, and be vocal about them. These opinions can sometimes lead to heated debates, in which Gryffs rally to the idea of fighting for what they believe in. When they love a book, Gryffs will sing its praises, especially if it calls to the ideals they value most. Disliking a book can split Gryffs into two camps: some may be just as vocal about their distaste as they are with their love, and some may be quieter, but just as committed to sharing their thoughts. Gryffs are also more likely to experience stories on a personal level, and feel comfortable talking about those parallels.” Source: Book Riot

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