Separating Fandom from Reality: J.K. Rowling

Image from Pixabay.

As a fan of Harry Potter, I appreciate how the series tackles tough topics in society. Harry Potter is important to me and always will be. When J.K. Rowling released her statement regarding trans people, I wanted to write a post about this. To be clear, I’m a fan of Harry Potter, but by no means do I condone J.K. Rowling’s comments. I’m not going to discuss her thoughts at all, if you want to see what she said, feel free to use google. It’s possible to still enjoy Harry Potter while recognizing how the author has opinions that are hurtful to a community of people.

Aside from Harry Potter, one of my favorite board games is Arkham Horror. Arkham Horror is based on horror tales by H.P. Lovecraft who is a horrific racist. He used racial slurs in his stories as if the word meant nothing to him. I still enjoy playing board games, but it doesn’t eliminate who Lovecraft was as a person.

Since Rowling’s comments were released, I’m going to do my best not to give her any more profit. I already own the Harry Potter books, so no need to buy them. Another way to support the fandom and not Rowling is to buy fan art. Buying fan art supports local business and no profits go back to Rowling. I think to the future of the Fantastic Beasts movies and although I want to see them, I’m going to try not to see them in theaters.

Finally, I wanted to link essays written by trans people addressing Rowling’s comments. It’s important when discussing these topics to not speak over the people who are directly impacted by these statements. Another recommendation I have is to donate to the Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is a charity specifically helping young LGBTQIA+ escape homelessness or who are needing aid.

Here are the essays I mentioned above:

Essay by Jackson Bird the New York Times < this essay is on the NY Times. I don’t have a subscription to the website, so I wasn’t able to read this essay myself.

I’m a Trans Harry Potter fan, and there are a few things I want J.K. Rowling to know.

Harry Potter saved my life. J.K. Rowling is now endangering trans people like me.

Why can’t J.K. Rowling accept transgender people like me?

Harry Potter WYR: Hippogriff or Phoenix?

It’s been a hot minute since my last Harry Potter WYR post. I was behind in the blog posts I wanted to write, so I took a break. I’m back though with a new question. This question is all about what kind of pet you would prefer.

Harry Potter WYR: Have a Hippogriff or a Phoenix as a pet?

Harry Potter WYR: Have a Hippogriff or a Phoenix as a pet?

Having a Hippogriff as a pet would be similar to owning a horse. A Hippogriff would be an extremely loyal pet and it’s strong enough where you would be able to fly around. It can be dangerous, so you would have to train it while training other people when coming to interact with it. Buckbeak is too precious.

Although, having a Phoenix would be a pet forever. It keeps being reborn in its own ashes. You would never need to own another pet! The healing powers with the Phoenix tears may be helpful as I’m extremely clumsy. With the powers a Phoenix has, would everyone be able to own one? or would this be a pet you would need a special permit for?

I’m going to pick. . .

This is a tough one, but I think I would choose a Hippogriff. I appreciate the loyalty a Hippogriff offers and I would be willing to train one. I like the balance of riding a Hippogriff on the ground and being able to fly in the air.

Let me know which Magical creature would make the better pet!

First Films: At The Movies Blog Challenge

I took a break from writing posts and it was nice. Last weekend, we visited the fiance’s family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We still laid low and didn’t leave the house, but it was nice to have different scenery. Since I wasn’t at my own apartment, I didn’t prep my blog posts like I usually do. Every Sunday, I sit down and schedule my posts to release during the week. With all the emails I write at my job, I don’t feel like writing after work. This allowed me to rejuevnate my creativity into the posts for this week. To launch back into blogging, I decided to join Oh So Geeky’s At The Movies Blog Challenge. This challenge is running until June 5th, so don’t forget to write your post.

Image created by me. Photo found on Unsplash.

The theme for my challenge post is my first films. I’m going to share five early memories I had regarding movies whether it be from my childhood or movie memories I will always cherish.

Harry Potter and Monster’s Inc Double Header

When I was in 2nd grade, the first Harry Potter movie was released along with Monster’s Inc. My dad loved to go see movies in the theater and he took our family to Monster’s Inc during the day with a break for dinner and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the evening. This is the only memory I can recall where we saw two movies in one day.

Watching Pirates of the Caribbean in a Closet..?

Remember when portable DVD players existed? The DVD was inserted allowing you to watch DVD’s on the go? When I was in middle school, me and a friend would watch Pirates of the Caribbean on this portable DVD player and for some odd reason we decided to watch the movie in her closet. To this day, I’m not sure why we picked her closet. It wasn’t a walk in closet either, it was a standard small, long closet. We would watch this movie on repeat. The whole cast sold this franchise with Johnny Depp becoming Jack Sparrow. Kiera Knightly and Orlando Bloom had convincing chemistry together, it surprises me how they never dated in reality. Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the best film franchises to exist.

James Bond Film Marathons With My Mom

My mom introduced me to so many films. I watched numerous Harrison Ford 90’s action films including Air Force One and Clear and Present Danger. My favorite memory though is watching all the James Bond films. My mom bought the James Bond boxed sets with a mix of the different films. My dad wasn’t thrilled about me watching them, but it became a way for me to bond with my mom. Timothy Dalton is my Bond and nobody can sway me differently.

The Phantom Menace & Star Wars Toys!!

I’m a 90’s baby which means I was young when the Star Wars prequel movies were made. The prequels are flawed films, but they get way too much hate in my opinion. I had the communicator device toy that Qui-Gonn uses in the film along with the Queen Amidala Barbie sitting on my childhood dresser. This memory is more about the toys from the prequel movies, but without the movies I wouldn’t have the toys.

The Polar Express

This memory is a bit sad, but it’s worth it to include on this list. When The Polar Express was released in theaters, my dad wanted us all to go and see the movie. For whatever reason, we didn’t want to go see it with him, so my dad ended up not seeing the film at all. The Polar Express was released in 2004, my dad was diagnosed with cancer in 2005 and passed away in 2006. It makes me sad reflecting on this memory because this would have been a moment shared with him. I wouldn’t say this was a regret of mine, but if I could go back to this moment, I would have changed my mind and saw this movie with him.

These are my first film memories and I’m happy to have shared them here. I spent a lot of time writing these memories and reflecting on these movie experiences. If you would like to participate in this blog challenge, please tweet at @katyrochelle or post on her blog that you’re participating. The link to her post is in the first paragraph.

Harry Potter WYR: Accio or Apparate?

I still have so many Harry Potter WYR cards left! I am devoted to this blog prompt, so I will be doing this until I go through all the WYR cards I have created. I picked this one because I thought it would be the ideal prompt for Quarantine living.

Harry Potter WYR: Use Accio to Summon Any Object You Need OR Be Able to Apparate And Get Anywhere You Like??

Harry Potter WYR: Use Accio to Summon Any Object You Need OR Be Able to Apprate and Get Anywhere You Like?

As I mentioned, I felt this would be an ideal prompt in Quarantine. I would use Accio to retrieve my groceries, so I wouldn’t need to leave my apartment. This is mostly because I don’t enjoy wearing a mask, but I do like leaving my apartment. Otherwise, I would use Accio to get new clothes to wear as I’m sick of my current closet.

Being able to Apparate anywhere would be awesome. I wouldn’t recommend this now as we are supposed to stay in our homes. Once the stay at home order is lifted, I would transport myself to London or the Caribbean or Tokyo. I miss planning out potential vacations.

I’m going to pick. . .

Being able to Apparate! I would rather be able to go anywhere in the world for a couple of hours.

Let me know in the comments which one you would rather pick!

Harry Potter WYR: Nosebleeds or Puking

The Weasley twins overcame social norms in the Wizarding World. They set up their own joke shop desite their parents or more specifically Molly’s approval. I wouldn’t consider myself a prankster, but if I was in the Wizarding World, I would purchase a few goodies for myself. This leads into today’s Harry Potter WYR question

Harry Potter WYR: Eat Too Many Nosebleed Nougats or Puking Pastilles *each without the remedy*

Would You Rather: Eat Too Many Nosebleed Nougats or Puking Pastilles *each without the remdy*

Fortunately, I don’t get nosebleeds too often. The exception to this was when I was in Denver. The air is so dry. I’m assuming a Nosebleed Nougat would cause a flow of blood streaming out my nose. I would replicate She’s the Man and put a tampon in each of my nostrils. It would be weird, but it would do the trick.

I hate puking. The worst part about any hangover is the puking portion. Puking for who knows how long without the remedy sounds like torture. However, if you have had terrible hangovers and dealt with them, maybe a Puking Pastille is similar, but without any alcohol involved.

I’m going to pick. . .

Eat Too Many Nosebleed Nougats. I would stick tampons in my nostrils and move on with my day. Puking is the worst and I cannot imagine subjecting myself to taking to many Puking Pastilles.

Let me know in the comments which one you would rather be subjected to.

Harry Potter WYR: Fraud or Imposter

Out of all the classes I could take at Hogwarts, Defense Against the Dark Arts would be one of them. It’s essentially a magic defense course. Professor Lupin is my favorite professor to have taught this course which revolves around today’s Would You Rather question.

Harry Potter WYR: Take Defense Against the Dark Arts From a Fraud Like Lockhart or From an Imposter like Mad-Eye Moody / Barty Crouch Jr.

Would You Rather: Be Taught Defense Against the Dark Arts by a Fraud like Lockhart or Taught by an Imposter like Mad-Eye Moody / Barty Crouch Jr.

This question in my mind is all about personal safety. Lockhart may be a fraud, but he wouldn’t try to kill you. . . wait a minute. Okay, so he does aim his wand at both Harry and Ron, but only because they were trying to reveal how he’s a fraud. I would still learn something from Lockhart, but it wouldn’t be from him, it would be from other wizards. One benefit of learning from Lockhart is being able to perform the best Obliviate spell ever.

Mad-Eye Moody’s teaching tactics are in question. He teaches the students about the three unforgiveable curses and he kills the spider in front of the students. This part in both the book and the movie makes me cringe. I always feel for Neville as he looks at the way the spider is being tortured. One benefit to being taught by Moody though is being able to recognize how he’s trying to prepare the students for battling Voldemort. Voldemort doesn’t give a shit about torturing anyone who gets in his way. Moody’s teachings are realistic and maybe what students need.

I’m going to pick. . .

Being Taught by Mad-Eye Moody (despite being an imposter). I would rather be prepared about what could come after me than be sheltered by Lockhart. He gives knowledge, but not about the real world and the terrible spells that exist.

What is your answer? As always let me know in the comments below.

Harry Potter WYR: Bludger or Lost Quidditch Match?

I tried to pick a Harry Potter WYR question where I didn’t know the answer right away. This question made me think and I hope you all feel the same way. Last week’s question, I knew I wanted to work for Care of Magical Creatures and most of the comments I received on social media agreed with me. Let’s take a dive into this week’s question which I think will cause more discussion.

Would You Rather: Get knocked out by a Bludger and be out for the rest of the Quidditch season OR Drop the Golden Snitch and lose the match??

Would You Rather: Get knocked out by a Bludger and be out for the rest of the Quidditch season OR Drop the Golden Snitch and lose the match?

Getting knocked out by a Bludger during a Quidditch match would be extremely painful. Granted, Wizarding medicine is probably great, so I could see Madam Pompfrey giving a Wizarding version of morphine. Unless you had to regrow bones which hopefully not. Being out for an entire season of Quidditch is pretty harsh, so I’m assuming the injury would be extreme.

As for losing a match, if it was in the beginning, it wouldn’t be so bad. However, if this is for the Quidditch cup.. this would be worse. Plus, Hogwarts would be shit talking about you. Slytherin would rejoice unless you’re in their house then they would hate you.

I’m going to pick. . .

Drop the Golden Snitch and Lose the Match. I’m a wuss. Getting hit with a Bludger sounds terrible and being so injured where I couldn’t play Quidditch again means the injury I endured was serious enough. I think I would socially recover from dropping the Snitch.

What is your answer? Would you all take a Bludger hit than face the social anxiety of losing a Quidditch match? Let me know in the comments below.

Harry Potter WYR: Creatures or Enforcement?

It’s been a hot minute since I have posted a Harry Potter WYR question. I still have so many question cards! Let’s keep the positivity up during the mass quarantine by pretending we exist in the Wizarding World. This question is an easy answer for me, but I’m interested to see where your mind is at. Let’s take a look at today’s question.

Would You Rather: Work for the Department of Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures OR in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement??

Would You Rather: Work for the Department of the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures OR Work in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement?

As I mentioned previously, this is an easy answer for me. Regardless, I’m going to summarize both situations.

Working with magical creatures would be a dream. The Niffler is one of the cutest, mischievous creatures to ever exist. Newt Scamander is a Hufflepuff like me and he was successfully working in this department.

Working for Magical Law Enforcement would be thrilling. Training to be an Auror to protect the Wizarding World and the Muggles… that’s quite the task. Tonks is one of the best Auror’s in the series and she’s a Hufflepuff, are you noticing a pattern here??

I’m going to pick. . .

Working in the Department of Regulating Magical Creatures! This was such an easy answer for me. The Ministry of Magic has been shown to be corrupt. What if the Magical Law Enforcement agency has been infiltrated?At least with Magical Creatures, you get to protect all of the creatures and even if someone is corrupt, you can let a dragon burn them to death.

What about you? What would your answer be? Let me know in the comments section below.

Have You Ever!? Blog Tag

I needed serious blogging inspiration. Being quarantined and working from home has zapped any inspiration from my life. I felt like a walking zombie: working, exercising and sleeping. I stumbled upon this lovely tag by Vamp It Up Manchester and decided to do it myself on the Bizarre Brunette. Here are my answers.

Have you everโ€ฆ?

๐ŸŽย Driven or been driven at 100 miles an hourย ย 

This is a story. My ex-boyfriend and I were driving home from his cabin. He wanted to see how fast he could go with his car. At the same moment, a police officer was driving on the opposite side of the highway. The police cruiser put on his sirens, crossed over a median and pulled him over. My ex-boyfriend was caught driving 105 mph. It was the most awkward car ride home as he was pissed the whole way back.

โš”๏ธย Learned a possibly deadly skill

Nope. I have never even done a self defense class.

๐Ÿš Ridden in a helicopter

No, but this isn’t a bucket list item for me either.

๐Ÿ™€ Gone zip lining

Techincally, I have. It wasn’t in a different country, it was at an outreach class in middle school. It was freeing though. I hate heights, but it was thrilling to be ziplining in the middle of a forest.

๐Ÿˆ ๐Ÿ’ Been to an NFL game or Ice Hockey

Nope. I do want to go to an ice hockey game sometime. We have the Minnesota Wild as our team, but also the Chicago Blackhawks are a decent team too.

๐Ÿ‘ฝย Watched Dr Who

I bought a stuffed adipose at a Doctor Who convention in 2015. It’s so squishy.

I haven’t watched Doctor Who in a long time. This show reminds me of the earlier days meeting my fiance. We would watch the episodes in his dorm room since he was an RA and couldn’t leave at certain times. We even had a Tardis coffee mug filled with slips of paper in case we needed inspiration for date nights.

๐Ÿ Been to Canada

No! It’s funny because I live in Minnesota, you would think I have crossed the border. I would like to visit Vancouver, Toronto and Quebec.

๐Ÿฐ Visited Disney
Universal Studios!

Not yet. I made visiting Universal Studios more of a priority.

๐Ÿ—ย Visited an actual castle

NO ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

๐ŸŽฒ Visited Vegas

Nope! It’s certainly a place I want to go. I also want to visit the National Parks in Utah and Nevada.

๐Ÿฝ Eaten alone at a restaurant

Many times. Mostly chains or I love to go to coffee shops by myself. It’s the best blogging atmosphere.

๐ŸŽนย Played an instrument

I played the Alto-Sax from 6th grade till 11th grade. I also played for a full year in college. I haven’t picked up the saxophone since. It’s difficult living in a apartment complex.

๐Ÿ Ridden a motorcycle

Not yet.

๐Ÿ‡ Ridden a horse

Yes, I rode a horse at a bluegrass music festival. My horse kept wanting to lead the other horses. It was a relaxing experience and I would do it again.

๐Ÿ’‰ Donated blood

I have given blood at least five times, but I can’t give anymore. I suffer from “white coat syndrome” which means anytime I get my blood pressure, pulse or other measurement taken, it’s usually high. You cannot give blood if your resting pulse is above 100. I get nervous and I’m not sure why because I have given blood many times. Every time I try to give blood, I’m turned away. I have pretty much given up at this point.

๐Ÿ‚โ›ท Been skiing/snow boarding

I have skiied once on a fifth grade school trip. Learning how to ski was the most exhilerating and frustrating experience I have ever had. I don’t think I have laughed or cried more in my life.

๐Ÿ• Gone camping

I went to a music festival where we had to camp. I have never been to the same music festival since.

๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸŽค Gone to a festival

See above question ^^^

๐Ÿš— Driven a stick shift

No, but when I drove to Colorado to see my friend, he only drives stick. He prefers stick to automatic, but one time he did stall when he was stuck at a traffic signal.

๐Ÿš“ Ridden in a police car?

Never. I have been pulled over once in my life, but I got off without a ticket.

๐Ÿšค Driven a boat

Does driving a jet ski count?

๐ŸŒ Eaten Escargot

Nope. The worst thing I have ate was the “Burtie Botts Every Flavor Beans” the Vomit flavor tastes like bile. It was absolutely the worst, it felt like I just thrown up in my mouth after eating the bean.

๐Ÿšข Been on a cruise

No, but I would consider it.

๐ŸŽฅ Been on TV

I sure hope not.

๐Ÿ“ฐย Been in a paper/book/magazine

Technically, I write for Twin Cities Geek which is similar to an online magazine, so I think this qualifies?

๐Ÿฃ Eaten Sushi

Yes, but sushi is one of those foods I specifically have to be in the mood to eat. I can’t eat sushi whenever.

๐ŸŒŒ Seen a UFO

No, but I do believe other life forms exist. We aren’t ready as a society to accept aliens. Hell, we can’t even accept anyone of a different race or gender or sexuality…

๐Ÿ— Been Bungie jumping

Nope and I don’t believe I could ever do this.

๐Ÿฆ”ย Rescued an animal

My kitty, Athena, she is a rescue from an organization. I don’t believe I will ever adopt an animal from a breeder. I have volunteered with the Humane Society before and there are so many animals needing homes.

I have never found an abandoned animal and rescued it. My neighbor, she discovered their kitty underneath their deck. It was almost frozen since it was the harsh Minnesota winter at the time. They named their kitty Watson and it was a siamese kitty.

๐Ÿคฉย Met someone rather famous

The only time I have ever met anyone famous was at a comic convention. I met Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) and Jason Momoa. I would highly recommend meeting a celebrity at an event like this. My experiences were all positive.

Remember, the link for this blog tag is up in the first paragraph. This was the blog tag I needed to get inspired to write again. Feel free to copy the questions into your post. If you do, don’t forget to link back to me or Vamp It Up Manchester if you do. I hope you all are staying safe and quarantined.

Harry Potter WYR: Broom Destruction or Howler

I want to preface this Harry Potter Would You Rather question by saying how I hate being the center of attention. Giving a presentation is still nerve-wracking to me. My cheeks turn bright red and I talk extremely fast. Now, let’s move onto the actual Harry Potter Would You Rather question.

Would You Rather: Have Your Broom Get Destroyed by The Whomping Willow OR Get a Howler from Your Mom in Front of the Whole School.

Would You Rather: Have Your Broom Destroyed by The Whomping Willow OR Get a Howler From Your Mom in Front of the Whole School?

Having a broom or any piece of property destroyed by the Whomping Willow would suck. With the damage the Whomping Willow does, any item would be destroyed beyond recognition. Although, I wouldn’t see myself being on a broom if I was existing in the Wizarding World.

When I think of my mom, I truly don’t believe she would send me a Howler. My mom is a rational person who wouldn’t explode with a Howler. However, receiving a Howler from any person I know would be so humiliating.

I’m going to pick. . .

Having My Broom Destroyed by the Whomping Willow.

I can’t stand being the center of attention with a Howler. I would allow a possession of mine to be the victim to the Whomping Willow.

Could you endure a Howler? I would give you props. Let me know in the comments which one you would rather endure.