Thursday, May 31, 2007

Harry Potter Theme Park

So, after many months of there being rumors of a Harry Potter Theme Park at Universal Studios park, it has been confirmed, and I have pictures! Leaky was good about posting the news and have great pictures of what will be in it, along with videos with those responsible for constructing it.
This is the image of the theme park overall, and it looks fabulous!

This is Hogsmeade and doesn't look like a winter wonderland? So cute!
And this is the spectacular Hogwarts castle, which out-does the Disney castle by far!

I'm so excited, and the theme park is said to be complete by early 2010, and JK Rowling is also quite excited for it as well. She was quoted saying “The plans I’ve seen look incredibly exciting, and I don’t think fans of the books or films will be disappointed.” I don't think we will be, either!

Links to video footage and interviews:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Yay! I'm really excited now!

Tennis Update:
Lleyton Hewitt won
4-6 3-6 6-2 6-4 6-2
Way to come back, Lleyton. Way to go.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Okay Em...Here's some Harry for ya!

Emily, this post is dedicated to you, since you think tennis is boring.

So, in the Leaky Lounge, which is the forums site for the Harry Potter site The Leaky Cauldron, there is a discussion that occurs which is titled THIPS. At first, when I saw these boards, I had no idea what THIPS were. But there were some great discussions going on and they were really active. It wasn't until I started reading the posts in-depth that I realized that THIPS was an anagram for Things Hidden In Plain Sight. The THIPS are in reference to the Harry Potter books!

Here are some of the THIPS that JK put in the 5th book that I thought were interesting:

1. When Harry sees Hagrid's face in the Care of Magical Creatures class, he wonders if the wounds were from a creature whose venom kept the wounds from healing, and not long after that, Arthur Weasley gets bitten by a snake whose venom dissolved the muggle-stitches.2. “Now I have work for each of you. Fudge’s attitude, though not unexpected, changes everything. Sirius, I need you to set off at once. You are to alert Remus Lupin, Arabella Figg, Mundungus Fletcher – the old crowd. Lie low at Lupin’s for a while; I will contact you there.”
-Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Of course, we don't know who Arabella Figg and Mundungus Fletcher are at the time, but in the first two chapters, we come to find out that Figg is the neighbor whom Harry spent many times with when the Dursleys went out for Dudley's Birthday. And then we find out who Dung is, so that is definitely a THIPS.

=So, there. I've introduced a new thing to Harry Potter fans. You can go ahead and look for THIPS, for there are many, and I'm still amazed at how many there are. Characters that play a big role later are introduced much earlier, like Bode, who is an Unspeakable and important in the 5th book. We were introduced to him at the Quidditch World Cup in the previous book. Amazing, huh? JK is really quite brilliant with these things, and some could be hints to what will happen in Deathly Hallows.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

French Open 2007

So, this weekend the French Open started. And already there are some ups and downs that I have to share. First is what happened today:

Federer won, of course, as did Rafael Nadal, Ivan Ljubicic, Tommy Robredo, Lleyton Hewitt, and many others. James Blake was mercifully defeated to my displeasure today, and the Williams girls both won in their matches this weekend. The happy win of the weekend was Nikolay Davydenko's win against some unheard-of guy.

The event that really depressed me today was the Andy Roddick vs. Igor Andreev game. Andy was good at first and had a good lead...but then he caved. I'm thoroughly depressed, seeing as he's 3rd rank and seeded, so I was expecting a more spectacular win. But it was almost as bad as James Blake's, if not worse. The final score was 3-6 6-4 6-3 6-4 with Andreev the winner. He was good, I must admit. I was just down in the family room watching the match on ESPN but had enough in the middle of the third set during Andy's pathetic attempts at winning. Andy may have a killer serve, but his returns and volleys were lacking. And he just couldn't get the ball over the net! Every other shot hit the net! Andreev was flawless, unfortunately, and I hope he gets his butt kicked next time as a perfect revenge...*sigh*. Hopefully Andy will do better at Wimbledon and maybe the US open. Clay was never his best surface.

But, some good news. Federer beat Nadal for the first time last week on clay! So Federer entered the tourney with a new-found determination and hope that he could finally claim the only grand slam title he hasn't won. GO ROGER! I'm rooting for him, Hewitt, and Davydenko, my three faves that remain. All the Americans that I like are out.

Sorry for the Tennis talk. This is my new obsession right now. Tennis season started...and until something new about Harry Potter comes out, its all about the French Open.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


For the past few months now, my Musical Productions 1 class has been working on putting on a show called the Variety Show. It consists of multiple song selections from a variety of musicals of a specific theme. Last year, it was comedy, and this year is was I Love the 70's and I Love the 80's. So we put on a whole bunch of songs from musicals that were written in the 70's and 80's. It was a lot of fun. Here is a list of the songs we did:

-Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat: Jacob and Sons & Joseph's Coat
-Godspell: On The Willows & We Beseech Thee
-Les Miserable: On My Own
-Big River Medley: Do You Wanna Get To Heaven, We Are The Boys, Waitin' for the Light, Muddy Water, River in the Rain, Worlds Apart, & Free At Last
-Best Little Whorehouse in Texas: Hard Candy Christmas
-The Wiz (Dance number only): Ease on Down the Road
-Little Shop of Horrors: Prologue, Da Doo, Finale

I was dressed in 80's garb (obviously), and I participated in Joseph, Godspell, Les Miserable, Big River, and Little Shop of Horrors. I was a Ronette in Little Shop, and was in ensembles in Les Miserable and Big River. It was so much fun, and all of us had a great time learning the songs, dances, and blocking. I think all of the class would agree when I say that the most emotional part was when Robin(our teacher) said that we were a family. It really made me smile when I looked around and saw that we really were a family and had grown really close. Even those I wouldn't usually associate with outside of class in other circumstances were like my family. Most of us are taking MP2 next year, so its going to be awesome.

My sister and dad said that the performance was good, and even though that was my worst performance yet, I think we did do well. Many things went wrong, actually, but we managed to pull it off, and I feel so relieved that its over, yet sad at the same time because I won't be doing fun, sassy Ronette moves with Sarah and Emily, the other Ronettes. Its been a great experience and I'm glad that I was apart of it. I'm excited for next year's musicals and plays, especially since the All-School Play is going to be Much Ado About Nothing. YAY!

It was great, and now I've got to wash off the 80's make-up, munch on something, do some math homework for tomorrow's quiz(YIKES!), and then go to bed and take on tomorrow. One more day until the weekend.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Worst is Over

I'm so glad that my National AP Exam is over. This week was a crazy one, starting with my AP Unit Test on Monday, which consisted of writing 3 essays in 90 minutes, and then my RIHLA being due on Tuesday (Worth 500 pts), taking pictures in St.Louis for Em on Wednesday, and then the National World History Exam today. Tomorrow will be a breeze since its the last day of seminary and now we're not doing anything big in AP. I'll be glad to have a weekend to myself finally and wait until Finals, which aren't going to be hard at all.

So, you wanna know how the exam went? Well, since I'm sworn to secrecy about the Multiple Choice (like I've actually listened to that rule), and I can't talk about the free response essay prompts until Saturday, I'll just tell you everything that I can tell you, which isn't a lot. I had 55 minutes to answer 70 MC questions, and that wasn't too bad. Some were hard, but its an AP test! I skipped 3 of them, but they don't count against you. Pretty sweet, huh? But their grading system is way more complicated than "If you miss 20, its minus 20 from the total". Its some crazy system where you multiply some number to the number you got right, and then subtract another number and then do a little get the gist. But after that we got a 10 minute break and then right on to the 3 essays.

We got 2 hours and 10 minutes to do it, with a 10 minute mandatory reading portion. The first essay was a DBQ (Document Based Question) in which we had to analyze a bunch of documents and then sort them into different groups and talk about them and answer the prompt given. I wrote a lot on that one, but its all about structure, so you really don't have to know anything. Then it was the dreaded Continuity/Change Over Time essay in which you are given a place and a topic and then you have to pick 3 or more different time periods that shows the change in that place on that topic and analyze it and figure out why the change happened and how, and then name a continuity over that time period and talk about that. Its a really complicated essay, and it took me the most time. But I think I did pretty well. The last essay (By this time, my hand was really cramping and it was hurting a lot!) was a Compare and Contrast that was fairly easy and I think I totally pwned that one. I finished 30 minutes early and sat there, feeling quite dead and wishing I were at Shakespeare's Pizza.

After the Exam, everyone went to Shakespeare's and ate pizza and had a fun time and it was awesome. And now I'm home and I don't have any homework and all I have to do is go to a Tennis organizational meeting at 3:30 and then celebrate Steven's birthday. Yay! I feel happy its over!

Now I gotta wait until next year's AP test.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Track is Over

Track is finally over. I wish I could say that I ended with a bang...but it actually started with a bang(quite literally), and ended in an injury that was avoidable. Yesterday's track meet wasn't as good as I was hoping. I only got to do 2 long jumps and a 100 dash because after the 100 dash, I hurt myself so badly that the distance coach told me I couldn't compete the rest of the meet. So I was scratched from the long jump competition, and I couldn't run the 200m dash. I PRed the 100 dash, but I only got 3rd in my heat and then I felt really bad the rest of the time. Even if I did make it to Districts, I wouldn't have been able to run.

I'm thinking about doing Cross Country, not because I'm amazing at distance, but to keep me in shape and because building endurance is an important thing in sports. But if it interferes with tennis, I might not.

Right now, I'm doing my final RIHLA while multi-tasking with some piddling around. The only good thing that I did this week was submit my essay into the Leaky Cauldron's essay database called Scribbulus. Each month, a new issue of Scribbulus comes out with a specific theme and I sent in an essay for the Character Analysis themed Scribbulus, set to come out in June. I'm really excited and I hope that they put it in the issue. I put a lot of work into that essay.

Speaking of Harry Potter, this is a page in my notebook completely dedicated to Harry Potter. I've been working on it for the past few months, and I want to show you what goes through my mind when Mrs.Grupe is lecturing us about Decolonization and Religious Reforms.