Category Archives: Personal

MERRY CHRISTMAS AT HOGWARTS

If you’re Jewish, too bad. They don’t talk about Hanukkah in Harry Potter.

POINT GIVEAWAY

HEY GUYS.

YOU CAN WIN 10 POINTS FOR EVERY 5 POSTERS YOU PRINT OF THIS: http://s3.amazonaws.com/edmodo/mpatenaude/philosophy_cafe.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=0CRWCTVCWB17SQPJGB82&Expires=1318818887&Signature=3tyOb60F0PmNtg1dx6F4mbKTsF4%3D

Please let me know if the link doesn’t work as I will put up an alternate source. All of you are invited and encouraged to attend the Philosophy Club. Right now.

[EDIT: Agh. Never mind then if the link doesn’t work – we already put up quite a few posters in the end. However, if you are in one of Patenaude’s afternoon classes, you should have the link from Edmodo. If a friend has access to the file you can ask them for it as well.]

HPC Official Video #1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAPu3E97LyA

Butterbeer Cake Recipe

I once saw this and now, I just came across it again so since I haven’t made a post on this blog in a while, I thought I would share. The below content is from HERE.

For the cake:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp butterscotch topping (I used Smucker’s)
  • 1/2 cup cream soda
  • Extra butterscotch topping, for decorating

For the buttercream frosting (makes enough to cover two 6″ cakes, with a layer of frosting in between cake layers):

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup butterscotch topping
  • 1 Tbsp cream soda
  • 1 lb powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray two 6″ or 8″ pans with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.

  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars.
  • Add in the eggs, vanilla extract, milk, butterscotch topping, and cream soda.
  • Add the dry ingredients half at a time, beating until smooth.
  • Pour into the prepared pans. For 6″ cakes, bake 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (You may need to adjust the baking time for 8″ cakes.) Cool completely before frosting.
  • To make the frosting, beat together the butter, butterscotch topping, and cream soda. Add in the sugar and beat until smooth.
  • Decorate the cake as desired.
  • Drizzle with the extra butterscotch topping – it really does add a little something extra!
Just a possible idea if you like baking or if you’re looking for a way to earn some bonus points. Try out this recipe and bring in to Harry Potter Club to share.

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Voldemort and Draco being bffls

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

[Sorry it took so long for this to come in. I posted this on my blog the day after the movie but never got around to pasting it here – er – and censoring some language.]

ANNIE’S RATING FOR DEATHLY HALLOWS II: 7/10

I know I’m a massive pain for whining about every single deviation from the book and I’m going to temporarily be an annoying Harry Potter fan but w/e.

Okay, I’m just going to focus on directing currently.

Uh – David Yates.

  • Too much comic relief – way too much
  • The long pauses between everything everybody says?

Regarding the comic relief, even though I laughed along with the theatre when they occurred, I did not find most of them funny or particularly helpful whatsoever in the scene. In fact, it rather ruined the scene on more than one occasion. Some of it seemed rather forced and – let’s face it – unoriginal. While the inclusion of JKR’s brilliant comic relief moments (expertly timed, of course) were absolutely fantastic in contributing to the mood in the book, the failure to depict said mood on screen was honestly disappointing.

I think the long pauses were supposed to have a suspenseful effect or s/t but the timing kind of made it seem like the actors forgot their lines. The timing was just off in general. Those pauses could have been taken out to not only generate a more audience-engaging story line but also create more screen time for the more important things which sadly did not make the cut into the film.

Now I’m going to actually begin. (And I do really accept that being a movie based on the book, it will undoubtedly cut out certain things. However, these are large misses, details aside, which are very necessary in the story.)

  1. Wait – where is Dumbledore’s story?

Ariana was mentioned, and Aberforth made an appearance but Dumbledore’s story was never clarified. When Aberforth didn’t tell it initially, I thought “oh, okay, they’re putting it at the end so Dumbledore tells it himself” but then they didn’t and I was like, “what the hell is wrong with you”. Dumbledore’s story is valuable because it really fleshes out his character, showing both his vulnerabilities and his humanity. But in the end, I just felt like they made Dumbledore almost saintlike, just a cliche wizard with a long beard who has all the answers and is wise like Confucius. And I didn’t like that one bit.

2. Voldemort, you fight like a muggle

Erm, I have nothing to say about the ghetto beat down, but yeah, I do. Voldemort, you hate muggles, yet you are going to give up using your wand to kick Harry in the face. From the second I read about it in the first rumours of DH Part II, I’ve been dreading it. So despite my mental preparations, I was still like wtf throughout the entire scene. Also, when he and Harry embraced each other and fell through the air (insert “My Heart Will Go On” here), I could hardly breathe because I was laughing so hard.

3. Harry would never last a second dueling Voldemort in a situation where  no weird hocus-pocus happens

The point of the story is that Voldemort essentially brought about his own downfall. (More on that later.) So the second any spell of his collides with Harry’s, Draco’s wand would overpower the elder wand and rebound the curse onto Voldemort. Yet they were dueling for ages, eventually resulting in the muggle fighting mentioned above. The scene thus made it seem like Harry was an equal match in skill for Voldemort when that isn’t the case at all.

Of course, you could also say that the reason it didn’t rebound is because Nagini was still alive, thus the horcrux was tethering Voldemort to life. But if this was the reason, then the same thing would have happened to Voldemort as did when he tried to kill Harry when Harry was one. And that didn’t happen so I have no idea what Yates was thinking.

4. This is the “more on that later”. Why Harry lived was not made clear at all.

Dumbledore didn’t even mention Voldemort using Harry’s blood to remake his body. It kind of just sounded like any wizard has a choice idk it was bad.

5. The Prince’s Tale

Okay everybody is going to hate me. I am the world’s biggest Snily shipper and I didn’t like The Prince’s Tale. It didn’t do the book justice.

To be fair, the scenes of them as children were absolutely beautiful. (And notice how kid Snape was actually so much better looking than kid James.) The artistry was there, the cinematography was brilliant, but once again, it seemed to have glossed over the point.

Maybe they decided the best way to convert the audience on all of Snape’s supposed wrongdoings in the past was to make him unabashedly good in the Prince’s Tale.

Snape did not look like a mistreated kid at all. He was wearing relatively nice clothes, he was beautiful in appearance and all of his aesthetic flaws were abandoned. It made it seem like they were just “magical childhood friends” who met in Narnia or something. Excuse me but Snape came out of a bloody tree. It was just too…pure.

And that might be the wrong thing to say, but the lack of conversation combined with the brevity of the scenes (as well as the smokiness) which was probably intended to convey one mood just left me extremely irritated. They didn’t just see each other and smile at each other and know right away that they were destined to be ~soul mates~ or w/e.

I really wish they would have at least put in the conversation in which Lily asks, “does it matter being muggleborn” and Snape pauses, then says, “no, it doesn’t matter”.

Why is it that James was barely in his memories at all? There was this very short scene in which some kids with afros bumped Snape in the hall. And Lily never seemed to dislike James at all. It made it seem as though she just fell in love with James, this derp of a kid at the sorting looking at her and just stopped hanging out with Snape.

CAN WE JUST TAKE A MOMENT TO SEETHE IN THE FACT THAT SNAPE’S ACTUAL WORST MEMORY WAS NEVER DEPICTED IN THE ENTIRE MOVIE FRANCHISE?

It did not show the fights Lily had with Snape, it did not show the ultimatums she kept on giving him regarding his friends and his obsession with the dark arts, and there was no final confrontation by the lake/outside the Gryffindor common room.

The movie makers must be huge Snily fans, but even so, Snape needs these moments to make him the character that he is and the character that I love. He needs his own little stray-off-the-path moments.

Erm, Snape holding Lily while Harry was crying in the background was kind of funny to me. I laughed and tears came out.

6. Snape’s Death

There was potential to be good. I teared up. But then they forced a godawful ending with the tear and etc. I wanted silver memories to effuse from him. The tear, in my opinion, weakened Snape. He was always…Snape till the very end. The lapse in character, to me at least, was kind of disturbing.

We can agree to disagree. Although he did entrust his memories to Harry, it was more as a last obligation of his duties to Lily, because Dumbledore told him that Harry must know that he had to die. So Snape, I guess, accepting Harry in the end is a little…eh. Snape would never like Harry, he hated James with too great a passion. The little allowance he made for Harry in the end could either be touching or severely out of character. Once again, I need to point out how much the movie makers were obviously trying to convert the ones who have never read the books to being convinced that Snily is canon. (“You have your mother’s eyes”, etc.)

7. That’s the elder wand!

lol did the elder wand just crack. The elder wand don’t crack, you crazies.

Harry. You just snapped the elder wand. That is the elder wand, it has been around for millenniums. I am pretty sure that the elder wand cannot just be so easily snapped. And you were supposed to put it back with Dumbledore what the hell are you doing Harry.

Oh and you forgot to repair your own wand. What are you going to do Harry, you are wandless. Are you just going to use Draco’s wand for the rest of your life? Why are you encouraging Drarry.

8. Voldemort/Draco

um.

9. Off to the battle

The atmosphere wasn’t much like a bunch of excited students ready to battle. I wanted McGonagall to officially announce that they were at war, and then the cheer from the students. And while this may seem like I’m being excessively nitpicky, but it just really wasn’t made clear at all that it was a war. It was just a huge heap of what the hell is going on.

10. Ron and Hermione’s kiss

The timing was off, the timing was off, the timing was off. And it wasn’t off in that awkward way that would complement Ron and Hermione’s relationship but it was just overly dramatic.

Um, I didn’t like it. And I was looking forward to it too. :(((((((((99

11. King’s Cross

Well, besides the fact that they didn’t cover why Harry had the chance to come back at all, it was still bad. Because c’mon Harry, you are supposed to be really confused, you’re not supposed to be like “oh hey, there’s Dumbledore. Hey Dumbledore sup your brother is crazy lulz.”

It didn’t explain Dumbledore’s intricate plan or any of Voldemort’s weak points which ultimately brought him down.

And at the end, when Harry said that thing about Snape and Lily’s patronuses being the same as being curious, I was like, “harry you are not that tactless you just watched snape cry while embracing your mother while you wailed in the background how thick do you have to be i ought to ship you with goyle or something”

Once again, movie makers. Really subtle.

12. The Final Battle

Bellatrix disintegrated. Tell me how that happens. And so did Voldemort. What the actual -.

I really wished Harry would have said “try for some remorse” to Voldemort. I thought that was a really poignant part of the scene in the book. And I wanted everybody to be there to see the death of Voldemort. I can see in my head so clearly the two of them circling around each other, Harry saying he doesn’t need anybody to help, Voldemort actually disarming his own Death Eaters as they try to step in to aid him. It would have been better than them prancing all over the place.

I have already mentioned the stupidity of Voldemort’s elder wand vs. Draco’s wand.

Neville killing Nagini…I thought he was going to do it after his speech. But then he didn’t. I didn’t like the way they did it; it would have been more courageous of him to do it right there and then in front of Voldemort.

And finally, the scene immediately after Voldemort’s death with no one as witness but Harry Potter…what. Voldemort just died. I know you’re injured and you’ve suffered losses, but at least don’t look like you’re just all recovering from a bad hangover or whatever. Shouldn’t it at least be a tad more celebratory?

13. 19 Years Later

Oh. We saw the back of Scorpius’s head.

We didn’t see Teddy at all.

Oh okay.

I’m done being a complete prick about everything and now I’m going to rattle off some things I actually did like about the film.

  • The music was amazing – I love love love the soundtrack.
  • The ending was simply perfect – The use of John Williams’s track from Philosopher’s Stone was so nostalgic and…there’s no better word for it, good.
  • Voldemort’s little noises were probably not meant to be funny but they were an endless source of entertainment
  • Thank you, Alan Rickman, for an amazing performance. It’s not your fault that Yates wanted some things done his way.
  • Cinematography was beautiful, as was artistic aestheticism
  • I will wear my 3D glasses to school (oh, not about the film but okay)
  •  The beginning – silent, haunting, perfect

Thanks for everything WarnerBros, even though I’ve already gotten closure in 2007, thanks for making some crappy movies and some okay movies and making me love the books that much more in comparison.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHELSEA

A very Happy Birthday shout out to the incredible Chelsea Taylor, co-founder of Harry Potter Club.

It was only five years ago that her Hogwarts letter was lost in the mail by an owl who did not survive the transatlantic journey.

You can get a maximum of one point if you are the first person to post how old she is as a comment below with your name. You must also say “Happy Birthday” or something of the sort in your message to win the point.

HAPPY CANADA DAY, GUYS

That is all.

Exams Finished

Alas, the day has arrived (at least for us if not for you) that signals the end of exams (and effectively the school year) and leads smoothly into the timeless bliss of summer. For those of you who’ve just finished your OWLs or NEWTs, I bid you extra luck as you face the arrival of your results (and I hope you get all O’s). Anne and I just finished (and perhaps aced, if we aren’t too bold and too hopeful to say so) our Potions OWL, and she also recently completed her Mermish OWL (with good outlook). I have faith that all of you did just as well, and if not, you would do well to remember to bring a diadem to your next set of exams for better results.

The summer brings sad feelings (the end of Harry Potter Club meetings), and yet it also brings very happy feelings (the beginning of this website, the Pottermore announcement on Thursday @ 6:00 am, and the opening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two in theatres, which Anne and I have tickets for the premiere on July 15 @ midnight – not to mention the nothingness and everythingness of the summer itself). I would like to wish all of you the best of luck in your various escapades over the summer, and urge you to follow all legal guidelines (laws) of the wizarding world, such as no magic outside of school.

As you can see from just the official Harry Potter events occurring this summer, we will have a busy few months ahead of us, and you can trust Anne and I to deliver to you the best of news and wizardness from the comfort of our office chairs and plate-ridden desks. You should note, if you like, since you’re at it, the wordiness of this post. I assure you my writing quality will fluctuate throughout the course of the summer as my brain melts, however it will still carry the same wit and charms that makes me part Ravenclaw.

And now I will immerse myself in the glory of both the absense of my homework and the looming growth of the Harry Potter fandom. I will write again later.

C.

Chelsea and I saw these godawful book covers at McNally Robinson on Monday.

Bad book covers aside, let’s return to tradition.  (Feel free to add an option below; those adult paperbacks are pretty snazzy also.)