Harry Potter and The Chambers of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Rated it: 4 stars

Read count: 2

Harry Potter’s second year at Hogwarts preluded with an unexpected visit from a most unlikely creature, Dobby the house elf, who brought with him ominous tidings and a warning not to attend the wizarding institution for his own good. Despite Dobby’s numerous interventions Harry with the help Ron, and his twin brothers, escaped not only Privet Drive but the duo also worked around the block barrier of Platform 9 & 3/4 in a most interesting fashion.

The plot is centered around the legend of the Chamber of Secrets and the Hier of Slytherin who has not only access to it but also the beast that resides within. It officially began with the first victim Mrs. Norris, the caretaker Filch’s cat, who was found hung petrified by her tail in the halls next to a chilling message scrawled on the wall in red lettering.

During an implemented dueling lesson led by the woefully incompetent and absolutely rank git Gilderoy Lockhart, latest DADA professor, an incident involving Harry, Draco Malfoy and Ernie Macmillan led most of the student body to suspect that Harry was the Hier. Where Voldemort fits into this? That’s an excellent question.

All the signs were there but I, like most I imagine, was too anxious and curious to take the time to analyze much in my first reading. Subtle hints, such sneaky writing has never delighted me and at the same time invoked a sense of sadness before.

Continue reading “Harry Potter and The Chambers of Secrets by J.K. Rowling”

Notice to my followers

So I am thinking about changing directions. What I mean is I want to focus on Hot Chocolate & Books on well … books and the such, and not on erratically posted anecdotes.

While at the same time, however, I still plan on having another blog where the said anecdotes will reign supreme. Now, I’m considering hosting this one on another account, completely separating the two main blogs.

The reason being that I want equal exposure for both because as most of us will know by now that we have a primary blog people will visit when our names are clicked in comments and so any other side blogs will likely languish given if we haven’t made a space on the main blog to highlight them.

Another path would be investing time on my Gravatar profile, which I have, in fact, done already. You can add all your blogs like a little personal directory. Mine includes my photoblog, my writing blog (which none of you probably knew about) and a shared comatose blog with Peter Howorth, et al. I need to make a spot for those on HC&B in the future.

I digress. I am leaning towards divorcing Personal Blog from Book Blog completely. For one, it would be a sort of fresh start I sorely feel I need.

The makings of the Personal Blog is already in motion. If any of you folks are interested in following that contact me via the Contact tab up top.

This has not been a recent concept for me, actually. I’ve tried testing it out in the past but I’d hit a roadblock called “Identity Issues”. Two separate personas (essentially) has its drawbacks, yeah?

Also, I plan to redesign HC&B. A bit more minimalistic perhaps. Should I keep anything in particular? Or off with it all?

Thoughts? Questions? Advice? I’m all ears!

Thank you guys for being here, means a lot to me.

Devina

An open letter to a stranger

This is a bit long and contains some profanity. I implore you to read it though, it’s sincerely meant and for all to read.

Hey, how are you?

I’m writing from my desk when I could be, arguably, doing more important things. However, I believe that this may be one of the most crucial things I ever could do … writing this letter to you.

I remember becoming excruciatingly aware of the passage of time a couple of years ago but none has rivaled the year that was 2016. I could bitch about it to no end, about the mistakes I made and how increasingly small I feel in this yawning old world that knows how to squeeze happiness out of a soul as much as it knows how to inspire an all-consuming will to live simply by existing in all its majestic beauty.

Sounds really poetic, doesn’t it? You know, poetry isn’t all pretentiousness, not all the time anyway. It’s the insincere assholes with some underhand agenda and something to prove that spew nonsensical drivel, giving the rest of us a bad name.

What did you learn from the past year? Did you pet many dogs? Got braces?  Did you get that promotion you toiled after? Or did that jerk with the broad white smile grin his way into the spot?

I hope you quit smoking, if not I’m tempted to send you what a smoker’s internal body cavity looks like. Yeah, go on looking disgusted and fed up with the well-meaning but unsolicited advice. It’s just … I want you to know that somebody out there cares.

Look up

I’m sorry that your brother/sister/mother/father died. I mean, I wouldn’t have known them personally but that new absence is a black hole in the fabric of your reality and I know that shit isn’t light, yeah? I remember when my grandad died three years ago, at the viewing before we took his empty vessel to the burial ground to be cremated into the open air … one of my grand-uncles told me to be strong. What he meant was “don’t cry”.

What the actual fuck even? I’ll tell you what I did. I cried. I cried because I don’t flow with that stoic shit. Because my grandfather was one of the most important people in my life and I hardly knew him. Even when I’d lived with him up until that last day. I did know that alcoholism screwed up what could have been a more promising life past his post in the riot squad.

But that was sixty years ago. The man I knew suffered withdrawal from the bottle, pissed and full of vinegar one day, and peaceful and jovial the next. He evened out eventually, but then came the mild assault of Alzheimer’s and the more prevalent Parkinsons that got worse after his fall. I laugh a little because the man could still quote Shakespeare off his head. He was a decent human being that made mistakes and paid for them. We moved on and lived as best as we could, but looking back today it was a half-life and the waste was mine. It was all of ours.

So when I was told to be strong … Continue reading “An open letter to a stranger”

Myth: Why Do Women Tear Each Other Down?

🌹Victoria's Bubble Blog

As much as I’m all for women empowerment, I can’t help but feel that often times we are our own biggest enemy. Although I may be biased, I strongly believe that it’s a prevailing issue.

A very good friend of mine worded it perfectly when I asked for her opinion on the topic:

“I feel like a lot of ladies feel like they are competing against each other. It’s the same for every disenfranchised group. You think there isn’t enough (love, money, power) to go around so we claw and fight each other for it”.

Yes, this doesn’t apply for every woman, but it is important to just focus on the word ‘compete’.

From personal experience I have witnessed that amongst most friendship groups, there is usually that one person that has to pit herself against everyone else. Essentially, a recent experience is what has sparked this blog post.

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You can’t beat timeless: The Killers

It’s mind numbingly difficult to point out a singular musical influence that hit me upside the head, there are lots of those. Know what I mean? Maybe one day I have a stable mental list like Def Leppard, Dire Straits, Gorillaz, Durran Durran, and so on. Then there are the days I can’t even.

But if you asked me what bands have kicked me in the solar plexus, I could count them off one hand and have fingers to spare. They had me seeing stars on impact and there is a part of me, a questing part of me, that hasn’t looked back.

One of them, as you can tell by now, is The Killers. Frontman (and sometimes bass) Brandon Flowers, in particular, is a magnetic son of a bitch and I say that with much affection. There’s a perpetual faraway look on his face I’ve yet to see on someone else.

The rest of the band is not to be neglected. We’ve got Dave Keuning on lead guitar and backing vocals, Mark Stoermer with bass, backing vocals and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. on drums and percussion. Together they make magic, transcending beyond what I though Indie Rock meant and felt like.

One of my uncles introduced me to them seven years ago, along with a good number of other artists that have shaped my tastes to this day. I recalled being torn asunder, put back together again and afterward, I could see a new corner of the world that was previously unknown to me. The Killers were the first set of musicians that got me. I witnessed grown-up sentiments that I was just beginning to understand, they sang me to knowledge that I’m still trying to truly comprehend. Weirdly, I felt embraced.

A shot from Read My Mind back in 2007. This a bloody masterpiece of a song. Inspired the young Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots.

There are so many pain numbing, euphoric numbers, that at first, I thought I’d include a cult classic like Mr. Brightside that tells of unrequited love (as I understand). But personally, I felt the more recent Shot at the Night best illustrates that untouchable charm Flowers got going on, not to mention it makes the 80’s geek in me rejoice. Untouchable yet it had me, arguably a grown woman, in tears. Continue reading “You can’t beat timeless: The Killers”

No mas: in which I rant

Fair warning for those of the delicate sensibility, I cuss in this one.

Readers, I am aware that you don’t know me, my temperament, disposition and my limits. I am also aware that my anonymity has been somewhat compromised due to my own naivety in the early days of this blog when I was jubilant in my digital “creation”. As a result, I’m incapable of truly speaking my mind without some repercussion but perhaps a little censorship is what I need to keep myself from being too reckless.

That all said, have you ever been in a spot where you have a significant position in your workplace but your subordinates take advantage your decency and kindness to do stupid shit over and over again despite telling them multiple times to not do that specific act of fuckery? I sincerely hope you never have to. And I place a hand at my heart in commiseration if you have and still do.

Perhaps this is a good time to scrap the second-person tense and be real here. I also know someone near and dear to my heart, call her Lily, in this exact situation, it’s a family owned business. So this thing happened a while back. I know how difficult it is to be taken seriously when you’re a young boss, professional and fair but the staff has little respect because somehow the close to non-existant age gap means that respect is a fucking option, I mean, screw the fact that she’s your boss, amirite?

There’s work to be done, shelves to be packed, expiry dates to be checked and prices to be updated but somehow she’s to be at their backs do get a basic workday going on top of her administrative duties. Tell me, is that fair? Obviously, there’s more to the situation (which has been taken into hand) that I can’t tell you but you get the gist.

Lily and I happen to work together and we’re both not usually confrontational people, we just want to get the job done a pleasantly and efficiently as possible. But I’ve learned that she needs to be super stern not let an amicable expression pass for them to take her seriously. And even then she’s a bitch if she’s closed off. There are no pleasing these people.

But that right there is the kicker, she has no business pleasing them, the staff to whom she’s been nothing but courteous. But there’s a serious human resources problem where we are, the economy is bust and the youngsters are range from listless wraiths, to Continue reading “No mas: in which I rant”