xnera: Icon of Lucius Malfoy leaving the Death Eaters to perform karaoke  (TIN ROOF!!! RUSTED!!!)
Can't believe I haven't seen this on my Friends list yet.
Harry Potter™ to Cast Spell on Universal Orlando Resort

ORLANDO, FL- Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Universal Orlando Resort are partnering to create the world’s first fully immersive Harry Potter themed environment based on the bestselling books by J.K. Rowling and blockbuster feature films from Warner Bros. Envisioned as a “theme park within a theme park” and titled “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” the new environment will become part of the experience within Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park at the Universal Orlando Resort.

[snip]

Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters – and faithful to the visual landscapes of the films – “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience the magical world of Harry and his friends. The fully immersive, themed land will enable guests to visit some of the most iconic locations found in the books and the films including the village of Hogsmeade, the mysterious Forbidden Forest, and even Hogwarts castle itself.

“The plans I’ve seen look incredibly exciting, and I don’t think fans of the books or films will be disappointed,” said J.K. Rowling.

(Source: Webwire. Longer article there.)


The official website (opening page looks pretty, but I haven't had time to look at the rest yet) is here: http://www.universalorlando.com/harrypotter/index.html

Lots of rumors flying around right now. Biggest rumor, which may be official but I can't recall offhand if I've seen an official cite for it and I don't have time to look right now, is that the "island" will be 20 acres big, and that portions of the current Lost Continent island will be retrofitted for the Harry Potter one. Speculation is that the Dueling Dragons coaster will be rethemed for the new island. This is a RUMOR only and has not been confirmed.

More links:
News
  • Official Artist's Renderings at ABC News. Looks pretty cool so far, but I'm not holding my breath that it will actually end up like this.
  • Estimated cost is $265 million

    Discussion
  • Theme Park Insider
  • Theme Park Review
  • Disney was in discussion with J.K. Rowling to bring Harry to their parks, but decided it wasn't worth the cost. Here's an analysis from Disney blogger Jim Hill as to why this might not have been a bad move on Disney's part.

    I've never been to Universal Studios, but have been thinking for a while that I really should go at least once. Yeah, this new island will urge me to get there. :) Hopefully they'll do a good job. And sure, I would have liked to see it at Disney as that would mean less money and traveling, but honestly I think this is probably a better fit at Universal than at Disney. As much as I love both Disney and HP, they just didn't feel right together. I think it's because Disney's already such a special place that it really doesn't need HP, and in fact, I think adding HP to the parks would distract from some of the Disney magic.
  • xnera: Icon captioned "I think we need counselling." (I think we need counseling.)
    The Internet is one big scenic route. Always fun stuff to see. Witness the following:

  • The icon used on this post. I cracked up when I saw it. Gacked from [livejournal.com profile] phonetic, who didn't make it. If you know who did, PLEASE let me know because I'd like to credit them.

  • Said icon was found via this [livejournal.com profile] metaquotes post, which ponders the expense of living on Coruscant.

  • Raina is apparently an ISFP.

  • Did you know that writers lack the ability to imagine the place settings in their books? I am still boggling at this one.

  • The more geeky folks on my friends list will enjoy this map of the Internet.

    Finally: I am, for the most part, no longer part of the Harry Potter fandom. The recent announcement of Book 7's title has dragged me back in a bit, if only to enjoy the variety of amusing posts discussing said title. My favorite alternate titles:


    • Harry Potter and His Legion of Idiotic, Middle-Aged Fans (this one from the lovely [livejournal.com profile] asatomuraki).
    • Harry Potter and the Knights Who Say "Voldemort"
    • Harry Potter Manages to Wrap Up All the Loose Ends to Satisfy His More Nerdly Fans while Silencing His Critics with A Most Poignant and Literate Denouement.
    • Harry Potter and the Debate Over Whether Titles are Spoilers
    • Harry Potter and the Seriously People Life Will Go On Even If Harry Doesn't


    I seem to recall doing a list like this for the last book, but I can't find it in my archives. Hrm. Anyway--would love to hear the titles you come up with.


    edit: And here's a post discussing the problem with our strategy in Iraq. This is a must read.
  • xnera: Icon of Lucius Malfoy leaving the Death Eaters to perform karaoke  (TIN ROOF!!! RUSTED!!!)
    I want to change my mood icons.

    For a while I was thinking of making a BSG set (or a mixed set, with all sorts of fandoms). I still might do that. But I think I want to go to the [livejournal.com profile] nocturne_alley set for a bit, just for fun.

    Problem is I don't think I have it anywhere. I checked the original source, but it's full of broken links. I know someone on my friends list must have it. Anyone?

    mostly i want it so i can giggle at the "confused" icon. i need some silliness right now.


    edit: Waah!
    xnera: Icon of Kyo from Fruits Basket, captioned "BORED". (BORED)
    We had a HUGE storm here! It was fun. The sky got really dark, and it was POURING, and there was lots of thunder and lightning. I was safe in my office, though, so I wasn't in any danger from it (put that in so [livejournal.com profile] weathergirl_03 doesn't have to worry).

    Bored. Spending too much time looking at Detroit and Windsor websites, while also pulling reports. I really do want to go to Canada because it'll be fun! But I don't know what I'd do besides walk around the parks and maybe go to the casino. There doesn't seem to be many museums in Windsor. Maybe I'll go to the outlet mall.

    Anyway. A portion of this was a meme going around a bit ago, and the other half comes from a thread at Hatrack. I wasn't going to post this, but I got curious. Especially about the second question, as I had a harder time answering it (Hatrack asked who you were as a kid, but since none of you knew me then I'll ask you who I am now.) So, answer away:

    [Poll #536276]

    And in case it isn't obvious, reading HBP renewed my interest in HP, so there will likely be a bit more HP stuff in this journal for a while. Heck, I might even get wild and add it as an interest again.
    xnera: Icon of Harry Potter. Caption reads "Yeah, I like Draco. Got a problem with that?" (Harry Potter: Gay and proud.)
    THERE ARE SPOILERS BEHIND THESE CUTS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

    Chapter Thirty )
    Chapter Twenty-Nine )
    Chapter Twenty-Eight )

    Chapter Twenty-Seven )
    xnera: Icon of Harry Potter. Caption reads "Yeah, I like Draco. Got a problem with that?" (Harry Potter: Gay and proud.)
    THERE ARE SPOILERS BEHIND THESE CUTS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

    Chapter Twenty )
    Chapter Nineteen )
    Chapter Eighteen )
    Chapter Seventeen )
    Chapter Sixteen )
    Chapter Fifteen )
    Chapter Fourteen )
    Chapter Thirteen )
    Chapter Twelve )
    Chapter Eleven )
    xnera: Icon of Harry Potter. Caption reads "Yeah, I like Draco. Got a problem with that?" (Harry Potter: Gay and proud.)
    Okay folks, here it is. Just like with OOTP, I am posting my thoughts of each chapter as I read them. ALL THOUGHTS WILL BE BEHIND LJ-CUTs. You won't even see a general "I'm really liking it so far!" or a "gah, this sucks!", because I consider that a spoiler, too.

    Updates will be made in reverse chronological order, so that NEW stuff appears at the TOP of the post. Each chapter will be LJ-cut seperately, with plenty of white space between them.

    THERE ARE SPOILERS BEHIND THESE CUTS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

    And now, on with the show!

    Chapter 10 )

    Hee! Mom left me a message last night while I was napping, asking if I had got my copy of HBP yet and how I had gotten it. Just called her back and left a message with the details.

    I had really hoped to get some Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans or some other type of HP candy to eat during my reading. Alas, I could not find any. But I have Pop Rocks! Those are kind of magical. And they came with a test tube and a secret ingredient. The instructions say you mix the Pop Rocks with water and add the secret ingredient and fun stuff will happen. In other words, I get to make Potions! *squees*

    Chapter Nine )
    Chapter Eight )
    Chapter Seven )
    Chapter Six )
    Chapter Five )
    Chapter Four )
    Chapter Three )
    Chapter Two )
    Chapter One )
    General thoughts on the title, and predictions )
    xnera: Icon of Draco Malfoy, captioned "I'm rather empowered." (I'm rather empowered.)
    Just finished my reread up OOTP. Pretty much skimmed the last third of the book.

    I've set my alarm for 8:00. Gonna get up early, do a bit of housework and maybe some exercising, and then dig in to HBP. Thoughts posted (with LJ-cuts) at the end of each chapter.

    Don't forget--spoilerchatbot awaits your IM if you're looking to chat about the book with others. Just IM him with "spoil me" and he'll send you an invite. Pass it on!

    Okay, a bit of Boggle for me and then it's to bed.
    xnera: Icon of Harry Potter. Caption reads "Yeah, I like Draco. Got a problem with that?" (Harry Potter: Gay and proud.)
    So, I woke up really early this morning, took a shower, and checked my email--to find out Amazon had sent HBP via UPS.

    *headdesks* I was afraid of this. Because it'd be just my luck that they'd try to deliver while I was taking Raina to the vet or I was out at session.

    Raina did wonderfully at the vet. Was only gone a half hour, and immediately checked the front door to see if there was a sticky or (better yet) a box. Nope to both. Left a half hour later--but I left a note on the door, telling UPS that I authorize them to leave the box if they came while I was gone.

    Came home from session two hours later. No sticky or box. Hooray! This means they will come later, and I'll be home to get it. :D Not upset that I'm getting it late in the day, because I'm still rereading OOTP.

    On a whim, I went and created spoilerchatbot. If you IM the bot with "invite me" or "spoil me", you'll be invited to an AIM chatroom where you can discuss the book to your heart's content. I am making this a free-for-all, open to everyone, so feel free to join in and pass the word around. Do NOT come crying to me if you get spoiled for the book while in chat, though. In other words, enter at your own risk.

    I am not reading my friends page today. I was going to, but a quick glance told me that while people ARE using LJ-cuts, they aren't being as careful as I'd like. So no reading of the friends list until I finish HBP. I will clearly mark all HBP plot posts as spoilers, and will not indicate even the emotion I had while I was reading outside of a cut, because even THAT can be a spoiler.

    Looking forward to chatting with you all! Have fun with the bot, and let me know if you have any troubles with it. It's a quick-and-dirty implementation based off the NA bot, so my apologies if it starts babbling about [livejournal.com profile] nocturne_alley.

    edit 2:29 p.m.: IT'S HERE!!! Looks like Amazon did a special arrangement between UPS and USPS, because UPS delivered it to the USPS, who delivered it to me. It came in a special box that was stamped with the title and the words "DO NOT DELIVER BEFORE JULY 16th." Cool!

    Now, do I continue my re-read of OOTP, or jump right to HBP? I still have half of OOTP left. Decisions, decisions.
    xnera: Icon of Lucius Malfoy leaving the Death Eaters to perform karaoke  (TIN ROOF!!! RUSTED!!!)
    Hello from Amazon.com.

    We're happy to let you know that we've begun preparing your order for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" for delivery.

    You should have the book(s) in your hands no later than 7:00 p.m. in your time zone on Saturday, July 16. Most books will be delivered by U.S. Mail, either with your regular mail delivery or in a separate,
    special mail delivery. Some orders may be delivered by UPS.

    Because our carriers are delivering hundreds of thousands of books on that day, we do ask that you wait until 7:00 p.m. before contacting customer service if you haven't received your order.

    Although we're not requiring a signature, we still recommend that someone be home to accept the package, as the driver may not leave it on your doorstep if they don't feel it's safe to do so.

    You'll receive our usual shipment confirmation e-mail after your package leaves our fulfillment center.

    Thanks for shopping at Amazon.com, and happy reading!
    xnera: Icon of a gray kitten. Caption reads: "Warning: Vampire Kitty. Call me 'bunny' and I'll bite you." (GRR ARGH)
    A letter was written.

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I stopped at Walgreens #239 on the morning of July 14th, 2005. I made several purchases, including a Hostess Cherry Fruit Pie. I was in a hurry so I just picked the cleanest, plumpest-looking pie from the shelf.

    I then proceeded to work. When I opened my pie and took a bite, I immediately thought "This is stale", as it was very dry and didn't taste right. I looked at the front of the package, and saw that the expiration date was Jun 6 - over a month ago!

    I'm very disappointed because I was looking forward to eating my pie, and I'm alarmed that an item well past its expiration date was still on the shelf. I will be stopping at the Walgreens store in question later today to be reimbursed for my purchase, but I wanted to bring the matter to your attention as it is simply not acceptable for stale products to remain on shelf for purchase.

    Sincerely,

    [livejournal.com profile] xnera


    Sent via email to both Hostess and Walgreens. I am all -.- now because I really wanted that pie!

    My reread of HP is not going as well as I'd like. I'm still on PoA. :( I am thinking of skipping GoF and going right to OOTP next. GoF is my least favorite of the books, and I've read it several times anyway so I'm pretty familiar with the events. But I've only read OOTP once or twice, and feel like I should reread it before reading HBP. PoA is reading fast, so I'm pretty sure I'll finish it around the time I get home from work tonight (yay reading at lunch and on the bus!), so that will leave most of this evening and all of tomorrow evening to read OOTP. Tricky, but I might be able to do it.

    Wait--lunch. Crap, I forgot to put my lunch in the fridge! Better go do that. I am really not used to bringing lunch from home, as you can tell.
    xnera: Icon of a gray kitten. Caption reads: "Warning: Vampire Kitty. Call me 'bunny' and I'll bite you." (GRR ARGH)
    Today is the last day to place orders for HBP with Amazon in order to receive the book on Saturday.

    After investigating local options and calling a few bookstores (all who said they couldn't guarentee they'd have one for me) I decided to go the Amazon route. I'm a bit nervous because I have session on Saturday, which means I will be out of the house for two and a half hours. I think I might leave a note on the mailboxes today asking if anyone would be willing to accept a shipment for me, if I am not home. Or I could just cancel session, but we didn't have one last week because of the holiday, and Jean's going on vacation the two weekends after this one. I hate to go a full month without a session.
    xnera: Icon of Draco Malfoy, captioned "I'm rather empowered." (I'm rather empowered.)
    What [livejournal.com profile] dorrie6 said. In a nutshell: I won't spoil, and I don't want to be spoiled. I am going to do a read along with [livejournal.com profile] xnera like I did last time, but like last time, all HBP entries will be placed behind an LJ-cut, and I'll be posting newer updates at the TOP of the post, with plenty of white space in between chapters. Each chapter will have its own LJ-cut, so if you want to read my thoughts for a certain chapter, you can click on that chapter's LJ-cut and be assured that you won't read newer stuff (unless you scroll up).

    I started my reread of canon today. I'm about 3/4 of the way through the first book, and expect to finish it tonight. I may stay up late to get a good part of the second book read. What with lunch and bus rides, I'm pretty sure I can reread all the books this week. I might even watch the movies, too. We'll see.

    I'm still not very excited about the book coming out. I mean, I actually removed Harry Potter as an interest as I've gotten very "meh" about it lately. But like last time, I'm getting the book the day it comes out because I know all of you will be reading it and squeeing about it. And while I may not love HP as much as I did, I still enjoy it, and know it'll be fun to read it and post about it and be a part of fandom, at least for a few weeks. And yes, I will see the next movie when it comes out, and likely throw a party. With goody bags, because there must be goody bags. :D

    In other news, summer means lots of women walking around downtown in cute little dresses. Which has made me want a cute dress (alas, not a little one because the legs are still healing), but I didn't really want to spend a lot of money for one, so I decided to head over to Goodwill today and see what I can find. This is actually why I've got so much of HPSS read already, because it's about an hour to get there by bus. There were not as many dresses as I hoped. Nor was there a lot of plus size clothes. *sighs* But I did find a dress! Not sure I will wear it to work, but even if I just wear it at home to lounge about, I have a dress! I also got two pairs of slacks (shiny stuff, very cool), a jean skirt, three blouses, and three tins. For about $30! I love Goodwill. :D I actually do have the money to buy store clothes, but the thing is, I really have enough clothes already. I don't really need more. But I am a girl, and being a girl means that I like getting new clothes for myself, so I went to Goodwill because I knew I wouldn't feel guilty about buying new-to-me clothes there because they'd be cheap.

    Anyway. I must squee over one of the pairs of slacks. About five years ago I bought a really awesome outfit at Lane Byrant. It was made of a stretchy, shimmery material, that looked maroon or black or purple depending on how the light hit it. The slacks were slim, with small darts at the bottom of the legs. And the shirt was button-down and fitted. It was a sleek, sexy, sophisticated outfit, and I loved it very much and looked so very awesome in it. But it was a 16, and though I still have it, I can't wear it because i have went and gained all this weight.

    Today at Goodwill, I found the exact same slacks, in a 22--the size I currently wear. They fit perfectly. *squees madly* I am so excited. It would have been even better to find the matching top. I'm not sure what to wear with them, as I only ever wore the slacks with the matching top before, but maybe a black silky top or sweater would look nice. Either way, I have my slacks again! And the other pair of slacks I bought were similar, but in a grayish-silvery material. They're a bit tighter, but once I lose a few pounds (and I'm pretty sure I've been losing weight), they're fit just fine.

    So then I went to Boston Market (yay! don't get that enough), and crossed the street to wait for the bus home. It was due to come sometime between 4:43 and 4:59, to get me to the cross street at 5:07, where I would catch the connecting bus due at 5:09. The dang thing didn't come until 5:12, and the next connecting bus wasn't due until 6:09. -.- And it's not like there was anywhere I could go sit and get a drink or anything, because this is in the middle of nowhere, where there's just a hospital, a forest preserve, and a train station. *grumbles*

    I have a fascination with roads that disappear into the woods or around the bend. I wonder what's down there. Where does it lead? There's a bike path that starts at the cross street's corner that disappears around a bend and into the forest preserve, and I had always wanted to know where it led. I had time to kill today, so I took a short walk down the path.

    It was pretty much like every other forest preserve in this area. Bike path, trees, open fields, maybe a stream or two. Still, very nice and an enjoyable walk. But the coolest thing was I had just made it around the first bend when I suddenly stopped and gasped, because there was a SNAKE in the path!

    Now, I like snakes. A lot. So I wasn't scared or anything. But I was still startled, because I had never seen one in the wild before. I've seen them in pet shops and zoos, and had played with the ones in the science lab at my college (ball python! very cool! it tickled when it slithered against my belly. :D). I would love to own a snake, but I'm scared to because I know that they are a LOT of work, and I'm really not sure I could feed it mice, even dead, frozen ones. So no, I wasn't scared by this one. I did give it a wide berth, though, because I don't know enough about snakes to identify if any particular snake is poisonous or not, and I know there's some snakes that are harmless that have similar markings to poisonous ones, so even if I was kind of sure it was fine, I wasn't going to take my chances. I didn't get a really close look at it, but it was about 3-5 feet long, and gray and black and green. I think. It twitched its head as I walked past, but otherwise paid me no mind. And it was gone by the time I made it back. Still, very cool!

    Tomorrow I need to get up early and take a bus to the 24 hour Walgreens to pick up a refill for my synthroid. *sighs* i wish I would have gone earlier today to the one close by. I checked online, and it looks like they're be closed tomorrow, so i just went ahead about called it in to the 24 hour one, which isn't actually open 24 hours but will open at 9:00 tomorrow. Obviously I don't intend to abandon Walgreens just because their pharmacists are going on strike. My sister was a pharmacist there for a while, and my younger sister a pharm tech there, and my mom STILL works in the cosmetic department, so I have a lot of loyalty to Walgreens. And the strike sounds like it's for good reasons. They're worried not about money, but that they are overworked and forced to fill prescriptions too fast. So I don't blame them at all for striking. If Supercuts is open tomorrow, I'll get my haircut while I go pick up the prescription. Otherwise, I think I will walk to Starbucks for a Frappucino and to either read a book or scribble a bit.

    I am very tempted to go get ice cream tonight. But what I really need is water, so I will drink some now.

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