Archive | July, 2009

We’re living in Canned Heat

30 Jul

In that we can’t escape it.

This butter was left out for a few hours last night in our kitchen. Seriously. It was cold in the refrigerator before we put it in the bowl.
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It’s making my mother, my uncle, and myself incredibly claustrophobic. Today isn’t nearly as bad as yesterday, and the day before that, but it’s still frustrating and at times – scary.

It was at least 101 in GH yesterday. Triple fucking digits. I mean, seriously. With over 70% humidity. I could literally FEEL the heat. The moisture in the air made the heat even more unbearable. Mom, Libby and I even took a drive up to Port Gamble where the weather was a good 30 degrees cooler, and wind. Then we took a drive over to Point No Point in Hansville, where we spent a whole lot of our childhood. I gotta tell you, it’s the saddest thing to see something that was such a big part of my youth go to waste. Vic, the guy who has run the place since my parents used to go there when they were teens, let the state buy Point No Point, and hire him to “run it.” Really, all they are doing is paying him to live there. He’s doing nothing. The boat launch in nonexistent, only a few rails still jetting out of the water, and a lone dock attached to nothing, so no one can actually stand on it. The boat house is deserted, the gate is always closed, even though it says “public beach,” and it is unrecognizable from what it was when I was a kid. The cabins next to the lawn are dilapidated, with the foundations falling apart to where no one can take a step in without crashing through the floorboards.

It’s shameful, and disgusting that the state legislature let that happen to such a nice place.

I took some pics to show how much Vic let it go.

Here’ the lonely dock.

What’s left of the boat launch.

Those flower beds used to be herring bins.

The cabin.

The cabin’s foundation.

Public access my ass.

It’s really sad.

And it’s really hot. I’m just excited that I’m getting my lens in a little over a week. I’m bidding on some old polaroid film since I found an old Polaroid camera at the Goodwill the other day for $4. It’s pretty awesome.

I’m watching Tyler Florence, and he’s making slopping joes and butternut squash chips with Parmesan cheese, so I’m gonna go now.

❤ Abby

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I’m so glad that Regina Spektor wasn’t a one-album wonder

27 Jul


Because there are a lot of those artists today. Forget one-hit wonders. In the last few years, there have been so many artists that had just enough energy and originality to sustain one album.

Regina Spektor is not one of those artists.

After her first major-label release, Begin to Hope, made all these heatseekers practically jizz in their pants two years ago, there have been several artists who’ve followed similar formulas for their albums – Lenka, Yael Naim, Meiko, Kate Nash, and Ingrid Michaelson. The soft-spoken piano songstress is a big thing these days, and Regina Spektor was one of the first women to bring it to MTV and VH1 with Begin to Hope.

And with her newest album, Far, she hasn’t strayed far from her initial qualities – the narrative style of her lyrics, her articulation, and the array of light and dancy tracks like “Dance Anthem of the 80s” and “The Calculation,” which would be a perfect choice for a first single for any other artist just starting if this were their first album. It would fit in nicely with all the other songs in the iPod commercials. But Regina took a different approach. She used track 6, “Laughing With,” a slow ditty about the times in your life when you chuckle at God, and those when it’s not appropriate.

There’s not a lot you can say about Far that is bad. It ascends and descends from darker, lower register songs intermingled with upbeat, radio-friendly songs, all while showing Regina’s wide range of vocal techniques. Normally, I’m not a big fan of vibrato-heavy songs, but Regina’s vibrato is different. Her naturally young-sounding voice isn’t quite as severe as say, Joanna Newsom, so it’s much more palatable for the masses.

The only song I found myself feeling not listening to over and over again was “Human of the Year.” It was just a bit too repetitive for my tastes, but the nice addition of strings to that track separates it from the rest of the album, which sticks more strictly to Regina’s piano.

But my favorite part of the whole album is “Wallet,” the shortest and simplest of all the songs. It sounds a lot like the old Regina, from Soviet Kitsch, before Begin to Hope. It adds just the right amount of cuteness for an otherwise sophisticated album, being a keen 2:28, keeping the nostalgic break short and sweet. Plus, it’s really easy to sing along to.

I don’t think you could ask for more from an album – radio-friendly songs, dancy hits, nostalgia, and great chill music to fall asleep to. All the stages of a great album are covered with Far.

❤ Abby

I’VE FIGURED IT OUT

23 Jul

Okay, so all that frustration yesterday – that long, convoluted post full of random mumbo jumbo about money, it has all been solved.

Apparently, OneReel, the company that puts on Bumbershoot, has a street team full of volunteers. And the cool thing about the volunteers is that they don’t just work for free, they work for TICKETS. Yes, tickets. Eight hours of work equals admission for one day at Bumbershoot. I just registered for the street team this morning, and I should be well on my way to not paying ANYTHING for tickets. And plus, I’d get to see all the ins and outs of Bumbershoot, not to mention being in Seattle many days in August.

I looked at the calendar, and they have shifts set up for a certain number of positions during August and the first week of September before Bumbershoot. I’d like to not actually work DURING Bumbershoot, which is one of the choices of shifts, but that’s the beauty of it. I DON’T HAVE TO. I just have to work for a total of 24 hours within the three weeks prior to Bumbershoot and I get tickets. Hopefully Libby isn’t at volleyball camp, because she could do it too and we’d BOTH get free tickets.

And another thing – there are shifts open on August 22, the day of the Demetri Martin show. In fact, there are two shifts that day. 9-1 and 2-6. We could take the 9-1 and go stay with my aunt for a few hours in Mountlake Terrace and get cleaned up before we head off to the Moore to laugh our faces off.

I hope hope hope this works out. As well as perhaps the press credentials. It’s still pending, but if I get photo/press credentials, I’ll be all set for the best Bumbershoot ever. And $80 richer. No spending money and access to all the press stuff.

HOW BADASS WOULD THAT BE?

I’m a freaking genius.

We’re coming Demetri!!!!!

❤ Abby

I really want Hermione’s Time Turner right now

22 Jul

And a few extra hundred bucks. That would be swell.

Why, you may ask?

Well, I’ll break it down. Demetri Martin is coming to the Moore Theater August 22. Already got those tickets, so I’m good. That’s $40 right there.

Jeff Dye is coming to St. Martins on September 3. It’s free, so that’s not a big deal at all, and it’s a Thursday, so that’s no problem. I’ll just go down and hang out with my pals at SMU.

But two days later is Bumbershoot. September 5-7. And here’s where my dilemma lies. I’m going monday the 7th. No doubt about that. Franz Ferdinand is playing that day, as well as Modest Mouse, and Nick Swardson, and Doug Benson, and Maria Bamford, and the Black Eyed Peas while I’m at it. But Patton Oswalt is playing that night at the SAME TIME as Franz. Now lets just say Patton has the most plays in my Last.fm library as far as comedians go. Maria Bamford having the second most. The two of them, plus Demetri Martin make my comedic trifecta of awesomeness. Jeff Dye would be included in that if I could actually get a hold of his album, but anyway. The thing is, Patton is also playing the other two days of Bumbershoot, NOT during other acts that I want to see. So I could very well go all three days and see Patton Oswalt twice, and see Wyatt Cenac, and Matt & Kim, and All-American Rejects, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head.

But you see, all three days are $80, whereas one day is $35. I would never pay for just two days, because that’s wasting money when I could just pay $10 more for the third day.

THERE IS ONE FINAL CRUX IN THE STORY. Fucking Patton Oswalt is coming to the Moore on September 18, which just happens to be during the MusicFest NW in Portland, for which I desperately want to go. I’ve emailed the volunteer coordinator asking about working the four-day festival within the city, but I’ll probably just end up going the 19th, that saturday to see The Morning Benders. I’ve been really anxious to hear their new stuff after I saw them open for WAS last summer. And I missed out on the chance at seeing them at Chop Suey a few months ago.

There would another problem if Arj Barker’s show at the Showbox wasn’t 21+. But thankfully, I still have a good ten months to get that right.

Right now, the problems aren’t so much the time dilemmas, except the Patton/Franz thing on monday at Bumbershoot, but more the MONEY dilemma. I don’t have a job right now. In fact, I think I might still be getting paid at UWT for Ledger, which is weird because none of us work during summer quarter, but anyway. I can’t spend all my hard-earned money on shows. I would love to, for sure, but I’d like to save my money for other things.

So, I think I’ll skip Patton at The Moore because I can see him TWICE at Bumbershoot if I pay for the three days.

Demetri: $40
Jeff Dye: $0
Bumbershoot (full of AWESOME PERFORMERS) $80 (but worth it)(unless I win tickets from SPIN)
MFNW 09: $20 (I think I’ll just go one day, unless I get an email back from the volunteer guy, and I’m trying to make connections in the music biz, see what I’m doing here?)(that plus all the tweeting @ the 107.7 The End DJs)

And I think that’s it. So…40+0+80+20=140 (unless I win tickets or somehow get a volunteer job)

If this all works out, I’ll get to see ALL OF THESE PEOPLE!


It’ll be okay that I can’t see him

because I already saw him with them

This shall be awesome. *Please work please work please work*

❤ Abby

The Sound of my novel

19 Jul

I’m about 50 pages into my novel. I guess I’ve been on a roll for the last few days.

When I took a break, I made a mix that fit perfectly to the tone of the novel. If this makes sense, you may get the idea.

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Here’s a link to My Lala.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if I got to use some of my favorite artists as soundtrack staples for a movie that was made from my book? I would just LOOOOOOOVE WAS, Radiohead, Kings of Leon and Animal Collective to provide a soundtrack to my movie.

Oh! I know what I need to do! Just write a crappy 300-page tween romance novel about CHASTE VAMPIRES! Seriously, RPattz is like the Fabio for teens. Whenever Twihards think about Edward Cullen, they’re like “OMG JIZZ IN MY PANTS” and go get lame tattoos with apples and cliche fonts.

I’m sorry. I’m quite angry right now, because two of my favorite bands have agreed to be a part of the New Moon soundtrack – Muse and Radiohead, and the director was in talks of having Kings of Leon on the soundtrack as well. Seriously.

Go see for yourself.

And no, I didn’t go THERE to check. I was on ONTD, but I just used the same link they did.

I’m pissed. I’m all for upcoming bands trying to get exposure. But RADIOHEAD? Dude. You guys have been around for 15 years. Most of the people so obsessed with this franchise weren’t even BORN YET when “Creep” made its way to the mix CDs of every cool person on the planet. And Kings of Leon and Muse are way too fucking good for this crap. I was ready to forgive Matt Bellamy and crew for the first movie, because they didn’t know how big it would get, but this is just fucking WRONG.

Ugh.

Just more fire for my writing. Stephanie Meyer, I’m coming for you. Well, actually the entire Harry Potter fandom have been coming for you for quite awhile now. Your short bout of fame will be shortly lived. Once the last movie is over, nobody but the lame people who got tattoos of your ridiculous writing on their bodies will care anymore.


Seriously. This exists.

I hate this. Twilight will be the downfall of our civilization if it doesn’t die out quickly. It’s like Tamagochi, except not cool, and it can’t fit in your pocket.

❤ Abby

As Sheldon Cooper would say, “Hello, Oompa Loompas of television!”

17 Jul

So the Emmy nominations came out yesterday morning at 5:30 am, and sadly, I missed the broadcast. It’s not surprising, as I haven’t woke up that early in…I don’t even know how long.

Here’s a list of the important nominees:

COMEDY

BEST COMEDY SERIES
Entourage
Family Guy
Flight of the Conchords
How I Met Your Mother
The Office
30 Rock
Weeds

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Steve Carell, The Office
Jemaine Clement, Flight of the Conchords
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?
Toni Collette, United States of Tara
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds
Sarah Silverman, The Sarah Silverman Program

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Kevin Dillon, Entourage
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Jack McBrayer, 30 Rock
Tracy Morgan, 30 Rock
Rainn Wilson, The Office

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds
Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live
Kristin Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty

GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Alan Alda, 30 Rock
Beau Bridges, Desperate Housewives
Jon Hamm, 30 Rock
Steve Martin, 30 Rock
Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live

GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Jennifer Aniston, 30 Rock
Christine Baranski, The Big Bang Theory
Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live
Gena Rowlands, Monk
Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock
Betty White, My Name Is Earl

DRAMA

BEST DRAMA SERIES
Big Love
Breaking Bad
Damages
Dexter
House
Lost
Mad Men

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Simon Baker, The Mentalist
Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Glenn Close, Damages
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Christian Clemenson, Boston Legal
Michael Emerson, Lost
William Hurt, Damages
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
William Shatner, Boston Legal
John Slattery, Mad Men

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Rose Byrne, Damages
Hope Davis, In Treatment
Cherry Jones, 24
Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy
Dianne Wiest, In Treatment
Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy

GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Edward Asner, CSI: NY
Ted Danson, Damages
Ernest Borgnine, ER
Michael J. Fox, Rescue Me
Jimmy Smits, Dexter

GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Brenda Blethyn, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Carol Burnett, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Ellen Burstyn, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Sharon Lawrence, Grey’s Anatomy
CCH Pounder, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

REALITY

REALITY COMPETITION PROGRAM
The Amazing Race
American Idol
Dancing With The Stars
Project Runway
Top Chef

HOST FOR A REALITY OR REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With the Stars
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Heidi Klum, Project Runway
Padma Lakshmi (Host) and Tom Colicchio (Co-Host), Top Chef
Jeff Probst, Survivor
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol

REALITY SERIES
Antiques Roadshow
Dirty Jobs
Dog Whisperer
Intervention
Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List
MythBusters

As one can see, there are way more nominees than there were last year. Six per acting category and seven per program category. I, for one, am ECSTATIC that they’ve added the two extra spots, but in the comedy categories, there are a few distinct mistakes, along with some triumphs.

First of all, Seth McFarlane’s animated genius that is Family Guy finally got the recognition it deserves. Kudos, Emmy voters. But where is the Big Bang Theory in the overall program category? It’s awesome that Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper) got nominated for Lead Actor (I squealed with joy), but the show needs that nod as well. In supporting actor – NPH better win. Michael Urie got snubbed for his role in Ugly Betty, but Neil Patrick deserves to win hands down. Both Kevin Dillon and Jon Cryer could have easily been replaced with Urie.

Also in the comedy categories – I must express my utter joy that my Kiwis are among the nominees. Thank you HBO for bringing back Flight of the Conchords for a second season, and thank you Jemaine Clement for being so awesome. I doubt Jemaine will win, so it should either be Alec Baldwin or Jim Parsons. Tony Shaloub has won enough times, and Charlie Sheen just plays himself. Steve’s won a couple times, so now it’s Jim’s turn. Yay for Geek-centric sitcoms!

Actresses in the comedy categories – the voters got everything right. It’s just kind of depressing that both Samantha Who? and Pushing Daisies are cancelled. So I say, give them the wins. They won’t get a second chance to. I was hoping for a couple more nods for my Pushing Daisies, but one acting nomination is fine.

Now onto the drama categories – I understand that Grey’s Anatomy has kind of sucked for the last 2 years, with the exception of the last third of this season once we finally found out what the fuck was wrong with Izzie, but Katie Heigl surely deserved a nomination for her work this season. For sure. I get that there are already two Supporting Actresses from Grey’s, but it’s not very fair when Chandra Wilson kind of played the same character she always does (very well, I might add), but Katie Heigl had to go from emotion to emotion at the drop of a hat this season.

Guest Actors and Actresses are surely the most right out of all the drama categories – with Ed Asner playing the lying former Hitler’s Youth pretending to be a Jew to save his own ass, and Carol Burnett as a psychopath – I was pleased.

But the most fucking WTF moment I had when glancing across the nominees was “WHERE THE HELL IS ER?” Yes, they got a Guest Actor nod is Ernest Borgnine and a couple writing and technical nominations, but it was in its 15th and final season, and not since the second season has it been nominated for an Emmy. The Sopranos got a nomination its final season. The West Wing did too. But ER lastest longer than both those shows – 15 years! It’s not fair, because to tell you the truth, it was way better than House this year. House actually kind of blew this year. So in this sense, Emmy voters – YOU FAIL.

A couple final thoughts – Michael Emerson better win for supporting actor for Lost. He’s Ben Linus for god’s sakes! And for Reality shows, I’m holding out for Project Runway, Jeff Probst, and Mythbusters. I haven’t watched Survivor in forever, but Jeff is the most badass host. I was just excited that Padma and Tom got nominated for Top Chef. But Amazing Race will win, because it’s won every year since the category started. Dr. Coon is probably right, because it is an awesome show.

I’m done. Except how awesome is it that Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog got nominated for (deep breath, now) Outstanding Special Class Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Programs category? Pretty awesome, for sure.

Okay, now I’m done.

❤ Abby

But, Sir, I thought we weren’t allowed to apparate on Hogwarts grounds….Well, being me has its privileges.

15 Jul

I’ve had enough time to calm down after last night’s premiere, so I’ll get down to the real review.

If you haven’t read this book, and don’t wish to be spoiled, don’t read on.

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There is nothing else in my life, other than my friends and family, that has been a part of me longer than the Harry Potter series. J.K. Rowling, I dare say that you changed my life.

I’m serious. Half of my life, and we’re nearing the end of the series, on film that is. The book series actually ended two years ago, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about.

When I read the 6th book, I was enthralled. It was my favorite of the series, most likely because it was after the lengthy, monotonous, annoying book filled with Harry’s overwhelming angst that was the Order of the Phoenix. The Half-Blood Prince gave us what we wanted, without leaving too little to divulge into in the final installment – the Deathly Hallows.

I’m going to try to separate myself from the fandom in this case, because as one knows, a movie based on a book series of this stature can never live up to the complexity of the novel, and the expectations of the fandom. And just to set the record straight, I was disappointed that Director David Yates left out some content – in other words, the lack of the actual Half-Blood Prince – but of the content that he did put in the spotlight – it was done beautifully. Sure, with leaving out most of the storyline about Harry and his mysterious potions textbook gives little significance to the title, and less of a “OMG” factor when Snape comes out and says “yeah, I’m the Half-Blood Prince.” But even so, this movie moved so flawlessly together it almost didn’t seem like it was bits and pieces of a novel.

What HBP and OoTP had that the former movies didn’t was David Yates. Yates took the stories and didn’t so much as make the exact replicas of the books, but made honest-to-god good movies out of them. The first four films were either too closely following the book that they seemed jumbled, or strayed away from the novel so much that it upset all the fans (coughAlfonsoCuaroncough). HBP included more humor than any of the previous installments, which got many laugh out loud moments in the theater even at 2 a.m. With the humor, there needed to be dark moments to keep it from being too silly.

And the zombies guarding the Horcrux was plenty frightening. My sister actually had to pee for half the movie before that point, and she went ten minutes before Harry and Dumbledore ventured into the cave. Thank god, or else she would have pissed her pants when the zombies popped out of the water.

Dumbledore. That was the main thing that Yates did so incredibly right. Dumbledore has always been an anomaly of such, being so utterly fearless and badass, yet so old and wise. Yates didn’t overdue the searches into Dumbledore’s memories, because it would have slowed the movie down. He had just the right amount of delving, and just the right amount of Dumbledore/Harry time. We didn’t get an overload of Dumbledore storyline, which made it even sadder when he did parish off the clocktower at the end when Severus Snape avada kedavra’d him when Draco couldn’t. It made us feel the emotion we were supposed to, without sending the entire theater into a pool of tears.

And by the way, I didn’t actually cry. I teared. My eyes welled. That was it.

It’s almost unbelievable to see how far Daniel, Rupert and Emma have come in the 8 years they’ve been playing Harry, Ron and Hermione. Daniel has gone from a lucky newcomer look-alike to a seasoned actor, having appeared – NAKED! – on Broadway. He still stumbles dreadfully over his words during interviews, but it just makes him more endearing. As well, I was very glad that Tom Felton got some more screen time. Draco’s been on the back burner for the last couple movies, and I was glad that Yates showed the tension between Draco and Harry, as well as the inner tension Draco suffered through the entire book. It made you feel bad for him a little, that he didn’t want to kill Dumbledore in the end. On the inside, he didn’t want to do any of it, but he had to, to live up to his father, and also because he would be killed by You-Know-Who. I don’t remember feeling that bad for him when reading the book, and I think this worked really well for the movie.

I must mention the special effects briefly, because they were amazing. I swear, they’ve just gotten better and better with each movie, and this one even more so. I’m pretty sure the fire/water fight between Dumbledore, Harry and the zombies was so much more epic than anything Michael Bay did in Transformers 2. And I’m serious. Slughorn’s hilarious entrance was also a great representation of the humor and the SFX displayed in the film. I just freaking love Jim Broadbent. I’ve been surprised up until now that he hasn’t made an appearance in the films, but now I’m glad that he got the job as Slughorn, because he’s literally PERFECT for the part. Whoever cast him – kudos, big time.

Some people may have been turned off with the large amounts of teen angst, what with Ginnie and Harry and Hermione/Ron/Lavender, but I felt the opposite. This aspect of Rowling’s novels was the only thing that was remotely close to normalcy. Teenagers have relationship problems. Girls get jealous. Boys don’t notice the jealousy. Girls fight. Girls and boys snog. I comment Yates for adding slightly more screen time to this part of the book compared to the book. Some people may be thinking that HP is trying to compete with the other fantasy teen series that had recently took over, Twilight, but the thing is – the personal relationships is the only part of Harry, Hermione and Ron’s lives that an audience can directly relate to. It’s a nice counterpart to the fictional, fantastical world of Hogwarts.

Harry may be a wizard, he may be the Chosen One, but he’s also a teenager – with hormones.

Just to address my fellow uber fans who are quite upset – just think about if the director had included everything. You’d still be sitting in the theater right now. It’s almost impossible to include everything from Rowling’s 600-some-odd page novel. I’ve given up the false hope that somehow directors will include everything from books. It can’t be done. But they’re going to try with the last book, which is why they’re separating it into 2 movies. Smart move.

With waiting for this movie 8 months longer than I should have, it was well worth the wait. I was satisfied with the film as a part of the HP fandom, but I was astonished with it as a movie buff.

Finally, us Pottermaniacs are back on top (I’m talking to you, Twihards). Now all we have to do is wait for another year and a half for the first installment of the Deathly Hallows. Oh, how I wish I had Hermione’s time-turner right about now.

❤ Abby