Exploding Bon Bons

Just after Christmas my friend Karen visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. When asked what kind of candy I wanted her to bring me, I nixed the Bertie Bots Every Flavor Beans having tried most flavors when they were in stores everywhere. I was torn between asking for a chocolate frog or upon her suggestion, Exploding Bon Bons. I picked the Bon Bons because I had no idea what they were and I’d had chocolate frogs before.

Just a few days ago I tried my new candy. Now I’m not really sure what I expected, definitely milk chocolate or hard candy. It wasn’t until I really looked at the box that I realized they were orange and pineapple flavored. And I opened them to find they were white chocolate.

Not something I would have picked for myself, if I had any idea what I was picking.

But the box is cool and they pop in your mouth like pop rocks. They’re not nasty just different and I guess since this is candy from Harry Potter I shouldn’t have been so surprised.






Book Corner: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Welcome to Book Corner where we will all sit down with cups of tea and I will serve you fresh baked cookies and tell you about a book I think you absolutely should read. And after you can come back, (or stay if you’ve already read it) and tell me all of your thoughts and opinions you have to share.

“We laughed and laughed, together and separately, out loud and silently, we were determined to ignore whatever needed to be ignored, to build a new world from nothing if nothing in our world could be salvaged, it was one of the best days of my life, a day during which I lived my life and didn’t think about my life at all.”

I recently saw Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close in the theaters. It was every bit as beautiful and heartbreaking as I expected it to be. Unfortunately, it also changed what the story was about and took away what I loved about the book.

“Humans are the only animal that blushes, laughs, has religion, wages war, and kisses with lips. So in a way, the more you kiss with lips, the more human you are.”

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer is about a journey. Eleven year old Oscar is a witty, sweet and insightful kid suffering a loss that’s hard for anyone who hasn’t been there to imagine. But because of this loss he goes on a treasure hunt of sorts that leads him all around New York City talking to dozens of people with the last name of Black. He learns their stories and through them he learns who he is.

“..Literature was the only religion her father practiced, when a book fell on the floor he kissed it, when he was done with a book he tried to give it away to someone who would love it..”

“You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”

all italicized quotes credited to Jonathan Safran Foer in his novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

“So many people enter and leave your life! Hundreds of thousands of people! You have to keep the door open so they can come in! But it also means you have to let them go!”

In Search of Magic

I am in a search for magic. Not the Wiccan Goddess kind and not the kind that involves waving around a want while saying, “Expecto patronum” but the magic that is infused in every ounce of life. The magic that makes life feel like fiction and scenes from movies. The sort of magic where life feels like it needs a soundtrack and it probably already has one, even if you haven’t made the mix tape.

I want to use Melanie Kristy as a venue for such magic. I want to share everything I see and do. And I want input.

Instead of making this post about what is magical to me, I will refrain from making lists, because I’m still searching. In the past I feel like spending money and eating out attributed to making life feel magical. I’ve baked pretty cupcakes and those were damn magical in their own ways. But no, I want to know what you find in life that makes you feel like life is a story.

What makes you want to photograph the emotions you are feeling?
Can’t think of anything? Drive to the nearest ocean, close your eyes and smell the salt water. Then dive in. Come back and tell me about magic.

And, in turn, I will do the same.

Lots and Lots of Ladybugs


Signora, between Austria and Italy, there is a section of the Alps called the Semmering. It is an impossibly steep, very high part of the mountains. They built a train track over these Alps to connect Vienna and Venice. They built these tracks even before there was a train in existence that could make the trip. They built it because they knew some day, the train would come. – Martini, Under the Tuscan Sun

Every once in a while I share this story, whether I’m explaining to someone I know why I have a ladybug tattooed on my foot or I’m writing a blog post in a distant blog about this very thing. At my Weight Watchers meeting tonight my leader mentioned using “anchors” to keep yourself grounded. She spoke about the diamond earring she has that her mother left to her when she died. Rita told us about the time she had to go into the bathroom to calm herself down, rubbing her diamond and reminding herself of all that that diamond was. This meeting made me think of all of this, of my ladybug tattoo and the story I’m about to tell. Actually, it’s not so much a story as a retelling of a scene.

If you’ve seen Under the Tuscan Sun, you are familiar with this scene.

Here, I’ll set it up for you, Frances is talking to Katherine about all of the things she wants out of life and all of the things she wants out of Italy. She’s talking less and complaining a little bit more. Once Frances is done, Katherine tells her, “Listen, when I was a little girl I used to spend hours looking for ladybugs. Finally, I’d just give up and fall asleep in the grass. When I woke up, they were crawling all over me.” Then she says, “Go work on your house.”

To me, this is a story about faith. It’s about taking care of all of the little things instead of worrying about not having exactly what it is that you want. It’s the fact that if you really want something and you go out and live your own life, do what needs to be done, these things will have a way of coming to you.

This is one huge thing for me. Faith. Having faith in myself. And life. And taking care of things. It’s something I have to remind myself of, and I often forget to do it. It’s something that’s so important to me, I tattooed it to my foot as a constant reminder. My tattoo isn’t perfect, there are a few spots that are lighter than others due the the horrible time I had while it was healing. I could have those spots fixed. But right now I keep them, and part of that reason is another reminder that it’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to not have exactly what you want right now. As long as you are working for it. You can’t just get there. You have to pave the way.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

I’m not going to spend a lot of time reviewing this movie because honestly I think that if you’re reading this, you’ve already seen it, or you’re going to see it. Your mind is already made up. Instead I’m just going spend my time expressing my opinion, and I’d love to hear yours.

This was absolutely my favourite Harry Potter movie. Hands down, without a doubt. When I finished reading Deathly Hallows, I knew it was my new favourite. And I feel that was about this movie, also. It was brilliant. The scenes were breathtaking. I cried and laughed and squealed/ clapped excitedly upon the sight of certain characters (Snape, Luna, Dobby…). I found the acting intense, the scenes were everything

Some things I missed from the books that I know aren’t 100% necessary to the movie:

* The Lupin/ Tonks storyline. Also the scene with Harry and Lupin fighting

* Kreacher doing all he could to help Harry, Ron and Hermione (The book made me feel very fond of Kreacher, I would have liked to see that)

* More explanation on the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, especially since he’s mentioned a few times in relation to Dumbledore (for example when Hermione points out that he’s in the book Rita Skeeter wrote). Maybe that’s coming in the second movie.

* Why didn’t they explain that saying Voldemort triggers snatchers to know where you are? I was fine with them not explaining that, except that Harry goes from saying Voldemort to calling him “You-Know-Who” which is completely uncharacteristic of Harry and that wasn’t explained. I feel they could have fixed this without explaining the trigger by Harry just saying “he”. We all know who he is.

Did you see Deathly Hallows? Do you intend to? What are your thoughts?


The End of Something

I know I’ve established my tendencies for nostalgia. I’m guilty of the heavy, heart-wrenching kind. So seeing this sign overy day right next to my current place of work seriously tugs at my heart strings.

Let me explain. I used to work at Blockbuster, specifically this Blockbuster. For one and a half years of my life (and for six months in the middle I managed my own store that I had to help close) I was a slave to those shelves. I alphabetized, opened accounts, handled cranky customers and rented out movies inside t hose walls. I stocked candy, watched countless kids movies and memorized lines in those walls. I met some amazing people, wrote parts of novels and did pirouettes on that floor. I was there to watch it change, we added the Blu-ray station, dumped VHS and reorganized the candy near the front to be more “tempting” to you, yes you. My Blockbuster changed hands from a privately owned franchise to the corporate store it is today (for the moment). And even though by the time I quit I was absolutely miserable, a part of me is still buried in the rug hoping more than anything that this closing thing is really part of some massive joke on the world.

I don’t even rent movies from there anymore. I’ve rented no more than seven in the two years I’ve been gone. I woek next door now and hardly go there. Though in spite of the corporate take over, it still smells the same.

But! It’s a sign of changing times, ones that I hate to admit are coming. It isn’t just about Netflix and Redbox. It’s about the digitalizing of our world, a means to make it seemingly dissappear. I hated the iPod when it came out (just as I currently find the Kindle and all other ebook readers blasphemous). I continue to buy CDs on occasion. (I’m not sure why — I listen to them in my car but I can’t even transfer the music onto my computer because the CD drive doesn’t work). It’s a reminder that all DVDs I buy in this moment will someday be obsolete.

It’s a prompt to think about what really matters.

Certainly these movies I’m buying now I don’t really need. I don’t need to pile the special edition of Harry Potter movies (which, come to think of it I should add, special editions of any movie are hardly released on DVD anymore, only Blu-ray…) on my shelf next to other movies I love but don’t watch nearly enough. Soon I will need to get a Blu-ray player and make the switch, so I might as well not bother with DVDs and buying them. Soon they’ll be gone, which means they don’t really matter. They’re just a means to watch a movie, one that I can most likely watch right now on the Wii through Netflix instead (okay so I guess not really RIGHT now, I don’t have Netflix quite yet…).

And yet and the same time, it’s clear that the production of media IS important. If it wasn’t then no company would put so much thought and invention into improving it. No one would waste their time marketing and coming up with awesome ads for these films. They want you to think that switching to Blu-ray you are changing your life. They want you to think that you must have all your old favourites now on Blu-ray (or, insert-new-format-here because it was nearly yesterday we were switching over from VHS to DVD).

So when a Blockbuster closes near you, recognise it as a sign that things are changing even if you don’t think it really affects you. (In some way you may not even be aware of, it really does).