Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

17 07 2016

Finally. It feels like the HP series is getting good once it steps away from all the kiddy stuff and treads into darker territory. Also the movie is the best one out of the first three I’ve seen so far.


30 Day Movie Challenge: Day 17: Least favourite book adaptation

30 06 2011

A few years ago, a friend had posted a list compiled by the BBC of 100 Classic books and collections, claiming that the average person has read six out of the hundred.  You could go over the list and see which books you read/hadn’t read and see if you were better than the average person.  So I did that, and I had a grand total of… insert drum roll here… seven!  I’m slightly better than average!  Huzzahs are in order.  I had another friend go over the list and she had read almost everything.  Man, was I jealous.

After doing that, I set out to read as many books on that list as I could, and one of the ones on the list was Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife.  Like you, I thought it was going to be a sappy, boring romance story with some fantasy thrown in, but it turned out to be way more profound and deeper.  The two main characters are deeply flawed, and very modern (they’re in punk music, for one).  The time travel aspect of the book is also really interesting and it deals with the science and science fiction of it pretty well, I must say.

I asked my twin sister if she had read the book and she said she had, and had also seen the movie but she warned me: “Whatever you do, DON’T watch the movie.”  So naturally, after I was done, I watched it.

And oh god.

They diluted the charisma and wonderful, unique characterization of the leads into horrible stereotypes.  Claire, for one, is turned into the typical “I’m a woman so I must want a child” character; their interesting anecdotes are lost in the movie; and Henry time travels abruptly all the time, while in the novel it is mainly due to stress — ie. there’s a reason for it and it’s not random.  It’s cliché-filled, which the book is against and apart from the time traveling, it feels like a run-of-the-mill Hollywood film.  Ugh.

I should’ve listened to my sister.  On the other hand, watching the movie made me appreciate the novel and really, just writing and literature that much more.

Dream 2

31 01 2011

July 10?, 2004

I’m talking to this man.  He tells me Sean is leving.  I ask if I can see him and he says okay.  He drives me to this blue/yellow small house.  I know on the door and his mom answers.  She lets me in.  I see Sean and he’s smiling.  He goes to the fireplace and starts packing, I think.  He seems sort of sad, I guess.  So I go up to him and put my arms around his waist, and it feels “larger” than I had expected.  I can sense his mom looking at me.  She says something about me putting my arms around Sean.  But Sean says, “It’s okay, he’s gay, and he loves me.”

Then I am soo happy and I try to help him.  And he puts his around me and it feels so right, but so far from reality…

His mom says something like “that boy has his around you” or maybe “It’s not right” or something again…

The Boy (a dream)

4 11 2010

Another dream I had a long time ago.  The last time I modified it was apparently more than a year ago so it’s at least that old.

The Boy

I have to write this all out before I forget.  If the Boy happens to read what I’ve written, well, I don’t think it really matters anymore anyway.

So last night, I had a series of dreams, most of which I don’t remember, but there was one that I did.  Like most of my dreams, I don’t remember how exactly it began.  I do remember that I had dreamed a little before this all happened.  I was standing in line for something and talking to this girl while holding an umbrella.  We were arguing about something, and I remember saying to her, “Well, then you’d be screwed!”  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him behind me.  Like what I would’ve done in real life, I pretended I didn’t see him because I didn’t know what to say to him.  Still standing in line, I finally reached the front of the line.  I was let in, then turned around and looked at him.

“Hey, it’s you,” I said casually.  He smiled at me and replied, “It’s you.”  We continued walking and I guess we were in some kind of museum because there were all these artsy things around (not paintings, but 3D art stuff).  We began talking to each other and even though we were on opposite sides of the exhibits (which probably means something) we were able to see each other because the art was transparent.  We talked for a bit (i don’t remember about what) and then he asked me if I wanted to really meet him later, at 7:00 after his school finished and I could walk him to Broadway St. and talk to him on the way there.  So I agreed, obviously because it was always a lot of fun talking to him about anything, really.  We finalized our plan and then he started leaving in this weird little rocket car thing, and I had to shout at him so that he could hear me.  He told me not to worry if I couldn’t find him, because he knew my address.  (NOTE:  I don’t know if I’m allowed to say it here, but IT’S NOT MY REAL HOUSE!  I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHERE THAT IS!  He told me I lived on 59th and Inverness (which in real life I don’t and have never lived there)  and he told me that he, if I failed to find him, would find me there.

NOTE:  I have never been associated with anything on 59th Ave.  It seems like a random number, if you as me.  Inverness refers to the street on which my friend lived for a few months.

Anyway, fast forward to 5:00.  I was at home, and panicking because like a lot of details in my dreams, I tend to forget things.  I couldn’t remember if it was 5:00 that I was supposed to meet him or 7:00.  I remember really going crazy and getting upset because I had really been looking forward to it.

Fast forward again, to 7:00.  I’m waiting on a street.  A bus drives by and I see him on the bus, so I get on.  I find it weird that he was a large tatoo running down his left arm, but I don’t care.  I go over to him and – I’m a little embarassed to admit this part – start making out with him.  I can tell that this guy is a lot older, and it isn’t him, but he looks like the Boy.  The camera switches points of view and now pivots to another bus, passing the opposite direction.  In that bus is the real Boy, who is looking surprised and a little upset.  But here’s the weird thing: he’s with his boyfriend, who looks so similar to him that they could be twins, and begins making out with him, as if to spite me.  That’s all I remember.

So yeah… I’m so glad I managed to type all that out quickly.  I think I know what this dream means, but I’m not going to say.  Again, the Boy (whom I actually met here) may read this, but whatever.  I’m sure nothing will happen.

Meaningless Conversations

8 02 2010

A variation on my short story Conversations with a Ghost.  This was written during my VFS year, again for Style class in which we had to take the short story we had written and develop it into a different kind of writing — cereal box information, travel brochures, flyers… any kind of other medium that has writing on it.  I chose to do mine in a police report format and it was definitely an interesting process.

Meaningless Conversations


1  Jeremy West Interview
3  Detective:  What’s your name?
5  West: Jeremy West.
7  Detective:  Do you know why you’re here?
9  West: I can’t imagine why, no.
11  Detective:  We found the body of a Sean Lee.  Did you know him?
13  West: Yes.
15  Detective: How?
17  West: We go…went to the same high school together.
19  Detective: Were you a close friend?
21  West: No, not really.  I liked him, though.
23  Detective: What do you mean?
25  West: Well, I just thought he was a nice guy.  Good-looking too.
27  Detective:  Okay.  Did you ever talk to him?
29  West: No.  I was too shy.
31  Detective:  Why was that?
33  West:  I was… intimidated by him, I guess.
35  Detective:  What was so intimidating about him?
37  West: I don’t know.  He was just… one of the popular guys around school.  He had
38  had bunches of girlfriends, he was on a bunch of teams.  You know, your typical jock
39  kinda guy.  But…
41  Detective:  But what?
43  West:  He also had this mysterious vibe to him.  Even at such a distance, I could tell
44  that he wasn’t like all the other guys that he hung out with.
46  Detective:  What do you mean by ‘vibe’?
48  West: I’m not sure.  I just felt he was… different.
50  Detective: Could it be because of his looks, like you mentioned?
52  West: No, that’s not what I meant.  Even though he didn’t get the best grades, I could
53  tell he was smart.
55  Detective: Uh huh.  You watched him often?
57  West: Sort of.  Every now and then.
59  Detective: You do anything to him?
61  West: I wrote things and put it in his locker a few times.
63  Detective: What did you write?  Death threats?
65  West: No.  Just little poems and things.
67  Detective: Why did you do that?
69  West: I told you, I’m shy.  If I couldn’t tell him things in person, I’d just come up
70  with other ways.
72  Detective: Right.  Did he know it was from you?
74  West: No.  I never wrote my name on any of it, and I only delivered my notes when
75  no one was around.
77  Detective: I bet you hid around a corner to watch his reaction when he found them.
79 West: You’d think that, but no, I never did.
81  Detective: Why not?
83  West: Because if he thought it was creepy or whatever, I didn’t want to know that.
85  Detective: Ah, so the old ‘ignorance is bliss’ thing, eh?
87  West: Yeah, I guess so.
89  Detective: You do any other sorts of crazy things to get his attention?
91  West: Well, I did used to play this game—
93  Detective: What?  What kind of game was this?
95  West: It was perfectly harmless.
97  Detective: Can you explain this ‘game’ to me?
99  West: Sure.  If I was on a bus with an empty seat across from me, I would just
100  pretend that Sean was right there, sitting across from me, and we would converse.
102  Detective: So you’re telling me that because you’re too shy to talk to him in person 103  you just… make him up?
West: Yes.105
106  Detective: That’s really screwed up.
108  West: But it was the only way.
110  Detective: So… what did you guys talk about?
112  West: Basically, I’d just tell him everything I could never tell him in person.
113  Sometimes I would pretend he was my boyfriend.
115 Detective: Now that is screwed up.
117  West: Like I said, it was the only way.
119  Detective:  What kind of things did you guys talk about?  Can you remember any
120  conversation?
122  West: Just little things.  There was this one time when I was having a bad day and he
123  was there, making me feel better.  He said things like, ‘Hey, Jeremy, I’m here now.
124  Everything’s alright.’  And then there was this one time…”
126  Detective: What happened that time?
128  West:  Well, it started off just like any other time.  I had this deal with my friend to
129  ask someone out in a week, and I talked to Sean about it.
131  Detective: And then what?
133  West: And then… things got a little out of hand.  He became hostile and attacked
134  me.
136  Detective: You mean, physically?
138  West: No, verbally.  Words can be powerful things.
140  Detective: What did he say to you?
142  West: He told me that I was too much of a coward to talk to me, and because of that,
143  I had to resort to fantasizing conversations with him.
145  Detective: But that’s the truth.
147  West: Yeah, but when I’m playing this game, I don’t want to be reminded of reality.
149  Detective: I see.  Is that all he said to you?
151  West: He told me no matter what I do, no matter how hard I’d try, I would never be
152  able to get over him.
154  Detective: That’s harsh.
156 West: Yes.
158  Detective: How did this happen in your own fantasy?
160  West: I don’t know.  I just… lost control.
162  Detective: And what happened after that?
164  West: I snapped out of it, cried a little.
166  Detective: You were crying because this game?
168  West: Yes.
170  Detective: I guess words can be powerful.
172  West: Yes.
174  Detective: So what happened after that?
176  West: Nothing much.  Some fat lady in a hideous outfit started talking to me.
178  Detective: [laughs]  What did she say to you?
180  West: She just offered me a Kleenex and then…
182  Detective: And then what?
184  West: And then I swear her face melded with Sean’s face when she said the word
185  ‘Never’.
187  Detective: Okay.
189  West: And that was then I knew I needed to kill him.  To kill Sean.
191  Detective: Are you confessing to the murder of Sean Lee?
193  West: Yes.
195  Detective: Why?
197  West: Because I feel better about it, saying the words; knowing he’s really gone.
199  Detective: You realize that you’ve only killed him in your head, right?
201  West: Yes.
203  Detective: And you realize that this entire conversation is also in your head?
205  West: Yes.
207  Detective: So why are you doing this?
209  West: To make things seem more real, I suppose.
211  Detective: I’ll make things more real for you, then.  You’re going to wake up after I
212  count down.
214  It’s been nice talking to you.
216  Detective: 5…4…3…2…1…


Conversations With a Ghost

4 02 2010

The original short story which was then adapted into On the Bus, which was produced and filmed in my last term at Vancouver Film School.  (the video at the bottom)  There are clear differences between the short story and the film.  Which do you like better?

I wrote this story back in high school after a similar experience I had.  I won’t go into the details right now but if you’re wondering, I don’t converse with ghosts anymore.

Conversations With a Ghost

I sit there, dumbly, my mind pushing itself to think of an answer.  Who should I ask out?  I had only a few more days ’till the bet was up with my friend.

“You could ask me.”  I recognize that voice.  It’s him again, sitting across from me, wearing what I last saw him wear; a baseball cap turned backwards, a casual sweatshirt and jeans, topped off with glasses that actually make him look semi-smart.

“Why would I do that?”  My voice shows a possible foreshadowing of anger.

“Because you like me.  You’ve always liked me, since the moment you saw me.”  He smiles, which I interpret to be an evil smile, and tilts his head slightly to one side.

“Yeah, so what?  I’m scared.  I’m scared that you’ll reject me.  Why in hell would anyone want that?”  The anger is rising.

“You don’t know that.”

“Yes, I do.”

“How?  What’s this based on?”

“On the fact that most times when I happen to see you in the halls, some slut is hanging off of you, like a dead animal.”

“That doesn’t mean anything.  We’re just friends.”

“Oh, I’ve heard that before.”

“Did you ever stop to think that it might be true?  Why would I lie to you?”

“Oh, I don’t know; because you keep breaking my heart, dammit!  You’re the only guy I haven’t ever really gotten over.”

“I’m sorry about that.  I can’t help that I’m so good looking.”

“Shut up.  That’s not helping.”

“What do you want me to say?  ‘Oh Jeremy, I’ve been in love with you too and I’ve been waiting 4 years for you to tell me!  Let’s get married and ride off into the sunset!'”  He laughs (loudly, I might add).  I silently fume to myself.

“You have no idea what it’s like when you see someone you love and know you won’t ever end up with them, but you still want them to be with you.  You have no idea how sad I am when I see you, the only boy I’ve ever really fallen in love with.  You just don’t get it do you?”  By this time, depression has replaced my rage.

He leans forward in his seat, closing the gap between our faces.  The complexion on his face is hard to read.  I expect him to say something comforting.

“Why are you doing this to yourself, Jeremy?  You say you like me and stuff but you’re too scared to talk to me because you’re afraid I’ll reject you.  What have you got to lose by talking to me?”

“Everything, including my life.”

“You know what the most pitiable part of this whole thing is?”  He leans back against the seat, his arm draped across the adjacent seat, trying to look laid-back.  I already know what he’s going to do and begin to brace for the worst.

“The saddest thing about this is that you have to make me up to talk to you.  I’m part of your stupid little fantasy.  You make me say whatever you want to make you feel better…

“Shut up.  Stop it now.”

“…and it works, yet when the real me comes strolling along, you might as well have jumped in a ditch or something…

“Shut up right now.  I mean it, Sean.”

“…because you’re just too shy to talk to me.  Now that is just sad.”

“You don’t know me.  You don’t know me!”

“Oh, I know you alright.  But do you wanna know something really pathetic?”

At this point, I can’t even talk anymore.

“No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, you are never ever going to get over me.  Never.”  He smiles that evil smile again.  I hate that one.

I’ve had enough of this charade.

“Stop it!  Go away!  Leave me alone!”  I shut my eyes tightly.

For a few seconds, I don’t hear anymore from him.  When I open my eyes, a fat woman in an ugly pink muumuu is sitting in his seat.  I can feel her studying me, which makes me feel like a lab rat.

“Are you okay, dearie?”  She pulls out a small tissue from her matching ugly purse.  It is not until now that I feel the warm streaks of tears on my face.  I had been crying, during my own fantasy where I was in control, or at least thought I was.

I tell her I am fine and take the delicate paper from her to wipe my eyes.

“I remember when I was in high school, so many memories…” her voice continues.

Stop talking to me!  And get some new clothes while you’re at it! my mind screams.

“…and bad ones, too.  I don’t think I’ll ever get over those ones…”

I glance up at her, my entire body in shock.  Her face slowly morphs into Sean’s as they both finish the last word simultaneously: “Never.”