Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Video: Beauty of Mathematics

The Assistant Minister of Music at my church, my orchestra director, sent this to us.  Check it out.

30 Day Harry Potter Challenge: Least Favorite Subject

Least Favorite Subject

Potions.  Professor Snape's potions.  I think if I had to attend I'd dread every class.  Any wrong move and Snape would treat me lik a grade A jerk.  I'd be afraid he'd do things that he does to Harry and Neville.  I'm a lot like Neville, insecure and all that, so I think I would stumble over potions and have Snape make fun of them.   It'd be a horrible class.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

30 Day Harry Potter Challenge: Favorite Subject

Favorite Subject

This is a tough one, because I don't really have a favorite subject.  There is no music and arts department and they don't do things like take an English class, so that leaves out my real world favorite subjects.

McGonagall is my favorite professor, but that doesn't mean Transfiguration is my favorite subject.  I think I'd have to go with Charms taught by Professor Filius Flitwick.

Why Charms?  I'm not really sure, to be honest.  I don't care for chemistry or cooking, which I think potions would be like.  I think Transfiguration might be frustrating.  I can see it as fun, but something that would take a long time for me to master that I might not enjoy it as much.  I think Defense Against the Dark Arts could be fun.  Maybe I'd like that instead.  But, I know I wouldn't like the revolving door of professors especially getting certain ones like Lockhart, Umbridge, and Snape, as well as learning about the three unforgivables in "Moody"'s class, so I wouldn't label that one a favorite.

That leaves, what?  Care of Magical Creatures, Arithmancy, Astronomy, Ancient Runes, History of Magic, Muggle Studies, and Charms.

I like animals, but not the crazy ones like Flobberworms and Blast-Ended Skrewts that Hagrid introduces in his Care of Magical Creatures class.  Math and foreign languages are not my thing, so that would rule out Arithmancy and Ancient Runes.  I took Astronomy in college and while the class at Hogwarts is different, I'd probably be just as not good at it as I was then (I made a C, my first C in college).  History of Magic is taught by Professor Binns and I've read he's extremely boring (and dead) so I'd probably have a hard time staying awake.  I'd probably find Muggle Studies mundane and too easy or more like history which is not a subject I enjoyed in school.

That leaves Charms.  Flitwick is a short guy with a squeaky voice.  He seems like a really cool guy and he's the head of Ravenclaw.  I think his class would be fun.

Monday, November 28, 2011

30 Day Harry Potter Challenge: Least Favorite Professor

Least Favorite Professor

One might think my least favorite is a horrible nasty one like Dolores Umbridge or a really incompetent one like Gilderoy Lockhart.  No.  The answer is Professor Severus Snape.

Why do I dislike Snape?  A lot has to do with his fans.  They have really turned me off on the character.  They treat him like a god and like the series should be Severus Snape and the...  To them, Harry's just a minor character who has no right to dislike Snape.  Snape is justified in hating Harry and everything he does, especially the bullying of students.

It makes me sick.

Before I witnessed the fan gushing I had no real feelings toward Snape.  I could take him or leave him.  I had said I hoped he was on the good side because I didn't want his fans, his supporters, to be disappointed, but now...they've taken it WAY too far and I wish he had been solely on the evil side so they would shut up about him.

Is he complicated?  I think before his story is revealed in Deathly Hallows he is complicated.  There's much we don't know.  Is he good?  Is he evil?  Once his story is revealed he's no longer complicated.  We know about him.  We know his motives.  He's no secret.

One thing I hate is how these fans blindly hate James Potter and Sirius Black because they were adversaries of Snape.  We hardly know anything about James, but to them, he's this evil miscreant who can do no good.

So, Severus "The World Owes Me a Living" Snape is my least favorite professor.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

30 Day Harry Potter Challenge: Favorite Professor

Favorite Professor

Minerva McGonagall, head of Gryffindor, deputy headmistress, and after Dumbledore's death and after Snape leaves, acting headmistress.

She's a stern lady, but she does have a caring side.  I feel if she would be someone you'd want to be locked in a cave with.  What I mean is she'd be really caring and motherly, but also really strict, and help get you out.

I love the scene in Deathly Hallows when Harry appears out of his cloak in the Ravenclaw Common Room almost giving McGonagall a heart attack.  I wish that had been in the movie.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

30 Day Harry Potter Challenge: Saddest Moment

Saddest Moment

I don't cry when I read.  I don't.  Deaths don't make me sad like that.  Makes me sound unemotional or cold, but I'm not.  I just don't cry.  I didn't cry when Sirius died.  I didn't cry when Dumbledore died.  I didn't cry when Hedwig, Moody, Dobby, Fred, Lupin, Tonks, or anyone else died.  I felt something, I did.  I just didn't cry.

When I read The Prince's Tale and The Forest Again, tears escaped my eyes.  For those of you who don't know, those are chapters in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  When Dumbledore and Snape revealed Harry had to sacrifice himself I cried.  I couldn't believe Rowling was going to kill off her main character.  He was going to die and that was the end of that.  For Harry fans and even non-Harry fans we know what happened, but at that moment it looked so true that Harry would walk to his death and not return alive.  I couldn't believe it.  I mean, I could believe Rowling would write something like that.  That's why I was sad, but I couldn't accept that Harry was going to end his life.  He was doing it for the greater good, because he had a saving people thing.

I kept a notebook while reading Deathly Hallows and this is what I wrote when I found out Harry was to sacrifice himself:

Chapter thirty-three: The Prince's Tale
OK.  Not much I want to mention.  Snape was friends with Lily.  He was "that awful boy" Petunia mentioned.  What Snape had given Harry was memories.  He watched all these memories of Lily and Snape where Lily started to dislike Snape.  We watched Snape do good things for Dumbledore.  Snape disliked Harry because he reminded him of James, who took Lily away.  Dumbledore said a piece of Voldemort's soul went into Harry and so to kill Voldemort, Voldemort has to kill Harry.
The first time I officially shed tears over something in Harry Potter.  Harry can't die.  NO!

Chapter thirty-four: The Forest Again
Harry gave himself up to Voldemort.  He passed Neville and told him to go after the snake, too.
Oh my god!  Oh my god!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Got Great Giveaways

Got Great Giveaways is a feature I came across on I Am a Reader Not a Writer's Blog.  She hosts it on Tuesdays.  I do mine on Fridays.

I love book giveaways.  I love entering them and I love sharing them.  This is where I share all the book giveaways I have found.  Every Friday I will put up a post listing current giveaways I have come across in my blog travels.  You can also access these giveaways in the Giveaway link at the top of my blog under the header.

30 Days Harry Potter Challenge: Favorite Villian

And this is the last one for today.  I am caught up.  Yea!

Favorite Villian

Bellatrix Lestrange.  She's so nutty.  It's so obvious she's in love with Voldemort.  He's incapable of love, but she's goes on trying to be his favorite Death Eater.  "Yes, I'll do everything for you my lord." She's crazy and I love it.  I don't love Bellatrix, but she's the most interesting of the Death Eaters, of the villians in the story, aside from Voldemort.  I hate that she tortured Neville's parents to insanity, but she did get her comeuppance at the hand of Molly Weasley.

30 Days Harry Potter Meme: Favorite Character

Favorite Character

Ron Weasley.  I could wax poetic about this character for days.  Why do I like him?  I relate to him so well. He's a middle child.  Yes, there's Percy, Fred, and George, but they find ways to deal with it.  Ron doesn't.  He has that classic middle child syndrome.  His siblings have all etched out identities for themselves and Ron feels there isn't anything left for him.  He's insecure.  He's never sure if Hermione loves Harry more than she does him.  He believes for the longest time that she would choose The Chosen One over him any day of the week. He sometimes feels his mother loves his sister and even more than him.  His sister is the girl his parents always wanted.  Sometimes he thinks Harry's the son his mother wishes she had.  He doesn't feel he's worthy.  It's not true, but try telling Ron that!  He gets jealous easily.  He's jealous of Viktor Krum taking Hermione to the Yule Ball. He's jealous of Harry for entering and becoming a Triwizard Champion.  In the end, he always finds out he has nothing to be jealous about, but he has to learn his lesson first.

I also like Ron because he's funny.  He's got some of the best lines in the books.
"When we come face-to-face with one down a dark alley, we're going to be having a shufti to see if it's solid, aren't we, we're not going to be asking, 'Excuse me, are you the imprint of a departed soul?"

 He's Harry and Hermione's connection to the wizarding world.  They learn about it through him.
"Hearing voices no one else can hear isn't a good sign, even in the wizarding world."

Most importantly, he came back.  Book 7, he left.  But, he came back.  He came back to Hermione.  He came back to Harry.  He came back to the Horcrux Hunt, to fighting Voldemort, to making sure the wizarding world would be a safer place to live.

30 Day Harry Potter Challenge: Least Favorite Book in the Series

With the Thanksgiving holiday I got busy and forgot to post my Harry Potter meme for those two days so I'll do #2 now, #3 in another post, and then after that the one for today.

Least Favorite Book in the Series

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  I felt when reading it that it's formula was way too much like Sorcerer's Stone.  After rereads I have liked the book more, but it is still my least favorite.  That's not saying a lot since I rank each book so high.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

30 Day Harry Potter Challenge: Favorite Book in the Series

Yes, I'm a Harry Potter Fan.  I found this 30 Day Meme on tumblr.  I don't have a tumblr account, but I was searching yesterday for funny HP images and came across this meme and thought I'd try it out.  This one is listing favorites/least favorites/most whatever from the series--one a day.  I'll be doing this for thirty days.

Favorite Book in the Series

This changes all the time, but I think I'm going to go with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.  Ron is my favorite character and he has a great sense of humor in this book.  I do not like him dating Lavender and being in the fight with Hermione, but there is so much humor and depth in the book.  It's one of the most fun for me to read.  I can open up to any chapter and enjoy it.  Ron has some of his best lines in this book.

Live! With Regis and Kelly: Regis's Farewell Special 11-18-2011

I taped Regis's final episode of Live! and am now watching it (it's Tuesday at 8:30AM).  He's about to walk onstage with Kelly and it's already making me tear up.  I'm not a faithful watcher of Live! but I do love Regis Philbin.  I watched the Katie Couric special on Thursday and am wondering why they didn't put anything from Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on there.  BTW, Donald Trump has an awfully weird smile (he's in the audience).   Showing imitations of Regis, Jimmy Fallon sounded a lot like him.  New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made an appearance.  Ah, Regis fell off a bike last Thursday.  Well, he doesn't look hurt.  Bloomberg gave Regis a key to the city.  I knew when he stepped on stage that is what he would be giving him.  No surprise. ;)  There's a picture of actress Emma Stone in the audience when she was younger.  Haha.

Kelly's tearing up.  She's been there for 11 years with Regis.  This is Regis's show.  Starting Monday (well, that would be yesterday) she'll be the host without her Regis, but in my heart and everyone else, I know, it's his show.  I think Kelly worked better with Regis than Kathy Lee for she let Regis be the leader and didn't try to dominate.

Kelly wrote a speech and she's trying to read it, but she's choking up.  Regis said he wouldn't cry, but I think he's tearing up, too.

The song "Seasons of Love" sung by the Broadway cast of Rent was changed to honor Regis.  995,600 minutes.  Regis is crying!  He said he wouldn't and he is!  Beautiful tribute.  Absolutely beautiful.

Walt Disney Executive Bob Iger introduced a plaque at the front entrance of the building honoring Regis Philbin so everyone who enters will remember.

I always said if I ever became famous there were three shows I would do interviews on: The Today Show, The Tonight Show, and Live! I don't know if I'm taking Live! off now that Regis is gone.  I'm not famous.  I have no one calling me to want to interview.  That would be one boring interview, I tell you. But, I do like to daydream about the what ifs.

People like Regis Philbin don't come around everyday.  He is great at hosting his morning show and when he hosts other things, like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. "Is that your final answer?"  He's likeable.  I don't know if he's really a nice guy, but he's got a good personality on TV and that's what matters for the job he's in.  My mother said she didn't like him at first, I guess when he was on The Joey Bishop Show, but as he became a morning show staple with Live! Everything changed and he was likeable.

Thank you, Regis!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Meaning Behind the Name

Polliwog is a nickname given to me as a young child by my uncle.  I don’t understand how it came about, but I love it.  So, this is The Polliwog Blog.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

2012 E-Book Challenge

It is time for the 2012 E-Book Challenge.  OK, no.  It's not 2012 and no, it doesn't start before 2012.  It's time for sign-ups.  The challenge used to be hosted by The Ladybug Reads, but she has decided not to host it.  Workaday Reads (a blog I visit quite frequently thanks to being an email subscriber) won the lottery to be the host now.  To sign up, check out this post on Workaday Read's blog.

I do read ebooks.  I don't have a portable ereader like a Kindle, Nook, or Sony, but I do use my laptop.  There are places all over the net to get free ebooks.  They aren't The Hunger Games or The Help books, but they are good.  Places I visit:,, and  I got to read the first book in the Terri Blackstock Restoration Series for free.  It's a good marketing tool as it has made me want to read the rest of the series, which cannot be found for free.  Also, Kindle and Nook have free applications for iPad, iPhone, Macs, and PCs, so you don't have to actually own one of the devices.

I'm starting out at the CD level of 10 ebooks, but if I feel I can reach a higher level I may move up.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Book Review: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

        This is a book many students are assigned to read in school.  I was not assigned it.  Not every book on the book list gets assigned to every class.  This was one other classes read, but mine missed out on.  I won from the book Hester by Paula Reed.  This book takes place after The Scarlet Letter.  Perhaps I should have read The Scarlet Letter first, but I didn't.  I knew enough about the book to understand Hester.  After reading that book I found DailyLit, a website that sends emails of free books.  I signed up for The Scarlet Letter

        The story was very confusing to follow.  I knew the crux of it, girl has an affair with a preacher gets pregnant and has to wear a scarlet A on her chest every day.   I think if I had not read it so slowly I might have understood the story better.  I read the book on my computer so it wasn't always available for me to pick up or take places.

        The following is my summary of the story, if you do not want to be spoiled, do not read ahead, thank you.

        The story is set in 17th century Boston.  Hester Pryne has given birth to a daughter named Pearl.  An onlooker ascribes she was waiting for her husband, who sent her to America ahead of him.  While waiting she  committed adultery and he never arrived.  The onlooker is her husband, now going by the name Roger Chillingworth.  Only Hester knows this.

        Hester does not admit who the father is.  She is shunned by the community and I suspect she doesn't want him shunned either.  The father is the minister.  Surprisingly, Chillingworth moves in with him and ends up figuring out the minister's, Arthur Dimsdale, connection to his wife.

        Dimsdale tries to punish himself for his sins.  He doesn't want Pearl to acknowledge him.  Hester wants Chillingworth to stop with Dimsdale's pain, but he won't do it.

        Hester and Dimsdale plan to leave for England.  Hester takes off her letter which bothers Pearl for she does not know her without it.  Chillingworth finds out of their travel and schedules the same boat.  Dimsdale reveals himself to the town as Hester's lover and dies.

        A year later Chillingworth dies. No one knows what happened to Hester and Pearl except that they are not to be found in Boston.  She returns later with the A still on her chest and without her daughter who married someone.  Hester dies and is buried next to Dimsdale.  The end.

Video: Sony Shareholder Meeting 2009/Did You Know?

This is the video Sony played at their 2009 shareholder meeting.  I recieved it in my email this week and want to share it with you all. Check it out.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Book Review: At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks

         At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks is the sequel to True Believer.  The first book introduces readers to Jeremy Marsh, a writer for a science magazine, who comes to the small town of Boone Creek, NC to investigate mysterious lights at a cemetery.  He meets and falls in love with the town librarian, Lexie Darnell, who tries her hardest not to fall in love with him.

        At First Sight starts where True Believer leaves off.  Lexie is pregnant and it's a girl, as predicted by her grandmother, Doris, whose psychic ability is to correctly guess the sex of unborn babies.  This story deals with the trials and tribulations of an engaged couple expecting a child.  It deals with Jeremy moving from New York City to Boone Creek and suffering from writer's block.  Lexie's ex-boyfriend, her best friend, Jeremy's best friend, and the crazy mayor play into the drama surrounding their lives along with mysterious emails sent to Jeremy.

        Lexie appears a tad different to me in this book than in True Believer, but it could be because she is with Jeremy and not trying to not get with him.  Also,  I didn't feel the same connection to the town as the last one, but this story isn't about the town.  At First Sight moves a lot faster than True Believer and there is less character development.  It is the sequel with most of the characters introduced in the first book, so development is not needed, but it does feel missing.

        They say the ending is surprising.  They were not kidding!  It was nothing I expected. I expected a lot.
        I thought the baby would die or we would find out the baby was Rodney's and not Jeremy's or Lexie would leave Jeremy for Rodney or something along those lines.  I don't want to give away the ending as that would ruin the entire story, but it is not what anyone or at least not what I expected.  I don't cry while reading, but this was one time I was almost on the brink of tears.
        I wish books had spoiler tags so if/when your eyes glance over to the next page you won't accidentally get spoiled.  I'd read the left page, my eyes would casually glance over to the right page, and I'd see something spoilerish.  Ah, well.

        Nicholas Sparks is a great storyteller.  I did not plan on finishing the book this morning, but I couldn't put it down.  I had to know the ending.

     I give this book 4/5 stars.

I was not contacted by anyone to review this book.  I read it for pure pleasure.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Welcome to my blog!

I started this up in 2009, but just as quickly abandoned it. I've decided it's time for me to start back up. This is going to be a place where I discuss my opinions and thoughts on various things like sports, religion, and politics. I will also include book reviews and list giveaways, mostly those given by others, but it's a good place to find those you didn't know about. Another thing I will do is share pictures and videos I find on the internet and take myself.  If I can't share what's the point?

Let me start the whole thing off by telling you a little bit about myself. I'm 29 years old and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (known as UNCC and athletically, Charlotte) with a degree in English. I love to read and write. I love watching sports, especially baseball, especially the Atlanta Braves. They are my passion. Other sports teams I enjoy following are Charlotte 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, and Carolina Panthers. I also play the flute and piccolo in my church orchestra.

The most important thing about me is I'm a Southern Baptist. I'm not blinded that I don't like you if you're not my religion, much less my denomination. I love everyone no matter who you are and what you do. Christianity covers every aspect of everything I do. I don't just stick with religious stuff. I do branch out to the secular world, but I do have my limits.

Oh yes, I must also mention I am a huge Harry Potter fan. My favorite is Ron because I relate to him most and I am a huge R/Hr shipper!