J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Loot Crate: “The Ties That Bind”


  • Hogwarts house tie: Ravenclaw
  • Black family tree shawl/scarf
  • The Wand Collection Book
  • Rowena Ravenclaw’s Diadem Pin

The pin is my favorite. Aside from the fact I am an obvious Ravenclaw, it’s just lovely.

I think I can invent a reason to wear that tie… And also learn how to tie a tie…

All in all, if I were to rank these, the book would be on the bottom for its inability to be used in various circumstances. You can wear the rest of this but the book will just BE there. It’s pretty but not practical. Absolutely a super fan item (and I am NOT complaining). The tie would be next, then the scarf, then the pin would be at the top because it is so shiny and cool.

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J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Crate

  • MACUSA desk supply set
  • Honeydukes eraser set
  • Harry Potter’s wand pen
  • Ravenclaw scarf
  • Slazar Slytherin’s locket pin

I honestly feel like these guys are listening to me when I always say to put stationary items in the crates. How awesome is it to put an office memo on Magical Congress stationary!? And have awesome pens and erasers? I love getting things I can actually USE rather than have figures and dolls all vying for space in my house. Collectables are nice but having them EVERYWHERE is clutter and there are only so many t-shirts I can wear.

Even though I probably shouldn’t spare the expense, I found this crate to be worth the money! I love what I’m getting.

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Loot Crate: J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World

  • Percival Graves shirt
  • Professor Umbridge collectible plates
  • Azkaban pencil pouch
  • Chamber of Secrets wax seal set
  • Tom Riddle diary pin

Omg, those plates… XD Those are just the funniest random item.

Fantastic Beasts is the only Potter movie I haven’t seen from the series. And THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for stationary sets. I mean, this is Harry Potter. They use parchment paper and quills; a geeky writer’s dream. This paired with the pencil case made this box for me.

One day when I’m not poor anymore and I can fix up my kitchen, I am hanging those plates. That’s not even a question. The pin? To be honest, it makes me a little nervous. Any dangly things make me nervous. I always think it will catch on something when I wear it or use it and it will break. Does it look cool? Yes. Would I break it like a klutz so I will likely keep it in a case so it’s safe? Yup.

I certainly hope more journals and stationary are in future boxes. When I went to Universal’s Harry Potter world, they had beautiful journals so it would be awesome to get some sort of exclusive journal or pens not seen in the park or in stores. Like an ACTUAL Tom Riddle diary. How amazing would that be!?

But that’s not a drawback or a criticism, just some ideas on what I’d like to see in the future. 🙂

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November Loot Crate: Magic

  • Game of Thrones journal
  • Elder Scrolls pin
  • Dr. Strange Q-Fig
  • Fantastic Beasts Obliviator t-shirt
  • Big Trouble in Little China / Escape From New York Comic

Every time I take the survey for a Loot Crate, I always say more journals and pens and I am happy with this one. I may not be a big Game of Thrones fan but I can dig this journal. The Q-Fig is cute and the pin is nice but the biggest win for me this time is the shirt. I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan so did my little fangirl squee when I saw it.

Overall, mostly awesome but I really don’t have room in my life for so many Q-Figs. I may have to eBay that one so a bigger fan than I can enjoy it.

April Loot Crate: Quest

This month we’ve got:

  • Labyrinth t-shirt
  • D20 ice mold
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End poster
  • Loot Quest pin
  • Vikings Drinking Horn
  • Harry Potter socks

I think my favorite item this month is the ice mold. I can see it getting annoying to make more than one but it would be so cool to have that in a nice glass of iced tea. It’s just awesome!

I have another box from them coming in the next couple days so stay tuned!

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A Generation of Idiots – My Issues With YA

Having watched the Hunger Games recently (no, I haven’t read the books yet… They’re on my list), I have noticed a disturbing trend in YA these days. It’s not the violence, the sex, the vacuous characters (I’m looking at you, Vampire Academy) and it’s not something I noticed when I was a young adult myself but I can see it now as an adult:

Incompetent, stupid, lazy parents/adults. And I mean pull your hair out stupid…

Beginning with the Hunger Games, which cemented this annoyance from me, Katniss Everdeen volunteers as tribute in the death match for her district…

If this is spoilers for you by now, please get out from the rock you’ve been living under.

Anyway, as I watch the movie, Katniss gets stung by super wasps and hallucinates. One of the things she sees implies her father was killed in a mine accident and her mother has been traumatized ever since, leaving Katniss to be “mom” to her younger sister. She is literally screaming and shaking her mother in the vision to get her mother to actually SEE her. Not to mention that the parents don’t go batshit crazy at the THOUGHT of offering up their pre-teens to a death game that will be broadcast for the amusement of others. Defeated in a war or not, I can’t see how an uprising wouldn’t happen at the mere mention of such an edict. The parents are frighteningly complicit (as mocked here).

Then there’s Twilight, where Bella moves in with her dad because her mother is busy traveling with her boyfriend and her father is just plain ignorant of what his daughter is getting up to with a 107 year old vampire. She sits in a room and mopes for three months when Edward leaves (for some reason) and weeks pass before her father even notices something’s up with her. Bella can also manage to drop everything and leave the country with a total stranger (as far as her father is concerned) to face supernatural creatures and he isn’t even informed. Bella’s no toddler (debatable, I know) and it may not be right to compare her to my 6 year old (again, debatable) but if my kid takes too long to get something from the fridge, I go to investigate. I don’t see not figuring out something’s wrong with my kid if she hasn’t left her own room for months… Or left the frigging country.

Harry Potter doesn’t get a pass here, either. Harry’s parents sacrifice their lives for their son and even come back from the dead to help him in battle (again, if these are spoilers for you, what the bloody hell…) but the other authority figures are pretty damn good at allowing small children into deadly situations. Cracked has touched on this (twice) and done a great job of pointing out how kids are sent to deadly places as a punishment, allowed to attend a school where paintings spy on them and the staircases move at a whim (cool for a moment till you think about it…), and you know what? As much as we all love Lupin as a character, he IS a danger to the students! I get you wanna give the guy a fair shot but (again, spoilers if you never saw these) he is just a human being. If he forgets to take his potion for whatever reason, he could turn into a werewolf make a meal of the whole damn school.

Wanna go back further? How long did Buffy’s mom have no clue what her hero daughter was doing? Put aside the gut reaction of “Young lady! You put that stake down and get your hands off that old (but hot) vampire right now and go do your homework!” and think about it for a second: Her daughter was a hero. An awesome hero who literally went to hell and back to save lives. Buffy had her friends, she had Giles (the definition of awesome), but her mom was mostly in the dark and portrayed as a bit of a ditz before she finds out after two years of washing bloodstains out of her daughter’s clothes!! But can you imagine if she’d had her daughter’s back from the beginning!? If she came home at night to a proud mom who had a hot cup of tea and some bandages ready and saying “Great job on saving the world AND getting all your homework done, sweetie.” Because remember, Buffy graduated. Yeah, she’s proud of Buffy later, but at first she saw Buffy as a typical trouble making teen; remaining willfully ignorant of what her daughter is going through. And if you’ve seen the show, Buffy really could have used her mom’s support.

Now, I’m 33 years old but I remember being a preteen and teenager. I thought all adults were idiots and they didn’t get me or understand life the way I did because I was so smrt and knew just ALL the things. But I DIDN’T. Not only did I NOT know everything, I had really smart adults guiding me to make the right decisions in my life. As a parent, I’m a little afraid of the idea being marketed to kids that adults know nothing or are useless.

I get it, though. As a teen, you know more about life yet you are still at the mercy of everything and everyone. Even if you’re one of those responsible, level-headed kids (like I was), you still get the sense you are not in control and you’re being pandered to because of your age. I remember telling adults “I know I don’t know everything, but you’re ignoring what I DO know!” Ya know the shocker? My mother listened. Not all parents/adults are idiots.

Pertaining to the heading, I’m not saying YA is raising a generation of idiots, I’m saying it’s encouraging kids to believe the generation ahead of them is useless to them, can never understand them, never listen to them, and is an implicit danger to them. Of course there are major exceptions (we can start with any adult comic book hero, but again a lot of them had dead/absent parents) but the overwhelming idea is to fear and shun adults because they are either useless or the source of your problems. And it’s scary to see so many of these characters to be unwilling or unable to turn to their parents for help because one day, my daughter may look up to characters like these and assume I’m of no use to her.

Don’t get me wrong; I am completely aware that it is MY job to be a parent and earn my child’s faith that I’m not an idiot and can help her. If I’ve done my job right, I’ll be the first one she comes to. But media has a powerful sway over people of any age (TwiMoms, anyone?) and it scares me how often I watch a movie or a cartoon and think: Where the hell are the parents and why are they morons?! Who keeps letting the Rugrats get more than five feet without supervision?! I wanna smack Timmy Turner’s parents just right in the face… I find myself going back to older cartoons because Kim Possible’s parents were reDONKulously proud of her and – while a bit of a ninny himself – Professor Utonioum was proud of his girls, too.

I’m also a writer. Stories need conflict. It’s kinda the point. And perfect lives don’t make riveting stories or back-stories. “I was born in a perfect family with perfect parents and lived a perfect life till I died of old age surrounded by love. The end.” Better hold on tight for that literary roller roaster. However, the default setting shouldn’t be dead, incompetent, or ignorant (willfully or not) adults, pandering to the worst feelings adolescents have about the world. I would love to see a major franchise sweep the nation for young people showing their parents as a competent support to their children at the very least. It could show them that the world may suck; I have to fight demons, there’s a war, there’s a bully, there are zombies, the sky is on fire, and the aliens stole my lunch money again. But when I came home? My parents told me I did a good job. I got a hug and somebody told me it’s gonna be ok.

And the worst part about all this? As parents they tell us the kids need our attention and support in order to really thrive. The kid’s entertainment tells them in order to be great, their parents need to get the hell out of the way. It shouldn’t be all or nothing here. I tell my daughter we’re a team so her heroes should have parents on their team, too.

Two good things!

One: Mom will be coming home today. I won’t be home when she gets home but knowing she’ll be there makes me happy. I am calmer than I have been in days and never been more happy to be proven wrong in my life! 😀

Two: I got a 5 star review on my lesbian steampunk pr0n! 😀 This sets up a bad precedent to me… XD To celebrate my first 5 star review on my first published short story, I’ve added a poster of the cover art in the Zazzle shop. The art work is once again by the fabulous , who helps me infect the world with my demented ideas. 😉 You can see her comic and more of her art here.

Now that things are settling down, my hand is actually TWITCHING to write. I am not even joking. I feel the pen in my hand like a phantom limb.

Also, I went to see the last Harry Potter movie. To avoid any spoilers I will say only this: I laughed, I cried, I LOVED it. Go see it. 😉