211. GIFs.

I’ve only started to embrace the use of GIFs in the past year — anyone who had access to my emails would easily see that — which means this is the first year that #hpmarathon would include them.

Found myself wondering what all of them compiled together would look like and if it would tell a story. So…

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210. Logical.

Actually, I’m highly logical which allows me to look past extraneous detail & perceive clearly that which others overlook.

– Hermione Granger, delivering one of my favorite lines of the entire series

209. #hpmarathon.

It all started in college.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was set to premiere, and I was going to do it up right, dammit. This was, after all, the first time that I’d be seeing any of the movies from the franchise in the company of friends and not my younger brother. There would be a group of us. We would go at midnight. We would have costumes. It would be glorious.

But first, I was going to have to watch all the other movies beforehand.

Friend/then-roommate Amy and I hosted a week of watching the previous five films at our house. We didn’t think of it as a marathon exactly, though I did tweet about the venture.

With that, a tradition was born.

For the two Deathly Hallow movies, I did the same thing; I’d attempt to watch all of the other movies before going to see the latest release in the theaters. It didn’t quite work out (I think I ended up watching HBP after seeing DH part 1), but I remained committed.

Then 2012 happened, and I found myself sad at the prospect of not being able to marathon HP movies before any sort of release. My childhood had ended the previous year, with me bawling my eyes out in a theater sometime way past midnight and then having to get my sluggish self to work the next morning.

But maybe it didn’t have to be over. Maybe I could rewatch all the movies and tweet my heart out anyway.

I decided to try to center the event around Harry’s birthday, July 31. I watched all of the movies from start to finish over the course of several days, livetweeted every single one and probably lost many followers in the process.

Last year, I did it again. And this year, I’ve marched onward. Tonight marked the 2014 viewing of HBP. If I watch the next two movies as planned over the next couple days, I’ll actually finish on Neville Longbottom’s birthday, which is very acceptable to me (because Neville = BAMF).

And while I’m sure the tweets annoy the hell out of some people, I know others seem to be entertained:

I picked up the first Harry Potter book when I was 11 years old, the same age Harry was in Sorcerer’s Stone. And if #hpmarathon is a way for me to relive part of my childhood once a year, then you can bet I’m not stopping anytime soon.

208. Pirates.

Had book club today, but alas, did not finish the book — Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown — before we actually started. Probably would have finished had I not baked a pie for said club. However, it was agreed upon that in the spirit of the book, the pie was much more important.

While I’ve heard several spoilers about how the second half of the book goes, I still can’t wait to finish reading it (indeed, will likely go upstairs and read it before bed right after I post this). Pirates! Food! The open sea! Who can ask for more?

207. Battleship.

A few months ago, friend Will came up with the idea of combining the board game Battleship with beer. Basically, if you get a hit, you have to drink a shot of beer. He also added a new rule: if you hit a mine, you actually had to take a shot of liquor of the other team’s choice.

Pure brilliance, obviously. Will had it set up at his spring party, but alas, no one ever got around to playing it that night.

That changed today, when he hosted this month’s beer club. Friend Sara and I took on Team Jason to play the inaugural game, and we won! Admittedly, our victory may have been due to some questionable record keeping, but we’ll take it.

206. WNBA.

Went to my first WNBA game with friends Mackenzie and Emily tonight. I’m not a big basketball fan, but it was a lot of fun. Got into the game (Washington Mystics vs. Tulsa Shock), enjoyed watching some kids play on the court, laughed at the promotional games the played. All in all, it was a good time, and as we’ve decided that we need to go to more of these games, I look forward to the next one.

205. Curious.

Saw a broadcast of National Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time with friends Emily and Sara. It was sheer brilliance, both emotionally and technically. I can’t get over how breathtaking the production was, with the movement and the lighting and minimal props perfectly in sync.

I now must read the source material and see the production when it arrives on Broadway. It was that good.

204. Nevada.

How does a girl from Nevada end up in Washington, D.C.?

A question I ask myself often, this time posed by someone I interviewed this afternoon.

203. Analogy.

I think that some years of your life are fantastic and some years of your life are crappy. To me, that’s just how it works out. Friend Amy disagreed with this premise, saying that both good and bad things happen in a year, so you can’t really say one way or another.

That led to me making the following analogy:

A year in one’s life is like a baseball season. Some years are terrific and some are godawful. But wherever a year falls on the spectrum, it’s always going to have both wins and losses. A bad year doesn’t mean you didn’t win at all, and a good year doesn’t mean nothing horrible happened.

Of course, Amy doesn’t care for baseball, so it was wasted on her. But I stand by what I said.

202. Street.

Got the chance to edit a few stories written by an intern at Street Sense, D.C.’s biweekly newspaper about homeless issues, at a session at the National Press Club. We went over a number of things, from digging into colorful details and organizing a story to writing ledes and placing yourself in the reader’s shoes. It was nice to talk with someone about the storytelling process.

I hope she found it helpful, but I think it was good for me, too. Sometimes, saying the things I know out loud helps me remember them myself, if that makes sense.