Monthly Archives: July 2007

Nuttier than Squirrel Poo – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Reading Log – Vol. 3

Chapters 18-the end.

  1. “Nuttier than squirrel poo.” Love it.
  2. From a literary standpoint, I’m enjoying the muddying of Dumbledore’s sanctimonious past.
  3. The effect of the Horcrux locket on Harry annoyingly reminds me of Frodo and The One Ring.
  4. Godrick Gryfindor’s sword in frozen puddle = Excalibur being given to Arthur by Lady of the Lake.
  5. It is interesting that such a teetering character as Xenophilius should have that name. Xeno being the Greek word for foreigner or race.
  6. I like that we’re calling Ron “Ginger.”
  7. Is Dobbie the “Second Death”? Can it really be that simple?
  8. Aww… Harry is a Godfather!
  9. Hooray for Aberforth!
  10. “Effing,” “damn” and now “bastards.” This may have to be an R-rated movie!
  11. I’m actually tearing up now that Neville’s “Gran” is so proud of him.
  12. Ooh… Ginny won’t let Harry and Cho be alone… CAT FIGHT!
  13. Could Fleur’s tiarra by the actual diadem?
  14. Everyone is standing up to fight for Hogwarts… it’s just like Braveheart!
  15. Oh, Percy is back. Everyone say hello to Percy.
  16. Lupin calls his wife by her last name (Tonks). That’s very Mr. Todd of him.
  17. Hmmph. I never considered Fred as a posible victim.
  18. Mongonagal’s herd of galloping desks… best mental image ever.
  19. What is up with all this death? Hedwig, Mad-Eye, Fred, Snape, Dobbie, Remus and Tonks… it’s a bleedin‘ shame.
  20. Harry gave his son the middle name, Severus. Kinda cute but creepy too.

What in the Name of Merlin’s Most Baggy Y-Fronts was that about? – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Reading Log – Vol. 2

Chapters 8-17.

  1. Dumbledore didn’t leave me anything.
  2. Harry, bro, forget Ginny. What about Luna? She’s cute enough.
  3. Oh crap, Viktor Krum is back? Run, Hermione! Run! Run to Ronald! It’s your destiny!
  4. Ginny = Ginerva. Hmmph.
  5. “I now declare you bonded for life.” Thought: Can wizards divorce?
  6. I want a (non magical) motorcycle.
  7. Note to self: work “lousy git” into everyday conversations.
  8. Page 191: “blood traitor” and “blood-traitor” appear in the first three lines. Is there a grammatical reason for this I’m just not seeing?
  9. Voldemort moves against the ministry, takes over and begins his anti muggle policies. The parallels to Nazi Germany just keep piling up.
  10. Tonks is pregnant! Did I call the werewolf sex or what?
  11. “What in the name of Merlin’s most baggy Y-fronts was that?” Ron has quite the mouth! And he’s been saying “effing” a lot too. JKR must be getting tired of the kiddie stuff.
  12. Honestly, why don’t Ron and Hermione just shut up and get a room already? You know what they say: “Make-up snogging is the best snogging.”
  13. Why doesn’t Hermione stop pestering Harry about Occlumency. HE CAN’T DO, HERMIONE, GET THAT THROUGH YOUR FUZZY SKULL!
  14. The public toilets I saw in London did not have pull chains to flush them.
  15. Dolores Umbridge would use kitten post-its.
  16. Perkins has lumbago. I’ve always wondered what that is. According to our good friends at Wikipedia,

Lumbago is a term used to refer to low back pain. Such pain may also be accompanied by symptoms that extend to the buttocks, thigh(s) and leg(s) in either a uni- or bi- lateral fashion (but usually only on one side). If the primary symptom is leg pain caused by a compressed nerve in the low back, then the symptoms are usually called sciatica rather than lumbago.
Lumbago may also be accompanied by other symptoms and signs such as loss of
sensation (usually the sole of the foot and posterior aspect of the calf region) and motor function (usually loss of plantar flexion of the foot and toes as well as a diminished ankle jerk reflex) in some areas and back stiffness (pain and rigidity upon movement of the lumbrosacral part of the spine). Other signs include reduced ability to walk or raise one’s foot once straightened.

17. Question: Once Ron and Hermione are pronounced Wizard and Wife and ride off into the sunset to live happily ever after, what is he going to call her for short? Her? Hermie? Sweet Cheeks?

18. James and Lilly died on Halloween. How appropriate.

19. We know wizards (or witches) can marry muggles (See Cattermole). My question is this: How do they meet?

In the Name of Merlin’s Saggy Left… – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Reading Log – Vol. 1

I’ve been at my grandmother’s house doing various chores so I was only able to read for a few hours early this morning. My thoughts (and spoilers) through seven chapters, 138 pages:

  1. Congrats to Tonks and Lupin! Scary Thought of the Day: Honeymoon werewolf sex.
  2. Am I the only one who thinks the Killing Curse (“Adava Kedavra“) sounds suspiciously like “abracadabra?”
  3. Dudley halfway redeems himself? Who woulda-thunk-it?
  4. Mad Eye Mooney: “Even You-Know-Who” can’t split himself in seven.” Only Rowling could make such an obvious nod to the audience’s privileged knowledge and not make it seem hackneyed.
  5. “You-Know-Who” is surprisingly hard to type.
  6. OK, who can honestly say they though Hedwig would bite the dust? I’ll give you $10 on the spot if you for even a second thought that might happen. The more important question: is she one of the two “main characters” destined to die? I say no.
  7. Hagrid dies? In the second chapter? No, wait, he’s OK. Dang it, Rowling! How dare you fool me like that?
  8. Stan Shunpike might really be a Death Eater? Again, who saw that coming?
  9. George loses an ear… could JKR be giving a shout out to Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs? My suggestion is tying an extendable ear to his head.
  10. So Mad-Eye is dead. Honestly, I don’t really care. Plus, that give me more hope that Ron and Hermione get to hook up in the end, get married, and make lots of little magic babies with frizzy red hair.
  11. From a purely philosophical standpoint, I’m disappointed our intrepid trio is dropping out. Maybe they can complete some sort of correspondence course and get their magical GED.
  12. I don’t know why, but I just don’t buy the whole Harry Ginny star crossed lovers thing. Their “snogging” makes me nauseous.
  13. Ron: “Why in the name of Merlin’s Saggy Left…” Coolest quote. Ever.
  14. Oh come on. Ron thinks Mad-Eye might still be alive? First she fakes Hagrids death, now maybe this? I can’t take it! Stop toying with me, JKR!
  15. I need a copy of “12 Fail-safe Ways to Charm Witches.” Amazon.com shows no listing.
  16. New-born unicorns sound unbearably cute.
  17. Mr. Weasley’s patronus is a weasle? Of course!
  18. Why is Lupin acting so weird? Is married life getting to him or is there something else on his mind…

I am Proud to be a Southern Baptist

I am a Southern Baptist for several reasons:

  1. I believe their interpretaion of the Holy Bible has led them to a statement of faith as close to perfection as sinful man has produced.
  2. I believe the Cooperative Program is the most effective way to spread the Gospel to everyone (see Acts 1:8).
  3. OK, so it’s also the tradition I was brought up in. That doesn’t mean, however, that I haven’t seriously questioned and studied my faith as a tradition and come to my own conclusions regarding it’s rightness and truthfulness.

On occasion, I’m not exactly proud to be a Southern Baptist. These would include anytime the late Jerry Falwell opened his mouth, when Bill Clinton (or Jimmy Carter for that matter) profess to be Southern Baptist) or when we as a denomination go off the deep end and do something as stupid and short-sighted as this.

Still there are other times when I am quite proud to be a Southern Baptist and an employee of Southern Baptist churches. Yesterday, I read an article in USA Today that made me very proud.

Among the 30 faith-based disaster relief agencies USA Today was able to track, the SBC is the largest. More than 175,000 Southern Baptists have taken off work and gone to New Orleans to work, sweat and help rebuild what has been called a notorius city of sin. The next largest group, Habitat for Humanity has only sent 71,000.

I’m proud that I’m a [small] part of something so big. Sure, it’s only my money that’s made it’s way to New Orleans, but I have become certified as a Disaster Relief volunteer. Should the need arise, I now know how to make myself useful in a makeshift feeding trailer than can pump out 35,000 hot meals a day.

The point is this: I’m proud that we can focus on “the main thing” and quite literally feed Jesus’ sheep, instead of constantly quibbling about nonsense.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Do you know who I respect? Joe Lieberman.

I don’t agree with him on all issues and I’m very happy he and Gore lost in 2000 (although Lieberman wouldn’t have been that bad a VP… it’s Gore I don’t trust), I respect him a lot for standing up for what he believes, even though it cost him his party and many friends. In a time when Democrats and many Republicans are ready to throw in the towel in Iraq just because things aren’t as easy as they hoped (that, or they hate GWB), Lieberman has the courage to stand up and support it, no matter how unpopular it makes him. Whether you agree with him on that issue or not (I happen to), there’s no doubt he believes in it with all his heart and will not back down just gain some political capital.

I salute you, Joe Lieberman. The world needs more people who stand firm in their convictions regardless of party.

Confessions of a Former Harry Hater

Another title could be, I become the 8 gazillionth person to make the following observations about the Harry Potter series.

I freely admit it. I was a Harry Hater. Thankfully I wasn’t one of those who thought the popular series smelled of the Occult*, but I still was adamantly opposed to the books (and by extension the movies). I worked in a book store my senior year of high school and had witnessed Harry Pottermania first hand. How could anything that popular among kids be worth while? Judging by the titles (by then I think only the first three books had been released), they seemed like a cheap, bastardized, dumbed-down version of Tolkien. I refused to jump onto the Magic Bandwagon, or even to “waste my time” giving it a fair shake.

That was until summer 2004 when I was reluctantly compelled to attend the opening night of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Although entering a book series had prejudged by seeing the third film adaptatgion was certainly not ideal. I was hooked. I was amazed at how intricate the plot was (and at how much more intricate the plot of the book must have been), the care with which the CGI was done (Buckbeak looks just as real as Hermione), but most off with the characterizations.

I’ve never exactly been a huge fan of Harry himself, but I instantly fell in love with the Hermione-Ron dynamic and I knew all the way through the movie there was something suspicious about Prof. Lupin (amazingly, I connected his name to “wolf” but failed to recognize him as a werewolf). Alan Rickman’s (bless his British heart) performance was so spot on that I left the theater asking my much more Harry-proficient friend as to whether he was a good guy or bad guy.

And the things I loved about the movie were even more pronounced once I got home and ordered the books.

Rowling does an amazing job with her characters and making us care. I’m a 25-year grad student who enjoys a good dose of German cinema now and again, yet I’m so invested in Ron and Hermione hooking up, living happily ever after, and making lots of wizard and witch babies that I can’t stand it. When rumors surfaced that two main characters would lose their lives in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, my concern was not about Harry (like the rest of the reading world) but for these two star-crossed should-be lovers. If they don’t hook up when I read the new book in nine days I will scream.

Plot twists and misdirection are clearly two Rowling’s strengths. We know the witch or wizard who helms the Defense Against the Dark Arts post will be hiding something each new year, but I defy you to guess what that something is. OK, so it was pretty obvious with Gilderoy Lockheart in Chamber of Secrets, but he’s the exception. Did you have any idea that Mad Eye Moody was actually a death eater using the Polyjuice poition? No, and I defy you to tell me you weren’t blown away when it turned out that Slughorn would be teaching potions and NOT DAtDA.

But the thing that amazes me most about Rowling’s writing is her ability to mine the slightest detail from book one to make a major plot point in book 6. The polyjuice potion is one example, but so other more seemingly insignificant details. Characters pop in and out, previous throw away comments take on more meaning, etc. One example -and this one is from a single book! – if Ron hadn’t broken his wand in the beginning of Chamber, how would he and Harry have escaped Lockhart? The Neville-Harry meta-physical connection is just another of a multitude of examples.

All this to say, I’m offically a member of the Harry Potter Nation. I happily showed up, ticket in hand for the 12:01 opening of HP and the Order of the Phoenix ** and I’m having my pre-ordered copy of HP and the Deathly Hallows sent to my grandmother’s house because I’ll be in OKC the day of the release.

The bottom line? HP rocks.

* for the record, Magic is used in the Harry Potter Universe not as “power” per se, but as a technological skill. Thus my logic for giving it a pass.

** I did NOT dress up.

Behind closed doors

I absolutley hate executive session.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!