Monday, July 30, 2007

July 30

On this, Harry Potter's birthday, it seems appropriate to post on such a subject. First, background.

I've been in physical therapy for over a month now, recommended so as to do away with residual back and neck pain from my semi encounter.

The Friday before the final Harry Potter book was to be released, I was making conversation with my therapist:

Me: "So have you been following the Harry Potter books?"

Him: "No, but I've been watching the movies and I've really enjoyed those.... That's right, the final book comes out tonight."

Me (likely trying to rein in my anticipation): "Um-hum."

Him: "I hear Harry dies."

Me, aghast: "No! I don't want to know!"

Him, penitent: "Well, I don't know for sure. I think Voldemort has to be destroyed, but maybe Harry doesn't have to be the one to do it. The latest movie had the prophecy stating that they couldn't both live, but my theory is that Dumbledore will be the one to kill him."

Me, admittedly with some spite as I let go the climax of Book 6: "But Dumbledore's already dead..."

Him, as he sees I've had my revenge: "NO!"

Fast-forward one week. The assistant is checking my progress while I am face down. Then I hear a whisper in my ear: "So...does Harry die?" In muted tones, I attempt to fill her in, a difficult task when she hasn't heard of horcruxes nor the Deathly Hallows.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

9:11 PM

Friday night Eric and I made ourselves comfortable in Borders, him with his Aristotle, me with my yarn. We were waiting to purchase the final installment of the Harry Potter series.

My goal was to finish it before returning to work Monday. The primary reason for this is because I have issues with spoilers. I can't even fully enjoy trailers for movies I know we will see; the images stay in my head so that while watching the movie months later, I recognize scenes from the preview and can predict the upcoming dialogue or action scene. Should I learn information about this final book -- will Harry survive? Is Snape truly evil? -- I couldn't fully engage and my enjoyment would be lessened.

My problem was compounded when we ran into a couple high-school students we know, both avid fans. One in particular wanted to discuss certain things he had read online leading up to the release; he'd even looked at what purported to be the leaked book. When conversation steered this way, I slipped in my earphones and departed with my sock, knitting as I wandered around. Since we knew the high-school students from the church youth group we volunteer in, I knew I should now finish before Sunday or chance having details spoiled.

So I wandered with my sock. Trust me, I was not one to draw any attention with my double-pointed needles, as there were far more interesting sights in every direction (one brave man dressed as Hedwig, the owl). My sock only attracted fellow knitters, which allowed for some pleasant diversions throughout the night as they noted my progress (several inches were gained as I patiently waited).

Borders' PA system was broken, so it was difficult to learn how to proceed once midnight came and the variously colored wristbands were to organize; we were to later learn one of their registers had broken down as well, diverting the attention of staff. At 12:40 AM, with no clear end in sight, we bolted for Wal-Mart and secured a copy as soon as we entered the store.

At 1 AM, I was found curled up in my room with the book (Eric had to drive friends to the airport at about 4 AM, so we elected to remain awake until he returned).

Fortunately, I'm a quick reader. By Saturday evening, I had attended a Shakespeare event "Shakescenes," slept 4 1/2 hours, eaten complete meals, and read all 759 pages.

Certainly this book has been greatly hyped and anticipation was high, yet my reception to it was positive. I felt what needed to happen did happen, but so as not to diverge details, you should read it yourself or talk with me in person. I stifled specifics from Eric (no small feat), but had a chance to hash it out with the above-mentioned high schooler this morning.

I encountered this series later than most, discovering it after half of the books has been published, so I don't think I'll suffer the bereavement of those who have followed it from the beginning, especially those who can trace their childhood with the books. Nevertheless, I look forward to rereading the series down the road...likely at a more measured pace.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

First Comes Love, Then Comes Hubris

One perk of timing our anniversary immediately following a national holiday is that we are always guaranteed to have the day before it off, if not an extended weekend.

In fact, we often begin celebrating our anniversary on the Fourth. This year was no different and found us celebrating a nice dinner out last night. We had an anniversary discount, so when our waitress returned to our table with the credit reflected in our bill, she parted with the words, "Happy Fourth!" My instant thought was "How did she know we've been married four years?!" until I realized she was referring to something a little larger than our marriage. Lucky for me that I'll only make that mistake once.

To continue with the literary allusions, we have the anti-Midas touch. In the last week, we have replaced a DVD player, sunk money into my car, tinkered inside a laptop with dubious results, and bemoaned the state of my digital camera as it interchanged between complaints of 'Zoom Error' and 'Focus Error.' Unless it can be revived through some laying on of hands and saintly intercession, I do fear that I will need to send it into the Great Beyond.

You may want to keep us far from appliances, off of airplanes, and away from babies until this passes.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Out of Context

Last week Eric pointed me to an article on Hans Reiser.

I had never heard of this Linux individual before. He's now imprisoned awaiting trial for the murder of his ex-wife. The details surrounding his divorce and his wife's disappearance reads like fiction. I offer one quotation to intrigue you:

"Should the government be keeping me from showing my son how to direct brave goblin suicide bombers against their elven oppressors?"

Sure, it's taken out of context, but now you're curious, aren't you?