Sunday, July 22, 2007

All Hallows Ball

As I posted early Saturday morning, Erik, Noah, and I went to the All Hallows Ball at Borders Friday night so that I could pick up the 7th Harry Potter Book. It was a lot of fun, but it was very crowded. Erik didn't want to dress up, but Noah and I did. I wore a long, black abaya that looks like a robe from the movie and I dressed up Noah as Draco Malfoy. (I guess that would make me Draco's mom, Narcissa, but that wasn't my intention). I drew him a little Slytherin badge and made a silver and green scarf. I know I'm biased, but he was adorable! Why Draco, you may ask? Because Noah has blonde hair and looks a lot like Draco from the films. If he had red hair, he would have been Ron, black hair Harry, etc. I met up with Becca there and after I dropped Erik off at home, I went back at 1:30. Since my wristband color had already gone, I got to go to the front of the line. After discussing the various theories with Becca and finally getting Noah to go to sleep at 2:30 in the effin' morning, I finally got to go home and read. I finally went to bed around 4:15 and made it through 83 pages. Now I am to 320 pages and am having a really hard time avoiding spoilers from the various news outlets. If I find out the beginning accidentally, I will go on a murderous rampage. I've waited much too long to have it spoiled. Books like those in this series don't come along every day. In any case, we had a lot of fun!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

It's finally here!

I have, in my hands at 3:00 am July 21, 2007, the seventh Harry Potter book. Although I have been waiting a long time, I know many people have been waiting much, much longer. Before I started reading, I thought I would post something so that I can better savor the moments before I begin this final book. This is the final book of what is probably the most enjoyable series of books that I have ever read and I have to admit that I'm a little sad that I didn't discover the books sooner, and that after this, they will be finished. We went to the All Hallows Ball at Borders tonight and it had such an incredible energy. I'll post on that tomorrow. Alright, here I go...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Review of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Note: If you haven't read the book and want to be surprised at the movie, don't read any further!!!

My husband and I went on a date Saturday night for the first time since February. We went to see "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." We also thought that was pretty exciting because the last movie that we saw in a theatre was "Revenge of the Sith" when The Potentate was five months old and he nursed himself to sleep through the first hour of the film.

We went at 6:45 and the theatre wasn't nearly as packed as we thought it would be.
Order of the Phoenix was very well done. It was kept short, which is important. The books, especially this one, are very long and extremely detailed. So much of that is Harry's angst and thoughts, which obviously can't be expressed in film. Of course, the movie-only Potter fan will miss a lot. There is no way that all of the details can be captured in the movie so my theory is, why try? Just read the books! Although I really enjoyed the last four films, they went on so long that I was hoping someone would die and it would be over. This version didn't have that problem and so it is possible to keep your attention span the entire time. The story was altered considerably more than in the other films due to the brevity of the film. Always my favorite, Alan Rickman as Professor Snape was fabulous. There definitely wasn't enough of Professor McGonagall. I am learning to tolerate the new Dumbledore. This movie was definitely a better fit for him as he grows more distant and eccentric. I don't think Dolores Umbridge was evil enough, but perhaps that was for the best. The best new and anticipated character, Bellatrix LeStrange, played by Helena Bonham Carter didn't disappoint. She was just as creepy and demented as I had hoped she would be. Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort was very good, but give him a nose already. He is the most powerful dark wizard ever, he grew an arm back for Wormtail; he can't give himself a nose? C'mon. I think the future filmmakers are going to have a difficult time explaining the storyline with Dudley, Uncle Vernon, and Aunt Petunia since it was skimped over in such great detail. There is a very strong foreshadowing in the 5th book that Aunt Petunia is a squib or a closet witch, and J.K. Rowling herself has said that there is more to Aunt Petunia than meets the eye. We'll see. The death of Sirius Black was unemotional and distant, almost exactly like the book. I was sad in the book and the movie when Cedric died. Once again, not when Sirius Black died, which leads me to believe that he will be the character that gets a reprieve in the 7th book. He was killed with a red stunning curse, not a green death curse. We'll see. Harry won't be left without any family, mark my words. Ron and Hermione rocked as always. Evanna Lynch's performance as Luna Lovegood was pure genius. The whole theatre roared with laughter when, before the infamous kiss, Harry exclaimed that the mistletoe must be filled with nargiles. It was the perfect icebreaker before a first kiss that everyone dreams about. All and all, despite the fact that the 5th book is commonly people's least favorite, the film was very entertaining and fulfilling. It is definitely worth seeing!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

It's 3:00 am and I'm blogging?

I have been up trying to finish my fact sheets for Youth for Technology. They are a group that I do online volunteer work for and they are amazing. However, this week has been so busy that I haven't completed them yet. Time is of the essence because Njideka, the amazing woman who runs YTF, is leaving for Nigeria and Uganda on a working trip for several weeks on Monday and needs the fact sheets in hand. Of course, they need to be edited and then made to look "pretty."
I had planned to finish both earlier this evening but my mom made a surprise visit after work and my dear friend Allison, who recently moved to Indiana for graduate school, was in town and so I met with her and some other of my hijabi friends for dinner. Now I'm finished with the one fact sheet, and I'm gonna have to finish the other one tomorrow because it is 3:00 am and I am exhausted. The Potentate and Male are fast asleep and the only thing keeping me company is a Family Guy Marathon on Cartoon Network. I like Family Guy, but how much can a person watch?
It's really getting to my head (giggity). Alright, to bed I go...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July to all! Once again, I haven't posted anything forever because, for one, there simply isn't anything interesting going on, and two, I have been going to Dog Days (community fitness program) every night. In June, it was only twice a week, but now that it is July it is Monday through Thursday. I've also been doing online volunteer work for a group called Youth for Technology, and of course, tending to my young potentate. There just isn't enough time in the day, ever.

My 4th was good. We went to visit the Brunin side of the family. It wasn't at the usual place, but it was a nice change. As luck would have it, we missed the tornado warning for our area. We haven't had a single severe storm this year, not one, we go out of town for one day and all hell breaks loose. I like storms so missing the only severe storm here this year is a bummer. What can I say, a love of storms runs in the family!

Of course, it wouldn't be the 4th of July if I didn't do a little Bush bashing in honor of Independence Day. Since he is about one step away from declaring himself supreme dictator, wait, let me rephrase, since Cheney is about to declare himself dictator, I figure I might as well say what I can say, while I can say it. Of course, considering that Cheney can't even figure out which branch of the government that he belongs in, maybe we needn't worry about him taking over.

As we watched the fireworks last night, with the patriotic music playing in the background, I sat by myself and reflected on what the 4th of July really means. Independence? Freedom? Fighting unjust wars that we have no hope of winning in the name of national security and the war on terrorism? Having a Marine brother fighting a war in Iraq that I have rabidly opposed since before it even began adds an entirely new perspective. I was fine until they played the Marine Hymn. I sat by myself and wept. How can a country that used to be so proud and noble have slipped to such a level? Most Americans are awakening from the patriotic fog that has surrounded them for the past several years and realizing that every time a young American dies in Iraq and Afghanistan, we as a country die a little as well. These young men and women are our future and everyone time one of them dies, it is like the future of this country dies. These are strong, noble people who believe in fighting for their country regardless of whether the mission is right or not. Military families grow a little more jaded and perhaps don't believe in democracy as much as they once did. Everyone surrounding the family questions what the young soldiers are injured, dying, or separated from their families for, and quietly lower their head in sorrow. They begin to realize that perhaps the United States isn't as just and free as it once seemed to be and little by little, their faith in this country fades away. Everyone simply accepts their fate and settles into an apathetic existence because, really, what can you do? The truth is, absolutely nothing. Sorry for the rant. I guess I just miss my brother. Happy 4th.