Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hallows, Hallows. I'm in a place called vertigo

Huh. That title isn't the best, but, eh. I'm rusty. It's been a while since I've blogged.

It's been a week since we finished reading HP&tDH, so it's (beyond) time that I discuss it, no? I mean, a week is plenty of time for me to accio thoughts. That being said, I'm guaranteeing now that a) they won't be presented in a logical flowing manner and 2) there's most likely not going to be anything uniquely insightful or groundbreaking discussed. But, you know, read it anyway, because it's my POV and I'm asking nicely. :)

I probably don't really need to tag this, but I'm going to anyway, because how often does one get a chance to genuinely use spoiler tags? Also, I have more integrity than the New York Times.
[this was cross posted on the WD]
[begin spoiler for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - highlight to view]
As Steph pointed out in her review (go read it! It's really good!), this book was the most 'human' of them all.
As such, I have complex feelings about the book. Just like I do people I know. There is good and bad in all of us, and there is good and bad in HP&tDH.

One of the things I thought was very well done was the interweaving of all the previous book's occurances. Rather than having a bunch of backstory at the beginning (the 'previously' section that took up a lot of time in all the earlier books), it was worked into the narrative throughout. Clever!

The downside to that, though, was that it seemed like Rowling wanted to tie up *everything* that she'd had in the previous books. Which, um, you know, is good, especially since this was the final installment, but ...I'm not explaining myself very well. Let's see, how to put this? It seemed that some of the callbacks were ...gratuitous? And of course, I can't think of any examples right now, so, just pretend that this whole paragraph never happened. *casts memory charm*

I still find it hilarious that a good portion of the heroes are high school dropouts. Harry, Ron, Hermione (!!!!), Fred, George, Neville... all left Hogwarts prior to graduation.

It bummed me out having Dumbledore's memory tarnished, but it was also a very brave thing of JK Rowling to do. It made him more human, more real, more flawed, and in a lot of ways, more respectable as a result. Although I have qualms about the fact that Dumbledore would be looking for the Deathly Hallows when he had access to the Sorcerer's Stone all along. (And that makes me wonder if he truly did destroy it as he claimed he did at the end of Book 1. [eyebrow])

Deaths. [sigh]

Freakin' Hedwig, man. The two things that upset me about this (other than the death itself) was that Harry & Hedwig didn't end on good terms. Hedwig was pissed at Harry for having kept her cooped up, and they didn't get a chance to make-up. Also, the grieving stage seemed awfully brief. I mean, yeah, there were Death Eaters chasing them, and the Order may have been infiltrated, and nobody knew where half the Order was or who was still alive, but ...dude. She's been your companion for 7 years. Show some respect.

Dobby. Dobby, Dobby, Dobby. [sigh] This death had the right touch to it. The mourning stage was adequete, the death was touching and shocking and ... Freaking Bellatrix, man.
It was interesting, though, that both Dobby & Hedwig were killed by things that were intended to kill Harry, and that both of the characters were as innocent as you can get. There is undoubtedly a lot of symbolism about sacrifice in there that I will leave to smarter folks to analyze. [up]

Fred's death, strangely, didn't really bother me. I think because Amy had predicted it, and I was expecting it.

Tonks and Lupin, however, did. I mean, it was bloody obvious as soon as they asked Harry to be Godfather that they were doomed, but when it happened, my reaction was still, "But they just had a baby!!!"

Snape's death hit me about three days after the book was done. The fact that he looked into Harry's eyes - which were Lily's eyes - as he died simply made me unbelievably sad.

What else?
Weird theories/ideas time:

Umbridge was totally in love with Frank Longbottom.
I mean, if Snape was in love with Lily Potter, then obviously, Dolores must have had some unrequited love as well, no?
Well, I'm sticking with my Umbridge/Longbottom ship until I hear proof otherwise from Ms. Rowling herself.

Also - Dudley? He totally grew up to become the next Dark Lord. I don't care what ANYONE says, or how much canon it goes against. Dudley Dursely eventually performed magic. And eventually, that magic was Dark Magic. And eventually, he began to raise an army of Death Eaters. Oh yes. It happened.

And lastly, wand issues.

1) Why don't wizards have more than one wand? I was trying to think what wands would be analogous to in the Muggle world - cell phones? Pencils? Guns? Car keys? Probably something near all of those, but really, don't you think that a wizard would want a spare wand or two just in case something happened to their main stick?

2) Underage wizards don't need wands to perform magic. So why do older wizards? I *think* it's because the wand helps direct the spell, and therefore acts as a sort of tool that the wizards use. But still, doesn't that mean that a spell *could* be cast without a wand? (It would just be ...diluted, I guess? A curse intended for one person would kinda spread out and might hit the target, might not, and even if it did, it wouldn't be as powerful as if it were cast with a wand in hand.)
That being said... Voldemort's killing curse rebounding makes absolutely no sense. The wand doesn't control the spell. And even if it does, it doesn't control the spell after it's been sent. Guns don't control the bullets that they shoot once they're in the air. So the Avada Kedvra should have, at the very least, have simply not effected Harry. Bouncing off and hitting Tom Riddle is not really plausible. (Also, it makes for a highly tragic book. I said many times that Book 7 would be completley sad if Voldemort died. And lo and behold, he did. [crying])

But, of course, the answer to any inconsistencies is "A wizard did it."
[end spoiler]

Feel free to discuss the book/my thoughts/your thoughts/whatever in the comments. Anyone that has gotten this far, and looks at the comments and expects to NOT be spoiled is asking for a bit much, in my opinion.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Borders lines

(If you're anything like me, you now have Madonna in your head. I'm sorry. Actually...If you're anything like me, I'm sorry.)

So the other day we went to Borders, and I used their restroom.

Bathroom graffiti has always been interesting to me. Complete strangers leaving (usually profane) messages for each other, really bad spelling, pictures of naked body parts ...it's like the computerless internet!

Here's what I saw this time around:
Someone had drawn (a pretty good likeness) George Bush's face, and given him a Hitler mustache. Next to it, they had written FUCK BUSH.

Someone else (I assume) had drawn a body for BusHitler. Except that it was a female body. And it was, of course, naked and spread eagle. Near the vagina, they had written FUCK THIS BUSH, with an arrow helpfully pointing.

On the far wall was written (and painted over, but still visible) the words: WORK IS SLAVERY

Below that were two other notes:
"Whoever wrote that is a lazy fucker"
"He must depend on the gov't 4 cash"

I need to remember to start bringing a pen into the public bathrooms...

Monday, July 09, 2007

Oh my god, you look like a frog.

Movie status: Awesome. Left a lot of stuff out from the book, of course, and ultimately, nowhere near as great as one's imagination from reading the words, but still a very very enjoyable time.

We got there an hour early (!!!!) and there were STILL about 80-100 people in line in front of us. Muggles are crazy!

Spoiler tag time!
[begin spoilers for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - highlight to view]
Best scene straight away, without question - the fight in the Ministry. Totally. Awesome. Dude. Voldemort vs Dumbledore is the fight of the century (um..to date, anyway. [wink])

Other great and/or memorable things:

"Nice one, James!" = Aww.

Snape's worst memory was not seen through a Pensieve, but it worked pretty well the way it was shown.

Umbridge you're going down! (Hee!)

Actually, the casting choices and/or acting for Umbridge, Luna, and Bellatrix LeStrange are inspired. Great jobs, all around.

Huh. I just realized that there were no ghosts in this movie.

The Dementors have changed their appearance from last time. Unsure how I feel about this development.

They also changed the way that the fireplace communication goes on. Not really for the better.

Bellatrix is wicked.
Her 'escape' from Azkaban was goosebumpy.

Grawp actually looked pretty cool. Although I got flashes of Alfred E. Newman for some reason a couple of times.

Kreacher, despite only being onscreen for a few minutes, gave me the creeps. He gives off the 'ticking time bomb' vibe very well.

The Black Family Tree was shown for a while, and I spent the time looking at the background, trying to find Regulus and/or any other "R" name. Where's the pause button when you need it?

Ron's "fight the man" fist thing? Um. Not in the movie!

Neither was Hermione! (Hee.) Yes, she was, of course. We joked beforehand about all the things that they would not be able to include from the books, and I said, "What if Hermione's not in this one?" And then said that I would have to include that joke in my blog. Done and done.

Fred & George's fireworks scene, while pretty damn cool, still didn't quite measure up to the images in my mind. There were sinister wheees, though! When the decrees exploded, I have to admit I felt like cheering.

Hilarious lines:
"He's back!"
"You may not like it, but you have to admit.... Dumbledore's got style."
"That's clever, Ron." "It's been known to happen."
"Oh, there are plenty of things I'd like to say."
"I may vomit." (heh. Snape.)

[end spoiler]

And now, it's pretty late at night, and I have to wake up an ungodly hour. But in the end, I think having seen HP&tOotP [2 days before it's release, even!] was worth it.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Did I mention

Things I've been meaning to blog about

1) The heat
2) Harper's birthday
3) The heat
4) The heat
5) The heat
6) The trip to the Kwik-E-Mart
7) Work
8) The unbearable, excessive heat
9) Harry Potter
10) The Simpsons
11) 7/7/7
12) Story ideas, and the lack of doing anything about them. (aka business as usual)
13) The heat. Oh god, the heat.
14) Things I've been meaning to blog about