What are we talking about today?

I'll get back to theme days once I find a groove of posting regularly. In the meantime, most of my posts are about some variation of books, bikes, buses, or Broadway. Plus bits about writing, nonprofits, and grief from time to time.

This blog is mostly lighthearted and pretty silly. It's not about the terrible things happening in the world, but please know that I'm not ignoring those things. I just generally don't write about them here.

30 July 2007

Harry Potter: Were you right?

Yeah. If you haven't read The Deathly Hallows yet, stop reading this. Now. You might consider reading the book instead.

Okay, so this is not going to be a review because, seriously, every book reviewer around the world has already done it. Better that I. And they got paid to do it.

Instead, I am going to list, as best as I can, what I got right and wrong (and somewhere in between) in the final book.


1. I knew a Weasley would die. I was a bit surprised that it was Fred, actually; I thought J.K. was going to pile on the agony and take Ron or Ginny away from us.

2. I knew there was no way Harry was getting all the way through the book with Ron and Hermione; this is why I thought we might lose Ron, actually. Instead, he just acted like a prat. (Or, as Hermione put it, a complete arse. Hey, she said it, not me.)

3. I knew Percy would come round. That was a great scene, and one reason I wish J.K. had given us a few more chapters. How much does it suck to be Percy, when Fred is the first one to offer forgiveness and then is dead a couple of hours later? Good thing you came back when you did, nimrod.

4. I knew Dumbledore was really dead. I was not convinced by all the speculation and "evidence" that he was still alive.

5. I knew that Professor McGonagall totally rocked. I mean, she was amazing. When I grow up, I want to be like her. (Pity she and Dumbledore never married, really.)

6. I knew that J.K. wouldn't kill Harry and leave Voldemort alive. Which leads us too...


1. I thought Harry and Voldemort would both be dead in the end. I was informed on Sunday what a silly conclusion that was, because of the prophecy. But, hey, even Dumbledore said not to put too much stock in the prophecy.

2. I thought the dynamic trio might reconsider their decision to drop out of Hogwarts. (Of course, they didn't plan on living through the search for the Horcruxes, so I suppose exam results didn't matter.)

3. I thought that, had they gone back, Hermione and Ron would be Head Girl and Boy. (I even made myself a head girl badge at the Barnes & Noble release party, I was so sure.)

4. I thought Neville would be killed. (See "half-and-half" for more on Neville.)

5. I never thought Tonks or Mad-Eye would be killed. (Lupin I wasn't sure about.)

6. I certainly didn't expect Kreacher to come round. (Kreacher totally rocked, by the way. Too bad for Sirius that he didn't realise what a bit of kindness would do for him.)

7. I didn't think Molly Weasley would be the one to kill Bellatrix, although it made perfect sense when I read it. I really didn't expect her to start swearing at her, though.

8. The Malfoys were the last people I expected to see sense. And while they didn't see a lot of it, at least they were on their way. Actually I think Narcissa just kept up appearances because she didn't want Draco to be killed; otherwise, I think she would have just left the Death Eaters and not have fought back when they killed her.

9. I didn't expect the book to be so darned short.

10. I didn't expect Snape to be killed. At least not by Voldemort. And so we go to...


1. Snape. I thought he was playing both sides, so he would be on the winning team no matter what. So I count myself as half right on that one, since he was entirely a good guy. Turns out Dumbledore put a lot more trust in him than we realised (although my respect for Snape went up by bounds at the end of Goblet of Fire, only to crash back down again in Order of the Phoenix.) And hasn't it been hinted at before that he was in love with Lily? That didn't surprise me at all.

2. Neville. I thought he would go down in a blaze of glory, probably face-to-face with Voldemort. He did all those things except the "go down" bit. Perhaps all he needed was for Harry and Ron to get out of his way all these years so he could prove himself a true Gryffindor, which he certainly did. And him being named Herbology professor was no suprise at all. (Do you suppose he was also Head of House? He absolutely earned it.)


1. What did they do to Umbridge? If I had it my way, she would have her wand snapped and be sent to live as a Muggle. After all, technically all she did was obey orders: however, she showed entirely too much delight in the suffering of others the whole time we knew her. I bet she was the most-hated character in the series, even more than Snape or Malfoy. (Or Voldemort, who was really just a scary name for most of the time.) Don't send her to Azkaban, I say; send her out in the world without a wand. Put the Trace on her, even. Make sure she has no reason to feel superior to anyone again.

2. Will Percy ever be Minister for Magic? The fact that he was talking about broomstick regulations makes me think he carried on at the ministry, and why not? Pertsnickity people with sense are the ones most suited to government, anyway.

3. Did George carry on with Weasley's Wizard Wheezes? I can't imagine him doing anything else, of course.

4. What are Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione doing besides reproducing? Surely at least one of them has a job.

5. Where do Harry & Ginny live? Did they go back to Grimmald Place (presumably with Kreacher)? Did they go back to Godric's Hollow? Did they build their own four-storey, magical house in Ottery St. Catchpole? Or really decide to pay back the Dursleys for 16 years of torment, and find a nice house in Privet Drive? Hee-- I think that's what I'd choose.

6. Luna? Seamus? Dean? Other members of Dumbledore's Army? What are they up to, nineteen years later?

7. Was it really a Crumple-horned Snorkack horn? Or an Erumpet horn? Or are they the same thing?

8. Was Hagrid having a mind lapse when he said James and Lily were Head Boy and Girl at Hogwarts? We know now James was never a prefect.

9. And finally... How long do half-giants live, anyway? Not that I'm at all sad to hear that Hagrid is still at Hogwarts.

I have enough Harry-related speculation to fill another blog post, so I'll save it for later.

29 July 2007

Oh, Harry, what will we do without you?

So I've been a bit absorbed over the past couple of weeks (as you may have guessed if you had a look at my "Reading:" list), because two weeks ago, I suddenly realised that I had only one week left until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released and I hadn't started re-reading anything. This has been my tradition, for the past three books, to re-read from the beginning in preparation for the new one. So I started with The Philosopher's Stone on Tuesday evening almost two weeks ago, and finished The Half-Blood Prince this past Thursday. (And if anyone is keeping score, I read almost the entirely of Order of the Phoenix on Sunday afternoon.)

Now I could do this without driving myself crazy because I order the British version, from the UK Amazon, so I didn't actually get my book until Wednesday. It stayed in its box until I was ready to open it Friday evening, and even then I put off actually starting it for a few minutes (to get a cup of tea and all that). I felt the same way I felt about The Return of the King: while it was exciting and I couldn't wait to get into it, there was a certain sadness in knowing this was the last one.

No more new Harry books to look forward to. No more release parties. Although we do have the joy of anticipating two more movies. Personally, I can't wait to see The Deathly Hallows on the big screen. But I'm sure that moment, too, will be filled with sadness.

But at least I'll be able to tell the Weasley twins apart in the final movie.

19 July 2007


My latest crocheted creation, which is now on its was to California.
And my faithful wee bear, who is still in my living room where he belongs.

12 July 2007

Last night

I've skipped Wednesday evening services at church for the past few weeks because... insert your own reason here. It will probably be as valid as any other excuse I can come up with.

But last night Chad was committed to set up for VBS, so I went to church and went on to class by myself. And I am SO glad that I did. It was amazing.

So I came on here to tell my faithful blog readers, I thank God for you. And not just because you read my blog. :)

09 July 2007

Monday, Monday

I'm working on a baby blanket that will NEVER be finished, and I'm a bit disgruntled because I'm not watching the Tour.

So let's talk about something else. For everyone who didn't like Pirates 3, well, that's sad for you. I did not find it to be a disappointment; I did quite enjoy it. And like Pirates 2, I didn't notice how much time had gone by because I was drawn into the story. I'd heard the battle sequences were too long, but I thought it was perfect. So there you go. Also I'd heard that it wasn't worth staying for the post-credits scene (from a friend our age), as well as hearing that I MUST stay for the post-credits scene (from two teenage girls). We stayed, just because we would have driven ourselves mental wondering what happened had we not done. And all I have to say is: Meh. And also, that must have been a pretty good day.

So here's hoping the rain will stop before tomorrow morning, because I'm really sad when I don't get to cycle to work.

08 July 2007


I don't even know how you spell "huzzah". That may or may not be right.

Anyway, so Roger Federer won his fifth Wimbledon title in a row today, and as a result I am in a particularly celebratory mood. Anyone up for confetti? Balloons? Perhaps some party favours?

It was a brilliant match between Federer and Nadal, and I was so glad I got to see it. Now if only I could watch the Tour de France, my sporting joy would be complete.

07 July 2007

Little bit of everything

A few weeks ago, I had this conversation with the 9-year-old daugher of some friends:

I: (putting on mini-messenger bag)
Aspen: Why do you take that everywhere?
I: (stared at her feeling confused, and hoping she would clarify)
Aspen: Is it your purse?
I: Yes! (happy that she clarified and all is now clear)
Aspen: It doesn't look like a purse.
I: Thank you.
Aspen: (now is the one confused)

It's not her fault, all the other women in her life are extremely girly, and here she is faced with a grown-up who is not only not girly, but also not like anyone else she knows. Poor girl.

So I got a new seat for my bike, one with a blinking light in back so drivers can see me from both directions. (I already had a headlight). But first, let's have a moment of silence for the old seat.

The padded cover was a couple of years old and, as you can plainly see, well-worn. So that was pretty much my clue that it was time for a new one.


In other news, we ran six miles this morning. It's now been about 4 hours, and my body is still angry with me. I hope I recover in time to go running Monday morning.

Last night I went to Hastings to pick up a DVD to watch while Chad was at work. I forgot my bike chain, though, so I had to leave the bike sitting outside, available to anyone who might be passing by and needed a new bike. So I stuck it in an out-of-the-way corner in between shops, directly in front of a door that looked like it only opened from the inside. Then I spent the whole time in the shop worrying that I would come out and find that not only had my bike not been stolen, but that I had been ticketed for blocking a fire exit.

Anyway, so I was looking in the TV section, because having the attention span of your average teenager, I prefer four episodes of one of my favourite shows to one long movie. Curiously enough, Hastings has seasons 1 and 3 of The West Wing. That's it. They seem to apply this same odd logic in DVD purchases to just about every other show as well. I do not understand.

So I was poking around, trying to decide between TWW, Smallville, CSI, Doctor Who, and Scrubs, when I saw one DVD with no companions, quietly sitting in alphabetical order: The Muppet Show.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner.

02 July 2007

It's not that hard to say.

I have heard so many wacky and weird pronunciations of "Glasgow" in the last three days that yesterday evening, I snapped. I e-mailed our local news networks to explain to them that "Glasgow" does not rhyme with cow. I didn't even bother with the subtleties of the first syllable; it's more like "Glaz" and less like "Glass", but not quite either one. I thought that was best left to an in-person discussion when I get really agitated and start storming the studios. With alliteration, apparently.

Well, I'm on top of the world looking down on creation...

So I had two really good runs last week, 5 miles on Sunday and 3 miles on Tuesday, followed by a fantastic bike ride on Tuesday (2.6 miles each direction). I was feeling wonderful, glad that my muscles seemed to be finally cooperating, my lungs were operational, and my heart was ticking away doing its job.

Then the wheels quite predictably came off the wagon.

I woke up on Wednesday with a smashing backache that precluded me either running or riding my bike. And it only got worse as the day went on, so that by the time I went home after work, it hurt to talk, breathe, eat, lie down, walk, stand, sit, or basically be alive. So I took the sensible course recommended by one of our very kind nurses at the Wound Care Centre: ibuprofen, a hot bath, and a heating pad. And rest for said spasmy muscles.

It all worked beautifully, by Friday I was feeling up to cycling to work again, and I had a good 6-mile run on Saturday. So what I'm trying to say is, if I had just been sensible in the first place instead of trying to "tough it out", I probably would have been feeling better by Thursday.