Sunday, January 25, 2009

Harry Potter

*NOTE: I wrote this post just after the release of Breaking Dawn (the final Twilight book), back in August. I never finished or published it, but looking through the archives I found it and decided to post it*

As was mentioned in previous posts to this, I am a Harry Potter fan. Which is actually a bit of an understatement, considering.

I cannot honestly say when I began reading the series; it may or may not have coincided with the first movie release in winter 2001. I do remember sitting on our old blue couch, listening to my mother read one chapter, every night. I remember trying to convince her to read two chapters, or just a little bit of the next.

It was 7 or 8 years ago, but I can still remember with poignant clarity listening to Harry's first adventure, covering my head under the pillow every time there was a close call, hugely relieved when it all turned out ok.

A small declaration of my affection to the series can been seen on the top spot on my bookshelf. I own two copies of Sorcerer's Stone (one hard back, one soft), and one hard back copy of the other 6 books. In American edition.

On my trip to Europe, I bought all seven books in the series, and lugged them happily around for two weeks in my suitcase. All softback, except for Deathly Hallows (book 7), which is hard back. They look a lot like little bricks (the weight is also pretty comparable).

I don't have a story that Harry Potter helped me when my grand parents died, or parents divorced, or anything of that magnitude. I just know they make me happy, and that's enough for me.

I have read all of the books at least 4 times each, upwards of 6 for my favorites. I cried in books 4-7. When it really hit me that on July 21, 2007, the book series would be over, really over, I cried. Embarrassing, but true.

July 20, 2007 I joined countless other fans in bookstores, waiting for the midnight release of book seven - the final book. No more waiting in fearful anticipation of what would happen in the next book, no more wondering how it was going to end.

The only suspense from then on would be how they were going to slaughter the next book as they transformed it into a movie. ( I like the movies. But they leave so much out, they should say it is a loose interpretation of J.K. Rowling's novel).

I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little saddened by the ending. One of my favorite characters snuffed it. There are many things I admire about J.K.R., but her ability to make a reader feel is probably what I envy most.

After I was disappointed by the ending of the Twilight series, I re-read Harry Potter. To make me feel better, to remind me that not all series have (what was to me) cop out endings.

So, thank you, J.K. Rowling, for restoring my faith.


Some more pictures can be found here.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Last fall I attended one of my best friends wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony, held on a rooftop, and was relatively intimate (about 70 attendees is pretty small, right?).

I had driven down with some friends, and only knew a handful of people who were coming. Including the bride and groom, I knew 6 people.

Which meant that I was going to spend a lot of time conversing with a bunch of people I had never met before.

As a general rule, I don't talk a lot. When I'm with my family and people I know, then I'll talk, but with people I've just met, listening is usually what I fall back to. You can learn so much more when you listen.

One of the things I figured out that weekend is that, as much as I am interested in new people, I'm more interested in what they say and why they say it.

I talked to a crazy Danish guy who told me the bride had been his nanny (she wasn't), a cousin of the groom's from Sweden who had a degree in engineering, was working on his degree economics & had previously been a Motocross racer, a photographer who said if I ever wanted to assist on a wedding shoot to just call her, a man who asked me if I was a poet and had a woman tell me that she doesn't sleep well when she eats garlic.

All that, and I only stayed at the reception for a couple hours.

If there is one thing I have never understood about humans, it's conversational topics. I've stood in checkout lines and learned way more about somebody then would ever be necessary.

All the things people tell perfect strangers, but it seems we can never remember to tell the people we hold close that we love them.