Monday, July 25, 2005

I finished reading HP and the Half-Blood Prince. Sob sob, sniff sniff, wail wail, gulp gulp. It ended not well. I refuse to post any more spoilage, so that my Mom, my brother, and Lanyn don't get things ruined for them. Lanyn especially, since she hasn't read ANY of the books yet.

I'm not as weepy as I was at the end of HP and the Order of the Phoenix, or as shocked, but I'm still pretty sad. And I want the final book to come out NOW!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

"Fantastic Four" (2005) -- Initial Thoughts

I just got back from Fantastic Four. Hmm. Freestargirl saw it already, and said she liked it better than X2. I didn't. Not that it wasn't a fun ride, and of course it was fabulous seeing Ioan Gruffudd on the big screen (more about that in a minute). But I don't think it was as good as X2. I don't even think it was as good as X-Men. Actually, I'd put it about on par with the first Spider-man. It was good, it had some majorly fun parts, but there were some really slow spots and it felt kind of...scattered. Yeah, scattered, that's a good description. It lacked focus. I think it had basically the same problem as Spider-man (and X-Men too, to some extent): it had to spend so much time explaining who the characters are, their relationships, history, etc, that the plot kind of had to be built around that. I hope they make a sequel, because both X2 and Spider-man 2 far exceeded their predeccesors, mostly because we could explore new stuff, not re-explain the past.

But about Ioan Gruffudd...this is the most I've ever seen of him on the big screen! I was too poor to see 102 Dalmations in the theater, I didn't know who he was when Titanic was around, he's only in like 4 minutes of Black Hawk Down, and King Arthur spent way too much time on that Arthur dude. So I'd mostly seen Ioan on my tv set, which is very lovely, but not the same as having him encased in spandex and filling up a theater screen with his magnificent beauty. I mean, I thought his eyes were huge before! As dkoren/lanyn would say, "Don't step in that puddle, it's me!" And because I went to the 10:05pm show, I had the entire theater to myself and could feel free to shout, cheer, laugh, sigh, boo, and drool all I wanted. Love that. Best thing in the world about being on 3rd shift. I can walk into the theater, tell them what I want to see, and when they pick up a walkietalkie and say, "Uh, Joe, we've got Fantastic Four" (or whatever I'm gonna see), I know I'll probably have the movie world all for me.

Also, I got a free mini-poster. Just what my playroom needs--more Ioan pictures! Can never have enough of those. He's maturing very nicely too...he's still got that puppy playfulness, but he does 'serious' a little more convincingly than he used to. Still one of the best at looking embarassed/uncomfortable too. And now that the rest of his face is filling out and fitting his nose a bit better, he's just d-e-a-d s-e-x-y...oh, did I mention the shoulders? He's always had such delectable shoulders.

Yeah, so the best part about Freestargirl liking Fantastic Four is that she now properly appreciates Ioan Gruffudd. She always used to think I was daffy. Okay, so I am daffy, but now at least she understands it. That makes 4 converts: I'd already gotten ED, LN, and the Chameleon onboard the Ioan fanboat. That metaphor made no sense--I think I'm gonna go watch some Horatio Hornblower movies...that ought to put me back in shipshape!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I actually managed to leave Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at work, locked in my locker, when I left this morning to begin my two nights off. I was mighty tempted to bring it home, believe you me. But I'm glad I didn't. If I'd brought it home, I would have just lolled on the couch reading it through to the end. And I don't want to finish it in one fell swoop like that. I want to savor it. I want to churn the new ideas and theories around in my brain. And besides, I have a lot of stuff to get done this 'weekend'. I'm well on my way to accomplishing them too--I've written more than 700 words on my novel in about an hour!

But speaking of theories about The Half-Blood Prince, I have a couple, which I will now write with invisible ink, just in case there are others out there that haven't finished the book yet and don't want to know what kinds of theories I'm formulating...

First of all, everybody knows that another main character is going to die in this book. J.K. Rowling said so, before the book was even published. I read a newspaper article that said the death will cause much wailing and weeping from fans. So I figure it won't be Snape, since not everybody loves Snape. I think it'll either be Dumbledore or Hagrid, because they're the two that almost everyone loves. And I'm rather inclined at this point to think it'll be Dumbledore (I've just finished Chapter 17). Why? Because he started out being charming and delightful, and making me like him a lot more than ever. And Sirius was being much the same in Order of the Phoenix. But it might not be Dumbledore, because he's a very Gandalf-like character, and if he dies, it might feel like a Lord of the Rings rip-off. Hmm. Then again, JKR might want me to see similarities between Dumbledore and Gandalf, so I'll feel secure in the idea that she would never copy LotR. Blast that Joss Whedon for teaching me to second-guess my second-guesses!

Second, I think Tonks was in love with Sirius Black. Maybe they were even secretly married, who knows. I mean, Sirius was who-knows-where for a year or so...Tonks could have been hiding him. Anyway, I have lots of reasons I think this. Tonks is really really really sad after Sirius' death. Her patronus has changed shape, which can happen after a really major emotional shock. Harry saw it, and it had four legs...and I think he thinks it was a big Sirius-like dog. If Harry's patronus is a stag, which is what James Potter's animagus looked like, why couldn't Tonks's patronus look like Sirius' animagus? PLUS, the Black family was one of those stuffy pureblood families, and as we know from what we're learning about Tom Riddle, the purebloods often marry their cousins. And Tonks and Sirius were cousins. So maybe they weren't married, but I think she was in love with him. I should really reread the last book to see if I can pick up on any details, watch her behavior around him, etc.

If you've finished reading THBP, please don't write me comments confirming or denying these speculations, because I really don't want the book ruined for me. Okay? Thanks!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

I decided not to buy Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when it came out today. I decided this months ago, and for several good reasons:

  1. The books come out in hardcover initially, and generally costs gobs and gobs of money.
  2. I don't have any of the other Harry Potter books yet, and if I get this one, I'll want to go buy the rest of them too.
  3. Mom pre-ordered it, so when she and my brother finish reading it, I can borrow it.

This is the first release of a Harry Potter book that has occured while I'm actually interested in the series. Well, rabidly interested, anyway. When Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix came out, I'd only read the very first book, years earlier for a college class I was helping teach. But in the past year or so, I've read all of the first 5 books, and fallen severely in love with Sirius Black (and slightly-less-seriously in love with Severus Snape).

And then I went to work tonight. At midnight, the 1.5 pallets of stacks and stacks of The Half-Blood Prince trundled out to the floor. And I realized I was doomed. My fate was sealed when my pal D. bought a copy on her lunch break, and came and told me it was waaaaaaaay on sale, for almost half the usual price! So on my lunch break, I ran up to the registers and bought my own copy...for $15.05!!! After I bought the book, I found out that due to a managerial snafu, we had to sell it for the pre-order price to everybody, because management had forgotten to leave us the official list of pre-orderers! And I got my employee discount off on top of that, so yeeeeeeeeahhhhhh.

I'm done with the first four chapters already! Mild Spoilage follows...highlight the blank space to read a couple comments:

They mentioned Sirius in chapter one already! And several times thereafter. It took me a moment to realize that altho I'd gotten sorta used to Sirius being dead by now, to Harry and the others, it's still a recent tragedy. Snifffffle.

I got to visit inside Snape's home!

Harry Potter isn't mentioned until page 25, and doesn't actually appear until page 38. Hmm.

And I think I found a typo already: on page 10, on the 8th line, the last word is 'site', and I think it should be 'sight'...

End of Mild Spoilage! I'm only thru chapter 4, so it's safe to read what I wrote if you're past that already ;-)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Mom is gone. She flew out this morning. We had a lovely 9-day visit! Not that we did anything spectacular while she was here--we put together 3 jigsaw puzzles, watched over a dozen was just a nice visit. She said she got very relaxed and well-rested, which I think she really needed, being a 4th-grade teacher, after all.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Mom and I are having a brilliant time together! Cowboy and I picked her up at the airport Tuesday evening, came back to our Crypt and just hung out until she went to sleep about midnight. Then this morning she got up and ate the Veggie Lo Mein we made (supper for us, breakfast for her), and we took her out and showed her the sights of Ruralburg (the public library and Cowboy's boss's house being the highlights).

Tonight, after Cowboy left for work, Mom and I cooked a turkey together. We had the maximum amount of fun you can have cooking a turkey! I think the best part was when we both were covered in butter and spices up to the elbows and had to decide who had the cleanest hand and could turn on the water so we could wash up. After we put Pedro in the oven (inside joke for Giant fans!), we comfied up on the couch and watched The Phantom of the Opera, the Andrew Lloyd Webber movie version. It was Mom's first time seeing it, and of course she adored it! I think she's about as in love with Raoul as I am!

After the movie, and after we took Pedro out to cool, Mom wanted ice cream. Alas, it was 9:30 at night, and A&W was closed. So we got Wells Blue Bunny "Bunny Tracks" (like Drumsticks) from a gas station instead. Then we came back to our Crypt, and Mom called Dad while I made us some cappuccino. Then we started putting together a Coca-Cola jigsaw puzzle while watching Picture Perfect--not the Jennifer Aniston movie, a "Feature Films for Families" movie that's charming and funny (it stars Richard Karn, who plays 'Al' on Home Improvement). Then we cut up Pedro together--Mom carved, and I cut the meat into bite-sized chunks that we freeze in 2-lb packages to be used in stir-frys and casseroles. While messing with the turkey, we listened to her LP (yes, as in vinyl record) of David McCallum's album "Music: A Bit More of Me"...

Now she went to sleep, about 45 minutes ago or so. This is gonna be a fantasmagorical week!