Saturday, July 21, 2007

Mwhahahahahahaha! DONE! 784 pages in 5 hours and 21 minutes. And yes, I read every word and don't skim, as people insist on asking me. Look, one doesn't SKIM the last Rowling.

And - won't say much - but I did ok for myself with those predictions.

Call me when you're done, I'm going crazy not being able to discuss.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Predictions

Well, I am only 4 hours and 30 minutes away from holding the book in my hands, and I'm officially going insane. Argh. Ok, here's what I predict:

1)Dumbledore is really dead, this isn't Lord of the Rings.

2)RAB is Regulus Black.

3)Either Kreacher or Mundungus Fletcher has the Slytherin locket Horcrux; if I had to bet, I'd bet on Kreacher.

4) Peter Pettigrew will die, but will first kill Fenrir Greyback, thus fulfilling his life-debt to Harry.

5) Snape will die in the final moments by turning coat and giving Harry the opportunity to kill Voldemort/killing Voldemort and sacrificing himself.

6) Harry is not a Horcrux, but he WAS one up until Voldy used him to come back in Book 4. Thus, Dumbledore's much discussed "look of triumph" in Book 4. Nagini was likely the replacement.

7) Even though Harry is not a Horcrux, I kind of do think he might have to kill himself to destroy Voldy. It's that pesky "neither can live while the other survives" thing that makes me think that, plus keeping him alive is bit ludicrous. A lot of people have died to get him this far, after all. Then again, it would kind of destroy the franchise, no?

8) If Ginny eats it, that indicates that Harry is DEFINITELY about to die.

9) If Percy comes back around and apologizes for being an idiot, he's going to die.

10) Tonks and Lupin may go down together. Or any couple, really.

11) McGonagall will die.

12) Hagrid won't die.

13) Neville very easily might die - ruh-roh. However, if he does he will take Bellatrix with him (and maybe Rudolphus too).

14) Fawkes and Dobby will be integral to the Great Easter Egg Hunt - oh wait, I mean Horcrux Hunt . . .

15) I'm totally freaked out that the twins are going to get knocked off - remember how they threw snowballs at Quirrell's turban??? And I refuse to believe that the Weasleys will escape with just Bill mauled, and maybe Percy dead.

16) I think Ron and Hermione will survive. But if one of them bites it, Harry's doomed.

17) The reason Snape came over to the good side was because he was in love with Lily. His mother loved him, as Harry's loved him, and Narcissa loves Malfoy . . . see? And Love triumphs over Evil! Being the one who revealed the prophecy to Voldy and thus caused Lily's death changed Snape forever. This is also why Voldy did not want to kill Lily, which was highly uncharacteristic of him, given that he didn't care who he killed and she was Muggle-born. Of course, Dumbledore could not tell anyone this, as only he and Snape are good enough at Occlumency to keep Voldy from reading their minds . . . and so everyone must believe he is evil incarnate.

18) Some giants will come over to the good side. The bad ones may desert Voldy in his hour of need.

19) Actually, there will be a lot of general desertion of Voldy, since he rules through fear.

20) Yeah, I know, but I still like Harry as the Heir of Gryffindor. Has Rowling discounted this already, though? It's all those red and gold sparks he keeps shooting out of his wand, the fact that we know nada about his wizard family, they're all dead, Voldy is the last Slytherin, yada yada. Nice parallelism, there.

21) Somebody was under James Potter's invisibility cloak the night Harry's parents died. And Rowling says it wasn't Snape, which I always believed it was! But Dumbledore said it was left in his keeping by James . . . so was Dumbledore under the cloak? And let Lily and James be killed so that Harry would one day have the power to vanquish Voldy? I dunno . . . someone was there . . . I believe Peter Pettigrew was there, of course, to lead Voldy to the correct spot. But why hide under the cloak?

22) Godric's Hollow is somehow significant, and Harry, Ron, and Hermione will go there. Also Fred and George's joke shop, Grimmauld Place, Hogwarts (even if it's not open, which I can't imagine it would be), and the Dursley's. Also Azkaban - to get to Mudungus Fletcher! And with luck, Beauxbatons or Durmstrang, although Rowling won't won't to write TOO much description, it would get boring.

23) Harry will get help from/chat with Aberforth - Dumbly's brother! Yay! And he will get help from Dumbledore's Pensieve (ooh, what a nice thing to have) and perhaps from Dumbly's portrait in the headmaster's office at Hogwarts as well.

24) The fake Galleons Hermione made will be put to good use calling the Members of the DA to some final showdown . . .

25) He will not feaking become a Muggle. That would suck. More than Harry dying, honestly. You people are weird.

Ok, I'll add another post if I think of more before I head off to check out real live owls at the Boulder Bookstore. And then read my little tail off. I think it'll take me 4-5 hours to read it. Woohoo!

Friday, June 08, 2007


So Cusco is actually a very picturesque city, especially the main square. It has a large cathedral, several other churches,and lots of shops which have little restaurants and cafes upstairs. Last night we wandered around touristy shops which were still pretty cool because they have Peruvian handicrafts and jewelry. The jewelry is pretty cool, different from what I´ve seen elsewhere (maybe most similar to Greek jewelry, but really not the same) but still very wearable. I may cave at some point, but for now I´m being good. Today we´re meeting up with Cat´s parents and going to the Pisac market outside Cusco (at least I think it´s a market . . . it´s possible I´ve gotten my ruins and my markets crossed). The textiles there are supposed to be ridiculously diverse and beautiful and cheap, so I´m excited! It would be good to get something to put on the white walls of my house.

Ok, heading upstairs to pack to move to our hostal . . . more later!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cusco, woohoo!

Hey all,

Cat and I are safely in Cusco. I flew to NYC on June 5th and took the M60 out of LAGuardia straight up to cat´s place (it was great, cost $2 instead of like $30 for a cab). I also got to see most of Harlem. Which is . . . Harlem . . . tragically lacking in speakeasys and jazz clubs and instead full of Payless Shoe stores and Reebok and some mildy frightening people. Overall it actually looked pretty safe though, at least during the day. I also got to enjoy riding the bus with a woman who was talkign to herself. However, as she was deaf-mute, this meant SIGNING TO HERSELF. It was great.

Cat went to Thomas Keller´s Per Se to celebrate finishing her USMLEs (first round of med school boards) and I luxuriated in being in the Upper West Side and ordered Thai food that was delivered by a real live Thai person! And was also just really good. We picked up some last minute necessities on the 6th and caught out red eye out of JFK at 11:30 PM!

I amd never a fan of flights over 4 hours which do not allow me to get into a rpone position, but honestly LAN air was awesome. They had tons of free movies - I watched Music and Lyrics and found it adorable, and they also have PLAYER VS. PLAYER BATTLESHIP!!!! Yeah. Sweet.

Got into Lima, 3 hour layover to go out to Cusco, but customs and breakfast took up most of that time. Smooth sailing to Cusco )1-5 hours flight, easy) and I got to start reading Twilight (oh my gosh Jennie, I can´t believe a Mormon author wrote that! It´s hilariously trashy, albeit in a young adult kind of way. PERFECT brainless airplane book. Also, I am quite attracted to Edward. Who, for everyone else, happen to be a vampire! I´m telling you it´s trashy.

Anyway, Cat and I are going upstairs now. Cusco is beautiful and adorable, our hotel is great (hostal tomorrow), the people are SO NICE, yummy food, no G.I. issueds yet ' all good!

More later . . .

Monday, April 16, 2007

Pure Genius

I caught the end of a movie version of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband starring Rupert Everett, Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, and Minnie Driver. It was quite wonderful, this exchange in particular:

Mmm, my dear Mrs. Cheveley.

My dear Lord Goring.

Now I'm going to give you some good advice.

Pray don't. One should never give a woman anything she can't wear in the evening.

I'm sorry, but I don't seem to be able to stop myself. Now, I'm going to tell you that love, about which I admit I know so little, love cannot be bought, it can only be given. And I sense it is not in my power to give to you, nor is it in yours, I suspect, at all.

Dear boy, you underestimate us both.

To give and not to expect return. Hmm? That is what lies at the heart of love. I fear, though, the notion is a stranger to us both. And yet, if we're honest, it is something we both long for. Something that it takes great courage to do. Yes. That is our dark secret. Your coming here tonight is the first whisper of it. And for that I admire you. Give me the letter. Prove your affections to me and give me the letter.

And surrender my position of power?

The future of a great man is in your hands, Mrs. Cheveley. Crush him and your power dies with him. That's worth of any feeling I've ever had for you. If you ever loved me.

I did love you.

I know. I know.

Not that much.

Isn't that just fabulous? Now I have to watch the whole thing - I already reread it. Wilde is eminently quotable, I love it!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Orthodox Jews in a Paddleboat

Well, let's see. I've been feeling cruddy for the last two days, which is obnoxious. I think it's starting to lift a bit now though - if I have one more ridiculously long sleep session I bet it will be gone. It also sheds some light on how I managed to lose six pounds last week despite not going to my weight lifting class and eating lots of crap. Should have paid attention to the scale and gone on a detox diet and slept more. Oh well. But I am moving back down toward 107 lbs, which makes me feel warm and fuzzy because that's what I've weighed since I was like 14. And I'm doing it by excercising more AND still eating whatever I want! And getting sick. Shhhh . . . If I ever go over 120 lbs and I'm not pregnant I bet I'll have a panic attack. And have to eat some Ben and Jerry's to calm down again. Haha, I don't think I know how to diet. I heart food.

Which reminds me of the great Michael Pollan article Unhappy Meals, which appeared in this week's NYT magazine. You'll have to buy it for $5 or subscribe to NYT Select to read the whole thing (not a bad idea really; one of those things I plan on doing once I pay off the credit card). Therefore, no linky - you'd just get an abstract. However, you could just buy The Botany of Desire or The Omnivore's Dilemma. Pollan's style is eminently readable and a lot of fun besides. In The Botany of Desire he profiles four plants and their interactions with humans: tulips, potatoes, marijuana, and apples. In addition to the book providing a reason to read about pot (I especially like the bit where he's growing it out behind the barn and the sheriff brings by some firewood) you get to learn that Johnny Appleseed's apples were only good for making cider. Which is to say, booze.

Anyway, the article is just wonderful, and it suggests not eating anything that your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food, ie., no breakfast bars or other processed crap. I plan to try to behave myself next time I go to the supermarket. Down with corn syrup! Up with fruits and veggies and nuts! They taste better anyway and are kinder to the environment. And therefore my health. Gotta keep my life in line with my values.

In other news, I am back to seriously considering applying to CU Law school. I made it to a talk on Machu Picchu given at the Changes in Latitude store. The speaker was a woman named Ruth M. Wright, who in addition to helping work out where the water came from at Machu Picchu (she's been there at least 15 times with her husband; they have a permit to study it) went to CU Law and while there drafted and passed the legislation setting the 55 foot limit. And then she went on to become a state legislator and minority leader (Dems, of course) and help save Colorado from various evils . . . yeah. And wrote an excellent Machu Picchu guidebook with all the requisite nerdy detail. May just have to take the June LSAT and apply for Fall 2008.

Cat put the deposit down for Machu Picchu - Peru, here we come! This was Cat on the phone:

Me: Hi!
Cat: Hi! I'm going to send the deposit to the trek people.
Me: Ok, how much do I owe you?
Cat: Uhh, $150 I think. *pause* So we're really going to do this?
Me: Yeah we are! Wait, are you asking?
Cat: Well, just checking.
Me: We're going to do it, and it's going to be amazing, and we can check it off the "do before I die" list!
Cat: Ok. As long as we're sure.

This from the girl who called me last summer to announce that she was going to hike the Inca Trail next June, did I want in or not? I agreed with some trepidation due to my serious lack of athleticism and dislike of dirty hair and bitey insects. But it's the freakin' Inca Trail! The answer is yes. The answer is always yes. Oh well. That's what friends are for - to convince each other to do ridiculous but worthwhile things.

The picture is from Prague, Spring 2004. Orthodox Jews in a paddleboat! My current desktop. Anyone for Europe sometime soon? Wanderlust has set in . . .

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

Just saw this movie last night, and I'm still digesting it. Very, very good, go see it. Guillermo del Toro is always brilliant, but I enjoyed this the most of his work. It's one of those rare films where everything clicks into place and is believable. Loved loved loved it. See the composition of the shot above? The whole film is like that, stunning. It is also very dark and has one of the most terrifying monsters I've ever seen:

A picture cannot fully convey the horror of this thing. Or the coolness of the special effects that created it, not to mention the room behind it which is really incredible. I have no idea how much of it was created and how much blue-screened, which is great! del Toro was smart enough to allow things to be dirty or torn or whatnot, so you don't get that give-away perfection that you normally have with computer work. I'm pretty sure this guy is just really, really hungry, but ewww . . . scary.

There is no shortage of horrifying violence and gore in this movie, but I think the way that it is portrayed is important - no pulling punches, just the horror of death and blood. I think some of us need to see that and understand how lucky we are to live in the places and times that we do. And to remember that you have to fight to preserve that freedom as well. It is 1940s Spain . . .

Guillermo del Toro kept a wonderful sketchbook full of ideas and images. You can check it out at the Pan's Labyrinth website. A fairytale for adults, indeed.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Oops, I'm a bad person

Well, I'm re-reading One Hundred Years of Solitude, and I have to say that I do not like the way the book is written. So I'm a bad person. I also don't like chocolate ice cream. There you go.

More later.

Oh - I will be hosting/coordinating/enjoying my first event tomorrow night - a Scotch tasting for 100 business alums and their guests. There will be a real live Scottish man with an accent and a kilt! Yay! Also free drinks and dessert. :-) So far I enjoy event planning, although I would love to someday shape policy and come up with lots of ideas for a nonprofit . . . it'll come. Patience, grasshopper. Please let me know if you hear of any crazy cool environmental volunteering I can do!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sorry sorry, I'll be better

Apologies to stalkers and friends alike - I'll be better, I swear. In early December I got a full-time job doing alumni relations. I'm learning a lot of things that are great to know now and will be useful later on too, and the people I work with are wonderful, smart, nice people. Yay! I feel lucky. However, I have still been teaching LSAT test prep a few nights a week and also added in some weight training classes to attempt to get in shape for June, so the blog, along with a lot of other things, got pushed to the back burner. Show me some love if you appreciate that I'm writing again. :-)

I just finished Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, and I enjoyed it. It's a quick, easy read, but it hits hard. I pulled my copy of The New Lifetime Reading Plan back out and I'm working through it from modern to ancient this time - I got caught in the middle of the Greek tragedies and just started skipping around to what I felt like reading last go around. I can only read so many tragic plays in a row before going crazy. Next up I'll be re-reading One Hundred Years of Solitude and on like that until I loop back toward the plays . . . Here's the Amazon page for it. click "Search Inside" to read the table of contents. I can do it! I just hope I don't get bogged down in translations - you can always tell when something has been translated, and I swear that the better the book is in the original language the more grating it is.

What else . . . I found some podcasts called Coffee Break Spanish (I've decided to learn as much as possible before going to Peru), and the guy who talks on them is Scottish and sounds sooooo hot. Oh my. Note to self: travel to Scotland and sit on trains with eyes closed a lot. I'm also trying to find a language buddy who wants some English grammar or writing or help with something else, and they can teach me how to say "I've stuck a pencil in my eye! Where is the hospital?" and useful things like that in Spanish.

The pic is of my back deck after the first big blizzard!