Thursday, March 31, 2011

So it's Thursday... (random stuff)

Trash day in my neighborhood. Will the kids remember to take the trash out? I didn't leave a note.

And aspirin a day, keeps the vet away. My dog is old, very old. We've had her since we before we moved to Texas. We've been here 11.5 years. I can't really remember when we got her, but she wasn't a puppy when we did, although she was no more than a year or two. So I'm going to say she's about 14 years old. She's a golden retriever mix. Anyway, she suffers from old dog maladies including arthritis, I'm sure. So a while back I researched dog arthritis on the 'Net and discovered that you can give your dog aspirin--real live people aspirin for pain. But usually you have to crush it up because they don't have the right kind of acids in their stomachs to break down the coating aspirin usually has. Long story short, I wasn't very diligent about it and slacked off. Poor dog became grumpy, surly, grouchy again, snapping at us and her fellow dog, Sam, for no reason. Is this the end? And I thought, hmm... she's been struggling to get to her feet and slow when making her rounds in the yard... Plus a friend of mine mentioned having just taken her dog to the vet and being advised by her vet to use aspirin on a daily basis and save the prescription drugs for when the dog really hurts. Validation. I dug the aspirin back out and started a two-tablet-a-day regimen--crushed and sprinkled on her meals. Wow, what a difference! She's been so pleasant and downright frisky--well as frisky as a 14-year-old dog can be--and she's getting around so much easier. No more slacking for me. :(

If your Internet is slow, it's because AT&T has started a round of updates to their network. Which means, of course, that as their network interconnects with other networks, those other networks mus then also implement some updates. GAH!

Started watching "Grey's Anatomy" recently. Not a bad show, not the greatest. But it's something to watch. And I do love Patrick Dempsey. It's really more of a night time soap opera, which is okay.

I'm re-reading the Harry Potter books. Yes, they are entertaining me that much. At least for now. Just finished the second book (again) the other day and will move on to the third in a day or two.

After my girls writers weekend, I'm going to work on my spare room (probably Sunday). It's been at a standstill for a few weeks and I really feel like I need to make some sort of progress on it. I say I can hardly wait for it to be finished, but I just don't have the energy to make it happen. But soon. Maybe...

My oldest daughter, who's in jail, is not allowed visitors for 20 days starting April 3, so last night was my last visit until April 27. Maybe I'll work on the bedroom those nights in the interim and maybe I can finally get it finished.

Oh, and it appears my boss is going to be gone most if not all day! Woo hoo!

All right, well...need some hot tea and I'd better get started on my day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oh, I dunno...

Not much going on 'round here, at the moment.

I've started re-reading the HP books. Yes, I'm enjoying them that much. I pre-ordered the DVD of the 7th film for my daughter's birthday last Friday. It comes out on the 11th of April, so hopefully, I'll have gotten through all the books again by then. Then I'll be all prepped and ready for when the second half of book 7 comes out in the theater.

The weather here is very spring-like. Dreary and chilly. But that's good for now. No rain means no mud tracked in by the dogs and no wind means no dust from west Texas all over my house. And the moderate temps means nice low utility bills--

I received my electric and water bills recently and have been the lowest bills I've seen in YEARS. My electric bill was like $70 and the water bill close to the same. As I said, I haven't had bills that low in ages. What a pleasant surprise. The longer the weather stays this way the better I like it. ;)

This weekend I'm having a 'girls writers weekend' with two of my chapter mates and friends. *waves at Marty* It's going to be fun.

I suppose I should get to work...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

So I read the book last weekend, started it on Friday evening, finished it on Sunday morning before noon.

To be honest, I don't remember much. I may have to read it again. Maybe. I don't know. Now that I'm thinking about it, bits and pieces are coming back to me.

I felt a bit cheated, actually. And Harry was cheated as well. Unfortunately, under the circumstances, there was little help for it. But still.

So many people died and there was no time to mourn. The journey from the beginning of the book to the end was rushed, even though Harry, Hermione and Ron were on the run for so long and weeks passed without anything much happening.

Hedwig died right at the beginning of the book and Harry was never shown to grieve. A great loss, I think. His first major gift. And an important part of his life for six years. Why did J.K. Rowling not carve out a paragraph or two for Harry to mourn his loss, and for us, the readers to mourn with him. I think the book is poorer for it.

Same night, Mad-Eye Moody dies as well and George Weasley loses an ear. I know lots of things were going on, and in reality it doesn't always work this way, but the reader, not to mention the characters, needed a chance to catch their breaths, and chance to deal with what happened before the next event swooped down on us.

Again, I understand that in real life we don't always get a chance to take more than a gulp of air before the next wave crashes over our head. but this is fiction, this is the reader's escape from the real world for a while and it should not be fraught with angst for hours and days without a break. I know we as readers can put the book down, but if the author has done his or job properly, the reader doesn't want to do that. Therefore the author needs to give the reader some down time. Even if the character only gets and hour, even if it's only five minutes, the author should provide that time for the character and the reader to mourn if needed, to regroup, take a deep breath, ready themselves for the next event. I don't feel like we got that. But maybe it's just me.

Maybe I feel let down, as many others have said. It's the end of an era. The end of a huge chunk of people's lives. And there's a sadness that goes with that. Now, I've just jumped on the bandwagon, of course, but I guess my sadness comes from the fact that I'm late to the party, (again) and just when I've discovered this wonderful new world, it's coming to end.)

So now I wait for the Deathly Hollows 1 film to come out on DVD--just a few more weeks--and then for the DH2 in July. I can't wait.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I am still leaking tears...

I finished the book this morning and WOW. Powerful and sad and wonderful and heart-breaking.

The movie version of this book, which I have seen before and will be watching again in the next day or two, does not include some of what happens at the end of this book. Those things, I believe, happen in the film version of HP and the Death Hallows Part 1.

I was thinking it myself and after having read some commentary yesterday afternoon have come to the conclusion that J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, kept fan fiction and fan fiction authors in mind when writing the last of the books.

Fan fiction was a relatively new phenomenon back when the first and second books were written. It steadily gained popularity and a place in our current culture over the last ten years. And I was thinking as I was reading the previous book (HP and the Order of the Phoenix) about if I were to write a fic with a certain thing happening how would that play out...and then all of a sudden, my questions were answered in the text. I'm sure more than anything that it was coincidental, but cool none-the-less. But Rowling knew as she wrote the subsequent books how popular her characters and her world was and really gave fic writers some really wonderful gifts in the process. Mainly and namely a blank slate.

The epilogue of HP and the Deathly Hallows tells us a few things for certain, but that those things happen a certain number of years in the future. She doesn't tell us how they came to be and leaves that gap of time for fan fic writers to fill in the blanks however they so choose. A wonderful gift indeed--not to mention the characters and the world itself to play in.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Five down, one to go...

I finished reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix last night and I watched the movie.

I am continually amazed by the interwoven threads of these books. Not everything is a major plot line, but J.K. Rowling has remembered and continued many of the background threads throughout each successive story--which just add so much more to the experience. Of course, we miss out on a lot of this in the films due to money and time constraints. One of the reasons I decided to actually read the books. The films have their pros, of course. To me the biggest one is Daniel Radcliffe. Yes, I'm shallow. He's a beautiful young man. To watch him go from an eleven-year-old to a seventeen/eighteen-year-old has been quite fabulous. And as I watching the movie last night, I was really blown away by young Master Radcliffe's performance. Harry was 15 in the movie and Dan was at least that, if not maybe sixteen by then. There are naysayers and I'm certainly not a qualified judge, but I thought he did a fabulous job, so there you go.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Reading Writing Arithmetic

Reading and more reading. I've burned through the first three Harry Potter books and started the fourth one last night. They're getting more and more interesting. I struggled to get through the first one, less struggle with the second, etc. I also told myself I couldn't move on to the corresponding movie till I finished the book, so there's incentive. The movie took a huge departure from the book, but I can understand why. The fourth book is about twice the size of the first two, so I imagine I'll see quite a few more changes next movie.

Writing and more writing...I've been participating in the Robin Hood InterComm competition again this year. Posting ended last night and I was able to squeeze two more fics in yesterday afternoon. All in all a good writing week, somewhere between 1500 and 2000 words. I wasn't counting, just writing. :)

Arithmetic...and so it's Monday which means I am back at work and updating our financials. Not my favorite task, but one I must do everyday.

I had planned to get some painting done this weekend, but the temps dropped a bit and I got wrapped up in getting those last two fics written. Maybe I'll do a bit this evening, just so I'm making progress...unless Harry Potter starts calling my name....though it would be nice to have the room done so that when sonshine and his friends take over the living room, I have somewhere to retreat to.

Hope you had a good weekend...