Saturday, July 28, 2007


WOO HOO!! As of yesterday, I have officially joined the ranks of the Washington Redskins season ticket holders!! Yaaaayyyy!!! I have literally been waiting half my life for this. When my friend Rob (best man at my wedding) turned 18 (and I was 19), he said, "Hey, let's get on the waiting list." So we both signed up for the waiting list, figuring that by the time our number came up, we'd be 50 years old and able to afford them. He got his call 7 years ago. When he got the call, I sent an email to the Ticket Office and asked what my status was. They responded that I was 56,844 on the list. I am willing to bet that they lost my original information and put me on the list at that point. Well, a week and a half ago, I got the call. They said there were some late cancellations this year and they had some seats available for this season. The FedEx was delivered to the rental office on Thursday afternoon and I picked it up yesterday morning!

The funny thing was... everyone starts out in the nosebleed seats. As better seats become available, they move you up and sell the nosebleeds to the newbies. Rob already moved up once last year. He started in Row 24, then moved up to Row 21. Guess where my seats are? You got it! Row 21! Same section! Un-friggin-believable! We get our seats 7 years apart and wind up in the same section, same row!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I tell you. You'd think we were 12-year old kids. Chrissy and I were in Jersey over the weekend. This was a planned trip, so we were having Harry Potter books (yes, we ordered two copies so we could both read it at the same time) delivered there. Noelle ordered her copy, too, so she wouldn't have to wait for Chrissy or me to finish. So we're sitting around talking, when Chrissy's Aunt Nancy calls. She lives right next door, and wanted to know if we could grab her mail when we go out to get ours. The moment we hear the word "mail," all three of us leapt to our feet and ran to the front door. Due to the size of the packages, they were put on the porch instead of in the mailbox. Promptly forgetting about Nancy, we grabbed the boxes, ripped them open, and immediately went to our respective spots in the house and began reading. Although we had originally planned just a day trip, we hit massive amounts of traffic on the way up, didn't feel like sitting in traffic on the way back, so we stayed over. Also, I will admit, there was a degree of not wanting to stop reading. We all read straight through until midnight, when I stopped & went to bed. Chrissy kept reading until around 2:30-3:00, when she was unable to keep her eyes open. Noelle tried going to bed around 2:00, but tossed & turned for an hour before realizing she wouldn't be able to sleep until she finished. She got up to do some yard work with Mom for a couple of hours in the morning. Chrissy & I got up left mid-morning. We got home, ate lunch, and went back to reading. By around 5:30, I had finished and by around 7:00, she finished, at which point, we got on the phone with Noelle to have our post-read discussion. To make a long story short (too late), we all loved it. Did we all agree with every part of the ending? No. But we loved it. I won't go into details yet here, but suffice it to say we all loved it, but are all sad that it is over. I'll try to do a relatively spoiler-free review soon here.

Monday, July 23, 2007

New Baby!!

Congratulations to my sister Jackie and her husband Caleb! They are the proud parents of a gorgeous new little kitty. His name is Puck and he's adorable!! His big brother, Copper, isn't quite sure what to make of the new addition to the family yet, but I think he's getting used to the idea of having company. So, welcome to the family, Puck!

Friday, July 20, 2007


Happy Birthday to my sister Gail! Love you BIG!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

All Things Potter

Well, we went to see the movie this past weekend and the book comes out on Saturday. First, the movie. I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. I can definitely see why it got semi-mixed reviews. It is apparent to me that the reviews that weren't so hot were written by people who don't read the books. The movie is definitely geared more toward the readers than the previous movies. At 800+ pages, Order of the Phoenix is the longest book. At 138 minutes (or so), Order of the Phoenix is the shortest movie. Goblet of Fire was a long book too, but the movie simply removed some extra sub-plots. In Order of the Phoenix, they left some of the plot points in, but didn't spend much time on them. They briefly referenced them, rather than devote significant screen time to them. I think the filmmakers assumed that the majority of the viewers would know what was going on. As a reader, I was fine with that, but I think many of the movie critics haven't read the books, so they panned the movie.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows comes out this Saturday. We've got our copies ordered from Amazon already. They upgraded to free Saturday shipping so everyone can get the books on the same day as people who go to book stores. My predictions? They're filled with **SPOILERS**, so don't read beyond this if you haven't already read the books. 1) Dumbledore will be back. I think he figured out a way to make a horcrux without killing someone. Perhaps that's what happened to his hand. I can see him getting that twinkle in his eyes and saying, "Sorry, Harry, but I just couldn't resist giving it a try." 2) Snape will turn out to be a good guy. I don't think he should be a good guy. I think he works better as a nemesis to Harry and, perhaps, a misjudgment on Dumbledore's part. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening. 3) J.K. Rowling has stated that at least two people will die. I don't think she's including Voldemort in that. My guess would be maybe Lupin (or one of the other members of the Order) and one of the Weasley parents. I don't think she'll kill off one of the main three kids (four, if you include Ginny). I could see Neville getting killed trying to avenge his parents. Oh, and as a part of this and also #2, I could see Snape sacrificing himself to save Harry. Ugh. I don't think she'd kill Hagrid, either. On the dark side, I think one of the Malfoys will be toast, probably Bellatrix Lestrange, too. 4) Ron & Hermione will officially become a couple and Harry & Ginny will be back together. 5) When all is said & done, Harry should wind up back at Hogwarts as the the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Maybe the story can flash forward to when Harry has been teaching for several years (breaking the curse) and he & Ginny (married) have just had a son, and Professor Trelawney makes a new prophecy about him growing up to stop another evil wizard. Who knows? I doubt that last part, but I do think Harry should wind up back at the school.

In any case, I'll be sad when it's all over, but it's been a hell of a ride. But you know what? That's the great thing about books. If I'm feeling nostalgic, I just pick up the book and I can experience the magic all over again.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Potter Mania

Well, not much going on to blog about, but the excitement of impending Harry Potter is starting to get to me. The fifth movie opens up Wednesday, and the seventh and final book {SOB!} hits the shelves a week from Saturday. I watched the First Look preview on HBO. I'm seeing the commercials all over the place. I've re-read all six books in preparation. I'm starting to get even more jacked about it! I can't wait! But it will be so sad that after this book comes out, it's all over!! Waaagh!

Oh, and I saw Transformers last week. It kicked some major ass! Toward the end, during the fighting, it got a little hard to tell who were the good robots and who were the bad robots. But you know what? I could have cared less. There were giant f-ing robots kicking each others' asses! Of course, my enjoyment of the movie had nothing at all to do with Megan Fox... Anyway... Where was I? Oh yeah, giant f-ing robots. Awesome special effects. There was not one shot that looked fake or phony. The story was good, but almost incidental. Definitely left it wide open for a sequel.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

I watched Pan's Labyrinth the other night, and I was pleasantly surprised. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I shouldn't have been surprised at anything. I read about the movie as they were making it, and I knew what it was about, yet it was somehow unexpected. There were parts that were, maybe unnecessarily, a little violent. I think Guillermo Del Toro might have been trying to get across how brutal Post-Civil War Spain was, or at least how brutal Capitan Vidal was. Pan's Labyrinth tells the story of Ofelia, an 11-year old girl in 1940s Spain. Her father died when she was little, and her mother has recently married a Captain in the Spanish Army, who has been assigned to put down a local rebellion. The Captain is tough with his soldiers and tough with Ofelia. Her only escape is the books of fairy tales she brought with her to her new home. Shortly after arriving, Ofelia is approached by what looks like a large praying mantis-like creature of obvious intelligence. She soon realizes that it is a fairy just like from her stories and it wants her to follow it. She follows it to a maze in the garden, at the center of which she meets a faun. He tells Ofelia that she is really the reincarnation of a princess of a magical kingdom, whose entrance lies in the center of the labyrinth. Her real father, the king, has been awaiting her return for centuries. However, in order to open the gate, she needs to complete three tasks before the full moon, just days away. Feeling that there may be some truth to the faun's story and knowing she would rather be anywhere than with Capitan Vidal, she agrees to do the tasks. In the meantime, the housekeeper, Mercedes, while appearing to be the perfect invisible servant, is helping out her brother, one of the rebels in the woods. Pan's Labyrinth is at once a tender coming of age story, a brutal family drama, a fantastic fairy tale and a political action thriller. I don't know that I would have nominated it for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, but maybe for Best Original Screenplay. It was nominated for both, but didn't win either. It was one of the most original movies I've seen in quite some time. Definitely worth the price of admission. I highly recommend it.