Thursday, July 26, 2007

We just got a call yesterday telling us that the father of one of Jo's classmates was killed in a really bad car accident. He wasn't even 40.

The phone call was to ask if we wanted to donate to a group donation in the daughter's name. Then we got another phone call today asking if we wanted to come to a big birthday dinner for the daughter. I guess her dad was planning a huge bash for her.

It's so sad.

I want to do something for the family that's a little more personal, and that might help with with what they really need the most, like making dinners or taking Jo's classmate out with us to the zoo for the day or something. But I feel awkward asking, since we really didn't know the family besides Jo going to last year's birthday party.

What do you think that family needs most? Money? Food? Time alone? Fun time? Right now, I'm just praying for their peace.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

i'm done!

Finally done with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and it was SO SO good. It ended just exactly the way I wanted it to.

I don't know anyone else who has finished it yet so I'm dying for someone to talk about it with. If you read the book and want to discuss, email me at kimberlypaine at comcast dot net and we'll chat. :) I'm reading it again, slower this time. That's how good it is--as soon as you finish you want to go back and do it all again. ;)

Well the downside of all this (besides no new HP books) is that I seriously have to go clean my house. Three days of reading nonstop except to pee and possibly eat means that my house is a total disaster. Fun fun!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

get mad

I am so mad about this. The New York Times somehow got its grubby paws on a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and has published a review, complete with too much information for anyone who wants to, oh I dunno, wait until they can read the book for themselves.

Who'd'a thought the NYT would stoop to scooping a story like HP#7 and spoiling it?! I'm in disbelief. That's something I'd expect from some trashy tabloid. Not that I read those. Well, OK, I might. I might even use them as my main news source. But anyway...back to the NYT.

The Leaky Cauldron has posted a letter you can send to the paper at You can use theirs, which I am reposting here, or you can write your own. Theirs is pretty good though. Here it is:

To whom it may concern:

I am writing to express my disappointment that your publication printed an early review and details of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This goes against the express wishes of the author and anyone that calls themselves a true Harry Potter fan.

It is hard enough for a Harry Potter fan to avoid spoilers on the Internet and news stations now that the book appears to have leaked; now we have to avoid trusted outlets as well. You’ve not only disappointed millions of children around the world with your actions, you have disappointed the millions of adults who look to the New York Times to be a bastion of good taste and standards. When the New York Times succumbs to such tabloid tactics, who won’t?

Many ask why we care - why fans aren’t all so rabid to get the book that we’ll sop up any illegal download or purchase. There’s one simple answer: We respect the author. We thought that a newspaper like yours, where so many of your reporters become authors themselves, would understand and respect that. We’re so saddened that we were wrong. We feel let down by you and your editorial board.


Your name here
Harry Potter Fan, and member of Jo’s Army

So, go now, send the letter. It's your duty as a fan!

book 7 is coming. be ready.

If you've been living under a rock for some time, I'm going to tell you: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the 7th and last book of the ten-years-in-the-making Harry Potter series, comes out at 12:01 on Saturday.

I'm very excited.

I get like this with any series of books in which I'm all invested in the characters. To me, any writer who can make me feel like I know his or her characters personally is a good writer--even when it makes me look superdorky, talking about (and caring about! and crying over!) the characters like they really exist. Like, they're real live people whose lives will continue on even if we don't get to read about it.

But this one gets me even more excited because there are movies! And merchandise! And book release parties! And billions of other fans who want to do nothing else but theorize on what's going to happen in the very last book!!! So, it's all pretty intense. Which cracks me up because if you're not a fan, you probably haven't even noticed.

"Hm? Harry Potter? Are those books still around?" :)

So yeah, the hubby and I went to see Order of the Phoenix the other night, which just served to feed my pottermania, and as I watched the movie that tried to cram the longest book of the series into the shortest movie of the series I couldn't help but glance over at hasn't-read-the-books hubby and wonder if he had any idea what was going on. Cuz, you know, there is just so much to everything. He said he liked it OK, but of course that's only because he has no idea of the vast array of information he is missing.

Like, OK. Where to start.

[Oh, and Spoiler Alert in case you haven't seen OotP yet, or read the book. In which case, get a move on already.]


[I warned you.]


  • We never see Sirius's dear old mum. We just hear her mumbling behind her curtain. Frankly, I think this is a good thing. But still.
  • There's no sense of how they spend the entire summer cleaning the house, and how Kreacher sneaks stuff off.
  • The whole bit with Molly and the boggart? Not there.
  • No indication of the new Divination teacher or how he got booted from the forest.
  • No Quidditch. I know!!
  • Cho is substituted as the squealer, revealing the DA, courtesy of Veritaserum.
  • The fight at the Ministry is cut super-short. There's no brains trying to eat Ron (poor kid gets no scenes nowadays), no spinning hall of doors, hardly any evidence of all the kids' hard work in the DA paying off.
  • The whole bit with Rita Skeeter and the way Hermione blackmails her? Gone.

[/spoiler alert]

Basically, everything is on fast-forward. I know that they didn't cut out anything superimportant, but jeez, I could have standed it being like twice as long, at least. All the fun stuff was gone, like Ron taking the lucky potion (that was OotP, right? crap, I'm all confused. better read them all again.) All my favorite actors (Emma Thompson! Helena Bonham Carter!) and characters (Mad Eye! Tonks!!) were on screen for like, two seconds.

The wierdest thing about the movie, though? Everyone looks so old! I mean, of course the kids do. But in one scene there was a close shot of McGonagall and I wanted to cry, she looked so old! And Hagrid, and Snape...(My apologies to the actors--I should say you look older, not just old. It's just weird. It's like seeing your aunt when she's 38 and not seeing her again til she's 58.)

Ugh, I have to go. It's 1am and I have lots of ebay posting to do and I just don't make any sense at this time of night. But anyway, if anyone in my area is going to a release party on Friday night, take me with you!! Just give me notice so I can grab a Mischief Managed tee shirt beforehand. :)

Monday, July 09, 2007

summer movies

Summer. I have a love-hate relationship with it. On one hand, summer means squeezing into shorts and tank tops and bathing suits and worrying about who sees me in them. It means sweating a lot. It means mosquitos. But on the other hand it means school's out, daytrips with the kids, summer camp and my favorite summer thing: summer movies!

I'm not really a huge moviegoer. Too much other stuff to do to get to the theater. But there is so much coming out that I just have to see.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Do I even need to explain this one to you? You know what it is. I'm dying to see it, and then to read the last book.

Pirates of the Caribbean 3
Just saw this. Loved it! I'm really really hoping there will be a fourth. Note to Hollywood: you keep putting Johnny Depp up on the screen, I'll keep paying hard-earned cash to see him.

My boss says this is the best movie he's ever seen. While I do think that might be overstating a little, I am excited to see this. Which surprises me because hello! Transformers are a boys' toy. Barbies are for girls. Duh.

Live Free or Die Hard
Love Bruce Willis. Love Die Hard movies. Probably wait to NetFlix this one though. Sorry Brucy, I can only shell out so much for movie tickets. I'm on a budget, y'know.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
I know, I know. I'm a sucker for the big summer blockbuster. It's not my fault; you think I could get my man's-man hubby to some indy film? Heck no. That's my story and I'm stickin to it.

A Mighty Heart
I'm not sure this one is still in theaters. I really want to see it though. In the beginning I was kind of like "eh, whatever!" But I've read the things that Marianne Pearl says about the movie and about her friend Angelina Jolie's part in it and, taking into consideration that I'm getting my info from drugstore tabloids, I really want to see it now.

The Bourne Ultimatum
I had no idea they were making a third Jason Bourne movie until it's practically out. I liked the first two...but I'm going to have to watch them again right before I go see this one just so I can remember what the heck is going on.

I've been a fan of Neil Gaiman's stuff since high school and, while I haven't invested as much time reading him as say, Stephen King (such highbrow, literary reading I'm into, no?), I just started a collection of his short stories that has reignited my interest in him. So I was excited to see that they're making a movie out of this book, Stardust. I'm going to have to find my copy, dust it off and reread it. Gaiman is producing, and we all know that including the author in his movie adaptation is a good thing, right?

It's kind of funny to look back on my days as a movie reviewer for my college newspaper. Seriously, I like pretty much everything. So every week I'd have to find a different way to say "I liked it." I'm just no critic. I do have to make time to go see something low-budgety, though, before the blockbusters rot my brain.

Monday, July 02, 2007

i'm back

Well finally, after a whole week of lovely, lovely vacation, I am finally home with my family where I belong. Don't get me wrong--I had a blast in Orlando, hanging out with my hubby, going out exploring on my own, meeting new people and all. But it is so good to be home. Pretty soon I will be asleep in my own bed with the sleep-sounds of all my kids as evidence that we're all together, safe and sound and happy. :)

Actually, I don't think the kids wanted to come home. Bek, my little baby who is a total mush for all things mommy or daddy, barely even moved when we came in the house. I was expecting an ambush! And the girls had tons of things to tell me about their week--I hope they're not bored to be back to the everyday routines.

I missed them so much! I was pretty good most of the week but by the time Saturday night came, just watching someone else's kid cry about something or be happy about something or really, just exist and be cute, was enough to send me into melt-down mode.

Hey, on Saturday before we went to Universal (which was fun but I wish we'd had more time for Islands of Adventure next door, with its wicked-looking roller coasters), hubby and I went to a rock gym. I'd wanted to go the night before while hubby met up with an old colleague for drinks, but you needed to bring your own belay partner so he said he'd come with Saturday morning. We had so much fun! Fortunately we've both had a little bit of climbing and knot-tying experience, because the kids running the rock gym were kind of like, "OK, here's how y'do it, now go do it." I don't know how someone with no prior experience would learn so fast, but they must do OK because the kid pretty much expected us to know what to do.

Belaying hubby was way easier than I expected it to be, although I didn't know it was going to be such a workout on the arms. He fell off the wall once and I hardly even felt it. I wasn't sure if I was going to have to strap myself down so I wouldn't go flying up, slapstick-style. :)

We got a good workout. Right now my shoulders and legs are feeling it still. We're going to check out the rock gym near us and see about memberships for at least me and Jo, if not hubby and Devy too. I'd love to get the kids into it; there were some girls there who looked younger than Jo who were really good!

It's way past my bedtime so I'm not sure if this post is coherent, or if there's a point, or anything like that. ;) Just wanted to give you the lowdown on the last part of vacation. I really had such a good time. It was an adventure. Going out by myself during the day while hubby had his thing, and other stuff like riding single rider on the theme park rides and the plane, and going to unusual places and doing new things--they all allowed me to meet people and have experiences I wouldn't have had if I'd played it safe and stayed in the hotel or waited for hubby to hold my hand all week. And it was so, so incredibly good for the two of us to have time together as hubby and wife without also being mommy and daddy. I'm very blessed to have married him--my sweetheart and my best friend.

Sigh...that's the danger of letting me post this late. I get all corny. :)

So--whacha doing for the fourth?