Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Happy Birthday Harry Potter!

On this, Harry Potter's 27th birthday (if he were a real person), I thought I would tell you what I thought of the seventh and final book "Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows".


Perhaps the best book ever written. Ever.

In the 10 days that I have owned the book, I have actually read it twice, because it was just that good.

I have always loved J.K. Rowlings' writing style. She writes in a way that makes me want to keep reading to find out what happens next. Also, she reveals things that are of the utmost importance in current books that she may have casually mentioned in past books. And introduces new plot twists even as she is wrapping up others.

I really felt that Book 7 was good closure for the series. As much as I looked forward to the book, I dreaded it. I didn't think that I would be satisfied with any ending that J.K. came up with. But it was obvious that she already knew how the book would end when she started Book 1, 17 years ago. And I appreciate that.

Also, I just thought it was so cool that while I was reading the book MILLIONS of other people across the world were also reading the book. When has that ever happened before? That MILLIONS of people on this planet were all united by something? And not something awful, but something good and thoughtful and intelligent and entertaining and wonderful?

The book made me laugh and cry. I cried tears of joy and tears of sadness. I can't think of the last book that entertained me so much!

And so, while I am disappointed that it is all over, I am happy that it all ended so well. And I look forward to reading these books again in the future!!

And, if you somehow have avoided the Harry Potter mania -- dive into it now. You won't regret it!

Summer Adventures Continued

After my adventures in Jamaica, I met up with the love of my life in Monterey, CA (after many many hours of flight cancelations in a foreign country and airport camping). We were being good graduate students and taking part in a conference, but we also just spent a few days relaxing and enjoying our few days together (because our summer schedules have resulted in us seeing each other for only a few days at a time!!!)!

I'll let you look at the photos to get an idea of how much fun we had -- I have hundreds more (literally) if you're interested in coming over for a vacation slide show!!

Ry's first "dip" in the Pacific Ocean (which is probably my favorite ocean)

Our first trip to the Pacific Coast together!
(We're right near Pebble Beach)

Ocean Sunset

Near the "Lone Cypress"

We watched this Harbor Seal during an awesome lunch at Fisherman's Wharf!
(We totally had the best table and the best view!)

We spent some time at the Monterey Aquarium

Humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) !!
(Ry took this amazing shot!)

Pacific White Sided Dolphin!
(Lagenorhynchus obliquiden)

A day off = ocean kayaking!
Seals, otters & kelp galore!
Harbor seal just a few feet from my kayak!

Blurry Sea Otter that was chasing Ry!

What's a trip to San Francisco without a cheesy Golden Gate Bridge photo!

A quick stop at the Giants game (a few days before the All Star Game)

Lots of fun out on the West Coast!!!

Up next: Adventures in Buffalo
(car shopping, time with family and wedding dress shopping (for Anna, NOT me))!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Big Weekend

I don't know what I am more excited about for this upcoming weekend:

~awesome conference in VT at which I am presenting, visiting with LOTS of friends (including my hero/outside committee member) and meeting up with a cool PhD that is going to help me learn a technique for my dissertaion!


~getting Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (which I am sure I will finish in between sessions, meetings and disco parties at the conference)

Obviously, a very exciting weekend for me!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Taking a 5 minute sit on the couch (ok, maybe it was 15 minutes ...), I flip through my 4 channels to some weird Survivor-esque pirate show. I like pirates, so I paused for a moment.

As each dirty looking person talked to the camera, their name and occupation appeared at the bottom of the screen (again, much like Survivor).

My favorite:

Scientist/Exotic Dancer

How does one get this title?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sneks at the movies

Sneks' movie opinions:

  • Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire:
    Another great Potter movie (but, the books are ALWAYS better)
  • Transformers
    More than meets the eye

I enjoyed Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix.

Sure, it was like the writters tried to shove in every detail possible and therefore it was a bit rushed at times. And, for those few people in the world that have yet to read the 5th Potter book (ahem, Ry), very important aspects of the movie may not seem as significant as they really are (i.e., the prophecy).

While I appreciated getting to see all of the cool side story stuff (I love the Weasley twin's fireworks (as written in the book)), I think a few more minutes should have been used to explain to the audience true connection between Harry & Voldermort and how it came about.

But, overall, I found it quite enjoyable. I doubt there is anyway I could have totally hated it. I recommend spending the $8 to see it in the theater. (I am also trying to swing a trip to see it in IMAX, and if I do, I'll let you know!)

Also, I should note that I was dragged kicking and screaming to see Transformers this weekend (not really, as it was at the drive-in which I LOVE). I had actually prepared myself all week to go see it. Ry was so excited (and I support his dorkiness by bringing him back a Transformers banner from when I bought my new car).

And -- much to my surprise -- it was good! I mean, not award-winning good, but quite entertaining, funny, good acting, and good action. Oh, and the chick in it was gorgeous. But the kid from that old Disney Channel show cracks me up!

Girls -- I say you surprise your man and take him to go see Transformers. He'll think you're the best for going to a "guy" movie! And you can definitely manage to sit through this for 2 hours without wanting to kill yourself (I would NOT recommend Die Hard 18 (or whatever number it was))!

More posts soon about my summer adventures (and not just the 9 hours I wasted watching movies in the week that I have been back home)!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Harry Potter!

OK, so my countdown was off!

While I was in Jamaica, crazy Americans decided to switch the opening date of Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix to July 11 (instead of Friday the 13th, which would definitely have been cooler)!

So, I am "forcing" Ry to leave work early today so that we can go see the movie! I am SO excited! I am such a Harry Potter fan!

Reviews are mixed. I heard nothing but GREAT reviews from "the" critics, but true Harry Potter fans have mixed reviews -- they either loved it or hated it.

Surely, the movie is never as good as the book -- everyone knows that!

I am going in with the hope that the movie will be entertaining (but just not as good as the book)! I doubt I will be disappointed!

And -- Potter fans -- don't forget that the seventh and final (sadness) book comes out very very soon (that count down on the right is correct for the book!)!