Category Archives: harry potter

still here

Wow! that was a huge blogging break!

Let see, what’s happening… Well, I have a new niece! She was born on July 1st, Canada Day.

It’s really hot here.  we’ve had several 100+ degree days. There should be some clouds moving in tonight, even some possible rain! Bringing with it a “cool down”  mid to low 90s.

Finally, I am looking forward to Saturday.  Why? Harry Potter 6!  I haven’t had a chance to see it yet, so I figured I’d go to a 3.25 matinee.  Hard to beat the price.  And I am also planning on making Ribs Saturday in the slow-cooker.  It should be a fantastic day.

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Good, Evil, and In between?

I was spending some time thinking about the types of stories and tales I like. If you have known me for any length of time (or don’t know me buy regularly read this blog) its pretty obvious. I like stories with epic history. Stories of fantasy. Stories of the unbelievable. Stories of mystery.

Here is a short list of the stories I have been into:

LOST
Alias
The Chronicles of Narnia
Harry Potter
Pirates of the Caribbean
Lord of the Rings

I have also been known to enjoy StarTrek (specifically TNG) and a little Stargate SG-9 (come on! It has “Macgyver”)

Anyway, I digress. Something I have been thinking about it how good and evil is portrayed in these stories. Some have very distinct Good and Evil. Characters are on one side or the other. The “moral compass” of the story is very defined and unmovable. Others lean towards clear definition, but make use of the gray. Others have characters running around making “in between” decisions based on what ever seems right in that moment. There is some type of vague moral compass, but it is extremely hard to define. And still others are almost purposely completely undefined (or perhaps upside down) with all characters moving to the center, none completely good or innocent, none completely evil.

Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia fall into the first category. Good/Evil exist and each character is on one side or the other.

I think Harry Potter falls into the second group. There is a clear defined evil, but the “clear defined good” is less evident. Good characters are allowed to make sketchy moral choices for the “greater good.”

I would put LOST and Alias in the third category. We want to believe that there is definite good and evil, but when good characters make evil choices or evil characters make choices to help others, it is hard to hold firm to the idea that there is definition. In the end, there may be good and evil in these stories, but both sides are making decisions that not in line with the side each character is “committed” to.

Finally, I would put Pirates of the Caribbean in the last category. The premise of the story (Pirates – come on PIRATES – are “good”?) wants us to believe that questionable characters are the heroes. Throughout the three movies good characters become bad, bad characters become good, and then they don’t stay there, they switch again. This is done so often, all characters have moved to the same grey moral center where there is no longer definition. Can Davy Jones even be “evil?” He is simply a heartbroken man…and the excuses roll on.

So yeah, Its interesting that the two mythic stories by Christian authors are the two in the above example where good and evil are clearly defined. And in addition to that, in myth, if there is clear good and clear evil, is it not typical that the good will prevail? Arguably, they are two opposites, but not equal in strength. Good verses Evil, but in stories Good wins. Good is stronger. Yet, as clearly seen in LotR & CoN humanity is NOT the source of Good.

Anyway, I was just thinking about the similarities and differences in the stories I like. I am greatly encouraged that of all the stories, it is the clearly defined good that defeats the clearly defined and weaker evil that I like the best.
Don’t we all?

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My Best Effort Yet

Well, Here it is.  Its ok.  It took me a handful of tries due to weird computer glitches.  I think my hard drive is getting too full.  Although, I am getting a little better at using the video editing program.  Enjoy!

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Harry Potter

I just finished.

I liked it.

I cryed.

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HP progress (no spoilers)

Ok, I am not done reading yet so I am still on high alert for avoiding spoilers. Prior to yesterday, I read about 225 pages. (a combo of reading on my plane ride and while I was still in washington) Yesterday, I was in bed by 7:30. After making a phone call, I started reading. After reading for 3 hours, I am just past page 500 so I think tonight I might finish up the final 250. I am enjoying the story and am still excited to see how it all turns out.

When I am done, I may post what my overall impressions were, but I will try EXTREMELY hard to not give anything away. Maybe in a few weeks once everyone who has wanted to read it has had a chance, I will give a more specific review.

Ok, back to work I go. lunch is about up.

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Order of the Phoenix

I just got home from watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (HP 5).

Here are some brief thoughts on the movie….Actually, first I must comment on the book. For whatever reason, the Order of the Phoenix (OotP) is my favorite HP book so far and I have read all 6 that are currently out.

That being said, the movie was definitely entertaining. It has some extremely dark scenes (which every HP readers expect) as well as some pretty funny lines. The comic relief was well placed, inserting humor, but not at inappropriate times in the middle of a dark scene (which is done sometimes in movies and then doesn’t fit at all).

The movie was “short” as far as HP films go. Some elements were obviously missing from the film for the sake of condensing the movie. OotP is the longest HP book, yet I believe this was the shortest film so far. The elimination of some plot lines made the story a little choppy and for those who have not read the book, it might be a little hard to follow.

One of the BEST things about the film was seeing London and recognizing certain places and things. I could not help myself, I had to lean over to one of my friends and say “I’ve been there!”

I would liked to have seen more Serious Black and Snape as they were both fantastic on the screen.

The theater we went to was filled with teens and it made for a chummy audience. It is no secret that Harry gets to kiss a girl in this film. At this moment in time, the theater erupted into applause. The theater also rang with applause when Nevil Longbottom was finally successful in “stupefying” one of his classmates. I have only experienced this in a few other occasions (when the death star is destroyed and when Seabiscuit won).

So yeah, if you have read and enjoyed HP 5, I recommend the film. If you have only seen the movies 1-4, I recommend watching it, although the plot may be a tiny bit confusing. If you have neither seen nor read books 1-4….don’t go. Rent them (or borrow in dvd or book form from your local library) then go see 5.

Finally, Luna Lovegood TOTALLY reminded me of one of my friends from home, but I won’t point fingers or name specifics. 🙂

(I CAN”T WAIT FOR BOOK SEVEN…..ONLY NINE MORE SLEEPS!)

Ok, its after 11 (actually, its my “birthday time”) and my eyes are extremely tired. Night!

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July 13th

I just saw the new movie trailer for Harry Potter 5: The Order of the Phoenix. I am looking forward to this movie. Of all 6 Harry Potter books out so far, The Order of the Phoenix is my favorite. (do you know why they are called “movie trailers”? Because they used to play them after the movie in the theater.) And my favorite Character should have lots of screen time. (no Not Harry)

Also, only 31 hours until I leave for the airport. I am really excited to see some of my family in Dallas. I have never been to Texas before either. Plus, it looks like it should be in the 70’s there. It has been a bit cooler than that here.

Ummmmm…. Yummy Turkey in my Tummy!

Now I just need to finish the paper I was supposed to write tonight….That’s why I am getting up at 5 tomorrow. I better go to sleep, that’s only in 6 hours.

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Harry Potter

So I got to see Harry Potter yesterday. It was the first of the HP films that I have seen after I read the books. It was also the first I saw in the theater. Both of these things helped me like the film the most of any HP films.

Previously, I have had a little trouble following the story line. (Especially in Prisoner of Azkaban)

Several of the scenes were incredible due to the big screen & surround sound (i.e. the dragons).

Now I have decided I must re-read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

The one disappointment with the film was that there was very little of my favorite character, Snape. Why is such a dark character my favorite? I really don’t think he is all that dark, just very real. I think (especially upon reading all 6 books) that he is the character with the most depth & emotion.

Well at least we will see more of him in the next film.

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Literature

So I have been on a huge reading kick lately. I have always loved to read, but for some reason I have not read very many of the “classics” or Current Best Sellers.

This spring I started Anna Karenina by Tolstoy. I have enjoyed the plot, but some times get so bored by the Characters thought (which go on, and on, and on) that I quit reading the book for about 4 months. I just picked it up again and realized that because I am almost 1/2 done with an 800 page book, I really need to finish it.

As most others in recent years, I have now read Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. I wanted to read them before I watched the movies. I would have to say that Tolkien is now my favorite author. His contemporary, CS Lewis, has been on of my favorite for years. I read the chronicles of Narnia several years ago. (and am eargarly awaiting this December!)

I also attempted Sense & Sensibility and Emma by Jane Austin. Saw the movies, but have yet to finish either book.

Harry Potter, here’s a fun one. I have heard the hype for years, but only when book 6 came out did I finally read any. I bought the first five in a box set. LOVED THEM, and 18 days after starting book one, I had finished all 6. (yes, I need a life to fill up all this time, that was over 3300 pages of reading)

And finally, Another highly anticipated book came out yesterday. Eldest the second book in the Inheritance trilogy. the first book Eragon was written when the author was only 15 yrs old. I only read book one in may. I recommend this one. yes, it is kind of a kids book, but still enjoyable.

Looking back at this list of books, it only confirms that I love the fantasy genre. I think it is because I love the epic tale of good vs. evil.

Plus, I think that each of our lives, in reality, are part of an Epic tale. I often view life very “in the now” but reading such fairy tales reminds me that there are elements of the story that reflect how things really are. And I think it is helpful to the “good” and hurtful to the “evil” if I keep this in mind and live accordingly.

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Filed under good vs. evil, harry potter, jane austen, literature, narnia, reading, tolkien, tolstoy