Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Harry Potter

I've been thinking about Harry Potter, (because really, what else is
there to think about lately?) and the fact that it all takes place in
England. As far as the movies go, I was thinking about the fact that
they've had American directors, a Mexican director too, Alfonso
Cuaron, who actually directed my favorite of the ones currently out on
DVD. But, I really like the fact that they have stuck with only
English actors. I suppose it would work to have an American in it if
Rowling had written one in, as a visiting professor perhaps.

I'm glad she didn't though, it makes it more magical, and somehow
believable, to all be in a "foreign" country. Would I be so convinced
of her stories if they took place somewhere different?  Somehow, I
doubt I would be so entranced by a magical world hidden in Appalachia.
You know, they leave the hills to visit Hogsmead, hidden

Sounds fun. And magical.

Kind of along the same lines of wondering how my life would be
different if I had lived in a different dorm in college (and made
completely different life-long friends), I wonder what it must be like
to live in England and read these stories.  All of the muggle towns
and cities mentioned actually exist. It's interesting. Does being
familiar with these towns effect your view of the story? Your
visualization of it?  I can't imagine I would view the story the same
at all if Harry grew-up living in the closet under the stairs of a
home in the suburbs of L.A. I wonder if those living in or near the
muggle towns and villages mentioned feel the same. I'm guessing not
considering the bajillion books sold. (Yes, Dad, "bajillion" is a
word...to me anyway).

Thanks goodness J.K. Rowling's English.  Speaking of her - to my
fellow Harry Potter addicts (oh, you KNOW who you are!), check this
out. Cool stuff!  Fun links at the bottom, too.    Click Here.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a particular movie series to watch
for the bajillionth time.

Friday, July 27, 2007


I wrote Delta a few letters after my last crazy trip with them. I
wanted reimbursement for the $75 I paid to have the dog checked-out by
the vet before heading to the airport to discover the dog wasn't
allowed on anyway. I didn't expect any real response, but I sent it
anyway. I sent another bitching about the rudeness of the women at the

I just got this email. No need to read the whole thing, I highlighted,
in red, the point, and the point is, it never hurts to write a letter!

Dear Ms. Scott,

Thank you for your letter describing the problem you experienced.

Our goal is to make your travel experience as smooth and enjoyable as
possible, and we regret you didn't receive the high level of service we
strive to provide. Our airport representatives are expected to always be
responsive, and offer precise, complete information. It sounds like that
didn't happen in this case, and we will continue to make efforts to
improve in this area.

While we would like to offer special consideration in cases such as
yours, we are unable to honor the many similar requests that we receive
from others in equally deserving situations. We follow a consistent
policy to ensure that Delta is fair to everyone who travels with us.
Accordingly, we must respectfully decline your request for
reimbursement. However, as a goodwill gesture, we have authorized the
issuance of our $100.00 electronic Transportation Credit, which may be
used toward future Delta travel. Electronic TCVs are valid for one year
from the date of issue. They may be redeemed at delta.com, Delta
Reservations or at any Delta city or airport ticket office.  Redemptions
at delta.com will not incur a transaction fee. Fees will apply if
voucher is redeemed through any other Delta location. You will be
receiving a receipt for this e-credit in a separate e-mail.  Please
refer to the terms and conditions of the e-credit for additional

Again, thank you for writing. Please accept our apology for the
circumstances you described. Your comments are appreciated since this is
one of the best ways we have of knowing which areas need additional
attention.  We hope you will continue to make Delta your airline of


Angelina P. Jones
Customer Care

Monday, July 23, 2007

House Fire

Don't think about Ollie. Don't think about Ollie. Don't think about Ollie.
Saturday morning, I was called out to cover a fire. By the time I
arrived, the fire was out, the home gutted. Five people and three dogs
were living there. Two of the dogs were missing. One was a Chihuahua
named Fawn.

Sam and Jamar were worried about Sam's little dog. Sam had tried to
find her in the smoke but was unable to and had to get out himself
before he succumbed to the smoke.  I waited a while, wondering if fire
rescue would find the dog. Sure enough, a firefighter came out with a
laundry basket. In it was a navy colored blanket. In that, the body of
little Fawn. The firefighters had found her under the bed.

It was, as you can imagine, very sad. Sam said, "I tried to find her
but I couldn't find her! I heard her crying but I couldn't figure out
where she'd gone! She was such a sweet dog. She was so awesome."
I generally keep quiet when I shoot, but I tried to reassure him that
it wasn't his fault. That it's common for dogs to hide when they're

After holding her for a while, they buried her in the backyard while
the firefighters continued their investigation into the cause of the

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Pursuit of Happyness

'Just watched the movie The Pursuit of Happyness again. In general I
find that movie more stressful than uplifting. Scenes of Gardner with
his son in shelters, eating and sleeping there, gets me thinking about
lives other than my own. I cannot fathom what that life must be like,
and I am so grateful to not know of that world from personal

Chris Gardner  was dirt poor and trying to be a present father for his
son, Christopher. To paraphrase, he was dirt poor and worked his ass
off trying to make it in the stock-brokering world and succeeded (and
then some).

What is the difference between Gardner and the people sitting next to
him and his young son in the shelter dining room?  Is he wired
differently than most, or is Gardner's tenacity fueled by his love for
his son and his focus on wanting to provide for his son?
My question is, how does someone in his scenario (with child or not)
not be tenacious? Meaning, there seems to be people out there who are
actually content with living in the streets, going from shelter to
shelter, eating food from someone else's kitchen and sleeping under a
strange, unfamiliar roof, and I wonder what makes a person this way.
Depression? Complete loss of hope? Laziness?  Yes, there are certainly
cases of mental health issues, and in my opinion, that's a bit
different than other homeless cases.

Perhaps the homeless give-up on the idea that they will ever live a
"normal" life, have their own home, be independent. Perhaps they are
content with sitting on the corner begging for money.
Watching The Pursuit of Happyness, I realized (and maybe this is just
my opinion), that some people just choose to remain on the streets.
And that's what I can't understand. I can't fathom maintaining the
will and strength to move forward until success was achieved as
Gardner did, but then, I can't fathom not doing so either. How could
you possibly stop trying when the option was to sleep in a public
bathroom with your kid on the floor next to you.
Even if you were alone and not with a child, how could you not strive
to get the hell off the streets?
I suppose it's kind-of a useless argument. Perhaps, sadly,
homelessness is something that will never go away.

Kind of like litter bugs.

My apologies for the rambling, but I felt need after watching the
movie and coming across this story...good ol' Jimmy the asshole.
Running into the two drastically contrasting examples triggered it.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Tagged! hip hip!

I've been tagged by Someday-Satori.

1. All right, here are the rules.
2. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
3. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
4. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their
eight things and post these rules.
5. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get
tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave them a comment
telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

But, I can't think of eight random things, really. So, I thought I'd
list eight about my friends...
1. Amanda hates water and loves her milk on ice.
2. Christina doesn't like to go to movie theaters to see movies - she
feels like an entire day has gone by when she leaves the theater at
the end of the movie.
3. Shannon is in-love with two men - her hubby, and James Joyce.
4. Suzanne likes things that are mushy - like Cream of Wheat.
5. Rachel M. loves kim-chi. I think it smells like cat butt.
6. Rachel S. had a mild soda addiction.
7. Libby will admit that she is not good at taking "no" for an answer.
8. Oliver loves his mom. And chewing-up stuffed animals.

(I won't be tagging anyone else because I don't really know any other bloggers)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Harry Potter

I went to see the latest Harry Potter flick the other night with Uma.
I wanted to cry from the minute it started and I have no idea why.
Maybe because I knew who was going to die in this film?

The final book is coming out soon and after watching the movie based
on the fifth book, I'm a bit freaked out about reading the final book.
I'm not sure I can emotionally handle what's to come after the losses
in books five and six. The people on the Today Show who talked about
how to help your children deal emotionally if Harry dies in the final
book? I think they were on to something.

Someone needs to start a helpline for this bad boy.

I recall Rowling stating in an interview that someone very close to
Harry is going to die in the final book. Maybe one of the Weasley
twins? They are sort-of close to him and it would be tragic because
they are such a pair, but I don't care enough about them that I will
cry myself to sleep at night like I will if it's Harry or Ron or
Hermione.  Perhaps Snape becomes an extra warm and fuzzy good guy and
he bites it? I could cope with the loss of Hagrid, I think.

I can't fathom that she would really kill off Harry, especially
considering the prophecy stated in the fifth book (and the newest
movie), that only one can live. Unless Harry's killed battling
Voldemort and they both die in the process, joining as one in a way?

I came across a spoiler site which on which people where listing what
they'd learned was going to happen. One person wrote in response to
another's theory...

"If we use some common sense- Voldemort is Voldemort, come on! How the
hell can a 17-18 yr old just kill him??! That would seem to be too
untrue and I'm sure Rowling wouldn't want to end the series on an
unrealistic note."

On an "unrealistic note"?  Lady, it's a book with moving staircases,
bewitched picture frames, jumping chocolate frogs, and a kid on a
flying broom!

Then, I am blogging about it and bracing myself for substantial
emotional trauma.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Starting to Wonder...

Suzanne - married, one kid
Rachel - married, two kids, one on the way
Amanda - married
Christina - married, one on the way
Meg - married, one on the way
Naomi - lives with boyfriend
Jen - married, two kids
Maureen - engaged
Libby - going to live with boyfriend
Colleen - married
Aaron - married, one kid
Alex - married, one kid
Lauren - one kid
Kristen - married, two kids
Shannon- married
Me - one dog

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Crappy but inspired prose

I'm not sure I missed you
but you came out of hiding
all blue and white and ceramic
I'm reminded why I tucked you away
on that day
I still like you though
all blue and white with a pang

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Christopher, Chapter One

In spring, 1976, my dad, brother, who was three or four at the time,
and mom who was pregnant with me, took a memorable excursion to
Harvard Square .
If you have never been to Harvard Square, there is a center to the
area, the square, where multiple streets come together with a subway
stop which burps-up people regularly. It is a very crowded area.

At the height of the crowding that day, my parents linked together via
their tiny toe-headed son, and crossed the street with the huge mob.
When they reached the other side, there was no Christopher. Dad had
thought Mom had him when he let go and Mom thought Dad had him when he
let go.

"I knew he was gone." Mom said, telling he story with Dad to me on the
way down to Cape Cod this weekend, pointing out that she was pregnant
and probably not emotionally all there as a result. "I just knew deep
down, this was the time he was not coming back. I knew someone had
taken him".

Mom and Dad went back across the street - to the center of the square,
where Mom grabbed onto a street pole in an effort to keep herself
upright, and burst into tears.

"I'm going to find him" my dad told her, and took off.
Mom told me how amazed she was with how people came to her. They asked
her what was wrong, she explained to them, "Describe him to me" they
would say, taking off in search as soon as they knew what they were
looking for.

Dad returned with no son, "I'm going to go report him to the police"
my Dad told my mother, disappearing again into the mob of strangers.
A full half hour had passed since Christopher first disappeared.
Three blocks from where they had lost him, Dad found a cop and told
him the situation. He started to describe Christopher and the
policeman interrupted, "Does he look like this?" he said, stepping
aside, revealing their little one.
"Hi, Daddy!" Christopher said, rocking back and forth on his heels,
looking up at our Dad, "You got lost!"
Christopher, at three-and-a-half or four, actually had the
intelligence to go to the police.
Mom said she still remembers the sight of him, floating towards her
above the sea of people because Dad had put Christopher on his
shoulders so he could be seen from afar.
"I've never been so happy to see someone in my entire life!"