Thursday, July 19, 2007

Joining the Harry Potter bandwagon...

So much speculation on the web about how Harry Potter will end…no reason why I shouldn’t join in the fun.

Any avid children’s literature fan has already picked up on the series use of familiar literary themes popularized in books by Tolkien, CS Lewis, and the like…good vs. evil (Harry and Voldemort), the protagonist’s evolution from a unfathomable naive simpleton to grim realist, the humorous sidekick (Ron), the wise sage (Dumbledore). Given all this, I can only imagine one real ending for the book…the only one that will satisfy and which won’t feel anti-climatic. Harry kicks it.

Yes, I think Harry dies at the end. Voldemort is killed as well, mind you. I don’t think J.K. Rowling is so mean spirited as to allow evil to triumph over good. In quick summary this is what I think happens.

  • Dumbledore is not really dead, neither is Sirius. They both come back and play a role in defeating Voldemort.
  • Neville’s parents, currently institutionalizes, somehow are snapped out of their trance and also play a role in the end battle.
  • Ron and Hermione both die somewhere in the middle to last third of the book. This drives Harry nearly to the point of submitting to his dark side – a la Luke Skywalker. Like young Skywalker, he ultimately defeats his dark temptations and fights for love, freedom, and all that good stuff.
  • Snape is good and evil. He wants to see Harry dead but he doesn't want Voldemort to live. He betrays both.

And here are a couple of theories that I’ve mulled over but haven’t made up my final mind on:

  • Harry is the ultimate Horcrux. Voldemort, with no other choice, installed part of his soul in Harry when he realized his imminent death. In so doing, he destroyed part of Harry’s soul. The prophecy states that neither can live while the other survives. If Harry is nothing more than a vessel for Voldemort’s soul – should Voldemort retrieve his soul from Harry, Harry would die. However, to stop Voldemort, Harry must sacrifice himself before Voldemort retrieves his soul.
  • It is revealed that Harry and Voldemort are distant relatives – remember that Voldemort is a half-blood, his father was a muggle. Harry’s mother came from a muggle family. There’s a connection there. Remember also that it is Harry’s mother’s love that saved him – again a sign that their genetic relationship has somehow made this all possible. Harry is Voldemort's heir apparant and has the potential to be even more powerful and evil than Voldemort. Dumbledore realized this long ago and therefore did everything he could to prevent this from happening.
  • And for my most controversial theory – Neville is actually the true “one”. At the end of book six, Dumbeldore stated that it could have been either Neville or Harry who was the one mentioned in the prophecy but Voldemort chose Harry because of his muggle blood. No one ever mentions whether Voldemort made the right choice with Harry. There may be a reason why Neville was raised to be a bumbling fool. No one would ever believe such an incompetent twit would be the one to eventual kill Voldemort. But maybe this was Dumbeldore’s plan all along. Shield Neville and protect him by implicating another child. Neville is the one who ultimately kills Voldemort.

Oh well, we'll know in just a few more days....Happy reading!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Muggles, Motors, and Mobility

Just a random update on activites as of late.

First - Muggles and Motors. Saw two GREAT (and VERY long) movies this week. First off was the most excellent Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Clocking in at nearly 2 hours and 24 minutes, the director did a good job of shrinking the 900+ page Order of the Phoenix into a fast, fun, squeal inducing adventure into magic. My butt barely got numb. Saturday night brought in Transformers. What can I say? I LOVED it. I think I may have liked it more then the 5 guys I saw it with. Mind you, I saw it with 4 doctors and a computer programmer (yes, all of J's friends. Couldn't drag a single female friend of mine to see it) and I was the one most excited. I'm a NERD of the highest order. I highly recommend you go out and see both films, if you haven't already.

Now for the mobility. After being diagnosed with a case of tendonitis and patello-femoral pain syndrome (aka Runner's Knee) nearly 5 months ago and enduring 4.5 months of PT, I finally ran my first race this past weekend. And I finished! Not quickly and not with much effort...but I finished. It was a 10K around the Central Park loop (one of the toughest 10K courses in the city in my opinion - all hills and valley). I finished in just under 1 hour and 10 minutes - are about an 11 minute pace. WAY off my usual pace - but I didn't stop running once. I'm quite proud of myself. And my knee hasn't hurt since. Knock on wood.

All in all, a most excellent weekend.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


O fim de mondo - The end of the world
Sagres, Portugal - The southern most point of continental Europe. At one time in history people believed that any boat that sailed beyond the horizon from this spot fell off the earth. The earth is flat, don't you know?
Just returned from a week in Portugal with J. Explored countless Cathedrals, Roman ruins, and Moorish Castles, swam in the place where the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet. Ate fish, caught hours earlier, grilled with nothing but salt - the smell of the sea thick in the air. Yum.
A busy week, a peaceful week. Never checked email. Never read the news. Never turned on a TV. Books were read and discussed.
The days started cool and crisp, warming to a point of almost discomfort by mid-day, and ended once again breezy and cool...not all that dissimilar from LA in this regard.
Left tawny, freckled, and smelling slightly of the briny sea.