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Friday, July 23, 2010

Irish eyes are smiling

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Chapter 8

"You are looking live at the site of this year's Quidditch World Cup."

Yes, the only thing missing from this event was Brent Musburger welcoming us to the scene. Ah, college football season is only a few weeks away. But for now we'll have to be content with Quidditch.

I have often been asked who I am rooting for while watching a football game. If the Buckeyes aren't playing, I usually don't care. I just want to see a good game. Likewise, I didn't care if Ireland or Bulgaria won. Though, I was nearly drawn to Bulgaria because it had the more interesting names. They all sound as if they could be Big Ten linemen.

The sportswriter in me would have enjoyed covering this for the Daily Prophet. From the antics of the veela and leprechauns (always after me Lucky Charms) to the large crowd, Krum's busted nose and the shocking finish, there would have been plenty to write about.

With DVR technology, something like omnioculars might not be too far off.

Well, three cheers for Ireland. Now let's get on with this Goblet of Fire thing.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I'll sleep outside

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Chapter 7

The poor Muggle running the campground must have thought there was a Woodstock reunion going on. It will be for his own good that his memories will be obliviated.

So these are tents on the outside and whatever you can imagine or afford on the inside. These magical people are so clever. However, I won't be staying with the Weasleys. The smell of cats would put me out under the stars. It's not just the smell, but the accompanying itchy eyes, sneezing and labored breathing that for me accompany the presence - present or past - of cats. Somebody pass the Benadryl.

The joy Percy's siblings must have felt when Crouch called their self-important brother Weatherby must have made the trip worth it already. That's a story that will be retold more often than whatever happens the next at Quidditch final.

The magical folk don't live like the Muggles in many ways, but it becomes more and more obvious that it is a competitive world. We've seen it with Snape, the Malfoys, Voldemort and now in the conversation between Bagman and Crouch. Arthur Weasley is one of the few to be content to do his job and not make a big deal about it. A bagful of galleons doesn't buy happiness, and Arthur has that figured out.

Again I say, let the games begin.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Travelogue

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Chapter 5

Well, it's certainly taken longer for me to get back to reading, writing and arithmancy than it took for Harry to get to the Burrow.

Fred and George, however, waste no time getting in trouble. Their mother is quite right. All of their intelligence, ingenuity and ambition could certainly be put to greater use. Maybe they will by the end of the final book, but in the meantime we can just enjoy their mischief.

Sir Percy continues to be high strung. We can only hope Mr. Crouch appreciates all of his hard work on cauldron bottoms.

Meanwhile, I hope, for Percy's sake, he didn't leave the dragon dung in his to-do tray.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Chapter 6

After 2,500 miles and about 50 hours in a minivan, I wish I had known about this Apparating business. Where do I sign up for this class?

I wonder if Fred and George have developed anything that will send the top half of their brothers to the Quidditch World Cup and their bottom halves to the Starship Enterprise. Scotty will wonder what happened.

The description of the Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys trudging up Stoatshead Hill put a picture in my mind of the Von Trapps hiking to Switzerland. You know, Climb Every Mountain and all that sort of thing.

From the description, the boot doesn't sound like one of anybody's favorite things, but it got the job done. And I'll bet it was a more pleasant ride than what you get with floo powder.

Let the games begin.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Can we leave yet?

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Chapter 3

Maybe I shouldn't be in such a hurry to create the "Anti-Dursley Household League." They do provide comic relief. Now that Dudley looks more like a Weeble than ever before (except that if he does wobble, he will fall down), a letter has been sent home.

A shape-up or ship-out letter is just what he needs, but I do have a hint of sympathy for him. His diet, while healthy, sounds perfectly boring.

Life on Privet Drive is getting better for Harry. Other than Dudley's troubles, he gets permission to join the Weasley's for the Quidditch World Cup. Of course, he had to play the Sirius card, but he got permission nonetheless.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Chapter 4

It is doubtless that Vernon will ever again utter the phrase "Better late than never." He certainly would have preferred just about anything to the entrance the Weasleys made into his living room to pick up Harry. Then again, there is no pleasing this muggle.

But imagine for a moment that someone other than Santa Claus shows up in your chimney. And he's brought a bunch of red-headed elves with him. Two of whom are practical jokers who accidentally spill candy, which your son eats. The candy does strange things to his tongue and thoroughly freaks everybody out.

I'm not going over to the Dursley Side, I'm just saying ...