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Monday, July 23rd, 2007 - Viva Viagra! (Spoiler Alert)
Before the title scares anyone and before I address HP7 properly, I must explain. Ladies and gentlemen, a new low. Here I am, half studying, half watching poker when a commercial comes on that catches my ear ("'ear 'ear!").  It's actually a decent sounding rendition of Viva Las Vegas, or so I believe. I'm thinking, "Poker = Vegas", surely this is some sort of shameless plug for wasting your life away in the world capital of tack. A little surprising, though, it's acoustic. Bunch of guys sitting around singing Elvis with big smiles on their faces. No one naked. No one drunk. No one looking guilty. Perplexing. Then, lo and behold, they belt out (with feeling), "Vivaaaa Viagra!"

After I force the carrot juice from my windpipe, I wildly run through the house screaming for my mother. You can only imagine.

On to more important things.

I'm in mourning. I even wore black today. That was accidental, true, yet no less appropriate. Two things have me upset: First, Harry Potter is over. I know she might write an encyclopedia and all, but it's not the same. There are no new adventures to take part in. No surpises to look forward to. I feel like I did when I finished all the Anne of Green Gables books. My one comfort is that now I can look on the whole series as old friends. Never to be met again but remembered like looking at photographs and reliving old times. There's a beauty in that, but it still gives me a pang. I make no bones about being a dork. 

Secondly, and most importantly. I sooo wish I had been wrong. My thought was, taking a Weasley twin made the most sense. Not only that, I can't remember if I mentioned it before or not, but Fred has always been the slightly dominant one and consequently my favorite. I said little prayers full of doubt. Please not the twins. If you have to, then take both. If you must take one take George. But noooooo. I had really hoped that George's lost ear would put them out of danger, but alas. 

Dobby's death hurt and all, surprisingly so, but I've always been particularly fond of Fred and Neville. Snape's death made perfect sense. What did he have to live for? His was always a lonely existence, especially after killing Dumbledore, the only one who really knew him, he was completely alone. Even being vindicated at the end I don't think would have left him able to mingle in society anymore. His purpose was gone. He'd done what he set out to do. It's not like he had friends, family, not like he particularly enjoyed teaching. But poor man. At least Harry understood him in the end.

But why, Fred, WHY????

Even so, I love J.K. Rowling. She's one of my heroes. I love how she threw those Bible verses in there too. (I'm giving a rock 'n roll gesture here, not that you can see it). The book was great. Even better the second time around (I only reread 90%!). GOF's still my favorite, but I didn't expect anything to change that. There's a limit to how much you can enjoy something when you know it's the end, at least for me. Still, that didn't stop me from jumping up and running around the room a few, four, five times. 

Now, I'm going to sit here and wait for someone else's genius to spark my imagination. Yup. Right here. I'm not moving.
Friday, July 20th, 2007 - Predictions.

So, here's what I think:

There's no way she'll kill Harry. I just can't see it. Drama and all it just doesn't feel right. I suspect he'll end up with Ginny and have lots of Potter babies. But hey, who knows?

I strongly suspect Hagrid may die. Since after Book 4 I considered it and having reread 6 I'm more in dread of it. He relates to Harry too much. And he's not quite a parental figure since he's really a big kid. Not to mention I can't see Ron or Hermione getting killed off and Hagrid would be the next best emotionally draining thing.

A Weasley must die. As many have said before, the sheer numbers are against them. Charlie wouldn't have an impact because we hardly know him. So unless we grow a whole lot closer to him in this book, I think he's fairly safe. Percy I think would be more suited to living with his regret. Bill and Arthur have both already had their close calls so it's possible, but I doubt it for them. I, however, am one of the few that believe Fred and George are up for grabs. They could be the two who got sentenced while one got a reprieve. And they're very lovable characters which could be their downfall. Imagine the trauma of one twin watching the other die. *shudder* Ginny I suspect is safe if only because another redhead dying specifically for Harry's sake (as you know she would) would be too much. Molly on the other hand....

Snape is on the side of good. Of course. One mustn't be thick about these things.

Alrighty, I'm headed over to Border's. I just needed to go on record with my (possibly) erroneous thoughts. I just pray Hagrid doesn't go anywhere.

If only my stomach would cooperate. That's what I get for that Publix sub yesterday.

1. I figured out I can't go to the concert because I'm out of town. Boo.

2. I reread the Harry Potter series too soon. I should've waited until the week before the new release. But I didn't, and now there's this thirst that can't be quenched. This is why I determinedly refused to get excited too early. I remember in particular how I was before Book 5. That was painful. Book 6 was a little different because I had so much going on. And then of course, I was in the doldrums for days afterward (I honestly thought she'd wait until 7 to kill him. I'd better not think about it. It still hurts.). But this time I told myself would be different. Especially since it was the last time. I didn't want painful anticipation followed by complete euphoria followed by the hollow emptiness of the death of the series. Not that I'm mellow dramatic or anything. To make a long story longer, I should've waited longer.

2. I'm in Maine. York to be specific. But we'll be headed to Augusta tomorrow. We're hear for my grandma's 90th birthday and my uncle's wedding. I'm not really sure what to expect since I've never been to a muslim wedding and my uncle (God bless him) is rather disorganized. No one in the family seems to know the exact plan of events. But ah well. That'll keep things interesting. Regardless, the weather here is perfect this time of year. 70s all day and a wonderful sea breeze. We were at Kennebunkport yesterday revisiting the Bush estate for what I think is the third time in my life (once is plenty, it's not like we can stop in for tea) and while that area's gorgeous, it's way too crowded. It can take 20 minutes to get half a mile down the street in the center of town. Even so, I love the architecture of these old homes and even the new ones they've built to fit in. Fabulous. Classic Americana. I'm filled with visions of my dream home. I wish I could get more pictures but it's hard while you're driving around.

3. All this traveling has COMPLETELY disrupted my valiant attempts at rigorous Japanese study. I expect I'm going to have a lot of down time while I'm here as there's not exactly much to do in Augusta. In between family stuff the plan is to force myself back into responsibility.

4. I've discovered fried Oreos... I know. 

5. I've also discovered fried Snickers.

6. I haven't discovered fried Twinkies, but I do know they exist. And I'm willing to bet someone, somewhere has tried to fry a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

I'm not so sure my body clock will ever get back on track. It's a good thing I didn't end up having to go to the Dominican Republic on Sunday. Mom's there on a medical missions trip which she was planning to drag me into for the sake of having company. Now, don't get me wrong, I want to help. But the stories some of the other doctors told were a little frightening. As a newbie, I'd prefer to work my way up to such things. Especially since I have no medical experience whatsoever. Anyway. I digress. It turns out this was the week I was due at Phyllis', which mom forgot. I'm excited about going. Besides, I think I'm still on California time. At least Texas'll be a little closer to that.

Grandma actually turned 90 a few days ago. They surprised her with a party over Uncle John's. She didn't think she was having one since we're waiting to celebrate it with a reunion in Maine next month. I'm glad she got something on the actual day, though.

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007 - Not Again
I know I really shouldn't complain. But. Is it too much to ask to want to go see The Police/Maroon 5???? I mean, I already missed the Maroon 5/John Mayer concert in college and I may never get over the disappointment. The thing is, I shouldn't waste money on a concert ticket at this point seeing how many things there are I need to save up for this little venture of mine. But even if I could, there's no one down here to go with. Everyone moved! Alas and alack.
Wednesday, May 9th, 2007 - Leavin' On a Jet Plane
I'll Go With You

My Heisig kanji card pack came yesterday. I love getting stuff in the mail. However, I'm still debating with myself whether or not this was a good purchase. I did it on almost a whim because I found it for less than half the price I'd seen elsewhere. And it's long been out of print. So I figured, if ever I would need it, then was the time to get it. It's nice. Neatly organized. It comes in a carry case which seems useless to me. If I were going away for awhile, I wouldn't carry that heavy thing. I'd either take a few cards or use a computer. Really, I got these only for the times when a computer wasn't handy. After all, I just keep using Mom's and Nathan's and that's not always tenable. But I'm praying for my own, so I hope these cards aren't moot in a couple of months. Ahh well. Maybe I'll end up selling them cheap on ebay. They should at least help someone else.

Speaking of Heisig, I "officially" started again last Tuesday and took Sunday off and I've already gone through 276 kanji. I reviewed them all again yesterday just to make sure they were really in my head. lol. Honestly, if I'd had this method before... but no use crying. I'm kind of in limbo now because I found the actual book cheap but it's being shipped all the way from Hawaii. I ordered it on the 22nd and it's still not here yet, alas. I went ahead and worked off of the free preview on line because I thought the book would be here by now. But maybe today...

Right before I leave America it appears I'll be traveling all over it. Next week I go to L.A. where, by God's grace, Clara will give me a haircut. :o) The week after that, Puerto Rico. Then San Francisco where I hope to rent a car and do some visiting. Then Phyllis' new place in Austin, Maine for my Grandmother's 90th birthday, and finally a road trip up to the Orlando area to pick Saori up just in time for my birthday. I'm thinking I should pick Traci up if she's free and go see Meghan and Alina. I suppose I should tell her that...

Friday, May 4th, 2007 - The Spidey Pelvic Thrust
Nathan and I just came back from Spiderman 3. I nearly lost it in the theater. Rather loudly, I might add. If you've seen it, I'm sure you know why. Anyway, it was fun. Another good, summer movie. It just wasn't it summer. That was wise, though. Why compete with Pirates of the Carribbean if you don't have to? 

It looks like Saori and a friend of hers are coming to Florida in June. The plan is a Disney World trip (duh). I'm so excited! I'd better remember how to speak Japanese before then I suppose...
Thursday, May 3rd, 2007 - Finally

It looks like Saori's coming to Florida! Can somebody say, "Disney?" "Glory, Amen."

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007 - Long Time No Saw
Saw the Ghost of Elvis
You know those days when you leave the house looking like "whatever" because no one important's going to see you anyway? Well, that's been my everyday lately and it's come back to bite me in the butt. I've seen two people in the past week I haven't seen in years and I see them looking like a schlubb. Ah, well. I'm sure I'm not alone.

In other news, this Heisig method is going really fast. I'm up to 126 since Friday and I take off on Sundays. The ones I studied in December (and haven't looked at since) I found I still remembered. Amazing. I think this mneumonic thing really does work. But I should've known. Back in the day, that's how Mr. Jominy taught us the 10 Commandments. And he was right, I still know them. Good times.
Saturday, April 28th, 2007 - Japanesing

So, I did some calculations. In college, I had approximately 405 classroom hours of Japanese... I think. From what I've read, it usually takes about 900 to pass the JLPT 1. I have a looooong way to go. But I'm so excited! I also figured out that from October to December at Yamasa, I'll get about 252 hours. And from Jan-June at KPC, 400. That's more in nine months than I had in all of college. Goodness gracious. Anyway, that's encouraging since I plan to stay past the JLPT in December '08. That's a lot more hours. \ (^ ^) /

My books came in the mail today. Best kind of mail, seriously. Especially good service, too. I ordered them Thursday morning and they're already here. I got two new Japanese books and one that's a replacement of what the post office lost. 1, 2, & 3. I can't wait to really get started. But I'm going to go ahead and finish the book I'm working on with my tutor before I revisit 3. It's been a while. 

The plan: Work through a chapter a week, memorizing all the vocab for that chapter. Also, one Heisig lesson per day plus 5 kanji/kanji compounds on my own. Also, write at minimum 10 sentences a day practicing the grammar for that week. My job is a little unpredictable and has weird hours, so watching anime everyday and taking notes is probably unrealistic. But I'll commit myself to every Friday and Saturday I'm in town. I figure it's best to start conservative and not work myself into a tizzy. But really, further ahead I am before I get there the smoother my learning curve will be. 

Did I mention how excited I am?

I also got two more books in the Accidental Detectives series which I've been working on since, oh, about age 6. It's so much fun to read those again.

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