Monthly Archives: December 2006

More pleas for pity

It is Friday evening, and I am in a hotel room in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The internet access is free, so of course I had to check my email one last time, as I won’t have access once I reach Virgin Gorda. And of course, I couldn’t resist one last blog entry.

I woke up this morning at 4 am. I arrived at the airport at 5 am. I was at my gate at 5:30. Security was a breeze. Sure, the line was long, but it moved in an orderly fashion. So I had an hour to wait before I boarded the plane. I guess that’s better than being late, but I could have used a little more sleep.

The trip was mostly uneventful. Delta only serves snacks instead of meals, so I had sun chips for breakfast and lunch. I wish I could say a bag of luggage was lost, or something. That would be good for some sympathy points. But alas, all my luggage arrived safely.

Since I know I won’t be online again:

Merry Christmas
&
A Happy New Year

Word Search

Hannukah

A N A V F Q U L S F T M Z K T F X N
R T O Z M D O D A M A H V C F A C K
B F M N F M R P R R K B Z C R A B E
R R J N B E H S A M A H S H V H R X
E X J P I E S X Q I Q D C E S O J Q
P S Q D S V R F D M F I L P S W J S
A A E J X F L N J K K S G S X K Z P
R L N N I D J M U H I C X Y Q D C M
E O C T V C R S A K P L F T N N L E
M Z O N I J L I M A C C A B E E S N
M Q I A O O K J L U J Q C G X M J O
A I J F H U C W U X R N S K B W K R
H J P K N A S H B D W P E R A N S A
M T F N G Z N H U L A T K E S Z O H
L W A P U Q S N Y S K H C O T Y U X
V H W V Q H Q K A M D Y B F G E B H
C E I D U S V L O H K Y U Q H H Z T
D M Q J P G D U X R S M S U B U C D



ANTIOCHUS CHANNUKIAH DREIDEL
HAMMER HANNAH JUDAH
KISLEV LATKES MACCABEES
MENORAH SHAMASH

Created Here

JK Rowling’s Christmas gift

JK Rowling has revealed the title for the seventh and last Harry Potter novel: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

She has also re-confirmed that two characters will die that “she hadn’t intended to die.” So anyone predicting who those two characters are shouldn’t include Voldemort or Harry in their predictions, as I suspect their fates have been planned since book 1. As I said in the earlier post, I have faith that Harry will survive, but not unscathed. One possibility is that in destroying Voldemort he might lose his magic. But there are other possibilities. (Death isn’t the only way to discourage sequels)

My early prediction on the two additional fatalities are Hagrid and Draco, though if Draco dies, he will perform an act of redemption beforehand. It should be noted my success rate on predictions isn’t good.

JK Rowling’s Christmas gift

JK Rowling has revealed the title for the seventh and last Harry Potter novel: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

She has also re-confirmed that two characters will die that “she hadn’t intended to die.” So anyone predicting who those two characters are shouldn’t include Voldemort or Harry in their predictions, as I suspect their fates have been planned since book 1. As I said in the earlier post, I have faith that Harry will survive, but not unscathed. One possibility is that in destroying Voldemort he might lose his magic. But there are other possibilities. (Death isn’t the only way to discourage sequels)

My early prediction on the two additional fatalities are Hagrid and Draco, though if Draco dies, he will perform an act of redemption beforehand. It should be noted my success rate on predictions isn’t good.

Wherein I beg for pity, though I know I will not get it

I am approaching my annual vacation. I leave Friday morning, and will return Tuesday January 2nd.

My parents left this morning on the exact same flight I will leave on Friday. They left their home at 5:10 am, and my father sent me an email msg from the plane saying they just barely made it to the gate on time. Security was a mess. And of course, on Friday, it’s likely to be even messier since it will be a heavier travel load. So here I am trying to figure out what time I have to leave Friday morning. Yeah, I know, you feel real sorry for me, don’t you? You feel so much pity you’d be willing to sacrifice your morning on Friday so you could go in my place. Well, thanks for the offer, but I think I will survive the suffering.

And I haven’t finished my holiday shopping. Yes, I know, Hannukah will be over by the time I get to the island. I can’t even pretend this year. My family exchanges presents on December 25th. We always have. I rationalize it’s better this way since the Jewish holiday, a Jewish holiday based on resisting assimilation, isn’t diluted with a Christian custom.

I finished most of my shopping last night at Barnes and Noble after Writer’s group, but there are a handful of gift certificates I need to pick up. Real easy, so it’s not a big deal, but I’ve only got two more days. And I have to wash all my summer clothes tonight for the trip. And stop by the post office to cancel my mail. Luckily I get off work at 4 pm, so getting to the post office before it closes won’t be impossible. It’s just going to be a very busy final two days.

Cool! You can put a hold on your mail electronically. That eliminates one stop tonight.

I could also put a hold on anyone’s mail. It wasn’t like I was signed into a registered account when I did it. Of course, I had to type my name, address and telephone number, but those aren’t difficult things to come up with. I have a huge book at home with all of that information on a lot of people. There is a little small print:


The person who prepares this form states that he or she is the person, executor, guardian, authorized officer, or agent of the person for whom mail would be held under this order. Anyone submitting false or inaccurate information on this form is subject to punishment by fine or imprisonment or both under Sections 2, 1001, 1702 and 1708 of Title 18, United States Code.

But that’s it. Of course, I know that when I go into the post office in person, and hand them a hold notice, they don’t usually ask me for my ID.

Harry Potter’s Religion

Q. What religion is Harry Potter?

Answer: I’m not sure JK Rowling has answered this question in any of the books. Witchcraft isn’t treated as a religion, so the answer isn’t ‘Wiccan’. It has been indicated that the Dursleys, Harry’s aunt and uncle, celebrate Christmas, though not really as a religious hoilday. They just bury their spoiled son in presents. I don’t think Rowling has touched upon the faith of James or Lily Potter, much less of Harry. She certainly hasn’t touched upon ethnic and cultural identity.

Q. What religion is Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who portrays Harry Potter in the films?

Answer: In a recent interview in Australia (see below) he revealed his mother is Jewish, and his father is Protestant. However, he implied he wasn’t raised in either religion, and doesn’t consider himself any religion. Though Religion and Philosophy are two academic subjects that do interest him.

If by accident of birth his parentage were switched, this would be much less the news story that it is. But some will undoubtedly latch on to certain Conservative/Orthodox religious definitions and proclaim him Jewish. There’s already this article. While I haven’t found the news yet anywhere else except fan message boards, it will be very surprising to me if it doesn’t start to spread fairly quickly. Whether it is out of pride, or hate, the action is misplaced. He is an adult (17). He has stated that he is not religious at all. The religions of his parents should be irrelevant. (His own religion should be irrelevant, unless he chooses to emphasize it, but for some, out of either pride or hate, this will never be.)

There are a few other interesting facets of the interview. Apparently fans in the US are a lot more aggressive than elsewhere. He also remains convinced his character will die at the end of the seventh novel. I remain hopeful that Rowling will come up with a different, but still satisfying ending.

Harry Potter’s Religion

Q. What religion is Harry Potter?

Answer: I’m not sure JK Rowling has answered this question in any of the books. Witchcraft isn’t treated as a religion, so the answer isn’t ‘Wiccan’. It has been indicated that the Dursleys, Harry’s aunt and uncle, celebrate Christmas, though not really as a religious hoilday. They just bury their spoiled son in presents. I don’t think Rowling has touched upon the faith of James or Lily Potter, much less of Harry. She certainly hasn’t touched upon ethnic and cultural identity.

Q. What religion is Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who portrays Harry Potter in the films?

Answer: In a recent interview in Australia (see below) he revealed his mother is Jewish, and his father is Protestant. However, he implied he wasn’t raised in either religion, and doesn’t consider himself any religion. Though Religion and Philosophy are two academic subjects that do interest him.

If by accident of birth his parentage were switched, this would be much less the news story that it is. But some will undoubtedly latch on to certain Conservative/Orthodox religious definitions and proclaim him Jewish. There’s already this article. While I haven’t found the news yet anywhere else except fan message boards, it will be very surprising to me if it doesn’t start to spread fairly quickly. Whether it is out of pride, or hate, the action is misplaced. He is an adult (17). He has stated that he is not religious at all. The religions of his parents should be irrelevant. (His own religion should be irrelevant, unless he chooses to emphasize it, but for some, out of either pride or hate, this will never be.)

There are a few other interesting facets of the interview. Apparently fans in the US are a lot more aggressive than elsewhere. He also remains convinced his character will die at the end of the seventh novel. I remain hopeful that Rowling will come up with a different, but still satisfying ending.

Not-so-random Five

There But for Fortune
Outside a Small Circle of Friends
I’m Gonna Say it Now
Flower Lady
Love Me, I’m a Liberal

Happy Birthday, Phil Ochs

In the early 1990s a friend of mine was invited to play the violin on a song on Billy Bragg’s album, Don’t Try This At Home. He warned me that some of Bragg’s songs were a little bit political. He didn’t know I was becoming interested in those politics. I soon purchased Bragg’s Internationale, which contained a song “I Dreamed I saw Phil Ochs, last Night.” I had to find out who Phil Ochs was. Now I’m on a Phil Ochs fan mailing list, and whenever the topic runs to politics, whih is often, I’m one of the more conservative participants. It’s a strange feeling.