Tuesday, July 17

I frequently act as though I am not possessed of the Inner Eye, so as not to make others nervous.

*Spoilers for books 1-6 below

Well, folks, we’ve just 4 days to go before we say hello to The Deathly Hallows and goodbye to Harry and his friends. So I’d like to go on record with my predictions for what will happen, realizing of course that I could be totally wrong. Let’s hope I am, because I’d hate to think I’d figured the whole thing out. Fortunately, J.K. Rowling is good at surprises. I mean, did anyone expect Voldemort to be living on the back of Quirrell’s head? Or Mad-Eye Moody to not be Mad-Eye Moody?

Harry—Even though I’ve been confident all along that Harry will be victorious and live to tell about it, for some reason I started getting a bit anxious after I saw Order of the Phoenix. Then I had a beer and reread the first chapter of the first book. It calmed me down like Holly Golightly visiting Tiffany’s. The effects of the beer have worn off, and I’m still convinced: He’s the Boy Who Lived, people! No way he’s going to die!

Ron and Hermione
—They should have the same fate. Rowling hasn’t taken this much time slowly building their relationship only to have them parted in death. They’ll either die together or live together, and I think they’ll go on and be the next generation. The world must be peopled.

Neville—He’s got a score to settle with Bellatrix Lestrange. I hope he doesn’t die in the completion of it, but it’s a definite possibility. Perhaps he’ll take down Voldemort too. After all the fuss about the prophecy applying to Harry, how cool would it be to have someone the enemy overlooked creep in at the end and bring about his destruction, totally unlooked for, while he focuses his concentration on Harry? Maybe I am thinking too much of The Lord of the Rings.

The Weasley family—Bill has already been bitten by Fenrir Greyback and Mr. Weasley was attacked by the snake, which is enough hardship for them. Charlie… I hate to say it, but he seems expendable. Percy will be too prideful to accept the chance for redemption and probably die because of it (or live with the consequences, which would be even more interesting). Fred and George have a bright future ahead of them, but I’m worried about Ginny and Mrs. Weasley. They’re beloved by Harry, which isn’t a good sign, but I don’t think it necessarily spells doom either.

The teachers—Every time Rowling has told us a major character is going to die, I’ve expected it to be Hagrid, so I think he’s due. Moody will probably die in battle. It’s how he’d like to go. But someone has to run Hogwarts, so McGonagall is safe. Trelawney will make her third and final prophecy.

The baddies—Voldemort, Snape and Bellatrix Lestrange are all going down, of course. Draco, unlike Percy, will accept the opportunity for redemption, and this I’m excited about.

Is Snape good or evil? I hate this question because regardless of where his ultimate loyalties lie, Snape has done terrible things all through the series. He’s bullied, humiliated and tortured his non-Slytherin students for years. Even if his killing Dumbledore was part of an ultimate plan against Voldemort, taking human life is still wrong. If Rowling works it out that somehow this was okay, I won’t be pleased.

What else?—Harry and Voldemort will go beyond the veil (I think this is what is on the cover art). Perhaps while he’s there Harry will interact with Dumbledore (this would fit with Rowling’s statement that Dumbledore was giving her some trouble in book 7, even though he was dead) and—this makes me emotional just thinking about it—his parents.

Thoughts? Predictions of your own? This is your last chance for bragging rights!

Wednesday, July 11

Go ahead! They're not called don't nuts!

I'm sorry that I tend to post about the same subject multiple times in a row, but this is just too good to pass up. In a brilliant marketing move, 7-Elevens across the country are becoming Kwik-E-Marts to promote the upcoming The Simpsons Movie. Add this to the list of things I never thought would happen: I want desperately to go to a 7-Eleven and buy junk food! Buzz Cola, Krusty-Os, donuts with sprinkles--they have it all. Well, almost all. There is no Duff beer, thanks to the movie's PG-13 rating.

It all reminds me of the Simpsons-themed party my roommate threw a few years ago. We carefully planned the food and rented the episodes, only to have it crashed by some of the people invited, who showed up late, dressed in strange costumes and bringing people we didn't know. They paraded in and ate the food, interrupting the guests who were trying to watch tv and making us all uneasy with their bizarre behavior and clothes. Needless to say, these boys weren't invited to any more parties. At the end of the evening we had learned our lesson: don't cast your pearls before swine, even if your pearls are only season 3 episodes of The Simpsons.

There don't seem to be any 7-Elevens located around me, which is perhaps for the best. I am spared the temptation to buy food I don't actually like just because it makes me laugh. It also removes the temptation I would otherwise feel to steal promotional materials like this sign:

Kwik-E-Mart Flickr photoset

Thursday, July 5


My family as Simpsons characters. Have some fun in Springfield at Simpsonsmovie.com.

Tuesday, July 3


Andrew Osenga called the short songs on The Morning “chapters” after vignettes in The Complete Stories of Hemingway. I don’t have enough for a single full post, so here are some mini ones.

1.6 million people can’t be wrong

Today while reading Posie, a craft blog I adore, I clicked on an Amazon link to a cookbook called My French Kitchen by Joanne Harris. Why? Because I just saw Ratatouille. Watch it and you’ll want a French kitchen too. Scanning down the page of reviews applauding the recipes, I find this interesting fact. What do 5% of customers buy after viewing My French Kitchen? Why, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, of course.

“How am I a hog and me both? How am I saved and from hell too?”

As I was driving home from work a couple of weeks ago I saw an elderly man without a shirt on. He was striding purposefully across the lawn of a neat little house. What attracted my attention was that he was also barefoot, and his khaki shorts were rolled up as far as they could decently go. I saw him again a half-hour later while I was driving to my church to help out with snacks at Vacation Bible School. This time he was loping across the baseball field, slightly hunched over, with gray hair flying. I zipped around the curve in my air-conditioned car and cast an eye at the 3 dozen chocolate-banana muffins I’d made for the VBS staff sitting in the passenger’s seat. “If I were in a Flannery O’Connor story,” I thought, “that crazy man would be an instrument of grace and break into my life to show me my smugness and self-satisfaction. Here I am freshly showered, in my nice clean car, going to volunteer at church with my homemade muffins.” I felt like Mrs. Turpin in “Revelation.” I know I’m saved, but one day even my virtues will be burned away.

Letters to the Editor, Vol. 1

Speaking of Andrew Osenga, he’s newly released an acoustic EP called Letters to the Editor, Vol. 1. All 6 songs were written and recorded in a 2-week period and inspired by stories, pictures and phrases submitted by fans. If you’ve wondered about Mr. Osenga, now’s your chance. Download the EP for free, and if you like it send him a donation as suggested.