July 2007


I was writing a substantive post, but it wasn’t going very well so I started farting around on youtube and found the following delightful combination of an oldy, but goody from the early days of  second wave of feminism and Hogwartsmania (I hope they redo it to include some footage from the latest movie- although it seems like with each movie Hermione (and Ron) have less and less screentime).

Although, in my opinion, they showed too much of Hermione at the ball from the fourth movie, and not enough of her decking Draco.  And here’s another one, along the same theme, but with more modern music:

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Why, why, you ask would anyone want a boring weekend?  Well, remember that ancient Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times?” So, the things that have made my life ‘interesting’ this week:

1) mr. jolt is out the country.  This isn’t really that interesting, but it made all the other ‘interesting’ things more stressful somehow.

2) We had a fire in our backyard on Wednesday. 

Fortunately, it was a small mulch fire.  We had mulch spontaneously combust in one of our flower beds.  (yes, this happens – try googling spontaneous mulch fire)  It’s actually a good thing that our sitter was home with the kids because they smelled the smoke and put it out and the entire house didn’t catch on fire (it was right next to the house).  The boys did enjoy the visit from the firemen (who had been called before the source of the smoke had been found).

3) We had rain in the kitchen on Thursday. 

Yes, rain.  The drain hose from the washer, which is on the second floor, came loose and so we had 1.5″  of water on the floor in the laundry room, with seepage through the kitchen ceiling.  The drops dripping off the light fixture over the kitchen table were a nice touch, I thought.  Never have I been more thankful that our shop vac is wet/dry – I was able to suck up all the water that seeped into the air vent in the floor.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we don’t end up with mold in our ventilation system.

 4) After cleaning up as best I could from the item above, I get a call from my mother informing me that she had just returned from the hospital. (Uh, thanks mom’s husband – ya think you could give her only daughter a call when she’s been admitted to the hospital?)  She’d had a bad fall on her bike on Tuesday and knocked herself out for about 12 hours and broke her clavicle.  They kept her in for a day due to the severity of the concussion, but she seems to be ok, if a little woozy.

Overall, nothing horribly, horrible, but a nice, quiet, weekend would be much appreciated, thank you.

So, here I am:

Your Score: Sad Cookie Cat

51% Affectionate, 48% Excitable, 55% Hungry

You are the classic Shakespearian tragedy of the lolcat universe. The sad story of a baking a cookie, succumbing to gluttony, and in turn consuming the very cookie that was to be offered. Bad grammar ensues.

Very cute quiz.  Take it here.  To see all possible results (very funny) go here.

Thinking further on the dementor issue, and dementors in real life, personal or otherwise, I think there are cultural and political dementors.  Not that the individuals filling the dementor role have the general effect on everyone like in the Potter books, but on categories of people.  Think of celebrities or politicians that for whatever reason, you absolutely despise.  Sometimes the reasons are rational, sometimes not.

Anyway, this is probably stretching the notion of dementors too far, but I thought I’d add it to the discussion.

On the way out of the office today, I was caught waiting with The Silent Man.  This guy, who works on my floor, does not talk to anybody.  Seriously.  I supppose he must talk to his boss and probably some support staff, but apparently does not interact with anyone else in the office as far as I (and several of my colleagues) can tell.  He exudes this aura of chilly disinterestedness.  I’ve never had the nerve to do more than smile at him when stuck in the elevator hall because of the pall he carries with him.  Of course, because he doesn’t really look anyone in the eye, he probably doesn’t see the smile encouraging him to say hello.  Anyway, in a very distant way he reminded me of the dementors in the Potter books in that his silent presence is so palpable that even when I have gotten on the elevator chatting with other people we all fall silent in his presence.  Weird.

This got me thinking about dementors.  In the Potter books, the dementors suck all the happiness out of people whenever they’re around.  They drive people crazy with sadness.  They are not personal dementors in that they have the same effect, generally, on everyone.  I was thinking though, that I, and probably many others, have a personal dementor.  A personal dementor is someone who just makes you crazy.  Perhaps with sadness, such as the Potter dementors, or in my case, crazy with rage.

When I say drives me crazy with rage, not only has this person done absolutely infuriating things, but has done them so often and made me so ‘demented’ that even minor faux pas and irritations that I would overlook or dismiss in someone else make me glower and storm about in overwhelming anger at yet another offense by this person.  This relative, quite literally, drives me crazy with rage almost by “being” sometimes. 

It is absolutely absurd that I let this person affect me so and I have on occasion tried every trick I can think of to simply not engage, not allow the minor irritants to get to me, but I have always failed.  Basically, I end up doing all sorts of stupid passive aggressive things when I am around this person and it drives me nuts.  I can be very straight-forward about issues, problems, etc., with most people, but not with this person.  I tried it once and it blew up in my face.

One of my best friends in law school was managing editor of the law review and as such, had the not so joyous task of giving assignments to her peers to review/edit articles.  There was a guy in our class who became her personal dementor.  He was typical of a subset of people on the journal who once they had ‘gotten on law review’ and had that credit to add to their resume did simply the barest most minimal amount of work, complaining all the while about how put upon they were.  Anyway, everything this guy did drove my friend nuts the entire year she was editor.  Finally, in desperation, she decided that for Lent (she being Catholic) she would give up her anger at him.  It worked.  I”m not sure how.  She still despises him, but for the last few months of the year she was able to let go and he did not phase faze* her. 

I wish I could find a way to do that with my personal dementor.  I need to be able to do a Patronus charm.

Please share your thoughts on personal dementors and how to defeat them – any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

* Updated to correct wordchoice.  I seem to have more and more problems with homonyms the older I get. Weird.

After being at the beach for a week – yes, it was quite lovely thank you – I arrived to have Harry Potter waiting on my doorstep.  So, you must wait yet another day or so before I post something even mildly interesting.  Toodles!

This Friday Five is going out early because we are headed for the beach for vacation tomorrow morning.  We’re going to the same beachy area that we’ve gone to since BB was a big bump in my belly.  Sometimes we’ve gone with friends and their kids (great fun) sometimes just our family (also fun).  We keep talking about going somewhere else for a change, but this place is so easy it’s hard to pull away.  My favorite things to do while we’re there:

1) Run around on the beach helping the boys catch hermit crabs.  Sometimes we even see a horseshore crab (which are actually more related to spiders than other crabs according to a book we bought last year).  Last year, a baby seal got caught between the sandbars and we all had to stand back while the wildlife officers kept us from getting to close while we all waited for it to find its way out to the bay.  A picture of this seal is used in the header of the blog.

2) Eating ice cream.  While on vacation we almost always do this twice a day – once on the beach at lunch time, some drippy pre-packaged ice cream sandwich thingy, and later after dinner a scoop of local ice cream at one of the fabulous ice cream shops.  The beach shack where we go to for lunch sometimes also has awesome stringy onion rings.  Mmmm. 

3) Going for a walk through a nearby nature preserve.  Although last year this was not successful – the boys were tired and refused to walk and wanted to be carried the whole way.  Ugh.  But the year before we spotted a turtle laying eggs right in the path.  I ran back to get a ranger because we were worried the eggs might get crushed by later walkers.  It turned out the turtle was endangered so they placed some kind of barrier to keep people from stepping on it. 

4) Grilled lobster.  Wow.  None of that drippy mess you get when eating a more traditional boiled/steamed lobster.  You need a big cleaver to do it because you have to split the lobster lengthwise so that you can cook each half shell side down on the grill.  mr. jolt did not make it last year and I was very grumpy. 

5) Naps.  Although I’m not sure they’ll happen this year now that the boys are older.  With all the sun and water, even BB would fall asleep on a just long enough stroll in the afternoon while sitting in the jog stroller we used to rent while there.   Now, neither are napping regularly so we’ll have to see whether mr. jolt or I get to take our own.

Have a great week everyone!

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