Thursday, January 25, 2007

Bowing to my Inner (Outer) Dork

This is for the literally twos of you who have emailed and requested: Dum dum da dum! My Harry Potter theories.

Voldemort: I feel sure Voldemort will kick the bucket in book seven. My running theory since about book four has been that Neville Longbottom will be the one to roast his rooster, despite Harry as the obvious choice. Lately, I've considered an alternative. Voldemort may die as a result of a mistake he has made (or will make), much in the manner of a Shakespearean tragic flaw (of course, seen here in the villain and not the hero). If Harry does kill Voldemort, it will be in revenge for a recent killing-probably either Hagrid or Ginny.

Dumbledore: "As your official coroner,
I've thoroughly examined Dumbledore.
And he's not only merely dead
He's really most sincerely dead!"
However, Dumbledore will communicate with Harry in the form of advice from his portrait in the Headmaster's office at Hogwarts, via Sirius' two-way mirrors. Also, Fawkes will travel with Harry et. al. and will supply Harry with the sword of Gryffindor (again).

Sirius: He will reappear long enough for Kreacher to poke him in the eye with a stick. Shaggy dog/dirty house-elf wrestling will ensue. No mud, hoses, jello, or KY Jelly will be involved.

Aunt Petunia: She is really a witch who has suppressed that part of her. This rejection of part of her personality is what causes her to live so unhappily as a faux-Muggle.

Filch: He will do magic in some desperate circumstance. Animal bestiality laws in the magical realm will be changed, clearing the path for a marriage with his beloved Ms. Norris. Grossness ensues.

The locket Horcrux is currently held by Dumbledore's brother Aberforth. Mundungus Fletcher stole it from Grimmauld Place and passed it to Aberforth for safekeeping on Dumbledore's orders (though none were aware it was a Horcrux at the time). Goat-loving Aberforth will also benefit from the revised bestiality laws, and he and Filch will create a communist collective (okay! I'm sorry!).

Percy Weasley and Draco Malfoy both are redeemed and return to the sides of good.

Snape wants to be a bad guy, but doesn't have it in him. He is spared by Harry only to be killed by Voldemort. What a miserable dude. He should have stuck with the cushy teaching job and taken advantage of the dental plan.

Deaths: Voldemort, Hagrid, possibly Ginny, Snape, and the Weasley twins OR Bill and Charlie OR Percy and Mr. Weasley.

Survivors: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, Mrs. Weasley, Draco Malfoy

In the end? Good defeats evil. Hooray!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

An Oval Office Conversation

I can't believe I'm posting this, but I pretty much had to. I'm still laughing. It's only a little outdated, but there's still nothing like a good joke at another's expense. But right after I post this, I'm going back into serious professor mode, I promise.

An Oval Office Conversation:

George: Condi! Nice to see you. What's happening?
Condi: Sir, I have the report here about the new leader of China.
George: Great. Lay it on me.
Condi: Hu is the new leader of China.
George: That's what I want to know.
Condi: That's what I'm telling you.
George: That's what I'm asking you. Who is the new leader of China?
Condi: Yes.
George: I mean the fellow's name.
Condi: Hu.
George: The new leader of China.
Condi: Hu.
George: The Chinaman!
Condi: Hu is leading China.
George: Now what are you asking me for?
Condi: I'm telling you, Hu is leading China.
George: Well, I'm asking you. Who is leading China?
Condi: That's the man's name.
George: That's whose name?
Condi: Yes.
George: Will you or will you not tell me the name of the new leader of China?
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: Yassir? Yassir Arafat is in China? I thought he was in the Middle East.
Condi: That's correct.
George: Then who is in China?
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: Yassir is in China?
Condi: No, sir.
George: Then who is?
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: Yassir?
Condi: No, sir.
George: Look, Condi. I need to know the name of the new leader of China. Get me the Secretary General of the U.N. on the phone.
Condi: Kofi?
George: No, thanks.
Condi: You want Kofi?
George: No.
Condi: You don't want Kofi.
George: No. But now that you mention it, I could use a glass of milk. And then get me the U.N. Condi: Yes, sir.
George: Not Yassir! The guy at the U.N.
Condi: Kofi?
George: Milk! Will you please make the call?
Condi: And call who?
George: Who is the guy at the U.N?
Condi: Hu is the guy in China.
George: Will you stay out of China?!
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: And stay out of the Middle East! Just get me the guy at the U.N.
Condi: Kofi.
George: All right! With cream and two sugars. Now get on the phone. (Condi picks up the phone.)
Condi: Rice, here.
George: Rice? Good idea. And a couple of egg rolls, too. Maybe we should send some to the guy in China. And the Middle East. Can you get Chinese food in the Middle East?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Burning Books

The following is a list of the most challenged books from 1990-2000, according to the ALA (American Library Association). Most people think of these as banned books, but books are actually rarely banned. It's more likely they are challenged, which is an attempted ban. Thankfully most libraries in the U.S. object to pulling titles from their shelves. The little stars indicate which of the top 100 I've read. Take a gander at this list. It's crazy. Some of these are fantastic books.

**1.Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
2.Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
**3.I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
**4.The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
**5.The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
**6.Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
**7.Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
**8.Forever by Judy Blume
**9.Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
**10.Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
11.Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
**12.My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
**13.The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
**14.The Giver by Lois Lowry
15.It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
**16.Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
**17.A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
**18.The Color Purple by Alice Walker
19.Sex by Madonna
**20.Earth's Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
**21.The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
**22.A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
**23.Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
24.Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
25.In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
26.The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
**27.The Witches by Roald Dahl
28.The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
**29.Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
30.The Goats by Brock Cole
31.Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
**32.Blubber by Judy Blume
**33.Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
34.Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
**35.We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
**36.Final Exit by Derek Humphry
37.The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
**38.Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
**39.The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
40.What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide forParents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
**41.To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
**42.Beloved by Toni Morrison
**43.The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
44.The Pigman by Paul Zindel
45.Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
**46.Deenie by Judy Blume
**47.Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
48.Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
**49.The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
50.Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
**51.A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
**52.Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
53.Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
54.Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
55.Cujo by Stephen King
**56.James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
57.The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
58.Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
59.Ordinary People by Judith Guest
60.American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
61.What's Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide forParents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
**62.Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
63.Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
64.Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
**65.Fade by Robert Cormier
66.Guess What? by Mem Fox
67.The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
**68.The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
69.Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
**70.Lord of the Flies by William Golding
71.Native Son by Richard Wright
72.Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Fantasies by Nancy Friday
73.Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
74.Jack by A.M. Homes
75.Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
76.Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
**77.Carrie by Stephen King
**78.Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
**79.On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
80.Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
81.Family Secrets by Norma Klein
82.Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
83.The Dead Zone by Stephen King
**84.The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
**85.Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
86.Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
87.Private Parts by Howard Stern
88.Where's Waldo? by Martin Hanford
**89.Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
90.Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
91.Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
92.Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
93.Sex Education by Jenny Davis
94.The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
95.Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
**96.How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
97.View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
98.The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
99.The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
100.Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

I'll post more on this topic later, as soon as I manage to shake the crazy, crazy thought that people want to take books off of shelves.

"Where they first burn books, they will soon burn men." ~~Heinrich Heine

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Happy Birthday, Nick!

Happy Birthday to my big brother!