... indistinguishable from magic
effing the ineffable since 1977


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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


This weekend I finally went to see Goblet, so here's a mini-review. Well, perhaps not so mini, but it does have lots of bullet points. Probably any fan has seen it already, and my opinion won't be terribly relevant to a non-fan, but hey, it's my blog and I can post a pointless review if I want ;) Lots of spoilers inside for this movie, the previous ones, and all the books.

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This week just keeps getting better and better

On last week's episode, both kids were sick and Janene was getting sick too. It's only gotten better from there.

On Monday Janene went to the doctor with a red and swollen eye and was diagnosed with conjunctivitis and given eye drops. By Wednesday it was only getting worse, even though we should have been seeing a lot of improvement by that point because of the drops, so her doctor refered her to an opthalmologist. He gave her different eyedrops which do, finally, seem to be working.

In the meantime a screwup with our insurance meant that we had to scramble to find a way to get money to pay full price for these prescriptions, and argue with just about every doctor and pharmacist as to how they ought to accept our copay or at least not refuse to see us.

As her eye got better her cold / sinus infection got worse, and she went to the doctor for that on Thursday (prompting yet another set of arguments about insurance and payment and more full-price prescriptions). The doctor said that her heart was racing and instructed her to check the rate at home, and if it didn't drop below 100 by the evening to go to the E.R.

So we spent Thursday evening until midnight in the E.R. while they pumped her full of fluids and, among other things, did a CAT scan to make sure she didn't have a Pulmonary Embolism (which apparently are rather nasty things). Fortunately she didn't and they concluded that the elevated heart rate was due to a combination of stress, dehydration and fever - by the time we left the hospital it had dropped into the 80s.

It's a good thing the E.R. doesn't actually check your insurance card for validity when they admit you! Hopefully by the time they actually bill it the insurance will be reinstated again. At least, it BETTER be...


My kids have DontLetDaddyWatchHarryPotteritis!


As may have been somewhat apparent from past blog postings, I'm a little bit of a Harry Potter fan. However, I still haven't been to see the latest movie and I'm really really hoping this one stays in theaters longer than Serenity did (Scifi channel screwed that one up for me by showing all the Firefly episodes ending the week after Serenity stopped showing anywhere). The problem? My kids have DontLetDaddyWatchHarryPotteritis :(

Opening weekend L. (#2) was coughing so badly he was choking himself. Thanksgiving weekend A. (#1) spiked a 104 fever and ended up at the E.R. where she was diagnosed with the beginnings of pneumonia and put on a nebulizer which, no kidding, makes her act like a junkie. And this weekend - when I swore come hell or high water I was going to see it - L. is wheezing, was at the doctor today, has been put on the nebulizer too (he's not acting like a junkie, yet, but we'll see) and had a fever when he went to bed.

To cap it all off, my poor, longsuffering wife who has been doing a stellar job of taking care of both of these poor dears against impossible odds is now sick herself.

Don't get me wrong, I'd do anything for my wife and kids, I feel awful watching them suffer and I want more than anything else to take care of them and make them feel better. But there's still that little bit of me that's saying "why oh why did they have to choose these three weekends?"

I'm particularly excited to see this particular movie, more than the preceding three, because this is the best and perhaps only chance for one of the HP movies to be better than the book. Goblet is my least favorite of the series in books[1] (warning: mild adult humor in footnote) because of the big huge gaping plot hole, and one of the advantages of the fact that so much has to be chopped out to make a movie is that it's much easier to gloss over little details like, say, whether there's any plausible reason for the bad guy to act as he does.

Out of fear of spoilers I haven't followed the fan reaction to this movie very closely yet but I get the impression it's pretty positive - more so even than to Azkaban which was light years above the first two travesties. It seems like they've finally got the idea that (a) this isn't a series for little kids (b) it can be more than 90 minutes long, and (c) Ron isn't just the Hogwarts incarnation of Macaulay Culkin's "Home Alone" face.

To be fair, there's a chance that Phoenix could turn out to be a better movie than the book too, because Phoenix the book is a better movie than it is a book! If the directors can recognize that the essence of the story is the looming, menacing, horrible wrongness of everything, and find an appropriately movie-ish way of conveying that (the book does a good job, but it's something that's simply harder to get across in words than in images) it could be a real triumph of a movie. Then again, it could go horribly, disastrously wrong, too. It looks like they may have done a good job on Goblet (I'll let you know when I (eventually) do see it) but Goblet is an easy task compared toPhoenix.

[1] A least favorite Harry Potter book is like a least favorite time of day to have sex: still way better than not getting laid at all!