Thursday, January 25, 2007

Don't tell me I've nothing to do...

Wow. Yeah. So I guess I haven't posted in a while. But you know, I really can't spend all my time thinking up witty and interesting things to say on the Internet. I have a life, you know. And there are so many other, more important things that require my attention. Like trying to fool my cat into thinking my dirty sock is actually a large, purple mouse. Or watching reruns of Friends and Family Guy that I have already seen five times. Or attempting, for the fifteenth time, to finish my Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets computer game (it is really hard to find the last two bronze wizard cards). So you see, I've been very busy and I have a very good excuse for being such an intermittent blogger.

Speaking of Harry Potter, I'm sure everybody knows that the title for the final book was announced in December: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Oooooohhhhh. Doesn't that sound deliciously... deadly? Will she or won't she? Is Harry going to survive the final onslaught, or will the Deathly Hallows be his doom? Actually, I am working on a piece which I hope will be ready to post sometime soon about my predictions for the final book. There is, as of yet, no official news of a release date for the book. Many people are predicting July 7th of this year (the seventh book being released on 07/07/07 would have a kind of symmetry to it), but considering that the 5th Harry Potter movie is due to be released that same month, I doubt that will be the case.

Speaking of movies based on books, can you believe how crazy the movie industry is going over movies based on children's books? Just before Christmas there was Eragon and Charlotte's Web, How to Eat Fried Worms was before that, and coming up is Bridge to Terabithia. Bridge to Terabithia is a Disney production and I will be interested to see what they do with it. The novel is a frequent target of censors and appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000 at number nine. I wonder if Disney will stay true to the book, or change it into another one of its sanitized, happily-ever-after atrocities. The movie will be released on February 16th, so we shall see.

Anyway, I'd better go. I think I hear Harry calling.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year

So, here's a good New Year's story.

First of all, I should explain that my parents were in Australia for six weeks and did not get back until December 15th. Because they were going to be away until just before Christmas, they asked my sister to get a tree for them. Now, my parents' living room goes all the way up through the second floor (think loft), so the ceiling is actually close to 20 feet high. So my sister asked for a "tall tree". So the guy at the tree lot gave her "a really good deal" on a tall tree, since not too many people have the room in their house for one and he didn't think he was going to sell it. And, bonus, this tree was a wild tree all the way from the mountains. So, she hauled her tree home, and it was only when we got it home that we realized what "tall tree" meant.

The tree was actually somewhere around 10 to 11 feet tall. Now, as I said before, that's not a problem with regards to the ceiling, but recall that trees are cone-shaped, and an increase in height means an increase in the size of the base. We were dealing with one massive tree. Now, we usually have fairly tall trees (usually in the realm of 8 or 9 feet tall) so we already owned a fairly heavy-duty tree stand. Well this tree was so big and heavy that we couldn't get it to stand up. It fell over twice (luckily before it was decorated). Finally, Dad had to weld extra long legs onto the stand in order to hold the tree up. After that, it seemed to be well-balanced and supported, and once decorated, it was actually quite nice. Really, one of the nicest trees we ever had, I think. What do you think?

Christmas Tree

Before I go on, I should also mention that my sister brought home her two kittens, who are, as kittens are wont to be, very cute and mischievous, and who also developed an unhealthy fascination with the Christmas Tree. We also have a very old, very large dog named Fuzzy. She's part Husky part St. Bernard, deaf as a post, almost blind, and possibly going a bit batty as well (mom found her barking at the book case the other day for no apparent reason). The kittens were also fascinated with the dog. The dog was not quite so enamoured of them. The whole situation was a recipe for disaster, and I'm sure you can see where this is going.

Now picture this: We were sitting at home in the basement watching a movie on New Year's Eve, it is just past midnight (happy 2007!) when there was a deafening crash from above, followed by the sound of claws scrabbling on the floor and running feet. We ran upstairs, and I'm sure you can guess what we found.

The big, beautiful tree had tipped completely over and was lying on the floor amidst needles, water and broken glass. Yuck! K and I were not looking forward to cleaning it up. But it had to be done, so the first thing we did was stand the tree back up again. And who should emerge from underneath? Fuzzy! A little bit shaken (after all, how often does a 10 foot tree fall on you?) but otherwise unharmed and waiting patiently to be rescued.

Luckily, the damage was not as bad as it first looked. There were about 10 broken balls, but if a large furry dog had not been there to break the tree's fall, I imagine we would have lost many more.

Now, it would seem, given the fact that we caught Fuzzy red-handed underneath the tree that she would be the primary suspect. However, you must remember the sound of running feet that was heard directly after the incident. It obviously wasn't Fuzzy as she was trapped under the tree at the time. Which brings me to K's kittens. They, of course, were nowhere to be seen when we went upstairs to investigate the crime scene. They wandered in a few minutes later and stared at Fuzzy with wide eyes as if to say "Oooooh. Look what you did." Although we have our suspicions, there were, alas, no security cameras and no other physical evidence to tie them to the scene. The cats, of course, aren't talking. So we'll never know for sure exactly what transpired.

So, I was up until 3 am on New Year's Eve cleaning up bits of tree and broken glass. Not a particularly auspicious beginning to the year, but I have faith. 2007 is the year of the Violette. I can feel it. In any case, it's got to be better than last year which, apart from the 6 weeks I spent in Europe (which I will admit was pretty darn awesome), this past year totally sucked. Was, in fact, the suckiest year ever. So, here's to 2007. Don't let me down.