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July 18, 2005: Book ends

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I am not ashamed to admit that over the past week I have been counting down the days until the newest installment in the Harry Potter saga was released. We preordered our book back in November or December, pretty much the moment the release date was announced, and it made me positively giddy to receive the little announcement in my email earlier this week that the book was still on track to arrive at our house on Saturday, no later than 7pm. I will admit that I did begin to question our decision to preorder, since Saturday morning we went to CostCo to stock up on a few things, and greeting us at the door as we walked in were mammoth stacks of brand new Harry Potter books in their lovely green book jackets. But I told myself I would be strong, and once we returned from shopping, I spent the rest of the afternoon either downstairs, where I'd be sure to hear the doorbell, or at least the scuffling on the porch when the UPS delivery person dropped it off, or upstairs refreshing the UPS tracking site, muttering about how it didn't show anything at all useful.

Because, it is important to point out here, they told me that they shipped it UPS. Which means that the package was supposed to show up on our *front porch*. So I was a little miffed when I went to check the regular mail at around 5-ish, and there it was, waiting for me, who knows how many precious reading hours wasted.

We'd planned a 20's and 30's group potluck dinner for Saturday night and couldn't really skip it due to Harry Potter (although don't think the thought didn't cross my mind at least once or twice). And it was a fun evening - a small group, but animated. We ate cajun food - red beans and rice, crawfish pie, shrimp etouffee. I made apple cinnamon sweet potato muffins because I was feeling extremely unadventerous, and besides, I figured since the recipe came from the Louisiana Sweet Potato website, it at least qualified as being from the region. There was decadently delicious chocolate cake, and some kind of pie whose filling was made primarily of sugar and butter and wow, and we chatted and played Flux, which is a marvelous card based game I urge everyone to go out and buy right now, and we didn't get done until after 9:30, which meant we didn't get home until around 10, and if it wasn't for the fact that the brand new book was waiting for me, I would have just gone straight to bed because I had to be up rather early the next morning, seeing as how I was the accompanist for the 8am service at church. But I'd started the book the second I got it out of the mailbox (I literally was tearing open the box as I walked hastily back to the house), and managed to get about a third of the way through during the slightly-less-than-one-hour between when I found it and when we had to leave. So when we got home I dumped everything rather unceremoniously on the counter and picked up the book and did not stop until slightly less than 2 hours later, when I was finally done. If you were keeping track, yes that means it took me just about 3 hours to read it (which is better than for the last book, but the last book was over 800 pages and this one was only 600 and something, so it makes sense).

Normally I would have handed it to Richard and he would have read it immediately (or maybe, due to the late hour, he would have waited until the next day to read it), but on Saturday morning - yes the *day* it was released - he had the bright idea that he wanted to read through the first five books again, and so he is not going to be even touching this new one for several days. DAYS, people!

I am going nuts here. No one at work has read it because while I love my job and my coworkers are awesome and in every other way this is a great place to work, I am the only nerd there, I am also the only one who is interested in science fiction and fantasy and anything else like that. At The Company to Be Nicknamed Later, there was a little group of us who would all gather together the morning after a new episode of Star Trek: Enterprise (back when it first started and we didn't realize how stupid it was going to become) and we would talk about what had happened. They were the sort of people I could have babbled excitedly to about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, or the fact that I finally managed to do something really new and cool with SQL or VBA, and they would have *understood*. Here at this new job I get the distinct feeling that the rest of them sometimes look at me as if they want to pat me on the head and then give me a pepperoni pizza and a comic book and send me back to play with all the other little nerds (if there were any other nerds to play with. Sniffle). So there is no one I can talk to about the book, and about my speculations about how some people who appear evil really aren't, and how I think the title of the book really had very little to do with the actual plot, and a million other things that I will not mention here for fear of spoiling it for the rest of you slackers who did not drop everything and read the whole book in one sitting (ha ha). Gah.

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