Hi again. Haven't written in about 10 days, I know, but it's better than like a month between entries, as often happens with me, as anybody who checks the list of posts per month on this blog can see.
Last night, I only got 4 1/2 hours of sleep, and as a result, I was rather irritable at work today, which I feel bad about. I mean, generally I do get irritated if I'm pulling the breakout cart out and a box falls off. But today I even seemed supersensitive to the sound of a bus's tires screeching when I was heading back to the mall bus area after going across the street really quick to see if the Dollar Tree over there was open. It wasn't, but then it was only a little after 7am.
I should explain something here. My parents are out of town, on a trip to New York and Montreal, because it's their 25th wedding anniversary this year. Knowing this in advance, I asked for early shifts so I could take the bus home and not have to have someone pick me up. I got them, but I have to be at work at 10:00. I looked up the buses and found out I had to catch the 6:30 FAST to make it (the one an hour later would work too, but I'd get to work 15 minutes before I was supposed to start). I remembered that one of the buses for the normal bus route in the area where I live reaches a stop close to my house at around 6:40am. (I know this because I had an 8am class one semester, and I'd have to catch the 6:40 bus to make it to school on time). So I decided to catch this. To be ready, I had to get up at 5:30am.
Unfortunately, last night, I went to bed at 12:42am (I count anything before dawn as part of the night before). This meant, 4 1/2 hours of sleep, probably the least I've ever gotten. Hence, my irritability. Add to that my stress about my work situation (should I look for another job? Or should I stay here for a bit longer? If I should go, should I seek an office job or another store job?, etc) and school (which I'll mention later), plus that it's around "that time of the month," and, while I was not a b-word (female dog b-word, not illegitimate child b-word), I was whiny and irritable.
Stuff got better later in the day when I realized I have tomorrow and Thursday off and so can catch up on sleep. Still, I had to stay a half hour late (the latest I could legally stay) to finish breakout.
In other news, yesterday I picked up my pre-ordered copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. And though I, as I have been telling people, have been trying to pace myself and not read it too fast, taking two bus trips to and from work provides more reading time for me than usual, plus a slow computer and a big need to relieve myself when I get home from work have contributed to me having more reading time too. (Yes, I read in the bathroom -- I read everywhere basically). So I am past chapter 20 (of 39, including the epilogue).
And since I really want to share my thoughts about this book with somebody, I'm going to post my thoughts here, where I am least likely to spoil the book for anybody. But for the rare few who actually read this blog (despite the fact that I have a link to it in my forum signatures, on my websites, and that sort of thing), I will make sure to put a warning before spilling the beans.
SPOILER WARNING!!! THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS!! PLEASE SKIP THE SECTION BELOW IF YOU WISH TO NOT SPOIL THE BOOK FOR YOURSELF. IF YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT THAT, OR IF YOU HAVE ALREADY READ THE BOOK, THEN READ ON.
From what I've read so far, Deathly Hallows is excellently written, and unique among the other books in that there is action going on constantly. But then, considering what's going on with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and with Vol--oh, whoops, his name's Tabooed...He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named--about, things are bound to be action-packed. (Mr. Bad Guy [as I'll call him]'s name becomes "tabooed" around the midpoint of the book, because somehow it has the power to break protective enchantments, which is how come Death Eaters keep finding the trio just when they think they're safe...we hear about this taboo through dialogue from Ron though so we don't know exactly when in the timeline this taboo started).
As for deaths...Rowling said there'd be some, and there are. Heck, the first chapter even has a death! Not a main character though, just a former Hogwarts teacher, Charity Burbage. (She taught Muggle Studies...at least we know who that teacher is now...Hermione took MS during her 3rd year, but never mentioned her teacher's name, nor was Professor Burbage ever mentioned as having been at the staff table during feasts, whereas even Professor Vector [Arithmancy] and Professor Sinistra [Astronomy] have been mentioned before...maybe she's real elusive, like Trelawney?).
Main character deaths happen early on, though. When the Order rescues Harry from Privet Drive and get pursued by Death Eaters on the way to safe houses, Hagrid very nearly gets killed, but two actual deaths occur. Mad-Eye Moody is hit by Avada Kedavra while traveling with Mundungus Fletcher, who, being the coward he is, got scared and Disapparated, leaving Moody alone (scoundrel!). The other death is...*sigh* Hedwig! Poor Hedwig gets the brunt of a misaimed (I'm assuming...why kill Harry's owl?) Killing Curse.
So far, no other real deaths of consequence (i.e., main characters) have happened, pretty much just random wizards (and Muggles) killed by Voldemort (I'll say his name, who cares) or his followers.
Some other highlights...Lupin married Tonks (yay!) though he regrets making her an outcast in the magical world because of his being a werewolf. Our lovely "Dastardly Duo" of ladies from book 5 -- Rita Skeeter and Dolores Umbridge -- are back in full force as well. Umbridge is still secretary to the Minister, but is primarily acting as a judge in trials resulting from the Ministry's sudden decision to round up Muggle-born wizards and witches who refuse to register with the Ministry (a result of Voldy's infiltration of the Ministry). Rita Skeeter is, of all things, WRITING A BIOGRAPHY OF ALBUS DUMBLEDORE. Now, knowing Rita and her tendency to take only part of the truth and make up the rest (much like tabloid magazines do), this is a scary thought. On the other hand, it proves convenient as a way to let us know some stuff about Dumbledore's past, although I have a feeling some of what Rita's saying is not true. One thing that is of note is that Dumbledore's dad went to Azkaban for killing (or torturing, can't remember which) 3 young Muggles. We know in Half-Blood Prince, when he was drinking the potion, that Dumbledore said "Don't hurt them! Don't hurt them!". Could this be why? Did he witness the act?
Also Dumbledore had a sister, who Rita (and Molly's aunt Muriel, a perfect picture of the prim, strict family matriarch who criticizes everything) claims was a Squib (a child born to magical parents who can't do magic), and that Dumbledore's mom was so ashamed of this that she kept his sister prisoner. I doubt this too.
We finally meet Luna Lovegood's dad, who is as quirky as she is. And get this -- his name is Xenophilius. What a name! (I know that "xenophobia" is the fear of foreign or alien things, so "xenophilia" must be the opposite). Also, Mr. Lovegood mentions that they have this radish-looking plant that makes it easier for a person to accept the extraordinary. Luna's earrings, anyone?
The kind of disappointing thing is I'm over halfway through, and they've destroyed only ONE Horcrux so far (the locket, which is, in fact, the locket from Grimmauld Place).
Oh and R.A.B. ... he is Regulus Black indeed, and yes he is dead. Kreacher went with him to switch the lockets, but Regulus drank the potion, telling Kreacher to leave Regulus there and save himself. Bound to obey Regulus, Kreacher had to stand and watch Regulus get dragged under the water, unable to do anything. Also, Kreacher went with him because Kreacher had been there before...with Voldemort! Voldemort, when he went to put the original Horcrux in the cave, decided he needed a house-elf to come along, and Regulus volunteered Kreacher. Voldemort, of course, made Kreacher drink the potion. This may explain Kreacher's deranged behavior.
There's more I was going to say, but my memory escapes me as, as they say in Ella Enchanted, "the Shores of Sleep are approaching." So I'll end this here for now.
SPOILER ENDS HERE.
More tomorrow. Now I want to sleep. I am tired, as aforesaid.