Ferociously Observant

It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not. -Anon.

For the Moment 29 July 2007

Filed under: Ponderings — ferociouskater @ 3:20 pm

Have you ever had anyone sit you down and say, “You have to stop being so serious all the time. You have to live for the moment and just have fun?”

No one has done this to me recently, but I almost feel like I’ve flipped a switch somewhere along the line and been plunged into “Live for the Moment” land. For the last couple weeks I’ve been unencumbered by stresses at work, massive amounts of housework, or other things that I’ve been putting off doing for a long, long time. Every day has held something to look forward to, whether it be a movie, dinner out, or even cooking a yummy dinner at home with friends.

What, I wonder, causes a person to go through this? Is it just one exciting thing after another in a short (two-week) period? (Harry Potter Order of the Phoenix release, Tom’s birthday, Harry Potter Deathly Hallows release, Brian’s birthday, my parents’ visit, my birthday)? Or is it just the general feeling that summer brings and fall takes away?

I fondly remember every summer being like this, which leads me to believe that it’s the season itself. Even though I have no vacation from work, the free feeling of the schoolchildren must be infectious. Either that or the jubilant summer feelings I felt, even just a couple years ago, are hanging around. An internal clock inside me starts chiming around June 1st, “IT’S TIME TO START THE GOOD LIFE!”

And the good life it’s been. Dinners out, grilling whenever we have dinners in, taking the dogs to the dog park almost every day, evenings on the deck, writing everywhere, vacation, visits, camping, casual strolls in the woods, birthdays and every Sunday night enjoying a free movie outdoors. Why can’t other seasons grace us with such light hearts? I work the same number of days in the winter as I do in the summer. Is the cold air and gloomy weather really that much to blame? Even without the balmy weather and sunshine, is it possible to carry that feeling with you into crisp evenings and crunchy leaves?

If anyone ever figures it out, please let me be the first one you tell. Because I never want this feeling to end.

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Wow 22 July 2007

Filed under: Reviews,Uncategorized — ferociouskater @ 9:36 pm

I’m done. It was really good. I laughed, I cried, I cried some more. Especially because this was the last time I would be reading one for the first time.

But many years from now, I will get to see the reactions of my kids when I introduce them to the friends I’ve had for the last nine years. And that will be like reading them all over again, won’t it?

 

And then there was one… 20 July 2007

Filed under: Ponderings,Randoms — ferociouskater @ 5:40 pm

…and after tonight there will be none. No more Harry Potter. Sure, we’ll get to see what the movies are like for the next couple of years. But no more books. I was driving to work today and heard a news report on the various parties that will be occurring tonight (one of which I am attending and yes, I will be dressed up). I actually got teary-eyed. I hate goodbyes.

I remember it was the same way with Friends. I was a huge Friends fan in the beginning, and then at the very end, and of course I would watch all the reruns in between. I watched the final episode and remember bawling. What were we going to do without Ross’ pathetic attempts to do anything, Joey’s acting, Chandler’s humor, Monica’s OCD, Rachel’s quirk and Phoebe’s ditz? There was a little part inside of me that felt very, very empty for months afterwards.

And I know it’s going to be the same with this. I don’t really think about Harry Potter every single day of every year, but whenever a book/movie is coming out I always fall into the hype. It is especially bad this year since my friend is working at Barnes and Noble and therefore involved in every aspect of the new book. We have been helping him brainstorm for weeks trivia questions to ask at tonight’s party. We have been scheming and plotting and guessing what will happen. And those genius’ at Warner Bros got us even more riled up with Order of the Phoenix coming out just a week and a half ago (which I thought was a teensy better the second time). I’ve been suckered in this whole time, and I don’t care.

I feel like I know these characters. And come Monday (maybe even Sunday, depending on how fast I read it) I won’t have anything new to learn about them. Their story will be over. It will like I will lose all these friends at once. And that will be really hard, I think.

Now you may be thinking, “Come on, Kate, it’s just a book.” But I’m a writer, and I know how you can get attached to your characters. I know for JK Rowling it isn’t about being a book. It was about creating a world and then pretty much saying goodbye to it. I know how hard that is for me, so it must be much, much harder for her.

So tonight I’ll stand in line, get my book, and then go home. (And then work tomorrow at 9…eek!) I’ll try and soak it all in, because it will be the last time I will get to read a new story about Harry, Hermione, Ron, (maybe) Dumbledore, Snape, Remus, Tonks, and everyone else. And I’ll try not to cry.

I’ll try real, real hard.

 

The Category He Couldn’t Answer: Business Ethics. 17 July 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ferociouskater @ 3:13 pm

I preface this story in saying that I still believe that you should take care of your pets and if you can’t, don’t have pets. But there’s still an altruistic side of me that wants to help pay for every single sick pet that comes through our door. I hope, that by saying something and standing up for what I believe in, that even though I wasn’t the one that found care for this cat, I helped in some little way.

On Friday this lady came in to the office whose cat was very sick: hours away from dying. We have these options for payment and if you can’t meet any of these options then we try to get some help from the humane society. She was declined for CareCredit and no one at the humane society was answering their phones. So this lady had $50 to her name and we ended up calling around to other doctors in the area to see if anyone would treat her cat pro bono. We found someone so we sent her off. Her cat lived and she didn’t have to pay a cent. Well, perhaps the $50.

So, on Monday after work, Boss finds this out and is furious. We don’t refer to other clinics, he says. We give them credit options and if they have bad credit and can’t get a credit card and their family can’t get a credit card then they deserve it (he doesn’t actually say this but essentially that’s what he meant, considering he had us look at this client’s chart to see that she hadn’t had any of her pets in for preventative care for years). I digress here to say that this cat was blocked. No amount of preventative care could have stopped it from happening. However, Boss’ point was to show me that she didn’t take care of her pets. She deserved to have her cat die. I hope that my previous article didn’t reflect the same opinion, because being at all like Boss would make me the complete opposite of the kind of person I want to be.

My coworker and I stood there for a moment, answering his questions vaguely, until finally I couldn’t take it anymore. I said, in the calmest voice possible, “I’m sorry Dr. Boss, I have to ask one thing. What’s wrong with helping a client in need find help?”

He apparently thought I meant why didn’t WE give the client help, because he started rattling on about overheads, how he can’t bill because he has to pay our salaries, etc. So I politely interrupt him and say, “No, Dr. Boss, I understand we don’t bill people and that’s fine, this is a business, but what I wanted to know was, if they don’t have any money and we couldn’t get any money for them, what’s wrong with seeing if someone else in town will care for the cat on charge or for free?”

He still evades the question, because I think we’re getting into a sticky, ethical topic here that he doesn’t want to skirt.

Finally I get him to answer that he doesn’t want to be paying us for wasting our time calling around to other clinics all day. And that he’d let it slide this time (what would he have done if I hadn’t said anything, fire the woman that referred our client?), but we are never allowed to do it again without his permission.

He thanked me for stating my opinion. I left.

I was shaking as I drove the car home – I never question authority, not directly, anyway. I think that I really drove something home with him. After he left the room, before we did, my coworker thanked me for standing up for her (she had been one of the ones that tried to help the cat). I told her that’s why I wanted to be a lawyer.

Dr. Boss tried to call me on my way home. I was on the other line with the pizza place, so I didn’t pick up. Tom and Brian are sure that he was calling to fire me. As today is my day off, I’ll just have to wait, I guess, until tomorrow to know for sure. One thing’s for certain. If he does, I’ll be even more proud of what I did. And I’ll be just fine telling prospective employers that I was fired because I didn’t agree with unethical business practices.

 

And Sadly Anti-Climactic (Harry Potter Spoilers) 14 July 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ferociouskater @ 9:53 pm

After the summer-long hype leading up to the new Harry Potter movie, I was expecting big things. This was one of my favorite books, and I was ready to see some of my favorite characters portrayed on the big screen. I even decided to dress up this year, and arranged everything to go as my favorite supporting character, Tonks. I even spray-painted my hair pink. And…

It was so…short. And sadly anti-climactic.

I made the mistake(?) of reading/listening to Order of the Phoenix again just before the movie came out. So of course I had all the details fresh in my mind, and was more inclined to realize right away when something was altered slightly/left out/spot on/way off. I didn’t remember reading the previous 4 books so close to movie time (except of course for the third, which I still maintain was the best adaptation yet), so maybe this was my problem. But I digress…

The film moved far too quickly for me. I understand that it’s hard to fit a 800-page book into a movie, but the strange part about this one is that it’s a SHORT movie – only about 2 hours long. I could have definitely sat there for another hour. And I can’t see that the short length could be attributed to the short attention span of kids – I wouldn’t take a child younger than 9 or 10 to see it. It was choppy, and I don’t think that Yates meshed the scenes together very well.

Harry’s dream sequences were skimmed over. His Occlemency lessons were vague, at best. A great part of that book was the goings-on in number 12 Grimmald Place, but all but five minutes were cut. Harry’s adolecent brooding scenes aren’t nearly as good. And the part that angered me the most (aside from Yates having Cho rat out the D.A.) was the end, where Bellatrix kills Sirius. I wanted that scene to make me cry. Instead, it made me furious.

I believe that a film adaptation should be accessible to everyone, even the people that didn’t read the book, and Tom was confused several times because of the fast pacing. Yes, a lot of the people that go see this movie will have read the book, but not everyone. What happens to a film adaptation when it only truly makes sense to those who read the novel? What has a director done when he has left out so much of a story’s soul that it has been reduced to snapshots and vague references?

I can’t believe Rowling approved this adaptation. I can only hope that Yates doesn’t slaughter The Half Blood Prince as badly, since he’s already been tapped to direct it. Only time will tell, I suppose, and now it’s time to ride the wave of hype into next weekend, for The Deathly Hallows. I’m counting on Jo to scoop me out of my Order of the Phoenix slump.