Wednesday, July 13, 2005


A little something for everyone

Every morning, I read the newspaper on the bus ride into town, making mental notes of stuff that might be interesting to blog about. This morning, there is so much going on that I have no idea where to start!

First and coolest, NASA will be launching the space shuttle Discovery at a little after 3 pm today. I love shuttle launches - they give me the same breathless feeling of wonderment that the boys do, but originating in a different place in my heart. Some day, I'd love to go to Cape Canaveral and see one in person. I'm hoping the launch goes off on time so I can watch the Web cast at the end of my work day.

Also in countdown mode, only three more days until my Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince arrives via Canada Post special delivery on Saturday morning. Ahem, not exactly my copy - I pre-ordered it for Beloved as a Christmas gift, so I know I'm supposed to let him read it first, but he reads with glacial slowness, savouring each word and idea, whereas I read voraciously, as if the words cannot be gobbled up quickly enough. Sharing is all well and good for the preschool set in the house, but I may well have to buy my own copy or die of impatience.

At the risk of coming of as completely against religion (which is not entirely true) after probably alienating half of my loyal readership with my comments on creationism in the schools, I must now turn my mocking attentions directly to no less personage than the Pope for castigating the HP books as being a "subtle, barely perceptible seduction" that can "corrupt the Christian faith in souls even before it is able to properly grow." (From the Ottawa Citizen)

This continues to make me crazy. Teachers around the world are falling all over themselves complimenting JK Rowling on getting children, especially harder-to-reach boys, into reading. Yet people who have likely not even read the damn books are castigating them as corrupting the faith. I'll never forget the first time I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the feeling of wonder it gave me. I couldn't get over how many ways it appealed to me: to my barely-repressed inner 12 year old geek; to the parent who can't wait for her boys to be old enough to have these stories read out loud to them; and, to the wanna-be writer in me who would give her left arm to be able to spin a tale with such imagination and appeal.

Without any kind of segue at all, the third thing on my list of things to draw to your attention is the campaign by Brit blogger Nosemonkey. In a very British (and lovely) response to the terrorist attacks, he and an American friend discussed that what is needed in London is not so much the Red Cross disaster relief kind of aid as a morale boost for those still working in the aftermath of the bombings. So he's raising funds to buy a few pints for emergency workers - and has rasied enough so far for "a hefty piss-up for at least one London police station" - in the neighbourhood of 200 pints. To me, this perfectly encapsulates what I so admire about the British response to the bombings - a stoic determination to carry on regardless, and up yours while we're at it.

And finally, just a little post-script to confirm that yes, we both survived yesterday's dental interventions. Tristan was an angel, so much so that I am wondering where I can get my own supply of behaviour-enhancing antihistamine/laughing gas cocktails. For therapeutic use only, of course.