Monday, July 30, 2007

Back from the abyss

I'm blogging from Bend again, since I stopped here to see my friend Mindy on my way to Roseburg. I just got off the phone with U-Haul trying to figure out my move down to California. Compton is covering the cost for my truck with a purchase order, which is good for me since I don't have enough money to do it myself. But that means I have to make sure things will work out with the timing of getting the paperwork through and picking the truck up and beginning the long trek southbound on I-5. All of the stress I'm going through right now as I figure this stuff out is a relief after being in Arlington with my family for a month. I was so happy to leave this morning, and although I'll miss my brother, my excitement level is really high. That level could be related to my imminent move south, but I think it has a lot to do with getting a break from my family too. So that's what is going on right now.

What else is going on right now is the Kevin Garnett to Boston trade. If it really happens then things are going crazy. As much as I think Minnesota will be even worse next year without Garnett, it would be a great move to continue the rebuilding process they started with Foye last year and continued in earnest with Corey Brewer in the draft this year. Foye, Brewer, and Jefferson will be three young guys who can grow together in the next few years. Sure, the Wolves would still have some work to do, but this is a step in the right direction, and with two first round picks coming over in the deal they can continue the process in the next two drafts. This would make the third incredibly young--but potentially talented--team in the Northwest division. What an interesting group of teams to watch with Portland, Seattle, Minnesota, and then Utah and Denver. I mean, this is supposed to be the weak division in the west. (I know it still is, but in a couple of years I don't think it will be.)

Also, I'm still holding out slight hope that Ime Udoka won't get a big enough offer from any other teams so that he and his agent come back to Portland and admit their mistake and ask if they can re-sign. At that point, we'd be getting him for the rest of the Mid-Level exception, or we'd be using the full Bi-Annual exception. We would then have 16 guaranteed contracts, which would most likely mean we'd cut Taurean Green and he'd get paid by us to play for someone else this year. Bringing Udoka back would definitely address one of the biggest issues being discussed right now: the lack of depth at shooting guard. It would also do a lot for the attitude of the team, I think. Just one more tough-minded hard-working player who does a great job on defense. I know it's just wishful thinking, but I've been thinking it none the less.

I know that I haven't actually mentioned Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on here yet. If you haven't read the book, this could be some kind of spoiler, so don't read any more.

Seriously, if you care at all about little things, then don't read the next part. I'll make it a block within the text so you can just look past it.
I really enjoyed the finale in the Harry Potter series. I thought the way things tied together with Snape was fantastic. He was one of my favorite characters throughout the story. When I say "story" I mean the whole story encompassed by all seven books. I wasn't smart enough to see the Lily Potter love interest coming, but it made a ton of sense because of how much animosity he had for James Potter and his friends. It was also comforting to know that Dumbledore really did know what he was doing. The other things I learned about Dumbledore in this book actually made me appreciate his character more, too, because it was good to see the depth to his character and the complexity that was behind everything we read in the first six books. I wouldn't say that either of these developments were huge surprises, but thy were a bit unexpected. That can't be said about my other favorite development, which was Neville really growing into the hero I hoped he would be. After the sixth book I thought Neville might end up saving the day in the end. It wasn't quite that dramatic, but he was a huge player in the final battle, and I really appreciated that.

My friend Jacob summed up the one problem I had with the book when he said this. Since I can't remember it verbatim I'll paraphrase: it would have been good to put the book down before the epilogue and after the final chapter to just enjoy how the story ended.

I agree with that. The epilogue was pretty schmaltzy. It felt like Rowling was trying to make people happy by having Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny end up as a big group of adults sending their kids off to Hogwarts. Ugh. The names of the kids were pretty ridiculous as well, although I got goosebumps when I read the full name of Harry's second son. I won't write it here, just in case anyone who cares did read this far, but it ties to other parts of the book that I thought were fantastic.

This is the second book I've bought and read this summer, the first being The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon. I'll try to write a little about that one later this week.

1 comment:

Eileen said...

Hey Josh...Natty finished the book in 22 hours. How long did it take you this time?

I bet my 11 year old kicked your butt. I'm just saying...