Monday, July 20, 2009

Harry Potter and the inclement weather

Oddly enough, I find myself unmotivated to blog about the two major events of Saturday night.

1) Andrew and I and a friend when to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince; and
2) The massive thunder/wind storm Edmonton suffered.

I think my lack of motivation is also twofold.

1) I feel busy (work, school work, editing); and
2) I suspect there are many other people out there who will summarize these events better.

I will give a brief account of the two experiences for prosperity's sake anyway.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
The extra-long wait for HP6 to be released was worth it. Although it's been quite some time since I read the 6th book (I actually held out for over a year after the book's release before reading it) it seems to me that much of the first half of the movie was completely re-written. Normally I don't like it when movies veer-off drastically from the original book plot, but I didn't mind it here. This may be because I have often complained that HP6 was lacking a little in the conflict/plot department. The movie was also quite light and funny, especially given how it ends. The scene where Ron was under the thralls of the love spell was delightful as were the scenes of Harry while he was experiencing the effects of the luck potion.

Perhaps one of the best parts of the movie was the vast improvement of the portrayal of Dumbledore. I think many people were unimpressive with the Headmaster in HP4 (i.e. when he grabs Harry by the lapels and demands to know if he put his name into the goblet of fire). In this movie he was gentle, a little whimsical and kooky (he took a knitting magazine from Slughorn's bathroom) and wise--just as readers of the series have come to expect from Dumbledore. Overall, HP6 was an enjoyable movie and I'm definitely looking forward to the last installment. Andrew commented to me several times yesterday about how much he liked it.

A major wind/thunderstorm trampled through Edmonton Saturday night. We had just left the movie theatre (around 10:00 pm) and were on our way home when we noticed a bad patch of weather moving in. I don't recall noticing anything unusual for the first few blocks. The sky was still light, although it was noticeably cooler than what it had been when we arrived at the movie. After a couple of blocks I started to notice it was really windy. So windy, that as the dust and dirt from the streets swirled around us it hurt when it made contact with our bare skin (I had to shampoo twice to get all the junk out of my hair). Not long after that we noticed the huge black cloud hanging above much of downtown Edmonton. We were blown sideways a couple of blocks later. Not long after we were running through the wind and rain to get back to our apartment.

We spent the better part of the next hour keeping track of the storm's progress on twitter (Lisa's idea), other websites, watching the lightening out of the balcony window and eventually CTV news at 11:30. A good chunk of the city to the west and north of us was dark due to power failures. By 11:45 the rain had stopped and the wind had died-down considerably. The next day CBC reported the winds had reached up to 106 km/hour. Trees, either in entirety or just branches, are down everywhere. It's shocking how big some of the downed trees are. The whole experience reminded me of my family trip to Boston in 1991 when Hurricane Bob rolled through. We spent the entire afternoon trapped in our hotel room watching weather reports.

Much of the city seems back to normal now, aside from the trees. I don't think I heard any reports of deaths or even injuries.



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