Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What I've been doing when I wasn't reading about Harry Potter

Yes, folks, it's true. I have done more in the last week than think about, dream about, talk about, write about, and read about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

I actually left work last Friday and drove with the family to Owensboro, Kentucky (my mom's hometown) to attend a Carter Family reunion. It was the only vacation we're likely to get this summer and even though it was short, it was a good time. We got away from work, the girls got time with their cousins, aunts/uncles/grandparents (always something in short supply), and I got to meet mom's family, almost all of them new to me.

Owensboro is about fifteen miles or so south of Indiana, west of Louisville. It's a nicely-sized town, not at all small, but not a metropolis either. It's most famous, I gather, for the Moonlite Barbecue Restaurant, a local joint that I got to experience several times during the weekend--Friday night with the immediate family, Saturday afternoon at the reunion, and then on Sunday for Sunday brunch before we left town. The barbecued chicken and beef and pork were all excellent, but if you really want the experience, you have to eat the burgoo, a specialty dish that is pretty famous in western Kentucky. I was warned several times during my visit not to compare burgoo to the (seemingly related?) Brunswick stew that is well known in southern Georgia. To make this comparison to a local might have gotten me into a physical altercation, so I kept my opinions to myself. The other culinary oddity (though still tasty) of the weekend was eating mutton. I liked it, though I like typical barbecue more.

Of course, I DID purchase and begin reading HP & the DH while I was there. I actually tried to buy it on Friday night, but it didn't work out. My sister and I went out once the kids were in bed and we bought some breakfast groceries for the following morning at Wal-Mart. It was around 11 pm, but the sign at the entrance said they would begin selling books until 12:01 am. I thought that was odd, since, technically, 12:00 IS Saturday, July 21 (at least that's is what Dick Clark always seemed to indicate). But, Wal-Mart was calling the shots, not me. I made a brief, feeble attempt to sweet talk the Wal-Mart Associate into letting me get one an hour early, but it was no go. So, I came back around 7:30 the next morning and walked in and out in ten minutes with my new book. There were no problems, runs on books, or anything difficult about the whole affair. I only read periodically through the day on Saturday and I don't think that I kept myself out of any family stuff in the process.

(As you have read separately on this site, I did finish the book. You can read my review of the book here, but IF YOU HAVEN'T FINISHED, THEN OBVIOUSLY DON'T FOLLOW THE LINK!!)

1 comment:

Burb said...

HEADS UP!!

My review over on WWYG?! Omnimedia has links to some very good critical back-and-forth from the Slate.com Book Club. And don't miss the comments of Scholastic editor Cheryl Klein in one of the comment links I left at the end of the review post.

If you've read the Omnimedia post before Tuesday night, go back and check it again. You'll get more valuable insight from people more knowledgable and eloquent than I.