Packing, Potter, and A Perfect Circle

This week has been a crazy one, and now I’m spending the weekend trying to recuperate after all the madness.

We leave New York in less than 9 days, so, as you can imagine, our apartment is in complete disarray. There are boxes everywhere, some packed, others still waiting for contents. All our furniture is in various stages of being dismantled. The dogs are usually cowering in the corner because they don’t know what’s going on, and even if they did want to run around, they wouldn’t have any room to do so. We have piles of things we’re trying to sell, and we’re constantly posting things on craigslist. I spend my lunch hour every day on the phone with mortgage consultants and real estate lawyers, and we’re frantically trying to arrange things so our move-out day goes as smoothly as possible. Throughout all this, we’ve learned that moving from one apartment to another within the same borough is not the same as moving from an apartment into a house and getting a mortgage. This is an entirely new experience for us.

The hallway in our apartment right now.
Can you tell I’m getting most of our boxes from my office?

Wednesday night, we went to see A Perfect Circle perform at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan. Dan and I are huge fans, but we were slightly disappointed in the show. Too many cover songs, not enough original material. For the most part, we had a good time and we’re looking forward to hearing new music by the band in the near future.

Lighters up!

After the Show

Thursday night, we went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. I actually wanted to do a separate blog post about this, but don’t think I’ll have time in the next week, so I’m including it here. As with all of the previous Harry Potter midnight premieres, the crowds were out of control, people were dressed up in costumes, and we had to buy our tickets a week in advance if we had any hope of getting in. But something was different this time around. This time, there was a bittersweet, almost somber atmosphere amid the crowd.

This movie marked the end of an era, the end of 13 years of the Harry Potter phenomenon. Was it good? Absolutely. Did I cry? You betcha. Did the story diverge from the novel? In a few minor ways. Was it worth $14 and several hours spent waiting in line? Without a doubt. Did it provide closure to the millions of fans around the world? Yes, and that’s all that matters.

Have you seen the new Harry Potter movie? If so, what did you think? Have you been to any good concerts lately? Have any moving tips for us? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Best of the Web: Harry Potter Edition

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m slightly obsessed with Harry Potter, so I figured this week, I would take a different approach to my Best of the Web post and share a few of my favorite Harry Potter-related links with you.

  • The Leaky Cauldron – A one stop shop for Harry Potter news, commentary, interviews, photos, videos, podcasts, and more.
  • A Very Potter Musical -  A group of University of Michigan students created this musical parody of the entire Harry Potter series back in 2009. Since then, I’ve watched this musical – all 2 hours and 45 minutes of it – at least twenty times. Seriously. That’s how good it is.
  • A Very Potter Sequel – While no sequel can ever live up to an original classic, this musical is still hilarious and includes a lot of the events and characters that didn’t appear in the first one.
  • We Are Wizards – Thanks to Netflix, I just re-discovered this gem that I had long forgotten about. We Are Wizards is a documentary that follows the Harry Potter phenomenon throughout 2007 and 2008. In particular, it focuses on the fan community and the Wizard Rock movement.
  • Wizard People, Dear Reader – Thanks to the above documentary, I just discovered this amazing commentary created by Brad Neely in 2004. It’s an alternative soundtrack to the first Harry Potter movie, and is considered a “re-imagining” of the film. Dan and I watched this the other night and were literally in tears the entire time because we were laughing so hard. Definitely, definitely recommend, even if you’re not a huge Harry Potter fan.
  • Rifftrax: Harry Potter – Speaking of commentaries, anyone familiar with Mystery Science Theater 3000 will enjoy these audio tracks from the original MST3K crew.
  • Potter Puppet Pals – Puppets parodying Harry Potter. Need I say more?
  • The Harry Potter Alliance – Did you know there’s an actual charity created to spread the message of love found in the Harry Potter books? So far, they’ve made a huge difference in places like Haiti, Rwanda, Darfur, Burma, and right here in America.

While these are some of my favorite Harry Potter-related websites, I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot of other great links.

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, what are some of your favorite Harry Potter websites? Do you particularly enjoy any of the links above? Is there anything on this list you didn’t know about? Let me know by leaving a comment.

Holidays and Snow Storms

First and foremost, I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas, and got everything they wanted. I know I did! What I wanted most this year was to spend the holidays with my loved ones, and I’m thankful that I was able to do so.

Dan and I exchanged gifts on Thursday night so that we wouldn’t have to drag as much stuff with us to my sister’s house for Christmas. I got Dan a life-size, 48-inch Klingon Bat’Leth war sword. I know, I know… I’m enabling his geekiness. But what can I say? I married a nerd. His gift for me wasn’t much better. I had requested the Lego Harry Potter video game, and Dan delivered. Our gift for the house was a shower radio with a fog free mirror. Love it!

Klingon Bat'LethLego Harry PotterSharper Image Shower Radio

On Friday (Christmas Eve), we got up bright and early to head to Port Authority. We were rushing around, afraid of being late, only to find out once we got there that buses were running on a holiday schedule – rather than on the advertised regular weekday schedule. This meant that we had an extra hour to kill before boarding, all the while surrounded by people whining and complaining about the schedule mix up. When we finally did get on the bus, the trip to Jersey was quick and traffic-free.

Getting to spend a couple of days with my family at my sister’s house provided Dan and I with a very much needed mini-vacation. There was good food, lots of laughing and catching up, and plenty of thoughtful gifts exchanged. We played Apples to Apples and Boxers or Briefs, and watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Christmas 2010

Despite all of the fun we were having, Dan and I had to say goodbye to everyone after Christmas dinner and head back to Brooklyn in an attempt to beat the snow storm that was supposed to hit the east coast. We’re lucky we left when we did, because this is what happened on Sunday:

Blizzard 2010

Things have been pretty crazy here in the city since the blizzard started Sunday afternoon. By Monday morning, the whole city was practically shut down. Subways weren’t running, none of the streets in our neighborhood were clear, and most of the nearby businesses were closed due to inclement weather. I don’t know if you can tell from the last picture, but the snow was taller than Pickles! Even though it’s been more than 24 hours since the snow stopped, the city remains at a standstill. I had to call out of work this morning because there were no subways running and no cabs to be found.

It looks like things are finally starting to clear up and I’m hopeful that I can get to work tomorrow morning. New Year’s Eve is supposed to be nice, which gives me something to look forward to. I love this time of year, but I definitely don’t enjoy the unpredicable weather that comes with it.

How did you spend your Christmas weekend? Did you get or give any fabulous gifts? Were you affected by this east coast storm? Let me know by leaving a comment.