Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Last Harry Potter...

I did not read the Harry Potter books right away. Maybe it was all the hype. But, after getting the first book at a used bookstore, in the original English version (Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone), I kept reading. And I watched each movie after reading each book - except for the last three. For those I had to wait along with all the other fans.

As a writer, I admire J.K. Rowling's talent. Her storytelling, the way she pulled together seven books, and her rich characters, made them all very compelling to read. It was also fun to see the kids grow up along with the movies...and turn into some pretty good actors. And the rest of the cast is a very impressive list of accomplished actors.

We went on opening night for the last movie. We got VIP tickets for a late showing in a really cool theater. Unfortunately, they did change a few things and leave a few things out that missed the mark. It would be interesting to see why they changed what they did and what ended up on the editing room floor. But, I still enjoyed it.

So, alas, Harry Potter. They were a lot of fun to watch, but I guess I'll always prefer the books in the long run. Because despite all the great effects and great acting in the movies, I really have to agree with Chris Columbus, the director of the first two films. As he stated when being asked about the success of the movies: "It comes down to one simple thing: seven brilliantly written books."

Friday, July 8, 2011

Farewell to a Great First Lady

Betty Ford died today at 93 years old.

A very active First Lady from 1974 to 1977, she had a huge impact on the culture at the time, and in the years that followed. She was admired for her honesty and candor.

After her 1974 battle with breast cancer, and mastectomy, she raised the awareness of the disease. She supported women's issues and feminism, supported equal pay, and the Equal Rights Amendment. She famously said that "the search for human freedom can never be complete without freedom for women." She also openly admitted to battling drug addiction and alcoholism, and became the founder of the Betty Ford Center, which still helps so many people today.

Although she will be remembered for many great things, she always remained humble. "I was an ordinary woman who was called onstage at an extraordinary time," she said. "I was no different once I became first lady than I had been before. But, through an accident of history, I had become interesting to people."

I always admired her. With courage and compassion, she truly felt that we are on this earth to help others - and she did.
Photograph by Anna Moore Butzner
The Grand Rapids Press, via Associated Press

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Does She Seriously Think She's Qualified?

While talking with a friend the other day, we both said how much of an embarrassment Michele Bachmann is to us as women...and as Minnesota residents.

Her ignorance is only surpassed by just plain stupidity. Wouldn't you look things up before you get up and make a speech about it? As funny as this video is, it is actually not all that far off from some of the things she has said.

Regardless of your opinion, she simply isn't qualified to run the country.