There are two conditions under which I should not blog.
The first is BWI: Blogging While Intoxicated. Doesn’t matter the intoxicant, be it alcohol or some other drug or the sheer joy of living. It being 10:45 on a Saturday morning, we don’t need to worry about drugs, except for caffeine, which in my body is not a drug at all. My bloodstream is overwhelmingly dominated by caffeine. The platelets and cells and plasma are grudgingly allowed to continue existing, but only in small, unpleasant wastelands, and only because they were, technically, here first. It’s like the Native Americans.
I have never, to my knowledge, been intoxicated by the sheer joy of living. That was a hypothetical condition.
BWI is dangerous because I am wont to say things that ought never, never be published, i.e. “The Following Are People I Would Like to Sleep With.” Embarrassing at best (think coworkers) and mortifying at worst (think Rush Limbaugh), BWI is such a threat that I have forbidden myself to get anywhere near my laptop when there is a glass of wine in my hand. The only problem is that I tend to forget my resolve once there’s a glass of wine in my hand. It’s a right quandary, it is.
For the record, I don’t want to sleep with Rush Limbaugh. That’s disgusting.
The other condition under which I should not blog is boredom. It leads me toward mundane observations (“I woke up at 8:45 this morning”) and dull details (“I’m out of veggie burgers, need to pick up some more”) and petty complaints (“Drat, looks like my veggie burger coupon has expired”) that no one, bar no one, cares about.
Were I being sensible, I’d close this here laptop and head to Food Loin and hope the veggie burgers were on MVP discount this week. (Food Loin is much, much funnier than Food Lion, I think you’ll agree.) Sensibility has never unduly burdened me, though. Neither has common sense, or emotional maturity, or an unblemished complexion. I try not to let it get me down.
First bit of boring news for you: I co-taught my second computer class yesterday. That is to say, Currer Bell taught the class, and I observed, but it was a very hands-on sort of observation. I walked around helping people follow along. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed it. We’re not talking ecstasy here—teaching computer classes doesn’t elevate me to Sheer Joy of Living status—but the gratitude of the folks taking the classes makes me feel warm and tingly. I could get used to this. (Good thing, cuz it’s in my job description.)
Now a bit of shocking news: I am seriously toying with the idea of throwing a party.
The words “party” and “Jessica” should never be employed in the same sentence, unless one is making a horrific comparison (“The Klansman at the Black Panther rally was received like Jessica at a party”) or a hyperbolic negation (“The cease fire in the Middle East lasted until the end of time because Jessica was not at the party.”)
Though the mere act of thinking about having a party will probably result in a nuclear holocaust, it’s something I can’t help, because the event is too important to ignore.
You see, the final Harry Potter book is going to be published on July 21.
The instant I heard the release date, I rushed to my calendar to see if I was working that weekend. I’m not. Glad I won’t have to quit my job.
Here’s what will happen. In the week leading to the release, I will re-read the first six Harry Potter books, twice. (Not sure if I should read them in series order twice, or if I should read each title twice in a row, for maximum detail-absorbing impact.) Then I will dress like Minerva McGonagall and wait in line at a bookstore. I will step on any small children who try to cut in front of me. I will smite them with my wand.
Then I will rush home, read without pause, nap for a few hours Saturday afternoon when I finish it, wake up, and read the whole thing again.
Then probably I’ll jump off a cliff because there won’t be any reason to live any longer.
Where’s the party fit in? Either we need a pre-release party to celebrate the publication of the last book, or we need a post-release party to grieve the publication of the last book. Though if I’ve jumped from a cliff I don’t suppose I’ll be there.
Indulge me a moment while I wax nostalgic about childhood. I didn’t really care for it. I hardly had any friends. I was an ugly child. I was pudgy and I had terrible pizza-face acne and my hair was terrible. Every single day I am grateful for being an adult.
But when I was a kid, reading was better. My imagination would kick into overdrive. It was total escapism. I danced with fauns in the snow in Narnia. I practiced telekinesis with Matilda. I personally took a role in destroying the Black Cauldron.
As an adult, no book has gripped me like that. I still view reading the way normal folks view breathing, but it’s not the same.
The exception is Harry Potter.
Certain assholes like Harold Bloom take great pleasure in criticizing J.K. Rowling. Mr. Bloom thinks the writing is bad. Mr. Bloom thinks kids should be reading “good” literature, like Rudyard Kipling. Mr. Bloom can step in front of a speeding bus.
So yeah, I’m already depressed, thinking about the end of the series. Ms. Rowling has already famously said that some important characters might die. (No surprises there. That’s happened reliably for the past three books.) But really, all the characters are going to die. It’s the end of the series. Once Deathly Hallows is finished, all of those characters will leave me. And worse, the books that I have best enjoyed as an adult will leave me. My brief return to the joys of childhood reading will vanish.
Haven’t read them yet? Hurry up, hurry up! Part of the painful pleasure of being a Harry Potter fan is agonizing through the wait for the next book. After Deathly Hallows comes out, you’ll have lost your chance to be a Real Fan. You’ll kick yourself.
And gentlemen in England, now abed, shall think themselves accursed they were not here.