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twister sister

FYI, "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet: An Interview with Steve Babb of Glass Hammer" is now available at Pop Thought. In this interview, lead Steve Babb tells me about Glass Hammer's forthcoming album The Inconsolable Secret (the title is inspired by a quote from C.S. Lewis), the band's upcoming concert at the "'Past Watchful Dragons': Fantasy and Faith in the World of C.S. Lewis" event, and his thoughts on the music business.

On a personal note, I want to offer hearty congratulations to Margret, who happens to be not only my little sister and my dear friend, but also the only genuine tornado chaser I know. Yesterday she was offered admission to the nation's premier graduate program in meteorology (at the University of Oklahoma) and, in concert with that, a full research assistantship with the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. Way to go, gal! I am so happy for and proud of you.

To quote Tori Amos, she's "chasing tornadoes - I'm just waiting, calmly, chasing her."


And now, a quote for the day, from a book both Margret and I love:

“The Ministry of Magic,” Dumbledore continued, “does not wish me to tell you this. It is possible that some of your parents will be horrified that I have done so – either because they will not believe that Lord Voldemort has returned, or because they think I should not tell you so, young as you are. It is my belief, however, that the truth is generally preferable to lies, and that any attempt to pretend that Cedric died as the result of an accident, or some sort of blunder on his own, is an insult to his memory….

“Every guest in this Hall,” said Dumbledore, and his eyes lingered upon the Durmstrang students, “will be welcomed back here at any time, should they wish to come. I say to you all, once again – in the light of Lord Voldemort’s return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort’s gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open….

“Remember Cedric. Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory.”

from J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
onegoat
Apr. 20th, 2005 06:31 pm (UTC)
What a great achievement for your sister -well done her :)
I love that HP chapter (I admit I have a tear or two in my eye whenever I read it)
*Raises goblet to Harry*
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 21st, 2005 01:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! :) She's quite a gal.
Isn't that an amazing passage? It makes me tear up, too. *raises goblet with you*

bellatook
Apr. 20th, 2005 06:32 pm (UTC)
Congrats to your sister!

And I LOVE that part of the book. I think Dumbledore rocks! He's cool, collected yet emotionally attached to Harry and many of the other students. I'd be curious to find out which house he had belonged to when he was at Hogwarts....I bet he was awesome!! I am VERY eager for the next book and have pre-ordered it from Barnes and Noble...
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 21st, 2005 01:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! I'm so happy for her, but not at all surprised.

I couldn't agree with you more about Dumbledore. And I have my next copy pre-ordered, too! :)
agentxpndble
Apr. 20th, 2005 10:30 pm (UTC)
Congrats to your sister! Send her up here when the school is done with her, I can't sleep at nights from May to Sept for fear of being carried off by a funnel in the night... We need all the chasers we can get!

I actually have nothing to say about the HP quote... Can you believe it!?!
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 21st, 2005 01:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! :) We both grew up in so-called "Tornado Alley," the county with the most tornadoes per year in the U.S., so that was good training for her. I'll let her know you need chasers up there! :) Stay safe in the meantime!

fungus_files
Apr. 20th, 2005 11:27 pm (UTC)
when you said that margret was "the only genuine tornado chaser" you knew, I thought that was US slang for something mysteriously corporate. like colour of parachutes, etc. hah!

well done to little sis! now I know someone to send S to when he feels weather-talk-deprived. my partner has a great capacity to discuss the weather - it drives me nuts. :)

and cedric. poor cedric. he was a canonical woob, no?
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 21st, 2005 01:11 pm (UTC)
LOL! That is so funny about your interpretation of my "the only genuine tornado chaser" comment. I can see how that could be a slang phrase! Thanks so much for your kind words. I'm so happy for her.

he was a canonical woob, no?

ROFLOL! That is priceless -- and so true! I have to remember that label. I'm sure it will come in handy again! *wink*
childermass
Apr. 21st, 2005 12:36 am (UTC)
that quote really got to me when i read gof. :) tornadoes! gosh, those scare me. but not as badly as hurricanes - we here in louisiana get them at least twice a year. :)
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 21st, 2005 01:14 pm (UTC)
Isn't that passage just amazing? It gets me every time.

My sister and I grew up in the U.S. county with the most tornadoes each year; they were just expected March-May. I think hurricanes would scare me more, because they can last for so long, and there's all the water along with all the wind. Yikes!
theladyrose
Apr. 21st, 2005 12:41 am (UTC)
Congrats to your sister!

Tornadoes sound absolutely terrifying to me-at least big earthquakes don't happen around here too often.
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 21st, 2005 01:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! :) It was such great news, I had to shout it out.

We got pretty used to tornadoes where we grew up (the so-called "Tornado Alley" of the U.S.). I would find earthquakes much scarier, because there's no warning, no real chance at prediction. And where can you hide? Yikes!
theladyrose
Apr. 21st, 2005 03:05 pm (UTC)
If I am to be reassured by the earthquake drill I just had yesterday, tables and door frames make excellent hiding places. There usually is a little warning before earthquakes especially with better methods of forewarning; typically animals running away in large numbers are a good sign. Noticeable earthquakes tend to happen in Northern California about every 20-30 years, so it's really not that bad. Now having to deal with several tornadoes every year-that sounds absolutely terrifying to me. It sounds much easier to make a building earthquake-safe than to keep a building from being pretty much destroyed in a tornado.

Your sister must be tremendously brave :)
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 29th, 2005 03:45 pm (UTC)
Well, that sounds a bit better -- good places to hide, a little warning, and only every 20-30 years isn't quite as terrifying as I'd imagined. Still scary, though! There are ways to build structures (and places to build them) that are more likely to withstand or be missed by tornadoes, and there are safe places to go that are really quite safe indeed. And there's almost always some kind of warning and lead time to let you prepare. The worst thing is the fact that the wind damage can wreak havoc with electricity, but many of the places where tornadic activity is common have compensated with how the lines are run, etc. I won't deny that it's spooky, but her hope is that the next generation of radar (she loves radar research) and warning systems will make it at least less dangerous, if nothing else.

Your sister must be tremendously brave :)

:) Very brave, very bright, a little crazy -- but I think that runs in the family, so I can't say much. LOL! And it does make her lots of fun to hang around with. :) Other people have home movies of parties and dances and such: she has home movies of storm chasing!
randomalia
Apr. 21st, 2005 05:27 am (UTC)
Congratulations to your sister! You must be very pleased for her :)

I read the interview, it was very interesting. I've not heard of their music, but I certainly enjoyed reading Steve's thoughts on the music industry and so on. Thanks for the link!

eldritchhobbit
Apr. 21st, 2005 01:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I am thrilled for her. I'm doubly impressed with her scientific and mathematical prowess because, for me, determining how much of a tip to leave at a restaurant requires complete silence and the use of my fingers and toes! LOL!

Thanks for reading the review, too! I use Glass Hammer's Tolkien albums (Journey of the Dunadan and my favorite of their CDs, The Middle Earth Album) in class, as well as in the car for singing until I get hoarse. :) I had the good fortune of seeing them perform live (and in costume!) at The Gathering of the Fellowship in Toronto in 2003. It was an amazing show. The convention rented out an entire Medieval Times. Talk about atmosphere!

And last but certainly not least, thanks again for the fantastic quotes about Obi-Wan's thoughts on Qui-Gon in your LJ. Fantastic material!
faramirgirl
Apr. 21st, 2005 07:45 am (UTC)
Hello
Wonderful news for your sister. 'light of Lord Voldemort’s return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided." "if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, " I really love this two lines.
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 21st, 2005 01:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Hello
Thank you so very much, (((FG)))! :) Aren't those lines wonderful? I think this is some of J.K. Rowling's very best writing. So inspiring.
estellye
Apr. 21st, 2005 11:28 am (UTC)
Way to go to your sister! She must be really excited!

((((Dumbledore)))
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 21st, 2005 01:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! She is, and I'm really excited for her. Thanks for letting me share!

Isn't Dumbledore the best?
lizzieausten
Apr. 21st, 2005 05:18 pm (UTC)
Hi! Yes - 'tis me! I was wondering where you've been, and remembered you mentioning this website to me once. Wonderful! I've even found a wealth of journals to help me in my new personal project - I've decided to research the history of Lithuania (I'm second generation expat). Neat place, this Livejournal.

Wonderful to hear about your sister! Of course, anyone who appreciates Cadfael has got to be intelligent ;-)

Ahhh - now to Dumbledore. This must be the most remembered portion of all the books, I think. Certainly the most controversial. And Rowling anticipated it, didn't she?

“The Ministry of Magic,” Dumbledore continued, “does not wish me to tell you this. It is possible that some of your parents will be horrified that I have done so – either because they will not believe that Lord Voldemort has returned, or because they think I should not tell you so, young as you are. It is my belief, however, that the truth is generally preferable to lies, and that any attempt to pretend that Cedric died as the result of an accident, or some sort of blunder on his own, is an insult to his memory…. [how do I indent and/or italicize this thing?]

Rowling knows some parents are going to be up in arms about this death. (This bit reminds me of Nesbitt and how she engages her young readers in that conspiratorial *wink wink* ‘I know you’re not as inept as the rest of the adults think you are’ writing. But then, you know my soapbox on this one, don’t you? :-) She’s telling her readers, the children, ‘listen to me, you need to know the truth and I know you can handle it – don’t worry about what the rest say.’ She’s telling her adult readers, ‘Hey – these children need to know truth, the world does contain evil and heartbreak, and the children can handle it! They’re learning a life lesson here!) I wonder how many of the mothers who had fits over Cedric’s death in the books - because it was traumatic and their kids shouldn’t be exposed - let those same kids play video games wherein death is arbitrary, with no purpose other than racking up points? I can’t say for sure, but if I was a betting woman…

This passage is wonderful, because it is so horrifying and traumatic for the reader. You REMEMBER it! I remember it as being one of the first times, in all the books, that I noticed I was being taught something. Hey! Pay attention! This is important - remember and learn!

The most traumatic death I ever read in a book, was the death of Bambi’s mother. To this day, 30 some odd years later – I still cannot read that book or watch the movie. It’s true. Why? Because the death was mean and senseless. THAT was traumatic. Cedric’s death is not. It’s heart-wrenching, but not meaningless. I don’t think that’s lost on Rowling’s younger readers.

Well, I’ve gone off on an a ramble here. :-) Enjoyed it though!
lizzieausten
Apr. 21st, 2005 05:19 pm (UTC)
Oh look! It italicized itself!
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 29th, 2005 03:37 pm (UTC)
LOL!
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 29th, 2005 03:36 pm (UTC)
I've even found a wealth of journals to help me in my new personal project - I've decided to research the history of Lithuania (I'm second generation expat). Neat place, this Livejournal.

Fantastic! This sounds fascinating.

Rowling knows some parents are going to be up in arms about this death. (This bit reminds me of Nesbitt and how she engages her young readers in that conspiratorial *wink wink* ‘I know you’re not as inept as the rest of the adults think you are’ writing. But then, you know my soapbox on this one, don’t you? :-)

What a great comparison! And we're definitely on the same page. I like the view from your soapbox. :)

She’s telling her readers, the children, ‘listen to me, you need to know the truth and I know you can handle it – don’t worry about what the rest say.’ She’s telling her adult readers, ‘Hey – these children need to know truth, the world does contain evil and heartbreak, and the children can handle it! They’re learning a life lesson here!

Well said indeed! And we see later, from Umbridge, how dangerous it is, what a disservice it is, to keep the students in the dark, to pretend nothing is wrong. They need to know, for so many reasons! I think that's a direct comment from Rowling to us, as well. Those who try to deny or gloss over such real evils end up enabling them...

I wonder how many of the mothers who had fits over Cedric’s death in the books - because it was traumatic and their kids shouldn’t be exposed - let those same kids play video games wherein death is arbitrary, with no purpose other than racking up points? I can’t say for sure, but if I was a betting woman…

Indeed, sad but true.

This passage is wonderful, because it is so horrifying and traumatic for the reader. You REMEMBER it!...Hey! Pay attention! This is important - remember and learn!

Yes! Exactly!

The most traumatic death I ever read in a book, was the death of Bambi’s mother. To this day, 30 some odd years later – I still cannot read that book or watch the movie. It’s true. Why? Because the death was mean and senseless. THAT was traumatic. Cedric’s death is not. It’s heart-wrenching, but not meaningless. I don’t think that’s lost on Rowling’s younger readers.

That totally traumatized me as well! (I think it sowed the seeds for my vegetarianism, in fact. No joke.) You've made such a great distinction between the meaningless and the meaningful death here. I tear up at Cedric's death, but it's Dumbledore's challenge to the students (and to readers, in a way), to redeem that sacrifice, to make sure it wasn't a meaningless death. Great point. I love your rambles!
thrihyrne
Apr. 27th, 2005 04:34 am (UTC)
My most hearty congrats to Margaret and huge virtual hugs to her.

Excellent quote, too- I was going to use that in my paper, goshdarnit. :P Maybe next fall. Goodness only knows how the new book will end up affecting your next teaching of that HP class, eh?

eldritchhobbit
Apr. 29th, 2005 03:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :) And yes, one of the reasons I took another spin with the HP class now is that it will have to be cmopletely overhauled once Book Six comes along... augh! And yet I can't wait! :)
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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