Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Changes - A Review (of Sorts)

Dead? He can't be dead! I must have read that wrong. Chicago's only professional wizard is dead? The man who has more lives than the Cheshire Cat? Can't be. But wait I'm getting ahead of myself.

I've got a confession to make. I'm a big Harry Dresden fan. OK, I'm not the biggest fan in the world, I mean I don't have a Duster, Blue Beetle, Staff, Blasting rod, you get the picture. However, I am addicted to the series by Jim Butcher. I got hooked when the Sci-Fi (yes I know it's SyFy now) channel did one season of "The Dresden Files".

I mean, I'm such a fan of Dresden that I figured that Chicago's Only Professional Wizard could solve the whole Obama birth certificate fiasco. Yes, that's tongue firmly planted in cheek. Yes I know Dresden is a fictitious character. Yes, the whole birth certificate thing was ridiculous. I mean there was a presidential commission that verified his eligibility BEFORE the election took place for Pete's Sake. But I digress, back to the story.

Now I know I'm about a year behind the release date of "Changes". I don't buy books hard cover that often, especially if I'm going to re-read them several times (you should see my Dune series books). So I only recently picked up my paper back copy and read it.

I also knew that at some point in the book an assassin's bullet was going to hit Harry (fraking spoilers). However, while reading the book and knowing what was coming, I was still not prepared for how it went down. I mean really, Dresden had just obliterated (literally) the entire Red Court of vampires (side note, don't mess around with the children of wizards, it's a really bad idea). His house and office had been destroyed earlier and he was just getting some much deserved rest and a date with a woman he should have dated a long time ago.

Anyways, he's just getting things settled down from this latest adventure and decides to wait for his date outside. He is on his Brother's boat and standing on deck when he's hit by at least two bullets. In true Dresden style he separates himself from what is happening and gives his usual snarky commentary. As he falls into the frigid waters of Lake Michigan he hears two voices, one of a wizard he killed who hurled a death curse of "Die Alone" at him. The other was a woman's voice "Hush now" which sounded familiar.

The end of the book leaves us in doubt whether or not he is dead though. He sees a light and that he was moving towards it. It looks like a warm and wonderful place until he hears a sound. "Typical, I thought. Even when you're dead, it doesn't get any easier."

So is he dead? Has he really crossed over? I'm hoping the next book in the series "Ghost Story" answers this question. For me, I'm hoping the adventures of Harry Dresden are not over. I mean I'm addicted and I need a fix right?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Walking Down Memory Lane

Last Sunday I had the rare opportunity to attend Sacrament Meeting in the church where I grew up. As I sat in the pew taking in the messages of faith and testimony my mind started to drift back to when I was younger and the weekly activities that occurred in that chapel.

I remember sitting on the pew with my Mom and siblings. I remember singing hymns and trying to block out my mom's voice (she has a great alto voice for the record) so I could hear myself and make sure I was in tune. I remember putting my head in her lap and her messing with my hair.

As I grew I remember sitting as a Deacon in the front pew with a shirt and tie on and then after the sacramental prayers standing and getting my tray of bread or water. I remember walking the aisles with those trays and passing the sacrament to the members of the congregation.

I remember being a Teacher and preparing the sacrament in the little room located just behind the sacrament table. I remember putting the bread in the trays and filling the water cups. I remember putting them on the table and placing the clean white cloth over them in preparation for being blessed and passed.

I remember as a Priest breaking the bread into bite size pieces. I remember saying the sacramental prayers that blessed the bread and the water. I remember passing the trays to the next generation of Deacons.

I remember the young men and young women I grew up with. The friendships made, the adventures we had growing up together. I remember the good times as well as the bad. I remember the heartaches and the joys. I remember what it felt like to be part of that group.

I remember leaving for college and coming back home to visit. I remember the faces I knew so well smiling and shaking my hand or giving me a hug. I remember the love and support that has always been there.

I remember giving my last discourse before heading on my mission. I remember my family members in attendance. I remember my mom and dad speaking that day. I also remember the well wishes I received from those that had influenced my life.

I remember the leaders who took the time to teach me how to be a better person. The lessons of the Gospel that have served me so well in my life. I remember that even if we didn't get along with them they stilled showed a love that is not forgotten.

I remember my youth with fondness. Not that everything was always a bed of roses, but overall it was never to be missed. I remember well the youth I've had and I hope that I have taken the lessons from that youth to heart and have applied them to my life today.