Saturday morning, at about 10:30 a.m., the doorbell rang and a cute UPS deliveryman in his signature brown shorts (so I’m told by Jeff, who answered the door and collected the package) dropped off my pre-ordered copy of the 739-page Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and last book in the Harry Potter series. Jeff was planning to take his mom to the 13th annual Fil-Am Friendship Festival that day, so I toasted a couple of English muffins and curled up on the couch with the book.
I read pretty much non-stop, with a break to shower and get dressed, until 5:15 when we had to leave to make our 6:00 pre-theater dinner reservation at Absinthe. I started with a caipirinha (mojitos and caipirinhas seem to be my new favorite cocktails), followed it with a caesar salad, and then the steak frites for my entree. The latter was the best I’ve had in my life. One often hears that good steak “melts in one’s mouth,” but this one actually did; it was wonderfully rare, yet not at all tough. And the pesto butter drizzled on top really highly complimented the beef. The frites were perfectly crunchy little shoestring potatoes rather than typical American-style fries. For dessert we shared one of their cheeses–the Portugese Serra Da Estrela Merenda, with fig spread, described in the menu as a “washed rind sheep’s-milk cheese made with wild thistle rennet with a sweet grassy taste”–and the chocolate pot de crème. Yum.
After dinner we saw the Kinsey Sicks show, Condoleezzapalooza, at the Herbst Theater. Long-time readers of this blog may remember that Jeff and I saw the Kinsey Sicks at the Birchmere, back in Alexandria, for our first in-person meeting in June 2003, effectively, as it turns out, our first date (we even use that date, June 21, for purposes of celebrating our anniversary). In the audience, and pointed out from the stage, was a former member of the troupe, Maurice, whom I’d known 25 years ago when we were both members of the Harvard Glee Club. After the show, I went over and re-introduced myself, and we agreed to make plans to get together when he returns from his trip back to Cambridge this week for, of all things, a Glee Club reunion.
We got home around 10:30, and I returned to the world of Harry Potter, finishing the book–and the series, if J.K. Rowling is to be believed–an hour later.
As obsessive as this might sound, to push myself to finish the book in something under 7 hours over the course of a day, I did at least put the book down when we left the house for dinner and the concert. At the concert, we actually saw several people reading the book in their seats, before the show started.