Who uses it: Readers of the Harry Potter books
What it means: Someone born into a wizarding family who does not have magic powers himself.
How you can use it: To insult family members at your own holiday gatherings.
Going with "muggle" today would have been too obvious... and since you ask, yes, I plan to see the new Harry Potter movie this weekend. In Montreal, as a matter of fact, so maybe we could catch a version with French subtitles. That would be fun.
New York was great, as it always is. New York is the one place in the world where I don't get lost, ever; it helps that most of Manhattan is on a grid, but even so, I always know where I am in New York.
Last night I started out at Grand Central Station, then walked to Times Square, where I tortured myself in the Virgin Megastore for about 45 minutes. I didn't buy anything, because I was afraid that if I let myself buy one thing (the new Echo & the Bunnymen CD, for example, or the Born to Run box set), I wouldn't be able to stop myself, and the next thing I knew I'd have dropped hundreds of dollars.
Thanks to Maeve, Meredith, Deidre, Ruth and Caroline for a wonderful evening. This afternoon I'm off to Montreal; I hear they've had snow, so it might be a winter wonderland.
Oh, and I almost forgot... I've been so busy this week that I only finished two books. Next week I expect to have more reading time.
What I Read This Week
David Morrell, Creepers. A group of urban explorers work their way through an abandoned Asbury Park hotel, days before the hotel is scheduled for demolition; but not everyone in the group is who he or she claims to be, and not everyone is there for purely academic reasons. When the group suddenly realizes they're not alone in the hotel, things get almost unbearably suspenseful -- and Creepers becomes the best kind of literary thrill ride, so exciting that the piling-up of coincidences doesn't even matter. David Morrell is the best working writer of action sequences. Period.
Richard Hawke, Speak of the Devil. I think it's an open secret that Richard Hawke is the pseudonym of Tim Cockey, who writes a series of mysteries I love about Baltimore undertaker Hitchcock Sewell. (If I know about it, I figure everyone must know.) Speak of the Devil introduces New York PI Fritz Malone, the illegitimate but acknowledged son of a former NY police commissioner who disappeared one day. The current police commissioner, an old friend, recruits Fritz to track down a dangerous psychopath who is conducting his own terror campaign against the mayor. The plot's very complex, and has a few holes I'd have liked to see patched -- but Malone is a good character, very much in the Hitchcock Sewell vein, and Cockey deserves to prosper under any name.