Today’s theme is inspired by Katie’s numbers post and one of Hermione’s favorite subjects at Hogwarts. Deathly Hallows: Part One comes out at midnight tonight. This might be a bit of a Harry-centric post.

1: Number of Colbert Report tapings I’ve now attended. (Have been able to see The Daily Show twice.) I went last Thursday and the guest was Quincy Jones — probably the most entertaining part was seeing Stephen Colbert break it down to Cee-lo’s “Fuck You” on a commercial break, lip-synching every word, dancing, arms flailing. And after the show, he came into the audience to thank people for coming (even though it’s free) and shook our hands…we didn’t get a photo with the real Colbert, but we got something of a memento.

Inside The Colbert Report studio...

2: Number of Harry Potter red carpet premieres that I’ve stalked in NYC. Last summer there was the Half-Blood Prince premiere at Ziegfeld Theatre, and on Monday the U.S. premiere for Deathly Hallows was at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. The weather was rainy and I was late because of work, so I didn’t see much beyond a glimpse of Ralph Fiennes and the back of Tom Felton’s head (coworker Erik: do you need to see anything else?), but it was great to be there. Walking past Lincoln Center at night is always worth it:

Lincoln Center

3: Number of cabs I’ve taken to work in the morning this week because my snooze button is that attractive. It’s a problem, people.

4: Number of Big NYC Signs that the holidays are approaching — the two aforementioned ones from last week, with Empire State Building lit up in Christmas colors and the Radio City Christmas spectacular starting, plus the massive tree at Rockefeller Center going up (the Swarovski star that tops the tree was lit this morning). And the amazing magical Christmas windows at Macy’s are also unveiled today! Talk about crass commercialism all you want, it’s still exciting enough for this Hindu.

Naked Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center

5: Monday night was the fifth time I saw Harry and the Potters live — this time at the R Bar in downtown Manhattan at the Deathly Hallows premiere fan afterparty, which was as nerdy (and fun) as it sounds. No, it hasn’t gotten old yet — especially when Harry Year 4 pulls out his saxophone during “Save Ginny Weasley From Dean Thomas.”

Harry and the Potters - scardrum ftw

6: Weeks left in 2010. Already!

7: Horcruxes, y’all.

8: Number of times that I saw Half-Blood Prince in theaters. Um. And I thought they butchered parts of that movie.


10: Years since my middle school besties Samantha and Archana took me to a book release party at Books-A-Million (A-town holla) for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I hadn’t read any of the books but was intrigued by the whole spectacle, so I bought Sorcerer’s Stone while they giddily lined up for their copies of the latest installment — and within a week, I had read 1-4 and was completely hooked. Over the years, I’ve done crazy HP-related things from Louisiana to Rome to Edinburgh to London and now New York, met some amazing people, introduced friends to the series, and made tons of good memories. I owe them so much.

11: (Big visible) stars in Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night, a favorite painting of the Sharma sisters (and Doctor Who fans), which I saw firsthand at the Museum of Modern Art this weekend.

Starry Night in person!


Aaand 46: the number of teams competing in the Quidditch World Cup, which took place at DeWitt Clinton Park this weekend. It met my expectations of entertainment value and exceeded them in terms of athletic intensity — we watched the third-place match before seeing Middlebury (where college Quidditch started) defeat Tufts in the final. Tons of fun to watch! NYMag wrote a great recap, including the tidbit that apparently I was hanging out with Michael Emerson (Benjamin Linus from Lost) and didn’t even know it.

One of the Harry and the Potters guys described it thusly, and I can’t say it better: “I’ll admit that I was kind of skeptical about the muggle version of quidditch, but being there and witnessing the sheer absurdity of the whole event has me converted. It is a rare occasion that an audience of thousands (along with over 700 athletes) is willing to indulge in something as ridiculous as a sport featuring people running around on brooms attempting to catch a man (or woman) dressed in yellow spandex. But the joy of the audience last weekend was absolutely infectious and I didn’t hear from a single hater.”

Brooms on the field.
Middlebury vs. Tufts
Harry and Hermione dominate a Ninth Avenue building. Awesome.

That which Voldemort does not value, he takes no trouble to understand. Of house-elves and children’s tales, of love, loyalty, and innocence, Voldemort knows and understands nothing. Nothing. That they all have a power beyond his own, a power beyond the reach of any magic, is a truth he has never grasped. — Dumbledore, Deathly Hallows


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