I was visiting with my friend Katie the other day. She asked me how reading Harry Potter to my eight year old boys was going, as I’d mentioned to her a month or more ago that they were growing weary of reading about the same characters night after night.

“Did you switch to something else after you finished the third book?” she asked.

“No,” I said. “It turns out that toward the end of the third book, when Sirius Black became a more prominent character, the boys became super involved with the story once again. So, we started the fourth book straight away. That Sirius Black character sure seems to be a thing that boys relate to – the teacher archetype. Not a dad, necessarily – a teacher.”

“Well sure,” Katie said. “Everybody wants his Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

“Sure,” I agreed, then paused. “I wonder what the equivalent of that for girls would be.”

Take note.We are one month away from my birthday (Aaron Dietz directed my attention to a Tauntaun sleeping bag, if you’d like to start up a collection), and every year on my birthday I go see a movie.Which isn’t so unlike any other time of year, except that any other time of year I can choose not to go to the movies if there’s nothing good on.But on my birthday, I MUST GO TO THE MOVIES. I must because somehow squashing down in a theater seat with a contraband package of HoHos has become a tradition that if not practiced will result in meteors pelting the earth, puppies and kittens spontaneously combusting, and Sandra Bullock winning an Oscar.