Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Hi. I'm sorry, readers. Thank you for the hail storm of concerned emails and phone calls. All is well! Am big soggy loon.

I haven't had an easy time posting things lately. I think blogger is renovating itself. I have some backloogged entries from the past two weeks. Here's one about Harry Potter. Enjoy!


SO. Excited. So excited! I have my new Harry Potter book, purchased at 1:30 a.m. last night. Whee! I already read the first 200 pages or so.

I have been waiting for this for so long, that last night I actually felt they way I did on Christmas Eve when I still believed in Santa. I can only remember two Christmases where I believed, and for one of them, Amanda and I were so psyched that we had a simultaneous hallucination of seeing the bottom of a red sleigh in the air above our house with a waving hand in a green glove with a white cuff and Rudolph’s red nose flying in front after Mr. Margolis from the E. Pete Women’s Club Chimney Check thingy came to give us our gift and ask if we had been good. In truth, there WAS an airplane that my mom told us was the red light of Rudolph’s nose, but I SWEAR I can still see that waving hand as clearly as I can see my cat passed out under the air conditioner. Smart cat.

ANYWAY, last night I did everything I had to do before bed, because I knew if I even cracked the book open I wouldn’t be able to put it down to take out my contacts or walk the dog before bed. So I did my nightly routine- contacts out, brush the teeth, walk the mutt, pj’s and then- the Harry Potter checklist:

Cat named after troublemaking Weasley twin at the foot of the bed? Check.

Teddy bear received shortly after finishing Book 3 in early 1999, (the real onset of my obsession) named after headmaster stowed next to pillow for scary parts? Check.

Pills (for various issues) taken so I don’t realize at 4 a.m. that I am moving into a narcotics withdrawal because I forgot? Check.

And then, I started. So good. I am a little annoyed at some of the characters at the moment, but only because they are surprisingly accurate renderings of moody, hormonal adolescents.

The rumor about the book, of course, is that an important character dies. Now, today when I was at a Harry Potter event (at the same Borders where I shot it going on sale at midnight and purchased my own copy), a mother saw a an employee dressed up as a wizard with a long white hair and a long white beard and said to her 8-year-old child, “Oh, LOOK! It’s Harry Potter!”

The child, (in full Harry get-up complete with scar, Mattel broomstick and standard issue Wal-Mart Halloween Hogwarts robe), gave his mother a withering look and rushed up to the guy, who was, to be fair, doing a pretty good job of faking enthusiasm on a Saturday morning after he worked till 2 a.m. the night before, handing out Bertie Botts’ beans and telling the kids he doesn’t like them, which is amazing for a guy who later told me he only makes $8.50 an hour and has never read the books.) He also said his name was Brandon, and he may have been flirting with me, but as he still was in his Dumbledore costume, all I could hear was the voice of Maria Banford, my favorite stand-up comedienne, doing the bit about being hit on by men 40 years older than she is, going, “Uh-uh, Father Time!”

Anyway, the Poor Clueless Mother (PCM) looks at her 30-something Equally Oblivious Friend (EOF) and says, “What? What did I say?”
Needing the kid’s name for caption info anyway, I said, “Um, that’s supposed to be Dumbledore, I think. The headmaster?” Blank looks from Poor Clueless Mother and Equally Oblivious Friend. “Because, um, Harry’s 15?” And I sort of looked around the store at the 10,000 Harry Potter books covers and merchandise and the life-sized cardboard cut-outs of Daniel Radcliffe all around us, and PCM kind of laughs at herself.
PCM: “Oh. Oh! Right,” Then, to me and EOF: “I hear Dumbledore dies.”
Me: “Yeah, that’s the rumor, but I read up to page 215 or so last night and he was still kicking….” (and I kind of held up my press ID and notebook indicating I need her kid’s name)
PCM: (sarcastic eye roll shared with EOF) “No, I meant in REAL. LIFE.”I swear, if grown women in Scarsdale still said, “Duh,” she would have.
Me: Um, in REAL. LIFE? A British actor named Richard Harris died…?”
EOF: (sounding so eerily like the voice of Quinn’s Asian-American friend Tiffany in the fashion club in the old MTV cartoon Daria, it was creepy) Yeah… That was sooo…Sad.”

Anyway, for the caption? The kid’s name was John Doe. Age 8. Of Scarsdale. Pretending to cast a spell on a very exhausted Story Lady during the costume parade. Blah.

Back to the book!

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