Saturday, July 21, 2007

Happy Harry Potter Day!

Happy Harry Potter Day! Feeling TOTALLY stupid as I sit here writing this...I'm actually staring out the deck doors watching for the UPS truck to deliver my copy of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows". How lame is that??!! I went to bed last night at 11:30, and SERIOUSLY considered getting dressed and running over to Wal-Mart to buy a copy (they're open all night, and I figured if I waited awhile, all of the "hoopla" would die down pretty quickly, and I could snag a copy and go home). SO too old to do the "standing in line for three hours" thing, but I DID consider it (briefly).

So...the upshot is that I'm sitting here at 8:45 in the morning STRESSING out about how many people have probably already finished the book, and are AT THIS MOMENT blogging up a storm, and giving away the ending as I type this. Can't watch the news or even LOOK at anyone even remotely looking like a "Harry junkie". THAT'LL be tricky!

I can't believe the phenomenon that is Harry Potter started TEN years ago with the publication of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". I remember how, as a children's librarian, I was ENTHRALLED by that book. I read it to "know what my library patrons were reading", but got HOOKED immediately. I really enjoy J.K. Rowling's writing style, and her storytelling skills are AMAZING...such imagination and creativity.

I know that many people have a problem with the whole "witchcraft and wizardry" thing, but it's SO MUCH MORE than just about the "magic"! It's about good triumphing over evil (I think...I'M STILL WAITING FOR THE UPS TRUCK TO GET HERE!), overcoming adversity, building friendships, chivalry, being honest and true to yourself, and COUNTLESS other good qualities and virtues. It's also been AWESOME in getting boys to read (a MAJOR accomplishment), and has paved the way for LOADS of other books that pique guys' interest! (For more great books for guys, go to author Jon Sciezska's website

Okay...enough rambling...guess I'll continue tapping my fingers, pacing, and getting a little stressy until I see that big brown truck barrelling down the road with my weekend's activity safely tucked in that WONDERFUL cardboard.

Hope YOU got your copy, and are enjoying (maybe not the right word, as it's rumored TWO main characters are going to die!) your last visit to Howarts. I'm so lame...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Running Around the Cities with My Sister

Met Robin for breakfast at Hell's Kitchen downtown yesterday. What a cool place! I had the lemon ricotta flapjacks with fresh fruit. VERY good! Robin had the porridge and sausage bread. Looked good, but I was too busy cramming the pancakes down to really notice!

Went to "Loft Antiques" and "Hunt and Gather" on 50th in South Minniapolis afterwards. Hunt and Gather is SO COOL! I LOVE "paperabilia", and they have lots of bins of miscellaneous flash cards from the 70's, grocery store sale posters, playing cards, game pieces, school nutrition cutouts...very cool. It's all jumbled together in big bins, so is a little overwhelming, but, if you have the patience to sift through all of it, you can find some AWESOME stuff! They also have oilcloth bags and purses that they've made out of some really campy patterns.

Not a very exciting blog entry, but, it's summer...there's not much happening right now. Robin and I had fun "playing" for the morning!

Worked the last FIVE days in a row at the mall, and TOTALLY remember why I was so excited for school to start again last August. The mall SUCKS! By day THREE of this last "work week", I was ready to SLAP anyone who came through the door. I SERIOUSLY don't know how retail people do this week after week after week after week!!! Add to that the fact that it's "secret shopper" time, and we have a bunch of STUPID things to say that we don't normally say (and which make us sound IDIOTIC and pushy).

I DID give my "soft notice" Monday. I say SOFT, because I told the manager that, with my new job description I'd have to devote WAY more time to job #1, but ALSO that my finances haven't improved any, so living on one income still might not work. I left it so that I could call her a month or so down the line (after my final day of August 18th), and come back if I needed to. She was very understanding, and I felt really bad quitting (especially since Kayla quit last week). Not bad enough to NOT quit, but still bad...

I have today off, and, as usual, have NO IDEA what to do with unstructured time. Maybe I'll go and clean something...!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 2, 2007

IB in Cincinnati

I can't believe it's already JULY!!?? I'd say "where has the summer gone", but I've really only been out of school for a few weeks, so the summer's still YOUNG!!

Just spent a few days in Cincinnati for IB training (for school). Didn't get much out of the training, but DID get to know some staff members at school better, AND met a woman from Dusseldorf, who I clicked with, and now Duane and I have a place to stay when we go and visit in November. I LOVE it when you meet someone that you instantly "click" with, and Susie and I did! She's a teacher at an international school there, and seems like she's GREAT fun (didn't get much "socialization" time what with all the workshopping and stuff!).

Wouldn't necessarily go back to Cincinnati anytime soon, but they DID have some fun restaurants and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is NOT to be missed. Toured the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, and, except for the torrential downpour while we were trapped outside, was very nice!

After returning from Cincinnati, I had a day to regroup, then Duane and I headed down to Fairfield for a LONG overdue visit. Tena was in a play, and we COULDN'T not see it! SHE was usual. She has SUCH a commanding presence on stage...such a seasoned pro!

The show was 3 1/2 hours long, and got a little tedious in parts (Tena was only on at the beginning and the end, so, as far as I'm concerned, they could have cut the entire middle part, and just featured her bits!).

It was SO good to be home again. Even after SEVEN years of being away, I still had people running up and giving me hugs. Tena's next door neighbor is the parent of one of the kids that I had in storytime. As soon as I got there, she came over with a post card from her daughter (who is now in film school), and wanted to let me know that her daughter credits ME with being one of her first "storyteller" inspirations for her work. It was NICE to get some positive affirmations! I DON'T necessarily feel like I make much of a difference in my current job...I DO miss being a big fish in a little pond!

Also ran into another "storytimer" while in a cool kitchen store on the square. I walked in, and the girl behind the counter had this "there's Santa Claus"-ish look on her face. I had NO IDEA who she was (everyone has grown up!), but, luckily we were hanging with dear friend Carol, and she said her name, and I was able to punt from there. Previous storytimer has grown into quite a pretty young lady! It was good to see her again!

Was FINALLY able to reconnect with Carol. Let's just say she's not the best at returning phone calls, so, by chance, we were driving down Fillmore, and she and Tim and DeeAnn were out in the yard. We stopped to chat, and ended up making plans to spend most of Saturday with Carol.

I REALLY love Carol. She's got some REAL self-esteem problems from things that have happened in her life, and it's too bad, because she's a WONDERFUL person. I'm hoping that being back in her life will give her some positive energy! Years ago, when she and Duane met, they clicked right away, and it's always nice to see them interact so warmly!

We also got a private tour of the new Stephen Sondheim Center, which will open in October, with a grand gala (Bernadette Peters and Matthew Broderick may be there!) in December. Suzie., an old family friend, has been heading this all up for 10 years, and gave us the's going to be SO COOL! I'm SO jealous, and SO want to move back, but, have realized for several years now that there's no going back. Duane and I CERTAINLY couldn't be who we are there...sigh...

Had lunch at Revelations (FABBO feta spinach pizza), dinner at Petit Paris (the coq au vin was delightful), and breakfast at the Fairfield Family Diner (a wonderful egg, bacon, and cheese croissant).

The big DOWNER of the weekend was that Tena was so busy with the show, but we DID get to stay up REALLY LATE Saturday night to catch up for awhile, and I'm going to go back in early August, so that we can spend a little more time together. I do so love that girl!

It's been such a CRAZY BUSY week, that I COLLAPSED last night...went to bed at sad is that??!! GREAT week, with lots of interesting things, but I'm looking forward to a few weeks of just being home now!

Happy Monday!