Thursday, July 26, 2007

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Well, our annual trip to Seaside, Oregon was kind of a bust. I say "kind of" because I enjoyed spending time with family, including my great niece Hannah (yes, you read that right, GREAT neice, meaning, I'm a great aunt. Yikes.) It was fun to attend the Harry Potter release party, buy the book at midnight and start reading a little bit of it. And, if I'm honest, I even enjoyed playing skee ball and a few other arcade games.

However, Seaside was a bust in that it rained the entire time. We had your very common misty drizzle which is pretty much like walking through a heavy fog, as well as the heavy, persistent showers. There was even a bit of high wind that took down 2 walls of a building which was under construction just 2 houses away from us.

We didn't set foot on the beach once the entire weekend. However, we did manage to snap the above picture during a 10 minute break in the rain. We were just about to go for a family photo when the rain started again and we decided to flee.

So, we are going to give Seaside another chance at the end of August. I'll plan on taking the kids to the beach on Hood to Coast day and let them play while we wait for our family team to cross the finish line.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Colbert and Potter

Here is the opening of The Colbert Report from Monday, July 23.
This link will actually take you to the whole program, but the first part is the Potter-y part I hope you will enjoy. Can anyone else relate?

Update: Evidently this link is constantly updated with the most recent Colbert Report episodes, so if you didn't follow this link yesterday, you might have trouble finding the fun Harry Potter clip I was trying to share. I know you are all dying to see it, so I will try and find it somewhere else and update this post with the correct link. Until then, you can scroll down the list of clips right below the video until you see the picture of Stephen reading Deathly Hallows. Click on that link and enjoy.

Not a Spoiler, But Still Potterific

I'm in my post-Potter period and looking for anything to stretch out the magic. This might not be magic, but it's pretty funny. Even more so if you are at all familiar with 70's TV.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Potter Party

At 10:45 pm, Friday night, Ethan and I drove a few blocks from our beach vacation rental to Beach Books in Seaside, Oregon. Beach Books is a great little independent bookstore and around 10:50, there was already a small line forming outside the store. Inside, I could see the final touches being put on the decorations. At 11pm, the line started moving and the Harry Potter release party began.

There were no live owls and we didn't have a magician performing "spells" and tricks. What we did have, however, was a lot of fun. The refreshment table had a cauldron full of butter beer, a big bowl full of Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, a bowl of fruit flavored gummy slugs, pretzel wands and even "owl poop" cookies.

There were fun quizzes and a potions test. Witches circulated the room with sorting hats where kids could draw out a card sorting them into a Hogwarts house. There was a costume contest and a little girl that looked like a first year Ginny Weasley won tickets to the Harry Potter Order of the Phoenix movie.

At 2 minutes to midnight, folks started lining up to purchase the book. Many people had pre-ordered the book. I was not one of them. Ethan and I slipped out and drove over to Safeway on highway 101 just in time to see them open 4 boxes of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Books. There were about 8-10 people grabbing books out of the boxes and I grabbed one and got in line to buy it.

While I was waiting in line, I had time to read the first couple of pages. I would have loved to have stayed up all night reading, but decided, at the request of Robert, to wait until the next day to begin the book in earnest.

It was a lot of fun to be a part of the cultural phenomenon that has become the Harry Potter legacy.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Lemony Fresh in Seattle

We just returned from an overnight trip to Seattle. While we were there, we packed in a lot of fun activities. We lunched at Pike's Place Market at a great place called Lowell's. We visited the Seattle Aquarium, had dinner at the Rainforest Cafe, spent a few hours at Experience Music Project and another hour or so at the Science Fiction Museum. We were able to stay at the lovely Embassy Suites in Bellvue and the kids wore themselves out swimming and relaxing the hot tub.

At Lowell's on our first day, we enjoyed some delicious fish and chips, shrimp and chips and a salmon burger. Jonah busied himself with the little lemon wedge that garnished his dish. He squeezed the lemon all over his shrimp, into his water and even into his mouth. He was pretty excited that even after he was done eating lunch, his fingers still tasted like lemon.

After lunch, we went to the Seattle Aquarium and there was a great exhibit where kids could reach in and touch star fish and sea anemones and all the other "fun" stuff that lives in the tide pools. Jonah had a great time doing this and was even braver than Ethan when it came to touching and feeling. He got his hands right in there and felt around, even though the water was cold. He let a star fish's suction cups tickle his fingers and he even wiggled his digits around in a sea anemone, which Ethan thought for sure would sting! (It didn't, of course)

After the aquarium, we were in the car heading out to dinner. From the back seat, Jonah announced: "Hey, my fingers don't taste like lemon any more!"

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Not Hogwarts, Part 2

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hogwarts Alternative

Friday, July 13, 2007

My Rebound Book

I just finished "Leonardo's Shadow: Or, My Astonishing Life as Leonardo DaVinci's Servant" by Christopher Grey. It's a juvenile/young adult fiction about (drum roll please...) the servant of Leonardo DaVinci. It also covers the period where Leonardo is working on The Last Supper.

This was my "rebound" book after my relationship with the Outlander series of books by Diana Gabaldon ended when I finished "A Breath of Snow and Ashes" this last Tuesday. For a rebound book, it was a great diversion and did help me to stop thinking about Claire and Jamie for a few hours at least.

I learned about "Leonardo's Shadow: Or, My Astonishing Life as Leonardo DaVinci's Servant" by watching an on-line book trailer. I had no idea that book trailers even existed and this was the first one I saw, but it definitely peaked my interest. Here is a lovely link if you are interested in checking it out.

Overall, the life of the servant Giacomo is interesting, but I wouldn't say "astonishing." For something to be astonishing, I feel I must have moments during my reading where I gasp with astonishment, or take a quick breath of wonderment, at the very least. Also, I found a few details in the story to be unnecessary.

But what do I know? Amazon readers give this book 4 and a half stars, and that's pretty good. Maybe "Leonardo's Shadow: Or, My Astonishing Life as Leonardo DaVinci's Servant" just had the misfortune of being my rebound book, which is always a hard spot to fill with any success.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Birthday Boy

Yesterday was Jonah's birthday. We had a "funfetti" cake that Jonah sprinkled himself. He also chose 4 of his small dinosaurs to decorate the top of the cake. Jonah got some art supplies, including a really cool "How to Draw Dinosaurs" book from his grandparents. He got Mace Windu's Jedi Starfighter, which required the application of about 20 little stickers in very specific places. But the one gift to rule them all was the red Fisher Price Mega T-Rex dinosaur. Jonah has had the green Fisher Price Mega T-Rex dinosaur for about a year, but felt his collection would not be complete with out the exact same dinosaur in red.

He'd asked for the red Fisher Price Mega T-Rex dinosaur for Christmas, but Santa just couldn't see why Jonah needed two giant dinosaurs that were exactly the same except for their color. Jonah barely had room for the green Mega T-Rex as it was.

As Jonah's birthday neared, the request for the red Mega T-Rex was once again made. However, this time, the request came with not-so-subtle threats like "If you don't get me the red dinosaur, I won't love you anymore" or, " if you don't buy me the red dinosaur, then you will be in big trouble." At the time these threats were made, the red dinosaur was safely hidden away in our secret present hiding spot, so there was really no need for Jonah to get nasty.

So, the party was a success. Jonah told me that he wanted to give me "one hundred thank-yous" for his party and that it was the best day ever. He also told me that the red Mega T-Rex and the green Mega T-Rex had already gotten married. It must have been a very small and private ceremony because I missed it.
Oh yes, Jonah is 5!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Five Pocket Jeans

I always thought the 5-pocket jean was kind of a joke. Not that I don't wear them and love them for their comfort and's just that the 5th pocket was so small and un-useable I was always bugged that it was touted as a pocket to begin with.

I had a hard time imagining anything that could be placed in this 5th pocket to make it useful: a dime for the pay phone (if you live in the 1970's), a single Tic Tac, a sample of DNA (they are "jeans" after all).

Well, just yesterday I discovered my 5th pocket is the perfect size to hold my iPod. In fact, the pocket is just shallow enough that the control is left exposed to allow quick access to the volume, which I often need in order to hear my kids, the phone, or my husband, or to drown them out, depending on my mood.

So, spread the news...the 5th pocket is now functional!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Bring It!

I got my renewal notice for the Reader's Digest today. If I renew right away, I get to give a FREE gift subscription to the person of my choice. Well, I just can't figure out who to give this fabulous gift (and years of junk mail) subscription to. Allyson and Angela have both been recipients of my Reader's Digest gift subscriptions in the past and I thought of maybe bestowing it on one of them again.

Then I had the great idea. I love when people comment on my blog. Personally, I don't think you all comment enough. So here's the deal: Leave a comment and tell me why you think you should get a FREE one year subscription to the Reader's Digest and I will choose one of you to receive the gift subscription.

I can't guarantee that the RD people won't pester you for the next several years with unwanted junk mail, but you will receive a really nice magazine with all kinds of fun info, articles, jokes and a vocabulary quiz every month for a year. Woo hoo!