Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The End of Con

Matt and I have been in San Diego too long. I booked the trip so we could do some San Deigo-y things after Comic-Con, but it's kind of anti-climactic. We went to the zoo yesterday, which definitely exceeded my expectations (I could almost ignore how the poor animals were locked up). We spent a good five hours there, which says a lot with my attention span. But today- Tuesday- we couldn't get a flight out until 4:30, so we have been putzing around our hotel and the city. We had a great breakfast, but now we're just killing time. I hate killing time because that means wasting time, which kills me. I finished the Harry Potter audio much faster than planned (cause I listened constantly just to avoid having the ending spoiled), so I don't have any audios to occupy my time. Nor did I bring any novels because I assumed I would be reading comics. But I'm a little tired of comics. Sigh. Matt's is loving having Cartoon Network in our hotel room. I guess I will sign off, and we will head out to the airport for another long wait. Later this week I will post a link to my website that shares some of my Comic-Con pics. Stay tuned.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Guess Who I Ran Into?!

For some stinky reason, I can't upload pictures to my blog from my hotel. Hopefully they will work when I get home because I have so many exciting things to share! Yesterday was awesome, although today was so awesome that I almost forgot why yesterday was so awesome. Yesterday we saw the First Day of Issue for the Marvel U.S. postage stamps. There was a fancy lady singing the national anthem and everything. We saw Stan Lee speak, which was happy because he is pretty old and still loving everything he does. I saw George Romero interviewed by Max Brooks (who was really hysterical), both of whom I really like. I was in the third row and could see both of them perfectly! Plus, The Devil Wears Prada was on HBO in our hotel room last night, which I love.

Today, though, is not to be believed!!! Before Matt and I visit one of many panels, who do I run into on the exhibit floor but--- Joss Whedon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And what did I do? I cried. Yes, I cried when I met Joss Whedon. It was really amazing because only two dudes were talking to him, so I pretty much had him to myself while Matt took a picture. Then David Fury [whose name I saw on his badge and recognized, but only now do I see that he is insanely huge in the TV world- executive producer of Buffy, Lost and 24! Holy shit! What a nice guy! And I barely said a word to him because I was so blown away by Joss] comes over and asks if we want a picture of both of us with him. Joss said he liked my shirt (which I think is a magic shirt because interesting things happen when I wear it. I'll tell the shirt story in another blog entry), and I was totally on the verge of tears. Who knew that Joss Whedon would make me cry? I have a short list in my head of celebrities that would make me cry if I met them, but I never really thought of Joss that way. It makes sense, I suppose, considering how important Buffy is to me. I told him, "I love everything that you do." That wasn't such a lame thing to say, right? And then I walked away and started actually crying. I feel like a doob, but it was an amazing moment. Tomorrow I will see him speak (not for the first time), but it will definitely be more special now that I have met him in person. I am so happy that that happened.

The rest of the day was filled. We saw the pervy, kind of icky comic guy Joe Matt (more on that if you'd like to know). We managed to meet the adorable and hilarious Nick Frost and Edgar Wright of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz fame because I won a ticket in the autograph lottery. We saw Alison Bechdel speak, which was wonderful. And Miriam Katin. Lastly, we thought we would squeeze into the Kevin Smith presentation, but the entire 6,500 seat room was filled! You should have seen the line to get in. Matt and I sat outside and watched the people waiting. It literally went on for several city blocks. So we didn't go to that. No big loss, but we thought it would be fun.

Two days left. So much excitement, I'm already sad that it's going to end. Signing off from Con.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Con Part 1

It is the morning after Preview Night at the San Diego Comic-Con. I was soooo tired yesterday, having not slept the night before. Matt and I already managed to spend money in the short hour we were on the floor at the Con last night. There were so many people and so many smells. It was fun, though, and I'm excited to see some of the panels and people we're scheduled for later today. Below are some pictures of the throngs waiting to be let into the opening of the exhibits and a group of people dressed up (I think the Cat Woman was trying to be sexy, but she failed miserably). And me with Frankenberry. Which makes sense, right?

CRUD. It is now the evening. I tried to upload the pictures this morning, but it wouldn't work. I would blog about my day (it was jam packed!!!), but I'm too tired. I will post this measely post for my two readers, and I will try to write more tomorrow and hopefully get some pictures up. Today's dollar total was under $50. Not bad.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

To the Con!

I slept like crap last night. I had so much anxiety, but I don't know why. It was almost like fever dreams (which makes me wonder if it was from those brown spots on the broccoli). I always get nervous before I travel, which makes no sense since I do it quite often and am pretty good at it. I didn't even have to wake up particularly early, which is sometimes a factor in why I can't get to sleep. So my stomach is just so-so, which I hate when I board an airplane.

I am going to try two new things today for travel: 1. I am going to see if we can get seated in the exit row, so we can have a two side all to ourselves and 2. I am going to tip the person checking us in at our hotel to see if that will make a difference in how quiet (and possibly upgraded?) our room will be. I read about that second one in Budget Travel magazine. We'll see. I hope I'm not just throwing money out the window, but it is vacation. I'll let you know how it goes.

I would just like to mention before I leave that I have a gigantic zit under my nose. I am so thrilled that it will be showcased in all of our vacation photos. A perfect accessory for the Comic-Con, I suppose.

Monday, July 23, 2007

3 Days Later...

I'm watching 28 Days Later on FX. FX is one of three cable channels we get, and they are driving me insane with their constant corner adds for their new TV show "Damages." It's so freaking annoying- The one that's on during the entire movie is huge, and then every five minutes or so they have a live action, complete with sound, ad in the corner. It is ruining the movie. This movie drives me insane, it's so scary. I have nightmares about zombies. I know they're not technically zombies, but close enough. Even scarier, almost, because of their aggression and speed. I have already cried once during this movie, when the beautiful Cillian Murphy discovers that his parents killed themselves. I don't know why I continue to watch. So is the nature of the zombie flick. Speaking of... I leave for Comic-Con very soon. One of the panels I'm most looking forward to is seeing George Romero (the creator of Night of the Living Dead and the king of the modern [um, were there any classical? Ancient?] zombie flick) speak with Max Brooks, author of two fabulous zombie books (World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide). I think I may have to watch that panel alone because it coincides with a panel on Guy Delisle. I would really like to see that one, too, since I've read his comics, but I can't miss the zombies. It's kind of annoying that there are so many good things to see at one time! We're bringing our laptop, so I will try to blog on the trip. I never know what famous nerd-magnets I may run into at The Con!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Me as a Simpson!


First Get Well Soon Review

Well, it is here: an official review of Get Well Soon in a review journal (which shouldn't mean any more than the few great reviews I've gotten online, but it seems more frightening for some reason). I am pretty happy with it, although I wish the numbers were a little higher. It will be in the August issue of VOYA magazine. They rate their books on two scales, each out of five: Quality and Popularity. They also note the grade level appropriateness. Here it is:

August 2007
3Q · 4P · J · S
Halpern, Julie. Get Well Soon. Feiwel and Friends/Holtzbrinck, 2007. 208p. $16.95. 978-0-312-36795-4.

Anna records her twenty-two days in a mental institution through a series of letters to her best friend. Dealing with depression and panic attacks upon her arrival at Lakeland, lovingly referred to as Lake Shit by the residents, Anna goes from a confused teen on suicide watch to someone who looks forward to living her life. The people Anna encounters—handsome, mysterious Justin; Sandy, the roommate with the plastic doll baby; longtime resident Mike O.; and Lawrence, the follower of the Dark Lord—are fodder for observations that range from amusing to profound. Although Anna gets stronger, she definitely worries about continuing to feel normal in the real world.

This coming-of-age story just happens to take place in a mental institution. Anna becomes more confidant and comfortable with herself during the course of her stay. There is a lovely sweetness in the blooming relationship between Anna and Justin, one that would not have been possible for the Day One Anna. Halpern creates a narrative that reflects the changes in Anna with each passing day that includes self-reflection and a good dose of humor. Readers will cheer for Anna as she gains confidence in herself, dares to rebel a little, and gets well as she goes back to her life.—Erin Wyatt.

It's actually quite good (I have read it about ten times so far). There's nary a negative comment. 3Q means "Readable, without serious defects." I think that's what gets me. Again, it's not negative, it's just kind of "fine." Is it wrong of me to review a review? I'm not saying anything against the review itself, right? Just my feelings about how the review affects me. I've heard some horror stories about reviewers having personal beefs with authors after that author disses their review, so I don't want it to sound like I'm dissing the review. It is certainly a review without serious defects. Hee hee. But seriously, folks, this sounds pretty good, right? If you didn't already know and love me, you'd go buy the book, right? As a librarian, I know I would. Now we just have to wait for my next review. And the next one... By then I may have some serious defects.

Monday, July 16, 2007

YALSA Podcast

When I was at the ALA conference in Washington, D.C. last month, one of the things I attended was the YA Author's Breakfast. It was done speed-dating style, where librarians sat at tables and authors, when prompted, moved from table to table to visit with us. One of the people at my table was a YALSA podcaster. Click on this link (please let me know if this doesn't work, and I'll find another way to post it) to hear me chat about what it's like for me to meet authors. What strikes me the most is how Jewish I sound. You'll know it's me because I introduce myself.

Click here for podcast

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Celebrities Fly into Milwaukee

My in-laws are in town, so I must be quick, but I had to tell you that whilst Matt and I were picking the fam up at the Milwaukee airport who should we see but Emmanuel Lewis. You know, Webster? I never watched the show, but I did see him on The Surreal Life. They called him "Manny," and he bunked with "Hammer." He was quite short and had his cute little Manny laugh. I didn't want to impose, so we didn't get a photo. Maybe he would have liked it. But I didn't want to be one of those people. Even though I am.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Potter Pooper

Well, it is time for me to talk about Harry Potter (thank you, Mary, for calling me out). I am not one of those people who poo poos Harry. Nay, I do love him, and Hermione, and the Weasleys, etc., but I have slowed down my reading of the books over the past few titles and- Gasp!- I have not read the sixth book. I think I slowed down during the fourth book (which as I recall had way to much quidditch for my taste), and by the fifth one I was waiting for the paperback to read it (I couldn't possibly hold that hardcover up in bed). I had a particularly nasty time with the fifth one because as I read it, I got a terrible stomach flu. So I kind of have an icky association. Then the sixth came out, and I wanted to read it but took my time. And one of my butthead students (not that my students are buttheads, but this one sure was for doing what she did) TOLD ME THE ENDING. I know who dies, so what's the point? Yes, I know, "the journey," but the journey takes me sooooo long. I don't care how fast the kiddies read these books; it still takes me forever. So I have not read the sixth Harry Potter, but due to my commitment to the YALSA Selected Audioboks committee (and my existence as a human), I must listen to the seventh when it arrives. I am certain I will love it, but am I a bad person for not reading the sixth? Will I be missing a lot? (Not bloody likely, considering I never remember what happens in books anyway.) And if I do read it this summer, at least I don't have to worry about some student giving away the ending. No, this time I will be the one giving away the ending.

In other news, something has died in my garage (I think I should warn you that I just finished reading the eighth Georgia Nicolson book, and I seem to be writing in a British accent). I am not kidding when I say this. It smells, and when Matt gets home tonight from work he gets the task of searching for the culprit. It 's kind of gross, but has turned humorous by the fact that the UPS man delivered a package today and came through the garage and I had to excuse my garage for stinking like someone's dirty diaper. Then we had some guys come for an estimate for our deck, and I had to explain it to them. I was afraid they would all think that I had no idea that my house stunk (stank?), so I had to keep telling them that "I think an animal died in here." The funniest reply was the UPS guy, who said, "Yeah, it's probably a chipmunk or a mouse or something." It was funnier when he said it... I'll keep you posted on all things decaying.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

An Interview! Of Me!

Check out this interview with me about Get Well Soon at a blog called Bildungsroman:


Be sure to comment so I look popular! (Did that sound desperate?)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Why is this so Funny?

I was laughing out loud. Is that so wrong?

Human Tetris:

Monday, July 09, 2007

Comic Crazy

I am in the midst of planning craziness. I should never have decided to go to the San Diego Comic-Con again. But I knew how excited Matt would get, and I did enjoy it the one time I went. The deal is, I love to schedule. LOVE it. And they just came out with the schedule for the Comic-Con, which is amazing. And not just for comic dorks. It is also pleasing for cartoon dorks and Buffy dorks. The sucko is, they scheduled too many of the things I want to see at the same time! I don't know what I am going to do on the Saturday, when they have a Futurama panel (with all of the real actors who do the voices- and the last time Matt and I went, this was my favorite thing to see. It was so funny!) at the same-ish time (they overlap anyway) as Ray Bradbury and Ray Harryhausen (the guy who produced Clash of the Titans!) which overlaps with Joss Whedon (who I admire greatly but kind of annoyed me with his cocky unpreparedness the last time I saw him). Oh, and Jeff Smith (great comic book guy who created Bone) is also in that time period. What to do?! I really love Ray Bradbury and have never seen him speak, but Futurama... It was really funny last time, trust me. The guy who does the voice for Bender really talks like that! Oh I don't know. It's 11:30 at night, and I am all freaked out and will have scheduling-type nightmares now. One thing I can go to is a strange talk given by Nicolas Cage and his son (not the one named after Superman) about comics! That should be crazy. I think I shall raise my hand and ask him to say, "My wang," and see what he says. That's from Peggy Sue Got Married, in case you didn't know. I better try and get some sleep. Although it's not like I have to go to work tomorrow. I do have to go to the library and write, but I'm not scheduled until the afternoon (and that is going quite well, thank you). Snoozers.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Extra Blogging Duties

Check out my guest blog on the Feiwel and Friends website:

You should totally post comments on the Feiwel and Friends site (to my blog entry) because that would make mine the only blog entry on their site with comments, and I'll look extra special cool!

Hot Hands

Our air conditioning is busted. The dude is coming out today. I hope it's just the freon. From living in the city, we at least have a window air conditioner for the bedroom. Ah, the joys of adulthood.

Yesterday was my four year wedding anniversary. Matt and I had a great day, going to two good restaurants (for lunch and dinner, not for one meal) and visiting the Volo Auto Museum. It was much cooler than I thought it would be. They had some famous cars (like the car from Ghostbusters! And the car from Back to the Future!), and then they had several showrooms filled with amazing, restored old cars-- all for sale! And some of them were pretty reasonably priced, so then I get to thinking about how cool it would be to drive a giant, old car with a huge steering wheel and fabulous, sparkling seats. I would be so afraid of messing it up, though. I doubt I could even fit one of those old cars in my garage. Of course I can't remember a single name of any of the kinds of cars, so forgive me for not having pictures.

I have decided that I am going to take my new novel in a different direction than I have been writing. It's actually more the direction I originally intended on writing, but somehow got sidetracked with a plot that made the main character somewhat unlikable. I mean, it's OK to be a little unlikable, but I don't think it went with the character at all. It had to do with betrayal and cheating and ick like that. But that means I have to go back and rewrite portions, which I usually don't like to do until I'm finished with the book. I think I will feel better about the whole thing when I'm done. Whenever that will be...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Happy

Happy Fourth of July. I have no events planned, Matt's working today (since tomorrow is our anniversary, he's working today to have tomorrow and Friday off), and I'm still a little depressed. I wake up most days feeling crappy, both physically and mentally. I think my allergies are the worst in my bedroom (which is probably for some gross reason, like I don't clean enough), so I'm all snorgy in the morning. On top of that, I'm in a food rut. Not that I can't eat (that will NEVER happen), but nothing (except for maybe Kit Kat Blizzards) sounds very good to me. Matt and I are trying to figure out what to do for our anniversary, but the stress of trying to plan something romantic pretty much takes all of the romance out of it. I think we may just go to some funny Wisconsin places and my favorite Wisconsin grocery store, Woodman's. I love that place. The cheese aisle alone is like a mile long. And we may go to the Jelly Belly factory tour in Pleasant Prairie, WI. I went last summer with my mom, and it was very cute. Free jelly beans and whatnot. I think our main goal should be that the time be spent on us, instead of with a laptop and a TV in front of us. Maybe we can see a movie.

Speaking of movies, I saw 1408 last week. I thought it was good. I don't know why, but I get stressed out in movie theaters that other people aren't going to like the movie. I have so much trouble just focusing on the screen. I freak every time someone talks or, don't get me started, texts (you assholes think I can't see that bright light coming from your phone?). Going to the movies is getting less fun every time I go. Maybe it's the location. I wonder if we lived near a more upscale town, if theater goers would be more polite. But I doubt it. That's why I usually wait to go to the movies when the movie has been out for a long time-- that way I can usually avoid sitting near people. Anyway- 1408 was decent. John Cusack was just right for the part when he got to be sarcastic, but looked a little silly and hound doggish when he was trying to look scared. The story itself was very Stephen King, with an alcoholic author and an evil building (room, in this case). But I love Stephen King's books, particularly because they are so heavy on the character development, so I'm usually game for his movies.

I did pilates at the gym yesterday. I used to take pilates twice a week when I worked at a school closer to my house. I had rock hard abs. Not anymore. That class kicked my butt, and now my butt, stomach, and even my arms are hurting. At least I know I did it right.

I think I'm going to go and play the Sims now. Take my mind off of real life with my fake computer people.

Monday, July 02, 2007

ALA Part 2

I'm a little depressed. I don't know if it's just my normal chemical, cyclical depression, or if it's something else. I am not feeling at all relaxed, as I should during the summer. I am still stressed about work, particularly that I have to hire two assistants for the fall. I have several applicants, so I may start contacting people now instead of waiting until closer to the end of the summer. I don't know. I wish I wasn't having dreams about work when I'm not even working. Speaking of working, every day I go to the library to work on my next novel (which I think I already posted). It's actually going quite well, and I have around fifty pages so far. I like how when I write, I don't always know what's going to come out and what the characters are going to do. It's almost like I'm writing a novel that I want to be reading. So I'm entertaining myself. (What else is new?)

Back to ALA. Since not enough of you post comments (come one, people, let me know you're reading! Please!), this will be a semi-interactive post. I am going to give you a list of YA authors that I either got autographs from, chatted with, or met through the YALSA YA authors breakfast. Then you, my darling readings, can feel free to comment in the form of questions about the authors. Or not. Or you can just read and run. Or not read at all? Sniff. Sniff. I feel so alone...

Markus Zusak
Ellen Wittlinger
Laurie Halse Anderson
Elizabeth Partridge
John Green
David Almond
Rachel Cohn
David Levithan
Alan M. Gratz
Jack Gantos (I'm reading his memoir Hole in My Life, and I absolutely love it!)

I think that's it. Maybe there are more authors, and if anyone cares I will add them later. Sorry to be so Eeyore.