Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Harry Potter at the Museum!

Yesterday I went to Harry Potter: The Exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. I had heard about this exhibit months ago during my re-dork-ulous Potter obsession phase. All the HP fan sites knew there would be an exhibition, but it wasn’t known which cities would host it. I was super excited that Chicago ended up being the first. The exhibit doesn’t officially open until April 30, but members to the museum could take advantage of the preview days. Therefore, I became a member. Not only did I get to see the exhibit before anyone else did, but because it was a member preview, there were way fewer people at the exhibit than there would be during normal hours (I know this from previous museum member previews).

Sadly, photography was not allowed in the exhibit (why not? Did they think I’d take pictures of official things and then try to recreate them? I don’t get it. Was it always this way in museums?), so I can’t show you all of the funny, cool things there. But here is the lowdown.

The exhibit begins with a crowd gathered around a museum worker dressed in robes. There is a stool next to her, so, of course, it’s time for the sorting ceremony. She called up a child, asked her what house she wanted to be in, then held the sorting hat over her head (I’m assuming not ON her head due to lice issues). A recording of the sorting hat voice played, and of course the girl was a Gryffindor. Then a little boy went up. He also wanted to be a Gryffindor. Same recording. Then a twenty-something guy went up, and he also wanted to be a Gryffindor. Slytherin! That was kind of funny, and the best part was how everyone applauded each time someone’s house was chosen. It could have been better. I think they should have somehow sorted everyone, perhaps when you order tickets, or you get to take a survey, or something. And then everyone gets a sticker of the house crest, so while you walk around the exhibit, you can see other people from your house and smile or perform a secret handshake.

The rest of the exhibit was packed (and it really was packed) with items from many of the films. There were Ron and Harry’s beds, complete with crazy Weasley bedspread, loads of costumes (including Ron’s hideous dress robes!), and artifacts galore. One of the coolest was the tri-wizard cup. Truly, there were so many things there that it would take hours (well, lots of minutes) to describe them all. If you have questions about specifics, I’d be happy to answer. All in all, I was very happy, if not blown away, by the exhibit. I’m pretty sure I’ll go back. It’s there through September, and I’m a member now, so why not? Romy liked it, too. She didn’t sleep the entire time, and she really looked at everything. I wonder what she liked best.

The gift shop was another piece that I should mention. It felt like a dark, Potterverse store. There were many items of weirdness, like expensive busts and snow globes, wands, stuffed animals, and hideous museum t-shirts. I wanted to buy a pair of Luna Lovegood radish earrings, but they were part of a set for $60! Instead, I plan to order a similar pair off of Etsy. I kind of wish I bought the tiny sorting hat they were selling. Why, I don’t know. I keep picturing Tobin wearing it. I ended up buying a tiny bust of Ron Weasley that actually looks more like Fred or George, but it was only $6.00. I guess a Weasley is a Weasley. I had a tiny fantasy that Rupert Grint would show up at the museum for the special occasion, but, alas, he did not.

And that is the Harry Potter Exhibit report. Any questions?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Hate You. Go Die.

I just heard a student yell the above in the hallway. Hilarious. I’m at work now, and I just had to type a blog entry because I feel so sad and guilty that I haven’t blogged in a while. I’ve meant to, but life is just, well, living these days. Romy is all funny and laugh and quite demanding of attention. Plus, I’m not home so much during the week, so the guilt is on when I’m home and NOT giving her attention. Sad, but true.

I’m trying to look ahead to summer. I’m excited about sitting outside in the kiddie pool, getting my first tan in years and trying to prevent Romy from getting her first sunburn. I’m hoping to find time to squeeze in my next novel, as well as some gym time. Too lofty of goals, probably, but I like to set ‘em high.

I got my first really great, positive review of my new novel, Into the Wild Nerd Yonder, coming this fall.

“I would have treasured this book as a teen. I wish Jessie had been my best friend in high school. I think readers are really going to relate to this story.” OK, so the review is from my friend, Nina Hess, but she’s an author, too, so it totally counts! Buy her book “A Practical Guide to Monsters now!

It’s back to work for me. And hopefully, you’ll get a little more blog action soon. If you want it.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Creepy morn

I woke up this Sunday morning at 6 to feed Romy, and then I decided not to go back to sleep. I don't know why, but it's been one of those mornings where everything feels creepy. I've bee reading Neal Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, but I seriously do not think that's the reason. I felt creepy before I began reading today. Right now I'm trying to exorcise the creeps by watching multiple episodes of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. It's not working. Moving on...

I am hoping to update my website today to add an Into the Wild Nerd Yonder page. But I have many lofty plans that are easily squashed by the cuteness and neediness of Romy.

We are having a contest in the library for people to create a diorama based on a book using Peeps. It is beyond fabulous. My assistant, Katie, and I have already had way too many laughs on the matter. Katie created this scene based on Roald Dahl's The Twits.

And here's mine, A Weasley Family portrait. This picture does not show the intricate details (sweaters, hairdos) of the individual Weasley members, so I plan to take more pics tomorrow. I am in love with this!