Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Deathly Hallows Experience (non-spoiler, I promise)

I'd been eagerly awaiting the release of Rowling's newest and last offering in the Potter saga, but I wasn't caught up in the frenzy of pre-ordering the book nor any of the release parties held Friday night. I knew that there would plenty for everyone, and it would be folly for any of the major stores to be caught without a copy by the following afternoon. I did curtail my usual online browsing, focusing on comics and blogs of those who I knew would respect the several-day spoiler moratorium for which many others had begged.

Since I'd been unsuccessful in buying the stuffed salmon for Sunday's dinner earlier in the week, I figured that I should be able to also pick up a copy of HPDH at either Costco or HEB on Saturday afternoon. Since Costco was the nearer of the two, and I was on a tight schedule (I had a small music event and after-party to attend that evening), I drove there with my son (who fell asleep before we got into the city limits of our town), and had to wait out a particularly hard rainshower before we could dash in to the store. The shopping carts were, of course, all wet, and I was faced with the dilemma of how to get out of the store with an undamaged copy. While I was waiting for the solution to present itself, I carried my one copy (could've had 5--this is a buy-in-bulk store after all) in hand and managed to keep from hitting anyone as we made our way to the meat department in back. Scored a nice package of salmon, and noticed (for the first time--honestly) a roll of plastic bags at the end of the bin. Thanking the book-fairies, I wrapped my book and slowly made my way upstream toward the checkout counters. Apparently, on Saturdays, Austinites use American and British sides of the road.

At the checkout counter, one of the employees tried to get me to upgrade my account, and was about to launch into how much money I'd save, blah blah yada yada. I met her gaze square on, gave her my best Italian-style HairyEyeball, held up my book and said
"See this?"
"Yes ma'am?"
"You're. In. My. Way."
Smart girl got out of said way.

I hadn't eaten anything yet that day, so I had a small lunch at Sonic with what I could scrape together from two pockets of loose change in my wallet. I also had to drop off our car payment paperwork at the post office; by the time I got home, I was seriously pressed for time. My outfit for the evening was a little more involved than usual--my lace-up Pendragon bodice and my leather pants from eBay--so I recruited my husband, and I was out the door 1/2 hour later than I'd planned. No, it's not what you're thinking, you naughty-minded people.

I drove to Things Celtic, scored the last spot in the parking lot, and did a little shoppping while Diane Linn (a regular on the RenFest circuit with 3 albums under her belt) sang trad songs, Janice Joplin, and some of the own work. I picked up a cd, a celtic mood ring, a cat gargoyle for Kimmy's grave, and a butterfly magnet for Anthony to look at during mealtimes. I left a little early in order to pick up a bottle of wine (Twisted Lot merlot seemed a fitting one to bring this hostess), and still managed to be the first one there, as the second set ran late. It was nice to have a chance to talk to my friend S before she had to perform the HostessDance for everyone else. My friend K and I talked about our reading plans for Sunday, and she said that she wasn't really going to be as anti-social as she'd warned in her blog (something to the effect of "don't interrupt me unless your head is on fire"). I told her that I'd have to fit reading in between taking care of my son, which really was my plan.

I finally rolled onto the farmstead at about 2 in the morning. DH hadn't had luck corraling any of the cats, and they weren't cooperating for me, either, so it was about 2:30 before I could think seriously about going to sleep.

But the book beckoned.

I could just read a few chapters, right? I'd get tired enough to put it down and fall asleep quickly, right?

Right. Color me crackheaded.

So, from about 2:30 am until 11 am, with an hour break for feeding and diapering A, I was enthralled by Harry's journey to the last battle. I kept up with the twists, was impressed by Rowling's ability to move the plot along while honoring the age-appropriateness of the school-aged characters, and even giggled a few times. There were a few parts where I raised my eyebrows and thought "she got away with saying that? Wow!" I also availed myself of the kleenex box when necessary.

Thank you, J.K. Rowling, for a wonderful, frustrating, magical ride. Even though you are rich enough to never again have to write another word for pay, I hope this is not the last we see of your work in print.

[#33 for this year]


Mercy's Maid said...

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I'm hoping to go back and reread the last few chapters of HP this weekend. I think I missed out on some details in the end because I was reading so fast. :)

Marina said...

Same here! My husband rolled his eyes at me, but he hasn't even started reading #1 yet!

Chris said...

What a fun day! Aside from the rain of go to the big renfest in Plantersville? Me and Megan go every year! We should make meet up plans this October!

Marina said...

Hey Chris! Sorry it took me so long to see this... DH and I try to attend both north and south faires at least once a year. October sounds great! Let's get the calendars sychronized :D