Saturday, July 21, 2007

Life Has Gone To Pot(ter)

I must confess that I am culturally illiterate. I am not a Harry Potter fan. I have not read a single book, and don't intend to. I have seen one, maybe two, movies but I would be hard pressed to tell you what they are really about. The only thing I can say with any certainty is that Hagrid is sexy in his own hairy way.

As not to have my children follow on my path of illiteracy, I have supported and encouraged their following of Harry Potter. At the recommendation of a friend of a friend, Brooke read the first book long before Harry Potter was as common a name as Bart Simpson. After reading the first book, Brooke was hooked.

The early books were all released in the UK before they were released here in the US. I know that I ordered at least one book from so that Brooke could read it before anyone here had it. This also meant that she read the British version. Not only are a few of the titles different "across the pond", but some of the language is also altered a bit. Reading the book in it's native tongue was a treat.

Another of the books was to come out in the US while we were on a trip to England. This did not play well with the then ten year old until we told her that it was already available in bookstores in England. We got this volume at Waterstone bookstore in Canterbury.

After the third book, Erin, who was then seven or so, became a Harry Potter fan though she was a little intimidated by the 500 page books. She listened to these early volumes on CD. When the fourth book came out, the CDs were about three times the price of the book. I told her she would have to wait until the price came down. She decided that it really was not such a big book. From that point on, I have had to buy two copies of every book.

Last night was no different. The girls decided that since the new book is the last, they would become a part of history and join all of those who were at the bookstore at midnight to purchase their copies. I was spared this adventure. Their Daddy took them. I think they all git home around 2 am. Both girls started reading immediately.

AT about 7:15 this morning, Brooke came in to my room and tossed her already devoured copy of the book on her daddy's nightstand. He left for South Africa this afternoon so he was able to take her book with him to read on the plane.

This is where I found her when I got up around 9 this morning.

When I went to check on the status of Erin and Harry, I found her still reading. She had fallen asleep for a few hours so she was behind her sister.
Unfortunately, Erin had to get up and go to the theater for tech day. The whole time she was there she was saying, "I'd rather be reading. I'd rather be reading! I"D RATHER BE READING!!" As soon as she got home, Erin assumed her position in the chair that her sister had since vacated and resumed reading. She has just finished the book.

We have a "no talk" rule at our house. No one can talk about the book until everyone who wants to read it has finished. Since I would not be one of those people, the conversation has started.

The girls are very different in their tastes concerning books and movies. The Harry Potter books are one place where they intersect. I am glad that they have both enjoyed the Harry Potter books and can engage in lively discussion about them.

I must also confess that we own the first book in American English, British English, French, German, Spanish, and Latin. And, they have each been read. Perhaps this is one of those things that is also an indicator that your kid is a nerd.

Are You Talking To Me?

Today's post contains another picture from my travels in the consumer world. I do not spend much time in the big malls anymore, but I made an exception today. It had to do with a gift for all those July birthday's I mentioned a few weeks ago. I don't know where my head was that I was actually paying attention to the marketing ploys as I made my way to my destination, but this one caught my attention. I guess they got their money's worth from the ad agency.

In case you can't read the cutline, it says, "A VEGAN DID NOT CHOOSE GREEN" it is an ad for Dell computers. I guess it caught my attention because of living with our family vegan and the fact that we are about to buy her a computer to take to school. I am fairly sure it will not be a pink one! And, I think she is leaning towards a Mac.

What I find amusing about this ad is the fact that the computer geeks are marketing to female vegan. (Okay, I realize that this a bit sexist but I am not sure even a guy who wanted a pink computer would actually get one.)
My blue-haired (really blue-haired now) vegan has worked so hard to embody the true essence of non-conformity. She does not dress "like the other girls"; she does not think like "the other girls"; she does not act "like the other girls". This way of life as kept her drug free and childless, so, suffice it to say, I am not complaining! I just think that it is hilarious that someone who has worked so hard to fly through life on the outskirts of society is the focus of what is probably an expensive ad campaign. Maybe there are more young female vegans than I know. Based on the menu choices at most restaurants, I can't believe that to be true. Maybe the same company that does marketing for Dell could work on the restaurant chains.
I believe that I said yesterday that I am often easily amused. This post is further evidence in support of that. Or, maybe it is evidence that I do not get out enough. That could be too. Maybe I am the average American driven by consumerism who is drawn into every ad gimmick that the marketing firms have up their sleeves. No way!