Voldemort can't stop the party

So my friends and I do these Harry Potter parties every month or so. The one we had Wednesday was a particularly important one - not only because the movie and the book are coming out in a matter of weeks, but also because I was to interview people (and David was to take pictures) for a cover story in CiN Weekly!

It's my first cover story, and I'm excited to write it, but I 'm even more excited that we're doing a cover story on Harry Potter. I want everything to go perfectly.

So when I hit the traffic on Kellogg Road from people packing into Riverbend to see Def Leppard, Foreigner and Styx, I got a little nervous. But I got through it.

When David called to tell me about the pileup that shut down the highway and left him stranded, I got a little more nervous. But I figured we'd work it out somehow. And eventually he made an illegal U-turn and was on his way again.

Driving down an unknown road in New Richmond, I got a bit concerned that I might be lost. But I soon saw the turn I needed to take, and I found Carrie's house without incident.

At the party, as the calls poured in from guests who were caught in either the concert traffic or the accident traffic, I got worried - not that people would give up on coming to the party, but that David would arrive to take pictures of only three people. But before too long, people started to show up, and it was party time!

David arrived, took some excellent photos, left. I started the interviews, pulling people away from Harry Potter Scene It one by one to tell me when they started reading the books and what they like about the parties. After talking to three of the nine guests, I checked my voice recorder and became positively fretful. The recorder was set to "high quality" instead of "long play," and I had three minutes of recording time left. Amazingly, Carrie had a spare recorder I can use.

And then the power went out. Which didn't affect me so much, but it did put a sudden end to the Scene It game.

At this point, I was quite certain I knew what was going on. Clearly, Lord Voldemort was doing his utmost to squash our spirits, ruin our fun, and make me print a sucky article so people won't like Harry Potter.

Well, it wasn't going to work. Voldemort can't stop the rock, and he couldn't stop our party either. Carrie lit some candles, the gang switched to playing solely with the Scene It trivia cards, and I continued my interviews with the borrowed recorder. The party raged on until 1 a.m.

Also, the candles made everything look pretty cool.

Suck on that, Riddle!


Say hello to your friends

I loved the Baby-Sitters Club when I was a kid. Every time I went to the mall Waldenbooks (which was a pretty big occasion, since the closest mall was 45 minutes away from my small town), I would race to the back to see if there was a new book out.

When I was in fifth grade, I had a "BSC week" where I dressed up like each of the five main girls. On the last day I was Claudia (because she was my favorite), and I wore a big, floppy hat.

(Here's a tip: Do not wear big, floppy hats while riding your bike. It is quite likely that you will be riding along with your head tilted down, trying to keep the hat from blowing off your head, and you will slam into a parked car. It's cool; I was fine, the car was fine, and I feel like I learned a valuable lesson about bike safety.)

Anyway, if you ever loved BSC enough to put your life in danger for no good reason, then you'll love BSC Headquarters. Tiff is blogging her way through each of the BSC books, in no particular order - I can't wait to read what she thinks about my favorite book, #3, The Truth About Stacey.

But so far, my favorite recap is definitely #52, Mary Anne + 2 Many Babies. It includes some real gems, like:

I get wicked sick of all the "Oh, we all eat normal, and Dawn eats like a fucking freak!"


And the older girls get all pissy with Jessi and Mal, cause they just don't get being an egg parent. Shut up!

and also:

MA and Logan turn in a 32 page single-spaced typed report, causing their teacher to swear. A lot. In my mind.

And she mentions whenever the BSCers' clothes are described in lurid, horrifying detail - especially Claudia's:

Ooh! Claud clothes: "A typical Claudia outfit might include a sequined shirt, stirrup pants (maybe black), low black boots, [Wait! How can anyone tell they're stirrups if she's wearing boots?] dangly turquoise earrings, and ribbons woven through tiny braids in her hair. And she wouldn't forget sparkly nail polish." [Bitch! That's totally Stacey's thing!] I love that the pants just may be black, but no one's quite sure.


(Via Jackie)
(Crossposted at Popography)
(Wow, a via and a crosspost? I'm such a total blogger!)



Paint the Town!

Today Sue and I went to represent CiN Weekly at Paint the Town. I took tons of pictures so you can feel like you were there, even though you decided to sleep in instead of waking up at 6:30 a.m. and painting a house in the hot sun. Whatever, lazybones.

A "before" picture. You can see our fearless leader, Stepfanie, in the yellow shirt, giving us a pep talk about how we'll be starting with the porch so we don't have to get on any tall extension ladders ...

Like this girl did. You know, you can't really see how far up she is here. Let's pull back juuuuust a bit:

That's four stories, for those of you keeping count. See the red ladder in the middle - the 12-footer that's way, way shorter than the yellow ones towering just over it? I climbed that ladder and started feeling kind of queasy. (It seemed a LOT taller in person.)

Midmorning, and we're doing great! You can see the homeowner on the ladder on the porch roof. He and his wife were super-nice - they bought us fruit to snack on. And every time he went to climb the ladder to the porch roof, he sang, "Up on the roo-oof ..."

More people on ladders I was uncomfortable climbing. Luckily, Give Back Cincinnati allowed you to specify your ladder preference at registration. (P.S. The guy on the ladder on the right - the one working on the window trim - was a machine. I think he said he actually does construction or rehab work for a living.)

Aww yeah - lunchtime!

Sue and Stepfanie chow down.

Back to work! My friend Jeff was there too - that's him on the porch roof, helping out with the trim.

The strangest part of the day for me came when a few of us walked over to the church next door to use the bathroom. (We had a Porta-Potty, but we figured running water was worth walking a few hundred feet for.) As we approached the church, a man in a car stopped to give us gift certificates to his online store. Then, Charlie Winburn and Sam Malone walked out of the church, shook our hands, and asked us where we lived and what church we went to. I think they were rehearsing for the next day, because Winburn was apparently going to be speaking at the church.

When I said I sometimes go to Bellarmine, Malone was all, are you XU? (He actually said the letters X, U, which I didn't think was a thing.) And I was like, um, no, sorry, Ohio State. And Malone was like, that's cool, I'm gonna hug you now. And I was like, I'm covered in paint, and you're wearing a suit. And then Sam Malone hugged me, and then we went into the church and interrupted what looked like a stepping rehearsal so we could use the bathroom, and when we came back out Winburn was all, "Here, have some Diet Coke. And come back tomorrow for the service."

Hey, that's me! "Up on the roo-oof ..." I touched up the trim on the edge of the porch roof - following the directions given to me by people on the ground. "OK, a little to the right ... now down a bit ..." I would have just laid down on the roof and peered over, but by that point, those shingles were butt-burnin' hot! I could barely handle sitting on the blazing things, let alone allowing my bare skin to touch them.

Whew! Almost done. There's a little patch of unfinished business in the back, but it's all being taken care of by a few brave people on extension ladders. The rest of us don't have much to do, so we go ahead and ...

... get on the bus.

Poor Jeff - he's dwarfed by me.

Time for the after-party. Free hot dogs - woo-hoo!

I managed to keep my Paint the Town shirt relatively paint-free - but that didn't stop a big gray glob from lodging in my hair. That was super-fun to brush out. (Side note: is my hair really that red, or is it just the light?)


Cooking Mama

I had a spare pie crust rattling 'round my freezer, so last night I baked my first solo lemon meringue pie. (My mom and I used to make them all the time, particularly for my birthday; it was my favorite pie until I discovered the super-tasty and far simpler chocolate pie.) The instructions on the Jell-O pudding box are easy enough to follow, and having a stand mixer makes the meringue a breeze. I took it to work, where it seemed to be well-received. (Although that might have had something to do with the fact that I whined all morning that no one was eating my pie.)

When I came home, I started cooking this recipe for vegetarian curry from Stepfanie (whose blog is an inspiration for anyone who wants to eat healthier food, and who - as I've mentioned - also contributes to the Enquirer Foodie blog). Her recipe - which involves rice, a sauce, pan-fried tofu, stir-fried vegetables, and lots of chopping and grating - took me the better part of two hours to make. It's a tasty enough curry, but I didn't get to eat it until 10 p.m. Plus, I wound up eating half the block of tofu in pre-dinner nibbles. Maybe save this one for the weekend, kids ... or skip the lime zest. I spent like 15 minutes zesting those limes.

Ah, well - I guess not all kitchen experiments can be a total success. At least I have plenty of curry and stir-fried veggies left over for the rest of the week.