Waiting for My Hogwarts Letter (aka: Still a Harry Potter Nerd)

Happy dance! I am such a proud mother right now. No, not because my kids had great report cards or other outstanding  achievements. I am feeling super-proud of my 9-yo son, who is more than halfway finished reading the sixth book in the Harry Potter series. Not only is he enjoying the books, but he has been happily exploring the Pottermore website and talking with his friends about the books. He and his buddies have even created their own game of wizards, complete with magic wands and spell books full of magical spells to memorize and perform on each other. Hooray!

Harry Potter Book Collection

To understand why that makes me so happy, you must know that I am a hard-core Harry Potter nerd. Or, as we like to put it, a Potterhead. Ever since I first opened the pages of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone years ago, I became rather smitten – no, obsessed by the mysterious and magical world of Harry Potter. It is an understatement to say that I have merely read all seven books. I have read them each at least three times, and once in Spanish. I have listened to both the Jim Dale and Stephen Fry audiobook versions at least twice, and geeked out by comparing and contrasting the narrator’s styles. (Okay, I said I was obsessed, right?). I have watched each film several (dozen) times, collected the Lego figurines, and even have a beautiful book of postage stamps, which will never, ever be pasted onto a piece of mail. HP postage stamps

And every summer, I stare out of my window, anxiously hoping that this will be the year in which an owl will arrive with my acceptance letter into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. (Or some adult-school version of it).

Creds to http://sammy4586.deviantart.com/

What’s that? Still not convinced that I am a true Potterhead? Okay, well, I was also a member of the Mugglenet community for years, tried my hand at fanfic (not successfully), and yes, I sewed my own Gryffindor quidditch robes and wore them to the July 2007 midnight release party of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Even cooler, I once had the privilege of having my quidditch robes autographed by Arthur A. Levine, the American editor for the Harry Potter books.

My homemade Gryffindor quidditch robes. (I know, I weighed a lot more back then. Shh…no teasing).

Okay, okay, enough of making you jealous. 😉 I’m sure that you’re convinced now that I am a genuine Harry Potter nut. I had such high aspirations for my three kids, too. I was sure that I could pass on to each of them my love of literature, and especially for J.K. Rowling’s amazing world of fantasy. Sadly, my two oldest children are rather indifferent to Harry Potter. Sigh. Muggles. But thank goodness, at least my youngest son has discovered the joy of magic. Smart kid. No wonder the Pottermore sorting hat placed him in the house of Ravenclaw.

Bewitched, Possessed, Transformed (aka My Deep, Dark, Secret)

Come in and get comfortable on the couch. I hope you don’t mind if I turn out the lights. It’s better that way. Are you ready? Okay, let’s turn on the TV. Well of course I meant that we are watching TV. What did you think we were going to do? Now pass the popcorn, and no more talking. It’s time for The Vampire Diaries.

It’s true. I admit it. I am hooked on deep, dark, disturbing supernatural TV shows. It started with a goal to watch every single episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, then it spread to the Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle on Hulu. And yes, okay, I was also quite a fan of Harry Potter, and far worse, Twilight. Witches and vampires and werewolves are like a bad drug…they make me shiver and give me bad dreams, but I can’t resist coming back for more.

Of course, this is not as bad as the slasher movie phase I went through as a teen, gorging myself on such quality films as the Nightmare on Elm Street saga, Maximum Overdrive, The Stuff, and Sleepaway Camp. Ohmygod, Sleepaway Camp was so baaaad. Ugh! Almost as awful as The Stuff. No wonder they call those horror movies. Oh, the horror!

Now I could turn this into an educational post by exploring why, in our culture, people are so into scary stories. You know…feeling empowered when the protagonist manages to overcome the antagonist, etc. But nah…I just watch them because sometimes, it is fun to feel scared, especially when you know that nothing bad will actually happen. Like riding a roller coaster, or playing a real-time strategy computer war game. (What’s that? My inner geek is showing? Oops…).

Scary show. Hot guys. And possibly the most intriguing love triangle on TV right now.

I’m pretty sure that my love for scary themes began in childhood. As I mentioned in a previous post, my innocent childhood was pretty much warped by early exposure to Stephen King, and other frightening horror movies. I’m pretty sure I was the only 7-yr. old in my school who had seen Poltergeist, The Omen, and Carrie. Those poor kids had no idea what an antichrist was until I happily educated them. At the moment, I am educating my own kids (ages 7, 10, and 12) about the joys of scary shows. I tried to start with the classics, showing them “Talking Tina,” one of my favorite all-time episodes of The Twilight Zone. I thought it was awesome. My daughter, however, henceforth refused to sleep in the same room as her American Girl Doll.

“It’s like she’s turning her head to look at me in the night,” my daughter complained.

Okay, fine. I guess my kids are a little too sheltered to appreciate the thrill of the supernatural. I guess that means I won’t be able to convince any of them to join me when the Hunger Games movie comes out next week. I know, right? Who wouldn’t love to see a film about a bunch of teens slaughtering each other in an arena in order to win food to feed their families? It’s kind of sweet, when you think about it. Anyway, my kids would have me take them to see The Lorax. Great. Now maybe that would sound interesting if the Lorax and the Bar-ba-loots waged war and chopped up the Once-Ler’s factory with his own Super-Axe-Hacker…(What’s that? My inner warped-personality-due-to-inappropriately-early-horror-film-exposure is showing? Oops…)

"Come children, into the liiight! There is peace and serenity in the liiiight!" (I still hear Tangina's voice in my nightmares).