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01 August 2007 @ 07:41 pm
Accio Party!  

Since our store was unable to do a midnight shindig for the release of Deathly Hallows, we scheduled a Harry Potter birthday party for yesterday, July 31st. It was primarily Kassie’s baby, though several of us helped run the event and several more assisted with both setting up and dealing with the aftermath.

The place looked fantastic. Kassie made cardboard panels that looked like castle walls. There were streamers and balloons and signs for most of the stations as well as the banners that adrienne429 had made for a previous Potter event. To keep things moderately manageable, the kids were sorted into Houses as they came in; they moved in their groups between the tables. There was wand-making, face painting (Erin was fabulous!), trivia, and my own: Divination class. Snacks and soda were on a separate table. Jess was on hand to be general wrangler and take pictures for the kids.

We were running behind, so things got started a little late. Kassie was still getting into her Hermione-wear and doing last minute set up, so at five past five I jumped into the fray, just to give the kids something to look at. After a general announcement (Please be mindful that not everyone had finished the book. Think how sad you would have been had someone told you what happened before you had a chance to read it yourself!), I pulled out my ‘crystal’ ball (an orange contact juggling ball that I really, really really keep meaning to learn how to use beyond the basic one movement that I know), explaining the color away by an incident with a monkey and a spell gone awry. Kids gazed into its depths and told me what they saw: some were very practical - “my reflection.” - while others were a bit more inventive - “something rising out of a dark lake. I think it’s Godzilla.”

Then Kassie took over and the party started in earnest. The kids were, for the most part, fantastic. They were so excited to be there, and except for one tantrum at the beginning they were really well behaved. tari3 felt her first trivia session wasn’t all that great, but upon thinking about it, I think the kids really hadn’t warmed up yet. Her later sessions were fully rockin.’ So there. :)

Divination with Trelawney was a crash course in reading tea leaves. Kassie had printed an alphabetical list of common figures and what they meant... and of course, almost none of what the kids saw was on that list. Basically, I was pulling interpretations out of my ass. I’m not a brilliant improv actress, not by any means, but thank heavens I can muddle through. The best was when I’d explain what a crescent moon meant, or a car on a hill, or a shoe, and the kid would say, “A friend did come to visit me!” or “I DO learn things very quickly!” as if I was some sort of psychic genius. There were a few kids who really stood out:

~Cassie, short for Cassandra, which is a complete GIFT when you’re teaching a Divination class.
~The boy who kept saying, “Should I taste that?” while pointing to a cup with all the dregs in it, and, even after I told him that would be an exceedingly stupid ill-advised notion, turned back to find him with a brown-coated tongue. “Well, you really have no one to blame but yourself. Go get something to drink.” (I know; I’d be a terrible mother.)
~The two teenage girls who were so very eager to talk about the book and how much they love the series and were desperately sad that we never actually had time for a book discussion. *

~Godzilla-vision boy. Smart, funny kid.
~The little girl in pink, maybe eight years old. She was first up for everything, and chatty and excited with nary a trace of brattiness. After we did Divination, she had her face painted and came back to show me. The bottom half of her face was white. While I struggled for something to say, she grinned and said, “I’m Moaning Myrtle!” WIN!

After each House had visited all the stations, we pulled out the tray o’cupcakes and sang Happy Birthday to Harry Potter. I have no idea what possessed me, but just before we sang, I chirped, “If we sing loud enough, maybe Harry - wherever he is right now - can hear us!” It. Was. Hilarious. These kids were frackin’ screaming the song. I wish we had a video.

Should anyone be interested, here are pics of me as Trelawney. I wish the lighting was such you could see detail better. I had several amulets and charms around my neck, and an awesome hipscarf from kelleymck, 'cause of course Trelawney would chime when she moves. It's ever so mystical.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Yeep. I look old. I mean I am, but still...
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Funny: when I first got into costume and was walking about the store, several booksellers didn't realize it was me under the scarf and glasses. I am a chameleon, a veritable costuming genius! Or.... it was the glasses.

*Several of the booksellers have spoken: the time has come for our store to host a teen book group. Apparently they’ve tried before. Poor turnout led to its demise. But you know, between the Eclipse Prom and this event, it’s clear that there are avid teen readers out there who would love the chance to hang and talk cool books with each other. We just need to find a way to get the word out in our area. Jess and I bounced some ideas around today; I just don’t want to let this go. We will make it happen.

Also: today I cut my leg open with a packing tape dispenser. Blood everywhere; v. dramatic. In related news: I am an idiot.
I feel: productiveproductive
La Petite Souris Scientifiquemelebeth on August 1st, 2007 11:56 pm (UTC)
Damn. You look AWESOME.

Seriously Emma Thompson as Trelawny like. Only prettier.

And your explanation of why the ball is orange KILLED me.

Also... OWWWWW.
Kel: Gwen in a beretladyjoust on August 2nd, 2007 01:31 am (UTC)
*blush!* Thanks. :)

And as to that explanation... another one that I had to yank from the ether. Sheesh. I did no frelling planning at all.

Also... OWWWWW.

Oh, yeah. It's just now starting to actually hurt. That blessed, blissful numbness has deserted me.
La Petite Souris Scientifiquemelebeth on August 2nd, 2007 01:54 am (UTC)
Oh, and I just want to say I'll be really really unhappy if the words "packing tape" appear anywhere in your obituary some day. Because you, of all people, can do SO much better than that :)
Kel: LOL Jackladyjoust on August 2nd, 2007 03:26 am (UTC)

I'm fully going for zip ties. Or a plasma cannon. And if I go trying to 'reverse the polarity,' you know it was to save all life on this earth.
Aifacat: Guess What?aifacat on August 2nd, 2007 12:05 am (UTC)
Awesome pics!

I was just going to post for you too - tonight's CSI:NY is that one with the knight/jousting thing!!! 10pm!!! This time I'm going to remember to watch it!
harpiegirl4harpiegirl4 on August 2nd, 2007 12:51 am (UTC)
Wow, you looked fantastic! What fun!
Andrewquueer on August 2nd, 2007 04:11 am (UTC)
For crissakes woman, stop calling yourself old.

You looked FABULOUS. I think you need to randomly show up at work like that.
Julia: Big Damn Heroineigraine120 on August 2nd, 2007 04:21 am (UTC)
You are absolutely the coolest person I know.
Fjordhopperfjordhopper on August 2nd, 2007 10:05 am (UTC)
That is so cool!!! You look awesome as Trelawney! and sounds like you did a great job and even more important, had loads of funs!!!! Yay!
Jobs, baby, Jobs!picoland on August 2nd, 2007 10:37 am (UTC)
at least no one saw a Grim...
Blaidd Drwgfairyrune on August 2nd, 2007 01:25 pm (UTC)
You don't just look good, you look GAWGEOUS!
Rennierengirlie87 on August 4th, 2007 01:36 am (UTC)
kel u are tooo damn cool. and make an awesome divinations's proff!!!

Also: today I cut my let open with a packing tape dispenser. Blood everywhere; v. dramatic. In related news: I am an idiot.

oh how i feel your pain. literally. nasty little buggers. though i went through our packing department and gave all the tape dispensers names, which seems to have made them happy enough to leave my blood inside me for now.
I now work with
Silent Bob (silent but DEADLY)
nsp. Gadget (who works in Product Insp...hmm)
Harry Potter (who broke, but was magically fixed! the dispenser that LIVED!)
and Thumbelina (her tape is only a 1/3 the size of the others :) )

and yes, i have no life, and therefore time to name the tape dispensers at my place of employment. yay me.