Saturday, July 21, 2007

Post-post Harry Potter blues and...there's more to life

OK, I haven't really earned that title yet, because I haven't gotten my hands on the book, so it's more like the post-post Harry Potter release blues. But I have to say that Friday night here in Champaign, Illinois was quite a happening place for someone who just came from Switzerland, where nothing much ever seemed to happen.

Yesterday, singer-songwriter Patty Larkin did an outdoor concert at the U.I. research park--a very nice space indeed, but oddly incongruous when you consider that Larkin and most of the other alt-music folks they have booked there are performing in an academic-corporate research park. But it was the kind of thing that reminds me of the strong sense of community here. You couldn't throw your voice without hitting someone you know. She was great, witty, a talented singer, but perhaps not in her finest voice because she had a cold.

Then I went home and cooled my heels for a couple of hours until it was time for the H.P. party. What fun--especially when we got to go home! I'm urging my son to finish his copy so that I can get my hands on it. And in the meantime, Caitlin bought an English language copy in Madrid this morning at 9:30 a.m. and finished it 12 hours later. She said that there was NO fanfare about the release in Madrid--a real disappointment to her. When she finished it, she said, she felt like someone had died. Not the characters in the book, of course (well, a bunch of them die, apparently), but this whole narrative that she and many of her friends had grown up reading. She said that one of the appeals of the series is not that it's the best YA fantasy series ever, but that there's this shared experience of reading something fun with your peers.

"Like the 'One Book' things you do for college, except you WANT to read it, right?" I asked.

"Exactly!" she said.

This warms my heart.


caraf said...

Cool on Patty Larkin. I love her. I was actually going to call you to see if you were going, but then got sidetracked by other things, forgot, and then it was 9 pm. Oops!

Tom said...

Sorry I missed the concert. My work building is directly west of the area where she played. It's the building with the buffalo at the entrance (south side of building). My window looks directly out on the area where she played.

Sara Latta said...

Tom, did you have anything to do with the buffalo statue? Or is it just happy coincidence?

Tom said...

Well, the guy who was responsible for procuring the buffalo is a friend, and I strongly encouraged him to get funds for buying the statue. We also have a taxidermied buffalo in our lobby. It used to be in the Natural History Museum on campus, next to the Illini Union.I have names for the two buffaloes: the stuffed guy insideis Thunder, the outside statue is Storm.

caraf said...

You should get a little baby buffalo and name it "Raindrop."

Tom said...

Fantastic idea.