Potterheads rejoice! Books, Birthdays, and the Half-Blood Prince

In all of my excitement over Twilight and this weekend’s release of Breaking Dawn, I have been slightly distracted from my previous literary obsession: Harry Potter!

Half-Blood Prince movie trailer

I got a super reminder of why I’m such a Potterhead yesterday when I watched the new trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which comes to theaters November 21, 2008. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it here. It is thrilling! I loved getting a glimpse of Tom Riddle as a young boy. Here’s a bit of trivia for you: Apparently, the boy playing young Tom Riddle is the real-life nephew of Ralph Fiennes, who plays the grown-up dark lord Voldemort.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the movie! When I finish Breaking Dawn, I think I’ll re-read Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows to get ready for the HBP movie!

Birthdays

Also, today, July 31, is JK Rowling’s birthday, which she also shares with Harry Potter! Happy, Happy, Happy Birthdays! I raise my butterbeer to you! Cheers!

New Book by JK Rowling! (pre-order now; available December 4, 2008)

Hooray! JK Rowling’s book, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, is a companion to the Harry Potter series. The book was referenced in the last volume of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It contains five original fairy tales, which have been compared to Aesop’s fables and the stories of the Brothers Grimm.

The Collector’s Edition (pictured) of Beedle has some sweet special features, such as extra illustrations, a reproduction of Rowling’s handwritten introduction, metal and gemstone details on the cover, and extensive and insightful commentary and footnotes by Albus Dumbledore!

I can’t resist stories with names like these:

  • The Wizard and the Hopping Pot
  • The Fountain of Fair Fortune
  • The Warlock’s Hairy Heart
  • Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump
  • The Tale of the Three Brothers

Any other Potterheads out there? Will you buy The Tales of Beedle the Bard? What do you think of the Half-Blood Prince trailer?

GeekMom’s daughter sings her theme song

I haven’t posted any photos or videos of my children in the past, but this one is so smile-inducing, I just had to share it. If you have a “case of the Mondays,” this is the cure! My daughter (Sweet Pea) sings her “Be Happy” theme song, and big brother (Punkin) does his big brother thing in the background. Enjoy!

Nighttime toilet tip

If you’ve been following me on Twitter (GeekMomMashup), you’ve already heard this story. But for the rest of you, I thought it would be worth repeating, because it is pretty funny! Well, funny in a dark, creepy way… muah-ha-haah!

Last week, my six year-old son woke me up in the middle of the night. It must have been about 2:30 AM. As long as I was up, I figured I’d make a pit stop. So I shuffled to the bathroom, where I debated with myself over turning on the light.

My internal dialogue went something like this:

“Its not pitch dark, and I know where the toilet is. The light will be too bright, and it will hurt my eyes, and make it harder to go back to sleep.”

“But what if there’s a spider in the toilet? You know how I always have that in the back of my mind.”

“There’s not going to be a spider in the toilet. You worry needlessly, and there’s never a spider in the toilet!”

“Well, there’s hardly ever a spider in the toilet, and there’s probably not a spider in this toilet right now. Fine.”

So I left the light off and walked to the toilet. Before taking a seat, I glanced down into the bowl. I noticed a dark spot on the inside of the bowl. Above the water line, below the rim. Hmmm. What could that be? Better turn on the light.

I flipped the switch, squinted, and walked back to the toilet. I peered into the bowl again, and saw a nickel-sized, black, slightly hairy, spider! I’d almost sat on the toilet with that spider in there! What if I hadn’t noticed it, and it had jumped onto my bare bottom?! What if it had bitten me? What if it had gotten stuck in my underwear?

I quickly flushed it down and did my thing. Afterwards, I thought I should have taken a photo, but it was too late. The moral of this story: There’s probably not a spider in the toilet, but there could be one… Remember this the next time you need to “go” in the dark!

Twilight trailer and a crafty creation

I watched the second Twilight trailer today, and it is much better than the first one! It’s quite a bit more exciting, and makes it even harder to wait until the movie comes out in December! If you’re not already a fan of the Twilight books (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse), you might decide to check them out after you watch the trailer. The last book of the series, Breaking Dawn, will be released in less than two weeks, and my pre-ordered copy will be delivered by my dashing Man In Brown on August 2!

Here is the movie trailer!

http://d.yimg.com/static.video.yahoo.com/yep/YV_YEP.swf?ver=2.2.7.1

To keep myself busy in the meantime…

I searched several online sources for silver charms representing important things and events in the Twilight books. I came up with seven that are especially significant, and made this Twilight charm bracelet. I started out just making one for myself, but I thought there might be other crazy-obsessed fans out there who would love it, too. So here it is!

I must say, I just love the way it turned out. It is fun and whimsical, and it just screams “TWILIGHT!” You can read all the details and order your own at my Twilight Charm Bracelet page, if you’re interested. 🙂

There’s a Cylon on my toast!

No Way! I just found out that NBC-Universal has a limited-edition line of uber-geeky merchandise out for Comic-Con 2008 in San Diego! Turns out I discovered this happy information a little bit too late to bring home this awesome toaster, though. It’s already sold out from the online store, and I’m not going to San Diego just to buy a toaster — even one this beautiful!

It’s a Battlestar Galactica toaster, and it toasts the image of a Cylon right onto your slice! This gets me ridiculously giddy inside! In case you’re not familiar with Battlestar Galactica, Cylons are sometimes referred to as “Toasters.” So this is a “Toaster” toaster! It’s so perfect.

What would be the perfect spread for a Cylon-branded piece of toast? Gaius Baltar-malade? 😉

Have you seen these movie trailer birth announcements?!

If you haven’t seen this new video birth announcement, you should check it out. I can’t embed the video, so you’ll have to go watch it over there, but it’s a brilliant take on the whole birth announcement concept! A bit pricey, but definitely a unique way to give your Offspring v.0.1 some geek cred from the start.

I’m not getting a commission for this or anything, but if you’re going to order one of these, you might as well use the (case-sensitive) 20% off coupon code (GeekMomMashup20) the nice movie trailer guys gave me.

Have fun storming the castle! (Can you name the movie? It’s one of my all-time favorites!)

Please tell me what you think of my new blog business card!

Hello, dear friends, loyal readers, and random lurkers. I am notoriously indecisive (just ask Hubby), and I am having a hard time deciding on a final design for my new blog business card. Since you’re all savvy bloggers and internet addicts, I need you to tell me what you think of this design, okay? Please share your honest first impressions in the comments. Thank you, thank you!

EDIT (7/21/08): Thanks for all of the wonderful suggestions and comments! I have finally decided on a design, and my new cards are on their way! I’ll post the winning design, which incorporates some of your excellent ideas, once they arrive. I can hardly wait to see them for real!

this is the front of the card

this is the front of the card

this is the back of the card

back of card

Get “Savvy” for free, and get kids reading

Savvy book coverPenguin publishing sent me a leftover pre-publication copy of “Savvy,” by Ingrid Law, and asked me to help get the word out about an upcoming summer reading program for kids. I had seen “Savvy” mentioned in Reader’s Digest, as a “don’t miss this” summer read. And since I’m between installments of “Twilight,” and finished with “The Host,” I was grateful for something else to read in the meantime!

I’m only about halfway through, but I’m enjoying “Savvy,” so far. It’s definitely aimed at a younger audience (ages 9-12), and it’s written in a folksy storytelling tone. Here’s the quick summary:

For generations, the Beaumont family has harbored a magical secret. They each possess a “savvy” — a special supernatural power that strikes when they turn thirteen. Grandpa Bomba moves mountains, her older brothers create hurricanes and spark electricity… and now it’s the eve of Mibs’s big day.

As if waiting weren’t hard enough, the family gets scary news two days before Mibs’s birthday: Poppa has been in a terrible accident. Mibs develops the singular mission to get to the hospital and prove that her new power can save her dad. So she sneaks onto a salesman’s bus… only to find the bus heading in the opposite direction. Suddenly Mibs finds herself on an unforgettable odyssey that will force her to make sense of growing up — and of other people, who might also have a few secrets hidden just beneath the skin.

I don’t know how the story ends, so I can’t give anything away about the plot. The book is whimsical and easy to read, with a lilting and sometimes sing-song rhythm. The characters’ superpowers will appeal to young readers, who will imagine and wish for their own savvies.

download savvyIn an effort to encourage young children to read, “Savvy” will be available as a free download (pdf file) free online read next week, from July 14-20. If you’re looking for something to occupy the kids during the last “Mom, I’m bored” weeks of summer vacation, check it out! Get your free download of Savvy here, between July 14-20, 2008.

EDIT: Apparently, the publisher changed the download to a free online version, due to the size of the pdf. If you don’t like reading online, or won’t be able to finish the book during the free week, you should try printing from within the online viewer/reader. Sorry about that.

Nano-gardening for gadget geeks

baby plant gadget strapOkay, I know the term “nano” is being used inappropriately in all sorts of pop culture references, and I just did it again. Sorry. But I wanted to emphasize that this little terrarium is tiny. And cute!

I love growing houseplants and vegetables. I’ve spent many dollars and hours working on the garden this year, starting plants from seed during the winter, and transplanting them into the ground in the spring. It’s hard, dirty, sweaty work, but the flower blossoms and edible treats make it seem worthwhile.

Sometimes, though, I get into a lazy mood. Or it’s just too hot and humid to really enjoy working outdoors. I’m more of a cool weather person, and I don’t do well in the heat. Plus, I have an affinity for odd Japanese gadgets and accessories. So when I saw this little cell phone strap, I had to share it.

baby plant gadget strapIt’s from strapya-world, and it’s a little living plant, growing in some kind of gel medium, sealed inside a vial, attached to a gadget lanyard. I love that it’s actually alive, and I love that it’s so odd. I have no idea how long the plant will live, but I like the idea of carrying a little bit of green garden with me.

If you’re not into the pastel gel colors, you can also get a little cactus in a bit of sand, and you get to water it a couple times a month.

My weekly Posh Mama featured articles: Self-promotion!

PoshMama badgeThis post is all about self-promotion, in more ways than one. First, I’m promoting my post over at Posh Mama, where I do a weekly feature on something tech or geek related. And second, this week’s post is about self-promotion! So how’s that for a double-whammy of ME? If you’re interested, go take a look. I think you’ll be able to view the article while it’s on the front page, without registering for PoshMama (a free online women-only community — sorry, dudes). Oh, and the articles I write for PoshMama are “exclusive,” so they don’t get posted here. You have to go over there to read them. It’s fun over there, though, and if you go visit, I think you’ll like it!

And there’s more!

Also, this is exciting news: My previous PoshMama feature (on the Asus eee PC) was picked up and published at ComputerShopper.com. And the one before that, on the WiiFit, was run by Reuters and the Southtown Star (part of the Sun-Times group).

So if you happen to be visiting through one of those sites, I’m sending a big, geeky hug your way! Welcome, and thanks for stopping by!