Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Such a Harry mess!

Do you remember those famous battle scenes in movies? The ones where you can feel the approaching army by the rumble that grows increasingly louder and the ground literally vibrates? This has been the scene at the bookstore as we edge closer to the release of the 7th Harry Potter book.

I'll admit that I'm geeked. I've developed my own theories as to what really happened with Snape and whether Dumbledore is truly dead. Hell, I even volunteered to work during the Harry Potter midnight madness and will be there until 3 am ensuring voracious Disciples of Rowling get their fix at the earliest possible second.

What I do find annoying is the corporate mumbo jumbo Barnes & Noble (the Barn) is pushing. Rather than try to play it cool, the Barn (NYC HDQ) is working themselves into such a frenzy and virtually creating the chaos they are trying to avoid. Will it be crazy? Yes. Is this probably one of the most anticipated books ever? Yes. Are we going to get robbed of all of our Harry Potter books by customers who are over informed of our order and when it is expected? Doubtful.

Do you think I'm crazy? Take a look at some of the rules for yourself.

1) Do not tell customers or members of the media how many Harry Potter books we are expecting.
2) Do not tell customers or members of the media how many Harry Potter books have been reserved.
3) Do not talk to members of the media about Harry Potter. Direct all inquiries to blahblahblah.
4) Do not tell anyone when the Harry Potter books will or have arrived.
5) Under no circumstances are cameras or cell phones with cameras allowed in the vicinity of the Harry Potter boxes.

It's like they're issuing a personal challenge to me when they repeat such stupid rules to me every single night. I'm considering selling the right to touch the boxes on Ebay since they didn't bother to forbid me from doing that.

P.S. If you're so worried about people knowing when your shipment of HP books arrive, don't suddenly cover the window in the door to receiving with paper. It's a bit obvious to everyone.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Allie recently turned me on to Chuck Klosterman and one of his essays entitled Nemesis*, where Chuck illustrates with his prosaic words what women and comic book fans around the world have intuitively known for years. Most everyone in the world has both a nemesis and an archenemy. It is here he brilliantly defines the difference between nemesis and archenemy.

According to Klosterman, a nemesis is some one you kind of like even though you despise them. You would probably have drinks with your nemesis and go to their wedding**, if invited. Your archenemy, on the other hand, inspires such hatred that you won't even admit to hating them for fear of giving them the satisfaction. If your archenemy died, you would throw a party and dance on their grave.

The funny thing is that, while my archenemy came to mind almost immediately, I'm having a hard time identifying my nemesis. I'm sure I've had a nemesis over the years and probably could have named one immediately in high school or college. Is that I'm too old for a nemesis right now? Do I only harbor long-term grudges that speak more to the level of archenemy? Maybe I need to meet more people so I can develop a nemesis.

*Also known as The Importance of Being Hated.
**Of course, you would also be hoping it ends in a bitter divorce.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

You better recognize

In the 4th grade I started a gang. I will readily admit the elementary school Serena was a hellion and probably merely a precursor to the pain-in-the-ass I am today.

Gathering a group of my female friends from all walks of life, I convinced everyone we should be a gang to defend ourselves in the elementary school social hierarchy. I named my gang the Let Me Call You Sweetheart Gang and set about developing our marketing campaign. Now, at the age of 11 I didn't know the phrase marketing campaign existed, but that's exactly what I was doing.

Our name came from this t-shirt I had with Minnie Mouse on it and a button that played Let Me Call You Sweetheart when pressed. Not exactly fear inspiring, huh? Looking back, I can't remember the exact purpose of our gang or if we even lasted past that first playground session. What I do remember is spinning on the merry-go-round as the tennis courts whizzed by. I remember the lone guy in our group talking about how his cousin could hook us up with gang shirts and those satin jackets with the embroidery on the back. Our jackets were going to be light pink satin and have a broken heart stitched on the back with the gang name. Our jackets would have our name embroidered on the front.

I don't recall much else, but I can still feel my excitement at the thought of those jackets and how cool we would look. I think I watched Grease too often as a child.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The one where a $1 beer equals happiness

I consider 7-11 to be a bit of a cultural mecca* that has only recently for me been replaced by Sheetz/Wawa. I like that it's filled with all walks of life and all sorts of items you never knew you needed. There are very few places that I walk into and automatically start craving a hot dog. I can also get a cheap bottle of Andres champagne or a mega slurpee if I so desire.

Every time I hear of a new, more obscure soda product I automatically assume 7-11 will be the one to bring it to the masses. When I was looking for the pink cigarettes put out by Camel where did I go first? 7-11. It shouldn't surprise you that when looking for the new Diet Pepsi Max** this Friday that I automatically assumed 7-11 would be place to go. As we strolled into 7-11, it soon became clear that they were Max-less. Never one to turn my nose up at a Diet Coke, I grabbed the nearest chilled bottle and made my way to the register, stopping only to search for that mystical cupcake. However, almost all routes to pay lead you past the hot dog roller. What proceeded was, upon reflection, a conversation that very much reminds me of Beavis and Butthead for some reason.

Scarlet: "I love their hot dogs."

Me: "Me, too. I'm going to get one."

Scarlet: "Me, too."

Seconds later my eyes alight on two of my favorite words: clearance and $1. There, in a bucket by the cash register was perhaps the best clearance sale ever. "Clearance. $1 beers. Any kind."

Me, nudging Scarlet: "Look. They have beers on clearance for $1."

Scarlet: "Really? We kind of have to get one."

Me: "Ummm...yeah. How can you not get clearance beer for $1."

Scarlet: "Yeungling. I'm getting the Yeungling."

Me: "Hmmm."

Scarlet: "Miller Lite blah blah blah is good."

Me: "I'm getting the Yeungling. I think I can drink a Yeungling."

Me: "We can drink these at my new secret place."

So it was with a Diet Coke, hot dog, and a Yeungling that I left 7-11.

7-11 is vintage.

*Cultural mecca a la Fast Food Nation-style infamy.
**with supposedly more caffeine

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

You know the Blair Witch Project...

Looking down the steep path littered in damp leaves I focused on trying to figure out the best flip flop placement so as not to go sliding down the path. I was determined to find the James River.

"If you think going down this trail is bad, just think what a bitch it's going to be to get back up."

I knew as soon as those words left my mouth that we were having fun and this was a good trip. Despite the vanishing daylight and my less than rugged team of bandits*, spirits were high as we made our way to what we thought was Texas Beach. Rounding a tight curve at the bottom of the steep section we came upon a narrow bridge made of metal and covered in forest growth. No whispers of water over rock, I found myself intrigued and creeped out simultaneously. We continued forward stopping only to take pictures of the bridge.

No water in sight and the sun in serious set mode, we decided to turn back. We figured, at the very least, we had stumbled across a cool bridge and path for our movie**.

As July continues on, stay tuned for more tales of the Richmond 48 Hour Film Project!

*the Queen of Allergies, She Who Wears Heels, and the Finder of Fred the Miniature Frog
**Did I mention the whole point of being in nature was part of our location scouting?

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Verdict

So much less hair now...whew! And, yes, I did take my stylist a picture of doll and told her I wouldn't mind my hair like that. ; )