Friday, November 6, 2009

Julia sees Nargles

Ladies and Gentlemen - Halloween 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A sweet memory amongst the receipts

I'm getting audited. Yes, audited. Because the IRS really has nothing better to do with their time - like find other Madoffs - and I have nothing better to do with my time - like write a new play.

So 2007 - it was year of productions, workshops, writing, writing and writing and constant sinus infections. At least that's what I've got so far, reviewing my calendar up to May 10th, 2007, where I see I wrote this in an email to a friend:

So I read Julia the first chapter of Harry Potter last night. She woke up at 630 this morning and wanted me to read her more (I got her back to sleep). Then we had a babysitter tonight, right after I read her another chapter. She was crying when I left so Kat asked her if she wanted her to read her more HP and Julia said yes. And that's what they did all night - she read her up to page 140! An addict is born.

Just as I found this I heard Mike saying to Julia - "you said you were just going to put that in the living room, you did not say you were going to put back on your ipod and listen to Harry Potter". (Book 6 by the way, and a hot pink shuffle)

The addiction continues....

(if I could I would tell you about a little contribution I indirectly made to the next film today, but I can't)

And, by the way, in a discussion about Heaven and Hell and who gets to go where, Julia asked me if Madoff is going to Hell. Any thoughts on that?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

the luckiest little girl in the world gets popcorn and HP for breakfast

could there be a happier seven year old than one that gets woken up at 6:45 in the morning on a Saturday by her mom saying - honey, Holly wants to take us to the friends and family screening of HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE but you gotta get up now?

I've never seen that kid get out of bed, get dressed in her I LOVE HARRY t-shirt and Gryffindor sweatshirt faster.

Fitting that the screening was a Graumman's Chinese Theatre (I know it's Mann's now, but I'm a classicist) - the very same theatre where Mike and I sat next to each other at a screening of Susan's Plan almost 11 years ago (edited by my friend Nancy) and wound up kissing in parking space 83 across the street (but that's another story).

Julia was awed by the beautiful theatre, awed by getting popcorn for breakfast and blown away by seeing her first HP on the big screen. I think she's equally stoked to tell all the other kids in her "Platform 9 3/4" class at camp that she beat them to it.

I was just happy that I made it through (back injury) - even though when I got up to stand in the back for the second time an usher questioned my right to be there.

I'm not saying anymore or giving anything else away - I did have that moment after when I thought, what lucky screenwriters who have been given the challenge and honor to adapt these books. I hope some day to get to sink my teeth into something equally challenging and magical.

I can't believe there are only two movies left. I can't believe we have to wait years til we see them. I don't want it to be over but I'm eager to see it through. Julia will be 9! And I think her heart will still belong to Harry.

The day was full of questions that will be answered later - I don't believe in spoilers - ....but the love for Harry still remains. And Julia - of course - wants to see it again on opening day (and we may just in 3D)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Living Harry - a field trip to EA block party

I've been in insane back pain for the last few months and no matter how many spells Julia tries, it just isn't healing as fast as I would like - where is Madame Pomfrey when I need her?

So our quiet apartment has been more filled with dulcet tones of Jim Dale reading to Julia for hours off of CD (I've been dumped!) and yes she's seen movie 1, 2, and last night for mother's day, 3 - Azkaban. The DVD player on select nights when I can't get off the bed and we need some mommy julia time is a godsend.

Now I must have seen Azkaban before - I know I have - but Julia was two then and my mommy brain must have hidden it away, so I was equally mesmerized, but not hiding under the covers at the Dementors like some little one. I have to say that she might have been scared but she wouldn't let me turn it off. Harry Potter is her crack.

And as a special special treat we were invited to Electronic Arts Summer Block Party on Friday. This is where they show off the new games that are out or about to come out for the Wii. And the new Harry Potter game was on display - not even all of it - just the dueling and the seeking and the potion making but holy crap was it fantastic. It was all Julia played with the whole time we were there (except for a side trip to the ice cream bar) - and even I got hooked on the Quidditch. Seriously, it's like you're flying. When this comes out it'll be extraordinary - you'll be able to walk through Hogwarts...all without leaving the comfort of my bed, which on some days is totally where I am all the time.

And Julia was wearing her I heart Harry Potter shirt which was the hit of the party...

It does make me wonder sometimes, how my fanciful little witch who still wants to go off to Hogwarts at 11 is going to grow up. Will she still see the world as a magical place when she's a teenager? Will she still escape by listening to Jim Dale? Will she only marry a man with dark floppy hair, a lightening bolt scar and the ability to enchant? Have I ruined her by introducing her to this alternate world or have I just nurtured her inner essence?...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

a brief detour to Coraline

So my 6 year old has an unusually dark sensibility for a six year. Perhaps also genetic because I enjoy it to no end this little dark twist of her otherwise sunny soul.

Mike - in his magazine work - had received a copy of the graphic novel of Coraline which seemed to be most of the first more adult books she has pored over - I thought, perhaps too dark - but she was mesmerized by button eyes and the two worlds and I thought, perhaps this is a good lesson in wishing for better parents rather than the ones who are freelance writers and therefore seem glued to their computer screens 24/7.

Julia had been lobbying to see the movie and I was on the fence but while I ordering some Harry Potter related material for cousin J for Chanukah I happened to happen upon a Coraline adventure contest, the ultimate prize being a screening of the movie for 25 of our closest friends. I never win this stuff but on a lark, I entered...and I won.

So as of Tuesday I was in total Julie McCoy mom mode, putting out the word for folks to come to the screening which was 830(!) Saturday morning at the Century City AMC. I did the right thing and invited her entire grade (thank god for email) at the all inclusiveness school but got a LOT of "oh my god, my child could never handle that movie" responses (and a couple of ballet conflict issues and definitely some "too early"s). But a few intrepid 1st graders and their older sibs were on board, my friend who writes for all sorts of cool web blogs and LAist and her two daughters...the numbers started to rise. I thought about bringing a few dozen bagels and making it brunch but didn't know how much the theatre would go for it.

Let me just say that getting my daughter to school by 830 is a daily challenge. Getting her to the Coraline screening 15 minutes early was easy easy easy.

We did a little pre-scout by Tivo-ing the 15 minute "Making of Coraline" on HBO and watching it together - I did a little explanation of how stop-motion animation works and Julia was fascinated. She is dark and old-school.

Movie day - just the bunch of us in the theatre - a terribly excited row of kids with their 3-D glasses on. Mesmerized and totally drawn in. I sit directly in front of Julia and we grasp hands at the beautiful moment when Coraline makes pillow parents to substitute for her missing ones and sleeps between them - that's my girl.

This movie is so insanely beautiful I will want to watch it again. Painstaking in its precision and artistry - a compelling story ( I have but one feminist gripe with the plot that I won't go into for fear of spoiling), that allegory that takes a wish we've all had for a better family and turns it into a tale of appreciation without it being over the top and hallmark.

Julia has already put the DVD on her wish list and has altered her top "what I want to be when I grow up" choices to include set designer for stop motion animation on it, alongside writer and artist. It really does fit everything she is.

When I asked her if it was scary she said - "kind of, but not really"....The scariness seemed removed to me in a way, perhaps that it was animation, or so fantastical. I don't know.

And the lovely powers that be also gave us T-shirts and bookmarks and Coraline pens - and I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of first grader Coraline billboards at our school this week. By the way Julia has a bright blue wig that I'd be surprised if it doesn't surface at Halloween...perhaps eschewing Ginny Weasley for Coraline????

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

because I can't resist a shout out to J.K. Rowling...

Says Lisa Belkin on The Motherlode  -  

I admit to writer-envy - not just of Rowling having created a world so spectacular as that of Harry Potter and his wizarding cohorts - but of how many kids she has inspired to read.  My mom instilled the reading bug in me I think, but then again maybe it's just part of the genetic make-up. My mom went back to school to teach kids with reading disabilities and I think she chose that path because of what reading did for her, how much she enjoyed words.  She was a daily crossword puzzle do-er, always had books on the night table,  and introduced me to everything and everyone from Dr. Seuss to Anna Quindlen (I have a book she had signed to me by AQ "from one writer to another" that chokes me up because it means my mom told her I was a writer.)  She died in June 1998 so I don't know that HP ever crossed her path since it was released in the UK in 1997.  I think she would have been thrilled and moved deeply by what Rowling's Harry Potter has done for young (and not young) readers everywhere -  I know for sure she would have read it just to know what her two granddaughters were so obsessed with...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Can I sneak Julia in? Even it's PG?

Next Harry Potter movie is going to be rated PG, according to

Now that's not so much of a problem as that the last one is going to be PG-13....hmmm, guess I'll have to go. What a shame....

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Books vs Movies

Niece J was in town last week for a whirlwind Disneyland in the icy rainstorm and a special trip to Diagon - I mean Whimsic Alley in Santa Monica.    And thus a monumental moment was born of the icy cold rainy Disney day where we stood on barely any lines and got a whole day in in 6 sopping wet hours.  

The first viewing by Julia of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.   She'd yet to see any of the movies (except excerpts on Scene - It), J is in town and it was in the pile of Chanukah gifts slated for the last night.  But leaving Disney early and J being in town and the second night of Chanukah is always cause for celebration and we broke it out early.   I have had a thing where I thought she should read all the books before any of the movies - and I'm glad I stuck it out til we had only a few hundred pages left of book 7.  I wanted her to make the books her own - not the hollywood version of her own.

Julia opened it and pretended to faint.  I probably could have gotten away with giving her only that for the whole 8 nights.  It's what she wanted for so long.  And certainly didn't expect to get.  

But as much as she loved it I have to say, she was a little disappointed.   Even in her 6 year old world the movie doesn't quite capture the book.    Though she did watch it again during vacation and she is begging to get to see #2....