Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sisters Grimm

It finally arrived - the overlaying of Granny Relda's house with ours, the Sisters Grimm party, aka Ysabela's Unbirthday party. Bluebeard and the Queen of Hearts hosted the Nymph's celebration, with Puck looking to scam some free food.

The guests started arriving: Princess Fiona, Tinkerbell, Red Riding Hoods, Snow White, Daphne, a giant and more. Souvenir Wands were made, and then it was time for the Hall of Wonders. The Magic Mirror welcomed them in with some sad news - Granny and the girls werecalled away on an Everafter emergency. But help yourselves to some food. The kids attacked the spread - Salamander Hearts, Hobgoblin teeth, Blue veggie dip, Octopus Ink Pesto Pasta - despite the invasion of large bugs. Ick. Some said they were edible, chewy and delicious. Hmmm. A fun game of Poison Apple (kind of an everafter version of hot potato) followed.

Then the really bad news. The Fairy Godmother's wand was hidden. The Scarlet Hand had to keep it out of its holder for an hour, and then it could be removed from the Hall of Wonders. But Puck had given us a chance: enchanted to not reveal the location, he left clues to lead there. The guest everafters searched the house, unraveling clues to find each of 5 questions, researching the Hall to answer the questions, and then assembling the answers to reveal the location of the wand. Of course they had to release Mr. Canis from suspended animation with a lively game of Freeze Dance. Wand restored, disaster averted.

Figuring clues; Putting together the answer with Mr. 7.

Then the kids were free to play. Miss White led some classes. Puck had some hijinks. Kids tried out Mr. Seven's typewriter. ("Where's the enter?") Photo ops were had. Red Riding Hood, real name Biddy, came in three varieties: Old Biddy, Young Biddy and Itty Biddy. Nice to see them and Mr. C getting along.

All in all, one fine party upon a time.

Green girls; Daphne in Daphne's Room

Puck objects to Jack's handiwork;
Mr. C makes up with the Biddies;
the Giant's got some house on his shoe.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Xavi's Birthday

Xavier's Birthday finally wound up this past Tuesday, with his official passage into year 10 at 4 pm on Tuesday. He was clear that he was 8 when he woke up and not 9 until 4.) Above was the scene on Saturday morning, and the first present, which was big because it completed a build-a-figure. See his blog for details.

Later was a full Meyer visitation with all aunts, uncles and grandparents over for cake and presents.

But probably Bionicles with Andrew was the biggest hit.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Current Obsessions

One of our current family obsessions is this song, from the Discovery Channel ad campaign. Bela got it from guitar last week and has been learning it, and we've written a new verse for each family member. Can our own video be far behind?

Karen and John are reading Out of Our Minds, by Ken Robinson, a creativity expert. (What an awesome job description to have.) It is pretty good so far, and well introduced by how we found out about him, his talk at TED, on how schools kill creativity. Plus he's really funny, like Ricky Gervais on PHD. (That Ricky Gervais link is not for all ages.)

Next post: some clips from Xavi's birthday (celebrated). Xavi's birthday (actual) is today. 9! Happy Birthday, X-man!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Quick Notice

Some new blogs on the Golden block. I'm not sure how frequently they'll be updated, but it might be an interesting insight into the minds of X and Y.

Asleep on the job already?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Comics Trek

For Xavier's birthday we made a trip to the east side for the Motor City Comic Con. For only $50, your family of four can buy lots more stuff! But he loved it, was overwhelmed by the amount of toys, tees, comics and trades. He found a Red Arrow (formerly the sidekick known as Speedy) but not the vintage look Green Arrow to go with him.
There was a surprising amount of Star Wars stuff, including roaming stormtroopers, clone warriors, Princess Leia and the Sith Lord. And all the gear and toys besides. In actor's row, we got to meet a few Three's Company refugees, including Richard Kline, who was quite nice. (Joyce DeWitt, still perky; Priscilla Barnes, scary) But the highlight for us was meeting Mark Metcalf, who we knew was the Master from Buffy season one, but we had no idea was also the Maestro from Seinfeld. He was ultra-nice, living in Milwaukee, and volunteering to help high school students learn film making and writing. Unresolved: was the Master named for the Maestro? Xavi was impressed to meet Senator Kelly (Bruce Davison) from the X-men movies, who was very nice to him. Also spotted: John Schneider with the General Lee, the cast of Buck Rodgers, Yancy Butler, the original Captain Pike, Kristy Swanson and the not-real not-original Ghoul, who was a riot anyway.

Saturday we were at the Detroit Science Center at opening, only to run into cousin Megan Goedge and her friend Alan. The Star Trek Exhibit was terrific - in many ways better than the Harry Potter exhibit to me. Some real effort to connect with real space exploration, and some neat participation. Sit on the original bridge, get teleported from the Next Generation set, walk across the portal of the City on the Edge of Forever... okay, geeky, but fun nonetheless.

Video is not for the musically sensitive.

Last, but not least, last week also saw Xavi's first communion. Very moving, and I was ecstatic to have the whole family receiving together for the first time. Very cool, and it sure felt like Oliver was present. His godmother Aunt Liza was in for the event, too.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Chicago: Day 3

Well, day 3 was FINALLY Free Comic Book Day - Xavi's self-described favorite holiday. We got 12 free comics (3 per) though not all are X's interest. Waiting we got to flit around Millenium Park, the Crowne Fountain and the Cloud Gate (giant reflective jelly bean). In later photos that's a bat on Bela's face.

After we hit the Field Museum, which had a neat Pirate exhibit and Ancient Americas Exhibit (check soon at the Math Hombre for an ancient americas math-art activity). Then walked down to the Adler Planetarium, whose standard exhibits were somewhat underwhelming, though the Gemini exhibit narrated by astronaut Jim Lovell was excellent. Chicago really has playoff fever, between the Bulls and the Blackhawks.

The culminating event of the day you'll have to ask about.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Chicago: Day 2

Magnificent Mile and a quick trip to the art institute... and a special guest.

The highlight of the Mile was definitely the Lego store. All the current sets, plus great sculptures, plus a pick-a-brick section.

We didn't have much time in the art museum, so we'll probably head back. Renewed the membership, so there's no pressure.

Oh, and the ladies stopped by Marshall Fields -er- Macy's and saw...


Chicago Day I: Harry Potter

The highlight of day 1 was clearly Harry Potter: the Exhibition. (Which was the first day of the exhibition.)

Y: the Harry Potter Exhibit was totally awesome. It had artifacts from the 6 movies - no 5 movies AND the one that hasn't come out yet. There was this one girl that was hugging the doors from the great hall from the movie - that's just crazy. Favorite, even though it totally creeped me out, was the Forbidden Forest. The Hungarian Horntail looked so real, and the acromantula (giant spider) was creepy, and the baby thestral was cute. I liked the Dark Mark effect. As soon as we get home we need to watch the movies.

X: My favorite thing was probably Hagrid's hut. It was really cool, had Buckbeak and Norbert's egg. The dragon did freak me out, too. The Great Hall I liked because it had Dobby and all the great stuff that happened in the hall. Including the Tri-Wizard cup.

K: the effect of entering was like boarding the train, with steam and windows flashing by, etc. was really impressive. What was amazing was all the detail from the books and beyond that they put into the costumes and props that you can't even see in the movies. Like Ron having moth holes in his sweater, t-shirt being ivory rather than white from many washings, etc. The robes looked polyester in person as opposed to the satin and silk look onscreen.

J: we got to go in just the four of us, and Ysabela and I got sorted. Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw - guess who was in which. The detail on the wands was incredible - Prof. Slughorn's had slug details, and Voldemort's was skull-and-bones-ish. Hermione's had ivy.

You get to play Chaser and pot mandrakes, too. (Baby mandrakes - no worries.) All the staff had english accents (some put on, some real). K liked the detail in the audio tour. The costumes were so small - amazing to think how tiny the actors are. The gift shop was even full of details, as if from Diagon Alley.

Otherwise, we did hit Graham Crackers to get the scoop on Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, and saw that Dorothy and Martha Stewart the little girl and the Wicked Witch - are going to be at Marshall Field's today.