POTTER-ING 'ROUND THE SHOPS!(Word etymology time: I thought of the headline as a pun on "puttering", meaning "wandering around aimlessly", but, apparently, "pottering" also works quite well, seeing as how I was "poking around" a bit.)
My mother had pre-ordered Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince from an area bookstore that is not Chapters, and, on Saturday, she went to pick it up. For reasons I shall disclose in a minute, I will not reveal the name of the bookstore or the shopping centre, but it's one somewhere to the west of Merivale Mall, to the south of Bayshote Shopping Centre, and to the east of the Kanata Centrum. My mother likes this particular independent bookstore, so, to support it, she pre-bought the latest Harry Potter book a month or so ago. Then, a couple of weeks ago, the bookstore called us to inform us about their special Harry Potter offer: buy $100 Canadian worth of books or more, and get the Harry Potter book free, so, since half the family has a birthday within the next month, she thought the offer was easily worth taking advantage of.
We got to the mall with the bookstore in it. It's a small bookstore, larger than the Coles in Merivale Mall in terms of floor area, but it's not nearly as densely-packed with shelves, and the entire store is wood-paneled, making it appear more upscale. I was hoping to take advantage of the offer myself as an opportunity to mooch, asking my mother if I could pretty pretty please have a volume of a manga. Unfortunately for me, this particular bookstore doesn't seem to follow current fads in the book market that aren't related to British books about young boy wizards, so it had nary a manga volume anywhere to be found, not even the teeny bopper stuff like Negima. My mother took some twenty minutes or so to get the books, which, for the obvious reason that my siblings sometimes read this blog, I won't mention, and for the less obvious reason that I didn't particularly take note as to what they were. At the cash, my mother was having a conversation with the bookstore saleswoman, who said that, even though this was a relatively small bookstore compared to the not-too-distant Chapters stores at Pinecrest and at the Kanata Centrum, they still managed to get at least 300 kids for their midnight Harry Potter event. She said at least 300 because 300 was the point at which the mall security stopped counting. My mother said that she wouldn't even watch the news until she'd finished reading the book because, last time, she had been spoiled for which character was killed, so then the bookseller told us a little secret, a secret which is the reason why I'm not mentioning the bookstore or the mall. She did what she wasn't officially supposed to do, and she took a copy when she received the shipment, even though, under the Bloomsbury/Raincoast embargo, she wasn't even supposed to have opened the crates until Friday evening, and read it, so that what happened to her last time wouldn't happen again. Apparently, a kid at the midnight event for the previous book had leafed through the end or something and told her exactly who would be killed, not knowing, or caring, that the bookseller wanted to read the book for herself. My mother mentioned that I had come across spoilers for this one on the Internet, but I was being nice and didn't ruin it for anyone who didn't want to know.
My mother had to get some items at Zellers, so I took the books back to the car, and, when I got there, I scanned through the end of the book, and, sure enough, the scans of pages 596, 597, and 606 I had seen in the days before were very much legitimate, however, they were from the American Scholastic edition of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and the British edition from Bloomsbury, published in Canada by Raincoast where, in terms of format, the Canadian edition is an exact replica of the British edition, has pages which are a little bit denser in terms of text, so the page numbers were a little earlier.
I also skimmed the beginning, to see if my suspicions about Harry's aunt Petunia Dursley being a bit more than just the ordinary "Muggle" she wants everyone to believe she is are confirmed this time (still undetermined), and I do like that J.K. Rowling does flesh out a little bit how the "Muggle" government secretly deals with the magical world (and my mother was amused that Rowling mentions gerbils in tandem with the unnamed British prime minister, because Tony Blair has always reminded her of a gerbil somehow). Maybe I will give this book a chance, though I already have read the complete summary and list of major spoilers at Wikipedia.
After my brief skimming, I put the book in the trunk of the car and walked back to the mall to go to Zellers, where my mother was shopping. I wanted to see if this particular Zellers was one the Zellers where Tom Green got on the PA system by picking up the intercom receiver, pressing page, and saying things like "Tasty corn. Tasty, tasty, tasty corn.", but Tom Green's from Gloucester originally, so I think all those Zellers stores were in Ottawa's eastern suburbs, not the western suburbs I'm familiar with. I browsed the Hot Wheels and the cheap DVDs but didn't feel like buying anything. The funny event worth mentioning happened on my way out of the store; this one lady approached me and asked if I could help her check if all the parts for a highchair were in a crate. Puzzled and not really knowing what to say, I briefly said yes, until I realized that she thought I was a Zellers salesperson. Why did she think that? Because I was wearing a 1999-2000 era Arsenal Football Club jersey ("football", in this case, meaning soccer, for those of you in Rio Linda) which I had purchased the last time I was in England, and I guess it's bright red, like a Zellers uniform, so she got confused. Even though the jersey I'm wearing had the Arsenal FC crest, and, more importantly (and the reason why I bought it), the Sega Dreamcast logo and not the Zellers logo. Maybe she thought I was a Zellers employee advertising the Dreamcast, even though Sega pulled the plug on promoting the system about 4 years ago. Guess she just doesn't follow videogame systems.
After Zellers, my mother and I drove to an M&M's Meat shop, to get some frozen foods, including shrimp skewers, and then, on the way back home, I convinced my mother to make a pit stop at the Merivale HMV just so I could go in and check if the DVD with the first three episodes of the long-awaited 3rd Tenchi Muyo: Ryo-Oh-Ki OVA (Japanese direct-to-video animation) series, continuing right where the 2nd Tenchi Muyo OVA series left off in 1995, was in. I'm not nearly as pumped for this as I would have been some 5 or 6 years ago, back when I was writing Tenchi in Tokyo reviews for Anime On DVD, but I still want to buy it, even if it's largely out of nostalgia for my early days of being an anime fan. I know I haven't been collecting Tenchi Muyo GXP, but that's because it's 8 DVDs, while this series is only 2 DVDs, and also because it's a side-story. While I enjoyed the first DVD, it just wasn't as much of a priority for me as completing Super Gals!, and now, besides the new Tenchi Muyo OVA series, there are at least two other series I'd rather buy: Planetes and the upcoming Oh My Goddess TV series. Like Ghost in the Shell: Stand-Alone Complex, Tenchi Muyo GXP is one of those shows I'd buy if I had a job, but I don't, so I just have an "orphan" first volume. Anyway, because of Funimation's spotty distribution in Canada, the new Tenchi Muyo OVA series doesn't seem to be at HMV stores yet, or at least the one on Merivale. I'll try the Best Buy this week, and, if it's not there, I may as well go to the Comic Book Shoppe.
I did absolutely nothing else noteworthy this weekend, though tonight's Family Guy was hilarious, like how Chris Griffin somehow ends up in A-Ha's "Take on Me" music video and the very politically incorrect "Asiantown" sequence. ("You're watching CBS... Asiantown" and the normal CBS logo tilts and becomes a squinty, slanted eye.) Whoa-boy, is FOX going to get a lot of humourless self-appointed Asian community advocates on their case this week. I'm skeptical as to whether this episode will air intact again.