This state is one letter away from my name. One letter! So every time I see the name printed on a sign, a billboard, a T-shirt, it takes me a few seconds to notice it’s a ‘w’, not an ‘n’.

Iowa has been a lot of relaxing, a lot of taking it easy. As a state, it’s pretty different from home, with huge rolling fields of corn and soy disappearing into the distance and huge open skies. It’s also got a lot of those cool modern windmills, the tall, skinny white poles with three thin blades on the propeller-like top. I love these windmills (woohoo, go wind power, etc.) not just because they’re a clean, healthy way to get energy, but also because there’s something almost frighteningly beautiful about their slow, serene movements.

One cool thing we did in Iowa was visit the farm where they filmed the movie ‘Field of Dreams.’ I had never before seen this movie, but we got a copy there and I enjoyed it a lot. The movie starts with a man hearing a voice in his cornfield saying, “If you build it, he will come.” It adds on a baseball field populated by ghosts, a short trip through time, a cranky ex-author, and a man just doing what he feels is right.

This movie also holds a few amazing quotes. “If you build it, he will come,” made it onto the American Film Institute’s top 100 quotes list at #39, alongside, “Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore,” “May the force be with you,” “Bond. James Bond,” and “My precious.”

I know Dad has a thing for this quote:

Shoeless Joe: Is this heaven?
Ray Kinsella: No, it’s Iowa.

Personally, I thing this one is insanely great:

Ray Kinsella: *points one finger at Mann under his jacket*
Terence Mann: What is that?
Ray Kinsella: It’s a gun, what do you think it is?
Terence Mann: It’s your finger.
Ray Kinella: No, it’s a gun!

One interesting thing about the film site is that it’s divided in half, because the land used is on the border between two farmers’ lands. The first base line is on one side, with the house that was also used in the movie. The third base line is on the other side. This means two roads, two signs, two gift shops…weird stuff, but still fun.

The third base side did a show where some of the actor that had played the ghost players in the movie did their walk out of the corn. However, it was so hot that day (and even hotter standing and waiting in the corn), that they walked out and immediately “fainted” from the heat, all falling rather over-dramatically onto the ground. They then did a show that was half playing baseball with the kids, half old guys making awful jokes. We watched the beginning of it, and it was pretty funny.

It was while walking back to the car that we realized that our amazing timing luck had shown up once again. They only did their show on the last Sunday of the month at noon. What are the chances of randomly showing up at the right time? Not the biggest, I can tell you.

Another day we went to a science museum in Des Moines. It was pretty fun. I made a hat out of some sort of connecting toy, and Calum played with gears. We went to a show on electricity, and watch a little boy’s hair stand n end. He was adorable, so it was very funny. We also went to a show on the science of magic, which was really cool. We learned that to make someone in a box, you stand them behind a screen. When a light shines behind the screen, it will light up the person, and the screen will be relatively see-through. When a light shines in front of the screen, it will make the screen seem opaque. You will not be able to see the person, so they will appear to have vanished.

We watched a small skit done by the magician’s assistant, who pretended to be a clueless audience member, but was really part of the show. He found a box behind the stage, called trick of the month. He opened it, put the CD in a CD player, and followed the instructions. First, it said to repeat after it the magician’s oath, a few words at a time. The oath was, “I swear never to tell the secrets of this trick, and to never agree to repeat someone else. That was rather funny. The CD next said to dump out the contents of the box onto the table, which he did. He proceeded to make a small bag by holding the corners of a large handkerchief. However, he got some laughs when the CD told him to take out his bandana, but the box held only a banana. He proceeded to follow the rest of the instructions with the banana, including folding it up –squish- hiding in his hand and dropping it into the bag. The trick ended rather well, with him actually disappearing the squished banana and pulling a whole one out of the empty box.

Another day we spent at the amusement park. Dad dropped us off in the morning, and picked us up in the afternoon. It was fun, a lot like Lake Compounce back home. We went on a log flume, a sort of river rafting ride, and a ride where you sat in a huge round raft and spun really quickly as you slid down a slide. That was fun.

I convinced Mom to come on the Outlaw with me. It was a wooden roller coaster (the only kind I will go on at the moment), and it was honestly the most comfortable roller coaster I have ever ridden. Since It was my forth roller coaster ever, that isn’t really saying much…

We also saw a magician there. He did some tricks with a wand jumping down, and made three ropes of different sizes the same length, then different again. He borrowed a watch from the audience, turned it into a plastic orange watch, then got the original watch back by putting a quarter into a gumball machine. Folded inside one of the little plastic balls was the watch! He then got some balloons out of the machine, and made the girl who helped him a balloon animal of a man blowing into a balloon.

The trick he did next is one I will never understand: that of cutting a woman in half. This time, instead of having her lie in a box as most magicians do, he had her stand up in a box. He cut along the slits in the box, then pushed the top half onto a table, leaving her feet on the other side of the stage. It couldn’t have been someone else’s’ feet, because they had her feet sticking out of a hole in the bottom the whole time, and her shoes didn’t change. There were holes for her head and arms too, so that wasn’t it either…I don’t get it, but I know that’s the point. :)

I apologize for the delay in this post…I downloaded Diner Dash from shockwave.com (only $20 and totally worth it), and I’ve been furiously trying to catch up to Mom. She tried it once and loved it so much, she now steals my laptop at every possible occasion. Unfortunately, she is not only better at it than I am, but it also more determined, so she’s a good five or six levels ahead of me. I’m stuck on the last level of the second restaurant…yeah. But the post is here now. :)

-Iona-

P.S. To those Harry Potter fans reading this, I read in a news article that Rowling said she will kill off two main characters in the last book! I have since come up with the theory that one of the following will die saving Harry.

1. Wormtail. Dumbledore said back in the third book that since Harry saved Wormtail’s life, Wormtail would be in his service. Rowling wouldn’t have said that unless it came into play sometime else…right?

2. Snape. I am a strong supporter of the whole Snape-is-good, Dumbledore-told-Snape-to-kill-him theory. I also believe that Dumbledore told Snape to protect Harry, no matter the cost. If the first theory is correct, then Snape has a fierce loyalty to Dumbledore and will do as he was ordered.

3. Hagrid. This theory has no real support behind it. I just feel like if it happened, I wouldn’t be surprised. Hagrid would undoubtedly save Harry if he could, he has a place in the Order of the Phoenix and has been on missions for Dumbledore, so it is likely he would show up during a fight, and, like I said, it just feels right.

There we go, those are the theories right now. What will the world do when the series is over? This is the biggest book craze of the century. Have you ever waiting in line for the next book to come out? I haven’t – it was a school night :( – but I did wait in line for the ticket to wait in line for the book, and even the energy there was amazing. It’s like a sugar rush without the candy, and it’s the greatest. If all goes according to plan (and Mom agrees to sew), I can make a Ravenclaw costume for waiting for the last book…heehee. Fun stuff.