A has come up with some names* for his new band...

"Lucifers in the Bush"
"Fencing in the Yard"
"Destiny in the Door"
"Devious Sentients"
"Danish Buttercookies"

*If you've been following the blog for a bit, you'll recognize the "band names" from the stuff we've been doing, except for "Devious Sentients" which I got from a subway sign that read "devious semantics."

Lucifers = lucioles = lightning bugs.
Fencing = a sport A participates in.
Destiny = our greyhound.
Danish buttercookies = I'm 1/2 Danish.


Inspired by "The Aviator"

A is learning plane/flying mechanics and dynamics.

And this link has A busy learning HTML code.


from the History Channel...

Digging for the Truth: Secrets of the Nazca Lines
Monday March 21st at 9 PM/8c

Etched into the driest desert in the world, the
mysterious lines and figures of Nazca in Southern Peru
are invisible from the ground. These huge drawings
were not discovered until the 1930’s when airline
pilots just happened to spot them in a flyover. Ever
since, they have intrigued the world as the question
of who built them and why looms large. Were they an
ancient chart of the heavens or a message to the Gods?

Students will follow Digging for the Truth’s Josh
Bernstein as he takes on the secrets of the Nazca
Lines and attempts to discover the true history behind
these mysterious creations. This riveting one hour
program presents students with insights into ancient
Peruvian cultures and world views as Bernstein engages
in a series of daring adventures designed to reveal
the hidden meaning of the Nazca lines. This program
provides students with an engaging and exciting way to
discover how astronomy, archeology, and history can
all provide the tools to understand the cultures and
social structures of long ago.

Curriculum Links:
Digging for the Truth: Secrets of the Nazca Lines, as
well as this entire series, would be useful for World
History, European History, Geography, World
Civilization, Science and Technology and Global
History courses. This program fulfills the following
guidelines outlined by the National Council for
History Education: Patterns of Social and Political
Interaction, Civilization, Cultural Diffusion and
Innovation and Comparative History of Major

Discussion Questions:
1. Which of Josh’s approaches to learning about the
Nazca lines do you think revealed the most about
ancient Peru?
2. Which of Josh’s answers to the riddle of the Nazca
lines do you find most compelling?
3. What do you think are the most interesting things the
Nazca lines tell us about ancient Peruvian culture?
What A is reading: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling.


my (fantasy) exit letter to A's school in the 'burbs

Dear Ms. XXXXX,

Thank you for expressed interest in A's absence from school. I received your voicemail message one full month since he hadn't appeared in class at XXXXXXXXX Middle School.

As of January 1, 2005, A was no longer enrolled in your school. The reason for our pullout is complicated. But LongShort, here's our laundry list:

- The students at XXXXXXXXX Middle School are spoiled. A's speech class featured students' "Pet Peeves." On his take-home speech video, I noticed a 7th-grade student stating that her "pet peeve" was that her maid did not leave her school books "precisely where she had been asked to do so" and instead, said maid left the student's books "on the bookshelf, which was unacceptable." The student proceeded to rant about books on the bookshelf for the entirety of her 15-minute speech. I wonder, might you consider giving Qaaludes to that particular student? Or to the entire class with similar housekeeping "problems"? The "issues" that students at XXXXXXXXXXX Middle School have with their maids and housekeepers appear to be endemic.

- The politics that the students share in the classroom scare us. Another student on A's take-home speech video featured a Jewish student stating that Palestinians behaved "inhumanely" in the "territories" and no teacher clarification was requested while student was giving said "speech" about his "pet peeve."

- The taxi drivers in town complain that too many middle school-aged girls ask them if they're interested in receiving "roadhead." I will not explain this for you. But like, dayum. Middle schoolers?

- Many parents of students at XXXXXXXXXX Middle School secretly wishes to be a Desperate Housewife. I know this to be true because...

- My immediate Mercedes-driving neighbor who is in the process of divorce, asked me to upload her JDate photo online, that said photo depict her more scantily clad than the "other woman" who seduced her husband also on JDate. She offered A Playboy magazines to view at his leisure because that is the 'sophisticated' thing to do("like, excuse me????"). She also asked me if it would be okay if I bought her some "herbs" from the City to help her relax. Note: Maitresse does not buy herbs for herself, or anyone else. It was not okay to buy "herbs" using this woman's divorce support/alimony money, but in principle, Maitresse is against being used in such a manner. Besides, burning some Nag Champa incense works sufficiently well to calm anybody down. Anyway, being a child of a Desperate Housewife is Sad. And finally,

- Your students actually believe that the Real World is comprised of kids just like the kids at XXXXXXXX Middle School. Dare I mention that you have all of...five black kids in the entire student body? Two of whom happen to be the offspring of the founder of Ebony Magazine? The rest of the student body is comprised of Japs (from Japan), JAPs, and a smattering of other nationalities, all exhibiting a melanin shade lighter than my own (I am olive). Oh, yeah, in the Real World, $5,0000 plasma t.v. screens are not the norm. Nor is getting a Jaguar/Lexus/Range Rover on your 16th birthday. Real World, XXXXXXXXX Middle School is not.

Thank you for the experience. It was certainly...interesting.

Very truly yours,


Cc: Mr. XXXXXXX, School Principal


ze new Maitresse veeeehekul...

My second day job

consists of more blogging.

I promised everyone that I would reveal another blog of mine, and didn't, because things have been slow in getting off the ground. Well, what did you expect? I'm a busy girl.

So....[I've edited out the link! You'll just have to e-mail me at maitresse@gmail.com].

It is a blog about...what else? New Yorkers! Mostly people and stuff that I spot on the street.

Some of the content is adult-oriented, so if anything offends you, dear reader, kindly leave without making a fuss. I am a parent, but I have a life, and sometimes, I need to express those things that keep the "juice" going in my life. For the record, I haven't allowed A to read that site.

And another warning: there will be a logo posted on there that features a topless woman. It's very artistically done, but again, if it offends, go elsewhere.

Thank you and enjoy.


For the book deal:

- Maitresse begins homeschooling her A in in Chelsea, in New York City in the Fall of 2003.
- A learns from the Well-Trained Mind curriculum, plus some smatterings of Maitresse's doing. One such smattering is "How to Think Like a Goth." Or something.
- A begins to write cryptic signs in Latin and posts them on his bedroom door. Things like "keep out" and "girls not allowed" in Latin.
- She employed Catherine as the French maitresse, after meeting her at an art gallery exhibit in the Lower East Side, complete with pretty gothic accordian player.
- Maitresse and A make regular rounds at the Metropolitan Museum, Museum of Natural History, Asia Society, Japan Society, Hellenistic Society, Museum of the Moving Picture, you get the picture.
- Maitresse and A learn about New York's homeless people.
- Maitresse and A learn about CBGB's and punk music.
- Maitresse signs up A for fabulous marine science internship on the Hudson River, all of two blocks away from Harvey Weinstein's Miramax headquarters.
- We bump into Harvey's entourage several times after "school" at the marine science internship.
- A becomes friends with his two internship supervisors. The last supervisor soon functions as A's "big brother" and takes him boating and talks to him about "life" and stuff over lunch (at the lunch table is a big jar that reads "Like." If anyone says "like" in conversation, he or she must plunk in $1 into the "Like" jar).
- A makes plans to start a punk band with his friends in Chelsea.
- We move out to a town in the countryside.
- Maitresse enlists homeschooling bloggers to do something crazy called NaNoWriMo. Maitresse doesn't finish on time (due to &#$$ stuff that happens during the month of November), but just about all the other homeschooling blogging NaNoWriMo entrants do (Maitresse is incredibly inspired by all this)!
- Countryside town is full of rich spoiled kids who don't understand us, nor we them, and we head back to City.
- A's "big brother" at marine science internship dies in skiing accident and the details look like something out of the movie "Fargo."

- We cope. And we continue...



So, what brings y'all here?

I want to know. Lurkers, out yourselves. Thank you kindly.


Getting back into gear again...but then this...

I received this e-mail today as I was trying to re-establish A's schedule at his marine science internship:

"Due to the event of a tragic incident involving (Alexander's very young college-age supervisor and friend), It will take some time for us to respond to your emails. Please if you had any correspondence with (Alexander's very young college-age supervisor and friend):

Submit a summary on what projects or requests you were working on so that we may be of assistance to you.

For any INTERN matters please address your inquiries to XXXXXXXX@XXXXXX.org.

We ask that you be patient with us during this hard time as we keep the family of (college-age supervisor) in our heart and prayers.

Thank you.
From the staff at
The River Project"

I don't know how to break this news to A. If at all.


guilt trip (I am a Ramone).

(And L., I have that bioterrorist cold, too.)

So Catherine and I had a talk recently, about getting together for good tapas in the City, and about the children of single parents. She teaches French to kids in an elite private school in Brooklyn.

We can tell if a child is from a single parent situation. By the way they color, write, behave in class...you can tell immediately. They are deeper than most kids, but socially more awkward. Like they are missing something.

Well, that's just great, I say.

Perhaps I am not a great parent. Perhaps I over-comepensate in some areas of my parenting. Perhaps I shouldn't head out to Chelsea Guitars and get A that guitar. Perhaps I shouldn't be buying Joey Ramone pants for him. Perhaps I shouldn't homeschool. Perhaps I shouldn't be a student myself, at my ripe old age of 30 plus four. And working at an IP firm's pending patent lawsuit over a chicken oven.

Perhaps we should head out to Connecticut and just settle down and listen to Bach.

Perhaps I should be feeling guilty? I don't. I just don't.