3.25.2008

Real Housewife of New York

Anyone watch the Real Housewives of New York City on Bravo? It's mind numbing but good. I know, I know, I am not supposed to be watching T.V. (because I said I don't watch T.V.). I only watch three shows: Top Chef, Real Housewives of New York City, and Project Runway. And guess what? They're all on Bravo.

So, anyway, I think I am sometimes like Alex, the pretentious mom who lives in Cobble Hill.

She and her husband named their son Fran├žois, for godsakes. And their other kid? Johann.

Like that Bach dude.

Of course, Alex is from Kansas. The hubby is Australian.

On tonight's show, Alex said something to one of the other housewives over martinis that sounded like something I might say and not realize I sounded soo puffery-like: "Well, we do this thing where we taught our son to sing 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' in Latin. And oh yeah, we taught him it in French, too."

Alex also insists that the au pair is teaching the kids French.

The funny thing is that as much as Alex's au pair tries to teach the kids French, the au pair's job is to *take care* of the kids, and maybe have a little life herself, too, while in New York. Alex's kids don't want to speak French. Also: Alex and the hubby are not reinforcing the French so much on their kids in their critical tender young age-- so the struggle that the au pair has is pretty transparent.

Then, over martinis, Alex says she *speaks Italian* to the Countess LuAnn who appears on the show. I have met people who say they speak a language...but have very minimal knowledge in a language (but perhaps are so excited, they tell everyone they know that they speak it, anyway).

Anyway, the Countess actually spoke Italian to Alex. So Alex's attempt at Italian sort of... fell short. But, I give Alex props: she laughed off her shortcomings.

Scene cuts to Alex and her husband who assert meeting people like LuAnn will help them move into "higher and higher circles" in New York society.

Sigh.

These things are good to watch. They are a reality check for me. And they make me wonder if I am trying too hard with Alex's schedule next year. He is taking lessons in two instruments. He rows. He is learning Mandarin ... takes French on Saturdays. Is applying to the school Arts Concentration Program and may drop his science scholarship completely.

He cannot be everything. I am wondering if I set him up for frustration?

My kid needs a major break from this nonsense. It's competition for competition's sake.

Sometimes I wish he were just home...like the "old days" when we homeschooled. When he actually had time to read literature for himself because he wanted to.

I plan to visit A this weekend...and just be with him. Just enjoy what he has to tell me about his life.

Of course, I will bring my voodoo dolly of the ex-roommate and dip it in chicken blood before I go visit A.

Just kidding, people.

3.24.2008

puffery

I am bored at work.

So now that I will not be pulling A out of BTBSA (I actually registered with the NYC DoE to keep his spot at High School/Early College School), we are planning for the future.

In the future, there is college.

I am looking at his course options for next year. Next year is the key year. The best-face-forward year. The Registrar suggested that she make a few possible schedules for A to consider.

A has a scholarship from BTBSA for summer science research. A is now leaning toward Humanities studies, and has recently said that he is interested in screenplay writing. I cannot say that this is bad news; the summer science research scholarship bears the last name of his former (bully) roommate [I'll wait for you bloggy readers to have that lightbulb moment on this].

So we have: Decent grades, decent PSAT (with a re-take coming next Junior year), he's on the Crew team, he is pretty good at Photography, got picked (as one out of four playwrights) for the school's Spring Playwriting Festival, and is applying for the Arts Concentration Program at school. Still plays his guitar, and he might be forming a band at school. Started a "Middle East Peace Club" on his own with another student. This summer, he will be taking enrichment classes in math and science.

Yesterday, A tells me he might be interested in writing a screenplay.

I guess it's appropriate that his college tour this fall is a California college tour.

3.20.2008

smooth sailing





The sordid details: The roommate locked A out of his dorm when he needed to study. The roommate blasted music when A needed to study. The roommate gave A grief about conversations we would have (the roommate made it a point to listen in on our calls). The roommate asked A for money too many times (sometimes after talking about his father's hedge fund).

A quietly told me he felt things were unbearable.

The roommate told A he didn't think A should be at BTBSA.

A quietly told me he was going to sleep with severe back pain. His body was now reacting to the stress of the roommate.

Over the course of five months, I talked to A's house dean about the roommate. The house dean did not satisfactorily act.

I made a stink.

LaMai making a stink is not a pleasant affair. Both faculty and staff were upset. I did not care.

Then A went to Miami for pre-season Crew training. The roommate, who is also on the team, also went to Miami for pre-season Crew training.

And in Miami, the roommate drove an oar into A's back and caused a welt.

I took a photo of the welt.

A asked me not to show it to anyone.

Maybe I broke a promise about not showing the photo of the welt to anyone.

A now has a new single private room at school.

3.08.2008

We're fine

The Good Stuff:

A is in Florida where he just spent a week at his grandmother and great-grandmother's home (those gals live together), and now is training for pre-season Crew with the BTBSA team, also now in Florida.

I have picked up another cause -- and may be picking up yet another. The first involves me and an equine organization, for which I will be talking to Barbaro's owners next week (yes *that* Barbaro -- I am truly excited) to do some major PR work for the org. Willie Nelson has contributed his time and song to the org (Yes, there *had* to be a music connection. Y'all know me, right?).

The second cause involves helping a much-loved American musician be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. I feel very strongly about this latter cause. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

The Bad Stuff:

Several weeks ago I fell ill -- for the most part, I am better. My co-worker at the Tiffawneee Network did the superhuman task of making sure I got to the hospital and hooked up to an IV bag. I am forever grateful to her for that. So if you are reading this, Miss CEO-speechwriting CoWorker, and are wondering why I didn't mention anything over margaritas and burritos, please know it was because I was still not myself. Big Ups to you. I raise the glass.

And now A is experiencing issues at BTBSA. The bully roommate situation did not improve and BTBSA has been reluctant to act. So I threatened to pull A out of school until it's resolved. "But you can't do that," said a Dean to me, "Your son *must* attend classes." "I've already explained that by spring term, this had to be resolved," I replied, "And I am his mother. It is my responsibility to make sure he is not harassed."

So that is that.

But -- the Form Dean told me on the phone that *I* had been bullying *them.* I nearly dropped the phone when he said that. I rarely call the school -- but I did up my demands (which were originally requests) that the roommate problem be resolved. I am still in shock that they can equate student bullying to my asking them to respond.

Anyway, I have much to blog about...but need to muster some courage and time to write it. I will spill every sordid detail.

In the meantime, I need to spill some sordid details on my manuscript pages.

I will return soon.