Friday, June 29, 2007

Day 3 of Birth Week

I just showed the kids a box of empty turtle eggs. It was a reward for finishing all of their spaghetti. While they liked looking at it, they weren't particularly impressed by it as a reward for eating their supper. I think they were expecting chocolate or something sparkly.

This week I've been stressing out about school. Having signed up for SCAIHS (the second-option homeschool group in SC) I feel like the bogeyman has finally arrived and he wants to see my school records. Mark is putting together the reading portion of Rose's English I course. He's starting with the ancients. Usually freshmen start with "General Literature". But no, we need to have our 14 year-old read the Bhagavad Gita and the Analects of Confucius. I think I have a love/hate relationship with non-conformity. But Mark's English course is the one thing I'm not stressing about. It's everything else I have to do with her: Algebra; Writing; Vocabulary; Spelling (Rose is a terrible speller); Biology (yes, we have to dissect some things); Drama; Spanish; Logic; and Ancient History--and I think there are more.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Day 1 of Birth Week

Today is Papa's birthday. We usually have to celebrate it for seven days, until the day before my birthday, which we call "the Leave-Taking of the Nativity According to the Flesh of our Lord, Master and Bread-Winner Papa Mark." I took the kids to Kohl's to buy him a hat, and then to the dollar store for gifts from each child. When we go to the Dollar Tree, the kids usually pick up about five things apiece. Then the pile is whittled down to one gift each. Some of the ideas today were: a measuring tape, a pedometer, a rubber squeezy ball, an expandable alligator in an egg, a flashlight, a battery powered hand-held fan, a Pirates of the Caribbean balloon, and a bag of plastic bugs. Ella had her heart set on a whoopy cushion, but we couldn't find one. Papa broke the one he got from her at Christmas last year. Lord knows how. But we settled on two helium balloons, a set of lime-green rubber coasters, an expandable cobra inside an egg, and a large pink eraser that says, "For Big Mistakes".

We got the "Thank You Rob" video from Zoe today. It is priceless. It was a playful reinactment of all of the recurring difficulties we had in the filming of the show. Zoe edited it and put it to music. I can't get over how funny it is--and how well made and clever it is. I will post it if I can figure out how.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


We're back from Vegas and somewhat weary. I would be happy if I never went back there. I hope to see Rob again, and it would be fun to do another project like this, but Vegas is without a doubt, an drunken sex-playground. While we were there I remarked to Susan that I can't remember a time when I would have thought a place like this anything other than disgusting and creepy. I used to think that it was just a quaint saying: "What happens here stays here"--now I realize how naieve I was.

The jaunt to Mandalay Bay was horrible. I wish I had heeded the ozone warning. The sand was a thousand degrees and the pool water tasted like perspiration. There was no shade and to get a bottle of water required flagging down a cilicone hottie in the red bikini, paying her $15, and waiting 45 minutes for her to return. There were one or two other mothers with children there, but I could tell from their faces that they felt the same as I did about the situation. Margaret, as ever, was too busy swimming and playing to notice anything. Rose said she just felt 'ugly'.

But the time we spent making the film was, in retrospect if not in reality, a lot of fun. Rob said it'll take one or two months to edit. It was good seeing him, and it seemed as if no time had passed at all. But thank God I am back to my humble home.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Las Vegas Baby

I'm posting from the hotel's Business Center. We've had a very busy week. The first day of shooting was about nine hours, and it has been gradually decreasing. Yesterday was the park scene which started at 7:00, and we were back at the hotel by 10:00 AM. It's been fun, but grueling for the children. Margaret had a breakdown the third day when she was expected to do a simple scene. She cried and sucked her thumb on Rob's couch for about a half hour. Later that day, in one of her scenes, Helen was 'punched' too hard by Zoe and burst into tears. The next day (Wednesday) Rose cried in the hotel room because she accidentally burnt Margaret with the curling iron. Later that day, Zoe broke down in the hotel room and decided she didn't want to be a film director any more.

I think above all things, this experience has given the girls a sense of what real show business is like--and hopefully has deterred them from pursuing it. At the end of the day we all felt hot, grimy, and dry. The pool has helped a lot. Working out in the morning has helped a lot. In a good way this experience has probably taught the kids how people in a certain business, or with a certain craft, work through something over and over to get it as perfect as possible, and not collapse with mediocrity. I think that's a good lesson, if they remember it.

Today we go to the Mandalay Bay Hotel's "beach". It remains to be seen whether the Helen & Zoe will be allowed in the pool. Susan says there's an 'ozone warning', and it might be dangerous. Maybe someday I'll become as cautious as Susan, but I can't deny my kids the fun of a day out like this. In the end, she probably won't either.

I miss my kids and my husband. We all want to go home, but the prospect of another 6 hour overnight plane flight isn't exciting.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

You Won't Die

We just returned from Miss Anne's pool. We had a wonderful time. As ever, Margaret made a new best friend. Her name was Gwynneth and she was Margaret's age. She also had gold hoops dangling from her ears, and was about a head taller. Margaret was sitting on the side of the pool and this little girl plopped herself next to her. They began chatting, and Margaret discovered this little girl didn't know how to swim. So Meggy announces "I can teach you!!" So, for the next two hours Meggy watched this little girl swim, and gave her instruction. First in the 3 foot, then in the 5 1/2 foot. By the time the pool closed, this little girl was jumping off the diving board. Miss Anne asked Gwynneth what Meggy did to teach her. Gwynneth answered, "She told me, 'You won't die.'" Ella and Meggy decided they were going to start a swimming lesson class next time they go to the pool. They'll make a sign too. We decided her sales pitch will be: "You won't die."

As we were beginning to leave, LMark walked out before we were all ready to leave. When he discovered I didn't want him to, he took off. So, of course, I had to run (fortunately I was already in my street clothes--what a sight it would have been otherwise) to catch him. He got a couple pops on the rear end he won't soon forget.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Wonder of Wonders

I just returned from Danielle's house with Nell where we made prosphora. Wonder of wonders. It was actually enjoyable! We conversed, we sipped wine, we ate something made of tahini, avocado, and chickpeas. I suppose there's nothing so bad that can't be made better with good company, and good food.