Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

File Under: Seriously Trivial Irritant

It should be illegal to make a white polo shirt with any form of red trim on it, and then have washing instructions that just say "Machine wash. Tumble dry."

Because you just know it's never that easy.

Alternately, it should just be illegal for me to FORGET the pure hell that is washing a white polo with red trim, so that I then EVER go out and purchase another one.

Naturally, having spent three days washing the thing, rewashing it with bleach and vinegar and OxyClean and anything else I can think of to remove the pink splashes, to finally get it clean and dry and looking (almost) new, *immediately* the son wears it the very next day, and it's back in the wash. And I am on day three of washing it again. There is no rest for the wicked, I tell you. mk

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Just catching up

Well, the big fight has been resolved. Mark is back to his normal, lovable (mostly) self. His thirteenth birthday has come and gone; I am now the mother of a teenager. We didn't do anything majorly significant to mark the date, which is unfortunate; my original intent was to make a good memory for him. Between his horrific attitude earlier this week and the bizarre weather, it just hasn't worked out. That's too bad; I hope that later he remembers entering his teens with fondness.

Today is a catching-up day. I've made six copies of Kira's play on DVD. Right now I've started Mark's play from April, which will take much longer, because each copy is over an hour long. Fortunately, I have fewer of them to make. It will be good to have these off my plate, they've been hanging over my head for the longest time.

This has been a weekend full of events, not all of them pleasant. Yesterday I found out a very very dear friend is pregnant; today I found out a lifelong friend's grandmother passed away. We celebrated Mark's birthday yesterday with my parents and sister; today I am spending the day all alone. Lots of contradictions that define life.

Not much else to say today. The kids have a half-day of school tomorrow and then summer vacation begins. Thursday we are going for an overnight visit at Ro's parent's cottage at Popham Beach; should be awesome. Will check in later. mk

Monday, June 16, 2008


Fun Monday's topic today was about walls. The assignment was meant to display the physical walls in your home, but the wall that concerns me the most today is the one towering between me and my son.

My house is currently oddly silent, although we are all here. We are dancing around each other's presences, with Kira nearly desperate to maintain some normality. She is determinedly coloring and reciting lines from her play and creating things with her dolls.

Mark walks from his room to the bathroom and back. He made a ghostly appearance downstairs long enough to wordlessly consume some dinner, and then disappeared back into his bedroom.

In half an hour or less we will all be going to the school to attend a meeting for the seventh graders and their parents, where I assume we will put on faces of normality, although perhaps quieter than usual. I cannot imagine smiling and chattering and pretending that all is well, although I know that I will do all those things, and do them with skill.

We are dancing, he and I, around things that were said this morning. Around the discovery of yet another trivial and needless lie on his part, which led to an argument and punishments meted, and disrespect, and harsh words said at the bus stop that his sister overheard and reported to me after school. Words of hatred and violence that stun me from this child of mine, this treasure.

There is betrayal and disappointment and hurt. There are wounds that cannot be staunched, that remain open and bleeding. There is frustration, on both sides, I imagine, although I wonder if I can still say that I know my son's heart. There is dismay. I cannot begin to figure out how to breach this wall that seems to have sprung up, whole and enormous and bristling, between us. I am not sure if I have the strength to try.

I am not even sure if I want to.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Kira the Maleficent

Kira had her second-grade class play tonight. They did Sleeping Beauty. Kira was cast as Maleficent, the dark fairy and "mistress of all evil" who cursed Aurora. Well, Kira did an *outstanding* job playing an evil witch. It's a little disturbing, actually, how INTO her role she got. The dark glee with which she pronounced her curse: "You will prick your finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel AND DIE!!!!!" was a tad unsettling. I was so proud.

She was an absolute mess of nerves before we went to the school. This manifested itself in a huge outpouring of fury and temper at me and Mark. Oh, it was a joyous and pleasant afternoon. I did convince her to let me do a bit of stage makeup on her eyes, although when she saw what I did, she was FURIOUS: "I HATE you for what you did to me!" She wasn't very good at listening to my explanation about the nature of stage makeup and how it *does* look horrible close-up, but really good from the audience. Then, of course, she got to the school and everyone absolutely loved it and she was much better. Gee, 'cause her mom (five years' experience as a drama makeup mistress) didn't know ANYTHING.

She basked in the glory of the compliments everyone gave her (and hey, I did a little basking myself...the principal said to me: "You have TWO of them!"--reference to my son's dramatic talent as well--yup, I do).

I really wish the lighting in the gym was more cooperative with my cameras. Pretty sure the camcorded stuff won't be much better, but here's a photo or two:

Maleficent and her evil minion, the Warthog

Aurora waits in a trance while Maleficent eagerly anticipates the fulfillment of the curse.

Hey, the curse worked! Well, mostly.

After the play, Maleficent gracefully poses for a picture. What the hell, a smile? Yeah, real evil.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How To Tell When You've Ticked Off A Mathematician

A check sent to Verizon from an upset customer. The amount is believed to be $533.80 (we think) .

I freakin' LOVE this. It speaks to my heart. mk

*received via email. Original author unknown. But I'm betting Randall Patrick Munroe had something to do with it.

**Okay. The original image is here. The *story* behind the original image is here.

*** Further note: the amount is not $533.80. The check was never actually sent. Randall Patrick Munroe is not the original customer. Verizon is apparently staffed by morons.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Oh My Gosh Someone Save Me

I have a college degree. I have installed my own stereo in my car. On more than one occasion I have repaired my washing machine. I frequently request tools for holidays.

And I have been completely thwarted by this:

ruler provided for scale

Kira brought it down along with an adorable little container of baby staples and asked me to fill her stapler for her. So I did. Or, at least, I tried.

The sucker would not close back up. I tried everything I could think of. I even (inadvertently) disassembled it in my attempts. And when I did manage to get it (mostly) back together, it would not staple. The stupid cute little staples jammed constantly.

Kira watched me get increasingly frustrated with it, and just when I was about to go get a hammer and see if *that* would help at all, she sweetly piped up: "That's okay, it's never worked anyway. I've never been able to staple anything with it."

OMFG. mk

updated: after I took the picture and wrote most of this post, I messed with the stapler again. (because I cannot leave things alone unless you physically take it away from me. Stubborn much?) It still won't close, but I got it to successfully staple something. So, half success.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Latest Car Woes

So, my dad called our mechanic this morning to tell him I'm having problems with the markira-mobile again. This time it's rattling and grinding from the wheels, as well as pulling a little to the right. So Mike said to bring it over and he'd get to it when he could. That was at 10:30.

Yeah. He just called. He's gotten it in already (2:30) and he knows what's wrong. Apparently the strut was rusted right through and it came down and was rubbing against the tire, and also the tie rod is gone? (I dunno, I have no clue about this stuff, I'm just repeating what I thought I heard.) What came through loud and clear to me is that it's a good thing I got the car in when I did or I could've had an accident.


They Will Rock Us.

Spring Concert was last night. Once again both kids got all dressed up (Mark wanted to wear his suit, but it needs to be cleaned because it absolutely reeeeeeks of lobster and smoke from the bonfire) and I got to sit in the very front row and listen to a bunch of kids massacre some music for an hour.

To be fair, most of them did a pretty good job. Even the mess-ups were funny, like how the chorus slaughtered "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." And they knew they were slaughtering it while it was happening. A bunch of the girls absolutely could not keep straight faces, and one girl in Mark's class was completely unable to sing from laughing and had to hide her face behind her music. Several of the kids bravely soldiered on and tried to rescue the song. It could not be done.

Kira had been quite excited several weeks back, because they had been told that they were going to be singing "Breaking Free" (from High School Musical...tell me, could there BE any more exciting school concert news to second-grade girls?). However, apparently the music teacher judged that song to be "too difficult" and switched it out for several folky songs like "Aiken Drum," "Lazy John," and "Rocky Mountain." Which bored most of the kids to tears. However, you had to consider that the music teacher combined kindergarten through third grade to sing these songs, so she had to go for the lowest denominator. I guess.

Then we got to listen to the Combined Bands. This is the Beginning Band and the Intermediate Band, you guessed it, combined. We were told ahead of time (as usual) how hard the kids have worked on "some very difficult pieces." And then we listened to some barely recognizable stuff played at half-speed, one not-bad-at-all solo sax of "The Pink Panther" (he got such an incredible amount of applause that I think it freaked us all out), another destroyed song and finally, they lived up to the threat that "We Will Rock You." At which point the kids in grades K-5 who were not in the band, but who had sat patiently for the better part of an hour, broke out in the stamping/clapping beat we all know so well. A little startling coming from them, when I remember doing it myself in high school. :D Most of the audience got really into it, though (hey, if you can't beat 'em) and we applauded like hell for the kids when it was through.

And then it was over. While I was trying to find my children in the swarm, I heard a couple of kids back on the stage bashing out "We Will Rock You" at a much faster tempo, on drums and trumpet. I knew the drums had to be Eddie, 'cause that's what he plays, but it turned out the trumpet was Mark. They did a pretty darn good job of it. (and imagine if Mark practiced!)

I took a bunch of pictures, but alas, photos taken in the gym have a tendency to make all persons captured look like grainy, possessed demons. (I know this, yet I continue to try. Optimism? Or idiotic futility?) But here're my monsters before we left for the concert. mk

(he refuses to get a haircut.)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Sex with Peter

It was much better than I thought it would be. Very enjoyable, really. I hadn't been sure if I had even wanted to do it, but in the end I just went for it. Although some parts were a little uncomfortable, there were a lot of parts I really liked. Overall it was worth it. Much, much better than the original way I planned to spend the evening, alone with a book.

I went to see Sex and the City. With Peter.

Oh, you dirty-minded people.

And in a totally random spin of events, of the approximately eight people (including us) who went to the showing, there was a guy there who had graduated with us. Bizarre. (Yes, eight people. Eight. On opening weekend. Apparently everyone else was out drinking at 10:00 on a Saturday night.)

Not much to say about the movie, really, except that while I was driving home the title of the blog post popped into my head and I was helpless to resist. It was good, but I was less than impressed by the explicitly sexual scenes, particularly since I was watching the movie with a man I have not slept with. I don't know about other people, but that makes me feel very awkward.

Also, I want Carrie's closet. She can keep most of the clothes she has in it (really, wtf on some of the crap they dress her in), but the closet itself? Oh yeah.

K, going to bed now. Alone. With a book. mk