Friday, June 22, 2012


Last day of school:

mk: Mark, did you pass in all your textbooks?
Mark: yeah Mom
mk: Are you sure:
Mark: -yeah- Mom
mk: Did you clean out your locker?
Mark: yeah Mom, it's empty
mk: You sure?
Mark: YEAH Mom, sheesh

Two weeks later, when his report card comes in the mail, included is a form letter saying that the following items were not returned: CP ALG II text, cost $60.

mk: MARK! I just got something in the mail that says that you didn't pass in your Algebra II textbook.
Mark: I didn't have one
mk: Then how did you do your  homework all year?
Mark: Oh yeah. Wait. It might be in my locker.

*facepalm* mk

Monday, June 11, 2012

Meeting Jenny

OK, wow. Apparently New England loves them some Bloggess, because Jenny's Brookline, MA reading/signing was -packed-. SRO. People packed up along the stairs and lurking at the top, not even able to see her but hoping to hear. There had to be a couple hundred people in a not-very-big space. My anxiety went all out of whack, of course, even though I was pre-loaded with Xanax. I had a space in a little corner in the front part (corners are good) and it was really close so I had a great view. Well, except for this pole, but she considerately stood just to the side of it so I could see.
The only picture I got during her reading where my hands were not shaking so much that the picture blurred. And of course her eyes are closed. And also she looks like she's going to break out into the chicken dance. Which she did not, by the way.

Jenny appeared impressed with us...said two stops before that one, like 4 people showed up. This made me a bit envious, because I would WAY rather have been in the 4-person crowd than the MOB that showed up in Brookline.

She was, of course, complete awesomeness, and her reading of excerpts from the chapter "The Psychopath on the Other Side of the Bathroom Door" was utterly hilarious. She also gave us an informative aside: Pepto-Bismol actually turns 1 in 6 people's tongue black. Pepto-Bismol contacted her on this one. (Important note: temporarily black. It eventually goes away. That aside actually reminded me of when I discovered through personal experience that if you drink too much red wine your teeth will turn black. For awhile. Because of the tannins.**)

**Incidentally, if you look at Google Images for "red wine teeth black" you will not see one picture on the first page of results where someone's teeth are stained from red wine. You -will- see dozens of pictures of super-white teeth.

Wow. Tangent.

After the reading, Jenny was going back upstairs for the signing. Now, Kimmie and I were stationed right by the stairs, so you would think that this would give us a head start on getting in that line, right? SO WRONG. Because all the people who came late and couldn't get close enough to hear her reading decided to get in line for the signing. By the time we got upstairs, the line already went from her table down to the back of the store, wrapped around a bookcase and came all the way back up to the front of the store. It was insane.

It took an -hour- to get through that line to the point where I finally (!) met Jenny. It gave me a great opportunity to practice the technique my therapist has discussed with me called "flooding" in which you are kept in a high-anxiety-provoking situation until eventually your adrenaline runs out. More on that another time.

I do remember remarking to the people around us that there should be an Express Lane for people with panic disorders. You'd have to show proof like a current prescription bottle of Xanax or a doctor's note or something. That would have been awesome.

Anyway, finally got to the head of the line, Jenny signed my book, we exchanged a few words that I don't remember now (something along the lines of how great to finally meet), took a couple of pictures, hugged, and on to the next person in line.

I sincerely hope that Jenny got a very large amount of vodka or something good like that, later that evening when she finally finished with that line, because I -know- it went for at least another hour or more.

As for me, the plan was to go back to Kimmie's and consume many strawberry daiquiris and/or cosmos and/or whatever else we could make with the alcohol she had. However, I had completely reached my limit what with all the new scary things I'd done that day, and I didn't even get halfway through one drink before I -needed- to crash. (Not one to let a good drink go to waste, I used it the next morning to wash down my meds. Hey, I was on vacation!)

The book reading was awesome, Jenny was awesome, the whole thing was terrifying -and- awesome, and I am so, so glad I did it and made it through. I would have kicked myself for YEARS if I had bailed on that opportunity.

So, here we go, pics. mk

That's my book she's signing. Well, -her- book, -my- copy. :)
I look all crazy-grinny and slightly psycho if you see this up close.
markira meets Bloggess...yay!!!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

I'm Off to See the Bloggess

This keeps running through my head: "Iiiiiiiiii'm off to see the Bloggess! The wonderful Bloggess of Blog...I know she is a wiz at her biz, if ever a wizard there was! If ever a wonderful blogger there was, then Jenny the Bloggess is one because...because because because because beCAAAAAAUSE...because of the wonderful blogposts she does!"

That's right. I'm gonna go see Jenny at her book reading in Brookline, Massachusetts. And now hopefully you also have this awful earworm song going through your head so I'm not all alone.

Speaking of alone, I'm doing all kinds of out-of-my-comfort-zone stuff for this trip. First off, I'm going to Massachusetts. And I've invited myself to stay with my friend Kimmie. AND, because I really do not want to drive in Mass because all the people who live there get behind the wheel of a car and immediately become insane*, I'm going to take a -bus- there (which actually will cost me, round trip, less than the price of gas to halfway there and back). So I'm doing all kinds of new things (for me). And yes, I am -very- nervous and my stomach is all tied up in knots.

* As evidence of this: everyone in Mass tailgates. Like, really badly. On the highway. Going like 90mph. I was taught to leave one car length between you and the car ahead of you for every 10mph of speed. I asked Kimmie about this and she said she was taught one car length. PERIOD. No matter how fast you are going, one car length. And apparently they all think cars are about five feet long.

Anyway. I canceled my therapy appointment on Monday because I got my period and was wicked crampy and didn't really want to curl up on the floor in his office but that was the only comfortable position. SO, he rescheduled me for this morning and this is a very good thing because we can go over this trip and hopefully he'll tell me all kinds of good things that will make me feel less freaked out and then I'll be able to see properly again. (My vision is a bit foggy at the moment. It happens when I'm panicky.)

AND, on Michael's advice, I sent an email to Jenny several days ago to remind her that I exist and tell her I was going to be coming ('cause my blog has kind of dropped off and she knows like a billion people and has likely been swarmed by tons of people popping up saying "HI! REMEMBER ME??"). So I babbled at her for a few paragraphs and probably made little to no sense but she was awesome and emailed me right back. So yay!

Bus leaves tomorrow morning, reading is at 7pm. I'm soooo excited.

Of course,  it's 5pm and I have yet to pack. I should maybe go do that. :D  mk

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Prom 2012--Part 3

Of course, there must be pictures of the boy! Nikki's family is very protective of their privacy, so I didn't include any of him with his date, and also didn't include any of the pics of Mark with his friend Marc, who came over to hang out and get ready with him. BUT, here's my boy in his finery!
Handsome boy...wait, young man.

I shall not smile.

During the father-date 'talk.' Mark said, "Oh, this is the part where I fidget and look nervous, right?"

Obviously had a hard time keeping serious for this talk.

Being a gentleman as he puts Nikki in Marc's car. Kira looks on. :P
Over at Nikki's before they left for the prom was so much fun. Kira and I went in ahead so we could start with the pictures from the time Mark (and Marc) came in, Nikki's appearance, etc. Nikki's stepfather was hysterical, said we had done it all wrong, the father is supposed to open the door, and made the boys go back outside and knock so he could open the door. Then he brought Mark into the living room for the pre-date "father talk" where he asked Mark's intentions for the evening. Mark pretended to be all nervous and gave very respectful responses, all the way up until Dave asked if Mark was planning to be responsible. Mark replied with "Yes, sir" and Dave asked Mark if he brought his responsibility with him that evening. Mark said yes and Dave said he failed, right there.

Apparently "responsibility" is what fathers are calling condoms these days, and Dave said that responsibility better stay right in the wallet. This was hilarious, as Mark and Nikki are more brother & sister than anything else and we all know it, but Dave likes to tease. 

Anyway, there was a LOT of laughing and everyone was just really comfortable and having a good time (we even made sure Marc was included, seeing as he had just met everyone). Wendy and I decided that Marc needed a boutonniere too, so we clipped a couple of flowers and some baby's breath from the flower arrangements Wendy had and wrapped thread around them and pinned them on. (We knew this would not last long and Mark confirmed later that Marc conveniently "lost" it, which was fine...just a way to pull him in, too, and he was a very good sport about it.)

Nikki's dress was gorgeous, a floor-length red "greek goddess" style gown with silver detailing on the bodice and cross-over straps, and she looked so beautiful. Her hair had a braid on one side and lots of curls and ringlets and was just lovely. 

The kids posed good-naturedly for all the photos the moms wanted, and even managed to get going on time. The last thing we saw was the back window of Marc's car rolled down and Mark's arm holding out the umbrella like a sword, yelling "On to the prom!"

And a truly fun time was had by all. mk

Prom 2012--Part 2

Mark and Nikki had a -wonderful- time at the prom! Yay!!

We went for the preview and OMG. It was just so stunning what they had done with the place...completely unrecognizable as the school gym. Our dances, and even proms, had decorations that consisted of lots n lots of streamers and some balloons, usually some hanging from the basketball hoops. Proms at my son's school have decorations that consist of stuff like this (click to enlarge pics...especially panorama):

Panoramic...first thing I saw. -This- is the -gym-??
The "outdoor cafe."
Entry on the other side of the gym..welcome to Central Park!

The bridge. Lights under the "water". Bridge is functional, you can walk across it.

The "hotel bar."

In the "hotel bar."

The "hotel lobby."

Steps on the bridge.

Another shot of the bridge.

Another angle of the "hotel lobby" with the "mini-golf course" on the right.

Corner of Wall Street and Prom Avenue. :)

Not shown: the parquet dance floor with DJ stage; the chess tables with a phone booth nearby; a closeup of the floor-to-ceiling skyscrapers, which were backlit through the windows; the partition for professional prom pictures with a flowered arch, park bench, lamppost and street signs; the mini-golf course; various pushcarts and a graffiti "wall".

It was overwhelming and stunning and unbelievable and amazing and oh my, what a time these kids will have! mk

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Prom 2012--Part 1

Each year at Mark's high school, the junior class hosts the senior prom. Thus the junior class, as hosts, also may attend. Mark's going to the prom. His date is a friend who is pretty much like a sister to him. Her mother is a good friend of mine and her younger sister is Kira's best friend. (There is also a brother who is currently in 8th grade.) The theme of this year's prom is "Central Park." Mark spent several hours after school yesterday helping with construction and assembly of what I can only think of as "the set." It's apparently going to be rather elaborate (which does not surprise me coming from this high school). They're having a "Prom Preview" in a couple of hours where parents can go check it out and see what everything looks like, and Wendy and I are going. There will be pictures. :)

Meantime, Mark has the tickets (instead of actual tickets, they gave him an embroidered key lanyard with the school name and Prom 2012 on it...this may be the 'souvenir' they have created this year. Last year they gave out sunglasses at the prom), we have just picked up the corsage, he has his tux (oh, he will look SO handsome), and a friend of his is coming over in a little while to hang out before they get ready. Then we'll all go over to pick up Nikki and take many many MORE pictures, then the three of them will head off to the prom. (Kira and I will take her best friend Dianna home with us to spend the night)

As a quick taste, here's the corsage: