Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sad News

I was really shocked and saddened to hear about Heath Ledger's death. Amanda heard word from a friend yesterday afternoon, I was sure she misheard something along the way. For years, Amanda has loved the film "10 Things I Hate About You" and now is of the age to call him "gorgeous" (I wholeheartedly agree.) Aside from his handsome looks though, he is a fine actor, loved him in "Brokeback Mountain," and now I imagine "Batman: Dark Knight" will have the same dark shadow cast over it that "The Crow" did when Brandon Lee died. He also seemed like a truly doting dad and a down to Earth person, a rarity in the Holllywood scene these days.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Looks Like St. Francis Prep is It

Up til today, we were all fine. Come noon time, all of our brains were blotto, with the realization that today was the day we'd get notification on the Catholic High Schools. That damned postman was ever so slow! I was pacing my block furiously, practically stalking the guy. I couldn't think straight or do any work. In a rarity, my daughter bolted home from school, but her teacher had already tipped her off that things were looking good.

After loving it, loving another and then loving it madly all over again, Amanda has made St. Francis Prep. She made the others, too, one was with honors and an incentive to take senior classes at St. John's University. But it's St. Francis Prep all the way, she says. Gulp. Where do I get my shovel?

Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled for her and loved watching her do her happy dance...we did apply for the specialized high schools too (earlier this year it was looking like more of a necessity than a choice...) but we won't hear word on that til March or so. But, going to Prep is going to be a commitment of paying $28,000 for the next four years!!!

The other day, there was a small news item about how Yale is offering a 50% reduced tuition rate for students whose families make less than $120,000. You think at first hearing this wow, that's great! That's still $120,000 or so for school, before all other expenses. And Amanda isn't going to college for another four years. So now we'd have to take a vow of poverty to accept...going into is a vicious cycle.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Twice is Nice

Hey folks, I'm up for two PPA Awards (Parenting Publishers of America) for a news feature and a general feature I did in Big Apple Parent last year, I'll find out March 2. Even getting nominated is nice, of course, but it would be cool to win one (or two.) Now I'm working with the Labor Research Association.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Out of curiosity, I went to iTunes to listen to tracks from the newly released Broadway production of Xanadu, one of my fave movies as a child, especially because of the fantastic music by Olivia Newton John and Electric Light Orchestra. When I listen to ELO sing "All Over The World" I am a kid again on roller skates. That song always puts me in the best mood.

This new production is pitiful! Painful! I did see a performance once on The View that looked and sounded horrible too, but I thought I should give it another chance.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Humming Underwater

I hum tunes from the new Radiohead release "In Rainbows," which is just haunting and brilliant. There's this beautiful fusion of orchestral compositions with fuzzy guitars and sometimes trance-like beats...and Thom's voice is an amazing instrument unto itself. I'm no music critic, but it's just beautiful. I got those Bose earphones at Christmas, and listening to it is like a religious experience.

I think it's a true gift that someone can come up with tunes that seem like they've been around forever, and I'm jealous of them at the same time. How do they do it? They put it all together and the final product is timeless. And easy to remember.

Did you ever try to hum in the bathtub? Submerged under the water, I mean, not above it. If you try, you will find that your humming is SO loud! There's no way to 'hum softly'. I don't know what kind of strange phenomenon it is, but it's weird.

Friday, January 04, 2008

First Love, Testing Friendships, A Whole New World

As of December 15, Amanda has embarked on her first relationship with a boy named Chris. He attends another Catholic grammar school nearby, and has known Amanda for several years, first meeting her at (seriously), summer choir camp. He is completely in love with her and, all things considered, Ian and I have been very happy and supportive for Amanda in her first experience in romance. You go in preparing for the worst and when we met this sweet boy instead, we were disarmed.

He is an avid hockey player on a team his father coaches, and had been asking Amanda to attend one of his games for some time. We were finally able to work out her going one (on the 15th) after agreeing to meet him privately the night before, and he seemed very nice and sincere. His dad has been bringing her and one of her friends to the games. We met the father too, and that day was sort of an official blessing on both sides for the relationship to go ahead. He has a very solid family life which also makes us feel good about things, plus good taste in music, a personal plus for Ian and I.

While in the throes of it all, Amanda seems very happy and slightly skeptical about the future of the relationship all at once. Her feelings on love (for the moment) are that a person can love several people in the course of their life, but that they will only "fall" in love once. She has tried to seek out my feelings and says, "I see that look of reminiscing on your face, what do you think?"

I'm stumped. What do I say? I would have thought to say that some people may fall in love several times, but will only find true love-or their soul mate-once. But is that the only time you 'fall'?

This has also been a slightly trying time on one of her friendships, a girl who has brought Amanda to tears on several occasions because she feels Amanda is too wrapped up in her relationship. Tears, forgiveness, joy, the cycle has played over several times now. I really don't like how this chick is constantly testing my daughter's feelings, I didn't like the mind games when I was a teenager, or even as a young adult. Her other best friend has been very sweet and supportive, (my personal fave of the two, she towers at 6'2" and is just a very smart, goofy, sweet-hearted person.) Oh God, and this is just the beginning of the perilous mine fields of the teenage years!

All I know is, we're just trying to keep an eye on things, keep a running dialogue with Amanda, just taking things one day at a time.