Thursday, March 25, 2010

Enlightenment is in the Air

Can't write much tonight. I'm 40 pages from the ending of "The Alchemist" and perhaps 40 minutes away from total enlightenment. I'm not even kidding.

So, this book's been an international bestseller forever and it's been published in dozens of languages. And just this year, it made it into my self-imposed pile of "Requisite Reading." Right behind "The Mommy Wars" and after all the mud-slinging THAT book, I felt like I needed a little soul cleansing (more on "The Wars" in a later post).

I'm down to the wire here on this lovely little book. The shepherd is in hot pursuit of his treasure. The omens on the vast desert are appearing right and left. God keeps popping up in the story in different personas. The universal messages are starting to crystallize.

The book has so much brilliance and wisdom that I think I'm going to have to go back and read it again. This is one Ben will read when he's a teenager. I might read it to him earlier.

Have to go now. The treasure is waiting. Whatever it is.

P.S. Alisa, the book jumped into my bag during our last visit! Don't know how that happened. But thanks, nonetheless!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rite of Passage

We went to Ben's Little League kick-off party last night.

God help me.

13 boys in one small Round Table room. 12 boys were older than Ben by a year. Boy energy pulsated through the building...rambunctious boy energy that is punctuated by impromptu jabs, tackles and kicks. Is this what first grade looks like? I'll say it again...

God help me.

We are in store for 2 practices each week (the practice field is just under an hour from my house in commute traffic!), one weekly game and several hours of parent volunteering. I tuned out after I heard the words: "everyone WILL work the concession stand!"

The list of gear alone was enough to make my brain go completely numb. I looked at Ben's dad. "You're on that. Right?!"

It's hard to say where Ben's excitement level is on the baseball spectrum. Particularly in a game where the coaches pitch and T-ball is "for the little kids."

When it comes to sports though, Ben continues to surprise me. Just last weekend, his dad took him skiing. I truly believed that he would hate it and to my shock, he loved it. L-O-V-E-D it to the point of asking incessantly when we can go.

So into the Little League season we go, where we'll join the hundreds of other area parents who turn out excitedly for Opening Day and then we'll come together several times each week to see what kind of talent our kids possess on the field and we'll sell a few hot dogs and sodas and then we'll look at our calendars and see that half our summers have slipped away. Did I mention that we have to sign a code of conduct? For parents? Not for the kids...

Oh yes, this is a whole new ballgame for us indeed.

Wish us luck. And see you all sometime in July. :-)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

And The Award Goes To...

Finally, my hometown of Modesto, California has something worth celebrating. No, we haven't inched past being #298 on the "300 Best Places to Live" list but we do have a "local boy makes good" story. My classmate, Jeremy Renner, has been nominated for an Oscar for his role in "The Hurt Locker."

Modesto, in my opinion, hasn't had anything to celebrate since "American Graffiti." Certainly, it didn't help our fare city's ratings to have David Letterman mock our junior college while displaying an image of the school's marquee which read: "Congratulations to Acadamee Award Nominee, Jeremy Renner!" "What do you make of that?" Letterman asked Jeremy. "Don't they know how to SPELL in Modesto, California??!"

As for Jeremy, well, gosh, where do I start? I had the pleasure (?) of spending an evening with Jeremy and 100 of our classmates at the 20 year reunion for my graduating class this summer. Jeremy's attempts to be charming were sloppy, at best, perhaps from all the alcohol he was ingesting.

We chatted for awhile at the bar and then at my table. I asked him about life in Hollywood and what it was like to make movies. He was interrupted frequently and he bought a drink for everyone who stopped to say hello.

Ironically, Jeremy and I were the only "singles" at the reunion. So I guess it seemed natural to have the most conversation with him and he seemed game (and drunk enough) to play the "so what do you want out of life" game. Only his answers weren't very charming or precise and to be honest, I kept thinking that if I didn't know better, he could still be the short kid who worked the cosmetics counter at our local Macys. Really.

Still though, Jeremy is a super sweet guy who undoubtedly will go far in his Hollywood career.

And maybe at our next reunion, he'll have some deeper and more profound comments on Hollywood life. Or, he might bring an interesting date. Just last week, reported that Charlize Theron was his newest love interest. In any event, I've heard that "The Hurt Locker" is pretty brilliant and that Jeremy's character is spot-on. I wish him all the best in the Oscar race this Sunday!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Great Itallian Fall-Out

We went from jet lag to the hospital.

After two more sleepless nights after his dad's shift, Ben woke up with a 104+ fever on Sunday morning. Three hours of waiting in Urgent Care and the same diagnosis as last fall: bronchial infection with possibility of pneumonia.

Since Ben has already missed a LOT of school this year due to the first round of pneumonia and then for various trips with his dad, the doctor went straight for the hard core antibiotics, as in the five day treatment that knocks out everything quickly.

But there was still fun to be had! Especially at 2am, 3am, 4am and 5am. With a sweaty boy who can't breathe and a frustrated mom who desperately needs some sleep...

I downed a couple of cocktails on Sunday night while on a quick Mommy break. Bad idea. Guess who spent the entire day in bed on Monday? Call it extreme fatigue, exhaustion, stomach flu, and headache.

So where's my ex in all this? He is in Maui. That's right. One week in Italy, one week in Maui.

The ER doctor looked at me rather sternly and had the classic line: "Do you really think that Italy during the school year, during the winter - even - was a good idea?"

"No," I deadpanned. "But, his dad thought so."