Jo + Jo

Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's really starting to bother me I'm not here more.

But it's because I'm elsewhere, writing my ass off. Or puking my ass off. (Thanks Great Parents Day Out Bug of 2012!)

So much of my life to chronicle, like Harlow's first Harry Potter! Declan is now parent-free two days a week! And why I think my son may be possessed by the Devil! And in keeping with the news, why I may have inadvertently destroyed my son's future sex life!

But as I have ACT 2 issues to break in my stupid screenplay, no time for idle catchup.

And because I have lots of Act 2 issues to deal with, of course I wrote something else entirely, a short called Jo + Jo for this contest.

I know, another contest right? I'm clearly developing a problem. But the prize for this one is irresistible. Basically, the W Hotel chain has partnered with Intel for a screenplay contest. They will select 3 winning advertisements shorts that are set in one of four W Hotels (Mexico City, Doha (go ahead and look that one up), Washington D.C. and the Maldives. THE MALDIVES!!!) and cleverly incorporate an Intel Ultrabook into the story. The three winning shorts will be filmed on location (on THE MALDIVES) by Roman Coppola or one his of fellow cohorts at the Director's Bureau, and you will be flown to the set to watch the process (I cannot stress enough, on THE MALDIVES!!) and then flown to the film's premiere. Not bad for a screenplay contest.

The Maldives. This is a place that is inaccessible to the average American unless you win the lottery, join a harem, marry the sultan of the harem, or win this screenplay contest because you oh so cleverly set it in the Maldives, a place you just happened to be thinking about wistfully THE DAY BEFORE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE CONTEST. If I win, I'm chalking that up to fate. If I lose, it's back to googling harems.

So I wrote a script. I rewrote it. I went to upload, and then recoiled in horror when I realized there was one more hurdle to clear.

I had to include a video of me. Talking about my script.

There is a reason I am a photographer. There is a reason I also lasted precisely two weeks in my LA acting seminar.

I am a total goober on camera.

But I think I may have come up with a way around it. Results below. Enjoy!

16 months

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's becoming clearer that I may have a baby superhero on my hands. One of the Dr. Banner/Hulk variety. Or Jeckyll and Hyde. Or a baby manic depressive. Declan is happy and giggly and sunshine except when he is not.

Which is often.

I have the child that will one day soon force me to abandon my full cart of groceries and take his thrashing, screaming self out into the parking lot because I did not let him eat a whole lemon. He is a screamer. He screams when he is delighted. More often that not, he screams when he is not being fed guacamole fast enough, or given both cars to hold, or is picked up when he wanted down, or placed in the car seat when he wanted to run free, or wants to hang out with you at 12:30 at night. He is a nightmare at restaurants. He regularly sets off our "glass break" alarm just for demanding breakfast.

He doesn't just scream. He thrashes. He bucks. He likes to bang his head on the ground. He is a tiny ball of fury. He is nuclear fission with with blonde hair and Robeez. He looks so much like his sister and yet is so, so NOT her.

Ornery pistol that he is, he's awesome when he's in a great mood. He still wakes regularly at 10 PM ish to giggle maniacally. For hours. On four separate occasions, I have staked out his bedroom, fully expecting to find the spirit of a long dead relative playing peek a boo with him.

The boy is A BOY. The two words he can say with any confidence are CAH! and BAH! which makes him sound like a New Englander obsessed with anything with wheels.

Exhibit A:


Exhibit B: (shortly after his head exploded)


And then there was yesterday. Our long tenure of being together everyday finally came to an end as his first day at parents' day out arrived. Fittingly, the day was finally perfect for strolling, he was in a beautiful, giggly mood, and he looked at me and I swear to God said "Mama" for the first time. In context. 15 minutes later I guiltily deposited him at day care, but thankfully there was no screaming, no bucking. Just a CAH! and a BAH! as I snuck away to clean my house unimpeded for the first time in 16 months.

Year 3 Week 1 Day 2

First day

So is this the year you start kindergarten?

It's the question Harlow has received from the mailman to her grandparents, and she has two standard responses: No! I go to Montessori! OR head down, um, mom you take this, because clearly these people do not realize they are dealing with a veteran.

I couldn't help feel some guilt as I looked at the First Day of School pics all over Facebook Monday. Harlow has been going to school full time since she was 3. Montessori may seem airy fairy, but they don't mess around. None of these two...three days a week affairs. They want those kids there everyday to establish routine, and who am I to argue with well documented structure?

The other unusual - and truly awesome - thing about Montessori is the class "environment." Her classroom is comprised of 3 to 6 year olds, so "preschool" and "kindergarten," traditionally these well defined, distinct concepts, are an amorphous blob of learning - an educational amoeba, if you will. At age 4, she was already sounding out words on the page and learning simple math, and at age 5, she'll be doing a lot of things her kindergarten compatriots will be learning as well. She just can't call it kindergarten.

So here she is, not going to kindergarten but headed back to school after being rudely awakened when sleeping in due to exhausting travel the day and night before. She fakes it well. She cried at drop off. At pick up, she hopped into the car and declared it was, like, the best. day. ever.