Wednesday, May 04, 2011

school daze

Sarah asked me in the interview that ran yesterday about the three words I would use to describe my two kids.  I wish I had found this picture before I answered that question, because all you need to know about their personalities is laid bare by their expressions in this photo:

(Look, I'm going to talk about preschool stuff right now, even though I know this is one of the topics that inexplicably makes people irrationally angry, but hey.  I'm reckless like that.)

Mack's starting nursery school in June.  He's ready.  Frankly, he was ready months ago, but nursery school is expensive, and we needed Cal to be a little closer to finishing up his stint at private school (he'll be starting first grade at our local public school next year) before we started sending Thing Two into the money-vacuum that is pre-primary education.

Before we moved to Atlanta, we probably toured five or six preschools for Cal, mostly because we had no idea which schools were good or where the schools were or even where we would be living.  Also, Cal was our first child, and we were coming from Manhattan, where there is this curious notion that picking that one, perfect preschool will either make or break your child's entire future forevermore amen.  We picked the school we thought was the best, and Cal's been there for the past three years, though, as I said before, he'll be switching schools in the fall to the local public school that, among its other benefits (FREE), is only about five minutes away from our new house.

Because see, that's the main thing that we learned about sending your kids to school.  Obviously there are good schools and some schools are worth the sacrifice and commute (I had friends in high school that commuted up to two and a half hours each way just to get there every morning--it made my 45 minute single subway train commute look like nothing) but preschools?  Let's face it, most preschools are pretty much the same.  So if you don't have to drive a million hours each way to drop your kid off there, all the better.  I toured two schools for Mack before we picked one, and both were right close by.  One was closer.  That's the one Mack will be attending in May.

This is not to say that it's not a good school.  This place?  Is ridiculous.  They have computer class and foreign language and dance and they have this crazy water playground in the back that's just--well.  Mack may never want to leave.  But the best part of it?  The very best part?  They provide breakfast and dinner and all snacks at the school for all the kids.  Meaning they make the food.  Should I say that again?  WE DO NOT NEED TO PACK ANY FOOD FOR MACK TO TAKE TO SCHOOL.  Do you know how many hundreds of hours of my life I have spent cutting up grapes and packing little cheese squares and making sandwiches for Cal to take to school?  Do you know how many hours I will save by not having to do that for Mack?  "All meals and snacks provided" may be the sweetest words in the English language.

So that's Mack's nursery school in a nutshell.  It's three minutes from our house.  There's a ton of stuff for him to do there.  And we will never, ever need to pack him a lunch box.  If there's anything else we need to know about this place, I can't think of it right now.

*          *          *

More sightings of my book from around the country (and hopefully, soon, around the world):

Jamie from the VCU School of Medicine in Richmond, VA sent me this one.  She wrote, "I'm sure Hippocrates would give your book two thumbs up... if he had thumbs." Well played, doctor. Well played.

This one comes from Henry, my first Aussie reader (that I know of) to get his hands on a copy of the book.  Of course, he did have to fly into New York to buy it, but be that as it may, it's a proud day for Australo-American relations.  This shrimp's on the barbie for you, Henry.  (I SPEAK AUSTRALIAN, YES.)

This one's from Roxanna, who told me that she burned 2500 calories while reading my book on the elliptical.  2500 CALORIES.  Does this book give you super-powers?  Is it so utterly absorbing that while you're reading it, you can no longer feel pain?  Who can say, really, why not read it yourself and find out?  (Short answer: YES.)

Also, here is Roxanna's daughter, because she is adorable.  (Hopefully she's not reading the gross parts or any of the bad words.  Cal has read some of the book too, but mostly he just like the chapters that are about him. Egoiste!)

This cat right here in Corona, CA is so pissed that she can't read right now.  Pissed, and hungry.  Is my book a good present for cats?  Depends how many cats you have.  Each cat must have her own copy, though, or else they get jealous, and the resentments will tear your home apart.  (Thanks, Jenn!)

And this one, my favorite of the day, comes from Professor Miwa in Wellesley, MA, who has photographed my book with her Organic Chemistry students in the Wellesley College Science Center.  Oh, I learned so many important things in the Science Center.  And then I graduated and forgot all of it instantly.

Now, if I remember things approximately, probably at least 75% of this organic chemistry class are premeds or pre-medical professionals in one form or another.  Ladies, study well and work hard, and five or six years from now you too may be eating cold refried beans out of an emesis basin at 2:00am next to the hospital supply room!  REACH FOR THE STARS!  (And good luck on finals!  By the way, is it true that the answers to the Orgo 2 final exam are actually fiendishly encoded in the pages of the book like the damn DaVinci Code?  I can't confirm it...but I won't deny it either.)

Keep your photo submissions coming, either to my e-mail or on Facebook or Twitter.  And hopefully I will see some of you guys at the book events in the Northeast starting next week.  Did I mention that the reading at the Atlanta History Center will also have light refreshments and a cash bar?  A BAR IS THE THING WITH THE BOOZES ON IT.  Enough of that business and I'll hardly need to be funny and insightful at all!  Delightfully potted attendees--the pressure is off!


  1. Congrats on all the success! I love the book sightings -- very much like Amelie, except not with a gnome.

  2. I can't wait to get mine! I canceled my order from The Book Depository since they were only getting it out in August. I ordered from and should be getting it next week!

  3. Anonymous6:32 PM

    Got mine! AmazonMom program ROCKS with the whole two-day shipping fest! Enjoying the stories-- and now to figure out where to take the picture! The skinniest house in the united states? The queen mary? At the aquarium? hmmm...

  4. Wow, all of the above! :)

  5. Anonymous7:02 PM

    Okay, so would it be safe to say that Cal's personality is more like yours and Mack's like Joe's? Or is that a ridiculous oversimplification? You are very funny (obviously!). Are the kids funny too?

  6. Yes, Cal is a clone of me at his age. BUT EXACTLY. And I think that saying Mack is more like Joe is not a stretch. They have the same forehead too. (Which is to say: fivehead.)

  7. Mack looks so much like Joe in that second picture.

  8. The stars! I can almost feel them!!! (reaching desperately)

  9. Have tried to download my e-book but looks like it won't let me do that till May 11... :(

    Can't wait to read it! Will try to take a picture of the e-book version with one of my terracotta warriors (well, obviously, not a real terracotta warrior, just a miniature version of the actual things) to add to your collection of pictures from around the world!

  10. Anonymous8:23 PM

    Oh lord, the science center looks exactly the same. But all the students look like they were borrowed from middle school (I refuse to go by middle schools to confirm this).

    WORK IT, girl in blue dress who actually dressed up for orgo. Clearly a future dermatologist.

    Also, Professor Miwa...I was a mediocre student in your class, but the paper I wrote for Orgo II was something I'm still proud of, even after medical school.

  11. Anonymous8:49 PM

    If anyone in Sydney gets the book before me, and beats me to the photo in front of the Opera House / Harbour Bridge, I will cry.

    Just so you know.

  12. Hi,

    I just got this in my email:

    "I am pleased to let you know that we have just received notification that your pre-ordered book has been made available by the publisher.
    This Won't Hurt a Bit

    This book will be dispatched to you in the next few days."


  13. Anonymous10:01 PM

    That Wellesley picture made my day, too! I graduated in '09 and I'm STILL homesick.

    Excited to start reading tonight!

  14. Anonymous1:39 AM

    wasn't mack the one always frowning before? now he's a smiler?

  15. I'm thinking of getting a credit card just so I can order the book from Amazon (somehow I doubt it's coming out in Dutch anytime soon).

  16. Mack for some reason was always caught frowning in photos, but in real life his personality is much more like in the picture.

    I know, that Science Center photo gave me flashbacks too. (In a good way. Well, 80% good.)

  17. Renee7:18 AM

    I too received the email from Book Depository so excited! I may not be able to get a photo with a kangaroo since I might be the only Australian who doesn't have one in my backyard... hehehe and I am not actually sure Brisbane has any iconic features except maybe the Great Barrier Reef but the whole books arent waterproof may be an issue. I'll see what I can do

  18. Aussie Jen10:25 AM

    Yay I got my email too!!! hhmm I don't think Perth has any iconic landmarks either, except maybe the beach?? Now we just have to see how long it actually takes to get to us.

  19. Anonymous1:24 PM

    I just got my book, and I'd love to send a picture of it in a new habitat but my OS won't allow me to email you :(

  20. Anonymous11:16 PM

    You got more than 2 Aussie readers! Am originally from NSw, then moved to Victoria and now reside in Hobart (How's that for moving interstates!!). Am an emergency nurse who is more than a little wacky and I love it. I also love your book!!

    Thanks for the laughs over the years. Certainly looking forward to more!!


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