Friday, August 20, 2010

24 hours to Bar Mitzvah: final prep

One more day.

Who am I kidding? It's already here. You wouldn't know it, right now, if you were using the present scene in our house as a guide. If you had installed a spycam in our house, right now it would show me sitting at the kitchen table and the Jawa sprawled out on the living room floor, an empty plate the once held pancakes sitting on a tray in front of him. He's watching Cartoon Network, looking like he hasn't a care in the world. That is one cool customer.

We all know what's going on in Sandra Bullock's head. If you're reading this, you know what's going on in my head. But what about the Jawa, the boy king who seems to swing wildly between panic and indifference. First thing this morning, he stumbled out of bed this morning and said, simply, "Tomorrow."

The boy-who-will-be-a-man just finished watching cartoons and is in his room, building a fortress out of the Legos he keeps expecting to find boring and childish any day now. In two hours, I will teach him how to shave, lest he look at his Bar Mitzvah like a smallish extra from a movie celebrating the styles and mores of the 1970s.

Somewhere within the city limits, though, Sandra Bullock is charging around in a car holding both Bar Mitzvah supplies and our dog, Shack. Poor Shack didn't rate an invite to the Bar Mitzvah, so he's on his way to Pet Camp for the weekend. Don't waste too many tears on him. He loves Pet Camp and practically loses his mind every time he realizes he's going there. Besides, last time he was at Pet Camp, Sandra Bullock ponied up the extra $5 to buy him his own pancake breakfast. Pet Camp is a business lucrative enough for its owners to send four children to Brandeis Hillel Day School.

After she drops off Shack, she'll go to see The Hammer, who has graciously volunteered to bring several items somewhere for us. Honestly, I was briefed on the whole deal multiple times yesterday but right now I can't find the particulars.

Most of our ceremony and party-specific items are out there already, at the Golden Gate Yacht Club, at the hotel, en route to their staging area in back seat of The Hammer's whisper silent Toyota Camry Hybrid. Only oddballs remain here at home, drips and drabs of what was once a Bar Mitzvah powerhouse. These are the things easily forgotten, small in size but not importance. On the island in the kitchen -- four rolls of quarters (for the trolley ride from Tarantino's to the Hyatt), several innocent-looking envelopes that actually contain thousands of dollars, two DVDs that may look bland and unimportant but if we forget them will create a ten-minute gap where our video slideshow went, and a mysterious-looking battery charger that I can only assume has something to do with a camera or laptop.

This morning, Sandra Bullock burst into the bedroom and announced, "Bad news is coming from all over!" For a second, I flashed on the morning of September 11, 2001, when she burst into the room and said basically the same thing. So this time I was ready for anything and relieved when the bad news turned out to be that one of our guests was stuck in New York and another got bumped to a later flight. Both will be here in time for tomorrow night's party.

Meanwhile, I'm sitting here proofreading next week's Examiner real estate section, which feels oddly surreal, given the fever pitch of my immediate world. A few miles from here, the Examiner production team has no idea how this week is different from all the others. Here's a hint: it isn't because on this week we recline while eating.

Two days from now, our household now comprised of one woman and two men (and a very dense, short dog), I will close the electronic book on this particular project that I hate calling a "blog." You won't get enigmatic updates on your Facebook page and you'll suddenly find yourself with an extra fifteen minutes or so each day. What you do with that extra time is up to you. What'll be weird on my end is what I'm going to do with that extra time.

Here's how it will go: what I'm going to do with what for me is actually about 90 minutes each day is read this entire thing all over again, starting 165 posts ago, cringing and destroying the worst ones and picking out the best ones. Then I'm going to organize them, rewrite them and bolster them with the list of related topics and events that I've secretly been keeping for the past year. I couldn't give you everything up front; I had to keep a little bit for myself. And frankly there were some things that I just wasn't ready to either a) defend or b) talk about 24 hours after they happened. Besides, if I gave you everything you'd have no reason to buy the book that will hopefully appear on the shelves at your nearest Barnes & Noble next year. Or you can order it on Amazon.

It'll be a miracle if I get the chance to write in here tomorrow, which seems somewhat anticlimatictic. What good is counting down One Year to Bar Mitzvah when you don't finish it with Zero Days to Bar Mitzvah?

Check back on Sunday. When all the fanfare dies down, I'll jump back in here one last time. Come Monday, the Man-Jawa will be back at surf camp for a week before starting eighth grade. I'll be hammering out real estate stories on my laptop and trying -- probably in vain -- to drop the 10 or so pounds of inevitable Bar Mitzvah weight that shows up right about the time you also stop paying attention to how much money you're spending.

Sandra Bullock, of course, will already be in the midst of another project by then. You can bet cash money on that one.

My head is full of songs from "Fiddler on the Roof." 23 hours and counting.


Anonymous said...

Congratulation on pulling all this together - we know that all your and Sandra Bullock's work will manifest into a memorable weekend. - Kram

Jean said...

Mazel tov to everyone and enjoy the day/weekend!

The Hammer said...

It was all great. Looking forward to the next blog - One Year to High School. It's a natural.