Wedding day thoughts

I’m not posting any pics of newlyweds William and Kate, because I’m having a little watch party for the recorded royal wedding tomorrow morning. Really, it’s a chance to drink champagne and eat scones, and I never turn down the chance to celebrate.

I’m really not all that into the royal wedding, so I’m a little sheepish about having a watch party; however, if I’m going to do it, I’m gonna do it right, and I don’t want to see any pictures of any of the festivities before my little watch party.

Apparently this requires me to stay inside my house with the blinds drawn and the computer, TV, and radio switched off.

Went to the gym first thing this morning, to un-do some of the damage I’m going to do this weekend (I’m still celebrating my cancer-versary, after all). All the ladies in the gym were talking about royal wedding this and beautiful gown that. I told LeRoy I was having a little watch party and didn’t want to see any of the footage until then. First he grilled me about what I would be eating and drinking at the party, then he said, “Good luck — there are 3 TVs upstairs and you’ll be in front of them, on the elliptical machine, for 20 minutes.”

I reminded him that I’m as stubborn as a wild hog and if I say I’m not going to see any royal wedding footage until tomorrow, then you can take that to the bank. Yes, there are indeed 3 TVs upstairs, and they were tuned to CNN, ESPN, and whatever channel airs Regis & Kelly’s show. Two of the three were showing royal wedding footage (good old reliable “Sports Center” had NFL draft junk and baseball highlights). Thank you, “Sports Center!”

Although, I do have a bone to pick with SC, which plays on a seemingly constant loop at my house, thanks to the 11-year-old boy who resides with me. In this morning’s baseball footage, which I saw once at home and once at the gym, they dutifully covered the Red Sox’s 6-2 pounding of the Orioles, but they lost a golden opportunity and made the pitiful decision to show Adrian Gonzalez instead of  Jacoby Ellsbury.

redsox.com

WTH??

The baseball highlights are brief, and photo opps are precious. Nothing against A-Gon; he’s a stand-up player who’s a lot of fun to watch. But really?? Showing him instead of my boy crush, Ells? Terrible TV journalism.

Ells had a great game and is on a hot streak: last night he had 3 hits, as he had done the night before, and was the hero with a bases-loaded single up the middle to score 2 runs. Ells is 6-for-10 the last two games, and I predict even more great things for him.

Since Ells was robbed–along with the women of America–here’s the Ells shot for the day. I could post more, but I’ll be good.

You’re welcome, ladies.

I’ll be writing a scathing complaint to SC after I finish this post.

Back to the royal wedding.

I managed to not see any footage, a victory that matters to no one, but there it is nonetheless. I did get to thinking, though, about the other royal wedding in my lifetime, that of Charles and Diana

They tied the royal knot in July of 1981, and I had just turned 12. My family had recently traveled to London, and there was quite a lot of hub-bub about the grand event, and being an impressionable young girl, I thought the whole thing was very exciting. My mom and I got up at the crack of dawn to watch it live, London time, and I feel like a bit of loser for having my watch party the day after, but who the hell wants to come over at 3 in the morning? Even for champagne. 

Charles and Diana’s wedding seemed to be a fairy tale, with the grandeur of the monarchy and all the pomp & circumstance that goes along with it. They were elegant and lovely, although my mom couldn’t understand why her wedding dress was so wrinkled! I didn’t notice that, but did wonder if the fashion-forward Di ever looked back and regretted her hairstyle on that momentous day. I know I regretted mine.

Sadly, their fairy tale didn’t have a happy ending. Even though Di carried out her princessy duties with great elan, she never quite fit in with the other royals, including her husband. Her death in a car wreck in August 1997, at the age of 36, was tragic. Just tragic. That she was so young, and was just starting to find some happiness, and that she had two young boys who were the light of her life, is just so very tragic. But as we all know, tragedy knows no bounds and strikes randomly. 

She seemed to be a fun-loving mom who wanted her boys to be noble but also real. Now that I’m a mother, I know how hard it is to raise kids, period, much less royal ones. I’ve known plenty of kids who were royal pains, my own included, but these boys seem to be the real deal. They seem to know how to be serious about their official family duties but also lead full and individualized lives.

Of course, all this got me thinking about William on his wedding day, and how very much he must be missing his mama, despite all the excitement and the festivities. I’ve heard it said that William’s new wife shares some of Diana’s traits, and I hope that her legacy lives on through this young couple.

Marriage is hard, plain and simple. It requires hard work, even when one’s spouse is easy-going and fun-loving, like mine is. Carrying out one’s marriage under the microscope and in the spotlight must be even harder, as the world saw with Charles and Diana. I hope the newlyweds have an easier time, and I hope Kate learned from Diana’s example about how to remain true to yourself while fulfilling your obligations.

I’ll never forget watching Diana’s funeral, and seeing the millions of people lining the streets. Emotions were raw as a nation, and perhaps the entire world, mourned the loss of “the People’s Princess.” 

Watching those teenage boys, one of whom was about my own boy’s age now, walking  along the procession route for their mama’s funeral is one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen. The grace and maturity William and Harry displayed is a testament to the woman who raised them.

They had to have been so shocked, so sad, and so bereft, yet they knew the eyes of the world were upon them, and like their mama had done so many times, they bucked up and got on with it, fulfilling their duty like the princes they are.

The most indelible image of that day, for me, is this one.

The letter from William and Harry inscribed “Mummy” that rode atop the carriage that carried her coffin to Westminster Abbey.

Nosey-Rosey that I am, I would LOVE to know what those sweet boys wrote to their mama. Of course, I wouldn’t really intrude on such a sacred thing as that, but I am curious. I wrote a letter to my mom, to go in her coffin. Don’t recall one thing I said in that letter, but I hope I expressed the huge love, endless gratitude, utter grief, and bottomless loss I felt in that moment. Words are insufficient when it comes to expressing the most delicate yet most cardinal feelings.

And that, my friends, is why we need champagne. Lots and lots of champagne.


I’m over it

Yesterday was a bad day, but just for about half of the day. I was in a wicked bad mood, the cause of which remains unknown but the remedy of which is no surprise: a stiff drink in the company of good friends. I got some talking therapy from several sources, and with the assistance of some Stoli and tonic, all was right in my world once again.

It’s a good thing, because guest blogger and night nurse Amy H was going to charge me cash money for my bad mood. You may recall her referring to her $10 surcharge while sitting with me in the ICU last week. It was the day after my big surgery and she was subjected to my ranting about the extreme heat and pounding headache. I ran up a tab that day, and added to it yesterday. She kindly reminded me that it’s ok to crash around in a foul mood for a little while, but then get over it and get on with it, and she sent me a picture of her policy, in writing, that hangs in her kitchen.

Point taken.

Today is going to be a good day. It will, it will, it will.

It’s gloomy outside with thunder threatening, but the birds are still singing and congregating around Macy’s feeder in one of the trees in our front yard. It’s spring break in these parts, so my offspring are fanning out in search of entertainment and a respite from the rigors of 3rd and 6th grades. Macy, the little zookeeper, is going to day camp at the Lone Star Pet Lodge, which Trevor refers to as the Last Resort Pet Resort in a funny malapropism.

Macy will be tending to the animals whose owners checked them into the resort while they’re off on spring break adventures. We’re not sure exactly what her duties will be, but it sounds like an ingenious plan on the kennel owners’ part to both extort child labor and turn a profit. We pay them for our kid to do their work. How crazy is that? Crazier still is that I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Macy came home a part-owner of that place. She was definitely in her element when we walked in; we were greeted by a miniature Yorkie at the reception desk, and for the first time ever, Macy didn’t hesitate when walking into a camp. She didn’t hesitate, and she didn’t look back to tell me good-bye. Yep, she’s in her element.

Payton’s spring break adventure is of the roadtrip variety. My firstborn has a taste for the great outdoors and a longing to see some of our fine national parks. Sadly, he missed the great cosmic birth-order assignment that might have landed him in a camping and hunting type family, and ended up with a less-rustic and more beach-oriented family. Lucky for him, there’s Ed, our nature-loving BFF. He’s a fan of the roadtrip and is well-versed in all things national park, so he and Payton hatched a plan to drive to Carlsbad Caverns in the neighboring state of New Mexico. Payton and Ed will be on the road all day today en route to their base camp in Van Horn, TX, which is about 10 hours from here but close enough to Carlsbad to visit the caves. Payton is looking forward to the “guy’s trip,” seeing the sites and splendor of West Texas, exploring Carlsbad’s 117 caves, and consuming more junk food than his mama allows. With him gone, I don’t know what I’ll do without my daily infusion of Sports Center, but I’ll try to muddle through. My prediction: since Macy has exclusive rights to the TV, there will be a Wizards of Waverly Place marathon going on when she’s not at camp.

It’s definitely going to be a good day.


Blogging is like…

Blogging is like having children…you don’t have to be very smart to do it.

I’m making this wildly judgmental statement based on the itty bitty amount of research I’ve done since becoming a blogger.

That tag, “blogger,” still sits a little uneasily with me. I don’t feel like a blogger, and most days I’m pretty sure that what I have to say isn’t particularly important or interesting to very many people. But once I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the tender age of 40, I realized that there were some people who wanted to keep up with the latest on my situation, and that it is completely impossible to convey such news without blanketing and broadcasting. Thus, a blog was born.

It started out as rudimentary thing on Caring Bridge and grew into this.  While this is certainly a step up from Caring Bridge, I still don’t consider myself a blogger. Not that I have blogger’s block (as evidenced by my rambling posts), nor do I suffer insecurity. I simply consider myself a small fish in a big pond. I recently had a little look-see on the blogging scene. Took a peek into what’s out there, and wow, there’s some bad writing, boring topics, and strange people. I’m still a small fish in a big pond, but hopefully this fish writes well about cool stuff and isn’t too strange.

The amount of stuff I don’t know about blogging is vast. It’s humbling and overwhelming but also ripe with potential. Sorta like life. And really a lot like tennis.

“Really a lot” is one of my favorite phrases. Makes me want to watch Broadcast News again (the movie, not Katie Couric).

That’s the kind of thing you can do with a blog — blab on & on about your personal favorites, or complain about things you hate the most.

Top of my list today of things I hate: science fair projects and inappropriate advertising.

Not together, necessarily. Although maybe some kid could do a science fair project on how inappropriate advertising affects people. That kid could start by watching Sports Center, as my kid does every day of his life, and see what kind of filth and scum pops up in 30-second bites around the real stories.

Just this morning, right after a nice human-interest story on James Harrison, the Pittsburgh Steeler who has been called “the most violent man in the most violent of games,” was an ad for the new Matthew Perry sitcom. The ad featured a woman complaining to Matthew Perry about losing her underwear in his apartment, or some such nonsense. It may be a great show, and maybe this is a riveting storyline, but does it really have to be on Sports Center at 8 a.m.? Can’t they just run another Viagra commercial instead?

Another inappropriate advertising incident (or IAI, for short) that comes to mind: while watching America’s Funniest Videos on ABC Family network, my kids’ retinas were burned by the commercial for the new Ashton Kucher-Natalie Portman movie about hooking up. I’m not going to pander to this media monster by adding a link; if you want more info about this utter waste of acting talent, you are on your own.

Looks like a triple scoop of wildly judgmental rants today.

Need I reiterate that this supposedly family-oriented program on a supposedly family-oriented network was rudely interrupted by a grossly inappropriate ad?

Probably not.

And yes, I did contact “ABC Family” to complain. I’m sure they are busy writing me an apology letter contained in a Hallmark card with a gift card to my favorite restaurant accompanied by a bouquet of flowers with a mylar balloon that says, “I’m sorry.”

Moving right along.

Science fair projects make the list because the 6th grade boy who lives in my house came home from school yesterday with some rude news: the science fair project he thought was optional is indeed very much required.

Cue the frantic scrambling and keep your ears peeled for the screeching to a halt of any carefully-laid plans for the evening. The timing of such everyday calamities never ceases to amaze me. Macy and I were just getting ready to clean out her leopard gecko Cinko’s tank, a project I had been putting off far too long. Just as we were gathering up cleaning supplies and girding ourselves for this task, the calamity du jour erupted on the scene.

It took 3 adults, a trip to Hobby Lobby, a pack of D batteries, and lots of beer to deal with the science fair project snafu, and that shamefaced boy was up way past his bedtime, but we got ‘er done. I can say with absolute certainty that his project would make a Tiger Mother shake her head scornfully at the lazy and slovenly habits of my kid, but that’s ok. Those Tiger Mothers freak me out a bit anyway. But if you feel the need, you can read all about it here: http://www.amazon.com/Battle-Hymn-Tiger-Mother-Chua/dp/1594202842/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1296051025&sr=8-1.

On second thought, that looks kinda messy, so try this instead.

I told you I’ve been studying up on blogs.

It does help to have an in-house IT guru (thanks, Trev).

I have a lot more to say about Tiger Mothers but will save that for another day. Because today’s topic is…

Um, I’m not really sure.

It started out as one thing but morphed into something else. That happens here a lot.

Oh yes, now I remember: things I hate.

Or was it things I’m wildly judgmental about things about which I’m wildly judgmental? (hey, this blog has some pretty nifty features.)

Or was it how stupid science fair projects are and how they should be banned outright from all the public and private school systems in the world?

I have no idea.