Apr 29, 2011

Just My Cup of Tea

I can't explain why the Royal Wedding brought tears to my eyes this morning.  But wait, before I get started with this blog post I have to put in some disclaimers.  I know that not ALL women feel the same way about this.  Please don't take offense if weddings are not your thing.  I'm not casting aspersions on your femininity.   Likewise, please don't insinuate that there is something trivial or flighty about those of us who were excited about the wedding.  Isn't variety awesome?  We can all like different things.  Your thing doesn't get better just because you make my thing look stupid.  (Yes, I got pshawed by some ladies at work today.)

The easy explanation for the fervor over today's event is that all girls love a fairy tale wedding.  Most of us grew up with a mental filiing cabinet full of wedding ideas and plans stored away until needed.   Love that, hate that, that could work......  Colors, dresses, table settings, flowers......  I just went through this with my daughter.  She definitely knew what she wanted when she saw it.  A bride planning her wedding is like a general laying out battle plans.   The fact that my daughter is an engineer brought an added level of planning detail to the party, you should see her spreadsheets.  

Many women will try to copy as many of the wedding details that their pocketbooks can handle, or settle for a reasonable imitation. Etsy is a website for people to sell their hand-crafted or vintage items.  It's a really cool site.  Their daily e-mail today was titled "Get the Look" and was filled with items to help brides mirror Kate's look today.  At the very least Kate's choices today will set wedding trends that new brides will find hard to escape for years to come.  But you can't match the magic of today.  I mean Westminster Abbey ?  

For me the "dream wedding" is definitely part of it, but it's not the whole answer.  It was also about the monarchy. I love history.  One of my favorite books of all time was a history of the kings and queens of England.  Fascinating stuff, political intrigue, wars, affairs.  William is descended from a long line of men and women who were true, bold, conniving, ruthless, brave, stupid, every adjective you can name.  Through it all they have endured and the Brits love them.  It's sort of contagious.    I got goosebumps when William and Kate stepped out of the church and the crowd went crazy.  

Another reason this wedding really got to me is how obviously in love the couple was.  I don't care what kind of a wedding you're witnessing, that's powerful stuff.   I think Diana would be proud that her boy married for love and not out of duty after all she did to raise them as normally as she could.  

So as my husband complained about me watching the wedding this morning I reminded him of the snoozefest called the NFL draft that he watched last night.  Weddings of those in direct line for the throne of England just don't happen every day.  Cut me some slack.  I don't think 2 billion people tuned in to see if Detroit finally made a good draft pick.  To each his/her own. 

Apr 20, 2011

How about if I beg?

Oh how I long to open the windows and let some fresh air into the house.  Our climate confused planet is not cooperating though.  Winter just won't let go. It's been cold, rainy and we even had snow a few days ago. An inch or so that lasted about four hours until the dreary wet rain washed it away.  This is freaking ridiculous already.  I remember Easter egg hunts in the snow but they were always in March, not April. I should be wearing flip flops by now..... well, maybe not.  Though certainly sweaters should be replacing coats and hats by now.  No end in sight.  This cold rainy weather is supposed to linger for at least the next five days.

I want to go to the German Park and drink beer from buckets, eat bratwurst and spaetzle.  I want to play cards while lederhosen and dirndl clad teenagers clop around under the pavilion as accordions play polkas over the loudspeaker.  I want to watch old German ladies dance on the picnic tables as they slosh their beers around to the beat.  I want to see some German beer hall fights that I promise to do my best to stay out of.

I want to go to the dog park and find some young kid that is fascinated by Mario's frisbee skills, throwing it over and over again for him.  Finally giving up in exhaustion.  That dog will keep on going as long as there are frisbees to catch.  I want to watch Leo the pekingnese bark boldly at the dogs as they chase balls into the river.  Demanding that they stop making such spectacles of themselves.  I want to watch Chance sniff around the edges of the fence and pretend he doesn't hear me when I call.

I want to roll the windows down while I'm driving and turn the radio up really loud.  Nobody can hear you singing along if the music is loud enough.  I can't even hear myself.  I want to acquire that deep dark left arm tan from hanging it out the window.  I want to smell the rain as it first hits the hot, dry pavement.  I want goosebumps form the air conditioner instead of these record breaking cold temperatures.

I want to go golfing.  To ride around in the cart with both legs propped up on the dash, stubby little white socks poking out of my golf shoes.  Hanging onto the roof for dear life as my husbands zips around the course.  I want to get a hot dog at the turn.  I want to lose track of how many shots I've made and settle for a reasonable number to put on the score card.

I want to lay in bed at night and hear the crickets chirping.  Listen to the planes as they pass overhead.  I want to wake to the birds singing in my window.  I don't care how early they start.   Especially the one that sounds like the Muppets' Swedish Chef....... verdy, verdy, verdy...... I have to add the bork, bork, bork myself.  The Swedish bird doesn't sing that part.

It's not too much to ask for.  Isn't anybody listening?.  I want summer damn it!  I want it now. I'll settle for spring, please.

Apr 13, 2011

Such is Life

For various reasons I have been on an emotional roller coaster lately.  I have felt anxiety, anger, grief, sorrow and helplessness.  Some of the things causing these feelings were within my control so I calmed myself, said what I had to say and did what I had to do.  Some of these things were due to my mistakes.  I seem to make a mess of things sometimes.  Even though I’m a mostly well intentioned person I can often be thoughtless and careless.  I apologized, tried to make things better and hopefully learned from my mistakes.

Some of the things going on are totally out of my control, troublesome situations, not serious, but still emotionally draining.   I can not change the circumstance.  All I can do is change my reaction to it.  Adjust, adapt and make the best of it if for me and the others in the same situation.  This particular situation has a time limit. There is an end, not in the immediate future but out there on the horizon.  This one is going to be sort of an endurance contest, a test of my ability to control my temper over and over again so I don’t make a life changing mistake.    

The worst thing going on right now affects me only indirectly.  It is directly affecting the people that I love most dearly in the world.  There is nothing I can do but offer my love and support and be there if I’m needed.  I have no answers to offer about why life is so unfair.  Hell, it’s got me wondering the same thing.  I have no way to make this better as much as I wish I could.  This is weighing heavy on my heart and mind.  I think about it constantly.   I am coping by trying to be thankful for every day, for my loved ones and to not take anything for granted.  

Apr 2, 2011

I Think I've Got This Figured Out

My family is currently addicted to the game Settlers of Catan.  We've played three times so far.  Tonight will be the fourth time.  I haven't won yet and even though I'm a sore loser I still have fun.  It's sort of a cross between Risk and Monopoly.  There's some strategy involved and some luck.

We had a bit of fun the first night when we realized that everybody was stacking their game pieces  (settlements, cities and roads) in ways that corresponded with their professions.





Building is key.  You need resources to build.  You get resources from rolls that correspond to hexes you have buildings on.  Building is key.

You can also trade resources with other players.  At least until you get close to winning.  At that point nobody wants to help you advance.  They all turn on you.  Of course I've only witnessed this second hand.  I've never experienced it because I've never come even close to winning (pout - have I mentioned I'm a bad loser before?)  Trading keeps everyone involved and interested in every turn.

At any point that a 7 is rolled the robber is activated and anybody with over 7 resource cards loses half of them.  This is brutal when you roll it on yourself.  This keeps the incentive high to build instead of hoard cards.  Things move fast.

So, tonight I've cooked up some chili, baked a pineapple angel food cake and purchased some fruity malt beverages.  I think tonight is my night.  You see, I've read some strategy guides.  They're sure to help. Shhhhh....... don't tell anyone.  One of the keys to success is to keep a low profile while pointing out to everybody else how awesome someone else is doing.