Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Much ado about something ... and nothing

I run a reasonably quiet establishment here.

I'm not a big A-list money-making blogger. I have my peeps. They like me, and I like them.

But this week, for some reason, my comment section has become a hotbed of misinformation, misinterpretation and a lot of hate.

For some reason, my post from LAST week -- a post in which I basically said nothing except that I was hurting -- has generated a lot of controversy.

For some reason, people who have only commented once or twice in my almost three-year blogging career have decided to hang out here, ostensibly in the name of an open forum but instead spouting pronouncements of "fact" and "certainty" about how I feel about homosexuality as it refers to my sons and stepdaughter.

And for some reason, my comment section has thus become a forum for lesbian rhetoric and Janet bashing.

For starters, let us reiterate, as I have in the past, that this blog is but a teeny tiny slice of my real life. It is, in fact, only a recounting of the things I find amusing, touching or heartbreaking that I care to share with others. Like an iceberg, the things below the surface -- the things I don't splatter all over cyberspace -- are greater and deeper than what pokes through for general viewing.

So anyone who reads this blog and -- on the basis of this blog alone -- makes pronouncements of "fact" about how I operate on a day-to-day basis is blowing smoke.

And anyone who could make any kind of inference about lesbianism based on last week's post should probably cease and desist.

In point of fact, last week's post had NOTHING to do with sexual orientation. What it DID have to do with is the delayed "teen rebellion" of a 20-year-old who, in fact, threw a tantrum and some wild accusations about unrelated items that neither her father nor I could understand or accept.

So I hope it makes people comfortable to know that ALL of our children and their significant others were in attendance at my parents' 60th anniversary celebration. I hope it makes people comfortable to know that ALL of our children were treated to a lavish weekend with love and respect.

I hope it makes people comfortable to know that sexual orientation was a complete non-issue in any of this.

Because I still run a reasonably quiet establishment here.

And even if I didn't, it's still my blog and MY voice, and if people are uncomfortable with that, they should feel free to click the little red X in the corner.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Love and marriage go together like ...

Sixty years is a long, long time.

Come August, that's how long my parents will have been married.

Due to the difficulties of getting 22 people in the same place at the same time, we celebrated this month, instead of two months from now.

A four-day weekend with my parents, my two brothers, my sister, everyone's spouses and all 10 grandchildren, plus my oldest sons' significant others.

To be completely upfront about this, it was all my parents' doing. They planned it ... and paid for it. A beautiful holiday at a mountain spa. Lounging by the pool. Massages. Cocktails. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

It was like being in paradise.

At the heart of it were my parents. Two people who have known each other since the eighth grade.

Who married at the age of 20.

Who raised four children.

Who have been together for richer and for poorer ... in sickness and in health.

And who, after 60 years of sharing a life together, still look at each other with a fire that burns bright.

My parents and I have had our difficulties over the years.

But at the heart of it, they are role models for the ages.

And when all was said and done, Wonderhubby looked at me at the final celebration dinner Saturday night and grinned.

"I hope we can make 60 years," he said.

I grinned back, knowing that we have 53 more to go before we hit that milestone. "Sure, and we'll be saying 'I love you ... uh ... what's your name again??' "

He laughed.

But I hope we make it.

Crossposted at Mid-Century Modern Moms

Monday, June 21, 2010

The post where I say nothing -- and everything

Every once in awhile, I am speechless.

It doesn't happen often. The last time I was rendered incapable of having the words to express an important moment, Z-man spilled the beans on his sexual preferences.

This is not quite that dramatic, but still, it has been a weekend filled with drama, tears, angry text messages, more tears, temper tantrums by people who are too old to have them and more tears.

And I am processing.

It's something I will write about eventually. I'm sure I will have to.

Because blogging is like breathing. Every time I think I will just give it up, I realize that I can't.

But for the moment, I can't blog about this either.

Part of it is because I'm not sure I can stand listening to the haters again.

Part of it is because I'm still so raw that I can barely breathe.

And like I said, blogging is like breathing.

So ... not yet.

Crossposted at Mid-Century Modern Moms

Monday, June 14, 2010

It takes more than talent to be a star

Last weekend we went to see the Drama King shine as the title character in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown."

Last Monday, I wrote about how proud I was.

On Saturday, we went to see him a second time and yesterday, I posted photos of him from that closing performance.

But what I didn't tell you was what happened during that final show.

The Drama King was sick. No-voice-oh-my-God-what-am-I-going-to-do sick.

Yep, the leading man had laryngitis. He had a speaking voice, but no singing voice.

At. All.

This is a tough position to be in while performing in a musical.

He opened his mouth for his first song and croaked out a few words. The look of panic and self-disgust that crossed his face physically hurt me.

He managed to make his way through the song somehow and bolted off-stage to wait for his next cue.


He COULD have done this:

Lord knows he wanted to.

But instead, he did this:

He stood tall and talk-sang his way through the rest of the show. At the end, when he took his curtain call, THE CAST gave him an ovation.

It was an amazing moment. I hope he realizes what a phenomenal thing he did. The show must go on -- and it did.

Even without a singing voice.

Crossposted at Mid-Century Modern Moms

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Weekly Winners: June 6-12 (the iPhone edition)

Welcome to an exercise in iPhone photography ... not on purpose, but just because it worked out that way. My phone was handy, and my camera was not.

I also experimented with a fun iPhone app called Hipstamatic, which takes photos in the old analog style of plastic cameras. It's waaaaay cool. See if you agree:

Day rose:

Night rose:

My baby:

Next on the agenda, my baby in the air ... one handed (yes, it was hard for me to look):

And finally, my boy -- the Drama King -- who was a good man, Charlie Brown:

Now go visit the lovely Lotus, who is the mastermind behind Weekly Winners and who offers a list of other photographers who participate.

Monday, June 7, 2010

He's a good man, Charlie Brown

There is nothing like getting nachas from kinder.


That's a Yiddish expression (anglicized for our viewing audience) that means extreme joy/pride in one's children.

And that's me in a nutshell. This weekend I saw my son, the Drama King, perform the role that I have always said he was born to play:

That round-headed kid.

Yep, the title/lead role in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown."

If you have seen it -- or even never heard of it -- it is a collection of little scenes and songs based on the Peanuts characters of Charles M. Schulz. I saw it once, years ago, and have listened to and loved the music since.

And from the time he has been interested in theater, I knew my boy WAS Charlie Brown. It's a perfect part for him -- the self-deprecating, insecure, lovable loser with a permanent case of bad luck.

I wish I had a photo of him in his yellow shirt with the black zigzag on it. Maybe next weekend, when I go back and see him perform again.

The truth of it is that the show -- done in a 40-seat theater and produced by one of DK's friends -- was less than stellar. Some of the other performers are frankly -- ahem -- not endowed with talent. One, in fact, was unable to find the key of her song, picking one out of the air instead. The singer in me cringed noticeably.

But my boy? My boy shined bright.

This is not just mommy pride. He really is talented, having played lead roles in community theater and college plays over the years.

If only he would get over his fear of failure and actually go for the BIG productions.

Meanwhile, I'm just going to enjoy the glow of seeing him do what I KNEW he could do and, in doing so, making me -- and him -- happy.

After all,  even Charlie Brown knows that “Happiness is anyone and anything that's loved by you.”

Crossposted at Mid-Century Modern Moms

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Birthday dinner: what else is there to say?

It took more than two weeks for the Planet clan to find a time when the entire crew could get together for J-bear's birthday celebration.

It's not easy when everyone works -- and at least two of the kids have contradictory schedules on the weekends (Drama King works days; Z-man works nights).

And so it was that we gathered for a birthday repast on Memorial Day.

It was a location we have been many times before, so ordering didn't take a lot of thought.

Except for my margarita.

Because that had to be perfect. My children looked at me oddly, but after the weekend I had had (many many hours of working on a photobook for my parents' 60th anniversary -- with help from my sister and aggravation from my brothers!), I was in dire need.

I went with the blended pomegranate.

And it was good.

But that's not why you're here. I know better than that. You saw "birthday dinner" in the post title and don't care what I had to drink that night.

You want the good stuff.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

*As part of the 60th anniversary celebration, my parents are planning a getaway weekend shortly. Rocky and Fabulous Girlfriend are both invited to attend.*

Drama King: You know, Grandpa called me and asked if Rocky and I wanted a king-size bed or two doubles.

Evil Mother: He did NOT.

Drama King: Oh yes, he did. I really didn't know what to say to him.

Wonderhubby: Hey, if you could do it in two double beds, you could be in the movies.

Evil Mother: *slugs him HARD on the arm*

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Evil Mother: Z-man, we have to start thinking about how to celebrate your 21st birthday.

The Roo-girl: Hey, my birthday is next.

Drama King: Ohh, Roo-girl, you're going to be 16? You're finally going to turn into a boy!

TRG: *eyeroll*

Rocky: Hey, being a boy is better.

Drama King: Yeah, we only have one set of teeth.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

On a less -- uh -- biting subject ...

When J-bear turned 20, I thought it would be a measure of her growing maturity to leave behind the childhood nickname that was the basis for her blog name. I asked you -- my blog family -- to help me rename her.

And I set up a poll for you to choose among your suggestions.

But I wasn't prepared for the outpouring of "leave it alone."

So you have spoken, and I must answer.

J-bear it is.
All Rights Reserved. Planet of Janet, 2010.