what do you think…

…about concussions and football?

I’m not a sports fan myself so I’d just as soon see the game go away. In theory. I say that because I understand that football, and other contact sports, are acceptable outlets for aggressive behavior. Since prehistoric times man has had to use brute force to survive. Times have changed, but man’s primeval behavior hasn’t gone the way of the dinosaurs.

The over-arching problem is the millions of dollars the NFL dangles before would-be prospects looking to play pro-football. Most concerning, however, is that parents wholeheartedly encourage their sons to play a game which, according to recent statistics, puts their lives at risk. Is the money worth it?

…about bringing trade schools back?

In our rush to outdo, or at least keep up with, China and other countries technologically, America has placed tremendous emphasis on math and science. Our children are pushed to excel academically in order to secure jobs with Microsoft, Apple and the like. As has always been the case, not every child is suited for college.

Trying to force square pegs into round holes is as implausible today as it was in generations past. A child who is more adept with his hands is not going to be happy sitting at a computer all day. Forcing youngsters to pursue careers in the hopes that they will be set financially, can set them up for failure in the long term. Besides which, all the jobs for which they might be better suited are being shipped overseas. Meanwhile, folks who might be happier in those blue collar jobs are beginning to form a new class of “have nots.” They are the ones clamoring for a return to the good, ole’ days when they could “pull themselves up by their own boot straps.”

…about life imitating art…or real life imitating reality tv?

With the media’s constant hype about Donald Trump’s steady rise in the polls, it makes one wonder…”What in the world?” This morning it finally dawned on me…reality TV may have more to do with it than we might like to think.

Look at Barbara Walter’s choice for the most fascinating person of 2015. Caitlyn Jenner!

(Photo…businessinsider.com)

Yes, I get that she champions the gay-lesbian community but that’s primarily because of her celebrity on reality TV. By comparison Johnny Weir, a well-known, gay American figure skater, does not share the same mega-watt platform as former Olympic track and field star Bruce Jenner aka…Caitlyn.

Who would have thought that the Kardashians and the Housewives and the Bachelor would still be with us…years later? And what about Abby Lee of “Dance Moms” fame? My daughter, a professional dancer, cringed whenever she caught a segment of that reality show. How those mothers could allow that evil woman to treat their daughters as she did is unfathomable.

I must confess to watching those shows now and then, especially since they dominate much of what’s available on TV now. I’ve done so with fascination and disbelief. And perhaps that’s what most viewers find intriguing about reality TV. How can these people put their lives out there for millions to see? Do viewers relate to the flaws…the gaffes…the ridiculous lives? Or are these reality stars so far outside our realm of what’s normal, that we watch in disbelief, our mouths wide open?

Is that then, Trump’s appeal? A reality star transcending the small screen into the arena of real life politics? Looking for our votes as…favorite reality star of all time? A vote for Trump as President is akin to saying he’s won the Oscar of all Oscars?

So again I ask you…

…what do you think?

………hugmamma.

 

 

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living her best life…#23

Several days ago, Pat emailed me the following which was indeed heartwarming. I’m sure you’ll agree…

A BEAUTIFUL GAME, FOOTBALL…

That’s what they call soccer. I don’t really know why. Perhaps it’s because football is the universal language of sports, played passionately around the world.

Soccer can be brutal just like other sports. However it can also lessen cultural and religious differences since the referee’s call is pretty much absolute.

The other day my sister Mary text me  to say she’d been talking about me with a co-worker. When Mary mentioned that I had multiple myeloma and amyloidosis, the woman said that her son’s soccer team had just been told about someone with the same diagnosis. Upon hearing this the team decided to dedicate its upcoming game, as well as the rest of its season to that person. Thinking it was just too coincidental, Mary asked the person’s name.

Turns out it was me.

The MPI soccer boys wore white armbands in my honor and won the game 9-0!

I don’t know Mary’s co-worker personally. Her son must have moved up to Varsity after my son Aiden graduated. When I heard what the team did, I was so touched. I didn’t know what to say. 

It’s difficult to put into words how thankful I am for all the people…the different circles of friends who are praying for me and my family, and offering to help in any way they can.

The last two years Aiden was in high school, I had been a team parent. Because of that I came to know a lot of other parents really well. It came with the territory. They helped with fundraising, traveling, potlucks and other events, as well as providing drinks and snacks after every scrimmage and every game. And they ALWAYS came through…BEAUTIFULLY!

Because of the parents…the coaches could coach…and the boys could compete. As a result the team won the Division II State Title last year, and have a REALLY good shot at it again this year!

So long as I’m feeling well, my family and I plan to watch the team compete in the state tournament next month. Before then, we might even be able to attend one of their last games.

I’m truly blessed to know all of them…the players…coaches…and especially, the parents who have become such wonderful friends. They are coming through for me again!!!

And to think it all started because our sons played soccer together…

…a game spilling over into real life…

…beautiful indeed!

………pat…and hugmamma.

 

this…12th man

Not normally a football fan, I admit…I was caught up in the thundering tsunami that was the 12th man as it made its way to the Super Bowl.

That the outcome was not the event we had hoped for does not, in fact, dispel the gigantic wave and its accompanying roar that came crashing down in Arizona. And like the tsunami that caused seismic damage to Japan and its nuclear power plants, the Seahawks weighed in as a heavyweight contender. 

Russell Wilson, in only his third season as a pro quarterback, gave seasoned veteran Tom Brady something to think about. Wilson can only get better, as Brady surely has in all the years he’s been quarterbacking.

I feel as much for the ardent Seahawks fans as I do for the players themselves. For all their sake, I wish the team could have brought home the win. Fans and players alike did all they could to make it happen. No one can fault their fervor or hard work.

While the media replays that game-changing moment over and over and over again, perhaps it’s good to remember other more significant life-changing ones.

Pat’s battle with Multiple Myeloma and Amyloidosis.

Greg O’Brien eventually succumbing to Alzheimer’s.

The Japanese reporter slain by Isis.

Syrian refugees fleeing their homeland by the thousands. 

Jewish people once again facing annihilation at the hands of mad men.

African natives dying from ebola.

The havoc being wreaked upon the earth because of environmental changes caused by man.

Innocent lives lost because of crazed gunmen.

Young folks being bullied into taking their own lives.

Veterans returning…only to face death on the home front.

And the threat of another World War…as the Middle East continues to unravel.

There’s always another Super Bowl to win next year…

…but what will happen to the world in the interim???

………hugmamma.

bullying…adults, take heed

Gosh darn! Why can’t the NFL leave the Seahawk’s Marshawn Lynch alone???

Yeah! I get he’s suppose to honor his contract about talking with the media like his fellow NFL football players. No matter the circumstances, however…bullying is bullying! Plain and simple.

The message sent to our children is that…it’s okay for adults to bully one another, especially when millions of $$$ are at stake. 

As often happens with adults, we like to think we’re above the lessons learned as children. “Been there. Done that. Now I’m all grown up so I don’t have to do that no more.”

Better we try to teach the next generations to…think outside the box when circumstances call for it. 

Can we finally dump leftover Victorian Era stupidity which…hammered round pegs into square holes…and…square pegs into round holes? 

Haven’t we yet learned in 2015 that no two human beings are alike? 

So if Marshawn Lynch can’t make small talk…which some of us can garner Oscars for…then let the man do something else which might satisfy the contract. For goodness sake’s! Even his teammates are willing to cut the guy some slack. 

So it’s not like Lynch is going to commit suicide over something stupid like this, but can we recognize why teens pushed far enough end up taking their own lives?

This is no different.

Although the NFL, and those of the same mindset, will undoubtedly hem and haw…and hide behind their standard speak…”Well, if we make an exception for one, then we’re setting a precedent, and then the whole thing starts falling apart.”

As far as I’m concerned that’s just lazy talk.

It’s too much trouble and too much money to “think outside the box.” 

The NFL and its rules are set in concrete.

So if Marshawn Lynch can’t keep his mind on the game…and his eye on the ball…it may be due in part to his being bullied. 

Something to remember the next time the NFL and the media get up on their soap boxes denouncing bullying by their players.

And something we adults need to reflect upon when…

…another kid commits suicide.

………hugmamma.

not a football fan…

…normally. However, Russell Wilson and his Seattle Seahawk team mates could definitely steer me towards becoming one.

Unlike my husband and daughter, I’ve no stomach for watching guys body slamming in order to make off with the football…and the game. However, there’s an added element of anxiety in the case of our Super Bowl heroes.

I hate to see them lose!!!

Obviously I’m not alone in this, but for me it’s like I’m Russell Wilson’s mom or something. I can’t bear to see him fall from grace, if you will.

For one thing the guy’s small to be playing pro football, only 5’11. That’s my husband’s height, for heaven’s sake! And the fact that Wilson’s the quarterback, the guy calling the shots on the field, is quite a feather in his cap.

It’s hard to believe Wilson was the 75th pick in the third round selection. The Seahawks soon discovered what he was made of though, promoting him to their main quarterback shortly after hiring him.

His mom must be bursting with pride. She must also be pretty scared every time he gets squashed by a 6’5″, 250+ pounder coming at him.

Holy moly! I’d be wound up tighter than a ball of string if I were Wilson’s mom.

What impresses me about Wilson apart from his uncanny ability on the football field, including the smarts to shift gears in the moment, is his seeming humility off the field. Not that I’ve witnessed it in person, but from what comes across on TV he seems disinclined to hog the limelight, preferring to credit others with their fair share of the glory.

Like other professional athletes serving as role models in their communities, Wilson is involved in charitable work.

Wilson is an active volunteer in the Seattle community. During the NFL season, Wilson makes weekly visits on his days off to the Seattle Children’s Hospital, and has also visited with soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.[19][119] In the offseason, Wilson hosts the Russell Wilson Passing Academy, a youth football camp, in several cities. In 2012, proceeds from the camp went to the Charles Ray III Diabetes Association, for which Wilson is the National Ambassador.[120][121][122] Since 2013, Wilson has partnered with Russell Investments for its “Invested with Russell” program, which donates $3,000 to Wilson’s charitable foundation for every touchdown he scores.[123]

Wilson co-hosted a charity golf event along with NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne at Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Washington in June 2014 which raised over $220,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Not without his own baggage, however, Wilson is divorced from his long-time sweetheart after only two-years of marriage.

Perhaps what sets Russell Wilson apart from many black, superstar athletes is the fact that he wasn’t the product of inner city violence and family dysfunction. According to Wikipedia…

Wilson was born in Cincinnati, Ohio[13] and grew up in Richmond, Virginia, the son of Harrison Benjamin Wilson III, a lawyer, and Tammy T. Wilson, a legal nurse consultant.[14][15][16] He has an older brother, Harrison IV, and a younger sister, Anna.[17] Wilson started playing football with his dad and brother at the age of four.[14]

His racial background is mostly African American, though he also has some Native American ancestry.[18] His great-great-grandfather was a slave to aConfederate colonel and was freed after the American Civil War.[19] Wilson’s grandfather, Harrison B. Wilson Jr., is a former president of Norfolk State Universitywho played football and basketball at Kentucky State University. His father played football and baseball at Dartmouth and was a wide receiver for the San Diego Chargers preseason squad in 1980. Wilson’s brother played football and baseball at the University of Richmond, and his sister is considered one of the top high school basketball prospects in the country.[20][21][22]

Wilson’s father died on June 9, 2010 at age 55 due to complications from diabetes.

Just like any mom, I’m hoping Wilson continues to do himself proud. I’d like to think his solid upbringing will always be there guiding him through thick and thin.

I pray the morals he learned as a youngster never abandons Wilson, allowing him to fall prey to the overwhelming materialism that ensnares so many in professional sports.

I guess I’m just a proud mama.

…even if i’m not russell wilson’s. 

………hugmamma.

(Wikipedia photo)

 

i hope you dance…

Early this morning, 4:30 a.m. to be exact, my husband drove our daughter to the airport for her flight to Toronto at 6:55 a.m. She’s off on a whirlwind tour of job auditions. After a couple of days in Canada, she heads to Chicago for a week of dance classes at a prominent studio where she will also audition for a position with the resident company. From there she heads to Atlanta where she’ll take classes with a company with whom she might want to work.

There’s a sign hanging in our dining room which reads I Hope You Dance. It’s occupied the same space for quite some time. Regardless of the changing decor to suit the seasons, that sign stays put. It reminds me, and my daughter, that as long as she has a passion for her art my husband and I will do everything we can to support her. 

It takes a lot on all our parts for my daughter to realize all she desires with respect to her profession. She must continually hone her talent and skills; and we, her parents, must be willing to pick up the slack financially. As long as she continues to draw the attention of people at the top in dance, we feel she has a shot at doing what she wants, where she wants, for as long as she wants. Because of our faith in her, we’re willing to forgo luxuries for ourselves in order to sustain our daughter’s dream of dancing until her body gives out or her passion for performing wanes.

What greater gift can we give ourselves than to have our daughter push past obstacles time and again to occupy the place God meant her to have on His earth?

Since neither of us was born into the lap of luxury, my being the youngest of 9 and my husband being the eldest of 12, we want for very little as adults. The fact that our daughter blest our marriage after 16 years is a miracle for which we have never ceased being grateful. That we can celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is a gift that keeps on giving.

As any parent of an athlete intent upon making his or her sport a lifetime commitment will tell you…it ain’t easy. I talk to myself, a lot. I argue both sides of every issue. Of course I’m always prejudiced in favor of my daughter. What parent isn’t? Nevertheless I also look at the greater picture and I never, ever ignore reality. At the same time, I choose my words carefully so as not to snuff out the flame that burns within my daughter’s heart for what she loves. And I always remember that she’s an adult, almost 28. She must live her own life. If my husband and I support her endeavors it’s a choice we make freely…no strings attached. Ever.

The greatest lesson I learned as a result of both my mother’s and my mother-in-law’s parenting is to never expect anything in return for what I give my daughter freely and willingly.

My mom’s love came with an entire flotilla of spider webs; my mother-in-law’s love welcomed me back time and again like a sparkling, refreshing fountain from which I could drink whenever I thirsted.

My daughter probably saw both tutus (Hawaiian for “grandma”) a little more than a handful of times. Her fondest memories are of my mother-in-law. Of my own mom, my daughter retains sketchy remembrances of a depressed, frustrated old woman.

Because my mom was all I had growing up, my love for her cannot be severed. She and I shared one another’s lives the longest, most of my older brothers and sisters having left home while still young to make their own way in the world. So while I don’t condone how I was raised, I don’t fault my mom for doing what she needed to survive after my dad died. I only knew that my own daughter was going to go her own way with all the love and support I could muster.

And whatever she does with her own life……is for her to keep…or share as she sees fit. Knowing her as well as I do, I’m certain…

…she’ll always share her life and her God-given gifts…without reservation…

………hugmamma.

...one of my favorite shots of my precious daughter...by martin o'connor photography

…one of my favorite shots of my precious daughter…by martin o’connor photography

trickery over artistry…

Scott Hamill is undoubtedly correct in siding with the Olympic judges who awarded the 2014 gold medal to Russian ice skater Adelina Sotnikova. After all, he and they are the experts.

I’m no expert, however I’m entitled to my own opinion. And in my opinion, South Korea’s Yuna Kim was more deserving of the top prize. 

Sotnikova was, without a doubt, the more athletic of the two women. Aesthetics aside, for we all have our own preferences, the Russian competitor seemed to throw in as many jumps as she could muster beyond the two minute mark just to clinch Olympic gold. The beauty of ice skating went by the way side. All I saw were limbs flailing every which way as Sotnikova hurried  from one jump to the next. While I had been striving to apply some meaning to her movements, my efforts came to a sudden standstill when it became obvious that she was skating to beat the clock with all manner of trickery.

Kim, on the other hand, concluded a perfect free skate. Not only that but she was breathtakingly beautiful, exactly what one expects of a champion. She was not playing to the crowd, although she does that unintentionally. I’m certain the viewing audience on hand and at home held a collective breath, expelling it only minutes later in wondrous awe.

Watching the program with my daughter, we couldn’t help comparing the evolution of tricks as a mainstay for ice skaters and ballet dancers alike. The higher the jumps, the better. The more spins, the louder the applause. The standard of excellence has definitely undergone a transformation from the ice skating performances of Peggy Fleming to the current moves performed by Adelina Sotnikova.

In ballet we had Anna Pavlova…

For a very long time Anna believed that her technical proficiency was curtailed by her physical abilities until one of her teachers, Pavel Gerdt, told her, “Let others perform acrobatic tricks. The thing you consider to be a shortage in reality is a rare gift which singles you out from thousands.”

Anna graduated in 1899 at the age of 18, and her graduation performance in Pavel Gerdt’s Les Dryades prétendues (The False Dryads) was so successful that they were allowed to enter the Imperial Ballet Company. Anna Pavlova was accepted as a coryphée – a ballet dancer ranking above a member of the corps de ballet and below a soloist.

In the next several years she performed in such ballets as The Pharaoh’s Daughter, Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadère (The Temple Dancer) and Giselle. The public at the time was used to academic ballet performances, and Pavlova’s different style which paid little heed to strict academic rules made a splash. She could dance with bent knees, bad turnout, misplaced port de bras and incorrectly placed tours, but her amazing physicality and the spirituality of the characters she created delighted the public and impressed critics.

Currently, ballet schools and companies are placing a great deal of emphasis on tricks. Gelsey Kirkland, an acclaimed ballerina who now coaches touched upon the subject in an interview.

K: Are there any specific areas of technique you like to focus on?
G: The explosion in bravura technique over the past several decades has been fantastic and I would certainly like to learn some of those tricks! But other, more subtle areas of technique have perhaps been neglected. What I try to do is to see where the need is, and one of the needs seems to be in exploring and respecting the boundaries of classical port de bras and explaining it with an artistic perspective. I like to help people find the beauty inside the restrictions.

 
K: Can we talk about the training system in America?
G: I believe the American training in general is not rooted enough in European tradition. There is no national system of training, as in Russia, to prepare people for the great classics. A training system needs to integrate technique, style, mime, acting, character dancing, and historical dance. These things are essential to putting the puzzle together. The focus of today’s ballet training is often primarily athletic. Beautiful port de bras and épaulement however do not appear out of the blue. They need to be built into the training.

(- See more at: http://www.dancemagazine.com/issues/September-2005/Gelsey-Kirkland-Speaking-from-the-Heart#sthash.opj9htrA.dpuf)

Athleticism and artistry should be given equal consideration in both ice skating and ballet. To give one more weight over the other is to favor one type of skater or ballerina over another. In sports that set themselves apart from football, basketball, soccer, hockey and the like, there is an expectation of finesse and refinement. More than that, ice skating and ballet at their best should involve the audience in a story. We should journey with the individual from beginning to end, swept along in their own personal adventure of excitement and hope.

I rode the tide of Yuna Kim’s ecstasy basking in the glory that should have been hers. I wasn’t so moved by Adelina Sotnikova who left me flat and wondering.

…there’s truth in beauty…and beauty in truth…

………hugmamma.

seahawks all the way!!!

I’m not a foot ball fan, even though I was a high school cheerleader. For me it was more about leading the crowds in cheering our team onto victory.  And, of course, there was the especially close proximity to the players. At the time I was dating the captain.

With the Seattle Seahawks winning streak thus far, football has once again propelled itself front and center in our household.

The difference, however, is that our daughter is home to share in the good times with her dad.

When she lived in Atlanta and Tennessee, our daughter joined friends at a few of the local football games.

Having gone to a high school conservatory where she majored in ballet, our daughter didn’t partake of the normal social scene most high schoolers experience. Nonetheless, she took to football like a natural, although hockey is her first love.

As a Christmas gift for her dad, our daughter purchased tickets to the last Seahawk season game. It was a father/daughter day they’ll never forget.

Because I never knew my dad…he died when I was one…I’m 100% behind my husband and my daughter having a great relationship. And because the Seahawks did their part in nurturing that father/daughter bond, I say…Seahawks all the way! 

…bring back a superbowl win!!!Photo: We're going to the SUPERBOWL!!! #GoHawks……..hugmamma.

billy crystal…a gem!

I’m in the midst of reading Still Foolin’ ‘Em…Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell are My Keys? by stand-up comic and actor, Billy Crystal.

Cover of "City Slickers"

I was never really a fan of Crystal’s until I saw him in the film City Slickers. Suddenly, he was on my radar.

That’s not to say my eyes light up as they do when Cary Grant or Sean Connery appears on the TV screen. But these two men have nothing over Billy Crystal when it comes to zinging those one-liners, with nary a flinch in his face muscles. The man is a born natural. I don’t think he’d mind if I likened him to one of his idols, Johnny Carson.

Crystal’s autobiography made me laugh from page one.

March 14, 2013, my sixty-fifth birthday. I got up that morning, padded over to the bathroom, threw some water on my face, looked in the mirror, and my uncle Al was staring back at me. My scream brought Janice, my wife of forty-two years, running in. I kept yelling, “HOLY SHIT! What the fuck happened to me?” Somehow, overnight it seemed I had turned from a hip, cool baby boomer into a Diane Arbus photograph. I looked at Janice for an encouraging word, for a hug, for an “It’s okay, Billy, you look great. It’s an old mirror.” All she did was glance down at my robe, which had opened up, and ask: “When did your pubic hair turn gray?”

I had settled into my side of the bed and had barely begun reading, when I burst out laughing. Of course hubby asked what had set me off. Never in need of a nudge, I proceeded to read him the first paragraph. I continued to read excerpts I found particularly funny, forcing him to interrupt his own reading. My husband got a reprieve when I decided I’d better go to bed, or I’d be up all night with…Billy Crystal.

Did you know that Crystal was lifelong friends with Mickey Mantle, Muhammad Ali, and Howard Cosell? “What” you might ask “does he have in common with those iconic sports figures?” Well, I’ll tell you.

Impersonating…Cosell interviewing Ali and Ali responding to the sportscaster’s questions…catapulted Billy Crystal onto the world-wide stage. And it made him , in Ali’s words “…my little brother.” In fact, when Crystal informed Ali that a certain country club didn’t allow Jews, Ali never patronized the club again. 

Wheaties/Muhammad Ali 2.15.12

Billy Crystal made his “…network television debut on Cosell’s short-lived variety show on ABC.” Their friendship grew over the years as a result of their attachment to Muhammad Ali. Seated next to one another at Cosell’s funeral, Ali asked Crystal 

“Do you think he’s wearing his hairpiece?

I had to hold in my laugh. “I don’t think so,” I replied.

“Then how will God recognize him?”

“Once he starts complaining, he’ll know,” I said.

We both shared a muffled laugh. “He was a good man,” said Ali…

The comedienne’s relationship with Yankee great, Mickey Mantle, traversed a long and sometimes bumpy road. You see, Mantle was a life-long alcoholic. Suffering under the weight of feeling he’d never measured up to his father’s standards, Mantle found comfort in the bottle. Only when his sons, Danny and David, themselves recovering alcoholics, convinced their father to get help at the Betty Ford Center in 1994 did Mantle finally beat the “devil” in the bottle. He couldn’t, however, beat liver cancer which took him before he had a chance to really enjoy his newfound peace.

Español: foto de Mantle NY Yankees

The Anti-Defamation League honored Billy Crystal as “entertainer of the year” in 1995. They awarded him an original seat from Yankee Stadium, which had been renovated. A rarity, the wooden seat was the same as those Crystal had sat in back in 1956. The seat number, 7, had been Mickey Mantle’s. Later, the ballplayer inscribed the relic…” ‘Billy, wish you was still sittin here and I was still playing. –Mickey Mantle 6/7/91.’ ” Years later one of Mantle’s baseball gloves from the sixties was up for auction. Crystal bought it and since then has cherished both mementos in his own private Hall of Fame. Of Mantle, he said

When the ’61 Yankees approached the casket as pallbearers to lead their teammate away, I lost it. That was my team, now all in their sixties carrying the casket of their fallen prince.

Maybe it’s the baseball magic. When Dad rolls a ball to you for the first time and you roll it back, it starts; but then there comes a time when you don’t want Dad to throw it to you–you want Mickey to. I got that chance.

While Billy Crystal shmoozed with some of the all-time greats, including the object of his boyhood fantasies…Sophia Loren…he doesn’t seem so far-removed from common folk, like you and me. In fact, we could be him if we were able to be funny…

…in front of millions…as a stand up comic…

…i’ll pass………hugmamma.

Billy Crystal

Billy Crystal (Photo credit: Bob Bekian)

 

computer “catfish”

English: Photo of Notre Dame linebacker Manti ...

English: Photo of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o taken in 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Media coverage of the Manti Te’o brouhaha continues to dominate the news. It’s up there with President Obama’s cabinet appointments, the resurgence of the Egyptian uprising against the government, and Apple’s tumble from atop Wall Street’s pyramid.

I cringe whenever the pundits recycle the Notre Dame star football player’s romance with a fictitious, Internet girlfriend.

Being from another time, another generation, it’s difficult to comprehend a serious, romantic relationship where the parties have never met in person, let alone embrace one another.

Call me old-fashioned.

The Dating Game

The Dating Game (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just as I’d prefer to try something on for size before buying it, I’d like to spend some time with a guy before taking him home to meet the folks.

My husband and I dated for 3 years before we got engaged. Early on in our relationship, I broke off with him. For a week I vacillated between committing or quitting. I’m sure I drove him crazy, calling every day to explain my dilemma. Even as my best friend, he couldn’t counsel me as to what I should do.

Obviously, I stayed. Four decades later we’re still in love…and still best friends.

Computer dating can work. My daughter’s friend is a prime example. She struck gold on the first try. Her eharmony match is now her husband.

On the flip side, there’s catfishing. 

A malicious by product of the Internet, catfishing draws an unwary user into an intricately created web of deception. A mountain of lies ensures the victim’s entrapment. But like a house built of cards, the inevitable happens…it all comes tumbling down.

English: Native Hawaiian schoolchildren around...

English: Native Hawaiian schoolchildren around 1900. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being a native Hawaiian, I can’t help but wonder if native folks are more susceptible to being bushwhacked? Are we so gullible as to let others usurp our land…our hearts?

…manti te’o…in love with a computerized woman…daft? or dumb?

………hugmamma.

let your spirits…soar

Storytellers abound. All we need do is pause, breathe deeply…and listen.

Sometimes it also helps…to open our eyes.

As with the story of an 80 year-old, deaf Canadian whose canvas is the sky and whose paint brushes are…kites.

His “artwork” draws applause…in the form of hands held high…so he can see and know…that an appreciative audience is thrilled by his artistry.

One kite in each of his hands…and one tied to his waist…the “artist,” skin leathery from hundreds of hours in the sun…”paints” like the great master he is.

The accompanying music combines to create…a beautiful ballet, whose movement…even my daughter would relish applying to dance.

…simply…breathtaking…

………hugmamma.

God and…football?

A photo of Tim Tebow at the US Army All-Americ...

Image via Wikipedia

Not one of my favorite pastimes to be sure. Too long…watching men chase down a ball…back and forth…back and forth…back and forth. I’m not one for sitting around much. Too many things to do to be a couch potato. But give me a nice Master Piece Theatre series on PBS, and I’m hooked…no commercials to deal with either.

I’ve heard all the to-do about Denver Bronco quarterback Tim Tebow. He’s an attractive, young man in a football jersey as well as a suit. I think any mom would love to greet him at her front door if he came calling for her daughter. Hint, hint. Especially since he’s a church-going fella who obviously loves his mother. I’ve seen a picture of the two together.

While perusing today’s Wall Street Journal I came across the following article by Fran Tarkenton, “an NFL quarterback from 1961-1978,…the chairman and founder of OneMoreCustomer.com.” It seems religion is not new to sports…just more fashionable now.

Does God Care Who Wins Football Games?
by Fran Tarkenton

English: Demaryius Thomas, a player on the Den...

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On Sunday, when Denver Bronco wide receiver Demaryius Thomas caught a pass from Tim Tebow on the first play of overtime and ran it all the way for a game-winning touchdown, the stadium erupted. At once, people cried that it was a miracle, and Mr. Tebow went down to pray on one knee in his signature pose. Millions of viewers already knew the first words he would say whenever a reporter caught up to him for a postgame interview: ‘First of all, I want to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!’
     Tim Tebow is not unique. Even on his own team, there are notably devout players like safety Brian Dawkins. In fact, the NFL has had a number of players who were outspoken in their faith. Think of quarterback
Kurt Warner, who famously went from stocking shelves at a grocery store to a pair of league most-valuable-player awards and three Super Bowl appearances. Or Reggie White, one of the greatest defensive linemen of all time, who was also an ordained minister, nicknamed the ‘Minister of Defense.’ The list goes on.
     Religion certainly played a role in the game when I played. I grew up the son of a Pentecostal Holiness minister–we were charismatic before charismatic was cool. I was in church Wednesday night, Friday night, Sunday morning and Sunday night–every week of my childhood. I was there at the first-ever national camp for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, in Estes Park, Co., in 1956, along with everyone from legendary NFL quarterback Otto Graham to a young Don Meredith (although fellow quarterback Don and I didn’t make it to many of the meetings). When I went to the NFL, I needed special dispensation from the church to play on Sundays.
     As a player, though, I never understood why God would care who won a game between my team and another. It seemed like there were many far more important things going on in the world. There were religious guys on both teams. If God gets credit for the win, does he also take blame for defeat?
     For what it’s worth, my forays into hoping for divine intervention didn’t work out. I prayed fervently before each of the three Super Bowls we Minnesota Vikings played in. We played against the Dolphins, the Steelers and the Raiders. I don’t know about the first two games, but I was sure God would be on our side for the game against the Raiders! After all, they were the villains of the league, and it was hard to believe they had more Christians on their team than on our saintly Vikings. We lost.
     Faith had a place in every locker room I was in. When I played for the New York Giants, team owner Wellington Mara, a devout Catholic, invited half the priests in New York City into the locker room before games. Sometimes it was hard to find my team-mates among all the priests. I’m sure Mara hoped it would somehow help the team win, but it was never enough to get us into the playoffs.
     Before every game, no matter what team I was on at the time, the coach would always ask the most devout player to say a prayer. This would happen after we’d already been out warming up–so we’d all seen the crowd, we were in full uniform (complete with eye black doubling as war paint), and the intensity of the week had built up to a near frenzy in the locker room.
     The prayer was always pretty much for the same thing: Let there not be any injuries, let everybody play a good game–anything except to win the game. No one ever asked to win the game, probably for fear that God would punish us for asking. After this moment of devotion, the team would all shout in unison, ‘Now let’s go kill those S.O.B.’s!’
     We often attribute supernatural origins to football success, from Roger Staubach’s 1975 ‘Hail Mary’ pass to Franco Harris‘s ‘Immaculate Reception’ in 1972, and we enshrine plays with names like the ‘Holy Roller’ in 1978 and the ‘Music City Miracle‘ in 2000.
     Although faith has been a part of football so long, a player like Mr. Tebow can still be extremely controversial among fans and pundits. But seriously, isn’t it refreshing that the chatter around the NFL is about a great athlete with great character who says and does all the right things and is a relentless leader for his team–and not about more arrests and bad behavior from our presumptive ‘heroes’?
     Tim Tebow is the story of this football season, and a great story it is.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame member and Atlan...

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I couldn’t have said it better myself! I might be a fan…might…if the media broadcast more news touting the exemplary behavior of super star, moneyed athletes. Most of what’s reported is about their bad-boy behavior and their holding out for excessive millions in contracts. I’ve no clue what Tebow earns, but who cares……when he’s a role model for good-guy behavior…

…thanks for telling it…like it was…and still is… ………Mr.Tarkenton… 

a baked potato with butter

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………hugmamma.  😉

 

English: 2009 ESPN Zone Chicago Ultimate Couch...

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pet peeve…over-the-top salaries

One of my biggest pet peeves is the salaries paid to pro-athletes…and celebrities. I realize they work both sides of a sharp blade…they’re damned if they do…and likewise if they don’t. We need them for the diversion they bring, especially when we’d rather not focus upon the state of the nation and the world. And there’s no better time than the present, it seems, for some mind-numbing distraction.

Dear Cary: My Life with Cary Grant(amazon.com)

Whatever happened to LSD? That was Cary Grant’s drug of choice…for a long time. He even tried getting ex-wife Dyan Cannon hooked. Unfortunately her inability to “float” outside her body with her Svengali was the undoing of her marriage.

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Where would all our pro-footballers, basketballers, baseballers, hockey players, soccer players, and golfers park themselves…if not on the field, the court, the mound, the rink, the arena and the green? And what would all the millions of fans who are glued to stadium seats or living room couches, do with themselves if they weren’t mesmerized by flat screens, iPads, iPhones and any other means by which they can channel their favorite pastime…pro-sports?

I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to glamorizing stars of radio, screen and stage. They get my few, paltry dollars as recompense for whisking me off to “never-never-land” with them, every once-in-awhile. I too leaf through magazines and books, curious to learn some dirt that might make them seem more human…more like me…than the untouchables they might think they are.

I don’t fault pro-athletes and celebrities their jobs. God knows I wouldn’t want them infiltrating the already, lengthy unemployment lines. Although the bread line might be a little humbling for some of them…bring them down a notch or two…again, a little closer to the rest of us.

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So what set me off on this mini-tirade? A photo of Kevin Spacey with Demi Moore in tow. I’m not over the moon about either one. He’s a fine actor, and so was she. While I gave her credit for snaring a young, hunk like Ashton Kutcher 6 years ago, as time passed his immaturity made me roll my eyes…at both of them. Seeing her with Spacey made me think “Oh good. Maybe now she’ll settle down with an adult and fade into the background like him. I’ve no problem with Moore returning to acting. I’d just like to see her step out of the public eye once-in-awhile. That way I’m not reminded of how much money we pay these people…

…for playing ball…or playing make-believe…yuck!!!…i could tear my auburn hair out…by its white roots!…

………hugmamma.  

weekly photo challenge: mountains

Tiger Mountain is totally covered in a blanket of majestic evergreen trees. At the summit is “Poo Poo Point,” where hang gliders begin their flight out into the wild blue yonder. Eventually they float down to the landing field at the base of the mountain. On clear, sunny days many take to the skies…hang gliders can be seen from several miles away…as we head toward home…or are out and about running errands. They look like colorful gondolas, turned upside down.

not my cup of tea, for sure…i like having my two feet planted on…tierra firma………hugmamma.

like flies buzzing around…inside my brain

A proud mother watches from afar as Prince Wil...

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One more thought before I finally end all discussion about Sarah Bradford’s Diana – Finally, The Complete Story. It centers upon her devotion to her sons, William and Harry. Not that there ever were any doubts. But first-hand testimony of a heretofore, unheard from source, only strengthens the universally held belief that the Princess of Wales excelled at mothering. 

According to Meredith Etherington-Smith, then marketing director of Christie’s Worldwide, who from September 1996 to July 1997 helped Diana prepare for the sale of her gowns to aid her favorite charities:

Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother

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The British Royal Family in 1880.

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One thing she did take seriously was her role first as mother to the boys and second, as Meredith put it, as the Queen Mother of the twenty-first century. ‘Her relationship with the boys was patently a wonderful one…She was a very good mother. I expected them to be more protective of her than they were, and they weren’t, they weren’t mewling and puking and clustering round her. They didn’t have a neurotic relationship. It seemed to me to be perfectly healthy and normal and nice and a great tribute of all to Diana and secondly to Charles.’ ‘Constitutional plans–well, she felt her long-distance role was to be the Queen Mother of the twenty-first century, that the influence the Queen Mother had had on her grandchildren in a way, she felt that was the kind of role which in a curious way she had been chosen for and one did feel that there was a bit of divine right entering into this, a little bit of fate. And she felt that William should be a democratic King, that the boys needed to have friends, that they needed to know their generation, they needed to know politicians, not just Tory ones, that they needed to know the Blair children. They needed to be part of contemporary English life, not an English life that was really out of date by the end of the war–and I’m paraphrasing some quite long conversations about this. And her job was to make sure they were released from the glass cage, and that when he did come to the throne, a lot of people would know him, and he wouldn’t be a mystery, wouldn’t be a royal freak, that he would be a person. I think that she very much thought she would be a power behind the throne…Diana emphasized her desire that William should be a ‘very English King‘: she felt that her Spencer blood had a lot to contribute. ‘She felt that because of the spider’s web of marital alliances and blood they (the Royal Family) weren’t English. “I come from an English family,” she had said proudly, and “we (the Spencers) are a lot older than they are.” She was very proud of the Duke of Marlborough, for instance.

The Prince Willam Cup. The trophy that is cont...

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Who is hotter? Prince Harry or Prince William?

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Diana was very anxious that her boys should not become isolated as the previous royal generation had been, as indeed their father had been. That was why she had wanted the boys, and William in particular, to go to Eton because they would have proper friends there and not sycophants, ‘Diana said, “There’s no messing around at Eton about someone being the heir to the throne. If you’re not popular, charming, intelligent, or good at games, you’re not going to rate, are you?” And so William knows a lot of people. And the interesting thing about that she said, “I think they’ll be protection, those friends too. They’ve grown up together and they’ll be protective.” And they are. You don’t see grab shots of William that often, and why? Because his friends don’t utter. She’d thought all this through. That’s what I mean by being smart.’ ‘They had money which they carried and spent and they went shopping. In other words she was trying to provide as normal a life as possible–they could come out from behind the glass window, and that was her great legacy.’

Princess Diana dancing with John Travolta in t...

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Princess Diana

 Why would Princess Diana be so forthcoming with Etherington-Smith, you ask? Probably because she was older, very much like her other confidantes, Lady Annabel Goldsmith and Margueritte Littman. “Meredith surmised that Diana was very comfortable in the company of older women. ‘I think possibly, without being too psychotherapeutic about it, because of the lack of a mother…most of her confidantes apart from Rosa Monckton, were actually older women…and I think she felt very comfortable, they weren’t competition, they were fun and she could become slightly girly with them without the baggage of “I’m the most beautiful person in the world”…’ “

Another random, final, or maybe not so final, thought occurred as I lay awake last night, reading I Love You, Ronnie. President Reagan had a very human, extremely sentimental side. Apart from his family and a few close friends of the couple, I’m sure no one suspected what a great romantic he was, and how he could wax so poetic. At the same time, however, his vulnerability as a human being comes through. To know that the man who could dial up a third world war lay bare his soul in love letters to his wife, is hugely touching. I find myself remembering Ronald Reagan as President, but trying to imagine this newly revealed man behind the strong facade. What I picture is someone like my husband, my father-in-law, friends in high corporate positions. Not only them, but husbands and fathers the world over who, to the best of their abilities, care for their families.

Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan aboard an Ameri...

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The following letter was from a man to his wife, his best friend. It’s a letter any man could’ve written, in fact. This one just happened to be from a President to his First Lady, although at the time he was a working stiff, and she was a housewife.

Ronald Reagan
Pacific Palisades
Thurs. (May 24, 1963)

My darling
     Last night we had our double telephone call and all day (I didn’t work) I’ve been re-writing the story of my life as done by Richard Hubler. Tomorrow I’ll do my last day of location and then I’ll call you and I’ll tell you I love you and I’ll mean it but somehow because of the inhibitions we all have I won’t feel that I’ve expressed all that you really mean to me.
     Whether Mike helps buy his first car or spends the money on sports coats isn’t really important. We both want to get him started on a road that will lead to his being able to provide for himself. In x number of years we’ll face the same problem with The Skipper and somehow we’ll probably find right answers. (Patti is another kind of problem and we’ll do all we can to make that one right, too.) But what is really important is that having fulfilled our responsibilities to our offspring we haven’t been careless with the treasure that is ours–namely what we are to each other.
     Do you know that when you sleep you curl your fists up under your chin and many mornings when it is barely dawn I lie facing you and looking at you until finally I have to touch you ever so lightly so you won’t wake up–but touch you I must or I’ll burst?

Cropped screenshot of Ann Blyth from the trail...

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     Just think: I’ve discovered I can be fond of Ann Blyth because she and her Dr. seem to have something of what we have. Of course it can’t really be as wonderful for them because she isn’t you but still it helps to know there are others who might just possibly know a little about what it’s like to love someone so much that it seems as if I have my hand stretched clear across the mountains and desert until it’s holding your hand there in our room in front of the fireplace.
     Probably this letter will reach you only a few hours before I arrive myself, but not really because right now as I try to say what is in my heart I think my thoughts must be reaching you without waiting for paper and ink and stamps and such. If I ache, it’s because we are apart and yet that can’t be because you are inside and a part of me, so we aren’t really apart at all. Yet I ache but wouldn’t be without the ache, because that would mean being without you and that I can’t be because I love you.

Your Husband

Queen Mother Rose

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…would that all men could, and would, …..bare their souls
…..without flinching ….. at the thought ….. hugmamma.