Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Surprises are fun... or planning en masse is fun?

We're all organized, aren't we? Which is to say, it's clearly evident that I'm getting nervous and I need more structured activities to get this wedding going.

I'm wondering, though, if it's better to unveil the wedding on the date (no one having known about it beforehand) or to plan with everyone (which means we can enjoy watching people seeing all the plans come together). Our only firm surprise is, as Tony said, the wedding dress. But that's a whole different thing.

The cool thing is that Mom (Gayle, my mom) is totally into this wedding planning stuff (as we clearly are totally out of it) and so is Kathy (Tony's mom). Both of them like to be "hands off" on decision-making, but both are putting in their opinions. Good thing that we both have no problem listening to advice... and they have no problem with our not following it to the letter (or at all). Not surprisingly--but quite in character--, both Dads are uniform and constant in their advice: "Do it your own way, and have fun!"

I doubt that our mothers will be surprised by the wedding, and I doubt not that our dads will be pleasantly surprised by how the little things came together.

Thoughts? Feelings?

So...about this wedding thing

Amy and I are finally getting down to the reality of the engagement: planning. She has been doing some dress shopping out here in Michigan, and I hear she has gotten some good feedback (evidently she has looked good in every dress she has tried on...I say evidently because, as groom-to-be, the dress is off my list of knowing).

And, we have also spent some time on Amy's favorite wedding blog: GreenWeddingShoes.

We took a few nights looking through the "Real Weddings" tags on the blog, to try and get a sense of what we like and don't like from the featured weddings. So, I will be posting a bunch o' stuff from that site (to start with), mainly to help us stay organized (as of now, everything is on graph paper).
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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Ahh, blogger! Ahh, humanity!

So, I decided that it was time to revisit some things: namely, the holes in my knowledge of literature. My English degrees have been scattered, and there are many things I have simply missed (like Dante, for one). So, in an effort to "fill out" my learning, I am going old school for a while (though I still want to get the new Chuck book, Pygmy).

On the old blog, I was posting reactions to the books I read - these weren't very good, and some commenters made some excellent points. I also intended to total the books (and pages) I read for the year. Two years ago, I hit the 100 book mark and read something like 40,000 pages (I'm proud). On the old blog I was intent on cataloging what I'd read, and sometimes it seemed like I was reading for the sake of the list (though I did come across some great reads).

So, with that in mind, I am quasi-resurrecting the book list here. Since I can't figure out if Blogger allows you to make static pages (thoughts, anyone?), I will tag the book posts and go that way, but I don't intend to set records here...it's more of a way to see what I've read and take a periodic review to see if I created more gaps that need to be filled.

(And, as an in-line post script, if such a thing exists, after re-reading what I wrote, it begs the question: "Who cares?" Ahh, blogger! Ahh, humanity!)

So we begin: The Iliad (Homer)

Favorite quote so far? Book 6, line 582-4 (Robert Fagle trans):

"And fate? No man alive has ever escaped it,
neither brave man nor coward, I tell you--
it's born with us the day that we are born."

There's just something so bittersweet about that when Hector tells his wife and young son that before rushing off to defend Troy...I like Hector.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Allan, What Price Bananas?

The following poem came out of my undergrad years, a sort of mash-up of many small things I was reading and writing at the time. In a way, it is my reaction to the Beat writers I was reading. It also is my nom de plume for this blog. Let me know what you think!

Allan, What Price Bananas?
I am a man of questions.
I am a man of answers.
I am a man of wit.
My thoughts cometoofast my tounguepen moves too slow.
My thoughts jammed in my head three-hundred-thousand per cubic.
My thoughts are not mine own nor yours.
I am pure unbridled emotion.
I am no constraint.
I am too much constraint.
Twenty-eight overweight adults stuffed into the sitting room
of eternity's mansion the air stale cigar smoke clouding all.
Originality is almost extinct.
I am unconventional thought that defies unconvention-not-my-own.
These words not mine I write then lose immediately.
I want to breakoff dropeverythingforgetlife face the tracks make a leftright and go
Not stop.
I am unrest.

Allen, what price bananas?
Allen, what price cessation?

The more I read the worse my handwriting becomes.
I have too many damn books.
Most have been read at least once twice-at-a-time.
Me and four hundred years of verse scattered down at the schoolyard
vying for the see-saw-side without bird-droppings.
Walter greybeard please tell Mr. Lorca to leave alone the watermelons.
Garcia Lorca living somewhere beneath me can I ever know you will I never know you?
Read one verse on a flirtatious monitor screen that blurred your words and meaning.
Hey Lorca, can you spare a line?

Allen, what price bananas?
Allen, what price sensation?

A simile is like a battered seagull with clipped wings it doesn't fly.
A bird lies quitedead on a beach no-one seems to care decomposing
feathers beak claws eye staring at me.
No camera present except the eye's mind returning to me today was gone
for a while graced my memory a second.
Curious fact why I do not know.
Should be flying off through the vast above not stuck here in me below.
Deep deep rumble warns me to turn back but I must go on there how sad.
Odors of the game seep from the yard and try to claim it but my ink
won't allow it is mine yours.
We live in a world of hefty lies and lusty thighs.

Allen, what price bananas?
Allen, what price sanctity?

I found also petrified rotting driftwood I wanted to pamper take home name Charley.
I am steadfast impermanence.
I like my car radio loud enough todrownout reality if just for a slight while.
I sing loudly proudly. My voice lacks I know I don't care.
A sea of colored vehicles litters the bounds of the SSP in eastern LI at 3:37 pm.
On a Saturday afternoon there is no motion forward backward.
Time stood still just a moment lights lights lights yet no
Camera action.
As if on cue at least three from each car a thousand ostrich-
heads poke out windows and stare.
Their ungodly clatter is disquieting shut up and drive I think.
I pick my nose imagine flicking softround projectile remnants at idiot passerbys.

Allen, what price bananas?
Allen, what price sanity?

I have declared war on my sheets my bed I can't lie anymore.
Today I saw a general leading his troops left arm raised against the wind (onward)
angry grimace fumbling below war crusted lip hair the affair broods gloom.
One brave soldier bravely wrestled a mountain lion in the clouds above winding
my way I dream I am the sea I feel the swell.
Pull me under I see the white-capped crest far above
motion paused. repeated. again.
Breathless my mouth moves silent.

Allen, what price bananas?
Allen, what price surreality?

Then and now inseparable implanted direct-feed mouth-fed inbred.
Form├ęd automaton in histheireveryone's image.
Nofreethought choices alreadymade falldown eminent.
Downfall waypast no hope.
Preach to a peach to reach a leech all are equalwanted.
Madness then reality now driving me mad.
Leave me be (can't let go).
Leave me be (won't let go).
Leave me be out of my head damn you.
Upordown i don't care leave me soldered to my soul inseparable.

The cross looms ominous on the horizon a sight to see dread.
Blood oozes through the cracks in the pavement.
The prophets are in the red.
The profits are heaven-bound.
We buy our way to heaven.

Allen, what price bananas?
Allen, what price salvation?

Allen, oh Allen!
Better watch out kid the pork chops are pissed.
The she leader I heard her declare murder on those heads
that sentenced the pigmeat dead.
All the while Jack & Bill were frolicking on the hill wondering
about cracked plaster.

Walt, whittle away your song immortal.
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Here we go again

So...it's been about a year since my last post...and I am starting again. I can't promise constant updating, but I do intend to try to stay honest. Last time was a dry-run, a "learn-it-so-I-can-teach-it" moment. Then I faded. But I'm back, and I intend to try to shape this one up.

Now, the disclaimer...I managed to import my old posts from the defunct wordpress blog, and they are messy. I know it. I need to clean them up. Or delete them. Hey, even bad history can be refreshing, right?

This has turned into a message to myself. A reminder, if you will. Let's do this the right way this time...