Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring has sprung

So yesterday was the first day of 2011 at the beach (Chinese New Year doesn't count, because we were down south.) The day was warm, bordering on hot, so everyone was out of their house, and although traffic getting out of the city was a bit of a mess, it was nice driving along the coast, enjoying the blue skies, brilliant sunshine, and watching the waves rolling in. By the time we got to the beach, though, some fog had rolled in, and it wasn't until we left that the sun cleared it up. We still had a good time - A & J and their kids met us there, and our kids played in the sand. I threw sticks out into the sea for Gustav to fetch, and the mood was mellow. A & J had bought some food along the way, so we had a bit of a picnic, and we had a nice time talking with A & J.

On the way back home, Vanessa offered to drive to let me nap for a bit, and I said, sure, just wake me up if you're not sure where to go. Well, while I was snoozing, I sort of felt that the car was making too many turns to be on the straight road that we were supposed to be on. I opened my eyes and asked V where we were. "Oh, it's a shortcut!", she said brightly. "The sign said that we can go this way to Taipei." End result? It took us an hour longer than it should have to get back home. Groan. We got back home, changed our clothes quickly and made it over to A & S's place for dinner at 8:00, instead of 7:00. A had cooked a fantastic meal - rack of lamb, roast potatoes, broccoli, wine, cheese, salmon - it was a great dinner! After that, I dropped Vanessa off at a KTV where she was meeting some friends, took the kids home, put them to bed, and slept like a log. All in all, a very nice day!

Anyway, now that beach weather has started, it's time to get back on the bike. I've been pretty sedentary for the last three months, and it shows. I really want to make some improvements in my life this year, and physical fitness will help that. And I want to be less of a dork on a surfboard, although that may not be possible.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

David Rakoff's 'Wedding Toast' Poem from This American Life

I've always wanted to share this poem by David Rakoff with my friends - I think it's brilliant. I heard it first on the "Frenemies" episode of the public radio show broadcast This American Life (#389) broadcast in September 2009. Here Rakoff demonstrates - in rhyme - how to make a wedding toast for people you never wanted to see married in the first place.

Nathan, at one of the outlying tables,
his feet tangled up in the disc jockey's cables,
surveyed the room as unseen as a ghost,
while he mulled over what he might say for his toast.
That the couple had asked him for this benediction,
seemed at odds with them parking him here by the kitchen.

That he'd shown up at all was still a surprise,
and not just to him, it was there in the eyes
of the guests who had seen a mirage and drew near,
and then covered their shock with a 'Nathan, you're here?'
And then silence, they'd nothing to say beyond that.
A few of the braver souls lingered to chat.
They all knew - it was neither a secret nor mystery -
that he and the couple had quite an odd history.
Their bonds were a tangle of friendship and sex,
Josh, his best pal once, and Patty, his ex.

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