Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wedding Day

Today, Claire and I are getting married.

I can't begin to say how blessed I am.

She is the Friend that I desired, the Companion that I needed and the Love that I longed for.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What We Do For Love

Pigeons mate for life. Apparently they are very faithful partners, picking a spouse and staying together as long as they both shall live. Very romantic. Very apropos considering my up coming nuptials.

As I pulled into my parking garage the other day I saw two pigeons on the ground.

One was very still, appearing to be on its side. Its feathers were ruffled. It was not moving much.

The other was very close, I presumed it was the fallen pigeon's mate.

As I pulled closer, the larger pigeon walked even closer to the "dead" one, placed its body on top of the other and appeared to protect its fallen lover from my oncoming vehicle.

I was touched. I thought of husbands protecting their wives. I thought of bravely standing in the face of danger to protect the one you love. I might have teared up. It was that touching.

I was very careful not to hit this grieving bird and its dead spouse.

As I passed by, through tear blurred eyes I looked down at the two pigeons. I wanted to respect the lost life, the grieving lover, the sadness in death. It was at that moment, however, that I realized I had been duped by deviant animals.

These birds, were doing the nasty. In public. There was no mistaking it.

Her feathers were ruffled. She was lying motionless on the ground.

He was on her back, but it was certainly not to protect her.


After I drove by, parked my car and started walking out, I saw the two pigeons again. They were no longer "together", but rather his back was turned to her and they were a couple feet apart. She was clearly lecturing him about getting caught. In pigeon language, she said "this whole sex in public thing was YOUR idea."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Extra Mustard on the Sandwich, Please

Claire has been volunteering through the United Way and teaching a class of 8th graders about economics. A couple times a week she goes into a classroom and plays games and life scenarios with these kids.

Last week, she was teaching them about choices in life. How much money you make will dictate some of the choices you are able to make. It was a lesson on budgeting and how to spend money wisely.

During this class, Claire was asked about how much money she made. She declined to answer that, but the kids kept pressing her.

"Miss Claire, what kind of car do you drive?"

"I drive a Honda Civic" she answered.

"Miss Claire, where do you live?"

"I live in P-Towne."

"Miss Claire, do you own your house?"

"No, I rent an apartment."

This was enough for one of the bright kids to deduce: "Miss Claire, you must be poor and not have a very good job."

She was a bit taken aback, but explained to them that she likes to spend her money on things other than a fancy car or big house on the beach. She prefers things like eating out and traveling often. "In fact," she explained, "I am going to Aruba in two weeks and staying in a nice hotel on the beach."

Quizzical looks permeated the room. Some whispers and shifting in chairs. Finally, one little girl raised her hand:

"Miss Claire, I am confused, isn't Aruba a sandwich?"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I Don't Listen to Bad Music

Last Saturday, Claire and I had our last premarital counseling...the pastor said that he thought we were a good fit and felt very comfortable about our relationship...whew.


I cooked dinner for Claire on V-Day...a day that I despise, mainly because I think it is designed by retailers to sell more crap and is used by guys that don't know how to treat their woman to get brownie points.

I don't need Hallmark or 1-800-Flowers to tell me to treat my woman the right way.

I digress...the dinner was okay. The side dishes rocked (homemade/home-cut garlic fries and a red pepper relish), but my use of a coffee-coriander-brown sugar dry rub was, FAIL.

The steak was cooked well, but you know you have FAILED when both you and the lady are scraping off the top.

The company was the best part of the night...I found a good woman, Charlie Brown.


Went to the Jonny Lang concert on Sunday night in Virginia Beach...He was rocking. If you like blues/soul, I highly recommend seeing him live.


His opening act was a gal by the name of Sharon Little...head over to her website and check her out. She has a great voice, has a good command of the stage and understands how to use her, eh hem, woman-niss...I now own her CD.

Her song writing is okay and could use some more polish.

She reminds me of a Joan Osborne (any song besides "One of Us") or a better, more bluesy Patti Rothberg.


William/Gigglepotamus/ should know she is from Philly.


Family begins arriving on Saturday. That means the wedding is close.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Two Lists

In college, my buddies and I had two lists that were kept...these lists were written down, tracked and taken seriously. If you wanted to change an entry on your list, a meeting had to be called and the majority of list participators had to be present.

Those lists were called the Desert Island Five and the Get Off the Planet Five.

The Desert Island list were the 5 ladies (or in the girl's case, men) that you would want to be stuck on a desert island with. Rules were simple: 1. You cannot have a woman/man on your island if someone else already claimed him/her. 2. You could not include your "significant other". 3. You could pick someone from a specific era...for example, I might pick Audrey Hepburn circa 1960's as opposed to having her now...well, she is dead, but you get the point. 4. You had to have a Queen/King of the Island. This was your top banana.

So we had a draft and picked our inhabitants...there were changes over the years to the wonderful company we kept on our mythical island, but we kept the lists going and still make references to them.

The Get Off the Planet Five was a list containing the five people you would blast into outer-space, never to been seen or heard from again. The rules were very similar to the Desert Island list: 1. You cannot have a woman/man on your spaceship if someone else already claimed him/her. 2. You could not include people you personally know. 3. You had to have a driver of the spaceship. This was your first round draft choice. The one you would personally like to see disappear the most.


My lists? Well, if you insist.

Desert Island Five:
Queen: Alyssa Milano
Court: Elle MacPherson - Circa Early 90's
Court: Stephanie Seymour
Court: Charlize Theron
Court: Donna Reed - 1946

Get Off the Planet Five:
Pilot: Gloria Estefan (She has been the pilot since day 1)
Crew: Leonardo DiCaprio
Crew: Rosie O'Donnell
Crew: Jesse Jackson
Crew: The Amazing Jonathon - He earned the right to be on this list!

So with that explanation and confession, I am curious, who is on your Island and who is on your Spaceship? Remember, you can't pick someone that has already been picked.

Friday, February 13, 2009

No, You Can't Come In

Our wedding plans originally included having children present. We thought it would be great to have any and all of our friend's children running around. But then, one-by-one we kept getting told that the parents would rather come without the little ones...It would be a lot less work...It would allow for a grown-up vacation...It would be more fun for the parents...etc. etc.

While we were disappointed, we totally understand and now, with a kid free wedding, we know that our friends/family members that have kids can just have a good time with little to no worries the wedding weekend. It is going to be a lot of fun...

One of the things that Claire and I are also doing is having a "wedding" 3 different times...1. Our official wedding in Virginia. 2. A second wedding party in Southern California. 3. A third wedding in Southeast Louisiana.

That way, all of the friends and family, including (or especially) the kids who could not make it to Virginia on Feb 28, could be involved. Weddings #2 and #3 will be where the kids show up. Claire is planning on wearing her dress again, I will put on my suit and for the little-ones, they really won't know the least, that is what we thought.

Yesterday, I sent an email to my good friend Stacey to let her know the date of the SoCal wedding. Her daughter Emma is my Goddaughter and we want to make sure she has some involvement in wedding #2.

This morning, I woke up to read the following story:

"Bogart, I told Emma about this when I picked her up from school and she was really excited. Later in the afternoon she and Molly were playing a wedding with their Barbies and I overheard her say to one of Molly’s Barbie’s – “No, I’m sorry you can’t come in – there’s no more room, but don’t worry, we will be getting married again on March 28th!”

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Beach and Snow

Planning a wedding is interesting.

Sure, this one is a low-key event, featuring about 50 people at a beach house...we are doing the music ourselves, growing our own flowers and visiting Costco for the food...but hosting both Claire's and my family for a week at the beach house is turning it into a week long party.

All that is great, but all the details (NOT my strong suit) are beginning to pile up.

What song should Claire walk down the aisle to? What song should we walk out to? Floor runner or no? Without a DJ, who should be the MC (Teddy said yes!)? When do we cut the cake? Does Claire wear a garter?

These are important things that take a lot of time to figure out.

We have settled on a song for our first dance...but it is a little longer than others, so how do we entertain the guests while we are in our own little world?

What started out as a little ceremony has turned into a full-blown wedding...and no matter how many times I frown or roll my eyes, I have to say...

I am excited.


Did you notice that little count-down on the left hand side of my blog? Yup, baseball season arrives this Saturday and I can't wait!


Claire and I took a SCUBA refresher course on Monday night. It was a lot of fun to "Get Wet" again...I have not been diving since 1993ish. It was weird how nervous I was about going under water and breathing again.

Glad I did though. I forgot how much fun it is.


One of my little sisters (I have 4) started a blog...the one that moved to Minnesota last January to chase down a boy (sound familiar?)...but make sure you read that correctly...she left the comfortable confines of SoCal to go to Minnesota IN JANUARY!

I know that I moved to one of the top 50 sweatiest cities in America, but she moved to the ice that is love.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Color Free

In college, we had some rock'n furniture.

We had the "red chairs". And when I say red, I mean really red. Bright red. Made of valour.

We had a coffee table that had been modified for the bachelor had a paper towel installed under it, a straw dispenser on it and was well broken in.

We even had one room that had solid oak bunk beds. They were fantastic for college guys. Thank goodness it was not my room!

But my favorite piece of furniture was our couch. Pops had given it to me. It sat a good 6 inches off the ground because of the long legs. It was deep with a very tall back. Most people could not touch the ground when they sat on it. It was fluffy and soft, but with good support. It was made with the itchiest wool, but it was so frigg'n comfortable. Its color, well, was hard to describe. It was sorta orange, pea-soup green and poop brown with an occasional streak of red. We always described the color as "Free".

As in "hey Bogart, what color is that couch?"

"It is free."

We thought it was appropriate. It was a great couch.

It represented most of our things in college. We did not care so much about looks, we cared more about functionality. The red chairs were brutally red, but they were crazy comfortable. The couch was itchy and a weird color, but it was great to sit in when you were dressed. It also acted as a good way to not worry about walking in on any roommate making out with a girl. It was just to itchy to do anything too risque.

It was all part of the college experience. Free furniture. Cheap food. Fun times.


Yesterday Claire and I continued that tradition, passing along a split-pea green, leather sofa bed (Color = Free), a sky blue chair that looked a lot like this...only sky blue (Color = Free) unfinished dinner table, a papazon chair and a Foosball table to a young man and his girlfriend.

It is nice to get some of the things out of Claire's place as well as out of mine, but it made me smile to think that I was passing along a tradition of free things that looked, well, Free.


What do you remember being passed along to you in college?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Nevada, The Opportunity Abounds

Good morning from the land of Sex, Drugs and Vaudeville Acts.

Claire and I are both in Vegas this week for a convention.

I wanted to check in to make sure that Claire's mom knows we are alive.


Also wanted to pass along one request...specifically for those of you with Blackberry's...

When you are on the toilet, please put the blackberry away. There is no need for me to be hearing the click-click of your pint size keyboard or the yammering away on the cell while you are dropping a deuce.


Claire and I are getting married in 3 weeks. I might be getting a bit excited.