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I was hoping to be the first with a daylog this year.

That is all.

Addendum to Bad Wedding Ideas:


Double especially bad idea:  Consider this 5a, only noteworthy because I see this as a trend: "Goth" weddings, Zombie weddings, Vampire weddings, memorial candles, the bride dressed in widow's weeds, mourning jewelry, black and white as a motif, Heavy Metal, Goth, and Industrial music at the reception anything at all that might be considered funereal to anyone in either family.(Yes, I know about Buddhists and white. However, most modern Buddhists are hip to Western usages.)

Sigh. I know. You absolutely thought that the Twilight series was the most romantic story ever, and you were Team Edward until you fell in love with your current spouse to be, and then, for the rehearsal dinner, you gave all your friends Team Bride and Team Groom T-shirts. Or you and your spouse-to-be are huge Tim Burton fans, and what's so wrong in having a celebration in your own deeply held and personal style? These days we have gay weddings, for heaven's sake! Why can't we show our everlasting love, by invoking what is truly eternal? And, I think it's touching to point out that there are people who might have liked to be here who have passed away! We held the celebrations for their lives in this very church!

Dear hearts: You are getting confused as to which rite of passage you are celebrating. Just because we love to point out that 'death is not an end, but a passage', we've forgotten that a wedding is a passage, and not an end in itself. Think of the symbolism: a funeral is a kind of divorce. Alluding, even in a wholly respectful and loving way, to a relationship that has ceased to be, bodes ill for what you hope to be a lasting one. You might not be wishing each other dead, but it certainly shows a certain lack of respect for each other that the first thing that comes to mind when talking about your love is a corpse or a series of sick, juvenile jokes.

If you really want irony, why not ditch the dress entirely, and come in in dirty pyjamas, a bathrobe and slippers? He can sleep in a suit and not shave or shower, or wear a T-shirt and shorts and be a bit hungover. Complain bitterly about each other for about half an hour, beginning with the toilet seat, and ending with the fact that your sex life is shot. Emphasize that you've been living with each other, not once but several times, and talk openly about your finances, how they're going to be shot with this wedding after having to dish out for a bunch of jewelry. After this, the officiant can point out that these people should be married, since they're already acting like it. As a 'unity' gesture, sloppily attempt coupling.

The reception can then commence, as if nothing had happened, with both of you dressed in club clothes. Stay all night, drink like sponges (after all, you've barred children, old people and anyone not hip enough to "get" your little joke), and go back to work within three days.

So hip and witty! They'll be talking about this for weeks! And the photographs! Yes, you'll be the envy of all your friends that you opted for a nice "green", "irreverent" wedding, instead of some fusty old ceremony that has nothing to do with your particular story! After all, isn't that what matters?

This WU was occasioned by a particularly bletcherous wedding, in which the bride decided that a "hip, irreverent, but elegant wedding" was her due.

First, in her video invitation, she barred children from both the ceremony and the reception, on grounds that she wanted "an adult party, where the grown-ups could let their hair down". Erm, you've already had a bachelor party/batchelorette shower and a rehearsal dinner, or could have had one, if what you want is to have an evening of party 'till you puke with your closest friends. Showing that you can deal with several generations in one place at one time, drinking in a festive, but controlled manner is, perhaps, the epitome of "adult". After all, you are displaying your best manners to a new family, who might be curious on how you handle children, among other things.

Then, she made sure to point out how "eco-friendly" her wedding dress was, made with hemp and lots of black lace. No bridesmaids or groomsmen (how tacky! she probably thought...) and her bouquet was made of kale. Bats were used as an overall motif, as festoons and in the bride's necklace. The entire buffet was both gluten-free and vegan, with vegan wine (I suppose it means that eggs weren't used in the fining process), with two kinds of cupcakes available. Hum. Yes, I know you probably believe you're doing good by not only the environment, but the health of your guests by riding on a fashionable nutritional hobbyhorse. However, this is a feast, not a soapbox. If you have health issues, or preferences in fibre, keep them to yourself.

The ceremony was written from scratch quoting the romantic likes of Ayn Rand, Vladimir Nabokov (I can think of only one romance by him and it is not appropriate), Stephan Pinker, two entire poems by Pablo Neruda (Sonnet XVII) and e.e.cummings respectively, and lots of Trent Reznor. (Rings were exchanged with lyrics from "We're in this together".) As a Unity gesture (something that I'm wondering how generations of marriages have succeeded without) they made and ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, thereby breaking the laws of hospitality by eating before the guests, who were probably wondering when this weird bit of drama would be over.

"We hand-picked every single song played that night, and we didn't hold back from playing exactly what we wanted (a mix of rock, metal, goth, industrial, electronic, '80s, and more). For instance, we played Nine Inch Nails, Type O Negative, and H.I.M. songs." Charming. Now, they're both hungry and are nursing headaches.

All this would have made some sense, if done with some panache: I saw in my mind's eye Helena Bonham Carter in widow's weeds and a groom like a contemporary H.P. Lovecraft, sweeping up a lovely Gothic chapel to lugubrious organ music. Indeed, you don't need much to make any church of a certain era completely in touch with a deliciously Gothy sensibility, making fun with, not at religion. (I suggest the 1928 Book of Common Prayer...)

Instead, they looked -- so completely uptight, Park Slope, Bobo ordinary I wondered why they even bothered. The dress was understated enough to look day-into-evening, the groom was wearing a business suit, the surrounds an open, airy penthouse in Chicago. The whole thing looked and sounded like a mess -- if she'd played it straight, wordlessly slipping into his arms as the band played a spectral waltz...if she'd prepared a whole banquet for everyone else, abstemiously eating a bowl of gruel while acting fragile and weak...if she'd delicately scented the hall with embalming fluid and raw pork...Instead, she apparently managed to make both families feel uneasy while being penned up with free weak liquor. Double bad idea, indeed!

It’s often been said that the mind works in mysterious ways and while I’m certainly no expert on the subject I can probably vouch for its accuracy.

I don’t think I’ve thought about him in years and even if I did it was probably only fleeting in nature. The subject usually popped into my head only when someone else was telling a tale of misery and woe and this was the only way I could commiserate with them. Even then, the story was told only in snippets and blurbs and without some of the more gory details. After all, I wasn’t there to compare notes with somebody else’s sorrow. I was there to offer a soothing ear and maybe a word or two of compassion.

New Year’s Day was different though. I hadn’t gone out the night before and had no plans on leaving the house. Even though the weather was cold my spirits were warm and the thought of throwing some pork and sauerkraut in the crock pot and curling up with a “sortabiography” (his term, not mine although I like it) of George Carlin sounded pretty good. In addition, there was a whole slate of college football bowl games I could choose from if I got bored with the book.

About a hundred pages in I had this sort of nagging feeling come over me. Something was missing but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I went over my mental checklist just be sure I hadn’t forgotten to call anybody and wish them a Happy New Years or anything else I might have done or not have done to offend my friends and family. Nope, all was good on that front but still, the nagging feeling wouldn’t go away.

I got to a chapter in the book where Carlin starts talking and reminiscing about his older brother and that’s when the light dawned on me.

Had he lived, my brother would have turned sixty seven on New Year’s Day.

I won’t go into all the thoughts and “might have beens” that crossed my mind for the next couple of hours. I couldn’t really concentrate on the book anymore and the football games were just white noise to me as I sat back in my recliner and thought about the past. Maybe it was only for a couple of minutes but it seemed like hours before I drifted off to sleep and awoke later to the smell of the pork and sauerkraut.

No matter how many years in-between, I guess the past never really does go away.

I don’t know whether to be scared or comforted by that. Probably a little of both.

So brother, if you can hear me and sorry it’s taken so long to say this but just remember, Happy Birthday From Planet Motherfucker.

I've never once, in my entire life, made a New Year's Resolution.

I once had a boss whose boss was kind of a bully.  He was a large man, swarthy, and about as wide as tall.  But he'd have been big even if he weren't overweight.  He was built like one of the dwarves in Lord of the Rings, only taller.  He had a very commanding and intimidating presence about him.  Of course, it is easy to be intimidating when you have the power of position over other people like that, but in all fairness, I think everyone found him intimidating including his peers and his superiors.

One time three of us were sitting around a table in the cafeteria: my boss his boss and me.  It was right after the New Year and someone brought up resolutions.  I don't remember what my boss said about it but his boss indicated he'd made a resolution to lose weight.  He then asked me what resolution I made.  I told him I didn't make any resolutions. His response was, "perfect the way your are, eh?".

I had to put up with that kind of crap from him all the time.  The odd part was that he liked me.  I'd hate to have been on his naughty list.  The funny part was he couldn't figure out why I didn't like him.  It's not that I made any overt signals that I didn't like him.  I just pretty much avoided him if I could.  He once asked my wife at an office social event to shed light on the subject, but she couldn't (or wouldn't) help him.

Luckily, before long, another reorganization came along and I was no longer in this man's chain of command.

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