Thursday, July 31, 2008
Keep an eye out on the AQLF blog and here for updates.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
To read about the wedding, go to the entry below or click here.
This is what the Santa Cruz day looked like. How lucky were we?
Our niece Hailey, my sister Ann and cousin Leslie enjoying the ride.
Mom and me.
Aunt Ruby and cousins Jeri Lynn, Leslie & Linda.
No, Mary Beth didn't sing; she was just feeling the moment!
Our nephew George, visiting from Veracruz, Mexico, played the guitar and sang with his father, Jim (Annie's brother).
Nieces Jenna and Hailey enjoyed the ride inside the boat for a little bit.
My sisters Crystal and Ann at the reception dinner...
...and their husbands, Bruce and Howie, getting their gay on in the spirit of the day.
The wedding cake--a massive carrot cake from The Buttery.
Niece Jenna, Laurie's daughter Molly, niece Hailey and nephew Evan enjoying dinner at the kids' table.
The kids ham it up. Jenna and Hailey loved finding a new friend in Molly.
The happy couple. Very, very happy.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
A few little kids who were passing by on the wharf shouted out, "Aloha!"--the greeting of love, symbiosis, grace and peace. There were a number of strangers we came into contact with us that day, and all of them beamed with happiness, wishing us "congratulations" in one way or another.
We boarded the boat to "Roller Coaster of Love" playing over the boat's loudspeaker--especially apropos since the roller coasters of the Boardwalk were in full swing in the distance as we pulled out to sea. That song segued into a whole set of songs Annie had burned onto a CD, including "our song":
When the boat came to a stop near the harbor, everyone gathered at the stern. Our friend Mary Beth, who was deputized for our ceremony, was truly inspirational as she called attention not only to our relationship but to the power of all love. Birds were singing and circling. As soon as Mary Beth talked about transitions in life--how we'd been through so many, how a healthy relationship grows through those transitions--Annie's brother and nephew played on their guitars and beautifully sang the Green Day song "Time of Your Life" (but changing the lyrics to "I hope you have the time of your life").
Afterward, Annie and I said our words to each other, our reasons for loving and marrying each other. Finally, a glint grew in Mary Beth's eyes and she said, "By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you married!" At that moment, we kissed and the captain blew the horn.
I hugged my mom, and we both sobbed.
When we got back to the wharf, everyone went to their cars to drive to the restaurant. Our friends Michele and Van chauffered us along West Cliff Drive up to Natural Bridges for a little downtime with nature. Everyone then gathered at our favorite Italian restaurant to eat on the outdoor patio. The air was so soft the heaters weren't needed.
Celebration swirled with food, wine, hilarious and poignant toasts by long-time friends Janelle and Brenda, clinking of glasses to signal us to kiss--and it all culminated in the cutting of the massive carrot cake. We hadn't planned to cut the cake and feed it to each other, but we decided to give the audience what they wanted!
Afterward, a group of about 10 of us met back at Annie's and my hotel suite overlooking the ocean. From the deck we watched the sparkling lights of the Boardwalk rides in the night. Four of our women friends stripped and jumped into the hot tub. The only man there, our friend Bobby (who's a very youthful 66), said, "No one will never believe this!"
People drifted off one by one, leaving us with our two dear friends, Carolyn and Mary Beth, who sat with us in the dark on the patio. We talked and listened to the lapping sea and barking sea lions until 1 a.m.
We didn't exchange rings that day. Instead, Annie and I both wore our wedding rings that we've had for years--and she also wore a ring that had belonged to her Mom, and I wore my dad's Chico State ring that he wore every day of his life. When I showed my cousin John I was wearing the ring, he kissed it, a gesture that took my breath away.
It is at times like these that the presence/absence of those who have gone before us becomes more immediate. My cousin Linda reminded me that 7 years ago at her son Randy's funeral, "Time of Your Life" was played. So he was present in spirit.
Also, My sister Ann tells me that my cousins Jeri Lynn and Leslie were thinking of their mother, Bonnie, that day--and that Jeri Lynn had said Bonnie would have loved the ceremony. (Annie never got to meet my Aunt Bonnie, since she died before Annie and I met, but I'm sure they would have loved each other.)
And then, at the wharf they saw this:
As Ann said, Aunt Bonnie had the best seat in the house.
I will be posting a bunch of pictures in the next few days. We are awash in love and gratitude. Aloha & Mahalo to all.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Annie's brother Jim and his son George (who's 22) have been practicing in our living room the guitar music they'll be playing at the ceremony. The practice has been segueing into a fabulous jam. They always fill our lives with such great sounds when they're visiting from Mexico. (They live in Veracruz).
We have other friends set to chauffeur us around, others who are taking photos, others yet who are picking up the cake and planning toasts and checking off the list of guests, others who are bringing wine and glasses to the after-dinner party in our hotel suite, another who has written the ceremony she's going to perform. I am filled with gratitude; we are rich in the love of friends and family.
If you're not familiar with Goodreads, you should check it out. You can rate books you're reading and read others' ratings. And if you're an author, it's a great way to connect to other writers and readers.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
However, the pants I'll be wearing are calf-length, flowy and eggplant color like the blouse, and I found a gorgeous, chunky necklace and cute, thick-soled sandally shoes. All good for a casual boat wedding.
Shopping is not my favorite pasttime. Far from it. So I was happy to find something relatively fast and not have to deal with agony of shopping day after day.
The first time I got married it was 1985, and I looked something like this but with bigger hair. There's a picture of me somewhere guzzling a whole bottle of champagne in the dress at the reception. I remember doing that because I was already feeling a *tad* trapped in the wife role. Wanted to subvert it after just an hour.
Annie and I don't call each other "wife." We tend toward "spouse" or "partner."
We've been together very happily for 14 years, so I'm not too worried that being official will change anything. It will be strange, though, because now when people ask me if I'm married I can say "yes." I used to say, "Depends on what you mean" or "I would be but I'm not legally allowed."
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
So we planned again a week later--and the boat trip was cancelled because of a big swell. The captain insisted a swell like that in July is "very unusual."
So we planned again for this week. We went yesterday, and it was fantastic. A sweet little boat, the sun, the sea breeze, the turquoise water, the beautiful Monterey Bay, seagulls and otters and pelicans and sea lions . . .
Let's just hope we get a day like that on Sunday.
If not, we do have a Plan B that we'd really really really rather not have to resort to.
So ... think clear skies, calm seas and good tides.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Here's the main question, though: Would you rather be named Poet Laureate, or would you rather be quoted in the comic strip The Boondocks? Here's the experience Ryan had with the latter:
Carol and I were reading the paper on Sunday morning in bed, and Carol is reading the funnies, and she says in this stricken or awed or something tone, she says: "Kay, read this out loud" and she passes me the funnies. I start reading this cartoon and it is Boondocks and in it, the little brother, who wants to get his bit of the action now and is complaining is smacked down by his big brother, Huey, who uses my poem "Patience" in this cartoon. It was just astonishing. He says: "You know, a poet named Kay Ryan once said, 'Who would have guessed it possible that waiting is sustainable—a place with its own harvests. Or that in time's fullness the diamonds of patience couldn't be distinguished from the genuine in brilliance or hardness.' What do you think that means?" Huey asks Riley. Riley answers: "It means you're a nerd and poetry is stupid."
(quoted from here)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
My sister Ann's tortoise had three babies. Even though she took great care of them, they are fragile creatures. Two months ago, she sadly buried the last one, Jag, in her yard.
Then today in her garden she saw a baby tortoise. She thought, "My God, my momma tortoise had another baby." When she went to pick it up she realized it was Jag! Apparently Jag had been only hibernating and is now ready to rejoin the living. Needless to say, Ann's overjoyed.
I've been working on my writing and wedding planning--plus we have a number of family visitors coming into town--so I'll be off the blog for a bit.
When I return, I'll post wedding pictures.
In the meantime, check out what I was writing about a year ago (in June, July and August 2007).
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
There were dogs galore.
And a firetruck dressed up in honor of the San Jose Sharks.
My favorite float was a small one honoring world peace.
Our out gay supervisor Ken Yeager attended.
Former mayor and local icon Susan Hammer rode by.
And various local groups participated: a bilingual school group, an Asian dance troupe, and more.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
"The fire is just a big raging animal right now," said Darby Marshall, spokesman for the Monterey County Office of Emergency Services
Sometimes I feel like someone who was born to do a Walkabout. I feel like I could walk for hours, days, months...Maybe I should try it sometime. Maybe for my 50th birthday (five years hence) I'll walk 50 miles.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
I haven't seen my cousin Joanna in more than 20 years, but I will get to soon--because next week, Joanna and her husband Mike are coming out to California from Boone, North Carolina for a family reunion.
Especially with the loss of my father last year and my mother's subsequent Alzheimer's diagnosis, it will be good to reconnect. My mom is very excited about seeing her niece. (Joanna's mom, who died in the early 1990s, was my mom's sister.)
Since the plans for them to come out have been solidified, Joanna, my sisters and I have been enjoying email talk and picture sharing. Recently, Joanna sent me some pictures of the chickens they raise. They take the beautiful, varied-colored eggs to the Farmer's Market, where they let kids pet the chickens. What a great way to educate kids about where eggs come from.
Soon, Joanna's getting a tiny kitchen trailer and will be selling baked goods and egg-type dishes. Here's an example of some of what she'll be selling through their business called Eggcetera. Makes my mouth water just reading it! How lucky am I to have a cousin who can cook like this--especially since she'll be bringing some of her home-cooked goods to the family reunion!
Broccoli, Potato, and Cheddar Frittata from the skillet
Grilled Zucchini Rolls with Herbs and Cheese
veggie Egg Roll
Egg Salad Sandwich
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Baked Peach French Toast
Grilled French Toast
Mac & Cheese - not out of a box
Cheese Nachos with mild Salsa
Fruit Scoop with Vanilla Yogurt and Craisins