plot-twist

Most days, I have no idea what to blog about. This would be why I don’t blog most days. But for quite some time now, I knew what today’s post would be. But then this happened:

NPR. Photo by Alex Wong for Getty Images

NPR. Photo by Alex Wong for Getty Images

My news can wait. The happiness of an historically oppressed group absolutely takes precedent. Congratulations to all the same-sex couples, today and beyond, who hope to find love and happiness through marriage!

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boston

I know don’t what happened in Boston today. But this broke my heart:

Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 3.58.26 PM

 

My thoughts are with Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, and everyone else in Boston as the mess is sorted out. I hope everything turns out as well as it can.

for ashley, from last night

Sometimes you lose track just a little bit of how I feel about you. Everyone does this in relationships. Either we can’t believe how someone feels about us or we go through moments of dark insecurity. It’s okay.

I’m going to leave for you a record of how I feel. I’m going to leave it here so that you can always find it, so it’s not just one piece of paper amongst the many I find in your coat pockets and on any available horizontal surface. I’m writing it down because that’s one of our things: we may not say what needs to be said, sometimes but we’ll text it or email it later.

And so here is how I feel:

I am wholly, entirely, amazingly, truly, unequivocally, purely, fully, completely, totally, comprehensively, thoroughly,  soundly, solidly, en masse, absolutely, from A to Zed, all-out, all-in, perhaps excessively, sometimes immoderately, lavishly, unreasonably, occasionally embarrassingly, excitedly, joyously, wildly, madly, passionately, fervently, enthusiastically, ebulliently, resolutely, firmly, decidedly, earnestly, staunchly, hopelessly, unwaveringly, relentlessly, doggedly, inexorably, ineluctably, unavoidably, irrevocably, unalterably, indisputably, indubitably, and thoroughly happily in love you.

I hope that helps.

sunday adverbs vol. 24

There’s only one adverb on my mind right now:

Tomorrow

Tomorrow Ashley begins her first-ever big-girl job. She is equal parts excited and nervous, and I am equal parts both of those things for her.

But…it’ll be weird.

It’ll be weird because we are that couple, the ones who do everything together. She’s been waking up early just to drive me to work. We go to the grocery store as a team. Even at home, with all the time we spend together, we hang out in the same room nearly all the time.

This is because we really, genuinely enjoy each other’s company. So even if she’s just going to take a nap, she wants to know if I’m going to be in the bedroom or the living room so she can nap in my vicinity. To other people I’m sure this would be annoying, perhaps even suffocating. But she’s my favorite person on the planet, and I love that I get to hang out with her almost all the time.

With her working 12-hour days, life will be very different. So while I’m very excited for her and nervous for her, I also know I’m going to miss her. My wife rules and I love being around her; it only makes sense that I will miss her greatly.

scrapped

I had a completely different post worked out today, but I decided to scrap it so that I can say this:

My wife is awesome.

You know how people say that their spouse/partner is their best friend and you don’t quite believe them? You think, yeah, that’s a nice thing to say, but… Me too. I always thought that.

But my wife really is my best friend. I can’t imagine life without her. When I was in high school, my friends and I would always call each other if we were heading to Burger King. The nearest one was in the neighboring town(1) about 15 minutes or so away. We all collectively had this thing that we wanted company just to go get a bite to eat. I don’t know why, but it’s something we did.

With Ashley, I feel like I always have someone to go to Burger King with. And that’s awesome.


  1. Yep, I’m from that kind of town. It has no McDonalds, no Starbucks, no WalMart, and just a small, two-room library. There are one-point-five stoplights, but about eight places you can get alcohol.

act three: bloomsday

This week I’ve been talking about coincidences, inspired by a recent podcast from This American Life. Today I bring you my final coincidence – the one that’s meant the most to me – and how it almost didn’t happen.

Act three: Bloomsday

On 16 June, 1904, Irish author James Joyce met a woman with the somewhat unfortunate name of Nora Barnacle. They would eventually fall in love and marry. A decade later, Joyce began working on a new novel. The novel was meant to follow the structure of  The Odyssey but, unlike Homer’s epic, it was to take place in one setting on a single day. He decided to use the day he met his future wife as that day and the city of Dublin, where they met and lived for many years, as the setting.

The novel, Ulysses, became one of the greatest novels of the 20th century and pretty much the Irish national epic. Every year, on 16 June, citizens of Dublin reenact the wanderings of the novel’s protagonist, Leopold Bloom, during a holiday they call Bloomsday.

Bloomsday doesn’t mean much of anything here in the U.S. except to maybe a handful of people who’ve read Ulysses. Though I’m a fan of James Joyce, I’ve never read the book. I’ve read the first half or so about half a dozen times before I get lost and try again next year. As such, I have an affinity for Bloomsday, but do little more than mentioning it to celebrate it.

On 16 June, 2009, I meant to leave work just a few minutes early because I had to get to the pharmacy before it closed. On my way past the circulation desk, though, my boss saw me and asked a few questions about an issue a patron was having. The conversation only took about three minutes, which wouldn’t make me late to pick up my prescription. But, it turned out, might have made me miss something else.

The pharmacy I used was in the local grocery store. As I walked toward the counter, a young woman passed in front of me, perpendicular to my path. I noticed her in the sense that you notice oncoming traffic. But as I stood in line at the pharmacy counter, I heard someone say, “Excuse me?” I turned to find the young woman standing in front of me. “You’re Bo, right? It’s me, Ashley. The “eat a sandwich” girl.”

I’d known Ashley about ten years previous to this encounter. She’d been very, very skinny at the time and my friend and I, owing to our prodigious sensitivity, always joked that she should eat a sandwich to put on some weight. I would later learn that she had cystic fibrosis and could have eaten three times as much as my friend and I combined and then polished it off with a bag of Snickers and a big box of gummy bears.

She looked very different now, owing, as she explained, to a double-lung transplant she’d had about three years ago. We talked for a while, she showed me her scars, I invited her to dinner…And now she’s my lovely, lovely wife.

So what’s the coincidence here? That I, like one of my favorite authors, (re-)met my future wife on June 16th? Sort of. But there’s a bigger one that I think about all the time.

I meant to leave work about five minutes early, but my boss talked to me on the way out. Because of that, I left work only about two minutes early. The point is, Ashley walked right in front of me as I approached the pharmacy. If my boss hadn’t stopped me for three minutes on my way out, I’d have missed her. She had been walking out of the restroom and out into the grocery store proper. I had no shopping to do, so I’d have picked up my prescription and left by the door nearest the pharmacy. But for two minutes, I may never have met my future wife.

That’s crazy.

It’s the sort of coincidence – a notable concurrence of events or circumstances having no apparent causal connection – that has had me questioning the connectedness of all things, the degree to which they influence each other. It’s the sort of coincidence that got me to reconsider coincidences. And it makes for a great story.

for better or worse: an open letter of sorts to my lovely wife, here on this first St. Valentine’s Day of our marriage

Hi Ash,

As you know, I believe that each us is the sum total of all he or she has experienced, combined with what judgements, wisdom, analysis, or lack thereof, is given those experiences. Since I can’t find the right words to tell you how awesome it is to have you in my life, I thought I’d demonstrate for you how different I am from the person you reintroduced yourself to back in aught-nine. Below is a list of experiences I’d have missed out of – for better or worse – if we hadn’t embarked upon this journey of ours together.

  • Happy food-dances.
  • Living with ten cats.
  • Nermal.
  • Taz & Cheyanne.
  • “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.”
  • “I’m Ron Burgundy?”
  • “Russ?!”
  • The drawer of candy.
  • That fried tots are way better than baked tots.
  • Inventing my own barbecue sauce.
  • My LEGO Millenium Falcon.
  • LEGO Star Wars.
  • Disney World.
  • Liberty Tree Tavern.
  • A Star Tour for two.
  • Tower of Terror, as many times as possible during Extra Magic Hours.
  • Fantasmic.
  • Every Golden Girls episode. Ever. Repeatedly.
  • Titus.
  • Call Me Maybe.
  • Yo Gabba Gabba.
  • The Small Potatoes theme song.
  • A random festival in Pittsburgh.
  • Trevor.
  • Xbox.
  • Skyrim.
  • Fair-lemonade.
  • Homemade fair-lemonade.
  • Many, many, many hours of walking around stores.
  • Heart-sharped pizza.
  • Five Guys.
  • The drive-in.
  • Camping, even if it’s just your parents’ back yard.
  • Watching my new bride dance Gangnam-style.
  • Mode-of-transportation pics.
  • A partner in photobombing.
  • That being upset about the price of steak is equal to being cheated the opportunity to wear sweatpants in public.
  • That two people and five or so cats can sleep on a queen-sized bed.
  • That staying overnight at your parents can be awesome even in your 30s.
  • Many, many moments with my family.
  • And yours.
  • Katy Perry.
  • Pink!
  • Countless iterations of “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
  • Rick Astley in a completely non-ironic way.
  • Hot dogs topped with mac n cheese topped with bacon.
  • The prettiest eyes I’ve ever seen.
  • Ditto that smile.
  • “Oh man you should have honked first! We could’ve had a free old lady!”
  • The very concept of ‘happily married.”
  • Air-any-instrument.
  • Knowing that playing banjo can be sexy.
  • Hundreds of pictures of you sleeping, even if that’s creepy.
  • A true understanding of the word partner.
  • Ditto the word acceptance.
  • Ditto the word fear.
  • Ditto the word peace.
  • TV-show theme songs I’d forgotten about.
  • That the theme from Dallas is appropriate for just about everything.
  • TV-show remixes.
  • “I’m right on the edge!”
  • Visiting the ER the night we got engaged.
  • The Lights before Christmas.
  •  A Boston creme pie.
  • The best laugh in the whole world.

I can go on and on and on. Which is what I intend to do. With you.

I’ll see you back here next year for an updated list.

With love,
Bo

time

Today I’d written up two posts during breaks at work. I couldn’t decide which one to go with. But then I learned from a friend that someone we know passed away suddenly last night. I don’t know him very well, but I think he might be the only person who’s been to every show I’ve done over the past five years. He has a wife and kids, one of whom is a very precocious and amusing little boy. And just like that…they’re without a husband and a father.

And so I don’t feel like blogging. And I certainly don’t feel like trying to be funny.

I think instead I’ll go home and spend the evening with Ashley. If there’s one thing that’s been proven to me today, it’s that we just can’t know how much time we have.