Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Post-ceremonial Vacation

Although it's more about fishing for yucks now, I really DID have some difficulty referring to our trip as a "honeymoon." So I think the word sounds a little too sweet - friggin shoot me.

I can say in all earnestness and honesty: The 10 or 12 days which made up our wedding day and the moon of honey were among the best I've ever had. Part of it was simply that we had a cool wedding...no big deal and yet quite special and memorable. A best friend - Doc DoLittle - performed emcee duties. The dog ran around for awhile and made it into some of the photos before settling down about 5 minutes into the 15-minute ceremony. (I forgot to put her outside before we started, but it worked out great and we are glad she is in some of the pics.)

Toward the middle of the ceremony, our cats came part way down the stairs and watched us say our vows.

And the ensuing moon of honey flowed like a Yeti into the woods.

The rugged Pacific coastline, the combination of both rustic and luxurious lodging, the awe-inspiring Redwoods, and one of the best cities in the world - San Francisco - it was truly one of the best weeks of my life.

The fact that I got to enjoy it all with my beautiful, funny, smart, grounded bride (I am still pinching myself over what a lucky man I am!) was nothing short of magnificent...We are off to a wonderful start!

Okay - a little salt to offset all this sugar-coated sweetness: etymology of "honeymoon:" The first month after marriage, when there is nothing but tenderness and pleasure" (Samuel Johnson); originally having no reference to the period of a month, but comparing the mutual affection of newly-married persons to the changing moon which is no sooner full than it begins to wane; now, usually, the holiday spent together by a newly-married couple, before settling down at home.

And: The word honeymoon has its roots in the Norse word "hjunottsmanathr" which was anything but blissful. Northern European history describes the abduction of a bride from a neighboring village. It was imperative that the abductor, the husband to be, take his bride-to-be into hiding for a period of time. His friends assured his and her safe keeping and kept their whereabouts unknown. Once the bride's family gave up their search, the bridegroom returned to his people. This folkloric explanation presumably is the origin of today's honeymoon, for its original meaning meant hiding. The Scandinavian word for honeymoon is derived, in part, from an ancient Northern European custom in which newlyweds, for the first month of their married life, drank a daily cup of honeyed wine called mead. The ancient practices of kidnapping the bride and drinking the honeyed wine date back to the history of Atilla, king of the Asiatic Huns from A.D. 433 to A.D. 453.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Politics of Marriage

I just like that for a title...I'll spare you a 3-part treatise on the punditry of matrimony.

I AM a little bummed it took me so long to get to another post, but between getting hitched, the post-ceremonial vacation, and the ensuing recovery (I was sick the night we returned and that lasted for a week - plus I was already behind at work from being gone for 11 days).

That's my excuse, anyway. To say nothing about the conventions...which have been eating up my time, too. I just feel that my efforts are better spent writing letters to the paper than the kind of self-serving fluff that usually ends up in most public diaries...er, blogs.

I promise: the next entry will be marriage/honeymoon related, with pics...in the meantime, my letter to the editor:

An Eloquent Deception

Palin gave a fine speech, as was expected. Did anyone think she'd stutter or freeze with stage fright? My critique of her speech is the same critique I have of the Republican Party in general: they have no substantive ideas or positive arguments.

One example of Palin's deception: She was for the "Bridge to Nowhere" before she was against it. And, Palin kept the $400 million that was slated for the bridge and used it for other pork-barrel projects in Alaska - it's not like she returned that money. To make matters worse, she also spent $39 million on the road that led to the defunct bridge - after knowing the bridge would not be built. Talk about wasteful spending!

What caught me off guard were the mean, sarcastic, small-minded barbs of anger delivered with a derisive smile. There is nothing in the Republican playbook about appealing to our higher selves or challenging us to become a more unified nation. I guess I expected something more, something better from a McCain-led campaign. Instead, he has become that which he despised.

McBush, Palin and the Republican leaders want to keep us on our present course: a road to nowhere. Don't be fooled again! America is better than this.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Is Bigfoot a Vegetarian?

I sure as hell hope so!

Me and Mortgage Partner are gearing up for the Big Day...and hence, the Big Week to follow. Our post-ceremonial vacation (what is commonly referred to as "the honeymoon") should be spectacular.

We head to the great Northwest the day after the Big Gig...to northern California and southern Oregon. For three of our seven days, we will be immersed in the heart of Bigfoot country. Though (like the god-thing) I do not consider myself a believer, neither am I so closed-minded as to be a staunchly rabid sceptic (from the greek: skeptomai, to look about, to consider).

An ancient myth dating back at least 400 years in North America (the term sasquatch is a Native American word for "hairy giant"), no hard evidence (bones, skulls, genetically distinct hair) supporting their existence has ever been discovered. It doesn't help the believer's cause that A) two hoax films have been uncovered, B) a corpse known as "The Minnesota Iceman" raised more questions than it answered (it's a great story, involving J. Edgar Hoover, The Smithsonian Institute, a carnival owner and an eccentric millionaire), C) people have been caught creating false prints with special boots that have large wooden feet on the bottom, or that D) a company even mass-produced strap-on feet so that you could prank friends and family.

I think the best story I've run across yet is that of Albert Ostman, a Canadian lumberjack. It was 1924. Albert was prospecting for gold when he claims to have been captured by a family of Bigfoots. The held him hostage for a week before he finally escaped. He didn't tell anyone about the incident until 1957 because - get this - he didn't want people to think he was crazy! My favorite part of Albert's tale is that the Yetis are apparently a progressive bunch, shunning traditional roles: Father and Daughter guarded him while Son and Mom prepared the meals. (Or maybe the boy was just a good cook and the daughter was a great softball player :).

Okay...maybe that's NOT the best story about Bigfoot...maybe THIS one is: Mortgage Partner agreed to marry me because she found out my college nickname was "Bigfoot" for a reason!