Monthly Archives: March 2012

This is what counts

Published by:

CJ Lee wedding stairs.jpg

For some reason I have tripped upon a lot of wedding-related writing in the past few days, and it just amazes me how insane people let it make them. I’ve long said that if people put anywhere near the amount of effort into the marriage that they put into the wedding, there’d be far fewer divorces.

I was looking for something else and ran across this photo from our wedding. It was 1983. We were married in our apartment on a cold November afternoon by a judge we didn’t know. A few friends and family came. She made that dress. We’re so young, and she’s so beautiful, that it breaks my heart. Of course, we had no idea what we were getting into. No one does. It’s been as easy as breathing, except for the parts that were awful and hard and painful. But I liked the hard parts, too, because we shared them, came through them, and now there’s just nothing we can’t get through.

A short ceremony in our apartment followed by a nice dinner in a restaurant we liked, a delightful evening out with friends and family. Was it a dream wedding? It’s the marriage that counts.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Centrally located

Published by:

Albany Troy map

Albany Troy map (Photo credit: carljohnson)

This started out as a long, dreary post about why I live where I live, but I thought I’d cut the dreary. The “Non-Urban” part of My Non-Urban Life is that I’m in an early suburb, set just across the river and up a hill from the filth and noise of the city, advertised as a place for healthful living just minutes away by trolley. We’re on little village lots, close to our neighbors (in good and bad ways), on streets that should have had sidewalks but don’t. I live a block from a lovely little lake that has been the center of neighborhood activity since a neighborhood was installed on historic old farmland more than 85 years ago. The schools are good, the politics petty, and diversity almost non-existent. So sometimes I wish I lived in a place where I could tuck down the street for a morning coffee or an evening decaf or grab some groceries without getting in a car (although honestly, there are limited places in the city where that’s true). Since the number one thing I hate about my current location, perhaps the only thing, is one of my current neighbors, going back into a city setting and getting even closer (physically) to my neighbors seems unappealing.

But there are some other parts of the urban fabric I miss. Sidewalks, for instance. Stoops. Looking at the details on the brownstones. Somehow taking a walk through our neighborhood and looking at one sloppy vinyl siding job after another isn’t the same as tripping down Second Street in Troy and looking at the ornate doors and window casings. I miss wondering what goes on in the secluded back patios, what little gems of gardens are hidden there. And I miss being able to walk to work, as I could and did for several years in Syracuse and Albany. While it’s hard to figure out where jobs are going to take you, I’ve worked a substantial number of my years in downtown Albany, and my wife now works in downtown Troy, and it would be nice for one or the other to be able to roll out the door and down the street for a brisk 20-minute walk, rather than having to contend with traffic and bus schedules and the problems of crossing the bridge by bike.

So as we’ve just refinanced and are looking at finally making this into the house we wanted it to be, it’s also tempting to just re-assess and see if there isn’t a better location. I find downtown Troy absolutely charming and have enjoyed the residents I’ve met, but wonder if it could fit my lifestyle. Right now it doesn’t seem that way — I don’t see city houses with off-street parking, room for bikes and boats, and a decent separation from neighbors at a price I can pay. Or where I do, they’re essentially in neighborhoods just like mine, not adding a lot of walkability or diversity; they’re just suburban houses in a city.

So I think we’re staying put in our little slice of non-urbia.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The fine print

Published by:

Articles, posts and comments on this site are strictly the
views of their authors, perhaps not even them, and do not necessarily reflect the views of this
website, its publisher, its designer, or the company that supplied the

Communications from this website may be confidential, and
are for the intended recipient(s) only. Should you receive a communication in
error, you are obliged to immediately erase all electronic copies, and to drink
sufficient quantities of any beverage that will cloud your memory such that no
more than 20% of the original message can be repeated verbatim, and such that relating
the gist of the message to a reasonable stranger results only in a) a confused
shrug, b) an awkward examination of the time on his or her watch, or c) feigned
lack of familiarity with English.

Health care privacy laws prevent us from hearing about, or
caring about, any ailments, maladies, syndromes, and acute or dire medical
emergencies, and as such we ask that you refrain from discussing them with us
in any form, whether  oral, written or
implied. Undeniable visual evidence of any medical condition, including
substantial bleeding, flaky patches, or what looks like a third eye, must be
accompanied by a form, signed and notarized, relieving us of any

The privacy of your financial information is important to
us. For that reason, you will never speak to the same representative of our institution
twice, and for your security we require that you start the story from the
beginning each time you contact us. By sharing your financial information with
as many of our representatives (or our affiliates’ representatives) as
possible, we ensure that privacy is never a concern.

In order to provide you with the best in customer service,
we ask that you enter your account number, password, PIN, mother’s sexual
preferences, thumbprint and a small sample of umbilical cord blood. That way,
when each and every one of our series of representatives asks you precisely the
same questions, you can be sure that your answers are well-rehearsed, making
the system more efficient for everyone.

By reading, scanning, glimpsing or being exposed to this
notice, you know, should know, or should have known its contents, meaning, and
ramifications, and agree to all statements, opinions, exhortations,
blasphemies, and sonnets that may be contained herein. Failure to do so
represents a breach of contract, the peace, and the walls of Agincourt, and you
are under fair notice that such breaches will not be tolerated, nor will they
be not tolerated. Choose wisely.