Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Post, a Plug, and a Poem

I'm back to blogging, for now.  This is the above-mentioned Post.

There was a brief period where I said to hell with it and nearly deleted the thing, actually.  I don't know, I had feelings of inadequacy I suppose, thoughts of "who the hell is actually reading this?" and such.  But I decided, who cares.  Regardless of who's reading, I'm doing this for me.  This is my blog goddammit and I have a stated purpose and until that purpose is fulfilled, I'm going to keep hacking away at that ol' mental block of mine.

Hell, even I did ever somehow do away with my frequent bouts of writer's block, I'd still need a place to ramble and post my work.  Even if no one's reading, posting my writing for the world to see will give it more exposure than if it just sat idle on my computer's hard drive.  Right?

So I'm here, and I'm going to keep this up.  I'm excited.  Onto the Plug.


Day By Day Captures is the brainchild of my ever-so talented and lovely fiancee.  The premise is simple: every post contains a single, unedited picture to represent a single day, taken on the very day the post is made.  Each shot is accompanied by a short passage speaking on the importance or the feelings associated with the subject of the photo.  There are quite a few interesting pictures and posts up already so I definitely recommend you check it out :)

Also, occasionally I will be providing some of the commentary, such as in this POST.

Moving on though...
I once had an English professor tell the class (myself in it of course) that if a man (he was speaking to the ladies in the room but really this applies universally I think) ever writes you a beautifully-written love poem, know that you are in trouble.  The reason being that, any man who would write a well-crafted poem expounding upon the nature of love and beauty more likely than not cares far more for the poem than he ever could for you.

This rang so true with me and it was for this reason that I grew to be extremely wary of writing any sort of love poetry...knowing in my heart that it could only be a)great and insincere b)terribly pretentious and insincere or c)sincere but badly done.  Being of course the uptight perfectionist and closet romantic that I am, I chose to just sidestep that whole murky mess and never write any love poems (although I'm sure I filled quite a few pages during high school with terrible love-sick poetry).

Er, I do have a point.  As you may have noticed, the title of this post promises a Poem.  Well, this is my attempt at a love poem, a poem dedicated to my fiancee. I think it's time I let go of my former reservations and show a little vulnerability.  And in accordance with the unalterable truths laid out by that old professor, I will have to write this from the heart rather than from my poet's brain if it is to mean anything at all.  Here goes... 

To My Bumble Bee

I remember that taste of spearmint gum in your mouth
That first time we kissed, in the car, hours after I first knew
I wanted to have your lips touch against mine.
Even now, tasting that same flavor, when I least expect it,
Will send a quick shiver through me as I remember that moment.

I think of your eyes, their honey color, the way they can simmer,
Burn, when they look into mine, in love, in anger, in laughter.
Sometimes I'll look, stare at them, when you don't know it,
When they're most beautiful, when you lose yourself,
Spacing out in that adorable way you do.

Really it was your smile that first got 
Me, the way it lit up your face, lit up mine,
Even through the computer screen.
The one that can still crack my face open
When it comes through unforced, completely spontaneous.

My Bumble Bee, the name that has no reason,
Same as yours for me, I love you though
I don't say it enough, don't show it nearly enough, so much
more than I've let on, I know.  None of the bad stuff matters 
When I can see you grin and we can laugh and be near one another.

You make me happy 
More than anything else can.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Extraordinary Dairy

Fair Oaks Farms

Your adventure begins on Interstate 65 as you make your way southeast from the city, crossing the state line from the suburban sprawl of Chicagoland toward the flat fields, occasional tree clusters, and scattered barns of Northwest Indiana. Hopefully it’s a nice day, a nice cool Midwestern spring or autumn day with a clear, sparely clouded blue sky and a light breeze. The smells of the nearby horse pastures and distant manufacturing plants spewing up smoke above the horizon will slowly infiltrate your vehicle as you speed well past the seventy mile per hour speed limit, doing what you can to keep up with the surrounding pack of cars and semis hurling themselves towards Indianapolis. Try your best to take in the scenery though as you zip through the state. See the abandoned and seemingly haunted farmhouses on the verge of collapse, the honest-to-goodness trailer parks that dot the highway exits, the semi-tankers parked in the fields and painted as billboards – most announcing, in bold and enticing phrases, the praises of your destination: Fair Oaks Farms, home of the Dairy Adventure.

“We Dairy You” puns the tanker zipping by, complete with plastic black and white cows standing on top. More clever billboards will appear every mile or so as you make your approach toward the large dairy. They will become more desperate for your attention, the play on words becoming increasingly groan-inducing (“We got milk and mooore…”) with the depictions of delicious looking cheeses (“Grate Stuff”), ice cream (“The Whine Cooler”), and cold perspiring glasses of milk (“We Double Dairy You”) gratuitously dispensed on every sign. At last, the dairy appears in the distance, the smell of well-fed cows hitting your nose well before the expansive farm can reveal itself from behind its surrounding cover of forest. As you make your way into the large parking lot reserved for visitors to Fair Oaks, yet another plastic cow on a wooden platform will so ceremoniously greet you with the words: “A Dairy Good Time for the Whole Family”. Prepare yourself for fun.

Located roughly 75 miles southeast of Chicago just a few miles north of Rensselaer, Indiana, Fair Oaks Farms is a fairly new facility, built sometime in the last ten years as of this writing, and serves as a real working dairy farm as well as a tourist attraction. The farm is large and popular enough to warrant its very own exit off of I-65 and comes complete with a BP gas station (“Fuel Your Car, Stomach, and Sense of Adventure!”) just outside its main visitor entrance. Expect to see rows of parked yellow school buses denoting the presence of field-tripping school children as well as the brown, black, and white cow buses moving through the lot which will serve as your transport through the mythical lands of dairy farming. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Guest Post - Have You Ever Been 2 Electric Lady Land?

My fellow writer and blogger, Scott, has once again been gracious enough to post my own attempt at a 100-word tale on his blog, A Day is Worth 100 Words.  I encourage you not only to take a look at my tiny, compressed story but to also deeply consider absorbing (and following) the wonderfully sardonic, often hilarious, occasionally metaphysical, and always precisely counted writings of Scott.  You won't be disappointed.

When you click here, you will read a tale of a boy led astray by the seedy underworld of bathroom-stall graffiti. And yes, this post is exactly one hundred words.