Friday, April 27, 2007

Beautiful Imagery

This week's poem is The Improvement by John Ashbery. This one doesn't actually impact me in a conceptual way, but it's more that I really like the cadence and the visualization brought forth. I mean, how can you not like transparent leopards like iced tea?

Friday, April 20, 2007

My precious

This week's poem is by Mary Oliver, entitled The Summer Day. I really like the detailed imagery in this short narrative, and of course, the last two lines just brings the point to home.

'Nough said.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Here we go

Yes, the week is truly almost over and there has been no poem post so far. This is for two reasons. One, I've had a lousy week at work and been really busy/tired, and two, because what few poems I have had a chance to read have not inspired me. I'm determined not to let this situation make me feel discouraged. I started the poem-a-week project not only to keep me up to date on this blog, but also to help nourish my creativity. So in that vein, I decided that this week I would write my own poem.

Now, I haven't written anything creative like this is a very long time. And it was mostly done in flash very late in the evening, so the quality isn't that great. Blah, blah, blah... enough excuses -- Here we go:

Pebbles scatter as toes scramble
   trying to find purchase
Fingers reaching
   hanging on by one hand
Frigid air rushing by
   does not stop to help
Empty blue overhead
   whispers no words of encouragement
Faceless stone under hand
   will not bend for support
Yet hanging still
   and hanging
Not letting go despite
   the fleeing pebbles
   the busy wind
   the hollow sky
   the unyielding cliff
For the ounce within 
   that will push us over the top

-akar 4/11/07

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Our big yard just got bigger

We're buying the empty lot next to our house.

The story is that we've been back and forth on this decision for awhile now. We've been really nervous ever since we started this "building a house" project that we'd end up with lousy, noisy, messy neighbors and thus regret the whole thing. It's been almost a year and a half in the new house, and we felt really lucky that the builder has been busy with so many other things that he hasn't had time or interest in actively selling the remaining two empty lots. We investigated buying the lot next to us back in the beginning, but with the prospect of such a large investment in front of us we did not think it was feasible. And as you might guess, by the time the house was finished we had spent more than originally planned and so it really didn't seem feasible then anymore; especially when the builder raised the price on the remaining lots.

So last week we noticed that there were new "For Sale" signs on the street in front of the empty land, and thankfully we got a call from the builder's secretary. He lowered the price back down some and wanted to give us first opportunity to buy. We looked at the numbers again, and felt that it is within our means. Not only is this an investment in our future -- a piece of land that will hopefully become more valuable over time -- but it is also an investment in our current peace of mind -- we now know we don't have to deal with a bad neighbor for a long time.

As part of the deal, we get the big white barn that is currently sitting on the lot, which Justin is thinking of turning into a workshop. Personally, I have no problem with just leaving it there to be an obstacle in our new, back-yard disc golf course. :)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Just keep right on

This week's poem is a nice refreshing change of pace for most poetry. A True Account Of Talking To The Sun At Fire Island by Frank O'Hara reads like a short narrative -- just a guy telling a story. It starts slow, and you think it might not go anywhere interesting and then before you know it, you've been refreshed and the story is over. Just like a poem should do. So please read, enjoy, and embrace things.

Monday, April 02, 2007

The results are in

After a month of cutting back on lunches and other foods in general, according to my spreadsheet trend-line, I've lost 3.2 pounds. That is actually the kind of progress I was hoping to make. Nothing overly dramatic, otherwise it would be much too easy for me to put it all right back on. So now the goal is to slowly work my way back to "normal" life -- that is, eating out for lunch with coworkers -- while still reducing my intake enough to reach my goal by September. My current plan is to go out one more day each week and take it one week at a time. Keep your fingers crossed with me!