Friday, December 19, 2008

Poetic Christmas Tidings

There's so much happening these days, but I suppose that's not unusual for the holiday season. We're as ready as we're going to be, although we still need to brainstorm a Christmas brunch...

At school, today was the last day with students. I'll have to submit my grades before 3:00PM tomorrow, and there won't be any pesky students to distract me, either!

And the weather took a cold turn! It's wet and cold and, well, we need more water in these parts, so it's welcome. We're inside where it's warm and dray!

Finally, please, listen to my Christmas poem. It's unusual for me as I sing part of it. Now, you're warned!



I pretty sure you won't get anything else out of me before the new year, so I hope everyone has a happy holiday!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Realia 2

This, aside from some formatting issues I just resolved, has been ready for a few weeks. I was waiting on approval from the photographer who lives in Hong Kong. As always, things tend toward the hectic around the holidays.

Here is the second in our irregularly appearing series of La Princi's photos with poetry by yours truly...


look back or down
behind look
at what your hand touches
look in grainy hours after
after hours
look hurt through hair
look well below
who held
who hell
look but don't tell
swell in cartoon swerves
what nerves cure look
pervs look and shake
shellshook forsook
fake all cake and too eating
look lamb
she bleating in the bleak
look geek if at all possible
all's well that wends
looks trends look
ends no book
cooker

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

President-Elect Barack Obama & We Three of Orient Are

I always love this time of year. The weather is changing and, with Halloween, it's the beginning of one long holiday season ending with the New Year. What a nice holiday gift we received tonight...

It was announced that Barack Obama had received enough electoral votes and would be the 44th president of the United States. Angela, Vito and me watched him make his victory speech from Chicago. Witnessing history, participating in it, I felt like had to write something...

We had been watching election results for the past few hours. After dinner, among his scattered mega-blocks, Vito watched the television with us and clapped when everyone in Times Square in New York cheered. We were all entranced. Except for New Year's Eve, I had never seen such a celebration, particularly for an election. It was unprecedented!

America has such an ugly reputation abroad. It's a relief to see that we will begin alter our image and heal some of the wounds of the last eight years. During most of those years, I haven't been living in this country, but returned last year just in time to drown in our recent economic depression with the rest of you.

We have taken a dramatic step toward change with this election, and it feels different. It feels positive. Now, we have to all work together to ensure that we continue to head in the right direction.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Moon

Vito has some special kinship with the moon. Day or night, if it's visible, he can locate it. He'll stand in front of the window and point at it, repeating its name over and over.

Driving along in the car, out of the blue, he will say, "moon." Angela and me will look out the car window and, sure enough, the moon is in the sky where he is looking.

He has a book titled: Goodnight Moon.

Occasionally, at night, if Vito is having trouble sleeping, Angela will ask him if he wants to see la luna. He gets very quiet and, as she approaches the window, begins to look for it up into the night sky. It has calmed him enough to allow him to return to sleep.

We also noticed that, while he understands both the English and the Italian words for moon, he only says it in English. Angela likes to say that he chooses the English word. Perhaps, because he already knows the sound that a cow makes, which is similar...

Anyhow, I'm not sure what brought about his fascination with the moon, but I like it. It's poetic...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Relatively Recent Recording

From the 29th of September, Vito speaking. He is really fascinated by the digital recorder and the sound of his own voice played back.

He has a much larger vocabulary of Italian and English words than what is presented here, but he still goes off on such rants. This one culminates in one of his favorite expressions.

Is this enough of a post? I've been sitting here for fifteen minutes trying to add something else interesting, but there's not much of that. I guess I'm just avoiding grading papers...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Aren't You Voting?

This is the most historic election in our country's history! Surely it has some impact on your life.

Who's the real maverick? What?! You know what's good for you, but does this country know? Don't be a pretender. Cast your vote!

I should be doing something productive, but I'm not. Well, I'm not preparing for school tomorrow, anyway. I've been sitting in front of the computer all evening.

About five weeks ago, I joined a bowling league. I'm on a team with another couple. Out of twelve teams, we're twelfth. My fantasy football team is 4-1, though.

Working on the next Realia poem. I think it's ready to go, but I like to let them simmer for a few days before unleashing them.

I've been in touch with many old friends recently, reconnecting after long absences. It's nice...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Realia 1

This first in an irregularly appearing series of La Princi's photos with poetry by yours truly...



language remains
heartbroken
awoken by null sound not round
distorted it's downward evolution
downturned by the side of the ocean
sad primate

this ghostprint
this leftover latency
streaked spotty
your reflection
your gloss
leaky rust-framed
aimed not spoken
when earth shook a lasting impression
when dust a longing a lesson
when cursed nothing a lesion
when it's worst

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Reporting for Duty

Summer vacation ended about three weeks ago. That's when I started writing this post. We had house guests for the past two weekends and we were busy being tour guides so, aside from getting to work on time for the past two weeks, I haven't had much other spare time...

Additionally, this past week was a busy culmination for me. Football season started, which also meant that fantasy season kicked into gear, as well, and I can't wait to catch the 49ers game this afternoon. I joined the FSUSD bowling league and we play our first game next Friday. I enrolled in another course at National and, instead of blogging at this early hour on Sunday morning, I should be working on the assignments that are due tonight by Midnight tonight!

We had been ravenously watching the Olympics, as we always like to, and there were many memorable events. As we lived in Beijing for two-and-a-half years, it was really nice to see things with which we were familiar. Angela was unhappy that many of the events were being broadcast as "live" even though they clearly were not. It didn't bother me at first, but after a few days, it was just ridiculous for NBC to be blatantly erroneous. I got sick of Angela saying: "I already know what happened. Do you want me to tell you?" One other complaint that we had was that we didn't get to see many medal ceremonies! Maybe that sounds silly, but we like listening to the national anthems of different countries. The TV gods let us view a handful of them, but we really didn't get any for the first few days of the games, and that was a real oversight. We didn't have a sense of closure...

Vito is doing great, asleep at the mo, but bound to wake up any minute. Angela put him in his crib yesterday afternoon for his regular afternoon nap and he chattered to himself for two hours without sleeping. He went to bed early last night, though, which was nice!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Check out some of my Dusie chapbook mini-reviews at Galatea Resurrects #10, a blog dedicated to chapbooks. That may be a little specialized for some of you, but it's never to late to start reading poetry! While you're at it, you might as well read my chapbook, if you haven't already, downloadable in an easy to manage PDF format on your left or by clicking here.

Speeding Kills Bears SignWe finally made it to Yosemite! After canceling one reservation, it seemed as if forces were conspiring against us but, somehow, everything worked out in the end. Now that we're back, we only wish we could have stayed longer, but duty calls. Fortunately, the weather was gorgeous and, by car (gas was about $4.82/gallon in Yosemite), we explored almost all of the park, although we didn't spend much time in the valley. We didn't see any bears, but we had a great time, nonetheless. There were these signs everywhere, representing a place where a bear was recently hit by a car. I did get to see a few deer on the side of the road and lots of interesting birds. We can't wait to return for another visit...

Vito's arsenal of animal sounds continues to expand. He can replicate the sounds of birds, cats, cows, dogs, donkeys, frogs, horses, pigs, sheep and wolves. When driving in the countryside, something we've had occasion to do regularly in recent weeks, Vito attempts to communicate with the cows he sees from the car by mooing or, as close as he can get,"booing" them.

Besides his animal ensemble, Vito is beginning to imitate many of our other utterances and, while thrilled that his language experimentation is increasing, this worries me a little bit. If you don't know me, you might be surprised to learn that, behind closed doors, my language use may be somewhat more inclusive than it appears at first glance.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Post All-Star Game Pose & Mid-Month Flows

I'm not much for social networking at the digital destinations these days. In fact, I can hardly answer old-fashioned e-mail with any regularity, so don't take it personally if I'm not responding to your inquiries in those places. Frankly, I'd like to do more of the old-fashioned face-to-face social networking—the kind many of us practiced before we were eBaying or role-playing or creating avatars or blogspotting or whatever.

Baseball's 79th All-Star game last night was the longest one of its kind in terms of both innings and minutes, and I watched most of it, aside from a quick trip to Baskin-Robbins for our usual Tuesday-night $1 scoops. Speaking of ice cream, I don't get too excited about all of the hybrid flavors named after cookies and candy bars. I still like Rocky Road and Gold Medal Ribbon. Whatever happened to rainbow sherbet?

Angela, Vito and Papacito have done quite a few things since the last post (at least, it feels like we have), but it seems awkward, now, to try and recap them all. Best to just move on...

Summer school is nearing completion and the three of us can smell a real vacation less than two weeks away. It's frightening to think how much money will be spent on gas, but we'll try to keep that under control.

The air is still a little smoky, but it hasn't been as hot over the past few days so we've been going outside for longer stretches, if only to walk around the block in the evening. Hopefully, the fires will continue to subside and the air will continue to improve.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Vito & the Giant Redwood

Muir Woods - Vito & the Giant RedwoodFrom the fires, we had been trapped indoors all of last week due to the smoky air that has been suffocating Northern California. Before things got hot, we had taken a day trip down to Muir Woods and Stinson Beach, which was relaxing tonic. It was especially nice to escape the heat in Vacaville for a little while. We're planning a more serious adventure in nature at Yosemite around the end of the month. I haven't gone camping in more than six years so I'm really looking forward to it.

Thankfully, the weather has improved over the past couple of days, and we're hoping to make a visit to the neighborhood park this evening after it cools down a little so Vito can get a little swing time.

Speaking of Vito, he continues to develop and charm us. He likes to hide under the kitchen table and imitate animal sounds. Peekaboo behind chair backs and couch cushions is not uncommon. Books are among his favorite toys, which makes mom and dad happy! When he thinks of it, he hobbles to his little bookshelf, picks out something, and brings it to either his mother or myself. After reading a few pages to him, he leaves to get a different book. This can go on for hours until there are books in every room in the apartment.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day in America & Catch-Up

Vito with PinwheelMy first Father's Day in America and, truth be told, my first real Father's Day. Last year, I was in Italy and Father's Day is celebrated on St. Joseph's Day there, which, if I'm not mistaken, is on the 19th of March. Vito was still a few months from seeing daylight so I didn't really have much of a Father's Day.

This morning, I woke up a little before seven, happy that I had awoken to a quiet apartment. Then I heard Vito's "Dadda" from his bedroom and got up to see what he was doing. He was just standing up in his crib with his arms over the side wide awake. I picked him up and he pointed to a kite hanging in one corner of his room and said: "Duhdah." Then he pointed to a picture on the wall and said the same thing. In the kitchen, he dubbed the light and the clock in the same manner with the same gesture. Despite the fact that he has a larger vocabulary and even though he can distinguish various different objects, he points and utters this variation on "Dadda" at nearly every opportunity. It's funny.

Anyway, aside from Father's Day, for which there was a BBQ at my cousin's, today is also Vito's onomastico or name day, as well as Angela's birthday. We all three had a reason to celebrate and, for good measure, I purchased a couple SuperLotto Plus tickets.

On a more mundane note, I enlisted to teach summer school and that begins tomorrow. *sighs* I probably should be working on lesson plans or something more preparatory than blogging, but I'm not.

Virginia City, Nevada - Gambling Museum IIWith only one week off between the end of the regular school year and summer school, we drove up to Reno last Sunday and spent the next four days with my parents who recently relocated there. We had a great time visiting Lake Tahoe and Virginia City with Grandma and Grandpa Marcacci! One of the most memorable attractions I saw was the tiny Gambling Museum in Virginia City. Some of the old slot-machines awarded players gum balls or cigarettes instead of coins. Virginia City was also, for almost two years, the former residence of Mark Twain, and many of the local attractions were named after him.

Well, it has taken me nearly an hour to complete this post—more time than I had wanted to spend on it—but you're all caught up and I can rest easy until my next post.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Vito Walks

Angela surfed across this clip a couple weeks ago. Obviously, with a baby around Jack-Jack's age, we thought this was hilarious. It might not make much sense, thought, if you're not familiar with The Incredibles, an animated movie about a family of superheroes.

Otherwise, on Monday afternoon, Vito started traversing the apartment on two limbs rather than four. Mama and me were excited. Vito looked pretty thrilled about it, as well, a big smile on his face as he plodded around the house with his arms held out.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Marcacci Progeny & the Apple

I haven't been, obviously, posting as much since the joyful creation and discovery of Marcacci progeny almost one year ago, but I've been receiving many more comments on the blog, despite my lack of attention, which is nice. It could be that I receive just as many comments as I did before, but they're just not as spread out.

Before it slips my mind again, my Dusie chapbook, Imagining a Baby, which you can download and e-read by perusing your choices in the handy sidebar at left, was reviewed at Galatea Resurrects, a poetry review website.

The three of us took sick this weekend, starting with Vito who really only ran a slight fever for a few days and then seemed relatively fine. After that, Angela came down with a cold and, now that it has run its course on her, seems to have found new life in me who, at this moment, would rather be sleeping. Nevertheless, I'm not far from it, and temporarily sacrifice myself for the betterment of the blogsphere, if you can call this that.

Vito continues to do his growing thing. He can get in, perhaps, a dozen steps before hitting the turf or the waiting arms of parentage. Mama is also becoming a more distinct utterance in his lexicon, up till now largely comprised of its natural complement.

Tonight, Vito was playing quietly in the corner near his toy box when I started eating an apple. It's difficult to eat an apple without disturbing the peace, at least the way I eat apples, but he didn't seem to notice, so concentrated as he was on one or other of his blocks.

After a few more crunchy bites, Vito noticed what I was doing and crawled over to the couch, where I was lying, to investigate. He made loud attempts to acquire the apple and, seeing every effort thwarted, turned toward that old standby, the tantrum. "OK. You want some apple?" I asked, getting up from the couch and walking to the kitchen to get a knife. Feeling abandoned, he only increased his tantrum. "Come here," I said, cutting off a small piece of the apple and removing the skin, and he did just that, sensing, possibly, that he'd won.

Well, he wouldn't have anything to do with the little naked apple bit I presented to him. He indicated that he wanted the apple, just not the doctored bit that was in my hand. I held the apple near his mouth and he clamped onto it, really scraping off a piece more than taking a bite, but happy. He chewed for a while and then readied for a second take. He repeated the activity a dozen times, maybe, and then crawled off toward his mother when she entered the room.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Old Sacramento and Such

We found out last week that our summer plans would be dashed against rocks of immigration and that we, to avoid any further strife or unpleasantness, should remain in this country until we have all the necessary documents in hand. We learned that we had failed to submit all of the proper forms for Angela to gain residency and, now that we know better, are welcome to submit the remaining forms (with the additional fees!) and await the merciful hand of bureacracy.

Part of our unhappy journey of discovery included a trip to California's capital, Sacramento, on a gorgeously cloudless Friday afternoon. I hadn't ever really explored Sacramento much, despite having grown up in the area and, before getting back on the highway to return to Vacaville, we stopped in Old Sacramento to look around, which was a surprise. Old Sacramento, designated as a State Historic Park, is a restored Gold Rush-era town along the Sacramento River with many shops, museums and restaurants to explore. A beautiful site, we were overwhelmed by the unusual architecture, wooden sidewalks and cobblestone streets, and plan to return soon when we are better prepared to spend more time there.

Anyway, we had been well into Spring here with teasing glimpses of summer, and then things took a turn for the cold this weekend with rough wind swirling pollen and dust into the icy mix, extending, unhappily, into today. The surrounding hills have lost their verdancy, and are beginning to take on a burnt hue as the sun continues to bake us, despite the wind and cooler temperatures. Spring's last gasp, perhaps, before summer takes hold completely.

School is winding down, though it can't get here fast enough for me. I spent most of the weekend grading papers, but we snuck out for a peep at the Fantasy/Medieval Festival taking place in downtown Vacaville. We took a quick stroll through the streets on Sunday, looking at all of the booths, strangely attired people and other oddities, and then went back home.

For all of you Vito-mongers, he is doing fine. His first birthday is approaching, and it's hard to believe that we have almost been going strong for one year with the little man. He is starting to throw things and get into more and more trouble on a daily basis, but we couldn't be happier.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bubbles!

The weather cooled down noticeably today. Rain had been predicted but there was none of the stuff. Still, it was a hot in the sun, while cool in the shade. It's windy now, outside, and colder than it has been in a while, but I can't really complain. I can't remember if the weather has always been like this during the Spring here in Vacaville, but it seems unseasonably pleasant. Living here again, after an absence of nearly 20 years, I'm continually struck by how beautiful are some of things around me, even though I grew up here.

We woke up today and discovered the photo of Vito and me pictured here on the front page of the local paper, The Reporter. It made our day! We received many calls and congratulations about it. This was one of Vito's first serious experiences with bubbles, having only dabbled in them a few days prior. The photo was taken by Joel Rosenbaum, Senior Staff Photographer for the paper. Additionally, the picture also appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for whatever reason.

Angela, Vito and me were at the park near our apartment, and I was on Vito duty while Angela was trying to fly a kite, something she had only tried, unsuccessfully, once before when we were living in China. I had surprised Angela with a couple of Chinese kites one day. After a few hours of failure, discussion and advice from neighborhood kite experts, and tree rescues, we gave up.

For Easter, I bought us a little mini dragon-shaped kite (like the one pictured here) and, we tried to get if off the ground, but it kept spiraling out of control. After a modification to the tail, it flew quite well, despite the thimble of string that was included which didn't really let it get too far up into the atmosphere. After this effort, we're going to try to get a serious kite and a long spool of string and really test our mettle!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Eve

Dyed EggsEaster is such a different holiday in America with our Easter Bunny and egg hunts. Angela and I were immersed in Catholicism last Easter, spending our time with family in Italy, following processions and church-hopping. Seems like such a long time ago, now, particularly as Vito hadn't joined us, yet. This Easter season, so far, has been happily spent with family, as well, too, albeit on the American side.

My parents are in town for Easter, back from St. George, Utah (which is where they live, now), so we've been spending all of our time together. They'll return to St. George on Monday. As I had Friday off from school, an early start to spring break, we spent yesterday dyeing easter eggs at my grandparent's house in Vallejo with my sister's three kids and had a blast, the partial results of which you can see here. I don't think I have dyed eggs in more than 20 years! Angela had never dyed eggs before so it was quite a new experience for her. After lunch, Vito slept through the egg dyeing and missed all of that action.

San Francisco - Pier 39 - Sea LionsToday, continuing the family activities, we went to San Francisco with my grandparents and my parents. The weather was spectacular. We took a ferry from Vallejo, another first for Angela, and played tourists at Pier 39, eating lunch, looking at the sea lions, riding the merry-go-round, and shopping a bit. I took some sun and feel a little worn out as I put this together, but it was a great day. We'll all meet again in Dixon tomorrow to celebrate Easter at my Aunt Sue's house and close out this Easter weekend. We usually Skype Angela's family in Italy on Sunday mornings, so we also have that to look forward to when we wake up.

Vito Update: Our son quickly mastered the crawl, which was the new move I mentioned in my previous post, and has since learned how to pop up on both feet and cling around the house, further endangering unsuspecting books and closet doors. He's excited about the change and, I suppose, it won't be long before he can do it without the aid of walls and table legs.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Crawling & Cybersprawling

We're already halfway through February. My students wanted to know what I was going to do for Valentine's Day, a much more jittery tittering sugar-filled hormonal dream for them then for me. As we're being tight-fisted with our expenses, we didn't do much, although I did splurge on a bouquet of flowers for Angela.

The weather has been brilliantly clear and spring-like since my last post. The hills are green and lush, spotted here and there with pink and white blossoming trees. The fine weather should continue for, at least, another week. That's as far ahead as I've seen in the forecast.

Vito, a few days over nine months old now, continues to be the harbinger of curiosity and chaos. As teeth started descending, two dentini already well-sprouted for a few weeks in the lower gums, he began crawling last week. Every electrical cord is in danger! Alas, now we have to baby-proof everything within his reach as he can open cabinets, destroy plants and pull books off of shelves. In these days, it seems like we can see daily changes in his development. We were surprised to discover that he could even pull himself to his feet while in the crib!

I couldn't sleep anymore this morning, so I got up to read the newspaper and *gasp* tap out an entry for the blogpeople on this first day of the second consecutive three-day weekend. We're going to go to a few garage sales later today. We did the same last weekend and found a nice large oak bookshelf which we acquired for a measly $5. Now, we're looking for a desk as I've been planning my lessons and grading papers on the living room floor which, aside from being overly tempting for Vito, is uncomfortable.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Getting Back on the Horse

It's hard to believe so much time has elapsed since my previous post. I haven't done this in a while. It feels strange, but I've come back, at least, temporarily. I don't anticipate being able to make more than one post per week in the coming weeks, but I won't make any promises one way or another and spare myself that potential failure...

Life is good. After a less than restful holiday trip to Italy for Christmas and New Year's, Angela, Vito and me have returned to the USA and moved into our own apartment, finally. We're getting settled in slowly, and I'm starting to reconnect with friends and such...

It's raining steadily here in the real California world now as I tap this onto the good old cyberskin. It has been raining incessantly all week and should continue through the weekend. I can't complain about it, though. After living abroad for so many years, I appreciate California much more. Since we returned here a few months ago, the weather has otherwise been splendid...

Being a father, a husband, a son, a grandson, a student and a breadwinner has kept me busy. Rewarding enough roles in and of themselves. All the juicy poetry stuff that was had come to a grinding halt, but I've been resuscitating that part of me a bit more, lately. I'm starting a poetry club at my school! The project may not sound glamorous enough to you, but I'm excited about it. It will take a while to get back to full speed but, with new priorities and a calmer outlook, things are moving back into place...

I added a translator on the sidebar over there