Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Hope everyone is having a pleasant holiday season. We are still busy as ever, here, but looking forward to a few more restful days before the new year. In the meanwhile, please, enjoy my holiday gift to all of you stragglers who still check here occasionally...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Vito Urinates!

We tried potty-training this summer while we were in Italy, but the results were infuriating. Vito simply refused to try. He would sit on the vasino (the Italian word for it) shaped like a yellow cat and read or drink water, but he would never use it the way you would imagine. He could hold it for hours, make a show of sitting, and then walk around the corner or down the hallway and pee on his shoes. Argh! We eventually scrapped the idea chalking it up to being in an unfamiliar place.

When we returned to the states, my sister gave us a ring for the toilet, but Vito wouldn't have anything to do with it. Yesterday, we took him to Target, and he found a green potty in the shape of a frog. Beaming, he carried it into the house. He sat on it fully clothed yesterday evening, but wouldn't do any more than that. Tonight, after much coercion and trickery on Angela's part, she got him to sit on it in the buff. They read books together and talked, and after about one hour it was time for bed. When he got up, to our surprise, the potty contained the magical pee so eagerly sought after! There was joy in Mudville on this night, even if the Yankees won game two of the world series.

We're gearing up for Halloween this weekend. We will go to downtown Vacaville and trick-or-treat at the businesses, which is something they do for the kids every year. It's fun to see all the kids and grown-ups dressed up, too. On Saturday, we will hit a few select houses in the neighborhood. Should be a fun weekend, in between my grading backlog and writing papers for National.

Here's a little video of Vito doing his thing at the Silveyville Pumpkin Patch.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Moto GP

I spent the summer in Italy with the family, as many of you already know. We stayed in the countryside with Angela's parents and didn't have easy access to the internet. When I did get to use the computer, it was mostly to complete coursework for an online course in which I was enrolled.

Trying to get my bloglegs back, now, despite teaching full time at Sullivan Middle School, teaching Writing for Comics and Sequential Images at the Art Academy University in San Francisco, taking another credential course this month, parenting and husbanding. There's not much time left for my fantasy football league, entering its thirteenth season, but the show must go on...

Anyway, almost every other Sunday, during lunch we watched Moto GP. Angela's brother is a huge fan, and after watching this race, I am too. Here's the final two laps of the race, if you missed it. Valentino Rossi!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Realia 4


what you dream
of facing the hull of another wreck
it sailed off into the wild blue yonder some
half-realized titanic with an emphasis on
iceberg float in the fatal aqua
gah-gah you still saw see!
faux pas in guady gew-gaw whee!
ooh! ahh! moored to the weird maw
of mine pining the far beaches and outer reaches
without a flaw no one on no horizon one fallen but freely
pink all sun-swabbed and succulently
among palms as does late day downwardly i know you
pretty town you know my little city and what
bitter renown comes of trying you must fly with no good-byeing
no sighing no doubling up
bubbling over troubling
stubbling up through the smooth sand and surface
to plant a kiss

Sunday, May 03, 2009

All of April...

...without a getting a word in. It hurt. Quite simply, THAT much is happening in my life and blogging has just taken a back seat!

I started another blog in the meanwhile, though. Wait! That's contradictory! That's a great @#$&% idea, Bob! You can't even update this one regularly. What are you doing starting another one? As you might imagine, my upkeep on the new blog has been lackluster, as well.

I suppose I could back-date this post if I really wanted to keep up appearances...

Things have settled down a little now that I know I will keep my job in the district next year and I won't have to look for one anymore. I still don't know if I'll be at the same school or not, though. In any case, I'm not looking for a job in Saudi Arabia, and I'll be able to enjoy my summer vacation in Italy. Two months all up in it! That's the light at the end of the tunnel...

Vito is excellent. Thanks for asking. He tried finger painting for the first time today. It wasn't even that messy...

I'd like to say more, but it's getting late...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March in a Nutshell

I have to try and get something posted before the end of the month, which is nigh. I wanted to post something so many times, but I didn't. Actually, I did, but that's a secret, at the mo. All will be revealed in time. Anyhow, here's the past month cleverly encapsulated:

Work during the week, as per usual. Receiving a pink slip (should that be hyphenated?) added no additional stress whatsoever. I knew it was coming. Yeah, I'm fine. Really. It's not bother. I mean it.

Read Educational Psychology texts at night.

Bowl on Friday afternoons.

Complete Educational Psychology assignments on weekends.

Sleep as little as possible.

Write more poetry than I have written in months! I'm busier than usual and I write more than usual?! Go figure...

Sprinkle in liberal servings of husbanding and fathering, although with, unhappily, less on the former. The latter won't let me off the hook without a fight...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Star-Spangled Banter Revisited


Just found out today that one of my chapbooks is being listed on a new online bookstore at Unlikely 2.0. This is what is written about the chapbook:
...now available for sale to the less masochistic or those otherwise disinclined to read chapbooks on a computer screen. Star-Spangled Banter is an extroverted passage into the psychological and spiritual American Self; a discussion of boredom, lust, greed, fury, self-righteousness, and other peaceful motives in wartime. Laid out in a wild, spiraling projective verse, Star-Spangled Banter is a controlled and organized wail, a study of the agony of the destructive nature in every nation's soul. It's twenty-eight pages, and we sell it for $5. The cover art by Nancy Victoria Davis originally appeared in Unlikely's July 4th Issue, 2004.
While you're shelling out the ducets for this one, and I know poetry is high on your list of necessities during these times, you might as well order Beijing Background, located on your left in the sidebar...

Look for a new chapbook from yours truly on Plan B Press this spring! Until next we sing...

Monday, February 09, 2009

San Francisco's Chinese New Year Parade

Angela, Vito and two of our FSUSD bowling mates, Crystal and Nic, rode BART into San Francisco on Saturday. We arrived in the city at around 3PM, and the streets in the Financial District were deserted. It appeared that nothing special whatsoever would occur, but as we moved closer to China Town, we began to notice preparations for the parade: police gates along the sidewalks blocking off alleyways and side streets, bleachers, people sitting in chairs along the sidewalks, clusters of tourists standing around.

Angela had read about a street fair, and we wanted to wander through that prior to sitting down for a bite to eat before the parade. While we were approaching the R & G Lounge, the sounds of a drummer and a number of cymbal-beaters rained down on us, and raised our level of excitement considerably. We had found the action.

It's hard to believe that I lived in the city for thirteen years and never once thought about catching the Chinese New Year Parade. Better than I had expected, it was more than two hours long and, as Vito dictated our maneuvers to a certain degree, we had to leave before the festivities ended.

Anyway, enough preamble. Here is one of the highlights of the evening:

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Realia 3

Find the latest installment in our irregularly appearing series of La Princi's photos with poetry by yours truly...


there's a symmetry in our approach
in our nearness or distance

in air-conditioning Hong Kong
air thick and humid

trace patterns in chiaroscuro
wall window wire washcloth

whether we were welcome
to enter and eat tofu

there were more than two of us
contemplating corrugation

warehouse without virtue
we burn incense

stare too long at the window
on the upper floor

where something passed
our ghosts left us

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mmm-Mama

I thought more time had passed between this and my previous entry, but it really hasn't been so long. We're watching the "live" Neighborhood Ball on television. The television has been blasting parades and inauguration reruns since I got home from work. I never watched so much inaugural yahoo before, but I think I'm exceeding capacity...

Speaking of television, while flipping through channels last night, Vito caught a glimpse of Obama and let me know by saying our new president's name. I wasn't surprised that Vito could recognize Obama, but that he could recognize him so quickly. He can't quite get the name out perfectly, though, and it sounds a little like Mmm-mama. I'm guessing that's a combination of Obama and his other favorite word: mamma. I use the Italian spelling for obvious reasons...

This morning, I brought my second period class to the library to watch the Inauguration and we arrived just in time! Aside from the star attraction, I was happy to see Elizabeth Alexander read the poem she wrote for the occasion.

Everyone seems to be discovering Facebook these days, and I'm realizing that there're only six degrees of separation from me and my high school acquaintances...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The New Year Moves On

After a restful couple of weeks away from teaching, I'm back at it. All of our holiday decorations are packed up and stored away, and it's business as usual around here with papers to grade and lessons to plan. For once, the vacation didn't seem to pass too quickly! I'm not saying I was ready for it to end, but it felt just right...

And I thought we had a great holiday, too. A couple days before Christmas, I surprised Angela with tickets to see The Nutcracker in San Francisco, and, having never seen it before, both of us were impressed. She thought I was taking her to see a movie, so the surprise came off beautifully.

I knew Angela would be thrilled. We thought we would be late, actually, but arrived just as the music was starting! Neither of us had ever been to the ballet, and I can't say that it is my first choice in entertainment, but it was great and I would definitely see it again! In fact, we can't wait until Vito is a little older so we can take him and his cousins to see it! Now, I guess I know why there are performances every holiday season. It's a classic!

We rang in 2009 in Reno this year, and stayed with my parents for a few days in their new house there! The weather was perfect. We enjoyed blue sky and sunshine every day. A big storm rolled through right before Christmas, and then disappeared afterward, leaving great skiing conditions behind, which was great.

We took Vito sledding and had a blast playing in the snow. On New Year's Eve, after Vito went to sleep, Angela and me went down town and walked around for a few hours before midnight. The casinos were crowded and smokey, so we really couldn't stand to stay inside. It wasn't terribly cold, and we stood around in the street with a bunch of other revellers, even though there wasn't anything out of the ordinary scheduled. In years past, I read, there had been a fireworks display, but the biggest little city in the world didn't want to pay for it this year. The economic crisis is affecting everything.

Now, our next big plan is to catch the Chinese New Year's parade in San Francisco at the end of the month. We wanted to go last year, but the weather was horrible. Hopefully, it will be more accommodating this year!