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Musings on my marriage September 23, 2007

Posted by Administrator in Family, Personal.

. . .he wondered if this was simply how marriage was supposed to be, calm and respectful. But no. No. There had to be a melody line that grabbed you, not just harmony and chorus.

– Character Larry Starcek musing on his marriage in Scott Turow’s Reversible Errors

Turow is one of my favorite authors, and as far as I am concerned is the master of telling stories about the law. Part of his mastery stems from the fact that he personalizes his characters so well, and they all have feet of clay, just like the rest of us.

Some themes repeat themselves in the work: the crippled loved one (Reversible Errors and Personal Injuries (Arthur’s schizophrenic sister Susan in RE, Robbie Feaver’s ALS-stricken wife in PI); the tough, grimly realistic cop (Larry in RE, Lip in Presumed Innocent); and most notably, the marriages damned by infidelity, disinterest or hidden secrets, such as Talmadge and Muriel’s marriage in RE, Rusty and his wife in Presumed Innocent, Sandy and Clara Stern [as well as their neighbors and brother] in The Burden of Proof, as well as Robbie Feaver in Personal Injuries.

The quote above gives a typical illustration of how Turow depicts marriage in his novels; the spouses are rarely in love (he is still one of my favorite authors in spite of, rather than because of, this). If they are, such as the Sterns or the Feavers, something fundamental has crippled the marriage; in Feaver’s case, his wife’s terminal illness; in Stern’s case, Clara’s suicide brought about from the shame emanating from her lone infidelity. Turow consistently paints marriage in very bleak terms. And sorry to say, I get the impression that many marriages in America are along the unhappy -or worse, just tolerable- lines.

But they’re not all that way. Mine certainly isn’t.

Turow and others keep suggesting that the patina of love in a marriage dies away early on. That has not been the case with Nina and I.

We both work at our local Catholic high school. I am there all day, she comes in during the afternoons. She arrived as I was monitoring lunch (which I can do from a table in the cafeteria). To this day, she still whips MY head around, as well as some of the younger males in the room.

Granted, being on the downside of 40, she cannot present that sort of “fresh” beauty that is often exhibited by the girls 25 years her junior she teaches, but she looks very good. Better than any other woman within 15-20 years of her age. And if you factor in the reality that she has had seven children, you would say she is impossibly beautiful.

“Hot” is the current adolescent label. That’s Nina.

And where does she sit? Right across from me. And what do we do, in that cafeteria loaded with adolescence?

We flirt with each other. Look, tease, pass innuendo. What fun it all is. And is it helpful for the marriage? You bet.

I tell you this; none of Turow’s characters are sufficiently enamored with their respective spouses that they flirt in a public diner. Anytime Turow’s characters flirt, you may be sure that they are either in some ways being unfaithful, or they are unattached and “on the prowl.”

We’re married, and we flirt. And I tell you this; there is no one else on this earth I would sooner flirt with; not even any of those fresh-faced high school girls. They won’t look near as good as Nina 20 years down the road, and none of them have her heart and brain.

Besides, she’s my best friend, on top of it all.


Ooo. you make me live
whatever this world can give to me
It’s you, you’re all I see
Ooo, you make me live now honey
Ooo, you make me live
You’re the best friend
that I ever had
I’ve been with you such a long time
You’re my sunshine
And I want you to know
That my feelings are true
I really love you
You’re my best friend


Right now, my wife is off in Connecticut, tending to her ridiculous mother (that may or may not be the subject of another post. The woman has pissed me off more than anyone else has in probably 10 years or more. Just being a self absorbed idiot, and if she does not make it right, my intention is to confront her and deliberately humiliate her. She’s worn out her welcome, and that’s all for now on that) and our three oldest kids at the wedding of Nina’s niece, followed by a short sojourn in NYC to see the sites. I am missing Nina terribly, can’t sleep at night, bored silly during the day.

I need my wife back. My lover. My partner. My best friend. I can’t see how marriages collapse. Yes, we have had to work to get here, but haven’t you ever worked in some task, and despite the sweat and the aches and the time involved, you found yourself enjoying the work, particularly if you’re working WITH someone?

That’s marriage, a genuine labor of love.


Wyoming 34, Ohio 33 September 22, 2007

Posted by Administrator in Sports.
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Wyoming rallied to take this game late in the 4th, which is good.

What is bad is that I suspect they set some type of horrible record for turning the ball over seven times and still beat the Bobcats, who only turned the ball over four times.  What the heck was going on in Athens?  Did someone spray all the footballs with lithium grease?

The Irish are screwed. . . September 15, 2007

Posted by Administrator in Sports.
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. . .in just about every way imaginable. They absorbed their ferocious pounding at the hands of a cupcake Michigan team today. 0-3. That’s bad enough. But look at this:

Rushing yards: -4

Total yards: 79

Yards given up: 379

No offensive touchdowns scored now in 14 quarters, stemming back to last year.

And the upcoming schedule. $hit oh dear:

Michigan State (current record, 4-0)

at Purdue (3-0)

at UCLA (2-1). This might look hopeful, as the Bruins just got killed today by a tottering Utah team in Salt Lake City. But, this game is in LA, and it’s very unlikely that UCLA will overlook the Irish, no matter how sad they are coming in to this game. Notre Dame is not Utah.

Boston College (3-0), and stomping everyone.

USC (2-0). Just drilled Nebraska today in Lincoln. Firing on all cylinders again. I loathe the Trojans, and nothing would make me happier than an Irish victory. But it ain’t happening.

Navy (1-2). Here is the chance for Charlie and Co. to go 1-8. But keep in mind that the Middies rolled up 585 yards total offense today (OK, it was against Ball State), but still. Notre Dame at this point hasn’t proven it could stop the Powder Puff Girl’s team from my high school, much less Navy.

Air Force (3-0), and feeling uppity. The Falcons are NOT the Midshipmen. Can you say 1-9?

Here’s the worst part. ND signed Charlie Weis to a 3000 year contract (OK, it was 10) to keep him from bolting to the NFL two years ago. That’s millions of dollars they’ll have to eat to jettison Mr. Weis. Can they do that?

Is this the era where Touchdown Jesus finally puts down His arms?

BSU 24, Wyoming 14 September 15, 2007

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My Blogroll has disappeared. September 15, 2007

Posted by Administrator in Blogging.
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WordPress?? What the HECK is going on??????????????//

College Football funnies. . . September 15, 2007

Posted by Administrator in Sports.
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While wandering around the MWC page looking for news of Wyoming (who beat Utah State last week to make the Pokes 2-0)at ESPN.com, I come across this score:

Utah 27, UCLA 6, 14:46 4th

Utah 34, UCLA 6, 11:44 4th

Utah 44, UCLA 6, 7:41 4th Final Five Bruin turnovers make for an easy Ute blowout.

Now, I’m no big Ute fan, but I do loathe the SoCal teams. If USC and UCLA both received the Death Penalty in NCAA football, I’d view that as the best thing to happen to the PAC-10 in over a generation. This is a score that bears watching.

(BTW: Did you know that UCLA was ranked 11th before this debacle?)


And again. Heh.

And of course, Notre Dame got drilled by Wimpy Blue Michigan, 38-0. Irish had 79 total yards.  I am no Golden Domer either, but since I work in a Catholic school, I am surrounded by Irish fans who will be down in the dumps on Monday.

The Final Word on the (supposed) Heterodoxy of Harry Potter September 13, 2007

Posted by Administrator in Apologetics, Blogging, Education, Smart People.
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I had considered at one point sounding off on this. Michael O’Brien -a writer whose fiction, most notably Father Elijah I’ve greatly admired- has written at length, for many years, about the evils purportedly found within the Harry Potter novels. Frankly, I always felt that he was straining at a gnat, or better yet, a ghost. Contemplated writing a rebuttal in my usual half-assed fashion. There is a problem, however.

I’ve never actually read the series.

It has captivated my children, and I have heard my oldest son read portions aloud to his younger siblings; and I confess that the storyline as presented in his readings and the movies is intriguing.

But when I tried to read Sorcerer’s Stone at the height of the initial frenzy all these years ago, I simply couldn’t find my way past JK Rowling’s prose. It bored the hell out of me. Her plotting was fine, her characterizations adequate. But her sentence structure, paragraphing and overall pacing bored. Me. Stupid.

Which may say more about my shortcomings as a bibliophile than it does about her’s as an author.

All that said, I have been long a supporter of the phenomenon, and I applaud her work.

Fortunately, the proper apologia for Potter -and response to the naysayers like O’Brien- has been given by the inimitable Mark Shea, once again. (He claims -I think rightly- that O’Brien painted himself into a corner years ago and simply refuses to step back over the line and rejoin the party. Too bad for him).

Go read Mark’s work, and the link, right away.

Where Jan Bussey helps me to get that troll picture farther into the ether September 7, 2007

Posted by Administrator in Humor, Smart People.
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Never fails. I post a picture mocking PZ, and the damned thing ends up parking EXACTLY where I want to look at my blogroll for the links. Of course, if I’d WRITE something, I could push that picture down aways, but I’m too damned tired/overworked/distracted to actually WRITE something, so I end up putting up some type of pretty picture I’ve found somewhere else.

Jan Bussey is a photographer from the bucolic Northwest. She sometimes comments on this little site. She shoots pictures, too. Really excellent ones. I don’t.

Awfully nice, aren’t they? Check out her site, right there on my blogroll, “Cascade Exposures.”

And thank her for helping me push the troll back down to where he wishes to be.

Brainless, Bovine Creature is at it again September 5, 2007

Posted by Administrator in Cultural Pessimism, Education, Idiots.
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She needs to take her lithium and level the hell out.

No, it’s not a member of my family I refer to, nor any of my co-workers or students.

But it IS someone who desperately needs to get a life.

Ewwwww. . . . September 1, 2007

Posted by Administrator in Humor, Pharyngulism.
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from the pages of Lunacy R Us Pharyngula:

Still, I think if my Trophy Wife™ and I were in the mood next time we were traveling and found a quiet place in the airport to get wild together, the airport police would have legitimate grounds for arresting and fining us for inappropriate behavior.

Now FIRST of all, I have the “Trophy Wife™”, I’m doubtful about him; not least because of evidence such as this:

(We’re going with the back-profile, as a full frontal picture may result in a damaged keyboard once you’re done vomiting.)

This sort of creature has a trophy wife?  (in fairness, I am a schlub, and have a beautiful wife, but I’m better looking and generally smarter than this guy).

But set all that aside.  Look at that picture again, and juxtapose it with this phrase:

 if my Trophy Wife™ and I were (to find) a quiet place in the airport to get wild together. . .

Hence, the title of this post.