Archive for the ‘The Wedding’ Category

Vacation Note:
Another Wedding

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008


Here is a very discreet shot of the marriage that was just celebrated a few dozen yards from our terrace. The bride and her father made as they approached the waterfront structure — a sort of topless huppa — where the groom and the scarlet-robed celebrant awaited them.

The bride’s veil drifted over the sand just as dreamily as you might think it would.

Wedding Note:
The Lovely Picture

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008


Who was happier? Each one of them would insist, “I was!” No: knowing them, they would both say, in unison practically, that each of them was as happy as she could be. So there.

How lucky I am, that the two most important women in my life are so fond of one another!

Wedding Note:
The Lovely Day

Monday, November 17th, 2008

The O’Neill men: Mike, Ryan, and Brendon.

When Megan and Ryan got married in April, at City Hall, the day was strictly DIY. The happy couple snagged a breakfast reservation at Balthasar, and found out what they needed to know before going upstairs to the Department of Love (since relocated from the Municipal Building to the old DMV space on Worth Street). We winged the rest of it. The perfect spring day did the caterer’s job to perfection, arranging for a leisurely walk down to the Battery, where we spent the afternoon on a patio overlooking the harbor, and savored a few hours of la dolce vita.

At the start, however, Megan and Ryan planned to get married in November with all the traditional fixings: a white dress, bridesmaids and groomsmen, a caterer, a DJ, and plenty of family. (There were no friends who weren’t “family,” no adults who hadn’t watched the bride or the groom — the wife or the husband, technically — grow up.) They chose a venue in the Garment District, now an airy loft with huge, immaculate windows. Tuxedos were rented and a hair stylist retained. It was everything that a wedding ought to be — completely without any Bridezilla touches.

As a member of the wedding, zooted out in coral vest and tie, I felt that it would be somewhat déclassé to run around taking pictures. I also knew that the professional photographer would do a much, much better job. So we’ll wait to see what he’s got. Facebook friends can see the pictures that Ms NOLA posted yesterday.

In fact, Megan wants to see my picture of her husband and his father and brother, so I’d better wrap this up now.

Weekend Update:
After the Wedding

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Elizabeth and Catherine Yow, Megan’s cousins and very unabashed flower girls. Kathleen is convinced that they’ll both grow up to be lawyers, like their parents.

This weekend’s lovely wedding party, at which Megan and Ryan reaffirmed their vows before a reasonably full complement of family and friends, finished me off. There wasn’t much left. Providentially, I’m about to escape to a patio overlooking the Caribbean.

The good news, I suppose, is that I’m not going to shut down The Daily Blague. That I should even think of doing so may give you some idea  of how extensively the ground has shifted beneath my writing life. Every idea that I’ve got needs a fresh screen test.

There have been a few clarifying surprises. A month or so of fun at Facebook has convinced me I’ll being doing my conventional blogging, the how-I’m-feeling-right-now thing, either there or at some other social site. I have a lot to learn about social sites, but I now know what they’re for, and, correspondingly, what my own sites are not for. I hope that The Daily Blague will become even more reflective as I go on; but it will certainly be even less newsy. Such news as appears will be presented in the focus of bourgeois humanism.

What’s “bourgeois humanism”? (I can hear your groan. You want to hear about the wedding!) That’s what we’re going to find out.

It is not “secular humanism” because it does not propose alternatives to the various strands of religious humanism that have sprouted in the West. It concerns itself with religion only to the extent that different faiths — including the belief that there is nothing to believe in — must learn to get along. I was tempted by the concept of “public humanism” for a while, but that sounds too politically-centered. Bourgeois humanism is a highly centrist outlook that finds, on the one hand, the puritanical calls to environmental austerity to be misanthropic, and, on the other, unthinking consumerism to be inexcusably stupid. Even if I tend to leave the lights on when I go out, I have always been interested in the idea of frugal comfort. I’m honest enough about being bourgeois to admit — no, to insist — that comfort is a human priority. In my ideal world, everyone would be good at making other people comfortable, and yet nobody would be expected to act like a servant.

But enough about abstractions. It’s time for a break. Kathleen and I are taking off for ten days in St Croix, and now I’m looking forward to it. What seemed the other day to be an annoying break in carefully-constructed routine now looks like an extremely well-timed pause. I won’t stop blogging; I intend to post at least one entry every day. But the Daily Office will be suspended, not just because I want to reconsider its purpose but because filling it out requires me to pay attention to everyday chatter. Being a primate, I like everyday chatter as much as anybody, but right now I need a rest.

And this is a pretty good time for that, no? One of the two major news stories, about the election of the next President, has been achieved. The other, about mounting economic disaster, has clouded over with complication, as “related stories” multiply, ramify, and terrify. The meaning of specific developments, none of them isolated, will emerge only over the long term — unless and until some overwhelming cataclysm sweeps away life as we know it, in which case “news” itself will be massively redefined. I don’t expect anything terribly exciting to happen in the next two weeks — not that I don’t hope I’m right!

Aside from putting myself at the mercy of aeronautics — a matter of four flights — I have no reason not to be sanguine about the next two weeks. For the moment, though, I’m too pooped.

Friday Movies:
Rachel Getting Married

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008


I’m very glad that Rachel Getting Married came out when it did, because I learned a lot about weddings that I hope doesn’t happen at Megan and Ryan’s wedding party in November. (A) Potpourri of World Music. (B) Excessive toasting. I want to go to a party, not a spectacle.

Daily Office:

Thursday, June 12th, 2008



Cosmopolitan: It is difficult to know what to expect of people who genuinely lack cosmopolitan aspirations.

Tracking: My very peachy son-in-law has let me in on a way of following my daughter’s flight from Amsterdam to New York. I must be the last guy on the block to know how to know about


Satrap: All morning, I’ve been thinking about James A Johnson, the Obama campaign aide who just resigned in mild disgrace. What is it with the Democrats? Republicans do the same thing, but that’s their religion…


Flippi: Does anyone have one of these Vornado Flippi fans yet? They are the  coolest! (more…)

Daily Office:

Monday, May 12th, 2008


Matins: Sunday on Orchard Street, on the Lower East Side, is still a big shopping day, but I have cropped all of that out of the photograph because I was more interested in the bishop’s-crook streetlamp. And we weren’t there to shop.

Prime: You may have heard that the nation of Belgium is on a course to split in two — Flanders (where they speak a kind of Dutch) and Wallonia (where they speak a kind of French — and also, just to keep things simple, a kind of German). Wallonia used to be rich, in the way of extractive economies, but is now poor; while Flanders used to be poor, in the way of rural economies, but is now rich. Brussels, the French-speaking capital, lies within Flanders.

Tierce: Glorioski! We must be back in the Fifties — because that’s the last time that anybody capable of being published on the Op-Ed page (or its equivalent in those days) produced anything as goofily unsophisticated as Edward N Luttwalk’s argument against Barack Obama: “President Apostate?

Sext: Earthquake in China: Schadenfreude alert.


Weekend Note:
After the Wedding

Sunday, April 27th, 2008


Looking out the window yesterday morning, we couldn’t believe our luck — Megan’s luck and Ryan’s luck, particularly, of course, but really everybody’s luck. The sky lowered grey and bleak, taking us from early May to late March. Today is rather worse. If the wedding had  been a day later — or the weather a day earlier!

But the bad weather, in its way, is just as well, since my pleasure receptors are shot. I couldn’t be happier that yesterday was my day to tidy up the apartment: little or no thought required. Meanwhile, recollections of the wedding steep. (more…)

Daily Office:
(Held Over)

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Mr & Mrs Ryan O’Neill

Matins: It’s a little late for research, but anyone who wants to follow along with this morning’s festive ceremony can read the manual. If you think I’m going to look at it, you’re crazy. I’d flip out over my own misinterpretation of a (to me) unexpected term, and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the wedding breakfast.

Vespers: What a lovely day! From breakfast at ten — meeting Ryan’s delightful parents was nicer than anything on Balthazar’s boffo menu — to getting married at, gee, I don’t know, about one in the afternoon? And then walking down Broadway on the most radiant spring afternoon and having a nice long lunch under umbrellas overlooking New York Harbor (Statue of Liberty included). Home just before seven!

Mr & Mrs Ryan O’Neill….


Daily Office:

Thursday, April 24th, 2008


Matins: When Kathleen heard what I wrote for Compline last night, she paid me the highest compliment by asking to listen to Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music.

Tierce: A little story on the Times’s Web site about losses at Motorola made me wonder what could have gone wrong at the company that gave us the RAZR phone. A little googling turned up this entry at Engadget, in which a former employee, who worked for the late Chief Marketing Officer, Geoffrey Frost (did they really work him to death?), gives an inside view.

Compline: Good news! Everything fits. My glen plaid suit and my fancy new shirt, which was only half as costly as the suit. I was a bit nervous about the shirt; maybe I wouldn’t be able to close the top button. I decided not to wait until tomorrow to find out. I shall sleep better as a result.


Daily Office:

Thursday, April 17th, 2008


Matins: Le jour de mariage va arriver! Here, a week from tomorrow.

Sext: If I were not more than a little distracted by happy family matters (see above and below), I’d search my sites for mentions of “Democratic Party, Death of.” That would be the index heading, if I had an index. Nicholas Kristoff’s Op-Ed piece shows how this demise was brought about by more than the Democratic Party’s candidates’ warring blows. Their candidacies reveal an ever more clear-cut split between “working people” Democrats and “progressive” Democrats. When I think what the postponed recognition of this divide spells for American justice, I weep.

Nones: Wow! A friend just sent me a link to moo, and within half an hour I placed an order for mini-business cards, exactly what I’ve wanted and have been putting off designing. For a tad over $25 net, I’ll be getting one hundred cards.