EppsNet Archive: Marriage

EppsNet Book Reviews: Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

29 Mar 2014 /

Richard Yates poses the question of how much reality people can stand, and the answer he comes up with is “not very much.” Alternatives to facing reality head-on are explored in Revolutionary Road: avoidance, denial, alcoholism, insanity and death.

Some excerpts:

“You want to play house you got to have a job. You want to play very nice house, very sweet house, you got to have a job you don’t like. Great. This is the way ninety-eight-point-nine per cent of the people work things out, so believe me buddy you’ve got nothing to apologize for. Anybody comes along and says ‘Whaddya do it for?’ you can be pretty sure he’s on a four-hour pass from the State funny-farm; all agreed.”

 

And all because, in a sentimentally lonely time long ago, she had found it easy and agreeable to believe whatever this one particular boy felt like saying, and to repay him for that pleasure by telling easy, agreeable lies of her own, until each was saying what the other most wanted to hear — until he was saying “I love you” and she was saying “Really, I mean it; you’re the most interesting person I’ve ever met.”

People’s inability to absorb large, unfiltered doses of reality probably explains why New Yorker fiction editor Roger Angell wrote to Yates’s agent in 1981, “It seems clearer and clearer that his kind of fiction is not what we’re looking for. I wonder if it wouldn’t save a lot of time and disappointment in the end if you and he could come to the same conclusion.”

And why at the time of his death in 1992, all of Yates’ books were out of print.

Rating: 5 stars


I Am the Bath Day Messenger

22 Mar 2014 /
Lightning and his Bear

Lightning and his Bear

My wife is preparing to give the dog a bath in the kitchen sink . . .

I say, “Lightning says be sure to warm up the water before you start spraying him with it.”

“I always do that.”

“He says that in his experience, the water is sometimes too cold . . . I’m just telling you what he said. Don’t shoot the messenger.”

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What is Love?

17 Feb 2014 /

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

My wife tells me that LACMA has free admission today for Presidents’ Day, and if I want to go, she’ll come along as my arm candy.

I enjoy art museums; my wife doesn’t. If she had clammed up about the free admission, I would never have known about it.

That’s what love is . . .


Japan, Day 1: Osaka Castle, Todai-ji Temple, Kiyomizu Temple

22 Dec 2013 /

Osaka Castle

The main tower of Osaka Castle is situated on a plot of land roughly one square kilometer. It is built on two raised platforms of landfill supported by sheer walls of cut rock, using a technique called Burdock piling, each overlooking a moat. The central castle building is five stories on the outside and eight stories on the inside, and built atop a tall stone foundation to protect its occupants from attackers.

The Castle grounds, which cover approximately 60,000 square meters (15 acres) contain thirteen structures which have been designated as Important Cultural Assets by the Japanese government.

In 1583 Toyotomi Hideyoshi commenced construction on the site of the Ikko-ikki temple of Ishiyama Hongan-ji. The basic plan was modeled after Azuchi Castle, the headquarters of Oda Nobunaga. Toyotomi wanted to build a castle that mirrored Oda’s, but surpassed it in every way: the plan featured a five-story main tower, with three extra stories underground, and gold leaf on the sides of the tower to impress visitors.

Osaka Castle: Otemon and Main Tower

Osaka Castle: Otemon and Main Tower

My son asks me, “Couldn’t invaders cross the moat on this bridge, just like we’re doing?”

“I’m going to go out on a limb here and speculate that the bridge was added in modern times, not as part of the original construction.”

Osaka Castle: Moat

Osaka Castle: Moat

We entered the castle through the Otemon Gate:

Osaka Castle: Otemon (Western) Gate

Osaka Castle: Main Tower

Osaka Castle: Main Tower

Osaka Castle: Main Tower

Osaka Castle: Main Tower

There was a gentleman at the castle with a large supply of something or other that birds like to eat, so the birds followed him around:

Osaka Castle: The Birdman

Osaka Castle: The Birdman

He didn’t speak English but he kindly shared some of his bird food with us:

Osaka Castle: Feeding the birds

Osaka Castle: Feeding the birds

Todai-ji Temple

Todai-ji (Todai-ji, Eastern Great Temple), is a Buddhist temple complex located in the city of Nara, Japan. Its Great Buddha Hall (Daibutsuden), houses the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana, known in Japanese simply as Daibutsu. The temple also serves as the Japanese headquarters of the Kegon school of Buddhism. The temple is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site as “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara“, together with seven other sites including temples, shrines and places in the city of Nara. Sika deer, regarded as messengers of the gods in the Shinto religion, roam the grounds freely.

We entered Todai-ji Temple through Nandaimon, the Great Southern Gate. In the photo below, the stand on the left sells biscuits you can buy and feed to the deer. More on that later . . .

Todai-ji Temple: Nandaimon, the Great Southern Gate

Todai-ji Temple: Nandaimon, the Great Southern Gate

Todai-ji Temple: Nandaimon, the Great Southern Gate

Todai-ji Temple: Nandaimon, the Great Southern Gate

Todai-ji Temple

Todai-ji Temple: Chumon Gate

Todai-ji Temple

Todai-ji Temple: Chumon Gate

Great Buddha Hall

According to records kept by Todai-ji, more than 2,600,000 people in total helped construct the Great Buddha and its Hall. The 16 m (52 ft) high statue was built through eight castings over three years, the head and neck being cast together as a separate element. The making of the statue was started first in Shigaraki. After enduring multiple fires and earthquakes, the construction was eventually resumed in Nara in 745,[8] and the Buddha was finally completed in 751. A year later, in 752, the eye-opening ceremony was held with an attendance of 10,000 people to celebrate the completion of the Buddha. The Indian priest Bodhisena performed the eye-opening for Emperor Shomu. The project nearly bankrupted Japan’s economy, consuming most of the available bronze of the time.

Todai-ji Temple: Great Buddha Hall

Todai-ji Temple: Great Buddha Hall

Todai-ji Temple: Great Buddha Hall

Todai-ji Temple: Great Buddha Hall

Todai-ji Temple: Great Buddha (Daibutsu)

Todai-ji Temple: Great Buddha (Daibutsu)

Todai-ji Temple: Great Buddha (Daibutsiu)

Todai-ji Temple: Great Buddha (Daibutsu)

Todai-ji Temple: Buddha

Todai-ji Temple: Buddha

Nara Deer Park

According to the legendary history of Kasuga Shrine, a mythological god Takemikazuchi arrived in Nara on a white deer to guard the newly built capital of Heijo-kyo. Since then the deer have been regarded as heavenly animals, protecting the city and the country.

Tame Sika Deer roam through the town, especially in Nara Park. Snack vendors sell “shika sembei” (deer biscuits) to visitors so they can feed the deer.

Nara Deer Park

Nara Deer Park: Deer are not naturally aggressive

Nara Deer Park

Nara Deer Park: Deer are not naturally aggressive

Nara Deer Park

Nara Deer Park: Deer are not naturally aggressive

“Deer are not naturally aggressive if you’re not aggressive with them,” our tour guide says.

In other news, grass is green and water flows downhill. What would an aggressive deer do anyway? What sort of aggressive deer behavior should we be on the lookout for?

OK, I’ll tell you: You can buy shika sembei (deer biscuits) to feed the deer. Deer really like the deer biscuits. If you have biscuits, the deer will surround you and nibble on you. While you’re feeding the ones in front of you, the deer who couldn’t find room in front will nibble you from behind so they don’t get left out.

In fact, if the deer are not sure if you have biscuits or not, they may nibble on you anyway, usually in the area of your pockets, which would be an ideal place to conceal deer biscuits.

A good thing to know is that the deer do recognize and respect an open-handed, “See I don’t have any deer biscuits” gesture and will acknowledge it by not nibbling you.

These deer, sika deer, are regarded as messengers of the gods in the Shinto religion. If that is true, the message the gods are sending us is “More biscuits, please.”

Nara Deer Park

Nara Deer Park: “More biscuits, please.”

Nara Deer Park

Nara Deer Park

Nara Deer Park

Nara Deer Park

Kiyomizu Temple

Kiyomizu-dera, officially Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera is an independent Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto.

Kiyomizu-dera was founded in the early Heian period. The temple was founded in 798, and its present buildings were constructed in 1633, ordered by the Tokugawa Iemitsu. There is not a single nail used in the entire structure. It takes its name from the waterfall within the complex, which runs off the nearby hills. Kiyomizu means clear water, or pure water.

Wikipedia
Kiyomizu Temple: Main Veranda

Kiyomizu Temple: Main Veranda

Kiyomizu Temple: Nio-mon Gate and Pagoda

Kiyomizu Temple: Nio-mon Gate and Pagoda

Kiyomizu Temple: Nio-mon  Gate and Pagoda

Kiyomizu Temple: Nio-mon Gate and Pagoda

The temple complex contains several shrines, including the Jishu-jinja Shrine, known as the dwelling place of the god of love and matchmaking. Praying there is said to help one succeed in finding an appropriate love match.

Kiyomizu Temple: Jishu-Jinja Shrine

Kiyomizu Temple: Jishu-Jinja Shrine

The temple is popular with young people looking for good fortune in love.

Kiyomizu Temple: Kimono Girls

Kiyomizu Temple: Kimono Girls

Japanese Lanterns

Japanese Lanterns

Kiyomizu Temple: Pagoda

Kiyomizu Temple: Pagoda


A Display of Interest, However Shallow

17 Dec 2013 /

He himself did not care what happened at the house during the day. There was no more reason for her to be curious about his work than for him to be concerned with the groceries, laundry, getting the children to school, and whatever else she did. Yet it would seem rude, almost brutal, to drop the pretense and admit that neither particularly cared what the other was doing. A display of interest, however shallow, made life easier.

— Evan Connell, Mr. Bridge

Lightning’s 6 Keys to Marital Bliss

27 Oct 2013 /

Hi everybody! It’s me, Lightning!

Lightning at the Dog Park

What does a dog know about marriage is what you are probably asking yourself. Well, I know about lighthearted enjoyment of life and overcoming negativity, and negativity is a big problem in human relationships. That is what I see.

So here are my tips:

  1. Be positive and not negative. Remove all negativity. I have done this every day now for 10 years. You should start out and try for at least 30 days in a row.
  2. Show your partner every day that you love them and appreciate them.
  3. If your partner says or does something that you don’t understand, be curious about it and not judgmental.
  4. Make your partner feel completely safe around you.
  5. Have fun together.
  6. Be a predictable source of pleasure.

— Lightning paw


Gay Divorcee Wants $94,000 a Month

21 Sep 2013 /

Jane Lynch’s ex wants $94,000 in monthly spousal supportMSN TV News

Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch

You’ve gotta be careful what you wish for.

We want to be able to marry our same-sex partners. We want to enjoy the blessings and sacraments of love just like straight people.

O-kay . . . do you also want to pay $94,000 a month to your same-sex partner when things don’t work out?

Back in the pre-gay-marriage era, Jane Lynch could have ended the relationship with a handshake and perhaps a modest gratuity if she felt like it.

People don’t know when they’re well-off. Group A feels put upon in comparison to Group B, wants to be more like Group B, and doesn’t think about having to give up the advantages of NOT being like Group B.

As Bobby Fischer used to say, “To get squares, you’ve got to give squares.” Everything’s a tradeoff.


Husband Descending a Staircase

19 Sep 2013 /

Husband Descending a Staircase


A (Nearly) Perfect Murder

14 Sep 2013 /

A Montana woman was charged on Monday with killing her husband of eight days by pushing him off a cliff at Glacier National Park during an argument and after expressing doubts about the marriage, court records show.

Jordan Graham, 22, was charged with second-degree murder in U.S. District Court in Missoula stemming from the July 7 death of her husband, Cody Johnson, 25, of Kalispell. . . .

Graham on July 11 reported to emergency dispatchers at Glacier National Park that she had found her husband’s body below a steep hiking path. It was not immediately clear how far he had fallen.

Graham later admitted to authorities that she had lied about Johnson’s death and that she had shoved him off a cliff during an argument while hiking.

Jordan Graham taking a page from my playbook, in which I postulated years ago that the best way to murder someone and get away with it would be to push them off a cliff, because it would be very hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the fall wasn’t accidental.

Maybe I should have added, although it seems obvious, “unless you confess to the crime.”

On the flip side: Don’t get into an argument with your spouse when you’re standing at the edge of a cliff.


Is the Medication Working?

17 Aug 2013 /

Fluoxetine (Prozac), an SSRI

“How is your new medication working?”

“I can’t tell yet . . . I’m going to read for a few minutes then I’m going to bed.”

“How is your new medication working?”

“You just asked me that 10 seconds ago.”

“You didn’t answer me.”

“I DID answer you. I said I CAN’T TELL YET.”

“I don’t think it’s working.”


Jane Lynch, Gay Divorcee

14 Jul 2013 /
Jane Lynch at Outfest 2010

Jane Lynch at Outfest 2010

Jane Lynch and her wife of nearly three years, Lara Embry, are planning to divorce.

“Lara and I have decided to end our marriage. This has been a difficult decision for us as we care very deeply about one another. We ask for privacy as we deal with this family matter,” Lynch told ABC News in a statement.

This is a great time to be a divorce lawyer. Legalizing gay marriage means more marriages, which means more divorces.

Also, emotion equals money in divorce cases. More emotion means more money for lawyers, and gay people are very emotional.

In keeping with a stupid but time-honored custom, the couple announces the divorce, then asks for privacy, which they’d be more likely to get if they just skipped the announcement.


James Gandolfini Will See You in Hell

21 Jun 2013 /

Satan

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan -- PE]

James Gandolfini is in Hell now. He says hi, and thanks for all the kind words.

I’ve been at this gig a long time now but it still amazes me the hyperbole that surrounds the death of actors. Every one of them who dies is one of the great thespians of all time, if you buy into the post-mortem hype.

Most lines of work have objective standards. When Joe Shlabotnik bites the dust, you can’t eulogize him as one of the great ballplayers of all time. But acting is something anyone can do well. You learn the script, say your lines and pick up your check.

“He died too soon,” people say. When was he supposed to die? Like we can’t find another fat Italian guy to learn a script, say his lines and pick up his check?

As George Burns used to say, “Good acting is when Walter Matthau says to me, ‘How are you?’ and I answer, ‘Fine.’ That’s good acting. If Walter Matthau asks me, ‘How are you?’ and I answer, ‘I think it fell on the floor,’ then that’s bad acting.”

George is in heaven now.

Gandolfini’s in Hell for a couple of reasons. He was married — not when he died, but a long time ago — to a woman named Marcy Wudarski. He divorced her in December 2002, after he got famous from being on the television. They had a young son together.

Listen up, big shots. And this goes for the ladies too. You wake up one day and realize that you’re famous and you’re married to a Polack from New Jersey. You took what you could get at the time but you could do a lot better now. (Gandolfini’s widow is an Asian ex-model.) Do you have kids? No? Fine! Do whatever you want!

But God likes for married couples with kids to stick together. He says that all the evidence points to kids with intact families doing a lot better in life. Yeah, I know you’re bored with your relationship but your kids aren’t bored with it so quit being selfish.

Reason number two: God gets angry when people pretend to kill and be killed for entertainment purposes. Heads up: A lot of folks are going to Hell over this one. Death is the main source of entertainment in the U.S. at this time. Death and karaoke shows. And God doesn’t like karaoke shows either.

Gandolfini is famous for being on a TV show that entertained people with violence and death. Who’s laughing now, fat boy?

See you in Hell . . .


Mothers Day is the Biggest Headache on the Calendar

13 May 2013 /
Mother's Day card

[Editor's Note: Obviously I disagree with this egregious opinion, but I'm committed to hosting a wide range of viewpoints. -- PE]

You have mothers, you have wives who are also mothers, you have daughters who are also mothers . . . attention has to be divided and no one is satisfied with her share of the pie. As a son, husband and/or father, you can’t win, it’s just a question of how badly you’re going to lose.

Women are bitching on the run-up to Mothers Day, they’re bitching on Mothers Day, and they’re laying down ground rules regarding what they will and will not put up with on next year’s Mothers Day.

It’s a big foofaraw and nobody’s happy.

Conversely, on Fathers Day, everyone’s as happy as a lark, despite the fact that Fathers Day is commemorated, in my family at least, by absolutely nothing.


Home Runs

11 Apr 2013 /
Willie Mays

My wife asks how my job is going . . .

“I’m hittin’ home runs like Willie Mays!” I reply. “You know Willie Mays?”

“No.”

“I’m hittin’ home runs like Mark McGwire!”

“I know Jackie Robinson.”

“Jackie Robinson didn’t hit a lot of home runs.”


Two Kinds of People

8 Mar 2013 /
Chris & Jessica Engagement - Falling

There are two kinds of people in the world:

  1. People who, when having a disagreement with their spouse, are more likely to give a thoughtful response that helps the situation.
  2. People who, when having a disagreement with their spouse, are more likely to do or say something that makes the situation worse.
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Gore Vidal, Lifelong Bachelor

2 Aug 2012 /
English: Gore Vidal at the Union Square Barnes...

The Economic Times here in Bangalore has a great obituary of Gore Vidal.

It includes an anecdote in which Vidal skewers Saul Bellow and his multiple wives, followed by the sentence

Never married himself, Gore . . .

Probably, like Liberace, just never found the right girl.


Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Divorcing

29 Jun 2012 /
Cruise jumps on the couch during the taping of...

“Kate has filed for divorce and Tom is deeply saddened and is concentrating on his three children,” said a statement from Cruise’s rep on Friday. “Please allow them their privacy.”

Again the press release asking for privacy. ATTENTION EVERYONE! A LITTLE PRIVACY PLEASE!

If not for the press release, who would know or care about this? I’ve got my own problems, thank you.

And it’s another blow to the theory, believed by many, that having a lot of money, free time and famous friends is a guaranteed ticket to happiness. No one’s life is a fairy tale, no matter what it looks like . . .


Masked Intruder

17 May 2012 /

New Yorker cartoon


See You in Hell

19 Feb 2012 /

Satan

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan -- PE]

It used to be called illegitimacy. Now it is the new normal. After steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage.

The shift is affecting children’s lives. Researchers have consistently found that children born outside marriage face elevated risks of falling into poverty, failing in school or suffering emotional and behavioral problems.

HA HA HA! And it’s only going to get worse!

These poor illiterate bastards will be stabbing each other for food in a few years!

Unwed mothers are my meal ticket. Keep up the good work, my little darlings!

See you all in Hell . . .


Overheard

30 Jan 2012 /

Web comic


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