Falling in November
What has been up with this weather? In Kansas,
it's been quite Spring- and Summer-like--gorgeous days of 65 to 80-ish degrees instead of
brutal, wintry stuff. (Not that I'm complaining--this compliments an otherwise
perfect Autumn). I hope it stays this way through December, though I'm sure I won't
get that lucky.
The trees have begun to shift out of beautiful and
varied hues into browns, but while they lasted the reds, yellows, greens, and oranges were
quite brilliant this year.
Since The Sixth Sense
Life's been exceptional since the end of September (when
I saw The Sixth Sense a second time, with Heather).
Here's all the news worth mentioning:
- September ended well: my friend Stacey and I bought
books at the Lawrence Public Library annual book sale on the 30th
or so, then in the next day or two hit The Dusty Bookshelf (a local used
book store) and Borders.
Many a bargain was bought, including John Gardner's The
Art of Fiction (Gardner's brilliant, and also wrote Grendel, one
of my favorite alternate takes on mythology), Barbara Hambly's Graveyard Dust
(I've heard good things, figured I'd try her out), The Best American Essays 1997,
Umberto Eco's The Island of the Day Before (how could I possibly pass it
up for a mere $6?), G. K. Chesterton's Thirteen Detectives (a collection
of mysteries; Neil Gaiman loves Chesterton, and I'm only familiar with his non-fiction
essays, so I thought I'd try him out), and Walter Cronkite's A Reporter's Life
(I've long admired Cronkite).
I'm sure I picked up a few other books between those
trips, but I must have already shelved them, so I don't recall what they were offhand.
The Gnashly Crumb Tinies by Edward Gorey--in a new edition, about
the right size for reading to your kids--was the only book that I bought at Borders.
- The first full week of October I managed to miss two
rather cool events, though both ended up working out OK in the end. I had planned to
attend a W. S. Merwyn reading on 10/05/99 at Rockhurst University in
Kansas City, but all my friends bailed except Irene (another writerly-pawn of Sprint). However, by the time Irene and I
ate dinner at the Seventy Fifth Street
Brewery, the reading had already begun, so we blew that off and hung around
reading poems for several hours (none, ironically, by Merwyn).
The second gig, literally this time, I missed was Hyperspherion--a
local, Lawrence-based band that I know one of the members of. They were
playing at the Bottleneck, but I was too tired to attend. I also missed them later
in the month over All Hallow's Eve weekend [sigh]. I'll catch them eventually, of
that I'm quite sure.
- That same week, however, I did manage to catch up with my
old poetry professor Vic Contoski, a brilliant poet and teacher. We ate dinner at Paisano's,
talked about life and love, death and the afterlife, poetry, old friends, and all-in-all
had a wonderful visit.
Vic's in the process of self-publishing a rather limited edition print run (80 copies or
so, from what I gather) of his wife Dzidka's collages, photographs, and mosaics--her
life's work, from what I understand. He also just won the 1999
HOPE Award at KU!
- I did manage to welcome Heather
back from her trip to New York City with her good and dear friend Lisa. Heather and
I ate dinner and caught up after her long absence. (This was the night of the Hyperspherion
show as well: since Heather didn't return to town 'til later, after eating I was
quite exhausted and not really up for running out to a smoky bar). She then promptly
fled to Wichita for the weekend to visit family and friends. Poor Allan! 8-)
- My good and dear friend Scott Kemme
threw a party in KC on Saturday, October 9th (also the birth date of my brother Phil, who
turned 28: I thought it was very kind of Scott to throw Phil a party out here in his
honor). The next day I saw the film Mumford with my friend
Meredith--it was pretty enjoyable, and deeper than I had expected it to be, though it
dropped a few subplots like tequila shots, never to return to them.
Heather returned on Sunday night, and we went for a walk, talking about the stars, her
visit and family, life in general, etc.
- Monday night, October 11th, Heather and I saw American
Beauty: an amazing film: while I liked both The Matrix
and Sixth Sense better, American
Beauty was spectacular! The casting, acting, and storyline were very
*** Warning: American
Beauty spoilers follow throughout next paragraph.
*** Warning: American
Beauty spoilers follow throughout next paragraph.
*** Proceed at own risk. Not
responsible for ruination of the movie for you.
An interesting question I am left with about the film is why did Colonel Fitts kill Lester
Burnham? Some friends and I have talked about it, and have come up with two
#1: Colonel Fitts was, in fact, gay.
Fitts couldn't stand the fact that Lester knew that he was gay, and then rejected
him, therefore he killed him.
#2: Colonel Fitts loved his son
so much that--despite his revulsion toward homosexuals--he went over to kiss Lester in
order to confirm/deny that his son was in fact sleeping with Lester. This paints
Fitts in a much more self-sacrificing light, by showing the great lenghts he was willing
to go to for his son, but then leaves his reasons for killing Lester a bit murky for
I'm not too sure which option I like
better, but will probaby have to watch the film again to come to a decision. For the
record, most of my friends had thought option #1 was the true state of affairs, and I
thought it was option #2.
Beauty spoilers concluded.
*** Resume standard reading precautions.
After the film, I kissed Heather for the first time.
- Heather and I began to spend more time together after
Heather told me she was in love with me on the 14th. I'd already begun to fall in
love with her, but wanted to surprise her with a poem on the subject, so (somewhat
sillily, I have to admit) I didn't really reply to her "I love you" in kind at
that moment. Sort of awkward, but a good-intentioned awkward, at least 8-)
I was outed though, by my friend Kimberly in NJ, while chatting with her the next night:
Heather and I were catching up on email, when Kimberly's chat request began with
"So, what's all this about being in love" or somesuch (I'd sent Kimberly email a
week or so earlier about Heather, and that I was falling in love with her).
I still haven't written that poem yet, either . . . .
- On October 16th, Heather and I visited her friend Vicki
Scales and Jim Divney, out at their farm in Oskaloosa (I think??). We ate some great
bread, chili, and barbequeue beef, met a bunch of wonderful people, took a long walk along
a country road, and cooked up smores under the night sky at a bonfire. In addition
to Vicki and Jim, I met a very cool guy there named Bob Heintzen who works at Topeka's VA
Hospital (he and I hit it off really well--sort of like two alligators sunning themselves
on a big rock looking over and saying, "Hey, you're an alligator--so am I: how
cool is that?" ;->), and his wife Karen; a poet named PEZ who teaches at Haskell
and is from upstate New York; [more people] (If I got anyone's names wrong here, please let me know!).
Suffice to say that we had a wonderful time, and offer many thanks to Vicki and Jim for
hosting the gathering, providing the food, and the good company!
- The rest of October was less eventful. Our friend
Elizabeth Mulkey turned 28 on 10/21; we (Heather and I; Shawn, Elizabeth, their baby Zoe,
and Elizabeth's mom) celebrated with dinner at Paisano's. Heather and I gave
Elizabeth a copy of Sarah McLachlan's
B-Sides and Other Stuff (ya gotta love someone who can use "stuff"
properly!) to Elizabeth, who (with her husband Shawn) introduced the two of us.
Friday the 22nd, with her friend Jaime, Heather interpreted for School House
Rocks! (a live theatre version of the old Saturday morning ABC educational
cartoons; Heather had comp tickets so I attended the show for free and saw her
interpretating in action for the first time!). The show was a lot of fun, the
performers were great, and my nostalgia gland hit an all-time high!!!
On the 23rd, Heather and I visited with David and Susan in KC: we arrived in the
afternoon and ate lunch at J. Alexander's, then returned to their
apartment to play games for awhile. Afterward, we all went out to eat dinner with a
group of other friends (Nancy, Robin and Tony, Jennifer, and Sumita), then split up:
Robin and Tony, Nancy, David, Heather and I haunted housed at The Edge of Hell
while Susan, Sumita, and Jennifer saw The Story of Us, which was
apparently good, though somewhat depressing.
- The last weekend of October I had expected to be quite
busily taken up with a visit my cousin Denise, her husband Robert, their newborn daughter
Grace, and Robert's extended famly Columbia, MO, but that didn't end up happening.
So, Heather and I sort of ended up with a bonus weekend: no travel, no mass
family gathers (Robert's sister Courtney was marrying her now-husband Mark), etc.
Heather and I hung out most of the weekend: we
went shopping downtown--including Lovegarden,
a few clothes stores (Heather bought a sweater, I nabbed two shirts, a light sweater, and
a vest), etc.
Robert and Misti Edwards threw a Halloween party, but
neither Heather nor I really felt like driving up there Saturday night after a full day of
wandering, and we also didn't have costumes, so we bailed. The next day, though??
- 11/2-3? movie w/Heather: october sky
- 11/6 = disc golf, bbabll cancel to party, dinner @
freestate/la familia cancel to carlos,
- 11/8 = bday w/heather
- 11/12-14 = h in wichita, me w/d & s: rball, films,
- 11/20 = matt/elise engagement party
All Things Heathery
So, basically, to sum up Heather and I: I'm in
love: absolutely, completely, unconditionally. While I don't want to put words
into her mouth, I can safely state that "ditto" would sum up her thoughts as
You can meet the love of my life virtually at my Heather Anne Schunk page: I've got poems I've written about/around Heather, a few pictures
there, and such. I should have a few images of us together sooner vs. later--Heather
took some on the night of my birthday--and we hope to scan and upload them.
Of Books, Readings, and All Things Binding
In the books department, I did finish Michael Moorcock's Blood: A Southern Fantasy,
and will begin Fabulous Harbours soon-ish, as well as Rilke's Letters
to a Young Poet (thanks to my friend Irene for suggesting that one!). I
also completed another corporate book, entitled Gung Ho! (though I don't
recall the author offhand), which outlines The Ways of the Squirrel, Beaver, and Goose as
a means to rejuvenate the workplace. Interesting-ish, and certainly more positive
than the cheesy corp book I last read, but still somewhat lacking. Pez.
I'm still plugging away at Kathleen Norris'
Amazing Grace, and placed a fairly large-ish mostly-Neil Gaiman-ish order
Books. My good and dear friends Mark V. (and Cindy sans middle
initial) Ziesing, Bookseller get my more general order once I've
sufficient cash for it.
(Note that I haven't, in fact, begun to read any of the
books that I bought in the past two months (except Kathleen Norris, I
suppose). Kind of makes you wonder just a little, doesn't it?)
The End of the Century? the Millennium? the world??
Or, just the End of This Allan Update?--You Decide:
Well, that wraps up my life over the past two-ish
months. To gaze deeper into my past, check out my August-Septemer
bio, the next-most-updated bio, the current-ish bio, less-current
bio, and older bio, then the yet-older life notes, followed by earlier,
still-earlier, and very-much-still
earlier versions of the same, in addition to my original
biography (also rather lame/silly) created when The Dreaming City
was launched way back in the Spring of '96.
Return to Imrryr.