the work and personal site of Jared Alessandroni

Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

Time Warner Cable, NYC

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

twc

Looking for Time Warner Cable on Yelp is NSFW – and for good reason. We hate Time Warner not just for what it is – terrible service by terrible people – but for why it is – the simple fact that there is no other option. It’s like having only one restaurant in town, no kitchen, no supermarket, and also the waiters spit on you when you sit down. Of course, that’s just in general. For the past few nights, my experience has been far worse.

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Polar Bears

Friday, June 15th, 2012

There are a lot of pictures online
Where else?
Of polar bears who
Tragically unawares,
Jumping onto the wrong sheet of ice,
Find themselves finally
Alone, in the middle of the ocean.

We might not remember
Or it might not matter
That the creates are vicious
Bloodthirsty predators
Their black eyes and big noses
And white fur
Make us want to love them.

So seeing them floating
Infinitely abandoned
As their world melts around them
As our world melts around them
Is horrifying
And it reminds us
That we are the predators.

But there was
A last trilobite.
And there was
A last dodo.
And there will be
Most certainly
A last human.

When I am clinging
To the last piece of ice,
I think about the polar bear and the dodo,
And you.
And I am thankful
I have the capacity
To know I am not alone.

Every So

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Every so often I forget
That our son is perfect.

Because nothing is perfect,
Nothing is absolute,
Not even the rule
That nothing is absolute.

I can’t see perfection,
Because I was born at the
Wrong
Right
Time, when cartoons
Became a witty statement statement,
And every single word we said
Was chilled with context,
Like we were forever shaking off
From a winter walk,
A frigid soaking layer
Of everything we should have
Just openly loved.
Sometimes, I fear I’ll choke
On all the irony.

Every so often I forget
That our daughter is perfect.

I think it’s all based in
A kind of self-loathing
Would I want to be in a club,
That would have me as a member?

I can’t love deeply
Because for me love
Can’t
Won’t
Love me back,
Or might not love me forever,
And so approach with caution,
Look for subtle clues
Like we are children,
Alone in the house for the first time
Loving the freedom
Listening for sounds,
We lock the door.
Sometimes I peek out,
Fearing I love the monster.

Every so often, I forget
That you are perfect.

Because I think too much.
But however flawed my perception may be,
I never forget,
How lucky I am.

Tinker, Tailor God is this still on?

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

I saw a terrible movie last week.

A Poem for Jen

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Inevitability

I think of the buildings
Men (mostly men) built,
After we invented elevators
Sometimes, when I think of you.

I think of the farms that disappeared
North of the city,
After they built the raised rail
And we could get there.

After the fifties, I’ve heard,
People started to dream
In black and white,
But now we dream in Hi-Def.

I figure the skyscraper
Has no idea what the world was
Before what it needed to exist
Existed.

I know the 4 train northbound
Rattling on its tracks,
Doesn’t think of the soft patter
Of hooves on grass.

I read somewhere
That we never could have
Dreamed in black and white
Before Daguerre showed us.

I can’t remember, my love,
My world,
Before you made it
What it always was.

Save the Date – October 31st

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Okay, I know it’s Halloween and your kid’s dressed like something ironic and all your Brooklyn friends are going to have mussed their hair up extra-special so they could look like they didn’t care for their rooftop parties, but on October 31st, even if you live in Connecticut, you need to come here, around noon.

Sometimes Quiet

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Sometimes quiet wins
The battle for your thoughts.
And the bills are paid,
The dog is walked,
The grandmother called.
Everything could be worse.

Sometimes you push open the doors of the casino
With all the noise and the lights behind you
And the old ladies, crouched over the levers.
You’re ahead, even if by only a few bucks.
As your skin greets the cool of the evening,
The stars loiter above.

I run my fingers through my hair.
Still there.
Listen to the books sleeping,
Watch the cars on the highway below,
And don’t wonder for a moment
What it would be like to fall.

Tomorrow will bring bad news,
Or an ache never thought of,
A bill you couldn’t expect.
The rough world will always
Inhale deeply and cry out to you.
Though maybe not this time.

Everything in its Place – Draft

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Everything in its place,
Or maybe the trash
Where it will be drained
Maybe tragically
Of purpose.
The plaything of rats
And millennia of decay.

Hundreds of wingnuts
(and myriad bolts which seem inexplicably to not fit them)
Padocks forever clenched,
Combinations maybe written on a notepaper
In a distant school
in a far away grade
By children who are ours only in that they once were.

And brads – we keep brads
Not having the kind of art hung with much more
This might have held a terrible print
Or a framed work of art
By a fifth-grader who now is learning to drive.
It doesn’t have the paint or the canvas
Only the plaster from which
It was ripped.

The batteries and the extra screwdrivers
Are easy to sort out.
The tape seems to have ensnared
Hundreds of tiny screws and paperclips
The dirt of the garage floor.
And maybe the glitter from that
Halloween when she was a princess
Or an 80s glam rocker.

How do we sort that out?

Do we keep the extra bulbs for the Christmas light string
(have we ever replaced a bulb?
Or do we just plan to,
Standing in the aisle,
Buying new sets, three-for-two)
And if we don’t – keep them – do we lose the
Tree and gifts and the pleasure we shared
Watching the kids
Open gifts we couldn’t afford,
Whose spare parts litter the floor in front of us.

It all fades away and someday,
You shudder to think,
Is gone. And your child or a stranger will
Sweep the concrete, throw away the extra blades
And the vast supply of cheap pens
Into reinforced, black 30-gallon trash bags.
Along with empty film canisters which
Held what you or at least your grandparents
Thought were memories.

But we are memories.
And the garage needs to be sorted.

On Religion

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

My understanding of religion might go back to my first memory of being in a church. I was very young and it was Halloween. We were at All Saints Episcopal for a Haunted House. This wasn’t my first time being in a church – in fact, I was probably baptized for before that and might have made it into the church for other reasons as well. But the first memory I have is of one of our priests dressed as a witch at the entrance to the rectory, and the other priest talking and maybe taking tickets. They were a male and female pair- one of them was married I think – hippies who played guitar while they talked and maybe supported the gay organist so much that they would later be replaced.

In my memory and in my heart, church was warm and inviting and you dressed up and sang songs, and even though I am now an ardent atheist, (and webmaster of atheists.org), I still have an undeniable place in my heart for my church, and certainly for the youth groups and all the way up to the Edge, which I loved up at Dartmouth. And my church has evolved with the support of gay bishops and has always fought for the rights of others and eschewed the more evangelical and colonial stripes of other religions (except for in the South and around Africa, but – that’s just not my church.

I even remember at various times being told about God and the Bible as a symbol. So it wasn’t hard to question and translate the teachings of the Bible into lessons, mortal, human lessons that had their value, but weren’t locked in stone. Now, that’s not the real orthodoxy, even in wealthy liberal Massachusetts Episcopal churches, but there is something to that mentality. If it’s all a metaphor, all an idea that we can translate into our time and place, then there is no room for hatred and fear. You can’t hate if there is no abomination. A bee can sting you, can sting your friends, but no one would claim it was a curse against God. My read on religion is part of what made me what I am today – things are good. There is no specific plan, but we should do good and be good. These are things that my parents did not necessarily teach me, though I now understand that they could have had they had the language. Church and religion are not necessarily evil or wrong.

But the Catholic Church is. This is a story I’d heard a long time ago, but a This American Life reference to it has me re-enraged.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7930380.stm

The reference I heard, to paraphrase, was ‘They excommunicated the mother and doctor of a girl who’d had an abortion.  They did not, however, excommunicate the man who had repeatedly raped her since she was six.’  It should also be noted that the doctor had indicated, besides the aspect of rape, that the health risks to the girl were grave, especially as the children were twins.  She was nine.

Abortion is an abomination – but the rape just happened.  It’s their story and their sticking to it.

I’m sure even my church has stories like this.  In a system that large, there are going to be awful people who put dogma, put an idea over rational and human response. But the Catholic Church doesn’t just have a few outliers, like the Cardinal in Brazil – they live the policies.  Woman priests are intolerable, molesting boys is just a speed bump.  Condoms in Africa – well, they spread AIDS (Jesus hates contraception).  Helping gay people who have AIDS?  Hell no.  (Jesus hates gays.)

I know a lot of people who have argued there’s no room for relativism in religion.  What’s the point?  Our Hitler Youth Pope certainly is no fan.  And, I have no leg to stand on, given that I can’t morally accept religion as anything other than a ludicrous vestige of a very silly, if necessary groupthink.  But maybe it’s not even religion that’s the problem.  Certainly, Tea Partiers and much of Congress have the same failing.  Maybe it’s not the solution, either.  Maybe it’s time I picked up my guitar.

Bloggin’

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

The first blog I ever posted to was the Free Dartmouth. (It’s under politics in my blog list.) The way it went down was: Kumar Garg randomly comes into the Free Press (this was before it was basically just our office) office and says, we need to do some kind of ‘blog.  Everyone’s doing this.  In some sense this was said.  So, I set out to design it, and Laura (who is getting married now?!  Dayam) wrote the first post (“Welcome to the first progressive blog at Dartmouth College.”).  Years later, some of the awful (and I mean awfully brilliant) things I wrote against Bush and the conservatives at Dartmouth are still preventing me from getting that job in the Obama administration.  Which is fine – also, bite me, Google.  Your weighting system is heartless and bizarre.

XKCD Blogger

Anyway, now I’m writing about myself, politics, technology and probably other stuff.  I want my friends in, too.  If you’re interested, please let me know and I’ll add you to the writer list.  I’m especially interested in works of short fiction and poetry, which I think just need to be sent into the blogosphere.  (Which Apple Spelling thinks is a word – w00t!)  I always figured that if an alien race were ever to to find us and judge us, and assuming they didn’t just destroy us immediately having watched the latest season of 24 (oh yeah, I went there), maybe they’d come upon some hint that there is beauty and creativity in the world and refrain from massacre, perhaps just using us as kinky sex-slaves or taxi-drivers.

If that’s what you’re into, read on, brothers and sisters of this only child.  Also, comment!  It eggs me on like waterboarding.