Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Some may call this New Year's post recycled - I call it a tradition.

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.
~Oprah Winfrey

May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.
(Traditional Irish toast)

Love to one, friendship to many, and good will to all.

May you never lie, cheat, or drink. But if you must lie, lie in each other's arms. If you must cheat, cheat death. And if you must drink, drink with all of us, because we love you.

Happy 2008, everyone. May the New Year always be better than the old.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Yes, another meme ...

I know, I know … I’ve been a bad blogger lately. I’m taking the easy way out with pictures and videos. And now, in that theme, a meme from Claudia:

Seven random and/or weird things about myself:

1. I can’t sleep if I’m alone in the bed. I’m used to having Scott and at least one (large) dog, which is usually lying on top of me. Whenever I travel and have a bed to myself, I can’t sleep.

2. Sometimes I hate driving by myself because I’m scared of getting into an accident and not knowing exactly what to do. I feel like I always need someone to “take care of me” in any situation that involves my car.

3. I can’t imagine anyone who looks worse in the color red than I do. When I wear anything red, I notice every blemish and imperfection anywhere on my skin. Red makes me feel ugly.

4. I obsessively count the number of stairs from one floor to another – in my head, not out loud. I don’t always notice I’m doing it, but I do it. I also count the number of steps from one room to another, but not as much as I do stairs.

5. I always have to be doing something with my hands when I’m walking alone in public – either have them in my pockets, or carrying something. Sometimes I’ll carry my cell phone or a pen just to have something in my hand.

6. I’m more confident and friendly when I’m wearing a suit than at any other time.

7. I feel uncomfortable around people who are taller than I am (I’m 6’2”). I’m not used to it and I feel intimidated, even though I have a friend who’s 6’4”.

That’s it. Tag yourself and play along if you’re so inclined.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A couple more pictures ...

White stuff falling from the sky.

Normally it's just cocaine that dusts the ground in this neighborhood.

It actually grows out of the floor.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I'm dreaming of a ...

Yes, kids - we had a white Christmas in Seattle. At least in our part of Seattle. It started snowing around 1:00 and just kept coming down. It looked, honest to god, like we were in a snow globe. My brothers didn't even get this in Chicago. They're jealous. I really can't remember the last time I had a white Christmas, even before I moved out here.


It helped me feel better after the way the day started.


Whether you celebrate Christmas or any other holiday, a peaceful and Merry Christmas to each of you. Remember those less fortunate, be thankful for what you have, and do something to make some moment of someone's life better than it was before you met them. Christmas is hope, and peace, and joy for what has somehow come into our lives, and remembering to share that with others.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Still, Still, Still ...

Still, still, still, weil's Kindlein schlafen will!
Maria tut es niedersingen,
ihre ganze Lieb' darbringen.
Still, still, still, weil's Kindlein schlafen will.
Schlaf, schlaf, schlaf, mein liebes Kindlein, schlaf!
Die Engel tun schön musizieren,
vor dem Kindlein jubilieren.
Schlaf, schlaf, schlaf, mein liebes Kindlein, schlaf!

Groß, groß, groß, die Lieb ist übergroß.
Gott hat den Himmelsthron verlassen
und muß reisen auf der Straßen.
Groß, groß, groß, die Lieb ist übergroß.

Auf, auf, auf, ihr Adamskinder, auf!
Fallet Jesu all zu Füßen,
weil er für uns d'Sünd tut büßen!
Auf, auf, auf, ihr Adamskinder, auf!

Wir, wir, wir, wir rufen all zu dir:
Tu uns des Himmels Reich aufschließen,
wenn wir einmal sterben müssen.
Wir, wir, wir, wir rufen all zu dir.

Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.
For all is hushed,
The world is sleeping,
Holy Star its vigil keeping.
Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.

Sleep, sleep, sleep,
'Tis the eve of our Saviour's birth.
The night is peaceful all around you,
Close your eyes,
Let sleep surround you.
Sleep, sleep, sleep
'Tis the eve of our Saviour's birth.

Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.
While guardian angels without number
Watch you as you sweetly slumber.
Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Dance of the Sugar Plum Lesbians

I posted this last year as well, but it's so perfect I'm doing it again. One of Joe.My.God.'s best pieces of writing. Absolutely perfect.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wanna hear some music???


What's the best way/website to use for adding music clips to my blog? For example, if I have an iTunes song that I want to let y'all hear here (hehehe), or some other type of music file that I want to be able to post here - how do I do it?? Yeah, I'm still a rookie. Any help?

Thanks. I'll send you lasagna.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

My Company Throws A Pretty Darn Cool Holiday Party

Last night was our company's holiday party, at the Jonas Jensen Fremont Studios (we've outgrown the Fairmont Olympic Hotel downtown, where our parties had been for years). Working for an architecture and design firm makes for creative parties ...

The front of the building had the name of our firm projected in huge letters on the wall (which helped us find it, since it was kind of an out of the way place).

As we were walking up, we noticed that it was snowing, even though it was 45 degrees out - there was a snow machine on the roof so that it was snowing just in front of our party. (No pictures of that, so you'll just have to use your imagination).

Scott got creative taking a picture of the blue neon above the entrance ...

... I even showered and shaved for the occasion ...

... and so did Scott (thankfully he didn't wear his original outfit) ...

... Keeping in a colorful Holiday theme, the main room where we had dinner was bathed in red light, with big mirrors hanging from the ceiling that looked like ornaments ...

... and the room with the dance floor was in green lights (the best thing about company parties is seeing who gets drunk, and who dances - and how!) ...

... and what's a Christmas party without an appearance by the Three Wise Men (our friend Chris, me and Scott)

And that's the one night a year I get to wear a suit.

Press One for Greed ... Press Two for Lust ...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Tagged, I'm It

I haven’t done a meme for a while, but I’ve been tagged by Darth. He’s a good guy so I’ll humor him. ;)

I won’t go tag anyone else, but if you’d like to humor me, play along and let me know if you do.

1. When you were born, how much did you weigh? I actually have no idea. I was neither scrawny nor fat, though. Just average, like now.

2. What's you're sugar poison? Not sure that I have one. I’m not big on really sweet stuff. Although Heather brought some incredible chocolate gingerbread cookies for Thanksgiving which I LOVED.

3. If you had to choose between meat and cheese for the rest of your life, which would you choose? Then be specific. I’d rather not live on either alone. But since I love bacon so much, I guess I’ll have to pick meat. Could I still have bacon cheeseburgers?

4. What, is your opinion, is the worst song ever? Anything that Mae West ever sang. Or Boney M.

5. Who was your favorite teacher growing up and why? Mrs. Maxson in the 5th grade. She was older, and very old-school – she even had a paddle hanging inside the closet of the classroom, and was legendary for going after kids with it when they acted up. I was terrified to be in her class, but it ends up she was tough but fair and commanded respect - and was very sweet if you were a good kid (which, of course, I was). I learned a lot from her about how to get along in the world.

6. What personal activity, when performed in public, bothers you the most? Spitting. It’s completely rude. (There are others, but I'd rather not even think about viewing them in public).

7. Ok, there's a $50 bill lying on the ground. You pick it up. Dumbfounded by your incredible luck, what do you selfishly purchase? New shoes. That’s something I never buy myself.

8. Do you have a recurring nightmare? Yes, of planes crashing. I’m not usually on the plane, but I’m watching it go down, I can’t do anything about it, and I can’t make a sound. Someone PLEASE tell me what that means – I’ve had it for years …

9. Name one place on Earth you've never been, but vow to visit at least once. Iceland. No, I’m serious.

10. You notice that question #9 wasn't really a question. You feel smart for catching such a small detail. What else can you do really well that reminds you how smart you are? I didn’t notice that it wasn’t a question. I don’t feel smart. I AM good at problem-solving and logic though – unless, of course, it’s my own problem …

2007 Year In Review: 11 of 12

Chad has added an additional "12 of 12" - a Year in Review version! I didn't start doing 12 of 12 until February, so I have 11 of 12. I decided to go with a theme, since I realized every one of my 12 of 12 posts includes pictures of our yard, pond, or some sort of plants and flowers

February: Cherry trees blooming in the International District:

March: Bulbs blooming in the planter on the front walk:

April: The grass in the backyard NEEDS TO BE CUT:

May: The pond and a clean-cut back yard:

June: The pond and back yard in the morning:

July: The rooftop deck and view of the Space Needle at my office:

August: The big clean-up of the front garden:

September: The end-of-summer overgrown back yard:

October: Fall colors on East Union Street:

November: When the rains come:

December: Poinsettias in the front hall:

Friday, December 14, 2007

Have a Holly Jolly Retail Christmas ...

With Scott's permission ...

Working retail is HELL - at the holidays more than ever. People are rude (to put it VERY mildly), expect way more than a person can possibly give them, shoplifters are everywhere, and OF COURSE everyone is understaffed, because the holiday season is where profit comes from - so they're trying to cut as many corners as they can to actually MAKE a profit at this time of year.

Scott works six days a week, usually 11-12 hours a day (often more) during the holidays. His employees (and the rest of the world) LOVE him and would do anything for him - but of course, they feel beaten down, overworked, and exhausted. Sometimes, they just need to let off some steam, have a laugh, and re-focus.

Scott is a master at not taking himself too seriously and getting his team back into the spirit of having fun while they run themselves ragged.

Can you tell?

How could anyone not adore the guy ...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

December 12 of 12

Time again for 12 of 12, everyone's cool buddy Chad's brainchild. These pictures were all taken on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 in Seattle, Washington.

I forgot to bring my camera to work with me this morning - which is just as well. Again, my teeth are clenched, my neck and shoulders and stomach are in knots, and I have workmares every night. So, let's just skip to the "after work" part, kids ...

Scott got home from work just before me.

A picture I bought from our friends' yard sale when they moved out - it's of an entry for the Chicago Tribune building contest in 1922, and part of the Art Institute's treasures. I had to have it. I just didn't have to know where to hang it - so it's been sitting in the upstairs hallway for a while.

We're not big Hallmarky warm-n'-fuzzy guys ... but I LOVE the movie "It's A Wonderful Life" and we've started collecting holiday pieces of the town. Yeah, kinda Christmas geeks.

Down the street to feed the neighbors' cat while they're on vacation. She's a sweetheart.

The kids' aquarium that I'm also taking care of. DAMN that's clean!

Kitty Cat was hungry.

Back home. My favorite Christmas decorations. They remind us of our three dogs.

Stoli gets to come in early every night. She needs a little extra love. And a chew toy.

After I got home, Scott told me there was a Christmas card that came addressed to the both of us - from my Uncle and Aunt in Florida. We're not that close, and I've never told them about Scott ... so I asked my cousin Jo about it ... (remember I'm from a conservative Chicagoland family ... )

And then downstairs to get a glass of wine. Oh, look - poinsettias ... purrty ...

Stoli waiting for me to come back upstairs.

Dinner - pre-cooking.


I mentioned the card from my aunt and uncle above ... the message was short and sweet:

"Hi to you both -

Hope the bad weather didn't get you! Have a nice holiday.


(aunt and uncle)

I believe that there's more to love between people than there are obstacles. I believe that family is more important than we sometimes think (me, at least). I believe that sometimes I don't give people enough credit and am surprised that they could maybe, possibly say "Oh, he has a partner named Scott ... hmmm, okay."

I believe that this is probably the coolest Christmas card I will ever get.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Frosty the Snowman

I love retro (and I mean RETRO) Christmas stuff:

"God is all love"

Could it really be that simple?

Via The Huffington Post and Joe.My.God, the words of Sister Wendy:

Huffington Post: You've spoken out about gay marriage. How do you balance what you believe with what you have sworn to uphold?"

Sister Wendy: I believe in loyalty. We should respect our church, but never believe that the church has the last word. The church is saying "this", but I believe that sooner or later "this" will change. "This" is not the mind of our Lord. God is all love. It's a delicate balancing thing. The Church has changed it's position over the years, and because the spirit is with the Church, in the end the Church will always get it right. But in the end. The spirit of the Church is the meaning of love, which hasn't yet, perhaps, been fully understood.

Interesting. Love, eh? Pretty good answer to it all. Makes even this non-religious blogger think maybe there's hope.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow ...

It doesn't happen all that often in Seattle, but I like it - when I'm at home.

Wow - I still have a Midwestern drawl, don't I ...


The power went out for an hour or so ... and it just kept snowing ...

Purrrty ... I loves me some snow.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A favorite.

Before I left graduate school, a beautiful dear friend named Kim made a gift for me. I can't seem to get a good picture of it, so I'll do what I can to describe it to you.

She's very artistic; was, at least, and I hope to God she still is around to be so creative. It's sad, at this age, that when I haven't heard from someone in so many years, that I fear they're gone. I think of the last time I heard from her, telling me how she had dressed and posed old mannequins in her front window so that people wouldn't know she was out - and would think, instead, that she was having a party with beautiful, achingly desirable people filling her living room.

One year - I can't remember anymore if it was Christmas, or a birthday, although it doesn't really matter now - she made me a beautiful wooden box, small, like you'd have on top of your dresser for watches or foreign coins or tiny things that you didn't know what to do with but knew you didn't wanted to lose and wanted to be able to pull out and look at and sigh when you thought of where they came from. It's painted blue, and antiqued with bronze, and looks like something you've had all your life, that your parents and maybe even their parents had, that no matter how hard you try you can't ever quite get the dust completely off of it but it doesn't matter because that's how you want to remember it.

The two most treasured components - besides her having made it for me - were the painting by Picasso, and the poem by e.e. cummings:

stand with your lover on the ending earth -

and while a (huge which by huger than

huge) whoing sea leaps to greenly hurl snow

suppose we could not love, dear; imagine

ourselves like living neither nor dead these

(or many thousand hearts which don't and dream

or many million minds which sleep and move)

blind sands, at pitiless the mercy of

time time time time time

- how fortunate are you and i, whose home

is timelessness: we who have wandered down

from fragrant mountains of eternal now

to frolic in such mysteries as birth

and death a day (or maybe even less)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New to my Blogroll

Check out Slap Upside The Head. A new favorite. And Canadian, eh. I love my Canadian blog buddies!

Friday, November 23, 2007


We had a beautiful Thanksgiving yesterday. The weather was cold, but sunny; the food came out okay, the wine was flowing, and we had wonderful people around us.

It's hard for me to take pictures while cooking and socializing, but we do have a select few:

What the hell am I doing up this early?!?!?

La Table.

Scott enjoying appetizers and wine.

Our new friend Haikugirl joined our feast! She is thin and rich. But mostly, cute and fun and sweet. We love her.

Scott and Boyd - I'm hoping the non-verbal communication isn't referring to the food ...

Our friend Luz's Mom, Haikugirl, and our friend Kevin after dinner.

Scott showing off the aquarium to Griffin, our youngest guest. Scott sure loves that aquarium ...

Boyd and Jeannie in deep discussion.

Just before leaving, Griffin wanted to play with Hunter. Hunter wasn't so sure about it.

Overall, it was a perfect Thanksgiving. We were surrounded by an abundance of food and wine, and more importantly by great friends. Take a look at Scott's Thanksgiving post - it speaks volumes more than I could write here.

Happy Holidays to you all.