Monday, January 28, 2008

*tap tap tap* Matt? You there?

Yeah, I'm here. I've been a bad blogger. Bad, bad blogger. I should be spanked.

Work is hectic, with the end of our company's tax year (this week), and our fiscal year ending next month. I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed. But, some things are slowly getting accomplished ... so I'm stressed, and working some weekend days as well (although from home so far), but my head is above water.

This morning I woke up with an annoying, dry cough. I looked outside at the half-inch or so of snow that fell last night, and wanted to call in sick and just go back to bed. Not this week, though. So I went and plowed through my day, eating half a piece of pizza for lunch (just never got to it all), feeling increasingly nasty, and then left the office promptly at 5:00. Once I got out in the cold, walking the three blocks to my car, I started shivering with chills so hard that I just wanted to cry. All I wanted was to be in my bed with my Scott and a puppy or two or three. Got home, took a long hot shower, put on my pajama pants and a sweatshirt, and poured myself a screwdriver. My experience from grad school shows that a few strong drinks the first night you feel like crap can kill anything. And I took my oscillococcinum (my buddy R introduced me to this - not sure yet if it works). And Scott was sweet and brought me some Dayquil and Nyquil to get me through those horrible first days of a cold.

I'm half listening to the responses to the State of the Union address (I had it on the radio, but couldn't make myself seriously listen), dinner is in the oven, and as soon as dinner is over I'm chugging some Nyquil, getting into bed and hoping I don't spend most of the night alternating between sweating and shivering uncontrollably.

Thus endeth the pity party. I'll try to get a meaningful post later, kids.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

How the hell did I ever miss this??

I don't really watch TV, especially reality shows and things like "America's Got Talent". I hate seeing people pummeled, humilated, ridiculed, shot down ... which is really all these shows are about. "Good theater", they say - but I hate them.

Luckily, Scott showed me this last week. Yeah, it's old, but I've always been behind the times. This girl is amazing.

Bianca Ryan. Eleven. Years. Old. (At the time).

Now, any eleven-year-old with a decent voice can be trained to belt out a song. Look at how long "Annie" was around. But this girl doesn't just belt.

She actually gets it. It's amazing.

Worth watching, even if you've seen this before ...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

January 12 of 12

Time again for 12 of 12 ... thanks as always to Chad for starting it!

Starting the day looking at the news and at blogs ... this guy is actually campaigning to try and take over Microsoft because of their pro-gay rights policies. THEN he'll turn his attention to secondary things like poverty and child abuse. Hmpf.

Enough of him. My Amazon order arrived the other day - including the book about my hometown:

Kali the Amazingly Large and Resilient Puppy. Notice the chunk of ear missing from the Christmas Day Massacre:

I don't know how I got this bruise on my foot:

Scott had a request for dinner:

Secret ingredient - Hale's Harvest Ale:

I love this label - couldn't resist:

Scott, however, wasn't pleased with the way it complimented the appetizers:

Poor Scott - he has an eye infection. He looks like a pirate - arrggghh!

Cool sunset tonight:

Us being silly before dinner - yeah, I'm growing some scruff for a change:

Wow - that meat really cooks down a lot:


My bonus word was "Inglehoffer". Luckily I had just the thing to photograph:

Happy 12 of 12!

Friday, January 11, 2008


I don't know why this song resonates in me so much. The same with k.d. lang's rich, honest voice. I can't stop listening tonight, even though I've known this version for so long:

I heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do ya?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya
She tied you
To a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Baby I've been here before,
I've seen this room and I've walked this floor,
I used to live alone before I knew ya
But I've seen your flag on the marble arch,
Our love is not a victory march,
It's a cold and its a broken hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe there's a God above,
But all I've ever learnt from love,
Is how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya,
It's not a cry that you hear at night,
It's not someone whos seen the light,
It's a cold and broken hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Belated Christmas Party

We went to a post-holiday party at our friend Boyd's house last night - mostly people that work for the same company as Scott, and they're all finally able to celebrate the End of the Retail Christmas Season. (There's no way that anyone who works in retail can take the time to have a holiday party during the holidays).

Boyd's holiday parties are legendary - not only for the incredible food, but for the decorations. This year, he had 17 trees, plus tons of other decorations. He starts in September. I can't even imagine how much time it takes ...

The Santa Tree by the entryway:

The Snowman Tree:

The Penguin Tree (and notice the penguin cocktail shakers on the mantel):

The Bedroom Trees:

Me and our friend Kevin in the kitchen by the nutcracker display:

New this year - and everyone's favorite - the Hanging Tree:

I think that's enough of the holidays. We're taking our tree and decorations down today. Now the long wait for spring ...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Who are we NOT to be incredible?

I was reminded of Cirque du Soleil by my buddies Scott and Andrew, who saw one of their shows in Chicago last weekend. I've been a HUGE fan for years, but only saw a live performance two years ago on a business trip to Orlando, Florida. I saw the show "La Nouba". A clip is attached.

Fucking. Amazing.

Without seeing them in person, it's easy to think that there must be editing and videographic effects to show these performances - but there aren't. This is exactly what they are doing, live, with their human bodies, right in front of your face. It can't be described. The entire audience, literally, sits there for the entire show with their mouths hanging open. It's surreal.

The music is incredible ... the performers are unreal ... the whole experience feels like some weird dream.

So why post this now?

Well, it's the New Year. Regrets, resolutions, something new to hope will go right.

These people in this video - as amazingly talented and well-trained as they are - are just people. People. You know, like you and I are just people.

It's amazing what "just people" can do.

Believe it or not, I'm pretty sure that there is someone who looks at what you do every day, and their mouth hangs open, even internally, thinking "How do they do that?"

We're all pretty incredible, aren't we ...

Houston, we have a problem ...

Traditionally, at midnight on New Year's Eve, Seattle has a spectacular fireworks show which somehow does NOT blow up the Space Needle.

Last night, that would have been more interesting.

From a local news site blog:

If you were like me, you were stunned when the fireworks mysteriously stopped at the Space Needle just after the stroke of midnight with the Star Wars theme playing in the background.

"We wish you could show you more right now, but something has stopped," said KING 5 anchor Dennis Bounds.

Then, less than a minute later, a few more bursts lit up the air. And it stopped again.

Finally, at six painful minutes after midnight, the fireworks began in earnest. But without the music. And it appeared to only shoot out the west side of the Needle.

"It stopped, they rebooted it," said Evening Magazine host John Curley about the computerized sequence that triggered the fireworks. "They rebooted it a second time." But it didn't restart. "So somebody sat in there and fired each one (manually)," he said.

This year, like every year in recent memory, the show is put on by Pyro Spectaculars, which is hired by the Space Needle Corporation.

"The eight minute show went on about twelve minutes, so I guess you can look at it as a bonus," joked Bounds after it was over.

No one at my party had ever heard of this happening before. Certainly a New Year's to remember.

It really was quite pathetic. Scott and I alternately cried from laughing so hard, and sat there slack-jawed thinking "Seattle is so f*****-up".

Update: Last year - what it's SUPPOSED to look like: