Saturday, May 31, 2008

Here's to the bloggers who lunch ...

One of my favorite bloggers, Long Story Longer, made the long trip home to Washington State this past week. My luck won out, and she made it up to the Big Bad City that is Seattle yesterday.

After she got only slightly lost (and with both of us laughing on our cell phones as I tried to steer her towards where I work), we found each other near a dumpster over on Harrison Street.

We grabbed burritos at Taco del Mar and headed over to Cascade Park to eat among the rhododendrons and sparrows, although we mostly were laughing at each other's eating habits and the strange stories of how we each got to where we are now. We both pulled out our cameras, which sparked a little fear in both of us. Of course, then we started laughing because we had identical cameras - except that hers is frilly, girly pink, and mine is rough-and-tumble-ultra-butch blue. We both mentioned how much we hate posing for pictures and are much more photogenic when picture-takers sneak up on us without warning. The resulting picture is a mix of both.

She wasn't happy with her hair (I think spiral curls would be a nice look - just a thought, LSL), I wasn't happy with my allergy-swollen eyes. But we're mature, well-adjusted adults who embrace our insecurities. Really.

In all seriousness - it was a pleasure and an honor to meet LSL after being blog friends for such a long time. She's smart, funny, genuine, adorable, and an all-around Great Person to Know. I highly recommend her for any Bloggerpalooza.

Monday, May 26, 2008

THIS is how you rock it.

Yeah, I'm in love with Joss Stone. And I've always loved Melissa Etheridge.

And this is old - the 2005 Grammy Awards, when Melissa made her first performance after her cancer treatments - how the hell does she still look so good? But I stumbled upon this today and watched it four times with my mouth hanging open. I've always loved Janis Joplin and her raw, earthy, blatant, scratchy, intimate, shake-you-and-wake-you voice. To have these two incredible women performing live in a tribute to her - HELL yeah.

THIS is how you rock. Watch and learn, peoples.


Memorial Day

Today is when we honor those who have lost their lives while serving our country. While I am adamantly opposed to the war that we started over five years ago, I am still patriotic and proud of our citizens who are doing what they believe in. My deepest sympathies go out to all those who have lost loved ones, in this war and in all others.

I wrote last year about how my father had a military burial, as he was a veteran of World War II. The playing of taps is one of the simplest and saddest sounds I can imagine, especially when at the funeral of someone who has fallen during their service to our country.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

"In Flanders Fields"

John McCrae, 1915.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

What I DO have.

Big, big thanks and hug to Claudia. She had left a comment a while back that I just re-read today, which made me go back and watch a so-unbelievably-cool video.

The song is "Ain't Got No" from "Hair". The artist is Nina Simone, who I absolutely revere.

The title is so misleading ... half the song is singing about what she doesn't have. But it's really about the second part of the song.

I know that I more often than not feel that I ain't got enough money, enough time, enough friends, enough family, anough of anything that I want. Enough energy. Enough gas in my car. Enough food in the kitchen. Enough laundry detergent, enough sunshine, enough ability, enough patience, enough anything. On any given day, what I don't have changes from one thing to another and never seems to lessen.

What do I have? I have my eyes, my ears, my mouth. I have my mind, my home, my freedom. I have my arms, my hands, my fingers. I have my legs, my feet, my feelings. I have my background, my past, my future, my "me". I have my Scott, my failings, my forgiveness, my hope. I have more than I can count at any given moment, more than I deserve, more than I need. I have more coming in than I do going out. I have the ability to give others more than they have.

No, I ain't got one (two) things she sings - I ain't got her boobies. But I can live with that.

What do you have?

Hot Time, Summer in the City ...

Scott and I had the day off together. After finishing cleaning the house, we realized that we still needed to find something to replace the dead plants in the front hall:

Yeah, pathetic. We haven't gotten around to finding the right plants.

So off to run errands. We needed to go to Lowe's and a nursery.

It was a hot, record-breaking day today, so a lot of people were out on boats in Portage Bay:

Up we went onto I-5, crossing the Montlake Cut with a view of the University of Washington:

Scott thought I should take pictures of every nail salon on the way. That would have been about 4,000 pictures. But nails and joys? And facial waxing? (!!!) I couldn't resist:

I know gas prices are worse other places, but this is pretty high:

Pretty flowers in the window boxes. Hey - those are plastic!!!:

I told you it was hot:

First stop (after Jack In The Box for lunch) - Lowe's:

The Dynamic Duo at Lowe's:

Passing the Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tube Man:

Cool pedestrian bridge:

Next stop - Sky Nursery:

On the way home - Jesus not only saves, he bobbles:

You have to love Aurora Avenue. It's so classy. Nails and love. What could go wrong?

Typical of Aurora Avenue - a "No Tell Motel". Or maybe the billboard is their sign:

The Dancing Bare Burlesque Theater. "Clumsy Jugglers. Fat Comics. Ugly Musicians. Beautiful Women." My kinda place:

Ooooohhhh - a waitress contest. I could win that. Ummm ... why are there no windows on that ... ummm. Never mind. Let's keep driving ...

Let's get off of Aurora, shall we? Heading home through the University District, past the Seven Gables Theater ...

... and the University branch of the Seattle Public Library ...

... across the University Bridge, with a view of the traffic-clogged I-5 bridge ...

... in the Montlake neighborhood with the huge I-5 bridge overhead ...

... heading up Capitol Hill, where you have to stop for pedestrians 'cause IT'S THE CLAW:

Home with our purchases. Mr. Planter is now happy:

More pictures later ... I hope y'all are having a great weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Yay. Just Yay.

This is just, well, right.

Lee Moulton, a gay man with his partner in Palm Springs, cried with joy as he heard of the decision of the Supreme Court overturning the state's ban on same-sex marriages.

UPDATE: Hat tip to Drew for the quote from the actual decision - it just seems so logical and right to me:

"Furthermore, in contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual’s capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and to responsibly care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual’s sexual orientation, and, more generally, that an individual’s sexual orientation—like a person’s race or gender—does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights. We therefore conclude that in view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship, the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples."

Thanks, Drew. Yeah, it is a beautiful statement.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

up into the silence the green

up into the silence the green
silence with a white earth in it

you will(kiss me)go

out into the morning the young
morning with a warm world in it

(kiss me)you will go

on into the sunlight the fine
sunlight with a firm day in it

you will go(kiss me

down into your memory and
a memory and memory

i)kiss me,(will go)

e.e. cummings

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I don't have many pictures of my Mom. The few that I do have are very old, from my parents' wedding and up to around the time I was a small child. She didn't like to have her picture taken.

She wasn't what would be considered "beautiful", in our beauty-obsessed culture. She was more what would be considered a "handsome woman". She was strong, and sturdy, with a strong nose and wide smile and eyes. She wore plain clothes and no makeup other than lipstick. She was a Mom, and any pretentiousness didn't matter anymore. She had a job to do raising three sons.

She made our lunches, sent us off to school, made us come straight home afterwards, made us do our homework, was a Cub Scout Den Mother, slapped us when we were bad, sang silly songs to us, hugged us mercilessly, made dinners we didn't like (but we never starved), made us hang tinsel on Christmas trees a single strand at a time, kept every single picture we ever drew, gave all my friends rides home from school, held a friend of mine for an hour when her father died of a heart attack at our lake house when she was 12, complimented everyone, had beautiful grey-blue eyes, always apologized when she had been wrong, taught us that you can be mad at someone and dislike things about them and still love them unconditionally, told me I was handsome and made me believe it.

At the beginning of my sophomore year in high school, she found out that she had cancer. It was too late ... it had already spread through her body. She had a mastectomy, then a couple of weeks later had a tumor removed from her spine. She was paralyzed from the waist down after that operation.

A few days before she died, she couldn't speak from the tubes in her throat. She wrote notes to my Dad, who was by her side at every second.

I had always been a sensitive child ... I used to cry when I left the house to go to school when I was in grade school. I would get homesick sleeping at a friend's house for the night. She knew, way back then, that I wasn't like everyone else. I always thought she would hate me because of who I was (even though I didn't really know what "that" meant at the time), but I saw one of the notes she had written for my Dad at the hospital:

"Please make sure Matt understands".

I desperately hope she would be proud of who I am. I miss her like crazy, even 25 years after her death.

Happy Mother's Day, Jeanne Irene Coney R*****. You were always beautiful.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

International House of Crabs

Off to Chinatown - er, the International District - for dinner ...

My favorite - the Boy Boy's Salon:

HoHo ... it's not just a restaurant, it's a way of life:

The International District Gate:

Mmmm ... Sea Garden:

Scott's dinner - before:

And after:

Scott likes crab:

Man, I just can't take a good picture lately. No wonder I didn't win:

Hope y'all had a good weekend.

Kali the Wonder Dog.

She can fly ...

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Bye, R.

My best friend at work, R, ended his job with the firm the other day. He and I have become pretty good buddies over the past year, and I already miss him. I've never really had a work buddy who I went on breaks with, grabbed lunch with almost every day, and worked so well with (we were in different departments but had a lot of job interaction).

One of our recruiters with whom we're also friends kept trying to come up with a name for us, since we were seen together so often. Laverne and Shirley? No. Tom and Jerry? Eh. Nothing quite fit. But everyone knew we were friends. Our recruiter friend grabbed me yesterday to see if I was doing okay. I admitted I was sad about the whole situation.

I'm sure we'll keep in touch to some extent, as he and his partner live pretty close to Scott and me, but it's different not seeing him every day. I had to take a walk and get lunch by myself yesterday, and it was pretty lonely. I'm not one to have many friends outside of those Scott and I see together, so in a way this is kinda like a death to me.

Matterdays sad.

What are we doing???

From the Seattle P.I. ...

I'll be really upset if we Democrats don't unite and git 'er dun ...