Sunday, April 27, 2008

Another picture post.

What can I say? I'm lazy. The thought of actually writing doesn't do anything for me right at the moment.

As usual, I woke up waaaay too early ... around 4:30 I think. I spent the morning just puttering around before taking a nap with Stoli. This afternoon, it was beautiful out, so we headed up to Snoqualmie Falls.

The Cascade Mountains heading east out of Seattle:

Having a heat wave ... :

The falls from above:

The lights they use to illuminate the falls at night - they're about 5 feet in diameter:

Anyone who was a fan of the show "Twin Peaks" in the early '90's will recognize the Salish Lodge at the top left of the falls. This was the Great Northern Hotel in the TV series:

We hiked down to the bottom of the falls - to the end of the boardwalk overlooking the river:

Some people don't know how to read signs, and climbed off the raised boardwalk to climb the rocks out closer to the falls:

Among them - Scott the Scofflaw:

A deer by the side of the road as we drove back:

The Seattle skyline from Interstate 90 - unfortunately, the Olympic Mountains are a little too hazy to see in the background, but you can make out a faint outline:

Heading down to the I-90 floating bridge to cross Lake Washington:

Going into the Mt. Baker tunnel - I wouldn't want to live up above it, but there are some nice homes up there:

Just a few blocks from home:

Scott cut the grass in the back yard ... and Kali thought it was funny to attack the lawn mower:

Off to dinner at a cool Mexican restaurant nearby:

More later ... off to clean the house for a while.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

... and things that make Matterdays bawl like a big baby.

I know, I know ... this is stilted, and contrived, and superficial, and overwrought ... but in that hyper-1950's way that makes it all okay. With the Super-8 film look and not-quite-realistic colors. It's like a moving Polaroid.

Please ... EVERYBODY gets a little misty-eyed watching this. Everyone human, I mean. If you haven't seen this movie or don't know the story, spoiler is below the clip.

*umm ... how do I post an "after the jump" link on Blogger?*

Okay, the spoiler for those that don't know this movie:

Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr meet on a cruise, and both have pretty Significant Others. But, in this era of overwrought romanticism, they fall in love with each other ... and agree to meet at a later date at the top of the Empire State Building (because it's impossible to miss) if they still have feelings for each other and want to be together. Cary Grant shows up, but Deborah Kerr doesn't ... because as she's rushing to try to get to him, and looking up at the building, she is hit by a car and is paralyzed.

She doesn't want him to know, because she doesn't want him to feel sorry for her - and doesn't want to see him until she can walk to him - so she goes on with her life, teaching music to underpriveleged inner-city children. Yes, this is one of the contrived parts.

Cary tries to continue to be a painter (umm, art - not walls), remembering her urgings - and those of his aunt, with whom they spent time while abroad - and finally he stumbles across her, and somewhat bitterly delivers his aunt's shawl to Deborah, as his aunt wanted her to have it after she died. He has no idea that she was in an accident until ...


I'm such a sappy geek.

Things that make Matterdays happy ...

  • Scott and I have the weekend off together. Two weekends in a row. This is unheard of, with him working in the retail world. But, he's starting a new job on Monday. I'll let him tell you about that. He's excited, and a little nervous. Maybe we'll buy him some new school clothes this weekend. And a Hello Kitty lunchbox.
  • The weather in Seattle today: Sunny and 68 degrees. Not quite the 80 degrees we had for 12 of 12, but I'm excited. I'm really starting to feel some wanderlust with warmer weather coming. I think it's time to start planning a vacation. Any suggestions?
  • I had lunch (finally) with my good friend M - also known as 'Roo, as in Kangaroo. Bounce, bounce, bounce. The boy cannot sit still. It's quite entertaining, and I'm a little bit jealous that someone my age has that much pent-up energy. He was actually wearing a Tigger t-shirt, which says it all ("Their tails are made out of springs!"). He and I have known each other for years, but haven't really spent any time together for quite a while - grown-up lives and all. Hopefully we can see each other a little more often!
  • Rediscovering cool music I love. Claudia reminded me that I need to hear some more of The High Priestess of Soul, Nina Simone. I think she was (is) fascinating. Here is one of my favorite songs of hers, in her first television performance, the Ed Sullivan Show in 1960. Ms. Simone trained as a classical pianist for a while, and I love the Baroque counterpoint in the instrumental breaks of the song:

Feelin' good, indeed. What's making y'all happy? And yeah, there's gotta be SOMETHING ...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Feelin' Good

I was born in the wrong decade, apparently. This is the kind of music I love listening to.

Of course, you can't touch Nina Simone's version - but this is sexy, too, in a James Bond sorta way.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Weekend pics

Yeah, it's Tuesday night and I'm posting pictures from the weekend. Deal, kids.

Saturday night, we ordered teriyaki. The menu's a little tattered and stained ... it's well-used:

We drove around running some errands on Sunday ... the weather's crazy here lately. We headed south of the city, and ran into hail, downpours of rain, and snow. Luckily, in a band of decent (but cold) weather, we came across Saltwater State Park, between Federal Way and Des Moines (which, in Washington, is pronounced "Deh Moynz" ... yeah, I know, strange to Iowans like Scott and Andrew):

Clam season is closed. No lesbians out today. *I did NOT just say that*:

Watching the rain south of us:

The path along the waterfront:

Some signs need subtitles (get it?):

Dogs playing on the beach:

Clouds over the bluff:

The little cafe:

Scott pointing out where we are:

Scott near the Cool Bridge:

We stopped by a nursery on our way back home (I know - US?? At a nursery?!?!?!?). I want this arbor with the benches:

Next door to the nursery was an antique store. You know "teh gays" and antique stores. I fell in love with this chandelier:

We took some videos, too - but those will have to come later. I'm tired, and dinner has to be made sometime tonight.

For those of you who have read this far - I know it's been a (long) while since I've actually WRITTEN a post. A thoughtful, meaningful Matterdays post. So ... give me some ideas. What should I post about? Leave a one-word comment and we'll see what comes of it.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Scott has already posted about The Kransky Sisters, via Divas Never Die. But I just can't help myself.

Cross the Del Rubio Triplets with Morticia Addams, place them in Esk in Queensland (Australia) and add a whole lot more creepiness than you are currently imagining ... and you get Eve, Mourne and Arva.

Y'all just gotta watch it. Seriouly, you'll thank me later.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I've been awake since 3:30 this morning (it's now 5:00) ... how silly. It's not that I'm not tired - I desperately want to go back to sleep, but I know I'll just keep rolling over, keeping Scott awake and getting kicked out of bed by Kali The Amazingly Large and Resilient Puppy. So I'm blog-surfing and listening to the cats chase each other around the house.

I just found this personal slogan generator at Blogography. I'm not sure how good my new slogan is for my self esteem. I'm thinking a new agent could get me a better ad campaign:

Your Slogan Should Be

Matt. What's the Worst that Can Happen?

Let's not answer that.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

April 12 of 12

Here's what it is, if you don't already know.

This month was a perfect day for 12 of 12 - too perfect. It was a Saturday, Scott actually had the day off, and it was unbelievably beautiful weather in Seattle. I actually took about 160 pictures yesterday - so narrowing it down to 12 took me a while:

6:32 a.m. Sunrise.

11:38 a.m. Finally got my hair cut. Feelin' good.

12:15 p.m. Heading out for the day. The lilac "bush" at the side of our house. It's ancient and huge. Within a week or two it will be filled with fragrant white lilac blooms.

12:24 p.m. Scott and I drove through the Arboretum, where they were having a plant sale. We didn't buy anything. But here's a picture of some bee houses. Bzzzz.

1:01 p.m. Mmmmm ... Wendy's. Burgery goodness.

1:22 p.m. Molbak's, one of our favorite nurseries. We're plant junkies. But we didn't buy much today since it's still early and we'll still get frost. But the ranunculuses (ranunculi?) were beckoning us.

2:49 p.m. Yes, this is Seattle. Yes, it's April 12. Yes, it's 80 degrees. Yes, we were doing our happy dance. Yes, that's Scott making a funny face in the mirror.

2:59 p.m. Heading west on the 520 bridge over Lake Washington, back into Seattle. The Olympic Mountains are in the distance, across the Sound. Husky Stadium and the University of Washington are on the right. Sometimes we're just in awe of how beautiful this city is.

2:59 p.m. A picture taken out of the sunroof, looking southwest to Mount Rainier.

3:00 p.m. Looking north over Lake Washington towards the Cascade Mountains. There were lots of boats on the water today. I was glad. It would have been sad if the boats were under the water.

7:28 p.m. After playing in the yard with the dogs for a while, we cleaned up and headed to dinner. I love this house, right around the corner from the restaurant. It has a copper roof which has weathered to a beautiful patina over the years. I'm not so crazy about the pink garage next door. I used to live in John Mellencamp's town, but I still don't buy into the idea of little pink houses for you and me.

8:02 p.m. Our friend PPP took us to our favorite restaurant, Dulces, in the Madrona neighborhood of Seattle very near our house. Mmmmmmm. I didn't want to use the flash inside, so I got a blurry picture of Scott almost licking his plate after the Gambas en Salsa Verde.

That's all for this month, kids. Happy 12 of 12!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Why I'm Not Strong Enough to Be a Father.

Today, some friends of ours sent some pictures of their new baby, born just a few days ago. He's adorable ... the kind of baby you just want to hold and make sure that nothing bad ever happens to. Like, you know, all of them.

The parents' names are Dawn and Heather. Heather gave birth to their beautiful son.

I've gone into a whirlwind of thinking. Partly from those pictures, partly from the horrible news recently, partly from just being exhausted.

When I was in college, one summer I worked as a daycamp counselor.

I spent three weeks working with developmentally disabled kids, mostly ages 10-13. I got a lot of bruises. But I know I made a difference.

Then I spent five weeks working with severely mentally and physically handicapped "kids", from ages 14-19.

I remember Dave, who talked non-stop nonsense and had to constantly be reminded that he needed to be careful and not just walk into the street. "Why can't we do that, Dave?" "Because we could get hit by a car!!!!" (Followed by him clapping and laughing).

There was Kevin, who was severely physically disabled ... he had to wear a bike helmet all the time because he was very unsteady on his feet and fell a lot. He couldn't speak. But he understood EVERYTHING. He was bright, that guy. I remember how tightly he hugged me on that last day. I hugged him back (this was still in the '80's), and my eyes were pretty wet.

I won't describe the more ... umm ... "messy" aspects of that job. They weren't pleasant. But I dealt with them, because ... well ... they just had to be dealt with. It just had to be done. This is what you do when you're taking care of "kids".

Everyone I worked with said I'd make a great Dad someday.

Well, obviously THAT wasn't in the cards. Scott has mentioned from time to time that he'd like to have kids. I would, too, for a lot of reasons. But I no longer think I'm patient enough. I don't have the time to devote to a child (or children) that I should. We don't have the financial resources to raise a child, at least not as well as I would like.

And then, someone like Jason posts a link to a blog that absolutely breaks me.

This site is beautiful. Gorgeous. And absolutely, devastatingly heartbreaking. Parents whose children were stillborn, or lived only a very short time, let photographs be taken of their dying or deceased children, of their families, of the few short moments that they had with the child they had planned their futures around during their pregnancies. It's deafening and uplifting, at the same time, in its rawness. The picture above is from this site.

How do these people find the strength to ... I don't even know how to complete that sentence.

Your children should not die before you. They should not die before you have seen them grow up. It shouldn't happen. You shouldn't have to know that their lives were only sickness, that there was none of the happy, carefree childhood you imagined for them. I'm very, very unrealistic and adamant about that.

I know that every time one of our pets has been sick or injured, I'd give anything to trade places with it. I would without a moment's hesitation go through what THEY'RE going through, if I could. I can't imagine how intense that feeling would be if it were our child.

Maybe I'm being very selfish here. But one of the reasons I decided not to go into education as a profession is that there were so many other people who I really thought would be incredible at it ... and I didn't think I was of the same caliber. And I believed that only someone who really, truly aspired to teach, and would excel at it, should do so. And I believe the same - even more strongly - about parenting.

We all hate failing. But at least I can avoid failing at something that I'm pretty sure I would never succeed at. Some things should be left up to the pros.

Monday, April 07, 2008

A bittersweet day ...

Today is Scott's Birthday. I sent him flowers to come home to, and sent flowers to his Mom. I'm making him one of his favorite dinners tonight. Pretty soon he'll open his gifts and read his cards (yes, the "kids" always give him a card, too ... ).

He called me at work earlier this afternoon. There was an accident this morning, where a man was killed after running off the freeway.

The man worked for Scott.

Everyone at his store is just devastated. He was a great guy, had worked there about seven years, leaves behind a six-year-old son. They had grief counselors at the store all day ... people were just sobbing.

We all hate hearing these kinds of things. We hate to think that this could ever touch us personally. I've been upset all afternoon, thinking of what a quick accident like this does to so many, many people. As much as I tried not to, I couldn't help but think of how an accident like this would tear me apart if it had been Scott.

I held him for a while when he got home tonight. It was a rough day.

I hope there's still some "Happy Birthday" left. I'll hold onto him closer tonight, whether he likes it or not.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

In the Land of the Living

Well, the worst of my fiscal year-end nightmare is over. This is the first time I've gone through a year-end in this position (yeah, go ahead, insert gay joke here). It wasn't smooth, to say the least. I feel badly for my team, suffering through my inexperience - but, as I told them, I learned a lot, and know what to do differently next year.

I'm still going in to work at ridiculous hours (around 6 a.m. is the norm these days). But I'm leaving at a realistic time - usually 5:00. So they're long days, but I can still get home in time for dinner.

Tomorrow is Scooter's birthday!!! I bought him a ______ and a _______. Nothing fancy, but I hope he likes them. Our favorite restaurant is closed on Mondays, so I'm going to make him dinner. Maybe he'll be surprised and get ______, too.

Oh, and a very Happy Birthday to Scott, too!!!!!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A heartfelt obituary ...

Dance Inventor Dies

What with all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at the moment, it is worth reflecting on the almost unnoticed death, recently, of a very important person. Larry LaPrise, the man who wrote the Hokey-Pokey died peacefully at home. He was 93.

According to a reputable source, the well-known participatory dance became popular in the USA during the 1950's. It originated in 1949, when Larry LaPrise, Charles Macak, and Tafit Baker created it as a entertaining novelty for the ski crowd at Idaho's Sun Valley resort. The trio were granted the copyright for an accompanying song in 1950, and Ray Anthony's big band recording turned the song and dance into a nationwide sensation. Hokey-Pokey appeared on the B side of Anthony's Bunny Hop single.

Hokey-Pokey has virtually the same lyrics as the Hokey-cokey, a song and novelty dance which had been popular in England since the mid-1940s. In addition to the lyrics, the two songs also share similar dance moves. Specific body parts are named; these are sequentially put into the ring, taken out of the ring, and finally wiggled around manically inside the ring.

There's a wonderful, summertime connection. Hokey-Pokey is New Zealand's national ice cream flavor: crunchy toffee in vanilla. In England, Hokey-Pokey is a traditional name for ice cream, probably originating from the Italian vendors who peddled their wares shouting, Ecco un poco ("Try a little...").

LaPrise's funeral was private, attended mostly by family and close acquaintances. The most traumatic part was getting him into the coffin. They put his left leg in, and ... well, you know ...

Is it really April Fool's Day??

You all know Scott is a big prankster. Remember April Fool's Day last year?

Today, I left for work around 6 a.m. Scott is working late tonight, so he was still in bed when I left. Honestly, I didn't think of what day it was until just before I left for work.

I got home tonight, expecting some typical Scott pranks to have been played on me. I opened the front door extra-carefully. And the refrigerator. And, well ... everything.

Nothing. He didn't do anything to my mouse or keyboard. I haven't found any weird objects in unexpected places. No weird noises coming from anywhere.

As far as I can tell ... he didn't do anything. Grrrr.

I think that was the joke. He got me good.

But I'm still sure that I've just missed something.