Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hot, Sticky, Sweaty Seattle Gay Pride

It's still 90 degrees at 6:10 p.m. We're pretty tired and sunburned - and initial estimates are saying that we got to share the experience with about 400,000 other people here in Seattle. Wow.

We took tons of pictures and videos, but here's just a few to prove we went.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

We Are Proud

Scott and I have had a here-to-fore unknown three day weekend together. Friday was errands and chores ... today was, well, errands and chores ... tomorrow will be a few chores and a bit of "Hey, baby, Happy Pride!!!!" thrown in. Parade, festival, all the over-the-top things that the news channels (and the conservatives) just LOVE to point out to the world to show what heathens we are.

Baby, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Scott and I are everyone's dream neighbor (or so we've been told). We're quiet, we're homebodies, we keep our lawn clipped and neat, nice gardens, polite and affectionate dogs, always friendly to everyone who walks by, and everyone's kids love us (mostly Scott). We have the coolest/scariest house at Halloween, the festive-but-not-overdone house at Christmas, we let kids of any age/race/sexuality/attitude run through our sprinklers when it's hot out. We're an integral part of our neighborhood, the "good guys" who everyone likes, nothing flamboyant or scandalous about us in the least.

Tomorrow, for Seattle's Gay Pride, we're gonna make y'alls' Heads. Freaking. Spin.

We're going downtown to the Parade Of Heathen Anti-Americans. We'll wear godless khaki shorts and t-shirts. And sunglasses. And probably sunblock, as it's supposed to be sunny and around 90 degrees for the second day in a row. We'll wear the rainbow-colored beads that will be thrown at us. We'll take each others' pictures with the absotively fabulous drag queens that parade in front of us and make us love the fact that being different from the maddening crowd can be gorgeous. We'll laugh and cheer at the 99% naked men and women who saunter along occasionally, knowing the inside joke that the rest of the uninformed world thinks that this is everyday gay life is about. (Good g** d*** - don't you realize we actually have regular jobs?!? And that those desk chairs really chafe if you're only wearing a gold lame g-string and tit-clamps??? Trust me here - I know, I know, I know ...).

We'll stand and clap and cry a little when the PFLAG marchers come by. I'll want to run out and hug every single one of them.

We'll laugh, and dance. A lot of dancing. And smile at everyone we see, because they're not all gay - but they all love the fact that we are humans and want to be near other loving, accepting humans who see past piercings and tattoos and lisps and geekiness and showtunes and frosted hair and, well, ya know - the fact that the majority of us look EXACTLY LIKE YOU and actually ARE exactly like you with our jobs and mortgages and petty arguments and stresses and are, well, normal everyday people.

And we'll go home and make dinner and finish folding the laundry and get ready to get up early Monday morning to go back to our regular, everyday jobs. In offices and stores and restaurants and construction sites and classrooms and war zones. And we'll tell you about our weekend or not, and it doesn't matter. We'll still be your co-workers and classmates and bosses and the people in front of you in line at Quizno's. Like always. Except we'll be smiling a bit more, because we had a day of having everyone nearby actually like us and smile at us and know what was for most of our lives be a terrifying secret and like us not just in spite of, but in many ways because of this.

Because, you know ... we're all pretty damn amazing. Who are we not to be amazing?

Celebrate yourself, no matter who you are. You're all important - and indispendible to someone. Thank you for that, for who you are.

Oh, and here in Seattle, we'll be watching Miss Kristine W, again:


Vacation day. Three day weekend. Scott, too. Haircut. Groceries. Broccoli beef rice bowl for me. Broccoli beef/teriyaki chicken combo for Scott. Jamaican-brewed ginger ale. Backyard. Pond. Dogs. 80 degrees.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Carl Kasell's Voice On Your Answering Machine!!!

Hello, my name is Matt, and I'm an NPR geek.

("Hi, Matt!")

Scott and I are especially fond of Saturday NPR shows, like Car Talk, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, A Prairie Home Companion, and Says You. We're addicted.

If you have a similar addiction, you'll enjoy this post. If not, feel free to skip this one.

"Wait, wait - don't tell me ... "

Last night, "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" (the NPR news quiz show) was taped at the Paramount Theater here in Seattle. Peter Sagal, Carl Kasell, Paul Provenza, Adam Felber and Paula Poundstone entertained a sold-out crowd. Highlights were the 15-minute banter about Clippy, the Microsoft Windows help icon (who knew how funny that could be?); the re-takes after the show ended where they had to clean up the panelist's comments (the crowd of Seattle liberal NPR junkies booed the changes they made); and pretty much anything out of Paula Poundstone's mouth (the running joke about jiggling breasts providing electrical power was not lost on the only female panelist).

Here in Seattle, the show will be broadcast tomorrow morning at 10:00. If you tune in, you'll most likely here Scott's uproarious laughter (and mine, too). Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Daveattle 2

Daveattle 2 was a blast. Literally.

On our way to meet our fellow bloggers at the Six Arms, Scott saw smoke coming up from - the street? He told me to keep driving to see what was going on. As we drove by 23rd and Pike, a big flash and a cloud of smoke burst up from a manhole cover. Unfortunately, we didn't have the camera out - it was very weird. The video at this link gives y'all a lot of insight into the regular goings-on of our neighborhood, though. Apparently it was an underground electrical explosion from the substation across the street. This was only 3 blocks from our house. When we got home, all of our appliances and their clocks were blinking at us. Dave sure packs a punch when he comes to town.

We made it on time, and stood for a minute inside the front door. Scott asked me if I knew what any of our fellow bloggers looked like ... umm, no, not really. A passing employee asked if we needed help, and we said we were looking for a bunch of people we'd never met before. I think the employee said something about "oh, like everyone else here ..." before another employee mentioned that we were probably looking for the folks upstairs. So up we went.

We found these people.

We had no idea who most of these folks were!!! But hey, we'll drink beer with them anyway.

Scott was charming as usual ...

I was pensive and quiet as usual ... *ahem*

The "Six Arms" - hence the name ...

They have the most coolest chandeliers evah here ...

We gave each other tattoos ...

... and paid each other to not blog about what went on. ("What happens in Capitol Hill, Stays in Capitol Hill ... ")

AND - we got oh-so-very-cool Dave Badges and Buttons!!!! Something to hang on the Christmas tree this year!!!!!!!

Thanks Dave! And Bryan, and Vahid, and Sizzle, and Chris, and Dustin, and Nicole, and Patty, and Tracy, and Kristin, and am I missing anyone (*ACK* if I am! And I'm sure I am ... ). Great people, great night. Let's do it again tonight guys!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Actually, it IS the same argument.

Apparently I'm just really stupid. So, explain the difference to me.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Goodbye, Ms. Charisse.

The incomparable Cyd Charisse passed away today at the age of 87. I know many gay bloggers have already posted this video, but this was my first introduction to her, when I was probably 13 or so. Although a closeted gay boy, I was in awe. Okay - maybe I was in awe of Gene Kelly at this point in the movie - but Cyd Charisse was just jaw-droppingly beautiful. And those mile-long legs (amazingly, she was only 5'6"). The movie version is from 1952, but I dare anyone to show me anything sexier to this day.

As Fred Astaire said in his autobiography - "That Cyd - when you've danced with her, you stay danced with".


MatterPic: For those days when I want to post something to keep a few readers around, but have nothing to say (or no time to say it).

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sometimes ya just gotta dance.

Scott's not a shy one ... and when the dancing mood strikes, it doesn't matter if he's in the middle of the garden section of Lowe's ...

Damn, he's cute. (I'm the serious one, if y'all haven't guessed).

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Week's Worth of Dinners - Saturday (THE FINALE)

Scott and I both had Saturday off. I woke up before 4 a.m. and never did get back to sleep, so I ended up getting out of bed at 5 a.m. I took a nap later in the morning, so we didn't get to run errands until at least 1 p.m.

We had to buy a few things, including a new lawn mower (we bought the manual push-mower kind). After Scott put it together, we cut the front yard, then Scott cut the back yard while I finished up some work in the front.

Then, we planted a few things in the back yard and kept working there until suddenly, it was after 8 p.m. Not wanting to cook at this point, I suggested we pick up some teriyaki.

Our regular place, for some reason, wasn't answering their phone. So we ordered from Toshio Teriyaki and headed down to grab our dinner.

Stoli loved coming along for the ride - see, she's smiling.

They prohibit back-in parking at Toshio's to discourage robbery.

Cover us - we're goin' in.

Matterdays protecting our dinner on the way home.

Back home.

Unpacked. Chicken teriyaki, eggrolls (for me), gyoza (for Scott), prawns tempura and a side of teriyaki pork (for Scott - I wasn't as hungry).

Oh yeah - my B-12. Did I mention I'm taking supplements? I can't remember.

Thus endeth A Week's Worth of Dinners. Now I have to find some other mindless drivel to blog about.

Have a great dinner tonight, everyone! (I think tonight will be roast turkey loin, jasmine rice, and garlic steamed broccoli - you?)

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there ... especially Scott and Andrew (hey, you're a stepdad).

And, of course, to Scooter. He's the best Dad around to our menagerie of pets. They need a Dad, too.

And, to Jim R. I miss you, Dad

(Me, my brother Mark, my brother Dave, and my Dad - Father's Day, 2005, Palatine, Illinois)

The news from Cedar Rapids

My blog buddies Scott and Andrew live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where massive flooding has been in the news all week. I sent them a quick e-mail yesterday morning to see how they were doing. Scott's response really made it hit home just how devastating this is.

"Hi Matt,

Yes, we are fine. We actually live in Marion which is connected to Cedar Rapids on the East side, but far from any major body of water. We are soggy from all the rain, but no flooding near us.

It's so sad to drive through downtown Cedar Rapids and see all the houses that are completely under water. Most of those are older houses in neighborhoods that are pretty low income areas closest to downtown. I don't know how most of those people are going to come back from this. It's just so sad. The media is talking about the fact that most of those homes will not be able to come back from the flooding and will likely have to be torn down. Being under all that water they will very likely suffer structural damage if not completely knocked off their foundations because the flood waters are moving so fast down river.
The power of the current is mind boggling! A perfect example is that railroad bridge that was completely destroyed and washed down river even with over 20 rail cars loaded with rock and sand sitting on it.

I'm actually at work this morning. My company asked some of us to come in today to help out with the demand that we have because of all the flooding. My company, amoung other things, makes suction and discharge hoses that are used by commercial pumps. The demand is extremely high for these items right now, as you can imagine.

Andrew and I have a couple of friends who live within a few block of the river downtown. The house that they rent has water up to the second floor and they have lost everything that they owned with the exception of a suitcase of clothes. They have places to go since both have family in town but I just can't imagine losing everything. They had stacked everything up high enough to be safe according to what the river height was supposed to get to but it actually went several feet higher than predicted. One of the videos that was played over and over on TV over the past couple of days, had a clear shot of their house and there is no way anything will be saved from there.

As I drove over the interstate 380 bridge coming to work this morning, the water has receeded just enough to see all the debris that is plastered up against all the bridges. I just can't imagine how long the clean up is going to take.

Another really strange thing to see is a second railroad bridge just north of the interstate 380 bridge that has at least 10 to 12 large houseboats up against it. They were permenantly docked on a section of the river about a mile upstream. when the water got so high they broke free from their docks and floated down stream and slammed against that bridge. There was concern for a while that that bridge would fail and it and the houseboats and rail cars would take out the interstate bridge. That would have been disaterous. If that had happened, getting from the north side of Cedar Rapids to the South side would have meant about a 200 mile trip. Mind blowing!

They announced yesterday that the 4th of July "Freedom Festival" will be postponed till probably Labor Day. That's a week long festival that takes place downtown starting the week before the 4th every year.

So, to answer your question, yes, we're fine. Now if only we can keep some of the rain away for the near future...

Thanks for thinking of us.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

"Toys ... Get Your Toys ... "

We seriously love all of our neighbors ... and across the street, there are two of the cutest young girls you can imagine. Last night, however, one of them was pretty adamant about selling some no-longer-used toys in front of their house ...

She's got quite a few career choices in a few years ...

A Week's Worth of Dinners - Friday

I'm getting worse at this as the week goes on ... I start taking pictures as I'm preparing dinner, but by the end I'm just hungry and too busy with the details to pick up the camera.

I think somewhere along the line I've posted pictures of this dish, so you'll understand that the "steak burrito" pictures don't get all the way to the "burrito" phase.

In the beginning ... roasted-garlic olive oil, chopped garlic, salt, pepper, and fresh cilantro.

Adding the skirt steak, fresh lime juice, and more garlic ... mmmmm ...

Avocado for the guacamole.

I can't remember if I mentioned that I'm taking B-12 supplements ...

Sizzle. The skirt steak is in long thin strips and is wound like a pinwheel, which is why it looks like it's unravelling. It is. But it's perfect for burritos!

Rice is done, salsa added, tortillas and cheese at the ready.

This is where it stops, kids. We chopped up the steak and added it to the rice, and then the assembly line started. I heated tortillas, Scott added guacamole (and sour cream for me), spooned in the rice and meat and we rolled them all up. They were beautiful - really, you should have seen them. It seemed a shame to eat them - but yeah, we did.

Saturday night is the last of the "Week's Worth of Dinners". It may end up being pictures of a restaurant.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Week's Worth of Dinners - Wednesday

I skipped Wednesday's dinner because of 12 of 12 - so without further ado, I present:

Ginger Teriyaki Grilled Ribs!

Marinating the baby back ribs.

Cutting up the potatoes to roast.

Ready to shuck and boil the corn.

Hey - I'm taking B12 these days!


Dinner's on the table. We eat in front of the TV most nights. We usually just watch a DVD.

Scott likes corn. Stoli likes any human food that falls on the floor.

Y'all know that Thursday dinner was just me and some leftover lasagna. Today is Friday - Scott just came home from grocery shopping, but I think he was hinting at steak burritos ...

Why I'm Voting Republican.

Thanks, Linda.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

June 12 of 12

Read about the 12 of 12 phenomenon at Chad's site. Very cool thing to do.

And a very difficult thing to do on a workday. I can't imagine anyone being interested in work photos of an accounting manager. So my pics are before and after work, not during.

Let's begin, shall we?

6:41 a.m. Orange juice.

6:48 a.m. Shower. A wet, sleepy, scruffy Matterdays.

7:24 a.m. Ironing my shirt for work.

7:52 a.m. Driving to work, crossing Interstate 5 on Denny Way.

8:02 a.m. Parking sticker firmly implanted on car window.

8:02 a.m. Cascade Park across the street, where I had lunch with Long Story Longer.

5:18 p.m. Heading home. One of the evil ParkingTicketMobiles of the Seattle Police Department. I swear they work on commission.

5:22 p.m. Heading back up Denny Way to Capitol Hill.

5:44 p.m. The pond in our backyard. After a LONG stretch of cold, grey, rainy weather (honestly - unusual for Seattle at this time of year) - the sun came out.

6:19 p.m. Did I mention I'm taking B-12 supplements to feel human again?

7:26 p.m. A brief hiatus from the "Week's Worth of Dinners" - Scott's working late tonight. So it was leftover lasagna for me.

8:12 p.m. Doggie time. Stoli came in to lick my plate clean. Time to settle in for the night with the pups.

That's it. Happy 12 of 12!!!!