Thursday, September 28, 2006

A handful of words, that might make you laugh

Ten years ago today was really the best single day of my life. Don't get me wrong - those days when Rachel and Samantha were born were amazing, too, but they wouldn't have been nearly as great if that day ten years hadn't happened. You see, I married Sharon ten years ago and I think that was probably the single smartest thing I've ever done. Marriage is not always easy - ours has had its tough parts - but if there is anything worth working at, it's that. So we've worked at it and we've supported each other and we've laughed together and we've forgiven each other and we've surprised each other and we've always, through it all, loved each other. I'm not sure why I get to be so lucky in this life.

And now.. a couple of top ten (or five) lists:

Top ten moments of our Years Together:

10) Devaki's Dance Den
9) The Orange Pop and Milky Way bar.
8) That beach in California.
7) Visiting for New Years 1993 and staying for a whole week.
6) "You are a bag boy!"
5) Exploring the French Quarter.
4) The dirty ugly snowman.
3) Edited out because it's none of your business really.
2) Witnessing Samantha's birth. (For Rachel, I looked at Sharon at the precise moment Rachel slipped into this world. And Sharon wasn't watching at all.)
1) Watching Rachel choose her own name.

Top Ten Moments from our Wedding:

10) Jane singing Time in a Bottle
9) Our families attempting the macarena... twice!
8) Dieter with the pig in his pocket
7) Grandma Moore's advice to us via the video camera: "She needs a little church in her life. They both do!"
6) Finding out Sharon's boss had quit while getting well wishes from everyone outside the church
5) "I'm not falling down!"
4) Our one choreographed move during our first dance
3) The Big Pig!
2) Forcing the Unity Candle to stay lit with my stare of doom
1) Saying our own vows that we'd written together

Top Five Songs:

5) Lady in Red
4) 1985
3) And So It Goes
2) The Search is Over
1) Dream Come True

Top Five TV Shows:

5) Friends
4) Quantum Leap
3) Everybody Loves Raymond
2) How I Met Your Mother
1) Mad About You

Top Five Places:

5) Those rocks we climbed around on near San Francisco, CA
4) That voodoo shop we went back to numerous times in New Orleans, LA
3) The Ped Mall in Iowa City, IA
2) That wooded trail we walked outside of Salt Lake City, UT
1) Our couch in our living room

And finally a picture of us ten years later and still completely happy:

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I have had no interesting thoughts of late.

Job is good. Wife is great. Kids are doing well. Dreamwell is even starting to perk up a little bit. And I'm writing again which is good.

So yeah.

How you doing?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The problem with fantasy books

I read Dies the Fire by SM Stirling last week. I was really enjoying it until I was about two-thirds of the way finished with it. I realized that while I really liked the setting and the basic story - one day all electronics in the world stop functioning and the United States attempts to deal with it - the book had no heart. The characters were not that interesting. I wasn't invested in them. So I haven't picked up the second book in the series. I may get it out of the library eventually, but I doubt I'll buy it. This is not unusual in fantasy books. So often, authors get so wrapped up in the new world they created or the over-reaching story, they forget to focus on the characters. We read these books because we can relate to the people in them, even if they are elves with pointy ears.

If you want a great series of books that creates an amazing world, has an overreaching storyline that's fascinating and has incredibly interesting characters, check out George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. Although the last book wasn't as good as the previous three.

Monday, September 11, 2006




Saturday, September 09, 2006

As 9/11 approaches...

...I'm glad they're reporting stories like this one.

I think I'll root for the Giants this weekend.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

No coat!

Days like this are not my favorite. It's cold in the morning, but will get warmer in the afternoon so a jacket first thing makes sense, but by eleven a.m. you've shed it. Rachel insisted she didn't need a jacket today. I might have given in, but she has the startings of a cold and I don't want to do anything to exacerbate it. So we argued. And argued. And it finally came out that she didn't want to wear a jacket because the others kids wouldn't be wearing them. It's Kindergarten and she's already worried about fitting in with her peers! I thought I had another year or two before that nonsense started. Not that that's really nonsense. I felt for her, I did. I remember arguing with my mom over wearing a jacket or more often a hat. And I can't count the number of times I'd wear a hat when I left the house and take it off after I'd cleared our block. Since Rachel gets driven to school, she doesn't have that option. So I get it. I do. I remember.

She still has to wear the jacket. I did let her pick which one she wanted to wear. And when she put it on, she defiantly pushed up the sleeves and glared at me. Which made me smile, actually. I do like that my kid has the steel in her to fight back a little bit.

And when we got to school some kids had jackets and some kids did not. I wish her friend Grace had a jacket on, but unfortunately that wasn't the case. I guess I'll just have to live with the fact that I am the meanest dad this side of Holiday Road.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Oxford Project

A few weeks ago, I participated in the Oxford Project. In 1984, Peter Feldstein photographed the residents of Oxford, Iowa. No poses, just simple shots of each person in front of a plain background. Twenty-one years later, Peter returned to Oxford and photographed as many of the people as he could find. He then teamed with Stephen G. Bloom, who interviewed the Oxford residents. A portion of each interview was printed between the two pictures, which was then shown on a television screen, with actors voicing the words of the Oxfordians. It's a simple project, a simple idea, and one that is profoundly moving. My part in the project was to provide the voice for four of the individuals. I recorded their words in about an hour one weekday evening. One talked about meeting Demi Moore and what a real person she was. Another spoke simply about ther deaths of his father and mother; tears welled in my eyes when I was done with that recording. The third individual showed he was horribly racist; it was hard to read those words. The last was a preacher who believed the end of the world was coming in twenty years. These are real people speaking the truth about their lives. Sometimes we get caught up in the big moments of life - war, politics, whatever - and we forget the power of the simple true words we all have within ourselves.

The Oxford Project is showing at the Johnson County Historical Society, in its new location at 860 Quarry Road in Coralville, across from the new Marriott Hotel.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Summer realities

I've been watching both Big Brother: All Stars and Rock Star: Supernova this summer. I enjoy Supernova because it's a showcase for extremely talented rock singers. Each of them is good enough to be a recording star; luck is what they need to make it now. My favorite has been Ryan Star (not the same Ryan Starr who was on American Idol a few years back), who did an amazing version of Losing My Religion a few weeks ago. It doesn't hurt that it's one of my favorite songs. He has other great performances and so when they cut him last week, my interest in the show has really dropped. The lead singer is going to be either Dilana or Lukas, who have been the front runners since week one. I enjoyed Dilana in the beginning just for the sheer novelty of her wacked out acid high performances, but now she's getting old. Plus her rendition of Harry Chapin's Cats in the Cradle still makes me cringe. (Of course, I have no idea why that song was even on the song list. It was almost as bad an addition as I Will Survive.) Lukas can be good when he listens to Jason whatever his name is from whatever famous group he was part of. Jason has told him many times to actually, you know, sing instead of screech and scream. He says it a little nicer - "Open up your voice" - but that's what it amounts to. Still just like last year, with Rock Star: INXS, it's more about enjoying the performances each week than caring who gets to be lead singer.

Onto Big Brother... what the heck is Evil Dr. Will still doing there? Oh yeah, he's easily the best reality TV player in history. The man is born manipulator. He came into the house with a perfect plan. He has one strong alliance with Mike Boogie and then he makes alliance after alliance with everyone else. They all think they're using him when really he is manipulating every one of them. He's also the master of knowing when someone is about turn on him and removing that person. James and Danielle are excellent examples of that. If Will makes it to the Final 2, it would be impossible to vote for anyone else. No one came into the game with the least chance to win and no one made the amazing moves that he did to survive.

And it's set up perfectly for him to win. The only flaw in the plan is if Erica goes on a HOH or POV streak. She'll choose Boogie over Will. But Will still have Boogie and Janelle on his side, so he's put himself in just about the best position he could.

I have to say Big Brother: All Stars is probably my favorite season because the game play has been great. Everyone still around is playing the game and playing it hard. I kind of hope this is the last season because there's no way any season could be better than this one.

My Survivor blog has the latest news and speculation as well as some spoiling about the show.
About Me

Name: Matt
Location: Coralville, IA
I am a Dad and a Husband. An Actor. An Administrator. A Hiker. A Writer. Probably a bunch of other things too. Read my blog and you'll find out more.
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

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