Saturday, January 31, 2009

Today is Nicole's Birthday

Just so all of our faithful readers know, or remember and now can pretend like they know, today is Nicole's birthday! If you want, you can leave her a comment and say happy birthday!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Some Nice Shots

All is well here.  I don't have too much to report except as follows:

1.  The rest of Nicole's and my MLK weekend was superb.  Beyond the extra wonderful surprise of the snow day on Tues., we also had a great MLK Monday which we celebrated by seeing some local sites including the old-timey Cape Henry Light house.  We also walked along the beach and poked things with sticks that happend to be washed ashore.  For lunch we ate some really good seafood at Harpoon Larry's.

2.  As of yesterday, Nicole and I have been 'together' 1 entire year.  Although she was in China for part of it and I had some intense school projects which kept us apart, we always had Skype.

3.  My soccer team won it's first match on Saturday.  For those who don't know, I'm on a city league team.  We have games about every week.  On Saturday everyone played really hard.  We started out fairly rough going down two goals in the first half.  However, in the second half, we scored three points.  One of the points, I am pleased to report, was off my assist; I'm especially proud of it because I played defense the whole game.  

I don't want to give people the impression though that this was an easy game; the win took a heavy physical toll.  I still have a black eye from a shot I defended with my face.  Saturday and Sunday were particularly bad as one of my nostrils was swollen shut.  In addition, I also got hit in the groin by another heartily kicked ball.  Now, anyone who has watched America's Funniest Home Videos knows that the essence of American humor is based in a good shot to the crotch; however, as much as I wanted to laugh at the inherent humor of the situation and keep playing, I ended up laying on the sideline in agony imoblized for quite a while.   But in the end we came away with the 'W' and that's all that matters.

Here's some pictures:

The Atlantic Ocean

Cape Henry Lighthouse

Going up the old Lighthouse

Some cool old iron work

A cool old spiral staircase

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Winter Wonder Land

So, in some places, Christmas comes twice a year.  This morning as Nicole and I woke up we found much to our pleasant surprise that today was a snow day.  Was there snow? no.  Was there a 40% chance of precipitation with temperatures somewhere around freezing? Yes.  Now, ordinarily I might come down hard on the state of Virginia for being weak, especially having grown up in MN where they only got out of school last week for actually having snow and temperatures that were literally 80 degrees colder.  However, being that it means we get a long weekend together extended, I'm not complaining.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I'm no George Washington, but at least I can take that Plasma screen off your hands

As many people know, these are trying times. These are times when ordinary people are required to do extraordinary things of their own accord for the betterment of the country. Because of of who I am and how I was raised, I was prepared to do just such a thing yesterday. As many know the US is in a recession. Things are so bad that Circuit City announced this week that it would be closing all of its stores and liquidating it's inventory. As the United States government knows, there is only one way out a recession--you have to spend your way out. You have to spend like you have money even if you don't. You have to spend as though Armageddon will happen sometime next week and the day of financial reckoning will never come. Being patriotic, and knowing that there was a big-box electronics retailer in great need, I decided it was my duty to help in the the recession recovery effort by stretching our budget little further and spending a little extra during these hard times. So singing God bless America, Nicole and I climbed into the family station wagon and set off for Circuit City to the liquidation sale prepared to spend $80 for a 52" LCD TV that no one else wanted to buy; perhaps we could even go the extra mile and spend $7 on a blue-ray player as well.

Much to our surprise, we found that we were not alone; the greater Hampton Roads area is filled with many good Samaritans. However, we also found that Circuit City doesn't know what the term 'liquidation' means. 30% off office furniture and 20% off dvds is hardly a liquidation. Although they did get the "all sales final" part right, if it was to be a true liquidation, by making a purchase, I should get the same wonderful feeling inside as a looter who just backed his pickup into the store front window and is loading it up with free stuff. Instead we left empty-handed and disappointed as did just about everyone else I observed--obviouly in these dire times, management still didn't get it quite right. So although I didn't get to watch Transformers in HD this weekend I am comforted to know that even in our dismal economy that natural selection process of capitalism is still alive and well. Although we still grimace when we watch the lioness rip out the neck of that lame, old, obsolete wildabeast that is too old and arthritic to keep up with the rest, we still feel warm inside when we watch her drag the carcass back to her cute little cub named Best Buy.

Monday, January 12, 2009

It's Me, Macol

I have not blogged in a while, it's true. But if y'all (I'm from Norfolk, or Gnaw-fik as we say it, I kind of feel like I'm cussing) haven't realized, Matt is a blogger. At first he may have thought, huh, Nicole has found a new enterprise in which to employ her quick wit and talent in a semi-female dominated activity, where mostly mothers converse back and forth about what their children are doing and so on. However, after a little time, I think he came to realize that blogging is actually a blank canvas for his witty comments and fanciful infatuations. I saw this subtle domination coming on a few months ago, but I was so stressed with school, and anything that would have come out of my fingers may not have been that creative, so, I let him do it; and I think it has served our blog well. We have many viewers and receive many (but not near many enough *Nathan, Christian, Chad, Lynne', etc*) comments and I think overall he has excelled at blogging. And I love him. I officially dub him... Bloggerboy,... or Gooner, whichever he chooses (see Kindergarten photo caption to reference real name of boy 'Gooner', bless him.
At the 2009 Auto Expo sitting in the BMW M3 that we'll own someday,
after Matt sells a kidney and we stop buying cold cereal.

Getting my New Year's kiss. As you can see we spent it with close
friends and family at the Las Vegas Airport.

A very chubby baby in front of a very full tree.

Everyone came out with a load. This one came out naked. But who needs clothes when you've got a Dora backpack.

All 19 of our stockings

Thanks mom and dad for a great Christmas!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

These Ones Go to 11

Well we're back into the swing of things here. I start school again tomorrow and Nicole has already been back at it for a week.

Firstly, I think I should mention that we had a fabulous holiday. We booked the computer room in the Shurtz family hotel in Enoch, UT for Christmas. Besides being cozy accomodations for Nicole and I and everyone else that needed computer access, we were also fortunate because, unlike all the other guests, we had internet in our room. Beyond the wonderful acuitriments, with 19 people from the Shurtz family there, we were happy just to have a room. We were scared that like Mary and Joseph, we were going to be sleeping out with the horse.

Christmas was a little different for me this year than it has been in the past because I was now responsible to shop for a wife. I am learning to force myself to walk through women's clothing sections and fabric stores. However, when Nicole is not with me and I'm walking by myself looking at women's pajama pants I still feel the need to tell everyone passing by, "these aren't for me," or "I thought my wife might like them." At the very least, I find myself scratching my face and shoulders a lot with my left hand so that people will hopefully at least notice my wedding band. Maybe I'm paranoid of what the other shoppers think of me...or maybe I'm scared that I might think, "this pink velour sweatsuit actually looks good."

Anyway, Christmas was a fun time. We played a lot of games, played in the snow and ate a lot of junk food. After Christmas, we got to head up to Provo for a couple more days and hang out and visit some people. It was a really good time. We had some wonderful food cooked for us by Jessica Morris. She is a phenomenal cook. We also got to see my grandparents a little more and some of our old friends.

On Wed. it was time to head home. So we packed up the Noonan's van and headed off toward Vegas. The trip down was uneventful except for the part where we got pulled over for not having lights on and James managed to convince the officer that even though he didn't have any sort of proof handy, he did have car insurance somewhere. To James', and more specifically Monica's credit, there was proof and it was even in the car in James' lap, he just overlooked it.

Well we safely arrived in Vegas. James had to fly out early the next morning, so he was staying the night in a hotel with Nicole's parents. We, however (after a brief nap), went right on to the airport to fly out at 12:40 on New Year's Day. Some may ask, why would you fly out on New Years; especially when you could be on the strip watching Robbie Kanevil jump the volcano at the Mirage? The answer to that is easy. We saved over $200 dollars flying on New Years and for those of you who are slow with numbers, that equals over 800 quarters and about 6,000 empty airport slot machine seats.

Actually, there was another benefit to flying on New Years at a ridiculous time. When we arrived at the airport, one of my worst fears was confirmed...we had packed too much Christmas booty. I had weighed the bags before we left for Las Vegas with the precisely instrumented "old scale that has a family of mice living in it that we keep somewhere down in the basement...are you sure it's not there...maybe it's outside under the deck" which is accurate to +/- 10 lbs. Anyway, I was sweating it out as we were trying to check into our flight. I wasn't sure what to do. I decided not to say anything about it and if challenged I would either 1. let her know that her scale must be flawed or 2. cry. Well, some of you might might have heard the phrase before that 'close' only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades. Well friends, 'close' (defined as less than 8 lbs over in one bag and 7 in the other) also counts with Sheila the disguntled Jet Blue employee who is happy to stick it to the man for making her work on New Year's eve instead of watching Robbie Kanevil.

Since we've been home, things have been good. I've taken up playing on a city soccer league with a couple of guys from church. It's going pretty well. I'm playing defense which is a little different for me as I'm much more accustomed to mid-field. I am happy to note that I still have the endurance to play the entire game even though walking was painful for almost a week afterward. So far our record isn't too stellar, but I think once the team play more together and starts scoring more points than our opponents we'll start doing a lot better.

Nicole has started taking dance classes at a new studio. It's a little bit of a drive, but we enjoy the time together in the car and the studio is head an shoulders above the others in the area. So we feel it's worth the trip.

I also got to go biking again this week. If I haven't said so (I think I did in a previous post), but I love my bike; it goes to 11. I went to York River State park. It was a great place to ride. It's incredible to me that the trails I was riding on were battle grounds for both the Revolutionary and Civil wars.

Anyway, life is good.