A Whole Nother Thing

Seldom at a loss for words.

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Abode: Nine Forward
Interests: Writing, Singing, Working Out

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A selection of words from my vast vocabulary, including the ubiquitous "the," the always versatile "and," and the more obscure "incontrovertible," arranged in frequently meaningful, sometimes profound, yet often pedestrian sentences and statements, designed with one goal in mind-- that being, to communicate; keeping in mind the oft-used bromide, "Never use two words when one will do the same job as two or more words would have done, unless you just want to take up space and sound important," which is, I must concede, too often a secret objective of mine indeed. And yet, now, the secret is out.

Who ARE these women?

© MMX Mattquist. Some Rights Reserved

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

New LA Fitness & Applebee's

Well, this will be a short blog. Tomorrow I leave for Florida to be a
groomsman in a friend's wedding. I get to sing The Lord's Prayer, too.
I'm looking forward to it. It's supposed to be in the 80's in FL.
Eric & Amy are a great couple, and I'm honored to be in their wedding.
Tami is staying home, though, and I'll miss her. I'll bring home some
pictures and I'll be sure to blog about it for you.

Our new gym opened in Gresham. LA Fitness. It is very cool. The
equipment is top notch and the building is beautiful. Looking forward
to enjoying that.

Tami & I both took yesterday off and spent the day together. We went
to the new Applebee's in Gresham. (It's just across the street from LA
Fitness, so now you can gorge yourself and then go work it off
afterward.) It was good, but the floor plan and decor wasn't quite as
nice as the other Applebees' I've been to. Tami's fries were way
over-salted and they brought us some unsalted ones. The manager gave
us free desert to make amends. Very good deserts there. It was their
opening day, so they were still working out the bugs. I think it'll be
nice, but I still like the one at Gateway better.

We took Gordy to Petco yesterday for a shampoo and cleaning. He looks
(and smells) nice now. 'Stopped at Ross and bought a suitcase (carryon
size) for my trip. After we got back from Las Vegas in August, we
donated our old suitcases to Goodwill. We still need to buy one for
Tami, but, as they say, that's A Whole Nother Thing.

link | posted by Matt Norquist at 10/19/2004 06:01:00 AM | 2 reflections. CLICK HERE.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

The acupuncture is paying off

I'm sitting in a Starbucks in Gresham. Sometimes I find that a change of venue like this (away from home) gives me a new perspective and new grist for thought.

There's really no legitimate reason that people have to bring their laptops here. Either they believe the same thing that I just stated, that a change of scenery is good for the gray cells, or they just want to show off the fact that they actually HAVE a laptop. I, too, am not immune to that motivation, unfortunately. Fortunately, my Macintosh PowerBook usually trumps whatever other units show up here. Yeah, I'm cool.

Well, as you can see, the grist is really paying off. I guess I'm in a mood right now. Let's be frank. Can I be frank? I'm feeling pretty... uh... crumby right now. Okay, I'm feeling crappy. Can't really go into detail at the moment. Enough frankness.

There is an adorable dog patiently waiting outside the door for his master right now. Lab mix. I love dogs. They are so loving and faithful. They need you. They appreciate you. I love the bumper stickier that says "Lord, help me to be the person my dog thinks I am." Yeah. To see that tail wag is such a rush for me. There's nothing like it. You can always know exactly what dogs are thinking and feeling. Authenticity. They can't hide their feelings like we humans discipline ourselves to do.

The two 60's-ish ladies sitting next to me are now discussing the acupuncture that one of them has been undergoing. "It's really made a difference," she said. It's done wonders for the pain in her hip.

"Well I'm glad to know that. I've never actually known anyone who's done that," the auburn-haired one said.

The silver-haired one is going twice a week.

It's hard to follow the conversation too closely, even though I'm so close could simply turn my head to the left and spit on them, but the din of others talking, the hum of the coffee grinding machine, the rumble and gurgle of the espresso maker, and the background sounds of Perry Como crooning from the speakers in the ceiling, makes it difficult to hear all of what they're saying. I CAN tell they are talking about medical issues. The auburn one exercises and walks regularly.

There's a 50's-ish couple about 15 feet to my right reading The Sunday Oregonian as they sip their hot coffee drinks. It's noon now, and I expect the after-church crowd will be arriving shortly.

"His dad has to watch what he eats, doesn't he?" Auburn just asked.

"Oh, yes," Silver answered.

"Well, Becky never eats meat, and the kids won't eat meat. But they will eat pork," Auburn said.

Such culture, one can find at Starbucks. A true grist for thought.

I suppose, sarcasm aside, that TRUE thought is A Whole Nother Thing.

link | posted by Matt Norquist at 10/10/2004 08:50:00 PM | 1 reflections. CLICK HERE.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Outdoor Singing Only, Please

Not really in the mood to blog, but I'm going to give it a shot.

Yesterday I stopped at UP to help Brant get his (our) Toyota to start. It's been having intermittent starting issues. A few weeks ago we had it towed from the campus out to Gresham and assumed the shop had fixed the problem. Wrong assumption.

The engine turned over, and over, and over, but it wouldn't start. Yes there was gas in it this time. We tried the theory that the battery needed a little help, so I jumped it from my car. No luck. So, we decided to try and push start it (it's a manual transmission). That was fruitless and no fun as well. That's a heavy car, even though it's just a little import.

So, we left it there and Brant will have to get it towed once again this week. It has 200,000 miles on it and for the most part it's been a great car. Hope it's resurrectable. I can't imagine that it's a very serious problem.

Getting over the major symptoms of my sinus infection. Just pretty tired now. Could be that the antibiotic wears me down. Took a long nap again today.

I got my rejection letter from the Blazers. I wonder how many times I will have to audition before they recognize what kind of world-class soloist they have on their hands. I guess at least one more time.


I suppose I could regale them with stories of my PGE Park successes, singing for the Portland Beavers and Timbers, but apparently that's A Whole Nother Thing.

link | posted by Matt Norquist at 10/09/2004 04:27:00 PM | 1 reflections. CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Mum's the Word

I've been redoing the passwords to many of my important items on my computer and the Internet (e-mail, databases, access to bank accounts, etc.). Thought they needed a change, and change is good. Without divulging anything too pertinent, my passwords are •••••••• and/or •••••••, depending on which account you're talking about.

How do you do your passwords? Are your passwords all the same? Do you vary them just a little? Personally, I am at the point where I have so much information that I need to keep track of, I have a handy little database (which has its OWN password) that tells me my usernames and passwords. Very handy-- especially when you have a lot of really really important information like I do. Heaven forbid that my username for this blog, for example, get into the wrong terrorist hands.

Some of my work buddies were discussing identity theft the other day, and we all agreed that no one would want to steal Keith's identity. Who would want to be him. And he actually agreed, saying that anyone who assumed his identity would just be stuck with a bunch of debt.

No so with me. I have so much money.

Have you tried to change the fonts yet on the passwords I gave you?

Bumper Snicker I saw the other day: "What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?" I like that one, but my favorite is: "I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe."

Originally uploaded by embian.

Need to go out and clean out Gordy's apartment. He's a little pooper, that guy. Really messy, but that's A Whole Nother Thing.

link | posted by Matt Norquist at 10/06/2004 02:59:00 PM | 1 reflections. CLICK HERE.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Heinous day at work

A very heavy day at work. Lots of packages, lots of stops. Very short
lunch. Not really a lot of fun, but as usual, at the end of the day,
everything that needed to get done, got done.

Shipped a package off to Keaton, down @ USC. He wanted some shorts
because the weather there is just too nice, I guess. Also sent him a
Brita® water filter and some books. Those UPS people are so nice. The
package should get there Thursday.

H.R.H. Tami had chicken and rice waiting for me when I got home. After
I ate, we took a test from a marriage/emotional health book she's
reading and of course I flunked. She, on the other hand rated in the
"healthy/normal" range. Well, at least we're not wasting the money
we're spending on my psychologist.

Must get to sleep. The sinus infection seems to be rearing its ugly
head and making my throat sore. Taking a Theraflu® and then off to
bed. Hope I have enough energy to get up and work out tomorrow morning
B4 work.

link | posted by Matt Norquist at 10/04/2004 09:24:00 PM | 0 reflections. CLICK HERE.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

SRS; Sunny Relaxing Sunday

The audition went well. I've done better, but I could have done worse. There were a few times that I wish I would have had more breath under me, and a few moments where I felt a little raspy (coming off that sinus infection, I suspect).

But all in all I think I did okay. It's "Don't call us; we'll call you," so I'll just have to wait and see.

Brant and I are having a lively discussion on our blog sites. He responded to my blog of yesterday and then wrote a lengthy dissertation of his own on his site. Click on the "Brant Norquist" link at the right side of this page. My response is at the bottom of his latest entry.

It's mid afternoon here on the West Coast. The Portland weather is awesome: Totally sunny and in the upper 70's, maybe low 80's. I just got back from working out (back and biceps today); it was a good, intense workout. Now, I'm waiting for The Princess of Everything to get home from her coffee stop with DonnaH (along with a little shopping stop, I'm told via the cell) so we can go to Winco. Need milk, eggs, chicken, TP, Dove soap and a number of other essentials. Then tonight it's off to our BS group (that stands for Bible Study, not what you were at first thinking). Should be good.

I just talked with my best buddy Eric. His girl, Amy ran in the Portland Marathon this morning. Came in 14th in her age class. Wow. That's stamina.

Well, I should probably go downstairs and see about folding some of that laundry that's on the couch B4 Tami gets home. It's a chore, for shore, but that's A Whole Nother Thing...


link | posted by Matt Norquist at 10/03/2004 03:47:00 PM | 0 reflections. CLICK HERE.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Oh Say, Can You See Anything?

This may be a long entry, violating the "keep it brief" rule of blogging; but I am going to have a bunch of time on my hands. I'm sitting in the "Rose Room" at the Rose Garden arena, home of the Portland Blazers and the Portland Winterhawks. I (along with scores of other wannabe singers) am here to audition to sing the national anthem for the Blazers and/or Winterhawks this year.

It's just before 10:00 a.m., and we're going to be getting under way in just a minute. We all took a number when we came in the door. I am number 50. Figuring that it will take about 3 minutes per audition, with setup time and the actual singing of the song, I guestimate that I have almost 3 hours to waste until it's my turn; maybe just over 2 hours, if I'm lucky. I know my laptop battery won't probably last that long, which is good for the reader.

Last night I took The Princess to a concert up in Vancouver, USA: Avalon. They're a christian group; Matthew West and Mark Schultz opened for them. But, in a bitter turn of events, we didn't get there in time to hear any of Matthew West, and we only got a few songs out of Mark Schultz. Traffic on I-5 was stop and go while I was trying to get back to the Swan Island hub, and I have a 5:40 deadline that I have to meet in order for my air packages to make it to the airport B4 the jet leaves for our air hub in Louisville. Well, I didn't make the deadline-- an occurrence that happens maybe three times a year, so I had to go directly to PDX, which tacks on an additional 50 minutes or so (at least) to my day.

So, we were late to the concert. Now, the most insidious ramification of this was that my attitude was hopelessly ruined by the time we arrived. Actually it went south while I was sitting at a stop under the Morrison bridge. If the reader isn't aware of my recent battles (the last two years, or so) with God, and the whole Trusting Him/Relationship thing, you are about to get an inside peek at my spiritual state. Buckle up.

I'm having a real struggle here. One would think, wouldn't one, that going to a christian concert where there would be good, God-honoring, uplifting, worship-inducing music would be something that God might want Tami and me to participate in, and to arrive on time to (I HATE being late!). I don't think that's an unreasonable expectation. But no. I know my recent life's frustration is just one of those "trials" that is mentioned in James 1, but unfortunately I am failing miserably the test of perseverance. I was bitter, angry and a real poop. Basically my crappy attitude ruined the evening for Tami. We hardly talked. I wasn't mad at her; I was mad at God. I know, I know, it was an immature attitude, and without that bad attitude the evening could have been redeemed, but I was overcome with anger. I said more than one expletive while stuck in traffic in my brown truck.

This may be an uncomfortable revelation to those of you friends and relatives who are reading this; it probably doesn't fit well with the image I try to display to everyone. But I'm realizing, in this mid-life crisis of mine (if you want to call it that) that authenticity is healthy. I encourage your observations, but please be gentle.

Right now there's a young girl auditioning. I think we're on number 10 or so, and it's 10:23, so maybe we're going at a slightly faster clip than I predicted. This girl is probably 12 years old or so, and she is actually pretty good. Some real questionable talent levels are demonstrated at these things; I tried out last year too, and I remember some pretty interesting acts. It's hard to know how many people actually make it. They're letting us sing "O Canada" too, and I think this will give me an advantage. Only one person so far has attempted that anthem.

A high school ensemble group is singing now. Wow, they sound nice. Reminds me of my high school days.

This Rose Room is nice. Linen table cloths, many TV monitors, big glass wall looking down on the Rose Quarter, very high ceiling, bar. Must be expensive to come in here and dine B4 a game. My laptop isn't receiving any WiFi signals, so that's something they could ad. But then, I guess if you're coming to dinner here, you wouldn't be bringing your laptop. Never mind the WiFi suggestion.

The high school dude up there now just changed keys in the middle of the song. Not a good thing.

Okay, back to my issues. (Please be advised that there are two exit doors at the front, two exit doors over the wings and two at the rear. Remember that the nearest exit may be behind you.) I know in my head that we live in a fallen world and that God doesn't intervene with the I-5 traffic just for my convenience. I understand that academically. But I am discovering a LOT of anger deep inside as I traverse the halfway mark of my fifth decade (that's my forties-- remember the first decade is the zero's). Anger, I am frequently reminded in my many counseling sessions, is a symptom of a much deeper problem: hurt. And yes, I do feel hurt. Abandoned may be a more accurate word. They sang and talked at last night's concert about our relationship with God. I do have a relationship with Him, but more and more I feel like it's much like a relationship that a person has with his bank. Not very personal. I really have a difficult time sensing God's presence in my life, on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes I wonder if I ever have.

Yeah, we're losing altitude fast, aren't we. Please bring your seats to an upright position.

Are these "okay" feelings for a born-again christian to have? To reveal? Do I have permission to be authentic? I just can't continue to play christian. No, I'm not dumping my faith, I just don't feel like I have anything to "share" with others. Don't ask me to export what I don't experience myself.

And it's not like I'm a new christian. I accepted Jesus when I was 10 or so. And it's NOT like I've been sitting on my duff, spiritually speaking. I can't tell you how many times I've prayed that God would reveal Himself to me. I've immersed myself in the Psalms. I've memorized and meditated on many, many sections of scriptures. Psalm 86:11 has been my close companion: "Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth... Give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name." I dunno, I guess I'll just keep on plugging away at it. But don't talk to me about a relationship. It seems kind of dry right now.

Okay, enough of that. We've leveled off now. You can unbuckle your seat belts, and you are free to move around the cabin. We know our final destination, but it might be a bumpy ride getting there, so be ready to assume the crash position at any moment...

We're past the number 25 mark, as far as auditioners go, and it's just before 11:00. So I guess my total wait time will be under two hours. Stay tuned, and I'll let you know how I did. I could start rambling on about how I'm slightly handicapped because I'll be auditioning while coming off a bad sinus infection, but that's A Whole Nother Thing.

link | posted by Matt Norquist at 10/02/2004 01:41:00 PM | 1 reflections. CLICK HERE.

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