Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kerry Unveiled

I figure that I've mentioned Kerry a few times here and there but really haven't talked about her. I met her when she was working in my department at 'the hotel' before she headed over to work at the wedding chapel. It was a detour for her as she needed to stay full-time and the position she wanted wasn't open. She likes to remind me that it happened for a reason.

There isn't often that I meet someone that makes herself as vulnerable to the people she loves. I always held my Grandma Hennessy up as one of the sweetest people that I've ever met and she gives her a good run for the title. Well then there are those moments her 10 year-old son David brings out of her but I count those as motherly responses that she has an obligation to let surface.

The photo that you see above was taken on Saturday evening. Hard worker that she is, she was awarded a stay at the hotel and dinner at their top notch steak house. I don't like taking photos but this one came out alright. (Dark hair, dark background... I look bald.) A few of the other ones came out funky because I either looked tired or squinty but I probably wouldn't have taken them if it wasn't because Iga, a friend of the family, was there taking photos in that restaurant at that time.

The photo actually has become rather important, though. You see, later that night, I asked her to marry me. Of course, this is a big step. Kerry was not expecting it. I actually had been thinking about it for a few weeks. Remember her hospital stay before Thanksgiving? Well, the night before we took her to UMC QuickCare, I had a dream that I had proposed to her during Thanksgiving dinner in front of our families. The problem with that dream was that both of them were under one roof (but we had two separate celebrations) giving thanks for our many blessings. You see, she is one of mine. In reality, I even pulled my brother aside after dinner and told him that I was thinking about it. My plan was to embarrass her by doing it at her work (where the magic happens) in a surprise move. I wound up surprising myself as it just came out in conversation before going to sleep. (She didn't sleep too well, though, and had a guest list to show me when I woke up.)

So to make a long post a little -- a lot shorter than it could be, we are taking our time working out details as, being a professional wedding planner, she told me "just give me a week's notice." We expect this to take place in the spring and for some reason, I have a vision of my niece Olivia and nephew Connor playing violin at the ceremony. All I know is that I don't want to think about all the details. It's like a fog in my brain that I want to wade, not run through. But, yes, I think everything happens for a reason.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Adopt An Opinion

I've been holding a few posts back. You know how an idea pops into your head and you don't have time to sit down and really think it through? No? Well, it stinks. It just sits there as you work on other projects until finally you get a few minutes before going to sleep months later and can blog about it. The thought that has been waiting its time patiently is about adoption. Feel free to look at the Wikipedia definition.

You see, I find the word to be a strong indicator of how one feels about responsibility. Some people use the phrase at the drop of a hat. Adopt a highway, adopt a classroom, adopt a platoon, adopt a rainforest, adopt a stream, adopt a college... heck, there are tons of these that actually have Web sites. But most of these programs are essentially not an honest undertaking of responsibility for the said item but to help and assist. So, the idea of animal adoption tops my list of this phenomena.

I started thinking about it when we had the Ellen DeGeneres' pet adoption issues in the media. You see, we tend to humanize things. Granted, a pet is supposed to become a member of the family and warrants more scrutiny than a highway, classroom, platoon, rainforest, stream or college. Many of these animal adoption agencies take it just as seriously as placing a child. And a child is the first thing the Wiki-definition intones. I know, someone out there is already saying, "Martin, my Fido is my baby." That may be true. But in the DeGeneres situation, she gave a baby that she was screened for to a family that wasn't. These animal adoption agencies take it very seriously and if it were a child, someone would be fined or possibly arrested if the process didn't involve a lawyer and the family court system. I personally know someone starting an agency and many of these animals have been abused mentally and/or physically and a specific home is usually selected to help overcome those hurdles to give it the best life possible.

I believe DeGeneres' tears over the situation were real. I believe she has learned that she made a mistake that has hurt more than one family and given people something to think about when it comes to 'adoption.' Let us hope that other people start to take the term more seriously.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Classically Martin: A-ha - The Sun Always Shines On TV(1985)

I was showing this video to Kerry prior to the hospital escapade. Sure, many people will say "Take On Me" is the best example of A-ha. I would entirely disagree. But for those that can't get past it, you have a good reason to look at this video which concludes the storyline from "Take On Me" and proves that it didn't end happily ever after. "The Sun Always Shines On TV" was their follow-up which also made the charts.

The video is beautiful and elicits some of the charm of the song: intense build-up to the chorus, strong backing vocals, catchy lyrics, amazing keyboards and Morten's amazing vocals. (One of those songs that I get shivers during.)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Life Update: 111507

So much to mention. Haven't had a chance to post for a bit as some issues popped up recently. So many things to do but not as harried as previously.

  • The open house went great. Had several people come in and look around (as well as a bunch of neighbors that were extremely curious.) Oddly enough, the house is extremely clean still as I haven't slept in the house until well... actually tomorrow.

  • I took 3 extra days off this week. I figured that it was going to be slow on two of them at work and the other made doing the newsletter on Monday easier.

  • Kerry's son David celebrated his 10th birthday on Tuesday. We picked up a few extras for him on Monday night (a few books, light weights, clothes and a core balance board.) Kerry even made a version of my sister's Ooey Gooey cake (which is a cleaner name for the Better Than Sex cake.)

  • Kerry had been experiencing some chest pain during the last month. We decided to go get it looked at while the cake cooled on Tuesday morning. UMC Quick Care didn't take any chances and had an ambulance take her to St. Rose Dominican Siena Campus. While they moved her, I finished topping the cake and wrapped the presents. Needless to say, she spent the next 36 hours under professional supervision and I left only long enough to charge our cell phones. They said her heart is in great shape after the tests and now they are still running tests on her blood while she is out.

  • Sadly, this meant she wasn't able to spend the day with her son. This upset her more than anything. David did get to stop by a little later at the hospital after she was admitted to a room. He understood but of course didn't want to leave his mom. I tried to cheer him up by telling him that 10 years ago that day, he was in a hospital with his mom... and he was again now.

  • It is going to be interesting to see how much her part of the bill is but most important is knowing that her heart is alright and hopefully the source of the chest pain will be found soon.

  • Kerry didn't want to scare anyone and didn't want me to tell anyone what was going on at first. It was pretty funny because her mother grilled me as soon as I said that she was undergoing some tests, etc. I don't lie well. I didn't talk to anyone else but her work... word spread quickly. One of the funniest things was when someone from Central Christian church came by. Then another. We figure her brother Joe (who goes there) told them but we hadn't talked to him yet. Feels weird having people ask you to pray with them but it's very thoughtful. We are spreading a rumor that we left before a third one showed up.

  • You would expect healthier food at the hospital commissary. Fried mozzarella sticks, chicken wings, fried battered fish, pizza, hot dogs, chili, french fries... and the like. Sure, there are deli sandwiches but I've never been a fan of them. I opted for the unhealthy chili cheese dogs that I considered comfort food. Ok, the split pea with ham soup was better than I thought.

  • I'm expecting that we will be spending the next weekend at home taking it very easy. Usually, weekends are kind of precarious as she usually works late on Saturday and Sunday is the only day we get to spend together. Hard to really plan anything but until we hear back on the rest of the blood tests (she has to have more blood taken on Friday.) Kerry and I both head back to work today. Her co-workers called in a conference call to wish her well while she was in the hospital.

  • We figured that her small veins were pretty difficult to find as they tried 7 to 8 times to put in a catheter. They then drew vials of blood about 5 to 6 times. What made that funny was that when she checked her messages when she got home, there was a call from United Blood Services asking her to come and donate.

  • On a lighter note, it took me over a month to finish Atlas Shrugged. I was shooting for an exact month but things couldn't be helped. I can understand why people tell me it is their favorite book. Someday, I'll read it again... or hear the audiobook. It fits amazingly well in my reading list as Communist Manifesto came before it and Marxism follows.

  • My friend Tracy just told me that she has been advised that her question may be taken during the CNN Democratic Presidential Debate tonight. I hope they take it as her specialty is the Las Vegas Valley water condition and treatment. (update: Watched it but she didn't get time to ask a question. I think the questions asking a direct "yes or no" went long.)

  • I picked up a few exercise bands the other day. I figure that they are more portable than my bulky rebounder. I'll be looking around online for different ways to use them while clearing things off my Tivo.

  • I guess my rantings about Las Vegas here and there in the blog inspired someone to seek me out as an expert. Silly isn't it. I guess this company (similar to needed someone to write better articles than they had previously. The pay looks interesting but I don't see it happening. I have too little time as it is.

  • I also had another offer from a ticketing Web site about placing a link on for their services. I've always avoided placing any unrelated ads on the site. This is an interesting one that I need to make a decision on soon. Sure, money is involved but on a yearly rate. I'm pretty sure that I could do better but then again, I don't want to promote dating services, poker, condoms, Viagra, the liberty dollar, Pokemon... or anything that doesn't have to do with what the site does.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Open House Preparations

Ok, lots to do and very little time. On Sunday, an open house is planned. This means, I have to get my butt busy cleaning. Well, I would have started sooner but it's Murphy's Law that my ceiling fan in the bedroom would break an internal switch (which I couldn't purchase a replacement for.) Sure, the house could be shown without any light in the bedroom but... if you see something wrong somewhere, you are sure to look for a follow-up. The new ceiling fan goes up tomorrow. Then, I need to replace a brick in the wall, replace a dead bush, use the blower on the front and back yards, clean off the patio furniture, remove all the solar screens (no need for them now and they don't impress), prune burned bushes, prune backyard bushes, clean bathroom floors/ceilings, vacuum and remove any stains that will stand out. Rearranging some things is in the works too. Been spending too much time watching reruns of Sell This House.

Of course, there is other stuff in the way. I also need to finish the updates to the Web site, do podcast prep, work and email two companies that want to advertise on the site. I might just be able to do all of it. It also means that I have to be away from the house between 10am and 3pm. This is going to be tough. My team plays at 1:15pm. I can do one of a two things. I can do some prep-work for the newsletter (which I usually do while watching football here) at Kerry's house. Or, I can drive around and stop in and visit friends and family. I'm leaning towards the last one. Meaning that I'll need to bust my butt to make it all work. Oh, I also need to clean off this freakin' desk. Not cool to have it the only disorganized area in the house. This is because too many projects that got by-passed but optimistically sit there in my face, are well... just sitting there in my face. Several are albums that were to be reviewed and others are discs that were supposed to be added to my iTunes account.

Why haven't the others been added to iTunes? There's a pretty easy answer to that... Apple sucks my left $&#@! Ok, I got that off my chest. You see, the new computer system that I had built for me has a few drawbacks... well ok, Microsoft sucks too. I'm currently using Windows Vista Ultimate x64. What that means is that it allows programs can run a lot faster (64-bit speed) as long as they are written to support it. Most of the 32-bit programs (which are pretty standard) can run on the system when installed, just not as fast. Yet, iTunes was working great when I set everything up. But, an update that came to help support the iPhone screwed that up. So it's on my computer but warns me not to import music or try to burn it to a disc. The official Web site states that it just won't work for x64. My issue is that it did work, probably could but likely isn't a high priority for Apple. Such is life.

Anyhow, thought I'd take a moment, breathe and get a post off before I get insanely busy. Well, first I'll go to sleep. I'll sort the rest out in the morning.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Deborah Harry - Necessary Evil

Deborah Harry, the voice of Blondie, has returned with, her first new solo album in 14 years, Necessary Evil. Most notable is that this disc hold 17 tracks that are mostly written by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member. This would have been a double-album more than 14 years ago.

One can't help but be sucked in by the tantalizing first track/first single, "Two Times Blue." But don't expect to hear 16 similar songs. Harry throws some absolutely beautiful ballads at you with "If I Had You," "Needless To Say," "What Is Love" and the etheric "Paradise." "Deep End" is an outstanding track that merges a great melody with layers of tangible textures reminiscent of Siouxsie & The Banshees. The stark drum machine and handclaps lead one to believe that there isn't much to the beginning of "Love With A Vengeance" but the rhythm builds in the process adding a haunting little bass hook creating a brooding dance song. The fun really surfaces on the tracks "You're Too Hot" and "Dirty And Deep" as they ooze sensuality and frustration. Sure, there are other similar moments on "Charm Alarm" and "School For Scandal" that hint to the darker edge of sexuality but bringing back the chorus from "You're Too Hot" into the following song "Dirty And Deep" is brilliant and makes the listener question if it really is two songs. "Jen Jen" was written by Chris Stein with all instruments performed by him. The song's aboriginal groove could seem out of place but on this diverse collection it adds another layer while allowing the following track, "Naked Eye," to shine.

The production values on this album are impressive and Necessary Evil is exactly what the title says for fans and dance music aficionados. Harry delivers on so many levels here and reaffirms her diva status.

4.5 out of 5

Monday, November 05, 2007

Getting Fluid On Liquidity

Ok, I've taken a few seconds from working on the newsletter (yes, Pinky, every Monday I regurgitate music news for the masses... and plot my takeover of the world) to talk about home loans. What makes me the sage of loans? Absolutely nothing. That would actually be my brother Matt Hennessy. He can be found here.

Anyhow, I stumbled upon an article yesterday that he wrote for back in August (helping explain what you have been hearing in the news about liquidity and the infusion of $24 billion from the Federal Reserve into the banking system) entitled How A 'Liquidity Crisis' Can Directly Affect You and I thought I'd share it with you.