Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just lovin the orange sauce

When in San Jose I do enjoy La Victoria's carnitas burritos with some orange sauce. The burritos to start with are down right yummy. Adding the in-house, secret ingredient guarded orange sauce makes it better. Not too spicy and hot, but just the right amount.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Boys at work

Here's a video of Jack and his buddy Calvin playing a few weekends ago. Very cute.

Last week's Tequila tasting

Now that is pretty site. Over 28 Tequilas tasted. Results among
tasters varied and a good time was had. Oh yea, it was Haik's birthday
too :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Brothers

Moments before Mark said "I do!" he shared a glass of courage with his brother.

Mark's glass of courage is a beer, Jeff chooses Tequila.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Alice In Chains

The new Alice In Chains album "Black Gives Way To Blue" is a hit with me. I'm really like it. I bought it the same day on iTunes that I purchases Pearl Jam's new album. I haven't actually listened to the new PJ album yet because I'm just engrossed in this one.

I've always been a big Alice In Chains fan. I think my friends and I saw them at least 3 times live in the span of 7 months, and a total of 4 times (because I count when they opened for VH). I love love the DIRT album. Jar of Flies is amazing. Man in the Box and SAP are terrific. The last album before Layne passed was good, not as amazing I think, but that was a hard time for Layne and it showed in his performance.

I really like the new album. The following is a good review of the work. I think the review sums up a lot of what I've been thinking. The title track is similar to "Back in Black" as a tribute song to a fallen lead singer. I've long said that Jerry Cantrell was the driving force behind the band and this album really proves that. He has pieced together a good album.

Listening to this album does make me miss Layne a lot. I have already listened to the "old" stuff a few times. I smile because although his lyrics were very dark the songs remind me of fun times with my friends. I loved the grunge rock sound of their songs. Layne's lyrics were understandable and served more as lessons learned to me than mirroring any shared experience. The music reminds me of the summer of 1992. A good year.

Overall I'm finding that I keep playing this album over and over and singing along. I've often said that Layne was a great talent. Like many great talents he burned out very hard and far too quickly to truly ever know. I think this album moves all fans forward who want to move forward.

My Bloggin Cousin

One of the many awesome parts of Mark's wedding weekend was a chance to catch up in person with my cousin Katie Moran. She is my Uncle Mike's daughter and the "baby" cousin of the group. Katie now lives in Austin, Texas but that doesn't keep her from bleeding, eating and speaking Cornhusker Red!

Katie also blogs and I have enjoyed reading her weekly posts on "Katie and the City" blogsite.

I know she'll love the Scrubs reference title about her. I have really enjoyed sharing blog posts with her the last few years. I know no matter what that I have at least one reader of my posts.

It was really sweet catching up with Katie. She's got a big move coming up and is working some crazy hours at the hospital too. What is just as much fun is seeing Katie around Uncle Mike and Aunt Diane. It gives me an idea of what I might be like around my parents, at least I hope I'm that awesome.

Here's a great picture of the top two Blog producing Moran family members. You will notice that Mark is absent here. Currently cousin Patrick I think is beating him for the bronze medal.

Go Cornhuskers! and Go Moran Bloggers!

A Wedding Toast

I promised I would post the "toast" I gave at Mark's wedding. Here it is. There is a section that I did not read at the wedding. I marked it (no pun intended) and then write about it below.

Good Evening Everyone

I would like to take a quick moment to welcome Everyone tonight. Looking around the room I see friends and family that have traveled to be with us today. On behalf of Mark and Siobhan I want to say "Welcome" and "Thank You" for traveling and being here today.

I am using my notes to read some of my thoughts because I'm a little nervous. I've talked to CEOs, Pro-cyclists and other business groups, but I'm more nervous about this talk then a I care to admit.

At this point I should probably ask you to get a little comfortable. I made a promise to not talk too long, but I also promised Deron back in high school that I wouldn't always play Van Halen when I drove him to school every day and, well, he can tell you how that turned out. So please take a seat.

Others have mentioned that Mark and I have our own language so to speak. Our Mother will tell you that after seeing any movie that Mark and I would quote it to each other the whole way home Cathy was brave enough to employ us at the same and she tells the story of seeing us filing side by side giggling about god knows what but seemingly enjoying ourselves. Each of us has been with our wife telling a joke and when we don't get the hysterical laughter we were expecting quickly say "my brother would have laughed at that." At which point one of them will retort "Yea, but he ain't here right now, is he?" and just shake their heads. At that same point I'm certain the other brother on the opposite side of the US is struck with a spontaneous giggle.

I have too many good memories and tales of Mark to share in the time I'm allowed. I'll mention a few and you can equate this to a comedy show where only the punch lines are told.

Legos, GI Joe, Spider-man and Marvel comics, a breakfast tub of frosting, taking the bus home from school, riding our bikes, duct taped diapers, playing scrabble, Red Dwarf marathons, peeling the coke can out of the volvo, him being my best man 13 years ago, markelepsy (for those that don't know Mark's ability to nap is legendary), burning wheatgrass to advance space travel, a well worn and well traveled futon couch, a musical obsession that can only be called "Goodness," and most recently 15 credits that took 3 years.

[this part was not read] I've had a lot of good memories with my brother. He is always the first person I call when I have news, or I'm bored. He is the one I'm proud of when others talk of their siblings. He is the one that has centered me and helped me be the person I am today. He is always my best friend.

At some point even Little Brothers grow up. Although my mental image will be a much shorter version of Mark, I can see that he has become a very good man. When I have heard him talk about Siobhan over the years I could tell how smitten he is with her and it makes me so pleased to see him so happy. [end part that I omitted]

I am very happy to be here to celebrate their wedding day. Please raise your glass and join me for a toast...

To Mark & Siobhan.

Salud, amor, dinero

I chose not to read/recite the part that I omitted above. There are several reasons. The first was that I was nervous. I wanted to do my Brother a real solid for his toast. The two of them were so relaxed all weekend, and everything went so well that I really felt a responsibility to hold up what was my one and only real responsibility (sure there was that thing about holding the rings, but this was real important). I didn't want the toast to be all fart-jokes. The second reason I didn't read that part was that after being so witty with my one-line stories the sappy part didn't seem to go well and I wanted to wrap things up.

The main reason was that every time I rehearsed it, even when using celebrity impersonations like Cartman, Clint Eastwood and Horatio Caine, I kept choking up. The words mean a lot to me. I'm so very happy and proud of my brother. I simply didn't want to cry in front of everyone. I've done that before when thanking Lavinia as my support when I was an Auction chair for an event and it was not graceful.

I think I was surprised at how emotional the whole event/weekend was for me. I think my mental image of my brother aged about 15 years in front of me. I'm sure if you asked anyone they would say that I couldn't suppress my excitement for Mark & Siobhan. I think it even surprised Mark a little.

I'm told that the Toast went well and that my one-line story idea was well received. I am so honored to been able to give the Toast. I feel blessed that Mark asked me to the be the Best Man.

Love Ya Bro!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fall Colors

Mark's wedding gave us a chance to experience the Fall Colors that the Northeast part of the US is known for. It was very pretty out. The colors of the trees were rich and bright. We only go out for a bit to take pictures. Lavinia did a good job of finding some cool shots. We both wish we'd had more time to do this though.

an iphone slide show

I recently upload photos from my iphone to the zenfolio account to back them up. After looking through them I thought I'd share. Theyare essentially from late 2007 to today. Mostly pictures of Jack doing various cute things.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mark's Wedding... WOW!

Hi All,

Just back in Seattle today, returning from Mark's wedding. He and his wife are off to Costa Rica today (yes, I silently judge them for not picking Panama, but I've learned that he has to make his own decisions). We had a great time. Mark & Siobhan looked outstanding, they were smiling every time I saw them. They did an amazing job too.

Scroll down to see some fun photos that I posted and I'll get more on the zenfolio account soon!

I'm still going through pictures and and memories of the very fast 5 days we had together as a family. I'll post more soon. Promise

Really quick, I enjoyed so much the chance to see all of Mark's friends, meet Siobhan's family and friends (Becky you were my support!) and see all of my family as well! It was like a mini-reunion.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wedding Day Approaches

Funny that I'm the one posting as Mark's wedding day approaches, but not surprising. Jack and I are in Mass. Gram & Grandpa flew in with us (thankfully!) and Larry and Cathy are here too. We've seen a few of Mark's friends come in today.

Jack was super trooper traveler yesterday, but it was a long day for both of us. We both collapsed asleep pretty late last night, but managed to sleep in a bit this morning.

Tonight is the rehearsal dinner. Looking forward to it.

I need to polish, I mean work on, I mean start writing, I mean conceptualize my Best Man Speech. Lots of ideas, none down on paper yet.

More soon.

Thursday, October 1, 2009