Sunday, September 30, 2007

Keeping You Abreast

So I have to be upfront with you right here at the first. We're going to talk about BOOBS in this blog entry. I'm not proud of it...and I'm not saying this is going to be a regular practice...but atleast today, boobs are the topic of this story. So you'll just have to prepare yourself.

Saturday night, my friend, Duane, asked if I wanted to go see a few of our friends in a musical out in Maryland. Although I generally make it a practice not to go to Maryland unless absolutely necessary, I relented and headed to the show. After we arrived and took our seats, and as we were waiting for the show to begin, we both noticed (at the same time) a young girl, she appeared to be 15 or 16 years old, enter the audience with her boyfriend and her large and very fake breasts. Yes....that's right. Breasts. From halfway up the theater, it was easy to see that SOMEONE had bypassed the traditional back-to-school-shopping-spree for the much hipper and easily identifiable back-to-school-augmentation. I quickly said, " you see those things?" And he dryly responded, "Matt....everyone can see those things."

The couple made their way up the aisles, in the theater that was reportedly sold out and filling up fast, and stopped at our row to slide past us. They ended up sitting right next to Duane, and over the next 4 or 5 minutes before the show started, I continued to peek around Duane to try and get a better idea of how old she was AND to get a better look at the orbs. In this new, closer range, I came to 2 more definite conclusions: first, she was definitely in the 15-17 year old age bracket, and secondly, those things were definitely fake. They had that too-perfect roundness and that line that looked like someone has put a plate under them. As the lights went down and the overture started, I took one last look and then turned to watch the show.

At intermission, I ran into my friend Mike who I had done a show with a couple of years ago. We stood in the lobby and caught up on each others lives. At one point, the young woman Duane and I had sat by walked through the lobby, and Mike said, "Matt. Did you see that girl?" And I pointed out, as Duane had, that "everyone saw her." We noticed her standing on the other side of the lobby, and Mike and I commented back and forth about how young she looked and how fake THEY looked. And as we were chatting, Mike suddenly said, "she's coming over."

At first, I thought he was joking. And then I noticed out of the corner of my eye that indeed, this young (YOUNG) woman was heading our way....with her 2 friends leading the way.

Instantly, on the inside, I panicked. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! I started to think FOR SURE she had heard us talking and laughing...or noticed me stealing glances before the show...and she was coming to serve me a piece of her all her teen-age wisdom. As she approached, Mike and I continued to talk about something theater-related, and acted like we didn't notice her approach. (Smooth...I know.) And finally, she was standing next to us.

We both glanced over, and she looked at me, smiled and said, "Sorry to interrupt your conversation...." I smiled back and said, "Oh no problem. Can I help you?" (All the while, on the inside......I was still screaming, "AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!")

She shyly tucked her short, bobbed blonde hair behind her ear and said, "I know you're not going to remember me, but I was in a production of HONK! with you about 6 years ago or so in McLean. My name is A. I was one of the kids in the show. I'm a senior at Holton Arms Academy now...but I must've been in 5th or 6th grade when we did that show. Anyway, I saw you and just wanted to come over and say HI."


I don't remember much else....I know I smiled and scrambled to find her in my memory...and I did, actually. I had remembered she had had long blonde hair, and she told me she had just recently donated it to Locks Of Love. (Very admirable.) And I remembered her mom helping with the show, somehow. (Mom's still doing well....) Other than that, I just hope that I kept the look of shock off my face....and I hope even more that I kept my eyes at her eye level as we conversed....and didn't drift to her latest developments.

So yeah....that was pretty awkward.

Plus I forgot my camera in the car. All the ROTTEN luck.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

2 Things

1. First and foremost.....did you hear? Just announced last night during Top Chef, PROJECT RUNWAY will be back with season 4 starting on November 14th of this year. That's right...which means we're only about 6 weeks or so away from Heidi, Tim, Nina, Michael and the whole gang of new designers. (You can check them out HERE!) Say whatever you want...this is the greatest reality show on television, with Amazing Race taking a close second. And Kid Nation third. OK. I lied about third. I don't know my third.....but I'll think about it. But let the countdown begin...because PR4 is right around the corner! Any bets on who will take it?

2. This video has been around for if you've seen it, I'm sorry. But man, if it isn't funny in SO many ways. And, strangely enough (like the runway model stumbling in the heels), these are DC anchors...this time from the Fox Station here in the DC area. But regardless, it might take a few watches to REALLY see, hear and appreciate all the nuances...but they are there, so watch away! And hit me back with your favorite part....I have my list I'll share after you watch it!

Hope this finds you all safe and well - and having a great Friday. OR whatever other day you read this on.

Peace out - M@

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Friends Who Are LTD

What have we previously learned about LTD? What does it mean? "Livin' The Dream". Right. And do you know what I love even more than being LTD myself? Having friends who are also LTD in their life.....and succeeding! Here is an LTD SUCCESS story....and at the end, you will even be able to help this D continue to grow!

This is David Benjamin Kopp...who I have known for about 16 years or so. Want to read a bit more about mine and Dave's history? Click HERE to go to an entry on another blog that I wrote. It's riveting. (And has some pretty classic pics of him from 16 years ago....)

ANYWAY - Dave is a songwriter in LA....and he is one talented guy. (And ladies, he's also single and looking. Hit me up for more info....) He's been putting in his time...doing what he has needed to do and meeting the people he needs to meet...and is slowly, but surely, building a successful career as a songwriter. I'm continually impressed by his persistence and patience. He's another friend I have that teaches me how to live a life of PASSION!

On September 18th, a band named Wylde Bunch released a new single called 'Ain't No Love In The Club'. And ladies and gentleman, that thumpin' soon-to-be club favorite was written by our very own DAVID BENJAMIN KOPP! How is THAT for LTD? Want to check it out? Well, you can. Check out Wylde Bunch's MySpace page by clicking HERE.

And if you find yourself a new fan of 'ANLITC', then you can go to iTunes and find the song performed by Wylde Bunch and buy it for a mere $0.99. Even if you hear it and think it's not your cup of tea, you can STILL go make the purchase....just in the name of LTD! Because really, what would it hurt? You're just helping further someone's dream...and there just ain't nothing wrong with that. And while you're at it, tell your friends and family, too. I think 'ANLITC' is just the easy-listening, family hit that your family has been looking for!

Dave says, "Thanks for your support!"


This blog entry was published unknowingly to Dave - and was not paid for from any funding of the record label. This SHOUT OUT was posted as a public service annoucement for you all...from the management here at The MAnderson Report. Remember to LTD! OH...and Dave...I stole these pics from your Facebook. Thanks.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Art Of Silence

Living in or visiting Washington DC has one huge advantage over other large cities you find in this country: a large number (dare I guess three-fourths? perhaps) of our many museums are not only first-class collections of their various topics and subjects, but they are FREE of charge to the general public. Art and history and all of it for FREE? You bet. You pay nothing, and you get access to galleries and exhibits and displays that you don't get to see for free anywhere else. The catch? You have to take advantage of it, of course. But when you decide to take the step, the chances are high that you will find your world expanded, enhanced or down right changed.

The East Gallery of the National Gallery of Art.

I decided to take advantage of the free museum system this past weekend. The National Gallery of Art just opened a 4-month exhibit of one of my favorite American artists, Edward Hopper. And we're not talking about some measly 10 or 12 piece 'exhibit.' I'm talking close to 50 oil paintings, 38 watercolors and over 10 prints/sketches Hopper did. 2 expansive floors of the East Wing of the NGA. You want a definition for the word 'comprehensive'? This exhibit will do it, folks. It has the old standards that, even if you don't know the name 'Hopper', you will likely recognize. Pieces like 'Nighthawks' (one of my favorites I like to visit whenever I'm in Chicago...), 'Chop Suey' and Automat'. But then the exhibit goes on to expand on Hopper's collection of cityscapes, countryscapes, the placement of light, and his art of people lost in the silence of their own individual worlds.

The exterior of the museum announces the exhibit.

The main entrance to the exhibit inside.

The first piece I took a picture of....before I realized it said 'No Pictures.' Sue me.

I like Edward Hopper's art so much because it is simple and accessible and real, however cliche that may sound. He painted the world that he saw...from the lighthouses of Maine to the doorways of Paris. In his work, he found a way to capture the moments we have in our lives that seem simple or quiet or mundane. In piece after piece that you see in this exhibit, you come to understand that Hopper's brilliance was in capturing silence on canvas.

'Room In New York'

The Edward Hopper Exhibit at the NGA openend on September 16, 2007 and will be at the museum until January 21, 2008. You can plan your visit by clicking HERE to check out the NGA website. Or if spontaneous is more your style, simply hop the Metro to Archives/Navy Memorial (yellow/green line) or Judiciary Square (red line) and walk the few short blocks to where Constitution, Pennsylvania and 4th Street NW all meet up.

Now you have directions, a glowing review and the distinct advantage of free admission. When and how you choose to do it doesn't really matter. The key is just choosing to do it. Period.

Enjoy the silence!

My old friend, 'Nighthakws'

'Chop Suey'


'Ground Swell'

'Sun In An Empty Room'

***The picture at the top of this entry is entitled 'Early Sunday Morning'

Do You Hear The Lego's Sing?

We are creative beings, we humans. I am constantly seeing new things that people "create" that amaze and entertain me to no ends. When I saw this clip, I was floored that first of all, someone thought of it - and second of all, that the same someone took the time to put it all together. THAT is passion for creating! I never tire of watching it!

SO - in a CELEBRATION OF CREATIVITY, I am proud to present to each of you the entire production of the Broadway musical "LES MISERABLES" only 4 minutes and 14 seconds. entire cast of Lego's. Yes. Lego's.

Proudly sponsored by Matel.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Weekend Shower

Check this out. I went to a baby shower this past weekend. Crazy times. I've never been to a shower...but this was a shower for my friend, Stephanie, who decided she wanted her guy friends invited, too. For those of you who know Stephanie, you will just shake your head and say, "Of course she did." For those of you who don't know her, just know that she proudly marches to the beat of her own drum...and never thinks twice about it. It's her baby, it's her baby shower, and it's her choice to have all of her friends, men and women, come celebrate the baby. And so we came. (I think most of the men came either out of pressure from a significant other or for the promise of good food.)

Here is Stephanie...getting a scowl from Bryan.

Christy, Anais and Lacey get the perfect shot on the first try.

Steph's co-worker friends, Jessica, Stephanie and Jaycee mug for the camera.

Cubbie mistakingly thought she was supposed to BRING a she borrowed this one from her neighbor.

If you are unfamiliar with what actually goes on at a baby shower, I am happy now to be able to give you a first hand account. Food, games, gifts. Lots of gifts. Lots of games. Lots of food. Lots of delicious food. And luckily, it was plentiful enough to be able to say, "Go ahead and play that game of baby pictionary....I'll be here by the spinach/artichoke dip and fruit pizza and won't have time to play." But mostly, it was just a lot of old friends, and some new, getting together to talk and laugh and catch up...and make a candy-gram lullaby for fabulous prizes! (My team won that one. Oh're jealous.)


During the Candy-Gram presetation, Anais tries to get extra points by rapping her teams entry. We still won.

Rachel and Sara patiently wait for the 'Feed The Baby' competition.

The "Parents" get ready to feed their "Baby". Did I miss something...or are parents feeding their children blind-folded these days? Crazy parenting techniques......

The feeding frenzy begins.

Rachel proudly displays the BEFORE and AFTER.

Diana captures the fun on film!

Cubbie ran a massage room for those sore after the 'Punt, Pass or Kick The Baby' game. Bryan passed.

PLUS...the kid made a HAUL in the gifty department. Lucky fetus.

Stephanie excitedly tears through the pile of gifts.

Anais took my camera to make some ART, people. It is untitled...yet still provocative.

But don't think the shower was my ONLY excitement this weekend. In what I like to dub "My Busiest Weekend In Months", I also attended: an art exhibit, a concert, a vegetable pizza fiesta, a shopping trip to the mall, a college football game, a kind of 'good bye again' party, a trip to a late night diner, and a trip to Baltimore to see a luke-warm stage production of The Wedding Singer - The Musical.

So yeah...I was busy.

Double-Take on the Double-Take

So....we heard it a LOT during recent elections about how blogs and bloggers are changing the face of the political scene and pop culture scene....and every other scene they touch. Well, I was always skeptical about that. Until TODAY....when I signed on to and saw a headline that came about because (I'm pretty sure) of my previous reporting.

Click HERE to read that article.
Or atleast the headline.

Yeah. Now I'm pretty much convinced that blogs DO make an impact in our world today. And I'm even MORE convinced that through my OWN powers, which are even more powerful than I had even imagined, I have single-handedly brought down a bound-for-Broadway musical. I have changed the face of the theater scene...all because I made people stop and looks like someone else. Wait a minute. That can't be right. No. Come to think of it, I had nothing to do with this.........dang it.

Continue with your day........

Saturday, September 22, 2007


So...a new Broadway-bound show, "Lone Star Love", is currently tryng to fine-tune itself in Seattle before it makes the big move to the Big Apple. This is a pretty common practice for most shows before they open up on Broadway...and while they are playing these 'out of town' venues, there is much written and reported about them in the theater world.

I have been following the recent shows that have been playing out of town this summer, including Disney's 'Little Mermaid' (which just closed in Denver in preparation for a move to NYC in November)and Mel Brooks' 'Young Frankenstein' (which just closed in Seattle in preparation for a move to NYC in October). 'Lone Star Love' (A western, Civil War-era musical retelling of Shakespeare's 'Merry Wives of Windsor'...starring Randy Quaid) has been low on my list to follow until I saw THIS press photo tonight:

I it just me, or would it appear to you that New York (from Flavor of Love 1 & 2 AND I Love New York on VH-1) is appearing in the show?

Come on!! Now, I know it's not New York (whose real name is Tiffany Pollard....and I'm kind of sad that I know that)...but at first glace, I freaked out a little bit! Scared? Baffled? Intrigued? Maybe a little excited? All of the above? Lucky for all of us that the woman with Randy Quaid (who looks quite skeevy and frightening) is the incomparable Ramona Kelly. For now, Broadway stages are safe from the invasion of Miss New York the Reality TV Personality.

That is, until someone decides to make: Flavor of Love - The Musical. A splashy jukebox musical celebrating the musical catalog of Flavor Flav....including such hits as: "Baby, Baby, Baby", "Two Wrongz" and "Unga, Bunga, Bunga".

"yeeeeeeah boyyyyyyyyy"

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Call Me Murray...Murray Poppins!

Today, I played nanny (or should I say 'manny') to my favorite 16 month old in the entire Washington DC/Mid-Atlantic region: Louise Block! Miss Lulu, if you'd rather. Her Grandma Block normally does nanny-duties when Lulu's mom, Allison has to head into the office...but Grandma Block is in Arizona welcoming Lulu's newest cousin, Carter, to the world! So I got up early, got ready and spent the day with this little lady.

"Impress me, Manny. I DARE YA!"

Here's one of the things I love MOST about Lulu....she is NO-nonsense. She sees right through tricks and ploys, and is quite frankly bored with anyone attempting to not be upfront and real with her. She would have NOTHING to do with me flying IN the front door with my umbrella to start the morning, she was less than impressed when I offered her a spoon full of sugar, she did NOT want to go fly a kite, and she thought the tuppence I gave her was for the birds. (Wait a minute.......)

"Fly a KITE? Don't think so."

"Did you JUST offer me a spoon of sugar? Are you crazy! I'd NEVER get to sleep...."

She wanted her day pretty simple and straight forward: a snack, reading her favorite books, a nice walk, lunch, a couple of diaper changes, some Sprout TV and a nice long afternoon nap (since she couldn't stay awake). She told me RIGHT off the bat, "I love to laugh, Matt, so if you'll just step in time and keep up with me, we'll get along great." Can you BELIEVE this is the life I lead? But I'll tell you right now, I love it!

"Put that carpet bag DOWN and push me, Manny."

"Excuse me. Yes, you sir. I'll take that nap now."

And I'm PRETTY sure I heard her mumble, as I left her room, that I was "...the perfect nanny" that day. So.......that's supercalifragil......never mind. This jolly holiday is over! But man what a joy it was to spend the day with Miss Louise Block! We had a great time...and she really is one of my most favorite short people around! I'd do it again in a second...but she HAS to promise fewer diaper changes. Like....NONE would be ideal. Thanks, Lulu! Love your GUTS!

"Enough with the camera, man nanny! Where are my fig newtons!?"

Here's what my camera caught.....

and here's what I saw.

"I'll show you 'LOOK OVER HERE!' and you won't like it, Mister."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

In Fashion: 'Fall' 2007

Poor, poor girl.
Lucky us.

DC area NBC-4 reporting at its finest. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Shop Happy!

I'm addicted to 3 television spots. ADDICTED, I tell you. And I haven't even seen them ON the TV! My friend, Meg Ogea, called and told me about them....thanks, Meg....and since then, I watch the 3 different spots on the company's website! Probably daily. Ridiculous....but I don't care...I love them.

Before we get to the website link and the 3 commercials, I wanted to make a few points:

1. I've never BEEN to a Bloom Grocery Store...but if THIS is what the visits are like, you KNOW they will be getting all my future grocery shopping business.
2. I think Bloom's are in MD, VA, NC & those of you NOT in those areas probably haven't seen these commercials. Be also may get addicted.
3. WHERE WAS I when these things auditioned? I mean...those people stole most of my good moves.
4. I've missed the Partridge Family.
5. I can't decide if I like the Jan, Bill or Beth spot better. I'm leaning towards Jan's commercial. But it changes daily. All 3 of them have moves and things I love.

So now, watch the 3 spots and then let me know WHICH one is your favorite! Jan, Bill and Beth are waiting for your vote!


NYC and Philly Adventures

So PRIOR to the audition fiasco I spoke of yesterday, I actually had a very nice weekend with old friends. Christy Banker and I headed up to Philadelphia on Friday night to see our friend, Shannon West, who was in town doing some presetations for her work. (She demonstrates techniques and ideas for a rubber stamp company out of Provo, UT. Stampin' Up! I'm serious. And it's quite fascinating AND she is very good at what she does.) We got to see 2 of her presetations, and then just spend sometime with her catching up and eating and talking and laughing!

On Sunday, Christy headed home, and Shannon, her co-worker Amanda and I headed to New York City. We met up with my friend, Brandon, who was also on the East Coast for work, and we all went to see XANADU on Broadway (which really is ridiculously fun and well worth the visit!), we went to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Vynl, and we walked around and explored the city. This was Brandon's first trip to the Big Apple and he wanted to experience as much of it as possible.

Anyway - it was a great weekend...up until Monday morning at 9:50am. But then again, is that how MOST weekends are? REALLY great until Monday? I rest my case.

Here I am...a rare blog sighting...heading up to the STAMPIN' UP regional meeting. I'm looking like I just rolled out of bed. I very well did. Don't judge.

Here is Shannon at the begnning of her first presentation. YES, she has a crown on her head. YES, I know it's blurry. And YES, she IS on a jumbo-tron. Lucky Shannon.

A couple of shots of Shannon presenting...and the THRONGS of people watching. 500+ each day of a 2 day conference. Wild. You know what I like to say....STAMP-IN' UP!

Queen Shannon, post-presentation. (And color accented...)

Christy and Shannon share a smile for the camera.

Christy tries her hand at stamping. She was a natural, folks.

After Shannon's first presentation, Christy and I went out to explore the Reading Terminal Market....

and decided to lunch at a lunch counter called Dinic's Roast Pork and Beef....

and it was DELICIOUS! Christy shows off her pulled pork and steamed spinach sandwich.

And here is MY roast beef and steamed spinach sandwich. HONESTLY folks...forget about Philly Cheesesteaks if you're in Philly. Head to Dinic's. This sandwich CHANGED Y LIFE!

Shannon celebrated her East Coast trip with stops at H&M's in Philly, NYC and Washington DC.

It's B&W. SO? It's ART, people! I call it: Shannon Ponders H&M.

Shannon also took us to the outside of the Courtyard Philly so she could try out her dance moves on us.

Art. I call it: Shannon's Dance.

We got to NYC the same day they did the Broadway on Broadway concert in Time Square....and THIS is the confetti aftermath of that concert.

Brandon Christensen makes his NYC/Central Park debut!

Brandon celebrates having ALL of Broadway Ave through Time Square to himself.

Check OUT these awesome buildings and how they reflect the clouds! Beautiful day in NYC.

Amanda and Shannon in line before heading in to see XANADU!

And Shannon, IMMEDIATELY after the show and her on-stage-sitting experience. She is POSITIVELY glowing with excitement and love for the show.

Shannon and one last look at the Xanadu theater. She OFFICIALLY became a FANadu of Xanadu.

Brandon, Amanda and Shannon celebrate a great day in the Big Apple! (Infront of Vynl - where we had a delicious dinner....AND saw Anne Hatheway. It's true. Don't be jealous.)