Posts Tagged 'love'

Now We’re Walking

A couple of weeks ago Sophie took her first real unassisted steps. Yesterday, she sealed the deal: walking is officially better than crawling. Here are two videos I’ve titled “Advanced Walking Techniques 1: Turning” and “Advanced Walking Techniques 2: Getting Up.”

It’s been hard for me to miss all of this. I’m surviving, but it breaks my heart. I never believed my heart could be broken until about four years ago. Now it’s been breaking on a regular basis. It will be good to be home again. Just four more weeks. Here are some photos from yesterday’s Skype session so you can see my family from my perspective.

Sophie and Rochelle waving.

Sophie and Rochelle waving.

Rochelle kissing Sophie.

Rochelle kissing Sophie.

Sophie and Rochelle laughing.

Sophie and Rochelle laughing.

By the time I get home, Sophie will be running. Every day the question looms overhead: Will Sophie run to me or from me? It doesn’t really matter, because her initial reaction isn’t important. I know that as I spend time with her she’ll remember me. Who knows, she may still remember me. She does like seeing me on Skype.

Every time I sit down to type one of these things from so far away, my brain scatters. I guess this isn’t a subject I enjoy thinking and writing about. Oh well, until next time.

Childhood Dream – Video

I was feeling a bit nostalgic today, remembering such classic cartoons as “Darkwing Duck,” “Talespin,” and others with some of my peers. Perhaps that’s why I was taken back to my catalog junkie days.

That’s right, I was a catalog junkie. I used to regularly receive catalogs from several computer and software companies (junk-mail in my parents’ eyes), in addition to flipping through the big Sears catalog my mother would get. Those technology catalogs were my favorite though, and I learned a lot from them. For example, I knew all the fastest CPU speeds, how much RAM was being put in the high-end machines, and how big one could possibly get a hard drive. I noticed when the first floppy-drive-less computers began shipping, and realized that the minuscule storage on those things would prevent them from being missed.

Perhaps my favorite pastime from the catalog days was clipping or highlighting all of the components of my dream setup. I would find the most powerful graphics computer, clip it out and put it in a box or a folder. Then I would go find software that looked interesting for doing what I wanted to do, or supplemental hardware. I was in love with the 3D animations that had begun to get big and was convinced that I would become a 3D animator for movies and special effects. I found out about programs like Lightwave and 3D Studio Max. I learned that Photoshop was used to create textures and backdrops. I began learning which programs were low-end and which ones were being used to create professional work.

Eventually I had quite a collection. My collection of clippings evolved from technology alone to everything I wanted in life. There was this really cool computer desk that I wanted from the Sears catalog, as well as an entertainment center with doors that hid the TV. I even fell in love for one of the first times going through a catalog.

It was the Sears catalog, and I found her in the teen clothing section. I remember at the time I had a little crush on Anna Chlumsky from the movie My Girl. Her beauty was by far outshone by the mystery girl I found in the catalog. I am embarrassed to add that she was modeling underwear. Honestly, I don’t remember caring about the underwear (it wasn’t lingerie, it was like a sports bra or a trainer bra or something). I stared at her warm face and immaculate hair for hours on end, barely noticing the rest of her. I thought she had the most perfect eyes, the most beautiful smile… I was truly in love. I gazed so deeply into the image that I became irritated with how poorly images were reproduced in print products. I wanted a larger, clearer view of her gorgeous face (the whole clipping was only a few inches across). I often returned to the children’s section of the Sears catalog to see if she would come back, but alas I never saw her again. Several years later, just at the very beginning of my college adventures, I went to the Sears website and the rest of the web doing extensive searches in an attempt to find out who that girl might have been. I had a time frame, I knew the catalog month (but have since forgotten), I searched for several days. My efforts were to no avail. She was lost forever. Even my beloved clipping had disappeared and all I was left with was a memory. Luckily, I met my wife shortly thereafter.

That’s not why I wrote though. I am writing because I have been realizing over the last few months that one of my childhood dreams has remained alive within me (among others – they must have set up some kind of a refugee camp or something though, because the majority of my childhood dreams have long since been CRUSHED). In those catalog days, crouching over several copies of “PC Warehouse” at once, pondering the possibilities, I used to dream that one day I would have a family of my own (check, that one came true) and produce periodic family videos (using the cool stuff in the catalogs) that would have subtle, sporadic special effects sprinkled in (just to make them a little more fun). I had seen many home videos that were boring. If my family was going to make video of itself, it would need a little extra something.

Some of the ideas for CG (computer generated) additions to my home movies were things like a video of the children playing in the front yard, and in the background something crashes down from space into the house, causing an explosion (which the kids would ignore, of course, seeing as how they’re playing) and a giant robot or monster would come out of the rubble and crash around. I even thought it would be fun to have the kids participate, with me telling them to freak out and run at a certain time. Another idea was to have a video of one of the children’s rooms and have a doll or toy of his come to life in the background, dancing around and playing until the kid looks back at it.

At the time such ideas were the stuff Hollywood special effects artists were only beginning to get good at. Now, the tools exist for all of us; and anyone with the money to spare, the time to invest, and the skill to learn can do it. I’ve got the skills, I only lack the time and money (for now). Eventually, if I ever get that time and money, I still want to produce my own video. Home videos, perhaps a podcast/internet show, maybe some short films… I don’t know. The possibilities are endless. I wouldn’t want to make it a career, but as a hobby I could have a lot of fun with it. I even think my wife would love participating both in front of and behind the camera.

So, in advanced preparation for such a day, I am going to assemble and maintain a list of items to buy. I will assemble that list here and when I have a specific product, I will link to it and include it in a special list at metawishlist.com, so if you want to donate thousands of dollars to my cause, feel free.  The metawishlist keeps a running total of how much everything in the list would cost together (as of right now, over $12,000 not including the computer).

* I probably won’t link to one specific system because the “best” system specifications change almost daily.  If we ever really do this, I would simply look for the most powerful computer system available in the $2,000 – $6,000 range from a hardware manufacturer I trust.

** Adobe has ONE package called Creative Suite 3 Production Premium which contains all of the (starred**) items plus a few extras for a really great price.

That just about does it for now. If you have any suggestions for items on the list that are missing, better products than the ones I link to, or product suggestions for items I don’t have product for, feel free to leave a comment. Thanks!

Early Poetry

I just realized I had a little something special I could have shared with you all, so I’m sharing it.

I don’t usually do poetry these days, but when I was younger I idolized people like Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss for being able to rhyme and make me laugh (or at least smile) at the same time. I thought I could do it, so I wrote a lot of little poems. Not many of them were any good, but this little gem managed to shine despite my obvious lack of talent:

Good Life?

“We’ve lived a very good life,”
A husband said to his wife.
“Oh have we?” she said,
As he got into bed,
And she cut off his head with a knife.

It still makes me smile over a decade later.

That’s all for now. Just wanted to share that little bit of funny with you. Have a great day!

Dear John

I have two friends that have been dating for a while now. They are good for each other, but I have noticed something in them that many couples struggle with. So, I write this letter to my friend, but it could be for anyone:

Dear John,
I think you’re a great person, please don’t ever forget that. As I think back to the first time I met you, I remember not knowing quite what to make of you, and I remember discovering that you were someone I could like.

I also remember when I found out that you and our friend [Sally] began dating. At first I wasn’t sure what to think, then I saw how you loved her and how much she loved you. All of my worries disappeared. The most important thing between any two people in a would-be couple is love, and you two had it. Through the time that has passed since then, I have watched the two of you grow and work together. I am aware that you have sometimes spoken together about marriage (I think I asked you about that once) and I remember thinking it sounded like a great idea for you guys.

John, I know you are a good man doing his best to succeed in life, keeping up with work, keeping the girl happy, keeping yourself happy, etc. I know how difficult it can be to do all of this, because I have been doing it for a while and sometimes I’m not sure how I’m going to keep going.

The reason I wanted to write to you is to tell you one thing: Don’t be stupid.

This is good, free advice that may seem readily available (and it is) but it is often missed or misunderstood. I bring it up because I have noticed something amiss between the two of you, and especially in [Sally]. Keep in mind, I don’t know anything outside of what I can see, but I see much more than you think. I do not know everything, but I know relationships and I can see it when there is something wrong.

Again, I don’t know exactly what is going on with you guys, and I don’t feel that it is my business. However, I decided to write this for you because I wanted to send a few messages to the two of you, as well as sharing these ideas with others. I have noticed in [Sally’s] face and demeanor that she is sad. It’s the kind of sadness that happens when a guy is being a guy. Men are naturally jerks (as everyone knows) and as hard as we try to fight it, we will invariably be a jerk from time to time, mostly by accident without even realizing it, sometimes on purpose only to realize our mistake after it is too late.

Besides being jerks, I believe that men are absolutely stupid when it comes to women. Being naturally stupid jerks, we have a huge responsibility when it comes to relationships with women. This responsibility has two, simple parts: 1) love our woman more than we love ourselves and 2) remember that the man is always at fault when there is something wrong in the relationship.

I don’t care what happened. You are to blame. Keep in mind, you can only take this to a certain point, but it always needs to be the first reaction. It works as long as both the man and the woman of a relationship are of similar levels of maturity and have similar levels of commitment to the relationship.

Thus, if there is something wrong in your relationship (and I really think there is), you need to start by asking these two questions:

1. Am I about as mature as she is?
This question may seem difficult to answer, but as long as you both are close in age (within five years or so) and close in mental capacity (none of you is retarded or mentally ill) then the answer is yes. You two are both smart, so I know the answer is “yes” to this one.
2. Are we both 100% committed to this relationship?
You may need to gently, lovingly bring this up in conversation with her when you both are thinking straight and you aren’t mad at each other. If either of you has his/her heart somewhere else, then nothing can save the relationship except recommitting and trying again. I happen to know that her heart is in the relationship, and I thought yours was too. We’ll assume it still is, and the answer is “yes.”

If you can answer “yes” to both questions (and I know you can), then you are ready to fix the problem. Are you ready for the solution? Here’s the answer: take responsibility and fix it.

Do you want to lose her? If you are both at similar levels of maturity and mental capacity, and you both want the relationship to work, but there is a problem, there is nobody to blame but yourself. I don’t care if she started the argument, or you did, or the neighbor did. Once the two questions above are in the affirmative, it is your responsibility to make things work, not hers.

That’s right, not hers. Sure, you can go ahead and leave her, telling yourself, “If she were only willing to admit she was wrong, then we could still be together,” or, “If only she weren’t that way, then we could get along fine.” Is that what you want though? Don’t you love her? If she never admits she was wrong, or if she never changes that one little habit, you would still love her. Rather than trying to change things you have absolutely no control over, why don’t you take charge and do what you can to keep her? Don’t lose her, she’s special, beautiful and in love with you!

Over time, if you patiently accept her for who she is (mistakes, bad habits and all) she will eventually mature and grow past those little things. Besides, don’t you think you probably have things that you need to change too? Are you so perfect? What if it’s your mistakes and errors that she’s always getting mad about? So what? If she really loves you, and you are patient and loving with her, then she too will learn to look past those things on her own.

You are adults. You are an adult, and so is she. If you treat her like an adult (without trying to “help” her grow up), she will learn to see you as one too. This is part of the process of growing up. Everyone has to do it on their own. It takes time, support, and tremendous effort, but it can be done.

Don’t be stupid. Don’t let that woman go. Do everything in your power to keep her. Remember, do everything in your power to keep her. You cannot change her, that’s not in your power. You can change you. So do it. Just get it done.

I think you are both really wonderful. I have met a lot of people over the course of my life and travels, and people like you and [Sally] are not common. You will never find another woman as great as she is. Take my advice and stake your claim. Let your love for her tell the world that she is yours.

Good luck, and if you ever need someone to talk to, you know where to find me.

Your friend,
Brian


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