Log in

No account? Create an account

Two Kisses for Maddy

Recently my wife read this book entitled Two Kisses for Maddy: A memoir of Love & Loss. Not exactly sure where she heard about it from, but it was probably making the rounds on the talk show circuit or possible on one of the many baby community forums she joined when the prospect of our own child became real.

The book was a quick read while on a business trip last week, and I posted a few thoughts on it at the time but refrained from stating too much as I figured I'd give the book the chance to run the full course before laying down judgement.

The most interesting aspect of the book to me was the stark difference between the first third versus the last two-thirds. Matt, the author and an admitted non-writer, is at his best when reliving the moments that led up to the birth of his daughter and the death of his wife (27 hours later as he constantly reminds the reader). Having lived through the role of the supporting father standing by as his wife goes through a c-section, I was able to relate to many of this thoughts. He deals with the mundane and depressing by making sarcastic comments, he defuses his wifes constant need to read baby books by pointing out children have been raised for years, and all the other little comments snarky guys make (and think are so clever) in order to escape the anxiety and boredom that is inexorably associated with any hospital stay.

The moment where his wife passes is where Matt and I are very assuredly different people. I don't fault him for handling things different than myself.... but I do find myself sick of his self pity rather quickly.

When I told Julie this, I got the sharp eye. Although upon explaining myself, i think she started coming around a bit to understanding where I was coming from.

See, Matt seems to find a bizarre pleasure in stating things as bluntly as possible... for maximum possible shock. He quickly realizes that by saying, "Liz is dead", it gets a much more visceral reaction than saying "my wife passed on". And so he never misses an opportunity to throw this gut punch, even when unnecessary.
It seems every time he visits any place or does anything he once did with his wife, Liz, he is quick to remind everyone he can never do that again... because LIZ IS DEAD. he might as well make it a slogan and wear it on his shirt.

I know that sounds insensitive, but the hints to his motivation are laid bare in the book. He states himself that people reacted more strongly to this phrasing, and he almost goes so far as to state he enjoys the reaction. Not because he takes pleasure in his wife being dead, but he seems to enjoy the pity heaped upon him by everyone he meets. It may seem like I am assuming quite a bit here, but there are other clues to this mentality as well - and I'll get to them.

Another one of Matt's favorite things to do is walk into a public space and imagine what everyone is thinking about him. He often imagines everyone thinking to themselves 'that poor motherfucker, he'll never make it with out her" or "How horrible, i'm so glad it didn't happen to me".

These assumed responses provide a strong insight to Matt's own thoughts on the situation. He is projecting his own reactions to his wife's death as an outsider on everyone around him. I have lost people very close to me and comforted those who have lost people close to them. I have never once considered this person a "poor motherfucker" and then comforted myself by thinking "thank god it wasn't me". It is actually an extremely self centered way of viewing the death of someone else, by immediately turning around and applying the situation to yourself.

Matt's internalized thoughts of what people think about him betrays his own lack of self confidence. He believes he has something to prove to all these peoples, and this is exhibited by his belief that everyone thinks he is going to fail at being a parent to his newborn, or that Liz held everything together.

One thing that struck me particularly as odd is Matt's pride in opening his wife's eulogy by stating, 'This fucking sucks". I can see the reasons why some might find this brave for him to say. After all, it is a gut reaction and it could be seen as being brave enough to state what everyone is thinking, but no one wants to say. I, on the other hand, feel it is cowardly. It takes much more bravery to sit down and face your thoughts and your memories. To actually deal with the grief long enough to write something beautiful, yet solemn. It is so much harder to find the right words for a moment then to simply blurt out "This fucking sucks". This, in itself, however didn't upset me. What actually pissed me off is the fact they have a second funeral over a month later, and he decides it is appropriate to open this second funeral with the exact same bloody line.

Matt likes to state in his book, anytime someone disagreed with him, that there is no right way to grieve. He waves it like a banner that he can do whatever he likes in the name of grieving (although ironically he gets upset with the way others grieve a few times). He exemplifies this by running to a record shop after the first funeral (on the way to the wake) and picking up some new albums. To provide some back story to this, Matt seems fiercely proud of his hipster indie music. He allows it to define himself at times by blurting out song title after song title of obscure music. So he makes it seem as though it is necessary, no matter what is going on in his life, that he MUST pick up the new releases every Tuesday. Not even his wifes funeral is going to stop him. I suppose you could make an excuse and say it is the first thing he has done for himself since she died. And I might agree. I'd argue there could have been better timing, but I might just agree. That is... until he does it a second time after the second funeral. I don't get him.. he can't be bothered to write a proper eulogy either time, and instead takes pride in stating the obvious like an autistic 4 year old while also wallowing in the fact that he was self centered enough to immediately go buy records as soon as the funeral was over BOTH times.

I could go on and on dissecting individual events. But the ultimate tag line is he wants everyone to see him as this average guy who dealt with an extraordinary situation, and somehow became a successful, responsible dad by the end. It is hard to accept that though, when he goes on about the tremendous amount of money and gifts arriving at his door every day from all the media attention his story has received.

By the end, 1 year later, he is swimming off the beach in Akumal, Mexico. He mentions money is not an issue by this time because of the ad revenue from his blog. This is his second trip to Akumal in about a month, he has been to New York, Kathmandu, and several other worldly locations in an effort to take his daughter to every place he and his wife traveled. At this point I find him to be totally unrelateable... a far cry from the guy whose shoes I was able to share while sitting in a hospital worrying about his wife.

I can't help but think about all the other people who have lost their spouses and had to raise a kid alone. Or the kids who loose both parents at a young age. And from that perspective, I don't understand why this particular book is anything special. Maybe the fact he considers himself "young and hip" makes it a shocking read for younger sheltered parents who never considered that life throws curve balls. For me, I just saw a self conscious guy use the phrase "Liz is Dead" as a shield to hide from having to talk about anything while simultaneously traveling the world on the dime of people who think they are donating money for diapers and formula. My synopsis may be harsh, but that is because I reserve my sympathy for those who deserve it.


A week or two ago I finally finished up the primary area of the nursery mural that I started last July. I say 'primary' simply because there is one outlined section that still requires paint.

Initially I bought a cheap $20 projector with the intention of projecting images from the books onto the wall for outlining. The projector wasn't very bright and the image distorted if you tried to blow it up more than 300%.... which isn't very big when you are talking about a 3 inch drawing getting distorted once it blew up to 10 inches.

So I decided to just try a rough sketch of Horton on the wall and see if I could draw it freehand and just reference the pages. It worked out surprisingly well considering I haven't real drawn anything since high school, and I have never drawn on a vertical surface before.

We'll start with Horton sitting over the crib. I liked the effect of him sitting on the crib as though he was hatching it.

To the left is the city which requires a 2 or 3 tone paint fill still. I based it on a drawing from "How Lucky You Are", although I had to edit some towers out and add others in to fill the space properly.

And to the right of Horton is Sneetch corner. The Sneetch machine was actually a real bear to paint in, with all it's little parts and gears. I knew I had to have some kind of contraption though, as Dr. Seuss is personified by crazy architecture and wacky machinery. I also put some sleeping guys in the tree from the Sleep Book, Yertle is lurking in the pond after his tumble, and the kid from "Oh the places you'll go" is flying by in his balloon.

You may also notice a strange creature with a white tuft of hair standing idly by. That is a Nerd. In the "If I ran the Zoo" book, Seuss makes up all these odd creatures - this fellow being dubbed the "nerd". it is actually the first use of the word. I couldn't resist having a pissed off little imp called a nerd. i am thinking about going back and adding the little sign at his feet from the book pointing to him with NERD in bold letters.

The next wall is primarily a transition area. I knew we would place some kind of storage here, so I didn't add much detail. I also notice that in these pictures the blue-green water and the light blue sky look very similar.... they are surprisingly different when standing in the room.

And finally the closet corner. The main character here is my buddy the lorax up in his truffula tree, while barbaloots toss barbaloot fruits. Also dropped the green eggs and ham guys here, a fish from 1fish 2fish in the water, and daisy head mae flying in the sky.

If you were to continue around the room you would find the door entering the room. By this I have drawn and inked Thidwicke (from Thidwicke the big hearted moose). He has all the sto-away creatures living on his head. I plan to put those 3M command hooks on his horns so we can hang Eve's little jackets on them. he still requires his paint though.

That leaves the fourth wall which is currently blank. Easy decor would be a few posters or art of some kind, although the original plan was to draw a Cat int he Hat section there. It would look like the inside of the house with Thing 1 & Thing 2 tearing around, the fish wobbling in his bowl, the cat on one of his machines or juggling furniture. I also liked the idea of painting a window on the wall to the outside where you see the mother's hand reaching to open the door.

I still like the idea, but I am a bit tired of painting for now.I have so many other projects I am working on around the house, that I would like to get caught up before going back to drawing, inking, and painting again.

I also like the idea of going back and adding details to the currently finished areas. Outlines of tufts of grass to break up the green areas, a few ripples in the water, and maybe some extra clouds or something in the sky to break up all the blue. I also would love to have lots of little characters populating the wall. Like the animated pants from the book about being afraid of the dark, or Marvin K Mooney stubbornly standing on a hill and refusing to move.

I always loved the quirky characters I grew up reading about. I remember quite clearly in 3rd grade my teacher approaching me in the Dr. Seuss section of the library and telling me it was time to move on to older books. While she was probably right, I never have outgrown these stories and this art.


A successful easter dinner in the bag. Currently I'm grazing on bits of pie and cake.

As 20+ people stood gathered around the house I turned to Julie and asked, "Why is it the heathen of the family that has all of the family gatherings, especially at religious holidays?"

The answer I think actually lies here in this journal. Re-reading through the past I stumbled across Vagabond Thanksgiving. Basically my mom was out of town and it looked to be the first thanksgiving without family. So I started planning a very ghetto menu with my brother and inviting friends from LJ, AIM, and every other social outlet I had access too (all primarily online in some fashion or another). The following year I prepared dinner again, and now - nearly ten years later I'm still going strong. It started with simple turkey and mashed potatoes and has graduated to an all out event. This past thanksgiving we had 11 desserts, a roasted turkey brined for 24 hours, a fried Cajun turkey, home made bread, sweet potato casserole, a heavy cream mashed potato (sooo rich), stuffing, and several other sides that aren't important enough to remember.

What started as a few people with nowhere to go has turned into the de facto family holiday dinner. This past Christmas my mom was trying to save money and didn't really plan anything either, so I said I would cook. I'm not one to do things small, so Christmas dinner was another smorgasbord of food. And now Easter has joined the fray, although I use Easter as my opportunity to make up one of my favorite dinners, prime rib.

So that brings me back around to my initial question, and the answer is simply that I feel it is important to use holidays as an opportunity to spend time with family and friends, and I haven't found a better way to bring people together other than good food.

Maybe it was loosing my dad, but no matter how independent my life is from family, I am reluctant to allow holidays to slip away. No one else has stepped up to host these things, just as no one else in my generation seemed very interested in maintaining genealogical data (I run the bloody family tree these days... lol).

The juxtaposition of a family guy who hosts holiday dinners & traces family lineage is quite a far cry from the guy who started this journal 10 years ago as a source of lamenting. I'm happy with where things have gone and I sort of wish I could go back and tell myself to just fucikng chill. But then I might not be who I am today..... and I might have accidentally introduced rock & roll at a local prom.

"If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits eighty-eight miles per hour... you're gonna see some serious shit."


I recently began reading a book at the suggestion of Julie about a guy named Matt and his daughter Madeline. Since it is on her kindle and she que'd it up all the way to the first page, I'm not 100% positive what the title is. Basically however, Matt's wife Liz died fairly shortly after birth, short enough that she never had the chance to hold her baby. Julie primarily recommended it as she felt that in some ways Matt reminded her of myself. His compulsion for hipster bullshit indie music aside, he deals with most situations by diffusing them with dark humor and he tends to bitch about similar things (such as the depth-less bottom-less pit that is my wife's purse). Circumstances being what they were, my wife's labor ended in a cesarean as did this case, so reading through the birth of his daughter and the death of his wife I was able to relate by simply re-imagining a few events in the process I went through.

As far as imagination goes, I'm not sure one can truly put themselves in that situation. I know my initial reaction would be anger. Not at any one particular thing, but at everything. I would likely alienate myself from friends and family as I would have no patience for the clichéd condolences and "how hard it is for them". Matt often finds himself consoling the other people who call to express disbelief and sorrow. I simply could not and would not do that.

I haven't finished the book yet, so I am reluctant to really immerse myself in the world of comparisons and feelings that encompass such a story, but seeing as how the book was based on a blog he ran through all of this - it led me back here.

I went back to my very first entry and have slowly been reading forward, admiring all the broken image links, purged friend accounts, and the multitude of anonymous statements left to me by those who felt that brief glimpses into the over dramatic life of a 21-23 year old were entertaining.

I often cringe reading my own posts, some of which wallow in self pit while others reek of a desperation to have fun. It is tempting to lock or delete these posts... but that is who I was and what I felt. While I believe myself to be more mature and stable now, there may be value in having a reminder of just how trivial and ridiculous life can be at points. On the other hand, the loss I describe in some of my posts was very real and haunted me for years. The seizure-like flashes I experienced have always haunted me in the sense that I never understood what exactly was allowing an event to cause amnesia and panic so easily.

I've stumbled across a few poems that belong in a museum of horridness, although there were at least two I found that I never bothered to write anywhere else and have aged much better than the angsty stuff.

Just as I am no longer the eXo who sat up at night discussing cherry pepsi and toys, it seems many of those who shared in that journey of words are gone as well. So many purged accounts or dead accounts. The death date on those accounts left to rot often occurs between 2003 - 2005. Clicking my friends list was like a miniature graveyard of people who have long since moved on.

Did we all grow up and decide that recording every high & low was unnecessary? Or maybe new social mediums came along and the typical journal has gone extinct? Blogspot still seems active to degree, although those accounts, like Matt's, all seem to have lasted by exploiting tragedy or porn. Not that Matt exploited the death of his wife, but I doubt anyone would know who he was had she lived. I am sure he wishes he was an unknown and still had his wife.

I am reluctant to leave my livejournal for good. I don't always keep up with it, and sometimes years go by where I am either too preoccupied or absent minded to post. Regardless, it is a timeline that follows me back to the age of 21 (over 10 years now) and more importantly, gave me a sounding ground to express the frustration, depression, and elation that followed the events (no matter how insignificant or life-changing) that led o who I am now.

So embarrassing as some of those posts may be, they will stand as a testament to that time, and I will go forward making updates whenever possible on the rats and events that continue to define my life.

And to those commenters, friends, anonymous readers, and passer-bys that have long since departed - thanks for the times you read, the advice you gave (even if it was unwarranted), and the thoughts you expressed. With livejournal's community essentially dead at this point, I plan to continue documenting my exploits along with those few other stubborn people who refuse to let go.

Heaven must be boring

Flying into Houston tonight there was this bed of clouds. It reminded me of the childlike notion of pearly gates up in the clouds.

My first thought after that was, "How fucking boring."

I don't think I am the first the consider this. A quick glance at renaissance art qualifies that assumption. How many pictures of those puffy clouds can you think of? Raphael's chubby cherubs come to mind... and that's about it.

On the other hand, how many depictions of hell have there been? Yep. That is where the excitement is at. Sure, it is supposed to suck, but everyone wants to imagine what it might be like.

Renaissance depictions of hell must have been like the medieval version of cops or jerry springer. Each artist was trying to out-do the others with the next fucked up scenario. Bosch really kicked things off with his bird demons eating people while giant ears and asses assault the rest.

In Garden of Earthly Delights I always found it funny that no animals were in hell except for those bird like things, but heaven only had lonely old Jesus and a safari worth of creatures standing around. Well.. technically Adam and Eve are there as ell.. which makes no sense. Eve and her original sin should be right out, hah! Either way... boring. No one is selling the heaven side of the triptych, but hell is almost instantly recognizable!

Things died off when that pesky new testament came around... with its "forgiveness"... how boring. And that's exactly when paintings really started to focus on naked people... lol. Thanks for porn new testament!
On the theme of logic, carried over from earlier, I have noticed a trend in polarized discourse where both sides rely on farcical crap to defend their position. A perfect example is the current "immigration debate". This 'debate' has been going on for years, and it is surprisingly irrational on both sides. You have the 'patriots' who argue that we have to protect our borders and enforce the law... that right there is probably enough, but instead they try to go for the emotional argument and start making up statistics about how "they are taking our jobs" etc, etc etc..

On the other hand you have the apologists who state that those who have already made it should be allowed to stay and granted citizenship, which again is enough - but instead they love to make the argument that "we are all immigrants" because the European immigrants took the land from the Native Americans. There are a few problems with this assertion. One is that there is a selective time period enforced here. According to this, anyone who arrived after the Native Americans is "an immigrant". Well, the Native Americans came from somewhere too chief (Siberian land bridge for those who aren't aware). So is this a case of whoever gets their first calls dibs for eternity? If my ancestor was a member of a Germanic barbarian horde, does this give me the right to demand citizenship in all mid to northern European countries that my ancestors used to live in? No way - the simple fact is that current governments dictate current laws. Whether you agree with it or not, there is no country in the world that is going to grant special rights to people based on where their ancestors used to live. In a great bout of irony, the apologists using this argument are not descendants of Native Americans anyways.

The whole debate is fairly ridiculous. The simple fact is that countries have borders - they have to - otherwise things like natural resources, taxation, mercantilism, and basic economics would cease to function. The very definition of a government is a body which governs, and to govern you have to have a specified area of land to govern over. If countries had open borders then the most important resource, population, would ebb and flow to where-ever the better deal is. The problem is that societal constructs such as education and health services are directly tied to the government which funds them. If 20 people are coming to your house for dinner and each of them contribute $10 towards dinner, then you have $200 to feed 20 people. If 5 more people show up uninvited, then you have a problem. Either you won't have enough food or you have to spread it out a bit more. Not to mention you have some animosity from at least a few of the 20 people who paid as they inevitably feel this is not fair. Government funding works much in the same way. On the other hand, the 5 uninvited people could have called in advance, asked to come and offered to pitch in some money to help pay for the extra food. This would be legal immigration. By legally entering the country each citizen is given proper documentation which makes sure they are a contributing part of the system that they wish to be a part of.

I seriously doubt that anyone who reads this would be ok with one uninvited person showing up to dinner every evening. Maybe once or twice - but not every evening. When undocumented people take part in the system, this is exactly what they are doing. It costs $10,000 per child per year for a public education. Even more if the child is in special programs. If the parents of that child do not pay taxes (which they can't without a social security number), then that is $10,000 that could have gone towards the art and music programs (among other things) that are disappearing from the schools.

The simple fact is all countries have borders and governments that rely on those borders. Anyone who believes that people should be able to cross this as they please obviously does not understand civic structure and economics. On the other hand, the conservative asswipes who represent the closed border policy do such a great job of looking like racist rednecks, that it makes it hard to agree with the basic principle of closed borders without appearing racist yourself. Someone should be able to make a public statement regarding the importance of protecting economic institutions and the rights of undocumented workers without going into emotional territory and trying to convince everyone that all illegals immigrants are terrorists who want your jobs.

This is only one example - you can take any hot button issue though and you will find that both sides have crazy reasons why they should be right - and these crazy reasons are always based on emotional pleas rather then basic logic and sense. But what good is a riled up base of fervent supporters if they all look and talk like those idiot teabaggers?

Mar. 30th, 2010

As people have found out there is a baby on the way, it has suddenly made me a very large target for advice. Advice on everything from having the baby listen to music in the womb, to what you name it, to how you raise it, and on down the line.

Word of warning to any and all readers: Don't bother me unproven bullshit. There are people out there who fucking eat their placentas after birth because they have become convinced that it imparts amazing powers to them or some shit. If anyone comes to me and starts suggesting placenta smoothies, then I have no problem calling you a fucking nutjob to your face.

Music in the womb - bullshit. Makes the parents feel like they are being pro-active, and while it doesn't do any harm - it sure as hell has never been proven to do any good either. I know I will be a great dad and I don't have to try and prove anything now by pretentiously telling people that my unborn fetus THAT DOESN'T EVEN HAVE FUNCTIONING EAR CANALS YET enjoys Vivaldi over Schopenhauer.

Basically, what I have learned is that pregnancy is a time where generally normal people become highly irrational, anxious, neurotic, etc and logic/science be damned, they will try anything. There are entire communities online where crazy women convince each other that the collective ideology of 10 women is more correct than anything the entire American Academy of Pediatrics has ever researched. Its some kind of estrogen inspired mob mentality.

Eating placentas is basically some voodoo shit! And you know what their best argument for doing it is??? They do it because "humans are the only animal that doesn't do this, which means we should". Humans also don't sniff each others butts, eat our own feces, or dry hump each other in public. Does this mean we should do all this as well? Humans are the only creatures that build real houses, have social hierarchy, wear clothes, make music/art, and share stories through other mediums. Lets throw all that away too and just fuckin eat placenta all day while dry humping each other. God damned whackjobs.

Scientologists (and really, not just them - any religious nutbags), placenta eaters, creationists, psychics, "mediums", and the myriad of other crazy fuckers out there have made it clear that life and knowledge are being heavily taken for granted these days. I have no patience for any of this crazy, especially when it comes to the holier-than-thou form it takes when people decide its not enough for them to live the life of a carnival freak, but that I should too.

So - to my original point. If someone has well researched advice, then no problem. But for every attempt to spread some of that crazy, I will take that crazy, turn it sideways, lube it up with a quart of logic, and shove it right back up the ass of the person who spewed that crazy out. I'm a rational, logical, science-minded person with a brain, and I am not afraid to use it.

Access Granted

Work filters have prevented me from using my down time to keep up with social sites. I rarely log into facebook, myspace, or livejournal after work or on the weekend as I am typically working on a project, enjoying time with Jules, or doing something better then keeping up with everyone's farmville updates or writing meandering journal posts.

This problem has been solved however as I have tethered my cell phone to my work computer, which allows me unfiltered access to all the web has to offer. yay =)

Julie and I bought our house this past October and I have quickly found myself with the unintended hobby of "general home contractor". While the house is in great shape, I dislike things like carpet in bathrooms, wallpaper, gold fixtures, etc. While many of the changes I have made are simply cosmetic, laying new tile, texturing walls, and installing a pump-based drainage system to re-route all the rain we have had this season are projects that have been quite a bit more "hands-on".

With a baby on the way, remodeling, furnishing, and painting the new nursery will be taking priority. Julie and I have purchased every Dr. Seuss book (there are over 60 of them!) for the new kid, and I am also using them as art resources for the mural I will paint on the wall.

The baby's sex will be determined in the next month or so, which will allow us to graduate from referring to him/her as Baby Q or "The Bean" to an actual name. I hope to capture some of my thought processes and such throughout this to have something to look back on.

The Watchmen

With the film The Watchmen looming ever so close there have been articles popping up in regards to the ending. Without causing any spoilers it is safe to say that there are bad guys and people get hurt. In the comics however, these people get hurt in New York city.. and yet, it seems the movie has written most of this out.

In an interview with the screenwriter it was claimed that 9/11 made everyone sensitive to this, and so they changed things around. The Watchmen was not listed as one of Time's 100 greatest novels on the past century for any reason but the very fact that it uses death to pose extreme questions of morality. Without the mass death that the books lead towards, there is no longer any dramatic irony involved.

Of course, this leads to debates on 9/11 imagery amongst fans of the series, and recently on a comments board I read an exchange in which one fellow pointed out that after the atomic bombings, Japan actually flooded their comics and media with imagery of the bomb, in an effort to wrap their minds around it and come to terms with that had occurred. Yet, a very emotional follow up soon comes along:

"Who are you to say when people should stop mourning 9/11? And to do it in the name of adding more gore and shocking images into movies no less? Yeah, that's exactly what this country needs-- to become further desensitized to violence"

followed by:

"And calling it overblown mythology and propaganda? That is really beyond my comprehension. Do you really think that the Germans would just eventually let the whole WWII thing go? Or the Japanese just forget about the atomic bombings? They are as sensitive about it as if it were yesterday. Do you think that's propaganda as well, and they should just get over it?

What you've suggested is disgusting."

I have written here in the past regarding my thoughts, and I have always made it clear that I do not agree with the hype that has been attached to 9/11. I never took the time to ever put any of my thoughts 'elegantly' however. So, i decided to try today by posting the following.

I think these guys are asking for perspective here. The close to 3,000 deaths which occurred in such a stunning and unbelievable fashion are not meant to be forgotten. But really, what makes it hard to swallow is that it was the result of a few peoples actions. In 2007 41,059 people died in automobile accidents in the United States. 115 deaths a day, every day. But since it occurs all over the place it is not as easily quantifiable. Now imagine seeing a camera pan away from a car accident showing 41,000 bodies. The loss a family feels by loosing a loved one in any event (disease, crash, attack) is equal not to the event, but rather the love that preexisted. I respect the loss you went through by loosing someone, but you in turn ought to consider that just because you lost someone in such a well publicized event does not make their death any more sanctimonious then the hundreds of thousands of people who die in less publicized events every year. In other words - if car wrecks, cancer, plane crashes, and war are suitable topics for movies, it is daft to say that planes hitting buildings is off limits. It is death anyway you slice it, and it does not make sense to say that one type of death is more or less acceptable than another type.

My normal "RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE" type of rant where I go for the jugular is amusing to me, but no one with an opposing viewpoint will ever read it and take anything away from it. Maybe this attempt will fare better. Although, it is just as likely to run into the close mindedness associated with just being right over the internet" rather than any attempted acceptance of an alternative ideal.

Feb. 20th, 2009

In my last post I mentioned my renewed interest in the arcade cabinet.

Over the past week I:

* Completed removal of the old vinyl stickers. I found that before it was a Capcom Dungeons & Dragons cabinet it was previously a Konami Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cabinet. That is astounding irony to me, as that was one of my favorite arcade games when I was growing up.

* I sanded, primed, and painted the cabinet. I removed and painted the metal coin doors and coin slot doors as well.

* I have ordered replacement springs, coin returns, and coin buttons as the current ones were torn up badly from kids trying to fish their quarters out.

* Replaced the matte black rubber t-molding with chrome molding. Makes the whole thing look so much slicker.

* Ordered large vinyl artwork for the sides of the cabinet

* And the big one - last night I bit the bullet and ordered a well gardner D9800 monitor. It is a 27" flat screen CRT arcade monitor that can detect signal and resolution on the fly. I am very excited about this coming in, although it will be extremely tricky mounting it just right in the cabinet. Also, arcade monitors carry very large charges in their capacitors. To remove or install one you have to use a homemade tool from aligator clips and lamp wire to discharge the electricity (which can be up to 20,000 volts). Can't wait to do that.... heh

In the mean time I am working on the control panel to get artwork printed up for it and to cut a piece of plexiglass as a protective covering.

Back to work!