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Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

How Steve Jobs Saved My Marriage

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

Ok, so the title is hyperbolic. My wife and I have been married about 2.5 years, we’ve got a boy on the way and we’re doing great. But Apple technology did help smooth over an argument once.

I think it was the Spring or Summer of last year. We were arguing about something; I don’t recall what. I’ve got an Apple TV which we often use to listen to music. At one point I stomped out to the deck in a huff.

I sat out there for a few minutes. My mood soon turned to just wanting to reconcile, but it was one of those fights that can’t blow over that quickly.

Except I had a secret weapon.

If you use this, use it sparingly. Like once or twice, ever.

I pulled out my iPhone and opened the Remote app. Then I queued up “Embraceable You,” sung by Billie Holiday. It was our first dance at our wedding.

So it started playing inside, where Kelly was. It took maybe 20 seconds for her to come out and kiss me. All was forgiven.

Not bad for a nerd, eh?

Ultra Update 2010

Monday, October 25th, 2010

I’ve been really slacking on Flapping Crane skits. It’s really all my fault. I’ll try to turn that around this week. We have a bunch of good ones queued up. And by good, I mean awesome. And by awesome, I mean kinda gross.

The last few months have been fairly trying. Two friends of mine have killed themselves since July. One was a partner in Flapping Crane, and the other was a childhood friend I haven’t talked to for a very long time. I went to Eric’s funeral. Couldn’t bring myself to go to Nick’s.

My dad sometimes tells stories about friends who killed themselves. It always seemed so alien to me before. I guess as you get older and meet more people, the chances of someone you know killing themselves goes up. Those are just the odds. That doesn’t make it easier to deal with. But it does help explain it, sort of.

There’s been some other crap that’s made life a bit stressful, but I won’t talk about it here, because I like being mysterious, like a squirrel with a cape. Why does he have that cape? Does he realize how badass it makes him look? Squirrels are nuts, yo.

I’m currently mulling wiring my house with Cat 6. Probably going to do it through air ducts, with a wiring closet in the basement. Seems like a nice way to avoid some of the more confusing pitfalls of wireless.

This Thursday, the wife and I are going to a live(ish) Riff Trax show, which should be a blast. Friday night, my dad and I are going to enter a poker tournament. I fully expect to last at least 15 minutes, though I’m possibly being overly optimistic.

It’s raining outside now. Dig that sound.

One Month Later

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

It’s been one month since Eric killed himself.

I’ve been using euphemisms in posts and tweets until now, but it seems weird to keep doing that.

It’s been an odd month.  I don’t quite know what to make of it.  I’ll just say: anyone who’s had to deal with a friend or family member killing their self knows how strange the aftermath is.  It’s sad and awful, but you keep going.  And it’s just  strange.

We’ve had a page up for Eric on Flapping Crane since a few days after he died.  That page has been the home page.  We’re going to stop making it the home page later today, and we’re going to debut a new skit.  I don’t know how this should work, so I’m just doing it.  It’s kind of like the video I put together for his family.  At a certain point, debates about how sad or happy the music was became irrelevant, because there was no right answer.  And I don’t think there is a right time to get back to dick jokes, but we’re just going to do it, damn it.

It’s weird and screwed up, but this has revitalized us.  I don’t know if it’s a fear of our own mortality, or guilt, or what.  I don’t know if this will be short-lived or if this is the start of another long period of creative output.  I’d like to think it’s us realizing that we’re only here for a short time and we should do what we can with what we have.  I’ve never been under any illusion that these stupid skits will get us anywhere.  I’ve only put up skits when they’ve made me and the rest of the guys laugh, and we have stupid, idiotic senses of humor.  But the point is we’ve been shooting.  A lot.  They’re all short, granted, but some of them have been in the works for years.

I don’t know how to do any of this.  I didn’t know the etiquette on Facebook and Twitter, I didn’t know what to say to his family and I don’t know what to even think of it or what to put on the site.  I’m alternately depressed and a little angry.  But mostly, right now, I almost feel nothing.  I’ve spent the last month capturing footage from the past 6 years, and his suicide doesn’t feel real.  I see him every day, cracking jokes, making stupid faces, busting us up with his insane humor.  He’s not dead to me yet.  He’s just gone.

2-Month Update

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

I’ve caught some flack from some friends for not updating this blog. Honestly, I haven’t had much to write about, aside from a draft post I wrote about Kurt Cobain in Guitar Hero 5. After I wrote it, though, I didn’t care to publish it. I wasn’t saying anything interesting; I was just bitching. Anyone who has been around be since GH5’s release has heard it from me anyway, and the rest of you can guess.

Anyway, I guess I’ll just say what I’ve been up to.

I picked up a turntable about a month ago. I went through my parents’ basement and found some good records (including some that were mine), so I figured I’d pick one up. It’s got a USB output, which is handy.

So I’ve been picking up vinyl here and there. I pre-ordered the vinyl remaster & cd of Nirvana’s Bleach (that should be here mid-November). I’ve grabbed a few John Lennon records, a Marvin Gaye and some 45s from Half Price Books in Apple Valley.

Vinyl doesn’t sound particularly better to me than CDs — a lot of them sound worse due to wear, in fact. They are fun, though. Keep in mind that I’ve got a fairly large iTunes library. I’ve ripped/digitized nearly all media under our roof. DVDs, VHS, CDs, cassette tapes, photos, you name it (except books — I’m not completely insane). I’m in the process of re-ripping my CDs in a lossless format (though I’m looking for a seamless way to transcode it when syncing to my iPhone or streaming to my Apple TV). I appreciate the convenience once this media is in my library. Still, it’s fun every now and then to put a record on. And I’m planning on digitizing at least some of them (my George Carlin records in particular).

We also finished mounting our plasma and installing speakers in the ceiling. My receiver can do 7.1, but the room was wired for 5.1. I may run some more wire eventually. But it’s otherwise great for now. Great, except when Kelly is trying to sleep upstairs in our room, conveniently located directly above the living room. So it’s loud as hell up there.

Not much news on the Flapping Crane front. I was furiously working on a DVD set, but it turned out to be too hard on my right wrist. I’ve had to do a wrist brace, painkillers, wrist exercises, all that. I wanted to have something ready for November 22nd, which is five years since we launched flappingcrane.com. That’s probably not going to happen though. We’ll see.

The new website is pretty much ready to launch, though. I’m just delaying it because I know that I’ll have to spend about 3 days fixing previously-missed bugs, and my aforementioned wrist is holding it up in committee.

Finally, I’ve been itching to do something. Not sure what. Some music, some Flapping Crane stuff, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just build some shelves.

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