My Giant

If you go back through the archives, there are several posts about how funny my wife is. It’s been a while since I posted a new Jen story, and writing here is one of my resolutions for the year… so here we go.

At 3:50AM this morning, while I was very much asleep, Jen grabbed my leg and yelled, “There’s something terrible happening!”

“What?” I muttered trying to open my eyes and figure things out.

“Something bad is happening in the house. Go check it out!”

I was definitely awake now. I hopped up, rushed out of the bedroom, checked the kitchen, the doors, the windows, the floor (you know, for blood maybe? it was early), and then stood in the living room and just listened for a bit. Nothing. It was a house very much asleep… except for me.

I walked back to the bedroom.

“Did you find anything?”

“Nope. Nothing’s burning, no blood, all the doors are still locked. I think we’re good.”

“Maybe it was just a dream? OK, sorry, I know you don’t go back to sleep easily.”

“It’s fine. Better to check than not.”

With that, Jen put her sleep mask back on, rolled over and was asleep within 30 seconds. I think she was awake for maybe five minutes. I, of course, laid there, heart racing, trying to get back to sleep, for 45 minutes before I gave up, made tea (so I didn’t wake anyone up with the coffee grinder) and headed for the couch.

Re-reading this, it doesn’t sound as funny as it feels. But, it is a thing that happened, which makes it perfect for a blog post, right?

(and the title is a Twin Peaks reference… Jen is my very own giant, telling me crypticly that something is terribly wrong and to go fix it)

Never Give In* (Conditions Apply)

“…never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

Never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. I love that Winston gave himself a way out. When you’re confronted with superior good sense, then it’s fine to give in. Please, when I’m wrong, let me remember to give in with honor.

That whole speech is worth reading, because it feels like it could be given today, and it rings as true as it did then: “You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about giving up, not from temptation, but in definition. Giving up doesn’t mean not taking care of yourself. It doesn’t mean taking a break to recharge. It doesn’t mean sacrificing yourself on the altar of the cause – because you’re not much use to anyone if you’re dead or burned out.

I’ve realized that in order to be more useful, I need to be healthier, which means maybe not doing as much in the short term and spending more time on me, which feels selfish.

But it’s not. If I’m healthier, I’ll have more energy for the fight. I’ll be able to do more, not less.

So, I might miss some meetings, but it’s because I’m doing these stupid exercises and not eating brownies.

Never give in. Never, never, never, never.

I’m Busy, Here’s a Picture

[hang2column element=”div” width=”500″]Moon Over Broughton St[/hang2column]

I took it this morning on the walk from the car to the office. I’m pretty busy over here, and sometimes post funny pictures and links here or here.

I’ll be back soon. I’ve got a big post about occupy wall street I’m still trying to write that will come up eventually. Until then, I’ll see you on twitter or in real life.


Look at this picture Kevin took. Aren’t the colors gorgeous? I love the bits of white poking up sharply at the bottom.\
Things like this is why I have such a hard time decorating our bedroom. I am very drawn to modern art, like above and my other favorite picture from Kevin:


And I love this one:


and this bokeh:


But I usually end up going for something more soothing (and boring).

At least the pictures aren’t going anywhere and when we eventually buy a house, I’ll have lots of fun choices!!

Weird Dreams

I had a weird dream last night (two, actually, but I’m only concerned about writing down the first one). In the dream, I was back at AOL sitting through a horrible product requirements meeting when I lost it and started yelling about how bad the requirements were, how they didn’t do anything original, were a waste of paper and no one would use this thing even if we built it (I don’t even remember what it was now). I got in a fight with the product manager, and all I remember of the screaming match was that she said something like, “You’re not the only ship on this sea, pal,” to which I replied… and I remember me screaming it: “Not the only ship?! I’m the sea!“\
Then, I got fired. It was a strange experience, watching dream me pack up his crap in boxes and get escorted out. I lost it a few times in my thirteen years at AOL (wait, sorry, now it’s “Aol.”), and one or two of them almost got me fired, but those were early on when I was still in tech support. I lost it in meetings a handful of times (which I think is a pretty good record considering how many awful product meetings I sat through) and called BS where I needed to, but I don’t think any of them ever got me close to the “terminating offense” line.\
Yeah, I don’t know what it means either, but I thought it was a pretty good comeback, especially for a dream.\
The other one was a nightmare where I was Doctor Who. It was so scary, I actually woke up and had a hard time getting back to sleep. This robotic zombie fell on me, had me pinned to the floor and kept saying “I know what you are” over and over again. shudder.

Taking the Boys to Atlanta

Max’s Blue Man Group Audition from Kevin Lawver on Vimeo.

The boys and I went to Atlanta last weekend to hang out with my pal David and go to the Georgia Aquarium. We stayed in a hotel right downtown, went to the Children’s Museum, ate at Legal Seafood, went swimming, watched a movie and had a lot of fun. The pictures are here and there are some more videos to come.

A Kidless Father’s Day

The boys are up in Virginia with my parents, so this was my first kidless Father’s Day in the last nine years. Jen took good care of me though. She made orange rolls for breakfast, made some amazing beef stew for dinner and watched guy TV with me all day. I finished putting the grill together (we’re trying it out tonight – steaks!), worked on Ficly and generally goofed off. The boys called and we got to chat for a while – they’re have a great time being spoiled rotten by their grandparents and aunt and uncle.


our little patio garden

We have sprouts! Brian and I transplanted Max and his science fair project plants and planted a bunch of other stuff (cucumbers, tomatoes and wildflowers) last Saturday and this week, we have sprouts! We’re trying the little patio garden this year to see if we can keep it watered and actually get something out of it. I’m trying to go in with no expectations, but so far, it looks like we’ll at least get some cucumbers out of it!

25 Things About Me

Because I’m now been tagged three times for the 25 things list on Facebook, and twice for the seven things list, I figured I had to do it… so here I go.

  1. I am horribly addicted to caffeine. I’ve tried to quit in the past, but when work pressure/stress increases, so does my caffeine intake.
  2. I love clementines. I can go through a case a week, easily. I don’t like regular tangerines or oranges, because the seeds are a pain, but clementines are fantastic.
  3. I have an over-developed sense of guilt. I don’t know why. I’ve tried to figure it out and get over it, but nothing’s worked so far.
  4. I’m allergic to shellfish. My allergy developed in my twenties, and I hate it – because I love shrimp, crawfish, crab and lobster. Stupid allergies
  5. I’m snobby about TV (hate most broadcast TV, all my favorite shows get canceled, etc), but still watch some horrible rubbish. But, thankfully, I think I’m finally over my addiction to the various nationalities’ Big Brother‘s
  6. I miss the people I worked with at AOL, but I don’t miss AOL’s management at all.
  7. Aside from my allergies, I really like living in Savannah, but I wish there was more of a tech community there.
  8. I’m very organized at work, but a complete mess at home. Thankfully, Jen keeps things in order.
  9. I’m in awe of my kids most of the time. Sometimes, I want to drop kick them, but most of the time, I’m in awe.
  10. Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to be drunk, but not enough to try it.
  11. I don’t understand pet people – dogs, cats, whatever. My mom and I are both allergic to dander, so we never really had dogs or cats when I was growing up. We had a dog for a little while, but that really didn’t work. I don’t understand how people get so attached to things that will basically always be toddlers. My kids eventually stopped crapping on the floor and putting things in their mouths. Like I said, I just don’t get it.
  12. I know I’m not normal, and I’ve decided that I don’t care. The only time I really feel like I belong is at home, work, SxSW or Mashup Camp.
  13. As I’ve gotten older and seen more of the world, my political views have moved farther and farther to the left. I’m pretty sure I’ll never enter Hippie-ville or buy a beret and grow a scraggly revolution beard, but you may hear me muttering “revolution” under my breath from time to time.
  14. I think funny trumps pretty much everything else. If it’s funny, I don’t really care how offensive it might be.
  15. I miss doing Tech X every week. It was a long time ago, but having that weekly goofy performance was a blast. I put an episode up last year. It wasn’t the first, because it took us a good 10-12 episodes to find our “stride”, which feels ridiculous to say, but I said it anyway.
  16. I’m afraid of what will happen when I get tired of writing code.
  17. I love building things and solving problems. I don’t write code for the sake of code. I’ve got to be trying to solve something for it to be fun.
  18. I swear a lot. I keep catching myself and trying to cut back, but I’m really good at it, and the Bible says we’re supposed to develop our talents, right?
  19. I’m not handy. I’m not good with tools or fixing things outside of a computer.
  20. I’ve always wondered how I’d do at standup. Once, in high school, a friend’s mom offered me a gig doing stand up on Saturday nights. I turned her down, but I’ve always regretted it. Of course, I don’t regret it enough to do anything about it now.
  21. I’m inherently lazy. I’d much rather watch TV or play video games than do something productive. I’m not much for creating my own inertia. You wouldn’t know it by how much I work, but once I’m done with work for the day, I’m really done.
  22. I suck at setting and keeping goals outside of work.
  23. I can’t help it, I really really like The Polyphonic Spree. Sometimes, it’s good to be without irony or sarcasm.
  24. I like Thanksgiving more than Christmas. Let’s give it up, people, Christmas is no longer religious, it’s just a stressful gift-giving tradition with ever-mounting expectations for expenditure. I like making Thanksgiving dinner and just hanging out. That’s my kind of holiday.
  25. The manliest thing I do is grill. I love grilling stuff. I’d grill breakfast cereal if I could figure out how.