July 30th, 2005

Dear failings,

My character has been forged mostly in the trials of my mind. It has been steeled to counter many different environments and situations both hypothetical and practical. Currently there is a piece that has proven itself faulty and in contradiction to it’s counterparts and needs to be painfully replaced.

I had once defined as a core of my character a strict and tireless devotion to those I had named family. Family for me was not restricted or gauranteed by sharing blood. I believed that just about any human that was family-worthy could be a useful asset in life, and that to show a person this tireless devotion would help just about anyone do the same in return.

This seemed like a worthy ideal. It is not. It very often has come into direct conflict with trying to entertain only truthful and progressive endeavors. Family value is a inefficient thematic goal. People are scared animals and the only way to organize more then three into believing they should cooperate is to threaten or lie to them.

I should have learned this from watching the god father trilogy, but I’m just not that smart.

To you my failings: Mind your lies carefully or you will be cut quick. The hour feels much too late for frivolous empathy and wasted effort.

Smart things Dex is doing.

July 11th, 2005

I think I should make a post theme called “Smart things Dex is doing” so that later on I can look back and marvel at the things that I marvel at right now and will forget as soon as some shopping list or kitty litter task overtakes those synaptical paths.

He’s experimenting with pronouns:
“He’s going to come to my party or She’s goign to come to my party Daddy?”

He’s experimenting like made with his prepositions:
“You give it on me daddy?”
Me:”No”
“You give it for me?”
Me:”No”
“Oh, right. You give it to me daddy? [I motion for him to say please] Please?”
Me:”Yes! you rock”

He’s starting the Why game:
it’s still in the early stages, but I’m real excited for the “Why” game – where kids ask Why Why Why. It is a personal mission to never lose that game.
“How come that happened?”
Me: “It looks like it fell off the counter because the cats jumped up there”

He’s always asking:
“What’s that sound?”

He’ll stop when he hears something drop in another room and we have to all go and take a look.

He repeats everything – but what kid doesnt?

He has more awareness of Airplanes flying overhead at 20,000 feet then just about any animal I’ve ever seen. He hears them all the time.

He can type www.nickjr.com in the firefow location bar.

After a rash of dvd malfunctions, he has learned to hold the dvds with one finger in the hole and one on the edge (“Like a C dad?”) so that no smudges get on the mirror finish.

Today on a walk back from Dunkin Donuts when Bernadette and Jen got a good ways ahead of us and they were approaching the crosswalk, he yelled: “STOP!” and held out his hand. They didn’t stop. “STOP!” Jen heard and turned. “STOP!” Jen stopped Dette Dette. Dexter walked to them and said “There’s a lot of cars. Have to be careful. Stop” [ he softened his voice, dropped his eyes were down and one hand was turned up as if explaining something in a non-confrontational way]

He was lecturing them like I do to him.

He hasn’t gotten it yet, but he’s learning about time. Tomorrow he has down pretty good though and he’s trying to learn about week, days, and years. You can tell he’s trying because he experiments with them.
“We watch a movie when the sun goes night night in a 5 days from now??”
“Nope”
“Just a little bit later?”
“Yep”

What do you do when you realize the Chimp can sign?

July 11th, 2005

So let’s say you started to teach sign language to a chimp and then all the sudden it started to aquire the syntax and grammar and all that crap. How would you feel?

Well…. surprised. happy. ethusiastic. proud. curious. reflective. inspired. anxious.

I know that Dex is bright. We’ve put in a lot of work, time and thought (like most parents I assume) into raising him right. I think we’ve even done a little more work on trying to make sure that we challenge him intellectually with stuff in measured doses that should be above his ability. He’s done a great job with all of it.

Since the first few hours he was born, I’ve been trying to think of things that I could teach him. I thought about getting memory games, reading to him every night, nursery language cds for night time listening, flash cards, musuems, home science experiments, field trips, other langauges to learn…

He’s three now (soon). I’m not sure where to go next.

When he goes to day care (either to Laurie’s or MGH) we get some really positive feedback. Lots of “he’s pretty bright huh?” and “I can’t believe how well he knew this or that” and “This person showed up and has x years of experience and they were floored when Dex did this”.

I don’t know what to do for him next. Or even if I should do something for him. I can’t really see down the road for the next building blocks I can introduce him to (except maybe math or something). We are pretty clueless about whether we should track down a special school for him and get him tested. Or if that’s even like the best thing for him. Maybe he’ll just be that much happier as a person if we just relax and pretend like it’s no big deal he’s smart.

[ I just realized that I have a hidden agenda in promoting his intelligence - I don't watch to look like that stupid parent who didn't understand how smart his kid was, like those parents in that movie "Real Genius" who were amazed that their kid got a scholarship. ]

So, I think I’ll take the standard Matt approach to this and now that I’ve located an ulterior motive that could be prompting my analysis, I will test it by embellishing the weakness that brought it about and I’ll just relax and let the kid grow up at whatever pace we think is coolest.

[ I just realized I was about to save this entry and I didn't say enough about him - I'll do that nex. ]

Dexter’s Birthday

July 11th, 2005

Dexter is the man. He’s the cutest, smartest, and funniest thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. I’m getting a lot of feed back from 3rd party sources that are validating this evaluation.

Mariel and I kind of idly mosied on up to this weekend. We had no idea what we were goign to do for Dex’s birthday. It’s hard to throw parties for kings :)

I know now why we had such a hard time getting prepared for this past weekend.

On Friday I went grocery shopping and got everything I could off the huge list that Mariel had left for me. It was a good friday chore because it’s hard for me to keep things fresh for the kid. When Mariel got home we went out and got the meat and some last minute stuff so that we could compensate for any late rsvp’ers.

When we got home, Dex watched Lion King 2 which is a pretty bad movie. I could tell it was bad not because I watched it, but because he kept pausing it to come in and hang out in the kitchen with us while we prepared ALL THE FOOD. I say ALL THE FOOD because we had a lot of leftovers.

Mariel made her spinach dip and cakes and I cleaned and cut potatos for baking. There must be a potato washing and cutting expert out there, but it’s not me. It took me forever.

I also tried making some drip for the potato wedges… The first round didn’t go so well as me fatigued eyes kept reading “Margerine” instead of “Mayonaise”. I kid you not, I read those instructions 5 times, out loud to Mariel because I was so damned baffled by the amount of margerine it was telling me to put in. I gagged when I put in the cup scoop into the tub of yellow creamy Hell. Once I mixed it up and saw the result I knew I had gotten it very wrong and did the whole experiment again with mariel reading over my shoulder. It turned out much better the second time and no where near as gag inducing.

We ignored our kid for the majority of the night, but included him in the decorating and the mixing, and we put him to bed just as lovingly as we ever did. But the point is, we worked our asses off cleaning the joint and preparing crap loads of food.

We slept well. The next day I skewered pounds upon pounds of meat that had been marinating overnight. Adding veggies and mushrooms and onions and what not. I didn’t finish with much more then shower time before it was 12 (the time on the stupid ill conceived invitation web page). Mariel and I did our party host dancing… we carry things over here, we set up things over there, we greet, we swap personal stories with guests while we dance. We make sure to pass off Dexter responsibilities by actually saying “Tag”, we exchange quick informative, status report glances from up a 100 feet away.

Party hosting can be fun. And we like the work… Usually.

We did not like Dexter’s party. Afterwards, Mariel and I were just kind of left empty and a little angry about stupid minor things. There was probably too much drug intake for a 3 year old’s 12pm party. And there were plenty of other little crap that just made us feel like we didn’t acheive the objective of the day.

It would have been better if we took Dex to a park like we do most Saturdays and just let everyone know what time we were going to be where.

I’ve been lacking in the blogging

July 11th, 2005

Lacking in the blogging… I haven’t written much down recently.

I’m frustrated with my job. It pays bills and I work from the house. I am pretty independent, and I am working with computers.

I don’t like dealing with customers… and from our interactions, they do not like interacting with me no matter how cordial, effective, or prompt I strive to be.

There seems to have been a distinctive change in the attitudes of customers over this last year. It seems that the character type that I once believed to be isolated to “marketing and sales” has now spread to “anyone designated to deal with the web people”.

I hate sales people because it seems they have no understanding of simple concepts. They do not understand that money is just an abstract representation of value. They actually think money is something. If they could snap their fingers and dump a billion dollars in their laps, they would – without understanding the effect that would have on the economy around them. I think it’s this respect for dollar bills (not the idea, the paper), they have no room left in their minds for the value of people or work.

[In a weird twist of corrupt logic, it's sales people who usually tip the best from what I've learned in chats with bartenders and chamber maids]

So why talk about this crap… Well, my job has increasingly become a Customer Service Industry. Now back before I had to “Pay Bills” or “Worry about the College Fund” – I would flip off the establishment if they didn’t hide me behind a current and remove the stench of Customers from whatever job I was doing.

I’m confused about how/if the job has actually required more interaction with the customer or if the customers have become assholes. They are easily offended by “unprofessionalism” – which is cute because they scream cry and bitch about unprofessionalism. They demand a lot, and pay litte late. They flame when it’s your mistake, and completely ignore when it’s their mistake.

I haven’t been blogging because I am wasting my life. I need to pay bills because I buy stuff to dull the pain of wasting my life. And I’m not sure what I would do if I had less bills, and that’s really scary, because then it’s my fault it all sucks, and not the bills.

? HP’s Threadlogs: How to Mess with a Buyer’s Head 101 | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com

July 9th, 2005

? HP’s Threadlogs: How to Mess with a Buyer’s Head 101 | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com

This is too perfect… I’m regretting that I went with an Intel processor

anti-trust suit by AMD: http://www.sudhian.com/showdocs.cfm?aid=690&pid=2658

I had no idea it had gotten so bad, but I should have figured… I’m an ass

I need to stop

July 5th, 2005

I need to stop.

I need to move away from the computer and just stop.

I don’t have the money to be looking at this stuff, and it’s just not healthy.

AVOturboworld International

July 5th, 2005

AVOturboworld International

The obcesssion continues….

Legacy with an aftermarket stereo

Monkey style!

July 5th, 2005

ACL: The Hegelian Dialectic

July 4th, 2005

ACL: The Hegelian Dialectic

I think I may need to read up on neo-Hegelianism as the origin of corporatism, bolshevism, and fascism.

I feel genuinely cheated by my schooling. So much information never even had a chance of being presented…. And in talking to other people, even those with the highest marks – it has nothing to do with the students, nothing at all.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/communitarianism/