Monday, November 22, 2010

Where I've been


*Takes deep breath, lets it out slowly*

Here's how it happened. It was May 13 - 2 days till tax deadline. I decided to go online and do my taxes as soon as I got home from work, but when I tried to log on, nothing. The internet was GONE!! :o :o

My modem was broken.

I went to my sister's house and used her internet to order a replacement modem, and had no trouble hooking it up, but it wouldn't let me get online... it needed to know my modem password. I tried every password I had ever used for anything, but none of them worked... I suspect my password was some string of random numbers and letters generated by a computer and I had never changed it or written it down anywhere.

I can't tell you how hard it was to do anything about it... normally when I have a problem I go online and find a way to fix it... but I couldn't go online!! I tried calling AT&T (my ISP), but could never get ahold of anything but a machine. I called dozens of times, and stayed on as long as 45 minutes a few times, but was utterly unable to talk to a human being... just got shunted around to different departments inside the vast machine. Skynet was in control.

Finally I decided it must be time for me to be offline for a while. I have a very Zen attitude - when my life takes a sudden turn like that I go with the flow and try to find the bright side. And I was feeling like I spent way too much time online, and needed a break. So I settled in and gritted my teeth. But still I kept thinking "soon I'll be back... another week or so".

Around this same time my mom started suffering from really poor health. She had already been on oxygen for 4 years and could hardly walk, so I was helping take care of her and her house. She went to the hospital several times in a few days, and it became clear her time was drawing near. Her passing was quick and painless... Hospice had her on a morphine patch, and honestly I think she was feeling better than she had in many years. She felt she had lived a long and fulfilled life, and had always felt that death was a natural part of the life process... she died a very exemplary death. I hope I'm as brave when my time comes.

Anyway, I inherited some money from her, as well as her car and a duplex she had been the landlady of, where my sister had been living. We had decided some years ago that I would move into the duplex and my sister would get Mom's house, so here I am. I got cable, internet and phone hooked up, and this time no problem getting online... I just booted up after the cable guy left, opened Safari, and here I was!


Anonymous said...

Welcome back!

jriggity said...

Woom Hoo man!!!

welcome back.


Shelley Noble said...

Holy Cowzizzlle! What a story!

Firstly, All sympathies for your loss of your mother. It sounds as though she passed with flying colors. Brava! to her. And to you for recognizing it as such.

And Wowsies! In a new pad and everything!? How marvelous for you. A fresh (and fully hooked-up) start.

I admire your Zen approach to the flow of things, both in your trajectory path and acceptance of life's whole processes. Way to go!

It was so long... six months--but seemed sooooo much longer!... that I had fully reconciled to never ever hearing from you online again! And I can tell you that it was a lot more cold and cruel a place, less fun, kinda colorless, without YOU!

[happy dance now!]

The fearless threader said...

I'm so sorry for your loss but it is good to hear that she had a good passing, and that you are able to celebrate her in life and death. Glad you are back, I miss you work and am fascinated by your process.

FleaCircusDirector said...

Welcome back and well done for looking after your mom in her final days.

I look forward to hearing more of your animation exploits. A break from the web seems like a great idea, not sure I'd survive more than a few hours...

Lady Euphoria Deathwatch said...

Hi Dark,

So sorry to hear about your mom. Would that we could all go in such a manor.

Glad you are back.

Enjoy the new place.


Yaz said...

Mike, first of all, I am really sorry to hear about your mother. Getting used to being away from a belowed one takes some time but knowing that her pass was quick and painless must be a relief. I think both you and she were very lucky to be able to spend her final time together.

I am very glad that you are back here. Even if I was away for a long while (had to take a break around the same time you did) not seeing any post or message from you was really a strange feeling.

Darkstrider said...

Had to wait for my eyes to clear before I could write this.

Wow, you people really know how to make a person feel welcome!!! It really is a joyous reunion... and I can't believe how much I missed my online friends!!! The worst part for me was the fact that I left so abruptly, without a chance to explain what happened so nobody would worry unnecessarily. I remember how I felt when Melvyn Erville suddenly disappeared without a hint... wondering if maybe he had died or gotten gravely ill, and no way to find out. Very sorry I put you all through that!!! But for this incredible (and tearful I must say) reunion, it was almost worth it!!

Yaz, I saw your blog shortly after my return, and saw you had stopped blogging about the same time I was swallowed into the cyber-ether. I'm glad to hear it was nothing too serious (Or at least I hope it wasn't). Or rather I should say, I"m glad you're still around and hopefully getting back to work on your film. Looks like time gave you a pretty hard bitch-slap! Slap it back and show it who's boss!!!

R.S.Cole said...

It's been way too many years since my Mom passed but, it feels like she left just last week. So I honestly feel for your loss. Any more of that would be stuff for a private conversation so, I'll leave it there.

If it's any help, I hope that the outpouring of concern and happiness about your return from all of us has let you know how important you are to us - as a person and not just as some invisible internet phantom.

The things you write are absorbed by us in a personal way. The stop motion world may have widened as we had hoped in the past couple of years and that's great, but you were there amongst the few true devotees of this artform through the lean years and that made you family to us.

Now don't you EVER leave again without letting us know where you went, cuz if you do, it Butt Kickin' Time! ☺

Shelley Noble said...

R.S. said it well, "If it's any help, I hope that the outpouring of concern and happiness about your return from all of us has let you know how important you are to us - as a person and not just as some invisible internet phantom.

The things you write are absorbed by us in a personal way."

There are other generous mentors in Stop Mo thankfully, but there's only one Mike Brent. Irreplaceable, remarkable. No one else made it seem possible to make films back when I found SMA. You took the time with all of us to encourage, educate, and cheer us all along.

I don't mean this to be a eulogy-like tribute, what with you happily being here and all but it's good people should know how much they mean to folks while they are alive and well too!

Yaz said...

Mike, thank you!!! I already feel more "back" after seeing you online and reading your message. It is great to know that "you are there". About the hard bitch-slap time gave me.. yeah, it definetely felt like that at first. One problem after the other. Hard times; health problems of my daughter, sister, financial problems,.. moved to another house... It is like there is always something stopping you to continue on your way. I have kind of a Zen attitude too. But, I guess I am not as positive as you. I always try to "plan" things. "I will do this after this... do that after that..." I accept to go with the flow but only for a while.(so, I guess I do not really accept) Anyways, after months of being away from my film, I realized that I really needed this time. I was too much into the idea. Do you know what I mean? I now think that this "being away" has been actually a part of my making of Chronos. I will start working on Chronos soon(?) and will see whats going on.

OK. It is enough about me. I am very very happy to see you here and please dont ever leave again.

bRYEnd_of_the_schtick said...

(^ knew something like this must be going on. been there many times.
anyway. contact me if you care to go road tripping, now that the inevitable's past.

StopmoNick said...

By now you will have noticed - LOTS of people missed you, here and at SMA and maybe a few other islands in the cybersea. Like Ron says - you have your own voice. And now you are not only the person still with the most posts (even with 6 months free run I couldn't catch you), you have achieved a Mysterious status that Ron and LIO can only dream of!
But anyway, there are some things that life throws at you that take priority over pretty much anything else, and it's good you were there to do what you could.
After 8 months, I was getting mighty tired of seeing that white gazelle post, so glad you're back!

mychæl™ said...

there are so much things I would like to say... and there are a million reasons I want to reduce it to the following so I don't say anything that might sound stupid:

I missed you too, man.

I really did.

It is good to have you back.

It makes me feel sad to hear what happend. Strange, how close one can feel to somebody he just knews online. But I do.

Good to have you back. Thank you for everything you wrote.

Anonymous said...

Mike, it's AWESOME to have you back, man. *bear hug*

You've always been been my worst critic, and I've grown so much from your critiques and advice... When you disappeared, I didn't stop growing, but I did slow down a little. The feedback you give is invaluable.

I'm sorry to hear about your mom, but it's great that she not only gave you life and enriched it while she was here, but she also left something to remember her by- your own place! You could turn it into an animation studio and name it after her or something she enjoyed.

By the way, the capcha for this post was "copyewdd".

Rich Johnson. said...

so sorry for your loss man. Glad yo see you back. :) peace brother.

JON said...

So, I guess it's weird for someone you don't really know to say "welcome back," but I've been reading and learning from your blog for ages... so... I'M SO VERY GLAD THAT YOU'RE BACK!!!

Darkstrider said...

mychæl™ , Pram, Rich...

Sorry, I hadn't checked back here for a while. Great to hear from you guys!! Pram, I didn't recognize the new username, had to click through to see who you were.

And Jon, I do know who you are. I remember you showing up on the scene shortly before I was swallowed up.

Jessica Koppe said...

Mike, a late but warm "welcome back!"

I'm sorry for your loss, but I'm also glad that you found a new home and also a new perspektive!

Your voice is important out here!

Darkstrider said...

Hey thanks Jessica! Always great to hear from you!

positive affirmation said...

There is no blame
I release the need to blame anyone, including myself. We all doing the best that we can with the understanding, knowledge and awareness we have.

tonychauzer said...

Hey Mike!

Been awhile and was just checking in. My condolences for your loss my friend - but as you said the end was in the very least a peaceful one.

Hope to see more posts in the making! See ya :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry Strider, I felt like Pram was getting a little overexposed and wanted something different. It is said that our pesonalities are ever-evolving. With my creativity, it's no different.

Da Weave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Da Weave said...

Very pleasant surprise to see your return. Sorry for your loss.

Much success in 2011.


masterymistery said...

Amazing story. Condolences re your mother.

Great to have you back.

masterymistery at cosmic rapture

Darkstrider said...

Thank you all. I hope OI can start posting about my film again soon... I'm itching to get back to animation, but moving into a new house takes up so much TIME!!! (*and energy)

Dan Metalmadcat said...

so happy to have you back. so happy.