Studies Show Stress Sucks, Distressed People Agree

Dog motion blurry black and white background photojournalism
Cooper | 2006

The cycle of life that sends you into a tizzy of stress, woefulness, and questioning why has hit. With the arrival of new, comfort found in the old has gone the way of Mr. Alighieri.

“Through me the way into the suffering city,
Through me the way to the eternal pain,
Through me the way that runs among the lost.
Justice urged on my high artificer;
My maker was divine authority,
The highest wisdom, and the primal love.
Before me nothing but eternal things were made,
And I endure eternally. Abandon every hope, ye who enter here.”

Okay, maybe that’s pushing it a bit to far. Maybe. Regardless, postpartum life decided to turn swinger and hookup with family hospitalization, paralyzing saturation of duty to my employer, and revelation of friendships moving. So for a while I’m reverting to something that lessens the stress of life, cause more joy than sadness, doesn’t get sick, and once captured never leaves: photography.


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The Good, The Bad, and The Beautiful

6:05 a.m.

A Beautiful New Girl Comes Into Our World


Seems we were a bit too late getting to the hospital. We made it, and our daughter was born without incident. However, there were no drugs….“It’s like grappling hooks pulling your insides out.”

Reese Crawford | Wednesday, February 06, 2008 | 3:23am | 6lbs. 10oz. | 18.5 in | All is Well

~More Later~


11:52 a.m.

I’ve seen a person experience something that I must claim, simply as an observer, as probably one of the greatest physical pains imaginable. It was my wife, and it made me cry.

I’ve also experienced, as a participant this time, one of the greatest moments of joy that life can offer. It, too, made me cry.

I’ve sent and/or received no less than 20 texts, 15 phone calls, 9 emails, and extensive and brief IM conversations. I’ve posted to my blog twice with text and a photo slide show and have entertained numerous visitors.

I’ve shot 50 photos, 45 minutes of video, and conducted a business conversation over instant messenger.

I’ve been awake for 30 hours.

So what, right? Nothing, really. However, right now my wife and new daughter are sleeping soundly. My new Big Sister has already made an appearance and is now playing with friends. All are happy and healthy. As such, my adventures du jour are nothing more than a pebble in my shoe.

God has protected us on this day.

~More Later~


02.07.08 – 12:30p

Baby Watch 2008 Part II: Reality, Firsts, and Trusting That Feeling

I spent the night at home with Big Sister, which made me feel like a little funky. The reality of the situation is that momma and I are trying to keep Big Sister on a normal schedule. This, to the dismay of Big Sister, does not include skipping the school for the rest of the week.

That funky feeling comes as a result of leaving momma and Little Sister alone. Everyone knows that they would both vaporize without the presence of the protector and provider, Big Daddy.

Yep. Sure enough. Yep. They sure would. Yep.

Okay, I know that they are probably 2.754 quadrillion times safer surrounded by 24/7 healthcare professionals specifically trained to take care of such people during such a time.

I just want to be there, that’s all.

I added Little Sister folder into the Family Photo Archive last night. That excited me. I quickly realized, after perusing the entire digital photo folio, I will soon need to reserve a small alcove within my home for the storage of hard drives. At current count, I have approximately 10,000 digital photos, half of which are of Big Sister.

The other first came this morning. I wrote an excused absence note, a legitimate one (for once), because Big Sister missed school yesterday. When was it that I became an adult?

~Epstein’s Mother

That Little Feeling
That little feeling; you know the one I’m talking about. Christians might refer to it as The Holy Spirit. It’s often called intuition, instinct, or maybe a sixth sense. Patti and I hadn’t talked about it but it turns out we were both feeling it.

In discussions previous, we decided that momma would have a tubal ligation (tubaligation?) right after Little Sister was born. The doc said it could be done quickly and easily and that he would simply leave the epidural in after birth so the procedure could be completed that day or the next.

Easy enough. Done and done!

Well, there was no epidural. As such, momma would be put to sleep under general anesthesia, would not be allowed food or drink for eight hours before surgery and be put on a when-we-get-to-you elective surgery list. We agreed, and she began fasting immediately because they said she would be first on the list that morning. Keep in mind that she had just given birth naturally, with no drugs, and she wasn’t allowed any water or food until after her 7am procedure.

That procedure was moved to 11am, and then to “later afternoon”, and then to “it might have to be tomorrow.” She opted for the “tomorrow” option immediately, about 12 hours after giving birth. Had my arm been a chicken wing and my blood, water, she wouldn’t have given me even the slightest of second chances.

Only then did we begin to speak of “that little feeling”. Long story a little less long, she…we…decided to opt out of the surgery completely. We’re not sure why, and we have no intention on having additonal children. We decided that the Holy Spirit was directing both of us through “that little feeling” and a series of “circumstance” that could not be ignored. We went with it.


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Death of the Arcade – My Tribute to the End of the 80s Video Game

Summer – 1984: Sweat beading. My expression reveals razor focus. THIS time I knew it was going to happen. AAA would very soon be replaced with TDW. And then I would be number one…nu-me-ro uno…and the talk of the small-town teen tabloids.

Throughout the 80s I pumped what probably amounted to thousands of dollars into the likes of Tempest, Defender, Asteroids, Missile Command, Joust, and various pinball machines. I loved it. We all loved it. Mechanical Madness was the name of the arcade in Rittman, Ohio.

Fast forward 24-ish years to an under-lighted, dank warehouse in Greenville, SC. Brisk rain understates this day.

Fred Collins was the undisputed Arcade King and Video Poker Magnate of Upstate, SC until his death a few years back. In December 2007, Collins Entertainment held a huge arcade auction, the kind that is advertised throughout the United States.

Inside was THE score for any 80s arcade junkie who didn’t mind melting endless spoons full of his tincture du jor mixed and matched from whatever necessary in order to get that fix. Few were plug-n-play. Thousands were available. All were covered with various forms of debris.

This was the funeral.


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