Matt was a sleepwalker. The first time he ever did it with me was when we lived in our first house, not long after we were married. One night, he sat bolt upright in bed and said, “There’s someone in the house!” Needless to say, it scared me to death. Once I discovered that he was just dreaming, I never took alarm again. I would just give him a pat and tell him to go back to sleep. Matt didn’t actually get out of bed and walk around very often, although he certainly hurt himself falling out of bed a few times. More often he just sat up and started talking in a very lucid way. If I woke him up he would be quite confused and I would laugh at him in the morning. I remember Matt sleepwalking like one remembers that special curl or dimple or that endearing habit a loved one has, even if it was disruptive to my night’s sleep. I think Cole is a sleepwalker too.
Before Matt started LiveMosaic, he worked for a start up called Integral Wave. (Integral Wave didn’t make it past some stage of funding and I’m not remembering right now what product they made.) I believe that Matt did there what he had done before, what he was best at, strategic planning and chip architecture. His title was Director of Strategic Innovation. I remember laughing with him that it was the best title ever.
This is probably the one and only post I will make about Matt and sex. Yes, I might be crazy to put it out on the internet, but I’m a compulsive story recorder so I am doing it anyway (leaving out some names, nouns and pronouns to make it a little less personal). After all, these are the sort of treasured memories that aren’t brought out very often in regular life. Now that Matt is gone, I can bring them out all at once (well, eleven here) to remember just how precious the sex part of our life together was.
- first time was in the dorm room after dating for a month or two (I still have Matt’s blanket)
- on the beach in Ocean City, MD
- over Skype
- daily 10 second kisses the last few years before Matt died
- 2 to 3 times per week except for a few weeks after births of the kids
- in the car in the middle of a corn field in Maryland
- used to watch X Files naked
- often cracked his toes afterwards
- liked to rest his head on my chest and listen to my heartbeat
- between us, the word f**k had only one context
- when we had to be quiet, Matt called it “mouse sex”
Yes, I can think of a bazillion more.
LiveMosaic was Matt’s private family website start up business. It is an honor to know that I was the inspiration for his business. Since Summer was born I have maintained a family website for stories and pictures. In 2003, I started a self hosted WordPress blog. Matt liked that I did it. I never realized how much he liked it until he started talking about making a business out of it. He felt that everyone should be able to have a website like the one I made for our family, that it should be easy to use, that it should be private and the content protected, and that everyone should have their own domain name. I think it was 2007 that he started thinking about it and it was the fall of 2008 that it went online.
He started out with a few people helping him, including a developer, and he searched out advice. The strategy was to invest a little money himself and bootstrap his way through. Since 2008, LiveMosaic took the place of any hobby he might have had. He worked hard on it and eventually became the sole person working on the project. From the beginning he had a very slow trickle of customers which increased slowly to about one new customer a week. He was obsessive about customer service and he was always looking for the feature that would be the break through to getting more customers. With background uploading (which didn’t really exist at the time) and true high definition video before YouTube had it, LiveMosaic was a really high quality product. Unfortunately, I never felt like it got beyond a niche market and that apparently, no one really wanted what we wanted in a family website.
I considered myself an investor and primary support so that Matt could pursue his dream. When I think back about the experience of having a family business a lot of thoughts flood up, but really no strong emotional nostalgia for the business. I think maybe I was good at supporting Matt but not such a good business person. I know I hoped that a steady increase in the number of customers would eventually mean financial stability even if it wasn’t a money maker. Running the business did not cost that much anyway, except in time. But I also tend to have a strong sense that if no one is going the direction that you want them to, then the direction you want to go is probably not the right one. I think this was definitely the case by the end of 2010 when Matt started to think about selling LiveMosaic as a service for photographer websites.
I always thought LiveMosaic was an awesome product. There is such a heap of trash on the internet, that I will always make it a point to support sites that are high quality and have an aesthetic like what we had with LiveMosaic. I’m sure I have many more thoughts to post about LiveMosaic, but I wanted to give a simple overview of what Matt did. It was such a large part of his life for several years. Just for a moment, I wonder where it would be now if he were still alive, as it comes to five years since it went online.
The air pressure in the tires of the car are low, and I am finding it hard to get the problem resolved. It’s not that I keep forgetting or that I don’t know what to do about it or even that I don’t want to do it. It’s hard because it’s one of those things that Matt would have done for me. I call it evidence that Matt is not here. It is also evidence that Matt is here– this bit of resistance is just him reminding me to move forward consciously.
The picture below is from the end of 2010. Matt is putting away the co-sleeper for the third and final time. I took the photo to mark the milestone.