I was born in Lansing, Michigan in 1966
(Yes, darn it, I am that old). I lived there fairly contentedly, besides the normal adolescent traumas, until I was 19.
At that point my mother had moved to New Jersey because of her job. AT&T , deregulation,
most of you born after 1980 won't have a clue what I'm talking about. Anyway, when I finished my first year at
Michigan State, I had nowhere to go but New Jersey. So, I went.
I wasn't sure I'd like it at first. New Jersey is a really different
place than Michigan. But my mother had a great old Victorian house with a huge pine tree in the front yard. Dover is a
pretty nice town, though some people don't like all the Puerto Rican immigrants. I didn't mind too much; I was learning
Spanish by osmosis. I got to decorate my own room in a really cool way. I learned to love New Jersey, and its close neighbor,
New York City.
Fast forward a bit. I'd been through several boyfriends, including one episode of near reconciliation with my
high school sweet-heart, Pete. Shortly thereafter I started dating my friend, Greg. We had a lot in common. I was really
lonely. I figured, friendship and common interests were enough to forge a relationship. We both wanted to get away from
our parents and strike out on our own. We took a cool little apartment in
Philadelphia and set about making a life together. It took me almost 6 years to realize I was not in love with Greg.
I loved him. Still do. But I never felt the passion for him that I felt we both deserved. In November of 1994, God help me,
I moved back in with my parents.
That lasted barely six months before the
tension in the house was more than I could bear. I was 28 (nearly 29) and needed my own space. I found this AWESOME studio
apartment in a town called Nutley, New Jersey. I and my cat, Katzl,
moved in Memorial Day weekend, 1995. Mom and I did it all, with no help from any of my friends, I might add.
I loved my apartment. I furnished it myself with what furniture I salvaged from my breakup with Greg, great bargains
from IKEA and some stuff I scavenged from my mom. It was one block off a major street.
There was a fabulous deli right behind the building, 2 supermarkets within a mile, and a great little Chinese take-out
place a block away. I was in heaven.
And I was happy most of the time. I was close enough to New York to get there on a regular basis, as in 15 minutes from
the Lincoln tunnel. I made lots of new friends through the live role playing I was doing almost every weekend. I was
working full time, eventually bought a new-to-me car, and was paying my bills (with only a little help now and then
from my parents, bless 'em).
For the first time in my life I was single for more than a few months. It was really hard at first. I was lonely, naturally.
And I went through periods of low self-esteem, wondering what was wrong with me that I couldn't find a nice guy (or girl;
hey, I'm open-minded) who wanted more than sex. I began to find the idea of sex without commitment to be emotionally
dissatisfying. This was certainly not a moral issue. I just couldn't take the emptiness of it anymore.
I was also getting tired of my temporary job at Lucent Technologies. While I liked
the people I worked with and the pay was decent, being a secretary was not what I wanted to do with my life. The problem
was, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life. While in Philly, I had obtained a B.S. in Education from
Temple University, but I was pretty sure I didn't want to teach. So, what?
I'm not sure exactly when I decided to apply to the Peace Corps. I had
always wanted to do it, ever since I met a guy who was returning from his tour. I was only 18 at the time, so I was too
young and inexperienced to be accepted. I put the idea away for future use. So, when I found myself single, with a
degree, in a dead end job, I figured why not? I applied in July of 1996. By December, I knew I was going for sure. I
was incredibly excited.
That's when life threw me a curve ball. I often surfed the internet at work when I had free time (not TOO often). I
discovered a site called The Globe that was giving out free one month memberships
to their web hosting service. I joined so that I could make my own web site, since I didn't have my own computer. I put
two ads in their Flirt pages. I got lots of replies, most of them silly. I wrote back to several guys, some of
whom wanted to take me away from it all (yeah, right) and some who just wanted cyber-sex. Some of them were just really
nice, lonely people like me who were looking for someone to talk to. Towards the end of my membership, I received mail
from a new guy.
His letter to me immediately grabbed my attention because it quoted Shakespeare's
Much Ado About
Nothing (the header for my Flirt ad read: BEATRICE SEEKS BENEDICK). Little did I know that I was reading the
first of many notes from my future husband.
I'm creating a web site explaining the whole tale of how we met and married. Suffice it to say that I didn't go into
the Peace Corps. Choosing between Dave and the Peace Corps was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I cried
for a week. In the end I chose the safer dream, perhaps. But I am happier than I've ever been in my adult life, and I
have no regrets.
We celebrated our wedding on May 2, 1998. It was the happiest, most beautiful day of my life. Sure, we've had conflicts
and growing pains. But we work them out together in the most amazing fashion. I never knew love could feel like this.
I wish everyone could feel about someone like we do about each other. Maybe the world would be a better place.
I went through a series of jobs when I moved down to Atlanta, Georgia to be with Dave. I temped for a while. Then I
was a trainer for CompUSA. After our honeymoon, I took a job working as a
secretary AGAIN, through a company called Tascor contracted to IBM. It really was not what I wanted to do. After
11 months, I thought I had found the right job. I started working for GE Power Systems as a contracted Administrative
Assistant in Human Resources. It turned out to be one of the worst jobs I've ever had. They let me go on August 20.
I had wanted to quit, but my boss at the contract agency was out all that week and came in on Friday long enough to
help me pack up my desk. I hated that job and I sincerely hope they find the right person to deal with my X-boss.
What a (fill in with a-politically correct epithet). I am on the lookout for the right opportunity. If you're interested,
here's my resume. What I'd really like to do is something more creative. Publishing and web-page design come to mind,
though the market is becoming glutted. I would also like to try my hand at either technical support (which would
require some training) or project management. I need to break out of the administrative mold soon, though, or I'm
going to lose my mind.
So, here I am in Villa Rica, a small suburb west of Atlanta. Dave and I toy with the idea of selling the house and
moving... somewhere. Closer to the city sounds good for a start. We both commute about an hour each way. We haven't
ruled out the possibility of moving out of state. Some places we'd consider: Austin, TX; Tucson, AZ; San Diego, CA;
Denver, CO. Dave won't move to Michigan even though my mother offered to pay for his MCSE training. He hates cold and
is afraid to drive in snow. Damn wussy California surfer dude.
Magnum Opus Con was a huge success. Our panel went over really big. We will be going back to MOCtoberfest in, you
guessed it, October for Halloween. We're throwing a party with our friends, Patrick and Fenix. If you're a convention
goober, we highly recommend this con.
We never made it to Cozumel this spring. We did take a little trip down to Destin, Florida for a long weekend in
April before I stared my new job at GE. We went diving at Crystal Springs, and in the Gulf of Mexico. It was
interesting to dive in cold water after the bath-water temperatures of the Caribbean. We were kind of bored at the
springs, but the water was REALLY clear and fresh. The jetty where we dove in the Gulf was a few degrees warmer,
but very silty. We could barely see 15 feet. I collected shells and we observed the local wildlife (a few fish and
some blue crabs). Near sunset, we hiked back to our car and started taking off our gear. As I reached into my pocket,
I felt something wiggle. I squawked as I dropped a little crab onto the pavement! He was no bigger than the end of
my thumb. I carried him back down to the water and set him free. Several weeks later, we discovered that we had
brought another critter home with us. In the trunk of our car was a box where I had stored the shells I had collected.
I had forgotten where they were. When I looked in the box, I found the remains of a large hermit crab! I felt just
horrible. He had hidden so well in his shell that we missed him completely. Naturally he baked in the trunk. Poor
thing. He now fertilizes my butterfly bushes.