|A Mirror into Ken's Past -- 1989|
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I bought my first computer that spring. I figured that since I was making a living with them that it was time I owned one. I bought a "state of the art" 80286 processor based PC. I couldn't afford color, so I got a graphics card that could handle monochrome graphics, and an amber monitor. I think it had a huge 10 megabyte hard drive (these days that sounds silly as you can get drives of 120 gigabytes for less than I probably paid for that 10 megabyte drive, but oh well -- advances in technology). I was thrilled. With a dot matrix printer, what more could a guy want?
I did a lot of work on my class handouts, outlines, and grading (I was still teaching at the Computer Learning Center). I played some games, but mostly I really did use it for work. This was important since I got a bit of a tax writeoff for it. I had to have a loan to pay for it, but what the heck?
Carolyn and Kay were putting together a camping group for the SCA (a "Household") called "domus entropius", which included Valerie Frazier (SCA: Letitia de Scotia), Theresa (SCA: Theresia von Tux), and Heather Jones (SCA: Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn).
Jeff and I both went (independant of each other), as well as these folk, to a big war held in Arizona, called the "Estrella War". Jeff and I were camping nearby them, but not with them. We got invited to camp with them, and sort of stuck around after that. Theresa had driven down with a bunch of stuff, including my guitar (I wasn't flying my guitar anywhere after the previous one had been destroyed). I flew to the event. Coming back I was on a flight with several other SCAers, including Eilis' daughter Danielle (SCA: Rosewitha Wolfsdottir). I think that up to that point I had been one of her mom's "geek herald friends", but we actually had a fun trip back (it was Southwest Airlines, and there were five of us who grabbed the set of seats up front that face each other). Since then I think that Dani and I have gotten along a lot better.
In April I made another big mistake in the world of relationships. I started dating a married woman. I won't name names because she's still married to the same man and has two children (she had them before I started seeing her). It was stupid, I admit it. Hell, I knew it at the time. I spent way too much time on the phone (she was in Sacramento) and racked up huge phone bills. I went up there sometimes during the coming summer, and she came down and spent some time in my apartment. The times she was at the apartment were a LOT of fun, but the relationship was really mostly sex-based. There wasn't much else going on. I tried to convince myself otherwise but I knew better. I was probably trying to compensate for the fact that the whole thing with Dawn was pretty much over, but what a stupid way to do it!
What happened to Summer? Most of it was spent going up to Sacramento when I wasn't doing SCA events, and seeing this married lady. At her house nothing happened except we just hung out. The diary skips a lot of time before the next entry in September.
Somewhere over the summer my brother and his two children came by. David had been divorced from Cheryl for some time, but his kids were adorable, and he really doted on them when he saw them. They spent the night and in the morning took off. They wrote me a couple of notes thanking me for letting them spend the night (they're very "child-scrawl" handwriting, and I won't embarass either of them by scanning the notes ...). I got really big hugs from them in the morning as well. Unfortunately, I haven't actually seen my nephew and niece since then, although we've sometimes exchanged email. When I found out about Rose Marie graduating High School a couple years ago, I sent her a gift certificate to Tower Records, figuring she could get whatever fit her musical taste that way.
In addition, while my father was being a photographer at a National Scout Jamboree in Virginia, mom decided to come visit me. The visit was two-fold -- she wanted to see me, and she has a strong interest in geneology, and spent a lot of time at the Sutro Library in San Francisco doing research. She drove down from Oregon by herself. This was a bit awkward, because mom and I didn't have much in common.
I have a note in my diary in the fall that says that Dawn was engaged to Mark and she'd moved out of the apartment complex. To the best of my knowledge the two of them are still together. Mark had a daughter by someone else who Dawn adopted (if not legally, at least she really cares about her), and I seem to recall that she had a child by Mark. I haven't seen or heard much since this time. Dawn showed up at Carolyn and my wedding (still a ways off here), and we had some friendly talks. I'd gotten over any anger/hurt by that point. Every so often I see Dawn again, but we don't have much in common anymore, and while we're still friendly, that's about it.
There's a note on December second in my diary that Kylson and Robin (Chick) were getting married the next day and that the lady I had been seeing in Sacramento and I had decided just to back off and be friends. It notes that I was just waiting for my ride to the wedding so it was as good a time as any to catch up ...
Kylson and Robin were really good friends when I lived in Alaska, and while we didn't see a lot of each other after I left, I was very happy for them (and still am).
I summed up a lot in a very short paragraph of the diary. I also noted that Carolyn Eaton (Aldith) and I were "enjoying each other's company". This is quite important, although we got off to a rocky start ... We started dating, but I was still very gun-shy at this point.
I got a ride with James and Verena to Buck Meadows for Kylson and Robin's wedding -- it's Robin's parent's lodge up near Yosemite. I got really blasted the night before the wedding, totally by accident -- I really hadn't intended to get drunk (and have not been able to touch Scotch ever since). I'd never been throwing up drunk before that, and I hope to never do it again.
The wedding was quite nice (through my hungover fog). I remember that several of us were sitting on Kylson's side, in the family pews, because he had less family there than Robin did. We were all in suits, and I borrowed someone's shades, so we could be "The Family". This included Wombat, and some others. We turned to Jim after putting our shades on, and he recoiled. It was funny.
Kylson's sense of humor was such that the guys in the wedding party all had small lobsters on their lapels ... it's a reference to a Jimmy Buffet song.
The reception was great (Kylson and Robin brought a bunch of Alaskan meat -- caribou to deer to ... that they had hunted themselves). Kylson and Robin are still together, they have a son Darian, who last time I saw him was adorable, smart, and sweet (not all that surprising considering his parents). I think Kylson surprised a bunch of us, as he's a great father to Darian. He dotes on him.
Christmas this year was just the oddest way to top off a weird year. Aunt Priscilla decided that it was time for the whole family to get together again for Christmas. The WHOLE family. My father? Eeep!
She promised me that she would do everything she could to keep us from coming to blows (or even coming close to it).
I decided I would do this, although I had some trepidations. Since so many people were going to be there, and since so many of us didn't really know each other that well, they decided that presents were very optional ... (good thing, I couldn't have afforded it!)
I flew up to Eugene and was met at the airport by my parents and my youngest brother in dad's Suburban (this is the same vehicle he drove to Alaska all those years ago).
Priscilla was being pretty smart about all this. She had me staying at my Uncle Jim's place (a few miles up the river from hers), and mom, dad and David stayed at theirs. I shared a trailer with Tim (and his dogs) at Jim's place, I put up with it because it was only a couple of days.
All in all it was actually a pleasant time. I spent time with my cousin Rob (Priscilla and Hollis' son), and Jim and Judy's daughters my cousins Bethany and Jennifer. We did some playing of computer games, spent some time just watching the McKenzie River go by (Priscilla and Hollis' house is above the river -- and I do mean ABOVE it ... it's gorgeous ... there are stairs from the house down to the river!).
When I tried to go home the airport in Eugene was fogged in. No flights in or out. I called Priscilla, she came and got me, and I spent the night back at her place. On the way back in to the airport the next day (the fog had lifted), we had an interesting conversation about my family. It was enlightening and I don't need to share it here. She summed things up with "You were born into the wrong family." While I realize this may hurt my mother's feelings, I had to agree. I have very little in common with my immediate family.
Unfortunately my diary ends here. I'm going to have to rely on my very faulty memory at this point. There was a third "empty book" I had started but can't seem to find it. (Either I deliberately got rid of it, or it disappeared by accident, as I've checked all the logical places for it.)
For the most part, the "Friends" part of my life didn't change much. Jeff had a girlfriend for awhile (Emily). That ended sometime around Christmas. She was an interesting one ("interesting" in the Chinese curse sense). They got a cat, or I should say SHE got a cat, and named him Maxwell's Silver Hammer, after his blue-silver color. He was a beautiful cat, and HUGE. Everyone just called the cat "Max".
Carolyn Eaton -- The important change was that I had started to date Carolyn in here. Our relationship started off pretty rocky. I'll try to remember some details in the next year's installment.
A Few Photos
(These are thumbnails, click on them to see larger versions with text explaining them)
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