About Me

The Beginning

I was born in Fresno, California, on 30 June 1977. The 70s were going and the 80s were coming. My parents were closet ex-hippies with working-class backgrounds and upper-class aspirations who managed to make a very pleasant home for me, and my childhood memories are full of images of dirty oranges and mustard yellows, of pea-green shag and faux-wood wall panelling. I grew up in Clovis, an appendage-like suburb which owed its rocket-speed growth through the 70s and 80s mainly to its over-funded schools, which had managed to buck the busing trend and cater to the white flight class. Even today, the popular acronym KKK is used to refer to Klovis Klan Kountry.

After some false starts, I figured out the secrets to the Game of School and managed to excel and even occasionally overachieve. I graduated from high school a year early, at age 16. I promptly moved on to college life at CSU Fresno. Unfortunately, early entry into a college environment, combined with frequent parental disapproval of the majority of my schizophrenic career goals led to severe indecision, and I never exactly decided what I wanted to do when I grew up. I ended up settling into Geography, an undergraduate major which came easy to me and was very broad and multidisciplinary. I’m sure the latter fact exacerbated my career indecision in the years to come. I’ve tended to enjoy having a broad catalogue of knowledge and expertise (though leaning decisively toward the social sciences), but rarely any intense focus. This has repeatedly haunted me to this day.

Professional Development

My college years were a bit of a conundrum. I spent the first year or so still trying to get my brain to graduate from High School, and kept myself occupied by taking an incredibly heavy load of classes combined with both summer and winter-session classes. I also got my first part-time job (which eventually morphed into a pretty-much-full-time job within a year) at the CSU Fresno Athletic Dept. My social life at the time revolved around not fitting in with the “big kids” at college and cracks in the makeup with what remained of my friends from high school. My childhood had often been characterized by my repeated attempts to find “my kind” of people, followed by blossoming friendships and then by severe disillusionment. By the time college came, it was still the same, only on an adult scale. In some ways, it remains so to this day.

Some of these attempts landed me in lots of trouble, such as moving out of my parents house for 6 months, during which time I racked up thousands of dollars in debt; and enrolling in ROTC for a couple years, only to jump ship when the time came to actually sign my life away. I look back on this time and realize that the most satisfying part of my life was the work I was doing at the Athletic Dept, where wonderful people and a sense of real “importance” in my work was a huge reward, and the reason I wanted to stay there even as the post-college professional world beckoned.

Regardless, I managed to focus on my work and academics and minimized my social needs; and it payed off, I suppose, when I graduated with a bacheolor’s degree at the age of 20. Unfortunately, by this time I was severely adrift in my career goals, and frightened of the post-academic world. I handled this by continuing with the low-paying job and reenrolling for post-graduate courses.

The closure of the Geography graduate program at CSUF in 1998 was a big disappointment, but I managed to find similar academic fulfillment in the Political Science department’s graduate program in International Relations. About a year into this program, a need to feel some semblance of adult-ness prompted me to take up my Dad’s offer to go to work for the family business full time.

Once I started seeing the cash roll in from full-time work (and started feeling the pressure of 24-hour parental proximity), I moved out of Mom & Dad’s for good, settling myself in the mother-in-law loft above my sister’s garage. Combined with the semblance of financial security provided by a well-paying job, it was a shot in the arm of freedom I had not felt before. In many ways it was detremental to my discipline, and the continuing reliance on my family for a job and a home did not help my self-esteem nor my financial management skills. Luckily, both of these improved once I finally found an opportunity to leave it all behind…

Home and Family

I’ve always been a major introvert. I’ve tended to be wishy-washy about being social, and over the years have gone back-and-forth from sociophile to sociophobe with disturbing frequency. An upbringing by parents who often emphasized the importance of inclusion and conformity combined with recurring bouts of discomforting social isolation have resulted in an often uncontrollable subconscious desire to find “my crowd” and to “belong”, even when my logical side keeps telling me I’m not really being myself in such instances. It took over a decade of radical swings and identity crises for me to finally start feeling comfortable in my own skin by my mid twenties.

Coincidentally, that’s when I met David. I’m glad I was more or less at peace with my identity by that time. Because I just happened to mesh perfectly with this guy. David shares a lot of my fascinations with urbanity and tempers my often hasty conclusions about life. He is as smart and geeky as they come, and I often think of him as a teacher as much as a lover. I respect and admire him more than anyone else I’ve ever met, and often, I fear, more than I can even manage to express to him. He’s my man.

David became the primary permanent piece of my family in late 2001, and we set up house together about a year later. We sat in the rain overnight one cold Presidents’ Day weekend in 2004 to make the association official at San Francisco City Hall. It was one of those nights where my thoughts often wandered to the future, and I realized more solidly than ever how much fun it will be to spend the rest of my life with this man. It’s not often that one can honestly say “I want to be a grumpy old man with you” - well, I do.

My other family includes a darling older sister with whom I often squabbled as a child, but who has been one of the most trustworthy and supportive people in my life since the first days of my adolescence. It was an honor to give her away to my new borther-in-law on a Maui beach in August 2004. If I had to choose a sister, I’d choose her. She’ll always be one of my closest friends, and over the years has shown me that being an uncle isn’t a bad thing either.

My parents and I enjoy a somewhat wishy-washy relationship. They set a lot of expectations for what they wanted in a son, and when they started seeing me find my own way (one which was a radical departure from those expectations), they were unable to tactfully hide their severe disappointment. Politicking our relationship is a continual struggle, but we still manage a warm familial bond in spite of the continuing awkwardness.

I still tend to be generally socially isolated. Between endeavoring to maintain a thrifty lifestyle and continuing disillusionment at the social opportunities of the world around me, I tend to lonely much of the time, especially since I work full-time on the other side of the continent from my house ad hubby. As far as poisons go, I’ve been there, done that, and you can keep your drugs and alcohol to yourself if you don’t mind. Thus another reason I don’t get out much.

That’s Entertainment

I managed to fall in love with The Cure shortly after my sister bought one of their tapes when I was in 4th grade. Once a goth, always a goth. I was affected from an early age by the emotional and mental influences music has had on me in every way. My primary hobby revolves around collecting music.

I am not the biggest fan of movies. At various points in my life I have watched them extensively, but I wouldn’t call myself a “Movie Buff”, since I tend to lean more toward broadcast and network content than celluloid. I harbor immense preoccupations with prime-time detective dramas (Law & Order, Murder She Wrote) and “big kid” cartoons (Anamaniacs, the Simpsons). In general, my entertainment preferences over the years have tended to evolve toward how I can get my best entertainment bang for my buck. But I still have ghetto CRT analogue TVs and have never subscribed to a premium TV channel.

I don’t read as much as I should. My hubby maintains an extensive library of nonfiction and everything from pop culture history to commercial archeology is at my fingertips, and when I am in a bookworm mood, he always has the best suggestions. I read The Economist, and still have a small fascination for scifi/fantasy books which inspired much of my youth lonerhood.

The Rest

Obviously, I enjoy talking about myself. I think more than that, I enjoy analyzing myself. I think that, despite the pleasure derived from narcissism in and of itself, extensive essays about one’s life are very therapeutic. The reason I ever started a web site was, after all, for my own selfish pleasure. Beyond that, if you have read all this and want to know still more, feel free to contact me.