(She doesn't ask questions with short answers.)
1. Where are you from originally? Is your family still there?
That really depends on what you mean by 'where are you from?' I grew up on military bases in different parts of the world. Spent formative times in Germany and along the Eastern US Seaboard. If you want to know what shaped my life and influenced how I thought, I would have to say the older Warner Bros cartoons, Kimba the white lion, Johnny Quest, as well as very large amounts of science fiction and fantasy novels.
2. Tell me the story of how you and cindygerb met, and how you fell for each other.
I was twenty-four and I was stuck in a rut and I didn't know what to do. In the summer, I was told that possibly I needed to get a new set of friends. I had no idea how to do this. Well, I saw something or other that suggested Mensa. Being young and naïve, I thought I'd join. I started getting the newsletter in September but it wasn't until December that I actually got up the gumption to attend an event. I'd heard good things about Dim Sum as well, so that was my first Mensa event on December 8th (the second sunday). Well, the first person I met there was a greeter who was supposed to make new members welcome. Her name was Cindy. After about five minutes people stopped trying to talk to either of us; after about 30 minutes, we noticed this. After two hours, we noticed that everyone had left. Oops. We left a big tip for the two of us monopolizing a big table. We then left the restaurant, continuing our talk about comic books, , and other Heinlein. We walked around DC for another four hours. Finally, we each had to go home. Me for finals; her for planning a Mensa Regional Gathering. We kissed.
We talked for about 40 hours over the next five days; I didn't get much work done. I showed up at her apartment on Thursday and I smiled real big when I saw how messy it was and that there were books everywhere. We chatted more, fucked liked bunnies, and talked more both during and after. This was the fastest I'd ever fucked anyone; usually it takes months or years before I'm willing to be that physically intimate with someone. I was amazed.
I kept coming over frequently. We toned down the talking during the day since I was spending most nights at her place. I was taking my clean, pressed shirts to her place instead of home. Then I wrecked my car. I was fine but there was no saving the car. Well, Cindy lived near the Metro (DC's expensive train transit), so I just had to move in. It was six weeks after we had met. Finally, after another six weeks, I was willing to say that I loved Cindy and wasn't just in love with the concept of being in love.
3. When did you start being a devotee of Eris? What has that brought into your life?
Well, I'm not quite sure when it started. But I can tell you when I became aware of her and regularly started talking to her.
I've always lead a relatively charmed life that has only gotten better over time. Things just seem to work for me. They'll do it in strange fashion but they do. Things will just happen to fall my way. It doesn't mean that I didn't have to sweat and feel pain to get there, but generally, if I don't succeed, I will come to find that what happened had more beneficial effects in the long run and I would've chosen that path if I'd known.
This was back when I was doing a variety of stupid things that I probably shouldn't have involving . Well, I was walking across the GMU commons and Eris talked to me. I'd read about her in the Principia Discordia, so I had no problems with a bit of conversation. (It says something about my state of mind at the time that talking to disembodied voices in the middle of campus wasn't especially of note to me.)
Eris: You realize that you're mine don't you?
I am no one's. (Yes, I was arrogant. What do you expect, I was 22.)
Eris: Are you sure?
Eris: Okay. Enjoy yourself.
I wondered what she meant by that. I soon found out. All the things that used to go just right now always went just wrong. Life was being endured. The only way I ever won anything was if someone that I was in major competition with won something better. (Yes, I was very competitive in those days. I got better.) I enduring this for six months. It was a bit rough.
Finally, I had enough. I walked out to the middle of the commons and yelled.
Okay. I've had enough.
Eris: A bit stubborn are we?
Well, yeah. Isn't that what you want? What is it that you want?
Eris: *pause* *pause* Oh. Just do what you have been doing but do it in my name.
What? Butbutbutbut (demonstrating my mastery of the english language.)
Eris: You didn't ask. Next time, question before you say you won't do something.
As for what that has brought into my life, I'm not sure where her influence ends and my life begins; I suspect it's a rather wide-ranging boundary. It's been useful having someone to talk to; someone to hold me when I needed it; someone to smack me upside the head when I needed it. We might not talk verbally as much anymore but we definitely talk frequently. It's lent a certain weirdness and a certain purpose to my life. Life is definitely more interesting with Eris around.
4. Sell me on coming to Seattle. ;) And does all the rain get to you? I'm afraid that I'd be afflicted with permanent SAD.
Well, it doesn't actually rain as often as most people seem to think and when it does, it is light. But, it *is* cloudy a lot. The first time I ever heard the term 'sunbreak' was in Seattle. But many people take care of this with a variety of methods. cindygerb has two full spectrum lights by her monitor to help her.
As for the positive? (in the order that they pop into my brain)
- Well, there are trees, trees, and more trees. I recommend this aspect to *anyone* that likes trees. We have redwoods sprinkled all over and our house has a 150 year old apple tree that still gives us lots of fruit.
- If you like water, the place is fantastic. If you live in Seattle, saying that you live near the water is redundant. There are wonderful beaches inside the city and many parks and trails run alone the water. There are also quite a few parks and they are real parks where inside the city you can be some place where there is nothing man-made visible and sounds of civilization, while still audible, seem distant.
- The area stays both cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter due to the trees and all the water. This is good for both Cindy and I. It rarely gets over 90 and stays in the 70s most of the summer with some 80s in August. It stays in the 40s most of the winter with some 30s in January. It's been quipped that more people own boats than air conditioners in Seattle.
- The mountains are close, tall, and green with white caps. The mountains don't become brown like in the Bay Area and they're much taller than the Appalachian chain out near you. This means that skiing and nature trails are about an hour drive away yet we rarely have to worry about snow. The second worst snowfall of the 20th century was in '98 and was six inches. When we lived in DC, Cindy and I would've barely noticed six inches of snow.
- Art is spread throughout the city unlike any other place I've seen. There are murals on the sides of building, painting decorating underpasses, and many of the bus stops are painted with artwork. We have the Fremont Troll.
- One thing that is both a blessing and a curse is that the population of people that dress idiosyncratically is much higher than in many places. This means that it's not possible to know when someone comes into the restaurant that they must be with your group. Nice thing about Seattle is that it's a relaxed idiosyncracity here rather than being the rather in-your-face style I found in SF.
- The variety and quality of restaurants is excellent. Many, many different cuisines and choices of restaurants in those styles. Much of it quite good and some of it cheap. Unfortunately if you want good Mexican food, you'll have to come to our house. None of the Mexican restaurants in the city can compare to Cindy's Mexican food.
- At one point, I know there were more used bookstores in Seattle than retail. I don't know if this is still true after the economy tanked but it's likely and I have to keep a careful control on my wallet. Some of the bookstores have hot and cold running cats, even.
- And last but not least, there are those of us in Seattle that think you're the bee's knees and would love to interact with you regularly. But you can go all over the place for that, so it's not a Seattle specific bonus there.
5. How did you become so darn nice? You are possibly the nicest person I've ever met.
It took me a while to figure out how to answer this but it just kind of came out when I was replying to perlandria here. So, adapting it to this answer:
To me, a pantheist, I am spread throughout the Universe with all but an epsilon of my consciousness focused in the same general area as what I think of as my body. My experience says the same is true of all sapients. So, when I am being nice to people and things, I am merely taking care of myself. I do things to improve my environs for the same reason that most people will make sure that a cut on their finger doesn't get infected. To harm others, to damage my surroundings, is to damage myself. Seems rather foolish to me...