The about me page is quite possibly the most difficult for me to write. What do I say about myself? How much of myself do I need to reveal? Why does this blog exist? What am I hoping to accomplish by publishing this blog? Alright, that gives me a halfway decent starting point.
I was born in the late sixties, survived the seventies, and grew to adulthood in the eighties. I grew up in a time before smart phones and personal computers. I lived in a small town with not much to do for the youth. Both my parents worked full time, and I didn’t do very well with baby-sitters. My parents were left with the uncomfortable choice to allow me to stay home alone, beginning from the tender age of eight.
I was born with severe birth defects, which left me with short stubby little arms and deformed hands with curled up fingers. I can manage to do most things other people can do, but it takes a bit more effort. I can dress myself, cook my own meals, do my own laundry, and I can even drive a car when I happen to own one, or when someone is brave enough to let me drive. I played baseball, street hockey, and even football, sometimes. I rode my bicycle every day, and I even had a motorcycle when I got older. I had the attitude that if you told me I couldn’t do something, that I’d get hurt if I tried it, then it became my mission to do all those things and more. Did I get hurt? Yes, of course I did. Many times. In fact, I suffered at least thirteen broken collarbones before I lost count. I’ve split my head open more than once; I’ve bled from the ear canal once, nearly drowned at least twice. I was even found once passed out on the railroad tracks, soaked with a bottle of rum. I do believe in guardian angels, or else I can’t imagine how I managed to live this long.
Its not my goal to list all my shortcomings so that you’ll feel sorry for me, quite the contrary. I want to succeed on my own merit, I always have, and I often feel offended by the idea of needing any help. That’s my attitude talking, truth is, I do appreciate the help on occasion, I just have a tough time admitting I need it.
Much of my youth was misspent with a chip on my shoulder, and a lot to prove. I was angry with my lot in life, and it showed. I wanted to be the popular kid, so I played sports. I needed protection, so I became one of the burnouts. I was too smart for my own good, so I even fell in with the comic book readers and dungeons and dragons players. Truthfully, I didn’t know where I belonged, so I managed to get comfortable with all the social groups. Except for the future stockbrokers, bankers, and social workers, those guys were assholes.
I was a pretty good student in school, until I decided it was cool to do drugs, drink and smoke cigarettes. I thought if I could be cool like them, then girls would like me. I wanted to be a rock star, so I started singing to Elvis first and got pretty good. So good my mom chose to show me off in front of her sewing circle friends. I moved on to the Beatles, Kiss, and The Doors later. Word got around and I joined the chorus, and even tried to win a talent show. Sadly, getting up in front of people to sing took enormous courage so I failed miserably in front of a large audience. I wanted to sing in bands, but I was too shy to ask. Mostly I sang in my room with the stereo blasting, and only my family, and probably my neighbors could hear me.
By the time I graduated, I thought I knew what I wanted to be. I wanted to be Doctor Johnny Fever, so I enrolled in my local community college and majored in public communications. There happened to be a local AM radio station across the street from the college, so I sent them my demo and got hired. I was the weekend guy there but wound up listening to Red Sox games and Patriots games during my time there, and did very little actual announcing and dee-jaying. I didn’t have a very good male speaking voice at the time, unfortunately, but I knew music, and I loved studying the charts, and learning all there is to know about rock bands and artists, so I could add colorful snippets of info as I played the records to an audience of about fifty, if I was lucky. I’m not going to lie, I loved it, it sometimes got me laid.
I managed to drop out of college after that first year. I was too busy partying and running with the pack of hoodlums I surrounded myself with. I did manage to work in other areas, with a list of occupations as long as my arm, no pun intended. I was an operator, I drove a bus, I dee-jayed at one other radio station in the area, I was even a security guard. When I thought I knew what I wanted to do, I went back to school again and became an optician. I graduated with honors and was fully licensed. I was proud to have finally accomplished something with my life aside from getting into trouble and waking up hung over. I worked in the field for at least a few years, but sadly there were aspects of the job I could not do as well as someone else. It hindered me from being hired and maintaining employment. I had thought I could manage to overcome the obstacles, as I have always done, but this time I wasn’t. It was tough for me to accept.
Next, I decided I wanted to work with computers. My best friend at the time built his first computer, and so I had to have one too. This was around 1990. The technology was still lame. The tower was almost as tall as me, and it had five and a quarter in floppy drive and I think maybe it was a twenty-five-megabyte hard disk running MS-Dos. I still smirk to myself when I think about it, this was way before windows. I read stacks and stacks of computer how-to books and magazines just to learn how to use it. I got in on the early days of Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs) as they were called. You had 2400 baud or 5600 baud modems that would connect your computer via the telephone line to another computer and it made this god-awful sound when it connected…if it connected at all.
The beginnings were humble, but my delusions of grandeur were great, and my little circle of friends were like gods in our own eyes. We were doing things at that time few people could do, and we were so stinking proud of ourselves. We read 2600 magazine, Cult of the Dead Cow, the Jolly Roger Cookbook, and any other underground e-zines we could find. We were hot shits, so we thought. Somehow in between all the hacking, and partying we did, I managed to come to know and accept Jesus. One of those long-haired hackers was also a Christian, and he and his wife led me to the Lord. A lot changed in my life then, and for the better, I think.
I went back to school at some point, this time for computer information systems with the focus on programming. I did well at it, but once again I had to drop out when I got married for the second time. I worked for Microsoft, and several internet service providers, and even a satellite tv company. I had a good run for about ten years.
The second marriage went about as well as the first, and we got separated, and divorced a few years later. My mom died soon after, and I think it was the combination of these two things that sent me into a tailspin. I stopped going to church, started drinking again, I was gaming on Everquest II for hours and hours without stopping until I finally lost my job, and moved back home with dad. I languished in my own personal hell for a long time, years.
Finally I managed to snap out of it, and came back to the Lord (or he drew me back, I am not sure which). I had no money, no car, but people in my church literally lifted me up out of that mess at my dad’s house and I got a small apartment. It wasn’t much, but it got me out from under dad’s roof. Sadly he died just a few weeks later. That was about ten years ago.
That brings us to today, and why I am writing this blog. Of all the things I have done in my life, my talents, my skills, etc., my one constant has been my writing. I was always bullied by my English teacher in high school, mostly because I wasn’t even trying, but he was relentless. I asked him one day, “Why are you always picking on me, and why don’t the other students have to do the assignments you force me to do?” He said, “Because you are good!”
I didn’t think much of his answer at the time, I had way too much on my plate with not getting beat up by bullies and trying to get girls to like me. I never forgot it. I got accolades from my college professors for my writing projects, especially my composition professors. I quietly filed these things away as I tried my best to live my life.
I finally went to a university and tried to get my bachelor’s degree in creative writing. I did very well, too well. I made the dean’s list several times in a year and was top student in all my classes. However, I found my professors could not write in complete sentences and had very poor grammar in their communications. It was an online program, so all communications were done through email and the school’s learning system. That made me decide that spending all this money on tuition wasn’t worth it. For that kind of money, I would expect university professors to have a good command of the English language, even if they were from Pakistan. After all, this a writing program. So yes, I dropped out, and I do not regret my choice.
I decided to create a blog to showcase my writing, and hopefully you, the reader, will be entertained by it. I am not doing this for money, but for the doors it may open to me later as I develop my writing skills to their full potential. I have given you quite a bit of information about myself, probably more than I should have. I wanted you to know where I am at, though not necessarily who I am. In the articles I post on this blog, you will find all the things I am interested in, what I am thinking, and what I believe in. I am a Christian man with a thirst for truth, and love for life, especially the food. I am not here to proselytize, or insist you vote for a particular candidate, or force any of my ideals on you. I am just a guy on the internet with ideas. Ideas I’d like to share with you. I hope you enjoy your time here, but just know this is a vanity project, it’s how I want to get my rocks off currently. If we manage to meet in the middle somewhere and enjoy each other’s company, then all the better. Thanks for reading, and thanks for visiting.