David Alan Ward

1990s / 2000s / 2010s / stats

1970s

I, David A. Ward, was born 8:46 am, Sept 21, 1975 (A.D./C.E.), Boston, Massachusetts, USA, Terra, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy, Local Cluster. My parents are Ken and Diane, and my younger sister is Bethany.

When I was about 4, we moved to mom's hometown, New Sweden, Maine. Several years later, we moved one street away.

1980s

I suppose, counting backwards now, I must have started kindergarten in 1980. I think. This was at New Sweden Consolidated School, which is now at a different location in New Sweden than it was when I attended. Not that that matters to you. Why should it? I don't even care, and I went there. Good school, as elementary schools go. Better than alot of schools, I'll tell you that.

Oh yeah, and early on in life, very young, I couldn't possibly tell you when, I more or less decided I wanted to be a writer, and so throughout my life, I would always sometimes write stories and stuff. Science fiction, mainly. Always loved reading, too.... I certainly always had quite the imagination, which would eventually come to manifest itself in my many different personalities... I still occasionally come up with new ones, though I've abandoned a ton of the old ones. And I try to think of most of them more as characters than personalities, now... but I will always be some of them, in my mind, and online.

Pets. Yes, we have had various dogs and cats throughout the years. Mainly cats. Lots of different cats. I'll just name a few. Let's see, I think first we had Ginger and Pepper. Later we had Kitt for many years, my cat... We had a stray called Gray Stray for a little while. There once was one called Fluffy. And my memory's starting to give out, so I'll leap to our current ones. Right now we have Cookie and Timmi and Sunny and a dog named Buddy. (Edit: Buddy died in 2003, I think it was, or maybe late 2002?) ...Now let's leap back from the present to the distant past of my early youth.

I suppose I should say I made a few friends in grade school, and nowadays have contact with pretty close to none of them. I occasionally talk (e-mail) with Adrian, who actually was my next door neighbor before my family moved from North Jemtland Rd. to East Jemtland Rd., so I knew him before I started school, I suppose. Meanwhile, in later years most of the roads in town were renamed, so now E. Jemtland is just Jemtland, and N. Jemtland is... well, I forget, but it doesn't really matter.

Anyway... what other friends should I mention? My oldest and dearest friend, actually, who I had since I was a baby, was Blank. Yes, a little pale-yellow baby blanket, who sometime during my youth got burned, bunch of holes in him, how sad! But still I loved Blank and kept him around. Not in a Linus-y way. No, Blank would pretty much stay in bed when I wasn't around. I always said of Blank, "Cradle to grave!" We'd be together forever, and eventually be buried together.

Matt was a smart kid. He was a friend. I have a vague impression I thought of him as sort of a rival. I was a smart kid, too. Sometimes I miss being smart. Over the years I eventually started letting my mind atrophy, and now I am pretty dumb, by my own standards. Of course, by the standards of much of the rest of the world, I bet I'm still kinda smart. When I listen to alot of the people on TV, and some of the people in real life, I think I'm smart, sometimes. But when I'm just listening to me, I often think I'm dumb. In any event, I haven't talked to Matt in about a billion years. (See, I'm still real good at math.) He made me think I was a Republican, when I was a kid, though at the time, I didn't know what the hell that meant. In later years, I decided to become independent. Um... if there's an actual party called Independent, that ain't what I mean. I mean I don't have any interest in any political affiliation whatever. I'm perfectly capable of having friends who are Republicans, or Democrats, or whatever, but me, I prefer to make up my mind about individual issues and individual people, rather than toe any party line.

When I was in... one of them thar grades... 4th or 5th or something like that... I met Rob. He wasn't in the same grade. The one just before me? I think... I think so. Maybe he was 4th and I was 5th, when we met. He'd just moved to New Sweden. Well, he would become my best friend. Later on, I'd meet Chris, who didn't go to our school, but Rob knew him. He'd become another best friend. Can't really think what to say about either of them. How odd! My best friends, and I don't know what to say about them. Don't you think that's odd? Maybe it just isn't necessary to say anything.

Well, anyway... other kids in grade school were friends, or something like it. And then there was high school, and I'd see some of them, and meet new people as well. And later, I'd never see most anyone I'd met in grade or high school. Just a couple, really.

In 1989, I graduated from New Sweden Consolidated's 8th grade class. There were like eight of us in the class. Small town, did I mention that? We didn't have any middle school, either. K-8, all in one place. Okay, in the old days, kindergarten was in a building across from the main building for first through eighth grades. In fact kindergarten was just basically a small room in the other building. The main part of the building was the gymnasium, and all us kids in the main building would have to walk over there for gym class. It was a very short distance, hardly worth mentioning, unless you're walking outdoors in gym shorts in winter. The gym was also the Community Center. Years after I graduated, they moved the whole school, as I said. I think it's just one building now, basically, bigger and better and moderner and all that. Used the old school building as a sort of... well, there were a few small business in there for a little while. But after awhile the place just got torn down. It seems to me the other building, the old community center/gym should still be standing. But I don't think it's used anymore. Maybe it's even gone. It's not like I ever drive past the old place so's I'd notice whether... oh, wait, it is. I do. And I don't remember for an absolute certainty, but hey. I've told you before, I have a terrible memory. I'll try to remember to pay attention next time I go by, and then update this page again.

Oh well, moving right along.... It was Fall of '89 when I began attending Caribou High School (CHS), in Caribou, Maine; the closest place to New Sweden that passed for a city.

1990s

Graduated from CHS in 1993. Very little worth speaking of occurred during high school... I really don't know what to tell you. I existed. Mostly I was bored. Occasionally I had a little fun. Mostly I was bored. Did I mention that? Trust me, it bears repeating. I guess I made up the name D'Ward in high school. I don't go by it much anymore. What else? Hmmm, I walked around with a little drawstring bag in which I would keep pennies and other coins I found on the ground, or which people would throw at me. It was so much fun! I'm sure I did a few other things from time to time. Spent some time in the computer lab. Spent some time in the Performing Arts Center for no apparent reason. Spent alot of time aimlessly wandering around the school. Oh, I think I also went to classes, or something. That's about all I can think to say right now about high school.

In 1995, I began attending the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI). Presque Isle was the nearest city after Caribou. ...Oh, I had long intended to take a year off after high school. I've never quite been able to figure out how it turned into two. What did I do in the meantime? I have very little idea. Nothing worth speaking of, in any event. No work, though I did try to find some. I sat around being bored, mainly. I think.

What did I do in college? Aside from being bored? For starters, I had cable television, which had not been available in my section of New Sweden. Back home we had at best three and a half channels. The local PBS station, the local CBS station (I must call them both local, for they would often enough air local programming instead of national). And we had CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. That was always kind of nice. The half channel? Another Canadian one that came in pretty fuzzy if at all. Nowadays it doesn't come in at all at my folks' house, but there are areas of town where the reception is better.

Anyway... college. It wasn't the first time I'd seen cable, but it was the first time I had regular access to it (and broadcast networks- ABC, NBC, FOX, which aren't available off the air in the area), and it was suh-weet! Yet oddly enough, I often seemed to spend less time watching TV, with access to all those channels, than I had back when I just had three to choose from. Studying? Ha! Partying? What, me? No, it was something else... something I'd been looking forward to having access to for a few years...

The Internet.

Back in grade school, there were at the time I went there maybe 2 Apple IIe computers to be used by students. Pretty sad, huh? But, it was something. We never had a computer at my house. Couldn't possibly hope to come close to affording such an extravagance, and who but me would have wanted one, in my family, anyway? I ask you. Well, I had access on rare occasions to other people's computers. My uncle Wayne had a Mac for awhile. Maybe a friend had some computer or other. But you know, I was pretty close to a shut-in in those days. Hardly ever went anywhere except school. Moving along to the future... in high school we had a computer lab with several Macs and IBM's. Heh heh heh, you had to use DOS disks to boot them up! Can you imagine?! And what was there to do with them? I dunno, maybe play Carmen Sandiego, or something.

But in college, there were a bunch of computers in the Library as well as in Folsom Hall, one of the class buildings. And all those computers were hooked up to the Internet. And so, life truly began, at long last! I felt far more at home online than I ever had anywhere in the real world.

At that point in time, I discovered the Dominion, actually www.scifi.com, the Sci-Fi Channel's website which is now no longer called "the Dominion," though I'll always call it that, myself. The Dom's B-board became my home, and many people there became great friends. There were other sites, other things to do online, but the Dom was home, yes indeedy. I could be more myself there than I could in real life. Myselves, actually. I had a ton of handles.

One of the things I was involved with on the Dominion was the rounders... collaborative Star Trek fan fiction stories. My handle in that area of the Dom was JKD, which stood for Jax Kirk DeSabel, my primary rounder character. I'd made him up several years before, but didn't know much about him until I joined the rounders and worked more on his backstory. I also got to use Rob and Chris's characters Sam Lator and Alex Franx, somewhat, as well as creating many more characters of my own. But Jax will always be my favorite. ...These days on the rare occasions I do anything in the Current Scifi TV section (in which the rounders are located), I use the handle FAF, but that's still about Jax. Anyway, I also got to know some other rounder writers, including JMJ, explorer, and Ninja. (I still occasionally talk to JMJ or Ninja via IM, though they don't use those names anymore.) And writing those stories was damn fun and became quite important to me.

The other most important part of the Dom, for me, was a group of friends in another section where we'd just discuss pretty much anything. We moved around to different areas of the board whenever one place would get too full up. One place we were at on the board was called Woody's Virtual Diner, and so we called ourselves diners. My handle around there was usually either teknomage, or tek for short. Tek also became a knight of the Square Table, in still other areas of the Dom; loyal servant of Queen Alexi (who I have just recently, in early 2005 here, regained communication with online, after several years of not hearing from her).

Alas, most of the folks from the Dom or wherever, on the Net, I don't hear from them or anything these days. A few of them still, such as Ogre, or on rare occasions Chesh. (Cheshire Cat is the real Cheshire Cat, you know, who was around long before Lewis Carroll wrote about it. It's quite an honor to know the old magicat, very mysterious and strange creature it is.) Actually, I haven't heard from Chesh in quite awhile now, which is a great shame. ...And perhaps a few others of the old gang, such as Woody, are also around very, very rarely, perhaps. The vast majority are just gone, and it really troubles me sometimes.

Also there was a girl online called Nikkita, from California, down in the vicinity of San Diego. We had a little pretend online romance going on, more of a friendship, really. But I certainly cared a hell of a lot about her. And now I never hear from her anymore, how sad! Oh well, I hope she's doing okay.

In 1996, I started a homepage called D'Ward's World at GeoCities. All I will say of that is that in Summer of 2000, I lost access to it, I couldn't edit it anymore. My password stopped working, as did the Hotmail account I'd been using for a few years. So, eventually I moved what files I wanted to keep to a new homepage at Angelfire called, you guessed it, Absolutely Pointless. I also left a bunch of files behind that I didn't want anymore, and edited the hell outta some that I moved, and started creating all new ones, too. Meanwhile, the old place is still out there, and I wish to God I could delete the whole thing. So nobody go there, or I swear I won't be your friend!

Anyhoo... speaking of friends... I didn't just make friends online, while at college. Miraculously, I actually made a few friends in the real world, too. One of these was Jerry, aka Moxie, aka the Mad TAer. He's the only person I've known personally who I've ever considered crazier or more chaotic than myself. Luckily, I still have contact with him and hopefully always will. Great thing about the Net... one of the many great things about it... is it lets you stay in contact with people alot more easily and regularly than used to be possible. Hell, if it weren't for the Net, I'd probably never write letters. Strange concept that. I hope the USPS understands it, though. They'll never be completely obsolete.

Who else to talk about? There's Sharon, who I guess is the only other person from UMPI I still have any contact with, though less frequently than with moxie. There were a few of other people, perhaps, but just the sort of folks you hang out with while they're around, while you're all in school or whatever... and then you all go your separate ways and never hear from one another again.

Anyway, about college itself. I majored in Creative Writing, though there wasn't much in the way of writing classes for awhile there, so many requirements to get out of the way, constant requirements... That damn school wanted to force us all to get a well-rounded education no matter what we wanted to do with our lives. Of all the nerve! Meanwhile, I was reasonably happy. Living away from home, a lovely campus to wander around, with cable TV and computers and the residence hall lounge with the giant TV and ping-pong and pool tables, and a cafeteria and bookstore and library and friends close to hand and a city to walk around sometimes, and whatnot. It was great.

Also I had a part time job on campus. Well, for awhile in my first year I worked in the cafeteria a couple of painfully early mornings each week. So I actually had a little money. And then after work I would actually be awake, and have a chance to go to the library and get online before I had any classes. In my second year, I worked a few days a week in the computer labs in Folsom Hall. Most of that time was spent just using the Net, though I'd have to help others if they had any questions or problems. And I'd have to clean up, shut down, and lock up at the end of the night, though I could stay late if I wanted to. It was nice.

And then I got fired, and I couldn't really tell you why. I don't think I actually did anything wrong. But, you don't always have to. Sometimes they can blame you for things that aren't your fault. I actually took it pretty well, though.

I should however say that I've long considered myself insane. Partly just because I seem to see alot of things in life differently than most people seem to do. Partly because insanity can be kind of fun, the harmless kind of craziness, anyway. Partly because I consider myself an artist, being a writer, and it seems like art and insanity often go hand in hand. But there is more than just the light insanity in me. There is darkness, too. There is depression, oh sometimes terrible depression, though these days not really as bad as it used to be. There can be terrible frustration, too, and disgust with the world and with humanity in general, and things I hate about my life, and about myself.... Nevertheless, there is rarely anything dangerous or destructive about even my dark insanity.

Once I got annoyed at a computer, and decided they don't have the right to be constantly misbehaving. Humans are the masters, computers are merely tools. They're not supposed to have minds of their own, and they're certainly not supposed to disobey us. People will say, "garbage in, garbage out." But almost anyone who's really spent any time working with computers should be able to tell you that isn't always the truth. The user doesn't always have to make the error. There is of course the other saying, "to err is human; to really screw things up you need a computer." That, I think, often comes much closer to the mark. Yes, we can make errors. Some problems can be our fault whether we realize it or not. But not always. And it's frustrating. Once, I decided not to take a computer's insubordination, and just shoved the monitor off the desk, let it crash to the floor.

This had nothing to do with my having been fired from the computer labs. I might say that if I'd still been employed there, I probably would have taken my job into account before pushing the monitor, and decided not to. But that does not mean that my doing it had anything to do with my having been fired. It's important to me that this is clearly understood and accepted by everyone. I'm not defending my action, and I now regret it, because I'm saner than I used to be.

Well, I had other, less public (or rather, completely non-public) rare outbursts of insanity, which I likewise now regret. I was going through a bad time, but I couldn't possibly say why. (Maybe it was because some friends and I had just killed our other friend, Bunny Corcoran... Just kidding!) ...These phases come and go, it can't be helped, predicted, or clearly remembered later on. Meanwhile, I could still most of the time be fairly relaxed, laid-back, comfortable, happy, and all that. In any event, I was banned from the computer labs entirely, after that. Which really made the idea of sticking around unbearable. Plus I really wasn't digging alot of my classes. So, I dropped out, I believe it was around the end of January, 1997.

I believe it was around December, 1996, that my folks got satellite TV at home, so there was that to watch. But, still no computer, and being without the Internet would be more painful than I could possibly describe. And now there was really nothing for me to do. I had student loans I couldn't pay back, and I couldn't get a job, and I would grow more and more depressed as time went by.

Sometime in 1997, I think, I started seeing this fellow Dr. Wyckoff, you can read a bit about somewhere else on my homepage. He doesn't really bear mentioning in my biography except to say that before I started seeing him, I was terribly, unbearably depressed; and after I started seeing him, I got even more depressed than ever before. And when I decided to stop seeing him, my depression began to melt away. I felt much better.

Also at some point I had borrowed Rob's old word processor, which I still have, and did some writing. Once upon a time the bloody machine ruined some disks and lost alot of what I had written, but it doesn't matter. Um, anyway... one thing I did have was a book I was writing which was an autobiography of my future. Awhile after I finished it I eventually came to hate it and deleted it. Another book I was writing was called A Deeper Shade of Insanity, which was about rival organizations of reality-hoppers. I lost some of what I'd written and could probably never rewrite it, and anyway I haven't worked on the book in a long time and maybe will never finish it. Or, maybe I will. Another book I started was called The Chaos, and that I hardly ever work on but it's mostly done, except that I decided to split it into two volumes, probably, so it's just the virst volume that's mostly done, except that I'll have to edit it alot if I ever get around to getting back to working on it. And then there'll be volume two, and I plan a prequel and a sequel (The Order and The Balance) in the original trilogy, which will now be at least four books, plus I have other ideas for the series in the future if I ever get around to it. Not that anyone would ever want to publish any of this stuff, but at least I kinda like it. We'll see. But anyway, alot of this stuff I actually wrote later on and I'm getting ahead of myself once again...

In I believe July or August of 1998, I got a cheap computer and got online at home. The rounders had gone on without me, and some people didn't want me back, especially one new writer who'd shown up while I was away. I tried to get back into it, but it didn't really work. I plan on eventually starting some new rounders set in a new continuity, though most of the old writers have other projects, and real lives, and won't likely be involved. But I expect some of them will read stuff if I write it. And I'll have others to write with, such as Rob. And... alot of stuff I'll probably be happier writing by myself, so it wouldn't really exactly be rounders, except in as much as it would take place in the same fictional universe (or multiverse) that other stories would be written in, and there would likely be some crossovers. Well, I don't know when I'll get started with all that, but I've got tons of ideas and plans... vague plans....

But gosh, I sure do keep skipping all around in time, in this little bio, don't I? Where was I? Right, I was online, at home, and feeling better, and had hope for the future, despite the fact that alot of my old friends, most of the diners for example, weren't around anymore. And as time went on there'd be less and less of them.

Anyway, earlier that year, Rob had moved downstate. And in late October, I went downstate to visit, stayed there a ways into November. Had some fun down there, and really loved the area... compared to northern Maine, which I've wanted to escape for as long as I can remember. I went back down there again at the end of December, just before New Year's Eve, and in January of '99, I started looking for work. It wasn't until the middle of March that I found a job, working at McDonald's. Can you believe it? I just have a terrible time trying to get hired, I can't imagine why! Okay, because I'm me. But I don't exactly act like me in interviews, you know! I do my best.

I can't tell you some things about late '98. I can't tell you about February '99. I went back to New Sweden in late May of '99. In June I went to Monterey, which is absolutely my favorite place I've ever been, I just adore everything about that area. But I can't talk about it.

Oh yes, while in Monterey, I worked at Carl's Jr. I can say that. They had some good food there. We have no Carl's around here. We have none of their counterpart, Hardees. In fact there's a hell of a lot of national and international chains of restaurants and stores of every description, which we don't have in northern Maine. There are some things in southern Maine that we don't have up here, but there's still alot of stuff that isn't down there, either. Dammit, I want some major bookstores! I want some used bookstores and used record stores! I want some coffee shops! I want some smoothie shops! I want, I want, I want, so damned many things, and if wishes were horses, beggars would ride! And people in hell want ice water, and people, like me, with dial-up connections want DSL! Blah, blah, blah! Ain't life so bloody sad! All I do is complain, while I sit here in a warm house with parents who love me and take care of me, and pay all the bills, including the Internet, and nobody tries to kill me because of my religion. God, my life sucks!

*Ahem* Moving right along...

2000s

In January of 2000, I went back to New Sweden, as much as I hated to leave California. And I started looking for work (practically all of which is in Caribou), but no one in the area wanted to hire me, because they're all a bunch of jerks who decide before you ever apply for work that they'll never hire certain people... and y'know what? Then they never do! So I really couldn't find a job around there, and I really had very little in the way of opportunity to get away from the area. Until the middle of 2003, but we'll come to that later.

It was sometime after moving back to Maine that Blank moved permanently into my closet. Actually I couldn't say when this was, though I suppose sometime in 2000. Of course he's moved there for great stretches of time in the past, only to return eventually. Haven't seen him in quite awhile now, but maybe I will again someday. Who can say what the future will bring?

Anyway, what the hell did I do with myself, aside from failing to get hired to flip burgers or bag groceries or stock shelves? Well, at some point we got another computer. What happened to the old one, you may ask? Well, when I was gonna move out to Monterey, I sold it to help pay for the move. It wasn't until I'd actually been out there for awhile that I actually received the money, it being from a friend an all. Or was it not until I'd gotten back to Maine that I got all of it? All of $200 or $300 or whatever it was. Whatever, it doesn't matter. Heck, by the time I got my money, the guy who bought it was ready to throw the dang thing out! Chris, his name is, but not my good friend Chris; actually it's Rob's brother.

Anyway... so I got back here and had no computer. I managed to get online at the library in Caribou, occasionally. And that summer a bunch of stuff stopped working for me. My password at GeoCites, as I've mentioned. My hotmail account, as I've mentioned. Another website where I stored pictures as well as having a secondary website there with some other stuff... it just up and vanished without a trace, so I lost alot of pictures I'll not be able to replace. Nothing important, though. Had the damnedest time trying to get any new web-based e-mail I started to keep working, too. Besides which I was rather depressed again about some things. As opposed to earlier years, when I was often depressed for purely chemical reasons. So, life sucked.

But as I say, then we got another computer, a used one with upgrades. This must be about April of '01. And then we eventually got some more upgrades, though that of course caused some problems even while solving others. What can you do? But I got back online at home. And we all know that the Net is my real home, except for how much things changed while I was gone. And just continued to change after I got back online, oh well.

I think it was around the time that I was having all those problems online with passwords and such, that my many old handles from the Dom no longer worked, probably because I hadn't been able to use them for so long. And so, now that I had a computer at home, I made a few new handles for the Dom. Actually, I already had one new one that Ogre had set up for me, which I'd asked him to do before I got the computer. This new handle was ektomage, whence comes my name in the URL of this homepage, in my e-mail, etc. Or, I can be called ekt, for short, of course. The thing about ektomage: the character teknomage, one of my main old handles, died and became a ghost, and so changed the front of the name a bit. tekno became ekto, like ecto, as in ectoplasm. Get it? Anyway, I later made up a few more handles myself, including FAF which I mentioned before. But ektomage is the main one.

But, the Dom wasn't what it used to be, and eventually some of the diners, what few old ones were left and some new ones, started going to an ezboard, T-Gate, and I followed along. And met new people, new friends, and life sucks less. And some folks would start up their own ezboards; one of the newer diners, Eliza, started one called Woody's Diner, in honor of the old place on the Dom, though by the time she had become a diner, we'd actually been meeting in a different spot on the Dom for awhile. I also started an ezboard or two, as others of us continue occasionally to do, themselves. And of course as I said before, I moved my homepage over here, so there's always that to work on, as well as my ezboards. Actually one of my boards belongs to Mind, the demon who possesses me, but you can read about him on his own part of my homepage. My other board is called Volcano Mountain and I love it to pieces, so go check it out! The link's on the front page, you know. And I go to a few other boards, as well.

Hmmm, what else? Ah yes. Um... In November of aught-one I got my driver's license. 26 years old. Kind of late by a decade, eh? What can I say, I'm a card-carrying member of the Procrastinators Club. It did feel damn nice to finally get that license. And, if you want an excellent example of the sort of playful little pranks the Universe likes to play on me, three days later I broke my ankle.

I slipped on the ice, if you must know, twisted my ankle behind me at an odd angle and fell onto it. Hard. Broke it in three places. I think "the Broken Ankles" would be a good name for a band, don't you? Just in case you're thinking of forming a band, you can use that if you like. The ankle- the right one, btw- still troubles me, but it improves. I'm walkin' an' all.... This wasn't the first time in my life I've broken something, but let's call it the most memorable. Though that could just be because it's the most recent; but I'd say it's the worst, too. Hmmm, well, sometime when quite young, I believe I broke one of my elbows or something like that. This may have been before I had started school, I forget. Once when I was older, but still in grade school, I slipped on ice and broke a finger and smashed my lip. This was also rather memorable. And it gave me a fear of ice that would stay with me forever. Until the ankle incident, which elevated the fear to something of a phobia.

Anyway... in June of 2003, I moved to Middlefield, Ohio. I shared an apartment with my sister, Beth, who'd been out here for awhile, and we're not that far from some of our other relatives. After a couple months of searching, I got a job working at a supermarket called Giant Eagle (though the one in Bainbridge, not the one in Middlefield). Oh, and our second used computer back home died like the day I left, or rather the night before; one of the upgrades was a CD burner, and I'd worked feverishly all day long to make some mixdiscs before leaving. Not long after I finished, the computer died. And when I moved to Ohio, my sister and I didn't have a computer for awhile, but then our uncle's office was getting new ones and gave us one of their old ones, which wasn't great, but it was a damn sight better than nothing....

...Aside from Bainbridge, I also spent some time working on loan to the Giant Eagle in Chagrin Falls. In June of 2004, we moved from Middlefield to Solon, and I transferred to the Solon Giant Eagle. Also Beth's friend Gordon gave us his old computer, which is a bit better than the one we were using. Oh, and I should say Beth has a cat named Mindy who doesn't like anyone. And in late 2004 Beth got me a kitten who I named Jet Sebastian Rhodes. He's okay, but can really annoy me sometimes. At least he lets me pet him and stuff, unlike Mindy. I'm writing this little paragraph here in early 2005, and I believe we'll be moving to Bangor, Maine in a few months... Beth's idea, and while I don't especially want to live in Maine again, Bangor is considerably better than anything in Northern Maine, and anyway, I don't have much choice, since I could never afford to live on my own and don't really know how to go about finding new roommates or anything. And as much as I'd rather not live with family, I'd really rather not live with strangers. What's that? Friends, you say? Hmmph. I can't make friends in real life. I know I've done it before, but that's when I was younger. Now I am only capable of making friends online. Dammit. Oh well... someday, if I can ever motivate myself to get any writing done, I'll be rich, I tells ya, and then I can live by myself, and find a place I actually like....

Oh yes, I also should say that in December of 2004, I stopped calling myself ektomage. I was trying to move into a more optimistic phase of my life, so I thought I'd bring the old ghost back from the dead. Elsewhere on my homepage you can find the story of that happening, which sucks because it was kind of rushed. But anyway, ekt came back to life, and reclaimed the name teknomage. Though some places on the net still incorporate the name ekt or ektomage...

In June of 2005, Beth and I moved to Bangor, Maine. In late August of 2006, after more than a year of fruitless searching for absolutely any job (seriously, the day we moved here the first application I filled out was at a McDonalds, and I'd apply to various fast food places, grocery stores, etc., around Bangor and Brewer, repeatedly)... oh yes, a long, frustrating time it was... I finally got hired as a dish washer at Ruby Tuesday, in Brewer. I normally take the bus to work, and since I work 5pm to close, well... the buses aren't running when I get out of work, and my sister's gone to bed, so I normally take a cab home, which eats a fair chunk of my pay. But whatevs, at least I don't feel like such a financial burden on Beth and our parents anymore, and I have a few bucks of my own.... What else to say? We got a new computer and cable internet, and I will never go back to dial-up because I'd rather die. And in December 2006 I finally got something I've always wanted: A domain name. absolutelypointless.net. Hurrah! So... I need to do more work on this site....

2010s

August 2010: It's been a few years since I updated this, but I need to add that I have sometimes walked home, which takes over an hour. But more importantly, I have often gotten rides home from friends I work with... And more importantly than getting rides from them, I need to mention the very fact that I have friends at work. I'm not used to really making friends at work, or anywhere (other than the internet), since my school days. But the people at Ruby's in Brewer are awesome, and pretty much the only thing that makes the job bearable. I don't wanna mention anyone by name at the moment, but many of them are also my friends on facebook. I will say the people at work have really helped me become somewhat more comfortable, socially. Anyway, I also need to say that early in 2010, Beth moved back to New Sweden to live with our folks for awhile, when she got a new job in Caribou. In July 2010, she got her own apartment there. Oh yeah, and I should say in late 2009, my parents got a new prefab type house, right next to the old one, which was in such wretched shape, it was the saddest thing you've ever seen, so it's really great that they're finally in a new place. Anyway, all these months, I've been living alone in our old two-bedroom apartment, which Beth and Mom helped me continue paying rent on, which I appreciate but feel bad about. I should pay them back someday if I can.

But in August, I moved into a house which is owned by Brian, a friend and former manager at Ruby's. He and his wife and daughter moved to Waterville for a new job, so they're renting their old place to me and Rod (a friend from Ruby's) and this other guy James, and a fourth guy named Wes. So for the first time in life, I really have roommates. I'm working on the assumption the whole roommate thing works in real life like it does in sitcoms. We'll see. Meanwhile, it's farther from work, so definitely no more walking for me, and cabs would be way more expensive, when I could already barely afford them at the old place, so I'll be more dependent than ever on getting rides from friends. Man, I hope I get rich soon, so I can buy a car. (Speaking of getting rich, I am working a bit more often than I used to on the book I started writing at the end of 1997, The Chaos. Though I still wish I could force myself to work on it more than I do. Oh, looking back at what I wrote about the book several years ago, I see I need to mention some changes. It wasn't mostly done at the time I said I was gonna split it into two volumes, I think I just meant the first volume was mostly done. But in the last couple years, here, I decided not to make it two volumes, after all, so really, it was only about half done. I think when I wrote that, I had finished chapter 20. At the moment, I'm on chapter 28, though I've also been doing some editing of older chapters. I'm guesstimating the finished book will be around 40 chapters, but I don't really know. But I definitely hope to finish it within a year.)

October 2011: I did a slight edit of the previous paragraph (basically just adding the name "Wes"). Um... so anyway, Rod and James and Wes were cool roommates, and I'm glad to have had the experience of sharing a house with them. But now I need to mention that at the end of July, after one year of living in that house, I moved back to New Sweden, where I'm currently living with my parents. It was at the end of June or the start of July (anyway, not more than a few days or so before the Fourth of July), when I quit my job at Ruby Tuesday. You know, it's always been really hard for me, being around people. I'm just never 100% comfortable around anyone, even friends and family. I had developed a usually tolerable level of comfort with my coworkers, who as I mentioned earlier, were awesome. But still, I did occasionally have bouts of depression, or just frustration over any number of things, including certain aspects of the job that I could barely stand, as well as the usual aspects of my own psychology that I can barely stand. Like how it sometimes be impossible for me to be the first to speak to a person, even a good friend. And one night, when it was time for me to clock in at 5pm, I was standing near the manager, Aimee (who I do consider a friend), but I couldn't force myself to ask for her manager card, which I needed for clocking in. And she wasn't aware that it was time for me to clock in, so I went to a booth and spent some time in a major fit of depression over my inability to speak. My inability to perform a simple, necessary function of my job. Not just at that time, but any number of times in the past, and presumably the future. And I just felt my employers deserved better than that, and I don't deserve to have a job if I'm so incapable of something so simple. But about 40 minutes after my shift should have started, Aimee realized I should be on, and so she clocked me in, and I started working. However, I was in a pretty fragile emotional state, and when one of the common frustrations of my job eventually arose- a scraper I use on certain dishes just disappeared and I couldn't find it anywhere- that just broke me. I didn't have the strength to deal with that, on top of my self-loathing over not clocking in. So I quit. Of course, this was a night when I would have been out early, anyway. So it's not like I was really doing a great disservice to the restaurant....

And I spent the month of July mostly sitting around the house, waiting for my chance to return to New Sweden. I feel guilty about relying on my parents, at my age, but I also feel, still, like I can't handle a job, and that any employer would deserve better than me. Meanwhile, I have more time now to work on my book, though I still don't do so quite as much as I'd like. Damn writer's inertia will never leave me alone. Still, I think it may be possible to finish by the end of the year. I most recently have been working on chapter 33, which may be done now (not sure if I want to include any more scenes in it, or put them in 34). I'm thinking the final chapter count will be closer to 45 or so. A lot of writing yet to do, but I have a pretty good idea of all the stuff that has to happen before the end. If I can just make myself do it, it really shouldn't be that hard. Oh, also last November I started a wiki for my book series (which contains spoilers for the first three books). It should prove a useful reference for fans, if and when I get published. Meanwhile, it's an invaluable tool for me in honing my ideas and even coming up with new ideas. I definitely enjoy working on that as well as my actual writing. Anyway... hopefully my book will succeed, so I can support myself and help out my folks as well. Otherwise... well, I'm not going to get another job, and I'm not going to allow my parents to take care of me the rest of my life. Which doesn't leave a lot of options, does it? Besides which, my book is the only reason to live, so if it doesn't succeed, lack of financial self-reliance will not be my biggest problem.... But that's something to worry about later. For now, I do what I can, and I'm feeling reasonably good.

Well, I guess I shall update this when anything else important happens....


stats

Sex: male
Hair: brown
Eyes: grey
height: oh i dunno, anywhere from 5'11" to 6'1", depending on the time of day
Eyesight: sucks ass; even with my glasses it's never really 20/20.

Heritage: 3/8 Swedish, 1/8 English, 1/4 Syrian...
final quarter I'm unsure of. Either entirely Irish or part Irish and part some kind of Native American. I'd love to find out exactly what percentages these may be, and what variety of Native American. But anyway, of all these fractions, the one I've always liked best is Irish.

Favorite things which used to be listed here have moved to my unlimited questions page.


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