Who am I?

I love to see people sharing their stories and realized I haven’t really shared mine.
I was born and raised in Sacramento, California. Sometimes I get nostalgic and think about moving back, then I visit and realize it’s changed and so have I. We moved around a few times when I was a kid, I’ve lived in good neighborhoods and rough neighborhoods.
I met my first best friend when I was in pre-school. Nick and I were inseparable. My older brother was too old for me to hang out with, but that was okay because Nick was like family. He and I never really had all that much in common, but I miss him and wish we still lived close enough to hang out.
When I was really young, I met my favorite teacher of all time, Mrs. Brown. She was my kindergarten teacher, but she taught me some of the most important lessons in life. Mrs. Brown taught me about compassion, about sharing, about patience. She made me love learning. She was one of the kindest women I have ever met, and when she passed away when I was 18, I cried at her funeral.
I went to several schools as a kid, and never really fit in at any of them. I don’t remember the name of the school I attended when I was in 4th Grade, but I was one of the very few white kids, and the other kids wouldn’t hardly let me forget it. In 5th Grade I was finally accepted to the Gifted And Talented Education program and went to Sutterville Elementary. All the other kids had been in class together for 4 years, and most of them were very well off. My thrift store clothes, that I liked just fine, made me an outcast, even among the Star Trek Geeks. I rebelled against school, and to this date, I’ve yet to meet someone else that had to take summer school to graduate 6th Grade.
While school may have been rough, home life was much better. I was very lucky. My father is a diehard Trekkie. My older brother, uncles, and cousin loved Star Wars more, but still loved Star Trek enough that I went with all of them, my father included, to my only Star Trek convention. I got to see William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and DeForest Kelley on stage together, and it was awesome. Back when CCGs were fairly new, I spent any money I earned on packs of Star Trek CCG cards and all of us guys would do marathon sessions of the game. We found ways to turn a game designed for2 into a game for 6. I have fond memories of racing to complete missions before anyone else and I still have a large portion of my cards.
In Middle School, I turned my grades around and carried that into High School. If you need more proof that I’m a Geek, here it is. When High School started I had two options, I could enroll in an ROTC Leadership program and try out for the Football team. Or…. I could join Choir. I was in Choir, Show Choir, and Jazz Choir most of High School. I was also in several Musicals, including Grease, in which I played Kenickie (I actually had hair back then). Did I mention my High School nickname was Opie?
I met a girl and foolishly threw away everything else for her. I won’t bore you with the details, but I stayed with her long enough to graduate, marry her, and have her leave 3 months later. Unfortunately, before she left, I quit my first semester of college to try and salvage the relationship. I try not to regret things, but that one I do.
Not too long after I moved back in with my parents, my father got laid off from the job he had been at since I was 4 years old. On the advice of a friend, my folks decided to move to Reno, where cost of living was lower and the job market was great. Having just gone through a nasty break up and having burned most of my bridges with friends, I decided to go with them.
During this time I came up with a lot of plans, and lots of ideas. I believe I still have my notes about how to colonize Mars. I also have notes and plans for starting a Jedi Academy of sorts, which I still haven’t completely given up on.
When I moved to Reno, I knew nobody, had very little money, had no real job prospects, and had my car totaled within the first month of living here, while on my way to apply for a job. So when some folks came to our door, asking if we had been Saved, we decided to try out their church. It was a Fundamental Baptist Church, and it was unlike any other church I had attended. Most of the people were nice enough, but I had never been to a Baptist church where you were screamed at every sermon because you were a sinner, and then told that you shouldn’t be watching TV or movies, listening to most music including Christian Rock, you shouldn’t dance, etc. I think the only thing that was allowed was eating, so that’s what most church functions revolved around. I tried really hard to be the perfect Christian, but I was the first of my family to give it up.
One of the final straws with the church was the way my then girlfriend, now wife, was treated by the pastor. I had finally convinced her to attend a service with me, after having not been in a church in probably ten years. We went after work and she was in casual clothes. She may as well have been the Devil. As we were walking to the car, she was furious and finally told me that the pastor’s greeting had essentially been “it’s been a long time, hasn’t it.” Not long enough.
The years since then were mostly uneventful, with both of us working various jobs and trying to find ways to make a living. I’ve worked banking, customer service, payday loans, I even tried truck driving. We also opened our own thrift store that lasted less than a year and left us with a lot of debt. Finally, I got a job at an insurance agency, and up until this point, I’ve been an insurance agent.
I’ve gone through a lot of trial and error, trying to act like a responsible adult and failing miserably. I tried getting involved in politics and got quickly frustrated with that. I’ve tried other churches and not been able to stick with it.
The one thing that has always remained constant is my Geekiness. I have always loved Science Fiction and Fantasy. I’ve always played video games and watched movies. I’ve read hundreds, if not thousands, of books. Star Wars and Star Trek have always been a refuge.
Most of you know how Great Basin Geeks got started, but I’ll give a brief summary. I had lived in Reno for about 10 years and had no real friends. So when my wife asked what I wanted for my birthday, I wanted a party with friends. Together we worked hard to get the word out and I made friends. You can read more about that here.
Who am I? I have searched for the place where I fit in, where I belonged, and realized that within me were the keys all along. I am me. I love the things I love and share my passions with anyone who will listen. I am a Geek.

3 thoughts on “Who am I?

  1. I bounced around, lived off 50th, near Florin when I was really young. Then moved to Oak Park for a few years, a rather scary place. Then my Father worked overtime to move us to the Pocket/Greenhaven area, where we lived until we moved to Reno. Like I said, good neighborhoods and bad.

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