a brief history of me

My old grade-school classmate, Ben, recently made contact with me. Since we haven't seen each other since I was 13, I sent him (albiet, 3 months later) a brief history of my life since high school. I enjoy seeing how much has happened in 10 years...

In late 1995 I departed Alaska to Seattle, chasing after my girlfriend in high school who had recently moved to Seattle. Naturally, we broke up after about two months but since I had used college as an excuse (to leave home) it was a good result.

I spent the next four years attending the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma (about 40 miles south of Seattle.) I worked full-time at various internet service providers and learned a bunch about computers. I graduated with a dual-major in computer science and mathematics.

After college (actually, the last semester), I moved out of the dorms and into a house with two friends and my girlfriend. Of course, we broke up about 3 months later. After a very interesting year of partying, the house broke up and one of my friends was friends no more. I ended up going to work for my other friend at a computer startup in Tacoma.

I moved into a house with a friend from Alaska, who was kind of running away from life. We ended up as two pot-heads, figuring out what we wanted in life. In the process, the startup I was working for went up (the pot was plenty) and down (the pot was gone) and eventually I ended up replacing my other friend (above) as the boss - and no more friend. I started dating a new girl and that was on and off for about two years.

I met Eriko in 2002 by chance, while I was visiting the ex-girlfriend at her mom's house in Portland. She was technically the ex at the time (she had broken it off that time) and as soon as I met Eriko I never looked back. We only spent about 45 minutes together on that fateful day (02/23/02) but I managed to leave my address on a sheet of a paper, and she found it.

Meeting Eriko infused me with purpose, and I proposed to her in April (before we had actually met again in person, for she was only in Portland for two weeks.) I quit my job at the startup (which by this time had fallen from 75 people to 15) and stopped being a pot-head. That naturally didn't make things too comfortable for my roommate, who had grown dependent on me sharing the same lifestyle. Eriko came to visit me in May, I went to meet her family in July, and I found a job at Isilon in September. Actually, it was kind of funny - Eriko asked her mom if we could get married while I was unemployed and the answer was a strict no.

I proposed to Eriko's father in November and he put me off, indicating that he really had no idea who I was. Of course, I was laden with business cards to show their family that I was making progress. I moved to Seattle (and in the process, my pot-head friend and I were no longer friends) and began to room with my high-school friend's brother. At Isilon, I was promoted from quality assurance to software development. So I had new business cards to show Eriko's family. I visited Eriko again in April (2003) and informed them that I was planning on enrolling in the master's program at UW. Eriko finally came to meet my family for the first time in August and had a great time. That really changed things as her parents (and probably her) began to take my marriage proposal seriously. Eriko and I had a some struggles to go through - she wouldn't move in with me until we were married, I wouldn't pay off her debts until we were married, and she wouldn't marry me with a debt. So we came close to parting, but instead decided we could be patient. I visited her again in December.

I was promoted again at Isilon, this time into a lead position. I was also accepted at UW. Eriko came to visit me in April of 2004 and by now I was living by myself in an apartment close to work. My life consisted of working, going to school, and caring for my cat - Bailey. Eriko was not a big fan of Bailey - which I didn't quite realize at the time. After Eriko returned from her visit, we sit a wedding date for July of 2005. I went to visit Eriko in August and she came to visit me in December. Christmas was pretty stressful for her, as my parents (and older sister) are Catholic and we still have a pretty traditional Christmas, including midnight mass. In between, I was pretty focused on work and school and enjoying my remaining days as a single man.

To be continued...