At this time in my life I have lived in many worlds. I see my life as having certain cohesive parts. Like eras but on a much smaller scale. There is the beginning. The years from birth to high school. A lot happened to me and the family during these years but I have very little memory of it. I'm told by my mother that this was partially due to being abused by a teacher in early grade school. I do have some tattered memories and emotional impressions of this time but they are very small and disjointed.
Then come the high school years. I remember most of this time and, for the most part, they were happier times. We'd just moved to Germany for the last time the beginning of my freshman year. Prior to this time I hadn't been much for organized sports. I played Little League once and we won the championship in '71. I still have the trophy somewhere. But now I was entering into high school football. Not only that, my father was going to be the head coach. That first year I was umpyumpth string no-real-position on a JV squad of 88 kids. My father had a rule that if a kid wanted to play they were not cut from JV. I saw very little game time that first season in '76. My sophomore year I was second string defensive end. I got to play on occasion but mostly did defensive team in practice for the starting offense. The summer before my junior year my dad and I decided to see if I could play center. I learned how to snap the ball and block. When the season started I made second string Varsity as center. There were guys who were first string JV the previous year who were still on JV. This caused some "you only got on varsity because of your dad" things but they didn't go vary far because I wasn't starting. My senior year was incredible. That year I made first string center. During camp, when it started to look like I was going to be first string, I got into an "altercation" with the meanest, baddest, kick-ass killer on the team. Mark Rife. That was the beginning of my ascension from dork to semi-cool. The first three games of the season we won but the offense didn't look good at all. The defense was the best ever so they kept us from losing. After the third game my dad, uhm, I mean "the coach" completely re-did the offensive line. There was a wholesale change of every position by center. There was a little grumbling about me staying only because of the blood-ties. But during the week leading up to the next game something happened in practice that made all the grumbling and speculation about my fitness for the position go away for good. The noseguard on our team was a guy known as Big George. He had the most deadly forearm in the league. He'd knocked other players out cold with it. Up to now I had been doing everything I could to avoid it. But that day, for some reason, I decided to stand up to the monster forearm and see if I could take it. Well, Big George lay back and threw a really good one at me. After it hit we both were standing there looking at each other with expressions of disbelief. He reared back and threw another one. The results were the same. I remember a huge grin busting out on my face. That's because I came to the realization that I was going to have it easy for the rest of the season. Not in practice but in the games. I would never run into anyone better and more powerful than Big George in a game. This was the completion of my ascension from dork to semi-cool. The rest of the season we beat the crap out of everyone and went to the championship game. We proceeded to beat the crap out of Heidelberg and won the title. Man, it was absolutely wonderful. It also marked the beginning of the end of this era in my life. I graduated on June 8th, 1980 and thus moved on to a new time.
This era was the "sowing my oats" time. I spent a couple of semesters dabbling at the university thing but dropped out for good in '82 Now, I was never a really wild one but I did venture into parts of the world that were very fun but also potentially dangerous. This time ran from when I turned 18 until we moved to the States in '88 then was 25 years old. During this period I was working and living the Heavy Metal life. I worked mostly evenings and nights so I didn't get to see my family much but we kids, my two brothers and my sister (all younger than me) would go out on weekends. I would often go out after working the second shift. It was ideal. I'd get to the bar or club between 11pm and midnight. The only people left out at this time were the hard-core headbangers. I'd stay out 'till closing, drag my ass in around 5am, sleep till around 2pm, then I'd get up and do it all over again. I met a lot of very fun and interesting people over this journey from boy to man. We lived in a number of different places in this era. From '80 to '82 in K-Town, then from '82 to '87 in Neu Ulm, from '87 to '88 in Frankfurt. Also during this time my siblings and I were a rock/metal band that played some of the clubs and bars. We even went into a studio and cut a demo of 10 tracks which were all original songs written by us. The master tapes are somewhere in a box in my brother's house. This time in my life was very volatile but always moving and usually happy. Even when things were bad it was still good. This is the part of my list that I'd pick for the old, "if you could live your life over again..." thing.
Now we come to the longest period in my life. From '88 into 2000. Things started out with my transition from headbanger to a "responsible adult," whatever that is. There was the move from having a "job" to a "career." In '90 I got married. In 94' we bought a house. In '96 we had our son. I was living my life in the place I was born to be. I had a challenging job, interesting friends, a cool hobby (if anyone remembers the time when BBS's ruled the world), a home and a family. Unfortunately the foundation of this world was not solid. In fact it wasn't really there at all. It seems funny, locking back, that the longest era in my life had the least amount of joy (but it did have a LOT of Joy). Don't get me wrong, I was unbelievably happy when I got married and there is no way to describe the happiness of having our son. But all in all, it just seems to lay there on the track of history.
So, come to the present. It started off with "The Year From Hell." The systematic crumbling of my entire life and my whole world happened over this one year. Since then it's just been a slow decent into the abyss.
So let's see what a timeline would look line.
1962 - 1976 = 13 years (being born in November makes the numbers one off)That's about right, give or take. I might adjust some era's by a year or so if I were to talk to my family but this is close enough.
1976 - 1980 = 4 years
1980 - 1982 = 2 years
1982 - 1988 = 6 years
1988 - 2000 = 12 years
2000 - Now = 5 years
Well, that was a lot of writing. Took me three days to get it done. And what does this all say? Does it answer the title question? I don't know. Maybe if I put more time and effort into something that would be of interest to more than just myself. But I can't think of anything off-hand. I don't have the energy to follow the Linux community anymore, though I do wish I could. Maybe do something about or on Fibromyalgia? I don't know what more I could contribute to what is already out there. What else do I know? Sports. I know something about football and track as I did spend time coaching with my dad. But sports isn't about sports any more. It's about money and contracts and endorsements.
I don't know. Maybe there isn't anything useful I can contribute to the world anymore.
"Regards to Captain Dunsel"