- ) How old were you?
I'm bored with answering this question. Do the math.
- ) What was your online presence?
Then: Much as it is now. Cable Modem at home, T1 at work. Had my own web page. Changed E-mail addresses pretty regularly.
Now: DSL home. Retired. Same E-mail for years. That may not be a good thing. Have my own web page. Have my own domain (louderbacks.com). Don't IM, don't IRC, visit one and only chat room.
- ) Where did you work?
Then: Verizon Information Technical Training as a some pretentious sounding title that means I was a teacher.
Now: Retired. Verizon found it cheaper to pay me to go away than to accommodate my disability.
- ) Where did you live?
Then: Fisherman's Landing in Tampa FL. Was 6 months away from a move to Seattle, though I didn't even suspect it at the time.
Now: The porta-potty of the nation, Jefferson City, MO. In my own house which seems to be crumbling around me. Can't afford to move back to FL. Where's my Lotto winnings when I need them?
- ) Who did you live with?
Then: My son Joe. We shared a 2 bedroom apartment as described above. Joe was the last of my boys to live with me.
Now: In the house described above with my sister Janet who "takes care of me".
- ) How was your health?
Then: Physically pretty good. Only 1 year into the whole diabetes thing. Mentally, very depressed and bleak.
Now: Basically I've had a bad decade. Mentally downhill, physically downhill. Running out of available repairs to keep this old wreck running.
- ) Pets?
Then: No. Not for some years.
Now: Jirel my Carolina Dog (American Dingo) and the haughty Princess Nikki my Sister's Phalene (Papillion with floppy ears).
- ) Who was your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/spouse/S.O.
Then: Involved in a polyamorous relationship (how did I have the stamina?). It was good but was equally a mistake. It fell apart when Mary Nickels passed away.
Now: Nobody at all. Not interested, thank you. I feel lonely sometimes but have no interest whatsoever in summoning the internal resources needed to maintain a relationship.
- ) Who were your friends?
Then: Basically the training department. Bob and Jim from Tampa. Christina and Brian held over from Miami. Assorted spouses and friends of friends.
Now: My only friends are "online-friends", meaning I met them and have contact with them online. No person resides in Jefferson City that I regard as a friend I could call up and invite to lunch.
- ) Any kids? Any plans for kids?
Then: Joe was the last of 10.
Now: I adopted 10 boys. I've done my duty. Enough is enough.
- ) What was your worst struggle?
Then: Learning to manage diabetes.
Now: Learning to manage diabetes, dealing with depression.
- ) What was your biggest joy?
Then: My sons. I kept in closer touch then. Teaching, I loved it.
Now: I do nothing that I think of as joyful. I'm just continuing.
- ) What did you consider your greatest accomplishment?
Then: Raising 10 adopted boys. Having earned the respect of my peers professionally and personally. First time in my life that I felt I had that from persons truly my peers.
Now: The same.
- ) What advice would you give your younger self?
DO NOT leave your job at Verizon. DO NOT move to Seattle. Listen to those people telling you that you must exercise and eat better and control your diabetes. Avoid any Doctor named Rauba.
- )15) What would your younger self say to you?
Cripes, but you're fat! What were you thinking? And what's with the white cane?
- )16) Looking back, is your life in 2008 what you thought it would be in 1998?
I don't know what I expected, but this is not it. How could I have predicted that I would be recalled from Seattle to care for my parents who would promptly die, get stuck with the house I bought for them, go blind, and wind up living with my sister?
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