These people have been there for me through thick and thin. I cannot adequetaly repay any of them, much less all of them. They've all taken the time to get to know the "real" me, despite all the hurdles involved therein, and have taken time and effort out to help me when I needed it. In reality, the majority of this site should be devoted to them: as long as I can remember, I've lived by, for, and sometimes because of my friends. But since most of them have functional web sites of their own, I'll leave it to them to speak in great detail of themselves.
There is no "right" order for me to list these people... they're all really important to me. So I'll take the easy way out and list them by how long I've known them... ;-)
Ryan Lundberg is the friend I've known the longest. Way back in seventh
grade, when we were just wee little kids teaching our teachers how to use
computers, Ryan noticed I was reading a book entitled, "Doom of the Darksword"
by Margret Weis and Tracy Hickman. Ryan, being a true Weis/Hickman fan, felt
the need to point out that it was, indeed, a good book... a point that I
agreed with. That got us talking, and we discovered that we had a lot more in
common than just one good book. We both knew more about computers than our
teacher back then, but Ryan felt the need to point that out to Ms. Wiley more
often than I did. ;-)
In the last eight years, he's managed to piss off countless teachers (by proving them wrong), earn the respect, admiration, and love of my parents (even if dad does call him a dork), learn the meaning of caffine, earn the respect and admiration of several of my other friends, and even get banned from a McDonalds (only one that I can think of, though... ;-).
And, of course, he's since found himself a nice job way out in VA, so seeing him in person is mostly a thing of the past now... But I still hear from him, and email's a wonderful tool... ;-) Here's to the slackers!
Next is Framie, whom I've known since high school. She & I both went to
Valley, and have put up with countless jokes about it. Unfortunately I can't
say I knew her well back then; she was more of a friend of a friend at the
time (a friend of a few friends, actually, but the point's the same). I
really got to know her when she started hanging out with Jamie, up here at
ISU. And I'm very happy to have done so. Her name is actually Francesca, but
nobody around here uses that anymore. She goes by many other names in this
neighborhood, including Franma, Frani, and Framie (derived from a compound
containing Jamie, her boyfriend).
But her name isn't her most enrapturing quality; her voice is. Frani is known as something of an anomaly around the music scene here. She is considering opera, and with a voice that pushes the limits of the human ability to control sound, she's on her way to wherever she wants...
|Hozete / Hozer||
Frightening though it may seem, Barb is one of the first people I met here
at ISU. She is definitely the first one I got to know around here. We met
in our first class Freshman year: Math 166 (Calc II), 8a.m., Carver, with
Poon (a professor who never did pronounce my name right). I sat down in the
middle of nowhere; Barb sat down next to me. "Hi, I'm Barb."
I know this is how we met because we had a long argument about it last year. It took three months, but I finally convinced her I was right... (I'm still not sure how... truth only means so much... ;-)
Especially at that time, random strangers stopping by and introducing themselves to me was a very unusual occurance. In the last three years, I've discovered that the only "usual" about Barb is the unusual. She has a very outgoing personality, and is very opinionated about some things (ask her about "Mathematica" sometime). She's also a great person to know... a kind, caring person that's been around even when I thought the rest of the world was out to kill me. Thanks, kiddo!
Alongside Barb, though I haven't known him as long, is the one and only true Hozer. I must say, I am at a loss as to how to describe Troy... except, possibly, that he is deserving of his name. Somehow, someway, he blows things up. Considering how much time he spent at Western Digital, one might wonder as to the quality of one's WD hard drive... but Troy's actually quite good at what he does. It's damn near impossible to learn without making mistakes... and Troy has learned a lot. He was also the first (but not only) person to voice his admiration of my response to a certain amusing conflict many people have been forced to deal with... ;-)
Considering who I hang around with now, mentioning Nathan here is probably
just asking for trouble; but ya know... to hell with the unforgiving. I met
Nathan way back when I roomed with Haggie. Seems the two of them knew each
other from some high school camp or other. I don't see Nathan much anymore,
due in large part to the fact that he now lives in Westgate.
However, Nathan has been there to talk to, and been there when I needed help. We've done everything from building composite shells to building easter eggs together. He and Jamie helped me survive the hell of Room Rabbits I dealt with for a year and a half. He (intentionally) doesn't give the impression of a good counselor, but he's among the best I know...
Nathan was busy studying for two tests when I found out my dad was in the hospital with heart problems. Despite his already hellish schedule that day, he still took a hefty amount of time to drive me to the hospital in Des Moines. I don't forget things like that.
Mr. Harding here was the roommate of the aforementioned Nathan our freshman
year. However, where Nathan went to Westgate, Jamie is still here with us
on Dodds, in the same room he's always lived in.
Since my initial contact with him all those years ago, I've gotten to know him fairly well. But "knowing" James is a concept as tangible as air... When you learn something about him, you learn it: he stands behind his concepts and principles. However, with every discovery another layer is exposed. Every answer you get about him begs another question. So who is this "mystery" man?
For the reasons I just gave, I can't completely answer that question. What I can say is that is that Jamie is the person many people go to for help. He has the insight to catch obscure items, the intelligence to see logic flaws, and the heart to take time to help those who need it (Frani found a keeper here... ;-).
He's helped me through more problems than I thought I could have (because he's been through tons more), led me through the likes of Wildcat Den, and shown me a little about his life while he was at it. I still have the cards he & Frani gave me during my six weeks of Hell, and still have pictures from many of our attacks on Ledges.
But if you haven't noticed, there's a little smart-ass remark for just about everyone on this page. Unfortunately, the only ones I can think of in relation to James are about me... (if you ever hear him call me "handsome", hit him!). One obscure remark, though, applies first and formost to him: "Friends do that!"
Closing off the list of close friends I've known since my freshman year is
Heather Kastengren. One of these days I'll learn to pronounce her last name
(probably the same day all my teachers learn to pronouce my first name), but
until that day I'll stick to learning her personality. She's kind, helpful,
caring... And she's the only person to have discovered for herself that one
of my poems was about her (though I admit it was extremely easy in that one
case). In a phrase, she's "Mean and Vicious."
Why exactly she's mean and vicious I don't remember anymore. However, she backed up that description several times within about a week of my making that proclamation (though I still remember only one example; two if you count her shoving me into a wall when I had a bruised rib... ;-).
Anymore, the "mean and vicious" thing is an ongoing joke. Every now and then she jokes about some evil plot, and it's then that I remind her how well it fits her alter-ego. And, of course, her continuing education in Tae Kwon Doe adds a touch of reality to this joke. Calling her mean and vicious may be pushing the limits (a little), but calling her dangerous is not.
Fighting the vicious alter-ego is a fun-loving, adventurous person with a heart of gold. Love ya, kiddo! (by the way, I found your address again... one of these days I will visit you at home! ;-)
Val, I must say, is an interesting one. I met her aeons ago in a math class
(math 265, if I remember right... Calc III). I can't even think of
how to describe her, much less what to say...
Sitting near someone on a daily basis, especially when listening to (err... watching... yeah, really) Fast Freddie provides the potential for astounding amounts of amusement. If that person happens to go by Valveeta... well, the amusement could range anywhere from the occasional whispered funny comment to obscene graphics on your notebook. At least, that's been my experience.
So, way back then, we became good friends... and although I rarely see her since she's moved, Val still sometimes takes the opportunity to bake me a birthday cake or cook me a real dinner (Food Scurvey does NOT qualify as "real" food!). She is definitely one of a kind... gotta love her!
Actually, I have to take that back... I've also known Ms. Davis since my
freshman year. I just didn't know her that well at the time. We first met
because she was the best friend of Framie (err... Frani) and hung around
Dodds way the hell back then. She still drops by Dodds, but now it's because
She's a very interesting character. For one thing, she's the only person I know of who's looked on the 'net for plastic sheep (only to find out that someone down the hall actually had one). She found pictures, too: "Barbara" (the sheep) in lingerie, in bed, and on railroad tracks.
I think her facination with sheep comes from Shawn, the sheep from a Wallace & Grommit video. Why this is so, I don't know... but I must admit, Shawn is a rather amusing critter.
Still, the "real" Patty has nothing to do with sheep. Although she's not quite as enigmatic as others listed, she is as charismatic, and her flair for music adds an interesting side note to any conversation. Band people are weird like that...
If "knowing" Sunago is as tangible as air, then the aura of the Vorlon is as
tangible as space.
Steve Langasek has proven himself an interesting complement to the floor, moving here my sophomore year. If you've been waiting for someone to randomly stop by and exclaim, "blee!" you've found him (well, ok, sometimes it's "moo!" instead). If there's anything "normal" about the Vorlon, it's... unknown.
What is known is that he knows his computers, he knows his languages, and he has a very keen intellect. He is, for one thing, the only person I know that's earned a 36 on the ACT (he even knew what question he missed, and what the right answer was). He also knows more languages than just about anyone I've ever met... I've learned and lost more languages than most people have learned; Steve's learned more and kept them. French, Spanish, and Portuguese are the only ones I can think of off the top of my head; they're the ones he's majoring in.
The Black Wolf of the pack, Nick has gone out of his way to find and kill
all wandering plastic sheep. With his interest in hand-to-hand combat and
guns, this has not proven overly difficult for him.
When he's not rendering his life away, Nick has been an interesting companion ever since I met him my sophomore year when he moved on the floor. For one, he's the only person I know of that's sold a holographic imaging system to anyone. For another, he's the only person to have decked me in over 15 years.
Seriously, though, the jokes about Nick being my bane are just that -- jokes. And although we also joke about the fact that none of his friends live in Ames, he has given his time and effort to assisting those of us who were ever in need. Friend or not, he's quite deserving of mention.
besides, the fact that he's my bane is overshadowed by the fact that Jamie is his bane...
If I forgot our friendly neighborhood Gopher Spidey, I should be shot. This
mysterious creature first manifested itself quite some time ago in a certain
Solar Car garage. In the intervening time, Spidey has departed his web in
The Suitcases (err... Towers) and found a new residence here on Dodds.
Now, he's one of the major people behind the "dodds.net" domain name. He's one of the sysadmins (as are Vorlon, Psycho, Zeke, and I), and is the one I usually go to when I can't make something work. Somehow, he almost always can. I don't know what gift of his lets him do it, but anyone with it is bound to excel.
Next we have Laura. I claim to know Laura longer than the other STF people
(whom I don't already know for other reasons) because she was the first to
make a visit over here to Ahhwuh. She's a very... unusual personality. Fun
loving, easy going, hard working, and just a wee bit loony. :-)
She decided long ago that she wanted to make 'Blee' a widely-used word; it would appear that she's succeeding.