Marinade

Dec. 7th, 2015 10:42 am
akienm: (Default)
This was originally noted as being "for beef", but turkey is also amazing with it.

Prepare at least a day before hand: Put ingredients into gallon ziplock bag. Put meat into bag. Seal bag. Slosh and shake until well mixed. Vent all the air from the bag. Put into freezer.

4 tablespoons soy sauce (gluten free)
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (I use Fish Sauce)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce (I use coconut aminos)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, slightly crushed
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

And, depending on the shape of the cut(s) of meat, possibly a little water, just enough so there's marinade and/or plastic bag in contact with the entire surface.

3 to 4 hours before serving:

Beef: Put frozen bag into sous vide. Set to 120F. 15 mins before serving, remove from bag. Pat dry and coat lightly with oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place onto broiler. Check every 5 mins until golden brown and delicious. Optionally turn over and repeat for other side. Serve. NOTE: Beef that cooked using a sous vide does not need to rest before serving.

Poultry: Put frozen bag into sous vide. Set to 145F. 15 mins before serving, remove from bag. Pat dry and coat lightly with oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place onto broiler. Check every 5 mins until golden brown and delicious. Optionally turn over and repeat for other side. NOTE: It's recommended that poultry is cooked to 165F for safety, that is because 165F will kill everything in about 60 seconds. 145F also cooks to a safe temperature, if cooked at that temp for 35+ minutes. There's a curve of time and temperature. As you go up in temp, the time to kill everything is reduced. SOUS VIDE IS A VERY TIME INTENSIVE COOKING PROCESS. COOKING TO 145 IS SAFE WHEN COOKED FOR 3+ HOURS, AND WILL RESULT IN A MUCH MORE MOIST END PRODUCT.
akienm: (Default)
At the time, I thought I'd drifted away from LJ because everybody else had. In retrospect, I see I was actually drifting away before it became a ghost town. And here's why:

https://medium.com/bad-words/why-twitter-s-dying-and-what-you-can-learn-from-it-9ed233e37974
akienm: (Default)
First, a question: What do YOU remember about Harbin Hot Springs?

I remember the very first time I went to Harbin. No, scratch that. I have been to Harbin so many times I really have no recollection of the "first time". I know that Francesca Gentille took me there. I was still very shy about nudity at the time.

I remember camping in the meadow. I remember walking the trail to the pools. I remember someone having hung glow sticks on string all along the path. I remember watching a photo shoot at the creek at the edge of the meadow. Slender nude women with fairy wings. I remember wondering what was further up the road, but being told that was the residential area and not "open to the public". I remember many years later somebody telling me that was silly and it was fine to walk through there, just be respectful. I remember awe and wonder seeing so many parts of the place for the first time. I remember resenting the vegetarian rules in the kitchen, and always taking my own food prep stuff because of it.

I remember having sex in the warm pool, very, very quietly. I also remember one couple who got very noisy, and security came just as they disappeared from the pool and into the hot pool. I remember when it was allowed to chat very quietly in the warm pool, and I remember how they got so strict about silence eventually. I remember watching how the place grew and changed over time.

I remember Ancient Ways there… I remember Loving More there. I remember World Polyamory Association there. I remember, as a pleasant blur, so many moments there. I remember running the area at Ancient Ways that we coordinated with other parents so the kids could have a place to be, and the parents could take turns watching them.

I remember at Loving More, they created "families" at the beginning. Each morning, I was supposed to socialize with people I didn't know. Me, the introvert. Um, no. Forcing me into socializing is a non-starter for me. But it led me to start creating workshops. The first one was Poly For Introverts. I loved teaching there. Heck, I've loved teaching every chance I've ever had. I remember the conference center and how awesome it was to have warm pools we could actually chat in, like Harbin in the old days.

I remember the RV we owned for a while, and how it slipped it's brakes or something and we went rolling down the hill toward the creek (with us in it), but were stopped by rocks and branches. I remember someone coming to our aid and plugging a small hole that had been created in the gas tank with a bar of soap. I particularly remember the RV, not because of the crash, but because of the awesomeness of having our own complete kitchen.

I remember going back and forth between the hot and cold pools. I remember staying in the hot pool until I could feel my heart beating in my eyes. I remember how doing so seemed to completely kill off any infection I might have been having. A lingering cold or flu suddenly gone the morning after such a soak. I remember one winter, sitting in the warm pool, Dawn told me she was getting close to being ready to get out. So I left before her and went into the hot pool for that long. When I got out, I draped a towel around my shoulders, went and got my sandals, picked up my clothes in a bundle, and got ready to walk back to the meadow. Dawn was all dried off, and bundled up against the cold. I had steam coming off me until I got back to the meadow. Only then had I cooled enough to get dressed. That was such an awesome feeling.

I remember different walks along that path, sitting to watch the sunset, sunrise, the moon, or the moonless night. I remember walking up to the little meditation tea house on the hill above. I remember the mountain lodge and the school office.

I remember the first time I stayed in The Domes, they were sooo cool. I remember learning so much about myself up there. I remember getting the book on the history of Harbin. And learning how the place had burned before, more than once. I remember reading about and imagining the grandeur of the old hotel building.

I remember the love, the tantra, the massages, the sex, the hikes, the quiet contemplation. I remember Francesca, Dawn, Zoe, Leah…

I remember thinking that Harbin was for me what Burning Man is for many.

And I remember the fire. And how so many of us were communicating about it online. I remember reading speculation as to it having been destroyed, and then reading how it really had been.

And I remember thinking that with all this outpouring of sadness, support, and love, that it almost can't help but rise again. I will remember the fire one final time the next time I sit in the warm pool.
akienm: (Default)
I remember a Wil Wheaton blog entry ( http://wilwheaton.net/2015/08/tears-in-rain/ ) linked to from Facebook that I ran across this morning. I remember how he talked about never being good enough for the voice in his head. I remember reading his description and how it sounded just like he was describing my experience of it.

I have at various times known as much about antidepressant drugs as anybody not actively in the forefront of the field. While it's better these days, in the past I have had the voice whisper how much easier it would be to just give up. I'm pretty certain that the only reason I'm still alive is because of Carlos Castaneda. In one of his books, the protagonist is "introduced to his best friend, Death" (despite the quotes, I'm paraphrasing). He is told that "whatever happens in life, you can look over your left shoulder, and Death will be there. And he will tell you that whatever has happened does not matter. That the only thing that matters is that he hasn't touched you yet". I have used my death in this way many times… Whenever the voice of depression grew too loud.

Wil's description let me see myself, my own struggle with the voice, in a new way. I can now see it from outside of myself. I can see how my dad played a key role in creating that voice. Specifically the part about never being able to be good enough. But that means it's my dad's voice, not my own. And that gives me a new weapon in dealing with it.

It's very clear to me that, while depression has roots in neurochemistry, it's also in part about habits of thought. Perhaps this will help me to identify when I'm playing my dad's tapes.
akienm: (Default)
This one is about something that happened to me yesterday. I was talking with a friend, and we were talking about how her child is growing up and has started to ask questions about sex, the way little kids do. And this friend told me she was torn about how much to tell, as she wanted to preserve the child's innocence for as long as possible.

Now that is something I've heard before, for my entire life really. I know that when I reached puberty, I had no idea what to do or how anything worked. I had an ongoing fantasy that an older woman would come to me and teach me about all this stuff. The discomforts of that, probably along with my time on the farm, left me with a very pragmatic approach to innocence. I am now firmly of the opinion that it's not our job to protect our children from the world, it's our job to train them to be ready to deal with the world. Train them in what they'll need to know as adults.

In my own home, with my kids, we were very open about the topic of sex. Some of that was related to our avocation of teaching in the poly world. Some of it was just being forthcoming and factual when they had questions. But by the time my youngest reached puberty, there were no mysteries about it for her. She knew about safer sex, and even safer sex agreements between people in open relationships.

Yesterday, I happened to call my daughter just to chat. While we were on the phone, I was reminded about the conversation I'd had earlier about innocence. So I explained to her about this conversation with my friend, and then asked her "Now that you're an adult, and have come out the other side of all that, how do you feel about having had sex be such a normal topic when you were younger?"

As well as I can remember, this is what she said: I wasn't upset by it at the time, and by the time I started having those feelings, I knew what they were. I knew about the difference between sex and love, I knew that the sense of infatuation was brain chemicals, and I knew how long they lasted. I knew how infatuation can become love over time. I watched my friends fumbling around with this, and they all wound up coming to me for answers. I knew enough not to make the same mistakes they were making. It really prepared me well, and I'm glad it worked out that way.

I was gobsmacked. I had long ago promised myself that just not beating my kids was "enough". That if I could do better than my dad did in that department, then I was a success as a parent, regardless of how deficient I might feel about specific things. And by that metric, I was a success. Sure, I wish I were more closely connected with my kids, but just doing better than my dad did was enough.

But this, this was like assuming I was getting a D in the class, only to find that I'd gotten an A.

It's worth noting that my daughter has been in the same polyamorous relationship with the same people over the entirety of her time in high school. They are still together.

I… Just… Wow. :)
akienm: (Default)
I remember meeting Sushi. Sushi was a female orange tabby cat, who's eyes were too small for her head, rendering her *mostly* blind.

My daughter had been invited to a birthday party for one of her friends. This party was held at the local animal shelter, and rather than bringing gifts for the child, we were encouraged to bring money or things to donate to the shelter.

So the kids were sitting at 3 tables more or less around the middle of the room. All the parents were sitting at a table in the corner. The plan was to bring in some of the animals, one at a time, for the kids to interact with.

They explained that the kids would be able to interact fairly freely with most of the animals, but because of Sushi's blindness, the kids were allowed to come only up two or three at a time to pet her.

Once the kids had all had a chance, the employee started to head out of the room, walking past the parent's table. I said "hey, what about us?". So she came over to our table, and as she was reiterating that we shouldn't handle the cat, the cat left her arms and settled onto my shoulders. She had clearly picked me.

She was a pretty friendly cat, though fiercely independent. And she was a fighter... I remember the house in San Leandro had a window in the upstairs bath that could open, but we couldn't put a screen on because of the design of the window. We opened it often because it was needed when the house got warm. A neighbor cat came in and Sushi came out ready for a fight, and chased the interloper out with much noise and gnashing of teeth.

Even when she fell ill, she was fighting to the very end.

I remember feeling like there was no way I could do what needed doing once she got to a place of suffering... But having grown up partially on a farm, I understood why it was necessary.

She will be remembered fondly.
akienm: (Default)
Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he is supposed
be doing at that moment. -Robert Benchley
akienm: (Default)
This is a collection of small things that *mostly* don't seem to exist in my world anymore. Some of these I've already written at length about, some I may yet write more about. A few of them do still exist, which I didn't know about until I started creating this.

I remember power outages that would last an evening. I remember the monthly crafts by mail club. I remember Indian Guides. I remember playgrounds with black rubber mats and climbing bars made of steel and otherwise unprotected. I remember small kid-powered playground roundabouts where we'd try to get them going as fast as possible until there weren't enough kids still on it to keep up the speed (the others having been flung off). I remember drive-in movies and how we'd play at the playground (along with a whole lot of other kids and no parents) by the snackbar until the announcement that the movie was about to start. I remember the tinny speaker hanging on the car window. I remember drive-in restaurants. I remember playing marbles at school. I remember candy "cigarettes". I remember Dick and Jane. I remember chemistry sets. I remember iron-on decals for *everything*. I remember very tall metal slides. I remember the rocking horse with big, unprotected springs to hold it to it's frame. I remember spirograph and spin-art. I remember bead curtains. I remember poptop cans. I remember when most soda still came in bottles. I remember making things out of the poptops. I remember when beanbag chairs were a big deal. I remember metal lunchboxes. I remember drinking from the hose. I remember checkers made of wood. I remember Little Golden Books. I remember How and Why Wonder Books.

I remember "please allow six to eight weeks for delivery". I remember dime stores. I remember a candy bar for a nickel. I remember when society allowed parents to let their kids out into the street without an escort. I remember milk men (very vaguely). I remember ubiquitous boomerang pattern Formica. I remember ubiquitous cheap dark brown wooden paneling (*shudder*). I remember washing machines with wringers on the side. I remember when we knew our neighbors and looked out for each other. I remember when most boys had paper routes. I remember coke machines that were horizontal, like a chest freezer. I remember wooden clothespins without springs in them. I remember when microwave ovens were new. I remember Space Food Sticks. I remember TV dinners.

I remember not needing a reservation to go camping. I remember riding in the open back of a pickup truck. I remember the oil embargo of the 70s. I remember when some cars didn't even have seatbelts. I remember gas reaching $1. I remember when it was safe to leave your keys in your car. I remember when almost all cars had bench seats front and back.

I remember slide projectors. I remember when TVs had to warm up. I remember our black and white TV. I remember stores that sold nothing but TVs. I remember console TVs. I remember TV repair men. I remember when they actually came to your house. I remember vacuum tube testing machines at the local store. I remember everybody watching TV together as a family. I remember when network TV news prided themselves on really doing their best to do objective reporting. I remember when Pong was new. I remember the introduction of the first home reel to reel video recorders (before Betamax & VHS, which I also remember). I remember 2 competing video disk technologies, both of which passed away. I remember TV before cable. I remember The Perfect 36 (TV station) and it's mascot, Carol Doda.

I remember records (yeah, I know they still exist, but they're a niche thing now). I remember 45s. I remember Close-And-Play. I remember cassettes. I remember when there were still 8 track tapes. I remember my old reel-to-reel tape recorder with the cat's eye level meter. I remember console stereos made of walnut with great craftsmanship. I remember the very first CD Walkman (big, bulky thing). I remember wind up phonographs, tho they were not common (my grandfather had an Edison disk player from 1897). I remember K-Tel commercials. I remember when Hi-Fi was the thing. I remember my dad's records, and the ones that made a big deal of being in stereo.

I remember telegrams. I remember dial telephones. I remember when most telephones were black desktop models. I remember party lines. I remember when direct dial was a pretty recent thing. I remember crossbar switching. I remember calling popcorn. I remember when the trimline phone was new. I remember when making a call on your wrist was limited to comic strips. I remember when a long distance call was a really big deal. I remember when CB was a big deal.

I remember parades were a lot more common. I remember all the Apollo flights and the moon landings. I remember Nixon being thrown out. I remember protests against the war in Viet Nam. I remember when all the textbooks at school said Lyndon B. Johnson was president, even tho that wasn't the case anymore.

I remember slide rules. I remember typewriters. I remember ditto machines. I remember laying out the school paper with razor blades and paste. I remember mom's first digital calculator (a Sharp with a tiny LED display, and that worked in RPN). I remember movies in school that predicted ubiquitous computers, video calling and instant access to information. I remember how it felt like science fiction. (And I have gotten to play a very small part in making that happen *woo hoo*!) I remember flashbulbs and flashcubes. I remember "brownie" and Super-8 cameras. I remember when the first LED digital watches (yes, LED not LCD) were a new and expensive thing. I remember rolodexes. I remember using the Atari 400, Atari 800, Heathkit H9, Commodore PET 2001, Sinclare ZX80, PDP-8, Wang VS 100, Apple ][, Apple ///, Apple Lisa, Commodore Vic 20, Commodore 64, Victor 9000, IBM PC 5150, IBM PC AT 5170, Compaq I, Amiga 1000, Apple Macintosh (the first one), and a host of later PC and Mac derivities

I remember when pretty much everybody smoked and there were ashtrays everywhere. I remember "safety razors". I remember when everybody wanted a nice tan. I remember leisure suits. I remember mercurochrome. I remember disco. I remember click-clacks. I remember when breaking a limb at school was part of what happened, not grounds for a lawsuit.

I remember Ultra Man, Howdy Doody, Laugh-In, Hogan's Heroes, Mister Rogers (when he was still young), The Courtship of Eddie's Father, The Beverly Hillbillies, My Favorite Martian, Lost In Space, I Dream Of Jeannie, Mister Ed, Green Acres, The Flying Nun, Batman, Bewtiched, The Newlywed Game, The Brady Bunch, Star Trek, The Munsters, The Partridge Family, The Odd Couple, M*A*S*H, All In The Family, Maude, Sanford & Son, Emergency!, Dragnet, Adam-12, Three's Company, Barney Miller, One Day At A Time, Baretta, Mayr Tyler Moore, Lou Grant, Welcome Back Kotter, Alice, WKRP In Cincinatti, The Jeffersons, The Love Boat, Quincy, M.E., Benson, The Incredible Hulk, Six-Million Dollar Man, The Monkees, Sonny & Cher, S-W-A-T, The Waltons, The Smothers Brothers, Flip Wilson, Chico & The Man, Good Times, The Carol Burnette Show, The Bob Newhart Show, The Archie Comedy Hour, Captain Kangaroo, Superman in black and white, Batman, The Banana Splits Show, The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show, The Pink Panther Show, Wacky Races, Penelope Pitstop, Yogi Bear, The Thubderbirds, Kimba, Flintstones, Stingray, Top Cat, Underdog, Woody Woodpecker, Flipper, Little House on the Prairie, Happy Days, Mister Magoo, Dark Shadows, and a host of others. I remember a bunch of entertainment options that it would no longer be politically correct to even mention.
akienm: (Default)
This is a composite memory. I remember that nothing I did was ever good enough. I was never good enough. I had to hide that I wasn't good enough. I remember working on projects, and dad would come over and tell me I wasn't doing it right, and here let me show you… And then it wasn't my project anymore. This happened so many times I remember being a still pretty small kid and asking dad why I couldn't work on my own projects. I think he relented some after that.

But I've carried not good enough ever since then. I had to succeed at everything, or the place I had in the lives of those around me would be taken away. At various times, I've talked about this in different ways, but it comes down to the same belief. Most of my jealousy came from that.

When Gene passed, I could see how much his passing effected a lot of people, including people who hadn't seen him for years. Now I've started to see how that's true for me too. And as I think about it, through the coaching work I've done, both with Dawn and on my own, I know that work has deeply touched many lives. Through SoundFit, I've come to have a clearer perspective on what I bring to my workplace as well.

Maybe I don't have to keep losing out. :)
akienm: (Default)
I remember Eugene Rominger​'s memorial. I remember the old faces and the new. I remember that the remembering was lighthearted and joyful for the most part. I remember Anthony Adragna​'s stories about explosions. I remember Robert J. Stear​ telling me later that it had drawn out memories for him that he'd completely forgotten about. I remember hearing about how Alex Medeiros's career in computers got started, and I felt really good for him. I remember Bear Thesmith was there, and that made me glad.

I also remember deciding that the lead up to this event was decent grounds to clean all the things, since we hadn't really done spring cleaning yet. I remember not figuring out how to successfully make the churros cookies until a couple of days after the event (the secret is to use a cake decorating bit to squeeze them out onto baking parchment sitting on top of dry ice. Then as soon as they're solid, getting them into the hot oil).

I also remember realizing that despite what a recluse he was in many ways, that all these people spent the time and energy to come to this. And it put my own poor sense of value into a new perspective.

I am grateful for this memory. And for all the folks who could make it.
akienm: (Default)
I remember when Gene died, it left me very busy… I had a bunch of things to take care of related to the memorial, I had a lot of processing to do (which I did online), and I allowed all this busy to get in the way of my I remembers. I remember thinking of countless things I thought I should remember to put down. I remember that part of why was because with Gene's passing, all the things in my life suddenly seemed more urgent.

I am contemplative thinking on this memory. I think I lost sight, with all the feedback from others, that I was doing this for me.
akienm: (Default)
1 lb ground turkey
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
1/2 onion, caramelized
1/2 to 1 tsp poultry seasoning (erring to the high side of that)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp paprika

mix. squish into patties. cook in hot pan. maybe with a little oil. eat. say "Aaahhhh..." :)
akienm: (Default)
I remember...

I remember my mom had a subscription to the Fad of the month club... Or the National Handcrafts Institute... Or the National Handcrafts Society. Was all the same thing. She got packages every month, and I don't remember most of them. The web doesn't have much on this, I've found the ones I could.

I remember my folks getting me a subscription for a while. I remember using the parts to one of the projects to create a game... Mostly it was a game in my own head. My brother told mom I wouldn't let him play too, and she told me I had to let him. Let him play inside my head... Nope, couldn't figure that out. So I tried to invent something based on the same set of ideas. He grew bored right quick. But by then, I'd lost whatever it was I had going on before he joined me.

I remember playing with some of mom's projects when we were kids... We weren't supposed to. We of course broke them. Was probably one of the earlier times of me getting hit by my dad, and one of the earlier times of me starting to see the world as fixable. When things broke, we could fix them. Not all the time, but most of the time.

That lesson about fixing things still drives my life today.

I like this memory.

Here are some of the images:
https://www.facebook.com/akienm/media_set?set=a.10206111047408469.1073741829.1631316577&type=3
akienm: (Default)
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup chopped dried dates

3 lb. ground lamb
2 1⁄2 cups lamb stock

1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1⁄4 tsp. saffron threads
1 Tbs. peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Chop all things needing chopping

Carmelize the onions and set aside.

Cook lamb in skillet (oil if needed). Remove from pan and set aside covered to keep the heat.

Deglaze skillet with stock

Add carrots. Cook the carrots to just barely soft while cooking down the stock

Add remaining ingredients

Cook until parsley is tender and everything else is nicely mixed and warm (in case the set aside items cooled)

Original: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/moroccan-lamb-stew.html
akienm: (Default)
1 lb lean ground meat of your choice
3 cups bell peppers, chopped (I used a combination of red, yellow & green)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh gingerroot, minced
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 cup animal (bef/chicken/lamb/etc) stock
3 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili paste
1⁄4 cup water

In a large skillet, over over medium heat, cook and stir the ground meat until evenly browned. Drain and set aside.

Add the peppers, onion, garlic and ginger.

Season with parsley, red pepper, and salt.

Cook and stir until tender.

Return the meat to the skillet.

In a small bowl, mix together the stock, soy sauce, and chile paste.

Cook until heated through and sauce comes to a boil.

Cook down by half, stirring constantly until sauce is thickened.

Original: http://www.food.com/recipe/asian-ground-beef-pepper-and-onion-saute-299322
akienm: (Default)
Probably one of the most important lessons I have learned is that my best relationships are the ones where I allow the other person to simply be who they are… And I choose how close I can comfortably be to that. How close I can comfortably be is a moment to moment thing.

I've been in relationships where I wanted the other person to be different than who they were being. Like agreeing to an open relationship, then getting jealous, and trying to make agreements to limit their behavior in some way. Or remaining in a relationship where I felt judged by the other person, and trying to find some magical tool that could make it all better.

When I do that, I'm saying "I love you! But if you'd just be somebody other than who you are, I'd love you!" Doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

This doesn't mean my partners and I don't challenge one another to be better. Leah's been exercising a lot and I do strive to keep up. But that's my choice, not a requirement of hers.


I am grateful for this learning.
akienm: (Default)
I remember we painted rooms at Dawn's house. I remember that night talking about you having a job interview or something the next day. I remember realizing you painted in your good shoes and now the black shoes were covered in a starfield of little white spots. I remember that there wasn't going to be time before the interview to get new shoes. I remember telling you to give them to me, I went and got a Sharpie, and for the next I have no idea how long, I colored those dots one by one until they were all covered up. The other side of ADD is hyperfocus, and it sure came in handy. And you had black shoes to wear to your interview.

This is an amusing memory.
akienm: (Default)
Now that it's scabbed over, it doesn't look anywhere near as bad as the open wound led me to believe.
Click here to see the scab )
akienm: (Default)
I injured my left thumb on 5/17. This is a record of it's progress.
Click only if you really wanna see the injury... )
akienm: (Default)
I Remember has usually been about incidents, occasionally about incidents and people, but mostly about snapshots I remember.

The death of my friend has left me aware that I wish I'd said all the things to him that I said after he was gone. Mind you, he did know the place he held in my heart. Nothing I've said would have *surprised* him. But I am left with a mild regret.

And it's one I don't have to repeat. So beginning today, I'll be trying to detail some of who people have been for me, before they're gone. These take a long time to write, so they'll come alone rarely.

Thanks for reading…

I remember…

I remember David Shultz.

I remember meeting you in high school. Meeting in the Drama Class. I remember quite accidently spelling your name right on the first try and you commenting on how most people got it wrong. I remember your bedroom *before* the San Ramon house, and the Led Zepplin poster on the wall. I remember chatting with you all through your drafting classes. I remember talking about the maglev train you wanted to help create.

For the longest time, my world revolved around you. You seemed so certain of where you were going, and not having anywhere to go myself, that was so seductive. We were constantly plotting this or that. You became my best friend. I remember the bookstore, and how we'd hang out with Sharon. I remember cooking pepper steak in your kitchen, and you being surprised that you liked it because it had onions in it. I remember taking amusement at the sound of bottles being crushed in the trash compactor as we cleaned up after one or the other of your other parties. I remember how we spent time with Dale Ross, the physics wiz who was astounded when we used a lever to lift his car. I remember working with you on plays, and the school dances. I remember we even had a small clump of double dates when we were both chasing different women. I remember jumping from your car as you drove away from my house… I remember jumping onto your car as you drove by, and climbing in at a number of places. I remember countless hours just hanging out, driving here or there, listening to Queen, Styx, ELO… I remember going to a Styx concert… Was it in Berkeley? It was my first concert. I remember hanging out with Laura Finco and her girlfriend (who's name now escapes me). I remember the time the 4 of us were driving across the bay bridge and they were signing at each other, and Laura made some comment about the angle not being good so she couldn't hear her. And we all laughed at that.

I remember you loaning me Richard Bach's book "Illusions". I don't know to what degree you're aware of it, but that book profoundly changed my life. That book gave me a new set of ideas about how the world works. That book made me see what religion really meant *to me*, and allowed me to see that my religion was not my folk's Christianity. That book got me through so many difficult times. In fact, it's only now, as I write this, that I realize that the most important lesson I got from that book was that there are alternatives to learned helplessness.

I remember going to college. I remember hanging around with you and Judy Cope, Mike Delgado, and yet another host of additional folks. I remember we sat the same tables at the same times of day. I remember you organizing a trip to Wrath of Kahn in the theaters, and how I connected with Judy there. I remember you taking a swing at me because I'd made a connection with somebody you were interested in. I think it was Judy? Or was it Clovis? Doesn't matter. I think I remember that it wound up eventually creating more connection, not less. Though it took a while before it was even clear to me why you'd taken a swing at me.

I remember the clipboard computer we noodled about building, that shows up in the tablets of today. The clip was really unnecessary, clearly.

I remember designing worlds for role playing games. I remember learning Trillian Credit Squadron from you. And how we went to a con where there was going to be a tournament, but we arrived too late. I later played the winning ships from that con against our "jump-shuttle enabled" fleet, and we won easily, but that was after the tournament was over. I remember role playing games with David Ebling, his wife Janet, Ron Tolvar, and small host of others.

I remember you introduced me to Clovis Carleton. She enabled me to take what I'd learned from Illusions and remake my life with it. It was one of the most important romantic relationships in my life.

I remember at Faire, when you led a parade and yelled "make ye way for a bunch of drunken Scots!" And then got into an argument with a tree because it wouldn't get out of the way.

I remember working in Livermore and hanging out with you, Phil Rostonovitch, Eugene Rominger, Josh Scholar, Frank Fuller, Jack Thornton, Ken Rose, Scott Emery and a host of others. I remember swordfighting for practice in the parking lot outside of SofTalent. I remember exploring the coastal defense batteries with you and those folks. I remember knife throwing practice in the office.

I remember you beginning to delve into paganism, and how for a time, that created yet more overlap for us. I remember the Tuesday Group… I remember holding rituals in Tilden, at the costal defense batteries, so many places. I remember how as part of the Tuesday Group you officiated at my wedding to Dawn Davidson. Black robe, white overmantle, and the green circular tree ornament that Gene created for you to wear.

I remember one encounter where I was intoxicated and so not at my best… You turned to Dawn and said something to the effect of "is this really what you want?" I don't think I ever said anything, but I was so angry at you for that.

I remember that after that, we drifted apart somewhat. You took a place sharing a house with Clovis and a few others. I remember you drifting to a different part of the pagan world too.

I remember that a small part of why we drifted apart was because of increasing resentment over my getting excited and invested in your ideas, but then you seemed to grow disinterested. Planus Interruptus. It left me feeling like following you wasn't ever going to get me anywhere. I remember many years later when we talked about this, and got it talked through. I am really glad of that.

I remember year after year seeing you organizing things for Pantheacon. It seemed like you'd really found a good niche. I remember hearing that you and Angela Carlson were attached. It made my heart glad for the both of you.

I remember helping you with a last load on your move into a place that apparently you spent longer in than any other up to that point. 15 years by the time Gene passed.

I remember you and I chatting after Gene's passing. I remember realizing only then that you might be ADD too. I remember you being kind of amazed at the 3D Scanner I'd designed. I remember being impressed with your working as a minister to folks in prison. I also remembered a lot of times where I'd been your minister. I really, really liked remembering that. I hope you did eventually listen to the tapes I gave you of Richard Bach reading Illusions.

I am grateful you've been in my life.

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Akien MacIain

August 2017

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