dametheadee: (excuse me)
[personal profile] dametheadee
ETA (5/2/09):   This is not a new update - I am top posting it to make it easier for people to find.  Please feel free to skip if you have been here before.

Hi there, readers. 
I decided it is time to post a blog to talk about who I am.  This may seem redundant to those of you who I have been in touch with for the last 20+ years, but thanks to the wonderfulness that is facebook (and other social networking sites) I have found some people that I thought I would never get to talk to again.  YAY!!

So here's some info about me.  Some of this goes back old-school, and you may think it is too much info, but you don't have to read....   If you are coming here from another site and don't have a LJ account, you are welcome to comment, but comments will be screened here so they may not show up on the list right away.  This is obviously an open post since I am sending people here that might not have live journal accounts.

Anyway, here goes....

I graduated from college in May, 1994.  For a while I lived at Sunset and Alvarado in an apartment with some people I found through the classified ads.  One of the guys wasn't too bad, but it turned out the other one was a heroin addict.  He gave the keys to his truck (and his house) to some guys so they could take some of his stuff to hovk for drugs.  They, being smart criminals, came and cleaned out our apartment.  Right around that time, I was working a job that didn't really have a long term future (even though it was a lot of fun) and stage managing in some 99-seat theaters in West Hollywood, and thinking I wanted something different from life.  Around my birthday in October, 1994, I was talking on the phone with a girl I knew from one of the TELNET (remember those?) chatrooms back in the early days of the internet.  She lived in Billings, Montana.  I was telling her about things, and expressing my frustration about wanting/needing to move, and she said "It's too bad you don't live up here - my roommate is moving out and I need someone to move in."  So I asked her when she was leaving, she said mid-December, and after thinking about it for about 2 seconds, I decided to move to Montana. Really I ended up thinking about it more than that, but I thought it is time for an adventure!!  So in December, 1994, I moved to Montana.  Did I mention I had NEVER been in the state of Montana before??   As I was driving up there, I thought "what am I doing here?" and figured I would give it a year, and if I hated it, I could go back to Cali.

I didn't hate it at all.  I loved the mellow lifestyle.  I loved the lack of pressure to get ahead, and the lack of crime.  I did not love that Billings is a cowtown, and there are some pretty pervasive redneck attitudes.  I was from California, and as far as some people were concerned, that meant that I was evil or something. (something about rich Californians buying up land and jacking up property values - never mind that I drove a POS '84 Toyota, and it was clear that I wasnt't rich *lol*)  But not everyone felt that way, and I made a lot of friends at the Karaoke Bar  (The Players Club which no longer exists for those who know Billings).

I also worked for a living.  For the first six months or so, I was a shift manager at a Taco Bell.  Then I started doing home health care, where you go to people's homes and help them with personal care, housekeeping, shopping, etc.   I didn't think I would love that job, but I really did!  Who knew?  It was pretty much diametrically opposed from the career I thought I would have when I majored in Theatre Technology and Design and minored in Audio Recording and Music Synthesis at CSU Dominguez Hills!  

Anyway, so I was at the Karaoke bar sometime in the early spring of 1995, annd I had been talking to some people off and on throughout the night.  It was time for the bar to close, and one of the guys I was talking to (Morgan Wolf for those who might know) asked me what I was doing the next day.  I asked why, and he said he and a bunch of his friends were going to Pioneer Park and they were going to hit each other with sticks.  I replied "Oh, are you in the SCA?"  and so started my love affair with the Society for Creative Anachronism.  IThe SCA is a reenactment/recreation group that studies the time period from 600 - 1600AD.  I started attending as of that fighter practice the next day and have been a participant continuously ever since.  I was aware of the SCA for some time before I joined (I knew about it through friends and a long time love for Renaissance Festivals) but never connected with the local group in Southern California when I lived there.  Who had time with college, jobs, and no car?

So I was working and doing the SCA thing.  I jumped in with both feet at the local level.  I loved being involved with things and learning about stuff.  The SCA appeals to the part of me that has always loved learning and teaching.  I do all kinds of studies, and the best part is that I get to choose what I do.   Fo those who have wondered, the name Thea is a nickname derived from my SCA persona, Theodora of Trebizond.  A persona is basically the "character" you portray when you participate in the SCA.  

I went to a number of SCA events, mostly around the Billings area, for the first year or so I participated.  I went across the state to an event in the group in Missoula that fall.  Those were all indoor events, held in a hall where there were activities and you went home (or to someone's house to stay over) at the end of the day.  Then I went to my first camping event.  It was the 30 year anniversary celebration for the Society, held in June, 1996, in Vancouver Washington.  We were going to be camping out for five days (or was it 6) and it was a huge event.  I remember hearing that there were about 10,000 people there.  I met some people there that I am friends with to this day.   It was a bit overwhelming, though.

 So I digress.  About a month after that, in June, 1996, someone I had met at the 30 year celebration had encouraged me to go to an event in Idaho (just outside of Idaho Falls).  That is the event where I got together with Taber, who is now my husband.  He is also in the SCA.  I had met him before, at a big fighter practice or two, but we didn't really hang out until that event.  He lived in Missoula, and I lived in Billings. Not a big deal, you think, at least you were living in the same state!!  While that is true, Montana is a big freaking state, and it took about 7 hours to get from one to the other, more in winter.  After doing that for almost a year, I decided to move to Missoula.  Originally, I was going to get an apartment with a friend, and *not* move in with Taber right away, but plans changed, and he and I lived with my friend until she moved out.  I was still working in home health care, and the company I worked for in Billings had an office in Missoula, which made for a nifty, easy job transfer.  Until they never had enough hours.  So I got a job working for Opportunity Resources, a company that provides services to adults with developmental and physical disabililties.  I fell in love with that job!!  I had really found my place in the workplace, and worked at a variety of jobs there over the years.  Who knew? 

Taber got a job working for a company doing lawn care and loved his job too.  We were working, and going to SCA things, and participating in the SCA group in Missoula.  He did armored combat, and I dabbled in art things.  But my real love in the SCA, aside from learning things, is service.  I love planning events, and I have been in a variety of offices in the groups over the years.  What I love the most is Royal service - helping the Kings and Queens (or Princes and Princesses, Barons and Baronesses too) be organized and run their activities.  If you want more details about how the SCA works, click on the link above and it will take you to the SCA website.

Taber and I lived together until August 12, 2000.  We got married on that day in a ceremony that was unorthodox, to say the least, but exactly what I had wanted it to be.  I will post more about the wedding another time when I can add pictures to the mix.
So we were just kindof cruising along - struggling a little financially because Missoula is an expensive place to live, and we weren't making a ton of money (I didn't go into the human services field for the cash, and it's a good thing!!).  My video Keno habit didn't help matters any.

I went to Uprising (the annual event in Idaho) in June, 2004, and Taber couldn't go because of his work schedule.  I spent most of that war hanging out with my friends who live in Utah.  I got to thinking about the possibility of moving to Utah.  I went home and talked to Taber and he said if I could get a job in Utah we could move.  I got information on people that provide disability services and started sending resumes.  I went down to Salt Lake City at the end of July, had one really great interview, got the job, and moved down by the end of August to start work.  Taber followed in early December, 2004, and we have been living here ever since.  I work for an agency serving people with disabilities and Taber does lawn care and pest control.

We are still active in the SCA.  In November, 2005, I became a member of the Order of the Pelican, which is basically (for the non-SCA folks) like a knighthood for service.  We have a good life, and I don't have the same gambling problem (kinda hard when you live in a state like Utah *lol*)  
You are welcome to go through the archives of my journal here.  There are a number of open entries that will fill in some of the gaps.  There are always  more details, but there is also work today, and I need to get there on time.

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