Today marks my one-year anniversary of escaping the hellraiser chains of Alaska and moving to Seattle! WOOHOO!

Well, okay, technically according to my post when I bought my plane ticket, the actual day of arrival was the 17th, not the 15th. However, I just now figured that out, and I’ve had the 15th in my head for a while now, so I’ll just go with that. Because this is my website, and my life, and I can. So there. Bleah.

It’s been a good year. The usual ups and downs of day to day life, sometimes with a bit more stress due to the new environs and the general issues of transplanting one’s life, but overall, pretty good.

After my arrival, I spent a nice relaxing first few weeks couch crashing with Dez, Casey, and Chad at their apartment in Ballard. Seattle was having an unusually gorgeous summer at the time — 80-degree days and sunshine for the first couple months I was here — enough that even I was able to put some color in my skin! Casey gave me my first real look at just how different of an environment I was in when he took me to Gas Works Park to watch the fireworks over Lake Union — literally thousands of people had turned out, and it looked almost like the entire population of Anchorage was in this park. I know it wasn’t that much, but there sure were a lot. Very different from anything I’d seen before — and very, very cool.

The Shannon ApartmentsJust less than a month after my arrival, I got into my first Seattle apartment — a tiny little one-room studio that I soon dubbed ‘The Shoebox’ right near the intersection of Pike and Broadway. The Capitol Hill district of Seattle is known as one of the central areas for much of Seattle’s ‘counter-culture’ scene, and living within easy walking distance of Broadway, one of the main drags in Capitol Hill, was a blast. Theaters, clubs, bars, restaurants, and all sorts of funky little shops all within easy walking distance! I bounced between job searching, exploring, watching movies, and slightly damaging myself at nightclubs, and basically took advantage of the job-free days to enjoy summertime in a new city. My friend Holly, who’d moved to Seattle from Anchorage a couple years back got ahold of me, and invited me out to a couple parties with her and her friends, and started introducing me to people other than ex-Alaskans.

The job hunt took longer than I was hoping, causing my first real moment of stress — however, the next day I got a call for an interview, which ended up going well, and within days I was officially employed. So much for stress, huh?

My office building from 73 stories upSo, August found me working in downtown Seattle at Aurther Andersen’s offices. I did get the occasional distractions from returning to the day-to-day drudgery of regular work, as Casey and friends drug me out to a Bare Naked Ladies concert out at the Gorge, and towards the end of the month, Kevin visited for a weekend on his way from Tennessee to Anchorage.

September started well with a long weekend at the Bumbershoot music festival. Then, of course, everything went boom. The first rumblings of political upheaval started, right-wing religious leaders got very stupid, and things across the nation got just a little bit nuttier. In what proved to be a short-lived bit of escapism, I broke my long-standing boycott of television to check out the new Star Trek show.

October started off fairly slow, and I spent a lot of my free time working on new mixes for my DJ propaganda page. I got annoyed with my job, and towards the end of the month Rick made it to Seattle and my parents came by to visit on the same weekend. November continued in the same vein until mid-month, when I met another ex-Alaskan while hanging out in the Yahoo! Chat Seattle rooms, and by the end of Thanksgiving weekend, Candice and I were dating.

I finally got my DSL connection installed in early December, and soon discovered that I could find some of my earliest Usenet postings on the Internet — back in February of 1994. I’ve been doing this for a while now, haven’t I? Anyway, I got to go to the Pigface concert at the EMP and hang out with a bunch of old friends from Anchorage, which was an interesting combination of very cool and very bizarre at the same time. I also hit my six months in Seattle landmark — it really doesn’t seem that long ago. Of major importance to my ‘geek life’ was finally buying the djwudi.com domain for my website, where it now resides.

Kevin and me at Son of River City BilliardsAfter surviving the single most frightening plane ride I’ve ever been on, I landed in Anchorage to spend Christmas weekend visiting family and friends — and Candice, who was also in Anchorage over Christmas break! It made for a fun break, but running around in 20 below weather on Christmas Eve definitely reminded me of some of the reasons why I’m glad to be living in Seattle now!

Space Needle goes BOOM!2002 arrived, and I rung in the new year with Candice, Chad, Don, Tim, and Rick, at Tim and Rick’s apartment downtown. Chad had a birthday, and I muddled my way through life. I got to see the Olympic Torch come through Seattle on its way to the games, which was a treat. Seattle surprised me by actually getting some snow, and I closed out January by getting to see Concrete Blonde perform.

Ever since I had started working downtown I’d been watching a skyscraper being built just a couple blocks away in amazement, and finally found out a little bit about those amazing cranes they use. The Park Seneca from the westI also started hearing rumblings from my apartment manager about the possibilities of moving when he switched to a new building. He’d just accepted a new position, and invited me along to move in and give him a hand with building maintenance as a weekend job to make a little extra money — it sounded good to me, so I told him that I was game, and we started working on that. I made a list of seven things I was grateful for, after reading a post on Wil Wheaton’s site.

The kitty litter cakeCasey turned 30, and Dez made him the most amazingly wonderfully disgusting cake I’ve ever seen in my life. Dez, quite simply, rocks. R — A — W — K rawks. I discovered that my move would be a bit more expensive than I hoped, but nothing I couldn’t cope with. I finally found a name for my weblog worth sticking with — “The Long Letter” — and ended February with a look back at where I’d been at important dates in history.

March, in theory getting in towards springtime, brought an unusually heavy snowfall to Seattle. Well, heavy for Seattle — as an ex-Alaskan, I was pretty amused by this. America hit the six-month anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and took a moment to look back on things. I added a bit to my net-infamy by getting mentioned in AtAT, an Apple-flavored soap opera, and got the keys to my new apartment. I also decided to stop using my @yahoo.com e-mail address, and switched over to use an @myrealbox.com address for my public e-mail. Lastly for March, I decided that the new Star Trek show, ‘Enterprise’, just wasn’t worth watching.

April Fools day proved to be one of the worst I’ve had in a long time, when I was let go from my position at Andersen. Stress levels skyrocketed, but luckily enough, soon enough I ended up with a two-day posting which quickly turned into a permanent full-time posting at the Xerox print shop on the Microsoft campus! Total time of unemployment — approximately one week. Candice and me at Bimbo'sLater that month, I took the opportunity of going with a bunch of friends to see Robin Williams perform to make my first public appearance with my brand new ‘haircut’. I’d had a few people over the years mention that I might look decent if I shaved my head, I finally decided to give it a shot – and I’ve gotta admit, I like it!

May 3rd, I turned 29. I’m running out of days before I enter my third decade! One of the few stories that I think actually gave the 9/11 attacks a run for sheer newspaper space devoted to it was the release of the second (or fifth) Star Wars movie — which as it turns out, I was less than impressed with. In a word — overkill. There was one weekend of definite ups and downs — on the one hand, I got to go see Peter Murphy in concert…on the other hand, Candice and I split up. However, we’re remaining friends, and it was a mercifully drama-free parting of the ways, so it wasn’t nearly as much of a downer as it could have been.

This month started with a great Kidney Thieves/KMFDM show, and aside from occasional long days working on the building with Melvin, things have been fairly slow and steady. I got all ‘geek-nostalgic’ at one point, which was fun, but may have been incomprehensible for people not as much into computers as I.

And that pretty much sums up my first year living outside of Anchorage! Hopefully this hasn’t been too boring to work through…I’ve certainly had a fun time living it. Next weekend I get to visit Anchorage for a weekend to see my friends James and Stacy get married — with any luck, I’ll be able to see as many of my friends as possible while I’m up there. Should be a lot of fun.

For the moment though, I’m going to stop my nostalgic rambling, and get on with the here and now. Until later….