She owes it all to David, in-house geek & hubby.
So what the heck is the dealio with the ampersands?? Well, we swore we wouldn’t tell our friend (and best man) Steve until one of us was dead (not Steve, though. That would suck). For now all I’ll say is that it’s an old joke from the very beginning of us.
I was born in an area of southwestern Colorado where there used to be dinosaurs… I’ve been a dinosaur fan ever since. It was the late Fifties – I was a late Boomer, in fact. When I was a baby, we moved to Albuquerque, NM. My earliest memories are of stubbing my toe in front of our faux-adobe house on Candelaria, and of being locked out in the back yard. When I knocked on the screen door and demanded entry, I heard my mom say “They all ran away and joined the circus!” This confused me deeply – if they all ran away, who was telling me this? It sounded like my mom… and if they joined the circus, what would they do? I puzzled over this for some time, even after my mom let me in and told me it was a joke.
I grew up speaking Spanish with the Rivera kids two houses over, and reading children’s books that had Hispanic and Pueblo Indian characters and settings. I’m still strongly attracted to Hopi and Navajo silver jewelry (not that I could afford a solid sterling squash blossom necklace then…). Later, I read all about the Cliff Dwellers and the Basket Makers and dreamed of being an archeologist. I started reading spontaneously at about age 4, because my mom had been reading to me for more than a year, and she taught me using phonics. Strangely enough, it came together in my head all at once when I was looking at the Sunday funnies one morning, and I ran out of my room hollering “I can read! I can read!” and proved it by reading everything she handed to me. I was still sleeping in a crib at the time. This probably led to having all the children’s books. Haven’t stopped since.
In 1962, we moved to Salt Lake. The “blissfully happy” part of my childhood stopped about then, and the “still very happy, except for the mean kids at school” part started.
In 1968, Pop died. The anxious “are we OK, Mom?” part of my childhood started, but ended in a few years. Some fun ensued eventually, I guess. The “mean kids at school” part of my childhood went into high gear.
Then puberty happened. Misery unbounded. The first few years, I was the object of much public scorn from nearly all and sundry. The last few years, I was socially invisible. Or maybe it was a form of caste untouchability? Lather, rinse, repeat – until finally I left for college. Somewhere about then, I read The Hobbit and then The Lord of the Rings. This probably explains much about me.
College? I don’t remember that much. Had a lot of fun. Never did get my degree. Like I said, fun. Somewhat lonely, so pursued much fun to make up for it. Read much science fiction and fantasy. Star Wars, of course. It was all about Star Wars for a good long while. And then there was Indy. Oh, Indy.
My obsession with the comic adventures of Retief of the Corps Diplomatique Terrestrienne started then. Still have many old paperbacks with “Smith’s Used Book Store” tags on them. I still fall in to some of them.
Fell into travel career by accident in 1986. Never looked back. Lonely in Eugene, then moved to Seattle. Still lonely. Occasionally had much fun to make up for it. Watched a lot of TV. Got an orange stripey cat named Studebaker. I was thus a single woman with a cat, and we watched a lot of TV. I became a huge fan of Highlander. Yes, I know, it was a cheesy concept, but damn! that man really knew how to swing a sword (he had a couple of good swordmasters). I bought a computer and became a low-level geekette fangirl and then a medium-high churchlady (ie., “smells and bells” liberal Anglican). Then I bought plane and train tickets for a trip to Utah and Colorado, to see family and then to run off to Denver to the first Highlander convention, to meet all my online chat friends (and see the stars of the show, oh yeah).
Somehow, the TV watching and computer-geeking fangirlishness led to meeting David almost 10 years ago. It’s corny, but he’s my true love. Moved to Chicago, life is good. We travel when we can, take lots of photos, and are citizens of the TiVo Nation. We’re a geek couple. Strangely enough, we don’t go to science fiction conventions – just the one we met at, and the one the next year when I was still living in Seattle and David was in Chicago.
And now back to our show…
UPDATE: We have now been married more than 20 years. I guess this TV fandom romance thing is real? I had a Second Life for more than 10 years and may still log in occasionally to build stuff and chat. If I do, you can find me there as @LelaniCarver but it’s not going to be soon. We’ve had 2 more cats post-Studebaker, Riley and Pearl. My accidental travel job is also still a thing, for more than 25 years. Just getting back to normal after the Great Pandemic of 2020/2021. FULLY VAXXED AND BOOSTED, tysm.