I've had a few questions come in and figured I'd start answering them. For the sake of privacy, I will not post the askers ID and may 'edit the question' so that it doesn't identify anyone in particular.
Why are you doing this to yourself?
I have made mistakes in my life. I still make mistakes. But I'm ever trying to clean up my life and live a better one. Part of this involves making the best amends you can to those in the past, acknowledging your past, and moving on. Also, I know my world view is my own. Not everyone is going to agree with it, and I've learned...well... That's okay. So if people want to come forth and ask me anything... maybe it means they are interested at least to hear my answer. Good or bad. They may not like the answer. But at least it's been asked and I've given my best shot to be honest and true about it.
Do you see children in your future?
This is a great question. The answer may or may not surprise the asker. The simple answer is absolutely, yes. And my belief is that any two parents can raise a child and a half. Thus I think 3 parents can safely raise 3 children :) My parents (Who are no longer with me) were married at the ages of 26 and 23. My parents gave birth to me at the ages of 27 and 25. Sadly, I'm pretty sure that I know when I was conceived *Shudder.* I do want children. But I also know the hell that my upbringing was and the problems that caused my family to turn into the dysfunctional mess it became. I now go to counseling to find out which of my behavior patterns came from what events in my life. Like all parents, I want the absolute best for a child or children. I just don't want to destroy them in the process of trying to get them there... Further, I want to know that I can provide an environment for them, even if something horrible should happen to me.
Will I the questioner buy a house this summer or fall?
First comment on this: Consciously, I of course have no idea. I will type the first thing that came to mind when I read this. I do this because, well, if it's fortune telling, I figure the first impression out of the mythos that is the ether of my gut, is as right as a dart board:
You will find a house you truly love this summer. You will begin the process of mortgage or pre-qualify or something like that. However, right when all looks good, something will go wrong on the paper work level. It may look like it's a problem on your end, but inevitably it will actually be the banks fault. Sadly in the process of this, this dream house will miss its window. None the less, you should still try to pursue this house until the offer truly is withdrawn. This will cause some heart ache and anger... but that is okay. It will test you in the process to face thru the hard time. Very quickly there after, this problem will cause you to have an open opportunity in the mid to late autumn, that will supply you with unexpected means to find a house that you hadn't even dreamed was possible and your efforts will be paid off.
Note: Predictions are for entertainment only. No credibility should be given to them, and no lawsuit should be levied against me if the information above is false or true :) I just made up what came to mind. (Please tell me how the house thing comes out)
WHY is your name?
I love this question. There is so much that it could be asking, but it's inevitably up to me to decide what it means.
I currently label things (when I sign them, which as of about 6-7 months ago, is almost never ;) as G. 'Andrei' Tapolow. My most common username ID is lordandrei, though gtapolow and gt42 were popular ones.
So we'll take 'em in order.
"G.": My birth name has since been reduced down to an abbreviation. Until I legally change it, which is intended in the relative near future, it is part of my legal name. Personally, I don't use it if I can help it. The name carries (for me) too many bad memories... not enough good ones.
As a kid I was mercilessly teased. The reason for this was because, I let myself be teased. In the case of my first name, it was typically because of the attachment to the Brady Bunch which was running more often than Seinfeld or Friends does today.
The other extra-familial irritant was that no one could ever figure out my 'default' name. I was always asked how I spelled it. "One G or Two?" This is a private joke among the secret council of people with this name... none of us will ever answer "one" because we know the real question should be, "Two Gs or Three" ;) Then there are the times I get people who call me "G---ory." Because the conversation always goes the same way since everyone seems to be convinced they know better than I would,
"No, it's just G---" Here it comes
"Yea, but on your birth certificate, doesn't it say..."
"Just G---; G---ory was a pope. Is this the nose of a papal candidate?"
I think maybe it's intellectual snobbery. It's a four letter name that is spelled the way it sounds... And yet, I spend too much time having to explain it. Do the Bobs out there who are not Roberts have the same problem?
But the worst part is how my mother managed to wire that name into my ass. (I have relayed this story to many people) I was about 9 or 10. I was in my room to do homework and I sat in my little desk chair. My ass hit the seat and I heard my 'name' caterwauled by my mother downstairs. This always made my muscles tense, partially because she sounded like an angry cat when she called, and partially because we actually had an intercom in the house and it made no sense why people howled up and down the steps. I went downstairs. She wanted me to do some things around the kitchen for her. (We won't go into the entire, my life as mom's resource story here). After about 10 minutes of random stuff I asked her if there was anything else... She said no... I traipsed back up stairs. I got to my room and as I hit the chair again, my 'name' got howled again. Back down I went. 10 more minutes of helping her with things she had forgotten. I asked her, "Anything else."... No. "Are you sure?"... No... "Can I go upstairs now?".... Yes...
I went upstairs... I got to my room. I didn't sit down. I listened for a moment. Now it became a bad cartoon. I went to sit, but stopped myself to listen. I crouched and stood about 3 or times. After about 5 minutes of this crouching dance over my chair and the belief that I was 'off the hook' I sat down. My ass hit the chair and pressed the astral button and immediately, I mean IMMEDIATELY, my 'name' got called. Had there been a laugh track it would have gone off.
'Andrei' The SCA is a dangerous place. The sharpest memory I have is of the phrase, "If you don't pick a name in the SCA, we'll pick one for you. And Jocelyn (Just Lynne), Robin the Just (Just Robin), Scotyldu (Scott will do), and JuanSun (If you don't pick a name you'll just end up with One Soon) will tell you that this is true. And I was just as guilty of doing this. My first year in the SCA (which next to no one knows or remembers) was as Grigoretch. (Gree' GOR'' etch). Thank you Jimmy I. After a while and some research, I went to "Andrei Grigorievich Topolev", Topolev being the closest approximation of what I have researched my family name to be before they had it clobbered at Ellis Island. Andrei simply means, "A man", Grigorievich was partially a bow to Jimmy and the long loved and sorely missed "Elspeth en fearach" who introduced me into the SCA which now is a permanent fixture of my license plate ;) It also mean the child (or creative birth) of G-igorie. So, the G sticks.
Andrei remains, because I discovered that I liked being called Andrei more. Also, after camping for two weeks straight, with everyone calling you Andrei... you tend to accidentally stop answering to other names. I remember being in a mall with friends and S.O. shortly after the Pennsic War and my S.O. was on the upper floor calling down to me. She used "G" a couple of times... After getting exasperated that I wasn't answering her. She redoubled her efforrts and called, "Andrei", Instinctively, I heard it turned around, looked up and yelled, "Aye?"
After that, she just took to primarily calling me Andrei. When I moved to L.A. it just seemed easier for me. There were a few people in L.A. who knew me electronically by "G" and to this day there are people here who call me "AndreiG---" This also because there is someone here locally in our group who is named "Andre". It's also my fault because I decided to start with "Andrew" which seemed like a slightly more reasonable name to have people in social life use. Unfortunately, there were 3 Andrews in the area already. So I tried to make a quick change to Andrei. It caused some confusion at first, but. In two years, most people in my social world have either been introduced to me as 'Andrei' or at least acquiesced that it's just easiest to call me, "Andrei" because I respond with the least amount of bristling to it.
Sadly at the office... They still use my legal name. Humourously, in the credits for all Norton Software for the Mac since I joined the company 2 years ago, I have gone in and hacked the source code, so that my name appears as G. 'Andrei' Tapolow A few people at the office (and I mean FEW) actually use Andrei... I keep hoping. :)
EDIT:2004-03-16: I changed companies between June of 2003 and September 2003. On my resume I made a transition to 'G. "Andrei" Tapolow" and my coworkers know me as Andrei
Since this is running long some quick notes on my ID. With the proliferation of the net, people add all string of obscene numbers to User IDs. Kathy1977, Jerry7176, Serpentia666, etc... (These are made up... please don't IM them and tell them you get their IDs from me.) I lucked out. Someone in the middle Kingdom of the SCA thought that trying to get a group started and driving my college friends 2 hours a week out of town to the local group was worth recognition. I got the title Lord in the SCA. The middle also like showing awards. I got politely scolded by a queen for saying, "Andrei is fine, your majesty." I was pleased when I found out that "LordAndrei" made a simple ID I could often get without conflict.
Humourously, I have since been told that there are a few pagans who believe that using lord indicates me as incredibly pompous and arrogant. One incredibly vociferous pagan made public statement of this and he based it on his absolute knowledge on the topic as the reincarnation of Merlin. <MOOD tone=Sarcastic>I love the net.</MOOD>
I'll wrap up with 'gt42'. This will only make sense to a few people. After 7 years of trying... I never was able to get an account on Andrew. ;)
Did you talk to XXX about one of my journal entries?
As people have begun to notice, I've been taking LJ in waves. I've been very active at work and in church, and now in a happy relationship. So I'm not on very often. I have to admit, that your journal had popped lower in priority or reading, just on the basis of time and how often we speak. But, I recently read back on your journal, and noticed that I'd been unsubscribed for a short while. I took that to mean, we hadn't talked for a while.. you weren't reading me... and you were pruning list... Then I read back in your journal...
I don't know if I can or can not prove your trust. It's not for me to make you trust or not trust me. I can only be me and hope that garners or does nothing to reduce your trust. That being said, I will comment, that I try to believe in the sanctity of the 'private post' I make several myself. I also try to observe the sanctity of privacy. Note Try. I will however, tell people, "Do not ask me to try to keep "X" from this person or that." I have several people that I am very blatantly open and honest to. If you ask me to keep confidence I will tell you it is best not to give me the info then. There are also secrets that I will keep to the grave. Such as... (Never mind ;)
I think I've spoken to you (and the party in question) about once each in the past 6 months. I'm sorry that someone has broken that confidence... But sadly in situations like that.. it's usually someone far closer than you ever want to believe it is... You and I have kinda drifted apart over time. Which is a shame, because you are fun to hang out with. I hope you catch the person who you feel has betrayed your trust.
In your honest opinion, if we'd have had a chance to be a couple would it have worked?
This question brought a big smile to my face and a bit of a chuckle. I could go on and on about this. But I think I can say a couple of quick things...
First, what does the term "Worked" mean? Of everyone I know... There are only two marriages that have survived from the day I met you until today. I know that I have yet to make a relationship, "Work" over the long haul. And to those currently in any relationship of any form, I can only say, "I hope it works. I hoped the last ones worked.. they didn't. Let's all hope that this one is one that will work."
That being said...
Who's to say that the relationship we have isn't working as it ;?)
"Every man and every woman is a star"
Enjoy your orbits about each other for what they are and for as long as they are willed to be and for what they may be willed to be.
I will tack on more questions as they come in and post that new revisions have come in.
Note: To date, All questions asked have been answered and none (save the removal of a name) have been edited. All questions have been answered absolutely truthfully :)