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This year was a real wrecking ball. Sure there were good times, but on a whole it was rough. A year to forget, if it wasn't for one very important event, that would come just before my birthday.
Above you will see a picture of my work environment at Fairlane Fire. It was my first real technical job, and I enjoyed many aspects of it. I liked the change from selling things to people to fixing things for people. I felt my job had a real purpose, keeping people safe.
The machine coming out of the floor in the back is used for hydrostatic testing of gas pressure vessels. It was hand made in the 60's, and was rather a fussy thing. On the floor in front of it is an old hand made air vise. The day I took this photo I had just finished testing 2 large class M containers that you can see on the left of the photo. They are hanging upside down on a hot air drying rack, which, was also hand made.
I worked very hard at Fairlane, and part of my job was to rebuild fire extinguishers. I could, and would regularly complete 30 to 40 a day. Aparently this was amazing according to my co-workers. At the begining of the year I started to have a lot of pain in my right hand. It became so bad that it would wake me up during the night. I finally went to a doctor and they told me I had de Quervain's Tenosynovitis. Basically a nasty inflammation caused by the repetitive motion of twisting valves off of extinguisher bodies. I was told to stop this motion immediatley, which meant I couldn't do my job. I quit and after struggling with the idea of being on EI, I decided to go for it. From February to May I would be unemployed and without the use of my right hand.
To top this all off I decided to leave Rachel at the end of March, and that did not end gracefully.
The Wall Street house made for a good place to be unemployed. Our computer room on the main floor was big and had a great view out of two large windows. I was with all my friends too, and as you can see from the picture above we had great shared dinners that Brenden made for us.
In April, I was supposed to fly back to Ontario to be at my brother's wedding. A couple of days before I was supposed to go my ears were bothering me. They have never been the same since I had a serious infection in them during 2004. A doctor suggested that I didn't fly due to the risk of breaking my eardrums. I found myself, 5 days before the wedding date, with no suit, jumping on an eastbound Greyhound. For those of you that have not crossed the country this way, you spend about 3 days on a bus.
My father, being the geneorus man that he is, bought me a train ticket for my ride back West. You can see the view from the observation room in the above photo. I would suggest the train to anyone. It is a very romantic way to cross this great country.
I returned to a house thats time was done. Alysha and Aaron went tree planting, and Simeon wanted a place of his own. Brenden and I decided to share the basement(which was considered a seperate unit) starting in May. Living with Brenden was good, and having a built in bar is always nice, but the darkness and lack of windows only helped my general state of depression.
On May 7th, at 5:26am, my mother called to tell me my grandmother, Maria Kawerau(Amie to some) died. I was overcome with sadness, and the distance from my family that usual does not bother me, came to me like lead weight. All I wanted to do was get in my car and drive back East. That ofcourse did not happen. A couple of weeks later a young cousin of mine died in England. It was a rough month for my family.
Sometimes I wonder if this world can only contain so much goodness, and so for new positive energy to form the old must go. On May 9th, at 7:26am I was asked by my friend Angel and her partner Cary to help them have a child by giving them my sperm. I thought this to be a sign, and right away answered yes, I knew in my heart that it was the proper thing to do. There are times in this life when you just have to follow your instinct without question.
It was decided that I would leave in September for Angel's home in Texas to, well, simply put, get her pregnant. For the mean time I found a light duty job driving for NAPA(yes the trucks with the big plastic yellow hats ontop), and a new apartment to move into for the first of August.
You can see a picture of me in my apartment on the left. I am reading a book while sitting in "The Purple Chair" which I bought way back in 2001 while living in Victoria. My apartment is near a large park which I often take walks through. The photo on the right is a typical view on a good day. My apartment was great for laying in bed with the morning sun beating down on you only to be cooled by the breeze that came in the open window at the head of the bed.
September came and I boarded a bus for Austin. I happened to be travelling just after Hurricane Katrina hit. My four day jounrey down and four days back were chaotic. Hundreds of displaced people were moving to different cities, and the bus system was overloaded. It made me sad to see people with their entire life in a box, looking for answers, looking for homes, looking for food. I met a lot of strong people along the way. The human spirit is indeed strong.
Texas was great, and two weeks after I arrived back home, I recieved a call from Angel telling me that it worked, she was pregnant. I cried. All the crap that had come down the pipe earlier seemed to have been just washed away in that instant.
The year wrapped up quite well. My folks came out to visit me. It was their first time on the West Coast, and they enjoyed it. It felt good to finally show them the things I do here in person. Now when I talk to them they can picture things and places better. I think it helped them feel closer to me.
I managed to end the year in a manner which I enjoy most. That being a good ol' Portland house party. This year Aaron couldn't make it so amazingly Brenden had a night off and we did a 24hrs of PDX. Above you will see a photo of Brenden and I sitting back relaxing before making our way to the next party.
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