About myself. By: Al Ray

Many people who have websites have a section like this. I have decided to jump on that bandwagon. I have been doing a lot of introspection lately, for good and for ill, I found out something about myself and realized that my memory has been clearer that it was in the past, thanks to a medication I started taking just before I left college for the summer.

I am going to start off with the basics. I am a 4th generation American male with Greek, Italian, French and German roots. I was born at around 7:00am on the twenty-fourth of August 1981AD. Which makes me 19 years old and staring my 20th birthday in the face. My zodiac sign is Virgo and I show it sometimes. I have two happily married loving parents, who have been married 25 years this coming September, and 3 sisters. I am the second child. Even if this preordained me to being the more unusual child, I have several handicaps that help make be more of an oddball compared to my sisters. My oldest sister, Paulette, is a pretty typical first born. She is 3 years older than me at 22. She is the family perfectionist and she is a bit self-centered and likes to make life a bit hellish for the others in the family, but deep down she has a good heart and is a loving person. My second sister Becca, is about 18 months younger than I am at 18 years old. She is more of the partier of the family. Last, but surly not least is Diana, who is 14. Diana is the athlete of the family and it is common for her to play 2 or 3 sports at a time. My father, also Al, is an upper level manager for EDS and my mother, Anna, is a hospice nurse. We have two dogs living at our house, also. The first is a 10 year old female Cocker Spaniel named Pookie and the other is a 4.5 year old German Shepherd name Romeo, who is actually huge for a Shepherd.

Now to me, the "oddball" of the family, though I get a lot of it from my dad. I am a geek in many ways. I am a role-playing gamer, wargamer, videogamer, history nut, amateur writer/poet, actor, bad comedian, and avid reader. What I got from my dad was my love of history, wargaming, videogaming, and my love of reading. The rest basically arose from the others. The reason that this is so starts with how my handicaps effected my childhood. I guess I should start talking about those and my physical self.

I will start with the physical. I stand at five feet, nine inches tall and I weight about 230 pounds, which makes me a bit overweight. I hope to correct this soon. My build is kind of that of a football players that has not kept it up. I have short dark brown hair and brown eyes. My skin tone is a light olive, meaning that I have some color even in the winter and I tan pretty easily. I am pretty hairy, though I am never let my facial hair go for too long. I am very Greek looking, as I take heavily off of my mother's side of the family. In contrast my sisters look more Italian and practically look like different ages of the same person because they take off of my father's side. I have been described by others as handsome.

My handicaps had a large part in making who I am. The first is that I am hard of hearing in my left ear and have to wear a hearing aid in it, though in that past my hearing was much, much worse. When I was about three years old, I had benign tumors in both of my eardrums which practically destroyed them. I had 15+ operations over the next 9 years to both remove the tumors and reconstruct the ear drums. During this time I wore a hearing aid. Child at this age can be cruel and was teased relentlessly during some periods of this time. I also was a little war crazed during this period also. I did have some friends, though the teasers always outnumbered them. Basically this lead to a bit of alienation when cause me to find solace in books and video games. I rarely hang out with friends after school, but would rather read, play games by myself and watch a lot of TV. Another handicap that aided in the teasing and the feeling of alienation was that I have severe Attention Deficit Disorder a.k.a. ADD. I also always had bad reactions to medications that treated it. They often made me depressed and ,in the worst case, made me think about suicide and have a fascination with death. This added to the teasing and sense of alienation. I am also very absentminded, which I am told comes from my ADD.

The partial alienation played some havoc with my self-esteem and my socialization. I am less socially and emotionally mature that other people of my age, but I make up for it in other parts if my maturity, such as my tolerance, compassion and sympathy. It also reversed me from outgoing to strangers, when I was a little child, to being rather shy. I am a perpetual worrier and I am somewhat paranoid about what people think of me and what I do. I usually counter this with rationalization, empathy, and optimism. Sometimes I get worried that I offended someone with something I said or did and my attempts at reconciliation father offended them. This usually occurs when I don't really know a person and/or have been in contact with them via e-mail and/or an instant message service. Do realize that they might have problems with their computer, have a heavy amount of e-mail or something innocent like that, but I still worry sometimes.

There other aspects of my personality are that I am kind and tolerant person, though at times I can be a bit of a hothead. I am very emotional and sometimes a bit moody. I am sensitive to the feelings of other and really try to help though sometimes people find that a bit annoying when I continually ask them how they are and try to cheer them up. My sense of humor is very good. I would laugh at just about anything. Consequently I often say jokes that other people don't find funny. I am highly intelligent, like many other RPGers, and I like to show off my knowledge a lot.

My interests are varied, as I mention before. I do have minor interests and knowledge in many other fields. I know a quite a bit about firearms, which helps in modern day RPGs, and a recently pick up an interest in target shooting, of which I turn up to be a natural. Basically, the first time I actually took a shot the bullet hit the target at 25 yards and ever other of the about 30 shots I took that day hit within the orange part of the target and about one third of them hit the center white circle. I know a bit about geology, astronomy, biology, chemistry and a few other sciences. As I mentioned before I have a love of history and have a vast general knowledge of it and my specialties include general American history, World War II, and ancient European history, specific that of the Greeks and Romans.

I mentioned that I have a fondness of role-playing games. I got my interest in them from some video games I played and novels that I read, both of which where based off of Dungeons & Dragons. I started collecting source books of AD&D 2nded around Middle school, but it was not till Sophomore year of high school I actually got experience role-playing. I basically played sporadically over the next few years with buddies of mine and at conventions, but did get a really steady group until last year which was my Freshman year of college at Western Michigan University when I joined the local gaming club cal the Western Michigan Gamers Guild. Since them I joined three table top groups with the WMGG and join several on-line groups that I met via the forum, Gamerchick Planet, which I have a link to on my link page. I recommend checking it out.

This website is a new thing in my life. I need a place to put my writings on the web for others to see and make a place where others can share their writings. I hope you enjoyed learning about me. Please check out enjoy the rest of the site and thank you very much for you patronage.