December 1998 dear friends hi and welcome to my third annual holiday letter isnt this a relaxing time of year and its so much more so for me this year since i now live in seattle washington which is such a relaxing place with starbucks on every corner practically so year maybe im drinking too much coffee but its not that bad really just that the weather here is so overcast and rainy or at least it has been since the end of october and coffee just hits the spot on days like this so year maybe a little too much coffee but overall life has been very relaxing here since i moved in mid july which was an interesting time (oh and actually the weather from july until late october was spectacular sunny every day so i started thinking that maybe the stories about rain in seattle are just made up by the natives because the dont want anyone else moving here because it is so crowded and growing so fast in fact the traffic here is unbelievable especially after living in central illinois where rush hour traffic means you can actually see another car on the highway ahead of you and of course you realize that illinois is completely flat so you can see a long way) but anyway i have been wanting to move out of illinois for such a long time and in fact thats probably the main reason i got into programming after my long career in music because i figured that if as a programmer i could probably live wherever i wanted so i was thinking that maybe i would move back to the northeast to be closer to my family but then my boss and her husband (my good friends linda and kevin mcquade) decided that they were moving to seattle and linda figured that if she didnt find a way to get me out of central illinois and still keep me with the company that i would change jobs and she was right about that i would have but anyway she said that if i wanted to i could come to seattle and help her establish a team out here so i mean duh it was a no brainer and here i am well actually it wasnt that simple because i couldnt pin her down so finally i said okay linda im going to seattle as soon as i sell my house and i sure hope there will be work for me when i get there and she said okay so i put my house on the market and it sold in a week and here i am in seattle well actually i am in lynnwood which is a suburb about fifteen miles north from downtown seattle even though i would rather live in the city and i plan to move into the city sometime in 1999 but this is convenient in the meantime because i am working out of kevin and lindas house (connecting back to our office in peoria via modem) and they live in edmonds which is right next to lynnwood so i only have to drive about five minutes to work and back and it only takes a little longer if i stop for coffee on the way like i said theres starbucks practically on every corner well actually its not necessarily starbucks theres all kinds of espresso stands and you can pull into a gas station or convenience store and in some cases you dont even have to get out of your car its like a drive up window but i dont drink that much coffee because i dont want to get too hyper you know how that can be so anyway i really like it here in seattle (except for the gloomy weather since late october oh did i already mention that sorry its weird but i have noticed that since i moved here i kind of talk fast and forget to breathe and repeat myself and forget to breathe and i cant figure out why and also except for the traffic which is unbelievable especially after living in central illinois) except i really miss my friends back in illinois and i really hope they will come visit me some of them already have been out here like chuck and amy they stayed with kevin and linda but i got to go on a trek to the olympic peninsula with them and nell was here visiting kevin and linda too and we all went out to dinner and to the top of the space needle for drinks which was real touristy (oops that was a misplaced modifier and i have some english teacher friends who are going to read this and thin that maybe my writing skills have deteriorated since i moved here i am usually careful and things like punctuation and spelling and grammar) and speaking of going out to dinner ive been doing that a lot because there are a lot of really good restaurants here so i keep thinking that more people (like maybe you? should come visit so i can have more excuses to go out to eat at good restaurants because there are a lot of really good restaurants here and also coffee houses where you can sit and drink coffee for hour after hour just like frasier and niles well then theres that place on friends but that in new york city but there are a lot of places like that here too but i didnt mean to start talking about tv sorry but since ive lived here i notice sometimes i go off on tangents and anyway before i left eureka illinois my good friends the tolivers had a really nice party at their house for me as a going away kind of party and it was really nice of them to open their new house they had just moved into and my good friend nancy helped put it together and made a lot of phone calls and stuff and about a week before i moved there was a really bad storm and a lot of trees blew down and the power was out all night and i was afraid that my house would blow over right before i sold it but fortunately it didnt so i drove here in four days and it was a good trip on the first night i stopped in northeastern iowa where my friends mike and linda nash live on an organic farm that they own and i hadnt seen them in such a long time since i lived in colorado and then i stopped in western south dakota and saw mount rushmore and crazy horse and the badlands and i was impressed by the beauty of everything and i also saw devils tower in eastern wyoming and so now i have been in seattle for about five months and i really like it here especially since i joined the seattle mens chorus which is the second largest gay mens chorus in the country with two hundred members and i have met many nice people and right now we are in the midst of our holiday concert run and its a busy time but fortunately when i dont get enough sleep and have trouble staying awake during the day i can always stop for coffee because theres like starbucks on every corner but i try not to overdo it because too much coffee can make you hyper but so far i havent had that problem and im feeling pretty relaxed about life here in seattle and one good thing is that my friend joy sherman from colorado (well she isnt from colorado but we went to grad school together in colorado) but anyway joy lives here and we have been able to do stuff together which is really cool and in fact i played the piano for her students voice recital in august and i was really impressed that her students sing really well and even more impressed that i can still play the piano since i dont have a piano at my house well actually i live in an apartment but i hope to buy a house closer to downtown seattle sometime next year and by the way when i sent out my address to some people i forgot to include the apartment number because i have lived in a house for such a long time that i forgot that you have to include the apartment number when you live in an apartment but i am still mostly getting mail anyway but if you sent me something and it got returned to you i am really sorry but my complete address is
15415 35th Avenue W. Apt C202
Lynnwood, WA 98037
so thats where you should mail stuff to me until i move which i hope to do next year closer to downtown seattle and i hope into a house instead of an apartment but i will let you know when that happens and now i think i will go get a cup of coffee so i will say so long and i really hope you have a great holiday and i hope that 1999 is a wonderful year for you and that the kind of hatred and intolerance that leads to awful things happening to good people like matthew shepard doesnt ever happen again.