Woo-hoo! A bio. Such fun, so important. The only distinction here is that mine’s been up for over 20 years, with 5 homes now (the well, freehomepage, geocities, verizon, x10hosting). Last update: Jan. 2020.
I’m 58, with a wife and 3 kids. I live in Milwaukie, Oregon, U.S.A. I’m a computer professional by trade. I’m medium height (5’10”), medium weight (180#), and light build-I gained 20 pounds after getting married. I made a run at losing it awhile back, and lost, and another run is on, and I may have it this time-2 1/2 years in, still working out three times a week, my belly is smaller, and I’m in decent shape. I have very short receding and graying hair, blue/grey eyes, earrings, and varying degrees of facial hair, which is also graying. 2 tattoos (a rose and a bee-I want to edit the rose to a rose cross). I wear skullcaps all the time when I’m not at home.
Since May ’08, I live in Milwaukie, OR, just southeast of Portland. I left Laguna Beach, CA for a job in Wilsonville in ’08, and I’m on my 5th job here. I’ve moved several times since ’03-I sold my condo in Long Beach in ’03 for double what I paid for it-I had lived there 10 years. Before that I was overseas for 5 years. Before that, school and growing up in Cleveland, OH. We moved to a place in Lake Forest, stayed there 2 years, and moved in ’05 to another 2 bedroom apartment in Laguna Beach-east canyon, then to Oregon and a nice 3 bedroom house. We moved into a small apartment July ’11, and into a slightly larger one July of ’17.
My interests lie in a lot of unusual non-mainstream areas. These can be seen in my bibliography, in the essays, and my senior page, which I did for my 25th high school reunion in ’05.
I also play gamelan with the Venerable Showers of Beauty. I got into gamelan (Indonesian orchestral music) in college, played in the UCLA Balinese ensemble for a few years, then joined the Javanese ensemble here. We’ve played a lot of gigs all over Portland, and are on hiatus because the director had twins. There are a goodly number of videos on youTube, and a few CD’s, notably one of Lou Harrison’s unrecorded pieces.
I’m also into t’ai chi. I’ve been doing martial arts since ’88, and took a class in 2006/7 at a local community college. For the longest time I was doing the Chinese National form (Yang 24), but in 2019 my son and I learned the long form-I tried a few times before, to no avail. I also used to teach some, but now just for myself. Maybe that’ll end up being a second career…
She works at home and takes care of our kids. We love each other a lot, and we’ve been together since October ’97. We’ve lived together since May ’98 and we got handfasted (Wicca marriage) November ’98. She’s pretty much a fulltime mom now, especially after Salem was born. She used to be a childcare worker, and was in the Ren Faire, and was getting back into working before Salem came along. Now she’s probably going to be a chaplain or some such, and is starting back to school Spring of ’17 (didn’t happen). Her hair changes color on a regular basis and she’s getting tattoos, lots of tattoos. She also does altar decoration at church and lots of various craft-related projects.
As far as my personality goes, I’m eccentric-my tastes and likes and thoughts are quite far from the mainstream. I can be egocentric, abrupt and haughty, highstrung and intense, remote. I do have good qualities, though. I’m caring, I love giving gifts and attention, I listen and try to understand. I’m flexible and I try to please if I can. I’m reluctant to get involved because I hate to put people out of their place. I’m also really shy around strangers, and don’t like to go up to people or make phone calls. I don’t have a heck of a lot of friends, but the ones I do have are pretty close ones. I know a lot of people, though-and am horrible with names-but I do remember faces, most times…After having kids, I’m finding that I get upset a bit more, and frustrated and bossy, but that’s beginning to subside as I relax into the parenting thing. I tried teaching T’ai Chi at church every Saturday morning, and meditation every other Tuesday, but no one came. The 7th graders at school liked it, though. I’m also thinking about teaching guitar. I’m more into Anthroposophy now, and working towards putting together a curriculum. Also got back into regular exercise and the long Yang T’ai Chi form. I bought a fancy keyboard and a shakuhachi, and want to get better at piano and record stuff. I have a list of things I want to do, and a big fat wishlist as well.
I did this bio in ’04 for UUFLB.
Tell us about your profession or aspiration.
I’m a user interface/graphic art designer for Quest Software. Two artists work for me here, another is in Australia and maybe a few in Russia too.
I was a programmer/computer jack-of-all-trades for 20 years or so. I’ve worked in London and Grand Cayman.
I want to record music, write, paint, and do something with spirituality that I haven’t figured out yet. I have ideas and equipment, but no time.
Tell us about your family.
You probably know my wife Erika and my two children Matt and Colin. If not, Erika is a lovely and energetic person. She is a stay at home mom, involved in church and is a Wiccan priestess. She wants to go to seminary one of these years. Matt is 6 and entering Kindergarten in the fall. He is a lovely, sweet, smart boy. Colin is 4 and as lovely, sweet and as smart as his brother. Erika and I met and married in Long Beach in ’97 followed by Matt and Colin in ’99 and ’01 respectively. My parents live in Pasadena and travel a lot. I was born in Walnut Creek and grew up in Cleveland. My sister lives in Atlanta-her husband is an ob/gyn and she has three kids.
Who or what brought you to UUFLB and when was it?
We moved to Lake Forest in ’03, and we had been going to the Long Beach church since 2000 or so. We were going to visit all the local churches, but UUFLB was our first (and last!) stop. Erika had wanted to join a church to give the kids religious education, and the UUs are pretty much the only church liberal enough to accommodate her’s and mine beliefs at the same time.
What are some of your hobbies or interests?
I’m a kiteflyer. I specialize in quadline kites, which are steerable and have four lines. I can maneuver these kites with astonishing precision. I won the national championship in ’99 in the experienced class. I also like music-I’ve been playing guitar since ’78, and I used to play in the UCLA Balinese gamelan, which is an Indonesian orchestra. I also used to hang out at a recording studio, and I just started doing sound for the Laguna Beach Community Concert Band (thanks, Ed!) I read as much as I can, mostly non-fiction. I have had a website and online diary (blog) for 10 years now.
What are some of your favorite activities at UUFLB?
I like running the sound system and editing the SeaLight, we have a good time for such a boring activity.
What is interesting about you that few people now have heard?
I was living in Grand Cayman when hurricane Gilbert hit. I met George Burns in Hollywood when I was taking a smoke break from a meeting. Daniel Boone is in my family tree (1st cousin)
I did this bio for Tapestry in ’06.
Where do you originally reside from?
I was born in Walnut Creek, moved to Cleveland at age 6. I’ve lived in London, England, Grand Cayman, Brentwood, Long Beach, Lake Forest, Laguna Beach.
Your current or past work field?
I’m basically a computer professional. Been mucking around with computers since grade school. I took a degree in systems analysis, and worked with PC’s after I graduated. I’ve sort of moved into graphic design and interface design in the past few years.
Do you have children?
2 boys, Colin 6, Mathias 8, Salem on the way. Mathias is an energetic, smart boy. Colin is sensitive and lovely. Salem seems to be coy and energetic.
Do you have pets?
We have several fish-a 10 gallon tank in the boy’s room, and 2 in a small outside pool.
I fly steerable kites-I’m a former national champion. I’ve been doing tai chi on and off for 18 years. I’ve played guitar for 30 years, didgeridu and gamelan for 10. I have recording equipment, I’ve worked in a recording studio.
Do you want to share something special about yourself like a special memory?
I teach 7th & 8th graders computers and tai chi. They really enjoy it-I’m “Mr. A”.
Anytime I’m not working-I don’t need a trip to get away.
How did you hear about Tapestry and what made you want to join our congregation?
It’s the other south county UU church-we left our former church for a number of reasons, and like this place a lot.
And anything else you may want to let us know about you…
For more, check out my website. I have lots to say-I blog, etc, etc.
I did this one for Atkinson Memorial in ’09.
Eric Allen is 47, born in Northern California, raised just outside Cleveland, lived in London, England, Grand Cayman and Southern California before coming to Portland in 2008. He has a lovely wife Erika whom he likes the best of all, boys Mathias and Colin and a girl Salem. He’s a computer jack-of-all-trades, currently maintaining software for Hollywood Video and looking for freelance web and UI design work. He’s also a “sound guy”, having worked in a recording studio, done sound for the Laguna Beach UU fellowship and built a hobbyist studio.
He came to UUism about ten years ago, looking for RE for his kids and a place welcoming to Erika and his eclectic outlooks. His spiritual interests come from Tibetan Buddhism, Ceremonial Magic and Anthroposophy, plus fairy dust from many other traditions and some of his own. Other interests include gamelan and quadline kites-he’s a former national kiteflying champion, has taught t’ai chi and plays many musical instruments, some of them passably. His entertainment choices can be classified as unusual, to say the least. He’s also interested in theoretical physics, cosmology, set theory, pattern languages and evolutionary theory. He’s a Green, ultra-liberal and anti-war. He has lots of big ideas, but not much time to work on them. You can visit his website-he’s a weblog pioneer.