Friends Around the World

I've heard it said that a person's friends tell a lot about that person. At the risk of exposing myself further, I've provided a list of some of my friends from around the world. Many of them have graciously related some anecdotes. Garner what insights you may from this collection into ... Michelle's Mind.


 * Stephen Dodd (The Mad Chatter)
I've known Stephen since I was 14. A surprising amount of our time together seems to be spent in traipsing around Edmonton's river valley or ravine system, mostly lately at night. He and I have had such adventures together. Of all the people I know, he is the one who is most like me: full of energy, life, and vitality. It's a dangerous combination when the two of us are together. Through the years, when times were good or times times were tough, Stephen has stood beside me, offering advice, support, cats to pet, slightly off chicken, terrible blueberry pancakes, and a spot in his heart for me. I don't know what I would have done without his understanding and acceptance of me just as I am. Our friendship, even though we are often far apart, is something I deeply treasure and which neither time nor distance can erode. We're both searching for something special in lives and I hope Stephen finds it but never loses his appreciation for the joys life can hold, as seen through the eyes of a child.

What Stephen has to say [Ed: This was written several years ago] :
I have the honor of being one of Michelle's oldest friends, having known her since her mid-teens when she was only slightly more bouncy than she is now. In her few years, she has gone through more experiences and dreams both shattered and fulfilled than some achieve in a lifetime. Her magic comes, in part, from her willful ignorance of many of the laws and manners that we take for granted. She has no compunctions about striking up conversation with a complete stranger at a corner store--usually, so it seems, for the sole purpose of spreading confusion. I have often speculated that humour is simply the brain having a spasm while it recovers from the administration of "safe" shock. If this is true then Michelle may be the grand Jester of them all delivering shocks in the form of the verbally unexpected like a kind mother dolling candy on Halloween. If a situation is appearing normal, you can count on the field surround Michelle to somehow alter it--either to increase the potential for fun or frustration. But then again, this is not strictly accurate. Her very nature causes her to vibrate so fast that she resists classification of any sort.

If you were to tell Michelle not to burn her candle at both ends, you would be asking her to cease to be. She glows with a strong, flickering light. Most people can be summed up into several categories. Michelle is not one of them. She is without peer in her thought processes and ways of acting, putting her in an unenviable situation of being unique. Even with company, she is still in some way alone. The currents that flow beneath her surface are not to be discerned by mortal process and thus no one truly understands her. This, to me, explains in part her instantaneous warmth and amiability- a constant moving away from emptiness towards light, towards activity and belonging to fill that little hole deep in mind. I have learned much from Michelle. She contains most of the basic wisdom of life though she is not quite aware of this awesome seed she carries... The beauty of remembering what its like to act childishly. The focus to notice little things like the sheen of wet pavement after a storm. The ability to act forthrightly in your own best interests. The importance of laughter, of silliness. The industry to get things done. How to be bold and daring tempered with kindness and intelligence.

I wish her well in all her adventures to come...

 * Robert Michl (Bronxx)
Ah, where to start with Robert. Robert, also known as the Regenbogenfisch, comes from the Fnool Planet, known as Fnool Prime. He and I spend scads of time together 'cause we're very much verliebt. He's one of the kindest, most thoughtful men I know, not to mention incredibly snuggly. He likes to surprise me with Regenbogenfisch presents, which are always very much appreciated. Some people confuse him with his identical twin brother, but I never have that problem. First of all, they smell different. And, despite having gone to the same schools and everything, their accents in English are different. Of course, I prefer the sight, sound, and smell of Robert over his brother! (-:

I consider myself lucky to be his friend and his love. Robert, when he's not distracting me, plays in a band, works for CineNet, and attempts to finish his studies at ETH.

What Robert has to say:
I met Eingang on Chiron, because I played the bots there so much. She is an IRC goddess and always a big help with DTP problems. If there is a question about HTML, she knows the answer or where to look for one. Since her arrival in Switzerland we became close friends because we hung out a krunkload of time :) Her intelligence and multi-interested personality affect me a great deal. Never in my life have I met a friendlier and snugglier Canadian Regenbogenfish. I was her second Swiss boyfriend, and hope the count never reaches 20 :-) I love her a whole krunkload. If someone makes me laugh, then it is she; if someone makes me miss someone, it's her. It's unbelievable how fast and much she reads, about ten books a day :-) Although our music tastes differ, she would go to a heavy metal concert with me, and I would listen to her music in her cozy room even if it is _La Paloma Blanca_ three times in a row.

 * Siufai Tam (Bink)
It's very seldom in life that you meet a person who is solely responsible for their own accomplishments. I myself have been very fortunate to have had the support and help of many people along the way since I left home.

Siufai was the first person to completely accept me as I am and believe that I could finish high school, that I could go to university. He didn't demand that I somehow change myself to conform to the expectations of the world around me; I was the way that I was, and that was OK. That gave me a sense of self-worth. He reinforced (or maybe even provided) a tendency towards generosity; he was always willing to help people or to share his time, experience, and resources with them. Finally, he gave me a home, a place where I felt I belonged.

Now, 10 years later, I can truthfully say that I'm glad that I made him "fall for me," even if it was at a roller skating rink. Nobody could ask for a more trustworthy, reliable, and honourable friend or lover. *Hugs*

What Siufai has to say:
Michelle lives in a hurricane: a hurricane of ideas, creativity, unusual circumstances and sheer force. To be with her is to live in such natural chaotic phenomena. Starting from the day I have met her I have delved into these winds and they have changed me. I have tasted the freedom of flying and the sensory overload of a blurred reality. Luckily, for a time, we were able to find the eye of the storm, the happiest place in the universe. There, the calm, serenity, and love was overwhelming but like all storms, things move and change. Since then I have been fortunate enough to journey into the hurricane for brief moments to find Michelle living in a world of wonder and amazement. Most people would be overwhelmed and disappear in such a storm but not Michelle. She lives, survives and thrives in that environment. All she asks of anyone is that they are able to provide her with a calm place when she requires it. I promised this to her years ago. It is my wish to be able to continue doing so.

 * Karen Lee (Fiamma)
Karen hangs out with me on the Undernet IRC network. Karen and I both have Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), and we share many similar reading interests. Karen, while somewhat older than I, is one of the few female friends I have and I've often benefitted from her practical optimism and friendly presence.

What Karen has to say:
I met Michelle on the Undernet in a channel I used to sit a lot..#quiet. Don't go looking for it...we could no longer run the bots that kept it alive and tidy...My co founder who provided the server to run them got nervous about them when he found his boss on the Undernet ;))

I was immediately struck by the nick "Eingang"..and the fact that she was so often there...but 'not there'....It became a challenge to draw her out and get to know her. I'm very happy that I took the time.

I have a sneaking suspicion, tho, that she took a look at my booklisting on my homepage and copied it for herself...just kidding, of course. It happened that the first time I visited her homepage I felt much as if I was looking at my own bookshelves.....I have always felt that you can tell a lot about a person by the books they read, the music they love and the movies they see...

Michelle has become one of the few female friends I have. I find her bright and interesting and fun!! Pssst...she is a little 'young' tho..

I agonized for her when she was taking her finals...rejoiced with her when she graduated 'with distinction' ;))))) Did a little dance of joy when she found Robert...and worried that she would not find a place to live in Zuerich. It almost seems that I have a daughter to be proud of....heaven knows I'm old enough to be her mother...

We share a lot, Michelle and I. One of our advantages is ADHD. It makes it a lot easier for us to do many things at one time.... Life must be boring indeed for persons with one track minds...

I am very pleased to find her back on IRC after the move...I missed her greatly while she was away... One of the wonderful things about IRC is the ability to spend time learning about people very far from one....and making new and interesting friends, like Michelle ;)))

 * Andrew Dunstan (Oicu)
I have to admit that I don't know Andrew all that well. Fiamma says that there is no need to make up things about him because he's wonderful. Well, from what little I know, he seems like a nice guy. I met him on #30plus and I was attracted to him by his name, Oicu, which appeals to my rather strange sense of humour. I mean, how can I resist making jokes about a name like "Oicu?" Exactly, I can't, so I didn't. (-: Somehow or other we got into this discussion of snuggliness. He claimed that he needed proof and so we've arranged to meet somewhere in the middle between Switzerland and Australia -- India -- sometime to settle the matter for once and for all.

It seems that Andrew keeps the same hours as me so he's likely to be around the IRC during my afternoon. I have to wonder if his bosses know just how much he IRCs, but that's not my problem. (-: The most important thing I like about him though is his willingness to appreciate my sense of humour and his ability to laugh. If more of us had a sense of humour, we would probably get along much better. Hurrah for Oicu!

What Andrew has to say:
I have only met Michelle on the irc channel #30plus. She claims to be the cross-continental snuggling champion, and I for one am quite prepared to accept that this is true, and to assist her in extending her bid for the world record with attempts in both Asia and Australia :-)))

What can one say about an Internet Goddess? It seems almost presumptuous to try. Certainly she has one of the quirkiest senses of humor I have ever come across, always saying something quite unexpected, and often causing me to collapse in paroxysms of laughter, much to my own embarrassment if I happen to be in the office at the time.

I wish I knew Michelle better. She is certainly one of the reasons I would like to visit Switzerland again.

 * Stuart Willis

What Stuart has to say:
At the beginning of my 2nd year at Oxford I met two people, amongst others, who were to become good friends. One was a guy named James from Liverpool, the other Bryan, from Indiana. These two had rooms opposite one another. On the saturday after the welcome party to all new students Bryan told me that when he had gotten up that morning he crossed the hall to see if James was ready to go for breakfast. He found the door to James' room open, and James lying on the floor next to his bed. His trousers were around his ankles and his bright red boxer-shorts were gleaming brightly in the morning sun. James slumbered on peacefully, contentedly sucking his thumb. Bryan considered taking a photo, but reasoned that if this was what happened on the first weekend of term then much better was to come...

Nor was Bryan to be greatly disappointed. James came to be known by the nickname of 'Conker' ( a story in itself ) and many more intoxicated nights followed. All of this has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Michelle, whom I was not to meet for another eighteen months. It just seems to sum up the feeling one has about Michelle - if you think the early moments of your friendship are interesting, then rest assured it will only get better - and considerably weirder.

I first met the Chaos Bringer in October, 1997, relatively late in her havoc causing career. For two months she caused endless mayhem in the house we shared in Brighton, and I retain many happy memories of that time. The cat has never been the same since. No one event really stands out in my memory as an example of her influence, but that is just because there were so many! Michelle's presence meant that the rules of the universe as generally understood ceased to apply, and no-one, least of all the lady herself, had any idea what was actually going to happen. Despite my housemate singing all the hair off his arms with a camping stove, and the cat leaving footprints on the inside of the toilet bowl the sense of anarchy sensible lessened once Michelle left. Twas a sad day in No. 58. No longer do bottles of Sprite and tubes of Pringles adorn the kitchen ( for that appeared to be the sole diet of the Hoyle ). No longer does the channel change on the tv for no reason. All is quiet, all is calm. All is, well, boring.

Thus Michelle I salute you and all that you represent - the best in all people, and a true friend. I miss you!


Your comments and opinions are, as always, welcome. Please send them by e-mail to eingangATeingangDOTorg.

Michelle A. Hoyle
Friends, Last Updated: October 28th, 1998