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My Little Corner of the Universe

First Page
Go back to the first page of Occula's What on Earth ... ?
Science Fiction
Space travel, magic, and other realms.
Science Fiction Links
Links to SF/fantasy sites.
Books
Great stories for everyone.
Book & Author Links
Links to literary sites.
Music
Music is life -- so get a life.
Music Links
Music- and band-related sites.
Miscellaneous Fun Stuff
Everything Else
Miscellaneous Fun Links
A grab bag of the meaningful, the bizarre, and the mildly amusing.

Once upon a time ...

Click here for a lame midi version of "Hell" by Squirrel Nut Zippers.
Click here for a lame midi version of the theme from TV's "Northern Exposure."

Hi, everyone! Thanks for stopping by to hear the story of my life so far.

I was born in 1968 in central southern Missouri, the youngest of three kids. We lived on a cattle farm with horses and dogs and chickens and so on. My parents were rather old-fashioned and strict; we mostly entertained ourselves. My primary hobbies as a child were reading and enjoying the great outdoors. My lifelong love of animals and nature comes from this. The area, and my school, was all white, but my parents worked at an Army base not too far away, so my family had diverse friends and guests, and my parents taught me early that racism was an atrocity.

As a child I enjoyed the rural environment, and as an adult I miss it, but as a teenager and younger adult I thought it was awfully boring. I was forced to rely on my imagination for entertainment, though, and I'm glad today that I got all that practice in.

When I was 18 years old, I moved to Illinois to go to college. Despite not knowing what I wanted to do when I grew up (I still don't know!), I eventually decided to major in English. I loved college passionately; my high school "education" had taught me much about memorization but very little about thinking. I sometimes found it hard to believe that we were allowed to have opinions and ideas in college. I also loved trying my wings away from home.

After getting my bachelor's degree, I went to grad school full-time for a year, but, although my grad school was a small one, it was much larger than my college had been, and I felt lonely and unnoticed there. I quit short of a degree to look for work. My first "real job" was newspaper reporter. Writing for a living was thrilling but stressful. After a customer service stint, I became an editor of continuing legal education handbooks written "by attorneys for attorneys" for some six or seven years before becoming a news librarian in charge of maintaining the archives at a midsize daily.

One thing in my life, above all, makes me a happy person, and that's the man I met soon after I graduated from college. Let's call him Banjo Willie. We started seeing each other in 1990, moved in together in 1991, and are extremely happy. It seems impossible that two people can just grow closer and closer year after year this way. Nothing is more wonderful than living together and so having my best friend near at hand all the time. In summer 2000 we adopted a brown tabby kitten we named Tyler.

So that's my history! You can find many of my interests elsewhere in these pages. Among the things I love are animals, environmentalism, trees, thunderstorms, wildlife, and pets; staying in touch with my dear best friend from college; really good coffee, vegetables, fruit, cooking, Thai food, Chinese food, and Mexican food; books; baseball; music, Bob Dylan, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, and Pink Floyd; Northern Exposure, Star Trek, and the Simpsons; and sleeping. Among the things I dislike are racism, misogyny, anti-gay-ism, and a bunch of other isms; violence; poverty; cruelty to animals, clear-cutting, and anti-environmentalism; ultra-conservatism in politics and religion; rudeness, rude horrible children, being interrupted, indifferent service, callers who hang up on the answering machine, and all those losers who don't use their turn signals; cleaning house, doing dishes, and cleaning the aquariums; football; and nasty cold weather. Secret shames include: I can't stand Maya Angelou, and I've seen Lionel Ritchie in concert. Secret pride: I've also seen Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, R.E.M., and Big Head Todd and the Monsters.