Who I am

That's the great question, isn't it?  I can tell you about me, my loves, likes, dislikes, where I work where I live.  But you don't really know who I am.  I don't really even know who I am....wait this is getting way too existential....

I live in Beaverton, Oregon area.  As of the last update of this page, I've lived here 10 years.  I lived in the Boulder-Denver area for nearly thirty.  I was born and raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey.  I had a Catholic upbringing by an active rage-aholic and her passive-aggressive co-dependent. I have two brothers, 2 nephews and a niece.   

My education was dominated by several demon-nuns in a Polish-Catholic elementary school.  One fourth grade nun will probably end up being the subject of a post in this blog.  Fortunately, I had several good teachers, particularly in high school.  I have a BA and a Masters degree.  And Oh! the wonderful nuns (and Lesbian ex-nuns with guitars) I have known as an adult.  If not for these amazing women, I wouldn't have grown into the somewhat well-adjusted, introverted agnostic I am.  Instead, I'd have been an atheistic hermit.  

Learning Polish has been my on and off passion for several years.  It's the language of my grandparents, and I grew up hearing it and singing hymns in it, but not really understanding it.  The greatest Polish joke is "first year Polish takes five years."  So I continue that pursuit as time and the wallet allow.  One of my favorite times of the year is the annual Polish Festival here in Portland, OR.  I also have a fondness for the French language, though I haven't studied it since college.  One of these days, I'll take that French-for-people-who-took-French-in-college class.  

Drumming is another passion.  I have a djembe and drum often with a group here in Portland.  I also participate in a frame-drum circle centered around the spirituality of the Runes.  The focus of the circle is to honor our ancient ancestors from

Northern Europe.  It provides the answer, "Yes, our ancestors drummed, too."  While I love my djembe and drumming world beats, drumming with the Runes group accesses a place in my soul that I have only occasionally touched in other spiritual experiences.  

Another favorite annual event of mine is Faerieworlds.  It provides me with an opportunity to get earthy, tribal, and for a few days feel free of the trappings of daily rat race.  Speaking of the rat race, I'm in IT.  I've done PC and Network support, I've managed a help desk, scrubbed and ported data, and verified and validated software.  My best job, though, was being a barista near a community college.

I love looking at the night sky and reading about most things astronomical.  One of the reasons Moab UT and the surrounding Canyonlands and Arches National Parks are my favorite places on earth is because you can see soooo many stars.  When I was young, Carl Sagan was my hero (nerd alert!).  I wanted to be the next great astrophysicist.  After failing Physics in college a few times, that dream was shattered.  So now I watch for comets and meteor showers, pick out the planets among the constellations I can still identify, and read science fiction.

I've always enjoyed reading.  I was particularly fond of SF, but I didn't read it exclusively.  I also went for a long time after college only reading a few books a year.  Thanks to a former partner, I was reintroduced to the joys of reading, and picked up my pace.  In 2012, I was reintroduced to SF.  Currently, I'm  done with reading all the books that won the Hugo Award for Best Novel but have a few reviews from 2013 to still post.  You can click here to read my first post about SF and  how I came to begin this blog.  Click here to read about how I review books.

Besides that personal Hugo challenge, I'm also doing reading challenges on the WWE website.  Between all this, I also enjoy non-fiction, particularly Polish history, theological and spirituality books, especially Gnostic works, and Celtic and Irish history.

And of course I love movies, plays, and a really great musical!

Those are some of the highlights of who I am.  I could go into yoga, my bad back and knees, the ocean, folk music, elementary and high school bullies, etc., but then I wouldn't have anything to blog about between reviews.

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