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From Normal, Illinois USA
Age 79
Joined Monday, May 24, 2004
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Extended Profile
What to say? That some of my best and most vivid experiences have been on the pages of books; that I majored in Political Science in college and loved it, but didn't love grad school all that much, and didn't get my Ph.D., but went back to grad school for a library science degree in my forties, and never found a full-time permanent professional job, so turned to computer science at the local community college, got a minimum-wage job in the open computer lab five years ago and worked my way up so that when the powers-that-be created the position of full-time lab supervisor I was in a favorable position, and landed it, at an age when many of my contemporaries are retired or getting ready to retire? (Maybe that I like to write long sentences, or use fragments in a way no English teacher would approve?) I'm not complaining about that, however: I enjoy running the computer lab, and really enjoy leadership. When I was a young woman, the idea of women as leaders was still rather uncommon, so I am coming to this role rather late, but late is better than never.

As a reader, I can think of literally hundreds of books that I've read in the last 50-plus years. My parents read to me when I was a child, and I in turn read to my own four children, who are now mostly all grown up. My oldest daughter is, in fact, a librarian (one of the successful ones; K. started early in life, got some experience and then went to library school) and a mother herself, who began to collect children's books years before she had children. When E., the older one, was born four years ago, I read _Is Your Mama A Llama?_ to her. When I went to visit after M., who is now five months old, was born, I read it to her, too.

When it comes to reading, I am an unabashed middlebrow, and prefer a good solid story, with accurate (historical) details and - if possible - a reasonably happy ending. Thus I don't find such titles as _The Pope's Rhinoceros_ and _Portnoy's Complaint_ engaging, and gave up shortly after trying something by Doris Lessing. For the last several years, I've read a great deal about ancient Rome, and find the last hundred or so years of the republic particularly fascinating. The novels of Steven Saylor and Colleen McCullough are particularly excellent in connection with that era. I recently read _Pompeii_ and _Hadrian's Wall_, which take place later, in the first and fourth centuries A.D., respectively. I enjoy a good whodunit, although not a steady diet of them, so of course Lindsey Davis (she's got a great website!) is a favorite, and as soon as possible, I want to catch up with Marcus Didius Falco's newest adventures. Last month, I attended a two-day conference for women here in Illinois, and heard David Baldacci speak, so I ordered two of his books, and plan to lend one _Absolute Power_ to my friend LadyJanet, perhaps as early as tomorrow. Speaking of _Absolute Power_, it's a great read, and was made into a reasonably good movie by Clint Eastwood, but like so many movie adaptations, the book is better because there's so much more to it. I also enjoy science fiction and alternate history, and can't say I've ever picked up anything by Harry Turtledove that hasn't failed to grab me. His treatments of the Revolutionary War (actually its consequences 200 years later) _The Two Georges_ and the Civil War, _The Guns of the South_ are vivid and thought-provoking. I've read some of the books about Brother Cadfael, and now have picked up _The Novice's Tale_, by Margaret Frazer (who writes about Sister Frevisse, a 15th century English sleuth-nun). This past Christmas, my librarian daughter gave me _Forever_ by Pete Hamill, which is excellent although I think that the publishers left out some sections of text in the earlier chapters. I could go on, but won't, except to say that I also read some non-fiction here and there, most recently MichaelPollan's _The Botany of Desire_, about humans relations with plants, specifically apples, tulips, marijuana and potatoes.

When I'm not working or reading, I enjoy crossword puzzles, embroidery, classical music, dog-walking (Ada is our lady dog) gardening, cooking and computer games - anything, it would seem, but housework - so the house is something of a mess (not dirty - I DO wash the dishes, keep up with the laundry, put the trash out and clean up after the various critters, which includes our little guy dog, Sydney, 18 gerbils and one frustrated cat) - and, oh, yes - almost anything with my husband, G. We just celebrated 25 years of married life. When we met in 1979 I was a widow with two children, two big dogs, two cats and a guinea pig, and he took us all on. Some of our years together have been difficult, particularly due to the recession of the early 90's, but being together has been worth all the aggravation of staying together

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