About me Content

[A picture of Emily]

(Yes, I made that sweater)

Not me:
[A picture of a can of Spam]

Let's see. I'm 29 this year. I'm an American and I've been living in Toronto since 1992, having moved here from Boston. I came here because I fell in love with a wonderful Canadian named David, and my life rearranged itself to point me here. Dave and I first encountered each other on IBM's internal equivalent of the Usenet. Yeah, we're geeks.

I was born in Boulder, Colorado, and raised in a small, rural town in New York State about seventy miles north of NYC. I was graduated with an English degree from Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts (just outside Boston), in 1991. I've spent my time since graduation working as a technical writer, documenting such exciting and flashy products as mainframe operating systems, a mainframe C and C++ compiler, and telephone bills. Whee.

Although I enjoy writing (and especially editing), I do put a lot of energy into what I do in my spare time, too:

  • Knitting. I learned how in 1989. See my knitting picture gallery for some samples of what I've done since.

  • Working on my Web sites. The ones that get the most attention are the knitting site, which may well be the biggest and most thorough of its kind on the Web, and An American's Guide to Canada, which Molson liked so much they sent me a mousepad.

  • Traveling. Since we met in 1992, Dave and I have visited 34 states and nine provinces together. 1996 saw me in Toronto, Montreal (where I went for work sometimes), Denver (twice), Ottawa, Boston, New York City (twice), Washington, DC, London, Edinburgh, the Scottish Highlands, Amsterdam, Berlin, Frankfurt, Charlotte, and Atlanta. Within the first two days of 1997, we were in Knoxville and Cincinnati. During the summer we drove out to Nova Scotia and back, and in November we went down to Boston for a weekend to get married. We're not traveling so much anymore, though, because we've bought a place in Toronto (still under construction) and have to scrape together the money for all the appliances and flooring and such.

  • Watching old movies and getting way too analytical about them. I often forgo other Saturday night plans in order to watch TV Ontario's Saturday Night at the Movies, in which Elwy Yost, the genial and effusive host, shows two old movies along with excerpts from his collection of more than 850 interviews with movie stars, producers, screenwriters, critics, and other knowledgeable types. He's been hosting this program and collecting interviews for 25 years. I met him during the summer of 1996, and although he was exhausted, he was pleasant and sweet. I adore him. I've recently bought up a bunch of books about the history of censorship in early Hollywood, and am making my way through them slowly. Fascinating stuff. The more I study all this, the more I wonder if it's what I want to do with my life.

  • Looking after the forty or so houseplants in Dave's and my apartment, and the few dozen on the front deck that we grow every summer. This year we've put in tomatoes, herbs, some English ivy, dusty miller, asparagus fern, wandering Jew, and lots of flowers (snapdragons, dahlias, marigolds, petunias, hibiscus, alyssum, calendula, portulaca, oleander). I manage to kill a plant every now and then, much to my chagrin, but there are others that are growing like weeds. The schefflera has tripled in size since I bought it a few years ago, and the Swedish ivy, started from a cutting, is trying to take over the house.

  • Cooking. I don't do this as much as I'd like, or even as much as I used to, but when I make the time, I really enjoy experimenting with various vegetarian dishes. I've been vegetarian since June of 1991, when I realized I can't bring myself to eat another mammal. Plus, there are lots of environmentally sound reasons to cut down on meat intake, and I've been a whole lot healthier ever since I quit it entirely. I have a food page with links to lots of great vegetarian recipes and resources, if you're interested.

  • Communing with our cats. They're brothers, the only two of a litter, and they're friendly and affectionate and far less helpful than they think they are (James is vigorously headbutting my arm as I type this). Fortunately they don't seem in the least interested in my knitting, except to lie down on it.

  • Music. I listen to everything from the occasional bit of classical (how I adore Brahms) to mid-century swing (Benny Goodman!) to '80s synthpop to goa trance, and lots in between. I have an ImagineRadio station with a highly eclectic playlist. My desert island CDs include Eurythmics' Savage, Talking Heads' Speaking in Tongues, Depeche Mode's Black Celebration, Kate Bush's The Dreaming, and Thomas Dolby's The Flat Earth. (Heh, showing my age, aren't I?)
I'm now working full time, writing documentation for an electronic commerce Web site for a stockbrokerage. Mostly I spend the rest of my time doing what I described above. I'm also hoping to learn more about photography and graphic design. I don't seem to have any aptitude for the latter, but I'd still like to be familiar with its principles. Finally, I want to do some volunteer or political work. (See my politics page to find out about my views, which aren't nearly so stereotypical as some people seem to think they are.)

You may be wondering why people call me "Spamily." This probably isn't as interesting as you'd hoped. Late one night when I was in college, a friend and I were, um, inebriated, and she looked up at me and said, "Emily Spemily Spam." That somehow mutated into "Spamily," which has stuck. I have a Spam page, mostly because people would be surprised if I didn't. I loathe the stuff -- I can't even be in the same room as an open can of it without gagging. Yuck.

So that's it for now. There's more coming soon, maybe.

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