(Yes, I made that sweater)
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:
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.)
- Knitting. I learned how in
1989. See my
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?)
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
So that's it for now. There's more coming soon, maybe.
More about me
the REEL WORLD