About dietcokechic

  • First science fiction book: Foundation Series by I. Asimov
  • I'm Left handed
  • Favorite food(s): cheesecake, red licorice, carrots
  • Favorite food (restaurant-style): Thai
  • Favorite drink (non-alcoholic) - gee, guess!
  • Favorite drink (alcoholic) vodka tonic with lime or a nice cabernet sauvignon (red wine).
  • Tattoos: one - seahorse
  • Piercing: one - bellyring (lost it after surgery) ;(
  • Favorite car: don't drive - i prefer bikes
  • Favorite sporting event: Tour De France (see above)
  • Top 6 Bookmarks: NY times, BBC News, Doonesbury, fanfiction.net, weather.com, BoingBoing.
  • Preferred browser: Firefox, baby!
  • Favorite Icecream: Pralines and cream - anything carmelish.
  • Favorite movie: Star Wars (the original, of course!)
  • Number of countries visited: 38 (most on very little $$)
  • Favorite country (so far): New Zealand
  • Random factoid: I've been a vegetarian since 1987.
Me at Gatecon 2004

Me in 1977 before winning a balloon blowing contest - check out the clothing! I was born right here in Seattle on a beautiful Fall day back in 1969 (you can do the math). My dad was miffed as apparently I arrived early, during an important football game. I was a funny looking kid - nearly bald until 2 and then a strawberry blonde with thick, black glasses. I was looking somewhat normal by the age of 8 (pic), and had moved on to slightly better glasses. I have one younger brother (35) who teaches the first grade in Portland, Oregon. My parents divorced when I was young and have since remarried; mom lives in Boise, Idaho and dad in Prescott, Arizona. I find it rather humorous that they both remarried a person similar to their "Ex"- someone who likes modern furniture & Southwest art and architecture.

Me on an archaeological dig in 1989 My love of travel began in 1986 when I won a scholarship to study at a gymnasium (high school) in Sweden. While there, I traveled with my classmates to Moscow, USSR and pretty much had my mind blown away by life in the Eastern Block. I returned home, graduated from high school and then headed overseas where I lived a year on a kibbutz in Israel. I had all sorts of adventures over there, including spending six weeks on an archaeological dig in the Golan Heights. Right before coming home, I became "trapped" on a Greek island for six weeks when I ran out of money and had to find a job (make that three) in order to pay my hostel bill and ferry ticket off the island.

I (eventually) returned home and headed to college. (Same one Matt Groening, creator of the Simpspons attended). I worked as an Asst. Manager at Toys 'R' Us for a while before traveling with my class to Leningrad, Russia. I returned to the states and eventually graduated with a degree in Eastern European History & Literature (useful, eh?). I returned to newly re-named St. Petersburg, before once again visiting Jerusalem in order to brush up on my Hebrew. I was contemplating getting my Masters degree in Comparative Religion and wanted to check out what it was like living in Israel again. While I loved Jerusalem as an historical city, I wasn't so keen on living in dorms with a lot of wealthy Americans; I ended up going home early.

I returned to Seattle in 1992, just as Nirvana and "The Seattle Scene" was really taking off. Yes, I did indeed wear Doc Martens. And, (apparently) I just "looked" like a Seattlelite. This came from my brother (sporting an ever stylish mullet at this time), who invited me to a college party of his shortly after my returning to the states. I didn't know which way was up, but apparently, I was very "hip" with my clunky shoes and bobby socks and my propensity for drinking large amounts of beer without falling over (a by-product of living on the kibbutz).

I had a variety of...er... interesting jobs between 1992 and 1994. Someday I am going to write a book about all the wacky jobs I've had. Or rather, all the jobs I've been fired from. *Ahem*. Let's see, I've been let go for refusing to wear nylons, for giving away food to homeless folks at the end of my shift (we were only going to throw it out), and of course The Big One. I am probably one of only a small handful of folks in the world who have been kicked off an entire continent.

The Antarctic Years

Standing in front of a power supply station in 1995 In 1994, I was working at a shop in Seattle's Pike Place Market when I made up my mind to try and get a job overseas again. I hadn't a clue where I wanted to go, or what I wanted to do - I just new that I wasn't ready for graduate school and needed to leave again. I swear, this is exactly what happened:

I have checked out a book from the library called, "Odd jobs for the Right Brained" (I'm left handed) and had it open to a particularly interesting job as a contract worker for the National Science Foundation in Antarctica. It was mid-March and a (rather pale, now that I think about it) woman walked into the shop, saw my book and started laughing.

"I just returned from there," she said.
"From where?" I asked, confused.
"From McMurdo station in Antarctica," she explained.
We did lunch.

What followed next was a long, funny story that ended with my taking a job as a General Assistant (GA) at McMurdo Station, a five hour C-130 ride "south" of Christchurch, New Zealand. Don't be too impressed, a GA job is the lowest of the low down there and you really don't want to know about the types of jobs I did. *G*. I must have liked it though, because I accepted a year long contract for the 1995/96 contract year (as a Materialsperson - I was moving up in the world). Alas, things didn't go according to plan and I was "asked to leave" after insisting on being trained to drive the large fork lifts (a job was hired to do). I'm certain I could have sued their asses for sexual discrimination, but accepted my bonus and spent the summer bike touring around New Zealand.

Tried to unionize a bookstore in 1997 (failed) and spent six months packaging pagers before landing a sweet job as an Internet Researcher at a software company in town. Technically I don't believe they can be considered a "dot com" as they began business in 1981 and weren't a start up. I readily admit to lying to get the job, and nowadays, it's tough to believe...
Interviewer: "Are you comfortable surfing the Internet?" (keep in mind it is January 1998)
Me: "Absolutely!" (To myself: the Internet is that cyberspace thing, right?)
Reality check: I had only used the military web back in 94/95 and had maybe "surfed" the "modern" web a handful of times. At the look of sheer terror that crossed my face on day one, the trainer just shrugged and said, "Oh, you must use Netscape, we use Internet Explorer here - let me show you."

Crossing the Continental Divide in 2002 What followed next was three happy years as I learned how to play around with web technologies. I got PAID to surf the web for nearly a year! This is actually when I discovered fanfiction for the first time (X-Files), and learned how to build web pages, manipulate databases and finally how to run a small corporate library. Ha! Ah, but then came the inevitable dot bust, and my poor company couldn't do anything about the lack of people buying their software; I was laid off in October of 2001. I did what most people in my position would do - I looked frantically for jobs that did not exist, collected my unemployment, started writing fanfiction and began bicycle touring across the United States.

I started writing The Barista just a few days before being called back on a job I didn't think I had a chance of getting. I got the job, applied to grad school, got into grad school and bought a co-op (I own my apartment). First year on the job was FABULOUS, but a year later I was shocked when pretty much the ENTIRE department was laid off. Except me. I was the new kid on the block, but because I managed the database, they "needed" me and I kept my job; how's that for crazy? Ah, but it was tough without staff to help me out and by Sept of last year I began looking around for something new. That's when the CIA entered MY life. You pretty much read all about it through Kira. I seriously never thought it would go as far as it did, but took copious notes each step of the way, as I had already decided that this was totally the twist I was going to use in the Barista Series. I actually hinted at this in "Author's Notes" section at the bottom of the story, way back in Barista 37. (Note: although for some odd reason, I didn't leave the wording in on my site. I did leave it up on the fanfiction.net site - go check it out!) I hope you don't think me too...(insert adjective of your choosing) for using my life as a backdrop for something Kira went through. I swear I have never been "dip-kissed" by Daniel Jackson!

In the end, I took a job for a small environmental organization doing a variety of tasks under the moniker, "Staff Analyst". Love the people I work for and the fact that I feel like I'm doing something meaningful. I will be getting my Masters in Library and Information Science by the end of the year and plan to stay put (job-wise) for the time being while I increase the amount of time I spend writing original fiction. [3/3/06 correction -- I just quit my job and am looking elsewhere. D'oh!]

[02/16/07] New job! I'm completely out of the government bureaucracy now and am working for a very cool non-profit doing knowledge management work trying to improve US high schools. I'm hoping (fingers CROSSED) to get back into swing of writing and submit something publishable before the end of 2006 2007.

And that's me in less than 1,500 words!

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