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2002-11-17 | 3:34 p.m.

[Since I have submitted a new banner ad, I thought it'd be a good idea to reintroduce myself for the benefit of new recruits.]

I am 38 years old this month and I look it. I look--to paraphrase an e-mail I wrote to my former virtual boss--like the fat, red-faced woman who stood in line ahead of you at Wal-Mart last Christmas Eve, wearing a sweatshirt, shorts, and flip-flops, with her hair pulled back in a limp ponytail, clutching a bag of Oreos and a crystal Tasmanian Devil tree ornament. Yes, I look like her, and it could have been me. But it probably wasn't.

If it had been me, I would have been buying Scotch tape, or ribbon, or milk, or a big fat turkey or something else excruciatingly necessary that I Should Have Had Already, because I am forgetful to a fault. This is an important detail. It will come up again.

I have published articles in national magazines (three in a computer mag and one in a parenting mag), which allows me to call myself a working writer. Also have published exactly one story in exactly one reasonably well-regarded literary magazine.

My current interests include eighth-grade-level cosmology, California native plants, evolution and prehistoric life, basic hand sewing, decorating and home improvement, FlyLady's decluttering strategies, sustainable agriculture, art history, photography, art journals and scrapbooking, and projected worldwide water shortages. I feel that it is wrong to accumulate indiscriminately, yet I shop as if it were a biological imperative. I also enjoy gossip, butter-rich foods, magazines, and other things that aren't good for me. I can't quite bring myself to throw anything away. Am pathologically messy and have trouble negotiating the common paths of daily life.

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