Hi! I'm one of the new recruits. I first joined Geocities in 1997, and had a page on SoHo for several months. That page is now history, alas, but I joined Paris in November 1998 because I wanted a neighborhood that was full of romance. My page, you see, is a wedding announcement (and we want the whole world to know! visit this site to see our happy details). I wanted to have a Paris page because the other really common wedding announcement area appeared to be Heartland, and we don't really fit too well into Heartland. West Hollywood was a possibility, but I was afraid that we would be encouraged to leave because we look too straight on the surface. So, Paris it was. I am glad I chose Paris, because Paris is incredibly friendly and it really feels like a second home...Besides, after the wedding we will probably move the wedding announcement page to another site or another part of Geocities, and I'll be using the Paris site to put up my own vanity page and self publish my poetry and prose and also a 'zine, and that fits in Paris nicely as well. Oh, all right, I admit it, I'm just a Europhile. I also want to have a site in Vienna but I'm still trying to figure out what to put there...

I am pretty basic in my knowledge of HTML, but my fiance is a computer animation programmer and is working his way through fine arts school by holding down a job as a help desk technician, and I use him as a resource for answering HTML questions. :) The reason I signed up to help out as a CL is that I spend a lot of time on the web, especially when I am sick (I have myalgic encephalomyelitis, AKA "chronic fatigue syndrome" - it's not a yuppie flu, it's a very real disease and it can be debilitating) and since I am trained to teach other people, I wanted to put that to good use. I like doing volunteer work, but sometimes I'm not up to working in soup kitchens or rape crisis centers. When I am stuck at home, and can't do much more than pad downstairs to sit at the computer, volunteering as a CL is about the only way I can give back to the world rather than taking from it. I like to be helpful.

About me: I am a graduate student at Oxford University, reading for a master's degree in English Renaissance literature. I'm not originally English - Scott and I live in Cincinnati, Ohio, where I was born and raised, and I look forward to graduating because I'm tired of flying across the Atlantic ocean every few months. My hobbies are a weird split between stereotypical "culture vulture" stuff (attending performances of the opera, symphony, ballet, and local theatre companies; writing poetry, and occiasionally publishing it; studying art history and learning about antiques; reading the classics) and stereotypical "geek" stuff (storm chasing, historical reenactment, Star Trek fandom, going to science fiction conventions, sudying vampirology, playing role playing games). I like owls, unicorns, severe weather, Mediterranean food, fine wine, microbrewery beer, learning to cook, cats, dogs, playing Alpha Centauri, researching the Holy Grail, traveling, fencing, ballroom dance, finding excuses to wear black tie, and reading comic books. Because I have expensive tastes and am tired of telemarketing for arts organizations in order to win free tickets, I am trying to get hired as a mortgage broker. (Mortgage brokers help high-risk people and low-income people find loans when the banks are reluctant to offer such loans. How many people can say that they have a job that helps poor people, and actually make a profit simultaneously? And if I become a yuppie, I can buy subscriptions to all the arts in Cincinnati, and give to charity too!)

I realize that it's gauche to talk politics, but I'll also mention that I am bisexual and am very involved in queer rights causes. I mention this because it's been proven that the more people see that "the girl or boy next door" is queer (as opposed to "I don't know any gay people, I just read about them in the newspaper") then the less threatening gay, lesbian, and bisexual people seem. Also, visibility cuts down on stereotypes. Not all lesbians are leather-clad, short-haired stevedores; not all gay men look like Noel Coward; not all bisexual people are sex-obsessed swingers. Look at me. Do I look unfeminine? See my wedding page - am I desperate and hot to trot? Of course not. I'm certainly weird, because I'm a NERD AND PROUD OF IT! but the weird things about me are nerd things, not my bisexuality. If I wasn't a nerd I'd be utterly conventional, aside from my sexual orientation. My fiance and I love each other and have a committed, deep relationship. We don't swing. I am revealing all this because I want people to see that queerfolk come in all different shapes and sizes and lifestyles, we don't all fit stereotypes, and we're basically just people like you. There. You've met me. Maybe I am the first queer woman you've met, maybe not - but here I am. Your next door neighbor might also be one of us. And that's okay.

Anyway, enough about me. I look forward to meeting my neighbors. And I hope you find Paris as congenial as I do.