I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam I am.
My name is Shmuel. That's pronounced "SHMOO-el." It rhymes with "do well" or "true hell," with the emphasis on the first syllable. It's the original Hebrew for Samuel.
I keep my last name off this site to deter people searching on my full name on Google. The first name isn't a problem in itself, as, in the Jewish world, every Tom, Dick, and Harry is named "Shmuel."
I was born on May 10, 1973, the first in my family to manage that feat, although fourteen siblings have since followed in my footsteps. The rest of my family doesn't usually appear in this journal. (The rest of the world doesn't usually appear in this journal, actually.) However, references to "my sister" either refer to one of my biological sisters (invariably one of the two oldest, referred to as "my oldest sister" and "my sister the writer"), or, far more often, to Erin. If you want to get boring and pedantic about it, we aren't actually siblings in any sort of legally binding sense, but we're never boring, and she's never pedantic. (There's a fuller explanation here.)
When I started this journal, I was an undergrad at Queens College, in New York. After that, I moved on to a doctoral program at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. After a year and a half, I took the Master's degree and left, not entirely of my own volition. In the fall of 2003, I started an MFA program in Creative Writing at Emerson College, in Boston. In the fall of 2004, I decided to switch to the overlapping MA program in Publishing and Writing, at the same school. (This had been a possibility from the time I applied.)
I was born to be an English major. English is my life, my passion, my joy. I am addicted to books, and have been pretty much all my life, excepting the first couple of years, when I was still figuring out how to read. The question has been what I'm going to do with this; since starting this journal, I've ruled out teaching, and have gotten increasingly less inclined to make writing my main focus. I'm now setting my sights on a career in publishing, probably in editing; I still have a bit more time to narrow it down beyond that.
My other passion is music. Unfortunately, I lack the discipline to actually practice any instument, so I have few skills in this area. I've dabbled in keyboards and drums over the years, but the only instrument I'm proficient in is the kazoo.
It should probably also be noted that when I started this journal, I was Orthodox Jewish. As of May, 2003, I've been unobservant. Actually, I've always been unobservant, but now it's Jewish law that I'm not observing.
I am an insomniac, and a night owl. The two reinforce one another. I guess if I'm not going to be able to sleep anyway, it's just as well that I'm able to enjoy being up then.
That will do, for starters. More information can be found in the entries linked to on my increasingly out-of-date survey page.