Vita est ludus
The thin line between fantasy and reality...














Although I was born in Chicago back in the Stone Age, by the Renaissance I had moved to Champaign, Illinois. With the advent of the Industrial Age, I moved east, to Boston, Massachusetts, drawn by the abundance of music, dance, and computer jobs.

I've been programming computers since the Iron Age of computation: the days of "Big Iron". I'm currently unemployed, having been hit by the latest round of layoffs at a large telecommunications company, where I used to write embedded systems network software in the C programming language.

However, given my choice, I'd write in Common Lisp, and do exactly that for my own projects, at home. I fondly remember jobs where I was paid to write in Lisp: at Lisp Machines, Inc. (LMI), at Interleaf, and at the Motorola Cambridge Research Center (MCRC), all defunct.

I love music. I used to play Early Music on my recorders and International Folk Dance music on recorders and tapan. These days, I primarily listen. Early Music is still a passion: my special Cause is The Boston Early Music Festival.

And, what is dance music for if not to dance to? I used to be heavily involved in Hungarian Táncház (Mezőségi, Székely, Széki, etc.) and Scandinavian couple dancing (Swedish: hambo, polska, schottisch, etc.; Norwegian: pols, Telespringar, etc.), as well as generic International Folk Dance.

I also like to read. I used to read a lot of Science Fiction and Fantasy. I still have a handful of authors whose books I will buy on sight: Jack Vance, Tim Powers, James P. Blaylock, Diana Wynne Jones, and Sheri Tepper. I am always open to new authors, as well. For example, within the last few years, I was introduced to Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, Laurell K. Hamilton's Mary Gentry books and Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Dart trilogy.

There is, of course plenty of non-fiction that I like, as well. Stephen Jay Gould is (edit: was) one of my heroes.

I also started playing Role Playing Games back in the beginning of recorded history. When Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. published a white box containing the three booklets of the original Dungeons & Dragons game back in 1976 or so, one of my co-workers showed it to me and I was immediately hooked. (He also introduced me to the Society for Creative Anachronism but, alas, strong personalities reigned in that Barony of the Middle Kingdom and I was scared away. I have regretted this, wistfully, now and then in later years, when I have met nice people from the Eastern Kingdom.)

After I had been in Boston for a number of years, I joined the Dargas D&D campaign, which had been started fifteen months earlier. It's been almost fifteen years since I joined and we're still meeting just about every week, although we now have a member in Pittsburgh and one in Seattle, who join the Boston members via Internet Telephony.

And now, I am the DM of my own campaign, Tarrastra, with the same players. So far, so good!

As you will discover, if you explore this web site, these campaigns are major obsessions of mine...

Given all of the above activities, who has time for "normal" popular culture, like television? Well, all right - I used to be obsessed with Doctor Who, and now I am obsessed with Xena, but these are both through the medium of DVD, rather than via broadcasting.

And last, but not least, I am now a degree candidate at The Harvard University Extension School, where I am studying classics (Latin and Greek), history, and music. Technology is transient; the liberal arts endure.

Copyright © 2005 by Brianna Sollandry <brianna at hambo dot com> Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu
R'lyeh wgah-nagl fhtagn.
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