All about Joel...

The early years...

I was born July 2, 1966 at the Great Lakes Naval Air Station in Waukegan, IL. When I was a couple of months old, my folks (my Mom--Pop was in Vietnam at the time) moved back to Minnesota to be around the rest of the family. My sister Kim was born around Christmastime, 1969, while we lived in south Minneapolis, not too far from where I live right now! When I was five, we settled in Blaine, a lovely third-tier suburb of Minneapolis, and when I was ten, we moved to Spring Lake Park, another lovely third-tier suburb. Whee.

I graduated from Spring Lake Park Senior High School as Valedictorian in 1984. Ended up going to the University of Chicago, where I graduated with a degree in Biology and Chemistry in 1988.

The spotty work history...

I dinked around Chicago for a few years after graduation, working as a molecular biologist for the U of C and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. I hated it, but I did accomplish plenty of stuff. Sequenced the HSP104 gene, which codes for a major yeast heat-shock protein; it's in Science--you can look it up!

Moved back to Minnesota in 1991, and worked as a molecular biologist for the University of Minnesota Hospitals and Clinics. Again, I hated it, but that's where my work experience lay. I lost my supervisor in the summer of 1993 (she quit, changed her name, and ended up performing Shiatsu and Native American healing for a living!) and she was never replaced. The lab dwindled down to two people, with no projects to work on, and then I got laid off at Christmas time, 1994.

I was fortunate enough to be hired by the U of M's Office of Admissions in February, 1995, as a computer geek. My many long hours of fooling around with Macintoshes (since all the way back in 1984, if you can believe that) paid off in a big way. Hooray! Now I'm teaching myself all the programming languages I can get a hold of (C, Perl, Tcl, Java), and I'm never, ever going back to the twilight world of biochemistry! Medicine is most definitely not my cup of tea.

Outside interests...

I've been taking classes at the U of M with the intent of eventually going to graduate school in Medieval Literature, Education, or Library Science. Maybe some day...

I've got a whopping big record collection (that's record collection, not some chump pile of CDs, though I did buy a player so I could get the Stax/Volt Singles Collection), and I love, love, love music. My student job as music director of 770 Radio K, Real College Radio was a direct result of massive time and money wasted during my college years compiling, listening to, and learning about my thousands of records.

I drink a lot of beer. It's the Polish and/or German in me. I'm actually sort of a beer snob...but who isn't? I became a member of the University of Chicago Pub's 51 Club in six business days--the fastest completion of the 51-different-international-beer course in recorded history! I like the heavy stuff--Sam Adams Triple Bock comes to mind, as do Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout and Corsendonk. I'm a fan of lambics and steinbiers, as well. I'd love to try cellaring the Triple Bock to see how it develops over time, but I don't think I have the willpower... (Unfortunately, the 1995 Triple Bock was nowhere near the quality of the 1994, in fact it was so wretched that I fear to try the 1996. More later...)

I own vintage Intellivision and ColecoVision gaming systems, but rarely have the time to play them. I'd suppose my Macintosh Performa 600 counts as a vintage system, too (ha ha). Ladybug on the CV rules!

Back in my college days, I wrote and drew comic strips for the Chicago Maroon, and co-founded the University of Chicago Comic Book Project, which has to date put out (six? seven?) comic books comprised of original student art. Among my friends and associates from the olden days are Ivan Brunetti (of Schizo fame), and Jessica Abel, who's currently producing the critically-acclaimed Artbabe.

Personal particulars...

My lovely ex-wife Gera is attending Pratt Institute in cosmopolitan Brooklyn, NY. She's a painter, a grad student in Studio Arts. She and I still share two kitties--Neil (a big orange tabby) and Annie (a little fuzzy Maine Coon). For now, my home base is a swinging one-bedroom palace in downtown Minneapolis. Here are pictures of Neil and Annie:

My groovy sister Kim works as an Editor for MTV in New York. I covet her beautiful studio apartment!

I'm six feet tall, dark, and strapping. My GRE scores are as follows:


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Joel Stitzel -