36-year-old Geek of All Trades who has been online for twenty years (yikes!); she started out on BBSes and online services in the '80s. She built her first webpage in 1993. And she created one of the first 30 weblogs ever in 1998.
Laurel lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband Kevin and her insane cat posse (a.k.a. Inky & Marlowe). She surrounds herself with books, DVDs, tapes, CDs, games, computer gear, and other geeky things.
She likes to joke that she was raised by Scottie dogs, but actually she was raised in Mound, Minnesota on the shore of Lake Minnetonka by her fine parents Richard and Janice. She grew up surrounded by hundreds of varieties of iris and daylilies and hostas, with a woods behind the back yard and a lake beneath that. Laurel was lucky enough to have a giant weeping willow tree outside her bedroom window and huge blue spruce trees in the front yard. Laurel shared that home and childhood with her brother Chris, who is two years younger than her and who now lives in Chicago where he works as a mechanical engineer.
She was lucky to have four wonderful grandparents around the entire time she was growing up. Her grandfathers built her dollhouses, a playhouse, and countless toys; they played games with her and let her drive riding lawnmowers all over the place. Her mother's parents taught her to ride ponies and all about farm life in South Dakota; her father's parents taught her to cook and play a mean game of Spite & Malice. Laurel's life was greatly enriched by her grandparents Anne Keane Krahn, Carl Krahn, Edwin Olson, and Florence Bradwisch Olson. She misses them all more than she can say, but cherishes her memories of them.
Laurel graduated from Lutheran High School (of Mayer, Minnesota) in 1989. She attended Augustana College (in Sioux Falls, South Dakota) off and on where she majored in English and ended up teaching a lot of people (including teachers) things about the internet. She's had a number of interesting jobs: she helped launch South Dakota's first ISP, she worked at Gateway 2000 when they first implemented online ordering, and at StarTribune.com back when they launched FreeTime and other cool things.
She's been writing about TV at TVPicks.net since March 1999; in 2006, she talked about TV each week on the Kevyn & Colleen show on FM 107, she still appears on the occasional radio show from time to time.
Laurel is a freelance writer, internet tutor & trainer, and Geek of All Trades. Honestly, she has so many interests and projects, it's hard to give her any sort of title; her business cards over the years have said "Web Geek," and simply "Geek." Want to hire her? She'd love that, give her a shout via email.
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Enough with the third person stuff already:
Most people would be surprised to know: that I'm a lifelong fan of the Minnesota Twins and that I also enjoy watching basketball (mostly just the Minnesota Timberwolves these days) and used to watch a lot of Vikings football (I gave up on them several years ago). (I think the cat is out of the bag about my love of baseball, ever since I got married at a Twins game). I enjoy fishing and camping. I've won awards for flower arranging.
Favorite way to spend free time: Hanging out with friends just about anywhere. Reading, writing, watching movies, watching something good on TV (or DVD), hanging out at home. I'm very fond of some fan-run science fiction conventions (Minicon, in particular; plenty of others); I'm even chairing a convention called Convivial and I've worked on a lot of conventions over the years. I attend most Minn-StF meetings/parties. I can be a homebody hermit type, but I also love steeping myself in good conversation or whiling away the hours with friends who play music 'til dawn. I've been known to go out to eat, drink, dance, and/or be merry.