Living In A John Cougar Melloncamp State of Mind

Being new to the  the blog scene, I figure an introduction and a little bit of background might be in order.

My name is Gary and I have lived in Central Illinois for most of my life.  Grew up in the small town of Tolono, IL (original home of Monical’s Pizza since 1959… for those of you who might be familiar with it).  Parents divorced…and I moved with my mother and sister to Rochester, Illinois during my teen years. Graduated High School and moved down to SIU-C (Southern Illinois University at Carbondale) to get my Bachelor’s Degree.  Started in the Aviation program to become a commercial pilot and ended up with a Art & Design degree…go figure!  Personally, I think it was one of the best decisions that I made in my life.  Considering the financial decline and stability of the commercial aviation field these days, I’d probably be looking for another job at this point.

I moved back to Springfield to look for employment in the graphic design field and ended up finding several advertising jobs around the area. I loved the creativity & satisfaction of pleasing clients but the staffing and political aspects of the jobs became more and more stressful as time went on.  During this time, I also ended up taking a job at a video store to help make ends meet. I really enjoyed this because 1) I’m a movie buff and well…FREE movies, duh! and 2) got to work and meet a lot of good people during that time.  Unfortunately, I was working a lot of hours during that time…no benefits…and really didn’t seem like I was really going anywhere. So I ended up taking a multimedia course out at the University of Illinois Springfield (formerly Sangamon State University) to help further my career.  Well, long story short…the Instructor was a part-time faculty member and a full-time Director for the IT department at UIS. A part-time position had just opened up and offered me the job at the end of the semester. Needlesstosay, I took it…and have been there 15 years to the day tomorrow.

I met my wife Brenda at SIU-C. We were friends for many years before we decided to take the big plunge and I’m having to announce that we will be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary this year!  🙂  No kids as of yet but working on it. We have a cat, Calypso…and our 2nd Welsh Corgi Lilo (we lost our 1st Corgi, Tiki, last year to cancer).

Well, that’s about it for now…no need to ramble on!  I can elaborate more later.   *waves*

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