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This is my very brief biography - I accumulated quite a lot of it over the years...

I was born in Moscow before it became a part of the larger world, in 1969. I was not welcome. I grew up, more or less, and completed an Art school program in 1986. I was writing poetry and reading just about everything that I could find. I demonstrated unusually good taste at that point in my life, by re-typing other people's poetry rather than my own - mostly copies of poets then illegal in the Soviet Union. After three attempts and numerous adventures in bureaucracy, I was accepted to the Second Moscow Medical School in spite of being ethnically Jewish and characterologically an annoying know-it-all. I was told I was very lucky - a part of the intakes committee was arrested for accepting bribes that year and the rest were too dazed and confused to follow the latest quotas.

My family and I left Soviet Union as soon as we could - in 1989. At that point, we were plunging into the unknown, with no chance of return or contact with our former lives. In order to leave, we had to give up our citizenship and most of our stuff. We spent two weeks in Austria and six months in Italy, awaiting permission to enter the United States. We belonged nowhere in time or space - a unique state most people never experience. It was terrifying and exhilarating for a 19-year-old.

After arriving in the United States, I worked, and studied, and worked again. I was a medical assistant, a security guard, a computer lab assistant and tutor, and a clerk. I completed a medical assistant certificate course, a junior college, a Bachelors' degree with a major in psychology and minor in philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley, and a Doctorate in clinical psychology, specializing in neuropsychology at the California School of Professional Psychology. I worked as a neuropsychologist for ten years in diagnostic testing, consulting, therapy, rehabilitation planning and teaching. It was fun! But by that time it became abundantly clear that I actually much prefer learning to knowing and asking questions to answering them. Since I was not prepared to deal with the bureaucracy of academia, the question of how to make a living by means of asking questions proved to be a tricky one.

Meanwhile, I married my boyfriend of 14 years. It was a fairy tale wedding: just the two of us in a Las Vegas chapel, with an Elvis Presley impersonator for a witness - was it reality or fiction? Anyway, it is a consensual reality - another term for a shared delusion - for us. In 2006 we had a daughter and in 2007 - a son. There is nothing more real than that. I had been drawing and dabbling in photography throughout the years, but at that point I started writing and illustrating for my children, and suddenly realized that I had something to say. I also realized that it was a natural way of making a living by means of asking questions - which seems to me to be the purpose of art. Which brings me neatly to the present day and the purpose of this webstie.

If you are inerested in my past experiences, you can see a reflection of some of them at my neuropsychology website