Getting Personal: Julie Pryde

Getting Personal appears in Sunday's News-Gazette. Here, a chat with Julie Pryde, administrator of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.

What time do you typically get up? What do you do the first hour of the morning?

6 a.m. Start the coffee. Check Facebook and CNN on iPad while walking on the treadmill. Then I get off the treadmill, start drinking coffee and check email.

What did you have for lunch today? Where? With whom?

A Jimmy John's Pepe (no sprouts) at the Peoria Civic Center IHSA wheelchair basketball tournament with my family (minus daughter Anna) and the entire Peoria Wildcats basketball team and their families.

Best high school memory?

Hanging out with friends while we still thought the universe revolved around us.

Tell me about your favorite pair of shoes.

Beyond-well-worn Wolky Cloggies. They are weird — and look like they were designed by Tim Burton. They embarrass my kids ... but I will continue to wear them until they disintegrate!

What does a perfect Sunday afternoon include?

Nice weather and doing something outside.

Was there one book you read as a child that you still cherish? Own? Read?

"The Boxcar Children" and "To Kill A Mockingbird."

Where on Earth are you dying to go? Why?

The Plum Island Animal Disease Center. It would be amazing to see all of the fascinating work they do there ... and because I can't. Only a very select few people ever get to visit.

Tell me about your favorite pet.

I have loved every pet that I have ever shared a home with (and there have been dozens), but my current ones are my favorites now: our 13-year-old cat, Paxil; our 7-year-old Papillon, Kali; and our 6-year-old Chihuahua, Bella.

Have you discovered that you are becoming like one of your parents? Which one and how?

Yes. I have turned into my father as evidenced by my fascination with televised murder trials and my need to go to the van and honk when I am ready to leave the house.

What would you order for your last meal?

Tomatoes directly from the garden, a rare New York strip steak, spicy Indian food, watermelon — and as many black jelly beans as I could eat before I passed out.

What can you not live without?

Oxygen (and my Kind Bar daily morning fix).

Who do you have on your iPod?

"Hairspray," "Wicked," "Les Mis," "Dreamgirls," other Broadway music, lots of '80s music, "Ted Talks" and audio books.

What's the happiest memory of your life?

I have three. When my children Anna, Maya and Alex each came off their planes from India.

If you could host a dinner party with any three living people in the world, whom would you invite?

Amy Sedaris, Jane Lynch and Melissa McCarthy. I would be careful not to drink anything during this meal for fear of blowing it out of my nose.

What's the best advice you've ever been given?

Wash your hands!

What's your best piece of advice?

Wash your hands!

What was your first job and how much did you make an hour?

I worked at "Pixie Parel" in the Northgate Shopping Center in Decatur. I put the sparkly iron-on transfers and letters on special-order T-shirts. I made $3.10 an hour.

What was a pivotal decision in your career and how did you arrive at that decision?

I was working as an advertising layout artist when I decided to go to the University of Illinois for a degree in social work so I could work with people living with AIDS. That decision led me to the C-U Public Health District, where I completed an internship with Joan Lathrap.

Do you have a bad habit? What is it?

Oooooh! I have a million! And one of them is to exaggerate.

How do you handle a stressful situation?

With a sense of humor and a megaphone.

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