I was born and raised in the one-square-mile town of Wenonah, New Jersey (exit 3 off the Turnpike), too late to remember where I was when Kennedy was shot, but early enough to have owned an entire collection of Donna Summer albums. I grew up in a unique family whose sense of humor was strong, but whose sense of propriety was lacking. We’ll save those stories for another time, another book.
From a young age, I displayed a remarkable lack of fashion sense, as documented in just about every photo ever taken of me. By the time I was in the 6th grade, I was well on my way to my current height of 6’1”, earning me the moniker, Wilt. Not being a pro basketball fanatic, I cried for days, believing that my brother’s friends who nicknamed me thought I had bad posture.
In high school, I dressed up as a giant blue alligator for all the football games—because I was the school mascot, not because I had some freakish reptile fetish. At age 18, I earned the title “Miss Amity” at the Miss New Jersey USA Pageant, and my friends delighted in renaming me “Miss Amityville Horror.” I never entered another pageant.
This is the paragraph where I’d normally discuss my college life, but I don’t remember much of it. Enough said.
After college, I spent two years in a job in which I gave complimentary copies of textbooks to young college professors, each of whom claimed they were considering adopting my book for their class, when in fact they just wanted to sell it to the used book dealer for beer money. I fled the real world for grad school, where I honed my ability to beat classmates at Pac-Man, using only my foot to control the joystick. (Standing atop a barstool wearing a mini-skirt may have influenced my winning streak.)
Back in the real world again, I found myself in the dubious professional role of convincing others to drink more Mountain Dew. Seeking to raise my standards, I moved on to greener pastures, where I blew up a cuddly teddy bear in a national TV ad to sell more video games.
I distrust people who don’t like dogs, and although I’ve forgotten most of the names of my former boyfriends, I can—in my sleep—recite the name of every standard poodle I’ve ever had. Suzy. Toby. Jamie. Brandy Poo-Cat. Spike the Poodle With a Mohawk. Gigham Spazmaginarum. The Duke of Ellington.
Although I moved from San Francisco to Boulder over a decade ago, wheat grass juice makes me gag, I’ve yet to make a regular “practice” of yoga, and I still believe the Philly Cheese Steak (with extra White American, canned mushrooms, raw onions, and banana peppers) is one of the finest foods known to mankind.
I still like my husband after thirteen years of marriage, and I believe my child is better than other children (no, really; I do). My idea of a fun night is to curl up with Jeff and Clare to watch a stupid-humor movie and feast on onion dip, chips, and brownie batter. Every Halloween for the past six years, we've hosted a kick-ass "Spook-tacular Dance Par-tay" at our home (see Hurl Scout costume from 2008 event in photo above), and I suspect it won't be long before Clare is more embarrassed by this fact than proud of it.
I think laughter and pure silliness are two of the most underrated tools for social change (Jon Stewart is my idol in this regard.). And underneath all my outward displays of irreverence and bravado, I'm just a big mush whose true goal in life is to somehow leave the world a better place for having lived.
But enough about me. Here’s what a boring mainstream bio would say about me…