When I get nervous, I rapidly repeat the abcs in my head. I double majored in Journalism and Russian Studies at Washington and Lee University. I used to pretend to like the Beastie Boys, but then I got married and lost the need to be considered cool. I am a native Oregonian, but I’ve spent most of my adult life in the south. My fear of heights is so great that on my honeymoon, I crawled across the Capilano Suspension Bridge. I was duped into writing a bullish article on ValueAmerica while a business reporter at the Charlottesville Daily Progress. I know more about college basketball than my husband. My nine-year-old knows more about my iphone than I do. The first writer I met was Walt Morey–I remember his house as being in the middle of an orchard, but I don’t see how that could be true. My eleven-year-old draws better than me. The best hourly wage I made was working in a factory that assembled chain saw blades. I met Rita Dove the night her house burned down. The hardest job I had was answering a hotline that people called when they were first diagnosed with lung cancer. The easiest job I had was teaching people how to play computer games. Gallows humor makes me cry. My dog runs faster than me. The last time I tried to speak Russian all I could remember how to say was Я не знаю. Anna Karenina is my favorite book, but I’ve read Gone With the Wind twelve times. I enjoyed being 30 until I went to my first class in graduate school and realized everyone else was 22. Now that Iteach undergrads, I wish I were old enough to look professorial. I write five days a week and read everyday. I need the mom translator to keep current celebrities straight, but I know far too much about Saved by the Bell. Housing where I long to live is less affordable than in New York City. The things I like, other people like ironically.