To connect with people by making them laugh or at least smile fuels not only my writing but my life in general. This is one of those things you realize one day as you describe your childhood to a friend.
I grew up surrounded by comedy. I listened to comedy radio shows like The Bickersons and spent many Saturdays with The Three Stooges, I Love Lucy, Abbott and Costello and Laurel and Hardy. Benny Hill and the original SNL were for late nights. I saw Lenny Bruce’s stand up and animation when I was too young. And the comedy albums in my family included Richard Pryor, Red Foxx and Steve Martin not to mention all of Eddie Murphy’s stand-ups on VHS. For better or for worse, these comedians shaped my aesthetic and the way I interact with the world.
Another thing you must know about me, despite my gangly, nearly 6′ frame, poor vision and the fact that my body is often bruised from misjudging the placement of my own furniture, I’m a really good dancer. Go figure.
And “indefatigable” is absolutely my most favorite word. Even though I had to spell-check it.
Because people seem to like to little backstory:
I grew up in West Virginia in an Italian-Hungarian Gypsy family and am the only child out of seven to graduate from college. I worked as a bartender and waitress for a couple years before figuring out I wanted to attend college and earned enough money for tuition. Then during my first semester I decided to move to China. Because why not. I lived there for nearly four years. This was in the 1990s when not many foreigners were living in remote parts of China. I’m not sure which makes me more proud, becoming the first in my family to earn two college degrees, becoming the first Westerner to graduate from Henan University or becoming the official Beer Girl for Kaifeng city’s famous brewery. It’s really close.
I’ve logged over 250 hard-seat train hours in China, which doesn’t mean much unless you’ve ridden a crowded train in China. True story. One morning while sitting at a cafe in Hong Kong, I realized my classes in West Virginia were scheduled to start that day. Thanks to the International Dateline and the Pakistani man who owned the cafe and whose wife’s cousin was a travel agent who could change my ticket, I arrived to class on time, albeit a bit disheveled.
That is pretty typically me.
In addition to Curlicue, I also write for the HuffingtonPost DC and am currently writing about my experiences in China. As well as some a children’s theater piece. None of these is my day job. I live with my husband and son in Washington, D.C. where I work producing language-teaching, culture-sharing multimedia products while secretly aspiring to be a song-n-dance man.
The most unattractive quality I find in people is the inability to laugh at oneself.