Favorite holiday tradition?
Well, that usually involves food—we try to have Chinese food on Christmas Eve. Our family has had a lot of changes lately, so we’ve been trying to create new traditions.
Were you a teacher’s pet or teacher’s challenge?
Both! At times I was a model student and other times I was the class clown. I’m sure the clowning was a bit disruptive but I only got sent to the principal’s office once. This was at a parochial grade school. The principal was a nun who was about 6′3″. She was a gentle disciplinarian but it did sort of seem like her height gave her a direct line to God and all the gravitas that goes with that.
What’s the first book report you ever wrote?
I don’t remember the very first but the one that sticks in my mind was a report for a book about living in space. I did a horrible job with it and was allowed to redo the report. I knocked it out of the park with the second attempt—that taught me the value of revision.
Do you like to gift wrap presents?
I like the idea of wrapping presents but my execution leaves a little to be desired. Gift bags and a supply of colored tissue paper have saved my bacon on more than one occasion.
What do you wish you could tell your 10-year-old self?
You are going to be loved and cherished by someone who will inspire you to be the best person you can be.
Look beyond the hurt that some people seem to always give — that always gives a clue about where they’re truly vulnerable or hurting themselves.
Keep your mind free and open — it will be your best tool and lead you into many adventures.
What three children’s book authors or illustrators or editors would you like to invite to dinner?
Oh, gosh, that’s a hard one. If I go historical, how about Mark Twain, Margaret Wise Brown, and Don Freeman?
Where’s your favorite place to read?
I don’t have that overstuffed chair from my parents any longer. My favorite place to read now is anywhere near my wife, Vicki, so whenever one of us gasps or laughs at a book, we get to share with the other one.
I like imagining the GASP and read out loud moments!
It took me a while to get used to reading in a communal manner. It’s definitely more enjoyable to share the good moments of a book in an atmosphere of reading.
Model student and class clown — the best combination!
Maybe a bit schizophrenic but it was great to be able to explore who I was: the go-along, attentive student or the comic disruptor? Still a bit of both, I guess.
The clowning part is really you! As far as your IT skills, you are my “go to” person to solve my issues.
…and you’re my favorite go-to aunt!
I love that your favorite place to read is anywhere near Vicki!
It’s my favorite place but also the most challenging. I think Vicki reads about 4x faster than I do. It can be a struggle to keep up at times!
What wonderful advice to give your 10-year-old self. And I am very happy that you and Vicki found each other. I want to know what it was you did that got you sent to the principal’s office!
I’m afraid that particular school infraction is lost to the misty annals of time. I imagine it was something like not wanting to let go of an audience once I had a group’s attention while doing something funny. I remember that being quite intoxicating…in the middle of hamming it up, my senses would be heightened and I’d sort of be watching with an impartial part of my brain, noting how humor cut across cliques and other differences and how easy it is to lose the train of a comedic riff – or how I could build in a guided, dynamic way. Or…I might have been sent to the principal… Read more »
So good to ‘hear’ your voice.