Sign: Leo, of course. [If you missed my birthday, Amazon provides a way to make amends.]
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, USofA
Personal philosophy: “The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” [Socrates via Banovsky]
And also: “I like flaws and feel more comfortable around people who have them. I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.” [Augusten Burroughs via DJ Aaron Elvis]
Life story (abridged for your pleasure — and hers.): So, where did it all begin?
In Mississippi, it was — a small, quaint, ignorant, loving, nosy, phony, adorable, special Southern town. That’s where I was born and raised. I don’t remember much of my first seventeen years, but there’s photographic evidence, so it must’ve happened.
Blah blah blah, eventually I graduated from high school and moved on to Millsaps College, a teeny-tiny liberal arts college hidden away among the rolling hills and sprawling homogeneity of Jackson, Mississippi. While I can’t say Millsaps prepared me for the adult world — much less the scintillating world of graduate school — I learned a great deal in the way of social skills. I also made some of the most enduring friends of my life. And like many college students, I learned the limits of my alcohol endurance.
Immediately after graduation, I decided I’d had just about enough of Mississippi, thank you very much, and marched down to New Orleans, where I lived for the next three years. I finished my M.A. in Dramatic Lit and Criticism at Tulane University and then moved on to…
…exciting, glamorous, NEW YORK CITY! It seemed like a good idea at the time. I was planning to get my doctorate at NYU, but unfortunately, both the school and the department turned out to be total nightmares. Also, I learned that I hate cold weather and the snow that frequently accompanies it. (Seriously: I’m allergic. I’ll take the steambath, please.)
Nevertheless, something very good did come out of my Father Knickerbocker days: it was then that I first met my very own curmudgeonly and lovable boyfriend (now husband). Sadly, he wouldn’t give me the time of day back then. He says I was too fat, and judging from the clothes I still own from those years….
Anyway. After a year and then some in the Big Apple, I returned to the Big Easy at the request of a reasonably good grad program in English Lit. As fate would have it, though, I left that program to finish a second Master’s in Arts Administration. During this weird-ass transitional phase of my life (I’d always planned to be a prof and was suddenly abandoning ship), I made quite a few amazing friends and many more trips to NYC. And wouldn’t you know it: on one such occasion I was reintroduced to Mr. Husband, who is, in fact, better known as Jonno.
After several months of email love, Jonno picked up his things and forsook his own hometown (NYC) for New Orleans. In 2000, we bought an old house in the Faubourg Marigny and have been slowly renovating it ever since. We live there with our four hounds: Kika, Ruffin, Tania. and Jacques. Homos with dogs, an SUV, and reasonably professional jobs who are restoring an old house? So guppy.
As for the name sturtle: it comes from a saying/read that was popularized by my friend Zod: “You’re so nelly, you put an ‘s’ in ‘turtle’.” Of course, the only way to carry out such a grammatic endeavor without sounding like you’re from Upper Slovenia is to put the “s” at the beginning of the word: ergo, “sturtle”. I know, it doesn’t sound particularly funny, but when pronounced with over-the-top sibilance a la Charles Nelson Reilly (sssssssssturtle!), it’s pretty freakin’ amusing.