“Who even are you?” All the Scandalous Details



Okay, okay. The headline promises a lot, so here’s some FAQs:

How old are you?

How dare you ask a lady her age? (I’m 25).

From where did you originate?

I’m from a small town in Ohio and I’m always on constant lookout for other Ohioans. If you don’t know anything about Ohio, here are some scientific, historical facts I’ve discovered since my move. For one, everyone in the U.S. has a relative/friend/pub acquaintance in or from Ohio and thus incorrectly assumes that they know all the geography of Ohio, as exhibited by this frequent conversation:

Me: I’m from Ohio.
Stranger: OMG where?!?! I have a relative in Ohio!!
Me: Canton/Akron
Stranger: (silence)
Me: (silence)

@digitalCLR November 9, 2017

Additionally, I have uncovered my various, typical Ohioan tendencies:

  • I refer to artificially carbonated beverages as simply “pop.”
  • I’ve been known to interrogate sleepy strangers at 5AM in a Starbucks because they had donned an Indians hat or OSU sweatshirt.
  • I’m guilty of waving my arms above my head in the rough shapes of “O” and “H” in public places, eagerly awaiting response from others.
  • If you lose me in a crowd, you will most likely find me ducking and weaving while repeating the word, “Ope!” over and over until the obstacles have passed.

Bottom line, I make a lot of jokes about the Buckeye state but I loved living there. Please, bear with me.

Where do you live now?

In August 2016 I moved to Mannheim, Germany (which is a little south of Frankfurt) with my German wife, Lisa (who is from here and speaks German, because she is German).

Collage 4
2011, High School Goons;  2015, Engaged in Ireland (Cliffs of Moher);  2016, Married in Denmark (Photo by Amy Spirito Photography);  2018, Still Goons.

How’d you get there?

I took a plane.

But seriously. We met in high school when Lisa—a German teenager with dreams of an American adventure in our world-renown cities and beautiful national parks—was placed in Ohio through a student exchange program. We hung out all year and I eventually accepted that I was undeniably queer (and an introvert! Who knew?!). We dated for fourteen days, then were long distance from there.

That doesn’t sound probable.

We both agree. Long distance isn’t for everyone, but Lisa and I did that (US to Germany) for five years before we got married. We actually didn’t move in together until three months after we wed. (I know, SUPER conservative!) (But also visas and moving abroad, there will be posts about this!).

How’d the marriage thing work?

We eloped in Denmark (the Las Vegas of Europe) in June 2016. I’ll write about this more later, but everyone should elope and then party afterwards, it’s hands down the best way to do it.

Okay, what was that Boston thing you mentioned?

I lived in Boston for five years (2011-2016) where I studied Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College, worked insurprise!publishing, and enjoyed wandering the city and often-overpriced pints of Harpoon IPA.

And what are you doing now?

I read. A lot. I’m currently completing my MA in English Literature and Linguistics at the Universität Heidelberg. I focus mostly on African American literature and gender studies, and am an aspiring hip hop academic. My MA thesis is titled, “The Voices Within: The Composite Works of Kendrick Lamar,” which looks at the orchestration of other voices (producers, guest artists, samples, etc.) within his works. Needless to say, if you want to geek out over the metaphoric potential of a bass line, let’s chat!

That’s all cool and whatever, but is there anything else interesting about you?

    • I’m the oldest of six kids. People usually look surprised when I say that.
    • I didn’t get a passport until I was 18.
    • I’ve held a variety of positions in publishing from book designing to managing copyright contracts. Publishing is rad, okay?
    • This may appear blasphemous, but I don’t particularly love pizza.
    • I’ve read everything Jodi Picoult has ever written.
    • I’m one of those twenty-somethings that bowed to the millennial love of sloths. I am a “Godmother”/Patentante of a lovely Sloth (Wilma) at the Heidelberg Zoo.

Got any other questions? Can’t suppress the urge to respond “I-O”?
Leave a comment below!