I was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and came of age at the height of the preppy craze. For some unfathomable reason, my grandparents had a subscription to The New Yorker and every week, I’d paw through it daydreaming about a glamorous future where I’d be a celebrated stage actress living in sin with some hot, devoted trumpet player in a Greenwich Village loft with a skyline view that I’ve since learned is only possible from Brooklyn or New Jersey.
After graduating from Northwestern University with an impractical, expensive degree in guess what, I embarked on an exciting career as a waitress, with occasional time-outs for globetrotting of the dirty backpack, banana pancake variety.
In 1988, I joined The Neo-Futurists, a Chicago theatre company notable for presenting 30 original plays in the course of 60 minutes and ordering pizza for the audience whenever the show sold out. Greg Kotis auditioned for the ensemble in 1991 and fortunately, we cast him because otherwise, I might not have married him and moved to New York City where we rented a 340-square-foot apartment in the East Village for $1150 a month.
Boy, were we surprised when a big old stork swooped down a year later, especially since the baby it dropped off had three thumbs and required immediate treatment in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Shortly after Inky’s first birthday, I put out the first issue of my zine, The East Village Inky which was and still is written and illustrated entirely by hand because computers tend to take a digger when I’m around.
After a few years, the shadow of the stork fell upon us again and we moved to Brooklyn. Milo was born underwater so lickety split, he almost came out in the Tompkins Square playground.
Greg wrote Urinetown! (the Musical) which, to everyone’s amazement, made it all the way to Broadway and now he’s such hot doodie he might burn you, so don’t touch him! Don’t tell him I called him hot doodie either because he’s rigorous about his modesty and I already drew a couple of pictures in , The East Village Inky where he dances around naked.
I eschewed housekeeping and wrote a book called The Big Rumpus so I could remember what life was really like when my children were small and so that you’d have something to purchase in bulk for Mothers Day and every other major holiday.
Then I had to write another book in case you pride yourself on hating kids or break out in hives at the thought of reading another birth story. That one is No Touch Monkey! And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late The The East Village Inky guerilla marketeering squad thinks it’d make an excellent present for the special dirty backpackers in your life. Should they happen to enjoy it, perhaps they could go on Amazon and post a glowing customer review, to counteract all the nasty ones posted by readers of less discriminating tastes.
Playing in the ashtray of my tattered memories proved such fun, I started rooting through all the crappy day jobs I held while pursuing an elusive dream of life on the golden-but-not-nearly-wicked-enough stage. If you, too, have suffered the slings and arrows of outrageously low-wage fortune, reading Job Hopper is going to feel like taking off your girdle. If you’ve been pulling down six figures since the day you graduated B-school summa cum laude, reading Job Hopper is going to feel like taking off someone else’s girdle.
The next dough to come pumping out of the template was Dirty Sugar Cookies: Culinary Observations, Questionable Taste. The publisher called it a love letter to everything I’ve ever eaten and a few of the things I wish I hadn’t. I might add that it’s got one of the gnarliest indexes I’ve ever seen, short of The Merck Manual. It made me so hungry, I had to have a food blog for a couple of years just to justify some of the crazy things I stuffed into my pie-hole.
Figuring that it might be a good idea to let the fertile fields of autography lay fallow for a while, I wrote my first children’s book, Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo, Actually, I guess that one’s got its autobiographical side, too, seeing as how it was inspired by an observation Inky made when she was four. Dan Santat did the illustrations, and also insisted that the photos on the back flap feature our butts instead of our heads.
My latest book, The Zinester’s Guide to NYC, is one of those careful-what-you-wish-for dreams come true. Not only does it have the distinction of being the last wholly analog guidebook to New York City, it is packed to within an inch of my life with the sort of highly participatory, low budget listings you’ve come to recognize as a hallmark of East Village Inky quality. Includes places to make photocopies, and a listing for a cheese store under the heading “Art Supplies”.
And for cod’s sake, don’t leave for vacation without my first graphic novel, Peanut, a collaboration with illustrator Paul Hoppe. It hits the shelves in January 2013 and is ostensibly for young adults, which to my mind means everybody.
Did I mention that I’m BUST magazine’s Mother Superior columnist? (Think they’ll fire me when then find out I’m not Catholic?) And that I used to write a New York-themed column for Tokyo’s Mainichi Weekly even though I don’t speak Japanese? And that even though I cannot facilitate a sexual release for you, I’m totally available for your freelance pleasure? Sometimes people even hire me to draw pictures of their kids…
Now, back to work, you!
Or, if you prefer, here is my Alternative Bio, compliments of the Google Translation of a German livejournal entry: