was born in 1974 in Danville, Illinios, a small town just over the Indiana border. I went back recently and the house where I grew up had taken something out of Alice in Wonderland and shrunk to half the size of what I remembered it being. In 1984 my mother, sister, brother and I moved with my step-father to Cudjoe Key, Florida, where I learned how to fish, boat, snorkel, and work. At ten I had my own landscaping company for Cudjoe residents happy to pay three bucks an hour to have their weeds pulled and lawns mowed. I had my first proper job at Godfather's Pizza in 1985, busing tables and washing dishes. I moved back to Illinois, to Downers Grove, a suburb of Chicago, where I attended high school, after which I went to the University of Iowa, where I received a BA in English and Philosophy. I got my first job in advertising in 1998, at a Chicago firm called Davis Harrison Dion, and also worked for Draft Worldwide, before leaving Chicago for Long Beach, California and the MFA program at the University of California, Irvine.