(Courtesy of Tony)
1) How old were you?
2) What was your online presence?
THEN: I had a Tripod vanity website, spent entirely too much time lurking on IRC and in waaaay too many chatrooms, and was just starting to write for Themestream. I was rocking a Hotmail addy. Oh, Hotmail...
NOW: I have the website, the blog, the Gmail, Google Reader, accounts at six bazillion music sites, wishlists every-fucking-where, Myspace, and even Facebook, which has unfortunately become my new favorite work distraction. The Internet is a close friend, and she knows, like, EVERYTHING.
3) Where did you work?
THEN: In the beginning of the year, I was working as a graveyard shift answering service operator. Shortly thereafter, I moved to Atlanta and started temping, which eventually led me to get hired off the switchboard to work claims at an insurance brokerage.
NOW: I'm still doing claims work for the same brokerage here in Chi-town. I can't believe I've worked for this company for ten damn years!
4) Where did you live?
THEN: Muskegon, MI...then Marietta, GA.....then North Druid Hills in the ATL.
NOW: Rogers Park - woo hoo!
5) Who did you live with?
THEN: My mom, then my evil aunt and uncle, then a couple months all by myself in a hotel, then my friend Melissa from NYC. It was a busy year.
NOW: My ass-kicking friend Jen.
6) How was your health?
THEN: The gall stone attacks (that I'd been having since high school and thought were heartburn) were getting worse. I suffered with them for a couple more years, though, because I'm dumb that way. Otherwise, the health was as good as it can be when I'm incredibly stressed out and spending a lot of time burying myself in work so as not to deal with crazy home situations. And drinking way too much Coke and coffee, and living off Ramen and fresh baked bread from Kroger.
NOW: Pretty good, all told. I mean, I had that mystery stomach-related thing a few months back...and the tailbone is always a dull hum of yuck...but I eat well, and I sleep as much as I can, and I try to let go of stress, and when I'm not actively nursing a cold, I feel pretty good. I don't pollute my body nearly as much as I did back then...except for the occasional night out drinking...
THEN: None. PeVe, my much-loved and missed fluffy black alarm clock, wouldn't show up on my doorstep in my sister's arms for another six months or so.
NOW: Samwise, who ensures that I never forget to feed him, and Benedick, who likes to wake me up every night around 4 a.m. so I can pet him. Together, they conspire to keep me perpetually covered in cat fur and, if I happen to be sitting down long enough, actual cats.
8) Who was your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/spouse/S.O.?
THEN: Lessee....setting aside a couple "internet boyfriends" (gods, was I ever that young??), I didn't start working the Ren Fest (where I discovered my love of kilts and the men in them) until the next year.
NOW: Le sigh. This year so far, there was Joe (not so much) and then Jason (oh, my - yes, please). Who's decided to move back to Montana. And before you ask, no: I'm not bitter AT ALL.
9) Who were your friends?
THEN: My sister. Melissa, Melissa, Jaymie. I didn't meet Sue or Kevin until the next year. I kept vaguely in touch with my buddy Jeremy from high school.
NOW: My sister, again. Jen, Marta, Tony, Andrea, River, Michael here in the Chi. JoAnn at the office. The fat girls!! Melissa, Melissa, Sue, and Kevin elsewhere in the country. And I still keep vaguely in touch with my buddy Jeremy from high school.
10) Any kids? Any plans for kids?
THEN: Gods, no! I was happy with the prospect of filling the role of crazy auntie when my siblings had kids.
NOW: Gods, no! I'm happy filling the role of crazy auntie for my neices and nephews.
11) What was your worst struggle?
THEN: Were my aunt and uncle really evil, or was I really as weird and disgusting and broken as they told me (they were evil)? Had I made the worst mistake of my life moving to Atlanta (big time no)? Should I have stayed in college (absolutely not)? Would I ever figure out how to play the guitar (yes. slowly and painfully.)?
NOW: Will I ever learn how to really fucking trust people? Will my rage at the injustice of the world make me bitter and disengaged, or will it drive me to more and more outrageous attempts to right its wrongs? What else can I do to bring my actions into closer harmony with my values? How much longer will I be able to balance my integrity as an environmentalist and the need to dye my hair once every three weeks using evil petrochemicals that make my eyes water? Am I ever gonna meet a decent dude I'm attracted to that isn't planning to move out of state?!
12) What was your biggest joy?
THEN: Moving out of my evil aunt and uncle's place. I made a decision about it, made a plan, put it into action, and handled their attempts to intimidate and insult and threaten me with direct confrontation, where I kept my dignity and didn't let them derail me. The sense of relief as I left that toxic situation is one of the best feelings of my life. I think that's when I learned that I could count on myself in just about any set of circumstances. Plus, living in a hotel was AWESOME.
NOW: Setting down my fears and sorrows to make music.
13) What did you consider your greatest accomplishment?
THEN: Dropping out of college, but still getting away from the small town where my family lived.
NOW: Playing on six strings. Recording my own stuff. Not letting the past control my present.
14) What advice would you give your younger self?
Mom was right about the move to Atlanta. Also: when you move to Chicago in a few years, plan it a little better so you don't end up spending a day homeless and freaking the fuck out.
15) What would your younger self say to you?
A guitarist? Really?? C'mon, you're kidding, right? That kind of thing never works out!
16) Looking back, is your life in 2008 what you thought it would be in 1998?
I would never have believed I'd stlll be working for the same company, or living in the same city for so long....but otherwise, yeah, it's about what I'd expected.
Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.