What’s your story (your elevator pitch, if you will)?
Okay, you have to pretend that you’re on an elevator with me and it gets stuck so I have a whole lot of time to talk to you (and then I start to make you uncomfortable because I won’t shut up because I do that when I’m nervous. And who wouldn’t be nervous being stuck on an elevator?):
I went the traditional route, picking up a BA and an MA, and working in both the nonprofit and government for 10 years but was completely, unbelievably bored. I was good at my job(s) but I wasn’t a good government employee and I knew that, so when I hit my ceiling, I started to get stifled. And the creative part of me that was pushed aside during my government tenure started screaming and picketing and demanding attention. I tried to give it money to stop harassing me but that didn’t work. So about a year ago, I quit my job and decided to give self-employment a shot.
I’m still trying to figure out where I fit in–kind of like high school but with bills and responsibilities. But I do have a business (and thank you, Kathleen, for your help and participation) so I’m headed in a direction to be determined because my sense of direction is terrible.
What made you decide to start a blog?
I love writing and I needed to place to put my thoughts down. Where other people can read them, of course. My special brand of genius needs to be shared with the world. You’re welcome, Internet. Seriously, though, I just needed an outlet to talk about all the topics that made my husband’s and friends’ eyes glaze over when I brought them up. I enjoy reading blogs and figured it was something I could do.
What’s your next project?
Right now, I’m in the middle of getting ready for the Bloggers Helping Bloggers one-off session at FinCon13 and making some adjustments to the program structure. I’ve also re-branded from personal finance to more general lifestyle site, Jana Says. Then there’s the matter of my fiction book that really, really needs to be edited. So I guess that’s three projects instead of just one.
Fiction! Editing! Let’s talk.
What part of the country do you live in?
I live on the East Coast, in Delaware (home of Joe Biden, Valerie Bertinelli, and Ryan Phillipe. Be jealous, y’all). I’m originally from New York so I’ve been an East Coast girl my entire life.
Do you blog full time? If not, what do you do during the work day?
I don’t really know how to answer this question. I don’t exactly blog full-time but I do have a blogger mentoring program that takes up most of my “work day” but I’m not sure if that counts. I do random other bits of blogging/freelance work. I also take care of my daughter full-time (well, when she’s not in school). So, really, I just spend my day answering questions and pretending to like My Little Pony with an hour or two of actual blogging work sprinkled in for flavor and excitement.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Textbook introvert. Unless I’ve been drinking. Then I’m a temporary extrovert.
Coffee or tea? What do you put in it?
Tea. Green tea, specifically, with nothing in it (‘cause I’m badass like that). I can’t stand coffee at all. I had a traumatic incident with it in high school and I’ve never fully recovered. Plus, I think it smells horrible.
What would you have as your last meal? Rules of this game: you’re not sick, and you have a super stomach which will allow you to eat more calories than normal.
Ooh, the last meal game. Like I’m a death row inmate. My husband and I play this game sometimes when we’re stuck in traffic. I’d definitely pick seafood, mashed potatoes, ice cream (mint chocolate chip topped with Reese’s peanut butter cups), cherry Coke, feta cheese with tomatoes, and Guiness with an iced tea chaser.
Name one thing in real life that drives you crazy.
Picking just one is like asking me to pick a favorite pet (I only have one child so that’s not a fair comparison but I do have 3 pets)–it’s so hard to do. But since this is your game and your rules, I’ll follow them. I’d have to say improper use of punctuation. Particularly the apostrophe.
As a person with an apostrophe in her name, I wholeheartedly agree with you — apostrophe abuse starts at home. And spreads.
Name one thing on the internet that drives you crazy.
Over and inappropriate use of the term “LOL”. I’m on a mission to either have it banned or establish lifetime quotas.
What’s the best (or “best”) pickup line you’ve ever heard or said?
I had one guy tell me we should practice making babies. And as tempting as it was, I declined.
How did you meet your husband? How did he propose?
I met my husband sophomore year of college in a class we had together. His assigned seat was next to my roommate’s. Boring, I know.
Our proposal story, which happened over 6 years later, is kind of long but the gist of it is this–He proposed dressed like a chicken (He’s 6”1’ so I’ll let you form your own visual on that), holding a sign that said “Will you marry me, cluck, cluck?” To prevent him from experiencing further embarrassment, I said yes. (Sadly, I don’t have a picture. My camera broke as I was in the middle of taking it. And this was in 2003, before smartphones and all that stuff).
He proposed wearing a chicken suit!? HILARIOUS.
What’s the funniest prank you’ve played on someone?
None. I’m not a prank playing kind of gal. I’m not really funny like that. It makes me a little sad, actually, because I feel like it’d be fun to do.
What are some of your favorite books? Just the ones that come to mind, they don’t have to be the very best books of all time.
Books. I love books and giving book recommendations. But that could take a long time and I don’t want to bore your readers any more than I already have so I’ll just pick some fiction ones with the disclaimer that there are a boatload of books I’m not listing: The Sisters Brothers, The Outsiders, The Art of Racing in the Rain, The Time Keeper, The Visible Man, The Glass Castle, and all of Gillian Flynn’s books. And I don’t know why I picked all books that start with “the”. Weird.
Huh. The only one of those I’ve read is The Glass Castle!
Same with movies. What are some of your favorites?
I love movies almost as much as I love books. Here’s my greatest hits list: The Breakfast Club, Major League, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poet’s Society, Real Genius, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Best in Show, Renaissance Man, Stand By Me, Role Models, and I Love You, Man.
Who would play you in the movie version of your life?
I’d love to say Jennifer Lawrence but really, it’s more like Ellen Page or someone else really short with brown hair.
Have you ever been in a fight? Did you throw the first punch?
Yes. Not like an actual street fight or bar brawl (we save those for my husband), but I did get into a number of fights with my sister when we were kids. I think maybe sometimes I threw the first punch (metaphorical, of course. We hit more than punched) and sometimes she did. Our parents had fun with us.
Do you have now, or have you ever had, a tattoo? If so, details, please!
Nope, no tattoos. I want one but I have body art commitment issues.
Where’s your next vacation?
Good question. I’d like for it to be Aruba or Ireland but it’ll probably be Disney World (because of the kid). Our 10 year wedding anniversary is next year so this is a hotly and frequently debated topic in our house.
Please share a joke.
I seriously don’t know any jokes. But if anyone knows the end to the joke Judd Nelson tells in The Breakfast Club, and is willing to share, I’ll buy you a drink at FinCon13. Or be your best friend. I’m sure one of those is a really good deal.