"I think I’m lucky in that I enjoy almost every part of this, which if you’re going to do this, you gotta love it. Because it’s not like I’m making tons of money and there are so many headaches. But you get through the headaches because you love it so much."
Where did you grow up and how would you describe that place?
Arlington, Virginia. It’s pretty much what you expect. It’s right outside of DC. It was a good place to grow up. It’s all row houses. We had yards, but the yards we had were the kind of yards you have in New York—you get a little box. But we were able to walk to each other’s houses really easily. We’d just roam around and ride around on the metro. I was a skater kid so there was a lot of good stuff for all of that down there. It was nice.
What’s your family like?
Pretty typical. Parents are still married after all these years. My mom works as a collections agent at a bank—don’t get on her bad side. My dad has been a million different things. He was a naval engineer, then he became a systems analyst, and then he got a doctorate in systems analysis or something like that. He’s a perennial student. He’s a professor at Virginia Tech now. He’s basically an intellectual about really nerdy stuff. My brother and I joke that when he goes, his book collection is going to Goodwill. It’s all books about systems management.
My dad and I are a lot alike actually. It took us awhile to figure it out and we’re not the kind of people who would be happy just doing a job. We want to find the thing we love! One of the lessons he taught me was that it was never about what you know, it’s about who ya know. Even when things were bad, he was lucky in that everyone he worked with always loved him. So if he got laid off from a job, there as always someone to catch him. He’s just a pleasant person.
Were you a super creative kid?
I always liked making stuff. My parents totally indulged me. Every summer I’d stay with grandma for a month, and before we went, I got to go to the arts and craft store to get 50 bucks worth of supplies.