I was born in Sacramento, California in 1964, which makes me a dragon within the Chinese zodiac. My family lived in what was a little town called Rocklin just outside of Sacramento where my father was a manager at the Southern Pacific Piplines tank farm near the train tracks. I was blissfully happy as a northern Californian and met our family's 1969 move to Southern California without too much enthusiasm. 
We moved to what had been a small ranching and farming town called Newhall which was, even then, becoming a thriving suburb of Los Angeles. I spent the next thirteen years riding my bike and other people's horses throughout the streets, washes, fields, and hills of Newhall and the surronding areas. I graduated from William S. Hart High School in 1982 and went off to college at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

I earned my first degree from Poly in Biological Sciences (with a minor in just about everything) in 1986 and my second degree (M.S.) in English in 1990. 

The eight years I spent in San Luis were divine, but it was time for me to pursue a Ph.D. after the masters degree, so in 1990, I packed up and left my California paradise for graduate school at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. 

While I studied linguistics and cognitive science at IU, I taught in the Intensive English Program . (And went to lots of basketball games.) 

For lack of money and a dislike of phonolgy, I decided to take a break from graduate school for a while and in 1992, I moved to Kensington, Maryland, just above the Washington D.C. northwestern border. 

To make a living AND to follow my life's calling (teaching), I began to teach English at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. In 1996, I was hired full-time at Mason.

I often go back to California to visit family and friends (and to surf in "real" waves). My mom lives in a cute little mountain town in the mountains above Palm Springs called Idyllwild. You might be surprised that this town is in Southern California