I am a 37-year-old marketing director, web developer, and aspiring author. I’m also an aspiring parent, but you know that already—that’s why you’re here. I was born and raised in Ogden, Utah, and at this point, I’m probably an Ogden Lifer. Here are some things you might want to know about me:
I have two! An older brother (Vincent) and a younger sister (Ariel).
Vincent is a realtor and an all-around good human being. Like any brothers close in age, we brawled a bit as kids, but have grown quite close as adults. Vinny is the only person I know who can somehow still convince me of ridiculous things, like that he has never heard the word Avocado before.
Ariel is an LCSW, and is among the kindest, most brilliant people I know. Ariel and I have always been close, and apart from being my sister, I consider her to be one of my best friends. We all contain multitudes, but none so many as Ariel. At heart, she is a cat or a crow, or a cat-crow.
I have too many! I’m a decent writer, a middling guitarist, and a poor gardener. Every year for the past decade, I have tried to grow big pumpkins, and every year I have ended up with just a couple barely big enough to make a pie.
I love to cook. Thanksgiving is among my favorite holidays because I get to spend the day listening to music, drinking wine, and cooking a big meal for 20+ people, and then I get to spend the evening with those people. I have my turkey brine on lock, and I have mastered the art of the pumpkin pie. The key, I’ve found, is to listen carefully to Alton Brown, and just do everything his way.
I have played the guitar since I was 14 years old. I get by, but I certainly don’t sound like a veteran of 23 years. Part of the problem is that I have very small hands. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I shop for gloves in the kids’ section. The bigger issue is that I just don’t practice enough. Regardless, I love playing the guitar, and will play “Blackbird” by The Beatles any chance I get.
I write short stories and occasionally I’ll write a poem or two. I call them short stories, but each one I write gets a little longer than the last, so at some point I will have to acknowledge that I have made the leap to novel writing. Most of my work is a little dark, much of it focusing on how people react to loss or tragedy, but I try to inject some levity anywhere I can.
I like Lego a little more than a grown man probably should. When I was a kid, Lego was my fantasy world. When I was in my early 20s, Lego was my hangover cure. These days, Lego is just a good stress reliever and palate cleanser.
I also took up sewing a few years ago after taking a costume design course in college. I enjoyed the creative energy it allowed me to generate and expend, so I bought a sewing machine and a ton of flannel, and I started making flannel can koozies.
For the most part, I just enjoy making things, be they meals, songs, stories, Lego, or 90s grunge apparel for a beverage.
I have had an insanely nontraditional career path. I started working at 13 years old at a produce market in Ogden called Carlo’s Produce. To this day, that was my favorite job. It was outdoors, the schedule was flexible and forgiving, and I got all the fruit I could eat in a shift. I worked telemarketing jobs through high school, and worked for America Online shortly after. When AOL closed up shop in 2006, I sold RVs for about three seconds before realizing that I was terrible at it. One of my friends from AOL had started up a web development business, and he needed someone to manage the office and make cold call sales, so I offered to take the job. It was a garbage position and I made garbage money doing it, but I did well and grew the business.
After a couple of years, I decided to take some web development courses at the Davis Technical College so that I could actually handle that end of the business as well. I loved it. I got to be creative and clever in that role—always making something new, always solving problems. I worked as a freelance web developer for the next six years before one of my clients, Oz Marketing, offered to bring me in-house in 2015. At that point, I hadn’t taken a day off work or had medical benefits for the better part of a decade, so I took the job.
I’ve spent the past six years expanding the web development department at Oz Marketing, growing it from an office of one (Me. Hi.) to a six person team working on dozens of projects. In October of 2021, I handed the department off to my team lead, and accepted a position as a Director at Oz Marketing, now overseeing the operations of the development, production, and digital departments.
I went back to college laaaaaaaaaater in life. I started my undergrad at 29 years old, originally planning to get a teaching degree to ensure stable employment through retirement. Within my first two years of college, my career in web development and marketing started to take shape and solidify into something long term. At the same time, I started to develop a genuine love of writing fiction and poetry. So, rather than bailing on school and narrow-focusing on my career, I changed my major to Creative Writing, and moved my school schedule to online and evenings to accommodate my career and my education. In 2020, at 35 years old, I graduated with my BA in English / Creative Writing. Since I graduated, I have written several short stories, which I hope to publish in a collection soon. I also plan to earn a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing in the near future.
I love the outdoors, and I adore a road trip. My favorite vacations always start with a car full of gear, a cup of coffee, and the sun coming up over the interstate. Brandi and I try to get out on a couple of road trips each year, almost always to one or more of the National Parks. My personal favorites are Bryce Canyon, Olympic, Glacier, and Grand Teton.
I love to hike, even in grueling, arduous conditions, because I get to see things that the vast majority of the population will never see with their own eyes. This past spring, a friend and I crossed off a bucket list hike in the Tetons—a twenty-mile loop gaining 4,100 feet of elevation—and we did it all in a day.
Once upon a time, I was a runner, and I still enjoy running, but I can’t do it like I used to. A few years back, I would register for any race I could afford. I ran about thirty half marathons, three full marathons, and thousands of training miles. But in 2018, I hurt my knee and needed surgery. The surgery was successful, but the recovery was long, and running wasn’t quite the same after that. These days, I’ll do a couple of miles here and there when I’m feeling up to it, but I think my prime running days are in the rear view.
I am super passionate about music. Growing up, we didn’t have much, but we always had music in the house, whether it was a record or my dad playing his guitar. I love to have music playing in my home as often as possible, and I go to as many concerts as I can. I truly believe that live music is the closest thing that we have to magic in the real world. Some of my favorite bands and musicians are Pearl Jam, Hozier, Brandi Carlile, Gregory Alan Isakov, Alabama Shakes, Pink Floyd, Gary Clark Jr, Elton John, and of course, The Beatles. I have a pretty decent vinyl collection, and I love listening to records whenever I can.
I’m a bit of a trivia nerd. I love Jeopardy—Brandi and I watch it as often as we can—and I dig a good pub quiz when I can find one. We win pub quiz often, and I firmly believe that if they allowed me two glasses of wine, I would be unstoppable on Jeopardy.
Star Trek or Star Wars
Both. I love them both with all of my heart, and I refuse to participate in this particular culture war.
My childhood was a little rough. My parents fought often, culminating in a very messy divorce when I was eleven. I was lucky, at that age to have siblings and cousins on both sides of my family who were able to act like adults while the adults behaved like children. My siblings and I were shuffled from home to home, living with aunts and uncles and grandparents for a few years while my parents figured things out. But as difficult as that was, I still have some wonderful memories of the time spent with my maternal cousins in Jackson, Wyoming, and of sleepovers and late-night dance parties with my siblings and paternal cousins at my grandparents’ house, here in Utah. Those childhood experiences taught me a couple valuable lessons.
- Cruelty is not conflict resolution. My parents were so needlessly cruel to each other, each only ever trying to hurt the other more than they had been hurt. Ultimately, it was us, their kids, who beared the brunt of that cruelty, and the result was a strained and tenuous relationship between ourselves and our parents for years. It’s the reason that Brandi and I talk instead of argue. It’s the reason that in the fifteen years we’ve been together, we have never yelled at each other or called each other names.
- There is always joy to be found, even under difficult circumstances. You just need to keep your eyes open.
Look, I’m not religious. I never have been. I believe that we have one life to live and one shot at all of this, so it behooves each of us to be kind, give each other grace, assume the best of everyone, and do whatever we can for one another, whenever we can, with whatever we have in order to make this one short ride as interesting, beautiful, and joyful as possible for everyone. Empathy and joy are my religion.