I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. I lived there during elementary school, but I grew up mostly in the suburbs of north central Indiana, a little town called Noblesville. I spent a good deal of my time there playing in corn fields, building bike ramps for my Dyno BMX, making massive bonfires in the woods, night swimming in the reservoir, sleeping like a dead moose at slumber parties, orchestrating firework wars, detonating makeshift bombs, and running from the cops. In high school I was in a train-themed white boy rap group called Krew Train.
DJ Stowaway was in the house.
I went to college at Indiana University in Bloomington for a couple years: played in some punk bands, went cliff jumping in limestone quarries, worked as an apartment maintenance helper, dropped out of school, almost got tricked into being a Kirby Vacuum Salesman, substitute taught at the local high schools, and then moved to Seattle where I became a Game Tester at Nintendo. I got paid to play Wii Sports.
That lasted about a year, and then I went to Antarctica to wash dishes for four months. Since then I've returned to Antarctica four more times. I got hooked. Hard. I mean, where else can you throw together a hip-hop cover band, practice a couple times a week for about a month, and then have 300 people (half of them your close friends & co-workers) at your first show? Where else can you drive 15 miles across a frozen ocean in a 2000-gallon fuel truck named Scharen to fill up a White Elephant? Where else can you see sunsets that last for hours? Where else can you live, work, and play with some of the most amazing humans on the entire planet? McMurdo Station is an alternate reality, and it will always have a very special place in my heart.
During all that back & forth to Antarctica, I migrated from Seattle to Portland. It was there that I spent the bulk of my summers tubing down rivers, having bonfires in the backyard, cliff-jumping off water falls, berry picking on an island in the middle of the Columbia River, seeing the 4th of July Fireworks from under the Hawthorne Bridge, watching the swifts come home to roost at Chapman Elementary School, and biking wherever my little legs would take me. It doesn't get much better than a summer in the Pacific Northwest.
At times it felt like I was living the dream, but after four consecutive seasons down south it was time to change things up. I wasn't connecting with any place long term, I wasn't building anything tangible, so I forced myself to take a season off, and, over the past couple years, I've been staying put a little bit more. Portland is doing a pretty darn good job of making that easy for me.
I think I will always be pulled away from time to time, though. I gotta keep it fresh! But it feels great knowing I've got a place that I love to call home.