I was born in Washington DC in 1966 and lived the first 11 years of my life in Arlington, Va. My dad was a highway engineer for the federal government. My mom worked various jobs but was mostly a SAHM.
|1966: Dude, that's one fat baby girl.|
I went to two years of pre-school at the local public high school (Yorktown, Katie Couric's alma mater). It was part of their child development curriculum. One time they took us to the home ec classroom and let us make green eggs and ham.
|1972: I got a real kick out of telling people that I was so smart that I graduated from Yorktown at the age of 5.|
I had to start first grade in private school because I didn't turn 6 until November, and the public schools were going to make me wait a year to start.
1973: Kalisa developed her fashion sense early, modeling her style after Olga Korbut.
At St. Andrews Episcopal School, I played Gretel in Hansel and Gretel. The boy next to me in the photo above - Yoyo - he played Hansel. After first grade I moved over to the public school, Nottingham Elementary, and had to start walking to school.
I was a pretty sullen kid most of the time. I know now that I was probably suffering from depression very early on. But what did we know about depression in the 70s? My parents once sent out a Christmas card with me frowning in order to "teach me a lesson."
|c. 1975: Merry Christmas to me.|
When I was 11, my dad retired and we moved to the Mississippi coast. (Me & Bret Favre are totally homies.) I graduated from Long Beach High School in 1984. Our graduation was held in our very own Bearcat Stadium.
|1984: The folks on the front row are watching recent grads try to balance their caps on their heads long enough for Dad to snap a photo. They're pretty much the only people in the entire stadium who aren't bored out of the minds.|
For lack of anything else to do, I moved to Memphis in 1986. I attended Memphis State University on and off for a number of years, alternately majoring in education, nursing, counseling and finally journalism.
I met Big Daddy at school and we got married Memorial Day Weekend of 1993. Three months later, our son Elijah was born.
|1993: Big Daddy is freaked out not so much by becoming a father, but by the fish hook they were using to sew me up.|
He was a cute little dude, too. Here he is at age 1:
And here's a more recent photo, one of his senior pictures:
|2008: Still a pretty cute dude, only now he's over six feet tall.|
When Elijah was a year old, I went back to college (which by this time had changed its name to the University of Memphis) and eventually - finally - graduated. At the age of 30. The first in my family save for my dad.
|1997: Before I graduated, I went and got my hair cut like Lily on "As the World Turns." It just seemed like the right thing to do.|
For more than 15 years, I have worked in communications and public relations. I can pretty much answer any grammar, style or usage question that comes along, but don't expect me to do math in my head.
I've been sober since January 17, 2006, mostly because going to rehab seems to be the in thing to do. Also because I had been spending an awful lot of my time drunk.
2005: I was a happy drunk, which I'm sure made me all the more obnoxious.
2005: Posing for Big Daddy while on vacation in New Orleans.
2005: Rules for beach vacation: 1) No watch; 2) No bra; 3) No flatiron.
Contact me at email@example.com