Fun Facts

  1. I’m a dual Irish and US citizen.
  2. I have three aunts who were nuns (all deceased) and one uncle who is a priest.
  3. If he were alive today, my maternal grandfather would be 127 years old (he was born in 1890, and he was nearly 60 when my mother was born).
  4. I have more than 50 first cousins.
  5. I have not-so-distant family relations who have competed for Ireland in the triple jump, marathon, and equestrian events at the Olympics.
  6. As a 12-year-old, I did comedy impersonations at a Republican Party fundraiser of John Wayne and Ronald Reagan in front of George HW Bush.
  7. I was a Taco Bell shift manager at age 17. I was fired for insubordination.
  8. In 1996, I finished 10th in Colorado in the high school mile state championships.
  9. I was ranked number one in my high school class until the last semester of my senior year, when I got a C in a class called, “Information Processing.”
  10. I started a magazine in college called “BLADU.”
  11. My first job out of college was at the Chicago Sun-Times, where I copy-edited the writing of Roger Ebert, Richard Roeper, Robert Novak, and others.
  12. After I left the Sun-Times, I made a living as a rock critic for about a year. I wrote for the All-Music Guide, Rolling Stone online, the Sun-Times, the Chicago Reader, and a bunch of other sites.
  13. I speak fluent Spanish and decent Catalan. I used to speak near-fluent Russian. I know a little bit of a Czech, Italian, French, and Portuguese.
  14. I worked for six years at a law firm whose alumni include James Comey, Ken Starr, Theo Epstein, and Ted Olson.
  15. I have also worked as a soccer referee, luggage salesman, English teacher, pizza cook, bartender, janitor, and telemarketer.
  16. Before I went to law school, I turned down a job offer to work for FC Barcelona star Xavi Hernandez, who later won a World Cup for Spain.
  17. I have run two 100-mile races and have earned the prestigious “Big Buckle” at the Leadville 100.
  18. I play about a dozen musical instruments, including guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, baglama saz, and the tuba.
  19. I am obsessed with board games.
  20. I live in a town called Salida with just over 5,000 people in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.