Monday, September 20, 2010

Introducing...ME! Wait, What?

Thanks to the Interview Swap for Book Blogger Appreciation Week, I came to a realization. Not everyone has been reading this blog for the five years that it's been going!!!

I know, right? Holy crap! What a stupid realization!

The bottom line: it appears many of you were wondering where this blog's name came from, and since it's one of my most proudest accomplishments in like, LIFE, I figured I should perhaps reintroduce myself, do some explaining, and generally welcome the new readers onboard since BBAW.

We bloggers often find each other en media res and, personally, I would like to see more bloggers doing what Amanda from The Zen Leaf has done. I feel like I know so much more about Amanda since she posted her own re-introduction, and if we can just get a big ole wave of this going through the blogosphere I would probably wet my pretty new pants with excitement.

This is me. This was before I had a baby, so my face is much thinner, and my hair is much shorter (with less gray). So, basically, add 15 pounds of weight, 15 pounds of hair, and some bags under the eyes, and you have a more up-to-date picture.

I am one of the old ladies in the blogging community. For five and a half years, I've been haunting the virtual stacks. If I explain the name of my blog you'll understand a bit of my bloggy history:

When I started the blog in 2005, I was in a bad mental/emotional space because of the relationship I was in. My "other" didn't like my blogging, and I basically started it out of spite. The most spiteful character in literature I could think of, and one I've been fascinated with for ages, is Estella from Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens. Her whole purpose in life was the torture men (thanks to the woman who raised her...Miss Havisham). The torturing of the menfolk sounded pretty good just then, so Estella's Revenge was born. As I've grown and aged and settled down, the title has grown with me. I suppose Estella's greatest revenge in the novel is ultimately on Miss Havisham. Estella grows up, matures, and finds happiness. Something I'm sure that naughty old Havisham would not have wanted. Likewise, I've matured, settled down, and am very much content these days.

So, there ya go. That's how my online persona was born, and I really am pretty proud of that brief stroke of cleverness that's served me so well over the years.

For work, I am an English professor. I've been professing for about 7 years now. I taught high school in rural North Carolina for one year, and I ran screaming to higher education as quickly as I my little stubby toes would carry me. While teaching can be a pain in the arse sometimes, overall I am extremely happy with my job. I rarely dread going to work, and I always like interacting with my students and colleagues. I'm continually challenged with new ways to present material. I've recently applied for an administrative position, and while I'm a little nervous about the idea of leaving the classroom, I think I'm also ready to try something new. I still get my fix teaching online classes for extra money.

Note: I do not have PhD, which would prompt some to say, "Then you're not a professor, dahling."

Like hell, I say!

I have a Masters degree, I was accepted to Illinois State University for a PhD, but I didn't go. I like sleep and sanity, and my liver had all of the drinking it could take as a Masters student. Instead, I started a second Masters, this one in Library Science, and it's currently on hold.

In my daily life, I'm just a normal person with a smartassy streak. I have a wicked, pointy, silver tongue that I do my best to keep under wraps. It looks regular pink in that picture, though. Despite my way with words, I'm also a really nice person. Some might even refer to me as chipper. Secretly, I am chipper, but I also like my alone time, so it doesn't hurt my feelings AT ALL to hide myself for a good many hours a day.

I'll be turning 30 in November, and I'm not skeered at all. The older I get, the better my wardrobe gets. I've had multiple facial piercings in my life, I do not have any tattoos, and I'm getting ready to dye my hair a slightly inhuman shade of red.

I live in Dallas, TX, and I have a family: Chuck, The Rockets are my stepkiddos aged 12 and 14, and Greyson is the new addition at 5 months. We have three dogs and a cat in a smallish condo, which basically means we're gluttons for punishment. Daisy is a 30-pound terrier mix of some odd, leggy variety. Storm is a Rottweiler mix, and ironically, she is afraid of storms. Hides in the bathtub when she hears 'em comin'. Dingo is a big, old, cranky something or other. And Samson is our doily of a cat.

You'll find me in various places in the blogosphere. I founded and currently co-edit Estella's Revenge E-Zine, about none other than books. I used to write a column for called "The Finicky Reader" until my life blew up. You can find more contact info on my Review Policy.

I roll with a group of bloggy ladies I've "known" for over 10 years. Heather, Bookfool, Amanda, Readerbuzz, Tanabata, Les (and others) were in Yahoo! Groups discussing books long before this blogging deal became the big thing. We've all been blogging for a hella long time, too, and I'm blessed to have started the online book journey with so many kindred spirits. I've also been lucky to meet so many of you other book-obsessed, tasty little tarts along the way. I wouldn't trade this part of my social life for anything.

When it comes to bookish tastes, I'm all over the board. My specialties in graduate school were childrens/adolescent lit and graphic narrative (comics!). I love picking apart children's and adolescent lit for all its weirdness, hypocrisy, and adult humor.

When it comes to everyday reading, I go through phases. Last year I only read one literary fiction novel. ONE! This year I seem to be reading more literary fiction, memoirs, and environmental/green living type books. I am decidedly toasted when it comes to YA paranormal fiction. No. Thanks. For the time being, anyway.

I am a complete technological nut. I have a Blackberry, an iPod Touch, a Nook e-reader, a laptop, a couple of miscellaneous iPod shuffles for working out, I Twitter, Stumble, Goodreads, Facebook. In short, I likes the Interwebs. Oh, and podcasts. I love me a podcast.

When I'm not on the computer I like to cook, watch HGTV and Food Network, and I enjoy the outdoors. I promise, I'm not online ALL the time.

So, yeah, that's me in a nutshell. As a person, as a reader, as a writer and blogger, and bears, Oh MY! If you have any questions, let me know.

I had a chicken fried steak sandwich for dinner last night, just in case you were wondering.


  1. Thanks for the re-introduction! I'm a newer follower so it's nice to get a recap! Great idea.

  2. Nice to get to know you a little bit! I have been thinking that I want to do something a little more personal for people to get to know me..because readers jump in at various points and my aim, along with sharing books, is to show my personality as I feel like it helps build community! I tend to, almost daily, frequent the blogs of bloggers I've met because I can put a face to it and I feel connected! Likewise with people who share about themselves! :)

  3. This was a great idea!! I think you're very pretty and was actually wondering how you get such CLEAR skin. I'm jealous haha.

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  4. Oh, quite fun getting to know even more about you! It's funny because, from reading your posts so much, I think I gleaned most of this already... though I'm totally not stalking you, promise. :)

    Like Jamie, I love putting a real "face" on the bloggers I read often -- it definitely makes me feel more connected to them and, thus, more interested and invested in what they have to say.

  5. Great idea, and great to hear more about you! I had no idea where the name came from, but I love it, heh.

  6. Yay! I'm so glad to learn more about you, considering we just met a month or two ago! And I really hope you'll consider coming down to Austin for the Book Festival and Blogger get-together! There are a whole bunch of Dallas people coming...

    Even if you can't make it, at some point some of us Texas people have to meet up, seriously. It's like Trish - we've been friends now for two years, and we only live five hours apart, but we've still never met!

  7. Brenna, thanks for following! I've been checking your blog out as well, and I likey!

    Jamie, I'm the same way. If I feel like I know a blogger better through little peeps at their lives outside of books and blogging, I definitely feel more connected.

    Brooke, thank you! I'm a die hard user of Clean & Clear face wash for sensitive skin. Everything else makes me blotchy.

    Meg, I think for regular readers, there's probably not much new here. I wish I had a big secret to share, like that I'm a rock star at night or something, but I'm pretty much just a mom, teacher, and reader 24/7 these days. I do have a penchant for indie music and butter cream icing that I don't always share here.

    Thanks, Amy!

  8. Thanks, Amanda! You inspired me, what can I say?! I will definitely try my best to make it out for the TX Book Festival. My mom would probably relish the opportunity to keep Baby G for the weekend.

  9. Great post! I've been following you for a while, but had no idea where the name of your blog came from - thanks for the great explanation. Glad to hear you've calmed down a bit since then ;-)

  10. Thanks for the re-intro. I've been following you for a while and had no idea where the name came from.

  11. I always assume that people new to my blog and curious about me go to my About page! lol

    But this does look like fun. :)

  12. Thanks, Jackie!

    Kathy, I should've posted it before.

    Eva, I'm bad about forgetting or reading to fast to visit About Pages. Shame on me! Plus, this is updated.

  13. I love this and need to do this myself. I love hearing the stories of how, when, and why people started blogging. And since our blogs are really personal in that we are responding to and talking about books, it is always nice to hear more about bloggers as people! It was very nice to get to know you better through your post! Sounds like you have wonderfully chaotic and busy life!

  14. You're right about not following for 5 years (I just started this blogging thing last month!), so it was great to learn about you :o)

    He he...I'm having a hot roast beef sandwich tonight :oD

  15. I love your post and pictures. Thanks for introducing yourself.

  16. Well, i am a new follower and the introduction helped a lot. I love your blog title and i always wondered what it all meant (actually i hypothesized that Estella was your actual name lol) Now i know better. Certainly your reintroduction has given me a renewed sense of interest in your blog. Its going to be quite a revolution if everyone does it but i think its a wonderful idea nonetheless.

  17. Thanks for the reintroduction! I found your blog through Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness and I've been following for a few months. I've even started my own book blog, thanks to all the great blogs I've read. Keep up the great work!

  18. I can't even tell you how fun this was to read!!! Good thing that after a few years of lurking, I finally got up the guts to comment. If I'd have waited until after you posted this I would have lost my nerve again. ;)

  19. Hey, it's really cool knowing more about you! Thanks for sharing this.

    P.S. I'm jealous that you have three doggies! Lucky!

  20. I don't have any questions except, "How the heck do you balance all that?" but I've always wondered that about you. Even though I know you well, O kindred spirit, this post was a delightful read. I particularly loved your description of your doily cat. Is it an older kitty? Mine aren't decorative, yet -- they're still young, playful, buddy-buddy types. They follow me everywhere and I just eat that up. LOL

    Hugs to you and your big ole fam!!

  21. I love this idea! What a great way to make sure we all know about you. I did know some of this, but not all of it, and it's nice to know you that much better. =)

  22. What great pics! And, even though I feel like I've known you forever (in blog years at least) I loved reading this. Feel like I was having a chat with you :)

    If you come for the Texas Book Festival we've got to meet! I think Jen from Picky Girl is going to be in town so we'll have to make it an event.

    By the way, I hope you are feeling better. Sucks to be sick.

  23. Lovely. Just lovely. I feel like I've known you forever too, as I was also part of those crazy Yahoo book groups! But it took me longer to warm up to the blogging idea, silly me.

    Maybe I'll do a post like this soon, but I feel like I talk about myself too much already as it is!

  24. I loved reading this introduction of you! I've been blogging with you since around 2006, but I didn't know so many of the details, and they were quite informative (Estella!). From one who also loves a bit of smartass and a lot of alone time, it's a joy to be your blogging buddy. XOXO

  25. It's so nice to officially "meet" you after all this time! :)

  26. ((QUOTE: I roll with a group of bloggy ladies I've "known" for over 10 years. Heather, Bookfool, Amanda, Readerbuzz, Tanabata, Les (and others) were in Yahoo! Groups discussing books long before this blogging deal became the big thing. END QUOTE))

    LOL. I'm one of those "others" mentioned above... MizB.

    I love this post, Andi! And, my-my-my, Greyson is getting so big! Such a cutie! :D

    PS...Hadn't been to visit ER lately, so I'm surprised with the new header... I so TOTALLY LOVE IT!!! Very, very nice! :D


  27. Wait, I haven't been reading this for five years?! It totally feels like I have! (And I mean that in the nicest way possible, of course.)

    Doing an intro was a good idea. It's nice meeting you :)

    Btw, I WAS totally wondering what you had for dinner last night, so thanks for sharing ;)

  28. Great post! I've been reading your blog for awhile now, but it was nice getting to know you a bit more.

  29. When I first started blogging, I was quite guarded with personal details, but I've loosened up so much since then and I should do one of these too. I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though I already knew most of it.

  30. This post is fabulous... and it also made me want to read Great Expectations.

  31. I agree with Bookfool. How in the world do you balance everything?! You are truly a rockstar! And, yes, we go quite a ways back, don't we? Pretty much since the dawn of online bookclubs. ;) Maybe we'll get a chance to meet someday--if I ever get my rear back down to TX!


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