These days, I try to be a low-hassle, low-maintenance person but I sure didn’t start that way. I decided I wanted to exit my mom when she was fast asleep. I began kicking and pounding to get out of there quickly quickly QUICKLY. Unfortunately for mom, it was something like 3:30 in the morning during a cold New York winter. So my panicked parents rushed to the car, sped to the hospital, and after encountering several locked (!) emergency room doors, finally found the entrance they needed and got my mom to a bed and a doctor. Shortly (I think very, very shortly) after that, I was born.

In retrospect, if I had to do it over again, I’d be more considerate of my parents and let them sleep.

I was a happy kid. Despite the tremendous inconvenience I caused when born, as a baby/child/pre-adolescent I was jolly and generally found it easy to enjoy myself. My parents don’t remember me crying that much as a baby, or whining or sulking in the subsequent years. I was jealous of the cool toys the other kids in the neighborhood seemed to possess, but I don’t remember this causing me too much trauma. For the most part, I was happy just to be there.

Some of my favorite memories involve running around the woods in this picture, pretending to fight the Wehrmacht with my friends. Most pictures of me before age 14 or so show a smiling or laughing child.

Not being, ah, "scholastically inclined," I never made it all the way through college. I'm a curious type, though, which was one big factor in my decision to move to Europe (specifically Prague, Czech Republic). This was Frost's Road Less Traveled By, and man did it make all the difference. A jaunt I thought would last a few years at best stretched nearly a decade and a half long.

Along the way, I worked at more than a few interesting jobs, traveled more than necessary, started writing screenplays, bought a nice apartment and got married. Prague is where I gained raw experience about the world and where I grew up.

I moved back to the States in late 2007, settling in Los Angeles. I like that the weather's (nearly) always good here, I'm surrounded by a lot of creativity, and I can bitch to customer service without struggling in a foreign language. On the down side, I sure miss that well-subsidized European health care.

As I said, I'm a curious type and I have lots of interests. Playing bass guitar like in the picture, for example. Writing. Investing in stocks when I have the money and they aren't f@#&ing tanking. Hiking the local mountains (there are many around here). And watching movies, of course.

ericbvolkman (at symbol) yahoo.com