Some regular characters on The Sleeper Hit include the following:
Sarah: Photographer, comic book artist, writer, voracious reader, advocate for Chicago bike lanes and land preservation. Once played bass in a band. My first Chicago work buddy, despite only working with me for six weeks-ish. Pursuer of more diverse interests and creative outlets than anyone I’ve ever met. Now lives in Salt Lake City.
Stefanie: Purveyor of the definitive Not-Going-Out Guide; expert on junk food, Chicago’s best bike-friendly routes, and why everyone should be watching “Buffy” if they haven’t already. Fan of blue line ‘hoods and pop music of the early 2000s.
Jaimi: Loves food blogs, Pinterest, learning to sew, and her two sweet kitties. Runs 5Ks with me (read: outruns me), enjoys trying new recipes, excels at putting out fires at the coupon factory. Claims to be boring on Twitter, posts cute cats on Instagram.
Becca: Neighbor and fellow Lincoln Square-area enthusiast. Talented actress; loves her beast-cat Evie, blogging about (and making) wine, and binge-watching terrible serialized crime dramas while cleaning.
Laura: Groupon friend and fitness/nutrition article-reading junkie. Loves avocados, her two friendly cats, and nights of drinking wine while watching terrible reality television. Teller of hilarious anecdotes, dispenser of sage advice.
Brianne: Occasionally rides her bike halfway across the country for charity. Possibly the most self-motivated person I know. Once organized the design and manufacturing of a line of cycling attire for her company because she kind of wanted a jersey with their logo on it. Loves correct grammar, hates intentional, quirky misspellings. Would probably do almost anything on a dare.
Becky: Baker of delicious treats; creator of single-serving gag tumblrs; seamstress of stunningly detailed garments. Maker of the perfect(ly dangerous) margarita. Co-owner of a deaf dog named Zoey, and in one of the most fun marriages* I know. (*Married to Alex, former Groupon co-worker/college film class instructor.)
Owen: The brother. Graphic designer and avid film fanatic, loves amusing web comics, Mike and Ikes, and Wes Anderson movies. Married to Jamie, baker of the best homemade peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies, and all-around craft genius. Parents of two amazing girls.
C, The Former Roommate: She met me in a bar on Chicago Avenue after I found her on Craigslist the week I moved to Chicago. A set-up that sounds like it could have potentially ended in a murder instead began a friendship. Lawyer who loves her dog, naming inanimate objects, and plant tending.
Eileen: Former Columbus newspaper co-worker, current close friend. Now lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Tim. Collects salt and pepper shakers from different countries, loves serialized British mysteries. Has a dog named Georgia, who loves playing in the ocean.
Dad: The know-it-all back home in SEO. Former librarian, current college composition instructor and author of four books on Ohio history; connoisseur of chocolate-covered pretzels. Married to my stepmom, a lady who loves baseball and “Robot Chicken” as much as he does.
Brittany: Best friend since first grade. Mother of one beautiful, blonde girl, married to Adam. Loves cheese, shoes and scary movies. Has more than once made me spit milk out my nose from laughing.
Cindy: Friend for the last 10+ years. Loves Weezer, Joel McHale, and iced coffee. Military wife; mother of two super-cute kids. Close confidante, sharer of clothes, documenter of friendly get-togethers back home.
Christina and BC: Her: College friend and former Columbus roommate. Scrapbooking expert, fan of things that match in an attractive way. Expert giver of gifts / finder of deals. Him: Blue Jackets / Columbus sports enthusiast. Loves the Buckeyes and Moon Pies. Excellent dancer, like his wife.
Jessie: Fellow Muskingum journalism major. Married to Joe, lives in the Ashland area with a cat named Andy. Loves cooking, coffee, conversation and company.
The aunt and uncle: Met in a Chicago bar. Columbus relatives who offer career advice, awesome dinners at their home, and occasionally, housing/laundry facilities. Parents of three boys. Supporters of Columbus City Schools and public transportation.
Mom: Loved listening to audiobooks on her commute to work at a college library reference desk. Coffee and biscotti addict; fan of “American Graffiti;” admirer of Audrey Hepburn. Steely Dan’s biggest fan. Passed away in 2007. Always loved, never forgotten.