I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how I wanted to start this. After a few days of hemming and hawing, I’ve decided that my best bet would be to offer a friendly introduction. With that in mind, allow me to extend a hand and present myself. I’m Jenny, and I’m thrilled to be adding my words and opinions to the Forest Park Review.

I may be a newcomer to this fine publication, but I am hardly a stranger to the community that it covers. I first moved to Forest Park in 2007, lived in nearby Forest View prior to that and grew up in the neighboring town of Cicero.

Thanks to my background, I have a lifelong knowledge of all the great things Forest Park has to offer. Restaurants. Shops. Entertainment. Services. Admittedly, I haven’t taken full advantage of all of the available options, but I have a few favorites that I can discuss at length, and I look forward to expanding my repertoire in order to offer an informed perspective on what it means to be a resident here.

But before I do that, I’d like to take a step back and share a bit more about who I am, what I value and how that will inform the topics I’ll be covering.

As I said, my name is Jenny. I studied creative writing at Columbia College Chicago, and I am putting the finishing touches on a novel excerpt in order to complete my master’s degree. I’ve been able to parlay my writing education into a career in alumni relations and development at the University of Chicago. When I’m not busy writing, or working, I’m most likely to spend my time visiting with friends, trying to socialize my ridiculously shy cat, reading books, watching movies, trying new restaurants and seeking out live performances of music or professional wrestling.

Before you ask, let me assure you that the last part of that sentence is not a misprint. I doubt that this column will provide me with the occasion to discuss my great passion for watching grown men play-fight in tights, but I felt it was worth mentioning because my wrestling fandom is a very big part of who I am. I’ve been following World Wrestling Entertainment since back when it was referred to as the World Wrestling Federation, and though I don’t watch with as much fervor as I did back in the ’80s, I still feel a great deal of fondness for its combination of athleticism, larger-than-life characters, and high drama.

I’d even go so far to say the thrill I get from watching wrestling, or at least, the thrill that comes when it’s at its best, is something I try to replicate when I’m engaged in other aspects of my life. Plain and simple, I’m a geek! I’m sure that will come across loud and clear in forthcoming columns, but I thought it was only fair to warn you of what you’re in for.