I'm a hobbyist juggler who snuck into the after-festival party of the Portland Juggling Festival in the spring of 98 (Smaug's responsible for me being at the party, but I didn't know anything about him and NPL…yet). As we shut the bar down, there was a group of us still chatting and wishing to continue the evening's giddiness, so we moved into my hotel room. There was a mild-mannered fellow named Rick that tagged along, and the poor thing needed shelter for the night. Well, obviously he was a juggler, and he knew all these other cool jugglers I knew, so he must be OK – I invited him to crash with us. I overhear that this Rick is actually Rick Rubenstein, who is something of a legend among us mortal jugglers. After I quit choking on my disbelief, we spend the better part of the night talking of many things (yes, it's true – Rastelli actually came out of his shell for a while!). One of the things that came up was cryptic crosswords – he kindly coached me through a few clues, and I began to suspect that perhaps not all of my brain cells had transmogrified into tapioca (I've spent ten of the last eleven years either pregnant or nursing). A few months later, I logged onto the NPL web site and again with Rastelli's patient coaching, began to believe that maybe I had what it took to become a Krewe member. At the last juggling festival, we had four NPLers on hand.
My given name is pronounced either “Cot-ya” or “Cot-cha,” and since so many folks are familiar with the term “gotcha,” I tell them that my name rhymes with it. I dithered for a long time trying to figure out the perfect nom, but I never got the blinding flash. Gotcha was a possiblity from the start, and I sort of grew into it.