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Bren-Barn

31 Santa Barbara, CA Man

Man

You might like

I’m looking for

  • Women
  • Ages 20–36
  • Located anywhere
  • Who are single
  • For new friends, long-term dating

My details

Last online
Today – 8:06am
Orientation
Straight
Ethnicity
White
Height
5′ 10″ (1.78m)
Body type
Average
Diet
Mostly anything
Smokes
No
Drinks
Rarely
Drugs
Never
Religion
Agnosticism
Sign
Aries, but it doesn’t matter
Education
Graduated from Ph.D program
Job
Education
Income
Status
Single
Type
Monogamous
Offspring
Pets
Speaks
English (Fluently), Arabic (Poorly), Spanish (Okay)
My self-summary
Write a little about yourself. Just a paragraph will do.
At its simplest, my basic approach to life could be summed up like this: find what you like, and stick with it. There are two parts to this, namely the finding and the sticking. Overall I'm the type of person who likes to spend more time sticking and less time finding. That means that, although I like trying out new stuff and broadening my horizons, I think the biggest long-term benefit of that exploration is finding stuff that I'll want to come back to and experience again and again.

I've developed this philosophy gradually, spurred in part by a lot of reading --- particularly happiness psychology and certain literary classics --- which in turn induced me to start paying closer attention to what makes me happy. (Not that I needed much arm-twisting; I've always been an introspective sort.) Although I'm sometimes staggered by the amount of bad stuff that happens in the world, and do my best to chip away at some of it in my own tiny way, ultimately I believe that you can't go wrong by taking your own life seriously, paying attention to what you like and don't like, and trying to bring reality into alignment with your preferences, insofar as you are able to do so without unduly imposing on anyone else. (By "seriously" I don't mean "stern frowny face"; I just mean life is not a joke, it's the real thing.) Robert Louis Stevenson wrote: "To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive." And he was right.

At the same time, building the life you like involves taking account of costs as well as benefits. I've found that I tend to be more cost-conscious than many people, in a broad sense. I don't just mean where money is concerned, but with all sorts of costs. I'd rather make a modest living doing something I like than make more money doing something I like less. I'd rather pursue something as far as I like, and then stop (or take a breather), instead of pushing it so far and so hard that I lose the enjoyment that brought me to it in the first place. I'd rather appreciate the simple but surprisingly powerful little pleasures that life throws at us every day, instead of straining towards grandiose goals which, even if achieved, often aren't worth the sacrifices required to attain them. A beautiful sunset, a good book, a tasty sandwich, a walk in the woods, a lively conversation, a dime on the copy machine --- these give you (or me, anyway) the lion's share of the daily dose of happiness, and they cost very little besides time and attention.

This self-description probably makes me sound terribly boring --- and some people might call me that. I mean, I wouldn't call me that, nor would most people I know, but according to what seem to be mainstream definitions of "boring" vs. "exciting", I prefer the boring stuff. My main pastimes are reading, playing the piano, computer programming, analyzing various sorts of data for fun, and going for walks (or hikes), with interludes of hanging out with pals shooting the breeze or playing board games or the like. I find that stuff exciting. I don't have much interest in loud or high-velocity activities. I mean, geez, look at this profile. It's written in full sentences with periods and capitalization and everything. I'm obviously a total square!

That's not to say that I've spent my whole life sorting my socks. I've got a PhD; I've been on Jeopardy; I've traveled (mostly solo) through a respectable number of states and countries, and plan to do more of that in the future; and those are just a few of the tricks up my sleeve. But my temperament is such that, for me, happiness nearly always comes in the form of quiet, contemplative contentment, not frenzied exhilaration.

Now, of course, this is a dating website. The above should hopefully give you an idea of what sort of fellow I am. As for what I'm looking for, you should know that the philosophy outlined above is in full effect. That means I want to find someone I like and stick with her, and I actually pay attention to what I like and don't like about people, and I'll consider costs as well as benefits, and all that sort of stuff. For me the goal is to get to a point where the relationship is, for both of us, a refuge from the bad parts of the outside world, as well as a base from which to explore and savor the good parts together. I'm not interested in any romance that doesn't at least point in that direction. (I'm open to meeting friends through this site too, though, so that's cool.) That means you'd probably better be pretty sweet, because I am too, but my sweetness is of a synergistic sort that requires a complementary sweetness in order to reach full flavor.

If you think all of this makes me sound picky, you're right. I'm in no particular rush, and I'd rather not get involved in something that's I don't think is going to last for the long haul. I'm looking for a relationship that will make me happier than I am right now, which is no simple quest. On the other hand, I don't hold it against anyone else if they're picky too. In fact, it seems like just about the only way this can work eventually is if I meet someone who is so doggone picky that, until she met me, no one else quite fit the bill.
What I’m doing with my life
Don’t overthink this one; tell us what you’re doing day-to-day.
I work as a math and reading tutor to kids. I'm also beginning to do some freelance consulting/training in the computer programming realm. I try to keep a good amount of free time to relax and work on various side projects.

I finished a PhD in linguistics last year, but decided not to pursue a career in academia. Right now I'm in a somewhat experimental period, taking a stab at making a living just from my tutoring/programming work, deliberately avoiding getting a full-time job for now. Beyond a certain fairly low threshold, money is less important to me than time and autonomy, so I've made a conscious choice to experiment with giving up money for time and autonomy and seeing how it works out. So far it's working out okay.
I’m really good at
Go on, brag a little (or a lot). We won’t judge.
I have a very good memory. I've become pretty good at forming and keeping certain kinds of habits, which I find an intriguing phenomenon, although some of these are habits that other people would be baffled by. (One of my habits, for instance, is writing down my dreams each morning. I now have over 100 journals full of over 10 years worth of dreams.) I'm also good at solving problems logically (not just in the sense of doing brainteasers, but in the sense of applying a logical approach to solve practical problems).

There's a good bit of other stuff I'm good at, but we won't go into all that now. I'll just mention that I'm good at living frugally without scrimping or denying myself much. I just have limited --- and cheap --- needs. (It's amazing how much money you don't spend when you don't like coffee or alcohol.)
The first things people usually notice about me
I’m an empty essay… fill me out!
I have a fez on my head.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Help your potential matches find common interests.
Novels: Moby-Dick, The Wings of a Falcon, The Great Gatsby, Dictionary of the Khazars, In Search of Lost Time, and The 1001 Nights. Nonfiction: mostly psychology (e.g., Stumbling on Happiness, Gut Feelings, stuff by William James) and philosophy (e.g., Plato, some Daniel Dennett, and more stuff by William James). Short stories: the end of the beltline and The Mansion on the Hill. Comics: Poor Sailor. Oh, and Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie.

I recently finished reading "My Struggle" (Volume 1) by Karl Ove Knausgaard and I'm currently reading the short stories of Lu Xun.

I also read the Los Angeles Times every day (on old-fashioned physical paper). And lots of Wikipedia articles.

Movies: the Bill & Ted movies, Fight Club, The Princess Bride, Rushmore, 12 Monkeys, Star Wars, State and Main, Sweet and Lowdown, and perhaps most of all Lone Star.

TV: I don't have a TV, don't watch TV, and am not generally interested in watching TV.

Music: Despite being musically inclined, I rarely listen to music. When I do listen to music,I like classical (predominantly Beethoven), classic rock, modern pop/rock (e.g., The Smashing Pumpkins, The Arcade Fire), Irish traditional music, spacey guitar soundscapes (e.g., Explosions in the Sky), and various other stuff. I also like to listen to super-old recordings from the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization project now and then, because they give me a delicious feeling of nostalgic peace. (Check out the cymbalom ones.)

Food: I tend to care more about what's in the food than what "kind" of food it is. I'm a meat and dough kind of guy. If it's meat with spices, I'll probably like it. I like baked goods, especially things made with oats. I drink a large amount of whole milk

There are some pretty common foods that I don't eat because I just don't like them. I don't like eggs, cheese, coffee, wine, or beer; this astonishes many people.

Some favorites: Indian food, Mexican food, "Absolutely Divine" lemon cookies from CVS, hearty stews, walnuts, waffles, donuts, and cornbread.

I feel in this section I should include a disclaimer about my near-total disconnection from "pop culture". I don't have a TV, I don't have Netflix, I don't have an iPod. I don't have iTunes. This doesn't mean I'm a luddite, because I spend tons of time on the computer. I do occasionally listen to music or go to a movie, and when I do I enjoy it, but I'm just not the kind of person who likes to have a constant stream of audiovisual entertainment feeds. Most of what passes for entertainment in my life comes from reading or from physically going to places.
The six things I could never do without
Think outside the box. Sometimes the little things can say a lot.
A small notebook and pen in my pocket, a computer with internet access, a piano, whole milk, cookies, the ocean.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Global warming, lunch, or your next vacation… it’s all fair game.
The human condition.

What I have recently read.

Whatever sort of data I've recently been fiddling with (the census, tweets, the stock market, you name it).

Music. (This is not so much "thinking" as just constantly making up tunes in my head.)

The future.

Why people (including me) do the things they do.

What it is about things that seem the same that makes them seem the same, and what it is about things that seem different that makes them seem different.

Also any one of my peculiar fascinations, like miracle fruit or Tristan da Cunha or tardigrades.
On a typical Friday night I am
Netflix and takeout, or getting your party on — how do you let loose?
Friday nights are not that different from other nights. I often go for a walk after work, watch the sunset, stop by the bookstore, etc. Sometimes I go with friends to dinner or a party or just hang out. Other times I work on my own projects or play multiple simultaneous games of Scrabble on Facebook.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I’m an empty essay… fill me out!
I prefer to be the one in control in a relationship. I'm therefore looking for someone who would also be happiest with that arrangement.
You should message me if
Offer a few tips to help matches win you over.
You've read the above and think I sound rad.