Ah, yes, information age commodity fetishism: we define ourselves
through our media consumption acts.
I'm primarily a non-fiction reader, concentrating on history,
economics, politics, philosophy, biographies and popular cosmology,
physics and evolutionary biology.
The books that have influenced me most are Fernand Braudel's
Civilization and Capitalism, Thomas S. Kuhn's The
Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Ludwig Wittgenstein's
Philosophical Investigations, Nietzsche's The Gay
Science, Hermann Hesse's Narcissus and Goldmund. The
magical realism and linguistic playfulness of Tom Robbins's
Skinny Legs and All really affected me stylistically as a
I'm not a big fiction reader, but I have loved Jeanette Winterson's
Written on the Body, David Foster Wallace's Infinite
Jest, George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and
London, Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer, Sylvia
Plath's The Bell Jar, Haruki Murakami's A Wild Sheep
Chase, Neil Stephenson's Snow Crash, Margaret
Atwood's Oryx and Crake, Graham Greene's The Quiet
American. I guess I should be on record as saying I hate David
Unusual comedies (The Zero Effect, The Big
Lebowski), everything Joel and Ethan Coen do, sensuous dramas
(The English Patient, Crouching Tiger, Hidden
Dragon), Paul Verhoeven-style camp (RoboCop,
Starship Troopers, Basic Instinct), all the usual
geeky, referenceable stuff (Star Wars, Princess
Bride, Beetlejuice, brat pack, early John
I'm not a big television watcher. Occasionally I will binge-watch a
series, but I usually have trouble finishing it. I love The
Daily Show, All In with Chris Hayes, The Rachel
Maddow Show. I try to catch whatever stand-up special Comedy
Central is airing.
Beirut, Tom Waits, The Black Keys, Will Oldham, Muse, Arcade Fire,
The Decemberists. When I was an angsty twenty-something I listened
to a lot of industrial, so Ministry, NIN, KMFDM, Helmet, Tool,
etc., as well as the arty stuff like Prince, David Bowie, P.J.
Harvey, Nick Cave. Also, I'm from the Northwest, so ... you know.
For study time I listen to classical music and prefer intricacy
(Bach, Chopin) or postmodern composers such as Shostakovich and
I love cooking. My tastes are mostly savory-spicy. I love capers,
olives, mustard, balsamic vinegar, mesclun, garlic, local tomatoes,
lime juice, fresh herbs, black pepper, curry, whether Indian or
Thai. I'm always in search of good bagels and baguettes (I'm rarely
satisfied on these counts in D.C.).
I have been a vegetarian for 22 years. Though not purist about it,
I don't eat eggs or dairy either. If you ask me to in private, I
will get really moral about it, but I'm not interested in shaming
anyone or evangelizing.
I'm an enthusiast of D.C.'s craft cocktail revival, so I love Room
11, the Tabard Inn, Bourbon, The Gibson. My spirits of choice are
whiskey and gin. I'm nuts for ancient European amari such as
Campari, Cynar and Fernet. I also love dive bars, but there is
almost no such thing in the D.C. area.