26 Pasadena, CA
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My self-summary
Hey! How's it going?

It strikes me that the mark of a good okcupid profile is one that gives a good impression of what your personality is really like and what makes you tick. So I had an idea. Instead of just describing myself, I thought I'd go through the three things I hope to do in my life, and give you the backstory for each one. Here we go:

1.) Play the organ part in a major classical work for organ, choir, and orchestra. (This one I've already done.)

I'm a graduate student at USC. My bachelor's degree is in physics, but nowadays I study classical music. I got my master's degree in the spring, and I just started at USC a few months ago in an independent study program leading to a doctorate. I've always loved classical music, and while I'm not religious, I've always found classical choral and sacred music to be very moving and emotionally powerful. I got life goal no. 1 accomplished when I played the organ part in a performance of Beethoven's Mass in C Major. It was a ton of work, including a good bit of struggling to get everything put together in time, but it was a wonderfully rewarding experience that I'd do again in a heartbeat.

2.) Run a steam locomotive up the rail line over Cajon Pass between San Bernardino and Barstow.

Being a grad student keeps me pretty busy, but when I have free time I volunteer at a railroad museum maintaining and operating a steam locomotive from 1922. I guess you could call it my first love in life, or maybe my unpaid other job. Had I been born a century earlier I would have done it for my career, but alas, I was born too late for that. I got my federal engineer's license a few years ago, which was one of the prouder moments in my life.

Also, I get to hit things with hammers. A lot. It's fun.

3.) Hike/scramble/climb/not-die-in-the-process up a mountain range in the Mojave desert far from the nearest town or paved road.

Ever since high school, I've been fond of what you might call exploring. Sometimes I'll drive around the city, the mountains, or the desert with no real destination in mind, just seeing what I discover along the way. I've always been captivated by the dozens of majestic mountain ranges that you see out in the desert, and I've always wanted to to climb up some of them. Unfortunately I don't have time to drive out of town all the time, so once or twice a week I'll go walking around historic parts of LA, as I've found you miss too much if you just drive by. I've also been hiking a bunch up in the San Gabriel mountains.

It's amazing what you discover in the most unassuming places. I've found beautiful vistas, waterfalls, a replica of a tower from a medieval castle, the world's largest metal fish sculpture, the world's largest Czech egg (like a Ukranian egg, but, well, Czech), roads over remote mountain passes that are so perilous it's hard to believe they're legal, beautiful old bank buildings with majestic columns and breathtaking vaulted ceilings, mediocre-looking donut shops in sketchy parts of town with amazing ice cream and donuts, and most recently, a place in the valley called Dr. Hogly Wogly's Tyler Texas Barbecue. (I'm going to have to try that place soon.)
What I’m doing with my life
Practicing Bach organ sonatas, making puns, eating ice cream, practicing some more.
I’m really good at
Coming up with grand-sounding sentences on the fly to describe things that are not in fact grand accomplishments of the ages, the silent majesty of which our children and their children and their children generations from now shall marvel upon in wonder as a testament to the glory of our times.

You get the idea. ;^)
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Music: Even outside of school, I listen to a lot of classical. My favorite composers are Mendelssohn, Haydn, Schubert, and Bach, but there are so many amazing composers out there. That said, there are also times when you need to listen to some Johnny Cash too.

TV: How I Met Your Mother, The Office, Parks and Recreation, Better off Ted, Frasier, Star Trek. (Deep Space 9 is my favorite, but The Next Generation does have a kind of timeless perfection to it)

Movies: I love stupid comedies. Some of my favorites are Airplane, Brain Donors, Once Bitten, Slammin' Salmon, 22 Jump Street, The Emperor's New Groove, and Despicable Me 2. I also really like historical and epic movies from the '50s and '60s, like Disney's version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Anastasia (with Ingrid Bergman and Yul Brenner), The Agony and the Ecstasy, and Lawrence of Arabia. The dialogue in movies was amazing back then.

Books: I like Kurt Vonnegut a lot, and Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card was a great book too. Too bad Orson Scott Card kind of went off the deep end....

And food. Ummm. I'm a guy, so I'm pretty much always hungry. I like just about everything, except Vietnamese food. If I had to eat one thing only for the rest of my life, it would definitely be sushi. Or ice cream. But sushi would probably work much better from a long-term standpoint.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
One of the other organ students at USC loves puns and abysmal jokes as much as I do. When we met each other it was like a match made in heaven. We have entire conversations in puns. But that was not enough.

So, we came up with a "comedy show" where he tells jokes while I provide comical musical accompaniment on an organ.

We call it Victor Borgan. (As in the 20th-century comedian Victor Borge, but it's played on an organ, so it's Victor Borgan.)

Yeeaaahh.... They don't let us organ students out much....
You should message me if
1.) You're kindhearted, intelligent, and passionate about whatever it is that you do.
2.) There is a part of you that has opinions about what Mozart opera you like most, but also a part of you that wants to know where to get the best donuts in Los Angeles.