If you're a man under 35, or if you want to have a relationship with just me, or if you're not ridiculously intelligent, highly educated, and atheist/agnostic, or if you're looking to cheat on your current partner, please don't message me. Otherwise, forge ahead, intrepid reader!
So here's an introduction that has, shall we say, a dearth of gravitas. I have two kids, three cats, and 19 piercings (all but one in my ears). I’ve been riding horses all my life. I'm bisexual, but most of my relationships have been with men. I'm a consummate intellectual, but also a consummate goof. For example, I can speak eight languages.....if by "speak" you mean "swear in". I grew up with upper-crust-y parents, but I've reverted towards the mean. I wish I lived in the city, but the public schools just don't cut it. I'm into self-examination. You know, emotional/philosophical self-examination, not physical...not that there's anything wrong with that. It bugs me when drivers yield their right of way to me to try to be nice, because it's safer to do what other drivers expect. I used to be a tomboy, and I still wield a mean power drill, but I clean up good. I eat very little meat. I am a former doctoral candidate in psycholinguistics, the study of the human faculty for language. I’m a big animal lover. I am NOT a morning person. I’m staunchly atheist, staunchly liberal, and staunchly pacifist. If you're not atheist or Buddhist or irreligious, it's probably best if you're at least agnostic, or lapsed, or at least disillusioned. I like falling asleep in a thunderstorm. I’m nerdy in the sense of loving science and learning. I carry bugs outside instead of killing them. I have perfect pitch. Wait, no I don’t. But I am musical, pedagogical, low-calorie, and fade-resistant. I actually like math, and I actually go to the opera. Like kind of a lot. I've definitely struggled with my share of adversity. I own fetishwear. I’m an ex-gymnast, a birdwatcher, a good secret-keeper, a bad liar, an occasional smartass. I'm naked under my clothes. I refold newspapers and umbrellas when I'm done with them. I think Jon Stewart, Ricky Gervais, and Margaret Cho are all hysterical, and I would do any of them. Wait, did I just say that out loud? I'll work on the formatting of a Word document for hours to get it juuuuust right. I love Britcoms, and science and nature documentaries. I have an unusual attunement to nuances of gesture and inflection, a steady drizzle of dry humor, a strong maternal instinct, graduate degrees in computer science and psychology, and a slight obsession with etymologies. Where by "slight" I mean "way, way more than slight".
Ways to make me dig you:
Be smart. Really, really smart.
Answer my questions thoughtfully, and be in the habit of introspecting.
Be interested in how people work.
Be amazed at the natural world.
Be interested in learning new things of alllll sorts.
Be comfortable with who you are, so that you neither need to flaunt it nor justify it.
Things other people sometimes do (not you, surely, dear reader) that underwhelm me:
Talk incessantly about themselves.
Think more about how they appear to people than about who they really are.
Proposition me when we barely know each other.
Be set in their ways.
Further bulletins as events warrant! And I’m pretty sure events will warrant!
Further bulletin #1: BOTH my thumbs are opposable!
Further bulletin #2: There used to be Further Bulletins up to #5, but really, they were boring.
.....And we're walking! We're walking!
What I’m Doing With My Life, by Me.
I'm a newly qualified speech and language pathologist. Originally I was a software engineer, but then I found a field of study I actually loved, which is psycholinguistics: the study of the human capacity to learn, comprehend, and produce language. I’m a natural at it, and it devastated me to have to leave the doctoral program I started in that field at Penn, but I just couldn’t juggle all the personal things that I had to manage in my life, including getting divorced, and school was the only thing that could give. That was several years ago. Things are going a lot better these days, which is all good. The move to speech pathology instead of psycholinguistics was the result of my increasing frustration with the lack of emphasis in my old Ph.D. program on actually making a difference in real people's lives, which speech pathology definitely does. So that’s what I’m doing with my life at the moment.
Oh, and the more time passes, the more Buddhist I become, except for the whole supernatural hero-worship part. I love the idea that no matter who you are right now, no matter where you are or what you do, it's OK. That doesn't mean you might not want to change anything about yourself or your life, but it does mean that there is no need to pass judgment on yourself all the time, which is very freeing.
Horseback riding. The jumping-over-fences kind. Been doing it all my life, and it’s very near to my heart. If we become friends, you’re going to have to go for a ride with me at some point. I'll make it fun, I promise.
Psychology stuff. Not the kind where you have to worry about what you say, or worry that I’ll ask you about your mother. More like how our brains and minds work in general. Evolutionary psychology, cognitive science, neuro/biopsychology.
Hanging out at an outside table at a restaurant on a warm summer night and people-watching. I'm awesome at that.
Hanging out anywhere and people-watching.
Crossword puzzles, anagrams, puzzles in general, word games, Sudoku.
Making gazpacho and chili. Not in the same meal.
Getting along with animals.
Smelling. It seems I have a sensitive nose. Good hearing too.
At the risk of sounding like a dreamy 12-year-old girl.......drawing horses.
Drawing this one cool diagram that illustrates an apparent paradox in special relativity.
The Language Instinct, by Steven Pinker. The foundation of my intellectual life. Also The Stuff of Thought by the same author, about how language reflects the way humans think.
The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, Climbing Mount Improbable and other Richard Dawkins books.
Anything by Deborah Tannen, the sociolinguist.
Practical Horseman, the magazine.
The Grapes of Wrath.
The Kite Runner.
The King's Speech (latest addition -- great movie even if I weren't into speech pathology)
The Matrix (the first one, once in a great while the second), The Lord of the Rings (all of them).
Dances with Wolves, Gladiator, About a Boy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Napoleon Dynamite, Christopher Guest movies (especially Best in Show), My Cousin Vinny, Annie Hall, Monty Python's Holy Grail, Life of Brian.
Raise the Red Lantern, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers.
GENESIS, the old stuff only. Both Peter and Phil, who were great in different ways.
Yes, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, The Beatles (duh), Kansas (but not the stuff you hear on the radio).
Did I mention Genesis?
Peter Gabriel, David Bowie (old stuff), Mike Oldfield.
Coldplay, The Roches, System of a Down, Linkin Park, Dream Theater.
Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, UB40, Toots and the Maytals.
J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Mozart, Renaissance music, P.D.Q. Bach, Scarlatti, Corelli, others.
Opera - Puccini, Verdi, Mozart, most Wagner, Donizetti, Rossini, Bellini.
Can't stand showtunes, freeform jazz, or Sinatra. Sorry. Oh, and Christmas songs, you know, the crappy ones you hear on the radio. Hate them hate them.
Middle Eastern, Indian, Mexican; less popular cuisines like Lebanese, Moroccan, Ethiopian, Afghani, or Cambodian.
Anything so spicy that your eyes and nose run. You've never met anyone who likes their food as spicy as I do.
Sushi. Sashimi, mostly.
Seafood, especially crustaceans. I think saying "crustaceans" instead of just naming them makes me a dork, but so sue me.
Artichokes, mangoes, cold soups, dark-chocolate-covered espresso beans, hazelnuts, olives, pumpkin pie. I actually dislike milk chocolate.
NOT beets. They taste like dirt to me, though I'm told they taste sweet to some people. This interests me.
The Office (both the original British one and the American one), King of the Hill, Frasier. That 70's show, Breaking Bad, Entourage, Archer, Trailer Park Boys..
Documentaries. Especially nature documentaries. Especially ones with David Attenborough. Especially Blue Planet and Planet Earth.
The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.
NPR, and lots of it. Car Talk, This American Life.
Homestar Runner (homestarrunner.com). Hys, freakin', sterical.
Language translation and etymology sites, especially wordreference.com and etymonline.com. I look stuff up all the time.
My kids (girl 19, boy 16). They're so cool. The "never" does actually apply here. They don't spend much time with me these days, though, especially my daughter, who is at college.
Compassion. Profound compassion.
Someone to have sincere conversations with, and share things with.
The study (formal or informal) of language, alllll aspects.
Horseback riding. Good for the soul, and great exercise. Seriously.
Music. Old Genesis alone could probably sustain me indefinitely.
Mirth. Isn't that a great word? Mirth.
Separation of church and state.
Really, really, really spicy food.
A certain amount of rebellion against, or at least a slightly uneasy relationship with, or at least a healthily skeptical attitude toward, authority.
Animals. And by that I mean non-human animals.
My kids complain that I love my iPad more than I love them. But that's ridiculous........right?
How to raise my kids to be happy, healthy adults despite their father, and how hard that is.
How awesome my kids are.
Language and how it works.
Social interaction and how it works.
Trying to be healthy.
Sex, including how I don't have enough of it (update: now I do! go me!)
What the right thing to do is.
When I can go riding next.
Now that I am with my beau: Hanging out at home watching TV or a movie, going to "our" club, having dinner with friends, maybe shopping.
Ooh, I know what's even more private: ...wait. Um, I probably shouldn't say that. You know, for professional reasons.
Anyway, "should" is so value-laden. You make your own decision. But setting that aside, basically you "should" message me if EITHER you'd like to discuss something I wrote about in my profile, OR you're near my age/location, crazy smart, kind, non-religious, and comfortable with introspection.
But please, please, DO NOT message me if you just thought the corset pic was hot and you're hoping I'll go out with you. I won't. I'm picky, and I won't make an exception for you.
Please do message me if you are (as many as possible of) the following: near(ish) my age, near(ish) my location, wicked smart, liberal, atheist, highly educated, a non-smoker, not cheating on anyone, emotionally accessible, an excellent speller, environmentally conscious, drily humorous, open-minded, gay- and otherly-gendered-friendly, and into learning. Oh, and kids are fine. I mean, having them, not being them.
Republicans and the religious need not apply.