Not too long ago, I had a very clear picture of what my life was going to be like, and everything lined up on paper to make that happen. I was the kind of person who felt comfortable believing that there was a plan and I was following. And then the economy crashed and I was just another person with an advanced degree and nowhere to use it.
It was disorienting and terrifying and in some ways really, really liberating. I've been working in higher education for a bit more than a year, and I'm happier than I've ever been. And I still don't know what the hell the plan is.
What I’m doing with my life
I work in the admissions department at a local college, trying to
ignore the fact that our incoming freshmen were born when I was in
I’m really good at
I'm really good at over-thinking things. I'm really good at
remembering lines from The Simpsons and The Princess Bride. I'm
really good at listening to people, and accepting them. I'm really
good at grilled cheese, I was told once, but it seems to me that
nobody can screw up grilled cheese. I'm really good at dirty jokes,
and in fact sometimes a little too good for the folks around me.
The first things people usually notice about me
I had no idea how to answer this question. So I asked around, and
discovered that apparently I have a "regal bearing." So if you're
looking for somebody to run a small medieval kingdom, remitting
taxes and making war on rebel lords and things like that, I
apparently look a lot like the guy that you'd want to do that.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Movies - I like a mixture of older movies and newer movies. The two movies that really got me into film as a teenager are Notorious, the Hitchcock movie with Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant; and Magnolia, the Paul Thomas Anderson movie where the frogs fall out of the sky. I'm also a big fan of Rachel Getting Married, Her, Boyhood, Sweet Smell of Success and Only Angels Have Wings.
Books - When I was a kid I was big into epic fantasy, and I still sometimes re-read the Song of Ice and Fire series. These days, my tastes run more to history, fiction (this year I read Middlemarch and I was really blown away by it), and the occasional science book ((Re)Genesis, the book on synthetic biology by Harvard professor George Church, was fascinating and a little creepy).
Music - Hard to pick one favorite, since a lot of what I'm interested in is contingent on mood. At the moment, I've been listening to the latest album by The War on Drugs a lot, and I'm a big fan of Chvrches as well. Bon Iver is great for a nice quiet winter evening; Phoenix, Los Campesinos! and Ted Leo are all great for when the roommate's out and I want to dance around the apartment; I've been a big Springsteen fan since I was a kid; and so forth.
Television - Mad Men, without a doubt, is my favorite show, and I love it like no other. I really enjoy Rectify, The Americans and Transparent; I miss Breaking Bad but I'm pleasantly surprised by Better Call Saul; and of course I'm obsessed with Orange is the New Black.
The six things I could never do without
A book in my hand; access to the Internet (seriously, how did we
live?); my friends; a project to work on; my nieces and nephew;
DVR'd episodes of Mythbusters.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
How to survive in case of accidental time travel; new, delicious
things to put on rice; whether I remembered to take out the trash;
why Amazon thinks I'll enjoy George W. Bush's memoirs, which
obviously I would not.
On a typical Friday night I am
Hanging out with friends, going to see a movie, hot oil
wrestling--the usual boring routine.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I was raised in a very religious home, and I do not have settled feelings about religion by any means.
Also, I have been binge-watching Jane the Virgin and tearing up at multiple episodes.