45 San Francisco, CA
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My self-summary
I'm educated enough to know how to spell antidisestablishmentarianism, but smart enough to know NEVER to use it in conversation. I have a couple of degrees from a couple of universities, but I'm not using any of them in my job, which I love (both the job and the fact that I'm not using any of my formal credentials for it). I'm a reformed chemist. I get to travel all over the world for work. I have stories and love to tell them.

I collect art sporadically, mostly during my trips. I used to live in a little village in Kenya (hence my borderline facility in a semi-obscure African language that most people know about thanks only to the Disney Corporation). I can be stubborn about unimportant things. I talk to my mom every weekend (she did raise me, after all). I am unfailingly loyal to my friends and family.

I practice yoga, so I'm (mostly) calm. And flexible. I practice martial arts, but I'm not mean. I have a pilot's license and a SCUBA certification. I cook AND clean the dishes. I was trained as a classical pianist, but also love hanging out at music festivals and listening to bands I've never heard before. I read lots of books. I never use emoticons in my e-mails. (Well, almost never--sometimes I feel compelled to for my job (I know, I know, what the hell do I do for a living?!)).
What I’m doing with my life
I work at an amazing nonprofit based in San Francisco. We work in the field of international education, and my job takes me all over the world. I love to travel and am lucky enough to be able to spend about 2 months out of the year somewhere overseas (not all at once, though).

Apart from my job, I'm getting to know San Francisco. Before I landed here I moved four times in four years (big, trans- and intercontinental-type moves), so I'm appreciating my current geographical stability, all the work travel notwithstanding. I'm pretty active and exercise a fair amount. Apart from the daily routine, I spend time with friends, see shows (music and theater), cook, play Euchre (if you know what that means, tell me where in the Midwest you're from!), and serve as host to visiting family and friends.
I’m really good at
Conversing. I know just enough about just enough different things that I can hold a relatively engaging and charming conversation on lots of topics.

Cooking. Well, maybe not REALLY good, but not bad.

Traveling, especially in developing countries. It's definitely a skill.

Adapting and jury-rigging. I learned to channel my inner MacGuyver living in Kenya and it's a skill that still serves me well.

Totally true:
The first things people usually notice about me
I actually have no idea. Midwesterners like me grow up thinking it's insufficiently humble to ask . . .
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
I've enjoyed reading, watching, listening to, and eating so many good things that I don't have absolute favorites. I'm terrible at top 5 lists, a la High Fidelity, but here are a few that come to mind just now:

The Kite Runner, the Lord of the Rings trilogy (the first full-length novels I ever read), A Prayer for Owen Meany, A Son of the Circus, Moby Dick, Fool, The Watchmen, the Sandman series, The Dark Knight Returns, Straight Man, the Onion (not a book, but what the hell), the Neuromancer trilogy (and just about everything else William Gibson has written), The Wind Up Bird Chronicle (and most everything else by Haruki Murakami), Atonement (and pretty much anything by Ian McEwan), xkcd, Tom Toles, Dilbert

High Fidelity, the Kill Bill movies, old Hong Kong chop sockey films, The Wild Bunch, most of Kurosawa's films, The Big Lebowski, The Incredibles, Meet the Feebles, Mirrormask, American Beauty, American Splendor (but the novel was better), Prospero's Books, Spirited Away, anything by Terry Gilliam, anything by Charlie Kaufman

I don't watch much t.v. these days, but my current must-see lineup includes House of Cards, Justified, Archer, Bojack Horseman, and Agents of SHIELD (don't judge).

Old Crow Medicine Show, Chopin, the Pogues, Gogol Bordello, Bach (J.S.), Pink Floyd, Gershwin, Buena Vista Social Club, The Gypsy Kings, Cesaria Evora, Hank Williams, Woodie Guthrie, XTC, Drop Kick Murphys, Jimi, Albert King, Keb' Mo', The Boss, Tom Waits, Mumford & Sons

I love all kinds of food--Italian, French, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Thai, Indian, Sri Lankan, Nepali, Swahili, etc. Name a nationality and I'm willing to try the cuisine. But THE BEST MEAL EVAH is the traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner (The Feast of the Seven Fish) that I cook with my family every year.
The six things I could never do without
1. A good book
2. Reputable news sources (NY Times, Stewart/Colbert, the Economist--how many does that count as?)
3. Passport
4. Clean food & water (Trust me on this one--it's REALLY important!)
5. Tinidazole (Sad but true . . . for those times when #4 above is unavailable.)
6. Irony
On a typical Friday night I am
At home relaxing from the week and getting ready for a busy weekend.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I'd rather ask for forgiveness than for permission.