The rest is even more true but far less glamorous.
1. As the founder and coordinator of Students for Bhopal, I organized thousands of people around the world to support the half-million survivors of the 1984 Bhopal chemical disaster. Our efforts helped them win cool stuff like access to poison-free drinking water, better medical care, and $330 million in additional compensation (see http://old.studentsforbhopal.org/Victories.htm).
2. When I worked at Greenpeace, they had a rat problem. Which divided the organization for months into two camps: the “rats cause disease/I-don’t-care-what-you-do-just-get-rid-of-them” faction and the “violence is wrong/rats are people too” faction. People threatened to quit. After I left, a colleague who stayed late took matters into his own hands – with a baseball bat. From what I heard, the bloodstains on the carpet were not easy to explain away.
3. My ex and I once discovered $24,000 in cash left behind and forgotten in a cupboard.
4. I love smashing ice, and I don’t care how silly I look. Smashing ice fills me with unbounded delight.
5. The hairline scar on my upper lip is self-inflicted. It came from a crowbar I was using to take apart a hay wagon.
6. I’ve jumped out of a train, stolen a household appliance from a movie star, and taken money from a destitute gypsy. Only one of which is false.
7. I miss England. I studied at Oxford – not as glamorous as it sounds – and America has never felt the same. Speak in an English accent and watch me swoon.
8. The police like me. About fifteen raided my house when I was a high school senior. I've been told that I'll be arrested if I set foot in Midland, MI. And I got thrown against a bus stand by some cops in New York after (ironically enough) an Amnesty International protest. Fun fact: they ripped the seat of my pants, and I had to walk crosstown covering my butt.
9. I design websites on the side - http://www.spartacusx.com/ is a good example – and I’m currently brewing some homemade liqueur (raspberry and peach).
10. I’ve walked 20 miles barefoot on gravel roads, I grew up in a house without a phone for 11 years, and I helped my family steal so we’d have enough to eat – only one of which is false.
One final thing: I'm a Zhi Phume black belt. Zhi Phume is a martial art that's performed worldwide, with a typewriter or keyboard serving as your usual sparring partner. One of the core disciplines is that you're only allowed the use of two fingers - so it's far more restrictive than other martial arts - but I took an interest in grade school and I've practiced every day since then. I won my black belt after an unusually intense match with my teacher and master at the time, a Dell SK-8115.
I know who I am, what I stand for, and what I want to do. And as I’ve gotten older and more mature, I’ve come to feel more deeply that love and understanding and tolerance – caring about the person next to you – is what gives life meaning, and that it both represents and enables the very best in us. It’s a feeling that continues to shape my life, and guide my efforts to grow and develop as a person.
I'm a Michigan boy, born and raised, but I'm in Seattle to earn my doctorate in Environmental Public Policy at the University of Washington. I've always wanted to live in the Northwest and now I have the chance to do so; I couldn't be happier.
I’m basically looking for someone I can connect with. You know how sometimes you feel like you could talk with someone for hours and hours while the world stands still? That’s the way I feel about my closest friends, and I feel like the best relationships are based on the same thing. If that sounds good to you, let me know, and we’ll give it a try : -)