Did I mention dogs yet? Dogs. I spend a lot of time with dogs. I run a force free dog training business, so dogs are kind of a critical part of my day-to-day life. Plus, my own dogs are pretty much the coolest thing in the universe (I have two). I geek out over training mechanics, learning theory and counter-conditioning protocols. I can't remember the last time I wore clothes that weren't lightly peppered with dog fur. You don't need to have dogs of your own, but people who don't like pets would probably consider my house a special sort of torture. Because dogs.
I am fascinated by geek culture, but I seem to enjoy it vicariously more than directly. I like to spend time with people who are really involved in fandoms, but rarely feel comfortable fully partaking of the nerdery. That said, I play a handful of truly terrible video games that you've never heard of (yes, they're really that bad, and no, you've really never heard of them), and I can geek out about Doctor Who or Dragonriders of Pern with the best of them.
Other people collect stamps or coins or vintage pez dispensers. I collect hobbies and skills. My equivalent of "me time" often involves me bingeing on DIY tutorials for a new skill or craft for which I have absolutely no reasonable, practical purpose. As a result, my craft closet could pass for the square root of Hobby Lobby. Hobbies range from standard options like quilting, spinning and crochet, to more obscure things like building wattle fences, tanning furs, etching metal and an unnecessarily detailed understanding of the genetics behind color inheritance in dogs, rabbits and pigeons. I just like to know things. As of November 2015, leather tooling is my craft of choice.
I am a proud creature, but I have a healthy dose of flailing idiot running around in my head, too. I don't like being trapped in any single worldview, be it silly or serious, masculine or feminine, old or young, hatefully misanthropic or irrepressibly idealistic.
As of November 2015, right now a huge amount of my time and mental resources are being allocated to getting the training business off the ground and finding a market for my hand carved leather dog collars.
There's a pretty good chance that, on any given day, I am currently teaching myself a new craft or hobby. Learning a new skill is one of my coping methods when I'm anxious, so I'm competent at a lot of different crafts (and good at virtually none of them).
The three major things I'm focusing on are launching my dog training business, working on my leather collar shop and training Indi, my service dog prospect. He's in intensive training now and hopefully will graduate to full service dog by spring 2016 (it generally takes 18-24 months to fully train a service dog).
I'm really good at lateral thinking and really bad at having common sense.
Canine body language is typically easier for me to read than human body language.
I can spout random trivia with the best of them.
I am a clicker-training evangelist and I am probably judging you by your dog's food.
I'm astoundingly talented at picking up a new hobby or craft, deciding it's Absolutely My Goal In Life For Realz This Time, obsessing over it for several days and abruptly losing interest. Learning new crafts is fun. Getting good at crafts I already understand is tedious. So I can knit, crochet, sew, quilt, embroider, applique, sculpt, paint, sketch, build, knot, all to an acceptable level of competence, but I'm not especially GOOD at any of them.
I am a champion at having panic attacks over things which should not be panic-inducing.
I talk about dogs a lot.
... REALLY a lot.
Ignoring the obvious physical features, people notice the dissonance in my maturity level pretty quickly. Upon first meeting, I usually present myself as a goofy, spontaneous child, but I'm told that it rapidly becomes clear that this impishness is by choice rather than by nature.
Favorite fiction authors: Robin Hobb, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, John Scalzi, George R. R. Martin, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Sherwood Smith.
Favorite dog-related authors: Karen Pryor, Kathy Sdao, Patricia McConnell, Jean Donaldson (although I used to hate her), Debbie Jacobs, Laura VanArendonk Baugh. I spend a probably unwise amount of time reading the blog Eileenanddogs.
Television: Doctor Who. I lived under a cultural rock until about five years ago, so I'm struggling to catch up on TV shows and movies that everyone else takes for granted. If I seem more than slightly culturally ignorant, be patient. Other shows I enjoy: The IT Crowd, Sherlock, Superfetch, Bokurano, Once Upon A Time, Heroes, Alphas, Fringe, Battlestar Galactica, Code Geass, It's Me Or The Dog.
Movies: I don't really watch movies. Anything I can rent from TawzerDog, The Invisible, Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog, Crash, Repo: The Genetic Opera, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, The Fox and the Hound, generally anything that makes me cry.
Music: Vertical Horizon, The Script, symphonic metal, folk metal, 80's music, industrial.
10th Doctor, Rory/River/Amy, Jaime Lannister, Ravenclaw, Picard, archer class/ranged-weaponry class, dragons, shapeshifters, hellhounds, time travel, telepathic animals/bond-creatures/familiars, fantasy stories that involve a military academy.
Herding breeds, shelties, double merles/deaf dogs, clicker training/force-free training, Emily Larlham/Kikopup, Karen Pryor, Kathy Sdao, Susan Garrett, Patricia McConnell. Would especially love to meet any other local SD handlers and dog sports people.
2) My dogs/dogs in general
3) The internet.
4) Moral questions to chew on
5) Doctor Who.
I question the function and validity of systems a lot. I like to make things more efficient and build patterns and connect things and color code and make spreadsheets. I would rather spend a huge amount of effort completely overhauling the way I do a thing in one fell swoop than be mildly inconvenienced for thirty seconds every day by doing the thing in a slightly-less-than-optimal way. Hard work doesn't bother me. Avoidable minor irritations and inefficiencies drive me crazy. I am willing to work hard in the short term if it allows me to be lazy in the long term.
And obviously I spend a huge amount of time thinking about dogs. Writing training plans, analyzing behavior, talking about learning theory, planning cool tricks to teach in the future, solving problems, reading articles, talking with other trainers.
In short, my typical Friday night is exactly like my typical every-other-night, and it involves me being home, entertaining myself quietly.
You should message me if you want to talk about dogs, writing, reading, Doctor Who, Dragonriders of Pern or any flavor of nerdiness that you find appealing.
I love to learn, and it would be totally appropriate to give me a lecture about something you find fascinating. It would be okay to launch into a completely random lecture with no preliminary introduction -- if you're passionate about it, I'll manage to keep up my end of the conversation. I also love to ask and answer abstract questions, so questions like "What is your general impression of Tuesday?" would also be acceptable content for a first-contact message.
You should message me if writing a letter to another living person would make you feel less bored and alone, because goodness knows there's enough boredom and loneliness in this world without anyone willingly compounding it.
You should message me if you are a service dog handler.
You should message me if you are willing to teach me about marketing, entrepreneurship or small business-y things.
You should message me if you are a force-free dog trainer and want a training-buddy, or if you would like to learn more about dog training.