danmiles
35 Portland, OR
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danmiles
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My self-summary
The TL;DR is that I've been struggling with some life-changes, but I'm winning the fight and I think I'm ready to start building something new.

I live alone for the first time in my life in what I'm surprised to learn is a clean and orderly apartment. I've got a good job, a warm heart and a community of friends who seem eager to welcome me back, even after I ran away from them, so I must be pretty likable. I'm involved in two nonmonogamous relationships but neither relationship claims much of my time so there's "room on my dance card."
What I’m doing with my life
Two words: Self Improvement.

And now a bunch of other words to explain those two:
I'm the kind of person who really needs something to work on, something to drive me. Most recently, it's been moral psychology. I'm a big Sam Harris fan (if you've read his Internet blog, don't judge me too harshly, I know he's a total asshole) and I just finished Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind. I'm trying to build my capacity for compassion as well as my moral center and my community. Muscular bonding? Uh, ok. Lets try it.

My last goal was cycling, but I had to abandon it for the short-term because of injury. In the not-too-distant past a distance of three miles was "long," ten miles was "a nightmare" and twenty miles was unthinkable. But I've got the Seattle to Portland (200 miles) ride under my belt, and despite the fact that I'm injured right now and off the bike for the near-future, knowing I've done that gives me a lot of confidence and pride.

Maybe it won't always be reading, maybe it won't always be cycling, but I've always got a goal.
I’m really good at
My superpower is that of detachment which allows me to look at an issue from all sides. This makes me really good at maintaining relationships because even if I'm angry and you're "WRONG," I can still take part of my brain, detach it and and see the disagreement from your side. It also makes me really good at my programming job because I can completely take a problem apart and see it in ways nobody else does.
The first things people usually notice about me
In the last few months, I've had two unsolicited complements about my voice. I've also had people say that they found me inviting and open.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
My favorite book is without a doubt, Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. In it, he sets up the idea that stories belong to Anansi, a west African trickster-god. The reason for this is that stories are all about problem-solving, finding clever solutions to problems, even if they sometimes don't work. I think I disagree with Gaiman slightly that ALL stories are Anansi stories, however. I think some stories also belong to Mami Wata, goddess of beauty in Anansi's pantheon. Wata stories are all about painting a picture with words, evoking a feeling, setting a scene. Sometimes there is problem-solving as well, but it's secondary to the purpose of beauty. A good example of a Wata story is Spook Country by William Gibson and a good example of an Anansi story is Redemption Ark by Alastair Reynolds.

My favorite movie is The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou because it's a powerful, touching story about chosen-family (chosen family is really important to me).

Food for me is more about cooking it in a big kitchen with lots of great people and eating it with even more great people, it's not the specific type of food.
The six things I could never do without
This is a pretty melodramatic question, so I'm not going to answer it. Instead, I'm going to list six things I really enjoy.

* Bicycles
* People
* Dinner Parties
* Computers
* Work/Goals
* Beer
I spend a lot of time thinking about
* NP-Complete problems (don't tell me something is impossible, it just drives me crazy)

* My next training-ride

* Early textile mills -- How did they work?

* This tongue-camera: http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=2401551&page=1

* This compass-belt: http://www.monkeysandrobots.com/hapticcompass
On a typical Friday night I am
At my house or someone else's, eating and laughing with good people.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I'm terrified of spiders... Actually, pretty much all arthropods. My first year of school I had long hair) so I had hair ties lying around all over my desk. One night, I was goofing off at the computer (homework? Nah! not me!) and I knocked a hair tie off the back of the desk and onto my unsuspecting, bare toes.

Terror strikes. SPIDER!!! (notice the change from past to present tense, it makes the story more immediate, no?)

I get a rush of endorphins to fight (the hair-tie-spider) or flee (the hair-tie-spider) and I do the sensible thing, I cry out in fear and spasmodically kick my foot out to fling the spider off -- to no avail!

So then the panic really sets in, and I try it again, harder -- the hair-tie-spider has my toe in a death-grip.

Before long, I've flung myself away from my desk and I'm sitting in my chair flailing my foot everywhere, flapping my hands up and down like I'm going to take flight and screeching in a surprisingly high pitch given my regular basso-profundo (not really *that* deep, but a guy can dream). Eventually I run out of juice and notice that it's a friggen hair tie.

My roommate didn't stop laughing for three days, every time he saw me. Once, walking up to me in the dorm cafeteria he had to put his tray on the floor because he'd started laughing so hard he thought he'd spill something.
You should message me if
- You want me to join your choir and sing all the stuff we each remember from high school (I've never been more serious in my life)
- You want to go out to dinner and chat about cool stuff
- You want to go hiking somewhere fun
- You want to teach me to hang-glide
- You want to go scuba diving
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