I'm whiz-bang smart, cute as a bug (actual bugs might differ in their aesthetic preferences), and freakin' hilarious (according to my friends). Also, modest. I like to think of myself as kind and empathetic. Although I do tend to chatter a lot while playing ping-pong, I'm trying to become a better person. At one point, this involved volunteer work raking hay in a swamp in the Netherlands. Except for the swamp part, it was awesome. Actually, even the swamp wasn't that bad.
Relationship, comma, considerations relevant to. When Sheryl Crow sings "are you strong enough to be my man," I want to be able to say yes. Summary of what I'm looking for: long-term relationship, or at least the possibility of one; someone to support you in tough times, and visa-versa; someone you're willing to sacrifice for, but talk it out first because maybe there's an option better for both; and, ultimately, someone where if I run my fingers through her hair and bend down to kiss her neck, that's really everything I want in that moment. Later, let's look at the stars together somewhere outside of the city, and when it gets cold, or rainy, go back to curl up in a cabin (ideal) or a tent (that's fine too) or some sort of luxury type thing (although that doesn't seem to fit with the whole under the stars bit), or under a tarp, I guess (but I hope we planned better than that). Smarts, compassion, kindness, energy, and socially liberal politics are all key. Also, a desire to share long weekends in a cabin on Orcas Island, naps on lazy Sunday afternoons, empathy when life is rough, skipping out of work early to enjoy sunny days, standing under waterfalls in Costa Rica, and the last piece of toasted bread with a fig on it. Unless you're allergic to figs, in which case we can order something else. If you're cute as a bug, and our aesthetic sensibilities match, that would be a major bonus.
Oh, and it helps if you're not actually an imaginary tiger.
A little more about me. I liked playing soccer and ultimate with friends because I like community and working towards a common goal (team sports are now in hiatus, but I remember them fondly). Admittedly, the goal in ultimate is to throw and catch a frisbee, which doesn't do too much for the world but is a lot of fun. I played sweeper in soccer, which was an endless source of glory -- mostly what I did was chase down the other side on breakaways and try to kick the ball out of bounds, and out of bounds is so much bigger than the other team's goal! (I don't know how strikers do it.) Now I'm a huge fan of walking in Hamlin Park and easy hikes in the outdoors.
On occasion in the past I've tagged along to the rock gym with friends in a fruitless search (on my part) for V-minus-1 bouldering routes. Sometimes I go snowboarding; sometimes I fall down; usually I combine the two. Outside of the country, I'm willing to try new things: surfing and scuba diving in Australia, sky diving and bungy jumping in New Zealand. My understanding was that the water in Australia is less wet, and the ground in New Zealand is less hard. What I most want to do again, however, is probably go snorkeling; and if we're lucky, like I was in Kauai this spring, not just see an eel (super cool!) but hear a whale (!!); and if super lucky, like we were in Belize, snorkel with sharks (!!!) -- peaceful sharks only, though, please. I have not run a marathon, or a half marathon, or a quarter marathon -- actually, I suppose I have run a 10k or too, which is close to a quarter marathon. I have run around Green Lake a few times, sometimes even in succession. I hope to run in costume in the Fremont summer 5K again, probably as a cow. I went to Costa Rica on an adventure tour, where I hoped to have adventures. It turns out I like adventures, except those involving inflatable kayaks. Adventures make better stories, but a big chunk of the time I want to curl up and read books or watch movies or talk with friends. Of course, talking with friends after you've backpacked up to Green Park in Rainier is super sweet.
I also like to nap, and lie under trees after running around, and read, and have brunch and potluck dinners with friends, and watch movies. I consume live music in moderation. I like games where essentially everyone is a winner, like Cranium -- with the exception of the Humdinger questions, which only exist to provide contrast to all that is beautiful and good in the world. I like wilderness, if by wilderness you mean New Zealand, where the most dangerous animal I saw was a freshwater eel. I like swimming in pools underneath waterfalls, preferably unaccompanied by freshwater eels. I like the sense of community created when people do yoga together. Particularly when doing savasana.
Fn1. In advocating for the benefits of friendly gestures, even at the risk of non-reciprocation, I like to compare World War I, causes of, to the Cuban Missile Crisis, resolution of. Also, happily, outside of global politics, friendly gestures come cheap and reap big rewards.
I love movies, particularly ones with super heroes. Recent ones I've seen include Selma, Ex Machina, and the second Avengers (of course). I'm really looking forward to seeing the new Mad Max with a friend, particularly because (spoiler alert!) of (a) its strong feminist themes and (b) Charlize Theron. I'm a fan of videos, although I don't own a TV. Some favorites are The Wire, Breaking Bad, Community, Game of Thrones, Archer, The Big Bang Theory, Sherlock, Wolf Hall, Foyle's War, and the Walking Dead. I need to watch the new seasons of Orange is the New Black, and catch up on Band of Brothers.
For music, I'll say my tastes are eclectic. I like story-songs, including roots rock, Americana, Celtic fusion and some country, although folk was the earliest (Chris Knight is a huge favorite; the Paperboys are a great live band). I love female singer-songwriters (just love their voices) like Kathleen Edwards, Kathy Griffin, Sarah McLachlan, Lucinda Williams, and Mary Gauthier). I like/love a lot of the bluegrass I've heard -- Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, the Biscuit Burners (the last being the best live show I've ever seen, except for the one where a beautiful woman I'd seen across the grassy lawn ended up sitting behind me, told me I had a wonderful smile -- how could I not be smiling, since every time I looked back it was to see her? :) -- shook my hand as we parted ways, and said, oh, hey, a piece of paper with my name and number on it. :) If we meet in person, I can tell you the funny part of the story.). Oh, Janis Joplin (at least the famous couple of songs); CCR (oh, to have been alive when their music came out . . . ); and at least Dylan's story songs (like Hurricane). When I was traveling with a friend on Kauai this spring (thanks, L, for making that week such a delight!), we listened to her music, which had a completely different nature than this list, and I liked that a lot too (but did ask her to keep the Dylan when she was thinking of cutting him from the playlist).
Books: For ease of preparation, this is going to be weighted almost exclusively towards the books that I have kept on my shelf through multiple moves, but in any event is hopefully a work in progress.
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (and, yes, I might well put it first under any organizational principle)
Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It (in reality, thinly veiled autobiography, but that's ok)
Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Sun Also Rises, and the short stories)*
Richard Russo (Straight Man is definitely the funniest, and Nobody's Fool probably the best, imho)
P.G. Wodehouse (need I even say Wooster and Jeeves?)
Patrick O'Brian (Aubrey/Maturin series, the first ten books or so . . . I won't deny they fall off somewhere after that, but my god, to have written just *one* book so good!)
The Sex Lives of Cannibals, J. Maarten Troost (*so* funny: please read it if you haven't, and that's what you're looking for)
Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities ("It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done . . . .")
Scott Smith (A Simple Plan and The Ruins . . . yes, the second is probably even more incredible than the first, but how can he make us wait 13 years between the first and second book? In fairness, maybe that's just how long it took to write, and I should focus on gratitude -- ok, thanks, Scott Smith, you've given me great pleasure with two separate books. Oh, and you scared the p*** out of me, staying up until four in the morning in Banff to finish)
Fantasy / Science Fiction:
Game of Thrones series, George R.R. Martin (besides being awesome, particularly fertile ground for discussing moral issues)
Neal Stephenson, basically anything he's written
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke (OMG it is good)
Joe Abercrombie (guilty pleasure: fantasy with even more than an edge than GOT)
The Zombie Survival Handbook, World War Z (guilty pleasure zombie reading)
Stephen King (a lot of his stuff, not all)
Glen Duncan, The Last Werewolf and Talulla Rising
Crime Fiction, mysteries, thrillers, etc.:
"Richard Stark," Parker series (also a guilty pleasure: crime fiction with an edge)
History / Biography / Social Conscience / Etc.:
Endurance, Alfred Lansing (could as easily be put into inspirational reading)
Robert Caro, The Power Broker
Robert Caro, the first and third books in the Lyndon Johnson biography and parts of the most recent one also
Barbara Tuchman (The Guns of August, The Proud Tower, maybe The March of Folly -- wait, how could I have forgotten A Distant Mirror?)
William Manchester, the second volume of his Churchill biography
Thucydides (haven't read in forever, but it's what first got me fascinated in justice as a college first year)
This section would be a *lot* longer, but I don't re-read history the same way I do fiction, so I need more time to flesh out the list. That said, I *LOVE* to talk about and learn about history. E.g., I just learned that the justly renowned Sacred Band of Thebes was composed of 150 pairs of male lovers. Given that they defeated the Spartan army (let me say that again: they defeated the *Spartans*), how could this not have come up in those less-enlightened times when the battle for gay rights was over 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'? Heck, why didn't it come up in the marriage debates, since the whole point was that each man's commitment to his life partner would strengthen his commitment to the common good of the city/nation?
George Orwell, (Animal Farm and Down and Out in Paris and London)
James Herriot (both the stories by themselves, and because it's the best book loan to a friend I've ever made . . . great if you love animals, and can take 'fictional' descriptions of the inevitable too-early death of a pet, with or without crying -- for the cat stories, I cry)
Farley Mowat (great if you love animals, and can take tragedy)
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie (both for itself, and because after I randomly found it in the course of a New Zealand tramp but had to leave it behind, my sister tracked down a 20 year old copy for me; my sister is the bombasaurus, by the way)
Irrational Exuberance, Robert Shiller (my plan is, hopefully, to give my nieces some money to invest when they are older, with the main condition being they read this book.)
I wish I could list more from memory, but need a little time here also (I can say that tramping in New Zealand once, I thought, "I need to read more poetry")
2. New friends and the chance to make new new friends
3. The ability and opportunity to learn
4. Compassion (for others and myself)
6. Moral character
7. FDR's Four Freedoms (had to look them up: freedom of speech and conscience, and freedom from want and fear)
9. My jade pendant (i.e., hope again -- obviously I could do without a piece of jewelry that was in a drawer somewhere for a decade, but it's a useful symbol of hope for me today)
11. Fun! (snorkeling would be a particular good example of this)
Obviously, that's more than six -- what can I say, I'm just totally a rebel.Fn1
Fn1. This is totally untrue; I am so non-rebellious, I probably couldn't even get arrested at an anti-war protest or a peace march.