"Nothing human disgusts me, Mr. Shannon, unless it's unkind..."
--Hannah Jelks, _Night of the Iguana_
I’m loquacious with friends, easily pleased by stacks of vegetables with appropriate lighting, often distracted by glacial meadows or Sylvia Plath quotations…Once when trying to drive back to Boston I ended up in Connecticut because my passenger and I were chatting about the Categorical Imperative. I'll gladly wander galleries, taste fermented grapes, step onto heavier-than-air winged vehicles kept aloft by flimsy theories about partial vacuums, learn another language, jump off a bridge, or marry again, if the company is right.
I have my two sons with me half the time. I’m totally objective about my boys and they’re quite ordinary and they rate to win about three Nobel Prizes before they can vote. One of them already came in fourth in a ping-pong tournament. And by the way, I'm a child-crazy lunatic. Having more in my life would be a thrill, no matter how they arrive.
I hope it's not arrogant or irritating to claim to be "athletic." I play lots of racquetball with the boys and x-c ski and climb things and lift other things and remove sticky jar lids in a forceful and assertive manner, well into the aerobic zone. Feel the burn.
I believe that successful long-term romance requires a deep and abundant fund of good will that grows with challenge and adversity. I believe there is a higher model of love than the "Exchange" Relationship I see everywhere, in which getting becomes expected and giving becomes begrudged. I believe in a "Gift" Relationship in which both give and nurture and support and guard without calculation, without expectation, almost without thought. I have not achieved it yet, but I hope.
I seem to do well with brainy (or ultra-brainy) women with absurdly esoteric interests who like to wear dresses sometimes even if it's not a date night. Please write to me; either way, have a marvelous day and life.
What I’m doing with my life
I'm a consulting biochemist who works by internet but occasionally
takes time off to write articles on language, Jane Austen, or the
disturbing inroads of performance-enhancing proteins into the world
of classical music. Just look at the arm on that violist! I also
teach systems biology and chemistry at multiple institutions of
lower learning (including UW). The warmest, fuzziest professional
feeling I'll ever have came when a method I invented ten years ago
was used to measure therapeutic effects in a successful
breast-cancer trial in 2008. I'm not sure I deserved the endorphin
rush, but it was sweet.
I’m really good at
...backgammon. Making curry. Fabricating absurd mathematical models
to explain everyday events. Finding my way in the woods. Caressing
feet. Avoiding crevasses on glaciers. Not getting angry. Sneaking
healthful vegetables into the favorite dishes of teenagers. Raising
happy kids in all other ways too. Reading poetry and wishing I'd
written it. Spilling blueberries on the kitchen floor.
The first things people usually notice about me
Most women faint because I resemble my picture and I'm exactly as
tall as I claim to be. Fortunately I hold some of my best
conversations with the unconscious.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Pride and Prejudice, For Whom the Bell Tolls, George Eliot, Billy
Collins and Jane Hirshfield, Patrick O'Brian sea stories.
Casablanca, Brazil, The Seventh Seal, Black Orpheus, A Thousand
Clowns, and the guilty pleasure...Terminator. Baroque through 1900,
Shostakovich and Prokofiev, an admixture of Stones and Leonard
Cohen and the best 1% of pretty much anything, multiple sinuous
threads of jazz, and I also play and sing and sometimes people
don't run away (especially when they're unconscious).
The six things I could never do without
OK, "oxygen" is a little stale. Here goes: My guitar. e e cummings.
Luciferase (the enzyme that fireflies use to light up). Garlic.
Mountains. Phones. No fireflies were harmed in the creation of this
profile (the enzyme has been "cloned").
I spend a lot of time thinking about
...can I do one of those recursive things where I say I'm thinking
about this question?
On a typical Friday night I am
...checking the dumpsters behind a five-star restaurant for a few
sips of Pommard.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I put peanut butter on celery.
You should message me if
Press the index and middle fingers of your right hand just above
the major tendons of your left wrist. Feel a throbbing? OK, message
I've actually received some feedback about this section. Apparently
some people regard it as "desperate," rather than "amusing," as I
intended it. Well fine. If you've just been released from the
Women's Correctional Center in Purdy, please hold off for 24 hours.