I find it hard to express myself in a tiny text box in the 2D, virtual world. I'm sure that many of us feel this way, but in my case, this apprehension is remarkable for being incongruous with one of my defining characteristics...: I love words in all their wondrous variety, from French literature to bad puns. Not only do I derive immense pleasure from a well crafted story or persuasively argued analysis, my love of words also translates (ha!) into a passion for language-learning — which is, in turn, closely related to my enthusiasm for travel and getting to know other cultures in the intimate way made possible by living in them. Presently, French is my passion and Paris ranks as my absolute favorite metropolis in the world. (Both NYC and SF are also right up there...; in reality, it's tough to compare such unique entities.) This I know from traveling to 40+ countries and living in Colorado, Sweden, Vermont, Spain, Canada, New Mexico, New Hampshire, and... California.
Despite the fact that I travel often and widely, I am also rooted and happy being home. I am originally from Colorado; my parents, grandparents, and other extended family are there (I'm fifth-generation on my mom's side), and my younger brother and I both go home whenever we can.
So, I love discovering new places, and I love returning to Colorado, on the one hand, and Paris, on the other. I also love being outside, breathing clean mountain air, climbing rocks, and hiking with my family (including my 92-year-old grandmother!) — activities that make me feel healthy and alive. (Other bliss-inducing adventures include snowboarding and backcountry-skiing, but haven't been able to do much of either lately....)
In daily life, I find my joy in biking (commuting around town and venturing out on long road rides whenever possible), practicing yoga, drinking creative cocktails, cooking with/eating our bountiful California fresh produce, and wandering/running the streets of SF — mini-adventures on which I generally tend to seek out the summits of Buena Vista Park or Bernal Hill — while listening to the latest ReplyAll, Radiolab, This American Life, or Freakonomics podcast to clear my mind after a long workday.
What I’m doing with my life
After finishing my PhD in Comparative Literature (the "complit" of my OKC name) a few years ago, I taught courses in Comparative Literature, English, and Humanities at a couple Bay Area universities. As much as I love teaching, I got tired of the sacrifices and lack of security my tortuous academic path was serving up.... So, I left the traditional classroom this last year to start my own adventure travel company. Thankfully, I still get my teaching fix in the summer, when I lead American high school students abroad for National Geographic Student Expeditions and Putney Student Travel.
Although starting a business is hard work, I'm loving the feeling that I've found the optimal way to meld my passions for teaching and travel while also fulfilling my cravings for adventure and freedom of movement. Now, all that remains is finding someone who can complement (and/or abide) my non-routine lifestyle. Hopefully, this amazing guy would be game for supporting one another as we continue aiming to fulfill the most important aspects of who each of us is. For me, this means living an intellectually rigorous, healthy, ecologically aware, community-oriented life rooted (despite my wanderer tendencies) in a community that would be both close to wilderness and enriched by the arts. Beyond my personal need for this balance, I see it as essential for my potential/future kids to grow up in contact with the wild, but not at the expense of being exposed to diversity of perspective, belief, background, and life experiences.
I’m really good at
Well..., I'm about to complete my second Vinyasa yoga teacher training course and earn my 500-hour certification.
The first things people usually notice about me
Hmm..., everyone seems to notice my eyes. They're blue, but I'm told that they have a habit of changing. There's another thing people (uh, guys) tend to notice/appreciate straight away, but I'm too shy to mention it here!
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Authors: DFW, Proust, Perec, Joyce, Nabokov, Marilynne
Directors: Ozon, Jeunet, Ang Lee, Lukas Moodyson...
to be continued...
The six things I could never do without
Family — specifically, my brother. He understands me better than
anyone else and knows my strengths, weaknesses, hopes, and
vulnerabilities. We are close in age and great friends; even though
we're very different, we balance each other: he's rational and
calm, and I'm the energetic, motivating force. People notice that
we're similar in that we both laugh often, try to make others feel
at ease, and continually seek out new experiences and challenging
situations that will teach us more about ourselves and others. He's
Being physically active — often outdoors and sometimes at a fairly
Compassion — for myself as well as others. Plus: gentle reminders
about what's important in life.
Art — of all kinds, particularly visual art of the
non-representational, gestural, abstract-expressionist-y or
minimalist persuasion (e.g. Rothko, de Kooning, Diebenkorn, —also:
Frank Stella, Richard Serra).
AND two other more-random-but-still-representative examples:
Wine + cheese — though not necessarily together.
BREAKFAST — most often of natural yogurt, pomegranate seeds,
walnuts, cinnamon, and granola.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
-- How proud I am of my little brother, who works as the Director
of Post-Emergency Response for an effective medical-aid NGO. (He
lived in Port-au-Prince for 3.5 years in the wake of the
-- How odd it is that, as much as I enjoy sleeping and as necessary
as it is, I do so little of it....
-- How fascinating and wonderful and perplexing and arbitrary and
beautiful life is/can be.
On a typical Friday night I am
When I'm not working or traveling to some far-off place, I'm to be
found in SF biking around, practicing yoga, cooking, listening to
music, watching films — and/or eating at delicious restaurants,
going to the symphony, or drinking wine with friends (some
combination of the latter three tends to be the Friday night norm).
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I have an awesome and unusual name. And I can guarantee that 9 out
of 10 of you reading this profile would probably *never* be able to
guess it... not even if I gave you twenty, or even forty, tries.