I am at various times a critic, a cook, a formidable Scrabble opponent, a dance partner, a less than formidable tennis opponent, a tourist, a teacher, a big brother, a writer, a punner, a pedestrian, a makes-up-in-enthusiasm-what-he-lacks-in-talent singer, a Phillies fan, and an avid conversationalist.
What I’m doing with my life
I teach musicology at a small Midwestern liberal arts college. Dream achieved!
If I don't get tenure, Plan B is to open an all-male bakery called Pastriarchy.
I’m really good at
Wordplay. I won Punderdome ("NYC's most puntastic pun competition") on my first try. I'm finding that this is not really a marketable skill, but I was recognized twice while walking around Brooklyn.
Can hold my own at cooking, Scrabble, the Sunday NYT crossword, and keeping a positive attitude.
I aim to be better at baking bread, editing my own work, and making playlists.
The first things people usually notice about me
My location, unless they are looking at their phone while walking.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Books: Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (Chabon), Never Let Me Go (Ishiguro), Freedom (Franzen), American Wife (Sittenfeld), The Art of Fielding (Harbach), Atonement (McEwan), The Poisonwood Bible (Kingsolver)
Movies: Annie Hall, Another Year, Bringing Up Baby, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Dr. Strangelove, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Grand Illusion, Her, Nashville, Nightcrawler, Ratatouille, Sherlock Jr., Singin in the Rain; The Social Network, Stories We Tell, Talk to Her, There Will Be Blood, Tree of Life, Tokyo Story, Touch of Evil, Vertigo, Whiplash
TV shows: Seasons 4-7 of the Simpsons; Arrested Development, Sports Night, West Wing, Flight of the Conchords, Friday Night Lights, 30 Rock, Veep, Please Like Me
Music: Charles Ives, John Adams, Benjamin Britten, Carl Nielsen, David Lang, Gustav Mahler, Franz Schubert, J.S. Bach, Richard Strauss, The Head and the Heart, Vampire Weekend, Sufjan Stevens, Nickel Creek, Of Montreal, Shovels and Rope, The Decemberists, Josh Ritter, Stephen Sondheim, Bock and Harnick, Ella Fitzgerald
Podcasts: This American Life, Serial, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, Lexicon Valley
Food: fruit pie, ice cream, guacamole, sweet potato fries, fresh bread, dark chocolate, barbecue, cheese, mango
The six things I could never do without
(1) Deceptive cadences
(2) The Criterion Collection
(4) The New Yorker and the Sunday NYTimes Crossword over late
(5) Overhearing conversations in museums
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Classical music today
Standardized testing and education policy
The aesthetics of documentaries
Criteria for making a top 10 list
The evolution of language
And usually whatever article in The New Yorker or The Atlantic everyone's reading
On a typical Friday night I am
keeping myself entertained. This could be board games, a movie, an
orchestra concert, cooking dinner with good friends, reading,
contra dancing, baking a pie and eating it while watching old
episodes of The Simpsons. You're welcome to join in.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
On multiple occasions, I have dreamt about cryptic crossword clues, and then spent all day in frustration that I can't solve them.
I find it vaguely maddening that the streets in downtown Chicago named after presidents are almost but not entirely in order.
You should message me if
you feel like we'd have something to say to one another that will
stick. Ultimately, I'm looking for a relationship where we
challenge, inspire, amuse, balance, care for, and grow with one
another. But for now, let's start with a conversation.