themill
28 Eugene, OR
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themill
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My self-summary
The new, improved, themill comes with everything you see here! Features include:

* Natural Activity! I love spending time outdoors. Running, biking, rock climbing, frisbee, hiking, you name it.

* Persistent Optimism! When I fall off a horse, or ski face-first into a tree, I laugh, get back on the horse, skis, or other experimental transport and keep on going.

* Liberal Worldview! I'm interested in equality of opportunity, in rational government and intelligent dialog. I'm open to new ideas and love to find out I was wrong about something. I like politicking and have spent quite a lot of time volunteering for campaigns over the past few years, though these days I've had to scale back due to my job.

* Musical Machinations! Loud drum solos, and enthusiastic piano playing! Skill not guaranteed.
What I’m doing with my life
I'm a professor at the University of Oregon. On any given day, you can find me scaring undergraduates, frightening graduate students, or being terrified by peer reviewers.

Otherwise I love travelling, particularly for unique experiences. I went to Burning Man for the first time this year as part of a bicycle service camp -- I don't think I've ever experienced as much concentrated joy.
I’m really good at
Listening. I love hearing stories. The subject doesn't always matter much to me -- I like the turn of phrase, the details different people choose to emphasize. Do you have some interesting or controversial opinions? Let's her it! I'll let you talk my ear off and enjoy every minute of it.

Silliness. In groups I like to entertain and improvise -- the concept of "yes, and..." is one of my favorite ideas. I like to throw in the sly quips, the quick callbacks, and the occasional trip down the crooked road of absurdity.

Story telling. Intense drama with larger-than-life characters, absurd situation, narrow escapes, vigorous hand gestures, and a guarantee (with only the slightest hint of a wink) that everything I'm telling you actually happened.
The first things people usually notice about me
Definitely my voice. Pretty deep, pretty loud. OK, maybe more loud than deep. Not to mention a couple of ridiculous laughs that come out from time to time when a joke really gets to me.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Books: I read a lot -- mostly from the library. But, if I'm looking for something to enjoy on a rainy Sunday afternoon, I'll look for Isaac Asimov, Iain Banks, Robert B. Parker, Chuck Palahniuk, Tom Friedman, Donald Westlake, Neal Stephenson, and, to be sure, J.K. Rowling.

Movies: I like all sorts of movies, but two I'll call out are Fight Club and Memento. Two movies that make you think hard about the nature of reality and how we alter our perception to match what we desire. Otherwise, give me an action movie or a good drama any day.

Music: I enjoy quite a wide variety of music. I was brought up on a diet of classical music and oldies, and my love for those styles has hung around through the years. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy ridiculous pop (especially when out dancing) too. I suppose as long as there is something interesting about the music -- whether instrumentation, lyrics, melodic structure, or otherwise, I'm up for it. Burning Man totally turned me on to EDM, and the number of one-person dance parties in my house has skyrocketed.

Here are some bands I think are pretty good: Phoenix, Spoon, Vampire Weekend, OK Go, Grizzly Bear, Fleet Foxes, The Killers, Feist, Ben Folds, Reel Big Fish, They Might Be Giants, Coldplay, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dispatch, Dave Brubeck, Glenn Miller, Lionel Hampton

Food: I love cooking for people -- I make pretty mean lasanga, fried chicken, and banana bread. I'll try anything twice, and my copy of The Joy of Cooking is delightfully worn.
The six things I could never do without
Healthy food to eat -- preferably home cooked.

Something interesting to read.

My bike, to go exploring.

A frisbee, for a little fun.

Some green space.

A decent camera to capture the experience.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
The art of storytelling -- what makes good characters, what features in a story grab different audiences, what makes a good ending. Any story, if told well, can be entertaining.

I like to take my time when making large personal decisions -- get the facts, see what my gut feel is, consider consequences, that sort of thing. The decision to move west to Oregon was terrifying and exciting at the same time.

I love moral conundrums and I've spent a lot of time wondering about moral grey areas. I sometimes find it difficult to deal in absolutes, so I find myself frustrated with a lot of the questions OKCupid likes to ask me.
On a typical Friday night I am
Some mixture of:
* bike rides
* dancing
* art
* card games
* wine
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I sing in the shower. Every day. No, really, this sounds pretty cliche, but it's like the Royal Albert Concert Hall in there.
You should message me if
If you're excited by the thought of an intense Bananagrams match.

If you like long bike rides with no particular destination except a nice spot for a picnic.

If you have a story to tell.

(but not if you are one of my student -- wait until after the course is over)
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