I spend my days confronting the challenges we humans face in this world. I do this in my work in the classroom (the kiddos I work with come to us because they present with the most severely challenging behaviors in my district), in my art (as a novelist and an actor), as a loving and supportive friend and relative, and, like everybody else, in my own life. This is the work that drives me. What does it mean to be a human being in this world? How do we live with ourselves and with one another? How do we minimize suffering and maximize meaning? Every day brings new questions, new challenges and--perhaps not new answers but--new moments with new hopes and new disappointments and new opportunities to explore and enrich and mitigate and uplift and inspire and understand and question…
I want to inspire and be inspired, to live and work passionately, to make a dynamically positive impact on others with my art and my words and my way of being and interacting in the world. I want to learn and grow, consciously and conscientiously, every day until the end of my days.
If you ask me where I see myself in 10 years, the answer might surprise you. “Somewhere unexpected," I would say, "for I suspect that’s all we ever truly know about our future or who or where or what we’ll be. But, if you want to know what I think I want now, what I’m working toward now, what I think important as we sit here now (at least until someone or something in this world spurs my growth again by humbling me and, in learning something new, I come to understand again just how much I have yet to learn), well, I can tell you…”
I suppose, though, that, beyond finding someone whose idealized 10-year plan has them pointed in a direction compatible with your own, all that matters here and now, all it really comes down to in the end (or, I suppose, in the beginning), is finding that special somebody who, in your eyes, can at once burn more brilliantly than any setting sun (her irrepressible radiance bleeding into the once-blue skies of heart, mind, body, and soul) and then shimmer more enchantingly than the more-distant stars (each twinkle a loving caress or smile, a kiss blown or a tender gaze, a giggle, an embrace, a bridging of unbridgeable space as two are for a moment made one)--a somebody with whom to venture into the unknown, growing and navigating together to conquer the unexpected, knowing, with a smile in your heart and love alongside your fears, that, now, you are no longer alone.
But, if you really want to know, my dream for 10 years from now is to have two full-time jobs, novelist and stay-at-home dad.
Anyhow, while I clearly like to write, I do like to listen more than I like to talk (unless you get me talking about something I'm particularly passionate about...then I can be like a runaway train...I'm good at that, too...though I do actually talk, especially if we're having a deep, substantive conversation that probes for new depths of understanding or being silly and laughing our asses off); I like to understand.
Teaching math and, well, math in general. (I've taught across the curriculum in a variety roles and am good at that, too, though I am not a certified teacher.)
Transforming the complex into the simple and the simple into the complex. Finding meaning and beauty in the seemingly banal.
Also Scrabble (or any other word game)... You don't want to play me at Scrabble.
Books: I have been actively building a library since I was 12 or 13, though the overwhelming majority of it is in Arizona at the moment (I miss it...I love being surrounded by books, particularly the ones I've collected and cared for). I read a lot of stage and screenplays and books as research for roles, but my true love is of novels (and occasionally poetry and okay, yes, Shakespeare). I came of age on absurdist literature, and, while I am no longer an absurdist, the literature still holds a special place in my heart. I like books that are challenging, substantively and syntactically, that wrestle with the problems and realities of being human and living with other humans, that make me think and feel, that are what great works of fiction are: a window and a mirror (a magical little trick)--that leave me with no true answers but an ever-deepening series of questions. I especially love books with gorgeous verse or prose. And if they are funny, that's good too. I do occasionally make forays into non-fiction (Rebecca Solnit's work, for instance).
Movies: I tend to prefer art house, classic, and foreign films. I do not like horror films or films that are overly violent (some great war films exempted).
Shows: Give me an Aaron Sorkin show, and I am a happy man. I don't watch much TV, though. I like to watch with others, but if by myself, I'd usually rather be writing or reading. Still, there are a few shows I do make time for.
Music (in no particular order): classical, opera, jazz, standards, oldies, soul, blues, folk, rock of various sub-genres, selected pop artists...this is not all-inclusive, and I am open-minded and enjoy having my knowledge and tastes broadened
Food: Thai tops the list, along with Ethiopian, Indian, Sri Lankan, and Burmese. I am an adventurous eater within the confines of vegetarianism. I like cooking and baking for others, though I am seemingly incapable of following a recipe. I can't help coming up with some brilliant idea on a whim and following that instead of what's on paper (if there is anything on paper...often I just create from scratch).
Laughter (most often born of facetiousness)
Little Moments of Surpassing Beauty
I'm looking for a woman who inspires me with her warmth and kindness and generosity to others, a woman who inspires within me a deeper and richer love for life in all its beauty, who inspires me to think and laugh and feel and dream, who inspires me with her radiance (at least in my eyes), flooding my heart and soul with joy and light and love--a woman who inspires life within me, who inspires me to be a better me.
Please note: I'm understanding more and more that I don't finesse or avoid what may or may not be seen as unflattering truths. When such moments organically arise, I just tell the truth, which is only one piece of the much, much larger whole of me. First date or hundredth date, it doesn't matter (to me, at least...to some past dates, maybe so). I'm simply not going to present some idealized version of myself to hide behind. Who I truly am is enough (for me, for many others, and, of course, for the right woman), and I want to be seen and liked for that...or what's the point? I want a deep, passionate, extraordinarily meaningful relationship; I want love, and I want to get there without the intricate, surface-y dance of small talk and of the "rules" and expectations of the "dating game" and how things are "supposed to work." I want to get there by discovering a real, deep, true connection and exploring it together, by diving in to the reality of each other, of two unique and beautiful people coming together--by finding our own formula. If you want depth and substance and truth (and, yes, levity) from the very beginning and on through whatever days we may have thereafter, then we just might work.
To me, it's all about that deep connection on so many levels (spiritual, for lack of a better word--I don't mean religious, maybe soulful would be a better word choice, which for me is just another way of describing the unique energy each of us possesses--intellectual, emotional and, for a relationship, physical...which is what we are: heart, mind, body, and soul), the sort of connection where you just "get" one another truly and fully, where you can talk about anything and laugh together or just sit together in silence, and where simply feeling their unique energy and the way it interacts with your own, where simply them being themselves brings sunshine and joy to the deepest recesses of your world (this isn't so tall an order as it sounds...mostly, it's either there or it isn't...no work required except in learning to "get" one another, which is fun work). I want passion and intimacy in all the ways you can have them. I want to support and be supported, challenge and be challenged, love and be loved, respect and be respected, inspire and be inspired, and I want all of this with incalculable depth. I want a relationship with extraordinarily open and honest communication, which is extremely important to me. It is very much my belief that a great deal of our pain and our unhappiness (not counting major things like deaths or trauma or mental illness) comes from not fully communicating with each other, from talking across each other, if we talk at all about what we really think and feel and need. Our communication is rarely clear and fully honest (it's why I love Shakespeare so much because he was a master at showing this). And so I want someone who is committed to understanding and trying to be honest with herself, and someone who is able to articulate that in one form or another. I certainly don't expect this always, especially not in the moment--doing this can be incredibly difficult and sometimes nearly impossible--but caring about this and making the effort when you can matters to me. It's also important to me that we can talk about life and this world and the people in it, not just in a general "how was your day?" sort of way but also in seeking to deconstruct and understand what we see and think and feel, as well as laugh at life's little absurdities. I want someone who reads, someone with real depth of thought and feeling and passion for something, and someone with strength (so that there is a sharing of strength, with both of us lending some when the other needs it). If this all resonates with you, I'd love to hear from you