52Sunnyvale, United States
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My self-summary
I am assertive and passionate and I need someone who can match that. Passion is more than just sex -- it's a way of thinking, of relating to life, intellectually, emotionally, taste for adventure, the whole package.

If my profile is too long for you to bother at least skimming then we are unlikely to be a good match.

When I get a message I'm looking for two things: What makes you interesting to talk to? What did you read in my profile that made you interested in me? (The ability to write in actual English sentences is a huge plus.) I also usually look through the compatibility questions for obvious red flags.

[2017: I'm also looking for evidence that you are not a scam bot. Sadly necessary -- most of the long heartfelt generic messages I get show up word for word on scam warning sites.]

If I think you and I can have an interesting conversation I'll go out on a date with you. If I don't think we would have anything to talk about I'll send a polite "no thanks" and move on. It's that simple.

(I could say more but it doesn't seem to help. Most of the messages I get are spam, either fake accounts of scammers or spectacularly incompatible real guys, it's tough not to get cynical.)
What I’m doing with my life
I like to say that I'm fully bilingual -- I speak both English and Engineer. I am a geek and a nerd, and proud of it.

I'll probably never have another job as rewarding as helping NASA scientists win a Nobel Prize, but I like having a job I can pour myself into, helping to make software fit people instead of the other way around.

Ten years ago I lost 47 pounds by diet and working out every day (aerobics, weightlifting, a bit of biking) but after a few years I slid and the weight came back; now I'm starting the process of losing it again. If you need someone who is fit and athletic right now, we are not a match.

Update, January 2016: I've lost 45 pounds in the last year, due to walking 3100 km playing a RL-based game on my phone. I'm still fat, but not as much as much as before... now I need to find some cool new photos to upload. :-)

I like cooking myself spicy food and a spicy life. ;-)

I haven't done much travelling in a few years, there are still a lot of beautiful and interesting parts of this world I want to see. My favorite travel souvenir is probably a one-way ticket on a slow boat to China; the picture of me holding a baby kangaroo in the Australian Outback is another great one, as is the left-handed Swiss Army knife I got in Zurich, the first year they were made. (A true lady carries a knife to defend her own honor with, right?)
I’m really good at
Helping out a friend in need.
Unravelling complex computer problems.
Playing strategy boardgames.
Instantly spotting the typo or spelling error on the page.
The first things people usually notice about me
My smile.

And then how short I am.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Sadly, my collection of classic rock is mostly languishing gathering dust; most of my music listening these days is the few dozen albums I loaded into iTunes before it got too tedious. (I used to listen to a Spanish hip-hop station on my way to work, though I didn't understand the language.) I can enjoy the very best of almost any genre. I think the last concert I went to was The Capitol Steps, though.

When I go out to dinner with a large group of friends I'm usually at the spicy end of the table sharing a variety of dishes family-style. Always happy to try new cuisines and dishes. I have some knowledge of fine wine/dining and fancy cooking but it didn't really stick.

I'd rather watch TV shows that don't even try to be meaningful than ones that try and fail. For some reason I haven't been watching much TV lately, my DVR episodes of The Simpsons, Family Guy, The Office, Community, The Daily Show, and the Colbert Report are expiring unwatched. I liked the BBC Sherlock more than Elementary, though I watch both. I only watch sports in football season. I'm a fan of the 'Skins and think they should rename themselves the "Roughskins" to clear the controversy while preserving as much history as they can.

I liked Firefly a lot more than Serenity. It met the female-friendly rule, for one thing.

2014 update: I watched the first episode of Breaking Bad, said "meh", and didn't go back. A few years later I binge-watched the whole thing, mesmerized. Not sure what caused the difference. John Oliver gets it so very right so often. Modern Family is funny when they don't go over the edge into sitcom-painfully-stupid.

My tiny collection of DVDs includes both The Princess Bride and Hair. Oh, and the complete set of Schoolhouse Rock videos. I never found any of the Coen Brothers movies so compelling I had to own them, though many are worth watching more than once.

Unfortunately, I spend most of my reading time online these days; I don't read books much any more. The last book I remember buying was _Infidel_, the autobiography of Somali refugee turned Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Her discussion of why she chose to wear a burqa, and then why she chose to set it aside, was particularly fascinating.
Six things I could never do without
Oxygen :-)
Intellectual challenges
The Web
New experiences
I spend a lot of time thinking about
These days [2017], trying not to get too upset about politics. Or at least getting upset in useful ways.
On a typical Friday night I am
Playing strategy board games with friends -- designer games like Power Grid, Race for the Galaxy, Brass, Outpost, 1830. If the only modern board game you've heard of is Settlers of Catan, well, that's a start...
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
When I'm by myself dinner might be a microwaved sweet potato and onion.

Also... when I set this profile up years ago I was clueless enough that I used my real first name as part of my nickname.
You should message me if
... you want to meet me in person! (I'm not a paid member, I can't see who "likes" my profile; if I see you look at my profile and you *don't* message me I will assume you are not interested.) Ideally we'd exchange a handful of messages and then get together for a low-key date like coffee after work.

You have something to say and something to share. (And that means something more than "you are so pretty". Flattery is nice, certainly, but I'd rather get a message that is addressed to me as a person and not just to my profile picture. Most guys wouldn't send a message if they didn't like the picture, after all ;-) What did you like about me?)

Your profile lets me get a sense of who you are as a person. (And that means something more than "I am so lonely for a lady to share my life with". What is in your life that you are offering to share?) I'm looking for a man who is eloquent and vibrant, who is passionate about some of the great things in his life. And hopefully you've looked through my compatibility questions and answered a few of the ones you hadn't already.

You are looking for a long-term monogamous relationship (probably not with the first person you date, but that should be your goal.)

You are highly intelligent and wantneed your partner to be the same.

You miss having someone to cuddle with and kiss goodbye on your way to work.

You think lying in bed together with books or laptops on a lazy Saturday morning sounds sweet and romantic.

You think playing competitive strategy games with your partner also sounds sweet and romantic.

You know that there's a lot of beauty in the world and you want to get out into the big room with the blue ceiling to see more of it.

You're not sure how you would squeeze dating into your active social life but are eager to find out.

Your long-term goals for a relationship include a passionate and vibrant (and maybe even kinky) sex life but you know you shouldn't talk about it before getting to know me as a person.

I shouldn't have to add this, but: you are local to me (close enough to get together for a cup of coffee after work) and relatively close to my age. I want someone I can see regularly and am likely to have social context in common with. (In fact I filter out messages that are from people outside my area and age range. If your message is just going to land in my spam mailbox please don't send it.) (And note: in case you've never heard of Sunnyvale, it's near San Jose, a bit south of San Francisco. I get a lot of messages from guys in the Los Angeles area but 5 hours is too far to drive for a blind date.)

One of the things that sets OkCupid apart from other online dating services is the compatibility questions. A lot of them are pretty dumb, but there is still a lot of useful information in there. Before I send a message (a response or initiating a conversation) I look through them to find out more about a guy. The explanations for answers are sometimes more interesting than someone's profile! (And there is a new feature that lets me filter out messages from guys whose compatibility rating is too low; I've turned that on experimentally.)

Please don't ask for my phone number or email address with your very first message -- that's a common tactic for bots and scammers. (Also, part of the reason most women feel comfortable using dating services is the small amount of anonymity.) I usually give a guy my phone number just before the first date or between the first and second dates.

And I hate to end on a negative note, but if you voted for Trump, believe that homosexuality or premarital sex are sins, think that flag-burning should be illegal, want to see Creationism taught in public schools, or indicate on your profile that you are interested in casual sex, we're unlikely to be compatible. I'm not a sweet demure Christian lady no matter how much you might dream otherwise; on the other hand if I were looking for casual hookups there are better apps for that. :-)

It's also worth mentioning that I don't date smokers or people who get drunk regularly.

Please note that I don't generally use the chat feature here. I treat OkCupid more like email -- I take the time to think about what I want to say, send a message, and check back later for a response. If there is mutual interest after a few messages it's time for an in-person date. (I try to answer all messages within a day or so, but I don't check OkCupid every day, and sometimes a browser refresh on a background tab makes me look online when I'm really not.)

I do try to answer all messages, even if just to say "no thanks."
The two of us