29 Philadelphia, United States
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My self-summary
I am a bundle of contradictions. I can think of no better self-description than Larry David impersonating Bernie Sanders on SNL. A cynical idealist. My eclecticism is laughable. My friend once said: "Your itunes switches from the Vengaboys to Verdi." (I am large and contain multitudes.)

I have lofty goals and high aspirations and consider myself a determined and motivated person. But I get distracted easily. The following quote explains what I mean (it is by William Hazlitt): "So I have loitered my life away, reading books, looking at pictures, going to plays, hearing, thinking, writing on what pleased me best. I have wanted only one thing to make me happy; but wanting that, have wanted everything!"

I am an active loiterer (a flâneur). I like to move around the city a lot to get a feel for the different neighborhoods (my own can grow stale after a while). Routine is deadly. Spontaneity is enlivening.

The one thing wanting? Nothing sentimental or maudlin. In terms of meeting people I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.
What I’m doing with my life
I am finishing up my Ph.D in English. This involves teaching lots of classes and finishing my dissertation. Teaching and higher education concern me more than my "research." I incessantly look for ways to motivate my students: that is, connect with, awaken, inspire, stir, or simply provoke them. The dissertation is a different matter... it allows me to think of myself as a writer, tell a story about a particular individual (Henry James), and explain (to myself and whomever reads it) why art and literature matter. Lots of idealism here.
I’m really good at
trivia and laughing and sailing (literally, on the Hudson, and imaginatively)
The first things people usually notice about me
I have a purple sweater with a huge pocket. Kind've like a posh Barney.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Novelists: James Baldwin, Thomas Mann, D.H. Lawrence, Joseph Conrad, Gustave Flaubert, George Eliot, and Jane Austen, "of course" (as Emma might put it). I've gotten several messages from people who believe I added that final detail disingenuously but it's the truth, I taught a class on her and Woolf. And none of the students had seen Clueless. As if!
Poets: Baudelaire, Dickinson, Yeats, Frost, Stevens, and Bishop.

Films: The Graduate, Annie Hall, and Dr. Strangelove (my holy trinity: my super-ego, ego, and id ). Others that immediately spring to mind are Swingers, Harold and Maude, My Cousin Vinny, and Ghostbusters. Not to brag - but I shall brag nonetheless - I've seen all AFI Top 100 movies. This was an important life-event that got me going on the path I am on now. I just started returning to old movies and plan on rewatching most of the 100 (as well as the foreign goodies and other classics either not included or that I've missed). "Criterion collection and chill"?

Shows (assume TV?): Curb and Seinfeld so I'm stuck with reruns. Occasionally Bill Maher.

Music: anything. I've been listening to The Doors, Talking Heads, and Stevie Nicks a lot recently. Most any genre will do, depends on the mood, Sam Cooke never gets old, really any Motown, neither do 80s new wave pop hits or the sweet sounds of Simon & Garfunkel. Classical music when I write in the morning, jazz when I write in the evening.

I enjoy eating everything but long for Indonesian food from Holland.
The six things I could never do without
Coffee (and coffee flavored things; esp milkshakes)
I spend a lot of time thinking about
how to inspire my students and hoping they don't visit this page.
On a typical Friday night I am
having a glass of chianti (if at home) or a Manhattan (if out).
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I love musicals. Esp. Julie Andrews and Barbara Streisand. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
You should message me if
you can write a message that consists of more than one sentence and conclude the message with your name (there is the cynicism).


you are imaginative, intellectual, compassionate, witty, provocative, and think we have a lot in common (there is the idealism).