I think most people would consider me a pretty normal guy — don't smoke, drink to excess or have any seriously bad habits except for a few cups of coffee a day which I plan to give up eventually. I am socially liberal in part because I think legislating morality within the gamut of "victimless" crimes causes more harm than good, and politically liberal primarily because I don't trust Big Business to put sustainability — environmental or fiscal — before short-term profitability.
I was a Libertarian for many years until I figured out (1) their entire system of economics was conceived of by the wealthy elite for the wealthy elite, (2) they have no real plan for helping the economically disadvantaged and (3) they have absolutely no plan for dealing with negative externalities - businesses that offset a portion of their costs by polluting or bailouts and thereby force the rest of the world to pay for what they should be responsible for.
The ONLY way to deal effectively with such things is through, respectively, that supposedly "evil" government welfare and regulation conservatives are always claiming is about to bring about the downfall of civilization. So if you're a member of the Tea Party or think Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are anything other than disingenuous, intellectually vacuous shills for the ruling class pandering to the morally and mentally deficient, somehow I doubt we'll get along.
I grew up in Southern Arizona but the Oregon climate agrees with my Northern European heritage. I love everything about Oregon in general and Portland in particular. Eventually though at some point I see myself migrating even further North to avoid the inevitable advance of Anthropogenic Global Warming that some people are — amazingly — still in complete denial about.
I'm a self-directed person, a geek who lives in books and computers but also appreciates the value of physical activity and social interaction. There's so much to see and learn and do, I wonder sometimes how can anyone could ever be bored or depressed when life offers such a smorgasbord of delicacies to choose from. Music, dance, theater, movies, books, etc., so very much good out there just aching to be explored and savored :-).
People often think I'm a conservative and have no real idea what lies just beneath the surface. I play by the rules for my corporate masters because I know what's expected of me, but deep down I really don't care much what other people think because I've met so few people who seem to be really happy and following their own bliss. Of course we all have to do things we don't want to do to pay the bills, but why should that mean giving up on our dreams?
As an entrepreneur with almost 20 years experience I know how to make as much money as I need to get by or even live lavishly if I choose, but I try to balance that drive for abundance with a deep appreciation for each day and the beauty around me. Of course I'd love to make millions and live a fabulous life in Europe, but I also realize that each day is a gift and you shouldn't sacrifice too much for what you may have down the road. So in addition to working I read, spend WAY too much time on Facebook (It's networking....right? LOL), learn French (something I've always wanted to do) and play music. Right now it's mostly bass and flute, but living in an apartment kinds of puts a damper on late-night jazz flute jam sessions LOL.
My biggest project right now is probably learning how to dance. I found some awesome dance studios and venues not far from here so I try to get out and dance at least a couple of times a week. I'm trying everything from ballroom to salsa to tango and just love it.
It's an interesting feeling - being grounded in a deep appreciation for the moment while still dreaming for the future.
—Languages. I've always sensed that I love language - especially the Romance languages - but I recently realized that I enjoy everything about it from just the sound to the mastery of the rules of syntax and grammar. I have some proficiency with Russian and more so with Spanish, but now I'm focusing on French. I spend probably a minimum of three to four hours a day either practicing with Rosetta Stone or listening to conversational instruction CDs and totally love it.
—Math and Physics. It never ceases to amaze me how much I love math. It feels like I'm touching the essence of creation, or peering into the inner workings of life. People often ask me what I'd do with a math or physics degree and I can never give a straight answer because I don't know. I don't do it because I want to make money at it, I do it because I love it. I'm sure I'll at least teach or tutor to some degree, but there are plenty of ways to make money in the world especially if you pursue something entrepreneurial. Apparently as a goal-set that's too amorphous to many people. Oh well...
—Managing people (apartment management is all-too-often little more than Adult Day Care LOL)
—Being a good friend. I'm exceptionally generous with people I let into my life, sometimes to a fault.
—Arguing with obnoxious, inflexible, opinionated people on the internet (okay, so maybe I'm not too proud of that one....)
Books: Too many to list favorites, but in science fiction anything by Robert Heinlein, Terry Brooks or Norman Spinrad to start.
Right now virtually all the reading I do is work-related (web analytics, search-engine optimization or scripting languages) or recreational chatting on social media, but here's a sample of books I've read recently that I found exceptional and highly recommend:
Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation (Amazing story of one man's awakening into spirituality and how it impacted his life)
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard
Long for The World: The Strange Science of Immortality.
Anything by Thom Hartmann, Naomi Klein or Chris Hedges is highly, highly recommended for an understanding of our current political and socioeconomic climate.
Music: Jazz and New Age mostly (I have Itunes radio playing all day long), then classical and most kinds of rock as long as it's intelligently composed and not just guttural emotional noise. Lately I've been re-visiting my old favorites like Rush, Yes, Frank Zappa and ELP and loving it but I'm also constantly exploring other eclectic artists like John Zorn and Bjork. So much music, so little time.... sigh.
Anyway, all pompous attempts at being clever aside, for me it would be:
—A balanced diet and healthy organic food
—Relationships and friendships with interesting people
—Dancing. I take dance lessons several nights a week at a wonderful little studio in Sellwood and love it.
—Music, books and intelligently crafted drama (right now just movies and tv, but eventually I really want to start exploring the world of theater)
—Education and the Internet, or the ability to gather information and explore the world scientifically and efficiently
—A sense of spiritual purpose and accomplishment
—you're exceptionally bright and often find yourself frustrated at having to tone it down for most people.
—you live life on your own terms and don't let other people dictate the nature of your reality.
—you've ever spontaneously said "frak!" in public and suddenly felt embarrassed at what a frakkin' geek you are.
—you're a practitioner of Tantra or would like to be.
—you want a special relationship with someone you feel safe with, and trust to be there when you need them.
—you're familiar with the work of Jeff Brown and Brené Brown and don't think a man with emotional depth, sensitivity and vulnerability is just a frikkin' wussy... ;-)
—you're looking for a dance partner and don't mind being with an enthusiastic neophyte. Eight solid months of lessons in numerous styles has made me realize dance is life and I don't want to ever be without it.
"What makes a woman truly beautiful is not her hair or her makeup or the dimensions of her body, it's the quality of her soul..." ~Anon