39 Beijing, China
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My self-summary
I am trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. OK, maybe not so much reverent. Obedient depends on the situation, clean is not the word that springs to mind when I look at my apartment, and brave is debatable. I did get my Orienteering merit badge, though. That should count for something.

I'm a decent guy and a good friend. I don't always make new friends easily, but I hold on to the ones I have -- of my three closest friends, I've known one for eight years, one for eleven, and one for around eighteen. Loyalty is important to me.

I enjoy hiking and camping, but I'm a city boy at heart. I love restaurants, museums, used bookstores, and live music played in small venues by people who do something else for a living.

Professionally, I'm an IT Technician for the County of Sacramento. I enjoy it, and I'm good at it -- a rare combination for which I'm extremely thankful. Eventually I hope to move into training or technical writing (probably still with the County or State), but for now I'm just enjoying what I'm doing. I also volunteer as a "computer guru" at a transitional living program for formerly homeless youth.

Previous jobs have included, among other things: baker, technical writer, programmer, and middle school teacher (Computers and Latin -- I'm still not sure how that happened, but it was fun while it lasted).

I am good, giving, and game
What I’m doing with my life
I'm going back to school, working on my Bachelor's Degree in English from the University of London via their External Programme. Although my professional history is almost entirely in the IT field, literature is my first love. Getting my degree may or may not help my career; I'm really just doing it because I want to finish what I started.

Lately I’ve been making an effort to improve myself a little bit each day -- learning something new, working out (“Mens sana in corpore sano,” dicit Juvenal), getting organized, etc. I’m paying off a little bit of debt I ran up when I was between jobs for a while last year, and once that’s done I plan to move into a larger apartment, so I have some room for all the stuff that’s currently cluttering up my pathetic little studio. For a while my plan was to put off starting any relationships until I had things a little more settled, but then I realized that there will never be a perfect time, and by waiting until things are just right, I might be cheating myself out of some nice experiences and opportunities. I’m a work in progress, but aren’t we all?
I’m really good at
BSing my way through academic analysis of popular culture. Ask me about my theory on Gilligan's Island as Marxist propaganda.

I'm also pretty good at troubleshooting and solving a variety of computer problems -- it is, after all, what I do for a living.
The first things people usually notice about me
I look younger than I am.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Books: I'm mostly into classic English literature -- I have to admit my exposure to contemporary literature is seriously lacking. I love the Elizabethan period; Shakespeare is my favorite, of course, but Marlowe and Jonson are up there as well, and anyone who says an unkind word about Donne is inviting a sound thrashing. I recently read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which has sparked an interest in Arthurian mythology. Other favorites, in no particular order, include but are not limited to: Chaucer, Dostoyevsky, Borges, Kafka, and Conrad. If I had to pick a single favorite book, it would be the one that sparked my interest in serious literature when my eighth grade English teacher recommended it to me: Joseph Heller's Catch-22. I also enjoy quirky nonfiction books, like Freakonomics, Guns, Germs, and Steel, and Salt: A World History. David Sedaris makes me laugh so hard it hurts.

Music: I like Indie Rock and Indie Pop, though I'm generally a couple years behind the curve as far as hot new bands go. A few favorites include Sufjan Stevens, Belle & Sebastian, Beirut, Loney, Dear, Neko Case, Arcade Fire, The Shins, Rogue Wave, The Essex Green, The White Stripes, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, and The Pixies. I also love classical music, and have a rather large collection of it on CD.

Movies: The Bicycle Thief, The Third Man, anything by Ingmar Bergman or the Coen Brothers, and plenty of silly stuff like Shaun of the Dead, The Princess Bride, and the works of Christopher Guest. My favorite screenwriters are Charlie Kaufman and Woody Allen. I could go on -- I love movies -- but you probably get the idea by now.

TV: Other shows may come and go on my TiVo to-do list, but I never miss an episode of The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. There are several shows on the BBC and HBO that I love, but I don't get either of those channels on my standard cable package, so I generally have to wait for the DVD release to see them.

Food: I'm a very adventurous eater -- I'll try anything once. Favorite cuisines include Japanese (especially sushi), Thai, and Indian. For my twenty-fifth birthday, I made my entire family eat haggis.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Unbelievably trivial things. I could overthink a plate of beans with one hemisphere tied behind my back.

Here's something I thought about recently: say someone asks for your opinion of a particular band, musician, or classical composer, and you don't actually know anything about that artist, but you also don't want to admit your ignorance. As long as you know the overall genre of the music and you think you can safely change the subject after one or two sentences, try the following formula: for rock and folk musicians, say you like their early work. For classical composers, say you like their later work. For jazz musicians and classical performers, go for the mid-period work. You don't need any specifics; just toss off a time period with a slightly dismissive tone. I'll bet at least eight times out of ten you get complete agreement. You'll look like an idiot if it turns out the artist in question only recorded one album before dying of a heroin overdose, but that's the chance you take when you feign knowledge to look cool.

See what I mean? I probably spent a good hour thinking up specific examples of musicians who demonstrate the accuracy of my theory, and I'm not even going to use any of them in this response. Trivial.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
My life is an open book, but here are a few possibly interesting tidbits:

I've always wanted to be a writer (of fiction, not just technical manuals), but it's been a long time since I felt inspired to write, or had an idea that drove me to sit down and complete a story. This is partly because I'm intensely critical of my own work.

I was twenty-eight when I finally decided to get a driver's license and a car.

My screen name is an anagram of my first name.

Though I'm deeply in love with the English language in general, it really pisses me off that we don't have a gender-neutral third-person singular personal pronoun. I know standard practice now is to use "they," but then you end up with plural verbs when you're clearly talking about a singular subject, and that makes me sad.
You should message me if
You'd like to wander around downtown Sacramento with me on Second Saturday.

You want a really good recipe for apple pie. Seriously. It's really, really good.

You'd like to hang out for a while sometime, maybe to see a movie or play a game or something. I'm not looking for pen pals, so you should be in the Sacramento area, and I am seeing someone right now, so don't expect anything other than friendship.