29Manchester, United Kingdom
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My self-summary
If I had to describe myself in four words, I think they would be "abnormally adventurous PhD student". Technically I'm supposed to be spending most of my time shuttered away in a library reading about British and American transport history, but I periodically get bored with that and run off to do crazy things like going to Orkney in January or riding my bike to places for which there exists a perfectly good train route. I haven't had any academic disasters yet, so I guess it's going pretty well for me so far.

My more routine distractions from work include going to the gym, reading, running, hiking, cooking, swing dancing, and occasionally geeking out over certain movies, TV shows, books, or video games. I try to maintain balance between physical exercise and more sedentary pursuits.

I came to the UK from Canada (Toronto and Halifax, specifically) about two years ago to do my masters degree in Edinburgh, expecting it to just be a one-year trip. Through a complicated chain of events, though, I somehow found myself here in Manchester to study some more. I may even stay on longer. I kind of like it here.
What I’m doing with my life
The current plan is to get my PhD, and find somebody who is willing to pay vast sums of money for me to talk about the cultural history of transportation. I've got a pretty easygoing outlook on my future direction, though (ask me sometime about how many different careers I considered before I wound up here), so it's entirely possible that something will change and my life will wind up heading in some completely different direction.
I’m really good at
Cooking. I cook nearly all my meals from scratch, and I love an opportunity to make something really fancy.

Swing dancing. I've been practicing for a few years, so I know my way around a dance floor, provided that the music is reasonably swing-able.

Cycling. I've been on a few long-ish bike trips which I'm pretty proud of. I'm also quite adept at dodging traffic on the curry mile.
The first things people usually notice about me
Here in Manchester, it's probably my accent. It tends to be immediately obvious that I'm not from around here. Most people think I'm American, which is perfectly understandable, but for some reason I've had several people guess that I'm Irish. Weird.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Books: Way too many to list. I read almost constantly. I just got caught up on the Game of Thrones series, and I'm also a big fan of Robert J. Sawyer's science fiction. I absolutely idolize George Orwell. I also read a lot of nonfiction; my current favourites are Reza Aslan's How to Win a Cosmic War, Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, and Jared Diamond's Collapse.

Movies: I'm split on movies. On the one hand, I really enjoy a really good, dramatic movie that gets me thinking, but on the other hand I also enjoy really stupid summer blockbusters. Currently my favourites are Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Sunshine, Inception, and Argo.

Shows: Game of Thrones (obviously), Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, The Newsroom, Battlestar Galactica, and Dr. Who. I watch Dexter, but mainly just because I'm getting strung along by all the cliffhangers- I think the show as a whole is a bit past its prime. I also enjoy TV documentaries. Human Planet is one of my favourites.

Music: The Strokes, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Killers, Wolfmother, Admiral Fallow, Mother Mother, Ben Caplan and the Causal Smokers, Gorillaz, Modest Mouse, Danger Mouse, Deadmau5 Parov Stelar, Crystal Castles, Beethoven, Bach, George Gershwin, and Maurice Ravel, to name a few. I recently discovered an Australian ukelele electro-swing outfit that plays songs about sustainability. My tastes are a bit eclectic.

Food: Just about anything if it's cooked well. Some of my particular favourites are venison, sushi, and good barbecue.
Six things I could never do without
-My bike. It gets me around and is a lot of fun.
-Some form of exercise. I had a mild jiujitsu injury that meant I couldn't exercise this spring, and it caused me to go a little bit crazy.
-Tea. I'd never do anything in the morning without it. Besides; it's delicious.
-Books. See above.
-The internet. Not just because I'm a geek (though I am), but also because it's basically the only cost-effective way to keep in touch with my friends back home.
-A half-decent kitchen.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
I did my undergraduate in philosophy and it didn't do much to get me a job, but I still find philosophical issues really interesting. I have little debates about ethics and epistemology with myself all the time.

I also spend a lot of time making elaborate and ambitious travel plans, most of which never actually happen. As of this writing, I'm considering a bike trip across Ireland. A man can dream.
On a typical Friday night I am
Depends on my mood, and what's going on. Sometimes I have a quick afternoon pint after work and then head home to relax; other times I go out and party until the wee hours.
You should message me if
You know any good pubs, cafes, bookshops, cycling trails, or hangout spots around Manchester, and you'd care to share. Or if you're just a cool person who wants to chat.
The two of us