Before I continue, a few recent updates:
1) I recently moved (in August), from Bakersfield to Thousand Oaks, and I'm very glad to be back in the Los Angeles area (which is much nicer). The reasons for this are almost too many to list...
2) I also recently bought my (first) home, which is pretty exciting, and still feels slightly surreal.. I love having my own backyard, which even has an awesome waterfall in it! Pretty cool..
3) Although I've been on OkCupid for a while now, I have to honestly say, I haven't been taking it very seriously up to this point. The main reason was, almost all of the matches were....NOT in Bakersfield. That is no longer the case.
4) Overall, I feel like I'm more in a position to really pursue a relationship than I was before. Teaching still keeps me busy, but mentally, I feel more ready to "settle down", so to speak. So, with that... here goes..
I would describe myself as laid-back, down-to-earth, and intelligent... I'm a thinker, a little bit of a dreamer, and something of an idealist- which is why I'm a teacher... :) I love working with kids, challenging them (and myself) to do and be more than they thought possible. For me, teaching is more than just a job or occupation, it's who I am- part philosopher, part explorer, part mentor, part role-model, part friend. I love seeing the growth and development in my kids, the relationships and bonds we form, and the little lights that go on, not only when they understand, but when they BELIEVE... :)
A few other words I would use to describe myself are: adventurous, athletic, creative, a little competitive, slightly introverted, (occasionally) perfectionist, honest, loyal, and real. I am an INTP on the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, if you're familiar with that. I think I’m pretty open-minded, although I'm skeptical of everything (yes, even of skepticism)... I have a pretty good imagination, and I have a sarcastic (and sometimes silly) sense of humor. I am pretty laid-back most of the time, although I sometimes have periods of intense focus and energy when I am doing something I really enjoy. I am also a romantic at heart, believe quality is much better than quantity, and prefer waiting for the right person rather than settling for something less.
I expect a lot out of people, but that's because I'm willing to give a lot in return. I appreciate hard work, honesty, and people who have good intentions. I really enjoy the simple things in life, and think that happiness is in large part a state of mind. I also appreciate a witty sense of humor, and enjoy being around people who can make me laugh. I like dogs, children, sunsets, the ocean, thunderstorms & lightning, and the raw power and beauty of nature. I like to travel, to learn about other cultures, and try to appreciate and respect authenticity. I also like to continue to learn new things, and enjoy museums, aquariums, the discovery channel, the cooking channel (and other educational TV), and National Geographic magazine among others. I've been to eleven countries, and hope to eventually get the chance to travel around the world. For Spring Break, I'm going hiking and camping in Yosemite National Park. It should be fun. :)
I just recently went camping in Sequoia National Park with a friend and we had a great time, despite the fact that the temperature got down to 16 degrees at night. The stars were spectacular, and the Giant Sequoia trees were truly amazing...
I like thinking and debating, and can critical-think like nobody's business.. I enjoy writing, and philosophy, and hope to one day write one or more books (this profile is already on its way to becoming one..). I was once good at soccer, but I haven't played in a long time. I am an Eagle Scout, so I can tie lots of knots, and start a fire with no matches.. =) For more, you'll just have to meet me... =)
A few of my favorite movies: Oh Brother, where Art Thou? (I love this movie- if you understand it, you understand me!); The Shawshank Redemption; Eat, Drink, Man, Woman; Far & Away; Saving Private Ryan; The Princess Bride; Waking Ned Devine; The Lord of the Rings Trilogy; Star Wars; The Indiana Jones Trilogy; Like Water for Chocolate; Amelie; Avatar; Predator; Multiplicity... ok, that's enough...
Television: I barely ever watch television, but when I do, it's usually National Geographic, Science Channel, or something educational. I can't stand most "Reality TV" shows.. I will say, I watched the "Breaking Bad" series on Netflix (after many recommendations) and I thought it was pretty good.
A few bands I like are: Dave Matthews, Alanis Morrisette (these two are very interesting from a synaesthetic perspective (see below)), Linkin Park, Foo Fighters, Evanescence, Muse, Guns n' Roses, Enya, etc... I also like classical music, some jazz, etc. I would say my tastes are fairly eclectic..
Food- Anything hot and spicy! In particular, I love Cajun/creole food, Thai, Indonesian, Indian, Chinese (especially Szechuan and Hunan), Caribbean (jerked pork), Vietnamese, Mexican, and Ethiopian. I also like sushi, dim sum, and Korean BBQ. I can eat insanely hot food (the stuff that makes the cooks come out to see if you actually survived), thus, my (screen) name... I also like real barbeque (slow-smoked pulled pork or beef brisket), and authentic Texas chili. In case you couldn't tell, I like food....a lot... =)
A few local favorites... India Sweets & Spices (on Topanga), Khun Dang (Thai), Simpang Asia (Indonesian), Gaby's (Lebanese), Los Toros...
Spicy Foods, Coffee, Dark Chocolate
The Beauty of Nature
Athletic Movement and Exercise
The Idea that There's Still Hope for the World
I also spend a lot of time wondering about the mysteries of the Universe. I can tie my brain in a triple knot. Perhaps yours too! I question everything. I think. I write. I reflect. I think some more.. I devote a serious amount of brainpower to trying to discover and explore "truth"... Will I find the answers? Maybe. But whether I find the ultimate answers or not, the journey in itself is important to me.. It's what makes me who I am..
Life is fascinating to me.. I like to read about historical individuals, and feel connected with kindred spirits throughout history- the thinkers, writers, philosophers... I'd like to meet them all, and have lots of long talks... =)
A short list of a few people I admire, who I would like to have in-depth conversations with.. (some still living):
Lawrence Krauss, Sam Harris, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Bertrand Russell, Nikola Tesla, Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, Oscar Wilde, William Shakespeare, Leonardo da Vinci, Gallileo, Jesus, Buddha...
(A brief tribute to Ambrose Bierce...) (my own) ;)
1. A conglomeration of hot gas, held together by its own self-attraction, and frequently surrounded by a variety of lesser bodies, which were not hot enough or dense enough to achieve a sustained reaction. While often captivating when viewed from a distance, stars are uniformly intolerable at close range.
2) I would really like to find someone who is intelligent, moral, and wise... I need to be able to respect who you are as a person, both by what you do, and who you are. I'm looking for a person that I would consider to be an "enlightened human being." Someone who is philosophically-minded, and who lives their values on a daily basis.
I want to find someone that is kind, empathetic, family-oriented, who loves dogs and kids, and treats others with respect. You are at peace in nature. You respect the Earth. You value truth. You know that what is popular is not always right. You believe in something greater than just yourself. You want to make a difference. You inspire others by your example. You seek to understand. You help others.
You find pleasure in simple things. You're affectionate. You are basically a happy person. You see life as an adventure, and want to explore the world together. You like to exercise, are athletic, and are not afraid of physically-challenging or adventurous activities (rock climbing, caving, hiking, etc.). Family is important to you.
A few additional characteristics that I'm looking for in my ideal match: You are genuine, down-to-earth, humble, friendly, comfortable, laid-back, (highly) intelligent, spiritual, curious, creative, a freethinker, witty, fun-loving, optimistic, athletic, an adventurer, a companion, a friend, a soul-mate...?