43Thousand Oaks, United States
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My self-summary
The short version: Teacher, Hiker, Freethinker, Nature & Animal Lover, Photographer, Traveler, Dreamer, Aspiring writer, Drinker of much coffee and eater of ridiculously spicy foods.

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. :)
What I’m doing with my life
I teach Biology and Chemistry to high school kids. Teaching is very rewarding to me, in a lot of different ways. In my "free time", I like to travel, go hiking and camping, work out, read, cook various cuisines from around the world, and I really enjoy photography. If you're interested, here's a link to my Flickr page:


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’m really good at
Some of the things I'm reasonably good at are: cooking (I can make world-class jambalaya and chicken sauce piquant); drawing; learning foreign languages (I speak French and some German, and am learning Spanish); playing Blokus, chess, and other visual strategy games; photography; martial arts; and a few other things...
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... =)
The first things people usually notice about me
I felt like consulting others for this question, because honestly, I'm not sure. However, people have commented that: I "am tall," "have a nice smile," or "seem very intelligent." I'm also opinionated about topics that I have spent a lot of time thinking about. My opinions are not rigid, however. I'm pretty open-minded and like to look at things from different angles. I can (and do) play devil's advocate about practically any topic. This is part of the way I attempt to arrive at "truth." ;)
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
I really enjoy reading, although it tends to be more non-fiction than fiction (at least in recent times). A few of the books I've particularly enjoyed were: A People's History of the United States; Guns, Germs, & Steel; Salt; A Confederacy of Dunces; Chaos; and The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce. I really enjoy anything that makes me think, or gives me new insight or perspectives... =)

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...
Six things I could never do without
Intellectual Stimulation
Spicy Foods, Coffee, Dark Chocolate
The Beauty of Nature
Athletic Movement and Exercise
The Idea that There's Still Hope for the World
My Family
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Ways to be a better teacher; how to make a lasting difference in my students' lives, inspire them to achieve greatness, and make the world a better place.
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) ;)
Star (noun)
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.
On a typical Friday night I am
Enjoying a tasty beverage, eating some delicious food, hanging out with friends, and watching a movie or reading a good book (or possibly several). Friday night activities, of course, depend highly on who I am with.. The one thing I CAN say, however, is that I will never, EVER be in a club!... I would rather be struck by lightning... twice.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I have Synaesthesia with sounds/colors... This means that when I hear certain tones or sounds, I see different colors- usually cloud-like wisps of colors (greens, purples, yellows, dark reds, etc.) that move across my field of vision like fireworks... Listening to music is a very interesting experience for me. Your voice will also have a certain color (depending on the tone).. Ask me if you want to learn more about it. :) As an aside, this has nothing to do with "auras"- I'm not a psychic (at least not that I know of). ;)
You should message me if
1) You should message me if (and only if) you are actually willing to have an actual, non-ADD conversation (chat)... Now that that is out of the way...

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...?
The two of us