I love to travel and to try new things. Lately, I've been exploring my own backyard, in New Jersey, finding wonderful, surprising places. I enjoy being out in nature, especially kayaking, and I get very excited about seeing wildlife.
I don't watch TV as much as most people—not because I think it’s “bad” (au contraire, a lot of it is pretty damn good these days) but simply because I’m too busy living my life, socializing with real people, playing live music, etc. I'm not especially materialistic and don’t really care that much if I go to a fancy restaurant or to a great thin-crust brick-oven pizza place, and most nights I like to make a good, healthy meal at home (I love to cook). I don’t need to have top-of-the-line of everything. I truly believe the best things in life are free: good conversation, books (free if they're from the library), the great outdoors, playing music (free after the one-time investment in a guitar or other instrument!), good feelings about life.
My background is Jewish but I consider myself a secular humanist. There’s too much tribalism in this world, and I find that the best people I know come from all sorts of backgrounds. I have a master’s degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins. I read constantly and listen to NPR, watch documentaries and lots of news (and OK, I'll admit it, MSNBC too--I love Rachel!), and read the New York Times and various bloggers.
I’m likely to click with someone who is intellectual, engaged in the world, has strong passions, is reasonably sociable, and is into the life of the mind but not neglectful of the body. I’m very independent and rather opinionated (though not closed-minded) and seek someone who can appreciate those qualities.
My work is fascinating and creative, demanding of both literary skills and people skills, and I feel lucky to be in it. I edit books and also represent them as a literary agent. However, I'm not a workaholic. I love my downtime, especially my social time and music-playing time.
I'm in the process of moving from amateur, largely apologetic musician status to semi-professional (with great emphasis on the word "semi"--we're talking next to nothing in terms of money, but it's the thought that counts!). This also gives me tremendous satisfaction, as only five years ago, I could never have envisioned performing in front of anyone! And now I do it all the time.
I do appreciate fiction, but true stories like hers, or "Angela's Ashes" or "The Glass Castle," tend to move me more than anything. I am fascinated by human behavior and what makes people tick. Why do people do the strange things they do, both good and bad? I will never stop asking that question or seeking to further my understanding of these odd creatures we call human beings.
I read "The Omnivore's Dilemma" a couple of years ago, and it forever changed the way I think about food. Should be required reading for everyone who's ever set foot in a supermarket.
I also read books on politics ("What's the Matter With Kansas" for example) and economics, the latter mainly because of the influence it has on politics and on all of our lives. Lately, I've been fascinated by the interviews Michael Lewis has been giving about his new book "Flash Boys."
I have read all or parts of the spate of recent books by the various new atheist authors, such as Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion), Christopher Hitchens, and who is the other guy? (It's kind of like the Three Tenors). I think their idea that the world no longer has the luxury of engaging in magical thinking is pretty right on.
Music: Very much a part of my life. I certainly revere the classic rock/folk/blues icons: Bowie, Dylan, Clapton, Joni Mitchell, and on and on. But I really listen to more contemporary stuff. I tend to like "alt rock" and generally not the most mainstream stuff. I especially like hearing live music in small venues by people who are only moderately famous.
Movies: Foreign films and some indies. But even the indies are too much about cinematography, editing, and acting (all good things in themselves), and not enough about plain old good writing and storytelling. I'm often disappointed by movies, unfortunately.
The Daily Show - I don't watch much TV, but when I can I watch Jon Stewart's brilliant show. He makes me laugh through my tears at the absurdity of our political life in the USA.
My guitar - sometimes it feels like an appendage.
My capo -- my voice is higher than that of most folk/pop singers, so I always have to change the key.
My iPod -- mainly because it makes exercising at the gym bearable.