38Blacksburg, United States
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My self-summary
I'm a professor who just moved to Blacksburg this summer for a new job at Virginia Tech. I'm originally from DC, but have moved around a lot in recent years (Boston, Princeton, St. Louis, Easton PA). Hoping to finally settle in here!

I'm a huge nerd in some ways, but not in the ways many people expect. I am definitely a stereotypical academic in the sense that I love wearing corduroy blazers and holing up in ivory towers. But I was never really into science fiction or video games.

I AM huge nerd over politics….I attended the Democratic National Convention even back in high school. At some point, I decided I didn't quite have the right personality to actually be a politician, so now I’m a political science professor, and am very happy with my decision. FWIW, I am liberal Democrat, but as a student of politics, I also welcome debate as much as blanket agreement.

I am also passionate about music, both listening and performing; I am a singer and guitarist and love 80's and 90's Britpop most. Kind of wish I was in a city again where I can go to concerts when I feel like just like back when I lived in DC or Boston; is southern VA really such a wasteland for this sort of thing?

Finally, I love playing board games (pretty big collection of German titles in the back of my closet) and poker (briefly semi-professionally while in grad school….see the photos for my career ‘highlight’). I’ve never actual played strip poker, but I’ll bet I could beat you at strip ‘Funkenschlag’ (probably not as scandalous as it sounds)!
What I’m doing with my life
I teach American Politics and constitutional law to undergrads, and presumably spend the rest of my time on "research". For a few weeks every year, I pretend to be a professional poker player. ;)
I’m really good at
Singing, guitar, poker chip tricks, knowing the electoral histories of members of Congress, the German board game "Puerto Rico". I was never very good at most video games, but I was great at the games where all you had to do was push one button really fast.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Music: Brit pop! Blur, Smiths, Radiohead, Beatles, Super Furry Animals, Muse, Mansun, Bjork, Stone Roses, Prince, The Everly Brothers, Paul Simon, British Sea Power, the Pipettes, Tennis, Grizzly Bear. I've heard you are supposed to like best whatever music came out when you were I guess my favorite album is OK Computer.

Books: The Law of Democracy, Political Game Theory, Harrington on Hold 'em, Wuthering Heights. I am now reading the fifth Game of Thrones book, "Creation" by Gore Vidal, and "To the Finland Station" by Edmund Wilson.

Movies: High Fidelity, Rounders, Office Space, Josie & the Pussycats. I love comedies in general, and hate horror movies and stupid action movies. But I don't take movies that seriously.

TV: I pretty much like all the shows that all the critics like (Bojack Horseman, The Wire, Mad Men, Game of Thrones). Underrated shows: The Good Wife, You're the Worst, Sifl & Olly. NFL football on Sundays in the fall.

Food: Pretty much particular favorites are sushi and Chipotle and iced tea. But love trying new foods of any origin. Except mushrooms.
Six things I could never do without
OK, confining this to physical objects and not abstract concepts or people:
1.) My iPad
2.) The latest edition of The Almanac of American Politics
3.) The Stone Roses by The Stone Roses (I lied in the "my favorite" section...this is actually my favorite album)
4.) A guitar
5.) My Caesars Diamond Card
6.) Tea (hot or cold)
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Preparing my classes and figuring out what my next research project will be, I guess.

But seriously, what is the appropriate answer here? Existential angst? What I am going to have for dinner? When your job is academic research, all you have is time to think, and most of it is lots of stuff.

I do find I do a lot of my best work (i.e. thinking) on late-night walks around my neighborhood....they really clear my head.
On a typical Friday night I am
I'm a big fan of live concerts and shows of almost any type. Last four shows I've been to:
- Scottish electronic pop band Chvrches
- Chamber music quintet playing Beethoven & Korngold
- Australian comedian Jim Jeffries
- The Book of Mormon on Broadway

But I've found these opportunities to be a bit too infrequent around here. Any suggestions?

I also love going out to eat, hiking, and used to hit the casinos for poker...any around here?. Other times, I'll just find myself at home watching TV, enjoying a beer and maybe a cigar in my sunroom.

I'll go out of town about one weekend a month, either visiting my family in DC, or my friends spread out around the country at this point.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
As much as I wish to avoid associations with Paul Ryan, I'm doing P90X.
You should message me if
I'm really non-judgmental about superficial stuff, so if you just feel like saying "Hi", please do!
The two of us