32Pittsburgh, United States
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My self-summary
My self-summary

One foot in Pittsburgh, one foot in Washington, DC. And looking forward to trying someplace new, which I should be able to do after graduation.

I'm a fermata. Hold me.

Look at your man. Now back to me. Sadly, I am not Isaiah Mustafa. But free counseling is available if you simply cannot tell us apart all evening.

Job = UPDATE: Computer science and software engineering. Landed an internship and graduation isn't that far away now!

Retail/Foodservice. They just don't have that on there for some reason. Anyway, I wear lots of interesting hats at a touching little small business, and get to do some tutoring at school. Trying to finish college and change my life.

Pets = dogs and cats are both great places to visit but I wouldn't want to live there.

Kids = I'm a late bloomer and don't have enough relationship experience to settle down and start a family, so I'm not looking for that yet.

Looking for my Jenny von Westphalen (though hopefully not to put her through the same thing), or my Hannah Arendt. Or the girl from Tom Stoppard's Arcadia. (Though for all her qualities, I'm looking forward to someone more mature.)

What I'm doing with my life
Any economy out there still based on fossil fuels better watch its back when I'm around. Its days are numbered. Same with societies based on manipulative marketing.

Great Recession update: Or plutocracy and white-collar crime.

Music is the only drug I will ever need.

Okay, maybe sex, too.

Update: Sex drive is a little broken at the moment. I trust that when my life changes again, the neurochemistry will change with it.

I'm really good at
Being the irresistibly handsome result of equal parts Jewish and WASP genetic heritage. If the world were the middle class utopia I wished it was, and I arrived someplace completely new and needed to earn my keep right away, I'd fix computers.

I'm a pro at grabbing paper towels from a two-handed dispenser just the right way with one hand.

The first things people usually notice about me
I'm tall, wear cargo pants, and am in constant danger of having a Jew-fro.

I spend a lot of time thinking about
Watch out, I'm a huge nerd. I care about how things work, how people work, how people feel, the intersection of all those things... technology, the history of technology, economics, justice, sustainability...

At the same time, though, I firmly believe that the only way to "win" at being human is to have fun. Better yet, to always be working towards throwing the next great party... and then having a blast at it. And if you think about it, one can derive all those aforementioned edifices of civilization from that one purpose. ; )

I can get high just walking around taking in the architecture and smell of a place. And by architecture I mean cathedrals or farm shacks. My fantasy is to competently own and maintain an RV, and just never have to pick a place to live... just float gently from place to place, a day or a week or a month at a time.

On a typical Friday night I am
... at work, enjoying the bustle of a Friday night.

... crashed at home watching movies/playing games, and thinking about how much I just love that actor/voice actor, and wondering what else I have seen/heard them in, and firing up IMDB to find out and read a bunch of trivia. UPDATE: TVTROPES

... doing homework.

... out for food or a movie with friends, maybe tagging along as they go drinking if they're the kind that are entertaining when they do.

... indulging in some new fitness fad.

... off on a mission to buy some new piece of equipment, book, supplies, or clothing and loving the adventure of it.

... reading.

... grinding in sad frustration at how hard it is to find quality people to multiplayer game with, in person, like in the old days.

The six things I could never do without
Systems thinking... it's my brain's most natural mode---how does this work, what's wrong with it, how could it be made better...

That "tactile" feedback of doing something masterfully (video games, tennis, playing an instrument, designing a document/some homework, dancing, singing, crafting something, explaining something to someone...)

Attractive women

Hilarious friends

Some money ; ) (for nice domestic things like refrigerators and health insurance)


The most private thing I'm willing to admit
I fell in love with a man, once. He was adorable, gentle, touching, humble, funny, charismatic, intellectual, sweet-hearted, and sensitive.

But boy am I tired of always finding such touching personalities in male packages!

You should message me if
You also laugh or smile at the kind of stuff in my "Other Photos" section.

You like 'em tall, smart, sensitive, and stable.

You think geeks are sexy.

You don't do drugs.

You love ideas.

Music plays a huge role in your life, overtly or quietly, and it's not "top 40" or just a bunch of pop or whatever I see some people mention on here. It's that half of your emotional experience during a movie is from the music. (Well, ok, fine, even I fall for some top 40 occassionally... so call me maybe!)

Guilty pleasure wish: you like the idea of a partner whom you can introduce to the "joy of motion" (you are a dance/yoga/fitness instructor or physical therapist/whatever, with a scientific and educational bend).

You have a trim jawline. : ) ::swoon!::

lol, just saw "More Conservative" on my personality list these days. That's a good one. Must be the "yes" to dating a gun owner...
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Goodness, I need a separate question for all of these.


I don't read nearly enough, so this is basically just "everything in recent memory", but I adored them all.

Update: You know, maybe I'm starting to read enough!

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (by Barbara Kingsolver)
Food, Inc. (by Peter Pringle, unrelated to and better than the movie!)
Banana (by Dan Koeppel)
The Big Necessity (by Rose George)
The God Delusion (by Richard Dawkins... arrogant but still meaningful)
Infidel (by Ayaan Hirsi Ali)
biographies of Karl Marx and Carl Sagan
Fast Food Nation (by Eric Schlosser---finally! My boss was like "how have you not")
Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind (by Gene Logsdon)
Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia (by Andrew Lih)
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements (by Sam Kean, yes that's the title)
Jane Eyre
Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming (by Naomi Oreskes & Erik Conway)
The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (by Sam Harris)
The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood (by James Gleick)
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong (by James W. Loewen)
Fahrenheit 451
The Compass Rose (by Ursula K. Le Guin)
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!
God Is Not Great (by Christopher Hitchens)
Starship Troopers (by Robert A. Heinlein)
The Gate to Women's Country (by Sheri S. Tepper)
The Sparrow (by Mary Doria Russell)
The Female Man (by Joanna Russ)
Chaos (by James Gleick)
River of Gods (by Ian McDonald)
The Jungle (by Upton Sinclair)
Come As You Are (by Emily Nagoski)
How We Got To Now (by Steven Johnson)
A Study in Scarlet
Wuthering Heights

Trying to think back before this list began in 2011... I've had my mind blown by Cryptonomicon (and tried to pick up Anathem but it was so dense I didn't get hooked during that attempt. I have faith; I'll try again.) I re-read Great Expectations and My Antonia from school and appreciated them. I enjoyed Stranger in a Strange Land, and Catch 22... I worked at a public library once that had a "school reading list" section. That helped a lot. I had also already read Omnivore's Dilemma (by Michael Pollan), The New Humanists (ed. John Brockman), and The Man Behind The Microchip (a biography of Robert Noyce).


Update: After a great film analysis class at college, I'm ready to make movies a serious part of my life indefinitely. All those movies my parents tried to show me as a kid but went over my head? The Third Man? Citizen Kane? The Horse's Mouth? I'm ready for them now, and so many others.

Short version: typical boy geek/nerd/dork who, when not down for the count, can absorb more courage zone movies. (I need Hot Fuzz, but enjoyed Lilies and Hotel Rwanda and The Constant Gardener. And Babel, and... Update: Do The Right Thing, and Battleship Potemkin, and La Jetee, and Meshes of the Afternoon)

Long version:
Comfort movies! Even if there are parts I now recognize are terrible...
Star Wars 4-6, Lethal Weapon 1-3, Die Hard 1 and 2, Indiana Jones 1-3, The Matrix, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Ratatouille, The Incredibles, Wall-E, Hunt for Red October, Michael Clayton, Ronin, Boondock Saints, The Mask of Zorro, Ocean's 11, The Fugitive, U.S. Marshals, Black Dynamite, The Negotiator, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Charlie Wilson's War, Gone in 60 Seconds, Charade, the Back to the Future movies, modern superhero stuff like Ironman and Avengers, Road Warrior movies, James Bond movies, Pirates of the Carribean 1, Inception, The Santa Clause, Mission Impossible 1, Leon the Professional... just rewatched Heat at an old enough age to get it and thought it was awesome.

I had a really great time with:
Everything Pixar made that I haven't already talked about (except Cars 2---have avoided seeing it), Zootopia, Syriana, Girl with the Dragon Tatoo (the original--now I have to go see the original Insomnia because I didn't know there was one), Munich, The King's Speech, Clue, Thank You For Smoking, Snatch, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, Inside Job, Gasland, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Groundhog Day, the new Batmans, Men in Black 1 and 2 (wow, 3 was... pretty good!), Office Space, Platoon, The Usual Suspects, Silver Linings Playbook, Coco Before Chanel...

I realize now I really love movies, and recognizing fabulous screenwriting and how it makes you feel. Love being brought to tears by gripping moments. Talk movies to me! There are so many more to see.


I always avoid watching TV shows because it feels like a dangerously huge time commitment, even though my friends are constantly nagging me about so many that sound convincingly awesome. (I would, of course, want to watch them "properly", from the beginning, paying full attention to each and every episode.) But as soon as I have someone to cuddle up on the couch with who wants to watch them with me, BRING THEM ALL ON. (Ok fine I've seen a little Community, Venture Bros., and Burn Notice and they were tons of fun. And somehow I still haven't seen Firefly, so at this point I'm saving it for a special occasion.) Oh and Jesus Christ DAILY SHOW--HOW COULD I FORGET THIS I DON'T EVEN

Update: Well, I know "how I could even". I've just had a lot of the idealistic hope from younger days disillusioned out of me by recent years. Not the idealism, just the hope. Politics is more depressing than exciting now, and I haven't watched the Daily Show for a long time. I miss it, and when I feel just the right way, will enjoy going back to it (and catching up on what I missed).

Update update: And now the Jon Stewart era will have both bookends... love you Jon...


I grew up on (and love) classical music. Rachmaninoff's piano concerto #2 is a gorgeous example. My homegrown interest is film soundtracks (and game soundtracks). For the soul, nothing beats John Williams' themes or atmospheric/mood sections, or, say, Oblivion's atmosphere tracks. But then again, same with belting Cee Lo's Fuck You with everyone at a karaoke bar or in the car. Don't worry, thanks to some college a capella, Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny, the Rock Band games, and lots of friends, I can appreciate rock and everything else, now, too. Oh yeah and thank god for Weird Al Yankovic.

But I can go so many places with music. Bring on the Gershwin, bring on the African drumming, bring on the Daft Punk, bring on the stone-church choral music. Bring on the Motown classics, bring on the soft rock, bring on the Simon & Garfunkel, bring on the barbershop (as long as its subtle and clever and not trying too hard), bring on the Avenue Q. I love, love, love harmony and the chance to sing it with others.

I've firmly decided that one of life's great joys will be making music with other people. I've got some piano in my background so I have something to start with, but I've got some work and investment to do in order to get there...


I'll keep filling this in as I reflect back in nostalgia... I'm positive I'm not remembering all the important ones...

Eager Little Kid:
Carmen Sandiego, Gizmos and Gadgets and other 'Learning Company' gems, Civilization, SimCity, The Incredible Machine

Enraptured Pre-Teen:
SNES Zelda and MegaMan X's, Secret of Mana... Civilization II, Colonization, and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri... SimCity 2000 and 3000, SimTower... adventure games like EcoQuest(?) and Day of the Tentacle... maybe stupid old Warcraft II and Command & Conquer, my first RTS's... Star Wars: Dark Forces and X-Wing (the original!)... Castles: Siege & Conquest...

Splurging Teen:
All the N64 classics like Mario/Mariokart, Zelda, and Smash Brothers... MegaMan Legends (<3!)... the golden age of LucasArts Star Wars releases (Jedi Knight, X-Wing Alliance, Rebellion, Shadows of the Empire, Rogue Squadron, even Masters of Teras Kasi, lol!)... StarCraft... Fallout... Sonic Adventure... to my great luck, I got infected by an MMO at this point: Asheron's Call. I could do it, have a great time with it, and get over it, and be innoculated against future, far more potent epidemics...

Spoiled Young Adult:
Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Halo (on the PC, thank you), Civilization III, Counter-Strike, Zelda: Windwaker, Knights of the Old Republic, Portal, Diablo II

Troubled Early Twenties:
Oblivion, Zelda: Twilight Princess, Anno 1404, Civilization IV, Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress 2, Fallout 3, Psychonauts, Borderlands (even though I ended up hating it, it started off as a good cause---a way for four friends now in far corners of the country to "hang out" together), Rock Band, Valkyria Chronicles

Right Before Defeating The Addiction:
Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age: Origins, Left 4 Dead 2

Someday, I will game again, carefully. Only a handful of games interest me anymore anyway. And I have finally grown up enough that no matter how enticing, they all end up disappointingly "limited" anyway, and I can walk away from them untroubled. But a friend or housemate playing a game in the living room, while I cook or something, remains the number one way for me to feel like I'm at home. I had that once and miss it.

When the truly charming and engrossing games like Psychonauts or Prince of Persia: Sands of Time come along, well, that should be rare enough to be entirely healthy and called-for... like ice cream.

I also appreciate board and party games like Bang!, Charades, Scrabble, Cranium, etc. Cards Against Humanity should, by all rights, be great---but after playing it just once, I no longer get excited about it? Maybe it's full of cliches for me now. But hey, with the right people, maybe it can be great.

Update: Just played Scattergories for the first time since playing Scattergories, Jr. as a little kid (and forgetting entirely what the game was about) and it was fabulous!!

Update Update: Concept, Word on the Street, Codenames, Anomia!


I love meat but hate CAFO's, and I love sugar, fat, and salt, but I also love what I've learned about the physiology of our metabolism. So I'm definitely a "health-itarian", shooting for ecologically conscientious, life-improving food... and as Pollan says, "mostly plants"! And, what do you know, it always ends up being delicious anyway.

I was so jealous and envious of people who could cook, I never thought I would learn to cook, I never saw how it could happen, I didn't think I was the type, and at no time did I ever feel like I was learning to cook, but by golly... it's been two (Update: five?) years since I started reading about food issues, shopping at a food co-op, and poking at things experimentally and... I really have some things down. I'm so proud and content to have my life together in this one way... I can turn a kitchen, a chef's knife, a refrigerator, and a stove into a small repertoire of good meals.

As of a few weeks ago, I have a Crockpot. ::sexy growl:: Next step, bread baking.
The two of us