35 Brooklyn, United States
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My self-summary
I am from California, and spent the past four years working on research vessels in the Gulf of Mexico. I was essentially a whale watcher (and listener - I monitor acoustically through the night). It was great.

Now I'm studying to become a high school teacher and I have no idea what I was thinking when I made that decision. I am terrified. I currently reside in Santa Cruz, CA.

I earned my Master's degree in Literature from the University of California Santa Cruz. From my experience, a Master's degree in Literature is little more than a fancy piece of paper and something I can mention that makes me sound sophisticated.

I write – If I have a driving force in life, this is it. I've been lucky enough to get a few things published.

I've been known to make bad decisions just so that I can find out what the outcome will be.
What I’m doing with my life
I work on research vessels in the Gulf of Mexico. If I detect (visually or acoustically) a whale, or anything really, I include that information in a biweekly report. Excited so far? Well, it gets particularly interesting when a whale swims too close to our vessel and I have to tell the crew to shut down operations. That's right, I save whales!

Edit - I'm now teaching teenagers - it's even more noble.
I’m really good at
Reading. I'm great at it. I can read all the time and I never get bad at it at all.
I'm mediocre at writing.
The first things people usually notice about me
I'm regularly told that I look like actors I don't particularly want to be associated with. Chris Penn, for example. Thanks a lot for telling me I look like Sean Penn's fat, druggy, dead brother.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Books - Give me grit with a high brow approach. Crime fiction, H.D., Hemingway, Joan Didion, Cormac McCarthy, Patricia Highsmith, Fred Exley, Raymond Carver, Jim Thompson, Clarice Lispector, Chester Himes, Richard Ford.

Movies - Chinatown has it all. I'm not discerning enough about my love for horror flicks. I like watching any movie and then having a conversation about it. Really, I enjoy all visual culture and thinking about the artwork that we produce, whether banal or sophisticated.

Music - Cut my teeth on punk and indie. Some hip hop. Even more country. Mostly I dig old soul and R&B - if I know about any type of music, that's it. Recent shows I've seen and loved - Irma Thomas, Bettye LaVette, We Were Promised Jet Packs, and Scott H. Biram.

Shows - I don't watch a lot of TV. The Wire is the best show ever. True Detective would have been historical if not for the final episode. Totally dig Futurama. Despite the not much TV caveat, I'm embarrassed to say that I've spent whole days watching nostalgia countdowns on VH1.

Food - I love food and have no dietary restrictions. I consider it an adventure to seek out good eats.
The six things I could never do without
The home row
My duffel bag (or some other implement to carry my possessions like a hobo)
An MP3 player
Cafes (and the coffee they serve)
My smart phone's map function (yes, I'm a child of technology)
Online travel agencies

Any one of those things and my life would be different - not in a way that would kill me, but in a multitude of small ways that would have resulted in a life unrecognizable from the one I lead today.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
According to the OKCupid personality charts I'm very artsy, sex-driven, organized, and compassionate. I think about art, sex, and empathy many times a day. I suppose that the organization just comes without forethought.
On a typical Friday night I am
These days - honest - doing homework or correcting papers.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I have a pen name.
You should message me if
If you listen to Sam Cooke. Doubly if you listen to Solomon Burke.

You should not message me if - You're a terrible tipper, or are generally rude to folks working in customer service (trust me, if this describes you, we will not get along).