34 Washington, United States
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My self-summary
***Update*** 7/28/13: So when I said I'd be getting back from Russia in June, it turns out that meant late July. But as of today, I'm back in DC! Will be responding to messages soon, but may have to get a little creative in order to do so promptly. Hope nobody minds if I start shooting out video introductions!***

I am the original renaissance dork. I'm writing this profile on a computer that was custom-made for me by a friend who builds them recreationally, in exchange for my teaching her Latin. She and I met 15 years ago on a fan forum for a cartoon called ReBoot. Seriously: DORK (but I do seem to be great at forming lifelong bonds with the right kind of people).

Note carefully, however: just because I'M a nerd, it doesn't mean you have to be!

I have also been described as the rare pompous blowhard who can actually back it up with substance and style. I'm reasonably certain this was intended as a compliment.

At first glance, some people seem to think I'm a boring old curmudgeon, but when you get to know me better you'll see that I am in fact a vivacious young curmudgeon. That's really all you need to know, but if you're curious, here are a few details:
It was apparent early on that my family would never need to worry about making space on the mantle for my Heisman Trophy. I was more the kind of kid who would read Star Trek technical manuals or memorize the periodic table for fun. Thanks to a brilliant teacher, at age 8 I could construct the Platonic and Archimedean solids with a compass, ruler, paper and glue, so I spent a lot of time futzing with recreational geometry too. I became (and today remain) a walking repository of song lyrics from both Animaniacs and "Weird Al" Yankovic (both of which are incredibly useful when I find myself needing to entertain children).

Then, in the summers, I would leave civilization entirely behind and go canoeing around the wilderness of northern Canada for seven weeks at a time. This put lots of (metaphorical) hair on my chest, plus I would come back a chiseled, rugged little Adonis who was temporarily bully-proof. Then I would go back to sitting at school and reading Dune books at home, and rapidly cease to be any sort of Adonis, and any sort of bully-proof, until the following summer.

In high school, I finished fourth-year Latin in my third year of study and got heavily into the Roman world generally, which I still can't stop talking about today (because it's constantly relevant, dammit!).

In college, I ended up with a four-part combined major, but generally speaking, I learned a lot more about any given subject when I didn't have a professor in the way.

After graduation, I worked for the State Department, but then I got restless and moved on to spend a summer as a college professor in Afghanistan, where I taught writing, algebra, American history, geometry, physics, and three classes in sociology.

I have equally vehement opinions about the wisdom of the Meiji restoration, the canonicity of the Star Wars prequels, the "Great Man theory" as expressed by Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment, voice actors in Batman cartoons (Kevin Conroy or death), and the generalship of George McClellan.

I'm also Co-Director for Panels at MAGFest, an awesome nerd convention that you really, really should go to if you can. It's a hell of a party.

My nerd flag could shade a medium-sized continent, and I wave it high. I am, in a word, hopeless. You have been warned.
What I’m doing with my life
I work with international students and professionals here in DC, teaching them (and sometimes their children) high-level English and whatever other smarty-pants wisdom I think they might find useful for living and working in America. With the kids in particular, this usually involves a lot of history. I am an expert in making that stuff awesome.

Currently working on launching a webseries. This will also be awesome.
I’m really good at
Many things. A friend once described me as a "jack of all trades and master of most." That said, there are areas of striking, hilarious, childlike deficiency - I'm the quintessential absent-minded professor.

As far as relationships go, I'm an excellent listener (which is easy when you actually give a damn), which is why it's weird that probably my most useful skill, in every aspect of life, is talking. I think it comes from being interested in freakin' everything. I've been told by several friends that listening to me talk about nerd stuff is therapeutic for them; it's not uncommon for me to get a phone call along the lines of, "I'm depressed. Tell me something about history?"

Relatedly, the most fun I've ever had was my experience in radio. For three years, back in high school, my best friend and I did a weekly drivetime show on a local FM station. It was an absolute blast from beginning to end and we were flabbergastingly successful. My prom date was the winner of a call-in contest. We sold t-shirts around the school and boosted the station's operating budget by over 10%. We were - dare I say it - popular.

(then it was off to college and everything went to crap)
The first things people usually notice about me
Generally speaking, probably the fact that I laugh like a supervillain. Once, I had a cold that somehow disabled the lower registers of my voice; consequently I was in full-on Joker mode for an entire weekend. The illness was miserable but I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss that part...
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Oh, everydamnthing. I never stop. The nice thing about this is that I'm completely impervious to boredom. Metro delays, plane flights, long waits for tardy clients, you name it; I generally don't even bother bringing a book anymore. It's stupendous. The flipside, of course, is that it never. sits. still. This makes ordinary mundane activities of daily life surprisingly difficult.

I suppose if there's anything I really focus on routinely (which is a big "if;" seriously, it's a madhouse in here), it's the situation for women in the developing world. Personal and professional experience has brought this issue home to me in a serious way. If I had unlimited funds and the freedom to spend them however I wanted, I'd build girls' schools in every crappy village in the Middle East, Central Asia and the sub-continent; personally design the curricula for each locality and train locals myself to be the teachers; and give the godawful barbarian warlords who run the place whatever it takes to keep the schools open. It's not the answer to every problem, but it is the answer to some pretty big honking problems, and the indispensable foundation upon which all other solutions must be built.

As it is, as a non-Muslim white male of (sometimes severely) limited means, my ability to get involved seems to be pretty much zero. So... yeah, that weighs on my mind a lot. Depressed yet?
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I included "short-term dating" on the list of things I'm looking for below, just for safety's sake, but honest to God, I have no earthly idea what it means.
You should message me if
For what it's worth, there is a dizzying array of traits I find attractive, but very few particular musts. By far the most indispensable quality is a razor-sharp, desert-dry sense of humor.

Similarly, I should emphasize that if you are very, very smart, and/or knowledgeable about subjects where I'm not, and eager to share, these are good things. I understand there are a lot of ridiculous insecure man-children who get threatened by smart women, but this is one fault from which I do not suffer. Go ahead and knock my socks off.

I believe the foundation of a romantic connection is a great friendship. That said, I'm long past the point where I bother with "just friends;" I'm lucky enough to enjoy many close, deep friendships in my life already, so if you know if it's not gonna happen between us, let's not waste each other's time.

With this in mind, message me if you are intrigued, morbidly curious, or otherwise inspired to further investigate the wonder and mystery that is me.