I long for mellow summer days where I can embrace the beauty of blue skies and balmy heat. I'm very pleased that summer is slowly arriving in the Bay Area.
My library is a portmanteau of novels, science, history and politics, and travel guides. And, of course, the New Yorker's cartoons and tart social satire. (This has to be juxtaposed by my recent gesture to the conservative side by subscribing to The Economist.)
I enjoy cooking feasts redolent with European and Asian flavors and scents so that I can relive my travel experiences (without the mishaps!).
Often you will find me wandering down the street admiring (and perhaps mocking) the Berkeley or San Franscisco experiences (such as intriguing art cars or extraordinary street "artists").
When dance companies such as Mark Morris or the American Ballet Theater visit town, I'm invariably watching in the audience. If there's an art exhibition on, I'll be in the crowd, with the Asian Art Museum and SF MOMA being my local choices.
And I love to exchange reviews of books that I've just read, or foreign films that I've seen, particularly over delicious dishes or unusual teas from Asia.
But I also have misspent moments where I dedicate myself to bicycling, bird-watching, and hiking in the beautiful parks of the East Bay and beyond.
I am imaginative, irreverent, and tactile
I also spend much time making (or savoring) art, especially clay sculptures based on my memories of nature, people's faces, goddesses from many cultures worldwide, and endangered animals.
I like to bring different people together over dinner parties and indulge in satisfying, veering conversation.
And I contribute a few of my skills to community groups/NGOs such as Amnesty International and Greenpeace.
Finding missing pieces for a jigsaw puzzle.
Using my right hand to write; my left hand to sculpt.
Deciphering many different types of handwriting.
Recalling books and artists in conversation.
Honoring my promises to people.
Finding reasons to turn work into play (literally).
"Good bone structure" in my face according to a woman friend who runs a sustainable cosmetics business. (I was puzzled by this. I still have much to learn about the world.)
I usually have a book in hand, whether it be a novel or a policy tome.
My egregious lack of a tie (having long adopted the west coast culture after being a lawyer for a few years).
Perhaps I'll be toussled from a yoga class at the Yoga Mandala Center.
There might just be clay splotches on my trousers or glazes marks on my hands if I've just come from the studio.
Films: I am passionate enough to have gone to the Berlin Film Festival three years ago. My film awakening began when I saw A Woman on The Verge of a Nervous Breakdown as a naive undergraduate after the end of exams early one summer. Since then, I have savored hundreds of stimulating, sometimes inept, sometimes effervescent films that have expanded my perspectives greatly. The maxim that you can experience human life in its fullness through the film medium is accurate! Abbas Kierostami, the Chinese New Wave films such as Raise the Red Lantern, Alfred Hitchcock's films, Satajit Ray's Apu Trilogy, My Life as a Dog, Jeanne Moreau's films, Sex, Lies and Videotape, Michelangelo Antonelli's films, Babette's Feast, and Pedro Almodovar's films are ornaments. I hardly watch TV - but when I do, I favor BBC/PBS shows such as Charles Dickens or Jane Austen dramatizations.
In terms of food, I'd much rather concoct my own! However, I happily go venturing to restaurants and tapa bars if there's delicious food and conversation to be had. I favor Thai and Vietnamese dishes for their succulent tastes. Risotto has emerged as a major component of my diet, and I experiment with different ingredients. As a sustainable seafood researcher, I try to live up to the Seafood Watch card, but don't always succeed. (Being too virtuous isn't that good!) I enjoy wandering around sustainable and organic food stalls at markets. Red wines are an essential feature of a well-balanced diet.
I'm also an art aficionado,
What I'll make in the studio later on. Lately, I've entered a whale tail making phase, following an owl-making stage. How to capture the spaciousness of the summer sky in a mural is my great question.
How to coax uninterested students in the back of the room into contributing to class discussion. It's a great mystery how I can cajole facebook-studying students into wanting to know more about the environment... Fortunately there are many inspiring students for whom I have much time.
Friends and what they are experiencing in their lives: delights, tragedies, exploits, babies, frustration.
My fantasies of learning to wind surf in Costa Rica, hike in Patagonia, make clay pieces with traditional Chinese potterers, and disappearing on a sailboat in the Aegean Sea.
You think there's nothing better than to have a superb dinner party where opinions fly and wine oozes. Or perhaps you'd like to entice me into sampling your cooking confections that you enjoy bestowing on your friends and family.
You'd like to join in dancing with me, being tranquil but swaying happily.
And you might want to join me on visits to the Asian Art Museum, or to don sunscreen and a hat for a rejuvenating weekend hike.
You might be interested in dressing up, now and then, in the inimitable style that Audrey Hepburn once used to.
If you can wield a Elizabeth Bennet-style sense of humor against me - irony and playfulness - that will be very serious!
And if you enjoy waking up, sometimes, in unfamiliar places and seeing new cultures, that would be all the more intriguing.