Instead of extolling the virtues I suppose myself to have, I'll just tell you what I've been up to recently, and some stuff that interests me, and let you judge for yourself.
[And WHOA, have I not updated this text in a while...Ok, so let me at least label some of this stuff and I'll come back and edit when I've got more time]
-I've just come back to SF after living in Barcelona for a while and doing some traveling around Europe while I was there. My Spanish improved. I utterly failed to learn Catalan. [Clearly I wrote this in 2009. It's something interesting I did, so I've left it.]
-I go to Burning Man. Last year I brought up my own radio station, which was a lot of fun. I also got to go to Nowhere, a regional Burning Man event in Spain (300 people instead of 50, 000) and it was one of the most amazing weeks I've ever had. For me, it's all about the freedom, the creativity, and the amazing sense of community you can experience. (Wow, that sounds more hippy than I am...or maybe I'm an undercover hippy...) Sometimes when I'm out there I wonder if it isn't closer to the sense of fulfillment people used to have before the modern age made life so artificial and impersonal. [Still hang with the BM crowd, but haven't been since 2009 because I did a show summer of 2010, and last summer I was transitioning from my job to my current place in the Southland, where the rest of my life is "in development" but hasn't been green lighted yet.]
[The rest of this is still true enough...:) ]
-From the time I was 11 until I was 28, I was a news junkie. Since then, I've pretty much stopped consuming mass media. (Not surprisingly, this coincided with the beginning of Bush's Presidency.) I realized that it pretty much only frustrates me or makes me sad, and that it's designed to play on people's negative emotions. If I need or want to know something, I can research it without the sensationalism.
-I love to make people laugh. I love to sing. Performing was my life for a long time, but these days I just do it for my friends.
-I think it was Carla who said "you have a mouth like a sailor." I'm half Italian, and I can be loud. I apparently have a very memorable and distinct laugh (and I'm not afraid to use it).
-I love political philosophy and I get really into talking about the American Revolution and the Constitution. I used to teach a class called the History of Federalism. Sometimes I start talking and then shut myself up when I realize I've become too esoteric. Sometimes it might be best if you just stop me.
I think this is where I'm going to stop myself.
How I was described by the guy that wrote up my last interview:
"Chris happens to have made himself highly unique (and, following his logic, therefore capable of great beauty); thoughtful and introspective to the point of near-relentlessness, his conversation has the fast, assured tone of a guy unaccustomed to meeting anyone smarter than himself. He's the sort of person who will ask, sincerely, "have you ever studied the philosophy of beauty?" ... and will then be capable of explaining his own genuinely intriguing thoughts on the topic, rather than simply parroting lines that his dialects professor underlined in a textbook. The kind of person who can elicit feelings of fear and inadequacy, who knows that he can have that effect, and who points it out while shrugging carelessly."
P.S. Just try not to take me too seriously.
I am not a big fan of, finding three words, and choose not to do so
I'm providing for myself with my new (but unexpected) e-commerce site, and working out a few things (like codifying a lifetime of thinking into easily described bits) before I launch my new incarnation doing what I do best -- teaching people about government and inspiring change.
I recognize celebrity voices in commercials and documentaries a lot. And when I see random people in bit parts, I can usually place them from some other bit part they played. ("Where is he from? Oh... he played the waiter from The Saloon that got Carrie pregnant in the 80's -- you know, the 4th Season abortion episode?") Yeah, it's weird.
Leaving my cabinet doors open (I usually only close them if company is coming over, but somehow they magically open in just minutes!)
I have this strange tendency of getting people to change direction in their life after a single conversation.
Whistling along to classical music.
Movies: This could be a huge list. I love film, but I'm not a snob about blockbusters or action movies -- I like things for what they are. (Funny, I take the same approach to people...) My exception is usually horror -- I don't enjoy being scared or disgusted. Some stuff like Saw or Hostel is literally repugnant to me. All-time favorites include: Fantasia, Amadeus, Notting Hill, Hunt For Red October, Reversal of Fortune, The Queen, Cabaret, Chicago, Bullitt, Remains of the Day, Howard's End (really anything with Emma Thompson), All About Eve, Philadelphia Story, His Girl Friday -- really, the list could go on and on.
TV: I tend to download things so I don't have to watch commercials. I rarely watch scheduled programs (except for LOST or award shows). I have a DVR that has all the seasons and episodes of my favorite stuff, which is ideal for marathons. (A fire, dinner, wine, and hours of a good show is a regular activity, and friends often join me.) Some of my series faves are LOST, House, Arrested Development, Sex in the City, Nip/Tuck, 30 Rock, Rome, Six Feet Under, West Wing (!), This American Life, and many others.
Music: I'm pretty stereotypically gay in the music category. Not really dance music at all, but I love Barbra, Nina, Judy, Maria Callas, musicals, female singer-songwriters (Alanis, Fiona, Joni, Jewel, Indigo Girls, Regina Spektor), a few male ones (Michael Penn, Willie Nelson, Sting), a lot of classical (Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart, Brahams, Schubert). For me, most music I have is something someone introduced me to -- I don't listen to the radio much (except KFOG and NPR), and often it takes me a while to warm up to something.
Food: Well, yeah, I love food. Pretty much anything and everything, though Indian, French, Italian and really good Chinese are my favorites. (Although, having grown up in CA, I always took Mexican food for granted until I was in Barcelona for a few months -- talk about jonesing for a burrito or guacamole. You couldn't even get tortillas at the store...)