54Berkeley, United States
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My self-summary
I wasn't going to put three words to describe myself at the end of this self-summary, but someone once described me as smarty, arty, and tarty, and I thought "I'll take that!" But really: Passionate: that's the word that best describes me. I throw myself headlong into things I care about, whether they are my work (I teach college English and I love it), my creative hobbies (jewelry-making and writing erotica), my kids, or my friendships. I love to read and think and talk about what I'm reading. I would love to be with someone who shares those passions with me.

If the connection is there, I think a lot of little details can be negotiated or overlooked. Sometimes that connection is intellectual; sometimes it's physical. Sometimes it manifests itself through a shared sense of humor, and sometimes through a similar outlook on life. I'm hoping to win the jackpot: a connection on all those levels, transcending chemistry and becoming alchemy, and I look forward to having the feeling that all the blood in my veins has been replaced with liquid fire when we kiss. I like to talk about ideas and current events as well as to get silly and goofy. I don't believe in living an unconscious life, but I love to shriek with laughter and find a reason to do so often. I have a well-developed taste for the absurd and a serious love of kitsch. I used to be the kind of person who never passed a kid's lemonade stand without buying a cup, but some little bastard sold me a tiny dixie cup of lemonade for $1.50 today, and I may have to re-think that.

Apparently a lot of women talk about their Scrabble chops. So: I'm terrible at Scrabble. Your dog could beat me. I get too impatient and bored, and my idea of a great word is one that "opens up the board"--usually some obscure word that uses a lot of letters and lets me gloat about my vocabulary--but it turns out that each letter is only worth one point, and I'm not on any double point letter or word spaces, so the whole thing is worth 6 points. Then my opponent squeezes one letter into a tight spot, which happens to be a triple word scoring spot and makes like three words and picks up 48 points. And one of them's not even a real word anywhere but the Scrabble dictionary. And . . . well, you get the picture. The point is if you're looking for some challenging Scrabble competition, I'm not your girl, but if winning a game of Scrabble by a margin of at least 200 points makes you feel smart, you should totally date me. The downside is I'm likely not to want to play. But you can rest secure knowing that you would have whupped my ass.

I have been wearing Chanel 19 every day of my life since I was twenty. I like to think that some day, many years from now, when I have been dead a long time, someone will smell it and think of me. I'm not the slightest bit spiritual and have a zero tolerance policy towards jargon. Although I like the outdoors, I'm a real urbanite.

I'm gregarious and vivacious, social and flirtatious. I'm animated and warm and have a highly individual style. But I'm comfortable in my own skin and have the ability to not be lonely just because I'm alone. Friendships mean a lot to me and I feel lucky to have so many good friends in my life. I have maintained several friendships with exes and am close friends with my ex-husband; I tend to think I've been enriched by all my past relationships, one way or the other. I have recently been described as having a generally positive outlook and of very rarely getting angry. It's true; I think life is too short to be spent angrily.

I would like to be in a real relationship, one in which, in addition to the toe-curling sex--and plenty of it--there would be things like watching your nephew in his school play, or watching someone's friend's sister's attempt to break into the comedy business, shopping for your new patio furniture together, or providing a shoulder for you to lean on after you return from visiting your father in the hospital. I am the world's most awesome girlfriend: thoughtful, kind, generous, affectionate, funny, and always up for an adventure. Your boss will be charmed; your friends will tell you how lucky you are. I am not looking for someone who shares every one of my interests, and I don't expect to share all of yours. I'm looking for someone to complement me, not someone to complete me. I think we could have fun seeing where our Venn Diagrams overlap.

Life's short; let's meet for a drink. You throw away your list, and I'll throw away mine. Who knows what treasures are out there?
What I’m doing with my life
I'm a college instructor, working at a small liberal arts university, where I hope I get to make a difference in people's lives. The hours are long, the pay is dreadful, and I adore my job. Turning people on to something I care passionately about is a great reward. I've taken a class of college freshmen, most of whom had never seen live theater except for a high school play, to see a production of Aphra Behn's 17th-century comedy, "The Rover," and they effin' loved it. Job well done! Almost every semester, I watch a poem transform a room full of apathetic students into a room full of thinkers. Experiences and moments like these sustain me when I get overwhelmed by the other parts of the job.

I'm also raising two children, ages 17 and 22. Well, I guess that the "raising" part of my interactions with the 22-year-old has come to an end, but since she's returned to the nest (part-time, on the same schedule as the younger one to give me some semblance of an adult life), I think I should mention her. The younger one lives with me half-time. While they're mostly launched, they're still a big part of my life.

I make (and sometimes sell) jewelry and write (and sometimes publish) erotica. I recently did some nude figure modeling for a life drawing class, and found out it was harder than I thought it would be, but fun.

I keep discovering more things I never thought I would like being fascinating and exciting. In the summer of 2013 I took a great solo trip to Central Europe for almost a month, after years of no international travel, and I've realized I need to include more of it. (Remind me to tell you the story of how I came to be in the back of a Prague police van, head-banging along to "You Give Love A Bad Name" with the Czech cops while unsecured guns slid back and forth across the floor of the car as we screeched around cobble-stoned corners.) In the summer of 2015, I hiked around the Isle of Skye, then wandered around Kotor and walked Dubrovnik's city walls with my older daughter. So the next goal is Spain or Morocco, or Malaysia or Turkey, or ? Perhaps this time with a different kind of partner. This is a great time of life!
I’m really good at
Remembering obscure song lyrics. People sometimes call me up (okay, so by "people," I mean my sister) and ask me what song some odd snippet is from and I almost always know.

Making a mean pesto, a great mojito, and a strong cup of coffee.
My chocolate chip cookies are legendary.

Having adventures and telling great stories about them. Seriously, sometimes I think about doing something just for the story I'm likely to get out of it.

Finding thoughtful ways to show my affection and appreciation. It's part of that whole "world's most awesome girlfriend" thing.
The first things people usually notice about me
Well, visually, I dress a bit quirkily--and often do the Johnny Cash-thing, and all in black--and wear a lot of jewelry. I have short hair, asymmetrically cut. At the moment, it's purple.
My smile.

Once you get past the immediate physical, I have a well-developed sense of humor and a blazing wit.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
So many of these I can't think of what to put down.
But NOT "Eat Pray Love"---if you think that's every woman's favorite book, you don't have a very good sense of me!

I'm an instructor of literature, so it goes without saying that I love to read. I'm usually working on several books at once: a book for my book group; a novel I just want to read; a book a student has loaned me (I love my students and consider it a huge compliment that they often make cds of their favorite music for me or loan me their favorite books); a book I'm teaching or getting ready to teach; and some non-fiction. These days see me reading much more nonfiction than I used to, both for work and for pleasure (and oftentimes the two are intertwined).

I love novels: from the eighteenth century on up. I can't give a list of all my favorite books--it would be too long and what would be the point--but here are some things I've read in the last few years that have stayed with me. I'd love to discuss any of them with any of you who've also been taken with them. "The Goldfinch," by Donna Tartt: I am willing to wait another ten years for her next book if it's as engrossing and satisfying as this one. I re-read "Washington Square," and realized after an absence that I actually like Henry James. I loved "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" so much I'm trying to plan a class around it. And "A Visit From the Goon Squad!": I'm swooning and have incorporated it into my fiction class. I'm also reading a lot of Sleeping Beauty-related things, and Oz-related things, either planning a book or at least having a blast doing the research! Adam Ross' first novel, "Mr. Peanut" made my head spin (but that's a feeling I love to have)! I loved Jonathan Franzen's "Freedom;" he has a talent for making me identify with characters I don't actually like! I read "A Short History of a Small Place," by T.R. Pearson, and found myself laughing my head off and wishing I was southern and lived in a world where people prided themselves on their ability to express themselves creatively and imaginatively. I devoured both of Hilary Mantel's books about Cromwell, "Wolf Hall," and "Bring Up the Bodies," in a transport of amazement that anything about the Tudors still had the capacity to thrill me, and I can't wait for the last book in the triptych. "A Tale for the Time Being" captivated me, as did "All the Light We Cannot See," and Elena Ferrente's "Neapolitan Novels." And can we talk about Paul Beatty's "The Sellout?!" Always, always there are a couple of books calling to me from my nightstand that I can't wait to read. I like any novel which takes a risk: I love Austen and Auster, and everyone in between.

I don't read nearly as much non-fiction, but I probably read between 12-17 non-fiction books a year. I'm still basking in the afterglow from "The Faraway Nearby,"by Rebecca Solnit. "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," was a fascinating piece of journalism. I really enjoyed "The Age of Wonder," and the spellbinding "The Hare With Amber Eyes," by Edmund de Waal. Recent non-fiction favorites include "Far From the Tree," by Andrew Solomon, "What Do Women Want," by Daniel Bergner, "At Home," by Bill Bryson, and almost anything by Mary Roach. One of my all-time faves is "The Botany of Desire"--Michael Pollan before he became America's food guru.

I've been listening to audio books a lot more lately, and podcasts have saved me from the tyranny of radio. I'm a junkie for "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," "This American Life," "The Moth," "Fresh Air," "Lexicon Valley," "Savage Love," and "Radio Lab." Boy, do I heart my iPod!

Movies: I like many and can't think of a favorite right now, but as a rule, I don't like those big action-heavy, special-effects laden blockbusters, "chick flick" romantic comedies, sentimental love stories, or horror movies. Typically, I'm more an indie kind of movie girl, but I love classics from the 30s, 60s, and 70s. Of course there are exceptions to this general guideline. I sometimes think I am a twelve-year-old boy. Documentaries are high on the list, too.

I don't watch tv. That is, I watch some tv shows, but I rent them (my philosophy seems to be, "why get it for free when you can wait a whole year until everyone's seen it and is on to the next thing, and then you can pay a lot of money to rent it!"). Brilliant strategy, huh? I tend to binge-watch a season or even a whole series at once. Favorite gorge-fests include "Arrested Development," "Mad Men," and "The Wire," which I watched--all 5 seasons--over a two-and-a-half week period! I scarfed down season 2 of "Orange is the New Black" over the first three days it was released.

I like most kinds of music, even, thanks to the tutorial my daughter has provided, some contemporary country--at least a little bit. Except rap. And I confess that Serious Jazz makes me feel kind of inadequate. I love bubblegum pop and folky, indie alternative music, or old punk, and nothing beats a good jangly guitar. I hate that because I'm a middle-aged woman, people expect me to like crappy maudlin garbage: Celine Dion and Michael Bolton aren't allowed past the front door. I don't seem to care about music in the all-consuming way I used to when I was younger, and I don't go to many concerts. I must say that it bugs me that OkCupid doesn't consider live theater, which is much more my passion than live music, in any of its zillion and one questions. Theater. Live theater. Straight drama as well as musicals. I also like going to art museums--no matter how broke I am, I always keep my subscription to the De Young and the Legion of Honor and go to both of them frequently--and Giants games: I'm not really a fan, but nothing beats going to the stadium on a beautiful day, and watching a great dramatic game with thousands of others.

Food: if it has garlic, I'm there!
Six things I could never do without
~Books, the actual physical kind, and a high-backed chair in which to read them.
~Reading glasses (see above!)
~Red wine or a fancy cocktail in a glass that makes me feel like I'm pretending to be a grownup.
~Passionate sex.
~Slightly bitter lattes with good foam.
~A cozy comforter on a winter's night.
~"Joe Jackson's Jumpin' Jive" and Freedy Johnston's "This Perfect World"--the only albums that made me want to write a fan letter.
~The knowledge that just because something tells me to stop at six, I don't need to.
~The Oxford Comma.
~My regular walk.
~Trees to look at from an office window, reminding me that the outside still exists when I'm inside.
~A good, sharp knife.
~Music to sing along with.
~Dark salted chocolate--Okay, I could do without it, but I would prefer not to.
~People who can keep up.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Connections of various sorts.
"Only Connect," is my motto (okay, so E.M. Forster said it first).

Why are all the kinky people also the poly people?

Why there is so much hatred driving American politics and do I want to move to Canada?

What is the name of that damn song--I used to know it!

What dead or mostly dead thing will a cat bring into the house today?

What that guy looks like under his black jeans.

Sex. And my job. And what's for dinner.

My next deep, slow, hot kiss--when will it take place, and with whom?
On a typical Friday night I am
Is there really such a thing as a "typical" Friday night? Every other Friday I'm with my younger daughter. Alternate Fridays may find me having dinner with friends, going to hear live music and dancing, catching a burlesque show or a movie, or curling up on the couch with either a video, a good book, or some back issues of "The New Yorker" and a few glasses of wine. Or binge-watching "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"--seriously, there are a lot of episodes. Want to join me?
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
The first "real" album I owned was "John Denver's Greatest Hits."
Wait . . . why are you running away?
You should message me if
You don't have an irony deficiency and you can keep up.

You believe more in a chemistry which can't be predicted even by the best algorithm invented, and you are funny, smart, and warm.

You understand what I mean when I say "pull on my hair and I'll follow you anywhere."
The two of us