41Somerville, United States
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My self-summary
I'm a good-natured geeky guy. I like good books, bad books, coffee, goth music, folk music, RPGs, computers, dead languages, good beer and cool weather. I can spend a pleasant few minutes explaining exactly what a balrog is or how Old English differs from Shakespeare's language, but I usually have the sense not to do so unless specifically asked; I can accept that many people don't share my obsessions, and given a few hints I usually shut up about the ones people aren't interested in.

I enjoy conversation and language. In conversation, I find the ideas more important than the expression. In written works the elegance or depth of the language complements or detracts from the idea. I'm not a grammar snob, but I do appreciate memorable and thoughtful phrasing. I'm not often satisfied with my own efforts here, and of course there's a difference between serious writing and the everyday.

I also enjoy sitting back with a good beer and watching whatever I can find on Netflix (they have the whole run of Rocky and Bullwinkle, and that was a severe distraction for a while), playing the latest absurd computer game, or once in a while hitting the clubs. Even when I go out I don't usually dance, but it's fun to have an excuse to dress up a little, listen to loud music and drink with my friends. As I and my friends age this happens less and less often, but not never.

One of my former coworkers once accurately identified me as the kind of person who might own a cloak. I don't actually own a cloak, but I'm willing to admit to being the kind of person who might.

I live just outside Davis Square. Homeownership is not without its hassles, especially in an elderly triple-decker, but it beats paying rent. I love my city, old and occasionally creaky as it is.
What I’m doing with my life
I work as a programmer. This means I tend to change jobs every few years, and that the actual business focus of my employers has a lot less to do with my choices than their technology. Currently, I work for a streaming music service. It's not going to save the world, but it theoretically helps make people happy and I like working with a bunch of smart people. Even so, life outside of work matters a lot more to me than the job does. Previously, I've worked for a health care provider/medical research facility and for a local daily newspaper - both gave me a fascinating outsider's view into an established system and some stories about their archaic technology and practices.

I've done some acting and some stagehand work with my local community theater group. My enthusiasm outstrips my acting talent, but it's still fun - and theater people are usually the kind of people I get along well with, even if I'm on the quiet side by comparison. On the solitary side, I like walking or biking around the city when the weather's nice. For me, "nice" means parts of April, May, and October. I read constantly.

Learning new things from people who have something to say makes me happy, though I have a lazy streak and a well-defined comfort zone that makes the learning hard as much as for anyone else. And it's good to be reminded to read widely. For a while that meant evening classes at the Harvard Extension School, but eventually the combination of rising tuition and a bad experience with a neocon warmonger professor made me drift away. Still, that's the program for which I read a lot of Oscar Wilde and Icelandic sagas, and I enjoyed both of those no end. When I finally went to Iceland I was more interested in Þingvellir than Geysir, but I think I was the only one.
I’m really good at
Coming up with obscure trivia. Listening. Remembering things I read once two years previously. Mental arithmetic.
The first things people usually notice about me
My best guess is the widow's peak and weird tee shirts. When people want to flatter me, they usually tell me I have nice eyes.

The TSA thinks I look like a terrorist. I've been stopped in airports because of this. Though that was at least one major hairstyle change ago.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
I have far too many books to easily pick favorites, but some authors I keep coming back to are Terry Pratchett, Tim Powers, Patricia McKillip, Diana Wynne Jones, Michael Chabon, R. A. MacAvoy and Barbara Hambly. Gene Wolfe was on this list, but I've found the reactionary gender politics in his recent books too unpleasant to get past. Neal Stephensen's books are a lot of fun and occasionally approach seriousness. Neil Gaiman writes excellent comic books, but I don't think his novels are up to the same standard. Last Chance to See was Douglas Adams' best book.

Shakespeare, John Donne and T. S. Eliot are some of my favorite famous dead white men. Nabokov is my latest addition to that list. Wendy Cope gives them all a run for their money as my favorite poet. I've read a fair number of popular interest books on economics (Freakonomics and so on) but I'm not sure I'd really call those favorites.

I'm less of a packrat about movies. Some of my favorites are Donnie Darko, Grosse Point Blank, Boondock Saints (although I suspect I want it to be more tongue-in-cheek than the director did), and the first two Aliens movies. Or at least those are some of the ones I own.

Marvel's superhero movies work as well for me as the next geek, but I wouldn't call most of them art. Pacific Rim, on the other hand, was brilliant in its well-executed simplicity. The Illusionist was well worth a rental (back when that was a standard that mattered), as were Sweeney Todd, Brick and Sideways. I liked Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog as well as the next geek, but I thought the ending was too much of the usual Joss Whedon schtick.

I've never seen a Humphrey Bogart movie without at least some redeeming value.

My music's varied. A lot of it's mainstream within its genre, but I like many superficially incompatible genres. In other words, I might wear a Ministry tee shirt to a Dar Williams concert. I have a lot of Leonard Cohen, Love and Rockets, Bob Dylan, Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, Suzanne Vega, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Pixies and the Pogues. In the indie category, the big names are Neutral Milk Hotel, the Decemberists, the Mountain Goats, the National and the New Pornographers. Florence + The Machine and Metric also move me.

I have a weakness for singer/songwriters, especially women with guitars; Erin McKeown is my favorite local example. Aimee Mann's up there too. Back when they still toured, I saw the Dresden Dolls live more times than I can easily count, but I haven't gotten much into Amanda Palmer's solo career.

My favorite foods usually involve garlic, capers, olives or some combination of the three. I prefer red wine to white.
Six things I could never do without
Always a book.
My few but treasured close friends.
Ways to get outside my own head.
Some kind of home base, however temporary.
On a typical Friday night I am
Most of the time I'm at home unwinding after the work week - unexciting, I know. Sometimes I'm out with friends or coworkers for dinner. Saturday nights are usually more lively.

I used to go out to Man Ray, but since it closed I haven't found a Friday night event I enjoy enough to make a habit. Ex Mortis at T. T. the Bear's is worth it sometimes.
You should message me if
You'd like a friendly argument, company for a movie or play, or a new victim for a video game. Or if you like both Suzanne Vega and Bauhaus. Or just think I sound worth talking to.
The two of us