To say that I love music would be an understatement. Music is my life force and often embodies my emotional state. I love discovering new, weird, and obscure songs and bands (normal and popular ones too). I even used to review albums of all genres for a relatively popular blog. The last hurrah was when I interviewed a band at the Ambassador of Iceland's house for a media-only event.
I highly value logic, reasoning, science, and general knowledge about the world and people around me. Willful ignorance, lack of critical thinking, and pseudoscience are some of my biggest pet peeves. But, I also try to be as objective and open to other people's beliefs as possible, and I love having science-based philosophical arguments.
Despite the fact that I read books professionally, I still do a lot casual reading on the side, whether it's books or the internet, for both pleasure and intellectual stimulation, which often go hand-in-hand. In general, I'm simultaneously reading one fiction and one nonfiction book. Some of my favorite web-based reading material can be found at Smithsonian.com, Science-Based Medicine, We're History, Vox, and The Comics Curmudgeon.
I work out a lot and try to mix up my routine with a wide variety of exercises so that I'm always challenging my physical limits. Participating in advanced Pilates and resistance band classes at work has really helped me develop greater body awareness, core strength, and flexibility. When not in a class, I take full advantage of my office's free fitness facility during my lunch break. I've also studied various styles of martial arts on and off for over 20 years and am currently practicing Muay Thai.
Witty, intellectual banter is a particularly strong suit of mine. I'm inquisitive, talkative, and always up for a mentally stimulating conversation seasoned with surreal silliness. I'm quick to crack wise and make funny observations, so I try to work my offbeat sense of humor into any conversation. An English professor once told me I could be a stand-up poetry analyst.
My hand–eye coordination is pretty on point, despite occasional bouts of slapstickesque clumsiness, but its only real-world application so far is my preternatural talent for catching receipts or dollar bills flying off outdoor tables on windy days.
I'm also very good at improvising silly stories on the spot. Give me three random nouns, and I'll come up with something ridiculous and amusing.
I love karaoke and am known to randomly interject bits of song into conversation. I used to be an okay drummer (never actually played in a band), but I'm out of practice and trying to get back into it.
Some have also described me as being pathologically honest. I don't know if that's something to brag about, but I have no poker face whatsoever and strive to be very upfront with my thoughts and feelings—tactfully so.
Physically speaking, people tend to comment on my eyes, which can be rather big and expressive and my "rainbow beard," as my little cousin calls it, when I let my facial hair grow out a bit.
Here are a few random musicians I've discovered/rediscovered in the recent past: Nancy Ajram, Groop Dogdrill, Beach House, P. M. Dawn, Banda Black Rio, The Sword, Laurel Halo, Googoosh, Autolux, I Am Robot and Proud, Jackie McLean, and Avi Avital.
And now the typical, boring lists of favorites…
Movies - Die Hard, 12 Angry Men, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, The Princess Bride, Groundhog Day, Mother, The Avengers, Spirited Away, The Searchers, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Alien(s), and most anything by Quentin Tarantino, Terry Gilliam, The Coen Brothers, Alfred Hitchcock, and Akira Kurosawa
Books - American Gods, The Immortal Iron Fist, Ender's Game, Slaughterhouse-Five, Dreams from My Father, Little Big Man, Mules & Men, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, A Song of Ice and Fire, Passions and Tempers: A History of the Humours, and French comics (Les Aventures de Tintin, Astérix, etc.)
TV - The Walking Dead, The Wire, Bob's Burgers, Day Break, The Venture Bros., Mystery Science Theater 3000, Arrested Development, Cowboy Bebop, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Band of Brothers, Seinfeld, and the original Dark Shadows
Podcasts - The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe, Inquiring Minds, TBTL, Slate's Political Gabfest, and Doug Loves Movies
Food - Anything associated with brunch, salads, noodle-based dishes, Indian, Korean, Japanese, Caribbean, Peruvian, Italian, Chinese, and Thai
1) My life's soundtrack
2) A sense of humor about life's ridiculousness: I find that I'm better at just about everything when I can laugh about it.
3) A breezy, improvisational attitude
4) Intellectual curiosity
6) All the other normal, mundane stuff everyone else lists: friends and family, my iPhone, some guy named "Chester" (seriously, he's popular), etc.
- I grew up in a super nerdy family playing complex strategy games and role-playing games with my dad (I still play lots of board games); laughing at horrible B movies; and watching British TV, like Monty Python, Red Dwarf, and old school Doctor Who.
- I don't believe in so-called "guilty pleasures." If something makes you happy, enjoy the hell out of it and don't worry about what other people think (unless your guilty pleasure is puppy punting or something like that). Example: I think Nicki Minaj's music is a horrible, but I unashamedly love "Beez in the Trap" and "Anaconda" and will randomly find myself singing bits of them in my head (maybe sometimes out loud?).
You practice the improvisational art of "Yes, and…" in everyday life.
Like me, you are looking for a long-time partner with whom you can be comfortably vulnerable (see this awesome TED Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability).
You're interested in having a fitness companion. (I've recently rediscovered the value of stretches and other exercises for which you need a partner.)
You'd like to go for long walks and explore some of DC's hidden (and not-so-hidden) gems. Maybe you'd also like to help me meet my goal of visiting one new city each year (I recently crossed Austin and Nashville off that list).
You love music and would like to share your life's soundtrack with me, and vice versa.
And if you think you can beat me in Scrabble or Bananagrams, I'd like to see you try, he said boastfully.