WaxingVerbose
27 Jacksonville, United States
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WaxingVerbose
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My self-summary
I'm a nerdy, introverted dog trainer.

Did I mention dogs yet? Dogs. I spend a lot of time with dogs. I run a dog training business, so dogs are kind of a critical part of my day-to-day life. Plus, my own dogs are pretty much the coolest thing in the universe (I have two). You don't need to have dogs of your own, but people who dislike pets would probably consider my house a special sort of torture. Because dogs.

Other people collect stamps or coins or vintage Pez dispensers. I collect hobbies and skills. My equivalent of "me time" often involves marathoning DIY tutorials for a new skill or craft for which I have absolutely no reasonable, practical purpose. As a result, my craft closet could pass for the square root of Hobby Lobby.

Hobbies range from standard options like quilting, sculpting and crochet, to more obscure things like building wattle fences, tanning furs, etching metal and an unnecessarily detailed understanding of the genetics behind color inheritance in dogs, rats and rabbits. One of those impulsive hobbies, leather crafting, has turned into a hobby business. I make custom carved leather dog collars. But for the most part, my hobbies can be summarized by "I just like to know things."b

I am a proud creature, but I have a healthy dose of flailing idiot running around in my head, too. I don't like being trapped in any single worldview, be it silly or serious, masculine or feminine, old or young, hatefully misanthropic or irrepressibly idealistic.
What I’m doing with my life
In theory, I am writing and training dogs. In reality, I am pressing refresh on some meaningless corner of the web. And most of the time, I am at least somewhat capable of feeling guilty about that.

Right now a huge amount of my time and mental resources are being allocated to getting the training business off the ground and finding a market for my hand carved leather dog collars.

I also spend a lot of time training Indi, my service dog in training. Like most types of disability accommodation, SD training is drastically more time consuming and less glamorous than most people expect. Indi is on track to graduate in 2016.
I’m really good at
Writing, dog training and leaning new things are my favorite ways to entertain myself.

I'm really good at lateral thinking and really bad at having common sense.

Canine body language is typically easier for me to read than human body language.

I can spout random trivia with the best of them.

I am probably judging you by your dog's food.

I'm astoundingly talented at picking up a new hobby or craft, deciding it's Absolutely My Goal In Life For Realz This Time, obsessing over it for several days and abruptly losing interest. Learning new crafts is fun. Getting good at crafts I already understand is tedious. So I can knit, crochet, sew, quilt, embroider, applique, sculpt, paint, sketch, build, knot, all to an acceptable level of competence, but I'm not especially GOOD at any of them.

I am a champion at having panic attacks over things which should not be panic-inducing, such as "post offices" or "the doorbell rang."
The first things people usually notice about me
Judging by the reactions of the public, walking around with a service dog in training is about as exciting as walking around with a unicorn. It gets old.

I talk about dogs a lot.

... REALLY a lot.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
General Books Preferences: When I'm reading a book, I want to crawl inside someone else's head and feel everything they feel, as sharply as I'm able to feel it. If I don't feel like I've been through an emotional cheese-grater after I finish a book, it probably wasn't a very good read.

Favorite fiction authors: Robin Hobb, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, John Scalzi, George R. R. Martin, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Sherwood Smith.

Favorite dog-related authors: Karen Pryor, Kathy Sdao, Patricia McConnell, Jean Donaldson (although I used to hate her), Debbie Jacobs, Laura VanArendonk Baugh. I spend a probably unwise amount of time reading the blog Eileenanddogs.

Television: Doctor Who. I lived under a cultural rock until about five years ago, so I'm struggling to catch up on TV shows and movies that everyone else takes for granted. If I seem more than slightly culturally ignorant, be patient. Other shows I enjoy: The IT Crowd, Sherlock, Bokurano, Once Upon A Time (Seasons 1-3), Heroes, Alphas, Fringe, Battlestar Galactica, Code Geass, Daredevil, Arrow, Jessica Jones, Orange is the New Black.

Movies: I don't really watch movies. Various dog training seminars, The Invisible, Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog, Crash, Repo: The Genetic Opera, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.

Music: Vertical Horizon, The Script, symphonic metal, folk metal, industrial.

Nerd Preferences:
10th Doctor, Rory/River/Amy, Ravenclaw, Picard, archer class/ranged-weaponry class, dragons, shapeshifters, hellhounds, time travel, telepathic animals/bond-creatures/familiars, fantasy stories that involve a military academy.

Dog-Nerd Preferences:
Herding breeds, shelties, double merles/deaf dogs, clicker training/force-free training, Emily Larlham/Kikopup, Karen Pryor, Kathy Sdao, Susan Garrett, Patricia McConnell. Would especially love to meet any other local SD handlers and dog sports people.
The six things I could never do without
1) Writing / reading / communication.
2) My dogs / dogs in general
3) The internet.
4) New hobbies to learn / tutorials
5) Dog training, which is separate from dogs
6) Introspection.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
I've spent more time hammering out my moral code than most people I know. I'm not personally religious, so I don't have some external guide that I can point to and say "This is what morality looks like." I've spent a lot of time worrying about what I consider right and how that interacts with the world on a day-to-day basis. I chew on the conflict between loyalty and duty pretty regularly.

I question the function and validity of systems a lot. I like to make things more efficient and build patterns and connect things and color code and make spreadsheets. I would rather spend a huge amount of effort completely overhauling the way I do a thing in one fell swoop than be mildly inconvenienced for thirty seconds every day by doing the thing in a slightly-less-than-optimal way. Hard work doesn't bother me. Avoidable minor irritations and inefficiencies drive me crazy. I am willing to work hard in the short term if it allows me to be lazy in the long term.

And obviously I spend a huge amount of time thinking about dogs. Writing training plans, analyzing behavior, talking about learning theory, planning cool tricks to teach in the future, solving problems, reading articles, talking with other trainers.
On a typical Friday night I am
On a typical Friday night, I'm sitting at home with my dogs. I check the various pieces of my internet presence: email, Facebook, OkCupid, the blogs, whatever. I'm usually listening to an audiobook while I poke around the internet, or maybe casually knitting something while I listen to a podcast. If it's still light outside, I'll try to play frisbee with my dogs for a little while. If not, we'll play fetch around the house. If I still have enough energy left, I'll write a bit on my current novel before giving up on it for the millionth time and trying in vain to find some other career path.

In short, my typical Friday night is exactly like my typical every-other-night, and it involves me being home, entertaining myself quietly.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I almost drove off the road once because I saw a large blue box in a field and thought it was the Tardis. Reality: Portajohn.
You should message me if
You should message me if you have a lot to say and no one to say it to.

You should message me if you want to talk about dogs, writing, reading, Doctor Who, ableism or disability politics.

You should message me if writing a letter to another living person would make you feel less bored and alone, because goodness knows there's enough boredom and loneliness in this world without anyone willingly compounding it.

You should message me if you are a service dog handler.

You should message me if you are willing to teach me about marketing, entrepreneurship or small business-y things.

You should message me if you are a force-free dog trainer and want a training-buddy, or if you would like to learn more about dog training.

You should message me if this profile has not actively dissuaded you from messaging me.
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