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 on a functional level. But in addition to being my livelihood, dog training is also my greatest passion and most fulfilling hobby. In my spare time, I travel the east coast to compete in dog sports with two of my three dogs.
You definitely don't need to be equally nuts about dogs, but if you actively dislike them, I will probably drive you batshit crazy in 0.3 seconds flat. Fair warning.
In a big-picture sense, I toe the line between passionate and obsessed, and I prefer to spend time with people who have a similar soul-consuming interests (even if their things are completely unrelated to mine -- as long as they have an intense, long-term interest in something that fascinates them).
Other people collect stamps or coins or vintage Pez dispensers. I collect mostly-useless hobbies, crafts and skills. My equivalent of "me time" usually 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, painting 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. I really enjoy tackling new projects and becoming proficient in new skills. The actual skills themselves are just a by-product.
One of those impulsive hobbies, leather crafting, has turned into a small business. I make custom carved leather dog collars and various dog-related leather gear. I never intended to be doubly self-employed (leatherwork and dog training), but that's how things have worked out and it seems to be going okay so far.
Queer-friendly, trans-friendly, disability-friendly.
Several times a year, I travel the east coast to compete in dog sports with my sheltie Indi and my Belgian tervuren Pan. As of October 2016, Indi is the #4 sheltie in the world at our current sport, which I am ridiculously proud of. I love getting to spend time with other dog trainers and showing off with my dogs -- these events are the highlight of my year.
I also spend a reasonable amount of my time on service dog training.
I'm really good at lateral thinking and really bad at having common sense.
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.
I am a champion at having panic attacks over things which should not be panic-inducing, such as "post offices" or "the doorbell rang."
I can't resist a witty portmanteau.
I over analyze everything.
Also I talk about dogs a lot.
... REALLY a lot.
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, Jean Donaldson, Eileen Anderson, Debbie Jacobs, Laura VanArendonk Baugh.
Television: Doctor Who, 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, Being Human, Revolution.
Movies: I don't watch many movies. I prefer books or TV shows -- if I'm going to get emotionally invested in fiction, I want the story to have enough space to spread out. Otherwise: The Invisible, Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog, Crash, Repo: The Genetic Opera, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Big Hero 6.
Music: Vertical Horizon, The Script, symphonic metal, folk metal, industrial. (No, the combination doesn't make sense to me either.)
2) My dogs / dogs in general
3) The internet
4) New hobbies to learn / tutorials
5) Dog training, which is separate from dogs
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 also struggle with the idea of white lies or benevolent lies of omission. I tend to err on the side of excessive honesty even when that ends up being the less compassionate choice.
Lately, I've been actively trying to cultivate my compassion/empathy for others and challenge my own assumptions and autopilot behaviors, which is all a hell of a lot harder to actually *do* than it sounds like on paper. It involves an often-uncomfortable amount of self-inspection and analysis. Not the fun, semantic, overthink-it-into-meaninglessness kind of self-inspection and analysis -- this is the kind where you suddenly realize that you haven't been doing a very good job of living up to your own ideals in a big picture way and now you need to move out of your comfort zone and change almost three decades of habitual hypocrisy to be able to continue to consider yourself an ethical person. It's that kind.
I question the function and validity of systems and processes a lot. I like to make things more efficient and build patterns and connect things and fix things. (I'm not very GOOD at it, but I enjoy it.) 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. Totally-avoidable minor irritations 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. Not in the "omg puppies so cute" kind of way, but the "this is what I'm doing with my life" kind of way. Writing training plans, analyzing behavior, solving problems, reading articles, talking with other trainers, ruminating over my dog-related life goals and my business plan, etc. And obviously training my own dogs and my clients.
In short, my typical Friday night is exactly like my typical every-other-night, and it involves me being home, entertaining myself quietly.
Unless I'm doing dog sports that weekend, in which case on Friday night, I am either frantically trying to Tetris an entire leather workshop plus two dogs and a person into a tiny car or already driving toward the sports venue in a caffeinated blur.
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 or dog sports person.
You should message me if you are willing to teach me about marketing, entrepreneurship or small business-y things.
You should message me if this profile has not actively dissuaded you from messaging me.