50San Francisco, United States
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My self-summary
I am an inveterate optimist who loves new challenges and putting myself into situations that make me uncomfortable but from which I can learn. As a result, I've been afflicted with a perpetual case of wanderlust that has taken me across 4 continents, regularly puts me in strange and complicated situations and simmers to this day despite the counter-anchoring effects of life's normalcy: job, mortgage, responsibilities, blah, blah, blah...

I am a good friend. I realize that human connections, especially those built across shared time, space and experience, are the only real items of value that we can collect. Don't get me wrong, I like my material goodies, would be lost without my Android and probably don't need 6 surf boards. But in my Maslovian hierarchy of needs, that sh@#$ sits way back in the trunk of my life; friendship and experience always ride shotgun.

I'm fit and love to move, especially outdoors. I grew up in California and have had a love affair with the ocean since I can remember. Though I spend far less time in her these days, nothing feels more pure to who I am than paddling out for a morning surf in my beloved Pacific. I run pretty seriously (I'm signed up for my 4th marathon later this year) and have become somewhat of a gym rat. Yet, while I love my physical movement, I spend a good deal of my time reading (professional requirement). So I guess that I can say that I am as comfortable on a surf board as I am curled up on a couch with a good book.

Love music and love dancing, but absent any skill in either. My voice is enough to change your opinion on the death penalty. And while I am fearless on the dance floor, I fully recognize that I suffer from an extremely bad case of the white man's overbite.

Politically, I’'m a hard assed pragmatist who only occasionally lapses into cultural relativism (again, a professional requirement). I don’t care who you marry. I don’t care what you ingest into your body. And I’m pretty sure that our swollen prison population isn’t getting rehabilitated; they’re just getting bitterer. My heroes are Patrick Henry (supposedly a direct relative of mine though I’ve never seen the genealogy to back that claim up); Theodore Roosevelt, Malcolm X, Golda Mier and my mom for fighting lung cancer long enough to live to meet my son.

A really strong “fairness” streak runs through me and has caused me as much trouble as it has served me well. Because of this I have forced myself to become more reflective when I encounter situations that I perceive to be infused with inequity. I have become much better as I have seasoned with age. But in times past, this quality has not been my friend, leaving me screaming expletives at a person from the wrong side of an AK-47 instead of judiciously choosing my battles. I'’m not a bully by any means, never have been. But I think that this aspect of my character informs more of my drive to do what I do professionally than anything else.

If I could paint the perfect day for me, it would likely include one or all of the following scenarios:

1. Spending the day surfing a deserted point in Baja with my friends of 30+ years, laughing, sharing waves, hooting each other on, lounging on the beach drinking a cold beer.
2. Walking around the City all day with a beautiful, intelligent, opinionated woman, talking, stopping at hole-in-the-wall shops and cafes, sneaking into small alcoves to kiss passionately, and ending up someplace where we could feel the wind while watching the sunset.
3. Reading to my kids in bed and watching their eyes light up as the story brings out new wonder and excitement for them, and then carrying them off to bed, tucking them in and going back a ½ hour later to find them sleeping
What I’m doing with my life
I work in economic development and social finance primarily in sub Saharan Africa. I also teach at a small, private university. Besides that, I'm co-parenting two amazing kids with my ex-wife, trying to train for my next marathon and trying to manage my traveling to and from Africa.
I’m really good at
Making people feel comfortable and included.
Not making the obvious choice.
The first things people usually notice about me
High energy,
love for words and language,
poor memory for names.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Things fall apart- Achebe
Troublesome young men- Olsen
Against the Gods- Bernstein

I tend towards historical non-fiction though I am trying to get my fiction fix back in place. I did really dig reading the Harry Potter series with my kids.

Movies- Irreverent comedy a la "Raising Arizona". Dark social commentary a la David Lynch. Political realism a la "Other People's Lives". But I am known to watch a blockbuster now and again.

Musically I am all over the place. Grew up on reggae, punk and rock. I've widened my horizons since then. Listening to a lot more country/americana/alt. The stuff you might here on KFOG on Sunday morning
Six things I could never do without
Challenges, my kids, my surfboards, sunshine, discovery, purpose, friends, love, sex
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Why African businesses can't get enough capital to grow
Why Ocean Beach couldn't be 20 degrees warmer
Why life can be such a challenge sometimes and yet I wouldn't want it any other way
Why I cannot for the life of me fully master my smart phone (perhaps the modifier is telling me something...)
Why are onions so good in just about everything you cook
On a typical Friday night I am
Going to dinner, putting my kids to bed, reading, correcting papers, seeing music. It's a real crap shoot.
You should message me if
You are interested in exploring both the visceral and the comfortable with an ultimate eye on something lasting and durable
The two of us