In-between times, I like to work for my dad's small carpentry business. It feels good to swing a hammer after all that sitting in front of a keyboard, and you get a real sense of immediate satisfaction -- as in, "That's what I did today." We converted an old abandoned 19th-century camp cottage into a year-round residence with all the modern amenities, which is where I live. (To get a general idea of things, you can take a look at a website devoted to even smaller places, called "Cabinporn." Gotta love the name. http://cabinporn.com/#)
It feels to be back home in Massachusetts, after working in Switzerland for umpty years -- a region which is very, very different from here in "the happy valley"!
But regardless of what continent I am in, if I had to sum myself up in a headline, it would be "Well-Groomed Mountain Man."
Let me explain . . . In college, I worked in Yellowstone National Park as a volunteer ranger-naturalist for two summers, and after grad school I lived in Australia for four years on a one-year grant (Don't ask!) to learn about their national parks. I supported myself as a freelance foreign correspondent for magazines and newspapers back home in the States. In-between, I did internships at the PBS show "Nature" and a kids' magazine put out by National Geographic.
I love exploring new places -- I've been on assignment to places such as South Africa and Hawaii -- so I guess it's no surprise that when opportunity knocked, I wound up next to the Alps. I worked at a particle physics research center where I wrote and edited their online magazine, and I could look out the office window and see Mont Blanc. (That's the mountain behind me, in my profile photo.)
In the words of Huckleberry Finn: "So there ain't nothing more to write about, and I am rotten glad of it, because if I'd a-knowed what a trouble it was to make a book I wouldn't a tackled it, and ain't a-going to no more."
Which reminds me -- be sure to check out the "15 Reasons to Date A Reporter" https://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating-advice-for-you/15-reasons-to-date-a-reporter/#.U5YOrS9hsTx
Other big news: the neighborhood cat seems to have adopted me, and waits outside the porch door each morning.
I did discover what is reputedly the best handmade chocolate in all of Switzerland, in a little mom-and-pop which allows unlimited free samples if you're there in person. It's called "Tristan's," and is in a little village outside Lausanne. But if you want to know more, you have to message me . . .
And I'm a killer Scrabble player.
I'd much prefer "badass."
In Massachusetts - Joe's Pizza, The Iron Horse, and Packards.
In Geneva - I did try 'fondue bacchus' one time under peer pressure (imagine the fondue pot of cheese replaced with a hot bowl of very alcoholic red wine). I think I must have liked it, although my memory of that night is blurry. Even the pictures are out of focus.
ENTERTAINMENT: When it's raining, I like to go an art museum, a cafe, or the movies. Otherwise, I'm on the bike, in the pool, hiking or skiing -- both downhill and cross-country. I did just discover fly-fishing.
MOVIES: Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris." "Gravity." "Run, Lola, Run." "The Lives of Others." "Trainspotting." (I have not seen the sequel yet.)
TV SHOWS: Big Bang Theory, Law and Order, 30 Rock, The Simpsons, The Daily Show, Futurama, Sherlock, Downton Abbey, Spiral. Lead Balloon. The IT Crowd. I'm a sucker for nature documentaries and National Geographic specials.
MUSIC: Wilco, U2, REM, No Doubt, old Rolling Stones, Amy Winehouse, Neil Young, BB King, The Animals, Nina Simone, Sade . . . depends on my mood.
BOOKS: Just about any decent nonfiction I can get my hands on, if it has a good storyline, including a book simply called: "Salt." For fiction, my current fave is Philip Kerr's "Berlin Noir" series. Oh, and I was given a copy of "The Curious Sofa" by Edward Gorey. Twisted tale! But funny and clever, leaving a lot to one's filthy imagination...
I think that when traveling somewhere and trying new stuff, it's a lot more fun if you have a partner in crime to share the experience.
I would like to have some light-hearted fun, share interests and experiences, and maybe see if anything more can happen.
If not, that's okay too -- it's good to just enjoy the process and know how to enjoy life. As the French say, "Savoir vivre."