34Chicago, United States
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My self-summary
I really enjoy having conversations with intelligent people who are curious about the world--whether about politics, Jewish cultural stuff, stories of my past (or yours), or something else. I tend to be opinionated, but I'm also happy to be shown why I'm wrong if I am. I usually prefer a friendly (but intense), rambling discussion to a head-to-head debate, though. I can be shy in certain contexts, but I'm pretty talkative and open once I get into a conversation...

I like exploring new places (museums, neighborhoods, restaurants, etc.), and I also like going to see interesting movies. I'm generally not so interested in bars/clubs. I usually wouldn't be the first to sign up for a long hike, but I can definitely admire the natural beauty of the outdoors. Mostly, I enjoy hanging out with and getting to know interesting people in a quieter place.

I just finished my PhD in research psychology (cognitive neuroscience) in Los Angeles, and moved to Chicago for a postdoc. I grew up in St. Louis, so it's nice to be back in Midwest, although we'll see how I feel about that when winter comes. :-) (I can't believe how many strangers in Chicago have told me that they can't believe I'd move from California back in this direction! There are things I'll miss about California, but Chicago seems like a great place to live, and I'm really expecting it to be a better fit for me, culturally...)

While I can be serious at times, I do have a sillier side, too... And finally, last but not least, even if I'm a bit awkward sometimes, I usually try to be a nice person, and I'm almost incapable of lying...
What I’m doing with my life
I'm working as a postdoc at Northwestern, and hoping to be a professor in a few years.
I’m really good at
- taking tests in school (although, hmm, unfortunately that's not actually a useful life skill beyond a certain point, is it?)
- intense conversations
- With close friends, being a sympathetic ear to help when they have problems, and trying to help analyze their problems (but despite the fact that I study psychology, I really am only an amateur psychologist in that sense...).
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Reading: The Steve Jobs biography was really interesting. I don't manage to read books as often as I'd like, but I do spend a fair amount of time reading about current events (in the NY Times and other Web sites).
TV shows: House, The West Wing, Monk, Law and Order, Rachel Maddow.
Food: I like a lot of different types of food, as long as it's tasty, especially Indian, Thai, Ethiopian, or Mexican...
I often prefer (intelligent) talk radio to music, but I've also somehow never paid close attention to the names of the artists that I do like. Generally, stuff that's a little bit rock-ish, but not too much of a beat (I have no rhythm, ok...)
Six things I could never do without
- The Internet
- My computer (OK, that's partly a repetition of the above, but...)
- Trader Joe's
- Air travel, to occasionally see my family and friends around the country--although now that I'm in Chicago, I guess I can replace a lot of that with car travel!
- Intellectual stimulation of some sort
I spend a lot of time thinking about
A lot of things, but here are a few:
-- Politics (especially wondering how the Republicans manage to convince so many people to vote for them despite a complete disregard for reality)
-- My research (trying to figure out what the next steps are...)
-- What's going on inside the heads of the people around me (and what's inside my own head, too, sometimes...)
-- How I can take advantage of the good parts of living in a big, diverse city, and wondering where I can find more like-minded people to explore with...
On a typical Friday night I am
Some Fridays, I'm at Shabbat services and/or dinner. I've been sort of off and on over the years in terms of how active I've been Jewishly, but I do think that's a nice thing to have in common with new people (definitely not a requirement, though). I wouldn't consider myself particularly "religious", but being culturally Jewish is important to me.

When I'm not busy with that, my Friday nights usually aren't all that exciting, if I'm just relaxing from the week (some combination of reading stuff on the Internet, listening to the radio, talking to friends online, watching TV, etc.).
You should message me if
You're a good person at heart, but also intelligent and interesting, and a little bit off-center (because being too normal is boring...). I generally like people who are intellectually curious, really valuing learning and knowledge for its own sake. And also someone who is willing to be a sympathetic ear, but who can also tell me / convince me when I'm wrong.
The two of us