62Philadelphia, United States
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My self-summary
My sense of humor is bone dry. Recently started taking improv and am enjoying the hell out of it.

I like art and have a good eye. Traditionally I've taken care of my creative needs with photography, gardening, and needlework, but I've been playing around with more "arty" art pursuits; drawing and, at the moment, collage.

Prefer cats to dogs, Stones to Beatles, beach to mountains. Politically liberal, "spiritual but not religious."

Easy-going and tolerant, but at the same time incredibly opinionated. I manage (for the most part) to keep my bossiness in check, because hey, it's your life, but if you ask my advice I'll give it to you.

Low-maintenance and infinitely able to keep myself amused.

I am frabjous, hoopy, and cromulent
What I’m doing with my life
Writer/editor of nonfiction, mostly things that help people live in ways that will help themselves and others (gardening, sustainability, education, etc.). I also review movies, books, dance, art, etc. (and handle social media) for a local e-zine.

In my down time, I try to balance spending time with friends and spending time keeping myself nurtured -- books, music, movies.

I play way too much Scrabble online. I was in the crossword biz for a long time, so most of my real-life friends don't want to play with me. (I always have three or four games going on Facebook with my old boss, though, and she regularly beats the pants off me.)
I’m really good at
Communicating clearly. Honesty. Appreciating (and creating) beauty. Listening. Providing a new perspective. Organizing ideas. Slashing word counts to create prose that gets to the point quickly and vividly.
The first things people usually notice about me
Actually, I try to not make a dramatic first impression. My appearance is understated (I'm the complete opposite of the high-heels-and-makeup type), as is my demeanor (I'm a listener, not a talker). If you're looking carefully, you'll probably notice my smile; if you're listening, you'll notice that my comments are spot-on and extremely funny without being mean-spirited.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Books: I read a lot of nonfiction (natural history, gardening, books about language, social sciences -- and anything else that captures my imagination). Favorite authors of nonfiction include David Quammen (whose "Song of the Dodo" is amazing) and Michael Pollan. Loved "Guns, Germs, and Steel," but thought "Collapse" should have been edited ruthlessly. Fiction -- I read virtually no genre fiction anymore, and not all that much other fiction. Prefer novels to short stories, and long novels to short ones. Vargas-Llosa's "Way to Paradise" blew me away; David Mitchell's "Cloud Atlas" and Matthew Kneale's "English Passengers" also on the top-ten-novels-ever list.

Movies: I like to be entertained when I see a movie, so I prefer musicals and comedies, though since most of the movies I see are at the Ritz, I see more than my share of grim and depressing flicks. As an information junkie, I also like documentaries. I like seeing movies in the theater, but how often I do that depends on who I'm hanging out with at any given time -- one of my favorite movie-going companions just got married, sigh.

Recently seen on DVD recently and liked: "Lars and the Real Girl," "He Loves Me ... He Loves Me Not," "The Duchess." Recently been obsessing on the meaning of "Saturday Night Fever." My Christmas present to myself last year: a six-disc Busby Berkeley set. All-time favorite musical: Tie between "Top Hat" and "All That Jazz," with "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" getting an honorable mention. All-time favorite comedy: "The Producers" (original, not the musical).

Watch very little real-time TV, though I still have a couple of guilty pleasure shows ("Survivor," "Grimm"). Now that I've got a Roku I do the Netflix bingewatching thing. (Can't wait for the new season of "Orange Is the New Black.") Most recent enthusiasm: "Jekyll," written by Steven Moffatt (the guy who writes the PBS "Sherlock"). Haven't tackled "The Sopranos" or "The Wire" yet.

Music: Have a thing about people who listen to nothing but "oldies" (classic rock). I'm not the same person I was 30 years ago, why on earth would I still be listening to the same music? I listen to a lot of African music, more jazz (esp. Cuban) with every passing year. Stan Getz's "Night and Day" with Kenny Barron is the most perfect imaginable version of my all-time favorite song.

Most recent discovery: Andrew Bird. I prefer his recent "love child of David Byrne and Laurie Anderson" stuff to the older "wishes he could sit in with Django" stuff, though the latter is completely listenable (and has some very clever lyrics).

See a fair number of concerts at the Keswick, including (in the last year or so): David Bromberg/Jorma Kaukonen, Bela Fleck/Zakir Hussain/Edgar Meyer, John McLaughlin, Jeff Beck, Lindsay Buckingham. Tedeschi/Trucks was at the Tower. (Yes, I do love me some guitar god guitar.) Andrew Bird at the Grand; Habib Koite at the Annenberg.

In in general I listen to more stuff sung in languages I don't speak than in English. I'd list some favorite artists, but (**snobbery alert**) the names probably wouldn't mean much to you. Okay -- you want specifics? Habib Koite, Orchestra Baobab, and Frank Emilio Flynn are all pretty well known -- but my favorite sax player is Momo Wandel Soumah, and I recently found the Bembeya Jazz National CDs I'd thought I'd lost -- yay!

Of course, as Oscar Wilde observed, consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative -- so the soundtrack to "Once" spent almost a year in the CD player after I saw (and loved) the movie.

The only kind of music I really, really don't want to listen to is smooth jazz. It's not only uninteresting, it's aggressively, intentionally uninteresting.

Food: Favorite is Mexican, but also like Italian food, seafood; don't eat too much red meat any more, but there's something very satisfying about a nice rare steak. Not a big fan of Chinese, Thai, etc., and can't conceptually deal with the whole "raw fish" thing so eschew sushi (though I will eat a California roll should the need arise). Competent cook but get no pleasure from it; I'm a pretty good baker, though.

Artists: It's all about color, so Gauguin, Matisse, Hockney. Of current artists, I like Walton Ford.
Six things I could never do without
At least one really hearty laugh a day. Curiosity. Hand lotion. A stack of books in my "to be read" queue, plus a couple of magazines with great visuals and interesting articles. A couple of knitting projects (socks in my purse, something more complicated next to my TV-watching chair). High thread count sheets and good pillows. Dark chocolate. Irony. Flowers. Parentheses (and dashes -- oh, and ellipses...).

Reading glasses. About a half dozen pairs randomly scattered all over my house, on my desk, in my purse -- in addition to the pair that's either on my nose, on top of my head, or tucked into the neck of my shirt.

Yes, I can count -- but questions with clearly defined answers are relatively uninteresting to me.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
My to-do list. I usually have a bunch of stuff I haven't quite gotten around to, and feel so much more on top of things if I at least write them down. Looking at the current version, it's a mix of professional and personal -- everything from "order flea drops for Zebulon and Jezebel" (my Most Excellent Kitties) and "teach F. how to knit" to "prep story pitch for G." and "finish linking 'zine movie reviews to IMDB."

Miscellaneous "big picture" questions, like the role/importance of ornamental (non-edible) gardening in habitat maintenance. Or the evolution of language. For-profit colleges, and what kind of regulations the federal government are going to come up with to rein in some of their exploitation of low-income and minority students. Whether Romney really can get away with not releasing his tax returns.

That and language -- I enjoy making up little word-manipulation puzzles for myself (and occasionally for others -- including selling a few to "Games").

And then back to my to-do list.
On a typical Friday night I am
Sometimes I'll meet a friend in town for dinner, a movie, a concert, a dance performance, or First Friday, but usually I'm vegging at home, watching "Grimm."
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
Cilantro tastes like soap to me. Apparently it's genetic.
You should message me if
You're confident and interesting.

A note on photos: Please have at least one in which you're wearing neither a baseball cap nor sunglasses. Remember all those police sketches of the Unabomber? I do.
The two of us