I enjoy travel a lot. I've managed to visit 48 US states and enough countries that I have to look at a map to remind myself of which ones I've been to -- about 30 if I counted right. 2009 was a good year for travel; I visited London (April) and South Africa (September), and I flew back and forth between Seattle and Los Angeles quite a few times.
In 2010 I traveled a bit more, but not nearly as far: a tedious business trip to the Bahamas (January), a business-and-personal trip to the Seattle area (February), a slightly less tedious business trip to the Bahamas (April), a road trip from West Hollywood to Seattle to move (May), a road trip back to West Hollywood to retrieve things that didn't fit in the trailer in May (July), a high school reunion trip (August), Maine, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey (August), and numerous local trips (since June).
In 2011, my only major travel has been a July trip to Maine (via Boston) to get married. My wife and I have also gone on several local trips. We're traveling less now due to a tighter budget. If we can afford it next year, we'd like to go to see a solar eclipse near Australia.
In the summer of 2012, we went to Maine (again via Boston), then to New Jersey, with side trips to the Franklin Museum in Philadelphia and to Manhattan for a jazz cruise.
Hooray! My wife and I did indeed manage to save up enough to see the 2012 total solar eclipse -- a little of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef, and the island nation of New Caledonia. Most of the trip was on a cruise, so we could go lots of places without packing and unpacking our stuff all the time, and where we were almost always in the youngest ten percent of any group of people.
I thought of myself as shy for many years. But somehow it seems I overcame that without realizing it until much later. Suddenly I made a discovery: I'm not as shy as I thought I was.
Now that I'm attached (since June 2010), if I'm on here at all I'm either playing flag-moderator to look at the weird things people flag or looking for friends for myself and wife (since July 2011).
I'm very fond of cats, but I don't have any right now. My wife had a dog, who became our dog for the last five years of her very long life.
I have a Bacon Number of two.
There isn't a built-in profile section for commenting on one's own "Personality" tab, so I'm making one here.
I'm surprised that my strongest personality rating is "More into Exercise", even though I agree that's probably true in my demographic niche.
I'm rather surprised that I'm rated so high on "More Competitive", since I don't feel like I'm all that competitive.
I'm very political, and although the site rated me high there I'm surprised I'm not rated even higher.
I think the "sloppy" award should have two axes: tolerance of clutter, and tolerance of filth. On the clutter axis, I accept the award. But on the filth axis, I disagree; I'm not at all sloppy about dirt.
I'm surprised that I'm rated so low on "More Progressive", given that I'm liberal and live in a congressional district that continues to re-elect Republicans, even the dimwit currently occupying the seat.
I'm surprised that I rate "Less Kind", given that my wife says kindness is one of my strengths. Maybe I just haven't answered enough questions that affect that personality rating.
I know that personality awards change occasionally, sometimes without even answering questions.
(I tried to get the heading of this home-made section to look like the real ones, but the HTML I've tried didn't work.)
I am friendly, optimistic, and creative.
(Way back when this was at the top of one's profile.)
Although I haven't done professional programming in a while, I am looking for software development work once again. I am already back at it on a hobby level, and studied Blackberry Java programming until I switched to an Android phone. It's fun. I am also doing some lightweight software work at a volunteer job. (I also volunteer for SIFF occasionally.)
My last work was as executive producer on a jazz CD. The instrumental music on the CD was great, and the singing sounded pretty good, but the singer can't sing in front of an audience. The work itself was miserable, because I had to deal with the singer, who was a horrible diva, acting like she was a big star, even though she's a nobody and likely to remain a nobody. I'd link the web site for the music, but since I have flag-moderator privileges on this site I know better than to put anything into my profile that might be taken as advertising; if you want to know about it, just ask me.
I probably spend more time writing than anything else. I'd like to say that most of my writing was something productive, like another screenplay, but I'm much more likely to be found writing something fun and easy, like a movie review, an entry in my online journal, or a comment on someone else's journal. I occasionally edit Wikipedia pages when I see mistakes; I've even created a few new articles.
I go to movies a lot -- over 200 a year most recent years. I like the theater experience; movies look and sound better on the big screen with theatrical sound systems, and the shared experience of seeing a movie in a dark room with other people feels different.
I've been politically active for a long time. Until recent years, I was mostly been a checkbook activist, and someone who debates politics for fun. But in 2004 I actually knocked on doors on election day, and started attending fund-raising events. In 2008 I was elected as a caucus delegate (for the first time since 1988), I knocked on doors, I made phone calls, and I even supervised a couple of other get-out-the-vote volunteers. I was a delegate again in the 2012 caucus, and missed going to the national convention by just a few votes. I was yet again in 2016, but didn't try to advance as far. I'm now a Precinct Committee Officer in Redmond, and acting PCO for an adjacent precinct.
I was a fair-weather bicycle commuter for many year -- through my university years and quite a few years of office jobs -- and kept active with some other sports too. But my last office job would have been too dangerous to get to by bicycle, and working at home means no commute at all. I remained naturally thin, and the bicycle commuting still showed, but I felt like a slacker. In 2007 I decided to fix that, mostly for the health benefits, and started working out regularly. Now I'm doing three days a week with a personal trainer, and I'm in the best shape I've been in at least ten years.
I would still describe myself as a hobby astronomer, but I haven't actually dragged the telescope outside much lately. I have a solar telescope too, which is a lot of fun when the Sun is more active -- and daylight astronomy is a lot warmer than looking at the night sky. It's nice that the Sun is returning to activity after a long period of exceptionally low activity; there wasn't much to see then, which took a lot of the fun out of it.
Much to my surprise, I'm pretty good at writing advertising and doing advertising graphics. In my jazz work, I created some advertisements so I wouldn't have to pay someone else to do it, and when I showed it to marketing professionals they were actually impressed, not just polite.
I seem to be good at meeting famous people, mainly movie people and politicians. That's my excuse for the name-drop profile picture. When I lived in West Hollywood, I often had celebrities pointed out to me when I was out and about, but usually I turned to look just in time to see them disappear around a corner. That's not as much fun as meeting a director at a film festival screening, or a politician at a politically-themed party.
I am not really good at writing about myself in a way that's meant to introduce myself to complete strangers. As a result, I left this profile blank for my first two months on here, and even when I got around to writing something it ended up being only a modest introduction. But I tinker with it periodically, and it's getting more substantial. It would be amusing if these profiles had edit histories like Wikipedia pages.
Online, I'd guess that the first thing people notice is that I write frequently, most often about movies, except in advance of the election, when I wrote more about politics.
On Halloween, it was pretty much unavoidable for people to notice that I was carrying a great big red scutum, wearing a very heavy steel lorica segmentata, and equipped with a few other ancient Roman soldier accessory replicas. The lorica is actually normal silvery-gray steel; the golden color in the profile picture comes from sodium street lamps.
I don't know how much a list of favorite movies would tell about me. If the list is short enough to read without getting bored, it isn't very revealing. If it's long enough to show a pattern, it's probably longer than most people would bother reading through. So instead of a list of titles, here's a commentary on the sorts of films I watch:
- I often watch independently-produced films, not because they're indies, but because if they're good enough to gain distribution they're probably better than a movie that costs so much that it must be distributed to recover some of the ill-spent production costs.
- I often watch foreign-language films, because if they're good enough to gain distribution in spite of the language barrier, they're probably pretty darn good. I've had particularly good luck with French films; I'm not sure whether that's because French films are better or because the Seattle International Film Festival does a good job of picking French films.
- I don't discriminate against big-budget, wide-release movies just because they're big. Some stories can only be told with a big budget, and some big-budget movies are wonderful.
- I enjoy comedies, and prefer those that emphasize wit over shock humor. I like romantic comedies, as long as they manage to find a clever twist on the formula.
- I like a good drama.
- If someone mentions a movie I don't know much about, I'm more likely to ask who directed it than who starred.
- The above bullet-list would be cooler if I could use actual bullet points, instead of just hyphens.
I like quite a few types of music. One favorite is so-called "alternative", particularly 1980s New Wave. I like a lot of classical, although I don't listen to it a lot. I like jazz, and listen to it a lot, in part because that's what the local NPR station plays between news programs, in part because working on jazz exposes me to more of it, and in part because I can't stop listening to the CD I executive-produced. The Beatles were my first favorite, and they're still on the list.
Two favorite foods are salmon and chocolate -- just not together. My favorite food nationality is Italian. Runners-up, in no particular order, are Mexican, Chinese, and Thai. It's easier to find good restaurants in the Seattle area than in the Los Angeles area.
. . . why I got myself stuck in the business of music, just as it was dying in the face of downloads.
. . . why OK Cupid got rid of a lot of the social features that made the site fun even for people who weren't looking for dates.
. . . you want to mock me for a typographical, spelling, grammar, or content error in this profile.
. . . you like to write to everyone who seems likely to write back.
. . . you have something interesting to say.