66Seattle, United States
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My self-summary
Me? Summarize myself? Egad. In grad school I had a contract, supplemental to my fellowship, to teach one course one semester each year. For one of those courses I developed a unit on summarization. But while I'm not bad at talking about myself or writing about myself, I'd rather not try to put together anything as comprehensive as a quick portrait. Instead, I'll share a few things and let you make what you will of them. With retirement looming ahead it seems worth talking about other times I have switched gears in life.

I closed a business and returned to school at 32. I had intended to finish the last two years of my BA, get credentials for teaching English in high school, and learn Spanish sufficient to read Latin American fiction in the original. But I had too much fun learning and continued immediately for three years in a Ph.D. program. While I chose not to continue beyond that time, I remain proud of the decisions and commitments this entailed and the lessons I learned about the work of following one's path/deisres/dreams.

More than a decade after that experience I tired of the supervisory side of my work as a non-profit and social services program manager. I spent two years as a potter, until a shoulder injury two weeks before the Fremont Fair made me recognize how precarious that career could be. So now I am once again well established in a more conventional career, finding challenges and opportunities for new learning while managing to avoid the supervisory chores I had found so unappealing.
What I’m doing with my life
After several years where most of my life outside of work was given to being caregiver and major lifeline to the world for my mother, 2011 has been a time of recovering the joys and activities that I had deferred. I began doing pottery recreationally again several months ago (and was pleased to find that while some of my skills had eroded, the pleasure of making pots had not). I starting playing golf again a few weeks, amazing playing partners and course staff by playing with wooden woods. My p-patch looks better than it has in years, and weather willing will be a source of both good eats and good times over the next few months. Haven't been listening to live music much yet or going to the theater, but that too should start up again soon,

The other key part of my life is preparing for retirement and assessing how I will want to spend it when it comes in the next couple of years. Right now the planning is still more of a fun exercise most of the time. But it does impact current decision quite frequently, such as whether to set up my own pottery studio or wood shop at home, knowing that I would almost certainly not have room for it if I moved.

And of course there is this dating stuff.
I’m really good at
Making life a self-teaching opportunity.
Getting over it.
Making personal decisions that balance risk and benefit, and supporting those decisions with action, introspection, and a willingness to live with consequences.
Laughing, though I may be better at making others laugh.
Musical parody (you should have my Bush version of My Country Tis of Thee, which began My Country tis of me, what need of liberty. Of me you'll sing).
Understanding language.
Everyday intimacy.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
I look forward to a decent percentage of any of these things being enjoyable and worth my time. So while I understand that the point of the question is to tell you something about me, the most telling thing I can say is that I hope the next book read or movie I see will give me something to think about, laugh about, talk about, and otherwise enjoy on its own merits and not on some cosmic rating system.

For somebody who nearly made a career out of Victorian fiction and poetry, and who returned to school to better read modern Latin American literature, I sure don't read much fiction these days. What that experience taught me more than anything else is that all good writing is fair game for enjoyment. It is the language and the attempt to communicate something of value through all the richness of language that makes reading a pleasure. So I still love works by Carlos Fuentes, Vargas Llosa, Marquez, Machado de Assis, Dickens, George Meredith, and others and reread them occasionally. When I was younger I craved John Cheever's novels and stories, Malamud, Bellow, and others. Now I read mostly essays, science writing, and travel writing. An example of something I really enjoyed is "The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction" by David Quemmen. It deals with timely and critical things, combining deep research, clear, complex, and compelling arguments, and an effective narrative.

I haven't been to many movies or plays lately (see What I'm Doing with My Life, above) but I am hoping to catch the Seattle Opera's Porgy and Bess. Now Gershwin, he's a favorite.
Six things I could never do without
The Northwest Folklife Festival
Good radio: KBCS, BBC online, KING
My Kindle (which I expected to despise and still distrust but which makes reading so physically easy on my aging eyes)
My cedar-shaded bower of a patio, where I am now, listening to the chirping of the neighbor birds and preschoolers
Something to learn, practice, make, appreciate, fix, understand, conceive, or any combination of the above.
My passport, mostly unused but ready for action
The two of us