I have been a computer geek for almost as long as I can remember. I am a software engineer at a company you've heard about; computers are my job. I am an incorrigible information junkie; computers are my source for news and history and analysis. I have friends and colleagues; computers are my communications channel. I play games and write code; computers are my entertainment center. Computers computers computers.
But there's more to life than computers. This is California, after all; I'm pretty sure adults are legally obligated to play outside on a regular basis.
I love bicycling. Mostly road and mostly uphill because I'm a coward going downhill. I'm easy to spot because all of my biking gear is blue. I moved to the Santa Cruz Mountains in part because of the great bike routes just outside my door.
I love skiing. Somehow my cowardice on bike turns into fearlessness on skis. I shoulda been a ski racer except I didn't learn to ski until I was 24. Instead I push hard against the edge of my abilities, and crash hard as a result. Have you ever had ski patrol compliment you on your spectacular wipeout? Great fun. Sadly, my ski gear is not blue.
I love running. I started again recently after many years off. I take a goal-driven approach to running. My current goal is to improve my half marathon time (1:46:47 as of May 2012).
I love backpacking in the Sierras. The more remote the better. There's nothing more bad-ass than returning from two weeks in the backcountry, uncombed and unshaven, walking past the dainty day hikers trapped on their short trails.
On clear moonless nights I roll out my telescope. It's big. No, bigger than you think. But if you expect Hubble-style explosions of color, you'd be disappointed. Even with toys like mine most objects in the sky are "faint fuzzies", barely distinguishable from the background. And that's part of the fun: the challenge of identifying shape and structure in the dim gray blob, or even of finding it at all. The appeal is something like a cross between birdwatching and stamp collecting, plus the simple awe of photons reaching your eye that are many millions of years old.
From the dark skies to the limelight. I love performing on stage. Sadly my acting and dancing skills were never good enough, and my cello skills atrophied years ago. Nowadays I make do with occasional stints in a large community choir, where I can contribute but hide my lack of voice training. If you want to see me in my tuxedo, this is your best bet. I channel the rest of my musical impulses into classical and jazz concerts and Rock Band.
Rock Band, computer games, board games, puzzles - I'll play them all. Some games are just for fun with my friends. Other games bring out my competitive side. (Sometimes too competitive - ask me about tennis camp when I was a kid.) I don't always host parties, but when I do, we play games.
My travel plans focus on specific activities - mountain biking in Utah, skiing in Colorado, astronomy near Alturas. Tourist vacations or even simply going somewhere new for the experience of it has never been a high priority. If you are looking for someone to whisk you off your feet and whirl you around the world, I'm not your man. But if you can take the lead then I will accompany you almost anywhere.
Smart-ass one liners. My brother and my dad and I are in more or less continuous competition.
Teaching. My friends tell me my voice has a distinct "lecture mode" that switches on sometimes.
Problem solving. Why yes, I am a professional engineer. Not so effective with interpersonal problems though - even a good solution will make the problem worse when presented tactlessly.
Gardening. Benign neglect works quite well if you choose the right plants.
The Wire. Firefly. Connections.
Antonín Dvořák. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Amethystium.
Memento. Das Boot. Fantasia.
Anthony Waichulis. M.C. Escher. Rogelio Bernal Andreo.
Shoes for biking, running, hiking, skiing, badminton.
Sunset in the mountains.
This one screwdriver that is somehow always the right size for the job.
…they called you a tomboy or a nerd but you know the truth is more complicated
…the only performance-enhancing drug you need is food
…the only mind-altering drug you need is adrenaline
…you're looking for a companion, colleague, and co-conspirator