I look things up all the time, then forget what I learned in a few months and look them up again. It's kind of infuriating when I start talking about something I've read and discover after a little while that I'm missing crucial details. There isn't a really graceful way to eject at that point. A similar thing happens with books. I'm not thrilled about it, but it does give me a reason to re-read my favorites every so often. I dislike endlessly scrolling web pages, because I tend to scroll, endlessly, if given the opportunity. I say "please" and "thank you" to wait staff. I am extroverted when I want to be, but also need more than a little time alone.
Conversationally engaging and kind, I know the difference between a spirited discussion (fun!) and a fight (not!). My sense of humor leans more towards gentle irony and dry wit than biting sarcasm. I love making a joke so subtle that only one person in the group picks up on it. It's like a secret signal between the two of us. On the subject of irony, I like the verbal kind but rarely *do* things ironically. if I do a thing it's because I enjoy it, not because I think, "Wouldn't it be funny to pretend to like this thing that is not cool to like?" Liking things is cool, I think. I love people with super-nerdy pursuits like LARPing or cosplay who don't give one shit if other people ridicule them. Doing things is more fun that making fun of things. I'm not too cool for school, and I feel sorry for people who are.
"Nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff. We don’t have to be like, ‘Oh, that purse is okay’, or like ‘Yeah, I like that band’s early stuff.’ Nerds are allowed to LOVE stuff. Like, jump up and down in your chair, can’t control yourself LOVE IT. Hank, when people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘You are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness.’" --John Green (video)
People often say they don't know what to write here, but as you might have noticed I have the opposite problem. I'd much rather get someone talking about themselves than talk about me (or, ideally, you know, take turns), but that's not really an option for a profile, yeah? Mark Twain used to apologize for his letters, "sorry I did not have time to make this shorter." My messages are moderately longer than usual also, though I make attempts to trim the fat. (Writing is re-writing, as they say. Am I the only one who does a first and second draft of okcupid messages? Then I usually spot something I want to change approximately two nanoseconds after I click send. x_X ) I miss the '90s when we communicated at a distance primarily by email and I still correspond this way with a few people. Now we have the immediacy of cell phones, but you don't exactly craft a conversation as you would a letter, and that's too bad. Can you imagine historians of the future using text messages as primary sources? Okay, that quote up there? That was actually Blaise Pascal, I've found out. I'm leaving it as Twain because I like him better.
When I have some time on my hands, I try to take up some neglected interests. I have been drawing again (usually portraits and life drawing, but I'm also working on rendering a complete scene). I am dabbling in creative writing. I have several short stories I work on sporadically and I would like to try my hand at a screenplay.
I'm trying to make 2015 the year of seeing more shows. It's shaping up to be amazing but very expensive. If a ticket costs $40, don't fucking tell me it's $30. If I ever meet the motherfucker responsible for such high ticket fees, I will not be held responsible for my actions. No jury would convict me. Hell, there wouldn't even be a trial. When the judge heard that the "victim" charged millions of people 30% plus fees, they'd say, "Mr. Noodle, you've avenged a crime against humanity. This court is very sorry to have inconvenienced you. You're free to go. Can I have your autograph? Would you mind posing for a picture?"
Striking up interesting conversations with new people. Philosophical, political, or absurdly inconsequential debates. I make crazy good scrambled eggs. I have a knack for finding the right word for a given shade of meaning, but it sometimes abandons me at the most inopportune times. I'll write a five-paragraph essay like you wouldn't believe and would like to work on long-form pieces in the style of David Foster Wallace, Dave Eggers, or Matt Taibbi. I keep my bullshit detector well-tuned, but I am more inclined to find the good in other people than the bad. I'm good at understanding math but embarrassingly bad at doing simple arithmetic in my head. I like to think I'm an insightful advisor in interpersonal matters. I have a vanishingly minuscule drama quotient.
I'm good at dating. By which I mean I am able to accept people on their own terms; I almost always enjoy the company and conversation of whomever I'm with. A date's a fine way to spend an evening (afternoon, whatever) even if there's no romantic spark. I play chess, darts, pool, ultimate frisbee, disc golf, and the occasional card/board game (Carcassone, Settlers, and Perudo aka liar's dice are faves). I have a knack for explaining math and science to non-technical people. I can draw (although I'm rusty) and I know something about photography and Photoshop.
Okay so this kind of wandered off the "really good at" path. The short answer is the conversation, the writing, and the scrambled eggs.
I really pay attention to people when they talk.
both the book and movie versions: A Scanner Darkly*, Fight Club, Wonder Boys -- *speaking of Philip K. Dick, they are making Radio Free Albemuth into a flick. At first I thought that would be impossible, but there's a trailer for it and it looks pretty good! [update: it is not good; a valiant effort but ultimately a failure]
John Irving never disappoints. I am blown away by half of Margaret Atwood's novels; as a man, I don't think I am equipped to 'get' the other half, try as I might (although I have women friends who are the same way about her works; probably she is just much smarter than we). I adore David Foster Wallace. I haven't read much Ursula K. LeGuin, but two of her novels left a strong impression on me, and I think of them often. I like Sedaris and I can see the appeal of Tom Robbins, but I think they are vastly overrated. Michael Chabon, Richard Powers, and Jonathan Lethem are also favorites.
Movies: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Ghostbusters, Miller's Crossing, The Big Lebowski, Safety Not Guaranteed, Shakespeare in Love, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Heat, The Karate Kid, Primer.
Music: Bad Religion, Elliott Smith, Spoon, Metric, Built to Spill, Soundgarden, Alkaline Trio, Iron & Wine, Belle & Sebastian, Stone Temple Pilots, Portishead, Operation Ivy, Muse, Faith No More, Mos Def, God Lives Underwater, They Might Be Giants, The Mars Volta, Heartless Bastards, Harvey Danger, Aesop Rock, Retribution Gospel Choir, Autolux, The Kills, The New Pornographers. Occasionally Miles Davis or Thelonius Monk. Way more than you probably want to know about my listening habits can be learned at last.fm (click for my profile). If a band is listed there and has a show coming up, I'm probably wondering if I should go.
Food: Scambled eggs with cheese and veggies, asparagus, green beans, bacon cheeseburgers, French toast, pesto, apple fritters, pad thai, pad see ew, chicken or pork katsu. Greek style yogurt with honey. Avocado. Rye bread. All kinds of fruit. All kinds of nuts. I'm a sucker for curries with cashews or pineapple in 'em. Americano with cream, no sugar. Sometimes a latte breve (steamed half-and-half in place of the milk -- it's great, you should try it! but order a smaller size than you would a latte, because they are very rich and filling). Bourbon (mmmm Manhattans om nom nom) and scotch. I'm mostly over Irish whiskeys; they are boring by comparison. I like a gin and tonic in hot weather, but when I drink vodka I end up wondering why I didn't have something with more character.
I would like to say comfortable shoes, because apparently my feet are misshapen in some way. It's very hard to find shoes that fit to my satisfaction. In the last year, I've had four pairs of cleats that all bothered me in different ways, but I'm not dead yet, so I guess I can live without comfy shoes. Doesn't mean I gotta be happy about it.
The rest: Music, books, something purposeful to do, some time to do nothing purposeful, and a toothbrush. Shame on all you people who think you could live with no toothbrush. Try eating all those foods you can't possibly give up when your teeth fall out!
Neurology, consciousness, and sentience. Whether I should bring a flask of bourbon. Why brains are wired the way they are. Mathy things such as why ∏ is a poor choice for the circle constant. Whether I've gotten enough done to indulge in an afternoon nap. Whether this sounds too pretentious.
I really enjoy learning technical details about everyday things. For example, did you know that special relativity makes electromagnets work? That is so cool!
Sample recent thought: It's really strange that we say "sub-par" to mean something that isn't as good as it should be, but a below-par score is a desirable thing.
I was expelled from a Catholic high school for an unintended sacrilege. The story is best told in person. (Don't ask me to tell it in a message -- trust me on this.)
If you want a hiking/camping buddy or a live-music buddy; if you like to discuss books you've read and trade book recommendations; if you're the kind of person who will meet for a drink after a brief exchange of messages and maybe one or two texts or phone calls to work out details. I am also very open to non-traditional first dates, such as: watching people and making up stories about where they are coming from or heading to; competitive doodling (drink and draw?); and impromptu scavenger hunts. I have a very fine weapon for cardboard tube sword fighting if you'd like to challenge me to a duel. Does collaborating on the Sunday NYT crossword puzzle or the quizzy shows on NPR appeal to you? Trivia night? Hit that button.