When I'm not working, my main side project right now is writing music (and sometimes lyrics) for a new musical called "Fair Game" that I'm collaborating on with a guy in Illinois. Basically, it's a modern reworking of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" re-set at a British country estate during World War II where Hero never forgives Claudio for denouncing her at the altar and doesn't marry him at the end. Bonus points if you know what I'm talking about.
I have a B.S. in math from Indiana University, but midway through my undergraduate work I decided that going to grad school in math wasn't my thing, so I've been trying to redirect my life toward my more marketable passion for computer programming. I've had a few bumps in the road, but I think I'm finally on the right footing as far as that's concerned.
I'm a very passionate chess player. I even play chess tournaments.
I also love to play bridge. I know it's kind of out of fashion with the younger generation these days, but I love it, and I would love to find more people my age who played. If you've ever played it or would like to learn, let me know--I'll teach you! Seriously, it's a lot more fun than Euchre or Spades, which seem to be what my generation likes to play primarily.
I've been writing music since I was a small child, both classical music and musical theatre, and have always been extremely passionate about it. When I was in high school, I completed my first musical (my mom wrote the lyrics), and we got it performed when I was 16.
My second musical combines several of my passions because it's all about math--it's called "The Powers of Two," and it's loosely based on the old Indian or Persian folktale about the man who asks the king for one grain of rice for the first square of the chessboard, then two for the second, then four for the third, eight for the forth, and twice as many for every square as for the square before until all the squares are filled. Of course, the king thinks this won't be much rice at all, but it's actually more rice than there is in the whole world. This show is finished, but I haven't been able to find anywhere to get it performed yet, which is disappointing, but I'm still trying.
I'm a Ravenclaw, though Pottermore seems to think I'm a Hufflepuff instead.
I also really used to be into game programming as a hobby, and once wrote a chess game and a Tetris game that actually worked!
Meanwhile, I think I'm pretty decent at composing music. People seemed to like my first musical when it got performed, and that was when I was only 16. I feel like I've gotten even better as a composer as time went on, and I can't wait to finish another show and get it performed sometime.
Favorite movies: Apollo 13, Catch Me If You Can, the Hunger Games movies (best book-to-movie transfer ever, IMHO, plus I've got a crush on Jennifer Lawrence), Casablanca, Star Wars
Interesting footnote--For a while I was working on some serious Star Wars fan fiction: my own Episodes VII, VIII, and IX (which I came up with the concepts for long before there was ever going to be an official sequel trilogy!) Totally pumped about the real ones too!
Favorite shows: I don't really watch TV much, and when I do, it's mostly for sporting events. However, I do like Whose Line Is It Anyway and Chuck. My sister watches a lot more TV than I do, and she's given my quite a few recommendations, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, Blackadder, and a whole lot of other British comedy, but I haven't really found the time to watch any of that stuff yet.
I'm also going to add a category that wasn't technically on here:
Favorite Broadway musicals: Classic musical theatre (Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma!, West Side Story, etc.), Phantom of the Opera, Wicked
I've actually acted in a number of musicals myself--so far, I've been in Guys and Dolls, Bye Bye Birdie, Annie, and Mame, and I've music/vocal-directed Babes in Arms (the original "Let's put on a show in the barn!" musical from the 1930s).
Favorite classical music: Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner, Puccini, Bach, Rachmaninoff, Borodin, Ravel, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, too many to name
I don't really listen to much popular music (I'm very hard to please), but if you've got a favorite artist/group/song you'd like to share with me, by all means, I'll give it a chance!
Favorite food: Indian, Mexican, Pizza, some Thai
Whether or not the universe has some driving force that, for lack of a better name, could possibly be called God (although not the God of any established religion). I once took a college class called "The Bible and the Problem of Suffering" that was all about how different people over the years have dealt with the question of how a benevolent God could coexist with the reality of human suffering. We mostly looked at Biblical examples in that course, but I've taken the ideas from that course far beyond the scope of Judeo-Christian theology and come to develop my own ideas about divinity. In general, my views on human suffering are best summed up by a Harry Potter quote--it's when the Muggle Prime Minister asks Cornelius Fudge why wizards can't use their magic to sort out absolutely anything; Fudge's reply is "The trouble is, the other side can do magic too, Prime Minister."
Along these lines, I feel that if there is a God in the universe, He (for lack of a better pronoun, although I don't particularly like to think of God in personal terms) must be very powerful and benevolent, but not omnipotent, and there must be some other powerful force that's powerful as well and that drives the evil and suffering in the world.
I'm sure the last couple of paragraphs make me sound very religious, but the truth is I'm really not particularly religious at all. I just like to think about these kind of things from a philosophical standpoint. I'm very open to discussing this, by the way, in case you're curious where I stand on certain things.
I also spend a lot of time pondering why a composer like Mozart or Beethoven can write a piece of music that would be seen as a masterpiece, but if the piece had instead been written by a modern composer, people would see it as derivative and hackneyed. I once read an excerpt from some novel (I don't even know the name of it) about a forger who tries to pass off one of his own paintings as a long lost Van Eyck. After he's caught, he explains that he did it because he knew he wouldn't receive any recognition for it as his own work, but if he presented it as the work of a famous painter, it would be seen as a masterpiece. I think the same paradox applies to music as well, and since my own compositional style is very influenced by the music of the 19th century, I spend a lot of time thinking about why new music in that style will never please the critics.
If you've actually read my entire profile.
If you'd ever like to go to a theatrical performance/symphony concert/opera with me.
If you play chess or bridge.
If you've got a great book or movie to recommend to me.
If you just feel like it for some other reason.