I once went on a 1,600 mile bike tour, beginning in San Francisco. As I rode around the city, lots of people, seeing my touring bike/gear, asked me me "Where are you riding from? Where are you riding to?". I felt a little ashamed to say "This is my first day. I'm riding across the country." It seemed like such a big claim to make, in just the first few miles of my ride.
But, as the Chinese proverb says: "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." I hope that your reading my profile now is that incongruously, even embarrassingly small -- yet completely necessary -- first step on a great journey.
Some words and phrases that describe me uniquely well (vs the general population):
- open-mindeded/critial thinking
- honest and straightforward; open with my thoughts and feelings
- unwilling to take life too seriously
- funny (or, at least, I try, which IMO is half the battle :) )
- minimalist (e.g. I don't own a TV, smartphone, car, mattress/bed, Netflix account, etc. I do have Amazon Prime, though. :-p )
- disciplined and hardworking
- healthy and fit
Hopefully many of these are personality traits that you share and/or particularly appreciate. :)
Opened up a small moonshining operation.
Closed the moonshining operation.
Went to college.
Dropped out of college.
Worked at a sandwich shop.
Went back to college.
High school math teacher.
Long haul truck driver.
Public bus driver.
Web development bootcamp teaching assistant.
Software engineer. (← current)
Additionally, I have...
- edited Wikipedia over 1,000 times
- free soloed a 5-story building
- founded a subreddit with over 170,000 subscribers (although I have since been deposed as moderator)
- written this song on the guitar and drums and this song on the piano
- scored 1580 on the SAT
- done a 1,600-mile solo, self-supported bike tour and a 500-mile tandem, self-supported bike tour
- pedaled a bike at 53 mph
- run a mile in 5:47
- bench pressed 305 lbs
- overcome my fundamentalist Catholic upbringing to realize that there is no God
- gone 3.75 days eating nothing but celery and gum
- been reviewed as the "coolest math teacher i have ever had," a "hella chill teacher," and "freaking awesome"
- moved using only my Mazda Miata convertible (twice)
And I unconditionally guarantee that I will beat you in Mario Kart 64.
Books: The Prisoner's Dilemma, Ender's Game, Into Thin Air, The Kite Runner, I Robot, Cannery Row, Lost Horizon, Regarding the Fountain, The Day of the Jackal, Right Ho Jeeves, and of course Harry Potter. Most overrated book ever: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Movies: the Bourne trilogy, Gladiator, The Fountain, Strictly Sexual, GATTACA, I Am Sam, In Bruges, Love Actually, The Notebook, V for Vendetta, The Painted Veil, The Crucible, The Count of Monte Cristo.
Shows: Dexter, Modern Family. 24 is an oldie but a goodie.
Music: I don't even know the names of most artists/songs I listen to. I am at the mercy of Pandora and Spotify. Here is a sample of some of my all-time favorites, though:
- Shinedown - Simple Man (acoustic)
- Henryk Górecki - Symphony No. 3, Op. 36
- Max Richter - Sarajevo
- Don Omar ft. Tego Calderon - Bandolero
- DMX - Get It On The Floor ft. Swizz Beatz
Food: I almost never eat out. This is to save money, to optimize my health, and to avoid unnecessary social interactions/protocols. At home, one of my staple foods that I eat is a dish that I call "slop". I boil the following ingredients in a large pot (making enough to last for a week or two at a time): quinoa, lentils, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, corn, diced tomatoes, green chiles, salsa, cayenne pepper, black pepper, chile flakes, Tabasco sauce, olive oil, and salt. When I eat it, I will also usually mix in some of the following items: steak sauce, guacamole, feta cheese, parmesan/Romano cheese. It's delicious, nutritious, energizing, vegetarian, and pretty cheap. :)
- hot showers/baths
- a bike (for both transportation and exercise)
- free time
- non-free time (i.e. some kind of purpose)
- most importantly: relationships with a few people (or maybe just one is enough?) who really understand and care about me, and vice versa
Completely ignoring any particular focus on Friday night, here are some things that I enjoy and do fairly regularly:
- talk with a close friend
- drink alcohol (← date idea!)
- ride my bike(s)
- lift weights
- read a book
- read the Internet
- watch TV (on my laptop; I don't actually own a TV)
- take a hot shower/bath
And here are some activities that I am able to do only infrequently but enjoy a lot:
- dance! (← date idea!)
- the "parlor game" or "tabletop game" variously called mafia/werewolf/assassin/resistance
- snowboard (← ambitious date idea!)
- bike tour
- international travel
- amusement park (love thrill rides)
And remember, grab life by the horns! YOLO!