59Minneapolis, United States
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My self-summary
Hello, there, you marvel of the Universe!

I'm revisiting OKCupid after many months of focus on just about everything else. It's a good bet that most of this profile is obsolete. I'm working on it, and I'll revise it soon---or, heck, maybe delete it. We'll find out.

Just curious: why is nothing ever simple?
What I’m doing with my life
I'm a graduate student, studying for a science/engineering Ph.D.. I also work full-time as a scientist in an industrial lab, figuring things out, messing up whiteboards, and chasing grants. I do not wear a lab coat.

I get days off, too. Lately I've been bitten by the jazz/new-music bug, especially Zeitgeist and Jelloslave locally. It's magical, weird, passionate sound. Readings of poetry and other new writing are also on the list.

Lately I'm learning to knit. I'm about three feet into my first project, a scarf. It's mostly an excuse to go to Drunken Knit Night at Merlin's Rest once a month and hang around with knitters.

I'm addicted to learning, I suppose. What can you and I teach each other?

Travel: I've been grounded for years, lately by grad school and other obligations. I'm overdue to branch out. So far I've seen London, Oslo, Cannes, Rabat, and Yokohama. Where next? Florence, maybe; it would be good to spend a week or two in art museums by day and sipping sangiovese by night.
I’m really good at
Accentuating the positive. I can usually find a way to like whatever is in front of me, especially food, but also people, art, work, stuff. Among the few exceptions are Adam Sandler movies and rhubarb pie.

Baking pecan pie. Or, at least, I like to bake pecan pie, but I haven't gotten much practice lately. My father no longer lives in New Mexico and they don't grow pecans in Oregon, so my supply line for shipments of fresh pecans has dried up. Time to branch out to marionberry pie?

Listening. Try me! I'm not just leaning forward because I'm hard of hearing, but also because it is important to pay attention to what you're telling me.

Overthinking. We can probably classify this as a longstanding bad habit. "Any idea, if you ride it far enough, leads directly to Hell." - William Gass.
The first things people usually notice about me
Probably my vocabulary and eccentric speaking style. I'm trying to make myself clear, I really am, but it's hard to resist the temptation of that new eight-syllable word I learned yesterday.

Also, I listen to my interlocutors. It's important to me to know what people are saying and what they care about.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
For books, movies, and music: surprise, a sense of wonder, and the frisson of not quite knowing what's going on. It's not anarchy, but a mysterious structure that I can sense but not quite articulate. See: Herman Melville, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Louise Erdrich; David Lynch, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Stanley Kubrick; Tori Amos, Bela Bartok, Kurt Cobain.

Latest book: Best American Short Stories 2010, which is the usual mixed bag. All of the stories are well crafted, but most of them are too realistic for my taste. I want more magic! "The Seagull Army Descends on Strong Beach" by Karen Russell and "Painted Ocean, Painted Ship" by Rebecca Makkai are both wonderful.
Latest movie: "The Tree of Life" by Terrence Malick. I need to see it again. There was a lot to like about it, including strong, quiet performances and voluptuous cinematography. But several times during the 2.5-hour running time I thought, "This is never going to end. We're all going to die here." It's maybe a little slow-moving.
Current music: on a jazz kick, with 88.5 on the car radio. Went to the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, loved Danilo Perez. I've also heard Insurgent at Studio Z and Jelloslave at the Aster.

When it comes to food I'm an opportunistic omnivore. Left to my own devices I eat salads and bean soup and rice, but it's great fun to cook new stuff and explore restaurants: Thai, sushi, Iranian, burgers, you name it. I just found a recipe for habanero cranberry brownies that sounds interesting.
Six things I could never do without
My daughter and my parents.

My delightful circle of friends.

Books, movies, music, and food, of course.

Conversation. Calm or animated, casual or intense, deep or shallow, baseball or Kirkegaard, it's all good, all necessary.

Touch. A great revelation of my middle years was that I take a lot of comfort from physical human contact. Moreover, it's shared: two people can make the world a lot better for each other just by snuggling up, even on sad, dreary days.

Mystery. I get anxious about it, but on the whole I really enjoy not knowing what's going to happen next.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
My friends. They're a smart, articulate, exciting bunch, and they're always providing banquets for thought.

My daughter, who has grown to be a free-standing adult and a good friend.

Work. A grad student can't survive without being at least a little bit obsessed, and I am, a little.

How to make the world better without burning myself out to a cinder in the process. What's the right scale? Save the world? Rinse out a plastic bag and call it good? Somewhere in between, of course, but where?

My latest recurrent line of thought is about the trouble we as a society have in distinguishing between moral ("You're evil!") and clinical ("You're sick!") judgments. They are very different, and we ought to make the distinction clear and accept responsibility for the difference. Dunno how, though. Also, neither should be tossed out casually.
On a typical Friday night I am
Wondering how the week got away from me so quickly. Friday at The Academy is meeting day, as it's the day with the fewest classes scheduled. There's usually a department coffee gathering, and a conference call, and a big seminar, and the weekly meeting of one of my project groups. The last meeting usually ends at 5:30 or so, and by then I'm ready to go home, fix dinner, and crash.

Or not. It's amazing how the energy can come surging back in time for a social event. Those friends of mine are a very social lot, so we'll probably meet up some time over the weekend---why not tonight?
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I'm completely deaf in my left ear. As afflictions go, it's quite minor, and not all of my acquaintances know about it. But it happened instantaneously, and it makes a pretty good story (I especially like the bit about the ENT doc with an Australian accent). Also, as a consolation prize I got a full series of MRI images of my head.

Okay, two things. Second: I've officiated at two weddings. Both couples are still married. Going to try a third one in September.

Three? Three things? I have three balls of yarn in my freezer.
You should message me if
... you're looking for a relaxed, pleasant time with somebody who's interested in you for yourself, who can exchange both banter and philosophy, who can share new food, friends, and ideas.
The two of us