39 Geneva, Switzerland
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My self-summary
I've just started seeing someone. But I have left my profile up because: http://www.salon.com/2011/09/01/online_dating_2/singleton/

I'm from Texas, I stopped apologizing for that when Obama got elected and that idiot went back to his phony ranch. I've worked overseas for 12 years and that gets a little more normal every minute.

I take my job seriously and not too much else. The world is just way too sad not to spend as much time as possible trying to laugh. It certainly beats the alternative. Besides, making someone laugh is not easy. When you learn a new language, understanding the jokes comes last. So a joke that's universal is better than gold dust. So far I know the cat joke that makes everyone laugh and the penguin joke that only makes me laugh. The in between bits are fun, too.

There's the part of my brain that craves stability, that eats the same breakfast every day and objects to changing desks at the office. Then there's the part that occasionally wants to throw a hand grenade into that routine and end up with something new. It's like this: Townes Van Zandt once sang "My days they are the highway kind, they only come to leave. But the leaving I don't mind, it's the coming that I crave." Fond as I am of that song, I can never agree with it completely. I hate leaving as much as I love the new. It's the tension between those two reactions that makes life interesting, feeling only one way or the other wouldn't work. I plan to keep getting on planes (61 countries and counting) and trying whatever's new on the menu. Though, a bit more stability in personal relationships, friendships and otherwise, wouldn't be bad.

I'm not sure how much sense that last paragraph makes. You're supposed to at least try to project a normal personality on a dating site, after all. But why would I want to meet a normal, safe, boring person? I had enough of those in engineering school.

Like most people here, I'm skeptical about the online dating thing but giving it a go anyway. I found a lot to consider in this New Yorker article, particularly about OKC. I highly recommend it: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/07/04/110704fa_fact_paumgarten?printable=true

Have to hand it to the woman that condenses compatibility to the question “Are we laughing at the same shit?”. Yes, that's EXACTLY what I'm looking for. Who isn't? My only quibble with her thoughts would be that I'm just as interested in a woman that makes me laugh as I am in one that laughs at my jokes.
What I’m doing with my life
Working in water and sanitation for the Red Cross, learning to only mention the water part to civilians instead of the toilet part that actually interests me.

I've lived in Geneva for four years (how did that happen?) and want to meet more people outside of work. I really enjoy grilling on my terrace, hiking the Alps, and finding fun things to do here (note to new folks, Geneva is not as boring as you think).

Right this second I am enjoying a day off from work and planning a trip down the Amazon this summer with two friends.
I’m really good at
Inadvertently hooking articles of clothing on door knobs while walking by. We're talking world champion, Inspector Clouseau level clumsiness in this niche area.

Explaining how the Ross-Macdonald equation demonstrates the best way to reduce malaria.

I can ride a horse better than most, one of the few Texan stereotypes you can apply to me.
The first things people usually notice about me
Dunno, hard to say. Perhaps my lack of accent (well, a Texan one anyway).
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
I admit I usually skip over this section when reading someone else's profile. That's not because I think these preferences are unimportant. I'm definitely sympathetic with High Fidelity's "what really matters is what you like, not what you are like" life view. And I'd say that what I miss most right now is someone to talk with about music, film, and tv, preferably over a nice meal (my friends in Geneva are a bit lacking in this department just now). It's just that I don't think a list is the best way to figure someone out. I've listed one favourite per category below, but that's too narrow to be defined by. Long lists are boring and just as free from insight. Maybe that quote should read "how you like"? I'm looking for passion, not identical interests. Even if your music taste sucks, you being able to defend it is a turn on.

There's also the small matter of how accurate someone's professed favourites are. OKC has some interesting theories about why 30 Rock appears on these lists.

Anyway, my quick list, which I don't think says all that much about me. But, the list is real at least.

The Border Trilogy, Cormac McCarthy

Lawrence of Arabia

The Simpsons


Whatever is the weirdest thing on the menu. If I haven't had it, and it sounds strange, I'm ordering it
The six things I could never do without
Hiking boots

Kind of Blue

Dr Bronner's

Bad jokes

Good beer

Any pizza
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Work, sad to say.

But also a lot of time about things completely different. Pop culture, politics, new recipes to try, and my next trip.

And why I like the joke about the two penguins.
On a typical Friday night I am
How much would you care to bet that most of the people that answer this question with something along the lines of "No such thing as a typical Friday night for me" actually do have fairly routine Friday nights most of the time? I know I do. Now, Saturdays on the other hand...
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I'm shameless enough to use what I learned in vector control class to make excuses for not making my bed.

If you're not entirely sure what that means, I'd be happy to explain it when we meet, after looking askance at the floor, chuckling, and leading with "I forgot I wrote something that stupid on my profile".

Bit of advice to y'all, read the question again. It doesn't ask what your deepest, darkest secret is. Use this space to prove how funny you claimed to be earlier in your profile. Sure, I failed at that, but you might succeed.
You should message me if
You have the inclination. But please do. I'm baffled by the notion that only the guy should take the first step.