vMe: about the author

This is me at my May, 2001 IU pseudo-graduation
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I was born in Portland, Oregon and keep coming back. I get really excited when I meet another Portland native, since there are so many more transplants here than natives. Well, for three years, I tested the waters outside Portland by studying at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. At IU, I was able to combine my two career passions, writing and programming, by double-majoring in journalism and computer science. I also found new academic interests at IU by taking many classes in sociology, philosophy and photography. Mmm. Liberal education.

I met a lot of students who got sick of being a Social Security Number on the registrar's database and eventually disappeared from IU. Luckily, by the time I reached that point, I had accumulated enough credits to graduate a year early. So, I attended the May, 2001 IU graduation ceremony under the pretext that I would finish my final two required classes via Independent Study during that summer. Uhm. Two years later I finished my degree. You know how it goes: You play some Civ II, you surf the web, you help out at your dad's office and next thing you know it's 2003.

2003 was also around the time that I learned how to talk to girls, which, although belated, was pretty fricking rad. I found out that steady employment helps in that department, too, so I got myself one of those crappy retail jobs at the Copy Place. Next thing you know, it's 2005 and I excitedly join AmeriCorps*VISTA to prevent an occurance of spontaneous, high velocity grey matter to copier glass exposure. Who's grey matter might end up on the copier is left as an exercise for the reader. I kid. I kid. It wasn't that bad, but I do have an ex-manager who is way more content getting shot at in Afghanistan than he ever was at the Copy Place.

So, anyhoos, here are some of the most significant things I've accomplished since leaving IU:

  • Wrote a novel
  • Fought the law
  • Attended some protests
  • Learned to win Civilization II on the Deity difficulty level
  • Did some coding
  • Discovered Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • Wrote some stuff on this website
  • Read some books
  • Rode my bike

I began programming in Basic in the fourth grade on the infamous IBM PCjr, which was IBM's digital answer to the Ford Edsel. Nevertheless, in the meantime I've learned Java, C, Scheme and Motorola 68k Assembly Language.

My passion for writing also started at an early age; however, I didn't think about pursuing it as a career until my junior year at Woodrow Wilson High School. At that time, I was News Editor for the Wilson High School Statesman. I later went on to become Editor in Chief during my senior year. Also during senior year, I helped reintroduce Wilson's literary magazine, The Veridian, and because of my leadership, the magazine has once again become a tradition.

When I feel like going outside, I will go for a bike ride or a hike. Sometimes, I'll have a nostalgic dream about playing middle school soccer and I'll wake up happy. Really, basketball and soccer would be fun sports, but our society's cult of sports, including sports figure idolization, and the indoctrination of competition and hierarchy have removed all the joy for me.

Musically, I've made up for a sheltered existence during the late 80s and early 90s by listening to REM, Queen and Radiohead. I also like Sleater-Kinney, Guster and some poppish VH1 stuff like Vanessa Carlton and, when I'm not in mixed company, I might admit to having once liked Avril Lavigne. And jazz is always good stuff. Actually, the growth of my breadth of taste in music has slowed since losing my fast university ethernet connection. If the RIAA asks, this is a coincidence.

I consider myself a pessimistic idealist. That is to say, I believe the world could be a beautiful, peaceful, self-actualized place and that such things will never, ever happen. On good days, I'm something of a romantic. I prefer existentialism over rationalism, but believe both philosophical systems have their merits. The only people I don't have any patience for are people living the proverbial unexamined life.

Politically, I believe in absolute personal freedom fettered only by the government when the weak need to be protected from the strong. I draw this line in a lot of uncommon places, but it always follows that simple rule. I believe the United States sucks at this, and it's only getting worse. I don't think there's a conspiracy, but I do believe there are many hurtful emergent properties inherent in our system. I also think feminism has gotten a bum rap. I'm pretty afraid that my middle adulthood will be plagued by all kinds of nasties like global warming and vastly accelerated mass extinctions and peak oil, but I mostly just have some casual, academic interest in survivalism because I'm too lazy and too metaknowledgable of my own paranoia to really prepare anything.

Here are some of my pet social issues: peace, mental environmentalism, childhood rights, freedom of speech, fair gender roles, corporate responsibility, sanity in the media, and the end of car culture. I have a tendancy to talk myself into "I wouldn't want to join a club that would have me as a member," corners with my activism and I'm not particuarly good at surrounding myself with peers who understand my passion.

I'm an introvert and the worst thing people routinely say to me is: "why aren't you talking?" The second worst thing people routinely say to me is: "are you bored?" On the other hand, I greatly appreciate people who help bring out my enthusiasm and sense of humor.

Once upon a time, this website was not an attempt at meeting single women. Actually, the purpose of the blog section of my website is mostly to catalog links for my personal reference that are too interesting to be buried in my overflowing bookmark file. So, don't take it too seriously. The rest of my site is mostly for vanity, although I do believe I have some important things to say and I'd like to meet like-minded people.

If you're interested in contacting me, one of my real email addresses can be found here. Or you can write my spam fodder email address here. Thanks for visiting.