My Background

After a 3-year gestational period as an anamorphic bud on the hindquarters of a wildebeest, I fell off during a particularly exciting stampede. I went on to spend my formative years at the feet of a great sage and Shao-Lin monk in the furthest reaches of Tibet. Having finally learned the secret of the Hand-Which-Moves-Mountains, I took off for Western Kazakhstan. There, I confronted my arch-nemesis, Tom Full O'Rye, and cast the evil Irishman down from the highest mountaintop. Leaving his broken body to feed the vultures, I stole his immigration papers and headed for the land of opportunity to seek my fortune.

Now I while away my twilight years dancing with angels on pinheads.

My Education

During my time off from monastic training, I braved the muddy waters of the Texas educational system in McAllen and Houston. I fruitlessly pursued a medical or engineering career at Rice University, and ended up leaving four years later with a degree in Philosophy. Has anyone seen my lantern?

My Tastes

Don't let all that palaver about Shao-Lin mysticism fool you -- those monks love living the good life with the rest of us. From them, I learned to like my women like my potatoes -- hard, round, and lumpy.

I also learned to appreciate the written word. I'll take a swing at most any book, so long as the author doesn't list too many credentials or abbreviations after his or her name. I've pretty much gone off my diet of SF and swords and sorcery fantasy. If anything, I tend towards whimsical fantasy and historical fiction these days, with a strong dose of action and / or absurdity (or inanity). A random sampling off my reading queue and long-term faves:

  • Merridale, Catherine. Ivan's War.
  • Chiasson, Paul. Island of Seven Cities.
  • Cornwell, Bernard. The Last Kingdom.
  • Diamond, J. The Third Chimpanzee.
  • Flight. (A graphic novel short story collection)
  • Goubitz, van Driel-Murray, and Groenman-van Waateringe. Stepping Through Time: Archaeological Footwear from Prehistoric Times until 1800.
  • ed. Gardiner, Julie. Before the Mast: Life and Death Aboard the Mary Rose.
  • Delp, Christoph. Muay Thai Basics.
  • A. Williams and A. de Reuck. The Royal Armory at Greenwich 1515-1649: A History of Its Technology.
  • F. Grew and M. de Neergaard. Shoes and Pattens.
  • G. Egan and F. Pritchard. Dress Accessories 1150-1450.
  • Chabon, Michael. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.
  • Poul Anderson's Roman and roaming mythic tales
  • Italo Calvino's Italian modern literature
  • James Morrow's Biblical satire
  • the writings of C.S. Lewis, James Thurber, and Lord Dunsany
  • Francis and Joseph Gies's monographs on the Medieval European world
  • Neil Gaiman's bizarre rovings
  • Snorri Sturlisson's accounts of the life and times of 13th century Iceland
  • Jared Diamond's anthropological analysis of mankind's oh-so-brief 40,000-year existence

Even though Tibetan chant is technically not monotonous (being a tri-toned sort of elephant mating call), my musical interests fairly closely map my reading habits, which is to say not at all:

  • Vienna Teng
  • Faithless
  • Groove Armada
  • Chemical Brothers
  • Crystal Method
  • JunkyXL
  • Massive Attack
  • John Mayer
  • Avril Lavigne
  • Blue October
  • Bowling for Soup
  • Cibo Matto
  • Collective Soul
  • U2
  • Dispatch
  • Guster
  • Jason Mraz
  • Phish
  • The Uninvited
  • Manau
  • Diana Krall
  • Gabin
  • Goldfrapp
  • Edith Piaf
  • Billie Holiday
  • Louie Armstrong
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Norah Jones
  • Pink Martini
  • Jesse Cook
  • Enigma
  • Portishead
  • Poe
  • The Corrs
  • Texas
  • Jim Croce
  • Annie Lennox
  • Mozart
  • Journey
  • Stephen Sondheim
  • Narcisco Yepes
  • Mechwarrior 2
  • All-American Rejects
  • Dune
  • Clandestine
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Pink Floyd

These days, I'm mostly into trip hop, drum & bass, and other, more laid back kinds of techno. It might be noted that U2 and the jazz singers are the only ones to whom I've continuously listened since early college.

Movie sampling:

  • Mirrormask
  • Twilight Samurai
  • Curse of the Were-Rabbit
  • Kingdom of Heaven
  • Malena
  • The Gods Must Be Crazy
  • Le Pacte des Loups
  • Ghost Dog -- Not!
  • Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels
  • Amelie
  • Iron Monkey
  • American Pie -- the lot
  • Boondock Saints
  • Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
  • Leon the Professional
  • Grosse Point Blank
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still
  • Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
  • Serenity
  • Citizen Kane
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Plunkett and MacLeane
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Calendar Girls
  • Firefly

My wardrobe is spectacularly bland, but is offset by my passion for culinary experiences. Variation without absurd exoticism is my motto, and exuberance my watchword.

My Pursuits

  • I formerly enjoyed a wide variety of activities including:
  • Rollerblading (and rollerhockey)
  • Juggling (contact and 3-ball)
  • Frisbee (and Ultimate)
  • Board games (Risk, Btech, Car Wars) and RPGs (GURPS)

...But due to the 24-hours-in-a-day limitation, I've had to abandon them all largely for my current gigs:

  • Fencing
  • Armouring
  • School
  • Work
  • Finding a Clue

You can find more detail about certain of these topics elsewhere on this site. Go thou now, and seek to that wisdom which may be garnered from mine follies. Scat. Shoo.