Dances With Dragons

Optional Background Music: "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things"

I have a lot of interests. I am bipolar, and even on Lithium my carburetor seems to be set a bit higher than most: I am a little more enthusiastic, a little more active, involved in a few more things, and talk a bit more than most other people. (My friends demand that I tell you they consider that last phrase to be a distinct understatement.)

When I was eight years old, I publicly vowed to learn everything. I also vowed to stop war, solve hunger, and end animal abuse. After many years of maturity -- and much Lithium -- I have acknowledged that the sum of human knowledge continues to expand faster than I can absorb it, books are published faster than even I can read them, and I myself am not going to solve all human problems this lifetime.

I can, however, read everything I can get my hands on, look forward to enjoying the learning of new things for as long as I live, and do what I personally can to help in the life around me.

"None of us can change the whole world by ourselves; but together, we most certainly can." I've focused my own activities on homelessness and related problems; you can find out more about these on my Activist page, the front door to a network of related activist websites.

One of my current learning projects is HTML, website design, and related subjects (like CGI and JavaScript). I have begun compiling what I've learned in such areas; my stockpiles are accessible from my Seattle Community Network site, Effective Activism on the Internet.

(Dragon) I am an omnivorous reader, one of those people who reads the back of the cereal box during breakfast, who points out funny or interesting billboards or streetnames while you're driving (or even worse, when she's driving). I always have at least one book with me (more, if I'm afraid I'll finish one during the day.) I read on the bus, in grocery store lines, while walking down the street, even while crossing the street. I read while waiting for a movie to start, or during commercials when I watch TV. I read in the shower. I read to put myself to sleep at night, and to wake myself up in the morning.

It used to be worse. I have a lot of activities now, I do a lot of writing and speaking and I have a wide social network, so I'm not reading all the time. Except for occasional depressive episodes when I disappear into my room for three days with two dozen books.

I like reading history, philosophy, astronomy, biography, poetry, technical manuals, and just about anything printed. (Okay, the bit about liking technical manuals was stretching the truth a bit.) But the main areas I read for fun are mystery/detective novels and fantasy/science fiction.

I also enjoy writing, although that may not be the most accurate word for it. One is a writer, usually, because it is impossible for one not to write.

I also greatly enjoy getting other people to write, helping other people develop their creative skills in whatever their direction is. I am a Creativity Pusher (as well as a Book Pusher). I enjoy helping people understand each other, build consensus and community, and work out projects together.

(Dragon) I have described myself most of my life as "a bookworm with a deskjob", and more lately as "poet & activist". Most of my activities, for purpose or for entertainment, involve intellectual effort more than physical effort. I do, however, also enjoy informal hiking and camping (this is to distinguish myself from friends of mine who own three-digit hiking boots, subzero sleeping bags, Swiss Army knives and the terrain maps of every hiking trail in America) also dancing, swimming and bicycling, informally. And just playing. I am not hooked on spectator sports or computer games; I'm not against them, I'm just not hooked on them.

I enjoy all kinds of music, with a preference for live music of the kind that can be sung along to or otherwise participated in -- folk, sea chanteys, blues, ethnic music of all kinds from Celtic to African. I have never had the patience to master an instrument, other than learning to do basic chord accompaniment on an autoharp, or informal drumming.

I have a lot of friends and have a lot of conversations online and offline every day. There are those who believe that the art of conversation is dying -- I think they aren't hanging out in the right places. There are thousands of different cultures within "American culture", and in many of those individual cultures the art of conversation is indulged in deeply.

Well, I'll try to indulge as much of that as I can on this website. I'm growing every week!

Enjoy! :)

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