Dreams of movie stardom are not what brought me to LA, although my first office was in the Raleigh Manhattan Beach Studios. Rather, I was lured by the cutting-edge technology of the Southern California aerospace industry. Previously, I spent a few years working in New York and even more at school in the San Francisco Bay Area. Having grown up near Chicago, the absence of white Christmases has been an adjustment. Snow and winter activities – including skiing, skating, and even shoveling – are dear to my heart. Apart from the California coast, few things in nature are as beautiful as fresh snow in the trees.
Taking in a hockey, basketball, or football game; a comedian; or a 70’s-80’s rock concert is always entertaining. For a little more culture, I enjoy Broadway shows; “Phantom of the Opera” is one that stands out. I try but have yet to discover a true affinity for classics like the symphony, art, or opera. For instance, I go every summer to Shakespeare by the Sea in Palos Verdes for the ambiance and sunsets much more than for the actual performances.
I’ve traveled within Europe several times, regularly visiting family in Italy. I traveled to Asia one time, for a 3-month stint at a research lab in Tokyo. In going to Japan, it was my goal to experience living in a foreign country as a resident of sorts, not simply as a tourist. It was a great experience and provided an abundance of stories to tell. I look forward to many more trips in the future (the sooner the better). High on the list are hiking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, going on African safari, and an excursion into the Alaskan wilderness. Nearer to home, I’ve been itching to raft through the Grand Canyon. More vacation days and an eager travel partner will make for the ultimate adventures. Beyond seeing the sights, travel for me includes checking out the local cultures, customs, and cuisines. This often means exploring off the beaten path by foot, subway, or other local transportation.
Cycling has been a passion, maybe an addiction, for as long as I can remember. It’s the one thing I don’t know how to take slowly. In general, I like physical challenges that test one’s mettle. This prompted me to apply to “Survivor” – back when it was truly challenging. I thought I would be a shoe-in, type-cast as the Professor from Gilligan’s Island, but I guess the producers figured a “non-opinionated, easy-going liberal from San Fran” would not make for good reality TV. They also must have recognized six weeks without food on a deserted island would be a walk in the park after my surviving Tokyo on a student budget – that was before I learned Shabu-shabu was served ALL you could eat.
My teenage nieces said I should watch and learn from “The Bachelor.” My response was that dating 24 women is 23 too many. So what qualities would that one special woman possess? A positive attitude, frequent smiles, and speaking her mind are essential. She is self-confident, able to laugh at herself (not just at me). A witty humor and sarcastic flair say she’s nobody’s fool. While spirited and physically energetic, she does not rush through life. She values experiences and memories above possessions. Her strength of character and compassionate nature may ultimately be her most attractive traits.