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To be one of those "mad ones" Jack Kerouac, God bless him, couldn't shut up about. (If you're unfamiliar with what he said about "the mad ones", see below.)
I've decided that I will answer this question with 100 facts about myself. This is to be a work in progress, so if you count less than 100 facts about me here, please don't feel the need to tell me I miscounted. Because I already know. Seriously.
(1) A regular nocturnal user of a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. With all the mentions of my snoring in my references, I decided I really should say something about how those all date back to before Fall of 2009, when I started using a CPAP machine as I slept. So I won't keep you awake snoring, as I admittedly did do with many of my hosts before I was able to afford a CPAP. If you have (or know someone who has) sleep apnea, then you'll understand.
(2) A postmodern post-structuralist.
(3) A secular humanist.
(4) Not always a dynamic speaker, but usually a dynamic THINKER.
(5) Biracial: 1/2 South Asian, 1/2 Mediterranean.
(6) Mostly celibate. And happier that way.
(7) Infinitely more concerned with comfort than fashion.
(8) Congenitally partially deaf.
(9) The only straight guy in the world who's passionately in love with Ellen DeGeneres.
(10) 320 pounds of dancin' fury.
(11) Living under a self-imposed moratorium against calling anyone "Dude" or beating the word "like" to death. I also used to have a ban on saying that anything "sucks", but I've loosened that one because there just isn't always time to come up with some clever, pithy Oscar Wilde/SPY Magazine-style dis. And you know what other word I never, ever use? "Stairs." I just don't like it. I can't explain why. I don't even have a problem with "stares." That's just the way it is.
(12) A devotee of life's little pleasures, like a sunset, a passing car playing a great song loudly on the radio or the sound you can make by blowing on the lip of a glass bottle at the proper angle.
(13) Totally oblivious about text messaging, and not interested in learning. What's that? You have a phone in your hand, and you want to communicate with me? Oh, what to DO? Hmmm...hmmmm...wait! I've got it! Why don't you CALL me?!?
(14) A proud Green. I'll never be a Republican, but I haven't trusted the Democrats since Gore picked Lieberman. After the way they proved, all through the 00's, that there wasn't an issue they wouldn't roll over on--the War, Teri Schiavo, the Patriot Act (can you BELIEVE there are people so stupid that they LIKE the Patriot Act? I've eaten toast that was smarter than any Patriot Act enthusiast). And let me answer the question you're asking in your mind: yes, I DID vote for Ralph Nader. And given the choice between him and those other two nitwits again, I'll make the same choice.
(15) Eternally hopeful that we may yet see "Miracleman" again. (UPDATE: We at least have reprints now; dare I hope there might be new original stories before too long?)
(16) The type that EATS the pizza crust, as opposed to the type who throws it away.
(17) Nowhere near as cool as I try to make myself seem in this profile. Just in the last week alone, I've been bitter, vindictive, spiteful and impatient at times. This is really more of a laundry list of the qualities I want to DEVELOP. But at least I think I chose some good qualities to aspire towards.
(18) Fascinated by palindromes and anagrams. But not swift enough to come up with them by myself.
(19) Considering adding an affected "the" to everything I say, so I'll sound like a Midwestern middle-aged person. Example: "I would love to go see the 'Up', but I haven't even been to see the 'Star Trek' yet. I can't wait to go, though...they said it was really great on the 'David Letterman.'"
(20) Really happy whenever washed-up actors get work. It feels like a triumph for us all, somehow.
(21) Really humble about how arrogant I am. And really arrogant about how humble I am.
(22) A dog person.
(23) Annoyed anytime someone makes fun of the atrocious writing or acting in a dubbed-over foreign film or TV show, as if the original actors and writers--who may well have delivered incredibly nuanced performances and engaging dialogue in their own language--are somehow to blame for the incompetence of ham-fisted American translators and voiceover actors who may actually be as dumb as the people who do that ridiculing.
(24) Not going to your Landmark Forum social event. Seriously. Don't even ask me.
(25) Going to lose all respect for you, PERMANENTLY, if I EVER hear you use the following phrase: "It wasn't my fault; I was DRUNK." ("I'm SORRY, I was drunk" MIGHT get you some traction with me, but I might just slap you around a bit if you're actually enough of a bitch to use that first phrase.)
(26) Alternately blessed and cursed with a singing voice that's a weird hybrid of Brian Ferry, Ric Ocasek, David Bowie, David Byrne and Frank Zappa.
(27) Prone to cheesy impressions. Common ones for me are Cosby, Sinatra, Shatner, Christopher Walken, JFK, Sammy Davis Jr., Bing Crosby, Johnny Cash & Kate Hepburn. At some point, I will probably alternately delight and horrify you with mimicry.
(28) The world's sincerest ironic urban hipster.
(29) Not one to forget it when I need people to have my back, and they do.
(30) Not one to forget it when I need people to have my back, and they DON'T.
(31) A card-carrying member of HEAT (Hal's Emerald Advancement Team), the Green Lantern fan club that formed in the mid-90s after DC Comics made the moronic, unfathomable and just plain incompetent idea to make Green lantern a villain and replace him with a boring hipster douchebag. We demanded that Hal Jordan not only return to being GL, but that there should be a retroactive explanation for his actions that exonerated him from wrongdoing. It took 11 years, but we got EVERYTHING we wanted. I still carry my membership card, and I show it to anyone I encounter wearing a Green Lantern T-shirt.
(32) A slow zombie enthusiast, and a fast zombie detractor.
(33) Not sure where my library card is, but that's not really a problem because I memorized the number.
(34) A very dramatic yawner. If I'm sleepy (or bored), I might try to conceal it, but I will fail.
Some of the wisest things I've ever heard (I often go back and read them again, when I feel like I'm in danger of forgetting just who I am):
ÃÂ¢Ãâ¬ÃÅThe only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'"
"Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath, and a glass of wine."
"Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence."
"It's not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or when the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."
"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea."
"Life is a short, bold moment. Death is a long, cold rest."
***Pink Floyd, "Free Four"***
"Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it."
"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
"When love is gone, there's always justice. And when justice is gone, there's always force. And when force is gone, there's always Mom. Hi, Mom!"
***Laurie Anderson, "O Superman"***
Frodo: "I can't do this, Sam."
Sam: "I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something."
Frodo: "What are we holding onto, Sam?"
Sam: "That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for."
"If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world. This makes it hard to plan the day."
"A Canadian is merely an unarmed American with health care."
ÃÂ¢Ãâ¬ÃÅOur deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.ÃÂ¢Ãâ¬ÃÂ
"Democracy is not a spectator sport."
***Marian Wright Edelman***
"The unexamined life is not worth living."
ÃÂ¢Ãâ¬ÃÅDon't be a guy, Lloyd. The world is full of guys. Be a MAN.ÃÂ¢Ãâ¬ÃÂ
***Lili Taylor in "Say Anything"*** (It was her that said that, wasn't it?)
"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'Atlas Shrugged.' One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."
***Alan P. Scott***
"The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice."
***Richard K. Morgan***
"Loneliness is a crowded room."
***Roxy Music, "Dance Away"***
"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations."
"Wisdom doesn't necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself."
ÃÂ¢Ãâ¬ÃÅOur Similarities bring us to a common ground; Our differences allow us to be fascinated by each other.ÃÂ¢Ãâ¬ÃÂ
"What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot grasp the fact that a human foot is more noble than the shoe and the human skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed?"
"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenaged boys."
***P. J. O'Rourke***
(Yes, I actually think a conservative can say something clever now and again.)
ÃÂ¢Ãâ¬ÃÅEverything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.ÃÂ¢Ãâ¬ÃÂ
"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"
***Coach John Wooden***
"Stand on a street corner in Times Square long enough, and eventually you'll see everyone you've ever known in your life."
"I think we can all agree that there's not a man, woman or child alive on this earth who wouldn't enjoy a lovely beverage."
"The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs."
***Charles de Gaulle***
"Watch out for intellect, because it knows so much it knows nothing and leaves you hanging upside down, mouthing knowledge as your heart falls out of your mouth."
Another belief of mine; that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise."
"To be yourself in a world that constantly tries to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."
***Ralph Waldo Emerson***
"The more something stays the same, the less it changes."
"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened."
***"Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", Douglas Adams
"There are two kinds of fools in the world: the kind that says, 'This is old, and therefore good', and the kind that says, 'This is new, and therefore better.'"
***William Ralph Inge***
"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."
"I LOVE humanity! It's PEOPLE I can't stand!"
***Linus Van Pelt, "Peanuts"***
"Sometimes I wish that I was less of a thinking man, and more a fool who's not afraid of rejection."
***Billy Joel, "Sleeping With The Television On"***
"The gentle art of gastronomy is a friendly one. It hurdles the language barrier, makes friends among civilized people, and warms the heart."
"To be great is to be misunderstood."
***Ralph Waldo Emerson***
"If you can walk, you can dance. If you can talk, you can sing."
"Science is like sex: sometimes something useful comes out, but that is not the reason we are doing it." ***Richard Feynman***
"Forgive my appearance. It's just that this is what I look like."
***Tony V, one of my favorite comedians from back in Boston***
"If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace."
"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."
***President Abraham Lincoln, 1865***
"People like us, who answer the telephone, people like us, who grow big as a house, people like us, we're gonna make it. Because we don't want freedom. We don't want justice. We just want someone to love."
***The Talking Heads, "People Like Us"***
"For [most people], 'Coke Vs. Pepsi', represents Freedom Of Choice, never realizing that you don't have to drink cola AT ALL."
***The great George Cecil Hamilton III***
"Forget what people think of you. You're a person. What do YOU think of you?"
"Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards."
"The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos."
***Stephen Jay Gould***
"There is no path to happiness; happiness IS the way. There is no path to peace; peace IS the way. There is no path to enlightenment; enlightenment IS the way."
***Thich Nhat Hanh***
"Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple." -Bill Mollison, permaculture co-founder
"I have noticed that as soon as you have soldiers the story is called history. Before their arrival it is called myth, folktale, legend, fairy tale, oral poetry, ethnography. After the soldiers arrive, it is called history."
***Paula Gunn Allen***
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies a theft from those who hunger and are not fed; those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron."
***Dwight D. Eisenhower, April 16, 1953***
"You can't have everything. Where would you put it?"
"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity."
ÃÂ¢Ãâ¬ÃÅYou know, as an artist, itÃÂ¢Ãâ¬Ãâ¢s not my job to fit in; itÃÂ¢Ãâ¬Ãâ¢s not my job to belong. IÃÂ¢Ãâ¬Ãâ¢m not a social worker; IÃÂ¢Ãâ¬Ãâ¢m not a therapist. ItÃÂ¢Ãâ¬Ãâ¢s my job to beat the shit out of the world. IÃÂ¢Ãâ¬Ãâ¢m not here to make people feel goodÃÂ¢Ãâ¬ÃÂ¦So youÃÂ¢Ãâ¬Ãâ¢re always battling the basic human need to be loved and accepted. ThatÃÂ¢Ãâ¬Ãâ¢s always the conflict with the artistic need to challenge the world.ÃÂ¢Ãâ¬ÃÂ
"You don't stop smiling because you get old. You get old because you stop smiling."
***I think I saw this on a bumper sticker somewhere***
"You can't always write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say, so sometimes you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream."
"Wherever you go, there you are."
***Buckaroo Banzai AND Cindy Wilson. So it's GOTTA be true!***
ÃÂ¢Ãâ¬ÃÅLook back, to slavery, to suffrage, to integration and one thing is clear. Fashions in bigotry come and go. The right thing lasts.ÃÂ¢Ãâ¬ÃÂ
ÃÂ¢Ãâ¬ÃÅTwenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.ÃÂ¢Ãâ¬ÃÂ
"If life gives you lemons, keep 'em. 'Cause you never know when you're gonna run into some club soda or fish."
***Also Tony V***
"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go wherever they went."
"A wise man can learn from other people's mistakes. An average man can learn from his own mistakes. A foolish man can't learn from anything."
"90% of everything is crap."
"So 10% of everything must be at least half-decent."
***My corollary to Sturgeon's Law***
"The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense."
"Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get."
"If you don't care about anything, then you're not really alive."
***Scott Korman, my best friend***
"When God wants to make a simple man happy, he causes him to lose his horse, then find it again."
***Also my dad***
"Sorrow shared is halved. Joy shared is doubled."
***Native American Proverb***
"Sometimes we never know things."
***The Flaming Carrot***
"If a man has an apartment stacked to the ceilings with newspaper, we call him crazy. If a woman has a trailer house full of cats, we call her nuts. But when people pathologically hoard so much cash that they impoverish the nation, we put them on the cover of Forbes magazine and pretend that they are role models."
"A flower's fragrance declares to all the world that it is fertile, available and desirable, its sex organs oozing with nectar. Its smell reminds us, in vestigial ways, of fertility, vigor, life-force, all the optimism, expectancy and passionate bloom of youth. We inhale its ardent aroma and, no matter what our ages, we feel young and nubile in a world aflame with desire."
***Diane Ackerman, "A Natural History Of The Senses"***
"If you find yourself standing in shit, you step out of it. You don't start jumping up and down on it to punish it."
"The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
"You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there."
"You can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit."
***My dad once again***
***Lucy Van Pelt, "Peanuts"***
"The problem with the Rat Race is that even if you win, you're still a rat."
"You can always tell an idiot. They're the one who thinks they're really smart and everyone ELSE is an idiot."
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
***Ralph Waldo Emerson again***
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."
"It's a shame when we let time get away from us, because sure as hell time is not going to let any of us get away from it."
***Me, yet again. How did I get so wise? It's a curse.***
And quite possibly the wisest insight ANYONE ever had:
"In a hell full of people, and since I want to fly, ain't I crazy? But we're never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy."
***Alanis Morrisette, "Crazy" (I don't think that precise lyric is in Seal's version, or I would be crediting him for it.)
"A witty saying proves nothing."
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
Y'know, I've surfed a lot, but haven't hosted yet. I never lived in a place nice enough to have surfers.
I've had some amazing hosts, and certainly hope to be as good as they were to me.
I've crashed on the couches, futons, guest beds, spare mattresses and divans of hospitable, wonderful folks in Seattle, the Bay Area, Portland, Austin, Boston, Bellingham and L.A. (as well as Fullerton and Palm Desert) as of this writing, and I can honestly say I've been glad for every single person I've met. Except for that freak of nature Roc. Hoo-ee! Thank God THAT wasn't my first CS experience.
Golly. I guess I want to try everything. I pick up new interests all the time. Just earlier this year, for instance, I got really fascinated with mah jonng.
On my shortlist of things to try: yoga, meditation, paganism, salsa dancing.
Things I already know I love: improv comedy, comics, scary movies, non-lame karaoke, hot tubbing, the beach, cooking, sleeping in, "Prairie Home Companion", green politics, Burning Man and massage.
But that's still an incomplete list.
Music, Movies, and Books
Tell ya what, here are my favorite movies for each year since 1992, because that's when I officially strated keeping track. In every case where I actually remember, I'll give you the runner-up, too.
1993: "Meteor Man"
1994: "Pulp Fiction"
(I was lucky enough to see it BEFORE all the hype started swirling around it. I remember all the other folks in the theater APPLAUDING when it was over.)
Runner-up: "Before Sunrise"
1997: "Chasing Amy"
1999: "Cookie's Fortune"
Runner-up: "The Cider House Rules"
Runner-up: "Nowhere In Africa"
2003: "Finding Nemo"
Runner-up: "Ju-On" (The Japanese horror movie that they remade as "The Grudge", which I'm really not interested in even seeing, because I don't buy that you could improve on it.)
2004: "I Heart Huckabees"
Runner-up: "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou" (my username may have tipped you off.)
2005: "You And Me And Everyone We Know"
2006: "The Departed"
Runner-up: "Iron Man" (I was a fan before it was hip)
2009: "Sita Sings The Blues"
Runner-up: "Nurse. Fighter. Boy."
2010: "Despicable Me"
Runner-Up: "Ticked Off Trannies With Knives"
2011: "Human Centipede: Full Sequence" (no, really :)
Runner-Up: "Midnight In Paris"
2012: "Neighboring Sounds"
2013: "Beware Of Mr. Baker"
Runner-Up: "Too Far Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story"
2014: "The Dance Of Reality"
Runner-Up: "Dead Snow 2: Red Vs. Dead"
2015 (so far): "In Search Of General Tso"
Runner-Up: "My Last Year With The Nuns"
A few pre-1992 favorites: M, It's A Wonderful Life, Yellow Submarine, Brother From Another Planet, The Hitcher, Metropolis, L.A. Story, The Man With Two Brains, Sleeper, What's Up Tiger Lily, Halloween (the original, duh), The Good The Bad & The Ugly, In The Heat Of The Night, and, of course, my all-time favorite movie, "Flash Gordon.".
Favorite Music: I love most kinds of music, but here are my all-time favorites: Frank Zappa, Talking Heads, B-52s, Gary Numan, Moxy Fruvous, Blondie, King Missile, Ani DiFranco, XTC, Morrissey, El Vez.
Favorite books: Slaughterhouse Five, The Strawberry Statement, Lullaby. I most love Vonnegut, Andrew Vacchs, Tobias Wolfe, Chuck Palahniuk, Ramsey Campbell, Joe Lansdale and Harlan Ellison.
Favorite comics: Miracleman, Watchmen, V For Vendetta, DC One Million, Animal Man, Swamp Thing, The Dark Knight Returns, Green Lantern, Iron Man, Powers, Stormwatch/The Authority, Astro City, The New Teen Titans, X-Statix, Fell, Orion, Casanova, Birds Of Prey, Fantastic Four, Shade the Changing Man, The Books Of Magic.
All-time favorite TV shows: Get Smart, The Twilight Zone, Welcome Back Kotter, NYPD Blue, Star Trek, Batman (1960s), pre-1985 Saturday Night Live, pre-CBS Letterman, MTV's Spider-Man, Reboot, The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley, The Electric Company, Soap, Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League: The Animated Series, Simpsons, South Park, Red Dwarf, Monty Python's Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers, The Goodies, No Soap Radio, Kids In The Hall, The Venture Brothers, Home Movies, Family Guy
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
"The other day, I...no, wait. That wasn't me." --Steven Wright
Gee, I dunno.
I went cliff diving in New Mexico.
I've been in a few plays and films.
I got to meet my hero, Garrison Keillor.
I survived getting hit head-on by an SUV.
I've been to Burning Man six times and to Naturist Gatherings five times.
I've sweat lodged.
I did stand-up comedy a few times.
One day out of every year I join a group of people who dress up as hugging superheroes (with capes and everything) and take to the streets of Seattle to hug complete strangers.
I've written songs and performed them a cappella at open mics.
I went parasailing in Mexico and skin-diving in St. Martin.
I've been complemented on my hair by celebrities and seen wild dolphins off the California coast.
I sang onstage with Joe Russell from the legendary doo-wop group The Persuasions.
I was a pirate in a Gay Pride March.
I cycled from Boston to New York to raise money for AIDS research.
I got to sing ¨Can´t Take My Eyes Off Of You¨, karaoke-style, to Daisuke Inouye, the inventor of karaoke.
I solved Albert Einstein's "Who Owns The Fish?" brainteaser, which supposedly 98% of people aren't able to do.
But I think the real adventure is about to begin...
Teach, Learn, Share
I guess I could teach you how to play mah jonng, or how to hula hoop. These are both things I've picked up in the past year. How to juggle or beat tough sudoku, maybe?
Countries I’ve Visited
Canada, Greece, India, Mexico, Saint Lucia, Spain, Turkey, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In