Not Accepting Guests
- Last login 10 days ago
Join Couchsurfing to see Derek’s full profile. It’s free!
Major in Energy Engineering, Minor in Journalism, Park Ranger Certification along the way
Moved around the U.S. a lot as a kid (mainly the South & Midwest). Bee-lined to Hollywood after college to do the movie/television industry thang (I have a million stories about that). Got burnt out. Switched to guerrilla film-making. Worked to pay the bills at a marketing and advertising agency that handled multimillion dollar car dealership associations. Then Hurricane Katrina happened and it was like a fuse blew in my brain. I knew everything I was doing was wrong and contributing to the problems of the world. I knew I had to launder my karma. So I've been traveling around the country, doing volunteer work ever since (mainly film-making & chef work to even out the manual labor). And yes, it's been very spiritually-rewarding, but not so much financially. But you'd be surprised how little you really NEED to live, how free it makes you.
I recently took part in a LIFE-CHANGING 4-month rockstar tour in a caravan of bio-diesel/solar-powered buses as part of an eco-carnival known as "The Sustainable Living Roadshow"! We went to festivals, fairs, colleges and other events and set up off-the-grid eco-villages where we did environmental awareness-raising games, performances, workshops, a hemp hut, a green home dome, a green marketplace and a free tea hut. We also supported activisms to stop the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline, fracking, Monsanto genetically-modified food, mountaintop removal and we squeezed in time to learn/share at various Occupies. Here's a short video recap...
BE. HERE. NOW! If you can't change your situation, you can at least change your attitude about it!
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
I was a Nomadic Ambassador & a member of the Media/PR Team for a few years, retired to focus on other personal projects but am still super-active in the community. I also lived/worked @ the first CS Base Camp in Berkeley, CA when it started. These days I host/surf, organize/attend meet-ups, moderate various groups and put together CS Orientation Day events to help newbies set up their profiles/get their questions answered (more info in my "Teach. Learn. Share." section).I started the push to get 3rd Sunday Potlucks going in every city in every country around the world before stepping back to let the movement grow on its own...http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=7894&post=516564...and I also work to try to make the CouchSurfing project as green as possible by encouraging people to take bikes/canoes/kayaks/sailboats instead of planes and cars and to shop at farmer's markets and cook with their hosts/guests instead of hitting restaurants all the time...http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=11469&post=1071548
I once did a cross country road trip in a waste veggie oil Mercedes, from L.A. to D.C. and back in 9 days, and CouchSurfed the entire way! Here's the short documentary I made about my experience!
Sustainability! Filmmaking, cooking, introducing friends to one another, urban exploration, reading/writing, books, quantum physics, sousveillance/citizen journalism, graphic novels, Star Trek, Burning Man!
Music, Movies, and Books
"The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck. "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac. "Factotum" by Charles Bukowski. "The Tracker" by Tom Brown, Jr. "A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn. "Hatchet" by Gary Paulsen. "Conscious Dreaming" by Robert Moss. "The Beach" by Alex Garland. "Contact" by Carl Sagan. "1984" by George Orwell. "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley. "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury.
"Dancing in the Dark" by Bruce Springsteen is my favorite song of all time...
...and I totally dig the 70's aesthetic. "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" is my favorite Led Zeppelin song...
...all about the Golden Era of hip hop, like "Looking for the Perfect Beat" by Afrika Bambaataa...
...and Burning Man turned me on to dubstep. For example, Pretty Lights is basically the hottest thing in the universe for me right now...
My all-time favorite movie is "Cool Hand Luke" and my pantheon includes "The Big Chill", "Fight Club", "Pulp Fiction", "Boogie Nights", "True Romance", "Jaws", "Indiana Jones & the Raiders of the Lost Ark", "The Edge", "Die Hard", "Back to the Future", "Ghostbusters" and "X-Men: First Class".
And I absolutely LOVE comic books! Alan Moore, Warren Ellis, Mark Waid, Mark Millar, Kurt Busiek, Neil Gaiman...the good stuff!
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
I canoed 500 miles on the Mississippi River. I climbed the ruins of abandoned buildings in Detroit. I did psilocybin mushrooms for the first time during a sunset at Burning Man. I participated in a 313-mile march from Brooklyn to D.C. to demand Congress start labeling Genetically Modified Organisms in food (like Obama promised he would in his campaign and like most other countries have done). I experienced a police riot during Thanksgiving at the Occupy Oakland camp. I lived the rockstar tour bus life for 4 months with world changers and paradigm shifters, traveling across this amazing continent on which I was born.
Teach, Learn, Share
I love to put together "CS Orientation Days" for new members of the community who want a walk-through of the sign-up process and tips/tricks on all the hidden features/easter eggs the network has to offer. We will show you...
*How to create a good profile that will help you find hosts when traveling
*How to read profiles to tell if quality members who actually care about cultural exchange are requesting to stay with/travel with you
*How to upload photos
*How to check your messages/personalize your notification settings
*How the group message boards operate
*How to set up event pages and send them out to fellow surfers
*How to get verified/make donations (bring along your credit card if you'd like to do this at the event - we won't look at your info, but we will be able to walk you through the process)
Countries I’ve Visited
Canada, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In