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  • 254 References 139 Confirmed & Positive
  • Fluent in English; learning Russian
  • 45, Male
  • Member since 2006
  • Graduate Student, Tutor & Instructor (English, Film & Med...
  • B.A. (College of William and Mary), grad studies (UCSB)
  • From South Carolina
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me


"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others..." Emerson


Open-minded, chill, athletic, somewhat introverted and shy (at least at first) but nevertheless friendly...


"My opinion is that there's no such thing as the so-called "world". People can only see their own lives, and they can only observe life from the standpoint of their own life experiences, so that our impressions of life are really only our impressions of our own life, and our impressions of the world are just our impressions of the environment we live in. At some point I wrote that this thing we call the world is really just a corner of the world; every corner of the world that people live in, like this office we're in right now, might be the whole world."
--Jia Zhangke, talking about his film THE WORLD.

"What would it be like to place your hand on what you wanted and take it with you, to stir up a crowd, and never return straight home?"
-- William Haywood Henderson.

"It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them -- the character, the heart, the generous qualities, progressive ideas"
-- Fyodor Dostoyevsky

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover" -- Mark Twain

"I tell you, the more I think, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people." --Vincent van Gogh

"The true voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in seeing with new eyes." --Marcel Proust

"Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will"--Antonio Gramsci

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

"This is what you shall do: love the earth and the sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning god, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem."--Walt Whitman, Preface, Leaves of Grass, 1855

"Don't worry if you have no answer ready
To the last question.
Hold out, meditate, listen.
Explore. Explore. Travel the world over.
Count happiness connatural to the mind
More than truth is, and yet
No happiness to exist without it.
Walk with a cold pride
Utterly ahead
Wild attentive eyes
Head flicked by the rain-wet
Green needles of the pine,
Eyelashes that shine
With tears and thunders.
Love people.
Love entertains its own discrimination.
Have me in mind,
I shall be watching.
You can return to me.
Now go." --Yevgeny Yevtushenko, "Zima Station"

Please also see my Couchsurfing Legacy profile here:

Why I’m on Couchsurfing


I host, couchsurf, travel, meet up, and chat with other members.


I've been hosting and couchsurfing since 2006, and I've made some really great friends and travel experiences through this website.

I've also had some great local CS guides with whom I've shared meals, drinks, travel stories and city walks...

Maps of my travels:

Visited 31 countries (13%)

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I'm sort of a fitness fanatic -- bodybuilding, weightlifting, running, hiking, cycling, into any and all physical activities (endorphins rock!)

Other interests: people watching, day-dreaming, watching art films, reading, billiards, cultural studies & progressive politics (e.g. Manning Marable, Stuart Hall, Raymond Williams, Frantz Fanon, Barbara Ehrenreich, Henry A. Giroux, Mike Davis, Naomi Klein, Douglas Kellner)

I love to just chill out at a bar, coffee shop or cafe with friends.

Music, Movies, and Books

Avid filmgoer--especially love art cinema & indie films (directors such as Wong Kar Wai, Francois Ozon, Pedro Almodovar, Fernando Meirelles, Julio Medem, Michael Haneke, Krysztof Kieslowski, Ousmene Sembene, Gus Van Sant, Michael Gondry, John Sayles, Todd Haynes, Spike Jonze, Tom Tykwer, Michel Gondry, Ingmar Bergman, Francois Truffaut, Claude Chabrol, Akira Kurosawa, Peter Greenaway, Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, Danny Boyle, Jacques Audiard, Alfonso Cuaron, John Cameron Mitchell, Christopher Nolan, Darren Aronofsky, Paul Thomas Anderson, the Dardenne Brothers, Wes Anderson, Kasi Lemmons, Spike Lee, Fatih Akin)...

Favorite Films: Francois Truffaut's Les Quartre cents coups (The 400 Blows); Jean-Luc Godard's A bout de souffle (Breathless); Federico Fellini's 8 1/2; Roman Polanski's Chinatown, Repulsion, and The Pianist; Krysztof Kieslowski's Trois Couleurs: Bleur, Bialy, Rouge (Three Colors: Blue, White, Red) and Dekalog (The Decalogue), especially Krotki film o zabijaniu (A Short Film About Killing); Henri-Georges Clouzot's Diabolique, Le Courbeau, and Le Salaire de la peur (Wages of Fear); Andrei Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev; Dziga Vertov's Chelovek s kino-apperatom (Man with a Movie Camera) Jean Renoir's La Regle du jeu (The Rules of the Game); Fritz Lang's M; Agnes Varda's Sans toit ni loi (Vagabond); Yoji Yamada's Tasogare Seibei (The Twilight Samurai); Wong Kar-Wai's Fa yeung nin wa (In the Mood for Love) and 2046; Woody Allen's Annie Hall and Crimes and Misdemeanors; Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, and Age of Innocence; Pedro Almodovar's Todo sobre mi madres (All About My Mother) and La Mala Educacion (Bad Education); Ang Lee's Wo hu cang long (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Brokeback Mountain; Michael Haneke's Cache, Funny Games, and Le Temps du loup (Time of the Wolf);Ingmar Bergman's Persona; David Lynch's Mulholland Drive; Costa Gavras' Z; Gillo Pontecorvo's La Battaglia di Algeri(Battle of Algiers); Wim Wender's Der Himmel uber Berlin (Wings of Desire); Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train; anything by John Sayles (e.g. Lone Star, Men with Guns, Sunshine State, Brother from Another Planet); Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise and Before Sunset; Michael Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; Mathieu Kassovitz's La Haine (Hate); Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Amelie; Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaum's; Darren Aronofky's Requiem for a Dream; Jean-Marc Vallee's C.R.A.Z.Y.; Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia; Kasi Lemmons' Eve's Bayou; Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing and The 25th Hour; Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep and To Sleep with Anger; David Riker's La Ciudad; Abel Gance's Napoleon; Gus Van Sant's Mala Noche and My Own Private Idaho; Denys Arcand's Les Invasions Barbares (The Barbarian Invasions); Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu's Amores Perros; Thomas Vinterberg's Festen (The Celebration); Lars Von Trier's Dogville; Danny Boyle's Trainspotting; Todd Haynes' Velvet Goldmine; Jon Matthews' Urbania; Marcelo Pineyro's Plata quemada (Burnt Money); Alfonso Cuaron's Y tu mama tambien; Fernando Meirelles' Cidade de Deus (City of God); Julian Schnabel's Before Night Falls; Rodrigo Garcia's Nine Lives;Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy; Joseph Mankiewicz's All About Eve; Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo; Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot; Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather, The Godfather: Part Two and Apocalypse Now; Stanley Kramer's Judgment at Nuremberg; Robert Siodmak's The Killers; Mike Nichols' Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and The Graduate; Akira Kurosawa's Shichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai) and Rashomon; Sydney Lumet's Network, the Coen Bros' Fargo, Barton Fink, and Miller's Crossing

Favorite Films of 2006: Children of Men, El Laberinto del fauno (Pan's Labyrinth), Babel, The Departed, Inland Empire, Little Children, Short Bus, Half Nelson, Little Miss Sunshine, Sorry, Haters, Un amour a taire (A Love to Hide), L'Enfant, Free Zone, Down in the Valley, V for Vendetta, Casino Royale, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, When the Levees Broke, Zui hao di shi guang (Three Times), Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others), Volver, Three Burials of Melquiadas Estrada

Favorite Films of 2007: There Will Be Blood, Paranoid Park, Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 days , The Wind that Shakes the Barley, Azuloscurocasinegro (Darkbluealmostblack), Red Road, Zodiac, 28 Weeks Later, Sicko, The Bourne Ultimatum, Once, Death Proof, Auf der anderen Seite (The Edge of Heaven), Eastern Promises, Into the Wild, Control, No Country for Old Men, This is England, Atonement

Favorite Films of 2008:Courtney Hunt's Frozen River, Gus Van Sant's Milk, Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler, Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, Joachim Trier's Reprise, Matt Reeves' Cloverfield, Andre Techine's Les Temoins (The Witnesses), Steve McQueen's Hunger, Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Matteo Garrone's Gomorra, Tarsem Singh's The Fall, John Sayles' Honeydripper, Lance Hammer's Ballast, Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg, Yung Chang's Up the Yangtze, Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla, David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York, Tomas Alfredson's Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In), Ari Folman's Vals Im Bashir (Waltz with Bashir), Kelly Reichardt's Wendy and Lucy, Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky

Favorite Films of 2009: the Coen Brothers' A Serious Man, Jane Campion's Bright Star, Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker, Cary Fukunaga's Sin Nombre, Bohdan Slama's Venkovský ucitel (The Country Teacher), Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, Kevin MacDonald's State of Play, Marc Webb's (500)Days of Summer, Lee Daniels' Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, Lynn Shelton's Humpday, Jason Reitman's Up in the Air, Tom Ford's A Single Man, James Cameron's Avatar, The Dardenne Brothers' Le Silence de Lorna (Lorna's Silence), Olivier Assayas' L'heure d'été (Summer Hours), Joon-ho Bong's Madeo (Mother), Michael Haneke's Das weisse Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte (The White Ribbon), Jacques Audiard's Un prophète (A Prophet), Rebecca Miller's The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, Tony Gilroy's Duplicity, Oren Moverman's The Messenger

Favorite Films of 2010: Luca Guadagnino's Io sono l'amore (I Am Love), Debra Granik's Winter's Bone, Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer, Christopher Nolan's Inception, Glen Ficarra's and John Requa's I Love You Phillip Morris, Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island, Julian Jarrold's Red Riding: 1974, Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, David Michod's Animal Kingdom, David Fincher's The Social Network, Sebastian Silva's La Nana (The Maid), Solve Sundsbo's Fourteen Actors Acting, Bansky's Exit Through the Gift Shop, Claire Denis' White Material, Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Micmacs à tire-larigot, Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right, Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank, Xavier Beauvois' Des hommes et des dieux (Of Gods and Men), Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives), Lee Chang-Dong's Shi (Poetry), Fatih Akin's Soul Kitchen, Olivier Assayas' "Carlos"

Favorite Films of 2011: Steve McQueen's Shame, Asghar Farhadi's Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (A Separation), Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive, Tom Tykwer's 3, Sean Durkin's Martha Marcy May Marlene, Takashi Miike's Jûsan-nin no shikaku (13 Assassins), Richard Ayoade's Submarine, Andrew Haigh's Weekend, Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist, Kelly Reichardt's Meek's Cutoff, Tomas Alfredson's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Mike Mills' Beginners, Joe Cornish's Attack the Block, Bennett Miller's Moneyball, Michael R. Roskam's Rundskop (Bullhead), Jeff Nichols' Take Shelter, Mike Cahill's Another Earth, Martin Scorsese's Hugo, Lars von Trier's Melancholia, Cary Fukunaga's Jane Eyre, The Dardenne Brothers'Le gamin au vélo (The Kid with the Bike), Paddy Considine's Tyrannosaur, Lynn Ramsay's We Need to Talk about Kevin, Dee Rees' Pariah

Favorite Films of 2012 Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master; Michael Haneke's Amour; Tom Tykwer's and the Wachowski's Cloud Atlas; Joachim Trier's Oslo, August 31st; Ang Lee's Life of Pi; Justin Kurzel's The Snowtown Murders; The Duplass Bro's Jeff, Who Lives at Home; Gareth Huw Evans' The Raid: Redemption, Robert Zemeckis' Flight; Ira Sachs' Keep the Lights On; Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower; Leos Carax's Holy Motors; Matthew Akers' and Jeff Dupre's Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present; Bart Layton's The Imposter; Andrey Zvyagintsev's Elena

Favorite Films of 2013 (so far): Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, Jean-Marc Vallee's Dallas Buyers Club, Richard Linkater's Before Midnight, Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale Station, Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, Jeff Nichols' Mud, Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity, James Ponsoldt's The Spectacular Now, Sally El Hosaini's My Brother the Devil, Sarah Polley's Stories We Tell, Spike Jonze's Her, the Coen Brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis, Andrew Dosunmu's Mother of George, Thomas Vinterberg's The Hunt, Asghar Farhadi's The Past, Destin Cretton's Short Term 12

My Ranked List of the 50 Best Films of the Decade (2000-2009):1. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch 2001)2. The Barbarian Invasions(Denys Arcand 2003)3. Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky 2000)4. Memento (Christopher Nolan 2000)5. Dogville (Lars Von Trier 2003)6. The Return Vozvrashchenie (Andre Zvyagintsev 2003)7. City of God Cidade de Deus (Fernando Meirelles,Katia Lund 2002)8. In the Mood for Love Fa yeung nin wa (Wong Kar-Wai 2000)9. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry 2004)10. Amores Perros (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu 2000)11. A Serious Man (Joel and Ethan Coen 2009)12. The World Shijie (Jia Zhangke 2004)13. Before Sunset (Richard Linklater 2004)14. The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson 2001)15. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuaron 2006)16. Cache (Michael Haneke 2005)17. The Edge of Heaven Auf der anderen Seite (Fatih Akin 2005)18. Moolaadé (Ousmane Sembene 2004)19. Shortbus (John Cameron Mitchell 2006)20. Goodbye, Lenin! (Wolfgang Becker 2003)21. Amelie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet 2001)22. No Country for Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen 2007)23. Fat Girl À ma soeur! (Catherine Breillat 2001)24. Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino 2009)25. Spirited Away Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (Hayao Miyazaki 2001)26. Y tu mamá también (Alfonso Cuaron 2001)27. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Peter Jackson 2001, 2002, 2003)28. Burnt Money Plata quemada (Marcelo Pinyero 2000)29. 25th Hour (Spike Lee 2002)30. C.R.A.Z.Y. (Jean-Marc Vallee 2005)31. Pan's Labyrinth El laberinto del fauno (Guillermo del Toro 2006)32. Bad Education La mala educación (Pedro Almodovar 2004)33. Adaptation (Spike Jonze 2002)34. Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly 2002)35. Twilight Samurai Tasogare Seibei (Yoji Yamada 2002)36. Little Children (Todd Field 2006)37. Into the Wild (Sean Penn 2007)38. Reprise (Joachim Trier 2006)39. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee 2005)40. When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (Spike Lee 2006)41. Three Times Zui hao de shi guang (Hou Hsiao-Hsien 2005)42. Elephant (Gus Van Sant 2003)43. The Son Le fils (The Dardenne Brothers 2002)44. The White Ribbon(Michael Haneke 2009)45. Werckmeister harmóniák (Bela Tarr 2000)46. Me and You and Everyone We Know (Miranda July 2005)47. Yi Yi (Edward Yang 2000)48. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan 2008)49. Frozen River (Courtney Hunt 2008)50. Tropical Malady Sud pralad (Apichatpong Weerasethakul 2004)

IMDB members can click here to see My IMDB film ratings:

Music: hip-hop (Fugees, the Roots, Digable Planets, A Tribe Called Quest, Missy Elliott); electronica & techno (Orbital, Amon Tobin, Coil, Muse, Air, Massive Attack, Buddha Bar, DJ Shadow, DJ Tiesto, Underworld, Moby, Morcheeba, Claude Challe, The Cinematic Orchestra, Kascade); alternative pop (Daft Punk, Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, etc.); r&b/soul (India Arie, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Donny Hathaway, Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, Jonathan Butler); jazz (Miles Davis, Coltrane, Nina Simone, Diana Krall);progressive rock; pop rock (coldplay, radiohead, etc), Norah Jones...

Favorite authors: Toni Morrison, Jamaica Kincaid, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Don DeLillo, Jean Genet, William Faulkner, Samuel Delany, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Albert Camus, TC Boyle, David Sedaris, Michael Chabon, William Haywood Henderson, Randall Kenan, Edward P. Jones, David Wojnarowicz...

Favorite Photographers: James Nachtwey, Gregory Colbert, Gordon Parks, Cindy Sherman, David LaChapelle, Wayne F. Miller, Herb Ritts, Jack Pierson, Carrie Mae Weems, Duane Michals, Ana Mendieta, Lyle Ashton Harris, Isaac Julien, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Edward Burtynsky, Edward Steichen, Gary Winogrand, Robert Frank, Philip-Lorca DiCorcia, Gregory Crewdson, Jeff Wall, Sam Taylor-Wood, Malick Sidibé, Helen Levitt, Richard Renaldi, Tony Notarberardino, Jim Goldberg, Sebastião Salgado, Eli Reed, Solve Sundsbo, Peter Menzel

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

Snorkeling and diving the outer Great Barrier Reef...
At age 17, studying and living in Russia during the era of perestroika and glasnost.

Teach, Learn, Share

I teach Cultural Studies, English, and Film Studies; therefore,I'm most interested in language exchange & cultural exchange.

What I Can Share with Hosts

I've lived in Santa Barbara for almost 20 years; I attended college here, so I can show visitors the city from a local perspective, take them off-the-beaten path to experience and discover the hidden treasures of Santa Barbara. In addition to hospitality, I can offer guests the opportunity to explore Santa Barbara nightlife, outdoor activities, and to meet other couchsurfers and locals.

Countries I’ve Visited

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Montenegro, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, Vatican City State

Countries I’ve Lived In

United States

Old School Badges

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