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Overview

  • 85 References 70 Confirmed & Positive
  • Fluent in English; learning Danish, Finnish, French, Norwegian, Swedish
  • 35, Female
  • Member since 2007
  • Exploring.
  • Undergrad? Biochemistry. The rest? Experimentation, but n...
  • From Minneapolis, MN, USA
  • Profile 65% complete

About Me

I grew up in Minneapolis, MN and have lived in Benin, Morocco, Finland and now Denmark.

I've been at times a student of biochemisty, a musician, an operations supervisor in a major modern art museum and a photographer (working with a major NGO in Africa and then doing more lucrative but less far exciting work in NYC). I'm currently working as a copyeditor and copywriter; it's always been a hobby of mine and I recently transitioned into doing it full time as, to me, it is more rewarding and flexible than photography. I have also recently been involved in the rather seedy world of biohacking, which led me into civil rights activism and advocacy. -That's- a rather long and complex story, though, best told in person. I am also writing a book.

I'm quite tired these days, and focused on research and writing and will ONLY even consider host you if you write a good couch request and if you seem like someone I would get along well with. This makes me the ideal host for independent travelers who are mostly just looking for a place to stay rather than an extended hang out session.

Why I’m on Couchsurfing

HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING

By hosting and surfing, duh.

COUCHSURFING EXPERIENCE

All very positive thus far.

Interests

Oh, pretty much everything once. No, really. I'm not joking. I'm a bit too interested in everything for my own good. Still, that's a bit of a copout, I know. So I'll try to be a bit more specific: anything scientific, most things artistic/literary/etc. (I paint and I write), yoga, cycling, Nordic culture in particular and human culture in general, knowing interesting individuals (well, every single human is interesting in their own way), cooking/gastronomy, the state of the world and how to make it a better place, etc., etc., ETC. I basically live to learn and accumulate knowledge.

  • arts
  • culture
  • writing
  • books
  • performing arts
  • modern art
  • photography
  • civil rights
  • cooking
  • yoga
  • painting
  • music
  • cycling
  • surfing
  • history

Music, Movies, and Books

It's hard to pigeonhole but I'll give it a shot and be happy to discuss the subject with you in person if we should have the good fortune to meet up.

For music I'm most partial to post-rock. I suppose some might call it simply "indie" or, more pretentiously (but more accurately) "math rock". Whatever! I've never been a huge fan of labels so I tend to just call it "music". For about a decade I played in several different projects myself, specializing in bass, bass VI and baritone. My influences were: Shellac, Flin Flon, Godspeedyou! Black Emperor, Low, Mogwai, Slint, Rodan, Brokeback, Del Rey, Blonde Redhead, along with many smaller projects that never recieved the recognition they deserved.

I also have an appreciation for progressive rock, noise of all sorts (rock and electronic), experimental music in general, and lately I have allowed myself to really like a lot of sugary indie pop which is something I would have scoffed at in the past.

Before I played bass I played violin and I retain a strong interest in western classical music. I'm most partial to the heavy hitters (Beethoven, Mozart, Mahler, etc.) and to the Italian baroque (Tartini, Corelli, etc.). I also adore Opera of all sorts! I find it highly entertaining and do genuinely enjoy it but I don't take it too seriously so no worries that I am too pretentious about it. In fact, I would love to turn you on to it! It gets unfairly maligned in this day and age. I love modern productions like the staging of Elektra I saw in Berlin in 2007. The more blood and ridiculous 1920sesqe set pieces the better!

I'm also fascinated by East Indian, Arabic, Moroccan/Andalous, Japanese, Chinese and Korean classical music. The scales and rhythms make a lot of intuitive sense for me and I was always subconsciously incorporating them into my own work.

I generally dislike most pop genres, but there are a few I love. I absolutely adore Arabic pop. Its nine minute suites with guys all dressed up in tuxes in front of half-full orchestras are amazing. Also, the rhythms hew very strongly to traditional music which I feel grants it a lot more resonance than its peers.

I also really get a huge kick out of French pop from the 1950s-60s. I haven't made much of a study of it so I'm stuck on things like Hallyday and Gainsbourg. I'd be quite excited if you had a deeper knowledge of that subject!

American jazz and blues from the 1920s onward is another genre I like. Etta James, Loius Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald all that. I HATE modern free form jazz, though. I've tried liking it and I just can't. Sorry! Update: I have now learned to appreciate that to an extent thanks to a surfer who is now my close friend. This is yet another example of CS making life more rich and full. :)

I could write on and on and ON on this subject (there are even more genres I like), but let's save it for later!

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Film is a bit of a sidenote for me, but I do have an appreciation of it. Some of my favorite directors are: Werner Herzog, Wong Kar Wai, Akira Kurosawa, Satyajit Ray, the Coen brothers, David Lynch, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Jim Jarmusch, Darren Aronofsky, and Francis Ford Coppala. Of course, like most human animals, I get a silly kick out of any big budget film with tons of EXPLOSIONS [!] preferably in 3D. Oh and any weird Finnish films. Please, please PLEASE educate me on this topic! After I left Finland the first time, a friend of mine showed me the movie "Rare Exports" without telling me aaaaaaaanything about it. When it was over, I was more convinced than ever that I had to live in Finland, haha. I want to know more like that. :)

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Soooooooooo many. I have read a great deal of the western classic literature 'canon'. I am also interested in modern literature, poetry, oh and non-fiction is a huge thing for me too. Some of my favorite authors are: Howard Buten, Vonnegut, Pinker, Chomsky, Epictetus, Arundhati Roy, Naipaul, Feynman, Susskind, Dawkins, Hawking, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Gogol, Jared Diamond, , Pynchon, Murakami, Sedaris, Eco, Vonnegut, Huxley, Burroughs, Shel Silverstein, Nabokov, Orwell, Sontag, Amis, McCarthy, Miller, Nin, Philip K Dick, Shakespeare, Salinger, Bukowski, Rushdie, Kafka, Gogol, Amis, Atwood, Bertrand Russel and especially graphic novels about Bertrand Russel. That is probably my favorite genre.

In the recent past I spent a lot of time reading a lot of review articles, essays, etc. on the scientific topics I was interested in while I attempt to get myself up to speed and make a decision about what path to pursue. Those were: climate change, geoengineering and solar energy. I decided not to pursue science due to several factors.

So now I'm more interested in history, in particular the study of ancient and recent empires and what factors induced their downfalls. Lately I have read a lot on Rome, the natural western starting point, and really appreciated Mary Beard's whole body of work and found Edward Gibbon's _The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire_ to be more engaging than the classics usually are.

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

In the past I went go-karting in post-civil war Abidjan. I won. That was awesome.

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I was once pushed into Chelsea Clinton by a French ambassador as we were all filing into a private room to see a group of children living with HIV perform traditional Senegalese dances. She gave me the most surly look imaginable. I felt super bad about it all day but met her later on and all was forgiven. :)

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I once saw the Big Dipper set behind the Merenid tombs in Fez.

This was amazing since Arabic cultures view the constellation as a procession of mourners following a coffin (the tail stars [Alioth, Mizar, and Alkaid] are the mourners and those of what we think of as the bowl are the coffin).

Fez has a long and storied history as a major seat of learning in the Arab world (it contains what is arguably the oldest university in the entire world, after all). I would not at all be surprised if the scholars who named the stars and gave them their meaning lived and studied there.

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In NYC, one of my best friends and fellow surfers got us into a sold out lecture on the Holographic Principle at which Leo Susskind was speaking. Due to her creative use of her press pass, I was able to talk to him at length about climate change afterwards. He thinks it's happening. Duh, of course it is! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE! Oh no. :( Unless we do something about it so go do something. :)

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Most recently I spent 18 hours on my bike on the long road home from Tampere to Toholampi. I started in the morning and didn't sleep until 4am the next day. The Nordic twilight lit the way, dried reindeer and salmiaki fueled me and I sang out loud nearly the whole ride. I am Finnish, after all, and I rode home as only a Finn could. Sisu is a real thing.

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Still more recently I followed a 3km long trail of gigantic dominoes through the center of Copenhagen. You can see video of the event here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9rIY-5r4XY They led me past my favorite use bookstore in which the literati of Denmark congregate and I ended up getting acci-drunk with the owner and lead singer of one of DK's most prominent rock bands. Jeg! Elsker! Danmark. :)

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In October of 2015 I saw a dramatic solar storm in Iceland that lasted for three days of mostly clear weather. Even native Iclanders, who are rather jaded when it comes to the northern lights, were awed by the spectacle that washed over the night skies. On the first night, I climbed the holy mountain Helgafell at 4am, all alone. I made the pilgrimage from Guðrún Ósvífrsdóttir’s grave to the ruined temple on top of the mountain. Facing east into the wash of the most extraordinary northern lights I've ever seen, I made my three wishes.

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I could go on and on and on about this topic! That all that said, one can have amazing experiences anywhere at any time. Each breath we take is a miracle to be treasured. I tend to find a feeling of awe daily, no matter where I am. It is a matter of perception.

Teach, Learn, Share

Life.

Countries I’ve Visited

Belgium, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Czech Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Togo, United Kingdom, United States, Vatican City State

Countries I’ve Lived In

Benin, Denmark, Finland, Morocco, United States

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