If I were going to make a commercial to promote my view of the world, this one that I've stolen adopted from the Discovery Channel might just be it. Thanks to my friend Myra for showing this to me!

Anyway, where were we? Oh, right. Hello there! My name's Jessie. (It's not short for Jessica.) I was born on August 28, 1982 in Detroit, Michigan, USA.

Presumably, if you haven't skipped the sections of this site with more exciting content, you already know I'm a writer and a traveler and that I've lived in three countries (the USA, France, and Japan). So here I'll share a little bit about my personality.

I've been described to my face as an intense and enthusiastic person, and I think that's probably a fair description. If you get to know me, you might also think I'm effusive, but if you don't know me well, probably not, because I can be a little shyer off-line than this page might lead you to believe. I like the word ebullient a lot too, and I hope that describes me as well, though no one's actually called me that because, I guess, most people don't enjoy using words like that as much as I do. In addition to "ebullience," my favorite words are "alacrity," "perspicacity," and "magnanimous." I don't know whether these describe me, but I like to think they do. Magnanimous is my #1 favorite because in addition to the great meaning, it reminds me of the Magnum. :-)

In case you haven't picked up on this, I'm wordy. I love to tell stories. Sometimes I make an effort to be concise, but hey, I have a lot to say! I'm lucky to know people who've told me they like to listen to my stories. I think that's the most flattering thing anyone can say to me.

I also like to use emoticons in casual written communication. I've been told I gesticulate a lot, so this is how I make up for that on-line. ;-)

I'm opinionated. I will tell you what I think about any given subject—politics, spirituality, social norms, matters of taste, whatever. You, however, are free to dish it right back. I don't automatically think people who disagree with me are bad or stupid or even wrong. Some people assume that's what others think when they disagree. Maybe that's why many people avoid discussing things. (Then again, maybe it's 'cause they just don't want to bother to think. Now that is something I don't admire in people.)

I love discussing things with people who don't necessarily agree with me, and not just to score some kind of meaningless points by out-arguing them. (Having good debate skills doesn't guarantee that your view is correct, after all.) I like to have my thoughts challenged. How can I have a solid opinion if I refuse to consider new perspectives from others? That doesn't mean I won't argue with you, but I'll think about what you say and try to understand why you say it, and sometimes I'll even change my mind if you present a convincing enough argument. I'm genuinely curious about why people think the ways they do. And so, while always trying to be polite, I'll share my opinion freely.

Perhaps you've noticed my editorials page already. I hope you have, anyway! It's way more interesting than this page is.

It seems I am also a bit of a nonconformist. This isn't something I intentionally chose to be, but I'm not going to intentionally choose not to be one, either. Sometimes this makes life challenging, but it always keeps it interesting, so all in all I like being this way.

Apparently, there are a lot of things people seem to find quirky about me. I don't try to be "different," and it wouldn't offend me if someone declared me "normal." It's merely an observation that I sometimes make after thinking how weird everyone else is. ;-) I have friends with quirkiness quotients in the same range as mine, so it's all relative, I suppose.

Hey, as my college friends say, est bonum weirdum—it's a good weird!

Speaking of personality profiles, I'm an either an INFJ or INFP. The latter profile fits me to a T, though I think I may be more of a J nonetheless. Heh. These Myers-Briggs personality types fascinate me, maybe because I'm so strongly I, N, and F that the profiles fit me very well.

I love writing stories, reading, drawing, riding roller coasters, and lots of other things. I also like things that allow me to expend considerable energy, like rollerblading and biking and swimming and ice skating and singing and being a crazy Red Wings fan. Oh, and I like making web pages. Maybe you picked up on that one.

I also like the word "yay" and the color yellow. I like it because it's bright and sunny and cheerful. I like many other colors, too, especially vivid ones. My favorite ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip—what's yours? I also like drinking tea, especially Earl Grey and flavored herbal teas like licorice or peppermint, and I love smoothies.

I also love learning things! In 2004 I graduated from Kalamazoo College with a major in English, creative writing emphasis. I love foreign languages; Japanese is my main one, but I've also studied a good bit of French and a tiny bit of Chinese, Latin, and Spanish. (The Chinese is the most recent addition; I'm taking classes right now.) 日本語話せばメールを書いてくれない? 我也会说一点普通话。 Another school subject I particularly like is astronomy and the related physics, especially all that weird theoretical "theory of everything" stuff. Lately I've also become a history nut, especially political history, which goes along with being such a political junkie. I'm currently working on understanding both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

I want to be like a sponge and absorb all the information I can! Sometimes I'm afraid I sound like a bit of a know-it-all because I start rattling off something about, say, plate tectonics that I recently learned (to use an example that just happened the other day), but I'm not trying to sound like I know a lot; I just think it's interesting stuff and if it happens to come up in conversation, I like to talk about it. I hope I don't come across like I'm trying to impress people by knowing useless trivia or something.

One thing I don't really like is entertainment that requires me to sit passively and stare at a screen, like TV or movies. At least, not often, and not unless I'm really interested in the story, or completely and utterly exhausted. Even when I really like a show, I still can't watch more than two episodes in a sitting. I'd much rather do creative projects.

I don't claim that this makes me somehow better than people who like to watch TV. I do think some people watch too much of it and I kind of wonder if they don't miss all that time that they could be using for so many other cool things, but I do know that I have my own ways of wasting time, too. But if you ask me if I know a TV show or movie, the odds are good that I don't.

There is one noteworthy exception to my lack of interest in TV, which you can read about on my politics page. (Gee, I wonder what show it could be!)

I would also like to share that my operating system is Ubuntu Linux.

I don't think my life wouldn't appeal to everyone, but I'm enjoying it. I'm always on the lookout for adventures.

These are just a few select traits and interests, of course, but I think they're good ones for introducing me. If you want to get to know me better than this, you'll just have to talk to me!

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