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Overview

  • 50 references 46 Confirmed & Positive
  • Fluent in English; learning French
  • 43, Male
  • Member since 2013
  • Attorney--Appellate Public Defender
  • English major, history minor, law degree
  • From Clay City, IL, USA
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me

CURRENT MISSION

To learn, to grow, to be happy, and to meet wonderful and beautiful people from around the world.

ABOUT ME

I’m an attorney living with my husband Jacob and our English Cocker Spaniel Jojo in downtown Saint Louis, Missouri, just blocks from the Arch and the Mississippi River. I work for the Office of the State Appellate Defender in Mount Vernon, Illinois, doing appeals for indigent criminal defendants. I grew up in southern Illinois, went to college at Indiana State in Terre Haute (English B.S., history minor), and went to law school at Indiana University in Bloomington. Jacob earned his Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2014. We met in Indiana when I was a law student and he was an undergraduate at Purdue, majoring in French Literature and minoring in political science and religious studies. We moved to Chicago in 2006, where we lived until he got a job with Saint Louis County’s planning department in June 2015 and we relocated.

PHILOSOPHY

I value the relationships I have with my husband, my family, my dog, and my friends. We love trying new things, foods, and places and meeting new people. I am learning to value growth and self-awareness. To quote former Illinois governor, Pat Quinn, “Service to others is the rent we pay for our place on this earth.”

And here’s a slightly older quote from Deuteronomy: “The LORD your God ... executes justice for the orphan and the widow and loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

And another, from the Letter to the Hebrews: “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

Why I’m on Couchsurfing

HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING

So far, we have hosted more than 200 people and surfed in Houston, Kansas City, London ON, and Montreal. We both have an insatiable curiosity about the world and its places and people, and we love hosting people from around the world. We recently took our first international trip together--to Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick--and we're headed to Paris in the spring.

COUCHSURFING EXPERIENCE

We’ve hosted more than 200 amazing people, from France, Chile, Finland, Sweden, Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Wales, England, Poland, India, Australia, Spain, Germany, Tunisia, Italy, Canada, Belgium, Malaysia, Taiwan, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, South Korea, Mexico, and the U.S. -- someone from every inhabited continent! These were wonderful experiences that left us excited to host more people and exchange stories and cultures with our guests. We especially love sharing meals with people, both in our home and out on the town. Right now we’re still trying to learn everything we can about our new city and to try all the great food.

Interests

We follow the news and keep up on politics. I read a lot of histories, biographies, and essays, and Jacob reads a lot of things that pertain to urban planning and public policy. I am sort of addicted to feeding the animals that inhabit the woods behind my office--deer, squirrels, rabbits, finches, robins, cardinals, blue jays, titmice, nuthatches, woodpeckers, groundhogs, chipmunks, and on and on. My colleagues and I also built a butterfly/bee/pollinator garden behind my office, which turned out amazingly well this past summer and fall. We watch movies, cook and bake at home, walk around the neighborhood, host friends, and go out to dinner.

We sometimes attend an Episcopal Church on Sundays. (Episcopalianism is the American branch of Anglicanism, which is the vestige of the Church of England in all its former colonies.)

We love architecture, old cities, old cemeteries, churches and other religious buildings. One of our goals is to see every American state capitol building and every Canadian provincial capitol. We’re also really invested in our dog Jojo, who is nearly 14 years old and loves making new friends!

  • pets
  • dogs
  • lgbt rights
  • civil rights
  • cooking
  • vegetarian
  • gardening
  • politics
  • traveling
  • music
  • hiking
  • backpacking
  • law
  • nature
  • lgbt
  • vegetarianism
  • vegetarian cooking

Music, Movies, and Books

My musical tastes run the gamut. I like 90s pop, rock, and alternative music, because that’s what I grew up on. I love the 1960s pop that my Mom grew up on, too, because that’s what we listened to together when I was a boy. I also like old American country music, folk music, Strauss waltzes, Big Band, jazz, hymns, and music of the Baroque. I hope we will find when we get to heaven that Bach has written its soundtrack.

I love movies -- indie movies, arty movies, Woody Allen comedies, bawdy Judd Apatow comedies, banal romantic comedies, science fiction, fantasy, mystery and suspense. The only movies I don’t like are really bloody horror or action films. Jacob loves zombie shows like The Walking Dead. I like British mystery shows – Lewis, Morse, Midsomer Murders, etc. I'm currently very into Vera, Grantchester, and Hinterland--set in Aberystwyth, Wales, where two of our Couchsurfers grew up!

For books, I like histories and biographies the most. Think William Manchester’s Churchill books, Edmund Morris’s Roosevelt books, Barbara Tuchman’s “The Guns of August,” Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Team of Rivals” and “The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys.” I also enjoy well-written novels, though my tastes look more like a college sophomore’s reading list than the current New York Times best-seller list -- Dickens, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Steinbeck, Bronte, Hardy, et cetera, et cetera. All in all, you could say my tastes are more broad than deep. My guilty new-fiction pleasure is the Matthew Shardlake mysteries by CJ Sansom, which combine three things I love: history, religion, and the law.

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

We saw the inauguration of President Obama. As far as events, that is probably the most exciting one. Oh, and our wedding in June 2011. (I know everyone loves watching other people's wedding videos, so you can find ours here: http://youtu.be/oMne2JBptgE.)

For natural beauty, the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee and the Cumberland Falls of Southeastern Kentucky are among the prettiest things I've seen, as well as Quebec City viewed from Ile de Paris; Mont Tremblant parc in Quebec; and rural upstate New York when the wildflowers are in bloom.

Teach, Learn, Share

We know a lot about politics, western religion, American history and geography, law, literature, cooking and baking, and of course the great cities of Saint Louis and Chicago. Jacob knows a lot about architecture, urban planning, world geography, and his home city of Louisville, Kentucky! We love showing people around town and get a kick out of taking surfers along to church and/or brunch on Sundays.

Our country just elected Donald Trump as our president. We aren't thrilled about that, so we'll hope to fix it in the next election. BUT, if you are visiting from another country, know that Donald Trump did not win the most votes (our system is complicated). Most Americans are not like Donald Trump. Most Americans are kind, generous, welcoming people. Come stay with us, and we will show you the very best American hospitality.

What I Can Share with Hosts

We're great conversationalists and a pretty decent cooks and bakers! Our dog is pure sweetness, we like to drive people around, and since I grew up in a rural town, I can give international travelers a little taste of off-the-beaten-path American life.

Countries I’ve Visited

Belgium, Canada, France, Iceland, Luxembourg, United States

Countries I’ve Lived In

United States

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