Welcome to my online home! If you were to visit my physical office, you’d probably catch me drinking home-roasted coffee or Chinese pu’er tea. I don’t generally start on the homebrewed mead or beer until after five. Some people find the soft cooing and occasional cackling of my chickens distracting – but I like the auditory reassurance that they’re alive and happy.
Chickens are also a great conversation starter. I love to chat – possibly at excessive length – about how they contribute to the yard’s ecosystem. That will probably lead to a discussion of composting and then composting toilets. If the company is too polite for blackwater conversation, I’m also happy to stick to greywater management and filtration systems.
I’m a journalist-turned-copywriter based in Portland, Oregon. I can’t say I’m the most knowledgeable about chickens, compost or water management in this city. But unlike many experts in those fields, I draw inspiration from the time I spent living in Switzerland, France, Russia, Spain and China. When I look at how a home is designed, I’m thinking about Andalusian homes built around a courtyard that stay cool even in the scorching heat of summer, or the Russian houses with huge ovens that people cook in and sleep on top of. I’m remembering ancient Chinese urban planning that ensured that a maximum number of houses had southern exposure.
For that matter, I love to talk about the time I’ve spent abroad. So much so, in fact, that I have a whole blog, The Babel Times, dedicated to language learning and living abroad. In case you’re wondering, I speak German, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese.
Some more facts about me: I have a dual master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York and Sciences Po in Paris. I’ve built several websites using Drupal and WordPress. I climbed my first mountain when I was seven years old. And to answer the most common question I get about myself, no matter what the occasion: My hair is naturally curly.
In 2013 I edited Worldcrunch Impact, a series of solutions journalism that pulled from sources in French, German, Russian, Spanish, Chinese and other languages. The series was shortlisted in the 2014 UK Newspaper Awards in the digital innovation category.
I was part of the three-person team that created Our Future Selves, an interactive feature about aging in America that took second place in the 2012 Digital Journalism Awards.