ENGINEERINGI'm an NVH engineer for a freight locomotive manufacturer. I do sound and vibration tests, and I help design and analyze sound and vibration-related components for the locomotive. I build predictive models in the computer to help the design process along without the assistance of a blue wrench and tons of steel. NVH engineering is a subset of mechanical engineering, which I got a bachelor's for in Texas. Engineering is my second career; I went to engineering school right after City Year, right after high school, but I transferred to art school in a fit of teenage brillance. I righted the ship seven years later after I left the web design company I started with a friend in El Paso.
DESIGNNo one gets out of art school without knowing their way around design software, and no one gets out of New York City without a keen eye for form vs. function. So, I have done both web and print design work on and off since I got my BFA in 1998 at Parsons, and will probably continue to do so for a while.
PHOTOGRAPHYI'm not great at writing. In fact, I would rather talk myself blue in the face than write a paragraph of text. But photography is fun and easy, and sometimes it helps me wordlessly understand things about the world that I cold not learn any other way. Getting a degree in photography at 23 was just a part of growing up; when I considering becoming one of the professional photographers I was working for at the time in New York City, I decided that it was not the right career for me. Instead, I just keep it up as a hobby. But like most trained artists, it's something I can't put down for long without getting disoriented in the world.
LIBRARIESI don't own a television, but I move often enough to have a few valid library cards going at any one time. Right now I am rocking valid Chicago Public Library, Oak Park Public Library, and SWAN (Chicago Suburban) cards. Sometimes I even sneak into university libraries to read stuff off the shelves that I'm not allowed to take home. Coffee and coffeeshops are a subset of this interest.
GEOGRAPHYI've lived for at least a year, as an adult, in Boston, New York, Chicago, Texas, and France. When I was in photo school I also studied Urban Studies with an absolute fascination for the history of cities. I still love to explore neighborhoods, understand maps and planning, navigate waterways and public transportation, and just basically wander around, like my heroes, the Situationists International. I've traveled to Mexico and France, I grew up in Maine and New Hampshire, and have a funny accent no matter who I talk to. My favorite places to visit are Colorado and New Mexico. I've always wanted to go to Peru and Japan.
VOLUNTEERIn the past, I've logged a sick number of hours volunteering at both City Year Boston and Habitat for Humanity of El Paso. In Chicago, I answer the phones at the Irish-American Heritage Center on Saturday mornings. Give me a call. I also volunteer at a college radio station, as a recording engineer for an Irish radio program. I'm not the DJ, I just do the sound. It's on Monday nights at 9pm CST, wdcb.org 90.9fm in Chicago.
MUSICI see live music. I'm just starting to learn how to play my grandfather's concertina and D melodeon. No, I'm not a blogger/critic, and no, I'm not Yoko Ono to any John Lennon. The way some people may watch a lot of television, I go see a lot of live music. All genres. I love traditional Irish music in Chicago, especially the radio shows and their DJs, but also the symphony, the MCA stage, the free shows at the Pritzker, and summer festivals are my favorite way to spend free time. I own a fiddle and fully intend to learn a second song on it before I die.
Nursing home dishwasher
Elementary school dishwasher
High School dishwasher
Circulation desk clerk
Dead file purge at DHHS
Clerk at a teen shelter
Receptionist at a doctor's office