The boundary between work and play has always been a fuzzy one for me. I love intense and creative problem-solving, and my work provides plenty of opportunities for that. I also like technology and gadgets, but resist the institutional urge to use technology for technology's sake.
I'm a visual/spatial thinker and learner. I like designing and organizing things—such as documents, book covers, web sites, office space and kitchen. I especially like creating websites, where I can combine my inclination for both function and esthetics without spending a fortune. I have developed and manage websites for the Journal of Second Language Writing, and the Symposium on Second Language Writing, among others. I've also created several personal websites and blogs both in Japanese and in English. A few of my early "blogs" long predate the term blog.
I find occasional cooking both relaxing and stimulating. My repertoire includes Mexican, Chinese, German, Japanese, Korean and Italian. I also like beverages of all kinds—I especially enjoy talking with people over a cup of coffee, tea, beer, or wine. I've been a big coffee drinker, but since my last trip to Taiwan, I've been drinking more Chinese tea. I've always liked energy drinks for the taste of it, and I'm happy that they have become popular in the U.S. in recent years.
Lately, I've been spending more time outdoors. When I was a child, I used go hiking and camping all the time, but I had stopped almost completely after moving to the States. I'm into hiking and mountain biking again--I've been going out on a new trail almost every week. In 2011, I discovered snorkeling (thanks to my daughter), and in 2012, I took up diving--I now have Advanced Open Water certification with PADI (as of December 2012).
I used not to like traveling--I just didn't see the point--but since I travel so much to give talks and workshops, I'm learning to enjoy it. My favorite activities include eating and drinking. I also like going to museums and acquariums. I'm also looking for opportunities to go hinking and diving whenever possible.
I'm a real night owl. I usually stay up until around 4 a.m. No, this is not a long-term jet-lag; even when I visit Japan now, I get back into my noon-to-four cycle in a few days. I've always been this way—it just feels more natural to me. (Can you imagine how hard it was for me to get up at 7 a.m. to go to school?) I get most of my writing done between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. It's not that I don't sleep—I like to stay in bed until around noon whenever I can. (In other words, don't even think about calling me at home in the morning or asking me to come to a meeting before noon!)
I like having people around when I write—as long as they don't talk to me. My favorite places for writing include coffee shops and airports. I also do a lot of writing on the airplane. I also enjoy driving; I like to explore and organize my ideas on the road. In fact, some of my best ideas were developed behind the wheel.