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, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Thai. 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 laterly, I've been drinking more Chinese tea.
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 and got busy with academics. I started hiking and mountain biking again, and in 2011, I discovered snorkeling, and in 2012, I took up scuba diving. I enjoy it so much that I wanted to spread my loveI am now a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (as of December 2016).
Believe it or not, I used to not 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 hiking and diving whenever possible.
I'm a night owl by nature. If I don't have any restrictions, I usually stay up until around 4 a.m. No, this is not a long-term jet-lag; even when I visit other countries, 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. But lately, my sleep habit has become less predictable because of my extensive travel schedule.
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 used to 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.