To describe myself as eccentric or quirky would be a gross understatement.

And I’m not talking that cool-and-refined kind of quirky that defines hip urbanites who fold a queer habit or two into their otherwise meticulously preened mainstream identity. Those who sprinkle a couple edgy photos into their otherwise carefully curated photo stream…

I am plain weird. Also, I am riddled with contradictions.

I view myself as a Connecticut Yankee through-and-through but I depict a British soldier as a hobby (I am a Revolutionary War re-enactor). I am a Sinophile/China Watcher and my blood boils when I read articles that paint the party in a negative light (basically any mainstream reporting). However, I harbor major criticisms of the P.R.C. I pride myself on being up-to-date on the latest issues in identity politics but my stomach churns when I read articles by social justice warriors (SJWs). I sing to reggaeton tracks and hang a Costa Rican flag from my rear-view mirror but have not an ounce of Latin blood in me. I consider myself a Buddhist but I recite Christian prayers when I remember my relatives who have passed away. I am convinced that environmental protection is the paramount issue facing humanity, yet I cannot stop myself from jetting around the world to visit exotic places. I care deeply about protecting human life but I support abortion and I love guns. I roll my eyes when I hear evangelicals or Buddhists describe the role faith and spirituality plays in their lives, yet I practice taiji chuan (tai chi) as a means of improving my energy.

This has made the creation of this blog very difficult. What does a socialist, monarchist, democrat, tree hugging, gun nut focus on when writing a blog? Looking at the articles I’ve drafted they fall into four main categories: history & politics, mindfulness, frugality, and recipes. I also dream of launching a companion site that contains free lesson plans about China that I have developed over the years. If you’re thinking “What the hell? Those things have nothing in common!” – see the previous paragraph.

Backstory: I purchased a domain prior to moving to Shanghai in 2010 for the purpose of blogging about my life in China. I came to see that these “look-at-me-I-am-living-in-China-it’s-SO-crazy” blogs are a dime a dozen. I felt I wasn’t contributing something meaningful to online conversation. Since then I have spent a few years reflecting and posting diatribes on Facebook, trying to find my voice and purpose in writing. If for nothing else, I have finally decided to start publishing on my blog again for the sake of my friends on social media – so those who do not want to constantly see these odd posts will have one less item to scroll past in their feed (huh, how self-effacing).

God Save the King,