If I had to describe myself in one word, it would be "risk-taker." (Or is that two words?) I've taken my life on a very circuitous route, and the journey has been exhilarating at times, maddening at others, but always fascinating and very rarely predictable. I'm currently in the process of re-routing myself, and step one is pursuing an advanced degree at UCLA in Islamic Studies. I've learned that chasing your dreams doesn't necessarily mean you can identify them, but even if you never figure it out, sometimes the chase itself was worth it. Having said that, I appreciate being back in LA basking in fantastic weather and being near my family, and stability is starting to look attractive. My philosophy of life is balance: I'm hardworking but a reformed perfectionist, and not at all predisposed to workaholism. I get a lot of pleasure from my intellectual pursuits, but my life would not be complete without all of my other passions-- salsa dancing, tennis, martial arts, running, traveling, and lavishing attention on my nephew are chief among them. Generally speaking, I prefer being on the beach to being in a museum, and getting my teeth drilled to gritting my teeth through an operatic aria (but in the interest of full disclosure I should say that I am fairly obsessive about dental hygiene). I don't usually like spectator sports or video games; if someone's going to be swatting a ball around or firing off rounds, it'd better be me. But I'm willing to try just about anything once and happy to add new experiences and activities to my repertoire.