Q: What do you actually do?
A: Several things. I represent a vodka company, a boutique Italian wine importer, and I run a bartending event and staffing company. I’m a sommelier and a bartender for two high end restaurants in Los Angeles. I consult on the events side for several other restaurants / catering companies. I’m a freelance photographer. I write this blog. I hustle
Q: Why are you so random?
A: I had some incredible teachers along the way, and I flock to foreign things, unusual things. I grew up in a hippy town on a college campus full of worldly people. I am also addicted to Wikipedia. I remember when MS Encarta and Groliers where the encyclopedias on 5 CDROMS, to just read through all the randomness and information. Ever wonder how a solar sail works, or an ion engine?
Q: Why the periods in MAN..
A: The letters M.A.N are actually my initials. My parents didn’t plan it that way, I tend to think it was just divine.. Or maybe I just like to tell people that.
Q:Why are you so picky about food and wine?
A: I had the gift and the curse of having two eccentric parents, both very skilled in different aspects and styles of cooking. Both spent time overseas which gave them international exposure; my mother teaching me to make Crab Rangoon and Falafel when I barely stood over the kitchen table, and my father video taping me searing USDA Prime T-bones the size of my head at age 6. My father also began collecting red wine when I was in my teens, and my service industry experience taught me a great deal. I enjoy it because I feel like one can never stop learning gastronomy.
Q: American Psycho?
A: This role was seminal for me. Naturally I’m no serial killer, but I find a strange comfort in the megalomania, the extreme physical condition, the exquisite dining. Loved the nerdy explanations, the business cards, the suits, the cold hearted relations and drug culture. Being bad looks like so much fun.
A: In 9th grade AP Biology became one of the most influential courses I’ve ever taken, it was the first time I really had to take notes and study. The concepts became a solid framework for much of the way I see the world. Molecules, cells, organisms, and populations where fascinating.
People are often curious when I begin rants about biology, wondering how I can recall a subject that I learned so long ago. Well, when we studied heredity, and I learned that it is entirely possible and not at all unusual for organisms to possess the exact same genetic make-up, yet appear completely different. This for me was one of those concepts that just dazzles; that we are molded like clay by our environments, by our actions, and by random variation.
I have a tattoo of the Roman numerals 9 3 3 1 – the ratio of individual phenotypes (an organism’s observable traits) in a dihybrid cross. This is the ratio of first generation offspring (gametes) between two individuals which differ in two traits of particular interest. For me it becomes more metaphor than science, as my parents were both hybrids so to speak, I am the resulting dihybrid.
Richard Dawkins, one of my favorite scientists (along with Jarred Diamond) argues that our genes are self serving, that they are little capitalists. We are just vehicles designed by them to increase our chances of replication. Good genetic material is important, sometimes a gift, but it is what you do with that material that ultimately matters the most.