What's your name?

Where are you based?
California, USA

Tell us about what your ordinary day looks like.
The dream day consists of working on puzzles, working on crochet projects, and hanging out with my partner and my dog. (I'm going to be really good at retirement someday!) But we've all got to work to put food (and puzzles) on the table...I spend my days running a fellowship program for older graduate students at Stanford University.

How did you get into the world of puzzling?
I've been a jigsaw puzzler since early childhood. When I got chicken pox as a kid, my parents gave me a 5,000-piece puzzle of lions & cheetahs to keep me distracted from scratching while I healed. I worked on it nonstop for a week, and then had dreams about furry puzzle pieces for months afterward.

What makes you keep puzzling & how often do you puzzle?
Puzzling brings me peace of mind. I had a bad head injury with a skull fracture a few years ago, and delving back into jigsaw puzzles was a huge part of my recovery and returning to my sense of self! Currently, I'm puzzling nearly every day. I alternate between "just for fun" puzzles and "this is serious business" speed puzzles.

What is your favorite type of puzzles?
I love all the puzzles. I'm a panpuzzler. I especially like bizarre art and unique images.

During puzzling sessions, do you listen to anything or puzzle in silence?
For casual puzzling, watching videos from favorite YouTubers like Karen Puzzles and Puzzlephile while working on a puzzle myself is always great fun. For speed puzzling, I usually go in silence - though my fastest race time ever was when I was singing along to a Talking Heads concert from the 1980s, so maybe I should be trying more music!

If you were to describe what puzzling means to you, what would it be?
In "The Puzzler," AJ Jacobs quoted a Japanese puzzle-maker's definition of puzzling and it really resonated with me. The definition is:

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Tell us about your other interests & joys.
My other great hobby love is crocheting. I do a lot of tapestry crochet, thread lace, and amigurumi. I'm an occasional yarnbomber (think graffiti but with yarn). I recently made a puzzle piece crochet pattern I'm going to try as a headband or scarf!