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Dr $tephen Dann. Academic Rockstar.

This Catte. That Damn Good.

Dr $tephen Dann
12 July 1973
External Services:
  • stephendann@livejournal.com
He's the kind of guy who, if he met the Grim Reaper, would loan Death a twenty on the safe assumption he wouldn't see either again in a hurry


About Me
I'm a late 30s senior lecturer at the Australian National University. I have the best girlfriend I've ever had, am alternating between living in Canberra and my beloved Brisbane. Day n+1, still the luckiest cat in the fellowship.

My life is an extended series of a soundtracks held together with a limited plot, the occasional character development episodes and a lot of good throwaway lines and more than enough bad jokes.

I'm a rogue, renegade and trouble maker. I say what sensible people would only think, think what the damned would let go, and live my life with a sense that if I’m going to die anyway, it may as well be for a good reason. 10,000 annoyed enemies with pitchforks and burning torches seems sufficiently good reason. I was thrown out of academia in 2002, returned to deliver one of those magnificently pithy bridge+fire type bridge burning eulogies on my own career, and promptly found myself back in the business two years later.

I do have the nickname "Captain career limiting move". Frankly, it's the only thing that's saved me from being Vice Chancellor by now.

If there's an easy way or a hard way to do something, I'll do it my way. Which is infinitely more confusing, fun, weird and prone to routine civility.

I’m a writer. I've been coauthor on a seven or so books (Strategic Internet Marketing V1.0, 2.0 and now 3.0, Introduction to Marketing 1.0; Consumer Behaviour, Competitive Marketing Strategy and an E-Commerce text). For a living, I write. Sometimes, in my days off, I also write. Less so now than I used to, but that’s mostly due to good quality video games.

I used to be a musician, but that was a while ago. If you're interested, my best (ie most successful) two tracks are hosted at The Merchants of Sloth website

I have a reputation for being impossible. It’s quite possible that I am impossible. At least, that sort of “how the hell did that happen?” type impossible. My office mascot is a Mr Impossible Mr Men (My other office mascot is a full scale scythe).

I have this particular obsession with AT-ATs. I like Star Wars, I like the Star Wars universe, and I like thinking about things within the Star War universe because they're bounded areas of exploration. Like what happens when you stop and really examine the Ewok-Empire dynamic on Endor, or try to devise a plan for the long term siege defense of Hoth, or describe the Rebellion tactical style post-Yavin4. Hypotheticals in pop culture is a specialty.

I used to have plans for world domination, then I looked at the job requirements, and considered that much administration and paperwork isn't worth the hassle. It's only a small world after all. Consequently, I'm moved into the mercenary business just before the job title changed to "civilian contractor" and the war became page 12 gossip column materials. I still have a mercenary view of my work - in the battle between good and evil, I'll ask for a pay cheque. I'm not sure who's bankrolling me at the moment, but it's a fun living whilst I can get the work.

I throw rocks at gods. Whilst some people may think that's a metaphor, there are enough broken windows in the Valhalla for me to have caught the attention of a few of the immortals. I taunt, I cajole, I threaten, I dare and I annoy the gods. Openly, willingly, knowingly, and sometimes, they even hear me. It’s not always the wise path, but it’s rarely dull. It does make my prospects for the afterlives look rather...complex. Still, if I'm right, then I have about a dozen gods on my side, and if I'm wrong, then those atheists reckon I've got nothing to worry about.

By the way, one of my goals in life is to disprove the hypothesis of my abilities. I am a science-faith driven person, and whilst I have an unorthodox philosophy and spirituality, I do believe in the disconfirmatory hypothesis approach to magic. Proof, such that it can exist, can only be reliably demonstrated by the assembly of multiple test-retest scenarios that demonstrate a pattern beyond the random chance level.

So, I will sometimes declare that I desire to cause EventX to occur within Y time frame for the purpose of the experimentation. In the case of summoning storms, I believe that I do not have the ability to summon a storm at will. However, there have been casual causal links to storms, and me saying "Let there be a storm". So, I run experiments in storm summoning to prove to myself that I can't actually make said event happen. Remember, the outcome I want to show that there is an equal random chance or greater that a storm will occur on a date I specify. I want to show I can't do this, thus alleviating one of my rumored reputations.

I may or may not be in perpetual opposition to Chronos, and semi-permanent alliance with Fotamecus. Time, they say, is an illusion. Lunch time doubly so. Time (the smooth flowing structured path) and I don't always see eye to eye, and my passage through time doesn't necessarily work the way it does for other people. As with the thing with the storms, I find it a bit disconcerting at times, but I also find air travel equally disconcerting and nobody tells me that I couldn't possibly have been 12000 miles away 20 hours ago when I'm standing in front of them. Frequently, I find myself sitting in a long metal tube, going to sleep in one country, and waking up somewhere else entirely. That's kinda magical.

I'm also hopelessly utterly and ever so happily in love with jennifergearing. For the record, we have what we have, we love each other for who we are, and we had rejected the titles boyfriend/girlfriend because they carried too many preset expectations for other people. We're us, we're two separate people who happen to be happy together. Very happy together. (cues Musical Number) Darn. I hate it when that happens. [And that's why I have a #trebuchetlist]

Periodically, my life descends into a musical number. I don't know why it happens either, but it does, and it's a bit annoying to be in the middle of doing the shopping to suddenly have a dance routine erupt around you, or a boyband start singing on a bus ride home.

Official Dates and Details
January 6 2004: Jen and $teve are Officially Dating.
Jen completed the paperwork, we announced in a cascade of misunderstandings (yes, we did that deliberately) as to exactly what was official. From the start, we've always been in an open relationship, even if we're spectacularly bad at being in an open relationship (So much monogamy, so little outsourcing). For us, monogamy wasn't suited to our beliefs, personalities and attitudes to life. The only request we have is that people respect our arrangement and don't declare our open relationship to be closed because that's how they'd live their lives. That's not cool. So if you’re interesting and keen, and interested, I’m free if you want me, and Jen’s free if you want her.

Jan 19, 2006, littlenell and I will have known each other for 10 years. A full decade with a woman who I love dearly, and with whom I have shared so damn much good, bad, inexplicable and irreplaceable experiences. Good, bad, we’re the ones with the fun.

Feb 1, 2006. ANU Life
I left my hometown of Brisbane to start life in Canberra. This means a lot of things, complicates things, and means that some of the nearest and dearest friends of mine in Brisbane are no longer an emergency speed dial and a Redbird run away from rescue. It also means that Canberra may get interesting (or at least $teve'd) during the next uncertain-length-of-future period.

Canberra v. $teve FAQ

1. What changed?
I’m still in bloody Canberra. The weather is so freaking lamentably cold. Even the summer is cold. However! There is hope, and a decent working arrangement that bases me in Brisbane for the bulk of the year, and canberra for my teaching semester. Only took six years to figure that out.

2. What about Jen?
She feels the cold less than I do.jennifergearing moved down at is currently working for QBE. She moved home to Brisbane. We're still dating, and we regard the bit where I have to go into exile in Canberra as a bit unfortunate.

3. How goes it?
If only the weather would improve. ANU has been a remarkable boost for my career, success and confidence. The weather still sucks.

4. What about the winter?
It sucks the will to live out of me. Too freaking cold. I have armour, and work has a heater. Plus, I now flee the town to Brisbane for most of the year at the end of my teaching semester.

5. What about the Redbird?
The Redbird has adapted to Canberra. I left my car in Brisbane with my family. He's happier in Brisbane, and whilst I miss him, I'd rather he got to spend semi-retirement in his hometown. He's had a major overhaul, engine refit and is up for some interior redesign later. Still has his QLD plates since the Redbird is a Queenslander.

6. Are you coming home to Queensland?
Yes. ANU is a great place to work, and I'm here because ANU is here, and ANU is sufficiently awesome to compensate for the fact that as a Queenslander, I'm not in Queensland. I am aiming to come home to Brisbane sooner rather than later, and it's no secret to anyone who watches me struggle through the winter that I can't stay here forever.

7. How Soon is Now?

7+1 What about us?
I miss my beloved girls (jennifergearing, littlenell, jedinic debs7 and sugarcontent), my crew (lordriffington ozfuture) my wrestling fanboys (ebe, gumbouy) and my city. I'm coming home, and it's just a matter of when not if to make it happen.

Semper Signum Fidei