Dan prizes whimsy, abhors boredom, and has a middling relationship with focus. This combination led to Rewriting Stella. That, and a damn long drive to the Serengeti.
His sonnet obsession began as a gift-giving exercise. After a rather pleasant dinner one night he decided to writ up the occasion in oddly formal poetry, offer shout-outs to each participant, and email it to them. None replied. Thrilled by market demand, he then made a habit of memorializing occasions in iambic pentameter. The power of the stories we tell ourselves and all that. Eventually Stella matured and those stories began to make sense.
At one point Dan could speak Spanish, Swahili, Chinese, Melanesian Pijin, and conversational English. At one point he could also do calculus. But what is life but a departure from points once thought important? If you ask Dan, he'll gladly tell you about that time he helped prevent an outbreak of the bubonic plague in East Africa, how he used to be able to read a Chinese newspaper, and how he's mildly synesthetic. But only for a story in return.