It's a primer, and it was written with you
-- well, a particular you -- in mind.
I arrived to Chicago on a whim sixteen years ago. As much as I treasure this city, I still don't belong here. I'm willful, wily, relentless, overeager, ambitious, perverse and independent -- all in a good way. I possess a big (BIG!) heart, a merciless logic, a sharp wit, a prodigious (sexual) appetite and a strong compulsion to fight for what's fair. I am forthright to a fault -- compassionate honesty is truly the best policy -- and I have no shame whatsoever when it comes to declaring, or pursuing, what I want. The only time I truly feel at home is when I'm on the road.
I'm keenly aware that what I seek in a partnership is not for everyone. That said, I'm not here to passively hold out hope that the ideal partner might stumble across my profile and campaign for my loyalty and affection. I'm on a grand search, and along the way I plan on meeting, engaging and even courting those who seem worth knowing because I genuinely believe that the only life worth living is one filled with (mutually beneficial) shared experiences. (And, no, that's not code for "solely looking to fuck". So much cynicism and vitriol around here. Good grief.)
You should probably save us both some time and read the commentary to my Match questions.
I am passionate, pragmatic and determined.
I have literally been from here to Timbuktu.
Knowledge is power. Enjoy.
My current work requires me to be away from home more often than not these days. The upside is that I am finally debt-free and, therefore, can entertain far more possibilities regarding what happens next in life. (Example: I hope to explore a wide swath of Southern Africa this January/February.) The downside is that my social circle has essentially dwindled to a party of one, which can be tedious after already spending weeks by myself on the road.
I'm a storyteller at heart. I host several podcasts. I write when inspired. I'm an ardent cinephile, an avid theater-goer and a voracious reader. I have an affinity for ambitious prog rock opuses and sad folk songs. I enjoy reading aloud from my growing collection of short stories that I've cobbled together from various magazines and anthologies.
I love bringing people together, especially for the sake of promoting magnificent art -- no matter the medium. I do this via The Penguin's Tuxedo. If you're interested in meeting new people at discounted theater productions and concerts, Like the page.
Driving for days on end and singing along to every song on the stereo.
Editing, proofreading, constructive criticism.
Trusting my gut, following my head, listening to my heart.
Explaining the gory details of my radical lifestyle with nary a hint of self-consciousness or awkwardness. (Thanks, mojada!)
Being a rabid self-documentarian. (Thanks, belladea21!)
Karaoke, particularly Matchbox 20 songs and, oddly enough, Rebel Yell. (Thanks, jaackiee!)
Outsourcing my love life to other cities. Distance is hardly a deterrence when it comes to matters of the heart.
Making great mix CDs (e.g., For Love, Lost: A Mixtape).
Laughing (at myself).
My forthrightness, which they're additionally not accustomed to/comfortable with.
The penguin. No, he doesn't go everywhere I go, but he is a dependable navigator and therefore a welcome companion on the road. (Don't hate. Would you actually prefer that I get lost out there in middle America?)
1.) The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt) - A Dickensian tale of a young boy who loses his mother in a terrible incident, haphazardly spirits away with a masterwork in the aftermath and spends the remainder of his aimless adolescence cobbling together a new family to call his own. Within the first sixty pages you'll easily understand why Tartt won the Pulitzer for this splendid piece of fiction.
2.) Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx (Adrian Nicole LeBlanc) - A most engrossing (and oftentimes dispiriting) character study of one of the most troubled pockets in America. I couldn't put this book down, and immediately afterward I found myself eager to learn more about the lives of the hard luck souls featured in this sweeping narrative.
3.) The Troop (Nick Cutter) - A terrific horror novel that unfolds as a harrowing coming-of-age story. Its premise is similar to "Lord of the Flies" -- this time it's a Boy Scout troop stranded on an island infested with something truly insidious -- but there are also parallels to Stephen King's "The Body" (which was adapted into the film "Stand By Me"). It's a brisk read that deftly touches upon the (blindly) accepted behaviors and pressures adolescent males endure in order to fit in. Add the survival element, and the established hierarchies begin to fluctuate wildly -- sometimes for the better . . . sometimes not.
1.) Felicia's Journey (1999) -- Bob Hoskins delivers a career-defining performance as a peculiar life-long bachelor with a bizarre affectation for wayward young women.
2.) Infinitely Polar Bear (2015) -- A feel-good family drama that's a bit too effervescent to be considered a fully realized portrayal of (living with) manic depression, but the charming performances throughout make this film truly outstanding anyway.
3.) Cheap Thrills (2014) -- Frivolous bar bets quickly escalate into a far more sinister competition in this incredibly well-plotted dark comedy. And, sure, the deeds get more and more grotesque as things go from silly to straight up dire, but what makes this film truly disturbing is how believable every action is in relation to the money on the line.
My passion for music extends across all genres, but I'm mostly rock-based and definitely lyrically-focused. Lately, Handsome Ghost's Steps EP has been spinning non-stop in my car.
Note: I've had the good fortune to interview a lot of great bands big and small over the last decade on The Sound Of You & Me podcast.
And speaking of Podcasts:
The Smartest Man in the World, Never Not Funny, Radio Lab, This American Life, How Did This Get Made?, BBC Drama of the Week and The Moth help kill a lot of time on the road.
I love breakfast! That said, I've lived in Chicago for nearly half my life. Where can I get good hashbrowns around here already?!
That, or you'll likely find me singing Karaoke at Alice's Lounge. I'm a regular.
Mary & Max devastates me, too, as proven on two continents.
What? Too honest?
Fine then, you're a compelling, considerate and intelligent woman who is skilled at communicating your needs, desires and boundaries, and are mature enough to be respectful of mine. (It saddens me that I even have to mention this, but lately I've encountered far too many people who cannot seem to fathom the Golden Rule.)
Equally important is your understanding that dating requires a willingness to invest your very own time, energy and emotions into someone new. I get it, you're busy, self-sufficient and prone to distraction. But if that which you seek is seeking you, it's gonna be damn near impossible to find you, woo you and win your favor if you're unwilling to first make yourself available. You don't have to love with abandon, or even reciprocate 50/50 -- I can be the lovestruck one in this dynamic if things go that well -- but if you choose to engage me, you should be open to the idea of not only meeting in person but also bringing a good dose of enthusiasm and mutual interest to the table.
After all, this shouldn't only be about what I can offer you. It's what we can offer each other in that peculiar way that makes everyone else both envious and completely grossed out.
Internet dating allows us the chance to find specifically who we're looking for in a matter of seconds. So why not be more proactive about it? Chances are that I'll be the one to write you first -- but, really, what's stopping you from chasing down your exact kind of crazy?
Seriously, if you like me, write me. I dare you.