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32 M Chicago, IL

My Details

Last Online
Yesterday – 8:02pm
6′ 1″ (1.85m)
Body Type
Atheism, and laughing about it
Gemini, and it’s fun to think about
Dropped out of university
Art / Music / Writing
Relationship Status
Relationship Type
Doesn’t have kids, and doesn’t want any
Has cats
English (Fluently), Spanish (Poorly)

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My self-summary
This isn't a summary.
It's a primer, and it was written with you
-- well, a particular you -- in mind.

I'm a wayfaring wolf from northern Nevada who came to Chicago on a whim nearly fifteen years ago. As much as I treasure this city, I still don't belong here. I'm stubborn, willful, wily, overeager, ambitious, perverse and independent -- all in a good way. I possess a big (BIG!) heart, a merciless logic, a sharp wit, a voracious (sexual) appetite and a strong compulsion to fight for what's fair. I am forthright to a fault -- tactful honesty is truly the best policy -- and I have no shame whatsoever when it comes to declaring, or pursuing, what I want. I was born at the right time in the wrong generation. I suffer from wanderlust. I make it a goal to travel (abroad) for an extended amount of time at least once a year. The only time I truly feel at home is when I'm on the road.

I am very much a man who loves women. I was raised by women. I relish their company. It is my sincere hope to get acquainted with many more of them in my lifetime.

I truly believe you should 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.

It seems that OKC has retired its Journals section, which is really such a shame. Luckily, the majority of my posts there were also posted on my blog. Knowledge is power. Enjoy.

Instagram: lifeofvelander
What I’m doing with my life
I recently decided that I need to start taking care of myself with the same fervor that I take care of others. Sure, I'm quite comfortable in my skin, and my credit score is great, but I'm at a point in my life where would like to invest more of my time, energy and emotion into people and pursuits that are most likely to contribute positively to my sense of well-being.

For most of my life I've worked corporate gigs that offered relaxed supervision and more than enough pay to cover my living (and travel) expenses and fund my creative pursuits. Lately, however, I've been doing medical studies for cash. Yes, that's a completely different tack, and it's certainly as odd/absurd as it sounds, but so far it's allowed me to pay off my debts much faster than I ever could at the 9-to-5 grind. Very soon I will build up a nest egg that will go straight to furthering my education. (I'm not ashamed to be a lab rat, but I certainly don't plan on making it a career.)

I'm a storyteller at heart, and podcasting is my primary conduit for telling them. I take great pleasure in analyzing (and making fun of) my personal baggage as well as singing back-up for the talented musicians that stop by the studio. I've been doing this long enough to warrant the launching of my own podcasting network. Alas, the podcasts have been on a terribly long hiatus, but that's going to change this year. I'm sitting on a wealth of new content; the moment it's released, I'll be back to recording on a regular basis. (Words cannot describe how much of a relief it is to be on the cusp of rebooting.)

Furthermore, I've been challenging myself to get back into writing. I have several stories that I've been meaning to commit to the page for years now, and I owe it to myself -- and my long-suffering protagonists -- to knuckle down and do it. On a similar note, in 2010-11 I was the creative editor of a book that has since garnered excellent reviews and am currently in talks with the author about fussing and fiddling with his next novel. (This doesn't pay much, but the work is rewarding, and I'm hoping it might lead to more lucrative freelance proofing/editing gigs.)

I absolutely love bringing people together, especially for the sake of promoting magnificent art -- no matter the medium. For nearly five years I was the city ambassador of the CouchSurfing Chicago community, but since that's all but disbanded, I am moving on to creating my own events forum: The Penguin's Tuxedo. I just had the logo designed. The web site comes next. If you're interested in meeting new people by way of attending theater shows, concerts and board game nights, Like the page.

My resolution for 2013 was to travel to 8 destinations (4 domestic, 4 international). Alas, due to (9-to-5!) work and budget restraints earlier in the year, that didn't pan out the way I hoped it would. But thanks to the studies, I amassed a respectable vacation fund, which I then squandered liberally on a 65-day, 12,630-mile road trip out West. Dubbed the "Long Road Homecoming" tour, I decided to reach out to as many friends, family members, neighbors, teachers, colleagues and even passing acquaintances whom had left a positive imprint on my life as I could possibly find. It was an exhausting endeavor, but for the most part the reunions were moving and joyful. Better yet, the drive itself did wonders for my spirits.

Now that I've visited all the kith and kin, 2014 will be dedicated to going to places I haven't been. Top of the list: Burma, Southern Africa (Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi) and Argentina. I currently have several standby tickets burning a hole in my pocket, and I look forward to using them.
I’m really good at
Storytelling and conversation. I can talk for hours.

Making a better milkshake. And you can take that to the bank.

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.

Reading people.

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.

Couchsurfing. I can entertain foreigners like nobody's business.

Making great mix CDs (e.g., For Love, Lost: A Mixtape).

Laughing (at myself).

Your mom.
The first things people usually notice about me
That I'm staring at them in a way they're generally not accustomed to/comfortable with.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
I can give you a long list of favorites, but who reads those anyway? Here are the most recent picks to win my heart:

1.) The Martian (Andy Weir) - It's Man vs. Mars, and astronaut, botanist and good-natured smartass Mark Watney is more than up for the challenge when he finds himself stranded after his crew is forced to make an emergency evacuation without him. Andy Weir runs with a sensational sci-fi premise and makes it all the more believable -- and urgent -- by way of applying real science and engineering. It also helps that Watney is an incredibly likeable protagonist, the kind of guy that might inspire all the world to work together to get him home (and then buy him a beer). Rest assured, this is a rollicking good read; the audiobook in particular kept me riveted for days on end.
2.) An Abundance of Katherines/Paper Towns/Looking for Alaska (John Green) - After reading the wondrous The Fault in Our Stars, I've been devouring John Green's earlier works and enjoying every bit of it. His teenage protagonists are the right amount of funny, frustrated and far too clever for their own good that make them both genial and relatable. They're underdogs who are painfully aware that their day will come once outside high school, but they still appreciate the fact that their "here and now" ain't so bad either. (That's one lesson I surely could have used at fifteen or sixteen.)
3.) Next (James Hynes) - I really enjoyed Kevin Quinn's strange, purgatorial walk through Austin (and memory lane), and the final 50 pages really moved me in so many unexpected ways. Also, it arguably contains the best final line in a novel since Clive Barker's Galilee.

1.) It's Such a Beautiful Day - I've had the distinct pleasure of introducing more and more friends to Don Hertzfeldt's heartrending, poignant and triumphant animated trilogy about a man named Bill who is not exactly doing so well. It has all the weird touches that made REJECTED! such a madcap hit, but it is anything but frivolous. In fact, the unanticipated pathos revealed here is utterly jarring compared to the rest of Hertzfeldt's work, which leaves one to wonder what other magnificent tricks this man has up his sleeve.
2.) Her - Soulful gem of a film about how much the pursuit of love requires the discovery of self. I would say more, but it's best that you come to your own conclusions.
3.) How to Make Money Selling Drugs - One of the most kinetic and wry documentaries about what it takes to get ahead in the drug trade. FASCINATING STUFF.
4.) Hell Baby - Alumni from The State come together to make a comedy-horror film containing a perfect blend of silliness and gore that is bound to make it a cult favorite. The pacing is weird, but the performances are top-notch -- Rob Corddry gives the best "straight man" delivery I've seen in years; Keegan-Michael Key absolutely steals the show -- and, best of all, there's not one bad punchline throughout the entire thing.
5.) The Good Wife (Season 4) - It sounds silly to say this in the age of binge-watching entire seasons of television at a time, but looking forward to each new episode of this show is one of the highlights of my week. It has all the addictive qualities of a soap, but it is so much smarter and funnier than the uninitiated could ever imagine. Best of all is the revolving door of guest stars who continually appear in surprising roles. (Seriously, put your mother on the phone so that I might finally rave about this show with someone who gets it.)

My passion for music extends across all genres, but I'm mostly rock-based and definitely lyrically-focused. Of late:
1.) William Topley & The Sea Gypsies / Aristocrats of the South Seas - One of my all-time favorite songwriters. His best album in a decade.
2.) Jimmy Eat World / Damage - A near-frenetic break-up record that that is, sadly, hindered by the lack of pop luster finish that has become the band's signature since the debut of "Bleed American". As it stands, it feels like the lyrics apply to something more raw and current (and mature) instead of having the benefit of 20/20 hindsight featured in their previously steady supply of teen-angst anthems. (That said, "I Will Steal You Back" is worth the entire cost of the record. Just devastating.)
3.) Dana Gould / I Know It's Wrong - Gould is a comedy genius who specializes in polarizing a room. Imagine Dexter's "Dark Passenger" having a sense of humor -- and possibly a rare form of OCD that demands that one bare every awful, twisted, painful and isolating (and hilarious) thought it's ever had in front of a live audience.

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, RISK!, Wait, Wait... and The Moth help kill a lot of time at work.

Food (aka my favorite Chicago-centric meals):
BLAST and Peanut Butter Shake @ The Brown Sack (Both worth living, dying and killing for. Seriously.)
Turkey Club @ The Rocking Horse
Ground Nut Stew and Smoked Gouda Mac 'n' Cheese @ Handlebar
Pantera @ Kuma's Corner
Sprecher's Root Beer(!)
Chorizo from my neighborhood deli.

I love breakfast! That said, I've lived in Chicago for nearly 15 years. Where can I get good hashbrowns around here already?!
The six things I could never do without
Passion, resolve, sex, laughter, passport and music.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Stories/Anecdotes/Memories, Sex, Music, Writing, Travel, Possibility, Consequence, The Future, Friends, Relationships, Money, Best Laid Plans, Worst Case Scenarios
On a typical Friday night I am
Lately I've been catching up with my best friends by way of a TV/movie binge at home. It's the only time we're really free to get together these days, and there's just so much cool stuff I've been meaning to show them.

Favorite things to watch over the years: Community, Sherlock, Gravity Falls, Apartment 23, United States of Tara, American Dad.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
The ending of The Iron Giant always makes me cry. ("Superman!")

Mary & Max devastates me, too, as proven on two continents.
I’m looking for
  • Girls who like guys
  • Ages 21–40
  • Near me
  • For new friends, long-term dating, short-term dating
You should message me if
You're the playful, sensual, stunning bisexual girl-next-door type who has the self-confidence and silly charm to match her magnificent wit.

What? Too honest?

Barring that, you're an attractive woman who understands that friendship and physical attraction shouldn't be mutually exclusive. I've been through enough with the opposite sex to finally accept that I will never be the platonic best friend. Yes, I can keep my hands to myself, and I can certainly respect your boundaries, but if I'm spending time with you, it's probably because I find you attractive -- on many different levels. And given the opportunity, yes, I would more than likely choose to explore that attraction further (and still be your friend).

What? Still too honest?

You're a compelling, intriguing and appealing woman who actually has time to date. I know, you're busy, self-sufficient and prone to distraction. I totally get it! But if that which you seek is also 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.

And if that's too honest, or too high of an expectation, then I don't know what else I can do for you.

Romantic aspirations aside, if you're an artist who doesn't need to suffer for your art; if you've ever experienced the peculiar shock of falling head over heels for an album by an artist/band that you normally hate; if you relish the open road and enjoy getting lost along the way; if you believe ignorance is a serious threat to society; if you believe the Golden Rule is good, but not good enough; if you make the time to read a good book; if you were ever at one point a ballerina or gymnast; if you long to see the world outside your hometown; if you understand that life really does get better with age; if you know the basics of car repair; if you’re willing to be honest, genuine and sincere with me, and doubly so with yourself; or if you can teach me a few magic tricks, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Finally, this:
The Internet is a grand tool for giving us countless opportunities to engage amazing people that we normally wouldn't have met otherwise in real life. Online dating itself 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?

Yes, yes, 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.