36St. Louis, United States
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My self-summary
I'm one of those "nice guys." Unique…but nice. (I hope that "does it" for you.) I aspire to Woody Allen’s style of pseudo-intellectual witty banter, but probably come across closer to Conan O'Brien minus the writers. Either way, self-deprecating sarcasm is my bread & butter. I’m generally pretty up-beat. I tend to throw lots of supposedly clever witticisms out there for laughs. Some stick, most fizzle, but that won't stop me trying. I’m diplomatic to a fault. I can be a bit timid on the first date. (Stop me if this is getting too steamy.) I love to go new places, try new things, meet new people, but it's best to have someone to share the experience with.

I'm looking for someone who is generally open-minded and intellectual, or at least tries to be (like I do). Must be liberal, pragmatic…and passionate about your own opinions. Must like to talk! I may not be the greatest conversationalist, but I was raised in a family that talks…a lot! I want to be with someone who can appreciate a variety of creative arts - music, film, theater, photography, painting, that sort of thing - with a critical eye.

One last thing: it is of UTMOST IMPORTANCE for me to be a close match on religion and politics. I am an atheist and a liberal. Agnostic or “exploring” is one thing, so long as you keep a healthy balance of skepticism. But true believers need not apply.

I am liberal, atheist, and sorry if you're not
What I’m doing with my life
I used to be a school band director, but I couldn't stand classroom teaching. Now I'm the Band/Orchestra Specialist at the Music Center of Kirkwood. I also teach private tuba and euphonium lessons on the side.

When I moved to St Louis a year ago, my plan was to take some classes and break into the film community. I'd love to work with film someday. Not sure what I'd do, though. Maybe criticism. My inner critic always seems to be running strong.

Most recently, I've become a member of The Improv Trick, a local improv comedy group here in St. Louis. (shameless plug alert...) Come see our (FREE) live comedy jam at Mangia on Wed nights at 10:30p. I'm still very new and awkward at this, but I love doing it, and I feel like it's the most important thing I'm doing with my life at the moment.
I’m really good at
Not shutting the hell up. I'm one of those people who talks... a lot... all the time. And most of it is meaningless and pointless and completely self-absorbed, but I can't seem to stop myself. I love to talk. That is, unless I'm in a new situation with new people I don't know. Then sometimes I really clam up... Sometimes.

I'm also good (well, that word is debatable) at criticizing everything. Not in a bad way. For the most part I try not to criticize people (at least people I know); everybody else does that enough. But I'm a critic at heart. If we go to a movie, even if it's amazing, you can be sure I'll point out all the little flaws. I love debating art in a critical fashion. Actually "debating" is the wrong word - I prefer it when everybody agrees with me. ;)
The first things people usually notice about me
Not sure, but I get the feeling I must have a pretty unique face or something. People seem to remember me weeks or even months after only meeting once. This is inevitably embarrassing, as I absolutely cannot do that.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Movie: Annie Hall or Close Encounters of the Third Kind (the latter is kind of a personal bias)
Movie so far this decade: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Movie so far this year: Food, Inc.
TV: Daily Show/Colbert Report
Radio: NPR
Website: McSweeney's
Blog: The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks
Other Internet Media: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Author: David Sedaris
Book: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
Book of Short Stories: Smoke and Mirrors, by Neil Gaiman
Graphic Novel: The Sandman, by Neil Gaiman
Movie based on a graphic novel: American Splendor
Playwright: Neil Simon
Play: Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread, by David Ives
Shakespeare Play: Twelfth Night
Movie Based on a Play: Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolff?
Movie Based on a Shakespeare play: Throne of Blood
Movie Theater: The Tivoli

Band: They Might Be Giants
Band-I'm-NOT-embarrassed-to-admit-is-my-favorite: The New Pornographers
Singer/Songwriter: Tom Waits
Composer: Philip Glass
Orchestral Work: Howard Hanson's Symphony #2 "Romantic"

Food: Anything but seafood. I wish I liked fish, but I don't.
Restaurant in all St. Louis: Local Harvest Cafe
Bar: The Royale
Food on S. Grand: Lemongrass
Food in the CWE: Llywelyn's Pub
Food in The Loop: Pi
Food in Downtown: Rooster
Cat Food: Iams
Six things I could never do without
Many of these are material possessions or other consumerist domains, and that embarrasses me, but here goes...
- Movies theaters
- Internet
- My DVD player
- My cat Ingrid
- My brother
- My iPhone (I just got this a few months ago. I don't know what I'd do without it, or how I ever got by before)
I spend a lot of time thinking about
- Film and all things film-related. Sorry, I'm a bit of a film buff. I spend much of my free time watching movies. I tend to gravitate towards arthouse, indie, foreign, classic, but I’m not above the occasional popcorn blockbuster if it’s well-made.

- Politics and the perils of religious faith and fundamentalism.

- Food. After watching Food, Inc. (a documentary every American should be required to see, IMO) I decided to make a change in my diet. I used to eat lunch at McDonald's every workday. Now I work hard to avoid processed foods or anything made with corn-based chemicals. I try to eat only local/and or organic foods. (This effectively means I'm mostly vegetarian, but if it's raised and slaughtered humanely I still love meat.) I'd say I've been about 85-90% successful, and since July '09 I've lost over 55 lbs. (These pictures are all "before" pictures. I am sadly lacking in good current pics.) I think what's made me so successful is that while I try my best, I'm not strict about it. If you order a pizza, I won't say no. But it really surprises me how much good food is actually out there if you look.
On a typical Friday night I am
going to bed at a decent hour, I afraid, as I have to work Saturday mornings. But Tuesdays, look out!! My friends and I catch a weekly longform improv show, and then close out the night with a few drinks and great conversation at The Stable.
EDIT: And on Wed nights I'm actually now performing shortform improv at Mangia
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I'm way too self-centered for my own good. (See? Even the way I worded that was all about me!)

I'm also a complete hypocrite when it comes to all my anti-consumerist beliefs. I can't help myself. I love things, and buying things. Especially DVDs. And I hate myself for it. :)

And my apartment is really disgustingly filthy right now. However, I think if I had a good reason to clean (say: anybody other than myself ever seeing it), I imagine that could change.

Also, I'm terrible at reading signals from women, and I tend to err on the side of caution and timidity. This means that even if we're hitting it off really well, I probably won't kiss you on the first several dates unless you initiate it. (Saying something along the lines of "Just kiss me already, dumbass!" works pretty well.) That said, secretly I usually DO WANT you to initiate it.

And one more thing (it turns out there's a lot of private things I'm willing to admit here)...

There's one physical feature that I am attracted to more than any other, and it's so weird I actually AM embarrassed to admit it, but here goes: I think that a large, long Roman nose, the more pronounced the bump, the better, is incredibly cute. This is not mandatory in ANY WAY, so don't feel put off if you have a small nose. I still want to hear from you if you might be interested. Indeed it's very likely that the woman who turns out to be "the one" might not have this feature. But if you've got a huge shark fin sticking out the front of your face, you're a step ahead in the physical attraction department (admittedly, not the most important department).
I promise I'm not kidding about this.
See this? This is my serious face.
You should message me if
you've read this far and aren't turned-off yet.

No seriously, I believe in getting my faults out in the open ahead of time. Weed out those of you who wouldn't really be into me anyway. If that leaves me with nothing, than so be it. Better no relationship than a bad one, I believe.

And besides: the most attractive thing about any person is that they find ME attractive. (And the reverse is true as well.) There's the self-centered thing again... ;)
The two of us