45 Chicago, United States
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My self-summary
Just remember - "There's always money in the banana stand".

Some things about me. I am very into social justice. I am a Bernie Sanders guy and proudly use the words, socialist, feminist, pro-choice, pro-LGBT (every human should share the same rights), pro-union (what they are doing to our public teachers is terrible) and I think that every human should be born with access to good healthcare without regard to their income. And I am a strong believer of every word it says at the foot of the Statue of Liberty.

I volunteer with two organizations. One is Engineers Without Borders. I have traveled to Honduras, Guatemala and Peru building bridges, schools, water distribution systems and wells in developing communities (been doing that since 2007). And I recently started volunteering for another group called Upwardly Global that helps train recent immigrants how to interview for jobs here in the U.S. – it’s quite a different experience from what they are used to.

I love love love music, I love to see live shows, I love to see plays, I have actor friends who I go with all the time. I love food, I love to eat out. Discovering new music is one of my favorite things. I was also just recently introduced to a comedian I had never hear of - John Mulaney... you must see his stand-up specials - side splitting funny

I am passionate about many things; however I am a very laid-back person (you just can’t see all the serious anxiety going on – HA!) I like to be challenged by smart people and like to be surrounded by smart engaging people who are interested in the world around them. I promise I will tell you something interesting if you tell me something interesting.

I like to write. Below is just a little story if you are interested.
What I’m doing with my life
Every year for Thanksgiving, I fly back home to St. Louis to be with my mom, sister and her kids. This past Thanksgiving was unique as just two days prior to my flying in, my Great Aunt Doris passed away. I had only seen her a few times in the last 20 years. I’m embarrassed to say that the timing of her death was extraordinarily convenient for me. I didn’t even have to change my plane ticket. My mom picked me up at the airport and drove us straight to the cemetery for the funeral. In the car with us, were my sister’s three kids. Little did they know that I had something planned for them they would have no understanding of.

While growing up in St. Louis, every Thanksgiving, at noon, on almost every classic rock radio station, they would play “Alice’s Restaurant” by Arlo Guthrie. And every Thanksgiving at noon, you could find me sitting by the radio to listen to that song. Arlo Guthrie had sworn never to play Alice’s Restaurant live ever again.

Three weeks before Thanksgiving this past year, Arlo Guthrie played the Harris Theater here in Chicago. It was the 50th anniversary of Alice’s Restaurant and he was touring the country and playing it live. Of course I had tickets. Alice’s Restaurant is an 18 minute and 34 second long song… and he sang it, and when he did, for 18 minutes and 34 seconds all was right with the world. And somehow, in 50 years, Arlo Guthrie’s voice has not changed one bit.

In my bag, in the car on the way to the cemetery I had a CD of Alice’s Restaurant with the intent of playing it for my sister’s kids, and of starting a tradition of playing it for them every year on Thanksgiving (turns out; they were not so impressed).

I knew this cemetery very well and I loved going there. My grandmother died when I was 8. Her name was Gertrude and she tried to get me to call her Gertie but I refused and called her GeeGee instead. Aunt Doris was GeeGee’s sister. Aunt Doris’s grave was directly next to GeeGee's grave so all of the dirt that had been dug out for Aunt Doris’s grave was sitting on top of GeeGee’s grave. Like it was meant to be.

The funniest thing the Rabbi said during the ceremony was that Doris was notorious for never accepting gifts. So if you were going to buy her something, you better pick out something you need for yourself.

Foot Note: I was raised Jewish, and even Bar Mitzvahed but I have been an Atheist since I was about 11, so I do not consider myself Jewish (so yes, the Bar Mitzvah was kind of a sham… but it had its purpose - no, not the cash).

It was chilly and windy outside at the cemetery. I reached into my pockets to put on these black leather gloves that my mom had bought for me a long time ago. I had just quickly grabbed them off the shelf in my closet as I ran out the door to the airport that morning. As I put them on, one glove was the one I was expecting but the other was actually one of my motorcycle riding gloves with the armor built into it so you don’t lose all the skin off your hands if you go down. They look very much alike; at least I had a right glove and a left glove. I don’t have a motorcycle anymore.

I was telling this little story at the cemetery as I took off my right glove and my sister’s eyes popped wide open as she saw my hand and exclaimed “What is that!?”

My grandfather, whose body was exactly six feet below me at that very moment, had worn a ring nearly every day of his life. He had passed away about 7 years ago. He did remarry about a year after my grandmother GeeGee died. About six months earlier, I got this call from my mom, my grandfather’s second wife decided that she wanted me to have his ring. At the time I didn’t remember the ring. My mom described it over the phone: it’s gold, it has his initials “LN” and it has a diamond. I’m not a jewelry guy, especially not a diamond ring kind of guy.

When I saw the ring I immediately recognized it. My grandfather was not a pleasant man. However, and as I looked at the initials, “LN”, they looked nothing like an LN at all; they looked like a “GN”… my grandmother’s initials. The ring fit me perfectly. Again, it was meant to be. So I guess I’m a diamond ring kind of guy now.
I’m really good at
I'm an engineer - so I can fix shit.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
This past year, movie wise, I really liked, Ex Machina (the one with Oscar Issac and the AI androids), the one about David Foster Wallace - it was called The Last Tour - I love David Foster Wallace, if you've never read anything by him, I highly suggest a collection of his short stories called "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again". Shows, I watch are Homeland, The Affair on Showtime, Project Runway, and my guilty pleasures are Family Guy and American Dad. I think Seth McFarland is a genius. I wake up every morning to NPR. I read the NYT and HuffPost every day - I also think Paul Krugman is a genius too. Also, Cnet (tech and science geek), usually slowly working my way through some pretty good novel. John Oliver is my new hero ever since Jon Stewart retired - man did he fucking hit it out of the park right out of the box (that would be a sports reference from a non-sports guy). Yes, I know a lot about sports but I just have no emotional investment (because I'm an adult). I have a shirt that says "the sports team from my area is superior to the sports team from your area". I do not dislike sports, but I cannot say the same for sports fans. If you are wearing a backwards baseball cap and a jersey, kissing a large a large cup named Stanley... well... I guess we all pray to our own gods. That is not to say I cannot enjoy a good game of whatever of equally matched opponents exhibiting high levels of skill... I have an appreciation.

Food, I will never say no to sushi, Mediterranean, Indian, Greek, Italian, BBQ (chicken or pork only... not a beef eater), fish, Mexican or Central American of any kind or just an almond butter and jelly sandwich.
The six things I could never do without
Music, music, music. My smart friends I to go to shows with and then discuss those shows afterwords... it keeps me grounded. I don't mean to list family last, they have been my rock. Sarcasm and irony - what would life be without those?!?!?! Hence my screen name "Area_man" - a reference to "The Onion" - the best ones are the ones that hit home... like "Man in suit breaks into brief effeminate jog" - that kills me, and I no longer run for the bus... ha! cause I am totally that guy - although I never really wear suits.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
How many spiders have crawled into my mouth while I was sleeping.
You should message me if
If you actually read my profile and had any connection, you should drop me a line.