The short version of my life: I grew up in a farming/blue collar family in the.Midwest. I was first in my family to get an education (but my heart is still blue collar!). Liberal Arts undergrad (Math/Physics major, Music minor). Meteorology M.S. from the University of Hawaii. First came to Los Alamos in the Astrophysics group on a student program in 1992 and kept coming back until finally hired as a staff member in 1998. In total I put in 14 years at the lab. I studied and modeled meteoritics (asteroid impacts into Earth). In the process I learned to build and program supercomputers to solve my physics problems.
One day I realized I was part of the Military Industrial Complex and the Cold War was over so I decided to opt out, I took a leap of faith and quit my job. I started a business doing website programming and graphic design and professional photography (thank God for that Liberal Arts education!). The Great Recession and a freak flood in my home office is 2011 ruined much of my business equipment and I took it as a sign it was time to reinvent myself again.
During all this I was also a Home Daddy. Over time I realized that was my true calling and what really made me happy. I love being a homemaker, cooking, tending the house and caring for the one woman (my daughter) who's never let me down. Living as a non-traditional male is not easy at times though... I don't resent my situation - I'd not be me without all of it, warts and all. My wife is still at the lab and our marriage has been ailing for years now. The bumps in the road of my ailing marriage are serious and boil down to not being respected as an equal, not having a foundation of friendship and finally a non-present wife who is gone 90 — 180 days per year on travel. I grew up in a family where my father was trying to get himself out of farming and blue collar work so he was a career-driven traveling salesman for half a dozen years — gone about as much as my wife now is. This ultimately cost my parents their marriage when I was 7, I understand why acutely now.
Currently I am turning my former home office — in the process of finally being remodeled following the freak flooding of 2011 — into a music recording studio and electronics/computer lab. Music and photography have always been passionate hobbies. I used to play saxophones professionally in a jazz band in my undergrad years until all five saxes got flooded in 1993. Ergo, I took up piano and guitar and began learning to digitally mix and record music as a new hobby. I like to recreate guitar effects pedals with vintage components (although I'm not very skilled at that yet!). As an undergraduate I learned to take, develop and print photographs. I made money while in undergraduate school working in a copystand room (taking photographs of other's works of art or from books for professors and then turning those photos into slides for their lectures). I taught digital photography courses for Community Education at UNM-LA for five years in addition to the professional photography I did for by business. By 2011 when my office flooded I was kind of burned out teaching courses and taking product photographs and shooting weddings and family reunions. Happily, with time I find myself again getting excited about photography, but this time for my own pleasure. (Funny — all that photographic experience and I still can't take a good self-portrait!)
I am also good at remaining open to other's ideas and beliefs and have no trouble changing my own ideas or beliefs in light of new information - in other words, I'm flexible, willing to learn and change and open to new ideas. To be sure I do have strong beliefs and convictions of my own, but I am not rigid and inflexible.
I consider myself a realist as opposed to an optimist, or better yet a realistic optimist; as such I try to find good reason to be optimistic while taking into account the realities of people and of life. I find that this way of living is much healthier than being optimistic about conditions and situations that are totally not realistic.
I grew up in rural Indiana in a family of farmers, as such I learned early in life the meaning of "Hoosier Hospitality" which is just another way of saying that being polite to one another is a worthwhile way to live and a fruitful pursuit.
I cannot be certain why many people feel comfortable talking to me about issues near and dear to their hearts, but I believe it is because I try hard to listen and have a knack for reading subtle and nuanced cues. I certainly don't have more or better answers than anyone else, but I do believe in giving people their due to speak what they need to say (allthough I refuse to let someone walk on me in the process).
My delicious little private pleasure is reading poetry and erotica (I like Anïas Nin) &mash; I enjoy reading such things to someone else and/or having them read to me. I love language, language arts and words in general. This is one reason I find music, music with lyrics, so appealing. Dictionaries are my friend! I love it when I read or hear a new word, have to look it up and then try to find a good situation in which to use it. Words are power, words are sexy, they are delicious. This is also why I like good erotica so much too — words can actually cause one to feel a certain way and a word or phrase can slide off your tongue in such a manner as to make you salivate almost, or contrariwise a word or turn of words can equally well turn your stomach. "Le Ton Beau De Marot" by Douglas Hofstadter had an enormous impact on me. It is a book about a poem and translation at the highest level. But on a deeper level it is a love story and a tragedy. Douglas Hofstadter's wife died young and suddenly and in this book he not only talks about language, translation, poetry and mentation but you can also feel his loss, lust and love for his belated wife. Indeed, I'll admit to being a "fan boy" of Douglas Hofstadter's work — I read "Metamagical Themas" and his Pulitzer Prize Winninh "Godel, Esher, Bach" and was so taken that on a trip back to Indiana to visit my family I scheduled a visit with him. It was during this visit and conversation at his home that he presented me with "Le Ton Beau De Marot". I admit that when the visit first ended and I leafed through the book I thought it wasn't for me — I know no French and thought the content was going to be dry. Nearly a year after that visit with Douglas Hofstadter I finally picked up "Le Ton Beau De Marot" and read it — I enjoyed that book so much! It made me cry and laugh and feel alive and connected to the words and the author and the human condition we all share. ... Ahhh, yes, words are certainly meaningful and exquisite to me and can be used not just to communicate content and material and ideas, but also emotions: angst, love, hatred, joy, frisson, elation, and loss. It is in this context that I love being read to and reading to someone and erotic literature that revels in language or sensual poetry are among my favorite such materials to be read aloud.
We've not had cable television for over a year now and I've not missed it at all. I still enjoy watching shows: rented videos, movies, documentaries on Netflix, etc. I like shows that make me think, generally, or else movies that make me cry or evoke a strong emotional reaction. Sometimes this means things that are overtly intellectual, like documentaries, but sometimes this means pop culture shows that make a statement of some kind. Indeed, while I certainly enjoy such shows I always enjoy discussing them with someone even more than the actual watching of the shows. And if I'm going to watch a movie that evokes strong emotion or perhaps even makes me cry I would much prefer to be watching it with someone else who has a similar reaction. Some favorites (non-documentaries) include "The Road" (2009), "Melancholia", "The Butler", "Up In The Air", "Blood Diamonds", "Youth Without Youth".
My guilty pleasure in terms of video is that I also like to watch "gun ballet" shows and adventure flicks. It's even better when the show also makes you think while things are getting shot up! Some examples of these types of movies are "The Replacement Killers", "The Matrix" (especially the first and second of the trilogy) and "Equilibrium" (I gotta be honest here — if I were gay I'd really go for Christian Bale!).
As far as music is concerned I am a big fan of nearly all types of music. That said, as I used to gig professionally while in undergraduate school I have a special place in my heart for big band, jazz and acid jazz. Nowadays I no longer play my saxophones (since they were all lost in a flood in 1993) but I do have a small recording studio and several guitars that I enjoy playing jazz and classic rock with. Music has always been an important part of my life as a creative outlet and as part of my interior emotional life.
I sort of lump music into three categories that sometimes overlap: Music that is fun to listen to in the background, music that is fun to (try) and play myself and music that evokes an emotional response, some examples follow. Fun to Listen To: Alanis Morissette, Aimee Mann, RHCP, Green Day, Nirvana, The Beatles, etc. (Yes, I'm 42 and it shows, I suppose!) Fun to Play: Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, etc. Evokes Emotion: Bach (like "Air on the G String"), Beethoven (like "Symphony No. 7", Allegretto - always makes me cry!), Tchaikovsky ("1812 Overture"), etc.
I also enjoy trance, dance, pop, rap and punk. My least favorite type of music is probably country, but I've even been known to listen to that or buy some, particularly when I was lonely and living in Hawaii while working on my master's degree; country music was then my connection back to Indiana...
1) My Daughter
3) My Journals
4) My Cats
5) ... ?
6) ... ?
Note: I've always said my favorite thing in the world is water — I love drinking it, swimming in it, SCUBA diving, boating on it, watching it as clouds, feeling it on my face as rain, taking a hot bath, having it as ice, being amazed at the almost other-worldly glow of blue from sea ice, ... the list goes on an on. I'm not being snarky here — yes, we all need water, but with me it's a much deeper relationship, almost a passion and certainly a love. Water cleanses, purifies, soothes, warms, cools, it is as near as perfect to anything I know of in this universe. I truly love water, as bizarre as that may sound. Tears are water. Sweat is water. I was raised Catholic and the most beautiful ceremony I ever witnessed was the reenactment of the washing of Christ's feet, that is so beautiful and humbling, the idea of washing another's feet shows such dignity and such humbleness. Yes, water is indeed my favorite thing in this fine world in which we live.
I also think about my own dreams and aspirations quite a bit. I'm not quite comfortable typing them here for the whole world, but am willing to share such things in a safe setting with the right person. Thoughts about my dreams, hopes and aspirations for life for myself and my daughter give me hope and faith in the future, and in any case I know (I believe) that regardless what the future brings it will be good, right and fulfilling.
If you want to know something, even something you might consider embarrassing, just send me a message and ask - if you've got the guts to ask the question (and to answer the same question when I put it back at you) then I've certainly got the guts to tell you the answer. Besides, where all here on this place together and while the details might differ we've all got our own embarrassing things we've done, so as far as one-to-one conversations go, I've got nothing to hide and hope you don't either!
My social life is pretty weak and lacking right now — which is precisely why I want to meet you, become friends and have some fun together. I can offer empathy, sympathy, good companionship and am a good listener and engaged conversationalist. I'm open to new activities and stretching myself into new areas of interest — show me something new, teach me something, introduce me to a new activity! When we first connect I'd love to hear from you in e-mail, text or on the phone. While I'm open to meeting a "pen pal" here and love reading long rambling letters and writing the same, I ultimately really need to meet a new friend to spend some time with face-to-face in a coffee shop, over lunch, at a movie, on a hike or walk, or whatever!
I've never intentionally set out to meet a new friend online like this, so this is a new approach for me. I don't really know what to expect but ask you to just be yourself — I don't expect each attempt to connect to work out (that's the realist talking!). That said, I look forward to the process and to hearing from you and learning about what makes you tick. I'm willing to take a chance put myself out there and be open to whatever you put out there for me to learn about you. Regardless of how things turn out in a first encounter I will treat you well, with respect, openly, honestly and fairly — I ask the same of you. So... let's see what happens, take a leap of faith and see what kind of friendship develops! With that goal in mind I can't wait to hear from you!
Finally, at the outset I cannot say that I have any specific expectations beyond making a real, lasting, connection. If you have specific expectations, tell me up front please. Be as open and honest in the beginning as you are comfortable with and I will certainly be doing the same, default outlook is to be open.
I look forward to meeting new friends at the least and with a little luck maybe bumping into someone who will end up being more than that!
SOOOO.... "You should message me" if you want to test the waters with a new male friend and if what I've shared here sounds interesting and compatible with what you're looking for in a new close friend.