Who or What is The Grodog?
Well, that's really a hard question to answer off the top of my head, so here are some answers I snagged from my profiles on various online dating services. I also added in some questions from those "Getting to Know You" emails that have been spreading across the internet like Ebola, and even added a few original thoughts of my own . . . .
Since writing these back in the Spring of 1999, when I first tried out the above dating services, I've fallen quite in love with Heather Anne Schunk (whom I did not meet through Matchmaker). I figured that I could put the writing to some use here, though, rather than see it disappear forever. .
Date of Profile
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This was the easy part. I think I wrote too much and scared off any potential dates. Oh well . . . .
Describe the type of person you might be interested in meeting (either romantically or platonically) and what traits you find attractive (or annoying *smile*).
When I fall in love again, I'd like to find a woman who's intelligent, affectionate, and who knows what she wants in life. Someone who's artistically inclined. Someone who will captivate my attention and imagination.
Aesthetically, any woman who's into literature, films
(art to action), has a fine appreciation for music, and/or other artistic pursuits can
hold my attention. I'm not into some forms of art (country music and rap; Woody Allen),
but I'm usually willing to try new pursuits, especially from a fresh viewpoint/when with
If you were to meet someone for the first time, what would be the "perfect" setting? What would someone notice first about you?
When I first met someone on a date, I think she would probably notice my beard, if I have one at the time (I just grew it back recently though oddly enough I've been thinking about shaving it off again already), as well as my lack of a cel phone. Perhaps my eyes or voice?
There is no perfect setting. Someplace comfortable would be nice: that could be a park, bar, four-star restaurant, Taco Bell, etc. Just depends on whom I'm meeting. Meeting somewhere for drinks, dinner, a poetry reading, etc. at a decent-ish restaurant/bar/coffeehouse that would let us chat for awhile would be nice. I'd prefer somewhere near an ocean, but that's rather difficult to arrange in Kansas.
Share briefly about your faith, involvement in church, temple, synagoge. Are you involved in any community or charitable organizations or clubs?
This is a hideously complex issue for me. In summary, I
was raised Catholic, and stopped the practice during college, but remain a
"spiritual" person (not in the new-agey sense, just in the sanctity-of-life
sense). I'm not very religious, though I have a deep interest in mythology and
things of that sort. Organized religion isn't my thing, for the most part.
Describe your personality and physique. How old are you? (Here is a good place to make up for not having a photo on-line or telling things photos can't tell *grin*).
Physically, I'm right around 5'10" (perhaps a
little more), 165 pounds, and have blonde hair. I'm 29, and am currently clean-shaven,
though I've worn a beard on and off throughout the past decade. It grows reddish in
the summer, and my hair usually lightens a bit as well.
Tell us about your sports, hobbies, musical abilities, and pets. Do you have any memorable moments associated with any of these?
Sports-wise, I enjoy watching college hoops (especially
KU) and ice hockey (the Philadelphia
Flyers for pro, or olympic). I'm trying to find someone to play
racquetball with again (since most of my friends who play have moved to Kansas City), and
have enjoyed fencing, yoga, volleyball, street hockey, tennis, and badminton in the past
(some of those in the quite-distant past). I'm not a terribly athletic person, but I am
more active than not.
What kinds of books, newspapers, magazines do you read? Favorite Authors?
I read lots of stuff. Among my favorite authors are Michael Moorcock, Neil Gaiman, Lucius Shepherd, Herman Melville, H.P. Lovecraft, Kathleen Norris, John McPhee, Jorge Luis Borges and Umberto Eco. My favorite poets include Percy Shelley, Emily Dickinson, Li Young Lee, Pablo Neruda, and Osip Mandelstam.
In addition to the authors I mentioned above, I read
many non-fiction books: earthquakes, volcanoes, geology in general, viruses, genetics,
astronomy, mythology, memoirs, biographies, and such occupy many of my bookshelves. I've
been on this science kick for about four or five years now, and it shows no signs of
I can read Spanish (I sometimes lapse 100% into Spanish after a night on the town....), and in theory I can read Russian, but I wouldn't bet the Red Square on it.
What do you do professionally? How long have you been in that line of work? Are you enjoying it? Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years?
I work at one of the helpdesks at Sprint, where I've been Project Managing for a
few months now, and at the helpdesk for about three years. Prior to working at Sprint, I
did tech support at Lawrence Memorial Hospital
while getting my MA in English at The
University of Kansas. Just how I ended up in tech support is rather odd,
since I'm not a technogeek by inclination (just by career, seemingly). The job's good,
though nothing I couldn't leave behind with the right offer; it's a little less satisfying
at the Helpdesk now that I've left direct customer support, but I still enjoy it and the
the people I work with.
In five years, I'd like to have bought a house, to have
paid off my student loans, and to have moved closer to a coast, perhaps (remember, I still
miss the ocean). I could still be at Sprint, in KC, though, since I rather like what I do
(which is quite nice, since I've had few jobs prior to this one that I've truly enjoyed).
What are the qualities you admire in your friends?
Their ability to amuse me in so many various ways. Their intelligence, honesty, compassion, and depth of feeling. Insight and creativity, in a few cases. Mostly I'm just thankful that they're around, and help keep me from going Helpdesk (it's worse than going Postal, trust me) through the judicious application of humor, lunches, vodka, and their ever-present cheer.
Where are you calling from? Where were you born? What is your ethnic origin or ancestry? List some of the places you have lived. Where have you traveled?
My large, extended family is scattered up and down the
eastern seaboard. I'm the farthest west of all of them, at present. I was born in southern
New Jersey, a semi-rural area much like eastern Kansas (less wheat, more ocean). I
attended Penn State for my BA in
English, and moved to Lawrence for grad school. After graduating, I segued into work at
Sprint rather than continuing on for my PhD, since I was burned out, and the English job
market sucked (and still sucks).
Within the States, I've traveled up and down most of the east coast, have driven west from Kansas to Reno, Nevada. I like Atlanta and San Francisco a lot, as well as southern Wyoming. I haven't travelled west of Kansas much, though, and would like to see more of the US out that way.
I have travelled to Santiago, Chile, this past October, on a writing assignment, and would love to see more of Chile. Actually, I'd love to see most of the Southern Hemisphere for that matter, as well as Europe and the South Pacific, and the rest of the world. In particular, I want to tour the ruins of Troy, Athens, Crete, and Thera in the Mediterranean. I'd love to explore Antartica. I want to visit New Zealand, the Black Forest, Wales, and Iceland. Seeing an active volcano would be very cool. A cruise to Alaska. Mountain climbing in Tibet. Book shopping in London. Exploring Aztec ruins. Watching the sunrise from Easter Island.
If you could be anywhere else than here, where would it be and what would you be doing?
I'd be writing love poetry somewhere on a coast--perhaps Queen Maud's Land or Tierra del Fuego--or among some ancient ruins in Mexico, or South America--rather than foodling on the net at 2:45am.
If I could go back to restart school all over again today, I'd study volcanoes or the Ebola virus.
When The Big One hits, what do you want to be doing and where?
Hopefully I'll be visiting relatives in South Jersey, friends in Santiago, or touring the world since I'd have just won the lottery a few days prior.
Where did you attend high school and/or college? What was your favorite subject and/or your major?
I got my BA in English from Penn State, and moved to KU for grad school in '91.
At Penn State I majored originally in Architecture for
one semester and one week, then floundered around in a general liberal arts daze for three
semesters before settling into English. By the time I graduated in '91 (on time!), I had
focused on American Literature, poetry, and creative writing as my areas of interest,
though I enjoy geology, art, meterology, history, astronomy, virology, and mythology well.
What contributed most to your previous relationship/marriage not continuing?
We were different people who didn't click as dates, but have become good friends.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be, and why?
I wish I lived somewhere that the really good concerts
came to all the time, and had fresh seafood :-)
What are some of your favorite artists/paintings, musicians/songs, authors/books and actors/movies?
Here are a few things not covered anywhere above:
What are some sayings, quotes, or Bible verses that mean a lot to you?
If you want to view paradise, simply look around and
What is your favorite thing to receive as a gift? What is your dream vacation? Where on earth have you never been to that you would like to visit?
Books, music, and artwork make perfect gifts.
Of course, time with my friends is even cooler--whether that's talking about Chinese and Norse mythology 'til midnight, wandering the library book sales, catching dinner and a movie, or gathering for lunch once a week to stay sane in the face of work stress. Especially when coming from the people who help make life special every day.
Naps. More naps would be good, too.
If you were to inherit a fortune, what would you do with it?
I'd throw a huge party and fly in all my friends and
relatives for the week, paying them so that they could take the time off. The party would
be loud, fun, decadent, and everyone would leave feeling six years younger because of the
vast amounts of stress they had blown off.
I think that's a good start.