The always engaging query: "Who am I?"

The Thinker, by Auguste Rodin, cir. 1880 As the world, and by result our lives, increase in compexity and become ever more focused on gain, achievement, ambitions and even transcendence, it appears to be not quite satisfactory to holster simply that age old wisdom: "Cogito ergo sum" - René Descartes. Albeit, in tougher times, times of want & a snail's-pace world, it was a success, indeed a triumph, to merely exist & survive.

However, days of antiquity have passed & no longer is merely existing adequate to maintain a place in the modern world, or even maintain a stable mental health. We are incessantly bombarded by the world at large with the need to identify ourselves with improvement, involvement, investment and advancement. This is where the modern identity, or 'self', lives. And if a person isn't careful, one might get lost trying to find oneself.

Consider the quick answer to the question, "Who are you?" What do we respond? Typically we reply with our name. But is that truly 'who' we are? Not really. In point of fact, that is a label assigned to us as an individual, but it is not 'who' we are.

Image of a sculpture of Plato Perhaps you respond to the question by stating your profession. But is that not merely what you are doing? Not even just what you are. 'What' you are is a mammel & a member of a flourishing species. But again, 'who' you are is a deeper question.

I am the summation of my experiences & the hybridization of what my parents taught me combined with what I myself find to be true. I am both limited and limitless. I am a person of wonder, quite literally. I wonder about physics, chemistry, biology, gOD & how Charles Darwin was able to survive exploring the tropics for 5 years without modern medical care and remedies. I marvel at the tensile strength of the humble sarcomere, and how it propels us to great physical feats despite employing third class levers to do so. I regularly stare at building and other accomplishments of engineering, appreciating the technology and mathmatics needed to construct such things. There is litte that escapes my curious eye.

The Shell Game: Who am I under here? Who I am, it can be said, is a curious fellow of broad interests. But what else? I am creative. I am athletic, in as much as my genotype will allow. I am humble. I am confident. I am even keeled. I am all this, but still more. The more which escapes my own report, and it will be left to you to decide who I am.

Best first step to finding out who I am? Start with this webpage!

What's what?

What is primarily a collect of images. Some are portfolio type objects, compositions or creations. Some are more of a visual diary of events, people, places or things.

So in essence...    the question: What's what?    the answer: It's it!    (to steal a line from 'Faith No More')

( under development.... ) Filter by life event type:

Life Education Work Show All


Home Insurance Building, Chicago: World's first skyskraper Born this month, in the same year when ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest with it's timeless classic, "Waterloo". And born in the "Windy City", which has many outstanding accolades bestowed upon it, including the world first steel framed skyscraper (Home Insurance Building, 1884/85: image right), forever changing urban architecture from that point.

In that age olde ritual, our family moved to the suburbs, and I spent my first 5 odd years being raised in Bloomingdale, Illinois.


In 1980, our family relocated to the closer western suburb of Oak Brook. A small town, but home to a few fairly well known companies, such as say... McDonald's. Their corporate headquarters situated elegantly amongst the grounds of Hamburger University ( I swear I am not making that name up ).

Between 1980-1983, I attended two different schools from K through 3rd grade, Holy Trinity Catholic School and Saint Mary's Catholic School. Catechism is an interesting educational system to grow up under, not all that different from boot camp I imagine. And while there are many aspects of a Catholic education which I disagree with as an adult, there is nothing better to instil discipline in an adult than a to receive a few smacks as a child from an ordained ninja... I mean nun.


1983 was a very important year. Sally Ride became the world's first female astronaut, and the human race's first intergalactic sex symbol. This was also the year George Lucas released his third Star Wars film: Return of the Jedi... and don't we all wish he just stopped there, I mean jeeeeeeeeeeesus George, what were you thinking with those 3 new films?

The other event of note in 1983 was my professional modelling debut. Stop laughing, I got paid, that makes me a professional. I was in an advertisement for Ovaltine (OBVIOUSLY this was not the ad as my parents were still kids when this came out). I got the gig, as my father worked within marketing at Ovaltine's State's side operations outside Chicago. Ovaltine was actually a Swiss product called Ovalmaltine, But I digress.

'My advertisement' appeared in the June 20th, 1983 issue of People magazine, which just so happened to have Sally Ride on the cover (nice how I brought that Sally Ride reference around, isn't it?).


In early 1984, or late 1983, my father became collateral damage in that age old event in business, which is the corporate merger & restructuring. As fate would have it, Ovaltine would be closing it's operations in Villa Park (Chicago), and our family had a choice to either move to Switzerland where my father was offered placement in Ovalmaltine, or stay in the States where my father would obviously need to quit and find other work.

As an adult I think it would have been tremendousScenic view of the spectacular Swiss Alps during the war m summer month's which reveal a lush, green landscape hidden in the countless valleys to move to Switzerland; learning 2 or 3 other languages (as the Swiss have 4 official languages) & being raised in the European community... especially during USSR's collapse. It would have been epic. As a child back then, there was no option to move to Europe. Hell, I had hard enough time eating green vegetables, how receptive would I be toward accepting a new culture?

Areal photo of Connecticut landscape at the beginning of the Autumn, when the trees begin to change color So it was a 'no' to Europe, and my father found work in Connecticut. So we packed up the family truckster and relocated from the Midwest, to the Northeast. Replacing Midwest hospitality for New England hesitancy. It was also here that I had my first taste of public education; sans bible-thumping.


Walter Payton stadning alongside Matt Suhey, who became lifelong friendsOn Jan 26th, 1986, the Chicago Bears capped off their 15-1, 1985 season by winning Super Bowl 20. Their victory over the New England Patriots was the largest points margin to that date in Super Bowl History (46-10). Tragically, not one of those points was scored by Walter Payton. Not giving Payton a chance to score in that game, was one of the biggest regrets that Mike Ditka has admited from his coaching experience (maybe even THE biggest).


Once again, for the second time in 2 years, my father was cannon fader in corporate resturcturing. Which, once again, required my father to find a new job. This may be why I developed a certain 'distaste' for business at an early age.

Interestingly enough, when we moved to Connecticut some two years prior, my parents signed a contract with a local realy firm, who were billed a local "experts" in the area where we lived. As luck would have it, this firm ws so incompitant, that they were unable to sell our house in Oa Brook for more than 1.5 years. As luck would further have it, my parents took our old house off the market; possibly because my dad smelled blood in the water.

Street view of 3005 s8th Street, Oak Brook, IL as it apper within the last few years. So when my father was faced with finding new work again, He decided that his professional network and former colleagues who were still in and around Chicago offered better potential. Long story made short: we moved back to Chicago, back into the same house two years later. ( pictured here -> )

And I also returned to Saint Mary's Catholic School to begin grade 6. Although now, after tasting the water in a public school, something now seemed amiss. My reintegration was fairly smooth, as my friends from two years prior were there, but... even still. I now believe that my adult inductive reasoning, questioning and even scepticism began to develop. And thereby, the Bible became much less literal to me, even absurd in certain ways. And an internal schism started to pull me in two directions.

After a half year, my parents pulled me out of Catholic school and enrolled me in the local public school, Highland Elementary School, and then Herrik Jr, High thereafter.


Player photo taken in 1988 during my second season in contact football part of Panther Football in Downers Grove, IL Coinciding with the beginning of jr. high school, I played my first of 2 seasons playing organized contact football with the Pather Jr. Football Program in Downers Grove, IL. During these two years, I played for a couple top qualilty coaches and caoching staffs. A pair of wise crackin', police men the first year whose dry sense of humor was a real learning experience for me as a kid. And a warm and sensable local businessman the second year. (what a tough guy, eh?)-->

It was at this young age that I had my first epiphany that my destany was not to be a professional football player, let alone professional athlete in any regard. I mean, who the hell pulls mucsles when they are 13 years old? Most 13 year olds could go from 0% to 100% with no warm up whatsoever, and risk nothing. But alas not I. And over the course of the next... 30 years(and counting), I am continually finding my physical ceiling through experience and injury. Such is life. It was only back in 2010 when I tried my hand at Australian Football when I blew out my hamstring during my first match. Such is life.


It was the Autumn of 1989, and the dusk of he 80's. What better way to close out a decade than to begin a fresh, new, 4 year mission of discovery.... both a mission of discovery, and ritualistic, social and physical torture. You guessed it: senior high school. And not to be tooooooo melodramatic, truly: it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Artist rendering of Downers Grove North High SchoolI attended Downers Grove North High School for four years where I focuses most of my time and energy trying to fit in whilst being invisible, not all that unlike most students I presume. When I wasn't doing that, I took great interest in art and chemistry on the school side of things, and track & field on the non-school side of things.

During my four yours in high school, I had haft two part time jobs. My first job, and a job which I still have knowledge from, was working at a home and garden center; Wannemaker's Home & Garden. I also worked stocking shelves in a pharmacy attached to a grocery store; Jewel-Osco. Both of these beginning working experiences involved your run of the mill customer service and labour tasks as you would expect from a part time high school employee.

While I came out the other side of high school reasonably unscathed, I did have those defining, life altering events which would go on to shape me, haunt me and help me even to this day. Events such as: breaking my humerus in two or three places (which was the primary source of my angst then, but also helped me be disqualified from military service later in life... which kept me out of that snatch & grab in the Middle East which started up again violently in 2003).

Sparing nerly all of the gory details: I will only sum up. Having started my high school days fairly bewildered, it was not until my final two years where I buckled down and took learning much more seriously. I wast most taken with Chemistry, as mentioned, and the other sciences. And being that I had no immediate plans after high school, neither any lucrative potential, it was obvious that I was to continue on with university studies after graduating.


In June of 1993, I graduated from DGN in & about the middle of the academic pack. I applied to several (7, I beleive) colleges and univeristies and was accepted to all but 1. So with my options open to me: I sat down, draw out some life plans, some flow charts, and analysed which institute of higher education provided me with the best possiblity to succeed..... YEAH right! I was lost, stressed out and completely lost. In the end I went with my gut.


I started my first semester of university/college. About the only thing I was sure of was that: A) I wanted to major in chemistry, and B) I wanted to participate in track & field.

University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse campus imageLife... ain't it grand. I was very much still trying to din my sea legs in life and ambition. So when I get a "C" in my first chemstry course, and the track & field coach more or less told me to get lost, I decided after one semester at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, that I would not continue there.

Life... ain't it grand. I was pretty crushed when the track &, field coach @ LaCrosse in effect told me I was shit. But all worked out for the best. Several years later I was a member of a track & field team at another institution who spanked his fat ass in the national meet. Not that I am bitter.


Image of Old Main on North Central College CapusAfter my bewilderment at LaCrosse and getting less than stellar marks, I was convinced that chemistry was above my abilities ( a decision that I now know what a bad one ). So I gave up on chemistry and tried my hand at physial education. In then end, education truly wasn't my calling so I graduated with a degree in Exercise Science, from North Central College. It was here at North Central College where I was a member of the national championship track & field team.

Note: Getting a degree in exercise, is one of the most impractical stand alone degrees you can get. Ranked next to nutrition and history. The best thing you can do after getting these degrees? Go to graduate school and get a masters in something more advanced. But alas, I had the goal of making a career out of being a fitness insturctor and personal trainer. An ambition which proved much more of an ethical challange than expected.

Elmhurst College Campus and Arboretum during the fallDuring my time at university, I had a few part time and summer jobs which kept me busy. Early on I was a car porter for Enterprise R-A-C, I built concrete swimming pools one summar, and I even worked on the grounds crew at Elmhurst College. Elmhurst College is actually a registered arboretum, and working here helped me hone my interest in landscaping and give me some quality horticulteral experience. Building concrete swimming pools also gave me some good life skills in construction amongst other things.

I even had a job working in a retail clothing boutique, I was a DJ both for hire and played the music at home basketball games at North Central College.


Following 2 months of and intensive job search within the fitness industry, I became disillutioned with my chances of finding regular work. But work is work, so I paid for an intense professional bartenders course, and then found work as a waiter and bartender. The ultimate in low intensity, fat-burning cardio vascular training. Being on your feet walking around all day as a waiter can really help you shed the weight. Course working as a waiter can also really help you hate people ( your run of the mill dip-shit customer who thinks he or she is king or queen of the world and treats you like a slave ).

I also began to hedge my career bets, and enrolled in a professional Emergency Medical Technician Course (EMT-B), and became certified by the State of Illinois. Following that course, there were equally difficult career prospects. So remaining as a waiter was the only option at this time.

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Development is coming along, but if you are looking to contact me before the completion of the project, there are contact details below in the footer.

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