About Me

smuggoTRUE-TO-LIFE FACT: If you rearrange the letters in my full name, you can actually spell “The Immortal Jewish Hamlet” or even “Ahem: I’m The Jolliest Warmth”… Hard to believe!

Born in the ’70s, Teenager of the ’80s, Slacker of the ’90s, Corporate Stooge of the ’00s, and now a Married Fortysomething Type of the ’10s. That in and of itself tells you nothing about who I am, but if anybody can sum that up in a single statement, let alone a paragraph — they’re fooling themselves (and they don’t believe it). Quoting Styx lyrics in a moment of pensive self-reflection. My God…

Not that I mean to get all Lawrence of Arabia on you, so I’ll jump tracks on this for now and deliver the world’s worst elevator pitch. Who is Hokeyboy? Well I’ve been a rabidly hardcore computer geek since 1980 — a 9 year old with an Apple ][+ and a sick programming addiction — and have worked professionally in Information Technology since 1995, starting with some of the earliest HTML/JavaScript web design in South Florida, moving into Lotus Notes/Domino technology, then Java/J2EE programming, and finally settling into the wide wide world of Microsoft and .NET development since 2000, both as a developer and a manager. Ran my own shop for awhile and loved every second of it until the Great Recession drove me back into the warm, waiting arms of the military-industrial complex. I am current employed as a Senior Analyst for a internationally branded casino/gaming operation based out South Florida.

shameless_baitingI run. A lot. I had to; the minute I turned 40, I made that right turn down Heart Attack Alley and realized that it was either (1) get in super great shape, fast, or (2) live a life of lethargy, sickness, and woe. I took up running in January 2011 and haven’t slowed down since. For more on that particular story, check out …and so that’s why I run. Not to get too maudlin, melodramatic, or cliched, but running saved my life in many ways beyond the mere physical health aspects of the activity.

Moving on… I have a Masters in Business Administration, and a Bachelors in English and American Literature. I always loved reading as a child, with a specific love of escapist novels of any kind. I devoured the usual fantasy and sci-fi suspects — I must have read both The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia a dozen times each before my 11th birthday — but to this day, no book I’ve read has meant more to me than Tom Sawyer. Mark Twain knew exactly the power of fantasy, imagination, daydreaming, psychonautics if you will. Tom Sawyer fueled my desire to explore, to create, and to become something much larger and more expressively limitless than the constraints of what I saw around me. I carry that with me to this day.

Music has been an integral element of my life since as long as I can remember. I started piano lessons and reading music when I was 5 years old, which triggered something wickedly bilateral in the brain. The left side instantly unlocked the mathematics of music, of harmony, chords, scales, the intricate patterns locked within five lines of staff. The right side loved the feel of it, the sweet spot of, say, hitting that transition from an Em7 to an A7, the parlor warmth of an oboe or the quiet dignity of a french horn. Over the years I learned to play the piano, clarinet (both soprano and alto), guitar (acoustic, electric, bass) and recently the ukulele. I’m not a particularly good musician, but man do I love to play.

litaWhat else? Hmm… 6’2. Aquarius. Deist. Kinda libertarian in theory, mostly bleeding heart in practice but with a STRONG slant towards personal responsibility, pacifist unless provoked or preemptive, literary but not smug about it, film nazi/movie dick, what else… VERY easy-going but when I get pissed it’s pretty ugly and kinda scary. Married, but got a “free pass” with Shakira. GOOD LUCK with that one.

I have also written such eclectic fare as the suspense novel The Odessa Gambit, co-wrote the book, music, and lyrics to the acclaimed off-Broadway musical Stitches & Thimbles, delivered the audiobook narration for Dr. Sarah Lieberman’s Listen With Pain, Listen With Purpose, wrote the Forward to Terry Hamilton’s mind-blowing 1996 cult sensation Demagogues, Iconoclasts, and the Emergence of the Anti-Self, and created the award-winning anime Green Angel Regatta #7 — none of which actually exist, but I thought they made for some pretty nifty sounding titles.

My life is all about obsessive tangents and non-sequiturs. I enjoy the mundane as much as I revere the oblique. Without one, the other is meaningless. My biggest success stories include convincing an ex-girlfriend it was against Kosher law for me to look at my own feet and convincing another young but willing ingenue that I played bass on the “Melrose Place” theme song. I partied with Pedro Almodovar in the Bahamas on New Years Eve once. Graduated at the top of my class from Business School, but to be honest there were only 24 people in the class anyhow.

marathon_victoryI have this strong personal belief in the goodness of people; that at their core there’s this nucleus of decency, compassion, consideration. And all of life’s bullshit, all the misery, heartache, betrayals, all of that, it makes us numb, and cold, and cynical. For what it’s worth, I refuse to let go of my belief in the innate goodness of who and what we are. I just can’t live in any other world.

There’s so much more but suddenly I am run over by a truck.

3 thoughts on “About Me

  1. I’m really enjoying your blog here in Thailand (I’m from Mass.). It’s written well and with humor. Good stuff on The Beatles. Keep it up!


  2. Hi Matthew! I just stumbled on your blog while looking for reviews of ‘Pisces, Aquarius …” for my podcast. Your well-written, insightful and FUNNY review compelled me to read your ‘About Me’ page, which is something that I never do on blogs. But I’m glad I did. It’s nice to know that someone like you “out here” online blogging on a regular basis. I’m now digging the ‘random musings’. Keep it coming! Peace … Tony

  3. Thanks Tony! As a LONG-time listener (and fan) of Fab Four Free-4-All (and Fab Fourum before that), I’m really gratified to know you discovered my blog. Thanks for the kind words… as I’m sure you well know, the music of The Monkees often gets derided by most who object to the concept of The Monkees, without taking into account the quality of the music. Such a shame, because some of the most incredible pop music ever created was done so under The Monkees banner. So any way I can preach the gospel, I’m there.

    Thanks again. Looking forward to that podcast episode!

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