Yesterday I appeared on the cover of a relatively new Internet magazine called Dailysingle, a kind of mashup of those old amusement park novelties, where you could get your picture on the cover of LIFE magazine or the front page of the New York Times, and an actual, curated website that presents interesting people in a light familiar to anyone with a conversant knowledge of popular culture, providing a platform for the telling of their "story" via a canned set of interview questions that are the same for each featured covergirl or boy.
Of course, it's got built-in social media sharing tools, mainly to Facebook, and ways for readers to vote on whether they think a particular subject is "smart", "fun" or "sexy" -- and for $1.99 you can even send a direct message to the daily star. I wonder how that business model is working out for them.
Anyone can "apply" to be on the cover of Dailysingle by just filling out answers to the interview questions and sending in four hi-res photos for the editors' consideration.
You can read my interview below or read it on Dailysingle, and if you read it there, don't forget to "Like" me and vote for whether you think I'm smart, sexy or fun.
Like an alderman in Chicago, I encourage you to vote multiple times.
Lonnie is a 50 year old alchemist.
He lives in San Francisco, California, United States.
DS: How did you hear about Dailysingle? What are you expecting from being on the front page?
Lonnie: I heard about Dailysingle when my friend Patricia made the cover and I expect if I make it a few friends may rib me about it -- but I'll have something cool to put in my digital picture frame.
DS: What are the most memorable years of your life and what happened to make them so memorable?
Lonnie: The two years I spent traipsing across Asia in the mid 80s after graduating from Law School vibrate in my soul to this day. Living as an instantly recognizable foreigner in foreign lands gave me an understanding of the humanity common to all people and helped me express my version of it to people whose entire experience of life and worldview was different from mine.
DS: Where were you born and where do you live now?
Lonnie: I was born in Upstate New York, raised in Memphis, Tennessee and went to college in New Orleans, where I studied English literature and deviant behavior.
After college I made my way west, fell in love with San Francisco, became a lawyer and then fled the US to seek my spiritual center in Asia.
I lived in Taiwan for a while, learned to speak Mandarin and traveled Mainland China and Tibet about a year before the Democracy movement hit Tiananmen Square.
Back in the States I became a commodities trader, owned a travel agency, got married and ran a nightclub on Haight Street in San Francisco for 13 years.
My wife and I split up after a technology venture I got involved in went bust and I reinvented myself as a freelance tech writer and web designer. I still live in the Bay Area.
DS: How would you best describe yourself?
Lonnie: I'd prefer to let others describe me, but if I had to boil myself down to two elements I'd say I'm kind and calm. Which was certainly not always the case.
DS: What are the must-haves in your daily wardrobe?
Lonnie: Um, the absence of polyester is really all I can think of. Dress me up or dress me down but please make the fabric out of something natural.
DS: Who do people tell you you look like?
Lonnie: I've heard everything from Jack Wagner to Eric Stoltz to Zonker Harris. When Forrest Gump was in theaters people used to shout "Lieutenant Dan!" at me across the bar in my nightclub.
DS: What is the compliment you most frequently get?
Lonnie: I guess I hear most often that people appreciate my centeredness, but I've been known to get compliments on my cooking and my singing from time to time as well.
DS: How did you end-up being an alchemist?
Lonnie: It's been a lifelong evolution. I never thought as a kid, "I want to be a fireman, or an astronaut, or a doctor" and then decided to become one.
I've always done whatever seemed like the thing to do at the time and as the circumstances of my life have changed I've changed my interests and avocations with them.
As I've gotten older I've realized it doesn't matter what you do in life as long as you put your true self into it. Living from the heart is its own reward and is more fulfilling than any title or any amount of wealth could ever be.
DS: Can you tell us more about your job?
Lonnie: As a writer I keep up with rumor and innovation centered on Apple, both the company and its products.
I test software and hardware and write about them. I do opinion pieces or analyses of communications tech and gadgetry for a few outlets.
In web design, I sniff out developments in digital content platforms, study markup languages and layout code and color theory for hours on end - in addition to hunting for new clients.
I love my flexible schedule and personal freedom but it means intense dedication to impeccable work and persevering emotionally and psychologically when jobs are in short supply.
"Success" in my world is fleeting. New stories push mine down the page, a new issue of the magazine comes out with another feature on the cover - I get just a day’s worth of eyeballs from this interview - so I remind myself what's real is whatever I'm focused on doing in any moment.
DS: Let's talk more about you and your tastes. Any hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time? Any thing you like and recommend?
Lonnie: I love food and wine and I'd rather shop for and prepare delicious meals made with organic fruits and vegetables and cuts of good, locally raised meat than just about anything in the world.
I don't do it nearly enough these days, but playing my guitar and singing songs, whether ones I've written or ones I'm covering, has also given me great pleasure in life.
Hiking in the woods, strolling on the beach, riding a bike in the hills - being out doors in great weather and being active are also very important to me.
But I could give all of the above up if you just left me with Yoga and meditation.
DS: What is a typical week for Lonnie?
Lonnie: I get up at 5am, stretch my body for 15 - 20 minutes and sit in silent meditation for an hour to start every day. Usually.
Walk the dog, make a breakfast of oatmeal or a protein shake and dig into the projects on my plate. Lots of email, checking the twitter and RSS feeds for news of the world, phone calls.
Sometimes I stop for lunch, some days I don't look up till 2 or 3 in the afternoon.
I try and wind down, start thinking about dinner in the late afternoon, go to the market, come home, open a bottle of wine and start banging around in the kitchen to make and eat dinner and be done with clean-up by 8 or 8:30. I like to get in bed and read before falling asleep and - as Jackson Browne wrote - get up and do it again.
Every now and then I'll throw the whole schedule off with a night on the town with friends. I’ll stay up to the wee wee hours, drink too much and take a day or two to get back in the groove.
DS: Some quick questions: What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Lonnie: Feel grateful to be alive.
DS: What is your favorite word?
DS: What it your favorite quotation? Or make your own for posterity...
Lonnie: "Can I have some more, please?" - Oliver Twist
DS: What is your favorite "drug"??
DS: What magic power would you like to have if you could choose one?
Lonnie: I have all the magic powers I need, thanks.
DS: If not yourself, who would you be?
Lonnie: I gotta be me.
DS: What is in store for you? Any key projects for the next months? Anything you want to share? Can our readers help you with anything?
Lonnie: I'm a work in progress. Always looking to be a better version of myself, to slough off the dross and reveal the precious material inside.
If any of your readers needs a website or help with their current one, I'm always looking for more work.
DS: Anything you want to add to close this interview?
Lonnie: Do the right thing, folks. And if you're not sure what the right thing is in any particular case, doing nothing is probably the right thing.
DS: Thank you Lonnie
Lonnie: Be well.