Q. What is your full name?
A. Derek Peter Sonderfan
Q. What does the "Derek" stand for?
A. It's not an acronym.
Q. How old are you?
A. It's not polite to ask a woman her age.
Q. Are you a woman?
Q. Then are you just evading the question?
A. What question?
Q. How old are you?
A. Let's put it this way. Depending on how long I live, I'm basically entering my mid-life crisis phase right about now.
Q. That doesn't answer anything. Depending on how long ANYONE lives, they could be entering their mid-life crisis phase. Someone in the Middle Ages would hit their mid-life crisis phase at, like, 16.
A. That wasn't a question.
Q. HOW OLD ARE YOU?
A. Man, that IS a frequently asked question.
Q. Forget it. There's a lot of your writing on this website. Are you worried about someone stealing it?
A. Not really. Have you READ my stuff?
Q. Surely you're a little worried?
A. My material is registered with the Library of Congress. I'm not attorney, but I'm pretty certain it would be a bad idea to steal any of my stuff.
Q. How can I possibly do everything I want to do on this website?
A. There's a very simple icon configuration that should facilitate-
Q. I just want to poop on it.
A. Oh. Um, that's not very nice.
Q. I see you play music. Who are some of your influences?
A. Like most comedy musicians, I have eclectic tastes: The Mountain Goats, The Austin Lounge Lizards, Nightwish, Jonathan Coulton, Lake Street Dive, Grateful Dead, Type O Negative, Tripod, They Might Be Giants, Aerosmith, Deep Purple, Alanis Morissette, Nobuo Uematsu, Ugly Duckling, and many others.
Q. What do you do for work?
A. I currently work in public service at the county level, specifically in the clerk's office. So I actually get to write for a living.
Q. Did you use this website as part of your writing portfolio as a way to--
A. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA! *breathes* AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Q. I didn't even get to finish the--
Q. What else do you do for money?
A. I drive for Lyft and Uber as a side gig (which apparently people call side-hustles now). I also play professional disc golf (where I occasionally do well enough to make my entry fee back) and I am the keyboardist for an amazing local improve comedy troupe, The Comedy Collective. I also donate my organs routinely.
Q. You know, unlike platelets you have a limited number of those, right?
A. Okay, good to know.
Q. How would you describe your romantic life?
A. *reading the ball* Ask again later.
Q. Is it later enough? How would you describe your romantic life?
A. Signs point to yes.
Q. That doesn't even make sense.
A. That's not a question either.
Q. That doesn't make sense?
A. Putting a question mark at the end of a sentence doesn't automatically make it a question, you know.
Q. What's up with all your nicknames?
A. Fats - This is my disc golf name, though he's also a vaguely stereotypical character I do inspired by (stolen from) Tim Meadows' Ladies Man. He also has a Bad Advice Column, but I'm pretty sure all three permutations are unrelated.
Esoderek - For a while, this was a name I wanted to use as my nom de plume. I gave that up because I don't speak Spanish. My friend Aaron came up with it.
Ian Callipydge - This was a joke name for a character in my 2007 NY Fringe Festival musical The Unusual Suspects. I have subsequently used it in many places as a way to maintain anonymity, because nothing keeps me hidden more than a clever play on a totally esoteric word.
Rick - Just my friend Stephanie calls me this, but it's okay since I call her Jojo.
Spoons - Just my friend Bryan calls me this. I call him Spoons, or sometimes Sir Shpsh.
D - Just my friend Deirdre calls me this. I call her D as well.
Crane - My late uncle used to call me this, for reasons I never learned. Man, I have a lot of one-person-specific nicknames.
Q. Are you fluent in any other languages?
A. Depending on your definition of "fluent", yes. I can communicate with deaf people using really rudimentary sign language, though if you want me to understand you back, you're better off skipping the sign and just writing it down on a napkin for me to read.
Q. You last updated your FAQ in 2008 (I checked), when you clearly hated all things politic. Now that you're more engaged, what issues have you personally tried to advocate for?
A. Good question.
Q. Thank you.
A. Let's face it, I'm a straight white cis male. There's not a whole lot I can champion in terms of the oppressed (though I will advocate the shit out of saving earth from climate change, as people of every demographic should). Basically my being an atheist is the only place where I'm in a minority, and even that is SLOWLY shifting in my favor. My ascent to becoming a bona fide feminist took me a damn long time. But I have walked in a Black Lives Matter march (with my family). I have attended both Women's Marches in Reno (with my family). I have attended a LGBT+ Fundraiser (with my family). I attended a solidarity event with a local chapter of Muslims shortly after Trump took office (also with my family). If I can use my white male privilege to help lift up others, I'm going to try. And I'm sure as hell going to raise my two boys to advocate for others too.
Q. So you'll stop making fun of the French then?
A. Never. You'll have to pry them from my cold, dead hands.
Q. Pry what? The French? Why are they in your hands? And why are your hands dead? I'm not sure this metaphor works.
A. Cold. Dead. Hands.
Q. What is the statistical likelihood that anyone will still be reading this far?
Q. That high?
A. Oops, misplaced the decimal point. .04%
Q. Name a few of your accomplishments.
A. I wrote a musical that went up at a Fringe Festival (to reviews!) I have made the 7-10 split in bowling. I have won a professional sporting event (not bowling). I have written a novel. I have had a threesome. I was briefly seen on an episode of Maury Povich when my mother was a guest. I'm pretty sure there are very few people in the history of time that have that kind of overlap.
Q. How come you don't look like your twin?
A. It's all about the recessive genes. Looks like SOMEONE needs to look at their punnett squares again.
Q. How many places have you lived?
A. If you mean actual addresses, 10 different houses/apartment and five different buildings during college. If you mean locations, not nearly as many. I've lived in north Jersey, central Jersey, London, and Reno.
Q. How many states have you visited?
A. I don't honestly know the answer, because you have tough caveats like stopping in a city on a layover - does it count? So I tend to answer "How many states have you played a disc golf course in?" And that answer is 29.
Q. Have you ever been arrested?
Q. Received a ticket?
A. Two: one for speeding and one for a lapsed registration (the ticket was given to me very sheepishly by someone I graduated high school with who felt like crap about doing it).
Q. Oh, so you don't have run-ins with the police then?
A. For a white guy, I have surprisingly frequent run-ins with cops. I've been stopped a number of times for various infractions that I didn't actually commit, I had a cop who had just pulled someone over literally run out in a two-lane highway to flag me down (again for something I didn't do), I had cops come to my doors a few times for odd reasons, and most famously I had two cops spend 30 minutes trying to figure out a way to write me a ticket for my friend removing a wedged stick from the underside of my car (they were going to ticket us for littering).
Q. Do you want to give any "shout-outs"?
A. No. Not really.
Q. What do you want your legacy to be?
A. That I made people's lives some tiny fraction of a percent better. Or more. I'd be okay with more.