Being single in Ventura County is tough, and Valentine’s Day only exacerbates that point. As the holiday of love approaches, singles everywhere are doing one of four things: 1.) pouting, saying such a celebration is only about commercialism; 2.) ignoring it and acting as though it’s just another day; 3.) wondering if there is a possibility that an ex will come back; or 4.) looking for love — be it on the Internet, out on the town, in the office (eyeing attractive co-workers) or right here in the VCReporter.
While the VCReporter isn’t in the business of matchmaking, we decided to help out those individuals who were willing to put themselves out there, in one of the most visible places possible in the county (unless, of course, putting an ad out on a billboard was possible), and give them a chance to find someone special.
For this inaugural issue, which we hope to make annual, we decided that the best choices for the most eligible singleswere your choices. We did not do any voting in-house, but instead, any who were brave enough to nominate themselves or go along with others’ nominations should be a part of this special holiday edition.
From the quirky librarian to the founder of a local musical instrument company, from the fresh out of college to the prominent small business owner, from the surfer to the artist, the gamut of love seekers is broad. And we expect those who are interested in our featured singles to be even wider. With that in mind, we must remind our singles (all of whom volunteered their contact information) to take the necessary precautions in responding to interested individuals, and vice-versa — we cannot be held responsible for everlasting love or for dates gone wrong with stinky-feet, underarm-stained Mr. or Ms. Know-It-All, hypothetically speaking.
It is our hope, however, that like-minded individuals in the area will find each other this romantically charged season, and report back to us the results of this endeavor. While being single does have its advantages, undoubtedly, being head over heels in love is the preferred state of being. We wish everyone luck, and please be careful. Public meeting places are a must, at least for the first date. The rest is up to you.
Please meet Ventura County’s available and looking for love….
— Michael Sullivan
Height/build: 5’ 9”
City of residence: Ventura
Job: 86 Gallery proprietor, published poet, drummer in Tall Tales and the Silver Lining
Loves: drums, comic books
Background: B.A. and master’s from Cal State University, Northridge
What I am looking for in a partner: Looking for a partner with acceptance in her heart
The perfect first date: record shopping, vegan pizza, frenching
Height/build: 5’4”/fit and average
City of residence: Ventura County (Westlake Village)
Job: Admissions associate at a local college
Likes: Reading, movies, wine-tasting, working out, animals.
Dislikes: Selfish individuals, traffic, mayo
Background/bio: I have a twin sister. I went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and majored in English while also spending a year abroad in England. I was born in Los Angeles and grew up in the Valley. I am very outgoing and a lot of fun to be around. In my job as an admissions associate, I counsel students on their future careers and goals. I have taken my love of advising and working with adults to a weekend job (as a membership consultant for a dating company) but still can’t find the right guy! Between these two jobs, I don’t always have a lot of time for dating.
What I am looking for in a partner: Well-rounded, funny, close with his family, educated, dark hair, someone who follows through, is social and outgoing, likes wine, mature.
The perfect first date: Wine tasting where we can bring a picnic and sit outdoors and get to know each other.
Age: 30 something
Height/build: 5’4”/just the right size for me
City of residence: Camarillo
Job: Artist management/TM and booking agent/artist liaison
Likes: All things music, concert and tours! Traveling, spontaneity, jumping jacks, hula hoops and soda pop … oh, and I am a total people person!
Background: To quote Bob Dylan, “I’m a clean cut kid, and I’ve been to college, too….” Just a girl from Oklahoma, chasing a rock and roll dream — think I’m doing pretty well, so far. I’m a bit of a free spirit and I have even been called a gypsy. Settling down in the conventional sense has never been my forte, but I’m not opposed to 2.2 cats and a white picket fence.
What I am looking for in a partner: Independence. Honesty. Generosity. Compassion. Creativity. Spirituality. Ability to leap tall buildings 😉
The perfect first date: Um, watching The Big Lebowski on a tour bus headed to Canada. Why Canada, you ask? Why not? However, if we’re NOT on tour, how about a fireplace, Mexican food and you play me your favorite music? (Yes, original music is encouraged — hint, hint!)
City of residence: Ventura
Job: Marine research using underwater robots
Likes: Campfires, morning coffee, sound of rain on a tent, bacon, not sitting near the screaming kid on long flights, my outdoor shower, good beer, flip-flops, pizza, thunderstorms, M&M’s, long road trips to nowhere, penguins
Background: I moved to California from North Carolina about 13 years ago. I still have my southern manners and a bit of an accent, so I’m told. I’m mostly an outdoor guy and spend my free time surfing, hiking, camping, rock climbing or pretty much anything active outside. I have a great sense of humor and try not to take most things too seriously. For work, I have an incredible job operating underwater robots. That’s easier to explain in person, so for now I’ll just say that my job is a blast and allows me to travel all over the world to see and do some amazing things. When I’m not working or doing something fun outside, I’ve been working on fixing up my first house. I still can’t believe I live a mile from the beach in Midtown Ventura. So basically, I’m an educated, well-traveled, well-rounded, adventurous, easy going guy. I have myself together, and I’m comfortable with who I am and what I’m doing with my life.
What I’m looking for in a partner: I’m interested in being with someone who is independent, can carry on a conversation, is quick to laugh (even if it’s inappropriate), likes to stay in shape and wants to see as much of the world as possible. I think attractive is a given but I’ll throw it out there anyway. I’m just looking for what I think we all are, a best friend — except this friend happens to look pretty good in a bikini.
The perfect first date: I think a perfect first date can be anything, really, as long as at the end of it you’re not walking away thinking, “I can’t believe I said THAT,” and, more importantly, you are genuinely excited about seeing that person again.
City of residence: Ventura
Job: President of Instrumental Music
Likes: Music, cooking, cycling, reading, good movies
Background: President and founder of Instrumental Music, a three-store retail musical instrument store chain. Active musician, plays saxophone with several local bands. See www.bryansax.com.
What I am looking for in a partner: Smart, sexy, positive, good cyclist, likes jazz
The perfect first date: A quiet restaurant with a good wine list.
Height/build: 5’10”/and have a curvy shape!
City of residence: Ojai
Job: I am the owner of a successful flower shop in Ojai, where I also live. I was recently voted in the top three as best florist in Ventura County by none other than the Reporter!
Children: I have one grown daughter who is living in Santa Cruz and going to college.
Likes: I love to cook, play guitar, sing, write, snow ski, hike and go camping. I love good wine. (Is there really anyone who doesn’t?) Oh, and I LOVE flowers!
Background: I lived in Ventura until I was 16, then moved to Oregon for a couple of years. From there, I landed in Kauai for three wonderful years. When I returned, I got a job working at a costume shop , where the owner designed me a $2,000 mermaid tail, complete with a flopping fin! I appeared at local harbor events and did private parties for children. I was also working at various flower stands in Santa Barbara during this time. In my late 20s and early 30s, I lived in La Conchita and was one of the “banana girls.” I sold our organic bananas at farmers markets, including the Santa Monica market, which is where I was “discovered” and did a few commercials for V8 juice, which ended up going international. What a nice profitable surprise that was!
In May 2004, I opened my flower shop in the part of Ojai know as Meiners Oaks. I moved my shop here to the heart of Ojai three years ago. I am blessed with the many accounts I have. I do many, many weddings every year and the flowers for several local celebrities. Owning my shop does have many perks, but helping me to find my man just isn’t one of them as any men coming in are buying flowers for their wives or girlfriends!
What I am looking for in a partner: I am looking for an intelligent and kind-hearted man. Someone who can start a fire as easily as a meaningful conversation. Someone who is as honest as the day is long. A man who can laugh at himself and doesn’t mind if I join in! Oh, and he must appreciate a woman with an opinion.
The perfect first date: As far as my perfect first date? I will leave that to him and just hope it leaves me looking forward to the next one!
City of residence: Camarillo
Job: Student (senior, classical civilizations major) at a university in L.A.
Likes: Languages, fantasy/science fiction novels, the Clash, archaeology, traveling to politically turbulent locales
Dislikes: The ocean and other ominous bodies of water at night, close-mindedness, smog, sushi
Background/bio: A lifelong resident of Ventura County, I grew up hoping to become a Renaissance woman and Indiana Jones. I took up fencing and horseback riding in high school before studying classical civilizations and theology in college. I have traveled twice to the Middle East on digs, where I fulfilled my dream of riding camelback through Petra. I’ll be moving back home post-graduation, looking for a job, adventure and partner in crime.
What I’m looking for in a partner: A person with eclectic interests, zest for life, love for words, and a wicked wit.
The perfect first date: Hi-jinks and shenanigans. Possibilities could include searching for buried treasure or adventure on the high seas (daytime only).
Age: 57 years young
Height/build: 5’ 8”/pleasingly plump
City of residence: Santa Paula
Job: Professional librarian
Children:Proud parent of two
Likes: Work, collecting science fiction (DAW and Ace Doubles), cats, rock/metal concerts, comedy clubs, theater, Los Angeles Dodger games, scary movies, fast amusement rides, practical and serious conversation.
Dislikes: I dislike people pushing their own political agendas, manipulators, cheaters and liars.
Background/bio: In 1988, I received the (National) Public Library Association Allie Beth Martin Award for extraordinary knowledge of books and the ability to share. In 2005, I received the Jefferson Award, on the national and local level, to honor local ordinary people who, through volunteer service, do extraordinary things for other people, their community, their nation or the environment. In 2009, I received the California Award of Excellence as a public librarian for continuing to inspire others to achieve success.
What I am looking for in a partner: Someone who will walk beside me, share in charity efforts, be my true love and supporter. Compatibility is the key, including some of the same interests.
The perfect first date: A coffee shop like Simone’s in Ventura, where moments of conversation can be shared, a safe environment for getting to know each other.
Meet Mahala (aka Haley)
Height/build: 5’4”/and 115 lbs. petite, slender
City of residence: Camarillo
Job: I’m currently employed full time as a purchasing department assistant for a large national corporate restaurant. I also work part time as a children’s entertainer.
Children: I have no children and have never been married. However, I do have a small Pomeranian named Odie.
Likes: I like having fun and enjoying life! My likes are dancing, singing, performing, music, traveling, friends and, of course, my dog, Odie! I don’t have a lot of dislikes as far as enjoying life. I want to experience and do as much as possible.
Dislikes: However, I don’t like dishonesty, ignorance or rude people. I try to abide by the golden rule.
Background: I deem life as interesting! There is so much to see and so much to learn. My dream would be to spend my life traveling the world. I was born in Eugene, Ore. I grew up in Ventura County and spent all my elementary years in Ventura, graduating from Buena High School. I graduated from CSUN with my bachelor of arts degree in 2002. I’m currently pursuing my MBA while working full time.
What I am looking for in a partner: I’m looking for a true partner and friend, someone to share and enjoy my life with. These days, people seem to be too busy for each other, but I believe it’s important to make time if that’s what you’re looking for. I’m willing to make an effort and want the same in my partner. Life is to be enjoyed, not endured. I’m looking for that special someone who can ignite my fire, but will stay to enjoy the journey!
The perfect first date: The perfect first date would be going to dinner at a sushi restaurant and salsa dancing. My dream date would be in Maui, of course. I love great food and having a good time!
Singles were placed in no specific order.