I sometimes feel guilty about squashing bugs. I often give friends and family custom-written stories and poems as gifts; ask my mom about "Bobby and the Kangaroo from Hell: A Mother’s Day Fable." I've done freelance writing on film for papers and magazines in NYC and Hong Kong. My shoulders are stained with friends’ tears, but I don't mind, because they do the same for me. I presided at two same-sex commitment ceremonies, despite no official qualifications, long before it was the done, or legal, thing. I possess better-than-the-average-joe knowledge of medieval Arthurian legends, evolutionary theory, silent movies, Victorian ghost stories, the Donner Party, ape social structure and communication, and gender roles in the martial arts genre. I can't dance. I have a cute nose and toes and a sexy brain, or so I've been told.
I have a noticeable luddite streak. I think mp3 players are the vilest invention since the iron maiden, and I'm considering becoming a terrorist/freedom fighter to prevent the wiring of the subway system for cell phone reception. Someone has to make it stop!!
On a not unrelated note, I'm working on being more chilled-out and more accepting of risk, change and small annoyances in general. And on rolling my eyes and groaning less when I strongly disagree with someone's aesthetic tastes.
I like people who include one or two character imperfections in their self-description.
And this has to be talked about now: I had a bit of a meltdown after the election, decided I would just set up some recurring donations to a handful of good-guy organizations and not look at the news for four years. Then at the last minute I decided to go to the NYC Women's March. Despair almost banished. Ever since I've since been making signs, going to protests and meetings, stuff I've never done before. Is it wrong that it feels good?
In the meantime: Desk jockeying. Enjoying the bottomless pool that is NYC. Nurturing my friends. Wading into activism. Googling "Trump" far too many times per day. Gaping in horror at my country and my species.
Working away at various writing projects with Kubrickian, or perhaps Ellisonian, slowness, but only a fraction of the talent. I joined a writers group in Brooklyn last year, which was rather a turning point.
Wondering when I'll stop being so delighted by the cat I've had for three years now. Never, I hope.
I'll make a great crotchety old man. Or so I've been told.
I'm a good kisser. Or so I've been told. Hard to check that empirically for myself.
The words, sometimes they dance to my tune like rats bewitched by the Pied Piper. That sentence was probably not a good example.
I can make fart noises in my kneepits while hopping around the floor.
Other than that...
In the now legendary words of a friend's six-year-old sister, upon first meeting me: "You BONY!" It's a little less true now that it was then, but in this country, that still sets one apart quite quickly.
My mother once said to me out of the blue over dinner, "Neither one of your grandfathers did you any favors in the nose department."
Books: Tolkien; Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried"; Ian McEwan, especially "The Comfort of Strangers"; M.R. James' "Collected Ghost Stories" (classic ghost stories in general are a major obsession); "Naked Came the Stranger"; Patricia Highsmith's Ripley series; Washington Irving's short stories, especially "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"; George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series (aka "Game of Thrones"); Sir Thomas Malory's "Le Morte Darthur"; Tennyson's "Idylls of the King"; Neil Gaiman's "The Sandman," Alan Moore, Grant Morrison; and 400 others, before we even get into the non-fiction subjects. Film history, general history, religion, folklore and mythology, popular science, especially biology and evolution. "How to Think About Weird Things" and Carl Sagan's "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark" should be issued at birth to all human beings.
Movies: Hitchcock, Hitchcock and Hitchcock; silent film, especially Buster Keaton, F.W. Murnau and Fritz Lang; Kieslowski; Scorsese to the mid-'90s; Woody Allen to the mid-'90s; David Lynch; Asian cinema, especially Hong Kong, especially martial arts movies, especially Jackie Chan to the early '90s, Tsui Hark and Lau Kar-leung; Akira Kurosawa; ; Wong Kar-wai; Hayao Miyazaki; Hou Hsiao-hsien; Abbas Kiarostami; Apichatpong Weerasethakul; Quentin Tarantino; horror movies, especially the '30s and '70s; black and white film noir; Pixar; the obvious Lucases and Spielbergs that meant a lot to me as a kid; "Blade Runner"; "Don't Look Now"; "Amadeus."
Music: Beatles; REM; Rufus Wainwright, Loudon Wainwright III, Martha Wainwright; Richard Thompson; Sam Cooke; '60s Motown; Indigo Girls; Mozart; Bernstein's "Candide"; Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd"; Thomas Tallis and other Renaissance choral composers. I recently officially decided that The New Pornographers are my favorite currently active band. Always happy to have someone thrust something new on me.
That sounded dirty.
TV: For years, the only thing hooked to my TV was a blu-ray player, but I just recently finally got an Apple TV thingie and am just starting to plunge into all the Nu-TV shows people have been yammering about for ages. All-time favorites: "Twin Peaks" (yes, I wet myself a tiny bit everytime I remember it's coming back); "Deadwood"; Joss Whedon (Buffy, Angel, Firefly, etc.); "My So-Called Life"; Letterman; PBS NewsHour; "The Littlest Bachelor"; "The Simpsons" when it was good; Lars von Trier's "The Kingdom"; "Community" (the greatest sitcom of all time); "Game of Thrones."
Food: Baby brains. I'm an atheist, you know.
Animal: Chimpanzees and bonobos.
Words: aardvark, phlegm, zwounds!, oy vey!, schadenfreude, natural (in archaic sense of "mentally impaired person").
Nostalgic Smell: Campfire smoke + tent nylon.
Porn-parody title: "Everybody Does Raymond."
Fun game: spot the lies above - there are two.
That said... I dunno, trying to decide which six of my teeth are the most vital. The bicuspids certainly carry more than their fair share of the workload.
Carnality and crushes.
Science, religion, and epistemology.
Politics and the seemingly inescapable evils of power no matter who's got it.
The orange man.
How many times is too many to go back and look at someone's dating profile, given that they can see each time I do.
Whether I'm as good a person as I would like to think I am.
How to get revenge on the drug kingpin who wiped out my family and stole my father's pair of ancient heirloom swords when I was only a boy.
Whether a golf club would be better than a 2x4.
And I find a lot of you ladies a little intimidating. You're very attractive. And sharp.
I habitually fall asleep listening to Bob Ross's "Joy of Painting" episodes on YouTube.
And also if your idea of a good time runs more towards walking in the park or the museum, or lying around reading or watching a movie or smooching, or a chatty dinner with friends, or a cozy cafe, than it does towards crowded bars and throbbing nightclubs.
And if you at least appreciate scandalous double-entendres, and strategic deployments of vulgarity and shock. Even better if you can engage along with me.
If you're at least fine with cats. No, I'm serious. if you've marked "doesn't like cats," keep moving.
And if you don't have an ethnic/racial preference in your dating. It's the second decade of the 21st century already.
If you're not seriously into any particular religion or mystical belief system.
You're not a conservative or someone who isn't bothered by Trump because you're "not into politics."
If you're curious, and kind, and think you're at least kind of cute.