My sense of humor is sharp but due to shyness it won't be spontaneous at first. I am kind (well, almost always), loving, affectionate; I love to hug and touch, I'm respectful, prefer to treat everyone with dignity, and am very understanding (not that everyone comes along to confirm that notion of mine:).
My relationship with technology is more than amicable and I develop my own programs when needed. At home I run Linux, Macintosh, and Microsoft systems.
I need the fine arts, and, with very little provocation, might ramble on and on about this painting or that, this symphony or poem or that Beckett play. I've loved jazz and classical music since childhood and later in life figured out that all the arts speak to me powerfully. So my love for the arts is a part of me I celebrate privately and openly. I cultivate it. I share it.
I don't always go around seeking such exalted heights, wishing to breathe nothing but the rarefied air of humanity's most profound creations. Put me in front of the TV when Monty Python or Fawlty Towers is showing and see tears of laughter rolling down. Want to hear some crudely dumb jokes? Hang out with me for a while. How about a little softball on a warm day? Romantic dinners, yellow-mauve sunsets, fish breaking the pond's water at dawn, the majestic independence of wild animals, the first robins at springtime... (I s'pose those are also "exalted" pursuits too, come to think about it).
I compose and perform music.
(may have already mentioned that)
I ponder Kramer sometimes, who wrote that "...postmodern music is not simply a repudiation of modernism or its continuation, but has aspects of both a break and an extension."
Maybe I have two lives, the one before music (composition) and the one after it. I love to discuss this, but the subtlety and depth required are too much for an OkC profile; not to mention that real truths can only come out in deep conversation with another. Ask me about this please, especially if the wine is smooth and the candlelight is orange as a sunset.
(the brutally short version is that at about age 40 I decided to "do something with my life". I jumped into the art form that kept me sane since childhood under the notion I could compose something to proudly set beside my 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st-C favorites. I succeeded a couple times, and with two or three other pieces, I came close. You might suppose such accomplishments satisfied me)
Have another glass of wine...
I'm good at a few things that require intellectual focus, including preventing crumbs dropping on the floor at a seafood restaurant and buttoning my coat starting from the bottom, the top, or the middle.
As mentioned above, I compose, but listening to music is more fun than composing it, so I do a lot of listening. I also think about and reflect on listening -- about music I have listened to both recently and not so recently, and music I plan to listen to soon. I've recently learned that I really like Fado, and I may have come to it because Portugal is next to Spain, Portuguese sounds a bit like Spanish, and I have loved Flamenco since my youth. One of the Fado singers I've been listening to is Mariza. Amalia Rodriguez is the Queen. Flamenco and Fado should be a bigger part of my listening repertoire. I always feel more optimistic afterward. The music of jazz (post-bop, free) puts me into orbit as does late romanticism (I'd die without Mahler) and new music ("modern classical" -- my all-time favourite oxymoron) are the genres I get most from nowadays. I read some philosophy, poetry, and short stories. I enjoy all cinematic genres if they're well-acted, directed, and are not chatty.
Feel free to tune out now...
BOOKS -- I'm not well-grounded when it comes to fiction, or should I say 'novels'. I've read more than a couple short stories, and am especially fond of poetry. I read philosophy and have looked at a few of the contemporary philosophers in search of my own place in post-modernity, if such a thing really exists.
MOVIES-- Give me a little more time to answer. I'm all over the place here, but so called "art" films do it, as do certain war flicks (I often go for the compelling archetypal behavior that film makers can portray when people are placed in extreme circumstances, and that, to me, is where the worth of sci-fi and war pics can shine through), film noire, foreign, fantasy... Sexual tension almost always adds richness (but not usually romance or rom-com films). I enjoy strong female leads. I usually enjoy films (TV as well) with quirky characters well-acted and directed. I tend to prefer minimal dialogue and revel in great silent acting. One film always comes to mind: "Pan's Labyrinth". How I love that flick! That's a gorgeous example of fantasy interwoven with real world situations and behavior.
SHOWS -- If that means Broadway, I'll just skip along (maybe one exception: West Side Story). If it means things like the local fringe theater in Chicago, count me in. To many this means TV 'shows' (to me as well), and after not even owning a TV for 28 years, in this new golden age of great television I've found much to enjoy. A current fave is The Americans. Genre-hopping, Penny Dreadful is a fantasy/horror blast of a show. There must be dozen or more shows since ca. 2ooo I have followed.
MUSIC -- (we've been there, but I could go on 'til the cows come home...) Flamenco, Fado, Post-Bop Jazz (with free-jazz an essential), some Hard Rock, some Folk, and, notably, much "Classical" (from late-baroque through ink-still-wet post-modern academic wonkery). I'm not excessively keen (hey you, no love for an artform can be excessive!!) on the oft-performed, popular operas (usually the Italians or a great German who, misguidedly, sometimes wrote in Italian), but there are a half-dozen or so operas that draw me in (one from Wagner, a couple from R.Strauss, Britten, Berlioz, and a few modern things). I distinguish between opera and other forms of vocal music that normally employ "classically trained" voices. In that category there are many works I love. Maxwell-Davies Into the Labyrinth, Mahler Das Lied von der Erde, Strauss Four Last Songs and Berlioz Les nuits d'ete are examples.
FOODS-- Food is the 5th category here, and the one that is not usually thought of as an artform. Well, given the purist that I am not, I shall scatter a few crumbs: Thai!!!! But then, there's Cajun. ...and Indian (nice to have a pretty damn good Indian restaurant in the small city I now inhabit), Vietnamese, Mandarin, and Hunan. Ok...I enjoy most of the world's cuisine when prepared with care and flair. Oh. Pizza (crisp, thin crust and zesty tomato sauce please)!
Actually, the other eighteen are important to me as well, but the first six are enough to remind me how much I depend on all of them.
Okay, not really; like, not a guiding principle.
All of that post-modern stuff hits me on those rare occasions when I'm thinking about whether the music I try to write is "relevant" but most of the time I just go with l'art pour l'art -- art for art's sake. My music must sound good to me and feel original.
Here's an area I do reflect on a lot, especially since the polarization in our society has reached such stunning levels: I spend a lot of time thinking about what it means to be a member of the species and the fact that allegiance to the hunk of land one considers oneself a citizen of is secondary.
Um, did I mention...music?
You should definitely message me if you have a gut-churning passion about something. My tastes in music are far from the mainstream and I would never hold sharing my tastes as a blueprint for great companionship. I always learn something from others' passions because they invite me to think about something in a new way, to appreciate that the familiar might not be so familiar after all.
You've read this entire novella?! Well then, that being the case, I'd enjoy pasting a silver star on you.