45Albany, United States
Join today
Find great matches with our advanced matching system!
Join today
Find great matches with our advanced matching system!
My self-summary
I know I like other people's profiles that have a good bit to say on this page, and fair's fair, so I'm going to try. But I guess maybe I should just note, for whatever it's worth, that this is an uncomfortable thing to do. Feels ostentatious. Does that tell you something about me?

It does. It tells you I overthink. Fair enough.

But that isn't answering the question. Who am I and what am I doing here?

I could tell you my situation and I probably should but that's not who I am, either. I talk too much, and I overcompensate for that. I have a deep-seated defiance toward authority structures, probably from my dad. I grew up being told constantly how very brilliant I was, and life got so much more interesting when I grew up and realized I was surrounded with people who had a lot more to say than I did. I've come to believe that for most practical purposes there is no such thing as intelligence, it's just a code word for bias. Hm. Maybe I should warn you that I'm the sort of person who would trot out that kind of wonky abstraction in an essay like this, instead of listing reasons why you would want to date him.

What else? I come from a close family and we get together as often as we can. My older brother is more interesting than me, and everything cool about my childhood was his doing. My younger sister is also more interesting than me and most of what's intriguing about my adult brain bears her distinct stamp. The most interesting thought I ever had on my own was this: that I believe Robert Frost left a riddle behind, and I think I know where a person needs to begin looking to find the answer. But that takes time and I haven't done it, if it's even possible any more. (I was an English major. Probably a mistake, but I had fun.)

I cut corners almost obsessively, trying to find the most direct route. I love games, particularly games with strategy to them, even though there's no particular game I can claim to be good at. I am a completely incompetent swimmer, but since I'm tall that rarely matters. I have a pretty good memory. I am not a good dancer. I'm not good with languages either, but in both cases I would dearly love to learn.

I think music should have lots of sevenths and ninths, and there should be more thundering pipe organ bits generally. I believe it is very difficult to use too much cumin. Or basil. I think I would live longer and better if I ate less food but I don't know if I have it in me to cut back. I was raised on Ayn Rand. These days I would like to eradicate capitalism. I think choral singing shares some of the qualities of religious experience and canoes are a shortcut to personal bliss.

I honestly think just about every person I meet is really interesting. If you're a woman and we've made eye contact, the odds are pretty good that I've already got a crush on you. Life is distracting but I like it.

I should talk about love and such. But wait, I said I'd explain my situation, which has changed, and it's high time I updated this bit: I am on my second marriage, to the lovely hootandflutter and she is if anything more voraciously polyamorous than I am. We live in two adjacent apartments with her three sons and my two daughters coming and going on inconsistent custody schedules with exes, which is a bit chaotic in a pleasantly lively way. So I'd be very happy to find partners I could go on dating for years, but it might not be be dating all that often, necessarily. Or, shorter things are nice too. There's a place in the world for one-night stands, for that matter. The world is full of all these people, and mostly it's hard to get all that close to them, but let there be a whiff of sexual attraction in the air, and they open up to you in the funniest ways, it's like a fire hose of random but genuine points of connection, all that we call "chemistry." And dating is kind of the only interaction in modern society where it's kind of acceptable to open up that much of yourself that fast, with procedures for escape any time you want, only in the meantime you've had a brush with someone human, and honestly, humans need that. I live for it myself. That for me is the point of poly--if you can say there's a point--just a decision to walk around in the world, available for whatever little miracle it feels like placing in front of you today.

What was the question? Incidentally, I usually write with structure and transitions and such. But that's kind of what I mean: we're just on here to bump into humans, aren't we? With no particular preconceptions about exactly what aspects of them we'll see first. I'm being random, partly to make myself finally write something here, but also just to acknowledge that it's random every time.
What I’m doing with my life
Let's see. Being a dad, more than probably any other single thing; I have two daughters, eight and four, and they keep me on my toes. My job also keeps me hopping: I am apprenticed to an old hippie who fixes up old houses. A lot of roofing, slate and copper, but really we do about anything. Usually we wind up on hundred-year-old houses and we use a fair number of old techniques, not because we're restorationists per se but because the boss just likes them. I love this job, love to have my hands on old houses, love the moral simplicity and directness of a job with no corporate bottom line but only a mission to seek out broken things and make them right again. And I have always been put to rights psychologically by a hard day's work that accomplishes something.

That said, lately a lot of people I know are seeing movement in writing careers of various sorts, and I hardly ever do anything like that, so I've been feeling a real itch for a job that involves time at a desk, actually. For something that doesn't leave me gross at the end of the day. Maybe it is my destiny to waffle about this. I never have been quite able to decide whether I'm a roughneck or a nerdy writer.

What else? I am rebuilding after a pretty tumultuous divorce, which involves a lot of social negotiations and a lot of building shelves. And there's a long list of things I mean to do with spare time when there is any, and there never is. I used to do some songwriting and still like to keep current with guitar; someday I'd love to get back into that more earnestly. More recently I was introduced to trad folk music--turns out Albany is a hotspot for that on a national level--so these days I do a lot of singing of sea chanteys and old drinking songs and so on. I write some fiction, and I have piles of notes on a handful of novel-length projects I'm still hoping I'll live to finish. I used to read books, but then again I used to commute by subway or bus, and I used to have time between classes or suchlike. Now I only manage any reading to speak of in the unusual event that I have to sit in a waiting room.

What else? My life is full of sketchy plans. I still hope I manage at some point to set up a rainwater catchment system and a solar oven and learn Irish and learn to be a passable bike mechanic and learn to make old diesels run on grease and raise chickens and build a music studio and do soil remediation and a hundred other things, but mostly so far I talk about them. There will always be more and grander plans still unrealized, I suppose, than finished measures I ever actually manage to take.
I’m really good at
Hm. I guess lately people say I sing well. My eyesight used to be pretty exceptional but I think it's declining. I can knock out heavy physical labor at a pretty good clip. I have a touch for charming older women in positions of petty bureaucratic power. In a mechanical way, I can write metered verse pretty deftly, though poetry on any higher level defeated me long ago. I'd like to think I write dialogue well. I can memorize things quickly, whether lyrics, numbers, or names and faces. And, I mean, there are lots of things I feel like I do well, but "really well" sounds comparative, and for anything I do well, there's probably a small army of people who do the same thing better, right? I get by okay though.

Oh, patience, perhaps. I think I've gotten fairly good at patience.
The first things people usually notice about me
Too easy, I'm tall. Past that? I guess I'm not sure. Shaggy these days, so there are the inevitable look-like-Jesus responses. People tell me I say I'm sorry too much, which is true, it's practically reflex. If you catch me at work or right after work, I'm often dirty or paint-spattered or something, so that would overshadow anything else. Depends on context.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Well, that's hard to pick of course. I have a warm place in my heart reserved for Ursula LeGuin and Barbara Kingsolver. C.S. Lewis' Til We Have Faces. Richard Dawkins, the Selfish Gene. Recently read Dubliners and liked that. It's an assortment, I could name random picks for an hour. I guess I would be lying, though, if I didn't say Lord of the Rings still ranks as my favorite book. I know a lot about it, and though these days I can also critique it at length, I still adore it and there aren't many other novels in the pop culture with that kind of depth. But since then so many other favorites have come up. Italo Calvino. Nabokov. And I'm just thinking of fiction, then there's all the good nonfiction. Too much to name.

Um. Movies. First thing that comes to mind is the Limey with Terence Stamp, from a few years back. Movies I keep going back to include Jesus Christ Superstar, 2001, and Quiz Show. I like a lot of mainstream movies, the Matrix and what have you, but the ones that I really get stuck on tend to be flaky art movies. Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, recently. Northfork, I Heart Huckabee's, The Science of Sleep, Synecdoche New York, that kind of thing. Spectrum movies. I live right by the Spectrum and though that was a total accident, it's worked out very nicely for me. [Maybe I should edit--saw Cloud Atlas recently and it made me happier than a movie has for ages. New favorite.]

Don't really watch TV. I liked Northern Exposure enormously. More recently I watched Firefly, which I do like, though I could cavil a bit; I can hardly dislike a show so deliberately populated with pretty and charming women, for example, but at the same time I feel a bit pandered to by the undisguised choice to do just that. And I wound up watching a couple of episodes of Dr. Who as well, which frightens me, because the thing is I quite like it and I can't remotely hope to get up to speed on all that godforsaken background. Does every episode involve masses of people shambling disturbingly toward the camera though? I'm three for three. I get that it's a compelling image but come on. Anyway...

Music... these days it's hip to be eclectic and lots of people know more than me, but still it's safe to say I like a range of stuff. Bjork. Old Stevie Wonder. CSN. ELP. XTC. Simon & Garfunkel. Sundays. Huun-Huur-Tu. Groovelily. King Crimson. Suzanne Vega. In college I worked for five years backstage at a big opera house, and learned to make a peace with opera. More recently I was dumped into trad folk and learned to like it a lot. I don't know much classical, but I have some favorites. I never got the hang of jazz, except for some goofy fusion stuff, Buckshot LeFonque for example. Me'Shell Ndeogecello. I have been trying to learn to like Thelonious Monk, but the jury's out. Also, if I am to be truthful, I know way too much about Journey, and some other no-longer-hip bands like that.

Wait, and it said food. Hm. I grew up eating only beige things. I've come a long way from that, these days I eat lots of basically vegetarian stuff, I adore Indian food and desperately wish someone would establish an Ethiopian place in Albany (but come to think of it a lot of Ethiopian food is still beige). But I still have weird holes in my diet. I barely eat fruit at all, for instance. Working on it, still, slowly.

Oh, and I suppose it'd be dishonest if I didn't cop to a massive sweet tooth. (Trying just now to crack down on that, actually. Which is way out of character. Not really going to lower the boom until after the holidays, and never quite totally, but I've surprised myself with how much I've cut down in the last couple months just trying to warm up for really dropping sugar.)
Six things I could never do without
Something I haven't figured out. Something farfetched to scheme about. Someone to talk to. Something to make music with. Some means for making a satisfactory cup of tea. Something else in this list to round out the odd and arbitrary number six. Then a couple more things to deliberately defy the number six. Something self-referential. Something that shakes me out of my world view every so often.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Personal profile essays, apparently.

And--I'll add, a while later--these questions. Kind of addictive. Not the quizzes, they tell you less for more time spent, I think, but the individual questions. I probably add too much blather to my answers but then again I like to read other people's explanations and amendments. And just now, for example, I was meaning to write a note to somebody on here I quite like, and yet I somehow got derailed into answering a few more of those bloody questions. It's a problem.

Okay. Off to take care of that.
On a typical Friday night I am
Not doing much differently from the other nights, I'm afraid.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
Oh, but to what end? I have yet to be smitten with somebody on here because she disclosed anything particularly daring or revealing in this section. People are allowed to keep some of themselves private even if there is an internet.
You should message me if
If you feel like doing that? You're not going to bother me by saying hi, so go ahead.

Maybe I can narrow this down a smidge more...

- if you're really quite close to the city of Albany, or expect to be able to visit it, or don't mind that quite possibly we'll meet rarely if ever.
- if you can stand the fact that I'm so dismally unreliable about answering, let alone promptly.

And much as I find myself subtly put off by profiles that list more about what they don't like than about what they do, I begin to feel maybe I should mention: if the *only* reason you have for writing is to tell me once more than I look like Jesus--well, I wonder if you would consider giving that a miss.
The two of us