tophergray
33 Eugene, United States
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tophergray
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My self-summary
Just returned from a much-needed month away from the Left Coast tracing the lands of my ancestors: Ireland, Wales, England, France, Germany and the Midwest. Everyone in Europe (except for the Irish) thought I was from Ireland, not America. I guess I've got this soft melodic lilt to go with my black Irish looks.

Upon my return, I moved to Eugene, hoping my fourth city in Oregon will be the charm...

There's a joke to explain the way I look at the world.
Some see a glass half-empty.
Others, half-full.
I'll look at the same and see a glass that's twice as big as it needs to be.

I'm a minimalist, an over-educated, feral bohemian and beat traveler. I have a strong Great Lakes liberal identity but I've spent my adulthood yo-yoing between the draw of the wilderness and coast of Oregon and my home triangle of Chicago, Ohio and Michigan, missing one when I'm in the other. A year ago, I found an abandoned one-month-old kitten in the woods as I hiked down a mountain west of Mt. Shasta and we became inter-species soul mates.

I’m looking for someone independent; open-minded, kind, funny and open-hearted. Someone who appreciates and shares my virtue of thrift; someone who has time to get to know a fella...

...someone willing to be spontaneous, a gadabout on traveling adventures big and small. Attuned to the church of nature, and yearns to break out of this manmade cocoon to the wilds beyond, while returning to the art and music and vibrant human hive of the city. Likes to bike, loves to walk, enjoys the bus and train. I finally did get a car after seven years sans auto but pretty much only use it to get to the mountains.

I embrace the Luddite slur and don't go in for much technology, preferring the simple and the old to the flashy and invasive. No TVs or smartphones or Facebooks for me: give me books, give me letters, give me real life.
What I’m doing with my life
I'm a writer and journalist, and I've done every unorthodox life move that I can to keep that common thread from withering into tatters.

I've worked as a scrappy healthcare reporter for the past three years, but I spent 2012 hopping freight trains and traveling the country with my underground vagabond companions on a grant-funded research project into the culture. [27 states in 6 months, hopping freights from Chicago to Oakland and Puget Sound to Massachusetts]. I've undertaken many ambitious projects from a (failed) novel to counter-cultural lefty studies of foreclosure, food deserts and transportation apartheid on the South Side of Chicago.

Wherever you can look, wherever there's a fight, so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad. I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready, and when the people are eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' in the houses they build, I'll be there, too.

Beyond that, I'm a godless atheist with Buddhist sympathies, floating as I can down Siddhartha's river.
I’m really good at
Readin' maps.
'Ritin'
'Rithmetic.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Well, I've been with the professors, and they all liked my looks
With great lawyers, I've discussed lepers and crooks
I've been through all of F. Scott Fitzgerald's books
I'm very well-read. It's well-known.

Books are my main source of entertainment and hard to really choose. I like the cuttingly poignant short stories of Alice Munro and Anton Chekhov. Also into those long books that dig their way inside you as you're reading them, shit like Philip Roth's "Letting Go" and James Baldwin's "Another Country" or Doris Lessing's "The Golden Notebook" and John Updike's Rabbit books.
I break that up reading smut from Steve King and Jo Nesbo, Mickey Spillane or Philip K. Dick.
And I cut my teeth as a surly teen on Kerouac, Salinger and Vonnegut, identifying at different stages with Holden Caulfield, Sal Paradise or Billy Pilgrim.

Musically, I've had a record player as my primary listening device since I was 13, but it's broken. I can sing very well and play several instruments badly.
I love aught-era indie rock shit like Modest Mouse, Built to Spill and Elliott Smith and Blind Pilot. As well as classic artists like Neil Young, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Katy Perry and ELO. Yeah, yeah, and the Smiths, the Cure, the Talking Heads.
And I watch anything Wes Anderson and Woody Allen put out, doing what I can to separate the artist from the wretched man.
The six things I could never do without
1960 Red Montgomery Ward Hawthorne Cruiser
Mr. Boots, my brother from another mother
The City
Library card
The Woods
Traveling, or should I say, wandering (& wondering)
I spend a lot of time thinking about
That there is nothing either good nor bad (only thinking makes it so); yet I do often wonder if ee cummings sends the oxford comma pedants into a conniption.
On a typical Friday night I am
Last Friday night
We went streaking in the park
Skinny dipping in the dark
Then had a ménage à trois
Last Friday night
Yeah I think we broke the law
Always say we're gonna stop
Op-oh-oh
You should message me if
... you want to drink drinks with me and just walk around a bit. That's usually the best first date.

... you like the outdoors and want a wilderness explorin' pardner.

... you want to immigrate to Canada with me. Let's blow this popsicle stand. Justin Trudeau has made it the obvious choice again.

It's only a paper moon, sailing over a cardboard sea, but it wouldn't be make-believe, if you believed in me.
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