Wednesday, January 23, 2013


They say bad things happen in threes.  These definitely don't qualify as the world's worst but they should at least be int he world's most inconvenient category.

I woke up this morning at abotu 6:15.  My alarm was set for 6:30 so I rolled over to grab a couple minutes more.  When I woke up again I thought that it felt like a long fifteen minutes and I was right. It was 6:40.  My phone was dead. I somehow managed to get to Missoula without a phone charger, or any other cables actually. I'd borrowed a cable from a friend and used it.  The phone was at about 10% last night and this morning it wouldn't do anything.  I didn't know if it was just a dead battery or certifiably dead. Great. No phone. No way for co-workers or family or anyone to reach me.

I was able to get a charger at the Verizon store this evening when they confirmed it was just a dead battery. He gave me 25% off the charger and drastically (12.99 down to 3.74) screen protectors too. Ok! Back as part of the world!

I got back to the hotel and had a voicemail. It was from my neighbor who is taking care of my dog and cat while I'm away. She'd left a message saying that there was a veritable river of water running down my front porch. She couldn't tell what the source was or what the problem was. Damn.  She also knows my mom and called her about the water when she couldn't reach me.  Mom had another neighbor turn the water for the house off at the streets and he's going to monitor. I have no idea what the damage is.  It could be just the spigot, it could be a full pipe burst. With the water off I could repair the former, I can definitely not repair the later.

I won't be home for another nine days and when I do get home, I'm only home for about 42 hours. I can't schedule repairs since I don't know what's wrong and I won't be there to authorize and pay for it.  That may mean my only day home is spent fixing the house and not showering.  For Fucksake.  Is there a worse time this could have happened?

Now. . . What's number three?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hi!! Ohhhhh, Montana!!

I'm on the road for work.  This trip has taken me to Missoula, Montana. I'll be here for twelve days. I expect to work at least nine of those days. Here's the break down so far:

Pros -
* Sunny, not super dense low lying fog like at home recently.
* Local Microbreweries - I tried DraughtWorks on Sunday.  They had a great bock beer (De-Bock-ery) and a good ale (Half Nuts Rye English Brown Ale).  I'm hoping to try both KettleHouse and Taproot this week.  I also bought Bitterroot ales at the grocery.
* A payday! Paying the bills isn't overrated!
* A change of scenery doesn't hurt.  I've been walking to and from work, the snow is pretty.  It's good mental stimulation to be working

Cons -
* It's a small town in Montana.  Even though I'm working most days and I'm only here twelve days, how much is there to do?
* It's cold.  Really cold.  Forecasted high of 31 today but I was outside only in the dark at 7 am and 630pm. Snow is predicted on Wednesday.
* It killed a few plans I had at home.  This project backs straight up into one in February with only a weekend home in between.
* Usually for a long stay, I'd be put up in a hotel with a mini kitchen in it.  This time, just a regular hotel which means lots of eating out and cold food in the room.

I've been assigned to the Internal Medicine outpatient clinic.  Ten providers, fifteen nursing staff that I'm helping.  There have been a few other support people but they are all in and out and busy with other things.  I'm the only one dedicated to that floor. They were all very nice and grateful.  No one excessively angry or frustrated. I got free lunch and put in a bunch of hours, which fills out my paycheck. I was busy and on my feet all day which is a pro and con. I'm going to try to get a blog up most days but we'll see how close I get to that.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Booby Traps

<Scene: enter Elmer Fudd, dressed in his brown hunting gear, complete with ridiculous hat>
Elmer: Shhhhhh, I'm hunting wabbits. . . .

(three, two, one) SHA-PING! He's caught by the ankle in a rope snare and whipped up by the poor sapling he used, only to dangle helplessly mid air as Bugs Bunny inevitably asks

"Ehh, What's up doc?"

What plays in my head when I hear booby trap.  Well, after the thirteen year old me finishes snickering.

Dating is full of booby traps.  They are different than minefields.  Booby traps are ones that we know are there and yet manage to get caught in any way, a la Elmer Fudd. [I know that technically booby traps can be and often are hidden, thinking specifically of the Vietnam War, but they never really are in the cartoons.] Mines are the ones we didn't know were there or see them but when we bump them they blow up in our faces.  Today's musing is booby traps (heh, heh).
This time of year is booby trap city.  It starts with Thanksgiving really, I suppose. Thanksgiving and Christmas are both family holidays.  Therefore, if you are still early on in dating someone, as I think I kind of am (more on that in the next blog), there is usually at least one awkward conversation about meeting family.  Are you coming to my family thing? Me to yours? It's difficult to meet your partners family for the first time at Thanksgiving or Christmas because A) there is likely to be more family around than just the usual clan, B) there are all kind
of traditions and family must-dos to wade through, C) there's alcohol, which even if you don't over drink, someone else might and an embarrassing encounter with Uncle Ed is the last thing you want to be your first impression.

I've kind of been dating someone and we somehow skated through the November-December holidays without issue.  It helped that I was out of town for Thanksgiving, hence making it a moot point. For Christmas he had a ton of familial obligations with all kind of family so I (perhaps slightly less than delicately) told him to go do his family thing and I'd see him after Christmas for New Years.

Another booby trap.  We did make New Year's Eve plans.  It's the first time I've had a "date" for NYE in  . . . uh . . counting. . .well, hmmmm . . . anyway. Dinner, a show, a midnight kiss.  No friends around to mingle with, just us so it was easy really. I did meet a couple of his friends the day before and I think I passed.  It was good that we were at a Seahawks game which provided ample distraction and gave us all a common cause.  Otherwise meeting the friends can turn into a grilling.

Whew, you're thinking you've missed the booby traps by making it into the new year.  Silly you.  Target started putting out Valentine's Day decorations two days after Christmas just to remind you that another, and potentially the biggest booby trap is around the corner. Valentine's Day can be tough even for established couples.  If you are dating, eeeeekkkkkkk.  Are we making plans? If so, how serious? Gifts? Again, how serious? There's all this pressure from society to give in and do flowers and cards and chocolates and stuffed bears and jewelry and lingerie and aaaaaaaggggghhhhhh.  I believe, as many do, that Valentine's is a crock of consumerism BS concocted to get us to by stuff in the post-holiday lull.  I haven't had Valentine's plans in, well, about as long as I haven't had NYE plans.
I've sort of managed to sidestep this one too I think.  I'm scheduled to be out of town for work on the actual day.  Since I'll be home for the weekend and then gone again, we sort of assume we'll see each other.  The catch is the gift/no-gift (which also comes up at Christmas).  I don't want V-Day to be an overblown awkward incident.  Let's just make awesome plans like we do on so many other weekends and call it good.  Flowers would be nice but that is plenty sufficient.

Not too long after Valentine's Day is my birthday. Again, we're back to gift/no gift. Gifts always are fraught with tension.  Was is personal enough but not too over the top or was it dreadfully generic? Did one person spend obviously more than the other? Was one gift a sign of taking things to the next level?  Did one person not get a gift to give? Stress central. With this particular guy, his birthday is about two weeks after mine, so we do this dance all over again.

Thank goodness for holidays like Arbor Day and Independence Day. They might be my new favorites, along with Memorial Day and Labor Day of course.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mah Faze!

I was going to continue writing about dating today but then this thing happened which meant I really needed to write about it instead.

I got a black eye.  It's ugly. It hurts occasionally.  I've had people wonder, myself included, how it took this long for me to get one.  Most people know that if it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all.  While I say that very tongue in cheek, I do have some strange things happen to me on a regular basis.  With this knowledge, how did it manage to take me thirty years to get my first black eye?!

I found the event online.  Snow Day Seattle.  They planned to truck in 34 dump trucks of snow from the mountains into the Seattle Center.  There would be a snow fort/castle competition and then attempt to set a new Guinness Book of World Records record for the largest snowball fight.  The previous record was for a snowball fight held in Taebaek City, South Korea with 5,387 participants on January 22, 2010.
The tickets were $25 plus tax each with all proceeds going to benefit  The Boys & Girls Club of King County. I mentioned it to 25 and he was excited about it too.  We both thought it would be a fun way to be a part of setting a world record.  How wrong we were.

Snow Day was last Saturday, during a stretch of very clear but very cold days here in the Puget Sound region. The snow fort building started at 1pm.  We arrived about 3:30 or 4 and got checked in.  We had read the website and brought goggles for eye protection as apparently eye lacerations are the most common injury.

Out into the snow we went.  There were lots of folks milling around.  Top Pot had a coffee truck so we each got one and had a walk around.  At some point we'd made a lap and stopped.  We were both thinking about needing snow for snowballs but most of the snow was part of the snow forts. The small amount on the ground, and what was in the fort, was really compacted, more like ice really.  We both picked up a "ball" and said something to the effect of "this is really hard.  It's going to kill someone". At which point we dropped it on the cement to see if it would break.  It didn't.  Several other people came and stood where we were and did the same thing; pick up ice ball, comment that it would hurt to get hit with, then drop ball on floor to confirm how hard it was.  We stepped on some of the ice balls to break them up.

The official snowball fight was supposed to start at 5pm.  Inevitably, "snow"balls started flying early despite the warnings over the loudspeaker not to start early.  It didn't take very long before I'd been hit in the shoulder, the arm, the leg. 25 took a couple hits, as did the girls standing near us.  We all yelped and comments that it really hurt.  I found a slightly strategic position with my back to a wall of a fort where I could watch for falling deathballs. 5 o'clock came and went.  They were still mucking about with checking people in and whatnot.  By this time it was dark, it was really cold and getting colder.  The deathballs were really flying.  I'd been hit a couple more times and was really over the whole thing.  I wanted to stay just long enough to officially be a part of the record and then bail.

It was about that time that in short succession I took a deathball to the back of the left side of my head and then a bigger one to the right side of the back of my head/neck.  Right.  Done.  25 had been patient with me being unhappy but trying to stay on.  At that point he said he was done too.  We tried to start heading for the exit which was maybe 50 yards from where we stood, but the trick was getting there across the slippery ground with deathballs flying.

25 took off towards the exit.  I lost him in the crowd.  I made it to a place with less crossfire. I took my google off to clear the fog so I could see where I was going and WHACK!
I got hit on the right side of the bridge of my nose.  My eyes immediately filled up with tears for a variety of reasons.  A girl standing nearby who saw it asked if I was ok.  I couldn't answer but when I looked up she said "you're bleeding!".  Damn it.  I couldn't tell what was ice, tears or blood.  I tried to pick my way through the crowd and eventually (maybe 20 seconds but it felt longer) made it to where there had been a big exit when we came in.  I snagged 25 and we headed for an official to get out.

He wouldn't open the gate.  He insisted on directing me up the hill and out a small exit.  I just wanted out.  I wanted to be where I knew I wouldn't get hit again. He refused.  He did mention that First Aid was in the adjacent building.  Fine.  I stormed off, a little panicky, in pain, furious.  25 led me inside and we asked the event organizers in there where first aid was.  Oh, um, well, they thought it was out where the snow was, wasn't it?  Screw it.  I went to the bathroom to take care of it myself.   No one seemed particularly sympathetic or willing to help, considering my face was rapidly swelling and blood was running down it (aside from 25 that is, he was wonderful).

After a mop up and assessment, we decided to go for food and drinks.  I thought whiskey-cokes would make a nice anesthetic, which they did.  My right eye swelled nearly half shut and by ten that night was already showing shades of purple. The swelling went down remarkably quickly.  The purple however, has gotten darker and darker.  The blue and green now reaches nearly all the way around my right eye.  In the inner corner of my left eye are tinges of blue, green and purple plus a shadow across the bridge of my nose that just appeared last night. The bridge of my nose is really the only place that has continued to hurt.
24 hours later
I crossed "Set a World Record" off my bucket list (not that I have one) as we officially set the record. Now I remember why I don't like people and especially groups of people. Riot menatilty at it's finest.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Tired of Dating

The alternate title for this blog is "When will I be in a relationship?"

I went back through my planner and counted. I dated twenty one guys in 2012.  Not too shabby considering I wasn't really back in Seattle until the beginning of March.  The majority of those were first date only.  About six of those guys were multi-daters, as in two or more.
Two of those I saw regularly for more than two months.
There were fifteen others that I emailed or texted (please advise on the grammar of this verb) but never materialized into a date. 

Granted, 2012 didn't quite end up being the year of a thousand first dates.  I fell woefully short of that. Averaging 2.1 first dates per month means I'm trying.  I'm putting myself out there.  I'm meeting people.

It takes a lot of effort to date.  Lots more effort than being in a relationship.  When you are first dating someone you have to be on your best behavior all the time. The comedienne Whitney Cummings has a great bit about trying not to fart when you are out on dates for the first six months. It's true! No burping, no farting, perfect make-up, great hair, high heels, going out, being fun, not stressing about things, etc, etc.

When you've relaxed into a relationship, you can wear sneakers, you can have a sweats and movie on the sofa day, you can be your slightly lazy, occasionally slobby self. But not when you are dating. Not that you can't be yourself, but you have to be your best self.  You not neurotic, not whiny, never smelly, always done up, fun and funny self.

First and second and sometimes third dates are lots of small talk too.  Have you ever been to a party, maybe a work party, maybe a networking thing, where you had to make a lot of small talk for say, four hours?  That's tiring. You basically have the same conversation, or version of a conversation, over and over and over.  It reminds me of being a foreigner in Indonesia.  The limited English of many of the Indonesians meant that the conversation was the same "How are you? " "Where are you from?" "Do you like Indonesia?" "How old are you?" "Where do you live?" That's about the extent of it.

First dates are  "What do you do for work?" "Where did you grow up?" "What do you do for fun?" "blah, blah, blah". You watch for red flags, you use enough common sense to not ask the really key things you might want to know, like how long was your last relationship or when was your last long term relationship and why did it end. You have to roll those out slowly because, lord knows, you don't want to bog through that conversation if you don't have to because they hit four other red flags in the basic small talk.

While I am tired of dating and ready for some quality time with "my man" on the sofa, I am not yet willing to settle! I will not keep dating a guy who is a mismatch for me just to get to sofa time. Here's to pursing a great relationship in 2013 with as much if not more vigor than before!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


In general, I'm against unrequited love.  Out movie and pop culture tells us that it's romantic and dreamy.  That being in love with someone who is in love with someone else is apparently as common as, well the common cold.  Check out many of the popular movies: twilight (I think there's the werewolf kid who loves the creepy emo chick but she loves the vampire.  I'll confess, I didn't do my homework on this one as that would require watching those movies).  I did see Les Miserables last week and there was a similar love triangle with two girls falling for the same boy.
[As aside: I don't watch romantic comedies.  I don't think they give people a realistic hope for their own lives, or are particularly funny.  I realize that we should be able to set our expectations based on real life, but many people seem to have trouble making that distinction. Unrequited, undeclared, unfilled love often plays a big role in these movies.]

What's the point in pining after someone who is either oblivious of your feelings, or who is aware of them and simply doesn't feel the same way? It's not ideal by any stretch of the mind.

That said, there is something kind of fun about an old school junior high crush. I've got one. I've had it for a little while.  It's someone that I'm not pursuing. I don't think (I hope) that he doesn't know.  I doubt a relationship between us would work and I'm at a place in my life where I have a fair grasp of whether a relationship is possible within a couple meetings.

With a crush, that doesn't matter.  It's not about the relationship.  It's about getting jelly kneed in their presence. It's about the fact that's he's gorgeous. It's that he's totally unattainable, but I'm not really going to try. It's because I feel like I'm about 16 again when I'm near him.

I won't say too much for fear of exposing who it is.  I'll simply say he's a friend of a friend who I see every couple months.  Our lives hardly cross.  Yet every time I'm near him I get butterflies. I don't think of him if I haven't seen him. But when I do see him, it fuels my imagination for a couple days.

Sigh! Where's my notebook?  I could totally doodle some butterflies and hearts right now.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Baggage Theory

No one gets to thirty without some baggage.  Even those among us who have had less than a thousand first dates.

I've narrowed my philosophy on this one this:

I'm looking for someone who has carry on baggage, not checked.
I've traveled quite a bit so the analogy speaks to that experience.
Carry on baggage means:
you know how to travel light. Work with what you've got.  You're willing to do laundry instead of carry extra clothes. You prefer to fly through the airport, only arriving an hour before your flight, and know how to get through security without setting off a metal detector.

Checked baggage means:
You favor stuff over the mobility to do stuff.  You are potentially inexperienced, taking everything with you, instead of making do and letting go. You have to spend lots of time waiting both to check and retrieve your stuff.
I'm divorced.  That's a phrase I don't say often.  I'm not embarrassed by it.  I'm not proud of it.  But it honestly doesn't come up often in my life.  I usually make a point of mentioning it to people I'm dating/friends at some point.  It has to be a conscientious mention because it never comes up otherwise. He's not in my life, at all.  That's not hyperbole.  When I left, after the paperwork was done, the house was sold, the things divided, I left. I believe when you split from someone, there's usually a very good reason.  I had my reasons.  I still believe they were the right ones, that I was justified. Few people get to know the whole story.

I'm proud of the fact that my baggage is carry on. Maybe it's because I've evolved as I've traveled.  I take less stuff.  I won't break my back to have an extra change of clothes.  I know that if I forget my ________ (toothbrush, flip flops, etc) I can buy them there.  I know it's easier to buy liquids like shampoo wherever I'm going. I like not waiting in line to hand over my bag only to worry if it will show up at the same place and at the same time that I do. I like flinging my bag on my back and being boat/bus/hike ready.  All of that is true when I travel.  Most of it is also true for my emotional baggage.  I like that I'm not being crushed under the weight of past hurts. I feel that I've learned from past mistakes, I acknowledge their role in shaping who I am now, and importantly who I date now..

I usually say that I got out of a marriage about as well as anyone could. No kids, we sold or split the rest of the "things" we had together.  I went to see a psychiatrist even when he wouldn't.  I made peace with my decisions, let myself off the hook for some of the bad ones, resolved to make fewer bad ones in the future and enjoy my life.

Right now, most of my dates are from online sites.  For better or worse, that means I can filter who I date with a simple check box.  While there currently isn't a "beard" or "no beard" box to check, I do filter out men with kids.  Kids is a level of baggage that some with staff and ex's and and and  . . . .WHOA. I don't even know if I want my own yet but I'm sure that at this point, I don't want someone else's.  They may be great kids (because doesn't everyone think their own kids are great?) but they come with an ex-wife or ex-gf who is permanently attached to them.

I'll have you know I had some great visuals, but for the second post in a row, I can't upload pictures again!  ARGH, damn you Blogger!  --UPDATE: HAH! I found a work around!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Are We There Yet?

Or alternately titled "When is this flipping winter going to be over?"

It's my first full winter back in the Seattle area in five  years.  It's also the first winter back here since living in Indonesia, an EQUATORIAL country where average high and low temperatures don't vary much.  Take a look. low of 75 degrees Fahrenheit in December. Seattle on the other hand, looks a little different.

I grew up near Seattle.  I know that the fall and winter and spring are generally long gray dreary days/weeks/months. I've learned to combat the cold with long underwear that I wear all the time, everyday under my pants. What surprised me this year was what trouble I had with the dark and the gloom.

At the height (or low point?) or winter, the sun sets about four in the afternoon.  When I was working in West Seattle from 8am to 5pm for two weeks in December, I never saw the sun.I never saw what little bit of daylight we had because let's be honest, there wasn't any sun.  The same was true during my contract the first three weeks of October.  We actually had some lovely weather then and I didn't see any of it, minus ten minutes through a window. It's dark when I get up, it's dark when I drive to work, it's dark when I drive home, it's dark when I go to bed.

This is what people mean when they say Seattle takes some getting used to.  That it's a city with lots of people with Seasonal Affective Disorder*. I actually noted the Winter Solstice this year and there was much rejoicing amongst the clinic staff where I was as we all both celebrated the fact that the days would now officially be getting longer, and commiserated that they would get longer very, very slowly.

The first week of January there were a couple of days that were bitterly, painfully cold.  I know because I was out in them.  Why you might wonder? Because it was sunny.  There were three or four days that were about thirty degrees but the skies were a brilliant, shiny, sunny, wonderful . . . they were blue.  A captivating, hope-inspiring blue. I'll give up ten degrees to see the sun.

I went out for an hour walk. I went snow shoeing three times, I laid with my dog in the sunny spot on the carpet. Alright, bring on 2013.  I'm recharged and ready. Here you thought I was kidding when I said I was solar powered!

* Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a kind of depression that occurs at a certain time of the year, usually in the winter. SAD may begin during the teen years or in adulthood. Like other forms of depression, it occurs more often in women than in men. People who live in places with long winter nights are at greater risk for SAD. A less common form of the disorder involves depression during the summer months.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Snowshoeing Sales Pitch

"Cheaper than skiing and harder work too!"

"Gets you away from those pesky lodges" (with their hot toddys and roaring fireplaces)

 Insert commercial. Don't use the traditional an attractive blonde slaloming down the slopes, hair blowing out behind her, snug fitting ski suit. Instead, pan to a group of late forty to late fifty year olds in mismatched gear, trudging the the snow with their hair plastered down with sweat.

No wonder more people ski.

I haven't necessarily been one to follow the beaten path in life so maybe that's why snowshoeing is a good fit for me.

It's slower than skiing.  It's even slower than hiking, unless you can find a nice little hill to slide down on your tush in the midst of snowshoeing. I like that you can look around and enjoy the sun, trees, fresh air, without watching for things that you could run into thus ending your life.

It's calmer, for me almost meditative. Especially when breaking trail (walk on new snow and make a trail for your group).  It's such hard work that my mind doesn't wander, it's completely involved in the task at hand. 

It's group reliant, again, especially if your group is going to break trail.  Breaking trail is exhausting and one person can't do it for long by themselves. Snowshoeing also allows for conversation and quiet contemplation each in portion to the group.

I've read that snowshoeing is a growing winter sport here in the Pacific Northwest. I suppose ith the economic downturn, people are less able to afford or justify lift passes and the expenses that go along with skiing. While snowshoeing isn't completely free, I'm paying little to do it this year.  I bought a Sno-Park pass for the season $40.  My snowshoes are about five years old but in great shape.  I did buy a few clearance items (gloves, balaclava) to round out my gear.

My first trip out this season was to Gold Creek, near Snoqualmie ski area. Roughly six or six and a half miles with two good friends, E & Coors, that I know from hiking. On Thursday I joined a meetup group totally fourteen folks and we actually snowshoed Snoqualmie Summit.  We climbed up right under the ski lifts as they weren't open for the day yet.  The total distance was approximately four miles but lots of elevation.  The sky was bright blue, we had lots of sun and the views were unbeatable.  Sunday I've rallied three friends, Coors again, 25 and Tac, to join me for a trail that's a bit farther.  Bear Lake is a two hour drive so here's hoping it's worth it.  The trail is ten miles round trip if we chose to do the full route, but it's relatively flat.

 Trip two was a meetup adventure on Snoqualmie.

Yesterday's trip turned into more an adventure than planned.  We were a group of four (Coors, 25 & 1 other) and headed up to a trail in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest near Granite Falls. Our two plus hour drive didn't pay off as expected since we found very very little snow. A huddle and redirect sent us to Tonga Ridge, near Stevens Pass.  It was an hour reroute but still in the Mt. Baker-Snoq forest. The snow was a bit icy, and got icier as we trekked but it was virtually deserted.  Very beautiful.  The company was excellent as we blended quite trekking with good conversation. I'm still battling my boots as I ripped my blisters open again but I think I've got the rest of my gear and layering sorted out as I wasn't too hot or too cold.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Date Wait

This is, in most ways, coupled with the post called "Procrastin-hater".  If you haven't read it, click here

How long do you wait?

Classic example:
Farm Boy and I had a great first date.  Great enough that I could even overlook the beard enough for a second date.  We went out for dinner and drinks.  We laughed, we talked, there were no awkward silences, no red flags.Three days later we had a second date. It was the holidays, we were both free and seemingly enjoying each others company. We even saw each other the day after that.

And then . . .

Well, not nothing. He texts every day or two. He has to work and be up early for work.  Then he was sick.  He said he'd like to see me again, soon. That was in a text four days ago.  Since then there hasn't been a plan, a suggestion, an asking for a date.

I finally asked.  Not a "Friday at 7pm at The Restaurant" but more like "dinner and/or a movie soon?"

The reply?  Maybe I'm still tired.

How long is a girl to sit around and wait?  While I don't think that references to princesses, thinking the likes of rapunzel or sleeping beauty, are appropriate, I hate waiting around to be asked.

Now, before you women's lib folks get your panties all in a bunch, if you're wearing any, let me say I have asked in the past. And that folks, does not work.  At least not in the realm of online dating.  maybe 2% of the time that I message first or ask them out online, there's a reply.  Most of those replies are of the "thanks but no thanks" variety.  Men who say they love it when women ask them out might be truthful, but I'm skeptical. Or the women asking men out thing pans out much better in movies or reality than online.

A girl is then left to wait

and wait

and wait

to be contacted. And then you're left with the options of whoever emails you! I claim to be neither God's gift to men, nor a deformed troll from under a bridge, but at least half of the guys who message me are a no right off.  Some aren't physically attractive to me, some are obviously not going to be a match simply based on their interests or poor grasp of the English language. It's making me wonder why I continue with online dating. Then I realize it accounts for roughly 80% of my dates in the last year.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Holiday Recap

I've just realized that I didn't share any of my holiday goings-on.

I went down to California to visit my mom in November for Thanksgiving so my sister and her partner went south for Christmas.  That meant that I was without biological relatives nearby. Instead of  a family Christmas that looked neither exactly like an animated special or National Lampoon Chrismas:

I had two first dates. One was a nice guy but neither of us wants a relationship with the other.  Strangely enough I think he'll be a good friend.  The second I'm still sorting out.  I saw him twice more over Christmas break.  I'm not sure where it's going, or if it's going, but I'll be sure to keep you up to date.

I went to a friend's German Christmas Eve. There were about eight of us, three Germans, including the host.  The food was fantastic.  It was relaxed and I beat Santa home.

Christmas was brunch by E.  He's probably the best friend I've made this year. We met hiking.  We have a ton in common and we "get" each other. He hosted brunch on Christmas day. There was bacon, which in and of itself would make for a great Christmas.  He also made blueberry waffles and an oven omelet (I'd never had one but it was fantastic), there was coffee and egg nog martinis to boot.  Gal and I were the only timely ones but we made the most of it before a few other scragglers made their way over. 
I usually think of myself as good company for myself.  I forgot how the holidays can kind of screw with your head and was very happy that Germaness and E both provided friendly diversions.

Not a lot between Christmas and New Year's.  A snowshoe trip to be mentioned in a future blog.

I was invited to a Seahawks game on Sunday the 30th.  They are the local NFL (American Football) team and were in contention for the playoffs. They won the game and locked a playoff spot.  The games are fun but usually expensive.  We were about two dozen rows from the top of the stadium, or as 25 said, "three rows from God". I wore long underwear under my long underwear. We met another couple, friends of 25's. Pregame drinks were essential and my choice of A Frenchman in Dublin (like an Irish coffee with Irish cream plus courvoisier) was perfect. While the Hawks didn't play as well as they had been, it was really fun.  I suppose they could only keep averaging 50 points per game for so long.

New Year's Eve was a Monday so everyone had to work . . .except me because I'm still between contracts. 25 and I made plans.  We met and taxied to a restaurant in Fremont called 9 Million in Unmarked Bills.  The decor was fun and welcoming.  Our waiter was on top of things and we never waited long. We were surprised to be there in time for happy hour which didn't end until 7.  The food was stellar.  We shared a selection of crostinis, caprese salad, both veal chorizo and buffalo sliders, and diablo prawns with ricotta pancakes. He had a mint julep.  My winterized old-fashioned (with an apple cider reduction) was brilliant. I think we both agreed we would go back again in a heartbeat.

A two block walk down the street to Nectar where we had tickets to see Eldridge Gravy & the Court Supreme.  It was sold out and a small venue anyway.  The music was as good as expected and very upbeat,lively for the holiday.  There was an intermission with belly dancers that were somewhere between Arabic style and Vegas showgirls. The DJ played lots of old school stuff that got the crowd up and going.  I only had two drinks there an was sober the entire evening.  No, I'm not complaining.  I had a wonderful evening all around.

One sidenote - when we were in line to get in to Nectar, a homeless, Native American man was sitting on the sidewalk with a makeshift drum and cup.  He said hello, so I said hello.  He commented that he'd said hello to everyone in line and I was the only one who had taken a few minutes to talk to him.  Inside Nectar, we were bumped in to by a guy who looked like an old Hell's Angel's biker.  By the time he stumbled by we'd noticed him several times and he was fairly sloshed. That considered, he was very nice and seemed to be more lonely than anything.  25's protective shields went up as the Angel went in for a kiss to thank me for keeping an eye on his jacket (electricians union) later, but I think he was harmless.  Both cases made me think that apparently there is something about me that makes me approachable.  Also, why are so many people ignored and discarded by our society? It makes me double up my commitment to volunteer and help where I can, even if it's simply hello and eye contact.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Holiday Lonlies

The holidays are tough.  The shopping, parking, the chaos, cooking, family, the long cold dark days . . . .Do I need to continue? It almost makes even agnostic/semi-atheistic folks like myself glad that the Christian propaganda machine co-opted a mid-winter holiday that's taken over the globe.

The holidays are tough for the folks who have family.  Now, in some way, we all have family.  There are three basic family types when I think about it. 
* The first is your given family.  They are the people who raised you, potentially genetic relations, potentially adoptive relations. 
* The second is a family you choose.  I have a handful of close friends who are my family.  Especially when living overseas, this kind of family is common and necessary. When you live far away from your given family, you need other people to make your life abroad.  These are the people that you depend on, who bring you soup when you are sick, who celebrate your birthday with you, who cry along with you and then drink along with you.
* The third family is the one you make, i.e. marriage, relationships and procreation/adoption. Obvious! Also, one I don't have at the mo.

Holidays exacerbate a situation for people are lacking family.  I think of myself as a friendly, active person with people in her life.  That said, this holiday season, my given family (what little of it I have) were away.  My chosen family are, for the most part, in other countries and other parts of this country.  E was my rock as he hosted brunch on Christmas.  He is the Star of Bethlehem in my Christmas story this year.  Other than that, no one was around.  Not for fault of their own, I'm not blaming them.  It's impossible to pluck a friend from Madrid, a few from Jakarta, one from California, etc, etc, until we get the "beam me up" style technology I keep hoping for. All that considered, I had pangs of loneliness and twinges of depression.

Apparently, I am not the only one.  I had a few first dates in December.  I thought I was doing pretty well only to find out that a couple of my friends had even more dates.  One girlfriend had about seven dates in two weeks.  Another male friend had so many I couldn't keep them straight as he was telling me about them.  How did I not know that December was dating gold?

Granted, the results don't seem to be any better (or worse) than dating any other time of the year. Santa didn't bring me Mr. Fantastic this year.  I didn't stumble into him while Christmas shopping rom-com style. But, as I always advocate, meeting more people means that the laws of averages have to bend in your favor at some point!

I am interested to see what happens now, after the new year has sprung and we are in the marshlands between NYE and Valentine's Day. Will the dates continue? Will men lay low until after cupid has disappeared for another year?  In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed as the last of the holiday cheer runs its course. Another first day next week!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013


If you message me via a dating site, I expect that you are interested in meeting. Actually in person.   I am not the kind of woman who wants to message endlessly.  You have a window of opportunity to ask me out.  It doesn't have to be the first time you message, though that is acceptable.  If it's been two weeks and there has not been a set date, we're done and I'm moving on. The one exception is that one of the two of us is out of town. You still have to have asked within two weeks, but it could be a bit farther out that we meet.

I've met a few procrastinators lately.  One guy started messaging me and after a few messages we set a day, a Tuesday. I was working in West Seattle, he was working in Bellevue.  After work drinks then. I asked on Saturday when and where we wanted to meet. He said he wanted to leave it loose.  I said ok.  Monday evening I messaged again and got a message that said, we'll just leave it til tomorrow. . . oh and by the way, I have a networking thing until 8:30. My response: 1 - it's within 24 hours, no more leaving it loose.  And 2 - WTF? now you mention you have plans? I'm not sitting around after work for three hours for you to wrap up a networking event. Oh, all the sudden the networking event can be skipped.  Can we still me?


Some people might call me a bitch.  I call it demanding to be treated with respect.  You wouldn't expect your friends to wait around for you without a plan.  It's disrespectful of my time and plans to  "leave things loose".  You are assuming I have nothing else to do but wait around for you and fit my lief into your schedule.

Don't do that.

He was just the worst offender, but not the only procrastinator as of late.

The real kicker? He messaged Wednesday, after I didn't see him Tuesday.  He apologized and said he was sorry things didn't work out. Maybe coffee later in the week.  I left the possibility open.  We talked about Saturday.  Again, he didn't set any details.  I finally got a text a noon on Saturday asking to meet at 3pm.  Really?  Seriously? I haven't bothered to write anything since.