Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dating 7-24-11

Remember that land mine I was talking about? Well, I stepped on it, so it's back to famine again. L and I had a kind of mini-fight in her car after she picked me up for lunch at work Monday and I told her that I didn't really want to see her as often as she wanted to see me. I had been thinking we'd just spend part of every weekend together, and she was apparently thinking we'd be seeing each other many weeknights as well. She apologized for being mean later, and then the next email was the dreaded "Do you just want to be friends?" I thought she had given it some thought, and of course I knew I had, so I answered yes, and now I don't have a girl friend again. I'm not very upset about it, and I wasn't upset about the thing she apologized for either. One should be honest about feelings, right?

We're still exchanging emails and we met at Calypso's this weekend for dinner. We talked about our next dating opportunities and plans.... She's on Match and Cupid, and of course I'm only on Cupid. I have a Match profile, but it's hidden. I haven't bothered to hide my Cupid account because I get so few contacts. Of course, that was before L, so maybe I'll have to revise that opinion? I had always thought that the "serious" people were all on the pay sites like Match. Apparently not.

I wish her well in her search, and I plan to help her if she asks me for advice or whatever. Not that I expect her to ask me for anything, but who knows?

One thing I did notice was that she was less willing to compromise on her beliefs and plans at Calypso than she had been before the "let's be friends" email. No surprise, right? Another thing was that we had been talking about going to the Star Trek convention next weekend, but now that's not going to happen. She had apparently thought it was something I wanted and I had thought it was something SHE wanted... So, anyway, that was either a communications breakdown or some other problem right there.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dating 7-12-11

Well, this is neither feast nor famine. This is success.... I didn't expect it, and I wasn't ready for it. I've had 4 or 5 dates with L [or the one with the bug] and I expect our first two day date this weekend. So far, all the dates have been on either Friday or Saturday, and they're usually more than 4 hours. I think one of them was 10 hours, but I'm not sure.

We always have plenty of things to talk about, and we have a great many things in common. That kind of worries me in that I can't quite convince myself that she's not merely telling me what I want to hear. It's an easy thing to do, and I do it with some people [ex: bosses and supervisors]. As for what I'm telling her, I'm trying to be as open and honest as possible in the hopes that I'll cover everything and therefore avoid [or trigger] any landmines.

I figure if I'm going to trigger a landmine eventually anyway, I want to do it as soon as possible and get it out of the way before anyone gets their feelings hurt too much. That's something I learned from the previous relationship. I don't like to hurt people's feelings, but more honest seems to go hand in hand with more hurt feelings. It's a direct relationship.

One thing we don't seem to have in common is that I would rather take things slow in our relationship, and she seems to want to go faster. This reminds me of the way I thought when I was in my late teens and twenties, but now I'm much more interested in consequences, and therefore much more careful.

I wish I could just be honest about my concerns and somewhat uncertain feelings. Actually, I tried that with L last night on the phone, and I may have caused more trouble than I wanted. I admitted that traveling is not something I really like, and that I don't travel unless I'm with someone. I went to England with my ex and to Barcelona with N right before THAT breakup. I dated N before starting this blog, so I don't think I've mentioned her before.

I'm also still emailing D [golf ball], but less often lately. We only met the one time and I'm thinking we're running out of things to talk about.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dating 6-16-11

Now it's probably famine again. I have probably lost contact with Chattanooga because she hasn't responded to my phone message or email, M didn't want to talk to me outside of eHarmony, and S gave me the generic disappearing excuse #1: "I'll call you next week sometime." Take note. That seems to be the best way to end a relationship if you've only had the one date. I don't know why S ended things.... I kind of wish I did. Maybe she could give me some good advice like "next time, don't talk about how fine the waitress' butt is during the date" or similar. Not that I did THAT, but maybe I am making one of what I think of as the "easy to avoid" mistakes like that.

Now that I've mentioned easy to avoid, I'd like to go into some harder ones. I think a few second dates have been missed because I didn't hold hands. I think of that sort of thing as intimate, so I usually wouldn't try on the first date, but it appears that I should try harder in that area. Golf asked me about that one, and of course many of the eHarm questions I received focused on things like holding hands as a public display of affection. Women wouldn't be asking about it if it's not important.

I had a date with L last Saturday, and then she let me know that she's going out of town. I wasn't sure if it was disappearing excuse #2: "I'll call you next week because..." in this case, because she's going out of town. I don't think it was an excuse because we talked on the phone a couple of times while she was out of town and we're still emailing nearly every day. Or anyway, I THINK we're emailing every day. I don't have one from today as yet, but of course we talked about how she got in late last night [or this morning] and so she's probably not feeling very social right now.

Some details about the date with L. I gave her a plastic bug because she had a summer internship collecting bugs. It turns out that I probably got the wrong KIND of bug [she said "cockroach?" and I meant "aphid"], but she put it in her purse rather than forgetting it on the table or in her seat, for example. She paid for half the meal and got a to-go box. I never do the to-go box on a date unless my date specifically mentions it in an approving way because I don't want to look cheap. Same goes for coupons, but I've never used on of those on a first date. The problem with the box became apparent after I walked her to her car. It's in the way of either hugging or kissing [unless you want to put in on the car], but I thought I was getting the right other signals and didn't let the box stop me.

I hope for a second date with L. We'll see. I mentioned it in an email a few days ago, but she delayed making a decision because she was out of town. I have not, of course, brought it up again because I don't want to look like I'm pressuring her. She has told me that she's busy on Sunday, but apparently not Saturday, and I'm not sure if that was some sort of signal, so I was careful to let her know I was also not busy on Saturday. I think I should mention getting together again in the next email even if she doesn't. Women like to be pursued, right?

Yeah, I know, it depends on the woman. Everything is like that. There are so many different signals, and maybe she doesn't think they mean the same things I think they do, or maybe she just has no clue about the signals thing....

Well, that's probably enough for now... I do hate to go on and on.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dating 6-5-11

I think I'm back in famine again, or anyway, I seem to be only exchanging emails with one woman ["L"] that may want to go on a date. I actually emailing several regularly, but all but one have made their non-dating interests clear. I'm still trading emails with Golf and she told me the name of her boyfriend in a recent email so I'm sure now that her "I'm dating someone closer to where I live" email was not merely an excuse.

I let my subscription to eHarmony lapse. I was going to renew it when I found out that I would get a better rate [about $15 per month instead of $30], but then I found out that there were several hidden conditions. I contacted the eHarmony help desk and they were.... less than helpful.

L contacted me from OK Cupid. I would normally not recommend this site because it's free and I tend to think serious people would logically prefer the pays and non-serious people [for example, married people] would naturally gravitate to the free sites, but I've had a few prospects from Cupid. I normally don't like it when women contact me. They are often not very good matches. Some are obviously looking for some sort of sugar daddy. That's not what I want.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dating 5-27-11

Let me see.... I was going to remember to not use real names and try to give more details. Right...

Well, it's feast again. That means I have 3 or 4 emailing me now, and I might be meeting one of them for a second date on Sunday. I'll call this one "S" and note that we spoke on the phone yesterday or the day before. She's a scientist and I respect that. In fact, I'm not one of those guys that like them ditzy. I'd feel silly dating a woman with a low IQ. What would we talk about? I mean, seriously, my friends would HAVE to meet her and what do you suppose they would say? Sorry if that sounds shallow, but shouldn't a ditzy woman look for either a rich man that wants arm candy or a fellow ditz?

Relocating is always an issue, and I have experience with this from my last serious relationship. Neither of us wanted to move, so we broke up after about six months. The distance wasn't a big deal at first, but one or the other of us had to drive 8 hours or we both had to drive 4 hours and meet in the middle. I got tired of doing that, and I think she did also. She actually tried to break up with me after two months, but I thought things were going OK and talked her out of it.

I'm still in contact with Chattanooga. We haven't met again, and our phone conversations are usually short, but I think I could talk her into seeing me again. The problem I have is that I can't always understand what she's saying. She did warn me that this might happen, and of course I didn't believe her because I've lived overseas and thought I was ready for English other than American. She speaks British English, not American [or even southern] English, and I have to pay careful attention to know what we're talking about. Hmmm. I think I should update my Rules blog.... If something is a problem early in the relationship, it won't go away. Be aware that it could get worse as the newness wears off. Is that already on there?

There's another one that is also of some scientific background ["M"], but we've only exchanged a few emails and nothing yet outside of Harmony. She said her favorite book was about primates and I thought "she must be a thinker like me." Also, she lives closer than Chattanooga.

I'm still emailing golf balls. That doesn't sound right, so I'll just say "golf." She's dating someone else and apparently preparing to sell her house. We talk about dating, home repair, medical technology, and that sort of thing. I know some other people in the medical profession as well so I have no trouble with that. I'm kind of hoping she'll introduce me to one of her eligible friends if M, S, or Chattanooga don't work out. I've had 26 first dates after my divorce and only one led to a relationship lasting more than a month, so the odds are not great. That being said, I think I'm learing [slowly] what I'm doing [and have done] wrong. That's most of what causes the list of rules. I break one of them and then realize: "Oh yeah, that was dumb," and then go write it down.

That reminds me. I have to go back and edit the rules blog again....   

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dating 5-9-11

And I'm back to feast. Well, kind of a feast. I'm emailing 4 or 5 women from the internet and the one from Chattanooga calls me occasionally. Unfortuately, there are problems with each of them. Why can't one be perfect?  Also, I say 4 or 5 because I really only hear from three of them regularly and two of them are uncertain. I'm thinking two maybes might be one yes?

Anyway, the three regulars are from Kentucky, Atlanta, and Nashville. The one from Nashville has kids younger than I'd like, the one from Atlanta is nice, but we have NOTHING in common as far as I can tell, and the one from Kentucky... well, to be blunt, she reminds me too much of my mom. The other two... One is from Alabama and I met her once. In fact, she's the golf ball girl if you've been reading my previous posts. She's dating someone closer to home, but has agreed to keep corresponding with me, and I find that I like this arrangement. I don't hope for more, but I wouldn't say no either, if you know what I mean.

Oh, yeah, there's another one from Murfreesboro that kind of off again on again emails me. She might have called me today on my cell, but if that was her, she didn't leave a message. I'm always getting calls and texts for the previous owner of that number, so I don't automatically answer when I get a call. Also, I leave the phone on vibrate when I'm at work [that's the rule, after all], and then often forget to put it back on ring later. Now that I think about it, I'm on vibrate now and the phone is in the other room. I gave her my number, but asked her to leave a message if I didn't pick up.

I want perfect. Or anway, perfect for me. I don't want to settle for Ms. Right Now. I want someone with a similar background to me so we can communicate. Someone that I can respect, but not someone that does not respect me. THAT can be tricky... I dated a PhD last year, and we had issues, so I'm thinking I'd rather date someone that has, at most, a graduate degree maybe?

Also, I don't want someone that is more social than I am. She'd be dragging me to parties and I'd just want to shoot myself. THAT can't be good for a relationship. I've seen that sort of thing in others.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dating Rules 4-25-11

Yes, I'm still talking about dating. It's what I spend an hour or two working on every day. I've had 25 first dates, somewhat less second dates [probably half a dozen], and one relationship lasting more than a month since my divorce in mid-2009. My ex and I were separated a little more than a year before that, so sometimes the exact date of signing papers is uncertain.

Some rules and guidelines for on-line dating:
1) It's OK not to know what you want, but better if you do know. I didn't know, and am only now realizing what I want based on repeatedly running into the things I don't want.
2) Do not argue with them. There's no point, and I've found that any early disagreement poisons the well and so you should seriously consider terminating the connection and moving on to the next profile.
3) Don't take it personnally if you don't get replies on holidays. Remember that the person you're looking for has a life that does not involve you and they're currently busy living it. Also, some people may like their routine and may not want to deviate from it too much.
4) Don't smother, stalk, or ignore the person you're trying to date. My preference for emails is respond, receive reply, respond, receive reply, repeat. Don't respond, respond, respond, and try to avoid people that make you receive receive receive. Getting two messages in a row is OK once or twice, especially if they're short [30 words or so]. Be aware that if you're doing 90% of the emailng, this person is probably NOT interested in you. Don't send long emails [more than 4 paragraphs] without a reply between.
5) Don't take it personnally if the first meeting doesn't work out for some reason, especially if it's a long distance thing. I had a long distance relationship for half a year, but we were unable to meet the first time due to weather issues. I always contact her after the first date and I usually say I'd like to see her again even if the first date didn't go well. In that case, I just don't try very hard to have a second date.
6) Don't talk only about yourself. Show genuine interest in the person you're talking to. Ask questions. Remember important dates. Look for ways to impress her with your attentiveness. I've met several biologists and I've been learing about biology. It's actually fairly interesting....
7) Bring her a gift on the first date. Nothing too large that she won't be able to carry, and nothing too expensive. Treat it like a gift and remove the price tag. Ideally, it's something small that can be fit in a purse. It must be of something that doesn't require too much explanation and must be something she'll remember talking about. One time I used gold fish animal crackers, another time I used golf balls, and another time it was a plastic bug.
8) Be complimentary when you first see her, but don't sound insincere. I have some trouble with this because I often forget that a pretty woman needs to know if you think that.
9) Vague on-line profiles generate more replies than providing specific details about likes and dislikes. I see the women with motorcycles and just pass them by. I don't have a motorcycle, so how could I relate? Also, remember that anything specific can be misunderstood. With that in mind, don't include that picture of you in a Stat Trek uniform from that one visit to a convention. Readers will assume that you're learning Klingon and non-Trekkies may feel they don't have enough in common with you.
10) Use correct grammar and spelling. Double check this and have a friend look it over before posting. I know better, but I do still tend to lower my expectations or just move on when I'm reading a profile with obvious spelling and grammar mistakes. If you don't know the difference between "your" and "you're," please go ahead and ask someone. :-)
11) Some notes on safety. Be prepared to share personal data a little at a time, but remember that you will be expected to share the same kind of information he or she shares. I keep a tracfone for the first phone call so she never has to know what my home number [or address] is if things go badly. Tracfones are $25 with 60 minutes of use built in. Obviously, first meetings should always be in public places and well lit. I like coffee shops or restaurants for that first date, but I've done the park thing as well and I met at least one at a museum.
12) Birds of a feather flock together. This kind of goes along with #9. My "feather" thing is actually learning, and I look for women that are college professors or researchers. Also, I'm not a very paternal person and I've found that science oriented women tend to share my views on children. Whatever your feather thing is, put it on your profile and see how prospective matches approach it. Ideally, you'll get at least a few that say things like "I'm the same way!"  
13) Do your home work on your date after you get his or her last name. Ideally, their last name will be something unique and therefore you will find it easy to track down relevant information. You may even get some blog posts! Be careful how [or how much] you let your date know that you know. They may be impressed by your interest, or they may decide that you must be a stalker.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dating 4-16-11

I saw a woman I liked today in an elevator at the West End Borders. It's going out of business, and so everything is 40% off. I went down there to see what might be left, and pick up a book by one of the authors I'm not very familiar with... Anyway, so I have a book and walk down the hallway before I get in the elevator to go to my car in the garage. As I'm walking, there is a woman about my age in front of me with a bag. She opens the door for me, just being polite, and I'm wondering if she's getting on the elevator as well. She does, but I'm getting off on 2 and her car's on 1. I make an offhand comment about her bag, and she says she tries not to visit bookstores because she tendst to buy too much. I hoped I could continue the conversation, but I had already hit 2 and so I got off. She started to get off with me, but I looked at her and she realized it wasn't her floor and got back on.

In the movies, we would run into each other again later, and we would eventually [after some misunderstandings] find out that we were perfect for each other. I wish it was that easy....

This kind of random encounter seems to be the only alternative to things like on-line dating sites. I didn't really expect to continue the encounter, and was only interested enough to continue the conversation after she made that comment about books. At that point, it was too late for me to do anything. I never know when that sort of thing will happen and I'm never ready when it does. That's another advantage of the on-line thing. I'm always ready when I log in. I have no idea if the elevator woman is/was married, but I do know the ones on the computer aren't supposed to be married at least. Was she looking for a man? Again, no clue.

Dating April 15

Well, it's famine again. I'm hoping that Chattanooga will get back in touch after our date last weekend, but I'm beginning to doubt it. I'm exchanging emails with a few women on eHarmony, but I'm not very eager about either one. There are some fundamental concerns with each one. One wants someone exciting and committed to marriage and family life. I'm not much of a thrill seeker and not sure if marriage is what I want out of dating right now. Another one is too eager to meet after only exchanging one or two emails and not having much in common. The other one... I forget what the thing is with that one.

On the plus side, I've been reading some informative news stories about on-line dating on CNN. That was something of a surprise. I think the current story is about long distance love and they don't just mean living in different cities in the same state. One couple lives across the country and another couple lives in different hemispheres. I've done the long distance thing in the past, and it's great for awhile. There is a kind of excitement to dates knowing that you can't be together very long and won't be seeing each other again for a week or more. I thought that would be enough, but I found myself annoyed that she wouldn't talk to me about long term issues. Now I wonder what I was thinking? I guess I thought she would move here? She probably didn't want a committment and may have thought I felt the same way.

Another news story discussed some of the etiquette [did I spell that right?] and got into things like why people will email for awhile and then disappear and the reasons for disappearing. Nobody wants conflict, so there is no point in telling someone what's wrong, especially if you're just as likely to find someone else online that is just as [or more] interesting. Some things to avoid: too clingy, too much detail too soon, or requests for financial information. I've never seen the financial thing.... I thought I would by now, but I haven't.

I told one of my dates that I hated the disappearing thing, and wished that the women I was emailing would tell me when the relationship [or whatever it's called at the "we've exchanged some emails" stage] is over. She said something like "you men and your need to always have a resolution!" Well, yes, I would like resolution. Sort of like I would have preferred that Chattanooga not say she might call me later in the week or this weekend and just tell me if she was no longer interested. Maybe we could just be friends... That's how I met my ex, after all. Friend of a friend.

I'm thinking about expanding my distance parameters on the website. I haven't done that in the past because I don't really want to get too interested in someone 600 miles away again. Even meeting halfway was a serious pain! On the other hand, I'll know going in what I'm doing and maybe I won't get too involved. The problem with that is that if I'm honest with myself, I am looking for "the one." Not for marriage, but for the next best thing, which to me is a kind of life where we can get married or not. My marriage was like that, and we got married eventually because she wanted to.

I suppose marriage is not very important to me. I mean, you're committed to that person, or you're not, and a piece of paper and an agreement in front of the shaman or magistrate doesn't change that. My parents were divorced and remarried when I was 14 and 24 [?]. They got married again to other people when I was 18 or so and then divorced again before I was 24. My ex's parents were divorced when she was 6 and didn't get remarried.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dating 4-2-11

And now there's one less. I hadn't heard from her in a few days so expected her to do the disappearing act thing they do when they've found someone else, but this one actually let me know what happened. That's courtesy, that is, and I do appreciate it. I do this sort of thing too, but it's usually not me that does the breaking up, so I don't get a chance to do it much! :-)

Her email didn't just say "I found someone else." She also continued a conversation we'd been having about daily stuff, so I did the same in my reply. Maybe we'll keep emailing as friends? Some do. We had had only one date, and exchanged 20-30 emails. She was my... 24th first date since my divorce. I think 24... Anyway, #22 told me that I was her #30, so I counted back at that point and then started counting after as well. Yes, this is the same one I gave golf balls to. Romance is not, obviously, a sure fire way to win her over.

I kind of have the impression that she was looking for someone richer [or anyway, deeper in credit card debt], but that's just a guess and not based on  her saying something like "your car is older than I expected" or similar. :-) I kind of wish they would say things like that. It would make end game negotiations easier.

Well, it's back to eHarmony and I've still got one from the last "batch" that is in occasional contact. I'm supposed to meet her next Sunday and I really prefer her to golf ball anyway. Not sure why... Maybe I saw signs of golf pulling back [emotionally] and I've been waiting for the hammer to fall? About the batches: I tend to contact five at a time. I never know how many will respond and then I don't know how many will get to the first date level. For obvious reasons, I don't sent out the "we're not dating" email to any other women I'm talking to just because I had a first date with someone else. That's more of a second or third date thing.

In other news, I'm also having lawnmower problems. It was running rough, and now it's not running at all. Looking back, I think the first problem was a bad spark plug, but the engine died in the process of me trying to let the engine burn out the bad gas [that's what I THOUGHT the first problem was] and then me cleaning out the air filter [second proposed solution] and restarting. So, then I broke the cord trying to restart it again. Yeah, I know, that seems very difficult, but that's what I thought. It got caught in something. I was in a hurry and so I yanked it anyway.... so now I replaced the cord, spark plug, and air filter; and re-attached that stupid rewinder spring.  The spring is the current holdup... maybe I can just buy a spring housing that's already put together? If I can't do that or fix it myself, there are several small engine repair places around that might not charge me TOO much. We'll see...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dating 3-26-11

I had date number... 24, I think, since the divorce. It went well, and I hope for another at some point. Met her through eHarmony. Outback and "Limitless." Main problem is that she lives out of state. I did the sport jacket thing and bought her some golf balls at the local sporting goods store. I think that sort of thing works much better than roses. I mean, anyone can buy a flower [and yellow is probably better on the first date], but the golf balls were part of a conversation she and I had a week or two ago. I was complaining about not being able to hit the things and she had said the dimples were cute. So, golf balls on the first date and DON'T go into the aerodynamic reasons for those same dimples! She doesn't want to know about hard and soft air pockets and  how projectiles should spin if they're going to be stable in flight for any distance longer than a few yards! I wanted to talk about spin, but I refrained. I was careful to tip well and, since there is no way I know to be sneaky about paying the bill with cash, I just counted out the change and acted like it was normal [which, of course, it was].

A note about "Limitless." It's a feel good movie. I'm not saying the human interaction portions were entirely unrealistic, but I am saying the producers probably test marketed this thing to get that ending. If you've seen the previews, then you know he's a junkie, and that point is driven home repeatedly, until they have the ending. It reminded me somewhat of pretty woman with that change of ending. You know they were supposed to fight at the end over her drug habit until the producers realized they wouldn't make much money that way.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dating 3-5-11 and class work

I'm still doing the online dating thing and it's still going well. I think I'm down to only two women I'm emailing now rather than the five I had. I'm debating getting some more so I'll have more "depth" in my selections when they start disappearing, but I like being able to concentrate on one or two. I spend about an hour a night on this as it is, what with researching, writing the email [or emails], and then revising to make it sound better or at least more like a kind of idealized "me." 

I think I know how to describe myself on those dating websites. I learned through trial and error, and I took lack of responses as negative feedback because I certainly never got any kind of logical critique. I think I would have liked to have had the women reply with comments like "I was not impressed enough by your self description. Good luck in your search." If anything, I usually got "Good luck in your search." Not helpful. So anyway, some general rules about writing the profile: 1) never admit anything bad. I think the idea here is that everything you write will be exaggerate one way or the other, so anything bad must, logically, be REALLY bad or it wouldn't even be on the profile. 2) always think of every possible way something can be misinterpreted. I think I mentioned the aspergers thing in another post? I least I got some feedback with that one 3) try to take a picture of yourself with your car [unless it's like mine and just a Corrolla]. Is this some sort of hint that I'm a good provider? I could just rent a sportscar for the day and get my picture taken next to it. I don't use thing one. 4) Birds of a feather flock together. That usually means people that like motorcycles and/or tattoos, religion, their children's sports, or something similar. I don't belong to one of those, so I break that rule as well.

Hmmm. The rules could use some work and further refining..... Most times I know what the rule is, but I don't know how to explain it unless it's in context. It's sort of like she said she likes blue, so I know that means something like she wants to take a trip to Spain based on this and some other clues I saw. That's what I mean by context. She won't say Spain, of course, and that's what makes this so difficult.  

I thought about trying to get a date with a woman from class last week. We had spoken previously on the way to the cars after the previous class. Well, she spoke and I listened. That's what I'm supposed to do, right? Anyway, that day I just didn't care as much about long term dating strategy and so I didn't try very hard to get her attention after class and she wasn't trying very hard either. I'd like them to pursue me, and I suppose that could be what she was thinking. Or maybe she was just thinking about what she had said during the class: "This course is killing my GPA." I was surprised by that. I don't worry about my GPA because I'm not trying for a degree [I have one already], but many of the other students complain about how hard it is to learn a new language. To be honest, I was concentrating more on learning that day rather than dating, so maybe I should have joined in the gripe session instead of feeling like they were just being whiney the way I am now. No class next week becuase of the Spring Break thing, there's a test the next week, and the last day to drop is about then, so the class may get smaller....

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dating 2-26-11

And now it's going better. I'm trading emails with 4 or 5 women, and a couple of them are people I'd actually like to meet. I really never know what to expect with these things.... I was prepared to dig in and do the long term thing by only emailing one woman at a time and only the one that I was really interested in instead of my previous method of emailing several that I wasn't as interested in. By "interested in" I mean, interested in her profile, not necessarily the actual person. You can't really see the real person intially, so even the ones I'm not interested in can become interesting as I learn more about them. Some don't, of course, but I never like to sever a potential connection. Who knows? Maybe she has a hidden interest just like one of mine and never mentioned it because it didn't seem very important? Sometimes I have day dreams about that kind of thing happening. This can be somewhat relaxing.

I'm still working on my alternate dating route by going to class. I'm not sure if this is going to work, but I think I'm making progress. The girl I'm interested in [and sits close enough to talk to more than merely during break] seems to be interested in me now and we actually had our first conversation after class last Tuesday. I think I've had half a dozen or so classes, and one test so far. She's a nursing student, but does not feel like she's doing well enough in class compared to her other classes. I hadn't really thought about what her major  [or the major of any other woman in the class] might be. I had thought the class I'm taking was a mistake in the sense that it's officially not acceptable as a Humanities credit [according to the syllibus]. Unofficially, it's apparently just fine as an elective according to some of the students that are apparently using it as just that [with the apparent approval of whatever advisors they may have]. Based on the syllibus thing, I had expected to need to take a more advanced version of this class to meet the sort of ambitious [that is, degree seeking] women that I thought I was looking for here.

At this point, I realize that I'm not really looking for ambitious. I'm just looking for a single woman at my aproximate level [maybe 7 out of 10?] for dating. Well, it's not that simple because there are some deal breakers that I won't be able to find out until later, but it's close.

Still no luck in the gardening thing. There's only one woman there that I'm interested in, but she made it clear in the past that she has zero interest in me. We're talking more now that we did before, but that's about all. I think this is my third year volunteering so far. Maybe she just thought I was some sort of "newbee" before and that I would not be around long enough to take seriously? Who knows....

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dating 2-19-11

I'm thinking I should just enter new posts on this subject rather than my original plan of going back to the original and editing it over and over as needed. I know I'd need to edit several times.

This was so clear earlier today when I thought about doing it.... Anyway, I have more or less given up on the "direct" approach of actually proposing a date face to face. It's too risky to approach a stranger [based on appearance alone] or an associate [that is, that stage between stranger and friend], and I don't have any female friends that aren't either married or not interested in me for some other reason. I'd FAR rather date a friend. That could actually be fun rather than the normal blank look and then the sort of "how do I get out of this?" look I've gotten every time I've ever tried the direct approach before. Where would I approach a stranger? If it's some place I'm more comfortable, I risk them complaining to the management and me losing a place I actually like for NO gain. If it's a new place, I'm less comfortable, and even less likely to sound properly confident and not arrogant. Anyway, previous attempts have been failures, research indicates that this is a likely outcome in any case, and a viable alternative does exist.

One of those "previous attempts" is a woman in my gardening volunteer group. See? I'm taking all the steps for being more social: volunteering, asking for advice from friends at work, and even going back to school. Anyway, I asked that woman at the group. She said she'd get back to me....and then didn't get back to me. I should have realized what that meant, but I really was interested in her, so I asked her. She got that look and then I knew, but it was too late to pretend I wasn't interested. You can't bail out. You have to ride it down in flames because any attempt to bail looks even worse. Or anyway, I think it does.

So, I do the computer dating thing. I know more about the prospect going in, and not just what she looks like. She's obviously willing to date, opposed to the total unknown with approaching strangers or the near unknown with associates. She's probably looking for someone slightly "higher" up the traditional 1-10 number scale than she is [aren't we all looking for someone better?], and so I should confine my search to women slightly with a slightly lower number than I have.

I know what sort of "look" I want. I'd rather see a woman in her work clothes, or whatever she would be wearing if the encounter wasn't a date. It's more intimate. I feel like being dressed up is a mask, and I'm honored when I don't have to try and look past it. Not wearing the mask is a clear sign of trust, and I truly value that. It's one of the things that impressed me about my [now ex] wife. She wore "normal" clothes on the second date. I was flattered.

Current progress: 22 or 23 dates. 1 six month relationship. Hundreds of profiles read. Most of those 23 are after that six month thing, and most were from I'm on eHarmony instead now, and I have resolved to only be on one paid site at a time and to only accept a few "matches" [or whatever Harm calls them] at a time to avoid super saturation. I find that I really have no way other way to limit the contacts to a level where I can easily keep track. I would prefer to just accept 3 or 4 at a time, and weed them out [or they weed me out] and I would replace them from the pool of candidates, but it doesn't work that way. For one thing, some don't bother to reply one way or the other. For another, they all reply at different rates, so some of the ones that I think aren't going to reply are merely going to reply when I'm already communicating with 3-4 other prospects. It's no where near as efficient as I'd like.

I have finally more or less settled on my own profile wording after making it more specific as I got more replies and then less as I got less replies. Odd that it happens that way. The more I say what I'm actually like and what I actually want, the less replies I get. One less from that experiment: never admit to any faults. I'm not sure why that is... maybe because all the women just assume part of the profile will be lies and if I'm talking about faults then I must be REALLY screwed up? I don't know. I've heard that soldiers have to look like young Napolean's on their efficiency reports just to have any chance of promotion. Is that for the same reason? There are many parallels between getting promoted and getting a date.

However, I wish it wasn't like that. I wish it was like the movies or TV.... Every homely woman is actually a swan in disguise, and only the jerk males are going to be dateless by the end of the story. You can be yourself without fear of being ostracised. You've seen those things.

Hmm. THis is too long... I should probably try and pare it down....   

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


What can I say about this? It's not the dream job, but it pays the bills and it's not TOO taxing. This was the kind of life I wanted after I realized my previous dream [to be a soldier] was not what I thought it was. I mean, what could be better than having my own cubicle with my own name on it? Really, that's why I went to college. To get something like this.

Today was pretty good work wise because I made some progress on a couple of my sites, but not coworker wise. I guess that's a normal state of affairs... I always wish my coworkers would behave the way I want and I'm sure they wish the same about me. Some of them probably have no idea why I don't do what they expect, but then, I don't see expectations the same way as some do. Today I was expected to attend a bridal "shower" [why is it called a shower when there is no water? Is it because we shower the guest of honor with gifts?], but I didn't go becuase I was told I had to give more money than I wanted to give. The amount of money would not have been any kind of hardship. It was just that I wanted to exercise my choice to either pay or not, and, because I did not pay, I did not go. Most of my coworkers paid the fee in the amount required by the collections person. I didn't want to, so I didn't.

I've gone to these things in the past. I paid a couple of dollars for my share of the food [usually some chips, dips, a few liters of cola, and whatever hot plates people want to bring], and that was it. The collection person always asks for more money to buy the guest of honor some gift or other, but I'd rather not contribute to that. It's silly, but I don't like to give more money for the gift is becuase I was tricked the first time I gave. That was when the money person [who is still one of the same people that collect] told me that I hadn't given any money for food. I had given, but she said it was for the gift instead. I sort of felt like I was talking to some sort of collection agent and being told that I had only paid the interest on my loan instead of the principle. How could I avoid that? Don't take out another loan....

I went to work today expecting a fight with the money person about it and determined to avoid it. She didn't even look at me. I wonder why? Maybe she waited to see if I tried to attend the party without paying? That wouldn't have been right, and so I would not have been able to defend my position. Can't win? Don't fight.

Giving up easily is a strategy that I often use when I notice that an opposition coworker is a little too fixated on something they want or something they want me to do [usually, so they don't have to do it]. I just pretend to surrender whatever it is they want, but of course, I have no intention of actually giving them anything. Maybe I should just say "jerk" instead of "opposition coworker" or possibly "lazy bastard" or similar? I'm not talking about supervisors here... I'm talking about a coworker that has discovered the ability to shift his or her work off on anyone else so they don't have to do it. People will often give in to that because it's easier to go along rather than confront that person.  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dating again

And now 2-15-11 it's feast again. Strange that it works that way. I was so depressed last Saturday because I wasn't getting any responses, but now I have three on eHarmony and a couple on Cupid as well. I did change my profile a little to emphasize slightly differently and, possibly, under emphasize something that might be a character defect. I had previously said I don't get to know people very fast, and would like to just meet as friends initially. I took that [and one of my less flatterring pictures] out and then I started getting responses. Hmm. Might be a connection...

I wish I could exchange emails with just one at a time! I end up spending more time on emails and research than I like if there are too many. Research, of course, must be done to keep the conversation interesting and demonstrate that I'm interested enough to DO research. I've been keeping notes on the women I meet online. Nothing stalkery, just things like if they told me their favorite color or how I felt about the date and what their phone number is. That sort of thing. While I'm on the subject, I think stalking is a silly idea. I mean, seriously, she doesn't like you? There are plenty more! Go find another....

I wonder if I should group these posts by subject? Maybe I should just have one "dating" post and another for "school" and maybe one for "work"? I haven't done that yet becuase that doesn't seem to be the way these things work....

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Asberg, homework, scheduling, and dating

And here we are again... One of today's big deals is that I caught myself not wanting to leave the house this evening. I was going to visit Sonic and get a coney because I had one of those buy one, get one free deals, and I was standing by my door not wanting to leave. This is important because it's one of the asberger [asperger?] syndrome symptoms that my brother thinks we have. Or rather, he thinks he has it, and if I have also, that proves his point because maybe it's genetic or something. Anyway, it's him trying to justify something he's doing by sharing with me. Sharing is so typical of siblings. Hmmmm... do you have a sibling and could you picture him or her doing that?

In other news, the door guy said he tried to call me last night to say he couldn't come by today and replace my two broken [kicked in] doors because he got behind after the ice storm earlier this week. Apparently he's also a plumber, and today is Saturday, so there's a bunch of other things he needs [wants?] to do before fixing my door. I don't really mind rescheduling, and I didn't have anything planned for next Saturday yet in any case. I just wish he had contacted me to do it yesterday. I hate it when other people screw up my careful schedules. Well, I guess I should just say "schedules" because this wasn't very careful. I just wanted to get it over with so I could get the bill, scan it, and and send it to the insurance people so I can get reimbursed [or not].  I also have to get a replacement X-box and make a copy of THAT receipt. I already have a copy of the receipt for the replacement shotgun.

I got some of my Spanish homework done today, so at least I used the day productively. I hate to waste time... it's some sort of guilt thing with me for whatever reason. I nag myself into doing things and then I get a sense of relief after I check something off my to-do list. I wanted to check the doors off my list, but I have to wait at least until next Saturday for that. The homework was two pages [in Aerial 12 point] dealing with the history and culture of Spain. I got two pages. I just hope he didn't think I was going to do it in Spanish... It's Spanish I, after all, and he may have wanted to see the 12 of us students writing like non too bright 1st grades at school in Barcelona or something. That's another thing I hate. Looking like a non too bright 1st grader.

Dating is going badly at the moment. It's feast or famine, and this is famine right now. I signed up for a month of eHarmony and now I'm thinking I'll need at least 6 months to find the woman I want. That's what I'm doing, after all. I usually just say "I'm trying to meet people" but really I mean "I want to meet a special woman." I've been doing the online dating thing for awhile, so I know what to write to get dates. I just don't know what to do during the date to get ANOTHER date because I usually don't [get a second date]. They never tell me why they stop talking to me. It's like I said something stupid or showed up drunk or something, only, I don't do that. I'm thinking I'm just not complimentary enough.

I can't imagine not meeting a woman on-line. How else is it done? Friend of a friend worked for me and my [now] ex-wife, but that friend doesn't seem to know anyone else and the only other friend who introduced me to someone won't do it again [probably because his wife only knew one woman or possibly his wife is annoyed with me]. Should I start introducing myself to strangers? I'd hate it if a woman did that with me. Well, I'd hate it initially, and then I'd be OK about it only if she was a 10. Well, my first thought would be that she's trying to sell me something, but then I'd really like if she wasn't. You know about the number scale, right? I think of myself as a 7 or an 8, and so I'd like a woman that's an 8 or a 9, but would settle for a 6 or a 7. I'd hate being asked in public if the asker was a 5 or below.

 OK. 5 paragraphs is enough. I think I could "talk" forever, but I have to draw the line somewhere.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

February 9th

Again, I have no real clue what all I want to write about. Chuck is leaving at the end of this month... I thought he never would. He always talked about it, and then didn't do it, much like several other people I know. I'm not referring to anyone currently reading this blog, of course!  :-)

It's not that I'm glad to see him go. I'll certainly miss our Halo games, and I've known Chuck for.... what? 10 years? I've been with the state about that long and I met him while I was still in Jackson.

Still working on various issues related to my unwelcome,door kicking guest[s] last month. I doubt I'll ever be really "done" with it, but it's amazing how much time it takes just to get a couple of doors fixed and figure out the value of the items that were stolen. Maybe I should just have told the insurance people what was taken and let them guess how much those thing were worth? At least I'd be done with that part of this process. The last time I dealt with an insurance company paying me was the time I got rear-ended in Colorado. I stopped at the bottom of the hill before merging with oncoming traffic and the SUV behind me didn't. I was driving a clunker at the time, and it was just as drivable after it got  hit, so I drove around looking for a body shop that would let me know how much my car had been worth. Most of them didn't want to help me, but one did, and so I knew the money I got for the accident [about $1200] was the right amount. It would have saved me some time not to checked around first, but of course I had no way to know that the insurance people were going to be fair about the whole thing.

I finally figured out how to turn off my wireless portion of my wireless router. It was SO much easier than I thought! I thought it was hard becuase, as usual with me and electronic devicss, I was trying to do something from the wrong menu.... As for why I needed that function turned off, well, I just needed the landline [or is that called the "hard wire?" or possibly "that yellow cable thing that goes from my modem to the router?"] and I don't like the idea of giving my neighbors free internet [using MY address! especially if they start donig something that could get me in trouble!], so that was high on my list of things to do right after I discovered I couldn't buy an non-wireless router. Well, not a Radio Shack, anyway. Maybe I should have tried eBay, but I just don't trust that yet.

Hiller guy came out and did the obligatory heat pump tune up thing. I have to have those every year that I want to keep my warranty active, and it seems a small price to pay to keep a $7000 system running smooth. Yeah, they talked me into one of the delux models, what with the tax rebate and it was time for me to get a new system anyway. Compressor motor is supposed to run forever, and I know my electric bills have gone down since it was installed. Not sure how much because I got distracted and haven't been keeping the right records....

Snow seems to have stopped. I think I got about an inch. I plan to ride the bus in tomorrow. I usually do, but even if I had considered the car this time, I would have had to think twice about how I was going to be able to get the car back up my hill. The hill was a great thing during the floods last Summer, but a pain in the neck when there's ice.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

February 6

I got up early today because I went to bed early last night. I never do that, but I was tired and it's the weekend, so why not? I wonder if most people would have went out and found a party to attend instead? That's the impression I always got from TV: the world is just FULL of extroverts, and nobody ever gets tired of being around other people. I always found that hard to live up to.

Working on putting a router on my computer. I haven't finished it yet becuase I'm worried about the built in wireless function. I can't turn it off and I don't need or want it. I think everyone must have gone wireless when I wasn't looking, but I prefer a physical connection between my devices [I guess I would say I prefer to be "wired"?] due to security issues and because I only have a couple of electronic devices that need internet connection. I'm not trying to run a printing / data processing / marketing company out of my house.

I have some Spanish homework to do. It's Spanish I, so I already know most or all of it, but it's school and I feel like I have to do my best. I almost stopped thinking that way with engineering in college. Freshman year was so EASY, and then sophmore year was more like what I expected, and then some of my junior year classes were so much harder. School work was no longer easy and I missed that from high school... maybe that's what I like most about my current spanish class. The work is easy.  

Superbowl party later at one of Chuck's friends' houses. I suppose he's my friend now as well [?], but I don't claim people as friends just because I've me them a few times. I'm not sure what all of the qualifications are [for me to say someone is a friend], but one of them is that I have to know that that person believes it. That means I usually wait for them to say it, but it could also be a decision made after enough time has passed and we've met enough times. I like to be accurate when describing my aquaintenances, so I refer to them as friends, friend of friends, coworkers, or associates.

I don't really care who wins the superbowl. I'm planning to go to the party because I'm not a very social person and therefore I force myself to do things like this [parties, school, volunteering, etc] as a kind of therapy or something. I'm not sure what that's called. I aware of my flaws and I do try to fix the ones I can.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Yeah, I know, I wasn't going to name these things by days. The thing is, I feel like this is going to be one of my general posts, so there's no reason not to give it a general title. I think it's better when I don't have a theme. More relaxing.

I get off early on Wednesdays so I got off the bus at Captain D's and had my usual 2 piece and then did the usual walk home thing. It's a mile.... I feel like I'm burning off more of the meal that way and therefore I'm closer to being healthy. I don't always go to D's on Wednesday, but now that I'm doing the school thing on Tuesday, I had to re-organize a bit. Tuesdays are extremely busy now, and sometimes I think I shouldn't even log on because I get home so late.

I think my cat is jealous of the time I spend on the computer. She stays in the room with me, and she was doing something earlier..... I forget what, but I remember thinking I should spend more time with her. Her name is Chuy and I got her from the Humane Association. She doesn't like other cats and ended up back at the Association when her previous humans moved. She might have been on sale when I got her... some of the cats were $10 instead of the usual $75. I picked her because she reminds me of my first cat.

Working on dating again. I find myself spending a ridiculous amount of time thinking about that. What am I doing wrong? What else can I try? What do I really want, anyway? The last one was actually harder to solve than I thought. Right now, I want an "occasional" girlfriend who'll give me space and of course I would do the same for her. We'd have lives apart from each other AND lives with each other. Maybe see each other once or twice a week. I think that probably sounds shallow, but it seems so ideal to me right now.

I find myself worrying about what I write in this thing due to identity theft issues. Not sure if I should do that, but I am a big believer in better safe than sorry.

I'm watching Watchman again while I exercise. I saw it in the theater when it came out. Unfortunately, I went with a friend from work, and he hated the whole male nudity thing. It's the way movies are going now. That's the new thing... I remember reading about the uproar when Gone with the Wind had "Damn." I can only shake my head and sigh. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011


This is something I think about a great deal. Most days I think about [and want to write about] 4-5 things and therefore can't pick a specific name very easily, but I realized that naming my blogs by days [for example, "Sunday"] would be somewhat useless later for remembering what I was talking about. However, when I was doing this by hand, I just used the something like "Sunday" because I wasn't able to go back and change anything anyway. I can edit [and have editted] this.

This is harder than I expected. I mean, I think I KNOW what I'm talking about, but now that I'm trying to write it down, it's not making anywhere near as much sense. I have thought about these things in detail, and I have run down those details the way a detective in a mystery novel runs down the clues to a crime ["Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" comes to mind], but I have not been able to solve this problem as yet. I keep thinking I'll finally unravel it, and I keep picking around the edges.

I thought about going to the Movie Meetup this afternoon. It's at Green Hills and they're apparently going to see "Green Hornet" in 3D. I used to go to these Meetups more often because it was one of the very few things [except for work] I could do that included the possibility of meeting more groups of like-minded people. The other possible solutions include: work, church, school, volunteering, and things like either Meetup or Events and Adventures.

I stopped doing the Meetup thing because it was a different group of people every time, and they usually only met once a month. The problem with seeing different people every time is that I don't feel comfortable around someone I haven't seen at least once before, and so I just wasn't "meeting" people that way. I could have a brief dialogue, but then that person would go on his or her way and I'd never see them again. Why bother? As a solution to this problem, it has been suggested that I branch out to other Meetup groups, but so far they have all been about things I just don't like [I want to meet Like Minded people, not strange people that would certainly see me as "strange person" in their turn] or are already full of people or take place during the work day.

I thought about going back to church. So, after not going for something like 15 years, I tried again recently but didn't like it. Well, maybe that's not the best explanation.... It was more like I felt like I was in one of those time share purchasing seminars. You know, the kind where you have to sit through a 3 hour sales pitch before you get the free prize? Church reminded me of that, and I wondered if it was always like that? I was young when I used to go, and I got very involved because I thought it was God's will. I've met people that still think that way [or anyway, they talk like they think that way] and I don't want to get to know them now because they usually try to get me to go to their church because it's the ONLY church that's right or whatever. I really don't mind people talking about their Church. I just don't like to get into the dogma because it's not like anyone can actually prove their particular point of view, is it? Been there, done that.

So, not Meetup and not Church. I'm trying the school thing instead and I like it so far [3 weeks!]. I picked a class that I knew I'd be good at, and there are about a dozen people there. I picked something I'd be good at so I wouldn't find myself doing what I usually do when I'm challenged: I ignore the people around me and concentrate on my task. That would be somewhat counter productive....  

I'm still volunteering, but that doesn't seem to be a very good way of meeting people either. I prefer to know someone there already for the same reason that I don't like to go alone to a party, but I don't [and didn't when I started] know many people that volunteer, possibly because not many people my age do that sort of thing. I do go with Joe, who volunteers at the zoo, but that's NOT a large group and we don't seem to have much in common. I just go because I feel that people should volunteer for SOMETHING and I'm trying to be a good friend by showing interest in something a friend likes.

As for Events and Adventures? I don't want to pay the $2000 price tag.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


So, this is my second post. It's not like I expected. More of an email kind of thing, apparently.

Anyway, I took my car to have the check engine light fixed [again!], but ended up getting a wheel bearing replaced. Well, the car was noisy going down the road, but all the cars I've ever had were noisy and this one does have just over 100,000 thousand miles. Anyway, it drives better now, so it's OK.

Planning to have tea with Joe tomorrow morning like usual on Fridays. There used to be more of us, but then Ian and Chuck got jobs somewhere else and so it's just Joe and I now. The group did the tea / coffee thing more often when it was four of us, and we alternated buying. That was a pain becuase I'd miss days [and therefore miss getting my "free" tea], but I was still expected to pay for a round on "my" day. I pointed out that I could just not show up on my day, but they seemed to still want me to pay the next time I was there, so I was kind of glad when Ian left. I think that's what solved the problem... we were fewer and so there was less trouble with whose turn it was. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

First One

I've never done one of these, but a friend suggested it and I thought I might try it. Not sure what to say....

My insurance agent's office called me tonight to schedule some sort of meeting next week. I don't really understand what they want, unless it's to sell me some more insurance or glad handle me into buying more from them or similar. I was too surprised to say no, and so I let them set me up with a meeting next Tuesday.

Work is going OK. I got an interim review today and it was the usual "5". I'm not sure if I get it because my boss likes me so much or just because he knows I won't argue about that rating? I have the idea that he considers these reviews to be a waste of time because we only do it when HIS boss gets on him about it. I don't supervise anyone right now, so I don't know if there is some sort of memo that goes around.

The cat is wandering around making noise. She does that... I've only had her 10 days, but that seems normal now. I picked her because she reminded me of my first cat.

Well, enough for now. Time to watch some TV [the Sherlock Holmes movie] and use the exercise bike. I have it propped up and I've been working my arms lately. I normally just work my legs when I'm watching something on regular TV.