Archive for the ‘Was there any question’ Category

Psycho Killer, Qu’est-ce que c’est

I went on a first date tonight. I was convinced he was a psycho killer. I went anyways.

I don’t waste a lot of time online. If I write to someone and they write back using proper grammar, spellcheck, and capitalization, then I suggest we meet for coffee or a drink. I don’t want to spend all my time writing back and forth just to realize that there is no chemistry when we meet.

At the bottom of his profile, in the “You should message me if” section, he’d added

Do not message me if:

You don’t believe we ever landed on the moon.
You don’t believe we are related to monkeys.
You vote Republican.
You watch Fox news.
You go to church more than twice a year.
You take yourself too seriously.

And as you all know, those are some of my exact same pet peeves. So I had to write him. I told him that my siblings could also recite all the lyrics to the score of Rent, so they would get along. I asked him where his favorite place to travel has been. I’d sent the email in November of 2010. He responded on Thursday. Then he closed that account and wrote again from a new account.

Today we decided to meet for wine this evening in downtown Palo Alto. He said he was having dinner with his parents there and we could meet after. I almost joked that I should meet them for dinner and get the awkward part over before we even began.

We arranged where and when to meet. And he asked me if I could meet him by his car and help him with his crutches. I said sure.

Then I made whoopie pies. Today is the Whoopie Pie Festival in my hometown in Maine. In honor of it, I made some at home. While I was baking, I was watching Brokedown Palace and I got to thinking. What if I’m being manipulated like the Australian guy in the movie. Here is a guy who responded to me four years later. He’s forty-something and having dinner with his parents. And he wants me to meet him by his car to “help” him. What if he is lying about the spinal cord injury and is just trying to get me to his car before anyone sees us together so he can kidnap me? What if he deleted his old account because he’d killed the last girl and needed to cover his tracks?

I freaked. I’d stopped by The Bean Scene to get coffee earlier today and had been singing along to the Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” while sipping my latte and unable to move off the couch after a 17-mile bike ride this morning. We’d climbed the hill to IBM’s Almaden Research Center. I hadn’t been there since Houda had been an intern there. That was a lifetime ago.

I told him I wouldn’t be able to help and if he couldn’t make it we could reschedule for something that would be easier for him. He said he could be “beaten to a pulp by an 80-year-old with one leg.” What if he is just trying to guilt me into a trap! What if I was the nameless girl in the beginning of the horror flick. You know it is a horror flick as you are watching, so when you see all the signs, you yell at her and tell her how stupid she is for not seeing them herself. Then she dies.

Then he says, “Don’t stand me up please…we’ll have fun”.  Is that “we” will have fun or “he” will have fun dismembering me? O. M. G. He has a medical degree according to his profile—that I am now taking not just with a grain of salt but with a whole shaker. I can probably avoid going to his car, but what if he drugs me? Then he’ll claim he is a doctor and that I have some crazy medical condition and he’ll take me from the restaurant when he can’t get me to come directly to his car.

I am reminded that I have a very active imagination.

I get to the restaurant and am freaked out. But I’ve convinced myself that there are two outcomes. Either he really is who his profile says he is and this will all be a romantic comedy, or he is a serial killer and I’ll avoid being alone with him or taking my eyes off my wine. Then I can write a book about him after he is caught and talk about how charismatic and charming he was as we sipped wine and I narrowly avoided being one of his victims.

I walked inside. There was a guy sitting at the bar. I didn’t see any crutches, but maybe they were on the other side. I asked if he was who I was looking for. He said, “No, but you are welcome to join me.”

“Thanks, but I need to keep looking.” What if he is the guy? Now he knows I am here and what I look like. He can follow me home and kill me there. And no one will ever connect us.

I walked through to the back where the live music was playing. A waitress asked if she could help me. I told her I was looking for a guy that I was supposed to be meeting. She said she didn’t think there was anyone there, but we could walk through and look.

They were all couples. No single people. She asked what he looked like. I said it was a blind date, so I didn’t know. She just kept apologizing. I told her it wasn’t her fault. I could have cut the pity with a knife. A butter knife. I don’t need to provide any weapons here.

I walked back out to the front and sat outside on the porch of the little restaurant house. I sent him a message that I didn’t see him and he must have decided to stand me up instead.

Then he called. I tried to answer, but I heard nothing. Not even breathing on the other end of the line. I’d regretted giving him my phone number. What if he started sending harassing phone calls?

I tried hanging up the phone, but my phone was hung. I had to reboot. Comedy of errors is all this is, right? Romantic comedy, not horror.

When the phone finally rebooted, there was a text message saying he was in the white SUV across the street and that he was just grabbing his crutches. Another trick to lure me away and throw me in a creepy white van to take me away and tie me up and steal my kidneys!

But the text message showed me an email address. So I googled the name. And sure enough, there was a picture of him on a page for the website for his employer. And it looked like the photos that were on OKCupid. It was looking promising.

He waved to me. I tentatively walked across the street to the parking lot. It was still daylight out, but that might not be enough to stop him. I walked in a wide circle around his Mercedes SUV. Not a creepy white van. His face matched the photos I’d seen. And he really did have crutches and was having difficulty using them.

Romantic comedy. Not horror.

We sat in the backyard of the restaurant house in the glow of miniature lights, warmed by a fire pit, listening to live music, sipping wine (once the waitress realized we were there), and laughed about the ridiculous story I had invented in my head. We talked about traveling and languages and freak accidents. The evening ended with the sounds of fireworks in the distance. I walked him back to his car and helped put his crutches away.

Not a serial killer. At least not yet.

Illogical Butterflies

I occasionally forget what it feels like to have butterflies in my stomach. At times I’ve gone for years without feeling them. If you’ve ever had them, you know the kind I’m talking about. It’s the feeling you get when you are thinking about, or are with someone you find attractive, not just physically, but mentally. I’m not talking lust, or desire. Butterflies.

The butterflies make me laugh a little too hard and a little too loud at jokes. They bring out the secret smile that most people never see. They flutter at the sound of text messages in anticipation. They make me go out of my way to ensure that it was all more than just one chance meeting. I heart butterflies.

I also hate them. They come out of nowhere, blindsiding me. One minute everything is normal, and the next, POW! I’m suddenly acting like a teenager, all giggly and silly, needing reassurance when I never have before. It’s like I’m not in control of my own body. There are constant cravings that suddenly need fulfillment. Stat! I have to find a way to see him again. To see him smile, to hear his laugh, to get a text message, or just tell him how my day went and ask about his. How? What can I say, what can I do to make it happen?! All these things are racing through my head at all hours of the day and night. All while the other side of my brain is asking, “WTF is your problem? Why him? Why now? Really? You were perfectly fine just hours ago.  What happened?”

Most of the time, butterflies for me are within hours of meeting a person. But occasionally, I don’t notice them at first. They sneak up on me. It starts by noticing his absence and wondering where he is. Then the slight twinge when I hope he will happen to show up to wherever I am. Next, I start manufacturing reasons for us to meet. The butterflies are like a drug and I just keep needing more.

However, if the butterflies aren’t reciprocated, they become an annoyance. There is the constant distraction every time my phone makes a noise and I jump to respond like a Pavlovian dog. There are the wandering day dreams that interfere with my concentration. Then there’s the constant desire to just make some sort of contact, which I have to learn to ignore. Not to mention the general frustration of not understanding why the feelings aren’t reciprocated—the logical side of me knows that it doesn’t matter why, so why don’t the butterflies understand that?*

I wish emotions were black and white. I want to turn them off and go back to what I was doing. I want to go back to the status quo. I want to ignore the desires and delusions. I want to be in control.

But at the same time, I’m grateful. I’m grateful for the reminder that butterflies exist, that I’m not completely broken, that I still have a heart. I’m grateful for experiencing the feeling, and being reminded that it is worth the wait. Some people have to break off all contact to get rid of the butterflies, but I prefer them to just fly away over time. It can be hard in the beginning as I’m breaking myself of some bad habits, but I like that one or two butterflies always remain. I enjoy literally laughing out loud when reading a Facebook post or tweet. Or the secret smile that appears when we run into each other. Or the warmth that comes from hearing a familiar voice. It all reassures me that some day it will be the right person at the right time. And for those who weren’t the right person at the right time, I hate to quote Garth Brooks, but, “Our lives are better left to chance—I could have missed the pain—But I’d of had to miss the dance.”

* The reason I don’t want to know why someone isn’t interested is something I’ve learned over the years. There are three reasons why someone isn’t interested:

  1. It is something about me I can’t change.
  2. It is something about me I can change.
  3. It is something about themselves.

In case 1, why torture myself with something I can do nothing about? In case 2, I should never change myself to please someone else. And as such, case 3 is covered by the same principles.

Stood up

I don’t like to blog about my dates because most guys are genuinely nice, just not the right guy for me. For this guy, I will make an exception.

He contacted me. There were early warning signs. The first was that he still typed as though the world had never invented predictive typing. Use of letters like U, R, and M instead of full words indicate to me an inherent laziness and lack of interest in details. Not a good first impression, but people tell me I’m too picky about that, and so I let it pass. For note, I will ignore those people’s advice in the future as it is a good predictive indicator of failure.

Next, one of his first questions was whether I had a problem with the age difference. Nine years. I don’t, but that was evidence that he has issues with it right off the bat or else he wouldn’t have brought it up. Immaturity warning.

Then he asked what kind of guys I normally date. Red alert flags went up. He already wants to compare himself to my past. When guys ask questions like this, I like to respond with, “they are all rich, successful, and have huge dicks.” This was an immediate insecurity flag.

He was decent looking, makes a good salary, is well travelled and I was curious about his Spanish/Indian heritage since I’m headed to Spain soon. So I was willing to look past my self-invented warning signs. People keep telling me I’m too picky.

His next question was about where I worked. I ignored it as I often do. He pressed on. Finally I answered. Turns out, he is a software architect at the New Evil Empire. Sigh. This should have been a last straw. I should have read the writing on the wall. But I could hear voices of my friends with spouses at the New Evil Empire say I should give the guy a chance, they aren’t all bad.

So I arranged to meet for coffee on Saturday afternoon. I asked if I could bring my dog. I figured Perl might as well get a good walk out of the deal.

He sent me a poorly lit and poorly composed photo of himself in his cubicle at work and wanted me to reciprocate. I sent him the photo of me stealing the corner at Lily Macs on St. Patrick’s Day. His next request was for a full body shot.

Seriously? There is one on the dating site. Go there. He said, “Don’t u wanna know how your guy look like physically ?”

I responded with, “I will find out at 2pm. Patience.” It was 10:45 am Saturday morning.

Fifteen minutes later, he said something had come up, could we meet tomorrow? Sure, Sunday would be fine.

That was the last I heard from him.

Sunday afternoon, Perl and I walked to downtown Sunnyvale. I tied her to a table outside the Palace Cafe. I got myself a latte and her a bowl of water. It was a gorgeous day. I sipped my latte and watched the people on the street. One guy opened up his car windows and cranked some slow jam for us all to enjoy.

He never showed. No text, no email, no nothing. Maybe he saw me and decided he didn’t like the full body view. Maybe he just never thought of me again. Maybe he was just gathering data about me so he could sell it to advertisers. I wasn’t particularly surprised that the date planning never made it out of beta before being cancelled without warning. Typical. Asshole.

Regardless, Perl and I had a lovely walk. I brought her back home then returned to Murphy Street to meet friends at Roberto’s, the New Mexican place. I highly recommend the margaritas.

On to the next guy! And this time, I’ll listen to my own instincts!

Unexpected Craigslist Evening

For the last few weekends, I’ve been cleaning out my closets, piling things to sell or give away. This weekend, I finally took photos and started posting things on Craigslist.

The first thing I sold was the cat tower. I’d bought it a little over a year ago. I finally found one on sale so that it was less than two hundred dollars for some particle board and carpet. I felt guilty that I’d waited so long to buy the one thing my cats were guaranteed to love.

I put down Myrtle’s top and threw it in. I was so excited that my cats now might be able to climb it and see over the railing to watch the birds and squirrels in the trees. I put it in a sunny spot in the dining room and sprinkled catnip on it.

Nothing. They scratched at the bottom post but didn’t climb. I picked them up and placed them individually on the first landing. They sat for a moment then timidly jumped off.

I wondered what was wrong with them. I thought at first they were just lazy. Then I started to watch them, and analyze their walking. That is when I first realized Pablo had a problem.

Pablo had a hard time getting going when he’d start walking. He was shaky and deliberate. I took him to the vets and he got an X-ray. He didn’t even need to be sedated. He laid upside down, paws outstretched in the little cat-ray tube. The vet remarked at how clear the images were when she showed them to me. Then she pointed out the unclear parts. The murky haze where his joints should be.

Arthritis. Pretty severe arthritis.

That is when his pills started. Glucosamine mixed with his food, which also meant Mitsy and Perl both got a little too. I figure that wouldn’t hurt them.

That explained why Pablo wasn’t jumping any more. Mitsy wasn’t wobbly, she just didn’t seem interested. She also stopped sleeping on the bed and stopped siting on the couch. I tried making things for her to jump on to get on the bed, but she wasn’t interested. I thought it was just a choice.

Realizing I felt guilty about not getting the cat tree when they could still jump, I went out and bought a short carpeted staircase and placed it next to my bed. Mitsy immediately ran up it and laid on the pillow next to mine and started purring. I’d bought her a nice kitty bed and put it under the telephone desk in front of the window. She slept there constantly, but always looked so sad. I hadn’t realized how depressed she’d been that she couldn’t jump on the bed. It would be another couple months before her diagnosis of congestive heart failure.

So the cat tree has been on my list of things to sell. Some other cats should enjoy it. I found a buyer and loaded it into Myrtle the same way I’d brought it home. I met the young couple at the train station yesterday. It took a while to figure out how to get it in their car. I let them negotiate ten dollars off the price and sold it for seventy. Then I went to the Palace Cafe for a salad before my train ride to the city for an afternoon date.

I’ll skip the date part because it is bad form to talk about dates. Like talking about job interviews, you never know who will read it.

Back at home, last weekend I decided to remove all of Pablo’s hiding spots. I’ve given him lots of places to run off to over the years, but with his twice daily insulin injections, it is a real pain when he slips off to one of his little holes before I can give him his shot. The other reason is that as they get older, there is more likelihood of an accident happening and it is hard to clean those spots.

Part of removing hiding spaces was taking the metal frame out from under my bed and putting the box spring on the floor. No more hiding under the bed. Also, no more wondering why the dog is struggling to get out from under the bed. Perl is getting older too and eventually will also have a hard time jumping on things. So, it is preemptive.

The bed frame got a few hits, but I’ve had a hard time getting people to respond after they’ve emailed me. I posted a few other cat things that haven’t gotten a hit and one free item that was gone within minutes of posting. It was my old wine fridge that stopped working. With all the engineers in the area, I wrote, “Free to a good home. If you can fix it, you can have it.” I told the guy who responded where it was and he could pick it up.

The item that I was most unsure about being able to sell I titled, “Sexy Red Shoes.” They are size seven, faux snake skin, four-inch heels from White House | Black Market. I had so much hope for them. But they were really half a size too small and I didn’t want to admit it. After breaking my foot, I’ll never get back in them. I’d worn them once out, but they deserve better than that. So I’m trying to find them a new home. Someone who will get them out and about.

I didn’t expect anyone to respond, but someone did a day later. We made plans to meet up tonight at Starbucks on Shoreline.

I managed to walk the dog and feed the cat early, so I arrived half an hour too early. And I was hungry. I saw a truck with pizza on the sign and started looking for the pizza shop. It was a restaurant two doors down from Starbucks. It was pretty empty. I sat at the bar, ordered a pizza and a glass of wine and texted the girl to let her know where I was if she showed up early.

She laughed when she arrived because she had actually planned on stopping by the restaurant after meeting me at Starbucks. She was adorable and little and looked like she was under 18, but actually was old enough to be married, have a kid and work at Google. She didn’t want to try on the shoes inside, so she gave me the money to hold onto and went outside to try them on.

She came back in wearing them. She loved them just like I do. But for her, they were half a size too big. We talked some more, then she went back out to change and brought the sexy, red shoes back. I gave her back her money.

Then we had dinner.

No, I don’t usually eat dinner with people I’ve just met on Craigslist, but she was there to try something for a friend. There was some story about it and it included gluten-free something, but I have to admit, she was very soft spoken and I didn’t want to keep asking her to repeat herself.

We talked and ate. At some point she mentioned she was from Dallas. I told her about the time I went there for a friend’s wedding and ended up in the gay district doing Jell-O shots a six pm. She, like most Texans, seemed surprised Dallas has a gay district. It might have just been a block or two. Maybe not a whole district.

She asked where the wedding was.

“Somewhere outside of Dallas,” I said.

She named a place.

“No, it began with an ‘L’ I think.”


“That sounds familiar. I think it was northwest of Dallas.”

“That is where I’m from,” she said.

“Do you know CivilSarah?”

“There are a lot of Sarahs.”

“Yeah, but this one is civil, unlike the rest. I can’t remember if she was from there or they were just getting married there.”

We finished dinner and slightly awkwardly went our separate ways, as often happens after trying to sell a pair of sexy, red shoes and having dinner instead.

Turns out my friends weren’t married there, but did live there. I’m still trying to figure out if these people who have lived in Lewisville, TX might somehow know each other. That would just make the story so much better.


I went to dinner. Drank more (after walking the dog to a margarita this afternoon). Went to Lilly Macs to use the bathroom. Karaoke for the Cure. A guy offered to match what was donated. $300 something. I asked if I could donate more. Added $200. Danced with his girlfriend and got her email.

What a bitch. ;-)

Oops. Freudian slip. I mean philanthroping.

And then…

Drunken shopping. Always a bad idea. But I had to walk south on the Magnificent Mile. Oh look! The place where Cub Scout and Brownie are registered. I printed out the registry. Crate and Barrel use a horrible semi-touch-screen Windows system. I [redacted ranting].

I said, “[redacted swearing] “, and went to the register and explained I’d been drinking and am incapable of buying something (but am capable of writing a comprehensive blog post about the situation), so, do they sell gift certificates? Amused as they were, they helped me obtain a gift certificate. I’m hoping Cub Scout realizes that half of his gift is this story.

Across the street from Crate and Barrel was Ann Taylor. Not Ann Taylor Loft, but I’ll give it a try. No dresses. No dresses. Dress. Damn, price tag. Try it on anyways. Damn, it is awesome. Drunken shopping. Buy it!

I spilled the beans to the cashier. I said, with an Eyeore expression, It isn’t on sale, is it?

Fifty percent off!

I win!

Saving that much means I can stop at Swarovski. Not really, but don’t forget, I’ve been drinking. And even more than drinking, I’m looking for a good story. I’ll do almost anything for a story.



Even buy ridiculously priced crystals.

Time to find the restaurant that @puls suggested. Something about a goat. Not on this street. Maybe in the alley. Nope. Oh there it is! In the utilitarian part of the city down the stairs.

Billy Goat Tavern.

Not what I was expecting.

I couldn’t order dinner from the bar, but was welcome to bring it back. I’m a new vegetarian. Oh. Grilled Cheese. Sure. Chips. Sure. Plain or BBQ? Never mind. You are plain. Okay.

Beer. Miller, Miller Lite, Natty Light, Billy Goat Ale. Yes. Where is it made? Germany. Yes.

Next thing I knew, I had a bet going with the bartender, for my drinks, that the Celtics would beat the Heat. Implanted Massholes to Wisconsin were there to back me up. They loved that I had lived in Salem because I’d
followed a full moon there. They don’t know it, but they bought me a shot of Jameson.

Some kid came in and ordered a shot of gin. Then he tried to order a coke as a chaser. I told him no. I didn’t know he couldn’t, but I was right. He had to get the coke where I got my grilled cheese.

The waiter was rooting for the Celtics too. The kid ordered a vodka shot for him and his friend. The bartender and I had already discussed how they probably weren’t of age. So I asked if it was their 21st birthday. Sure enough, it was.


The Celtics lost. Only by a couple points. I was supposed to take the bartender to the wedding if I lost. He changed it to just a hug. Close enough.

I took my Swarovski crystals, and half-priced dress and headed back to my hotel.

Expensive cardboard pizza.


Good night!




I have to remember to look for rings

Two weeks ago, I received an invitation from KQED to a talk. I recalled the last time I’d gone to one of KQED’s talks as another one of my crazy dating schemes. I’d hoped that maybe I could meet a philanthropist. Or at least a philanderer. So hard to tell the difference sometimes. It was a bust. Turns out, the audience is full of blue-haired old ladies. I did get hit on by a professor, but gently let him go since he was closer to retirement than my age.

I ignored the invitation. But then on Friday, I received an email about it. I looked again. Jason Beaubien. Kind of cute. Good smile. Nice eyes. An NPR foreign correspondent living in Mexico. Well travelled. My interest was piqued. If I couldn’t find someone in the crowd, I could at least hit on the speaker. It works sometimes.

I actually made some effort in dressing this morning. A cute outfit that wasn’t slutty. A little make up. I even ironed my pants. Really, it was just an excuse to act like a normal girl. Yes, I need excuses.

Before driving to the event, I searched for him on the web in hopes of finding something that I could ask him about. There at the bottom of his NPR bio was the key piece of information that I needed to start a conversation. Pure gold!

There was wine and cheese before the talk. I stood for a few minutes sipping a glass of pinot noir and nibbling on hors d’oeuvres while looking for a conversation to join. I gave up and sat down. That was when a younger couple stood at the table next to me. He left for a moment to grab some food. She was looking around aimlessly. An old woman walked by and the young woman made a face that she probably didn’t mean to make publicly, but I took it as a sign that she felt out of place. I called her out on it, and we started talking.

They were a cute couple. She’s a high school history teacher, he is a crime reporter for a local newspaper. I told them about my failed attempts at attending these talks as a dating scheme. We talked about teaching. I told him my idea for a crime novel and now he is wondering if I am secretly a serial killer. We all sat together, bonding as if we were the last humans in a sea of blue-haired zombies.

The talk was quiet entertaining, and gave me more points for a conversation. Jason has been living an interesting life and is a fantastic storyteller. The floor was opened for Q&A. The questions, for the most part, were fairly thought out and well spoken. My favorite questions from an audience are always those during the shareholder’s meeting at work. Buy some shares and I can tell you about them.

After the talk, I started my advance. I moved up to where the crowd had gathered, and sat down in a chair in the front row so that I could listen to everyone else’s questions and save mine for the end. People came and went, he would occasionally make eye contact with me as he was answering their questions and I could tell he was wondering what I was going to ask.

Finally, it came down to a couple and myself. We volleyed who should ask the next question, but I was adamant that they go first. As they left, I stood up and reached out my hand. “Hi, I’m K.”

“Jason. Nice to meet you.” A firm handshake and a quizzical look from him.

And then my question, “I have to ask, where are you from in Maine?”

He hadn’t expected that. It was a question from left field. But the bottom of his NPR bio said he had grown up in Maine.

As family and friends say about me—you can take the girl out of Maine, but you can’t take Maine out of the girl.

“Dexter,” he replied. Not from the TV show, Dexter, but the town that Dexter shoes originated in before moving out of the country like everyone else except for New Balance which is still made in Maine.

I offered some credibility, “Dover-Foxcroft.” The town next door.

“OK, Garland.”

Hah! An even smaller town next to where I grew up. I explained that it usually takes me three tries before I will tell someone where I am from in Maine. The first time they ask, I say, “Dead center of the state.” The second time they ask, I say, “Middle of nowhere.” Third time they ask, I say, “Dover-Foxcroft.” If they give me any sort of credibility, like the name of a town, then I will tell them immediately. Unless they say Kennebunkport. At that point, they were barely in Maine.

Jason said that one of the guys in the audience tonight was actually a teacher from Dexter. He hadn’t taken a class with the man, but his brother had. We talked about how he had escaped Maine, but first a year at UMO after he graduated high school in ’83. As soon as he stated a year, I determined he is nine years older than me. That isn’t too bad. I could do nine years either way. But then I remembered during cocktail hour, the young teacher I’d been chatting to pointed Jason out as he walked by from the dessert table. I half-jokingly asked if she’d happened to have seen a ring when he’d passed. She laughed and pointed to the big picture of him on the wall, his wedding ring prominently visible on his left hand. How had I missed that? It must have been selective blindness. He is cute in person, so I was temporarily distracted.

Thus is the roller coaster of my imaginary relationships that begin and end within seconds. Brief glimpses of hope and then catastrophic failure.

He left college after the first year to spend some cliché’d time in Europe. He eventually graduated the year after I started college.

I told him I too had spent time in a car with a blaring alarm. He was curious how I could possibly have a story related to the time this spring he was in Egypt taking a cab to Libya and every time the cab went over 55 mph, an alarm would sound, and the alarm got even louder when the cab reached 80 mph. But the taxi driver just ignored the sounds and kept driving faster.

So I regaled him with the tale about the time in college when I’d temporarily traded my car with my boyfriend’s computer. When the relationship ended, I wanted my car back, so I returned the computer. But he had moved to Rhode Island. My mom dropped me off. My ex-boyfriend had left the car with the keys in it and a bottle of wine on the passenger seat. I owed him some money, so I gave him all the cash in my pocket and his computer. He left to DJ a wedding and I headed back to upstate New York.

Ten minutes later, as I was gaining speed on the highway, I hit 55 mph and an alarm went off. I tried to cover it by turning up the radio, but it was piped through the speakers and as the music grew louder, so did the alarm. The alarm is triggered by the removal of a key for “The Governor.” Later my ex admitted he had meant to put the key in the car, but he’d forgotten.

Somewhere in the middle of the Mass Pike, I pulled into a rest stop when I realized that I had no money to get off the turnpike. But I did have a bottle of wine. So I considered opening it, passing out, and deciding what to do in the morning.

Luckily, I found a secret $20 in the car that I’d hidden for emergencies. This was definitely an emergency.

It was a long drive home at 54 mph.

I was enjoying the storytelling when a blue hair came out of nowhere. Foiled again! Jason wrapped up our conversation skillfully and I exited the room as he answered another question.

I drove back to reality. When I parked, I check the car to see if I’d hidden a secret boyfriend in there for emergencies. Alas, I had not.

Dear Meine Kleine Schwester,

Now that I’ve spent a few years testing out online dating, I just wanted to share a few of the lessons I’ve learned along the way, in hopes that you will learn from my mistakes.

1. Don’t give him your phone number before the third date.
I know that texting is the cool thing to do, but treat your phone number like something sacred. Email is easily ignored. Texts and calls are annoying when unwanted.

2. Don’t friend him on Facebook.
Because you will probably soon un-friend him. Most guys that you will want to date long-term will not ask on a first date for you to friend them. This is a warning sign that they are needy. Also, when you un-friend them, they will call you on it if you didn’t heed the first point.

3. Don’t tell him where your favorite bar is and on what night he can find you there.
I don’t mean to, but I start talking about things I do and I happen to mention quiz night. And then they start showing up, unannounced. Even when you aren’t there. And then your friends hate you just a little. Eventually, they will forgive you, but will bring it up to make you feel bad when you are trying to stiff them with the check.

4. Don’t let him walk you to your car, and meet him in a public place.
This is just a security concern. I’m not worried about you, and I didn’t have to learn this one the hard way. But I wanted to voice it for anyone else out there who doesn’t realize that this guy could be a crazy internet stalker. Take precautions.

5. Don’t tell him where you live.
Until you want him to show up at your door unannounced when you are coming home from another date to which he wasn’t invited, don’t let him pick you up at home. Don’t accept offers to help you paint the walls, or fix the plumbing, or to “walk your dog.” Until you are ready to actually start a relationship with him, keep him at a safe distance.

6. Don’t get excited about the first date, get excited about the third.
Be optimistic, but don’t expect every guy you meet to be The One. You will just be setting yourself up for disappointment.

7. Don’t settle.
My favorite poem by Robert Browning is My Last Duchess. In it is the line, “She had a heart—how shall I say?—too soon made glad, too easily impressed.” Don’t be the girl who falls for every guy she meets. You have better standards than that.

8. Break up gently, but firmly.
Don’t leave them hanging. I’ve done this and just feel bad about it. Just send them a short note saying, “It was nice meeting you, but I don’t think we are compatible. Good luck in your search.”

9. Trust your instinct
If you aren’t feeling a connection, don’t force one. Listen to your heart. Your mind made the decision to go out the first time, let your heart decide if you should see him again.

10. Don’t despair.
Despite everything I’ve said, there is someone out there for you. You will give him your phone number, friend him on Facebook, invite him to your house, and eventually marry and reproduce. There is hope. I believe.

The only thing worth running for

Is a photo op! ;-)

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Middle Dr W,San Francisco,United States

Missed connections

We all went to the airport this morning not knowing if we were staying or leaving. NASA’s press conference was supposed to be at 1030, but Mountain Man and kids had a flight at 1000. Lucky for us, NASA leaks like a sieve, so the Twitterverse was aglow with rumors that the launch wouldn’t happen before the end of the week.

Sparkles and I hung outside the ticket counters until there was some official word that the delay was for real. Then we went to get our boarding passes. Only problem was that I walked right by the Virgin ticket counters because no one was there. When I circled back around, the TSA agent who had smiled at me as I passed the first time took a chance the second time and asked if I needed help. I said that I was looking for the Virgin ticket counter. He told me I have a beautiful smile. I thanked him and he explained that the agents wouldn’t be there until at least noon. My flight wasn’t until 1640, so they weren’t expecting me or the Spanish Inquisition. He the told me the secret: if I knocked on the side door someone might open it and help me. I said I’d try my luck at the Jet Blue counter. Maybe they’d give me a pass to “help” my brother on the plane. And then made a crack about my brother’s mental capacity behind his back.

While waiting for Sparkles to use the ticket machine, I spied a non-branded machine around the corner. To my amazement, it was willing to dispense tickets from any number of airlines. It meant I couldn’t check my bag though. Oh well.

Sparkles and I went to the security check. When the TSA agent looked at my ticket, she hesitated. I explained that I knew I was going the wrong way, but that my flight wasn’t until much later and I wanted to hang out with my brother until his flight. That seemed like a good explanation, so she let me through with a smile and said, “Now don’t you forget to come back now, ya hear?” Yes Ma’am.

We waited for Sparkles’ flight, then I went off to my Terminal on the complete opposite side of the airport. I wandered around looking for a place to call home. My little wing of the airport was completely empty except for one little bar with no patrons.

I asked the bartender if there was a place with a plug. Sure enough, on the far side. So I sat down and we introduced ourselves as I explained that I’d be there for quite a while.

Bartender told me the wing had mostly been AirTran that had just been bought out by Southwest. So for another month or so it would be empty except for the occasional Virgin America flight. I decided that was fine because I had the whole place to myself.

Bartender and I chatted for quite a while. He told me all the perks of being in his business. His girlfriend works for an airline, so they jet around on random weekends. It made me think I need to date a pilot.

Occasionally, Southwest passengers from one of the other wings would show up and exclaim at the oasis of quiet they had just happened upon. I helped a couple, both hairdressers, decide on an iPad or a MacBook Air.

I talked with a woman who is a beer/liquor distributor for the group that supplies the bar I was at. From her and the bartender I learned that different kinds of bands at concert venues attract different types of drinkers. We discussed the merits of the fill-from-the-bottom cups and how they give perfect head every time. And that you can adjust the depth of the head by pressing the right buttons. And she told me her company gave her the choice of Blackberries or iPhones, so she switched immediately. Then she wanted to know why they hadn’t just replaced all the pcs with macs as well.

I talked with an older gentleman who works on the programming on NASA tv and is going to be laid off soon after the shuttles stop launching. He confirmed all the information I’d been reading about the shuttle delay.

And in that time, I also managed to finish up some other stuff I’d been working on, although I don’t think my email sent, so I’ll have to do that when I get home.

When the tweets came in to remind me to leave the bar, I paid my check and thanked the bartender for letting me stay for a couple hours. He at least feigned that he would miss me.

On the plane, Tom Scavo stopped me to say hello. I wanted to talk to him more, but I wasn’t sitting next to him this time. I should have made a point to go talk to him during the flight. He is talk and good looking.

I’d managed to change my middle seat to a window seat when I checked in. Lucky for me and The Aisle, no one sat in the middle. the Aisle and I chatted for probably and hour and a half or so. He’s a physEd teacher and was in Orlando for a conference. We chatted about all kind of things, one of which was that he decide I was so headstrong that I must be difficult to date. You can imagine all the good stories of flat tires and missed opportunities that I regaled him with. I expect that anyone I date must be able to do more to my car than I can.

Eventually, I read a junk-food thriller. When we landed, I tried to catch Scavo’s eye, but I couldn’t. I had a plan to stop by baggage claim and say good night on my way to the AirBart, but it turns out that baggage claim was downstairs and AirBart was upstairs.

The AirBart was quick. I didn’t wait long for BART, and I only had to wait fifteen minutes for Caltrain. Now, on my ride home, I’m wondering how things would have been different if I had missed the train because I’d gone to baggage claim to ask Scavo if he’d had a chance to play golf while he was in Orlando.

Guess we will never know.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone