Monday, February 28, 2011

Noble, Pathetic Endeavors--THE EPILOGUE

Speed dating was no great triumph. . .though it was not a crushing failure either. There needs to be a noun invented for referring to a unvictorious non-failure...oh, wait...howsabout calling it a "draw"? In lieu of a better noun, ("tie" is equally inadequate) we'll go with "draw".

I think because I went into the adventure with abysmal expectations, with a smallish bowling ball of dread in my gut (like a bocce ball of dread), I'm viewing a draw as a rather favourable outcome. So much so that I would go to another speed dating fete if the organizers decide to do it again. The WGXL/ KIXX people that were there said they were pleased with the turnout and were considering making it a regular thing.

The turnout was better than I expected (though, as I've said, my expectations were none too lofty) but still not ideal for us distaff attendees. There was a total of 29 speed daters there--11 of them were men. So yeah, I'm kinda rooting for them to hold another one, as I'd like to give it another go with a new mix of minglers, better male attendance, and a spiffier venue. It was held in this restaurant called Shepard's Pie, in their new function room. The atmosphere was BLECCCH! Low-ceilinged & low-rent. True, said function room is in the basement of the restaurant, but they could've attempted *something* to make the place less basement-y.

So what dissolved my gut-dwelling dreadball was this reassuring realization that came over me shortly after things got underway. None of the guys seemed to know what the hell they were doing there. It occurred to me that everyone of us was equally pathetic. This gave me a comforting hey-we're-all-in-the-same-boat sorta feeling . So, that epiphany calmed me down.. . .that epiphany and 3 gin & tonics.

I realize it's called "speed-dating" but I think 5 minutes per beau is a bit too speedy. I had presumed we were allotted 10 minute "dates" and I think that would have been better. Y'see I was unable to follow the advice I had given to myself... In lieu of prepping any interesting anecdotes or dazzling biographical bulletpoints, I just counselled meself: " Be a good listener. Try to appear genuinely engaged in what they are saying even if you have to fake it and probably you will. Do not succumb to verbal diarrhea" I am HIGHLY prone to verbal diarrhea in nervous situations. Now, I really did expunge all my butterflies very early on. So I suppose what verbal diarrhea that I did succumb to was attributable to the ridiculous time constraints... and the 3 gin and tonics. But I really didn't blather on as badly as I am capable of blathering. But there were just some guys that were not innately forthcoming unless I took the conversational lead. I could not abide awkward silences...I've just got a mere 5min to determine if we are MFEO!!! Normally, I would wait for you to gain social footing , buddy, truly I would...

Some scraps of detail--

The cutest guy there made a bad impression on me fairly quickly. I said some expression and then second-guessed myself that I used it correctly, confessed that I would probably check later to ensure that I had (yeeeahh, this was probably a wee lapse into nerves-induced verbal-d…I mean, he *was* pretty cute…) But then he says something like “Ehhh… I just feel like, if you feel like a word means something then that’s what it means.” Uh, pardon? I’m all for new word invention, but as for free interpretation of preexisting words? I’m not down with that, chief. I think I followed up with “ Ahh..and are you a creative speller too?”
Maybe I did skew slightly snotty. My lead question ( Linette emailed me that morning that we needed to have questions prepared. I was all, “What?? I can’t even think @ work…even if I had time to!!” So she very nicely printed up some off the internet for me, and on the ride over there, I picked some that looked good... also cranked out 2 or 3 of my own. It turned out that half the people there didn't have any questions even preparing at the last minute, I felt like some poindexter overachiever. Also..pardon my COLOSSAL parenthetical tangent. Way too long!!) my lead question was "Read the book? Or see the movie? Perhaps both?" Well, that's not verbatim.... I stayed away from the word "perhaps" I like people to know me for more than 5 minutes before I let on that I'm hellah pretentious. It was not my most *crucial* question, but I thought it was a good opener. And I won't say I conclusively RULED OUT anyone who gave me a bad answer to that...but hearing "Mehh. I don't really read"..that gives me a pretty inauspicious vibe.

Linette's favorite question--that she used on everybody (truly--anybody & everybody!) was this: "ALIENS HAVE LANDED AND ONE ASKS YOU TO GO BACK TO THEIR HOME PLANET WITH THEM. DO YOU GO?" I write this in all caps because Linette has this tendency to yell-talk. It's funny to me that all the uber-gregarious people I know are also yell-talkers. You see, you'd think they would be, with my shy amigos talking low and/ or mumbly...but that actually being the case feels too sensical to be true, y'know? So those are two biographical nuggets about Linette you should know-- she's uber-gregarious (which made her a hell of a choice for a speed dating "wingman"--damned funny, really) and she often uses her outdoors voice when indoors....which is how I knew she was asking everyone that alien question. If I hadn't heard, I would have guessed she asked the hell out of it...when we were comparing questions before the event, she was clearly delighted with that one. She found it very telling of a potential suitor. What she was looking for was an unhesitating, emphatic "Yes!!" as that shows bravery and a sense of adventure. Yeah, that's all well and good, but there's a fine line between a sense of adventure and stupidity. The question provides absolutely NO backstory on these aliens...they could look like Predator, or talk like Charlie Sheen or be horrifying in some other fashion!! And y'know, even if they were adorable li'l E.T.s I still would not go. Outer space is f-ing SCARY!! Have you seen Event Horizon??

Here are the other questions I had (or the ones I can recollect anyway)-
*what would you say is your best quality? Is there any quality you'd like to cultivate more in yourself?
*What i s your dream job?
* What is your dream vacation?
*Your house is on fire--presuming all humans & animals are out safe, what do you save?

Oh, one exchange that stands out in my memory (and not everything does stand out..I think Tanqueray makes for nice, blurry-edged, nonspecific memories) was where I sort of unthinkingly lapsed into French at one point. I do that from time to time...sometimes with Latin....but bad move that night since, you'll recall, I was trying to keep my chronic pretension on the d.l. I had asked this guy- "What do you enjoy most?" And he said (approx.) "Oh, I like dining out with friends and family. I like entertaining.." and I pipe up "Ah, so you're a something of a bon vivant" His "Uh. Yeah." reply hinted at a misstep, but the blank stare really confirmed it.

The whole scenario kinda sparked in me this compulsion for mischief and I kept thinking of really bizarro, subversive shit I could do...but I didn't want to sabotage myself, so between "dates" I kept suggesting to Linette that she do this crap (for instance -- say everything to this guy in rhyming couplets OR ask surreal, nonsensical questions like "Armadillo? Or stapler?") thinking Linette was just loco enough to try it, but, alas, I couldn't get her to do my bidding.

I'd have to say, the best conversationalist there was this retired Navy guy. But .. perhaps it's haughty of me, ..I just couldn't see myself with a sexy sextagenarian. He wasn't that sexy, really, I just fancied a bit o' word play there. Not that he was just awful and decrepit and lugging around an oxygen tank. He was definitely of the "silver fox" ilk that gents Blanche Devereaux used to schtupp. I was thinking...look at that chick that's marrying Hugh Hefner...I've got like 10 years on her (almost!) so she's either way more open-minded than me (or, if common opinion is to be believed, she is superhumanly devoted to grabbin' that financial security) So who am I to be so damn choosy? Ah, well nevertheless I am, and grandpa was not granted my digits.

In fact nobody was...and I didn't get anybody's digits. But I'm ok with that because : a) there wasn't much contact info swapping going on in the room from what I witnessed. (with only 11 guys, there was a big lull while waiting for the procession of men to make its way back to my side of the basement--during which I spied on other dates) b) I don't really regret that any of those guys don't have my number.

So...I realize that that sounds like a ginormo ZERO on the scoreboard that I am okay with because I have complacent loser mentality, but... I really don't feel it was futile. Overall, I HAD FUN ( oh yeah--we went to a bar after the speed dating thang wrapped) and that's key. Really, I'm just glad that I had the stones to try it....overcame some initial trepidation, and sorta "limbered up" in a sense. I stretched my mingling muscles, flexed my flirting tendons (tendons? oh really? Rhetorical note: analogy + contrived alliteration = FAIL) So, not an utter waste of a Thursday night. It's especially good that I had fun, since after some numero-crunching on Sunday, I came to the shitty conclusion that I absolutely can't afford to do anything fun for *weeks*.
Ohhhh, BALLS.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Noble, Possibly Pathetic Endeavor

Got an email yesterday from friend, ex-colleague, Linette... asking if I wanted to come along and check out some speed dating soiree in Quechee this Thursday night. read right: speed dating. I know, I know, I thought it debuted and died in 1999 too, but apparently it still does happen from time to time at various venues.

My kneejerk reflex was to fire back an "Aww, HELLS no." But I reconsidered...and instead opted for "OK, what the hell?" Y'see, it occurred to me that my instincts have not served me all that spectacularly thus far, so maybe do the UN-Sandra thing on this one. And yes, if it works for me, I *will* have the rubber bracelets made up --"WWSND??"

I don't wanna say that I fully expect it to be a disaster but...if I was a betting gal (like, a gal with money) I would bet on disaster. But, I think there's something noble just in the "putting yourself out there". Linette is quite good at that. I think that maybe why I like her...she's so outgoing she's like...intrepid about it. I think I want some of that to rub off on me.

So I'm forging ahead, trying to be as socially intrepid as I can manage, despite a few instances of unease. F'rinstance, I was explaining to another (older) pal just what speed-dating is, and basically I was recapping what I'd seen in movies or on TV. (most fresh in my mind was the 1st and only episode I'd seen of Vicar of Dibley...think that was just earlier this month I caught that on PBS) In fact, the whole phenom seems like something invented for sitcoms. But anyway, it was in the explaining (or trying to explain) the voting, or vetting or rose ceremony, or whatever the hell goes down apres banter...that I got a twinge of dread. It occurred to me: the whole thing could turn out badly...the chit-chat--at its worst-- could be painfully awkward, but that last bit...well, that might just be plain ol' painful. Something akin to kickball team selection in grade school gym...

Ohhh...but that's the risk that makes the whole endeavor noble, right? If nothing else, it will simply be an exercise in "putting oneself out there". Good to do that every now and then. And if things are fantastically successful, it could be an exercise in putting out. Oh, shit, you know, I was actually cringing as I typed that, but my inner Andrew Dice Clay will not let me take it back...the "Dice-San" is solely responsible for that contrived-ass wordplay and she was just dying to work it in there somehow or t'other. Tacky bitch.

I had another pang of "Oh shit!" today when Linette mentioned that she heard about the event on the radio. Every time I have been in Linette's car, she is listening to 100 point something or other which is "The Wolf: the Valley's BEST Country." I think it's funny that their mascot is the wolf, because I picture a lot of their listeners wearing the Three Wolf Moon tee (and *not* with comedic intent) I actually emailed her back to inquire after exactly what station she heard it advertised on. I told her "I'm committed either way, but if I am going to go in there and face bolo ties and /or NASCAR dudes, I need to steel myself for that"

THANK GOOOOD she heard it on a Top 40 station!!

Anyway, 'tis going down tomorrow night, and may it provide good blog-fodder, eh??

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I was riveted (haa..quasi-pun there) by this commercial when it came on the telly Saturday at the nail salon while I was getting my glamtalons installled....

I'm torn... half of me is very compelled to buy this. Well, I should concede at the outset that I have a strong predisposition to fall in love with As Seen on TV merchandise. I mean, I'm not SO far gone that I'd fall for those quack Kinoki Foot Pads, but I'm pretty bad. I love my TurbieTwist. And I bought my sister a Kangaroo Keeper for Christmas. I think she thinks it's one of the lamest gifts she's ever gotten in her whole entire lifetime, but I think if she gave it a chance, she'd find it way useful. She changes purses 2 or 3 times a month!! Oh, and I just recently picked up The Chef Basket @ Walgreen's. I haven't had a chance to fully test its awesomeness...I've only steamed 1 chicken breast in it ...thus far.

Anywhoooo, given my affinity for such merchandise, add that to the constant jeans issue I have with jeans that fit waist-wise being waaay too baggy throughout the legs ...well, all that combined make me rather intrigued by 'Jama-Jeans.

But, ummm, on the other hand methinks that buying these would just be a means to proclaim unequivocally to the world :"I've UTTERLY Given Up"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Trailers For Sale or Rent...

Yep, yesterday I was lamenting how a set of gel tips utterly blew my budget and today I'm scoping out real estate. I toldja--I'm irreparably effed up!!

Nevertheless, THIS was an interesting article. I really rather like #10 on the list. Is there something so bad about living in Cheboygan, MI?? Is it very close to Detroit?

On the other end of the real estate spectrum, I've quite enjoyed browsing this site in the past...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Inept Self-Portraiture

I am not doing so good with my vows of frugality. Yup, in this very forum, about a month ago, I said that "MONASTIC" was the official lifestyle motif for 2011. And I did use the all-caps for emphasis (I did! Check it..) I know it's all believable when I "SHOUT" like that and I suppose it does mean I'm really feelin' it at the time, but y'all should will is weak. I'd all-caps that "weak" but I've lost all credibility now, haven't I?
I do live very spartan-like for a while, and then when I get paid...I get all giddy & indulgent. Now this is only every other paycheck, though...the last paycheck of the month, I can barely touch because >50% of it goes to rent. If I wasn't so paycheck-to-paycheck, if I was able to indulge a bit every week, then perhaps it would be such a huge occasion to get a bit of "mad money"... Ohhh, sometimes I think I need a life coach... or a case worker ( worker...that sounds cheaper). Better financial planning is what I lieu of a better paying job.

But y'know--fuck it. What's done is done...wallowing in a marinade of my own guilt is just too stereotypical Catholic of me. And I had a great weekend. I think the bulk of my spending was on drinks & dinner with friends. And I feel like if you're going to piss away $$$, that is the absolute worthiest cause. Not just drinks & apps necessarily, but on show tickets, and museum admissions etc. etc. In other words...waste your money on good times, not goods. Probably you don't *need* a new purse...but I think you absolutely DO need to get out and socialize from time to time.
Brief timeline of my weekend--
Thursday night--dinner& drinks @ Jesse's . Me, Roxy B & Sue. Delish chipotle sirloin, beer, & open mic night
Fri night-- happy hour @ Ramunto's w/ Linette. Their wings are outta sight. In my defense, this was a somewhat thrifty outing as Ramunto's has 1/2 price apps & $2 drafts for happy hour.
Saturday--got my nails done with Roxanne, lunch @ Molly's & walked around Hanover a bit.
Sunday--spent ZERO DINERO!! See, God-like, I give it a rest for a day. Had a V-tines day dinner @ my sister's

Ok, so getting my nails done was the very apex of my frivolity. It's not like I just stopped at a manicure. No, I got gel tips w/ French manicure. That's like, the Rolls Royce of was like sayin' "forget indulging, I'm gonna indulge to the max" And , as if to underscore my extremist mood, I got 'em the longest I've ever gotten them. The more I stare at 'em the more I think...humans don't ever grow their nails *this* long naturally. But then again... let's not forget those freaky broads in the Guiness Book of World Records. That makes me feel a smidge better.
Early Sunday afternoon, I wanted to re-do my FB profile to showcase my goooorgeous new GLAMOUR TALONS . It was re-gawdamn-donkulous how many "takes" it took me to achieve something halfway acceptable. Here is my blooper reel...


Obviously, I'm mugging for the camera in these shots. I hope it's obvious..I hope none of you think I'm so moronic and oblivious that this is my idea of a genuine glamour shot.

I snapped them using the web cam on my laptop. I was sitting above the camera, so looking at the spot where I knew the lens was had me looking down and they looked weird. I found that if I looked straight forward, it was pretty clost to looking at the cam, so my eyes would wander there inadvertantly. I opted, instead, to pick an arbitrary focal point in the room to lock on to..

I put these in chronological order... from first disaster to final, acceptable-ish, end-product.

This one is "A Bad Mime is Miming Grocery Shopping for Invisible Groceries When She Left her Invisible List at Home" Long-ass title but it is rather fitting.

Not enough of the nails in this shot, plus I look mildly miserable.

Too much digital-facial pressure here. I look to be in danger of puncturing a cheek.

I was trying to convey "Ooooh!" in the manner of a fireworks spectator. Instead, I look to be blow-drying the glam-talons


I call this one "I Swear it Was The Dog. Honest!!"

I've been passenger in 1 or 2 seemingly-slow-mo car crashes, and I'm fairly certain this is the face I make the instant of the collision

I finally decided I liked the crossed hands finger fan. But I wasn't crazy about the fucking lunatic face I was making here. It's like right outta "The Shining". Yiiikes!!

And looong last!!