Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Chinese Take-Out

Today's Fortune: "you will be happy with your spouse."

I guess the use of future continuous tense should be comforting, in that I will someday have a spouse. Though the unspecified time limit concerns me.

Future continuous could mean tomorrow, it could mean next year, it could mean 60 years from now. Though in the latter instance, I suppose I can then be thankful for having a long life.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dr. new Joss Whedon fix.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Joss Whedon is a genius.

Check out this video: Dr. Horribles Sing-Along Blog - Dr. Horribles Sing-Along Blog

This is what Joss Whedon does when he's bored. I'm so glad that They (those who decide such things), gave him another TV show.

Things I've decided upon watching this gem:
1. I want a Captain Hammer t-shirt (you can buy them here)
2. I wish I would have known about this when the writer's strike was actually happening and there was nothing on TV to watch.
3. Nathan Fillion is one of my favorite actors in the Joss Whedon posse
4. Conflict Diamond is an excellent name for a villain
5. Doogie Howser is quite the singer

Monday, July 28, 2008

New Rules

In lieu of that which transpired Saturday last, I feel I must introduce New Rules for my online dating experiment. That, and I saw Bill Maher last week at The Riverside and am, shall we say, inspired.

1. Though shalt not cancel 30 minutes before our first date without a good excuse or without showing proper remorse. Otherwise thou shalt be Internet dating dead to me.
On what was to have been my very first eHarmony-enduced date, the guy cancels on me as I'm walking out the door to go meet him. This is a faux pas in the first degree, and I will not stand for it. Second chances will be grudgingly given, but you have much to come back from, One with cold feet.

2. Geography is a deal breaker.
I want to be able to hang out with you on a regular basis.

3. Red flags and intuition are God-given identifiers of Crazy.
Pay special attention and act accordingly, and above all, proceed with caution.

4. If I, Female in question, show interest in you first, Male in question, then I will give you approximately 7 days to respond before closing the match.
One week is more than enough time to log onto your computer and click a button. I don't have time to waste wondering why 23 matches haven't yet responded after a week. Clicking a button, also, can hardly be considered a difficult response to make. Are you interested or not? It's that simple.

5. If you, Male in question, show interest in me first, Female in question, then I will respond positively to you in a timely manner.
Though making the first move in Internet dating requires little commitment, the effort is duly noted and shall be a point in your favor. Every male who does so shall be treated positively, unless Rule 3 comes into play.

6. Nine times out of ten, I will not be the first to suggest a face-to-face meeting.
Call me old-fashioned (because I know I am), but unless I am really into a match I refuse to initiate the first meeting. It's not much to ask - we're already communicating through email afterall. How less intimidating can my possible refusal be? Be a man, and be the first to suggest a meeting (complete with possible day/time/location/activity); this gal doesn't want a man who would be afraid to do so.

Following these rules will, hopefully, help me streamline my online dating experiment. So far I do not have many positive things to say about my experience, and I am beginning to find the entire process rather tedious and boring.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Today I spent the morning watching Grey's Anatomy Season 2. 

I then went for an invigorating 4 mile run, followed by some gardening. 

Once finished, it was time to get ready for my first eHarmony-enduced date. The man, G, seemed like a good match. We have many of the same interests, even similar careers. Surely we would have much to talk about.

To take any pressure off, we planned to meet at the Lakefront and have a casual first date.

I showered.

I primped.

I straightened my hair and put on makeup (those of you who know me, know that this is a big deal, what with my hair in humidity and all). 

Thirty minutes before we were to meet G, the male in question, calls and makes chit chat. This confuses me as we are shortly to meet, and in fact I am just about to head out the door.  I live approximately half an hour from the lake, you see.

G then proceeds to tell me he "hates to do this" to me, but he must cancel. 

Some lame excuse about being at his uncle's house all day and now in no condition to be meeting me for a first date.

To which I inwardly reply, "you, G, are eHarmony dead to me."

In reality, I said it was okay, but admitted that I was judging him a little for canceling on what was to have been our first date. I mean that is just bad form.

I've since decided that if he tries hard, I may give him a second chance. But if he doesn't show proper remorse then I am done with him.

Playing games, you say? Being a demanding girl, you accuse?

Perhaps. But I also happen to know that I am worth better treatment, and I'm not afraid to wait for a man who agrees.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Bridge

I recently rented a documentary called The Bridge. It's a film by Eric Steele (no pun intended, I assume) for which he rigged cameras to film the Golden Gate Bridge for one year.

He recorded over two dozen suicides.

He chose three or four of those jumpers and interviewed family and friends to learn more about their lives and what made them want to jump. What surprised, and infuriated me, was the recurring theme of the loved ones admitting that the jumper had been threatening to end his or her life for months, if not years, before actually doing so.

One of the first things you learn in crisis training is to always take a threat seriously. This seems to be the one thing family and friends of the deceased did not do. One father even admitted that when he and his wife came home to find their son gone, they knew this was the day his son had finally done it. No need for a painful goodbye letter, oh no, because the family already knew why and how this boy was going to kill himself.

Yet they did nothing to get him help.

None of the family or friends of the deceased ever mentioned anything like, "well, I tried to encourage Suzy to get help, but she didn't want to," or "Tommy went to a counselor for awhile, but it didn't work." Probably they didn't mention it because they never encouraged Suzy or Tommy to get help.

One woman was even interviewing that her friend told them every day that he was going to kill himself over the course of several years. She gave a sort of incredulous laugh when she admitted this. I gave a sort of incredulous and horrified snort when I watched this.

In addition to interviewing family and friends of the deceased, the filmaker also spoke with passersby who saw the suicides, and one jumper who survived.

The one thing that really astounded me about the film was that in every scene that a person jumped to their death, you can see dozens of people biking, running, and strolling by on the bridge.

The jumper climbs over the railing. No one says anything.

The jumper hangs on to the railing while summoning the courage to let go. None of the passersby seem to think anything is out of order.

The jumper leaps off the bridge to his or her death. Tourists look shocked, run to the railing, and call the police.

The most galling interview of all came from a photographer who had been taking pictures from the bridge when he saw a girl climb over the railing. The filmakers obtained his prints from that day, and we see a series of shots as he is approaching the jumper. We see her swing her leg over the rail. We see her standing on the ledge. Here's another one from a different angle of her standing on the ledge.

Through all of this he is interviewing that he knew she was going to jump (yet did nothing about it). The photog finally admits that he came to his senses, put down his camera (got enough shots first scumbag?), then grabbed her jacket and pulled her to safety.

It turns out she had done this before and police believe she did it as a cry for help.

The one jumper who survived talks about being on the rail with people passing. A tourist asks him to take a photo of her and the bay. As he's interviewing he sighs and says, "she didn't even care or realize that I was going to jump." His only desire was for someone to notice him and talk him back to the other side.

What do we know about suicide? That the majority of people who commit suicide, or try to, are combating strong feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and uselessness. They feel worthless; like the world won't notice if they're gone.

It was horrifying to watch this documentary and see that feeling all but proven as the tourists and bystanders walk past a jumper and not do or say anything. These jumpers merely wanted someone to notice them, someone to talk them down, to care.

We learn at the end of the film that the Golden Gate Bridge is the number one place in the world where people go to commit suicide.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Stirring Independent

The other night I stopped by Hollywood Video to see if I could find any gems for my viewing pleasure. I find that, as I get older (not old, mind you), I am becoming more particular about what constitutes a good movie.

In my teens and early twenties I enjoyed the fluffy romantic comedy and, as always, the delightfully bloody and scary horror movie. Now my interests gear more toward the stirring independent film, the undiscovered foreign film, and the psychotically scary horror movie.

Good films of this type are getting woefully hard to find, yet I found one lovely independent film called That Beautiful Somewhere.

Overall Impressions: I wish Roy Dupuis would make more American films. Catherine's (McGregor) illness should have been something less abstract, which then would have helped the audience feel the urgency and mortality.

The movie, by Robert Budreau, is based on a book called Loon, and is billed as a murder mystery which I think does the film an injustice. When Hollywood says mystery the public thinks of Rear Window. This movie is more melancholy, slow-paced, and poignant.

In fact, if I had to choose one word to describe the film, it would be poignant. The cinematography is gorgeous, the movie having been filmed in North Bay, Canada in the winter. 

The story is of a detective (Roy Dupuis) and archaeologist (Jane McGregor) coming together to solve the mystery of a dead body found in a bog. This bog happens to be sacred ground for a local native tribe, with traditions, ceremonies, and mysterious powers of healing rumored to be within. The lead characters are both searching for peace and healing, and the underlying theme is that of a love story. The end is simply stirring.

This critic gives it two thumbs up.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Let's continue the comparison: Chemistry
I haven’t had much success in being matched with the right men at Chemistry. This could either mean the matching process is ineffective or there are not a lot of the type of men I am looking for at this site.

For example, it’s important to me that my partner share my religious beliefs, therefore, any match should align rather closely to me in this area. However, when I chose that my matches could either be, “Christian: Catholic, Christian Protestant, Christian: Other,” I get a lot of odd responses because the matches may mean many things when they check those boxes. I could have a non-practicing Catholic; a man who was raised Lutheran, no longer is religious, but still distinguishes himself as such; or a match who is Christian and actually practices the religion.

Also, there seem to be more folks on Chemistry who are not actually registered users. They merely created a profile to see what was out there, but haven’t paid their dues and so cannot communicate with anyone. This annoys me, because if I am interested in someone I will send him a communiqué. I am then left waiting weeks for a reply that won’t come, because he is an unregistered user and unable to send a message back.

So I haven’t really had any luck with Chemistry, but I’m sticking with it a bit longer because I have to, my membership is good for another two months.

In other news: I once had a crush on this guy in college. Just when it seemed to be reciprocated and going somewhere, I got a job in another city and moved away.

I found out today that he’s getting married and was a bit taken aback. Because I am female, I have a tendency to remember crushes fondly and wonder what it would be like if we saw each other again. Fortunately, as reality tends to happen, the hours wore on and I thought about it more and more. I now find myself unmoved yet happy for the guy.

It still is a bit weird, though, when you hear of past friends who are now engaged, married, and/or having kids. It reminds you just how long ago it was when you last saw them. This, in turn, makes me feel old.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Let’s Begin the Comparison: eHarmony

I’ve been at this online dating for approximately two weeks now, and feel that I can now start making fair and accurate comparisons. Let’s begin by exploring the pros and cons of eHarmony, because, if you know me, then you know how much I like a pros and cons list.

This site’s tagline should be, “extremely freakin’ long personality surveys breed the most promising matches,” because compared to Chemistry, my matches at eHarmony seem better. There is a cost to all of this compatibility; however, and S made a good example when she admitted that she gave up halfway through because the intro surveys were too long.

eHarmony does, indeed, require you to fill out questionnaire after endless questionnaire before you complete your profile and are eligible for matching. However, it’s a good exercise in self-reflection and causes you to think about what it is you are looking for in a potential match. Plus, everyone likes to talk about themselves, right?

The only gripe I have about eHarmony is with its guided communication process. For one, the process is slow, with each step taking two or three days as both sides of the match go back and forth. Though I say that now, but the first match I reached open communication with immediately asked me to meet him in person and I feel like he’s pushy. Let’s exchange a few emails and phone calls first, Sparky.

Second, as I go through the process I do not feel as if I am really getting to know the other person. It’s hard to know if, when he selected his Must Have of, “…must be financially responsible,” he meant “must have zero debt and thousands in savings, “ or “must own no more than three credit cards with neither maxed out to their limit.” The choices are so subjective, and I don’t feel like I am getting to know a match by his answers just because he happened to check a certain box in one moment of decisiveness.

The best part about eHarmony is that you can rate the importance of every matching factor. For example, you can rate how important physical qualities, religion, education, and age are to you, and eHarmony will take those into consideration when matching you to potential candidates.

Overall, it has been a pleasant experience with no frustrations or disappointments I was not anticipating. So far I have only reached open communication with two matches, and so have no fun stories to share.

The one thing I can say is that it’s extremely nerve wracking to be the first to have to send an email. What should I say? What’s a witty headline I can write that won’t make him think I am crazy or weird?

Friday, July 11, 2008

The French Connection

Last night I became a vainqueur de la Bastille, completing the 5K Fun Run in 31 minutes and 17 seconds. Not my best time, but I made the mistake of getting caught in the fast pace of the front-runners, which messed up my game for the rest of the race. I also had to stop in the Third Ward for a glass of beer, as the bartenders promised it would take two minutes off my time. They were wrong.

I also want it duly noted that it took us a few minutes to actually start running once the race started, and the running abruptly stopped a few blocks before the end as the thousands of racers had to again be bottlenecked through the gate. Thus, I could fairly subtract five minutes, if not more, from my time for all of this waiting. That’s just me nitpicking.

MJ, her two friends, and I then proceeded to spend the next hour milling through the crowd of thousands in Cathedral Square Park trying to find each other. I, at the end of my proverbial rope, made a last ditch effort and finally found her at the Alliance beignet stand, and much rejoicing commenced.

Being French speakers with connections at the Alliance, we met up with a trio of “Frenchies” and took them out on the town for an authentic Milwaukee experience. After all, Bastille Days closes at 11:00 p.m. and nowhere does it say the fun has to stop when the police street barricades come down.

Margaritas at Bar Louie ensued, along with a game of beanbag toss, French conversation, and flirting with good-looking men around the campfire. Yes, Bar Louie has a campfire.

All in all, it was a super first 5K experience.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Car Salesman Jesus

Car Salesman Jesus said it best when he said, “I’ve got some good news, and I’ve got some bad news.”

Let’s start with the bad.

I’m going to jail.

Immediately moving on to the good…it’s for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Lock Up event in August.

Someone who wishes to remain under witness protection referred me to lock up, and on August 7th a limo will arrive at my place of work to whisk me away for my mug shot and bail raising.

In the meantime, I am in contact with my parole officer who is sending me information on how to create a website and raise my money before the event. So be warned, everyone, that I will be hitting you up for donations in an attempt to spend my jail time networking rather than shackled to a phone.

Also, One who referred me, you are on notice!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I just can't seem to care.

Relient K said it best when they sang, “Apathetic is a pathetic way to be.”

Currently I am in one weird funk. I had the day off yesterday (must burn those personal days before I lose them), and planned to get a ton of things done around the apartment. Race training, vacuuming, season three of Weeds – all are not so lofty in the Goals category, yet as the day wore on a funk took hold.

I ended up going to J & E’s house for our weekly Monday Angel viewing. The MarioKart and fajita’s managed to lift my spirits a bit, but the gloom returned this morning and is still prevalent.

During the morning commute I found myself surprised at the level of apathy I was feeling, if one can feel apathy – isn’t that kind of an oxymoron? Regardless of semantics, as I was driving I was surprised because, at that moment, I don’t think I have ever felt such a lack of concern or interest before.

The thought of getting to work made me feel neither excitement nor dread. The thought of returning home and having time for myself left me feeling nothing, listless at best. Even looking forward to weekend plans did not help. In regards to these I think my exact thought was, “take ‘em or leave ‘em, I don’t care.”

Even in writing this blog post I can’t dredge up enough interest to fully explain this lack of feeling, much less make the explanation interesting or entertaining in any way. What, exactly is going on?

It’s very strange.

I think it’s weather-related.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Rules

On D's advice, I've added eHarmony to my online dating repertoire, and dropped Match, according to D, is more of a buffet of dating options rather than a compatible menu. 

So now I am focusing on eHarmony and Chemistry to meet some new men. I wouldn't say I'm looking for a long-term relationship, I am merely hoping to meet new people and expand my dating experience. Come out of my dating shell, so to speak. 

So far, having low expectations has been a good thing. One cannot get one's hopes up with every potential match. Also, one mustn't take anything too personally when it comes to the guided communication processes. Thus, I feel I must set down some ground rules for myself regarding this online dating experience, especially if I want to get the most out of this experiment.

Rule #1: Barring any serious reservations, every potential match who initiates contact deserves to be given a chance. 
I'd do the same for any man who shows enough courage to ask me out face to face, and I feel this rule, especially in the spirit of the experiment, has the possibility of interesting results.

Rule #2: Don't take anything too seriously or too personally.
I want to begin communication but my potential match turns me down? Pas de probleme, my friends. His loss. After all, it's not like I'm hoping to find a husband here, which brings me to...

Rule #3: Don't expect too much from online dating.
Expanding my horizons and having something interesting to blog about, these are the two main objectives of my foray into the world of Internets dating. 

Tune in next time when I discuss initial observations regarding eHarmony and Chemistry, as well as first experiences in the matching and guided communication processes. It's starting to get interesting.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Storm the Bastille!

Next Thursday is what I hope will be my first full-run 5k at Bastille Days. The largest Bastille Days celebration in the country, the East Town Association hits another gold with this gem of a fest at Cathedral Square Park.

On the opening night they host a 5K run-walk through downtown Milwaukee at 9:00 p.m. and I have successfully suckered three of my friends into joining me. While I did the Habitrot in Minneapolis twice (a 5K run-walk sponsored by Habitat for Humanity), I never ran those races, content only to enjoy a slow meander through campus.

I've been training for next week's run, and just today finished the full distance without walking once. Twenty-seven minutes, baby, twenty-seven minutes.

You know that time when you've been running for about fifteen minutes and the lower half of your body kind of goes numb and you no longer hear that voice in your head telling you you should walk for just one minute? That's called your groove, and I hit mine today and breezed right through to the end.

As much as one can breeze on a treadmill anyway.

I also love, love, love that feeling you get after your done and you feel like you could start right up and run another 5 miles. Today I felt jelly legs and dizziness as I hadn't eaten anything in 4 hours, but when I do get that feeling it's super.
Like the photo I got from Google search? I usually don't run without shoes. Or naked for that matter. Did I mention my hair is getting really long?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Confession

I have a confession to make.

After months of extolling the virtues of online dating, my coworker, D, has finally convinced me to join the ranks. And so I have taken the first step in what I will call Operation: Let’s Date.

So far, it’s been all about me as I fill out endless questionnaires and personality tests. The essay and headline portion of the online dating profile, most often the place where people shoot themselves in the foot, was pretty easy for me, what with being a self-proclaimed writer and all.

I’ve gotten quite a few hits already at, and after 2 days of waiting, the snails have finally approved my photos and profile over at

So far the men seem pretty normal. I’m hoping that the online dating universe is past its growing pains and now has a good system in place for weeding out the axe murderers and crazy people. Though, if D’s experiences are any indication, there are still a few normal-esque men out there with weird proclivities.

I’m not expecting much from this foray into Operation: Let’s Date. In fact, to make myself feel better about it all, I am going to call it an “experiment” and blog about it. This way I can take a more professional approach to the fact that I feel I am selling out by jumping on the Internets dating bandwagon.

I've always viewed online dating as sort of a last resort. As in, I am not good enough to attract a dateable man in "real life," and so have to resort to the Internets to help me. This is crazy, I know, but that one iota of low self esteem really wreaks havoc when it comes to my dating history.

If anything I am simply hoping to expand my circle of friends in this dear city. My two best friends are married, and hanging out with marrieds all of the time, while delightful and not usually the least bit uncomfortable, still manages to shine the spotlight on the fact that I am not dating nor have any decent prospects in the pipeline.

So here’s to finding some prospects and/or some friends. And check back for updates on Operation: Let’s Date.