21 February 2007


The ankles are fine, says me. I don't need to spend $xx to have a medical doctor tell me that I'm healed. I jumped on the elliptical machine for 10 minutes on Monday night and 20 minutes last night. I am fine, just fine.

Oh, sure, I still feel twinges. Sure, my ankles are still a little larger than normal. But I'm fine. Today I even parked in the normal parking lot, walked the half mile (<-- exaggeration alert) to my building and took the stairs up to my third-floor office.

In short, it was a normal day. It was even a fairly normal weather day, with temps back near 80 (79 and sunny on my way home, according to the car's thermometer) and loads of sunshine. It's the kind of day that we are due after two days of working out inside.

The dog is panting her tongue out, having just come in from a fine romp around the backyard with her favorite ball. If she gets her breath back before dark, we'll go back out there for a few more minutes later on, just to make sure we've maximized her potential energy release.

No news on the dating front. I wish I could help you live more vicariously but there is just not much to say. I'm frustrated by guys who are 47 - 52 and only interested in women 28 - 35. I am frustrated by guys who never respond. I am frustrated by guys who play games with names & photos to see which version of themselves attracts the best fish.

There's a great Tim Allen routine that pretty much sums up my PMS-laden frustrations at the moment: "Men are pigs."

I vaguely remember that this is one reason why I've never been much into 'dating.'

11 February 2007

Dating & the Internet

I've started dating again, and by 'again,' I mean for the first time in forever. I was married for 10 years, and even when the ex & I were dating, we lived 3-ish hours apart, so calling it 'dating' is a bit of a stretch. (Had we 'dated' each other while we were married, we might have managed to stay together, but that's another story.) After the marriage fell apart, I met a Martian on the Internet, and he was (is) sweet but on a different continent with no eagerness to relocate. Again, not much 'dating' going on there, although we had some fun 'virtual dates' and some great vacations.

Now I've signed up at an Internet matching service that attempts to pair you off with nearby 'like-minded' people of the opposite sex, for purposes of 'dating,' however one might define that word.

I have been underwhelmed thus far. We can start with the 300-pound guys who list themselves as 'average build.' Or the men who post photos of their younger selves, or some male model they found on the Internet. I'd be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt about having 'nice personalities' if they did not blatantly lie just to get attention. I am told that women do the same thing, and it flummoxes me. I don't see the point in 'attracting' someone who might very well run away as soon as he sees the rather average-looking, no-makeup, no-nonsense 40-something gal who gets out of the Mini Cooper at the designated date-meeting spot.

Responses from this Internet dating service fall into a few categories that seem to reflect the general state of the singles universe:

-- Illiterate morons, sex fiends and potential axe murderers: "hey bab u luk gud u want 2 hook up b4 da game im in woodlands 2 call my cell netime xxx-xxx-xxxx" [Seriously, this e-mail message arrived a couple of hours before the Super Bowl, supposedly from a 47-year-old professional man.]

-- Non-US citizens seeking green cards and financial scamulation: "Hello, you seem like a smart and beautiful American woman with compassion to those less fortunate than you. I am a well-educated Nigerian man who...." [I'm told that the guys get the same from Russian women.]

-- Guys who have trouble maintaining communication past the first e-mail. [Typically, the first e-mail indicates he has read something about me, usually asking for details about something in my Profile. I respond and ask 1-2 questions about him. He answers the questions and hits the send key. No lines of conversation remain open, so I guess we're done. Intentional? I don't think so. If the guy is a spectacularly good match otherwise, I might try to keep the conversation open myself, but so far it has not seemed to be worth the trouble.]

-- Guys who are fun to talk to, literate, clever, funny, nice, etc.

I have shared lots of e-mails, a few phone calls and two dates with a guy from category 4. Last night, I mentioned that I blog, and he said, "You aren't blogging about me, are you?" He was, at once, saying, "I value my privacy" but also asking, "If you did, would you say nice things?" So I'm not blogging about him, but he is nice.

I'm happy to be flexible about the definition of "date." So far, as you might expect, the largest component of it seems to be talking/listening. Last night we went to a pool hall & just never got around to embarrassing ourselves by actually shooting pool. We blabbed & enjoyed watching some kids ("kid' = anyone younger than us) playing 8-ball. The kids were talented & I have not been near a pool table in 20+ years, so I had little incentive to pick up a stick. Plus, one kid was so talented he could smoke + shoot + talk on his cell phone, which prompted several fun lines of conversation.

The concept of 'dating' also opens the possibility of dating more than one person at a time. I understand that a gal can have guy friends & guy dates, but I don't grok how you can juggle more than one guy date without one of them moving quickly into the 'friend' category. This is currently an academic question, but I welcome insights on the topic.

I look forward to seeing how this Internet matching is going to work. Meanwhile, Mom suggested trying a different matching service that one of her friends used to meet her current spouse. These services are not cheap, and this second one is less cheap than the first. I balk at the idea of paying for cable TV, an always-on entertainment channel. These services want $30-ish/month to introduce me to axe murderers, sex fiends and illiterate morons, with the dubiously entertaining e-mails coming at someone else's leisure. I'm not sure it's worth it, but.... I have had two nice dates that I would not have had otherwise.

I'd love to hear other people's experiences with these services & the 'value calculation' for continuing to subscribe. If you haven't found enough value in the first month, do they get enough new members to make it worth trying a second month?

04 February 2007

Laughter and joy

I always thought having one dog was fun. Now, I'm thinking two dogs is the key to weight loss through laughter.

Lakrids is an "only dog." So maybe she is a little bit spoiled and selfish. In particular, she does not like to share her ball. This morning, she and Little Guy were out in the yard, and she was being a brat. But Little Guy wanted to play. So she'd be chasing her ball, all intense with her Professional Soccer Dog demeanor, showing Little Guy how it's done and guarding the ball from him, and he would just come up behind her & bite her butt. Not a mean bite, but just a little nip like a little brother who wants to play with his bratty big sister. I was laughing so hard I was crying. I think I pulled a muscle in my smile.

Little Guy is camera-shy. He does the cutest things, and then as soon as I pick up the camera he wanders off, like, "Oh no no no, I don't do pictures." Lakrids is the opposite. She sits like a lump until the camera comes out, and then she begins to show off. This photo is part of the Battle for Mom's Lap. One minute before this photo was taken, both dogs were perched photo-perfectly, two front paws up on each leg, happy to share the space. As soon as the camera came out, Lakrids had to be ON my lap, and Little Guy had to be off. It's a giggle.

Repeat after me: I don't *need* another dog. My neighbors had better get home soon.

UPDATE: They got home. Little Guy does belong next door. But I think we'll have some play dates :)

03 February 2007

Life update

Dogs playingThe 'boot' is off, YAY! Doc says I am healing well, but I have a few weeks before I can run, jump, use the elliptical machine or basically do anything else fun or healthy. The ankles are still very swollen (and not very pretty), and there's a bit of an ache most of the time, but the doc says I should just get used to that because it's going to be around for a while. Great, eh?

I took in another stray dog today. I think he belongs to the neighbor, although I'm not sure how he got out of the fence, and they're not home to confirm that they are missing him. He's a cute little guy and very affectionate, so his owners had better find him soon because I don't *need* another dog.

Lakrids sort of enjoys having another dog to play with. The two of them romped around the yard for an hour or two this afternoon, and I loved watching them play. Then I gave the little visitor a bath because he was a bit stinky. While I'm writing this, they are both trying to get on my lap. But I don't *need* another dog. One pest is enough!!