Friday, June 29, 2007

My big date

Tuesday night I had a date with a woman I know from work. I had lunch with her and a couple of other friends a couple weeks ago and enjoyed her company so I asked her out for drinks after work and she said yes. I spent the majority of last weekend anxiously anticipating our date.

We are at the pub and things are going well. She's laughing at my jokes and seems very interested, even leaning in a bit. Then in the middle of our conversation she passively mentions her boyfriend back home in SE Michigan. It was one of the few moments where I wasn't sure exactly how to respond. After I made some witty comment I decided to simply gloss over her revelation and the rest of the evening was very nice. Afterwards though, I began to wonder what happened.

After my date, I told a couple people about my evening because I wasn't completely sure what had transpired. Did she not realize that it was a date? Was her mentioning a boyfriend a signal that she wasn't interested? Did she feel guilty about being on a date so she had to at least mention him? Most of the people I asked had no answers and only laughed at my expense. One friend of mine, upon learning of my dilemma, went back to her office to discuss it with her colleagues. They came to the conclusion that I should not write the relationship off just yet and that she was probably going through tough times with her boyfriend and testing the waters with me. One can only hope.

My instinct is to ask her out again and put the ball in her court. I do really enjoy her company and it's not like she's married. But then again, I don't want to be the "other guy". Besides my instincts are hardly ever correct when it comes to dating. Any advice?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Remote

Last week I dropped the remote control to the TV and it broke. Little did I know the impact on my life of such an insignificant event. All week my roommate and I would grab the remote out of habit and start pushing buttons vainly hoping that it would spring back to life. Let's just say that its name is not Lazarus.

I didn't realize how much I depend on the remote to enjoy TV. Without it, I would stand over the TV scanning the channels and then sit down when something good came on. Only 5 minutes later, after I was comfortable, that show would end and some crappy show would come on in its place. But being lazy as I am, I wouldn't get back up to change the channel. I would instead reluctantly watch and vainly hope the next show on that station would be something worth watching. Getting up to change the channel would violate the basic premise of TV watching which is to relax and there nothing is relaxing about getting in and out of my couch. I mean If I wanted to get up and down several times in an hour, I would go to Catholic mass.

It was a long time ago, but I remember TV pre-remote control and it didn't seem that bad at the time. Of course you only had 3 or 4 channels to choose from. I thought I could endure not having a remote but I can't take it any longer. So today I bought a new remote to bring the joy of TV back into my life.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


10 things I hate about weddings

1. Bringing a date
This scenario is always a dilemma because I never know who to ask. I used to have three or four safety dates but they have all gotten married. I usually panic a few days before hand if I still don't have a date and take someone that I have little interest being with only to avoid going alone. Then once I get to the wedding my date usually knows next to no one and I feel like I am stuck babysitting them. But the worst mistake I made was bringing a date to a family wedding 7 years ago. To this day my brother still asks me about her and wonders why we are not dating.

2. Not bringing a date
The only thing worse than bringing a date is not bringing a date. By not bringing a date it is an admittance to myself that I have absolutely no dating prospects and it tells everybody there that I am hopelessly single. Then the well meaning types spend the rest of the evening wondering why I am not already married and trying to fix me up with the ugly bridesmaid. Contrary to Hollywood wisdom, weddings are not a great place to pick up women. Usually this a direct result of my dancing which leads me to my next point.

3. Dancing
I admit it, I am terrible at dancing. Not for lack of trying, I have actually taken lessons to learn ballroom, tap, line dancing and even salsa. I was so bad that in my salsa class, I was the only guy but all the women would rather dance by themselves than with me. It's the curse of being uncoordinated and rhythmically challenged. During my normal routine I can avoid dancing but not so at weddings. For some reason weddings are the last place in our culture that dancing is expected at least if you are not Wesleyan. The worst part of that the whole unfortunate experience is that it's usually videotaped so my horrific movements are captured for a lifetime.

4. Slide shows
I can usually take one song worth of pictures but that's it. But there must be some unwritten rule that there has to be a minimum of 3 songs showing both the bride and groom showing up. And the slide show is always set to really cheesy music. I imagine Michael W. Smith could make a whole album of wedding slide show songs. To get through the endless endeavor I turn it into a game by counting how many times I appear in the slide show vs those at my table. Then the rest of the evening I can either complain about being shortchanged or I can brag to the rest of them that the couple likes me better.

5. Other wedding traditions
Just how did the chicken dance make it's way into popular wedding tradition? How about the fun of listening to drunk people giving toasts to the bride and groom? Does anybody (including the bride and groom) enjoy the clinking of glasses to get the couple to kiss. By the reaction of the crowd, you would think they had never seen anybody kiss before. For a real treat they should watch showtime after midnight. Speaking of kisses, there is one tradition that I do like. I think it's called the kissing box and if you stick money it, you get to kiss any person at the wedding. It's the only way I am certain to get some action at the wedding. But the lowest of all tradition is being called up to catch the garter belt. I am always 15 years older than the next competitor. And frankly, catching that damn thing has done nothing to improve my chances of getting married. I have a dozen of them at home to prove it.

6. Buying a gift
This one especially bugs me. Most of the time the couple only registers for expensive crap that they would never buy for themselves but for some reason expect others to buy for them. This is why I refuse to buy off the registry. Then there is the comparison between me and the other people I know that are attending the wedding as to who spent the most money on the gift. There is nothing worse than giving the happy couple 25 bucks when everybody else gives them 50. I can just see them opening my card and uttering the words cheap bastard under their breath.

7. Forgetting to buy a gift
Sometimes in the build up to the wedding, I forget to buy a gift. I don't do it intentionally. Instead it's probably some repressive response to my dislike of weddings. Supposedly according to a made up list of wedding rules, you have one year after the wedding to buy a gift. This loophole sounds good until you go the whole year and still forget. My co-worker got married almost exactly a year ago recently reminded me of that fact as we were talking about another co-worker getting married this weekend. So now instead of buying one gift this weekend I have to buy 2 gifts. What a crock.

8. Knowing that the marriage is not going to last
This does not apply to all weddings of course but I will never forget my Aunt's wedding when I was about 13 years old. Everybody in the church knew that the wedding was doomed to failure. Many of us took wagers as to how many years the marriage would last. (For the record I was off by about 2 years.) This action may sound crass and yes I shouldn't treat their marriage so lightly. But many of these same couples treat their own marriage vows with such contempt, why should they expect the rest of us to pretend that everything is fine.

9. Waiting to eat dinner
The free food is usually the main reward for enduring the whole experience. As if sitting through the wedding isn't long enough, I invariably get seated at the last table to get their food. After this post, I will be lucky to ever get served but that's a different story. At one wedding we had to wait well over an hour for the pictures to be finished. My friend and I were both starving and tired of waiting so we went table to table fishing out the peanuts from the bowls of peanuts and mints. By the time they arrived we had cleaned out every table. The other guests watched with contempt but that's not the first or last time I have gotten dirty looks.

10. Thinking about what might have been
Lately, I have started getting invited to my ex girlfriend weddings. It sounds a little strange but for the most part we usually break up on good terms and I still enjoy their friendship. The wedding however serves as the final closure on that chapter of my life. They have officially moved on while I haven't. Only one time did I still have feelings for the bride and I almost stood up to object but I didn't want to be the sorry, bitter ex boyfriend. Besides, I figured she would have just ignored the objection and gotten married anyways. At one wedding, while dancing with the bride she told me how much she still loved me. That was a little awkward and I chalk it up to my brilliant singing at her wedding. That and a lot of alcohol.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bad times for Rudy

The past week has not been very kind to Rudy Giuliani. First he has officially lost his lead in the GOP primary as Fred Thompson has no surpassed him in the latest polls. Polls are meaningless, especially this early but the news gets worse for Rudy as he also lost two key advisers as well.

Former Rep. Jim Nussle of Iowa was one of Rudy's most important endorsements in Iowa. However, Nussle was recently appointed by Bush to run the Office of Management and Budget which prohibits Nussle from being involved with the campaign. To make matters worse Thomas Ravenel, the South Carolina state treasurer and state director for Giuliani, was suspended from his position and indicted on charges of dealing cocaine.

Rudy has already all but abandoned Iowa and with this scandal I could easily see him skipping South Carolina as well. It's a dangerous strategy to pass over early primaries and he will have to do well in Florida to have any momentum going into Super Tuesday.

One more piece of bad news is that even if Rudy were to win the primary, it is looking more and more likely that he will face Mayor Bloomberg in the general election. Bloomberg officially left the GOP today and switched to an independent which opens the door for an independent run for the whitehouse. Having Bloomberg in the race cuts into Rudy's appeal because Bloomberg has been just as effective a mayor but without all the baggage. Plus they both appeal to moderate Republicans and independents.

I guess all presidential campaigns have their ups and downs but it looks like Rudy is getting the worst of it lately.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Presidential Update

A while back I wrote that Fred Thompson's flirtation with running for President was part of an attempt to stop Guiliani and Romney from gaining momentum and that Thompson would serve as a Trojan horse for McCain. With recent polls showing Thompson and Guiliani virtually tied and McCain sinking like a rock, I am not so sure of my original assessment.

I just spoke with someone with close ties to the McCain camp and they are feeling very bleak. After months of sliding in the polls, lagging fundraising, holding the wrong position on immigration and having a former supporter get in the race, it is getting tougher and tougher to see just how McCain rights the ship and wins the nomination. I can easily see a scenario where McCain drops out before Labor Day. When I suggested this idea, the McCain supporter didn't vehemently deny that it was a possibility.

Without McCain in the race, Guiliani should dominate the moderates that vote in Republican primaries while Romney and Thompson and maybe Huckabee fight for the conservatives. It will be interesting see how things play out.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I just got back from listening to Lakisha Jones. The state held a rally in her honor today over on the steps of the capitol. My co-worker and I joined about 1000 other people on the capitol lawn. It wasn't a well organized rally as we sat through a lot of downtime and student bands and choirs performing. Then the construction workers across the street started drilling and you couldn't hear a thing over them. The only good part of waiting for her to sing was when the Lt. Governor stopped by and chatted with us for a few minutes. Then finally, Lakisha belted it out. She has a super strong voice that even the poor sound system couldn't hide. She also looks a lot skinnier in real life as opposed how she looked on TV. All in all it was a fun break during the workday.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Neighbors Part 2

A couple days ago I noticed a flyer in my door. The flyer was from the Moores Park Neighborhood Association which is where I live. They were announcing their summer calendar which includes a neighborhood meeting next week Wednesday.

Reading about the meeting made me laugh. Here I was worried about how to get to know my neighbors and in one flyer my dilemma was resolved. Sometimes, God goes above and beyond what I expect of him.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


I have no love for eharmony. Ever since I wasted over an hour filling out their ridiculously long survey only to find out that nobody on their site was a match, I have held a certain justifiable bitterness towards them. In fact, when I see their commercials I usually curse under my breath and hurl objects at the TV to express my frustration.

Having said that, today I am writing in support of them. Apparently a disgruntled lesbian is suing eharmony because they do not provide services for gays and lesbians. She thinks this is discriminatory and violates California law. The lawsuit is on behalf of all gays and lesbians who have been discriminated against.

This lawsuit is so stupid and over the top that I hope most people see it for what it is: a publicity stunt designed to attack a Christian dating site and give Christians a bad name for discriminating against gays. The gay community has never approved of eharmony because of it's support among family value types like Focus on the Family. Forget that eharmony never says anything derogatory towards gays and lesbians on their site, the mere fact that they will not provide a service for them is enough for them to hate it.

This junk lawsuit is the equivalent of a vegetarian suing a steakhouse because they don't serve Tofu. Or better yet suing the Democratic party for not allowing Republicans to attend their national conventions. It makes no sense other than trying to make someone cater to the wants of something they disagree with. The last time I checked, such an obligation is not a legal right under the constitution.

Private companies should be allowed to choose what services they provide. This woman was not harmed or denied her right to date women by eharmony's policy. She could realistically visit well over 100 other dating sites to find a girlfriend. So why choose eharmony if she knew they don't match up Lesbians? The problem here is the entitlement mentality not just of gays and lesbians but of Americans in general. If she doesn't get what she wants when she wants it, then it must be somebody else's fault.

I didn't meet the love of my life on eharmony either. On top of that, I suffered extreme emotional distress worth at least a million dollars in pain and suffering. But I didn't sue them. Then again I am not some angry lesbian trying to make a political statement.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Love your neighbor

Jesus instructs us in several passages that we are to love our neighbor. I recently heard a sermon based on this teaching and I have a question; Who is my neighbor?

The main point of the sermon was that we are supposed to be more intentional in reaching out to our neighbors as in those who literally live next door. And it was implied that if we are not doing so that we are somehow missing the meaning on Jesus' teaching. Is that really what Jesus is saying? Maybe it is but I always took it more broadly.

I have lived in my house for two months now and have not met any of my neighbors. There are not many people out and about on my street although occasionally I waive to people on their way to the Frosty Corner for ice cream. A couple days ago, I did talk to a woman and her kids as they were working in their yards. But I don't know their names nor anything about them other than there is a for sale sign in their yard. Does that mean I am not loving my neighbors?

I do think we should reach out to those we come in contact with and we should be more proactive to make contacts instead of waiting for it to just happen. But frankly I have a lot of relationships in my life that I can't keep up with currently let alone if I have to take time and meet the people who live on my street. At what point does a person reach a relational tipping point? Contrary to what some might think I need a lot of alone time to recharge and home is where I get that rest.

Hopefully as the summer begins to unfold my neighbors will venture out of their houses more often and I can meet them. Until then I am not ready to make much of an investment.