March 21, 2015

TiVo Spring Cleaning

The original title for this blog was “Breaking Up with Television Shows” but it took me so long to get to it, it’s now officially spring!  So now it’s time for some spring cleaning on my TiVo.  I have WAY to many shows accumulating. I literally can’t watch all of this stuff and I have other things I should be doing with my time (remember why I started this blog many years ago?)  I am having a hard time letting go.  Will I be missing something?  What if everyone else is talking about a show and I am out of the loop? This show has huge buzz, shouldn’t I be watching it? What if I change my mind and its gone forever?

I am so relieved when a show that I am so-so about is cancelled. Its like being in a relationship that should end, but you don’t want to hurt the other person, so you keep going until THEY break up with you. Unfortunately, none of these shows is going to break up with me any time soon so I will have to take matters in to my own hands or I will drown in television. If I would actually rather watch The Bachelor than some other show in my TiVo (a) I do realize there might be something wrong with me (b) the show is probably expendable. If I REALLY regret it, I can catch back up on it when I am 80 and have nothing better to do. In the age of streaming, nothing is gone forever. (There, now I feel better.)

Here is what will be removed from my TiVo by the time you read this blog:

Madam Secretary – I think Tea Leoni is awesome. I want to hang out with Tea but it feels like a chore to watch this show.

Empire is kicking ass and is now one of the top 10 network TV shows in America. I did watch the first few episodes and the music is awesome, but the show is average, at best.

Once Upon a Time is past its prime with me. In the beginning I thought the mythology of bringing all of these fairy tales together with this mystery was pretty cool. I’m over it. Hook is hot and I will miss him, but this one also has to go..

Girlfriends Guide to Divorce – I did painfully get through this first season but I can’t bring it back next season. I actually liked it in the beginning but it seemed to take a dive about when Janeane Garofalo left. 

The Following – I started to watch the first episode of this season…but I’m done.  Sorry Kevin Bacon. You are a dude.

The Blacklist – James Spader is fun in this show, but I find myself completely disinterested in these criminals. I am not digging it.

There is still too much on the list, including a few new shows that I have not even checked out yet and should not really bring in to the fold (The Slap, Secrets and Lies, American Crime)…and I have to watch this true crime drama The Jinx: The Life and Death of Robert Durst that just ended and is waiting for me, and I added two new shows that are staying (Better Call Saul and Broad City..hilarious.) See how I have a hard time letting go?  Sigh…well, this is a start!

UPDATE: I started watching The Slap and it’s good….luckily this one is a “television event” like a long mini-series so it is not a huge commitment. (Phew!)

February 28, 2015

Today is My Birthday

Today is my birthday. Hitting 46 feels like I am officially starting the second half of my life. I’ll have to report back at 91 (or 92?) to let you know if I outperformed that assumption. Although, when I am in my 90s, people might not be writing blogs. The internet might just read all of our minds in to a collective consciousness or something (like the Cylons on Battlestar Galactica!) Then you won’t need an update.

What’s probably more important at the moment, is that I am actually in a good place as I kick of this approximate second phase of life. There have been a lot of days lately where I have realized that I am in a good mood and I am not sure why. That’s a pretty awesome feeling. (Reading back through my blog posts from this past year, I know I am in a better place. 2014 was not so amazing, huh?)

Has my job gotten less crazy? Nope.

Have I found that magical love that I thought would change everything? Nope.

Am I meditating, doing tons of yoga, or getting in more cardio? Not really. (as a matter of fact, I have scientific proof from my fitbit that I am not even taking very many steps!)

What’s changed?…..me!  Over time, things have just shifted. (OK, that did not just happen. I have worked VERY hard at it. I am pretty sure this shift is a return on investment for my almost twenty years of therapy. That is an encouraging thought as I write those checks every month.)

I think I have transitioned through that time in my life where I was expecting things to happen, comparing myself to other people, constantly trying to figure out why those things were not happening, or beating myself up for not trying hard enough. Some stuff happened. Some stuff didn’t. Some stuff may happen in the future and some stuff won’t. That’s how it goes…

Every time I talk to a friend or co-worker about some annoying thing in my life, they one-up me with something worse in their life. Being single is hard. Being married is hard. Working in a high stress job is hard. Being laid off is hard. Raising kids is hard. People get sick. People die. People are mean. Disappointment happens. There is no perfect life and we have no control over most of it. But sometimes the sky looks beautiful. Sometimes people surprise you (in a good way!). Sometimes a movie touches your heart. Sometimes you can actually balance in the dancers pose. Sometimes your little niece wants to call you on the phone because she misses you. Sometimes you kick ass in a meeting. And sometimes, just seeing a lizard will make you smile (that might only happen to me.)  If you are lucky enough to really appreciate these good moments and breathe through the shitty ones. Life is good.

This is all very Zen. I should really read up on all of this Buddhist stuff I might be accidentally living.

For the past six months, the main focus of my upcoming birthday was this grand plan that I had to roll my birth date back at midnight so I would stay 45 on OK Cupid. I had convinced myself that being 46 was the kiss of death for online dating and I was never going to get older than 45 online. But when the day came, I couldn’t do it.  First of all, it is not like dating at 45 has been all that fruitful. (Yes, the ridiculousness of the men I encounter in the dating world has continued in to 2015.) If I am going to lie about my age, I should go all out and be 35. But the real issue was that I don’t want to be something I am not. Period. I like myself and I want to be myself. I’m 46 and I’m awesome. I work really hard to be this person that I like, and this person does not lie. Your loss if you can’t handle my 46 year old awesomeness :)

So I am going to move in to my 47th year and do whatever the hell I want and be myself. I have managed to create a life where that is possible, every day. Not bad.

December 31, 2014

What a Weird Fall…

It’s been forever, again, I know. Because I had a really weird fall/early winter. Before we start 2015, here is a quick summary of all of the weird stuff that happened that I never told you about! Then we can start anew…

When I last updated you, I was also having a really weird month. From there, I got my balance back (briefly). All of the weird bugs and bug bites went away. I started a daily yoga routine before work (was super proud of that) and dived back in to the online dating pool.

New  Yorker CoverI went on a couple of dates with the Tiny Jazz Musician. He was actually a very cool guy and we had a good first date and he did all of the post date follow up perfectly. But on the second date, some key personality differences were revealed, and I realized that I was not attracted to him at all. At some point during our second date, he showed me a New Yorker he had with him and pointed out that his friend said he looked like the guy on the cover (in the middle with the glasses). Bad move.  From that moment forward, all I could picture when I looked at him was this guy (who also looks like the guy on this cover, and like the Tiny Jazz Musican..but bigger.) I couldn’t recover! No third date.

Right about that time, I got called to jury duty. I ended up getting selected for a fascinating trial that lasted eight days. You can read a bit about this art forgery trial here. As a follow up, we decided the art was fake and that crazy artist Nussberg had to pay equally crazy gallery owner Tatintsian 5 dollars. (Apparently nominal damages is like 5 dollars.) What I learned from this trial experience was (1) real life court is nothing like TV. The technology in court does not work right, lawyers trip over their words, and there are tons of rules that slow everything down. (2) we are trusting very important decisions to regular people based on only what lawyers decide to share with you (or are competent enough to uncover or explain correctly). This is a bad system. (By “regular people” I mean that most are not super smart. My jury was unusually intelligent, I assume by choice, because the trial was SO complex.)  (3) this entire process would be so much more efficient (for jurors) if they recorded the whole thing before we got there and edited it down to exactly the pieces we were supposed to see and hear and play them back for us. First, it would save us tons of time and allow us to know how much time it will take. Even more importantly, we are constantly hearing things we are supposed to ignore, which we don’t, because we are human. I realize lawyers use this as a strategy but it is bullshit and just compounds the reasons why this is such a bad system. After binge listening to Serial this past week.  My theories about our jury/trial system were reconfirmed. Listen to it. It’s pretty cool….

I also learned a lot about abstract art and specifically about Kazimir Malevich (one of his pieces shown above) and the avant-garde, suprematist art movement in Russia. It was like an eight day art class. Pretty cool!

There was a bit more dating. All dating is weird. There was the Music Writer who I had an OK date with but he pushed too hard at the end of the date which ended up being really weird and was a huge turn off. No second date. Then there were a few guys I chatted with on Hinge or Tinder who I never ended up meeting. The Private Chef, Burning Man Guy, and this guy (who was the most promising of the three, but also disappeared mid conversation. Very common.)  There is one guy who is still lingering, The Jazz Musician with the Beautiful Face. We can call him JMBF for short. I will have to cut him off pretty soon (or he will just disappear), but he has been entertaining for the holidays. JMBF is hot and smart and kind of interesting when I can get him to actually speak, but he just does not do relationships. Also, very common in my dating world.

bhut pepperAnd then, just today, I spent 24 hours chatting with Hot Sauce guy on Tinder (he owns a hot sauce/hot pepper company in Brooklyn. I have illegally included his logo to the right.) Some of his comments/questions were a little weird but I was trying to keep an open mind. He wanted to Facebook me to “see more pictures” which I reluctantly agreed to figuring I could just de-friend him if he ended up confirming my weird suspicions. Then, when he offered to send me more pictures and I said, “Lets just meet in person and see if we click. Want to have a drink when you are back in town?” He responded by de-matching me on Tinder (or taking down his Tinder profile completely. I can’t tell which.) SO WEIRD. What is even weirder is that we are still Facebook friends but he has sent no follow up messages to explain the disappearance from Tinder after 24 hours of chatting.  SO WEIRD. I will be clearly be de-friending him.  SO WEIRD.

So dating is going really well (sarcasm). But I rock on…

Before Thanksgiving, I got a cold, that turned in to a sinus infection, that turned in to a double ear infection! So, I spent a lot of late fall/early winter sick. That was a huge drag. I am FINALLY better, finished traveling and celebrating the holidays, and am now regrouping before 2015 comes (in 6 hours). I am chilling out, watching TV (finally binge watching the Wire just released in HD on HBO), and catching up on tons of stuff on my to do list (who doesn’t have a vacation to do list!)

Now that we are all caught up, I hope to have some more deep thoughts and/or funny stories for you in 2015. Happy New Year!!!

September 27, 2014

Bugs, Ex-Boyfriends, and Suicide

The title of this blog pretty much sums up my past few weeks. Here is how it went…

After a fabulous start, followed by a rocky middle, the Recovering Musician texted me a few days after our fourth date to say “he didn’t think he was in a place where he could really open up right now.” Pretty much all of his behavior since our second date illustrated this fact so I was not completely surprised. We parted ways amicably and I wished him luck in figuring it all out. (Yes, people actually break up over text these days. I’ve gotten used to it.)

A few days  later, still a bit raw from the mini-break up with the messed up Recovering Musician, I made the mistake of having dinner with my ex-high school boyfriend. This is a guy that I got re-involved with two years ago who then disappeared, repeatedly. We got in to the same old thing where thinks he can just pick up where he left off and talks about how we have these “roots” and talks about all of these things we will do in the future. I tell him he lives in a fantasy world. I point out of all of the things he has said and done in the past and how much he has hurt me. And I remind him that he will disappear in three days.  But because I was just a tiny bit vulnerable (and I had two glasses of wine), I let him him just smidgeon and a tiny bit of my heart thought maybe he had changed. He disappeared within three days.

Then I headed off to Montauk for the weekend with some new women friends I had met on my trip to Mexico last year. Let me remind you that my bug encounter in Mexico was kind of traumatic. So much so that I have not been able to commit to any vacations since….until I agreed to a long weekend in Montauk. Just a three hour drive for a couple of days, what could go wrong? Ticks!!!  Within one day of being home, I got an email that the dog that was with us was covered in poppy seed sized ticks, I found a bite on my leg, two other women found bites, there was a lot of worrying, a lot of laundry, and a trip to urgent care. We have since learned that these were lone star larvae that don’t carry lyme disease but could carry some other stuff, including an allergy to red meat.  So weird! I had a burger on Sunday before I learned this. It was delicious. I think I am fine.

Are you wondering where the suicide part comes in? That’s next (but we aren’t done with bugs!)

Tick week ended with suicide weekend. Another ex-boyfriend (this one from college) invited me to hang out with some of his friends who were coming in to the city,  but he said he wanted to talk with me about something before the night began. He told me his niece had taken her own life six weeks ago. Huge bummer. Since my own brother took his own life 11 years ago, he thought I would be a good person to talk to. I was (I think.) Then we had a few drinks and the night ended with what could be construed as a slightly more than friendly kiss (initiated by him!). This is not good because he is married. I am chalking it up to the many beers he had and the empathetic ear. Ex-boyfriends are dangerous. That won’t happen again.

The next day, I headed upstate to walk with my family in one of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of Darkness walks to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention (hence suicide weekend). A bittersweet day because it is a nice day with my upstate family, but you know, my brother committed suicide so that sucks and its sad. He doesn’t get to read about my bugs and ex-boyfriends and I don’t get to hang out with him…ever. I did learn two new ways to say “committed suicide”.  Apparently you are supposed to say “completed suicide” or “suicided”. Who knew that was even a word? No matter what you call it, it sucks.

So I got through all of that and took a deep breath and headed back to work. On Monday, I started to feel itchy on my head and all over my body. I was checking for bugs (lice, fleas)..nothing. I assumed it was dry skin. By Thursday, there were itchy bumps showing up on my skin that became red bumps on Friday. Really? Seriously? This could not be the ticks after all this time. This was something new. I was freaking out. I checked with my upstate family to see if they had any issues (lice, fleas)…nothing. This was something in NYC. Something in my apartment. Bed bugs from the train? Was the possible? Please no…

I remembered that there are bugs I see around my apartment from time to time. I had investigatephotod them online in the past and they were not bed bugs. I had put out ant traps last year and had not seen one in a while. Could it be those little things? Were they back? I busied my self cleaning my apartment and washing everything AGAIN (I just did this last week!) Then I saw one of the little bugs and I trapped it (and photographed it for you!) Then I found this tiny little centipede thing near my bed  and remembered I had seen those before too! I went to town on Google. (I have looked at probably 100 pictures of bugs and bites in the past few days.) This thing has wings, it is NOT a bed bug. I have concluded that this is a carpet beetle. I have learned that they do not bite, but some people are allergic to the prickly hairs on the larvae of these beetles that cause bumps that LOOK like bed bug bites.  I am apparently one of those people. Crazy!  I guess they like to crawl in to bed with you and the must crawl back out before I wake up because I have not seen them there.  The internet says pest control is not necessary. You just have to keep your apartment clean.  I can do that! (I was a little busy the past few weeks so things did get a little dusty and those buggers clearly took over!)

Here’s to hoping  that I have properly diagnosed the issue and that vacuuming and washing has nibbed this in the bud. I would really like to have an awesome bug free, suicide free, ex-boyfriend free week!!!

 

 

 

 

September 21, 2014

Fall TV Picks

I can’t pretend that I have done much research on fall TV beyond skimming the Fall TV Preview issue of Entertainment Weekly while half watching Big Brother one night this week and obsessing about whether I might have contracted lyme disease from a possible tick bite on my leg that I acquired on the east end of Long Island. But the Fall TV season is starting and  I feel that it is my obligation to point out the very few things that caught my attention during the EW skim, before its too late.

These are Entertainment Weekly’s six can’t miss shows (I will be missing some of them)

  1. How to Get Away With Murder – Thu 10pm ABC (Starts Sept 25) – Shonda Rhimes’ lastest show (Scandal and Grays Anatomy) bringing mystery, drama, surprises, and Viola Davis. Not to be missed, clearly.
  2. The Affair - Sun 10pm Showtime (Starts Oct 12) – I have been watching the trailer for this all summer before Masters of Sex and Ray Donovan. Looks awesome. Two people who had (or are having?) and affair tell the story from their perspectives in the two halves of the pilot and there seems to be something going on (involving a detective) that will apparently suck us in.  Another must watch.
  3. Marry Me – Tues 9pm NBC (Starts Oct 14) – from the creator of Happy Endings which I only learned to appreciate at the very end as a hilarious show. Also starring one of the actresses from Happy Endings who is married to the creator. A Rom-Com with razor-blade sharp opposites attract chemistry.  Looks good!
  4. Red Band Society – Wed 9pm Fox – this one premiered last week (sorry!) and it sitting on my TiVo. I don’t need any more teen dramas in my life. Inventive, big-hearted, quirky with Octavia Spencer.  Worth a look…
  5. Transparent – Amazon streaming – yes, streaming.  Now that I have a Chromecast, I could actually stream this to my TV from my computer via Amazon Prime (and a Google extension). The world is so insane, right? (Of course my much younger and more savvy brother in law taught me how to do this.) Anyway, anyone with a laptop and Amazon Prime can watch this show (created by someone from Six Feet Under) about a transgender man who has not told his kids he is living as a woman.  I probably won’t have time for this, but is is getting a lot of attention.
  6. Flash – Tues 8pm The CW (Starts Oct 7) – something about tights and superhero fun. Not for me, but if you like this sort of thing.

Then these few of other things caught my eye..

Gotham – Mon 8pm Fox (Starts Sept 22) – this looks like a semi-interesting super hero show. More “dark and twisted” than “tights and fun.”

Madam Secretary - Sunday 8pm CBS (Starts Sept 21..in 8 minutes!) -Tea Leoni is tapped for Secretary of State. OK, I did a little bit more research to ge a second opinion and the Washington Post gave this show its highest score (A-) for new shows this fall. (If interested in their opinion..read more here)

American Horror Story – Freak Show – Wed 10pm Fox (Starts Oct 8) – This is technically a returning show but every season completely different, so its never too late to start watching.  This season looks even creepier than ever with conjoined twins, a woman with three breasts, and Kathy Bates as a bearded lady. It looks insane.

As a reminder, here is where I go to get a calendar view of what starts when so I don’t miss anything! TVGuide Fall TV Preview Calendar

 

 

August 31, 2014

A Couple of My Favorite Food Things

This month, I have two favorite food things. These food things came in to my life because I hate deciding what to eat. I dread the trip to the grocery store every week. Thing 1 and thing 2 have made eating simpler, a bit more fun, and still healthy!

Vitamix – This kitchen tool has completely changed my life in just a week. I am very lazy in the kitchen. When I decide I am hungry, I want to be eating within 10 minutes. If it takes more than 10 minutes to prepare, I don’t really want it by the time it is ready (and I usually mess it up or I make SO much I end up throwing most of it away. Things just don’t taste as good after they are frozen so I don’t freeze.) I also happen to be the only person in NYC who does not order in, ever.  I have this vision of lukewarm, unhealthy, expensive food showing up at my door.  So I just don’t do it. This summer, I found myself eating snacks for dinner most nights. Mostly healthy snacks (popcorn, crackers and Tzatziki), but still snacks. Not enough nutrition.  I decided it was time to jump on the smoothie train. (I had considered a juicer because I actually prefer the consistency of juice, but juicers are a huge pain and not for someone who is lazy in the kitchen.)

I jumped WAY in paying over $500 for the Vitamix Professional Series 300. When it arrived and I set it up in my kitchen, it looked HUGE! My kitchen is super tiny with only ONE plug on a very small counter next to my sink. This plug is already supporting a microwave, a fridge, a toaster over, and a coffee maker.  Could my kitchen support another appliance? I almost sent it back for a smaller version but I had already purchased a ton of fruits and veggies and was dying for a smoothie!  The first one was delicious and SO easy. Pineapple, banana, and kale. The next day I made cashew nut milk. 10 minutes from start to finish INCLUDING clean up. I had purchased WAY more than I could eat before it went bad, but I learned that I can freeze fruit or use frozen fruit! You actually SHOULD use frozen fruit if you want a cold smoothie. I can stock up on Saturday to last the whole week. Amazing. Trader Joes power greens, ,some berries, almond milk and yogurt and I have a full meal. After a couple of days of super yummy smoothies I had a bit too much confidence and went off recipe and ended up with something really disgusting that tasted like an avocado, kale mousse. I couldn’t drink it.  Everything else has been really delicious and healthy.  In the winter, I can use it to make soup! Definitely a very good investment (with a 7 year warranty!)

e6b860edb2e89656_naturebox1.xxxlarge_2xNaturebox – Another favorite food thing, a magical box of healthy snacks that arrives in the mail every month. I do love to snack. Naturebox donates meals to the hungry for every box I buy, no artificial anything, delivered right to my door.  $20 a month for 5 snacks packages is not super cheap, but I pay for convenience and health, so I am their target market. For the first few months, Naturebox picked my snacks for me. I hate deciding what to eat so I was happy to let the mystery box appear every month. I liked most of the snacks, but there were always a couple I was not wild about.  Then I finally got my act together to take advantage of their select your own snacks option!  There are so many delicious options to pick from. Here are a few of my favorites: Sourdough Cheddar Pretzels, Whole Wheat Apple Pie Figgy Bars, Lemon Tea Biscuits, Banana Bread Granola, Everything Bagel Sticks (so this is what I was eating for dinner before I got my Vitamix). If you are thinking about trying it, hit me up. I can get you one free box when you sign up for a subscription (that you can of course cancel if you don’t love it as much as I do.) I can not, unfortunately, get you a discount on a Vitamix.

August 17, 2014

Meet Market: Part Two

Last week, I left you all in suspense about my blind date with Thomas. Well, here’s how it went.

A few hours before the date, I got an email telling me where to go, the first name of my date and a few facts about him. The Post picks the location and picks up the tab (sweet!). The email told me that I would be meeting THOMAS (he put it in all caps, I assume so I would not forget it) and that he had a beard and he was a very interesting guy who made his own wine, composed music and had lived in Prague for four years. I had told Jozen I liked interesting, smart guys with beards. Clearly, he had put some thought in to this.

Coincidentally, also a few hours before the date, I started not feeling so great. I had all of a sudden come down with a stomach bug and a low grade fever. I don’t usually get nervous for first dates but I had been under a lot of stress at work, and had been going non-stop for weeks. I was exhausted. I have no idea whether it was stress or a bug of some kind, but  net-net, I was not feeling well at all going in to this date. But I couldn’t cancel!  Jozen, my matchmaker, had a column deadline to meet! So I went…

THOMAS was about 10 minutes late. I spent that 10 minutes praying he would not show up and wondering how the heck I was going to get through this. When he did show up, my first impression was that he seemed like a nice, laid back guy. There wasn’t an initial attraction but he wasn’t unattractive. We started by deciding what to order (a challenge since I did not think I could eat or drink anything.) I was trying really hard to just play through it, but I was pretty much in a fog the entire date. I could not focus.  He told me stories that I vaguely remember. I tried to think of questions to ask but I remember going blank a lot. He talked about his work which was really interesting but while he was talking I was thinking “this would be even more interesting if I did not want to go home and crawl in to my bed right now.”  I remember talking a lot about how much I work and how I have no idea what my passion is. Fun stuff! Let’s just say, I was not my best self on this date.

About half way in to the date, a photographer showed up to take pictures for part two of the article. She asked us to pose with various expressions: both enjoying the date, both hating the date, one of us miserable with the other one happy, and vice versa. This was a hilarious exercise. The entire situation was so funny that I really looked like I was having fun in those pics. I really wasn’t.

After we got the check the uncomfortable part came where we had to figure out what the other person was thinking. I finally decided to tell him him that I was not feeling well and that I had been out of it the entire date. I figured I was SUCH a bad date, he should know why. He replied “You get better?” I was very surprised by that. He wanted to exchange information and go out again but I uncomfortably said no and apologized. My gut told me that there wouldn’t have been a spark, regardless of how I was feeling. If we had clicked, I would have been able to pull off a better version of myself.

After the date, Jozen asks each person so send him a brief write up with details so he can write about the date. I was dying to know what THOMAS said about the date. Well, now I know! The article is out and you can read it here before you go on (This Week’s Couple: Sick Leave).

Apparently, I made the exact impression that I thought I did. I was REALLY not a good date that night. (I do get better!  Really! I do!) I have to assume that he was willing to go out again because he found me attractive which was overriding his gut impression that we were not clicking. Attraction does tend to make you overlook things. It is interesting what Jozen chose to include in the write up. My guess is that THOMAS’ “not even a platonic interest” was not because I don’t like oysters and would not try his fish tacos. If that was the issue, then we really are not a match. (For the record, normally, I would have tried his fish tacos. Fish tacos are the last thing you want when you feel ill.)

There is no way for me to know exactly what THOMAS was feeling (he did know this would be in the paper after all) but if he was really relieved that he did not have to go out with me again, then I know I made the right call and I clearly don’t have to feel bad about not going out with him again. This was a semi interesting experience and Jozen is not a bad match maker. The situation ended up being really odd, but it was a cool thing to try. Definitely an adventure.

August 10, 2014

Meet Market: Part One

So I had an awesome second date with the Recovering Musician and then he left town for three weeks to vacation in Asia. I hope to see him again, but if anything can happen on a second date, REALLY anything can happen in a month.  In the mean time, another opportunity presented itself to me, and when opportunity knocks…

A while back (in the middle of my July dating frenzy), I got an email from OK Cupid asking if I was interesting in being part of the Meet Market column in the NY Post. I have no idea why they picked me (maybe it was my new awesome profile!), but I figured, “Why Not?” I really didn’t think anything would actually come of it, but things progressed and I actually ended up going on a date. Now you get a behind the scenes look at how the NY Post Meet Market works. Something, I am sure you were dying to know (since most likely not one of you has ever seen this column.)

Once I opted in, I got a very nice email from Jozen, who writes the column, providing clear instructions on next steps (I love clear instructions on next steps!) These next steps involved going in to the NY Post office to get my picture taken and completing a VERY long questionnaire about who I am and what I am looking for. I happened to have some time the next day to head to midtown for a photo shoot so I got the ball rolling.

I met with Jozen for about 15 minutes pre-shoot and he explained the process. The article runs in two parts over two weeks. Part one, lists a candidate and three potential matches for the candidate.  Part two runs the following week and gives a play by play of how the date went with the person the candidate ended up going out with. What really happens (here is the inside scoop!) is that Jozen decides to set two people up and sends them on a date before he even publishes part one of the article. He then throws two other candidates in to the mix and lets people weigh in on who they THINK the candidate should go out with. I guess this is really the only way to make sure you can get a part two out of a bunch of flakey, busy, New York daters. He told me I could be the candidate or one of the matches. It would all depend on “what he has in his files.” Basically, my fate was in the hands of my new matchmaker, Jozen.

MeetMarket-OkCupid-PhilThe photo shoot was quick and painless. It is hard to look comfortable in such a weird situation. I was not born to be a super model. I completed the questionnaire that weekend, sent it off, and promptly forgot about the whole thing.

About two weeks later I got an email from Jozen saying he had someone to set me up with. Two days later, I was on a date with Thomas, a 37 year old adventurous introvert.  I knew absolutely nothing about Thomas until about 2 hours before the date when I was given a few tid bits including his name and where to go to meet him. This was the blindest date I have ever been on.

Now YOU know that I went on the date already, but the rest of the word doesn’t know. What the world does know, is that Thomas will go on a date with one of the three women listed here.  (The online version doesn’t explain very well that Thomas will go out with one of these women, but the print version does. The Post is too big to fit on my old school home scanner, but an example print version is shown to the left. This is what OK Cupid sent me as an example.)

I will leave you in suspense on how the date went.  I am actually VERY curious to hear Thomas’s side of the story. The summary will look something like this. For my 2 blog fans who are not members of my family or my closest friends, I will also leave you in suspense on which of these three women I am. My devoted fans (if I actually have any) might be able to figure it out. Until next week…

July 26, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Apps

Every once in a while I stumble across something cool.  I have this plan to write a monthly blog featuring a few of my favorite new things. That’s a lot of things. Let’s start with my new favorite apps and where it goes…

Bus NYCBusNYC – I am a big fan of the bus. It’s not cool, I know. I ride the bus. I see who I am riding the bus with. But I get to stay above ground where there is more fresh air and more to see. And when you live on the far east side of NYC, the bus becomes your friend. What makes the bus fun, is the Bus NYC app. This app tells me exactly when the bus is coming! It’s amazing. I can see all of the buses on the route and watch them move along while I obsessively refresh the view. I can pull up the schedule to see exactly when the next bus is coming. I can save my favorite stops so I can pull them up quickly. My current commute to work involves changing from one bus to another so now I can get on bus #1 and try to perfectly time bus #2. So much fun. I paid $3 for this app, but worth every penny.

 

CitymapperCitymapper – Shortly after my life was changed by the BusNYC map, I learned about the CityMapper app. This app takes my real time bus information to a whole new level. Citymapper will show me the fastest transit route to get to any destination in NYC. I have tried other apps that claim to do this (like HopStop) but I never took to them.  A couple of things about Citymapper that got me hooked right away. (1) it includes the path train as a transit option. Not many people know about or use the path for commutes within Manhattan (since it goes to NJ), but Citymapper does (2) The main screen includes an intuitive way to add home and work as short cuts so I can always very quickly find the fastest way to get to the two places I go most.  Very cool.  In addition, the app will also display how long it will take to walk, bike, or cab it to my destination AND how many calories I would burn for walking or biking.  Even MORE, the biking option show options for your own bike or using a bike share. I can see it does even more stuff that I haven’t figured out yet. Seriously, this app is awesome. And it was free. FREE! Unfortunately, Citymapper is telling me my two bus commute is not always the fastest option and I am still in a bit of denial about this.

 

Equanimity TimerEquanimity – My last app is not a transit app.  Equanimity is my meditation timer. Since I have been hitting the meditation pillow (almost) every day for 15 minutes, this one gets a lot of use. I like this app because it is simple and it keeps a record of my meditation. I have a nice log that reminds me I have issues with meditating on Saturday for some reason so I can’t get a good continuous run going. I have tried another app called Insight Timer that does the same things AND shows you who else is mediating with the Insight Timer app around the world (or near you.) That is all well and good, but the Insight Timer app is kind of hideous.  Sure, for most of the time I am meditating, I am not looking at the app, but a nice elegant interface gets me in the right mindset for my 15 minutes of quiet thinking.  Note: Insight Timer is FREE and I paid $5 for Equanimity. I pay for quality. It’s how I roll…

Equanimity Timer 2

What are your favorite apps blog fans?

July 20, 2014

Summer Dating

After a long hiatus from dating, I somehow managed to date three different guys in the past month. I sort of fell back in to it one night when I decided to pop in to Tinder while I was hanging out with my TiVo.

Tinder led me to a really bad date with a guy who wrote an interesting book on the scientific reasons why people believe in God. This guy (The Author) warned me that he was only looking for “erotic fun” and I warned him that “casual sex” was not really my thing, but he somehow convinced me to meet him. Let’s just say that our one hour together did not end well. He was very pushy. I was not interested. He got very annoyed. The only good thing about that experience was that it inspired me to read a very interesting book about science and God.

Often, a bad date sends me back in to dating hibernation but two things inspired me to keep going:

  1. My therapist has been subtly asking me whether I thought I might be lonely when I was 60 and it would be harder to find people to date. (ok, not so subtly)
  2. When I had been complaining to a friend that you have to go on SO many bad dates to get to a good date, he reminded me that it is the same on the other side. That guy that I would eventually go on a good date with was suffering through a lot of bad dates, too. And if one of us gave up, we would never meet. Good point!

So the morning after my really bad date, buckled up and got back out there.  I had been checking out this one guy for a while but wanted to add some more kick to my profile before I wrote to him and hadn’t had time. (You may recall that my friends had helped me with my profile long ago but I was never really happy with it.) That morning, I finally came up with something that really felt like me.

With my super cool new profile up, I wrote to they guy I had my eye on (The Recovering Musician) and a back-up guy (The Filmmaker) who had been checking me out and seemed interesting. They both wrote me back and I miraculously ended up having good first dates with both of them. (I just read a whole book about a possible scientific explanation for why people believe in miracles. For the record, I don’t think this was really a miracle, but it was surprising!)

The Filmmaker wrote me back first and was available first so I went out with him first. The first date was good, but the second date was bad.  There was attraction and he was smart and interesting, but he was all about him.  He told really LONG stories about himself. LOTS of them. He was attracted to me, but not that interested in getting to know me. Huge turn off. He also had an odd sense of humor. I tried to tell myself that was no big deal, but can you really spend a lot of time with someone makes jokes that you don’t find funny, at all? Thankfully, I never heard from him after our second date. (This really did feel like a miracle.)

Then I (finally) met The Recovering Musician. It actually felt like I was meeting a famous person because I had my eye on him for so long. (As is turns out, he used to actually be a sort of semi famous singer/songwriter. He’s on Itunes. And he’s not bad.) I had originally thought of him as the Hipster but he does not think of himself as a Hipster and perhaps it is unfair of me to think everyone who lives in Williamsburg and rides a Citibike to work is a Hipster (ironic smiley face here.) I could actually call him the Meditator but that does not really roll off the tongue. We did have a very nice first date and it was actually a CONVERSATION (meaning two people exchange ideas and take turns talking and listening.)  I like conversations.  There is attraction. His sense of humor is aligned with mine, and we seem to have some core stuff in common.  Our second date is on the calendar and I look forward to it, but anything can happen on the second date. (Because I date so much now, I know these things.)

While I was getting a pedicure last week, I read an article about dating in one of those ridiculous women’s magazines that I read when I get pedicures.  The premise was that people are not really dating. They are hooking up and hanging out and watching Netflix together (because the young kids don’t actually have cable, they stream everything..crazy) but not dating.  She specifically said that getting to know people is a cool way to learn about the world outside of your own. So true. After having met an author, a filmmaker, and a recovering musician/mediator this past month, as painful as some of those moments were, it was cool to learn about them and what they do and what they think. And I survived the awkward moments and lived to tell about them.

Let the summer dating continue…

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