Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday School: Horns, Thuds and Cars

Lessons Learned on Your Average Sunday

1. Master Light Horn Tapping.
So, the light turns green and I mean barely turns green and Monster Truck Guy lays on his horn for me to go.  Me?  In my poor, aged car.  So mean.  We both go, turn the corner and stop at the next light.  That's when I get out.  Yep.  I did.  I motioned for Monster Truck Guy to roll down his window and said, "Darling, I don't know what you're so angry about but it's a light, that's it.  And your honk is completely inappropriate.  A light tap or two will do and maybe you can throw in a wave."  He grinned, apologized and we went on our way.

If your mother isn't dying and you're not rushing to get to the hospital to see her, there's no need to lay on the horn that hard.  Master the art of the light tap.

2. Say Sorries.
I parked my car in one of the many shopping malls I visited this weekend.  And I was running through some rather racy texts before going inside.  I like a little visual stimulation to inspire my shopping.  So, Accord pulls in real fast two spots over and rams (yes rams) into a shopping cart.  Said shopping cart goes barreling (yes barreling) into the front of my car and hits with a rather loud thud. 

I did the two horn tap to get her attention and noticed that she watched the whole incident happen.  She got out of her car, grabbed a package from the trunk and quickly ran inside the store, avoiding eye contact with me.  Hmmm. 

My younger year instinct would have been to have an encounter with her and Set.  Her.  Straight. 

I'm over it.  I looked at her and saw myself as a young woman, making rash, fast, hurried decisions and thinking of myself more than others.  And I quickly remembered causing little bumps and dents of the car and non car type.  I smiled.  I let it go.

And I reminded myself to say sorry when I cause dents and bumps and bruises and thuds even if others don't.  I'm only responsible for my sorries.

3. Moments are More Important Than Material.
I went to dinner with Brazil last night and we had a very boring lackluster evening of conversationless sushi.  Thank God the tuna was spicy because nothing else was.  Brazil is handsome and sexy and otherwise fun to watch but conversationally, he is an Ambien. 

He got me started thinking about cars though and perhaps looking at a new one instead of the old one I have.  I was a constant new car girl for many years.  It's a little humbling being no power steering or air conditioning girl.  I do like being no car payment girl though. 

Thinking.  Thinking. 

So, Brazil is talking through all the financing options because that is what he does and he's making calls and I love when men make calls for me.  And he takes me home and I sleep the sleepless night of a woman that might be buying a new car for the first time in a long time...again. 

And that really turns me on.

And it hits me.  Well, it doesn't hit me immediately but it hits me as I'm out test driving Mercedes the week before Thanksgiving.  There are people without food.  Let me rephrase, there are people without food everyday of the week but it's highlighted in the heart the week of thanksgiving.  So, I'm waiting for the guy to get the key to have me drive the car and I keep hearing in my heart, "You're going to spend $500 on this car and you could spend $500 on a person...every month."  I had great conflict in my heart about it.  I still have great conflict about it.

There are pre middle age questions to ask and to answer.  Is the car more important than the people?  Is the image more important than quietly helping someone in need?  Will material matter more than moments?  I can't honestly say I have answers to all of these but I'm glad, at this age, I'm wrestling with the questions. 

Much love....Cole

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Guest Bloggin' Thursdays: The Urban Dater

Online Dating: What to Say in a First Message
Online dating is cool. I like it because it’s very convenient. You can check out profiles at any time you like and pick and choose what you’re looking for. It’s kind of like Eugenics… But, um, not really… Well, it kinda sorta IS to a degree. Let’s not belabor the point any further. Okay? Good. Even though online dating is convenient it, too, poses many challenges. The first being: Getting past the first message. How does one hope to elicit a response from the object of their desire? I’ve got a few tips gathered from a few different sources on this topic. You’ll be surprised what you find out…

Know your, you’re, their, they’re, there aka have a firm grasp of the English language!
This one should go without saying, but people don’t want to read “netspeak.” No one wants to read:

“Hey baby wut r u doin? Ur so sExy!”

So take time to spell check. Maybe even have a friend proof read if your grammar skills are less gooder than most. People like a sense of humor and trying to put that through with sub par grammar will surely cause you to fail. Plus, bad grammar tends to make you look dumb…

Avoid Complimenting Physical Attributes.
Sure, you’ve been there. You find a profile that you like, great pics and you are just all about this person. You want to let them know what you think. For guys, it’s probably not a good idea to tell a woman such things right off the bat. Engage their personality and their intellect. For the ladies, they can get away with complimenting a guy more than men could with women. Women tend to scoff at guys when they receive a message containing compliments of their attributes… Instead, be a little vaguer with your compliments, if you feel compelled to give them. Instead of telling someone they’re sexy, tell them they are fascinating, awesome or cool and point out something they wrote on their profile.

Keep the Game in the Web Site.
At some point you’ll meet someone online that you click with. Through the nature of “getting-to-know-you-convo” you and your cyber beau will outgrow communicating through the site you met on. You may call, email or IM. That’s fine and dandy but don’t go asking for a phone number, IM or anything else in your first message. It’s probably wise to hold off the first couple of messages before you initiate that next step of contact. The reason is that people enjoy the anonymity that online dating sites offer. People can be free to browse and chat as they wish, by their own means. For women I think that’s an especially important aspect of online dating because it gives them a lot of control and they can feel safe with those they choose to communicate with. When you go asking for phone numbers and IMs right off the bat not only can a person feel uncomfortable with the request, but they also don’t know you well enough. So why are they going to bother? In fact, you may find that you get no response in return. Be patient and hang in there. You’ll get that number, it takes time.

Be Creative with Your Opening Greeting.
Try bucking the standard greetings like, “Hello” or “Hey there.” Try something different and non-offensive. Though, that seems like a given, doesn’t it? You’d be surprised how many people espouse their love of thievery and baby tossing in their first message.

To that end try starting with something slightly silly like “Howdy,” or “How’s it going?” or even the simple “Yo.” Now, these aren’t guaranteed responses, but throwing something out there and being different does help. Be creative and see what responses you get.

Talk About Specifics.
This one should go without saying, alas, it does not. A lot of times people will message someone without looking at their profile. It shows a lack of consideration on the side of the message sender.

To that point, it’s far better to talk about specific details on a person’s profile such as music, activities, travel or whatever it is that the person you are messaging is into. Bands, books and travel tend to be great conversation pieces and have a chance at getting better responses than bringing up someone’s looks. Asking questions about things a person says in their profile is great, too! It shows you really took time to comb over a person’s profile.

Be Modest… But Still Be Confident.
It could be that appearing modest and, to a lesser degree, somewhat unsure makes the writer seem more vulnerable and less threatening. It’s easier to be approached by this sort of person as they don’t conjure up images of the dude rubbing up on a random girl at a club… Saying something like, “I’m sure you hear this a lot but…” or “I’m not sure” or even “I wasn’t going to message you but…” Those all may seem like weak things to say in a message, but being modest can still make someone come off as genuinely nice and amiable.

Keep it Brief.
There’s something to be said for brevity. No one wants to read your life story or philosophies right off the bat. Keep it short and sweet and to the point. If you’re looking for a word count, try to keep it between three and four hundred words. That is a couple paragraphs of witty soul-mate catching copy. Anything more can have the effect of making you seem obsessed or that you have an odd growth on your face. Eeeewwwww. Gross!

Until next time, have fun out there.

Visit The Urban Dater for your latest dating tips and relationship advice.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday School and Pissing

Lessons Learned on a Mini LA Adventure
Courtesy of The Brazilian who made me so mad with his call today that I got in the car and headed....West!

1. Stop, breathe and watch. 
Today, I saw four little kids that were amazing.  They went into the restroom to wash up before lunch and had such a sense of the adults around them.  They said "pleases" and "thank yous" and helped each other reach the water and the soap and held the door for me when they didn't need to do that. 

Some kids are so in their head that they wouldn't dare think of another person.  Some adults are.  Sometimes I am.  I was terribly, terribly impressed.  Rather than rushing and wanting them to hurry through eights hand...I took a step back and just...watched.  It was lovely and sweet and a nice little on-my-way-to-LA moment.

2. Don't shame people.
Before I left Orange County, I stopped to put gas in the car and walked inside Chevron to get Evian.  (commence with eye rolling now.)  Screw you...I like the bottle.  Anyway, no one was behind the counter so I waited and then HE came out.  The customer service guy that was working on cleaning the bathroom.  With the cleaning-the-bathroom-gloves on.  Sure, those are the gloves he should be wearing and I'm so thankful he's doing his job and keeping the restroom nice and clean for customers.  Did he have to grab my pretty pink and white Evian water bottle with the bathroom cleaning gloved hand and ring it up?  I could have gone all gangsta on him.  I could have made him feel embarrassed for this BREACH in SERVICE!  What's the point?  He's a hard working man earning a living and simply doing his job.  And it's my job as a pre middle age woman to have an ounce of grace and simply smile, walk away nicely and tell him to have a good day. 

I left the Evian Toilet Water behind with the smile. 

3. A Line is Just a #$%@'n Line
I made it to Phillipe's in downtown LA for my favorite sandwich in the whole world.  And unfortunately, a new Metro line opened today that drops directly into my sandwich shop.  Damn. The lines are long.  You have two options.  You can stand in line and make friends or you can piss and moan.  The people behind me decided to piss and moan. 

I don't think they are having a lot of sex.

No one is out to get you.  The line didn't form to ruin your day.  The line didn't plan weeks in advance to make you Sunday Unhappy.  It's just a line.  A little itty bitty long ass line and sure, it sucks but you're going to be okay.  It's a sandwich after all.  If you really are in dire straights then maybe the line isn't for you.  So, don't go all CSI over who is moving to what line and "so and so cut in front and did you just see that???".  Let it happen.  It can be kinda organic.  Really.  It's a line with people and the people matter more than the #$%@'n line.  They do.

4. Nobody Wants to Piss Next to the Free Air/Water Machine
I was driving on the 10, my favorite freeway because I know all the bumps and grooves when all of a sudden I didn't know all of the bumps and grooves.  Having the panic brain of a single woman I naturally assumed: my car is going to explode all four tires in under 20 seconds.  I moved to the slow lane and exited near the Convention Center. 

A gas station?  A gas station?  Ahh....and I find one and check on the tires and one is a little low but not devastatingly low so I pull up next to the Free Air/Water Machine of which there are none in Orange County and start to fill 'er up. 

And it hits smells like urine.  And I roll my eyes with a big Orange County eye roll and think about how much I love where I live in a big Orange County way.  And drive off.

Minutes hits me.  No one wants to piss next to the Free Air/Water Machine.  Who wants to do that?  It's out of necessity that we do those things.  Sometimes it's out of survival.  And I'm instantly mad at my Orange County self for forgetting in a breath it could be me that is without a home, without somewhere to sleep and without somewhere to go to the restroom in private with a bit of dignity.

I'm a pre middle age idiot sometimes.  I'm glad I realize it sooner than later most times.

Lots of talk about about Chevron restrooms and urine on Evian bottles and washing hands in restrooms and pissing on streets, huh?  Sometimes Sunday School is like that.

Much love....Cole

Monday, November 9, 2009

Wooing Women with Baby Powder. Ugh!

I waited at Ruby's for three hours tonight for Staff to arrive. Okay, well, I worked on some writing for two hours and then waited for Staff for the last. Still, three hours sounds so much better. He wanted Pinkberry and I find it unreasonable to say no to such things. We got our amazing-life-changing-yogurt-goodness and went on our outdoor mall walk. I like walking with Staff. He tells me everything I have to say is full of crap. I pretend not to listen to him. It's a great friendship.

The Pinkberry-ness of the evening is almost done and Staff mentions, "Did you know that neuroscientists say men should wear baby powder behind their ear to attract women? That women are drawn to the scent...that whole wanting a baby and nurturing thing." Gross.

Give. Me. A. Break. The steps you men will go to are exhausting. If it takes baby powder behind the ear at a club to mind trap a women into dating you because you think she is baby crazy, you might have the wrong woman. Plus, do you really want crazy-wants-to-make-a-baby-tonight-woman in your bed? Tonight? Think, man. Think!

See, you don't need to trick us into wanting you. We WANT you. We like your scruffy beards. We like your almost wrinkled shirts. We like your suits. We like when you know all the answers and the crinkled look when you sometimes don't. We adore the smell of you not the baby powder jedi mind trick version of you. We like that you smell a little musky and sometimes smell a little like the end of a hard work day. We don't need you to smell like a baby's butt, no. Don't trick us into wanting you. That might work for an evening but if you're looking for anything longer than your 20 minutes of fame, you're going to have to win us over....with you.

And we really, really

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Saturday School

Lessons Learned On Just Your Average Saturday

1. Do not lose your dignity over a parking spot.
Lady A and Lady B?  That prime parking spot at Nordstrom Rack in Laguna is not worth killing each other over.  Also, you two look really silly having a Mercedes pissing match to see who finally gets the spot.  You DO realize both of you will have to walk into the same store and shop in the same aisles in about three minutes, right?  Just checkin'.
2. Every woman needs a pair of 4 inch leopard heels.
You might think you don't. You might think you're the sensible shoe wearing sort of woman but deep down in that sexy gut of yours you know you are a leopard-heel-gonna-hurt-like-hell-at-the-end-of-the-night wearing girl.  They look good on you already.  Oh, and remember what my mother taught me...if your shoes are whore-y then tone the rest down.  Well, she said to always wear taupe but you get the idea.

3. You don't have to buy everything.
Today I wanted to.  I wanted to buy everything.  I saw these charcoal pearls and they were long and if I bought four strands of them and looped them twice I would have a work of art around my neck.  And then I would need a charcoal gray crew neck sweater to go with it because the only gray sweaters I have at home are light gray, medium gray and almost charcoal gray.  Clearly I needed a new one.  So, I took my Nordstom cart to the side and stared at my items and asked myself the question that I hate asking, "Do I need this stuff or is it going to end up on the floor with the other twenty sweaters?"  I left with just the shoes and a bit more money in my purse.  I'm still not sure it was the right decision from a sweater perspective.  It is fall, after all and the pearls against my new crew sweater would have been so cool.  Shit.  I wonder what time they open on Sundays?
4. Never answer when someone asks you, "How old do you think I am?"
Never.  I was in Target doing my end of evening stroll and this man was walking the aisles, talking to himself which I can't really judge because right now I'm singing holiday tunes to myself.  "Just hear those sleigh bells jingling..." is the song of the evening and boo on you if you don't want to listen.  Anyway, this guy is about 8 feet tall and has thick matted dark hair and light blue eyes and looks like maybe, just maybe his meds might need adjusting.  And he goes up to a Target Guest Service Helper Assister Guy and asks (more like follows), "No, really, I'm not walking away until you answer.  Tell me how old you think I am.  Cause I think I look pretty young."  Target Guy makes the grand mistake of answering, "45."  Never, ever answer when someone asks you, "How old do you think I am?"  Especially when they are 8 feet tall.
5. Be kind to old people at the movies. 
I go to indie movies more often than not.  And there's a trend.  You'd think the theatre would be full of Starving Students or Angry Artsy People or Down With Republicanists.  Nope.  My theater has a bunch of blue hairs.  And they save seats by throwing their super cozy sweaters over three spots.  And they yell to their friends arriving late so that the hard of hearing friends can find each other.  Sometimes, once all the yelling and settling of the sweaters is done a lovely old couple will walk in.  Tonight was one of those nights.  It was dark already as the previews had begun and the man appeared to be struggling with walking just enough to make him feel uncomfortable but not enough where it was terribly noticeable.  I noticed.  I have a dad like that.  I could tell it was going to be a huge effort for them to go sit in the front.  Sometimes you don't realize how hard it is for a person with limited mobility to take just a few steps.  And so, I grabbed my diet coke and my half eaten hot dog and my luggage sized purse, quickly got up and headed to the front.  Be kind to people that need spots in movies. Be kind to people that sometimes just need an extra hand or a seat or a gesture.  Oh, the ones that talk on the cell phone through the first 20 minutes of the same movie?  They can take my cold hard beatdown.  I got no love for them.  Not on Saturday.

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