Saturday, January 30, 2010

Two date kitty

I'm going on a 2nd date tomorrow.  We went on our first date two weeks ago and I didn't have a lot of expectations as we had to reschedule a few times.  On our first date, I was pleasantly surprised.  He was super cute, fun and nice.  And, he seemed into me.  Always a good start.  I seem to make a good first date.  Of the dates I've been on, even if I wasn't interested in them, a 2nd date could be expected.  However, I'm starting to notice a lack of interest past date 2.  I think the 2nd dates I've been interested have gone well, but they never seem to materialize into 3rd dates.  I'm trying not to take it personally because there are so many variables at play: where someone is in their life, work, better offers, or even maybe, just maybe, I got too comfortable on that 2nd date and my big mouth said something it shouldn't.  One day I'd love to get an honest guys opinions on this topic.  In the meantime, I trudge along in mystery.  God, this dating thing is confusing! But for now, onto date #2 with cute boy.  Wish me luck.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The sun never shines in China

I've been to China 5 times in the past 2 years.  In the 5 times I've been, I've never seen the sun shine.  I've been various times of year (April, August, February) And every time I go, it never ceases to amaze me that I never see the sun.  It's like the communist government ordered it that way.  Grey skies, to match the grey buildings to match the grey roads.  China is the very model of efficiency.  It's economy has grown a minimum of 8% for most of the past 10 years.  What amazes me about the country (of the industrial areas I've seen) is the efficiency.  It's the ultimate model of "there's a task at hand, get it done".  Everything is very efficient, yet without a hint of emotion.  Workers at the factories are androgenous and just doing what they do, with blank expressions on their faces.

The lack of emotion and color in industrial China fascinates me.  I've been to India an equal number of times (albeit for greater lengths of time) and whereas India is the opposite in it's colorfulness in the saris of the female workers, or the jasmine scent of the flower braids in their hair, China is grey. Very grey.  There's so much more to be said of all I've learned and seen in China, but the lack of color never ceases to amaze me... 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ode to my Christian Louboutins (or why I need a shoe intervention)

I'm in Hong Kong for work (I still pinch myself at the fact I have a job that pays me to get on a plane a couple of times a year).  In the past year, I've been to Hong Kong for work 4 times.  By being here so often, I've come to know what's a tourist trap (temple street market, Nathan road), what's unique (Cheung Chau Island) and where the good places to shop are (Rise commercial center, granville road)

For the most part, Hong Kong is not unlike most large North American cities.  It is however, the definition of super consumerism.  You literally can't walk anywhere without bumping into a short or restaurant.  For the most part, I'm not drawn to shopping in Hong Kong.  For clothes, it's either high end designer or cheap knock off.  Or at least that's my excuse, because clothes shopping in HK exacerbates my already poor body image ("top that fit you???? No fit, you too fat" For the record- I'm a north american size 8, HARDLY plus size)  So while my size 2 collegue shops for clothes, I look down.  And down I've come to learn, is where it's at: SHOES!

Black ones, red ones, flat ones, stillettos, short boots, tall boots, HK has them all!  In my past few HK visit, I've come home with no less than 2 pair per trip (and that was exercising a lot of self control) However, packing for this trip made me realize my closet has run out of space for even one more.

It's rough being an urban multi faceted woman you know.  Because of my hobbies, I need way more footwear than the average girl (that's my excuse) For the sporty me, I have rock climbing shoes, cross country ski boots, downhill ski boots, winter hiking boots and 2 pair of summer hikers.  For the fashiony me, I have black stilettos, red stilettos and every imaginable color and heel shape possible.  For the practical me, I have flat shoes and boots to go with everything.

The last pair of HK shoes I returned with were the lovely Christian Louboutins beauties in the pic.  They called to me (I swear!) I saw them in the Mong Kok shop (the only pair) and it was lust at first sight! Like the glass slipper that the prince brought to Cinderella, they fit perfectly. They are the epitome of sexy. 5" of black patent, red soled sexy.  To me, perfection of design.  Way too perfect to sit in a box in a closet waiting to be commissioned into service once or twice a year.  So, in order to give them the admiration and worship they deserve, I've proudly displayed them on the shelf in my bedroom.  They're one of the first things I see in the morning, and one of the last before I go to sleep.  They have yet to see concrete, or step foot outside of the carpeted haven of my apartment.  For all of their beauty and sexiness, they lack comfort.  Because of their 5" height and my size 6.5 feet, I feel like I'm going to topple over in them (and I'm used to heels!) so, like a good sports car owner who lets their beauty sit in the driveway, the bookshelf in my bedroom might be my Louboutins fate. Oh, but they're so sexy!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ladies, Man up!

In this 21st century, it seems that we aren't shy to draw on the knowledge of "experts".  Whether it's a life coach, relationship counsellor, career counsellor or spending $300 on a session with a dog Psychologist (like I did a few weeks ago, but that's another story) And why not, if you can pay someone to get you that extra distance in your career or get you past your commitment issues (or get your dog to stop being a jerk), I'm all for it.  Hell, I pay an eyebrow "expert" $20 every 3 weeks to meticulously maintain my eyebrows for a reason!

However, I'm torn on the idea of a dating expert.  That's right, for $650 (to start...) you can pay this guy to coach you through dating.  He doesn't exactly say what training he has to make him a dating expert, but does coach both men and women.  He promises that his approach is "unique, highly personalized, scientifically-based, hands-on, and the most effective way to take charge of your social life." 

I find it curious that the notion of a dating coach even exists.  You see, to me dating isn't exactly a science (although some of the people I've dated in the past have been about as boring as reading a science textbook...) Furthermore, I've found that the more effort you put into dating (unlike a career, education, training your dog), the less likely you are to succeed.

Mick gives insightful advice such as :

The point of first dates is:
 •To evoke a connection and positive emotions. You want to see how you feel around that guy. That’s it.

•For you to be asked out on another date. If you’re like most women who want a guy who that takes charge and leads, that’s the only way you’ll know if he’s that kind of guy.

•Allow the conversation to naturally unfold. Focus on him, let him do the talking. The more he talks, the more information you’ll have to determine if he fits your bill. And of course, you should contribute to the conversation. But again, focus on him.
Before even going on the first date, he suggests a pre-date "warm up".  Once there, he suggests things that you shoudn't take about and avoiding  “interview style questioning” as it can make the conversation one sided and imply that you are "superior" to your date. 
His theory, is that we are our own matchmaker and with some of his skills in place, we can take on the dating world and build a happy, healthy relationship.  I do agree that if you're happy with yourself, generally pleased with life and have some self confidence (I'm still learning that last one), you'll naturally attract people of a similar mindframe.
Would I even dream of spending $650 to build up some self confidence to talk to a guy on the street, go on a date with him and make sure I'm fully focusing on only him while asking insightful questions (without seeming like I'm interviewing him)????  Nah, I think I'd rather be myself, act natural and if things go wrong, laugh about it with my friends over wine.  Call me old fashioned...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Salentein reserve Malbec 2007 = delicious

Last month, I was in South America for a trip I called my divorcemoon (in short- since marriages are celebrated with a honeymoon, divorces should get a divorcemoon)  While in Mendoza, Argentina, I discovered a ton of wines and learned a lot about Malbec.  Last night I (with the help of friends) opened one of the bottles I brought back.

The winery is called Salentein and it's in the Uco Valley near Mendoza (in the shadows of the Andes)  The wine that I brought back was a 2007 reserve Malbec.  After drinking many types of Malbecs in Argentina, I've learned that I prefer an oaked Malbec.  The oak aging tends to make a smoother Malbec.  Using French versus Amercian oak is even smoother.  The longer the time the wine is in oak, the better the flavor.  The amount of time in oak varies from a few months to a maximum of about 18.  The Salentein reserve Malbec has been aged in French oak for 14 months.  This wine was so unbelievably smooth and delicious. I can't remember exactly how much it was at the winery, but it was definately less than CDN$15.  I know BC liquor stores doesn't carry it and I have yet to scour the private liquor stores to see if it's available.  But if you like a smooth, full bodied red and are able to find this, I fully recommend!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Plenty of fish, but are there any worth keeping?

So one of my first forrays into the dating world was to try this online dating thing.  Afterall, whenever people hear you're single, the first thing they seem to tell you is how "so and so" met their girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife blah blah blah on such and such dating website.  So I thought, why not? Plenty of fish is free so what have I got to lose?

There may be plenty of fish, but most of them you want to throw back.  In my very unscientific experiment, it goes like this:

80% of the guys won't get back to you
10% are just downright odd
10% are worth getting to know

* editors note- My figures have been rounded up for ease of convenience.

I wrote what I thought was a fairly accurate description of myself with accurate pictures.  In my profile, I indicate that I have a dog, a sense of humor (so I think), my interests, music I like (ie Franz Ferdinand) , my love of Foreign movies (I love you Almodovar) and my overall "down to earthness".  I thought between the pics and write up, it would convey the fact that I was a pretty good catch (sorry, couldn't resist!) Or, my friends and family have been lying to me for years!

With my newfound confidence, I started emailing some guys who I thought were cute and seemed interesting in html. Nada. What's worse? On this plenty of fish (or as regulars call it: p.o.f) you can see when someone's read and (horror!) deleted your message.  So after 10 or so "read" and "deleted" messages, my ego couldn't take it anymore so I took the passive approach: let them find me.

Well, to be fair, some guys did email me.  Here are some of the lowlights...

one guy emailed me with this message "my GF thinks ur hot?"
Awesome. well, at least someone thinks I'm hot! but your girlfriend? dude, wrong website!

One verbose fellow thought my Franz Ferdinand reference was relating to the 15th century emperor. (ummm..yeah, appreciate the history but no...) he also told me that layoffs in the public sector might mean a change in address for him (he was from the island) suggesting what? he could be my roommate? I'm sorry, but if the words "moreover" "estimation" and "Deweyian" appear in our first communication, we're probably not gonna get along.

and my personal favorite? the guy who wrote If you like to be serenaded by your favorite love balads and treated like a lady, I will keep you smiling.  I'm sure most girls would think it's awfully sweet and adorable, but really? When I picture myself dating, do I picture someguy sitting there belting out Luther Vandross tunes? ah. no! (but it would make me laugh..sadly, I don't think he was kidding)

There are plenty more, but those are the highlights.  It hasn't all been in vain though.  I had the BEST and wittiest exchange with one fellow.  The back and forth emails had me smiling.  We met to make sure the chemistry felt right. To me, it did. That led to witty text messaging and a 2nd date.  Will there be a third? I don't know, but I'm hoping so.  I'm afraid of that damn fish pond!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

the 3 year hiatus...

Ok, so it may have been 3 years (almost to the day) that I posted something. I didn't forget about this blog, it's just that in 3 years, life got crazy. What have I been doing? Well, I got engaged, got married and got divorced. Yeah, it was a bit of a whirlwind. I'm pretty sure it was up there with one of the worlds shortest marriages (9 months). That all ended last year. I've been picking up the pieces and figuring myself for the past year and now I'm feeling human and back to my normal self (with a little more experience, edge and wit hopefully)

I got reinspired to write this block after going on a date last night. After all the drama, I'm finally feeling up to dating again. I've discovered that dating in your mid 30's is quite the adventure. The good thing of having been married, is that I'm certainly not in a rush to go down that road. As a result, I'm taking dating this time with a lot more humor and am a lot more relaxed about it. There have been some great dates (such as fellow last night) and some really boring ones (I'm pretty sure watching paint dry would be more interesting) so I thought, I'd make the focus of this blog entertaining stories about dating. It's sure to be amusing, stay tuned...