Earthquakes

24Aug14

I woke up gasping around 3:20 am due to last night’s 6.0 earthquake here in California. The epicenter was something like 30 miles away from where I live, so it wasn’t that bad here (as in things weren’t knocked over, and there wasn’t property damage).
When it happened I spent a minute very, very confused about what was happening. I was so tired I didn’t have the brain comprehension to realize it was an earthquake. I am disappointed in my surprise 3 am survival skills, because they are terrible. It wasn’t until it was over when I realized what had even happened. Then went back to sleep.
I’ve been in lots of earthquakes, but I guess that wasn’t enough to make me immediately realize what was happening. I’ve found that when you live in an area that has earthquakes, they’re generally so infrequent that you forget that, at any point, the ground could start shaking, and things could start falling. Even though all throughout school we had earthquake drills where we got down underneath the desks to duck and cover and try to avoid any flying glass or flying debris. Thankfully, I have never been in an earthquake bad enough that I needed to do that.

The first earthquake I can remember was the 1989 Loma Prieta, where the Bay Bridge collapsed. I was only 5 at the time, and sitting inside my house making jewelry out of paper and string. No one had ever told me what earthquakes were, so I thought my house was collapsing and ran outside immediately. My mom and brother had been outside, organizing rocks. Like all families do?

The largest earthquake I can remember other than that one, was a few years later when my family was visiting LA. My grandparents had flown out from the East Coast for the trip. I was staying in a hotel room with my grandparents at night, laying down in bed trying to sleep when the shaking began.

I had spent much of the day before jumping on the hotel bed. So, naturally, my grandmother yelled “Lauren, stop jumping on the bed!”

“I’m not!!” My grandparents didn’t believe me, until my dad came over to our hotel room to check out we were doing after the earthquake.

And somehow, by the time another earthquake rolls around, I will probably again fail to realize it’s an earthquake.


Match.fail

09Aug14

After some goading from a friend who was convinced that the selection on a paid website would be better than OKCupid, I took the plunge and signed up for Match.com. I really, really didn’t like that I had to pay for a three month subscription before I could even read anything that was sent to me, let alone couldn’t see WHO had even sent messages to me…

Before paying I had a plethora of e-mails in which they were trying to get me to join the site. All without revealing too much information. They read like this:

You caught his attention on 7/25 at 7:33am!

You sparked someone’s interest!

Like you, he’s a dog lover.

Like you, he’s not a smoker.

You both enjoy exercising 3 to 4 times per week.

Find out who he is.

I… what?? They might as well have sent along an e-mail that said:

A male viewed your profile!

Like you, he breathes air!

Like you, he is alive.

Like you, he also spent too much money for this website’s service.

He is a man.

Find out who he is.

 

 

As much as I hate it, it worked well enough that I still signed up for the website.

wtf is this

(synapse technology? wtf???)

I did like one guy’s profile who had e-mailed me. He wrote me back a week later to say he hadn’t realized how far away I’d lived from him and he’d tried dating someone from the same area and it was too much of an issue due to distance and schedule. Disappointing.

 

 

The creepiest message I received was the following:

I must admit you have a cute smile, but it’s going to take MUCH more than that to win me over. lol 🙂

This was sent to me by a man who looked about ten years older than his listed age, and lives in a completely different state than me (which is a big deal when you live in a big state… in my case, California, near the coast).

I almost responded to tell him that I thought that was a terrible line and to come up with something better because I didn’t think women would respond well to that, but I didn’t think he was worth the effort. I didn’t respond to him at all whatsoever.

I logged in a week later and found this in my inbox from the same guy:

should we?

Shall we talk or continue flirting from a distance? lol 🙂

No. NO. First of all we WERE NEVER FLIRTING EVER. I NEVER RESPONDED TO YOU. JUST BECAUSE I READ YOUR E-MAIL AND MAYBE CLICKED YOUR PROFILE (which I can’t even remember doing) DOES NOT MEAN I WAS FLIRTING WITH YOU AT ALL WHATSOEVER. NO.

This is very creepy. If anyone reading this post is a man… DO NOT DO THAT TO WOMEN. EVER.

 

 

One of the things I listed in my profile that I was looking for in a man was a strong command of the English language, since that tends to be something that piques my interest. One of my first e-mails I received in response to my profile contained the following:

Will here is a little about me. … I like to joke and have but I take my job very serous. Cause I was to grow in it … When I off work there is no reason to ever be board. Cause i can ride my dirt bike or jump in my truck and go four wheeling! Or shot my guns. Or just go on long walk with my bow and look for some food aka go hunt lol. I can do all of that just by walking of my deck. …I’m looking forward to hearing for you.

I’m a pacifist… and vegan… so… definite no…

I’ve got a couple of months left on my subscription… maybe something positive will happen. But at this point it’s looking pretty bleak for me…

Damn you, Match.com.


Speed Dating

30Jun14

I recently made an attempt at speed dating.

I live in the suburbs, but I made a trip into the city… underestimating the temperature difference, like I always do. Wearing a short dress was a bad idea. It was uncomfortably chilly, but I dealt with it, looking at everyone else clad in jeans and boots as they walked by. It was San Francisco in the summertime, of course they would be dressed that way. I had also parked far away in a parking garage, because I’m not great at street parking, and didn’t want to be late.

“I just had to tell you that you look good! Have a good night!” a random male vagabond shouted at me. It ended up being the most complimentary thing any man said to me all night.

I then realized I had misunderstood my smart phone’s GPS and that I had been walking in the wrong direction, and I turned around. It was only the second time I have tried to use the GPS feature… and it was also the second time I had walked in the completely wrong direction while trying to follow it.

I ended up at the bar on time, just barely. My formerly straightened hair had frizzed and poofed out, my glasses were fogging up from the heat of my face after the brisk walk. Noticeably so, enough for other people to mention it.

The event was entirely vegetarian-specific. I’m vegan, and I thought it would be nice for the food thing to be a non-issue while dating.. considering that it is often an issue when I am on dates.

I briefly chatted with two women before  the event began, after getting a glass of wine. This was supposed to be a heterosexual dating event…

This was taking place at a wine bar… the head of the event had all the women take seats behind tables in front of booths, while the men were to rotate around the tables. There were not enough tables for all the women, they were one table short. I was the person without a table. I did my best to drape my jacket in front of my legs and… avoid moving, as much as possible, so I would not flash anyone. Flashing people had not been my intention while getting dressed.

The speed dating itself was odd. A bell rang in between each brief interview. I felt like I had the same brief and boring conversation 20 times. I learned that summarizing my personality and interests in a few minutes was harder than I thought it would be. I was already disappointed after the first few men, I had not felt any sparks whatsoever. Or any form of attraction, at all. The feeling was probably mutual.

One fellow told me all the pressure to be charming was on the men. “All you need to do is sit there and be yourself!”

“Uhh, I’d like to think I need to be charming in some way to seem attractive…” I replied.

In asking questions of the men folk, I came to realize that the one thing I had assumed we’d had in common, vegetarianism, was not nearly as much of a common interest as I’d thought. While some may have been vegetarians because they love animals and are morally opposed to the idea of eating the flesh of animals (which is my reason), others did it only because of the health aspects. In fact, I had one raw vegan man tell me he was vegan because it was “the healthiest diet possible” which even I honestly find questionable. Some had been vegetarian their whole lives for religious reasons. Another guy started talking to me about how he was OK with eating fish, and how he thought he was going to start eating fish again. I mean this was like two minutes of the conversation. Good luck with that, dude…

We had an intermission break… and I went to go get a second glass of wine. I’m a lightweight, so two glasses of wine are really all I need…

Another guy wouldn’t let go of the fact I’d said I worked in personal injury law. “Do you have a ton of neck braces at your desk!! Ha ha!”

“Well, not really it’s not that kind of personal injury…”

“Just running after everyone after an accident!!!”

“Ha ha, yeah, I’m an ambulance chaser..?” I said, in hopes it would get him to stop. I was thankful when that bell rang and that one was over.

One guy, who was Indian, insisted on commenting at length about how so many of the men were Indian. Which I found out later he’d done to all the women he’d talked to.

One guy talked about how this was ~the place~ to be as a vegetarian, and another guy talked about moving to San Francisco from Portland and him being disappointing that this city wasn’t as good for being vegan as he thought it would be, and it was not nearly as good as Portland.

Once all the “dating” was over, I ended up talking with some women again. I was invited out drinking with them. Conversation mainly consisted of how disappointed they had been in the choice of men at the event. We went to a couple of bars, I enjoyed some kale tacos, and I got two of their numbers. At a heterosexual speed dating event, I ended up with two girls’ numbers.

I do have one upcoming date this week with someone I ended up being “matched with” after the event, and actually had a real conversation with. We’ll see how that goes… hopefully it’ll be more comfortable than the “speed dating”.


Being single

24Aug13

I found several different short bits I have written over the years about being single… and I’m putting them here, in case they will amuse somebody else besides myself.

*

2011

As everyone my age is pairing off into married couples, I keep becoming more and more disappointed with the ever-shrinking dating pool. I was complaining about this to AJ, and saying that I couldn’t date 18 year olds, since that would be creepy.
“You can!” AJ exclaimed.
I replied that from a legal standpoint it would be fine, but-
“You can do whatever you put your mind to, Lauren!” AJ encouraged.

*

2010

I thought I was cool with Valentine’s Day. That I was at peace with my inability to find anyone I considered worth dating who felt the same way about me. Then tonight at CVS, on the way to the cash register, I walked through an aisle with Valentine’s Day merchandise. My first instict was to grab the the nearby children’s plastic baseball baseball bat, and begin bashing the fluffy white bears holding red hearts.

*

2010

I can’t help feeling like it’s too late to be wandering around alone. I never really wanted a traditional life before, but I can’t help feeling like I’m getting too old for this shit. I’m pretty sure the only arrow Cupid has shot me recently missed its target, and shot me up the ass instead of in the heart. If love were something I felt I could control, this sentence would be about how I was going to take newfound forceful action.

*

2009

Lately I’ve been seeing my actual life as if it were mapped out in the form of The Game of Life board. I feel like I just drove my car up to the church, and stopped to get married. I’m ready to pick up a little blue husband piece. Only, while I was in the bathroom, someone ran off with the board game and the little people pieces, leaving behind just my one lone pink person piece. And they just kept on running.

*

2009

As a teenager, I always assumed I was going to be single forever. Even when I was dating someone. Being eternally single was my destiny. As I’ve aged, I’ve surrounded my heart with an icy fortress. Every once in a while, someone comes along who is capable of breaking through the fortress, but never ends up wanting to.
The desire to no longer be perpetually single has apparently started invading my subconscious, and showing up in my dreams. And in my waking thoughts today, when I pictured myself as a super hero… Single Woman! Able to forgo dates on Friday AND Saturday nights! Mighty independence power! Until suddenly, a sexy supervillan enters the picture, and I cry “Humor? Noooo! My one weakness!” and I’m lost in a world of pink hearts and weak knees.


I was walking from my car into the feed store where I purchase hay for my bunnies when a woman on her bike rode up and stopped next to the store. She approaches me, screaming “DON’T HIT MY BIKE!!!!!!!!!” I stop, and she lunges at me, thankfully a couple of feet away.
I said “Sorry!” and she backed off after that. There was a family in a van nearby where the mother had started opening her door in an effort to come to my aid, but when she saw her back off, closed it.
I walked in the store, and the young female employee said “I’ll explain in a minute…”
As I was inside I heard her get on the walkie talkier and say “Jose… the crazy lady is back! She’s scaring customers! And me! Can you please see if you can get her to move?”
She then told me that she comes around occasionally, but that she had also managed to run into her at CVS… and that the lady had yelled “DON’T PUT YOUR BOOBS IN MY FACE!” at her. This young lady is busty, but I certainly doubt she was rubbing her boobs in that lady’s face, just as I had been nowhere near her bicycle.

Later tonight I went to a sociology/social psychology class. I was at least ten minutes early, but two young people were already chatting, loudly. The girl was wearing a pink tube dress and had heart-shaped sunglasses (indoors). I heard the guy say “I like your humor, it flatters me!” which makes no logical sense no matter how you try to put meaning into it.
She asked him how he knew that if he didn’t know her yet, and he was just like, “I dunno… just does!” He mentioned some family member owning chickens, to which she asked if it was for eggs or slaughter, which was another thing he didn’t know.
Upon this, she said she was obviously not a vegetarian and that someone she worked with was, so she made sure to carry bags of burgers into work with her. Just… carrying… bags of burgers around for spite…
“HUH HHHUUUHHH!! HUHHHHHHH!” was the way he laughed.
She mentioned something about her BMW, and when he asked what her job was, she assured him she was not a “spoiled Marin bitch” as she said her parents bought it for her. I almost started laughing loudly at this point, but avoided it.
He also said “I dunno why I take these classes… I’m the best student in the class!” to her. He said he thought she was funny and should do stand up.
“I don’t know how to like, plan to be funny.”
“No one does!” he assured her… which… no… they do… seriously… what.
WOW. JUST WOW. This guy might not be the brightest bulb in the bunch but amplified with flirting-dumbness… WOW.
The girl puts a towel with Super Mario characters over her shoulders to shield herself from the air conditioning, and starts talking about Mario Kart, and how she always played with a friend, and what her friend did, because this is fascinating upon meeting someone initially. The guy had no clue NO CLUE AT ALL what she was talking about.
The teacher comes in and starts class. He’s interesting and seems like a nice old fellow. He has us sign in and take a copy of the syllabus and starts class. Suddenly that dude stands up to get the syllabus…
“Did you sign in?” the professor asks.
“I didn’t know I was supposed to.”
Class goes on again, and as we start looking into the syllabus, the girl raises her hand and loudly says “Since I took your classes before can I leave? I just don’t want to be disrespectful, you know?” UM. I’m pretty sure you just did that by interrupting class.
Those two seemed like the only two obnoxious people in the class… and they found each other so quickly.


Once upon a time, that time being today, I worked a half a day then made a trip over to the beach.
As usual, there were seagulls all over the beach. I am a fan of the seagulls. So much so that this is one, of several, pictures I took of seagulls.
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Lying there was so relaxing that I took a nap, with my comically oversized sunhat over my face.
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I woke up to the noise of two young “men,” aged anywhere from 16-21, talking while throwing a ball back and forth. One occasionally gave instruction on how to throw a ball, when there was an obstacle, such as today’s wind, in between a few expletives. The one receiving instruction seemed displeased that a seagull had landed near them, yelling “You fucking landed in the wrong place, seagull!” as if a relatively harmless bird landing somewhat near him while throwing a ball was a threat. The two “men” began a discussion of what would be necessary in killing an animal “to survive”. Like finding and using a rock. Instructing Kid told him probably shouldn’t do that here, on the beach, “‘Cuz it would be gross.” Such a big display of machismo over nothing.
I settled in and read a book for a while, and after I finished reading I was still very relaxed, and the two youngsters were still there… throwing a ball.
I was enjoying one of my favorite hobbies- watching seagulls poke through unattended belongings. I was smiling while cold heartedly loved the seagulls sticking their heads into bags, searching around for food. I feel no sympathy for the people who left that stuff behind, since I can’t understand how anyone thinks leaving food completely unattended in public is a safe idea at all.
It wasn’t long before that kid, the aspiring seagull-killer, began charging forth towards the towels and beach bags, none of which belonged to him. He kept his arms tight down to his sides and leaned down so his head was ready to be used as a battering ram… looking like the lamest torpedo of all time. I was no longer smiling or happy. He had completely stolen my enjoyment of this spectacle.
I thought to myself “Oooooh, you’re tough!” sarcastically. Then I realized I had said it out loud, accidentally, as he was standing 15 feet away. Thankfully, if he heard me, he ignored it entirely.
Two women who owned the towel, umbrella, and bag he had been charging at returned, to see him running towards it. “I was trying to help!” he exclaimed.
As the women started looking through their bag, one asked the other “Do you think they were after the food?” Huh… do you think?
I’m not sure who the bigger asshole is, him or me.


Are you single?

28May13

I loved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a child in the 80s/early 90s. Who didn’t? I specifically loved the cartoon. April had a co-worker, Channel 6 secretary Irma, who was always boy crazy, constantly asking if men were single. I couldn’t comprehend this as a child. Irma seemed pretty cool to me… she had brown hair with bangs pulled up into an awesome ponytail, just like mine. As an adult we share an issue with inherent clumsiness. Not to mention she’s got cool glasses and a sweet outfit:

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This outfit is no different than what the hipsters I saw at a party this weekend were wearing.

Now that I’ve ended up single at 29 watching my favorite formerly happy swinging bachelors get deeply into relationships with girlfriends who post all over their Facebook Walls and end up all over the dudes in photos… knowing that these men have reached the age of settling down… all my former male prospects are married or as good as married I understand exactly what Irma felt. I have started throwing myself at men, figuring it’s that or nothing, and I sure don’t want to end up with nothing.

This has included a recent poorly thought out attempt at being a “cougar”. While out with the fellow I’ve been seeing who is “almost 23” he asked me if I had OCD simply because my house is clean and neat as well as telling me that he liked that I was older because he had “always liked older women”. We are both in our twenties.

A few years ago I needed to start wearing glasses, and naturally, I wear the kind with big plastic rims. The other day I realized my transformation into Irma is complete.