Wednesday, August 30, 2006

You've Got Male, and Male, and Male, and Male and Male

And so it's begun. Online "dating" aka looking for a cool *** guy to accompany me to several events. The flirting and typos are amuck. Tonight I was working my "A game" - simultaneously having 5 conversations with potential male-arm-candy or "Mandy" as I've now dubbed them. It's a good thing I'm a quick typer.

Not all of it was good news. I've already started attracting the weirdos/dumb-as-a-stick-ers. For your viewing pleasure here's a sample. What you are about to read are from real online instant message conversations thanks to the proud livestock, er, members of Lavalife. There's no way I could make **** like this up. Typos and lack of punctuation are included for the full effect.

Guy #1: knock...knock...anyone home?

Me: Who's there?
Guy #1: big bad wolf
Me: Sorry, wrong number!

[Bloggers Note: It's 3 hours later and I'm still laughing my *** off over that one. I think I let a little bit of pee go].

Guy #2: hey whats up
Hi there. Just checking my email. What's up with you?
Guy #2: jsut realxing after a hard dsays work
[probable English translation: just relaxing after a hard days work]
Me: Nice :)
Guy #2: so whats up with you wanna trade backstage
Me: Just reading your profile. Sure - I'll send it. I only have one pic backstage right now. Here you go.
Guy #2: pretty so do you have msn
[probable English translation: You're smokin' hot! and something or other about msn]
Me: Yes.
Guy #2: hers mine but hodl yoru brath dont want yiou to faint when yio see how hot i am
[possible English translation: here's mine but hold your breath you don't want to faint when you see how hot I am.] Although wouldn't holding ones breath assist with fainting?
Me: I'm at [provides email address...I know - mistake!]
Guy #2: can you add m
Me: I tried to view your backstage but it said I didn't have access. I guess I'll have to hold off on the fainting.
Guy #2: giv it a min
Me: ok [rolled eyes here]

Guy #3: hi how ru?
Me: Great thanks - how are you?
Guy #3: not bad thx wat r u up to?
[probable English translation: Not bad thanks what are you up to hot stuff?]
Me: Just checking my email before I head out for a run.
Guy #3: nice where to? [warning: potential stalker]
Me: I haven't decided yet. I do this to avoid stalkers.
Guy #3: here is my bs could I see yours
[I'm assuming he was referring to his "backstage" i.e. photo gallery]
Me: Starting with the b***s*** already eh. I only have one pic there right now but here you go.
Guy #3: thanks not a bad picture at all [ prince charming]
At this point my other conversations are way more interesting and I can't even pretend to be interested.
Guy #3: MSN is [provides his MSN addy] if you'd care to chat
Hmmm...I'll have to think about that one

Ofcourse, those were samples of no-brainers (literally). I did have loads of good convo and shameless flirting with real potential Mandy's. Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

My Name Is Erika...And I Am An Addict

"Addict" n. one given up to something, usually an evil.

Yes, I'm sorry to report that I've fallen off the wagon. Not just any old horse drawn wagon though, the just-as-uncomfortable dating wagon.

On Saturdays it's my usual practise to relax and enjoy my coffee (x3), thus avoiding any/all house cleaning until absolutely necessary. This can leave me open and vunerable to temptation in the worst way. Trying to divert my attention to something frivolous, say pondering how the bone structure of Ashlee Simpson's face can change so dramically without plastic surgery (*ahem*) does not always work.

Ofcourse it does not help that several "a-date-would-be-nice" functions [celebratory work dinner and family wedding] are fastly approaching and there's zero stallions in my for-emergencies-only dating stable.

Possibility #1: Call metro male escort service and have them send a Fabio-hunk down for said functions. Downfalls include: $$$ I'd rather spend at Ikea, and possibly enduring scenario out of "The Wedding Date", not to mention endless questions from colleagues/family. Upsides include: Possible high-fives and "you go girl!" from colleagues/family. Perhaps escort service has first-time-buyer special...

Possibility #2: Post profile on online dating site. Downfalls include: attracting weirdos as seem to be blessed with natural weirdo-attracting ability, scaring potential non-weirdo with wedding date invite, incident involving garter belt, and endless questions from colleagues/family. Upsides include: A free drink or ten to assist with having a good time with weirdo and potential for snogging.

Possibility #3: Accept referrals from family/friends/colleagues/strangers on the street. Downfalls include: potential for zero referrals (due to cock blocking) or ending up with over-60 neighbour who likes to mow my lawn with his shirt off. Upsides include: ???

Hmmm...seems like a no-brainer. My [quite witty] online profile is now posted at Let the weirdos roll in! I've experienced the online dating phenomenon before and truth be told, it can be addicting for those of us who: a) like shopping from the comfort of our own home and b) find word-smithing quite sexy. Sure, I have other more interesting and/or bizzare addictions (like things starting with "S" - speeding, Scrabble, suckers, and strawberries not to mention guys with glasses which doesn't start with "S" but I digress) I'll save those for another post.

[Note: technically this is not going against no-dating-until-the-list-is-done policy as it won't be a date per say but rather an accompaniment.]

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Random Dating Advice, Tip #2

Last night was tough. Not just because Wentworth Miller didn't remove his shirt during the season premier of Prison Break [sigh] but my softball team, the Actually "lost" is a kinder, gentler word than some that come to mind [demolished with a capital "D", a**whopped, b***s ripped off and slow pitched to us, ahem...etc].

My sometimes-under-the-radar competitive nature became quite apparent as the game progressed. At first, I tried to keep the four/five/six letter expletives under my breath. In the end, I was like a seasoned navy sailor unleshed during happy hour in Mexico [a trait passed on to me by my paternal grandmother]. The more I tried to concentrate, the more mistakes I made. And it's never a good sign when I begin to roll up the sleeves of my t-shirt (as if freeing my shoulders and/or arm pits will impact my ability to not f*** up). Yes, say hello to the other side of Erika. And it ain't pretty.

Rowdy cheering from our fans, including Undercover Mother, wasn't enough to change the end result. But gee whiz, we're ordering some snazzy team shirts!

I did an hour of Taebo when I got home, to work off the pent up agression (and punish myself for the bad plays I made). Besides, Billy Blanks doesn't care if I swear. Personally, I think he kind of likes it.

Today at work Undercover Mother outed the competitive side of my personality. Hard to believe such a sweet little thing like me could be so expressive (uh huh). Did I mention my nickname at work is Firecracker? Really, they should have seen that one coming. And hello! The redhead/bad temper thing that we redheads try to pretend is just a myth without a shred of TRUE.

Our veteran coworker Margaret, who we affectionally call Aunt Margie, ducked into my cubicle for "storytime with Aunt Margie". To summerize (you'll thank me) when you feel like you're getting down, remember the sage words of Pollyanna and "always find something to be glad about". I've been advised this can be applied to many areas of one's life (including home renovations and dating to name a few). But especially, to avoid swearing at a shitter-of-a-softball-game.

I'm a real heat-of-the-moment kind of girl, so to ensure cooler heads prevail and all that b***s*** I've decided to make a list [naturally] which I will write down and carry with me at all times. A list I like to call:

Things To Be Glad About When You Really Feel Like Saying F***:
- Ability to stop traffic with leg baring mini-skirt
- Wentworth Miller with/without shirt
- Jellybeans

Does one really need more of a list than that? H*** no. Er, I mean ofcourse not silly.

Ironically, I have been approached by someone interested in collaborating on a children's book/series. I can't even imagine right now what that would look like.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Random Compliment, #1

This evening I stopped by the local liqour store to pick up a little something to keep me company during BB7. I grabbed a pint of coconut rum (my favorite) and headed for the cash.

Lisa the Liquor Store Clerk: "Can I see your ID please?"
Me: "Um, sure [chuckle]. I haven't been asked that in a while." [Proudly hand over ID]
Lisa the Liquor Store Clerk: [looking at my ID] "Oh, wow! Well good for you!"

Thank you Lisa (and thank you Nivea mosturizing cream). 30 is so the new 19.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Happily Never After

#10. Decide to make time for reading, take on "Tabloid Love" a memoir by Bridget Harrison as more of reference material than shameless reading. COMPLETED

Proclaimed as "A real-life Bridget Jones meets Sex and the City" by Candace Bushnell (author of Sex and the City) I had some expectations going into this one. The cover states rather boldly..."Looking for Mr. Right in all the wrong places." Bloody hell, was this the book for me! [Not that I'm looking for Mr. Right/Wrong or Indifferent, you know, because of the list and all that but...]

Trying to snag a copy of it was like looking for, well, for something really really hard to find (an albino elephant with one tusk and two left feet perhaps?). The local Coles store wasn't carrying it, even Chapters in Halifax didn't have a spot reserved on their shelves for a juicy copy or two. So I had to order the book (hardcopy no less) through Indigo.

Two weeks and $32.50 Cdn plus tax and shipping later...

I eagerly began my journey into swinging New York City circa 2000. To summerize: Bridget is a lowly reporter in her native Britain and comes to work at the New York Post on some type of reporter exchange thingy. She ends up staying in the Big Apple to follow her dreams of becoming world class news hound. Let the misadventure begin! No, wait, not yet. There's more...

Bridget decides to break it off with her steady hunky beau Angus who's back in Britain because:
a) long distance relationships are hard damn it
b) realizes in a cheesy movie-music-montage type of moment that he's not "The One"
c) cheats on him with the first American guy to show her some attention at a costume party
d) his name is Angus
e) all of the above

Yes folks, it was THAT predictable. [For those of you still guessing, the answer is "e" but I threw in "d" just to mess with you]

Alright! Now "Bridgie"can let loose on the single scene! Let the misadventure begin. No wait, not yet. True, Bridget meets some real creeps, has some random shagging and goes on some completely horrible dates but I found myself finding it hard to read. Not just because it wasn't as witty as some literature I've reviewed (Sophie Kinsella for example) but mostly because it was hard to stomach Bridget making herself way too accomodating for these wankers.

"Ding dong"
"Who's there?"
"It's Bridget, the British doormat"

I mean, ugh. Have a bit of self-respect.

[Note to self: perhaps am a bit too far on the other side of the spectrum and don't allow guys to get close enough to see what color my eyes are let alone chance any potential disrespect].

Bridget then gets her very own dating column in the Post and she begins shagging her Editor/boss Jack after mooning over him for two years. Ok, now the misadventure begins and Bridget has become my new hero. But alas, things don't quite work out for Jack and our British babe.

More bad dates with New Yorkers and less random shagging ensue. All her friends become smug marrieds with babies. Her parents long for the day when Bridgie will meet a guy who sticks around.

But do we get a happy ending? I don't want to spoil it for those of you who might actually read the book. Ah what the h***, I'll tell you anyway. In the end, Bridget comes to terms with her single life and realizes [tear] that she is the single sexy girl in the red dress at her friend's wedding and what could be more exciting than that?


Turns out my dating life [former dating life] is just as exciting/horrifying to read about. Save yourself the $32.50 Cdn plus tax and shipping. And Jack, if you're reading me ;)

Sunday, August 13, 2006

[Un]discovered Dating Techniques #2: The Cock Block

"Cock Block" n. a friend (usually male) that will not allow one, to have any type of relationship with someone else (usually female). Also can be a motor vehicle maneuver, usually done by insecure twenty- something males (who think that everybody wants to race them) and other ignorant people, designed to prevent someone from changing lanes in traffic. [According to the Urban Dictionary...]

My coworker, Bryan stops by my cubicle each week, almost always with the same purpose. Each time, our non-work-related conversation goes a little something like this...

Bryan: "Hi Erika. How's your love life going these days?"
Me: ", it's non-existant. Thanks for asking Bryan."
Bryan: "I don't know what's wrong with these young guys and why they're not asking you out. I just don't get it. I mean, look at you!"
Me: "Yeah, I don't get it either Bryan." [But thanks for adding to my insecurities]
Bryan: " I know a guy who's single. His name is Pete"...

Bryan then goes on to list all of the great qualities that Pete (or sometimes it's Chris) has: good-looking, smart, funny, works out, knows the words to every Loverboy song, can cook, donated part of kidney to stranger for life-saving surgery etc. The trouble is, Bryan has already told me all of this over a month ago at which time I immediately [ok, with the prompting of my coworker Mary aka Undercover Mother] wrote down my number and email address on the back of my business card. To date, Bryan has not delivered this information to Peter and/or Chris. Bryan has no follow through. His intentions are good but in actuality he's a cock blocker.

My virgin ears [I use that term loosely] had never heard this term before. But thanks again to Undercover Mother for keeping this singleton in the know.

And not all the cock blocking is reserved just for Bryan. There's cock blocking going on all over the bloody place. My friend Nan had this guy, Frank, she was going to introduce me to but was hesitant because she thought I "could do better." Couldn't I be the judge of that? I advised Nan this week I was still waiting to be introduced to Frank. She told me he had met someone and they've been serious for a couple of months.
Hello! Cock blocker!

My cublice neighbour Marco was chatting up a hunky police officer outside our office building one morning. When Marco returned to his desk, I asked him about the 411 on Constable Cutie. He promised to look for a wedding ring when he went down to the station for questioning later that day. Turns out Marco's soon-to-be-ex-wife was trying to have him socked with some trumped-up bocus charge. When I asked Marco about Constable Cutie the next day, Marco admitted he hadn't even looked for a ring when he went down to the station to make a statement. What the hell kind of a cock blocker is he? I mean, I know he was facing possible criminal charges but come a single coworker out!

Even my grandmother is in on the cock blocking action. There was a potential guy for me at her church. But does she set up an arranged married with his family? No. And now he's engaged to someone else. Someone whose grandmother is not a cock blocker.

When I managed to meet a half-decent guy [pre-list days ofcourse] my male coworkers thought it was time to cockity-cock-cock-block. My last boyfriend, Gordon, was tortured endlessly. They kindly referred to him as Gargoyle [Gargo for short]. One coworker, Rowan, even suggested I break up with Gargo because he wasn't cool as he was. And why was that exactly? Because he didn't own a convertable. [Ofcourse! How silly of me.]

I think I have entered a parallel cock blocking universe. Population = 1.

**Disclaimer: The term Cock Blocker, as referenced above is a term of affection and is not in any way meant to offend. I still adore my coworkers, my friend Nan and my grandmother .**

Friday, August 11, 2006

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Tomorrow, it's all coming off. Yes, I'm feeling brazen and in the words of Freddie Mercury, "I want to break free"... from my hair that is. And to be honest [pause for effect] I'm getting a bit anxious. It was quite the topic of convo at work as my coworkers helped me review pages (and pages) of hairstyle mags for possibilities. But I've picked "the one". It's quite short. And I'm going to trying wearing it straight for bit.

Going short for a girl can be tricky; it's a delicate balance between pixie and butchy. And one person holds all the power...the stylist. I've chosen a new gal, Wendy (on the recommendation of Undercover Mother and her daughter Bridget - they both have bloody fantastic cuts). Undercover Mother is feeling a bit anxious herself; concerned that I'll blame her if my cut doesn't turn out as pictured (I won' least not out loud anyway). I tried to reassure her, wigs are so "in" right now!

But I can't seem to shake the fear that I'll end up looking like a cross between Clay Aiken and Little Orphan Annie. Definately not sexy (sorry Annie).

I'm still suffering side effects from the last time I cut it all off. My curls were half-way down my back and during summer break I lopped them off within an inch of my head. You can't imagine the hoopla - hundreds of fans wrote into the show flaming mad that I'd cut my beautiful hair. No wait, that happened to Felicity's Keri Russell. But it was quite similar. Except fans didn't write (it was my family, and it wasn't letters exactly, but lots and lots of words were involved). And I guess I wasn't on a show however I do like it when I'm the center of attention but I digress.

I remember feeling lighter (literally, my hair weighs a bit) but at the same time, losing some of my identity. Strangers no longer came up to me at random and asked to touch my hair. Instead they just asked to touch my belly (I was pregnant). I was no longer "the girl with the beautiful hair" but just a girl [tear]. I missed the hollow attention I got because of my hair which now seems so completely stupid. I know how to get attention in other more positive ways, like low cut shirts. Er, um, I mean my brain ;)

Point blank, no matter how my hair turns out tomorrow, I'm looking forward to a change. As if by fate, Shoppers Drug Mart had a fabulous sale on hair straigtheners today. I just happened to swing by the "hair accessory" isle on my way to the tic tacs. How's that for a sign?

Unfortunately they also had a sale on hair pieces.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Road Trip...Thelma and Louise Style

#13. Go on out-of-town vacation. COMPLETED
#14. Buy new "little black dress" (a necessity for black tie affair at end of the month at my friend Charlene's house, which is also out of town - a way to cross two things off my list!). COMPLETED

If Thelma and Louise didn't do a harakiri off the cliff at the end of the movie, surely they would have wanted to tag along on this wild girls-only road trip [with the exception of my uncle we dropped off at the airport. Besides, he's just like one of the girls - he works in retail].

The dusty trail (literally, there was lots of road construction) took Teri, Suzie, KJ and I to the end of the Earth, er, Canada. Charlene, our hostess for this year's annual girls-get-together-weekend lives in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Our friend, Nan was laid up with kidney stones and unable to attend.

The theme for this year's and white, hence the need for a little black dress. Not that I don't own one already but the last time I took that baby around the block for a spin was on an unfortunate New Year's Eve spent at a dance featuring a Rolling Stones cover band with my [ex] boyfriend Matt and my parents when I weighed about 25 pounds more. 15 of those pounds were carried soley in my a** area. Not a memory I'd like to relive. Besides, an excuse to shop? I never met one I didn't like.

Until now. For two weeks solid I scoured the racks of the local mall. Heck I even drove to New Brunswick to find something fab. Nothing. Special. I hadn't been this desperate since my first stint at university and was jonesing for a drink of alcohol so badly I actually went door-to-door begging from my floor-mates armed with $20 Cdn. Again, not a memory to relive. I was completely overcome with panic and contemplating taking my previously enjoyed black dress to a tailor to be altered. And then, an idea. I called Charlene to see if a red and black dress would do. I had a fabulous red and black halter dress which was purchased with my next big date in mind but due to listual obligations has been sentenced to hang in my closet with only a cold plastic hanger for comfort. At first, Charlene said I would f*** up (ok, I'm paraphrasing) the color scheme of the pictures. Then, I think she felt guilty and told me it would be "ok." But there was something in her voice that told me I'd better find a black dress ASAP. Plus, I knew Teri was breaking the rules by wearing pink and black. So I didn't want to push our hostess over the edge. With only 30 minutes left of possible shopping time, I "settled" for a saucey little number from Smart Set (complete with silver set white and black pearl necklace and matching white pearl earings).

Now that I had my main wardrobe staple nestled in my suitcase, it was time to do some extra hygiene prep [Note: if you're a guy and reading this you might want to just skip down to the next paragraph, especially if you wish to keep the illusion that we women are born this naturally groomed/ hydrated/ hairless]. Due to the clingy-ness of my new dress, I opted for a special anti-cellulite seaweed mud mask to touch up the back of my upper legs which by now were looking better thanks to my Monday night softball regimen. But what's a mud mask between friends? It was quite soothing, and I didn't experience any of the after-effects as detailed in fine print on the packaging (tingling and/or warming/burning sensation with some skin swelling, which should diminish after an hour).

Add in my usual ritual of plucking eyebrows (etc...ouch), soaking feet, filing and painting nails, extra-conditioning hair, shaving legs, under arms (etc...yup) and somehow I used up two hours of prep time. With only a few minutes left til embarking I tossed on my "travel outfit" - a cute pair of low rise Bluenote jeans, yellow tank top, green flip flops and my trade-mark sunglasses. With a swish of mascara (ok, ok and a smige of coral blush) we left. In the pouring rain. Rain is like the kryptonite of curly haired girls.

Sometime during the course of our adventure, we each decided to purchase a lotto ticket in each town we stopped (thus somehow increasing our chances at winning top prize). Now I don't know if you've ever been on a road trip with four women in their very (very) early 30's who've had a combined total of 7 children but the stops were...frequent. And this was beginning to add up to a fair chunk of change for the lotto corporation.

At around hour #3 I noticed the sun was out and it was getting hot (no thanks to my out-of-commission auto air conditioning). But it wasn't just the heat of the sun. It was the searing heat coming from my upper legs and/or a**. I reached my hand around to make sure my a** didn't somehow spontaneously combust. And then, I was the
anti-cellulite seaweed mud mask. Crap. Maybe I didn't rinse throughly enough and now it was spreading a rash-like..well, rash all over my body? We pulled into the nearest one-horse town.

As chance would have it, the Tim's was a drive-thru only. Double crap. The only visable option was a farmer's co-op or the local run-down garage. Since we were already gambling women, I went to the garage. Suzie and KJ decided to accompany me while Teri waited in the car. There was a cute young guy sitting at the cash smacking some gum. I didn't even have to say anything, the sheer look of panic in my face gave it away. "Looking for the bathroom?" he asked. "Yes" I tried to crank up the corners of my mouth into a smile despite the mexican hot-dance going on in my jeans. "Second door on the right" he said. And I was off. The mirror in the bathroom was about 5"x7" and 6 feet off the floor so doing a 360 degree check was out. I craned my neck around to assess (no pun intended) the situation. Hmmm...I was rash free. But my skin was a tad puffy. Slightly relieved, I opened the door to find Suzie smiling which was slightly odd since she didn't even know my good news yet. "Where's KJ? I asked. "She couldn't wait, so she decided to use the ladies washroom." Say what? My eyes scanned the door I just exited, and sure enough, there in bold block letters read "MEN". I was slightly preoccupied. And note to cute guy working the cash, it's the third door on the right.

Charlene didn't disappoint in her hostess capabilities. Everything was amazing. Her husband, Tad is a fisherman. So it's quite fitting (or kinky) that in their back yard dangling from a tree is a long rope with an orange buoy on the end. After some "refreshments" we took turns swinging on the buoy in our fancy dress for some candid photos (not quite so easy when wearing barely-there knickers). After some more "refreshments" we were put to work on a crossword puzzle. Weeks earlier Charlene had sent out questions for us to answer. Questions included...what would the others be shocked to learn about you (hmmm...) and who was your secret high school crush (I listed two, neither of which was a my grade 12 English lit teacher Mr. Wellington). Answers to these and other juicy questions formed the crossword. That's what I'm very involved in (see pic above) and yes, those are my original unaltered pair.

We topped the night off with a few more refreshments and a rowdy game of "I Never". Let's just say, apparently there's quite a host of things I could add to my list (like getting it on in the parking lot during a big time music awards show); none of these items however could pass my PG rating. That got us a bit fired up so we got in our pj's and popped in Carmen Electra's Aerobic Striptease (Hip Hop) video to burn off some calories. Charlene was amazed that I could perform the routine quite well. I don't mean to brag, but I do own the video.

All-in-all it was a super trip to Yarmouth filled with stories and laughter and a bevy of refreshments. Not to mention a bit of shopping at the local adult entertainment store Sugar and Spice. Thelma and Louise would be proud. Unlike the feminist duo, our brush with the law was short lived. On our way out of town, I was [admittedly] speeding, as in, doing 120 kmh in a 100 kmh zone. It was too late to brake by the time I spied the cruiser approching in the opposite lane. And what does Officer Handsome do? He sticks his hand out the driver side window, with a thumbs down motion [presumably telling me to slow down]. What? No speeding ticket? Right on copper. I love Yarmouth!

[Note to readers: none of the participants in this weekend were lotto winners despite our sure-fire winning method].