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Weekend Shenanigans: The numbers game edition

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Another long one, folks...thanks for letting me babble and for playing the part of laptop psychiatrist. 



To paint a complete picture, you’re getting a three-day Weekend Shenanigan, starting on Thursday.  Mentally, Thursday was the best I’ve felt since my wife passed.  I had an energy I hadn’t felt in some time.  An afternoon where I turned up Blondie’s “Hanging On the Telephone” real good with the car window down…semi-gangsta lean.  And it was sunny and warm so I did some air drums and sang out loud.  Adam Sandler has probably used this bit in one of his recent shitty movies. 


After a quick trip to the gym there was nothing left to do.  I was just settling in for the Angels game when my friend, Dave the former model, called me from a wine tasting over at Hi-Time.  I’ve written about Dave here before.  Former model, plays D&D, only listens to music from about 1974-1990.  Likes Rush and Stiff Little Fingers among others.  He lives in a small house with his wife and kids so he’s constantly looking to get out.  He knows alot of the regulars there which would embarrass me, but Dave is a social butterfly and loves the energy and attention. 


Dave called me from Hi-Time.  “I’m at Hi-Time; had to get the F out of the house.  There’s burgers everywhere (‘burgers’ is our code word for hot chicks).  Get over here!”


Hmmm...kinda made up my mind the Angel game would wind down my night, but I have to remind myself that getting out of the house is extremely important right now.  So I went to Hi-Time.  I felt confidant walking in which is a rarity for me when I’m going solo, but I was having a good hair day and had an restlessness due to 35 minutes on the lifecycle at the gym. 


You can con yourself pretty good when you really need to.  Now, DR isn’t going to fool himself and think he’s a male model like his friend Dave, so I don’t always get the looks from the ladies like he does.  But I did get a couple glances when I walked down the ramp to the wine bar.  It might have been that I was a late arrival and heads will turn when the new guy shows up.  I was also clutching a bottle of water which probably stood out in this setting, but I’ll take what I can.


I found Dave (wearing a pink shirt to my pastel blue so we had a Miami Vice thing going in here.)  He was making small talk with a Hi-Time friend of his.  They had a buzz going.  Dave’s a dentist by trade so when you couple it with his experience as a male model, you’re on the hook for a breakdown of what nearby females look like from a fairly scientific point-of-view.  It usually goes something like this:  “That blonde has a serious northern European upper mandible.” 


There was a woman sitting at the bar with a lil’ Indian lady (as my dad says, red dot, not feathers).  She was blonde, fit and as Roger Daltrey sang in “5:15,” sexually knowing.  She carried herself with a dignified but subtly seductive carriage -- along with a pronounced facial structure as Dave the dentist pointed out to me -- just before he made his way over to her.  Although he’s married and very faithful, Dave loves to chat up people, especially women.  He can’t help it.  I stayed back with Dave’s buddy.  The Indian lady bailed to go watch a rigged basketball match.  Ever the wall flower, I stayed back while Dave’s drinking buddy went over to the blonde.  I had to remind myself to be social so I forced myself to make small talk with them.  And then there were four.


The blonde and I started talking.  She was nice, interested in my recent travels (I’ve learned that a jaunt to Serbia is an attention getter)...there was eye contact, lingering for an extra beat or two.  This part is noteworthy.  It’s hard to explain but I’ve had some trouble making simple conversation these last months.  This will sound overly dramatic but I don’t know how else to explain it:  I think I have some sort of post-traumatic situation (with no disrespect to our folks in the service who have the real, real thing).  That sounds very dramatic, I know, but I do have to remind myself to just chill, to breathe, to mellow the hell out. 


After about a half-hour, it was pretty clear the blonde and I were hitting it off.  Dave and his friend had backed off at this point.  Here’s a great friend moment:  I looked over my shoulder and Dave was about ten feet behind me.  He gave me a wink.  Encouragement from stage left with a nod and a wine shot.


Of course, there’s always one bozo who can’t read the room and I got one just before I was going to make a stab for the blonde’s number, despite the shop girl fiasco from the previous weekend.  Unfortunately, this dude had chatted-up the blonde at the tasting before and tonight (probably every night) he’s flying solo so he makes a bee-line for her.  He’s about the size of Napoleon with none of the conquering bravado.  A conversation taker who stands there and waits for you to fill in the gaps.  Compounded with lots of shrugging and the curious choice of a Movado watch.  “Of course! You’re the one who wears that,” I thought. 


I couldn’t take it anymore.  I wanted to go and I had drained my bottle of Smart water ($1.68 at Hi-Time).  I stood shoulder-to-head top with Napoleon, not budging.  I wanted to bend down to him and ask him to give me about 35 seconds, but thought better of it.  I was in a now-or-never moment.  I asked the blonde if she wanted to get coffee or something...tomorrow.


Tomorrow?!  What the...?  Yep, I said tomorrow.  WTF!?!?!  How desperate does that sound?  Even a high schooler knows you need to pretend to be way less interested than that.  I caught myself in the next breath.  “Well, not tomorrow...I mean maybe next week.”  Yessir, they call me Sir Smooth.  Now, I was stoked Napoleon was there.  He made me look good by his mere presence once I stood up. 


I asked the blonde for her number and said (after learning my lesson from last week), “Here I’ll put it in my phone and text you now so you have my number, too.”  Sir Smooth, indeed!


I texted her.  She got it.  And I sachay’d on outta there like a bad mofo.  Since I’m doing lotsa quotes in this report, I will quote Toni Braxton:  “Breathe again, breathe again...”


I got home and felt relief.  I was social.  I got out of the house.  I got back up on the horse.  And, I got a text from the blonde at about 10pm


We texted back and forth for a half-hour like a couple of Bieber fans.  One of her texts asked, “Coffee next week?”


Moving along to Friday, I woke at 5am from a terrible nightmare.  I dreamt the following:  

I was in the blonde’s house in the middle of the night.  But in bed with my wife who needed help to the bathroom (in her last months, I pretty much walked or full-on carried my wife from room to room, so the dream felt very real).  I had to walk her past the blonde, lying in her bed.  And then back again.  The blonde’s ex-husband walked through the front door.  I showed him that I was there with my wife so there wasn’t any hanky panky going on.


I woke up in a panic, not knowing what the hell just happened.  My wife was just talking to me and it was so real.  Her voice was with me, strained from all the meds and the tumors putting pressure on her brain stem.  I teared-up and took a xanax.  In the dream, I was so thrilled to hear my wife again.  Yes, this f’ing cancer business is the gift that keeps on giving.  I’m sure the interpretation of the dream comes down to one word:  guilt.  I don’t know what to do with the blonde’s number at 8am on a lonely Friday morning.  I should probably meet her for coffee if only to be social, but I don’t know if it would be fair to her to take it any further.  My nightmare tells me I’m a mess.


I recovered the best I could and went about the day, not texting the blonde.  I wasn’t sure what to do with her number but I really wanted to have some sort of interaction.  More from a social basis than anything else.  Still, with my ‘how about tomorrow?’ idiocy, I wasn’t about to text her today.  And I was feeling pretty crushed through the day with that nightmare lingering on my mind.  I stayed in Friday night, pretending that Thursday’s shenanigans was a good filler for Friday. 


Saturday got off to a better start.  I slept in with neither dream nor nightmare, though I did check my phone to see if maybe the blonde had drunk texted me at 3am.  No such luck.  I met a friend down at Cappy’s for my half-stack of pancakes, eating like a champion.  Pancakes are a tricky business.  They’re great going down, but you carry them with you throughout the day.   Good thing I got a long bike ride in with friends.  We went to the river jetty in Newport and back to the Wedge, so the pancakes were a non-event by now.  I worked them off pretty good.  My friends on the bike path:





On the ride, we stopped at a really small tennis club on the Peninsula to use the loo.  One of the friends biking with us runs the club and let us in to use the facilities.  It’s a very low profile joint, without pretension despite the fact that every person on the limited membership roll is worth millions.  Rick Caruso, the developer of The Grove has a house across from the club as does the Shea family who make golf courses, homes, buildings, etc.  You feel like a beach bum while you sit on your beach cruiser looking at those homes.  My friends outside the club:


My friend and I had plans to go to dinner but bailed at the last minute...Oh oh.  That means he’s maybe getting back with his ex.  Not good for no one ever.  She’s a ball breaker and guilts the hell out of him.  And of course it pulls me away from my pancake partner.  Can’t have that. 


I couldn’t make up my mind what to do on Saturday night.  Though I was feeling lonely, I didn’t dare text the blonde.  I was doing my best to play difficult to obtain, or ‘hard to get’ as they say on the streets.  So, naturally, I went to Del Taco drive-thru:  1 Del Beef Burrito, 2 tacos and a bacon-cheese quesadilla.  Watched the latest Angel disasterpiece until my plus-size model friend Dave called me on his way back from a party. 


Dave swung by with goat cheese, a baguette and the following DVDs:  Tears For Fears in Santa Barbara, 38 Special, Roxy Music.  But first, we started off with Spandau Ballet Live from Sadlers Wells, 1983.  It was rad.  The band has a percussionist/sax player named Steve Norman and he is an amazing performer.  I’m sure I’ll get gay bashed for appreciating Spandau Ballet, but they kill it.  Dave and I had been meaning to watch this concert DVD for a few months and finally were able to focus on it.  I love the song “Communication” (not to be confused with the Power Station’s version of “Communication” which is also filed under G for gnar gnar).  “To Cut a Long Story Short” was an early KROQ hit and they play it in this video.  I played the song loud when I was driving to the Peninsula on Saturday. 


Dave popped open a bottle of vino for himself and we air-guitar’d and drummed to 38 Special.  Like Adam and the Ants, this band had two drummers.  I think they’re pretty great as long as you stick to the hits.  “Caught Up In You” is a real rocker.  Reminds me of playing Galaga.

Dave decided to go home to his wife and kids around 11pm; a bargain considering Dave can stick around until 1am sometimes.


Sunday started off as usual.  Coffee and a whole lotta ‘what the hell am I gonna do today?’  I give myself props for not picking up the world’s greatest donut.  I’ve found Sunday’s, particularly Sunday afternoons, to be the toughest days.  While most have their families, or wives or girlfriends, I’ve got a cat and a number to maybe or maybe not text.  If you know anyone that lives by themselves, Sundays are a good day to say hi or invite them over.  I really need to push myself out of the house on Sundays but it’s odd…nothing sounds good.  No food sounds good, no outing sounds good.  Nothing sounds engaging.  You kind of want to hang around and shuffle your feet from room to room, hoping that the perfect idea presents itself. 


I texted the blonde that afternoon.  She genuinely ‘sounded’ excited to hear from me, and texted right back.  In this modern era, I think that means there’s interest (youngsters, females, etc., please feel free to translate).  She’s busy most days this week but offered Thursday and Friday.  And said she plans to go to the wine tasting on Tuesday.  The wine tasting just sounds like a bummer.  Kind of like meeting a chick at a dive bar and then you realize she actually is a regular at the dive bar.  Not exactly the case here, but it’s not fun to go back to the same well, especially if there’s the threat of Napoleon Movado showing up.


As Sunday crept forward, I was hitting a low.  I fought it, but I went to the gym and made the usual small talk with the earth girl yoga/spin master at the front desk.  I’m becoming the bummer dude who walks in and talks about nothing.  I’m like Larry from “Three’s Company.”  There were two other people in the gym.  Everyone else had things to do except us goofballs. 


I didn’t get that endorphin rush I was hoping for and had a lot of sadness in my head.  I fell asleep on the couch for about a half-hour after half a xanax.  I’m not a pill popper, but every now and then I need to call in my little friends.  They certainly help as prescribed.  Accept on afternoons and evenings like this.  I didn’t have an appetite though I knew I needed to eat something.  You could’ve rattled off 100 ideas for dinner and I would’ve said, ‘no no no no no…’  But again, I forced myself into the car and started driving.  One way, then another, and back again.  I finally settled on Flame Broiler with zero enthusiasm.  Sundays are so silent for me when darkness falls.  I sometimes pretend I’m a character in a Michael Mann movie.  Or, maybe Crockett on Vice.  A man alone, sitting on a boat, waiting for the tide, or whatever might come along.  I wish I would have had a longer ‘conversation’ with the blonde.  Each exchange has lasted about a half-hour.  I think she ordered one of the 2000 books about how to deal with a man in a relationship and read a chapter that says “Text for only one-half hour at a time.”  I swear this crap is out there. 


That might have been part of my funk.  Who knows?  You’re up, you’re down.  That’s how it is for anyone.  But since that nightmare, my downs have been crushers.


I went to bed after dinner, just laying there with too much swimming around that boat of mine.  I got my headphones and played music in the dark.  One after another…Roxy Music’s “Same Old Scene” which has an impossible bass line, some Shriekback. “Trouble” from Lindsey Buckingham: 


“I really should be saying goodnight. 

I really shouldn’t stay anymore. 

It’s been so long since I’ve held ya. 

I forgot what love was for.”




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Wild stuff DR. Can't even imagine the loss of a SO. You are going to have to cope with controlling that array of feelings if you want to move on and play the singles game.


You DO have something some people don't have: friends. And you should feel blessed as they look like they're fun dudes, be thankful for them.


Pro Tip: STOP fooling yourself into believing you have nothing to do. And even if you don't, stop vocalizing it!!


There's PLENTY to do, you've got a list and you're a busy man, and you're so busy you don't have time to be texting blondes on a Sunday...ya hear? Beautiful babies ain't fly on kickin' it with dudes who have nothing to do. You're here on this beautiful planet, you're a busy stud, and you know it. You have a strong heart that's beating on Gods green earth, it's a beautiful day, and you're gonna make the most of it. You don't have time to deal with women. If you're gonna take time to let some blondie slide her way into your busy day, so be it, but it should be on your time, not hers. Coffee next week? "Sure, but Fridays my only free day." If she says Thursday let her know its not gonna work because it conflicts with your monthly "guys night at the bar." If she can't find a way to make time to see you, maybe that's a sign.


There is something each and every one of us has, male or female, and that is VALUE. How you demonstrate your value is up to you.

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DR.....I had some dreams after my wife passed also.


We were in a mountain restaurant and my wife got up to use the bathroom. The bathroom was down a hallway so I watched here walk away. I waited a few minutes and the I heard a commotion down that hallway. After several minutes went by I got up and asked the bartender where my wife was and what the commotion was. He said that some guys had come and taken my wife away. I became very panicked at that point. I used my phone to call the police for help. Just then my second line rang and it was my wife and she proceeded to tell me.........that she couldn't be there anymore. It was to hard and to much to handle. She said that she loved me but it was time for her to go. 


I woke up and surprisingly remembered so much about that dream but wasn't sure how to analyze it.


I came to the conclusion that she was just saying how tired and broken she was from all the treatment from her cancer. It had been a long hard battle and she was done and was at peace with letting go so me and the kids didn't have to see her go through anymore pain and suffering. I'm grateful for that dream so I could begin to heal myself.



There have been other dreams but none as clear as that one.


Stay strong DR. It can be a rough road at times but It will get better. You are still in the baby stages of you grief.


I always enjoy reading your shenanigans posts. I can relate to a lot of things you write about. 

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DR, I can't imagine what you have been through. Props to you (wow, I haven't used that term since 2004) for keeping a positive outlook and for your strength.  Like CaliAngel said above, lean on your friends when things get tough.


I'm hooked on your WS because we handle situations/think through scenarios very similarly. Dang, I feel like sometimes you're telling stories from my life.


Anyhow, good one, again.

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No need to feel bad about mentioning PTSD. You indeed have it. It's commonly associated with war/combat, but anyone can get it whether it be a car accident, rape, or Pujols striking out with the bases loaded to end the game. It's also individual dependent, so even something we deem small like a break up can have a worse psychological effect than a soldier.

I'll try to help with the text/date part and keep it short, but apologize because I never do. First, I recommend ditching the ideology of not being able to hangout for coffee the next day. Two reasons for this, everyone does or has done "the three day rule". Could it work? In some cases if a woman's self-esteem is low she will create her own anxiety about you which builds you up in her mind...which is the goal these men try to create, but as we know men are dumb and it fails more than it works. Thus, if everyone does the three day rule I always tell people to do the opposite. You just never want to be construed as just another guy or doing what everyone else is doing, it just lacks the kind of originality that is attractive. Secondly, you are acting on a woman's impulse and her high of you two just meeting. You will almost always get a yes during the meeting stage whereas say in three days what if you text and she had a bad day at work, problems with family, etc.? Us dumb men with egos think chicks will just wait around (and as mentioned, some do out of insecurity) but they easily just jump back into their normal life and you are just another dude they gave their number too and will decide if they want that coffee opposed to catching them at their peak and getting a sure yes. But if you're not ready there is never any rush or you don't have to respond at all.

I also recommend at least trying this route because you are in better spirits as well opposed to time and your head getting in the way. I also understand what Cali wrote above, but really don't recommend going the alpha male route. It works for the younger crowd where chicks don't know what they want and the "bad boy" option is enticing. Also, with what you're going through it's just the opposite of your disposition.

I feel like I'm starting over again with the texting rules myself and know what you mean. Fast responses are good in general. You may have one of these types that live on their phone so they respond to anything fast, but a response is a response and a positive one even better. Like above, I always stress being different and staying away from the mundane things like "How are you?" or "What are you up to?" these just aren't enticing and are the same things the dude at Jack in the Box asks us when we order. You have a sense of charm and way with words, use those attributes to have fun or funny questions and answers while not coming off as the class clown. 30 minutes is a good time regardless, but if you recognize a pattern then there could be some changes needed.

Just my two cents. Although, every woman and situation is different so some of this may or may not apply.

Good read and props on the bike day. I miss hitting the shore line in similar fashion.

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I'll take the easy ones first...


Del Taco bacon cheese quesadilla.  It's on the new value menu, so it's tiny.  But it's damn good.  I'd give it an 8/10.  Really, it would be hard to not like it:  cheese, bacon carbs.  I say, 'yes.'


Dave's wife doesn't get out much but it's by choice.  Their kids are pretty young so they're in bed early.  She likes to kick it by herself and watch female/gay reality tv shows.  Dave the plus-sized model does quite a bit with the kids during the day.  Long walks, music trivia ("Who is Midge Ure?") and I gave him a key to my house so he can bring the kids over to hang with my cat when I'm not there.

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I like how DR can paint a picture and you can imagine being along side him. I know the ramp he talks about at Hi-Time as well.


Then he throws in tidbits like these.


I couldn’t take it anymore.  I wanted to go and I had drained my bottle of Smart water ($1.68 at Hi-Time).


Just in case anyone wanted to know about the bacon mini quesadilla (starts at .75 cents at Del Taco).

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