Online Dating

Just as I began thinking that maybe, just maybe I will jump into the online dating game, I heard a story that made me sigh heavily.

I have two lovely colleagues at work, both young women in their late 20’s/ early 30’s. They work closely together and are friends outside of work. We all went to a comedy show this past week. I know, shocking that yours truly ventured out, but I did and it was fun.

Back to the dating story. One girl (M) is dating (as in several dates and HE says they are dating) a guy she met off of Bumble. Nice guy, they communicate well, taking things slowly, etc. The other girl (R) has been off the dating apps for a couple of weeks to get a break. In a weak moment, she jumped back on. Now here is the weird part.

Within a day, The Guy shows up in R’s activity as having “liked” her. Her profile is descriptive enough that he should have been able to easily figure out that she works with M. She tells M because she doesn’t want to have such a burdensome secret. I agree with this. M is upset, but she is also a calm, rational person. M calls The Guy who emphatically denies being on the site. He is very open and says he had deleted the app. He screenshots his phone, etc. in other words, he says and does all the right things.

The girls get together because they had a planned shopping trip to buy M a dress for a double date The Guy had set up. He wants to introduce her to his bestie and bestie’s wife. The girls decide this is a Bumble fucked up algorithm. I agree.

R calls me because she is upset. She is worried that she screwed things up for M. She doesn’t want The Guy to think she is some crazy Drama Queen looking to make trouble. I told her she did the right thing. This needs to be addressed immediately and by not doing so, it could easily get out of proportion.

I am also convinced this is a Bumble algorithm quirk. Think about it, dating sites want to keep you on their platform. They want you to engage, engage, engage. They will throw any ammo available at you, including inactive profiles. All the dating sites do this. I was getting email notices about hits on Match long, long after I closed and deleted my account.

R had deleted her account. I told her it didn’t matter because the site uses facial recognition software. They knew it was her from her previous account. I told her that his like was from awhile ago before he connected with M. I said that would not be unusual and Bumble probably transferred that like from her old account. Remember, they want activity and engagement.

Wow, I feel bad for all three of them. The Guy and the girls. I truly think The Guy is innocent in all this. He has been forthcoming about other things, so I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

And I am thinking about jumping into this algorithm mud hole? Ugh. I am in no hurry now…

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Side Hustle

Look out! I just had a big idea. Let’s back up for a moment. I have always been the idea person. You know — the one who can spout out a bunch of ideas in a moment’s notice. I realize it can overwhelm others, so I always tell people not to hesitate to toss out the bad ones.

With this in mind, let’s talk about my latest big idea. I think I have come up with a viable side hustle that will take me from now into my retirement as a hobby and modest income producer. Or at least break even so I have a reason to have this hobby to begin with.

Furniture flipping. Not only furniture, but refurbishing or repurposing old or junk home decor items and bringing them back for a new life. I think there is a huge market for this. The younger generations are looking for a more sustainable life. They want to repurpose old items to avoid the landfill and for other environmental reasons. I think this would be fun. I have spent my entire weekend researching this topic and it looks great.

If I have enough smaller items, I can even go to arts and crafts festivals. I do love a festival. The cost of the festival booth is minimal. There are multiple opportunities where I live in South Florida, so I would not even have to pay for hotel stays. We can stay close to home. I already have an S-corp, so I can run all of the expenses through that.

This idea intrigues me. However it also falls into my house selection category because I will have to have a garage, so I have a place to practice my hobby.

Start up costs for this venture would be minimal. I would need a sander, workbench, shop vac, painting supplies and other small miscellaneous tools. No bandsaw or large power tools would be necessary for what I am going to do.

This idea intrigues me. Now I just have to find the right place in a neighborhood that won’t give me shit for puttering in my garage with the door open all day.

I would start out small and see how it goes, but this could be really fun. I already joined a few Facebook groups. They are full of really helpful folks and Pinterest is bursting with ideas.

Mother’s Day

I am not a fan of Mother’s Day. I would rant about it every year on my old blog. I am going to try not to rant today because I am having a lovely day.

My daughter sent me the most thoughtful of gifts. She sent me a relaxation themed set of gifts. A jar of bath bombs called Chill Pills, $25 Amazon card so I can spend it on books and the piece d’resistance….CBD gummies from Martha Stewart’s new line of CBD products! My daughter knows me well.

I made myself some mango pancakes, took a jog and am chilling on my patio. I need to finish cleaning my apartment and preparing for my son’s arrival later this week. I have an Open House to check out in a prime neighborhood. So my day is filled with activities.

My infamous Whoop band had been telling me that I am off my game. Actually it is only confirming what I am feeling. My Recovery has been lower than usual, my Sleep is a bit off. I feel like I might be getting a cold or maybe my allergies are in high gear. Regardless, I feel a bit blah.

Oh and my brother sent me a Mother’s Day card with a note. He asked if I was ready to be a grandmother and told me how his kids were doing. Yep, the man wants to reconnect. I am still thinking about how I want this to go. I am in no hurry.

I hope everyone enjoys a lovely Sunday. I plan to suck as much fun as possible from mine.

Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash

Neighborhood Hunting

I spent last weekend checking out open houses and neighborhoods. I jumped on my favorite porn site, realtor.com, and collected 7-8 promising residences.

I had about 5-6 Open Houses to scout. I went inside only one. Two were too far a commute and too remote. One was too small. One was interesting, but it would require extensive renovations.

I don’t mind extensive renovations, but I need the price of the house low enough that I still have money to spend on the renovations. I did have a good chat with the realtor at the open house about learning the neighborhoods and figuring out where I want to be. She is a very, very fit, youthful and single 61-year-old.

She had some suggestions for neighborhoods, so I will be following up on them. I also drove past numerous houses that were not open houses to get a sense of neighborhoods close to my work. I have found places that I will absolutely not consider in a million years. I have also found a couple of areas that are fitting with my criteria of having a nice walkable neighborhood. When I say walkable, I don’t mean walking to a coffee shop. I mean being able to take a nice stroll in the morning or after work. That is my Zen time.

I am still thinking about a condo. When I say condo, I mean a multi story building. I worry about the condo commandos, I worry about huge capital improvements. Living close to the salt water means that balconies need to be completely re-renovated in South Florida. Roofs must be replaced, elevators repaired. This work is expensive.

Plus, as much as I would love to live on the water, I am concerned about sea level rise. I worry that the condo will be faced with an unknown factor of property insurance and money spent to protect the property from sea level rise and excess flooding. At this point I don’t have answers, I only have questions.

I have over a year to figure this out. I plan on spending 1 to 2 days a month doing what I did this weekend. Selecting houses to go look at and determining if they fit my criteria. I have a little notebook where I record all my notes on what I see so I don’t forget.

Patience. I just need to stay patient.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Whoops

I have been writing about the Whoop strap a little. It competes with Fitbit and Garmin. The cool hipster uber athletes wear them….and your truly thanks to my CEO who fits in the aforementioned category.

The strap is all about collecting data. Personally I like the sleep aspect of it because now I know if I sleep well or not. I can even see my different sleep stages and much REM and deep sleep I get. That’s cool.

Once you have been on the Whoop for about two weeks, it begins giving you all kinds of different data about yourself. It tells you when you should go to bed or how much sleep you will need. It helps you get ready to perform or if you want to have Peak activity. It also guides you through recovery and lets you know if you have rested enough. It is full of useful information and the more you use it the more data it collects so the more it is able to tell you about yourself.

One key measurement is your heart rate variability (HRV). Whoop says HRV is literally the difference in time between heartbeats. Yes, the strap measures it. The average HRV for women is 37, mine is 31. It decreases as you get older. However, you don’t want it to decrease. You want it to increase. Ultra athletes can average over 160. Show offs.

HRV can tell you if you are stressed, dehydrated or sick (even COVID) due to a lower than normal HRV. Whoop wants you to increase your HRV and I could deep dive into their tips, but let’s not geek out on this. Suffice it to say, sleep well, eat right (including avoiding alcohol), hydrate and train sensibly.

One function I use every day is the journal. It quickly asks you a couple of questions that you have prearranged in your set up. It asks me if I have caffeine and how much, if I stretched, if I read a screen device in bed, if I were a sleep mask, if I slept in the same bed as usual, and if I masturbated. I did the last one for kicks and giggles.

Now it is finally time for the kicks and giggles portion. I am posting this on Wednesday because it is hump day, The day when I will talk about things relating to sex. Today’s topic is my masturbation as it relates to my ability to perform exercise.

Whoop has collected enough data that it feels the need to let me know how my masturbating activities relate to my HRV.

I guess I need to masturbate more. This can explain so many things in life, right? I better go order a new vibrator.

I showed this to my Bestie who runs the Whoop program and we laughed until we cried. Then she showed it to her admin. We watched her eyes literally pop out of her head. She had to read it twice before she joined us in our hysterics.

So if anyone ever tells you that masturbating is bad for you, just tell them you are doing to improve your heart’s health. That’s my public health advice for today.

Admitting Wrong

I learned early in my career to admit when I have screwed up. I found that problems are resolved far quicker when I admit my guilt or error and take responsibility for it. I also believe a good apology diffuses the situation.

Not everybody shares my philosophy. A prime example is my CEO. He made a decision that completely derailed one of my key, time-sensitive projects. I had to tell the senior VP of our most profitable division that the project was derailed, and I was going to have to start from scratch. He is kind man fortunately, but he wasn’t happy.

The senior VP sent an email to the CEO expressing his dismay about the derailment. This resulted in my boss and I having a meeting with the CEO. The CEO blithely said that I should be able to get the project back on track immediately. I explained that the supply of the product I needed was in very short demand and he scoffed.

I have found that when people question my expertise sometimes the easiest way to have this conversation where I have to tell them that they are completely wrong is to use a little psychological trick. I always start out by agreeing with them. “Yes, you are right”. This tactic lowers their defenses.

Then I hit them with “however” or “but”, so I can explain the reality of the situation. This is the tactic I used with the CEO. I tried my “yes but” tactic.

He immediately went online, did a Google search and found a whole bunch of the product that we need. I had to use my diplomatic skills and explain that yes, there is product, however, it doesn’t fit the criteria that we need. He still doesn’t quite believe me. Fortunately my boss does.

So I am once again starting from scratch. We lost two months of time due to this derailment. However, I don’t really mind that much. I do mind disappointing the senior VP, I like the guy. But having to start my project from scratch is merely job security for me.

But I chuckle at my CEO’s ego. He is a very smart, savvy man, so we all know that he probably realizes he screwed the pooch on this one, but he will never admit it. Meh, I am OK with that. He signs my paycheck, so I will start again.

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

Competitive People

We are doing a running challenge at work. It is part of our virtual team building,rah rah stuff. We use the Whoop strap to track the participants.

I foolishly challenged my boss on our company intranet site. Yes, I know better now. She is more fiercely competitive then I gave her credit for. She is constantly fighting to be at the top of the leaderboard. Keep in mind one of the participants is an ultramarathoner.

However Mr. ultramarathoner screwed up. He thought that he would be really cute and not sync his Whoop strap with his phone and sandbag a lot of data. The joke ended up being on him because the strap has very limited memory capacity. He didn’t check that out and lost days upon days of relevant data. He’s now somewhere in the middle of the pack.

My boss was out of town when the challenge started. I didn’t run the first week because apparently my Covid vaccine knocked me on my butt. My boss noticed and was frosty to me when she returned to town. By Wednesday, I wanted to clear the air. We had a quick meeting with the CEO which I will write about because it was somewhat entertaining. Anyway we were debriefing and I brought up the fact that the week before I wasn’t myself. She had an incredible sigh of relief.

I told her that on one particular day, when I completely screwed something up, I had a 1% recovery. Yes my body was completely exhausted. She was aghast, but also very relieved. She thought I had dumped her at the challenge.

Thank goodness my boss does not participate with social media, because she is tracking everyone in this challenge with a feverish obsession. Now that I understand her scrutiny, I find myself running every day. This weekend I made sure to not only do my little half hour run, but I also added additional walking. This challenge is going to kill me.

I only have two more weeks. I hope I can live that long. It’s starting to get warmer and I prefer to run outside. Hopefully my body can take it.

In the meantime there is an admin at another location and she is going head-to-head with my boss. Apparently she is also very competitive. She’s devious too. The admin will wait until about 9 o’clock at night to see how everyone else is lining up for the day and then will jump onto a treadmill, I’m guessing, for another 15 to 20 minutes to take her into first place. That shit drives my boss insane. My boss is running seven or more miles a day.

I told my boss at the very beginning that I would be the tortoise and she could be the hare. I also said I was not anticipating a fairytale ending and that the hare would finish before the tortoise. I honestly don’t mind. I was just doing it for fun, but apparently some people take this shit way too seriously. There’s even prizes but I don’t care. I just want to survive intact. What was I thinking?

Photo by Dulcey Lima on Unsplash

Dating?

I was just reading a New York Times article about a couple who had gotten married. It is their usual Sunday column covering someone’s marriage. this one was interesting because the couple started long distance, met online and the woman had been in multiple polyamorous relationships. They are slightly older than me.

After I finished the article, I’ve been sitting here thinking perhaps I should get back into the dating pool. I think what I’m looking for is connection and relationships. I got back up on MeetUp yesterday and signed up for a few groups so I can start having some activities.

The timing is awkward. My son is scheduled to arrive in the next 10 days and will be with me probably for up to two weeks. I’m not going to start doing any of this exploration of relationships whether platonic or romantic with him squeezed into my one-bedroom apartment.

Maybe that makes the timing good, so I have some time to think about what I want before I jump in with both feet. I fret that I don’t have good photos for an online profile and my weight is more than I want it to be. If I keep waiting for things to be perfect, then I perhaps will never get back in the saddle.

Sometimes I think all I want a man for is to travel, go out to dinner and sometimes fix things around my place. LOL. I like my personal time and space immensely.

I think I will use this time to think about what I want in a romantic relationship. I’m not eager to live with anyone again. I worry that once again I will try too hard and give up too much in order to simply be liked or loved. I need to remember to be true to myself first and foremost.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Debbie Downer

Wow, I have been in a funk lately. What gives? I think it is the month of April. It is my mom’s birthday and death month. It is also usually tax day. My daughter’s birthday is a bright spot in the month. I don’t know if it’s the month, the moon, the planets and stars, or the vaccine, but I do know a funk when I am feeling one.

It has started with the weekend in the Keys and here I am still moping around. It is ridiculous. I have so many great things coming up. My son is headed down in a couple of weeks. My vaccine will have kicked in by then. I will be heading to see my dad and some cousins for a memorial service in late June. Hopefully I will see my daughter to help her move and celebrate her residency graduation (one occasion where I would fully support a total drunk fest). The school has cancelled the ceremony, but she may need help moving, so I will be cautiously hopeful that I can visit.

Anyway, I am usually a very upbeat, optimistic person. I beebop around and have a ready smile. Lately I have been a bit glum. I am in a bad cycle of going to bed late and waking up late so I don’t exercise in the morning. My life is better when I exercise in the morning.

My golf lessons were a bust. We used one club for all five lessons. For each one hour group lesson, I received less than 5 minutes of instruction. Yes, I watched my watch because that’s the bitch I can be. Plus one instructor would say one thing, the other another, so I didn’t know who to listen to. I have found a potential private instructor, but that is going to be a bit pricey.

I have been looking at realtor.com like a porn addict. Even though I am more than a year away from buying something, I am looking around all the time. I discovered that this crazy county allows super large HOA’s that have their own parks, so you have to live there to use them. Sigh. It did lead me to discover a new neighborhood close by that has the parks and walking paths I desire, but I don’t really like the housing options. Sigh again.

I am trying to segue way from realtor.com to Pintrest so I can figure out various styles/looks for a potential new abode. Plus moving away from realtor.com saves me from frustration that I can’t pursue any of the options I discover. I get free online magazines from the library, so I take screenshots of things I like.

I think I am also glum because I haven’t been able to tackle my weight loss with any meaningful results. It is my fault. I need to exercise for an hour a day and I need to be more cognizant of my eating. Period. It isn’t rocket science.

I have had very little in-person social life for over a year. The past year was suppose to be spent meeting and developing new friendships in this new town. I do have my Miami Zoom Toastmasters and I have visited with some Miami friends occasionally plus a few trips, so I need to be grateful that I have done more than many others. Plus I am financially secure. That is a huge plus.

Meh, a new month is about to start, so I have the opportunity to begin again. Each day offers a new beginning to get started, however, I am low on patience, so I need to restock my reserve. Any ideas on that?

Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

My Mom

My mom’s birthday is this week. She would have been 84 this year, but she died a decade ago from cancer. I am at peace with her I would like to think, but this post is going to drag some shit up, so hold on.

If she had not died of cancer, she would have suffered from advanced dementia. She was already in the early stages and I was facing some serious decisions about her care. Fortunately she had a long-term care policy, so when she got really sick, she was able to stay home and not be hospitalized or put in a nursing home. That was the best gift she left me. I had insisted on that policy when she was still working. It worked and I was grateful.

My mom was a complicated woman. She was raised by Southern Baptists and declared herself an agnostic as soon as she divorced. She was the first and only divorcee in her religious family. When she went to Ohio State, she met a boy that she fell in love with. Her parents didn’t approve of him. They pulled her out of Ohio State to send her to a prestigious state school. That’s where she met my dad, her plan B. She majored in English because that’s what good girls seeking a Mrs degree studied. She taught kindergarten when I was really young. She tried the dutiful housewife role but that lead to a breakdown, possible attempted suicide and hospitalization for a short time. I have a feeling this was during the time she discovered my father was in an affair with his current wife.

When she separated and divorced my dad in 1970, she blazed a new trail. She went back to college to get a degree in what she really wanted – occupational therapy. She was the oldest student in her class. It was a profession that earned her a steady living. I was always impressed by her gumption to go back to school and study what she had wanted to study in the first place.

She dated a few men and then discovered a horrible, alcoholic, lying sack-of-shit man that she eventually married. She never dumped the drunk asshole. She would complain about him endlessly and then said it was too complicated to divorce him. I know it was because she didn’t want to be alone. She never wanted to be alone.

Fate delivered, when upon her retirement, she moved out to a small town in the middle of nowhere to try to forge a relationship with my brother. He rejected her and she was stuck in this small town with no family or friends. Now she was truly alone. She was horrible at making friends.

My daughter thinks my mom had borderline personality. I think she’s right. I never knew what that was until my daughter suggested I look it up. Bingo.

When she was dating the alcoholic, his job took him to another state for a couple of months. She took a week vacation to go see him….without me, a 14 or 15 year-old kid. Did she make arrangements for me to stay with a friend? Nope. She didn’t want folks to know, so she loaded up the frig and told me not to tell anyone. At that time I rode my bike to school, so nobody knew I spent over a week alone. What the heck was she thinking? I was a good kid. I went to school, did my homework, cleaned the house, went to my part-time job and told no one.

Perhaps her greatest selfish act was quitting a perfectly good job 18 months before I graduated high school. This was our 6th town after her divorce (a span of 10 years). We moved to Florida. I gave up all my friends and stability yet again to live in a shitty town with that alcoholic stepfather. I managed to graduate a year early just to escape.

For all my issues with my mom, folks that met her always had nice things to say about her. She did have a good public face. She was very smart, often funny. I know that the alcoholic husband did provide her with some great sex and she felt sexy with him. At least she got that because he left her with a $50K tax lien when he died.

What did my mom give me? An obsessive love of reading because I was alone a lot, a love of horses that we shared with my daughter, a love of music (she played the piano so I learned the piano and violin), self-sufficiency, the ability to embrace change. I was amongst the first of the latchkey kids. I learned a lot about what I didn’t want from life with her. Hopefully my legacy to my kids is that I broke the cycle of selfish, insufficient, controlling parenting.

For all of that, when she was dying, she told me how much she loved me and how proud she was of me. She did love me the best she could. I am at peace with her. I accept her for who and what she is. I know she is at peace too because she sent me a clear sign when we spread her ashes, but that is a story for another day. Happy Birthday, Mom. I always loved you no matter what because that’s what kids do — love their parents regardless.

Photo by Morgan Lane on Unsplash
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