Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mustache Dache!

My 13yo daughter and I have been doing a bunch of 5Ks this summer and fall, as you know. While her favorite undoubtedly, so far, anyway, was the Iron Girl 5K at Green Lake, the one I'm really looking forward to is the Mustache Dache on November 17th. Why do I love it so? (Especially after I *just* told you in the previous entry that Men with Mustaches = Invisible to Me. Since I dislike them so, I must have a soft spot for a little occasional mustache tomfoolery. :)

Plus, their website is very cute. It makes me smile every time I see it. 

Someone very witty created their website.
Here's a couple items from their FAQ, which really amuses me. REALLY amuses me:

Q: Do I have to have a mustache to do the race?
A: The Mustache Police will be out in full force on Mustache Dache Day and you’ll be thrown into jail if you’re spotted sans ‘stache…yeah right!  While we encourage all men, women, and children to sport one, it’s not a requirement.
Q: What should kids and women do?  Should we wear a fake mustache?
A: Do fish live in the ocean?  Yes!  Most definitely.  Face painters and purveyors of fake mustaches will be on hand to adorn your upper lip to ensure mustache solidarity.  (Face painting is free, fake mustaches available for a small charge).
Q: What should I wear?
A:  A costume, of course!  We’ll be having a high-powered costume contest administered by strict former East German Olympic judges, so be sure to show up in a very fine get-up.  If a costume is not your slice of pie, we recommend warm clothing that you can comfortably run in and hang out at the post-race party in.  Layers are advised!
Q: Are there prizes?
A:  Yes.  Copious ones.  Remember the Cornucopia from Hunger Games?  There you go.
So, Alli and I are very excited about this event, which is for Movember and men's health and prostate cancer awareness (and because, I think, men want an excuse to grow mustaches, and their women can't give them a hard time if it's for a good cause). Costumes are encouraged, and you know everyone will be sporting a fake 'stache, or a real one if they can grow it.
The course is at Seattle's Magnuson Park, which will be a fun place to hold a 5K:

Check out the website and come join us! Really, even if you aren't in the Seattle area, I think the website is just fun to read, regardless.
And I cannot help but show you this picture of my friend and his son from last Movember. Okay, sometimes I love mustaches, and this is one of my all-time favorite pictures. :)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Crazy Lady Nekky Pictures

(I had to revise my post title because "Friday Updates" was just boring.)

I think I have a lot of things going on in the background that I've been too busy/too *something* to blog about. So I'll try to catch you up a bit.

Most excitingly, I am having my tummy tuck surgery on 11/12. In just over a month!! Several things happened to make me pull the trigger on this one:

- I have lost hope that insurance will chip in for the surgery. I talked at length with my new plastic surgeon, who said he is only aware of one case being paid partially by aetna, and it was a bad case. While I consider my case bad, in the loose skin scheme of things, it is not horrible, I suppose. They talk about people's hanging pannis (sp?) down their thighs. Mine doesn't. But it still sucks.

Oh, you might as well see me in my underwear, why not?
That's all extra skin, babe. And I want it gone. Post haste. Cute bra and panties, though, yes? :) That vertical scar on my tummy is from a spinal fusion I had in 2004. Now THAT was a grueling surgery! In through my tummy and my back - I used a walker for I don't know how long afterward. Probably a month. It sucked.

Now, before you go thinking that belly is not that bad, I'm not even showing you the hanging forward pictures, which would make your eyes bleed. :) We'll just leave it at that.

- I got approved for financing with It will cost me an arm and a leg, I'm sure. I have decided I am willing to pay an arm and a leg.

- I will take two weeks off for the surgery, and a friend pointed out that if I combine my Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving holidays, I'll only use six days of leave for two weeks off. I called the surgeon's office and he's available to do it, so WAH-LAH!!

Needless to say, I am very excited. And nervous. Mostly excited. But nervous. More nervous about the finances than anything. This will require some serious belt-tightening. Which I will be able to do, because I will have no loose skin around my middle. (Hahahaha, I slay me.)

Oh my goodness, is this all I think about?? YES!! I have a generally pretty addictive nature anyway. Oh, who am I fooling - I have a *very* addictive nature. I am pleased that when I was a rabble-rousing carousing sort back in my late teens, I had the wisdom to not try any drugs beyond pot, which makes me sleepy, hungry and grouchy (and thus, I do not smoke pot, haha). But something told me that if I had the opportunity to run around feeling like I was running at hyper-speed, or hallucinating pretty mind-pictures, well, I just wouldn't stop.

So now I am only thinking about cycling. Bike, bike, bike, I want to go ride my bike. I am *this close* to commuting into work, even though it would be a real, giant, tremendous pain in the butt and logistically with children, daycare pick-up times, etc. it is just almost completely unfeasible. But my inner cyclist is hyperventilating because soon it is going to be dark ALL THE TIME here in Seattle and how will I ride, how will I ride? I have been playing "beat the sunset" every day I have the chance, but that is making for a much shorter ride than I want.

I have not yet gotten the craigslist bike, which I might as well link here for you because I don't think you're going to go buy it. The seller has been really wonderful, though, and while I didn't hear from him last night, thus sending me into panic attacks - he did text late about being locked out of his car, etc. I am confident the deal will go down this evening.

I want it. I want to have an operable bicycle for every member of my family, and then I want to toughen up my children's butts and legs so that we can just go ride, ride, ride without care or concern for hills. Oh, so many hills around here. Now, as for me, well, I don't *fly* up those hills, but I don't give them a second thought, either. (Well, I give them a second thought, but I tough them out, haha.) My children, however, will struggle with these.

Linda, you asked about my sore butt earlier. HECK YEAH IT HURT! But it got better quickly. :) I think your sit-bones just need to get used to it. My bike now is a "comfort cruiser" and it is the most comfortable of butt-sparing seats, I'll bet. But even the too-big bike I ride with the kids doesn't bother me that much. I should note here that I am really having trouble with comments on the site, so I am still reading but playing catch-up. I was getting TONS of "anonymous" comments, which blogger is catching and sending to spam, but my email account was being INUNDATED with emails, so I hit "block" or "spam" or something, and now I am receiving very, very spotty notification of comments on the blog. So I am still reading, but since I don't get the emails very often, I also do not really have an opportunity to respond directly. I plan to sort out this problem somehow. :)

I don't know if it's better to talk about my insanity, which I feel in most cases is self-evident, or men. We'll start with men, which will naturally segue into my insanity. I feel I owe this to my regular readers.

I did take down my online profile last weekend. How exhausting. Online dating is an exercise in pounding your own head against a concrete wall. Every once in awhile, someone slips a pillow in between your head and the wall, so it feels good for a second, so you keep doing it in hopes that it feels good again. :) Or I could just be a teensy bit jaded right now, haha.

Did I ever tell you that Greg and I humored one evening of possibly reconciling? I doubt that I did, because I was embarrassed, which quickly turned to anger, and then, just as quickly as anything, my lingering feelings and longing for Greg evaporated into nothing. Seriously, just gone. I'll recap quickly, because I think you need to see how Greg fueled some serious insanity fires inside my poor battered psyche. NOW I see that. Before, I could not.

So, Greg asked me out, this was several weeks ago now. He missed me, he was terribly sorry, he said all the right things to gain access to my company for an evening. What he said to get me out really doesn't matter, because as you will see, it's what he said later that mattered. We actually had a wonderful evening. I liked being in Greg's space. (Jeez, DID I blog about this? Forgive me if I am repeating.) We went on a motorcycle ride, which is a key to my heart - although, I gotta say, now that I am bike riding, I do believe that motorcycles may not pack the same thrill. I have yet to test this theory, though. We went to dinner, and we had drinks on my patio on a beautiful late summer evening. And here are some of the things he said over the course of the night:

- Hey, did you wash your car recently, it doesn't look that dirty.
- What condition is your house going to be in when we go in there?
- (Turned a scrutinizing eye on the hanging flower basket he bought me for Mother's Day, which had a lot of brown stuff. Cast me a knowing look.)
- You've got cigarette butts in your fire pit (duh, those are yours, a'hole)
- I see you stopped taking care of the tomato plants.

Okay, those are just annoying. But when we sat on the patio, admittedly having a couple drinks, he really let fly. WITH TEARS IN HIS EYES, that man looked me in the eyes and told me that he loves me but he could not get past how obese I used to be. That if he had met me then, he wouldn't have given me a second look and that is so upsetting for him. I pointed out that before he lost 60 pounds and had a mustache, I also would not have given him a second look. (SRSLY, it would take quite a man for me to look at twice with a mustache, I am not a facial hair fan, although I loves me some gristly stubble. Which he then shaves off.) He told me that by not FOREWARNING him about my loose skin, he was just so surprised and he could not get it out of his head. And that he was so sorry, because he didn't WANT to be bothered by it, but he just doesn't like it. Umm, I always forgot to ask him AND WHAT THE FREAK DO YOU WANT ME TO DO ABOUT IT - he knew I was having plastic surgery at the first possible opportunity, for crying out loud.

Somehow, this revelation still turned into a positive (??) ending for the evening, although at dinner he did comment that it also bothered him how little I eat.

I feel like I should say here that I am not a stupid woman. :) When I read this, and read how much bullisht I put up with from Greg, how much I let him utterly DESTROY my self-confidence over a not-even six month period...well, I don't feel like I'm reading the words of a smart woman. I liken my time with Greg to being wrapped in a warm, protective hug with so many positives and  it feels soooo good that you do not even realize that you are being slowly sliced to death with razor blades, and before you know it you have bled to death, even while you are clinging onto how good it feels. Except for the bleeding to death part.

But it worked, see, because Greg's many subtle criticisms of me were the very things I criticize about myself, all day, every day. My house and car *are* a mess. I did kill the tomatoes (partly out of hatred, haha) and I am a slob. And with every waking moment, I hate that loose skin and the havoc that morbid obesity wreaked on my body. I'm an easy target if you want to criticize me because I'll just jump right in and agree with you.

It was on a Wednesday night that I went out with Greg. And on Thursday, I was profoundly, profoundly sad, when I should have been happy. We were going to see each other again, right? And so I spent the day reflecting on how really, really full of despair I felt. And I thought about the last time I had felt that way, and I knew it was when I was with Greg.

Friday I took the day off and I went for my at the time longest bike ride to date. It was sunny. I was utterly blissed out. And I text broke up with him. For good, this time. I told him, and now I'm paraphrasing, "When we were together, I felt lucky to be with you. I was proud of you and proud you were my man. I don't think you feel that way when you're with me, and you should. All you see are all my flaws - I need someone who makes me feel on top of the world, and you make me feel like I'm being run over by it. I hope you find the perfection you seek, but we both know you won't. Good luck, Greg."

Now, Sabrina and my main man (what do I call him on the blog?? Argh, I cannot remember) say that I am just enough of a control freak that I could not handle it that Greg broke up with me, so I had to get him back in order to break up with him. Eh, there may be some truth to that. Regardless, the texts were sent, he wrote back that I am a wonderful person and he wishes the best for me. And like steam escaping a pot, he was gone. The pain, the wistfulness, the longing...pretty much disappeared on that long, sunny day bike ride.

The insanity, however, did not. See, I hate my belly soooooo much, and Greg hated my belly so much, that he painted a very clear picture for me that men hate my belly. Eh, I'm sure men don't love it. My recounting of my experience with Lance Armstrong was painted more by my own self-loathing and insecurities than actual facts, I should say. I expected Lance Armstrong to hate my flabby skin, and so therefore I made him, at least in my mind.

Really, we went out that second time and again, we had a blast. A very nice man. Over the course of knowing him, I had not-so-artfully worked into our conversations twice that I had wrecked my body and needed plastic surgery and had a tummy tuck planned. Once was by text (SRSLY I think all dating is done by text now, how lame) and once as I was running defense to keep his hands off my body. Neither time was he outwardly fazed by my Horror. But what had been a full-court press to talk to me and spend time with me turned to a brief text the next day and a largely-grumpy call that afternoon. He is a commercial painter who had done a big side job that day that had not gone well. Regardless, my intuition told me we would not be riding on Sunday, as planned. When we were on the phone, I gave him a pass on it but he said it was going to happen. I told my girlfriend at dinner that night (Saturday) that no way it was going to happen. So when he texted Sunday something along the lines of "hey, I forgot about my daughter's cheer thing that I want to go to so I can't ride, sorry," I didn't respond. It was as expected, and by then my insanity, my Greg-voice screaming in my head, was like a runaway train. It was the Horror, he had touched it and hated it as all men and everyone in the right mind does, most especially me.

Wednesday was his 40th birthday and he texted me first thing in the morning. Asked me if I was going to break my silent treatment long enough to wish him a happy birthday. I said of course I wished him a happy birthday, but I hadn't expected to hear from him again. I told him we should talk again in a few months when I've had my plastic surgery and was further along in my own fitness journey. He said that wasn't it at all, that he was tired and in a bad mood and hated turning forty. And would I go out with him this weekend?

Anyway. I think in many ways, Greg came along for me at the worst possible time. And maybe the best possible time. I had lessons I needed to learn, and Greg pounded them in like a stake through my heart. I did go out with Lance Armstrong last night, and he's not boyfriend material but he will be fun to spend time with now. It's like a switch flipped in my head when I had the Lance-Armstrong-hates-my-body-too psychotic break. I am man-weary. I don't want anyone beating the proverbial isht out of me while I am making all this wonderful progress on myself and having such fun.

I'm not quite to the point of turning down time with men with bodies carved out of marble, but I wonder if my mind and heart have finally sync'ed up to the point they need to be. I don't *need* this, I will enjoy myself and my life and we'll just see how it plays out. There was a desperation or an urgency that I am just not feeling anymore, starting with my razor-blade revelation about Greg and ending with my wild leap to assume that Lance Armstrong hated my body as much as me.

Oh - there is another man. I had been talking to him online, very, very, very slowly for weeks. This guy is in no freaking hurry. We had texted and talked a couple times, and he called me again after my profile was gone, so he was grandfathered in. This one is pretty hilarious, because he is a recent Oregon transplant who is an electrician for the county, who lives in Federal Way. (Greg was a recent Oregon transplant who is an electrician for the county and lives in Federal Way. Both moved here for the jobs.) Like Greg, he is a big motorcyclist. He was married for many years but has no kids. I met him one day early this week for coffee and he is taking me for a motorcycle ride on Sunday. I might be going simply because I find the parallels hysterical. Ladies, if you are single in the Seattle area, move to Federal Way, or at least grocery shop there. I would, but I lived in Federal Way for years and hate it with a purple passion. Although I might start grocery shopping there. :) Of the men I've dated, no less than four have lived in Federal Way, including Retired Navy. All these men have had great jobs and some serious coinage. And toys.

Right now, it's all about me and my bicycle. I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike...

Here's what crazy looks like all dressed up. 
Have a beautiful day, ladies. It's Friday and all is well in the world. Alli and I have our Issaquah 5K with Jen at Runner Maybe on Sunday, and at some point, there will be bike rides. :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Queen said it for me:

I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like

That's all. That's all I want to do. Everything else is REALLY CRAMPING MY STYLE.

I've become a bit obsessed, I'm afraid. Really, it's all I want to do anymore. It's too bad it's fall and the weather will be changing, but I'm already figuring out how I can ride in the rain. I'll need a bit more gear. :)

Hey - I got a new hair cut this afternoon, I like it a lot:

Hmm, from this angle it doesn't look a whole lot different than the last haircut, but it really is. Much shorter, especially in back:

My dear friend and self-appointed personal stylist found this picture and sent it to me with instructions to go get my hair cut this way, haha. Mine's a little different because I have wavy curls (a by-product of getting older, as my hair has always been stick straight, except for when I was a toddler, when I had lots of curls).

I am very pleased with the cut, and especially because the stylist (new to me!) adhered to my instruction that preparation must be limited to putting stuff in it and tousling it around with my hands while I blow dry. I'm not a fancy girl, but Sabrina is. You see how I have a lot to live up to with her as my stylist:

She's flashy.
Oh golly, I had profound blog thoughts earlier this week and I didn't get them written down! Now I'm completely at a loss. I am having a blast cycling. Love it. I believe I'm going to go buy a bike tonight from craigslist - my main man at work recommended this one.

Update: I'm going to go ahead and put this lame post out there, sans profound thoughts. Later, I'll post something more "meaty" and maybe include a picture of me in my self-tousled hair and corseted denim dress that Sabrina gave me yesterday. I swear I wouldn't recognize me walking down the street, haha.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tour de Flunk

Oh, boo. Lance Armstrong is a bust. You know, there's something to be said about shopping within your price range, haha. Physically, Lance Armstrong was way outta my league: a three-time Iron Man (the full one!), running the Seattle Marathon in November just because a friend wants company, etc. Physically: way out of my league.

I thought he was looking for a "project," and what a fine project I am, I must say. But, it turns out, maybe too much of a project for him. Part of this may have to do with my own merchandising: I told you, I will not upsell my abilities. I'd hate to get caught in a lie. So there were a couple comments - we saw a woman riding a bike on the waterfront who was very obviously wobbly and not in great control...he asked me if I was better than that. Maybe I should have been more indignant, haha. I said of course I was, but later he did ask something again about control of the bike. I was like, "Umm, what would I have problems controlling? Do you mean am I falling down or something?" He asked another time if I was prepared to run the 10/28 half marathon in Snohomish...well, I haven't been running but I am working out like a monster, and I will do it and I will finish it one way or another...on my hands and knees if I have to. Anyway, I think he was just having some nagging little doubts about my fitness level. Which, I must say, is an awesome EARLY fitness level. I am completely and utterly badass for where I have come from. I have a long ways to go to be able to just wing it and do a full marathon just to keep a friend company, haha.

Thass me.
But it really all unraveled with Lance Armstrong because of The Horror. We ended up going out on Friday night - really, he couldn't get enough of me at that point. I am quite intoxicating. He called Friday and said his daughter's football game (she's a cheerleader) was early, and would I be able to go out afterward? I said sure. We really enjoyed each other's company and there was such fun chemistry, and we made out like high school kids in his truck (um, I actually did that in high school, haha, it was a bit deja vu). And once he got his hands on The Horror, the temperature dropped like 20 degrees. Deep sigh. I had explained, somewhat, that I have plastic surgery planned. I didn't talk about weight loss or weight loss surgery, just that I needed some plastic surgery to fix a problem I was unhappy about.

Anyway. I think the general perception is that I am pretty small, and could maybe stand to lose some weight around the middle. You don't know, unless you see for yourself, the monstrosity I'm packing under my clothes. It really, really, really sucks. Come hell or high water, I am going to figure out a way to have that tummy tuck done next year. It is so damaging for me to look at that wreck, and honestly, between Lance Armstrong's and Greg's reactions to it, I'm keeping myself under lock and key for awhile.

Lance Armstrong called me Saturday, but there was a huge chill in the air compared to how much he had contacted me over the course of the week. On Sunday morning, he texted that something had come up with his daughter and he couldn't make it, sorry. Boo. I knew that was coming - I had gone out with a friend on Saturday night and said I needed to decide which bike club ride I was doing the next morning, because I was sure I wouldn't be riding with Lance Armstrong.

It's sour grapes to say that there was another couple issues that were of concern to me. I confirmed on Friday that he is an alcoholic, thirteen years sober. I have two good friends who have strongly urged me to not date alcoholics unless I plan on quitting drinking entirely. I do not plan on quitting drinking. Lance Armstrong wouldn't go into a bar on Friday: this makes sense, duh. I like to go into bars. Also, he wore a nicotine patch: he hasn't had a cigarette in over seven months, but he wears a patch when he wants a cigarette. Between all this and the exercise, the extreme, extreme exercise, do you see a pattern? Major addictive personality. I can't decide if, as another majorly addictive personality, I would be well-suited or horribly-suited with another one like me. Heck, we could sit around and do P90X and slap nicotine patches all over each other. ;) But the alcoholic thing: I really have to think about this one because although I am not a big drinker, I do drink and I do enjoy it. It is part of my social repertoire.

Okay, bye bye Lance Armstrong. And I've taken my online profile down for awhile. The very NATURE of online dating is rejection: you're meeting quickly to see if there's a match. Yes/No for you, Yes/No for him. Yesterday, I threw a complete and utter SHIT FIT about Lance and my stupid, horrible, exhausting life. It's been brewing, believe me. :) I told you, this time of year is very hard for me for some reason. I just want someone to enjoy and spend my kid-free time with, there are people EVERYWHERE in relationships, and between my three kids and my wrecked body, I'm a total man-leper. Kim reminded me two things, because she loves me:

- I could have a man, too. I have dated several men who would have happily been with me. Retired Navy is the most recent example. He adored me and hell, he probably would have paid for my plastic surgery. On paper, that man was fan-freaking-tastic. But he wasn't right for me, and I knew it. I want to be with someone, but obviously, it is not within me to settle. This is a good thing.

- With my post-WLS body, I may be having trouble finding a relationship, but it's a door that wasn't even open to me before surgery and the weight loss. I tried. I could not, and did not, generate any genuine interest from men when I was 263 pounds. Heck, even a YEAR ago, I wasn't generating this kind of interest. Now I am getting to touch Iron Men. :) Me likey.

Well, I am proud of myself, because yesterday I did get my butt on that bike and go join a Cascade Bike Club ride, my very first group ride. And because I am a weird mix of outgoing and terribly shy, I was as nervous as heck to go. But I did it anyway, because it was something I wanted to do. And I had a wonderful time! It was a 19 mile ride on a flat trail. I'm delighted to say that the pace was WAY TOO SLOW for me! The leader told me I should bump up a couple of levels in my ride difficulty next time. So take that, Lance Armstrong.

I don't need you, Superman...I've got it all under control myself.
This weekend, then, I did a 30-mile ride on Saturday, alone, and the 19-mile ride with Cascade on Sunday. SUPER STAR!! The 30-mile ride was my longest to date. I did learn one hard lesson, though. With my post-WLS tummy, sometimes I genuinely forget to eat. And on Saturday morning, I was really rushing - trying to get in a long ride before my son's football game at 12:30. So I scrambled out the door, never taking a bite of food. At the 15-mile turn-around point for my ride, I felt great. At 22-miles, I noticed that I was feeling very spacey. Uhh, *very* spacey. I knew I needed to find a stopping point pretty darn quickly. And then this man came up behind me and started talking LOUDLY, he was riding closely and saying that we both had the same black stripes up our backs (it was wet outside). He was basically trying to pick me up, I think, but I was really running on fumes. I darn near ran my bike off the trail and I remember wanting him to SHUT UP. I was out of it. :) Fortunately there was a Jack in the Box right there, and fortunately I was smart enough to bring cash (but not smart enough to bring snacks). I had to stop for lunch in the middle of my ride and get my head about me again. I missed the first half of my son's football game. :(

Lesson learned. Lots of lessons learned this weekend, actually. :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Go, Go, Lance Armstrong!

Well, THAT was a super fun evening! I wish you could have been there. Well, not really. But you would have had fun. I know I did. :)

For whatever reason, I was as nervous as heck walking down to the waterfront to meet him. I might have mentioned that no small part of me was nervous because, well, I suspected his body looks like this:

and mine looks like this:

And, I was right. Statue of David, eat your heart out, Lance Armstrong has got you beat. :) You know, they should do public service campaigns about bicycling: "Do this, and look like that!" My good friend/ideal man (what do I call him on the blog? I confess, I am only thinking of one boy this morning) is a major cyclist, too, and he says bicycling = good body + screaming metabolism. And Lance Armstrong said the same thing last night, basically. I asked him what he gets from Starbucks (I am not a coffee drinker at all) - he said anything with a lot of calories. :)

Anyway - on to the date. I was nervous, but rallied. We were meeting on the waterfront: him driving down after work, me walking from my office. We saw each other walking down the street: big smiles all around. Big hug. Even a little hello kiss. Jeez, we've talked on the phone and texted so much this last week, meeting in person was a formality. Maybe that was what made me so nervous! Everything had seemed so good going into it - what a let-down it would be if the reality fizzled.

It didn't. We had a blast. He had already planned to take me on the new Great Wheel (our new waterfront Ferris wheel), which we did first. It was a gorgeous day. There was a little bit of a line, but not much. There was a couple in front of us: the man actually seemed a little nervous to go on it. His girlfriend was looking up all kinds of information on her phone, saying how big this one is compared to the London Eye, the biggest ferris wheel is in Singapore, etc. Lance Armstrong pointed out to me that this guy was nervous, and me, being a jerk, started telling Lance that she should google "Ferris wheel fatalities" and "Ferris wheel catastrophes" for him. We were cracking up, and he actually asked the guy's girlfriend, "Hey, what does it say about accidents on there?" Then the four of us were laughing and talking about it, the guy saying that he hates these things but only doing it to make his girlfriend happy. It was very fun.

The Great Wheel was awesome, and what a sweet first date thing to do. I am very, very glad that I had not taken advantage of other opportunities to ride it since it opened this summer. He kissed me at the top, and let me just say I will be actively working to assure more of those kisses in the future. He kissed me again, too, at some point when the adjacent gondola was right across from us and the old guy in it pointed his camera at us: Lance Armstrong laughed and pulled me in for a photo opportunity.

After the Great Wheel, we walked the waterfront, and it was a beautiful evening. He is just fun. And very nice. With a side of wicked, just the way I like it. He was wearing a Superman t-shirt (seriously, all this stress that goes into choosing an outfit...big necklace, little necklace, no necklace [always my preference], sandals or boots, tights or no tights...and he wears jeans and a Superman t-shirt. Men have it so easy.). We were walking by an outdoor dining area and a group of couples asked him to take their picture (is he like the most approachable person, or what??). He said he would try but didn't know how to use that kind of phone. One guy said, "Oh man, you're Superman, you can do anything!" We all had a good laugh.

Later we stopped for dinner at my favorite fish and chips place on the waterfront (umm, for which I do not know the name, but they do delicious alder-smoked salmon). We sat on the patio and laughed and talked easily. The most HILARIOUS part of the evening was when we were talking about kids (him: 17yo daughter and 15yo son) and he kind of got this "wait a minute" look on his face and asked me "You don't want more kids, do you?" and I was ROLLING out of my chair laughing, telling him I hadn't even committed to finishing raising the ones I have. Oh gosh, we were dying. :) It was so funny, and we were also cracking up that both of us had taken surgical means to assure there would be no further offspring.

Let's see, more walking on the waterfront, sitting on a bench in front of his truck to watch the gorgeous sunset. His parking meter had expired and we had seen a parking enforcement officer down the street, so we watched the sunset with one eye out for the meter maid so he didn't get a $48 parking ticket. He gave me some REALLY GREAT kisses and I told him he was going to get distracted and get a ticket. He said he'd definitely pay $48 for those kisses. Oh my, this guy is good.

I think I wrote that when he first emailed me, he said that he liked my profile and pictures, but after seeing the one with me holding my bike over my head, he had to email me. We had laughed about that, he said my bike is so big, he didn't know if he'd be able to lift it over *his* head. I had said I'd seen his pictures and was pretty sure he could. He said, "Oh yeah, I can lift YOU over my head." I told him to save it for if the conversation got slow on our first date - that would liven things up. :) So there was context when we're sitting there watching the sunset and decide it's time to head out,  and you know he cracked me up when he reached over and swept me up and started carrying me to the truck! Ha! Umm, I like to be picked up. Plus, with being so short and now small, I think there is something about me that compels men to pick me up, haha. Life is good.

We're going out on Sunday, he wants to take me for a bike ride. I was internally PANICKING about this, although I would LOVE someone that I could go for bike rides with. Remember, though, this guy is Sunday morning "quick sixty miles" at 25 mph with his friends, and 180-mile fundraising rides. My longest ride to date is 24 miles and I am very proud of it. I am slow, but getting better. And I will tell you that my weight is about the same, but HELLO, my clothes are sure fitting differently. Today's jeans used to be skin tight and now they are hanging off me. And you just don't know how I suffered this week when Macy's didn't have a size 4 of the skirt I wanted...but the size 6 was swimming on me...and oh, ladies, I just wept bitter tears that I just had gotten too darn small for the size 6's. Bitter, bitter tears. But imagine my RELIEF when I did try on the SIZE 2 and it just fit beautifully! OMFG. OMFG. This is *me* we're talking about here. In a Size 2. Wide awake, not dreaming, hahahahaha.

I digress. :) So I'm nervous about riding with him, but I am as straightforward as they come and I have set no false expectations about my abilities. So how sweet is he when he says he'd like to take me for a ride at Alki Beach on Sunday, and he sells it like this, "It's about ten miles round trip - flat, with lots of people-watching and plenty of places to stop." Okay, he melted my heart. Plus, inside I'm all like "Pshaw, ten miles?? You insult me, sir!!" I need not worry about him getting me out there and trying to get me to Tour de France with him, and me feeling stupid not being able to keep up. I think he's just a good guy. :)

Umm, I think I've recapped the whole date. He drove me back to my car at the Park and Ride, we necked like teenagers in his truck and I can't wait to see him again on Sunday. :) And re-reading this post, I realize that I have COMPLETELY forgotten the old adage "don't kiss and tell." Oops. But hey, I had a stinking blast. Remind me next time I'm wallowing about being single that sometimes it is actually pretty freaking fun.

I'll sneak you one picture. I may delete it soon, but he's just too cute not to share.

Photo deleted. Boo on you, Lance Armstrong.

Edited to add, with regard to last night's necklace. I did wear it, I did feel a bit self-conscious, but I got over it. At some point, though, he reached over and said, "I just have to see how heavy this is." Haha! It's plastic, very light. No chunky necklaces for the bike ride on Sunday. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Nervous - First Date

Jeez, I have gotten to be an old veteran at first dates, but for some reason, I'm particularly nervous. I hope that it's not just because his beautiful bicycling body is psyching me out, haha. He seems so cool, I have talked to him every night this week on the phone and we do laugh and talk easily. Meeting him seems sort of like a formality, so why the nerves??

I'm all dressed up.
It's worth noting here that Kim is in trouble with Sabrina, my personal stylist. Now, Kim is a no-frills dresser, like me. But Sabrina is always pushing me to up my game, and in all honesty, I can't think of a single time that Sabrina has given me bad advice.

So Sabrina and I were at Macy's at lunch, and she's got me trying on jewelry. I never wear necklaces. Sabrina's got me wearing this one, and I've agreed to buy and wear it. Kim happened to text at that time, and I shot her a picture. To which she only said "Big necklace!" Which Sabrina said destroyed my confidence about wearing it. Jeez, Kim. Don't get on Sabrina's bad side! Well, I bought it anyway, and I have so far been wearing it - it really does make the outfit - takes it up a notch. I am a little uncomfortable, but it is very cute. And I used my two dream men as barometers and they both responded favorably to me without a "UMM, WHAT THE HELL IS AROUND YOUR NECK?" So far, so good.

Anyway, I'm nervous and leaving shortly. We're meeting at the waterfront, and I believe we are going on the new ferris wheel. I'm excited. And nervous. And excited. Update to follow.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Snohomish River Run - 10/27/12

Me and my sore knee have been sitting on the fence about this event, which will be my second half marathon. Everything in me wants to run this one - except my darn left knee.

Left knee has been told to toughen up and get through it. I'm doing this darn event, even if I have to walk it. I saw my doctor last week, he told me to get some PT, and if that doesn't work, he can do a couple of cortisone injections. My runner friend here in the office continues to urge me to try acupuncture, which I will do.

See, it's not a joint problem, it's an IT band problem. Should be a simple mind over matter issue, in my opinion. :)

The Snohomish River Run is a great event for a newbie like me, who is hoping to KILL my first half marathon time, since we got off to such a slow walking start on the See Jane Run event. I think we only really walked the first mile, but in my mind, we walked the first six miles, so anything I do for this event will be faster.

My new prospective beau, whom we'll just be cheesy and call Lance Armstrong, says that although this course is flat and fast, it also has serious wind issues. He said he cycles this area a lot and if you are riding into the wind, it's a big slowdown. Jen at Runner Maybe talked about the wind at See Jane, I didn't notice any wind. Just me sucking wind trying to get through it. :) Sweetly, Lance Armstrong is already offering to run the race with me, before we've even met. I think he's looking for a "project" as much as a girlfriend, and well, I am perfectly happy to be his project, haha. Yes, by all means, please help me take this fitness thing to the next level - I'm totally on board.

Windy or not, the course for this event ought to be gorgeous at the end of October. I'm so excited. As much as I am loving cycling, no one has given me any medals or t-shirts. I'm all about the bling, baby, and don't you think it will be fun to have a medal from the very first year of an event?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Excellent Weekend

I had a wonderful weekend with my kids. My youngest had a friend sleep over on Saturday, and we all went to watch my oldest son's football game. After the game, which was a very, very hard fought battle between two fierce teams that ended in a tie - we stopped at Krispy Kreme. I'm afraid I've created a bit of a monster in my 11-year-old in terms of him wanting to stop at Krispy Kreme when we're nearby. Thankfully we aren't nearby too often!

The little boys loved their donuts. My boy is on the left.

You may recognize a younger Alexander from the Costco diaper box. :)
On Sunday, Reid's friend went home and I loaded up the kids and took them for a bike ride. Such an organized mom coup! First off, we packed a picnic lunch. I owe that one to Greg, he taught me that you don't always have to eat out just because you are on the road. I don't think this had ever occurred to me before, haha. Then I loaded the kids and two bikes, all my bike rack can carry, and we went to the park. Unloaded and locked up those bikes, and went back for the other two. Thankfully the park we were heading out from wasn't terribly far away. But it was worth it, because the trail I wanted to ride with them is flat, straight and scenic. PERFECT! I had actually ridden it myself on Friday...about twenty-four miles altogether. The kids and I rode twelve miles round trip. I was AMAZED at how well they all did, especially my seven-year-old. He rode in front of me and was just a happy, chipper little bike rider all along. I suspected he would be, because boy, does that kid love to ride.

I love this picture. Coming soon to a Christmas card near you.
We'll be doing more bike riding as a family. I am so happy - beyond happy - to say that my youngest (a real wild one) has matured and grown so much lately, it is really a gift. Until now, single parenting him has been such an incredible challenge for me. I have really shied away from doing things with the kids because he was just too unpredictable - or worse, just too PREDICTABLE. But this summer, he turned a corner, and he is just becoming a cool kid to be around. You have no idea how much this means to me.

There's the additional challenge of single parenting that I still face, which is, of course, finances. It's just plain hard to do things with three children on a single income. So finding things like biking and such? There's some initial outlay of expense, but these are things we can enjoy for a long time to come. I could just cry tears of joy, I tell you.

In other happy news, I have to share this picture. On Friday, I was feeling like a real biking bad-ass, because I took the day off and went for that 24 mile bike ride I mentioned. And I still had it in me to keep going! But I needed to get my littlest to the pediatrician. When I got out of the car at the doctor's, I encountered one of my occasional brain-freaks, where I caught my reflection in the window and didn't recognize myself. You have no idea what a weird feeling that is unless it happens to you.

Check out them cyclist legs. Woo woo!
And one more picture. When I started losing weight, one big ole NSV (non-scale victory) for me was being able to wrap a standard bath towel around myself. This was a big deal of the highest caliber. Umm, this is a picture of my seven-year-old with a HAND TOWEL wrapped around his waist. Skinniest kid I've ever met.  It is proof positive he has none of my genetic material, whatsoever. :)

How about a quick dating update? Well, at some point I may close the chapter on Greg with his own post, but I doubt it - it's just done. I really did have an epiphany of sorts about him and how he made me feel about myself. Bad. That's how he made me feel. And without going too much into it, I can say that when we saw each other last week, he admitted that he simply could not get past the fact that I used to be obese. That he could not accept the loose skin, even though I would have the plastic surgery TOMORROW if I could pay for it. It will happen. I am not defending him AT ALL but I do think he has some weird OCD issues. The man is a complete perfectionist and clean freak, plus he has all these odd little issues about bumps and sweat and whatever else.

Anyway. Goodbye Greg. So much that I loved about you, but when it comes down to it, you made me feel like complete and utter shit about myself. We went out on Wednesday, with plans to see each other again. But on Thursday I was just profoundly sad, and it occurred to me that ummm, this was no coincidence. I had a hard talk with myself and kicked him to the curb on Friday. Maybe it was just like my friend said, I'm just enough of a control freak myself that I had to get him back so I could dump him on my terms. That probably factored in, haha.

I intended to take down my online dating profile, figuring this is a good time for a break from men. I am exhausted. But then I got an email from a nice guy with a username something like "Pedalsalot." He's a cyclist, of course. He emailed and was very sweet and after we had exchanged a couple emails, he said that he thought I was adorable in my pictures, but after seeing this picture, he couldn't *not* email me:

I have such goofball pics on my profile. I consider it "fair warning."
Uh, ladies, I am going out with this man later this week, and it's only fair to say he is *hawt.* Like waaaaayyy out of my league hot. Like rode his bike 180 miles last weekend in a fundraiser for MS. Like went out to do "a quick 60" (that's miles, not minutes!) with friends on Sunday morning. I have seen the pictures and I am trying to keep my self-esteem up, but cannot help but feel like, "Okay, but you've seen MY pictures, right??" Oh dear, the wonderful, wonderful things that bicycling does for your body. He is 6'0" tall of *yum*.

Thank goodness my pictures online are 1000% accurate and current, or I'd be sweating bullets going out with him. We have talked on the phone and he is great - super easy to talk to. Very funny and sweet, and has his week planned around teaching his daughter to drive. I am intrigued.

He wears earrings - besides being ridiculously my type (big, bald and brawny, hehe), I've never been with a man who wore earrings (plural) and we were texting this morning and I guessed (correctly, duh) that he must have a lot of tattoos. I said that I couldn't imagine earrings on a man without tattoos, haha. I can show you one picture, anyway...check out the gun show:

God and Single Women Love Hardcore Bicyclists.
I am working on my self-esteem issues but he is a couple years younger than me (turns 40 at the end of this month), and he is just ridiculously attractive and I cannot wait to show you his other pictures. So I am definitely filled with "Are you looking at me?" I'm kind of having one of those Sixteen Candles moments, you know, when Samantha comes out of the church and Jake is across the street waiting for her, leaning up against his little red sports car, and she does the big look around like, "Are you looking for me?" and lo and behold, he is. Well, we'll see, won't we?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Seven Things Thursday

I don't usually think to do this kind of post, but my blog is dusty and I feel like blogging without being particularly cohesive (or coherent, haha). So, a list it is! I couldn't quite come up with ten things this morning, so we'll leave it as Seven Things Thursday.

  1. UW Trevor contacted me for a date tonight earlier this week. We had planned to go out tonight after work, but he texted me this morning that he is home with a sick kid and cannot meet. Ok, UW Trevor is officially off my list. (No offense to sick kid!) That man is the Keyser Soze of the dating world. Too bad, nice guy!
  2. I went out with Greg last night. Maybe someday I'll tell you the back story. Ahhh, the good thing about Greg is that we just fit like hand and glove. I cannot tell you how good it feels just to be in his personal space. I have been through a passel of men since my divorce, and I'm telling you, he's the only one that I've felt this way about. Chemistry: it's funny, really. The bad thing about Greg is that I don't think he feels lucky to be with me. When I'm with him, I feel lucky to be with him: I need that from a partner, too. I have not decided my next move.
  3. I'm taking my dating profile down for awhile. I think, and you all must agree, that I have drawn an excellent crop of high-quality men from the pool this last time around. But dating is exhausting! A few men have emailed me and I just haven't even had the energy to email them back. After awhile, they all kind of start looking the same. Bah. It's time to take a rest.
  4. I wrestled my weight back down to 140 this week, thankfully. I guess I am just cursed with a really crappy metabolism, even with a teeny tummy I will gain weight easily. I was up to 145 recently - after the same old digestion complications and snacking incessantly on Cinnamon Life cereal, which I have banned from my home.
  5. I had a second plastic surgery consult last week, with the doctor I would use if I could have the surgery will use when I have the surgery. This is the fella my WLS recommended. They actually did their residencies together. I really liked him a lot, although standing naked in front of the giant mirror while having your loose skin tugged around: not a good time, no matter how much you like the doctor. A tummy tuck will be $8500. He said he will obtain my records from my primary care doctor and my WLS regarding skin issues (I've always asked my doctors to note skin irritation issues when I go in for appointments). He said he will write persuasively to my insurance requesting that they cover a portion of the surgery, as I am hoping. He also said that he does not think it will be likely. He said that although I have loose skin, I don't have it to any horrible degree. (Why, then, do I refer to it as The Horror, if it is not horrible? I think this is medical proof enough, personally.) He also said that if/when I have a breast lift, I will go from what were once H-cups, are now C-cups, down to A-cups. Urp. My breasts are completely empty. Sad, really. He recommended implants, but would want to do that surgery in phases: lift followed by augmentation. Now we're really dollar-sign dreaming, folks.
  6. Monday was World Suicide Prevention Day, and also my dear art friend/general amusement friend/ideal man's (except for some key flaws) birthday. I told him that it was ironic, since working with him every day frequently pushes me to the edge. In other bad suicide humor, my 13yo daughter was getting ready for school Monday morning and said she needed to wear yellow in support of suicide. :| Umm, I don't think we're really supposed to support it, I said. She laughed when she figured it out. Anyway, I don't blog about it much anymore but I sometimes battle depression, which periodically lead to a spell of suicidal thoughts. I used to take a lot of anti-depressants back in the day, but a couple years ago I gave them up because I wasn't sure where I ended and the medication began. I definitely feel better without them, and exercise is such a major help in this regard! I have not figured out if it is seasonal or what, but I've been back in this dark thoughts rut again and it is rather draining. It's like if a "normal" person has a bad day and they think, "wow, I am having such a bad day." For me, it's "wow, I am having such a bad day - I wish I were dead. Dead would definitely be better than this bad day." What a bummer. I've been battling this again (I do think it's related to the change in seasons, and I do honestly think the smartest thing for me to do when the children are grown is move to a sunny climate) and it is no fun. Happily, though, I know from experience it will pass. I just have to ride my way through it.
  7. I had my bike tuned up and a new chain installed and another new thing replaced (I think it is called a cartridge). I am ready to hit the road this evening after work! I'm very excited to see if this puts an end to my gear-changing problems. The bike shop assures me it will. I also bought a bike rack for my car, so I am travel-ready. Very exciting! I'm going to do some group rides with the Cascade Bicycle Club here shortly. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Iron Girls and Other Weekend Fun

What a fun weekend! What an ATHLETIC weekend! My weekend was filled with walking, running, biking and kayaking. And watching my son's football game, which was not terribly strenuous for me. :)

Iron Girls (with Jen from Runner Maybe)
My daughter Alli (center) and Jen and I did the Seattle Iron Girl 5K on Sunday morning. This was Alli's (and mine, too) second 5K. We were hoping we would shatter our last 5K time, but we can say happily that we did run much more of the course than the last 5K. Alli and I have agreed to practice running on the street more often, since she struggles more with the street run than she does the treadmill. Today our time was 48:48...our Snoqualmie Railroad Days 5K time was 49:19. We will keep working on it! I am very proud of my Bug, who has spent a lot of time working on her health and fitness this summer. My favorite part is that she asked, while at today's event, if we can run this one every year. And tonight, she has had me scouring the  internet looking for upcoming races to run, as well. She said she'd like to have events scheduled so she has something in mind while she trains. You have no idea how proud I am of this girl. :)

The Iron Girl was a very fun event. Jen picked us up bright and early, but I was a complete slacker and I made her wait while I made our PB&Js, my tea, and rode my bike around the block. The bike ride was at my massage therapist's recommendation, because I am still battling knee pain when I run and it is a real buzzkill. I had been planning to be UP AND READY when Jen got there, but I confess, I was really exhausted from a bike ride in the midday heat on Saturday, and I crapped out early on Saturday night, expecting to get up early Sunday morning.

And theeeeennnnnn...after we got our bibs and swag bags at the event, the line for baggage check was huge and Jen ran back to our car to store the bags! (I can picture Jen starting to get mad as she reads this...HEY, YEAH, YOU SLACKER, she's thinking...) Alli and I checked out the goody tables.

We ran the first mile, then alternated walking and running, letting Alli decide what pace we'd keep. Jen challenged Alli to run between garbage cans and walk between the next pair, or run a minute, walk a minute. Alli did great and was very happy to have the finish line in her sights!

Alli with her very cool finisher's medal.

Unfortunately, my knee did not "not hurt" but it wasn't too bad. It's fairly sore tonight. I am pretty bummed. :( I am beginning to think that I may be a cyclist rather than a runner, but honestly, I would rather be a runner. Oh well, we'll see how it goes. I'm going to try acupuncture, too, and I suppose it is time to see the doctor. At least it doesn't hurt when I'm not running - it really is a muscle thing, not a joint thing. But it bums me out.

The weekend had other big events, too. I rode my bike to my son's football game on Saturday. This was a big deal because it was my first long ride on city streets! I was nervous but not overly nervous. It ended up being no big deal. I was too busy dying over the big hills at the beginning, middle and end of my trip to worry about the sweet relief of being struck by a car and put out of my gasping-for-breath misery, haha. The ride was 5.4 miles each way, but I get bonus points for hills and traffic congestion. :)

On Thursday after work, I needed to take my good bike into the shop for a tune-up. I had the brilliant idea to  Kim made me ride my bike to the bike shop, so I could either ride it home for a quick repair, or walk home if I needed to leave it overnight. Well, I needed to leave it over the weekend, so I walked home. And when I say I live (and bike) around hills - I kid you not. I chose this hill to walk home because it was such a challenge. Can you believe the bike shop hosts bike races up this hill??

Taken from the HALF-WAY point up the hill.
There's my athletic weekend. Now a quick update on the man-front. There are no men. Bah. I went out with Retired Navy on Friday night, and we did have a lovely time. That man is a catch - the full stinking man package. However. He is a big guy - not hugely big, but big so you notice he's a big guy. But what killed it for me was his labored breathing. I had noticed it during our first date, and had noticed him blotting sweat from his face, but I chalked it up to nerves and sitting in the sun on the patio. But on Friday night when I was close to him, I was really struck by how heavily and laboriously he was breathing. And he made some comment about how "they had gone into his heart two times" (I am thinking angioplasty) and I just thought about it. I asked him something about how he gets exercise with how much time he spends on the road. He basically said that he does not. I'm thinking, dammit, you are 47 and they've "gone into" your heart twice and you are still seriously overweight and your breathing just sounds downright unhealthy.

Okay. I freely admit that I am in the full throes of a health and exercise kick right now. Maybe just an exercise kick, because I've also noticed I am basically living on Jimmy Dean sausage right now, haha. You remember the scene in Rosemary's Baby where she's eating the meat? I'm like the anti-vegetarian these days. I believe it is all the exercise, it is making me crazy-crave protein.

'Cept mine is Jimmy Dean, not raw. But lots of it.
Anyway - fitness kick. And I'm not trying to be a fitness snob. But FINALLY, I *get* it on those men's profiles where they say they really want an active woman...I am having such a blast being able to do all this. I want a man who will do it with me (that's what she said). And I sat there with Retired Navy, thinking, "wow, you are so much of everything I want in a man," and he was very clearly into me...and I just told him no. Oh, bummer. I want a man who looks good on paper and in reality. And as much as I would like a boyfriend - I want the right boyfriend. I'm much better off going it alone than with the wrong guy.

And to prove it, well, here I am with the three eligible men I spent the afternoon kayaking with today. (Okay, truth serum - the hottie on the left is married but he is so incredibly cute, we will pretend he is single, haha. He's like Zoolander says, "Really, really ridiculously good looking." 

This was not bad company for an afternoon on the lake.
Aren't they fun?? I am in a singles group and the man on the right hosted a kayaking trip this afternoon. It was very short notice, but he provided the boats and gear. Only four of us were able to make it, and DARN IT ALL, I was the only woman who could make it! WHAT A BLAST! And I have to say, it didn't suck when I went to wade in the lake to get in the boat (we had two doubles) and the man on the right said, "Oh no, I got you..." and picked me up and carried me out to the boat. Because yes, men can carry me now. I have been carried by three men this summer, haha. I'll let you do the math on that one - I can't keep these guys straight any more. :)

What a fun weekend. Life is good.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Whew, boy. Okay, it's been a few weeks, I'm getting a little exhausted from all the dating. I have met a bunch of nice men, however. Shall we recap? Here, I am challenging myself to do it all from memory, haha, and I have to tell you, I am already struggling. :)

- AA dad with three girls: He was so nice, but the AA thing is probably not a good idea for me. I drink, and I told him so. :) We also had some very close ties (his ex is director at my YMCA) that seemed to make him uncomfortable. I had hoped to hear from him again, but after a text from him the next day that he would like to see me again and would "get back with me to set something up," did not hear from him again. I have since been told by two friends with AA experience, that if I do not intend to quit drinking, I should not date someone in AA. Sounds reasonable.
- Uber-Sounders Fan: He was the one I knew going into it was not a match. Very nice guy, just at very different places in our lives. We met for a couple drinks, had a nice time and didn't talk after that night.
- Creepy software development engineer: We had one drink one evening and it was great! I had picked up on a neediness/loneliness in his profile that worried me a bit, but didn't get those vibes in person. Plus, I gave some latitude there, because heck, if we weren't needy/lonely, we wouldn't be looking for a partner, yes? It's a jungle out there. But after that one nice hour spent together, he proceeded to drive me nuts over the course of the week before our next date, calling me "sweety," saying I am awesome (which I am - but he didn't know me well enough to know this), completely oversharing information about himself and his new job offer, which really rang warning bells; then the final straw, when I was on my way to see him, texting and asking me to treat him to dinner and drinks. Ugh. I turned around and went home, unwilling to shell out $60 or so to spend the evening with someone who was annoying the crap out of me.
- College IT manager: Still the best first date - I liked him. We saw each other a couple of times, and he still texts me every couple days (??). I gather he is either far, far too busy at work to date, or just not interested in dating (me). He's probably stringing me along to call if he's got a free evening - this is actually okay with me. I enjoyed his company. I am stringing him along right back. :)
- Construction superintendent: Aw, I liked him. He's the one who I had a fair amount in common with professionally and personally. We had a great date, but he texted me the next day and said, "Hi Julie, I've taken a bit of time to think about things. As I've said before, I'm looking for someone to start a relationship with. I enjoyed our date, but after thinking about your status, I think I'm looknig for someone that does not have children quite as young. Having been in a relationship with someone with teen and preteen kids, I think that I'm not up for that again. I wish you well in this often unenjoyable search, but I have no doubt you will find your perfect match. Best wishes." Bummer! I totally get it, though (I'd feel exactly the same way, honestly) - and wasn't he sweet to tell me instead of wasting my time?

Is that it for the first batch? I think we can wrap that group up safely saying there are no contenders in the bunch. Boo. That's okay, I've still got a couple up my sleeve:

- Retired Navy. Oh! This might be really good! I am learning not to get emotionally invested, however. :) I did go out with this gentleman last night, though, and it was wonderful. He is 47 (I'm 42), retired from the Navy after 25 years and since retirement has consulted for the Navy full-time (or full-time-ish?). He oversees the maintenance program for aircraft carriers and such. Very interesting guy. You know the Navy career satisfies my need for security/stability, too. Isn't it funny the scars you carry from old relationships? I can't tell you how important that stability is to me. And hey, it's not like I don't bring it to the table, myself. I've been with my employer for almost 23 years!

Anyway, Navy deserves another paragraph. Oh my, is he EVER a gentleman! I dropped my menu on the far side of the table and he was on his feet to pick it up for me. Had every door open before I even got there. :) Remind me to raise my sons to be gentlemen! (I do enforce this, but it is slow going.) At first, I was a bit apprehensive and not really feeling it, but I decided he was nervous. And that's a good thing - you know, the more you date the less nervous you get, so it was kind of refreshing. We sat at a very nice restaurant and had drinks and later an appetizer (and later, another drink). By the time we warmed up, I was enjoying myself a lot. A nice man with a good head on his shoulders. A thoughtful man, which I found very enjoyable. We talked about dating with kids (he only has one, who just started her freshman year of college across state). He said he doesn't have kid-phobia :) and thinks that for the right person, you just take whatever comes and figure out how to make it work. He said, though, that if the connection isn't right, it's easy to look at things like kids as an obstacle...but if you want it badly enough, you just roll with it. Exactly what me and my friends have talked about, too. Although I still say if my own kids were grown, I would be pre-screening dates based on whether or not they still had kids at home. But that's me, and I am one exhausted mama. :)

Navy walked me to my car and kissed me - a sweet, tentative kiss that quickly grew more urgent and less gentlemanly as I extracted myself to my car, haha. He texted me probably as soon as he got home and said, "I really had a nice time with you, and that was before those incredible kisses!* :) Thanks for taking the time out of your day to meet me! Do you have any plans for Friday evening? I'd like to come up there and take you out to dinner." (that was a string of texts put together - I do not know why I am direct quoting here today, my paraphraser must be broken.)

(* I have kissed several boys this year, and I always draw rave reviews for my kisses, thankyouverymuch. Maybe because I don't bite or drool? Not sure what is so special about my technique, haha.)

Anyway...we're going out Friday night when he gets back into town. He travels frequently to Norfolk, VA; San Diego, Hawaii and Japan for business. Lots of frequent flyer miles = lots of vacations. I'll keep you posted on this one!

I have a couple I've been emailing with but not met...maybe I'll brief on those later. I'm getting a little tired, I am thinking I'll just let this run its course and maybe take a little break. I've been getting in plenty of long bike rides, but my running is suffering and I have the Snohomish River half marathon coming up on 10/27. My daughter and I have the Iron Girl 5K this Sunday, too!!