Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008. Good Riddance!

I haven't showered in days. My hair is dirty. I have acne on both cheeks. The place is a mess. I haven't cleaned the dishes. I look like a monster. I might even be aromatic. What's that smell?
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Last night I made Turkey Stock. In the middle of this process I fell asleep on the couch. It cooked for 8 hours. (woops) It was on a slow simmer. When I awoke the windows were coated with steam. There can be no mistake, I smell like turkey.

I was feeling a bit down, laying on the couch with a blanket pulled over my head (it smelled like turkey). And what to my wondering eyes should appear?
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Twas the presence of Evil, hell yes, he was here.

I waited, paralyzed. Knock Knock. I ignored it. Then he just walked in. God DAMN-it!!!!
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I stared at the wall not hearing a word he was saying descending into a palpable depression realizing that after 7 years of celibacy, I managed to contract a sexually transmitted disease. The kind that won't go away. It's called Evil Surfer Dude.
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Springing to life, for a second, realizing this might be a potential blog moment, I snapped his picture, then asked him to leave. (I can't even LOOK at the picture)
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Later, I managed to drag myself to the most magical place on earth, Albertsons in Corona Del Mar, for vegetables to finish my soup. I looked like shit. From the corner of my eye I thought I saw my favorite checker, Big John, cutting his eye at me. I walked passed hoping I'd been mistaken... "Hi Char! Are you doing anything for New Years Eve?" He inquired. "Nope." I said. "Ok. I'll be over at 10:00 pm" he replied.

The people in his line laughed. I smiled thinking, I could do worse. With a little dental work and a new hip, he might be alright.

Happy New Year. (Sobs into Chardonnay)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Younger Man.


Huh? Why is this guy interested in ME? He's 37. Departing from my rule to strictly date men who are hideously ugly (so they'll be nice to me) I gave him my number.

I'm no "Cougar". But um, before cougars were invented, I dated a younger guy.
a
When I broke up with him he began throwing pebbles at my window, pounding on my front door weeping. It was all very dramatic. At the time I'd read (ok skimmed) the Birth Order book which suggested the eldest female sibling of a family was the perfect match for the youngest male sibling in another. Total crap.
a
Here's the thing. Mitch did my laundry. He would come over, pick it up, wash and fold it, then return it to me.
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Evil also did my laundry. He wasn't trying to be helpful or provide evidence of his adoration. He was merely so anal retentive he couldn't abide watching me put clothes in the washer without turning the shirts right side out or failing to fluff each, individually, before placing it in the dryer. Because he was so fastidious, when I did laundry in his presence I became maniacal. I would grab it, throw it around, pick articles that had fallen to the ground and slam them into the washer. It was a performance that produced results. a
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Evil would fold each piece of clothing meticulously, as I watched...mouth agape. This generally resulted in me grabbing my thong underwear out of his hand screaming, "You don't need to fold UNDERWEAR, you freak"!
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I've been single for 5 days. Already I'm reminiscing about Evil. Have I become one of THOSE women? Sweet Jesus. The next thing you know I'll be surrounded by cats.
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I'll post his Profile in my comments section because it bored me. I don't want to bore you too.

Monday, December 29, 2008

"Pick My Next Date" RESULTS

You came. You voted. The hunky surfer wins! (booty dance)

Bachelor #1. Eleven (11) votes
Bachelor #2. Three (3) votes
Bachelor #3. Four (4) votes
Bachelor #4. (Smelly Shelly's Dad) One (1) vote
Bachelor #5. (Evil Surfer Dude) One (1) vote

For those of you that refused vote, I'm not naming names, Mike, Hedgie, Pacing in the Panic Room, LL, Comedy Goddess, Mama Dawy. P.O.M and Tammy, it's a numbers game.

On the first date, the minute your eyes meet, you know. (When I first met Evil's gaze I thought; "JESUS this bastard is U.G.L.Y." Then he grew on me.

We ate lunch then strolled on the beach. To access the beach we had to descend a flight of stairs. I was wearing (look-at-me-I'm-a-hooker) platform shoes. I also had a torn meniscus. Because of the pain, each time my heel hit the stair I exclaimed, "Mother F*cker". (I said it approximately 30 times.) I could have said, God D*mn Mother F*cker, but I'm a lady.

It turned out that Evil had a penchant for profanity too. (Whew) Hey, I can control it. I mean, I use it...er, occasionally.

My Irish mother swore like a sailor. Since the people in my family were educated (physicians, attorneys, intellectuals, etc. ) I thought evidence of an advanced degree meant pronouncing the "F" word correctly. Irish people have mastered it. The effect is that it's delivery is as offensive as possible. I'm no Noam Chomsky but I think it's due to vestigial remains of the guttural articulations (sounds-like-grandma-is-extracting-phlegm) sounds commonly heard in Gaelic. I will never get it right. (Sigh)

On the beach we accidentally invaded a wedding video. We walked within inches of the video camera, peering directly into it before realizing what we had done. The bride said, "I do" and then Charmaine's enormous head is in the frame. Evil grabbed my hand and we fled, giggling.

Further down the beach we climbed up an abandonded life guard stand. To this day, at age 47, I cannot resist the temptation of an abandoned life guard stand. Especially ones with signs reading, "Keep Away" or "Do Not Enter".

Walking back up the stairs Evil pinched my bottom, "You're right. You don't have a butt." he said. Then he pinched it for the next 6 months until Christmas day when, gazing at him, I had the exact same thought I did when I first looked at him.

Here is my shameless add on plentyoffish.com.

I am a playful, zany, intelligent hard working woman. I'm a little artistic and an independent thinker. (It's difficult to discern if I'm to the left of Ralph Nader or to the right of Attila the Hun) - but only when I'm being tricky.

I like physical and mental challenges, my own space and invading other people’s space. Some of my skills include walking on water, reading minds and levitating small to medium sized objects, but I don’t like to brag about this.

If YOU were on a dating website (even if you're married) what would YOUR profile say? There is a prize involved. The winner is going to get something GREAT. My first blog award. Possibly one of Evil's Christmas presents. I can't decide.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pick My Next Date

Ladies and Gentleman, a new (Sundays only) feature. (Cue applause)
a
I offer you the men currently asking for dates.
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YOU decide. (After Evil Surfer Dude, clearly I can't be trusted.) All you have to do is vote for your favorite. The majority rules.
a
When you read my "date review" you will have the unmitigated pleasure of knowing that whatever happened to me was entirely YOU'RE fault. If it works out, you're invited to the wedding. This could get us on Oprah, people.
Bachelor #1. (Professional Surfer)


Profile:
Thought I would give this a try !! I really don't need to find the "perfect" soulmate, "although that would be ideal", just someone that's fun, light hearted and easy going. Someone who's independent but not overly driven to get "there", it's the journey not the destination:). I try to live each day as if it's my last, incorporate the Golden Rule and if I screw it up, I wake up and try again. I know this is asking alot, but if you can tolerate living a fun, exciting, and carefree lifestyle, you might be interested..:). I'm really easy going, soft spoken, friends tell me "incredibly patient",I'm basically just a pretty loving guy - However, "I will protect you if need be...of course!!!":-). If your interested, send me an email and I'll do my best to reply. I just wanted to add this, if you are really looking for that "guy" I just might be the one, I really want to give myself to someone and care about what they think and what their hopes and dreams are and share mine with them. Relationships can work, it's not hopeless!!
a
Bachelor #2. (Insurance Fraud Investigator)

Profile:
I’m a straight forward and honest man with very strong family values. I'm an adventurous person who enjoys traveling abroad (when I can afford it) and being on the go. I work out at the gym 3-4 days a week, as keeping in shape is important to me. Looking to meet someone to have fun and laughs with... make friends... and then see where things go from there. Physical attraction is important no matter how shallow it may appear at first. I'd like to meet somebody with ‘tons of spirit’ and loves life!!. Doesn't matter if you work out at the gym or not, however pride in how you look, how you carry yourself, having integrity, a sense of spirituality, passion and humility are all a major plus in my eyes. There is so much more to me that I can not cover here. If you are interested, please drop me a line. PS, If you need a reference or check my background, please let me know and I will get you in contact with my mother as she was the one that put me up to this. (LOL) :)
Bachelor #3. (Film Production)

Profile:
I had to sign up to meet you, and now here is this box, mocking me with questions. Ok, last count I had the correct number of appendages. I am slightly more interesting than I appear in your rear view mirror. I don't believe everything I think.I possess a keen appreciation for beauty in all forms, connecting me to the universe. I care deeply about my son, the union of man and woman, self-expression with pen (ok, computer), my sport, and more (yes, more).In search of a loving, lasting relationship for a warm and blessed journey.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

Another "Middle Aged Dating" break-up. You know what that means…Time to cook!

I sent every last scrap of the 13 lb. Christmas Turkey to the turkey I was dating. I was so angry at the time (I didn’t tell you the half of it) I gave him every last morsel.

Anger makes me “giving”.

I woke up this morning dying for a Turkey sandwich, All I had was a bare turkey carcass. I skipped to the market and bought a Turkey Breast Roast.

After slaving for days on the original turkey I decided, forget that! I’m gonna wing it.

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast
2 ½ lb. Turkey Breast Roast (skin on)
Onions
Carrots
Celery
Thyme and Sage
Olive Oil
Butter
Chicken Stock
White Wine

That's it. Chop the vegetables, throw them into a roasting pan and place the roast on top because you can’t find your roasting rack. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and TONS of Thyme. (Seriously, you can’t over do it.)

Look. I have too much Thyme on my hands.

Pour in some chicken stock and a little white wine. Rub a bit of softened butter on the roast with copious amounts of salt, pepper and Thyme.


Don’t strain yourself.

(I don’t know why I’m like this.)

Drink some wine. Rub roast with softened butter. Roast at 350 for 45 minutes. Baste. Another 45 minutes and…

Be still my beating heart.

The house smells like heaven, turkey sandwiches for days, "Evil" is gone and there is peace on Earth.

PS: I won another photo caption award. I tend to win when there is ZERO competition. This one was held by "Crotchety Old Man".

Friday, December 26, 2008

Gift Mountain...Revealed.

Remember Gift Mountain? The packages were from (Evil Surfer Dude) the man I was dating. They sat for days causing me to speculate about the contents: Perfume, fluffy robe, a new pair of Ugs?

Evil Surfer Dude handed me the first package....

#1.


Wrinkle Cream with glycolic acid? You shouldn't have. Really, you SHOULDN'T have. (If I'd known this was coming I would have countered with a package of "Extra Small" Condoms.
#2.

Tupperware? The cheap fake Tupperware? How did you know? It's what I've always wanted.
#3.

Aluminum pots. Even if hit Evil over the head with one it wouldn't hurt. I have Circulon. It's cast iron. I could put him in a coma with a tap to the forehead. Maybe the perfume is coming next?
#4.

How romantic. I gazed down at my knife set, then at Evil's jugular.

#4.

The finale. All I could say was, "Evil, did you ever consider ASKING me what I wanted?"

Other gifts included a Salt and Pepper shaker and a hideous $8.99 black plastic wall clock.

Charmaine: What made you choose a black plastic clock?

Evil: It's matches your keyboard.

Charmaine: My keyboard isn't black.

Evil: The bench is.

Charmaine: You bought a clock to match the bench below my Keyboard?

Evil: Yes.

After the wrinkle cream he could have offered me a black diamond and I would have thrown it at him. I packed up his left overs and pretended to fall asleep on the couch. He left. The minute he was out the door I miraculously sprang to life to life and called a friend.

Then I emailed Evil and broke up with him. "I'm not your mother" I said. "Where did you get this stuff anyway?"

"K-mart" he responded.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Booty Call Update AT LAST!

There was a knock at the door. It was Evil. I answered in a crimson negligee wearing my chestnut hair extensions, which make me look 10 years younger, at least. The sound of smooth jazz filled the air. The lights were dimmed. Votive candles sparkled on every table. The delicious aroma of herb crusted prime rib that drifted in from the kitchen suggested that, oh yea, we were staying in tonight.
a
As soon as I opened the door he swept me into his arms and carried me to the bedroom. I had no idea a Booty Call could change my life. It was fantastic!!!
a
(Throws crack pipe accross room) Let's try again, shall we?

There was a knock at the door. Evil walked in and made a U-turn. “I need to get something from my car” he said. When he returned he had a gift bag containing Christmas presents.

How sweet...

Then this.


And this...
He continued until: Does this mean I have to get HIM something? Another view. (faints)

Evil is the cheapest man I've ever met so why do I have a gift mountain? I had mentioned that I needed a poinsettia and he brought that too. Wha? He's LISTENING to me? This is not Evil, this is an alien.

“Why did you do this and where is your mother ship?” I demanded.

Then he took me to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. Compared to where he USUALLY takes me, it was the Ritz.

We returned to my house, watched a movie and then he left.

Tsk….tsk…you vulgar people (you know who you are and that I love you for it). But saying a thing and doing it are two separate acts.

Below is the gift I got him. It's a shirt. (I mean, I HAD to.)

Not only can I rap, but I can wrap...

And this. It's a $10.00 gift certificate. Whose cheap now? (Hey, quit looking at my hand. I'm NOT a hand model.)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Booty Call Update

I can't provide the update to "Booty Call" until I purchase a new camera. As my friend Simplicity would say, "Wait for it".
a
Instead I will tell you I received a phone call from Chris, an old college buddy. (It's been 25 years since we last spoke.) He found me on facebook. We talked until my phone died. I couldn't stop talking. I told him EVERYTHING. (He'll probably block my number).
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His favorite thing to say was, "Girl, why you always Doggin' me?"
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Chris and I lived in a Dorm (on the same floor) at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He gave me guitar lessons or we just visited. I think I used to drag him around town including, once, to my mothers house. He was a tall, kind young man. His gentle nature and warm laughter made me feel safe. Chris was my friend.
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Chris was a DJ on our campus radio station. He dedicated songs to me. (He has a Hip Hop show called The Eclipse on Public Radio KGNU 88.5 Sunday nights at 7:00 PM in Denver.) Chris introduced me to soul music. He created tapes for me I carried for my entire life. I STILL have one.
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Years later I memorized one of the rap songs. I was gonna be the first white woman rapper. But my pronunciation was a little off. I settled for leaving outgoing messages on my answering machine.
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To show Chris how "cool" I turned out, I recited my rapping outgoing voice message from 25 years ago:

Hey, hello, Charmaine is here,
I can't come to phone cuz nobody's home.
We're rappin', huh, we're rockin' to the beat.
Call again, not late, hell I gotta sleep.
If you're a bill collector callin' my phone,
Don't call agin, I think your from the Ozone.
If you can dig my rappin' and you think that your sleek,
Then just start talkin' when you hear the little beep.

Um yea. He wasn't impressed. Samples from a tape Chris made for me over 25 years ago: Soul and rap music was innocent and romantic. To this day, hearing them makes me happy. Thanks Chris!)
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Junior - Mamma Used to Say. Check OUT this man's sweet moves!
Evelyn Champagne King - Love Come Down
The Gap Band - You dropped a Bomb on Me.
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five - The Message (The one I memorized.)
Shalamar - Over and Over. Gosh, it's so romantic (faints)

Friday, December 19, 2008

How to Obtain a Security Clearance NOT

Yesterday I received a call from Special Investigator Dave Limberg from the Department of Homeland Security.

My girlfriend, Kim, is applying for a Security Clearance. Why she gave my name as a reference, I will never know.

Here's the problem: I have a slight problem with male authority figures.

It started when my former boss, Ken, challenged me to vocabulary competitions in the board room. He frequently lost but he was my boss. I let it go. Until...THAT day.

He copied me on an email. I responded incorporating use of the word phantasmagorical. (I had beat him in the "competition" with that one.)

"Dear Charmaine, ACTUALLY... the proper use of the word is phantasmagorial," he responded.

I replied, "Ken, if you used something more sophisticated then your third grade level spell check, you would know the proper term is phantasmagorical. But since you are watching, I will carry a pocket dictionary at all times, to protect myself."

"Charmaine, You'll need more then a pocket dictionary to protect yourself from ME."

The next day we were upgrading computers. Ken had given the old computers to friends. He asked if I wanted one:

"But Ken, we're not allowed to take the old computers," I said.

The next day an IT guy dropped by. The task of matching serial numbers to the defunct computers fell on me. I had serial numbers, but no computers. I didn't know what to do. Finally I just said:

"Ken took them."

An hour later doors slammed, people rushed past my office glaring at me with hatred.

I called the Ombudsman office, suspecting Ken might retaliate. I learned this office is used to advise your boss he has a "snitch" on his hands.

I was called into Kens office, and fired.

Ironically, days earlier a video was circulated from the President of Rockwell Semiconductors. His pointing finger warned, "ethical behavior is your responsibility". If you overhear a secretary making a personal phone call, it's your duty to notify management." (He didn't say what to do if "management" was stealing computers.) I was confused.

Ken and I were called to HR for mediation. "I'm a pragmatist," Ken said smugly. "I simply cannot tolerate a non-team player ". WTF?

I didn't know Ken was friends with the Vice President. The Vice President had been caught having sex in his office with a Marketing Coordinator.

I can still see Ken strolling into my office; "God I love my job," he said. "I get paid over 400K and I don't really do much".

When I hear about the bail-outs, I know it involves corruption from the top down.

Investigator: Does Kim have any aliases?
Charmaine: No
Investigator: Has Kim ever conspired with Foreign Nationals to over-throw the government?
Charmaine: No. I mean, not that I know of. ha ha
Investigator: (Silence)
Charmaine: Hello?
Investigator: Has Kim ever had a negative experience with law enforcement?
Charmaine: She got a speeding ticket once. I was with her. But it wasn't what I would call a "negative"experience.
Investigator: What do you mean?
Charmaine: It was a fun experience. The police officer was a hoot.
Investigator: We consider all encounters with law enforcement to be negative.
Charmaine: Oh
Investigator: What can you tell me about Kim's alcohol consumption?
Charmaine: She's a drunken whore. We're event planners. It's a job requirement.
Investigator: (Silence)
Charmaine: I was just kidding.
Investigator: (Silence)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5TNK-TvIcI

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Booty Call

You are wondering, perhaps, will Charmaine succumb to the dreaded "booty call' tomorrow night? Is she a hussy, or not?

Wait for it. Right now the thought of seeing Evil Surfer Dude has me in ill humour. In fairness, there was a time I contemplated marrying the man. (See tomorrows R-rated post.) I want to offer you some history, Cover your eyes, no small children puleez.

Let's take a break from dating, shall we?

This is my nephew Brody. I love this boy in a way that astounds me. His mother, my kid sister, (the one I lived to torment) is an attorney who generally exhibits sound judgement. Alas, she allowed her husband to take him to the barbershop today.

Before.

After. Ahhh. Mothers beware.

If you check blogs, check out "My Baby Sis -The Lawyer" to read her true confessions including how she dropped Brody on his head.

My mother dropped me on my head too. It's a family tradition. I think. I can't remember. For God's sake I was dropped on my head. Show some compassion.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I Love Cows

Within minutes of my last post I was warned that "Braja" might
be traumatized to learn that I eat cows.

Braja (who lives in a small village in India) unbelievably posted her profound and abiding love for cows (she owns one as a pet) on the very SAME DAY I posted my recipe for Veal.

Braja. I beg you, PULEEEZ do not read the post below. Don't do it. Really, stop right here. I see you going for your mouse. I'm not kidding, STOP. For the love of Jesus, Buddha, Allah... STOPPPPPP!!!!! (faints)

On a dating note: In a moment of weakness (drunken stupor) late last night, I sent "Evil Surfer Dude" an email: "I want to see you one last time."

I awoke this morning in a panic so violent my leg shot out and I fell off the couch. Picking myself off the floor I stumbled toward the computer. Please God it was just a dream, right? I hate "Evil Surfer Dude" I would NEVER send him an email. Rushing to my hotmail, I clicked the "sent" folder... a blood curdling scream. Ahhhhhhhhh

Evil and I broke up weeks ago. One day I simply couldn't stand the sight of him. Everything he had done wrong hit me at once.

Here's the problem...it's the holidays and I was feeling kinda lonely and...um...I remembered there was ONE thing that Evil didn't do wrong.

He's coming over on Friday.

Now I realize, that uh...technically speaking this might be considered a "booty call". But I am so NOT that gal. I have never been on either side of the "booty call" phenomenon. I don't have a booty TO call.

I'm "uptight". I practise the "three (3) month" rule. No Hanky Panky" for three (3) months. Prior to "Evil" I practised the No Hanky Panky until the wedding night rule for about seven (7) years.

"Evil" counted down the days. "Hi Charmaine, it's day 63". "Hey Charmaine, we're on day 74, you'd better get ready".

He will arrive and I will likely have that visceral, gut wrenching disgust for him rise in me again and slam the door in his face.

But I'll keep it at bay until he gives me my Christmas presents.

Veal Scallopini with Brown Butter and Capers


After a couple of dates, a.k.a visits to hell, I need a break.

A break consists of re-enacting my dates with dolls. Then I raid my mother's bathroom to locate her stash of Prozac. (Not really, she lives in Colorado.) Then I cook.

This veal dish is literally perfect. Look, I'm sorry about the baby cows, really I am. Think of it this way: They were put out of their misery early in life. It's a euthanasia thing. Merciful. They suffered for a shorter duration then the old cows. By eating veal you're really doing cows a favor. In fact, cows should thank me for eating their little babies.

Here's the thing:

I used to live near a cow farm (or whatever you call them) in Colorado. Cows do NOT have a good life. (At least these ones didn't). They stand in mud and excrement all day. That's it. The babies are forcibly weaned from their mothers by the farmers (wardens). They place each calf into these white plastic orbs so the mama cows can't reach them. This goes on for weeks. One calf per plastic orb is the rule (calf solitary confinement). You can't imagine the cruelty of it, until you see it.

I was driving past the farm one day and couldn't believe my eyes. I thought "Aliens" had landed on earth and laid giant white alien eggs (orbs).

The sound of the calf's panicked high pitched mooing, "Ma ma. I'm in an orb. Help me." combined with the mothers low-pitched monotone moo"My darling child, where are you?" was deafening.

I pulled my car to the side of the road. I tip toed through the mud to reach one of the orbs. I reached in with my hand (there is a little window) to pet a calf head. "There, there little fella. It'll be all right" I said.

The calf promptly latched onto my arm in a cow mouth death grip, and promptly began to....um...suckle.

I don't know if you've ever had a enormous cow tongue suckle your arm. Have you? It's like feeling the 1000 lbs of suction you WISH your Hoover had. Talk about saliva. It was DISGUSTING.

I was still in college at the time and had not yet grown out of my obsession. It was the one thing I lived for...what I plotted at each night. Namely, how to scare my baby sister.

I drove home, picked her up and brought her back to the orbs. "What are they doing in the orbs" she innocently inquired. "Oh, they're just....camping." I replied. "Go ahead, pet one. They're really friendly." I encouraged.

She did, she screeeeeeamed and I laughhhhhhhhhed.

But ladies and gentlemen, that was nothing. The methods I employed to frighten my baby sister bordered on the absurd. One night, I sat outside her bedroom window (in the freezing snow). I waited for ages, that's how dedicated I was. I made scratching noises on her window after leaving a note in her bedroom. The note said, "This is the Zodiac killer. I am outside your window. Prepare to die."

Come to think of it, my baby sister is on Prozac now. My other sister too. Hey, my mother is on Prozac. I'm the only one who isn't on Prozac.

You're not gonna invite me over for dinner now, are you? That's ok. I'm having veal tonight.

VEAL SCALLOPINI WITH BROWN BUTTER AND CAPERS
The secret to this recipe is the combination of red wine vinegar and browned butter. Savory and Tangy is akin to Salty and Sweet....a winning combo.

Cast if Characters:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup flour
1 lb thin veal scallopini (less than 1/4 inch thick). Pound the hell out of it to make it thin.
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Heat a 12-inch heavy skillet until hot, add oil and heat until it shimmers.
Meanwhile, drink some wine. Then stir together flour, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper, then pat veal dry and dredge in flour, knocking off excess. Really knock off the excess, it's important.

Cook veal in 2 batches, turning once, until browned and just cooked through, 2 minutes per batch (or less). Don't overcook it. Don't do it. In fact, stop NOWwwwww. (faints)

Discard oil from skillet, then add butter and cook over medium heat until browned and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. You gotta move fast, man.

Stir in vinegar, capers, and 1/4 tsp of salt and pepper. Return veal to heat through, then sprinkle with fresh parsley

That's it. Serve with Fettuccine Alfredo (and maybe one of those tomatoes from yesterday) and yer good. Make it tonight. It's easy and surprisingly delicious. Bristol Farms has the best Veal.


This post is dedicated to the baby cows that died to feed Charmaine. By the way, they are not tortured anymore, Fancy. Laws were enacted to improve their living conditions years ago (at least in the U.S.). That is why the color of the flesh is no longer a whitish pink, rather a dark pink. They are no longer immobilized. They get to run around and play fun cow games. And for the record, I stopped eating Veal for years until this law was enacted. I'm not a complete monster. I just date them.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Roasted Ricotta Roma Tomatoes

This is not my last date.
a
I'm not opposed to dating a tomato and feel certain that one day I WILL date a tomato (or some other vegetable with legs). In fact, now that you mention it, hold on a second. I'll be right back.
a
Dear God,
If there IS a tomato in my future, could you at least make it a hot tomato? I mean, I'm not complaining but... haven't I suffered enough? Later, Charmaine

No dates. I'm not a machine, people. Let's cook instead. Join me, won't you?
Cast of Characters: Roma Tomatoes, Ricotta, Garlic, Parsley, Basil, Dry Bread Crumbs and Parmesan Cheese

Scoop out the inner flesh of Roma tomatoes. How many? I dunno. As many as you want, silly.


Sprinkle the cut halves with salt and turn upside down on a kitchen cloth to extract the icky juices.
I can't tell you why juices are icky. Personally, they've never done anything to me.



In a bowl mix one (1) Tablespoon of Ricotta per tomato half. Add a handful of chopped parsley and basil. Then add a bunch of chopped garlic and tons of salt and cracked pepper. (Ricotta is bland so it needs LOTS of salt.) If you have high blood pressure I apologize. I have high cholesterol but you don't see me complaining.

Fill with the mixture. So cute.

Pour dried bread crumbs into a bowl with equal parts of Parmesan and plop each tomato half face down into the mixture. If you've had a bad day say "Die sucker".

Hit each with a drizzle of olive oil and bake at 400 degrees until beautiful aromas arrive. This should take around 25 minutes.


Check 'em out. la la la. (Faints)



Sprinkle fresh herbs for shameless beauty points. (Faints again) Next time add extra Parmesan on top before you bake to achieve a hard Parmesan shell.

I'll be honest, the tomatoes are not really to die for but they're cute. Next time we are making Veal Scallopini with brown butter and capers which IS to die for. I was raised eating veal. I assume because my mother was attracted to the fact the baby cows had to suffer. But that's another post.

Cya. Gotta see a man about a Tomato.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Enthusiast

Approximately five (5) minutes before slipping out the door for my lunch date with "The Enthusiast" I received this email;

When their eyes met their was a spark!
When their lips met their was lighting!!
When their hearts met,.. their was thunder!!!!

My response to his hopeful message was: "Ahhhhh
hhhh". (Breathing in) "Ahhhhhhhhh".

Prior to this he had left approximately eight (8) messages on my cell per day.Don't get me wrong, I enjoy enthusiasm. I really do. But say, after the seventh time I don't pick up.... shouldn't it infer I don't want to talk?

Checking my messages:

Enthusiast: "Hi Charmaine this is…"
click
Enthusiast: "Hi Charmaine this is..."
click
Enthusiast: "Hi Charmaine this is..."
click

I'm not a cruel woman. I just have a short attention span. Please don't say the exact same thing...if you don't want me to hang up.

Eventually we talked. And talk he did until my cell died. I confess to having had two glasses of wine (and a Tylenol PM) which miraculously helps the time fly.

Our conversation:

Enthusiast: "The first time I had sex with my High School girlfriend was..."
Me: "Wow."
Enthusiast: "Bla bla bla"
Me: "Really?"
Enthusiast: " Bla bla bla."
Me: Fails to respond. Sound of heavy breathing. SNORT.

(I have sleep apnea.)

The next day he called, "Meet me at the Mexican Food Place on the right after crossing the bridge onto Newport Boulevard.

I've lived here a LONG time. I had no idea where he meant. But I could get there.

I arrived to learn that this man drove 1.5 hours from San Diego to meet me at a fast food dive.

He said, "Wow, you are nothing like I pictured. I had no idea you would be so hot". I appreciated this remark. I'd had my hair done the day prior.

When I arrived my hairstylist commented, "Jeez. You are totally Blonde and your hair is fried". I said, "I know. Just fix it".

Apparently "just fix it,” means dye the clients hair black.

We placed our orders. He told the girl behind the counter the order was, "to go". Huh? "Where are you taking me?" I said. "It's a surprise" he responded. "You'd better not try to abduct me cuz I'll kick your ass" I said affectionately..

His plan was to take our disgusting lunch and drive to the Balboa Auto Ferry (sit on the bench as the Ferry drove back and forth) and eat it.

I imagine he thought this was clever. (I had mentioned that I like the water.) But I live here. The Auto Ferry is a means to an end, it’s a way of getting from point A to point B. I like it, for sure, but the smell of diesel fuel as locals glare at me from behind their car windows as I eat lunch like a refugee from Afghanistan with no place to go doesn't really work for me.

He paid the Ferry boy an extra 10 bucks for the privilege of allowing us to go back and forth on the Ferry. The kid tried to give the money back. The Enthusiast was demonstrating that he was a big spender. The burrito in front of me begged to differ.

Now here's the thing. I told "The Enthusiast" about my blog. (Note to self: Don’t ever do that again.) I told him I would not write about him or post his picture.

I did not post his picture so, technically speaking, I am not a total liar. Right?

Sir Talk-Alot

Sir Talk-Alot had a great voice, deep, authoritative and friendly. His phone messages were fantastic. He was practising the always popular, I'm-lowering-my-voice-by-one-octave-on-the-phone-so -you-think-I'm-manly technique. I think it's cute when men do that.

He's 48 and owns an investment firm. He was previously a Motivational Speaker.

I believe it. I've hired plenty.

In our first conversation, however, I became irritated. In planning our date it became clear that he intended to spend the entire day together.

This sent bolts of panic down my spine.

He suggested we meeting for coffee, stroll on the beach, drive over and hop on a gondola for some wine and cheese followed by dinner.

I met him at my local Starbucks.

He rushed to meet me in the middle of the crosswalk for a hello hug. That was cute. We walked to his filthy dented car. Not so cute.

I soon learned he did not have a gondola reserved. He did not have lunch/dinner or any other manner of reservation. He had no plan what-so-ever.

I don’t mind taking charge but not after a man tells me he has it under control.

The irony is that I’m a planner by profession. But honestly, I don’t like to plan a first date.

I know I'll come up with a thrilling surprise, like trapeze lessons, then the guy will show up with the prosthetic arm he forgot to mention.

I maneuvered the date from beginning to end. I began…turn left and lets take the car Ferry to Balboa Peninsula. Turn right. Park. Walk this way. Look up there, how about lunch at Newport Landing? Good? Good.

During lunch he told me his life story. All 48 years worth. Now, there is nothing wrong with that. Really there isn't. But there is a problem.

I can’t take my eyes off his yellow teeth.

I can’t even focus on what he’s saying. I’m mesmerized, transfixed, TRAPPED in my own secret world of thoughts about his yellow teeth. And they are playing.. non-stop... in my head.

They sound like this; “In this day and age is there a reason to have yellow teeth? Why does he have yellow teeth? Why are they so pointy? Weird. He looks like a werewolf” He’s talking about his first wife now…. I’m thinking, "All you have to do is go to the drug store for Plus White. It costs, $5.00 bucks? Does he not have $5.00 bucks?” He’s telling me about his terrific kids now. They're in the theatre... All I’m hearing is; “He has employees, is it possible that not one has mentioned his yellow teeth as a professional courtesy? I would tell him if I worked for him. But I could never work for someone with such perplexingly pointy teeth. Is that how his wife died? He gave her a"love-bite" and it ended in a blood bath?.

My thoughts cascade down a slippery slope to not-so-very-nice thoughts; “he’s not 5’10” he’s 5’8” why lie about it? Is that a stain on his shirt? Who dresses this man? You get the picture.

Surprisingly the date lasted 3 hours. He asked me out to see Camelot playing in L.A. I said yes. Then I cancelled last night. I'm still pissed off about the Gondola.

I was looking forward to that.


Restaurant Date Review
Newport Landing Oyster Bar and Grill

I used to come here when I lived with Bill (10 year man). Frankly, I don't know what I ever saw in the joint. But I was younger then. It has live music and is a seafood restaurant. I thought the fish sucked. Have I mentioned that I am a food snob? Snobs aren't actually supposed to use the word "sucked" when critiqueing restaurants. But I do. Cuz I'm special.
http://www.newport-landing.com/

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bad Boy Gone Good

I'm still doing reprisals. I'm battling a little Christmas depression, perhaps? Groan.


Dating is hard on us old broads.
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A glimmer of hope, a spark of attraction and then CRASH! ... sound of breaking glass and a hubcap rolling into the distance ....
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This self-described "Bad Boy Gone Good", called me, irritated that I failed to return his call last night.
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"Did you get my text?"
" No".
"Were you talking on the phone ALL night?
"I guess."
"You didn't have any energy left over for me then?"
"Um. uh" (I was talking on my cell for 3 hours. I probably have a brain tumor)
"Are you dating other men?"
"I'm talking to them."
"I guess I should go back to match.com. Maybe you're just not that interested and we should forget the whole thing."
"Are you saying you want a commitment after two dates?"
"Not exactly but...yea.
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Question: How would you have responded?
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Theme song from CRASH: Click on the link below.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Short Stop
















We met at my favorite restaurant (230 Forest) in Laguna Beach. He was sitting at the bar sipping a dirty martini.

In person he resembled Mel Gibson. Sitting down he was quite handsome. Standing up he was approximately 5' 4".

After a delicious dinner we walked to the Surf and Sand Hotel (Splashes) for a night cap. We ordered coffee drinks. I haven't ' had a "coffee drink" since I was 21. Remember them? "Mexican Coffee please".

The waiter arrived with our "coffee drinks". We took one sip, immediately looked at each other and said:

"I hate coffee drinks".

We called Raol over to advise him of our discovery. We requested to exchange the coffee drinks for glasses of wine.

Raol did not understand this concept. But eventually we got our wine.

When Raol returned with the wine I said,

"I hate wine". I would like to exchange this for some whiskey, please".

Raol stared at me for 2 minutes without speaking.

My date cracked up.

I'm seeing him again tonight.

Southern Comfort

Still in reprisal mode. I'll get some new material soon, promise.

Southern Comfort is a tall drink of southern man. Oddly, he does not drink. His best side is featured here.

When we spoke I was impressed with his manly voice and endearing Southern accent.

Wanting to impress him with my knowledge of "all things Southern" I mentioned that I had lived in South Carolina for a year. I pointed out that I had asked out Bubba Mactintosh to the Sadie Hawkins dance when I was 13. (...trying for cute here.)

He responded, "WHAT?" "You may talk to a Bubba, you may have lunch with a Bubba but you do not ask OUT a Bubba!

Sensing Bubba's were bad...I replied; "It was more of a science project really. Ya know, to study the indigenous population like say, an Aborigine in Australia."

"Huh?" he responded. "You went out with a Bubbarigone?"

I liked him immediately.

We met for dinner where I realized that some people are best enjoyed on the phone.

We sat down at the Sushi Bar and my date asked the sushi roller, "What's your name, son?" (Only people from the south talk like that.)

Sushi guy replied, "Eddy." My date replied, "Now I know that's not the name your momma gave you".

"My name is Eddy Kasatoba buta mosta people call me "Casanova"; sushi guy said.

Casanova, looked at me and asked, "what you name?" I said, "Charmaine". "Ewe you Chow Mein ha ha. " The manager buzzed in to my left ear and said, "No! You cha-ming ha ha". (charming)

Casanova and the Manager did not leave my presence for the entire date. Not for a split second. They invaded the date completely. Maybe it was because I was speaking Japanese, I know a few insulting phrases (which is no easy task in Japanese). Casanova was teaching me more. At one point my date said something and I replied in Japanese with the equivalent of "Shut up, little boy". Casanova was on the floor. We laughed and laughed...

At the end of the date the manager presented me with the bill. "Japanese twadition, lady get biwl" he said.

Those crazy Japanese.

Later driving home, there appeared to be something slightly "off" with Southern Comfort. He played Country Music in his BMW and sang so LOUDLY that I had to say, "Um. Could you please lower your voice?" I mean, the man was literally screaming.

He said something about making a record. He was a wealthy investor. I've met more a few of these guys with tons of money and too much time on their hands because they don't work. These fellas sometimes think because they inherited tons of money it indicates they have talent. Sadly, the ones who make records, invent things or write books, never do.

We drove back to his house so that he could show me his "invention". The only reason I agreed is because he lived one block me.

His invention consisted of a unique treadmill to be used by older people with fractured hips, knee or ankle replacement surgery who were in rehab. I expected it to have additional safety features, handles and padding.

The treadmill was your run of the mill treadmill except instead of having a smooth surface to walk upon the surface simulated the haphazard uneven cobble stone street of a third world nation.

"So you're trying to kill the old bastards?" I said? At the very least, one of them will break an ankle" I said.

"No, it's meant to strengthen their ankles" he said.

Proving, yet again, my theory.

Nagisa Sushi
Corona Del Mar, CA
Okay. Run, don't walk, to Nagisa in Corona Del Mar. See "Casanova". Tell him "Chow Mein" sent you. Ask him (for me) if he is single. I had a great time with the staff and sushi makers. I even took their pictures with my date's iphone.

I had Tataki and my date had 6 orders of yellow tail. See pic above...he's got places to put it. Then we had baked yellow tail CHEEK which was...er....good once you got past the weird bones.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Indian Summer

After driving from San Diego, the first thing he said was: "I did not know you would be so skinny".

The first thing I thought (but did not say) was: I did not know you would be so short.

Indian Summer asked me a year ago. I was too shy to meet. He contacted me recently out of the blue. I thought, what the heck. It would be fun to see if his ears really did stick out like that.

As soon as we sat down for lunch he described the type of a woman he was looking for, namely, someone who was not needy. He said, based on my skill at pushing men away (after all I'd kept him at bay for a year) that I fit the bill perfectly.
a
Then he announced that his “testosterone levels were in decline. “If I MUST perform" he said, "there is always the blue pill”.

Huh? Wha the? Where did that come from????
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For a little Indian humor, click on the links below. Warning, profanity ahead.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Younger Man

The reprisal of past dates ends tomorrow. Note: See post below this one entitled The Lyin' King if you are a middle aged broad like me.

video

(Press play button on lower left of this box. It's right there. A little grey triangle. )

I arranged my company's Christmas party at Romeo Cucina in Laguna Beach.

I arrived early so I sat down with the restaurant employees to help fold napkins. This is where I met The Younger Man.

I showed the lad how to fold a napkin into fan. What can I say, I have skills.

I'd hired a video company, Boogie Heads, for entertainment.

I thought the idea was more then hilarious. My colleagues didn't seem to agree. I guess people don't want to make a fool of themselves in front of their bosses. Oddly, I can't seem to avoid it.

Convincing my co-workers to join in was like pulling teeth. The Younger Man (the restaurant's piano player) jumped in to my rescue. We made 12 videos. Eventually, everyone joined in and had a great time.

The kid was adorable. Despite being young enough to be my son, the wee lad asked me out. I said "no". He was 25 years old for Pete's sake.

Later, I actually regretted saying no after a friend gently suggested, "It's for the best you did not accept the date. He's young and you know he would have only wanted one thing."

I thought, he probably wants the same thing my 50-something year old dates want.

video

(press play button on lower left of box)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Borat


Still in reprisal mode. I thought I'd go easy on ya and give you a short post.

The man above speaks like Borat's twin brother. He sounds just like him: “You want make sexy time?”

We had some language difficulties.

His profile indicated that he was from LA.

When he wrote to me he told me he lived in, Bosnia. Yes, that's right. Apparently its quite lovely. a
He’a physician…you know how I love the doctors! (See Dr. Cop-A-Feel) post.

Our first correspondence went like this:

Dear Charmaine, i went reed your profiterole (profile)...you are wired (weird) but interesting...by the way I am in Bosnia on mission...rest you will find in my nutshells...tells all.

Dear Borat, I’m not sure what your nutshells are telling me.

Dear Charmaine, I didn’t think you wild (would) respond. My nutshells telling you lot.

After further misuse of the word "nutshells" which, for the record, I was interpreting in a profane way, Borat told me that I was smart and this could scare a man, but not him.

I knew this was the kiss of death.

And it was.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Worst Date I Ever Loved - Date 2 - Bad Boy Gone Good

I'm in reprisal mode. Small error in the last post. This is date #2 with self-described "Bad Boy Gone Good". This is for Hedgie.

He brought me to a shooting range.
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This was precipitated by the "stranger from match.com appearing on my doorstep despite the fact I never gave him my address and told him I was not interested"...scare.
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This is my my target sheet.
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He dead.
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I took a class, taught by a toothless red neck (I'm being kind). We proceeded to the target range where I fired 4 rounds.
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Then something came over me. I was near tears. Each time I heard the BANGS, I jumped out of my skin. It was clear....
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I was freaking out.
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I excused myself to the disgust of the instructor who clearly thought I was un-American.
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To recover, my date suggested a whimsical change of pace; how about popping over to Walmart across the street? "Ok." I said. I've never been to Walmart.
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I heard they have retired people as greeters. Would my retired date know the greeter? Wouldn't it be funny if my date had dated the greeter?
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But I digress.
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I paid for my stuff. My date, standing behind me in line, said: "You could have just paid for my mouthwash ". "Huh?" I said, scrunching up my face.
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He replied,"The least you can do is buy me lunch." That pretty much killed it for me. It is unclear when a woman should pay. But surely not on the second date?
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I decided to get over it. To get through the day I would buy the man lunch. (He paid for the gun class so I guess it was fair). I was over it. I WAS!
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Right up until he ordered the Maine Lobster.
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After lunch we motored in a Duffy Boat around Newport Harbor. Being on the ocean relaxed me. We returned the boat...of COURSE he'd borrowed it (rather then rent one) from a friend. A nice woman. He introduced me and we had a glass on wine on her porch.
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After 30 minutes of conversation I realized with horror...
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I had dated her SON. I had been in her last house (she wasn't home). I'd even been in her refrigerator. I know how she marinates her barbecued chicken!!
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It's how I marinate MY chicken as a result. (Brilliant by the way, just put chicken in a baggie with tons of Teriyaki, sugar and garlic).
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Her son, Mitch, was much younger then me by 10 years...could it have been 15? He was the youngest of her children. I knew all about her. Had she heard about me?
aa
The the remainder of the conversation is a blur. I could see her mouth moving...
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But the voice in my head drowned out every word:
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"Does she know? She couldn't. Why did she bring up Mitch and then gaze directly at ME? That was weird. She just did it again. Jesus. If I admit my crime this torture will end. I could tell funny stories about the lad. Mother of God, noo. But it WOULD be funny. Shut up evil Charmaine personality. I won't. Oh Yes you will. No. I said YES! Since when do I have multiple personality disorder? How will I respond if confronted? "Sure, I dated your son who, technically speaking, could be my son. "See? We have so much in common already, isn't that terrific? Great Barbequed chicken, by the way."
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RING RING, "Oh that was just my son, Mitch." She's looking at me again. "Oh Really? Is he coming over? "Why do you ask?" "No reason."
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I must have blacked out. The next thing I knew, I was home.

Favorite Quote: "I'll have an iced tea and the Main Lobster please"

Monday, December 1, 2008

Date 2 - Bad Boy Gone Good

NOTE: I am randomly reprising past dates until I come up with something interesting to say or...have a date. It's not for lack of opportunity. I'm taking a break while I muster up the courage to "get out there" again. I'm reprising dates from the beginning when I had no blog readers. I would never be redundant. Not on purpose.

We met at a wine warehouse party where folks who appreciate fine wine but lack the resources to support their pretension, store their wine

I have a car but not a garage so basically I’m in the same boat.
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He insisted on picking me up. But’s it only date 2.

"I'll meet you there" I said, defeating any hope of remaining obscure because he already had my address.

Cast of characters:

1. 90 year old founder of a non-profit
2. 2 Attorneys
3. Flight attendant and her much older husband
4. Me and the Christian Playboy

Odd mix, like trail mix. (A couple of old nuts and one dried fruit.)
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I felt the evening took a dive when my date revealed an alarming resemblance to a laughing Hyena. (Laughing out of proportion to the humor in any remark, especially those of the blond stewardess).

I felt out of place. Too much small talk. I can participate for 5 minutes. Then, I need meat.
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I excused myself at 10:30. He walked me to my car. The next morning he called to remark that he loves talking to me and can't wait to kiss me.
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One more thing. He lied about his age. His match.com profile indicates that he is 57. He's REALLY 60.
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Question: Is he too old for me??
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Restaurant Review (*) One star
LEGEND CELLARS
It wasn't a restaurant, rather a wine cellar. The event was catered. Silver chafing dishes filled with Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, buns, potato salad and coleslaw.There was live music, art work featured on the walls, a cigar and wine tasting room. It's a cool place.
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Random thought: Can a person who likes classical music (me) ever get along with a person who doesn't (him). Answer below. (It's Pavarotti and James Brown singing together)

Youtube of the Day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCIyzNISw1Q