Online dating has turned brutal

I think that the world of online dating is becoming rather brutal, or at least less well-mannered. Consider the case of True.com, a newly emerging Internet dating web site. The web ad I followed to see their site is listed below (only because of the “did they really say that” factor).


Lest you think that this ad is anything other than what it is, the name of the image is “boobs_120x600.jpg”.

Once at the True.com web site, one is confronted with a rather interesting disclaimer:

If you are married and posing as single, be aware that you could be guilty of fraud and subject to civil and criminal penalties under federal and state law. For each offense, Title 18, Section 1343 of the U.S. Code authorizes fines of up to $250,000 and jail sentences of up to five years. TRUE reserves the right to report violators to law enforcement authorities and seek prosecution or civil redress to the fullest extent of the law.

It doesn’t seem like your “Ma & Pa’s” Internet out there anymore. Everyone’s got an angle, and everyone’s got a lawyer covering their tuchis. Gone are the days when all women on dating sites are really pimply 13 year old boys or overweight middle aged men. These be shark infested waters, Jim Hawkins.

Note to self: if Mrs. Geek and I have a daughter, she’s not allowed to even look at an Internet dating site until she’s at least 18.

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this old house?

Mrs. Geek and I have begun contemplating the purchase of real estate. We’re far, far away from being able to buy a house of course, but we have started looking at some real estate listings and compare notes. We enjoy it… it’s been kind of fun.

After looking at pictures of one particular house last night, we had a conversation that ran something like this:

Her: Oh it looks like the owners like toile… and that wall is very red.
Me: Well, we could paint it…
Her: Paint it?
Me: Yeah, you and I could paint it.
Her: How about you call While You Were Out while I was gone some weekend, and then it was just painted when I got back?
Me: You wouldn’t help me improve our house?
Her: Yes, I would love to do Trading Spaces or be out for the weekend when While You Were Out was here.
Me: You wouldn’t help me improve our house?
Her: Well, let’s just say… your model of home improvement is your parents putting an addition on their house, in the mid 60’s by themselves. Mine is my Dad drilling a hole in the wall. It looked kind of like a mouse hole. Mom also called someone to paint and hang wallpaper.
Me: Your father drilled a hole in the wall for a radio antenna, right? [Editor’s note: my father-in-law is a ham radio FIEND.]
Her: Yes.
Me: Well, my parents painted and wallpapered their whole house, themselves. Of course, if we did something like that… they’d probably come out and stay for a while to help. [Editor’s note: wishful thinking on my part, no doubt.]
Her: I don’t know… I’ll have to think about it.
Me: You wouldn’t help me improve our house?
Her: I said I would think about it.
Me: You wouldn’t help me improve our house?

why do people throw away this stuff?

There was one interesting footnote to Sunday’s alcohol sampling adventures. I found a CD copy of The Gentle Side of John Coltrane in the bushes in front of a friends house. There was no jewel case or eco-pack. It was just a CD sitting in the dirt under some foliage. It looked pretty beat up, but I grabbed it in case it could still be played.

After a trip through the CD cleaner, the business side of the disc looks mighty scratched but it does play. All praise the built-in error correction in the compact disc format! I’ve put it on my iPod and burned a “safety” copy in case the original starts to degrade over time.

The disc itself is quite charming. It’s a compilation disc of material from the early 1960’s that appeared on three other albums. I already have one the source discs. If this disc is any indication, I may have to get the other two.

Of course, this again begs a question: who the heck throws this stuff away?

I need to go on the wagon

I think I need to go on the wagon for a while. My last two experiences with alcohol have been mixed blessings at best. This was underlined yesterday after a tasting the offerings of a nearby winery and a distillery during the afternoon. Following this experience with sharing a bottle of oak free chardonnay and some pinot grigio during dinner left me a little green at the gills. I did not get sick (like last time) thank goodness.

The distillery tasting was very unique. The product line consists of several fruit flavored “eau de vie” (flavored brandies) and several more flavored vodkas. I don’t know how many shots were in a tasting glass but after three brandies, four vodkas, a malt whiskey, a zinfandel grappa, and two liqueurs, the phrase “liquored up and laquered down” comes to mind. All of these concoctions were excellently made, though the pear brandy, citron, lime, and tangerine vodkas, and the malt whiskey were standouts. The rest presented flavors that were new and usual to my pallet. They could be future friends, but I still need to get to know them.

Today is all about re-hydration. I went into yesterdays little tasting exercise without adequate water consumption ahead of time. No wonder I was put under rather abruptly. Of course, it may also just be that I am a “light weight” these days. Though as Mrs. Geek points out, this is not such a bad thing.

The rest of the weekend was also pleasant. Mrs. Geek babysits for a nice couple that live about 20 minutes away from us about once a week. After hearing about some of my prior experiments with fried chicken (here and here) I received an invite to “test” the results of any further fried chicken trials. Both members of the couple have Southern roots and both were enthusiastic about the chicken I brought over. I even heard “that’s better than what my mother used to make.” High praise, indeed. As this fried chicken feast took place on Saturday night, the start of Passover, the meal will be henceforth known as the “Southern Fried Soul Food Seder.” Mazel tov!

In a rather odd aside, I inadvertantly opened the freezer in the kitchenette near my cube here at Company O. In it, I found:

  • one family size package of frozen sliced okra,
  • one family size package of frozen brussels sprouts, and
  • one family size package of frozen brocolli flowerets.

This begs two questions. Who left these items here and what were they planning on doing with said frozen veggies in a kitchenette that has a microwave, a coffee maker, a sink, and a copier in it?

re-visiting the nest

I realize now that there is actually a fourth type of Catholic believer: the “Mel Gibson” Catholics. The Catholics of this sort are so conservative that they believe that something has gone terribly, terribly wrong with the Church in the last 40 or so years. Some, such as the Society of St. Pius X, recognize the authority of the current Pope. Others, do not. All object to the changes imposed by the Second Vatican Council and want to a universal return to the Tridentine Rite Mass in Latin immediately. To do otherwise is to repudiate the core of what it means to be Catholic.

All that aside, I returned to my old grad school stomping grounds last night for a little dinner celebration. My dissertation advisor, El Jefe, was recently awarded an endowed chair and is now graciously known as El Jefe de la Silla. It turned out to be an enjoyable evening at a local Mexican eatery with some nachos, taquitos, and fish tacos plus a few top shelf margaritas thrown in for good measure.

The trip underlined some things about the time that elapsed since I graduated. Part of me was nostalgic for where I lived during my grad school years. I was walking down the main street on a beautiful Spring day. I missed the close proximity to the bars, movie theaters, shops, and live music. I like being able to walk places, and I can’t do that much where I live now. I’d love to live in a house or townhouse just a couple blocks from a picturesque downtown area.

The other thing I notice about interacting with my former professors is the equality in the relationship. There is no longer any need to maintain a professional facade to your relationship. So, when I asked El Jefe de la Silla how things were in the department, his answer was rather surprising in the amount of personal detail: “oh, Professor X’s wife is evidently crazy — as in jumping out of moving cars crazy”, “Professor Y is still raising snakes, spelunking, and supporting his ex-wife and her beatnik boyfriend”, “Professor Z died a few weeks ago”, “Professor A left to take a position elsewhere and we don’t miss him” and “Professor B is the same as she always was, aged 40 going on 16.” The private lives of your professors are generally weirder than you’d ever expect them to be while you are taking classes from them.

About the only depressing thing that happened during the trip was job related. It seems that two of my advisor’s other recent graduates got offers from another large, respectable software company for $5K more than I currently make. A little further comparison with older, established colleagues like myself revealed that market price for someone with my experience should be making about 125% of my salary. Oh well.

I’m not depressed about this. With so much in my life possibly set to change in the next year, I only look on it as useful information. At least I will have a better idea about what to ask for in terms of salary for my next job… whenever I get one.

bad Popes are why God made good whisky

I see that it took the Roman Senate College of Cardinals about two days to pick a new Emperor Pope. I was hoping for someone a bit more moderate, more pastoral, and less imperial this time around. I fear that Pope Benedict XVI is likely to be a Pope that the Dubya will love.

Modern Catholics fall into about three groups. The first are the Catholics who are still out there living the life committed to the Catholic Way: no birth control, lots of kids (one of whom is being groomed for the clergy), Mass every Sunday, and believers that whatever Rome says is literally Gospel. I admire these people because they are willing to put God in the center of their lives (even if it is often in a simplistic, rote way) and buck against the current of modern, Western values. The second group are “buffet” Catholics; they pick and choose what bits of ceremony and doctrine they allow into their lives. The Church is wonderful institution, they say, but it could still use some work, particularly when it comes to women priests, married priests, and birth control. I fall into this group, with one foot on each side of a chasm representing the conflicts over “family values” that seem to rage in the United States right now, hoping for positive, inclusive change. Finally, there are the “recovering” Catholics — these folks have just left the Church, period, and don’t understand why the “buffet” Catholics bother to stay.

The word catholic means “universal”. The struggle for liberal Catholics where the Church is concerned is therefore one about which part of “Roman Catholic” to believe in more — “Rome” or “catholic”. I think that the answer of Pope Benedict XVI will be be very imperial “Rome”.

God help us all — and not just with good whisky.

Britney’s future baby blog

Though it may cost me time in Purgatory, I simply could not resist temptation to come up with my own version of Britney Spear’s Baby Blog”

December 3, 2004

Dear diary, well “I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman” no more! Kevin and I are finally going to try to have a baby. I just totally melt whenever I see him with his kids. He’s so great with them! Well ok, leaving their mother while she was pregnant with one of them wasn’t so cool, but it’s just a sign of how totally and completely awesome our love for each other really is! We are just meant to be!

December 6, 2004

We’ve been going at it regularly for about three days now when my naturopath/nutritionist said I would be at my most fertile. Oh I can’t tell you how wonderful the sex is. I feel so incredibly feminine when we uuuhh, you know… climax together… and I feel Kevin squirt his … uhh… stuff in me. I want to bring life into this world! I heard Kevin bragging about our love making to one of his buddies saying that they should call him “The Chairman” because of all “deposits” he’s been making lately in “The Federline Reserve Bank”. Isn’t that just so totally cool or what???

January 1, 2005

Happy New Year everyone! Well, it’s been over three weeks since I was likely to conceive and I’ve missed my period. Oh, I hope! I hope! I hope! I’m having and appointment with my OB/GYN tomorrow after my two hour tanning appointment and before my herbal regiment consultation with my naturopath/nutritionist. She’s probably going to be pissed because I’ve been eating pork rinds again. In fact, Mom and Brian have both been upset about how I’ve been eating since the wedding… they say I need to tour. No way I’m doing that if I’m pregnant! I need to go to the Kabbalah Center and meditate about this. Is 23 a good number for childbearing? Is now a good time? I need to meditate on Binah the Universal Mother.

January 4, 2005

I’m pregnant! I’m pregnant! I can’t tell you how amazing this feels. Of course, the next couple of weeks are going to suck. No more Marlboro’s for me! Or Red Bull and Vodka! I guess I’ll just have to switch over to “iced tea” — House Wine of the South, y’all! Hmmm… I wonder if you can make iced tea with Kaballah water.

January 7, 2005

Ok, three days without a smoke or a drink. I wish I could say that things felt perfect, but they aren’t. I’ve been bitchy all day. I did realize one good thing about being pregnant though: I’m going to go to the Waffle House whenever I damn well please! I’m eating for two now!

January 11, 2005

Went to the Waffle House last night. I sat too close to the smoking section, and that’s got to be bad for the baby. I must get Felicia to ask the manager to clear the place of all smokers before I visit. Oh, I just love being a mother!

February 15, 2005

Sorry it’s been so long since my last update… Kevin and I had the most completely perfect Valantine’s Day. We were just sharing a completely romantic evening together… and he was rubbing my belly. I think I’m starting to show! Oh, those “false, evil tabloids” are going to think I’m just getting fat! We got to talking about names… my naturopath read my aura, and she said that the area around my womb was full of feminine force. I guess I’m having a girl! Anyway… names. If we are going to have a girl, I want to name her Augusta Jane Spears-Federline (A. J.) for short. Kevin said he would just call our baby “hubcap”, if it was a boy or a girl. That made me want to smack him… but I never can. He’s just too adorable!

February 20, 2005

Ugh. Morning sickness. Smells want to make me puke. Drakkar Noir (Kevin’s favorite) is the worst. He used to just come in after shooting some hoops with his posse and spray some on to avoid taking a shower right away. He did that today and threw up all over his favorite vintage basketball jersey. Teach him to mess with a pregnant woman! I need to go find that ginger goo I got from the naturopath. That’s supposed to help. That and lots of green lights. If it does, our living room is going to look like the nest of a space alien queen befor the month is out.

March 3, 2005

Kevin, damn him, continues to refer to the baby as “hubcap”. If he keeps this up, I may just decide to get sick on him on purpose… (instead of just by accident.) I notice that he’s been staying away from me a bit more lately. Thankfully, Felicia has been helping me when I don’t feel so good.

April 11, 2005

The story is about my “condition” is coming out this week. Alleluia! No more “evil tabloids” claiming that I am a fat cow! Even if I am beginning to feel like one because I’m definitely showing now. Must ask Madonna about treatments to avoid stretch marks. I can’t go out on tour next year to show off my trademark abs in a spandex/lycra halter top if what I really need is a tummy tuck. Hmmm… best ask Felicia to check up on who does the best tummy tucks in LA.

April 17, 2005

Kevin and I decided to have a bit of fun by attending a parenting class tonight. Ewww. All we got to hear about is how there’s a ball of snot keeping all the liquid in my uterus. Yuck! We were also given all this literature about “co-sleeping” and La Lache League. Should be breast feed, or shouldn’t we? How will I be able to wear a spandex/lycra halter top on stage if my boobs are swollen with milk? Hmmm… the size would probably have all the guys looking. If I get a pump, would Mom take care of 1am feedings while we’re on tour? Maybe it’s time to hire a nice Swedish au pair. Of course, if Augusta Jane ever even looks at her the same way she looks at me, that Nordic tramp is history!

May 1, 2005

It’s 3am. I just woke up from a nightmare. Kevin and I just went down for an ultrasound today. I swear, if I ever see Augusta Jane striking the same pose she was in on the monitor before she turns 19, I’m going to snap her neck. It bothered me so much during the day that I started to have dreams about it. I dreamt that I was 39 (and quite the tight, hot MILF, thank you very much) and got home late in the afternoon one day. I heard my first record playing up in A.J.’s room. Since she usually doesn’t play my old records, I decided to check on her. I caught her having sex with some guy… moaning “oooh… hit me baby one more time.” I woke up with a start, and then fell back asleep. The dream repeated, only this time she was silent and the guy was moaning “oh Britney, oh Britney!”. I’m firing my damn naturopath. These ginger extracts are giving me too many nightmares.