"Oh Yeah, About these Personal ads? WTF?"

I really wish I could take credit for this witty piece, but I can't. However, I couldn't resist posting this, as my sister and I literally laughed for 5 minutes straight (and I almost shot beer out of my nose). "Best of" on Craigslist makes some pretty great reading for a late Sunday night.

I love going through the personals, but there are a few things that are getting on my nerves.
There are certain things that the vast majority of people put into their personals that are just plain stupid. Mostly I'm talking about the women, cuz I don't read the guys very often, unless I'm very bored. But let's go through some of these idiocies....

1. I like to have fun
This is the dumbest thing you can say in your personal. It's sort of like saying, "I see things with my eyes". The whole point of fun, is that you like it. There isn't a person on the face of the planet that will admit that they don't like to have fun. That's not exactly an amazing trait to be listing. In fact, when ever I read that I pretty much assume that the poster has the intelligence of your standard sorority barbie doll, plastic head and all.

2. I don't like guys who play games
I don't think that the men who do play games, would rarely acknowledge that they play games. Hell, most of them probably don't even realize they're doing it when they are. And maybe I just don't read the guys' personals enough, but I very much doubt you're going to find anyone that says, "I like to play games, and am looking to fuck with someone's head". It's one of those crap-shoots that everyone has to ante into when you do the online dating thing. Sort of like when you go to meet someone who hasn't sent you a picture, and you're really hoping that half their head hasn't been taken over by a giant mole. You just never know until you meet the person.

3. No Bush Supporters Please
I'm no fan of Bush either, but some of my good friends voted for him. That doesn't make them inbred retards or horrible people. I can understand that personal politics can be a big issue for some people, but it's not for everyone. By playing the anti-bush card you immediately remove half of your possiblities, and then alienate even more who may not support Bush, but couldn't give a rats ass about politics, politicians, and the people who's lives revolve around pointing out the injustices of the powers that be. You might as well say "My ideal first date includes protesting and civil disobedience".

4. I'm looking for a good Christian who loves Jesus
Have you ever noticed Christians are the only people who make demands that their dates be of the same faith as they are? Seriously. Look around. You'll never find ads that say "Must be Athiest", "Buddhists Only Please", or "Looking for a nice Hindu fella". While this irks me in someway, it's also kinda nice. It plants a big billboard on your personal that screams "I'M A JESUS FREAK". Which to many of us reads as "WARNING: Poster has a loose grip on reality and a limited conversational repertoire. Proceed with great caution!"

5. I've got pictures on my website
No you don't. You have pictures of someone on your website, but it's not you because you're a guy! That's right. I can see through your ruse. You run a porn/model site and you're trying to generate hits. If you were a woman posting a personal, who had also created your own website with pictures of yourself on it, then you would know how to post your picture with your personal. You might fool most people, but you don't fool me!

6. I'm 18 and....
Okay stop right there. You're 18 and you're already resorting to personal ads? Jesus, give the dating scene a change to crush your hopes before automatically resorting to the personals. I don't care how grown up you think you are. If you're 18 you don't have enough life experience to bitch and moan about how hard it is to find the right person. You haven't been trying hard enough. Besides, most of the men who respond to 18 year olds are gonna be 40+, and you don't want to go there.

7. I like to go out somtimes, but I also like to stay in
So you're telling me that sometimes you leave your apartment, and somtimes you don't. That's incredible because that's what EVERYONE ELSE DOES! The frequency varies from person to person, but everyone goes out sometimes, and stays home other times. Is this really worth making mention of? If you're a hermit that never goes out, that might be worth noting. If you're a wild drunken party animal that goes out every single night, that too may be worth mentioning. But making the above statment just tells me that you're trying really hard to sound normal, which leads me to believe that you're not.

8. BBW's without pictures.
Oh man...good luck. Seriously. If you consider yourself a Big Beautiful Woman, you'd better be able to back it up. I am of the belief that big women can be beautiful. But I, like most men, am not attracted to over weight people. I'm rather thin myself, and if you're 6 inches shorter than me, and 100lbs more than me, I'm probably not going to be feeling the sparks. Being big does not necessarily denote that you are beautiful as well. But if you are (or at least think you are) you might wanna post a picture to prove it to the world. Otherwise 99% of the guys are gonna skip right over your message in search of someone more appropriately proportioned.

When you start using acronyms in your personals, you've been doing the personals thing for too long. When I temped at an office, you could tell who'd been there forever because they had abbreviations for everything, that you only understood once you'd been there for a few years. I think the same thing applies to the personals. You don't want to be that person, and I sure as hell don't wanna date that person.

10. Hi! My name is Bethany and I'm 22. If you're interested write me.
What's there to be interested in? You're giving us nothing but your name and age. I can't say that I'm overly impressed. Maybe if you're posting this in the Casual Encounters with a picture of yourself in some frilly lingerie, then maybe you could get away with that. But if you're looking for a date to meet up with at a coffee shop, you're gonna have to put down a little more than your name and age. If I'm supposed to try and talk to you for an hour or two over a cup of joe, I would hope that you can say more than "Hi! I'm Bethany! I'm 22!". Because as it stands now, I'd be surprised if you could tell me the time off a digital watch.

If you're posting a personal ad, try and put a little thought into it. Read through it when you're done and see if it sounds like you, or if it sounds like everyone you've ever met. Make yourself sound unique and present qualities about yourself that most other people don't have. What makes you special? If you like to have fun, you're not special...you're short bus special.


Adventures in Mac Land!

I almost closed the door on Mac last night. The MacPro book was frustratingly slow, and I was beginning to wonder if all the die-hard Mac junkies were taking some pretty big bong hits. For starters, the MacPro book was slower than my 2 year old Dell. Then, it crashed repeatedly (so much for the "super stable" Mac OS I had heard so much about). So, I got on the phone with the Apple Support people (actually, it was a nice Canadian gentleman...I could tell by the way he said "against") and learned that I had a DUD! On my lunch break, I walked back into the Apple Store and they promptly replaced said dud with a brand spanking new MacBook Pro. Now, I have not had time to play on this new one (that will be a Sunday afternoon activity), but from the brief time spent on it today, it's an AMAZING machine. WOW...I may be ready to scrawl my name on the dotted line and officially pledge my loyalty to Macdom.

On a related note, I have been doing a lot of reading about Dual Core CPU's, and I got a tickle out a Wired review on Dual Core Window-based PCs. (Yes, my shiny new issue arrived yesterday, and I was giddy with delight.) They purposefully did not review the MacPro book because "it runs Mac OS X. That'd be like, um, comparing Apples to oranges." That's funny shi*t. (For all you bloggers reading this, I highly recommend buying the latest Wired issue, which is chock-full-o-vlogging info and great vlog websites).


Rasheru = Rachelle

That is what my name looks like in Japanese characters. Apparently, it is pronounced "Rasheru". (Consonants are pronounced more or less the same way as in English. "A" sounds like a in father, but shorter. "U" sounds like oo in hook, but with less rounding of the lips. "E" sounds like e in met.) If you are curious to know what your Japanese name is, check this out.

For whatever reason, I keep thinking of the classic line "more intensity" from Lost in Translation, which ranks up there as one of my favorite movies.

Such a fascinating language. I have a "Top 100 things To Do Before I die" list, and being somewhat conversant in Japanese is on that list. Hence my fascination with my Japanese name. I will visit Japan one of these days (not this year...this year is Thailand and Italy). I definitely need to learn more about the customs of this country, as I fear I will inadvertently insult half the country!


The Invitation

My good friend and neighbor Tim just gave me a wonderful book entitled "The Invitation." I have just begun reading it, and I can already tell that this book is one I will be sad to complete. I plan on savouring it, like a decadent dessert. The opening passage of this small tome is a poem which I found absolutely beautiful and had to share. Thanks Tim, for thinking of me and offering me the book - you truly are one in a million, and I am lucky to count you as my friend.

The Invitation

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.


Ever Had One of Those Days??

Oofta. It's just been one of those days. I'll be back tomorrow.

I've Gone Over to The Dark Side

After almost a year of research, head scratching and annoying the hell out of Apple employees, I finally did it. I purchased a Mac. Gasp. Faint. Guffaw. Pregnant Pause.

Maybe I was inspired by my virus infected work-issued Dell, or my ancient personal Dell PC, or simply that the weather is so piss-"pour" today (pun intended). I purchased my new computer, and I decided to spend the afternoon kicking the tires, a la Joe Isuzu. I have two weeks to try my MacBook Pro before making the ultimate decision to sell my soul to Steve Jobs. I cannot help but feel like I have been inducted into a new club (as all my Mac loving friends cheer me on) - or that I am finally outing myself. So far, it's been interesting. I am not particularly wowed just yet, but I have been running multiple applications, working with huge files and generally trying to kick the sh*t out of this thing. It's taken the beating quite well, and it has done it with much grace - I am very impressed with the OS and user interface. So far I keep asking myself if the price point on this computer is worth it. . .And, unless I am more "wowed" by it, I am not sure I can justify it.


Star Sighting . . . What Ever Shall I Make of It?

So, its 1am and I just got home...but, I refuse to go to bed without my blog of the day. It's pouring outside, and I need a little time to dry off anyway. (I am completely exhausted, so readers please be kind). It has been a long day, but a pleasant day, and despite the foul weather, good company kept me in good spirits. Of worthy note is my happenstance encounter with Ben Affleck while on my morning walk with Murphy. Apparently, Mr. Affleck is renting a wee "bungalow" in Cambridge (translation - a multi-million dollar mansion). While I have always been a big fan of his brother-in-film, Matt Damon (hubba-hubba), I must say that Mr. Affleck is actually much better looking in person. Don't worry Matt, you are still my one and only. Hands down.

I have had many past star sightings: Peter Jackson (wahoo), Rachel Griffith (meow - she is my total girl crush), Sam Neil, Bo Jackson (in a Burger King of all places), Rosie O'Donnell, Bobby Orr, Liam Neeson, Tom Green and Drew Barrymore (during their 6 month marriage) and others. Past star sightings have usually been followed by significant events, so I am not quite what to make of this one. . . We shall see.

Oh no, I am getting sucked into "Elizabeth" on HBO (HBO junkie that I am) - I knew it was bad news to turn on the television.


Sovereign Entity

This is a little Dan Qaylish don't you think? I laughed out loud when I saw this.


Friday Quotelets

I have been struggling with giving my blog some modicum of order. Not too much order, since I want to keep my quasi-stream-of-consciousness dialogue going, but just a smidgen of order. So, for now, I have decided to institute "Friday Quotelets", in which I will highlight points taken from a book that I am currently reading. I am a voracious reader and will usually be toggling between 4-5 different books at any given moment, so I will only mention one. One of my current reads is Po Bronson's "What Should I Do With My Life" - it's not an amazing read, but it its full of short stories which make it for good bed time stories. As the title suggests, it’s a book about the everyday struggle of finding meaning in one's life. Here are some passages which resonated for me:

* "People who don't have passions don't struggle."

* "There is no official list of honorable, noble careers. The proof is in the individual's experience. You either find the pleasure of connecting with others in your daily reality or you don't - this nobility is not something that can be assigned or predetermined. Often it defies stereotypes."

* "Who you are is more important than what you do. The goal is to bring what you do in alignment with who you are, so you don't end up being someone you don't want to be."

* "The traditional search for a career begins with the question 'What am I good at?' But that's often not the right starting point for finding a calling. You can get good at what you need to serve what you believe in. You can learn Spanish, you can learn budgets, you can learn to listen. The true search is for what you believe in. When your heart's engaged, the inevitable headaches and daily annoyances become tolerable and don't derail your commitment. Let your brain be your heart's soldier."

* "If you feel you haven't had enough experience, don't burden yourself with the expectation that you should be able to 'know' what's right. Find ways to give yourself a taste. Interests evolve into hobbies or volunteer work which grow into passions. It takes time, more time than anyone imagines. In other words, don't be distracted by those rare birds who always seemed to know that they wanted to do. It's common to envy then, and to assume they have it easy. But they often have the hardest time of all when it doesn't work out."

For what it's worth . . .


I Miss the North End

The North End signifies home to me more than any other place in the world (and I have lived in MANY places - Chicacgo, Miami, NYC, NZ, and Maine to name a few). I attribute this partly to the fact that it appeals to my European roots. Having been raised in Belgium, I miss the "feel" of Europe and nothing brings this back more than the North End. To me, it is the perfect blend of Europe and the U.S. I cherished my mornings wading through the throngs of Haymarket, grabbing a good cup of coffee and saying hello to all my neighbors along the way.

One of the biggest error in judgments I ever made was moving out of the North End (I have made many other errors, but those are for later). There were a number of reasons for this fateful decision, but what's done is done. But, I still consider myself an honorary resident, by vritue of the number of close friends that live there, the times I frequent the "hood", and my involvement with NEMPAC. Don't get me wrong, Cambridge is beautiful, but I find the sense of community seriously lacking. Notwithstanding the fact that I am surrounded by closet Republicans posing as Liberals and a bijillion trust fund babies, I miss the vibrancy, variety and rough edges of the North End. In Cambridge, I find my ears straining to catch sound of a good mean Boston accent. Sigh.

However, the old adage "home is where the heart is" rings so true. Some of my closest friends live there, and as long as they are there and there is a couch with my name on it, it will always be home to me. I just spent a delightful evening with one of these friends, Lauren. We go WAY back, and I can only think of a handful of people who know me as well as she. She is part of my family, and I count myself lucky to have her, her husband and amazing little girl in my life. There are so many others (and you know who you are). Thanks for keeping the North End front porch light on for me ;)


Philosophical Exposition

I've been spending a lot of time in and out of the vets office as of late because of some recent health issues with my dog. Now, I have promised myself (and loyal readers, all 2 of you) that this blog would not contain endless blather about him. And it won't, so read on you faithful 2. However, I do feel the need to vent about a recent trip to the vet. Maybe it's because Im feeling angry today. Mean people suck, and there are too many of them in the world. Even mean people can masquerade as "nice" people and I seem to be bumping into a lot of them lately - maybe I'm too naive to tell the difference. And, my inner compass, or some warped sense of right/wrong makes me keep my mouth shut . . . I figure, why bother saying anything - what good could possibly come of it?

I digress.

So, back to the vet. Last week, a young woman (let's call her "Betty") brought in a Pomeranian puppy with an all too visibly broken leg (I mean, really gross in a dangly sort of way). The poor thing was whining and wimpering and it completely broke my heart. For whatever reason, Betty took a shine to me and started talking to me about her situation and how she had no money to pay for the vet - not even the $100.00 required for the visit. And of course, she did not have the $3,000 required to actually fix the poor little critter. Betty was very vociferous (aka "goddam loud"), and swore just about every other word, moaning at how the vet didn't care about her dog and how she was going to report them to Hank Phillipi Ryan. Now, I am certainly one to blurt out expletives when appropriate, but this was clearly too much. Everyone else in the waiting room was fast becoming clearly uncomfortable with the situation, and each person looked away pretending not to hear very-vocal-Betty. I know that everyone was silently grateful that Betty had not chosen them as her confessor.

Now, I consider myself a pretty understanding person and I try to be as non-judgmental as possible. But, my impression of Betty is that she is the type of person who would decide to get pregnant because "gee, wouldn't it be fun to have a baby!" with no understanding or appreciation of responsibility and the like. Harsh, I know. But believe me, everyone in the waiting room would agree with this assessment. Long story short, I think Betty left the dog at the vet and never came back for it.

So, what's my point? Why the endless tirade? I just wish that people would put more thought and action into the consequences of decisions that they make (myself included). And not only when it comes to big decisions like purchasing a pet, but also to smaller decisions, such as promises or words spoken to others. They do in fact mean something.

Mr. Potato Head

Yesterday, I drove down to Rhode Island to attend a meeting at Hasbro. From time to time, my job takes me to some really interesting places, and this was one of them. When I walked into the lobby, the receptionist desk was littered with various action figures - from Star Wars to My Little Pony. Of course, I picked them up and starting playing with them, and another gentleman in the lobby challenged me to a duel. I knew I would have fun. The best part of the visit was the office tour. The hallway entrance is littered with all things Mr. Potato Head - from the first prototype (paper body parts that would actually be tacked onto an actual potato) to a totally blinged-out-Swarovski-jewel encrusted Potato man. My guide regaled me with the whole history of the little guy, and I found myself strangely fascinated with his history. Next, we walked through the G.I. Joe section (yehaw..my brother and I were obsessed with Joe and his gang), and life-size Star Wars model. The Han Solo Frozen in Carbonite life-size model had me riveted!

But for the fact that I was there for work, I would have spent the day meandering the building and playing with all the toys. Life has been challenging as of late, so it was nice to be a kid again.


I am a MySpace Crack Whore

When my sister first introduced me to myspace, I really thought nothing of it. I created a space for myself and added my sister and some other known users as friends. That has ALL changed. After staying up until midnight with my siblings trolling through my space and looking up old friends, I am officially addicted. The "coup de gras" was finding one of my oldest friends from elementary school just today. On a whim, I searched for her name and found her. I will never forget the ill-fated day that her and her mother moved to New Mexico. My little 9 year old eyes wept and wept until I had run out of tears. To this day, I have tried finding her by running google searches, reaching out to former elementary school alum and looking through old letters to find any clue to her whereabouts. I am literally in a state of shock that I have found her. Now, for those of you who know me, I will soon be embarking on a quest to find my real father. If only finding him is as easy as doing a MySpace search . . .

I'm sure Fox, which recently acquired MySpace, is very happy to feed my growing addiction.


My New Favorite Show - Kath and Kim

I have been watching Kath & Kim, an Australian based BBC production now playing on Sundance and it is fast becoming one of my all time favorites. (I rank it up up there with Ricky Gervais' "The Office"). Its worth a look see.

And, I'd be lying if the OZ accent doesn't bring a smile to my face. I do so miss my short sojourn in OZ and NZ. . .

Summer Resolutions

I am so excited that the warmer weather is upon us. Finally. And with it comes my summer resolutions (my version of New Year's resolutions).

Goal 1: Get in Shape
My body has morphed into its post-winter blob-like state and once again, I find myself determined to get back in shape. I absolutely loathe the gym (they bore me to tears), but I also find the artifical environment de-motivating. I cannot repetitively climb up stairs (a la stairmaster) without ACTUALLY climbing up stairs or run to nowhere on a treadmill. I must feel that there is a purpose to such actions. So, last month, I partook in a auction for charity, in which I bid on a triathalon training package. Wouldn't you know it, I won! So, I have been assured a serious ass-kicking with Karen Smyers, a three time World Champion triathelete. I am very excited, very nervous, and I know I will be in for a world of pain. So far, I have the wonderful support of both friends and family which I know will be invaluable for this whole process.

Goal 2: Create My Website
I am in the midst of building my own website. This is a great learning experience, since admittedly, I know very little about the process invovled. But, I am determined to no longer sit by the sidelines and I have rolled-up my sleeves to get filthy dirty in the mud! I've picked up a couple of books and my brother was kind enough to give me a min-course in Cascading Style Sheets. Lots to soak in, but my spongy brain is ready for more!! My goal is to ultimately run my blog from this same website, but don't anyone hold your breath. You may pass out before it ever happens.


Snakes + Plane = Snakes on a Plane

I know, it sounds idiotic, but, believe it or not, "Snakes on Planes" is a movie coming soon to a theatre near you (August 2006 to be exact). The Vancouver-based "film" (and I use that term loosely), starring Samuel L. Jackson is currently in post-production and has already achieved cult status. I'm not kidding. The tag line is horrible ("Relax. They're first class fliers.") and the plot is even worse. The premise of the film is something like this: "On board a flight over the Pacific Ocean, an assassin, bent on killing a passenger who's a witness in protective custody, lets loose a crate full of deadly snakes." Sounds like an episode of Lost gone way wrong.

Because of the press the film has received, New Line Cinema decided to shoot additonal footage in L.A. to up the anemic PG-13 rating to a robust R rating. I wonder what they have added . . .

However, this movie has become a gulity pleasure. Ever since I read a wee article about it in Wired, I count myself among the idiotic throngs of people waiting for its release. Seriously, I want one of these Snakes on Planes T-Shirts. If you love me, you will buy me one ;) Do it. I mean it. I may even have a Snakes on Planes release party - watch this space...

Here are a couple of interesting links, if you are considering joining me in my lunacy:

- A Devoted Snakes on Planes Blog
- Snakes on Planes Try-Outs
- Movie Screen Shots


Wedding extraordinaire

So, I realize I have already been remiss in being consistent in my blogging. Life has been insane as of late - with my play, multiple work and personal travel etc. For the first time in a LONG time, I actually have free time and "gulp" what do I do with it!

Well, I went to a wonderful wedding two weeks ago. My very good friend Carmen married her best friend, Brent. The wedding was absolutely gorgeous (a very fashionable affair at the Yale Club in Manhattan), and I haven't had this much fun in a long time. I knew this would be a unique occasion, when instead of having their first dance, Carmen and Brent cleared the stage for a team of breakdancers. That really set the stage for the rest of the evening, in which we basically boogied the night away. I even got to swing dance with one of my old crushes, Bill Nye the Science Guy.

Congratulations Carmen and Brent!!

The Play Reviews are In! It's "OK"

So, I got a chuckle out of our review in Boston's Metro. We were "OK"!! I love that our review and my picture are sandwiched next to the latest trump wife, a Paris Hilton wanna-be and Sudoku. Being a self proclaimed Sudoku fiend, I particularly enjoyed that. I am certainly surrounded by some worthy ladies - I guess its the one time I can say I got to share some of the spotlight. I'll take what I can get ;)