"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

It's Hard To Slow Down When Your Picking Up Speed

I'm sitting here in the mid-renovation Oakland terminal waiting on my overnight flight to NYC. They finally have gratis wifi on the scene (good move, Oakland), and it's as good as an airport gets. I got through security with no waiting and all smiles for my bike-chain bracelet which gets me a wanding every time, scored some Advil PM from the quick shop, and snagged half a table in the crowded little makeshift bar that's serving this wing while the old spot is under reconstruction. Things have gone so smoothly I've got like 45 minutes to kill.

It's been a pretty good run the past few days. This weekend I got some much-needed bonding time with good old LGD and his special lady, some late night whiskeytime and a great tasty family dinner too. Cooking delicious group meals is one of my most favorite thing to do, and I honestly can't say why I don't organize these things more often. Seems like something to consider going forward.

I'm gradually becoming aware that the primary reason my social life has felt a bit fallow is that I've largely stopped arranging for things to happen, become just another lamp-ray go-along follower, picking up on other peoples action. One undeniable pattern in my history is that the better times in my life tend to coincide with taking on the role of instigator, provocateur, catalyst, etc. Again, something to consider.

Under the auspices of my mandate for Power Dating, I've turned to the internets. After being needled by the Girth over dinner on Friday night on this point -- we were breaking bread with a couple couples on the road to matrimony and in discussing our single status and the conundrums there posed, my friend recounted how he's asked me, the undisputed internet maven of our circle, whether I'd ever done online dating; no I'd replied, a fact he likes to use in support of his case that this is a weird and freaky activity: "well if Josh isn't into it, then..." -- I decided that enough was enough and I should stop running from destiny.

Now, it's not entirely true that I've never dabbled in internet dating. Back in the early days in NYC I had a profile on one of those standard personals sites. Most of my friends did. It seemed like an interesting thing to create (this was before there was such a thing as "social networking"), though a horrifying thing to discover someone you might already know socially. There's something about seeing how your friends describe themselves when trying to appeal to the opposite sex that's unsettling, a bit like hearing them get chewed out by their parents.

I would add further that the internet, to one degree or another, has played an integral role in most of the great love affairs of my life. For instance, during my freshman year of college, I fell in love mostly over email, and using a radically old-school unix command-line chat system that was made available by our respective educational institutions, and which I explained to my lovely lady how to get in and use. At other times, email correspondence, a shared ideosyncratic love for Homestarrunner, or other online connective tissue have underpinned many fine romances.

And then, of course, there's this old thing: a radical exercise in information asymmetry. Some middle aged men asked me once if blogging can get you laid, and I said yes, yes it can. Assuming you're a halfway decent writer, and you do a compelling and honest job, you'll eventually amass enough material that any fair lady can come and read themselves into your head. Maybe they like it there. Maybe that's how it starts.

I have my qualms about this, because I think it lends it self to a sort of highly questionable starfucking vibe, but it is what it is, and it's not as though I'm going to give up on this perpetual writing project just because sometimes pretty girls will know vastly more about me than I will about them at first blush. At the very least, it screens out people who really wouldn't much like me at all.

But to the point. What am I up to now? Well, way back in the heady dot-org-boom days of 2004, Dustin, the first of my veagan bike-riding anarcho collagues, introduced me to the website Ok Cupid. It had a delightful little intro quiz which is basically a tarted-up version of the Meyers-Brigs personality assessment (I think). It told me I was a Playboy, which I didn't like, but couldn't really deny, and it purported to use a vast number of questions to match you up w/folks. I fooled around with it back then, and have logged in from time to time to window-shop, but this past week -- 4+ years after originally creating my account -- took the first step and actually asked someone out.

This is a big step for me. Just being proactive, let alone opening myself up to the possibilities of what's out there online. My generation is coming of age, and while many are suspicious like The Girth, a great many more find romance initiated online to be as natural (if not moreso) than meeting strangers in a bar. I can't say I disagree with that, and given that I prefer to date outside my immediate social circle, this seems like a good thing for me to experiment with.

Anyway, it all boils down to conversations, communication. I'm sort of excited about this experiment in finding new interloqutors.

And now, my plane is bording and I should roll. SEE YOU IN NUEVA JORKA, BITCHES!


I too was a casual online dater in the early aughts, and remember excitement at a new social mode alternating with an ooky feeling about being an internet-dating-weirdo. Emily Nussbaum wrote what I thought at the time was a sharp piece:


It still holds up.

Dry hands at First Avenue . . . . just saying.