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Wow, today kinda snuck up on me—My Ideal Woman is one year old!  I’m actually glad I didn’t totally miss it—some of you may have noticed I haven’t really updated in a while.  These past few weeks have been a brutal combination of being insanely busy and insanely stressful, and the combination of mental drain and preoccupation on various worries has left little room for musings on life, love and happiness.  Thankfully, things have finally started falling into place, lists are being checked off, and while I’m still holding my breath a little bit, I think everything’s going to be okay.  One thing I do know—I’m really, REALLY looking forward to the housewarming/birthday throw-down I’ve planned in June.  I really need some epic fun…

So… May 26th, 2011 I put up my very first blog post.  I was inspired to give blogging a try by two women I’ve never met face-to-face, but had gotten to know over the internet.  The first was Rachel M., who I followed on Livejournal for a while.  A superb writer, I found her posts engaging—sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking.  In her I saw a bit of a kindred-spirit, and I always found myself cheering her on, hoping for things to go her way, and hitting the comment button to offer condolences when they didn’t.  Eventually she left Livejournal and started a blog, Toughbunny.

The second was MJ, a woman I met online through our mutual love of a collectible card game.  I write a weekly column about the game, and one day out of the blue she emailed me a sketch of something I’d written about in my column, something I’d imagined and wish I’d had a picture of.  We sent some emails back and forth, followed each other on Twitter, friended each other on Facebook.  Again, I saw in her a bit of a kindred-spirit in things we’d both experienced in life, and then one day she started up a blog as well, Moxy MTG.  Her writing was whip-smart and funny, and I enjoyed reading everything she put up.  She’s also an incredibly artist, and she was sweet enough to draw up the banner art that tops this blog.

It occurred to me after Rachel and then MJ started their blogs that blogging offered a much better way to reach out to a larger audience than Livejournal did.  I’d been doing a ton of writing for a long time about that collectible card game, and while I love writing about it, the audience for that writing is pretty niche.  When friends or family wanted to know if I’d written anything lately, I could show them that stuff, but they wouldn’t understand whether it was funny or interesting unless they were into that game (and most are not).  I make some money on that writing, but if I were ever to get to my goal of writing for a living, I’d very likely need to show that I can write other things as well.

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Ask me…

I thought I might try something fun… ask me a question in the comments, and I’ll answer it.  Anything you’ve wondered about me from reading my blog, or anything you’re curious about?  Want my opinion on something?  Ask away!  I’m curious to see what you all come up with :)

Highs and Lows

I was walking around the lake during my lunch break and my iPod shuffled up “Highs and Lows” by Mindy Smith.  I love this song!  It’s such a great little bundle of wistfulness, nostalgia, hope for the future and just an underlying appreciation for life.

I immediately thought of a conversation of sorts I’ve been having with Lee from Life in the Dash Lane over the course of several blog posts and comments back and forth.  Even though we have our differences (her being a Canadian woman, me a man from the U.S. for starters), this song made me think we’re kindred spirits of sorts, going through a lot of the same emotions and trying times while also trying to stay positive and appreciating what we have.  So I wanted to share this song as a shout-out to Lee, and anyone else who might need a little wistful smile and a reminder to focus on those little moments that shine.

Lyrics below the cut…

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Getting social, Part 1

I mentioned in my post Climbing Out of the Social Void that I had two new avenues for expanding my social circle.  One was attending the monthly Drinking Liberally meeting a week ago Sunday.  It was a mixed bag.  On the one hand, it was a really small gathering, about 11 people in total, and only two were women.  If I were going purely in the hopes of making a love connection then it would be considered a bust (especially considering one of the women bats for the other team).  But that’s not really the primary reason why I was going.  Mainly, I was hoping to just make some new acquaintances there outside of my normal social circle and the small number of people there was a little disappointing.  I was told that the group fluctuates in size, and that sometimes there’s so many people there the whole upstairs area is filled with Drinking Liberally folks.  Probably depends on when people get fired up about politics, and right now we’re in a bit of a lull.  The Republican nomination is pretty well sealed up, and the actual presidential campaign hasn’t really gotten into full swing, though we did touch on President Obama’s campaign kickoff right here in Richmond the day before.

Despite the small gathering, of the people who were there I got a real nice vibe.  All of them were strangers I’d never met before, but I felt very comfortable around them and they seemed comfortable around me.  We talked about various political topics, and I chimed in quite often with my own thoughts and opinions.

The meetup was over at 8pm, and I was a little disappointed that everyone pretty much hopped up and rolled out right at 8… I was kinda hoping that maybe a few people might stick around afterwards and chat, allowing for deeper conversation and the opportunity to get to know a couple people a little better.  Here’s hoping the June meeting might be a little more populated and a little more lively.

Next week my second social outreach project begins.  I’ve got a copy of the screenplay everyone will be critiquing and look forward to reading it, and hope that I haven’t forgotten too much of my screenwriting chops to be able to provide some useful feedback.

Ode to My Mom

The first Mother’s Day since I started My Ideal Woman seemed like a good time to pay respect to the first woman in my life, my Mom!  She played a huge role in shaping the man I’ve grown into, and since I think I turned out to be a pretty decent man and father, that reflects well on her nurturing and giving ways.

One of my earliest memories was walking into what seemed like a gigantic hospital holding my mom’s hand.  I knew everyone was scared and worried, and that my baby sister, not even two, was really really sick.  I was almost four at the time.  Rachel had spinal meningitis, something that could have killed her; she survived it, but it robbed her of nearly all of her hearing.  As a parent of two kids myself, I’m always awed to think about how strong and determined she was to take care of my sister through this hard time along with a son who was really young and no doubt scared and confused, especially since Dad was of no real support.  That bedrock strength and love is the epitome of motherhood.

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If you’ve clicked on my About Me tab, then you know I’ve got a motto:

LOVE DEEPLY
BE KIND
DO GOOD

I think it’s good to have a motto.  It boils everything down to the primal things that you think are most important in living your life.  It gives you a core idea of who you are, fundamentally, and why you think you’ve been given this life.

If you’re looking for someone to share you life with, it seems ideal that she’d share your motto, or at least be compatible with it.  Not that I think anyone but the most cynical people could really argue with my motto, but I’d want these words to resonate with her, to connect with her on a deeper level.  I want these words to feel right to her.

LOVE DEEPLY

I sprinkle my thoughts on love throughout posts on this blog, and wrote specifically about it in my post …She’d Be a Hopeless Romantic.  For me, love is what living is all about.  Everything else is just superficial bullshit that doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.  Money, possessions, your job, your bills, the daily stresses of living– all that stuff is just window dressing.  None of it is why we’re here, living this life right here and right now.  We’re here to love, to give love and to receive love.  Love is an endless well of feeling that never runs dry, so why be stingy with it?  In fact, the more love you give, the more love you have… so give often and give deeply!

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The conversation started with my guest blog on Simply Solo (In Defense of the Beta Man) continues to inspire me with more thinking on the subject and wanting to continue digging into the issue.  Last week I wrote The Friend Zone, and got some more great feedback and expanded on some themes.

This week, I think I have some interesting insight to pass along to the ladies who have at least a passing interest in what makes Beta men tick.

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