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I remember when I first heard about the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival last year and was totally bummed I was working that weekend and really couldn’t afford to take the day off to go.  Now, I’m not nearly as into partying and eating as I used to be back in the day, but I do really like bourbon and really like BBQ, and the thought of spending the afternoon tasting bourbon and eating BBQ, listening to live music and checking in with seminars about how bourbon is made sounded freaking awesome to me.

So when I heard that it was coming up again this year, in June– the month that I’m finally able to not work on Saturdays anymore and can actually have the time and money to go to something like this– I was super-stoked!  My plot was to have everyone pile into my van, go sample bourbon and BBQ all afternoon, and take a taxi back to my house where we can sober-up or just continue the party, depending on whatever mood we were in.  I mean, to me it seemed like a can’t miss, good time right?

Sadly… I’ve not been able to rustle up anyone to go.  I had a couple friends I thought for sure would want to go, but they passed.  I put the event up on Facebook figuring maybe I’d get a surprise nibble of interest.  Zip.  Going alone sounds depressing, so I suppose I’ll be looking for something else to do this Saturday.

Here’s hoping the next woman in my life will enjoy going out to festivals and having fun like this, even spur-of-the-moment, because I’m not sure I’ve got a circle of friends who I can count on to do these sorts of things with.

Talking TV

This week’s episode of Game of Thrones was a blast.  Literally, a big shiny blast and a lot of fun.  And yet… afterwards I was left feeling unfulfilled.  Where’s the beef?  I’ve been pondering it for a few days now.  Maybe my expectations were set too high?  I don’t know– but the Battle of Blackwater Bay had been set up as the climax of the entire season.  [SPOILERS BELOW]

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Fortune Favors the Bold

An old friend is getting married in late July and I’ve been invited to go.  It’s a Saturday on a weekend the kids are with their mom so I’m available.  I’m supposed to RSVP by June 1st, and… well… I obviously need to get the reply in the mail today.

I’ve known I could go for a while now, but I’d been dragging my heels a little bit.  I love weddings– I love the romance, and the promise of a new life together that they represent.  It’s a happy occasion, and the celebration afterwards is always fun, with eating, drinking and dancing.  But I’ve almost always gone to weddings solo… and by the end of the day I’m usually bummed out.  All the romance in the air makes me want to have someone with me to hold hands with, to slow-dance with, to kiss.  Being surrounded by happy couples can be oppressive when you’re not coupled.

When I got the invite to this wedding, I thought– hm, this might be a good opportunity to meet some single women, who themselves may be swept up in the romance of the occasion.  With a few drinks in me, I love to dance.  So I checked off the box saying I was attending, and got ready to write “1” in the box that asked number attending.

But I hesitated.  I’ve been hesitating for weeks.

Finally, this morning, I checked off “2” and sealed it up in the reply envelope so there are no take-backs.  No, I haven’t met anyone recently.  I’m still ridiculously single.  But I decided to give myself a push, a goal– to see if I can find someone to take to the wedding as my date.

I’ve got about two months to make it happen.

If I fail, well– there’s still the possibility of perhaps meeting someone there at the wedding.  And I’ll apologize to my friend for planning on a +1 that didn’t materialize.  But now that I’ve got a goal, maybe it’ll help me get in the right frame of mind to — finally — get a date.  Fortune favors the bold, no?

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.

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