Monday, May 30, 2016

Sanitation, Expiration date, Question Everything

"or shut and be a victim of authority

Warning, live without warning
I say warning, live without warning....."

A few days ago I mentioned coming across a charming lady on AM last fall.  I was pretty sure Sunny was real. She had a photo on her profile which usually means fake but that photo, while cute, was not overwhelmingly flattering.  She also stated on her profile she was 49.  Not to say that there are no women who are 49 on the site but those that are usually have profiles that say there are anywhere between 39-42, truth in age is a rare commodity on AM.  Of course she could have been 62 I guess?

From her profile she did seem pretty cool.  "Looking for fun and adventure....,"  "need a new start, someone who challenges and invigorates me...,"  all typical types of profile needs and wants.  And yet, no statements of "I'll rock ur world..." or "you take care of me and I'll take over in the bedroom..."  Again, indications, I've come to find of reality and not internet Cat-fishing.  In fact Sunny even talked about food, wine, and travel; all things I enjoy.

Things went great once we got onto e-mail.  What often is the case when I'm in the "wtf" state of mind is that I just become myself and don't worry about writing the wrong thing on e-mails.  And, of course, that is when you are always most successful with ladies.

In Sunny's case, she seemed uber cool, a guys dream.  She loves college football, though an alum of a Big State U rival.  We had fun picking on each other's teams.  She loves food, we exchanged recipes and memories of our favorite restaurants; many of which were roadside BBQ joints throughout the Carolinas.  She loves the coast of the Carolinas and had many memories and I shared mine.

I was thinking this was looking pretty good.  Of course I'm shallow and looks count.  Something else that peeked my interest was that she grew up a "beauty queen" and was still involved in local pageants.  She looks perhaps like Sandra Locke.

She also seemed to have a pretty stable and successful career.  I've come to find that is a good thing.  I have no problem paying for lunch, gifts, hotel rooms but often wealth disparity can be an issue in theses types of  relationships.  Things (AM-wise) were actually the most comfortable with Sandra and I as she was quite independently wealthy, or rather her husband was, and looked at me somewhat as a boy-toy.  I was thinking Sunny might be an opportunity to have one of those easy-breezy unemotional "sex buddies" kind of things.  We were trying to find a time to meet for lunch and unfortunately we were both traveling a bit.  But I felt sure we would meet some time soon.

Have I mentioned that I am rather curious?  I'd like to think not "stalker'ish," just curious.  Another thing I've found out in my time on AM and Blogger, kind of like the saying all of us on Earth have just six degrees of separation, is that all of us can be found on google with less than six pieces of information, probably about four.

At this point I knew Sunny's real name (not Sunny, I'm not so stupid as to give you one piece of information on a blogging site) - point one.  I knew approximately where she lived from AM - point two and I knew her job - point three.  And of course I have a picture.  Which btw, do you know about clicking "google image" on a photo?  We'll talk about that later but for now I know what Sunny looked like.  Of course, I'm not creepy, she knew about as much about me as I did of her and she had my photo as well; mostly sun glass photos though.

Oh yeah, and I knew about that pageant stuff as well.

Sunny looks much better than this director!
So while Sunny was away, Ryan couldn't help playing curious and googling.  And yep, that was her in that Linkedin photo.  Wow, she does seem interesting and cute.  And there was a link to her pageant involvement, I bet there will be some nice photos there.

Yep, she looks nice in that gown!

Hey that place looks familiar, I think I've been to that place.  Click to next picture.....   Hey that place is just down the street, I wonder how often she makes it up here.  Click to next picture.... Hey that girl Sunny is with looks very familiar.  Yikes, she looks familiar because I know her!  Yikes, I don't know Sunny and she doesn't know me; but we sure know a lot of people and places together!

And so there is the moral of today's story:

*     If you are just on AM don't be so concerned about "local guys/girls."  Traveling 25+ miles is a pain but anonymity among AM friends is certainly less painful
*     Be careful how much you put out there ahead of the first "meet and greet."  Make sure you know the person you are considering for as your new "sex buddy."  Or more importantly make sure you don't know them or that they are not your daughter's reading teacher or your wife's hair stylist!
*     Don't give out pictures that tell who you are and what you do and don't send pictures that are already on internet sites that say who your are, such as Linkedin, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

That's all for now.  Sorry for no sex.  I suppose I could have lied and said we had sex first and then I found out about the pageant stuff but it's all the trips and falls that make this AM stuff interesting in the end anyway.

Have a Happy Memorial Day as we reflect on those who have sacrificed so that we can do stupid things like screwing around on social dating sites and blogging about it.  I wish I could honor that sacrifice with a higher purpose.

Gen John Logan statue in DC
Btw, Memorial Day was first celebrated as Decoration Day in 1868 when veterans of the Union Army, the Grand Army of the Republic, gathered to remember the Civil War dead by decorating graves.  The group was organized by General John Logan, who served under General US Grant in the Union Army of the Potomac.  President Lydon Johnson created Memorial Day officially as a Federal Holiday in 1966.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Potomac Calls to Chesapeake

Maryland! My Maryland!.....

I have lived a good portion of my life in and around and adjacent to horse country.  I don't ride myself but my girls do.  One thing I've learned is that girls love ponies.  And girls who love ponies grow up to be ladies who love horses, and clothes, and parties, etc, etc.

I've also learned over the years that you can certainly find women who love sports but by and large many women won't LOVE sports as much as most guys.  In fact trying to get ladies to watch sports can often just get annoying!

Shannon speaking:
  "Why are they kicking the ball, geesh they only have to make 20 yards on that last down.  Why don't they just throw it to one of those big guys who just stand around trying to stop the people who want to tackle the passer-guy; nobody is paying attention to them."

I know I'm being sexist but really that is the type of thing Shannon would say when I'm trying to watch Big State U on TV.  So if you have a lady who likes the NFL, go ahead and enjoy Lambeau Field on a invigorating late November night just south of the Artic Circle.  
But if you don't, there are other options and the weather in the Mid-Atlantic is damn fine in late May!

In fact this time of year they have this thing called the Triple Crown that is horse racing.  Remember, ladies like horses!  Better yet, they love to party; and nothing is more of a "be seen" event than a horse race.

Around here we have one of those big horse races in Baltimore.  It's our big event and the ladies love it!  Which means you can enjoy sports and ladies at the same time.  It's called the Preakness or "the Run for the Black-Eyed Susans," which is the state flower of Maryland.  I know running for Black-Eyed Susan's is not a sexy as running for Roses, but you already have missed the Kentucky Derby! Anyway, you should try it.

My pick for the Preakness - Nyquist.  Triple Crowns tend to come in bunches.  The golden age of the Triple Crown was in the 30's and 40's with 7 Triple Crown winners over 18 years.  Then there was a 25 year gap until Secretariat won the Triple Crown in 1973.  Then there was a second golden age as Seattle Slew and Affirmed won Triple Crowns in 1977 and 1978.  Then there was another gap of 37 years until American Pharoah broke the drought last year.  Seems like a good reason to think this is a good time to have another golden age.  Exaggerator came on strong at the Kentucky Derby but Nyquist was solid and ran a very smooth race in Kentucky.  The Preakness is shorter so less track for Exaggerator to make up.  But the Belmont could be the tripping point!

Anyway, if you do watch and you want to cook out or have a party at your crib here is a great classic Maryland recipe to feature.

Classic Maryland Crab Cakes with Old Bay Horseradish Remoulade


1 lb       Lump Crab Meat - cleaned
* 0.5 tsp  Salt
* 0.5 tsp  Old Bay seasoning
1           egg
2 Tbs    Miracle Whip
5           Saltine Crackers - crushed
dash      Pepper
* to Taste Minced Fresh Parsley  
* As Needed - Crisco shortening 

the state spice of Maryland!

*     Whip egg gently until frothy
*     Combine Crab Meat, egg, and Miracle Whip together in mixing bowl gently, do not break down Crab Meat lumps
*      Add Old Bay, salt, and pepper; gently folding into mixture
*      Add Parsley to taste
*      Form Crab Cake mixture into 3 oz oval cakes.  Place in refrigerator to cool for 1 hour
*      Pre-heat iron skillet on medium heat on stove top.  Melt Crisco into skillet up to 0.5" depth.
*      Place Crab Cakes onto hot skillet.  Once bottom is crispy and brown, gently flip over
*      Cook other side for approximately 3 minutes

Old Bay Remoulade Sauce 

2 Cup      Mayonnaise
1 Tbs       Lemon Juice Fresh Squeezed
0.25 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
1.5 Tbs    Old Bay Seasoning
2 Tsp       Dijon Mustard or Horseradish Sauce or a little of both

Mix all ingredients together and let stand for 30 minutes

After party!
The state song of Maryland is in fact "Maryland, My Maryland" with lyrics set to the tune of "O Tannenbaum," just in case you thought you had heard the song somewhere else.  As with many state songs, it's a beautiful tune with rather creepy lyrics.  It was originally written as a rallying cry for Marylanders to rise up with the Confederacy and "spurn the Northern scum! (see last verse)"  It does beautifully capture the writers love of the state however his elegant prose are co-mingled with references to "warlike thrusts," "anointing throngs," and "crucifixion of the soul."  Come to think about it, it sounds like some scenes from the infield at the Preakness!  :)

And if you were wondering what was up with the strange state flag of Maryland it is a blend of the family crests of the Calvert and Baltimore families.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Desperate but Not Serious

"If I ask you difficult questions,
if I make improper suggestions,
would you find that a risk to your health,
would you put me up on the bookshelf
with the books and the plants?"

Oh don't give me those weird looks, I bet you liked Adam Ant in the 80's as well.  That is if you were alive and listening to MTV back then and not one of those Millineal folk who think MTV is for shows about Catfish, idiots from New Jersey, and knocked up teens.  Who didn't love Adam Ant's playful and delightfully sexy videos back when MTV did play music.  The lyrics are fun and the videos are eye catching for sure but I actually like the songs; to me they are quite clever.  As a former marching band person I love the drum and bugle corps feel with the crisp percussion and histrionic horns peppered through this arrangement of this 1982 track from his first solo album.

I also love the implications of the lyrics, they are so Ryan; a slave to impulse but always refusing to take things too seriously.

You know it seems to me it's been ages sense I wrote anything.  We have a reality TV star running for President now, is this the new reality?  Is fiction reality or reality fiction?  Was the past reality or just a fantasy?  Was Ashley Madison just a dream?  Does it even exist anymore?  Does anything exist anymore, or is everything simply what can be canned and packaged for quick and easy consumption.

I think I lost my train of thought.

Well, if you read the news last fall you would have thought it was all going to come to an end for me and everyone else on Ashley Madison.

Here is what I had to say at the time.

Funny that whenever we think the end is nigh, something comes in to replace the end and the ending we expected never comes and we eventually forget we were even expecting it.

Back when Ashley Madison was hacked I did think the end might be nigh or at least perhaps at the end of the off ramp at my exit.

As I mentioned in a post a few months ago I indeed planned on ending my AM activities.  But in the name of social sciences I decided on a slow Friday to peruse AM one more time to see if anyone was still out there.  One of my blogging friends, Sassy, had said she had heard AM activity had actually gone up post-hack.  I guess that validates the assumptions that any publicity, even bad, is good publicity or that people are simply stupid.  I think either makes sense.  So I logged on and looked, nothing really new or exciting per se; many of the same ladies who've been around from years it seems.  I logged off thinking that I may very well delete the account in the next few days.

Funny thing about Ashley Madison, it really is like game theory, the more you play the better your chances.  You see, you need to log on periodically so that your name comes up in searches by ladies who are searching for Gents.  If you don't log on your name doesn't go as far up on the pile.  Log on and you may be at the top of a search; you really never know.  The only known is don't play, don't win.

So when I did check my "mischief" e-mail a day later I got that old twinge of excitement when I saw two new notifications from Ashley Madison.  Furthering the excitement was that the two notes were from the same lady.  Now, back in years gone by I would be excited by that because two notes from the same lady would have meant someone had opened my priority note and then actually responded.  But, I had not written anybody?  What would this mean?

I clicked onto AM and then clicked onto my inbox.  Two notes from a Sunny69 with a tagline of "thank you for the sunshine."  Wow, she quotes lyrics; I already like her.  So the wink was nothing out of the ordinary; I have gotten many over the years.  They are usually online hosts and online hosts are always more voracious when you've logged on after being off for some time.  But this was different.  OMG, she sent me her picture passkey unsolicited!  Women NEVER do that!  Hey, she's pretty good looking.  I look at her profile, she's close and sounds pretty cool.  She is in her late 40's and wrote regular stuff on her profile.  Note - one does occasionally get unsolicited picture passkeys from 22 year women from China who say they want to "suck you longtime," but they tend to actually be dudes from some country that ends in slovakia.  Sunny says that she would like to meets someone that knows the difference between having an effect on someone and being able to positively affect the way someone feels.  I love a good grammatical challenge!

I had 5 credits left on my account, this was perfect.  One final message from the great Ryan.  Kind of like Kobe scoring 60 in his last game.  I'll make this one of my best.

I wrote her using most of the 2,000 characters available, addressing all of her checks; just like Riff used to say to do.  I wrote sentences using the noun effect and the verb to affect so she would know I read her profile and know how to use grammar correctly.

I also took a chance and included a good joke on her home state as she mentioned liking humor and we often forget about that place around here even though it's in our back yard, kind of like the county dump on the other side of the hill.

"So do you know why they only teach drivers education in **** ******** three days a week?  Because they need the car for sex education the other two days! " :)

I hit send not sure if this would be the last AM message I would ever send.  I really wasn't nervous, if it was the last message that would be OK with me.

As fate often does I would get back mixed signals.  Sunny did write back as I did have a note on my inbox.  This was perfect as once someone writes back you can always reply on AM free of charge, as long as you don't need to upgrade to a priority message.  But then again, AM will always get you when you think you got a deal.  Apparently if you don't have any credits you are not considered a "premium" member and even though you paid to send the original message and thus should be entitled to the normal free reply you ain't!  So now I have a response to the last and greatest message I ever sent and no ability to read the reply unless I plop down another $90 for a budget membership.

Obviously upset by the outrage I deleted my account and signed off.

Off course a normal person not driven by pride and ego would have done that, but I had to know what her response was; I mean this was a great message I had sent.  I actually spent time on it, my ego had to know the outcome.

So ante up I did.

Sunny's response was not long as women's reply's never are but she did say I was funny and wanted to know more about me.  She asked if I had an e-mail we could message through as she was getting tired "of all the penis shots on this crazy site."  Funny, women always say that, are penis that much in oversupply on AM?

I said I did and I asked her for her e-mail.

Sunny turned out to be pretty cool.  The next month would be pretty interesting.  It certainly supported Mr. Ant's lyrics in his silly little song that in fact has some good take-aways.  I tell you one take away I get is stay active in your business lest you turn out looking like Adam to the right, YIKES!

All the advice seems so unkind.
If you don't stop, you will go blind!"
They tell you it's none of their business
and console you with a big kiss
on the lips and on the back of your neck
(oh heck)!"