The First Day of the Rest of My Life

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Oh hey, one more thing...

I'm making my Christmas Card list, and checking it more than once. If you want to be on it, drop me a line.

brownboyut -at- hotmail -dot- com

Remember the gal I talked about a couple of weeks ago?

She called me tonight. I actually tried calling her last week, but left a voicemail. We talked for a little bit (16 minutes, 33 seconds, to be exact) about nothing much in particular. ("How was your Thanksgiving?" and "How many siblings do you have?" among the topics.)

I told her I'd call her later on. Being a guy, I'll definitely wait two days until calling again. Maybe we'll make some plans to meet up, but we'll see.

I feel oddly excited about this.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

I was over at the house of my ex-roommate's girlfriend. We ate BBQ, watched a couple of movies, the excruciating end of the Seahawks-Giants game and "Family Guy." During one of the movies, the girlfriend and I had a little chat (my ex-roommate was somehow napping during all the explosions).

We talked about mostly relationship stuff, how I met that gal at Theology on Tap, my on-and-off history with Suzanne, etc. That's when she brought up an idea that I just might try for the next few months: forced singleness.

She mentioned that when she met James, she was going through a period of time (9 months, to that point) where she was not looking for anything at all. She said that if it weren't for that time beforehand, she couldn't see her and James working out as well as they have. I then told her that I really don't do "alone" very well, but she suggested I give the whole "becoming a monk" thing (her words) a try.

So I'm wondering how such a vision quest works. Is there a specific timetable I should give myself? Some concrete steps or actions I should take during said period? I figure I'm already a month into the walkabout, should I wait another eight to eleven months to start actively finding a mate again? (Does semi-hitting on the cashier girl at the Hallmark store impede my progress?)

I've been having these sorts of relationship issues pop up lately, with the holidays, company parties and the one-year anniversary of the Great Christmas Debacle coming up. Not really "issues" per se, just a wanting to have someone around. Probably not the healthiest feeling in the world, I know, but I'm sure I'm not the only one with such thoughts. Maybe I do need some "me" time.

Or maybe, I just need sleep...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Christmas shopping is fun.

Christmas shopping when you actually have money and a job is funner.

Got about half of my list done with today. iPod nano for my dad, a top and two skirts for my mom, sweaters and shirts for other friends of mine.

Here's a question though: I have a female friend who is about 1-2 months pregnant for whom I bought a sweater today at Express (size M to be exact). But then I thought, "Hey, she may not be able to fit in this thing for much longer."

So, should I...
A) return the sweater and get something from a maternity shop, knowing that she'll only use something like that for a few months?
B) give my friend the sweater, knowing that she'll only be able to enjoy it for a little bit now, but be able to use it for most of next winter?

Thursday, November 24, 2005


My parents.

For whatever reason, I decided to volunteer to work today. Things were pretty rough. (You'd be surprised how angry people can get on a holiday about their money.) There were few people there to help me out with problems I was having. Add in a surprisingly high call volume and a lack of knowledge of the services I was supposed to provide (services that I don't usually deal with), and I left work an unhappy camper.

I came home to a house full of family members (some who were just leaving as I came in). I tried to destress a little before my meal, but the stress was pretty well expressed on my part. After everyone left, I started telling my folks about my day and the challenges I'd had, as well as the rough week I'd been having up to this point. They calmed me down, gave me some pointers, and suggested some things I could do to help myself (take notes, breathe, be cool, etc.). My dad being in the HR world and my mom working with a financial company herself helped give me a good perspective on how I should go about this gig from now on.

For all the small stresses that they give me sometimes, I'm amazed at how little I utilize them in times such as these. At the end of the conversation, I hugged them. (Mind you, that's pretty big in my world...) I truly am thankful that God gave me such wonderful parents.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I found the blog of a gal I used to date. It's on the site of the newspaper where she works. You can check it out here.

(Yes, I actually did go around with a gal this cool and articulate...)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I got a woman's phone number last night.

I went back to Theology on Tap last night (last mentioned here) to hear a local priest talk. The man's pretty well known around town, even has a weekly call-in TV show. He was speaking about discernment, relating his own tale about how he became a priest. I really enjoyed the talk, a lot more than the one last week. I even got the nerve to ask a question. ("How does one learn to think theologically?") I also saw Suzanne there. I waved to her, but that was all.

After the talk, I started talking with a guy I met a couple of weeks ago at my church's young adult group meeting. There was a gal standing next to him that I thought was his date. Turns out it was just a woman that was standing next to him. The three of us talked for a while, mostly about kids and the challenges of being a single parent. Obviously, I didn't contribute much to the conversation. I made my way out, but not before getting both their phone numbers. His number, because I figure I need to start hanging out with guys more often. Her number because... well, do I really need to explain? Actually, I thought that those two would get along pretty well, but we'll have to see what happens.

As for actually getting the number, I really don't know what came over me. To tell the truth, I think it was just because I felt so comfortable in that environment, being among young Catholics and all. So I guess I need to find the Catholic bars around town... ;)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I have an idea that might jumpstart my dating life. An intern.

I'll find a young, eager marketing student, and give them a project: me. I'll give them control of copy, photos, the whole works. They'll design an ad for me to put on one of the dating sites I belong to (that's right, "sites," plural). Hopefully, I'll get more responses to this campaign than with what I've been getting.

So if anyone out there has any ideas where I can find motivated students eager for a challenge, feel free to leave a comment.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Tonight, I went to an event put on by the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Theology on Tap. A series of talks on a series of topics relating to Catholicism as it relates to "young people," located at a downtown bar. Tonight's topic: sexuality. The speaker was a gentleman who was the director of Marriage and Family Life. During the talk, I came to one of two possible conclusions to take away from the talk.

One: this guy's not the best speaker I've ever heard.
Two: maybe I'm not Catholic after all.

I came in late, 5 minutes into his 30 minute speech. He was in the middle of a short mention of homosexuality that might have been more apropos of a Prop. 2 victory party. After speaking about that, the evils of cohabitation, in vitro fertilization, and other such things, I found myself disagreeing with just about everything the man said. That's when I realized that all he was mentioning was the party line. And that's when I began to worry. Am I really so horrible to go so against the church that I've grown up with? What do I do about it?

Needless to see, some soul-searching will be happening in the next few days.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Taken from Profgrrrrl, the results from my "Rate My Life" quiz.

This Is My Life, Rated
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

Yes, yes, definite room for improvement in certain areas. How to go about accomplishing those improvements, I'm still trying to figure out.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

My last full day in Portland: lots of driving, some losing money, some cheese and some frustrations. I'll tell you more later...

If, before last night, you were to tell me the wonders about Portland's salsa scene, I'd have probably laugh in your face. Now, I'd still laugh in your face, but that's just 'cause I'm a jerk.

Went to a nearby club for Salsa Night, and had a pretty good time. Definitely gave me thoughts on how to "get back out there" when I get home. Met a lovely gal named Paige, a TV produce for a local affiliate. We talked shop for a bit, danced, and talked some more. Unfortunately, she left before anything else could take shape. (Not that I was really expecting anything to happen, but hey, a guy can dream can't he?)

Today? Planning a trip to the Pacific coast. I would try to go visit Mt. Hood, but I've been told recent snows have made the roads there unnavigable (sp?). Time for more communing with nature.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Originally uploaded by hipsterwannabe.
This is probably the moment that will define this trip for me. While walking through a discount store (Nordstrom Rack, I believe), I saw these guys playing on the sidewalk. Immediately, I tried to take their picture. (One bad thing about this camera I'm using, as well as other digital cameras I've used: they suck for action shots.) After a couple of shots, I got in on the game. We played for about ten to fifteen minutes, then the guys left to go back to work.

Always nice to get some physical stimulation during one's vacation, no?

Gotta like this view

Sunny Downtown
Originally uploaded by hipsterwannabe.
The scene from the Japanese Gardens earlier today. Seriously, this place was really nice.


I just played hackey-sack with some businessmen in downtown Portland. Damn, I love traveling.

Visited the Japanese Gardens earlier. Thanks, profgrrrrl! Walking around the grounds (and also visiting the adjacent Rose Garden) that overlooked downtown, as well as getting lost in the Asian architecture, can do wonders for the soul. Seriously, I defy anyone who visits that place to tell me there's no God. It's worth the $6 or so admission cost, if you're ever in the area.

So now, here I am, munching on an Ahi Tuna Melt, listening to jazz music that could either come from "Sideways" or The Issac Mizrahi Show and watching the world go by. (I marvel that this place has an 80's-style sit-down video game machine wih Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga.)

Pictures are soon to come.


I've felt out of place here ever since I landed last night. Maybe that's the entire point of traveling, getting outside of yourself and all that jazz. But it's still a bit unnerving to go from a town that has a few hundred thousand hispanic folk to go to one that has a few hundred. (My guide book tells me that there's a good-sized Mexican population here, but I have yet to see it.)

This shop reminds me of so many that I used to frequent avoid back in college. (Not liking coffee has a small part to do with that...) Nirvana's Nevermind playing over the speakers, old furniture, interesting paintings of birds adorning the exposed brick wall. Very authentic. If I stayed in this place any longer, I could see myself growing some sort of facial hair and reading some piece of classic literature (maybe even that copy of War and Peace I picked up at B&N for $5...)

If you'll excuse me, I'm off to explore.


Okay, so I made a wrong turn in Dallas...

For reasons I won't explain here (yet), I ended up going on a jet plane to the Northwest. Already some highlights (checking into m first hipster hotel) and some lowlights (losing over $100 during my layover in Vegas). I've borrowed a wireless access card from the hotel where I'm staying, and I have a camera, so you'll get to see (almost) everything about my trip.

This should be fun...