Archive for October, 2011

Diving into Dating Again

October 30, 2011

Diving Back into Dating Again

I’m back in Scottsdale and ready to dive back into dating. I changed my zip code from Munds Park to Scottsdale on the Internet dating site I use and waited to see who would email. I don’t know why I’m taking such a passive approach. I’m usually more assertive and look at my matches. And why not do some searching on my own? Maybe next week.

I had three dates in a week. I have ambivalent feelings about dinner for a first meeting. You can be trapped for hours with a bore or worse. And yet it’s enough time to figure out you don’t want to go out again.

I arranged to meet Mr. De-Bunker Fake Intellectual at a soup and salad restaurant. He started the conversation with “Have you read any book by Jeffrey Deever?” I am a former librarian with a penchant for murder mysteries, so I said “yes.” He proceeded to give me a précis of a book, definitely NOT written by Jeffrey Deaver, about how the Old Testament is a myth and the Jews have no right to Israel. Didn’t he read my profile? I clearly state I’m Jewish. Though not a Zionist or a big believer, this volley took me off guard. I didn’t debate with him. He was sure he had all the answers. When I tried to get the conversation on a personal level, he launched his long academic career (a BA in geology and then another in performing arts) and went on to catalog his job experience. He asked me no questions. I finally got to leave after a very long two hours, not hugging or touching him as he walked me to my car, and definitely not saying, “I look forward to hearing from you.”

A few days later I met Mr. Baseball at a bookshop café. We were both early but recognized each other. Unbelievably, we both looked exactly liked our pictures posted with our profiles. We talked for an hour and I found out he was a nice guy. But we had little in common and he lived twelve-step to the max. I’m iffy on God, so that wasn’t going to work. He emailed me a few hours later, saying we didn’t match and I emailed him back, agreeing and wishing him well. It was definitely worth my time to meet him and add another character to my stock for novels.

I met Mr. Left Wing Rush Limbaugh at a sports bar since it was the night of game 7 of the World Series. Baseball is not my thing, basketball is, but even I can manage enthusiasm for Game 7 and he was willing to drive from East Mesa to a place near my house. He laid it on thick right away. I was gorgeous, etc. When I called him on it, he put his hand on my chin and turned me to face his eyes. He said, “I won’t lie to you.” Oh great, a guy who either doesn’t recognize over-the-top flattery or bald-faced lies about it. He asked about my writing and we discussed it briefly. He wanted to talk about the book he was writing, a diatribe on how the conservatives have ruined America. I am an old lefty too, but he was raging. He suggested a tactic if the Republicans privatize social security. He asked where we could get food, clothing, shelter, and protection for free. Jail, of course, was his answer. All seniors should demonstrate and get arrested by Sheriff Joe Arpaio (he had an entire “Ode to Joe” that was pornographic.) Since my son has been in jail, I had some knowledge about the county jails and tried to break his bubble that they would provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, or protection. He said we could file a lawsuit a day and shut down the courts.

He laced much of his conversation with four letter words, inappropriate as far as I’m concerned on a first date.

I asked whether he had participated in Occupy Phoenix. He said that he and his brother considered it but there was a Penn State football game scheduled at the same time. What a hypocrite!

His manner was angry. He criticized the wait staff but in truth, we were here for the game so what did slow service matter? When the waitress brought the check at the eighth inning, I saw my opportunity to leave. I told him that we were not a match, that I was a patient and tolerant person and he was a more agitated one. I didn’t say angry, although that’s what I thought. He asked to walk me to my car, but I declined and left before he had paid the tab so he wouldn’t follow me. I could see he wanted to cop a kiss and a feel. No way! I imagine he would be an interesting person to meet at a party, but not someone I would date. Think Louis Black but not as funny, bright, or right.

So am I going up already? No. I’m meeting a new guy at a Starbuck’s on Tuesday. No more dinners!

Pacing It In For the Winter

October 18, 2011

Packing it in for the Winter

I’m enjoying sitting on my front porch writing. It’s been cold here in the mountains at night, but glorious during the day. I have four more days before I leave for the winter in Scottsdale. Munds Park is getting less populated by the day as the summer folks head home.

It’s an easy move for me. I only bring my clothes and laptop back and forth from Scottsdale, so it doesn’t take much time to pack up. I brought my pots of plants and sewing machine back a few weeks ago.

I’m so goal oriented that I had to look back over the past five months and see what I’d achieved: acted in a play, had my granddaughter stay up here for a week, had good times with two guys, learned to meditate, saw Sheryl Crow and B. B. King, went to Sheri’s exercise class, didn’t gain weight, revised my novel (but it still needs more work,) started a new novel, started a book club which I don’t have to direct, led one writing group, was in two others, got the bathroom redone and the house leveled, and raked my own pine needles. All in all, a fulfilling summer.

It’s always difficult for me to acclimate back to the city. I love being near my good friends and my family. I sorely miss them during the summer. And I’ll substitute teach in grades K-5 in the Alhambra district, from which I retired. It’s good money and I enjoy the kids. I’ll have to become more social again. My mountain time is a solitary existence. And I’ll have to make writing a priority or it gets pushed to the back. I may even try internet dating again.

The trees finally showed their fall colors! Sharon and I went through Oak Creek Canyon. Here are a few photos.

Everything’s Yellow

October 10, 2011

Everything’s Yellow

It’s turned cold in Munds Park, in the twenties and thirties at night and the fifties and sixties during the day. Why haven’t the leaves started to turn? Everything is still a cheery yellow:  many different wildflowers, sun glinting off the pines, and one type of tree that starts out with yellow leaves in the spring, then they turn green for the summer, and yellow again in the fall.

wildflowers still blooming

Weird tree that starts out yellow in the spring, turns green in summer, and yellow again in the fall

I’m scheduled to leave my mountain retreat next Monday, and I want to see the fall foliage before I go back to the Valley of the Sun.

I guess I’m clinging to the summer just like the leaves on the trees. It is somewhat isolated up here, but I have plenty of time to write. I have a healthy perspective of my problems at home with my youngest son. It’s so much easier to refuse request for money or assistance if I’m two hours away. I have to confront the problems head on when I’m living there with him in Scottsdale. I’m gathering my strength and resolve.

And then there’s the dating scene. It’s been easy to put it out of my mind up here. I tried for a few months and nothing worked out. But when I get back to town, I have expectations that I’ll start looking online again. My sister is much more disciplined at it than I, and therefore much more successful. She says it’s all a numbers game and I have to keep meeting guys until a good fit comes along. I know she’s right, but I’m going to have to psych myself up for it.

Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy the mountains. Sparky and I wear our sweaters and perch by the wall electric heaters. Perhaps I’ll take a ride up the San Francisco Peaks. The trees must be turning there. Or down 89A, through Oak Creek Canyon. A few years ago I did that and saw lots of yellow leaves.

Annie in Oak Creek Canyon 2009

A Lesson on Aging from B.B. King

October 5, 2011

A Lesson on Aging from B.B. King

B. B. King and Lucille

I went to a B.B. King concert on Sunday evening at Fort Tuthill Amphitheater south of Flagstaff. We sat in row three, about ten feet from the stage because I bought the tickets in May, right after the concert was announced. The weather was iffy, but it was a “rain or shine” concert. Our seats were under the permanent canopy, so the only thing that would have interfered would have been thunder and lightning. But the sky cleared up and it was a beautiful if chilly evening. We had come prepared for the cold, so we just sat back and enjoyed ourselves.

Being the inveterate shopper, I hit the merchandise table and bought a B. B. King zippered sweatshirt and the three CD set of his greatest hits.

The warm-up act was okay, but not great. The band itself sounded good, but the lead singer sounded like he was working too hard. It came off like a Vegas lounge act. We were given a free CD of his music, but the copyright date was 2006. I haven’t had the urge to play it.

B. B. King’s band came out first and jammed. They were fantastic. Here are a few pictures that I hope convey how into they were.


I was nervous before the star came out. Would he be over the hill and I would see him on the downhill slide, a pathetic ghost of his former self? I wasted my time worrying. B. B. King was great. If you get a chance to see him, go!

He made a few accommodations for his age. He sat for the entire concert. He was on for about an hour, with no encore. Not only does he still have it, he emanated how much fun he was having. He sang on key, with feeling. He moved his hands and head to show he had his mojo. He played Lucille, his guitar, with finesse.

B. B. King reminded me that when you love something like music, or writing, or golf, or whatever, it gives you the verve to keep a bounce in your step and lightness in your heart no matter how old you are. It keeps your spirit alive.