Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fly on the Wall

I was waiting for my ride after work today. As I sat on a cement curb, three twenty-something guys gathered opposite the light pole to my right.

As I marveled over my new, cute wallet, I overheard one of the guys seeking advice from his buddies.

"...we've run into each other twice. It's got to be meant to be. She's hot, I mean, I'm nothing much to look at, but she's great. What should I do?"

"Is she single?"

"I don't know."

"What do you mean, did you get a look at her hand?"


"That's always the first thing I check."

Being out of the dating scene, I found this whole situation rather entertaining. Women naturally, and constantly, talk about dating and relationships. It was fascinating to hear about the chase from the perspective of the opposite sex. It was rather bizarro to find three guys asking for advice from each other.

There have been many times I've talked about rings with girlfriends. We know when it's a good idea to fake a wedding ring to wart off unwanted attention. We freak when a guy gets friendly even though they clearly should notice an engagement or wedding ring on the hand. We've experienced times when the lack of a wedding ring has given a guy false hope of meeting a cute, single girl.

I couldn't help want to sneak a peek of these three curiosities as the friend continued to ask questions about the hot girl. The one talking the most had a clumsy voice. I wondered if his voice reflected his appearance in some way. His friend had a sharper, more social demeanor. Up to this point, I hadn't heard the third guy speak.

It was like peering through a camera viewfinder. The lightpole limited my angle on the trio. In my quick glance, I saw two indiscernible side profiles and one young, white guy. He was average, slightly geekish, with a curly, brown beard. I wondered if these guys were university students or leaving their start-up jobs for the day.

The guys continued to chat as we all waited on the platform. Mr. Clumsy kept asking whether he should take action. The next time they run into each other, what would be the best move? I'm guessing that he also knows her from elsewhere because his familiarity and interest went beyond two encounters.

Gradually, the conversation moved towards bearded guy's drama. He shared that he's been chatting with this "really, sweet girl." He talked about how friendly and thoughtful she is, not gorgeous, but genuinely sweet person.

The most recent e-mail was a source of concern for him. I missed exactly what the issue was, but he fretted about next steps.

He was considering calling her and asked his buddies, "when should I call her?"

"Take it easy, don't rush it."

"Yeah, I know. But what do you think about 9 o'clock. That seems like a good time."

"Yeah, that sounds okay. But ... just apologize and move on."

"I agree, acknowledge it but don't discuss anyone more. She's gonna think... ."

"You sure? I mean ... "

"Just take it easy and be cool, you don't want to blow it."

I swear I never imagined hearing guy talk like this. There were times I wanted to offer some kind of female insight, but my guess is probably no better than theirs. It was strange to find guys that would so openly talk about their dating quandries, as if they were subtly asking for help. It's normal that both sexes worry, and worry, and worry about making the right impression. I just never imagined that I'd hear three guys giving each other advice and talk about their feelings. I suppose it's nice to know men and women have more similarities than we realize.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Things one learns from Polaroids

As a new Polaroid junkie, I joined Flickr to read and learn more about how to modify my cameras for different film, how to maintain it, and how to take better pictures.

A couple weeks ago there was a strangely titled posted "Beware of books..." that I had initially ignored because it didn't seem technical in nature. But after seeing dozens of posts added to this discuss each day, my curiosity got the best of me. The original post was followed by many comments expressing humor, joy, entertainment, gratitude, amazement, etc. With no explanation or embellishment, the first posting was simply a link to this. (WARNING: Careful about viewing this in a public space due to details in the photo - rated "R") How could I resist looking?

There isn't much to say. Nothing really surprises me these days. I wouldn't mind having one of the books for fun. As a kid I remember seeing one on a "3-2-1 Contact: The Bloodhound Gang" episode and was tempted to try and create my own using construction paper. I'm impressed with the guy's carving skills. ;)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Auctions and Crafts

Since my new job is keeping me pretty busy, I've adopted a policy of blogging almost never during work hours. Because of that, I have to admit that I've fallen quite a bit behind on logging what I've been up to.

Every time I'm supposed to be cleaning house, I'm inevitably doing one of four things... watching tv (mostly "Hell's Kitchen" and "So You Think You Can Dance"), play Lego Indiana Jones per the bidding a one carefree fiancee, surfing the Internet for wedding ideas, or wandering the local chain crafts stores. The results of my past month of auction bidding and craft store wandering have resulted in a couple of distractions. They've made for a very, very messy living room floor. My place is strewn with wedding related thing be it shoes, contracts, pictures, stamps, magazines,and now scrapbooking materials (especially with the awesome 4th of July sales). I can't imagine living like this for another three months. I desperately need to find a way to store this stuff in a more organized manner!

The first and key item I searched for is something that fits in the black bag you see there, an old-fashioned technology that makes me feel like a kid with a new toy. I have spent a grand total of $37 plus $30 shipping to purchase these awesome Polaroid cameras. The middle camera is one of the last consumer models sold by Polaroid, circa 2006? The other two cameras are lovely "antiques" that sold for some $200+ in 1980 and 1982. It's strange to think they're as old as my brother. Tim laughs at me when I coo and awe over how cute and interesting my "new" cameras are. Becoming a Polaroid junkie comes at a price, it's called $1 to $2 per shot. And since the film will stop being produced early next year, one either has to give up the hobby next spring or make room in the refrigerator for a lot of boxes.

The main purpose of buying a camera in the first place was to have a scrapbook guest book. Many brides select a photo booth or other delayed-gratification plan to capture all the guests. We thought this would be a fun way to allow people to express themselves not only through a photo but also in the way they dress it up on paper. We hope that my relatives and other older folks will tap their rusty, creative brain cells to come up with something that reveals their personality. (Okay, wishful thinking.) Among our friends, we're sure to get some great art.

The second part of this project means buying supplies with which people can make their scrapbook pages. I feel like that little girl who used to go to Paperdoll and buy a 10 cents tab of stickers when I was lucky enough to stray away from my mom at the mall. I'm not a scrapbook person, at least not in the past... seven years. Things have changed a lot since my simple but fun travel albums. The number of choices in paper, stickers, embellishments, etc. is totally overwhelming.

Every time I've walked into the local craft store my minimum wandering time has probably been 40 minutes. In the beginning, I didn't really have any strategy. I simply bought sheets of paper that fit two criteria - on sale and pretty. Over the past month (or two) I've collected a decent sample of papers that looked like they could make for a story. As Tim and I have worked through our wedding colors, invitation, and website, I've honed in on colors that fit the theme. Today, I was proud to finally finished amassing the color palette of background papers we will provide to our guests.

I'm SOOOOo excited. We're both incredibly happy with the colors that I came up with. It fits with colors that are very commonly "wedding" yet nothing is so girly individually that guys will stay far away like it's garlic to a vampire. There's burgundy which is Tim's favorite color, a fun word page with burgundy and yellow with orange tones, a warm yellow, ivy-embossed white, and a light beige/tan. I was aiming to match the hues of the wedding flowers, my bouquet in particular.

The next big challenge for me will be to create my own scrapbook. It's meant to chronicle our courtship and wedding planning process. Not only will it be a cute way to remember all that we've been through to get to this special day, but hopefully it will help people who are unfamiliar with scrapbooking some ideas on what to do with their Polaroids.