Friday, August 23, 2013

Am I Under Arrest?

Not quite as powerful as Walt's "Tread Lightly"
line last week, but it was good stuff.
If you are a fan of the show Breaking Bad, then you completely understand the title of this post. I have not been a fan of Skyler White ever since the very first episode, but she was awesome in this scene.

 Don't worry - there will be no spoilers here.

Anyone who watches the show knows that this is the final season and it has been intense.

Now, I am a huge fan of the show, but apparently my enthusiasm isn't anywhere near the intensity of the fans in Connecticut. Last Sunday, right before Breaking Bad was about to start, cable service was interrupted along the Connecticut coastline. The town of Franklin went particularly insane. The police station was inundated with phone calls. One lady called 911 and few households even called their senator to get their service restored. It got so bad that the police department issued a warning to the public on their Facebook page reminding them that a lack of television service does not constitute an emergency or concern the police in any way. Stop calling the station. It's not like this is HBO.

A few years ago, a Florida woman was arrested for calling 911 three times when her local McDonald's ran out of McNuggets. Her arrest was deserved, but it's not that surprising when an individual does something stupid. This thing in Connecticut involved a whole town. The whole town lost their freaking minds. What in the world is going through your mind to cause you to call your senator (Let me repeat that. They called their senator.) simply because you are worried you might miss a television show?

Oh! Look at those eyes!
I must have one of those drinks.
I love my TV, but I don't even call the cable company until it has been out for at least a couple of hours. This makes me suspect that there just isn't much going on in Franklin. To further prove my point, two days later, the neighboring town of Shelton (only 16 miles down the road) makes the news when a shop owner is injured while trying to stop the theft of two life-size cut outs of David Hasselhoff.

We may never know if the people there are huge fans of the Hoff or if this is just an extremely uneventful region of the East Coast, but I can definitely relate to having nothing to do. The town I live in is not exactly a bustling center of cultural activity. Despite having over 15,000 people, not a lot happens here. Check out this front page headline from one of the local papers last month.

All the news that fit to print.
Keep in mind, this is a front page story. FRONT PAGE! This is the July 13, 2013 edition of the Mt. Vernon Register News reporting on the possible new windows for the local National Guard armory. For those of you that don't remember what was happening a month ago, this was the same day that
  • Edward Snowden requested asylum from Russia. 
  • The George Zimmerman trial went to Jury. 
  • Janet Napolitano (Homeland Security Secretary) resigned.
  • The Asiana Airline crashed and a passenger was run over by a rescue truck.
  • Millions of dollars were donated to the families of Sandy Hook victims
 With all that was going on in the world, our paper decided to remind us that nothing was happening here.

Once again...FRONT PAGE!  
It just doesn't get better than that.

I think I'm ready to graduate and move away.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Someone to Love

Due to my recent class schedule (and new job that actually expects me to do stuff), I have been busy enough that my blogging has slowed down significantly. Plus, I have been spending a substantial amount of time with Red of Doesn't Speak Klingon.

For my regular readers, you already know that we met through our blogs. We regularly commented on each others' posts and it just grew from there. For those of you that are newer readers, Red and I met through our blogs. We regularly commented on each others' posts and it just grew from there. However, for the people in our real lives (non-bloggers), they were not present to see this blogging love drama play out.

Every time one of us meet a member of the other person's family or group of friends, we are asked, "How did you meet?"

It's a legitimate question since there was a 900 mile distance between us when this first started. Even today, we have been actual face-to-face dating for over a year, but have to travel 200 miles to see each other. People tend to wonder how we got together. Plus, people are nosy.

When asked the question, we always smile and say "We met online."

Nosy interrogator: "OH! A dating site?"

Us: (at the same time, emphatically, and loudly): "NO!"

I don't know why we have always been so adamant about making sure people understand we did not meet on a dating site. In fact, we each very quickly try to make it clear that neither of us has ever had a dating profile. It just seems to reek of a desperation we don't want to be associated with.

However, I do understand the immediate assumption. I've heard that 1 out of 4 new relationships are started online and most of those are the result of dating sites. Personally, I know a few dozen people who are dating someone they met through a dating site and even know of a few marriages.

All this came to mind last night when I saw a commercial on television for a dating site called Farmers Only. It is an online dating site for country people. Their motto is "Because city folks just don't get it."

Seriously? Do we really need a dating site that specifically caters to ranchers and farmers? Now, I am not being critical of these people. I grew up in the country and proudly identified myself as a redneck.

Not a hick…a redneck. There is a difference.

As ridiculous as this seems, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense to me. Since most dating profiles consist of a picture and a short description, you could easily waste a lot of your time scouring profiles of people who are radically different than you. Not that country people and city people couldn't ever make it work, but commonalities are usually more compatible than differences. Finding someone who has the same mindset as you would give a much better success rate. Why not narrow the field a bit? If you were a cattle rancher, your future spouse would have to be someone who was happy living the life of a cattle rancher's wife.

It just made me wonder, if this service was being marketed to the niche market of farmers, what other people groups might benefits from a personality specific type of service?

I turned to the internet and soon found a site for people who had grown disenfranchised from the mainstream dating sites. Try to imagine this scenario. You are looking for love and have had no luck in the real world, so you start an online dating profile. As I mentioned before, most profiles consist of a short bio and a picture. Unfortunately, you are not what most people would consider attractive.

When a picture of your ugly mug is on a dating site with hundreds of other people's more attractive pictures, it quickly becomes depressing when no one wants to contact you and no one returns your invitations to talk. What are you supposed to do?

Luckily, there is a site just for you and the other Uggos. The Ugly Bug Ball is a dating site for the aesthetically average. It sounds really depressing.

Another site that does something similar, but in a more positive way is The Big & the Beautiful. This site is all about being comfortable with who you are. It is for bigger girls and the men who love them. The site actually used the term chubby chasers.

On the other end of the spectrum is Beautiful People. If you are one of the beautiful people of the world and feel that you deserve an equally attractive mate and shouldn't be lumped in with all the "less than spectacular" people, then this is the site for you. However, you had better be sure you actually are a beautiful person or you may be hit with a dose of reality. You can't just join the site. The uggos are not allowed. You must submit pictures which will be put on the site to be judged by the current members. IF you are deemed attractive enough, they will let you in.

From there, the sites just got more specific. Whether you are attractive or not, if you are a nerd, Nerd Passions is there to help you find your future nerdy spouse. You can even specify what is is that makes you a nerd. Do you want someone to play video games with? Are you looking for a date to Comic-Con? Do you want someone to accompany you to Magic the Gathering nerdfests? It would be better to pick up a girl from this site so there would be no surprises when she finds out you will spend more time with Lara Croft than you ever will with her. If you happen to be an African American, but are concerned that white people just don't make the right kind of nerds, there is even a specific site for Black Nerds.

A year ago, I went to a cookout at Red's parents' house. Her dad made some fantastic pork chops. As I dove into this culinary delight, I looked over to discover that Red was eating a large mushroom. What? A mushroom?  I love my meat. I can't think of any animal that I wouldn't eat given the chance. Now, Red is not a vegetarian, but does not share my love of animal flesh. We have worked it out, but believe it or not, there is a dating site that addresses this issue. Veggie Date is a dating site for vegetarians and those who love the vegan lifestyle.

For people who love to read, it is sometimes frustrating to hold a conversation with someone who hasn't picked up a book since high school. Alikewise is specifically for bibliophiles (book lovers) and even pairs people up by the types of books they most enjoy. If you are very, very specific about the books you read and must have someone who agrees, The Atlasphere is for Ayn Rand fans. Specifically, fans of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. I like Ayn Rand, but WOW!

Seeking Arrangement, Sugar Daddies, and What's Your Price are all sites for women looking to be pampered by a wealthy and generous man. On one of these sites, the women can join for free and only the men pay. In fact, if a man in interested in going out with a woman on the site, they can begin a negotiation with the site as a mediator to agree on a price for a date. Until a price is agreed upon, the communication feature is locked.

There are sites for Christians, Democrats, Mormons, people over 50 years old, people who are looking for a mate covered in tattoos and piercings, people who don't want children, and even people who are Apple or Mac lovers. It seems that someone has set up a dating site for what ever your special interest may be. I found dating sites based on beer, yoga, coffee, fashion, travel, golf, chocolate, and frugals (cheap skates). Some revolved around professions: lawyers, millionaires, psychics, teachers, and ballet dancers.

I even found a site for people who are HIV Positive. This one kind of makes sense. If you have AIDS, another person who already has it would probably be the place to start looking for a match.

I just can't imagine having to have this much in common with another person. I wonder if there is a site out there for self-employed midget psychic ex-con Libertarians who love bird watching and ethnically-based stand-up comedy. Whether there is or not, I firmly believe there's someone out there for everyone.