Friday, October 25, 2013

Dating in 2013

We all know that dating these days is very different from when our parents dated. They met the love of their lives in high school or worked together. They fell madly in love and have been together for 30+ years. Sadly, that's just not the way things work today.

Heck, even if you did meet your significant other in high school, chances that you are still together, sadly, are quite slim. The difference these days is the internet and the hundreds of different dating sites out there.

I've done them all, OK Cupid, Match, Plenty Of Fish, EHarmony, Tinder, etc.

As most stories of online dating begin, you start with a wink, that leads to an email, then exchanging phone numbers. You text each other, maybe a phone call to confirm the number exchanged, and you set up a date for drinks or dinner. You meet at the chosen destination and you lose all track of time. There's good chemistry and engaging conversation (score for you, you didn't get a dud!). Then the bill comes and you part ways with a hug and 'I'll talk to you later'.

The next day you send a 'thank you' text to show your interest and that you are not greedy and just looking for some free drinks or meal.  In most cases, you don't get a response. He didn't really mean 'I'll talk to you later', he was just being polite and letting you feel like a winner for the night.

On rare occasion you do get a second date, and maybe even a third and fourth. You continue to chat periodically to see if you get a response. As time goes by, you talk less and don't set up plans. You've been fizzled out.

At this stage in life, a lot of people are set in their ways and you are just not a part of their life (yet?). Or, where the usual problem lies, is that so many people are on dating sites, and most likely, multiple sites. The pool of potential dates is seemingly endless. Unless you're me.

I saw this image from Tinder twice in one day, in two different cities. Match? I've winked and emailed, and in 1.5 months have only received one response to an email. Even when the guy initiates conversation, they don't respond. Why? Because you are being compared to the next person he emailed. You are being compared to the next person who poked, winked, or matched this fella.

This person has a better smile or is thinner. She has an MBA or is a Doctor. Truth is, there is always someone better out there than you. But why do we all feel like we have to constantly be on the search for the biggest (or thinnest) and best thing out there? Why can't we see if what's right in front of us will work? While everyone is looking for perfection, you are losing the opportunity to make something else work. Something that could turn into perfection with a little time.

From my experience. Perfection on the outside is far from perfect on the inside. This idea of dating and always looking for something better, really puts a damper on ones confidence. What was wrong with me? Too fat? Too low maintenance? Too high maintenance (not likely)?? Bad personality?

I guess my whole point here is that dating now is rather pointless. Most people are just looking for something better until the next best thing comes along.

Fact: The guy who started Match, his wife left him for someone she met on Match. Betcha you're glad you started that site, eh, Mr.

Disclaimer: This post was written in pure bitterness and complete hormonal mess.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wedding and a Burger

I feel like just when I was getting in to this whole 'blogger' thing, I lost complete interest. Ok, maybe not interest, but lack of inspiration. Yes, that's it. Lack of inspiration. I don't know what inspired me to write before, but I go through writing funks. You should see all my diaries and journals from centuries past. I'd write for a good stretch, bare my soul, and then the pages would remain empty and the cover dusty until my funk went away or I met some super duper boy who smiled at me and I thought I had to write that down so I could re-read about the moment 50 years down the road.

Any-hoo. I did go to a spectacular wedding over the weekend and we had Sister Dinner this week. Two things I'd like to remember, so let's recap, shall we?

Friday morning I picked up some wine, champs and coffee and headed over to Kari and Kates so we could head East to Milwaukee. We arrived around 4:00 and quickly checked into the hotel before the girls had to leave for rehearsal. I bummed around in the room curling my hair and taking really creative pictures of wine, and then of course, drank said wine.

If you like red's, totes check this stuff out. It's been my new go-to wine. I'm usually a cab or merlot drinker, but this Big Bold Red is a bit fruitier and more smooth. Love it.

Tim and Lauren arrived and we decided we'd walk to Water Street and find a place for dinner. We checked out a couple of menu's and decided on Distil. The food that I had wasn't anything super special. I had a cobb salad, (pretty standard) and we all started with the cheese curds (always amazing in WI), but the atmosphere and cocktails are definitely worth checking out.

After dinner we walked down to the Metro Hotel for $5 martinis and decided we needed to go dancing. After checking out a couple of clubs/bars we finally settled on Apartment 720. It's this single wooden door most people would probably just walk past, then you climb some steep stairs and boom, party time! We danced til close and wandered back to our hotel where Tim steam rolled Kari (it's not dirty trust me.) and then we proceeded to stuff our face holes with the best pizza from Toppers while sitting Indian style on the floor of the room.

Next thing we new it was Saturday morning. While trying to put ourselves together, we stumbled across a cock roach on the floor. Gross. I stopped by the front desk to let them know and they credited us with $50 for food. So we went to breakfast, loaded up our plates with everything we possibly could from the buffet. When we got back to our room, the roach was still there even though the cleaners had already been through to clean the room. Not very thorough, eh? So, management came up finally and got the little bugger we named Charlie. As the manager was taking Charlie away he said he would be back with some champagne for the room! Boom!
We toasted to Charlie and thanked him for the champs. Soon after or toast it was time to head to the church.  
The church was gorgeous and so was the ceremony. I just don't understand why us Catholics have to have an hour long service? All that kneeling, standing, sitting, repeat after me. It's a lot to take in.

We had a couple of hours to kill between the ceremony and the reception so we all met back at the hotel and my cousin Jaime and her husband Nathan met us at the hotel bar for some beers. It was so fun to actually be able to meet up with them.

Unfortunately, the last shuttle to the reception site was waiting and we had to say 'see ya later', but now it was reception time!! My favorite part of weddings, except for when the bride walks down the aisle and when the bride and groom are announced husband and wife.

The reception was at the Milwaukee Club which is a stunning venue. It's an old club downtown Milwaukee and we were in the ballroom upstairs. You know how most weddings you go to you always have something you think could have been done better? Not this one. From the photo booth and food to the bar, music, and even the guests, it was perfect. Bridget and Andy have been planning this event for over a year and they definitely got all the big and small details right. for some reception pictures.

Ball Room
Beautiful couple 
Table 10!
Kari and I
Minneapolis crew in Milwaukee!
I must add that this was the tallest wedding of all time. Andy, the groom is the runt of his family at 6'8". His father and brothers are all 7'. Same with Bridget. She is the shortest in her family at 5'8" and her father is also pushing 7'. I had such a great time celebrating the love and marriage of Andy and Bridget!


Sister Dinner - Juicy Lucy #2

Last night Kayla, Kari and I met at Vincent's for what he dubs a 'Vincent Burger'. It's totes amazeballs (totes hope people reading this know I don't actually use totes and amazeballs in real life). 

We started with some wine and poutine before digging in to our Vincent Burgers which are ground beef stuffed with braised short ribs and smoked gouda. Tell me your mouth isn't just salivating right now?

Vincent's is a French restaurant, so you wouldn't typically think to go there for a burger, but it's one of the best burgers I've ever had. I've been to Vincent's several times and they never disappoint. The food is always excellent, the service is top notch and the atmosphere is warm and inviting yet sleek.

If you can make it on time, you can also get the Vincent Burger as a happy hour special. Double score for you and your wallet.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Life Adventures Before 30

Life has a funny way of sneaking up on us out of nowhere and being like 'Hey! Stop waiting around and make shit happen!'  Ok, Life, I hear you.

It took a long time to put back together the pieces of a shattered heart. It took a long time to know what true friends are. It took a long time to know what it really means to be happy with myself.

Well, Life. My heart is whole. My friends are true. I am happy with me. Let's get to the fun stuff shall we?

This coming year is going to be a big year. In August I turn 30. In August I'll be 100% debt free. It will also mark three years of not using a single credit card and only living off what I make. It's been hard, but it showed me I don't need much and if I really want something, usually a vacation, a little sacrifice goes a long way.

I'm not going to make a 30 before 30 list. I am however, going to make a list of items on my bucket list to do each month leading up to August 2014. I hope someone will join me on these little outings!

1. Join a Wine Club- My fav liquor store, Sid's, has a Wine Club I'm most certainly going to look in to.

2. Take a vacation - already booked and on the calendar. Cabo - January 2014!!

3. Sit in a green cushioned seat at a Twins game.

4. Plan a 'cocktail' party at your new apartment this Spring (or earlier if the stars align).

5. Go to a show at Bryant Lake Bowl.

6. Take a cooking class.

7. Go ice skating at the Depot or Rice Park.

8. Go to a vineyard.

9. Take a photography class

10. Kick ass. Take names.


Finally, I have a great kettle bell workout for anyone that wants to walk like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I did this workout on my own last night since the other girls in my small group hadn't done the workout I did on Monday. I will definitely be doing this again when I'm looking for a good sweat session or a pick me up.

Do each set for 1 min with 20 seconds rest x 4

Circuit 1
15 lbs squats
15 lbs single arm press
20 lbs single leg dead lift ( 1 min each side)
25 lbs sumo squat high pull

Circuit 2
20 lbs squat with figure eight
20 lbs single arm row ( 1 min each side)
20 lbs kettle bell pushup
25 lbs kettle bell swing

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ketchup, Catch-up, Catsup

Where to begin? I feel like I haven't had much time to sit down and write anything, but at the same time, I feel like nothing has been going on that's worth writing out and remembering some time down the road.

Here are some things that have been going on lately.

I am signing up for another 10 sessions of small group training. The workouts are completely killer and mood altering (I feel amazing and so happy after every workout). I've been going twice a week for the last 5 weeks and have seen some big changes in my body that only I would see right now. It's Fall and that means lots of layers which means no one will see much change. I'm hoping come January, when I'm laying on the beach in Cabo, people will notice the hard work I've been putting in. Just have to make sure Thanksgiving and Christmas don't sabotage all my hard work.

One of my co-workers trains German Shepherds and brought in her new three month old pup. This little girl was so well behaved and kept hiding behind her mom. I love my little girl, but there are definitely times I wish I had a larger dog.

Speaking of my little girl, we got to partake in some serious cuddle time on Saturday morning before she had to spend a majority of the day home alone. She usually prefers to sleep in her bed or kennel but sometimes she just needs some good cuddle time with her momma.

When we don't have rainy, dreary mornings like we've had this week, we've been blessed with some pretty incredible sunrises. I love a good sunset, but sunrises are my favorite. They seem a little more special since less people are up to enjoy them. The last time I was in Cabo I went down to the beach to watch the sunrise on our last morning. It was just me and a man fishing down the beach. 

This past weekend was the Gunter Way Pub Crawl/Birthday Party. Someday when I have a house, I'm going to make sure all my friends live on the same block too. Each house had a signature drink, so we went house to house and played games while enjoying our cocktails. I realized I have absolutely no filter when I talk and have some drinks in me, which either makes for fun or really embarrassing conversations. That's to be determined.

Shoes. I'm sure almost every girl out there has heard of JustFab. I took the plunge and ordered a pair of boots off their site about a month back because they had a deal where your first order was only $19.95 plus free s&h. I didn't think I was going to like them. I thought they were going to be cheap and uncomfortable. I was so wrong. I ordered another pair of booties and they are even cuter and more comfortable than the first pair I ordered! Perfect for jeans, leggings or dresses/skirts! I would definitely recommend trying them out if you are looking for some trendy, affordable, but most importantly comfortable, shoes.

About a month ago there was a Crowd-cut deal for Vino2Go. I ordered two and thought the Gunter Way Pub Crawl would be the perfect place to test it out. I brought two bottles of wine and managed to only spill on my self once, and I'm pretty sure that was just because I was nearing the bottom of the bottle and I couldn't quite find my mouth. I'm excited for summer already so I can try this out on the lake. No glass breaking this summer!

And that about wraps up my very mundane life at the moment. I do have some fun weekends coming up, like a wedding in Milwaukee, a trip to Sioux Falls and friends weekend at the cabin.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Weekend Review: Octoberfest!

Another Monday, another recap.

This weekend was pretty craptastic in the weather department. It rained about 80% of the time, but I kind of ok with this grey, wet and chilly weather. I'm more than happy to be able to wear boots and sweaters, however, I'm not quite ready to give up my flip flops just yet.

Saturday morning I was up bright extremely early. I had to bring my car in to get whatever was causing my check engine light to be on, fixed. I've been taking my car to this Aamco station not far from my house and every time I go it is extremely entertaining. I was there by 8:00 AM and the place was already packed with folks just sitting around shooting the breeze, asking when they should come back so they can open the bottles of wine that were sitting behind the desk. If you care to know, the answer to that is noon on Saturdays. If you care to get hit on while in sweats and maybe play some scratch offs, this is also the place for that. It took about two hours before I got my keys back and was able to head home and spend some quality cuddle time with Miley and Trixie.

I was so excited for Saturdays festivities because it was Octoberfest! There is a really fun German bar in NorthEast called Gasthofs and they do a big Octoberfest celebration. They put tents up in their parking lot, have live polka, hammerschlagen and lots and lots of beer.

This was my first time celebrating Octoberfest. Next time I celebrate I want to go down to LaCrosse, WI where they have one of the largest Octoberfest celebrations in the country!

It didn't take very long before everyone was feeling pretty good and started heading home. Since the night was still very young some of us went to The Front for some dancing and to meet up with some other friends. If you enjoy dancing without getting felt up then The Front is the place for you. DJ Dirty Duke spins the hottest Michael Jackson, Prince, Beyonce, etc.

Sunday was spent in bed with the pups, starting movies and falling asleep 20 minutes in. I watched the beginning of about 3 movies, so I'll have to find a night to watch the middle and end of all of those. It's precisely why I prefer going out on Fridays. Then I can be a complete pile on Saturdays and actually accomplish things on Sunday.

In other news, compliments go a long way. I've been doing small group training sessions for about 3.5 weeks now and I have been getting in some workouts on my own. Kirk said it looks like I've lost a little weight and that my strength has really improved so far. That has actually helped me want to push myself harder and really make this year the year I get back in shape and go in to my 30's completely rocking at life. Session #8 is tonight and he posted what our workout is going to be. I don't know if I'm looking forward to it or if I'm dreading it, but I do know it'll be an ass kicker.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Catch up

Well, hello there. Excuse me while I ignore this little piece of the internet where I blab about pointless happenings in my life. As you know, I only take pictures with my iphone, and ever since the recent ios7 update, my pictures haven't been uploading so I haven't felt like writing anything.

I think I figured out the glitch, so here's what's been happening lately.

There is a new Whole Foods opening downtown and they were passing out cloth bags and coupons in the skyway. With my love for free things, I of course snatched up a bag. How cute are these by the way?

I felt extra snobbish shopping at Byerly's the other morning with my Minneapolis Whole Foods bag. Like I'm better than Byerly's or something. I only shop there because I get anxious in large grocery stores, and I know they have the chicken I buy. Smart Chicken folks, you'll never go back to your old chicken ways again. Truth.

Over the weekend I did a whole lot of nothing mixed in with a whole lot of soup making.

This is an Ali original. Carrots, peas, corn, spinach, navy beans, potatoes, celery, and onion with some chicken broth, thyme, and salt n' peppa for taste. It's pretty scrumptious if I do say so myself. I also made some chicken wild rice soup. Two batches, actually. One for my lunches and one for mom and dad. I love cooking and soups are the easiest thing ever to make. They also make great lunches. Now I can spend my lunch breaks outside running or sweating my ass off in the gym and just come back and heat up some soup.

Besides soup making, I spent a lot of time on the couch with this sweet heart and Miley.

Oh, sorry, Miley would be the sweet heart, not the wine. Anyway, we stayed up way too late on Friday chatting and Tindering. Set up a 'date', if you will, for Saturday, and like most meet and greets, I thought it went well, they did not, and here I sit a bit confused. Maybe I'll go back to just thinking about me for a couple more months. Dating is hard and makes no sense. The next date I go on, I'm going to have him fill out an evaluation form so I can work on whatever it is that he found annoying or the reason why there will be no second date.

I digress. Monday I took my run to the river.  I forget how much my knees hurt running outside vs. running on a treadmill.

The weather around here has been absolutely superb. I love early Fall where the leaves are just starting to change, there's a crispness in the air, but you don't have to wear a jacket quite yet.

I managed to get in just over 4 miles before I had to wander back to the office and do complete mind numbing work for the remainder of the day. I had my 6th session with Kirk on Monday though, and I realized that is the best way to end a Monday. Taking out any frustrations from your work day on lifting heavier weights and not giving up and just pushing through. Session #7 is tonight and I'm ready for a good sweat session..

Finally, I treated my mom to dinner last night at Pittsburgh Blue since my dad wasn't going to be home for dinner. They have a great happy hour dinner menu, so we soaked up the great Fall weather on their patio and enjoyed some wine and filet.

In a nutshell, my life is still completely boring with not much excitement to talk about except some workouts and wine drinking. Now if only wine drinking was a work out.

Until next time blog land. Ali. Out.