New Year Resolutions Update

So I know I’m two months late giving my half-year update on these resolutions that I do my damned-est to stick by. And now that the new school has started, I’m more
determined that ever to stay with them.

1. Getting my kids to school on time REALLY means get Mr. Nathan to school on time. We now “leave” at 8am. A full 15 minutes before we have to at the bell. THIS WAS A GAME CHANGER! He hasn’t been late since January and I don’t receive any more calls. This is what we call a modern day miracle.

2. Photograph kids, family, travels, once a month without using my iphone. Cough. Cough. I’ve photographed my recent trip to Croatia, Montenegro and Ireland which included family, but not my kids. Sigh. Halloween is just around the corner though and I do that EVERY year. Maybe I should stick with a once a year resolution?

3. Take a video editing class. Done. Now if I could just practice what I’ve learned and actually add it to my skill set…

4. Swim 2-3 times per week during Spring and Summer. Mission accomplished. Although, now that school has started for Mr. Nathan, summer finished sooner that I would have liked. I REALLY need to figure out how to swim before work because it’s the perfect start to my day.

5. Save at least $1500 a month. Bah ha ha. Well, I did try for the first couple of months and simply was stretched too thinly financially. So I adjusted to something a bit more reasonable like $500 and I haven’t felt it yet. So…that’s something right?

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life: a daily photo

Redondo Beach, Ca
November 28, 2013
Mr. Nathan, Miss Emma and Ms. Connoisseur

Mr. Nathan, Miss Emma, Ms. Connoisseur of Life

Mr. Nathan, Miss Emma, Ms. Connoisseur of Life

Surrounded by works of amazing photographers, I refuse to go to the mall to take posed family portraits. I also refuse to pay hundreds of dollars to have a family portraits taken, posed or otherwise by any of these amazing photographers. I am what I call, an idiot for being so stubborn. My result is that I don’t have any good photos with me and my children.

This is my first posed family portrait, on Thanksgiving Day no less, so I become a sentimental fool when I look at it. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have something I love.

Lesson learned?–Date a photographer.

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Photo credit: Mr. Film Photographer

Cue the Applause

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Los Angeles, Ca —— Mr. Nathan Reading During Christmas Break

Yes, I know it’s not the first of the year.  But my first resolution didn’t need to start until today! Honest.

1. Get the kids to school on time

2. Photograph kids, family, travels once a month without using my iphone

3. Take a video editing class

4. Swim 2-3 times per week during Spring and Summer

5. Save at least $1500 a month

Today is the first day of school of second quarter, after a LONG three weeks off for the holidays.  I’m thrilled to be back to the routine.  But I was notoriously late 2-5 minutes nearly everyday last quarter and I refuse to let that happen anymore.  I am tired of receiving the daily automated phone call “Your child was tardy for one or more periods today…please send a letter explaining…” yada, yada.

Dear Mr. Nathan’s school, um, that would be because my tired ass is T.I.R.E.D.  Who doesn’t like sleeping!??  And why can’t his teacher just look away when she sees Mr. Nathan running to get in line outside his classroom? It’s not like he’s walking in during a lesson.  They haven’t even sat down for instruction yet. For heaven’s sake, there could have been a traffic jam or maybe he had to tie his shoe laces (they’re velcro, you say?–hmmm) or maybe he leads the secret life of a superhero and flew in from saving a cat in a tree!

I have no one to blame but myself.  There is no reason that my children should be late and if I really want Mr. Nathan to start making life-long friendships, he’s got to get there earlier enough to socialize and get the jitters out before he sits down to take over the world with his mind.

Day one down; only 249 more school days to go.  And no phone call today. Cue the applause.

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Photo credit: Ms. Connoisseur of Life

dating life: a guide to online dating profile etiquette

Los Angeles, CA
Online Dating Screenshots
Various Dates

My online dating profile is well-written with no spelling errors. I have no duck-lip-faced photos nor do I have any sexy photos. Four of my five pictures posted, are smiling shots of me in a nice top and blazer. That is me.

I’m not trying to be someone I’m not nor do I to be perceived easy, because I’m not. I’m happy and optimistic by nature and I’m a responsible, together, no BS kind of woman. If I go out with you, I’ll be in a nice top with jeans and a blazer with heels or in a dress with a blazer and heels.  You get what you see.  As I navigate the waters in the online dating scene, I’ve come across a few do’s and don’ts for myself and for guys.  You may or may not agree with them, but this works for me.

DO:

1.  ALWAYS have at least one smiling photo in your profile.  Preferably your main profile picture. I’ve actually suggested this to a handful of guys and 90% of the time they thank me and do it with great results.  Even better…make it outdoors in natural light–so much more flattering.  Most women, including myself, like happy men.  Who wants someone miserable?  Same for the women.  And make sure all photos are current.  I  good rule of thumb is to a have at least one photo taken at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year ago.

2. Use proper spelling, punctuation and some grammar in your profile. It’s like a resume remember?

myprofile-saymorethanhi3.  Include one or two preferences physically.  I prefer tall, stocky or average Latin men with kids of their own. Some men prefer Asian or petite women.  I am neither of those.  So, I move on because although we’d get along great based on common interests, he’ll never want to poke me.

4.  Include several specific interests to you, not just the broad ones.  Everyone loves comedy shows, the beach, dining and staying home on occasion. But I’m a paper fanatic.  I enjoy baking only chocolate chip cookies, playing Bananagrams and traveling 3-4 times a year.

5.  Read the profile . What if (s)he has a HUGE long check-list of things?  Clearly, someone with trust issues and/or drama you may not want to deal with.  Or if they have nothing on their profile, be suspect!  What are they hiding?

6.  Follow your gut or instincts.  Period.  There are crazies out there.

DON’T:

1.  Do not only message a girl based on her photo or just comment on her picture.  Because if she is a pretty girl, she will hear it all the time.  Instead, go ahead and admire but then pick out at least ONE specific thing in her profile so she knows you’re actually interested in her as person!  Trust me.  Women care.  Same advice for the women to follow.

2.  Do not include a check-list of what you’re looking for.  It’s insensitive and it says you have too many emotional baggage issues.  Dating should be fun and half of that is finding out on an individual basis what works between two adults! I prefer tall, confident Latin men.  (Darwinism at its finest). I don’t like liars, cheaters, procrastinators, men with no initiative or who make less money than I do and who live more than a 10 mile squared radius.  But do I list all of that?  No.  Will anyone ever admit they are any of those things?  No. Getting to know someone is more important to discover these traits!  But should have deal breakers?–You better believe it!

3. After the age of 25, your introduction should not be anything like Mr. P.Drake here.  He did better his second attempt, but if I roll my eyes and say “oh brother” the first time I read your email, (specifically mentioning the butchering of the English language in my profile) and I’m thinking why would I be attracted to a picture of a girl licking your cheek as your profile picture?  We are probably not going to get along.  You should know that after his third attempt saying, ” I rock!!  You rock? Then let’s rock!!” I replied, “I’m looking for something else, but good luck in your search.”

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4.  Don’t ignore questions or give only one or five word replies.  If asked a question, answer it and end your conversation with a question of your own to continue the dialogue.

5. Don’t just write “hi” or “hello”.  It’ll be 50 years before you go out on a first date!

6.  Don’t expect an answer within 5 minutes of sending an email.  The person on the receiving end should have a life and be out living it.  I know I am.  As for myself, if and when I get a moment, I’ll reply.  I understand not all men or women are this way, but if you can’t step away from technology, it means you won’t ever have a genuine connection.  A laugh, a smile, talking with your hands, dry wit or sarcasm, attraction is best experienced in person.  If you’re not interested, simply say so.  Most appreciate the reply and will wish you luck in your search.

Now this may not work for everyone.  If you’re looking for a hook-up, by all means ignore all of this.  But I genuinely think its a common sense guide to online dating etiquette and screening out the crazies.  Have fun!

dating life: meet Mr. Architect Plans

mr-architectplansLos Angeles, CA
March 1, 2012
Date #4

Meet Mr. Architect Plans. I’m only able to wear my shortest heels before I’m too tall for this nice fellow. I almost didn’t reply to his message when he said he loved working for the same studio I do. Ahhhh, excuse me?–No thanks.

A series of questions bombarded my mental debate: What if things go sour? What if I see him around the lot? Will it be weird? Only if I don’t like him, maybe!? What if he turns into a crazy stalker and helps himself to dropping by my office unannounced? Ah, if you don’t remember, Mr. Mystery Man is already in my vicinity. That’s just too close for comfort! What if Mr. Architect Plans meets Mr. Mystery Man and there’s a scuffle about who gets to have me? What if they cause a scene? Ok, maybe, that’s last part won’t happen. But still, I smile when I think about it. Who doesn’t want to be fought over?

Anyways, so I decide to reply. Our email exchanges seemed safe but I suggest lunch off the lot on a Friday before a long weekend. He agrees and offers to text me right before he picks me up in front of my building. He has a great phone voice. Hmmm….maybe.

I walk out and I stop dead in my tracks. Uh oh. He drives a BWV. That already says too much. Every BMV driver I meet tends to be rude and obnoxious on the road and doesn’t like sharing the asphalt with others. And as soon as we got on the main road with a yellow-red light run and a near-car miss, he was no exception. I’m going to have a heart attack.

He seems really fidgety. Is he naturally like that or he just nervous? Who gets nervous at the age of 35? We eat Caribbean food and as soon as we start talking, the conversation is organic and lovely and entertaining. He tells me drafts architect plans for the studio under the umbrella of facilities and has seen plans and located closed entrances to abandoned underground tunnels built-in the 1920’s, that only a handful of people know. How cool is that? I’m enthralled with the possibilities of adventures of exploring.

We have a few more lunches because we can and chat some evenings on the phone. I finally say, we need to get dinner instead of lunch. Because after 3 lunch dates, he’s damned near moved into the friend zone. Although an average looking guy, I don’t want to pounce on him and for his sake and mine, I need to know if we’re just good friends or if there’s more.

He picks me up from my home after my children are catching zzzz’s. A first I’ve allowed for any man in years. He’s on his best driving behavior (after a confession that I’ve had 3 heart attacks with him and have lived). I made an effort and put on a new lovely dress, heels and my french perfume. “You look really great,” he says. “Thank you. You look nice also.” And off we go to downtown LA for Korean BBQ.

He holds my hand. I can do that. We have a great dinner. Fantastic. I excuse myself to the ladies room and when I return, he’s gone. “Your boyfriend went to the car to get the parking ticket.”

Before I can correct her, I have another heart attack and then he returns for the validation. We walk around and get coffee and talk some more. He ends up telling he doesn’t have a passport. Deal breaker.

It’s late and I’m exhausted from a busy week and I want to go home. Too many things are bugging me now and he hasn’t even tried to kiss me yet.

While in my driveway and saying goodbye, he goes in for a kiss and it’s another deal breaker. I feel nothing. Absolutely nothing. Whomp. Whomp. Whomp.

So, now I know and so does he. Oh well. Attraction is a very fickle thing. And it turns out, I have a new friend.
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Photo by Me