New Year

I went on almost 300 calls this year. It seems like a lot, until you compare that to the number of hours I've worked. Far more than 40 a week, I can tell you that. But that is beside the point, whatever that was. Another year gone, as they say. It's been a good one. I spent a lot of money! Well, I guess, more accurately, I borrowed a lot of money. So I owe a lot of money. So I'll stop thinking about that because it makes me anxious. In addition to the house I bought a fancy bike and recently two cats. Yes, 2 cats, but more on that earlier. Or later. Depends on how much changing of the dates I decide on.

So I ran calls and bought stuff. What a year!

Lets do the year in review based on the post written on 30 Dec 2010. The photography WAP is still up and running. I booked a show for September, and if I ever get it together, will sort out the 'spring season.' The craft show circuit is amusing, but hard work.
I did do more domestic travel. I should hit some places I've never been before, but you can't go wrong with the northeast kingdom and wherever your friends live. I'm planning more domestic travel this year and even next, so we'll see how that goes. Get ready, America!

Do local events: Fail!

Read the Bible: Fail!

Be a 'better communicator': Fail! Well, it is hard!

Time will always be made for the things that are important to us. Unfortunately, the things that I make time for as of late are playing video games and eating crap food. Success! I really should have written this post when I was feeling a little more optimistic. Okay, so get it together! I will still go to work and leisurely search for an EM job, take naps, and write blog posts. (and play video games and eat crap food if I'm honest)

I really want to write more. Last year I took up an hour a day project, writing for, oddly, an hour a day. I didn't do too badly. I did the actual hour (usually more) for a few months, now the hours are a little more sporatic ad I kind of ran out of things to write about. But, of all the fake careers I can develop at home: if you want to write, write. There it is. Other, non-goals include: go on a bad first date, buy less stuff, and never talk to anyone called 'siri'.

Ellie's guide to Online Dating Pt. 2

I have renewed my efforts in online dating as of late. I've joined a free site that a friend recommended and I like it so far mostly because it is free, but also because it really seems like they are putting an effort into matching you with acceptable people.

This recent foray has led me to create part 2 of my guide to online dating. I feel that many profile makers need a coach or a guide to follow to increase their chance of success. Despite my wild non-success, I still feel I can dole out some advice. I feel that in my absence from online dating, the weirdness has gotten worse. Now, I know you should be yourself and all that and not put up a false front, but sometimes we just need to do a better job at hiding our crazy. Everyone does it. It's quite a phenomena that we all walk around making vain attempts to look normal. We are not. No one is. That being said, women want normal guys, (as far as I know) and the more crazy you reveal in your profile, the less success you will have. Give it in small doses over a lifetime of marriage instead.
  • please, for the love of God, message me in plain English. Not txt or 'abreevs' as this does not show me that you are a functioning member of society. It shows you are too lazy to use vowels. Stop it.
  • youtube should not be among the things you can't live without.
  • if you mention a woman's personal hygiene several times in your profile it is off-putting and makes you look crazy which you probably are.
  • online dating is not an appropriate forum to spread you religious or strange diet-based beliefs. Ease up.
  • put more Myers-Briggs personality test results. It reminds me of college.
  • don't put 'xxx' anywhere in your username. Honestly.
  • I know it feels silly to answer open-ended questions about yourself, but take at least one seriously.
  • amusing and clever lists of likes and dislikes are nice, and amusing. And clever.
  • do not post pictures of yourself taken via webcam
  • on the same token, do not post pictures of yourself taken with your phone while in your bathroom.
    • these pictures right off the bat say to me that you don't own a camera, nor do you have any friends, nor do you do anything other than sit at your computer or go to the bathroom.
    • no lighting around a computer is good.
    • I do not want to see your bathroom
    • Unless your bathroom is in a palace of some sort, it is probably not the background that you want to be seen in before I even meet you.
      • can you see it framed in your home later?  "Oh honey, there's the first picture I ever saw of you.  Don't your tattoos look nice?  That shower curtain really won me over."
    • Just get someone to take your picture.
    • one caveat: if the picture is just of your abs, that's okay.
  • do not post posed 'olan mills' type pictures. Seriously, this is creepy. You might as well take one with you mom next to you. Oh wait. You did.
  • comb your hair. I saw one picture of a guy and his hair was literally covering his entire face. I don't want to date your hair, I want to date your face. If you are that hideous, I suggest lying.
  • avoid pictures of yourself photoshopped onto interesting backgrounds. You are not fooling anyone.
  • also, avoid any of the following picture situations: at comic con, doing cos-play, holding your pet chinchilla, with your car, posing with fantasy weapons, cuddling a stuffed animal.
  • while we're on the subject, just avoid silly hats and pictures taken in bars.
  • what's that? A picture of you with a kitten? aww, I'll allow it.

Getting Out There

I have a tendency to be a reclusive hermit. It is far worse in winter months as I will take any excuse now to stay in and sit by the woodstove. It's too cold, too cloudy, too rainy, or too dry to go out today. So I will sit and watch The Incredibles and all of the bonus features until it's dinner time. Then I tend to throw some half assed dinner-esque meal together. Bits of leftovers, progresso soup, cheese and crackers, or cereal. Yes, because I'm in college.
This behavior will not win me friends, health, enlightenment, or boyfriends. So, something must be done. I've decided by the new year (instead of those post new year actions that are never fruitful), I'll be joining the local arts council, a photography club and take a class with the local theatre. All of which should produce social interatction and/or amusing situations. The photo club will help me to stop missing deadlines for local shows and give me some fancy tips. Apparently one member shoots for the White House.
The arts council membership is possibly pointless, but at least I will feel a little cultured and will donate 25 bucks to local arts happenings.
The class is an improv class. Random, yes, but it can could be fun. My plan is to get drunk before every class (as it's in walking distance) and I think then I'll be a lot better. Or a lot worse. Time will tell. I am scared of it, in fact, I had a dream that they made us perform without any instruction the other night. But as Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Do one thing every day that scares you." That is probably extreme, so this Eleanor will say "Do something every once in a while that scares you." This keeps life interesting and challenging.
The thought of standing with some strangers on a stage trying to think of something funny to say sounds absolutely terrifying. So, game on! More on that in February.
If none of that works in the boyfriend department, at least I will have something to do. And, I am always up for more adventures in online dating, and just about to write Ellie's guide to online dating, part 2. Check out part 1  here.