The wonderful world of Tinder

I’m not going to list the pros or the cons. It is what it is. The point of this post is just how lazy can blokes be not to put a bit of thought into their profiles? FFS it’s only a picture make it work for you.

Here’s a sample of the choice pickings of profiles served up to me in the last week.

Looks like Dale’s not even human he’s a boat! Or boats.

Which one do you reckon Shane is?

This one must be a keeper, he’s after excitement, can cook AND can take a call and a selfie at the same time!

I guess this proves our Keith is attractive to other women…

Not sure what the bloke looks like but Andrew comes with a ready made family…

Rohan has a light for a head! Handy.

Cripes Marouf has a likeness to a very famous American actor. Uncanny.

He must be very proud of his receding hairline.

No don’t want to think what choosing the Psychopathic Joker as your profile says about you Ryan.

A is for Awesome Tshirt but not sure I want to date it.

Seriously, a lizard? Is it any wonder I’m losing faith.

The Wish List

I’ve never made the list before now. It goes against the grain of being open-minded and non-judgemental. Of course the reality is, I’ve always have a mental list of criteria even if it was a loose as male, tall and over 35 with own teeth.

After watching the TED Talk I sat down to create my list of criteria. The list of attribute I thought would form the perfect partner for me. I thought it would be easy. I found it quite hard. Once I’d got the obvious 4 or 5 points listed out, the rest were all ‘nice to haves’ but certainly not deal-breakers. I’m really not picky at all. Which is probably not a good thing as it means I’m not focussed enough and willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt and then wasting my time. This is a brilliant project and one I should have done years ago.

Here’s my wish list.

  1. Fun(ny). Both fun to be with, create fun and be funny.
  2. Dry wit or similar sense of humour
  3. Intelligent
  4. Sense of family values but understands/has experience with a fucked up family.
  5. Tall
  6. 35-45 ish
  7. Geeky
  8. Gives back
  9. Good banter (will challenge power i.e. me ;))
  10. Curious
  11. Likes to travel – but not too intrepid.
  12. Healthy – non smoker, own teeth, balanced diet etc
  13. Sporty but not obsessively so.
  14. Does not spend more time in the bathroom than me.
  15. Well built i.e. will not make me feel like an elephant.
  16. Enjoys his work
  17. Financially stable
  18. Grounded
  19. Compassionate
  20. Left of centre
  21. Solid friendship group from over time and life stages
  22. Honest
  23. Loyal
  24. Reader
  25. Self-aware
  26. Ready for commitment
  27. Independent but will make time for me
  28. Learnt from previous (long-term) relationships
  29. Kids if it happens
  30. Loves the beach/beach life
  31. Has creative traits
  32. Can teach me things
  33. Likes good food and wine but is equally happy with a bowl of cereal or beans on toast.
  34. Comfortable with spontaneity

So that’s it, my 34 steps to the perfect man. Now I feel very picky or maybe for once I’m just being honest but I reckon they are fairly generic.

Anyway so now this will become the basis of a fake online profile. I will create and set my perfect man free onto the single scene of Melbourne. Or go fishing for my competition. As this is borderline unethical I have created some ground rules:

  1. I will not pro-actively contact anyone, I will wait to be approached and simply collect data on those girls.
  2. I will not st a dialogue with these girls or lead them on in any way (except by creating the profile).
  3. I’ll keep the profile up for one month and then cancel it.
  4. I’ll use a number of dating sites but will exclude Tinder (because this is looks based rather than profile based) and eHarmony (as matches are controlled by their algorithym not by humans – than and you have to pay).
  5. When reporting back, all data will be desensitised to protect the identity of the girl.

Seem fair? Feel free to add any feedback in the comments below.

Now all I have to do is give him a name and a face….

This year I have mainly been watching…

Some times I wonder if I watch too much TV, then I remember my modest 22″ flat screen is switched on for an average 1.5 hours a day. Generally to watch the 7pm news on ABC and followed by 730. Sometimes with an episode of QI or  Would I Lie To You? on either side. When I’m not reading or studying I’ll be found glued to the iPad watching the latest box set. Here’s what I’ve watched this year…and where I discover where most of my time is spent. I’ve tried to avoid SPOILERS but apologies if I let something slip and ruin your lives.

The West Wing S1-7 (bought from iTunes)

Extraordinarily late to the party with this one and since rectified by watching all seasons right through – twice. It’s genius and catapulted to my all time favourite TV programme. Yes, that’s above The Wire and Breaking Bad. I want to work with Josh and Sam and learn from Toby. I want to be one of President Bartlett’s advisors. Hell, I want to be CJ and fall in love with one of the press core. Bloody brilliant in every way.

Game of Thrones S4 (streamed online via Timblr site)

Bizarrely I can hardly remember this season. I watched it early in 2014 and it’s certainly not burnt itself on my brain. While it was lovely to see Joffery get his comeuppance and Tyrion rightfully established as star of the show, I think I’m losing interest in GoT. I kinda don’t care about the Stark kids and certainly find my attention wandering when the 3 eyed crow storyline comes into play.

Band of Brothers (watched on the plane from Aus to UK)

This kept me gripped on a 24 hour flight and ensured I had no sleep whatsoever on my trip back to the UK. Great cast, great story and early HBO at its best.

Homeland S4 (started on Ch10 but couldn’t bear the ad breaks so bought on iTunes)

I was sceptical this show could survive without Brody but it still sat unwatched for a while. There’s only so much mad Carrie I can take so as soon as she started wailing I stopped watching and didn’t pick it up again until later. To be perfectly honest, the only reason I tuned back in was the many posts on Facebook declaring how good it was. So I followed like a sheep. It was good but not gripping. So in conclusion, I don’t think Homeland survived without Brody.

House of Cards S2 (Bought on iTunes)

There’s very little I don’t like about this show. It’s so clever and manipulative – so much like Frank Underwood. I’ve come to love shows where I hate most of the main characters and certainly mix a bit political drama in there and I’m in heaven. Episode one left me and dumb struck and Red Wedding in GoT S2. I’m hankering for more.

The Killing S3 (Bought on iTunes)

I love Linden and Holder so much and their fucked up lives, meaning they obsessively turn to solving crimes for self fulfilment. This series is no less thrilling than earlier seasons although it does get pretty intense in parts.

Mad Men S7 (Bought on iTunes)

I have to be honest, I didn’t like the first half of this season. I’m particularly irked that it’s been strung out over two years in an act of true Don Draper arrogance. I don’t like the bi-costal setting. I’m much preferring 50s Mad Men to late 60s Mad Men. There wasn’t enough Roger Sterling (my favourite character) but there were gorgeous moments like when Don literally goes back to the drawing board and Bert’s passing.

Orange is the New Black S1&2 (Bought on iTunes)

Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. Another show I despise most the characters yet love them too. Except Crazy Eyes, I love Crazy Eyes, but wouldn’t want to be her wife…Red is also a firm favourite. As season 2 progressed I lost interest in Piper and genuinely started to hate her as they real her started to shine through.  members are more than capable of holding their own without her.

True Detective (Bought on iTunes)

I’m loving the non rom-com version of Matthew McConaughney. Yeah he was easy on the eye and all manly with his southern drawl but I’d never class him as a serious actor. Now I think he’s a serious actor. Love the script, love the format, love the cast. Love everything. I think there’s a second season on the way. I hope so, I’ll be tuning in.

Vampire Diaries S5-6 (bought from iTunes)

Don’t judge me but I love this vampy trashy nonsense of beautiful people in the same way I loved Hollyoaks back in the day. It’s fun, dramatic with ever ridiculous storylines but doesn’t take itself too serious. It’s great light relief and a guilty pleasure. Don’t I’m really not a fan of splitting seasons nonsense the American are imposing on everything!

Sherlock S3 (streamed via a Tumblr site)

The Cumberbach lives. Sorry that could be a spoiler but if you’ve managed to read this long, then you’re bound to have known that. Definitely the best thing to come out of the BBC this year and Stephen Moffat pulls it out the bag with these 3 episodes. I definitely think this is his favourite out of his two pet shows.

The Walking Dead end of S4, start of S5 (Bought on iTunes)

Another one that likes to split seasons over too much time. Why don’t they just have shorter seasons?? Anyway, the journey to Terminus was arduous but also arduous to watch. I almost didn’t want to get invested in S5. But it got its groove back in the opening episodes. It jumped back to its gory, gruesome best with the group (almost) all back together again. There’s also a cross-pollination from The Wire to keep me occupied but I was a little disappointed with the mid-season finale. SPOILER. I’d forgotten all about Beth and even the entire episode dedicated to her didn’t raise enough emotion for me care much when she died. It was well done and the fall out huge, but as a character I’d forgotten about her and so didn’t care. I’m sure if I watch early seasons back I’ll recapture it but that what splitting a season over 2 years does to the audience…just saying.

The algorithym to love

Watch this TED talk, it’s fabulous.

This makes perfect sense to me, especially the market research side of things to suss out the competition. My lack of success in dating, online or otherwise is well document in this blog and I think having been out of the dating game for 6 months, I’ve built up enough resilience to dive back in the pond…all in the name of research obviously. I too get the “you’re being too picky” remark when offered up the one single male friend a friend or work colleague can muster up.

I love the idea of my own personal framework and scoring system. I also love the idea of setting up fake male profiles to suss out the competition – although it’s bordering unethical. But what business isn’t launched without comprehensive market and competitor research?

Best of all, for Amy, it ended happily and I love a good success story. So what have I got to lose? The rest of my summer holidays will be spent coming up with my own algorithm to love.

Wish me luck.

Christmas at Circa

Circa, the Prince on Urbanspoon

With Gym Bunny packed off on her honeymoon, PRP gallivanting around Sri Lanka with Frosty the Snowman, it was left to WROS and I to hold the fort on an orphan Christmas front. Following last year’s whirlwind and very chilly back  to the homeland, I was very keen to keep this year warm, sunny and hassle-free. Not able to control the first to requirements, it was simple to ensure the 3rd. We heartily agreed it wasn’t worth cooking a turkey for 2 and we should take the opportunity to go somewhere a little bit fancy.

Circa, conveniently located stumbling distance from me, was one of the early suggestions – and after the burning down of both Stokehouse and Donovans, St Kilda is starting to flag on the foodie front. The table was booked and as soon as the menu was whizzed over to me earlier this week, the mouth was salivating in anticipation.

On Arrival

Oysters w. cucumber and caviar

Choice Entree

QLD spanner crab w. bergamot and crayfish emulsion

Rare breed ham w. young vegetables and cheddar

Cobia sashimi w. pardon pepper and heritage tomatoes

Choice Main

Sher Wagyu w. blackened onions and mustard

Organic turkey w. heirloom carrot, honey and black cardamom

Saikou salmon w. chervil, buttermilk and preserved lemon

Choice Dessert

Circa’s Christmas pudding and cherry ice cream

Yoghurt sorbet w. strawberry juice and fennel pollen

Vanilla and passionfruit cheesecake w. kafir lime.

Not bad eh? In WROS’ words, the oysters were like “drinking melted butter”. YUM. Faced with such first world decision making we opted to share the sashimi and spanner crab starters. The spanner crab was the clear winner for me, the generous portions making sure we paced ourselves for the next courses. Being poms at Christmas, it’s hard not to order turkey, which we both did. The carrot was amazing – but I was too shy to ask how to recreate its yumminess, the sweetness made the whole plate pop.

Desserts changed on the day and 3/4 of the way down a bottle of wine, I couldn’t remember the exact thing we ordered but it was plum pudding with a rhubarb and ginger sauce for WROS and I ordered a coconut and cherry thing. My descriptions do not do it justice but due to a mix up in the kitchen we also ended up with the 3rd option too which was a chocolate mouse with raspberry dots and marshmallow heaven. Our plates we ignored and we just dove straight in with our spoons. Tasting everything. It was the best Christmas dinner I think I’ve ever had.

And next time I have a date worth splurging dinner on, I will certainly be returning.

This year I have mostly been reading…

Inspired by The Guardian’s never-ending lists of 2014 in which I feel massively inadequate for not reading enough, seeing the ‘right’ movies or the TV shows (although I think I’m pretty well up on TV shows!), I thought I’d do my own list.

I usually aim to read a book a month. It doesn’t always happen and since I’ve been studying it’s definitely dropped off – unless you count textbooks into the quota, as interesting as they are, I don’t.

So here’s what I’ve read in 2014 apologies to Blonde for blatantly plagiarising your book review format.

  1.  Title: The Rosie Project Author: Graeme Simsion Recommended by: This was a ‘Blind Date with a Book’ bought from Robinsons Book store. My Rating: 4/5 – Loved this book. So cute, so charming you can’t fail but fall in love with the protagonist. PRP has since read this and said she didn’t fail in love with him so maybe that’s just me and my penchant for geeks. It is a lovely innocent love story that deserves all the hype its received and I gobbled it up in a day.
  2. Title: Rumours Author: Freya North Recommended by: Can’t remember now. This one’s been started and de-prioritised for a few years. My Rating: 2.5/5 – Freya North is one of my go to chic lit author alongside Marian Keyes (don’t judge me!). They give you exactly what you need when it comes to comfort reading with a bit of mush. This one though, missed the mark. Maybe I’m just getting older but I just didn’t care enough about any of the characters. That and I’d read it straight after the Rosie Project which didn’t help.
  3. Title: Saree Author: Su Dharmapala Recommended by: ‘Blind Date with a Book’ at Robinson’s. My Rating: 5/5 – Loved everything about this book. It transports you all the way around Sri Lanka and back to Melbourne in the most gorgeous storyline with interweaving characters and time periods. It’s as intricate as the saree the story revolves around. It also moved Sri Lanka up the holiday hit list for me.
  4. Title: My Story Author: Julia Gillard Recommended by: The Guardian (I think) but would have bought anyway after seeing her speak at a business breakfast. My Rating: 4/5. I think I’m being a bit generous here out of feminist spirit and a wish for there to be more Julias out there. The book is interesting, gives you everything you expect around the real Kevin Rudd, the inner workings of federal politics and the media. It’s also very genuinely Julia, by which I mean you can tell it’s her writing. It’s honest, proud, a little defensive and personal. That’s probably also it’s weakness – and the weakness of many political bios – in that it needs a bloody good edit. I lost concentration about 2/3s in and ended up skimming chapters as there’s a lot of the usual back slapping and thanks to the back room teams – which is quite right, but perhaps not included in the last edit.
  5. Title: The Rosie Effect Author: Graeme Simsion Recommended by: a book-worm friend of mine scored me a signed copy at the launch. My rating: 3/5. Ah the difficult 2nd book. I fear it was rushed out to capitalise on the success of The Rosie Project. It was fun, it’s was still cute but this time tipped over into annoying. Also felt is wrapped up all too quickly at the end. Left me a bit disappointed.
  6. Title: The Wolf In Winter Author: John Connolly Recommended by: Blind Date with a Book at Robinsons. My Rating: 3/5  – This was my first introduction into the Charlie Parker series and 12 books in, I clearly had a bit of catching up to do. Saying that though, the story is self-contained enough to be a rivet thriller. Enough suspense to mean a few late nights and the characters are strong enough for me to not need to know their bad stories to get them. My big complaint is that is spent 4/5 of the book building up the tension. There’s a fab mid book bombshell and then it’s all solved in no less than 5 pages. I still don’t really know what went on with the disappearing girls which for someone who likes to understand exactly how things work, was just frustrating. The book just sort of grabbed all the loose ends, pulled them together and tied a knot. I’ll definitely look up Charlie Parker books again, but won’t rush.

Senseless

Today is the first day of holidays. The sun is shining and I’ve got 2 whole weeks of non work, non uni based activities stretched out before me and it feels lovely.

However, I’m still in a bit of a fug. The last 3 months or so have taken their toll and I can feel the scratching of a sore throat, the thud of a headache and my insides are screaming at me for so much food and drink based merriment, if I don’t go on a detox soon, my organs might just reject me. I’d taken too much on. So what else is new. I like taking on too much. I like the challenge and feel lost when I don’t have anything this do. Like today.

And so I uncluttered my flat. Starting from the bedroom, into the lounge and was about to embark on the kitchen cupboards when the thought of throwing out more stuff just felt depressing. I waste so much. I buy too many clothes, shoes, things, food. It’s actually quite disgusting. In my first cull on the wardrobe I filled 3 bin liners of clothes – mainly dresses – I don’t wear. And I thought I didn’t really have much stuff. The money I must have spent over the past year alone scares me. And so I stopped.

After dropping off the bags at the local charity shop, I sat on the balcony with my detoxing smoothie and with a book. Reading forces me to relax and I’d just about resisted the temptation to reach for my uni text-book. But I couldn’t concentrate. My mind was still whirling from the last week. The Sydney Siege. The 8 children in Cairns stabbed to death. The massacre in Pakistan. All in 5 days. The reasons this hit me so hard is detailed in another post that I’m drafting. But for now here is a song I’d never paid much attention to until now. Until now, it was just that Dire Straits song my Dad obsessed about and tried to play on the guitar back in the late 80s. This song is the reason I couldn’t concentrate on reading my book because it grabbed me from the radio playing in the bedroom, compelled me to download it from iTunes and then Google the lyrics.

For once I agree with Dad, it’s a timeless classic.

Über…grateful

There were a lot of words that sprung to mind when I heard about über, the new on demand taxi app. The news was full of uber stories when I was back in the UK in May. London’s black cabbies were up in arms at these poor imitations stealing business away. I empathised. I truly believe London cabbies are the best in the world.

OK so that’s hardly a tried and tested theory but I’ve never had a poor black cabbie experience. They are friendly, often cheeky, fun and know exactly where they are going. Stark contrast to Aussie cabbies who in my experience are the worst. I’ve directed one driver from Sydney Airport to Pitt Street. Pitt St for Pete’s sake!!

More often than not I have to provide drivers directions in Melbourne often resorting to my phone’s GPS when theirs doesn’t work. Aussie cabbies don’t talk – or rather they do just not to you. They are more likely to spend the entire trip glued to their phones, like dropping me off is an interruption to their important conversation.

So when I heard uber had come to Melbourne I wanted to support it. I wanted someone to grab the taxi industry by the short & curlies and give it a good shake. And so I downloaded the app.

It sat there vacant in its virginity unused as I summoned up the guts to give it a go. A friend of a friend gave it a go and loved it.

“You rate them and they rate you after the journey, so it keeps them accountable – and us.”

But I couldn’t quite shake the feeling it was a one way ticket to murdersville via rapetown. A psychopath wouldn’t give a shit about some mutual rating system given such an accessible avenue to potential victims. And so the app remained unused.

That was until Cup Day following a delightful lunch with WROS and Most Adorable Couple. MAC were uber veterans and broke me in gently by dropping me home. The driver was polite, the car immaculate, not smelly in any way AND we got free water.

I think the free water after 4-5 glasses of wine on a 30* day swung it for me. But the driver’s willingness to answer my gazillion questions without getting offended – despite me all but calling him a potential psycho – also went some way to appeasing me.

And so last Thursday I took the plunge and popped my uber cherry and booked a cab to the airport. Granted it was 10.30pm and so not in rush hour. He arrived in 2 mins, carried my bags from the gate, gave me water and asked for my fight details. He offered to avoid tolls for a cheaper fare. He kept me updated on an ETA. I was blown away. It was the best taxi experience I’d ever had in Melbourne.

But the best was to come. $60 including tolls and airport fees from St Kilda to Tullamarine! That’s at least $15 cheaper than your bog standard yellow smelly cab and $20-30 less than silver service. Yet it was better than silver service. He got 5*.

And so the only word that comes to mind now with uber is “grateful”. Grateful that there’s now a viable alternative to smelly yellow cabs.

Uber you just made my world a little brighter. Thank you for coming to Melbourne – but go easy on those London cabbies.

Famous footballers and horses

Last night I slept solidly for nearly 9 hours. Making up for only 3 the night before. It was that horrid heavy sleep where you wake up all groggy, with a headache and not even a shower or an extra cut of ginger in the morning juice can snap you out of the fog.

It took me a while to remember the dream. I was on another journey – I like my journeys – and think I was carrying a lot of stuff. I had a guide, a friend. Not one that i know in real life. I got the impression he was a religious type figure. We travelled down a wide road and there was lots of distractions and obstacles. There was differently horses and water rushing past. I think I was riding a horse although I’ve never done this in real life, it was pretty easy.

My guide friend took me to a building that was like a swazy 5* stables. I could sit down on bean bags, eat, rest and meet his friends. They were footballers. Foreign famous footballers I think I was supposed to be impressed. I didn’t understand their language so we just did the smiling, nodding awkward thing you do when you’re trying to be friendly. I was definitely meant to be in awe of them but I wasn’t and wanted to leave but couldn’t until my guide was ready to leave. I’d also been given tasks to complete before leaving. I think that’s when I woke up.

interpretation time

To dream that you are going on a journey signifies profits, self-discovery or progress. The scenery you see in your journey and the method of travel is telling of your feelings and circumstances you may be currently experiencing.

To dream that your friends go on a journey signifies a welcoming and harmonious change.

So the journey seems to be good thing. I felt like I was travelling in a procession so definitely a feeling of been on show but in a prestigious position. Certainly not feeling particularly prestigious in many aspects of my life right now but there’s definitely lots of change and I’m welcoming that change.

To see a horse in your dream symbolizes strength, power, endurance, virility and sexual prowess. It also represents a strong, physical energy. You need to tame the wild forces within. The dream may also be a pun that you are “horsing around”.

Teehee

To dream that you are riding a horse suggests that you are in a high position or position of power.

All hail Northern Lass the great and powerful 👸

To see an elephant in your dream indicates that you need to be more patient or more understanding of others.

Patience is not a particular strength for me at the best of times. Now it’s non existent. There’s definitely truth in this bit.

To see water in your dream symbolizes your subconscious and your emotional state of mind.

Water rushing around going nowhere fast – yep that’s my emotional state.

But what about these famous footballers?
The DreamMoods app has failed me. Nothing for footballers, famous or even sportsmen. What can it mean???

To hear or speak a foreign language in your dream indicates a message from your subconscious that you do not yet understand. Alternatively, you may not be making yourself clear to others.

I spend my life repeating myself, ever since I left Northern town at the age of 18 I’ve struggled to make myself understood.

Any ideas on the famous footballer thing?