Yes...I took a little break. No, Zippy the laptop is fine. I just needed a few days to re-centre myself and just relax. Well...what I thought would be four or five days turned out to be more like a week and bit. Oops.
As you know from my recent maple syrup post I've re-entered the dating world. My venue of choice: one of those online dating sites.
I'm sure there are pages and pages written about how people market themselves on these things Yes: I choose to think of it as marketing one's self--much like applying for a job, we're applying to spend time with one another. Is that a cold and detatched way of looking at things? I don't know.
It's all about creating a good first impression. We use words and/or pictures to set ourselves apart from the others looking for...well...something. We don't have the luxury of vocal intonation or facial expressions for clues. We only have what's on screen.
This makes me wonder what goes on in some people's heads. For the moment, let's forget about the fact that at least 40 per cent of the guys out there post profiles or send messages that read as if they were written by drunken monkeys with access to a typewriter. Really--I can send you some of these messages if you want. I'm not even talking about superficial troglodytes who should count themselves as lucky that anyone would want to spend more than five seconds of time on them.
No, I'm talking about the guy who decided without any encouragement from me to Instant Message me...and send his photo to me.
Now...for those of you who haven't been through the Hades that is online dating IM: it's annoying. I can't be on for more than 10 minutes before the Joey Tribbiani-wannabes (complete with the "How you doin'" (sans " ' ") opening line start flashing messages at me. Please. I wrote a profile. If you bothered to read it, you'd know that I don't respond to blind IMs.
Normally the photo thing isn't too bad. Often it's a grainy, toothy image of a guy--sometimes posed, sometimes not. No worries.
But imagine if you will...an image of a sunglasses-wearing middle-aged man, clad in Spandex cycling gear, sprawled on his office desk, posed like Becks in his Calvin Klein underwear ad, giving the photographer a Fonzi-like thumbs-up signal.
If I were bereft of morals, I'd post the picture for you to see.
What on Earth made him think this is a great PR shot? What makes him think that I (or any woman in her right mind) would want to talk to...that? What makes him think that I may not be a future client to his firm, and will be sitting across that desk from him to discuss a contract?
I just hope they Lysol sprayed that desk. I could just imagine the skin rash that would appear after resting your forearm on it.
To make matters worse: he's contacted me more than once this week...each time, sending me that photo.
Is he trying to blind me...or make me want to scoop out my eyeballs with grapefruit spoons?
Now granted...not all men on the system are like this. There are some very lovely men there. Heck, I've met (either in RL or online) The Swordsman ((get your mind out of the gutter) he's the one who asked for a break), The Beethoven Fan (we've developed a wonderful penpal friendship...even though he lives about 10km from me, we've still not met after all these months), The Guy Who Likes Properly-Made Caesar Salads, The Diver and more recently The Watercolourist-Engineer.
But after too many nights trying to dodge all the Spandex-boys out there, it's just nice to retreat into my kitchen and do some baking. These carrot-oatmeal muffins are hearty, not too sweet and incredibly moist and are a delicious breakfast.
Carrot Oatmeal Muffins
200g ap flour
1Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp salt
250 ml milk
80 ml maple syrup
60ml canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
75g chopped walnuts
60g raisins, soaked for about 10 minutes in boiling water
140g grated carrots (approximately one densely packed cup
Preheat oven to 190C/375F and line a 12-bowl muffin tin with papers.
Stir together flour, oats, baking powder, ginger, and salt.
Mix well the maple syrup, egg, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined. Fold in the grated carrots, nuts and raisins.
Divide batter into muffin bowls and bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted tester comes out clean.
What I'm reading: The Children's Book by A.S Byatt
I'm a pen for hire