Still Here.

—— but not on the radio, lately, at least not on my time slot. First, Riverhead’s Polish Town festival, then Fiddle & Folk festival, then Bradstock. All are worthy shows, and I’m glad to step aside for them. I think next up is Valerie Wilcox, with Classical, my usual alternator. So it’s a long time between playlists.

When I get back, there’ll be new old stuff from Coleman Hawkins, Caroline Peyton, and David Brenner, and new new stuff from Hillary Scott, Bill Morrissey, and Mae. Also, acappella fans will get a dose of Cosmos, a superb band from Latvia.

My personal life? Oy vey… They dump me before they pick me up. I once dated Kim Possible, but when we got to commitment-time, she wouldn’t promise anything for sure. For a few weeks I dated Hello Kitty, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get her to smile. And then there’s Wonder Woman — all she wanted from me was to do weird games using her lasso. (…tugging on my virtual necktie…) So I went to a matchmaking service. They made me pay for the phosphorus.

Then I went to another one, Yente To The Cosmos. They’re not kidding — they hooked me up with a six-eyed warted silica crawler from Alpha Centauri. We met on neutral ground, at the Tattooine Cantina. As the band played, she smiled, and said, “let’s dance”. Right… dance with a partner with no feet, lubricated by goo. As we held each other, I was noticing her eyes. I was looking into two of them, but the others were checking out four other guys! She left with one of the clarinet players. Hey, I can’t keep this up — interplanetary dating doesn’t come cheap.

0-for-August. The story of my life (sigh).

Odd online dating things

There are some things about the online dating stuff that just feels strange.

For instance, what happened a week ago. I got a sudden burst of emails at one of the sites I’m part of. That in itself is strange — I can send out 30 letters before getting a single non-automated reply, and I almost never get someone contacting me first. Just seeing the number of incomings, I got suspicious. But I looked at them all.

Each was of a different woman with a different account. (Well, one was really a girl — says 18, but had to be at least 2 yrs younger.) Each was from either Eastern Europe or Taiwan. And the self-description paragraphs had a strangely similar sound to them — they covered the same topics, and used many of the same words. Each had 5 photos — not 4, not 6, always exactly 5 — and four of them would be each of the same 4 types. A front facial, a lightly-clad frontal full-body, an almost-direct side view, and a view lying mainly clothed in bed with body front turned toward the camera. The fifth would cover what could be considered their best view, which was different for each one. The two busty women had a cleavage shot with a slight down angle (the same angle in each), another had a 60-degree facial shot for a great look, two others showed the woman’s athleticism by running basepaths. Another had a beach shot that bore an eery resemblance to the hot inside come-on photo in Alison Krauss’ new album (which only just now got released, so how??). The last two had scenes of each woman enjoying herself in Paris, with drink in hand.

It’s obvious that all eight profiles were produced (and probably sent) by the same person or firm. I must admit it was professionally done, with a good eye for details and an awareness of the qualities of each specific ‘product’. The strangest part is that they apparently picked up on something in my own profile that told them I was likely to go for what they had. Each profile mentioned a certain set of styles of music — acappella and singer-songwriter — that are uncommon in combination, and even mentioned a specific band in neither genre (“Iona UK”, which is not how the band identifies itself). I have to think that the marketeer found my profile through a search mechanism for keywords, then actually looked at my profile, and took the time to slightly tailor theirs to mine. I have to admit, if it weren’t for their location and sameness, I might have gone for it. Each of the eight were a somewhat different kind of wow, which if there was just one and it was in the New York Metro, I would have eagerly sent an email. But 8? On the other side of the world? In an obviously ‘managed’ fashion? No. But the profiles’ polish (~ Polish?) makes me think that this could be a trend. A consultant who uses existing dating services as a place to market marriageables by putting their best foot forward. Could be a ‘next big thing’ in online dating.

online dating weirdities

I’ve been spending a lot of time the past few months in the hopes of finding companionship and maybe true love on-line at the services. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s an odd experience, to be sure. Most of the services have you create a profile where you describe yourself and your interests. Each member searches through the profile, based on a choice of factors or by keyword.

Unfortunately, reading them can be a form of torture. Especially for me, since I fancy myself a writer and I’m very picky about spelling. There are all sorts of elements to the torture. You can probably guess a few of them — lying about age or weight, using photos from many years ago, or photos of someone else. But here are some you may not know :

(1) There are more problems with the photos than the obvious ones. For instance:
(a) dark photos. (So dark I can’t tell where the clothing or hair ends and the background begins.)
(b) the photos of her with her exboyfriend or ex-husband. (With the head whited out or with the face cut off. I guess she still has issues….)
(c) The Group Photo, usually with co-workers, friends, or sisters. (Not a bad concept, really. But in practice, there’s always someone in the photo that looks much better than the one whose profile I’m looking at. No self-respecting woman would answer if asked about her friend instead of her. Also : her friend’s probably married.)

(2) Profiles are Cliche Central. For instance :
(a) “My friends say I’m ….” (Or at least they say that to her face…)
(b) “I’m equally comfy in a formal dress and blue jeans.” (But how is she in khakis?)
(c) “I love to travel” (Most of us do, but we can’t afford to do much of it. Can she?)
(d) “no [emotional] baggage” (Right. If you get past 30, or you have a divorce, you’ve got baggage, you may not know where it’s stored.)
(e) “I’m sick of the bar scene” (But she wanders back there once in a while…)
(f) “I see the glass half-full” (Of what?)
(g) “down to earth” (But she loves gossip and fashion magazines, romance novels, and makeup.)
(h) “Looking for Mr. Right” (But how much has she worked on being Ms. Right? Be a good partner, and you’ll get a better partner.)
(i) “I’m family-oriented, with strong traditional values, looking to settle down.” (I guess that’s why she’s posted that racy photo with the busts propped up, or in a come-on position draped over her bed.)
(j) “Liars and players, go elsewhere.” (But she usually don’t know who’s lying or playing games until she knows them a while. Remember : the gamers know how to game her.)
(k) “I like all styles of music, except [multichoice, select from country, opera, rap, or metal]” (I have a radio show at one of the most widely-varied stations in the world, WUSB. I’ve heard it all. And I can say there’s no style I don’t like something from. But there are many genres and subgenres I overall don’t like. How many women actually have listened to any styles or artists that are outside the Top 20 or MTV?)
(l) “Writing about myself is pure torture.” (She wonders, ‘do I have anything worthwhile to say about myself?’ And comes up blank…)

There’s much more where that comes from. An original, unusual, or honestly personal profile is rare. (That includes my own, which suffers from TMI.)