Kindle-ing a New Flame

by Parker Lee

As part of my new life as Travelling Tammy (thanks, Teddy), I recently purchased a Kindle.  I went all out: 3G, a flowery skin and pink case to really accessorize that bitch….  Hot.  Not that I plan to use the Kindle to pick up guys…

But I’ve always had this fantasy that one day I’ll get on a plane and squeeze into the middle seat next to my Romeo (and it wouldn’t hurt if he looked like Leonardo DiCaprio, but more like the one from The Beach than Romeo & Juliet) in the aisle seat next to me.  He and I would spend the first couple hours of the flight regaling one another with tales of our travels and completely in-synch lives – I would insist that he not get up to let me out of the row to use the lavatory – “I’ll just climb over.”  By the return from my third bathroom trip (it will be at least a four-hour flight), we’d be back in our seats basking in the glow of our induction into the coveted Mile High Club.

So an easy conversation-starter like the Kindle can’t hurt, right?  WRONG!

WHAT is going on with the Kindle screensavers?  Are you kidding me, Kindle?  When I think of the Kindle as a conversation-starter, I think “Oh, I’ve been thinking about getting one of those, how do you like it?” not “What is that bizarre Herculean cowboy scene?” or “Are those drowning children?”

My first experience with the screensaver was this intricate black and white drawing of little birdies on a little branch came up.  Aw, lovely, well done Kindle.  That’s how they get you.  Then the truth came out.  Don’t get me wrong, so far it seems that half of the size of the Kindle is actually made up of the memory drive for these images – there seem to be a plethora on “shuffle” – but there REALLY are awkward Herculean drawings and apparently drawings of drowning children (I haven’t seen that one myself yet, but from what I have seen, I think I should probably brace myself).

I’ve Googled how to change it – it’s not exactly easy, you have to step into like the Kindle VBA code, it requires you to load your own images instead, and it compromises your Kindle license or something that sounds important like that.

So instead of the irresistibly sexy stranger in the aisle seat next to me beckoning me to act as Kindle maven, he won’t even talk to me because, since he doesn’t yet own a Kindle and doesn’t yet know about these horrifyingly awkward screensaver images, he’ll wonder what’s wrong with me, believing that I actually like that creepy-intense drawing of Emily Dickinson on the front of it.  And his assumption wouldn’t be anywhere near out of line, because every other electronic device of this nature allows and encourages you (by making it so easy) to pick something that you want to look at while your device is sleeping, instead of this:

Why do you think you’re better than everyone, Kindle?

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February 28, 2011. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Nerdy guys: A field guide

by Daphne Reese

Last week, when I wrote about my love for nerdy guys, reader Jills pointed out that all of my “nerds” were specifically technology and science nerds, and she asked: do I find other types of nerds attractive?  I gave it some thought and have come up with four additional categories of nerds:

Music Nerds

This week I went to a jazz performance at the Berklee School of Music and spent the entire show mesmerized by the sexy upright bass player in the front row (see photo).  His long hair fell down over his eyes, his fingers expertly stroking the strings, his body swaying; it was fascinating to watch his obvious immersion in the music, his passion for his art.  I think it’s important to differentiate here between true music nerds and guitar players/drummers.  I’ve always had a major weakness for guys with guitars, but they’re usually more Rock Star than Nerd.  Music nerds, by contrast, generally play an unconventionally sexy instrument–maybe something with strings or a reed–and display a nerdy dedication to the discipline of music that is highly attractive.

Philosophy Nerds

Philosophical discussions take us outside of ourselves, leading us to think about the larger world view, and can be very seductive.  The Asia-phile nerd from last week, Chopstick, told me he is studying Eastern philosophy and is currently reading the Tao of Meditation, which teaches one how to begin on the road to Enlightenment, which according to Chopstick, involves “unlearning things you already know.”  I’ve discovered that I find the optimistic philosophers far more attractive than the pessimists.  The dark, brooding cynic who makes you read The Unbearable Lightness of Being and whose wry humor drips with sarcasm can be fascinating in college, but those same qualities that were cute at 22 can begin to seem tedious and sadly outgrown when the same guy reaches age 27.

Sci-Fi Nerds

I’ve never been big into Sci-Fi, but it’s definitely not a deal-breaker, either.  Maybe if the guy were obsessively into LARPing (Live Action Role Playing a wizard or knight while in costume) I would be a little scared, but I can handle a collection of Chewbacca figurines or the occasional Star Trek quote.  A Star Wars wedding would happen over my dead body, but if the bride and groom are both into that sort of thing, then may the force be with them.

Book Nerds

Men who like to read and learn new things are always sexy.  While searching for this photo, I discovered there is an entire voyeuristic photo blog dedicated to surreptitiously snapping photos of hot guys reading books.  At its heart, that’s where all the attractiveness of nerds really lies–the pursuit of knowledge and eagerness to explore.  We all want to meet someone who teaches us new things and leads us to new life experiences that we otherwise wouldn’t have had.

Of course, there are many other species of nerds out there.  What’s your favorite type of nerd?

February 27, 2011. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

A roll in the hay down memory lane

by Daphne Reese

First love.  What is it about some of those first few boys you fall for that is so powerful and lasting?  The feelings were so intense back then.  The flutter in your stomach when he looked at you and leaned in to kiss you for the first time.  The absolute gut-wrenching despair of your first broken heart.

It turns out there really is something to early love that sticks with you throughout your life.   It happens all the time: old lovers run into each other at a high school reunion and experience the same feelings they had felt years, even decades, earlier.

There’s a certain boy from my past that I’ve just never been able to forget—Aaron.  The moment I first saw him at a student council convention when I was 16, I immediately sensed something special.  For the next few years, we carried on a passionate affair that never had a chance to really develop, but always remained burning steady in the background.  Because of distance, we were only able to see each other once or twice a year, but it was incredibly intense each time, with powerful sexual chemistry.  In the end, we went off to different colleges in different states and just never met up again, although we kept in touch sporadically through the years by email, then MySpace, and later Facebook.  I haven’t seen him in eight years.

All of this leads up to my big announcement: next week begins Daphne’s Coast-to-Coast Ex-Boyfriend Tour!  First stop will be San Francisco, where I’ll be seeing John—the ex-boyfriend I left when I moved to Boston.  Then, I head to Colorado Springs, where I will see Aaron for the first time in nearly a decade and find out whether the magnetic attraction we felt back then is still there.

The tour was partly inspired by my friend Parker, who undertook her own international ex-boyfriend tour to Chile last year.  Her review was that although she had fun, she remembered why she had broken up with the former beaus in the first place.

I’m excited to embark on my own tour of Loves Past and see where it goes.  It’s romantic to think that Aaron and I might end up together after all this time apart, but then I also think: if I had the guy in high school, what the hell have I been doing for the last ten years?

February 25, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

The Higgs boson particle of love

by Daphne Reese

IClark Kent have a thing for nerdy guys.  Intelligence is the sexiest trait that a man can have.  Combine that with some Android developer skills, a white lab coat, or even just a pair of Clark Kent glasses, and I am hooked.  I’m sure I’m not alone here.  In fact, my friend Parker admitted it was not a coincidence that she got back together with an ex-boyfriend the day she saw him in his brand new Clark Kent glasses.

Last week I went on a first date with a guy who seems to be very smart. In the course of conversation, this guy somehow started talking about the Higgs boson particle, Higgs-boson particleand I was instantly enthralled.  Having never taken a physics class, I don’t quite grasp what the hell the Higgs boson is or exactly what significance it has to the theory of particle physics.  In fact, I believe the last time I heard mention of it was by my ex-boyfriend the chemical engineer.  And it was just as sexy when he described it.  I hate to be so easily impressed, but when a man starts dropping physics terms, it’s like conversational Spanish fly.

Is this a thing that guys do?  Memorize some spiel about a complex, brainy topic and use it to mesmerize unsuspecting, defenseless girls in their path?  (If so, well done, boys.  Well done.)

Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be a science term.  Parker recently confided that the moment she was finally seduced by this one guy was when he said one little magic word—“finite.”  While not strictly a genius-level word, in her defense, this man was absolutely gorgeous and in no way expected to be intelligent.  Knowing how to use big words like “finite” was just a nice add-on.

This weekend, while out at Alibi with the girls, I noticed a cute, tall guy wearing Clark Kent glasses.  Our eyes met, and he immediately walked over and introduced himself.  Within moments, we were making out.  In addition to the always-deadly Clark Kent frames, this guy had a whole list of dreamy nerd traits: he was a scientist, graduated from West Point, and writes novels in his spare time.  He was wearing a t-shirt with Chinese characters on it, causing my girlfriend to instantly dub him “Chopstick.”  When I asked Chopstick what his shirt meant, he replied that it said “dragon,” while casually mentioning the fact that he is, in fact, fluent in Mandarin.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he deliberately wears that shirt to the bars just so he can drop his Chinese language skills into conversation.  It’s no secret that girls love foreign language speakers, especially when it involves a sexy-sounding accent like French.  Mandarin may be less appreciated as a tool of seduction, but it definitely gets extra points for nerdiness.

Of course, intelligence, like beauty, is often in the eye of the beholder.  Other girls might be bored by talk of string theory, or worse, feel insulted or think that their date is trying to show off.  Have you ever been seduced by soft whisperings of E=mc2?  Share your story in the comments.

February 22, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Relationship Status on Facebook

by Daphne Reese

Today I broke up with my boyfriend on Facebook.  In real life, we broke up four months ago.  But, as everyone knows, Facebook makes things more complicated.

Since I was the one who Facebook breakupleft him, I thought I should leave the Facebook-dumping to him.  You know, mercifully leave him that small, quiet dignity.  I learned the importance of waiting for the Facebook breakup from my last boyfriend.  With Boyfriend #1, I jumped the gun on changing my status to “single.”  As soon as it was over, even that same day, I logged on to Facebook and gleefully announced to the world my new single status.  Boyfriend #1 was devastated.  Seriously.  It was heartbreaking enough to be dumped in real life, but to be so callously, unexpectedly, and publicly dumped on Facebook felt cruel.

This time around, I had learned my lesson and decided that Dumped Boyfriend #2 would get the satisfaction of cutting our tie on Facebook himself.  So I waited.  And waited.  Weeks passed.  Each time I logged on to the site, I would examine our profiles carefully.  Yes, to the public, we were still in a “relationship,” although in real life, of course, we had been over for months, didn’t speak much, and were moving on with our separate lives.

This became tricky once I began to see other guys.  Naturally, in this day and age, you have to expect that any guy you begin to date will immediately proceed to stalk you on Facebook.  Seeing that you are “in a relationship” tends to scare them away.  Or it scares away the good ones, at least.

But I still couldn’t bring myself to be so heartless as to breakup with my ex-boyfriend on Facebook.  At the very least, I figured, I had to give him some warning first.  But since we never spoke, the conversation never came up.  My short-term solution was to go into the labyrinthine Privacy settings and make it so that we were still in a relationship, but it would be invisible to everyone, except the ex-boyfriend, his family, and his friends.  I was a genius!

The problem with this approach is that, inevitably, you will forget to add someone to the short list who can see your relationship status, and then your ex-boyfriend’s brother casually mentions to him that “Hey, I see you and Daphne broke up on Facebook.”  At which point, the game is over.

I’m not sure that this happened.  Well, actually, it did happen, but in the other direction.  This weekend, well into the fourth month of the breakup, I did my weekly check-in of Ex-Boyfriend’s profile and saw that yes, we were still in a relationship.  Imagine my surprise, then, when I was speaking with my brother, who happened to mention, “I see John finally changed his relationship to single on Facebook.”  I was stunned.  Had it finally happened?  I immediately whipped out my iPhone to check.  Hmmm… No, it says here that we are still in a relationship.

Well, as it turns out, John had done the exact thing I did: left our relationship intact, but changed his privacy settings so that everyone (except me) would think he was single.  It’s completely absurd and hypocritical, I know, but I was outraged and betrayed.  How long had it been like that?  If my brother hadn’t told me, when would I have found out?

At this point, of course, our Facebook “relationship” had passed the point of absurdity.  I felt no remorse as I finally, officially changed my status to “single” and broke our Facebook tie once and forever.  However, no one would ever know it because I made it invisible in everyone’s news feed.  And as everyone who knows us in real life is perfectly aware, we broke up four months ago.

The point of all this is simple: never, ever agree to be in a relationship on Facebook.

February 22, 2011. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Stilettos on Cobblestone

One of the hallmarks of a Boston woman is the ability to deftly navigate cobblestone streets in heels. Not unlike the Boston dating scene, walking in stilettos on cobbHeels on Cobblestoneslestone requires grace, agility, and a sharp eye to avoid getting stuck in the cracks.

My name is Daphne Reese, and I’m a single, late-twenties professional living and dating in Boston. I started this dating blog in order to chronicle the hilarious, harrowing, and sometimes romantic escapades that my girlfriends and I encounter while searching for love. Names will be changed to protect the innocent and the not-so-innocent, but the tales are all true.

February 22, 2011. Tags: . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.