US Election 2020

We live in interesting times, don’t we?

On the one hand, with Election Day tomorrow, I’d like to read a bunch of articles about what might unfold, whatever the result.

On the other hand, I’ve also read enough to suspect that if Trump loses, or manages to cast enough doubt on the result of the election, there might be uncertainty and violence. I highly doubt that Trump will follow the precedent of peacefully conceding the election and working in good faith to transition to the Biden administration, because it seems much more likely that he’d do whatever he could to actively screw things up for the incoming Biden team, never mind the option of simply refusing to cede power. If there was some kind of corrupt bargain worked out where he wouldn’t be subject to criminal penalties and he was persuaded that ceding power would be in his best interests, he might go along with it, but losing or any kind of defeat seems antithetical to his character- this is, after all, the president that refused to advocate for wearing a mask until, what was it, two hundred thousand people died of COVID-19? Or was it merely 150,000? I don’t remember.

Biden is far from my favorite candidate, and I keep thinking it’s funny hearing Republican political ads trying to paint a Democratic candidate for US Senate from a neighboring state as “Too Liberal For [this state]”, like claiming that she’s in favor of open borders and defunding the police, and I wish she were that cool! More likely, I suspect, she’s probably within the Democratic mainstream (at least in the sense of “maybe not give big businesses as many tax cuts” and “let’s not set up concentration camps for immigrants and be nakedly xenophobic”). I haven’t paid much attention, since after all I’m not voting in that election, but I plan to vote tomorrow and I’ll have to refresh my memory of the candidates and whatever ballot propositions are being voted on. I know my state’s Senators are not up for election this round, but there is a US House race to vote in – do I vote for the Republican from my small hometown who’s been in Washington for 20 years, or do I vote for the latest Democratic challenger from the big city? What a decision! Haha.

Unfortunately, just like the last several presidential elections, I of course work tomorrow, so I won’t be able to keep up much with the results. I remember working in 2012 after voting and, as I left work, hearing on the radio in the car that Obama had won and Romney was conceding, and I think I remember hearing something similar in 2016 as I was leaving work that Trump had won and Clinton was conceding. This week, I imagine, might be a bit messier (and that’s being slightly optimistic and assuming there won’t be a mass shooting at a polling place or something stupid like that).

I’m not sure how to approach reading articles about the election. Of course, there’s also the approach of not reading articles about the election, and simply not paying attention until tomorrow or until results start coming up or until tomorrow night when I can catch up with the results and analysis.

The fact that this election is in any way close seems unfortunate, but I guess that’s what you get when one of the two dominant parties fully backs the incumbent candidate and the other party pushes forward a centrist, uninspiring, experienced candidate as the challenger instead of someone more interesting and unconventional who might have radical ideas like “reducing funding for the military-industrial complex” and “being less business-friendly”.

After-Action Report: Aurek-28

Star Wars: Empire at War is a computer strategy game released in 2006 that allows players to play land or space battles as either the Galactic Empire or the Rebel Alliance in the Star Wars “Galaxy Far, Far, Away”. In terms of chronology, the original game (as opposed to its expansion pack) covers a short time before the destruction of the first Death Star at the Battle of Yavin and could go as late as the Battle of Hoth, more or less, three standard years later.

Earlier this year, after not playing it for some time (probably a few years, minimum), I installed my copy on my Windows PC and rediscovered it.

After moving back in with my parents last month and getting my Windows PC set up again, I’ve been playing Empire at War again sporadically for the last, oh, couple of weeks or so.

After finishing the Imperial “Galactic Conquest” game I had started in May, I decided to try my hand playing as the Rebel Alliance. It has gone… poorly.

As of right now, I control only a few planets and have a meager credit income, while my AI-controlled Imperial opponent can bury me in Stormtroopers, AT-ATs, AT-AAs, Broadside cruisers, and Tartan patrol cruisers.

So, it’s pretty accurate to the “canon” Galactic Civil War!

I’ve been getting increasingly frustrated of late, and earlier I was thinking that, instead of continuing to play and getting increasingly mad, I could instead abandon that game and start a new one at a lower difficult level. Instead of “medium”, I could try “easy” and attempt to learn from my various mistakes. Originally, this blog post was going to be a pseudo-fan fiction ‘after-action report’ from the perspective of a Rebel officer discussing the failure of this particular simulation and lessons learned.

Among my mistakes, in hindsight, has been a failure to play in accordance with the differences between Imperial and Alliance doctrine and strategy. Continue reading

Grief

Once again, I’m going to try a slightly more focused entry. This morning I woke up listening to the news on NPR, and of course my state and the next closest state apparently saw new COVID-19 records (number of new cases and number of hospitalizations respectively, if I remember correctly), so my state’s Department of Education is apparently working on guidelines to allow schools to be open this fall. There was a plan mentioned for schools to have some students attend in the morning and some in the afternoon, which sounds logistically complicated and makes me glad I’m not currently in elementary or high school and don’t have any kids. After the local headlines, the national news started, and it was more of the same- the Trump administration wants schools to be open in the fall, but is not really doing anything about the ongoing pandemic (or if the federal government is responding, I think they could do and need to be doing more). This ongoing disaster (for lack of any better word) successfully made me angry for most of the rest of the afternoon before I went to work and got to briefly forget about the disasterous pandemic response by the richest nation in history and the most powerful nation on the planet.

Alright, deep breath. Brief digression aside, now for the real reason for this entry.

I had a friend from high school pass away this past weekend. She was a couple years younger than me, but we were in a lot of the same activities and we were close when I was in high school. I don’t remember the last time I talked to her or saw her. I think I saw on Snapchat that I had sent her something a couple months ago (though I don’t remember what), and I had sent her a funny screenshot of a tweet in a Facebook message back in late 2019, so clearly it had been a while. We exchanged birthday wishes earlier this year (her birthday was in February and mine is in April), but “happy birthday!” “thanks!” does not a substantial conversation make. I imagine the last time I saw her in person might have been a couple years ago, possibly at my sister’s high school graduation in 2018 (or my brother’s in 2014).

It’s probably futile, but I wish I had talked to her more recently. Continue reading

Longer apart than together

I think I’ve recently thought about how I should post here again. I wasn’t aware until a few days ago that I apparently haven’t written here since late April, or nearly 2 months ago. While I could probably write about the last couple months (spoiler alert: not much has happened in my life), instead I’m going to write about ancient history!

I’m joking. This entry, specifically, I’m going to try to keep somewhat focused on my ex-girlfriend. While I could probably spill lots of ink on this topic, suffice it to say that, as of mid-March of this year, we have officially been apart longer than we were together. Continue reading

A Simple Day

I haven’t done much today. Last night was stressful at work mainly due to a superior (specifically, the store manager’s boss’s boss) coming in before my shift and saying all the ovens needed cleaned. I feel like there are better ways to go about doing things (like saying “oh, this needs done ASAP, but after looking at the numbers and available resources I know Sundays are usually busy so do what you can” rather than “do this immediately, I don’t know or care if this will cause you additional stress since trying to do extra cleaning on a weekend with the usual number of minimal staff is difficult at best”), but with help from kitchen manager and coworkers we managed to get the ovens cleaned. I know there’s slightly more to it, but it seems middle management only exists to make everyone’s life more difficult! At least, that’s my flippant and non-serious reaction after hearing of unrealistic expectations (but I’m also cynical, so there is that). The slightly funny thing is that Saturday I had been wondering what was going to happen when some authority figure came in and said we needed to do extra cleaning, despite recently having fewer hours and fewer people than we used to. Also Saturday I cut my thumbnail, but fortunately other than some bleeding right after it happened, that hasn’t been too much trouble. Fortunately now I have a few days off, which I should probably use better than I did today.

Today I slept in, had some cereal for “breakfast” (about 2:30 pm), did some dishes, watched some YouTube, and eventually cooked dinner. I had some hamburger thawing in my fridge, which I cooked, and after draining it I mixed some of the meat with corn, some canned beans, and spinach and had that with rice. Not the most sophisticated or complex meal, but at least it was some vegetables, a starch, and a complete protein. I thought it sort of seemed like peasant fare, but since I haven’t been grocery shopping as much, I see nothing wrong with using what I have on hand (as opposed to, say, going to the grocery store “in these trying times”). After dinner I talked to my mom and sister, and I ventured outside my apartment to take out my garbage. While working on tying up the garbage bag, I happened to think of the phrase “quarantine chic”, which amused me.

I know I’ve read a little bit about people “self-isolating” in their apartments and whatnot recently. From talking to friends and family, there are some people who are still working, but others who are working and/or studying from home. As an employee in an “essential business” (gas station), I don’t know what it’s like to be stuck at home for weeks without seeing another human! At most I’ve gone about 4 days (and that’s if you’re not counting Facebook or video calls, which I guess don’t really count). I know I’ve read a couple things where people are talking about how bras, tights, and some other things (mainly things women have to deal with, now that I think about it) shouldn’t survive, but the phrase “quarantine chic” to me does sort of imply barely getting dressed, and maybe just sitting around your apartment in your pajamas and/or underwear. Or even less, depending on your particular circumstances.

If you’re living by yourself, or perhaps with your significant other, then you probably could get away with wearing whatever minimum amount of clothing you’re comfortable in. However, if you’re living with relatives or children (or videoconferencing with people for work or school), you should probably wear at least some minimum of clothing, even if only enough to be “decent” and not accidentally indecent on your work video call (for example).

Thinking of “quarantine chic” also was making me wonder about “quarantine diet”, which seems like it could go badly- either subsisting on canned food, eating exclusively takeout or delivery, or trying to, for example, learn how to bake, so you’re making lots of bread (as I’ve read people are doing, according to Twitter). There probably could be other examples of quarantine entertainments (again, depending on living circumstances)- I imagine a young couple being quarantined in their apartment might come up with different entertainments than, say, a family living in a house or an extended family holed up in their vacation home. Of course, at least streaming is a thing now, so people can always Netflix and Disney+ and whatever to their heart’s content rather than being limited to their video collections or listening to the radio (or merely reading books or playing board games).

I remember recently thinking about how it would be interesting to try living like someone during the 1918 flu epidemic (or any other pandemic in history, for that matter). It might be difficult now that I think about it- for one thing, they didn’t have the Internet in 1918, so your entertainment choices would be limited to reading books, playing cards, board games (at least, anything invented before 1920), and maybe going outside, but you certainly wouldn’t have Netflix, Wikipedia, the Internet, YouTube, or myriad other things. I suppose they did have records in 1918, so you might be able to argue that you could listen to music, but that would of course limit you to your physical media collection (none of this “streaming” nonsense).

I can’t particularly think of anything else I wanted to write here, so I suppose I’ll return with more random thoughts at a later time.

Life, uh, finds a way

It’s been a minute since I’ve written here, it’s true. For the most part, I’ve been well- global pandemic and the presence of COVID-19 in the area for almost a month aside, I’ve thought that seeing how people react has been weird. Among other things, I’ve thought it funny that all the commercials I’ve seen and heard these days (at least from local businesses) seem to fall into the categories of either “we are temporarily closed and look forward to serving you once this crisis is over” or “we’re still open, and we’re taking special precautions to continue to serve you!”

There have been a few changes at work- as a convenience store “team member”, I apparently count as an essential employee, so that’s been fun*! I can write more about that another time, though. Fortunately, I guess I can count my blessings that at least I still have a job, and since I was already taking an online class this semester Before Everything Changed, there haven’t really been any major disruptions. I was already socially isolated before it was cool! Er, wait. Hahaha.

Anyway, I have been glad that at least I haven’t had to deal with transitioning from physical meetings to online classes (I’ve seen it written somewhere that this has been the largest distance learning experiment in history, which I think makes sense- I doubt that schools everywhere would try this on such a large scale without some major incentive, like, oh, I don’t know, a pandemic!), and while my current living situation may not be “optimal”, at least I don’t have to worry about any kids, roommates, or significant others adding stress. I can certainly and unfortunately imagine that if something like this had happened a few years ago, either my then-girlfriend would have exerted additional pressure to move in together, or I would be juggling having to stay in contact with her and worrying about her health in addition to my own stresses. Of course, another possibility I’ve contemplated is being stuck living with a significant other and wanting out, but again, fortunately I don’t have to deal with that.

Anyway, brief life update aside, recently my hours at work have been cut, so it’s been nice working a bit less. Working half the hours that I was working a couple months ago, well, that’s less ideal from a financial perspective, but oh well. This past weekend I spent some time tinkering with a computer so I could work on an assignment, and I got it set up, as well as reinstalling Victoria: An Empire Under the Sun, a grand strategy game made by Paradox Interactive back in the early 2000s. I don’t remember offhand when the game came out- maybe 2004? Anyway, I’ve been playing it recently, which has been fun. Unlike, say, Hearts of Iron or some of their other games, Victoria primarily focuses on economics and politics, so war and military technology isn’t as much of a focus. Sure, there is some, but the basic unit types are infantry, cavalry, dragoons, heavy ships, light ships, and transport ships- the main differences are in their stats, not necessarily their appearance. If you’re looking at the game when it starts in 1836 and near the game’s end in 1935, it’s going to look pretty similar, and you’d have to drill down a little bit (or look at the animated unit icons for your navy) to notice much difference between the Napoleonic flintlock muzzle loader-armed army of 1835 and the interwar bolt-action rifle and machine gun-armed army of 1935.

My first game Sunday night was playing as Persia (Iran), which was slightly fun. I didn’t do much, but I “westernized” fairly early, and aside from crushing frequent rebellions, not much happened. I stayed out of war for the most part, aside from joining a Russian war against my Ottoman neighbors in the late 1910s, and near the end of the game I did expand a little bit (taking half of Afghanistan and a piece of the modern United Arab Emirates, for example). Since I was mostly watching time pass, that allowed me to occasionally catch glimpses of what happened in the rest of the world, such as the US going fascist after the fascists won an election in 1921, the socialists winning several US elections in the 1800s, Denmark and Sweden uniting to form Scandinavia, the United States of Central America staying united, and Italy colonizing a vast area in Africa. Also, apparently Italy was unified from the south in that timeline, rather than the north.

The second game I started yesterday was playing as the United States of Central America, which historically fell apart after civil war in the late 1830s. I had a similar thing happen in my game, as when I’ve played as Central America in the past, but this time I managed to survive, and after the reactionary aristocrat rebels took the capital, they apparently decided to install a monarchy, which then somehow became a constitutional monarchy (not sure why, maybe the events fired at the same time or something). Anyway, alternate historical weirdness like this is what I always enjoy about historical strategy games like this (“what if Germany didn’t unite? What if the US joined Texas in a war against Mexico in 1836? What if Scandinavia united in the 1800s?”), and after playing that game as Persia, aside from wanting to play a game of Victoria 2 (which I don’t own yet, but I’ve been thinking about buying now that I have a Windows computer), I’ve been thinking that I have these settings, but I don’t know how to use them.

There probably are stories that could be told in that world (an alternate history fiction where, e.g., Russia controls half the Middle East and the other Great Powers are trying to protect their interests in Asia), but I don’t have any particular ideas at the moment. Of course, I have a few other ideas that I’ve been wanting to pursue, and at the moment laziness or distraction seems to be my main problem, particularly since I’m currently down to working less than 20 hours a week rather than almost 40.

Of course, there’s also always the job search which I should be working on, as I’ve been saying for months.

My birthday is later this week- perhaps I’ll write again here later.

A loop?

I’m not entirely sure why I’ve been feeling a bit off today.

Hence this blog post!

But in all seriousness, I’ve been feeling slightly negative for some reason. By all rights, I should be in a decent mood, and I suppose I am- there’s a pan of brownies in the oven, for example, which I finally made after deciding to bake as “self-care” earlier this week- but it seems ridiculous to be feeling anxious, or something like that.

I talked to my dad and grandpa earlier, and I hadn’t talked to either for a bit- I think I last talked to Dad when he visited last weekend, and I think it’s been maybe a week or longer since I had talked to my grandpa.

I was working on homework earlier, but I stopped and have been procrastinating most of the day. Perhaps that’s also part of the problem- instead of feeling productive, I’ve been vaguely ill at ease and not wanting to work on that right now, but also wanting to get it done. Fortunately, the lab exercises that were originally due this week were pushed back to next week.

Physical activity probably would have been a good idea today, but I went to bed last night and, when I got up earlier today, had a bowl of pumpkin spice Cheerios and a “wrap” (ham, cheese, and spinach) for breakfast before doing some dishes, which made me feel productive. Aside from a bit of homework progress, I’m not sure I’ve done much of note since.

I warmed up some leftovers for dinner (rice, sausage, and spinach), which was good, but now I’ll have to plan what I want to eat tomorrow.

I suspect that feeling ill-at-ease or anxious could probably be alleviated, or at least ameliorated, if I chose something (i.e., playing a game, reading a book, reading news, watching YouTube/Netflix/Disney+) and focused on it for sufficiently long enough, but instead I’ve been flitting around, reading open browser tabs, then reading a bit from a library book that’s been on my desk, then pulling out my phone (as if anything new is happening on Facebook or Twitter), then doing something else.

I made French toast for breakfast yesterday after noticing that the loaf of bread I bought a couple weeks ago was starting to mold, and since I had some leftovers, that was good. Overall, despite my lack of a Valentine, I thought yesterday was a good day. Work was busy, of course, and we did have one customer that got slightly upset because his pizza was supposed to be ready and we had to remake it because the person that made it didn’t read the ticket properly, but we managed without any other major incidents, and I had expected worse.

It’s kind of nice having the weekend off, though it’s also weird having Saturday and Sunday off instead of, say, Monday and Tuesday. This next week I think I have Sunday, Thursday, and Friday off.

It was colder here Thursday, but it’s warmed up. I didn’t venture outside today (which seems like something that I perhaps shouldn’t admit to), but I may have to figure something out tomorrow. If nothing else, maybe I can make plans with my sister, I don’t know.

I don’t know what, but maybe I can make a more substantial entry here when I actually have something to report, rather than scattered thoughts trying to nail down why I feel ill at ease.

 

 

Like a rolling stone

I decided earlier tonight to write another post here, and while trying to decide on a title I thought of the phrase “a rolling stone gathers no moss.” Originally I had considered “Moss gathering”, as a play on “woolgathering”, before I remembered the Bob Dylan song “Like a Rolling Stone”.

I resolved the lease dilemma (at least for now) by talking to my apartment complex office and deciding to go month-to-month, so that allows me to move on to the next problem. Since I’m not tied down by a lease, this does allow me more flexibility than if I was still tied to my current apartment for another year.

I suppose the next major thing is to find another job. I was talking to my dad earlier today, and I’ve been sporadically saying for at least a couple months now that I need to get back on the job search. I don’t remember when I last submitted a job application, but it might have been like October?

Working on Super Bowl Sunday could have been worse- this is Chiefs country, and I had expected it to be busier, but other than multiple orders that were all due at the same time, for once we had a decent number of people and preparation in place so we were ready for it to be busier. Once the game started at 5:30 and the pre-game rush was over, it was pretty dead the rest of the night. I had thought we might have a half-time or post-game rush, but I wasn’t following the game too closely and that never materialized. Of course, it was also a Sunday and most people would have had work and school the next day, so that was also probably a factor. Continue reading

Dilemma

Should I renew my lease?

That is the dilemma of the title.

When I moved into my current apartment in September 2015, I originally signed a 6-month lease, which I’ve renewed several times. I’ve been getting lease renewal offers from my apartment complex since mid-December, and my lease ends at the end of March. I’m supposed to give 60 days notice if I am going to vacate, and I have been guilty of trying not to think about the decision, which anyone could probably tell you is not the best way to make a decision.

Fortunately, I don’t have anyone making this decision for me! For the past 2 years, I have been single, and aside from my job and friends from work, I don’t really have any ties to my current city. Sure, I got my bachelor’s degree here, but I don’t have a girlfriend or fiancee with ties to the area, which would be a factor if it existed. Of course, I also remember my ex talking about living together, once upon a time, and if I did have a girlfriend or fiancee and we had been together long enough, I’m sure that would be a consideration! “Oh yeah, my lease is expiring in a few months,” “well, we’ve been together about a year, wanna live together?” Not sure how my family would feel about that, but of course I don’t have a girlfriend, so I don’t even have to worry about that!

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem clear-cut either. Maybe I’m overthinking things, but moving back in with my parents and looking for a next step seems like failure. It’s not, objectively- sure, culturally we Americans are usually not fond of moving back in with parents after high school/college, but I think The Great Recession of the late 2000s/early 2010s may have sort of changed that, or at least made it less of a stigma. I know about 10 years ago was, or at least seemed like, more of a failure considering I quit going to my college classes, but right now I can’t think of any negatives in my life. Sure, I’m single and occasionally lonely (though that hasn’t really been a problem this year, fingers crossed), but being single seems better than being in a bad relationship. I don’t have any entanglements with my ex- she did ask me for favors before she left this city, but among other things I think that was due to her not knowing anyone else, and very possibly not wanting to get to know anyone else, whereas at least she knew me (even if she thought I was a jerk for breaking up with her). That digression aside, as mentioned I don’t really have anything tying me to my current city. Moving back home to the country wouldn’t mean that I was stuck there forever either- it seems generous of my parents to say that they’ll help me, but that may be due to my reading or imagining horror stories where parents are like “nope, sorry, you’re 18 now, figure it out yourself.”

I thought maybe I had more to offer here, but I feel the proverbial well running dry- maybe I’m just distracted. Anyway, I’m not happy with the current stagnation and I want a change, though I’m also not sure what the future holds, and I’m not keen on diving into the unknown- I’d rather know, for example, that I would be able to find a satisfying job or at least some sense of progress or success, rather than “oh, the future is unknown, and you might find a better job quickly or it might take you another year of living at home working in an unsatisfactory job and filling out job applications with no clear result.”

I dislike being so far from family, but I also like doing my own thing and not having to share space with anyone (whether that’s a dog in my lap or my mom going to bed at 10 PM while I stay up until 4 AM).

I should decide, but every time I’ve mentioned it to someone recently it seems like they just say “well, you’ll just have to decide” which is true, but I’d rather have something more tangible and specific, even if it’s not strictly “here’s what I think you should do.”

Lonely thoughts

The semester did not end on the best note, but maybe in the future I’ll learn from my mistakes and begin the final project more than 4 days before the due date.

I’m trying to think of what else has happened since I last wrote here- I don’t remember when that was, and I haven’t looked at this blog for a while, so I don’t remember offhand just how long it’s been.

Anyway, I decided to write because, as the title of this post says, I’ve been thinking about loneliness lately. When I went home for Thanksgiving a couple weeks ago I was feeling lonely at one point, which seemed ridiculous as I was sitting in bed in my family’s home, but this holiday season usually features a lot of talk about seeing family- cue the jokes about political discussion at Thanksgiving, or Christmas gift-giving, among others. This morning I went to bed about 5 AM and woke up about 8:30 AM, which is a bit earlier than I had expected, but my guess is that waking up early is related to the dream I had. I don’t remember many details now, but I do remember the dream including seeing several couples kissing and “making out”. I didn’t wake up feeling particularly lonely or otherwise negative, but I wondered if, on some subconscious level, I woke up because my brain was signaling “Wake up to make sure the family/tribe/pack hasn’t abandoned you.”

It may be a mistake, but I’ve also been thinking sporadically over the last few days about the impending 2nd anniversary of the end of my first relationship, which will be tomorrow. In a few months, assuming I don’t somehow find another girlfriend, I’ll have been single for as long as the length of that relationship. Last I heard from my ex (September, I think?), she and the guy she’s been dating since shortly after we broke up (i.e., for nearly 2 years) are going to get married in April.

I was watching some YouTube videos earlier today about loneliness, and at a certain point they didn’t seem especially helpful.

I’ve thought before, and was thinking again earlier, that there seem to be several stages. Of course, it’s not strictly an ordered list with a straightforward progression, since most people probably move through the stages multiple times in their life, but the way I’ve thought of it has been in several stages.

A: Singledom (where I currently reside)
B: “talking”/early dating (from first introduction to, say, the first date)
C: Dating (before “defining the relationship”)
D: New relationship
E: Established/comfortable/intimate relationship

I’ve thought before, and I’ve thought recently, that I’d like to simply skip from A to E (as jarring as that would be), so I would have someone to talk to, make plans with, etc. and not have to mess with, say, leaving my apartment to meet people or deal with all the effort and weeding out that is required to meet people. Sure, you can swipe on Tinder or your dating app of choice all day long, but fact remains, as a male, online dating is not exactly in my favor. Maybe it’s the general biological fact of women being selective and men usually pursuing, and I think I’ve read before about the user base of online dating apps and website being mostly male, but I bet if I made a profile as a cute girl I’d get a lot more interest than making a profile as yet another guy. In my admittedly limited online dating experience, there’s finding someone who’s interested (that is a real person and not, say, a camgirl or bot or other scammer), then making plans to meet up, and proceeding from there. It’s been over a year (nearly 2, come to think of it) since I’ve made any kind of plans to meet someone that I started talking to online. This past summer, I guess, I was talking to a girl for a while, but then she sent me a message at one point that she was interested in someone else and was getting off the app.

Historically, my issue with apps like Tinder and Bumble has been the fact that most people don’t write much in their bios. I’m somewhat aware that’s kind of the point, and it’s supposed to be superficial (they’re cute, swipe right! Not interested, swipe left!), but I’d like something with a similar level of effort but where they actually write something about themselves. Sure, originality and creativity is difficult (or so I’ve heard), but it’d be nice to see a profile that said something original (“I’m not a Star Wars fan, but we can watch them togther” or “Star Trek > Star Wars” or even “I’m a dog momma”) that isn’t something I’ve seen countless times.

Online dating may be like Facebook, in that nobody wants to appear boring and write something like “I usually only leave my apartment to go to work, so frankly I’m somewhat boring” rather than “I love to travel and drink! Let’s get coffee!”, but, as I’ve thought before, I also am probably not in the best position to be seriously dating. When I was with my ex, we were both undergraduate students, I was working, and so my situation may have been more understandable. Now, however, as a graduate student inching closer to my 3rd decade of life, I occasionally feel like I should be more impressive. It could be worse, though. Haha.

Still, I haven’t been using online dating apps much of late, since the constant sameness of either blank bios or unattractive people (and maybe I’m just bored, depressed, and negative) does not interest me. “Grab my butt and buy me tacos” was funny to see the first time, and fortunately it’s not super common, but I’ve seen it several times (as well as bios that reference being a “dog mom” or having “fur babies” or the even more direct ‘I’m just using you for your backyard for my puppy to run around in”).

Mostly, and again I’m probably not looking in the right place, but I’m also not sure that I’m interested in single mothers, cosmetologists, nurses, drug users or people who have tons of tattoos and piercings, and somehow Tinder (at least) seems to have tons of those people! I don’t think I’ve seen any profiles yet that check all of those boxes (being a 420-friendly cosmetologist nurse single mom with a lot of tattoos and piercings would be kind of impressive, though- how do you have any time in your day?), but seeing or finding more graduate students and/or people who are closer to what I’m looking for would be kind of nice.

I have thought before that Tinder probably has a lot of people who are more “open to experiences”, in the sense of the Big 5 personality trait theory, which probably explains the piercings and tattoos and drug users, or at least that’s what I’ve thought. Of course on a certain level there’s probably also people who are just there to try it out (hence the “just got out of a relationship and looking to make friends” or “wanting to meet new people”) or people who work odd hours and don’t get out much (like the profiles I’ve seen that mention working night shift, or working a lot, or the nurses/cosmetologists/others that may not have much opportunity to socialize outside of work).

Well, as usual I wrote more than intended, but oh well. Maybe in the near future I’ll write something that seems a little less pathetic and emotional.