Friday, July 21, 2006

I paid too much for my 700 square foot condo, but its got a view

About 3 weeks or so ago I was unloading groceries from my car to my new condo. I parked out front since that's the closest to the elevators. I live on the 11th floor, so making multiple trips is a bit of a pain. There was someone in the car next to me unloading stuff too, but I was tired and not very attentive.

I got to the elevator with groceries in hand. One of the two elevators was out, and being that they're quite slow I held it for the girl who had been parked next to me who was now a bit behind me carrying a box.

She got in and thanked me for holding the door. She introduced herself and I did the same. Her name was Iliana. Iliana tells me that the box she is carrying is a lot heavier than it looks, so I offer to help her carry it up, but she tells me, "No, I've got a plan. I'm going to push it out of the elevator and kick it down the hall". I wasn't sure if this meant, "No, I don't want to trouble you" or "No, stay away stalker" so I just left it at that. We said a few more things and I found myself really drawn to her. She seemed very warm and funny. The problem that I realize now was I wasn't paying enough attention to what she looked like. I mean I could give you a general description, but I'm not sure I could pick her out of a crowd. I pay attention to the wrong details generally.

A week or so later I'm relating this story to Sean, a friend at work. Sean, being the cyberspace pimp that he is opens up myspace, does a few searches and finds what seems as though it may be her. I'm not 100% convinced that its her, but it seems likely. "Hmmm, it has where she works, but I've never heard of this place", he says as he points at the screen. "Holy shit dude, that's 3 floors above our office!" I tell him.

So now I'm thinking this girl probably lives in my building and works in my work building. I'm not 100% sure though, so I kind of want to bump into her again because now I'm curious. At work, like any mildly amusing story involving me being lame, word travels around. Bare in mind that I'm a computer programmer, so half of the guys I work with haven't touched a woman that they didn't have to pay since co-ed flag football in the 8th grade. The story starts to spread, and now half the people I work with are asking me about her. "Did you see your girlfriend yet?", "Hey, what's she look like", etc.

Last week, oddly enough, we get an email that the building will be having an "ice cream social" where they give out free ice cream in the lobby for whoever wants it. This is intended to be an opportunity for people in the building to get to know other people that work here, but the reality is that people get free ice cream, talk to the people they know, and go back to work. I figure this is a good opportunity for me to catch a glimpse and at least see if its the same girl, but unfortunately the rest of my work "friends" think the same thing. They're all pretty excited about their chance to possibly see this girl, and possibly embarass the shit out of me in the process.

We get down to the lobby and it starts...
"Hey, what's she look like anyhow?" one guy asks rather loudly.
"Oh, maybe that's Iliana" one guy says while pointing at a cute girl accross the room.
Someone else shows up, "Did I miss her? Where's she at?"

Eventually they stop, and I did see her, but she took off too quick for me to talk to her. I still wasn't sure if it was her or not, and I really didn't want to get dogged out by my co-workers anyhow. I'm not sure what I'd say anyhow. "Hey, do you live in my building?" is a bit of a weird question at work. I haven't had any more run ins at the condo, but its not a huge place, so it seems like it has to happen eventually. I feel a little bit like a stalker for finding her myspace, but in my defense it was Sean, not me. I'm not sure that's going to hold up in court when the judge slaps me with a restraining order.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Jesse B vs. Ana

About 2 years ago, somewhat down with the current goings on in my life, I decided it was time to head back to school. I was a little older, a little wiser, and had a lot of time on my hands.

I didn't figure I'd stick with it for long, but it was just more something to do at the time. I set a few rules for myself to make sure I didn't repeat the same mistakes as my first round of college. First I wanted to be more social. I don't think I made a single friend by way of college in my first four(ish) years, and that seems a bit odd looking back on it. I wasn't social, and I didn't talk to people. This time, I was going to be more outgoing, more friendly, even if it killed me. Second, I was going to be a better student.

So my first day, I walk into class and take my usual position towards the back of the class. Just because I'm going to be a better student doesn't mean I've gotta be the nerd up front with his hand constantly raised. So I'm sitting there feeling a bit old, a bit out of place. I look up and this girl walks in. She's a beautiful girl slightly resembling a young, very cute Eva Longoria.

Now I've personally got 4-5 years of programming classes under my belt, and in that time I've never seen a girl who looks like that in class, especially a Unix Shell Scripting class. For those not familiar with Unix or Shell Scripting, lets just say its not a class that an education major would take because it "sounded like it would be fun".

So this girl walks in and I think to myself, "Oh, how sad, this poor girl is lost." I consider pointing out to her what room this is, but I decide she'll figure it out soon enough. I spend the next 10-20 minutes waiting for her to realize her mistake, but as class starts the teacher says hello to many of the students and says, "Hello Ana". At this point I realize she has to be a Comp Sci major which is mind boggling. You've got more chance of meeting the tooth fairy than meeting a cute Latin girl in a Unix Shell Scripting class.

I'm immediately enamored with "Ana" and curious about her. As the weeks pass I can tell she's kind of quiet, and keeps to herself. I spend the next few months looking for an "in", or a chance to talk to her, or something. Eventually the teacher throws me a bone and decides the rest of the class will be "group activities", and with a little bit of "luck" I end up in this girl's group.

So now its me, Ana, and 3 other nerds in a daily group. I try my best to talk to her, but she seems extremely shy, and I don't want to be too obvious. She's really smart, and the more time I spend in this group the more I'm dying to get to know her. As the semester draws to a close I've gotten nowhere. I'm looking for the "in", but keep coming up with nothing.

On the last day of class I go to school early to get some things done. I take a seat in front of a computer and notice that Ana is sitting a few chairs over with a group doing work. Time passes on, and I'm getting hungry. I haven't found too many places to eat near campus, so I ask her if there's anything good to eat close by. She gives me directions to a Subway nearby. "Do you want to go and grab a sandwich" is on the tip of my tongue, but it just doesn't come out. So I go to subway, eat my lunch and come back to finish up. I've got a Subway cup in my hand and she says, "Why didn't you tell me you were going to go? I would have gone with you."

"YOU BLEW IT" echoes through my head, but the chance had passed. The door had closed. Class ended, and at that point I figured I'd never see her again. I sent her an email asking if I could make it up to her, but she basically shut me down. At the time I was a bit sad, assuming I'd never learn the myteries of this girl.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Where to begin

I've told my friend Ana on numerous occasions that I should write a book on how not to interact with women. When I majored in Computer Sci and took a job as a computer programmer I surrendered any hope of social normalcy when it comes to members of the opposite sex, and am therefore somewhat of an expert on the subject of how not to act.

That being said, at least I'm aware of my social issues and do my best, but more often than not I end up doing things like diverting my eyes in a downward direction to avoid eye contact with a cute girl I just met. For those of you playing the home game, the downward direction from a girl's eyes usually ends up being the chest area.

I doubt I'll ever finish that book, but I do find stories of me being horrible with women amusing, and some of these should be kept around for posterity.

I felt I should start with a trip in the way back machine for a few different reasons.
A) This is probably one of my best moments, and best stories.
B) I typed this up a while ago and sent it to a friend, so its ready to go now, and that makes my job a lot easier.
C) It sets up numerous future stories that pertain to the same girl.
D) It's as much a goof on my mom as it is me.

So, without further ado... the story of how I met Angela:
My mom is a higher up in the parks and recreation department for the city. What that means to her is that she has good pay, security, and benefits. What that means to me is that I've been single for over a year, and she's got a ton of girls from the ages of 18-30 working for her.

About a year before this story takes place I had broken up with my girlfriend of around 6 years, and my mom was kind of worried about me. I guess my bedpost just doesn't have as many notches as my mom would like and it bothers her. I counter her worry by giving her a hard time. Every time she asks me about girls I say, "Well, you're the one sitting on a gold mine Mom when are you going to swing the bat for me?"

This had been going on for a while with her, but it was all fun and games. One day I was sitting in my office at work when my mom called to ask if I wanted to go to lunch with her. I work about 25 miles from her, so I had never gone out to lunch with her on a work day unless she was in my neck of the woods.

"Oh, are you downtown for another conference today mom? Where do you want to go?"
"No, I was wondering if you wanted to come up here"
"Um... I generally don't take a 3 hour lunch"
"Well, it's Friday maybe you should"
"Did Grandma die?"

My brother's girlfriend just happened to be at my mom's office so she grabbed the phone and informed me that there was a girl that my mom wanted me to meet. This made a lot more sense. I figured mom probably had horrible taste in women for me, and nothing would come of it. I generally hate a setup since I'm nervous as hell around anything resembling a female, but I figured the sheer awkwardness of the whole situation was worth a trip. And it was Friday. And I wasn't doing anything anyhow. So, I hopped in the car and drove out to North Phoenix. When I arrived, my mom explained to me that she had invited half the office since she didn't want it to look like a setup.

I was lucky enough to get a seat across from "Angela", and I really did like her. She was cute, fun, humorous, and had a nice smile. My mom spent half of lunch trying to talk me up, and the other half of lunch trying to nonchalantly explain why I was at what had become an office lunch. I drove back to the office having had a good time, but knowing I'd probably never see the girl again.

My mom, being a mom, was really excited. About an hour later I got a phone call from her.
"So, that Angela is really nice huh?"
"Yeah, amazing mom, you wanna go ring shopping with me later this weekend? I wanna make sure I get a good one!"

30 minutes later my mom and I were knee deep in an email conversation where I was asking her all sorts of sarcastic questions. "Is she single? How does she feel about short guys? How tall was she anyhow? Does she like nerds? DS or PSP?"

My mom responded quickly with an email detailing Angela's dating history for the past few years, which worried me because my mom is about as subtle as an elephant waltzing around in a Czech Republic disco. I decided to call to figure out where said info had come from.

"Mom, what did you ask this poor girl? You're her boss, you gotta play it cool."
"No, I played it real cool. I was just talking to her office-mate and I brought it up in conversation."

By a strange coincidence, Angela's office-mate(Stacy) was a good friend of my sister's. Later that day Stacey and my sister shared a phone call.

"Whats up with your mom?"
"What do you mean?"
"Um she just walked into my office and asked me if Angela was gay. When I said I didn't think so she asked if she was dating anyone."
"Oh, my mom's dumb and she's trying to hook Angela up with my brother"

Real smooth mom

A few months later I was sitting at home playing video games in my undies, or something equally nerdy when the phone buzzed. It was a text message from my sister insising that I call her.

"The good news is, Stacy invited Angela to Happy Hour. You're right, she is great. She's really cute, and a lot of fun. The bad news is she's had a girlfriend for about a year and a half."

"Mom is so getting fired for sexual in-sensitivity"