Tuesday, May 31, 2011

That's It, Ethel

You're fired.

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm in the market for a new fairy godmother. Actually--I'm not in the market for a fairy godmother. It's time I took things into my own hands and made my life happen instead of sitting around waiting for Ethel to finish her umpteenth ciggy before clambering into her pink Caddie and hitting the road in search of someone for me to date.

Yesterday, I quit the online dating thing--again. This time, I think it's for good.

Some of my friends have had great success with online dating. I've had some nice dates and met a couple of nice guys but for the most part, I have found my forays into Match, Yahoo, and OkCupid (the worst by far because it's free) to be largely a study in the baser part of our anthropological history. I've lost count--mostly because I'm trying to block it all out--of how many guys approached me for the first time with a comment about my curvy figure. The expression "more cushion for the pushin'" was actually considered an okay introduction at one point. I did not grace that one with a reply.

I figured it's all part of the online dating thing and kept on trucking. I sent messages. Sometimes I got a reply, sometimes I didn't. Things looked promising, then fizzled out. I just plugged along, but more and more, I realized that it's too easy to sit at home trying to get a date on a web site...and to ignore that big ole world right outside, where there are actual human beings wandering around.

The clincher came yesterday, when I sent a message to a nice-enough guy. I liked his profile--we had a lot of common interests. I sent a short-but-sweet introductory message and quickly received a reply.

"Thanks for the kind words but I'm not interested at this time."

Well, of course, the first reaction was that sort of heavy feeling of rejection in the gut. Then a teensy bit of anger because really? Really?! I wanted to reply, "Well, should I check back in six months?" I understand that he's not interested--that's fine. But his response was so...business professional!

But then the most amazing thing happened: I laughed. Because there was something so hilarious about getting a form-letter rejection on a dating site. And it was just what I needed to delete my account--no more queries about my interest in casual sex, no more comments about the rather obvious attributes I possess. No more single-word messages from a guy who thinks he's going to blow my mind with a simple "hey," who can't even bother with the shift key or punctuation.

So that's where I'm at. A link came up on my Facebook today about the free summer concert schedule here in Stockton, and I think I'll go to a few. You know, get out and live for a change. And if I don't meet someone here, well...maybe, just maybe, life has a new adventure in store for me soon.

Stay tuned.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

I have been so picture-happy of late! How I lived before the invention of the digital camera, I can hardly remember...

Well, today is Memorial Day, of course. And in true Cooper fashion, instead of barbecues and boating, we honored our nation's heroes.

Dad's veteran's groups (he's in two) collaborated to put up a memorial in the Lincoln City Cemetery, and today was the dedication. The ceremony was lovely, and I got a few nice pictures.

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Frank D. Cooper, left, talks with a
fellow Air Force veteran before the ceremony.

There was a 21-gun salute.

The Honor Guard from nearby Beale Air Force Base was on hand
to present the colors. And led by a woman!

There was a great turn-out. I was pleased for Dad's group.

Semper Fi group

Presenting the colors.

The local VFW post.

Dad's friend Jon.

Two Boy Scouts were called in to help keep the flags at bay--it was
very windy today.

Singers from one of the local high schools.

I thought the Boy Scouts were so cute, and they're learning all about
respecting the flag.

It was great to see a mix of old and young there

May all of our veterans rest in peace, and may
our soldiers keep safe and come home to us soon.

California Dreamin': Random California

Last weekend I drove to Walnut Creek to see my friend Summer and her choir sing. On the way, I stopped briefly in Antioch, where I lived for a couple of years while teaching high school choir. I took a few random pictures.

Between Stockton and Antioch is The Delta--lots of waterways.

There was no one behind me, so I stopped for a sec.

This was my apartment in Antioch--this building, lower left apt.
The gate is new.

Great sign, but this place was closed--it used to be a cheap Mexican
restaurant that used horrible sauce.

Like many things in Antioch, this sign has seen better days.

Antioch Bridge--you actually get some height on that thing, with some
great views on a clear day.

Sacramento/San Joaquin River

Historic Downtown Antioch

I found Antioch to be much as it was when I left in 2008...not much changes, really. People give Stockton a bad rap but I find it much more thriving and pleasant than I've ever found Antioch.

This weekend, I'm at Mom and Dad's. On Friday we drove to Stockton so I could get my mail. To avoid the traffic on Interstate 80, we took the scenic route home, and I got some cool pictures of our recent strange weather from a moving car.

(P.S. Part of the reason I haven't been very bloggy this past week, aside from posting old "Anxious Traveler" posts, is because I've had a cold, which I'm convinced is brought on by the constantly changing weather we've had. The barometric pressure in my sinus cavities is off the charts.)

That's Sacramento off in the distance.

A common sight this time of year.

We stopped to buy some strawberries.

They really really were.

Yesterday we made a quick trip to the cemetery where my grandparents are interred. We don't go often, but for Memorial Day it seemed appropriate to leave fresh flowers and a small flag.

We took the long way home. Dad got the idea to stop in Folsom for a bowl of Wonton soup at our favorite Chinese restaurant. Mom and I were delighted.

This is where Grandma and Grandpa lived, as long as I knew them.

"One-stop shopping!" I cried to Mom and Dad. We all got a laugh.

We chatted with the restaurant's proprietor. Mom and Dad told him of their fall trip to China and how much they enjoyed it. He told us he's been in the US for 35 years. The restaurant itself has been in business since 1957. I think it's a family business that he's taken over, because when we started eating there--in the 1980s, he was a busboy and waiter.

He always has a big smile and a hearty "hello!" for us when we visit--and he's always there. We just love Hop Sing Palace.

You can see that despite living in a quite urban area, there is still a lot of open space nearby and that it's quite huge. California always feels so big to me--big sky, lots of land. It's certainly gorgeous in its way.