About Me

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I was recently set free by an amazing woman who gave me 3 beautiful children. At the ripe age of 37 years old I am currently learning about dating, in the 2011's. So much has changed and my old ways seems rusty at best, and to be honest, they were never all that good :-)But here I am, making my way.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Issue #8 - Icebreaker - I'm not HIM! I'm me!

To my followers, both of you, I wanted to say sorry for the delay, I have been having...issues, but they are fixed. I know its been months since I last posted a blog and I wasn't sure I when or IF I would even return to blogging. But like the saying goes, "Opinions are like Assholes and everyone has one!" I'm no different.  Icebreaker is MY opinion, My perspective, and My outlet. The world be damned, I'm gonna make this blog EPIC and not a waste of time (shameless plug on a previous blog topic)....also the few followers I do have, seem to like it, so without further a due, Icebreaker's return:

My last blog indicated that I was going to write a "4 part series" which was based off of something I can't even remember. Now I want you to think of it like a TV series cliff hanger, season finale, but without the proper closure in the season premire, 'cuz that's what that part of my life was. I was attempting to make my way, doing the things the way I have always done them and hoping for a different outcome. I think that's a definition of something, but Wikipedia isn't working so I'm not gonna bother with the word. But that mentality was the source of my failures, and from the ashes rises a Phoenix or in my case a chiseled Icebreaking machine!! ;-)

I guess its best to start with a short explanation of my fall and ultimate wake up...strike!! This winter I turned into a home body, a recluse, a couch potato, a {yikes} Big L (hand to forehead with thumb and forefinger). How did I get there, well, you read my blog, more failure than success stories. But how did I finally make some positive changes....with the help of a literal wake up strike to the balls. This isn't to say that I wasn't out in the field. I actually met and spend time with a couple great women. But it was in these, dare I say the word, "relationships", that I realized I was broken. When you have a great time with a woman and can't find yourself enjoying it, your broken. 

I was saying I was living in the moment, but my moment was somewhere in the past. I ended two relationships, short, but fun, with the basic saying of "I can't see where tomorrow is, but I'm fine with today, if that's not good enough for you, I understand." Both decided they wanted more and I'm happy to still call both friends. But that's not what made me realize I needed to change. It was the cock strike that woke me up.....!*$##@

Now I want to be clear here....I am not using a code or talking about an actual chicken, or some other secret language. When I say cock strike, that is what I mean...a direct, closed fist, side of the palm to the groin...the nuts and berries, the apples and sauce...you get the Austin Powers reference? (If not, you should probably stop reading cause this won't be funny to you!)

I remember it like it was 7 months and 3 days ago..roughly. I would like to say I was quietly minding my own business, I would like to say I wasn't at a bar, and I would like to say I didn't deserve it, but that would violate a blogging rule of mine. So, for the record, I was attempting to work the 'Kavorka" (when you can do no wrong with woman), I was at a bar, and I DID deserve something...not necessarily a cock smack, but...During my chat, the topic of being single came up and I replied that I was divorced. So was she. We formed a connection, *****IMPORTANT IDEA HERE**** on  negative topic! Now I didn't know this at the time, but by connecting on a negative topic, we began to talk about negative things in our lives, and although I felt I was having a Kavorka moment, it was actually me becoming her dumping ground for negative emotional baggage. 

Now when a woman is angry at an ex-husband and you start to reminder her of him, 1 of 3 things can happen. 1.) Angry, no holds barred, sex. [WOOT WOOT]  2.) Parting as friends who shared pain. [Cool] 3.) Simply put, a cock punch. [Who knew right..I would think there would multiple outcomes, none of which involved a cock punch!!] But there I was enjoying a drink with a pretty lady, talking, sharing f...fee...feelings!! But as she spoke I found myself thinking.. "Where is this going?" Believing in only 2 possible outcomes, and hoping for Choice #1. I decided it was time to work the magic I learned from all my failures, I mean I knew what I was doing now!!

It was time to change the topic, I needed a transition sentence of some type.  I had to turn this topic around, but I was unsure of how to do it. So I decided, based on what I thought I saw, to start making physical contact, you know...grounding . Go big or go home, right? Nothing overt..at first, but I missed that I wasn't being touched back. She wasn't saying no verbally because she was talking about her hurt feelings, I was also missing the volumes she was saying in body language. Being the sensitive guy I am, I moved my hand to her knee as I said the words "life goes on, we have to deal with it."  well apparently this is something similar to what her ex had said on the day he told her he had a girlfriend, who was 10 years her younger, and "better in the sack". (Real nice guy!!) This caused a physiological response of her looking down and to the left. 

Now I recognized this immediately as meaning - her body was performing a combination of emotional and creative recalls, and in the time it took me to process that, she attempted to move my hand from her knee. Now everyone knows, its better to move your hand yourself, then to have a chick move it. If she actually touches it, the set back is tough to recover from, but if you can move it first, you have the opportunity to go back. So I pulled it away quickly, and in her haste to move it combined with not knowing my hand was going to move, I took a shot to the boys! I made a horrific noise, more out of fear than actual pain. People looked and her hand was coming from the groin area. This intern embarrassed her and she ran off, crying! And no, she didn't not come back! Still trying to figure out if she was being creative about her bar tab or really hurt!!

So there I was, in a bar, having taken a shot to the frank and beans, with a chick that ran away, crying, while being stared at by everyone!! I was actually waiting for some disgruntled lady to throw a drink on me. The bottom line was ended up I paying both tabs and I looked like a Bag of Dicks. Oh, yeah, I left a lone too, but worst of all I looked like THAT GUY to everyone in the place and kind of felt that way too. So I packed it up and headed home. This is when I decided to find the guy I WAS, and learn how to stop being the guy I had become!

See I remember a time in my life when I had the ability to talk with anyone, hell everyone, a time when I was filled with real smiles, and could start a party without trying. Over then next few months I came to terms with my faults and the biggy here, relationships fail because you become stagnant. The failures in my life were MY fault, I had the ability to control them and chose not  I'm the guy who gets better and smarter everyday, I learn from everyone around me, but more importantly, I found the Kavorka...for life not for women, but they seem to like too!!!

Who am I? I'm the Icebreaker - 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Blog #7 - Does Foghorn needs his Leghorn - Part 1 of a 4 part series

Fog Horn Leg Horn is a classic, yet under valued, cartoon icon. I think its because his name sucks. Its just to damn long, I tried shortening it to like just Foghorn.....then just Leghorn. The truth is Foghorn Needs his Leghorn. And with that thought, oddly enough, came the wing-man. i mean I had always had one at my side and I felt like I wasn't reaching my full potential. It was time to fly from the nest. But before I start the next journey, I wanted to recap the wing-man’s role, because honestly, they can make or break you, regardless of your level skill in the “game”.

As my transition from “Husband” to “Single” has been interesting and I have found that I seemto use nick names and terms about every junction I pass through. This being no different I wanted to share some of the wing-man situations that have presented themselves as I moved through single life. These situations are based off my own experiences and are all products of incidents involving a wing-man (or in 1 case an “Alleged incident”).

The “Goalie”:

So it starts with what I will call a “bad” night. I was confronted with various “outside forces” acting in concert with the Universe to shatter a perfectly nice summer evening. in the aftermath, I lie on the couch, mumbling to myself, some drool formed in the corner of mouth. The dog was staring at me in disbelief, I think wondering if she could finally kill the cat without me noticing. The house was dead quiet! If it were a movie, it would have been an ominous sign.

Then my cell rings...breaking the silence, causing me to choke on the saliva, but its actually the first good news of the night. The ring tone isn’t the Imperial March nor is it the cackling laugh of a witch, both bad signs!!! Its the theme from “Blade”, no idea the name but I like the beat, it picks me up and lets me know the night might  still be salvaged. Sadly I learn the Dude may have had an equally disturbing evening. The choices that present themselves are simple, drool on the couch alone, or hit the field and see I can play the game. The decision is made, lets play ball!!!

So we hit the town, drool is gone and I found that I had become severely dehydrated. I seem to remember a saying like “Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate” or did I learn that at the quitters convention known as AA? (Yeah I called you a quitter!!) The main problem was that I hadn’t begun drinking early, so I had to compensate by drinking often.

One of the fun parts about my life is that I don’t plan, plans are for those that lack imagination and creativity to deal with evolving situations that life presents. Once we hit the city we decide to be our own person and meet up later. The Dude started the “rounds”and I did the perch and pounce. You know sit and or stand in one area and let the ladies walk by me. As I was waiting for the “right” woman to walk by I saw an unattractive, yet well endowed, woman looking my way. She approached and spoke with me. No cause for concern here, I wasn’t interested in the least, so I was calm, confident, and polite. All 3 of these things sent the wrong message, but she walked away with a smile, so no harm done! I continued my perch tactics, but decided to move to a different location in case she came back around. No use being easy to find, I didn’t want the “rude” that I’m so capable of using being thrown out there.

I find 2 young ladies, short skirts, long legs, blonde hair, sitting alone. But damn, why do they all look so young?? And no I don’t feel like a dirty old man. I step to the plate, game time is here and I’m not sure I can pull it off, big swig, empty my glass and walk up. The opener I chose was corny but it gives me more room to move, you can make fun it, yourself, or as I did in this case, some poor sap that I said used it a few minutes before.So for my opener I asked her if the tag of her shirt said “made in heaven?” She, and her friend, looked disgusted, I pointed to the Dude who was still making rounds, and said “I just heard him say it” and then I waved with him off with the 2 finger - thumb out wave, a pre-determined sign to stay away for now. He looks confused and walks off and with that the “opener” was sold, and they giggle with me, at him. Ice-broken! We discuss his poor choice of pick-up lines and I SUAL (remember Shut Up And Listen). They enjoy talking about themselves and I enjoy thinking I’m doing good. Then one starts smoking. The other takes a couple puffs. Now, maybe I’m picky, or stupid, but the idea of cigarette breath, complete turn OFF. I think about it more....and decide to order myself another drink, in a high ball glass, make it a double! Maybe I can move past this, I mean seriously, if we add their ages together then they are older than me, and so I could call them Cougars!! I continue running commentary, I’m doing well, they offer a smoke. I think “No, smoking sucks!” Oh, did I say that out loud....yes, yes I did. They are offended, they say I should find little “Ms. Perfect” I say I will, but I’m waiting for my drink and they leave.

They had a nice spot outside, and oddly enough I hear someone say, thanks the smell of smoke sucks. There I go, another opening built off the first. I turn, its Ms. Well Endowed! Shit, she snuck up on me. She sees I’m low on my drink and tells the waitress I needed a refill. Although I already had one coming I let her order me another, and I say Kettle and Soda, High Ball, double, again. My 1st drink arrives, which I inhale, while keeping up the small talk, all the taboo topics like politics, religion, Yankees vs. Red Sox...nothing seemed to offend her. The Dude comes by again, this time I send out the 4 fingers and a half wave, meaning “Help” as in S.O.S. He giggles and walks away, I roll my eyes, she thinks I was being funny about her topic, which I clearly wasn’t listening too! But it was a ruse, and he returns. “Hey man I need help, Ladies, I need to steal my friend” and BAM I’m out. I realize I missed the free drink though and decide to work on my timing better!

I run into some friends and settle into the evening. Nothing like friends and a few high ball glasses to recover from what might have been a bad night. As I chat I see Ms. Well Endowd, she’s with her friend, she smiles, I give the ‘how you doing’ nod...wait, what did I just do??? Shit...I recognize this, I had inadvertently put on the goggles! I look away, mental note, DON’T MAKE EYE CONTACT!!

Although I know I can trust myself, I begin to look for the exit, no need to take chances. I mean, whats the big deal anyway....Holy shit...I better find the Dude and get outta Dodge!! AS I walk past her, she grabs my arm, she has my drink. I take it, a drink is a drink, Curses, she is smart!!! We talk, she seems nice, and as I stare at her chest, she doesn't attempt to draw my attention else where...Damn Goggles!! I look around for help as she asks where I’m headed. She thinks she is headed home for a drink...was it an open ended statement? Crap...the goggles have welded themselves to my face.

I’m in full on panic now. Is this it, is tonight the night I have chew my own arm off. See back in the day, it was easy to tell a chick to pound sand, I wasn’t out to find a friend and when I made it home, there was going to be a lady there waiting! Now the goggles and foggy judgement were playing trick on me. I could walk out without her, no one would know...Mopeds are fun, right?? As I was patting myself on the back about how I was going from Icebreaker to Closer...which was clearly not the debate I should have been having. The Goalie came out of no where. He was like a savior, I knew instantly, he saw inside my head. “What are thinking man?” he said.  I said I’m gonna do something “big and bad!” No, no your not, and like that I was saved. He thwarted her scoring drive, gave the Dude a penalty flag for unnecessary distance from a bad decision, and escorted me away the source.  She walked away. As she did I was thankful, I was wondering if I could have chewed through my own arm to avoid waking her!

Sadly I never gave him a proper thank you. The Goalie is the unsung hero. Closing with that girl would have been a loser for me, after all no sex is better than the kind your friends get to make fun of you for!

So does Foghorn need his Leghorn? He did that night and Goalie....Your the man!!!

Icebreaker out!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Blog #7 - Epic Waste of Time

Epic....is defined at Dictionary.com as noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style.

Now what could I do that could be considered Epic and centered upon the hero, who I guess would be me as the stories main character? I guess I’m beginning to think I have more in common with Shakespeare than the referenced Homer, as these lessons are making me feel like I’m writing a great tragedy!

Recently, as I have settled into my single life I’m trying to pay attention to what I say before I say it, to look for signs from the woman I interact with. As I sat in a restaurant with a couple friends I was oblivious to apparent interest from a bartender. When she came over, she payed more attention to me than the others. My glass was never empty long, but my friends needed to ask. If you broke our group in 4Th's, she looked mostly into my area. Did I see this? No....it had to be pointed out to me, but before I finish this story let me give you some background.

Now I’ve had my fair share of missed opportunities with woman I might have met, had I done this or that. I’ve had my share of woman I should NOT have met. And Yes I have a few instances of dropping the proverbial ball!! The bottom line I miss signs of actual interest all the time and I’m trying to figure out why? I mean are girls difficult to read? Do they play games? Hide their wants? The short answer, I’m told is no, I’m just blind!!

I think this is a funny topic because I brag to my friends that “I got game” and I think its finally sinking in, my “game” is that I have no game! Lets start this discussion while seated at the bar....yes....the service bar! But the time frame we are going to start talking about, I didn’t know why I was seated there, just that I was!

Early on when I hit the town, I kind of used the quantity vs. quality game plan and then if that didn’t work, I moved on to the have another drink.. I didn’t know if anyone was interested in me, I just kept going until someone talked back and I went from there. And I learned a lot of lessons. Here's a great one to learn, and try and learn it the first time.

If you happen upon a large group of woman, flirty woman, in lets say a bachelorette outing scenario. The worst scenario ever to be caught in, because most of the stories the guys tell, its all smoke and mirrors, no real shot at anything. You can’t sheep dog your way in, charm it, or distract with the crows to steal away 1 with a tactic like the “Handoff” because these woman watch out for each other.  See its afun night for them. They are looking for a fun memory, and I’ve been part to a few, not as Icebreaker, but that’s a story that stays in the vault! But lets say you happen upon  a group, much like I did and you decide to use a direct approach and are welcomed with open arms. Don’t feel good, or great like I did nor should you have any lofty thoughts of a bed full of ladies (might have crossed my mind). Think this instead...Don’t buy shots!! or drinks for that matter!! Its a trap, not unlike those told in Greek mythology, where sailors are lured to their destruction by the wondrous songs of the Sirens, perched on the island as the ships pass. These Saloon Sirens welcome you in, surround you, and then milk you for free drinks with never a filthy thought! You become seduced by your own man thoughts and welcome the attention, while slowly draining your wallets life blood. I was sucked into this vortex and the word “Shots” spewed from my filthy word maker! It was received in a very positive manner, “Of course”, “sure” and I was further surrounded. Bosom's pressed into me from all sides, furthering knocking out my sense of clarity. Bartender, we need a round of “Red Headed Sluts”. I was giving myself points for a creativity and maybe a leading thought for a few of the ladies. I enjoyed my shot. They did as well, and suddenly I was on the outside of the pack, an outcast! Well I will work my way back in, “Bartender...” I was cut off, thankfully by the Dude. I was pulled from the clutches of destruction, saved from the simple truth, men think different that woman. I was given advice “Never buy shots, if your doing it right, they buy ‘em for you.” It was a tough lesson to learn, close to 60 bucks tough! Saloon Sirens....they still make me shutter! Now I’ve told you, but it won’t stop you, hell it might not stop me from trying again, but I will remember, No Shots!

Wish I could say this was the only lesson I had to learn or that I never mis-judged a woman, or never said the wrong thing, but hey, isn’t that what this about? I remember a tough night and as it happens, a rough one for a friend as well. We decided to hit the town and enjoy the night life in the hopes it would help us forget ours, if just for an evening. We cruised “The District” in search of a party and found one. We came we saw, I tried to conquer. My friend got all fetched up by a pair of tiny white shorts. (I’ll agree, well worth getting all fetched up about!) me, I just got fetched up and all bowed over! as the evening progressed I found myself talking a girl “with a great personality”. Now I mean it, she was nice, nice to talk to, but maybe not so nice to look at and I know that sounds jerky, but it was true!! A short time later a true friend stopped the conversation, pleasantly, before it turned into something else. We left for an OTB adventure. I think the term most appropriate is that I “threw responsibility away!” Sorry, yet another story for the vault. Maybe I should say the lesson I learned here is bring a buddy, he can save you from sleeping with the fat chick! LMAO! Sorry that’s terrible, but I’m already going to hell! Instead I’ll soften it up and say this. “All fetched up and bowed over” may be just what the doctor ordered, but its like mixing prescription meds, bad shit can happen if you don’t read the label!!

As I move toward my “epic” waste of time I thought I would share yet another silly situation I screwed up. I reconnected with an old friend early in the summer and on one particular occasion I met her out for a out for a drink. We had a nice time, enjoyed a laugh, reminisced about “back in the day”. Now it should be noted that around this same time my ex was in a new place and I had the house to myself. I was out of the boat, kinda of, I mean the boat was cool, and the have I told you about fridge....? I digress.... as we left the bistro she asked if I had a place to stay. I’d like to say I had keen situational awareness and responded with “Why no, I’ll probably just head to the boat.” or anything that sounded like I was between places. But I did not. What came forth from that horrible word maker was “Yeah, I totally moved back into my house! I’m excited to be home again.” As soon as I said it, I said to myself, “Self, your an idiot!” Now I don’t know where a different response  may have led, I do know that mine led me home, alone. Is anyone getting my point, its a wonder I’m not a 37 year old virgin!!

On to the Epic waste of time.....Where did I leave off, oh yes, I was missing signs in the roadway.  My friends decided I needed some words of wisdom as I had missed some obvious signs: “WTF is wrong with you, missing that shit!” Thanks that helps with the confidence. So I pay attention, and hey, they were right. I think this is where it all went wrong for me. See I don’t have game, so if I don’t know I’m playing, I do better. I attempted to woo her with charm, but I couldn't find any! I tried to be funny, because that comes naturally, and I wasn’t. I moved on to grounding, which helped but I couldn’t generate spark. To admit I have no game, and then to say I was way off my game, should paint a picture of how bad I was doing. Somehow she stayed interested and as her shift ended she said her good byes. I guess the one thing I did right was ask her to stay and join us for a drink, which she happily agreed. (Still doing research for my previous article Coin v. Kind) She talked about boyfriend trouble, and I’m happy to say her voice didn’t annoy me. See I there is a woman I know, whose voice is similar to nails a chalk board, but I’m mostly nice, so I haven’t said anything....yet! Long story short, somewhere in here I allowed her to loose all interest in what ever she thought she might have found. A friend, asked point blank if she would go out with me.  A firm No was stated, followed by “I’m sorry hun, its nothing personal.” Ha........ Epic waste of time and energy on a bartender, but I'm not ready to say my ex was right just yet!

I had a short debate with my friends about this epic waste of an evening. They agree, I have no game, or at least not on that night. Thanks!!! They also pointed out an interesting theory. I may be the “Safe Guy” so women let their guard down around me. I just need to learn to use that. But see in reality, nothing is an Epic waste of time, I learned that I’m the Safe Guy, that words are like bullets, you can’t get them back, and to say No Shots when Salon Sirens are involved. I have new tools to learn to use and although I may be the safe guy because I have no idea what I’m doing,  I can say, I’m having fun doing it!

Icebreaker out!.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Blog #6 - Coin vs. Kind!

This particular blog has taken some time to write. I have stories and ideas but as I started to write them, well they just weren't funny. I felt like I was loosing my mojo and then the unthinkable happened. My ex-wife decided to give me some advice, because you know, she likes to look out for me. Now,  I know that sounds “cheeky” and “sarcastic” but coming from her, it is,  isn’t, I meant isn’t!! HA! In the grand scheme, she was my “muse” for this edition. I was thinking about writing on a topic that kind of parallelled her advice so I’ll see if can combine them into something interesting... But first things first, the advice:
Bartenders, by the nature of their job, are nice to everyone because...wait for it.... they work on TIPS.
So after the shock of the news flash passed, I decided that she had a theory, which would require testing. So over a cold beer I thought about how much she likes to “help” me, and about how much I like to prove her wrong. But its all in good fun, right? Anyway, I jumped right in, both feet and head first, no wait....well....here’s the story of Coin versus Kind.
I guess first I should say that I spend some time at the bars, No, seriously, I do! Its called research people!! I mean how else do I come up with this stuff, because you CAN’T make it up!!! The advice came from a misguided thought that I was barking up the wrong tree and my ex wanted me to know that I was probably being manipulated. That being a newly single man, I may have forgotten that women who work, and get tips are always nice to potential customers. But I beg to differ. As the Icebreaker I know a thing or two about mis-reading women! {Screen wobbles and eerie music plays as I remember a close call} The early summer was in full swing. I was in a daze, still confused about being single. I was in an strange emotional place where a total lack of caring was confused as an ability to talk to woman. So as I started talking to different people I came across a young lady, very pretty, smart, kind, and, I thought a bit flirty. So being a “guy,” naturally I thought that she was into me...hanging on my every word. I continued to talk with her. I flirted, innocently, she talked to me. Key word there, she talked to me. Now for a guy, who was wondering if he still “had it”, any positive reinforcement was immediately mis-read and translated into “How you doin?”by yours truly. I thought she wanted me, and in reality she wanted me to.....leave her alone and stop harassing her! HA!
Now it didn’t get that bad but she was about 3 weeks from her wedding and was just nice. Now why am I telling you this, because she was not unlike a bartender, talking to people because its what they do. So I took a lesson from my almost public humiliation and moved directly to bars, because woman I know can confuse me! From that life lesson I began looking for a “safe” place to relax, enjoy a beer, and practice my rusty skills....yes a bar!
The Dude says, start at the service bar. Which is new to me, because I say sit with your back to the door, you never know what might come in. Then almost by accident that gave us the opportunity to talk to the  bartenders. Now (read using a British accent) whilst observing the prey in its natural habitat, (back to American blog English) I realized 2 things. 1st they get hit on by every Tom, Dick, and Harry, and 2nd if they know you, your chances of getting drink quick go up fast! So now you know how the ex’s advice ties into my real topic, Get the bartender to know you!.
Everyone who sits down can “know” the bartender. Hell if the bar is busy, I listen to the people around me until I hear a name that works and then I start to shout it out. But how to settle the Coin vs. Kind debate. Well let me let you in a secret, bartenders are like nurses, they smile, they help make you feel better, but when its time to tell you to STFU, (Shut The Fuck Up) they don’t waste time. So rule 1, don’t be told to STFU!!  The next thing I learned was that before they remember you, they remember what you drink, case in point I was Kettle and Soda at one place, Jack and Ginger at another, Shock Top, and for a short stint I was Gin Martini extra dirty 3 olives (that had a bad ending but I blame Taco Bell not the martini....) Oh and at once place I was “Get out and don’t come back!” but that was really the midgets fault! Seriously it was but due to certain legal “ramifications” its best I keep that story in the vault...and don’t go getting MADD at me either, I always have a ride and in order to properly research this topic I needed to cover a vast area.
Whats my point? I order the same drink at the same place so that I get what they call “brand recognition.” It seems silly but if I walk in with a “friend” and I’m immediately given a drink, followed by “What will she have?” It makes you look a little taller for the rest of the evening. The bottom line is, bartenders have heard every pick-up line in the book so forget them, so unless your the current version of the Icebreaker, who can use corny pick-up lines like no buddy’s business, just be yourself. or a quieter version. The key is avoid rule #1, try not be called “Get out and don’t come back!” and you can go from knowing the bartender to the bartender knowing you. As far as the debate of Coin vs. Kind, who cares, have fun, ask her out and if she says No, you can thank my ex-wife, if she says Yes, you can thank me!
Icebreaker Out!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blog #5: Are you one of “THEM?.... -

The great part of a writing your OWN blog, is that its made up of random thoughts and stories, so if you feel like bouncing around, you can, so here goes. Recently I received some words of wisdom from  the ‘Professional’, who provided me with his insight on the subject “Rules of Engagement”. I liked his rules, they were simple, straight forward, and easy to follow. I mean after all, I have said many things about me, but I never used the word smart! As I  listened  in silence I started to wonder, what are my “rules”? So I decided I should take some time to understand what works and what doesn’t, because someday I may want to date and I don’t want miss the opportunity to speak to a great woman because I was ill prepared.

As I mentioned at the beginning of my blog “... things in life get complicated on their own” and so the Ice-breaker started his over thinking of this subject. You have to start some where, so I asked myself “Do you have any rules? If I don’t, does that make me a bad guy or a “playa” (HA!) or something else? Am I  comfortable with lying...ummm wait...no, subterfuge? (I know, right, 3 syllables, and sounds way better than the L word.) This evolved into 2 separate issues. The first was the technical issue and the second was the moral issue.

A friend asked me if I was going to become one of “THEM”. Now I’m not completely sure who THEY were, and I’m not sure I am THEM, but I think I should try out for the team and see if I like THEM or not, right? Hey, before you pass judgement, understand I came out of a long term, committed relationship, and I felt like I needed some “me time”. But not wanting to ruin my agenda I decided to put a side the “moral” debate, for now, and concentrate on the technical issues.

So here is what I was lacking, a clear methodology for my initial contact and follow through. I decided to approach this like a college research paper; problem, hypothesis, testing, results. I was hoping that I would get the right results, the first time, but I was looking forward to the testing! So I formulated a strategy, Could there be an effective set of techniques applied to my Ice-breaker routine that could be cataloged and used every time? Not that I had my question that needed answering, I put my people watching skills into action. So each time I went out I would observe and test those observations. Now I wasn’t without my own skill set. See, I have a career that requires me to meet new people on a daily basis and build a relationship that allows that person share secrets with me. I set out to  watch several people, the Dude, the Professional, along with my own  expierences, and some random crash and burns. Here is what I learned:

  • Theory #1 Corney lines; “Excuse me Miss, can I see the tag of your shirt? Oh,  I thought it said made in heaven!” Now this doesn’t work and you don’t get any points for having  the nuts to say one. But using that embarrassing story, while pointing to a random drunk idiot at the bar, saying “That guy just said...Now that does work. I tried both in one night.

  • Theory #2 Hello Hugger; You know, the guy who gives every woman he meets a hug, not the  offensive grope guy, but more of a sassy hello. I think there is fine line between a fashionable hug and becoming the  “Creeper” and you kind of have to know the girl your about to hug. See, and its a bit awkward,  if you try the Hello Hugger routine and a girl you have never met. The disclaimer is you will probably meet the bouncer, Oh wait, he liked being called a “Doorman”, either way you’ll have find a new bar for a while.And this error in judgment occurred prior to an OTB incident, several bad choices due to my friend Jack Daniels!! On a personal note I  couldn’t commit to a full time “hugger”. Its not who I am. I’m not a big emotional sharer, and honestly hugs, they seem to fit into THAT “F” as in “FEELINGS” category. So I learned about what I call  “grounding”, just make physical contact, it goes a long way.

  • Theory #3 Subterfuge; Notice I didn’t say “lying” because we all know lying is bad, but subterfuge, now thats OK!! I found it to be a tricky one though. See if I owned a boat, it worked. If I drove a Camaro, it worked. I neither own a boat, nor drive a Camaro, but I had open access to both (well maybe not actually driving the Camaro, but I could sit in it). Now if I said I was a Cop, I got the handcuff question, a welder for a nuclear power plant even worked, go figure. But if you, say have a frosty adult beverage or two or 12, and say your a cop, who drives a Camaro, while living on your boat, who welds stuff on the side,  you may have to prove something. And once you have to prove all that, well you lost! So, I found that keeping the subterfuge to a minimum and close to who you actually are, well that works just fine.

  • Theory #4 Talk, Talk, Talk vs. Listen, listen, listen; So as I explored my Ice-breaking skills I found that I would start a conversation and then keep talking. That’s my nature, I almost never shut up and I talk fast! So on one particular instance, I started speaking with a blond, because well, I have a thing for blonds. I felt I was doing well, she was head nodding, eye contact, all that stuff, but not escatly a smile on her face. Then  I was rescued from myself by The Dude. He is always helpful (except that 1 day at the rib, when I clearly “called the ball”!) Anyway he sat behind the girl I was talking to and got my attention, subtlety, thenmade the universal “zip it” sign. Then pointed to the girl and gestured that maybe I should ask her about her. So I did. Then she started talking, rather than nodding, and guess what, smiled. I said Shit because I knew that one! This is funny, because I said “shit” out loud, while she was talking, and it threw her off. I apologized for the swear, saying I was accentuating her story and she continued. So there was my reminder about Shut up And Listen!

  • Theory #5 - Mirroring techniques; Now this one is I learned at work. Its actually a way to deal with hostility or closed posture. See sometimes you find people are just not in the right frame of mind to open up to you. If, during your approach, you watch the body language, you can tell who wants to meet someone and who is out for, well, getting drunk! Now as I said, I use this at work all the time, but I gave it a field trial one night while out with friends. A girl in the group was overly quiet, arms crossed, and lost in thought. I was sitting next to her so I mirrored her posture, arms folded looking away. Then as I spoke with her,  I turned to face her. I asked questions to get her talking and then slowly opened my arms and turned my body toward her. She slowly, and without knowing, unfolded her arms, turned toward me, and began talk more freely. Then I grounded myself, further putting her at ease. Her mood changed and we had a nice talk. Then like an idiot, I pointed out what I did to her and she closed up again. Funny thing, I was able do the exact thing again with the same result, once again reminding myself to shut up and listen!

So after s few nights of bar hopping, I came up with the “Ice-breaker’s Laws of Contact” and here they are:

1. Be Confident
2. Shut Up And Listen
3. Ground early
4. Be yourself, or a close approximation
5. Use Mirroring techniques

Am I one of “THEM?” No, I'm not, or rather I haven't been before, but now that I have some idea of what I'm doing, I think it might be time for a tryout! I’ll keep you posted.....

Ice-breaker out!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rules of Engagement - As noted by the "Professional"

As you know I'm always looking to test or perfect my Icebreaking craft. I had some time and decided to interview the "Professional". He explained that he had specific theories in regards to the Rules of Engagement when talking to woman. I wanted to be enlightened and he instructed me to get a legal size note pad, not one of those dinky steno's, and pen with plenty of ink!  Finally, I thought, some hard and fast rules. I'm sure you've all been there, what are the "Do's" and  "Don't's". So I nestled into a comfy place and prepared myself to be amazed.

The Professional looked at me and after a few minutes of silence said "Any questions?" I was confused at first because surely, there a things that you shouldn't do or say. Then I remembered an important lesson that Po of Kung-fu Panda learned, "Their is no secret ingredient!" I thought of my limited experience and realized I already knew this.

Its just how you deal with life. If you can believe in yourself, other will. Then my friends, the world is your oyster! I thanked the Professional for his insight and hit the District. I had mastered one tool and I was eager to perfect the rest!  

Ice breaker out!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Blog #4 part 2: Call the ball = MEOW! Meaning…Presentation is key!

As we approach The Rib, I remind myself of the term SAUL (Shut Up And Listen). This is an exercise I use regularly to keep my mouth shut, I have a tendency to talk to much!! As we walk up the ramp in the back I scan the area. I see a blonde haired woman wearing a white shirt and tight fitting jeans. She is talking to another woman that I think I know. I turn to the Dude and I say “I’m calling the ball, the blond in the white, over there (I point to ensure clarity) is mine!” As we enter I want to mention that the Dude is wearing camo-shorts and button down shirt. It’s the Camo shorts I want you to remember. I tell you this because a woman who could have been his mother, let’s say in her late 50’s approached him. She was wearing something with leopard prints on it. She grabs his arm, turns to face him and says…wait, wait….before I tell you. This was a great moment for me because I usually get the crazy ones coming up to talk to me while he sits there and laughs. So I absorb as much of this moment as I can, hoping and praying that she says/does something to lift the weight of the golden retriever story from my chest. As they say from your lips to gods ears, she does. She looks him deep into his eyes, and says “Are you hunting Cougars?” His witty response..”Seriously??” I did the proverbial LMFAO! Then like a good friend, I promptly ditched him.

Now I had what you call “tunnel vision” as I approached the table my blonde friend was sitting at. But I was focused on the where I was going to sit and not who was sitting at the table. It was as if my inner shy guy and my “Icebreaker” mentality were fighting each other. But I pulled it all together at the last second. I grabbed a chair, sat down, looked up and began to speak to the blonde….whom I had never met before and was NOT the woman I was thinking I was going to meet.

It would have been easy to “choke” or kindly apologize and move on, but I had spent a lot of time to get here and, honestly, if I backed out I would have had yet another story to be ridiculed about at Happy Hour. So I made a fast decision and jumped in, and introduced myself, and immediately used the “Cougar hunting” story as my introduction and cover. I said that my friend and I had been attempting to politely avoid the lady, who had turned stalker, and thought that if we sat with her, we could avoid a scene. She was ok with it and the Dude, finally breaking away from lioness of the Serengeti, fell in step like we had planned it that way all along. A friend of hers joined the group and we began a lively conversation.

This conversation turned quickly into a make shift competition between the Dude and I, as he was clearly muscling in on my blonde friend. He had mentioned he owned a 38 foot boat and regularly Captain’s his friend’s 80-foot yatch. He talked about his 2010 Camaro SS and then dropped the bomb, about his house in the islands. See I have a house, not on an island and I drive a wagon! Now he wasn’t being egotistical, nor was he bragging, he just has a way to say all of these things without sounding like a dick. He has Game. I decided I needed to hold a “court” and gave the “regroup” sign. We both excused ourselves for the purpose of hydration….

Now for the dilemma… He was clearly cock-blocking me but when court is in session all sides are heard. The Dude felt I had improperly “called the ball”, thereby making our new blonde friend, fair game. He added that I spent more time talking with her friend, rather than her, and thought I had changed targets mid-game. He wasn’t cock-blocking he was simply rolling with the situation. Hmm…he made a sound argument but as judge and jury, I found him guilty. What does that mean…he buys the next 3 drinks. We mingled our way back to our new friends but the “mojo” was gone. Our game play was off. I realized I had made the mistake. The game changed and I refused to roll with it. I had become the wingman, and I failed the team. Although shortly thereafter we instituted “Dude Rules” to even the playing field. No more Camaro, boat, yacht, or island talk without authorization.

Fast forward now to Halloween 2011, we were at Rod’s CafĂ©, a favorite local hang out, and it happened to be the night of their costume party. Lots of people dressed up, which poses a problem. I mean what do they really look like…is the Goth Girl dressed up or is that her everyday appearance?? Who knows!! What I can tell you is that there was a Cat-woman at the party. Her costume was made of skin tight black leather, or something tight…and…black…and yes, she had blonde hair. No need to explain further, right?? Anyway prior to seeing Cat-woman, grab a drink and sit and that’s when I she walked toward me.

Now I don’t really get intimidated by woman anymore, beautiful, tall, blonde or brunette, I can hold my own. She is walking quickly, and I know I have to act fast, or I’ll miss my opportunity, and a missed opportunity is someone else’s chance! But under the pressure all can muster is hello, which actually comes out like Hel—Loo! To my amazement, she stops, whirls around and places her hands, palm down, on our table. Her back is arched seductively, and her legs, wrapped in tight black leather, go all the way to the floor! Now I’m feeling pretty good, reeled this one in with 2 syllables, but before I can pat myself on the back, she looks right at the Dude, as if I’m not at the table and asks for help getting out of her costume. His response we already know, but here it is anyway “I’m qualified for that”, she says “now”, he says “right now?” “Yep”, and they disappear for about 15 minutes. I perform status updates and pout while I wait. Once they return, they both take a moment to introduce themselves to each other….Which at that point, why bother? but to each their own. This is where I begin my philosophical wrap-up of the two stories and what they mean, i.e. put on your boots!

What do these 2 stories have in common? I think they show a transition for me. From a self-conscious, slightly shy guy moving toward the man I once was, confident, witty, and ready to take on the world. The point I want to make with my blog is that I have been on my own for 5 months and I’m just starting to understand how different I was and how much closer I am to the man I want to be! These “exploits” are not about womanizing, which I haven’t done….yet…but about self-discovery.

John F. Kennedy once described Crisis this way “When written in Chinese the word "crisis" is composed of two characters - one represents danger and the other represents opportunity” I feel like I have two places I could go. The initial Crisis was me on my own and I’m choosing to use these stories as a map of opportunities that life has in store for me. 2 characters, Me and the Icebreaker, both moving forward!!!

Icebreaker out!