How many cats do *you* have?

Ah-hah! I lied. It was not lost. Attempt le deux.

Blah. I have some time now, theoretically, to do some crazy-like updating. This would be the one whereby I explain why I haven't posted in awhile. Or been online. Und so on.

I have big news and less news and assorted other news, depending on how regularly you read this site and how carefully you pay attention to what I say. :)

I guess in short, I'll talk about the biggish news. I don't want to seem like I'm making a huge deal of things, but at the same time, I do. I'll shut up and just get on with it now.

Basically, I've managed to meet someone special. Oooh... Yeah, shut up. This is a big deal to me.

We met through lavalife, and so now I can't completely trash the site anymore. After a bazillion years of no luck and so on, and me giving up I don't know quite how many times, I actually succeeded in meeting someone good through it. Who knew?

Those of you who read semi-regularly or regularly (and don't leave me comments... *sob*) would probably have figured this out based on my occasional references to the paramedic. They are indeed, one and the same.

The reason I hesitated in mentioning anything earlier was now-ingrained caution (which is still there to some extent), and wanting to talk to a few people offline about things first. Now that that's been handled, I feel a bit more comfortable about discussing things.

Like I said, we met on lavalife, and went out for a first coffee meeting back in... January, I'm pretty sure, when we were having that wonderful -40 spell. I showed up in many layers, with ridiculous toque-hair, and couldn't bring myself to really be too concerned about it, 'cause the hat had been off and on all day. There was really no rescuing any bad hair that I had. :P

We talked for several hours straight, had a good time, and then he drove me home. Yes, I get into cars with strangers, especially when it's just that cold. What can I say? He didn't seem especially scary.

Then I didn't really hear anything from him online or otherwise, so I figured that once again, lavalife wasn't going to pan out for me. Basically, another check in the "pleasant conversation out with someone cool" column, and moving on.

Then we were talking online one Sunday when I was at the station, and we were joking back and forth and I figured, what the hell – rejection always hurts less when it's online, right? :) I told him I was high enough on sugar that I was willing to take the risk, and asked if he'd be interested in trying another night out, or if I'd scared him off by talking too much or having bad hair. See, I know how to do things with confidence!

Oddly enough, he accepted. Huh!

So we made plans for a few days hence, and went out for Pho and what was supposed to be skating. Since things hadn't been open the night before, I figured that it wouldn't be open that night (never did find out if I was right or not, and I'd forgotten to look out when I was right there), so I didn't bring my skates. After dinner (which lasted until the restaurant closed, we think -- and we were pretty sure we were getting dirty looks from the restaurant owners), down the street aways we went to Bridgehead for coffee. Well, tea. We again closed that place out, but it was only open an hour past when we arrived, so it wasn't as big a deal.

I had to be up early the next day for a day-long work retreat (the events that I love so!), so I didn't want to make it too late of a night. He drove me to my place, then gave me a gift: a stamp that says, "Staple this to your face," in honour of the complaining I'd done about one of my coworkers (the night of the coffee). I can't recall his exact words when he gave it to me, but it implied that he'd been thinking about me, and I guess that was also evidenced by the gift. I was vastly amused, and one day I'll remember to bring it into work. For now, it's on my computer desk at home. :)

The next time we went out was his turn to plan. We both like trying to fob planning off on the other. Anyhow, we went for dinner at a Scottish place out in the West end, killed some time in Chapters (he asked me to give him a book to read, so I found The Road to Mars, by Eric Idle, which I'm also thinking about using as my book for book club), and then went to see a movie. Originally he'd mentioned Hotel Rwanda, but that became Hitch, which was fun. He didn't trust me with the pop after my story of spilling the drink on N the last time that I was at that particular theatre (to see Troy, though I have been there since, I now recall), and we both seemed to enjoy it. It was fun. :)

I'd talked a bit about my apartment, and I'd told him I'd show it to him later, so when we drove back to my place, I gave him a quick tour. While we were standing there, he told me I was hard to read. I've heard this before, but I've never thought so. Anyhow, he made reference to something that was stated in the movie, I laughed and said what I later figured was the wrong thing, we hugged and off he went.

I called his cell and explained myself, we talked briefly the next night (at the station, actually), and he was supposed to call me the next night. When he hadn't, I called him the following night and we made plans for a few days later. That time was my turn to plan.

This will start to overlap with things I've already posted, if I'm not mistaken, so sorry for the repeats. :) We went to one museum, left it for another, wandered around in there, then went for dinner. Back to my place, encountered the cop (oh, take note of the cop, since he comes back to haunt things, and there is actual cop resolution later on in this post), watched some CSI, had our first and second kiss, and in between I was asked, "So when are we getting together next?"

It's always nice when things move from the uncertain to the semi-certain. Remember, I take nothing for granted! Or at least I try not to. Then the other shoe will drop, which I am still expecting, 'cause I suck.

Next, we scaled things down just a touch. Apparently we were recreating his first group date when he first moved to the city, back at the start of high school: we had dinner at a nearby mall food court, then actually did a tiny bit of shopping -- I bought a bus pass, and I got the Trivial Pursuit 90s edition at the Toys R Us. We're still trying to figure out what wager to use when we finally have our grudge match -- any suggestions?

After that, it was over to the big arcade/games room for video games and arcade-type games. I beat him at a few times, which helped my self-confidence out (I usually don't get visibly competitive at things I suck at, or figure I suck at, but it's usually nice to do well at games now and again so as not to stick my confidence in the toilet). We exchanged the few tickets we'd bothered winning for an assortment of candy (which is still in my apartment), and we went over to his place to see it, meet the roommates and watch a movie.

His roommates were apparently really excited to meet me, which still makes me wonder what he'd been telling them about me, and I briefly saw their rooms, the one roommates' cats, and then it was downstairs to see his space. Which he'd cleaned before I got there, which always makes me feel kinda guilty when people do that -- goodness knows I never clean my place before having guests over, unless it's a big party event. Even then... well, for my housewarming party I did. That counts.

Anyhow, he went back upstairs to get the movie and I stayed downstairs, and when he returned he told me that the roommates approved of me, thought I was really cute, and that he was allowed to keep seeing me. These are girls, for the record. :)

So we watched Adventures of Pluto Nash, and it wasn't bad. I spent most of the movie going, "That guy! I know that guy!" and then the paramedic mocked me roundly for not being able to immediately come up with the name... like he was any help at all. Although if I'd said Alec, Baldwin, or Alec Baldwin, he said he would've been able to come up with the name. :P :)

After the movie was lots of talking and lots of laughing -- around this guy my cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing so much -- and lots of kissies. You get no more details than that.

I went home very late, got about 2 1/2 hours of good sleep, then an additional 1 - 1 1/2 hours of bad sleep (thank you, kitties!), and I was a zombie for work the next day. Urgh. Fortunately, the 3 meetings I had in a row (two of which were set to be at least 60-90 minutes long) were all cancelled or I wasn't told when they actually happened, so I got to hermit myself and not suffer too terribly.

I went home and slept for awhile curled up on the couch. Venus was in the middle, so I only got about half of it, and then Thena came along and spooned with me. It was very warm and cozy, and only interrupted when JW called to come by and pick something up. I'd cancelled my gym appointment because I knew I was just way too exhausted to do anything.

He called me while he was at work, so we talked briefly. There was another cop encounter here, if I'm not mistaken. Then I found that his friend was online, so I was trying to freak out the friend by talking about things I didn't know (I had his friend on my MSN list from a long time ago, also met through Lavalife -- which I'd learned on the ride home from the movie theatre). The paramedic had to go on a call, so I wound up talking to his friend for another hour or so, trying to quiz him on things.

I wasn't asking too much, 'cause I find it's more fun to learn that stuff from the person themselves, but I did learn that he wasn't seeing anyone else, he wasn't a player, and that apparently after our first coffee meeting, he didn't shut up about me for several days.


This harkens back to my semi-not-real-belief that boys don't feel the same things that girls do. I know it's not true, but there's a part of me that can't help but think that boys never obsess about girls or think about them all day or anything like that. Boys, tell girls that you think about them a lot, especially if you're fairly positive the feeling is mutual.
Seriously, stuff like that is a total boost to anyone's ego to hear.

I wound up fake bribing his friend with chocolate chip cookies (mint chips, apparently), in order to learn more information about the paramedic. According to him, if I had told paramedic's friend (PF) anything I didn't want the 'medic to know, he wouldn't have told. Good to know for future reference, though. >:) Anyhow, PF asked me if I was seeing anyone else, and told me to be honest, and I wasn't and I was. I wasn't quizzed too much on anything, and around midnight I packed myself off to bed.

The next morning I once again encountered the cop on my way to work (he was parked in a car across the street from my and my neighbour's doors). This is when the idea that he was stalking me was more or less confirmed.

The following night I was seeing the paramedic (soon I will come up with a better nickname/acronym, I promise), and we talked about my conversation with PF. It turns out that the two of them had talked at length on the phone about it, and PF had the transcript saved and read portions of it to the paramedic. I thought that was hilarious, and totally in keeping with what I'd do, if the tables were reversed. :)

We were trying to go for dinner at the casino, and they yelled at us for walking upstairs with our coats on. When we finally did get upstairs, the restaurants were packed, so we decided to go elsewhere. We found an East Side Mario's, went in and talked a lot over dinner, both of us only really finishing about half our meals, and then tried to find the go-karting place. We saw it from the road, couldn't figure out how to get into it (didn't even see it from the road we did take), and then gave up.

We rented some movies, went back to his place, and watched the first one -- Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle -- played some video games, talked, kissied, talked, kissied, talked... you know how it goes (not like *that*, dirty monkeys). Because he was on his night schedule still, he wasn't going to get to sleep at a reasonable hour, and I was still awake for whatever reason, so we were up until about 6 a.m. before I finally passed out. He did too, and he later said he was somewhat surprised, that usually he can't sleep with someone else in the bed.

We woke up around 1 or a bit before (though I kept waking up in the morning, readjusting and going back to sleep), eventually left and went for some Booster Juice breakfast, did some shopping in Mrs. Tiggywinkles (where I saw the Crazy Cat Lady doll, hence the title, and a Lady Pirate doll I might go back and get for Mad), and then back to my place so I could finally shower and so on. Played some video games, watched some tv, fell asleep for a bit, and then he left.

I had a quiet night from that point onwards, just cross stitching and so on, and went to bed around midnight. The next day I was more productive -- I vaccuumed most of my apartment, which the cats just loved, did the dishes, and went for a nice big grocery shopping trip with Mad, wherein I also tried to cripple her. But it was fun and we talked and we left with groceries, so that was great. The station was boring.

Monday I had a government exam at another building. I was half-debating not going, then made my mind up to go, then realized the location had been changed and I hadn't registered that, so it meant a bit more travel time, but still do-able. I went downstairs to see the bus leaving (without me on it), and went back up, thinking I wouldn't go. Then I debated with myself for a few minutes, did a bit of work, and left again. This time, I called a cab.

I made it in time for the exam, I tried, and well, we'll see what, if anything, comes of it.

The trip back was insanely stupid, though. I fell asleep on the bus, and when I got off, I left my gloves behind. :( And it was cold that day. Then, it took me about an hour to do what's normally a five minute trip, just because of traffic. Apparently a bunch of government people had been told to go home at 3 and had caused a massive traffic jam. Not my side, though. :P

I also got to see one of the articulated buses sliding down the street in front of me in a V-shape. That was exciting. Especially as the bus driver was on the radio the whole time.

I eventually got in to work, did some work, had to cancel the gym *again*, and then went home. Talked briefly to the paramedic, whined a bit about my circumstances, and did whatever.

Tuesday morning, when I left for work, there was something on my door. I thought at first it was a mistake, but when I looked at the note that accompanied the flowers made from ribbons and cardboard tubes, I knew it was for me.

"Now THIS is stalking.
Stupid creativity kicking in again.
Have an excellent day.
P.S. Happy Women's Day."

So now they have been wedged into a coffee cup that I have here (a gift from one of my now-departed coworkers, one of the David and Goliath mugs... "Boys are smelly"), and the note is near my pencil holder and I was greatly pleased.

I called him on his lunch hour to mention that I had a secret admirer, we talked a bit and that was that. I had talked to Ben for some time Monday night, and he had confirmed he would be at Pho Tuesday night. Well, when I went for Pho Tuesday night, NO ONE was there. I was abandoned and sad and felt rather pathetic, sitting alone at a table for 8.

I knew the paramedic was sick (he'd told me about it on Sunday, and he was still sick on Monday), but I thought I'd give it a shot. I called, invited him out, and he joined me about a half hour later. We had Pho, watched Gilmore Girls at my place, talked a bunch more, kissied more, and then he left around 10:30, 'cause he had to be up and alert for his classes the next day. Apparently, unlike when I was in university (although these aren't uni courses), they frown on you sleeping in them. Who knew?

He had originally talked of sending his double to hang out with me on Thursday, since I saw him on Tuesday, but it's possible that isn't going to happen anymore. :)

I'm not sure if it's come through with my factual recitation of what's been going on, but I really like this guy. He's smart, funny, cute, sweet, interesting, hot, has interests in common with me, skilled, attentive, courteous, teasing, open, upfront, a bit nervous, like me... and he likes me. Mind-boggling, it really is.

After so many fruitless, crappy dates from lavalife, so many times having my hopes raised a little, then dropped, then the eventual total apathy and the decision made several times but never fully executed... I met someone really good. I met someone really good, and we have chemistry, and we seem to have clicked... it's startling and really really great.

I've been telling everyone about him, including my mom (though just a little bit), and I don't usually do that. Sure, I might mention someone in passing, but this has been different -- I'm sure the friends on whom I keep dumping little bits and pieces are ready to just throtte me. :D

I've also realized that when you're overanalyzing every little detail and action, or having to try to work in situations that aren't really comfortable, it's not worth it. If one little fuck-up means the end of things between the two of you, then it wasn't going to work out anyhow. But if you can look back and make fun of the awkward moments, or if you have the self-confidence to go through in spite of them, then it can work out.

Man, do I sound totally preachy right now, and that's not my intention at all. :) It's just what I've realized from the time with him, vs. the other dates I might've had with other lavalifers. Hell, even the fact that he and I have been out 7 or so times now is a good enough sign in and of itself.

Neither of us is seeing anyone else at the moment, and we've both said that we're not interested in seeing other people, but I'm not sure we're at the boyfriend/girlfriend stage, and I'm not looking to rush anything by pushing it. It'll come naturally, and I have faith it'll come eventually -- he's mentioned me meeting his parents' dog, which I'm assuming also involves meeting the parents, and I want to drag him out to see my friends and so on... I have good feelings about this, even if I still sometimes wonder when the other shoe is going to drop.

He's said I don't have to worry about scaring him off, I've said the same thing, and even PF has said it -- and said that I just need to relax. Easier said than done, but I'm working on it. :)

Well, there's an epic post, it's used up some significant time to write, and I'm glad to have had the chance to share it with you all. Of course, it'll be a bitch and a half to go back and re-format it so it looks nice, but would you rather I didn't post, or that I posted poorly? :) So yeah, shut it. :D

In the meantime, as I finally head off to the gym and tell my trainer all of this, enjoy the following cartoon strip. Darby Conley's been on a roll the last while.

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