Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Modern Love: A Survival Guide

Filed under: Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Linux,Novell,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Pig which is late at night or 11:50 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

So, I spent my evening at the River Oaks Borders Books trying to pick up women.
It did not go well at all. Oh, it started well enough. I wandered around the store and found several books and magazines, but not much in the way of women, or at least, what seemed like single women. I mean, it went like sort of like this in my head:
Oh, she’s interesting…. And with her boyfriend or husband. Nice.
Oh, that one looks nice…. And she’s here with her mother! Doh! Say her mother’s not bad…. And there’s her husband. Great.

So I walked upstairs to the coffee shop and that’s when things took a terrible turn for the worse, if you can imagine that.
“I’ll have a medium of the Italian Roast and, um, a slice of that Bavarian Chocolate Cheesecake.”
“Ah, the cake of death.”
“‘Scuse me?”
“Oh, it’s just that it tastes like genocide.” Then the little, pseudo-beatnik laughed like I should get the joke.
“Not exactly the best way to sell this stuff, you know?” And, I laughed, because, well, c’mon. Genocide? I know it’s Bavarian and all, but, uh, that’s just ridiculous.
“Hey, we make it right here!”
“Yeah, dude, that’s not helping any.” Things did not improve from here.
So, I sat down with my little slice of Bavarian genocide and a steaming cup of Italian Fascism to browse my books and magazines to try and weed out what to buy and what to leave on the table for beatnik boy to clean up. Petty, I know, but, hey, I quit smoking last week, so, cut me some slack. One that went instantly into the Keep pile was The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Dating and Sex. And, yes, the irony of finding that while totally failing at picking up women was not lost on me. I’m sure God was laughing when I picked it up. At least, someone was laughing. About the time I finished my death cake, an interesting lady was walking around the music section. At first, I thought she was someone I was familiar with from the blogoshpere. And, trust me on this, that’s a very, very good thing. As Cartman would say, “Hella hottie”. So, she wanders through and I keep an eye out for her to go introduce myself and, well, wing it. Honestly, it’s just now that I realized I had no where to go after “Hi, my name is Jim and…” Anyway, she starts to head down stairs and I start the same direction, right up until the point that she catches my eye, gets that panicked look and hurries away toward the far end of the store. Yeah, so… At this point, I’ve suddenly become a stalker if I follow her, so I head to the checkout line with my stuff and ask for the book I special ordered, Novell Open Enterprise Server Administrator’s Handbook, SUSE LINUX Edition. (Hey, look at the title of the blog, folks. This is what I do!) Only the girl can’t find it and asks the guy for help. He looks at me and says, “Oh, here this is him. I know his name. He’s a regular and special orders books from us all the time.” First I’m a stalker, now I’m a serial special orderer to the point that the staff know me by freaking NAME. Yeah, the book store is going to be a great place to meet women. Sure, right, great idea.
Right about this time I get the urge to turn around, you know, like someone is looking at me or something. Sure enough, there she is the girl I was going to introduce myself to is back there looking right at me, almost staring, while I checkout. Perfect. Wonderful. Shoot me now, please. Thanks.
So, then I’m driving home up 610 to 290 and listening to Brian Setzer Orchestra, The Ultimate Collection: Recorded Live, which is actually pretty hopping and has me driving a little fast. Of course, the Italian roast helped, too. And, I’m accelerating through traffic and it’s a little close, but I’m all hopped up on disappointment, chocolate and better than average coffee, so I put my V-8 engine with the police transmission on it to the test and slip through a tight gap in traffic. Now, considering some of the things that happened earlier in the week, you’d think I’d be driving more carefully, not less, but, no, that’s just not me.
Oh, and I should mention that work was, well, a little frustrating today, too. So, yeah, a little built up stress, just like the old days.

Man, I could use a smoke. Oh, right, I gave that up. Well, at least I still have the good Scotch. ‘Scuse me while I go self-medicate a bit and catch some sleep. I know it’s been more than ten years since I did this stuff, but, man, getting that first date sure seems hard these days. I think I’ll pour me a double.


  1. I’m guilty of sneaking a cigarette or two. Actually, I’m frustrated so much for you! I wish you could have said something to the lady NG, perhaps you’ll see her again. After saying that though, I’m the worst for seeing someone…thinking “WOW, what if…” Then disappearing into a puff of smoke…er, whirlwind of hair? 😉 JK. Very interesting choice of reading material.

    I love Borders Books, Books A Million and some of the used book places because I LOOVE older hardbacks. *sigh* I haven’t gotten to go book shopping in a while unless you count the Suess, Berenstein, etc…hehe

    Have a good sleep!

    Comment by Blondie — 2/4/2006 @ 12:15 am

  2. I think the bookstore was a great idea. Because believe it or not, a lot of people don’t READ. I don’t think I could seriously date anyone who doesn’t read for pleasure. That seems so foreign to me.

    I’m always on the lookout when I am at places that feed my interests, because how wonderful it would be to share your interests with your special someone. For me it is the bookstore, the Apple store, Fry’s, MFAH, anytime I’m downtown seeing a show or anytime I’m out shooting pictures and see another photographer. I…. ummm…. look a lot. 🙂

    And all I see is married men. Married men. Married men. So welcome to my world.

    The back of that Dating book is cracking me up. I routinely ask men if they are axe murders. I should just get that book and stop asking. LOL!

    Comment by Orion — 2/4/2006 @ 6:04 am

  3. My favorite part was the fact that you went ahead and got the Bavarian death cake. Apparently the reason I can’t get hired at Starbucks is because I’m not a smug a**hole. Note to self…

    And any book with the words “dating” and “worst-case scenario” in the title is a good book. In my book. Ok, I’ll stop now.

    Comment by Amber — 2/5/2006 @ 12:46 am

  4. So, Amber, you’re saying that I’m smug? 😉 Or just that it was brave of me to forge ahead with my illconcieved plan and eat the death cake infull view of the smug coffe shop employees? And, yes, the “Worst Case Scenario” series is great. The Dating & Sex edition is, well, surprisingly helpfull…

    Orion, frankly, the idea of dating in general is rather foreign to me these days. Thanks to my marriage and subsequent divorce, it’s been ten years since I’ve been on a real, genuine date. Scary!

    Blondie, if you think what I listed was interesting reading material, you should have seen what I left out. And what I got the week before. Yep, should’ve seen it… Well, maybe in another post. Maybe…

    Comment by the Network Geek — 2/5/2006 @ 10:12 am

  5. Hang it there. I think bookstores are a good bet.

    Comment by Mark — 2/5/2006 @ 11:22 am

  6. That was a fun post! 😉

    Never thought about picking people up at the book store – or trying to. I’m to busy reading.

    Comment by sass — 2/7/2006 @ 11:23 am

  7. Well, Sass, I can’t say that I reccomend Friday night at the Borders on Kirby by Wholefoods. Though, actually, it might be better for the single women looking for a guy. I’ll keep trying, though. At least, it’ll put in a different place doing some different things. If you see me, and aren’t too scared of me in person, come say hello and I’ll buy you some Bavarian death cake, or something. 😉

    Comment by the Network Geek — 2/7/2006 @ 11:28 am

  8. Hey, I think that was a compliment. 🙂 Cup of Italian Fascism. Hee hee hee….

    Comment by Jill — 2/9/2006 @ 8:59 pm

  9. Yes, Darling Jill, it was and is and would be again. Honestly, I almost walked over and called her by your name. Right up until that panicked look deal. Then, well, I just tried to keep my head down and make it out without getting the pepper spray.

    Comment by the Network Geek — 2/9/2006 @ 9:51 pm

  10. […] Oh, and in case you’re wondering why this has been filed under the Bavarian Death Cake of Love category, that comes from a few years ago, before cancer, but after divorce, when I was writing more and trying to date.  (You can read that old entry here.) […]

    Pingback by Dating Roulette | Diary of a Network Geek — 10/11/2011 @ 6:30 pm

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