Wednesday, December 30, 2015


It's December 30th.

There is no way I can go on eight dates tomorrow, I have to work until 3:PM.


I was looking forward to Four because in addition to presenting a fun date idea, I already knew that he was a person I wanted to get to know better.

I picked him up and the conversation was super easy from the start. We were headed to Longwood Gardens, a place I drive to all the time, but somehow I managed to get lost. He was so easygoing about it, and that was pretty great because getting lost is either very nice or very stressful. We didn't bother with a GPS because who cares?  His stories were strong, he was funny, yeah. Well done.

Here are some things we saw:
  • Christmas lights
  • Venus flytraps
  • A bug house that has room for everybug
  • Award winning bathrooms
  • A tree covered in red lights that's far out in a meadow and they won't let you touch it
  • A glass floor from below (*whistle noise and eyebrow raising*)
  • The Perfect Apron
A tree covered in red lights that's far out in a meadow and they won't let you touch it
Following the delightfully festive landscape, we decided to get something to eat. Instead of making a right and finding a place in Kennett, we decided to just take route one toward the city. This is a major road. Every restaurant in the history of the world is on this road.

There was a diner, and I'd been there before. But I couldn't go again because one time I watched a woman eat her napkin. While telling Four this, I started to sort of gag- which lead to a little panic because now I won't rule out anything. This woman was sitting in the booth next to us, and I watched over my friend's shoulder as she faced me and devoured the entire napkin. She took slow intentional bites, as if it were a large apple. This horrible horror vision has haunted me for years. And now that I've said it out loud and typed it here, it feels so real again.

Now you know how to get to me. Please don't.

Of course we skipped the diner.

And somehow we ended up skipping pretty much every other place. I'm a horrible decision maker, and suddenly we were in west Philly, and we still hadn't picked a place to go, so we just pulled over and went to one place, then another, then a third. On a Monday night you can't just get food like no big deal just because you want it. After 10:PM it's sort of involved.

Four said and did a bunch of things that I thought were funny or a good move, but my favorite would have to be this: we were walking out of yet another place no longer serving food, heading back to my car. He said after reading what I'd shared, he decided to come prepared. (NOTE: He didn't make it a poem like I accidentally did.) He opened his hand to reveal all the quarters. I laughed so hard. Good move! This could have been my third consecutive date with meter trouble. Avoided it!

And eventually we found dinner and no one ate a napkin and I was so glad.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Ho ho ho! MRI Christmas!

Today I started the MRI. I'm pretty good at keeping my eyes closed, so that was helpful. During the process I felt something running down my arm, I guess the saline didn't want to go for it. So I came out and they tried again.

I did that great thing where you sort of visualize and take yourself out of your head and put yourself somewhere else. I sort of was at the point where I was imagining a beach and it was nighttime and lovely when I saw fireworks, except this time I was wet all over. The IV connection sort of exploded and dye sprayed everywhere.

So...I get to go back for more tomorrow.

Also, I'm the world's worst baby when it comes to needles.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Reporting Live from a Dead Zone

I'm currently sitting in a waiting room with no reception. It's windowless, of course, and 7:AM.

Like most reasonable people, I don't like mornings. Lately though, mornings have become increasingly near impossible. I thought I was just getting older and lazier faster than expected, but apparently that's not the case. I've got something going on which would explain a lot of things that I sort of just wrote off and convinced myself I was imagining.

I'm telling you this because it's likely I won't be able to make it on the rest of the dates this month. Right now it's difficult to do the regular-life things I have to do. I haven't been myself and it's awful.

All that to say:
  • the bad news: something is going on with me and I don't know what it is, so now I'm just worrying.
  • the good news: there's probably a reason why I threw up on that date.
Updates to follow, I'm sure. Sadly they may not be as entertaining as I'd like.

ALSO: I still need to tell you about Date Four, which was really fun and nice and much better reading than what you've just made it through.


Probably a brontosaurus was on to something because a leaf looks way better than a pine needle.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Probably this wasn't the best way to do it

Sometimes you don't learn.

I picked up Three from the corner where we'd decided to meet, and we found parking. This time we needed 30 quarters. THIRTY GODDAMN QUARTERS to go on a date.

I had about 20 because I thought I'd learned. But we were ten short. He went to walk from business to business in hopes of getting ten more. While I waited with the car this guy walked by, we smiled at each other and said hi, and then I realized who he was: my waiter from Thursday. And I'm DEAD.

Three came back with another dollar's worth of change, and we decided to walk together to find more. If this was a weird challenge on a game show we would have won, which is good to know. The stupid part was when we walked back to put every quarter on earth into the meter, only to realize, with each post we passed, that no one had bothered feeding any of them. On Saturdays during the holiday season they're free.

We put ten pounds of change into my bag and went to meet my friends.

When someone you don't know so well decides to go out with you, probably it's in your best interest to just go out with him exclusively. I realize that now, and I sort of hate how stupid I was about this. I really was interested in him, and I wanted to get to know him more. And yet somehow I brought him along for Christmas-all-over-Philly Day with maybe a dozen people. It's one of my favorite days, we go to all the holiday things and see lots of people I adore. Perfect.

We met up with ten of my friends for the Christmas Village at Love Park for the second worst thing you can do on a first date. It was crowded, like don't-bother-being-with-anyone crowded. If I'd known him well enough to hold hands, at least we could have had that whole "oh no! I don't want us to get separated so we better do this!" type of thing. After we finally found all our people, half of us decided to find food. The chaos and we the people (vegetarian/gluten free/whatever) made it hard to eat, so we decided to leave and go to a restaurant and meet up with the rest of our group after.

Here is where you'd read a review of lunch if there was anything worth mentioning. It was completely neutral. The place was loud and filled with (running of the) Santas.

When we were finished we went on to the very worst thing you can do: the Macy's Light Show.

(Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia) 
I think I'm missing something. People have been talking about how wonderful it is for years. I've been to it before and maintain my opinion: It's hot, crowded, and 100% not impressive.

One time I ended up in Niagara Falls in December and was so disappointed in their "big light show" that was something like Snoopy or Mickey Mouse made of lights, and it threw a snowball at Charlie Brown or Minnie Mouse made of lights, and they jumped over it. That was what Niagara Falls had to offer. My friend and I laughed at it and were like "That's what you've got?" because apparently we are decoration snobs and only want the finest of illusions for our magnificent eyes. It was a recurring joke for years. If we still talked, I'm sure we'd still be not-amused by the poor showing.

And that was about the same level as this.

You stand amid Michael Kors lounge wear or necktie and coffee mug sets for over an hour waiting. If you're not their early enough, you won't even see it (that's not the worst thing). We waited. Eventually we could kind of hear Julie Andrews, and the whole thing lasted maybe five or twenty minutes. I have no idea. I ended up making faces at some stranger's baby because she was adorable and also knew the show stunk. In retrospect I feel kind of bad because you KNOW her dad was so excited to bring her there. And instead, she's looking at some boob who can make her face get all puffy and swing her glasses around by her nose. (Wow. Three must have been thoroughly impressed by this performance.)

When it finally came to a close we were herded out and went to meet up with the people from which we were separated at a bar. Luckily I had ten pounds of quarters in my bag because we played some game. Also, I learned all about 80s Ski Movies where the dudes have to Save The Mountain from the Snobs.

At this point my friends-group was dissolving. Some people had left after Macy's. Others were leaving now. More were on their way out. Three and I decided to give it another go as a more actually legit date-date. We walked to City Hall to watch people ice skate (in 70° weather). We actually had a chance to talk more, and of course, for the maybe second time in my entire life, I couldn't really think of anything so interesting to say. We just couldn't get enough of these skaters, so we decided to walk to Winterfest- if you're not familiar with what this is, you're missing out. Basically, it's an adorable area that you just want to stay in forever.

(Photo by Matt Stanley for DRWC)
Lugging ten pounds of quarters around for eight hours finally paid off because while there we played skee ball, Foosball, that thing where it's not basketball but you know what I mean, and other stuff like that. We also got drinks, nosed around some cabana/lodge things, and watched ice skaters of course.

This was a pretty ideal place to go because we finally had time to talk and enough going on around us to talk about, so it felt more natural at last. He was super sweet, had funny stories and fascinating experiences, and I liked spending time with him.

Afterwards, we went for another drink and to talk some more because it's a date and what do you even expect? In typical me-fashion, I wasn't sure what he thought of me. But it turned out he liked me enough that we ended up going to brunch the next morning.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Once again, what can I even tell you that you don't already know? Brunch was pretty great. It's always pretty great. That's what brunch is.

I thought maybe the art museum was pay-what-you-wish, so we went there next. It wasn't, and he had to be somewhere in not-a-long-time, so we decided to walk around the art museum instead of walking around the art museum. We walked outside and literally walked around the art museum, which of course I thought was SOOOOOO funny. I'd never really noticed how pretty the building is, or how much attention is payed to specific areas of it. Other parts were gross, which we already knew, but was confirmed when a mother yelled at Logan to get his mouth off the railing because this place is gross.

Walking around the art museum eventually led us to the Water Works which I'd never seen because I don't spend enough time being a tourist where I live. If you haven't, you might want to check it out. I don't know who you are or what you'd like.

At this point I couldn't read him again. And it was also time for him to go to some party, so I dropped him off and that was that.

If he sees this: hey, sorry I screwed up and made you hang out with everyone I've ever known, that wasn't the best move. You're a really interesting guy, and I'd be happy to know more.

This is where I start to panic

It's December 17.

I've got to post about date Three. I've got a few more lined up. I've got updates. I've got to get on this though because with 13 days left, one being Christmas, one being the night before, and one being New Year's Eve, I'm sort of down to ten days in a way, and I've got to go on nine more dates.

Also worth mentioning: I've only gone out with three people, but I've had multiple dates with some of them, and that's not nothing.

This is where things either get good or totally fall apart. Either way, it might be interesting reading.

A third possibility is I'll fail miserably.

Oh- a fourth possibility is I'll be like: oh hey- I'm going to be all MATTER OF FACT and give myself until January 6 because duh.

In any case: eeeeek.

Thursday, December 10, 2015


You need twenty quarters to park for two hours. I keep feeling like my math can't be right because that's far too many quarters for a person to have on them at once. But fortunately, a block and a half later you can park for zero quarters.

Two and I met at the entrance of the Franklin Institute. They have a Night Skies program with stargazing on the observation deck, a talk in the planetarium, and also a whole lot of space-related thing you can look at and pick up (like an astronaut's lunch box, of course).

We found our way to the ticket line- this event was way more popular than either of us had anticipated-- and were talking comfortably from the get-go. One of the first things he did was give me a cool set of coasters. He's a craft-fella, and he makes them. They've got misheard lyrics and are pretty awesome. We laughed at the things people hear by mistake, and it was actually a great get-past-the-initial-awkward! He asked a lot of questions, which was nice too.

The F.I. was pretty crowded, and it seemed like no one really knew where they were going, so we sort of wandered until we ended up at the most elaborate elevator doors. We took them to the observation deck where several telescopes stood with their "owners." The evening was a little cloudy which was kind of a bummer, but what was really a bummer is these massive machines were set up and everyone was ooh-ing and ahh-ing, but we quietly determined that this was some sort of Emperor's New Clothes business. You could see one of the stars better without the telescope.

The next telescope was aimed at the Comcast building.
There weren't even any people inside to spy on.
It was just a building.

The third telescope was a real monster. It was about four times the size of you, and all you cold see in it was your fluttering eyelashes. The women working at it was telling people all about something, but I don't know if anyone was following it.

This was all great! So many people, and none of them knew what was going on exactly, but the weather was mild and everyone seemed happy.

We ended up on the second floor at a corporate holiday party but decided against joining them because even though sometimes you can, it doesn't mean you should.

Following that, we found a computer that made you guess the time using a parking-meter-on-the-moon as sun dial. Things were of course getting pretty competitive, and conveniently this game was placed right beneath a constellation wall. People were waiting their turns to pick up a piece of plastic and hold it up toward the wall to see stars and patterns appear before their very eyes. I don't know why, but suddenly the power went out along that wall, while we were sitting with all these people looking in our direction through Plexiglas. It was one of those "and then a kid gasped loudly" situations that was kind of embarrassing.

We made our way to the planetarium for a very interesting (and sort of sad) talk about Dark Matter. The stranger to might right had one of those loud/whistling boogers in his nose and it kind of took away from the talk, but it was still interesting. Afterwards we decided we'd either take the elevator to the fifth floor, or go find dinner. Luckily (or so I thought...) the line for the 'vator was long, so we decided we'd had enough of this sky business, and we left for dinner.

Pizzeria Vetri is a couple blocks away and also awesome. We decided to go there and I was glad. The conversation was still going great, he's a nice guy- had some funny stories and laughed at things I said.

We sat at the long counter that runs the length of the front window and talked. We ordered pizza and it was out in barely any minutes. It was completely delicious. Everything was going really well. But then I started to feel a little not great. But then, then, I started to feel even more not great.

I knew I had to be sweating and maybe even gray or green. "Listen...." I interrupted him. "This has nothing to do with you, but I think I have to go." He looked at me, kind of surprised. "I have no idea what's happening..." I felt even more gray or green.

"Do you need to..." but I just walked away. He was sitting along the counter, looking out at the street, and I just walked straight toward the bathroom.

And I threw up.
All over Pizzeria Vetri.
Like...I projectile vomited. Maybe it was like that scene in The Exorcist?
Maybe it was like any scene where someone just completely loses it all over a crowded restaurant.

I walked, hands up like a surgeon, toward the bathroom. The kitchen staff (oh hey! They have an open kitchen!) was kind but also, I'm sure, completely horrified. Someone was in the bathroom. I had to just stand there, covered from the neck down in my own puke.

The poor girl opened the door and made eye contact with the worst-monster version of myself. I went in the bathroom, completely sick again and again. I rinsed my dress in the sink, but it was still an all over nightmare. I finally buttoned up my cardigan, pulled myself as together as I possibly could, and walked out to my waiter and the rest of his gang. He said he didn't think anyone saw. It was very kind of him. But you KNOW that's not the case. I don't want to be completely disgusting, so instead: just don't imagine the most horrible thing ever. But know that I caused it.

Two was still sitting along the counter with all my belongings and I headed toward the door. He turned his head and we made quick eye contact. I ran away.

After a few minutes of deep, deep breathing on the corner of 20th and Callowhill, I looked in the window and gestured to Two. He came out with all my stuff and I apologized. This could certainly appear to be the most elaborate plan to ditch a check.

He handed me my things and I tried to give him money. "What are you talking about?" he asked, and it sounded so sincere.

"I owe you money for the bill and I'm SO sorry." He looked at me. He said he got it and not to worry. "Wait------do you know what just happened?" I asked him. He shook his head no, he thought I'd just gone outside for air.

Instead of just being privately disgusting, I said, " you didn't see me just throw up all over that place?"

This guy was an absolute gentleman. He was either being as polite as can possibly be, or I really lucked out when I picked the counter facing along the front of the place, instead of a table where he would have definitely seen. "Let's get you to your car," he said. I didn't want to get into his car because I HAD JUST THROWN UP ALL OVER MYSELF AND SMELLED HORRIBLE.

He insisted. He said there was no way I should be walking down the street like that, and feeling sick. And it's not a big deal, it happens. And I am so so so grateful for his kindness, and for his ability to not be like WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED when I ruined Pizzeria Vetri.

So he took me back to my car and was so sweet about the whole nightmare, and even though I wasted a perfectly good, perfectly delicious pizza and also made a huge scene and everything, we'll be doing this again. But without the gross parts next time, if I can help it.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The First

FIRST, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: Just because someone wants to know what color you like doesn't mean you have to question your feelings for them. They may genuinely want to know. And you may accidentally be a pre-judging dummy who is maybe afraid of rejection. Maybe they have reasons for asking. Maybe it was completely reasonable and relevant to the conversation but you just saw it in isolation and rolled your eyes because now you're both one kid on another kid's shoulders, wearing a trench coat. I'm just stating that now, and I'm not going to talk about it any more probably.

One and I had talked about going out before I decided to write again. I'd also been awake for 31 of the last 34 hours, so we decided to do something to do something not so involved.

We decided to get dinner and see what happened from there. He suggested a place, and for whatever reason, I said no and suggested a place I didn't know, that was supposed to be new and good. Their site also said they were open until 11:pm. I got "there" a few minutes before him, but I couldn't figure out where I was. I was parked in front of a closed grocery store that was supposed to be an open restaurant described as "elegant, fine dining."
This is what it looked like:

So I was convinced One would think this was some weird sting operation. It turns out this place was IN the grocery store and it wasn't open. So we ended up going to the place he suggested initially and that was a good move, he was right.
After dinner we talked a bunch, drove a lot, and looked at cool stuff.
Here, I'll show you something you can't really see.

Just believe me that that's an old train. The picture was taken with an old polaroid. He brought it along, and despite the bulbs being endangered-nearing extinction, he let me use it. Also, this date happened last week, so it's old news. SO MUCH OLD.

I am glad to report that:
  • neither of us approved of the little dog that the man held over someone else's table. 
  • dinner was good; conversation was better.
  • though movies are important to him, he didn't hold it against me-in fact: he didn't even care-- that I haven't seen Star Wars.
  • we did not see Goat Man.
  • after driving a great deal and not finding ANYWHERE else, he was just as delighted as I was to arrive at an Applebee's. They have sangria for $4. If you don't know, now you know.

Verdict: it went well. We went out again and he gave me this:
That's a cool dog. COOL DOG.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

I'm somehow way ahead of schedule...

I've got date #1 tomorrow night. We're meeting before I go to my 15 year high school reunion. This is either a good, the worst, or the best idea. The way I see it is: I'm not married, I don't have any kids, and while I don't think my life is boring, it's not really easy to catch up at these things. I'm pretty much in touch with anyone I'd be talking to through Facebook anyway...this is just going to make small talk a lot easier.

Apparently dates #2 and #3 are coming up with plans.

I haven't even started to actively seek yet. These all just fell into my lap like some Thanksgiving miracle.

I'd write more but OF COURSE I somehow managed to completely burn my fingertips while cooking carrots.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Questions I've Been Asked

What's going on here?
I'm going to try to go on twelve dates this December. There isn't some fantastic story behind it. Basically, the name was funny: The Twelve Dates of Schmidtzmas. I'm single, it's something to do, it gives me something to talk about, and I'm not expecting to meet some perfect person, but I'll most likely meet some interesting people, and I'll have some stories when it's over.

Also, I've been meaning to write more often. I keep just not doing it. (I write a lot for work.) But because there is a deadline and almost a check-list, I can't really procrastinate.

Is this for real?


Why are you doing this?

Because I did it five years ago and it was fun. I decided to do it at first because the name was funny to me. I decided to do it again because sometimes you do something twice. Also, people have asked if I'd do it again, and at first I thought they meant "Is this something you'd do again?" but it turned out that some of them meant "I liked reading it (for whatever reason) so will you do it again?"

Let's pretend this is my generous gift to society. It's the least I can do!

How are you meeting these people?
Lots of ways. Some of them will be from the internet (because it is 2015 and that's how we do things). Other people will be someone I might know from somewhere. Or maybe one of my friends will set me up with someone. Maybe I will meet someone from just like...however you meet people. You know....ways.

I've got a friend you should meet.
That isn't a question, but ok. Tell them to email me.

Do these people mind that you're writing about them?

Geeeez, I hope not. I'm telling everyone about the blog before we go out. They know I'm going to be writing about them.

Aren't you worried about weirdos?
Sure. But also, not really, no.

Aren't you worried about STDs?
What are you even talking about? How have multiple people asked me this?

What's your favorite pizza?A plain pie from Louie & Ernie's in the Bronx.


I'm going to attempt to go on a dozen dates this December.

There. I said it.