Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Facebook Pictures

I saw some pictures of myself earlier tonight that kind of depressed me. The pictures are from an event I went to over the weekend and they got posted on facebook. It isn't that I think I'm bad looking or too heavy in these pictures, but more that I just look like I'm not happy. Every shot I'm in, I simply don't look like I want to be there. This is something I need to change. Even if I'm bored or whatever, I need to learn how to fake it better.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tips for Improved Posture

Tenmagnet, one of the instructors at Lovesystems, posted this back in July on his blog: Six Tips for an Improved Attractive Posture.

When I think of men (and women) that I've met over the years that impress me, they've always had good posture. I suspect women are even more sensitive to it. Your posture is part of that instant first impression that people have of you.

I've been keenly aware of my bad posture for some time now. The upper cross syndrome that he describes is exactly what I'm dealing with. While I have made some real progress on my other fitness goals, I haven't done shit to fix this particular issue.

That is changing as of now. If I apply myself consistently and do a few of these exercises every day, I should see a difference in a month or so.

This is important for other areas of my life besides picking up women. Last week, the company I started working at 2 months ago laid off ten people. If THE MAJOR DEAL that they are counting on doesn't come through in the next three weeks, I'll be gone as well. In fact, half the company is likely to get laid off. So, I want to be ready to interview again, and part of that is making sure that I convey a strong, powerful, confident physical presence, rather than a weak one, which is what I have now.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Daytime Cold Approaches

Yesterday, I mustered up the courage to cold approach a woman on the street. I had left the office for a few minutes to grab a sandwich and, while waiting in line, I saw a woman that, for me, is very close to a 9 - really, really my type. And so, while I was waiting there, I resolved to at least approach her, which I did.

Now, I HAVE approached in the daytime before. I don't find it horribly difficult if I can come up with some sort of pretense, or somehow figure out a way to make it seem natural that I'm talking to her. Last week, for instance, I got on the elevator with a woman that works on the same floor as me, made idle chit chat on the way down and then wound up walking with her and chatting for a couple of blocks. Right at the end I noticed that she had a great big rock on her finger, so I didn't go for the number, but it was a solid interaction. I could tell I was generating attraction from her. It worked. It was seamless and natural without any awkwardness.

In this situation, I had no pretense to talk to the target, or at least I couldn't think of anything. So, I went direct with something like this: "Hi, I just saw you standing in line back there and wanted to meet you. My name is Rake" She looked surprised but then she gave me her name, and then I asked if I could walk with her for a bit, which she was fine with. So we walked for a bit, but the problem was I couldn't think of anything to say after that. With that kind of direct approach, it's not like I'm going to run some sort of routine on her. She pretty quickly threw out that she was engaged and that was pretty much that.

The one part that went well was that I could tell she was surprised and (I believe) pleased to be approached like that. Actually, to be perfectly honest, the look on her face was complete shock, which, since this is a very hot girl, is actually somewhat surprising in itself. I would think she's getting approached regularly.

I think there's a lot of potential in this approach. I just need to figure out a way to transition from the initial awkwardness of the approach and into some sort of normal conversation. Also, I need to do this a few more times just to get used to it. I think that alone will help.

Laptops and Coffee Shops

Master Dogen at Alpha Status made a good point about laptops the other day, calling them Beta Machines. He's so right.

Seattle is well known for its love of coffee and coffee shops. Starbucks started here. My normal haunt, Cafe Allegro, was one of Starbucks' very first customers back in the '70's. Aside from the ubiquitous Starbucks, there are also a number of independent coffee houses and small chains that do very well. As I'm typing this up, I'm sitting in Cafe Zoka, in the Greenlake area. I don't typically come here, but I felt like a change.

For anyone curious about the coffee shop culture here in Seattle, here is a picture:

This is so typical Seattle. Very friendly city we got here.

Note: I'm just as bad as the rest. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thoughts on being more dominant/Alpha

FeministX has an interesting, somewhat whiny post up right now about her issues with two guys, one she's seeing and one she just met online. I don't want to go into too much detail here, but her issue with the online guy is that he is supposedly an "extreme Alpha", which she is incapable of resisting. A number of thoughts are going through my head at this - at the idea that she is so attracted that she literally can't trust herself to act rationally. For instance, I'm wondering what it is this guy wrote or said that got her going to this extent. I'm also wondering, if we assume that most women are attracted to male dominance to some extent, what percent of them are truly like her, complete putty in the hands of an Alpha? 1 in 10? 1 in 5? 

But, more importantly, it's really hitting home to me that I need to ramp up the male dominance aspect of my personality - I need to become much more indifferent and less caring of what other people think - maybe a bit more assholeish. This is a problem for me because I'm very much a nice guy. To the extent that I have any game at all, what I tend to play up is that I am mature and socially normal. I'm also very high IQ. I've never been tested (that I know about), but I know I'm smart.

These are attractive qualities. Emotional maturity is very masculine - very much on the male side of the male/female polarity spectrum. Smart is attractive as well - women like guys that are smarter than them. These things come out in conversation and I think they are enough to keep me from disqualifying myself, but not enough to really generate attraction. I suspect dominance is the missing ingredient - dominance and fun.

I've said before, here and elsewhere, that I don't feel like I'm a very fun person. In some ways, it's almost like I don't know how to have fun. I think my problem with not being assertive, male dominant, etc., is basically the same root issue as not being fun. The root issue, I think, is the social conditioning - that I care too much what people think, which keeps me from cutting loose and just doing what I want when I want.

Is it possible, I wonder, to become more dominant, more selfish and indifferent, and less caring of what other people think, without becoming an out and out asshole? I think that's ultimately what I'm going for. I think you can be indifferent, selfish about your own needs, etc., and still have empathy and care about other people.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Thoughts on Exercise and Weight Loss

Lovely Sexy Beauty had kind of an interesting post on her plans to drop 10 or so pounds. I've struggled with weight issues since getting out of the Marine Corps 16 years ago. In fact, that first year back in the civilian world  I think I gained 15 to 20 pounds. It was rough. 

Last spring, I came to the conclusion that I was basically wasting my time in the gym. Yes, it was good that I was going and getting regular exercise, but at the end of the day, my self-directed workouts were inconsistent and brutally inneffective in helping me drop weight and make progress towards a higher level of fitness and an improved body. So, I started changing things up and slowly escalating my workout.  I'm 39 and overweight, so I wanted to make sure I didn't try too much at once, but the major trend was that I moved away from doing my own thing and towards structured exercise classes.

In April and May, I started taking a class that Bally's calls Powerflex, which is basically weight training with lighter weights and an emphasis on lower body (squats, lunges) and core work. I started doing this and Spinning twice a week and began to notice a difference.

In June, I tried (and liked) a bootcamp workout, which, as I understand it, is somewhat based on CrossFit principles. I found the workout extremely effective. Unfortunately, when I moved back into the ranks of the employed in July, I had to give that up due to scheduling conflicts. But, also in July, I started doing Step Aerobics for the first time, which I found I really enjoyed. I don't why more guys don't do Step.

So, what I do now is a combination of Step Aerobics, Spinning, and Powerflex. This combination has been very effective. From June through August, I dropped about 15 pounds.

Unfortunately, about three weeks ago I strained a calf muscle or something, so since then I've had to really take it easy.  I'm kind of easing myself back into it now, with the idea that by October I should be back to where I was before the injury. The injury is pretty minor, but I figured out how easy it was to reaggravate when I did one step class a week or so ago. This is part of the problem with being 39 and overweight. Next week, I'm hoping to be able to do both Powerflex and Spinning, but I'm staying off the step for at least another week, and probably two.

Tomorrow I'm looking into a shared housing situation down in Greenlake, which is one of the more desirable areas to live in Seattle. Assuming all goes well, I'll move in probably the first or second week of October. I'm pretty certain about this place because I looked at this house last year with one of the guys that lives there right now. But, then I had to back out and so he found someone else. Anyway, I found out via Facebook that they have an opening, so I jumped right on it.

Assuming this does work out, I'm very likely to look for a CrossFit gym in Seattle at some point in the next few months. I'm not sure if I want to do the hardcore CrossFit workouts right away, but I think a lot of them do offer classes like the indoor bootcamp that I did before. My brief experience with the bootcamp workout showed me how effective this can be. I'm also likely to purchase an LA Fitness membership, as Bally's no longer has a facility inside Seattle.

Incidentally, I first got interested in CrossFit back in June, when I found this article in The Seattle Times.

Given that September has been basically a wash, my weight loss goal is now is to drop another 10 - 12 pounds by Christmas. I think that's very doable. Looking farther out, an additional 20 pounds by June seems achievable as well - that would only be 4 lbs/month from January to May.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

If anyone is actually reading...

So far, my stats and comment numbers indicate just a few people are visiting. For those wonderful readers, let me just say that it WILL get better. I'm still figuring this blogging stuff out. Thanks.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Where are the young women in Seattle?

Went for another little walk earlier this afternoon. Now I'm wondering about the demographic breakdown of Seattle by age. Like, what is the actual population of women in Seattle under say, the age of 35? And, how does that compare to men, under say, 45? Even walking over by Nordstrom and Pacific Place, I just did not see many young women. Seattle sucks.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Took a little walk

Took a little walk through downtown Seattle earlier today. Nice weather today, probably one of the last nice days we'll have this year. Briefly chatted up a couple of people, including a moderately atttractive woman in her 30's that seemed pleased to be talked to, but didn't hook. Now I just need to do that 999 more times. :)

It strikes me, walking through downtown, just how little attention the average woman in Seattle pays to her appearance. I walked about 7 blocks and saw just a couple of decent (not exceptional) looking women. I saw one girl at the bank that I thought, okay if she dropped 5-10 pounds, toned up just a bit, and put on a little makeup, she'd probably be pretty hot - I could see her in a club. She still wouldn't be exceptional, maybe a 7 or 7.5, but that would be a serious upgrade from where she is now, which is maybe a 6. And the thing is, most girls don't need to be super hot to get guys to like them - they just need to be "attractive enough" and have good personalities to back it up.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Beauty from Belarus

I met a beautiful young woman from Belarus a couple of weeks ago. This was in the coffee shop I hang out at. Now, I don't know this girl really well, but she is very attractive physically and seems to have a very upbeat personality. She's at UW for a year working towards a graduate degree. In many ways, this girl typifies my ideal type - smart, sexy, worldly, sophisticated. Did I mention she speaks four languages? She's also 26, which is awesome. I doubt she thinks I'm older than 33.

I friended her on Facebook, which honestly is close to meaningless these days. But, I also have her email address and phone number. I've told her I would like to get to know her better and have suggested we go out one night. I tried to make that happen last weekend, but she didn't answer when I called her earlier in the week. Then I emailed her on Saturday and got a reply back saying she's unbelievably busy in school, which I can believe. I'm going to keep trying.

I'm not running any kind of game on her. I'm basically trying to keep it simple by telling her I like her and that I think she's interesting. If she likes me, we'll go out. If not, we won't. It would be helpful if I could manage to have her see me interacting with other people, especially women, so I'm keeping an eye out for that kind of opportunity.

Saturday Night 9/12/09

Kind of an interesting Saturday night. Went out with the wing to Bal-Mar, a popular bar in Ballard. Bal-Mar is rapidly becoming one of my favorite venues in the Seattle area. It's basically a slightly upscale neighborhood bar. It has two levels, which I think helps make it a little more interesting architecturally. In terms of ambience, the interior decor strikes the perfect balance between upscale and casual - in other words, it's nice but also comfortable. Lots of dark, earthy tones. Drinks are just as expensive as anywhere else, but then again I'm not drinking very much when I'm out so that isn't really a big deal.

The interesting point of the night occurred when I approached a seated 3-set of very attractive girls and they basically toyed with me. I can't say they were being total bitches, because I made it extremely easy for them. But, it occurs to me now that I need to have some sharp replies ready to say to girls when they do this kind of thing. I'm not saying I need to BE an asshole, but in situations like this I need some sort of prepared rejoinder to recover the set. Allow me to explain.

First off, I didn't follow the 3-second rule. I should have approached and done some kind of pre-opener the instant we entered the venue. The girls were RIGHT THERE near the entrance, so approaching them on entering the bar would have been the natural, socially normal thing to do. Instead, I did the typical Seattle thing, which is to stay in my own headspace and walk past them to the bar. Not a big deal in itself, but what occurs to me is that when you approach later, even if you do it right, you are obviously "approaching". They know you walked right past them the first time. In my case, I'm tall and reasonably good looking, so it's close to impossible for them not to have noticed me. So yeah, they knew I was there, and when I screwed up the approach I just made it that much worse.

The way I screwed this up, specifically, was I approached and ASKED "can I talk to you guys for a few minutes?" I knew I'd fucked up the instant the words came out of my mouth. I mean, why would any self-respecting male ASK? How beta is that? So, of course, they said no, it was girls night out blah, blah, blah. They were smiling and kind of laughing while saying it. I'm sure I could have recovered the set, but I had nothing - nowhere to go.

My thinking is that, in this type of situation, I need some kind of a sharp reply, probably borderline assholeish, to put them in their place. This would have to be more than a neg. A neg is merely a verbal indicator of disinterest (IOD), typically in the form of light teasing. No, in this situation, where I fucked up ON THE APPROACH, if I want to try and recover the set, I need something harsher that asserts my male dominance, puts them in their place, and basically reframes the interaction to one in which they are seeking MY approval. The operating assumption here is that if they don't respect you, they can't be attracted to you. It really is that simple, especially with hot girls.

Now, to be clear, I'm not advocating out and out asshole game. It's just that, in this situation, I don't see how else to recover the set. Sure, it's probably a lost cause anyway, but if I want to try and keep plowing, then minimally I have to find some way to gain their respect. Of course, I could also try not fucking up the approach. That's a decent idea in itself.

Another thought, I need to start thinking of hot, young women in bars and clubs as little girls, because that's really what they are. They're just little girls out being bad, flirting with boys, and giggling with their girlfriends.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Picking up the blog again

Trying to pick up this blog again. I've been working on this self-improvement project for close to a year now, and I have seen some changes. I started a new job in July and I don't think I would have fit in as well as I have had I not been consciously working on my social skills and inner confidence for all this time, especially the period Mar - July when I was unemployed. I'm a lot more open than I was a year ago. I am actually meeting women now. I still don't know how to escalate those interactions (more on that later), but I am actually getting out there.