This Light Never Turns Green

I have convinced myself that TXDOT is out to ruin me. All too often I find various traffic lights either flashing red or completely out, while the ones a few blocks ahead or behind are functioning. This non-sense must stop, please!!

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If there is some kind of reason for this madness, a little advance warning would be much appreciated. A broken traffic light pits all us drivers against each other. I feel like this: 

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This past week alone I had to drive through three outages. I’ve had the worst luck at these locations:

Walnut Hill Lane: Boedeker St & Tibbs St

Northwest Highway: Inwood Rd, Thackery St, Boedeker Dr, NorthPark & Shady Brook Ln

Mockingbird Lane: Abrams Rd, Matilda St, DART Station, 75 Service Roads

Hopefully someone else has had this similar problem? Perhaps somebody else knows what’s going on? 

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Crossing the Trinity

My parents were in town this weekend for a concert. We ate at Tillman’s Roadhouse in the Bishop Arts section of Oak Cliff. I’ve been skeptical about Oak Cliff for many reasons. One: I’m still not entirely sure it’s safe. Two: Why drive all that way for some food? Three: I’m not hipster. I am impressed by the area however let’s look at it from another point of view:

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White people have a history of invading lower-income neighborhoods, increasing property values and consequently pricing out the area’s original inhabitants and character. Think Haight-Asbury, Abbott-Kinney/Venice in LA, Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan. Let’s not forget that Uptown was nothing 15 years ago and this same phenomenon happened. So to all of you scrambling to move to Oak Cliff because it’s not like Uptown, I hope you’re planning to move soon. As to what is better: Oak Cliff as it is or encouraging its gentrification? I haven’t a clue. There are positives and negatives to both.

Oak Cliff is still in its beginning stages as Bishop Arts remains an an attraction but hardly anyone actually wants to move there.

As for the restaurant, Tillman’s was incredible. The inside is decorated like an Anthropologie store. Quite literally. It’s Southwestern-Texas chic or whatever. Beautiful crystal chandeliers highlight the faux hunting trophies on the unfinished wood walls. My only complant: the noise level is unbearable.

The food? Out of this world. I had “spare rib ravioli” and Dad had the “lobster tamales.”

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My mom was holding out for dessert and only had a salad. But it was well worth it. Their signature item is table-side s’mores! The marshmallows come in three varieties: orange, chicory and maple.

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Tillman’s Roadhouse: 324 W 7th St, Dallas, TX. Tillmans also has a Fort Worth location. http://www.tillmansroadhouse.com Dinner for two: $95

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Give Bishop Arts a try. I only hope it continues to develop it’s own unique atmosphere and does not succumb to the Olsen Twin effect.

Binders Full of Women? There’s an App for that!

Tinder is the latest “online dating” app on every Uptown Dallasite’s iPhone. What is it? Well, binders full of women! On your phone! Apparently this App is so cool people have forgotten all about the fact that only “losers” date online. online-dating-profile-love-marriage-thinking-of-you-ecards-someecards-e1357359389609

It works like this: a picture appears on your screen and you have two options, a heart or an “X.” When that person sees your photo and clicks the heart, a message is sent to both you announcing your match. Then, a chat window opens up and you can message your crush. The app connects to your Facebook, showing you and your potential match’s mutual friends and interests.

Online dating is everywhere now. From the early days of Match.com (a Dallas company btw!) and eHarmony, to OkCupid and now SugarDaddy.com, more and more people are signing up. There are even sites for specific populations, like the popular gay men’s app, Grindr, or even more obscure ones like DateCraft (for World of Warcraft fans) or Lovebitten (dating for vampires).

As a gay man it is hard to find compatible mates for many reasons, so I downloaded Jack’d. Suddenly I had so many men right in front of me, only a quick message away. Within minutes of joining I had a dozen messages! OMG! It led to several dates, lots of messages from shady dudes who only want to hook up, closeted “discreet” frat bros who also only wanted to hook up and “nice guys” who, you’ll never guess, also just wanted to hook up.

The dates I had never went anywhere. We both had a great time. We both had alot in common! They were attractive, smart and everything I was looking for. So why did it not work?

Online dating’s perk is also its downfall. With so many people available in an instant, what makes you so special? Why should someone commit to you? After all they may like you fine but what if someone you like better comes along? That is one loaded question and a scary one. The truth is that it is very likely your idealdream match exists somewhere in the world. What are the odds your “soulmate” is right here in your city? Very slim.

There is so much to enjoy about a relationship, but also it has it’s fair share of problems too. No pair, no matter how compatible, will agree 100% all the time. Why does my mom put up with my dad’s quirks? “Because I love him,” she always says enthusiastically. I’ve never dared ask, “well why do you love him?” Perhaps I will one day. They will celebrate their 25th anniversary this year.

Everyone imagines what they’re looking for in a mate. Every also imagines how they’d like their life to turn out one day. My criteria ranges far and wide. The basic: college-graduate. The silly: must love Mexican food. The shallow: I really dig a guy in Brooks Brothers. The spiritual: I will not date an atheist.

All those criteria aside, let’s be honest. We message people online that we think are hot! But “hot” is only part of attraction. What these apps can never show us: chemistry. From our first school yard crushes, we find people in life that we just can’t help but be drawn to, sometimes people we know nothing about! An attraction that powerful often renders that “perfect dream guy” list in our heads useless. What I’ve also seen happen is that a guy who meets all those criteria can still be a total jerk, a workaholic, immature or all of the above.

So back to those first dates. You’ve had a great time, everything went well. You’re saying goodbye. Do you feel that “spark?” If not, you go back to wandering through more online profiles. Or how about this: was he perfect in every way except for that one thing? Well again, back to wandering more profiles, always searching for the one who will fit that entire list of traits you seek.

Are these scenarios a fundamental flaw in the online dating app? Or is it just the regular process of dating in hyperdrive? People who meet the natural way have average dates too. What confuses me are people’s refusal to let the process happen naturally. Online daters seem to give you one shot, and one shot only to pitch yourselves to them. Attraction doesn’t develop instantly. But with so many people available now, why bother? Maybe someone is out there who can impress you that much in a two-hour dinner date.

What I also will never understand and have absolutely no ideas about: they don’t ever want to meet again but they ‘like’ every Facebook status of yours and Instagram pictures?1328756904882_8558826

My conclusion: I’ll only be 22 this year. I’m not going to panic yet. Maybe something just “clicks” in our late twenties that makes us want to settle down. But I sure am sick of all this bull $&!+ in the meantime! All I want is to meet someone great! But that takes time, energy and patience; things we all desperately need more of.

A Grand New Party

romnesiaPete Sessions (R-Dallas) today compared 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney to a student who failed to prepare for the science fair. Humorous and accurate. I don’t think anyone wanted to be president less than Mitt Romney himself. His gaffes of all kinds, from Big Bird and his Binders Full of Women, led the GOP to a collective sigh, as the reality of 4-more Obama years became unavoidable. The trouble clearly began in the primary. Barbara Bush accurately described it as “the worst [she has] seen.” How did those losers end up in line for the Nation’s top office?

November 2012 left Republicans scrambling to consider, “well what now?”  Today, we know the answer.

In 2007, former city-councilman Ed Oakley ran against Tom Leppert and would have been the first openly-gay mayor of a top-10 US city. He lost 58-42. As is typical of our relationship with Houston, they quickly elected Annise Parker, a lesbian, to lead the city in 2009 and she continues to do so.

These officials should be praised for their landmark campaigns. They were not without controversy either. A group, unaffiliated to Leppert, ran a series of scathing robo-calls about Oakley. The awkward situation for me, though? They’re Democrats.

It’s a struggle for [insert group here] to vote their conscious on some issues, while causing their own self-destruction on others. (A real failure of the two-party system, but that’s another story). What does “socialism” have to do with sexuality anyways? And why should race

Carl DeMaio is a Republican in San Diego. He served on the city council from 2008-2012 when he ran for

viewimage_storymayor. He lost 47.5-52.5. Now he’s back. He is considering a run to replace Scott Peters (D-La Jolla) in California’s 52nd congressional district, but he’s gay. (Sorry can’t help the reference!).

New polling taken in late April gives DeMaio a 10-point lead over the incumbent. Furthermore the pollsters made sure each voter was clear about his sexuality but emphasized his focus on economics over the social issues. The voters’ response? Overwhelming  and broad support. 74% of Republicans (73% of those 55+) and 68% of Democrats indicated they would be more likely to vote for a “new generation Republican” like DeMaio.

Good luck, sir! Change is coming, one race at a time.

Read the full memo to the National Republican Committee here.

PS: Speaking of binders full of women earlier, stay tuned for my next post.