Tuesday, Feb 14: UnValentine's Day Celebration
505 Circles of Hell
Circle Two: Dating in Burque
If you live in Albuquerque, I assume you understand the struggle of trying to date here. Everyone knows each other (at least by extension), so it's difficult to meet new people unless you do something out of the ordinary. Let's be honest though; we're all relatively busy people and doing anything like that takes effort. Being New Mexican, we're all about that minimal effort (it is the Land of Mañana). So we want novelty but without actually doing anything. For me, that resulted in angst and disappointment.
When I was freshly single around a year ago after a serious relationship, I went on a lot of dates. Before that relationship, I hadn't dated very much, so I was basically brand new to the scene. Prior to the serious relationship, I dated people that I had met through my friends. I got over that pretty quickly because none of them could keep a single fuckin' thing private (I'm talking mainly about myself here, no judgement).
This time, I turned to online dating. While I can rant about that ad nauseam, my summary is that it was weird and kinda fun but was usually disappointing. The only true advantage I can think of is that it's useful to find other queer people. Alas, I only used it for fuck boys (wtf, past Megan, get your shit together). Fuck Boy culture is alive and well in Burque. A guy I was casually dating on and off for awhile would get mad at me whenever I would hint that I had been with other people, so one day I asked him if he had seen anyone else since we started dating. He avoided answering the question for a few minutes, but since I was so tired of his bullshit, I was persistent. Eventually he “answered” my question; he said he couldn't remember. We had been seeing each other for nine months at that point and he couldn't remember. This experience echoes through several other relationships I've had. One guy said “All other men are jealous of me because I steal their women.” Another wouldn't leave my home after I told him to leave for almost five hours. Someone else ordered me the strongest alcoholic drink after I said I wasn't going to have anymore drinks at the end of our date. And another told me that my sexuality was a trendy phase, I'd be over it soon and be back exclusively to real men like him. Asinine fuck boys are just after fulfilling their personal interests.
Dating in Albuquerque is bordering incestuousness. It's hard to find a new circle of people that are truly compatible for us, not only regarding romantic relationships but friendships too. That's why more often than not, we date our friends' friends, until we date everyone in the same social circle and then move on to the new group of people that you were introduced to by your former S/O.
For example, once I ran into one guy I was dating—let's call him Tom—when I was on a date with another guy. Other guy had literally just walked away to use the bathroom at Sister. This instigated one of my worst fears: being around all the people I'm dating or ever have dated, at the same time. I'd like to think it would go over well but my anxiety tells me that it will be disastrous. Will they talk about my weird laugh? What about how I don't understand computers therefore I'm stupid? Will they talk about how my boobs are lopsided? Will they discuss how I was a shitty partner? I have no idea and I never want to find out.
Tom went back to his friends shortly after he said hello, and again, the other guy literally came back as soon as Tom left. I grabbed him and ran away to Burt's. Later I found out that Tom and that guy had dated another lady before dating me around the same time. I have yet to meet/date her, but I'm sure I'll make my way eventually.
After all this, I feel it's important to share some (logical) dating tips for people to not completely suck at dating.
1. Be honest 100% of the time. Do you hate the way they pronounce theater? Tell your person. Do you think they could really benefit from researching cultural appropriation? Tell your person. Do they ever make you uncomfortable? Tell your person.
2. If someones expectations don't match yours, leave. It hurts more to be with someone who doesn't value you and respect what you need than it hurts to be alone. 3. Don't go to the same bars all the time or you'll run into people you are trying to avoid and forget.
3. Don't be a fuck boy. Ladies talk. We warn each other of creepy guys. Also, don't you want your reputation to be more than “Stay away from that guy who always wears weed socks, he only grinds when he dances and he will buy you drink after drink. As Liz Lemon would say: shut it down.”?
4. Use protection. Duh.
My final note: For those of you who don't even want to touch the dating scene, Self Serve is a wonderful store where you'll find many goodies for yourself. #treatyoself.
Single Before Double
Beck releases new single in anticipation of two albums coming out this year
Like most Beck fans, I was turned on to the cryptic chameleon when I first heard Odelay in '96. Though it's probably considered his most mainstream effort, save the post-breakup lament of 2002's Sea Change, it's one of his most dynamic, beat-packed and outlandish releases. Yet, the thing with Beck is that he keeps going, regardless of the direction. Sure, that's a fairly exciting thing when you've been a fan of a musician for so many years; but unless you're in it for the long haul, it can become a little tiring. After contemplating the '60s psych-twinged alt-pop of 2008's Modern Guilt, I worried that Beck was running out of steam, trying desperately to retain some semblance of the alternative cool that propelled him to stardom at the peak of '90s weirdness. But Beck's new single “I Won't Be Long” gives me hope.
Beck is supposedly releasing two albums this year (one acoustic and one that is described as a “proper follow-up” to Modern Guilt). Though speculation seems to be the way it goes with Beck until a physical album finally manifests in our radio speakers. However the single signals the more well-rounded sound that was present on 2006's The Information, one of Beck's better releases, if I do say so myself. Keeping a steady, atmospheric pace, the production is clean, organized and surprising all at the same time. You can also check out another recent single “Defriended,” below. This one sees Beck riding an elastically equipped beat, churning out rhythmic synth melodies and echo-singing through it all.
The thing about Beck—what often gets lost on people—is that you have to embrace his weirdness. You have to take his word for it that with each direction, he's going to guide you somewhere safely, fuck with your head a little bit, but have you back before dark so your parents don't worry. Take for instance his Song Reader album, released last year. The album consists of 20 songs in sheet music form. So if you want to hear it, you have to learn how to play it or find someone who can. Although if you spend a good enough amount of time on the interwebs, you can find live videos of Beck playing the album live for the first time in London on July 4.
If there's one criticism that I've heard about Beck, it's that he's constantly recycling his old tricks, using stark lyrics, slick production and quirky beats to relay the same old messages but in different words and rhythms. But what do you expect? The guy's released 10+ albums in the span of two decades. Does that not grant him a little room on experimenting with his experiments, even if they turn out similar results? Does not one gleam of inspiration immediately relay toward another spark of awakening? I'm getting carried away. All I'm saying is that if this single is anything, it's an indicator that Beck is still creating interesting work, and 2013 may just be the year that he releases another (if not two other) substantial album(s). Play on.