Saint Nick & Christmas Eve Crab Dip

After a few weeks of emailing back and forth, I met up with Nick for dinner on Friday night at a Cuban restaurant that seems to be the “hot spot” of southern Orange County. I’m not really sure why- it wouldn’t last a weekend in NYC. They do deep-fry avocado though so I did my best to forget that the last time I had been there it was with Terrible Tyler and that I had spent that date scanning the floor to see if anyone had dropped some xanax that I could crush up and put in his food. I may write about Tyler at a later date, but I will have to see my therapist first to get the PTSD under control.

Anyway, Nick was tall, dressed really nicely and the perfect combo of nerdy intellectual and successful confidence. Conversation flowed easily and without incident, except for when he tried to describe where his house was and I kept asking if it was near the bar “Scotty’s”. He repeated that he had never heard of Scotty’s. Of course he hadn’t; It’s in Springfield, NJ, not Newport Beach and I’m not sure how I got there mentally but I was relieved to finally be out with a man who seemed to be less brain damaged than I. Nick unfortunately seemed to be very busy between his job and his MBA classes- but texted me that he had a great time and we should do it again.

More importantly, it was a welcome change from the endless parade of clowns that has been in rotation lately. No giant fireworks were needed, just a little validation that there are gentlemen out there who will be polite and allow me to eat deep-fried fat without asking if I worked out that day.

And speaking of food…..

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I began cooking (food- not meth) to cope with stress several years ago when I was working night shift.  I resumed it, along with baking, after ending my most recent relationship.  I find it very soothing, and methodical, yet mindless, and since I am so crazy smart and my brain is always working overtime, I enjoy the mental break.  I decided to include some recipes at the urging of my lifelong friend/wildly talented writer, Nicole.

I made this recipe on Christmas Eve.  The night before, I had gone out with Bryan (see previous post) which had concluded with me eating crab cakes in my car in the parking lot of the restaurant after I had fled.  So here you have a delightful crab recipe perfect for sharing with friends as you recount your own horrendous evening, or for celebrating the birth of our Lord.  It’s that versatile.

Low-Carb/Low-Bullshit Crab Dip

*adapted from Whole Foods Recipe*

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8-ounce) container lump crabmeat
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 (8-ounce) package Neufchâtel cheese (or Mascarpone or cream cheese)
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Click For Instructions

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    Seeing Red

    Bryan seemed relatively normal when we began talking on POF.  He was tall, athletic, and Catholic.  We shared a birthday, he had family in New York, and seemed interested in finding someone.  That “someone” should have been a mental health professional.

    When we met, I was a little thrown because he looked different.  He was not 6’3- more like 5’11, and unlike the cute buzz cut from his photos, he had a greasy combover.  Bryan had on his Sunday best: a red Coca-Cola t shirt and a sweatshirt.  He also had a serious case of red face (my friends pronounce this “red fahs”).  After a quick hug, we sat down at a table at a seafood restaurant- think more child’s section at Red Lobster than Blue Water Grill.  The crab and lobster motif highlighted his red fahs nicely.

    The guy looked obscenely nervous, and it seemed up to me to make conversation.  The little he did offer was related to the menu, from which he “usually chooses lobster because his dad takes him there and pays.” I decided to move the conversation from bargain seafood to work.  We had a mutual acquaintance, so imagine my shock when my question “So how do you know Josh?” led to him twitching, turning deep maroon, and then bellowing “I WENT TO HIS REHAB, OKAAYYY!??”

    When he began sweating profusely (are you quite sure you’re sober?), I decided to transition away from people and into a happier place.  I asked about his career plans- he had been a paramedic in LA, a firefighter, and was now in global sales.  Clearly the wrong way to go, I watched the blood once again creep into his ears as he began stammering “What is this….a fucking interview?”  He accused me of being career-obsessed [sidebar- I have been called this before since coming to OC.  It means you have goals] and kept repeating that he felt awkward.  When he began pounding on the table like a caveman I decided to leave.  Not to be undone- he leaped up and sprinted past me and out the door, combover flapping, not bothering to pay for the mahi mahi he had ordered.  A true class act.

    I believe that Bryan had a lot he was insecure about.  I probably should have paid more attention to the criminal record I found posted online when I did a google search.  I hope he doesn’t call again, but if he does, I’ll hook him up with the nice girl at the MAC counter who can get him a nice foundation to get the red out.

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    And It Begins!

    When I was living in New York City, I encountered at least two to three young ladies a month who had moved from the middle of nowhere to Manhattan so that they could be Carrie Bradshaw and write about dating.  Inevitably these sad souls  would wind up living with four Craigslist roommates, paying two grand a month in rent for a shared studio apartment in Harlem and waitressing.  This is not that situation.  For one, I am not trying to be some dimwitted fictional sex writer from HBO. For another, I live in my parent’s house in Orange County. Which is much less pathetic.

    I decided to start this blog after a number of online dating escapades in Southern California left me no choice.  Yes, online dating, and let’s just get this out of the way now because some people have really judgmental opinions about it.  But this is a tough area, geographically.  You basically have your choice between the Viagra Brigade (men 55+ with small penis sports cars) and the unemployed surfers with heroin addictions.  Where am I supposed to find a cute, smart guy?  The physics section of the Cal State library?  I actually tried that last April and they were all Pakistani and barely cleared my chin.

    Online dating works for me in that I either meet a decent guy (there have been some), or a complete lunatic which inevitably yields an amazing story. A blog is also an easier way for my best friends on the East Coast to get the latest horror story.  The current mode of information sharing is thousand-word texts to my best friend at 1 AM which often aren’t seen until the next day due to the time difference, when I have to explain what “on date w willy wonka” or “stuck tongue in my mouth when it was full of salad” means.

    Stay tuned for some (hopefully) funny tales of my attempts at navigating the dating scene, living at home in my thirties, and trying to stay sane.
    Cheers and Happy Holidays!

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