A weekend date night

A few weeks ago, I was thrilled to set up a date for the coming weekend. During the days leading up to the planned date anticipation began building, and anticipation can be your best friend or your worst enemy. On one hand, it can leave you feeling very deflated if what you’re looking forward to doesn’t materialize. But what I was hoping for was on the other hand.

Unfortunately, the weekend didn’t go how I envisioned. The date was cancelled (for legitimate reasons) so I was left with a blank slate for that particular night. Even with the cancellation, I was determined to go on a date. I reached out to a few other potential leads, only to come up empty.

So I’ll be honest, I was upset about it. I let doubts creep in. I became my worst critic, assuming the things I don’t like about myself are what these potential dates don’t like either. I had a pity party that lasted more than a day. Maybe a couple of days… or three.

There are a few take-aways from this experience:

  1. I like when I’m more even-tempered. When things don’t go my way or something happens that shakes things up, just roll with it. Be breezy, as Monica would say. My problem is, much like Monica, breezy is not my strong suit.
  2. I heard this a few years ago and I still love it. Whether it’s in relationships, job opportunities, any scenario where you’re taking a risk by putting yourself out there, “Rejection is God’s protection.” So maybe this “date fail” wasn’t a failure at all.
  3. No matter what happens, I won my fantasy football league this past year. And it feels amazing.

Be breezy, y’all!
-Out of the Wilderness


A look inside Macklemore’s “Glorious” video

There’s a lot to like about this video. For starters, it’s so thoughtful. Macklemore tugs at all of our sentimental heart strings when he flies to Modesto, California to surprise his grandma on her 100th birthday. He takes her around for an entire day to do whatever she wants. They shop, sing karaoke, egg a house, and what might be the best part– ride around in a ’76 Cadillac Eldorado with the top down. The land yacht is a beastly 2.5 tons (5,000 lbs) and it’s a real beaut! Perfect for a sunny California day.

One of the first locations in Modesto is Hy-Step Shoes. Grandma Helen ends up with a pair of Yeezy Boost 350s which, in a surprise plot twist, are not even available at Hy-Step. But Macklemore’s got a “shoe guy” so one Craigslist-like-parking-lot deal later, the shoes are hers.

Their next stop is Runaround Sue’s, a karaoke bar with only a 3-star Yelp rating! Reviews refer to fights, bad service, and while one person gave it 5 stars for an “excellent mixture of crowd,” another gave it 2 stars for “lots of thugs & bar flies.” I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

They have fun though, singing karaoke with Elvis Presley’s “I’m All Shook Up” to the delight of the thugs and bar flies there. “…Well, she touched my hand what a chill I got / Her lips are like a volcano, that’s hot / I’m proud to say that she’s my buttercup / I’m in love, I’m all shook up…”
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After that they hit up the arcade, classic birthday party location. Skee-ball, duh! They play a few other games then it’s on to… drum roll, please… GROCERY SHOPPPIIIINNGGG! Wait, grocery shopping? Well, it’s her party. Can’t pass up a BOGO deal, I get it.

They hop back in the Caddy and cruise around, Macklemore gets a tattoo of his g-ma’s name, then it’s off to the ladies consignment store called Second Chance Consignment and Costume Store. After that they head back home for a surprise party including her friends and a male stripper. And no, unfortunately it’s not Officer Goodbody, for all you Friends fans out there.
Danny Devito GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

As the day winds down they take the Cadillac to a lake. If I had to take an educated guess, I’d say it’s Woodward Reservoir Park based on the looks of the lake, the background, and it’s proximity to Modesto.

A great video that will surely keep making people cry happy tears all over the world.

-Out of the Wilderness

Bathrobes are amazing…and 22 other things I learned as a single guy in my 30s

Hi there and thanks for stopping by. As it says in the purpose of this blog, I write about a few parts of my life, one being that I’m single. So with that in mind I compiled a list of things I’ve learned in my 30s (and a few from my 20s) while not being married. This might apply to single women as well, but I wouldn’t dare assume anything about “the single woman,” which leads perfectly to the first lesson on the list…

  1. Never assume anything about women.
  2. When the tv show Friends originally aired, it didn’t mean anything to me. Now watching reruns in my 30s, I get it. And I can’t stop laughing.
  3. The woman is always right. And no, I’m not only talking about contra dancing 🙂
  4. There are certain songs that will forever remind you of someone you dated.
  5. Someone in your family will know of the perfect girl for you.
  6. If you try online dating, it might not be as bad as you expect. And yet, it can go horribly wrong sometimes.
  7. Questions about a girl you might ask in your 20s: Is she nice? What’s her faith like? Is she cute? What does she like to do? What’s her favorite kind of music? Does she enjoy the same things I do?
  8. Questions you might ask in your 30s: Is she married? No? It’s on.
  9. I’ve learned how to spot a ring from sniper distances.
  10. It’s perfectly OK going to the movie theater alone and what’s even better, you can see any movie you want.
  11. Dogs really can be your best friends.
    best friends
  12. It’s possible to not know exactly what Pinterest is.
  13. Something you might say in your 20s: “Wow, my co-worker’s 35 and not married yet? Hope that’s not me one day.”
  14. Something you end up saying when you’re single at 35: “35 is the new 25.”
  15. I could’ve married in my early 20s but I’m guessing I would’ve been divorced in my late 20s.
  16. It can be a little scary wondering if the girl I might marry one day is even in the same city as me. Same state? Same country? Has anyone ever actually found a needle in a haystack?
  17. According to a social experience performed by me sometime in 2002, you can wear the same clothes 1 or 2 or 5 days in a row, and no one will say a word about it. (Except for Rosemary, she suspected)
  18. I can cut my hair any way I want, and that’s kinda awesome.
  19. Married folks might read #18 and think, “Ew, gross.” But inside they’re slightly jealous. At least some of the married guys are. Right???
  20. Time by yourself can feel pretty lonely.
  21. Time by yourself can feel pretty incredible.
  22. A song you heard when you were 15 meant nothing to you. Hearing it again at 35, it rips your heart out.
  23. Bathrobes are amazing.

I’m sure there are many more, but I hope you enjoyed reading these 23!

-Out of the Wilderness


The hardest shot to get in television

As I was falling asleep last night a thought came to my mind that I’ve had many times before. You see, I like it to be as dark as it can be when I sleep. I would propose that most adults are the same way. In fact, that’s why hotels have thick curtains, right? So that makes the hardest shot in television the inside of a bedroom at night. Here are a few examples that do a pretty good job of keeping it realistically dark, but still allowing us to see the actors from TV shows Parenthood, Friends, and Grey’s Anatomy.

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Grey’s Anatomy

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-Out of the Wilderness


The Ville du Havre, a ship that inspired “It Is Well With My Soul”

Do you remember what you were doing in 1876? I bet you weren’t writing one of the best songs ever. Neither was I. But we also weren’t experiencing major life tragedies like the writer of It Is Well. Actually, the song was originally called Ville du Havre. The title came from a ship by the same name. A ship that carried the writer’s wife and 4 daughters. If you want to know more about that story, I’d strongly recommend you look it up because it’s worth knowing about. But in short, the ship sank and all 4 daughters perished. As he was carried by boat to reconnect with his wife, he floated past where his daughters died, and soon after wrote Ville du Havre/It Is WellVille_du_HavreOK that’s heavy stuff. You know what will lighten the mood? Remembering that this song is so well-known, even your weird uncle, yeah, that one, has sung it. But still, I keep coming back to the 2 performances below. Watch and let your heart be moved!

First up is a haunting rendition of the song. I say haunting because of the woman’s voice. It’s low and raspy. Smoky and mysterious. Definitely adds an element of soul, and the guy does, too. I’d be acting silly not to mention the quality of his voice. Plus, it’s easy to see that he not only sings the lyrics, but he believes them. I love listening to someone sing from their heart. The trio is called Selah. Since this video, they’ve had a rotation or two in the female singer slot, but this girl, Nicol Smith (now married, Nicol Sponberg) is the Selah I love the most. And is it just me, or does she look exactly like Ashley S. from The Bachelor?

Ashley S from the Bachelor

Ashley S from the Bachelor (above) looks like Nicol Smith (in video below)

This second video is a newer take on the classic hymn. Typically I run away from variations of traditional lyrics and melodies, but not this one. It’s amazing. It’s so good I didn’t even notice they left the original chorus out of the song. The first guy to sing has a good voice, but then the girl comes in and wow, she’ll captivate you with her tone and vibrato. But then that first guy comes back in and steals back your attention with his sound. To keep it simple, I’d say with these singers and this song, “It just works.” Plus, I actually love when the girl messes up. See if you catch it. It’s a subtle reminder that beautiful doesn’t mean perfection. In fact, sometimes there is beauty in imperfection… because it’s real. These are 4 beautiful minutes you need to watch.
-Out of the Wilderness

Girl Meets World on TV

bmwI was in college doing stuff like this (and studying, of course!) when “Boy Meets World” was still airing new episodes. For a show that started on TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Friday), it had surprisingly deep themes and storylines. And it was funny. Very funny. I’ve found myself quoting lines from the show even now, 13 years later. I think it’s still on TV, but last I checked, it was super early in the morning, like when my dogs wake up hungry for breakfast. There have only been a few shows that I’ve liked more now as an adult than when I was younger.

1. The Cosby Show
2. Friends
3. Boy Meets World

So consider my extreme happiness when I found out they’re shooting the follow-up to BMW, and it’s called “Girl Meets World.” It will follow the daughter of Cory and Topanga, and it says online that the pilot wrapped last month, so it shouldn’t be long till it’s on air. I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’s a huge success! Do you have a favorite line from “Boy Meets World”? I’ll kick it off with one of mine…

Lauren (on the senior snow ski trip): If you had an affair, do you think the guilt would change your behavior?

Cory: What? What a silly question? I can’t believe they would ask me that question. Me! The Falcon! Everyone knows that falcons are notoriously monogamous birds. I mean, it’s just so crazy.

Lauren kissing Cory on the senior ski trip.

Lauren kissing Cory on the senior ski trip.

Where Are All the Men

Last week I saw a rerun of Friends. At one point, Chandler was asked to do some handy work, and he said to wait while he goes to get his wife’s tools. I was struck immediately with the thought, “Is this the American man now?” That episode probably aired ten years ago, of course, so I understand it’s a bit outdated. But I wonder if there are more Chandler Bing’s out there now. Men who are not tough.

I remember when men on tv were ones I could look up to, men with character that were chivalrous and strong: MacGyver, Cliff Huxtable, Uncle Jessie, possibly Danny Tanner (although he wasn’t very tough except in the episode where he dressed like a rockstar to play at D.J.’s fundraiser), Mr. T, the father on Boy Meets World, Tom Selleck, James Garner and Tony Danza (Who’s the Boss?).

But over the course of a couple of decades they’ve turned into Charlie Sheen (Two and A Half Men), the guys on Big Bang Theory, Barney Stinson, the Situation, and professional athletes that get in trouble for domestic violence. It seems like men in the spotlight now are either over the top, or way under the top. Womanizers, or pansies. We’re persuaded to tolerate those kinds of guys and that tolerance creates more of those kinds of guys. We mock the jerks on The Bachelor, and yet we tune in every week to watch. I guess I’m just tired of seeing the pansification of men in America. I’m tired of contributing to it.

Bring back the men that open doors for women, that don’t call or text after 10pm. Men that can budget money. Guys that play football on the weekends and go to church, too. Men that are less concerned if their fingernails are clipped and more concerned about securing leaks in the house. Men that rough house with their kids, nieces or nephews but will not tolerate outsiders who do the same. Men that care less about matching their shoes with their belt, and more about making a woman feel pretty and wanted. Men that get down on one knee to ask their girlfriend to marry them not inspite of it being old-fashioned but because it’s old-fashioned. Men that would give their life to protect the ones they love. They drive trucks. They have a dog. They may even cuss a little when they get fired up. They eat horse radish because it puts hair on their chest. It’s ok to have calloused hands. It’s ok to believe in something and disagree with someone who believes differently. Tolerance is for the birds. Buck up and be a man. Respect women. Cook burgers and steak. Grill chicken and eat all of it that night. Eat broccoli because it’s healthy, but it’s ok if you don’t enjoy it. Eat a salad and take care of your body. Excercise and get strong. Compete. Compete fairly. Own tools and use them. Be old-fashioned. Don’t be a Chandler. Be a Fred Wilder. He plays the drums. He travels weekly. He’s been married for over forty years to one lady, my mom. He still enjoys washing his car and hers on the weekend. He was in the Coast Guard for twenty-seven years and served in Desert Storm. So he’s tough, but he also likes Hallmark Channel movies. He’s got a truck and a beagle. He has four grown kids that he makes an effort to see or talk to regularly.

He’s an example of what men should be. Well, he and MacGyver.