Friday, 29 May 2009

The Lark Ascending

Once again Friday was a write off so I stayed in for that. But I was well up for it on Saturday despite properly caning it in the gym. I was a bit tired but I could hold myself together so I didn’t have a problem with going out.

Once again I felt myself going through the same standard thought processes. Basically as I’m on my way from the car I get little twinges of negative emotion and thoughts; “What if I don’t know what to say?” “What if I don’t have enough energy?” and comparing myself to others and so on.

All of this stuff is of no use at all, and I’m getting better at sweeping it out of my mind. The first thing I remember to do is have fun. The second thing to remember is that if you are having negative thoughts, it is totally possible to get out of them. Being able to relax and be happy is something that can come with practice over time. The third is an affirmation: “I am good with girls.” It’s simple but it seems to work. I did the same with “I am good looking” as I used to think I wasn’t that great in the looks department. But now I know I’m pretty hot. Lol.

So I mentally sort myself out. I meet Jon and Liam in Bar Music Hall, but it’s really loud and the guys are sitting on chairs away from the action. I have a beer to warm myself up, but we decide to move on to Queen of Hoxton. It would have been easy to get into negative thought patterns here as well, but I was patient and knew I would be opening shortly.

At the next venue we have to pay £6 to get in and from the door it looks like there are lots of girls. When we get in it isn’t as busy as I’d hoped but there were still a fair few girls there. We get a drink and I position us by a group of five girls. I’m trying to think of an opener but nothing jumps out.

I’ve noticed recently that I have to believe in my opener to make it work. It can be any opener – situational, a joke, the perennial Pirates versus Ninjas – but I’ve got to feel it in some way. It’s hard to describe exactly what I mean but I know when it’s right and I know when it’s working.

Anyway I verbalise my problem by mentioning it to Liam: “I’m trying to think of an opener but can’t think of one that would work.” Well a problem shared is a problem halved. Talking about it and thinking about it gets my subconscious working and then it pops into my head – “You guys look like you’re celebrating something, what’s the occasion?”

Well they weren’t celebrating anything, they were just a group of friends drinking cocktails. That was OK, we just fluffed a bit and continued talking, moving the conversation on. The girl nearest to me and the one I was talking to was Irish from Dublin and very friendly, as are most Irish girls I find.

I had a bit of a chat with her, and she even brought Liam and Jon into set, though they didn’t stick. This looked a bit incongruous to her actually, as she was like, “Who are your friends?” “Where have the wondered off too?” (when they left the set). I guess the social calibration of someone like that is mainly based around sticking with your friends etc.

Anyway the one I was talking to wasn’t that hot, quite pretty but a little chubby. There was one Cheryl Cole lookalike in the group but I never engineered the situation so I was talking to her.

The one I was talking to was only in town for the weekend so I didn’t bother to get her number. I found the others again downstairs where not much was happening. There were two girls seated nearby who were just asking to be opened. They were blonde, slim, relatively average looking but not ugly. Once again it took me a short while to think of an opener, but I quickly came up with “What time does it get busy in here?” as the downstairs bar was a bit empty.

They didn’t know but we started talking about the bar and the music. I wasn’t feeling this one too much as they weren’t that hot, plus the seating situation logistics weren’t that favourable. I ejected after a few minutes.

Back upstairs again we were hanging out, and I went to the bar. While I was there I bumped into the Irish girl again and we started chatting. She actually bought my drink for me which was kind, even if it was only a coke. I didn’t think about it until later but this was clearly a big signal – it’s not every day that a girl buys you a drink. At the time I put it down to Irish hospitality.

Back with the guys Liam opened a couple of girls that were standing nearby. He was doing pretty well and they were interested in us but Liam didn’t seem to be reading the situation too well and wasn’t matching the energy. We all had a bit of a chat and I teased them a bit. Liam gave them a sort of inadvertent back turn and after a bit they went off to the bar. They tapped him on the shoulder to say bye but he just ignored them!

After that Liam and Jon wanted to leave. It was nearly midnight and my tiredness was catching up with me. We all made a break for it.

The rest of the weekend was spent sleeping and at home with various relatives including my first cousin once removed.

A good frame that I’m using at the moment which I found on RSD Foundations is to see it as “learning to talk to girls.” This is a skill after all and the best way to develop a skill is through practice and experience. Seeing every interaction as a chance to successfully bank in more experience is great for keeping me in a positive frame of mind and not putting pressure on myself. After all, if you talk to one hundred, two hundred girls, you will have no choice but to pick up what works and what doesn’t, get better at flirting and pick up in general. That’s definitely where I’m at right now.

I used just to stick to “normal” conversations about day-to-day stuff. Now I’m getting in more teasing, more flirting, more sexual suggestions and more kino. Still loads more to do but I’m getting there. Plus I’m beginning to see patterns as to how girls react, what to do next and so on. It’s slowly unravelling.

The biggest thing about this for me is that it does involve wholesale personality changes. But these changes are possible and they will come over time. It’s often the case that while I’m in set I’ll have a negative belief or not know what to say, or feel like I’m stuck at some point in the interaction. At these times I often feel like there is a wall preventing me from moving forward.

More recently I’ve become aware of this imaginary wall and can consciously break through it. After all it’s totally within my control (though sometimes unconscious) and a self-imposed limitation at the end of the day. It works like this:

Learning to talk to girls > gaining experience and skills > breaking through self-imposed limitations > wholesale personality change.

The big changes – in self-confidence, self-esteem, positive attitude – are slowly coming to me.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Send in the Clowns!

So I was thinking of going out on Friday but I was really tired from the week before, so I decided to sack it off and spend the evening with my flatmates and neighbours taking it easy. The local bike wanted me again but I rejected her advances. I may go there one day, probably when I’m desperate and it’s too late…

On Sunday I had a random party in some ultra-chav bar in Forest Gate – yes, Forest Gate! Can you believe it? I didn’t think anyone actually lived there.

Anyway, it was fancy dress and the theme was Circus and Cabaret. I didn’t have a costume but when one of my neighbours told me she had a set of scrubs and it’s always been a dream of mine to wear some. It didn’t fit in with the theme unless you thought laterally about it … most people did and I pretty much got away with it.

At the party there weren’t loads of people there but a fair amount. I was in a little bit of a quandary as I was driving but I still managed to have a few drinks and certainly enjoyed myself.

Having spent the day in a social environment always helps when warming up for going out, and today was no exception. All my housemates / neighbours were about and we all had a good time helping to construct the cannon part of a human cannonball for someone’s costume.

Arriving there my first thought was to find the girls I wanted to hit on. The selection wasn’t great but there was certainly enough for some practice. I also had some social proof since I arrived with two fairly hot chicks, and I found myself doing my first approach and talking to the girl nearest me as soon as I arrived, which was a good warm up.

I then spent the night doing my usual joking and teasing and bantering with the chicks that I could find. And once again when I felt myself flagging or realised that I didn’t have anyone to talk to, I didn’t let it get me down and I didn’t worry about it. I knew that in a few minutes the configuration of social groups would change and I would be talking to someone else again.

I was also getting a lot more sexual earlier on in my conversations. Just joking or playing on words usually, but enough to put the topic out there. Wearing a surgeon’s outfit helped with this and role playing as well. I would role play on the subject, dropping in stuff like, “Would you like me to operate on you?” “Any symptoms of hot flushes, getting wet, sensitive skin?” which was all pointing in one direction…

I was talking to this one Danish chick who despite being Scandinavian wasn’t that hot – just about average really. A bit later I was talking to one of her friends and dropping in some sexual innuendo / role play stuff when she mentioned that it was her friend that wanted operating on…

I went back to talk to her, but realised that I didn’t find her that attractive so I gave it a miss. I was also approached by some milk-maid type girl who came on to me strong. That wasn’t anything special though, as she’d already hit on two or three other guys already. She had nice boobs and a bright face but again she wasn’t doing anything for me and at 33 and desperate, wasn’t my kind of thing.

I remember the host caressing me at one point – initiating kino you might call it – but I kind of didn’t notice it until later and as she was the host and a friend of my natural housemate (read: intimidation) I didn’t take it further.

At the end of the night there wasn’t any close but a good lot of flirting practice and some confidence building experiences.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Step by Step...

So before heading out I quickly reviewed the first DVD and a half of RSD Foundations as I found last time that it put me in the right frame of mind for learning, enjoying myself and improving. Essentially what it reminded me of the frame of mind that the world is your pick up lab, and that progress comes in small pieces. I've spent far too much of my life comparing myself to others and beating myself up for it. It doesn't help to share flats with naturals that pick off hot chicks like most people step on ants, but it makes that rich tapestry look nice.

But the main thing was that I was in a good mood. We met up in Legion but then headed off to Cargo. It was still a bit empty so we went to the Hoxton Pony, that I hadn't been to since it used to be called the Pool Bar. We were at the bar and there weren't many girls, except for two sitting at the bar next to us. I was thinking of something to open with when Peter jumped in first.

Without much to do the rest of us went downstairs.

The most obvious set was a large group of girls standing in one corner, I knew I needed a warm up set so I thought I'd ask them if they were here for a birthday or something. Turns out they were just a bunch of Aussie girls out for a drink, I didn't stay in long but at least I got it out the way.

When I returned to the group Liam and Jon were talking to a random girl that was on her own, but not that hot. I joined in and Liam opened another one of the Aussie group. I used the not-hot girl to warm up some more. Liam ended up closing which was great, and when he'd finished we went back to Cargo.

When we arrived we were standing next to a group of three pretty hot girls. I was trying to think of a situational opener but nothing was coming to me, so I decided to fall back on ninjas versus pirates. It opened very well and I stuck in set for a long time. There were moments when I felt like ejecting but I stayed in there and generally made it stick pretty well. They were art history and architecture students so I spoke to them about that for a bit. There was some joking and laughing, a bit of teasing, touching and sexual innuendo, but nothing major.

However I couldn't work out how to number close. Looking back on it now I should have locked in, isolated the target, done some qualification and somehow thought of a time bridge to set up a day two, but that's all in hindsight. So I left saying that I'd see them on the dance floor later on, and they seemed to think it was a good idea.

We milled around a bit, watched some of the bands, one of which sounded distinctly average (Violens). We were hunting for sets but there wasn't much jumping out at us. Later on we sat down next to some girls that I had my eye on earlier. Eventually I opened one of them by commenting on how distinctly average the band sounded. From there she went straight into a massive surrealist diatribe, which was great as that's my sense of humour as well, but she was so high energy she was kinda leading the conversation, though by no means the whole thing.

Anyway her face wasn't that hot and eventually her and her friend went for a smoke so I moved on. We milled around for a bit more. It was getting closer to midnight and I was feeling tired as ever. It was close to leaving time as I was feeling tired, so I thought I'd find the girls I was talking to first and try and number close them. Nothing to lose...

I bumped into them walking in the opposite direction. We chatted about how we were both thinking of going home. I suggested a number close and they agreed, though they weren't sure which one's number I wanted. I went for the hottest one obviously. So asked for it, and she gave it to me but she didn't look like she was giving me her proper number; first off it had too many numbers in it and then it kinda looked like she was making it up. Hmm. I'll try it on Sunday. If it doesn't work then no big loss – at least I asked. Also, I should probably point out at this stage that she was 21, a good 11 years younger than me. Though she was nearly 22, so that's OK. And she thought I was 24...!

Returning home there was yet another unplanned house party. There was lots of gossip – who was shagging who, that kind of thing – but I was tired. Luckily I managed to convince everyone to wrap it all up not too late. It was all good.

What I learnt:

Controlling state is getting easier. A lot of the time before opening I would be feeling uncertain, bits of doubt floating around, captured by inertia. But I managed to work my way out of it generally. And then in set too, I would be a bit stuck, not knowing what to say, but I kept with it then as well. It seems that I'm learning to overcome those negative thought patterns, most importantly by knowing that I can overcome them, on a regular basis. It's all getting a little bit easier.

I number closed. Good stuff.

Something I could do better – perhaps stay out longer. Tiredness seems to catch up with me too much, hard not to do when it's the end of the week. I'd like to stay out until one or two, after all I have my car with me. That would give me more opportunities.

Monday, 4 May 2009

A nice day for a white wedding

Weddings, eh? The families, the romance, and from what everyone says a veritable fuck-fest in the making for the single people out there.

Theoretically, at least.

It's Monday, I'm in Bilbao, I've done the Guggenheim and now I've got about 24 hours to kill and there's very little to do. So what better that to eat up the hours with a couple of field reports.

Two weekends ago I was in Gloucestershire for a friend's wedding. He's the guy I went to Amsterdam with for the stag do a few weeks ago. There was about 100 people or so, and I knew all of the friends on the groom's side of the family already. To cut a long story short there was only one single girl there (and I think one single guy – me). She was my mate's younger sister and though she was tall and slim, she had exactly the same mannerisms as my mate and his twin brother, and that kinda put me off a bit. Either way, nothing happened but I had a great time and we all had some top fun.

Last Saturday was my cousin's wedding in a city called Tudela in Spain, about 200 km south of San Sebastian and about 50 km or so west of Zaragoza. We had the full Catholic wedding in the local church which was actually really good and, strangely enough, funny. And then we had the meal and reception back at the hotel we were staying at.

After the meal we moved on to the disco of sorts with about 50 Inglese and 100+ EspaƱol. Unfortunately the bride – who was pretty much your classic hot Spanish chick – didn't have any sisters. But there were quite a few other hot chicks there that deserved a go.

I spent most of the evening talking random shit to just about everybody, enjoying the night and having fun with my brother as well as everyone else. An opportunity presented itself early in the evening when someone got my cousin on stage and forced him to sing It's not unusual. Well, unfortunately he can't sing, but I know a man who can. So I went up on stage to help him out, and more or less got away with it.

This of course meant that just about everyone knew who I was, and that basically I was the shit when it came to Tom Jones karaoke. How do you spell DHV? So anyway I continued to chat to everyone and also find out who was single. The rest of the night went pretty much like this:

Meet girl, dance with her a bit, chat with her a bit, ask her if she's married, find out that she is. Repeat ad nauseam.

That went on all night. Yes, once again, I don't think there was actually any single girls there at all. Fate, why do you tempt me so?!?!?

However there was a (married) Dutch girl there who I was chatting to, and who I subsequently noticed was checking me out from across the dance floor. I spoke to her a couple times more and she kept on paying me attention. Incidentally, she was the classic hot Dutch girl – tall, slim, blond and blue-eyed and pretty, the type that I've always wanted to fuck really hard. Eventually when I saw here eying me up again I told her, “Why do you have to be married?” “I know,” she said. And I gave her a hug and a bit of a kiss on the neck, which she didn't mind at all. Ach, mensch!

The evening ended up with my brother scoring some coke from the Basque guy who was our waiter at the meal. The evening became more and more random, and it included Jaegerbombs, throwing up in the toilet, arm wrestling and having a conversation with some random guy that didn't speak any English, and I didn't speak any Spanish. That conversation lasted for about half an hour.

The next day was spent traveling with my parents from Tudela via Pamplona to San Sebastian, and ultimately to Bilbao. Tudela is hot and sunny, Bilbao is cloudy and cool. I've already seen the Guggenheim. There's not much else to do.