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Today I woke up feeling extra ambitious, not in the money-making sense but in the sense of getting things done. Practical things. So after doing about 15 sets of weights I went outside and toiled in the front yard for a couple hours. 

The next door neighbor's gardener, who I used to deplore, complimented me on my weed-wacking skills. "I looked at your yard and I thought, 'He musta hired a new Mexican.'" I paraphrase in the interest of brevity, and hilarity. He didn't say Mexican, being himself one. And I don't deplore him anymore, even though he continues to mow, blow and trim with high-powered tools and make an ungodly amount of noise in the process. "Pass the compliment onto my brother," I told my new friend. "He has been saying that I've butchered the premises, but I tell him things grow back. It's a learning process, and all in due time..." And the platitudes flow.

I like being a do-it-yourselfer. Note to self: Weeds are very hardy, perennially green, and they often sprout colorful flowers, which are also fragrant. They also hardly need any watering at all. I'm all about letting the indigenous flora of Los Angeles take over the environs, especially with sprinklers continually on the fritz. I just wish plants didn't shed. I disdain the blower, and couldn't refrain from mentioning to my interlocutor the racket that resounds throughout the neighborhood for four hours every Friday, courtesy of his power tools. Yes he wears earplugs, but not all of us are so insulated. Not having a blower myself, I get on my hands and knees and rake and shovel the debris into my trash can. It's one helluva workout. I have been doing this each week for the last seven months. My how the time flies.

Afterwards I went for an hour long bike ride. For those who like to go above and beyond, gardening, which can serve as a stand-alone exercise for the sedentary sort, is also an excellent warm-up to whatever the serious athlete chooses as his "real" workout. Other activities included in my do-it-myself list: cooking, housekeeping, shopping, manicuring (my nails as well as the trees), not to mention washing my car (and my dog, with a blow-dry thrown in) and also haircutting. Which if you've never taken a scissors to your own mop, is well worth the effort. But be advised. Trial and error is the name of the game here. It's all about trial and error.

Like dating, which I don't even try any more. The average date is more like a job interview. We spend two hours over dinner so the girl can determine whether she'll agree to a second date, but by the time dessert arrives, which I didn't order and don't touch, I say "No way." The symbolism is pretty freakin' thick here. It's because the interrogation process is exhausting. Gone are the days when "to date" meant "to drink too much, dance till we dropped, then fuck like banshees till dawn when I somehow manage to sneak out surreptitiously enough so she won't wake up." I miss the good ole times. But not so much that I want an encore. It's not worth it!

Recently my friend asked me if I have any "friends with benefits." An appropriate term, since we used to be this to each other back in the day. 

"Are you kidding?" I replied. "I wish it could be that easy." 

These days in order to get a regular screw you have to put a ring on it. I mentioned this girl up the street I used to fool around with. That is until she called it off, saying just being a booty call made her feel cheap. Whatevers. F-ing prude. This is a woman with an ex-husband and two teenage children, mind you. She's practically menopausal. I was like, "Bitch, what are you saving it for?" Anywho... 

As I see it, fooling around is part and parcel of a solid friendship, or should be. If when I was a kid one of my baseball teammates told me he felt used and cheap because the only thing we did when we got together was play kid's games I'd have slapped his face. Guys play sports and chase chicks. When a guy gets with a girl, they should screw. Or at least play sports of their own. The up and down kind, usually between the sheets.

These days I'm the prude. I don't even get to first base any more. Too many complications. Today at the market I exchanged smiles with three girls, and I left the store feeling better than if I had shot as many loads. One of these, a cashier, is not a day over 55 I swear. Another girl, a shopper like me, I almost even talked to, would have had she not been face to phone in the check-out line. Oh and I waved at the mail career on my way back home. She's old enough to be my mother. Flirting is good clean fun. Smile and the world smiles with you, as they say. And you go home alone and can indulge your fantasies with the bottle of petroleum by the bed. You make of the girls you saw some strange composite involving the mail lady's hair and glasses, the cashier's smile and the shopper's legs - and none of them nag you even once! That's my idea of modern romance. 

Still, I'd love to find a friend with benefits. I'm taking applications, if you're local. Must be cute, spunky, with sparkling eyes, a tight butt, thick hair (a sign of character, and as the gene for hair is passed on by the mother, I don't want bald sons) and a great sense of humor. If you do not appreciate the movie Big Lebowski, we will not get along. Oh, and acting your age, not your shoe size, is a must. As are blowjobs. Skill set not required, but swallowing is. Don't worry, the gesture will be reciprocated at least some of the time. And be at least anal curious. Also, live less than 20 minutes away. My former friend with benefits is all the way in British Columbia. Too far for a guy who disdains traffic or air travel of any sort. Besides, she's not about the butt sex.

See ladies, that's 20 seconds' worth of must haves, not 2 pages or 2 hours. Take note and hope to hear from you. If not, at least please send me some good vibes (and maybe a naked selfie). Good luck with your search, and go easy on the dessert! 


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