They had two golf courses in equal states of disrepair with worn out and lumpy astroturf and hole cups that weren't secured or level and a couple of times actively prevented scoring on a solid shot. I got better toward the end, he got lazier (he had amazing aim, when he barely tried). I should have known when they asked us if we wanted a scorecard. Uh, yeah? But this course rewarded crap shoots, not solid play. The primary difficulty encountered was holes that sloped uphill. Any time you were even a little off, the ball came back. The second major obstacle was shooting the ball off the green through the step-through to the sidewalk. These kinds of holes don't allow you to get progressively closer to the hole, and punish out of proportion to the crime and are not fun for me, even when I do well on them. We alternated between 2 and 6 shots on holes of this type. I sort-of-kind-of won because the holes became ridiculous and my lucky shots were better than his lucky shots.
We went out around 1pm and the courses were empty. We picked one. We got to hole 3 and a dad with a cyborg blackberry earpiece and 3 young boys started on the same track. They would basically tee off in a big pile and keep shuffling their balls along en route while jumping over each other and shoving a bit until they got balls in the hole. They almost whacked each other in the head but never quite managed it. They played fast as a result of having different rules than us. We tried to let them play through at hole 6 because son#2 would tee up on our hole before we were close to done. Dad occasionally held him back from this, but it was extra super annoying to be talking to someone and not enjoy it because there was a pile (literally) of oblivious boys on our heels swinging golf clubs too close for comfort on an otherwise empty course. Dad stalled them for a while, but we finally forced them around at hole 13, which was another uphill hole that they completed in about 5 seconds using the putters as pushsticks. At any rate, being "in the way" after a fashion made me all nervy. But I think we had a good time with it. And he got a kick out of my shade hat which is this floppy straw thing I plucked out of the Cache Creek last summer.
Ok, I've now spent more column inches on the rascally boys than on my date. I think he claimed to be 5'8" to my 5'9" but I'm guessing 5'6" is closer to the truth. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I don't want height to matter to me, but it kind of does. My mental meter for "normal guy height" is 6'2" thanks to growing up in the nordic midwest. Boston and LA are not good places to meet men this tall. (Although I did get a wink today from a 6'7" guy who likes to type "u" for you.) But what it comes down to is when we got all hot and sweaty from standing in unrelieved sun on concrete next to go kart fumes, I didn't get the urge to wipe his sweat away.
I wasn't keen on the expensive and bad deep fried food offerings at the place so we headed over toward the nearby mall and ran across a rash of korean and vietnamese places. After ascertaining that they didn't cook with something he's allergic to, and none of the side dishes had something I was allergic to...
I got bibimbop because it has a great name and is basically a bowl of veggies on rice in a hot stone bowl.
He got chicken bbq because it's safe and reliably tasty. I really liked the radish side dish. He was relieved to eat with someone who didn't mock his allergies. I do think that his food allergies are rather inconsistent with my palate. If he was the great love of my life, I'd work around it, but I'd rather not. Even if he was a very good sport about going into some unknown place where only one employee spoke functional English.
We went back after lunch to ride go-karts. There's a cool place in Boston that does F1 kart racing that's really fun. This was not like that - they put any ol' person in the driver seat, offered no instructions (no "here's the gas, here's the brake"), didn't have any safety briefing beyond making sure the seatbelt harness was fastened properly, and the cars were not running on all - well they probably had only one cylinder. More than one string of cars had someone just crash in from behind when they were unloading. I didn't mind not gearing up in someone else's sweaty helmet, though. If I keep trying kart racing, I'm going to have to figure out how to keep the momentum going around curves because losing badly is not so fun.
I picked up the tab on this since he'd done the golf and lunch. We then waited in line for too long and got the cars just before refueling so we got stopped on the track while someone in our heat changed out a car that had run dry. Then I couldn't figure out how to get my car to keep speed after the turns. I would get up to someone then be unable to pass them as they sped away and my car sputtered. It was probably a combination of running on fumes and me cranking the wheel too hard because I couldn't pass someone the same size as me, then got gently bonked out of the way by the date and got passed by the whole crowed before my car made it back up to speed despite my flooring it the entire time. That was kind of a bust entertainment wise due to frustration although the date liked it well enough. I got to go 80-85 on the way back in my lovely Mazda though which made up for a lot.
We stopped for a drink, or rather ice cream, on the way back, then took surface roads (First to Alvarado to Sunset to Hollywood Blvd) back to his place where I dropped him off. I was pretty done by then and just wanted to come home and shower. Or go for a hike. So I got back to town, went over to the hiking path I know and found out the gate was getting locked in 15 minutes. I drove around a bit and found a little place to walk and get a view but the ground was chewed up like things lived underfoot that could bite me so I went home. And made my last avocado, cucumber, tomato, arugula, corn, jicama salad for a while. And did some laundry. Yay. I finally have a date and I feel "blah". But my brother called to chat about Firefly and tell tell how I should have told him it was only $20 for the whole season, so that was fun. I think it's a sign that this was not a love connection when the highlights of my day didn't have a lot to do with my date.
Game for weird food and cheesy activities, can keep his end of the conversation going, knows his way around LA, didn't hate my driving.
Not feeling the chemistry, has food allergies to things I consider staples (mushrooms, corn, nuts), talked a lot about his bisexual ex-girlfriends (why? to prove he had some?), about working to get over his aggressive tendencies from his bad home life, and high school for some reason.
Would be fun to go to Magic Mountain with, maybe. But did not light my fire. I might not even do Magic Mountain because the perfect recipe for my future failed relationships is "He was interested; I was bored."