The Continuing Adventures of Karma’s OnLine Dating: Entry 65
Jul 7th, 2017 by Dr Karma

Remember the homophobe who admitted he was one and then denied it and said he wasn’t interested any more since I was being so tiring by maintaining the consistent position of being not at all interested in him (entries 61 and 62)?

He wrote. Again.

Him: Why are we sometimes 79% match and some other time different than 79% ? I thought about what you said and you were right. I was new on the site and did not answer your questions correctly. It has been very time consuming and no results 🙁 Probably i am not good in this internet thing.

Me: I haven’t looked at your profile lately, so I don’t know if the numbers are changing.
If you changed some of your answers or answered more questions, then that would shift the number.
OKC might also be running an test.

Him: Thanks for your kind explanation.

Are you on line and drinking wine?

Me: I’m teaching in Oxford, UK this month. I’m eating breakfast and prepping for class.

And I’m not interested in chatting; this isn’t going anywhere.

Him: My apologies. Here is 4 days holidays and late at night. My mom saw your profile and thought you are the best 🙂 Sorry. Enjoy your trip and good luck in your class. I always felt you are high caliber intelligent person but not to this extent. Forgive my ignorance and wrong assumptions.

Two days later:

Him: so how did your class go? Would you share what was the subject or do you have any scripts of your lecture?I am just curious nothing more. I have a very strong personality and i am very independent and do not expect anything just curious 🙂

Part of the problem thus far is that I tend to answer people if they say more than “hi.” There’s this sense of politeness. But, again, I’m reminded of a fact I’ve written about before. In online dating, women are more often than not punished for being polite.

This post talks about what one man serially does to women. In the example cited at length, he claims he’ll leave the uninterested woman alone–if she engages–and quickly turns abusive when she doesn’t.

And what’s up with the mom comment?

Maybe he should let her read what he wrote to me, and then she can tell him why he’s now blocked.

Cardiff 2017
Jul 4th, 2017 by Dr Karma

On the way to London from Swansea, I stopped in Cardiff for a day.

It was hot–too hot–and bright, but I still headed to the Cardiff Castle, where I learned about its history, including the fact that it was only in the Victorian era that Cardiff discovered the castle was built on a much older site–a Roman legion fort. They cleared away centuries of dirt to uncover the old walls, demarcated by the red line in the brick.

Richard III, for Vanessa

The library at Cardiff Castle












Monkeys are a popular decoration in castles.

For a little longer, Cardiff is also home to the Doctor Who Experience, which I’d visited in London years ago with Courtney. The guide told me the experience was significantly different here. It wasn’t, but I still took some pictures.

Monkey went with me.

Cardiff is also the home to the Torchwood Institute. And Ianto’s Shrine.

The Continuing Adventures of Karma’s OnLine Dating: Entry 64
Jul 3rd, 2017 by Dr Karma

Him: I see, through thirty
Getting older, every day
My soul drawing pictures
Of innocent times
Can you add, color, inside these lines i want u to lead me take me somewhere one day 🙂

Me: Hi; thanks for your message.
I generally don’t answer people with minimally-finished profiles.
Based on your answers to questions, we are probably not looking for the same thing. You say you’re looking for a woman to have children with–I’m done with all that. You also say your relationship with God is important; I’m an atheist.

Him: you dont know me

I see, through thirty
Getting older, every day
My soul drawing pictures
Of innocent times
Can you add, color, inside these lines i want u to lead me take me somewhere one day 🙂

Me: I don’t know you–and your profile is pretty blank. But I did read the answers to the couple of questions you answered, and I’m not seeing much compatibility.

Him: I see, through thirty
Getting older, every day
My soul drawing pictures
Of innocent times
Can you add, color, inside these lines i want u to lead me take me somewhere one day 🙂

Me: Cutting and pasting that pick-up line over and over again isn’t encouraging me to have a conversation.
I hope you have a good holiday weekend and that you find the perfect woman for you!

Him: yolo berry yogurt thanks i will

WTF was that?

Storytelling for Health 2017
Jul 2nd, 2017 by Dr Karma

What is the relationship between art and health?

Who owns a story?

How do we best craft a story to be heard?

Can any story be true?

Last month, I ventured to Swansea, Wales to attend the Storytelling for Health conference, which featured academic panels and performances. I found myself drawn to the latter, having found myself already at quite a few academic health science & art/humanities conferences lately.

A woman with Parkinson’s interweaved her story with the legend of an old king.

A cast of four brought us the heartbreaking tale of a woman who lost six pregnancies.

A woman whose mother nursed her through a stroke talked about language and where it went when her mother was afflicted by stroke as well.

A storyteller gave us three narratives about cancer.

A multimedia performance: All About My Tits.

The keynote performance was by The Devil’s Violin–an amazing storyteller, Daniel Morden, with a violinist and cellist. The work, Stolen, was fable, fairy tale, and allegory, one created when Morden was undergoing cancer treatment. It was, quite simply, one of the best things I’ve ever seen.

I was apprehensive the next morning, when Morden was in the audience for my performance, Chronic Pain: A Comedy. I was the first performance of the morning, and I’m very glad that they moved me to before the cancer trilogy. Even though the room was small, I asked for a mic to better signal the comic nature of what I was doing–trying to make people laugh with me at my pain.

And it went well. They gasped when they were supposed to, laughed when they were supposed to. But I really knew it had gone over well when the staff at the theatre came up to me afterwards to talk about it. Mostly, people had questions. Why do Republicans in the US fight for something that will mean some people won’t have access to care? Why would anyone support a system in which someone could pay over a thousand dollars for an ER visit, even with insurance? Why would anyone support a system that can bankrupt someone who gets sick or disabled or gets into an accident? Had I really ripped my urethra? (The longer version–a first draft in Davis–can be seen here.)

This was one of the best conferences I’ve ever been to–and not only because it allowed me to discuss issues in a non-academic format, but because it encouraged real conversation and provoked real questions. The woman who talked about her breasts showed them to us at the very end of the performance, but then discovered in the Q&A that we hadn’t reacted to them in the way she assumed. She thought we would compare them to the young breasts we’d seen earlier and find hers wanting. We thought they were beautiful.

When Morden did a Q&A toward the end of the conference, he talked about how hard it was to talk about himself. Indeed, he was “just” the narrator of Stolen, not a “character,” and one wouldn’t know the real-life issue that inspired it. He said he couldn’t work well in first person.

I wonder why I can, why I write creative nonfiction instead of fiction.

It can’t just be because I’m American. 🙂

Swansea was also beautiful, from its castle to its waterfront.

I’m very much hoping to return next year.









The Continuing Adventures of Karma’s OnLine Dating: Entry 63
Jun 27th, 2017 by Dr Karma

Sometimes messages (and their writers) are just incomprehensible.

Take the following message:

Him: Am Glad u took your time to read and reply me ,Well i have a few questions running on my mind,… things like ,How long have you been on here, what u do for a living, any kids?, what you looking for here , how long have u been single?.. well thats all i have in mind for now ,, may be as time goes i will get to know more..i hope to hear from you soon

Me: Ummm . . .
The first line of that message is confusing–you’re making it sound like I’ve already messaged you.
Your profile is sending mixed signals too. Your paragraph says you’re only looking for marriage (in all caps!), but your profile says you’re also seeking short term dating and new friends. The main page says you don’t want more kids, but in the questions, you say you’re looking for a woman to have children with.

I’ve been on here for two years, although I take breaks sometimes. I’ve been single for about two years. My profile answers the rest of your questions: I’m a writer and a university teacher with a son in college. Looking for a long term relationship (though I don’t want to get married–one can have partnership and commitment without that).

I guess he didn’t like that.

He blocked me.


The Continuing Adventures of Karma’s OnLine Dating: Entry 62
Jun 25th, 2017 by Dr Karma

Last week, I shared the story of a guy from Carmichael who had homophobic answers to questions on OKC. I thought saying “I don’t date homophobes” would end the conversation, especially since he’d said homophobia was a “weakness” of his.

He didn’t go away, though. Here the (annotated) conversation continues:

Him: I am not homephobes. Which question gave u the impression?

At any rate have a wonderful day and take care.

Me: There’s a question about how you would feel if a gay friend hugged you, a question about guys wearing makeup, a question about gay people having children, etc.

Him: Lol, My friend filled out some of the questions while I was away from computer at work. I have no problem with any of those. He has played a prank on me. I think every human being is free to live and create a family anyway he or she wants as long as it does not hurt others. It is a totally private thing for an individual. I believe in equality of men and women and so on.

I am mainly looking for a good solid friend. And be honest with you it is not easy to find someone like you with this level of liberalism, education and so on in this area. Friendship and good intellectual conversation with someone is the main thing for me. But honey you need to give it time to understand each other. By the way there is this learning process meaning we can learn from each other about this things that we might be mistaken.

What is your number? or whatever else which is trendy these days to do voice. I am seeking only friendship the rest is up to you if u like me more. You set the limits and i will respect them.

And life, friendship is more colorful than some questions and answers. You throw an apple up it makes many various turns before comes back down.

Joke time : This really super pretty but dump actress see Bernard Shaw who was super smart but not good looking. She tells Bernard lets make a kid together so the kid gets her look from me and her IQ from you. Bernard replies I am afraid opposite can happen so kid gets her IQ from you and her look from me !

[Argh. Go away. Every message I’ve sent has been to say “no thanks.” I don’t want to talk or be friends or have you send me poetry or call me honey (when guys say it in sentences designed to change my mind, I feel talked down to). The GBS “joke” is a story in which GBS makes a joke. And, of course, as a GBS scholar, I’ve heard it before.]

Me: Look: I’m not on here for more friends. I’m looking for a partner. When I first said your answers were homophobic, you admitted it–you said it was your weakness.
I feel like you’re just trying to backtrack now.
Nothing about our interaction has made me want to give you my number–I didn’t like the cut and paste; I don’t like the answers to a lot of your questions. Your profile is pretty blank, etc.
I’m not interested.

Him: I meant all good and somehow you keep misunderstanding me. When i said friend I meant I care about you that I even wana keep you as a friend if you don’t feel I am qualified enough for more. See this is the problem with texting the feelings are hidden or even miss represented. Take it easy and enjoy. You have made me tired and I am not interested at all. Take care

By the way thanks for your feedback I am adding to my profile.

[You care about me? What? You don’t know me.]

[You want to keep me as a friend? We’d have to be friends for you to keep me.]

[I keep misunderstanding you? And you find that exhausting? We finally have something in common. My view of this conversation: Me: I’m not interested. You: But get to know me. Me: No, because . . . You: Yeah, but settle for me. Me: No. You: But get to know me; I’m great really. Give me your personal number, like you would for someone you’re actually interested in. That way, I can bother you and make you interested in me. Me: No. You: I care about you, best friend forever.]

Me: Farewell!


The Continuing Adventures of Karma’s OnLine Dating: Entry 61–Nothing’s Perfect, Apparently
Jun 19th, 2017 by Dr Karma

On June 5th, some loser from Carmichael with a pretty blank profile (and with questions that indicated we’re 26% enemies) said:
Hi Beautiful ! How are you? 🙂
I didn’t answer.
Yesterday, he tried again:
Hi Beautiful ! How are you? 🙂
Me: I’m really not into generic cut and paste messages, which is part of why I didn’t respond the first time you pasted that greeting.
Looking at your profile, it’s pretty clear we wouldn’t get along–you’re a lot more socially conservative than I am.
I hope you have a great day and that you find the perfect woman for you.
Him: I am a super liberal, progressive person.
You will know that for sure if we talk more.
Me: The answers to many of your questions are homophobic.
Him: You are probably right .
I am very liberal and progressive in everything else. My only weakness is what you said. I am impressed by your IQ and Judgment. But honey nothing is perfect.
r u transextual?
Me: No. I’m cisgendered and straight. But I don’t date homophobes.


Some thoughts:

Nothing is perfect?

I know that nothing is perfect–every man I’ve ever loved has been imperfect, as am I.

But this isn’t something to overlook–like when a guy likes sports or something. Homophobia disgusts me.

And wtf with the “transextual” question? Does this “super liberal” guy really think that I’d have to be trans to have his homophobia matter to me?

Way to show empathy, which is precisely the issue in the first place.


You can now view Chronic Pain: A Comedy
Jun 8th, 2017 by Dr Karma

Hey, did you miss it?
You can see it here:

I also opened for my graduating seniors (who are amazing) the next night (no overlap in jokes):

Stand-Up Show Tonight!
Jun 2nd, 2017 by Dr Karma

Review of CapStage’s Stupid F###king Bird
May 29th, 2017 by Dr Karma

CapStage is the home of intimate ground-breaking theatre. They make incredible use of their small space, creating immerse worlds that spill out into the audience.

Stupid Fucking Bird, by Aaron Posner, is playing there until June 4th.

Go see it.

I first encountered Posner’s work when I saw the recording of the Folger Theatre’s Macbeth–Posner directed it, together with Teller (of Penn and Teller). Together, they brought real magic to the stage–the witches disappear, daggers float, blood covers white hands.

Thus, I was excited to see Posner’s adaptation of Chekhov’s The Seagull. One doesn’t need to know anything about Chekhov or The Seagull to enjoy this play, but you get the old nerd thrill of recognition at some moments if you do.

The play is brilliant, and it’s beautifully directed by Michael Stevenson, who expertly guides his cast in handling a tricky piece of metatheatre, complete with direct addresses and interactions with the audience. Don’t worry–it’s not uncomfortable–you won’t be asked to come on stage or to talk if you don’t want to, but avoid drinking too much on their lovely patio before the show–you don’t want to be the unlucky person who naps–you’re likely to get called out & you’re missing a great show!

This work is about what all of Chekhov’s works are about–relationships (why doesn’t this person love me? what if I’m a disappointment to myself, my lovers, my parents, my children? is it better to be content or to search for happiness? do I get to choose?), but it also asks what theatre’s relationship to these questions are (will audiences watch something new? can theatre truly provoke us to change?).

I fucking love this play.


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