Hamster and Todd

Last month, while Christmas shopping for my niece, I came across these two stuffed hedgehogs and about lost my mind. See, when I was a kid, I had a little stuffed hedgehog hand puppet that I was quite fond of. These little stuffed animals tripped my nostalgia switch, and I got weirdly emotional.

I sent a picture of the hedgehogs to the fiancée, who promptly went out and bought them for me for Christmas, further proving that I have found the best of all possible fiancées.

EDIT: Obviously, the hedgehogs are named Hamster and Todd.

Inktober: My Love Story’s Takeo Goda


Teenage rom-coms, man… I seem to be a bit obsessed with them nowadays.

Not sure why that is.

Maybe I’m nostalgic for the day when love came easily?

Maybe I’m seeking some sort of catharsis for my perpetually adolescent awkwardness?

Maybe my taste isn’t as discerning as I’d like to think?

Gah, this is scary thinking!

The World Revolves Around PDA


So I’ve been in the mood to watch a really good romance recently.  You know, the kind where there’s this guy, and this girl, and they are, like, totally in love with each other, but they don’t realize it, and so they agree to, like, be friends and help each other out, and they’re all biscuits and cream, except that, sometimes, one will sneak a peek at the other and get this kind of wistful look in their eye that says that they’re totally thinking about what it would be like if they could just open up enough to let the other one into their heart, and this goes on for, like, about an hour and a half of run time…

Yeah, so I decided to take those feelings and turn them into a picture about two parents making out in public while their kids beat each other up.  That’s how my train of thought works sometimes.

Braddy’s Rules for Dating – Tinder Edition

A friend of mine prevailed upon me to try Tinder again. Tinder is a dating app that basically allows single people to rate potential prospects strictly by how attractive they find their Instagram account to be. People whose Instagram accounts are mutually pleasing are then given the opportunity to date, if they so choose. I’ve tried Tinder before with mixed results (due in no small part to my own dating hang-ups), but I decided to give the matchmaking app another go.  

I’ve found (to the great surprise of no one in particular) that I’ve developed a set of rules for which people it is appropriate to “swipe right” on.

  • Rule the First: Any potential right-swipees must share at least one Facebook friend with me. So that I know they aren’t a bot, of course.
  • Rule the Second: I can’t swipe right on any profile with pictures of an activity I could not replicate comfortably.

-Going hiking? Not my jam, but I could do it pretty easily.
-Petting a tiger? Sure, why not?
-Wearing a swimsuit? With my ridiculous body issues, I have not been seen in public with a swimsuit on in over fifteen years. Not even a one-piece. 


  • Rule the Third (also known as The Annihilator): Since I’m a bit of a homebody, I can’t swipe right on the profile of any woman who likes “country dancing, travel, and adventures.”

Again, that third rule is a doozy. I live in the great state of Utah, where 95% of all inhabitants live for nothing but country dancing, travel, and adventures. During my last foray into the world of Tinder – which lasted for two months – I swiped right twice, on the profiles of the only two women in the area bold enough to post a picture of their My Little Pony fandom on a dating profile. They did not, apparently, swipe right on my profile during that time. I had zero matches.

To make this current Tinder experiment more eventful, I’ve forced myself to ignore Rule the Third. I finally got a match with a girl… one who likes country dancing, travel, and adventures.

Braddy’s Rules of Dating

I have a string of social neuroses and other psychological hangups that keep me from dating on a regular basis. Once upon a time, I realized that I had somehow developed a list of bizarre prerequisites that had to take place before I could actually ask a girl on a date. I wrote these rules down, and now I know why I don’t go out more often:

  • Rule the First: Before asking a woman on a date, I have to establish a basic, friendly rapport with said woman, usually through casual conversation.
  • Rule the Second: Conversation with a woman cannot be aimless; there must be a decent motivation behind starting up a conversation.
  • Rule the Third (also known as the Destroyer Rule): Romantic interest is not an acceptable motivation for conversation.

By living according to these rules, I can’t ever have a conversation with a woman I’m interested in, and thus I can only ask out women I have no intention of dating. Thankfully, I’ve been able to break these rules on more than a few occasions, but still… It’s little wonder that I date as infrequently as I do. 


Ambassador Dating

Guys, dating is hard for me.

I mean, I think it’s hard for most people, but I think it’s harder for me than it is for them.

There are girls out there – wonderful, smart, beautiful girls – who have given me their phone number of their own free will and volition, and I have yet to call them.

Call it anxiety, or call it cowardice, it’s an inhibition.

Sometimes, when I DO manage to work up the nerve to ask a girl out after nearly eight (8) months of psyching myself, I feel like my goal for the evening isn’t even to score a love connection, since that’s probably too much to hope for.

The goal is just to make a good impression.

I think that, if I can show a girl a good time, she’ll go out and tell her friends, “You know, that nervous, shy guy with the beard?  Kinda nice, and hardly sketchy at all.”

That way, the NEXT time I ask a girl out, it may only take seven months.

Take My Hand, Love


The other day, I had a lengthy discussion with a friend on the appropriate technique to employ when taking a date’s hand.

(What wisdom I had to contribute to the argument is a mystery to me, as it has been quite some time since I had any opportunity to employ any technique of any kind.)

My friend argued that the act of initiating a hand-hold in a darkened movie theater is akin to an exquisite game of chess.

When arriving at your seats, you decline to make the first move and simply leave the armrest up, thus gauging your partner’s openness to the encounter.

During the movie, you monitor your partner’s moves. Do they fold their hands chastely, securely in their lap? Or is the hand left in a more aggressive position, somewhere near the knee?

You further assess your partner’s interest with a slight, accidental brush of your little finger against theirs. It’s a bold move, but one with some level of deniability. If they flinch, you merely apologize and withdraw.

If, however, they hold their position, you can move in a bit more aggressively, perhaps brushing the back of their hand with your fingertips. At that point, it should become clear that you may safely interlock your digits with theirs.

I wondered if it wouldn’t simply be easier to ask, “May I hold your hand?”

Either way, we both agreed that we hope women really like dorks.