Friday, February 23, 2007

best book ever?

Just a day after plugging my most recent column about the role that rumors and reputations play in relationships, I received a MySpace message informing me I'm now an entry on The Ex Book.
I'd never heard of the site before, but after a quick point and click, I learned it's one of the "reputation managers" I addressed in my column. Essentially, the site lets you "research your current and past relationships" and "tell the world about your ex." But here's the extra hook -- it's also a matchmaking/networking site, so exes can connect and find blissful love. Read: ensuring the creation of even more messed up relationships.
Of course, you can do it all for a nominal membership fee of 99 cents a month for a year, or $3.95 for one month.
Initially, the membership fee alone made me ditch the site, even though I was curious about what an ex could have written about me. Then, I noticed the MySpace message gave me a free trial subscription code to get into the site, but I had to fill out a detailed form with personal information like my home address.
Sure, I suppose I could have just lied, but the extensive info request alone was enough to make me hit the "close" button on the Internet window.
So I guess I'll never know what an ex may or may not have written about me. And I think I'm OK with that. Honestly, the Ex Book bothers me. It goes a step beyond the average "reputation management" site and actually urges its visitors to research their CURRENT relationships. me can actually TALK to your significant other.
And, if by some chance there is some chance an ex stalking the cyber world with tales of my lack of sexual prowess, I apologize. We probably should have made out digitally.
Have a great weekend, everyone. Tell me all about your shenanigans.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

don't date him?

Rewind to fourth grade. We had just rearranged our desks, and I thought I scored a killer position between (1) my then-best friend, and (2) my then-biggest crush ever, Patrick O'Sullivan. That was, however, only until 10 minutes into our new seating arrangement, when my friend decided to tell Patrick I had a crush on him.
So awkward. And we had to sit like that for an entire trimester.
It's funny that when you're young, most of your friends want nothing more than to find you a boyfriend, even if it means embarrassing you during a science lesson or forging your signature on a passed note.
But, as you get older, it seems like your friends are often the first ones to caution you against potential heartbreak. Sometimes justifiably. This week's column is about the role that rumors play in our romantic relationships, especially with the influx of "reputation management" Web sites like Don't Date Him Girl.
There, you can get actual testimonials from ex-girlfriends of fully identified lying, cheating losers.
I can't think of one example in which my friends weren't justified in advising me not to date a questionable guy. That doesn't mean I followed their advice, though. Do I regret it? I don't know. I'm still a firm believer that a big part of life is making mistakes, developing your own instincts and not always banking on someone to confirm you're on the right track.
When, if ever, is it OK to take a friend's relationship advice? And when should you give advice of your own?
Thanks for reading. Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

moderately overweight tuesday

So there I was, admiring myself in Oxygen's bathroom mirror, when I heard some serious social commentary about Fergie. "Glamorous" was playing in the background, and as Fergie spelled out the song's title for about the fortieth time, a party goer looked up from washing her hands and offered a succinct, "OK,'re literate. Big deal."
The comment, if you ask me, is only partially true. Let's just refer to the spelling of "tasty" in "Fergalicious." Enough said.
Anyway, that scenario comes straight from my Fat Tuesday adventures in downtown Columbus. After a brief siesta, I hit downtown just after midnight, and was greeted by a large, but not overly impressive, crowd. Each open venue had its own group of partiers, but no bar was flooded anywhere near capacity.
A few impressions of the night:

Cheers to The Vault for bringing in Pistoltown, an especially rockin' three-man band from Nashville. These guys brought people to their feet for a pretty long set, and their take on "I Will Survive" was enough to get me in the door.
Jeers to the bearded hippie who tried to dance with me during Pistoltown's performance of "Mustang Sally." The era of free love is over. Deal with it.
Cheers to Big City Club for once again attracting a solid crowd of partiers. This downtown dance club has consistently impressed me in recent weeks. I'd call it utopia if we could just get rid of the guys who monopolize the center of the dance floor during virtually every Ciara song. What IS that?!?
Jeers to the lack of Fat Tuesday dancing at Oxygen. That, of course, may have something to do with the fact that "Ants Marching" was playing as I walked in the door.
Cheers to the guy who gave me a stellar set of Mardi Gras beads and had me surrender only my business card in return. And by "business," I mean the job I have with the Ledger. Really.
Jeers to the rain, a force that some bar owners said made this Fat Tuesday less popular than those of years past. Yet I also heard crowds were sparse before the rain even started, so I have my doubts.

All in all, the night was fun, but I wish the crowds would have been a bit stronger. Yes, I realize it was a weekday, and Tuesday is far from the new Friday, but you still had good reason to come out. I went the entire night without a single drink, and still had a blast.
I'm the last one to advocate all-hours partying with work demands looming the next morning, but there's no harm in perusing the social scene for an hour or two. Don't complain about your vacant datebook if you're not going to take a risk and put yourself on a social limb.
Happy hump day. Behave appropriately.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

pardi gras

Let's just say four years at an all-girls Catholic high school didn't do much to prepare me for the ins and outs of Mardi Gras. I remember nervously approaching upperclassmen before my first college Mardi Gras party, asking oodles and oodles of questions about various protocols related to flashing.
Do you wear a bra? How long is too long? Can they take pictures?
Don't get me wrong...that year, as well as the three years that followed, sent me home with plenty of beads. Sure, they cost all of approximately 50 cents each...a sum that hardly outweighs the subsequent weeks of lingering fear over a hidden Webcam. We'll leave it at that.
Fortunately, adult life makes such qualms less likely. That's why I hardly encourage any Columbus-area residents with an appetite for partying to head downtown tonight. In addition to a much-anticipated Fat Tuesday Bar Crawl, there will be an alleged no-cover party at Oxygen, and who knows what else could happen.
I'm going to try to stop by later tonight, post-"American Idol" blogging, but my partying time might be limited. As usual, I'll be on Kissin' 99.3 bright and early -- 7:10 a.m. -- Wednesday morning to give you the run-down on all the "Idol" hits and misses.
One final note...does anyone other than my recent anonymous poster think this blog's background is too bright? Be honest. I can take it. Gently.
If I get a strong enough consensus, I'll do a color upgrade. Because, of course, that's how I roll.

Monday, February 19, 2007

song teasing

Make no mistake. I know that Journey...or Foreigner...or Air Supply is far from the realm of mainstream. Maybe even far from the realm of old-school. That's why, when I devote a hard-earned dollar to flooding a jukebox's airwaves with "Any Way You Want It," I always put out. Meaning, of course, that I give my audience a unique three-minute sensory experience.
Unfortunately, that's not the case for everyone. Enter the song tease, a party goer who keeps his or her passion for a moderately obscure song in the closet.
Song teases are notorious for asking a band to play a selection of waning popularity -- say, Cameo's "Word Up" -- and then joining the rest of the audience in a collective reaction of "what?!?" once the song begins. They'll put an equally questionable song on a jukebox and then hide as the majority of the crowd muses, "Who put THIS song on?!?"
To song teases worldwide...please reform your ways. If you're going to subject us all to your eclectic music tastes, you better bring it. Take it from the girl who just this morning listened to Genesis' "Invisible Touch" on repeat...there's no harm in basking in the obscure.
There is, however, something wrong with being too shy to admit it.
Have a great Monday. Anyone wanna do the Macarena later tonight?

Friday, February 16, 2007

any way u want it

When my college roommate Benita first flooded our dorm room with the musical symphony that is "Don't Stop Believing," I never imagined that years later I'd be panting with pride during a Journey dance-off at a local bar.
Such was the case Thursday night, when I showcased my take on the rock band's "Any Way You Want It." We didn't declare an official winner, but let's just say I was asked minutes later to dance on the bar to "Pour Some Sugar on Me." Score.
And thank you, God, for not letting me fall in my four-inch heels.
Dancing is one of my favorite activities in the entire world. Probably because I think I'm really good at it. In college, I even choreographed my own dance to Shakira's "Obsession," and performed it at most of our sorority formals.
In spite of all its allure, dancing at the same time has caused a serious rift in many of my romantic relationships. In high school, I dated a guy who bought me dinner, boasted a pretty pimp job in the fast food industry and repeatedly validated my belief in being the coolest person in the entire world...but he didn't dance.
It was awful. We'd go to proms and he'd literally just move his head back and forth. And not even in tune with the rhythm. Worst. Dancer. Ever.
But he wasn't alone. Even during college's sorority formals, the dance floor would 90 percent of the time be crowded entirely by women. Guys usually made a cameo during the remaining 10 percent of the time -- slow dances -- but only in hopes of copping a feel. At least in my case.
So here's the question: Does any guy actually like to dance? Or, is it just one of the many ritualistic sacrifices en route to getting action?
Send me your thoughts and have a fabulous weekend.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

are you wearing space pants?

Because your booty is out of this world.
OK, OK...insert groan here. My mention of pickup lines in an earlier post today got me thinking of the many bad conversation starters I've heard since moving here. I knew Columbus would be a town of good lines when, after I hadn't even been here a full week, some guy approached me at SoHo and said, "What separates me from other guys is the fact that I'll wait THREE HOURS before trying to sleep with you."
Not to mention the guy who told me he'd have me speaking Arabic in bed.
Do these lines ever WORK?!? A few other verses that stick out in my mind from my history of dating:

*Baby, I'm no Fred Flintstone, but I can make your bed rock.
*You must be from Pearl Harbor, cause baby, you're the bomb.
*If you were words on a page, you'd be what they call fine print.
*Do you work for UPS? I swear I saw you checking out my package.
*Your name must be Mickey, cause baby, you're so fine.

Call a therapist now if any of these lines are part of your "how we met" story. And in the meantime, send me an account of the worst pickup attempt you've experienced.
Have a great Thursday!

quote of the day

Happy Feb. 15. Hope you escaped yesterday without too many heart-shaped razor cuts on your wrists.
I'd talk more about Valentine's Day -- which I survived, thankyouverymuch -- but I want to disclose some more Vegas details before you guys start thinking the whole trip was just another extension of my Nikki Cox fantasies.
Like I said, I was there to see my friends Lily and Morgan get married. The wedding, by the way, was amazing. It even served as inspiration for this week's column, which describes the way married people fit into a social scene composed primarily of single folks. Please read it right now.
Back to the vacation...Vegas was an entirely new experience for me, as I hadn't been there since my old-school days of being underage. As such, this time I quickly developed an avid fascination with yard-long margaritas, and consumed a total of six during my four-day stay. Is that as tall as a real person?
Drinks aside, I was astounded by how many random guys tried to talk to me while I was cruising the strip. For example, when I accepted some stripper handouts from a peddler, some old guy tapped me on the shoulder and without hesitation said, "Hey. I like girls who like girls."
That's the quote of the day, if you were wondering.
The abundance of bad pickup lines really got me thinking. As much as we laugh about these coy attempts to get women, life's meet market hold an equal emphasis on setting yourself apart and making an impression.
If that's true, can a usually repulsive pickup line ever become endearing with the right delivery? And if not, how do you set yourself apart from the pack?
Send me your thoughts.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

i hate valentine's day?

Nothing tarnishes grade-school Valentine's Day cards like fresh vomit.
At least that's what I learned in fourth grade, when I barfed midway through the obligatory card exchange time. The temporary disappointment was harsh, but more severe was the 15-year curse the experience initiated. You might think I'm kidding. I'm totally not.
I've never had a date on Valentine's Day, which is bad in and of itself. However, stuff actually happens to make me feel even worse about being alone. Like that chocolate fortune ("Be your own valentine") I wrote about in last week's column. Or the year I got a homemade meal...from a 38-year-old guy who lived with his mom. Yeah. It wasn't even good.
But the worst year ever was when the former man of my dreams sent me an e-mail Feb. 14 outlining the many victories he'd achieved in the sack with his new girlfriend. I still remember rushing home after work and not even taking my red business suit off before sobbing like a humpback whale on my bed.
Believe it or not, this blog entry is not designed to solicit stalkers or ignite gift offers...although I will be accepting flowers throughout the remainder of the week.
Here's the thing, though. I still don't entirely despise Feb. 14. I don't even call it Singles Appreciation Day. I get a rush out of watching people scramble for last-minute gifts and sneak out of work early for formal dinners.
It's beautiful, and even more beautiful is my faith in the fact that one day, I really will find a relationship with 364 romance-filled days that outweigh one annual run-in with a vomit-inspired curse.
Wow. I am such a girl. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. Save some of Starship's inventory for me.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

new byline

Sorry for the unexpected Vegas silence, but my trip took a surprising turn midway through my 6:20 a.m. flight out from Atlanta. This sounds crazy, but I knew within minutes that I was sitting directly beside my life soulmate. His name is Pasquale Dubois and he's a columnist for a small indie magazine about --here's the shocker -- local nightlife. I don't know how to explain it, but the connection just seemed like it was meant to be. The inclination first came when he dubbed his trip to Vegas as "the best vacation ever," and then pulled nine congealed Krystals out of his backpack.
Needless to say, conversation came easily, and shortly after he said his rendition of "Don't Stop Believing" once won a fraternity karaoke contest, I knew I had found The One. Sure, it sounds rash and unfounded, but the feeling was mutual. As we walked toward the Vegas airport's baggage claim, he proposed over a carmel macchiato from Starbucks. I said yes.
Then we hit a local pawn shop, bought the most gaudy rings we could find, and decided to seal the deal right away...allowing us to devote the rest of the trip to our honeymoon. Of course I was nervous, but I never underestimate the importance of following your first instinct in matters of the heart.
So we headed over to Hooters Casino (the first chapel we could find on such short notice), said our vows and 10 minutes later were sharing a yard-long margarita in a spa suite.
I'm sure this must be an incredible shock to most of you, especially considering my relatively sparse dating history, but please take comfort in the fact that I really do feel truly happy. We're back in Columbus now, and plan to visit both my family in California and his family in Rhode Island within the next three months.
In the meantime, stop being so gullible. I'm not really married.
The real reason I didn't blog from Vegas? I was too busy having the most amazing vacation of my entire life. The trip was a blast, and I have lots of good stories for you guys. Be patient, though. I'll blog as I have time.
Under the same byline as usual, by the way.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

what happens in vegas

...stays in Vegas. Unless you're the best blogger ever.
I'm taking on that title, which grants you the exclusive right to read all my Sin City adventures live. Almost. I'm heading to Vegas this weekend to see my friends Lily and Morgan get married, and I already can't wait.
It's just past noon Thursday, but I'm already entertaining visions of endless buffets, ruthless gambling and brothels galore. And you'll get to hear all about it. With one minor disclaimer. I have to find some Internet venue that doesn't drain me entirely of my party funds. Wish me luck.
Anyway, I fly out at 6:20 a.m. Friday, assuming any questionable items in my luggage make it past security clearance. Even after a three-hour layover in Denver, I should be in Vegas by 12:30 p.m. Holler.
In spite of my initial anxieties over leaving my foul-mouthed dog home alone, I now firmly believe this will be the vacation of my dreams. I wasn't even legal the last time I went to Vegas, and while six days of nonstop skee ball action was fabulous, I am so ready for the real thing. Bring it.
So think of me as I polish my lovers' dice tonight. Also, check out this week's column, which is all about clarifying your romantic status. The topic was spurred by an office debate over what constitutes "dating." Is it simply going on dates, or does it imply exclusivity?
Either way, I strongly encourage you to mend any blurred understandings prior to Valentine's Day. Sure, in an an ideal world, my concept of The Talk would consist solely of "harder," "faster" and "a little to the left." But sometimes, you need to get serious in order to, well, get serious.
Or, in Vegas lingo, know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

wanna wake up with me?

Then, Columbus-area residents, listen to Kissin 99.3 bright and early at 7:10 a.m. Wednesday morning. Yes, I know there isn't much incentive to be up at that hour, but it might be your only chance to wake up to my melodic musings. I won't even fault you for listening to me in your underwear.
I'll be talking about "American Idol," but expect anything and everything to be grounds for conversation. I can only dream of recreating my college days of hosting "The BS Show" with my good friend and roommate Benita. We prided ourselves on a weekly "wisdom corner" and kept track of campus shenanigans against a musical backdrop of Phil Collins.
Sure, I can't promise any easy lovin', but my old-school radio wisdom will be fully intact tomorrow morning.
I can already feel it coming in the air. Tonight.

Monday, February 5, 2007

can't touch this?

There I was, ridding my body of back knots while my fellow guests rooted for teams whose names I still hadn't fully memorized.
One of the best parts of the Super Bowl party I attended? A masseuse, who treaded my back's delicate territory for 10 pleasure-filled minutes. It was my first massage not governed by ulterior motives and I loved every minute of it. Sure, I didn't go home with an eligible young bachelor, but I still like to say I scored. Big time.
But my stint in the massage seat got me thinking about touch. When you're lucky, it's an endearing sign of affection, a prelude to a relationship's short- or long-term ecstasy. Everyone has at least one fling whose touch they remember vividly, sometimes even to the extent of trying to recreate it with future love interests.
However, when you're unlucky, touch can signal repulsion. And not just in terms of uninvited touch. Sometimes, a strong emotional connection is paired with a physical connection that's hardly as intense.
Nothing beats connecting with a guy...and then realizing he has invisible machetes on his fingertips. What's worse? He thinks he's an Italian masseuse in disguise.
When this happens...among men OR women...what's the right thing to do? Approach the subject gently, or let it go for the sake of pride? And when, if ever, does bad touch make you out of touch with a relationship's value?
Happy Monday. Keep in touch. Carefully.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

penetrating the end zone

The Super Bowl is just hours away, and I'm glad my co-worker Brad took some time out of his busy schedule to teach me football's basics last week. None of which I remember, by the way. But that's hardly Brad's fault. Let's just say I'll forever be reluctant to embrace a game in which "positions" can't be researched in monthly editions of Cosmo. Sorry, football fans...I'm sticking to the Aqua Sutra.
I'm still partying this evening, only not at the Picasso Pizza shindig I initially fantasized about attending. Which brings me to my weekend picks. Color me failed. I'm all of one for three. A horrible showing, and one that I'll attribute to my desperate need to conserve finances in view of next weekend's Vegas vacation.
You know what the worst part is? The only pick I achieved was going to Wal-Mart, which was in summary the most horrible experience of my entire life. I spent 30 minutes perusing the crowded aisles, interrupted of course by the inevitable white-trash family reunions.
Then, when I finally approached the cashier, I tried to pay with a Visa gift card, which the credit card machine wouldn't accept. Boo. Just as the cashier was about to call backup, I surrendered, left my bagged items in the cart and offered a curt "I'll just come back later."
In hindsight, I probably overreacted. But I was mad...and it wasn't the right time of the month to mess with a girl who just needed to buy some damn Hefty garbage bags. So to assistant manager Gerald, and all the other already underpaid Wal-Mart workers who had to deal with my wrath, I'm sorry.
But I probably still won't come back later.

Friday, February 2, 2007

digits of desperation

I rolled home around 2 a.m. on a recent Saturday morning and knew that, after downing an obligatory 12 Krystals, I'd be going to sleep. Without interruptions.
For the first time in months, there was absolutely no one with reason to drunk dial me. I'd severed ties with my long-term DD standby, and I realized with disbelief that none of my cross-country crushes had feelings strong enough to interrupt a mid-party keg stand. Or hookup.
Exchanging digits brings to mind the anxiety and promise that accompany entry into a new romantic relationship. But phone calls can also signal the dark desperation that so many of us seek to avoid.
At least every cell phone contact list holds one number begging to be deleted. It's the former fling who broke up with you on Instant Messenger, or the ex who forgot your birthday and never thought twice before accepting your offer to pay for dinner.
You keep their numbers intact because they call under the guise of friendship. Or, maybe they don't even call. Maybe you just want to be ready if they do.
When we talked about this dark side of digits today, my friend Nicole recommended identifying such contacts on your phone as "Do Not Answer," or any other more appropriate cuss word.
I agree wholehartedly. Phone calls make us feel needed, especially when they come in the wee hours of the morning. But keeping a contact simply as a "hold-out" when "what if?" feelings aren't reciprocated is bound to carry as much comfort as a flat dial tone.
You wouldn't dial a wrong number twice, right?
Have a good weekend and don't let loneliness get your number. You -- and your phone -- deserve better.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

call me?

Throughout high school, I was plagued by an inexplicable fear of all things related to dial tones. Before asking a guy to our homecoming dances, for which dates were mandatory, I'd break into a cold sweat and be forced to listen to the obligatory "get your head in the game" lecture from my parents.
I initially chalked it up to the inevitable angst that accompanies four years at an all-girls high school, but my phone paranoia continued through college. I used Instant Messenger to secure a date for a sorority formal during my junior year, and I didn't even have the balls to type the IM myself. I'm still surprised my date, Guy McHendry, actually showed up.
Senior year, when I vowed to actually call a date in person, I panicked at the last minute, only to be locked in a dorm room by my sorority sisters, who forced me to do the deed. Dialing, that is.
This week's column is about the etiquette for requesting a crush's phone number, dilemmas I run into virtually every weekend. But as difficult as it is to decline a digit request, perhaps the real challenge lies in what takes place after numbers are exchanged.
In relationships, even blooming ones, when does contact become burdensome rather than blissful? And how do you when you've had too much?
E-mail me your thoughts, text me your insights, but please, don't call.