Friday, March 30, 2007


Hope everyone has a great weekend. Check out the post below about my adventures today eating a really big burger. I heart beef.

Also, be sure to say hi if you see me downtown tonight. Like I said before, I'll be out interviewing people about nightlife fashion. Hot.

Downtown should be fun this weekend. The warm weather, while sporadic, is bringing a lot of people out and the energy is unusually high. Prime time to party like a rockstar.

Finally, if you need to work off any extra calories -- or just need an excuse to drink mid-afternoon -- come join me as I run with the Chattahoochee Valley Hash House Harriers. Basically it's a non-strenuous running club whose members drink mid-run. You'll have fun, I promise. "Drinking" refers to beer AND water. We're meeting Saturday at 4 p.m. in the parking lot behind the Outback Steakhouse off Airport Thruway.

i am a heifer (or at least i ate one)

In high school, the obligatory mean girl clique used to always spread rumors that my unusually small waistline was a result of an eating disorder.

I wish they could have been at lunch with me today.

I went to Four Winds (464 Ga. 26 in Cusseta, 706-989-3401) with my co-workers Brad and Allison. The place is known for its Ranger Burger, one pound of beef paired with add-ons like lettuce, pickles, ham, bacon and onions. There are also upgrades that feature everything from onion rings to fried pickles. Mmmm.

Anyway, I'd been twice before, and devoured the Ranger Burger -- and fries -- with no trouble. It felt good, but I always came home with a sinking realization that I'd hit a plateau. So this time, I knew I had no choice but to order the Marine Burger, a 1.5-lb. burger that's not even on the menu. It comes with cheese, ham, bacon, tomatoes, pickles, lettuce and onions. And don't forget the fries and sweet tea.
Honestly, at first I didn't know if I'd be able to do it. Fortunately, I got an inspirational phone call this morning from my mom in California. Her exact words? "Sonya, you can eat anything."

And I did. I never really had the urge to vomit, but the most difficult part by far was the fact that there was just so much beef. Consequently, I couldn't polish off my plate as quickly as usual. I felt bad that I delayed Brad and Allison an extra 20 minutes just so I could finish my fries.

Nonetheless, they got to witness history in the making. The cashier said that while other women may have ordered the Marine in the past, she thought I was the only woman to finish it.

I really wish I would have gotten my pic on the wall or something, but beggars -- especially really full ones -- can't be choosers, right?

Thank God for my amazing metabolism. At least temporarily. I can't wait until I wake up and realize I actually weigh 537 lbs. Mmm...obesity.

OK, now I'm off to Red Robin for dinner. Oh, and thanks so much for taking the pics, Brog.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

what's going on tonight?

Looking to start your weekend early? Check out one of these local establishments this Thursday night.
*Fountain City Coffee will hold its usual open mic night beginning at 8 p.m. Call 706-494-6659.
*Looking to shake your groove thing? Party at The Vault, where DJ Che will be spinning starting at 10 p.m. Call 706-576-2242.
*Check out Josh Roberts and the Hinges at Soho Bar & Grill. The show starts at 10 p.m. Call 706-568-3316.
*Finally, hit Broad Street Blues in Phenix City to see Peggy Jenkins and the Rythm Roosters. We picked this option last Thursday, and even though the crowd was relatively sparse, we had a blast. You can't go wrong with good music and cheap margaritas.

dress to impress?

Calling all runway hopefuls...Friday night I'm going out with a photographer and videographer to film a segment downtown for an article about nightlife fashion. If you're going to be sporting something especially stellar -- or even an example of what NOT to wear -- drop me a line and we'll try to get you on camera.

Meanwhile, if you're not game for a video cameo, send me a comment with your ideas on do's and don'ts for nightlife fashion.

Thanks in advance for the help. Your ideas are fashionably appreciated.

bonding sans bars

This week's column poses a question about how to meet people if you're not into the Columbus-area bar scene. It was inspired by an e-mail I received regarding a lack of local volunteer/professional organizations for Columbus-area 20- or 30-somethings.

It's an interesting issue, and something that's been on my mind since I moved here, and not only as it pertains to dating and making acquaintances/hookup buddies of the opposite sex. Frankly, it often seems like if you don't enjoy drinking or the club/bar scene, it's hard to find friends. I wrote about those concerns when I first got here.

Once you knock out the bar crowd, only so many 20- and 30-somethings are eligible hangout partners. You get in the dangerous slope of people being in a serious relationship, married or having children. Even if they don't fit under those categories, the majority of your potential friends are likely work colleagues, and dipping your social pen in company ink is often risky.

So like I said, I posed the question in my column and I'm taking suggestions about clubs you think need to be formed or meet markets you think are often overlooked. Believe it or not, people are actually responding. Wow.

Responses re: alternate meet markets? The bowling alley, Laundromats and churches. I got a really nice call this afternoon from an individual raving about the role Bible study classes play in giving you a complimentary background check on a potential mate. I guess that's true, with the exception of the events surrounding the Natson murder trial.

The most creative suggestion? The creation of a Columbus-area chess club. Anyone else interested?

Anyway, keep the ideas coming. I'll probably do a follow-up soon.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

should i stay or should i go?

Skirting advances is hard enough when you're flying solo. Throw a friend in the equation and you have an even more difficult situation.

It's a topic a friend and I discussed in the aftermath of an incident that happened Monday, when we went running at a local park. Long story short, a guy approached me mid-run to request my digits. After which my female running partner proceeded to sprint off like she had jalapenos in her pants.

I didn't really think much of it at the moment, but when we related the story to two guys, they both summarized my friend's actions with something to the effect of, "Damn! I can't believe you left your girl!!"

I know, I know...we're all supposed to have secret hand signals that tell our friends when pickup line-inspired conversations are the equivalent of nuclear gas attacks. But what if you don't know right away? And do you know when you've transformed from a much-appreciated romantic barrier to a burdensome third wheel?

When your friend is glowing with lust or grimacing with discomfort, this isn't an issue. Yet things are trickier in the earlier stages, when conversation is borderline. Especially since, more often than not, ideal matches aren't made instantaneously.

If you're The Friend, when can you make an exit without entering a danger zone??

Monday, March 26, 2007

flaunt it

By now you probably have little faith in my proclamation of "best weekend ever," since I used the same phrase to describe the two days I spent drugged-up, immobile and malnourished while suffering from a kidney infection.

But this weekend really was something to write home about. OK, maybe not, since the highlight of my Friday night in Atlanta was visiting the Clermont Lounge, the area's first and longest continually operating strip club. You may have seen it on an episode of "Insomniac with Dave Attell" on Comedy Central, and it's reportedly frequented by celebs like Kid Rock and Jon Stewart.

It's a dodgy place where strippers put their own music on the jukebox and approach the stage with Wal-Mart backpacks. Not to mention the 60-year-old dancer who took the stage right before we rallied out. Totally appealing, right? In fact, one of the Clermont's official commandments is "Thou shalt not speak ill of the dancers." The lounge's MySpace reads, "She may not be your media-influenced idea of mainstream beauty, but she has ears and feelings. Do we have to go to YOUR job and tell you that you're incompetent AND ugly?"


But my weekend fun extended to Columbus as well. Saturday, I hit Savana's, and was once again impressed by their DJ. Downtown on the whole seemed packed again, and I saw a line of people outside Big City Club. I also stopped at Locos Amigos Cantina. If you guys haven't tried salsa dancing there on Saturdays, I highly recommend it. It's just a $1 cover, and the place is usually packed. You'll be getting your Rico Suave groove on in no time. Bailar, bitches.

Finally, I couldn't make it to NerdaCon, but I did just check out the photos online. Believe me, these are visual images not to be missed. Best. Super heroes. Ever. And one very hot guy in a sumo outfit. Click here.

Happy Monday. Drop me a note and tell me about your weekend.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

what's going on this weekend?

Tonight, my friends and I are heading to Broad Street Blues in Phenix City to see Peggy Jenkins and the Rythm Roosters. If you guys haven't been there yet, I'd strongly encourage you to check it out. The club, which is relatively new, is a nice departure from downtown's options. And the margaritas are stellar.

I'm going to be in Atlanta on Friday and half of Saturday, but if you're looking for something to do I'd recommend Soho Bar & Grill as one of your best bets. Friday, they host Ross Childress Experience, a band whose frontman served as Collective Soul's lead guitarist for 10 years. Saturday, they host Rehab, and the show is supposed to be packed as usual.

Other picks? This afternoon, I saw Oxygen's having a bikini contest Friday. Score. If you're looking for something of a tamer genre, I'd suggest hitting Belloo's, the martini bar at 900 Front Ave. in Columbus. Once you get past the drink prices (martinis average $11 each), it's a lot of fun. I went last Friday and one of the bartenders created a new drink just for me. Ask for a berry -- or barry -- white.

It was my first, my last, my everything.

legs. ewww.

This week's column is about the impact of spring fever on the nightlife scene. At least temporarily, the onset of warm weather seems to bring out more partiers.

The best thing about spring? It's the season of skimp, which I think works more to the benefit of males than females. Or maybe that's just me. For as long as I can remember, I have been absolutely petrified of men in shorts.

That's probably the most insensitive thing to say, since body heat doesn't discriminate across genders and everybody who has legs is bound to get hot at some point. But it seems like guys more than girls are not careful in their short selection.

Sometimes you just can't win. If guys wear shorts that are too short, they're often labeled effeminate...or just not cognizant of the visual impact of excessive leg hair and pale skin. And long shorts? They're fine, but in 97 percent of cases are coupled with really high socks. Then really, what's the point? If your entire leg is covered anyway, shouldn't you just wear pants?

Two more really bad things about men in spring fashion. First, basketball shorts are not the new khakis. Wear them when you play basketball and only when you play basketball. And if you don't play basketball, don't buy them. I don't play lacrosse and therefore I don't own lacrosse clothing. It's like that.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Tevas with socks. Bad. Very bad.

Are girls this bad?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

i heart nerds

I've never read a Harry Potter book. I've never seen a single component of the Star Wars series. I've never even dressed up as a skanky version of anything even remotely related to science fiction for Halloween.

Still, I think nerds are the coolest people ever.

I don't even know why. Given my passion for (non-goth) body glitter and (non-goth) stilettos, you'd think I'd opt for the classically suave Mr. Big types. False. I'm just totally intrigued by anyone who likes dungeons. A lot.

I guess my fascination began with a romantic interest of mine who was obsessed with "Magic: The Gathering," a science fiction card game that consumed the majority of his weekends. It seemed far beyond the realm of my incessant shopping sprees and manicure sessions, but I'd devote consecutive phone conversations to grilling him about the game's specifics, none of which I really understood. Also, I had dreams of going to a Magic tournament with him, flaunting a cute miniskirt and new pair of heels and reading Cosmo the entire time.

That never happened, and we've both since moved on, but I just love the underground world of nerd intrigue. So you can imagine my elation when my editor just handed me information about Columbus' very own Nerdacon.

It's basically this huge all-day convention Saturday, and it includes panel discussions on role playing, World of Warcraft and Star Wars. I am so turned on right now.

There are even tournaments, including -- you guessed it -- Magic.

Don't worry, I'll never convert to the world of intergalactic bliss. I will, however, always make sure I'm within a dungeon's length of somebody with the will to rock my warcraft world.

And that, my friends, is nothing short of magic.

sometimes you just know

This morning I pulled into the parking lot and sat in my car for an extra two minutes and 28 seconds so I could listen to Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know." It's a song from her pre-drug days, before she started parading around with Bobby Brown and trying to coin her trademark "hell to the no."

Anyway, the song got me thinking about the many friends I've had who have complained their potential flings are "hard to read" or are sending "mixed signals." I've always hated those terms. Sure, there's always a little ambivalence at the onset of a relationship, when nobody wants to be too aggressive or too much on the verge of a stalker lifestyle.

But if somebody doesn't even have the common decency to give you a remote indication he or she cares, forget it. Don't chalk it up to emotional unavailability or a difficulty with words. Some concerns are inevitable, but that doesn't excuse moments of blatant dismissal.

How will you know? When you don't have to ask the question.

And no...I didn't stay in the car another three minutes to listen to "Karma Chameleon." Sorry.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

party at soho

The Columbus-area nightlife scene is usually pretty grim on Tuesdays -- probably because, um, it's Tuesday -- so I was happy to learn Soho Bar & Grill is hosting a party tonight.
The best news is that it's free, and will include giveaways and drink specials. Scheduled performers include Nashville-based rockers Shot Baker and Secret Agent Bill, both of whom hail from Chicago.
The show marks the sale of tickets for Atlanta-based rock band Rehab, who will come to Soho March 24. Tickets are $20 and go on sale tonight at 9 p.m.
Stop by if you can. Tuesday, after all, is the new Saturday.

Monday, March 19, 2007


This post is coming from a girl who consistently adds extra onions to her sandwiches and orders Cool Ranch Doritos in hopes of having the worst breath in the office. Mmm.

Saturday, I was listening to Jessica Simpson's "With You," one of my favorite songs -- stop laughing -- when I remembered the part in the song's music video when Jessica sports a T-shirt that reads "Stinky Ass." That, of course, was spurred by an episode of "Newlyweds" during which, in a discussion about farting and the like, Jessica said to then-husband Nick Lachey, "You love my stinky ass."

I remember watching that episode and hoping to one day have a relationship like Jessica and Nick. A partnership in which my boyfriend/hookup buddy/husband would embrace my belching and enjoy the marathon weeks I go without shaving. Hot.

But Jessica and Nick got divorced.

And sure, it wasn't entirely because of her repeated mention of body odor, but yesterday I got thinking about the extent to which you can make bad hygiene good. Is there ever a point in relationship when you can burp the entire alphabet and look charming?

What about other being too lazy to get up and brush your teeth after a hot surge of passion? Or forgoing a shower because you're hitting the usual Friday night dinner spot?

In theory, the comfort of a relationship should to some extent erase the burden of keeping up appearances. But are there certain hygiene "musts" that, if ignored, can doom even the closest couple?

Send me your thoughts. And please, take a shower. Now.

st. pat's reviews

After what seemed to be a two-month period of hibernation, somebody finally resuscitated downtown Columbus back to life Saturday night.

There were lines. Everywhere. Lines to actually get in, and not just at the bathrooms. From what I hear, every bar did well, and I'm still getting over the night's energy. My friends and I chose The Uptown Tap as our destination of choice, and opted to dance in the courtyard for the majority of the night.

My only complaints? First, I wish it would have been a little more populated out there. But it was cold, and I'm surprised the night generated as much success as it did, given the fact that most women went for the sleveless dress genre. Hot, but cold...if you know what I mean.

Also, this seems a little minor, but I was a little mad about the foot-long "frozen treat" I got courtesy of my friend Phil at the Tap. It was delicious, but came served with a standard-size straw that prevented me from guzzling the ice at the bottom of the cup. Think ahead, people.

All in all, the night was HUGE, and I'm still amazed at the appeal St. Pat's has here. This was 75 times bigger than what I saw even on New Year's Eve, and if you didn't go out, you should have.

Here's to hoping that appeal extends beyond a holiday in which the calendar dictates your ability to get lucky.

Happy Monday. Oh, and this is the last cheesy clover picture I'll post for a year. I promise.

who's blue?

Blue Man Group came to Columbus last week, and even though I couldn't afford the show, it still offered a certain level of intrigue. Put simply, Blue Men are hot, and I wouldn't dismiss the possibility of becoming one. And don't even think of reminding me of the fact that I'm a woman. If you check the casting requirements on the group's Web site, you'll learn that women are fully eligible to apply. So take that.

Anyway, read a review of the show on my co-worker Sandra's blog. In addition to that, a reader named Stan e-mailed me last week with his take on the show. To encourage future feedback like his, I'm posting that review below.

Thanks, Stan! Here goes:

What a show!! I saw Blue Oyster Cult and their Laser light show back in the Seventies, and "KISS" in the late Eighties and they were cutting edge for their time, but now MEGASTAR has to be on the edge ... if not beyond.

That's the name of the blue man group's show that almost filled our large Columbus Civic Center. Now you would expect to see something like this in Las Vegas, but it was wild for the hometown folks. The audience consisted of people of all ages. I saw several elderly couples sitting nearby and college age people were everywhere. There were Mom's with their teenage children and their friends, that provided plenty of screams at various points in the music. The teens ... not the Mom's.

There were large screens on each side of the stage and one in the middle up behind the band that reminded one of overgrown Plasma T/V's and they provided close ups of action on the stage as well as scenes of things that followed the music.

It was more like a stage show than a rock concert and it started with a dee jay seated on the stage in front of the curtain and playing and scratching music along with animated scenes that flashed on the large T/Vs ... I mean screens. Then the curtain went up and the show really started.

The back up band consisting of seven, with a some time female vocalist, also included three drummers. They were outstanding and played continuously through the show. The lead guitarist was so good and gyrated so much that sometimes I thought he was faking it, until I heard the wisp of his pick as he brushed a string in the middle of a run.

The three blue men were clad in black with what appeared to be blue rubber skull masks and gloves. They were at the front and all over the stage at times with various antics. They played along with the band by creating musical sounds from plastic pipes of various sizes and configurations that appeared to be plain old PVC pipe that plumbers use. They used drummers sticks of various types, some with the rubber balls at the ends.

The skits that they also performed were incorporated with the music and the videos. At times they would use long poles that looked tapered like a cane fishing pole or the old fashioned buggy whip and they would swish them back and forth in the air with the sound amplified and incorporated with the music. They made music with everything they touched.

At times they would hold photo capable Cell Phones up in the air toward the crowd like they were encourging the audience to take pictures of them with their Cell Phones and plenty of the crowd did.

Three large vertical pipes sitting near one corner at the front of the stage were filled with various levels of water to produce different sounds when struck, and as one man played along with the band the water would splash out at points. The people sitting on the front row had been provided with clear plastic parkers which was supposed to keep them from getting wet.

At one point in the show ... one of the blue men would pitch balls that appeared to be soft, across the stage and one of the other blue men at least twenty feet away would catch them with his mouth. This was unusual but when the first blue man kept throwing balls .. over a dozen .. and the second blue man kept catching them without spitting any out of his mouth, what a surprise!

They had picked two people out of the audience, a boy and a girl, and placed a white smock or shirt over the boy and a cap over the girls head, then the blue man with the balls still somewhere in his mouth, rubbed his mouth along the front of the boys smock/shirt and made colored marks from the balls in his mouth. He removed the rest of the balls, somewhat condensed, from his mouth and placed them on a cover on top of the girls head.

Near the end of the three hour show they shot paper streamers out over the audience that gave you a feeling, if you were down close, that you were in a paper snowstorm. Although the concert was expensive by Columbus' standards ... everyone seemed satisfied as they left the Civic Center.

Friday, March 16, 2007

party on

Have a great weekend and enjoy your St. Pat's festivities, wherever you end up. Drop me a comment Sunday with all your tales of March 17 luck, good or bad.
I'm grabbing lunch Saturday at Scruffy Murphy's and I'd strongly encourage you to do the same. Even better, the bar opens at 10 a.m. Abandon your usual orange juice routine and throw some green beer back for me.
Also, if you haven't already done so, check out this week's column. It's about dancing, a topic I've addressed often here, but let me devote a line or two to the chronic lingerer, also known as the guy who creepily stands near a group of dancing girls and remains completely oblivious to the fact that none of them have any intention of dancing with him.
If this is you, bow out gracefully after 12 seconds and save your dignity. It's for the best.
TGIF. Hope to see you downtown.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

shake those pom-poms

It's 5 p.m. Thursday, and I'm counting down the seconds until I can board my Scion (aka: "Bart") and head home. Surprisingly, my excitement isn't a result of an upcoming trip to Shake 'n Shake (mmm...chili mac) or a failing kidney (thank God).

I'm excited because I'm now the proud owner of a burned copy of "Cheerleading Mix."

It was a present from the ever-so-talented Amanda, the same coworker whose bachelorette party I attended Saturday. I found the disc in her car when we were on an assignment together, and within seconds it transformed into a drop-it-like-it's-hot bond between us.

We've listened to it in moments of elation, despair and serenity...and many lonely male drivers will be forever grateful.

I don't know why I love cheerleaders so much -- aside from the fact that Amanda was one, of course. The closest I ever came to being an actual pom-pom girl was my brief stint as a baton twirler in fourth grade. And I was awful.

I always wanted to audition in high school, but the cattiness surrounding my all-girls Catholic school was just too much to handle. Then, once I moved on to Ripon College, I attended two information sessions for the cheerleading team, but dropped out after I realized my place on the speech team would monopolize too much of my schedule.

So pretty much the closest I came to competitive cheering was being extra enthusiastic while chanting "I am a mother pheasant plucker!" during my speech team's warmups. Cool.

Still, there's something about cheerleading that just turns me on. I've even devised a customized set of cheer moves that deviate from my traditional arm in the air, hips in a figure-eight dancing.

The only bad part about receiving my own copy of "Cheerleading Mix"? It means the days I'm able listen to the disc with Amanda are limited. Boo.

The reason I like Amanda so much is that she's an eternal cheerleader, always offering a spirited smile and mark of perserverence even when you feel like you're losing the game. I'm glad to have her -- along with her dance moves and CD collection -- on my team.

Thanks for all the good times, girl. You'll always be at the top of the pom-pom pyramid of life.

get lucky this weekend

My grandma gave me my first "Kiss me, I'm Irish" button when I was in kindergarten, and I've been using St. Patrick's Day as an opportunity to get lucky ever since.

If you live in the Columbus area and are planning your weekend, check out my guide to the March 17 festivities in today's To Do section. You can also access the article online here.

It doesn't have all the hoopla of Christmas or New Year's Eve, but St. Pat's has always been one of my favorite holidays. That's largely because it reminds me of all my extended family in Chicago, and the really cool retro "South Side Irish" T-shirt my dad sported in the 1980s.

Last year, I spent March 17 with a bunch of new journalist friends in Houston, where I rode downtown with a reggae-lovin' cabbie and spent the majority of the night smitten with one of the hottest guys in the universe.

This year has a lot to live up to, needless to say.

I'm still fine-tuning my plans, but I know Saturday night will include the obligatory trip to Scruffy Murphy's, as well as a brief detour at Savana's. Earlier in the evening, I'm also hitting the art exhibit at Rhino's, which starts at 6 p.m.

If you're reading this from somewhere other than Columbus, Ga., I hope you find some cute little pub where you can drown your sorrows in soda bread and green beer. Or at least use some cheap pickup line about lucky charms.

And hey...kiss me. I'm Irish.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

eat this

I'm finally feeling better, thankfully. Last night, however, I struggled with a pretty violent bout of stomach knots prior to falling asleep. In an attempt to doze off quickly, and with sweet dreams, I asked myself a simple question: What is the one thing I could eat right now that would make me feel all better?

The answer came instantly. A burrito from Chipotle.

Chipotle is my most favorite restaurant ever, and it's a passion I developed years before discovering equally seductive pleasures like Krystal, Four Winds and even Steak 'n Shake. Yes, I'm now officially a greasy burger addict, but Chipotle is where I'll always have my food allegiance. I feel like I lost my stomach virginity to that place or something.

Pretty much nothing in the entire world makes me happier than Chipotle. In fact, a year ago I started simply calling it Potle. We're that close. I love those burritos so much, and anyone familiar with my voracious appetite probably won't be surprised to learn that I've been known to order two or three burritos per sitting. I'm a total heifer.

The most unfortunate thing, however, is that it's been all of six months since my last vegetarian burrito from Chipotle. That's because the nearest location is in Atlanta, which is an hour and a half away from me. So anyone lives even remotely close to a Potle, please eat a burrito (or five) and think of me tonight. Or, better yet, mail me one. I'll eat it. Seriously.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


So yesterday, after experiencing intense back pain throughout the weekend, I was diagnosed with a kidney infection. That translates into pretty much the most intense pain ever. Even the generic Vicodin I got from I got from the doctor doesn't make this worthwhile.

Fortunately, though, I've been told that order will be restored within a maximum of 72 hours and I really can't wait. Drink your cranberry juice, everyone. Lots of it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

drop it like it's hot

If nothing else, the magnitude of fun at Amanda's bachelorette party gave me a sole incentive to get married. I think it's safe to say a good time was had by all, not to mention the fact that downtown will never be the same. Maybe.

We ended up hitting Oxygen, Big City Club (for all of about 2 minutes) and Savana's. All were especially stellar choices, I might add. Actually, I hadn't been to Oxygen in months, and I'm glad we made it the first stop on Saturday night's agenda. Trust me, the lure of cage dancing was just too hard for some of us to resist. See attached photos.

We left Big City early because it was too crowded, and then found a welcome last stop of the night at Savana's. I don't usually associate this relatively chill bar with bumping and grinding, so you can imagine my surprise at the sight of a cowboy hat-clad female DJ who was sweating to the oldies (read: early 1990s) like her life depended on it. The second-to-last song of the night was "Whoomp! There It Is." Enough said.

But I'll say more. Eclectic samplings aside, the DJ at Savana's is now one of my favorite people ever. Here's why. I interrupted her mid-song to request some Journey ("Any Way You Want It") and then, mere seconds after my request, she stopped the current song and put on Journey instead. It was like the musical equivalent of breaking news. Loved it.

Anyway, congratulations again, Amanda. Columbus will miss you and your sexy legs.

Happy Monday. Oh...and if anyone has horror stories from local dance floors, drop me a comment. I'm working on a column about the do's and don'ts of dance.

Friday, March 9, 2007

one more thing...

Forgot to wish everyone a good weekend. My weekend is going to be packed, first with an impromptu visit tonight from my dad (who lives in California). Hopefully I'll be able to show him a good time. Platinum Club, anyone?
Just kidding.

Also on the agenda is my friend Amanda's bachelorette party. Aside from a last-minute trip to Starship (my dad will likely be sitting that one out), the festivities are good to go and I'm pretty psyched. Except for the fact that I'm going to miss Amanda -- and her cheerleading mix, her take on the running man and her unrivaled journalistic talents -- when she leaves C-town in a matter of weeks. Still, I guess that's part of growing up, and I envy her husband-to-be Wade for his future ability to share many special moments with her against the musical backdrop of Enrique Iglesias' "Hero."
Anyway, make sure to say "hi" if you see us cruising the streets of downtown.

Have a vacant weekend calendar? Check out my weekend picks at the Ledger's homepage. I also strongly recommend paying a visit to the Shanty Shack, where my friends and I partied last weekend. It was also the subject of this week's column.


over it?

So today is supposedly Get Over It Day, an event founders call "an inspirational annual holiday to encourage people to get over whatever is holding them back." Check out the holiday's official Web site, where you'll be able to digitally burn your woes of the past and find area parties with a "Get Over It" theme.
Usually I'm a little weary of self-designed holidays, but I'm not going to criticize this one entirely. There have been so many times in life that I've been baffled by a friend's decision to stay in a bad relationship, or lament a job loss or bad decision months after the event occurred.
Sometimes, it seems like people just need a slap in the face -- or a day dedicated to cleansing yourself of drama -- to destroy their barriers to success.
As Carrie Bradshaw from "Sex and the City" once said, "Maybe the past is like an anchor holding us back. Maybe, you have to let go of who you are to become who you will be."
At the same time, if holidays alone dictated an ability to be happy, therapy sessions and self-help books would be nearly obsolete. Part of recovering from loss -- whether it be severe emotional trauma or merely the infamous cheating boyfriend -- is learning about yourself in the process. And not jumping into superficial happiness.
In spite of its virtues, Get Over It Day is little more than a quick fix. These things take time. As much as I wish a refreshed day calendar could rid me of all past drama, I know life isn't that easy.
So celebrate, but don't feel guilty if you want to linger a little longer at the emotional baggage claim.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

to thailand with love

Thanks for all the feedback on yesterday's gossip post. I plan on resurrecting that discussion soon. Make sure to spread lots of rumors about me in the meantime.

Anyway, while performing a Google image search on myself today -- what can I say? the antonella barba scandal scared me -- I found these pictures of my parents as 20-somethings who were Peace Corps volunteers in Thailand back in 1969. That's where they met, and amazingly they're still together.

Today, briefly, I had a moment in which I saw my parents as young adults...people struggling with quarter-life crises rather than anxiety over turning 60. I've never been one to believe that "parent" is synonymous with "friend." While some 25-year-olds I know have absolutely no qualms about divulging details of their personal lives to their parents, I always err on the side of caution. Usually justifiably.

Because of that, it's often hard to see my parents as anything but advisers, disciplinarians and money lenders. To think of them struggling with things like relationship woes and career uncertainty is almost unfathomable.

It's ironic that sometimes it takes no more than a click of a mouse to put time in perspective. And make you remember that, from black and white photos to black hair doused in grey, you still totally have the hottest parents. Ever.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

gotta goss

The dance studio I attended in junior high had a poster adjacent to the front door that read "GOSSIP" in big, bold letters. Below the word, it displayed hands covered in tar, or gasoline, or quicksand...some sticky substance that was supposed to suggest a life of failure and social exile.
Every week, before my two dance classes, I would look at the poster, go in my studio and waste no more than five seconds before making fun of somebody's wedgie-igniting leotard.
And nothing has changed. I am still the biggest gossip ever. I love it. Few things make me happier than finding some priceless nugget of information -- usually via advanced MySpace stalking -- and sharing it with some otherwise clueless partner in conversation.
I bring this up because the Oxford-based Social Issues Research Centre recently released this study asserting two-thirds of all human conversation is gossip. It specifically addresses the way mobile phones expands our ability to gossip, and even concludes men gossip just as much as women.
Remember that the next time you roll my eyes at my incessant "Oh my God"-ing.
I'm just curious...given its scientifically proven prevalence, does anyone still consider gossiping a vice? Or has it simply entered the realm of the inevitable?
Send me your thoughts. I promise I won't tell.

Monday, March 5, 2007

shackin' up

You'd think I'd feel some sort of guilt while hitting a venue aptly called the Shanty Shack until 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning, but I escaped from the club unscathed. It was my first time visiting this newly popular Columbus hot spot (located just off Warm Springs Road), and I came away with some noteworthy impressions. It's one of the few local venues in which you can pay homage to your tractor and big butts at the same time. Read more details in this week's column.
In fact, this was a weekend of firsts, aside from my repeat trip to Red Robin Friday night. I'm an addict. I did, fortunately, find out the name of the lingerie shop (Lander's Lingerie and Gifts) and paid them a visit Saturday afternoon.
The shop was OK, but nothing I'd recommend to anyone looking for a va-va-voom reaction. I came out empty-handed, secretely wishing there was back room I somehow overlooked.
Slightly more eventful was my first trip to the Jamaican Grill (1901 Manchester Expressway, Columbus). My friend Andrea found this restaurant, which opened fairly recently and regularly features nights devoted to reggae, poetry and networking.
The food was stellar and the atmosphere was top-notch, but the best part by far was the drink menu. It featured selections like "Kama Sutra" and "Dat Bitch." Order them stiff...with a straight face.
Also of note...I ended my weekend Sunday night by watching the Academy Award-nominated documentary "Jesus Camp." It's about evangelican Christian children who attend Kids on Fire Summer Camp in Devils Lake, N.D. There, they pray to a cardboard cutout of George W. Bush, learn Harry Potter is the devil's work and are moved to tears while repenting sins of hypocrisy.
Check it out, and then pray like your life depends on it.
Have a fabulous week, everyone.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

i'm not dead

Whoa. I'm one vacant blog post away from being a cyber felon. The reason I never started a blog sooner, outside of work, is that I have zero tolerance for people who don't update regularly. And now I've become one.
OK, I guess that's an exaggeration, since it's been all of five days since my last post. Still, that's a really long time. I've just been insanely busy, and my lack of at-home Internet sometimes makes finding time to blog difficult.
Anyway, here are my top five major life developments since my last post:

5. I'm engaged. Just kidding!
4. "American Idol" is now consuming five hours of my week. Check out the AI blog for more details. I love every minute of it, though. Except those involving Sundance Head.
3. My hatred toward inappropriately worn belly shirts is increasing. When I was in college, a friend and I made a stomach level chart designed to help women choose shirts conducive to their body types. Unfortunately, not everyone listened. Read this week's column about the phenomenon here.
2. I've revived my passion for chain restaurants. Last weekend, I hit Chili's Friday and Red Robin Saturday. Both were, amazingly, some of the most fun dinners I've had in a long time. Before you know it, I'm going to be sporting flair on a regular basis.
1. I was part of a three-way tie for first place at Brad's chili cookoff Sunday. That victory is dedicated to everyone who said my long nails would never make me suited for domesticity. Even though I still think my victory was in part due to my chili's name: "Burning Sensation."

Hope everyone is gearing up for the weekend with high expectations. Attention all Columbus-area residents...does anyone know the name of the lingerie store on Armour Road that's not Night Moves? There's a sign that says "winner" in the window. I saw this place for the first time Monday night, and I've been thinking about it ever since.
That's usually the way things work with lingerie.