Tuesday, September 30, 2008

cheap date: carino's

Andrea recently fulfilled one of my biggest fantasies when she swept me off my feet for a dinner for two at Carino's Italian Grill.

The draw? A special promotion that lets two people dine for $19.99. That price includes two entrees, two mini desserts and unlimited soup or salad and bread.

What a deal.

You know my affinity for Italian restaurant chains, but this is a steal that's likely to even please skeptics. Snag the $19.99 deal and you might even have money left to buy one of those delicious bellinis from the bar.

The Columbus Carino's is at 3033 Manchester Expressway. Call 706-317-3343 .

banking and bonking

As economy week continues here at "The Walk of Shame," I'll refer you guys to this interesting piece from Nerve (via TheFrisky), which shows what happened when nine people tracked their sex-related budgets for a month.

Participants span everyone from a married mom of two to a "cougar" in a long-distance relationship.

Some of the expenses are obvious...like porn and pre-date grooming habits. But others mark those commonly overlooked things that tend to add up quickly.

Like the money you spend sending gushy text messages to your significant other. Or the fact that you're more inclined to linger at a restaurant longer while on a date, in turn buying more drinks.

I've always wondered if women spend more money their physical appearance when they're in a relationship, or when they're single.

Sure, there's that idea of needing to impress people when you're single, but attached women feel just as much pressure to be hot enough to keep their date coming back for more.

Enter expenses like hair removal. Flavored massage oil. Naughty schoolgirl uniforms.


free tuesday show!

Hey Tuesday night partiers...

Tonight, the Birmingham-based rockers from The Naked Eskimos entertain partiers at the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road, beginning at 9 p.m. There's no cover.

The show is open to partiers 21 and older. Call 706-507-3418.

Monday, September 29, 2008

introducing...cheap date

The Chicago Sun-Times introduced me to PoorLittleRichGirls.com, a Chicago-based Web site that helps young partiers find inexpensive foods, drinks and fashions.

I know, I know. Curbing your martini indulgences might not be as economically painful as, say, watching your home go into foreclosure. Still, the site highlights the effect this crazy economy has had on our social lives.

Fortunately, in Columbus, we rarely have to worry about exorbitantly priced cocktails. And any hot spot attempting to charge more than a $5 cover without offering stellar entertainment will likely change its ways quickly.

That doesn't mean local 20- and 30-somethings aren't stressing about the economics of going out.

That's why I'm making more of an effort to highlight affordable date options.

Beginning with this one: Hit up Cowboy's Steak Saloon Sunday through Tuesday and get two entrees for just $12.99. You'll pick from options like steaks, pork chops and chicken. It's not fine dining, but the ambiance is at least at the level of (maybe a notch above) your typical chain restaurant.

Cowboy's is at 2301 Airport Thruway. Visit the restaurant's Web site here.

spanx me!

This article from the U.K. says 9 in 10 women "cheat" to look good, using figure-flattering accessories like push-up bras and tummy-slimming Spanx.

I'd guess a similar statistic holds up here.

I admit -- I've used my share of under-eye cream and skin brighteners. And embarrassingly enough, at certain dark points in my life, I've even worn a Kleenex-stuffed bra under a turtleneck.

I don't know if it's fair to call these measures "cheating," though. With so many products on the market, women are likely to do everything they can to enhance their appearance.

What's more, while many of those products can make you sparkle on a night on the town, their power of deception is limited. Rarely will a bra -- or in my case, Kleenex, -- add more than one cup size. Similarly, a garment-enhanced flat tummy won't do away with the rest of your larger physical build.

But maybe I'm wrong.

Guys...have you ever had a moment when a girl removed a garment, or took off some makeup, and your perception of her physical appearance changed completely?

tonsil hockey

Happy Monday!

I'll kick things off with this list, "7 ways to vote for president with your tongue." Yeah, the concept turned me on, too...conjuring all sorts of fantasies about finally making out with a Velcro-sporting, Rascal-riding elections worker.

Don't get your hopes up.

The list describes campaign-themed foods and beverages, my favorite of which are the Obama and McCain lollipops.

Hungry for more election news? Check out the Ledger's political blog here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

what's going on this weekend?

Here's your weekend lineup, party people:


November, Downpour, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

• Claiborne & Friends, 10 p.m. Belloo's, $5. 706-494-1584.

Last Episode, 10 p.m. Scruffy Murphy's, $5. 706-322-3460.

Jaded Soul, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

• DJs Ms. B and Fran, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

• Kelly's Truck Stop Bop (8 p.m.), Peggy Jenkins and The Bizness, 10 p.m., The Loft, $10. 706-596-8141.

Haywire, 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

• Sean Rox, 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659. Open to all ages.

• DJ Booty, 10 p.m. Aqua Nightclub, $5 (free with college ID). 706-569-1165.


Lee Holmes from Exalter, 6-10 p.m., Picasso Pizza, free. 706-576-6991.

B.J. Holland, 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659. Open to all ages.

• DJs Ms. B and Fran, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

Bibb City Ramblers, 9:30 p.m. Broad Street Blues, $5. 334-297-3200.

Last Episode, 10 p.m. Scruffy Murphy's, $5. 706-322-3460.

The Noises 10 with The Oneeders, 9:30 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

• Claiborne & Friends, 10 p.m. Belloo's, $5. 706-494-1584.

Jaded Soul, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

Ultradive, Within Reason, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

Haywire, 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

• DJ Booty, 9 p.m. Aqua Nightclub, $5. 706-569-1165.

the boob tube

Results of this study say men and women don't actually fight over the TV remote that much after all.

Of course, many relationship experts say it's indicative of an overall rise in shared decision-making, bucking the '50s trend of "father knows best."

But I think the shared remote control agreement is just as much due to the fact that today's TV shows are increasingly likely to appeal to both genders. It's not just a battle of gun thrillers versus soap operas anymore.

Many shows that seem traditionally "female" now include enough witty dialogue to attract a strong contingent of male viewers. Same goes for reality TV, which has grown to dominate water-cooler conversation so much that it's hard for a guy to not have some knowledge of "American Idol."

Just when you think a show is so chick-oriented that it has absolutely no chance of hooking your boyfriend, a couple nude photos of one of the stars pop up online.

And suddenly, the two of you have plans every Monday at 10 p.m.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

more money, more problems?

This advice column raises an interesting issue: borrowing money from a significant other.

It's probably a straightforward issue for couples who are married -- or even engaged -- but it gets a little blurry when you're not sharing finances.

Personally, I'd avoid it at all costs. I think the setup risks turning a partnership into a business arrangement.

Then again, maybe the shaky economy could make people bend their rules a bit.

Survey: If you and a partner were dating for under three years, would you feel comfortable asking him/her to lend you a significant amount of money?

welcome tabu night club

Tabu Night Club, 1836 Midtown Drive, celebrates its grand opening tonight with a performance by Atlanta R&B singer Bobby Valentino.

Open to partiers 21 and older, the hot spot caters to a "grown and sexy" clientele and plans to do some promotions with hip-hop radio station Foxie 105.

It features a DJ booth, extensive VIP areas, three bars and a dance area. A full non-smoking restaurant is included, too.

The pics above are from when I visited the club earlier this week. Construction was still going on, so I was a little limited. Looks like the place has potential, though.

Visit Tabu's MySpace page here.

what's going on tonight?

Here's your Thursday night lineup:

*The Canadian rockers from ONE take the stage at SoHo Bar & Grill, 5751 Milgen Road. Music starts at 10 p.m. Cover is $5, free for military. 706-568-3316.

*Fountain City Coffee, 1007 Broadway, has an open mike beginning at 8 p.m. No cover. 706-494-6659.

*The Auburn-based Tony Brook Band performs at Scruffy Murphy's, 1037 Broadway. Music starts at 10 p.m. No cover. 706-322-3460.

*Musician Greg Barrett entertains at Belloo's, 900 Front Ave. Show starts at 10 p.m. No cover. 706-494-1584.

*The Roadhouse, 1047 Broadway, has karaoke beginning at 8 p.m. No cover.

*There's an open mike at After 5, 3709 Gentian Blvd. Music starts at 9 p.m. No cover. 706-507-0024.

*The Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road, hosts a performance by Nashville-based Southern rocker Eric Beddingfield. Show starts at 9 p.m. No cover. 706-507-3418.

Fountain City's open mike is for all ages, all other events are 21 and older.

born in the usa

Happy Thursday!

The Frisky alerted me today that we're smack dab in the middle of National USA Week. Yep, it's another occasion to wear your stars-and-stripes patterned thong. But this time you don't have to worry about whether some creepy guy will try to make out with you during a fireworks display.

That's because in this context, "USA" refers to Unmarried and Single Americans. Congratulations, you get a whole week to celebrate the lifestyle choice Grandma maintains makes you a worthless human being.

But seriously, singletons: Do these quasi-holidays make you feel proud, or more alienated than ever?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

dirty balls

Who says this universe isn't naturally aligned? My unrelated Internet search just yielded TWO articles about beer pong.

First, did we really need to conduct a microbiology experiment to arrive at this conclusion? "It's pretty clear that Beer Pong isn't exactly a clean game."

Then, there's this article describing the 12 types of beer pong players. My favorite is the guy who always finds a way to lean into the table. You know him.

Alan and I had a pretty good run as beer pong partners when Oxygen hosted a fundraiser tournament Thursday nights. (See pic above.)
Ultimately, we were beaten by two military guys.

After the game, one of them approached me and apologized for kicking our butts. When I asked him how he got so good, he told me he spends the majority of his military time playing faux drinking games.

I guess a tour of Iraq is how you learn to not lean over the freakin' table.

workin' hard for the money

Consider the following quotation:

“The thing that I hate most - it sounds really trivial - is when a customer's breath smells, that's gross."

It's a pet peeve uttered by workers in any profession. Dentistry. Cosmetic application. Even journalism.

But fortunately, its story is much more riveting. As in, the aforementioned line was uttered by a lap dancer in this industry profile.

The article reinforced my belief that strippers are people, too. Fortunately, I already learned that lesson about a year ago, when a stripper at this Atlanta joint shared a thought-provoking conversation with me while on the toilet.

outsourcing dating

If you can trust a personal trainer at the gym, why not hire one for your dating life?

I asked that question after reading this Washington Post article, which describes how despite the faltering economy, people are still paying tons of money for dating coaches and wingmen -- even professional writers who craft online profiles.

An excerpt:

Here and across the nation, in myriad strange and sympathetic ways, a full-service dating industry has bloomed in recent years promising to assist lovelorn souls in that age-old quest for companionship.

The roots of the industry's rise? Frayed social ties in a time marked by hyperconnectivity and increased isolation.

With my writing background, I've always wanted to be one of those people who get paid to write singles' social networking profiles. It kind of reminds me of that "Sex and the City" episode when Carrie gets hired to teach that dating class even though she's not actually in a relationship.

Somewhere, I'm sure there's an aspiring chick flick writer penning a screenplay about a lonely woman (played by Kate Hudson) who pours all her energy into writing people's MySpace profiles. She gets hired to help a hot guy (um, Patrick Dempsey?) find love, puts forth a valiant effort, but then realizes she's actually the one in love with him.

Don't say I didn't brainstorm that one first.

wednesday show!

Bluegrass musicians and songwriters perform tonight at The Vault, 1026 Broadway.

Open to guests 21 and older, the music starts at 9 p.m. No cover.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

no kissing until marriage

Here's an interesting article about the growing purity movement among girls in the U.S.

It cites a statistic that 1 in 6 U.S. girls between the ages of 12 and 18 has taken a "purity" pledge, and describes some extreme scenarios in which girls vow not to kiss until marriage.

I had a 20-something friend who lived under the same promise. I actually kind of admired her for it.

I've thought a lot more about the whole purity issue since moving to the South. When I researched for a feature on being single here, lots of people told me that they've had religious friends marry early in life simply because they were ready to have sex. And their religion prohibited them from doing it before marriage.

I think purity backfires when you adhere to a code of behavior primarily for reasons outside the personal standards you hold.

That happens often, but there also plenty of cases when a belief in purity elevates someone's character and extends a certain level of discipline into other aspects of his/her life.

And if that's you, then please, by all means, continue to refrain from kissing.

thanks, oprah!

CNN has this article, via Oprah.com, conveniently titled "6 relationship decisions we've made for you."

No word on whether you should try the Vaseline experiment you've been plotting, but on a more inconsequential note does address the popular debate of whether it's OK for a girl to call first.

"It's 2008. You can call," says Steve Santagati, author of "The MANual" and resident expert at AskSteveSantagati.com. Still, Santagati urges you not to put the guy on the spot. "Let him initiate plans. You can just say hello to open the lines of communication, and he might hear something in the phone call that he didn't get the first time you met." The way he responds will tell you whether you have a future together.

Ah, the perils of the first phone call. Even more awkward if you're attempting to initiate a real relationship after a drunken hookup.

I still say the responsibility rests primarily in the guy's hands. And please, guys, we know you don't like getting all chatty, but try to follow a little basic phone etiquette. That means:

1. Calling for no reason other than the kindness of your heart

2. Not multi-tasking or passing out mid-conversation

3. Incorporating a minimum of two insightful comments beyond "uh-huh."

that smell

I once had the horrible experience of being told that somebody vomited because of my perfume. Harsh words.

But the scenario wouldn't surprise this guy, the perfumer behind New York's CB I Hate Perfume Gallery. Contrary to the name, it's a store that sells -- you guessed it -- perfume.

Only these scents are more natural-based, as opposed to heavy fragrances the gallery's perfumer says Americans buy primarily because of brand identification.

So instead of Chanel and DKNY, he offers stuff like "Rubber Cement," "Wet Pavement," "Roast Beef" and "In the Library."

(If the last one smells anything like my high school librarian, it's a comfy blend of Metamucil and fried liver. Mmm.)

Anyway, the store got me thinking about how many intangible smells I'd like to bottle. Beginning with the hypnotizing olfactory power of a man's shirt.

And you?

free show!

Hey Tuesday night partiers...

Sol Junky, an Atlanta-based rock and country act, performs a free show tonight at the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road.

Open to partiers 21 and older, the music starts around 9 p.m. Call 706-507-3418.

Monday, September 22, 2008

keepin' it in the family

Among MTV's newest shows? "Sex...with Mom and Dad."

Don't worry -- it's not a cheap "Cops" knockoff. Instead, the reality show focuses on teens "talking candidly with their parents about sex."

Yeah, this is what happens when MTV abandons music.

I've been blessed(?) with a family where lines of communication are pretty open, but I don't think the term "candidly" ever described a relationship-based discussion I had with my mom.

Even as the gap between "parent" and "friend" narrows, there seem to be certain sex-related topics that always remain off-limits. Then again, some of my female friends maintain they talk to their mom just like they talk to their best friend.

As a 20- or 30-something, do you still have certain topics you absolutely won't talk about with mom or dad?

Meanwhile, you can read more about "Sex...with mom and dad" here.

Friday, September 19, 2008

what's going on this weekend?

Don't forget that motorcycle festival Bikes on Broadway is happening in downtown Columbus Friday and Saturday.

Also, on Friday, Big City Club (1132 Broadway) hosts Chaotic Friday with Rock 103. There might be a frozen T-shirt contest. Hot. Doors open at 9 p.m.

Here are your other weekend offerings

Holdcell, Deception, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

• Kelly's Truck Stop Bop (8 p.m.), Peggy Jenkins and The Bizness, 10 p.m., The Loft, $10. 706-596-8141.

• DJs Ms. B and Fran, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

Pipers Down, 10 p.m. Scruffy Murphy's, $5. 706-322-3460.

Caleb Gamble, 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659. Open to all ages.

Hell On Air Band, 9 p.m. Sports Rock Cafe, free. 334-291-5025.

• Jimi Jam and the Big Fun, 10 p.m. Belloo's, $5. 706-494-1584.

Wicked Dixie, 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

• DJ Booty, 10 p.m. Aqua Nightclub, $5 (free with college ID). 706-569-1165.

Spent, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.


Lee Holmes from Exalter, 6-10 p.m., Picasso Pizza, free. 706-576-6991.

Thousand Watt Halo, The Giving End, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

• DJs Ms. B and Fran, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

Pipers Down, 10 p.m. Scruffy Murphy's, $5. 706-322-3460.

Brian Mallard and Renegade, 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659. Open to all ages.

• DJ Booty, 9 p.m. Aqua Nightclub, $5. 706-569-1165.

Neal Lucas, 9:30 p.m. Broad Street Blues, $5. 334-297-3200.

Marry a Thief with Hillside Manor, 9:30 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

Wicked Dixie, 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

Spent, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

• Jimi Jam and the Big Fun, 10 p.m. Belloo's, $5. 706-494-1584.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

aye, booty!

Talk about a reason to celebrate: It's Friday AND International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

For some people, like my former co-worker Amanda, talking like a pirate is synonymous with using a British accent. Whatever floats your boat.

Read about the holiday here.

And yes, Blogger is still attaching the wrong day to my posts.


vacation, all i ever wanted

Here's a novel idea: You don't have to spend every waking second of your life in a relationship.

It's not an earth-shattering revelation for most people, but the obsessive-compulsive daters described in this article are a different story. The MSNBC piece describes the importance of dating detox -- simply taking a break from dating when it causes you excessive stress.

One of my favorite new terms pertaining to this idea is "manbatical." According to Urban Dictionary, it refers to a woman's decision to temporarily refrain from dating and/or having sex.

Repeat now and use often.

Is it harder for men or women to go on dating detox? I say men. They're usually the ones out looking for a new relationship -- not just a booty call -- just days after severing long-term romantic ties.

Which is kind of disturbing, because you don't know if a guy in this situation really likes YOU, or just likes the idea of having a relationship.

engaged & underage

You might not be old enough to buy alcohol, but can you lay the groundwork for lasting romantic commitment?

That's the underlying question in this article, a first-person piece supporting teen marriage. With some bias, of course: The author tied the knot at 19 and is still married 9 years later.

It's a well-written piece, one that defies the usual stereotypes of teen marriage because the author and her husband married solely out of love, not because of pregnancy or parental pressure.

People are skeptical of teen marriages for practical reasons: You need time outside the structure of high school to accumulate life skills and learn what you want from the world. Part of me thinks is a process that continues after college, too. I'm always a little afraid for the girls who move in with a guy the day after college graduation.

But the truth is that nobody can name an age as "right" for marriage. And plenty of people think marrying at 18 or 19 is "normal" because that's what their parents did.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

good with kids

Hey guys...just wanted to give you the heads-up that Blogger is possibly on drugs today and all my Thursday entries are for some reason posting with Wednesday's date. Not cool at all. That said, don't forget that the music list below is for Thursday.

Thanks for understanding.

Until Blogger gets its act together, keep yourself busy with this article about dating a baby daddy. Hint: It's a setup that doesn't end well.

what's going on tonight?

Here are some standout options for Thursday night partiers.

*Fountain City Coffee, 1007 Broadway, has an open mike beginning at 7 p.m. No cover. 706-494-6659.

*Musician Greg Barrett performs at Belloo's, 900 Front Ave. Show starts at 10 p.m. No cover. 706-494-1584.

*SoHo Bar & Grill, 5751 Milgen Road, hosts the Montgomery-based rockers from Bulletproof Marshmallows. Music starts at 10 p.m. Cover is $5, free for military. 706-568-3316.

*There's karaoke with DJ Mike V at The Roadhouse, 1047 Broadway. It starts at 8 p.m. No cover.

*The local rockers from Pipers Down take the stage at Scruffy Murphy's, 1037 Broadway. Music starts at 10 p.m. No cover. 706-322-3460.

*The Birmingham-based Naked Eskimos perform at the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road. Show starts at 9 p.m. No cover. 706-507-3418.

*Local musician Neal Lucas serves up a blend of rock and blues at Houlihan's, 800 Front Ave. It's 6-9 p.m. No cover. 706-653-1898.

*There's an open mike at After 5, 3709 Gentian Blvd. Music starts at 9 p.m. No cover. 706-507-0024.

Shows at Houlihan's and Fountain City Coffee are for all ages. Remaining shows are 21 and older.

hottie & nottie

Get out of my league and into my heart!

Here's an article about a study confirming even unattractive guys think they have a chance with a runway model. It's a conclusion based on either extensive research, or the mere fact that this guy has a sex life.

These articles perplex me. Isn't it kind of twisted to be thinking of your relationship in terms of which one of you is hotter?

Then again, maybe that's a thought that occasionally enters the depths of everybody's mind. Subtle, unspoken questions about whether your mate could find anyone as attractive as you. Lurking thoughts about how outsiders perceive your collective attractiveness when you go out as a couple.


wednesday show!

Local songwriters showcase their talent tonight at The Vault, 1026 Broadway.

The show starts at 9 p.m. and features performances by Buck Bradshaw, Riley Yielding, Dan Davidson and Henry Conley. It's open to partiers 21 and older.

No cover.

yes...no means no

Here's a good piece about why guys think those indirect gentle turn-downs -- ie: "it's getting late" -- mean they still have a chance with you.

It hits on a valid point: Women are often so concerned about hurting someone's feelings, even if he's a creep, that they avoid snubbing a guy directly and end up causing even more unnecessary drama.

An excerpt:

But man I tell you whut, women are taught from such an early age never to be direct, never to risk “hurting someone’s feelings,” and they (we) end up causing so much more annoyance/pain/frustration for everyone involved because of our dancing around. Men learn early on that if they just keep pushing, they can wear women down into a yes, because it’s easier for her than to stay true to her own desires and communicate them honestly and respectfully and, yes, kindly.

That's true to some extent, but even the most direct turn-downs are hardly fail safe. Just the other weekend, I told a lingering guy I have a boyfriend.

His response?

"I bet he's not packing what I'm packing."

Needless to say, the plan -- to send my lingering stalker packing -- didn't quite get off the ground.

meet the parents

RedEye has this guide about the do's and don'ts of meeting a significant other's parents.

Talk about stressful. It's a situation that always makes my stomach flip-flop a bit, whether I'm meeting a date's parents or he's meeting mine. It represents a turning point that can either bring you closer together or suddenly make things very, very tense.

Or does it?

Recently, a hairdresser and I agreed that in many relationships, getting the approval of someone's friends can be more difficult than his/her parents. It seems like many people, guys in particular, put more weight on their friends' opinions of a date. Friends might be more candid in expressing their opinions, too.

Which first-meet situation causes you more stress: friends or parents?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

free show!

For Tuesday night partiers:

Atlanta-based singer/songwriter Connor Christian performs a free show tonight at the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road.

The artist cites influences ranging from Elton John to Ryan Adams.

Open to partiers 21 and older, the show starts at 9 p.m. Call 706-507-3418.


Hey guys...the posting is starting a little late today because I was surprised with the glorious gift of a flat tire this morning. Thanks, karma!

Time to switch gears to a slightly happier subject: sluts.

Or, at least, slutty costumes.

Halloween is almost a month away, and this blogger has a humorous post about all the slutty getups that are already on the market. I think my favorite, in addition to the "sexy judge" featured above, is the Hot Plumber. Complete with plumber's butt and everything.

(Note: The blond 20-something female model looks slightly different from the man who used to fix my family sink.)

Within the next week or so, I'll do a preliminary look-through to give you guys the rundown on what's on the local costume market this year.

Any suggestions?

Monday, September 15, 2008

it's raining cyber men

Here's a cool breakdown of the male/female user ratios that you can expect from a bunch of the popular dating Web sites.

Word of caution, ladies: Don't get too excited about the 88/11 ratio on ManHunt.net.

I like the specialty online dating sites listed below the ratios, although I am a little leery of CrazyBlindDate.com. Blind dates are bad enough -- when you specifically add the disclaimer "crazy," you know you're in for a really, um, memorable time.

Anything else new in the cyber dating world?

doin' it daily

Is anyone else tired of all these stories about couples' pacts to have sex 365 days a year?

I get the idea. Those kind of deals make you happier. (Guys, you can stop reading now.)

But I think they can also reinforce the idea that physical intimacy can cure deeper, value-based issues, and that belief isn't always true.

Anyway, add this piece to your collection of 365-day miracle stories. Unlike others, it includes dissenting opinions from some experts, like this one:

Stress management expert Debbie Mandel, MA, thinks such sex might be a bit "gimmicky" and could lead to dissatisfaction.

"In many cases, abstinence makes the heart grow fonder. You don't have to abstain for a long period of time -- a few days off creates anticipation and eagerness. You might love steak, but having it every night diminishes the gustatory pleasure. Habituate yourself to regular sex, but don't ever let love become a routine, a robotic obligatory habit."

Do tales of once-a-day action turn you on or intimidate you?

free show!

Check this out, Monday night partiers:

David Reed, a South Carolina-based singer/songwriter, performs a free show tonight at Fountain City Coffee, 1007 Broadway.

Reed cites influences like Jeff Buckley and David Gray.

The all-ages show is 8-10 p.m. Call 706-494-6659.

Friday, September 12, 2008

it's her fault

Battling it out with your beau?

Skip the whole he-said/she-said thing and let an online anonymous jury decide who's right.

That's the premise of SideTaker.com, a Web site in which both parties in a relationship tell their side of the story. Then, online users leave comments and vote on who's at fault.

This way, you can stop talking your single friends' ears off.

(Via TheFrisky)

talk it out?

There's no harm in gabbing with your favorite girls over coffee or martinis, right?

The answer might not be as clear as you think.

For years, the support networks inherent in female friendships have been touted as beneficial. Shows like "Sex and the City" end with uplifting messages about how nothing beats the tried-and-true power of your girls.

But now, in this recent NY Times article, psychologists say extended gab sessions with female friends can actually be detrimental to a woman's health. An excerpt:

Dwelling and rehashing issues can keep girls, who are more prone to depression and anxiety than boys, stuck in negative thinking patterns, psychologists say. But they also say it is a mixed picture: friends who co-ruminate tend to be close, and those intimate relationships can build self-esteem.

I've never really been one for hard-core female bonding. I've always had friends, but I operate under the mindset of talking out problems as a last resort.

I don't think there's one "right" or "wrong" way to approach friendship. However, I agree that discussing life's minute aspects at length can really just breed unnecessary anxiety.

Then again, you have to ask yourself: Would you rather have no one at all?

what's going on this weekend?

A quick standout: Tribute band Kiss Army performs Saturday at Aqua Nightclub, 1812 Midtown Drive. Pre-party at 8 p.m., show starts at 11 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance ant $12 at the door. Call 706-569-1165.

In other weekend highlights:


*Pains and Sins, Rockets to Ruin, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar and Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

*DJ music, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

*Whisky Bent, 10 p.m. Scruffy Murphy's, $5. 706-322-3460.

*Claiborne & Friends, 10 p.m. Belloo's, $5. 706-494-1584.

*DJ Booty, 10 p.m. Aqua Nightclub, $5 (free with college ID). 706-569-1165.

*Peggy Jenkins and The Bizness, 9:30 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

*Spent, 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

*Eric Turner, 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659. Open to all ages.


*Lee Holmes from Exalter, 6-10 p.m., Picasso Pizza, free. 706-576-6991.

*Spy for Hire, The Winter Sounds, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

*DJ music, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

*Last Episode, 10 p.m. Scruffy Murphy's, $5. 706-322-3460.

*Kiss Army, 8 p.m. Aqua Nightclub, $10 in advance, $12 at door.706-569-1165.

*Claiborne & Friends, 10 p.m. Belloo's, $5. 706-494-1584.

*Mojo:Saint, 10 p.m. Broad Street Blues, $5. 334-297-3200.

*Ten Story Relapse with Lexi Street, 9:30 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

*B.J. Holland, 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659. Open to all ages.

*Front Porch Pickers, 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

war stories

Hold on to your seats, ladies and gentlemen. I'm blogging about childbirth.

Not from personal experience.

The subject at hand is this article, which describes how going into labor has become sort of a survival of the fittest scenario, with women trying to outdo each other in the level of pain they're able to tolerate.

An excerpt:

Women must make it a contest. Deep in the Nappy Valleys of our cities - while those "too posh to push" keep sheepishly schtum - there are mothers who brag not just about their home births but about what they do with the placenta afterwards, from serving it up with fava beans and a nice chianti (cooked placenta is very good for post-natal depression, I am told) or burying it ceremonially in the garden, ideally beneath a huggable tree.

I've never actually given birth, but I have been a part of many uncomfortable situations with women who almost like to brag about all the horror they went through while having a kid.


Readers with children: While pregnant, did you ever feel social pressure to make your extreme battle wounds publicly known?

OK, I promise I won't write another post involving the word "placenta" for a very, very long time. But for more info on motherhood, check out the Ledger's Mom2Mom site here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

all apologies

Here's an article about the 8 worst ways to apologize to your significant other.

I especially agree with a ban against e-card apologies, plus the No. 1 worst form of apology on the list: People who just say, "I'm sorry you feel that way." I'd group people who say "I don't see why I should have to apologize" in the same category.

I'm kind of borderline on guys who forgo the whole direct apology thing and instead simply give what's supposed to be a self-explanatory gift.

At first, I thought this strategy was cowardly and that guys should just be up front with their feelings. But then I became more aware of the fact that it also entails me getting a lot of cool stuff, which I always love.

The aforementioned article maintains, "A bad apology is worse than no apology."


what's going on tonight?

Some standout options for Thursday night partiers:

*The local Southern rockers from Whisky Bent perform at Scruffy Murphy's, 1037 Broadway. Music starts at 10 p.m. No cover. 706-322-3460.

*Local musician Neal Lucas serves up a blend of jazz and blues at Houlihan's, 800 Front Ave. It's 6-9 p.m. No cover. 706-653-1898.

*Musician Greg Barrett takes the stage at Belloo's, 900 Front Ave. Show starts at 10 p.m. No cover. 706-494-1584.

*Fountain City Coffee, 1007 Broadway, has an open mike beginning at 7 p.m. No cover. 706-494-6659.

*Mother Pandora, a rock act based in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, performs at the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road. Show starts at 8 p.m. No cover. 706-507-3418.

*SoHo Bar & Grill, 5751 Milgen Road, hosts the Knoxville, Tenn.-based rockers from Thoroughfare. Music starts at 10 p.m. Cover is $5, free for military. 706-568-3316.

*There's an open mike at After 5, 3709 Gentian Blvd. Music starts at 9 p.m. No cover. 706-507-0024.

*The Roadhouse, 1047 Broadway, has karaoke beginning at 8 p.m. No cover.

The events at Fountain City Coffee and Houlihan's are open to all ages. Remaining events are 21 and older.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

face it

Here's a photo gallery of weird faces people make while dancing.

I consider myself an expert on this topic, given the photo above. I love how if you hang out with a group of friends long enough, you can pretty much predict what everybody's signature "dance face" is going to be.

Something that I love even more?

When of a pic of somebody mid-dance gets posted on a social networking site Monday morning, and that person tries to add a witty comment suggesting that he or she MEANT to make that awful vampire-inspired facial expression.

No you didn't, dude. Trust me.

tied up with the knot

A dating columnist I read regularly is Fred Gonzalez of the Miami Herald. He's single, and wrote a recent column about having dinner with a married couple. For them, it was a temporary reprieve from the world of children, and they talked his ear off. An excerpt:

It wasn't that they were rude. On the contrary, they were as polite and sweet as could be, but they finally had a chance to socialize outside of a Disney on Ice event and were like an iPod on "shuffle all" mode for three hours.

As dinner progressed, questions popped in my head.

"Was I like this when I was married? Is this inevitable if I get married again? Is there a switch in your brain that goes off when your status changes from single to married?"

I've been in the same situation. I'm not a cynic, but it seems like many encounters I have with married couples put doubts in my mind about tying the knot.

It's not like I'm even hanging around with people who fight constantly. It's just the little things -- like women who go from being really laid-back girlfriends to grounding their husbands for the weekend if they come home five minutes late.

Or couples who are so starved for grown-up contact that they bury their single adult friends in stories about vomit and bed-wetting.

I know your conversation repertoire changes once you're married, but does there have to be a point where you lose all relatability to your single friends?

Also, if you're single, how do you reconcile the fears you get from watching married couples in action?

(No, not in THAT way, perverts.)

party foul?

If you're like me, you'll relate to this article, "Welcome to my party -- now pay up!"

It's about people who throw themselves elaborate celebratory dinners/parties and then expect their guests to take care of the bill.

I don't mind taking a friend out for a birthday meal, but nothing bothers me more than someone who's picky about the dinner spot of choice when he or she is being teated. In situations when your friends aren't necessarily rolling in dough, it's not fair to expect your celebratory night out will be paid for.

It's another tricky post-college realization: Going out to dinner with friends, especially married ones, can be awkward. When you're relying on a shared income, it's sometimes easy to forget that single people don't always have the luxury of buying appetizers or bottles of wine.

When you're a broke, there's few things worse than having to split the cost of something your dining partners ordered without considering your feelings.

Anyone else had this experience?

happy sans nookie

The Internet is buzzing with news about asexuality.

There's this first-person article from a 24-year-old guy who's married and, um, just doesn't have sex. An excerpt:

People always ask how our marriage is different from just being friends, but I think a lot of relationships are about that - being friends. We have built on our friendship, rather than scrapping it and moving on somewhere else. The obvious way we differ is that we don't have sex, though we do kiss and cuddle. We like to joke that the longer we're married the less unusual this is. By the time we've been married five years we'll be just like everyone else.

Believe it or not, there's an even an official Web site, the Asexual Visibility and Education Network.

Asexual or not, I think a lot of people, girls in particular, often feel obligated to maintains some sort of sexual relationship just to be "normal."

After I graduated from college, I lived at home for two years, working my butt off in hopes of advancing my career as quickly as possible. I went on a total of maybe five dates during that entire two-year period. When I tell people that story now, 95 percent of them say something like, "You must have been going crazy" or "How did you survive?"

Those questions always amaze me. There ARE other things in life, you know.

what's going on tonight?

An option for Wednesday night partiers:

Local songwriters perform tonight at The Vault, 1026 Broadway.

The event, open to partiers 21 and older, features Rick Edwards, Tripp Wrigley, the Dockery-Conley Show and some special guests. Music starts at 9 p.m.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

l-u-v in the a-t-l

Here's some good news if you're reading this from Columbus:

Your best chance for meeting the romantic partner of your dreams could require just a 90-minute drive.

That's because Forbes recently gave Atlanta the No. 1 spot on its list of the best cities for singles.

It's the first time our big-city neighbor earned the distinction, beating places like last year's winner, San Francisco (now No. 2).

I recently recommended the Atlanta meet market to a friend having dating difficulties here. It was a suggestion rooted in zero personal experience, but this list makes me a little more confident in my feigned expertise.

I'm curious, though: Columbus readers, how many of you travel to Atlanta to meet dates? Is it a valid place to find relationships, or does the 90-minute drive make things too long-distance?

christmas cake. mmm.

The other day, some friends and I were talking about girls who set arbitrary timelines for major life milestones.

The most common one seems to be girls who vow to be married by 25. Another popular deadline? Having kids by the time you're 30.

I've never viewed my life within such a time frame, but I know plenty of girls who have. Alan told me "Christmas cake" is a popular expression in Japan. Here's a definition, courtesy of this cultural glossary:

"It may well be sweet and delicious, but no one really wants any after the 25th. So, if you're an unmarried Japanese woman, after the age of twenty five, you're in extreme danger of becoming a Christmas Cake."

It's easier for me to understand the baby thing than the marriage deadline. It just seems like you're setting yourself up to lower your standards simply to meet a self-imposed calendar requirement that really means nothing at all.

Guys, do you have any male friends who have similar relationship deadlines? And would you be afraid of dating a woman with this outlook?

free show!

Hey Tuesday night partiers...

The local Southern rockers from The Rowdy Friends Band perform a free show tonight at the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road.

Open to partiers 21 and older, the action starts at 8 p.m. Call 706-507-3418.

sweet dreams?

This article boldly asserts that sleep is the new sex.

It pertains mainly to the difficulty couples have finding time for sex post-children, but I think we've all (maybe) chosen sleep over nookie at some point. And not for reasons relating to a partner's unattractiveness or body odor. Sometimes, you really are genuinely tired, right?

Then again, some couples maintain that they're always in the mood.

Would you be offended if partner chose sleep over your sexual advances? Does how long you've been in the relationship make a difference?

Monday, September 8, 2008

gifts from the video music awards

It's not bad to wear a promise ring because not everyone, guy or girl, wants to be a slut.
-- Jordin Sparks, MTV Video Music Awards

Sunday night, I buckled down and watched the MTV Video Music Awards, 25th anniversary edition. I came for the hype surrounding Britney Spears and I stayed for the hope the host Russell Brand would be forcibly banned from our country.

Submitted for your approval, here's what I got from the VMAs:

My Britney. So she seemed a little robotic, uttered a total of maybe 37 words and did nothing to even remotely indicate that she still has the physical capacity to perform. But who cares? Britney Spears is BACK, looking smokin' hot. She came away with the night's biggest Moonman award total, 3, including Video of the Year. Rehab achieved.

An urge to buy pleather. The three main solo female performers -- Pink, Rihanna and Christina Aguilera -- all hit the stage in black-based outfits bearing a strong resemblance to high couture S&M gear. Color me tied up and loving it.

Herpes. OK, not really, but it's the only single-word description I can use to best convey my disappointment at the return of a crotch-grabbing phenomenon. Seriously. Rapper Lil Wayne and the lead singer from Paramore made self-groping an integral part of their live performances. Save it for the after-party, people. The Jonas Brothers are in the audience. Speaking of...

Purity. Yeah, there was a lot to hate about host Russell Brand. I could criticize his off-color remarks about Americans' political decisions, but instead I'm gonna focus on his decision to hate on virginity. He went on and on with a series of harsh comments about the Jonas Brothers' promise (purity) rings until Jordin Sparks of all people had lay the smack down. See aforementioned comment. And finally...

Nostalgia. Did anyone else realize that MTV's music scene seems to be composed of, like, seven people now? With the exception of the obligatory strange-haired novelty act, it seemed like the entire audience had either done a duet with Chris Brown or appeared on a TV series where "OMG" is uttered twice an episode.

(photo via Daily Mail)

Friday, September 5, 2008

what's going on this weekend?

Don't forget about Friday's bar crawl that gives you access to the majority of downtown Columbus hot spots for one cover charge, usually between $7 and $10. Here's the rest of the lineup:


*Strokin' Dixie, 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

*Peggy Jenkins and The Bizness, 9:30 p.m. The Loft, bar crawl cover. 706-596-8141.

*Faster Faster, Stages and Stereos, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

*Danny and Dennis, 9 p.m. VFW Post No. 665 (1824 Victory Drive), $5. 706-687-6656.

*Grayhill Conspiracy, 10 p.m. Scruffy Murphy's, bar crawl cover. 706-322-3460.

*DJ music, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, bar crawl cover.

*DJ Booty, 10 p.m. Aqua Nightclub, $5 (free with college ID). 706-569-1165.

*Java Monkey, 10 p.m. Belloo's, $5. 706-494-1584.

*Zero 2 Sixty, 8 p.m. Daileys, bar crawl cover. 706-320-3353.

*Gini Woolfolk, 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659. Open to all ages.


*Lee Holmes from Exalter, 6-10 p.m., Picasso Pizza, free. 706-576-6991.

*Gone Country, 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

*Zero 2 Sixty, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

*Danny and Dennis, 9 p.m. VFW Post No. 665 (1824 Victory Drive), $5. 706-687-6656.

*DJ Booty, 9 p.m. Aqua Nightclub, $5. 706-569-1165.

*Java Monkey, 10 p.m. Belloo's, $5. 706-494-1584.

*Grayhill Conspiracy, 10 p.m. Scruffy Murphy's, $5. 706-322-3460.

*DJ music, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

*Dayfall, Marashino, 3 Kisses, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

*Gary Pfaff and the Heartwells, 9:30 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

*Neal Lucas, 9:30 p.m. Broad Street Blues, $5. 334-297-3200.

*Ty Izumi, 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659. Open to all ages.

saturday concerts!

Just wanted to remind you of two Saturday shows outside the club scene:

*Grand Funk Railroad plays Fort Benning's Wetherby Field at 7:30 p.m. Opening act is Bowling for Soup. Tickets are $25. Call 706-494-8330. Read my article about the show here.

*Country artist Luke Bryan takes the stage at the Phenix City Amphitheater. Show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10, free for kids 12 and younger. Call 334-291-4719. Check out my piece about that one here.

Have fun!

the step

In a relationship, does skipping latex hold the same value as a lifelong commitment?

That's the question being debated on blogs nationally, thanks to this recent National Public Radio essay, "Sex without condoms is the new engagement ring."

In it, the author talks about how young couples (with that label extending to 20-somethings) now often see condomless sex as a prime indicator of monogamy. The decision to skip condoms is a major decision on the way to engagement, if not a substitute for engagement itself.

Now bear in mind that we're talking about a relationship where both partners are being screened regularly for STDs and another form of birth control (like the pill) is in place.

Many readers have blasted NPR for airing the piece. But others -- many of whom are in the essay's spotlighted demographic -- have said it points to an accurate trend. In the essay's comments section, one individual even calls condomless sex "the step" -- a huge milestone in a couple's relationship.

What do you think? Is there any truth to the NPR essay?

oedipus complex, anyone?

This article is pretty interesting, under the rare occasion that you actually get past the creepiness of the title:

"Are you attracted to your dad?"

I'll give you a couple seconds to stop shuddering.

Now that we got that out of the way, the article is about scientific research suggesting that men and women "are physically attracted to partners who resemble their opposite-sex parent."

For obvious reasons, it's easier for me to believe that guys I date share traits and values with my dad. Rather than, um, look like him.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

gettin' wet

Just learned H2O, the hot spot at 6499 Veterans Parkway, now has its Web site up.

The site is pretty cool -- probably the most advanced of the local nightlife scene -- and in addition to an events listing, you can see photo galleries of recent weekends at the club. Also, the site has the capacity to stream live video from H2O's dance floor.

Check it out here.

cover girls (and boys)

I've raved before about my guilty obsession with cover tunes, and finding this site made me pretty ecstatic.

In honor of the 50th birthdays of Madonna, Prince and Michael Jackson, it's a catalog spanning a total of 150 tunes from artists covering songs by those musical legends. And here's a special treat for you, Brad: Many of them are indie acts I've never heard of.

As far as the better-known artists go, you can look forward to Beck's version of "Raspberry Beret," Tori Amos' take on "Like A Prayer" and Sonic Youth's cover of "Into The Groove." And more.

You'll have fun. Trust me.

the ring thing

Today's nightlife column is about my temporary venture into the world of fake engagement rings.

While hardly a flawless pickup line deterrent, the rings are a pretty effective way for non-confrontational types to tell guys they're taken. Even if it is a lie.

See a wedding-finger accessory and it's a pretty safe bet to assume that woman is taken.

Married guys, however, might be a different story.

This piece, "Seven ways to spot a married man," talks about the many guys who will remove their wedding rings prior to a night out on the town. In the absence of an actual ring, the author recommends looking for things like a ring-finger tan, or creepy qualities like overly excessive niceness.

If only it was that easy.

Even my savviest friends have had relationships interrupted by the m-bomb, and in all cases it happened way too belatedly.

At what point, if ever, do both partners in a relationship become obligated to policy of full disclosure? Has it gotten to the point where a girl is expected to ASK any guy she's dating if he's married?

The more comments the better on this one. I'm using it for a future column.

what's going on tonight?

Here are a few standout options for Thursday night partiers:

*The Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road, hosts the Birmingham-based rockers from Lynam. Show starts at 8 p.m. No cover. 706-507-3418.

*Musician Gary Parmer performs at Belloo's, 900 Front Ave. Show starts at 10 p.m. No cover. 706-494-1584.

*There's an open mike at After 5, 3709 Gentian Blvd. Music starts at 9 p.m. No cover. 706-507-0024.

*Fountain City Coffee, 1007 Broadway, has an open mike beginning at 7 p.m. No cover. 706-494-6659.

*The New York-based metal rockers from Feff take the stage at SoHo Bar & Grill, 5751 Milgen Road. Music starts at 10 p.m. Cover is $5, free for military. 706-568-3316.

Fountain City's open mike is for all ages, all other events are 21 and older.

on the same page?

Happy Thursday!

My book column today is about a factor that's been increasingly important in match-making: someone's taste in books.

Now, publisher Penguin has started this dating site, where users can compare "last read" lists. It's currently only available in the UK, but I'm guessing a similar version will be introduced here soon.

Sources like the NY Times have analyzed the trend, too.

I don't think taste in books should be a relationship's be-all, end-all, but it might have some bearing on a relationship's future. I remember when I friend called me minutes after spotting something questionable on her date's bookshelf.

He had the entire "Left Behind" series. She was kind of, um, an atheist.

Dealbreaker? Maybe. And what if the situation was reversed? What if there was a book that you absolutely loved, but your date HATED? Consider an excerpt from this article:

However, I do believe in the dealbreaker book. This book so deeply resonates with your soul that if a potential partner finds it risible, any meeting of minds (or body) is all but impossible. Most of us have one or two books that encapsulate all we believe to be skilful and admirable in art and in life. And while we don't necessarily expect everyone to enjoy them, we do expect our soulmate to. Or at least respect them.

Do you have a "dealbreaker book"?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

scratch and sniff?

Revenge can be sweet and, um, apparently kind of itchy.

These guys let you purchase genital lice (crabs) for revenge purposes. Feeling guilty for considering clicking on the link...and buying some? Check out this excerpt from the site's page explaining its legality:

It’s no different than selling Sea Monkeys or an Ant Farm. It’s a small container with a small number of mostly un-hatched eggs inside, and really very few of them will hatch prior to arriving in your mail box. None of our crabs are sold directly from human feed chains, so there is no possibility of human DNA exchange even in the blood stream. They are all farm raised and fed animal product during cultivation. These do not constitute any bio-hazard!

There you go. Let me know how everything turns out.


It took approximately an hour for Brenda Walsh (Shannen Doherty) to appear on Tuesday's series premiere of the new "90210."

Producers made that decision because of people like me.

I sat through the first 60 minutes of "90210" relatively unimpressed. Like its predecessor, the show featured a set of siblings -- with a twist: one's African-American and adopted! -- transplanted to Beverly Hills from the land of quiet. There's a mean girl, a hot guy and a misunderstood druggie.

Honestly, the acting wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I was more disturbed by the fact that it seemed like the brother and sister were always on the verge of making out. And really, plot-wise, it seemed like the producers kind of settled.

Seriously, if you're trying to revolutionize teen TV, it's probably best to not rely on the tired plotline of the popular girl copying the new girl's English essay.

What kept me hooked were the traces of the original "90210." Even that cute little Nat from the Peach Pit and the sneaky appearance of the teen who's supposed to be Andrea Zuckerman's daughter. (I loved the follow-up comment saying she looked like she was 30.)

And for me, anything involving Brenda and Kelly took the cake. That includes Erin Silver, the teenage spawn of Kelly's mom and original character David's (Brian Austin Green's) dad.

Reviews so far have been mostly mild. My fave so far is this line from the Chicago Tribune:

Watching the show is sort of like being assaulted by the contents of a slightly tacky mall jewelry store: Everything you see is shiny, pretty and just a little bit too loud. And you know that even the cute items will probably break within two weeks.

Here's what critics from MSNBC, The Boston Globe and the Associated Press are saying.

Did you watch last night? If so, do you think the TV code needs to be retired, or is it back and stronger than ever?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

peach pit, anyone?

Donna Martin graduates!

Don't forget that the two-hour premiere of the new "90210" airs 8 p.m. tonight on the CW network. Want to brush up on your West Beverly High knowledge? Check out this very extended oral history of the show, courtesy of the New York Times.

Afraid to watch this potential trainwreck? Don't worry. For better or worse, I'm going to catch the entire thing and blog about it Wednesday morning.

And if you're tuning in, get those snarky comments ready show you can the post-show discussion.

what a weekend

Wow, what a great three days off. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I'd be sipping a naughty-tini at Belloo's one night and then donning fishnets at Dragon*Con the next.

But that, in a nutshell, is the concise summary of how I spent my Labor Day weekend. Two nights of local partying and then a trek up to Atlanta to get my nerd on. Hot.

I'll hopefully fill you in on the full details later today, but I need to wrap up a couple stories first. Before I sign off, though, I'll satiate your appetites with a reflection on one weekend trend that's pleasantly surprised me.

For the past two weekends, my friend Holly and I have spent our Friday nights on the patio at Scruffy Murphy's. And on both consecutive Fridays, we've had a guy buy us both beers, place them on our table and then simply WALK AWAY.

Put simply, I love this trend. I don't know exactly how it benefits the guy -- maybe he's expecting us to run after him and beg him to stay -- but it works really well on our end.

Keep 'em coming, anonymous benefactors.