Friday, October 31, 2008

not-so-scary thoughts

Here's a little reflection for you to ponder while floating in the remains of gut-rot and non-removable black lipstick this weekend:

As children, we're often terrified of things outside the realm of the ordinary. Images created specifically to challenge the depths of what we're willing to believe.

Monsters, witches, ghosts.

But as you grow older, your biggest fears, surprisingly, are rooted in reality. Memories of real mistakes you've made. The are scary largely because they didn't result from some uncontrollable dream or supernatural force.

No, it was all you.

Breakup Girl has this poignant comic about a girl who is haunted on Halloween by the ghost of relationships past. He interrupts her date with a new beau, reminding her of the good times she and her ex shared together.

She panics, afraid she'll never escape the haunting, until she realizes there's a difference between "longing" and "remembering."

We all face nightmares that remind us of real-life ghosts. They are scary, they are unavoidable and, often, they are heartache-inducing.

But fortunately, they are still only dreams.

where the party's at: halloween

Here's your roundup of local bar offerings for Halloween weekend:


The Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road, has a party featuring a costume contest with cash prizes. 706-507-3418.

• There's a downtown block party in which one cover gives you access to the majority of Broadway bars. Participating venues boast costume contests, prizes and drink specials.

• Beyond downtown, SoHo Bar and Grill, 5751 Milgen Road, celebrates Halloween with party tunes from The M&M Band. Throughout the night, cash and prizes will be awarded for multiple categories of costumes. The bar will also give away a trip to Biloxi. 706-568-3316.

• Phenix City hot spot Broad Street Blues, 913 Broad St., has a party with prizes and music from Mojo:Saint. The action starts at 8 p.m. and cover is $5. 334-297-3200.

• Neighborhood bar Pop-A-Top, 210 32nd St., will welcome guests beginning around 7 p.m. There will be costume prizes and door prizes, as well as free hot dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers and side dishes. No cover. Saturday, the hot spot hosts a free cookout beginning at 2 p.m. 706-323-9292.

Aqua Nightclub, 1812 Midtown Drive, celebrates with a costume contest and cash prizes. No cover. Party starts at 6 p.m.

• Martini and cigar bar Belloo's, 900 Front Ave., has a costume contest with cash prizes. There will also be giveaways and spooky cocktails. Claiborne & Friends entertain. The action begins around 8 p.m. and cover is $5. 706-494-1584.

• The Saloon & Oyster Bar, 6005 Macon Road, hosts a performance by Boneheadz and a costume contest beginning at 9 p.m. No cover. 706-568-8400.

H2O, 6499 Veterans Parkway, has a costume contest with cash prizes of up to $1,000. Register by 10 p.m. One cruise trip and one Las Vegas trip will be given away via drawing. Cover is $10 non-costumed and $5 costumed. 706-327-9700.


H2O hosts a second Halloween party, also featuring a costume contest with cash prizes of up to $1,000. Register by 10 p.m. The bar's giving away another cruise trip and Las Vegas trip, too. Cover is $10 non-costumed and $5 costumed. 706-327-9700.


Happy Halloween!

I'll post the local party lineup soon. In the meantime, here are some Halloween links to keep you busy:

*Need last-minute costume inspiration? Check out this gallery of photos from Entertainment Weekly readers.

*If your sci-fi getup goes over your fellow partiers' heads, find some kindred spirits in this collection of geeky costumes.

*This site has a detailed breakdown of which slutty costumes reigned supreme last year.

*Here's a collection of picks devoted entirely to women in cat costumes. I guess everyone has a fetish.

*And, for what it's worth, here are some instructions on how to make a very scary ghost out of a tampon.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

write, don't preach

So now sources say Madonna disciplined Guy Ritchie with a "marriage contract," which spanned everything from religion to sex.

When you take out all criticisms that parallel relationships and business, this sort of contract doesn't seem like too bad of an idea.

Seriously...think of how smitten somebody is over you when you first start dating. The vows to not be "that guy," the promises to always call on time, the claims that family is the most important thing in life.

It's the kind of stuff you want to get in writing.

What's the one relationship promise -- other than, say, "I'll always love you" -- you wish was contractually binding?

what's going on tonight?

Halloween weekend is going to be crazy on the local club scene, and the festivities begin with two parties tonight:

*The Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road, hosts a Hallows Eve party featuring music from Connor Christian. Costume contest with cash prizes. No cover. Action starts around 9 p.m. 706-507-3418.

*The Roadhouse, 1047 Broadway, has a Columbus State University TEK-a-Treat Party. Action starts at 8 p.m. No cover. It's open to the public, but guests must be 21.

And another cool Thursday event...

*Belloo's, 900 Front Ave., has an art show 6-10 p.m. with works by Claiborne, a frequent entertainer at the club. There's also food and music. No cover. 706-494-1584.

dating bites

Here's a list of 10 things one author hates about heteronormative dating.

Yes, dating has its advantages, and for a whole bunch of people it often ends in a lifetime of marital bliss...but you have to agree that some of the conventions that accompany the process are just plain annoying.

Say, for example, the idea that you're always supposed to be "single and looking." Not just plain single.

Or the fact that if you're a girl, and you display any sort of extreme emotion -- whether it be anger or affection -- you're immediately called "psycho." Whereas a guy's actions in the same situation can be easily justified with a simple, "Well, that's just the way he is."

What do YOU hate most about dating?

on fire

Hey everybody...sorry things are starting a bit late today. My morning was interrupted by the humongous fire that destroyed the historic Bibb Mill that sits right across the street from my house.

Check out Chuck and Lily's excellent coverage of the fire here.

To Bibb City newcomers like me, it's a big deal, but I can't imagine what it was like for the many long-time residents who watched everything go down. Contrary to the spectators who randomly decided to set up BBQ grills amid the flames -- yep, true story -- many people watched a significant chunk of their lives burn away this morning.

I spoke with three of my neighbors this morning, including one guy who'd spent about 45 years of his life in that building.

It just proves how transitory so many aspects of life are, not to mention the fact that there are few uninterrupted nights in Bibb City.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

cents and the small screen

Has the economy made you any more wary of reality TV shows focused on gluttony?

A year ago -- even six months ago -- it was fun to stare as whiny quasi-celebs sported overpriced solid-colored T-shirts. Now, those shows have to fight a little harder to maintain their popularity, some people say.

The Frisky discusses the potential problems in marketing the new "Shopaholic" movie, slated for release in February.

But on the other side of the coin, this Slate piece discusses the consumer confidence-restoring power of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta." It contends, "This fluff might be the perfect stuff for our time of financial crisis."

I indulge in my fair share of gluttony-driven TV, but it doesn't make me resentful of the characters, nor am I immediately compelled to spend $500 on a solid-colored tube dress.

It's simply an escape, a reminder of the things that I'd buy if I won the lottery or a wanted a pair of shoes enough to marry a hairy old rich guy.

wedding funeral

In this beautifully written piece, one woman details the experience of attending her ex-boyfriend's wedding.

Finding out that a former fling of yours is getting married is always such a surreal experience. You're not angry, you're not disappointed, you just feel...weird.

I've had this sensation a few times. Fortunately I've always been able to criticize the bride-to-be's physical appearance just quickly enough to turn the situation into something that actually works to improve my self-esteem. Amazing.

Even so, just yesterday I learned through a social networking site that I guy I went out with, like, three times had recently gotten engaged. It still made me feel weird.

Probably a big part of it is the fear of ending up as the weaker half of a severed romance. The idea that everything that made you incompatible, everything that made the two of you not work...must be a consequence of you because you're the one who ended up alone.

Wow. Talk about depressing. Which is why I don't go to ex-boyfriends' weddings.

Anyone brave enough to take that plunge? Or, um, at least get invited?

biker party!

Here's a new one for all you Wednesday night partiers, especially if you like motorcycles:

Tonight marks the start of "2-Wheel Tribute Night," a weekly Wednesday night promotion at Aqua Nightclub, 1812 Midtown Drive. The free event is geared toward the biker community and doors open at 5 p.m.

The promotion features happy hour prices until 8 p.m. and a surprise for anyone who shows up on a bike. Local party band Haywire performs beginning at 7 p.m. Also, Aqua will begin a bike of the month contest.

The event is open to partiers 21 and older.

girls cheat too

This NY Times article discusses some research that suggests women may be closing the gender gap when it comes to cheating.

An excerpt:

University of Washington researchers have found that the lifetime rate of infidelity for men over 60 increased to 28 percent in 2006, up from 20 percent in 1991. For women over 60, the increase is more striking: to 15 percent, up from 5 percent in 1991.

The researchers also see big changes in relatively new marriages. About 20 percent of men and 15 percent of women under 35 say they have ever been unfaithful, up from about 15 and 12 percent respectively.

The piece raises a good issue in questioning the legitimacy of adultery statistics -- particularly because it isn't exactly something everyone wants to discuss with a researcher.

Still, I think there must be some truth to reports of a rise in infidelity. The rise of social networking sites makes it so easy to instantly connect with a former fling, rekindling relationships (or at least communication) that would previously be resigned to "what if."

What's more, there appears to be more of an acceptance of cheating as a justified action in relationships that have turned sexless and emotionless.

It doesn't make it any more right, but people outside the relationship seem to at least understand infidelity when it's accompanied by a story about a dysfunctional marriage.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

free tuesday shows!

Looking for live entertainment tonight? Try these two options, both of which have no cover:

*The Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road, hosts a performance by local party band Haywire. Music starts around 8 p.m. Call 706-507-3418.

And for partiers of all ages...

*Indie rocker David Reed entertains at Fountain City Coffee, 1007 Broadway. Show starts around 8 p.m. Call 706-494-6659.

free tacos!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

You can get a free crunchy taco at Taco Bell between 2 and 6 p.m. today. It's a special promotion that happens when a base is stolen during the World Series. Read more here.

Mmm. Count me in. I wouldn't be surprised if my dog was already on her way to T-Bell.

Monday, October 27, 2008

help me help u

So I may have bought one too many Vegas cocktails to afford a real Halloween costume this year. I came to that realization Saturday, and after a brief mental breakdown, decided it was time to take action.

Here's what I'm working with: About a year ago, I acquired a sexy schoolgirl costume for non-Halloween purposes. Long story. A photo of the costume is pictured above. We'll call it Exhibit A.

Unfortunately, I'm not as hot as the featured model. An absence of DDD boobs makes the blazer look, well, kind of bulky on me. Seriously, if it didn't read "Sex Ed instructor No. 69," my mom could wear it to work.

So I'm looking to alter this costume to achieve the desired level of Halloween skankiness. I've considered cutting off the blazer's sleeves, substituting the blazer for a slutty white tank top or buying some sort of other black vest to wear on top. I have an urge to incorporate some goth makeup in the getup, too.

Any suggestions and/or words of wisdom?

I also own a black pleather bra, if that helps...

dress up, spend down

I got a voice message this morning from a reader looking for costume suggestions for partiers short on time and money. I feel his pain. Details on my costume conundrum will follow.

As far as low-maintenance costumes go, never underestimate the power of a mask. Lemondrop has this piece about easy last-minute Halloween costumes. And here's a gallery of cool face makeup options courtesy of M-A-C Cosmetics.

I think people tend to stress a bit much about Halloween getups, especially since partiers tend to get so drunk that the entire night becomes one foggy memory defined by fishnets and black lipstick.

Still, it's always good to refer to lists like this collection of 7 costumes you should not wear for Halloween. My personal pet peeve is when a costume requires a 10-minute explanation.

back in action

It involved some kicking and screaming, but I'm back in Columbus after a week in fabulous Las Vegas.

The vacation was awesome. Really, no matter how many ill-fated yard-long margaritas you endure, it's hard not to have a good time in Vegas. Especially when you have a three-day pass to your hotel spa.

By far, my favorite part of the trip was the food. Sure, we had the obligatory Fatburger experience, but we really expanded our culinary tastes this time. It was another vehicle for me to fulfill my life mission of spending as many waking hours as possible pretending I'm on "The Hills."

You can see my three favorite dining experiences here, here and here.

Ah, memories...

That said, I'm back to business, and the blog of course is in full swing. This week, you can count on me as your go-to destination for all your Halloween party needs. Look forward to posts dedicated to last-minute costume tips, as well as more complex issues, like whether a thong and a tail can be considered an appropriate devil costume.

Friday, October 24, 2008

sites i like: daily om

So I'm wrapping the week up with something a little tame...hoping you'll be experiencing just the right mix of hormonal imbalance and personal stress trauma to appreciate a little meditation.

Today's site is DailyOM.

It's a collection of inspirational musings. You know the stuff that thrives on little chirping birds and gently swaying willow trees.

Yeah, not exactly everyone's cup of tea, but I've found that sometimes it helps to just take a step back from life and breathe.

And hopefully, that's what my vacation did for me.

See you Monday!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

sites i like: custom t-shirts

It's both really cool and really dangerous that you can now make a reality out of a spontaneous musing of, "Hey, that should be on a T-shirt."

Recently, I found CustomInk.

Not only does the site let you design the slogan on your also lets you pick the font, pictures and even the shirt's style.

I may have even recently used it to design the best birthday present in the entire world for a certain someone.

Prices aren't even that bad...most shirts are around $25. No shipping costs, either.

So go ahead and get crazy. Just don't make a shirt that reads, "Tentaclesex." I already own that one. Looong story.

Coming Friday: That yoga pose makes you look really hot.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

sites i like: overheard at college

I recently renewed contact with some college friends, and the whole thing brought me a little glee because it's been years since I've seen anyone from my Wisconsin days.

I got a little nostalgic as we corresponded -- nostalgic not only in the sentimental way, but also in the cringe-accompanied, "did I really do that" kind of way.

Fortunately, I don't have a lot of friends, so these feelings only arise once every couple months.

Usually, when I'm looking to reminisce, I turn to sites like Overheard at College: The Campus Speaks.

It's a collection of -- you guessed it -- students' submissions of things randomly overheard at college. Oh, memories...

Coming Thursday: Go ahead, wear your insecurities on your sleeve. I'm serious.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

sites i like: meetways

I've dabbled in my share of long-distance loves, or at least infatuations, and it ain't a pretty setup.

From a practical standpoint alone, there's the constant debate of whose turn it is to make a road trip. I can only imagine how much harder those discussions have gotten with the economy's current state.

Fortunately, the Internet is here to help, thanks to MeetWays.

The site allows you to find a halfway point between two addresses. Whether they're in the same state, or across the country. You can even search by what kind of place you'd like to meet at.

So maybe that Topeka hottie isn't that far away after all.

Coming Wednesday: Beer pong. Easy Mac. All-nighters. Must be time for a little college regression.

Monday, October 20, 2008

sites i like: daily bedpost

Right now I'm likely en route to Vegas, playing with a hand puppet I've created out of an airplane barf bag. Hey, I have a short attention span.

Anyway, in these craftily prepared advance posts, I'm directing you to one diversion-packed Web site a day.

My first installment? Daily Bedpost.

It's pretty much your authoritative daily source on relationship advice. Imagine your favorite women's magazine without the obligatory "real life" story about a girl who gets raped/killed/tortured by an online fling who convinced her to travel across the country.

So check out the site and consider your dating dilemmas solved.

Coming Tuesday: One for all the long-distance relationship fans out there.

Friday, October 17, 2008

on vacation!

Believe it or not, I'm actually leaving the Columbus bubble for one week. Shocking, I know. Don't try to stop me.

I'll be on vacation in Vegas Monday through Friday, but that doesn't mean you have to stop reading this blog.

Barring any technical difficulties, I've made it so you'll get one post each day I'm gone. There won't be news on local hot spots, but rather I'll use each day to direct you to one of the many entertaining and diversion-rich Web sites I check daily.

I'm also performing a major upgrade to my camera and buying a memory stick so I'll no longer be limited to 13 pictures at a time. Stop laughing.

If I can find free Internet access, I'll post pics from Vegas.

Until then, stay tuned to the blog and feel free to post any lucky numbers.

what's going on this weekend?

Hey party people, here's your weekend lineup:


• DJ Booty, 10 p.m. Aqua Nightclub, free. 706-569-1165.

• The Relics, 10 p.m. Belloo's, $5. 706-494-1584.

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

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

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

Colossick, Souls Harbor, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

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

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

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


• DJ Booty, 10 p.m. Aqua Nightclub, free. 706-569-1165.

• The Relics, 10 p.m. Belloo's, $5. 706-494-1584.

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

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

The Coal Men with Matt Self, 9:30 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

Lowry, Fixer, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

Gini Woolfolk, 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659. All ages.

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

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

consider yourself warned

Just learned about, a free online service that alerts guys when their girlfriends are approaching "that time of the month."

OK, it's a little degrading -- especially the "national alert levels" at the top of the Web site -- but I'm kind of a fan. If nothing else, a little advance notice might encourage some compassion, not to mention an end to male-driven conversations that falsely ask, "Are you saying that because you're on your period?"

The only(?) creepy thing is how the site recommends guys track their sisters and moms, too. Um, totally TMI.

What do you think, ladies? Would you be offended if your bf signed up for the service? And guys, are PMS warnings a blessing or a curse?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

what's going on tonight?

Don't forget about the martini tasting every Thursday at Belloo's. From 8 p.m. until close, you can sample five miniature martinis. It's $20 for individuals, $35 for couples. There's no cover, and you can hit Belloo's Thursdays even if you're not participating in the tasting.

Here's the rest of your Thursday night lineup:

*Lee Holmes performs 6-10 p.m. at Picasso Pizza, 1020 Broadway. No cover. 706-576-6991.

*College night features karaoke with Mike V at The Roadhouse, 1047 Broadway. Doors open at 8 p.m. No cover.

*The local Southern rockers from Whisky Bent take the stage 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 around 8:30 p.m. No cover. 706-494-1584.

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

*Atlanta-based singer/songwriter Connor Christian performs at the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road. Show starts at 9 p.m. No cover. 706-507-3418.

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

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

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

great boyfriends?

While researching one of Wednesday's posts, I found, a dating site where members come with recommendations provided by exes, family members, friends, even co-workers.

The testimonials may have some benefit, but I imagine there are hardly any moms who would give a negative comment on their son's dating potential.

And there's nothing worse than being set up with a guy your friends rave about...only to go out with him, have an absolutely horrible night and then have deal with gently recapping things for your friends the next morning.

It reminds me of another one of my breakup pet peeves: when, while breaking up with you, a guy utters the infamous, "Any guy would be lucky to date you." That is such a joke.

Please ditch that line, boys. It doesn't make us feel any better. Especially if you say it right after cheating on us.

roadhouse hosts college night

Happy Thursday!

I'll kick things off by reminding you of tonight's college night promotion at The Roadhouse, 1047 Broadway, which gives patrons 50-cent draft beer. Mmm.

Open to partiers 21 and older, the night also features karaoke with Mike V. Doors open at 8 p.m.

I'll post the rest of tonight's offerings a little later this afternoon.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

bittersweet symphony

I'm talking about karaoke, of course.

Thursday's nightlife column is about some of my favorite karaoke cliches. You know, the audience members who sing along with the music like they're at a real concert. The female 20-something who takes the stage for a self-empowering round of "I Will Survive."

Now, basically every popular bar hosts at least one karaoke night a week. But if you're really looking to bask in karaoke as a night with, um, stories to tell your friends, try these often overlooked hot spots:

Lil Kim's Cove, 101 Fourth St., 706-323 -3315
Look no farther than this bar's Web site for evidence of its eclectic appeal: Among its featured karaoke regulars? Billy, aka: "Swivel Hips." I kid you not. Karaoke is Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Del Ranch Bar & Grill, 4920 Lee Road 430 Smiths, Ala.,
It's not just karaoke here. It's EXTREME karaoke. For real, that's how it's billed. The "extreme" component is what happens when the bar's staff chooses singers' selections. It happens Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

Saloon & Oyster Bar, 6005 Macon Road, 706-568-8400
I hit this hot spot Sunday night to take a photo my column and I had a blast. My only regret? That I couldn't rock out to the back-to-back songs dedicated to ladies 60 and older. Karaoke is Wednesdays and Sundays.

What's your favorite local karaoke hot spot?

gender lessons with beyonce

Thank God it took the friendly McDonald's employees six minutes to make my two McChicken sandwiches last night. Otherwise, I might not have been able to hear the new Beyonce song, "If I Were A Boy," while waiting in the drive-thru.

Let me tell you how much I love this song: a lot.

Basically the whole premise of the video is that a guy and his girlfriend switch places for a day and he realizes how awful it feels to be taken for granted. My favorite scene in the music video is when she makes him breakfast and he just scarfs down the food without even thanking her.

I think probably every girl in the world has wanted a guy to feel the sting that comes with feeling unappreciated like that.

OK, ladies...what did Beyonce forget? What would you do if you were a boy for a day?

free show!

Hey Wednesday night partiers...

The local Southern rockers from Strokin’ Dixie perform a free show tonight at Aqua Nightclub, 1812 Midtown Drive. Doors open at 5 p.m.

Open to partiers 21 and older, the show is part of a Wednesday night party that includes $1 draft beer and happy hour prices until 8 p.m. Call 706-569-1165.

the ex factor

Happy Hump Day!

Here's an interesting Chicago dating event that lets people set their exes up with more compatible matches. Assuming you've broken up amicably and there aren't lingering feelings, it could be a good idea. I mean, if you dated someone for a long time, you have a pretty good idea of who he or she would be attracted to, right?

But I'd be pretty creeped out if I met a guy through his ex-girlfriend's urging. Color me paranoid, but I'd regard any girl still involved in his dating life as competition.

How many exes would you recommend -- confidently -- as a potential romantic match for a friend?

A friend you don't want to be heartbroken and miserable, that is.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

ghosts, goblins, sarah palin

This piece predicts a surge in Sarah Palin costumes this Halloween. Slutty versions of the V.P. candidate, that is.

I say it's an accurate prediction. I think we'll see lots of political figures this year, as well as a lot of looks from the superhero movies that reigned supreme over the summer.

And of course, your Amy Winehouse and Britney Spears getups will always be popular. Maybe a little less Britney since she's, um, apparently normal now.

Coming this week: Haven't picked your fishnet-accompanied look yet? I'll hit local costume retailers to see which looks are still on the shelves.

personal hang ups

Today is the 25th anniversary of the first commercial wireless phone call, this article notes.

I jumped on the cell phone bandwagon a little late. I got my first one in my senior year of college, about five years ago. My current cell doesn't take pictures or really do anything cool at all. Sometimes I pretend it's a highly technical imported device when I use it as an alarm clock.

I still have a handful of friends without cell phones, but that number is dwindling.

I just don't think it's realistic to go without a cell now. I can't imagine my parents allowing me to embark on my cross-country drive here without constant phone access. I told this to someone opposed to cell phones, and he said, "Well, the Donner party made it across the country by wagon." Yeah, but they also got EATEN.

That said, I definitely have my cell phone gripes. The biggest of which is when people are talking on a phone while in the grocery store checkout and they don't even acknowledge the cashier through the whole transaction.

I have to say, though, I've learned to view many of my former cell phone pet peeves as just a fact of life.

In this day and age, is it possible to complain about cell phones without sounding like a crotchety old man?

free tuesday show!

Hey Tuesday night partiers...

Local party band Mindblender performs a free show tonight at the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road. Music starts around 8 p.m.

It's open to partiers 21 and older. Call 706-507-3418.

Monday, October 13, 2008

porn sex xxx

Talk about deceptive advertising. This Seattle-area church's "Porn and Pastries" event was actually an anti-pornography evening.

Nonetheless, it made for good blog inspiration, especially when combined with Newsweek's review of this book devoted to the "pornification" of today's youth.

True, things like stripper poles and Ron Jeremy cameos have become more mainstream. And I was even surprised to see "Privileged," a primetime show on the CW, include a scene when a teenager purchases porn to improve her moves.

I think part of it is just the natural effect of a culture that's become increasingly sexualized and more willing to test boundaries.

That said, it's tough dealing with all of it as a woman...especially given the usually college-level pressure to be the "cool girl" who watches explicit material with the guys, or at least lets her boyfriend enjoy it.

But as you get older, and more aware that the material represents something you're distinctly NOT, porn becomes more of a value question.

Are rumors of a cultural "pornification" overblown? Do you think there's any truth to cases like porn addiction?

smash it up

If dancing to your favorite power song doesn't unleash frustration, why don't you just break something?

Fortunately, smashing your favorite object doesn't have to result in a trip to psych ward anymore. At least if you live in San Diego.

That's where you'll find Sarah's Smash Shack, a store that lets people "throw, smash and destroy an array of breakable objects in two private rooms and release their energies and emotions without fear of reprisal."

Visit the store's Web site here.

Sounds fun. It kind of channels the same high you get from burning letters or pictures.

What's your favorite quasi-violent way to get closure?

instant euphoria

Happy Monday, everyone.

I can't help but notice that more and more of my friends have been down in the dumps lately. I think it's partially due to the changing seasons, and even more so a result of the shaky economy. At times, shaky finances make you reexamine the career choices you've made in your life. They also bring forward certain insecurities about the future you would have buried otherwise.

I haven't been exempt from it, either. But while analyzing some larger existential questions over the weekend, I realized I'd forgotten the importance of power music.

You know, that one song or music video -- yes, music videos still exist -- guaranteed to psych you up and make you believe you can conquer anything. For some people, it's a Jock Jams megamix. Others prefer a techno remix of Enrique Iglesias' "Hero." Hey, I'm not gonna judge.

My power song is the video included with this post -- Kelly Clarkson's performance of "Since U Been Gone" from the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards. For some reason, I can't get enough of it. And yes, I realize some psychological issues likely result from deriving energy from a song about self-reliance...but I don't care.

I feel better already.

What's your power song?

Friday, October 10, 2008

what's going on this weekend?

Don't forget Peggy Jenkins and the Bizness perform 7-10 p.m. on the stage on the 1100 block of Broadway Friday night.

In other weekend offerings:


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

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

*DJ Booty, 10 p.m. Aqua Nightclub, free. 706-569-1165.

*The Grayhill Conspiracy, 9 p.m. Scruffy Murphy's, $5. 706-322-3460.

*Peggy Jenkins and the Bizness, 10 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

*We All Look Like Jesus, Broken, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

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

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

*The Oneeders, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.


*The Grayhill Conspiracy (with Celtic Crossroads after-party), 9 p.m. ScruffyMurphy's, $5. 706-322-3460.

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

*DJ Booty, 10 p.m. Aqua Nightclub, free. 706-569-1165.

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

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

*Tim Brantley with Dreaden, 9:30 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

*Suburban Camouflage, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

*Grant Harvin, 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659. All ages.

*The Oneeders, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

survey says

Counting down the hours until the weekend, ladies? Yeah, me too.

Fortunately, you can occupy a good 5 minutes of your time by filling out this Maxim survey designed to give guys an idea of what women really want.

If only guys actually paid attention to this stuff.

I once read a book about Japanese whorehouses that showcased the sexual preference surveys clients filled out before getting it on. At risk of making sex even more demeaning and business-like, I really wish a similar practice was in place here.

In relationships, not whorehouses.

Imagine how much easier things would be if upon the onset of physical activity, you filled out a simple 7- to 10-item survey informing your partner of your likes and dislikes.

Even if he'd just be following a set of paper guidelines, it sure beats disappointment that comes when you expect every guy to have an innate knowledge of what you want.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

speak up, bitches

Salon has a feature about a woman who upon reading studies pointing to females' unwillingness to negotiate, decided to directly ask for at least one thing every day for a year. She details her experiences in this blog.

While I disagree with images of the typical passive female, I do think there are areas in which women don't stand up for themselves enough. It's generally a decision driven by a fear of controversy.

Or, just as often, a fear of sounding selfish.

In relationships, I often devise three-item lists of things that would make me happier. I've even gone to the length of reciting the list in front of a mirror. But I've never actually followed through and publicly conveyed the requests.

There's part of my mind that says no relationship can be perfect, and it's silly to focus on petty things that would make ME happy.

But actually, that's a pretty stupid thought. Regardless of whether your request is honored, asking for something alone can be empowering.

And if your partner immediately refuses to hear you out?

Well, that's an answer to another question.

what's going on tonight?

Here are some standout options for Thursday night partiers.

*Lee Holmes performs 6-10 p.m. at Picasso Pizza, 1020 Broadway. No cover. 706-576-6991.

*The Atlanta and Athens, Ga.-based rockers from Ponderosa entertain 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.

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

*Birmingham-based rock act The Reloaders entertain at the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road. Show starts at 9 p.m. No cover. 706-507-3418.

*Scruffy Murphy's, 1037 Broadway, hosts Alabama-based rocker Tony Brook and his band. Music starts at 10 p.m. No cover. 706-322-3460.

*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.

Events at Picasso Pizza and Fountain City Coffee are open to all ages. All other events are 21 and older.

know your party

Happy Thursday!

Today's nightlife column is about talking politics on a date. Most people say it's generally a "don't" in a relationship's early stages, but avoiding those discussions seems a little more difficult during election season.

Even beyond dates, people seem more likely to bring up politics on the nightlife scene. Maybe even more so with me, because when I say I'm a journalist, they immediately assume I'm some authoritative source on all things political. At a recent Saturday night party, some guy out of the blue turned to me and said, "You're a reporter. What do you think about the election?"

I hate unprompted serious debates. The question I just mentioned generally gives hives.

It's not so much the speaking component of political discussions that I fear, but rather the fact that often you're expected to have a firm, substantiated stance on every facet of the political arena.

On some policy areas, my views are still evolving -- so much that I can't immediately answer every question with an emphatic tirade about what needs to be changed.

But I guess half the battle is just being open to the discussion itself, even if it comes in the middle of a Saturday night party. It's nice to know partiers are capable of debating something other than which kind of martini to order.

And I hope at least a few people get a little turned on when I publicly use the word "dichotomy."

For more about the election, read the Ledger's political blog here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

break up & make up

I had to tame my chick flick-inspired giddiness upon reading reports that Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman are back together. They're so cute.

The reported reconciliation got me thinking about how many of my couple friends, married ones included, have broken up at least once. And then gotten back together.

It seems as if the term "breakup" has lost some of its finality. I've had many friends sever ties with a partner and then, upon describing the situation, optimistically say, "We'll see what happens."

With that understanding, couples often spend their time apart just waiting to get back together.

Must every "successful" couple break up at least once?

is rachael ray gay?

Find out the answer to that question during tonight's open mike at The Loft, 1032 Broadway.

I got an e-mail from Erin Collins, an out-of-towner performing at the event. Among her song collection? An ode to Rachael Ray in which the singer tells the chef she'll be hers for less than $40 a day. She also sings about STDs...always a good time.

Check out Erin Collins' MySpace here.

The open mike starts around 8:30 p.m. No cover. Call 706-596-8141.

drunk missives

Gmail has this new tool, "Mail Goggles," to prevent you from sending that sappy, alcohol-inspired e-mail.

Enable the application and you'll be asked to solve some math problems before the e-mail goes through, thus highlighting any sobriety problems.

What a great idea. I think every girl has received an emotional, feelings-laden e-mail from an otherwise detached guy -- and then watched him be clueless at any mention of the note the next morning.

I try to resist an urge to drink and type. Having no Internet at home definitely helps.

When I do send such e-mails, however, I try to convince myself that I'm just expressing my real, "Dawson's Creek"-inspired emotions.

And that I probably wouldn't be able to solve those Gmail math problems while sober, anyway.

jamie lynn pregnant again?

The National Enquirer says Jamie Lynn Spears, 17, is preggers again. She gave birth three months ago.

An excerpt:

Jamie’s desperate to keep the shock­ing news secret and some people close to her are urging Jamie Lynn to consider ending the pregnancy, sources say.

“Jamie Lynn is about eight weeks pregnant, and she and her mom Lynne are hysterical,” revealed a close source. “Neither of them knows what to do, but for now they’re trying to keep the news from getting out.”

Too late.

Wow. I really hope this isn't true...but I'd love all the ensuing media drama if it did prove accurate.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

clothing optional

Summer weather may be on its way out, but here's a handy little list of nude sunbathing tips courtesy of a clothing-optional resort and spa in California.

Among my favorite suggestions: Fashionistas who still need their fashion moment in the sun, can wear slinky cover ups to match their sandals and hats or visors. If you like bling, wear flirty ankle chains or toe rings. Jeweled hair clips can complete your birthday suit ensemble.

Yeah, because I'm sure when you're naked in front of someone, his eyes are going to go directly to your flirty ankle chain or toe ring.

I once went on a date to a half-naked, half-clothed beach. I had all these visions of us becoming one with the environment and allowing sand to travel where the sun usually doesn't shine. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the naked section of the beach, the sights weren't pretty. And I'm not referring to the endless rows of seagull crap.

Nude beaches: Bare is sexy, or barely sexy?

(Via Daily Scanner)

free tuesday show!

Hey Tuesday partiers...

The local rockers from Forced Entry perform a free show tonight at the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road. Music starts around 9 p.m.

It's open to partiers 21 and older. Call 706-507-3418.

beauty cents

Bummed about the economy? It's the perfect time to set your facial muscles into into permanent emotionless bliss.

This article says that despite shaky finances, most women are still indulging in expensive makeup and cosmetic procedures like Botox.

Must be nice. I'm approaching my eight-month anniversary of life without manicures and pedicures -- an indulgence I gave up when my bank account started losing its stability.

Sure, every girl has her favorite beauty indulgence, but over the past few years I'm sure I've spent a total of over $100 on things that are completely unnecessary. Two words: eyelash curler.

What do you think is the most unnecessary beauty product on the market?

Monday, October 6, 2008


Men love cats, according to this NY Times piece.

An excerpt:

Although there are no hard (or soft) statistics (it is rare to find an owner, man or woman, walking a cat in public), it seems that single, heterosexual male cat owners are on the rise. Over the last few years Sandra DeFeo, an executive director at the Humane Society of New York, said she had seen an increase in the number of single, straight men who are adopting cats.

The whole obsession is actually kind of cute. Is it weird that perusing this site, "Men and Cats," was kinda like the digital equivalent of "The Notebook"?

But just when you're feeling all sentimental about things, there's the sinking realization that the average guy has said "I love you" to his cat more often than he'll say it to you in your entire lifetime.

Thanks, guys.

Read more about animals in the Ledger's pet blog here.

last name

Happy Monday!

I'll kick the week off with this article, which describes the (slowly) growing trend of men taking their wives' last names.

It coincides with a scene from last night's episode of "Desperate Housewives," in which one character's husband expressed disappointment at her unwillingness to take his last name.

My mom kept her maiden name, and the majority of my journalism friends have done the same. It's kind of hard to have the same byline for three years and then abruptly surprise your readers.

While I was enrolled in a Spanish conversation course, one of our discussions focused on the implications of taking a husband's last name. One of my classmates said it wasn't a big deal, and I remember our professor freaking out in response.

"Su apellido es su identidad! Su apellido es su identidad!"

("Your last name is your identity! Your last name is your identity!")

I've already decided I'll keep my last name if I ever get married. Not so much for value-based reasons, but mainly because I have a pretty poor history of filling out government paperwork in a timely fashion.

Married readers: Is a decision to keep your last name driven mainly by personal identity issues, or more practical concerns?

Friday, October 3, 2008

what's going on this weekend?

Here's your weekend lineup:


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

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

• "Tim Takes Over" party, 11 p.m. Aqua Nightclub, free. 706-569-1165.

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

Pipers Down, 10 p.m. Scruffy Murphy's, block party cover. 706-322-3460.

Keni Thomas and Cornbread with Jessi Lynn, 9:30 p.m. The Loft, block party cover. 706-596-8141.

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

Pistoltown, 8 p.m. Daileys, block party cover. 706-320-3353.

• DJs Ms. B and Fran, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, block party cover.


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

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

• "Memory Lane Old School Reunion," 7 p.m. Aqua Nightclub, free. 706-569-1165.

Wicked Dixie, 7 p.m. Ossahatchee Oyster Bar, free. 706-582-2629.

Martians See Red, The Bastard Suns, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

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

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

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

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

• Clayton and Lauren Michelle Miller, 9:30 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

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

weekend standouts

I'll post your weekend music lineup a little later, but I just wanted to alert you to a couple special offerings:

*The Uptown Concert Series returns Friday with a performance by jazz artists Lou Vallee and Suzanne Swan. They'll perform 7-10 p.m. on the stage on Broadway's 1100 block. It's free and open to all ages.

*There's a First Friday Block Party that gets you into the majority of Broadway hot spots for one cover, usually $8-$10.

*Among the block party's offerings? The Keni Thomas show at The Loft, 1032 Broadway. Singer-songwriter Thomas is a former Army Ranger and Columbus resident who's gearing up for the release of his second disc. Show starts at 9:30 p.m.

*This weekend marks a change in command at Aqua Nightclub, 1812 Midtown Drive. The club was Memory Lane for nearly two decades before it became Aqua earlier this year. Now, it's going back to those Memory Lane roots. Grand opening is 11 p.m. Friday, a "Tim Takes Over" party starts at 7 p.m. Saturday. No cover.

*Finally, Saturday marks the Shanty Shack's first Bikerfest, an event to benefit a local 1-year-old girl diagnosed with cancer. It's free, but a portion of the day's sales will go to the cause. Held from noon to 7 p.m., the day includes food, games, raffles and a bike wash. Live music from JB Walker and the Cheap Whiskey Band, Forced Entry and Haywire.


Here's a list of "10 people from your past who will haunt you on Facebook."

You know the suspects: the ex, the former best friend and the guy who never moved on from high school. You've received a Facebook message from at least one of them, and the list points out that those kind of messages have one major subtext:

"I'm better than you."

I'd like to add one type of person to Facebook's cast of annoying characters: the girl still basking in marital bliss.

Symptoms = a profile pic from her wedding that happened six months ago, daily status updates involving the word "hubby" and psychotic impulses to delete all social networking references to her maiden name.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

cheap date: $1 menus

By no means do I endorse fast food restaurants as places to woo women. Nor do I think proposals or paternity test results should sit against a backdrop of deep-fried onion rings.

But damn...have you SEEN the fast food deals available lately?

Today I went to Burger King for lunch and had a Whopper Jr., a small serving of onion rings, a Spicy Chick'n Crisp Sandwich and a frozen Coke.

Let's not focus on my voracious appetite and stunted digestive system, but instead turn our attention to the fact that all those items are on the $1 BK Value Menu, thereby costing a total of $4.24.

My taste in cheap fast food doesn't discriminate. I've long been a fan of the $1 menu at McDonald's, where you've traditionally been able to get entrees like the Double Cheeseburger and the McChicken sandwich.

But articles like this one say the Double Cheeseburger is on its way out of the $1 menu -- going for an exorbitant $1.19 -- so (cheaply) buy your way to a fast food lover's heart before it's too late.

And if you're really lucky, you might find a date sweet enough to buy you a sausage breakfast burrito from McDonald's the next morning.

It goes for $1.

what's going on tonight?

Here are some standout options for Thursday night partiers.

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

*SoHo Bar & Grill, 5751 Milgen Road, hosts Atlanta-based metal act Inviolate. Music starts at 10 p.m. Cover is $5, free for military. 706-568-3316.

*The Montgomery, Ala.-based rockers from Surgestone take the stage at the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road. Show starts at 9 p.m. No cover. 706-507-3418.

*Atlanta party band Java Monkey 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.

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

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

who gets fido?

Here's an interesting piece about the custody battles couples wage...over pets.

Laugh, but I understand how fighting over your favorite four-legged friend could be a real issue. So real, in fact, that even courts and divorce lawyers are getting involved in the process, the article says.

Pets can intensify the pain of a breakup even when you don't have joint custody.

Sometimes, even if an ex has treated you like complete crap and you have no desire of seeing him again, you still really, really miss his dog. Or cat. Or hermit crab. You get the picture.

It's those little traces that rarely make a couple's journey toward splitsville a clean break.

Read more about animals on the Ledger's pet blog here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

cost of protection

Economy week at "The Walk of Shame" supports splitting the cost of meals. Alcohol. Hotel rooms.

But birth control?

The debate over whether couples should split the cost of birth control has hit both the blogosphere and this "Dear Abby" column. In it, Abby tells a woman that just because she and her boyfriend split living expenses, she shouldn't expect him to chip in for her birth control pills.

I'd never have this discussion with a guy, simply because it would make me feel incredibly cheap.

Then again, even the smallest expenses seem to add up when the economy's on the rocks -- especially if you don't have health insurance.

Is it outrageous to ask a guy to share the cost of birth control?

cheap date: margarita madness

I've never really understood what's up with every single Columbus Mexican restaurant having margarita night on Wednesday. Like, wouldn't you want to pick a different day to lessen your competition?

Nonetheless, if you're looking to finesse a date who's adverse to beer, local Wednesday margarita specials are a good option. You can usually guzzle two jumbo-sized ones for under $10. Mmm.

Try La Margarita, 5300 Sidney Simons Blvd. I chose it because it's the newest Mexican restaurant in town, and it has perhaps the most functional Web site.

Note: I've never tried the food, but the margaritas are good.

Head to the hot spot Mondays and Wednesdays and enjoy 16 oz. margaritas for $2.49, or 28 oz. margaritas for $3.99.

Just be careful. Tequila makes some people drink to forget.

mistakes men make

Ladies, think of the most horrendous thing a guy has said while trying to get you into bed.

That line is probably included in this Jezebel piece, "A guy's guide to not getting it on." It's a list of bulleted "you just blew your chance" items based largely on the author's personal experiences.

The list has attracted so much Internet attention that it now includes over 300 comments from readers, who describe guys who thwarted their chances of getting laid by doing things as horrendous as showcasing hair plug scars.

It also snagged the interest of this columnist, who contends that the list of pet peeves proves "that modern man is an impossible position when it comes to seduction." An excerpt:

Men need to convey sexual desire without sexualising the person in front of them, need to be authoritative, opening doors, paying bills, deciding where to go and so on (recent research found that 60 per cent of women would consider it a bad first date if they paid), yet treat women as absolute equals.

Calm down. The journey toward the bedroom can be difficult, but it's not like guys aren't getting any action.

I think the point of lists like the one featured on Jezebel is to remind women they don't have to put up with blatantly disrespectful lines just because the guy is hot. Or he looks good on paper. Or you're worried you won't find anyone else.

Because no one deserves to be seduced with a conversation that makes them cringe. No matter how good a story it provides later.

breast day ever

Today marks the start of the Blogger Boobie-Thon, in which you can donate to breast cancer research and be rewarded by gaining access to a picture of your favorite blogger's rack.

It's free to peruse the basic gallery, which includes lots of cleavage shots. Make a donation and you'll get to see images a little more risque.

If nothing else, you'll at least get to guess whether I'm on there. (Pictures are faceless.)

Sure beats buying a pink vacuum cleaner!

(Via YesButNoButYes)