Wednesday, November 26, 2008

shiny objects

With this weekend's shopping frenzy comes the harsh realization that in a matter of weeks, you're going to have to pretend to be excited about gifts that suck.

Yeah, I said it.

Sure, you'll get a fair share of usable, even enviable, presents.

But then -- perhaps even more commonly -- there's the obviously recycled dollar store gift. The XXL nightie for your 110-pound frame. And, maybe the worst of all, the utilitarian power tool that shatters your dreams of sparkle.

You wanted "bling," but you got "blech."

Maybe it's time to take the jewelry expectation away from guys.

Delamina is an online jewelry retailer whose advertising strategy relies on the idea that women should buy jewelry -- even the pricey kind -- for themselves.

Click on the company's Web site and you'll see purchase justifications like "because the wine you opened was older than he was" and "because he is not doing it for you."

Read Salon's critique of the ad campaign here.

OK ladies: How much, if anything, would you be willing to spend on a piece of jewelry for yourself? No special occasion involved.

thank you!

Just wanted to take a minute to wish everyone happy Thanksgiving.

I'll be staying in C-town for the holiday, celebrating with friends before interviewing all those chipper shoppers Friday morning.

With luck, you'll spend Nov. 27 challenging the limits of your elastic waistline and constructing witty responses to questions about why you're not yet married. But if you have time -- as cheesy as this sounds -- take a couple seconds to count your blessings.

I, for one, am thankful to have food in the freezer, a full list of contacts in my cell phone and people who have spent enough time with me to know that I twirl my hair when I'm thinking about something important.

Also, I'm grateful you've included this blog in your daily routine and I secretly hope that at least five of you are actually stalking me.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

thanksgiving eve parties

Happy hump day!

Thanksgiving Eve is widely considered the biggest party night of the year, which I guess makes sense...since people want to both catch up with old friends in town and temporarily escape their relatives before tomorrow's family extravaganza.

Local hot spots will lure partiers with a variety of promotions tonight, the most interesting of which is the mechanical bull contest.

Seriously. Nothing puts you in the holiday spirit better than being named Sexiest Buck-N-Babe the night before Thanksgiving.

Here's the party lineup:

*Downtown bars will host a block party in which one cover charge (usually $7-$10) gives you access to the majority of Broadway hot spots.

*Columbus hot spot H2O, 6499 Veterans Parkway, will host a mechanical bull-riding contest designed to find the Sexiest Buck-N-Babe and Best Buck-N-Bronc.

*SoHo Bar & Grill, 5751 Milgen Road, will celebrate with a performance by the Atlanta-based rockers from Holdcell.

*The Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road, will be open tonight with DJ music.

I'll update if I learn of anything else.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

major letdown

Dear Sugar discusses some findings that say 5 to 10 percent of newlyweds experience "postnuptial depression" so strong that they decide to seek professional help.

Given the magnitude that now characterizes the average wedding, it doesn't surprise me. This is exactly why I've always wanted a very, very small ceremony.

Seriously...people spend like two years devoting their lives planning this big event and then -- bam! -- they have nothing to do but watch "King of Queens" reruns.

Also, I think there's an expectation your relationship will somehow change once you're legally able to attach the terms "husband" and "wife" to it.

Or maybe couples are just sad because their wedding DJ didn't honor the "no chicken dance" request.

Think there's any validity to postnuptial depression?

(via The Frisky)

free show!

Here's one for all you Tuesday night partiers:

The Mobile, Ala.-based Southern rockers from the Wes Loper Band perform a free show tonight at the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road. Music starts at 8 p.m.

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

dinner drama

Holy Taco lists the 7 most annoying people at Thanksgiving dinner. My favorite? "The Person With The Secret Everyone Already Knows."

Here's the description:

You'll know this person is coming to your thanksgiving about three and a half minutes before they get there, because you're mother will pull you aside and say, "Ben is coming. Now, he's gay, but he hasn't come out to the family yet, so don't say anything about gay things. Everyone, did you hear that? Ben is coming and he's gay, but he hasn't come out yet!"

My addition to the list would be the family member known for inescapable conversations. Or maybe that one weird person who eats with your relatives every holiday, but still not quite sure how he or she is related to you.

Who annoys you most on Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 24, 2008

perfect harmony

People has an interesting video montage of celebrities naming their favorite makeout music.

Actually, it's more of a lesson of how to successfully avoid a question, seeing as the majority of stars say they don't like to make out to music. (With the exception of the 17-year-old chick who says "techno.")

But the dubious responses don't surprise me.

Seriously...I always thought that getting busy with a soundtrack in the background was something reserved for high schoolers and Kenny G groupies.

If a guy put on a CD before trying to kiss me, I'd either laugh or, even worse, think it was time for karaoke.

Love soundtracks: Tacky or turn-on?

spencer and heidi married

Spencer and Heidi of "The Hills" have eloped, according to reports from Perez Hilton.

Can't say I'm really surprised. I guess it just proves that if you really want to live happily ever after, all you have to do is get a boob job and be willing to disregard all words of caution from your family and friends.

Something tells me that the vows -- at least one half of them -- involved repeated use of "bro."

How long do you think it'll last?


Jezebel introduces its readers to the Metrognome, a term describing the many males who go all lumberjack with their personal style once winter arrives.

After four years of college in Wisconsin, I am more than familiar with this species. Frequently defined by weird facial hair, flannel and an ill-fitting coat. Maybe a toboggan cap made of hemp, depending on how many illegal drugs are involved.

But as one of Jezebel's commenters points out, most women aren't in the best place to judge.

During winter months, my razor hibernates longer than the typical bear.

I get it: Winter gives us a lot more leeway as far as personal grooming is concerned. But my beard tolerance is limited.

Beards: Facial warmth or makeout hazard?

the lost art of the letter

Happy Monday!

Feeling glum? Then click over to Zoomdoggle, where you can submit your address and receive a hand-written love letter. Absolutely free. No stalker potential attached, either. (via Lemondrop)

Now I'll take a moment to lament the loss of the paper letter. In a typical relationship, most statements of affection are reduced to e-mails. Which is better than nothing, but you only get so much erotic rush out of a smiley face emoticon...if you know what I mean.

At a loss of hand-written letters, I save every text message I receive from a significant other when I'm in a relationship. Here's a sampling of that collection:

"U at home?"

"B dere soon."

"I b a lil late."

So yeah...not necessarily a round of sweet nothings, but I think the whole appeal of letters is having something tangible to look at on a lonely night and say, "Hey, at least one person in the world really likes me."

Times change, and if "where ya at" is the new "you are my everything," I'll take it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

what's going on this weekend?

Have fun, everyone! Here's your lineup:


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

•DJ D Rock and Steve Mills, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

Java Monkey, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, $5. 706-494-1584.

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

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

Last Episode, 9 p.m. Scruffy Murphy’s, $5. 706-322-3460.

Black As Day, Blood Veil, SMI, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.


•DJ music, 5 p.m. Aqua Nightclub, free. 706-569-1165.

Java Monkey, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, $5. 706-494-1584.

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

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

•DJ D Rock and Steve Mills, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

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

Last Episode, 9 p.m. Scruffy Murphy’s, $5. 706-322-3460.

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

no gifts. seriously?

Lemondrop directed me to this article, which says 62 percent of women are asking friends and family to give them no gifts for the holidays this year because of the poor economy.

If a woman in your life has made this claim, TREAD LIGHTLY.

This is one of my least favorite passive-aggressive things women do.

I'm sure there are many women within the 62 percent who genuinely do not want gifts. But I think there's also a good share of women within that percentage who will say they don't want gifts...but then complain post-holiday about not getting anything.

Even when I get an invitation that specifies "no gifts," I always bring a little something...because I think it's very rare to find someone who isn't secretly expecting it.

Then ago, maybe by doing so I look like I'm trying upstage everyone who pays attention to the "no gifts" request.

How do you handle someone who tells you to forgo a gift?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

america's next top model

I guess now is an appropriate time for me to come out of the closet and admit how much I love "America's Next Top Model."

I think there's a sick part of my personality that likes to be tortured by images of Tyra yelling at me for not smiling enough with my eyes.

Anyway, I'm proud to say that this season's winner, McKey -- er, Brittany...long story -- is a current student at my college.

And ANTM's third-place finalist, Analeigh, graduated from my high school. Random, I know.

I guess this post has no point other than to tell the world that I surround myself with beautiful people.

Oh, and I guess I'll link to this clip of Tyra telling the world to kiss her fat...well, you know how the story ends.

Man, ANTM Cycle 12 cannot come soon enough.

killing time

This MSNBC article is critical of the mindset of dating someone "in the meantime." That is, being in a relationship while hoping to one day find someone better.

I agree with the basic premise -- it's never a good idea to be in a relationship just for the sake of being in a relationship. And you should never date someone simply to avoid being lonely.

Still, at a relationship's early stages, it's very rare that both partners are completely convinced they've found the mate of their dreams.

In fact, I've seen many girls ditch a guy before even getting out of that awkward first-few-dates phase. The reason? They were afraid of getting into the "in the meantime" trap.

Do you think a fear of lower standards sometimes prevents people from giving a significant other a fair chance?

what's going on tonight?

Don't worry...I won't tell anyone if you start the weekend a little early. Here's your Thursday night lineup:

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

• Open mike, 9 p.m. After 5, free. 706-507-0024.

• College night featuring karaoke with DJ Mike V and 50-cent draft beer, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

DJ OO Kee anniversary party featuring an appearance by Common, 9 p.m. Tabu Night Club, $10.

• Open mike, 8 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659.

Java Monkey, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, free. 706-494-1584.

• Eleven, 9 p.m. Shanty Shack, free. 706-507-3418.

WILX, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5 (free for military). 706-568-3316.

battle of the bulge

You know the holiday season has arrived when people start writing articles about how to disclose your extra cushion for the pushin'.

Lemondrop has this collection of stylish, yet figure-forgiving, outfits to wear to a holiday feast.

Guilty about opting for the good old elastic waistline? Don't be. Today, Best Week Ever reassures us that even Eva Longoria occasionally has to have some fun with Spanx.

When I'm bloated, I unfortunately can't resist hopping into the one female getup that is perhaps universally hated by males:

The velour tracksuit.

Somebody tactfully calls it my "Wal-Mart outfit."

Whatever. You'd think differently if the came your size, guys.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

addicted to losers?

After her most recent ex ended up in prison, Anne Hathaway is back on the dating saddle -- and has paired herself with another stellar catch.

This guy's friends describe him as "an opportunist," according to some gossip sites.

In the aforementioned article, a source says it's as if Anne is "addicted to losers."

Usually, when a girl dates a chain of good-for-nothing guys, outsiders' natural instinct is to blame bad dating luck on one of the victims' personal problems. Say, daddy issues or low self-esteem.

But do you think it's possible for someone to just genuinely have bad luck when it comes to romantic taste?

Does choosing a bunch of wrong men always mean you're due for some serious self-analysis?

wednesday show!

Entertainers compete in tonight's Rivertown Showdown at The Loft, 1032 Broadway. The weekly competition starts at 8 p.m. and lets audience members vote for their favorite performer.

Now in its fourth week, the contest spans six Wednesdays and a total of 48 performers. Each week, a winner and one finalist advance to the quarterly showdown. There's a weekly cash prize, plus quarterly prizes.

Tonight's lineup includes Tripp Wrigley, Dallas Dorsey, Brian Hite, Gini Woolfolk, John McGee, Garrett Lee, Sam McDuffie and Tony Thomas.

Cover is $3. For information about performing in the competition, call 706-718-1616.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

best. tool. ever.

I just wasted about 20 minutes of valuable company time on Generatus, an online tool that generates all sorts of Facebook statuses.

Here's a sampling of what I got:

*Sonya is single, broke and loves Barry Manilow - wanna go out?

*Sonya is contemplating upon an imponderable paradox.

*Sonya is wondering: Why is it that most nudists are people you don't want to see naked?

*Sonya is just working here till a good fast-food job opens up.

These status updates are based on absolutely no user-specific information. But I can actually see people writing this stuff.

That's what makes it so hilarious.

name of shame

Last week, I wrote about girls who think male baldness is a no-go when it comes to dating.

Now, an even pickier dealbreaker: Names.

This Jezebel article, via College Candy, asks if there are any names you won't date.

My answer? Yes.

I'm sure I'd make some exceptions for true love, but I'd be very hesitant to date someone with the same name as my dad. Or brother. Or anyone with the same name as one of my more despicable exes.

There's probably some other grimace-worthy names I'd insert into the list, too. Refer to everybody's favorite character from "Growing Pains."

Do you have any dealbreaker names?

naked men

Forgive me...I never properly lamented the loss of life's scantily clad handymen.

Playgirl's final issue -- EVER -- recently arrived on newsstands.

This NY Times article details the former magazine's inner workings, contradicting any beliefs that Playgirl was controlled by a cluster of female nymphos.

Amazingly, it was run by just three editors and a bunch of unpaid interns. Collectively, they tried to make Playgirl feminism's answer to Playboy -- attempting to fill the pages with thought-provoking articles instead of just naked guys.

(In the NY Times piece, one of the editors describes most nude male models as "mimbos.")

Anyway, the aforementioned goal didn't work out so well.

Honestly, my biggest brush with Playgirl came when I frequently bought it as a birthday gift for female friends.

They never really knew if it was a gag gift or something I genuinely thought would turn them on. I love ambiguous reactions.

So now, I have one less birthday gift option. And one less chance to see my favorite Latin heartthrob wearing nothing but a tool belt.

Playgirl, you will be missed.

free show!

Here's one for all you Tuesday night partiers:

Connor Christian, a singer-songwriter from Atlanta, performs a free show tonight at the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road. Music starts at 8 p.m.

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

Monday, November 17, 2008

phone a friend?

Simon Cowell and Terri Seymour recently broke up after six years of dating. BUT they still talk to each other daily, according to articles like this one.

Does anyone else think that's weird?

Even if you break up amicably, I think exes should have a no-contact period. Otherwise, if you're talking daily and still relying on the other person as your primary support net, you might as well be dating.

Sure, you can just be friends. But with daily contact immediately following a breakup, there's a good chance one half of the relationship is operating under a belief that the romance can be resuscitated.

After a breakup, how long should you wait before pursuing a friendship with an ex?

what women want

Here's an interesting article from a woman who earlier this year wrote a piece about a resistance among single young males (SYMs) to settle down, get married and start a family.

In the most recent article, she expands on that thesis with insights she gained based on the deluge of reader comments that followed the story.

The lesson? Today's women are complicated (guy translation: "psycho") and for many guys, opting for extended immersion in video games and "Family Guy" is better than trying to decipher what the opposite sex really wants.

An excerpt:

As the disenchanted SYM sees it, then, resistance to settling down is a rational response to a dating environment designed and ruled by women with only their own interests in mind. “Men see all of this, and wonder if it’s really worth risking all in the name of ‘romance’ and ‘growing up,’ ” a correspondent who calls himself Wytchfinde explains. “After all, if women can be hedonistic and change the rules in midstream when it suits them, why shouldn’t men? Why should men be responsible when women refuse to look into the mirror at their own lack of accountability?”

I thought about this lately, when I heard a guy try to pick up a woman by saying, "I just want to be in love."

Immediately, she blew him off, noting -- as I would have, too -- that she wanted a guy who would be in love with her, not just in love.

But something tells me that decades ago, his line would be interpreted as a genuine romantic gesture.

Have women made dating too complicated?

weekend musings

What a great weekend. Saturday afternoon, we made a trek to Auburn for some shopping at Cost Plus World Market. I'd forgotten that this store was so close, and with the most recent trip I realized it's a pretty good local substitute for Trader Joe's.

If you haven't been there, it's a store with a pretty stellar wine selection, plus a lot of exotic foods and stuff for the home. A good place for early Christmas shopping, if you're that ambitious.

I simply seized the trip as a chance to buy some microwavable basmati rice and a sweet bottle of wine called "Il Bastardo."

Later that night, I made it to both the Modern Skirts at The Loft and Journey tribute band Chain Reaction at The Roadhouse.

The Skirts rocked The Loft as usual, but the night's biggest surprise was how big a crowd showed up for the Journey tribute show. We're talking wall-to-wall people.

I stayed for about six songs, including "Don't Stop Believin,'" and I have to say it was weird/cool to see 20- and 30-somethings get so excited about a song catalog that's more than 20 years old.

The only drawback to a night's worth of Journey songs? The huge potential for slow dances.

Two words: "Open Arms."

Friday, November 14, 2008

what's going on this weekend?

Need weekend plans? You have two great live music options Saturday: Modern Skirts at The Loft, and Journey tribute band Chain Reaction at The Roadhouse. I'm going to try to make it to both shows.

Oh, and in the process of compiling this list I learned that the Saloon & Oyster Bar now serves Sunday brunch beginning at 10 a.m. Come for brunch, stay for football. And Nascar.

Here's the full rundown:


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

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

• 4 Play, 5 p.m. Aqua Nightclub, free. 706-569-1165.

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

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

• DJ D Rock and Steve Mills, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

Claiborne & Friends, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, free. 706-494-1584.

Chicago Afrobeat Project, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.


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

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

• DJ music, 5 p.m. Aqua Nightclub, free. 706-569-1165.

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

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

Chain Reaction, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, $5.

Claiborne & Friends, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, free. 706-494-1584.

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

The Killing Ground, Ashes of Addiction, Trap County, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

Modern Skirts, 9 p.m. The Loft, $8. 706-596-8141.

don't stop believin'

Happy Friday! Is it just me, or has this week been, like, the slowest five days ever?

Today College Candy has this piece about alcohol's common tendency to make you want to sing. True on all counts.

I'm not picky with my drunken singing, although I do have a soft spot for Pearl Jam's "Daughter." Then again, I voluntarily listen to Hanson when I'm sober, so this is all relative.

I can't write about drunk singing without mentioning a college roommate who bought a karaoke machine for our room -- and generally only busted it out after 2 a.m. Annoying? Only if you lack musical appreciation for Mandy Moore's "Candy."

Anyway, "Don't Stop Believin'" is the most commonly cited drunk-singing tune in the College Candy piece.

Coincidentally, my nightlife column this week is about that very song's appeal.

When Journey tribute band Chain Reaction comes to The Roadhouse Saturday, they are likely to cash in on some serious drunk singers. Hopefully, I'll get pictures.

What's your favorite song to perform while drunk?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

the waiting game?

Here's an interesting USA Today article, assuming you're able to get past the somewhat awkwardly worded headline: "Sooner vs. later: Is there an ideal age for first marriage?"

It discusses something that's come up before on this blog -- the idea of setting an age deadline for when you'd like to be married.

In certain cases, I don't understand such deadlines. Like the girls who want to be engaged by the time they're done with college. I really think that goal deprives you of the personal growth you get from tackling the real world alone for your first year or so out of school.

I don't think you should use the deadline to settle, or prematurely move a relationship to a level of seriousness it doesn't deserve.

Still, I think once you get into a long-term relationship, it's fine to say, "I want us to be married in two years." Or whatever.

Does that make things to business-like? Maybe. But staying on cruise control without discussing an ultimate destination seems to often set one partner up for disappointment.


what's going on tonight?

Last week I finally made it to the weekly Thursday martini tasting at Belloo's, 900 Front Ave. We had a blast, and I'd definitely recommend it. You get five delicious mini martinis at $20 for individuals, $35 for couples. The action starts at 8 p.m. and continues throughout the night. No cover.

Also, don't forget about the H2O show I mentioned earlier today.

In other Thursday night offerings:

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

• Greg Barrett, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, free. 706-494-1584.

• Open mike, 9 p.m. After 5, free. 706-507-0024.

Lynam, 9 p.m. Shanty Shack, free. 706-507-3418.

• College night featuring karaoke with DJ Mike V and 50-cent draft beer, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

rhett akins at H2O

A limited number of tickets remain for tonight's Rhett Akins show at H2O, 6499 Veterans Parkway.

The country music singer is known for his signature song, "That Ain't My Truck."

Tickets are $25. Doors open at 6 p.m., concert starts at 9 p.m.

Call 706-984-1917.

Check out H2O's Web site here.


Around 3 a.m. this morning I woke up in a hot/cold sweat, still a little frazzled by that weird disoriented feeling you get when you're unexpectedly reminded of your mind's twisted limits.

I dreamt I was sleeping with Hulk Hogan.

Seriously, how random is that? My TV doesn't get VH1, so you can't label the dream a side effect of a "Hogan Knows Best" marathon. Sorry.

Now that I've ruled out the obvious, feel free to interpret the depths of my psyche in the comments section.

For more on sleep issues, check out dream interpreter Lauri Loewenberg's blog here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

not-so-free advertising

The AJC's Misadventures in Atlanta blog alerted me to this New York City woman who's trying to raise enough money to air a commercial looking for Mr. Right during the Super Bowl.

She needs about $3 million.

She's raised about $3,000.

Sure, the strategy will generate responses...but don't you think most guys will just be contacting her for the novelty of it?

I really doubt that a genuinely good guy would make a girl on a commercial his No. 1 choice.

If nothing else, I see some serious reality TV promise coming out of all this. Watch out, DeAnna!

wednesday night event

Entertainers compete in tonight's Rivertown Showdown at The Loft, 1032 Broadway. The weekly competition starts at 8 p.m. and lets audience members vote for their favorite performer.

Now in its third week, the contest spans six Wednesdays and a total of 48 performers.

Each week, a winner and one finalist advance to the quarterly showdown. There's a weekly cash prize, plus quarterly prizes.

Tonight's lineup includes Sabra Lucas, Sean Rox, Tim Maggart, Jeff Gaither, Jim Patrick, Layne Weldon, Keith Culpepper and Joe McClure.

Cover is $3. For information about performing in the competition, call 706-718-1616.

Check out the Rivertown Showdown Web site here.

ankle biters

A desire to have children -- or lack thereof -- stands at the forefront of many recent celebrity breakups.

Case in point: Simon Cowell's split from Terri Seymour, plus all the recent drama surrounding Hef and Holly Madison.

There's always the story about the girl who dates a guy who's initially dead-set on not having kids -- and later, the couple goes on to get married and devote their lives to parenting. Who knows, maybe even some adopted kids from Africa are involved.

But more commonly, it seems that when one partner states an early intention to not have kids, the other half of the relationship holds on...falsely hoping he/she will have a change of heart.

I want to know if it's ever too early to break off a relationship because of different opinions about starting a family.

Let's say you already know you want to have kids.

If you're in the early stages of a committed relationship, and your partner says he/she is completely adverse to that it premature to break things off solely for that reason?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

mixed signals

"Am I flirting?" is a Web site where people can let experts determine whether they're giving off the wrong -- or right, maybe -- vibe.

If you think there aren't any grey areas when it comes to flirting, think again.

People interpret things differently. Consider this situation: Some married women think it's perfectly acceptable to dance seductively with a male friend. Whereas many guys assume any time a girl does something remotely resembling grinding, she wants a piece of him.

Have you learned to differentiate between a friendly gesture and a romantic advance?

free show!

Here's one for all you Tuesday partiers:

Local party band 4 Play performs a free show tonight at the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road. Music starts at 8 p.m.

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

mr. dirty

So John Travolta has gone bald for his newest film -- making for some pretty scary images. The one above comes courtesy of this site.

Beyond Hollywood...I'm always surprised by the amount of women who consider hair issues dealbreakers when it comes to the guys they date.

This AJC blogger recently wrote about a friend of hers who has a "no bald guys" rule.

I've always viewed guys' hair loss as inevitable. Honestly, I'd be more iffy about dating a guy with hair longer than mine. Things would likely be over the day he asked to borrow some of my mousse.

Ladies: Does a full head of hair play a role in your images of the ideal man?

Monday, November 10, 2008

cheetah girl exposed

Another Disney star has allegedly fallen victim to a nude photo scandal.

This time it's "Cheetah Girls" star Adrienne Bailon, who reportedly has nude pics online. Articles like this one say the photos were intended for her boyfriend's eyes only, but entered the public realm after Bailon's laptop was stolen from JFK Airport.

Celebrity or not, I don't see why anyone would put any of their naked time on camera in this day and age. Even if you're married and trust your partner completely, outsiders can hack devices. Or steal them.

Naked pictures: Who does that?

what lies beneath

Holiday house guests will be here before we know it, which means one thing:

Hide your whips, chains and handcuffs.

Need help? MSN offers this article about how to in-law proof your home for the holidays. The tips can apply to preparing for a visit from your own folks, too.

What's your biggest piece of advice for anyone dealing with an extended visit from their in-laws for the first time?

Other than drinking heavily, that is.

manners matter

Hope everyone had a great weekend.

This Esquire piece gives a rundown of some important first-date tips most guys probably already know.

Be on time. Pay. Call the next day.

(OK, on second thought, maybe I was a little too generous in saying "most guys.")

I was, however, particularly intrigued by the fact that the article cautions against giving flowers on a first date -- referring to them as "outdated" -- but suggests bringing some other "small, thoughtful gift."

I've never given a guy a gift on the first date, nor have I received one. But I've heard plenty of stories from people who assume the first-date gift exchange is common practice.

Gifts on a first date: Essential etiquette, or extra credit?

Friday, November 7, 2008

what's going on this weekend?

Don't forget about the Friday block party in which one cover charge (usually $7-$10) gives you access to the majority of Broadway bars.

Another highlight: Saturday, tribute band Kiss Army returns to Aqua Nightclub, 1812 Midtown Drive. Show starts at 10 p.m. Tickets are $7 in advance, $10 at the door. 706-569-1165.

Here's the rest of your lineup:


• Furious, Trap County, Ethanol, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

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

• The Relics, 9 p.m. Belloo's, $5. 706-494-1584.

• DJ D Rock and Steve Mills, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

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

• Latin night, 5 p.m. Aqua Nightclub, free. 706-569-1165.


Misfortune 500, The Winter Sounds, The Dark Romantics, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

• The Relics, 9 p.m. Belloo's, $5. 706-494-1584.

• DJ D Rock and Steve Mills, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

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

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

The Fiddleworms with Ledbetter, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

life is short...

Have an affair.

That's the motto of The Ashley Madison Agency, a dating Web site designed to help married people have affairs.

I found the site just hours before reading this article, one woman's confession of why she's been cheating on her husband for the past 16 months...but still loves him.

Earlier this week, for Sunday's book column, I finally broke down and read "The Truth about Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do to Prevent It," M. Gary Neuman's controversial book that suggests male infidelity is in many situations preventable.

I expected to hate the book.

I didn't.

In fact, many of its suggestions were pretty helpful. I basically closed the book and initiated a quest toward personal betterment.

Thing is, it would be a great book if it just had a different title. Neuman's suggestions are bound to make any relationship stronger, and any couple fall more in love.

But when offered in the context of preventing infidelity, advice on how to care for your partner gets a dangerous "or else" vibe that detracts from the romance it's supposed to ignite.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

gifts worth giving

Forgive me, for I have sinned -- I'm blogging about Christmas already.

Wait, gimme a chance to explain.

Gift-giving brings me a lot of anxiety. I think it's the buildup and release phenomenon, combined with all the ambiguity surrounding the appropriate level of enthusiasm you're supposed to exude after receiving a gift.

And no matter how long you and your significant other have been together, shopping for gifts is always seems difficult.

That's why sites like Glamour are already releasing holiday tips aimed at buying a gift for someone of the opposite sex.

I'm curious: For those of you in relationships, how many of you give your partner a wish list?

For years, I thought that tendency was kinda tacky, as TV movies had long reinforced the belief that it's the thought that counts.

But books like this one say leaving the gift-giving to chance can lead to problems within a relationship -- especially when you never wear the gift your partner gave you, or later use it to complain about how he knows nothing about you.


save me

Maybe you've heard this comment from Jessica Simpson about her relationship with Tony Romo:

"I'd always fall for guys I wanted to save. For the first time, I fell in love with someone who saved me."

If that doesn't scream "issues," I don't know what does.

Seriously, though, I've heard a lot of girls describing their romantic relationships within the context of being saved. I think it's a little dangerous, since that kind of mentality seems to attract manipulative/controlling guys who use their role as "savior" to play some serious head games.

But there are times when a relationship seems to save you from heading down a dangerous path.

A new partner can be the perfect vehicle for finally stepping outside yourself and getting rid of an unhealthy obsession with an ex who only weighs you down.

True, a new significant other can be part of your journey toward happiness, but that journey only takes place once you've acknowledged your capacity to save yourself.

what's going on tonight?

Hey Thursday partiers...don't forget about the martini tasting at Belloo's, 900 Front Ave. From 8 p.m. until close, you can sample five mini martinis. It's $20 for individuals and $35 for couples. Greg Barrett entertains. No cover, and you don't have to participate in the tasting to attend the bar. 706-494-1584.

Another standout: College night at The Roadhouse, 1047 Broadway, offers 50-cent draft beer. The action includes karaoke and starts at 8 p.m. No cover.

Here's the rest of the lineup:

• Open mike, 8 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659. All ages.

After the Crash, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5 (free for military). 706-568-3316.

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

• Open mike, 9 p.m. After 5, free. 706-507-0024.

Forced Entry, 9 p.m. Shanty Shack, free. 706-507-3418.


It's National Men Make Dinner Day, according to a heads-up from The Frisky.

The event has its own Web site, complete with recipes and a glossary of food-related terms. Translation: You have no excuse to skip out on this one, guys.

One sad restriction, as noted in the official rules: No barbecues allowed.

I really wish this was some kind of one-day national mandate. I've had many men woo me with the promise of a home-cooked meal, but it's always involved an offer likely to culminate in a temporary restraining order.

I can cook, but I've always kind of secretely admired my many female friends lucky enough to snag a man willing to handle the majority of cooking duties.

We don't really care what you make, guys -- cooking is just further evidence that you want to take care of us.

So put on that cheesy apron for a night.

You can even borrow my George Foreman grill.

follow the ldr

Happy Thursday!

Today's nightlife column is about long-distance relationships. It has the same headline as this blog post -- a product of CJ's attempt to be successfully clever.

The column was inspired in part by this recent Slate article, which makes a strong case against the LDR and even advocates a "Date Local" movement.

Why? There are national environmental drawbacks to the travel an LDR requires, the article contends. Also, LDRs hamper individuals not only on health and financial levels, but also in those people's willingness to contribute to their immediate communities, it says.

I used to think that the sacrifices associated with a long-distance relationship weren't enough to doom a couple. If you really love someone, it doesn't matter where he or she lives, right?

Now, I'm not so sure.

I think the biggest problem with LDRs is that you're falling in love with a voice on the phone. There's a certain level of control associated with phone conversations and e-mail exchanges that makes it easy for someone to mask some not-so-alluring aspects of his or her personality.

And when you do get a chance to take that plane ride or extended road trip to visit your significant other, it's like a vacation. You forgive certain things simply because you're so caught up in the fantasy that's embodied in the "I miss yous" in your phone conversations.

Is every LDR doomed? Hardly.

But if you're distance dating, you have to be prepared for the chance that one day a lack of geographical separation might make for a partnership that's a little more real than what you've built up in your mind.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

it's not you...

It's me.

I've heard that line at least twice in my breakup history, although I'm proud to admit that I've never actually said it.

You'd think after all the criticism they've received, breakup line cliches would have become a little less common. Not so.

While breaking up with her beau, Jesse, "Bachelorette" DeAnna Pappas reportedly uttered the tried and true, "I love you, but I'm not in love with you." Watch Jesse's account of the breakup here.

If you're going to pull that one, DeAnna, you might as well go the full nine yards and pack your breakup speech with these lines, too:

1. "Any girl would be lucky to have you."

2. "We're just at different places in our lives."

3. "It's not you, it's me."

4. "I hope we can still be friends."

This site, So You've Been Dumped, gives a collection of lines people have heard in real breakups. Some of them are really priceless.

Among my favorites: "Maybe I just need to date someone who will let me look at porn."

What's your favorite breakup line cliche?

they're baaaack!

It's raining men. Again.

The Chippendales dancers return to Aqua Nightclub Dec. 12, and tickets are on sale now.

They're $15 in advance, $20 at the door and $25 for VIP.

To purchase, visit the club at 1812 Midtown Drive or call the ticket line at 706-358-7128 between noon and 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.

love stinks

After 2 years, 6 months and 25 days, that is.

That's how long the romance lasts in an average marriage, according to this article.

The time frame doesn't exactly mark when a couple breaks up, it just indicates when the romance dies. You know, the point when women stop dressing up for their significant other and men become a little more lax with picking up their stuff from around the house.

The finding actually surprises me -- I'd expect it to be closer to the one-year mark. I'd also say that how long a couple lives together before getting married probably factors heavily into the equation.

Regardless of whether its conclusion is correct, the article highlights the importance of making a conscious effort to keep the romance alive in a relationship, no matter how comfortable you feel.

I've always vowed that if I ever get married, I'll never be one of those wives who gains 100 pounds and a bunch of unsightly body hair once she has the security of a ring on her finger.

Hmm. We'll see how that turns out.

barack my world

Wow, what a great night. I was in the newsroom until about 1 a.m. Wednesday, spending my final hour or so just staring at the TV and being proud of how many people were so engaged this year in the political process.

Check out Alan's excellent election night blog posts here.

I'd hardly describe myself as a "political junkie," and I'll admit that there are days when Washington's headlines go completely over my head.

But election day seems to snatch my emotions the same way every year.

While living in California, I worked for the Associated Press each election night. I'd hang out in the county election office until the wee hours of the morning, periodically phoning in results and any other info they needed.

During those hours, I'd watch people pour their hearts and energy into minute percentage point differences in things as seemingly inconsequential as water board and utility district races.

They saw a potential for change, even at the most uber-local level -- the chance for a communal brightening of spirits that began with expedited repair of Flume No. 89.

I saw that same belief in change Tuesday night, only amplified, and I still couldn't turn away.

The only post-election downside? The sea of bitter Facebook statuses. Seriously. Put it in a journal, people.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

is that a ballot in your pocket?

Just wanted to remind you to check for updates throughout the night.

Unless, of course, you're hooking up.

Don't think I'm making light of the political process: It's socially acceptable to hit on women while using lines involving the word "stimulus" tonight. The Frisky even has this guide for how to get a date on election day.

(An excerpt: Despite the obvious, do not refer to any candidate as “sexy.” It’s awkward to call an elected official hot when you’re hitting on the guy standing next to you.)

These sites, meanwhile, offer evidence of the rise in political pickup lines -- even if it's just for one day.

Looks like your stars-and-stripes themed thong isn't that tacky after all.

election day = free stuff

Has everyone already voted? I was pretty ecstatic when the whole process took just 10 minutes early this afternoon at my polling place, Fox Community Center.

What's next? Indulging in all the free stuff available today! Here are the election day offers you can snag:

*Free tall coffee at Starbucks

*Free star-shaped doughnut at Krispy Kreme

*Free scoop of ice cream at Ben & Jerry's (5-8 p.m.)

*A variety of free food at participating Chick-fil-A locations

Here's the best part: You don't even have to show an "I Voted" sticker. This AP article notes that a promotion requiring you to vote to take advantage of a deal "could be construed as rewarding someone for voting and could violate federal and state law."

It's still important to cast a ballot, of course. But once you've taken care of that, let the free dealing begin!

Monday, November 3, 2008

distance makes the heart grow?

You've heard the stories of long-distance relationships in which every second spent apart seems to torture both partners.

But what if you lived far away from your significant other and liked it...while loving your monogamous relationship at the same time?

This advice column from Salon tells of a married couple who live four blocks away from each other -- and are happy. An excerpt from the wife's letter:

We also have many differences in interior design, how we spend time, when we sleep, interests, etc. So, living separately resolves all those issues. When we choose to spend time together, we're together. My husband usually comes to my place five nights a week and either stays over or not, depending on his work load. He is also a snorer. So, I prefer him to sleep at his place if I have a big day ahead of me. But we do have some common interests and our sex life is still strong.

The other day I blogged about things people hate most about dating. Here's another one of mine: The belief that the more time you spend together, the more you're in love. I don't think that's true.

I think there are people who are naturally "loners" and prefer to vacation alone, and even sleep alone. They're still perfectly capable of loving someone. It's just that there's a limited number of people who can tolerate being in a relationship with them.

Maybe marriage is a different story, though.

Do married people have to live together?

mr. lonely

This article contends that between 1985 and 2004, the number of Americans who said they had no close confidants tripled.

The US Census estimates 30 percent more Americans will live alone in 2010 than did so in 1980, it adds.

I think possibly the worst kind of loneliness is when you're surrounded by other people but still feel more lonely than ever.

The sensation often comes post-college, when immersion in the real world makes you surrounded by friends who don't necessarily share your major, your partying habits or your sense of humor.

At which point in life did you learn to separate being alone and being lonely?

leftover candy

Hope everyone had a great Halloween. I'm sure you're all really terrified of the goth chick featured in the pic above. I'll let you in on a little secret: It's me.

Yep, you're looking at my Halloween costume, a shot at being indie that I'd say worked out well enough to earn me a job at Fountain City Coffee. Man, I wish Rhino's was still open.

Pictured next to me is my boss Dawn, who's dressed up as a the devil with the blue dress on. Pretty creative.

After hitting a house party, my Halloween destination of choice was downtown. Every bar was pretty much packed. Of course, there the deluge of girls in corsets and garters. Not to mention partiers wearing costumes 2-3 sizes too small. You know the scene.

Send your Halloween pics to and I'll post them on this blog.

What was the best costume you saw over the weekend?