Tuesday, March 31, 2009

size matters?

Everybody's buzzing about "More to Love," an upcoming reality TV dating show that will feature overweight bachelorettes vying for the love of an overweight bachelor.

Maybe I lost all my reality TV cred when I became a fan of "Wife Swap," but ignore that fact for a minute.

I think "More to Love" is a new pop culture low.

It suggests overweight people can be loved -- but only by someone of their own size. That feeds the superficiality that already defines physical attraction in our culture.

I'm all for a dating show that isn't only about beautiful people. But reportedly, the contestants on "More to Love" aren't "average." They're overweight. That's a real medical problem.

And by telling these contestants that they should seek reality TV fame instead of getting healthy, "More to Love" producers are subtly reinforcing the inactivity that's super-sized our country.

first-date foods

How much thought do you put into what you order on a first date?

If you need another reminder to stay away from garlic and refried beans, check out this list of "first-date foods that take romance off the menu."

While writing a recent prom etiquette article, I flashed back to the high school days when all my friends would order nothing but a side salad before formal dances.

I've never been one to scale back my eating habits for a guy, and when it comes to entree selection I'm usually more worried about messing up my outfit than looking like a heifer.

In the end, I think food choice is secondary to the many other opportunities for awkwardness that come with the dinner date.

Like this one: Are guys who order for you chivalrous or controlling?

Monday, March 30, 2009

cocktail tasting party!

Looking for a girls' night out this week? Visit Flip Flops, 1111 Broadway, Thursday night.

The bar will host a cocktail tasting party where you can sample over 20 different summer cocktails. They'll serve appetizers, too.

Cost is $20, which includes food and drinks.

Call 706-505-6829.

beware the un-dater

The only thing worse than being on a bad date? Being on a bad date and not knowing it.

Jezebel introduces us to the un-dater, the socially oblivious person who often can't differentiate between "hanging out" and a real date. Here's the official definition:

An un-dater is a person who accidentally ruins the date by not realizing that they are ON a date.

I like to think I'm pretty observant when it comes to signals from the opposite sex, but it hasn't always been that way. Let's just say an invite to help finish a bottle of Pucker -- alone in a room with mood lighting -- is never platonic.

Don't worry, un-daters...help is on the way.

You might be on a date IF:

*Your chauffeur's car reeks of cheap cologne

*Your table mate pays for your alcohol -- and it's not $1 PBR night

*The night's soundtrack is a CD labeled, "Baby-making mix vol. 1"

That was fun. Continue the list in the comments section!

Friday, March 27, 2009

what's going on this weekend?

Friday night, head to The Uptown Tap, 1024 Broadway, to wish good luck to Jeremy McCall. Next week, the Columbus singer will compete in the regional round of "America's Got Talent" auditions.

Here's the rest of your weekend lineup:


• Dueling pianos, 10 p.m. The Vault, $5. 706-653-8277.

Fervor, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, $5.

Claiborne & Friends, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, $5. 706-494-1584.

• Codfish Quartet, 7:30 p.m. Ossahatchee Oyster Bar, free. 706-582-2629.

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

• The Unsung, Debutante Massacre, Thrill of a Gunfight, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

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

• The Ranch Hands, 9:30 p.m. Del Ranch Bar and Grill, $5. 334-297-9177.

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


Sonia Leigh with Jessi Lynn, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

• Dueling pianos, 10 p.m. The Vault, $5. 706-653-8277.

Gucci Mane, 9 p.m. Club Ritmo, $35. 706-687-7087.

Claiborne & Friends, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, $5. 706-494-1584.

• DJ Greg Grantham, 7:30 p.m. Ossahatchee Oyster Bar, free. 706-582-2629.

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

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

Killing Ground, Disposition, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, $5.

• The Ranch Hands, 9:30 p.m. Del Ranch Bar and Grill, $5. 334-297-9177.

redneck and single

Tired of the club scene meet market ? Here's an alternative dating option, but you might have to beef up your NASCAR vernacular.

Redneck and Single has entered the online dating world.

No, that site is not a joke.

It's an "online honky-tonk, but without the drinkin', cussin' and fightin'."

Just for fun, I did a search of eligible redneck men in Georgia. Among my favorites? RemingtonSkoal, 25, of Valdosta. His profile speaks volumes:

I love rednecks. Rednecks are great. Rednecks are incredibly cool and I like mud boggin' and huntin'.

Sign me up, sexy!

(via Jezebel)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

the relationship test

Everybody's buzzing about this mathematical model that could predict the success of your romantic relationship -- with 94 percent accuracy.

The link above lets you and your partner take the test. But be warned, it's complicated: A video camera and lots of numbers are involved.

The test's specifics are beside the fact. This isn't the first time I've heard of a test that purports to apply researched, mathematical odds to a relationship's likelihood of survival.

In theory, the desire makes sense: Find a tool that will tell me if I'm wasting my time on love.

But when it comes to compatibility -- the long-term kind -- algebraic formulas aren't necessary. I think you can tell in your own gut if you and your partner are meant to last...it's just a question of whether you want to come to grips with that realization.

Let's assume someone discovers a test that would reportedly predict your relationship's success with 100 percent accuracy.

Would you take it?

what's going on tonight?

Here's your Thursday night lineup, partiers:

• J-Mac, 9 p.m. The Vault, free, 706-653-8277.

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

• Gary Parmer, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, free. 706-494-1584.

• Martin Ortiz and friends, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5 (free for military). 706-568-3316.

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

the digital PDA

Happy Thursday! Today's nightlife column is about digital PDAs -- you know, Facebook status updates dominated by references to the greatest husband in the world.

I think these PDAs are even more disgusting than the token couple making out in a smoky bar's corner. Why? Because they suggest that in order to have a successful relationship, you need to be thinking about your partner 24-7.

No joke: I have friends who have never posted an online status update that doesn't have to do with a boyfriend. Sure, it's cute at first -- kind of -- but eventually you have to wonder about someone who devotes their entire profile to another person.

It's like, "Really? Do you have nothing else to think about?"

Digital PDAs: Cute, or a little desperate?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

meant to be spent alone?

The scene is a perfect couples' getaway: comfy sheets, a stunning view of the beach...and your partner's nose-hair trimmer on the sink.

Traveling with your significant other can be incredibly romantic - and incredibly stressful.

Here, YourTango asks if your relationship can survive a vacation, an experience that for new couples can unfortunately illuminate some poor grooming habits.

The piece has some good advice: plan in advance, remember basic etiquette, don't over-schedule.

But I think the most important thing to remember is that transporting yourself out of your standard environment hardly ensures every second of your trip will be romantic.

Too many people equate travel with earth-shattering romantic bliss, and then get totally disappointed when every hotel dinner doesn't culminate in fireworks.

Sometimes, the greatest romantic benefit of traveling comes with the renewed sense of togetherness you discover once you're back home.

cougars becoming extinct

Looks like Mrs. Robinson is more fantasy than reality.

The idea of younger men craving older women is exaggerated, this Boston Globe article reports. It talks about dating services that have set up match-making events specifically to hook young men up with a cougar. Those events have failed due to a lack of participants.

I'm not surprised.

I think most guys would like a "one time only" encounter with an older woman, but as far an actual relationship, probably not so much. Guys thrive on the idea of being the protector, the bread-winner, and I think those qualities are somewhat jeopardized when you date an older woman.

Do cougars still prosper in the relationship jungle?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

'friending' an ex

How many exes have you "friended" on social networking sites?

Answer carefully, especially since this Minneapolis Star Tribune article cautions that when it comes to exes, Facebook friends are rarely "just" friends. An excerpt:

So if you're tempted to reconnect because reconnection is instantaneous and offers what seems like a harmless thrill, think again about your motives: You probably have all the friends, on Facebook and otherwise, that you need.

And, assuming your marriage is solvent and dear to you, either ignore a new "friend" notification or accept the face from the past and post a benign, polite message, says Jack Quesnell, relationship therapist for the Midwest Center for Personal and Family Development in Minneapolis.

Be honest: How many times have you accepted an ex's friend request solely for the sake of friendship?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

(via YourTango)

Monday, March 23, 2009

tired of waiting?

So everyone's buzzing about the Harrison Ford/Calista Flockhart engagement. Peruse articles on the topic and you'll see the announcement padded with a "finally" disclaimer: The couple had been dating for 7 years.

I read a book once that said after two years, you should know whether you want to tie the knot with someone.

I think that's a little too short.

It's one thing to impose an arbitrary age deadline for when you'll get married.

But is it any better to, once you know you really care about somebody, tell yourself "we're going to be engaged by xxx or we're breaking up"?

I think it's a fine line. As much as I hate applying time frames to relationships, I've seen so many girls hang on to guys who clearly aren't the marriage type. They'll relocate and alter their schedules all under a remote hope that one day the guy will magically change his mind and yearn for some deep commitment.

Is that hope alone worth a seven-year wait?

the blind date

Saturday night, I spotted a variety of prom goers inside a Columbus Park Crossing restaurant. There was a lot to look at -- cocktail dresses! cheesy tuxes! -- but I couldn't stop staring at one couple in particular.

They sat on opposite sides of a booth seat, staring in separate directions, periodically texting.

I pitied them because I had been them: victims of a blind date.

OK, so maybe they were a real-life couple just having a fight or something. Still, the body language translated all too easily to the awkwardness of a setup.

ABC News has this story about what happened in an experiment when people's dates looked nothing like their online profile pictures. Internet aside, there's always that friend who tells you her cousin could be Brad Pitt's stunt double -- which makes you wonder why he's 5 feet tall with a mullet.

Same goes for personality traits. Nothing's sadder than realizing the "he's funny" endorsement actually translates into "he's funny if you like obscure mathematical humor."

We love our friends and we want them to be in love. Unfortunately, sometimes that means exaggerating their desirability.

Anyone have a good blind date story?

Friday, March 20, 2009

what's going on this weekend?

Here's your weekend lineup, partiers:


• The Ranch Hands, 9:30 p.m. Del Ranch Bar and Grill, $5. 334-297-9177.

• Dueling pianos, 10 p.m. The Vault, $5. 706-653-8277.

Claiborne & Friends, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, $5. 706-494-1584.

Assphalt Gypsies, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, $5.

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

Seven Zero Sixx, 8 p.m., Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

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


Forced Entry, Ultradrive, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

• The Ranch Hands, 9:30 p.m. Del Ranch Bar and Grill, $5. 334-297-9177.

Claiborne & Friends, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, $5. 706-494-1584.

Platinum Fuzz, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, $5.

Connor Christian and Southern Gothic, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

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

undo send

After a night of partying, you plop yourself in front of your laptop at 2 a.m., plate of Bagel Bites in hand. Suddenly, you're consumed by an urge to channel the writing skills you last used in literary criticism class.

The result? A good, old-fashioned drunk e-mail.

They range in severity from "I can't believe I wrote that" to "I can't believe I wrote that and you're still speaking to me."

But now, one e-mail host might make the drunk missive obsolete.

Gmail has added an Undo Send feature that gives you a five-second time window to reevaluate your decision. Sure, that's pretty short, but it's better than nothing.

And I speak from firsthand experience when I note it only takes two seconds to realize you hit "reply all" instead of "reply."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

THAT couple

College Candy gives us this list of annoying couple-isms -- a collection that includes pet names, fighting in public and PDAs.

The Frisky elaborates on the list with its own set of bad couple habits, like too-frequent use of "we." A good share of commenters have already contributed their own additions.

The bottom line: Hanging out with couples can be really difficult. And not just if you're single.

I tried to come up with a really creative couples gripe, but my No. 1 choice is probably the same thing that bugs most of you: the excessive PDA.

In the majority of cases, I think it's used more to get a reaction out of other partiers than for the couple's own benefit.

Which couple-ism annoys you most?

what's going on tonight?

Here's your lineup, Thursday partiers:

• J-Mac, 9 p.m. The Vault, free, 706-653-8277.

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

• College night with open mike, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free. $1 PBR.

Gary Parmer, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, free. 706-494-1584.

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

crazy women

This week's nightlife column focuses on a common male explanation for a breakup:

"She was crazy."

The line has always annoyed me, because I think in the majority of cases it translates into, "She was crazy because she wasn't the female version of me." A big part of every romantic relationship involves putting up with your significant other's quirks and tolerating a couple meltdowns.

But here's the most important thing: You can only attribute your failed relationships to someone else's craziness for so long.

Even if those exes were genuinely bad seeds, you chose to to date them.

So -- at the risk of sounding crazy -- I'll say the problem could be you.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I thought this blog had reached a new linguistic low when I first used the term "bromance." Clearly, I was wrong.

Now there are "fromances."

This woman introduces us to the concept, a convenient meshing of "friendship" and "romance." Enter fromance -- a friendship with a member of the opposite sex that's dominated by thoughts of "what if." As in, "what if we hooked up."

The term is cute, but it loses some credibility when you consider how many people think friendships between men and women are all fromances.


(via YourTango)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

st. paddy's day party spots

UPDATE: Just learned H2O, 6499 Veterans Parkway, added a St. Paddy's Day party. There will be green beer and green shots, plus a "Kissin Contest" from 99.3 FM. No cover.

Hope everyone's having a great St. Patrick's Day. I just ate at Scruffy Murphy's -- I strongly recommend the corned beef casserole.

As promised, here's tonight's party lineup:

Irish pub Scruffy Murphy’s, 1037 Broadway, serves Irish-themed food throughout the day. Captain Mackey’s Goatskin and Stringband, an act from Cork, Ireland, takes the stage at 2 p.m. A $6-$8 cover charge starts at 3 p.m. and includes a food buffet.

Broadway bars host a block party where one $5 cover gets you into the majority of downtown hot spots. This doesn’t include Scruffy’s, though.

The Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road, is hosting a performance by Mercury Heat at 9 p.m. For $3.50, you can get a 20 ounce St. Patrick’s Day cup filled with draft beer. No cover.

Belloo’s, 900 Front Ave., opens at 5 p.m. and celebrates with $3 green Jell-O shots and $4 green draft beer. No cover.

Mickey’s Pub, 4105 Buena Vista Road, has DJ music beginning at 7 p.m. No cover.

SoHo Bar & Grill, 5751 Milgen Road, offers Irish-themed drink specials and party favors. No cover. Doors open at 2 p.m.

CC Entertainment and Rivertown Adventure Club host a fundraiser to benefit Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center. It’s 9 p.m. at Mario’s Restaurant & Pop, 1010 Broadway. Entry is $5, and you can also pay $5 to spin a wheel and win locally sponsored prizes.

magically delicious

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I'll post a roundup of local parties soon, but I'm kicking things off with a couple leprechaun links. Check this stuff out and then start upping your tolerance for green beer:

*Remember the elusive Shamrock Shake from McDonald's? It's becoming an extinct species. Fortunately, you can track one down with ShamrockShake.com.

*Here, College Candy gives a list of do's and don'ts for St. Paddy's Day. Unfortunately, it's not too fitting for the average working 20-something, thanks to lines like this: "Don't forget that you are only in college once and can therefore celebrate any holiday with binge drinking without being ridiculed by society." Ah, college...

*Believe it or not, the St. Patrick's Day pickup line lexicon extends beyond "kiss me, I'm Irish." Users of this site compiled a good list, although I'll laugh if you approach me with, "I've got a leprechaun and a pot of gold hidden in my trousers, wanna see?"

*Finally, here's your go-to site for St. Patrick's Day trivia. My favorite nugget: Internationally, 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed today.

Monday, March 16, 2009

how we met

My parents met at a nudist resort.

They love telling people that story, and I guess it's really only funny if you realize how unlikely that scenario really is. The story is actually true...in a sense. They met while working for the Peace Corps in Thailand -- in a place that's now a nudist camp.

My point: When people ask you how you met your significant other, they want a memorable answer -- whether it be head-over-heels romance or mere shock value.

Which becomes increasingly difficult when you realize few couples actually meet that way.

Here, one woman asks about the embarrassment she faces in telling her parents she met her boyfriend online. She wants to know if it's OK to lie about how they met.

In an age where drunk hookups lead to lifelong commitments, should we feel guilty for embellishing the details of our first encounter?

st. paddy's day parties start tonight

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a great weekend.

If you're like me, you probably spent at least 5 minutes dusting the lint off a form-fitting "Everyone Loves an Irish Girl" T-shirt. St. Patrick's Day is Tuesday, and local bars are preparing for heavy traffic.

Want to beat the crowds? Hit Scruffy Murphy's tonight.

The bar hosts a free performance by Captain Mackey's Goatskin and Stringband, the same Irish musicians who will take the stage tomorrow. Action starts at 7 p.m.

Friday, March 13, 2009

what's going on this weekend?

Here's your weekend lineup, partiers. Don't forget about the courtyard party Friday at The Uptown Tap, although the rain forecasts might interfere with things a bit.


Misfortune 500, BPM, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

Claiborne & Friends, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, $5. 706-494-1584.

Trap County and guests, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, $5.

Colt Ford, 10 p.m. H2O, $20. 706-984-1917.

• The Ranch Hands, 9:30 p.m. Del Ranch Bar and Grill, $5. 334-297-9177.

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

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

• Dueling pianos, 10 p.m. The Vault, $5. 706-653-8277.

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


Sub Cam, Mindtrip, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-322-3460.

Claiborne & Friends, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, $5. 706-494-1584.

The Planet Riders, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, $5.

• The Ranch Hands, 9:30 p.m. Del Ranch Bar and Grill, $5. 334-297-9177.

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

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

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

• Dueling pianos, 10 p.m. The Vault, $5. 706-653-8277.

wanna be on top?

Maybe I should have entered Boobs for Babes after all.

Increasingly, women are having boob jobs to get ahead in the job market during the recession, according to this article.

It's not just a single-gender phenomenon.

Unemployed men are getting procedures like brow lifts, it notes.

Confession time: Have you ever used your looks to get ahead in the workforce?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

courtyard season at the tap

Cue the sandals and booty shorts: Friday, The Uptown Tap officially opens its courtyard for the season.

Cover is $5. You can look forward to DJ music outside, prizes and drink specials.

Just try not to get too caught up on the fact that Friday's forecast calls for late-night showers.

what's going on tonight?

Here's your Thursday party lineup:

• J-Mac, 9 p.m. The Vault, free, 706-653-8277.

Pipers Down, 10 p.m. Scruffy Murphy’s, free. 706-322-3460.

The Naked Eskimos, 9 p.m. Shanty Shack, free. 706-507-3418.

Stereomonster and friends, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free. $1 PBR.

• Gary Parmer, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, free. 706-494-1584.

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

st. paddy's day

Happy Thursday! I am sooo happy that the weekend's almost here. I've been getting a lot of questions about St. Patrick's Day festivities. The holiday falls on Tuesday, but I don't think a weekday party night will deter anybody from indulging in green beer.

The big party spot, of course, will be Columbus' only Irish pub: Scruffy Murphy's.

The nightclub hosts two musicians from Ireland Monday and Tuesday. No cover Monday, and cover is decided at the door Tuesday. If you don't want to risk a steep charge, you can buy $5 advance tickets through Monday at the bar.

Scruffy's will also serve Irish-themed food all day Tuesday. Doors open 11:30 a.m. Get the full details in my article here.

As far as other parties go...

Presumably, there will also be a Broadway bar crawl. But Scruffy's won't be included.

The Shanty Shack is also having a pretty cool party. You'll be able to buy special 20 oz. cups for $3.50 draft beer. The rockers from Mercury Heat perform.

That's all I've got for now. I'll post another St. Paddy's update early next week.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

picture this

After three weeks of faithful shampooing, you've finally put that bad dye job behind you.

Until your friend posts pictures on Facebook.

Yet another joy of social networking: Spending a Friday night wondering if the photos posted the next morning will make you love your new pair of jeans, or circle your patches of stomach fat with a permanent marker.

Here, Slate tells you what to do when old photos of you appear on Facebook.

Photo discomfort doesn't only come from digging up the past.

Monday morning, there's always that one friend who has to post every single weekend photo from her camera. Including the ones where you have neck fat. Or your mascara is smeared.

But then, there are the times when you look REALLY hideous. Maybe intimate organs are exposed.

What's the proper etiquette for asking a friend to remove a photo of you on Facebook?

next time, drink milk

Everybody's buzzing about this research, which suggests young women overestimate how much alcohol men want them to drink.

An excerpt:

"Although traditionally, men drink more than women, research has shown that women have steadily been drinking more and more over the last several decades," said the study's lead author, Joseph LaBrie, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Loyola Marymount University. "Our research suggests women believe men find excessive drinking sexually attractive and appealing, but it appears this is a giant misperception."

Here's a question for readers of both genders:

Do you consider your partner's opinion when deciding how much you'll drink on a date?

(via Lemondrop)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

friend is a four-letter word

Remember those elementary school days when you used to count your friends? Even if the tally only totaled 10, you knew all the people included would at least share lunch with you.

That's not necessarily the case for the average 20- or 30-something. Why?

We live in an age of Friendaholism, according to this LA Times column. An excerpt:

The idea of friendship, at least among the growing population of Internet social networkers, is to attain as many of these not-really-friends as possible. Hence, the alcoholism analogy, which I don't make lightly. Like cheap wine, "friends" provide a high that can only be sustained by acquiring more and more of them. Quantity trumps quality.

Naturally, Facebook has cheapened my understanding of "friend." Many times, I've attached the social networking "friend" label to someone without accompanying the request with any interpersonal dialogue.

Internet aside, I think you can't be too discriminating with the term "friend" once you reach adulthood. It's harder to make true, soulmate-like friends when you enter the workforce. So even your face-to-face friends might not necessarily line up with the ones you had in high school or college.

Confession time: Do you still count your friends?

(via Jezebel)

Monday, March 9, 2009

practice dating

You're not attracted to her and you know you never will be. So is it wrong to accept her dinner invite simply in order to get back in the game?

That's the underlying issue in this article, where one guy talks about "practice dating" -- the idea of going out with people primarily to understand how the opposite sex works, rather than viewing every date as the beginning of a serious commitment.

I think the beginning stages of any relationship are kind of like "practice." It's very rare that two people go into a first date with a mutual expectation they'll be together forever.

There's been times when after moving to a new city, I've accepted a date invitation primarily under the mentality of, "At least I'll meet somebody new."

But using someone just as a way to beef up your conversation skills? Seriously, just buy a book or something.

life milestones. or not.

The article taunts you, boasting a scary sense of authority and at least one reference to skydiving.

It is, of course, the "30 things every woman should do before turning 30" list.

It's a feature you'll see at least once a year in your favorite women's magazine or Web site, a mere space-filler that's destined to make you feel more inadequate than the aftermath of your grandma's annual "why aren't you married?" lecture.

In this article -- optimistically titled "Why do women feel useless?" -- one writer tackles the female tendency to attach age deadlines to life milestones.

I've written before about how much I hate it when girls say they must be married by 25. Or must have a kid by 30. More often than not, that approach makes women lower their standards and abandon their other interests simply to meet an arbitrary age deadline that might not even make them any happier.

That said, I think it's important to have goals and if nothing else, the "30 before 30" lists can be a good vehicle for taking a step back prioritizing different elements of your future.

Age-based deadlines: Call to action or setup for failure?

(via Jezebel)

Friday, March 6, 2009

happy birthday barbie

The biggest problem with my childhood Barbie? She was always way too tall to date my brother's GI Joes. Seriously. Talk about a dead-end relationship.

Anyway, Barbie celebrates her 50th birthday Monday...fresh off the heels of a new round of controversy. People are mad about a new Barbie who comes with tattoos. Read more here.

Barbie is physically surreal and often refuses to wear appropriate undergarments. But I'm sure she'll be part of my daughter's closet.

She encourages imagination, and my own Barbie stories revolved around so much more than pretty hair and outfits.

Yeah, I opted for stuff like convention-challenging romances with GI Joes.

Weigh in with your own Barbie memories in the comments section.

what's going on this weekend?

Hey everyone! Don't forget the Chippendales guys take the stage Friday at H2O. I just went to Houlihan's for lunch and spotted one of the Chippendales in his warm-up suit at the Marriott. Sexy.

The dancers perform 8-10 p.m. Tickets are $25. Read more here.

There's also a First Friday Block Party, when one cover charge (usually $7-$10) gets you into the majority of downtown bars.

Here's the rest of your lineup:


• The Ranch Hands, 9:30 p.m. Del Ranch Bar and Grill, $5. 334-297-9177.

• Dueling pianos, 10 p.m. The Vault, block party cover. 706-653-8277.

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

Jury, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, block party cover.

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

The Winter Sounds, O’Brother, Magnolia Sons, It’s Elephants, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

Matt Stillwell, 9 p.m. The Loft, block party cover. 706-596-8141.


• The Ranch Hands, 9:30 p.m. Del Ranch Bar and Grill, $5. 334-297-9177.

• Dueling pianos, 10 p.m. The Vault, $5. 706-653-8277.

Jury, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, $5.

County Line Strangers, Thousand Watt Halo, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

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

Marshall Ruffin CD release with Joe McGuinness, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

it's YOUR fault!

Ask any couple: Arguments can bring out the worst impulse-driven insults EVER.

One second you're having a calm, rational debate about whether you should stop for directions. Then, before you know it, you're telling your boyfriend he actually looks pretty fat in those green basketball shorts he loves.

Not cool.

Thankfully, Lemondrop has this list of 10 things not to say to a guy during an argument.

No. 1? "I knew this was a mistake."

The list addresses some valid insults, but I'd love to see a woman write one telling men what not to say during a fight.

Maybe it doesn't even warrant a list. Guys, there's just one line that's the ultimate fight faux pas:

"Are you on your period?"

Thursday, March 5, 2009

what's going on tonight?

Here's your Thursday night roundup:

• J-Mac, 9 p.m. The Vault, free, 706-653-8277.

• Gary Parmer, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, free. 706-494-1584.

Stereomonster and friends, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free. $1 PBR.

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

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


Reminder: The Chippendales dancers perform 8-10 p.m. Friday at H2O, 6499 Veterans Parkway. Tickets are $20 in advance $25 day of show. Read more here.

I've never understood the guy who doesn't let his girlfriend check out a Chippendales show.

That's the focus on this week's nightlife column, where I let guys know that a girl isn't going to dump them for someone who wears a Speedo and dances to "It's Raining Men."

I'd break up with a guy if he ever denied me access to an all-male strip club. That kind of control over someone is just annoying.

Besides, everyone deserves an occasional lap dance.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

ending it

"Bachelor" fever has spawned all kinds of discussions about breakup etiquette.

Men with questions more complex than whether they should sever ties on national TV can consult "The Gentleman's Guide to Dumping Your Girl."

The advice is pretty on par, with the exception of one tidbit that made me think twice:

The guide says it's OK to break up with a girl via e-mail if your relationship has been pretty casual.

For long, I thought breaking up was something you always had to do in person -- no matter how long the two of you have been together.

But I've since met many friends, women included, who say there's a certain relationship time window when it's OK to break up with somebody by phone or e-mail.

My biggest problem with that line of thought is even though YOU might think you've been dating for a mere month, you partner might think it's been a whirlwind of romantic significance. Bottom line: "Casually dating" isn't always a mutually understood term.

Does everyone deserve the decency of a face-to-face breakup?

one heart, one plate?

Here's an interesting piece about how more couples are splitting restaurant entrees because of the recession.

Hard times or not, I've noticed there are some people who think publicly sharing their food is an integral part of romantic closeness.

You know the type: The ones who not only sneak a french fry off their significant other's plate, but also instinctively cut half of their steak for their partner to try.

Honestly, the whole sharing food thing has always kind of creeped me out. I'm sure this is just the woman in me, but I worry that slipping my hand on someone's plate sans invitation ranks right up there with making myself a key to his apartment.

Sure, he may not want that pickle on the side of his plate, but he may not want your nasty paws on it, either.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

thoughts on engagements

Does anyone else think we've cheapened the value of an engagement?

It's not just a "Bachelor"-inspired insight: I'm 27, and I just realized I've witnessed nearly 10 broken engagements in recent years.

Of those, about half of the people involved are already engaged -- or married -- again.

As a little girl, I always imagined a broken engagement as some kind of scarlet letter -- you know, the kind of thing that would doom all your future relationships FOREVER.

While I've learned a permanent "gloom and doom" scenario is exaggerated, I do think a broken engagement should be viewed more seriously than what I've seen from many of my friends.

Here, Amelia of The Frisky talks about her own broken engagement and a growing refusal to believe that relationships require work.


after the final rose

So I braved all three hours of "The Bachelor" Monday night, and left the experience slightly more satisfied that my love life isn't pathetic enough yet to enter the realm of reality TV.

As Jason dumped Molly, then chose Melissa, then dumped Melissa, then chose Molly...a couple questions ran through my mind:

-Do some girls never retire their baby voice? Melissa, I'm talking to you.

-How hard would it be for the average guy to feign excitement upon receiving a fairy tale book chronicling his romantic relationship?

But most importantly, I kept wondering what I would say if someone broke up with me on national TV.

As a longtime "Bachelor" viewer, I've watched previous breakups and always screamed at the dumpee to fight back, vocally exposing one of the guy's hidden flaws. I'd like to think if I was in that position, I'd be able to speak up for myself.

Then again, if you speak up TOO much you look psycho. And the viewing public assumes you deserved to be dumped.

So I get why many contestants opt for the calm, understated response to rejection.

What would you do?

Monday, March 2, 2009

control issues

Contrary to my personal claims, the couple that watches "The Hills" together does not necessarily stay together.

Here's one woman's testament to the marriage-saving power of TiVo.

All too often, I think the TV becomes the childless couple's baby. You get in this pattern where whether you're paying attention or not, it's always there as background noise. Or the reverse scenario: You're scheduling your alone time around elimination episodes and two-hour season finales.

And no matter how compatible you are, no one's expecting you to sit through each other's popular culture obsessions. Some shows are best watched in private.

Take it from me: Publicly crying at the end of "Extreme Home Makeover" can be a little embarrassing.

boobs for babes

Boobs for Babes, the competition at H2O that gives away money for breast augmentations, named its first winner Saturday.

Relive the action with this photo gallery from Rock 103. (Cleavage! Whipped cream! Thongs!)

I just spoke with someone from the club and they haven't decided when the second phase of the competition will begin. The original plan was to give away three boob jobs.

I'll keep you abreast of any updates.

Sorry, I couldn't resist that one.

the bachelor

Wow, how much did you guys love the snow in Columbus yesterday? I have to admit -- it made me a little homesick for my Wisconsin days. Then again, it was much easier to love the snow knowing I'd be back to wearing open-toe shoes by the weekend.

On to another major milestone: tonight's season finale of "The Bachelor."

The show airs 8 p.m. tonight on ABC, and everybody's dying to see if single dad Jason Mesnick chooses Molly or Melissa. Or "Bachelorette" DeAnna Pappas. Or somebody else.

Producers have billed the show as the most dramatic conclusion EVER, so we know it won't be a straightforward proposal. Here's a good roundup of the theories dominating the Internet.

My "Bachelor" viewing habits are the same every year: I tune out the show until the final 2 or 3 episodes, and then worship it as the bible for relationships everywhere.

Which means you'll get some pretty sweet reflections Tuesday.