Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Accidentally in love

Here, the Wall Street Journal directs us to a Japanese bra equipped with a digital clock that counts down to your marriage deadline.

Talk about keeping your goals close to your heart.

The piece notes that the garment's underlying message goes something like this: "Don’t just sit there waiting for the right person to come along. Singles need to actively seek a spouse."

However, the writer and online commenters refute that statement, citing many personal examples of finding love when love was the last thing on somebody's mind.

So true. It always seems like you find the most potentially perfect mate the instant you say, "I don't want a relationship right now."

Yet it's hard to be an entirely passive dater. Sure, you don't have to bow to a marriage countdown clock. But if you really want to find someone, you have to make some effort to socialize.

Has anyone out there accidentally found love?

Free Tuesday show!

The M&M Band performs a free show tonight at the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road. Music starts at 7 p.m.

Arrive early and you'll have a chance to score a free dinner. No cover.

The show is part of the nightclub's Muldoon's Tuesday promotion, which attempts to recreate the atmosphere of longtime Columbus hangout Muldoon's. That bar was replaced by dance club H2O a year ago.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Stop talking about your baby

It's a regular Facebook occurrence: You innocently befriend the former college roommate who just happens to now have three kids.

Within minutes, you're suddenly bombarded by a deluge of status updates involving pleasant images like dirty diapers, toilet "accidents" and infant vomit.

Delightful? No. Common? Yes.

The Frisky details the phenomenon in a recent post, hilariously titled "Facebook is no place for baby diarrhea." The post even mentions a site where people post annoying baby-based status updates and photos.

As much as I want to believe these offenders aren't trying to annoy us, I can't understand the rationale behind telling your 294 friends about morning puke.

Once, after one of my social networking friends posted an especially graphic baby bodily function update, one of our mutual friends fired back. She wrote a status update to effect of, "XXX hates it when people post gross things about their kids."

Ouch, I know. But I was thinking the same thing.

If you have kids, do you censor your stories when you're around childless friends?

Advertising your goods

Happy Monday! While partying at Flip Flops Saturday, I spotted a guy wearing a T-shirt with his phone number on it. It also included this bold invitation: "Text me."

Classy, right?

On the plus side, he probably avoided all the awkward conversation that comes before the phone number exchange. On the minus side, he seriously risked looking desperate.

Whether you like it or not, the dating world relies heavily on self-promotion. We're told that in order to score a second date, we must show our best sides. Mention our most valued accomplishments. Accentuate our most striking features.

Take it too far, however, and you're conceited.

So tell me: Is literally wearing your phone number on your sleeve smart, or cheesy?

Friday, June 26, 2009

What's going on this weekend?

Hey party people! A couple cool things to remember this weekend:

Saturday, the Men of Playgirl come to H2O, 6499 Veterans Parkway. Doors open at 7, show starts at 9. Cover is $5 in advance, $10 at the door. Remember: Admission is for ladies only until the show ends. Read more here.

Also on Saturday, downtown Columbus hot spot The Oasis, 1107 Broadway, celebrates its one-year anniversary with drink specials, free food, prizes and more. The Hired Guns entertain. Details here.

The rest of your lineup:


2 Finger Jester, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

Classic Addict, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

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

• DJ D’Rock, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

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

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

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

Critical Darlings, The Rattlers, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.


2 Finger Jester, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

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

• DJ D’Rock, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

Big Woody and the Spinters, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, $5. 706-494-1584.

Red Rocket Deluxe, Thousand Watt Halo, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

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

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

• Todd and Kevin from Spent (acoustic), 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

Crazy cat ladies

When I moved to Columbus and wanted a pet, I chose a dog for a variety of reasons. There was the home defender factor, not to mention my mom's extreme hatred of felines.

But most importantly, if you're an unmarried woman, you sound a little less pathetic when you say, "I'm spending the night alone with my dog."

The crazy cat lady image has become a fear widespread enough to warrant its own documentary, YourTango reports.

Come on, people: Isn't the 35-year-old single guy who babies his cat just as scary? And is owning a dog really a better indication of your sanity?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Memories of Michael Jackson

Reports of Michael Jackson's death put me inside a 12-passenger van.

I was 20, and surviving on a scholarship that paid me to participate in my college speech team. The activity was designed for kids who thrived under spotlights, survived only under pressure and lacked the capacity to mistake North Korea for South Korea.

I wasn't cut out for it.

Maybe that's why, with a state championship title within my sight, I fainted while giving my signature speech about maggots.

The experience resulted in five stitches, and a life-changing choice: I could give up, or I could stand up again and risk falling down.

Stitches removed, I found myself once again in a 12-passenger van, traveling across the Midwest to another tournament that would inevitably juggle my nerves. I didn't know what to do.

So from the front passenger seat, I reached into my tote bag, put Michael Jackson's "History" on the van's CD player and danced.

It marked the beginning of a ritual that would continue through my remaining years on the team.

Inexplicably, one of the most complicated guys in entertainment ended up being my biggest source of clarity.


The other woman

After her husband's death, Julie Metz tracked down and confronted the five women with whom he'd had affairs.

Metz is profiled in this NY Times article, which focuses on her recent book, "Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal."

The interviewer asks Metz if she'd recommend tracking down the infamous Other Woman.

“I don’t make a recommendation about that,” Ms. Metz says. “I recommend doing something, in the sense that I think what a lot of women do is crawl off into a hole and suffer this humiliation and don’t try to do anything to emerge from the situation. But what you do depends on your particular situation.”

It's good advice. If my guy ever had an affair, I like to believe I'd have the courage to give the nasty skank a piece of my mind. But realistically, I'd probably just stand there like an idiot.

I mean, what do you say?

(via Jezebel)

What's going on tonight?

Hey everybody! Here's your Thursday night lineup:

Stereomonster, Unsung, Ethos, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free. $1.50 PBR.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Caught in the act

Here's an Australian study that says 25 percent of cell phone users found out their partner or someone else's was being unfaithful through text messages.

It got me thinking about the "best" way to find out your partner is having an affair. I'd much rather walk in on my guy making out with somebody than stumble upon piles and piles of amorous letters he'd written behind my back.

That scenario does give you the unforgettable image of your boyfriend kissing another woman. But it makes it easier to regard the affair as a purely physical thing.

When you find a bunch of sappy love letters, or a couple gushy texts, you realize he actually has feelings for somebody else.

Yes, when it comes to cheating, the ideal scenario is no scenario.

But if you had to discover someone was lying to you, how would you want it to play out?

Thanks, but no thanks

It's one thing for your friends to drag you to a bar hoping you'll finally meet that special someone. But creating a Web site touting your dating appeal?

I think that crosses the line.

Here, Glamour tells us about a girl whose friends made a Web site to find her a date. It's not the first time I've heard of this phenomenon. I know some real-life people who have had friends do the same thing.

Yes, it's sweet, and in some respects I'd appreciate friends set on curbing my post-breakup tendency to indulge in "Two and a Half Men" reruns.

Nonetheless, it's one thing to get somebody back in the saddle, but it's another thing to force them to ride a rodeo blindfolded.

Sometimes pushy friends can unknowingly force you to get back on the dating circuit before you're ready. Their good intentions end up only making you feel panicked.

Their Web sites can boast all your wonderful qualities, but you'll only be able to demonstrate those qualities if dating is something you really truly want.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What's up with feet?

You're smart. You're funny. Occasionally, you do something nice for me.

That doesn't mean I have to love your hobbit feet. Or enjoy the fact that your toenails are long enough to potentially sever one of my limbs.

I love you, but I hate your feet. It's a perfectly safe setup, right?

Unfortunately, the foot's romantic appeal has returned to the spotlight. Blame it on a recent "Bachelorette" contestant, as well as a reported scene from actress Leighton Meester's rumored sex tape.

Feet are not sexy, people. I agree with this Glamour blogger: Foot rubbing is gross.

I'm not only repulsed by the male hobbit syndrome. I hold my feet to the same critical standard. I have year-old stiletto calluses, not to mention enough dead skin to build a small insect shelter.

Is there anything hot about feet?

Free Tuesday show!

The local rockers from Haywire perform a free show tonight at the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road. Music starts at 7 p.m.

Arrive early and you'll have a chance to get a free chicken and dumplings dinner. No cover.

The show is part of the new "Muldoon's Tuesdays" promotion at the Shanty Shack. The Tuesday shows attempt to recreate the atmosphere of longtime Veterans Parkway hangout Muldoon's, which was replaced by dance club H2O a year ago.

Monday, June 22, 2009

If you're happy and you know it...

Should you keep your mouth shut?

The question hit me after I recently checked one of my favorite blogs, This Fish Needs a Bicycle. The blog debuted with a focus on single life, but its author found a boyfriend and the site has evolved to focus on relationship issues.

Anyway, the "Fish" recently detailed how -- after a particularly horrendous day -- her boyfriend surprised her with a dozen roses. The ended the post with this sentence: "My boyfriend is better than your boyfriend."

An online backlash ensued.

OK, really it was just like two or three people who interpreted the last line as smug. But it did ignite an online discussion and even inspired the blogger to write a post defending herself.

The thing is, the line kind of put me off, too. I get a little queasy around people who constantly offer lines like, "I have the best husband." Yes, I know you're not saying it to imply superiority, but it does come off smug. And, at times, a little insecure.

Then again, if you're really happy, shouldn't you be able to express your feelings without worrying about tiptoeing around the emotions of people who haven't found what they're looking for?

Relationship bliss is rare and often fleeting.

So when you find it, should you have to worry about rubbing your happiness in somebody's face?

Trust me, I've been there

Would you take love advice from someone with an unsuccessful romantic track record?

That's the question raised with Jennifer Love Hewitt's announcement she'll soon pen a dating advice manual. The actress abruptly broke off a recent engagement, and many people say her current relationship is nothing but a rebound.

It doesn't provide the best resume for dating expertise, but if we judged on authors' romantic histories alone, than self-help books like this one and this one wouldn't be popular.

I think it's possible to have a clear perspective on every romantic relationship...except your own. It's one thing to know the basic tenets of dating. It's another thing to be able to apply those rules when your own feelings are on the line. Telling someone else what to do is much easier.

Besides, I'd be much more inclined to take advice from someone who had her heart broken a few times than someone whose sole romantic relationship culminated in marriage.

And you?

Friday, June 19, 2009

What's going on this weekend?

Hey party people! Here's your weekend lineup:


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

• DJ D’Rock, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

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

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

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

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

Joe McClure CD release party (8 p.m.), Peggy Jenkins and the Bizness (9:30 p.m.), The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

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


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

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

Eclipse (Pink Floyd tribute), 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, $10.

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

The Bastard Suns, Wayne Ross & The Carry-ons, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

Jon Saunders (acoustic), 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

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

The Bridges with Lauren Michelle Miller, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wedding mania

I, too, have seen the deluge of "final fling before the ring" T-shirts on the nightlife scene. We're smack dab in the middle of wedding season, so here's my obligatory collection of matrimonial links:

*My dream of serving beef jerky at my wedding is normal after all. The Frisky says more and more wedding receptions are relying on comfort foods like slider burgers.

*Thinking of using the economy as a reason to skip out on a your friend's big day? You better reconsider. Tight finances aren't affecting wedding attendance, the AP reports.

*Including a dog in your ceremony is cute, but not always practical, according to the Dayton Daily News.

*Regardless of how few friends you have, would you ever be desperate enough to rent a wedding guest? (YourTango)

*Finally, for all your manners quandaries, here's an etiquette guide from the Emily Post Institute.

What's going on tonight?

Hey Thursday partiers! Here's your lineup:

Stereomonster, Unsung, Ethos, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free. $1.50 PBR.

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

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

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

American Idol in Atlanta

Hey everybody! Today I'm in Atlanta covering auditions for the ninth season of "American Idol."

I left Columbus around 2 a.m. to cover all the craziness. Thank God for Red Bull.

Will I spot more than one Adam Lambert wannabe? How about another Bikini Girl? Click here to see my live updates from the Georgia Dome.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Misery poker

Your back aches. Your feet are sore. You hate your job. All you want is to go home, sit on the couch and force your boyfriend to listen to you vent.

Just as you're ready to start, he slams the door, throws down his keys, and yells, "I had the worst day EVER."

Who wins?

That's the scenario raised in this Wall Street Journal column. The writer introduces us to "misery poker" -- an attempt to trump each other with our complaining.

I can totally relate. If someone's willing to listen, it's easy to enter a 30-minute tirade about how the entire world hates you.

When you've outlined every intricacy of your financial woes and bleak future, you finally turn to your partner and offer an emotionless afterthought: "How was your day?"

Yes, there are times when your irritable boss beats his lazy co-worker. And there are times when his botched presentation beats your lost car keys.

But when it comes to the misery world, a second-place trophy isn't a bad deal.

(via YourTango)

Facebook and divorce

I Hate My Ex-Husband.

It's an angry sentiment that exudes private rage often expressed in hidden journal entries.

It's also a group on Facebook. Don't worry, there's also an "I Hate My Ex-Wife" group.

Welcome to the new marriage between Facebook and divorce.

That's the subject of this Time magazine article, which describes how Facebook interactions have entered the courtroom. Divorce lawyers often regard sites like Facebook as "evidentiary gold mines," the article says. It explains:

Did your husband's new girlfriend Twitter about getting a piece of jewelry? The court might regard that as marital assets being disbursed to a third party. Did your wife tell the court she's incapable of getting a job? Then your lawyer should ask why she's pursuing job interviews through LinkedIn.

There's also the emotional side of things, like the fact that including news of your divorce on a status update can attract sympathy messages from people you haven't seen since high school.

Sure, maybe the Time piece isn't anything new, but it confirms how important it is to talk with your significant other about how much of your relationship you'll disclose on social networking sites.

Then again, when you've entered Splitsville, I guess all bets are off.

(via Lemondrop)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Shopping for love

Here's an interesting NY Times piece about how more couples are having date night at Ikea.

Why? Hello...doesn't anyone else get turned on by those unpronounceable Swedish furniture names?

The article says married people are spending Friday nights at Ikea because the international home products store has free childcare.

I think unmarried couples could be just as easily convinced to hit the giant store for a date.

It has the visual appeal that makes going to Lowe's together kind of hot. Same for Sam's Club and Costco.

Nothing says "I love you" like agreeing to share 172 rolls of toilet paper. You know, because it's a good deal.

Craving some Swedish love? Get directions to Atlanta's Ikea here.

(via The Frisky)

The in-law gift

You're meeting your significant other's parents for the first time. One etiquette guideline is universally understood as a "must."

Bring a gift.

Kendra Wilkinson, formerly part of the "Girls Next Door" trio, gave her future in-laws a signed copy of her Playboy spread.

Not all of us are lucky enough to look that good naked. Or, um, to have in-laws that accepting.

That's why you should meet the parents with a pretty neutral gift in hand. Think fruit baskets or candy samplers. Sure, it's not the most creative route, but it serves its purpose.

Like my mom said: "When you're our age, you have everything you need. It's the gesture that counts."

What do you recommend giving someone's parents? You know, aside from Playboy...

(via Jezebel)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Friending Mom

You've seen her blurry profile shot on Facebook's "People You May Know" tool. You've also spotted her friend request, but ignored it.

Then, there is the online message she sent you this morning: "Honey, are you keeping up with your laundry?"

Mom is on Facebook.

The harsh reality usually requires four processing stages:

1. Anger
Expect the territorial rage that comes with having to share your turf. There's a slight possibility of insomnia induced by a fear that Mom could acquire more digital friends than you.

2. Anxiety
This comes when you realize your Facebook page requires a complete overhaul to comply with your pristine daughterly image. You cancel parties and spend your leisure time doctoring photos.

3. Altruism
Just when your bitterness has peaked, you start to feel sorry for Mom. She's drowning in "How well do you know me?" quiz requests and she doesn't know how to make it stop. You put your differences aside, sit down for a tutorial session and let the healing begin.

4. Acceptance
Mom is immersed in enough Poke Wars to make it clear she's not going anywhere. It's not an ideal setup, but you vow to make it work. As long as she doesn't approve another friend request.

See, it's that simple. And if you need additional support, check out this new blog, Oh Crap. My Parents Joined Facebook. (via Scanner)

National Man Day

In honor of National Man Day -- no, I'm not making that up -- I'll devote this post to one of the most testosterone-packed nightlife events of all:

The bachelor party.

Wedding buzz is at its peak this month, so we've gotten a slew of articles destined to give brides nightmares of dominatrix strippers at their man's final fling before the ring.

Want in on the action? Check out this list of 10 things you didn't know about bachelor parties, courtesy of Cosmo.

I know guys who have cheated at their bachelor parties, but they're the same guys who had been shady during their entire relationship. I think if anyone's going to hook up at a bachelor party, it's going to be one of the groom's drunk friends.

Besides, sources like AskMen.com report that bachelor party destinations have grown to include activities like golf excursions. (Conveniently, though, the Web site refers readers to a golf course near a strip joint.)

Married/engaged readers: Are bachelor party fears exaggerated?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bret Michaels coming to H2O

Bret Michaels, lead singer of Poison and star of the VH1 reality show "Rock of Love," will appear at Columbus nightclub H2O in October.

Tickets for the Oct. 8 show will go on sale later this summer. They're $70 in advance, $75 at the door. The show is part of VH1's Rock of Love Summer Tour, H2O's Web site says.

Hopefully Bret will avoid any moving equipment at the Veterans Parkway hot spot.

Stay tuned.

What's going on this weekend?

Hey everybody! Need Friday plans? Join me at the WoodBats game in Golden Park. Action starts at 7 p.m. Gotta love $1 beer.

Congrats if you were able to snag tickets to Friday's sold-out Candlebox show at H20. Let me know how it was.

Here's the rest of your lineup:


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

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

• DJ D’Rock, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

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

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

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

The Modern Society, Groove Stain, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.


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

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

• DJ D’Rock, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

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

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

Jon Saunders (acoustic), 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

The Four Kicks with Matt Self, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

Local nightlife: 'Dive' right in

At least once a week, I get a phone call or e-mail from somebody who expects me to know about some hidden holy grail of local nightlife. You know, that best-kept secret that somehow manages to adhere to everybody's guidelines for party time perfection.

That place doesn't exist.

However, if you're interested in partying somewhere other than the traditional meet market, there are some perfectly safe options off the beaten path. These are the bars you drive past and wonder, "Does anybody go there?"

The answer is yes. I've been to those places -- some people call them dive bars -- and lived to tell about it. Here are some suggestions if you want to vary your routine this weekend.

Saloon & Oyster Bar, 6005 Macon Road: This is probably the most mainstream of the four bars I'm listing here. Expect a quaint atmosphere, good food and some stellar hunch punch. My biggest aspiration has always been to try the SOB's Sunday Brunch. No joke.

Gray's Bar, 1698 S. Lumpkin Road: Don't let the South Columbus stigma scare you. This hole in the wall hot spot will keep you entertained with draws like keno and a great jukebox.

Pop-A-Top, 210 32nd Street: Come for the beer, stay for the wall decorations. The friendly hot spot has a share of "regulars," but it's always getting first-timers from the nearby Johnston Mill Lofts.

Bobby's Bar, 1718 Morris Road: Expect cheap beer, good conversation and some occasional barbecue food. One of my favorites.

Have fun and let me know what you think. I'll post more options next weekend.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Can I get your number?

This entry on Glamour's Single-ish blog addresses what happens when you give your phone number to a bunch of guys...and they all call.

It's one of my biggest nightlife pet peeves. I've hung out with girls who give their phone number to every guy who asks -- even if they're not attracted to any of those guys.

Why do they do it? They think the request is flattering, or maybe they just think it's inappropriate to say no.

At any rate, they give their digits to a dozen guys and spend the entire next week complaining the guys won't leave them alone. HATE THAT.

I've never had a problem declining a request for my phone number. I don't know why it terrifies so many women. I also don't think giving a guy a fake number is much nicer than a direct rejection.


Updated: What's going on tonight?

Update: Just learned there's a Playboy Playmate Ring Girl VIP Party tonight at Big City Club, 1113 Broadway. Should be exciting. Doors open at 9 p.m.

Hey everybody! Here are your Thursday night party options:

Stereomonster, Unsung, Ethos, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free. $1.50 PBR.

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

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

Steve McRay, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, free. 706-494-1584.

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

Game of love

Sports are a great way to bond with your significant other.

Assuming, of course, your girlfriend doesn't have a crazy sports fan alter ego that makes her call you a wussy when you don't scream "defense" loudly enough.

Today's nightlife column is about the romantic power of the sporting event date. Hint: Nothing's sexier than sharing a plastic tray of nachos.

Don't believe me? Schedule a date to watch the new WoodBats in Golden Park this weekend. Friday is $1 beer night. Game starts at 7 p.m.

Once you've mastered watching sports together, conquer the next hurdle: playing sports together.

A 21-and-older kickball league starts next month in Columbus. Sign up by June 30. Click here to register.

Game on!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Outsourcing dating

Just came across this press release for VirtualDatingAssistants.com, an organization that lets busy men outsource all their online dating responsibilities.

For $480 a month, you can hire someone to create your online profile, interact with women and set up dates.

A good deal? Depends on your level of social anxiety.

For years, I was absolutely terrified to set up my own dates. It started during my time at an all-girls high school. Interactions with the opposite sex were rare, but somehow dates were still mandatory for all our formal dances. So in the weeks prior to Homecoming and prom, I spent many free periods scrambling the halls, begging people to set me up.

Then I entered the college world of sorority formals. Things didn't change. I remember sitting in a friend's room, begging her to dial my crush and invite him for me.

Another year, I forced a friend ask my date in advance -- so I knew he'd say yes when I made the official phone call.

Do I regret the years I relied on outsourcing? No way. With my assistants, dating was a cakewalk. I instantly bypassed the awkwardness that dominates a relationship's early stages.

But unfortunately, outsourcing's biggest strength was ultimately also its biggest weakness. I had relationship security, but I lacked the stories of pursuing someone. Taking risks. Developing feelings strong enough to make awkwardness worthwhile.

So I fired my assistants, picked up the phone and did my own dirty work.

It wasn't comfortable, but I never looked back.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cooking for one

As a child, I watched my parents navigate complicated grocery lists and always imagined my supermarket trips would involve grown-up things like paprika, basil and Worcester sauce.

Instead, my concept of culinary spice has grown to mean moving beyond Lean Cuisine.

Sunday, I performed my usual shopping ritual, filling a grocery cart with a week's worth of frozen entrees. There's no real rhyme or reason behind my selections...I just try to pick the microwaveable dishes least resembling something out of a "Survivor" challenge.

When I approached the cashier, I glanced at the customer behind me. She was another 20-something, steering a cart packed with frozen TV dinners.

Nobody really dreams of the TV dinner lifestyle...it's just something you kind of fall into when you realize how impractical (and expensive) it is to cook homemade meals for just one person.

On the plus side, these meals have really advanced in recent years, and it seems like more people are coming out of the freezer and admitting this is how they eat.

Here's the mecca of information on all things frozen: Heat Eat Review, an extremely well-written blog that offers humorous, helpful reviews on virtually every freezer-friendly entree imaginable.

Seriously, check it out. And wish me luck as I heat up this deceptively intriguing dish.

Date night

Like you needed another reason to complain about your relationship: Here, the NY Times writes how couples are jealous of the Obamas' aww-inducing date nights.

Despite his busy schedule, President Obama still schedules "Michelle time," the article notes.

Of course, you can argue it's easy for the first couple to be romantic. They have access to things like private jets and limos. Not to mention the fact that there's a little more pressure to be publicly affectionate when there's cameras on you all the time.

That aside, the whole "date night" concept is interesting. It's nice to have pre-scheduled rituals, a weekly dinner that you can anticipate nights in advance.

But spontaneity is also important, and weekly 8 p.m. pizza nights can quickly transform from romantic to relationship rut.

Scheduling time with your partner: Tacky or romantic?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Throw that away

Time to get rid of that stuffed teddy bear on the corner of your bed. And those super low-rise jeans.

Emotional? Blame this list of 10 things a grown woman should never have.

Even if you know it's a sign of maturity, parting with your possessions can be sad. Recently I finally gave away one of those outfits you keep without wearing for years, hoping one day it will flatter your figure.

It never does.

Which possession did you have the hardest time ditching on your journey toward adulthood?

Cheap dates

This AP story says unemployed men are struggling in the dating world.

Why? Well, there's the obvious stigma that comes with telling somebody you don't have a job.

But there's also the fact that dates require money. It's not necessarily PC to go dutch at the early stages of courtship. Here's a particularly interesting paragraph from the article:

Melissa Braverman, who blogs about dating, said she knows someone who was asked out on a walking date and considered it a turnoff. And in the last six months, she's noticed that men don't suggest meals. When they meet for drinks, they limit it to one hour. She believes it's so she won't order a second drink.

Every first date I've had has involved a restaurant dinner. It's not a rule of mine...it's always just happened that way.

A first date doesn't have to break the bank. I think picnics are especially romantic.

But there are limits.

Low-maintenance first dates can be fun, but they also have tremendous potential to set the course for the rest of the relationship. I know a couple who went to a fast-food restaurant for their first date, and the woman spent the remainder of the relationship complaining how the guy didn't do enough to show her he cared.

Would you go on a first date that cost less than $10?

Friday, June 5, 2009

What's going on this weekend?

Hey everybody! Don't forget about the First Friday Block Party when one $10 cover gets you into the majority of Broadway hot spots. Among the night's entertainment: Behind the Sun, a Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute act, performs at The Roadhouse.

Saturday, country singer Jake Owen takes the stage at the Phenix City Amphitheater. Show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $10. Listen to Jake's music here.

Here's the rest of your lineup:


• The Drive, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

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

Bibb City Ramblers, 10 p.m. Strutting Duck, $5. 334-821-7277.

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

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

• Peggy Jenkins and the Bizness with special guest Michelle Malone, 9 p.m. The Loft, block party cover. 706-596-8141.

Behind the Sun, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, block party cover.

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

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


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

• DJ D’Rock, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

• Lonnie from Whisky Bent (acoustic), 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

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

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

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

Ben Deignan with Ty Izumi, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

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

Sexy when you're mad

It's one thing when your boyfriend threatens to throw a punch at the creepy stalker dude who just felt you up.

It's another thing when he goes all aggro on the drive-thru employee who forgot to put extra ketchup on a Whopper.

Some girls dream of dating a fighter, not a lover. A willingness to physically defend himself -- and his relationship -- shows he's a real man, they say.

But it's not that easy, as Shine points out here.

Dating a guy with a temper can get really old really quickly. Even if you think his quick rage is a badge of honor, it's likely your friends will soon get tired of worrying about being stuck in the middle of a looming bar fight.

You, meanwhile, will be left yearning for the boyfriend who lit incense and chanted like the Dalai Lama.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Engagement chicken

I'm happy to see that Glamour's "Engagement Chicken" is once again making the Internet rounds with a vengeance.

Make the recipe and your guy will propose to you, we're told. Tons of people have success stories, but I'm hesitant to move the entree beyond the realm of urban relationship legend.

Seriously...wooing a guy with chicken? I wouldn't be so skeptical if the dish of choice was steak or a burger. Or at least something fried.

Here's the recipe if you want to give it a shot.

What's going on tonight?

Need a little boost after today's cloudy skies? Try these Thursday night party options:

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

Wes Loper Band, 9 p.m. Shanty Shack, free. 706-507-3418.

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

Stereomonster, Unsung, Ethos, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free. $1.50 PBR.

I love you. Not really.

It's an average phone conversation with your newest fling: work, weekend plans, maybe some TV talk. When you hang up, you give what's supposed to be your standard casual sendoff.

But it doesn't come out that way.

"Bye. I love you."

That last line? Not planned.

Ah, the accidental "I love you." I'd almost forgotten its awkwardness until sex goddesses Em and Lo reminded me with this advice column.

Sometimes, an accidental "I love you" can be useful, reflecting a mutually shared emotion you've both been too afraid to voice. In this case, even if the sentiment wasn't premeditated, it can mark a major step forward for a relationship.

But more often than not, the accidental "I love you" complicates things.

Do you apologize? Make a joke? Ignore it entirely?

What's the least awkward option?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Healthy competition?

I've always admired the couples brave enough to run road races together. Not only for their endurance, but for their ability to not let an athletic rivalry ruin their relationship.

There's a moment in every relationship when you see your once demure partner's competitive side.

It can start with something as innocuous as a road trip game of Cow Poker. Then, before you know it, your significant other is rubbing her three-digit point tally in your face and ending every sentence with "boo yeah."

No joke, I know a couple who broke up over a nasty game of cards.

Some couples thrive by sharing competitive spirits. It can add fuel to a relationship and sometimes result in some really good conciliatory makeout sessions.

But in other cases, when a relationship's competitive equilibrium is off, a simple board game rivalry can quickly put you in the danger zone.

Have you ever been put off by someone's competitive side?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hungry eyes

OK, so I want to address something really important. The thing is...

Hey, over here. Take your eyes off that girl whose chest is about to pop out of her shirt.

Anyway, I'm really upset about this and I think you should...

Look at me! Her dress is not cute enough to be monopolizing your attention.

So what I'm trying to say is...


Sound familiar? Every woman fights this battle...and loses.

It's an inescapable fact: Guys stare at other women. It doesn't mean they like their main squeeze any less -- it's just something they do.

Need more proof? This recent Science Daily report suggests men with sexual partners are no less likely to have wandering eyes.

So take a deep breath and regard it simply as one of those things.

Then, give a nice one-over to that hot construction worker who's been eyeing you.

(via YourTango)

Never say never

We've all been there: Seconds after a breakup, you make your list of "nevers."

"I'll NEVER date somebody without a job again."

"I'll NEVER date somebody who doesn't call me every day."

"I'll NEVER date somebody who doesn't like my dog."

If you're lucky, you stick to the promise, using your "nevers" to bring you one step closer to happiness.

But in most cases -- unless it relates to something really extreme -- your once adamant "never" is quickly buried under the denial rug in your new relationship.

You tell yourself that everybody's different, that even though this partner annoys you, he's nowhere near as bad as the guy you last dated. Besides, "never" only constrains you.


We've all dabbled in the world of relationship "nevers," which is part of the reason why this article about Christie Brinkley saying she'd never marry again has gotten so much attention.

What's the biggest relationship "never" you've kept? What's the biggest one you've broken?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Kim Kardashian's engagement ring

I'm amazed by the amount of Internet traffic devoted to this recent story about Kim Kardashian's engagement ring.

Kim Kardashian is going engagement ring shopping. The catch? She and boyfriend Reggie Bush aren't engaged yet.

That's right: Kim's shopping for her own ring, a move she says saves time and stress. An excerpt:

"It's just easier," Kardashian says. "Isn't it easy if someone's like, 'This is exactly what I want.' It'll make your life so easy."

I don't entirely hate this mentality. Especially since more TV shows are depicting the plight of the woman who gets an ugly engagement ring.

Ladies, would you feel weird picking out your own engagement ring? And guys, does this strategy alleviate stress, or erase a necessary element of surprise?

You are your shoes

I'm kicking off the week by blogging about shoes. Life is good.

Here, one writer argues that "extreme heels" have gotten out of control. An excerpt:

It’s no longer a matter of how good you look; it’s a question of “I can if she can”. And I look thinner and taller.

Normally I'd disagree, but I reached a sobering realization when I recently spotted an eighth-grader wearing -- brace yourself -- clear plastic heels in Cheddar's. I don't know what was more alarming: the fact she owned the shoes, or the fact that she could walk in them with ease.

Subscribe to the world of heels and you're agreeing to blisters, publicly photographed tumbles and a good chunk of credit card debt.

I hope it's worth it.

Are heels still hot?