Friday, July 31, 2009

What's going on this weekend?

Hey everybody! Some weekend highlights:

Check out the Midnight Dolls, a group of burlesque dancers. The ladies perform Friday and Saturday at H2O, 6499 Veterans Parkway. Both shows start at 9 p.m. Latin band La Positiva performs after Friday's show. Cover is $5 in advance and $10 at the door, free if you're female. 706-327-9700.

Saturday, Flip Flops (1111 Broadway) hosts a red carpet party.

Indulge in a couple frozen drinks and then head over to Saturday's midnight performance of "The Rocky Horror Show" at the International Marketplace, 618 10th Ave at Victory Drive. Tickets are $18 and $15.

Here's the rest of your lineup:


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

• No Promises reunion, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

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

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

Atom Smash with Platinum Fuzz, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

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

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


Liz Melendez, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

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

Gary Parmer Band featuring Larry Rose and Jimmy Jam, 7:30 p.m. Ossahatchee Oyster Bar and Grill, free. 706-582-2629.

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

Blacksmithz, Modern Day Escape, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

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

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

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

Affection goes viral

Now, you have to do more than impress your partner's friends and parents.

You also have to impress the YouTube viewing audience.

Recently, this video of a wedding entrance dance to Chris Brown's "Forever" went viral.

Then, we got this video of a guy proposing to his girlfriend via a 60-person game of "telephone."

Sure, many people watch these videos for mere entertainment. But I think it's fair to assume some people -- women in particular -- watch the YouTube clips and raise their relationship expectations.

The clips contribute to a belief that true love is rooted in grand romantic gestures.

Their success is part of our fascination with publicizing love's most traditionally private aspects.

I'll admit I watched the "telephone" clip and guiltily slapped myself for wondering, "Why hasn't my boyfriend ever done anything cute enough to get on YouTube?"

Truth is, he has. I just didn't arm our friends with cameras during those moments.

And I don't know if my memories would be any fonder if we had the support of 13 million YouTube views.

Love on YouTube: Charming or cheesy?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What's up with sonograms?

You stare at the image mindlessly, wondering whether it requires a "that's so cute" or a "what's that?"

It is, of course, the sonogram.

Parents seem to embrace the blurry picture's significance, often posting it as their profile photo on social networking sites.

Sonogram aficionados, let me tell you something on behalf of (almost) all your childless friends:

We don't get it.

We don't understand how an unrecognizable portrait warrants a "cute." But we don't know what else to say. "Aww" borders on too phony, while "where's the head?" exposes our lack of membership in the Mommy & Me society.

So I'm sorry, child-bearing friends, but I'll never get you one of these cakes -- no matter how trendy it is to display your sonogram image in frosting.

I guess it's one of those things you regard differently when you're a parent.


What's going on tonight?

Hey everybody! Here's your Thursday night party lineup:

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

• Sturgis kickoff party with Spent, 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

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

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

The 17th Floor, 10 p.m. H2O, $5 (ladies free). 706-327-9700.

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

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Atlanta-Columbus dating

Atlanta has lost its spot as Forbes' No. 1 city for singles.

Taking its place? New York. Here's the really bad news: This year, Atlanta was ranked No. 6.

Talk about a downgrade. Read more about the list here.

I asked this question when I wrote about last year's rankings and I'll ask it again:

How many of you Columbus singletons regularly check out the meet market in Atlanta?

The city has an impressive nightlife and includes a lot of events that appeal to Columbus daters set on the "young professional" scene.

It's a good option for girls in Columbus who want a relationship, but won't go to the local clubs because of the deluge of military guys.

But at the same time, Atlanta's close -- but still 90 miles away.

If you meet someone there and start a serious relationship, there's going to be a decent amount of travel involved. And Atlanta traffic is hardly pleasant.


Tale of two cities

Here, one woman details how she broke up with her boyfriend and embraced a relationship with the real love of her life:

New York.

Her boyfriend lived in Minnesota. She lived in Manhattan. She hoped he'd move; he didn't want to.

So she chose New York over him. She summarizes her feelings beautifully:

When I was contemplating the end of my relationship with the ex, I thought about one of the home truths of writing, that you should go to whatever question scares you the most; that’s probably where the best material is. What, I wondered, if I did that with my life? What if I went after the very thing that frightened me?

The scariest thing I could think of was to choose a path that, however right, meant I could be alone for the rest of my life, not know the comfort and security of a partner, the sweetness of shared history, the imprint of a mattress that knows two bodies well.

When you're thinking about sharing your life with someone, people sometimes underestimate the importance of location. It's something that makes people shrug and say, "If you really love someone, you'll find a way to make it work."

But the feeling of being in love with a city is one of the most exhilarating sensations of all.

It's possible to live in the greatest place and be miserable.

However, when you really love where you live, you get a daily sense of belonging from the people who surround you.

Even if you don't know their names.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Google Goggles

You haven't even met the guy, and you're already convinced he's a catch.


You found his resume online -- with the same Internet search that yielded photos of him saving starving children in India.

Congratulations, your dating judgment has been impaired by Google Goggles.

I didn't coin the term. That honor goes to relationship goddesses Em and Lo, who offer this definition:

Google goggles are the rose-tinted glasses through which you view a new paramour after an exhaustive Internet search on them yields very impressive results.

When we think of Googling our dates, it's usually in the context of exposing a fatal flaw: say, a MySpace page that indicates a lingering attachment to an ex.

But in the dating world, Internet background checks can just as easily reveal a history of accomplishments that inflates our perception of our partner.

It takes the old "good on paper" line to a new level, offering concrete evidence of potential. Enough to make us enter a date with higher expectations.

And, strangely, a higher chance of disappointment.

Marry me!

The author of this CNN article is either a master motivator or a master manipulator.

He asserts that men really want to get married. In fact, some of them fantasize about it. An excerpt:

Somewhere along the way, marriage and masculinity became mutually exclusive. But that stands in stark contrast to the dozens of men I spoke with, who admitted -- no, insisted -- they've fantasized about popping the question, getting married, even having a wedding.

I think the belief that all men go to the altar kicking and screaming is a slight exaggeration.

But in popular culture, it's rare to find an image of a man who's overtly excited about his wedding ceremony.

Do men fantasize about marriage?

(Link via the AJC's Misadventures in Atlanta)

Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush

So everyone's talking about the Kim Kardashian/Reggie Bush breakup.

Here's how an anonymous source explains the split: "This is just a case of conflicting schedules and their lives going in different directions."

Check out The Frisky's reaction to that justification:

What a cop-out excuse! If two people really want to be together, then they’ll find a way to make it work.

I don't necessarily agree.

In relationships, I think one of the worst feelings ever is realizing that you and your partner want different things out of life.

The realization can pertain to differences in choices like where you want to live, what you want out of your career and when you want to start a family.

When those differences become apparent, it's hard because your partner hasn't really done anything "bad." He or she has simply dreamed of a life different than your own.

I agree that love requires some level of compromise. I don't, however, think your relationship should make you compromise your identity or your dreams.

Yes, two people can really want to be together.

But sometimes, making it work isn't worth what you lose in the process.

Free Tuesday show!

The local rockers from Boneheadz 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 score a free dinner.

The show is part of the bar's Muldoon's Tuesday promotion, which attempts to recreate the atmosphere of longtime Columbus hangout Muldoon's. The Veterans Parkway hot spot was replaced by H2O about a year ago.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The exercise date

In relationships, few things make me happier than this pickup line:

"Want to go to the gym together?"

It's not as enticing as a shopping invite or a fancy dinner. But having a workout partner can make an otherwise routine task a little more exciting.

What's more, it's nice to date someone who has the discipline to take care of his or her body. Maintaining a regular workout regimen says a lot about your ability to commit to something and follow through.

However, I have to admit that more often than not, an exercise date can do more harm than good.

Very few couples operate on the same levels of athleticism.

You're in for a rude awakening when an innocent run with your boyfriend turns into a sweat-inducing installment of Sprinting With Satan.

Keep that possibility in mind when you check out this article, "How to go on an exercise date."

And here's a gallery of partner yoga poses. But don't get too optimistic about completing them successfully.

Unless your significant other considers a broken arm foreplay.

Crazy possessive

Happy Monday! Over the weekend I discovered this song, Kaci Battaglia's "Crazy Possessive."

In the chorus, she repeatedly threatens to beat you up if you call or touch her man again.

In relationships, some degree of possessiveness can be flattering. It's nice to have someone who wants you exclusively as his/her own, regardless of how long you've been dating.

I've dated guys who have just shrugged with disinterest when I've mentioned being hit on by other people. Honestly, that reaction kind of hurts.

But romantic possession is best received in small doses.

Everyone has met That Girl who's convinced that all of her friends want to hook up with her boyfriend.

Strangely, it seems like those girls are also the ones who date the least desirable men.

I once knew a girl who would shower her boyfriend with the most disgusting PDAs whenever other women were in the near vicinity. The guy had a widespread reputation as a sleaze, not to mention some pretty grotesque hygiene habits.

The bottom line? Extreme possessiveness is a sign of insecurity.

The problem isn't a world of dirty skanks trying to holler at your man.

It's you.

Friday, July 24, 2009

What's going on this weekend?

Hey everybody! Don't forget about Play Date Columbus, an event where adults play board games and socialize. It's 8 p.m.-midnight Friday at Doubletree Hotel, 5351 Sidney Simons Blvd. Tickets are $10. Call 706-464-7310. Read more here.

Here's the rest of your lineup:


Mile Train, Afterglow Radio, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

The Killing Ground and friends, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, $5.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sons of Roswell, Lauderdale, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

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

Seven Zero Sixx, 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

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

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

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

stephaniesid with Ophir Drive, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

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

Spinfish, 7:30 p.m. Ossahatchee Oyster Bar and Grill, free. 706-582-2629.

My heart, my sandwich

I am a conscientious perfectionist devoted to my work, home or relationship.

How do I know that? I ordered a BLT for lunch.

Results of this recent study say sandwich preference is a major indicator of a pair's romantic compatibility.

As a BLT fan, I'm supposed to be most compatible with people who enjoy seafood salad sandwiches. So hit me up, shrimp lovers.

Click here to see what your sandwich choice says about your love life. Warning: It's not a good day to be a ham and cheese fan.

I agree with this Jezebel blogger: "However, even if it is foolish, studies like this do seem to say something about ourselves, not so much our romantic style or how introverted we are, but about the need to fall into one of eight simple categories."

This specific study aside, taste in food can affect romantic attraction.

I think one of the sexiest qualities ever is a willingness to immerse yourself in Moroccan food one day and Thai food the next.

It reflects an adventurous spirit that in many cases extends to other aspects of your relationship.


National Tequila Day

During my standard morning review of Google Trends, I learned today is National Tequila Day.

So yes, you now have one more reason to leave work early and grab a Friday afternoon -- er, evening -- margarita. If I was back home in California, I'd celebrate here.

Ah, tequila. We've shared such a sweet love affair. I can always count on you to fuel phone calls that lead to three days of awkward silence. Thank you.

I also have to express my gratitude for the role you played in my 21st birthday celebration. It was so kind of the bartender to give me a mix of tequila and Tabasco sauce as my very first shot of the night.

But I guess things could be worse.

For many of my friends, tequila is That Liquor. You know, the one you swear off for life because of a particularly horrendous hangover. The one that generates a gag reflex with its bottle alone.

Tequila and I have had our ups and downs, but it's still on my good side.

Rum? Not so much.

Give me your best tequila stories.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I got scared

Men fear proposing marriage just about as much as they fear sharks, according to the results of this recent survey.

I don't know what to make of the findings, aside from a slight suspicion the survey will bolster the popularity of my least favorite breakup line EVER:

"I got scared of the relationship."

The logic doesn't make sense, but many girls will buy it. So much, in fact, that "I got scared of the relationship" has grown to often work as a reasonable justification for cheating.

Girls think the line is cute. Sensitive. And, most importantly, an indication of real emotional investment.

Unfortunately, none of those elements are true. "Getting scared" translates into everything from "getting bored" to "getting attracted to somebody else."

So the next time you hear it, call your date out.

If the angry confrontation comes as a surprise, you know what to do.

Just say you got scared.

MTV's 16 and Pregnant

Does anyone else watch "16 and Pregnant" on MTV?

No? You wish MTV would go back to playing music videos? Hmm. Well, this is awkward.

Much to the chagrin of my boyfriend, who has sacrificed far too many "Futurama" reruns to satisfy my reality TV addiction, I love "16 and Pregnant."

I'm surprised by how many people think the show is trashy. True, watching a teenage cheerleader go into labor isn't necessarily a vehicle for a life-changing inspiration.

But from a filming standpoint alone, the show is done really well. The author of this interesting Salon piece, "I actually was 16 and pregnant," notes that a good portion of the show is filmed with participants' hand held flip cameras -- minimizing the presence of outside filming crews and creating an honesty you don't usually get out of reality TV.

From its onset, the show -- a partnership between MTV and the National Campaign to Reduce Teen and Unwanted Pregnancy -- was designed to deter teen viewers from getting pregnant.

I agree with this DoubleX writer: Even if they watch every episode, teens are more likely to be influenced by their family and friends.

That doesn't mean the show is without purpose. At the very least, it reminds us as viewers to form our real-life conclusions carefully.

And know that every pregnant teenager is more than her bulky sweatshirts.

(Click here to watch full episodes of "16 and Pregnant." The show's reunion episode, "Life After Labor," airs 10 p.m. tonight on MTV.)

What's going on tonight?

Hey party people! Here's your Thursday night lineup:

Whisky Bent, 9 p.m. Scruffy Murphy's, free. 706-322-3460.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

He's really gonna do it

She spends hours analyzing three-word e-mails. She considers a squeal an acceptable mode of communication. She thrives on faulty intuition.

File this under the friends everyone has: The Girl Who Always Thinks Her Boyfriend Is Going to Propose.

I started thinking about it after reading this post from a Glamour blogger, dangerously entitled "Are these signs he's about to propose?"

Before even clicking on the piece, I knew my answer:


I'm not cynical about love. I've just seen one too many friends interpret any moderately thoughtful male gesture as an indication of an upcoming marriage proposal.

This is problematic for a variety of reasons. Naturally, it sets the girl up for disappointment. However, girls who fall into the aforementioned category are pretty resilient. Or they just can't take a hint.

The bigger problem with The Girl Who Always Thinks Her Boyfriend Is Going to Propose? As her breed grows, they hurt the rest of us by making guys even more reluctant to go out of their way for us. You know, because they're worried the gesture might be correlated with marriage.

Maybe the Glamour blogger will be one of the lucky ones. Maybe the "I love you" her boyfriend scrawled on the steamy bathroom mirror really is a prelude to a ring.

Or maybe he's just being nice.

Which is a pretty great thing, too.

Hookers and Handgrenades

Extensive tattoos? Check. Facial piercings? Check. Adamant insistence you're not emo? Check.

Congratulations, you're ready to attend the Hookers and Handgrenades tour tonight at SoHo Bar & Grill, 5751 Milgen Road.

The show features two nationally touring rock acts, Neverset and Parabelle. Listen to their stuff here and here.

Sure, with these kind of concerts, there's a chance the bands will be fresh out of their moms' basements. However, these acts look like the real deal. They say they even have a gig scheduled at hip Hollywood hot spot Les Deux in August.

Not to mention the fact that the tour has the coolest name EVER.

Music starts around 10 p.m.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I love you = $267,000

The phrase "I love you" is worth $267,000, according to the results of a recent British survey.

Click here to read more about the scientific reasoning process, which I don't completely understand. It's an interesting concept, though.

I know words are only words, and someone can repeatedly voice affection and not really mean it...but I think "I love you" is one of the most valuable gifts ever.

Assuming it's said soberly. And followed by an "I love you, too."

Some people can go months -- even years -- without hearing "I love you." Others throw out the three words with the same frequency of "hello" and "goodbye."

Would you take $267,000 under the condition that you'd never hear "I love you" from your significant other?

What about this: Would you take $267,000 if it meant you'd never hear "I love you" from ANYONE?

Free Tuesday show!

Local rock act Misty Harbor 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 get a free dinner.

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

Monday, July 20, 2009

Million dollar password

When you're in a serious relationship, are you obligated to exchange Internet passwords with your significant other?

It's become more of an issue now that the average person manages not only e-mail, but also social networking accounts like Facebook and MySpace. Increasingly, those sites have become vehicles for infidelity.

So the reasoning is that if you won't give your significant other your password, you have something to hide.

I've never done the password exchange. I think it's necessary to maintain some level of privacy in a relationship. Sometimes it's more reassuring to trust your partner's word alone, rather than checking and double-checking his or her history.

Also, most people have at least one psycho ex who occasionally goes on a "what have you been up to" e-mail rampage. You know it doesn't mean anything, but it can trigger jealousy in an outside eye.


If I asked a boyfriend for his password and he said no, I'd be seriously upset. Despite trust and privacy and all that good stuff, I'd immediately expect he was cheating.

That's just the way it is.

Meeting in the ladies' room

One of the most life-altering aspects of my California trip was when I entered a women's restroom and saw this sign:

"Boys older than 4 prohibited. No exceptions."

It seemed a bit harsh, but later that day I entered another women's restroom -- only to be greeted by an approximately 8-year-old boy who was just standing there.

OK, I'm sure he was waiting for his mom or something, but he just seemed a bit old to be lingering in a space where members of the opposite sex publicly adjust their underwear.

Then again, if you're a single mom traveling in a busy place, what's the alternative?

If I had an 8-year-old son, I wouldn't feel comfortable making him stand alone in an airport while I used the women's restroom -- especially if there was a line inside.

I guess this is why more and more venues are providing mixed-gender family restrooms.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Where the heart is

You probably noticed last week's blog posts were a little less frequent than usual. That's because I was typing while visiting family in my home state of California. Pretty sneaky, huh?

Believe it or not, the trip marked my first pilgrimage home since moving to Columbus exactly three years ago. I took a long time scheduling the trip partially because of the unconventional work schedule that comes with journalism.

But also, I hate the fact that my current life setup requires me to regard two places on opposite sides of the country as home.

So I usually block many cross-country attachments out of my mind, convincing myself that my ties are confined to where I am RIGHT NOW and everything else is just a vacation destination.

But when I see my family...when I visit places that used to be daily stomping grounds...I can't help but question whether I've made the right decisions and ended up where I'm supposed to be.

Saying goodbye never gets any easier. Even after exchanging optimistic "I'll be back soons."

With a week of vacation under my belt, I packed up my suitcase, hit the sauna one more time and flew back to Georgia.

Once again, I was traveling from one concept of home to another -- and experiencing the predictable swirl of emotions. Fear. Anxiety. Doubt.

And then, a slight twinge of satisfaction.

After all, two open doors are a whole lot better than none.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Better late than never?

How much do you tolerate tardiness in a relationship?

Being on time plays a big role when you first start dating someone. It's part of that whole first impression deal. But once you get comfortable with a partner, your tolerance for his/her willingness to be on time often slides.

We all encounter unexpected delays, but I rate habitual lateness as one of my biggest deal breakers.

Consistently being late for dates subtly indicates the effort you're willing to put in a relationship. If you can't get off your couch and stop watching "Family Guy" in time to shower before our 8 p.m. dinner reservation, you're out.

Yet there's definitely a double standard in the lateness debate. I think women often expect guys to give them a 15- to 20-minute grace period on their arrival time. Meanwhile, they hold those same men to an impeccable standard of timeliness.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

You're doomed

If you need another reason to believe your relationship is bound to fail, Jezebel refers us to this handy little Doomed Relationship Chart.

It accurately describes the course of many relationships. My favorite part? An argument over foreign policy that ultimately leads to a breakup.

The line got me thinking about how many seemingly insignificant discussions often serve as the jumping off point for a relationship's demise.

For example, I once knew a couple who broke up over alleged trickery during a game of Uno. Just plain Uno. Not even Uno Attack.

Sure, you can argue that the fight really had nothing to do with Uno at all, but still...I'd rather end my relationship over a genuine emotional discussion rather than a fight over who should win "So You Think You Can Dance."

What's the stupidest breakup-inducing fight you've had?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The chase

Ah, the thrill of romantic pursuit. The unanswered phone calls. The noncommittal e-mails.

And, most of all, the sinking suspicion that dating shouldn't be this difficult.

Like many women, I've been schooled in the women's magazine commandment that men like The Chase. Make yourself available too early and he'll lose interest, Cosmo often says.

But some girls take The Chase too far. They'll devise an elaborate game of cat and mouse that involves cryptic communication and a looming threat of being stood up.

They think they're creative. They think they have a relationship's upper hand.

Unfortunately, most of these girls just end up forgotten.

Here, The Frisky asks if there's any value in playing hard to get. It's a valid question, since every chase needs a finish line.

How long are you willing to chase a crush?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Back on the market

When you've spent months in relationship hibernation, what's the best way to reintroduce yourself to the dating world?

I once thought two weeks post-breakup was an appropriate time to bring my single self back to the bar scene.

I wore a boob shirt, flaunted some glittery makeup and cleared my cell phone Rolodex for a new influx of male digits.

An hour into the night, I was theorizing about the perils of love while fighting back tears.

With my mom.

Lots of people say reentering the dating market is like jumping off the high dive at a community pool. Or tearing off a Band-Aid.

No matter how uncomfortable it is, you get to a point where you just have to close your eyes and do it.

Still, as liberating as it sounds, putting yourself back on the market can cause some serious problems if approached incorrectly. Appear too eager about the process and your friends will call any of your newest flings mere rebounds.

What's your best advice for someone reentering the dating circuit after breaking off a serious relationship?

Friday, July 10, 2009

What's going on this weekend?

Hey party people! Don't forget SoHo celebrates its seventh birthday Saturday. Also on Saturday, "America's Next Top Model" auditions come to town. Get details here.

One more Saturday standout: The Marshall Tucker Band performs at the Phenix City Amphitheater. Show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Here's your full lineup:


Trap County, Caution the Senate, Sum Ever After, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

Great White, The Fifth, 11 p.m. H2O, $20 advance, $25 at the door. 706-327-9700. Doors open 7 p.m.

• Circle of Friends, 7:30 p.m. Ossahatchee Oyster Bar and Grill, free. 706-582-2629.

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

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

Classic Addict, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, $5.

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

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

Peggy Jenkins and the Bizness with special guest Marshall Ruffin, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.


Before the Solstice, Chaotic Theory, Back in the Day, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

Adam Hood, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

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

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

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

• Toney Thomas from Forced Entry (acoustic), 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

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

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

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Love you, hate emoticons

Over in Glamour's blogosphere, there's a debate raging about each gender's annoying e-mail habits.

He hates your emoticons, you hate his brevity.

I feel your pain. Blame it on the journalist inside me: I'm a girl who takes her e-mail communications very, very seriously. When my crushes lived halfway across the country, I relied on e-mail as the primary way to prove I was a catch.

Maybe it's not something to brag about, but I've spent hours drafting e-mails to members of the opposite sex. Yes, I really do write rough drafts of my e-mails.

After a rigorous editing process, I'd proudly click "send," marveling at the witty fruits of my labor.

Hours later, I'd get an e-mail respose:


That's an exaggeration, but only slightly.

The scenario is annoying. But if we've learned anything from technology, it's to not take our face-to-face interactions for granted.

So yeah, in e-mail, you might not like your partner's smiley faces. Or exclamation points.

But if real-life makes you go :) and ! then you're all good.

What's going on tonight?

Hey partiers! Here's your Thursday lineup:

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

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

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

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

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

Move in with me

Do you primarily regard cohabitation as a way to test out a partner's compatibility for marriage?

If you answered "yes," you might surprisingly be in the minority.

Results of a major national cohabitation study suggest most couples choose to share a living space mainly to spend more together, not to test their relationship's marriage potential.

Almost half of cohabitors of both sexes in the study cite spending more time together as a reason they moved in together; just 9% of men and 5% of women cited "to test the relationship before marriage."

I don't think living together has to be a "trial marriage," but I find it hard to believe a couple would move in together without having some inclination they might one day get married.

Otherwise...what's the point?


(Read more about the study here. Peruse readers' online comments and you'll enjoy many references to living in sin.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Who's afraid of Tyra Banks?

I am.

It's amazing how "America's Next Top Model" has become a vehicle for tracking Tyra Banks' fury, rather than a competition for fashion front-runners. I watch the clip above on nights when I want Ms. Banks in my nightmares.

Still, I can't turn away from the reality TV competition, especially since two of its finalists went to my high school and one of its winners went to my college.

Auditions for Cycle 14 of "Top Model" come to Columbus Saturday. There's a casting call at Game Link, 6361 Talokas Lane in Columbus.

It's noon-5 p.m. Game Link is in Billings Crossing Plaza (adjacent to Gateway Wal-Mart).

Auditions are open to females 18-27 who are 5-foot-7 or taller. Participants should bring an application and three photos to the event.

Download an application here.

Dating do-overs

In relationships, is erasing your verbal missteps as simple as saying, "That didn't count"?

That question's on my mind after reading this piece from The Frisky, "When I Love You Doesn't Count."

Finally...permission to dismiss "I love yous" driven by factors like drunkenness and loneliness.

It sounds good in theory, but I think "I love you" has so much relationship-changing potential that you can't simply discard it, even if it was said under especially sloppy circumstances. The same goes for that one line-crossing criticism you unexpectedly yell during a fight.

As much as you tell yourself it didn't count, its effect will always linger in your relationship.

But maybe that's just me.

How often do you say "that didn't count"?

Summer flings

While recently discussing the onset of warm weather, I heard a woman say, "I can't wait to have a summer fling." Normally, this wouldn't faze me. But she was pushing 30.

See, I always thought "summer fling" was a term reserved for August romances between two teenagers savoring their first minimum-wage gig at a fast-food restaurant.

I'm not ageist, I just think it's much harder to deliberately pursue a short-term relationship as an adult.

As a 20- or 30-something, there's a higher likelihood the object of your affection is looking for serious commitment.

What's more, unlike the summer flings we enjoyed earlier in life, we don't have the leisure of using "I have to go back to college" as a breakup excuse.

Yes, Columbus has its migratory military guys, but few summer's end breakups result in couples going to opposite sides of the country. Sever ties and you're likely to still see your former fling on Broadway the next weekend.

So tell me: Are you ever too old to have a summer fling?

(If you answered "no," check out these rules and tips for a casual relationship.)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Michael Jackson memorial service

Sorry for the delayed post. I was busy getting some local reactions from folks who watched Michael Jackson's memorial service.

I covered the broadcast at Carmike 15, and watched the entire two hours. It almost reminded me of when, as a teenager, I stayed up through the wee hours of the morning watching Princess Diana's funeral.

But this was different.

Jackson's music was a soundtrack to different milestones in my life. My fifth-grade talent show solo to "Heal the World." My ex-boyfriend's homemade mix CD featuring "Beat It."

My drunk friend's midnight crooning to "Man in the Mirror." My nightly treadmill workouts fueled by "Dirty Diana."

I listened to those songs unaffected by Jackson's turbulent personal life. It was almost as if those songs were made by an alternate being who carried no distinguishing characteristics beyond recording industry talent.

I distinctly remember a point in my life when you couldn't say you liked Michael Jackson without offering this disclaimer: "But only his music."

So as I watched the king of pop's memorial service Tuesday, I was disappointed.

Disappointed that he left the world prematurely, but also disappointed in our willingness to bury Michael Jackson -- the person -- years before physically left us.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Moms who drink and swear

I once watched two moms exchange babysitter references in the bathroom of downtown Columbus hot spot Oxygen.

It was somewhat of a weird scenario. It generated the same kind of disbelief I experienced while watching moms my age pose seductively for photos inside Big City Club, or savor a round of shots at H2O.

For years, I feared motherhood -- not so much for the responsibility it required, but because it seemed to immediately immerse its members into a cult of judgment and perfection.

That's changed.

There's a growing "bad mommy" movement composed of mothers who aren't necessarily "bad," but are willing to publicly admit to lapses in maternal instinct. I touched on the phenomenon when I reviewed these books.

Now, there's this article, hilariously entitled "Mommy wants a drinkypoo." It focuses on moms who admit to indulging in martini therapy, the same women who feed the success of Web sites like Moms Who Drink and Swear.

The outlets have done a lot to erase the aura of flawlessness that for long has accompanied motherhood.

Still, as I watched a parenting discussion happen in the Oxygen bathroom, I couldn't help but wonder if I'd feel just as liberated if our roles were reversed.

How does going out change once you become a mom?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Gluttony for one

Sure, a combination of hot dogs, nacho cheese and refried beans is delicious when you're home alone watching "Brooke Knows Best."

But are you brave enough to eat that entree in the company of friends?

Maybe not -- if you buy into this new book, "What We Eat When We Eat Alone." The book focuses on solo dining and how it often defies the rules we normally attach to the culinary experience.

Jezebel tackles the phenomenon here, directing readers to a comedy bit that points out "how you never see Hot Pockets on a restaurant menu, yet Hot Pockets have been selling for decades, a testament to the fact that what we eat in the privacy of our own homes isn't necessarily what we eat when we're under the surveillance of others."

I don't have some weird flavor concoction I savor in public, but I am a little more liberal with hot sauce usage while dining alone.

Oh yeah, there's also the fact that I bought an omelet maker two weeks ago and so far I've only used it to make scrambled eggs. I call the scrambled eggs "omletes" to make myself feel better, though. This brings me absolutely no shame.

What are your solo eating habits?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fourth of July party spots

Here's a rundown of your best nightlife bets for the weekend:

*Friday, Cledus T. Judd -- the "Weird Al" Yankovic of country music -- performs at H2O, 6499 Veterans Parkway. Show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. 706-327-9700.

*There's also a First Friday Block Party downtown. One $10 cover gets you into the majority of Broadway hot spots.

*Saturday, start the party early with a cookout at Pop-A-Top, 210 32nd Street. Food is free. Action starts at 1 p.m.

*If you're watching the fireworks from downtown Columbus Saturday night, prepare for a massive post-fireworks traffic jam. It's best to avoid the mess and party at the bars. Highlights on Broadway include a party at The Loft, 1032 Broadway, featuring Peggy Jenkins and the Bizness. Cover is $5. Music starts at 9 p.m.

*While recently eating lunch at The Oasis, 1107 Broadway, I saw signs for a July 4 bikini contest. Enter at your own risk.

*One more Saturday option: There's a luau at Belloo's, 900 Front Ave. The bar opens at 6 p.m. and cover is $5. Claiborne & Friends entertain.

What's going on tonight?

I'll post July 4 party options soon. In the meantime, here's your Thursday night party rundown:

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

• ONE, 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.

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

Cheap beer. Delicious.

PBR or Milwaukee's Best?

I know, I know: You're a Natty Light fan.

Here, The Washington Post taste tests some of the most widely discussed cheap beers. Unfortunately, I didn't recognize half the selections. Also, I really wish they would have included Coors Light.

Cheap beer is kind of a "love it or hate it" deal on the nightlife scene. Few of us get excited about the taste. Still, many people think that while slightly disgusting, a case of Natty Light is a necessary accessory to events like picnics. Sporting games. Moving parties.

But there's just as strong a contingent of partiers who gag at the mere sight of cheap beer. The can alone generates all sorts of memories of stomach-turning, dehydration-inducing discomfort.

Me? I've learned a journalist's salary makes you a whole lot more tolerant of PBR.

What's your favorite cheap beer?

By the way, this discussion is getting me even more excited about the July 4 cookout at Pop-A-Top, one of my favorite local dive bars. Action starts at 1 p.m. and food is free. I'll testify from firsthand experience that it's safe and perfectly edible.

Pop-A-Top is at 210 32nd Street in Columbus.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dating: This will be the last time

This post on The Frisky made me think about one of the most over-used words on the dating scene:


The concept is good in theory. We say that even though our relationship is dead and gone, it's best to have one more coffee date with our ex...for closure.

It's OK to send one more "let's explore our feelings" e-mail...for closure.

It's a good idea to have dinner together one more time...for closure.

I've fallen into the same trap. Once, after an especially bad breakup, I wrote a series of e-mails to an ex. "Don't write back," I typed at the bottom of each. He didn't.

Meanwhile, by including that final line, I reasoned that I wasn't holding on to a bad relationship. I was just airing my emotions. You know, for closure.

Obviously, I was wrong.

There's an exception to every rule, but in the majority of cases there's no single defining action that immediately will put you at peace with a bad relationship. There's no imaginary door you can close to keep certain memories from resurfacing.

The best you can do is accept that fact, move on and keep your heart open.

Margarita night!

The salty circle around your cocktail glass. The pleasantly placed lime in the center of your beverage. The chance your server will hand you "frozen" when you actually asked for "on the rocks."

These are the reasons I love margarita night.

It doesn't take long to learn that virtually every Mexican restaurant in Columbus hosts margarita night on Wednesdays. A little weird? Yes. You'd think they'd go for a little more diverse marketing setup.

But I really can't criticize it too much. Margarita night always seems to coincide with my week's most draining day. After work, I look forward to devoting an entire hour to decisions only as complex as lime versus strawberry.

Which is why you can catch me here tonight.