Monday, August 31, 2009

The Girls Guide to Homelessness

One of the central principles in the firewalking workshop I recently attended: Perception is not reality.

Need an illustration? Check out this woman, who has suddenly become perhaps the most prominent face of homelessness.

She looks for jobs using Internet from Starbucks. She has a blog, "The Girls Guide to Homelessness." And she's white.

Brianna Karp made national headlines after she e-mailed E. Jean Carroll, a popular advice columnist for Elle magazine.

Karp, who was laid off from her full-time job in July 2008, described bombing an audition for reality TV show designed to find an executive assistant for a big name celeb.

E. Jean wrote back in Elle -- a response that included offering Karp an internship.

So now, after contacting someone on a whim, Karp has an internship. And she blogs for Elle.

Inspirational story, right? Turns out the impact is deeper than that.

Check out Karp's Elle blog and you'll see a mix of comments. Some are enthusiastic. But just as many criticize Karp for not "really" being homeless. Or only gaining public attention because of her race.

There's no right or wrong answers in dialogue like this, only a slight reminder that our perception of those most in need is always open to revision.

Don't mess with my man

Want reassurance your best friend isn't hitting on your boyfriend?

Don't read this post.

Here, relationship goddesses Em & Lo point to an Oklahoma State University study that revealed women were almost twice as likely to want to pursue a relationship with a man if they knew he was already taken.

So maybe you're not just being paranoid.

Almost every circle of girls includes That Friend -- the one who pals around a little too closely with other peoples' boyfriends.

Very rarely will her actions materialize into a physical affair. Still...there are the inside jokes, the "friendly" hugs, the conversations that seem to last just a little too long.

In all fairness, you probably are reading into things a bit.

But there's no harm in keeping a watchful eye over someone's tendency to want what she can't have.

Consider yourself warned.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Firewalking

video

There's something to remember when you're walking across a bed of hot coals: Don't look down.

Instead, keep your focus straight ahead. Maintain eye contact with your trainer. Put your arms in the air.

And wipe your feet when it's over.

I learned all this firsthand Saturday, when I participated in Scott Goodknight's Firewalk for the Visually Impaired prior to the Country's Midnight Express 5K race.

Watch me firewalk in the video above, filmed by the very talented Alan Riquelmy. I show up in the last 20 seconds.

Initially, I figured my commitment would be minimal. "I mean, don't you just have to walk quickly?" I repeatedly asked my office friends. (All of whom had never before firewalked.)

Then, I learned I'd be training for almost 4 hours prior to walking on the coals.

Outsiders responded to that news with one of two conclusions. No. 1: I was being trained to do something potentially fatal. No. 2: I was being brainwashed.

I'm typing this post more than 24 hours after walking. My limbs are fully intact. And I have yet to forcibly chant a nonsensical chorus.

Scott Goodknight makes firewalking not just a physical exercise, but a reminder of life purpose. That's what the training session is really about.

When you complete the experience, you're left with a concrete reminder of what you can conquer when you're so focused on a mission that there is no room for interruption.

Don't you just have to walk quickly? Maybe.

But sometimes, it's helpful to have someone remind you of what you can really become in the absence of fear.

It's nice to have moments when you conquer obstacles with state of mind first, fancy footwork second.

I came. I chose action. I walked.

And I still haven't looked down.

Friday, August 28, 2009

What's going on this weekend?

Here's your weekend lineup. Check the prior post for some highlights.

FRIDAY

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

• The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. VFW Post 665 (Victory Drive), $5. 706-687-6656.

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

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

Framing Hanley, 10:30 p.m. H2O, $15. 706-327-9700.

2 Finger Jester, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

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

Sean Rox, 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659.

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

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

SATURDAY

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

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

Sam Thacker, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

• DJ D’Rock, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, $5.

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

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

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

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

• The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. VFW Post 665 (Victory Drive), $5. 706-687-6656.

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

Some party highlights

Hey everybody! It's a pretty full weekend for local entertainment. I'll post your full lineup a little later this afternoon, but I wanted to quickly point out some standout options:

*Friday, bluegrass queen Rhonda Vincent performs at the Phenix City Amphitheater. Tickets are $10 and show starts at 8 p.m. In case of rain, the event will be held at Central Activities Center, 1500 14th Street in Phenix City.

*Also on Friday, the rockers from Framing Hanley take the stage at H2O, 6499 Veterans Parkway. These guys made waves with their rock cover of Lil Wayne's "Lollipop." Tickets are $15. Music starts at 10:30 p.m.

*Saturday, "The Amazing Race" holds a casting call on the 1100 block of Broadway. It's 4-6 p.m. Participants must be 21. You must bring a completed application, which you can download here.

*Later Saturday, catch the Midnight Express 5K race at Country's, 3137 Mercury Drive. The race is at midnight, but the fun starts much earlier. There's music beginning at 8, plus you can watch some brave people walk across a bed of hot coals. (Yes, I'm one of them.)

*Sunday, the Ultimate Bridal Expo comes to the RiverMill Event Center, 3715 First Ave. It's 1-5 p.m. and admission is $3-$5. Added bonus: I'm modeling in the fashion show.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fast food probation

How long do you have to wait before taking your significant other to a fast food restaurant?

I'm sure plenty of you are staring at that question confusedly, touting a Whopper's romantic appeal.

But this Glamour blogger thinks indulging in a fast food date too early in a relationship could be a dealbreaker.

I've known couples who have had their first or second dates at, say, Wendy's. There's nothing wrong with the concept, assuming you both have the same approach to dating.

Really, how often does that happen? In many circumstances, the guy will suggest the option and the girl will agreebecause it's too early in the relationship to say what she really thinks.

Then, she'll go home, complain to her friends and cut off all ties with him.

A commenter on the aforementioned Glamour blog says fast food outings are fine...AFTER the third date.

Agree or disagree?

Freeway of love

Ah, the open road. It seems nothing could be more romantic...until you learn you'll be listening to industrial techno for the entire journey.

Are we there yet?

This week's nightlife column details the harsh realities of traveling with a significant other.

I wrote the piece in conjunction with an upcoming "Amazing Race" casting call in Columbus, held 4-6 p.m. Saturday on the 1000 block of Broadway. Download an application here.

My biggest travel pet peeve? It's a tie between music and temperature controls. I don't understand how somebody can enjoy driving without music.

But also, few things irk me more than the navigator who thinks the temperature options are limited to full-power AC or full-power heat. CJ brought that one up earlier this week.

Fortunately, aside from my inability to read maps, I think I'm a pretty good travel partner.

If I get pouty, you just have to take me through a Starbucks or Krystal drive-thru and I rebound immediately.

(For more advice, check out this list of travel tips for couples, courtesy of The Frisky.)

What's going on tonight?

Hey Thursday partiers! Your lineup is pretty packed.

One highlight: the new Battle of the Bands at H2O, 6499 Veterans Parkway. Acts compete for a $2,000 prize. Tonight's roster spans bands like Spent, The Chris Collins Band, Holdcell and Devil Theory. Music starts at 9 p.m.

Here are your other options:

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

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

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

• Battle of the Bands (round one), 9 p.m. H2O, $5 (free for women). 706-327-9700.

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Boyfriend replacement pillow

Imagine this: The comfort of a snuggle buddy without the annoyances of snoring and hogging the covers.

Sound too good to be true? Think again.

Now, there's a full-length heated body pillow -- unofficially dubbed the "boyfriend replacement pillow" -- that conforms to the shape of your body while you relax.

This could significantly increase the amount of time you're willing to be single.

Laugh, but I know lots of people -- guys included -- who simply hate sleeping alone. I've heard stories of people pursuing relationships primarily because they can't get a good night's rest without snuggling.

Then, of course, there's that shell-shocked nighttime sensation you encounter after a relationship's demise.

After months of sharing a bed, it can be really difficult to adjust to sleeping solo.

Here, one blogger writes about how she was so excited to enjoy a plush, spacious hotel bed alone...until she realized it really wasn't that cool after all.

Note: If a boyfriend replacement pillow doesn't appeal to you, don't worry.

I, too, enjoy occasional nights sans cuddling. Not only because I'm embarrassed about my drooling problem.

Relationship Obituaries

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in mourning a victim of heartless emotions. The ultimate cause of death: incompatible TV viewing habits.

Welcome to the world of Relationship Obituaries, a Web site where users can mourn the passing of their romantic ties.

The site, designed like a newspaper, has even spawned a book.

Causes of relationship death span the serious ("his heart went cold"), the blunt ("his stupidity") and the lighthearted ("we had the horsepower of a snail").

Radio reporter Kathleen Horan came up with the idea after she and her boyfriend broke up. Shortly after the breakup, Horan's father died.

She found a sense of comfort in writing her father's obituary, and decided to find out whether that kind of comfort could be gained through a relationship obit.

Between Relationship Obituaries and Dear Old Love (yesterday's blog post), the Internet is rich with opportunities give a relationship written closure -- if you believe such a thing exists.

Are these sites comforting, or do they only extend an obsession with a relationship that's already dead and gone?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The last word

Here's your chance to say that final line to your ex...without worrying about the awkward silence that would follow in a face-to-face conversation.

The Web site: Dear Old Love, which lets users anonymously submit concise notes to people they've loved in the past.

A sampling of the entries:

"My dreams remember a lot more about you than I care to admit."

"You only loved the chase. So why was I the one running down the street after you?"

"I don’t know what is worse, the fact that you left me the day we got back from Mexico, or that it took you a year to apologize for doing so."

"Since you’re with her now, can we have an affair?"

Cathartic? Maybe.

At the very least, it helps ease some of the inevitable "could haves" and "should haves" you encounter while constantly rehashing the breakup conversation in your mind.

(via YourTango)

Free Tuesday shows!

Two Columbus hot spots will treat music fans to free shows tonight.

Visit the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road, and you'll get a free performance by local party act The Relics. Music starts at 7 p.m. Call 706-507-3418.

At SoHo Bar and Grill, 5751 Milgen Road, you can catch a show by the rockers from the Winter Sounds and Parachute Musical. Music starts around 10 p.m. Call 706-568-3316.

Proposal fears

Is it weird to be terrified about how your marriage proposal will go down?

Here, a Glamour blogger details her biggest proposal fear. She has nightmares about her boyfriend just casually saying "hey, maybe we should get married" -- no grand gestures, no elaborate speech.

I'll admit I've spent many late nights worrying about what will happen when somebody proposes to me. For years, I feared I'd get engaged on a night when my nails weren't decorated with a perfect French manicure.

Then, I swore off manicures -- thanks, national economy! -- and that fear was null and void.

Now, I mainly worry that if I'm ever lucky enough to have a guy pop the question, my spastic response will make him rescind that offer immediately.

You laugh, but I've been known to say some pretty stupid things. If that doesn't happen, there's a 99 percent chance I'll have a giant booger in my nose while he's professing his undying love.

I guess all that really matters is the fact someone cares enough about you to want a lifelong commitment.

Boogers included, right?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Can't buy me love

Actually, maybe you can.

This post on YourTango asks whether a guy can buy his way out of infidelity. The writer points to a guy in the U.K. who over three decades spent about $400,000 on "I'm sorry I cheated again" gifts for his wife.

Then, there's Kobe Bryant, who bought his wife a $4 million, 8-carat purple diamond ring after his extramarital tryst.

When it comes to cheating, I think an "I'm sorry" gift -- no matter how elaborate -- is a Band-Aid, rather than a cure.

It can make for a temporary moment of forgiveness, but ultimately it won't erase the long-term impact of betrayal.

However, in less severe situations, I think the right gift can get you out of the awkward "you need to apologize" conversation.

Ideally, I'd like you to directly apologize any time you hurt my feelings.

But if your offense is minor, and you bring me the right kind of coffee, you can consider yourself forgiven.

Dating goes to the dogs

There's one meet market where poop's putrid aroma won't ruin your chances of scoring a second date:

The dog park.

Here, the Washington Post describes how a dog park can have matchmaking potential for humans.

My favorite part of the article? This disclaimer, courtesy of Dan Cohen, founder and president of Animal Attraction:

"Being at the dog park's great and it allows you to open up a conversation, but at some point, there needs to be something for two people to talk about other than, you know, what color is your dog's poop in the morning."

Sadly, I've heard the "our dogs get along great, can I get your number?" pickup line more than once. It doesn't work.

Confession time: Have you ever used your pet as a way to meet members of the opposite sex?

(Read more pet stories at Andrea's Girl's Best Friend blog here.)

Friday, August 21, 2009

What's going on this weekend?

Check out the previous post for some party highlights. Here's your music list:

FRIDAY

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

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

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

Blizzard of Ozzy, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, $5.

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

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

• Chris Williams, 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659.

• The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. VFW Post 665 (Victory Drive), $5. 706-687-6656.

• 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.

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

SATURDAY

Trap County, Dead End, Uberstout, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

Dr. Louis Sullivan with DJ Drizno, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

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

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

• DJ D’Rock, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, $5.

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

Forced Entry, Joan Red, Frequency 54, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

• The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. VFW Post 665 (Victory Drive), $5. 706-687-6656.

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

Weekend party highlights

Hey everybody! Lots of great options for Columbus-area partiers this weekend. I'll post the full lineup soon, but here are some standout options:

*Flip Flops, 1111 Broadway, hosts an '80s party Friday night. Classic Addict entertains. There's no cover if you're wearing an '80s getup, otherwise it's $5 after 10 p.m.

*Also on Friday, Atlanta-based Ozzy Osbourne tribute act Blizzard of Ozzy plays at The Roadhouse, 1047 Broadway. It's $5 and music starts around 10:30 p.m.

*One more Friday highlight: PlayDate Columbus, the event that lets adults mingle with cocktails and board games, returns to the Doubletree Hotel, 5351 Sidney Simons Blvd. Admission is $10, and you must be 21 and older to attend. Action starts at 8 p.m.

*Saturday, "The Rocky Horror Show" has its final midnight performance at the International Marketplace, 318 10th Avenue at Victory Drive. Tickets are $15 and $18.

Facebook personalities

This article detailing the 12 most annoying types of Facebookers is one of the most viewed stories on CNN.

The list is pretty accurate, spanning Facebook pet peeves like The TMIer ("Sarah is wondering why she can't stop barfing.") and The Sympathy-Baiter ("John is hoping things will get better.")

Faithful readers of this blog know my least favorite Facebooker: The PDAer.

It's not included on the aforementioned list, but it should be.

Nothing annoys me more than the Facebooker who uses the social networking tool primarily to tout his/her significant other's awesomeness.

Sample status updates include, but are not limited to: "Mary is lucky to have the best boyfriend ever!" "Kyle is having dinner with his beautiful wife!" "Megan is looking forward to date night with the hubby!"

Wow. I almost broke into a fit of rage just typing those.

If you hate Facebook PDAers as much as I do, check out this site, which pokes fun at married peoples' status updates.

My Husband is Annoying

OK, guys. You've found the girl of your dreams. The chemistry is good, the conversation is enthralling and you think you're the perfect match.

Just one tiny problem: She keeps a blog of all your annoying habits.

Welcome to the world of "My Husband is Annoying," one New York woman's account of her husband's irritating traits.

He knows about the blog, and doesn't mind. In this NY Daily News piece, he calls it "kind of a tribute to all husbands."

But some readers don't get it.

The aforementioned article attracted a mixed bag of online comments. Some readers praised the blog, while others made statements like this:

"Married women have no right to make a fool of their husbands in public. These stupid women are the reason for so many divorces - you don't treat your husband like a dog and expect him to stick around and take it."

Thing is, the blog doesn't target deep character flaws or physical grotesqueness. It's just tiny quirks that affect every relationship, like not knowing how to work the remote control.

If you're a good sport about it, something like this could enhance a relationship. But if taken too far, it could also ignite a breakup.

"My Husband is Annoying": Cute or crass?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Video: Flip Flops Auburn

video

Need a closer look at the new Flip Flops in Auburn? Check out this excellent video, filmed by the multi-talented Alan Riquelmy.

Reminder: The bar's at 1651 South College Street in Auburn. It's all ages until 9 p.m., then it switches to 19 and older.

Check out their MySpace here.

What's going on tonight?

Here's your Thursday night party lineup:

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

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

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

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

The Grayhill Conspiracy, 9 p.m. Shanty Shack, free. 706-507-3418.

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

Flip Flops Auburn

Wednesday, I hit the grand opening of Flip Flops' Alabama stepbrother. That's right: The Columbus hot spot now has a second location at 1651 South College Street in Auburn. It's a lot bigger than the Broadway bar, and will eventually have a full kitchen.


The bar is all ages until 9 p.m. and then it switches to 19 and older. It's open noon-3 a.m. seven days a week.


Expect the same assortment of frozen drinks you see at the Columbus location. There's eight daiquiri machines. Alan snapped this excellent photo of the two hurricanes we drank.


The bar's interior is really spacious, though most partiers congregated on the patio outside. I couldn't blame them. There's tons of space out there and it was a beautiful night. Note: Don't be alarmed by the toddler in the photo above. Remember, the bar is all ages until 9.

Will I be back? Definitely. The bar should do well. They have an awesome location. The crowd on opening night was pretty college-heavy, but there were quite a few middle-aged partiers like the guys featured above.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Love lookalikes

You break up with a guy, and a week later he's sporting a new fling...who looks exactly like you.

Pathetic?

Gossip blogs can't get over the fact that Trace Cyrus (Miley's brother) is dating a girl who bears an incredibly strong resemblance to his ex, Disney star Demi Lovato.

It's not the first time I've seen this. Just consider Hulk Hogan, whose current girlfriend looks a lot like his ex (and, eerily, his daughter).

Beyond the celebrity world, I've had many friends escape a bad relationship only to hit the party scene a few days later with carbon copy date in tow.

It's one thing to have a type. It's another thing to crave a lookalike.

Consider this bit of sage wisdom from Perez Hilton:

Dating someone who looks like your ex, for any reason, simply makes you a tool.

Agree or disagree?

Wednesday party highlights

A few quick Hump Day options:

*Belloo's, 900 Front Ave., hosts a fundraiser benefiting The Muscogee County Autism Support Group, Inc. Action starts at 5 p.m. and a $5 donation gets you in the door. Brent Lindley entertains.

*H2O, 6499 Veterans Parkway, continues its weekly Wednesday beer pong tournament. It culminates in a final round late next month. Grand prize? A trip to the World Series of Beer Pong in Las Vegas. It's $5 to play, free for women.

*I'll spend the night checking out the grand opening of the new Auburn Flip Flops location. It's at 1651 South College Street. All ages until 9 p.m., then 19 and older. Don't want to make the drive? Check my blog Thursday morning for a full recap, complete with photos and (hopefully) video.

Lauren Conrad and the 'boyfriend layer'

The politically correct term for the weight you gain at the beginning of a relationship?

The boyfriend layer.

That's a term Lauren Conrad of "The Hills" coins in this interview with Shape. While she's taken some heat for the comment, I get what she's saying.

I think almost everybody gains weight at a relationship's onset, largely because you're going out to dinner a lot more than you normally would.

And those of us who can't rely on a reality TV star's salary usually spend our first dates at generic chain restaurants -- where the options aren't exactly the healthiest ever.

What's more, the beginning of a relationship is devoted to getting to know someone, which often involves sitting around and drinking high-calorie beer.

The good news? The "boyfriend layer" -- or "girlfriend layer," if that exists -- usually disappears once a relationship stabilizes.

Then you can go back to being your average-weight self...praying your relationship won't culminate in a comfort food-induced "breakup layer."

H2O hosts Battle of the Bands

Local musicians can sign up for a Battle of the Bands competition at H2O that will give its winners $2,000.

The contest begins next Thursday, Aug. 27. After three Thursday preliminary rounds, it will culminate in a final round Friday, Sept. 18.

The deadline for entering round one is Tuesday. Click here to register.

Each week, doors will open at 7 p.m. and the show will start at 9 p.m. Cover is $5, free for women.

H2O is at 6499 Veterans Parkway. Call 706-327-9700.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just say "no" to Paris Hilton

Among the newest relationships manuals: "How to Be a Hepburn in a Hilton World," which advocates a return to old-school dating values.

You know, the whole "sit back and let him pursue you" approach to courtship.

It's the antithesis to the "in your face" approach promoted by celebrities like Paris Hilton, author Jordan Christy notes.

In this excerpt, Christy writes:

If you glean nothing else from this book, I want you to hear this headline-worthy, urgent-newsflash, critical-emergency, vital-stat message: We make ourselves waaaay too accessible.

"He's Just Not That Into You" was one of the first major books in recent years to take heat for suggesting the guy alone should do the calling and pursuing at a relationship's early stages.

I remember being outraged when I first read that. I revisited the chapter just a couple months ago when the movie came out, and once again I wanted desperately to disagree with the premise.

But then, when I thought of all the women I knew who made themselves romantically accessible from day one...well, the picture of their happiness was kind of bleak.

Back in the "How to Be a Hepburn in a Hilton World" universe, Christy concludes:

I hate to say it, but you’re never going to get the guy until you simply let him be the guy. And what do guys want to do? Chase things!

Agree or disagree?

Too comfortable

It was an extra classy dinner for a Saturday night: I'd saved up enough money to buy us a good meal, and I was flaunting a brand new tube dress.

If we weren't the epitome of elegance, we were damn close.

That is, until I got a splinter on the roof of my mouth.

How does that happen? Funny you ask. Actually, it's quite easy. All you have to do is eat an olive off a toothpick with a small sliver of wood sticking out of it.

The end result is one of the most miserable sensations possible. Miserable enough, in fact, to make me stick both my hands in my mouth to try to pull the splinter out.

Did I mention I was still sitting at the table? In a tube dress? With smooth jazz playing in the background?

Had it been a first date, I would have braved the pain in silence. But this was maybe our 234th meal together. I figured a little at-table splinter removal would be OK.

Then again, maybe I was wrong.

This piece describes what happens when you get so comfortable in a relationship that you let everything go -- proper manners, proper grooming, proper suppression of bodily functions.

I've always vowed to never let the comfort of relationship interfere with my appreciation for basic etiquette, especially when it comes to things like farting.

What about you?

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.

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

Call 706-507-3418.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Is Disneyland romantic?

Halfway through a cosmopolitan, I recently planned a trip to Disneyland.

My voice got bouncier as I discussed the details, everything from chocolate-dipped Mickey Mouse ears to the suspenseful Indiana Jones ride.

My date, meanwhile, gave me an expression suggesting he'd prefer to book a trip anywhere else. Even Phenix City.

Why do we have to go to Disneyland?

My answer came with no meditation: "It's just soooo romantic."

Why? Well, that one's a little harder to answer.

I've known many couples who swear on the theme park's romantic appeal. Some of them even made financial sacrifices to indulge in Disneyland wedding packages.

They say it's the happiest place on earth. They say nothing reignites a romantic spark like a world where it's easy to believe in magic.

That may be true, but all the memories I have of Disneyland are distinctly unromantic. Long lines don't exactly scream "foreplay." Not to mention the family of six who always manages to cut in front of you.

In fact, the only remotely romantic image I attach to the theme park involves being stuck behind some PDA-hungry newlyweds in a two-hour line for Space Mountain. Occasionally, I was forced to tap their shoulders mid-grope and tell them the line had moved up 10 feet.

Yet I still think Disneyland is inexplicably romantic.

Am I wrong?

You could be dating Spencer Pratt

Tired of your boyfriend's whiny, overly emotional approach to dating? Think about it this way: He's probably nowhere near as bad as Dawson Leery.

You know, of "Dawson's Creek" fame.

Good old Dawson. I never understood how a wannabe philosopher with '80s surf hair could hook up with so many women.

I guess that's why he earned a spot on Lemondrop's list of popular culture's worst boyfriends.

It's a pretty accurate list, though as far as "Sex and the City" bad boyfriends go, I would have chosen Berger over The Russian.

Plus, I think any boyfriend from "The Hills" is hands-down worse than the majority of guys on the list.

Who's your pick for TV's worst boyfriend?

Wanted: single men

Remember the local speed dating event I mentioned last week? Well, the 25 female participants are raring and ready to go...but there's only one problem.

Not enough men have signed up.

Don't worry, single guys: There's still time to register.

The event, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, starts 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Mario's, 1010 Broadway. Participants must be at least 25 years old.

It's $15 in advance for non-members. Register through the RiverTown Adventure Club's Web site.

Don't worry, single women. If you didn't snag a spot in this round of speed dating, there's another chance Sept. 15.

Friday, August 14, 2009

What's going on this weekend?

Hey everybody! Here's your lineup:

FRIDAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. VFW Post 665 (Victory Drive), $5. 706-687-6656.

Chaotic Theory, HalfMast, Yeroshama, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

SATURDAY

Trap County, Powersville, Dead End, Skin Engine, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

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

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

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

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

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

• Jason Foster Band, 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

Jason Connelly, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

• Dead Rites, A Lower Deep, Brutal Language, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

• The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. VFW Post 665 (Victory Drive), $5. 706-687-6656.

Sitting in bars alone

As I mentioned on my blog and my Thursday radio gig, last night I was all set to cover the weekly karaoke night at H2O.

I put on something moderately cute and headed over to the bar alone.

I walked inside around 11, saw the poker game was wrapping up and figured karaoke would start momentarily. I staked out a solo spot at a bar table and waited patiently, interrupted by the occasional "Do you need a drink?" and "Are you waiting for someone?"

My answer to both questions was no.

Forty-five minutes later there was still no karaoke, with the exception of one partier's spontaneous performances of "Gunpowder and Lead" and "Before He Cheats." Then, just before the clock struck midnight, I was informed that Thursday karaoke at H2O has been canceled.

For all its disappointment, the news was a bit of a relief -- since an hour of sitting alone at a bar can really make you feel like a social leper.

So I packed up my stuff, avoided all eye contact and headed toward my car. I was a few feet away from the car door when a partier beckoned me back inside. Why? To enlist me in a game of beer pong.

I accepted. We won.

The point of this story -- other than rubbing my beer pong bad-assedness in your face -- is to remind you that world, at least the nightlife part of it, is not out to get you.

It's possible to hit a bar alone, politely smile at awkward social pleasantries and go home unscathed.

Maybe even a little happy.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Got gut?

Before answering that question, consider this:

A borderline beer gut is the new six pack, the NY Times reports.

No joke. The article discusses how, for better or worse, big-bellied men have become significantly cooler. Here's why:

Like manscaping, spray-on tans and other metrosexual affectations, having a belly one can bounce quarters off suggests that you may have too much time on your hands.

Honestly, when it comes to my physical "type," I'd rather have a guy with a slight belly than than those creepy, super sculpted "I live on weight maintenance smoothies" guys you see in the gym.

Then again, everything in moderation. Right?

Say my name

I've blogged about the marital name change issue before, but I can't get over some recent Indiana University research regarding public opinion on the issue.

A whopping 70 percent of Americans say a woman should take her spouse's last name, and 50 percent say she should be legally required to take her spouse's last name.

If those numbers don't make you cringe, read how one of the study's authors explains the conclusions:

“They told us that women should lose their own identity when they marry and become a part of the man and his family. This was a reason given by many.”

What's going on tonight?

Need plans for tonight? Join me at H2O, 6499 Veterans Parkway, as I check out the Thursday karaoke scene for an upcoming column. Action starts between 10 and 11.

Other party options:

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Is Simon Cowell hot?

The other day, some of my female co-workers discussed the attractiveness of "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell.

He's not exactly physically attractive. Instead, he gets the majority of his hotness points through attitude.

Which is strange, since he's most commonly described with adjectives like "cocky" and "egotistical."

Women like that.

Make no mistake: We don't want a guy who worships his own image, or devotes dinner conversations entirely to the honors on his resume. But some self-assurance, and even a little bit of an ego, is definitely a turn-on.

To some extent, we're attracted to people who challenge us. When someone seems overly confident, there's a sense of intrigue in finding what makes him vulnerable.

And dating someone who's overly confident is a lot more appealing than dating someone who lacks self-esteem.

A little mutual encouragement is good, but few things harm a relationship more than a blurred distinction between girlfriend and therapist.

So go ahead, indulge me with your ego trip.

Just make sure you can back it up.

(Note: The official soundtrack to this post is Beyonce's "Ego." Listen to it here.)

Play beer pong

The weekly beer pong contest continues tonight at H2O, 6499 Veterans Parkway.

At stake? A trip to Las Vegas for the The World Series of Beer Pong, held in January.

Each week, the top six teams qualify for a final tournament. The competition runs Wednesdays through Sept. 30.

There's no cover, but the tournament is $5 per player. Women play for free.

Call 706-327-9700.

Brad Pitt and marriage

In a recent interview with Parade, Brad Pitt explained again why he and Angelina Jolie won't get married:

"When someone asked me why Angie and I don't get married, I replied, 'Maybe we'll get married when it's legal for everyone else.'" Pitt said. "I stand by that, although I took a lot of flak for saying it — hate mail from religious groups. I believe everyone should have the same rights."

It seems like we all know a handful of couples who have been together forever, but won't tie the knot.

I've had friends cite the "we'll get married when everyone can" reasoning. I've also heard people say they love each other, but they're simply opposed to the institution of marriage.

If you knew you and your partner would be together forever, but you'd never be legally married, would you stay in the relationship?

I wouldn't. Yes, I know the wedding ceremony is often just a formality and "married" is just a label, but I think formally tying the knot adds a necessary level of seriousness.

Plus, I'd be uncomfortable introducing someone as my boyfriend if we'd been together 12 years.

Sometimes, women are criticized for trying to put a label on their relationship. "They're just words," we're told. "Your feelings are what really matter."

Truth is, words matter too. You should be in a relationship where you hear what makes your heart happiest, whether it's "girlfriend," "I love you" or "let's get married."

Maybe I'd make an exception for Brad Pitt, though.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Speed dating!

Speed dating is a funny thing in Columbus. You wouldn't believe how many calls and e-mails I get from people complaining we don't have enough ways to socialize outside the traditional bar scene.

Speed dating seems like a perfect solution.

But it seems like almost every Columbus speed dating event I've covered has gotten poor reviews -- or, even more frequently, been canceled due to lack of interest.

Can a local social group revive speed dating's local popularity?

Find out next Tuesday (8/18), when the RiverTown Adventure Club hosts a speed dating fundraiser supporting the American Cancer Society.

Action starts 6:30 p.m. at Mario's, 1010 Broadway. Participants must be at least 25 years old.

You have until Monday to register for the event, which is $15 in advance for non-members. There are 25 spots for women, 25 spots for men.

Click here for registration info.

Free Tuesday show!

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

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

Call 706-507-3418.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Kim Kardashian goes blonde

Nothing cures a broken heart like a little blonde ambition.

Everyone's buzzing about the blonde hair Kim Kardashian flaunted at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards. Pictures here.

The makeover coincides with her recent breakup with Reggie Bush.

LimeLife accurately notes the new blonde look marks one of the most common post-breakup maneuvers: a dramatic change in physical appearance.

We've all seen it happen: Your normally predictable friend returns from her trip to Splitsville with a dramatic haircut or a completely opposite hue.

There's a variety of reasons why we change our appareance after ending a relationship.

It can mark a new chapter. It can symbolize a sense of control.

These advantages, of course, are just temporary. A new hair color can only mask emotions for so long.

But it's nice to believe your Blonde Self will be much wiser, much stronger and much more immune to mistakes.

That is, at least until the color fades.

Shy guys

Dating bulletin: Sweaty palms are not sexy.

In relationships, some shyness can be a little bit endearing. There's joy in having an ability to draw somebody out of his/her shell.

Date someone with a paralyzing level of shyness, however, and things get annoying. You get tired of being responsible for dominating conversations in every social situation.

Not to mention the fact that shy people often unintentionally appear aloof and disinterested in the relationship.

But maybe romantic shyness isn't just a personality quirk. Maybe it's a real medical condition.

The Frisky refers readers to this article, which describes "love shyness" -- a specific type of chronic shyness in men.

But the men who claim to suffer from love shyness (LS) all have in common the complete inability to initiate or to engage in romantic interplay. This renders them terminally, heartbrokenly, virginally lonely.

Hmm. Sounds like love shyness is a politically correct term for "World of Warcraft" addiction.

Where do you stand with shyness in dating? Do prefer to date someone more extroverted or less extroverted than you are?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

How to make me swoon

Apparently, all you have to do is call me by my first and middle names.

That is, if you buy into this list of 41 ways to make a woman swoon, courtesy of Men's Health.

Honestly, I can't say I'd be too turned on if a guy spontaneously started calling me "Sonya Kathleen." It resurrects all sorts of memories of childhood discipline.

Should aspiring Casanovas consult the list?

Only if you can sincerely pull off suggestions like No. 19: "When she's feeling insecure, stare into her eyes and tell her there is no one in the world who could be as right for you as she is."

If you have no problem uttering this line with heartfelt passion and raw emotion, proceed.

But if you can't do it without exuding a cheesy subtext -- "I'm only doing this because it'll help me get lucky later" -- abort the mission.

Trust me, we can see right through you.

(via Jezebel)

Friday, August 7, 2009

What's going on this weekend?

Here's your weekend lineup. Check the prior post for a couple special events.

Tonight, I'm judging The Synergy Project's Indie Wars, so say "hi" if you're there. Music starts at 7 p.m. and cover is $7.

FRIDAY

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

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

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

Boneheadz, 9 p.m. Del Ranch Bar & Grill, $5. 334-297-9177.

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

• Rock of Ages, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, block party cover.

• The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. VFW Post 665 (Victory Drive), $5. 706-687-6656.

The Poptart Monkeys, 10 p.m. H2O, $5. 706-327-9700.

Peggy Jenkins and the Bizness, 9 p.m. The Loft, block party cover. 706-596-8141.

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

• Matt Thompson, 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659.

SATURDAY

• Andres Tabares (acoustic covers), 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659.

The New Familiars, 9:30 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

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

Rodney Hamrick and Boneheadz, 9 p.m. Del Ranch Bar & Grill, $10. 334-297-9177.

• The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. VFW Post 665 (Victory Drive), $5. 706-687-6656.

Stereomonster CD release party with DJ D’Rock, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, $5.

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

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

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

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

Some party highlights

Hey everybody! TGIF, right? This weekend is really busy with lots of entertainment-related events, so I'm going to go ahead and post some highlights now. The full list will come a little later this afternoon.

In the meantime:

*Friday, downtown Columbus bars host the monthly block party when one $10 cover gets you into the majority of Broadway hot spots.

*If you want to watch the UFC fight Saturday, try hitting H2O, 6499 Veterans Parkway. The bar offers $5 pitchers of beer, a $5 pizza buffet and a girls boxing challenge with a $250 prize. Cover is $5.

*Also on Saturday, the rockers from Hinder ("Lips of an Angel") perform at Fort Benning's Wetherby Field. Opening act is Danielia Cotton. Show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 advance, $25 at the gate. Details here.

*Saturday might be a good night to expand your nightlife horizons. That means partying in Alabama. Local Elvis impersonator Rodney Hamrick performs at Del Ranch Bar & Grill, 4920 Lee Road 430. He'll be joined by the local rockers from Boneheadz. Cover is $10, show starts at 9 p.m.

*Finally, don't forget about Saturday's Ladies Night Out concert at the Columbus Civic Center. It features four old-school R&B acts: Silk, Troop, Next and H-Town. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $32.50-$42.50 advance, $37.50-$47.50 at the door.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

You're irreplaceable

Flattered by the headline? You should be.

Well, at least if you believe this list of five compliments every woman loves to hear.

In relationships, an occasional compliment should be a welcome ego stroke, gentle reassurance that yes, you're still the one.

Unfortunately, things aren't always that easy.

Even the happiest relationships can be marred by an extreme reluctance to accept, or dish out, a compliment.

Here are my least favorite compliment-inspired behaviors:

The insecure dater. This guy needs a gold star, not a girlfriend. At first his lack of confidence is endearing, but the constant need for reaffirmation gets annoying quickly. Give him the boot if he can't tell a story without asking if you're proud of him.

The generic dater. Nothing screams "you can do better" better than the guy who dishes compliments straight out of a generic phrasebook. His go-to lines? "You have beautiful eyes" and "You look great." Try a little creativity, dude, or at least steal something from "The Notebook."

The selfish dater. Possibly the worst compliment offender: the guy who can't indulge in flattery without a disclaimer. He loved your e-mail, but there were a couple grammatical errors. You look really nice, but you probably should have worn something less formal.

Sigh. Maybe one day we'll thrive in a dating universe where compliments are genuine, flattery is welcome and everybody's happy.

Until then, trust me: You're irreplaceable.

What's going on tonight?

Hey everybody! The weekend's almost here. Get into the right mind frame with these Thursday night party options:

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Would you say something?

That is, would you say something if you knew your best friend's boyfriend was cheating?

The dilemma has been floating around dating blogs ever since The Frisky recently asked the question in this article, which was picked up in CNN.

The writer's conclusion: Yes, she'd say something. Here's why:

Partly because I have a big mouth incapable of containing a secret, but more because I know I how angry and betrayed I'd feel if I found out that everyone but me knew I was dating a cheater.

Years ago, I knew someone was being unfaithful, but I didn't say anything. Now, I look back at the situation with regret -- but only a twinge of it.

Here's the thing: Girls are defensive about their relationships. Suggest infidelity and you'll likely be labeled either bitchy or "just jealous." Often both.

And the other thing: It's very rare that someone has absolutely no idea her boyfriend's cheating. Part of her usually has a suspicion. It's just a question of when she's going to be honest with herself and come to grips with reality.

Your "helpful tip" likely isn't going to accelerate the process.

I say all of this stuff...but then I think about how I'd feel if my friends approached me with this kind of information.

I don't know if I'd thank them, or call them liars.

Thoughts?

Breastfeeding doll

Think parenting's biggest challenge lies in curbing your preteen daughter's Jonas Brothers crush?

Try deciding what to do when your 6-year-old begs you for a baby doll that simulates the breastfeeding process.

Meet Bebe Gloton -- "Gluttonous Baby" -- a Spanish-manufactured doll that lets its owner put on a tank top, position the toy over the daisy-clad nipple area and listen to it make weird sucking noises.

Toto, I don't think we're in Cabbage Patch land anymore.

The toy has its share of advocates, namely mothers who believe it reaffirms breastfeeding's role as a normal and natural process.

Then, there are the detractors: People who cite not only the creepiness factor, but also a belief that Bebe Gloton instills a maternal urge at perhaps too early an age.

Sure, baby dolls with miniature feeding bottles have been around for decades. But I think there's something distinctly different about holding a plastic child to your chest and simulating a biological process.

Do little girls understand the significance? Probably not.

I, for one, simulated equally complicated processes with my Barbies back in the day. And just look how I turned out.

Read more about the toy here and here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Up in smoke

I love you, but you smell like an ashtray.

Sometimes, remedying that problem is a little more difficult than taking a shower after a night at SoHo Bar & Grill.

Have you ever asked a significant other to quit smoking?

Rumor is Ryan Reynolds recently asked wife Scarlett Johansson to kick the habit in honor of the pair's one-year wedding anniversary.

Here, one woman details how she gave up cigarettes to honor a promise to her husband -- and never looked back. Here's how she summarizes her feelings:

But I've never had so much as a single puff since, because I don't want to look in his big brown eyes and admit that I failed him, that cigarettes were more important than keeping my word to him.

Often, this kind of essay can simplify addiction.

Sure, a pleading -- or ultimatum-ready -- partner can help you give up a vice. But ultimately, you alone are the most important factor in whether you succeed or fail.

Which is probably the way it should be, since you don't want your stability contingent on someone else's encouragement.

Free Tuesday show!

Tonight, the local musicians from Big Woody and the Splinters perform a free show at the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road.

Music starts at 7 p.m.

The show is part of the bar's Muldoon's Tuesdays promotion, which attempts to recreate the atmosphere of longtime Columbus hangout Muldoon's.

Call 706-507-3418.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Hot and cold

She's a selfish ice queen. And he's a heartless, fire-hungry devil.

Those personalities surface during one of the most common relationship battles: a fight over temperature control.

YourTango directed me to this Washington Post piece, which describes the wars couples wage over the A/C setting. An excerpt:

Researchers who study sex differences agree that when it comes to temperature, it seems women are from Venus and men are from Planet Freon.

"This is a real phenomenon," said Kathryn Sandberg, director of the Georgetown University Center for the Study of Sex Differences in Health, Aging and Disease. "We have lots of data showing that women generally are far more sensitive to feelings of cold."

Strangely, I fall outside my gender on this one. In relationships, I'm always the one who's burning up. Thanks, Wisconsin!

As insignificant as they sound, battles over temperature can really affect your relationship. Being too hot, or too cold, impacts your mood.

And if you dread your partner's thermostat control -- or affinity for wool blankets -- spending time together gets a lot less appealing.

In relationships, how do you resolve differences in temperature preference?

Beer pong!


It's a sport that attracts the least athletic partiers. Hydration comes in downing room-temperature PBR, rather than Gatorade.

But don't be fooled: There's strategy involved.

Beer pong.

I just learned H2O is hosting a beer pong tournament extravaganza beginning this Wednesday at 10 p.m. After a series of preliminary weekly games, the club will have a final showdown.

At stake? A trip to Las Vegas for the World Series of Beer Pong in January.

Like I said, the competition starts this week. No cover.

Consider yourself warned, though: Beer pongers are intense. Just check out the picture above, a scene from when Alan and I played at Oxygen.

Try to ignore the fact that we have seven cups standing, while our opponents have one.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Frenemies

Can all female friendships be classified as frenemies?

Recently, I reviewed Lucinda Rosenfeld's "I'm So Happy for You," a novel that's the antithesis to popular culture's traditionally rosy portrait of sisterhood.

The book portrays female friendships in a bleaker tone, focusing on the underlying jealousy that almost always accompanies pleasantries between women.

I was a little bit put off by portrayals of friendship in "Sex and the City" and "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants."

For many women, myself included, those fictional characters illustrated an unrealistic kind of female friendship: the variety that transcends differences in salary, marital status and career success.

It's great to have a shoulder to cry on.

But sometimes you hit a point in your life when, regardless of the support it provides, that friendly shoulder can just as easily be classified as That Friend Who's Always Hitting on My Boyfriend.

Or That Friend Who Starts Every Other Sentence With, "Don't take this the wrong way, but..."

Friendship isn't easy, nor is it always as accurate as the friendly reassurances it provides.

Thoughts?