Wednesday, March 31, 2010

April Fools' pranks 2010

It wouldn't be April Fools' Day without the female friend who smiles and informs you she's devised the BEST PRANK EVER.

She's going to tell her boyfriend she's pregnant.

This is not a good idea. But tons of women do it every year.

Why isn't it funny? For starters, it has tremendous potential to put a guy in a state of paralyzing shock. It's one thing to say, "I got you a turkey sandwich instead of bologna. Hehe."

It's an entirely different deal to announce, "I'm bearing your child and our lives are going to change forever. Hehe."

In addition, the fake pregnancy is perhaps the April Fools' prank most likely to ignite a fight. The guy freaks out, the girl says she's kidding.

It should end there -- until you consider the female tendency to offer an innocent, "What would you do if I was REALLY pregnant, honey?"

Planning an April Fools' prank? Consider this wise Esquire tweet: "April Fools pranks should not include: saying you're pregnant, spilling, grooming supplies, anything involving your boss."

I'm sure Facebook's rise will make for all sorts of status updates involving fake pregnancies and engagements, too.

Weigh in with your best/worst April Fools' pranks.

Tonight at Flip Flops

Craving a little hump day action? Head to Flip Flops tonight for a performance by Trotline, a Southern rock act from Valdosta.

Flip Flops' new back patio will also be revealed tonight. It looks like the weather will cooperate, so I'm pretty excited.

Cover is $5 and action starts at 9 p.m. See you there!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Consider it your final fling before the teething ring.


The concept, addressed in this Glamour blog post, refers to a couple's decision to take a big vacation together shortly before becoming parents.

The "babymoon" is more than just a cool Internet buzzword. Many of my pregnant friends have splurged on an extravagant vacation while preparing to earn the "mommy" label.

Outsiders -- read: jealous homebodies -- are often baffled by the concept. Shouldn't future parents spend their money on baby stuff? Are vacations really that fun if you can't drink and wear form-fitting apparel?

But I understand the babymoon's benefits. It's a welcome opportunity to get away and process the ways in which your life is about to change.

If nothing else, it promises a temporary break from a friend's daily requests to pat your growing stomach.

Share your babymoon experiences in the comments section.

Prom 2010. Sigh.

If you're reading this from the Columbus area, you've probably already spotted gown-clad teenagers enjoying a "formal" dinner at Cheddar's.

Get used to it. Prom season will continue for approximately the next nine months.

OK, maybe that's an exaggeration. But after consulting this list of local prom dates, you'll see I'm not too far off.

I always enjoy spying on the teenage masses having pre-prom dinners at Columbus Park Crossing.

You have the standard characters, everyone from the guy wearing too much cologne to the girl whose family failed to tell her that skin-tight leopard print is not flattering.

My people-watching highlight last season occurred when I spotted a young woman sporting PLASTIC HEELS in Cheddar's. The worst part: She was apparently attending a middle school prom.

Maybe her fashion travesty wasn't an isolated event. Here, the NY Post describes this year's prom fashion trend: "slutty chic." That means it's cool to reveal your bellybutton...and more.

When I was in high school, we had to wear head-to-toe burlap bodysuits to prom. Just kidding. Dates were mandatory for the event, though. That's apparently changed in the 10 years since I graduated.

Weigh in: How has prom changed since you bought your first corsage or boutonniere?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Yes, I like Justin Bieber

Saturday night, I parked my butt on the couch for a date with the 2010 Kids' Choice Awards. Conveniently, I turned on the TV shortly before one of the show's most anticipated moments: a performance by teen heartthrob Justin Bieber.

While he sang "Baby," the camera caught the average suspects in the audience: young, female teenyboppers clutching their digital cameras and crying.

But between those predictable shots, I swear I saw the camera briefly focus on a female 20-something standing awkwardly and wondering where fandom ends and freakdom begins.

Welcome to the plight of the adult Justin Bieber fan.

It's hard for us. Sing along too loudly or compliment the 16-year-old singer too enthusiastically and you look like a "To Catch a Predator" candidate.

So, using your age-acquired wisdom, you avoid all comments about Justin Bieber's swagger and instead only praise his music.

There's just one problem: It's not that good. When you rave about lyrics like "your world is my world," you only get a blank stare and a depressing Cure quote.

Go ahead, outsiders: Regard a 20-something's Justin Bieber obsession as pathetic. Just don't say it out loud.

Then, and only then, will I truly be one less lonely girl.

(The online rumor mill says Justin Bieber will perform on Wednesday's "American Idol." Get updates here.)

Age differences in dating

Dating someone significantly younger than you? Here's tip No. 1: Refrain from all sentences that begin, "When I was hooking up in college, you were just learning to crawl."

Easy enough, right?

This YourTango piece, which asks if a 25-year age difference can work in dating, has attracted online discussion. The essay's conclusion:

If you're in a May-December relationship or contemplating one, just remember that, like any relationship, it takes compromise and compassion to make it work.

I don't discriminate too much when it comes to age differences and relationships. Truth is, many couples have the same ages on paper but seem decades apart when it comes to maturity levels.

However, I think there's a difference between dating someone older and pursuing a long-term relationship with someone older. In the latter scenario, you're more likely to discuss things like someone's willingness to marry (or remarry) and have children.


Friday, March 26, 2010

What's going on this weekend?

Hey party people! Here's your weekend lineup:


VFW Post 665: The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. $5. 706-687-6656.

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

Flip Flops: Caleb Gamble and Jeremiah Duhart, 9 p.m. $5 cover starts at 11 p.m.

The Roadhouse: Discount Superstar, 9 p.m. $5.

Eighty-Five: Stephaniesid, Stereomonster, 10 p.m. $5. 706-324-1500.

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

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

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


VFW Post 665: The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. $5. 706-687-6656.

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

The Roadhouse: Country music night hosted by The South with music by Montgomery Gunn, 9 p.m. $5.

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

Eighty-Five: Stephaniesid, Stereomonster, 10 p.m. $5. 706-324-1500.

The Loft: Jasper Drive, 9:30 p.m. $5. 706-596-8141.

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

Craving a spring fling?

The weather might not be cooperating, but local hot spots are slowly preparing for the season of outdoor entertainment.

Wednesday, Flip Flops unveils its back patio for the first time ever. Be there! Regional act Trotline will perform. Action starts at 9 p.m. and cover is $5.

Also, the outdoor concerts on Broadway start at the end of April. The Friday shows are 7-10 p.m. Here's this season's lineup:

APRIL 30: Big Woody & The Splinters

MAY 7: The Pine Beetles

MAY 14: Theatrics

MAY 21: Peggy Jenkins and the Bizness

MAY 28: Do Not Resuscitate

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Male Brain

A few years ago, Louann Brizendine released "The Female Brain," a book that scientifically explained behavior differences between genders.

I interviewed Brizendine for one for my first feature stories at the Ledger. During that interview, I asked the neuropsychiatrist if she'd consider a male version of the book.

She said yes, and now that book is here.

"The Male Brain" focuses on everything from "man trance" to why men actually have stronger emotional reactions than women.

I expect the book will get some of the same criticism that surrounded "The Female Brain."

Skeptics sometimes say there's not enough research to support Brizendine's assertions.

They also argue scientifically applying a set of traits to an entire gender risks erasing individual personalities.

I haven't read "The Male Brain" yet, but I enjoyed "The Female Brain."

I didn't agree with all the book's findings, but its emphasis on science encouraged me to step outside my emotions while fighting in a romantic relationship.

Whether it's through science or just a good heart-to-heart, I think everyone needs an occasional reminder to think of the why, rather than the how, surrounding your partner's actions.


Who's Jemi?

When I hit Twitter shortly after Wednesday's "American Idol" results show, I recognized all the trending topics except one: Jemi.

I reasoned the term referred to a complex political movement, or maybe the '80s animated series "Jem."

No. After some brief Internet research, I realized "Jemi" is the nickname for celebrity couple Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato, who performed at Wednesday's "Idol."

I officially felt old. I listen to the "High School Musical" soundtrack on an almost-daily basis, but still can't keep up with the growing crop of Disney celebrity couple nicknames.

Jemi. Who would've known? I thought TomKat was cutting-edge.

Whether you prefer Jemi or Brangelina, I know some couples who construct their hybrid name seconds into their first date. Others hate the idea.

Weigh in: Should couple nicknames be confined to the Disney crowd?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Facebook and syphilis

Everybody's buzzing about this recent article linking Facebook to a rise in syphilis.

Why? "Social networking sites are making it easier for people to meet up for casual sex."


If I'm going to get a disease from Facebook, it'll likely be a bacterial infection from the newest FarmVille addition you keep hyping. Or perhaps that nasty addition to your SuperPoke Pet's habitat.

Perhaps Facebook is subtly encouraging casual sex.

Another hypothesis? The social networking site, filled with angry relationship updates and TMI baby photos, is breeding a generation of partiers with an expanded "eww" factor.

OK, you can go back to playing FarmVille.

Predicting divorce

"They'll never make it."

You utter the sentence confidently...and then watch the couple get married, have kids, and celebrate relationship bliss.

Unlike Oscar wins and "American Idol" results, I think I'm pretty good at predicting a romance's life span.

But occasionally, there's that wild card -- the couple who strangely manages to survive and thrive, despite initially having all the odds stacked against them.

Here's an interesting article from Slate about a marriage researcher's attempt to predict divorce based on how a newlywed couple fights. The prediction seems nearly impossible, but some people still say it can be done.

Weigh in: How do your natural instincts fare in predicting a couple's success?

(With her wedding on the horizon, my colleague Katie Holland has already vowed she'll never get divorced. Read more here.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The friend breakup

Imagine eying your favorite pedicure companion and saying, "It's not you. It's me."

Welcome to the world of the friend breakup.

The issue, which I've discussed here before, has resurfaced thanks to a recent Wall Street Journal piece titled "How to break up with a friend."

The writer notes that unlike a romantic relationship, there are no social norms for ending a friendship. You and your friend don't go to counseling undergo a formal divorce.

Part of the reason is the myth of "friends forever," the idea that your friendships are always supposed to transcend the limits of your romantic relationships.

I've known women who have had a friend formally give them the "we need to talk" speech. (Of course, it didn't include the standard breakup cliche of "let's just be friends.")

When it comes to friend breakups, I've always opted for the gradual "ignore and avoid" approach rather than direct confrontation. But the phoniness of exchanging formal pleasantries often leaves me wishing I'd opted for a formal breakup.

Weigh in: Is a friend breakup more complicated than a romantic one?

(via Jezebel)

DJ Roonie G opening Columbus club

DJ Roonie G, an entertainer who hails from Columbus and regularly performs in places like Las Vegas and New Orleans, will open a nightclub in downtown Columbus.

He confirmed the news in a phone interview with the Ledger-Enquirer this afternoon, noting the hot spot will open in the Broadway venue that's previously housed clubs like Savana's, Rumors and most recently The Oasis.

Roonie's club, Mix Nightclub and Lounge, will be an upscale dance bar that he expects will open in the next 45 days. It's the first nightclub he's solely owned.

The DJ said he'll continue performing on a national level while the nightclub is open. Roonie G, who has been recognized by trade publications like DJ Times and Club World Magazine, boasts a unique show that mixes video with music.

Weigh in: Will his new nightclub transform the downtown Columbus party scene?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Divorce doesn't make cents

I hate you, but my wallet can't live without you.

The Washington Post has an interesting piece about couples who have postponed divorce simply because they can't afford it. The article also mentions people who have separated romantically, but still live together.

Because -- you guessed it -- they can't afford to live otherwise.

I'd argue the issue isn't confined to married couples entering splitsville. When you've been dating somebody for a decent amount of time, it's only natural to think of the economic ramifications of a split. It can be a little disheartening to realize you'll finally have to buy your own dinners...or your own lawn mower.

Then again, financial issues can be a ray of light in a breakup's aftermath, too.

Once, when a friend broke up with a guy around Christmas, I watched her smile amid tears and say, "Well, at least I won't have to buy him a present."

It's also nice to think of all the money you'll save without having to hit up your former fling's favorite overpriced restaurant monthly.

Weigh in: Have finances ever been the deciding factor in your choice to keep a relationship alive?

I love your accent

Seriously, that Alabama twang is totally hot. So much, in fact, that I'm willing to overlook all your relationship flaws.

I've already written about how I don't understand the accent obsession in dating. But I might be in the minority.

Need proof? Check out, a new online dating Web site designed to help you find the mate -- or, um, "matey" -- of your dreams.

Your affinity for Australian conversation might go unnoticed, though. The site seems to focus on US and UK ties. Crumpets, anyone? Read more here.

Weigh in: Would you ever make an initial connection with someone solely because you liked his/her accent?

Friday, March 19, 2010

What's going on this weekend?

Hey party people! Make sure to check out the Journey tribute item in my previous post. Here's your weekend lineup:


SoHo Bar & Grill: Psyk Nyne, 10 p.m. $5, free for military. 706-568-3316.

VFW Post 665: The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. $5. 706-687-6656.

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

Belloo’s: The Good Doctor, 9 p.m. $5. 706-494-1584.

Eighty-Five: Siberia My Sweet, Attention System, 10 p.m. $5. 706-324-1500.

Daileys: Ophir Drive, 8 p.m. $5. 706-320-3353.


SoHo Bar & Grill: The Killing Ground, 10 p.m. $5. 706-568-3316.

VFW Post 665: The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. $5. 706-687-6656.

Flip Flops: Whisky Bent, 9 p.m.

Spicoli's: Talk Journey to Me, Moby Dick, 8 p.m. 706-221-5252.

Daileys: Ophir Drive, 8 p.m. $5. 706-320-3353.

Belloo’s: The Good Doctor, 9 p.m. $5. 706-494-1584.

The Loft: Little Brown Peach, 9 p.m. $5. 706-596-8141.


Spicoli’s: Karaoke, 8 p.m. free. 706-221-5252.

Don't Stop Believin?

Talk Journey to Me Promo

Talk Journey To Me | MySpace Music Videos

Readers of this blog know I have a special place in my heart for Journey. So I couldn't resist posting a special item about Saturday's Journey tribute show at Spicoli's, 5762 Milgen Road.

The band: Atlanta-based Talk Journey To Me. Apparently they're not only a Journey tribute act, but also a tribute band for Poison, GNR and Bon Jovi.

Wow. That's talent.

Watch the clip above to see how Talk Journey To Me compares to the real deal.

Party starts at 8 p.m. Band takes the stage around 9 or 10. Atlanta cover band Moby Dick will also perform.

Lady Gaga gets sued

Here's an interesting article about an ex-boyfriend who's suing Lady Gaga because he claims he created her stage name and "pushed her to explore different musical genres."


It makes me think how nice it would be we all had the freedom to sue our exes after making them better people.

I could make millions -- er, maybe at least $20 -- for the role I've had in teaching many clueless guys how to do laundry.

In all seriousness, we often better our partners during a romantic relationship. Sadly, we also often break up and watch our exes excel with skills they learned from us.

Sigh. Looks like it's time to watch "Can't Buy Me Love" again.

Dating prenups: Agree or disagree?

The scene is romantic: your first place together, matching pillows, a shared promise to clean the cat's litter box daily.

Then, he pulls out a contract and asks for your signature.

Welcome to the dating prenup, a growing trend among 20- and 30-somethings. Before moving in together, couples will sign an agreement dividing their property.

You know, just in case they break up.

I understand the practical fears that come with not having a ring on your finger and moving into a house that somebody else owns. Still, I'm leery of anything that merges love and business transactions.

Weigh in: Are dating prenups a necessary evil, or a recipe for relationship failure?

(via Lemondrop)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fighting on Facebook?

Do you and your significant other publicly duke it out on Facebook? Yeah, me neither.

But apparently some people do -- at least if you believe this NY Times article, which describes a common(?) tendency to air your relationship tiffs on Facebook.

Why? Sometimes, it's to get your friends to weigh in, take sides and decide who's right.

If that's the intended purpose, it often backfires, the NY Times article notes. An excerpt:

But rather than win support, fighting in front of your friends will more likely convince them that you shouldn’t be together in the first place, marriage counselors say. That certainly seems to be the case among friends of Facebook fighters, who, like any witnesses to a public spat, are caught in the middle, unsure whether to intervene or mind their own business.

I've witnessed relationship fights on Facebook and I think they're pretty lame.

In fact, I think any kind of public fighting -- whether it's on a laptop or in a restaurant -- signals tremendous immaturity. Here's my column on that topic.

Do you weigh in on Facebook fights, or simply smile while watching the drama from afar?

(via TresSugar)

Sandra Bullock & Jesse James

Everybody's buzzing about a possible split between actress Sandra Bullock and her husband, Jesse James. It's spurred by reports of James' possible infidelity.

If Bullock and James split, Bullock would join the many women who have experienced the "Oscar curse" -- getting a divorce shortly after winning a best actress Oscar.

As speculation over the celebrity couple heightened, one of my Facebook friends posted a status update saying that James' possible actions had diminished her faith in men.


I follow these stories for gossip's sake, but celebrity couple news rarely transcends into my understanding of real-life relationships.

While celebrity breakups can be disheartening, I think you have to step back and realize these people operate at an entirely different level than our date nights at Columbus Park Crossing. After all, Jesse James WAS once married to a porn star.

Weigh in: When a celebrity couple splits, does it affect your perception of real-life romance?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

St. Patrick's Day party picks

Don't know where to party on St. Patrick's Day? Here are some of your local options:

Irish pub Scruffy Murphy’s, 1037 Broadway, has been waiting for this day all year. The bar opens at 11:30 a.m. They’ll be serving Irish food like fish and chips, corned beef casserole and shepherd’s pie. The Irish musicians from Captain Mackey’s Goatskin and Stringband will entertain all day. After 4 p.m., there’s a cover charge of $10, or $15 for an Irish food buffet. The bar will offer green beer and all its regular popular Irish beers.

Spicoli’s hosts a costume party with DJ music, drink and shot specials and $1.50 beer specials all night. The bar is at 5762 Milgen Road. No cover.

The Cannon Brew Pub, 1041 Broadway, hosts a party beginning at 6 p.m. Proceeds benefit the American Red Cross.

SoHo Bar & Grill, 5751 Milgen Road, offers giveaways, party favors and beer specials. Beeramid entertains. No cover.

Belloo’s, 900 Front Ave., has drink specials, green beer, giveaways. No cover.

Mickey’s Pub, 4105 Buena Vista Road, has drink specials and DJ music. No cover.

At Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill, 5555 Whittlesey Blvd., you can expect a costume party with DJ music, drink specials and appetizer specials. Action starts at 7 p.m. No cover.

The Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road, hosts a party with music by Surgestone. There’s party favors and beer specials with a souvenir cup. No cover.

At Daileys, the local rockers from Ophir Drive promise to sport kilts during their St. Patrick’s Day performance. They say their set might include some St. Patrick’s Day surprises. Music starts at 10 p.m. The bar is at 1039 Broadway. No cover.

Flip Flops will open at 6 p.m. and offer DJ music and specials on green Bud Light and Jet Fuel. There will be prizes for hottest lady in green and best overall St. Patrick’s Day getup. The bar is at 1111 Broadway. No cover.

Kate Winslet & Sam Mendes

I skimmed past recent news that actress Kate Winslet and director Sam Mendes had broken up. A related post on Jezebel caught my attention, however.

Its headline: "Why does the Winslet-Mendes split make me so sad?"

The post echoes the common tendency to become personally invested in a celebrity couple, namely the ones who seem to remain somewhat stable amid Hollywood chaos. An excerpt:

They were an upper-middlebrow (lower-highbrow?) couple you didn't have to feel bad about ogling, because they seemed both brilliant and normal. And so nice. They spoke respectfully of another's work and successes without seeming smug. They were at the top of their games, but they seemed to live real lives.

Believe it or not, I felt the same way about Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee.


As much as I avoid admiring a couple based only on their public lives, I understand how easy it is to put a twosome on a romantic pedestal. You view them as proof that it's possible to romantically thrive even when the odds are against you.

And when they break up, well, ouch.

Weigh in: Have you ever been invested in a celebrity couple's relationship?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pregnant women are smug?

This is not an attack on you, Girl Who Posts Bare Stomach Photos Every Five Minutes on Facebook.

I caught Jay Leno's show Friday night just in time to watch comedic duo Garfunkel & Oates perform their Internet hit, "Pregnant Women are Smug."

The song includes memorable lines like, "You're just giving birth now, you're not Mother Earth now."

I think technology's rise has made it even easier to correlate pregnancy with smugness. You're no longer just tolerating a five-minute update in the grocery store -- there's the inevitable social networking deluge of photos and status updates.

That kind of outpouring can be tough for a singleton. Just when you think you survived the winter engagement blitz, the spring baby boom hits.

Recently, top items on my Facebook feed -- all from separate friends -- were a stomach photo, a pregnancy back pain update and a summary of what happens during the third trimester.

I bought my dog a T-shirt after work just to make sure my maternal instincts were still working.

Is excessive baby talk alone a reflection of smugness? No way.

But it's often an outsider's first brush with conversation that's truly one-sided. And that alone can be challenging.

If there is one, the moral might be to think before you talk and resist an urge to take yourself too seriously -- whether you're carrying the next child genius or touting the benefits of a Gerber-free existence.

Unsatisfied, pregnancy critics? Stuff a pillow under your shirt and temporarily savor the power of this line: "I can't. I'm pregnant."

Consider your grudge settled.

Dating: Misery loves company?

Here's an interesting Washington Post article about the rise of "bad date" Web sites like Bad Online Dates and A Bad Case of the Dates.

The concept is simple: Instead of crying in a dark room after your awful restaurant outing, you get online and share your misery with countless strangers.

In a way, the sites are therapeutic.

Relating your story without the judgment of your "I have no idea what you're talking about, but I'll nod sympathetically" friends can help you make light of a bad date -- instead of seeing it as a reflection of your dating worth.

Rely too much on a "bad date" Web site, however, and its intended purpose might backfire.

You know that one friend whose company always makes you complain about your romantic relationship, no matter how happy you are?

These Web sites are kind of like that. In times of crisis, they can be an asset, but they can also subtly support a belief that complaining is a central part of every date's aftermath.

And that's rarely true. Unless, of course, you choose guys whose conversation repertoire doesn't extend beyond aspirations of fast-food restaurant management.

I'll tell that story later.

Friday, March 12, 2010

What's going on this weekend?

Hey party people! Can't get enough weekend news? Subscribe to our To Do newsletter by clicking here. You'll get all the coolest entertainment updates in your inbox every Friday afternoon.

Quick highlight: Saturday, Phenix City's Central Activity Center hosts a Grand Ole Opry showcase 6:30-8 p.m. with local musicians. Details here.

Here's what's going on at the bars:


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

VFW Post 665: The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. $5. 706-687-6656.

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

Eighty-Five: Haywire, 10 p.m. $5. 706-324-1500.

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

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

Flip Flops: Doug McCormick, 9 p.m. $5.


Belloo's: Claiborne & Friends with Lou Vandora, 9 p.m. $5. 706-494-1584.

VFW Post 665: The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. $5. 706-687-6656.

Flip Flops: Southbound, 9 p.m. $5.

Eighty-Five: The Blue Hotel, 10 p.m. $5. 706-324-1500.

SoHo Bar & Grill: Years of Sorrow, NeeDeep, 10 p.m. $5. 706-568-3316.

The Loft: Bibb City Ramblers, Evan Barber & The Dead Gamblers, 9:30 p.m. $5. 706-596-8141.
Daileys:, 8 p.m. $5. 706-320-3353.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

View your celebrity spawn

Brad Pitt and I just made a baby. Well, actually she was born as a toddler. But look at her in the photo above. Isn't little Kathleen totally cute?

Our daughter comes courtesy of, a free Web site that lets you upload your photo and breed with a celebrity.

So yes, you can finally have that dream child with David Beckham or, um, Donald Trump. Yes, those are both real options.

The only drawback? Creating a perfect baby and then realizing it won't become a reality.

Unless, of course, Angelina Jolie somehow gets out of the picture.

(via Double X)

Oh no, H2O

While I was working on this week's St. Patrick's Day party roundup, the folks at H2O told me they'd re-open March 17.

But this afternoon, they posted a message via Facebook that said the grand re-opening had been postponed:

So sorry to announce that due to construction delays we regretfully will not be able to open on Wednesday March 17. Please do not get discouraged as we will be opening back up very very soon with lots of new additions to the greatest place in Columbus, Ga. PLEASE STAY TUNED AND IT IS A PROMISE WE WILL MAKE IT ALL UP TO YOU WITH THE GREATEST GRAND RE-OPENING POSSIBLE!

Weigh in with your predictions: Will H2O re-open by the end of the month? Will H2O ever re-open?

The breakfast date

Every weekend, my college friend and I would head to the dining hall for what we called "Sunday morning commentary."

We'd savor a two-hour brunch while watching members of the student body approach the omelet station while holding hands with their Saturday night booty call.

There's a point in life -- it usually coincides with college -- when the breakfast date is a necessary evil accompanying your awkward romantic entanglements.

You slurp watery coffee, devour over-cooked eggs and count the minutes until it's socially appropriate to sever ties in the name of a much-needed shower.

Believe it or not, as your relationships evolve, the breakfast date evolves, too.

Breakfast goes from something sleazy to a rare opportunity to savor your relationship before the day's realities hit.

Check out this Sacramento Bee article about a couple who take weekly breakfast walks that span at least six miles round trip.

Because formal sit-down breakfasts are so rare in the adult world, a trip to IHOP or Waffle House can function as a morning jolt and a rare opportunity to reconnect.

It's one thing to share your heart. It's another thing to share the moons over your hammy.

(Hungry? Check out this list of the top breakfasts in the U.S.)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's hard being beautiful

Almost everyone has a female friend who responds to your Saturday night plans with an exaggerated groan.

"Ugh. I don't know if I want to go out. I'm tired of every guy downtown hitting on me," she says.

This is the same friend who complains about her job -- because nobody takes her seriously since she's so hot.

You smile and nod, but can't help pondering one question:

Is being beautiful really that hard?

Maybe not. Here, Psychology Today debunks the idea of a "plight" of pretty women. Of the disgruntled hot chick, the article notes:

It seems that the beauty that plights her is the same beauty that provides her with special opportunities unavailable to those of us left waiting behind the velvet ropes of normalcy.

I've always viewed the "I hate being beautiful" argument on the same level as "I hate being a celebrity." Yes, there are inevitable drawbacks. But even with those drawbacks, you're still living a lifestyle that's above the realm of normal existence.


Mastering 'The Surprise'

Ah, surprises. On the surface, few things seem more romantic. There's the thrill of the unknown. The bliss of an interrupted evening.

Oh yeah, and the awkwardness of being whisked away when you haven't even shaved your legs.

This Glamour blog post about surprise parties got me thinking about the do's and don'ts of surprising your significant other.

For example, if you're surprising your partner with a gift, it should be something you're at least 99 percent confident he or she will like. That ensures it receives a positive reaction, rather than igniting a fight.

When it comes to romantic surprises, my biggest "don't" is anything that involves an impromptu first-time introduction to your parents.

I don't know why people think that's a good idea. Both men and women need to prepare extensively for the "meet the parents" date -- in both wardrobe and conversation repertoire.

Few things ruin a potentially good surprise like this line: "My dad's coming, too."

What's your best advice for a successful romantic surprise?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Is cursing hot?

That's a question raised by this post on GuySpeak, which asks for the male opinion of a girl who curses frequently.

The guy's response? Cursing is kind of hot, assuming it's done at the appropriate time.

I think we've gotten to the point where cursing is rarely a relationship dealbreaker, unless it's taken to an extreme.

For example, it's kind of weird dating somebody who needlessly inserts four-letter words into a discussion about frozen burritos.

Conversely, it can also be uncomfortable to have a boyfriend with a vocabulary so pristine that you worry you'll get your mouth cleaned out with soap in the middle of the night.

Generally, I'll allow a partner one massive foul-mouthed blowup a month. It usually takes place in traffic.


What's up with the Uptown Tap?

In the nightlife world, "closed for renovations" is often a bar's death sentence. But the folks from the Uptown Tap on Broadway maintain they'll re-open after recent renovations are complete.

A spokeswoman for the downtown Columbus hot spot, known for its summer courtyard parties, confirmed the news via phone today.

She said next-door nightclub The Vault, which previously operated under the Tap's umbrella, will also eventually re-open.

For long, The Vault was a dueling pianos bar. Now, a sign outside the bar says the concept didn't work here and the club will re-open with a new theme.

Broadway hot spot The Oasis, which is not associated with the Tap or Vault, also recently closed its doors to partiers.

Weigh in: What would you like to see added to Broadway nightlife?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Chocolate cures everything?

Listen up, boys. I know how you can be a better listener and more passionate lover.

Repeat after me: H-E-R-S-H-E-Y.

Yes, as in a Hershey chocolate bar. Got it?

Chocolate might not solve the world's relationship problems, but it sure does come close. Well, at least if you believe this list of relationship tips from Dr. Oz, courtesy of Esquire.

The final item on the list? Give her chocolate. Apparently there are biological reasons behind this, as well as one simple conclusion: "Women love chocolate."

But I'll speak on behalf of my entire gender and say women aren't entirely sold on the idea.

Chocolate as a Valentine's Day extra? Sure. A stocking stuffer? No problem.

However, I don't know if a guy can get away with giving chocolate alone as a special-occasion gift.

For starters, there's the unfortunate fact that many of us believe chocolate makes us fat. We often end up eating a piece or two to appease you, and then running an extra mile on the treadmill the next day.

But more importantly, I disagree with the fact that chocolate is always romantic. It doesn't require much personalization and can have an extremely limited lifespan.

Weigh in, ladies: When it comes to romantic gestures, where does chocolate stand in your hierarchy of gifts?

Kathryn Bigelow & James Cameron

Whenever I do something moderately cool, like writing an article that's read by more than two people, I'll inevitably smile and think, "If he could only see me now."

Of course, I'm referring to an ex-boyfriend.

The tendency -- viewing nearly every accomplishment as a way of proving an ex wrong -- gives me mixed emotions.

On one hand, it enhances my satisfaction. On the other, it makes me feel a little pathetic.

So I didn't know what to think when I read YourTango's coverage of how Kathryn Bigelow bested her ex-husband James Cameron at Sunday's Oscars. The piece's subhead: "Ex-wives everywhere shout hurray at Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar win over James Cameron."

Bigelow's victory is undoubtedly exciting.

But I feel like all the talk about it being a milestone for women is a little cheapened by the fact that coverage of the win still defines Bigelow within the context of a (former) romantic relationship.

I wonder if you ever hit a point where your accomplishments aren't viewed as ways of proving somebody else right or wrong.

And if that never happens, is an occasional "if he could see me now" that awful?


Friday, March 5, 2010

What's going on this weekend?

Hey everybody! You're in luck: It's a busy weekend here in Columbus. A couple highlights:

*There's a wine tasting 6-9 p.m. Friday at the Fife and Drum restaurant inside the National Infantry Museum. It's $28. Details here.

*Also on Friday, the Columbus Civic Center hosts Rascal Flatts with Darius Rucker. Tickets are $59.75 and show starts at 8 p.m. Only upper-level seats remain.

*There's a First Friday Block Party in downtown Columbus. One $10 cover gets you into the majority of Broadway hot spots. The event includes the Rascal Flatts after-party at The Roadhouse, 1047 Broadway, with Montgomery Gunn.

*Finally, don't forget about Mullet Fest 2010 at Flip Flops Saturday night. Prizes for the best redneck costumes. Action starts at 9:45 p.m. and Jasper Drive performs. Cover is $5.

Got that? Here's the rest of your lineup:


SoHo Bar & Grill
: Marshall Ruffin, Lamb Handler, 10 p.m. $5. 706-568-3316.

VFW Post 665: The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. $5. 706-687-6656.

Daileys: Ophir Drive, 8 p.m. block party cover. 706-320-3353.

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

Eighty-Five: Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun, Brenn, The Worsties, 10 p.m. $5. 706-324-1500.

Flip Flops: Jasper Drive, 9 p.m. block party cover.

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


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

Daileys: Ophir Drive, 8 p.m. $5. 706-320-3353.

Eighty-Five: The Weeks, 10 p.m. $5. 706-324-1500.

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

VFW Post 665: The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. $5. 706-687-6656.

The Loft: Tyler Reeve, 9 p.m. $5. 706-596-8141.

H2O Nightclub

Anyone who's driven by H2O on Veterans Parkway has likely noticed that the super club recently started advertising a Web promotion with its light-up message board outside.

In January, the club closed temporarily. I tried to get some info back then, but didn't have much luck.

Anyway, the sign outside now promotes H2O's new Web-based VIP club. Type in the address -- -- and you'll be directed to an online flier for the "hottest event to hit Columbus in years."

Turns out the event is the club's invitation-only grand reopening. The site doesn't specify a date for the event or too many other details.

I did, however, register for H2O's VIP club, which seems to rely primarily on text message alerts. After I signed up, I got a text granting me a free drink at the bar.

Weigh in: Will H2O's grand reopening change the local nightlife game?

Not my cup of tea

In my first adult relationship, I imagined Sunday brunch would be spent sipping unpronounceable coffee concoctions.

You know, the dark, imported blends that mature couples savor while perusing the newspaper.

Then, he asked for milk.

"You mean cream for your coffee, right?" I mused.

No, he was really drinking milk for breakfast. With that, my hopes of espresso-filled mornings went down the drain.

It's not a dealbreaker, but dating a non-coffee drinker can be a jolt for even the most caffeinated daters.

Coffee is often more than just a drink. It can signal a passage into adulthood and maturity.

But maybe standard breakfast conventions are changing. Here's an interesting article about how more men are drinking tea.

We typically define "manly" drinks within the context of alcohol -- you know, stuff like whiskey and strong beers. The concept might not stop there, however. Watch a guy order milk or mango iced tea for lunch and at least one diner will likely raise an eyebrow.

Weigh in: Do "manly" beverages exist outside the bar scene?

(via Jezebel)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Relationship secrets uncovered

Psst! I have a secret: With one click, you can access everything you'll ever need to know about relationships. No contracts or hidden fees attached. Take advantage of this unique offer now!

That seems the underlying message accompanying a staple on many relationship Web sites: the dating secrets article.

It's often creatively headlined "65 things you never knew about women." Or "13 hidden truths about men."

The pieces are kind of gimmicky, but in many cases they contain at least a grain of truth. Sometimes multiple grains of truth.

Case in point: this Esquire piece outlining secrets men don't know about women. My favorite:

Every living woman likes wedding crap. Even lesbians.

Anyway, given our heightened access to tutorials like the Esquire piece, an outsider would think we're the most romantically competent daters in history.

But maybe we're not.

So here's my question: Are relationship advice articles anything more than cheap eye candy?

National Grammar Day

Grammar and dating.

On the surface, the concepts seem totally unrelated. Unless, of course, you count the guy who offers this go-to pickup line: "How is you?"

(Yes, I have really heard that one.)

Today is National Grammar Day. While grammar and dating seem to exist in separate spheres, they're becoming increasingly intertwined -- thanks to technology's influence on relationships.

With e-mails, Facebook messages and occasionally blog posts, you often grow to know your partner's writing skills just as well as you know his/her eating habits and favorite TV shows.

And sometimes, you develop a set of relationship pet peeves you thought were confined to eighth-grade English class.

Call me crazy, but I think I romantic compliments are kind of cheapened when they're not grammatically sound. Consider this: "Thank you for loving me the way I are."

Typos aren't exactly flattering, either: "Your the best boyfriend ever."

Weigh in: Is bad grammar ever a dealbreaker in relationships?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Life ain't a fairy tale

Need proof? Consult this recent warning that you can catch a bacterial infection from kissing frogs.

Some more helpful hints along those lines:

In your attempts to be a Disney princess, it's not wise to try to fly via your bathroom rug.

I'd also advise against crushing on a guy who's described as a beast in any context.

And publicly confiding in a hermit crab? Probably not the best move, either.

Not like I'm speaking from personal experience or anything.

Shamrock Shakes, anyone?

I woke up craving the jolly green goodness that can only come from a place known for clogged arteries.

The Shamrock Shake.

It's that time again, friends.

March's seasonal references to all things green make me immediately think about the Shamrock Shake from McDonald's. So minty, so green, so perfect.

Adding to the Shamrock Shake's appeal: Its elusive nature.

See, you can't find the Shamrock Shake just anywhere. Getting one usually requires an extended search process that's usually confined to White Castle.

I recently stumbled upon, an online community where people share Shamrock Shake availability at McDonald's locations across the nation.

The bad news: Columbus locations don't look too promising. Neither do Phenix City locations.

Fortunately, earlier this week I befriended yourmcdonalds GA/AL on Twitter. Who says things don't happen for a reason?

I sent this direct message a few minutes ago: "Hey guys! Are you offering Shamrock Shakes this season? Please say yes!"

Investigative reporting at its best. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hot moms

Remember when the "hot mom" label was restricted to your manicure-clad Girl Scout leader in fourth grade?

Now, everybody wants to be the hot mom.

The Sacramento Bee has an interesting piece about how "regular" moms are under pressure to earn the "hot" label. The writer attributes the obsession to everyone from Kourtney Kardashian to Michelle Obama.

It reminds me of a discussion I had regarding J-Lo's recent hosting stint on "Saturday Night Live." Some skeptics say J-Lo should permanently abandon her sexy vibe and instead become resigned to the fact that, hey, she's a mom and things have changed.

It's backward thinking, but on some levels I agree.

Weigh in: Does a female obsession with hot moms reflect a confidence boost, or a value crisis?

The fiancee formula

Just when you thought all those algebra classes were useless, the Daily Mail serves up this handy mathematical way of finding out when you should put a ring on it.

Dubbed the Fiancee Formula, the equation offers your optimal proposal age. Here's how to calculate it:

*Choose the OLDEST age at which you would want to get married. Call this number "N."

*Decide the EARLIEST age at which you would want to get married. Call this number "P."

*Subtract "P" from "N" and multiply the result by 0.368

*Add that number to "P."

Bam! You've found your optimal proposal age.

BTW: My answer was 28, which coincidentally is my current age. Looks like it's time to get cracking.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Adult kickball in Columbus

Looking for a Columbus social life outside the bar scene? Try adult kickball.

Adults 21 and older can register for the spring installment of the local GOkickball program until 6 p.m. Monday, March 8.

Register by clicking here.

A $49 registration fee includes a team T-shirt.

The adult kickball program offers Tuesday and Thursday leagues. Games are at 6:15 and 7:15 p.m. at 29th Street Park off Veterans Parkway. It's a seven-week season followed by playoffs.

Players don't have to register as part of a team.

First date, worst date?

Hey everybody! Sorry for the lack of updates late last week. I was busy in Pine Mountain Valley with "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" coverage.

Aside from some incessant daydreams about Ty Pennington, I'm back to my regular blogging schedule.

Let's kick off the week by talking about one of a relationship's necessary evils:

The first date.

Here's a handy list of five tips to follow before your first date. No. 1? Avoid "IYH Syndrome." That's In Your Head Syndrome, the dangerous trap of creating the perfect date in your head before the actual event. You get so caught up on a vision that the actual date, no matter how good, is bound to fail.

Interestingly enough, I discovered IYH Syndrome on the same day I stumbled upon this AJC blog post about the role expectations play in our relationships.

It's hard not to go into a first date with some expectations. In a way, that's a good thing. They often work as a base line for gauging a date's success.

But in order to account for the clumsiness that often dominates the first date experience, some of your expectations have to be malleable.

Weigh in: Can too-high expectations doom you on a first date?