Friday, April 30, 2010

What's going on this weekend?

Hey party people! Here's a couple quick weekend highlights:

*Outdoor concerts: The Uptown Concert Series returns to downtown Columbus Friday with a 7-10 p.m. show by Big Woody & The Splinters. The free concert is on the 1100 block of Broadway.

The Phenix City Amphitheater, 508 Dillingham Street, has a concert by John Conlee on Saturday. Gates open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10, free for guests 12 and younger. Coolers are prohibited at both shows.

*Crawfish and bikinis: Saturday, Crawfest comes to Touchdowns Pub 'n' Eatery, 675 Opelika Road in Auburn. The all-day festival features live entertainment, food, drinks and a bikini contest with a $1,000 prize. Tickets are $15 advance, $20 at the door. The event is 11:30 a.m.-midnight CDT. Open to all ages until 6 p.m., then it's 21 and older. 334-826-3400.

*Wiggin' out: Also on Saturday, SoHo Bar & Grill holds Gigs for Wigs, a fundraiser for cancer patients. Mindblender performs. Action starts at 8 p.m. Cover is $5, free if you're wearing a wig. SoHo is at 5751 Milgen Road. Open to guests 21 and older. 706-568-3316.

*Want a show recommendation? Try Spicoli's on Saturday night. Local country act Montgomery Gunn performs. A $5 cover starts at 9 p .m. Spicoli's is at 5762 Milgen Road.

Or, try Belloo's on Friday or Saturday. Wear a black dress and you'll get two gift certificates for the bar. It's at 900 Front Ave. Cover is $5.

Cinco de Mayo parties

So I'm slowly but surely gathering information about local hot spots' Cinco de Mayo festivities.

The margarita-filled holiday is Wednesday, but some bars will celebrate this weekend. Want in? Visit La Margarita, 5300 Sidney Simons Blvd., Saturday. The bar hosts Latin Extreme Night with salsa, merengue and reggaeton music beginning at 11 p.m. No cover. 706-221-7111.

Looking forward to Wednesday's parties...

I learned H20 will offer a margarita pong tournament, drink specials, a Patron ice luge and a money-filled pinata. The bar's at 6499 Veterans Parkway.

Stay tuned for more details.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

No offense, Mom?

To what extent do you use your parents' relationship as a model for your own?

I thought about the question after reading a college student's confession that she doesn't want her parents' relationship. Why? It seems to fall into the realm of "best friends," rather than "passionate love," she writes.

I have many 20- and 30-something friends who think along the same lines. I also have many friends who idealize their parents' marriage and vow to duplicate that kind of love.

I fit somewhere in the middle.

I think that no matter how old I am, I'll never be able to see their marriage on a completely adult level. I'll always be their child, the one who wants them to live happily ever after.

In analyzing your parents' relationship, it's important to remember you're only seeing them during a relatively isolated block of their time together.

That said, I'm blessed to have parents who haven't gotten divorced, speak to each other on a daily basis and can be in a car together without causing a roadside hazard.

Exhibit A isn't too shabby after all.

Burning calories, tips accepted

The newest male fitness trend? Pole dancing.

Yes, you read that correctly.

The news comes courtesy of a Washington Post article that notes "guys are discovering that pole dancing can be an athletic and artistic pursuit that feels more Cirque du Soleil than strip club."

An excerpt:

What may surprise men the most when they sample pole dancing is that they're probably pretty good at it. "A lot of women are jealous of men because they start out with more strength and can do more things," says Steve Shergold, whose Charlottesville dance studio launched one of the country's first pole dance programs in 2003.

As promising as it sounds, I think the concept could take some time to catch on nationally.

It reminds me of the dance classes at the gym that are technically coed, but only one guy shows up. The instructor spends the majority of the class saying, "Great job, ladies! And, er, gentleman."

Weigh in: Will pole dancing ever evolve into a coed fitness date activity?

(via Nerve)

Have iPad. Need date.

In this interesting social experiment, one writer attempts to determine whether carrying an iPad makes you a guy magnet.

The conclusion?

Buy yourself an iPad if you want, but don’t do it for the guys. Do it because you can read hundreds of books, browse the net (sometimes), play Scrabble, and get really really drunk. And at the end of the night, you’re still only lugging around something that weighs, like, a pound.

Not a huge shock.

For both genders, I'm sure possessing cool technology can increase your intrigue factor.

But is it really worth it? Do you really want to be "That Person" who's blatantly playing Scrabble on a phone instead of flaunting your assets on the dance floor?

I didn't think so.

Bella Swan's engagement ring

Congratulations, "Twilight" fans: You can buy the engagement ring featured in the new "Eclipse" trailer, TresSugar reports.

Now your life really will be a fairy tale! And your significant other will immediately transform into Robert Pattinson!

I don't ride the "Twilight" bandwagon, but I understand engagement ring envy.

Recently, I spotted perhaps the biggest engagement rock I've ever seen in Columbus. Seriously, it approached Carrie Underwood proportions.

I felt guilty for how it invaded my daydreams for the next 48 hours. I told myself, "If I ever get engaged, I want THAT."

Or at least a significantly cheaper version. As in, like, $40,000 cheaper.

But then I started wondering if copycat engagement rings are taboo in the wedding world.

Is it OK to use someone else's ring as a template, or is that on the same level as stealing a baby name?

Weigh in, then check out Katie's wedding-planning blog for more nuptial news.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Throw that away

Think you're a pack rat? Here, one woman describes her obsession with saving used pregnancy tests.

Um, I guess it's a mom thing.

The article (indirectly) brings up a good point, though. In relationships, women in particular often enter a dangerous mindset that every tangible remnant is sacred.

Three months into dating, you have a shoebox packed with decaying flower petals and nondescript dinner receipts.

Saving receipts is probably my biggest weakness as a relationship pack rat. I pile them away hoping I'll look back, sigh and say, "Wow. That was the most romantic night of my life."

Instead, the result is usually more like, "Did I really buy him a $45 steak?"

Weigh in: Which relationship remnant do you most regret saving?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Marry Me. Now.

In today's relationship climate, does a surprise wedding proposal exist?

Probably not, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article. The piece highlights how proposals don't come out of the blue anymore. Most couples talk about marriage together and negotiate a time frame.

Still, the article offers a disclaimer:

Even so, do not mistake this for a level playing field. While there is more negotiation and compromise about the marriage timetable, Ms. Miller says her research showed that the man still holds the power to shut down the marriage conversation. Men in their 20s and 30s don't seem to view the backroom negotiation as emasculating or ceding their turf to a generation of empowered women either. On the contrary—all this talking may have simply eliminated the only scary aspect of a proposal for a man: that the woman will say no.

I think our culture's engagement traditions are one of a relationship's most frustrating components. As much as we've progressed, this is one area in which women often feel completely powerless.

Say nothing and you're forced to live with daily inquiries about why you're not engaged. Press the issue with your partner and suddenly you're psycho.

So you must simply sit back and wait. And that's not fun at all.


(Crossed the engagement hurdle? Check out reporter Katie Holland's wedding-planning blog.)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Honey, I'm tweeting

He opened every door. Paid for dinner. Complimented your outfit.

He only had one flaw, but it was a big one: He tweeted the entire date.

As the power of social networking grows, it's become increasingly common to post Twitter updates during a night on the town.

But the marriage between Twitter and interpersonal relationships isn't confined to booty-shaking. Women now tweet while giving labor.

And perhaps on a less cringe-inducing note, many people tweet during a first date.

The most recent issue of Marie Claire addresses the issue, pointing to one guy's tendency to tweet during dinner -- as well as more, um, intimate parts of the evening.

Would I have a problem if a date tweeted what we ate and where we danced? Probably not.

Offer more detailed second-by-second date updates, however, and I think you're prematurely -- and maybe unfairly -- opening your relationship to the court of public opinion.

Even when you're in a public place, there's something special about a date's one-on-one feel. Sharing ambiguous nods and conversation lapses with your 85 followers detracts from the night's specialness.


(Click here to follow me on Twitter. I don't tweet dates, but I serve up some pretty sexy "American Idol" updates.)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Video: H2O grand reopening

H2O, 6499 Veterans Parkway, reopened as scheduled Saturday night. Classic Addict performed for a packed crowd.

Get a glimpse of the action by watching the video above. The initial lighting issues only last a few seconds. Camera work by Alan Riquelmy.

The nightclub's interior isn't dramatically different, but the upstairs bar now has a more lounge-like atmosphere with comfy chairs.

I'm glad H2O reopened. The club has a great interior design -- it's just a matter of using that setup in a way that best attracts an audience.

Stay tuned.

Friday, April 23, 2010

What's going on this weekend?

Hey everybody! This weekend's big nightlife news is the grand reopening of H2O, 6499 Veterans Parkway. Local act Classic Addict will perform. Doors open at 9 p.m., concert starts at 10 p.m. Cover is $5.

Will the event go off as planned, or will the bar succumb to to the infamous "closed for renovations" label? Check this blog Sunday for a recap.

One more highlight: Free concert Country for a Cause is 7-10 p.m. Friday on the 1100 block of Broadway. A BBQ plate and raffle ticket is $10, which is donated to provide meals for the needy.

Here's your full lineup:


SoHo Bar & Grill: SidAerial, Uncrowned, 10 p.m. $5. 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.

Eighty-Five: I Was Totally Destroying It, Thieves & Pastors, Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun, 10 p.m. $5. 706-324-1500.

Scruffy Murphy's: Jasper Drive, 10 p.m. $5. 706-322-3460.

Spicoli’s: Pistoltown, $5 cover begins at 9 p.m. 706-221-5252.

Flip Flops: Chris Collins Band, 9 p.m. $5.

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

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


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

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

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

Flip Flops: Old Soul, 9 p.m. $5.

Scruffy Murphy's: Jasper Drive, 10 p.m. $5. 706-322-3460.

Eighty-Five: I Was Totally Destroying It, Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun, 10 p.m. $5. 706-324-1500.

Mickey’s Pub: 33rd anniversary party with drink specials and music by The Relics, 9 p.m. $5. 706-569-6777.

The Loft: Whisky Bent live recording, 9:30 p.m. $7. 706-596-8141.

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

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hands Across America

Hand-holding is one of the images most frequently associated with coupledom.

It's easy to crave a little finger-locking action, especially when you consider research suggesting the behavior reduces stress. Heck, somebody even created a cyber hand so online daters can feel all warm and fuzzy.

But let's not overlook hand-holding's drawbacks.

Sweaty palms. Grip issues. And let's not forget the couple who holds hands as if their palms are glued together -- all day, every day.

In relationships, I rarely hold hands. Perhaps that's due my incurable fingernail fungus. Kidding.

Weigh in: Is hand-holding overrated?

Trustworthiness of beards

Listen up, guys: Odd facial hair isn't a dealbreaker, but it will lead your date to have a serious sit-down conversation with her friends.

That's not a good thing.

I've always preferred clean-shaven men. Blame it on a painful makeout session during my more naive years. Long story.

Fortunately, if I ever change my mind, I can consult this handy graphic. It outlines the trustworthiness of a full spectrum of male facial hair.

The full beard? Very trustworthy. The pencil thin mustache? Not so much.

(via Jezebel)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Childhood crushes

I couldn't avoid a trip down memory lane after reading The Frisky's roundup of childhood crush anecdotes.

My first real crush happened in sixth grade. It involved the class bad boy, Cory, and many teary school dances. Sigh. Unrequited love.

I made my biggest advance when Cory lost the piece of burlap we got for a mandatory art project. Our teacher refused to give him a new one and said he had to rely on his own resources.

For one day only, "his own resources" meant me.

I immediately opened my big mouth and said my mom had TONS of burlap at home.

It wasn't exactly true. I stayed up until midnight, pouring through my mom's sewing boxes until I finally discovered a wrinkled square of burlap about half the size of the piece required for our project.

Still, Cory gladly accepted it and passed sixth grade. I'm sure he now owns many small islands.

I think about that story a lot, mainly because it reminds me of the relentless optimism with which I viewed the quasi-relationships of my childhood.

I operated with a determination based on the real-life application of films like "Can't Buy Me Love" and "Sixteen Candles."

Of course, social networking's rise had now made it nearly impossible to view your earliest crushes idealistically.

Succumb to curiosity and you'll inevitably find out your kindergarten crush now belongs to a Facebook group centered on violent weapons.

Are you out there, Cory?

The Boobquake

This morning, I opened my Facebook inbox and spotted an invitation to "Boobquake."

I quickly dismissed the post, assuming it was yet another ill-devised local nightlife event.

I was wrong.

After perusing national news a few minutes later, I learned Boobquake isn't a bikini contest at all.

It's an idea created by feminist blogger Jen McCreight in response to a Tehran religious leader's reported assertion that immodest women spread adultery, which increases earthquakes.

Poking fun at the belief, McCreight is encouraging women to wear cleavage-showing apparel on Monday -- you know, to see if it really causes the Earth to rumble. You can also wear short shorts.

Monday's movement, Boobquake, already has its own Facebook page with more than 10,600 confirmed guests.

Who's in?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Men Are From Mars...

So a film version of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" is reportedly in the works.

This distresses me.

I'm already imagining a strange hybrid of "Love Actually," "He's Just Not That Into You" and "Valentine's Day."

Go ahead, try to prove me wrong.

But I'm almost certain Kate Hudson or Cameron Diaz will be involved. The soundtrack will likely feature a Taylor Swift song.

And probably within the movie's last 20 minutes, two people will kiss in the rain.

Please share, readers: Is there any hope for a "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" movie?

In-laws and infidelity

Think hating your mother-in-law's lasagna is a matter confined to the kitchen?

You could be wrong.

Here's some interesting news about a study that suggests a bad relationship with your in-laws might make you more prone to infidelity.

I understand the reasoning: weak ties with your partner's extended family could mean you're less invested in your relationship, heightening your chances of straying.

But at the same time, I know plenty of people who despise their in-laws but are completely committed to their partner.

Weigh in: If you can't get along with your in-laws, is your relationship destined to fail?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Shayne Lamas married Nik Richie? Huh?

Shayne Lamas -- former "Bachelor" winner and Lorenzo Lamas' daughter -- reportedly got married over the weekend to a guy she'd known for less than 24 hours.

The lucky(?) man: Nik Richie, who runs

Of course, it all happened in Las Vegas, where sources say the couple opted for a $519 "Michael Jordan Package" at the Little White Wedding Chapel.

Ah, the Vegas wedding.

It brings to mind all sorts of images of Britney Spears, impersonal life milestones and, of course, divorce lawyers.

So why can't I stop romanticizing the idea of Vegas nuptials?

Not so much the "meet somebody and make a lifelong commitment 24 hours later" part -- but the idea of not having to deal with feuding bridesmaids or food you'll probably be too nervous to enjoy.

I also like the idea of getting married while wearing something neon pink. Sorry, Mom.

Yes, the Vegas setup reeks of informality. But it's a gamble I just can't ignore.

I'm too cheap for the Michael Jordan Package, though.

Need Monday plans?

I just learned Romance Georgia -- an adult pleasure company -- will be at Spicoli's, 5762 Milgen Road, tonight.

You can register for a free erotic gift pack, win prizes and get a "buzz." (That last one was their words, not mine.)

Who's in?

Carrie Underwood engagement ring

Carrie Underwood's second Entertainer of the Year trophy wasn't the only piece of hardware that caught fans' eyes at Sunday's ACM Awards 2010.

They also couldn't stop looking at her engagement ring.

The rock reportedly could cost more than $1 million. Underwood is engaged to hockey player Mike Fisher.

It made the folks from Entertainment Weekly ask an interesting question while live-blogging the ACM Awards:

"Could you in good conscience walk around in a $1 million engagement ring?"

It was asked as a poll, and opinions were pretty equally divided. On the positive side, well, you have a $1 million rock on your hand.

The drawbacks? Risk of damage, inquiries from random acquaintances and the public judgment that comes with conspicuous consumption.

Where do you stand?

(Image via Just Jared)

Friday, April 16, 2010

What's going on this weekend?

Among this weekend's highlights: Flip Flops, 1111 Broadway, hosts a "Jersey Shore" party Saturday night. Cover is $5 and action starts at 9 p.m. Prizes for best male and female Jersey getups.

Here's the rest of your lineup:


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.

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

The Roadhouse: Queen Kong, 9 p.m. $5.

Fountain City Coffee: Ophir Drive, 8 p.m. free. 706-494-6659.

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

Flip Flops: Jasper Drive, 9 p.m. $5.

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

Eighty-Five: The Drownout, The Circuitree, Young Orchids, 10 p.m. $5. 706-324-1500.

SoHo Bar & Grill: Green Eyed Stare, American Aquarium, 10 p.m. $5. 706-568-3316.


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

The Loft: Gringo Star with the Mammy’s, 9 p.m. $5. 706-596-8141.

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

Fountain City Coffee: Ophir Drive, 8 p.m. free. 706-494-6659.

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

Spicoli’s: Mindblender, 9 p.m. 706-221-5252.

The Roadhouse: 2 Finger Jester, 9 p.m. $5.

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

SoHo Bar & Grill: AZ Band, Broken Cause, 10 p.m. $5. 706-568-3316.

Jealous eyes

Beer isn't the only thing that interferes with your relationship vision. Romantic jealousy can also blind you to your surroundings.

Need proof? Check out this research from the American Psychological Association, which concludes "jealousy can actually distract a person so much they miss what's right in front of their eyes."

So while you're intensely perusing your crush's Facebook page for ugly girls, you could overlook an amazing shoe sale right behind you.

Regardless of the article's scientific validity, it underscores an important point:

In dating, we often become so preoccupied with a potential for outside interference that we forget to nurture the inner forces more likely to lead to a relationship's demise.

So ditch the energy you spend worrying about a pesky ex-girlfriend and transfer those efforts to a relaxing dinner or movie date.

Then, once you've returned to the comfort of your own home, resume your Facebook stalking.

Just kidding. Kind of.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bachelor no more

You're bound to get jealous stares when you announce you're dating a movie star.

But will you receive the same admiration when your date aspires to appear in the next installment of "Big Brother"?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

News about the romance between a former "Bachelor" contestant and a former "Bachelorette" contestant -- who met on a private Facebook page for the ABC reality series -- got me wondering if reality TV stars belong to their own dating breed.

There's something unique/alarming about a personality type that thrives on constant camera attention and manipulative editing.

Weigh in: Would you ever date someone who appeared -- or aspires to appear -- on a reality TV show?

(For more "Bachelor" info, check in with our rose ceremony guru, Dawn Minty. She wants to be friends with Trista and Ryan.)

What's going on tonight?

Hey party people! Want to start the weekend early? Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill, 5555 Whittlesey Boulevard, has a pajama karaoke party tonight. It's 6-10 p.m. and open to all ages.

Some other Thursday options:

SoHo Bar & Grill: The Woodgrains, 10 p.m. free. 706-568-3316.

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

The Roadhouse: College night with The Unsung and Stereomonster, 9 p.m. free.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Friend jealousy

As "Sex and the City 2" mania approaches, I couldn't help perusing this inquiry from a woman whose husband is jealous of her female friendships.

The situation is more common than you'd think.

Sure, guys don't necessarily beg for the chance to sit in on pedicures and "Teen Mom" marathons.

But things can get a little tense when your partner realizes he's not your primary shoulder to lean on -- even when it comes to matters as trivial as venting about workplace stresses.

And few things are more awkward than having to un-invite your boyfriend to a group coffee date because suddenly, no boys are allowed.

Fortunately, few women are living a "Sex and the City" existence. Check out Broadsheet's take on the "SATC" friendship fairy tale.

Mr. Nice Guy

There's only so much you can say about the bad boy debate in dating, but this CNN piece regarding the Mr. Nice Guy stigma is still worth reading.

The article focuses on dating coaches' efforts to give guys enough of a bad boy edge to escape the dreaded Friend Zone.

I don't think there's any woman who will directly say she doesn't want a guy to treat her well.

However, the problem with nice guys is that they often risk appearing spineless. You want someone who's nice to you, but is also willing to verbally spar with you over everything from politics to "American Idol."

I think in their quest to appear nice, some guys lose the sense of personality that separates them from the rest of the pack. And in my opinion, nothing's worse than a guy who's too predictable.

Disclaimer: I'm still fighting a slight crush on Justin Bobby, so feel free to disregard this entire post.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dare to bear hair

If you're female, the onset of warm weather likely makes for lots of complaining about a return to shaving.

You gripe about razors. Pout about extra shower time. Cringe at mere mention of the word "epilator."

But would you ever forgo the process? Maybe not.

The NY Times has an interesting article about unshaven women. In the court of public opinion, a female decision to live sans razor is either a bold declaration of independence or just plain unsanitary.

In one of my first Columbus nightlife columns, I made a half joking/half serious comment about not shaving in winter. The next morning, I had an angry voice mail from a woman who maintained I was a bad influence on today's youth -- because real women shave their legs.

It was a wakeup call about how something we generally take lightly can actually hold really complex cultural values and beliefs.

Weigh in, readers: Does a decision to not shave her legs have any bearing on a woman's attractiveness?

(via Jezebel)

Tax Day 2010

Monday night I had the joy of filing my taxes -- and, in turn, accepting the sad realization I'll be living off Top Ramen and the McDonald's $1 menu for the next few weeks.

My only consolation: Things could be worse.

Just check out this piece from Divine Caroline, where one woman asks for advice after learning her new fling might have debt approaching $100,000.

Her quandry: Should excessive debt alone be a dealbreaker?

It's a tough question, especially in this economy. Debt doesn't necessarily mean somebody's not determined or a good worker.

But at the same time, there's something a little unsettling about knowing at a relationship's onset that you'll likely be the one picking up the tab for every fancy dinner.

Money can't buy love, but a certain level of financial certainty eases a relationship's stresses.


Monday, April 12, 2010

What Chilli Wants

No, the answer isn't a TLC-themed week on "American Idol."

Sunday marked the debut of Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas' dating show on VH1. Thomas, of course, is one-third of the original TLC. She's also a Columbus native.

I didn't catch the whole episode, but the overriding post-show impression seems to be that 39-year-old Chilli is waaay too picky.

It's an understandable assessment. Chilli's requirements are a little more complex than "no scrubs."

Must not drink. Must not smoke. Must not eat pork.

In interviews, Chilli justifies her high standards by noting that she's gotten pickier -- and more sure of what she wants -- with age.

Which is strange, because I've also heard people say their list of requirements for a mate dwindles as they get older.

Not because of desperation -- though that sometimes plays a role -- but because they've become less inclined to focus on little deal-breakers. Like a willingness to eat pork.

Weigh in: Has your list of dating requirements increased or decreased with age?

(Click here to watch the first episode of "What Chilli Wants.)

Shop till you drop?

Hope everybody had a great weekend. I hit Frogtown Hollow Bluegrass Jam Friday and Saturday. The new downtown location seemed very successful. Good times all around.

I spent most of Sunday doing errands. I felt satisfied and accomplished when I returned home -- until I learned I'd contributed to the EIGHT YEARS of my life I'll spend shopping.

That's right: On average, women spend eight years of their lives shopping, according to a study cited by Salon's Broadsheet.

Naturally, the conclusion has potential to generate all sorts of jokes about searching for the perfect handbag.

But the Broadsheet post wisely notes a big part of the eight years is shopping for your family at places like the grocery store.

So I feel a bit better.

Until I remember the two hours I spent looking for an Emery Cat are completely inexcusable.

Friday, April 9, 2010

What's going on this weekend?

Hey party people! A couple quick highlights: The Frogtown Hollow Bluegrass Jam comes to downtown Columbus Friday and Saturday. Details here.

Also, Oxbow Meadows hosts Reptile Fest 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. If you're there, stop by and say hello. I'll be judging the animal beauty pageant. More info here.

Finally, as a "Don't Stop Believin'" fan, I have to mention Chain Reaction, the Journey tribute band that comes to The Roadhouse Saturday night. The bar's at 1047 Broadway. Cover is $5 and action starts at 9 p.m.

Here's the rest of your lineup:


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

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

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

Gallery 13: Within the Ruins, I Am Abomination, In Alcatraz 1962, Thrill of a Gunfight, Acirema, Fallen Martyr, A Wretch Like Me, 6:30 p.m. $10.

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

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

SoHo Bar & Grill: Asphalt Valentine, Last Comes Gunfire, 10 p.m. $5. 706-568-3316.

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


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

The Loft: Dr. Louis Sullivan and DJ Drizno, 9:30 p.m. $5. 706-596-8141.

Gallery 13: The Winter Sounds, A Jet Pack Operation, Man Made Sea, Baby Baby, Triads, Cloudeaters, Oodles of Noodles, 6:30 p.m. $10.

Eighty-Five: The Winter Sounds with A Jet Pack Operation, 10 p.m. $5. 706-324-1500.

The Roadhouse: Chain Reaction (Journey tribute band), 9 p.m. $5.

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

SoHo Bar & Grill: Blacksmithz, Rabbits With Glasses, 10 p.m. $5. 706-568-3316.

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


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

Sex and the City 2 trailer

Here's the newest trailer for "Sex and the City 2." Warning: It will induce cosmopolitan cravings.

Read more in reporter Katie Holland's update.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Out of date ideas?

You've done dinner and a movie. You've exhausted the nightclub scene. You've memorized every trail at every local park.

Now, you're out of date ideas.

Laugh, but the relationship scenario is fairly common.

Enough to inspire a date idea-generating iPhone app, as well as a New York-based service that devises dates based on a "how about we" formula.

Of course, you can always consult your No. 1 source of social wisdom: the Ledger-Enquirer.

Anyway, it's easy to panic under the threat of entering a relationship rut. It's also easy to adopt a "been there, done that" mentality and succumb to another night on the couch.

You don't want to be too predictable, but you also know those zany wildlife dates you see on "The Bachelor" don't work in real life.

So what do you do?

Weigh in with your favorite unconventional date ideas.

Sleep disorders and dating

My sleep patterns aren't exactly heavenly. There's a minor drooling issue and I've been told I snore. I also often wake up suffocated by my hair.

So...who's down for a sleepover?

Your snuggle buddy might complain, but drooling is often a pretty minor problem in the full spectrum of sleep disorders. Just consider this NY Times piece, which describes conditions ranging from sleep-eating to sexsomnia.

In the dating world, it's rare to find a partner with flawless sleeping habits.

If someone's nighttime habits seem perfect, there's a good chance he/she has a pet intent on severing your limbs while you're asleep.

Fortunately, I'm a pretty sound sleeper.

Still, I have limited tolerance for strange nighttime habits -- like the dater who must sleep with the TV on, or the person with odd temperature preferences. (Wool blankets in June? Give me a break.)

Share your sleeping pet peeves in the comments section.

Your feet are nasty

This week's nightlife column is a primer for outdoor date season.

Tip No. 1: Groom those nasty toenails. I'm not kidding.

Some couples love the outdoor date. They buy matching lawn chairs and treat camping canteens like wine goblets.

Other times, it's a little more complicated. An outdoor date can force you to address some unsightly body hair...or an irrational fear of ladybugs.

Incidentally, TOMS Shoes is celebrating One Day Without Shoes today. So flaunt your hobbit-like feet and go barefoot for a good cause.

Please make odor control a priority, though.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"She's totally hot."

OK, guys: Imagine that line just came from your girlfriend. Are you impressed? Turned on? Angry?

Welcome to a common female dilemma. On one hand, some Web sites tell us pointing out hot women will impress you. Enough to finally propose to us, in fact.

But wait. It's not that easy.

We also watch reality TV shows like "My Fair Brady," where guys get jealous when their female partners admire other women.

So weigh in: Is it hot or annoying when we ogle other women?

You're also welcome to share comments lamenting the absence of new "My Fair Brady" episodes.

Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy

"We broke up."

It's not exactly a fun phrase to utter. In a breakup's aftermath, you generally try to minimize the number of times you'll have to tell people that yes, you failed at romance once again.

I recently blogged about the chain of communication following an engagement.

But Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy's recent split got me thinking about how news travels post-breakup.

Carrey and McCarthy announced their breakup via Twitter, which is incredibly impersonal but also incredibly smart.

A blanket announcement on Twitter or Facebook lessens your likelihood of having an awkward face-to-face conversation with each of your friends. It also lessens your chances of being invited to an event as a couple and then stuttering while admitting, "We're not dating anymore."

At the same time, condensing complex emotions into a 140-character update can undermine the seriousness of the relationship you once had.

Please share: When you've broken up, do you make an official announcement or simply wait for the topic to come around in casual conversations?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Paperless dating

The feeling was exhilarating yet frustrating: searching frantically in your purse for a tiny scrap of paper bearing the phone number of someone who could be the man of your dreams.

Yeah. When was the last time you did THAT?

Here, Shmitten Kitten goes retro and reminds us of the warm, fuzzy feelings that used to come with receiving a date's digits on a tiny piece of paper.

It happens rarely now.

You pursue your newest nightclub match by simply handing him/her your phone and cuing up a new entry on the contact list.

Convenient? Yes. But it doesn't allow for the "aww" factor that comes with finding your initial chicken scratch in your boyfriend's dresser drawer two years into the relationship.

When did you last give/receive a handwritten phone number?

A stitch in time

Honey, I bought you some yarn.

Excited? You'd be surprised. The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article about how more male truckers have taken up quilting and knitting to keep themselves busy amid a poor economy.

It makes me think sewing could emerge as a viable date night option. And I'd be cool with that.

There's something therapeutic about channeling your energy toward a specific project, whether it's a puzzle or a quilt.

Not to mention the fact that I have a bunch of hem-hungry dresses just waiting for a cute, crafty boyfriend to come along.

Anyone down for a sewing date?

(via TresSugar)

Monday, April 5, 2010

The engagement bomb

One of my favorite/most pathetic pastimes is contemplating the chain of communication I'd use if I got engaged.

Do you simply send a mass text message? Call parents first? Blog it, and then wait to see who reads?

I thought about the issue after reading a post by one of my favorite newly engaged bloggers. Her man popped the question on a Wednesday, but they kept things secret until Friday -- when they had already planned to go out to dinner with his parents. They wanted them to find out in person, rather than through a social networking comment.

Maybe in the big scheme of things, it's not that important.

Yet technology's rise seems to have increased your likelihood of hurting someone while making a big announcement.

I've heard stories of people who have announced an engagement or pregnancy with a Facebook status update -- and then received e-mails from friends saying they wish they'd been told in a more personal manner.

With any life milestone, I always tell my immediate family before telling friends and acquaintances. And with something like an engagement, I'm almost 100 percent sure I'd drop the bomb via phone or in person...not with something like a text message.

Weigh in, married readers: Who did you first call/text/e-mail after getting engaged?

For more marriage news, read Katie Holland's wedding blog here.

PDA wars continue

Happy Monday, everybody! Hope you had a great Easter. I'll kick the week off with a topic addressed frequently here: the PDA.

I don't think there's anyone who enjoys watching a couple play tonsil hockey in a public place.

It's one thing to hate PDAs. It's another thing to vocally wage a crusade against them.

Case in point: This item on the NY Times' City Room Blog, where a Manhattan woman complains about the PDAs that happen in places like subways and coffee shops.

The post has generated nearly 500 comments. Some praise the writer for reminding readers of basic social etiquette. Others say she needs to lighten up or fight a more important battle.

My biggest pet peeve is the PDA that happens in a narrow space, like a bank line, where you literally can't help being inches away from the couple smooching. In other cases, I just avert my eyes.

I understand when people dislike PDAs in restaurants or even the gym.

But is it unreasonable to complain about PDAs in nightclubs, places usually dominated by a meet market mentality?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Joe Jonas/Demi Lovato church date

The couple who prays together...stays together?

That's one of the questions raised in my Sunday article about church dates -- not couples meeting at church, but daters attending a worship service together for the first time.

I got the idea after hearing so many girls describe the relationship milestone with "oohs" and "awws," thanks largely to a YouTube video of an apparent Joe Jonas/Demi Lovato church date.

But the concept isn't that simple.

When approached incorrectly, the outing's biggest strengths -- seriousness and intimacy -- can become its biggest weaknesses.

Tackle the church date too early and your relationship might be left without a prayer.

Read more here.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Dear Heather Locklear

This Washington Post piece about people who write President Obama brought me back to the days when I used to scour the pages of BOP and Tiger Beat for celebrities' addresses.

The article notes Obama reads 10 personal letters a day. He responds to a few of those.

For the lucky ones who get responses, the envelope is generally met with a mix of shock and elation.

After all, even for the writer, the decision to write a celebrity is often regarded as an exercise in futility.

That didn't prevent me from spending a good chunk of my preteen years drafting letters to stars. I had my regular rotation: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Rider Strong and Ben Savage. I also regularly wrote to the cast of "Troop Beverly Hills" and my favorite "Melrose Place" star, Heather Locklear.

In the letters, almost always written with some sort of scented gel pen, I'd tout my city's virtues -- you know, just in case any of the stars were ever in the neighborhood. Also, I always gave my phone number. Probably not the wisest move in retrospect.

I wrote the letters under the assumption they'd be handed directly to the recipient, not left unsent and hidden by my dad in an office desk drawer. (Yes, that really happened.)

It was a little naive and pathetic, but I'd return to those days.

There's something kind of reassuring about explaining rejection not by a glaring character flaw, but simply a glitch in the mail.

What's going on tonight?

Hey party people! Just wanted to point out a few Thursday night highlights:

Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill, 5555 Whittlesey Blvd., hosts Honky Tonk Night with half-price appetizers from 4 p.m. until closing time. There will be country music, along with $1 Jello shots as well as other beer and shot specials.

Eighty-Five hosts performances by DJ Logic, plus DJ Drizno vs. Chase Nichols. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7 advance and $10 at the door. DJ Logic is a well-known national entertainer who's collaborated with musicians like John Mayer and Ben Harper. The bar is at 900 Front Ave., below Belloo's.

The Roadhouse, 1047 Broadway, has college night with live music by The Unsung and Stereomonster. Action starts at 9 p.m. No cover.

SoHo Bar & Grill, 5751 Milgen Road, hosts a performance by local party act Beeramid. Action starts at 10 p.m. No cover.