Friday, May 28, 2010

What's going on this weekend?

Watching "Sex and the City 2" this weekend? Click here for show times. And here's a Friday "SATC 2" party, if you're interested.

Two quick highlights: The free outdoor concerts downtown conclude with Friday's DNR show. Music is 7-10 p.m. on the 1100 block of Broadway.

Also, Flip Flops hosts a red carpet party on Saturday. Action stars at 9 p.m. and best celebrity impersonator gets $100. Cover is $5. Old Soul performs.

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, 9:30 p.m. $5. 706-596-8141.

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

Flip Flops: Whisky Bent, 9 p.m. $5.

Spicoli’s: DJ music, 9 p.m. free. 706-221-5252.

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

Eighty-Five: Stephaniesid, Stereomonster, 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: The Dirty Guv’nahs, 9:30 p.m. $5. 706-596-8141.

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

Spicoli’s: DJ music, 9 p.m. free. 706-221-5252.

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

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

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


Spicoli’s: Karaoke, 7 p.m. free. 706-221-5252.

SATC 2: Not that bad

Given the negative reviews, I braced myself for the worst when I saw "Sex and the City 2" Thursday night. I left pleasantly surprised.

All the negative press is a little exaggerated.

I agree with this writer's suggestion that critics are harsher because our national recession is more obvious than it was in 2008. She notes the current film might be panned for context, rather than content.

If you liked the first "Sex and the City" movie, you likely won't be disappointed with the second one. The fashion's fantastic, the relationship musings are entertaining and, well, did I mention the fashion?

Of course, there are downsides. The movie is pretty long. We saw an 8:05 show and left just a little before 11 p.m.

Also, this film is a lot more predictable and a little more disjointed than the first installment. While the first film seemed to flow nicely, this one is very divided into separate parts that don't always connect well.

That said, is "SATC 2" really that different from an average episode of the show? No. It's a fun diversion.

And even though its characters wear shoes that exceed the limits of my journalism salary, they remind me that moments of relationship uncertainty are facts of life -- no matter how much bling you wear.

(Get "SATC 2" show times here. Click here and here to read my colleagues' views on the movie.)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ring finger dilemmas

Think this ring means I'm married? Engaged? Try again.

It's actually a reflection of my independence, but also a subtle indicator of my quest for love.

The NY Times has an interesting article that describes the evolution of ring finger jewelry. Wedding rings are now joined by divorce rings, as well as rings that tell the world you're looking for love.

Also, the article mentions the rise of fake engagement rings -- designed to ward off potential suitors.

Would I ever decorate my hand with an "I'm single and empowered" ring? Heck no.

Regardless of what the ring means to you, most outsiders will almost always interpret it as a sign of marital commitment.

Which means that while celebrating your independence with bling, you'll be interrupted with questions related to love and romance.

Weigh in: Do divorce rings and single rings ease the relationship world's stresses, or detract from the ring finger's specialness?

(via Broadsheet)

What's going on tonight?

Hey party people! Watching "Sex and the City 2" tonight? Get show times here.

Or, try these nightlife highlights:

SoHo Bar & Grill: Dom Wier, 10 p.m. free. 706-568-3316.

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

Eighty-Five: How I Became The Bomb, The Falcon Lords, 10 p.m. free. 706-324-1500.

Spicoli’s: Tap Shot, 9 p.m. free. 706-221-5252.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Is American Idol sexy?

When I stumbled upon a list of the 10 sexiest American Idol moments, my reaction was simple: "This will not turn out well."

I clicked, closed my eyes and hoped 17-year-old finalist Aaron Kelly wasn't involved.

Mission accomplished.

With all its tired references to "dawg" and "pitchy," the Fox reality show doesn't exactly scream "sexy." But it has a way of strengthening relationships.

For my first three years covering "Idol," I was a nomad with no cable and Internet at home. I set up shop either in front of my office TV, or in a generous friend's living room.

Things changed this year, when my boyfriend finally got cable.

I, in turn, found a permanent blogging station. I also found a permanent viewing partner.

Sure, the show didn't necessarily generate complex political debates, but it filled our conversations on Wednesday results nights.

Most importantly, it reminded me of the importance of investing yourself in someone else's passions. Even if those passions involve one too many covers of "Against All Odds."

Watching tonight's "Idol" finale? Get live updates here.

What's going on tonight?

Need Wednesday party plans? Try the Shanty Shack's Stress Relief Party. Doors open at 4 p.m., music starts at 5 p.m. No cover.

The party features entertainment by MissUsed, a Birmingham-based cover band. Check out their song list here. Guests are encouraged to wear '80s attire.

The Shanty Shack is at 4475 Warm Springs Road. Open to guests 21 and older.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Justin Bieber fever

Sometimes when I'm having a tough day at work I search aimlessly for Justin Bieber covers online. No, that does not need additional explanation.

Anyway, I recently received a special treat when my cover song of the day was not only something other than a lonely guy in a dark room, but an act I actually knew.

OK, perhaps "knew" is an exaggeration. It's a group of kids I listened to in church.

Now, they have a family band, Cimorelli, and I'm strangely addicted. Blame it on an unresolved Partridge Family obsession.

Since this is a dating blog, I'll close with a relationship-oriented question:

When is it appropriate to disclose a Justin Bieber obsession to your partner? Assume the parties involved are older than 15.

Ali Fedotowsky & Converse

While partying over the weekend, I spotted a handful of bridesmaids fresh off a wedding.

They wore the traditional formal garments: puffy dresses, eye-catching jewelry and flip flops.

That last one? Yeah, that's what made me pull a Cojo.

I've never understood the appeal of wearing flip flops, tennis shoes or any other kind of non-formal footwear at any part of a wedding: before, during or after.

It's one of those ideas that sounds really good at the moment, but makes you cringe when you peruse Facebook photos the next morning.

I'll never forget checking out -- read: spying on -- a friend's wedding photos, only to see her husband removing the garter belt from her leg while she sported likely the same flip flops that guarded her feet during college showers.

I feel very strongly about this. I'd like to think that it's a universal pet peeve, but maybe I'm wrong. "Bachelorette" Ali Fedotowsky recently said she wants to wear Converse at her wedding.

Where do you stand?

(For more "Bachelorette" news, check out Dawn's excellent recap here. You'll learn some tips for making a good first impression.)

Monday, May 24, 2010

My baby's got a secret

When it comes to dating, do you have a time frame for revealing your deepest secrets to a new partner?

For many people, it's the third date.

A writer discusses the tendency here, noting:

Welcome to the third date, that moment on the courtship trajectory when the truth comes out about STDs, personal hygiene habits, secret significant others, family backgrounds, and, yes, their real age.

Anecdotally, the third-date confession has become so legendary that some people have come to fear the third date for what they’ll learn about the up-to-now-wonderful person smiling at them from across the table.

Is a third-date confession a dealbreaker? Well, that depends on the secret.

Certain big reveals can bond couples. Disclosing a family member's terminal illness, for example, is a reflection of trust and vulnerability.

Then, there are more relationship-destroying secrets -- say, conveniently mentioning that you have a wife.

Weigh in: Is the third-date confession consistent with your dating history, or are you still waiting to tell your partner about your escort service stint?

Man heels, er, meels

The newest male fashion trend? High heels, at least according to one article.

The shoes have already acquired their own man-specific name: meels.

Hmm. I'll believe it when I see it.

But the potential trend raises an interesting issue: If man heels catch on, they could do wonders in eliminating the height disparities that often define our dating preferences.

Do people still discount mates for being too tall or too short?

It's superficial, but dramatic height differences can make certain parts of the initial courting process incredibly awkward. Dancing's a prime example.

I've already shared the story about when I bought a new pair of stilettos for a date, only to have the guy tell me to take them off the second I came over. He couldn't deal with the fact that for once, I was two inches taller than him.

Maybe one day we'll live in a universe where boyfriends and girlfriends coordinate heel sizes before hitting the town.

Yeah, right.

Friday, May 21, 2010

What's going on this weekend?

Obviously, the big event is the Aflac Outdoor Games, which includes a nightlife component. In addition to outdoor concerts, your Aflac games wristband gets you into Broadway bars Friday and Saturday night. Get the full schedule here.

Also, FYI: Saturday is $1 flip flop day at Old Navy. Wake up early, though. The local store opens at 7 a.m. Details here.

Some other entertainment highlights:


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

Spicoli’s: Mindblender, 9 p.m. $5. 706-221-5252.

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

Eighty-Five: Brenn, Moonlight Bride, 10 p.m. $5. 706-324-1500.

The Loft: Loft All-Stars, 9 p.m. $5. 706-596-8141.

Scruffy Murphy’s: Whisky Bent, 9 p.m. 706-322-3460.

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

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

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


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

Spicoli’s: DJ Cal, 9 p.m. free. 706-221-5252.

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

The Loft: Tim Brantley, 9 p.m. $5. 706-596-8141.

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

Scruffy Murphy’s: Whisky Bent, 9 p.m. 706-322-3460.

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

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

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


Spicoli’s: Karaoke, 7 p.m. free. 706-221-5252.

Why don't you stay?

In about two weeks, I'll have an entire week off work.

Normally at this time before a vacation, I'm at the onset of panic mode -- scouring my budget three times a day and worrying my pets will miss me too much while I'm gone.

This time, that's not the case. And no, it's not because I won an all-expenses paid trip to Guam.

We're having a staycation.

Man, I really hate using that word.

It wasn't something we planned in advance. Finances just got tight, and before we knew it, my boyfriend and I were anticipating a long, exotic week in posh Columbus.

OK, that's not entirely true. We have day trips planned to places like Atlanta and Callaway Gardens.

Actually, I'm a little excited. That is, until I tell people our plans and I get a pity look usually reserved for family tragedies.

Yes, there are drawbacks. There's a potential I'll just get too comfortable at home and abort every planned day trip with a casual, "Oh, let's just go tomorrow." Also, the close proximity to my office means there's a good chance I'll spend half the week "checking in" at work.

I consulted this handy list of staycation tips, but I still need help.

Is this a recipe for disaster, or is it possible to literally have a vacation in your own backyard?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

This breakup hurts

Here at The Walk of Shame, we discuss all kinds of trips to Splitsville. Text message breakups. Dirty breakups. "I can't believe that went so well" breakups.

But I've overlooked one especially dangerous recipe for a broken heart: severing ties with your favorite TV show.

One writer discusses the issue in a Jezebel post about how she broke up with "Lost" and won't reconcile in time for the series finale. She's OK with that, though.

Sometimes, TV breakups aren't so clean.

Especially during finale season, when you hear your friends excitedly buzzing about a plot twist and you can't help wondering what might have been.

You know, how things could have played out differently if you had just given the show one more chance...kept the TV on instead of going to a few more spoiler blogs.


Have you ever felt the emotional strain of breaking up with a TV show?

(Get more pop culture news on Katie Holland's blog here.)

What's going on tonight?

Hey party people! A few Thursday night highlights:

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

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

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

Belloo's: Ladies Night with $5 martini specials, 7 p.m. until close. No cover. 706-494-1584.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Divorce by the numbers

Early in my journalism career, I casually mentioned a national 50 percent divorce rate in a relationship piece.

When an editor told me to attribute the number to a specific organization, I figured a simple Google search would resolve the issue.

Not true.

After scouring multiple websites, I couldn't find a source that said the statistic was irrefutable, or even scientifically proven.

And now, a Time magazine article asks, "Are marriage statistics divorced from reality?"

The short answer? Maybe. The piece cites a NY Times reporter whose new book debunks the 50 percent statistic.

Author Tara Parker-Pope and many others contend "that the 50% stat is a myth that persists because it's something of a political Swiss Army knife, handy for any number of agendas. Social conservatives use it to call for more marriage-friendly policies, while liberals find it handy to press for funding for programs that help single moms."

She adds the number also often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that makes us take marital commitment less seriously.

Weigh in: Has the 50 percent number shaped your perception of marriage, or have you always viewed it as flawed science?

(Get more marriage-related news on Katie Holland's wedding blog here.)

Real men cook?

Tuesday night, I unexpectedly had the freedom to relax while my boyfriend cooked me a gourmet dinner.

Hamburger Helper, cheeseburger macaroni flavor.

Hey, don't knock it until you try it. Well, with the exception of Tuna Helper and Asian Helpers. Those are a little nasty.

Anyway, it wasn't the most complex meal, but it did wonders for my mood. It'd been a long time since I last had the freedom to prop my feet up and not worry for one second about watching a pot of boiling water or ensuring the oven temperature was correct.

That temporary euphoria makes it easy to agree with the assertion that a man who cooks could be the ultimate turn-on.

Again, it's not so much what you cook -- with some exceptions -- but rather the time, effort and thought you put into it.

Need help? Get recipes here.

Quick note: All your efforts will be erased if you think dirty dish towels can double as napkins. Consider yourself warned.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Older and wiser?

Your dating shortcomings seem embarrassing now, but look on the bright side.

One day, you'll be able to compile them all into a handy advice manual for people who will likely disregard the tips and repeat your mistakes.

Feel better?

Here, a 31-year-old dating blogger shares 31 things she wishes she would have known about dating when she was 21.

The majority of the tips are spot-on: lay off on the gifts early in a relationship, learn to cook, avoid expectations.

However, my bank account disagrees with the assertion that your boyfriend will freak out if you pay for him at Ruth's Chris.

I enjoy this kind of article -- not because the tips make us immune to bad judgments, but because they remind us of our capacity to learn from even our worst romantic mishaps.

My Ex-Wife's Wedding Dress

Need help re-purposing an ex-wife's wedding dress?

Fortunately, there's a blog for that.

Check out My Ex-Wife's Wedding Dress, where one guy chronicles various uses for his ex's white gown.

So far, it's been used as an ice pack, jump rope, sporting event banner and more.

The blog isn't exactly driven by malice. The writer notes that when his wife of 12 years left him, she left her wedding dress behind. He pointed it out, and she said he could do whatever he wanted with it.

(via TresSugar)

For more wedding-related news, check out Katie Holland's blog here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dueling pianos: Cool or not?

Downtown Columbus hot spot Flip Flops recently wrote a Facebook wall post asking if the bar should host dueling pianos on Thursdays.

They got a variety of responses.

It's an interesting question, especially since Columbus hasn't had a dueling pianos night since The Vault closed its doors a few months ago.

Is our nightlife scene missing something without dueling pianos? I don't know.

Make no mistake: A dueling pianos night, or nights, has advantages. It's something different, a scene that offers a distinctly different vibe from the standard live entertainment.

Then again, if you have dueling pianos as your sole shtick, you might have a hard time surviving in a relatively small town. Dueling pianos night is fun, but it's rarely something you want to do every weekend. It's more of a once a month party option.

Weigh in: Does Columbus need a dueling pianos night?

Wife bloggers

Listen up, everybody. This week, The Walk of Shame will be devoted to nothing but pot roast recipes and tips for ensuring your husband is always happy.

Don't worry, I'm kidding.

But there's a point: directing your attention to this LA Times trend piece, which discusses a growing contingent of wife bloggers -- women who go online "to champion the importance of being a good wife and partner."

Hello, June Cleaver.

The Internet movement contrasts with recent women's history, which to a large extent has focused on building an identity outside domestic life.

I know some women with blogs that -- likely intentionally -- have morphed into wife blogs. Without warning, they went from humorous TV anecdotes to photos of surprise entrees prepared for a husband after his long day at work. Again, and again, and again.

My first instinct is to roll my eyes and complain about defining your life within the context of another person.

But I remind myself that the "make your own dinner so I can blog" lifestyle doesn't appeal to everyone. Even in the online world.


(via Jezebel)

Friday, May 14, 2010

What's going on this weekend?

Hey party people! Don't forget that the Uptown Concert Series continues Friday night with a performance by Theatrics 7-10 p.m. on the 1100 block of Broadway.

Also, there's a Nashville flood relief benefit Saturday outside H20, 6499 Veterans Parkway. Family activities, including inflatables, are 1-4 p.m. and the nightlife portion begins at 7 p.m. The only mandatory donation is a $10 cover charge for nighttime entertainment. Acts include Montgomery Gunn, Haywire and The M&M Band.

Date idea: Popping zits

When we recently discussed a guy's growing zit, one of my friends groaned and said, "You'd think his girlfriend would take care of that."

Really?!? I never equated "girlfriend" with dermatologist or esthetician.

But maybe I'm in the minority.

Over at Glamour, there's interesting discussion about whether you should have a hand in your partner's grooming habits.

Gross, right? Not according to all the online commenters. Many boldly confess to waxing a partner's brows and/or popping his zits.

Nasty or necessary? Let me know what you think.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mother's Day detox

Remember Mother's Day? You know, Sunday? The day that was all pastel and flowery and everything?

Consider this: On the day after Mother's Day, some 31,427 women reportedly signed up for (a dating website for married people).

Of those, 67 percent identified themselves as stay-at-home moms.


You can assume it's because these women think their husbands didn't do enough to celebrate Mother's Day.

You can also blame it on deflated balloon syndrome -- the letdown that comes with having a whole day devoted to your awesomeness, and then returning to the world of cleaning up puke.


What's going on tonight?

Hey party people! A couple Thursday nightlife highlights:

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

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

SoHo Bar & Grill: Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights, 10 p.m. free. 706-568-3316.

Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill: Krazy Karaoke, 7 p.m. free. 706-320-0021,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hot Guys Reading Books

Nothing's sexier than a shy, artsy guy innocently perusing a book's pages.

Unless the text in hand is a bomb-making manual. That's just creepy.

Glamour introduced me to possibly the coolest blog ever: Hot Guys Reading Books. It's a photo collection of, well, you guessed it.

I wonder if they're interested in a spin-off blog dedicated solely to the abundance of guys who appear at Barnes & Noble in Columbus every weekend.

Seriously. What's up with that?

What's going on tonight?

Tonight's Hump Day party lineup is so crowded that you'll have a hard time resisting an urge to hit the town. After "American Idol" results, of course.

Here are some cool Wednesday offerings:

*The Knoxville rockers from The Few perform a free show at SoHo Bar & Grill, 5751 Milgen Road. Action starts around 10 p.m.

*Flip Flops, 1111 Broadway, hosts a performance by regional act Trotline. Doors open at 9 p.m., music starts around 10:30 p.m. Cover is $5.

*Spicoli's, 5762 Milgen Road, has free karaoke 8 p.m.-1 a.m.

*H2O, 6499 Veterans Parkway, has a beer pong tournament beginning at 10 p.m. No cover.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Check, please

Ever wonder how your dinner dates look to an outsider?

Wonder no more.

Here, a waiter offers a spectator's view of a series of dinner dates. I figure servers acquire a pretty strong ability to measure a date's success.

Confession: I have an embarrassing history of not only starting fights in restaurants, but also crying in restaurants.

But at least I always try to pull myself together when the server comes to our table. I guess I'm not that sly when I insist everything tastes great -- while mascara runs down my cheeks.

Dessert, anyone?

Undateable on VH1

Did anyone else catch Monday's premiere of "Undateable" on VH1?

The show, which will run five hours, is based on a book and its corresponding website. Each hour details some of the top 100 things guys do to become undateable.

Monday's installment included dating "don'ts" like wearing pleated plants and relentlessly quoting movie lines.

I was strangely captivated.

There's some comfort in listening to celebrities complain about the male tank top -- and then watching half the men on your street wear one.

The only unfortunate thing about "Undateable" is that the people most in need of the advice are likely not watching the show. Sigh. Such is life.

"Undateable" continues tonight at 10 p.m. on VH1.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Will they or won't they?

This interesting article suggests "will they or won't they" couples -- ie: Pam and Jim from "The Office" -- are disappearing from sitcoms.

Much like their real-life counterparts, these couples generate divided emotions.

On one hand, you want them to just hook up and get it over with.

But part of you also wants their courtship to stay in the limbo phase. Because you know the instant they finally get together, they'll become boring. Sad but true.

I could handle a TV world without "will they or won't they" couples. They put me through too much emotional torture.

Donna and David from "90210" were the worst. Oh, the agony.

Share your thoughts in the comments section, and don't forget to check Katie's Intellectual Junk Food blog for more pop culture commentary.

Dating: Must love MacBooks?

You've heard about people bonding over culinary passions. Pet preferences. Even favorite colors.

But is someone's technology of choice a factor in dating?

There's now a dating site for Apple fans only, as described by the Wall Street Journal.

To use the site,, you must check off which Apple products you own and answer a series of relationship questions. Apple has not endorsed the site.

A little strange? Maybe.

I've never been into the whole Apple/PC debate. When it comes to a boyfriend's computer, I only require that he hides any material involving hot college coeds and Brazilian exxxotica.

I understand how a passion for Apple stuff can be an initial attraction factor in a couple's relationship. It can't be the sole element sustaining a match, though.


Friday, May 7, 2010

What's going on this weekend?

Hey party people! Don't forget about Friday's free outdoor concert on the 1100 block of Broadway. The Chattahoochee Pine Beetles will perform 7-10 p.m.

After the show, check out the First Friday Block Party, when one $10 cover gets you into the majority of downtown Columbus hot spots.

Also on Friday, Drivin' N Cryin' performs at SoHo Bar & Grill, 5751 Milgen Road. Tickets are $20 advance, but you might be able to snag one at the door. No guarantees, though.

Here's the rest of your lineup:


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

SoHo Bar & Grill: Drivin’ N Cryin’, 10 p.m. $20 advance. 706-568-3316.

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

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

Spicoli’s: Haywire, 9 p.m. $5. 706-221-5252.

Flip Flops: Sequoyah Prep School, 9 p.m. block party cover.

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

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


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

The Loft: The Good Doctor, 9 p.m. $5. 706-596-8141.

Eighty-Five: Young Orchids, Man Made Sea, 10 p.m. $5. 706-324-1500.

Flip Flops: Sequoyah Prep School, 9 p.m. $5.

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

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

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

Happy Hour dates

Happy Hour.

It seems like the perfect date option. Unless you're a journalist who works erratic hours.

Fortunately, many happy hours have grown to accommodate some inflexible work schedules. Often, you can cash in on early drink specials until 9 p.m.

Cheap drinks. After-work plans. Live entertainment. What could go wrong?

Don't get me started.

When it comes to partying, I'm generally the wet blanket who aborts happy hour plans. I have an extremely strange stomach that absolutely must eat after work. And no, I do not equate eating with drinking.

What's more, I hate the feeling of being surrounded by completely drunk people when the clock hasn't even hit 9 p.m. One word: college.

Fortunately, Starbucks now has a Happy Hour with half-price Frappuccinos. This marks the perfect opportunity to convert my boyfriend to the world of coffee.

I'm giving myself a 35 percent chance of success.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sex and the City drinks!

UPDATE: I visited Houlihan's in downtown Columbus Thursday night and these drinks are alive and well. I assume the same is true at the other Houlihan's location.

Ah, Houlihan's. Your annual "Sex and the City" cocktail offerings are often a sparkly stiletto in a party world filled with drab loafers.

This year is no exception. The flier featured above says the current lineup includes concoctions with names like Park Avenue Princess and Blonde Ambition.

In the words of Carrie Bradshaw, "Hello, lover!"

Warning: I have not yet confirmed these drinks are currently available at Columbus Houlihan's locations (800 Front Ave. and 5351 Sidney Simons Blvd.). I opened the e-mail Thursday evening and I'll be visiting my local Houlihan's after work.

The drinks have been available locally in the past, so this year should be no exception.

Stay tuned.

I'm engaged. Celebrate.

This post's headline isn't factual. Sorry, Mom.

I'm simply hooking your interest for a spirited debate about engagement parties. Do or don't?

In TresSugar's discussion of the matter, the pros clearly outweigh the cons.

Maybe I'm socially inept, but I've never attended a formal engagement party. Have I savored a glass of champagne while offering a newly engaged friend my best wishes? Sure.

Anything beyond that risks appearing a little indulgent. Then again, I'm rarely one to shun a good party, regardless of the occasion.

The only potential pitfall might be a guest list composed entirely of bitter single friends. Awkward.

Where do you stand on engagement parties?

(Get more celebration tips from Dawn. And don't forget to consult Katie's wedding-planning blog, too.)

Party cam: Cinco de Mayo

Wednesday, I hit the half-price bar crawl on Broadway to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. The video above, filmed in Flip Flops, is a pretty accurate summary of my night.

It's a little "Blair Witch," but hey, that's how I roll.

Why did I film in Flip Flops? It seemed like the most crowded hot spot of the night, at least based on my time downtown.

Share your Cinco de Mayo highlights in the comments section.

Partying with Mom

Today's nightlife column, a special Mother's Day installment, details the lessons I learned while hitting the town with my mom.

She's never been one to wear a tiara and ask her daughter to fill the designated driver role.

In fact, in my favorite nightlife memory, she wore khakis and sipped water when I invited her to a local bar.

And strangely, that's exactly why I love her so much.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cinco de Mayo parties

Need Cinco de Mayo plans? If you're looking for a dinner destination, try one of these hot spots:

Vallarta , 2151 Fort Benning Road

Viva El Toro, 3443 Macon Road

Locos Amigos Cantina, 1030 Broadway

El Carrizo, 3747 Macon Road and 6575 Whittlesey Blvd.

Mi Casa Bar & Grill, 4519 Woodruff Road

La Margarita, 5300 Sidney Simons Blvd.

El Vaquero, 3135 Cross Country Plaza and 2976 North Lake Parkway

Los Amigos Bar & Grill, 5935 Veterans Parkway

If you want to hit the bar scene after dinner, you have lots of choices.

Downtown Columbus bars will host a block party where one $5 cover will get you into the majority of the Broadway hot spots.

The deal includes Ophir Drive’s CD release party/ZZ Top after party at Daileys, a costume contest at Flip Flops, a performance by Boneheadz at Scruffy Murphy’s and much more.

Visit H2O, 6499 Veterans Parkway, and you’ll party with a margarita pong tournament, cash-filled pinata and drink specials. No cover.

The Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road, will have entertainment from Surgestone and giveaways. Action begins at 7 p.m. No cover.

SoHo Bar & Grill, 5751 Milgen Road, will offer drink specials and DJ music. No cover.

Across the street from SoHo, Spicoli’s, 5762 Milgen Road, will have DJ music and karaoke. No cover.

There’s also no cover at Mickey’s Pub, 4105 Buena Vista Road, where you’ll find DJ music and drink specials.

Back to the Future proposal

Lots of couples compare their love to a movie romance. But only a few of those couples actually mimic the films they aspire to become.

Check out this article about a guy who recreated a scene from "Back to the Future" to propose to his girlfriend.

The process involved film editing, a local theater's cooperation and more.

Needless to say, she said "yes."

I wouldn't mind a proposal rooted in movie inspiration, but "Back to the Future" isn't my No. 1 pick. I'm more of a "Star Wars" kind of girl. Kidding.

The movie scene I'd most like to recreate? Probably Harry's final monologue from "When Harry Met Sally."

How about you?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Digital courage

In the relationship world, what's scariest: texting, e-mailing or calling?

Here, one writer wonders whether technology has erased some of the nervousness that traditionally comes with dating.

It's possible to assume the ease of a nebulous Facebook message beats all those murky protocols for initial phone call etiquette.

Still, as someone whose hand has shaken while hitting "send" on an e-mail, I think a certain level of nervousness will always come with dating -- regardless of the ease with which you can communicate.

And that's a good thing.

That jittery feeling suggests you're taking a risk, exiting your comfort level for something that's hopefully worthwhile.

If not? Hey, at least it's now OK to break up via text.

Facebook and death

This morning I logged into my Facebook account as usual and clicked on the friends under the "suggestions" area. As usual.

The result was anything but usual.

With one click, I learned the guy with whom Facebook wanted me to "share the latest news" had died.

He was one of my first newspaper editors, someone who listened to Phish during the Sunday shift and gave me an eternal fear of being fired for missing deadline by 10 minutes.

We hadn't talked since the obligatory "nice to see you on Facebook" messages we exchanged last year.

But now, I was staring at my closest glimpse into his personal life. Though a Facebook suggestion.

Facebook has an official policy for memorializing its deceased users, but the process takes some time. There's inevitably a limbo period before somebody's Facebook presence is turned into a memorial page.

And that period was when I learned of my friend's death. Sympathy messages were posted just inches above status updates suggesting that yes, he was alive and well after all.

I'd like to offer some deep reflection about what this says about our ability to communicate. But the truth is, if I didn't have Facebook, I would have likely gone months -- even years -- without knowing he'd died.

We were distant acquaintances at best. The kind of people who communicated though Google searches and friends of a friend.

When you have that kind of relationship, sharing the latest news doesn't happen easily.

In fact, it sometimes doesn't happen at all.