Friday, July 30, 2010

What's going on this weekend?

Hey party people! It's a pretty packed weekend of events. There's a pretty cool show Friday at Eighty-Five. You'll see guitarist Richard Alan Smith and Kevin Spears, who's known for his skills on the kalimba, an African instrument. Details here.

Feeling altruistic? Visit a Saturday fundraiser for local body painter Dewayne Flowers. Added bonus: It's at Hooters. The event is noon-3 p.m. It includes a car wash and face painting. Details here.

Also, DJ Roonie G celebrates his birthday Friday and Saturday at Mix Ultra Lounge, 1107 Broadway. Cover is $5 and doors open at 9 p.m.

Some other highlights:


SoHo Bar & Grill: Say You Swear, Wake Up Evil, 10 p.m. $5. 706-568-3316.

Daileys: Lazy Swamis, 10 p.m. $5. 706-320-3353.

Spicoli’s: DJ music, 8:30 p.m. free. 706-221-5252.

Shanty Shack: Mindblender, 7-11 p.m. $5. 706-507-3418.

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

The Loft: Tim Wilson comedy show, 7 p.m. $10. Allgood, 9 p.m. $10. Peggy Jenkins and the Bizness, 11 p.m. $5. 706-596-8141.

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

VFW Post 5228: DJ music, 9 p.m. free. 334-297-6493.


SoHo Bar & Grill: SidAerial, SAMROC and GRD, 10 p.m. $5. 706-568-3316.

The Loft: Tim Wilson comedy show, 7 p.m. $10. T3IO, 9:30 p.m. $5. 706-596-8141.

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

Shanty Shack: Mindblender, 7-11 p.m. $5. 706-507-3418.

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

Daileys: Lazy Swamis, 10 p.m. $5. 706-320-3353.

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

VFW Post 5228: Donnie Thomas and band, 9 p.m. $5. 334-297-6493.

Facebook is romantic?

You had me at first poke.

Sound silly? Yeah, I agree. Which is why I did a double-take after seeing The Frisky's collection of most romantic Facebook love stories.

Huh? Facebook can be romantic?

I thought it was just for stalking your exes and writing cryptic, overly emotional status updates after fighting with your boyfriend.

Then again, we have to remember that Facebook -- like the Internet as a whole -- has potential to reunite first crushes and long lost loves.'s hard to associate romance with a place that's also home to Mafia Wars.

Weigh in: Is Facebook ever romantic?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Best. Video. Ever.

Check out our newest "Ledger Lounge" show, where you'll learn about everything from "Inception" to "The Bachelorette." Added bonus: I dance.

What's going on tonight?

Your No. 1 Thursday event? The California Bad Boyz invade the Shanty Shack (4475 Warm Springs Road). The male burlesque show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $5 until 3 p.m. today. After that, they're $10.

Click here to read my interview with one of the California Bad Boyz.

Some other nightlife options:

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

Flip Flops: Chris Collins, 9 p.m. free.

Spicoli’s: Moonshine Takeover, 9 p.m. free. 705-221-5252.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I wanna start a fight

Tired of having the same fight with your significant other?

The Wall Street Journal offers an interesting conflict resolution technique that relies on a "couple's meeting."

The process?

Set a time limit of 15 minutes and flip a coin to see who speaks first. Then, the first person explains his/her side in two or three statements. The other partner listens and repeats what he/she heard.

You do this about two more times and then reverse roles.

Good idea, right?

But as the WSJ accurately notes, it's hard to remember these techniques when you're in the heat of an argument.

I wish I could offer insight on this topic, but my inherent perfection makes me immune to relationship fights.

Haha. Just kidding.

I usually prefer to end a fight with this unselfish insight: "I'm right and you're wrong."

Julianne Hough and Ryan Seacrest

Julianne Hough recently dismissed questions about a possible romantic relationship with Ryan Seacrest by joking about having his baby.

Good diversion tactic? Maybe. Good for your relationship? Maybe not.

When is it OK to joke about having your partner's baby without worrying about scaring him or her off?

Make these jokes too early in a relationship and you might appear marriage-obsessed -- even if you were just kidding.

My advice: Avoid all marriage and baby jokes until you've passed the one-year mark, unless these jokes are told in a setting where an abundance of hunch punch ensures neither of you will remember the deeper undertones the next morning.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Scruffy Murphy's upstairs

Downtown Columbus hot spot Scruffy Murphy's, 1037 Broadway, recently posted an interesting item on Facebook:

Ok, folks, the Project: "The Shamrock Lounge" has begun.......
Upstairs ScruffyMurphys ......,,
Projected opening..... Near end of this year...
Will post progress on website:

An upper level of Scruffy Murphy's? Yes, please!

I already love the upstairs bathrooms. An upstairs lounge might make Scruffy's even more popular. I enjoy sitting on the patio, but sometimes the inside atmosphere gets way too crowded.

Which is good for business, but not that great if you're a claustrophobic partier.

Weigh in: Which other local hot spots need more room?

Separate beds

Is sleeping in separate beds a sign of a broken marriage, or just plain common sense?

Here, the NY Times discusses married couples who sleep separately. It cites a survey suggesting one in four American couples sleep in separate bedrooms or beds.

The reasons? Everything from sleep disorders to the apparent root of all evil: technology.

The writer isn't too thrilled about the separate beds movement. An excerpt:

In an age when partners no longer eat together, exercise together or pray together, sleeping together may be the last bastion of togetherness in American relationships. If pillow talk dies, can throwing in the towel be far behind?

I don't think this is a battle worth fighting.

It's one thing to compromise on life outlooks or money issues.

But in the grand scheme of things, where you sleep is really not that big of an issue -- well, assuming you're not sleeping in somebody else's bed.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Secrets and lies

How much do you discuss your significant other with your friends?

A variety of things prompted this discussion. One: I recently read a blogger's claim that she never talks badly about her husband around friends.

Two: Here, a relationship coach asserts that bad-mouthing your partner can kill your marriage.

Finally: I enjoyed this Elle article, which asks if it's always a betrayal to talk about your husband with another man.

I've been in situations where you get around a certain group of friends and always end up complaining about the same relationship issues. You can be completely in love going into a girls' night and hate your relationship when you get home.

I respect people who view their relationship as something sacred, and never publicly say negative things about their partner because of that.

But at the same time, those people also risk exuding a false sense of perfection.

Their friends speculate worst-case scenarios about their romantic imperfections behind their backs.

So sometimes, when you consider the alternative, bad-mouthing isn't that bad after all.

Jersey Shore and Snooki

Feeling drowsy on Monday? How about a little fist pump action?

The NY Times has an interesting profile of Snooki from MTV's "Jersey Shore." Well, perhaps "interesting" isn't the best descriptive adjective.

A Jezebel writer calls it possibly the cruelest profile she's seen in the Times' Style section "in quite some time." Why? Consider passages like this:

But trying to hold a conversation with Snooki is a little like getting down on your hands and knees with a child. You have to come down to her level, and sometimes you almost think you need to bribe her with a piece of candy to coax her to be more responsive. She is really only responsive to her own immediate needs and desires. She is not self-centered, but she is used to acting out and getting away with it.

The writer also mentions how Snooki has only read two books in her life: "Twilight" and "Dear John."

"Jersey Shore" doesn't top my hierarchy of MTV obsessions -- it's not "Teen Mom," after all -- but I don't hate it entirely.

And Snooki? Sure, she's one of the many people in pop culture whose celebrity status can't be attributed to an enviable skill or groundbreaking performance.

But I remember a scene from last season's "Jersey Shore" finale, when Snooki wandered the boardwalk aimlessly in search of a date and ultimately started a dance party outside by herself.

I remember the moment so well because it added a basic humanness to somebody often reduced to a caricature. Even with her exaggerated pouf and revealing clothes, she wasn't immune to the awkward dating dance that plagues the rest of us.

Or something like that.

Friday, July 23, 2010

What's going on this weekend?

Hey party people! Don't forget about Chuck Negron's Saturday concert at the Phenix City Amphitheater. Gates open at 7 p.m. and show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10, free for guests 12 and younger. No coolers, but alcohol will be sold.

Here are some other highlights:


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

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

Daileys: Ophir Drive, 10 p.m. $5. 706-320-3353.

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

Spicoli’s: DJ music, 8:30 p.m. free. 706-221-5252.

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

SoHo Bar & Grill: Broken Man, The Giving End, Drive Down Holly, 10 p.m. $5. 706-568-3316.

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

VFW Post 5228: DJ music, 9 p.m. free. 334-297-6493.

Shanty Shack: Jason Coley, 7-11 p.m. $5. 706-507-3418.


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

Eighty-Five: Davin McCoy, Cabin Fever, 10 p.m. $5. 706-324-1500.

Daileys: Seven Zero Sixx, 10 p.m. $5. 706-320-3353.

Flip Flops: T3IO, 9 p.m. $5.

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

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

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

VFW Post 5228: Donnie Thomas and band, 9 p.m. $5. 334-297-6493.

The Loft: Marshall Ruffin, 9:30 p.m. $5. 706-596-8141.

Shanty Shack: Jason Coley, 7-11 p.m. $5. 706-507-3418.

Ice cream and dating

Happy Friday! This week's nightlife column focuses on the challenges of ordering dessert on a first date. Some people say it's a "must," others say it's a recipe for disaster.

Today is Vanilla Ice Cream Day -- well, at least if you're willing to believe a website whose authors could "not find the creator, or the origin of this day."

Good enough for me.

Some daters use dessert choice as litmus test for how long a relationship will last. (Hmm. I guess choice in pie is a notch above salad matchmaking.)

Anyway, I can't help wondering: Is it possible to not pass judgment on a date who always gets vanilla ice cream?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ranch dressing, please

Check out this news about a website that matches people based on salad preferences.

So yes, an affinity for croutons can make you desirable.

Apparently there's some science behind it. The aforementioned story cites research suggesting that cheese preferences -- sliced, cubed, shredded, etc. -- can indicate personality traits.

Would I try the salad matchmaking method?

Maybe. But in focusing on little similarities -- say, shared taste in salad dressing -- we often lose sight of the bigger, more important things that unite couples.

In my younger days, I once met a guy and assumed we were soul-mates.

Why? Well, we had the same favorite book, beer, pizza toppings, vacation spot and TV show.

Sure, there were a ton of similarities. But in retrospect, those similarities covered petty things. I was so smitten with those things that I didn't take time to ask about values, life outlook or goals.

You know, the things that really matter.

Note: I still think any guy who likes blue cheese dressing is pretty sexy.

Online dating gone wild

The NY Times discusses a possible new model for Internet dating: websites that use brief real-life encounters to spur an online relationship.

How does it work?

Users get cards to hand people they meet while on the town. Don't want to start a full-fledged conversation with that hot guy drinking coffee? Give him a card saying you'd like to go on a date, then slyly slip out of the room.

If he likes you, he'll send you a message in your online dating mailbox.

Some people still believe that if you spend too long meeting people online, you'll end up entirely devoid of all face-to-face social skills.

The aforementioned model seems like an interesting way to erase some of the stigma still surrounding online dating.

However, I'm not sure if the pre-printed cards do much to build social skills.

It almost seems like a return the seventh-grade meet market, when you'd get friends to hand ambiguous written messages to the object of your affection.

OK, I guess that was actually pretty fun.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How to break up with someone

One of the biggest challenges of being a relationship columnist is deciding how much of your personal life to disclose.

You can't explain all your anecdotes through abstract examples.

But at the same time, if you're in a relationship and want to write about it, you have to remember your partner didn't sign up to be a case study.

After writing a dating column for four years -- and being in a serious relationship for three and a half years -- I think I've found a comfortable balance between complete avoidance and full disclosure.

I had a period when I didn't mention my relationship in print at all. I couldn't give up being hollered at downtown. (Just kidding, honey!)

Actually, the real reason I didn't want to mention my relationship was because I didn't know how I'd handle the fallout if we broke up.

Here, one reader discusses the pain the she felt after her favorite married writers divorced.

The post addresses one of my biggest concerns: inadvertently holding myself up as a relationship expert, and then failing in my own attempts at romance.

Yet I guess the point of being a writer isn't to flawlessly exist above your readers, but rather to let your insecurities forge a closeness with the rest of the world.


Oil wrestling tonight!

Yes, you read the headline correctly.

The Uptown Tap, 1024 Broadway, hosts baby oil wrestling tonight. Action starts at 9 p.m. If you want to participate, call 706-653-8277.

Note: When I first read the event invitation on Facebook, I interpreted it to mean that babies would be wrestling in oil.

Wow, maybe I do need to get out more.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chelsea Clinton wedding

This woman claims Chelsea Clinton is ruining her wedding.

The reason? She's getting married near Clinton's reported wedding site, and she worries security will be so tight that her guests will have trouble getting from the ceremony to the reception.

Granted, the situation could be worse. After all, the competing bride's mother conveniently used it as an opportunity to invite the Clintons to her daughter's wedding.

But readers' comments about the article got me thinking: What does it really take to "ruin" a wedding?

It seems like a slightly dramatic term, especially since most couples end their big night saying that despite minor glitches, they wouldn't change a thing.

So tell me: Is a wedding only really "ruined" when somebody doesn't show up?

(Get more wedding-related news on my colleague Katie's blog.)

Speed dating is cool?

Here's an interesting Associated Press article about efforts to re-brand speed dating and make it a hipster-friendly event.

Speed dating is a funny thing.

I frequently hear from people requesting more speed dating events in Columbus. But when those events actually happen, they usually have a hard time drawing participants.

I think many Columbus-area daters are leery of speed dating because we live in a relatively small town. The people who will show up at a speed dating event are likely the same people you've already met, or at least spotted, on the nightlife scene.

However, the aforementioned article -- set in places like New York -- suggests a broader reluctance toward speed dating that isn't confined to the perils of small-town life.

Maybe the thought of a five-minute instant connection is good in theory, but bad in practice.

Maybe we prefer the comfort of a one-on-one blind date, where our social blunders and insecurities aren't exacerbated by a stopwatch's interference.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chill Yogurt Cafe

I recently discovered a little local piece of heaven, and I'm not talking about the unidentifiable, maggot-ridden surprise a stranger left in my trash can last week.

Let me introduce you to the world of Chill, the frozen yogurt cafe that recently opened in Columbus Park Crossing near Smoothie King and the former Circuit City. There's also an Auburn location.

Chill is essentially the best place in the world.

It's similar to big city fro-yo places like Pinkberry. At Chill, you choose from a wall of exotic flavors (featured above), layer your selection with toppings and pay by the ounce. And yes, Dawn, non-dairy selections are available -- so don't even think about skipping out.

Here are some of the toppings at Chill. There's also some rows of fresh fruit. I love Chill so much that I went twice over the weekend.

Before you call me a heifer, I'll note my second trip was due to the fact that I forgot my camera the first time. OK, you caught me: I probably would have returned either way.

On both visits, I opted for pomegranate energy boost yogurt. It kind of marked the marriage between my two favorite things: dessert and Red Bull.

My toppings of choice? Kiwi, strawberry, dark chocolate chips and miniature vanilla wafers. Jealous?

Though references to chocolate might suggest otherwise, I'm still training for a half-marathon. I'll post an update on my progress soon.

Barbies tackle Twilight, True Blood

Hope this video adds some necessary "oomph" to your Monday. Learn more about both shows on Katie's pop culture blog.

Friday, July 16, 2010

What's going on this weekend?

Hey party people! The Denim & Diamonds concert, which features headliner Blake Shelton, comes to the Columbus Civic Center Saturday night. It's a benefit for Columbus Hospice and Columbus Hospice of Alabama. Get details here.

You can also try these weekend highlights:


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.

Shanty Shack: Haywire, 7-11 p.m. $5. 706-507-3418.

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

Mix Ultra Lounge: DJ Roonie G with DJ Brayks, 9 p.m. E-mail to get on guest list before 11:30 p.m.

Spicoli’s: Samroc & GRD, 10:30 p.m. $5 cover starts at 9 p.m. 706-221-5252.

Eighty-Five: Misfortune 500, The Gold Party, 10 p.m. $5. 706-324-1500.

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

VFW Post 5228: DJ music, 9 p.m. free. 334-297-6493.

Belloo’s: Claiborne & Friends with Rick Champion, 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.

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

Mix Ultra Lounge: DJ Roonie G with DJ Brayks, 9 p.m. E-mail to get on guest list before 11:30 p.m.

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

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

Shanty Shack: Haywire, 7-11 p.m. $5. 706-507-3418.

VFW Post 5228: Donnie Thomas and band, 9 p.m. $5. 334-297-6493.

SoHo Bar & Grill: The Bastard Suns, So It Goes, 10 p.m. $5. 706-568-3316.

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

Everybody say "aww"

There's nothing like a sappy love story to get you through Friday afternoon.

Today's item comes from the Chicago Sun-Times, which tells the story of a couple so inseparable that they died within hours of each other.

The article reminded me of my grandparents, who also lived in Chicago.

They didn't die within hours of each other, but I remember having the sense that my grandpa lost his will to live after my grandma passed away.

Who knows? Maybe I was just an overly romantic teenager creating things in my mind.

Yet I think my grandpa would have lived a lot longer had my grandma still been around. They died about a year and a half apart.

Sometimes I'm overly critical of couples who seem to spend every waking hour together.

But I hope I enter the end of life with bonds so strong that I must define my existence within the context of other people.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Saying "I do" in Walmart

USA Today has an interesting article about retail weddings -- that is, couples getting married in restaurants or stores. It cites venues ranging from Taco Bell to T.J. Maxx.

Retail weddings stem from factors like a desire to be unique and save money.

If I chose to have a retail wedding, the hardest part would be deciding my rationale for picking the venue.

Walmart is the store I visit most often, but would I tie the knot there? No.

My favorite places to browse are Ulta and Forever 21. However, something tells me there aren't a lot of guys jumping at the chance to say "I do" while standing beside leggings and glittery lip gloss.

Just when I'm out of ideas, it hits me: Chipotle. Hands down, this is my favorite restaurant in the world. Usually I can convince anyone I date to like it, too.

Plus, the nearest location is in Atlanta. Destination wedding! Holla!

(Bride-to-be Katie Holland is taking a slightly more traditional approach to her wedding. Learn more on her blog.)

What's going on tonight?

Hey party people! Here are some Thursday highlights:

Spicoli's: Stereomonster, 10 p.m. free. 706-221-5252.

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

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

Mix Ultra Lounge: Service Industry Night featuring Roonie G and Alvin D, 9 p.m. free.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I'm running a half-marathon

Ah, the lovely 5K "before" photo. I've deleted all images showcasing my sexy post-race sweatbath.

Through a serendipitous chain of events that involved a failed shoe-shopping trip and a vacant eight inches in our To Do section, I recently decided to run a half-marathon.

Well, train to run a half-marathon.

Don't laugh. Please.

Actually, I'm really excited about the concept. I'm starting my training this weekend for the Soldier Marathon & Half-Marathon, held at the National Infantry Museum on Nov. 13.

I'm basing my training regimen primarily on guides I've found online, namely this one. But if you have any suggestions, please drop me a note in the comments section.

I'll chronicle my journey with weekly updates on this blog.

A quick recap of my athletic abilities: I had a birth defect that required me to wear a special brace on my legs when I was really young. I came out of the situation freakishly flexible, but not exactly athletically inclined.

My memories of elementary school PE classes are terrible. A teacher once pulled me out of an Ultimate Frisbee game because he said I looked as if I feared for my life.

Everything changed in high school, when a PE teacher taught me proper techniques for running and made me do a 5K by the end of the semester. I've been running fairly regularly ever since.

With luck, the half-marathon journey will boost my determination, energy and focus.

If not, I'll at least have a cute new medallion to admire.

The Hills finale crushes my soul

It's been a rough Wednesday.

Not only do I have to process the fact that "The Hills" is over, but I also have to cope with a shocking suggestion that the entire series might have been scripted.

Bring me a therapist ASAP.

I guess it's best to look on the bright side of things. Regardless of the show's definition of "reality," it taught me a few things. Seriously.

"The Hills" reinforced an important lesson for women by emphasizing that not every friendship needs to be saved.

No matter what you think about the show, that concept is somewhat refreshing.

As women, we're often trapped into thinking that every female friendship needs to reach "Sex and the City" proportions. In reality, the "SATC" image of friendship is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.

People grow apart. Work, jealousy and annoying boys get in the way. Before you know it, a shared round of cosmos marks social torture, rather than a welcome bonding session.

Scripted or not, "The Hills" painted a much more realistic picture of many female friendships -- fleeting, rather than fairytale-inspired.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Proposal video of the day

(via Deadspin)

Bob Saget Night

Ready to pay homage to "Full House" character Danny Tanner?

Broadway hot spot Flip Flops on Aug. 21 will host Bob Saget Night -- a party dedicated entirely to the awesomeness that is Bob Saget.

Trust me, I'm excited, too.

The party is an extension of one local group's quest to drink a beer with Bob Saget. The goal is similar to the Taylor Swift thing that recently happened in Auburn -- but, um, kind of different at the same time.

Bob Saget Night already has a website, which you can access here.

The Aug. 21 party lineup will include Bob Saget tribute T-shirts (make your own), a Bob Saget cocktail and more.

Who's in?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Haircuts and depression

The Detroit Free Press has an interesting article about hairdressers dispensing relationship advice.

It's a common scenario: You sit down for a cut and highlights, and end up telling your stylist every detail of your love life.

Am I the only one who hates the setup?

I have friends who go to the salon savoring the thought of dishing about romance and relationships for an hour. The image makes me shudder.

It's nothing about my particular romantic situation. I've talked to stylists while single, in between relationships and while in a serious relationship.

Without fail, I leave the salon contemplating my romantic destiny, rather than admiring my new look.

Between my tangled tresses and incessant engagement inquiries, the salon therapy session is just too much to handle.

Anyone else agree?

Closing time

College Candy offers a photo gallery of too-drunk partiers. The post is accurately labeled "88 signs it's time to leave the bar."

Filled with face drawing and snow sleeping, it's something I would have laughed at in college -- maybe even four years ago. We would likely stare at the gallery and match its images with tales of our own irresponsibility.

But at 28, I viewed the apparent Passed Out Hall of Fame only as, well, a little sad.

Lots of people remember when they first realized they were in the middle of The Change -- that is, a keener awareness that the drunken antics that entertained you for years aren't really that entertaining after all.

The process often starts while watching a friend's dance floor meltdown. Or looking at your own mascara-lined, hangover-drained face in the morning after mirror.

It doesn't mean you'll entirely abstain from alcohol. You do, however, suddenly acquire a lower tolerance for things like beer funnels, 3 a.m. Ramen and sweet and sour mix.

To quote Blink 182's wisdom, "I guess this is growing up."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

What's going on this weekend?

Mix Ultra Lounge, 1107 Broadway, hosts its official grand opening Friday night. Expect a light show, stilt walkers, jugglers and more. Action starts at 9 p.m. Cover is $5 women, $5 men until 11 p.m., $10 men after 11 p.m.

Music recommendation: Scruffy Murphy's, 1037 Broadway, hosts performances by Whiskey & Stout on Friday and Saturday. The band mixes Irish pub songs with Southern rock. Shows start at 10 p.m. and cover is $6.

Here are some other highlights:


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

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

Shanty Shack: DJ music, 8 p.m. free. 706-507-3418.

Daileys: Jaded Soul, 10 p.m. $5. 706-320-3353.

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

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

VFW Post 5228: DJ music, 9 p.m. free. 334-297-6493.


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

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

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

Daileys: Jaded Soul, 9 p.m. $5. 706-320-3353.

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

Shanty Shack: DJ music, 8 p.m. free. 706-507-3418.

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

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

VFW Post 5228: Donnie Thomas and band, 9 p.m. $5. 334-297-6493.

Can I buy you a drink?

Seriously, your drink's on me. But please don't order anything more than $5.

This Chicago photo essay highlights the wide range of cocktail prices you might find in one town.

It raises an interesting question: How much are you willing to pay for one drink?

In Columbus, there aren't too many price disparities when it comes to your basic beer and mixed drinks. Some people take issue with the martinis at Belloo's (which can cost around $10), but those drinks are generally stronger than what you'll find at most bars.

When my finances are thriving -- which happens about twice a year -- I have no problem shelling out $10-$12 for a specialty cocktail.

Assuming it involves special presentation, that is.

I hate paying $10 for a mixed drink served in a plastic cup and garnished with a piece of expired fruit.

Overall, I think our local drink prices are pretty reasonable. Nothing screams "no place like home" more than paying $9 for a Bud Light in Vegas and then returning to Columbus.

Weigh in: How much are you willing to pay for one drink?

What's going on tonight?

Looking for a new -- or, um, a new old -- Thursday nightlife option?

The recently reopened Roadhouse resurrected its Thursday night parties.

(Side note: Check out the alliteration in that sentence. Pretty sexy.)

Anyway, every Thursday at the Roadhouse you can hear The Unsung and Stereomonster. Expect $1.50 PBR and no cover charge. Doors open at 9 p.m., show starts around 10:30 p.m.

The Roadhouse is at 1047 Broadway in downtown Columbus.

Another live music option for tonight: Sabra performs at SoHo Bar & Grill, 5751 Milgen Road. There's no cover and music starts around 10 p.m.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Faking it

Jezebel has an interesting post about the allure -- or lack thereof -- surrounding a stint as a fake girlfriend.

The post's inspiration? A Craig's List item from a gay guy whose visiting parents want to see his girlfriend.

So the fake girlfriend scenario isn't confined to romantic comedies, as Jezebel wisely notes.

The setup sounds like a pretty sweet deal. But I wouldn't do it.

It reminds me of the retrospectively awkward dynamic surrounding my sixth-grade dances. Your friends would collect money, and then pay a member of the opposite sex to dance with you.

You got a fake boyfriend/girlfriend for three minutes. While a Boyz II Men song played in the background.

I couldn't ask for a better romantic groundwork.

How to plan a first date

Remember when swing dancing was the go-to date option?

I hated that trend. It surfaced toward the end of my high school days, and I always ended up moving aimlessly on the dance floor with a guy whose coordination skills exceeded mine.

Fortunately, the national swing dancing obsession subsided and I discovered a first date activity more in line with my preferences: beer pong.

Here, the NY Times discusses trends in first date activities.

Some of the trends might never surface in Columbus -- read: lobster rolls and fondue -- but the underlying premise warrants consideration.

The article suggests "let's get drinks" is no longer a suitable first date plan.

I agree for the most part, but I also think daters have to strike a delicate balance between something too casual and something that screams, "I put so much detail into this date because I know we're going to get married and have five kids."

Plan your first date too intricately and your love interest will think you've already invested your future in the relationship.

Which can be a little intimidating, to say the least.

(via TresSugar)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Single or not?

You're in a nightclub and the DJ screams, "All you single ladies make some noooooise."

You make a sound that strikes an awkward balance between silence and a full-fledged holler.

Ah, the complexities of defining "single."

The AJC's Misadventures in Atlanta blog discusses the issue here.

Through college, I always defined single as somebody who wasn't seeing anyone. Simple.

But in post-college life, something weird happened.

I encountered more people who used "single" to mean "anything but married." Many times, even after I mention my boyfriend of nearly four years, people call me a single girl. You know, because I'm not married.

I'll occasionally describe myself as single, too. No, not to pick up guys.

It's just sometimes easier to opt for the "single" label when you're around other people who are operating only on "single or married" terms.

For me, the term "single" brings to mind important things like self-reliance. But it's a little disconcerting to have no real label for a relationship you've worked on for years.


No Shame Theater

Weekend entertainment doesn't get much better than sex with me.

Calm down, I'm not being racy. It's simply a hook to begin my post about No Shame Theater at the Springer, which I attended for the first time Friday.

Quick primer: The event, open to guests 18 and older, begins at 10:30 every Friday and features performers who sign up on the night of the event. Performances can't exceed 5 minutes. You'll see music, monologues, improv and more.

Yes, alcohol is offered.

I attended No Shame mainly because my 19-year-old sister was in town and you can't find too many late-night events here for people under 21.

The night totally exceeded my expectations. The crowd was great, all the featured acts were entertaining and things moved along right on schedule.

Sex with me? That's the name of the improv routine that closed the show. People yell out nouns to accompany the phrase, "Sex with me is like..."

For example, "Sex with me is like a banana." Then, guests offer clever bits of wisdom to complete the line.

Sex with me is like a banana. It's appealing.

Sadly, that's not my original material. Learn more about No Shame here.

Friday, July 2, 2010

What's going on this weekend?

Happy Fourth of July weekend! A few highlights: There's a First Friday Block Party in downtown Columbus. One $10 cover gets you into the majority of Broadway bars.

SoHo Bar and Grill hosts a two-day fundraiser for Gregg Dupont, guitarist for Auburn-based rock act Six Days Lost. Details here.

Looking for fireworks? Click here for a roundup of local events.

Here's your music lineup:


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

Shanty Shack: DJ music, 8 p.m. free. 706-507-3418.

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

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

VFW Post 5228: DJ music, 9 p.m. free. 334-297-6493.

Mix Ultra Lounge: DJ Roonie G, 9 p.m. free for women, men $5 until 11, $10 after 11. 706-221-2112.

SoHo Bar & Grill: Benefit for Gregg Dupont, 9 p.m. $5. 706-568-3316.

Flip Flops: T3IO, 9 p.m. block party cover.

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

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


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

Shanty Shack: DJ music, 8 p.m. free. 706-507-3418.

SoHo Bar & Grill: Benefit for Gregg Dupont, 9 p.m. $5. 706-568-3316.

Eighty-Five: The Drownout, Attention System, 10 p.m. $5. 706-324-1500.

The Loft: Bobby Lee Rodgers, 9 p.m. $5. 706-596-8141.

Mix Ultra Lounge: DJ Roonie G, 9 p.m. free for women, men $5 until 11, $10 after 11. 706-221-2112.

Kokomo’s: Wicked Dixie, 9 p.m. $5. 334-741-8269.

VFW Post 5228: Donnie Thomas and band, 9 p.m. $5. 334-297-6493.

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

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

I love you. Whatever.

Do we use the word "love" too loosely in our relationships?

Jezebel raises that question in this interesting post, which highlights a growing tendency to casually sign e-mails with "love" and greet mere acquaintances with an enthusiastic "I love you."

At some point in high school, I developed a tendency to end handwritten notes simply by drawing a heart and signing my name. I still sign notes that way, whether I'm writing to my boyfriend or my workout buddy.

Do I always interpret it as a bold declaration of emotion? No.

I'm not sure if too-casual use of "love" extends to relationships.

That's more of a couple-specific question. Some view it as a milestone, some say it multiple times a day and some insist on playing that annoying "No, I love you more" phone game.

Either way, I'll continue to apply the word "love" to my relationship with cheesy reality TV. And yes, maybe I might marry it.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Is this a rut?

This week's nightlife column is about one of dating's most dreaded labels: the relationship rut.

It's funny how something that began as a comfy tradition can quickly transform into evidence of romantic monotony.

It happens often: One partner interprets Saturday movie night as a cool weekend ritual, while the other person thinks it's a sign you're destined to become "the boring couple."

But in many cases, the only thing worse than a rut is other people's advice for getting out of a rut.

I always laugh at the women's magazines that advise couples to escape rut world with something like cooking a nine-course meal together or redecorating your home in a 60-minute period.

Seriously. Who does that?

Desperately scrambling to vary your routine often yields an unexpected lesson: realizing that your rut wasn't really a rut after all.

What's going on tonight?

Start the long weekend early by hitting the local party scene. Need plans? Try these Thursday party options:

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

Shanty Shack: Surgestone, 8 p.m. free. 706-507-3418.

Mix Ultra Lounge: DJ Roonie G, 9 p.m. free. 706-221-2112.

SoHo Bar & Grill: Bibb City Ramblers, 10 p.m. free. 706-568-3316.