Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sex parties

I need to assure my boss that this post will not lead to a closed-door meeting. Done.

But the title threw you, didn't it?

The term "sex parties" describes an apparent new trend of parents throwing a party to reveal a baby's sex.

Some people get an ultrasound, have the doctor write the baby's sex inside a sealed envelope and take the envelope to a baker. The baker makes a cake with pink or blue icing inside.

You cut the cake in front of family and friends, learn the sex of your baby...and maybe receive a few Target gift cards in the process.

When I first read about the rising trend, I got bitter.

It seems like people in my generation need to mark every life milestone with at least three parties.

Birthdays have become "birthday weeks." We celebrate an upcoming wedding with an engagement party, a bachelorette party and a bridal shower.

Babies come with a "wow, we're pregnant" party, a few showers and now, apparently, a sex party.

Naturally, I'm apprehensive because the people who savor these multiple parties are generally the same ones who enjoy reminding me that I'm unmarried and childless.

Also, I have concerns about how many private moments have entered the public sphere.

But then my inner optimist kicks in.

Even if we've gone overboard on celebrations, the days we dread still seem to outnumber the ones we savor.

So really, what's the harm in having another party?

Advice from a Cartoon Princess

Belle from "Beauty and the Beast" dishes out relationship advice in this satirical video.

Among the highlights? "The key to love is to tolerate everything."

(via Broadsheet)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Divorce porn

You're not happy in your relationship, but you don't want to break up.

The cure? Watch "Eat Pray Love" or buy a tabloid detailing the newest updates on Tiger Woods' split.

Welcome to the world of divorce porn.

A recent NY Times article details the phenomenon. It suggests that the divorce rate is plummeting, but a public fascination with divorce is on the rise.

The conclusion? We're indulging in other people's divorce stories to satiate our own urge to split. An excerpt:

“It’s entirely possible that people can look at all those stories and in some emotional way let off steam,” said Mr. Hackett of People. “One of the premises of ‘Mad Men’ is that the behavior on the show is something of a safety valve. We live through these folks so we don’t have to live that way ourselves.”

The idea's interesting, but I think it only goes so far. If you're having petty disagreements, the relationship challenges portrayed on a show like "Mad Men" could temporarily curb your frustrations.

But once you reach a certain level of relationship dissatisfaction, pop culture's divorces will likely fuel your fire rather than extinguish it.


Monday power anthem

I'm taking it '80s today. It's just one of those Mondays. Stage a private dance party, compose yourself and seize the day!

Friday, August 27, 2010

What's going on this weekend?

Don't forget about Country's Midnight Express, the annual midnight 5K that annually attracts thousands of people. It's on Saturday and the pre-race entertainment starts around 7 p.m. at Country's, 3137 Mercury Drive. You can register at the event for $25.

BREAKING NEWS! If you need some pre-race fuel, I just learned Never Ending Pasta Bowl has returned to Olive Garden. Woot woot.

Here are some other nightlife options:


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

Eighty-Five: How I Became the Bomb, Falcon Lords, 10 p.m. $5. 706-324-1500.

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

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: Lions of Zion, 9 p.m. $5.

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

Players: Karaoke by BudAbby’s, 9 p.m. free. 706-653-0106. (18 and older)

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


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

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

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

Flip Flops: DJ A.I., 9 p.m. $5.

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

Warm Springs Sports Pub: Wicked Dixie, 9:30 p.m. $5. 706-570-4936.

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

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

Players: Players Club Bowling, 8-11 p.m. $3 per game, no cover. 706-653-0106. (18 and older)

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

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Ledger Lounge!

This week's installment covers the Emmy Awards, Country's Midnight Express and the Little League World Series.

Still need a reason to watch? We feature some damn cute puppies.

Happy birthday, Macaulay Culkin!

Macaulay Culkin turns 30 today. Does that make you feel old?

The video posted above is a pretty sweet three-minute version of "Home Alone," all set to a Sum 41 song. You're welcome.

What's going on tonight?

Hey party people! Try these Thursday night options:

Players: Girls’ Night Out with free pool on hourly tables, 6:30 p.m. until close. Free. 706-653-0106. (18 and older)

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

The Roadhouse: College night featuring Stereomonster, $1.50 PBR/Natty Light and $5 well drinks. 9 p.m. Free.

Shanty Shack: Thirsty Thursday with $2 16 oz. Bud Light cans after 8 p.m., happy hour specials and poker at 7 p.m. Free.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Furry Vengeance

It's time to take your stuffed animal obsession out of the closet.

Jezebel directs us to a new survey suggesting more than a third of adults travel with a stuffed animal.

I've never been a huge stuffed animal fan, but during my many years of competitive speaking I experienced the strange phenomenon of young adults intent on carrying toy bears for success.

They often became state champions, I didn't. Guess we know who got the last laugh.

Anyway, the most interesting part of the aforementioned Jezebel post is the writer's conclusion about the gender stigmas surrounding stuffed animal fandom:

I have to admit to a certain double standard here — while I find male teddy-bear-cuddling kind of charming, and indicative of a rebellion against the strictures of traditional masculinity, I'm a little bit icked out by female stuffed animal love. To cuddle a plush toy well into womanhood is, in a way, to play into the infantilization of women in American culture.

I think that when it comes to adulthood, male and female stuffed animal cuddlers are equally creepy.

Where do you stand?

Need Wednesday plans?

T.G.I. Friday’s hosts its annual bartending competition tonight, the local installment of the T.G.I. Friday’s World Bartender Championship.

The competition is 6:30 p.m. at T.G.I. Friday’s, 3116 Adams Farm Drive. It's free to watch, and donations for Make-A-Wish Foundation are accepted.

Call 706-321-0963 for details. The event is open to guests 18 and older.

Competitors are tested on topics like uniforms and food knowledge prior to the main event. You’ll see a variety of bartending tricks. Bottles will spin in the air and — if all goes as planned — smoothly land in a bartender’s hand.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pregnant women drinking

Here's an interesting debate over whether bars should refuse to sell alcohol to pregnant women.

The scenario has happened in real life -- well, at least once -- and it's attracted strong opinions on both sides.

There's the argument that in a society driven by the blame game, bars and restaurants should be overly cautious in covering their backs. Serve alcohol to a pregnant woman and she might slap you with a lawsuit if her baby is born with a birth defect.

On the other side of the debate, there's an equally compelling case for keeping women's bodies outside the realm of community property.

I've occasionally seen pregnant women drinking locally. Is it a little strange? Yes. Would I ever confront them? No.

Then again, things would probably be different if I had to serve them or purchase alcohol for them.

Where do you stand?

(via Lemondrop)

One-night stands rock

Don't worry, Mom: This post's headline is solely designed to hook readers' attention so I can detail the results of a recent study, which you might not enjoy.

Despite cautionary tales against "hooking up," recent sociological research from the University of Iowa suggests otherwise. An excerpt:

The study suggests that rewarding relationships are possible for those who delay sex. But it's also possible for true love to emerge if things start off with a more 'Sex and the City' approach, when people spot each other across the room, become sexually involved and then build a relationship.

I found the item on Salon's Broadsheet and I was interested to read the online comments.

When I last checked, the majority of readers seemed to favor the study, meeting it with a "no duh" approach.

To some extent, I think the phrase "hooking up" has gained an unnecessarily harsh stigma in recent years.

But at the same time, the outlook mentioned in the aforementioned study often relies on both people being on the same page at the hookup's onset. And I think that's rarely the case.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Hurricane Katrina divorces

The Daily Beast has an interesting article about how New Orleans' divorce rate spiked after Hurricane Katrina. An excerpt:

Call it one of the lesser-discussed effects of Katrina: Having already lost homes and the lives they knew, some people found themselves using the storm as an opportunity to wipe the slate clean, ending marriages and walking out on relationships they felt no longer worked.

The writer contends many people used the tragedy not to strengthen their existing relationships, but rather to reinvent themselves through new romantic ties.

The behavior isn't confined to events as massive as Katrina.

Common sense says you and your partner should become closer in tragedy's aftermath.

Something like a family member's death should remind you how short life is, leading you to disregard petty conflicts and tackle life with a new perspective.

At least that's what's supposed to happen.

But in reminding you of life's shortness, tragedy can also fuel a resurgence of independence -- making you more likely to abandon a partner in the name of living life to its fullest.


(via Double X)

Monday power mix

You're welcome. Now get back to work and seize the day!

Friday, August 20, 2010

What's going on this weekend?

Hey party people! A few quick highlights: the Original Soul Proprietors perform a free concert on the 1000 block of Broadway Friday night. It's 7:30-10:30 p.m. Details here.

Check out Saturday's Beer With Bob Saget Party at Flip Flops, 1111 Broadway. Two local guys want to have a beer with Saget. They hope this party will help them achieve their goal. Action starts at 9 p.m. and cover is $5, free if you wear a T-shirt honoring Saget.

Here are some other nightlife highlights:


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

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

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

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

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

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

SoHo Bar & Grill: The Great Affairs, Slave to the Day, 10 p.m. $5. 706-568-3316.

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

Players: Karaoke by BudAbby’s, 9 p.m. free. 706-653-0106. (18 and older)

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


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

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

Sky Nightclub: SamRoc & GRD, 9 p.m. $5. The party celebrates multiple birthdays.

Spicoli’s: Mindblender, 10 p.m. $5 cover starts at 9 p.m. 706-221-5252.

SoHo Bar & Grill: Stephen’s Birthday Toga Party with The M&M Band, 10 p.m. $5.
706-568-3316. Contests and prizes all night.

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

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

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

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

Players: Players Club Bowling, 8-11 p.m. $3 per game, no cover. 706-653-0106. (18 and older)

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

Speed plating

That's not a typo. Time magazine introduces us to the newest variation of speed dating: speed plating.

You pay $100 and enjoy each part of a four-course meal with a new potential match. The concept recently premiered in New York and is slated to expand to a variety of cities, including Atlanta.

Will it catch on?

The author of the aforementioned article notes most of the attendees at the concept's debut were journalists covering the event. Haha.

But I can see how speed plating might have a hard time becoming the next big thing.

It's a little risky to attach a $100 price tag to something that may or may not result in favorable memories.

Sure, there's gourmet food involved, and I respect that. However, I'd rather pay $100 for a fancy meal and eat alone than pay $100 and have to entertain a rotating set of bad dates.

What do you think?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Ledger Lounge!

This week's episode features Little League news, an exotic bird and an emotional farewell to business reporter Andrea Hernandez. Enjoy!

What's going on tonight?

Hey party people! Start the weekend early with these Thursday night party options:

The Roadhouse: College Night featuring The Unsung, Man Made Sea, and $1.50 PBR/Natty Light. 9 p.m. free.

Players: Girls’ Night Out with free pool on hourly tables, 6:30 p.m. until close. Free. 706-653-0106. (18 and older)

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

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

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Goodbye, Andrea!

I'm losing one of my favorite nightlife partners in crime.

Ledger-Enquirer business reporter Andrea Hernandez leaves town this week to pursue a graduate degree in speech pathology.

Andrea and I came to Columbus around the same time four years ago. While I embraced Bud Lights and choruses of "Sweet Home Alabama," Andrea's initial reaction was, well, a little different.

I remember a Saturday night trip down Broadway when Andrea came up with a reason not to enter basically every bar downtown.

Things changed as Andrea's time in Columbus progressed. She ultimately became one of my favorite examples of a willingness to adapt -- and still criticize poor fashion decisions, of course.

While I urged Andrea to accept Columbus' jukeboxes, she occasionally lured me to the ATL.

We had two major nightlife excursions there, both of which happened on her birthday. The trips spanned a late-night coat check debacle, an aborted girl fight on the dance floor and debit card fraud at 4 a.m.

I don't regret one second of it.

Working in a field often dominated by career changes, I've learned how to say goodbye without getting too contemplative. I've mastered the art of exchanging long-distance contact information.

I know that the time we get to spend with our closest friends is usually too short.

But that doesn't stop me from always wishing it could last a little longer.

(The soundtrack to this post is Beyonce's "Get Me Bodied," a song Andrea diligently requested at Columbus clubs...sometimes her request was honored, sometimes it wasn't.)

Want to score?

The Wall Street Journal details an apparent trend of meeting dates through coed sports leagues, rather than more conventional outlets like matchmaking websites.

A few thoughts crossed my mind while reading the article.

One, I totally wrote almost the same story a year ago.

Two, if this trend is true, will it lead to a deluge of women intent on wearing eyeliner while getting sweaty?

I can't help wondering if trend pieces like the WSJ article will inadvertently add a level of pressure to a social activity that's been praised for its lack of pressure.

If we continue to correlate these sport leagues with dating, will they become overt meet markets and ironically lose their meet market appeal?

Just some food for thought.

Columbus has a good share of adult sports leagues. Click here for kickball info and here for soccer info.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Promiscuous girls

I couldn't resist clicking on the results of this survey, where guys weighed in on the most promiscuous-looking piece of female attire.

The most dominant answer: a "bodycon dress."


Let's hope the survey was multiple choice, because I highly doubt the average male knows how to define a "bodycon dress." Heck, I don't even know how to define it.

Anyway, it's apparently a curve-hugging getup.

Also in the top five "hoochiest" outfits: crop tops, corsets, lace and underwear as outerwear.

Any additions?

You had me at ramen

Remember when a night's success depended on whether you ended up eating instant ramen noodles at 3 in the morning?

Ah, college.

I always assumed that after graduation, I'd immediately enter the world of gourmet dinners. That belief came true, since I lived with my parents for two years post-graduation.

Then, I got my own place and immediately reverted to college eating habits.

You know the symptoms.

Frozen burritos. A dirty microwave. Perhaps a frighteningly large supply of Easy Mac.

I don't exactly enjoy how this lifestyle tastes. But financially, it's still the most convenient road for me.

Fortunately, Lifehacker has a comprehensive guide for mastering the art of low-effort cooking. You'll learn how to make (kind of) gourmet offerings using devices like a rice cooker and Foreman Grill.

And if those suggestions don't work, there's always instant ramen.

(If you've exited the realm of ramen, check out Dawn's blog for party-planning tips and more.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Half marathon update

I'll never again make fun of people who talk to themselves on the Riverwalk. Because on Saturday, I joined that elite club.

It's time for an update on my half marathon training, folks.

That's right: The goal is still intact. Perhaps my lack of updates made you think I'd abandoned my mission.

What?!? A blogger promises regular updates on a topic and then inexplicably abandons it completely? What a foreign concept.

For about the past month, I've met with a local running group at 6 a.m. Saturdays at the National Infantry Museum. Join us if you'd like.

I did 5 miles the first week, and increased my distance by a mile every Saturday. I've paired those challenge runs with 30-minute runs throughout the week.

This past Saturday was the most challenged I've been so far. I did 9 miles.

I say "did" instead of "ran" because I succumbed to walking's lure briefly toward the end, thanks largely to the extreme humidity.

Anyway, the local marathon and half marathon isn't until November, so I guess I'm on track.

Right now I'm most concerned about hydration during the race. I never carry a water bottle during shorter races, but my most recent run was a wakeup call that I need to have some sort of fluid with me during the half marathon.

Problem is, I hate holding a water bottle and I worry about the extra weight of belts that carry water bottles. Suggestions?

That aside, my half marathon training has already offered the focus and discipline I desired.

I work in an industry where it seems traditional job responsibilities change monthly. My lifestyle is still nomadic enough to produce too-short friendships and too-short family visits.

That's why, amid the aches and pains, the certainty of "nine miles this week, 10 miles next Saturday" is actually kind of nice.

Even when you end up chanting lines of encouragement to yourself -- out loud -- before 8 a.m.

Say this, not that

Hey everyone! Hope you had a great weekend. Let's start the week by discussing a topic that covers everything from celestial musings to the wonderful world of Bedrock.

That's right, I'm talking about pickup lines.

Here, Glamour offers what many guys apparently consider the best pickup line EVER.

"You have beautiful eyes."

Yes, you read that correctly. The aforementioned blog post suggests many guys think it's fail-safe.

I think the line sounds a little cliche and sleazy. But then again, I'm more of a "if you were a booger, I'd pick you first" kind of girl.

Where do you stand?

Friday, August 13, 2010

What's going on this weekend?

Hey party people! Don't forget about Sunday's bridal expo. Get details here.

Want to hit the town? Try these nightlife suggestions:


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

Spicoli’s: SamRoc & GRD, 10 p.m. $5. 706-221-5252.

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

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

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

Players: Karaoke by BudAbby’s, 9 p.m. free. 706-653-0106. (18 and older)

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

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

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


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

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

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

Eighty-Five: Manray, Mind Powers, Cloudeaters, 10 p.m. $5. 706-324-1500.

The Loft: The Junior League with the Muff Tones and the Bibb City Ramblers, 9 p.m. $5. 706-596-8141.

Players: Players Club Bowling, 8-11 p.m. $3 per game, no cover. 706-653-0106. (18 and older)

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

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

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

On your weekend lineup...

These guys, SamRoc & GRD, perform a Friday show at Spicoli's. Action starts at 9 p.m. and cover is $5. The bar is at 5762 Milgen Road.

I'll post your full weekend lineup soon.

Getting lucky on Friday the 13th

Katie's update about Friday the 13th superstitions got me thinking about the role luck plays in the dating process.

When it comes to meeting a significant other, there's the standard debate:

Do you simply live life, or aggressively pursue a variety of matchmaking avenues?

We've all seen the woman swoons while eying her significant other and says, "I'm so lucky!"

In the end, it's often more pleasant to believe you landed in your relationship solely because of forces outside your control.

That way, you don't have to assign a specific explanation to your romantic failings. You can simply offer this line:

"I'm unlucky in love."

And strangely, that's often enough to make things better. Until your luck really runs out.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

New Ledger Lounge!

This week's episode focuses on white Southern rappers, The Fresh Market and an upcoming bridal expo. Enjoy!

What's going on tonight?

Hey party people! If you need Thursday plans, try one of these highlights:

College night at The Roadhouse: The bar hosts performances by Stereomonster and Thetwentyfifth Hour. Action starts at 9 p.m. You can also expect $1.50 PBR and Natty Light. It's at 1047 Broadway. Open to guests 21 and older.

Girls' Night Out at Players: Expect free pool on the venue's hourly tables, as well as special drinks and a chance to win door prizes. The deal is available 6:30 p.m. until close. Players is at 1500 54th Street. Open to guests 18 and older.

The Fine Grain at SoHo: The bar hosts a performance by the Nashville-based indie rockers from The Fine Grain. Action starts at 10 p.m. No cover. SoHo Bar & Grill is at 5751 Milgen Road. Open to guests 21 and older.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Will I ever get married?

Sorry, this post doesn't mark the beginning of a self-discovery journey.

Instead, I'm simply directing you to The Daily Beast, where you'll find lifestyle statistics indicating your likelihood of getting married.

Here's some good news:

If you're a Caucasian male who has been incarcerated, there's a 95.1 percent chance that you'll get married by age 40.


Unfortunately, there's some bad news for my colleague Andrea, who will soon relocate to D.C.

If you live in Nebraska, you're 30 percent more likely to get married than if you live in Washington, D.C.

Have you reconsidered your move yet, Andrea? Please?

Holiday impotence

Calm down, this post won't direct you to anything that belongs in your spam folder.

(Although you might be interested to learn Jimmy Johnson, an ExtenZe spokesman and former football coach, will appear on the upcoming season of "Survivor." More details here.)

Anyway, a Boston Globe advice columnist uses the phrase "holiday impotence" while responding to a woman complaining that her boyfriend of about seven months did nothing for her birthday.

Guys might not understand, but this is a SERIOUS issue for women.

In a way, it's kind of an unfair approach, since a lot of us expect the royal treatment regardless of the relationship's seriousness.

That's why the aforementioned inquiry ends with the woman asking if her boyfriend's birthday negligence is a deal-breaker.

In her response, the advice columnist notes that some people suffer from holiday impotence. She explains:

When given a challenge (as in, "It’s my birthday -- surprise me!," or "Plan a romantic vacation for us!,") these people think so hard about what they're supposed to do that they wind up doing nothing. They just can't deal. It sounds like your guy has that problem.

Well said.

So don't be too hard on your significant other if he/she can't rise to the occasion on what you consider a special day.

Better yet, be specific about what you want -- remember, not everyone considers a birthday cake standard celebration protocol.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Daily proposal discussion

How do you feel about accepting an intimate wedding proposal -- and then learning your family and friends had been secretly watching the entire ordeal?

They weren't hiding in some nearby bushes.

They were watching the proposal while it streamed live online.

Seriously, it's happened -- well, at least once. Jezebel tells about a guy who live-streamed his proposal online.

Online commenters are divided on the idea's appeal. Some people think it's sweet to secretly incorporate your significant other's friends and family in such a monumental event.

Then, there's the argument that the approach brings something usually private into the public sphere -- and is more evidence that today's 20- and 30-somethings assume everybody wants to be intimately involved in their personal developments.

Would I watch a friend's proposal while it streamed live online? Sure.

Would I watch a stranger's proposal while it streamed live online? Probably.

I'm voyeuristic like that.

Nonetheless, relating a proposal's details countless times seems like one of the best parts of being engaged.

Let's hope the Internet's rise doesn't entirely diminish our obsession with a good story.

(Get more wedding-related news on Katie's Crinoline and Lace blog.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Best kissing destinations

Don't be surprised if you're bitten by the travel bug after watching this slide show of the best places to kiss in America.

Surprisingly, Phenix City, Ala., didn't make the cut.

It took a back seat to destinations like Alaska, Hawaii and Las Vegas.

Do you have a fantasy smooching destination? The concept will probably enter lots of blogs as "Eat, Pray, Love" mania increases.

My fantasy kiss has always been Times Square on New Year's Eve.

Of course, given my luck, some drunk partier would probably bump into me mid-kiss, initiating an injury cycle that would likely result in me ending up in the hospital or being yelled at by a bunch of strangers.

Oh well. A girl can dream, right?

Brody Jenner's scarlet "A"

Hope everybody had a great weekend. Let's kick the week off with everybody's favorite topic: body mutilation in the name of love.

Pleasant, huh?

The idea crossed my mind after reading an article about how Brody Jenner shaved an "A" into his head. No, it's not for adultery. It's the first initial of girlfriend Avril Lavigne's name.

Mind you, the news surfaced around the same time we saw Brody's ex, Jayde Nicole, altering her tattoo that contained Brody's initials. The tattoo was located inside her lip.

I see absolutely nothing romantic about a boyfriend permanently writing my initials anywhere on his body.

If anything, the action would freak me out, immediately moving things from the realm of "you're cool" to "super serious."

But I guess some girls are into that sort of thing.

Weigh in: Would you be flattered if your significant other shaved your initials into his/her head? How about if he/she got a tattoo containing your initials?

Friday, August 6, 2010

What's going on this weekend?

Two quick highlights: Don't forget about Saturday's Last Blast Beach Party at the Phenix City Amphitheater, where you'll hear songs made famous by The Tams and The Drifters. Gates open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10, free for guests 12 and younger. More details here.

Also, there's a First Friday Block Party in downtown Columbus. One $10 cover gets you into the majority of Broadway hot spots.

Here are some other options:


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

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

Daileys: The Findley Brothers, 10 p.m. block party cover. 706-320-3353.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Daileys: The Findley Brothers, 10 p.m. $5. 706-320-3353.

The Loft: Evan Barber and the Dead Gamblers, 9:30 p.m. $5. 706-596-8141.

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

Friending an ex

Ah, yes...one of the greatest debates in modern history.

Don't worry: I won't bore you with another vague analysis of the pros and cons of befriending a former fling on Facebook.

But I will direct you to an interesting Jezebel piece, where one writer befriended an ex and lived to tell about it. In fact, she suggests the decision actually enhanced her life.

I'm still ambivalent about digital friendships with my exes.

Once the friend requests were approved, we'd likely exchange a few basic pleasantries and then enter the realm of impersonal holiday greetings.

But I freak out whenever I find out my boyfriend has had even the most impersonal online contact with an ex. As in, like, full on crazy mode.

So it seems a little hypocritical for me to go around befriending exes like it's no big deal.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Ledger Lounge!

Check out our newest Ledger Lounge video, where you'll learn about everything from reality TV to etiquette for posting baby photos on Facebook.

We post these videos every Thursday. E-mail ssorich@ledger-enquirer.com if you have a topic suggestion or you're interested in being a guest star.

What's going on tonight?

Hey party people! The week's almost over. FINALLY, right?

Take a deep breath, savor some air conditioning and check out these Thursday night party highlights:

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

Flip Flops: T3IO, 9 p.m. free.

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

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

QueerCarrie Project

This "Sex and the City" video remix comes courtesy of the QueerCarrie Project, an experiment that transforms SATC "into a queer-positive story."

It's not just a cool viral video. The project's creator maintains QueerCarrie is a political effort. She writes:

As the four women grapple with societal expectations with four extremely different outlooks, none begin to question the primacy of their dissatisfying relationships, the myth of male superiority or the institutions of marriage and the family that they so desperately wish to take part in.

Confused? Just sit back and enjoy the video. It's fun.

(via Broadsheet)

We're separated

The NY Times profiles couples who separate for extended periods of time, rather than divorcing.

It's commonly due to financial reasons. Plus, many couples simply don't want to deal with the legal process that surrounds divorce.

I understand the point of view, especially given today's economy.

However, it seems like separation can become a way of having many of marriage's conveniences without any of its drawbacks.

The aforementioned article cites couples who sign holiday cards together and share finances...they just don't live together or have an emotional relationship.

In addition, separation might be a setup where one partner sustains a false hope in resuscitating the relationship.

The legal process can be draining and tedious -- but it also often brings a much-needed sense of finality to your romance's demise.

But what do I know? I'm not married.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tracks of my tears

Jezebel poses an interesting question: How do you deal with a stranger crying in public?

The writer's succinct conclusion:

As long as you don't pry to try to work the situation to your advantage, you're not a Creepy McCreeperson.

Visit the nightlife scene long enough and you'll inevitably encounter a stranger crying in a bar bathroom. This is always an awkward scenario, especially if he/she is blocking the sink.

I always try to at least briefly acknowledge the tears. I generally succumb to a simple, "Are you OK?"

Yes, I know it's trite and obviously the woman is not OK because she's crying. Whatever. Formalities, people!

Generally, your conversation will end with that exchange.

Occasionally the person will unload a bunch of emotional baggage on you, but you're more likely to get a dishonest "yeah, I'm fine."

Weigh in: How do you handle tearful strangers?

When "I love you" doesn't count

I watched bits and pieces of Monday's "Bachelorette" finale -- enough to make me reflect on the complexities of life and love. Not bad for a cheesy reality TV show.

Anyway, I'm always baffled when reality shows equate "I've fallen in love with you" with "I love you."

A typical conversation often follows this pattern:

Person A: "I've completely fallen in love with you."

Person B: "I was so happy when Person A told me he loved me."

Are those two expressions really synonyms? I don't know.

It seems like "I've fallen in love with you" lacks some of the emotional depth and vulnerability that comes with saying "I love you."

Falling in love with someone signals more infatuation, while actually loving someone seems to mark a deeper relationship.

I remember on "Gossip Girl" when Chuck finally told Blair he loved her -- not by actually saying he loved her, but saying, "I love you, too." Many people thought his line wasn't as real as "I love you."

Of course, the most important thing is to find someone whose variety of "I love you" puts butterflies in your stomach.

It's a little safer than the Brendon/Rachel route from "Big Brother 12" -- saying "I love you" less than 30 days into a reality TV competition that involves slop.

I won't lie: I was disgusted and jealous at the same time.

Monday, August 2, 2010

He said, she said

CouplesSpark is one of the newest conflict resolution websites attracting attention.

The setup isn't too complicated: You submit your relationship problem, receive online feedback from people you've never met and skip into the sunset holding hands.

Or, you might just end up more confused than ever.

It's not the first time I've written about a tendency to put your relationship's future in the hands of a nameless, faceless jury.

Sometimes, their impartiality is refreshing. Other time, it's confusing.

The bottom line: Occasional bits of outside wisdom are OK. But if you really want your relationship to thrive, you have to know how to find the roots of conflict on your own.

You know, without insights from LoveExpert2742.


Can't buy me love?

We're not only talking about love. Maybe money can buy you class, too.

Time magazine describes the rising popularity of high-end matchmaking services, a slightly strange trend given our shaky economy.

What keeps high-end matchmakers in business? Naturally, a big part of it is rich clients -- busy executives who don't have time to find love on their own.

Another factor is the frustration that comes with being set up on a series of unsuccessful dates based on friends' recommendations.

It gets to a point where investing in an expensive professional matchmaker seems worthwhile, given a higher possibility for success.

It's kind of like cutting your own hair. Sure, you could go the DIY route, but you'll likely end up frustrated. So why not save some money and pay a professional for something that will last longer and make you happy?

So here's my question: How much would you pay a professional matchmaker to set you up on a date, assuming he/she had a nearly perfect -- say 90 percent -- success rate?