Thursday, April 5, 2012

I moved!

You can now find me here. Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday power anthem

This song is dedicated to anyone who's still riding high on the excitement of last weekend's Lady Antebellum concert.

If the Columbus Civic Center concert didn't sell out, it apparently was pretty close to being full, according to many of my friends who attended the show.

The news recently ignited a rather spirited discussion in one of our meetings, and I'd like your input.

Is there a non-country act that could deliver a sold-out show at the Columbus Civic Center? Of course, acts like Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga come to mind.

Now, is there a non-country act that the Civic Center could realistically book...and expect a sold-out show in return?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Breakfast in bed

Maybe you heard about the 289 people who recently tried to break a Guinness World Record for the World's Biggest Breakfast in Bed.

In the dating world, breakfast in bed is often associated with more intimate settings.

For many women, it's the ultimate fantasy...assuming all items are cooked according to proper health standards.

In reality, breakfast in bed is often less appealing. Make no mistake: It's an incredibly romantic gesture. But there are crumbs involved. And a tremendous potential for spilled coffee. And the insecurity of morning body odor.

Those concerns aside, I wouldn't mind if someone woke me up with fresh coffee and a donut tomorrow morning. Hint, hint.

If you're a fan of breakfast in bed, check out this collection of recipes courtesy of the LA Times. The article was written for Mother's Day, but I think the ideas have year-round appeal.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

And now, a dance break

I know the Monday power anthem is still days away, but let's take a quick dance break. This YouTube video was apparently posted four years ago. I discovered it last night. Guess I'm not that hip after all.

Anyway, I love this song!

Plus, it gives me a chance to say that if you're attending Friday’s Latin dance night at VFW Post 665 in Columbus, some information has changed since our last article. Cover is now $5 for men, $2.50 for women and the 21-and-older event goes until 1 a.m. Dance lessons are 8-9 p.m., main activities start at 9 p.m. VFW Post 665 is at 1824 Victory Drive. 706-687-6656.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cheating. Explained.

I was always sort of oblivious to the weather...until I lived in Wisconsin for four years. That's when I really understood the sky's ability to impact human behavior.

Sure, one cloudy day might not make a difference. But waking up to cloudy skies over...and over...and over...can weigh on your mood.

That's why I wasn't too shocked upon finding this headline: "Changes in weather add to birds’ marital woes."

Of course, the logic is a little more complicated than "it's cold, I'm depressed and I'm tired of this relationship."

Long story short: Research suggests that in birds, infidelity is more common in severe weather. Why? "Because birds seek different traits in their mates as conditions change." We're talking about food-gathering skills, not kissing talents.

Our reasoning might be different, but I can see weather impacting infidelity in humans, too. Based on pure speculation, I'd say we're more likely to cheat in spring and summer, when the warm weather brings us out of social hibernation and back into the party scene.

Also, those months are devoid of couples-focused holidays like Christmas, New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day.

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Too much Sex and the City?

The CW has selected an actress to play a young Carrie Bradshaw on a show that will focus on the "Sex and the City" character's high school years.

The actress: AnnaSophia Robb.

Haven't heard of her? That's OK. Maybe the "Sex and the City" prequel won't appeal to die-hard "Sex and the City" fans. It might even weaken their obsession.

I know, I know. Apparently, you can never have too much of a good thing. But I'm not sure if that mentality should apply to "Sex and the City."

The first "Sex and the City" film was surprisingly good. The second was pretty "meh," though things could have been worse. But I thought we agreed that with the second film, we'd end our attempts to breathe new life into the series.

Then again, I know 20- and 30-somethings who are still absolutely psyched about anything related to the show -- new and old.

I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum. "Sex and the City" had its glory days, but now it's time to move on.

That said, I'll probably watch at least one episode of the prequel.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday power anthem

Today's power anthem is an extension of the Oscars. If you missed Sunday's ceremony, read my recap here.

Have a great week!

Friday, February 24, 2012

More than friends

Remember your earliest romantic relationships?

It's hard to forget the thrill of "going out" without, well, never actually going anywhere. Not to mention "breaking up" without a long, involved conversation.

What's your earliest memory of romantically pursuing someone of the opposite gender?

One study suggests friendships become romantic at an average age of 10. Does that surprise you?

I think it sounds right. My first serious "crush" happened in fourth grade, the same time I watched people pass notes devoted to the complexities of "going out." By fifth grade, I was witnessing full-fledged love triangles.

Do you have similar memories?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sweet dreams?

A recent episode of "Khloe & Lamar" gave me inspiration for a blog post. Judge me accordingly.

Anyway, the couple got into a huge (possibly scripted) fight because Lamar's insomnia was interfering with Khloe's sleep schedule.

Scripted or not, the conflict isn't confined to reality TV stars.

It's hard to find a romantic partner whose sleep schedule matches yours. Even if you're not sleeping in the same bed, you must contend with logistical issues like how to spend time together if you require drastically different bedtimes.

Exhibit A: My boyfriend recently got a new schedule that requires him to start work at 5 a.m. He goes to bed around 9 p.m. I usually end work at 7 p.m., which doesn't leave us much time to bond. But we make it work. Usually.

Are conflicting sleep schedules ruining your relationship?

If it's any consolation, some research suggests an eight-hour sleep may be unnatural. So staying up a little past your bedtime for a spontaneous date night might not be that bad after all.

Are you listening, honey?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What's wrong with settling?

You can probably respond to this post's headline quickly. In relationships, the term "settling" often generates all sorts of negative images. Maybe it's among many daters' worst fears.

Nonetheless, I found these study results detailed in a recent Daily Beast article:

A whopping 31 percent of adult men said they’d commit to a person they were not in love with — as long as as she had all the other attributes they were looking for in a mate — and 21 percent said they'd commit under those same circumstances to somebody they weren't sexually attracted to. The equivalent numbers for women were far lower.

But women have discussed settling, too. The Daily Beast piece points to Lori Gottlieb’s "Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough" as an example.

We need to think about the difference between settling and accepting the fact that no relationship will be perfect.

If we commit to a relationship that's fulfilling and enjoyable, yet hardly a storybook romance, is that settling? I don't know.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras in Columbus

Happy Mardi Gras! Still need plans for tonight? I can help.

If you’re looking for Columbus dining options, try these ideas:

Big Easy Wings, 3709 Gentian Blvd., hosts a Mardi Gras party that will include New Orleans music, trinkets and beads. The restaurant will give away a Mardi Gras coleslaw and beignet with every wing order. Specials include a deal with 20-piece wings, large Cajun fries and two drinks for $15.99. Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Cafe Le Rue, 2523 Airport Thruway, offers its standard Cajun menu plus king cake and entertainment. Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Downstairs at the Loft, 1032 Broadway, opens at 5 p.m. and will have live music, Cajun food specials and drink specials.

Henry’s, 5126 Hamilton Road, will offer authentic Louisiana cuisine. Expect hand grenades, hurricanes, beignets and more. Hours: 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

Uptown Wings, 1250 Broadway, offers specials like gumbo, a shrimp po’ boy and red beans and rice. There’s a $15 all-you-can-eat special. Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Here are some options on the Columbus bar scene:

Flip Flops, 1111 Broadway, will have a masquerade ball with drink specials, DJ music and a costume/mask contest. Expect hurricane daiquiris and king cake shots. Action starts at 6 p.m., no cover.

Mix Ultra Lounge, 1107 Broadway, hosts a party with three DJs and free beads while they last. Prizes to the women with the most beads through the night. Doors open at 8 p.m., no cover before 9 p.m. Cover is $5 before 11 p.m., $10 after 11 p.m.

The Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road, celebrates with a martini party and Bud Light Platinum Party. Expect beads, giveaways and DJ music. No cover, action starts at 4 p.m.

SoHo Bar & Grill, 5751 Milgen Road, offers hurricanes, complimentary gumbo, party favors and a Party Bra contest. No cover, open mike hosted by Tripp Wrigley. Doors open at 2 p.m., party starts at 8 p.m.

Spicoli’s, 5762 Milgen Road, will have beads, drink specials and live music beginning at 7 p.m. No cover.

The Sports Page, 5736 Veterans Parkway, will have a masquerade contest and 21-and-older karaoke party that starts at 7 p.m. No cover.

The Vault, 1026 Broadway, opens at 8 p.m. and will offer drink specials including hurricanes. No cover.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday power anthem

Happy birthday, Rihanna! Have a great week, everybody!

Friday, February 17, 2012

PETA and dating

Do you think this PETA ad is offensive? Harmless? Somewhere in between? Please share your thoughts.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Speaking of the weekend...

Two noteworthy theme parties for this weekend:

Need Friday night plans? The Bavarian House, 2528 Weems Road in Columbus, hosts a Carnival celebration on Friday with food specials and music by Mike & Pete. Action starts at 7 p.m. and there’s no cover charge. This event is open to guests of all ages. Call 706-257-1775 for more information.

Also, there's a Saturday toga party at Columbus nightclub Illusions, 6499 Veterans Parkway in Columbus. It's free if you wear a toga. Otherwise, cover is $5. Action starts at 9 p.m. Learn more here.

Read my colleague Sara Pauff's blog for more weekend options. She usually posts ideas on Fridays.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dating: Take it to the house

Hope you survived Valentine's Day. If you're in a relationship, maybe the day's emphasis on romance made you think about cohabitation.

If that's the case, you might want to read the results of this love and housing survey, which gave me all sorts of discussion questions.

Like this line: "Only 5 percent of unmarried American adults would choose to date someone who lives with their parents."

Surprised? Do you think the number is accurate?

Then, there's this interesting issue: "Seventy-two percent of men and 54 percent of women say they don't care whether their partner owns or rents their home, the survey found."

When, if ever, should someone's living situation be a dating dealbreaker?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day survival guide

Happy Valentine's Day! are you holding up? Any major breakdowns or office flower delivery drama?

I've never been a Valentine's Day hater, even in my single years. The holiday is often more comfortable when you're in a relationship, but having a significant other hardly guarantees a hassle-free Valentine's Day.

Once you have a partner, you have to deal with outside judgment about where you're going for dinner, what kind of flowers you received and everything in between.

Breathe. We'll get through this. Here are some Valentine's-related links you might enjoy:

Time magazine has an interesting "Valentine's Day by the numbers" roundup. Fun fact: There's an estimated 40 percent increase in requests for divorce lawyers around mid-February each year, according to the article.

Jezebel taught me something cool. Type this equation into Google and see what happens:

sqrt(cos(x))*cos(300x)+sqrt(abs(x))-0.7) *(4-x*x)^0.01, sqrt(6-x^2), -sqrt(6-x^2) from -4.5 to 4.5

My colleague Sara Pauff has a great blog post about online PDA and how Facebook has possibly killed the traditional love letter.

Finally, in a bit of shameless self-promotion, I'll note that I have a new radio gig. I'm a relationship correspondent on "Time Out with Sam Mitchell," which airs 3-5 p.m. Monday through Friday on Fox Sports Radio 1460 AM.

You can hear me around 3:15 p.m. today (special Valentine's segment), as well as 3:15 p.m. Fridays. Listen to the show online here.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday power anthem

No explanation necessary.

(But if you'd like an explanation, you can read my Grammy Awards recap here.)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine's Day wedding proposals

Before I get into my main point, I'll direct you to my roundup of local Valentine's activities, other than dining options. This weekend includes a couples' 5K race (Saturday) and a couples' yoga workshop (Sunday).

Anyway...proposing on Valentine's Day is a total "no," right?

I mean, it seems like one of the least creative proposal options ever. Get engaged on Valentine's Day and the specialness of your love will inevitably be buried by all your friends' romantic fluff.

But not everyone sees things my way.

Roughly 10 percent of annual engagements take place on Valentine's Day, according to this Huffington Post article. It offers tips for guys who are thinking about proposing on Feb. 14.

An excerpt:

Just like pro sports teams charge extra for tickets to a big rivalry game, restaurants and florists will raise prices for Valentine's Day. This may mean more to you if you're on a tight budget or blew all your money on the ring. Consider combatting the costs with incorporating a home-cooked meal.

Hmm...sorry, I still don't see the appeal of a Valentine's Day proposal. Do you feel the same way?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Valentine's Day meals

Don't miss our Ledger-Enquirer dining roundup of local restaurants offering Valentine's Day specials. Some of those specials start this weekend.

Two-thirds of couples will spend more than $100 for a Valentine's dinner, and about 10 percent will spend $200 or more for the occasion, according to information in this Reuters article.

Do those numbers surprise you?

I can't imagine spending more than $200 on Valentine's dinner. Of course, I'd be perfectly happy to have someone else spend $200 on my Valentine's dinner. Just kidding. Really.

BUT...if I were to savor a $200 dinner, I'd rather do it on a random day instead of Feb. 14. There's just so much pressure on Valentine's Day. Something is bound to go wrong, shattering your expectations and making you hate yourself for shelling out $200 on food and drinks.

Do you feel the same way?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cockroaches are sexy

What happens when your relationship moves beyond the roses-and-chocolate phase?

You buy your significant other a cockroach.

The new little friend won't actually reside with your sweetie. It will stay at the Bronx Zoo.

Time magazine describes the Valentine's Day gift option here. Apparently, the Bronx Zoo has 58,000 Madagascar hissing cockroaches on its premises.

For $10, you can name one of those cockroaches after your sweetheart. Added bonus: The gift supports the Wildlife Conservation Society.

If you're reading this from Columbus, don't worry. Anyone can purchase the gift online, regardless of your location.

I think it's pretty cute.

But of course, this type of gift is well-received only when both parties have a similar outlook on Valentine's Day. Warning: Cockroaches and roses are NOT interchangeable.

What do you think about the gift idea?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What went wrong?

I've always been a fan of post-breakup exit interviews.

After the initial rage subsides, a natural curiosity often comes in the aftermath of severed romantic ties.

"What could I have done differently?"

"Why didn't you break up with me earlier?"

"Am I really THAT bad?"

Enter, a website that promises, "We help people to find out why their relationship ended."

I learned about the site from this story and was immediately intrigued. The site lets you solicit feedback from an ex about why your relationship turned sour.

Good idea? Sure! Well, maybe.

It's one thing to ask the aforementioned's another thing to accept an honest response. And in many cases, we know what went wrong. We just don't want to say it out loud.

You can argue the site helps people become more successful daters in the future. But you can also argue the site keeps us stuck in our often unresolvable pasts.

What do you think?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday power anthem

Since I haven't entirely escaped Super Bowl mania, today's power anthem is halftime footage from Sunday's big game. What did you think about Madonna's performance?

Seize the day, strike a pose and express yourself.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Nagging. Discuss.

"Honey, don't leave those dishes in the sink."

It starts as an innocent reminder. You think you're just being helpful. You think there's nothing wrong with your tone. But somehow, when you utter the line for the 10th time, your relationship explodes.

Sound silly? Think again.

This Wall Street Journal column calls nagging a "marriage killer." An excerpt:

Nagging can become a prime contributor to divorce when couples start fighting about the nagging rather than talking about the issue at the root of the nagging, says Howard Markman, professor of psychology at the University of Denver and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies.

For 30 years, Dr. Markman has researched conflict and communication in relationships and offered relationship counseling and marriage seminars.

He says that while all couples deal with nagging at some point, those who learn to reduce this type of negative communication will substantially increase their odds of staying together and keeping love alive. Couples who don't learn often fall out of love and split up.

The next logical question: When does necessary communication become nagging?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Love and money

Last year, I ran into a financial dilemma while waiting to receive a check.

Long story short: I had to pay a $200 bill. If I paid the bill in the absence of the aforementioned check, I'd have all of maybe $5 left in my account. That's a very abbreviated version, but you get the idea.

My boyfriend offered to lend me $200 to pay my bill -- assuming I paid him back as soon as The Check came through. That way, I'd have a financial cushion in case of an emergency.

I seriously contemplated the offer. But ultimately, I refused the loan.

I don't regret it.

I remembered the experience after finding this online advice column. A woman wants to know if she should lend her boyfriend money. The response from readers is an overwhelming NO.

Among the comments: "Business and pleasure should never mix."

From an outsider's perspective, it's easy to understand why you shouldn't combine finance and romance. But sometimes, direct involvement in a relationship makes us believe a partner's trust transcends the potential pitfalls of loaning and borrowing money.

What do you think? Is it ever OK to loan your significant other money? Does being married or unmarried make a difference?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday power anthem

Because sometimes, you just need some Spice Girls. Have a great week, everybody!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Cook for me, honey

I'm in love with an arugula-obsessed mystery man.

I've long fantasized about finding a partner with an affinity for gourmet cooking. My expectations are probably unrealistic. I hint at dishes that require elaborate preparation and ingredients not available on the local supermarket scene.

My fantasy becomes a problem when reality hits. And by "reality," I mean the fact that my boyfriend's cooking repertoire generally consists of Hamburger Helper.

Which brings me to Thursday night. I worked until 7:30 p.m. and had to do some "American Idol" blogging at 8 p.m. Dinner plans were nonexistent. I threw a minor hissy fit.

My boyfriend offered to make me Hamburger Helper.

It's nice to have at least one specialty dish in your arsenal of talents. Need help? There are still a few spots left in Dinner Divas' Feb. 2 cooking class, which will teach you how to cook a romantic meal for two. The class is at 6 p.m. and cost is $30.

In retrospect, I shouldn't have rejected the Hamburger Helper on Thursday. After all, any offer to cook is a leap of faith. It's scary when success depends on dubious measurements and oven times.

And while my arugula-obsessed fantasy man might put good food on the table, he hardly promises good conversation.

Pass the Hamburger Helper, please.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Long-distance marriages

Some people say that at the earliest stages of a romance, a long-distance setup can actually strengthen a relationship.

You build an identity outside your partner. You define your relationship by things other than physical pleasure. You learn the ins and outs of Skype.

But what about a long-distance marriage?

I couldn't resist clicking on this article, "I moved 7 hours away from my husband."

Short summary: The writer moved hours away from her husband to achieve her career goals. And yes, she's still married.

The idea seemed odd at first, but then I realized I know at least three couples who have had long-distance marriages. Not to mention all my friends with military ties -- although military separations are distinctly different from the example I just described.

So...if you're married, would you accept a dream job seven hours away if your spouse couldn't join you on the big adventure? Would you even apply for a job seven hours away?

I'm not entirely opposed to the idea, but I think you need to make the decision with a long-term plan in mind.

I mean, you can't live apart forever, right? Wrong?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Renewing your vows

Amid news that Seal and Heidi Klum are separating, one writer asks a valid question: "Do vow renewals always mean divorce?"

The answer is no, of course.

But I can't hear the phrase "vow renewal" without thinking about Vicki Gunvalson, a "Real Housewives of Orange County" cast member who renewed her vows in an elaborate on-camera ceremony.

Shortly after that, her marriage ended.

I agree with the writer's assertion that renewing your vows can sometimes be "a last-ditch effort to save a failing relationship."

Nonetheless, it seems like the ceremonies have become much more common in recent years. I've heard of people renewing their vows after being married for less than five years.

Is that a bad thing? No...unless you're renewing your vows annually, in ways that rival the fanciness of your wedding.

If that's the case, I'd argue you're defining your relationship by ceremonies, rather than the values those ceremonies are designed to represent.

What do you think about vow renewal ceremonies?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Flexible flirting

Anyone already thinking about Valentine's Day? Yeah, me neither.

OK, you caught me. Of course I'm thinking about Valentine's Day. At least I'm not alone in prematurely obsessing. Some of my female Facebook friends have already posted updates about their plans.

I'm not sure if those updates reflect reality or a bragging method, but's time for my first Valentine's post of the season.

What's your reaction to the phrase "yoga for lovers"?

There's actually a purpose behind the question. Art of Yoga in Columbus will host a yoga for lovers/Valentine partner workshop on Feb. 12.

You can spend an "afternoon exploring the blessings of intimacy & love through the practice of partner yoga & Thai Yoga Massage."

It might be the most creative option, but it's certainly not the only couples-oriented activity that will surface in February. I've also heard about local cooking classes for couples and even a Valentine's relay race for couples. (I'll blog about those activities soon, I promise.)

If you're in a relationship, do these ideas intrigue you? And how hard would it be to convince your partner to attend the aforementioned yoga event?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday power anthem

Today's power anthem has real-life significance. I finally have an iPhone. I've spent the last few years navigating moderately old-school telephone technology.

My old phone -- aka: Paul -- served its purpose, but it also had few features beyond its limited texting capacity. I hadn't set a date for upgrading until last weekend.

After two consecutive days of phone-inspired frustration -- some of which involved my job -- I hit my breaking point. I went to the store, examined my options, exercised for an hour and returned to make my purchase.


I'm now exploring the new technology -- rather blindly, in fact. So if you have any tips, please send them my way.

Have a great week!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Awful First Dates

My colleague Katie recommended I write a blog post about this book, "Awful First Dates: Hysterical, True, and Heartbreakingly Bad."

Great idea.

Fortunately, I've avoided the unbearable first dates that likely dominate this book. Sure, not every first date has been paradise.

While I can cite many memories of conversation lulls and general awkwardness, those dates also involved guys who were kind enough to buy me dinner and listen to me tell stories that were likely too long and involved for a first encounter.

There are certainly exceptions...but when it comes to discussing awful dates, the responsibility often rests with two people. Even if that's hard to admit.

Weigh in: How do you define an awful first date? Does a lack of chemistry alone warrant that definition, or does the offense need to be more severe?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why I love Chipotle

Need evidence that you're passionate about something? Try to explain why you love it.

In some cases, the answer will come quickly: a succinct chain of flowery nouns and adjectives. And in other cases, you'll hate yourself for being speechless.

In the latter scenario, you're really in love.

The thought crossed my mind when I embarked on a road trip Tuesday night to the grand opening of Chipotle in Auburn (346 W. Magnolia Ave., shown above). I've long praised Chipotle as the "best restaurant ever."

But as I attempted to explain my stance Tuesday, I realized the memories I've associated with the restaurant over the years have had an impact that rivals its food.

Make no mistake: Chipotle is delicious, as illustrated by the crowd of people who attended the Auburn location Tuesday night.

If you're reading this from outside Columbus, I'll note that I live about 45 minutes away from Auburn. I was so intent on going to the restaurant on opening night that I started my journey right after work.

And by "right after work," I mean 8 p.m.

In the rain. Alone. With a poor sense of direction. And an incorrect address for the restaurant.

Not to mention the fact that "breaking news" happened midway through my drive and I had to stop to negotiate some Facebook posting.

By the time I arrived, navigated the crowd and got my food, it was 10 p.m. (Columbus time). I was also bringing food home for my friend and co-worker, Kara.

On a side note, a trucker also honked at me (and possibly gave me the finger) for driving too slowly on the ride home.

Anyway, I got home successfully. I opened my burrito (featured above...and below) and prepared to eat dinner at 11 p.m.

YUM. Before long, Kara and I started our late-night dinner. Her bowl is pictured below. Once we started eating, I forgot all the drama surrounding the journey.

In fact, we ended up talking until nearly 1 a.m. It was one of the best conversations I've had in a long time.

It wasn't the first time this has happened.

I once took a 90-minute drive with a friend solely to obtain a Chipotle burrito. I also associate the restaurant with the year my boyfriend had to go out of town on my birthday -- but returned later that night with a vegetarian burrito designed to tame my rage.

And when I came home for Christmas last year, I almost immediately ended up at a Chipotle restaurant table with my sister -- enjoying a conversation that erased the miles that normally separate us.

When you find a place that lets you savor memories like these, you should never surrender your table. And if the food tastes good, all the better.

Chipotle serves bowls, tacos, burritos and more. Average entree price is just under $7. The Auburn location is open Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday power anthem

Today's power anthem is for anyone obsessed with The Fabulous Life after watching Sunday's Golden Globes. missed the ceremony? Conveniently, I have a handy little recap available here.

Also, don't miss our Ledger-Enquirer Golden Globes photo gallery. I worked on it instead of watching the Kardashians Sunday night. Sacrifice.

Have a great week!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lego marriage proposal

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution directed me to this awesome marriage proposal video. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Romantic getaways

Which Georgia city made Hotwire's list of the top 10 Valentine's Day deal destinations?

The correct answer is...Columbus. Kidding. OK, ready for the real answer? Savannah.

That's right. This press release bills it as a romantic destination, which makes me feel a little left out. After five years of living in Georgia, I haven't made a trip to Savannah.

Even without Savannah, our state is hardly devoid of romantic getaways. For people who live in Columbus, I think the natural tendency is to enjoy a romantic weekend in Atlanta. Hardly a bad idea, considering the abundance of nice hotels and dining options.

And call me crazy...but I actually think downtown LaGrange is pretty romantic. Don't believe me? Try this restaurant.

Weigh in, readers: What are the best romantic getaways in Georgia? I'd really appreciate your feedback on this one, as I'm thinking about eventually spinning it into a longer article.

(Oh! One more thing! Thanks for participating in my blog challenge, Sara. You rule.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Much Ado About Loving

Quick disclaimer: This blog topic seems ideal for my colleague, Sara Pauff, but I'm going to write a snippet anyway in hopes that she'll write a follow-up blog post or even a column. Game on!

Have you heard about this book, "Much Ado About Loving"? The book basically uses literary classics to deliver relationship advice.

If you're creative enough, I think you can turn anything into a relationship manual. Trust me, I've written columns about the hidden romantic undertones in Easter candy.

Nonetheless, I remember reflecting on modern relationships while taking a Jane Austen course in college. The tendency isn't too surprising. After all, that's often one of the signs of a good book: lessons that transcend time.

Have you used any literary classics as relationship manuals? Do you have a dream partner from a Jane Austen novel?

You can take it from here, Sara...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Anatomy of a half marathon

So, today is my birthday! Yes, I'm turning the big 3-0. No major meltdowns yet, so I guess I'm on the right track for success. Or extreme denial.

Anyway, in an attempt to show myself that 30 doesn't = dead, I participated in Saturday's Red Nose Half Marathon.

I'm still not sure if it was the best idea. Fun fact: I hadn't done a long distance since Thanksgiving morning, when I ran 10 miles. I quickly became aware of that fact during Saturday's race.

But I still finished the Red Nose run, thanks largely to the fact that my boyfriend came to cheer me on during the last mile. He also took the very flattering pictures that accompany this blog post.

So even if being 30 means I'm old, I can at least still run 13 miles. OK, I technically did that when I was 29. But whatever.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I'm familiar with the phrase "man-child."

I say it often in my relationship -- half out of humor, and half out of genuine concern. I don't know if my boyfriend's obsession with computer games and mac and cheese is endearing or alarming.

Which is why I clicked on this essay: "Dealbreaker: He's a man-child." An excerpt:

In movies, the man-child has Looney Tunes bedsheets, an action figure collection, and gets haircuts from his mom; a slightly more advanced version smokes a lot of weed and snickers at the word “nipples.”

In films, the solution to the man-child problem is to pair him with an uptight wet blanket who nags him until he “mans up,” gets a makeover, and marries her. I wasn’t interested in being that type of female lead.

The stance is fine, assuming you're able to differentiate between qualities that define a man-child and qualities that simply define a man. Does an obsession with video games alone mean someone's unprepared for fatherhood? Not necessarily.

Trust me, I probably wouldn't lose any sleep if my boyfriend abandoned his fascination with "Skyrim." (That's a game.)

Yet I worry that in throwing around terms like "man-child," we're seeking a level of maturity that's not only unattainable, but also kind of boring.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

LUV in the ATL

Maybe you heard Atlanta topped another list of best cities to find a date. Congratulations! Phenix City was No. 2. Just kidding.

I'll ask a question I've asked in the past: Is it "worth it" to drive from Columbus to Atlanta just to look for love?

The idea isn't outlandish. People maintain cross-country romances all the time, so 90-minute trips to see your significant other might seem like a piece of cake. Heck, you could even see your partner multiple times during an average week.

Then again, the setup isn't exactly ideal. And while some people thrive in Atlanta's packed dance clubs, other daters would rather test pickup lines when they have the home court advantage.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The gym isn't a meet market

Amid all the buzz about New Year's resolutions, I wrote this column reminding people of basic gym etiquette. Read it and obey, please.

Due to space constraints, I didn't address the topic of the gym as a potential meet market. My simple advice on looking for love at the gym? Don't do it.

Yes, I know there are exceptions. In fact, I've enjoyed many casual conversations with strangers at the gym. Yet as a general rule, I regard gym time as alone time...even if I'm in a group fitness class.

Sure, it's a slightly unreasonable goal. But I've managed to keep the gym a peaceful sanctuary where I somehow forget about my most demanding stress factors.

Let's keep it that way. And no, your treadmill grunting isn't sexy.