Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Hardest Thing...

Sometimes the hardest thing to do for something you love is walk away from it. Even when, hell, especially when you have to do it for its own good.

To be honest, ladies and gentlement, that's how I'm feeling right now. I don't have much I can write about at the moment, and as much as I love this blog and you guys, I feel like it's better to stop before the quality here tanks. There's only so many times you can link to an interesting article or post a funny picture before it's time for something of substance to keep things interesting. And unfortunately, this is not the right place for my thoughts of substance at the moment.

So LMNtal Attraction is closing down indefinitely. I'm not going to say I'll never write here again, but I don't think that seems very likely from where I'm standing right now. I'll certainly write again, because I love writing. And I'll continue to write privately for myself as I always have. I might start another blog someday, or try a different kind of forum altogether. Hell, there's a chance, however minimal, that I'll even decide to pick it back up again here. No promises, though.

If you'd like to be kept up to date, shoot me an email. There's a handy little link next to the picture on the upper right hand side of your screen. I'll put you on the list and let you know when and if I start writing in a public manner again.

This has been a great experience and an unbelievably fulfilling journey, and I have sincerely loved it. I've made some excellent friends who I know will stick around, blog or no blog. If you're on that list, you know who you are, and I'd like to say that I'm truly glad to know you, and pretty darn pleased that you found this blog at some point.

As for the rest of you, hopefully we'll meet again sometime in the future. Until then, I wish you all the best of luck, and you know how to get a hold of me if you so desire. I like mail.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Perfect Relationship... the one where you're both loved, honored, cherished, and respected. You try to let them know they're appreciated every single day, whether it's a large gesture like breakfast in bed, a picnic under the stars, or a romantic surprise, or a small one, like a backrub, a "honey you just relax and unwind, I'll take care of dinner/laundry/whatever-it-is-that-needs-to-be-done," or that look, the one that says "you make me the happiest (wo)man on the planet." Those three little words are a wonderful way to show it.

You laugh together every day, and do your best not to go to bed angry. The relationship is based on respect, and is about 90% friendship. That other ten percent? An amazing physical bond. Compatibility in the bedroom (or on the couch, or in the kitchen, or wherever else) that leaves you seeing stars. You know exactly how they like to be touched, they have the same dirt on you, and you both revel in sending chills up each other's spines.

It's not always smooth sailing, but you handle your problems like adults, and work to find solutions that keep everyone in a good place. And once you've done that, the issue is put to bed. You don't rehash past fights, you trust the other person to have done their part to avoid repeating the problems in the future and move on. You put the relationship before the individuals, because what's good for the team is good for the team members. And you really are a team. You know that you'll always have each other's backs in any situation, even if you think they might be in the wrong. You'll tell them that behind closed doors, but everywhere else, you're a demonstration in solidarity and loyalty.

You both work hard to keep things fresh and fun. In fact, you both work hard in any area that needs it. You're not afraid to roll up your sleeves, because you know that by doing so, you're earning the happiness that you've enjoyed with them. You take risks, 'cause the thing is, if you truly love each other and understand how to make relationships work, they're not really risks at all, even if everyone else thinks you're gambling.

You do all of these things for the rewards they bring and the satisfaction of knowing how happy you're making this amazing, amazing person you're so lucky to be with. The rush you get from putting a smile on their face is second only to the butterflies you have anticipating doing it. You do everything you can to be happy together, because you know, to one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies, that "the juice is worth the squeeze." And? It really is.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Universal Difficulty

Sometimes the hardest thing in the world to do is to take your own advice.

I mean, the thing about dating is that most experiences are usually universal. We all enjoy reading and hearing about other people's issues because we can relate to them. When you really look at it, there's an infinite number of different variations on things, but there's really only a handful of core issues in relationships. It's the variations that make them our own.

As someone who has a lot of conversations about such things and gives out advice pretty frequently, I like to think I've seen just about all of the handful. And in most situations, the different variations don't really affect (look C, I got it right!) the proper response to the problem. Just as there's only a few core problems, there's also a few standard answers, again with little variations to tailor the answer to the situation.

And when you're in one of those situations you've seen a million times, it's pretty easy to recognize that hello, this is scenario "F," which calls for response 4. So why is it always so damn hard to actually perform response 4, knowing that it will bring you back to where you want to be if properly executed? It's always so much easier (and feels better) to go with emotional reaction 4, which, while being exactly the wrong reaction to the situation, feels more like you're doing something that will bring about the end result you want (it won't, and your logical mind knows it will most likely earn you the opposite reaction, even though it seems on the surface like a so much more effective way). You know where you are, you know where the other person is, you know where you want to be, and you know full well both the psychological principles in play and the correct course of action to achieve your goals. You also know that the thing you're most tempted to do will drive your goals completely out of reach. So why do we want to do it so badly?

Humans are complicated creatures sometimes.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Musical Interlude

So my new car* has XM radio in it, and let me tell you, this could be the greatest gift to mankind of our generation. Seriously. I'm in a constant state of musical bliss. Awesome new music on demand, instead of the overplayed, overhyped, fascist ClearChannel-monopoly sewage that dominates the FM airwaves. Access to music that's actually made by musicians instead of constructed by corporate interests is awesome!

As I've mentioned a time or two before, I'm totally a music person. And ever since XM? Well, I've been going a little crazy. Crazy as in keeping a notebook and a pen within reach at all times in the car, so I can write down the info on songs I dig. Making mix cds for just about every music person I know. Sharing the awesome stuff I'm coming across is really fun, though. I love giving and recieving hot new music tips. I've pretty much been spending my time in my room with iTunes up on the laptop and an ever-shrinking pile of blank cds nearby.

I listen to stuff from lots of different genres, but my favorites usually have an indie sort of sound with pop sensibilities and catchy hooks. Especially when it borders almost on Beatle-esque. And since I've been having so much fun sharing, I'm going to go ahead and do so here, so if that's your style, too, here's the playlist that's been dominating my airwaves lately. All the songs are available on iTunes. I was gonna give you a nice little description of each of them, but it's late and work's busy, so go check'em out yourself when you've got a minute.

1) Oh Shoplifter -- The Stills
2) Try Again -- Hail Social
3) So Free -- Hello Operator
4) Once and Never Again -- The Long Blondes
5) When We Were Young -- Dolores O'Riordan
6) Insomnia -- Novillero
7) Stuck for the Summer -- Two Hours Traffic
8) This is a Song -- The Magic Numbers
9) Dirty Mouth -- Hot Hot Heat
10) You Blanks -- Portastic
11) Turn Off / Turn On -- Mascott
12) Yer Not The Ocean -- The Tragically Hip
13) Of Angels and Angles -- The Decemberists
14) What I'm Trying To Say -- Stars
15) Every Day -- Voxtrot
16) Hey Now Now -- The Cloud Room
17) Another Pilot -- Hey Rosetta!
18) She Moves In Her Own Way -- The Kooks
19) Upside Down Frown -- They Might Be Giants
20) Feint -- No Second Troy
21) Don't Walk Away Eileen -- Sam Roberts


* Did I mention I got a new car on my summer vacation? I did. She's got great curves, killer headlights, and just the right amount of junk in the trunk. In fact, she's my new girlfriend and we're gonna get married and be in love forEVER. Here's a couple pics:

My Baby

Pretty Lights

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

Rules and Politics for a Friendly Breakup, a How-To Manual

This is a post I've been writing with my thoughts, words, and actions for several years now. It's the result of trial, error, and most importantly, learning from my own mistakes, which I'm putting down on paper (or more specifically, digitally on teh internets) for my own reference in the future, 'cause it's probably a good thing to have handy if I ever plan to date again. The kind of thing that you hope you'll never need, but understand realistically that you probably will. It's also a good checklist to keep in mind in my current situation. It's something I've learned a lot about, and I think I do pretty well, as evidenced by the number of current friends I have that I used to date. That said, I doubt I'm perfect. Anyway, without further ado...

So you think you want to remain friends with that person you're about to break up with. In most cases, it's certainly possible, and such friendships can be especially rewarding, because the people you date tend to know and understand you better than most others you interact with. The most important thing to think about first is whether you should attempt it at all. Each person you date, and the situation involving them, is completely different from all the others. Some are more conducive to good friendships than others, and sometimes it's just plain a bad idea. Here are some important questions to ask yourself. This would be the "figuring out if this is really the good idea you want it to be" phase.

"Why do I want to be friends with this person?"

If the answer is "I don't want to lose them completely," you should be hearing sirens and seeing flashing red lights. Wrong answer. Stop, do NOT pass go, turn around, and go back the way you came. This will not bring good for either one of you. You could arrive at this answer because they broke up with you and you still love them, because you're afraid of being lonely, or for all kinds of other reasons, but the fact of the matter is that it just isn't possible if this is your motivation. Make a clean break, grieve your loss, rebuild your self esteem, and move on (this sentence will be referred to from here on as "Plan A").

If, on the other hand, your answer in some way reflects that you would both be good for each other as friends, you're in good shape here. It could be that you were friends beforehand and work very well in that capacity, or that the relationship just didn't work because you weren't romantically compatible, but you get along great, have a wonderful connection, and would be positive forces in each other's lives under different circumstances. There are several other reasons that would work, too. If you're doing this for positive reasons instead of selfish ones, you're probably on the right track. Move on to the next question.

"Why did we break up?"

The right answers here involve neither party committing any major wrongs or betrayals. For example, "grew apart" or "different life goals" = good chances. "Someone cheated and/or lied" or "I caught him in bed with my sister" = no way, Jose. If there's been a serious breach of trust or inordinately bad behavior, you don't respect each other enough to be friends, and you won't be able to trust each other, which is VERY important to a positive friendship. See Plan A, and possibly Jerry Springer, depending on how extreme this particular case is.

"Will the benefits be worth all the trouble it takes to get there?"

This is a big one. Breakups suck, and they're pretty damn difficult without the extra pressure that's involved here. The higher your initial expectations of the relationship were, the more serious it got, and the closer you expect the friendship to be, the more emotionally taxing the road to get there is going to be. This stuff is not usually easy. It's kinda like walking through a minefield, actually. You will definitely get hurt at times, blindsided at others, and have to be the mature one at yet other times when your new friend is hurt or blindsided. You'll have to be diplomatic when you don't feel like it, and your first reaction to almost any situation will have to be to step into the other person's shoes and look at your situation through their eyes. Is a friendship with them really going to be worth all that grief? Will it bring enough good into you life to counterbalance the crap and make a profit emotionally? If the answer is "no," "I'm not sure," or "I don't know that I can handle all that," then again, see Plan A. It will be better for both of you. If you're willing to be the best person you can possibly be and you want to see it through to the good parts, it's time to move on to the rules:

1) Clearly state your intentions, and allow them to make their own decision. -- You can't force this. They need to go through the whole process I wrote about above, and it takes two to tango. If you're not both in the right place emotionally, it's not gonna work. You need to be prepared to walk away for the best interests of both of you if they say "I don't think I want that."

2) Be nice. -- This person is a human being, just like all the rest of us, with their own flaws, limitations, and sometimes irrational emotions, and they're dealing with all the same shit you are. Keep that in mind. While you won't always be able to avoid hurting them at all, you should have the grace and tact to avoid it wherever you can and minimize it when you can't avoid it. Nobody wants to hurt the people they care about, so do your best, ok?

3) Grieve alone. -- Everyone needs some time to heal after the end of a relationship, and as long as you're not doing it for an extended period of time, a little wallowing and moping is perfectly healthy. That said, it's important that you do it privately. You'll be very tempted to mope together and commiserate, but that's a very bad idea. It will extend the healing time for both of you and may tempt you to commiserate and reassure each other in ways that aren't healthy for either of you (read: ex-sex), and that would start the whole emotional upheaval all over again. Just don't do it. You should try to have your best face on whenever you see them. We're all human, and it's not always possible, but the more you can be positive together, the easier (and happier) this will be.

4) Live your own life, but keep them in mind. -- Don't make decisions about your life based on how it will affect them, but handle the effects of those decisions as diplomatically as possible. For example, deciding not to date because you don't want to hurt them is not a good thing. Deciding not to date because you're really not ready yet is. Make your decisions for you. That said, how you choose to expose them to the results of your decisions can be a big factor in how much you hurt each other. From the example above, if you've got a date, don't go to their favorite bar, where they might unexpectedly see you out with someone new. Don't hide things from them that may blindside them later, but don't rub your new boys or girls in their face, either. Try not to be unfair.

5) Put yourself in their shoes before you react. -- As I've said before, it's impossible to do this without getting hurt. When that happens, look at the situation from their angle. If they're doing this the same way as you are, it's highly unlikely that they genuinely want to hurt you; they just want to move forward with their life, too, and sometimes the way to handle a situation that causes the least pain to someone else is hard to determine. If you need to discuss your feelings with them, that's usually ok, but you'd better do it from the "here's what I'm feeling" angle instead of the "WTF? That was really messed up" one.

6) Be strong when they're weak. -- Ok, this has come up several times now, but just a reminder -- we're human and no one's perfect. This process is full of emotional turmoil on both sides, and there will be times where either one of you is not so much the grown up you usually are. Your job is to pick up the slack when they're in a weak place, and hopefully they'll do the same for you.

7) Spend fun time together being happy. -- Vastly important. The good should outweigh the bad or else it's not a good situation. Hang out with friends, do fun things, and don't let the negatives swamp the positives. Laugh together. As often as possible. Why be friends with someone you can't have fun with?

8) Be prepared for, but don't expect, failure. -- Even if you're doing everything right, it may not work out. You both need to be extremely mature about all this, and mutually committed to being a positive force in each other's lives. Maybe they won't handle it properly, maybe you won't be able to do it anymore, and maybe it just won't work for some other unforeseen reason. You've got to be able to walk away on good terms if it's not going to happen with your head held high knowing you gave it the best chance you could have.

9) Follow the golden rule. -- This pretty much sums up all of the above. Do unto others as you'd like them to do unto you. This is someone you care about very much, or you wouldn't even be attempting a friendship. Treat them like you care.

And that? That's about all I have to say on the subject. Yes, it was long. Deal.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Other People's Stuff

Ok, so I'm pretty slammed at work today, and on top of that, it's Friday, which usually means I'm lazy about this blog. That said, in the interest of posting new and interesting things for y'all to read here while still being lazy, I'll let someone else generate the content for me like so:

Last weekend, a friend sent me this interesting and thought provoking article. The gist of it is that extravagant spending and charitable giving are both somewhat motivated by the desire to impress the opposite sex. It's really well presented, and I think it might actually make a good deal of sense. I understand there's a lot of problems with evolutionary psychology as a field, but their approach that most of our instincts and drives came about as a way to achieve the primary goal of replicating our genes also makes sense to me. Who knows? Definitely makes you think.

And from the department of "why the hell did you need a study to figure that out, stupid?", if you haven't already seen it, be sure to check out the one that shows men like hot women and women are picky.

See ya next week!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

20 Words or Less

So I was talking today with one of the wonderful ladies mentioned in yesterday's post when she asked me a question. I'm sure I've heard it before, but I don't think I ever really considered and tried to answer before.

"In twenty words or less, what do you think you want out of a relationship?"

It's a great question. You see, it's easy to describe what you want when you have all the space in the world to do it. When you don't though? You've gotta prioritize. You have to figure out what's really important to you, 'cause there's no room to mess around. It's a much better exercise for learning about yourself than one would initially think.

I'd love to hear other people's take on it, but here's what you've gotta do to play. Stop reading now and figure out how you would answer it. I don't want my twenty words to influence yours until after you've done it on your own. It's cool, I'll still be here when you get back.

* * * * * * * * * *

Got it? Good. Here's mine:

"Passion, sparks, and chemistry with someone who has solid future potential, similar values/goals, and good relationship skills."

Leave yours in the comments and we'll all compare notes. :-)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

You're On Notice

Ok, so if you've read even the most microscopic sample of this blog, you can tell that I like to give advice when it's requested. Especially in the realm of "please interpret for me what's going on in this guy's head and how I should handle it" for my female friends. I do my best not to give unsolicited advice, because that's almost never what someone needs, but when asked to help, I thrive on it. I'm fascinated by the psychology behind how we act in regards to people we're attracted to and why we act that way. Judging by the frequency with which a friend asks me to help, it would seem that I'm pretty good at it, too.

That said, girls, you're on notice. No, scratch that -- you're beyond being on notice. In fact, unless you're one of two very specific knockout blondes I know (whose initials are CR and LJ -- hi gals!), you are hereby banned from asking my opinion on guy situations. If you disregard this notice and ask anyway, the response will be either "man, that sucks. Sorry to hear it," or "hmmm... I don't know."

Why, you ask? Well, it's actually pretty simple, really. Most of the time when people ask for an opinion, they don't really want the truth -- they want you to tell them that they're right. That what they want the situation to be is what you think it is, and that everything will be all hearts and flowers, rainbows and cuddly kittens if they go ahead with whatever (usually misguided) plan they have for handling it. They want to continue ramming their head into a brick wall in hopes that the wall will break before their noggin does, and they want your approval and confirmation that it's the right approach. And when that's not what they hear? Well, they find a way to justify what they want and completely disregard your input anyway, rendering that 10 minutes, 20 minutes, or an hour you just spent trying to tactfully explain the unbiased outsider's viewpoint to them completely useless. And then you get to hear about it later, when it all blows up in their face, doing your best to be a good reassuring friend when your brain is screaming "I TOLD YOU THIS WOULD HAPPEN!!! WHY OH WHY DIDN'T YOU LISTEN?" And I really, really, REALLY hate watching people get hurt, especially when they knowingly and willfully did it to themselves. It makes you feel helpless to watch your friends suffer and know you can't help them because the pain's already happened.

Not that I think people should always agree with me. Not by any stretch of the imagination. The two amazing women mentioned above? They don't. Sometimes they think I'm way off. And sometimes they're right. I've been known to err on the side of cynical at times, and way too far into the idealistic realm at others. The difference? Well, they're both very grounded in reality. They understand that I usually have my head screwed on straight, truly care about them, want to see them happy, and am doing my best to help them affix their heads in the same manner. They seem to carefully weigh what I tell them and really make the effort to understand why my take on a situation is what it is, and they tend to assimilate it into their larger view of a situation. C and L understand that it's tough to see situations totally accurately from the inside and do their best to get outside to take a look every now and then. If there's a suspicion of something not-so-great, they keep an eye out for more signs one way or the other. And you know what? Because of how they approach these things, they usually tend to come to the right conclusions without any help. Ironically enough, they're the ones whose ideas I'm most likely to agree with, even though they would be less bothered by a different view than all those other girls. They certainly don't believe that if you wish hard enough and clap your hands, reality (or someone else's feelings) will magically become what you want it (them) to be. Or that you'll save a faerie.

So here's to you, good advice takers. Because of your grace and realistic attitudes, you'll continue to get it whenever you ask. And hopefully, someday they'll write a Budweiser radio commercial about you, because you truly are real women of genius.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

And As Promised...

...we're back to our regularly scheduled programming. Well, kind of. It may not be exactly what you're used to, though, 'cause here's the thing: I'm not dating, which may make it hard to blog about dating. On the other hand, it might not, cause I still have plenty of friends who are dating and having the usual troubles, and there's never a drought in the news about dating and relationship topics. Anyway, I'll get back to that in a minute. But first, an update.

It's been a while since you've heard from me, so let's catch up. I got promoted at work, picked up a few new hobbies, and, probably most importantly for this particular medium, I had a great relationship with a wonderful girl for most of the summer. Turns out it wasn't the best fit for either of us, but things ended in a positive manner, and we both got a great new friend out of the deal. That ended about a month ago. We still talk regularly and hang out on the friends tip once a week or so (yes, I did just say "on the friends tip." I must be losing my mind).

Since then, as mentioned above, I haven't been dating. Not that there's any big reason for it, I just haven't really felt like putting forth the effort required to do so. I've got a lot going on, and I guess you could say I'm focusing on myself at the moment. Sometimes it's important to take a breather every now and then to make sure you're the best person you can be.

So what am I doing with my time? Well, I've still got my pool league two nights a week (and have managed to convince a couple of fun blogger chicks to join us), I'm learning Russian, and I've been spending a lot of time digging up new music. In addition, I'm building a business to compliment my day-job income (and it's going quite well!), and writing a lot. Not this type of writing, but fiction, mostly short stories. Oh, and I've made a few pen-pals on other continents. I'm planning a vaca to Eastern Europe in a couple of months to practice my new language in its natural environment.

Wow. So I planned to write a post about how important it is to take a break sometimes, and instead ended up with a disjointed "here's what I've been up to" story. I guess I need to get back into the swing of this whole blogging thing again. Consider this "setting the stage by supplying proper background info." Anyhoo, the point was that it's good to be well rounded, and relationships with the opposite sex are not necessarily the most important thing in the world. I have to admit, little more sex would be nice, but again, I'm just not feeling the "go find it" -iveness. Maybe later.

And tomorrow I've got a real post coming. Definitely more like what you're used to seeing here. Check back. :-)


P.S. -- I haven't been reading blogs, either, so I'm ridiculously behind on what's going on in all of your lives... bear with me, k?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Well, then.

"The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated."
-Mark Twain

Summer vacation ends the day after labor day...

Friday, June 8, 2007

Audience Participation: (Wo)Man Crush

Ok, so it's Friday. It's been a long week at work, and I'm feeling a bit lazy, so you'll find another interesting male opinion here. The topic: The Man Crush. 'Course, it is a San Francisco newspaper (I jest). Also? If I wrote it, you'd have to replace the words "Eva Longoria" with "Angelina Jolie." But check it out.

Here's the audience participation part. Who do you have a same (or opposite if you're not-so-heterosexual) sex platonic crush on? I want to know. Fill me in.

If I had to pick one? I'd probably be right there with the author on Justin Timberlake, but that's just me. Your turn.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Weight For It...

Q: What do all of these women have in common?

A: Chances are pretty good that when they look in the mirror, they all see this one:

Fat Lady Sings

and it makes them feel like this:

Stressed on Scale

Now, I'm a guy. I never had to deal with growing up female in our society. I've never had the "oh, you're so skinny -- you look great! I wish I could be as skinny as you are" conversation that happens so often between two microscopically tiny women, and I haven't experienced the peer pressure that comes with watching all my friends eat a celery stick and 2 almonds for lunch. Nor have I ever avoided buying pants that fit because the tag said "6" and I could have sworn my ass was a 4. So as much as I try to put myself in y'all's shoes, I've honestly never been there. I don't know how it is.

That said, having spent my whole life on this side of the gender aisle, I can definitely tell you how it all looks to us -- most of you girls are crazy. Seriously. I'm convinced that the vast majority of women around here are more than a little bit dysmorphic.

There's been quite a bit of talk on this topic circling the blogosphere lately. I think it has something to do with being bathing suit season again. But I seriously think a lot of you need to get your eyes checked. If you do that, they're fine or your prescription is correct, and you still see that fat girl in the mirror? Then it's time to get your head checked out.

Case in point: A very good friend of mine is about 5'10". She weighs about 130, so she looks like Paris Hilton on a skinny day. Yet she worries every time she eats something and spends an hour in the gym every single day. Every day. Doesn't even take Sundays off. If she were to ask my opinion, I'd tell her to gain 20lbs or so, as would pretty much anyone she knows. But she thinks she needs to lose weight, and is trying as hard as she can to do so.

Now, she knows she has a tendency to see herself as being bigger than she is. It's a problem she's had in the past. So she doesn't ever weigh herself. She judges based on how well her clothes fit. Which is normally a good idea -- I'm a big proponent of the mirror and the clothes instead of the scale as measuring tools. That said, this particular case is a little different. 'Cause like I mentioned before, she's built like Paris Hilton, which means she's making these judgements based on a size that's ridiculously small for her height. It's extremely frustrating to see and hear how upset she is about her weight and how hard she's trying to change it when in my head I'm thinking "please for the love of god gain a few." With another fifteen or twenty pounds, she'd have pretty much exactly the body of the girl in the red bikini above.

'Cause really? As guys, that's what we want to see. The two girls in the middle are not only beautiful, but absolutely perfect. And normal, but that's what we want. Y'all are so busy shooting for "skinny" that you're missing the real point, which is "healthy." And it kills me that I have no idea how to help change these attitudes. Don't get me wrong, Roseanne Barr is not attractive. But neither is Nicole Ritchie.

So what can we as individuals do to help change the goals to "healthy" instead of skinny? How can we change things so that the women of tomorrow will see reality in the mirror instead of a distorted image? If anyone has any ideas (or you can maybe explain to me why it's so hard to see reality in a way that I can understand it), I'd love to hear from you. As, I'm sure, would every other frustrated and confused guy who reads this. Thanks.

P.S. -- If you're new here (thanks, Wonkette!), we're glad to see you. Kick your shoes off and stay a while. You can check out the archives at the bottom right, or read my favorites up at the top. And definitely throw your voice into the comments ring if you've got something to say. The more, the merrier.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Coming Of Age

In any male blogger's blog-life, at some point he needs to take a stand. More specifically, it's pretty much a requirement that he weigh in on the cunnilingus debate. That's right, you heard me correctly. Dining at the Y, eating her cake, munching the carpet... pick your favorite euphemism. Before I started reading blogs, I had no idea there were any questions about such things. Apparently, though, there are plenty of guys all across the spectrum, from "no way, man -- that's disgusting" to "I do it for her, but don't necessarily enjoy it" to "sure, it's fun" or "I absolutely live for it. One of my favorite things."

I don't think it's really any big surprise to anyone her that I fall firmly in the last category. As I've said before, the female form is a work of art, and I like to appreciate it as fully as possible. With all five of my senses. Why limit things to just touch and sight? Taste, smell, and hearing are totally important, too.

And this particular act? Well it covers all the bases. I'm captivated by it. If I could quit my job and just fly south for the winter I'd be in heaven. I'm also a big fan of reactions. Every woman I've ever been with reacts in ways that are very different, when you look at the subtleties. How does she move her body when she's enjoying herself? What kind of sounds does she make? Does she look at me, close her eyes, roll them back into her head? Where are her hands? It's a very intimate experience, and every single person is unique in how they recieve, and it's the subtleties that really make them all so distinctly beautiful.

I've heard (or read) guys complain about the taste or smell, and I'm a little surprised by that. While there's been a time or two that I've run into a woman who's not as hygenic as most or possibly has some sort of medical malady that affects things for the worse, the vast majority of y'all are undeniably amazing. The smell and taste is something uniquely feminine, as are virtually all of the aforementioned reactions. To me, it's just one of the moments in life where we are boiled down to our respective male and female essences, and that's the only thing that matters for a while.

Like I said, I never really realized there was such a big disparity in how guys felt. I mean, I figured there were a few out there who didn't like it, but there are a few girls who don't give blowjobs, either -- it's hardly the norm. And to be completely honest, I feel a little sad for those people on both sides. They're missing out on some of life's greatest pleasures. It's like sex, but different, and I think oral time is the only scenario where you have such complete control of exactly what your partner is feeling. Intercourse feels great, but I doubt any of us have quite the same coordination with our naughty bits that we do with our mouths. We just use those a lot more.

And those who can't enjoy that? Well... they're missing out. Big time.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Ever Sleep With A Congressman?

If so, you may be able to cash in. 'Course, blackmail might just be more lucrative in the long run, but if you take the windfall and invest wisely, you could definitely do pretty well for yourself.

This "what the hell is the world coming to" moment brought to you by Larry Flynt and Hustler magazine.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Good Nookie Is Hard To Come By...

...or maybe it's not, but it sure as hell is a lot harder to find than it should be.

I've been dating again for about a year now, and I've noticed a disturbing trend when it comes to bedroom abilities. In general, people aren't that great at such things. And honestly? I'm pretty surprised, because I think it's almost harder not to be good at it than it is to rock your partner's world.

See, I'm a man. And as such, having a stellar sex life is pretty up there on the priority list. Definitely not the most important thing, but it's pretty key to continuing positive interactions with a significant other. I'm not a big one night stand kinda guy, although I will neither confirm nor deny any rumors of friends with bennies or recurring occasional hookup situations in my past. I tend to think that if someone's worth inviting into my bed once, they're worth repeat performances. But sometimes? It can be tough. While I'm a great coach (very important -- we're all different and like different subtleties, right?), I'm not a big fan of trying to teach others things that should already intrinsically be there.

'Cause being a great lover is pretty simple (disclaimer: if I'm exceptionally drunk or equally hungover, I make no guarantees until it's happened enough to be on the same wavelength already. Likewise, I don't usually assume a drunken or hungover experiences are representative of what a woman is like. Some moments we're just not physically up to mind-blowing, passionate monkeylove). It really only takes 4 things. In order of importance, a great naked olympics partner should be:

1) Enthusiastic
2) Observant
3) (somewhat) Experimental, and
4) Talented.

Let's break it down.

Enthusiastic -- Seriously? You gotta want to be there. If you're not into it, your partner won't be either. 'Cause nobody wants to feel like they're only worth making a half-hearted effort for (see above note about drunkenness and hangovers -- the one exception, and even then, only occasionally). If you're into it and it shows, on the other hand, everybody's gonna enjoy themselves, no matter what else happens. You can't have passionate encounters without the "passionate," right? This is by far the most important factor.

Observant -- In the moment, every single one of us gives off subtle and not-so-subtle clues as to what we're enjoying, what we're really digging, and what's not-so-much our thing. 'Cause, well... we're all different, and while there are some things that are generally universal due to similar anatomical equipment, we all like them slightly differently. If you pay attention to this, you can easily give your partner exactly what he or she wants and create one of the most memorable trysts they've ever had. And if you're both tuned in? Man, watch out. Life will be so good you want nothing more than to spend all day every day locked in the bedroom. In fact, just thinking about an observant lover makes me want to get the hell out of here and hunt one down. Wow.

(slightly) Experimental -- Don't misunderstand. I'm not saying "ok, break out the spiked collar, paddle, and nipple clamps, then jump on the anal sex expressway" here. I mean, if that's your thing, go for it -- with the right partner, sometimes we're suprised to find out how much kinkier we are than we ever thought we'd be, but it's definitely not a necessity. I guess a better word for what I'm trying to say here would be "exploratory." Don't just go right for the girl- or boy- parts. Explore your partner's body. Work your way around. Make it your mission to find new erogenous zones your partner never knew existed. Everything from the back of the ankle to the inside of the elbow to the lower back and beyond can be highly erotic. Learn what makes them tick sexually. A light touch or soft kiss here and there can make a world of difference. We're whole people, not just support systems for sex organs, and the brain (cliche alert!) is the most powerful sex organ we've got. If you light up every inch of their skin (while being observant as described above), you can put their brain into overdrive. This obviously works best if you're not rushed for time, but the information you get here can totally be put to use again when you are, cause you know what drives them crazy.

Talented -- One common mistake people make is thinking that their signature moves are all it takes to blow somebody away. In reality? Not so much. This is more like the added bonus. It's absolutely not necessary for retardedly good sex. That said, once you've got the other three points down, it can certainly be the kicker that blows everything through the roof. Those 5 years of Cosmo back issues you've got in the closet? Here's where you test them out. Get a good tip from a friend? See how it works. Crazy positions you've heard/read good things about? Definitely worth a try. Again, no one trick is going to work on everybody, but there's no better feeling than surprising your lover with something that drives them crazy, especially when they had no idea it was coming. Unless it's the feeling of being the one who's surprised with something you've never felt before and loving it. If you want to add some spice to your sex life, a few new tricks is a good way to do it, granted y'all already have the basics down. Being unique will definitely bring people back to you for things they can't get anywhere else.

So that's my take on how great sex happens. If you've got all four of these things down, and the other party involved does too, you're practically guaranteed mind-blowing passion every time you use them. And interestingly enough? You do them well, and you'll be surprised how often you get calls from people in your past wondering what you're up to and if you want to "catch up." Nothing says "great in bed" like partners who want to come back for more, right? Whether or not you choose to take them up on it.

If you've got something to add, I'd love to hear it. This is one area where one can never learn too much.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Well, Then.

What to say about the happy hour? Great turnout, for one. Some of us (raises hand) may have had a couple too many and got pretty intimately familiar with this feeling, some of us (hand back down) may have made a new love connection here or there, some traveled far and/or wide to get there, some lost their blogger happy hour virginity, but I think all can agree it was a great time. I saw old friends, made new friends, had all kinds of fun, and had a pretty decent drunken time with the bloggers I caught up with afterwards. Here's who made it out (in the order I ran into them):

INPY (recap)
DCWeddingPhotog (recap with pics!)
A Unique Alias
Sparkles Anon!
Jo (recap)
The Punisher
Boztopia (recap)
Cheerful Cynic
Dagny Taggart (recap)
Virgle Kent
Hey Pretty
Freckled K
GN (kind of a recap?)

If I missed you, let me know and I'll add you to the list, along with more recaps as I come across them.

Friday, May 18, 2007

And So It Begins...

Nice Guys Happy Hour

Ok, who's in?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

When Worlds Collide

Blogging is an interesting thing. Especially when people you know in the real world read your blog. We like to make things interesting, so sometimes when we're writing, we take a little bit of journalistic license. Things can be exaggerated, and sometimes we'll combine multiple people or stories into one, for the sake of getting our point across. We'll even play with timelines or places. It's all about saying what we're trying to say.

And the people we are as bloggers are usually only about 20% of our actual personality, so sometimes that can lead others to have the wrong impression of us. The whole person is usually very different from the person that comes across online. That's why most blog-crushes just don't work out in the real world.

So there's lots of opportunity for real life people to misunderstand or misinterpet the things we write about. On top of that, sometimes one can blog about something that's been on their mind recently (or even hasn't really been on their mind) that coincidentally appears to someone else to be related to them when it's not.

What's my point? Well, in the past couple weeks, I've seen several of my bloggy friends get into some pretty sticky personal situations with friends, dates, or others because said non-blogger misinterpeted something they posted and got upset by it. In fact, I've seen it happen to one person twice in the last week or two with three different friends, and I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that they're misinterpeting. It sucks. We let our friends know about these things and read them because y'all matter to us. We like you. We like you to see what's on our minds. We'd rather you read it. But please don't read to much into things. Cause 97% of the time, it's not about you. And if it is, trust me, you'll know before it hits. 'Cause that's just how we roll. The internet's not nearly as real as the real world, and I'd hate to ever run into a situation like a few of my friends are dealing with.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Moral Education?

The Good News: The Kansas Board of Education, hot on the heels of their recent success re-introducing an evolution-oriented curriculum in science classes, has canned abstinence-only sex education.

The Bad News: They've replaced it with "abstinence plus" education, which stresses abstinence before marriage, while also urging schools to give students information about birth control and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

While it's a step in the right direction, and I believe teenagers desperately need to know about birth control and safer sex, I think they're missing a pretty big point here. They're addressing the question of what morality (and facts) they should teach instead of the question of whether or not schools should teach a morality curriculum of any kind.

Here's how I see it. There are a very wide variety of people in this country who believe many different things when it comes to morality. And quite a few of those kids go to public schools. Why does the school have the right to teach all of them the same moral code -- isn't that their parents' choice (and responsibility)?

While I wouldn't necessarily teach my kids to stay abstain from sex until marriage and I don't really think it works, I believe in other peoples' right to raise their children with the moral codes they believe in. And when you really come down do it, the question of abstinence is completely a moral one. Shouldn't the schools teach the facts (including the one where the only totally safe sex is no sex) and leave the morality up to parents, churches, and so on? Is there any other area of school curriculum where public schools with no religious affiliation teach moral codes that children should get from other places?

I think we should stick with the facts and let parents do their job by instilling the moral values they find important in their children, just like mine did. I didn't take any classes that encouraged me to be abstinent until marriage, and I think I turned out just fine in the morality department.

On a loosely related note:

The Nice Guys Happy Hour is on Friday and there are bribes involved. Be there or be square.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

No Rules, Just Right

As you may have noticed, I haven't written anything deep and emotional for a while here, mostly because I haven't been feeling very deep or emotional myself lately. I'm still not in that mode, but I read something so great that I'm throwing it out here anyway. Those of you that read the blog for your sappy romantic guy fix? Today's your day.

If you don't already know him, Gene Weingarten is a humor writer for the Washington Post. I don't read him regularly, but I have several friends who do, and one of them pointed me to his regular Tuesday online chat today. Why? Because it's on a topic I'm fairly familiar with: age differences in dating.

I've always believed that age is just a number and maturity is what really matters. While age and maturity tend to follow similar trends, there are lots of people out there that don't fit the norm in such departments. I've dated women who ranged from seven years my junior to fifteen years older than me, and I count myself lucky to have interacted with every single one of them (ok, not every one, but we've all had a few unpleasant dates/relationships/whatever, right?). This topic ties in pretty well with my "no rules" approach to dating, which has opened me up to wonderful opportunities I would otherwise have missed.

So anyway, Mr Weingarten took a poll on what people think of couples with significant age differences, and the results were overwhelmingly cynical. As someone who's been there, I'm not so much so. One commenter had a great response:

Rebuttal to the Poll Results: I am a woman in my mid-20s. I am dating a man in his late-40s.

With very few exceptions, I never had much luck dating guys my own age. There aren't many with whom I share a lot of interests; how close you live to the bar is not the kind of detail that's likely to make me swoon and drop my pants. I don't want to stereotype all young guys here, but this has largely been my own experience.

My boyfriend isn't wealthy; you couldn't call me an opportunist. I'm intelligent and independent; you couldn't call him a chauvinist. So why am I in this situation when I could date someone who makes so much more "sense?" Well; how can you ask anyone why they're in love? He's intelligent and kind and funny. I admire and respect how he lives his life and treats the lives around him. I connect deeply to the way he experiences places and moments and music; the world. And beyond all the characteristics that someone could argue I might find in someone else, there is that quality, elusive to words, that transcends the "why." It just is.

One thing it's not is easy. Just look at the poll results. Others will always assume they know your story before they've heard a word. They'll willingly identify the limits of your relationship for you: clearly, you can't get married! And even if you did... well, surely you don't intend to have children, right? Look at that couple -- clearly they're deluded. Clearly they're using each other. Cynicism is always the quickest and easiest response.

I have known plenty of people -- friends and family -- who have made practical, logical choices against their true feelings and visceral instincts, and deeply regretted it. I have seen people I love live in relationships that made them somewhat satisfied at best and considerably unhappy at worst.

I've watched people live vibrant, beautiful, healthy lives well into their eighties and nineties. I've seen others die of illnesses in their thirties and forties, when their paths should just be starting to unfold.

If you told me right now that I had five years left to live, and asked me who I wanted to spend them with, there would be no doubt in my mind how to answer. Shouldn't that be the truth you live by? Anything can happen to anyone, at any time. I'd rather have five, ten, fifteen wonderful years than a long lifetime of vague discontent, or -- worse -- regret. It's true, I would never have pictured myself here before I met this person. I have no idea what will happen. It's not ideal, not by any stretch of the imagination. It's not perfect. But I do not apologize for it. Love happens. It happens randomly, in ways both remarkable and remarkably inconvenient. Love happens in shades of gray, and only those in it can truly understand its depth and navigate its complexities.

The fine poet Mary Oliver wrote: "you only have to let the soft animal of your body/love what it loves." These are not simple words to live by, but I think they are the key to living well.

Even if this relationship ended tomorrow, I would at least walk away knowing better than to ever cast a cold glance at anyone who dares to be happy living the life they choose, whatever that means, however far it may be outside the realm of what is commonly accepted and condoned. Some people might call it a mistake to continue an inherently complicated relationship across a distance of so many years. I think the mistake would be to let anyone else's willingness to judge me -- or him, or us -- impact the life I choose to live, who I live it with, or how happy I might be, for who knows how long.

I have nothing to add to this -- she said it all.

Preview of Next Season:

I've got a ton of topics to talk about in the queue, so stay tuned -- good things are coming. Special thanks to SW in NC for the article... I promise you'll see it discussed here soon.

Other News:

Jerry Falwell died today. I'm reminded of a Bette Davis quote: "My mother always said to speak good of the dead. Joan Crawford is dead. Good."

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Reminder and Then Some...

Nice Guys Happy Hour

It's coming...

And? Well, INPY and I have been talking, and we'd like to try an experiment here. You see, as host, I-66 gave out points and bought the first drink for the point leader. That was fun. Free drinks rock.

If you've never been to one of these happy hours, they're a pretty good time. Although I'm sure you'd expect a blogger happy hour to be kind of a nerd convention, filled with a horde of the socially awkward, it's really quite the opposite. I've met a ton of amazing people, made some really good friends, and generally had a great time at every one of them. These guys (and gals) are down to earth, interesting, hilarious, outgoing, and exceptionally friendly.

If you have been to a few, you've probably noticed it's usually pretty much the same crowd, with a new person or three who will probably come back and become part of that same crowd. And we love you guys (see above). We also love meeting the new person or three, and it would be cool to see our little group get bigger and bigger. So here's what we're gonna do (consider it our little version of I-66 points):

If you bring a blogger that neither INPY or I have ever met before, your first drink is on us. Similarly, if you are a blogger we've never met before and you show up without anyone to claim responsibility, we've got yours covered, too. Consider it a newbie incentive. :-)

When I came to my first one, I was a little nervous and I had no idea what to expect. I said to myself "I'll stop in for one beer and if it blows, I'll meet up with my friends over at the other bar." I ended up closing the place down that night with some very awesome people. I have no doubt that others have and will have similar experiences.

If you've never been and would like to, check out I-66's post on what to expect from your first blogger happy hour. I'll see you there!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Sorry, guys...

...running out the door to try to make it down to tech for the little sis's graduation. Want to read something interesting? Check out one of the links on the right, and I'll be back on Monday.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Don't Look Now, But...

Ok, I think that came out a little more extreme than I meant it to. I'm not super-depressed, I'm not out on the prowl for a wife, I'm not in a negative place right now, and I'm not, by any stretch of the imagination, desperate. On the other hand, one of my major goals in life at the moment is to find a good, solid, happy relationship. One that has the potential down the road to evolve into something serious. And at certain landmarks in time, so to speak, it's pretty normal (and important) to examine your goals and your progress towards them. Yesterday, being my one year break-up-iversary, was a good time for that.

To be honest, I don't have many regrets about my dating life this year. There's been a couple I think could have evolved into something truly amazing if we'd let them, but when things like that don't pan out, it's usually for good reason. I've had some great times and enjoyed life, been a lot more social than I was before, and I'm much happier than I was a year ago. I just don't feel a whole lot closer to where I want to be from a romantic standpoint.

Now onto the meat of what I want to talk about today. SWF41 and Rie mentioned the old cliche that love comes when you're not looking for it. I agree and disagree with that sentiment all at the same time. Let me explain.

See, first of all, it depends what you mean by looking. If you're chasing an idealistic concept, more concerned with the status than the actual person involved, and not ready to deal with reality, you're doomed to failure. This leads to things like pressuring people to move faster than they're ready for, embarking on insta-relationships, and getting too involved or invested before you really know the person you're dealing with. In other words, desperate never works. And if that's how you define "looking for it," I'm right with you 110%.

That said, I believe in being open and creating opportunities. Getting to know new people whenever you have the opportunity, no matter what context you're doing it under -- friends, dates, somewhere in between, whatever. Women, for the most part, can do that by living their normal social lives, because women are usually more receptive in dating than they are pursuit-oriented. A relatively attractive woman will meet a decent number of new men pretty regularly, provided they put themselves in environments where there are men they don't know around. Guys who find them attractive will initiate conversations and so on and so forth.

For guys, on the other hand, it's a little different. Women don't usually approach strange men, no matter how attractive they find them. That means that a guy who's not willing to do a little bit of work won't meet enough new women to sustain a healthy dating life. The guy who doesn't do any looking at all is the one who ends up sitting at home playing video games and hasn't had a date in 4 years. That's not who I want to be. I believe in the numbers game. The more interesting women I meet, the better the chances that one of them will be someone I could have a pretty good relationship with down the road. That also leads to a larger social circle and more friends, which in turn leads to more new people to meet and a happier, more socially rewarding life in general.

So I create opportunities. For example, if you've been to a blogger happy hour, it's pretty likely that I've come up to you and said "I don't think I know you yet. I'm [insert real first name here]," and started a conversation. I've met a lot of great friends that way, and some of those friends have introduced me to other friends. It's just like professional networking. There are lots of ways to do this.

Once a guy creates opportunities, he has to act on them when they present themselves. If I meet a girl who I find attractive, I will pretty much always set up some one-on-one time with her (if she's amenable to it), just to get to know her a little more. If there's already heavy duty flirting, I'll call it a date. If not, I'll keep it undefined. Either way, I'm open to whatever results from it. I could make a cool new friend, I could have a few great dates, I could end up very involved with that person, or we could just have a few drinks and stay acquaintances. A few of my closest friends now (hi guys! You know who you are) started out that way, and more than a couple of the girls on that list yesterday did, too.

So I'm not necessarily looking, but I'm open to possibility. It's been working well in the quantity department, and I've steadily gotten better in the quality one over time. Is that really considered "looking for it?" If it is, then I'd rather look. If not, I'm happy with the current way of doing things.

What do you think?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A Brief Retrospective

One year.

That's how long it's been, to the day, since this ended. And in that year? Well, I've had some interesting dating experiences.

Let's take an inventory:*

6 Stage five clingers...
3 Who misread what I wanted, projected their fears onto me, and used that to justify not dating me anymore...
2 Who made me think they were more into me than they were...
5 Whose personalities could be best summed up with "Whatever you want to do... I just want to make you happy..."
1 With a fuse so short that no one could ever figure out why she was mad...
4 Who would still come over right now if I called them...
1 Who made me feel like second best...
2 Skinny girls who thought they were fat...
3 Chubbier ones who thought they were super-skinny...
4 Hot nerds...
2 I could have seriously fallen in love with hard...
Many who had some growing up to do...
And a couple that made my heart hurt.

And those were just the ones who made it past the first date (please note: I'm not a whore -- there's quite a bit of overlap here). I've also had 2 stalkers (thanks, blogworld!) and a plethora of first dates that didn't go past that.

In other words, it's been a rough year, and I feel like I've been treading water. I don't feel like I'm any closer to the original goal. Strangely enough, as a grown man, I've got several goals in life, but the one I decided to focus on is the one it appears I've made the least progress towards. It seems like the only area in life where you can do all the right things and not make any progress anyway.

And I don't think it's that I'm looking in the wrong places. I've met these people just about everywhere: the internet, bars, through friends, the gym, at parties, normal everyday life... you name it, I've gotten a date or two out of it. I just don't know what to try next.

I'm this close to running off to become a monk. Or maybe moving away to start over in a new place. I'm feeling very unsettled at the moment.

Fuckin' women.

Disclaimer: If you're about to leave an anonymous comment about how arrogant I am, fuck off. Seriously, take it somewhere else. I'm not saying I'm perfect by any stretch of the imagination, just that I'm disillusioned and a little bitter today.

* If I've dated you this year, don't get offended. This is about my frustration with dating in general, not with you. In fact, you're probably not even on that list -- you're special.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Calling All Bloggers

As you've probably heard by now, the Blogger Happy Hour torch has passed on to new ownership. I-66 did a killer job, and we're hoping we can live up to it.

So what's on the menu for May?

Nice Guys Happy Hour

When: Friday, May 18th @ 8:00 pm
Where: Cue Bar -- 1115 U Street NW
Who: Hosted by INPY and yours truly.
Who's Coming: Bloggers, Commenters, Readers, Lurkers, Friends, and anyone else who happened to hear about it. If it sounds like fun to you, be there.
What: Booze, Bloggers, and Badassedly Good Times (also featuring pool, darts, and ping-pong)
How: However you'd like. Just try to keep it legal. Or at least don't get caught.

Here's Hoping...
...I-66 shows up anyway
...TexPundit gets paid on time
...Dagny Taggart avoids the blue stuff
...Average Jane doesn't hate me for my Heelys (yes, they're making an appearance)
...Ar-Jew-Tino wears a less confusing shirt
...Roosh hasn't used up his three word recaps
...MM brings the boy
...Gen stays away from the pasta
...FreckledK brings the camera
...Someone far away makes an appearance
...INPY doesn't die of alcohol poisoning
...and you show up.

It's gonna be a party, y'all.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Thank You, Jesus!

I have a confession to make.

I might have a little bit of a thing for the southern belle type. Ok, maybe it's a big thing. In fact, it might be bordering on "ginormous" or even "gargantuan."

From a personality perspective, I'm not all about your stereotypical southern gal -- I tend to like women who are fiesty, well-traveled, and have a bit of the tough girl in them. The ones that can banter like a champ, have a competitive streak, and make me feel like I've met my match.

Physically, though? Put the girl next door in a cute little sundress and a big floppy hat, and you will immediately destroy any chance I had of forming a logical coherent thought. I become a little puddle of LMNt on the ground, unable to process anything except the visions of beauty dancing before my eyeballs.

That's why this was my own little version of the happiest place on earth. Screw those Disney people -- it's all about the steeple chase. 'Course, the fact that the alcohol started flowing around 9 am or so probably didn't hurt too much. Come to think of it, this picture, although it was taken two years before and I wasn't there, pretty succinctly sums up everything that made Saturday a little slice of heaven. Take a look at it. Little sundresses everywhere and lots of liquor right up front. To top it off, conversation topics ranged from how many bottles can fit in a purse that already contains 3 pairs of shoes, two hats, and a big pink fleece to how best to properly harness, support, and display a beautifully ample bosom. The par-tay bus there and back was the icing on the cake.

Afterwards, we headed to Adams Morgan for a Kentucky Derby party thrown by a beautiful & gracious host. Good times were had by (almost) all. Excellent Saturday, even if I hadn't had 18 hours of drinking.

To sum up:
- wear a sundress = poke my achilles heel
- Steeple chases rock.
- If you find yourself with an extra invitation to a steeple chase, please for the love of dog send it my way. I'll be eternally in your debt.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Q: How Many Mice Does It Take To Screw In A Lightbulb?

A: Two, but god knows how the little guys got in there.

(This is a beta test of a possible "Silly Joke Friday" feature. Good? Bad? Ugly? Let me know. Special thanks to FoxySavant for the joke.)

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Our Story...

We've all got one. Well, the ninety-something percent of us who 1) aren't sheltered and/or virginal, and 2) didn't marry our high school sweetheart to live happily ever after. You probably have one yourself. I'm talking about the ex. The one you still think about sometimes and wonder what he/she is up to. The one who, in a different time or place, could have been your "happily ever after."

Mine was Carroll. We met online several years ago, and I fell for her the moment I laid eyes on her. She was a little distant at first, but a hell of a kisser, and I was apparently the first internet date she'd ever had. We had a few dates and a lot of fun, but we both had pretty severe cases of ODS at the time, and decided we'd be better off as friends (which, of course, when you've only been on a couple dates with someone, usually means "have a nice life -- you're cool, but not for me"). Somehow, though, I had a gut feeling that we'd meet again.

And I was right. A few months later, we ran into each other at a big new year's bash in DC. We made small talk, said how great it was to see each other again, and went back to our respective friends. At about 12:30, our paths crossed, and since neither of us had celebrated the new year in classic lip-lock style, we shared a slightly drunken, slightly-post midnight kiss or two and flirted for the rest of the night. After that we started talking again. Nothing major, just occasional IM acquaintances. We kept up on the major events in each other's lives.

Flash forward about 6 months. I'd just had a tumultuous breakup and lost the majority of my social circle in the process. So the next time I saw her online, I explained the situation and said that we should hang out, cause I could use some new friends (guy translation: "you're the one that got away and I'd like to fix that, but friends would be nice, too"). We started hanging out and getting closer. While we were a bit flirty, it was a platonic flirty, and I assumed (after feeling the vibe out a bit) it would stay that way, but she could definitely make a very good friend. I discovered karaoke, she started coming with me, and we soon formed a huge group for our weekly song-fests at the local bar. That was pretty much the only time we saw each other, but we talked a lot, and developed a strong bond. In fact, she became my best friend.

The next year, a little before Halloween, something interesting happened. We realized that we were the only two people in our respective social circles who really got into doing scary Halloween stuff. We went to see a scary movie together one night and ended up at my house, drinking, making out, and watching more scary movies on DVD. The next morning, things were awkward. We decided (again) that we should just be friends, but this time, it seemed a lot more like lip service. We hung out three or four times that week, and again the week after, getting more physical and date-y the whole time, and by the end of November, she called from vacation to tell me how much she missed me, I admitted the same, and we decided to do the exclusive bf/gf thing.

I'm not going to say everything was always perfect, because that's not realistic. We had our ups and downs, as everyone does, but what really amazed me was the complete and total lack of negative drama in the relationship. In the almost two years we dated, I can count the number of fights we had on one hand and still have fingers left over. And the majority of those were alcohol fueled, as opposed to being real issues needing resolution. It was by far the healthiest, happiest, and easiest relationship I'd ever been a part of. People always say that you have to work at it, but we really didn't seem to need to. It just happened.

Over time, things got pretty serious. We not only met the parents, but started visiting and hanging out with them. We became known as "LMNt and Carroll," instead of "LMNt" and "Carroll". We spent a few holidays together at her parents' house, and even slept in the same bed when we were there (something she and they had sworn would never happen until she was married to the guy). Conversations changed from "if we get married someday" to "when we get married." We spent almost every night in the same bed, and started seriously discussing moving in together and/or getting engaged. This was the first relationship she'd ever had (and is still the only one) that had lasted more than three months. Ever.

Then one day I realized things were different somehow. She seemed a bit distant. We didn't talk the way we used to. She was spending less time with me and more at happy hours with coworkers or friends. She stopped inviting me along. Somehow, this wonderful thing we'd built seemed to be slipping away. I mentioned it, and she said she wasn't sure, she hadn't noticed anything different, but she'd think about it and get back to me. We set a date to come back to the subject and talk.

(I'm sure y'all can see what's coming here.)

When the day rolled around, I said that I thought we were losing the passion. That we needed to have more fun together and take a few steps back from the serious stuff. She said she didn't want to be with me anymore. That she'd been trying to understand why she wasn't ready to move in together yet, and while she hadn't figured it out, the fact that she wasn't (after how long we'd been together) and that it weighed on her so much were signs that I wasn't the one. Being an intuitive guy, I'd kind of assumed this was where things were going and came prepared. We did the obligatory stuff exchange on the spot. She cried. I didn't. That wouldn't happen until the next day.

She said that I'd been her best friend for years and she still wanted to be friends. I told her I'd need some time to process things, but that I agreed, and I'd get in touch with her after I'd sorted myself out. And after a month or two, I did. We hung out once and talked on the phone or over email a few times, but things were never quite the same. Eventually, she stopped even responding to phone calls or emails. I wasn't trying to get back together, and I didn't pressure her to even do the friends thing, but I was (and still am) extremely disappointed to lose the friendship. There may have been a drunk dial or three since.

So today I'm feeling a bit nostalgic. I'm way beyond considering her date-worthy -- that'll never happen again. From what I've heard, she's changed quite a bit, and is not at all the same woman I fell for. I still miss what we had at times, though, even though my romantic life is going absolutely swimmingly at the moment.

Why is this in my mind today? Well, I've got plans this weekend where there's a pretty decent chance I'll run into her and a group of her friends (who used to be our friends, but she knew them first, so she got custody). I'm not quite sure how I'll handle it if that happens. I mean, on the outside, I'm sure I'll respond properly. Make small talk, have a lot of fun with my friends (and my date) and not seem phased. Internally though? I don't know. I'm kinda keeping my fingers crossed that she's not there. But at the same time, a little piece of me sort of hopes she is.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Muffin Top: The Sequel

<creepy movie preview voice-over guy>

When the weather gets warmer and the sun comes out, a new terror is born.

A disease so hideous and terrible, it preys on the young and beautiful, rendering them horribly disfigured.

Muffin Top was just the beginning. This summer, prepare yourself for the ultimate in fear. Just when you thought it was safe to go outside again...

...Bluffin Top will chill you to the core.

Bluffin Top

Coming soon to a recreational area near you.

This feature is not appropriate viewing for any audiences.

</creepy movie voice-over guy>

Audience Participation Results

UPDATE: Apparently only one post is showing up on the live feed, so if you got here from there, there's a newer, realer post above. :-)

That was fun. Y'all had some great stories, so thanks for sharing.

SWF41 wins for crazy implications that are probably a hell of a lot scarier than the actual dates. You definitely need to blog those stories, darlin'. Shoot me an email to collect your prize.

We'll definitely have to do that again sometime.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Audience Participation

Ever go to a concert where the band has a song that involves audience participation? Usually they run through what they want you to sing, let the crowd practice a few times, and then tell them what their cue is. When the crowd gets into it, it's a great time.

That's what we're gonna do today. I'd love to see everyone who reads this join in, whether you're a regular, this is your first time here, you read but don't comment, or anywhere in between. Got it? Cool.

Here's what you need to do to play. Click that little link at the end of this post that says "hit it," and give me the story of your craziest bad date. I'm sure you've got one, 'cause everybody has been on at least one bad date in their lifetime. The craziest story (INPY you're totally disqualified here) wins a special random prize from yours truly. And yes, you're still eligible even if you live very far away. I'll eat the postage. We'll pick a winner in a few days.

Ready? Go!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Aaaaaand... We're Back!

Yes, I'm back. And we'll return to our regular dating/relationships/male-female dynamic subject matter tomorrow, but since I've already been off-topic for a few days, I'm going to take this opportunity to say something even further off-topic.

I'm not a political blogger, and this is not a political blog. I don't ever want it to be. I like the dating stuff, I'm better at writing about it, and it's a hell of a lot more entertaining. If you've known me in the real world for any significant amount of time, however, you know that I'm very interested in the current state of the world. The power dynamics fascinate me, and I feel it's our duty as responsible, intelligent citizens to stay well-informed. We, the people, are the most significant piece in the American system of checks and balances, and if we don't know what's going on, we can't responsibly execute that role.

My belief structure is hard to classify politically. I'm pretty liberal in some areas, relatively conservative in others, and right down the middle on the rest of it. I'm proudly independent, because I prefer to weigh each individual decision on its own merits over blindly siding with one group or another. And honestly? Right now, I'm not particularly happy with anybody.

What I am is scared. Terrified, even. And I have been for a few years now. I believe we're in the midst of one of the darkest periods American history will ever see. When you compare what America stands for with what it's doing at the moment, the two have never been farther apart. And when you compare recent events in America with past historical examples of similar occurrences elsewhere, the outlook is bleak. I'm not going to go into detail here, because someone else has said it much better than I ever could, but there's a link to that at the end of this post.

So where are the people? Well, for the most part (and I hope most of my readers are more educated than this), they're busy voting for Sanjaya or getting the latest scoop on Britney/Anna Nichole/Paris/whoever the latest bimbo of the week is. They're not paying attention, and that's dangerous. The less we keep an eye on our leadership, the more they can get away with (and honestly, our system is structured in a way that attracts the power-hungry while discouraging those with altruistic motives). It's misdirection. I mean, the connection between Fox News and the party line is pretty blatant, but they're not the only ones distracting us. The Gonzalez hearing yesterday got one day of real news time, to be kicked off the headlines today by Rosie's departure from The View. Anna Nichole's death was a three week affair, but how much have you heard about the disinformation surrounding Pat Tillman's? As tragic (and close-to-home personally) as the Virginia Tech incident was, how were those 33 young american deaths more significant than the 3,335 (and counting) we've lost in Iraq, which have become nothing more than a simple infographic sidenote in the papers?

We are not doing our jobs. And if Americans as a whole fail to properly oversee the system and hold people accountable when necessary, bad things will happen. You know, when someone tells you to "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain," that's exactly where you should be looking.

Naomi Wolf describes my fears in a well researched, thought-out, and thought provoking editorial here.

On a lighter note...

American Blogstand is shaping up to be the must-see drunken blogger show of the century, in addition to being I-66's going away party as host. Be there. I might even sing for ya.

And yes, tomorrow, we'll be back to the fun stuff.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Updated: So...

Life is really crazy right now. My work has gotten really busy, and the ol' social life is pretty eventful. In short, I've got a little too much on my plate at the moment, I'm feeling a bit burned out, and I'm gonna take a brief hiatus from the blog here. It may be a week, could be two, but I'll come back fresh and have lots of good stuff for you to read soon. Check back.

Update, 9:45AM:

So I've already gotten a few "why the break?" emails, and I'm assuming there are more coming. Well, you want an answer? You got it.

I'm re-evaluating my romantic philosophy.

You see, I live my romantic life based on the idea of not acting out of fear. That it's better to open yourself up to people, connect with them, and allow yourself to be vulnerable than it is to avoid making those connections out of fear of being hurt. What I'm realizing now, after a string of unpleasant events, is that there's a big problem with that philosphy -- if everyone else is going to act out of fear, the person who doesn't will get hurt every time.

If you've read much of this blog, you realize that I'm one of the most optimistic and idealistic people you'll ever meet. But there's an interesting dichotomy there. At the same time, I'm also one of the most jaded and cynical. Lately I feel like the cynic is winning. And that's not who I want to be. On the other hand, the idealist is getting beaten into a pulp, metaphorically speaking. I'm putting myself out there and losing, because other people are afraid. And while I understand that a great guy can be quite scary (great girls are, too), seeing situations repeatedly go south with people I care about for silly reasons is taking a toll on me.

I feel like it would be hypocritical to keep spouting the optimistic ideals when I'm feeling anything but, and I don't want this blog (or me) to become negative or bitter, so I'm taking some time to get my head on straight and figure out exactly how I want to handle budding romances in the future. You can rest assured that I'll be back in a week or two, and I'll be the same happy romantic y'all know and love, albeit possibly a bit more cautious. I'm just hitting the reset button on my brain at the moment.

It's tough feeling like a whole person in a damaged world, but I'd rather feel this way for a little while than succumb to it and become just another damaged, scared person. It's not who I want to be or how I want to live.

Thanks for listening. See you soon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Two Things

Ok, I'm crazy slammed at work today, but there are a couple quick points I'd like to mention here.

First of all, the tragedy at Virginia Tech. My younger sister is a student there, and she lived in the dorm (on the same floor, in the same area) where the shooting started during her freshman year. Obviously, this hit a little close to home for me and I'm deeply sympathetic to all the people who are suffering because of it.

That said, DCWeddingPhotog has an excellent viewpoint that I can get behind a hundred and twenty percent. EVERY young American life is sacred, and every one we lose that could have been avoided somehow is awful.

The other interesting thing I read this week was an editorial on the way women look at their bodies and the quest for perfection. It's an excellent, thought-provoking read and I think every woman (and most guys) should read it and give the idea some consideration.

I'll be back tomorrow with a real post. Promise.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Come on, people.

This is just silly.

(if you don't know what I'm referring to here, trust me -- you don't want to.)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Case in Point

So I talk a lot about "nice guys," and how being one is not the answer. How you can be a good guy and still have a backbone. Most of you understand this, but just in case there's a guy or two out there (or a girl... it totally works both ways) who really doesn't get it yet, I'd like to share something I got in the mail the other day.

"I had never replied to a post on Craig's List before but a week or so ago, I saw an add posted by "Good Guy". He seemed really nice so I sent him an email. He seemed nice and normal when we talked on the phone--which absolutely surprised me because it seems like every other guy on there is sex-crazed or socially awkward. Anyway, while reading your post [ed note: she's talking about this one.] I was wondering about this guy and my immentent was the perfect post for my day! :)

It turned out that while he was a nice guy, he was way too nice! I think throughout the whole two hour dinner and date he probably said "You have a really beautiful smile", "You seem like such a nice girl, just the kind I was hoping to meet", and "I really enjoyed tonight" about ten times EACH!!! It freaked me out a little bit.

When he dropped me off I made sure he didn't kiss me because at this point Iwas very turned off. Then about an hour later (it's now about 11:30 at night) he called...I didn't answer. His voice mail reiterated his love of our time together. Yuck! Then sent me a text message telling me thanks for going out with him and that he had fun (this was about half an hour after the phone call). Then again today when I was at work he texted me to say hewas thinking about me and hoping I had a good day."

Ok, while this is obviously a very extreme case, even the best of us have been known to make similar mistakes on a smaller scale. If you've ever lost someone and didn't know why? I'd bet twenty bucks you were "too nice," or let them know too early that they had you.

So to reiterate...

...don't be that guy (or girl).


Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Change-Up...

Ok, so the advice thing is getting a little old for me to do on a regular weekly basis. Because of that (and a few other concerns that will remain nameless), I think I've decided to kill the regular Friday advice column. If you have a question, keep sending'em in and I'll hit them every once in a while, just not every week.

Which leaves me with an interesting problem. I kind of like having something regular to do on the last day before the weekend -- it saves me some brainstorming hassle. So I'd like to have a good feature that y'all will enjoy, but I'm not sure what that is at the moment.

Help me out here. Leave a comment suggesting what you'd like to see. The winner gets a beer on me at the next happy hour.

And because I hate to leave you with nothing entertaining to read, enjoy this "Amazon accidentally sends sex toy ads to the wrong people" article. In fact, I'll call that and raise it one "parents circulate dvd of principal cavorting with two teachers" for good measure. Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Work is extremely busy and I'm feeling humor today, so here's a little something I wrote many months ago when I was still toying with craigslist.


I want to hate-fuck a republican.

Anne Coulter

Not just any republican, but a die-hard, SUV driving, gay hating, hardcore Bush supporter. Think Ann Coulter - she'd be a great prospect. Is she the only attractive one left? I don't want to convert you... in fact, I probably don't even want to talk to you very much. Just enough to get me in the mood for some rough and passionate hate-fucking. I'm talking hair pulling, biting, scratching, the whole nine yards. While I expect this to be a one time thing, I'm open to repeat performances if things go really well. Hell, if you're a cool chick (other than, of course, the rabid neo-conservativism) and we agree not to argue about politics, there may even be real potential here.

I'm a passionate, fiery, homo-loving, abortion-approving, sexy liberal son of a bitch. I'm in good shape, 5'10", well read, very knowledgable about politics/current events, and I voted for both Gore AND Kerry. Ironically enough, my political beliefs fall more in line with what was historically considered republican ideals than they do with the democrats. It's YOUR president (and the idiots who tried to impeach one before him over a goddamn blowjob) who pushed me to side with the left.

If you're as angry as I am and ready to take it out on a progressive, send a pic and I'll send you one back. I can host at my place in VA, or will drive just about anywhere in the area if you'd prefer to stay at yours. My little Civic will do WAY less damage to the environment than your oh-so-cool Hummer, anyway (score another one for the good guys!).

And if you're a cool liberal chick who saw the title and just had to read it, you think this is hilarious and we'd get along fabulously, drop me a line. You probably won't get any violent hate-fucking, but you may make a new friend or more.

P.S. -- I'm sure you've already read about it on about a bajillion and one other blogs, but I was pretty darn sad to hear about Kurt Vonnegut. It's not a good day for book nerds.