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.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Do Men Want a Relationship?

So it's no big secret that I like craigslist. It's a great place to get just about anything you need or want (except maybe a significant other). Also? If you feel the need to just get something off your chest (and you don't have a blog to do it on), the rants and raves section is wonderful. It's also a good place to find some entertainment ('cause some of these people are nutjobs) and see how much worse things could be for you.

Anyway, this morning a major topic there was "Do Men Want A Relationship?" It really got the wheels turning for me, because there's definitely an answer, but it's complicated.

First off, there is a significant population of guys out there who want nothing more than a relationship. Any relationship. With any girl. This is the stereotypical "nice guy," the poor fool who serves up his testicles (and self-respect) on a silver platter the very moment a pretty (or not-so-much-so) girl smiles the right way in his direction. He's that needy, desperate bastard who doesn't give her any time to herself, is jealous of her friends or other dates, gives inappropriate gifts, and makes a girl feel so suffocated that he's out of the picture before he ever really got into it in the first place.

I'm assuming that's not what y'all are talking about.

On the other end of the spectrum, we've got the misogynistic, arrogant, woman-hating player who wants to sleep with anything he can, but has such a low opinion of the female species (usually resulting from past hurts when he was a "nice guy") that he doesn't see any value in a true emotional connection with one. He can be quite attractive at first, but he uses and abuses women, and if you fall for him, you'll never get your relationship and you'll definitely get hurt. It's his twisted, subconcious way of paying back the female species for the damage they've done to him. He's overcompensating by swinging too far in the other direction.

Again, I'm guessing this isn't what you want, either.

Then there's the third type. He's strong, self-assured, and confident. He's going places in life, but he likes to stop and smell the roses along the way. He has his own outside interests and social life that have nothing to do with dating, and he's probably fairly protective of them. This guy truly values women, enjoys their company, and wants to get to know what's unique about each one he interacts with. He's funny, flirty, and a blast to be with. He thinks that every single one of you is special in your own way, and he wants to learn about yours. He's thoughtful, but not pushy, would make an excellent boyfriend, and is probably pretty damn talented on a physical level, too.

Does this guy want a relationship? Well, the honest answer is "yes, but."


...he wants one, he doesn't need it. He places a high value on good relationships, and is perfectly content to keep dating and getting to know different women until he finds that. It has to be with the right woman, and it has to be at the right time.

The right woman is also confident and self assured. And she, too, wants one. She's quite happy without it, but places the same value in the good relationships he does and knows how it will enhance her life to be in one. She's proud of who she is and knows she's a damn good catch, too. She may joke about her awesomeness cause that's fun, but she doesn't brag because she knows that if a guy's got any sense, he'll recognize it for himself and appreciate her that much more because he came to it on his own. She doesn't have any hangups with herself or the world around her. She may not be a supermodel, but is reasonably attractive -- she keeps herself in good shape and does the best she can with what she's been given. She's funny, witty, optimistic, and exceptionally smart. Honestly, she's a lot like him. This woman realizes how great he is and treats him accordingly, cause he'll be out the door if he's not appreciated. The closer she is to his ideal, the higher his tolerance is, especially in the early stages when things are uncertain, but either one of them will lose the other in a heartbeat if they start taking things for granted and stop treating their partner as a gift they're blessed to recieve.

The right time is the second vital ingredient. I'm not talking about timing in your life, because the smart ones understand good things come when you least expect them, life will never be perfectly settled, and you take action when you have opportunities. They don't miss these opportunities. I mean the timing between the two of them in this particular interaction. Because neither needs a relationship and is quite happy without one, they take their time to get into anything too serious. The right guy doesn't want to be rushed, and likes to really get to know someone before he jumps into a committed relationship. He'd rather wait until they're so addicted to each other that they can't stand not being in a relationship with each other than pull the trigger too early and start something that ends badly. He may get physically and emotionally involved, but he still keeps a bit of himself separate until the time is right. He doesn't push for commitment, and will run if the other person does. When he's ready, he'll bring it up casually and see how she responds, and if she's not ready yet, he'll wait for her to bring it up later when she is. His focus is on enjoying each other's company and the getting-to-know-you process over the end results. He stays in the moment and worries about the future when it comes around.

If you've been wondering if men really want relationships, it's pretty likely that you're not yet the right woman. She doesn't wonder -- she simply enjoys the company of the gentlemen she meets and trusts that she'll end up in a relationship with the right one when he comes along and they both know it's right. Until then, she dates people to see if they're right for her and to have fun. If you're not there yet, don't worry -- you can get there.

And if you really are the right woman? Well, you already know all this stuff.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

How Hard is it to Eat Melted Chocolate?

I've tried three times in the last couple of weeks to make chocolate fondue. It's one of my favorite things, and I make it pretty damn well -- dark chocolate with Grand Marnier being my favorite variety. And also? Making and eating fondue with a bottle of wine is a great date-type activity.

But there's been a problem with it lately. Here's the thing. I'm all about discovery. I love making a connection with someone, and getting to know what's hanging below the surface. You see, people are really fascinating creatures. Especially members of the opposite sex. And double especially when there's a dose of good old fashioned chemistry involved.

I really get off on learning how people think. I like to hear about the experiences that have made them who they are, what their family was like growing up (and still is), what they did last weekend, and/or who their favorite author is. I light up when I get a long, personal email, I get giddy (hold on... manliness check. Yes, they're still attached) after a fun phone call, and when I get home from a real winner of a date? I'm walking on air.

Which leads us back to the fondue. You see, when you're a talker (like me), you're quite the fan of that discovery phase, you're laughing together, and you get caught up in a great conversation over wine? You tend to forget to actually make the fondue. Instead, you realize it's time to end the date, you've had a great time, and you still have an unopened pile of fondue ingredients. And then? It becomes very hard to eat melted chocolate.


I had a female friend tell me this morning that it was that time of the month and she was "hormotional." I absolutely love this new hybrid word, and if I can get away with it? It's totally gonna get some good airtime.

Monday, April 9, 2007

I Don't Get It...

...why are they always so damn hot???

Has anyone else noticed this particular trend? Those high school boys have got it good.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Good Cop, Bad Cop Fridays -- April 6, 2007

A Little Uncertain writes

"After 9 months together my girlfriend told me she needed space. She said she didn't know why but she wasn't happy and she needed time to figure out what wasn't working with us and how to fix it. We stopped getting together almost every day and went down to once or twice a week. That was about a month ago. After about two weeks she told me she wanted to see other people and now I hear through the grapevine that she's been hanging out with this other guy who used to be my friend. She always says she's too busy when I ask to see her and I don't know what to do. I love her and want to make things work. Bigger Bitch Than You and LMNtal, how do I get my happy girlfriend back and put our relationship on track again?"

Bigger Bitch says:

Dear A Little Uncertain:

"Uncertain"? Really? Sweetie. Let me ask you what you've been doing all this time? Crying? Calling your girlfriends and moaning about it? Sending the ex (we should call her that now) flowers and love letters. DUDE....she's DATING someone that USED to be your FRIEND. BIG RED LETTERS.

My advice is to give her all the space she wants (to the moon) and get yourself a life. Go out even if it's to the movies by yourself. Go on a trip. Go visit buddies from college or go back to the hometown (that'll make you thankful). And don't contact her. Yes, she's too busy...she's got a life!

If you still feel love sick (emphasis on sick) then make a calm, adult call to her and ask to discuss your feelings. Don't blabber or cry or beg for her back. If she wants you back, TRUST ME, she's going to make the effort. If she doesn't...then call me, I'll fix you. I am the best relationship Zambonie you'll ever find.

And as Cher said "SNAP OUT OF IT".

LMNt says:


Good grief!

See y'all next week! Have an excellent weekend, and don't forget to send in those questions.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Carry-On or Check, Please?

Dagny posted about baggage the other day, and it really got my wheels turning.

See, I think it's pretty unreasonable to expect a new partner to come baggage-free. We've all dated before, and we've all had experiences in the past, both good and bad, that contribute to who we are today. That said, I think I tend to come into new interations looking a lot like this:

My Baggage

As I (and the people I know) get older, though, more and more people I meet, both in romantic and platonic contexts, seem to be daters a lot closer to this persuasion:

Their Baggage

What is "baggage," though? I mean, we throw the word around a lot these days, and we all know it when we see it, but what exactly does the term really mean? I think it's a little bit different for everybody, but when I say it, here's what I'm usually talking about.

Baggage is the effects of past experience that have negatively impacted the bearer, causing him or her to act out of fear in certain scenarios, especially in a romantic context.

I think that's a pretty good definition, and it encompasses a lot of things. It could be an overly/extremely guarded or cautious approach to dating (fairly common), a fear of the vulnerability that comes with commitment disguised as a genuine disinterest in having a boyfriend or girlfriend (BBTY, I'm talking to you), or negative feelings towards certain phrases or scenarios ("what are you wearing?" from Dagny's post), due to the way past partners handled them. If you've ever had a jealous or controlling partner who's tried to discourage you from your dreams, make you think you're not good enough, or kill any outside social life that doesn't include them, you're a lot less likely to expose yourself fully to the next one, because who's to say they won't try to do the same thing? Even if they don't seem to be that type of person, the last one didn't seem so at first either, right? That's baggage, too.

But a good relationship with the right person will never make your life smaller. Quite the opposite, acually. A good partner will appreciate and encourage all the things that made your life happy before they came along, while adding whatever positives they can to the mix as well. They'll push you towards your goals, celebrate your successes with you, and make your life bigger, fuller, and happier than it was without them. Ironically enough, when we act on our baggage, the best potential partners for us are the ones we're the most likely to drive away. They understand better than most two simple facts: In order to have a deep, intimate emotional connection, the kind that lasts and outshines all others, you have to expose yourself -- to make yourself vulnerable to the other person and give them the power to hurt you. And if you give that power to someone who's too afraid to give it back, you will get hurt. It's an absolute certainty. The people who are smart and experienced enough to actually have those positive relationships will pass on that losing bet every time. They'll be patient. They'll give us time to fight the fear, but if it beats us, they'll move on.

So how do we avoid such missed opportunities, keep our baggage packed away, and pursue those relationships that will truly make our lives better? I think the answer is extremely simple, but as difficult to acheive as it is easy to say.

Keep the past in the past. Expect the best from people until they give us reasons to suspect otherwise. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Be concious of where our fears come from. As scary as it is, expose our vulnerabilities to those who we think can bring us joy. Give them the power to hurt us, and have faith in them to guard that power instead of abusing it. And above all, live by what's possibly the most well known quote in American history:

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt."

Mark Twain was a smart man.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

In Inches, In Miles, In Laughter, In Strife?

How do you measure the greatness of a man*?

Is it in the things he does, the ideas he believes in, the love for/of those around him?

Maybe it's how he changes the world... or changes the lives of those he's close to.

Or the joy and laughter he brings to others. The works he performs or his success in a chosen profession. Maybe it's money. Maybe it's the beauty he contributes to life. Possibly the respect he inspires or shows to others.

Everybody's got their own yardstick, and I'd hazard a guess that no two people share exactly the same one. If you're reading this, whether you comment every day or have never shared a word, I'd like to know your thoughts.

What's truly important for someone to pursue in life?

*or woman

Monday, April 2, 2007

The End of an Era...

Ok, so I absolutely love dating. I love the shiny, sparkling feelings you get when you start to see someone new, I think almost every woman is amazing in her own way, and I love discovering the little surprises you really don't see coming when you get to know someone. The anticipation of a first date, the sparks of the first kiss, and the passion of a first... um... interaction... they can all be like a drug for me.

On the other hand, sometimes I totally hate dating. Sometimes it brings uncertainty, drama, and pain. There will always be occasions where you like someone who doesn't feel the same way, and times where someone likes you but you're just not feeling it. Sometimes you get hurt, sometimes you hurt people, and sometimes you wonder if it's ever going to work out for you. There's a lot of wondering and at times, overanalyzing involved. It can suck.

Saturday night, I was feeling a little more along the lines of number two, and I got together with my good friend Lisa, who happened to be in a similar mindset. After a few too many glasses of wine each, we came to the conclusion that there was a way to 1) have an adventure, and 2) end all those gross uncertainties for good. So, fueled by inebriation and graced with the power of the internet, we found some unbelievably good last minute fares, said "what the hell, let's do it," skipped town and got hitched.

That's right. You heard me.

We're both damn attractive, have similar views on relationships and how to handle them, and understand what it takes to really make something work, if you want it to. And as crazy as it sounds, I think we just might be able to do so. So wish us luck, even though we're retards. I like to think of it as good retarded.

Dating drama? Game over -- I'm a newlywed now. Rock on!

P.S. -- We're gonna throw a bigass par-tay in a week or two to celebrate, and of course, you're all invited. Come throw down with the happy couple.

P.P.S. -- The sex is fantabulous.