Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Man, The Woman, The Legend.

Urban legends, right in time for Halloween. Not only are there scary urban legends, there are the sort of urban legends that Single Girls tell to each other to feel better-- things like "It's not you; it's him. He's obviously crazy, and he'll be begging you to come back next week, just wait and see." That, my friends, is a total myth, and one we all know is complete bullshit.

So which do you think is more unbelievable, the ones we choose to re-tell, hope attached, or the ones told to give us goosebumps of the un-delicious kind? The stories of the friend-of-a-friend-of-a-cousin whose fiancée cheated on her, and then repented to become the best husband and father there ever was, or the one about the girl who came home late one night to her dorm room, drunk, and fell right into bed, only to wake up in the morning to find her roommate brutally murdered, and the words "Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the lights?" written in her blood on their wall? Appalachia's Tailypo story scared the shit out of me when I was a kid, but the legend about how it's women who least expect it find the perfect guy is supposed to give us hope? How do we least expect it, if we're all frantically looking for it? Sure it happens, but never in the way we're least expecting it to.

And what about Hook Man? Maybe at one time, he had showed up under a girl's window with a boombox and won her over. And alligators in New York City's sewers. Oh, wait-- that one's true. Do you know what other Single Girl urban legend is sometimes true? The girl who had a one-night-stand that turned into a relationship.

Once upon a time, I had a one-night-stand. I had met the guy a week previously. We spent about 2 hours talking, on a kind of set-up, and that's all it took to convince me he was attractive, convince him I was cute, and convince both of us that we should end our respective dry-spells. We slept together for one night, and then never again. I ran out of my apartment the next morning at 8 AM, leaving him eating breakfast in my living room.

Once upon another time, I had another one-night-stand. This time, I had no disillusions about it being anything but-- we both knew it. He asked me to spend the night; I had brought my overnight bag with me. He kissed me goodbye the next morning; I was confused, yet triumphant. It was like big-game safari hunting, campus edition. 5 days later, he called. He wanted into a relationship. Thus started a 330+ day on-again, off-again unholy partnership of egos, lengths of silence punctuated by periods of too much talking, the exchanging of books and saliva and lots and lots of stories, and just enough occasional sweetness to make it actually seem like an ok idea when barely lucid. The fling was flung. Man, myth, legend.

Like how my mom used to chop all my Halloween stash candy bars in half because of that urban parenthood legend about psychopaths shoving needles and razor blades into trick-or-treating candy, proceed with caution when it comes to these stories, and like with all urban Single Girls legends and gossip, take it with a grain of salt. Someone else's sort-of-optimistically-Unhappy-Ever-After may be just what you're looking for, or it may be the sort of thing you told around campfires to hear other people's screams. Moral of the legend? Promiscuous sex rarely leads to relationships-- it tends to lead more to things like venereal diseases, people saying "I'll call you" and then never doing so or never returning your calls, and terse mornings spent hovering over the toilet bowl making all sorts of strange promises to different gods re: your fertility-- but sometimes, when all the planets align, and the air smells right, and when you least expect it, sometimes, it will at least lead to a second night. Or a whole bunch of second nights. Boo. Scary, ain't it?


Saturday, October 30, 2010

How To Train A Man. Or, How To At Least Get Him To Say "Thank You."

I was chatting a few nights ago with one of my oldest friends about guys when she brought up a point so valid I had no choice but to ask her if she would expand on the thought for a guest-post. I can attest to the fact that she is one of those gifted girls who has a way with getting people to want to do what she wants them to. For the rest of us, less-gifted and talented people such as myself, and if you have ever been at a loss as to how to bring up the fact that you would like something, be it a "thank you" or a new hoodie, consider this your somewhat sneaky--yet very practical-- guide to asserting yourself. Like I've previously stated, men don't read minds, and sometimes women's hints are so obtuse they fly right over guy's head. Help them out a little more-- state clearly what it is you want or expect.

If you have ever felt like you give and give and give, and see very little back in return-- this is for you.



When asked to write a guest post for this wonderful blog, I was hesitant at first. As I told Carissa, my writing has been very “scientifically limited” in the past three years. And when I say very scientifically limited, I mean the only 5 paragraph essay I now know comes in the form of an Abstract, Intro, Methods, Results, and Discussion section. However, after thinking about the many…colorful…conversations Carissa and I have on a regular basis, I thought why not! Let’s try writing this thing!

So in our latest conversation, my dear old friend and I were discussing the wonderful trait men have of not giving back. Not even a simple “thank you” springs from their lips unless their mother is hanging over their shoulder. Now, I know this isn’t true for all men. I have some amazing male friends who offer to help my mother with dishes when over around dinner time or aid my father in cutting up that giant maple tree that was just blown over by the wind storm (although I’m not sure this isn’t out of sheer joy of getting to play with a chainsaw). Yet, when it comes to male-female interactions between individuals of the same age, this general hospitality seems to be lacking. Unless you are frequent bedmates, men do not give back. And even in that scenario it’s more of a give-and-take situation, with the taking often overshadowing the giving.

However, I somehow have been bestowed upon with the gift of making men fall at my feet with gifts. Ok, not really. But I did recently convince one of my most notoriously unthankful friends of the XY-chromosome sort to put a little more effort into our relationship and (gasp) even get me a little thank-you gift. How did I accomplish such a feat you ask? Well, dear readers, read on and I shall share with you this golden secret:

Step 1: Appeal to his interests. In my recent escapade with Unthankful Male Friend A, I started the conversation by asking him if he wanted a free case of whey protein from a recent study we had done. (See how much of a science nerd I am? Even I’m disgusted sometimes.) I told him we had a ton of extra and I knew he would probably like some. His response (and this is a direct quote…straight from my phone to your eyes): “Yess please! Yessssss that’s awesome! Thanks! Appreciate it!” A bit overzealous, but still, perfection for where this conversation was headed.

Step 2: Remind him of your recent favors to him. Be it cooking him dinner, giving him a ride, spotting him a few dollars, or favors of the sexual kind, sneak in a little zinger about how much you’ve done for him lately. Again in my recent conversation with the Indian Giver, I told him about a possible internship for next semester where I would work with the Philadelphia Flyers farm team. Hot hockey bros. Sweaty (shirtless) workout sessions. Free tickets. Then after his so indirect comment about accompanying me to games (“That’d be ill. I’d come to any games with you in a heartbeat,”) I struck. “At least you’re easy to please. A pinny, whey protein, and a signed puck. Now that I think of it, you owe me for all that. Hmmm…” So direct, even a caveman could get it. (NOTE: It is NOT useful to be this direct in all cases. This kid is a dunce at times. I mean, he still refers to girls as his “bids”. Yeah. That kind of guy. Clearly he needed the “extra” help. Other men, however, do not need such a direct reminder. In these cases you can simply slip in a “That conversation we had when I gave you a ride to Location X was great,” or a “How’s that sweater look with those jeans I bought you?” Just be sure that you include the words “I” and “gave” [or some version thereof] in your reminders. These words are direct enough to get his mind reeling about the various good deeds you’ve done for him lately while still indirect enough to not make him feel threatened.)

Step 3: Be prepared. Once he realizes that “Hey, she has done a lot for me lately. Maybe I should repay her or say thanks”, be prepared to tell him what you want or need. Or, if your male friend is more sensitive (I’d like to think creative), be prepared for a nice evening out on the town free of charge to you. Either way, make sure you’re ready for what he brings back to you. If you decline the night out on the town or don’t tell him what you need done, your loss. Your chance to get that shelf in the kitchen fixed? Gone. The chance to go to that new restaurant that is just a little bit out of your price range? See ya later. He may not directly come out and say that he wants to thank you for all you’ve done lately. In such a case proceed to step 3a.

Step 3a: Do not underestimate the sneakiness. You have NO IDEA how much power flattery has over men. Once again, stroke his ego. One sentence will do. “You’re so good with power tools.” Then, sliiiiiiiiide in the fact that you need some doo-dad or wing-ding fixed and he would be just the guy to do it. After my snarky comment to Sir Takes-A-Lot, he replied with “Yeah, I have been scoping out a sweatshirt for you, would you really wear it? Cause I deff owe you something.” So maybe he didn’t need as much aid as I provided him with, but regardless, the extra little push was enough to get a “haha iight word. I’ll get you one for Thanksgiving Break :).” And yes, he did add a smiley face. Suddenly #1 Lax Bro had turned into #1 Santa Clause and putty in my hands. I knew I should have asked him for a pony…


Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Mystery of the Missing Man in the Morning

Just when I was getting comfortable with the whole morning-after routine, the dealer throws a new card. Or, in this case, no card, no note, no nothing when I woke up the next morning, to not only find him gone from his bed, but gone from his house as well. There's this one extremely hilarious moment in which a woman, still fuzzy with sleep, reaches over to the other side of the bed, and feels the mattress palm-down to determine if it's still warm, or at this point, cold. It's like playing Sherla Holmes, Detectivette.

Sex and the City did not prepare me for this. Carrie never sat down at brunch one morning and said, "Hey, girls, the oddest thing happened this morning-- I woke up, and Mr. Big was gone to work, with no note!" We never discussed what to do when you are left with bedroom carte blanche! I WAS NOT EQUIPPED FOR THIS. No one, it seems, has ever given much thought to this situation before, or at least, not thought of it as an issue that needed any forethought. We all know, at this day and age, what to do the morning after. But what do you do when you're the last person left the morning after?

There are common-sense general perimeters for this sort of case-- don't still be there when he gets back, because that would mean that I would have slept in...for another 6 hours; pick up and lock up after yourself; and for god's sake, don't snoop!-- but I still was wobbling between secure and frantic now that my training wheels had been taken off. Good sign? Bad sign? Indifferent sign? Maybe he just didn't feel like having to go through any early morning shit-chat today, you know: "How's the weather/What are you up to later/What are the headlines?" Or maybe he just didn't want to have to share breakfast.

So, like Carrie does with Miranda and Charlotte and Samantha, I turned to what I supposed was my best hope for a second opinion: two of my girlfriends, one in a committed relationship, and one committed to having lots of relations with lots of different men, for advice on time frames for sleeping in more and if I should text when I left or not. After echoing each other-- "No note?! Well, at least he's comfortable enough with you to leave you alone with all his things," (I certainly would never leave anyone alone in my room for more time than they could get in trouble in,)-- they came through with the same answer: you should be able to sleep in for at least another hour, but after that, leave quickly, and text to let him know. Done, and done.

On my walk home in bright sunlight and the gently drifting downward leaves of late fall, I was caught between reveling in my extra hour of sleep and worrying. I liked it, being left to my own devices, to wake, dress, and go home at my leisure on my day off. Was I supposed to like it? Or did I really want to be woken up and said goodbye to, properly? Or do I really love uninterrupted sleep more than waking up and having to fit some logical puzzle pieces together to solve the mystery of the missing man? Was comfort a good thing, or a bad thing? And most of all, why had no one ever pulled us aside before, like your girl friends did when they first discovered orgasm, and gave you the play book? Why did they never tell us that this was a situation to prepare for? Who had the answers before this morning? Who still doesn't have the answers?


All Wrapped Up

So, I write about sex and relationships. And now I've hosted a Durex House Party.

It actually started because I realized that my condom supply is due to expire at the end of the year. Despite being on the Pill and the wayward decisions of my youth, any of the guys I've slept with in the past 3 years could tell you I'm rabid about wrapping up. But if there's one thing that I possibly loathe even more than paying over $8 for 4 beer (that would be you, Dogfish Head Brewery,) it's paying for condoms. But I also refuse to trot over to Planned Parenthood and rob them blind, because, when it all comes down to it-- I'm still a Brand Girl. Some might say, I have "gourmet taste."

Instead of shelling out dough for latex, I usually go trolling Trojan' and Durex's websites to see if they have any freebie trials going on. That's how I landed my first Trojan Ecstasy, and I had pretty good feelings about that, so back I went. There were no free trials on either sight, but what there was was a House Party Girl's Night hosted by Durex that promised 4 condoms per party goer, all fo' free, designed about closing the "pleasure gap" between male and female orgasm, otherwise known as, "Now that you've come, what about me? Oh, wait, are you snoring? ARE YOU ASLEEP?!"

It was like a Tupperware party for the sexually active. Over 20 women showed up to Heaven on Union for food, drinks, a penis cake that was even decorated with it's own condom, and sexy twists on classic party games, culminating in the sharing of our most hilarious or embarrassing sex stories. (It's shocking how many people have literally been caught with their pants down.) We held a world summit meeting on the things we could all agree on: Men keeping socks on during sex is extremely off-putting; shower sex never works; talking dirty is fine to a certain point, after which it becomes alarming; and men saying they're intimidated by you is a load of crap. When was the last time a woman was intimidated by a man? Oh, right-- yesterday.

I was really hoping the stuff got shipped to us in a big box with a return address to "Durex," because I'd have loved to see that Fed-Ex guy's face delivering it. Instead, what I got was a gigantic cardboard box that I set a new land-speed record in opening, beating even my most ravenous Christmas and birthday mornings. Greeted immediately with the sight of nearly a hundred little perfectly square foil packets and blue beer koozies emblazoned with "Durex-- Stick It In," I sat on my bed, squealing in supreme pleasure over everything for a solid half-hour, though it took me about 10 minutes to figure out what the hell the vibrating cock ring was and what way it was meant to be used. What can I say? I'm a small-town girl.

Equally exciting yet tricky at times were some of the freebie offerings generously included for me as hostess. "Like the gel that cools, tingles, and warms at the same time," I told my girl friends as they came over to investigate the big ol' box of goodies. "Because my clit is not confused enough already!" There was also the vibrator. The vibrator that caused a lot of controversy.

"Jesus, I would never walk 20 minutes for sex," a friend told me as we caught up in my kitchen one evening after the party that she missed.

"Like I said, my vibrator broke."

"That's the worst. Why don't they make those things out of titanium? Although I guess it's more blowing out the motor that's the issue."

"Yeah. And blow the motor did. I wore it out a week and a half after I got it. It was the best week and a half of my life. I've teared up about losing it three times since Saturday."

R.I.P, a Single Girl's best friend.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Let's All Be Adults, Here

How many of you are in perfectly functioning relationships, where every need is met, you never question each other, you're both having exactly as much sex as you both want, he never snores, she never nags, and you're basically shitting rainbows and laughing maniacally while "Happy Together" plays everywhere you go?

Yeah, that's what I thought. Don't tell me if you really are so happy together 24/7/365 and shitting rainbows. But for the rest of us, how can we make what we have better? How can we be more satisfied and relaxed, and less needy and confused?

I have a theory that every. single. goddamn. relationship in the world is complicated and secretly dysfunctional in it's own way. And it's ok. Because we're all just human. And humans are messy, illogical beings. Guys, when was the last time your girl drove you crazy trying to nail you down to a specific event or response? Girls, when was the last time you got pissed at your S.O because he didn't do something you wanted him to? I do not call them "relationshits" or "_____-month adversary"s for no reason.

The next time something your fucking id-...sweetheart is doing something that's driving you crazy, press the mental "pause" button for a second to think. Take the time, before you react, to ask yourself: Am I upset at a need of mine that isn't being met, or am I just pumping myself up about something that I'm making out of nothing? A need (that has been established through prior clear, honest, adult conversation) that isn't being met is not ok to let slide by. Something that you would like but don't necessarily need, like a response back to a text that doesn't demand a response or conversation, isn't something to stew over or blow up about.

I had a night like that recently. I get demanding and unreasonable when I get scared-- it's one of my downfalls. In the past, I hit a 5 month mark and promptly morphed into a harpy. Why? Because I was scared. Would I actually put my very sufficient and wordy vocabulary to use and address this fact? Oh, hell no. Because that might mean actually admitting that I have fEeLiNgS and EMOtionz and I "wanted shit." Fuck that. So I mucked around instead and fucked it all up. Great, right? Exactly what I wanted to NOT happen, right?

Well, been there, bought that t-shirt, learned that lesson. So, this time, when it came down to it, I could step back far enough from the "situation" to realize it wasn't the fact I hadn't gotten a "thanks" back in reply that was making me tetchy and bitchy-- it was the fact that I had recently realized how much time I'd spent with that person (whom I know well enough at this point not to expect a response back to something like what I'd texted in the first place). It scared me, so I took all that emotion, and misplaced it somewhere else where I felt like I could deal with it better, by being a bitch about it with myself and overly-over-analyzing.

All in all, did it help anything? No. But what I was able to do was step back juuust enough to see what the real issue was, and make sure I didn't react offensively to it anywhere else but inside my own head. I did not need a text back in response of receiving it. I would have liked one, because that's what I consider good manners. But have I brought this fact up (in this case, that not getting acknowledgement from anyone drives me up the bloody wall,) before to discuss it? No. So I calmed my ass down, and went to a show downtown to distract myself. Distracting yourself in times like these when you're all keyed up over something asinine is a great trick. It's like time-out for adults. Go somewhere and do something without whoever is driving you nuts. Somewhere loud, with lots of other people, and things that will distract your attention from the snit-fit in your head. (Concerts, festivals, movies, and parties are all great places to go for this.) And viola, in 2 hours, you'll be all Zen again.

Remember: An issue that hasn't been addressed, out loud, in a respectful, adult conversation between the two of you, is not an issue you can get mad or defensive or confrontational about. It's not fair. It's like expecting your S.O to be able to read your mind and intuitively know what they should say or do. And I think we all know by now that men are not mind-readers. Sometimes it's a good thing. (I already say far too much about whatever's on my mind when I drink. We don't need the rest of what I'm not saying aired out, too.) And sometimes it's a bad thing. But I don't think it's going to be changing either way anytime soon.


P.S-- A few good mantras if you think you're about to blow your life out of the water? "Slow your roll," "Are you completely sure you know what you're doing?" On a percentage scale to 100%, where are you? If you're at 85% or lower, it ain't worth it to bug out. And my personal favorite and most often used-- "Don't be so crazy-pants, little one!" I dare you to at least not crack a smile while you say "crazy-pants" to yourself. Or anyone else, for that matter. I'm grinning right now.

Kitchen Bitches: Get Around (The World) At Duino! (Duende)

Duino! (Duende)
10 North Winooski Ave.,
Burlington, VT

Carissa: “Cheddar cheese and kimchi inside; dude, it’s so good,” said the guy from the next table who was wearing the same wool Gatsby hat that my grandfather and father used to get from Conte of Florence for golfing. Make no mistake, ¡Duino! (Duende) is not for the faint-of-hipster heart.

Alli: There’s a wide, open doorway connecting ¡Duino! (Duende) to Radio Bean, allowing all sorts of things to waft through the spaces between: the scent of coffee and beer melding with garlic and spice, chatter, music, and yes, hipsters.

More palatable things come through that doorway, though. The whole night, we were serenaded by two lovely female fiddlers with misty sunlight, smoky-breakfast-tea voices. They played a set of reels and ballads alike, obviously very talented with a bow, that set the soundtrack for our meal. There’s definitely an upside to being connected to Radio Bean. You get all the live music, great food, and entertainment (yuppie-observing), but far enough removed that you actually have a two square inch buffer around your person at all times. And you get damn good food.

Carissa: The exposed kitchen gives you a great opportunity to watch your food being prepared, as well as to scope out the prep chefs. As I said to Alli, “If the extremely pretty person preparing our food is a man, I totally dibs him.”

Alli: The kitchen is impressive in its tiny size, proving that the chef is good at what he does. If he can work in such a small space, imagine what he could do with real counter-space. It’s almost bar-like. And being able to watch the chef slicing and sautéing and plating…it’s a total tease. I caught him lifting the cast iron pan from the flame, use his hand to waft the steam toward his nose, and breathe deeply. He handled the food as if it demanded respect and adoration in equal parts. It was beautiful (Carissa’s convinced that’s because he is beautiful).

Carissa: ¡Duino! (Duende)’s faded sort of charm with chandeliers above the high round tables and stools and a burgundy theme is reminiscent of old-time speakeasy vibes, complete with the Nickel Creek-esque melodies that were going on that night through—literally—the hole in the wall. After fighting through the menu like Saint George with the dragon and making your final choices, you actually get to eat. But the menu might be what’s possibly the money-maker for ¡Duino! like running books and illegal card games used to be for those speakeasies of old—loaded with inventive, scrumptious street foods from around the world, none more expensive than $12, and with good portion sizes—and by god, I mean real plate sizes— ¡Duino! (Duende) has carved out a late-night or quick-bite niche with a sit-down restaurant floor for itself in Burlington’s dining scene, something not easily accomplished.

Going into fall and crisp, cold nights, their Cider Snap is the hot alcoholic drink you want to wrap your hands around to warm them from the nip in the air outside. A concoction of hot rum and mulled cider with a circle of orange suspended in the clear stein, the rum hits you first, then the mulling spices, with a final citrus zing from the orange. It’s got automatic machinegun speed and accuracy going through the flavors, one right after the other.

Alli: For me, the Cider Snap was warm from the inside out. It was softer than an AK-47; you get a hug from the rum, a kiss from the spiced cider, and a wink from the thick orange slice wedged in your mug. But yes, in that order—always in that order.

My drink, Reed’s Ginger Brew, was a thick, viscous soda low on carbonation and huge on taste. It’s made the traditionally, with real ginger and spices and honey. It’s not as “crisp” and fizzy as Canada Dry. It’s sweet and pungent with just a little spice from the ginger, flavors that settle on your tongue in noticeably different parts. (Off the record, it would be perfect with a little bit of Jameson.)

Carissa: Elote is the Mexican street food’s answer to corn on the cob. Grilled with buttery “mojo” aioli and cheeky Mexican spices so zingy they make the corners of your mouth tingle—from which I could pick out cinnamon and chili powder—the corn itself was sweet and juicy. My one complaint of the evening was that unlike my first ear of corn, my second was not properly de-silked enough.

Alli: The elote was smoky and rustic. The parsley sprinkled generously over the two ears gives it a solid green kick to go with the medley of deep spices. The only problem with serving corn on the cob at a restaurant like this is that it is not at all dignified to pick the skins of kernels out of your teeth for the remainder of the meal. Especially if you’re sitting in the half of ¡Duino! (Duende) arranged near the large windows, where the entirety of North Winooski and Pearl can see you trying to floss with your fingers.

The Duende salad is a little sweet, a little tangy, and a little bitter with a variety of textures all in one bite. Atop the fresh, hearty green bed are shredded carrots, crunchy sunflower seeds, and crispy beet shavings. The honey-hops dressing is tangy and creamy, probably made with greek yogurt, sweetened with that honey, and deepens with the nuttiness of the sunflower seeds. It’s wonderful.

Carissa: (Duende)’s take on Quebecois poutine with cheddar cheese instead of curds and a mix of two distinctly different sweet potato and russet fries is genius, fresh, and invigorating. The brown gravy that it’s smothered in is so homey with hints of onion and sage, and the fries themselves were just as crunchy and salty that they’re stiff competition with Bluebird Tavern’s for tastiest fries in Burlington. Fo’ real. I think I liked the sweet potato fries in the gravy the most—it had that diabolical flavor combination of sweet and salty going on that’s a killer for most women. Together with the Cider Snap, you’ve got the perfect heavy warm-you-from-the-inside-out and sticks-to-your-bones (and your ass,) fall and winter meal.

Alli: Although I was concerned when the plate of poutine, typically thick fries smothered in gravy and hunks of cheese curd, came out as two-toned shoestring fries with shredded cheddar, I have to concede. It was fantastic. The russet fries were a little too salty with the gravy and the cheese, but the sweetness of the sweet potato fries cut that saltiness really well. And the best part was that because it’s a lighter poutine, it doesn’t settle in your stomach like a couple of mud bricks.

“The Maduros are extra good today,” our waitress bubbled when she set my plate down before me. “The plantains we got this morning were perfect.” True story. The sweet plantains for this dish are lightly pan-fried and dusted in cinnamon and nutmeg. The dense starchiness is cut by the thin, light, cream-and-mint dipping sauce pooling in a little saucer on the side. Carissa preferred the maduros without the mint-cream-concoction, and I can understand why: comfort levels. This dish is perfect for apple pie cravings. It’s starchy, almost doughy, enough to satisfy a pie crust craving, and the sweet plantains are spiced just right to fill in for the apple filling. But don’t forget, this dish isn’t dessert. Sprinkled over the plantain slices are charred onion slivers, adding that salty, smoky level to the sweet. Between those and the infused cream sauce, you get a slightly uncomfortable jolt; the variations aren’t quite rebellious enough to really pull away from that tie with mom’s apple pie. However, those onion slivers and that mint dipping sauce is exactly what brings this dish up to par—it’s taking what you know and love and adding a new twist. As soon as you accept that, you’re in the hands of a subtle genius.

Carissa: I got spoiled on plantains when my best friend’s Jamaican dad cooked them for us in
London. Duino’s maduros are the best plantains I’ve had since, and I’ve tried making them in the chaos of my own kitchen—always ending up drying them out or over-frying them. These squished through their fried crusts like too much succulent plantain flesh is inside to be contained.

By the end of our meal, I was so satisfied that I could have
fallen into a dead sleep on my bar stool. You get a sense of comfort here from all over the world, both in the food and the preparation of it, that in turn makes you feel all is right in your little corner table of the world. Coming from the girl who doesn’t date, you could take me here for dinner, totally fine. ¡Duino! (Duende) is romantic in a faded, chintzy way, and it’s cheap. You’re not going to break anyone’s wallet here. Maybe that’s why it’s so popular.

Alli: It’s a total paradox, having a street-food restaurant, but it works. Street food is simple, quick, comforting, and cheap. And, more often than not, some of the best food there is because of it. It’s why people go to New York for soft pretzels, Fenway for franks, Spain for churros, Belgium for cones of frites. It’s low key, which makes it easy to love. Which, I agree, makes it perfect for a date. But seriously, it’s about the food.

As an end note, the menu at ¡Duino! (Duende) seems to change frequently. Check in often to keep up with and make your way down the menu and live music from Radio Bean. All in all, it’s a good Repeat Restaurant. And just to reiterate, this would be a good restaurant to take your, ahem, favorite Kitchen Bitches.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Ready, Willing, and (On Occasion) Able.

Good morning, lovelies and creepfests, alike. (Remember that Google Analytics post a little while ago when inspiration hadn't struck in awhile, and I felt it pertinent to post about how through using stats and simple Sherlock-Holmes-approved process of deduction, I can figure out who is reading this blog and what they're looking for? Well, let's just say, I'm HOT in Russia right now, and I doubt it's for anything good. Or literary. Sigh. One of my biggest fears is that I'll come home one day and unlock my door to find a massive Russian dude sitting on my sofa, waiting for me in full bondage gear. Because that's what I live in fear of. I don't want that. AT ALL. What is Russian for "no"? Nyet. That's right. Sometimes my life is a little too bizarre for me to take logically.)

Anyway, I had a rather productive weekend, complete with a random dude who thought that walking with me in the general vicinity of my apartment on Saturday night constituted "walking me home" from a party and asked for a kiss in return as if we had just agreed to swap his Oreos for my Dunkaroos over the 3rd grade lunch table. I realized, in hindsight, that I should have colored the story about a "friend" of mine that I'd told him 2 minutes previous with the word "boy" in front of it, and headed off the whole debacle so that I literally wasn't stopped in mid-stride up my front steps when he said that like some cartoon character straight out of Looney Toons, did an about-face, and really awkwardly went: "Um. Wow. I have an, um, guy, sorry, but uh, props to you for having the balls to ask. More guys should do that. Uh, so yeah. 'Night," before running inside and slamming the door behind me. My cardinal rule is that-- now, pay attention, ladies-- IF YOU DON'T WANT A GUY ASKING OR TRYING TO EXCHANGE SALIVARY GLANDS WITH YOU, EITHER EMBELLISH YOUR CURRENT RELATIONSHIP STATUS, OR MAKE A BOYFRIEND UP, AND DROP HINTS, CAVEATS, AND STORIES ABOUT HIM DURING YOUR CONVERSATION. I really didn't think this guy whose opening line was "Do you like Pop Tarts?" (again, 3rd grade,) and progressed to "Do you read Chomsky?" the second time he made a pass at me needed to be headed off at the pass. Especially because I hadn't showered in 2 days, smelled like another man, was subsisting on about 6 hours' worth of sleep, couldn't raise my arms past shoulder height for a really embarrassing reason (not even to SMOKE), and was generally disinterested in anything but eyeing my cell phone's clock until 1 AM rolled around and I felt like I could bow out of my friend's house after enough sufficient bonding time with the boys. It's good to know sometimes that you're still attractive. And sometimes, I really just feel like people have much lower standards than I'm comfortable with.

It's just like when women go out to the bars: It does not go, you offer to buy me a drink, I accept, you are now entitled to sex with me. It goes, you offer to buy me a drink, I accept, this means that we get to spend the time while I drink it together learning more about each other and if I would ever sleep with you, or if you even really still want to sleep with me. I'll admit it-- sometimes I accept a drink, and then spend the next 10 to 15 minutes sabotaging myself and acting like the most asinine, alarming, unappealing woman ever so that they'll run away without even trying to make a bid for sleeping with me. What can I say? I'm dead broke.

So all in all, I'm beat, and not feeling particularly creative. Instead, I give you this blog post from The Redhead Papers on oral sex. Here's an excerpt to get you started and prove why you need to read this: "I’ve had a handful of serious relationships (if by "serious" you mean "seriously dysfunctional") and more than my share of casual sexual encounters and I’ve only rarely come across a man who simply just won’t travel to the nether regions. For the most part, they’ve been ready, willing and, on occasion, able. What they lacked in knowledge and experience, they more than made up for in enthusiasm and a desire to please at all costs. This enthusiasm isn’t always, shall we say, preferable, but it is welcomed."

Erin is much more witty and eloquent about the topic than I could ever be today, and I laughed so hard while reading parts of this that I nearly snarfed my hummus. (For those of you fortunate few out of the know, "snarfing" is when you have a liquid or a solid in your mouth and get so suddenly surprised by something funny that you forget that you're currently engaged in masticating or swallowing, and when you suck in to go to laugh, said liquid or solid gets partially sucked up your nasal passages. In some cases, this results in aforementioned liquid or solid coming out of your nose, if you're really unfortunate. It is mostly a painful process, and much funnier when it happens to someone who is not yourself.)

Neverfear, I'll be back soon with something more substantial than stories of how women lie to men about having boyfriends because it's easier than giving a flat-out "No." I know. We're evil, devious, fickle creatures. I'm sorry. It's just in our biology. I can't help it.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Close Encounters from the Girl Kind

What are the five most awkward or nerve-wracking situations a girl can get herself into today? What are the things that make us lose sleep at night, or break into cold sweats at sweltering house parties? When are the times that you can actually see fear in our eyes like the look that a guy gets as he walks up the front steps of his date's house for the first time? (Always thought that was a hilarious and telling moment to watch.) Here are the top 5 situations that a group of women I polled at work agreed on as the things that we worry about the most, and the quick, sweet fixes for them. You're smart, you're pretty, now how about being a little less awkward?

Situation 1: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind
It's always awkward when you bump into a girl who used to see or sleep with the same guy that you're seeing. There's always that implicit understanding of who's doing what or who's done whom. I'm nervous and defensive by nature, but I learned quickly that being a bitch gets you nowhere-- it's always better to smile, say "hey," and ask them how they're doing. The thinking is that if you're nice, it's hard not to like you-- if something is still going on, they'll feel worse about it (believe me, I've been on both sides of this one), or if it's all over, it's always easier to concede defeat to someone you actually like. Make sure you always smile, wave, or say hi first. Ask them about something going on in their life. Be interested. Your confidence will shake anyone with lesser confidence off, and appears as if you're perfectly in control of the way things are, even if you're not. This can also be called "gesturing," "peacocking," or "being alpha bitch."

Situation 2: Hold The Phone
Even Ron Jeremy agrees that when someone he's with is texting constantly, it makes him, King Dong, worry about the presence of another dude. “If I see men’s cologne in a girl’s bathroom or if she is texting constantly, it’s a big turnoff." Same goes for women. Nothing makes me more morbidly curious than a cell phone vibrating on a nightstand at 2 AM. Maybe your dude friends are insomniacs too, but I doubt it. Maybe it's because I'm under the general persuasion that since bars close at 2, that's a late-night drunk booty call, because, let's face it, we've all been the one sending that text, but honestly, nothing makes me feel less likely to get in the mood than wondering what the fuck is going on and if someone else wants to be in my place on my side of the bed. So...if I can be cognizant enough to either tell the other men I'm talking to to stop texting me past midnight, or to turn my ringer and vibrate OFF, I really feel like for peace of mind and in an active effort to not kill the mood, it's not too much to ask that other people do it as well.

Situation 3: The Rag's a Drag
I think we can all generally agree that when you're turned on, you're turned on. For men, this isn't much of a problem. For women, Mother Nature has other plans for us a week out of every month. Some women don't mind having sex while they're menstruating, but for others, it's a definite "no." Unfortunately, biology fucked us ALL over, because when a woman is ovulating or during her week long of Bloody Sundays is when she's at her most attractive. Our faces get brighter and shiner. Our hips swivel more when we walk. We smell better and our hair is softer. And, to quote my drunk-ass self, we have "luscious tits." Understandably, men find us attractive. So, how do you turn away a dude who wants to be all up in your business when you're closed for business, without having to go into the gory details and make a pick-up a bad B-rated bloody slasher movie? Simple-- tell him that you'd love to, but you already have made other plans (for that night if it's not too late, like at 1 AM, or for the next morning, like a breakfast date), and then tell him you'd like to make a rain-check for another time. This implies that you're interested, yet not flaky, and are open to things happening...just at another point in time, like when Trojan has replaced Tampax as your best friend. Actually, in cases other than that time of the month, the sandwich of "I'd love to, but I already have plans for early tomorrow morning...can we make a rain-check?" is a winner. Memorize it. Practice it. Use it.

Situation 4: Don't Mention The War!
Speaking of sending 2 AM texts... So you sent a text you maybe shouldn't have. It was late; you were impaired; you were lonely; your vibrator had broken. You wake up the next morning after being either ignored or turned down flat, and you kinda want to kill yourself, or at least relinquish rights to your phone and your snatch. Rather than taking a vow of chastity, there's an easier and less sucky way to remedy things: Just don't call or text again for awhile. People forget things easily over time, and even if you were coming off as presumptuous or needy, NOT being in contact like it ain't no thang for awhile will rectify that view. Give it a week, live your life, do your own thing. Buy a new vibrator. Next time you see or talk to the text's recipient, act nonchalant, like it never happened and you, too, have experienced mild amnesia. Be like John Cleese in Fawlty Towers-- "Don't mention the war!"

Situation 5: Bringing Up Exey
Sometimes, you just can't help it. Sometimes, you talk about your ex. Sometimes, it comes up in conversation-- they ask for more information or about where it went wrong, or, like me, you get people confused and end up looking at your current S.O and saying, "Are you the one who slept with night lights, or are you the one who's afraid of roller coasters?" Yeah. It can get a little awkward. Possibly MOST potentially awkward, however, is the fact that the memorial tattoo I'm planning on getting shortly partially includes the last name of a guy I was romantically involved with for awhile, though first and foremost, we were close friends. Things like that, however, shouldn't be hard to explain. You should be able to say, "I loved him, and I lost him, and this is my way of honoring his memory." If someone doesn't get that, then they're a jackass. What can be harder, however, is when the person you're seeing asks you, "Was that the best sex of your life, or what?" When this happens to me, I'm honest. I keep very close tabs on what I consider the best sex I've ever had. I don't suggest this approach to everyone, however. What usually is better in this situation is a non-committal "mmmm" or an "of course!" if it really was the best sex you've ever had...with them. Sometimes, white lies are fine. Generally, people know the best sex of their life when they find it. Lying doesn't cover anything in that aspect.


P.S-- For more advice for anything from what cute flats to wear at the office to how to be a better friend, visit Molly at

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Who Should Make The First Move, Men Or Women? A No-Brainer.

Once and for all: It is the woman's job to make sure that she gives enough blatant indicators that she's comfortable for the guy to make the first move. From personal experience, this could mean not moving away when they lean into you (touching is always a great open-season sign), holding eye contact, or initiating any sort of directional shift to the bedroom. From there, once it looks like the landing zone is free and clear, it's the man's job to make the first move.

You may say this sounds all 1950's Mad-Men-Before-There-Was-Peggy. But let me just explain this to you: I don't think I've ever made the first move, not even once. An ex of mine maintains I did, but I honestly will chalk that up to the fact he was drunk and probably was wishing that I had. Maybe it's just the fact the universe has been very kind to me and I have remarkable kismet radar for the moment when a guy is about to do something, so I always at least try to meet him half-way and make it a joint effort. But whatever it is, it works-- I don't make the first move. And I'm pretty successful, when I'm not purposefully trying to shoot myself in the foot. Like I've said, I'm charming. With a nice rack. Intelligent conversationalist. Doesn't take much more.

After being rejected once (unless remarkably resilient), a girl will not make the next move, even if she's been accepted by this person before. More simply put, "you made me look stupid; I'm not going to make that an option again." It's all on you, men. Any time a girl, or a guy, puts themselves out on a line, anything less than a "yes" equals rejection. And no girl likes feeling cheap. It's a woman's prerogative to feel like work has to be involved to win her over, even if it's really just the imitation of winning her over. I am so guilty as charged as pretending to debate if I would spend the night or not after being asked, when in reality, I walked through the front door knowing that if there was a snowball's chance in hell, I'd being willing to take it and run with it. Most women are exactly like that-- we know ahead of time what the outcome for you will be. If we're there in the first place, it generally means it's a good one. If we are repeatedly putting ourselves on the line, it's a good one. If we've been gazing into your eyes for the past 5 minutes and told you you're the most deep and insightful man we've ever met, it's a good one. If we're standing in front of you and not recoiling in disgust and horror, it's a good one. In Vegas-speak, the odds aren't stacked again you, so you should probably hit it. (Just not in the literal or colloquial connotation. I mean, ok, maybe, yeah, but a little more suave about it.)

Plus, don't you like the feeling of being in control and having conquered something? Doesn't it just make you feel all Russel Crowe in Gladiator-esque? I mean, no, you're technically not in total control-- and you never will be, because we reserve that right (roughly translated: You wanna stick it in? You do the work), and I mean, maybe you did conquer something, like one giant confidence leap for you, one small step for mankind, but mostly, it's about the effort. We like to see effort. You don't think we wear heels and look good like this every bleeding day, do you? No, unless we're Italian women, we don't. That, among other things, is part of our effort. We like to look nice when we see you. We like to have interesting things to talk about. And we don't want our time to feel like a total wash.

So, basically, humor us. Even sometimes when you've been solid with a girl for a while, it would be good to switch things up a little bit, and make the "first move" again. Call or text her first. Touch her first. Kiss her first. Ask her to come over first. Ask her to spend the night first. Ask her out first, or make plans first. It'll get you a long way, trust me. You want something to happen? Don't leave it to chance, or the off possibility that she might decide to strike first out of the blue. You make it happen. Believe me. Women eat this shit up. I eat this shit up. It's what we all live for, save another Sex and the City movie that reverts all the wrong-doings of the last one and doesn't suck. When have I ever not given you the unmitigated secrets to opening a girl's mind, heart, and legs? Trust me on this one. Try it, unless you don't like getting what you want, that is. I dare you to not be successful.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Professional Opinion: The Case For Cliches

I just spent the last hour and 15 minutes of my life trying not to storm out of a room while listening to a man. It was harder than I thought it would be.

Periodically, for my Internship class, we have guest speakers come in and present to us what it is they do and how they have made their livings in the writing world. While I have thoroughly enjoyed some of these speakers and gotten new and innovative ideas on where I could potentially go with my career, some of them, like today's, signify to me all that is wrong with the writing industry and world.

I've been learning lately that the "Lemon Law" that applies to dating-- the idea that within your first few encounters with a new man, he will tell you exactly, but maybe not in so many words, what it is that is wrong with him-- applies to the professional world as well. Within the first 5 minutes of meeting someone in a professional setting, you can usually get an idea as to their bend rather quickly. Sometimes it's in their lack of interest, or in their blatant disclaimer that they hate hiring new people to do what it is they think they can do best themselves. Today, the head editor of a local newspaper that shall remain unnamed, along with the speaker, pronounced within the first 5 minutes of sitting down that "99% of what is on the internet is swill."

This may have understandably got my hackles up, but what ironies and flip-flopping proceeded to come forth from his mouth really cemented him as, in my mind, probably one of the least-favorite individuals I've ever met. And this is why.

"Get rid of your mannerisms," he told us. "The hackneyed phrases; the cliches. You won't unearth your personal style until you strip away this junk." You know, I've heard this enough from my professors and other professionals that I get the point. A lot of budding writers stick to the cliches and what they know is widely known an accepted because they don't have the tools to formulate those phrases or thoughts yet themselves. But just like some of the rules of traditional style have to be sacrificed for the sake of excellent poetry (e.e cummings, anyone?), and you have to know the rules of grammar in able to stylistically have the license to break them, I think that some of those cliches are so wide-spread because when used sparingly and properly, they can speak to people and be understood instantly and better than anything new possibly could. I use cliches. I actually really love the nostalgia of certain cliches. The turns of phrase are more elegant and sophisticated than what I'm capable of coming up with on my own sometimes, and they read more consistently across the board. "Misery loves company." "Footloose and fancy-free." "Free as a bird." "As subtle as a bull in a china shop." They're beautiful. Why shouldn't we be able to use them, when the right moment arrives?

Furthermore, your mannerisms, I believe, are what make your voice. My mannerism are what makes my writing unique and stamps it as my own like a thumb print. You cannot write with the same spin that I do. I can't mimic your writing, because I don't think the way you do. My vocabulary is not your vocabulary. We don't use those same phrases and cliches-- we have our own favorites. Strip that away, and you're left with what? Associated Press-sounding content. Yes. Because AP style is totally going to make my page impression count go up.

This came from the same man who handed out a packet of what he considered "excellent writing" in which the following lines were included in "Warrior's Requiem", which, first of all, is an incredibly pompous name for a news article. Ever since "Requiem of a Dream," I've been weaned off of liking that word. Anyway, here are a few samples of sentences: "convalescing from the storms and stresses," "like a sudden liberated vacationist," "the outpouring of the national heart," "under the wide and starry skies of his own homeland America's unknown dead from France sleeps tonight, a soldier home from the wars," and "Alone, he lies in the narrow cell of stone that guards his body; but his soul has entered into the spirit of America. Wherever liberty is held close in men's hearts, the honor and glory and the pledge of high endeavor poured out over this nameless one of fame will be told and sung by Americans for all time." Gag me. Gag me, now. I'm sorry. Was that clear? Concise? Direct? Not cliche? Was that good news coverage for the everyman? No across the board.

He then encouraged us to keep our writing to one thought per sentence, shying away from using commas to tack on another compound thought, and forgo using "and," "because," "therefore," "however," and "although." "Don't force readers to think [back in the text] by using words like 'latter' and 'respectively'," he then told us; personally, I think he could have stopped at "Don't force readers to think," and summed up his whole outlook on his writing profession succinctly and successfully. Scary, then, that this man is in charge of the content of local news, and champions charging fees for accessing archived information and moving some forms of electronic news over as apps for iPad and smart phone users alone. Maybe I'm just from East Bumfuck, Nowhere, and maybe it's just my radical, nearly Communist, liberal way of thinking, but I'm sorry-- is local news a right, or a privilege? When I hear about a shooting in the town I grew up in, try to access my hometown newspaper's website, and can't get any information from it because I refuse to pay a fee for what will be a once-in-a-blue-moon-or-disaster frequency, do you know what I have to do? Call my family and friends and ask if everyone is ok. Chances that they know exactly what happened to whom? Slim. This helps me, and communities, how? Turning it into a money-making venture from something that used to be so typically First Amendment American turns my stomach. I believe that that's one hell of a way to alienate your audience, as well as your community. Very few disillusioned souls ever went into the newspaper business to get rich. You pick your lot in life-- now deal with it. Not all of us will end up being wildly successful. If you're in the writing gambit, chances are, you should be more comfortable with the idea of living in a cardboard box than in a mansion. Or, at least, anywhere far above the poverty line, unless you have an incredible talent and natural proclivity.

I guess what got me the most up on my soapbox about this dude was the fact that he seems to be instilled in the fact that you must condescend to your readers, and maybe more so, finds this appropriate. This flies in the face of all that I believe and hope to achieve. Reading Cosmo isn't fun anymore. I've moved to Glamour for my monthly glossy reading, with supplements like The Atlantic, The New Yorker, ELLE, and Vogue. Reading Cosmo, in fact, makes me feel stupid-- like I can literally feel my brain cells screaming out for a compound sentence and shriveling up. What I'm trying to offer here, at its best, is an alternative to the recycled dumbed-down content for the thinking woman, and honest intelligent insight into women's thinking for the everyman. Is this achieved in every post I write? Certainly not. But I do my best. The wait between posts is a real-time example of the amount of time it takes for me to find, research, mull over, and develop a new idea, or a new spin on an old idea. It's not easy. It's not to be taken lightly. What it is, I hope, is fun, sometimes innovative, and thought- or opinion-provoking.

Unlike our speaker today, I think that it is a writer's obligation to expand their reader's minds. To not cater to the intelligence slums of the masses, but challenge their readers to think. Challenge them by doing what other writers are too afraid, or too traditional, to do. Trust that your readers are people as intelligent as you are, if not more. Trust that they have interests. Trust in their powers to infer, or gather more information if they don't think they have all of it. And if absolutely nothing else, trust that your readers can always find somewhere else to read if they're not giving them what they desire. We're not sheep. You're not sheep. I hope I give you enough to stay interested. Please let me know if I'm ever not, and, unlike our speaker, I'll do my best to make sure to provide something eclectic and invigorating for you to read.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What Have You Got To Offer?

The other night, I was engaged in a cathartic conversation with another person in which the things that drive us crazy about the other were pointed out. It got me thinking about how important it is to be self-aware and have an honest-to-God list of your shortcomings, limitations, and triumphs. You know, really figure out what makes you "you"-- why people either should love you, or possibly, can't stand you. God, that sounded so Zen I nearly can't stand it. Anyway... So here's my list of the Good, the Bad, and the Downright Innuendo-filled Ugly:

Why I'm A Great Person:

I'm a pretty relaxed, undemanding, and calm individual. Until I'm not anymore.

My self-esteem is not lacking.

I would totally help my friends bury a body or rob a bank. And you'd better believe I'd never snitch.

My sense of humor seems to go over well with most people. I already know that were life to become a sitcom, "Stuck In The Middle With You" would be the theme song.

I've got really big blue eyes.

My measurements are 36-25-36, which, coincidentally, is startlingly close to Carmen Electra's, given that she has one inch on me, and more of a dedication to the gym and about 3 more abs than I sport.

I read.

I'm pretty blunt. Believe it or not, this is a good thing, because I will tell you exactly how I feel about you, if you're making an ass out of yourself, or what you really need to do to get your life in order.

I give great...

I also have great lung capacity for someone who was a childhood asthmatic.

I speak 3 languages, and am fluent in one. Yes. It's English.

I practice daily hygiene. Which is more than can be said for some people.
...Can you tell I'm really struggling for these good attributes?

I am strangely charismatic. I say "strangely" because I really wish I know how it worked, because then I would exploit it to my full advantage and actually do really well with sane men. As is, I skip classes, don't hand in work, and am a chronically late Dean's List student. Also, I generally feel the need to have this conversation when middle-aged men stare at me in public: "I have a very happy complicated sex life. Please go away." I don't know what about me is all Lolita to the 40-somethings. However, it could be worse. I could be Alli, and have all the octogenarians all over me.

I can get people to do what I want, 85% of the time.
...But when you hold out on me, it kinda turns me on. Even though indulging me is your direct line to God.

I am faithful. I am hopelessly monogamous. If I love you, I would move the world for you. And I totally would have your back in a fight with a mean right hook.

I have been told I make interesting, sparkling conversation. Also, that I'd be a great person to provide entertainment on a two-week-long drive across the country.

You know that phrase, "You must be a maid in the house, an angel in the kitchen, and a whore in the bedroom?" Well. I cook like Julie Child minted me, and I have OCD when it comes to cleanliness and where things go.
...I have purposefully left you out in the dark about that third one.

I have varied interests, from Batman comics to shoes to organ meat to Star Wars to diamonds to football to collecting unique ashtrays.

I appreciate the finer things in life. Like good beef jerky. (I actually really love good jerked meat.)

On a good day, I'm cute, witty, out-going, intelligent, kind, sensitive, well-dressed, well-heeled, well-mannered, and charming.

I've got a pretty decent singing voice and a broad range. I'll serenade you, if you let me choose the song, and have enough alcohol in me.

I can dance. Oh, but I can dance.

I don't take myself too seriously.
...Just don't fuck around with my medium-rare cooked meats.

Cases for Institutionalizing Me:

Actually, I can be pretty demanding. I just want YOU to be the best you can be, dammit!

I have an uncommonly skewed image of myself.

My self-esteem is rather inflated.

I hate it when people either don't hear me, or pretend not to hear me. Which leads to me repeating things numerous times until I feel it has sufficiently landed on Planet You. I think we all know how annoying this habit is.

I always want to have the last word.

I find bickering not only a great form of mental exercise and fun, but also, sexy. Others find this either off-putting, or get downright defensive.

I have issues with money.

For me, the thrill is not only in the chase-- it's in getting away with shit. Really. Anything from picking pockets to tricking people into situations that are not mutually beneficial. For them.

My morals and ethics may be considered "questionable" by anyone other than Long John Silver, Columbus, or Kim Jong-il.

I am slightly masochistic, and don't understand when other people don't feel the same way.

I coddle some individuals I should more fittingly throw under a rampant city bus. My taste in men doesn't quite match my taste in wine and beer, unfortunately.

When it's loud, or when I get overly excited, I am loud. As in, Helen-Keller-and-I-might-have-something-in-common loud. And yes, I did just go there. Which leads to...

...I am not the most politically correct person you know. I spend a large amount of time talking in double-entendres around the issues of "eating like a fat kid," fried chicken, everything South of the Mason-Dixon line (and hey, my Mom's side of the family has roots in Mississippi), and blatantly, carelessly, lumping all men together and making broad statements about how they're all the same and then objectifying them as sex objects.
...Women's Lib, baby. It works both ways.

I have quite an impressive shirt and hoodie collection, liberated from the closets of the men I've had relationships with. Some people call them "sexual souvenirs." I call them "comfortable."

While asked at the end of a recent job interview, "Other than writing, what is it that you do?" I had a brief moment of panic when I realized that I do exactly do much other than writing. It kind of defines me. Take it away, and I'm just another petite blonde with too much to say.

On a bad day, I'm too lazy to shower, snarky, anti-social, use my powers for evil, take advantage of others, am impervious to pain, dress in either sweats and Uggs or in Hell's Angel girlfriend attire, make jokes at other people's expense and bring up inappropriate conversation topics, appeal to neither man, woman, child, or beast, and skin kittens alive.

I am hair-racist when it comes to other women. If you're a brunette, good luck winning over my trust, and if you're a brown-eyed blonde, I'm pretty sure you're a freak of nature.

I've always loved prepping raw meat.
...I swear to God, I don't have a meat fetish. It's not like I'm going to go all Lady Gaga on Rolling Stone's cover anytime soon. I'm just...really far away from ever becoming a soulless vegetarian.

Not only am I temperamental, I'm judgmental.

I am what is cutely referred to as "sassy," "feisty," or less attractively, argumentative. But in a totally sexy way. Most of the time. I mean, at least I try. A woman with an opinion is hot, right?

I have a great habit of saying the most inappropriate thing by accident in just the setting I really shouldn't have said anything like that quite so loudly when the music suddenly stopped.

I get really red in the face and warm when I smoke and drink too much. This may be the only time I create body heat for myself.
...Because of this, I think it's totally appropriate for me to stick my freezing cold toes behind someone else's warm, unguarded, innocent knee. And that's really bad. It sucks, I know. But I still do it. I'm a bad, bad girl.

I'm extremely guarded. Fiercely independent. Also, jaded.

See? I know my shortcomings.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Assumption Eats Away At You Like Consumption.

I am an idiot.
And assuming really does make an ass,
But mostly out of me.

I take it back.
Not all.
But most.


Remember: Some Crazy Dude Turned Down Halle Berry.

This is what I like to remember when I'm feeling low:

Even Halle Berry has been rejected, broken up with, and cheated on.

Yes. Some obviously criminally insane man thought he could do better than THAT. This just goes to prove a few things:

A.) The grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side. Even if it's your side, her side, Halle's side, or some other woman who is decidedly NOT Halle Berry's side.

B.) You can bet your sweet ass that after her split with hunk-o'-hunk-o'-burnin'-love Gabriel Aubry, Halle wasn't exactly all sunshine and daises and didn't wake up the next morning looking and feeling like she does above. I mean, this is a Bond Babe we're talking about. He's lucky that he didn't get his Versace-clad ass kicked. I'm sure there was at least SOME screaming and throwing of things. (Hint: If you're not feeling particularly violent, but still want to make a grand gesture of sorts, kicking car tires is a good place to start. Generally, you can't do more harm to them. But it gets a point across. Especially if paired with some good sound-effects.)

And C.) I'll admit it-- some women are crazy. (Note: Most women are crazy, in some way or another. The trick to compatibility is finding someone whose craziness appeals to you so you can handle it without going Lizzie Bordon on their ass.) But if women are crazy, then some men are crazy AS FUCK.

Case in point: "Halle Berry's former husband Eric Benet claims he slept with other women during their union - to save their relationship.

The 34-year-old soul singer was so desperate to rescue his four-year-old marriage to the Oscar-winning actress, which ended in January ('05), he committed adultery as a means to rectify their troubles.

Benet, who was allegedly treated for sex addiction, says, "I'm powerless to stop people thinking bad of me.I'm not a sex addict. I was just in a desperate place in my marriage and I wanted to do anything possible to save it."

While he does deny philandering, Benet does concede having "physical contact that was extremely inappropriate and wrong in marriage". (This gem on the male psyche from

Now, doesn't that make you feel better? We won't even get into Jennifer Aniston getting left so that Mr. Pitt could be with a familiar skeletal brunette who has been known to kiss her brother, wear her lover's blood as a necklace, and single-handedly try to adopt all the world's orphaned children like designer bags or Pokemon. Gotta catch 'em all!


Monday, October 4, 2010

"Sophomore Bitties"

So, Google Analytics recently (and by recently, I mean over a month ago, but I'm finally getting around to addressing this,) teamed up with Blogger to provide readership stats to all blogs, a move which I highly condone. Why? Because this means that not only can I keep numerical track on how many people are viewing this blog per day, from different countries around the world (that's you, Burundi!), what other sites are leading you to my blog through links (thanks, Molly, at Smart, Pretty, and Awkward, for the masses of people who jump over here), but I can even view what browsers and operating systems you're using. It's 1984, after all. Big Sister is watchin'.

It's kind of creepy, yeah, but it's useful. I now know what keywords will get me more blog hits (better business practices); I know what times of the day more of you have time to browse the web, therefore giving me a better frame of time in which to update with new content for you; and what the most viewed posts are, which lends me better ideas of what you would like to read about. (Sadly, it's actually the post about skinny-dipping and Naked Tuesdays, just because of that fucking image.)

When we get to the fact that it also shows me what keywords people are using to search for this blog, or keywords used that show this blog as one of their results, it can go one of two ways: really disconcerting (consider a few of the words in the blog title and the proclivities of people searching for those things), or downright hilarious. Among the "downright hilarious" are my Top 5 Favorite Searched Keywords That Led You Here of All-Time:

1.) Champlain College is a joke
2.) Sophomore bitties (Whoever searched this-- hi, I'm single, and I love you.)
3.) Large British women having sex (I laugh because I have no idea how this got you here, and otherwise, I'd have to worry.)
4.) "I really fucked things up this time, didn't I, my dear." (These are lyrics to "Little Lion Man" by Mumford & Sons. I straight-up love the fact that I archived those lyrics so long ago that they show up among the top results when you search for the lyrics to that song. That's what I call personal accomplishment.)
5.) The perfect naked girl (Why, thank you!)

However, a lot of your spelling skills make me want to break down and cry. "College grils"? "Collage gurls?" "Sexii grls"? Really? Really? Hello, this is good grammar. Let me introduce the two of you. Hopefully, you'll hit it off as much as you hit it off with "sharp stiletto sex."


Friday, October 1, 2010

Bad Romance

I'm not the most romantic girl in the world, but there are definitely some things that get me going. Conversely, there are some "classic" romantic moves that make me feel like I just gagged on about two feet of Spam. One ex of mine made me melt every time he called me "Babygirl," while another drove me away with his constant holding of my knee while he drove MY car. To this day, if you touch my knee while I'm in the passenger seat, you can watch my skin crawl. Moral of the story: I am, possibly, one of the most quirky people you may ever meet. (Which is why I think a large majority of the men I have relationships with go on to date extremely normal, sometimes borderline boring girls after me. I acknowledge that I can be exhausting.) But what works for one girl may not work for another. Same goes for men. Some like their facial hair being stroked, and some have such thick hair follicles that it hurts. Make educated moves. Though most of these are angled as romantic moves for men to make, there are certainly some that can swing both ways, so ladies, sit up and pay attention. I'm talkin' to YOU. If he's squirming (in an unpleasant way,) while you're trying to grab ass in public, it may be time to stop. There's romantic, and then there's creepy.

Romantic: Home-cooked meals.

Creepy: That thing where you leave a trail of rose petals that leads to somewhere. Maybe I'm just jaded in that I've seen too many thrillers and TV shows about abduction and murder that start that way. But if I came home to a trail like that, I'd pick up the closest long, blunt object and run out the door again, screaming.

Romantic: Playing an instrument and/or singing to someone.
Creepy: Staring intensely into their eyes while doing it.

Romantic: Getting an animal together. (If, you know, you're in a long-term, committed relationship together that involves at least significant cohabitation. Otherwise, get a fish.)
Creepy: Training it to recognize your significant other as "Daddy" or "Mommy." I had an ex who trained his beagle to run to me when he told him to "Go to Mommy!" I liked the dog more than the man.

Romantic: Cleaning. I hate cleaning. I consider it very sexy when a man cleans. And if you know what bleach, is-- WHELP, get ready for some lovin'.
Creepy: Cleaning in a French Maid outfit. If you're a man.

Romantic: Calling "just to check in."
Creepy: Calling "just to check in." 3 times a day.

Romantic: Holding hands.

Creepy: Pet-names so nauseating that they would make the Pillsbury Doughboy swear off ever eating sweets again. Stick to the classics: Babe, Baby, Baby Boy, Baby Girl, Honey, Hun, Sweetheart, Love, Cupcake, etc. No "Schnookie-wookie Lovie-kins." Jesus.

Romantic: Choosing "your" song. Together. No executive decisions, here.

Creepy: Giving jewelry before you hit 6 months together.

Romantic: Being a little public about your relationships. Not as in mad PDAs, but periodically standing or sitting next to each other, or doing some light petting: a hand on a lower back, arm, or shoulder, or leaning on each other.
Creepy: Having to be touching at ALL TIMES. Touching something. Anything. Even things not rated PG-13 in public.

Romantic: Showing up unexpectedly (or, I guess, expectedly,) with something small: a six-pack, a single specimen of their favorite flower (mine, coincidentally, happens to be hot pink Gerber daisies, if you were so wondering), a McDouble from McDonald's ($1! And no onions, thanks), or a movie, CD, or book. (This is also a good gesture to make with friends, too. Everyone likes feeling special and thought of.)

Creepy: Stalking. I shouldn't have to go into detail. If you're wondering about it, you're stalking. (But no, Facebook does not count.)

Romantic: Fact-- nibbling on some body parts, like earlobes, jaw lines, etc., feels good.
Creepy: Coming up from behind someone. And biting them. (You've been watching too much True Blood.
I've been watching too much True Blood.)

Romantic: Doing things you both enjoy together, or inviting the other to something if you know they'd be interested. Cases in point: Hikes, concerts, trips to new restaurants, parties, game nights, TV events (read: football), local festivals or events.

Creepy: Leaving things around the apartment of someone you're not actually seeing, unless you're an extremely frequent house-guest.

Romantic: Surprising someone when they get home by being waiting there for them.
Creepy: Surprising someone when they get home by being waiting there for them.
It really depends on who it is doing the waiting.

And I'll amend this one from my past thoughts:
Romantic: Cuddling all night long in the winter. (Maybe that's just more self-serving for me, but yes, I do enjoy body heat.)
Creepy: Cuddling all night long. During the hottest days of summer. With no air conditioning.


Editor's Note to Men: If you're wondering what the lady in your life considers "romantic," I have to level with you-- a lot of the time, she'll have already told you. Maybe not in so many words, but women drop hints like the Air Force drops bombs. (Equally devastating.) I know that while intuitive listening and remembering seemingly small and insignificant details may not be your thing, it'll really get you far. And if you'd enjoy getting laid "just because," I'd listen in a little more. (Yeah, that is how we reward. True story.) As for you guys, I know the majority of men I've been with come right out and say when they either dig or really don't dig something, so thanks for being easier and more up-front with that. I guess women just prefer to be "surprised" by these kinds of things.