Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Men: Dating Don'ts

I'm not sure that dating in New York is harder than any other city. It's just that here, there are more people to date, hence more idiosyncrasies, more idiots, more jerks, more morons, and more bad, bad, bad nights that one wishes one could have instead spent watching "30 Rock" on DVR than out and about wearing a too-done hairdo and a bored look on one's face.

So. Men of New York, here are some basic guidelines to follow when attempting to woo a lady in Manhattan (or any of the other boroughs, for that matter, save maybe Staten Island):

-Do not bring up your gastrointestinal issues. If that pizza was too heavy or if that Coke Zero you ordered made you "feel like a volcano" inside, please keep it to yourself. We don't know what to say in return, and you've just grossed us out to the point that we will not be having sex with you that night...if ever.

-Do not tell us, within the first three dates, what age you lost your virginity and attempt to solicit the same information from us. It is creepy, and it brings up high school issues (of the virgin or non-virgin variety) that we'd rather not revisit.

-If you have asked us out on a first date and requested that we go to dinner together rather than drinks, do not split the bill evenly in your head, push the leather receipt-holder toward us, and inform us what our share is. It's tacky and rude, and a storm cloud of resentment will soon appear directly over our forehead when we realize we could have spent that $28 on our very own pepperoni pizza and a six-pack.

-Do not get drunk off of fewer beers than us and then attempt to paw us at the bar. We don't like lightweights.

-If we tell you (for whatever reason) that we will not be having sex with you, do not ask, "Why not?"

-If we are kissing for the first time, do not grab our limbs and constantly reposition them, as if we are made of Gumby-like soft rubber and wire.
You may be used to blow-up dolls, but we are also not made of vinyl.

-Do not text us two hours later after we end our fifth date with a peck on the cheek. We obviously don't like you in that way. Also: Do not text us throughout the workday. We have work to do that doesn't involve reading three urgent messages about this funny thing your coworker said.

-Do not attempt to fact-check basic background information we give you on a first date so that it turns into a Lincoln-Douglas-style debate. If we say we're from the fucking Midwest, we're from the fucking Midwest! Our home state is not in the motherfucking Southwest!

-If we are making out with you, do not tell us, "Don't rip my shirt. It's Brooks Brothers." By the time you get out the "s" in "Brothers," we will have left your apartment.

-If you take us to your favorite restaurant and we ask you for a food or drink recommendation, do not say, "Um, I don't know." Just say something. Pick a dish or drink. Any dish or drink. It's your favorite restaurant, and we're trying to make awkward first-date conversation, so go for the assist and help us out here.

Now it's your turn. Comment and either excoriate me or agree vehemently with me. And always, always share your own.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Sad, but True

I was drinking at the Bar that Shall Not Be Named this past weekend (surprise!), and I found myself in conversation with a gentleman who was asking me too many questions. I'm realizing more and more lately that I don't want to schmooze. I don't want to flirt. I just want to down my beverage, pay, and leave.

"So, what are your goals?" he asked. Please. I was so not in the mood to go there.

"I've met all my goals already," I said. "I'm going to drink myself to death, like Nicolas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas."

He looked down at my glass.

"But you're drinking Miller Lite," he said.

The man had a point.

To hear more of my booze-soaked stories as well as my attempt at witty banter with Blogstein, tune in at 9 p.m. EST Tuesday night to Dr. Blogstein's Radio Happy Hour. You might want to grab a Miller Lite first.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007


"High/low," Michelle Pfeiffer said at the dinner table with her fictional family, playing a character in the contrived movie The Story of Us. Each night, the members of her nuclear clan -- Bruce Willis and two children -- would go around the table and say what the best and wost parts of their day were. I loved that. I remember watching the movie on VHS, alone, in my bedroom, in college, and I secretly promised myself then that if I ever had a family, we'd do the same thing.

Having a family someday seems laughable now -- especially here in the city -- but I still like the idea of high/low. I had my high and low right close together yesterday:

The cheapest place to buy beer in New York is Duane Reade. (If someone knows of a cheaper place, please do comment and tell.) So I headed out there on Saturday to buy my usual 18-pack of Bud Light, because I am white trash from the Midwest. The cashier was sweet: "Would you like a bag? Or would you like to carry it like that?" "A bag, please, if you don't mind," I said. I like that I answered her question with quasi-Victorian phrasing. What I should have said was, "A bag, please. I'd rather not the whole island of Manhattan know exactly how trailer I am."

So I waltzed out of the DR, my beer in my bag. Five steps out of the store, the bag broke. Handles ripped clear away. So I stopped, picked up the bag like it was a baby, and began the 10-block journey to my apartment. And then I think I saw Tim Robbins (ha-cha-cha!), but he was unfortunately not around for the bag-breaking incident, because if he had been, he surely would have offered to carry the thing home for me.

I continued walking, Bud Light papoose in my arms, then I realized I smelled beer. That couldn't be good. Then I heard a hissing sound. Again, not good. Then, 10 steps later, I felt it: Beer was leaking into my woefully broken Duane Reade bag, soaking my Wall Street Journal and the box of condoms I had bought in a fit of hope.

I had nine blocks to go. Fuck.

I began a somewhat dainty run/walk through Madison Square Park, streams of Bud Light trickling out of my bag intermittently. I caught a glimpse of myself in a store window once I was clear of the park -- hunched over, carrying this white plastic whale of a bag that was quickly filling with light beer. I wondered what people thought. I know, after this many years in the city, that I shouldn't care about the opinions of passersby, but it's still funny to think about. This girl -- blonde and in black gym clothes -- run-walking a leaking bag of discount beer, a Wall Street Journal, and condoms.

I made it to my apartment, dribbling beer up three flights of stairs, and assessed the damage in the kitchen sink, faucet on: Only two Bud Lights had ruptured. Two were dented. The rest appeared to be fine. Thank God.

High: Seeing Tim Robbins.
Low: Being a white-trash hooker who frets over two lost beers.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Fourth of July

A and I didn't care about the fireworks. I like that about our friendship: She and I have done the fireworks thing before, in unpoliced parking lots and fields and rooftops in the Midwest. We've heard the stories written in the local papers about the boys who blow their arms off in search of a good time. We preferred to spend the time from roughly 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. today drinking and talking in a dark bar.

We had beers tonight and waxed poetic about what most ailed us: her recent move, my recent transition. It was all authentic. More American than any fireworks display could be. Beer, friendship, and cameraderie ending with a hug.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Buy This Now

I'm serious: If you spend money on anything other than this today, it will be a waste. Food included.

Please buy Sara Bareilles's Little Voice album from iTunes or the music store or wherever the kids are getting their music fix these days. I adore her, and I think she's one of the most talented musicians I have ever seen live. You'll be thanking me later. So there's my review. Now go out and buy it, dammit.

Also: As always, Blogstein and I are doing our thang tonight at 9 p.m. EST on Blog Talk Radio. You know you want to listen.

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Sunday, July 01, 2007


Today in What the Fuck?: Man pummels "vampire" peacock

Is ANYONE surprised that this happened on Staten Island?

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