Sunday, May 31, 2009

The First Rule to First Dating is Not Going to Fight Club the Night Before

Back in the day, when Gigi still lived in Philly, I fixed her up with a friend of mine. This friend, we will call him Dane, was smart and funny and paid particular attention to his appearance and I thought he was good looking (as did other friends of mine) and so he and Gigi seemed like a great fit.

Dane invited Gigi to a Bruce Springsteen concert for their first date.

And of course, Gigi called me immediately after (I told you guys, this is what happens. You are not just taking her out, you are taking out all of her friends as well). Her first comment to me was, “You really think he is cute?”

Umm, yeah, I thought that was pretty much a given.


Wow, now I'm curious.

“Well, I don’t know, he had a black-eye so that didn’t help.”


“He said he didn’t typically get into bar fights, but then he wouldn’t continue.”

Huh. But I mean besides the swollen black eye, you didn’t think he was cute. You weren’t impressed by his awesome hair?

“Uh, he was wearing a hat.”

What the Eff?

Here I have been trying to help you fellas out with dating advice, having no idea just how much help you needed. So now we are going back to the very basics. Personal appearance.

Now, if you were in a bar fight the night before a date, and it is a date you can’t get out of (like a Bruce Springsteen Concert), well then there is very little you can do (as I would never recommend lying). Of course, if you are at a bar the night before a first date you might want to do everything in your power to avoid getting into a fight. Just saying.

Now, let’s assume you didn’t get into a fight and let’s talk outfit starting with the hat.

Understand if you show up to a first date wearing a hat, we girls are going to think one of two things (neither of them good). You either a) are losing your hair, or b) didn’t shower today.

If you did shower and have a full, luscious head of hair (like Dane’s) then I don’t care if you are going to a concert (where under other circumstances a hat would be appropriate), keep your lids at home.

If you don’t have hair (or are losing it), I would still advise leaving the cover-up at home. Covering it up indicates to us you are embarrassed by it and thus not confident and since you aren’t fooling us by hiding it, why not try fooling us by pretending you don’t care.

On the other hand, if you are wearing the hat because you didn’t shower, well that is just gross and disrespectful and you deserve never to hear from us again.

Another huge no-no is white socks. Seriously guys, I understand you look better in white socks when you get to the stripping down portion of the relationship. But until then, keep the socks dark.

As for the rest of the outfit, well that is tricky. Depending on where you are going and the day of week it could vary. T-shirts are perfectly okay for a date to a rock concert or a ballgame or a weekend date doing something outdoors. However, if you are meeting for drinks downtown, even if it is a relaxed atmosphere, I think a shirt with buttons is a better option. Even if it is just a golf shirt. Good jeans are always okay in my opinion, but by good jeans, I don’t mean faded or dirty or carpenter jeans (yes, for all the gays that read this blog they still make carpenter jeans and worse, men still wear them).

I would recommend against anything displaying a “sense of humor” your date might not get. Like a t-shirt that reads “6.9 Even better without the period” or really, really short turquoise shorts. I am not saying you need to get rid of these items (well, maybe you should get rid of that t-shirt as it is just -- I don't even have words), I am just saying you may want to wait until a later date to break them out. You know, when she knows you better and gets that you don’t really think you look good in those shorts, they are just your way of telling the world that you don’t care what you look like.

Even though you obviously secretly do.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hug It Out

So here’s another reason for me to hate the youth of America.

I was totally prepared to ask my readers this morning the question, what is up with hugging?

See, last night I was at a fundraiser for a former co-worker that is running for office in a Delaware County. It should go without saying that there were a lot of former co-workers there, most of whom I haven’t spoken to since I was given the boot.

That didn’t stop them from approaching me with a big hello and an even bigger hug. The first time it was awkward. I am not even sure I hugged back. By the fourth time, I still wasn’t really hugging back, but I was at least prepared with a polite back tap.

Then this morning, as I was sipping my tea and gathering my thoughts in my head, the Today Show, in conjunction with The New York Times did an in-depth story on Generation H (for hug).

Apparently hugging is the new fist bump.

And just like the way we adults took the pound and made it our own, much to my chagrin -- I cringe and then often refuse when ever anyone says to me, “give me a pound.” At the same time, I do find it adorable when our President and First Lady do it. So now, it seems we are now adopting hugging as a greeting.

The thing is, I am not a hugger. I come from a long line of non-huggers (though my father, brother and sister all seem to have the bug). I am not really a fan of touch in general. I don’t hug my friends (unless the occasion calls for it, like when they are really sad) with the one recent exception of Marie, who knows I don’t like to hug but does it anyway.

Which was really funny at this fundraiser. I was there with two friends, Marie and Theresa, neither of whom hugged me hello (Marie managed to restrain herself). But then they both watched as almost-stranger after almost-stranger embraced me (and then them).

Why is this okay? I would almost prefer the kiss-on-the-cheek hello as those are short and actually require less body contact. But, what was wrong with the firm-handshake hello? Or the bright-smile hello? Worse, what comes next, open-mouth-kissing hello?

Personally, I think its time to bring back the curtsy as I am excellent at the curtsy.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Going Under the Knife

I have often wondered if one could be a feminist and still undergo cosmetic surgery.

When I was much younger I desperately wanted a nose job. And for pretty good reason. My nose was the second thing on my body to grow. First my feet (a women’s size eight in the third grade) and then my nose; I was all nose until I was about 18 when the rest of my face caught up and I returned to looking normal, even pretty.

But I read somewhere that your nose and ears are the two things that continue to grow as you age and so sometimes I stare at myself in the mirror wondering if my nose has grown since the day before. I am terrified of returning to the days where my face is all nose.

And so I think, maybe I should get a nose job. Shrink it down a bit so that when I am older and it is fully grown, it is still a normal respectable size.

Or would Rhinoplasty halt its growth, in which case could I get a nose job that would just give me my current nose?

In my head, a nose job seems no more dangerous to the feminist movement than stilettos. But what about a boob job? Because I have thought about getting one of those as well. Particularly during bikini season when I look around at all the other girls at the pool and then look down at my barely there chest and wonder what if?

Though, I doubt I would be able to make it through the consultation, however. In addition to a never-stop-growing nose, and way-too-small-to-fill-out-an-unpadded-bikini-top breasts, I have a tragic bite; not an overbite or an under-bite, but a tragic bite. According to my dentist, your lower teeth are suppose to line-up just behind your upper teeth. Mine line-up exactly under, causing tragedy, I suppose. Anyway, he recommended I see an orthodontist about it, and the orthodontist suggested braces. Which was upsetting enough. But then he added that if after my bite was corrected, I was still unhappy with my chin, we could add collagen to fill out my upper lip and balance out my mouth.

Umm, I never said I was unhappy with my chin. Christ, what’s wrong with my chin?

I left the office crying before he could start circling my fat with a black magic marker.

Of course I can rationalize both a boob and nose job (and now a chin job). After all, are the reasons behind it really any different than my reasoning for shaving my legs? Wearing make-up? Getting my hair done? Having my teeth whitened? Spending way too much money on moisturizers that promise to undo the damage years of sun exposure and smoking have already done to my skin (even if I can’t see the damage yet)?

But on the other hand, it is elective surgery. And all surgeries come with risks and am I willing to risk a plastic surgery addiction (because we all know I have a very highly addictive personality) just so I can be happy with myself. And am I really not happy with myself or am I just worried that society (and some stupid doctors) think I should be unhappy with myself.

And now I have a headache. Man, society sucks.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Go Big or Go Home

Some of you may not know that I rowed in college, but I did. Four years of competitive, collegiate, division one rowing.

During this period, almost all my friends rowed. It was part convenience (we all lived in the same area near the water, ate at the same cheap places that were open at the butt-crack of dawn when we were finished our workouts and worked at similar jobs that were flexible with our schedules). Plus we, like everyone else, love to talk about ourselves -- which leads to a lot of talk about rowing. Believe it or not, people that don’t row don’t find rowing all that exciting.

At the time, I separated my rowing friends into two groups -- rowers and people that row. Rowers were wicked competitive and hardcore and people that row, just rowed. Didn’t even necessarily enjoy it, but they did it all the same.

I was a self-proclaimed person that rowed, because somewhere along the way I got it in my head that it was cool (whatever that means) to not care. I also got it in my head that it was ugly to be competitive.

My Mommy Friend (though she wasn’t a mommy at the time) didn’t believe me, but let me say it all the same.

And now that I have been back in the boat, I am really glad she never gave up on me.

For almost 10 years I have been denying a big part of who I am. Whenever people would ask why I no longer rowed, I would shrug my shoulders and say, “I’m just not that competitive.” They would ask me if I missed it and again, I would shrug and say, "Not really" or the more honest, "Sometimes."

But the truth is I did miss it a lot because I am very competitive. Yes, running races can be competitive, but I am not so good that I ever had to worry about winning. Often I would just find people in the crowd that I thought I should beat, but I really had no idea of whether or not I crossed the line before them. So in the end, I was just racing myself and my goals. Not quite the same thing.

My repression was such that I couldn’t even tolerate “girl’s game nights.” I wanted to win but I didn’t want everyone else to know that it mattered to me and then my stupid face would get in the way when I lost and it was just too much to bear so I would beg off from playing games as often as Bridie and my other friends would allow (which wasn’t often). When they would ask, “What is your problem?” I would whine back, “I just don’t like playing games.”

When I first got back on the water yesterday, I didn’t notice it. I was too busy trying to remember how to row. Then we were just doing drills and the coach was trying to correct my technique and I was following the girl in front of my and my head was consumed with a thousand thoughts all at once.

Then we turned around and started doing pieces.

Okay, quick rowing lesson. Pieces are periods of full pressure work; they are either measured by distance or time and are typically done against another boat. This morning we had two eights. A coxswain is the person that typically sits in the back of the boat, facing the rowers, steering and yelling. The coxswain is part coach, part boat skipper, part cheerleader.

I didn’t notice it during the first two pieces, either. Though I am sure it was there, I was still too busy concentrating on my form and not falling apart during full pressure (which is pulling as hard as you can, often at a much faster rate). However, before the start of the third piece, the coach warned that we weren’t racing and our coxswain said, “yeah right.”

That is when I first I felt it.

I mean the coach was right. It wasn’t a race. But I doubt it mattered much to any of the 16 girls out there rowing. They all still wanted to win. Mommy Friend confirmed this when she whispered, “If this isn’t a race why does he keep starting them like one.”

The piece started, the coxswain sharply whispered into his cox-box to give it to him and even feeling the flesh from my thumbs rubbing off against the oars and the straining of muscles that I hadn’t used in a lot of years didn’t stop me from pulling as hard as my out of shape self could. I could hear it in the coxswain’s voice. He wanted to win. I could see the other boat from the corner of my eye, and suddenly I knew I wanted to win. Even if it wasn’t a real victory. It felt good when the coach told both boats to paddle and our boat was ahead.

When we got off the water I was glowing (part sweat, part thrill of victory). I hadn’t felt that good in a long time. Of course, I would be lying if I didn’t mention it was also feeling part of a team again. Everyone smiling and patting each other on the back as we put our oars away and took the boat out of the water.

But for me, I think it was also letting my competitive beast run wild for an hour. Sure, I am just rowing for fun now (I have no delusions about training six days a week, two times a day until I make the National team). But the thing is, I am no longer afraid to admit that I think winning is fun.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happiest of Hours

It is my favorite time of year. That time when the weather is finally getting nice but it isn’t oppressive, and it isn’t Memorial Day (yet) so there are still people out and about in the city enjoying cocktails.

I love happy hour season. What? You thought no time of year was a bad time for happy hour? Well, that is true, but right now is the time of year when everyone is out enjoying themselves because we all know that this perfect weather will not last. Before you can say “margarita up with salt” it is hazy, hot and humid and people are hiding their frizzy hair and sweaty underarms in air conditioning.

Now, being on a fixed income means having to forgo some of life’s pleasures. However, I will give up cable before I give up going out. Let’s face it, this site would get pretty stale if I all I talked about was staying in my house, cleaning, worrying, reading, watching TV, worrying some more, sleeping and laying out.

And since I am not looking for a full-time job, I need to figure out how I am going to make ends meet if my book deal doesn’t pan out. One thought I recently had was finding a sugar daddy. And I am certainly not going to meet a wealthy man sitting on my couch (Dr. Phil taught me that).

Because I am a girl on a budget, Marie has been scouring the Internet for the best deals, and man do I think she found it.

Farmicia. Have you been? If not, and you are poor, this is the place to be. Even if you aren’t poor, this is by far the best happy hour deal in the city -- any drink you want (at the bar) is half off.

You want a pint of beer, half off. You want a Belvedere up with a twist, half off. You want a 75,000-year old, single malt Scotch, half off (that is if they have it). You and your friends want to split a bottle of wine, half off.


Now, mind you, the bar is not very big. Nor will it be filled with the stuffy-suit types you are going to find in Center City. And I will probably be kicking myself the next time Marie and I go in after getting our eyebrows done and find that we can’t get a seat. But maybe this will work to my advantage, maybe some hottie that reads this blog will start stalking me there.

And if that hottie has money, I may not press charges.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Dayload, Or I’m Not 22 Anymore

So there are a handful of bars in this city that I won’t step foot into without a lot of protest -- I hate saying never, so I won’t. But it is pretty darn close. At the top of that list is Finnigan’s Wake. Sure there are reasons to go to Finnigan’s, like you are under 21, for instance. Or you are running with the Santas. Or you just turned 21, so you are too old for frat parties, but you miss them all the same.

However, the Duchess managed to lure me there this weekend, with the promise of lots of hot cops. It seems the evil FW was hosting the FOP’s Annual Survivor’s Benefit.

It was just as I remembered; sticky floors, watered-down Miller Lite and trashy-looking girls for as far as the eye could see. The Duchess and I walked around the outside and the forty-seven bars inside, found Salty and then went back outside to look at all the beautiful babies we were sure were waiting for us.

But, here’s the thing. There were no hot cops. They were all short or not cute or way old and I started to worry that either Philadelphia PD discriminated against the good-looking or all the good looking cops were on duty.

As the day progressed, the crowd got cuter. At first I thought it was the Miller Lites. We soon learned from a couple of coppers from Los Angeles, that there was a cop football game that just finished. So it seems all the hot cops also play football. I ask you, does it get better than this?

And maybe it was because I was in Finnigan’s Wake surrounded by a lot of hot, football playing men that carry guns and handcuffs that I would never see again. Or maybe it was all the flat beer. Whatever it was, I found myself making like an 18-year old frat rat and actually enjoying myself. I even danced with one of the boys in blue from the left coast.

So it would seem some rules are made to be broken. I mean with the exception of not recognizing The One in time to twist my face into indifference (and instead in my inebriated state, saying hello, then recognizing him and then stammering oh, uh, sorry and turning away), I would say the evening (err, day) was a complete success. I even managed to pick up a couple of tips by observing professional badge bunnies in action. So the next benefit I will be ready.

Plus, the slip-up with The One really isn’t so terrible. It is not as if I will see him any time soon. And if I do, he won’t say anything about how drunk I was -- an unspoken vow to never speak to each other again does have its advantages.

As for the hangover I had been anticipating since Thursday (see, in addition to the FOP benefit, I was also at the Bishop Collar’s 10th Anniversary and then the Field House for Marie’s guest bartending gig), it wasn’t half as bad as I would have thought. Maybe I am not as old as I think.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Wax On, Wax Off

Have you seen the new Target ads? The ones that have a man painting his wife/girlfriend’s toes in one shot and the next shot is a screen reading “the new manicure.” It is a series of items like this, pretty much telling everyone in America that there are ways to still pamper yourself and save money. And those ways start at Target.

Taking that theme to heart, and knowing that I needed to save a couple of dollars, I decided to try at home waxing.

This wasn’t my first foray, mind you. I tried it in college and found it a complete waste of time and money. But I figured they have had to make advances in this area by now, right? Plus I read in one of my trashy magazines about a new product that was suppose to be awesome, easy and gentle and just the next best thing to having it done at a salon.

Umm, yeah, no.

Here’s the thing. There is a reason someone else gets paid to do this to us.

I picked up the product while I was in Allentown. The box was covered with warnings that I should read all the directions completely before I even attempted to heat up the wax.

Which I totally did. The thing is, I guess I didn’t follow them, exactly. For instance, the directions suggest starting with an easy area of the body -- like the legs -- before using this on a trickier part. But my legs didn’t need waxing. My trickier part did. So I ignored that suggestion.
The directions also said, when waxing the tricky part, start with small patches of wax. Right, like I have time for that. So I compromised and started with a medium-size patch. Applied in the direction of the hair, let it cool a bit and then pulled in a quick, upward motion.


I didn’t even get half the strip off. My eyes rolled into the back of my head and my leg jerked involuntarily. This is where the professional comes into play. They can rip the wax right off in a swift, upward motion. Because they can’t feel the pain. You on the other hand can, and your body will stop you half way (or not even half way) through.

So there I sat, in my undies on my bathroom floor with a piece of blue wax still adhered to my skin.

It reminded me of a trip to Daytona Beach we took in college for Spring Break. We were there for crew, but we got one half-day off. And on that half-day, a lot of the girls were going to the beach. Before they did, Casey, decided she was going to try home waxing strips that she picked up at the drug store. She put the strip on, but then didn’t have the courage to rip it off and so she ran around the houseboat freaking out about what she was going to do now. Eventually she ripped it off and because it was one of those cheesy products I spoke of earlier it pulled next to nothing out and so she just rinsed the rest of the wax off and ended up shaving.

If only that were my dilemma. While this wax may not be gentle, it was way effective and so I just had to suck it up and pull.

I contemplated waddling to the kitchen to do a couple of shots of vodka first, but decided drinking and then applying hot wax to my tricky area would almost definitely end with me in the emergency room telling my story to Resident Dreamboat (because of course he would be there).
It took two more tries before I got it all off.

At this point I could have left my trickier area looking like Steve Carrell’s chest in “40 Year Old Virgin” but I was so impressed with just how well the wax worked (and was already forgetting how painful it was) so I dipped the spatula back in the pot and started the process again; this time heeding the advice of the instructions to just cover a small area.

Yeah, it still hurt, but it didn’t take three tries to get it all off.

And then I did it again, and wondered if this is how sadio-masochists gets their start.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mind Eraser

So, Lana’s love life is going through the spin-cycle at the moment. And as we do whenever either of us has a crisis in our lives, we went to her stoop, armed with several bottles of wine.

After about two and half bottles of wine, we got to the crux of the problem -- Lana still loved her lost love and it seems he didn’t love her. Or at least he didn’t love her enough. She was hurting and wanted it all to go away. She remarked that if she could, she would erase the memory of her lost love, just like they do in the movie, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”

Now, Lana and I disagree as to how this movie ends (she thinks it ends badly for Jim and Kate, whereas I think they are still together when it fades to black). Either way, I don’t think the movie is a proponent for mind-erasing. For one thing, there is that absolutely wonderful scene, when Jim Carey is in bed with Kate Winslet, telling her she is beautiful and kissing her face and it starts to be erased and he is crying inside his head that he wants to keep this one memory. He begs, “let me keep this one.”

How honest is that moment? No matter how shitty things are at the end, after awhile, you start to remember the good times; all the things that you will miss and, really, why it hurt so much when it ended.

Also, if you believe, like Lana does, that at the end of the movie, Jim and Kate are not together, then the lesson would seem to be that if we forget the past we are doomed to make the same mistakes again and again.

Because for some of us, the only way we learn is from our mistakes. And when it comes to relationships we are destined to make a lot of mistakes. But, like everything else in our lives, we take something away from each; each changes us in a way. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad.

Before Houdini I thought I was incapable of trusting men.

And if I was incapable of trust, how could I ever possibly love?

But I trusted Houdini. That is why it sucked so much when I got a text near midnight saying we weren’t going to make it. Yes, it was terrible. Lana was at ground zero, that night, in my backyard with a magnum of wine and a pack of ultra lights witnessing just how raw it was. I can't remember in exquisite detail the pain -- a miracle of the human condition. Still, even with my vague recollection of just how much it hurt that night, and for several nights after, I would never, in a million years, erase our time together.

If I did, I would still believe that I am the cold-hearted shrew everyone thinks I am.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Edward Versus Jacob

So one of my favorite things about Gigi is just how smart the two of us get after we get a couple of drinks in us. I know everyone probably says this about themselves, but for Gigi and I it is true. The only problem was that after having a couple of alcoholic beverages, followed by esoteric conversation, we would go to bed and not always remember all the brilliant things we said the night before.

Then we both got smart phones. And so we could add notes to our phones as we were resolving the crisis in the Middle East and never again did we forget the totally insightful things we said while slightly inebriated.

Of course these conversations don’t make for the best opportunity to meet guys. For instance, our most recent exchange took place at the McFadden’s at the ballpark where after yelling, then laughing and then furiously typing on our phones, we went back to laughing and typing. It doesn’t make for the most welcoming situation for a would be suitor.

But it didn’t really matter to either of us. We had much more important things to cover. Like the Twilight books. Gigi started us off by asking if I was reading them. I hesitated but answered honestly. Yes, I am. She hesitated in turn and admitted that she too was reading them. Note, neither of us said we were addicted to them.

I then warned her that I was only about half-way through number three. She said she was in the same place.

Then there was silence.

She asked, what do you think, and I took in a deep breath.

This is where it gets animated and the yelling starts. See, we both agree that the books are okay and fun and easy to read, but neither of us are loving them. For the most part we want to strangle Bella and have to keep reminding ourselves that these books are written for 14 year-old girls and so we must be patient.

Gigi struggled through the first, breezed through the second and had to put the third down because it is all about Edward. She hasn’t picked it up again, yet, and has decided that this is because she hates Edward and loves Jacob. In her words, she was on Team Jacob.

I laughed at this, imagining her wearing a Kitson t-shirt that read that when she announced, “Jacob is the guy you marry. Edward is the guy you fuck.”

See what I mean?

All my years of English and literature classes and courses and never once has anyone been able to put this constant theme so succinctly.

But beyond great literature and even not so great literature, we often see this love triangles play out in our own lives. There are the guys in our lives that we want to sleep with and then their are the guys we want to spend the rest of our lives with. The struggle comes when the two guys are not one in the same. Worse is when we try to force Edward into Jacob’s role. Because while Jacob may become Edward, it is rare for an Edward to suddenly want to be a Jacob.

I have noticed in my life, like Bella’s and other heroines of fiction, I meet my Edwards and Jacobs at about the same time. Of course in the beginning I don’t always know which is which (or maybe I do, but I pretend I don’t). Inevitably, I continue to date the Edward, until I don’t anymore, and by that time the Jacob is long gone.

Which brings us to Broad Street.

For those of you who have never run this race, if you love Philadelphia, then you need to do it. It is the absolute best (and worst) of the city and all things that make it wonderful, starting with the subway ride to the starting line. The subway is filled with other runners all dressed and jittery and eating protein bars and drinking Gatorade. It feels like a Nike commercial and gets one pumped to run 10 miles, even if you are running those ten miles in the cold rain.

So there I am, in a poncho and capri pants when I notice a guy sitting down that looks very familiar. It took me a minute, but then I realized it was Good Cop.

I met Good Cop just as I started dating Wharton, and despite the fact that he was only just as tall as me, and often wore Grateful Dead t-shirts, he and I shared a love of running and he was nice and sometimes funny and I desperately wanted to like him. Plus he was a cop, and I have things for cops.

But, alas, I chose Wharton, even though I knew it wouldn’t last.

As I stood there, stealing glances at Good Cop, I wondered if this wasn’t the universe’s way of giving me a second chance to make the right decision.

Then he caught me looking at him and I quickly turned my attention to the other end of the subway car where I saw Patchouli (who was neither the guy you sleep with, nor the guy you marry, but merely the guy you turn to when you are drunk and have no other options) and laughed. It seems god or the universe or whatever just likes messing with me.

That or this city is getting too damn small.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Guys and Their Drinks With Guest Blogger Gigi

A lot of women think they can tell what sort of man they are up against by his shoes, or clothes or hair. My mother thinks you can tell a lot about a man by the way he treats his mother. Cher once sang that “it's in his kiss.” I don’t really have an opinion on the matter. Why would I? I know so little about men I am reading a Dr. Phil book to help me get a date.

My good friend Gigi thinks you can size up a man by the cocktail in his hand. She should know, Gigi, in addition to just being plain fabulous, also blogs about drinks she has enjoyed at Martini Talk. So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Gigi:

I used to think you could judge a guy by his shoes. Vans: suburban, self-brooder. Nikes: city boy. Black shoes: club guys. Dr. Martens: super cool. That was a while ago, back in college. Recently, a few friends asked me to compare guys to cocktails, since I blog about them so much (cocktails that is, not guys.) So here goes:

Jack and Coke: the guys that thinks he looks cool, but is really just trying to get wasted and take you home for a little…

Dirty Martini: You got to commend anyone that can get one of these bad boys down, but from my experience, guys that drink dirty martinis tend to be major douches (sorry, its my favorite word lately). Guys: don’t be offended – every girl likes to date an asshole every now and then.

Wine: Now we’re getting somewhere. If you can order a glass of wine and know what you’re talking about – points for you. You may even be into commitment (or you could just be gay). However, like Paul Giammatti in Sideways said, if you order Merlot, I’m leaving.

Captain and Ginger: Someone once told me that if you order your cocktail with ginger ale you must be from the East Coast. I’m not quite sure what that means, but I like to think that pairing your Captain with ginger ale means you are somewhat of a contrarian. Expect the unexpected with this one.

Goose and Soda: A guy with good taste – enough said.

Anything Gin: The Dr. Martens of alcohol, gin stands the test of time, and can give you either that bad boy buzz or a Rat Pack coolness. Either way, a gin guy is super cool.

Livin' Here In Allentown

When I was still forced to wear a kilt and knee-highs to school, as opposed to the kilts and knee-highs I chose to wear after school (it was the mid-nineties), I would often retreat to my sister Lana’s apartment after school and play “grown-up.” I would do my homework in her living room, watch MTV on her big screen, drink Wa-Tea and imagine I lived some where far from the Lehigh Valley.

Because back then, more than anything else, I wanted out of Allentown. A fact that broke my mom’s heart a bit. When she and my dad dropped me off at Temple, my mom turned, after we had said good-bye, hoping for a Lifetime Movie Moment. She expected to see me, standing there, scared and a little sad, maybe even starting to cry. Instead, I was gone, already back in the dorm, taking the stairs two at a time to get back to my room and back to my new life.

But now I am back in the Valley for the week. My parents are in Aruba and have asked that I housesit for the week. The idea that I am housesitting is a little funny to me considering we didn’t lock the doors to this house when I was growing up. However, new neighbors moved in and built a fence, labeling them definite weirdos and the sort that can’t be trusted and so now here I sit, in my father’s recliner, pretending I am not really in Allentown, but merely at my writing retreat in the country.

Unfortunately, this time, pretending is hard. I miss my friends, and my apartment on Broad Street and the rumble of the subway that lets me know it is time to get up in the morning. I miss my routine and my Starbucks. Plus the reality and fear that if I can’t make it as a writer I will end up here permanently surrounds me and is almost crushing me.

However, just like I used my hatred for this town to keep my focus on school and doing well so I could get out of here, I am trying to use this fear to motivate me. I won’t end up here. I won’t end up here. I will write and work and be creative and by the end of the week I will have so much done I won’t cringe when someone asks how is the novel coming.

Plus the Lehigh Valley has a lot of hilly running trails. And it is never too early to start training for San Fran.