Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Being Hungover, 28-year-old style.

A very disturbing thing occurred to me around hour 2.33 of the 84th Annual Academy Awards.

It started as a sort of dull head ache. It wasn't a sinus head ache (back of the eyes) or a hunger headache (for me, somewhere between the temples and the back of the neck). It was more like a woozy head ache, kind of like the way your head feels when you're hungover.

That's when it occurred to me: I was HUNGOVER, MID PARTY.

Around age 25 I came to terms with the fact that I'd never be able to drink "like I used to." The mid-twenties hangovers were, for me, a completely crippling proposition. By 27 I'd officially become a "cheap date." I could feel a glass of wine hit me after four or five sips. By my second drink I was, as people over 40 say, "toasted." The idea of a third or fourth cocktail meant surrendering the entire next day to the spins.

And yet, at least those unfortunate conditions were still within the realm of logic. They're what happens when you get older. They're the body saying, "Sorry old friend. This rager has shifted into dinner party mode." There is a distinct difference between getting more hungover and getting hungover MID DRINKING.

Sos to be clear about how completely ridiculous and unacceptable this situation is, below are the drinks I consumed at their approximate time of consumption:
  • 3:30pm - Glass of Barefood Pinot Grigio Champagne to accompany E! Red Carpet Coverage. I filled half a wine glass with this delicious half vino, half champs blend and sipped it to completion, approximately 20 minutes later. For the record I don't love Pinot Grigio and only drink champagne if I'm feeling fancy, but I did enjoy the combo.
  • 4:15pm - Half of a can of La Croix seltzer, lemon lime flavor, aka NOT ALCOHOL. The champs made me thirsty so I shared a seltzer with R and, in an unplanned move, slowed the climb toward toasted.
  • 5:00pm - Second glass of PGChamps. Again, half a glass. Again, delicious. This time I accompanied the bubbly with a FULL plate of food including Tinker Tailor Shepard Pie, The Ides of Starch (mac n' cheese), an Extremely Brown Incredible Roast, some Glen Cous Cous with Albert Nobbs of Feta, and a bit of my own Brie of Life. The food should have soaked up the booze, but I found myself fairly tipsy around Best Costume Design. Speaking of, that was 100% J. Lo's nipple. No doubt about it.
  • 6:00pm - 3rd glass of PGChampas. I know what you're thinking, but it is worth pointing out that these were little glasses (5 or 6 ounces), and that I once lead a Drinking Survivor team to a case race win by drinking (EYE MUFFS MOM!!) 4 beers in 10 minutes.
Now at this point I started to feel pretty tipsy, so I broke from the boozing and had another 1/2 can of seltzer. No, I don't know why I can't drink a full can of seltzer, but I can't.
  • 7:00pm - A FULL HOUR later I poured myself a glass of the blood orange-infused vodka based punch that my friend Jordan gifted upon the party. His pun: Maybe She's Born With It Maybe It's Abbeline's Party Punch.
Maybe the highest proof was in the punch because around 8:00 that dull headache started to roll in, and by 8:30 I was a tad on the woozy side, aka HUNGOVER. Drunk is blurry/happy. Hungover is hurty/woozy, and unfortunately this fell on that side of the divide.

So this is what it's come to. I'm 28 years old, and I get hungover after consuming four light beverages in as many hours. This is almost as mortifying as the fact that my knees now hurt a little after walking in heels all day long. I used to walks MILES in heels for HOURS at a time. This is unacceptable...unacceptable and embarrassing.

And yet, it was sort of nice to wake up feeling fresh as a flower. I was mid hangover by the time I hit the sack. My 8am the next morning was like noon after a night of drinking in my early twenties.

Also, flats are kind of comfortable.

Friday, February 24, 2012

This Is Who I Would Vote For If I Were a Member of the Academy

Now that I live in Hollywood I'm more qualified than ever to comment on the pending Academy Awards. My house is 1.5 miles from the theater formerly known as the Kodak theater! My friend Ben works on the team that produces the awards! I got my own copy of the Hollywood Reporter Oscar Issue at work! Guys, I am the Oscars.

Before you read on, please note: these are not my predictions for who will win (though I've included those) nor are they my predictions for who should win (those are there too). All I'm really interested is who I would vote for if I had what I can only assume is a gold-plated, velvet-embossed, finger-print protected Oscar ballot in my hands.

Also, I've only included the categories I personally care about, and I purposefully left Actress, Actor and Picture 'til the end, because that makes it just like the real awards!

Here we go.

Best Supporting Actor:

  • My vote - Jonah Hill - I know this is a wildly unpopular opinion, and a slap in the face to some incredibly seasoned actors (Plummer, von Sydow), but I thought Jonah Hill's performance was the most surprising and most out-of-character. In fairness, I didn't see Warrior, so technically I can't make a fully educated vote, but neither can most people in the Academy, so it's all good.
  • Should win - Probably Nick Nolte, from what I'm hearing from people (read: R)
  • Will win - Christopher Plummer, and it will be well deserved. BEGINNERS was very good. It's just that "old, recently out gay man with terminal cancer" feels a little bit like the obvious choice, and you know how much I love gay men.
Best Supporting Actress:
  • My vote - Octavia Spencer - She gave a really powerful performance in a movie I didn't particularly love. This is a tough, again, because I didn't see ALBERT NOBBS, and people are saying Janet McTeer was really exceptional.
  • Should win - I guess Janet McTeer, in keeping with my Nick Nolte thing.
  • Will win - Octavia Spencer - I'd put my favorite pair of shoes on it, and they're vintage Prada's I got at an outlet in Italy.
Best Adapted Screenplay:
  • My vote - Moneyball - And this is coming from a person who does not know, understand or like baseball. I thought the script was smart and compelling.Moneyball wasn't my favorite film of the year by any means , but I still liked the script best. I'm a dialogue girl (#shitLApeoplesay), and I thought Moneyball had the best of the year. The Descendants was up there, but not as good, according to myself.
  • Should win - Moneyball - I'm supporting my own self on this one. That was a very strong script.
  • Will win - The Descendants - It's on a roll based on previous awards, and the Academy loves Alexander Payne. I really liked this movie, and definitely appreciated the script, but there were things that rubbed me the wrong way in it, as opposed to Moneyball, which I liked throughout.

Best Original Screenplay:
  • My pick - 50/50 - I don't care that it wasn't nominated; it should have been. 50/50 had an original voice (#moreshitLApeoplesay), solid story, and incredibly poignant moments. I loved it, and I'm legitimately upset that it was snubbed.
  • Should win - Margin Call? I don't really know. This is a tough category for me because as I see it The Artist is a silent film, A Separation is a foreign film (somehow selectively in this category), Midnight in Paris is not my favorite Woody Allen film, and, though this may shock you, I think Bridesmaids is slightly overrated (slightly! calm down!)
  • Will win - Midnight in Paris - Don't get me wrong. I really enjoyed this movie. I just don't think I can say it was the best original script of this entire year.
  • My vote: Michelle Williams - This was a really, really hard one for me because I thought Meryl Streep was spectacular, and I recognize what a powerful performance Viola Davis delivered. That said, My Week With Marilyn made me like Michelle Williams, an actress I previously disliked, strongly. It also made me fascinated with and intrigued by Marilyn Monroe in a way I didn't expect. I knew I'd be wowed by Meryl. I didn't expect to be so moved by Michelle.
  • Should win: Meryl Streep - It was a remarkable transformation into a difficult character that required, in my opinion, far more acting than some of the other nominees. Again, this is hard for me because I have a thing for gender-bending best actress performances (see also: Hillary Swank in Boys Don't Cry), but I think Meryl in Iron Lady is more nuanced than Glenn in Albert Nobbs. Also, people are always like Meryl ALWAYS wins, but she doesn't. She's only won twice, and the last time was something like 18 years ago. She can win again this year.
  • Will win: Viola Davis - I'm not sure I'd offer up favorite-pair-of-shoes confidence on this one, but it's fairly certain in my book. Viola was excellent in some moments, but I can't say I think she was better than Meryl or Michelle.
  • My vote: I want to sit this one out - Clooney was very good, but I think he's been better in other stuff. Same goes for Brad Pitt. I didn't see Tinker Tailor OR A Better Life, and I just don't know how I feel about the whole silent film situation, actor-wise. Jean was certainly great, but was he greater than a speaking actor? I don't know, so I'm taking a pass. Frankly, If I could vote for any actor in any performance of the year, it would probably be Paul Giamatti for WIN/WIN. That was an awesome performance. If you haven't seen it, you should.
  • Should win: Probably Demian Bichir - I'm hearing he was completely killer. Can we say that about any of the other nominees? I really don't think so, and I did cry at The Descendants during one of Clooney's finer moments.
  • Will win: Jean Dujardin - It's a Roberto Benigni moment.
  • My vote: Hugo - I still can't tell you how they shot that movie or what parts were real vs. CG. It was absolutely stunning on a grand scale that you don't see often these days. I was charmed by the story, impressed by the actors, and, most importantly, transported into the world created on the screen. Not everything about it was perfect, but I believe it was a filmmaking feat, and those are the kind of movies that should win Best Picture.
  • Should win: Hugo - See above. It is worth pointing out that I've never experienced anything like Tree of Life, and was very affected by whatever it was that I did see, but I can't support it for Best Picture because I think that film should be enjoyed by a larger audience.
  • Will win: The Artist - It will not be a tragedy when The Artist wins. It is a lovely and unique film that takes viewers on a journey into a totally lost era of filmmaking. That said, it was a little too small for me to be considered "the best." If you take away the silent film thing, what's left? A sweet love story. Of course, you can't take away the silent film thing, which is why it will win.
And now onto the task of creating my edible entry into the Annual Oscar-food-pun competition. Last year I took home the gold with my baked brie in the shape of Jeff Bridges profile from True Grit - BAKED (JEFF) BRIE-DGES. I'll reveal this year's equally genius entry on Sunday.

Enjoy the awards!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

One thing guys should never, ever say in the presence of a girl.

This will be brief because the situation is just that simple.

A few weeks ago I witnessed a very uncool thing happen at an otherwise cool event. (All the details are not important, but it is worth noting that the bar was hidden behind a restaurant Hollywood, and I drank delicious, free punch out of a super chic, vintage punch bowl.)

Over the course of the party I got into a conversation with a guy who was there with a girl who is his friend (as in, not his girlfriend). From what I could gather they are good friends who spend a good amount of time together. It was also made clear that both the guy and this girl are single.

Our conversation made its way to the fact that the guy does not have a girlfriend but would really like to be dating. "Are you open to being set up?" I asked. "Definitely!" he responded. "Great," I said, "Tell me what kind of girl you're looking for."

The guy shared a few details (pretty, funny, successful, interesting), then he proceeded to commit the crime that prompted this entire blog post.

"I'm looking for someone who's exactly like __________," he said, "but obviously not ________."

The name that fills in those two blanks is the name of the girl he was standing with.

Guys, actually, people of all genders. NEVER DO THIS. NEVER EVER. Even if you're entirely sure that the person you're referring to has zero feelings for you.

By saying you are interested in someone exactly like the single and available person you're standing with, but obviously not the single and available person you're standing with, you're actually saying one of two things:

1. You would date that person.

Why would you go looking for someone else who is exactly like the available person standing directly in front of you? That makes zero sense. Good people are insanely hard to come by, especially in L.A. So if this person you are standing with is exactly the kind of person you're interested in dating, DATE THEM!

Now, if the issue is that you can't date that person (they're your boss? they already dated your best friend? they're a Jew and you're a very strict Mormon?), fine. That's an extenuating circumstance. But, for the record, it doesn't make the statement any less awkward.

2. You would never date that person.

If the person is available and without the reasonable deal-breakers outlined above, then you obviously DON'T want someone exactly like them because they are them! So what you're really saying is, "I want someone pretty much like you, but better..."

Taller? Thinner? Smarter? Better looking? Whatever. That's the stuff lost in the, "but obviously not __________," part of the statement. Why is it so obvious? What's so obviously wrong with a person who is exactly like the person you're looking to be with? Those are the questions they're asking themselves after you vaguely insult their entire person in front of a group of people.

Let's wrap this rant up.

New Rule:

Never describe your ideal girlfriend (or boyfriend) by comparing them to a person involved in that very conversation. If they're available to be dated, it's a massive insult. If they're unavailable to be dated, it's super awkward.

And, if you're looking for a way to find out if your friend who is a girl is interested in being a girlfriend (which is what I suspect was going on that fateful eve I witnessed...), find a method that doesn't involve rejecting her in front of a group. That's what you're doing by suggesting you want someone just like her, but not her. Sack up and ask her out, or ask a third party to tell you if she's into you too.

Carry on.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What Girls Really Mean When They Say They Like Nerdy Guys

Decoding the details behind the common girl claim: “nerdy guys make the best boyfriends!”

He has passions beyond sports, video games, and boobs.

Being a “nerd” in the “girls love nerds” sense isn’t about understanding all of The Big Bang Theory, it’s about having interests beyond those of the typical brute boy set.

Sports, videos games, boobs and the like are perfectly fine, but food, travel, politics or urban farming represent a world view that’s as respectable as it is sexy. Nerds have “their things” and they’re not influenced by whatever the frat president is all about this month. More often than not they come from a dad’s woodworking hobby, mom’s love of cooking or some article he read in science monthly while everyone else on the bus was making out.

He actually pursues those passions versus talking about how much he likes them on his couch/The Facebook.

Nerds on are message boards about the new restaurants in town and likely have a list of “places to eat” in Excel chart form. They don’t just have interests, they pursue those interests, whether or not they have a group of people at hand to join.

Behind this, as with many elements of the nerd personality, is a general lack of care about what other people think. You like Russian classical music, awesome. You follow that with a passion and don’t care who thinks it’s lame. Same goes for World War II history or computer programming or architecture of the world. Nerds don’t put “being cool” over being themselves.

He worked hard to fairly hard through most high school and all of college.

You know who thinks high school is a waste of time: jerks. Nerds, on the other hand, care about their grades because they care about both their future (as in, ability to do well in this world) and they care about their legacy (as in, don’t want to be thought of as jerks).

Thinks of all the coolest guys you knew in high school – the bad boys, the class cutters, the kids who smoked in the areas where you weren’t supposed to smoke. How many of them are successful guys you'd want to introduce to your parents?

He’s (probably) never been a quarterback, prom king, or president of the frat.

There’s something unassuming about the “nerd” classification. It’s not that they couldn’t be in charge of something – be it an athletic team or social circle – it’s just that nerds don’t need that stuff. They let the other guys win because winning isn’t particularly their thing. That said, many a nerd probably ranked very high in their high school debate team or Model UN group.

Key here is that these guys were never a part of an organization that was worshiped by groups of women. As such, they never got away with treating women poorly because they had their “star status” to fall back on. This explains why they’re nice.

He’s not particularly mean, and he doesn’t like people who are.

See above, for starters. First, it’s that nerds have never had an excuse to be mean because they’ve never been part of something that was bigger than appropriate behavior (read: the college lacrosse team). But beyond that, nerds just don’t get off on being bullies. They’ve been bullied, and so they support the little guys out there, regardless of whether or not they’ve “late bloomed” out of that category.

This whole position comes from the fact that nerds have lived a life without tons of friends or bros, so they don’t need to be friends with jerks for the sake of having tons of friends. They’d much rather have no friends than crappy friends because they’ve survived having no friends in the past.

His goal is to look fine every day and somewhat good when it matters. Other than that he doesn't care much about his hair style or outfits.

It’s a general lack of vanity that makes a nerd a good man and therefore great boyfriend. He’s all about everything but what he looks like. That leaves time for things like thinking about you, complimenting you, and paying attention to you above most else. This is a simple but important factor. It’s not about the fact that the girl should be the image-focused one in a relationship, it’s about the fact that the guy (But really both parties, ladies. You’re not off the hook) should be about substance, not image and status.

He has plans for the future, and he’s excited about making them happen.

They may be plans for a comic book convention next weekend or plans for a trip to India next Fall. Bottom line, nerds go do things that they want to do. That’s as basic as it sounds for a reason. They’re not tied to watching a specific game because that’s what all the guys are doing. They don’t need to sit on the couch all day because they’re so hung-over. Nerds have initiative because they’re driven by their interests, not what they believe they should be doing because on the cool kids’ schedule. (note: fantastic men also watch sports games and get hungover. These are not mutually exclusive to jerks.) Point is, because they’re not at all tied to the cool kids’ behavior, they can geek out about their plans like none other. This is adorable for many reasons, but at the core it’s the fact that nerds aren’t boring.

You make him nervous, but that doesn’t stop him from pursuing you, albeit nervously.

Again, it’s the whole “I’ve never been cool, so I’m not going to start trying now thing.” It’s a total lack of confidence that bizarrely manifests as a strong and quiet confidence. Nerds aren't afraid to fail, so when they want something – in this case, to date you – they put that want above their own pride.

This doesn’t mean nerds don’t make awkward mistakes in the dating realm, but that’s what makes them so endearing. You can tell just how much they care by what they’re willing to risk to make that phone call or send that e-mail.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I'm glad The Grammys Let Chris Brown Perform, and Here's Why

I followed the very public response to the Chris Brown/Rihanna situation from the moment TMZ first published the disturbing, post-abuse images of the beaten pop star.

I'm sorry. It's not "the Chris Brown/Rihanna" situation. Abuse is not a "situation," it's a crime.

I've also been closely following the very public response to Chris Brown's recent Grammy performance. The questions of, "did he deserve to perform?" and, "does he deserve to be forgiven?" have been debated from every angle. The Daily Beast has an excellent opinion piece by Marlow Stern, as one example.

I tend not to weigh in on these kinds of divisive issues. As a member of the "entertainment industry" I know that what's "right" is not always a factor in the products that go into and out of this machine. There is a church/state like divide between morality and entertainment. It applies to things as trivial as The Bachelor and serious as the details surrounding the infamous Real Housewives suicide. It's a supply/demand market. If people have the demand, Hollywood is happy to supply. This is not the entertainment school or the entertainment foundation, it's the entertainment industry. What governs it is not morality, it's money.

Do I personally think it is disgusting that Chris Brown has maintained, ney, expanded upon his popularity in the music and entertainment industry? Ies, absolutely. Do I blame the producers of the Grammys for including him in the telecast? No. It's not their job to make a morally sound show. It's their job to make a show that people will watch.

Now I'm going to say something that may be very controversial: I'm glad the Grammys producers included Chris Brown in the show. I hope more entertainment outlets shower Chris Brown with publicity and attention. I hope he wins more awards and received more accolades. The more attention Chris Brown gets, the angrier critics of his continued popularity will become, and longer the issue of his having beaten his girlfriend will stay in the press, where it belongs.

It has been three years since Chris Brown beat Rihanna. In those three years Chris Brown has only apologized to his girlfriend/assailant via text message. In fact, the only public incidence of him discussing the issue ended in his blow up at Good Morning America. It is rumored that Rihanna and Brown have spent time together, and even hooked up in the years since the abuse. As a result of all these things and more, the way Chris Brown is viewed in the eyes of many young women has not changed. Here are 25 tweets from teenage girls across the country, all stating that they'd be fine, even happy, if Chris Brown beat them up. Literally, “I would let Chris Brown beat me up anyyyy day.” And, most disturbing of all, there's this story from The Daily Beast article:

“I discovered a picture of Chris Brown inside of [a female student’s] binder cover,” said Chloe. “I tried to explain to her that he was not a role model and she just didn’t get it. I even showed the student the photos of [Rihanna’s] bruised face and she claimed they were Photoshopped.”

That is a problem. It's a problem that's bigger than whether or not Chris Brown performs on the Grammys, though his performance is no doubt a piece of the whole. It's a problem that the entertainment industry cannot solve alone.

Do you know what would happen if everyone who rolls their eyes at The Jersey Shore stopped watching The Jersey Shore? MTV would cancel it.

Do you know what would happen if everyone who believes Chris Brown is a terrible role model for human beings (this goes far beyond children) stopped buying his music? Or if they wrote to his record label expressing their anger? Chris Brown would become irrelevant.

We don't have to shake our heads and say it's such a shame that Rihanna went back to Chris after what he did to her. We can tell her it's a terrible message for young women through comments, blog posts, articles, and, most importantly, not buying her music.

I love those catchy pop tunes as much as the next person, but if I have to stop listening to Umbrella so that one fewer girl gets beaten by her boyfriend, that's fine by me.

All too often we, and certainly I, hide behind the fact that this is a free country where people can buy music sold by criminals and watch TV shows that celebrate dysfunction. We are both part of the problem, and capable of the solution.

That's why I've decided to weigh in on this devise issue, and I hope you will too.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

This Valentine's Day, maybe love means sacrificing your first true love

If you know me, then you know that I love high heels. When I was five years old my Uncle Erik, a photographer, brought my sisters and me a giant bag of out-of-this-world power lady pumps left over from a photo shoot. Since it was the '80s, they were all jewel tone satin with rhinestone details around the toe or heel - a little girl/drag queen dream. I'd prance around the house in them from my bowl of Kix til my 8pm bedtime. It was the beginning of a love affair that has spanned continents, literally.

In '04 I studied abroad in Florence, Italy. In our pre-arrival documents sent from the college was a list of DO NOT PACK items, among them, in bold, spiky heels. You'll kill yourself walking on the cobblestone streets of the city in anything but a chunky heel or flat, they warned. I packed four pair of stilettos and bought two more at the Prada outlet over the course of my semester. I'd rather walk slowly than wear flats. Hell, I'd rather fall on my face than wear flats.

In my attempt at a defense, there are reasons for this obsession that go beyond "high-heels-are-super-cute."

1. I'm only 5'5", so my heels are often confidence boosters, a way to maintain my place in a height-centric world.

2. I have an extremely long torso and extremely stubby legs, so I need the heels for their unparalleled leg-lengthening abilities (especially a nude heel...my god does that work wonders).

And 3. Some skirts/pants/dresses/rompers/gowns look ridiculous with the wrong shoe choice (read: a flat). This may seem like an opinion, but if you know shoes, you know it's a fact.

And yet tonight, despite my fashion judgment and the fact that the little dress I'm wearing looks really good with my purple suede platforms, (you knew this was coming...) I'll be wearing flats.

R is a man of wonderful height, but he's not the tallest guy in the room. If I'm in 5" heels, we're the same height, if I'm in 4" heels, I may as well be wearing the 5 inchers, and if I'm in 3" heels I may as well be wearing flats.

He's never said he doesn't like my shoes (though he has mentioned that he thinks I have three pair of the exact same shoes...which I obviously don't), but I know he prefers to hug me at a certain height. He did not and would never ask me to wear the flats tonight, but I know he'd like to reach for my hand and find it slightly lower than his own.

So for those two mini reasons, I'm leaving the heels home tonight.

It's a simple thing...stupid even...but when I think about what it means to love someone, this trivial decision holds legitimate meaning.

There was a time when I'd say, "whatever! I'm an independent woman, and I'll wear whatever height footwear makes me feel best." Now what feels best - especially on this particular Hallmark holiday - is making R feel his best too. It's a different "best" than a killer pair of high heels can inspire, but isn't that what the search for true love is really all about? Finding a way to one-up the way it feels to love a pair of shoes with the way it feels to love a human being?

Happy Valentine's day to you all!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Perfecting the "Come Hither" look

I've finally figured out why I A. often struggled to get guys to approach me in bars and B. hate both Mary Louise Park and Scarlett Johansson.

The answer, in a picture, is this:

See what they're doing there? Smiling but by no means really smiling? Saying, "oh, hello there..." without actually suggesting that they want anything to do with whomever they're looking at?

It's like they're both full of passion and lust and yet don't have a single thought running through their minds. Are they happy? Are they sad? Are they drunk? I don't know, and neither do the men of the world. All they see is a look that somehow means I AM SEX.

That is a face I have never made in my entire life.

Well, that's not true. Earlier this afternoon I tried to make it 15 or 20 times in R's bathroom mirror. I think I got one or two out, but I can't be sure because there weren't any guys in R's bathroom to give me blank sexy-eyes back. The realization came to me after I found myself both furious with and instantly attracted to Mary Louise Parker as featured in a new commercial for Showtime. So if you ever want to include someone in market research about the effectiveness of an ad campaign, I'm your girl.

It dawned upon me after re-watching that ad on YouTube 3-12 times, that I've spent most of my male wooing years making a face that looks something like this:

See what Julia's doing there? She's actually smiling by employing the use of an up-turned, open mouth that reveals ample teeth. That smile says, "HEYHEYHEY! YEAH! I'm RIGHT HERE! YEE-HAAWW!!" It is not mysterious. It is not vague. It is in your face happiness. That is the look I generally met would-be suitors with in my formerly single life.

For comparison sake, let's take a look at Julie doing the MLParker/ScarJo:

Mmhmm. Closed mouth. Curious eyes expressing no real sense of a defined emotion. Awkward positioning of the body sos to suggest both flexibility and the potential to walk away at a moment's notice.

Is she hungry? Is she horny? Men don't know, and so they're compelled to approach her so they can find out. I think... I don't really know what men like about this, but I know that they do, which is an improvement upon my previous 15 or so years of understanding.

Once again, it's this:

Versus this:

Are we all clear?

Ladies...and guys, I guess? Wait. Is this gender neutral? So it would be:


That was me looking through about 300 images of Ryan Gosling "smiling." Not a' ONE of them features a millimeter of teeth. Case: closed.

There is a look that says, "hello!" and a look that says, "um...can I help you?" And one has a significantly greater impact on the opposite sex than the other.

Okay. I think that about does it for the most ridiculous and yet informative blog post I've ever written.

Good luck to you all.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Why Breaking Up Is (Digitally) Hard To Do

A good friend of mine recently went through what can only be described as a very mature break up. Both parties were polite. Both parties were honest. Both parties felt respected in the process. That does not mean there wasn't heart ache and disappointment, it just means no one was in blatant violation of my previously outlined rules of breaking up. All seemed discussed and settled; the two would part ways, indefinitely.

Or...until a few days later when one among the set (obviously not my friend) sent a message via an iPhone app game. It was a friendly message, but an unwelcome and unexpected hello. Seems they had forgotten to break up over all the necessary digital channels. According to Words with Friends, they were still friends, exchanging words.

Turns out breaking up - like all of life - is now a multi-prong, digital process. You can do it IRL (as the tween set says), and as respectably as it comes, but then you have to work through what to do re: Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Words with Friends, Hangin' With Friends, Instagram, FourSquare, and any other tools that previously suited your collective fancy. Mutual or not, amicable or hate-filled, no one wants to be reminded that it's "their turn to make a move." It's not. All moves have been made. The game is officially over. (that's Words with Friends puns, in case you've foolishly decided against counting).

So, what to do? You've had the break up convo, post break-up e-mails, and post break-up e-mail convo. How do you slink out of the followings, friendships and games?

The way I see it, you've got three options:

1. Cut off all ties without explanation

Unfriend, un-follow, end game. It's not the most mature thing you'll ever do, no, but who cares? The relationship ended. You don't owe it to Words with Friends to finish the game. Words with Friends doesn't care...in its current version.

Regarding whether or not you're upsetting the other party in your former party of two is the real issue. Will he/she be hurt? confused? sad? Or, worse yet, will they think you're an immature, sad sack who couldn't finish a freaking game of digital hangman that isn't even called hangman?

For lack of kinder way to say this, who the hell cares?!?! You are no longer in a relationship. If you're the breaker-upper concerned about the dumpee, that's kind, but unnecessary. You're only hurting your former flame more by giving them hope that if the game lives on, so too might your love. If you're the dumpee concerned about whether or not the person who just dumped you will find your process of digital detaching rude or immature then kindly remind yourself that this person just opted against dating you. Their rights to stalk your Facebook page have officially ended.

2. Cut off all ties with brief, awkward explanation

Full disclosure, this is what I would do because I'm too chicken to end it all without some formal statement like, "I think it would be best if we stopped playing this game of online Scrabble for obviously reasons." I can't decide if I would go through with a de-friending or de-LinkedIn-ing, but those are easier to manage because the other person doesn't receive a, "Jessie ended your game," message.

If you do deploy this more PC method of cutting ties, try to do it with as little melodrama as possible. Your goal is to remain the bigger, better person through this break up. That gets hard if you send a message that reads, "I was going to play GOODBYE, but I didn't have the letters...seems fitting..."

3. Do not engage in digital game play or social networking with someone you have been dating for one year or less.

Do you really need to be playing digital hangman with a person who you talk to 25 times a day? I realize the answer is yes, you need to be playing digital hangman with as many people as humanely possible so there isn't a moment in the day when you're left with zero options for procrastination. But still, there's something to be said for keeping it closer to the chest. Of course, I'd probably give pause to someone who refused to accept my LinkedIn request until we'd be dating for a bit longer.

I know it's awkward. I know it's uncomfortable. I know it requires a degree of self control not common to our generation. But just think, 10 years ago you'd have to drive your Cabriolet over to some jerks apartment and pick up your CDs in person. This is way better than that.

*1,000 points for you if you noticed that, if you had the letters in the image up top, you could spell RIP, which is one brilliant way to end the game/relationship.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Two Genius Things To Improve Your Online Dating Plight

It's rare that I use the words "genius" and "online dating" in the same sentence, let alone blog headline. But in the case of these two game-changers, the hyperbole applies.

Meet EATER DATING and HITCH.ME (aka LINKED IN DATING). Here are their stats:


Origin: The popular food blog Eater.com

Mission Statement: connect like food-minded people through like food-centric dates

How It Works: (their words) "Each day we'll send you new dates that match your interests. And, of course, we'll send the dates you post to people who might like them. Then you can check out people's profiles, message, and go out. It's fun, easy and natural. People are at their best when they're doing what they really like to do. And that's what HowAboutWe is all about: helping you to find people who like the same places and want to do the same things as you."

Why It Works: (my opinion) You finally have something very specific to organize a date around, an "excuse" if you will. I've been dying to try these sandwiches at a specific shop in Los Feliz. If I were on Eater Dating I'd find someone interesting and propose that very idea. Now it's not just, "you seem cute" or "I like you profile" but "I notice you live in Loz Feliz, and I've been dying to try this specific sandwich at this specific restaurant. Want to join me?"

Who It Works For: Technically everyone, but it will probably work best for people who enjoy trying new restaurants and are interested in interesting foods.

Really?? Compatibility Based on Food Choice?: What? You've got a better idea? Dating is a numbers game, so the more chances you give yourself to meet someone based on like interested, the better.

HITCH.ME (aka Linked In Dating)

Origin: That online networking tool that everyone seems to join, but no one I know actually uses, LinkedIn.

Mission Statement: Official: connects the professional world and the dating world through a secure online portal. Obvious: you can always get away with pretending it's for networking purposes. That's how I spent most of my 20s...

How It Works: (their words) "Joining Hitch.me is free. After you sign up you get access to members LinkedIn profiles and you can filter members based on our extensive advanced search. For viewing members personal profile and communicating with them you will have spend Hitch.me credits. Credits can be earned on the site by making a secure payment through any credit card. "

Why It Works: (my opinion) Call me narrow-minded and career-obsessed, but I do think job-related compatibility is a good and helpful thing. Even if you - a PR maven - have always been attracted to techy types. At least you get a strong sense of who the person is from their employment history.

Who It Works For: Probably best for people who really use LinkedIn. If you're a musician, writer, or freelance reporter I'm not sure it will apply well.

How is this not the least sexy dating platform ever?: It is. So what? You want the sexy to come after you get past the person not being a psycho.

Good luck out there, and please report back on your findings!