Saturday, January 23, 2010

More Do's and Don'ts For Naughty Lads and Lassies

More Quick Tips for Internet-Geek Dating

OK, I’ve got more brain damage to share. You guessed it. I’ve been on my internet date site again looking around and have more tales, scary ones guaranteed to terrify you more than overdue credit card bills you don’t even own, ickier than hearing your mom and dad have “sexy time” in their bedroom when you were last home at Christmas. Not fun. The way that going on interviews is not fun, or getting a bill from the dentist for that crown is not fun, or waiting for test results from Planned Parenthood. I’ve more do’s and don’ts to share. You guessed it. More gaffs.

Do’s and Don’ts for Internet Dating

1. No Showboating. Seriously. I just ran into a plethora of guys’ profiles recently where at LEAST one of their pictures is with their arm around a hottie. What sort of message is this trying to give? “Here’s my ex, (or at least the person I paid to let me hug them so you THINK this is my ex).” Or perhaps this, “I ONLY date women from Hooters! See the cleavage? So if you’re not from Hooters, scram!” The last guy’s site where I encountered this, the guy made sure he captured both breasts of the Hooters girl (everything showing but the nips), but only half her face (thoughtful, right?). This of course begs the question, why do you need to put a HOTTIE on your site in the first place? I may be mistaken, but aren’t you LOOKING for a girlfriend?

2. No Rude Blowoffs. I’m SO SICK of writing something nice to someone, “Hey, that’s a great profile, blah, blah, blah,” only never to hear from them. Not even a “Thanks, but you’re not my type. Take care.” Not only that, but on my site it shows whether or not they deleted your response, too. Nothing says “thanks” like being deleted. Do these people act like this in real life? Do they, say, walk away from the bank teller when the she says, “Have a good day,” and not even say thanks? Who are these people? Maybe they turn around and say, “I’m deleting your response.”

3. Do show a friend or two. BUT think about about considering the choices. For example, I did see a darling picture of a good-looking guy with his grandma. Now that is cute! And it sets up a good precedent! Or how about a picture of your “average” looking lady friend? That also says, “See I don’t objectify women, and your friends might like me.”

4. No pictures of toys. I don’t get this one. No pictures of boats, cars, motorcycles. We don’t need this, really. I saw a guy this week post a picture of his yard. His YARD! (And no, it wasn’t a gorgeous Alpine view, lake, etc. Just his rusty tool shed, folding lawn chair and his yard). OK, I get it you’re into bikes, or boats or whatever. I understand it’s your passion. Just tell us about it. Don’t waste space with a picture. Since I’m a writer, and writing is my passion, should I post a picture of my laptop? Pretty sexy, eh? Maybe I should post a picture of my couch? How about a mug of coffee, steaming from my microwave?

Don’t worry. I’m here, praying for us all.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I Heart American Idol

Crazy for American Idol

It’s that time of year again. Idol’s on twice a week and started Tuesday night. What is it about that show? I’m not a TV watcher, let alone a FOX TV watcher. I don’t have cable, haven’t since the “free” cable I had been getting from the guy next door was snipped off about eight years ago. I actually donate money to PBS.

So why am I tuning in to this season’s American Idol?

I planned a whole evening around it last night as I frantically ran out and got a pizza and beer before the event began at 7:00. Even Jen knows not to call during Idol unless it’s about Idol because I won’t pick up. “Dude, I’m watching IDOL!!!” I’ll text. My sister and I have texting wars when it comes on every year: “Did you see that hairball just on there now? What was that outfit!? OMG, that hair!! What year is it, 1985?” she will text me, although she’s on eastern time and the show comes on an hour earlier. “Was that last guy tone deaf?” I will text back. “My ears are bleeding!”

I think I must have a taste for voyeurism where the worst of humankind is highlighted weekly for millions of Americans to see. What intrigues me the most are the tone-deaf singers. I’m amazed and find myself forced to gawk, the same way you gawk at a car wreck. You just plain, can’t help it.

I have several questions.

1. “Who are these people?” I mean, where do they find them?

2. “Are ALL people who are tone-deaf ignorant of their deafness?” “Have they ever taped themselves singing?” I can remember one friend from college who always sang in her car, forcing me to have to listen in polite agony. She was amazingly ignorant to her whopping case of tone-deafness.

3. “Why does someone who sucks at singing think that an unusual (and highly embarrassing) costume will somehow up their chances?”

4. “How come the ones who suck the worst, get the most P.O.’d when they are told they suck?”

And finally, the most perplexing question of all,

5. “What kind of “friend” lets you go on American Idol and make as ass of yourself fully knowing you can’t carry a tune in bucket?” A friend who needs his ass kicked, that’s who.

As usual, I’ll probably not watch the whole season, but you can bet I sure won’t miss any of the auditions.

Cheers to American Idol.

Monday, January 11, 2010

On-line Dating Do’s and Don’ts

Man, I’m so tired of on-line dating, but once you reach a certain age, you don’t have tons of options. Let’s face it, you feel pretty stupid standing on the edge of a dance floor at midnight with 20-somethings, and hoping your clothes are still up-to-date (Skinny heels or chunky heels this year? Straight legs or bell bottoms?) especially when you realize some of them are young enough they could be your kids. There’s something sort of sad and pathetic about it, the way an abandoned dog is sad and pathetic, or still paying on student loans as you near retirement.

But every time I look at people’s profiles, I see the same mistakes. My friend, Rob, showed me his inbox and even the women who write him make the same gaffs. What gives? There needs to be an “Internet Dating School” that everyone must first graduate from before they venture a picture of themselves holding a puppy in a sad attempt to get a “pity-date.” Having said that, here’s a few tidbits for newbies.

Top Ten Do’s and Don’ts of On-line Dating.

1. No pictures of you with baseball caps and sunglasses. I don’t get that and neither does anyone else. If we can’t see your face, is there a reason? Are you sporting a friar-like hairdo? A classic Shakespeare do? A giant 1973 afro jammed up under there? A big, shiny cue-ball? Is there a third eye, slit-yellow alien-reptilian eyes, Jodie-the-pig-red-eyes-from-the-Amityville-Horror, or no eyes at all?

2. Avoid copious pictures of kids and pets. One picture of you and your pets/kids is enough, but include several more of just yourself. Yes, I'm sure they’re cute, but chances are the opposite sex is thinking, "They're cute, but not as cute as mine." Besides, no one ever said, “I fell wildly in love him/her because she/he posted such a cute hamster picture.”

3. Avoid cutsy nicknames. Make a nickname that defines you or a hobby instead. “Luking4hotluv,” “Studmuffin,” or “Bleedingthohealing,” is just sad, very, very sad, not cute and funny. Think sad, like a kitty run over on the highway.

4. Do post recent pictures. “Recent” means no older than two years, or within ten pounds. I once saw a guy post his high school graduating picture, which, given the hairdo, was approximately 1984. I guess he thought the Flock of Seagulls hairdo wouldn’t tip anyone off.

5. It should go without saying that you should post FLATTERING pictures. You want to put your best foot forward. A picture of you sitting on the lawn chair after you ate that rack of smoked baby-back ribs, the picture where all your buttons are straining and your gut is hanging out, probably isn’t a good idea.

6. No Disappearing Shirts. Sit down for this one fellas. I know it sounds like a neat idea, the way throwing a little gas onto that stubborn charcoal to get it to start also sounded like a good idea last summer, but put your shirt back on. Seriously. Girls do NOT find a picture of shirtless man sexy unless he’s ALREADY her boyfriend. Displaying your, 70’s porno-king-Ron Jeremy, shag rug on your chest, or your pointy moobs is not very appetizing in the same way that pulling a long, suspiciously curly hair out of your Taco Bell super burrito is also NOT very appetizing.

7. No bicep flexing shots. This one, like number 6, is just very sad. Think sleeping-under-the-bridge-because-you’re-homeless-sad. Like #6, I know it SOUNDS like a good idea, but you gotta trust me on this. Nothing spells UNSEXY like a guy with third-grader sized biceps or saggier triceps than your ancient sixth grade math teacher when she was wearing a sleeveless shirt and writing on the blackboard.

8. Knock it off with the clichés. People want to see how you’re different, not the same as everyone else including that last loser who dumped you. Posting, “I feel just as at home in a tiny black cocktail dress as a sweatshirt and pair of jeans,” is not only cliché, sista, but an outright lie. A guy can sniff out this lie better than a sow sniffing for truffles. Be yourself. And dudes, posting every single sport in the world you watch on ESPN and trying to pass it off as hobbies you actually participate in is just as bad. Besides, telling us on your profile who your favorite NASCAR drivers are along with a list of reasons why, may not drum up a lot of interest from the ladies.

9. No Cabella's ads. Ditto goes for all the pictures of dudes dressed in cammo and holding up ten-point buck heads. If you're into hunting, that's OK, but put it this way, guys, would you like pictures of us ladies holding up floor-length terry cloth, zip-up robes we found on sale at K-mart? I guess, not.

10. Pictures that show you have a weird, perhaps disturbing sense of humor are not good “first impressions” either. When Rob first went online, he took a picture of himself with an empty, carved out Halloween pumpkin on his head as he wielded a fake rubber knife. “Look, it’s funny,” he chortled. That’s not funny to someone who doesn’t know you, I told him. Unless, of course, you think Norman Bates, Micheal Myers or Hannibal Lecter was “funny.”

Good luck, Newbies. I'll be praying for you.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Mall Horror

Horrors from a Mall Trapped in the 80’s

Just now, when I searched the web for an interior shot of a mall that looked similar to the mall here in Rapid City, South Dakota, I came up empty handed and surprised. Go ahead, Google/Image the words “Shopping mall,” and you get these fancy feats of flashy urban architecture with swanky stores you’ve never heard of and slender, pretty people carrying Prada bags and wearing shoes that cost more than my rent--the complete opposite of what you’ll find here in Rapid City. To truly represent Rapid City’s mall, I was looking for something like a 1980’s-time-capsule: Claire’s, Payless Shoes, Spencers, Maurice’s, Casual Corner, Sears, etc., places you can still buy “Mom Jeans” in abundance, “top siders,” I-zods, stores complete with shag carpeting left over from the mid-80’s, bad lighting and people with questionable haircuts and dubious oral hygiene.

Imagine my indignant gasp. “Where’s the mullets and mutton-chop sideburns, the stone-washed denim and cowboy hats, the Wrangler too-tight jeans, women with muffin tops, hand/neck tattoos and old Sturgis Rally t-shirts?” I felt ripped off, cheated, and deeply sorry that the rest of the country Googling “Shopping Malls” might think Rapid City’s looked like their cosmopolitan counterparts. Maybe I ought to go back to the mall with Jen, this time armed with my digital camera and capture a little creative reality, post it to Google, so the truth be known.

What brings this nostalgia to mind?
I went to the mall with Jen this weekend.

You see this is rather a big deal, a sort of once-a-year event because we’re not girly girls who giggle manically with an armloads of trendy clothes, eager to see what newest, tight clothing fad can make us look like two pigs in a sack fighting, so we venture this excursion as sort of an exercise in modern sociology. And, I guess, to actually shop . . . a little.

Rapid City’s Most Frightful Mall Attractions:

1.Kiosk People.
You know, those little stands they set up at the mall to sell you things you clearly do not need at triple the price you could get a similar item at K-Mart. The most offensive in the Rapid City mall is the booth trying to sell you some exotic Brazilian lotion product, (apparently only Brazilians know how to moisturize). The clerks clearly are starving and working only under commission because they yell at you louder than a traffic cop as you walk by. “Hey, hey, YOU ma’am, can I ask you a question? Ma’am. HEY! YOU!!!!” Damn it, I thought. I was doing everything I was supposed to, (1. avoiding all eye contact. 2. checking wrist watch as if running late to meet the state legislature. 3. keeping a 30 feet berth between said hawker and myself), yet she pounced on me anyway with more energy than a methed out midway worker at a county fair. “Can I ask you a question?????” she yelled thinking my Miracle Ear was turned off. What can you do? So I answered her so the whole mall might hear. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! You may NOT ask me a question. I’m far too busy!!!!” I bellowed and ran off to my important imaginary meeting at the state capitol.

2. Mall Pizza.
Sets up a real vision, eh? Nothing spells y-u-m-m-y better than a pizza made four hours ago then set to rest under the kind of heating lamp my Dad used to use to keep baby hogs warm on the farm. You’d think I’d learn, but I don’t, and I’ve fallen for the “Weird Liquid Cheese and Chips” trap pre-made in a plastic tray many times at the gas station as well as the civic center and 7-11.

3. Shoe Shopping at Pay-less.
Doesn’t the title imply everything? Why pay MORE for shoes made of good quality like say, Birkenstocks, when you can buy something assembled in China and made out of fake leather that will fall apart before the year ends? Nevertheless, I found a cute pair of knock-off Rocket Dogs that were affordable and wanted to buy them. But I had the last size 9, the right shoe of a display pair on the shelf. The saleslady who reminded me of my mom, cheerfully bustled about trying to find the box where its left shoe would be stored, but apparently she never found the size 9’s mate and instead found a size 14 in its place. Well, I discovered two fascinating things about shoes from the Mother-Clerk. 1) According to Mother-Clerk, this is a common practice. People often have mismatched feet, say a size 14 left foot and a size 9 right foot, so they underhandedly will trade the shoes around in the boxes. She said this was common. Really? Who are these people with one furry Mammoth Bigfoot and one shrunken hoof? And 2) Sizes 9, 10 and 11 sell out right away, so that when there are sales, all that is left is sizes 2-8, which begs the question, why don’t manufacturers make MORE sizes of shoes and clothing that women really wear? Of course this will never happen, making fodder for my blood pressure to go up or seize altogether.

4.80’s Retro Pretzel Joint.
Reference #2. Of course there’s no point getting a pretzel that’s dipped in “butter,” (a.k.a., yellow-butter-flavored corn oil) unless you chase it with some of that “Weird Liquid Cheese,” to dunk it in. Again, you think I’d learn hours later cussing on the toilet, but no. I like to make the mistake over and over again into infinity.

5.Orange Julius (Caesar) Stand.
Why the “Julius”? Did Caesar make smoothees from his throne? This, I think, only exists in my mall and 80’s music videos set in malls starring Tiffany. I’m quite sure, no one under the age of, say, 45 would know what one is let alone what’s in them. Outside of Rapid City, the last time I saw one was in Fast Times at Ridgewood High. Or was that Ferris Bueller’s Day Off


Happy Shopping.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Resolutionists or Why I Hate Working Out at the Gym

“Resolutionists” or Why I Hate the Gym in January

All right. I have to go to the gym, but I’m stalling right now. I don’t want to. I’ve not gone since the second week in December, but that’s not the reason I’m stalling under the guise of a blog, despite a deeply rooted fear of hoping on the scale after an infinity of snacks consumed New Year’s Eve and a five hour wine-guzzling session where I’d convinced myself that my XXL-sized “jug” was the last one on the planet and that copious amounts of cheese being consumed was OK because “It’s nutritious.”

I’m stalling because I hate the gym in January.
Despise. Detest. Why?
The Resolutionists come out of hiding and invade my gym faster than cockroaches scurrying across a second-rate fish monger’s counter.

Resolutionists, aka, January-Joiners—those who make drunken half-hearted resolutions to join a gym on New Year’s Eve, then temporarily invade your gym in droves only to drop out sometime after Valentine’s Day.

It’s not that I despise them for trying improve their lot. I admire anyone’s ability to say, run through a series of “squats” while proudly showing seven inches of pimply butt-crack. It gives a whole new meaning to the nickname, “Cracky,” and is infinitely entertaining to those of us who have camera/cell phones.

Top Signs that Resolutionists Have Invaded Your Gym:

1.Absence of an Ipod or at least a functional Walkman. All “regulars” at the gym know a few unbreakable rules. One of which is, make sure you’ve always got your Ipod on you. Always. And with the volume turned deafeningly high. Everyone knows that you’re NOT working out, unless you’re making unsavory noises and gasps that sound like you’re auditioning for a porn flick voice-over. Especially that last rep. A Resolutionist, however, will not only REFUSE to wear his Ipod, which would politely camouflage your grunts and groans of pain-ecstasy, but he’ll also violate another rule, which is stare at you while you’re grunting/sweating/cussing, a sin punishable by death. Eye contact at the gym is FORBIDDEN.

2.Excessive Make up and Jewelry. This one applies to the ladies (I hope). Who wears makeup to the gym? Only me. And that’s because one time as I was walking to the gym without makeup, my hair stuffed up into a Broncos baseball cap, I was mistaken for a male vagrant and called “Sir” by a ten year old. And for crying out loud, put the 4-carat diamond engagement ring back in your locker. No one wants to see what your successful, committed, fabulous, thoughtful boyfriend got you for Christmas when the rest of us got “slightly used/she’ll never know” re-gifts like CD’s without the plastic wrap, slightly burned scented candles, dog-eared college textbooks and embroidered Christmas towels.

3.Chatty Nancies. Nothing spells a new-timer more than a Chatty Nancy gabbing it up at the water cooler of the gym while you’re dying from dehydration and waiting in line. Or worse still, one who’s doing one of the greatest Gym Sins of all time, chatting it up and not working out on a machine while a Regular is waiting, foot-tapping and furious.

4.Palsies. Pals-ies are January Joiners who go together to work out. I’ve never understood this one. It takes TWICE as long to work out with a “pal” since you have to then share equipment together and swap recipes/football stats at the same time. Secondly, if you’re really working out, sweating/stinking, cussing, rolls of fat popping out in unfashionable areas, (see Rule #1), you shouldn’t be sharing this unflattering business with an alleged friend, or worse still, a Sig. O. I adore you, my friend, but I do NOT want to see your butt-crack or smell your underarms, or be reminded that you don’t like to shave, OK? Nor do I wish to have a stretch mark competition in the locker room. If you’re my friend, don’t come to the gym with me.

5.Suspiciously NEW looking Matching Workout Clothes. Leaving a price tag showing, is usually a tip off, as is the crease-marks from having just bought it folded on a shelf, on the way to the gym. Also, see rule number #2. What is this, an episode of Sex and the City? Seriously, who works out in color coordinated, $75 outfits and matching socks with pom-poms? Those who do should have their ass kicked, that’s who. Besides, it makes the rest of look bad who wear free Corporate Cup 5K Run t-shirts stolen from employee break rooms or ancient, stained rock concert T’s from college, preferably 80’s hair-bands i.e., Metallica. But if you’re wearing a Winger or Bon Jovi, you might want to update your wardrobe. My sister recently informed me that my fourteen-year old workout suit with the holes, high-water pants and chocolate stains made me look like a hillbilly. I proudly informed her I was a “Regular.” Therefore, my costume was my badge of honor. Personally, I feel the time to wash your gym clothes is either when you can’t remember the last time you took them home or when they stand straight up in your locker like they’ve been starched.

But, like I said, I’ll put up with The Resolutionists. They’ll all be gone in February anyway, thank god then I’ll enjoy the following eleven months until January-Joiner time begins--again.

Sunday, January 3, 2010



Well, it was time last night to go see my bi-annual movie this year before the Oscars, so I went to see Up In the Air, a great film, just as NPR predicted.

I only go to 1-2 “films” a year (can you tell I had film classes in college?). It’s not just that most movies suck. They’re either mellow-dramatic-romantic-comedies starring women who’ve never seen a size 12 outside of a Wal-Mart advertisement or they’re re-makes of old films that sucked the first time around. Nothing says groovier more than a re-make of Freaky Friday or The Stepford Wives.


1. Talkers. What’s with Chatty-Nancies, yapping? There’s places for yapping. They’re called bars, coffeehouses and church. Why is it some people CANNOT whisper? Does that require some sort of hidden skill? Do they talk out loud during church, too? “Did Pastor Johnson just say we were all going to hell?”

2. Cell phones. Last night, not only did one ring behind me at a dramatically crucial point in the film where you could have heard a pin drop, but fifteen minutes later the same oaf’s phone went off again. I proceeded to turn around and give my best grade school principal’s glare only to be met by a blank face shoving Raisinettes down his pie-gob.

3. Coughers. I’m sorry you have a cold, but if you have to cough every three and a half seconds and require an IV-drip you’re so sick, then why not stay home before you jerk me out of every crucial moment during the film while you cough up a enough phlegm to fill a popcorn bucket.

4. The Price of Snacks. Why is it that the SMALLEST bag of popcorn not only costs more than the movie ticket, but the same price as a mid-sized economy car? “Eight dollars and FIFTY cents for a small popcorn?” I gasped to the 15-year-old behind the counter. “Don’t you have a cheaper kids’ size or something?” The miscreant, pointed to the sign which announced a “Child’s Size Snack Deal.” It included a nifty cardboard tray for $9.50 which housed a small pop AND a bag of popcorn the size of a Dixie cup.

5. No Booze. I’ve heard a rumor that somewhere in Florida, there’s a theatre you can go to where they sell high-end snacks and booze. Paradise, eh? I think it’s just a fairy-tale, a snippet of urban legend, fantasy gone the way of the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny.

6. Small Children. I’ve never understood this one and can remember a toddler screaming all the way through The Blair Witch Project when it first came out, which heightened my movie going experience to new dimensions. I remember marveling at exactly HOW an adult would think a toddler would find any kind of film a great way to spend an hour and forty minutes. Unless it’s a Disney film where every adult in attendance is miserable as Junior kicks the seat in front of him, bawls he has to go pee again, and dumps his Coke over in order to have it run down the concrete sloped floor and pool up against my purse. Why not leave the kids at Grandma’s?

7. Shameless Advertisements. Either I’m getting old, or was it only a few years ago that the only ad you’d find up on the screen was a Coke advertisement. Not anymore. Every ad campaign in the country has caught on to attach their wares in between movie trailers. Want to find a real estate agent? Go to the movies and watch the ads. Having back problems? Go to the movies and bring your notebook. My friend talked me into getting there thirty minutes early “to find a good seat,” only to put me through forty-five minutes of ads. What was more shocking than auto-insurance ads narrated by strange little lizards with bad British accents was the alarming amount of ads prompting youth to get up from their theatre seats and flee to the nearest military recruiter. Honestly, I counted four ads for the Air Force and at least a half dozen for the National Guard, each time thinking at first it was the beginning of a trailer for an action-adventure movie. I find this a bit perplexing. What exactly does military recruitment have to do with watching a movie? Furthermore, what 18 year old, is going to RACE out of his seat after watching Twilight and boogie to the recruiter’s office at midnight?

This my friends, is why I AVOID THE MOVIES. Thanks for listening. And next time your hand accidentally slips under the theatre seat as you’re taking off your coat and you feel something you assume is only an old wad of gum, remember it could be something far more vile. Such as a B-O-O-G, you get my drift.