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Posts from November 2003

Next Year's Menu

My Thanksgiving this year is going to be slightly odd. Not bad, just odd. I am going up to my Mom's for the day, and my Mom, who usually really enjoys cooking for the holidays, announced that "Thanksgiving elves" will be doing the cooking this year. In other words, she's ordering Thanksgiving dinner. Now, I generally don't have strong opinions about ordering versus cooking food, but it does seem rather strange to me to be ordering Thanksgiving dinner. For now, I will reserve judgment until after the meal.

On Friday, I will be meeting the other half of the family in Virginia, where we are going to visit friends of the family at their farm. It will be a full house -- complete with two sets of twins, two siblings of twins (including me) and two sets of parents. I think my Dad is planning on hauling ten lobsters on the plane down from Portland, Maine so that we can have a lobster dinner on Friday night, then we're having Thanksgiving dinner, take two, on Saturday night.

Since I am trying my best to get back on the exercise wagon, I'll be bringing running clothes. Perhaps I'll even use them.

Finally, in keeping with the odd Thanksgiving tradition, I have decided that next year's Thanksgiving menu will feature Turducken. For those not in the know, this is a chicken in a duck in a turkey, with layers of stuffing in between. I think it originated in New Orleans, from Chef Paul Prudhomme, whose site features step-by-step instructions on how to make a Turducken. Between his recipe and a few others I've seen, it looks like a major process. I may have to start cooking next week.

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Happy Thanksgiving to the seven of you reading (I think my readership is slowly starting to grow!)


Even More Thoughts on Online Dating

Well, at least the latest New York Times piece on online dating, Romance 2.0, is a bit more on the mark than the last one I read. In fact, in the magazine format, there is a quote highlighted that pretty much sums up my opinion on the matter. "But if flirting in the real world consists of no-strings banter between two people who feel a mutual attraction, online flirtation is its inverse -- it happens in the presence of everything but physical attraction. Two people who have read each other's profiles may know each other's hobbies, income, turn-ons, religious affiliations, political views and whether or not they want children, but they have no idea whether the frisson these avatars of themselves manage to whip up in the void will translate into life." As I've said, no sparks = no sparks, no matter where you meet the person, and at least offline, there is usually some sort of spark that gets a chance meeting to move to the next step.

For now, despite the techno-dork that I've become, I'm sticking to the offline, old-fashioned, spark-filled dating. Seems to be working for me at the moment.


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What's in a Name?

I would love to get some reader feedback on this one. As a single woman dating in New York, I have noticed a trend among my peers. Until someone actually moves up to the status of "boyfriend," (and sometimes even after that) he tends to get dubbed with a nickname. This way, your friends don't have to be bothered learning someone's name until they're sure he'll be around for a significant period of time, and you can still keep them filled in on the details of your social life. Sometimes these nicknames focus on someone's job ("the architect," "the doctor"), or how you met them ("internet boy," "dinner party guy"), or where they live ("DC guy," "East Village guy").

So my question, dear readers, is -- what are some of your/your friends' top nicknames for guys you've dated or been interested in? Here are some of my favorites (they are not all guys I've dated personally -- some are from friends):

  • the clown
  • soup guy
  • no-sparks-Mike
  • the Republican
  • pro-life/NASCAR guy
  • the jackass
  • the intern

    Please chime in -- I'm looking forward to hearing your responses! (And please note -- this is open to men and nicknames that they may have for women they've dated, too. I don't think the phenomenon is gender-specific.)

    UPDATE: people are starting to chime in -- here are some reader submissions, and I will continue to add to this list. Thank you for your contributions and feedback!

  • wine guy
  • boring paul
  • subway guy
  • NBA guy
  • The Great Dane
  • Wharton Guy
  • The NRA guy
  • Tall Eric
  • Not-my-brother Jeremy, Jeremy
  • The Venti Mocha
  • The Clump
  • The Nugget
  • Cupcake Boy
  • Shack
  • non-date guy
  • Stove-top stuffing


  • Mango Quickly in Boston

    Attention all Boston area readers (are there any Boston area readers out there?) -- my brother's band, Mango Quickly, is playing at Harper's Ferry with Boston’s The Nine on Wednesday, November 26th. The show starts at 9:30, $5 cover, 21+. Harper’s Ferry is at 156 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA, 617.254.9743. For more info email cregan@bates.edu.


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    Mango Quickly is fun and funky -- I promise you won't be able to sit still, and I'm not saying that just because my brother is the drummer!


    Riding on the Metro . . .*

    Sometimes I take for granted that living in NYC gives me an "edge" on pop culture trends. Scary, but true.

    For example, I got a very cute email from my mom yesterday. I'm hosting a murder mystery dinner party tonight, and one of the guests is a guy I met at my friend's marathon party a few weeks back. I was telling her that this guy was coming over early to help me cook. She replied, "he cooks? He must be one of those new "metro" guys that they were talking about on Sex and the City last week -- they have all the good qualities of gay men AND they're great in bed!" (Yeah, I wish. If any of you readers find that guy lurking out there, send him directly to me, pronto.)

    Well, I must admit she's one up on me, because I don't have HBO, but I took it upon myself to send her an article written by Mark Simpson, who coined the phrase "metrosexual." In my mind, the metro trend is in the "on the way out" category, but as he points out in his "Metrosexmania Update" on 8/18, "The media gang-bang of the metrosexual continued to grow, rapidly developing into a case of full-blown global metrosexmania. Is there a single publication in the ‘developed’ world, other than Farming Monthly which hasn’t run the story?"

    She replied back, sheepishly, "So I'm out of the loop. At least I've heard of it and I don't live in the city. Doesn't that earn some points?" Of course it does, Mom.

    I realized that metrosexuals were part of the mainstream society when I saw an ad recently for
    The Metrosexual Guide to Style: A Handbook for the Modern Man in Time Out New York -- not that Time Out New York is necessarily "mainstream," but it is a mass publication of sorts. Now, the true test of whether or not it has hit mainstream culture is to ask my Dad if he has ever heard the term. So I sent him an email to find out. "Hey, Dad," I wrote, "I'm taking a survey. Have you ever heard of the term "metrosexual" and do you know what it means (no cheating by looking it up on the internet)?" His response? "No and no." In conclusion, based on my scientific study -- the term "metrosexual" is still not officially mainstream. And Mom gets extra credit points.

    (* a tribute to Berlin's song of the same name)


    All Things Considered

    And to think that during high school, I made fun of my parents for listening to NPR. I groaned every time they tuned the car radio in to WNYC -- it was soooo boooooring. Now that I'm an avid listener myself (well, maybe not avid, but I listen to Morning Edition and the BBC World Service every morning, and on weekends, I listen to Car Talk if I'm awake), and a first time donor (only $15, but it was during one of those times where my donation was tripled due to the generosity of some major philanthropist or another), I have just read that this is the key to a successful dating life! I got this post about NPR and its role in the ritual of mating and dating via Gawker, and it made me laugh out loud.

    For both the male and the female, listening to NPR sends a signal to a prospective mate: “Despite my current income, in a few years I will have a house in a neighborhood with good public schools, and I will drive a Volvo stationwagon.” Women are sending an additional signal: “I consider myself smart and sophisticated and if I get pregnant, I will have an abortion. I might consider a three-way.” Men signal back: “I won’t try to stop you from getting an abortion, but I’m not afraid to cry if you do. I don’t like guns, but I’m manly enough to camp and mountain-bike. I just love nature! A three-way sounds intriguing.”

    Note to those interested -- the most recent guy on the radar screen does, in fact, listen to NPR.


    In the News

    Just a few comments on some recent news items.

  • First -- Love, Internet Style, from this Saturday's New York Times. This article rests on the premise that online dating is slowing down courtship in "the Age of the Hook-Up." (Age of the Hook-Up? Why wasn't I notified that we're living in the Age of the Hook-Up?! Damn!) The article goes on to describe how courtship is prolonged through extended emailing, and then somewhat awkward dating. When courtship proceeds at this leisurely pace, folks are less likely to jump into bed. I agree. It seems pretty clear to me, however, that the author of this article has never tried online dating. In the beginning, I played the courtship game -- the endless, witty email banter, then a phone call, and finally, a real live date. On which there were, in all likelihood, zero sparks. After a few rounds of leisurely courtship, I tried to fast-forward the process to real-life speed -- meet the guy as soon as possible. You can tell pretty damn quickly if there's going to be any sort of chemistry. If I met someone at a party, this is the way it would work. There wouldn't be any letter-writing exchange; we'd talk and see if any sparks flew. If they did, great, we'd go out. If not, nice to meet ya. Regardless, I'm giving the online thing a break for the time being. Too many guys, not enough sparks.

  • Second -- the Citizens Budget Commission released a study showing that New York State taxes are the highest in the nation. As far as I'm concerned, sometimes the good stuff is worth a little extra cash.


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    Saturday Night's Alright*

    Had a great evening Saturday night. For all you hipster wanna-bes, I have listed the stops in Saturday night's trip to the Williamsburg/Greenpoint area. Follow along to recreate the fun -- fool your friends into thinking that you know cool, offbeat places!

  • First, fish tacos at Bonita
  • Next, take a short walk to Enid's for a cheap beer, and a quick game of Ms. Pac Man while listening to old faithful tunes on the jukebox (my favorite was "I Am the Warrior" by Scandal).
  • Finish your evening at Warsaw, which has now become my new favorite music venue. Where else can you see a band (in my case, the Eels) and snack on pierogies?
  • Of course, I can't re-create my favorite part of Saturday night -- the lunar eclipse. Fantastic.


    Lunar_eclipse.jpg

    (* A Tribute to Elton John)