Thursday, January 31, 2013

Why Mindy Kaling is my role model

2. Her breakthrough role was cross-dressing as a young Ben Affleck with her best friend in "Matt and Ben," a play that they co-wrote together because they were bored.

3. She is a strong believer in "writing your own role," and lives by it.

4. She's successful actor even though she's a woman, minority, and not a size double zero. Gives people like me hope.

5. She was one of the writers of "The Office."

6. Her BFF is B.J. Novak, who I happen to have a huge Jewish crush on. 

7. She is freaking hysterical.

8. She also was once 22 and broke in a big city (but in NYC, though she moved to LA later on in her life). 

9. She is loyal to her best girl friends and know the unspoken rules and responsibilities of that role. Examples that she outlines in her memoir: "I will try to like  your boyfriend five times " and "I can borrow all of your clothes."

10. She doesn't fall under any of the awful Hollywood Asian stereotypes like ninjas, geishas, naughty school girls or math geeks that only hang out with other Asians. 

11. The exact level of fame that she wants is just right. Like Conan O'Brien, who makes money just being himself and is a notable comedian but manages not to be swamped by paparazzi every waking moment of his public life.

12. She doesn't take life seriously. She's not quite an adult yet and acknowledges that it's okay. 

13. She openly admits that she's chubby and never was an athlete.

14. She wrote Danny Castellano's character– my biggest celebrity crush as of yet. There's something incredibly endearing about his love/hate relationship with Mindy that I just can't look away. And that adorable crooked grin! I don't care how old he is, if he walked up to me right now I would without a doubt marry him on the spot. 

15. She LOVES romantic comedies despite the fact that she knows they are absolutely awful and probably makes Elizabeth Cady Stanton squirm in her grave. 

16. Having said that, she IS making a stand for women in the media, whether it's a conscious effort or not. Along with Girls' Lena Dunham, Mindy is finally permitting viewers to see real women on screen in real life situations. Us girls can finally relate to these shows because (shocker) women are writing and directing them. 

17. She worked with John Krasinski, the role model for which my dream man is derived from.

18. She is a huge comedy nerd since she was a child and I love it. It's refreshing to see a female comedian do comedy well instead of barking out sexual jokes to compensate for the fact they are the only woman comedian in a room full of men (I've witnessed this train wreck before at many a comedy club). 

19. She has photo evidence that she writes in bed like I do. 

20. She has an impeccable sense of style...or at least her stylists do.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Burgers on Burgers on Burgers

I write this now with a crazy craving that is taking over my entire body. I think I have a problem. Seriously, back in NC, I would get the occasional temptation to have a burger now and again, along with mac-and-cheese, chocolate and ice cream. But then I moved here and what was a infrequent visitor now has moved inside my belly permanently. It taunts me with constant thoughts of delicious, grass-fed beef that drive me to Yelp pictures of different burger joints closest to me.

The California burger is just something else. Truly. There is no better burger in all the land. And LA is full of them. It has somehow successfully found out a way to convince consumers that you can eat an burger and still be healthy just because it's "gourmet." Throw in words like "grass-fed angus" and some vegetarian and vegan options on the menu and it's marketable to everyone.

My first three weeks in LA I had a burger basically every other day. When I realized that my arteries were clogging up, I have now gone vegetarian except for the sole one day a week that I eat meat– which I mostly reserve for burgers. I can't help it; it's my not-so-guilty pleasure because it's so darn delectable. Anyways, I've eaten at enough burger joints that I've decided to rate them from best to worst. And when I say burger joints I mean gourmet, aka not In-N-Out Burger or Fatburger or any of that fast food nonsense.

And the nominees are:

1. Stout:
Freaking. Mouthwatering. Deliciousness. I went here once every week for the first three months in LA, no joke. It also does not help my midsection that it is a mere two blocks away from my apartment. When my two best friends came to visit me from North Carolina (on two separate occasions), I brought them to dinner here right after I picked them up from the airport. The menu is minimal, but makes a point to pair beers (they have a LOT on tap) with their burgers. What they don't have on the menu is the Truffle Burger, a secret that has remained one except for loyal customers (like myself) probably so they don't have to make it all the damn time. The only thing that would compete with the Truffle Burger are the oregano-seasoned fries, which come in a huge bowl and is more than enough for two to share. This is my favorite restaurant in all of LA.

2. Juicy Burger:
This close second is a business that blew up after local foodies started raving about the burgers on Yelp. They consequently were voted the #1 Best Burger in LA on CitySearch and has been marketing themselves as such every chance they get. Their menu options are more expanded than Stout, and also include healthier choices like a lettuce wrap as opposed to a bun, or a chicken sandwich instead of beef. Add the hand-cut fries and their obsession with dipping sauces, and this joint is the perfect remedy for any Saturday afternoon hangover.

3. Burger Lounge:
Voted "LA's Best New Restaurant" in the LA Weekly, it ironically dubs itself the "best original grass-fed burger," which is undoubtedly false. That being said, it does make one bangin' American burger. It's prices are surprisingly cheaper than the other restaurants despite that they have a location in Beverly Hills. It also serves the most scrumptious quinoa salad I've ever had. Usually I would say that choosing a salad over fries is complete bollocks, but it serves as an actually a worthy opponent. And in the case that you DO choose fries, you can get the "half" size portion instead of the full.

4. Umami Burger:
Can someone say Truffle fries?! Seriously, if you put the word "Truffled" before anything, I will eat it. It's guaranteed to be lip-smacking good. Umami is one of those burger joints that California is known for, which brings in a crowd mixed with tourists, locals and pretentious foodies. They even brand their buns with their logo, which is a bit much. Nevertheless, it's definitely worth a bite.

5. Go Burger:
A great restaurant, but I wouldn't say a great one for burgers, if you know what I mean. This is the kind of place where the burgers are overshadowed by things like alcohol milkshakes, and salads (we all know a real burger joint would never put something like salads to distract people from the main event). It's also a bit pricy, though the portions are fairly big.

6. The Counter:
The place where they encourage alcoholism and obesity. What is it with the obsession with alcohol milkshakes? Is it just because it disproves the taboo that milk and liquor don't go well together? Needless to say, I used to stuff my face here during breaks from work downtown but I rank it at the bottom because I see it as an amateur in a room full of professionals. The only distinct difference it has from the rest is that it is great for the picky eater. If you don't want to be limited by menu options, this is the place to go because they take the phrase "create your own" VERY seriously. They also like to hire a DJ to play upbeat music during rush hours, so there's that.

And that folks, is what I call AMERICA! *said in Bush accent*

Thursday, January 24, 2013

5 Things: Club Crawl Host Lessons

Standard Hollywood club with things like mosquito-net bed with a go-go dancer in it. In the air. No big deal. 

I have now been working for the club crawl for a couple months now and surprisingly hate all clubs in Hollywood yet. In fact, I've realized that I genuinely enjoy them. Sure, I hate that it's okay when doormen can select who can go into the club based on the length of their dress and width of their waist, but luckily you can bypass all that nonsense with the club crawl.

I've also found out a lot of things about myself. For example, I am an expert yeller; leading a group of 50+ people whilst crossing Hollywood Blvd. will do that to someone. Consequently, certain comments like "Let's make this light!" and "Please don't get hit by a car!" are pretty standard on working nights. I also have a lot more patience than I originally thought– or so I've been told by a lot of people on the crawl. "I don't know how you can do this every week," crawlers have told me after someone does something stupid like pass around jello shots in public. But it's not that bad– I swear. I've learned to take everything with a grain of salt, how to be firm but nice, strict but playful. In other words, I'll make sure you get your butt outside by 11:40 for the next club, but I'll still dance with you on stage before.

It also turns out that the motto "not my problem" that was so popular with my friends and I in undergrad also applies to the club crawl too. A girl wore 5-inch heels and can't walk in them? Not my problem. A guy has an expired license? Not my problem. A bachelorette's butt cheeks are hanging out of her dress? Not my problem, but I'll pull it down for her anyway, and tell her friends to watch over her in case any predators descend.

Aside from the chaos, drunkenness and drama, this job is pretty damn spectacular and I am amazed that I even get paid for this. It's like being a semi-babysitter for drunks, which kind of throws all normal sense of responsibility out the window. My fellows hosts have also been awesome. Even within these first short months I have learned a lot from them, in addition to what I've observed through trial and error. This is what I've come up with:

1. Have a distraction bottle. In the case that you have bottle service, make sure you have an empty bottle and one that actually has liquor in it. The distraction bottle is for when mooching, alcoholic-hungry randos come up and you can hold it up and say "Sorry, it's empty!" But when the rest of your friends come over, you hold up the actual drinking bottle and say "Let's party!"

2. Pick a fun group to hang out with the entire night.  Usually I tend to gravitate to a group of women that are out for girls night, usually for a birthday and are just looking to dance in a circle and have fun. They aren't really trying to mac on guys and tend to be very accepting to a dancing Asian girl leading the party. They will wait in line with you to the bathroom and hide your jacket behind the DJ booth when you are on the dance floor. They are my go-to group because they are loyal and it is WAY more interesting to hang out with a crowd of girls rather than just one person at a club. On down nights there will not be such a thing as a "fun group," in which case I will stick to the other hosts, which is just as good.

3. Don't bring money. I mean it. No wallet, cash or credit. I've taken on the habit of just bringing my ID and phone to work. Because sometimes you get a really stressful night where you want to buy extra drinks and just slam some down, or you get really hungry (which I am pretty much every night) and you contemplate buying Juicy Burger or those sketchy hot dogs from vendors on the side of the street. But you don't need it. You don't need that 2am slice of pizza, and you don't need that $14 drink when we get free drink tickets anyways. So I don't bring anything to tempt myself or that will make me spend the money that I'm making.

4. When alone, look like you are mad as hell. This technique has proven very effective in clubs filled with creepers and walking back home alone Friday and Saturday nights. Usually I walk with headphones, which is the first sign of "don't talk to me," but unfortunately headphones don't fit inside club dresses. So instead I have perfected a face that says "I will punch anyone that comes within two inches of me" as an alternative. Boom: street harassment-free walk home.

5. Sweet talk everyone. Sweet talk the doormen when they are getting frustrated with the massive group of people that you just brought to their door, sweet talk the club crawl when they are getting rowdy, sweet talk the managers for free drink tickets, and sweet talk the bartenders so you can get a drink faster. Works without fail.

And really, just have fun. Because there is no reason to be a club crawl host and NOT have fun. That's basically what the only job requirement.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Online Dating Messages According to the Food Pyramid

Graphic by Wikimedia Commons. Illustration by me. 

If you've read any of the Clint Saga, then you will understand why I decided to make the big leap and try online dating. I was timid at first, but reasoned with myself that it was basically like Couchsurfing, but just more romantic. Meeting strangers in different locations, judging them on their profiles alone– really how different could it really be?

I chose OKCupid because it's free and my roommate's cousin completely vouches for it. Coincidentally, my best friend from home also met her current boyfriend of over a year on Match, and I have been using her as my mentor of sorts. After I had made my profile (which was an entire process unto itself), one of the first things I had to get used to were the messages that people sent me. When I asked my friend, or "Obi Won Cupid" as I bequeathed her, about them, she just said, "The good ones are like a paragraph and gives you some content to respond to, but slow to give you something back. Don't expect to come across those often; they're like unicorns."

And it's true! Out of almost 60 people that have sent me messages now, I have only replied to five– and that is including one where I just told him, "You seem mildly insane."

The bulk of the messages fall into the "Bread group," where they simply say "hi," or "hey there," or "hi beautiful," or some variation of those three. And that's it. Here's the thing–even if Ryan Gosling's look-a-like messaged me "hi" I probably would not respond just because that it shows that they most likely have not taken the effort to even glance at my profile. So why should I give them any effort to write back? It's a waste of time, frankly.

Then there of course are the messages that just remark you on your looks or attractiveness and nothing else.

Flattering? Yes.
Interesting? No.
Creepy? Sometimes.

One guy told me that I had that "one kind of beauty that is hard to find ;)" which was cute...until I realized that he probably has copy and pasted that same exact message to every other girl on OKCupid.

The messages from people that sound like they are writing from an insane asylum are a special group indeed. Someone actually asked me to accompany him to kidnap a giant panda from a zoo. Which I thought was a bit racist, to tell you the truth. Just because I'm Asian doesn't mean my fantasy is to own a pet panda.

Messages that offend vary from back-handed compliments like "you seem mildly interesting," or ignorant comments like "who the hell are feminists?" Messages that are creepy are pretty self-explanatory and abundant.

Finally, the messages that I actually respond to are from men who are not necessarily the best looking ones (at all). They are the ones that you can tell have taken some time to peruse your profile, explain who they are, or start off with similar interests. It could be as simple as "Whoo you're from the Carolinas! I'm from SC, where are you from?" I also found that I always respond to ones that make me laugh out loud. For example, this one guy sent me a message that said "Hey it says that we are a match made in heaven. Where have you been all my life?!" He was referring to the impressive 93% match we had according to OKCupid, where they show your percentage as a "match," "friend" or "enemy," which I think is a little bit drastic.

The absolutely BEST message I've gotten so far, however, is a man that I would not have paid any attention to if it weren't for the fact that his first sentence was "COOKIES COOKIES COOKIES COOKIES!!!!" to catch my attention.

So it was only appropriate that he landed in the "Fats, Oils and Sweets group."

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Best of Craigslist: Issue IV

What the Craigslist? I know– it's been a while, but here's the finest off America's favorite website. Next time, I'm doing a strictly platonic one. Or maybe missed connections. Let's face it, both are equally entertaining. 

Looking for Erotic Writer

I am looking to hire an erotic writer for a series of short stories (3-5 pages in length) that will be just for me. E-mail me back for more details, if you have a sample, and what you will be charging- I look forward to it! 

One, 3-5 pages isn't really enough to develop a story. They would all just be stories about one-night stands. Which maybe is all he/she needs, but wouldn't that get old after a while? Two, haven't you heard about Siren Publishing yet? They have free samples that basically are equivalent to three pages, since that's all you need! And they are rated anywhere from "Scorching" to "Sextreme." Yeah, you're welcome.

Looking for a nice person that is exelent with file organizing and hase a nice heand righting to help me
Organize fils in my apartment and right life plan nice and local piople only please send head shot and
let me know you experience..

Have a Good Day!!! 

"Excellent" is spelled wrong. So is is "has." And "handwriting." And "files." And pretty much every other word so I lost track of what you are even asking for in this advertisement. Upon rereading it and ignoring the spelling errors, why would you need a headshot of someone that is just going to organize your files? Maybe you should just reevaluate your priorities and hire a copy editor instead.

Have a Spell Check Day!!!

We are looking for a person who is passionate about supplements and male enhancement to write content and make videos about different male enhancement products.

If you like to write and like to experiment with different male enhancement pills, you could be the person we are looking for.

The position requires you to post video reviews and submit a lot of content with good usable advice on male enhancement.

To apply:

Please write a short paragraph about why you are the right person for this job.
tell us a little about your experience writing and making videos - the videos you make will very basic most just talking about the product.
Attach your resume

Pay starts at $15 an hour but can quickly be bumped up to $20 per hour in less then a month if you show you can get results. Raises from there are also consistent and come quickly.

However, this is not the position for someone who "Just wants a job". This is for the person who want to come to work because they enjoy doing what they do and they are confident in their ability to make things happen without being managed or having someone "making sure they are working".

I never thought that being "passionate about supplements and male enhancement" was a thing to do. Or was acceptable. Usually it's more like "I'm passionate about writing," ... or architecture, or even collecting salt and pepper shakers, but male enhancement? You are basically agreeing to be a lab rat by applying to this position, but what do I know? Maybe you have a micro-penis? That would probably motivate me to do it.

Also, it's comical to me that this is a position that you can get pay raises in and move up. By reviewing male enhancements. This doesn't sound very healthy– what if you take too many and you end up have too large of a penis? Have you seen that episode of Sex and the City where Samantha meets a guy who has an elephantitis penis and she tried to have sex with him but it was just TOO big?

You might end up like that guy.

Handjob Queens wanted...$$ (Los Angeles)

Fetish site is looking for females who are skilled in giving handjobs to males, pay is very lucrative and no faces will be shown. Looking for all types of females, 18+, all races, body sizes.

If interested please reply with any experience and headshots and body shots, as well as contact info.

Shooting of scenes will begin in two weeks, we need 5 females.

Who actually gives handjobs anymore? Isn't that a little high school? I feel like handjobs are just for guys to do alone in the bathroom or watching porn, or as foreplay. You can't serve an appetizer for the main dish; everyone would just get really disappointed.

School Formal!!!!!!!! (los angeles, CA)

HELP! my schools formal is coming up and i no longer have a date!!!! i'm looking for a tall handsome guy that likes brownies!!! must be between 14-17 and in high school!!!!! IF YOU PLAY VOLLEYBALL THAT'S A PLUS!!!! PLEASE BE AT LEAST 5' 11"

i will pay you with cat tails or money


""""""""""""""IF I APPROVE OF YOU THEN I WILL GIVE YOU MORE DETAILS"""""""""""""""""

This is a little sad. But honey, if you go to the school formal with some random guy you met on Craigslist, it's not exactly going to be a scene out of A Cinderella Story either. I went solo to my junior prom. Shit was a blast. Or you could just go by what Brittany said on Glee: "So I don't have a date. I'm just going to dance. Then all of your dates are going to ignore you and dance with me. So your dates are really my dates."

It might not make you really popular with the girls, but hey– maybe the boys.
Also, I don't think that your requirements are very realistic or practical. Why does the guy need to like brownies? What the hell does that have to do with the formal? Is it perhaps brownie themed? Please don't say you are baking a stranger brownies before prom, although that would be a sweet gesture (pun intended). And WHAT do you mean you will pay them in cat tails? As in this?

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

or this? 

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Either way, I'd definitely pay them with the money option instead. 

Happy MLK day! 

    Thursday, January 17, 2013

    LA Dating Horror Story: Part 3

    To Clint, ridin' dirty. Photo by Wikimedia Commons

    I had been texting Clint all week to cover up the fact that I had acted weird during the last date. To make me forget about all the red flags, I decided to concentrate on the good part instead. He was a gentleman, for one, and that was hard to find. He would open the car door for me, even in a taxi, and pull out my chair before I sat. That was both new to me and something that I forgot men could actually do. The fact that he actually had a fulltime job and didn't bother me with hyper-clingy or useless text messages for once was also a plus.

    I chose to ignore that it didn't seem like he had any friends and that he was probably hiding the fact that he might be gay behind his surfboards and dates with me. No, that I would not think about. I chose to conveniently forget that when I showed a picture of Clint's short-short briefs/tighty-whities, my very homosexual friend said without doubt, "Oh, he's gay honey."

    So next Friday (I was beginning to see that he liked to designate days for certain activities; Friday was our night), we went to go see the new Bond movie at ArcLight on Sunset. I met him at our usual cross street. walked over to the theater, and "chose" our seats at the kiosk. We had some time to kill so we went to the Veggie Grill that had just opened up beside it and got drinks. That was when I noticed he was wearing a paisley shirt. But it just wasn't paisley, it was extra paisley. Like the designer wanted to fit as much paisley as he could on one square sheet of fabric and the final product had somehow made it's way onto Clint's body. I started to remember all the red flags and it probably looked like that I was going to vomit, because he asked me if I was okay.

    Imagine this but 10 times more paisley. Photo by Wikimedia Commons

    We finally made it into the theater, where we got completely confused as to where our seat was for about 20 minutes. I get the appeal behind picking your own seat, but you would think that they would make the seat numbers a bit more visible to the people. And then to my horror, Clint still was chatting away to me at a not-so-quiet volume and no intention of stopping. When I didn't respond, he asked again if I felt well. I made some comment along the lines of, "Yes I'm fine, I just don't talk during movies." That shut him up. And that was the moment that I knew I would never ever see  him again. Talking during movies is one of my biggest pet peeves. Just don't do it.

    I realized that this was the date where absolutely nothing went right, that I don't even think we had anything in common, and that I was definitely not in the slightest interested in him. I guess three dates is a good enough time to gauge your connection to any stranger. But here comes the best part:

    After the movie, we walked back in the direction of my place when we saw a cat jump into this little crack in a deserted alleyway. To my surprise, Clint said that he would be right back and crept into the crack sideways. What was he doing? I didn't know he was a cat person. "If you don't come out I'm not going in after you!" I yelled from the street.

    When he emerged, he wasn't carrying the cat. He was carrying a razor scooter. And worst, it was his. "I rode here on this from the Metro," he explained to me. I didn't know what else to do but laugh. And I couldn't stop. The whole situation was so strange and he was so strange that I had to question if I was just as strange myself. Not only was he a 29-year-old that rode around publicly on a contraption that I had not seen since I was in elementary school, but he stored it in back alleyways in Hollywood. I couldn't take it. He began to get a little freaked out that I was still laughing after five minutes, and offered to walk me to my apartment. I immediately stopped, afraid that he would make the deranged effort to sleep at my apartment, so I said "No, I'll walk you to the Metro. "

    And I did. And we just hugged bye and I think we both knew that we really won't ever hear from each other again. And that was that. Now, even months later, I am wary of all men and automatically assume that they all wear incredibly short briefs or store razor scooters in random places. Which is neither fair nor true.

    Which is why I have joined OkCupid. I'm using it as an excuse for blog content, but really I am genuinely curious. This should be interesting...

    To read the entire installation of the LA Dating Horror Story trainwreck, read Part One and Two

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

    LA Dating Horror Story: Part 2

    Photo by Open Clipart Library

    I was full of glee after the first date and couldn't wait to see him again. I didn't though, until that next Friday, where we had dinner at Stout– a burger joint that I will vouch for until the day I die. He had ridden on the metro this time, from Koreatown (or K-town) because Hollywood traffic is so notoriously bad.

    The date had started off pretty interesting because my new roommate had just surprised me that night by bringing an abandoned puppy off the streets. "I just couldn't leave it," she said pleadingly, and I understood why. I had never seen a more starving dog: it's ribs were protruding out, he got cold too easily and could barely walk he was so weak. We had tried feeding him some wet food, which he gobbled down eagerly, but then quickly had terrible diarrhea all over our living room floor. The stench was overwhelming godawful. My roommate and I held our breath as we cleaned the mess up with saran-wrapped hands since we didn't have gloves. I had started gagging by the time I got a text from Clint that he had just gotten off the metro and was waiting for me at the cross-street.

    So needless to say, I for the first time was not very hungry for Stout after that smelly ordeal. I relayed the story to him, which he found funny, and I finally regained my appetite halfway during the meal. I decided to show him Piano Bar, which was right around the corner and consequently one of my favorite bars that played live music. After, we tried to do something new for both of us and people watched at the W Hotel, which provided plenty of content for our commentary.

    I was having a fabulous time, and enjoyed being goofy and flirty with Clint. His sarcastic sense of humor I realized even succeeded mine– which was saying a lot, and he also liked to use strange words for someone that was born in Wisconsin. He would only refer to the bathroom as "the loo," for example, even though to the best of my knowledge he did not have any family in Great Britain. He also called every man including the valet "mate," which was a bit uncomfortable to witness. He was an odd one for sure, but I liked that he was different. It made him more interesting if not socially awkward at times. He pulled it off with such confidence, however, that I had to at least admire him for committing to his behavior.

    Afterwards, as we were walking back to the metro, Clint asked me if I wanted to come back with him to his apartment for the night. I told him that I would answer him once we got closer to the stop and I had time to think on it. I traditionally don't go back with guys on the second date, but then again– I don't usually go on dates! Oh why not, I asked myself? Just make it clear that we were not going to have sex. And that's what I did. He playfully responded with, "We can kiss still though, right?"

    Turns out that the last train on the Purple Line had already left to K-town, so we had to walk a few blocks further than he anticipated. He finally had to hail a cab to take us the rest of the way since I was loudly complaining about my heels, but of course refused when he offered to carry me. It wasn't until we eventually got to his apartment that things started to go south. And I don't mean in a sexual way. There were too many strange things and red flags that consecutively occurred that the best way to explain them is by this chart:

    I'm serious. I am not nearly that creative enough to make this shit up. I chose to ignore the smaller red flags like the fact that he was an ultra clean freak and even had floss on his bedside table, or even the weird Asian trinkets that were a bit feminine. But by the time he took off his pants to showcase his shorter than short briefs which, I might add had different colored stripes on them, I was frantically running through an escape plan in my head. I sat awkwardly at the foot of the bed and avoided eye contact until he was under the covers and thereby hiding his male lingerie.

    "Well, are you going to get under here or just sit there?" he asked me.

    I just wanted to sit there. But I had already taken off my clothes and was wearing his t-shirt and basketball shorts, so I decided to take one for the team and tough it up until morning. The team being myself and I. I quickly made it clear I did want to do anything by turning my back to him.

    When I woke up we were cuddling, which was nice until I remembered what underwear or lack there of he was wearing. He tried to make some moves but I pretended like I had to get back to the starving puppy, which turned out to be a pretty legitimate excuse. He drove me home but not before taking with him a tote bag with flowers on it to go grocery shopping with.

    I couldn't get out of the car fast enough. After blurting out a quick and awkward goodbye to Clint, I finally raced back to my sanctuary apartment. I was convinced that I would never go on a date with him ever again by that point. How did things turn so completely creepy, I thought? What just happened? Is he gay and he doesn't even realize? Should I have a come to Jesus conversation with him? The sequence of the night's events were all so embarrassing that I didn't even want to tell my friends let alone know exactly how to explain what had happened. After a week of talking it over to a lot of gay friends and girl friends, however, I thought that I would give him a second chance. After all it's not like he collected action figures and turned out to be some divorcee with two kids in Canada. He was so nice and charming and normal before. Maybe he is just a little quirky and weird in his own right? But that doesn't mean he is gay, I reasoned with myself.

    What a stupid decision.

    To read Part 1, go here

    Monday, January 14, 2013

    LA Dating Horror Story: Part 1

    Photo by Wikimedia Commons

    I don't exactly know what I was expecting in the LA dating scene, but it sure as hell wasn't this. The thing about LA is that there are SO MANY people from SO MANY different places. It's just a huge melting pot that you hope you somehow grab a good piece. After moving here I immediately decided that I would never date anyone from my apartment building because it's basically a college dorm and therefore follows unspoken dorm rules. So while that was a fairly good decision on my part, it also eliminated a good chunk of guys that I actually knew. Finding someone from my internship at Ms. was out of the question because there weren't any, and I have strong feelings against using Couch surfing as a dating website. So that pretty much just left going out and meeting guys the traditional way.

    Now going out to meet a stranger in Wilmington was pretty much impossible– you had to at least have mutual friends because the town was so small. Going out and meeting strangers in Hollywood, however, is a completely different ball game. You get a lot of weirdos, creepers, and desperadoes here. A lot of girls and guys alike who are just looking for a good hookup or is so in need of a relationship that they come off clingy. Surprisingly my first dating experience fell under neither category.

    I was at a friend's birthday party at Hemingways, one of my favorite lounges in Hollywood, and he had gone ALL out. I mean bottle service, I mean cupcakes, I mean private DJ. I was impressed, really. I had naturally darted straight to the cupcakes first and met this one guy (we'll call him Clint) who had already tried all of the three flavors. I liked him immediately. He was tall, handsome, and in good shape. He had on questionably tight pants, but then let's be serious– what guy in LA didn't own a pair? When our seats got snagged by some drunk girls in club dresses, Clint led me to another room by entrance, which was quieter and allowed us to talk more without yelling.

    Even though I don't usually like to talk politics, it was during the Presidential Debates and I was ranting about Romney's latest "binder full of women"act. I was impressed he was actively listening to me blabber about my latest snarky article for the Ms. Blog and the GOP's idiotic remarks against women and rape. It was a pretty heavy discussion for a birthday party, anyway.

    I was ecstatic, however, that I had had an interesting conversation with a good looking stranger and before I left with my friends, I made the first move to ask for his number. I even got different guy's number as a bonus, though he had asked for mine after I danced with him for one song. Not too shabby for a Friday night, I thought.

    The next week I texted Clint and we ended up settling on going out that weekend. He showed up with a Mercedes Benz to pick me up to both my cousin's and my astonishment, and suggested that we  go to Skybar, a swanky rooftop lounge on the Sunset Strip. We talked about our backgrounds and I learned that he was from the Midwest, went to law school, and worked with my friend as an accountant for big names and celebrities (though they weren't allowed to disclose who they are exactly). We also discovered that we both had a lot in common: both had single mothers, didn't keep in contact with our fathers, and drove to LA not too long ago. He had this super sarcastic sense of humor that I understood perfectly and I found myself totally at ease talking to him.

    Before we decided to leave, he went to bathroom real quick while I waited for him outside. When he came out, he had two flamboyantly gay men on either side of him, yammering away about something while he gave me an embarrassed and awkward look. For one terrible moment I actually thought this was a horrible misunderstanding; that he might be gay and we weren't on a date at all but just hanging out as friends. But then he nicely said bye to them after one of the guys gave him a more than friendly back rub, and then immediately held my hand on the way out. Grinning, I caught a death look obviously targeted in my direction from one of the gays before we left.

    I wasn't really bothered by the fact that my date had just been seriously hit on by homosexuals– I could even see why. He dressed a little bit on the metro side and all men were pretty much fair game this close to WeHo, after all. However, I did respect that he had handled the situation pretty well, and wasn't one of those tools who spazzed out at the slightest look from another man.

    "I just know my sexuality and am comfortable with it, so why make it a big deal?" he replied matter-of-factly when I commented on his relaxed reaction, aside from the noticeable gesture to hold my hand.

    After grabbing a milkshake at a diner, Clint drove me home where he proved his sexuality by giving me a body-rocking first kiss in his car. I was blushing from head to toe when I left, and was all smiles. All in all, it was an AMAZING first date.

    Sounds like a good start, huh? Oh, but just wait...

    Friday, January 11, 2013

    13 Resolutions for 2013

    Well, I FINALLY did it! Sure, it might be a little late but I have been thinking about my resolutions for a while now and ultimately decided to keep it simple this year.

    For the past five years I have been writing my resolutions on New Year's Eve...up until now. I also go back to my resolutions the year before to see what I have accomplished. Looking back on 2012, it was quite an interesting year. On one hand, I was very lucky to have survived the 2-week long road trip across country. I met tons of people all across the US and had some life-changing experiences that will make me look back on 2012 for the rest of my life. It was the year that I moved out of North Carolina for the first time ever and that interned for the legendary Ms. Magazine in Beverly Hills. I took a lot of risks, went on a lot of adventures, and became a braver person than I ever thought I would be.

    Of course, 2012 being my first year out of college, I also suffered a big dip financially. I'm pretty sure my bank account hates me and wonders if I've forgotten that I can deposit money in it. I worked a grand total of six jobs– from a receptionist at an Oriental rug store, to a hostess at a Japanese restaurant, to a Hollywood Club Crawl host. I went through a lot of identity crises: thinking that I would be a teacher, go to grad school, be a tour guide. Those thankfully were short-lived.

    Looking back on my resolutions for 2012, I clearly had a different idea of where I am now when I wrote them. "Get a tattoo," "Get accepted into grad school," and "Get a job with benefits" are some examples of what I did not accomplish, along with "Not get into a car accident" and "Volunteer at a soup kitchen."Among my accomplished resolutions, however, are: "Star a blog," "Travel...a lot," "Meet and have a conversation with a celebrity,"(it was Geena Davis) and "Get a credit card."

    Good enough.

    This year I have made 13 new year's resolutions for 2013. Most of them are blog/writing-related. I need a fancy camera to take better pictures for my blog, for example, instead of ghetto IPhone version photos. Also I just really want to look like a bad ass carrying a legit camera around for once.

    So dear 2013, please don't screw me over. I've survived my first year after college, can you please catch me and my bank a break? I would like to ask to have a LOT of good luck, but that is neither measurable or practical. So I won't and will simply aim to achieve my resolutions above. Fair trade, right?

    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    So LA: Here's me pretending to look cool on a Harley

    Thank you Nicho for making me look at least halfway decent in these photos. 

    I'm still not quite sure how this happened. Contrary to what most probably believe, I did NOT do this on purpose. I was not expecting it on the way home from the coffee shop and I am pretty sure this is the first time I have seen, let alone "ride" a Harley.

    But so what had happened was (said in a Bon Qui Qui accent), my friend, neighbor and photographer texted me to stop by for headshots since I had just gotten my hair done. I went to the garage to find that he was already doing shots of a guy and his Harley Davidson. It's a pretty sweet bike, though I will be the first to admit that I know absolutely nothing about motorcycles. After the guy was done he said, "You're welcome to hop on for some shots if you want."

    Who can say no to that?

    I felt so terribly awkward on it, laughable even, that I decided to make fun of myself and sit on it backwards. I also felt like I was killing Jean Kilbourne softly and she would have pushed me off the bike if she had been there. That aside, I think me and a Harley go together about as well as Justin Bieber and that car in the "Boyfriend" music video. I mean, does he even have his after 9 permit?

    Note to self: High-waisted skirts don't go well with motorcycles. Cue awkward-party-of-one sequence:

    Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    Shit my friends say from home

    One of the best things going home for the holidays was being able to witness my friends' hilariousness again. Each of them have their own unique sense of humor, but I think we could all agree that we have that sassy sarcasm in common. Put us all together and our snarkiness thrives; everything seems funny. Things just come out of our mouths before we can take it back, and every moment is a comedy. I'm still convinced we could make it as a Bravo TV show.

    Take us going on a "chill night" out when I arrived, for example. All of us ended up spending a ridiculous amount of money, taking over the foosball table and dancing in a circle at the bar to the Supremes. One of us almost got in a fight with a stranger because she sprinkled red pepper on his pizza when he went to get napkins. Turns out he doesn't like red pepper flakes.

    Maybe it is just an accumulation of our inside jokes, but I took the liberty of jotting down some favorite quotes that my friends said on my phone while I was home. Here's a compilation that I made:

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

    So LA: Hair done did

    I now know how Lady Gaga feels with all of her various headpieces

    Boom diggity! Lo and behold: I'm practically a blonde.

    After looking at all my split ends, I finally got the guts to go to a salon in LA after four good long years with my hair stylist from Wilmington. Conveniently, my cousin Mel had just posted a blog about her own stylist, Randy Madden, that she's been loyal to throughout the years. After a series of texts back and forth where I sent him pictures of Lea Michele's hair and him teaching me what the hell "Ombre" means, I committed to an appointment.

    Doing my cut and color was a full day's work and I fell asleep through most of it. I love hair salons because one, it's a great place to eavesdrop; two, it's like getting a makeover each time you go, and three, I can just tune out and relax. What better way to ring in the New Year?

    When he was done and flipped my hair to the front, I literally gasped looking at the mirror. I don't even look like the same person and it's FABULOUS. I love the dimension of the color, how many colors there are, and that it lightens up my features just in time for spring. So here's to you Randy, and letting me rant about my horrible LA date stories. Which reminds me– I should blog about that.

    Bye-bye black bird; hello California blonde!

    For more information about Randy and his work, go here

    Obligatory Myspace picture to the right. 

    Monday, January 7, 2013

    5 Things I ran into on the way to Runyon Canyon

    After six months of living in Hollywood, you would think that I would have been to Runyon Canyon by now. But nay, the only reason why I made the 5 minute car ride over there was because I had to move my Honda for street cleaning this morning. Turns out that godforsaken rule might be the key to my motivation to exercise every Monday and Tuesday. These are the things that I ran into on my way to the infamous Runyon: 

    1. A Christmas Tree. As I went to move my car two minutes before I risk getting ticketed (you will notice that there is only one other car left besides mine), I saw that someone had left a holiday token on the side of the street. Did they think that the sparse greenery that is on the side of the hill mask the fact that they just ditched their tree on the road? The dumpster is literally just around the corner. Or maybe someone just forgot it...highly unlikely. Knowing this street that tree will probably rot forever before someone has the good sense to haul it out of the way. There was a couch once that sat beside that light pole for 3 whole months before someone took it. 

    2. Incognito Homeless Person. I felt so bad for this guy (or girl) driving to Runyon. I almost stopped on Hollywood Blvd. to make sure they were still alive, but then I saw some rustling beneath the three different blankets. I don't blame them– despite it being LA it gets pretty cold in the mornings. And by cold I mean like 45 degrees. 

    3. A Confusing Map. Since I feel more secure with directions, my first order of business after I parked was to look at this map. From what I could tell, there are two main routes– one more vigorous than the other. I chose to take the more tame one since it was my first time. What I thought was more interesting that beneath the map were hooks that people hung their car keys on. That was the most trusting thing that I had ever encountered, considering it's a big city but then again I guess you would have to hunt down all the Honda's or Saturn's on the streets before you could find the right car. 

    4. Walkway to Trail. This entrance was the first indication that I like Runyon WAY more than Griffith Park. First off, there is so much more to look at. There's actual greenery everywhere and lush plant life rather than just dirt road and horse poop. Secondly, because it's also a dog park, there's plenty of adorable pups for you to pet and gawk at. Which leads to the final thing I ran into...

    5. This guy. Or girl. Though by judging from the leopard coat it's probably a female. This little nugget stopped following her master to trail me instead. Strangely enough, her owner did not seem to mind and I had a small shadow beside me for about a quarter of the hike until she finally took off. Apparently I walk really slow. 

    And of course, there's these beautiful scenes all around you: 

    Friday, January 4, 2013

    5 things to do when you are running late to the airport

    Photo by Open Clipart Library

    Inspired by my last run with the airport (literally), when I was flying from Wilmington, NC to LAX after the holidays. I was at brunch with my friends to say goodbye when I looked at my watch and realized that it was a hour before my flight was supposed to take in I was supposed to be at the airport already. 

    Thankfully I had already packed most of my luggage and my friend Hugo was available to drive me right away. By the time I got to the ILM airport, it was only 30 minutes until my plane was going to be in the air. I tried to check-in at the kiosks, only to have "Sorry, it is too late for you to check-in. Please go to a US Airways representative for more assistance," pop up on the screen.  

    Shit. By this time I was sure that I was too late and going to have to change my flight. What made matters worse was that all the "representatives" were already busy with checking-in a family of five and their thousand bags. When the lady at the desk finally noticed me tapping my foot and looking flustered, she told me that I could check-in at kiosk. "I know," I said dejectedly, "It told me that I was too late." 

    She made no effort to hide rolling her eyes, gave a huge sigh and told me to come up to the desk after she had finally finished tagging the family's baggage. "Is there any possible way that I could just check-in still?" I pleaded, and then blurted out, "My friend got pulled over because his tags were expired and it took forever." 

    Now this was partially true. I got pulled over the other day driving my friend's car, who's tags were expired. But this lady didn't need to know that. She didn't look happy, but called my gate to let them know that I was coming, and quickly checked-in my bag. "Thank you, thank you so much!" I yelled to her before I ran over to security. 

    I was the very last person to board the plane (the woman at the gate even knew my seat number before I gave her my boarding pass), and was sweating profusely from running by the time I was in my seat. However, I had made it and that's all that mattered. 

    Here's some handy dandy tips to avoid being late to the airport/get away with being late: 

    1. Check-in EARLY. Most airlines won't let you check-in less than an hour before, so keep that in mind. You can do it up to 24 hours before so just do it before you even pack your bags and you will be good to go.

    2. Have an excuse ready. In the case that you did NOT check-in early like me, have an explanation that will pull at that airline representative's heart strings. Actually, it doesn't have to be that melodramatic- keep it short so that you don't make yourself later than you already are, but just enough content that will make the them know that it was NOT YOUR FAULT. If you make it sound like you didn't have control of the situation, then they will be that more willing to give you a lending hand.

    3. Pack smart. If you have a carry-on, put the liquids (no more than 3.4 ounces and in a ziploc bag) and any electronics (laptop, kindle, IPad, etc.) somewhere that you can easily access. Everyone knows the worst part of the airport is going through security. Make it easier for yourself and everyone in line. Know that you are supposed to take off your jacket(s), big jewelry and shoes. Do not hesitate. Just get that shit off so you can go through the line faster. If you are in a really big hurry, most of the time you can get away with telling whoever is in charge that your plane is boarding and they will allow you to cut the line.

    4. Have your ID ready. If you need to check-in a bag, take out your license or passport and credit card ready to go before they even ask for it. Time is crucial. The less time burying in your purse or scrambling for your wallet, the better. Know that they will need your ID again right before security as well, and then for goodness sakes put it somewhere safe. I've almost lost mine many a time because I was in too much of a rush and forgot where I hid my license.

    5. Run. If you know that your plane is already boarding, get a good hold of your bags and haul ass! Because they WILL close that gate on you, and to miss a flight by just a few minutes is the worst feeling in the world. It doesn't matter that you look like an idiot scampering through the terminals– everyone has been there; they won't judge you.