Life. Men. Alcohol. Shoes.

Monday, May 29

London - The final 24 hours

London is turning me into an early riser... was up at 9:30am, following a night of nearly of vodka tonics that would keep me in my NYC bed well past noon. However, with less than 24-hours of vacation remaining, sleeping in is a luxury I can't afford.

Yesterday was a monumental day for London must-dos:
- Must try fish & chips -- Check
- Must visit Westminster Abbey -- Check
- Must go shopping at Top Shop -- Check
- Must kiss local -- Check

I met my London kiss at a Kensington bar. Tom was tall and trim - as are most London boys. We made eye contact across our groups of friends. This wasn't American-eye contact (glance, look away, glance back), he was down right staring. His constant gaze had begun to make me uncomfortable, so I moved out of his line of vision. Only then did he lean over my group of girlfriends, extend his hand and whisk me into a private side conversation. Very nicely played...

A couple cocktails later, kissing the boy in the crowded bar was a natural idea. I learned this morning, there is photographic evidence of the encounter. (Ladies -- I am not looking forward to the whole world seeing that pic, can we keep it off the SnapFish photo album that is going to be shared with everyone. Please?)

Today's must-dos: Buckingham Palace, Notting Hill, afternoon tea, Harrod's.

I'm off....

Saturday, May 27

On site report -- London

Day two in London and jet lag coupled with 12am bar closings has left me with time to provide a mid-trip blog. I am loving my time in London, there are a thousand things to love about this city, and about just as many annoyances.

Love -- The Oyster Card. Think Metro Card but chic-er with its own carrying case.
Hate -- Having to swipe in AND out of the Tube. Honestly, by the time the ride is over, my wallet has moved the bottom of my bag and I'm not thrilled to turn it out, looking for my wallet just to swipe out.

Love -- Men's Fashion. Love that men here think nothing of wearing a pinstripe suit, or tan loafers. They are as fashionable as they are tall. I've already falled in love multiple times... (Hello to the PorterHouse, post-work crowd. I love you all!)
Hate -- Straight men and gay men are impossible to tell apart. My girls and I spent a good part of this evening eyeing a group of boys, until (at the end of the night) we clued into their obvious gay-ness.

Love -- Pumping a toilet to flush... What's not to love about a water saving measure. The enviroment is precious.
Hate -- "Breaking the seal" after the third beer, which keeps you on a constant bathroom rotation. That wouldn't be so much of a problem if the seal weren't broken mid-afternoon. Drinking is just too easy around here. No one thinks being in a pub at noon is a problem.

I have two days left. Two days of shopping and site seeing. I plan on hitting the shops tomorrow and stocking up on that fabulous London fashion I've been seeing. Two take-aways which I look forward to applying to tomorrow's shop fest.

- Belts can provide the ultimate accessory to any top, dress or pant set
- Americans rely to0 heavily on jeans. Dresses. Lots and lots of dresses are in store.

Thursday, May 25

Taking London By Storm

Fitting that my 100th post be something monumental.

Tonight at 9:30pm, I'll be on a flight with my best girl friends to take on London. My first trip across the Atlantic. Five days of adventure lay ahead... I can hardly wait for it all to begin.

I'll be conducting a small social experiment while I'm there: Does having an American accent have the same effect on English guys, as the US gals feel when they meet an English chap? You can expect a full report when I return.

Tuesday, May 23

NYC Fleet Week

Hello Sailor!

I saw my first seaman (snicker) this morning...

I love NYC's Fleet Week. The navy boats dock in the harbor and the streets of Manhaattan are flooded by thousands of beautiful navy boys. There is something about the mid-western navy boy that makes a girl swoon.

Fleet Week, my favorite holiday.

Monday, May 22

Le Suck (F.K.A. Le Souk)

There are certain expectations one has when dining out at a restaurant/hookah joint. The most basic being a post-dinner hookah. What a simple expectation. Nearly impossible at Le Souk.

The Background
Le Souk has been a fixture in the East Village since the mid 90’s. Starting off as a simple hookah – belly dancer joint, the locale rocketed into the popularity after Sex & the City filmed an episode there.

The Reality
Le Souk with its mix of hookahs and belly dancers seemed the ideal place for the ladies to dine on Saturday evening. Respecting the restaurant’s popularity, we made 9PM reservations early in the week and arrived on time.

An early indication of what our night was to become began when we ordered a pitcher of sangria which promised to serve 8. Four (very small) glasses of sangria later, the pitcher was empty. After asking the waitress if we were served the correct “family-sangria” pitcher, she admitted that, “No, they were out of the group pitchers, so we were served sangria in a water carafe which should be relatively the same size.” After pointing out to her that only 4 vs. 8 glasses were served, she brought the table a complimentary pitcher. We were placated.

Post dinner we ordered our hookah, at which time all good-vibes began sputtering to utter disappointment. Our waitress informed us that our table was now bottle-service only and to enjoy a hookah we’d have to order a bottle of liquor. When we balked at dropping hundreds of dollars on a bottle, we were told to go upstairs and wait in line for another table.

(Turns out we had the unfortunate luck of being seated downstairs. If we’d been seated upstairs, securing a post-dinner hookah would not have been an issue.)

Having just dined at their restaurant, the prospect of our names being placed at the back of a list was unacceptable. We spoke with the manager who assured us that after having a drink at the bar upstairs, we’d have a hookah-friendly table. Comforted by his assurance, we paid our dinner check and headed upstairs.

Cue to 60 minutes later, no table, no hookah, drinks long gone. Talk turns to leaving when the hostess sends us to the back room where we wait for a table to pay their check. Finally seated, we order a round of pomegranate martinis. Just as we place our order, the manager pops over and asks us to move, yet again. Visibly irritated, he comps our hookah and first round of drinks.

As we settle in the chaise couch with our hookah, we chill out and order 17 pomegranate maritinis between the five of us. We joke about skipping out on the check, since no one laid down a card and the manager did say, “Anything they want, on the house.” Still, we pay our check when it arrives and swear to not return to Le Souk.

Alternatives to Le Souk:
Horus Cafe
La Caverna

Side note: Le Souk was bachelorette party central. There were two dueling bridal parties. With group #1, the bride wore a penis headband that lit up with her veil. In group #2, the bride carried a foam penis with scrotum and a penis wand.

Need I explain further why Le Souk is now Le Suck?

Thursday, May 18

How not to pack

The Scene (Friday Night)

Thrilled to be out of the office during daylight hours, I met friends at a corner bar for post-work drinks. Corona after Corona after Corona on an empty stomach resulted in me putting on a quick buzz. Slightly tipped, we grab dinner at the bar and have more beers.

Post-dinner, we venture uptown for a roof-top party. At the house party when I play beer wench, I am rewarded with a shot of tequila from the kitchen crew. Now in full-on party mode, I return to the rooftop where I proceed to start a conversation with
Date Night Boy that probably is best had sober. (That my friend’s is a story for another time.)

As the house party becomes rambunctious, we return downtown to meet up with our friend’s girlfriend. Next thing I know, I’m at the
Maritime Hotel where someone tosses down their credit card for everyones' drinks. A couple vodka tonics with lime juice, leads into tequila shots, leads into dancing, leads into yet another round of shots.

Then it hits me… I have an 8am bus to catch for a family get-together in Boston. Checking the clock (3:30am) I realize that I’ll never remember to pack or get up without someone to remind me. Enter
Date Night Boy. I invite him back to my house with clear instructions that I am to pack before we go to bed. AND he is responsible for making sure I don't sleep through my alarm.

This is a terrible plan mind you, I know that now.

The Scene (Saturday Morning)

8:30am, I wake up to my phone ringing where my sister bawls me out for missing the bus. I jump out of bed and grab the suitcase that I had packed the night before. Catch the 9am bus, I figure all is fine.

The Scene (Saturday Afternoon)

I meet my family and they all rag on me: “We didn’t really expect you to make the 8am bus.” As we start to get ready for the Boston Red Sox evening game, I go to my room to change out of my
shorts and into my jeans. I open my bag to find the following contents:

- 9 Shirts (4 Tank Tops, 3 Long Sleeved Shirts, 2 Sweaters)
- 3 Bras
- Make-up Bag

What’s missing from my bag: underwear, toothbrush, and jeans.

You can only image the scene when I told the fam that we need to make a small shopping excursion before the game because I didn't pack any jeans. Oh yeah, I don't think I'll hear the end of it.

Tuesday, May 16

Purchase skinny jeans support eating disorders

Sometimes I read women’s magazines and I’m floored. Honestly, this appears in this month’s issue of Marie Claire, accompanied by none-the-less than a photo of Nicole Richie.

“California Born’s new 4-way stretch hugs every curve, and the company also donates a portion of its profits to Style International Source, which supports women affected by eating-disorder issues – a staggering 10 million reported cases."
Even the skinniest girl trying on these new fangled slim cut jeans can tell you that an eating disorder is pretty much a requirement for wearing them.

A little fashion irony for today??

Monday, May 15

A Gift to Myself

One of the many conveniences of living in NYC is that no matter where you live, there is probably a sex shop within a five block radius. I am lucky enough to live blocks from Toys in Babeland (NYC’s #1 shop).

Every couple years, I have the urge to add to my collection. Along the way I have learned things about myself, as well as the surprising fact that boys are often jealous of battery-operated friends. My first was a
classic, safe choice, (which my boyfriend at the time hated openly). My second was a Rabbit, (which my then boyfriend admitted to being intimidated by) and for my third purchase, I felt the need to round out my collection with something a little more discreet and perhaps less frightening to the men in my life.

Enter – The Chic Vibe. Chosen not only for its name (obvious), but within its discreet carrying case it looks remarkable akin to a Dior lipstick. Sold!

Spent some time last night, and this morning getting to know my new friend, and I must say, this is the start of a fabulous friendship.

Thursday, May 11

Blind Justice

Talking with a lawyer-friend about personal injury cases, I asked if beautiful people are awarded more money in disfigurement cases, than an average looking individuals.

He laughed, but confirmed my hunch. Juries tend to see a beautiful person as having lost more than an average-looking joe and are more likely to award that individual more money.

This is hardly a scientific fact, but based on his personal practice…Still I think it's sick, just sick….

Wednesday, May 10

Part Two: 2 Nights - 2 Boys - 2 Outcomes

Fast forward to Saturday night. Official date night, I am meeting up with secret boy. Together we catch a Tribeca Film Fest flick, have a late night dinner and head back to his place.

History of the situation: I’ve slept over his house once before – coming off a night of drinking and well, you know how guys react to that. The next time he slept at my house – and I managed to pass out shortly after making out. This being our third night together, I have expectations of a thrown-down, or at least a serious make-out session.

Few beers had been consumed. It was a late but not too late hour. Couldn’t have set it up better if I had planned it. Then nothing. Absolutely nothing. Didn’t even get off first base. Um…

I’ve weighed in with almost everyone on this and feedback has been all over the place. Highlights include:

You are his beard.
He is seeing someone else
He respects you
He is a virgin
He doesn’t find you attractive
He is a-sexual

Now if I hadn’t come off of Friday’s night make out, I would assume the problem was me. But I can't really figure out why this guy who acts like he likes me so much, just isn't interested in me once we hit the sheets.

After obsessing and picking the situation apart with my girlfriend over brunch, she advised me to cut it off quick, thinking it is a premonition to him cutting it off with me. No sooner are the words out of her lips, than my phone starts ringing and it is him. He just wanted to let me know that he had a great time the evening before and wanted to see if I was free later in the week...

What the? This is turning into a great mystery which I sort of want to unravel. I’m sticking with it at least until I figure out where he is coming from…

Wednesday, May 3

Part One: 2 Nights - 2 Boys - 2 Outcomes

When it rains, well... you know how it goes.

Drinking elbow-to-elbow with a former friend-with-privileges (FWP), things were run of the mill until a round of tequila shots went down. Quickly conversation morphed into confession central. The FWP mentions that I was #2 of 5 girls he's ever slept with. In complete disbelief that he’s only slept with 5 girls, our conversation lingered around the topic of our previous indiscretions perhaps a moment too long.

(Such talk with a FWP is a very slippery slope for an alcohol-fueled Friday night.)

Our fate was decided when we returned to our friend’s house to find the living room couch pulled out and made up for our impromptu slumber party. Quickly tracking back to old habits, we were on… around… or just past (wink) third base when I had a moment of clarity beyond the oh-that-feels-really-good to we-probably-shouldn’t-do-that.

Woke up around noon still in bed cuddled up with FWP. Later that afternoon, we went our separate ways without major drama. Just the usual… See you. No plans. No numbers exchanged. No faux-promises.

The best part of an FWP is that if you back track to old habits, no problem. Your “number” remains constant, there no relationship baggage, everything is just about having a throw-down good time.

(Now if only I could get Saturday night’s guy – and regular date - to attempt a throw down. I’d be a much happier person. But that’s a post for another day.)

Tuesday, May 2

Scientific Evidence: Women are smarter than men

This requires no further comment...

From the Washington Post (Tuesday, May 2, 2006)

The Gender Gap Exposed

Men are mentally slower than women. Any woman could tell you that, but now there's proof of a sort. Vanderbilt University researchers looking at 8,000 males and females ages 2 to 90 found females to be markedly better at timed tests and tasks . The researchers said the differences, which were particularly significant in teens and preteens, did not reflect differences in overall intelligence, but they may help explain the growing school achievement gap.