Sexless in the City

Sometimes reading romance novels doesn’t quite prepare you for a love life...

For this 30-year-old urbanite, love is always a misadventure: The Harvard Lickwit, Hippie the Groper, the 5% Man, and the Ad Weasel. These and many other men wander in and out of her life — but never her bed.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Coming sooner

... another blog entry! After another exhausting night revising my teaching ap till 3 or 4 a.m., I didn’t think ya’ll would be getting any blog love from me today. But then my recently undertaken temp assignment fell through this morning. I’m so grateful for the shot at an afternoon nap, I don’t really care!

Once I’ve finished the umpteenth revision on this ap, finally committed it to next-day air ... and caught a few zzzzs, check back here for more of the usual ramblings. Meanwhile, check out dramatic developments in contest voting, as Frasier scratches out his first ballot (!!!!). One hopes this is not a portent of the upcoming election. :-o And hey, in case you’re overwhelmed by preparing for that Major Decision, warm yourself up by voting in our far-simpler but equally intense competition.

Mystery novels and duck sauce are on the line here!!! Don’t miss the chance to have your say. Votes collected through midnight, Sunday, Oct. 31. And sorry, Wedding Date, no voting for yourself. ;)

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Frasier did it, and now here’s your chance. Take your pick among poetry from:
Remember, first-place winner gets a novel, second-place winner gets duck sauce.

And just to put you in the mood, a round-up of yesterday’s drama in aptly poetic form (hey, what can I say? this stuff is addictive):
Alas, my computer, it doth me befuddle
So I chatted up Poster Boy, asked of my trouble.
The trick he supplied: with a techie to huddle
And perhaps we could even conclude with a cuddle.

Now it happens that Best Friend, with techies made nice.
And who did she see there, waiting on ice?
Why old “friend” Ad Weasel, on phone all a-gush —
At his ghastly appearance would spring nought a crush.

So quoth me Best Friend, in brief gossip sublime
Don’t think I’ll be calling him up anytime.
Sad to learn one’s gone downhill, who once gave (some) thrill.
But of men like Ad Weasel, I’ve sure had my fill.

On to men with more class! That would be quite a gas.
Now if only right by me they would not just pass.
As I said to Poster Boy, I’m not their lass:
My mouth’s a wee salty and too full of sass, alas.

(Now for those who might wonder why I talk so strange,
A meeting with Grandpap I’ll hap'ly arrange.
You would learn from that fine chap why we talk in rhyme:
Such word play, to Broadways, is one grand old time.

Dear Grandpap, on birthdays, a poem would send.
And that’s why my rhymes to your ears their way wend
But should, in a protest, you your garments rend
I will bring at long last my sad poem to end.)

Etta spurned for silence

The song that roused me from bed this morning was the Rolling Stones’ “Beast of Burden.” My normal routine is to set the alarm for a specified time, and the radio to go off 5 minutes later. I have to get up to turn the alarm off, but usually I return to bed to lay there a long, comfortable interval (sometimes even past the 1-hour shut-off point on the radio alarm) before finally getting up. The one constant is the radio station, set to New York’s Q104.3 — the classic rock station.

I’ve gone through various stages in my radio listening — classical music in junior high/early high school, oldies in late high school/early college, classic rock in late college/grad school. My fantasy is a blues-format station, but aside from a great 6-hour block the Phoenix jazz station used to play on Sunday nights, I’m left to internet radio. And you think I can get that with my dial-up connection?!!

... Hear no evil ...
A fast connection — or rather a good connection — is also on the mind of Mick Jagger. At least in this morning’s wake-up song. As I caught a few of the lyrics this morning (I’m notoriously bad at deciphering them from the rhythm, chords and tune), I had to chuckle. Yet another song my parents doubtless wouldn’t have let me play around the house.

While chatting online with Wedding Date last night (something my connection will permit), the topic of parental censorship came up. There are two particularly memorable cases from high school. The first was when, sometime after the revolutionary purchase of a television set (circa winter 1993), I started watching Seinfeld on the sly. This wasn’t exactly a problem in and of itself, but sometimes when they returned from a midweek church group, my siblings would watch with me. And as luck would have it, one group viewing concerned Elaine’s faked orgasm. We got to finish watching that night, but Seinfeld, too, was finished in our household.

The other instance of parental censorship involved Etta James’ “I Just Want to Make Love to You.” Part of the excitement of finally having a TV in my very own living room was the joy of television commercials. Indeed, several from my high school years are still vividly etched in memory. In one jeans commercial, a guy brings roses to his girl. As he nears the house, a female form in the upstairs window is seen falling backward with what looks like another man. The flowers wilt instantly. The “real deal” of course, is that she’s struggling to pull on too-tight jeans, and in the process knocks over a fedora-topped dress form curiously stationed in her bedroom.

Selling the song
But mostly I remember the ads for their music. Sometime between 1993-1996, Diet Coke ran a series set to classic songs I was guaranteed to melt for. There was the honeymoon-suite ad with “Makin’ Whoopee” (how subtle, eh?), the bubble-bath ad with Mama Cass’ “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” the sunbathing-waitresses ad with Bobby Darin’s “Beyond the Sea” … And the lynchpin: Lucky Vanous as the shirtless construction worker behind an office “Diet Coke Break.” Soundtrack for their lustfest? Etta James and “I Just Want to Make Love to You.”

Not only did I call up Coca-Cola to ID every song used in the commercial series (particularly the Lucky spot), I even bought the Lucky Vanous calendar. To date, the only beefcake calendar ever owned by Anna Broadway.

My parents forbade neither the purchase nor the display of the calendar, nor even the purchase of an Etta James CD, but they did intervene with audible playing of the song (at least when they were around). Since I was still, in those days, considering law as a possible career, I tried lobbying for the non-salacious nature of the content. Being the well-versed romance-novel reader that I was, I was familiar with more historic forms of the genre. And in these literary specimens, I argued, use of the phrase “make love” applied to scenarios we might today call “making out.” Since Etta had recorded this song circa … 1960 … this was a clear (dare I say “prima facie”?) instance of that usage. Alas, I was outdone by the arguments of a certain opening sax riff.

I Just Want to Make Love to You
‘I Just Want to Make Love to You’ from At Last
Since I’ve quite remiss with Spooning Forks, it’s only appropriate to give “I Just Want to Make Love to You” the treatment. It’s truly a fitting tune for the feature, based on the recent conclusion that I am, above all things, a retrosexual. Not to be confused with instances where this word is applied to the antithesis of the metrosexual, a retrosexual is that woman who relies on 1950s methods of winning a man. Etta is clearly one.

She wants to bake his bread! Make sure he’s well fed! No matter that she sounds like she’s conducting a strip tease; there’s no sexual innuendo in this. She wants to wash his clothes!* … And of course make love to him. But since she doesn’t intend to keep him indoors, there are many places where this might be done. The kissing, that is.

I don’t care about the later classic-rock cover of this; there’s no way a band could sing these lyrics as convincingly as Etta. How does a man sound macho while singing about wanting to keep a woman “well-fed” or baking her bread? Either he sounds like the straight escapee from the Queer Eye cast, or he mutters his way through those lyrics to manly guitar solos … or it comes off as innuendo. And I’m sure that’s not at all what the song’s author (Willie Dixon) had in mind.

I mean, we retrosexual women, we never have things like sex on the brain …

Not sure when my next blog will be; tomorrow I start full-time (and early-morning!) training with the friend whose wedding precipitated such a crisis, as I am also the replacement at her office. We’re winding down the end of this month’s contest, however, and yesterday’s comment section generated quite a fine round of poems. Check ’em out if you haven’t already, and get all final submissions in today. Reader voting on the winners starts Friday.

*Incidentally, a metaphor my A.P. history teacher would have instantly suspected. “Laundry” was his favorite metaphor for sex: Laundromat = brothel, washing the laundry = getting it on, etc. We never did clarify what dry-cleaning was, however …

Monday, October 25, 2004

Monkey see, monkey write

Dahlings, you never fail to delight me with your responsiveness. And indeed the response has been so great, I must warn you that today’s entry might prove like those counts-as-2-choices items in the BMG catalog: I might not blog till Wednesday. That said, it gives me great pride to announce that Wedding Date was the first to accept the food-for-words challenge today:
One, that broke my heart.
That’s the one that got away.
Two, that was insane.
I just wanted her to go away.
Three, she was sweet.
But not the one forever.
Four, haven’t met her yet.
Maybe that is for the better...
Ah, but what’s that, you say? How did I manage to get a wedding date? Yes, I spose I have been holding out on that particular story. It all happened last week, when Poster Boy concluded he couldn’t be one-upped by Frasier in everything. Fair enough that Frasier won the first-contest round. But who’s to say he should also take the lead in match-making? Poster Boy being the well-connected chap he is, he parlayed a certain friend-not-far-from-DC into a dating coup that produces dead-heat in the Blog Reader World Series. With his successful man — erm, handbagger — procurement (P.B. stringently denies any “pimping” has transpired), the score now stands: Frasier 1, Poster Boy 0 (September contest) and Frasier 0, Poster Boy 1 (in matchmaking), hence 1-1 overall.

And the lucky man is ...
But enough about the contest. You want to meet my date! I have to say, Poster Boy did quite well by me. He even found a military man! And that makes Wedding Date — what? (counts on fingers: Sgt. Ex-sessories, Invisible Ma(ri)n(e) ... the one whose friend sang “Poop in a Jar” ... the one I knit slippers for during Gulf War I, Geezer #2, Global Crossings Guy, the Captain, the Politician) ... The ninth military man to enter my “love life”! And as the faithful reader he is, Poster Boy’s really got my taste in men figured out: the boy is even blond!*

But yes, really: boy (don’t hate me, Wedding Date). It’s not that I discriminate with men I date (considering Geriatric Gent’s impressive age), but perusing the list at right reveals the average age difference is usually 6-7 years older. There has been one exception, though: Monkey Toes, the Hand-Holder.

Enter Monkey Toes
Monkey Toes (incidentally, his self-description for them) dates to the fall of 2001, when I was still pining over the O-zone King. In fact, one night when I ran into Monkey Toes, I’d just bought myself consolation: an Urban Outfitters sock monkey (now stationed on Vitamin Guard duty). Monkey Toes was working, in those days, at the local Starbucks (gasp: Wedding Date, didn’t you once also work there?!!). But I swear that had nothing to do with my crush.

For (slight) feelings of liking there were indeed, age difference or not (he was 21 to my then-23). Monkey Toes was that rare thing, the alt-Christian — and a homeschooled alt-Christian at that.** I’m not one to make too much of such things, but it’s pretty cool when someone actually shares your admittedly-obscure educational background. For all the ground it’s gained lately, homeschooling was still pretty radical when my mom started in back in, um, ’83 (?!!). State testing boards didn’t know what to do with us; even my grandparents had their doubts. So to be one of those “first wave” homeschool kids ... gives a guy a little something extra — or at least with Monkey Toes it did.

A Christian one-night stand?
And Monkey Toes I (sort of) liked. Remarkably, he proved to share this uncertain amor. One night he and Guy Friend #3 ended up at my place, watching What About Bob? In a What about Guy Friend? development, midway through the viewing Monkey Toes and I began to cuddle. For readers unsavvy to Christian-dating-weirdness, this was pretty major stuff. Two fairly conservative people who barely know each other, who date to see if the other person is marriage material, and who haven’t even had a DTR*** yet ... cuddling. Sometime after Guy Friend #3 left, this even progressed to hand-holding.

But part way through, I started to get bored. Not that I wanted to go further — if any thing, I was starting to reach the end of the liking needed to justify such intimacies. But it was so nice to be sitting there with a guy my parents wouldn’t shake their heads over, and so nice to be holding hands with someone like that — in fact, the only time I’ve ever done that with a Christian guy — that I pushed all niggling thoughts aside.

After the whole business (though not technically the “whole” business, of course ;)), we did something Hippie the Groper and I jumped right over: asked each other, “What does this mean for our friendship?” That’s probably putting it too soberly, but basically we expressed the hope that none of this would change things, affect our budding friendship ... blah, blah, blah.

But of course it did. I think I barely talked to him after that, and he has now been married at least a couple years; he might even have a kid! I later concluded the hand-holding was like a bridge stretched out on insufficient supports (i.e., the uncertain liking). Because the supports were too weak, they were ultimately destroyed beneath the weight of the ill-considered bridge. In fact, for a long time afterward, I felt more regret about that fairly innocent night than I did over far more “Code Red” dates later on.

More poetry
But I have digressed. And yet, in the interest of making this a truly marathon blog entry, I cannot conclude without including a most-hilarious missive from Reader Frasier (truly in rare form after a recent date; what did you do this weekend, honey? ;) ;)) Don’t be confused, though: while the first part of the letter is from his, erm, solicitor, I think Frasier commands the typewriter by the end — or maybe he dictated.
FROM: Martin Barton and Fargo
TO: Anna Broadway

Ms Broadway

We lead a team of lawyers currrently drafting a protest to the World Trade Organisation and initiating action in the Courts on behalf of our client, Frasier, over your recently announced Monday incentive for domestic producers of bad poetry and worse rhyme. This clearly breaches international free trade rules, representing, as it does, a blatant subsidy for your local industry while erecting illegal trade barriers against the imported product. The fact that it inexplicably appears twice on your site will, we intend to argue, entitle our client to twice the usual damages.

Pursuant to our claim we hereby submit a number of doggerel ditties which, we shall argue, comprise a clear prima facie case that our client is able to produce verse that is at least as bad as any produced in the US -- indeed we shall produce expert witnesses to testify his output is far more appalling than any American efforts. Read them and acknowledge our argument must triumph. The Courts are sure to uphold the inferior quality of the imported product..

We additionally note that your inability to transport edible foodstuffs to our client will also fail as legal argument. We will submit irrefutable documentary evidence that, on the basis there is at least a 50% chance our client will visit your city some time in the next 25 years, there is a pre-existing contractual arrangement for delivery of a cinnamon roll to a specified Starbucks establishment. This clearly provides a structure within which your scandalous US-only cookies incentive could be extended to our client. (Our client is now reserving his rights as regards his part of that contract - viz. his offer to stand for coffee (small cup) - until this latest matter is litigated to his satisfaction.)

We now require you to accept service of the following bad poetry and worse rhyme. (Indeed we are exceptionally pleased to have it off our hands.)

Roses are red
We’re all through
She’s got someone else
And I’m feeling blue

Roses are red
Her eyes are green
I’ll gaze into them no more
Why is life so mean?

Roses are red
And blonde is her hair
I’ll not fondle it again
Life is so unfair
Roses are red
I’ve sent them in the past
To the one I loved.
Alas, it didn’t last.

Roses are red
The color of love
I aint got none
Heavens above!

Roses are red
Send me some for luck
Cos I need a woman
And I need a - er - act of love.

Well, there you are: a few meagre efforts and I’ve run out of puff ... Perhaps explained by my initial misreading of your contest instructions and expending the first flush of inspiration on the theme of “Anna's doldrums.”

Upon re-reading the instructions, I was about to (deservedly) consign them to the trash bin when it occurred to me they could form the basis of “The Ballad of Anna Broadway.” Mind you, they’ll need a lot of work by a talented musician. Know one?


Roses are red.
Anna’s pants are too.
Harvard Lickwit couldn’t get into ’em
And neither will you..

Roses are red.
They’re also white,
The color of Anna’s dress
On her future wedding night.

Roses are red
Anna’s feeling blue
She’s crushing on [corrupted mscrpt]
But he hasn’t a clue.

Roses are red.
God made them that way.
What’s His plan for Anna?
We really can’t say.

Roses are red.
Tulips are yellow.
Anna’s sexless in the city
But she stays mellow.

Roses are red.
Well, sometimes they are.
But there’s no prospective husband
On Anna’s radar.

Stanza 7
Roses are red.
Good men are elusive.
Which makes Anna’s love life

Roses are red.
Virgins are supposedly twee.
But Anna won’t catch

Roses are red
Anna’s shoes are too
They mirror her undies
For all to view.

Roses are red.
Anna’s a flirt.
But she wouldn’t let Ad Weasel
Look up her skirt.

Roses are red
There’s no gift finer.
But Anna and friend
Gave a chocolate vagina

Roses are red.
They’re really pretty.
Anna is too, but she’s
Sexless in the city.

Roses are red
Frasier is dim
He knew zip about flashing
Til Anna clued him
*Major crushes with blond or dirty-blond hair: 8; major crushes with brown: 2; major crushes with red: 1; major crushes with purple hair: 0 (the Married Man had some gray going on, but was ultimately still blond).
**Perhaps one is linked to the other but my data is yet insufficient to determine whether homeschooling, in Christians, is conclusively linked to hipness in general and serious-but-free faith, in particular.
***Define-the-relationship talk.

Monday contest-entry incentive

All right, ya’ll, we’re down to the last week of the month, and still no entries for this month’s contest. I realize a little more creativity is involved this time than last, but didn’t I set the bar pretty low?

Basically, send me a jumble of words that have something to do with love, sex and dating, slap another few words on top and call it a title ... and voila! Poem! Contest entry!

Best of all, today only, everyone who submits an entry gets a half-dozen homemade cookies shipped to your U.S. address (sorry, Frasier), while supplies last. That’s just for entering, folks — even if you don’t win. Now how generous am I?!

So again: email me your limerick, haiku, poem, rap, “Roses are red” redux, free verse, sonnet, hymn or other rhyming-line concoction re: love ... and you’ve got cookies. That simple! For promptest delivery, be sure to include a) your mailing address and b) either a suggestion for next month’s contest or mention your favorite entry so far.*

And coming later today ... reports from the Sexless foray into catering, and a weekend visit with my Palo Alto uncle (told of watching games at some place called The Old Pro, and talked up that city’s guy-to-gal ratio).

Scribble away, dahlings!

*B) is optional, not a condition of this offer, and really just a way to keep me more entertained. ;)

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Comment love

In case you’ve missed the banter, readers are getting downright chatty. Recent entries with high entertainment value include:

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

These boots are made for stockings ...

Originally I planned to postpone this blog entry till the morrow — which is to say, after some sleep — but then I thought, “Do I really want to be snoozing over the keyboard tomorrow, writing from pressure and guilt?!!” No, I don’t. Besides, a friend in dire need of last-minute help on her Fulbright ap rang me up tonight, so I feel I’d better give the morning reserves to her.

Yeah, probably my logic doesn’t follow somewhere, but it’s late. Can edit tomorrow afternoon. Meanwhile, “today’s” entry is all about the Sidewalk Tawk. You see, today I revisited the lower half of my ensemble (said with what I imagine as the bisyllabic French pronunciation) from the infamous Chocolate Vagina Errand. Oh yes. As in, flower-patterned hose, fringed, short skirt ... and basic black boots (not really deserving the label of “hooker boots” that Blogfather gave them tonight — I mean, last night).

Now I’ve never thought of myself as particularly leggy (perhaps because that’s where all the weight was carried, in heavier days), but apparently even not-fat legs, clad in tres dramatic hose can look great.* Because that’s all the men were talking about yesterday, in Brooklyn and Manhattan. In fact of the comments I recall (carefully scribbled on a check stub from yesterday’s happy deposit**), there were the following:
  • “Gorgeous, have a good evening.” En route to Prospect Ave. train station, just prior to turning onto 4th Avenue.
  • “Wooooooww. Very nice.” Muttered under breath by bike messenger locking up his wheels; 24th St. (Manhattan), just west of 5th Avenue.
En route to chatting up the Big Guy, post-deposit, a salesman for some comedy club approached me in front of MSG. In personalizing his patter, he told me how he’d first seen me coming the other way (en route to the bank) and noticed my panty hose. Was I cold? he wondered. And did I have a husband or a boyfriend? I could not lie. How could so many pretty women like me be man-less? he wondered. “I have pretty high standards,” I explained. But low income, when it came to the matter of affording a ticket to his club. And yet, no worries: evidently if I show up Saturday night for the 10 o’clock show and remember not just to ask for “the big black guy” but to mention his name (he claimed relation to Malcolm X and was impressed I deduced his faith from the Muslim name) ... I’ve gotta free in. Woohoo! Still deciding whether to take him up on that.

Other men offered not free tickets, but protection (no, not that kind). Jogging past some kind of doorman in an ill-fated bid to catch the bus, I instead caught the uniform’s eye. “Is someone chasing you? Are you all right?”

And then a half block down, it was back to mere praise: “I love your stockings. Very sexy,” said a guy walking behind me through the pedestrian tunnel built when construction is right off the sidewalk.

But perhaps the most-classic remarks were associated with the F-train, which I took home after watching Boston win (strangely enough, in an East-Soho/LES bar mostly filled with Boston fans — though not completely filled as in capacity.) As I walked toward the other end of the platform, a possibly-drunk man going the other way brought up the Beatles: “Can I hold your hand?”

Direct question, direct answer: “No” (said not unkindly).

“You’ve still got great stockings,” he rejoined. And then a few paces later (still obviously watching): “I still want to hold your hand.”

Perhaps the most resonant remark, however, came from a friendly Caribbean guy who chatted me up about my knitting and was impressed I knew his native country’s mangos are quite good. We ended up having the same stop and much of the same walk home. When at last the topic of the stockings came up (no, I did not introduce them, but by now they were the inevitable subject with men), he remarked that they were not just sexy (a mystery Best Friend and I do not quite get, all the tawkers notwithstanding) but “kick-ass.” And he didn’t think they looked like the Urban Outfitters bargain buy they were, but something I’d gotten in India: “Very Goa.”

Strangely as I walked the last block alone, after giving this friendly neighbor a b-card, it occurred to me he’d probably be a pretty good lay. Not that I plan to pursue such an option ... but sometimes these thoughts do occur to women. Besides, it was 1 a.m., the guy was pretty cool, and sometimes the way one processes random thoughts is more revealing than not having them at all would be. And in this case I basically shrugged the thought off as a life I’ll never have and want even less now than I once might have.

After all, as I’d told him on the train, much of the reason I’m hoping to leave New York is not that the city has burned me out. “Candyland,” the Tim Robbins Type called it earlier (while weaving along beside me as he walked me to my train). “Yeah, but sometimes what you want is fruit and vegetables,” I told him.

If I leave soon, it will be on good terms with this place, but based on realizing its style of dating and mating will always be a little too short-term oriented for me. I’ve reached the point where I’m thinking more seriously of long-term dreams. And realizing those might just require another city. Although I will miss the sidewalk praise ... ;)

Oh yes, I did attempt to photoblog the hose, but decided said pictures were just a bit too trashy for my reform efforts. It’s not like I seek to star in men’s shower fantasies and, um, the “bloody stumps” limb shots I got seemed a little too voyeuristic. Can’t blow all the mystery at once, right, lads? ;) Consider it reason #396 to take up the Sexless tour of the city while you still can: getting to see the famed hose, as worn by the (not really) famed blogstress herself.

*I suppose it doesn’t hurt that earlier this week I weighed in at the rather-shocking number of 127 pounds. I’m sure my scale underestimates ... but still.
**And by the way, many thanks to the generous readers who reached for their pocketbooks at hearing of my financial woes earlier this week.

Speaking of jazz ...

I can’t help myself raving about Dizzy’s, well, scat-tastic performance of “Ool-Ya-Koo” on Small Groups & Guests from my 3-CD set (see mindscapes, at right). This is one of those times I’m so grateful I did jazz band in college and thought to buy some records of genuine masters. I might not have dug ’em all adequately then, but to now go back to my “library” and find I’ve got such great stuff to hear — without playing a penny for the treat — pretty awesome. :)

Besides, there’s nothing like this kind of jazz to make a great plunge-into-work soundtrack (although coffee always helps too).

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Proof of spinster status?

While I still don’t own a cat — and probably never will — I do believe my plight worsened over the weekend. Instead of going out for a swinging Saturday night (as Ringleader expected), I stayed in. To do fall cleaning. Ah, the glamorous life, eh? ;) In addition to learning that my window frame is turning into squirrel food (photoblog proof coming soon), I did a little packing up.

Earlier this summer, I’d gotten out my posters, intending to spruce up the pad. The infamous Coltrane, I thought, would make an especially nice addition to the brickwork in our living room. But one thing led to another and somehow it ended up lying in untidy mess behind the futon. Tonight I taped up tears (see Exhibit A, bottom of the frame) in the aging poster and then rolled it up with the Miles Davis for another day, another pad, another wall. If all goes well, I could be moving by the new year. Why bother putting posters up for two months?

‘I decorate, therefore I am’
Besides, maybe the posters that once adorned the walls of college dorm room and then apartment aren’t quite the thing for a latter-20s single woman. Not that I recant any of my taste — two each for Barenaked Ladies and the Beatles, plus Fruhstück bei Tiffany, the jazz men and the Fred Astaire Swing Time poster — but surely I’m now old enough for something better than old masking tape or sticky-gum adhesive! Indeed, that’s the reason John never made it onto the wall; I wasn’t quite sure how to stick him there against the brick, the staples used in grad school an unlikely bet.

But more than anything, the social significance of this pad is not what it used to be. In college the posters served an important function: subtly showing off hipness and taste to the guests who ventured by. Without having to say “this is who I am,” they showed things I was proud of, about being me — much in the way I romantically thought my car would.

I guess because I’ve moved so many times, it just gets rather tiresome continually imprinting yourself on apartment walls. Besides, despite how much we pay for rent in New York, most of us don’t actually spend that much time at home, let alone do entertaining in which one could show off such prized, um, posters. Which is why, dear readers, New Yorkers are known for being such fashion-fiends. Take the shoes at left, for instance. Don’t they just tell you lots and lots about me? She blogs in heels. Meaning: a writer who relies on method blogging. She wears red shoes. Meaning: a writer with a Dorothy complex who really just wants to go home. And finally: her shoes are mirrored. Meaning: if reborn* as Marilyn, she’d be an even more self-conscious tease? ELO is singing “Evil Woman” from my stereo ... but I’m sure that’s just coincidence.

Back to my ap, dahlings. More blogging later on how I finally came by a wedding date. But don’t let that discourage you from planning a trip to New York anyway. The Sexless tour of the city ain’t limited to handbaggers, ya know.

*Not that I think this possible ... but you know — hypothetically speaking. Besides, I did pull an inadvertant Marilyn on my 25th b-day. Damn wind. Funny thing, too, almost all my party guests were male...

Random reader question

So, I’ve been doing further reader-demographic research lately, and I’ve learned that many of you are in the “techie” profession — practically a heaven-sent match for Sexless readerdom, since I (usually) blog so ... what’s that word, Frasier? Garrulously. And you, I hear, have so much time to bloody read*! But also, I hope, time to consult.

You see, today’s question is, what the heck is Firefox?! I’m finding it’s the browser-of-choice for increasing numbers of readers — including Mac users like me. Is this yet another software upgrade I should consider?

“Fitty” v. Fiddler
Oh, and while ya’ll are thinking, what’s the appropriate word to use in describing the one who arranges a date? I have personally, you see, been termed a “pimp” in my day, but this refers more to inadvertant connections than carefully orchestrated meetings. The latter, perhaps, is really more an instance of matchmaking.

In any case, it begs the important question: if you’re gonna set a body up (me, for example), which theme song (perhaps even ring-tone) do you prefer: “P.I.M.P.” or that bouncy sister trio from Broadway, “Matchmaker”? There is, of course, relevance to this line of inquiry ... but since last night’s phone-a-thon was so damaging to my job-ap project, I’m gonna have to write the “real” post later today.**

While you’re waiting for me, don’t forget there’s another contest on the line! No entries so far, but I can’t imagine my readers have, truly, no bad love-rhymes rolling around in those brains of yours ...

*New reformation experiment: substitute Britishisms for some of the epithets that used to color my language.
**Feedback from any readers knowledgeable about a certain state’s community-college system certainly welcome, however.


Monday, October 18, 2004

Frasier guest-blogs on coupledom

Sorry, all, but today I’m gonna have to take a mini-holiday: a) that freelance work I did a couple weeks ago has now jacked up unemployment checks, creating a rent debacle that must be resolved today ... and b) when that’s finished I have to get cracking on my ap for a very-exciting instructor position, teaching humanities at a community college.

Which brings me to Reason#504 to be Anna’s handbagger Nov. 6: if all goes well, I won’t be in this city much longer. Don’t miss your chance to experience the exclusive Sexless handbagger tour of New York City! (Reason #497: see Frasier’s weekend comment and usual hilarity re: noisy neighbor sex.)

And speaking of our Most Favored Reader, since I dare not leave you without your coffee-break entertainment, I’m going to let portions of an email supply the amusements for this afternoon:
... This will arrive well after your return from church - unless, of course, it’s taken you inordinately longer than usual to elude the clutches of Bill Murky. (Rolls round helpless with hearty, albeit unkind, laughter at sudden vision of AB taking ever more circuitous routes to avoid Murky who, for his part, is devising ever more cunning ruses to waylay her. Eventually Sunday church-going commences early Saturday evening and concludes around lunch time Monday. The film version, which I intend to sell to Hollywood for a motza, will, of course, star the real Bill Murray pursuing - well, which Hollywood star do you see yourself as, AB?)
I’m not telling on that score, but I have variously gotten comparisons to Liv Tyler, Hilary Swank and Nancy Kerrigan. Go figure.

But back to the substance of his email:
The problem with all such ceremonies — well, it’s a problem for singletons* — is that nuptials focus attention on all the positives of coupledom. As the loving couple — and this was a particularly loving couple who had decided ’twas time to marry after six happy years living together — gaze into each others’ eyes and make their vows to each other, a ripple of satisfaction with coupledom permeates the onlookers. Partners squeeze each others’ hands that little bit more tightly, happy, or at least relieved, to have each other and quite forget any acrimonious row they may have had that morning over the corn flakes. Only the singletons can’t share in this collective paean to coupledom. Losers!

And the ceremony, of course, sets the scene for the bacchanalian celebrations that follow. They are celebrations for couples. The singleton has to endure his fellow guests studiously avoiding reference to his unattached status (when he knows the loser thoughts they secretly harbour! Paranoid? Of course not. Perish the thought that they actually couldn’t give a stuff about him one way or the other.)

And this was not a wedding where it was possible to anaesthetize oneself by a combination of becoming rapidly shit-faced and/or chasing skirt. I had to drive back to my luxurious but lonely accommodation and so had to stay relatively sober and the only other two singletons around my age were, you’ve guessed it, also males.

However I did make one discovery that may be of some use to you if your readers foolishly fail to respond to your most enticing handbagger offer. The discovery is this — a camera can fulfil some (though regrettably not all) of the functions of a good handbagger.

A camera can:
  • provide company when all about you are chattering among themselves. (Intensely busying oneself with such important matters as changing film, checking focus, etc. may not be quite the same as chatting to you very own handbagger but it sure beats staring into space or checking the menu for the sixth time.)
  • make it easier to meet people as you ask them to pose for the camera (something which might have been more relevant in my own case if there had been any unattached females who would have benefited from an introduction to self.)
  • provide a ready excuse for detaching oneself from a particularly boring group. (“Oh look, there’s Bill and Mary. Must go and take their pic (for the fourth time).”)
  • and, as happened in my case, promote bonding with ex’s new squeeze.
However, unlike a good handbagger, a camera can’t:
  • provide you with a deterrent to the females who believe they are on a mission of mercy with their insistence that you get up and join them on the dance floor** when the truth is you’d rather undergo root canal dentistry than make an idiot of yourself attempting the Macarena or line dancing.
  • provide the illusion that you belong among the couples as the ceremony takes place
  • toss you for the position of designated driver so that at least one of you can get shit faced
  • whisper in your ear in a way that may cause the opinionated but insecure asshole who has just subjected you to a diatribe about his wonderfully successful life to worry that he has been the subject of a secret and particularly cutting put-down.

PS: I drove home tonight listening to the wonderful “Genius loves company” CD purchased earlier today. Then I remembered it was your web site that alerted me to its existence and, guiltily, it occurred to me that if I had purchased it by clicking on the appropriate icon on your site, you would presumably have got a cut of the purchase price. Can you confirm this for future reference? I’d rather contribute to your coffers than whatever capitalist leviathan lies behind the facade of my local music/books store.
Yes, dahling, technically I could have benefited, but the most direct way to add to my coffers (other than the dollar-n-change I might get for, say, a $30 purchase) is to make use of the PayPal buttons. And you could always purchase one of my scarves / pictures / etc. ;)

*Anna envisions the one-sies pajamas of childhood.
**Careful, ducks, one such female might be me! (Grins broadly, tapping dance shoe-clad foot suggestively.) Don’t forget, Abba’s “Dancing Queen” is the theme song of many a lady ...

Friday, October 15, 2004

Neighbor-sex update

Don’t these people work?!! For cryin’ out loud! Or should I say, grunting out loud.

Because: yes, folks, at 1:30 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, that’s just what I heard through the thin walls of my building. Either her boyfriend’s here on vacation, or it’s another woman besides The Melodramatic Wailer who gave last night’s early-evening performance. Maybe this one could be called The Grunter Who Believes in God — she certainly thanks Him at the end, anyway. But just once, like celebrities winning a Grammy.

Man, oh man. Who knew moving into this building would result in private performances from the Vagina Monologues?!!

Earnestly seeking handbaggers

Blog readers, I regret I must report to you what is a sad, sad day in the life of Anna Broadway (pauses, looks away to carefully compose e-self). Some of you may recall my recent announcement of an offer that made Reader Frasier term me a “confident, ballsy lady who can boldly lead the Shock and Awe team on the Quest for the Chocolate Vagina or publicly offer herself up for handbagger swap.”

Said swap, I intended to report, was very gallantly taken up by none other than my very own Blogfather.
(Frasier to Anna: “Rather restores my faith in him; was wondering why he didn’t step in earlier. And who knows how things might develop with him. (After all, he is on the rebound!)” I told you he fancies himself my matchmaker.)
After some discussion of open bar, closed bar, no bar ...
(AB to Blogfather: “It’s going to be a Protestant wedding so, um, may be dry and religious (if that’s not redundant ;)). Still, the peeps are pretty cool, and the girl has not been known to hide her cleavage (generally a good sign of religious moderation ;)).”)
... all appeared to be set.

Well-made plans run amok
All, that is, until a recent wedding-themed blog entry that caused the first shadow of doubt to cloud the happy twilight of summer which my heart has recently enjoyed. A sudden rush of weddings was mentioned. And worse yet, a chili cook-off was announced, the very Sunday after my Nov. 6 wedding in DC (not mine, literally, of course — but you understand).

And then, this afternoon, the email sure to drive a stake into even the most resistant-to-meat-tenderizer of hearts* (Anna sniffs a covert sob into a most-unladylike handkerchief):
Dearest blog offspring,
I think I may have to rescind my offer for the D.C. wedding, withdraw my hat from what I’m sure is a crowded ring.

... Don’t hate the playa, hate the game!
(Anna dissolves into noisy sobs)

So this is it, then, readers: I may be well and truly doomed to not just a date-less wedding, but an empty dinner-table chair beside mine — the shame of a “Miss Anna Broadway and guest” RSVP whose bluff has been called (sniff, sniff).

Possible Plan Bs to choose from (just not Bill Murky)
Now, I can of course put it out to Craigslist (or hope one of the men who ogled my chest at last night’s party is reading this entry), but that would sort of compromise my reform efforts.** Maybe the church classifieds? Hm ... don’t recall noticing a personals section among all the roommate ads before ...

And I can’t go back to eHarmony or Soulmatch.*** People use that site for things like long-term relationships— not month-from-now wedding dates. Besides, all the guys I met were really weird. One Soulmatch dude from LA sent me messages in both Spanish and English far worse than that of Bush. Another guy (off eHarmony) exchanged messages with me a few times, then mentioned he was possibly coming to New York City for a visit — all the way from California. Now if this had been someone I knew, that’s one thing (I’d probably be excited, volunteer my tour-guide services, etc.). But when it’s some weirdo I’ve only barely gotten to know certain basic-but-mostly-useless facts about — and when he furthermore takes offense because I’m cautious and a little weirded out by the whole thing — that’s another story.

Bottom line: since my proposed e-dating club for unfreakish Jesus Freaks has yet to launch, and since other religious matchmaking services are out (at least in terms of wedding dates) I’m doomed. If only there was some sort of Christian Craigslist ... you know, like, Lukeslist (although that sounds too Star Wars) or Paulslist (though feminists would probably rage) or ... Godslist. That would be the perfect venue to find a wedding date consistent with my campaign to reform.

And then there’s Plan C (still not Bill Murky)
Alas, dear readers, since no such venue yet exists, I am forced to reiterate my plea to you. If nothing else, maybe you can send me PayPal donations to fund the purchase of an inflatable wedding date? The upside is, it would certainly lead to most-entertaining photoblogging. And if donations were great enough, I might even be able to spring for a bonafide digicam.**** But on the off chance that one of you is actually prepared to embrace this once-in-a-lifetime chance to be Anna’s date at a DC wedding the very weekend after our nation’s election, let me enumerate certain benefits:
  • Should you journey with me from NY to DC, you’ll find the Chinatown bus service a most reasonable $35 (round trip).
Now, I’m assuming international readers such as Frasier cannot contemplate such a trip at all, but since I have many readers beyond New York, consider advantages for you. New York is a major destination and on some airlines (such as Jet Blue) a fairly affordable weekend jaunt. For such guests, the Anna Broadway handbagger tour package could include:
  • accommodations on the futon in our living room (famously recovered during New York’s 2003 blackout, and subsequently fitted with a brand-new futon pad smartly covered in sturdy, wine-colored canvas) OR housing with one of Anna’s wealthier friends (should you prefer more space, privacy, etc.) OR one of the many fine hostels, hotels and homeless shelters this city provides
  • most meals home-cooked by Anna’s infamous hands-that-also-write-blogs (note: meals taken in the kitchen wherein Anna perfected that dairy-free cinnamon recipe)
  • unlimited, personal tour-guide service provided by the intrepid blogstress herself
  • amiable road-trip conversation during both the to- and from-DC bus trips
  • introductions to an eclectic group of New Yorkers (aka, my friends)
And finally, guests could enjoy the exclusive Sexless tour of the city:
  • visit the church where Anna has met many a stalker
  • scope out the Lower East Side surroundings of Burlesque Bar
  • pound cheap Dos Equis at the famous honky tonk where the porn-career-that-wasn’t was launched
  • stroll the Meatpacking District sidestreet where Anna and Best Friend took in public masturbation
  • visit the lawn where Anna suffered that famous sprained ankle, trying to show off sexy, “athletic hustle” for the Captain’s benefit
  • frequent the Starbucks where Anna met Leather Daddy (guests might even get to meet the man himself and — with luck — the Big Guy)
  • snap a picture with the desk from Anna’s famous days as a stripper
  • take yoga at that center where the celibates wear orange
  • walk the hallway through which reverberates sounds of Anna’s neighbors having sex (if you’re lucky, you might even get to join Roommate and I in determining whether or not she’s faking)
Hey, with an offer this good, I’m sure available weekends will go fast. Don’t delay to book your trip today! And if you’re up for handbagging November 6th, please, please, please let me know before I break down and lower my standards.

An ongoing aural assault
One last matter. As mentioned above, our ground-floor neighbors are proving to be rather noisy. Just tonight in fact, around the normal dinner hour, I was distracted from a nap by the sounds of moaning across the hall. I’m pretty sure it’s the same girl my hapless roommate has heard (first moaning in fine theatrical performance, then shouting in post-coitus argument), and tonight we discussed our suspicion that she’s more than likely faking it — at least the drawn-out, very-imminent-orgasm shouting part. Following tonight’s experience of just-how-thin the interior walls are (though of course the exterior walls are so thick that no one but Verizon customers gets a cell phone signal), I’ve decided that next time a soundtrack is called for. You know, some strategically blasted music that sends a sex-appropriate message.

At first I thought to dig out my Nine Inch Nails CD and play “Closer” — but Roommate thinks this would just encourage them. My second thought, however, is to play the bitter celibate card (maybe I can find some at the yoga center). On that wonderfully eclectic mix CD my gmail-craving reader made is a gem of a song whose singer warbles: “Are we ever gonna have sex again?”

But now, readers, I put it out to you: any other tunes with which the roommate and I can appropriate retaliate? I await your suggestions ... and Anna Broadway handbagger-trip bookings. ;) No By-by-buy for today; put your pennies toward my tote-a-date fund; unless you surprise me, looks the Sexless fake-a-thon (e.g., last week’s Katz’s adventure and cinnasoy experiment) may carry on into November with experiments in fake-man dating.

*Mine being, as well known, considerably less tough than that.
**Not that swearing is required behavior for wedding attendance or part of good-date etiquette ... or that my reform was limited to swearing, but still.
***Which I was, of course,
only trying out for strictly research purposes. I mean, come on. Internet dating? Me?! Nawww...
certain readers not to be named (or, either, their notoriously governed, large state) have dissed my photophone pics.


Thursday, October 14, 2004

Thursday teaser

’Fraid I’m off to a coffee date here, ya’ll (with a nose-beringed blond chick, so it won’t add much to this site, alas). But when I return ...
  • debate-watching with the Harvard Lickwit (he actually asks — in classic haplessness — if I’ve seen Down With Love, the cinematic centerpiece of our final date)
  • Anna’s efforts to reform falter in the wardrobe department
  • and whether geekdom weighs out the “playah” factor a musician might otherwise have
Meanwhile for your morning Web surf, check out Sexless Singapore-style: an Asian writer sounds off on men who won’t dance.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Sexless does DC

Close (as distinct from: obsessive) readers of this blog will know that last weekend I bused down to DC for the ... um ... Columbus Day? weekend to see my sis. True to form, there was classic sister bonding:
  • hoisting monster 24-oz. pints of Bass ale in a Georgetown bar
  • sharing the guest bed and stories of bare-handed bug-killing (Sis attributes this to the Broadway women’s pioneering spirit)
  • guacamole wars (she called mine “gourmet” because it involved more chopping, but seemed to prefer her garlic-laden, lime-free version)
  • watching the Seahawks heartbreaker while I unraveled the sleeve of a Lands End sweater (shrank the sleeves eights years ago; now handknitting the yarn into a better garment)
  • drinking endless cups of coffee
  • shopping at Trader Joe’s
I came in Friday afternoon, after enjoying a very lively conversation/blog-promo session with a fellow Chinatown bus rider who empathized with my dating woes (he attracts older women but at 24 wouldn’t mind a little youth), mildly challenged my politics, and offered advice on my job search. That night Sis and I walked our feet off trying to find an Adams Morgan pub or restaurant serving veggie burgers for her, and finally chose a Mexican place with shredded-beef tacos for me, sangria and mediocre guac for us.

Anna falls hard
... For a DC curb. Walking back to the nearest train station, all the excitement of being with Sis and in a strangely dead town caught up with me: or rather my feet. Casualties were relatively minor* — pride (Sis laughed uproariously at my acrobatic tumble) and moderate injuries:
  • bruises and torn jeans at the left knee
  • swelling, an instant bruise and two days’ wrist stiffness in my right hand
  • briefly sore muscles in my right ankle
I guess ’twas a sign I wasn’t meant to chase the men in that town. ;) Not that I would have tried. Generally speaking, Sis and I are both unimpressed with the city. In fact, I can safely say DC will not be appearing on my list-of-possible-cities to move to from New York. Then again, shivering here at my desk — warm latte or not — doesn’t entice me to job-hunt on the East Coast much at all. Suggestions for other, warmer cities, folks? Places an unemployed writer might be paid to do her thing?

A night out in G-town
But back to DC. Saturday Sis and I rose late, and then spent much of the afternoon in good-natured arguments regarding just about anything I brought up (she likes to play devil’s advocate, views almost all of my crushes as evil, shares my tendency toward über-feminism, but doesn’t agree that men assume more responsibility in the commitment of marriage than women generally do). She did, however, purchase September’s Sexless BOTtoM after frequent endorsement and quotation on my part. This book counterbalanced her other purchase, On Killing, and gave her something non-military related to read.

Prior to the headier stuff at Georgetown’s B&N, however, Sis and I took an entertaining ramble through M Street’s Urban Outfitter. Along with the almost-inevitable Sex and the City trivia game (above), we discovered a most-enlightening set of flashcards I instantly craved for my non-existent coffee table (hey, I could find one on the street one of these days ... can’t say where I’d put it, but I could find one). I mean, where else people — but here — could a nerd who once claimed to be “adept at the vernacular” get real help? With this guide I could finally master such hard-to-handle language as terms like “play,” “bounce,” “grip” and “ice”! From a Houston Chronicle writeup on the cards:
What makes the cards humorous and entertaining are the drawings, which depict a Beaver Cleaver or Mayberry-happy lifestyle. The images come from Dover Books, a publisher of copyright-free clip art and illustrations. “The drawings are from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. They’re pretty funny and white-bread,” says [manufacturer Knock Knock’s owner] Bilik who then wrote the sentences to match the drawings.

Picture this illustration: A man dressed in s suit (presumably of the suburban variety) is hugging his Opie-like son. The sentence below reads: “Yo, lil’ dawg, daddy’s got to bounce.”
Man, I miss shopping at Urban sometimes... But with my unemployment budget, if cinnamon-roll baking garners a stern sister lecture, doing anything more than merely feasting my eyes is trouble for sure.

Fortunately UA knickknacks are plenty entertaining just in the store. Other items that amused included a handy guide to one’s political affiliation (whether or not you shave, and where could be a clue, ladies) and various candidate dolls.

Sidewalk tawk
Back on the sidewalk later, we passed a man selling illegal DVDs of still-in-theaters movies. He was momentarily distracted by my top: “Is that a classic Rolling Stones t-shirt?!” “Not classic.” But definitely catchy. A guy at Katz’s deli liked it too. So tell me, male readers, is there something I’m too slow to get about the sex appeal of a loose-fitting, pink v-neck t-shirt with a giant tongue on the front? It doesn’t even flash any cleave! Maybe I need more flashcards...

As for the presidential erection...
Finally, I think, we have October’s Sexless BOTtoM: a little book called The Rise of Viagra. Here’s a sample, just to get you started:
As we now know, in the battle between adultery (extreme potency) and impotency there was one clear winner. Dole may have lost the presidential election, but this time he returned victorious, wearing red, white, and blue and talking confidently to the camera. While Clinton was held to blame for his actions, Dole was blameless — he was a victim of prostate cancer and, consequently, ED [erectile disfunction]. While Clinton spent months denying his situation, Dole spoke bluntly to television audiences about his problem. And while Clinton’s dilemma appeared to worsen over time, Dole had a clear solution to his problem — Viagra. Clinton was repeatedly humiliated and then shown the door. Dole, former senator, veteran, and the new spokesperson for the little blue pill, was the one bringin respectable sexuality back to America and American politics.
Lastly, while on the topic of books, my sister informs me I must read Nickel and Dimed. Since I’m still scraping together the change to purchase Viagra, I hearby wish to initiate the Sexless Lending Library Program — henceforth known as SLLiP. Consider it an informal version of Netflix — you send me the book I want, and I’ll loan you one of mine. When we’re both finished we return the books, including another swap item if agreeable. Make sense? My starting offers for Nickel and Dimed are Lady Chatterley’s Lover, The Picture of Dorian Gray, A New Kind of Christian, Hollywood Worldviews, Solitary Sex, various C.S. Lewis, Updike and O’Connor. Email for a more-extensive list.

Contest reminder
Don’t forget to enter your love-sucks poetry! I know you’ve got a bitter, inner rapper in there somewhere... Here’s another sample, just for inspiration:
The roses are dead / violets are through
I’m mad at Fred / cuz he wasn’t true.
*By comparison, shortly after meeting the Captain, I attended an informal volleyball “clinic” organized by a social committee at the church we both attend. An hour into it, he still hadn’t showed and I was trying to let it put a damper on my mind. But then, quasi-Tevas and all, he appeared ... and proceeded to bare his chest for the games and demonstrate some of the worst girlie-man v-ball moves ever. But he didn’t hold the court of klutziness alone; oh, no. At one point when I had to chase down a runaway ball such that my efforts were most-likely in his sight line, I decided showing a little aggression might make me more attractive. And what did I get for my “hustle”? An instant sprained ankle that ailed me nearly a month, throwing off my efforts to start a regular run routine. Ah, the things I've done for love...

The Rise of Viagra: How the Little Blue Pill Changed Sex in America
The Rise of Viagra

How the Little Blue Pill Changed Sex in America
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America
Nickel and Dimed

On (Not) Getting by in America
Lady Chatterley's Lover
Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Never / did I ever

For today’s pre-blog teaser something a little different: random Anna trivia. Why? Because this weekend my sister made me watch 13 Going on 30 (hence the juvie theme), and it’s time to add Serial Blogonomy to my blogpals (by way of whom I got this list). But just to cheat, save on your time, and drive crazy anyone hoping to copy this list from my blog, I’m putting all nevers and evers together and excluding some of the more random outliers.

Find this sort of entry dreadful? Then catch up on the handbagger swap and voting for my friend’s new online-dating user name (new reader comments). And as for the cinna-soy saga, yesterday’s email brought the official shout-out:
Now onto the filler portion...

NEVER 1. Bought everyone in the pub a drink 4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive 5. Been inside the Great Pyramid 6. Held a tarantula. 11. Bungee jumped 13. Watched a lightning storm at sea 17. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa 19. Touched an iceberg 22. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon 23. Watched a meteor shower 29. Bet on a winning horse (even if it was only $1) 31. Asked out a stranger 33. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier 45. Adopted an accent for an entire day 46. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors 49. Visited all 50 states 55. Watched wild whales 56. Stolen a sign 57. Backpacked in Europe 60. Lied to foreign government’s official in that country to avoid notice 62. Gone sky diving 63. Visited Ireland 67. Benchpressed your own weight 68. Milked a cow 81. Visited the Great Wall of China 83. Dropped Windows in favor of something better (been a Mac freak from the start) 87. Taken a martial arts class 99. Won first prize in a costume contest 100. Ridden a gondola in Venice 101. Gotten a tattoo 103. Rafted the Snake River 107. Got so drunk you don’t remember anything (but I was in the great blackout of 2003) 108. Been addicted to some form of illegal drug 113. Had a one-night stand 114. Gone to Thailand (but Indonesia and India, yes!) 117. Been in a combat zone (my sister probably will be in less than a year, though) 121. Spoken more than one language fluently 123. Bounced a check (bounce is when the bank doesn’t cash it, right?) 138. Had plastic surgery 139. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived. 141. Lost over 100 pounds (although I’m 45 pounds lighter today than I was at my heaviest point in college) 142. Held someone while they were having a flashback 143. Piloted an airplane 148. Won money on a T.V. game show 149. Broken a bone 150. Killed a human being (but my sister knows how to) 151. Gone on an African photo safari 152. Ridden a motorcycle 158. Had major surgery 165. Visited all 7 continents (sniff, only 3) 166. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days 167. Eaten kangaroo meat 172. Had 2 (or more) healthy romantic relationships for over a year in your lifetime 175. Gone back to school 182. Dined in a restaurant and stolen silverware, plates, cups because your apartment needed them (but I do often swipe big handfuls of “Sugar in the Raw” from coffee shops) 193. Built your own PC from parts 196. Dyed your hair 200. Been arrested

EVER 3. Climbed a mountain (Broadway peeps are hikers; my parents even backpacked on their honeymoon) 8. Said “I love you” and meant it 9. Hugged a tree 10. Done a striptease (of sorts; remember to ask me how, in addition to faking an orgasm for presentation’s sake, I’ve also changed clothes in front of a class ... and I don’t mean PE) 12. Visited Paris 14. Stayed up all night long, and watched the sun rise 15. Seen the Northern Lights (I think) 16. Gone to a huge sports game 20. Slept under the stars 21. Changed a baby’s diaper (or 12,000) 24. Gotten drunk on champagne (does thoroughly buzzed count? I’ve puked anyway ... but that might’ve been the food poisoning) 26. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope 27. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment (can’t remember the moments, but yes, undoubtedly) 30. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill 32. Had a snowball fight 39. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar. 41. Ridden a roller coaster 44. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking 47. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment 48. Had two hard drives for your computer (CD-roms count, right?) 50. Loved your job for all accounts 51. Taken care of someone who was shit-faced 53. Had amazing friends 54. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country 58. Taken a road-trip 59. Gone rock climbing 65. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them 66. Visited Japan (airport counts, yes?) 69. Alphabetized your records (and CD’s and tapes and and and...) 71. Sung karaoke 79. Gone to a drive-in theater 82. Discovered that someone who’s not supposed to have known about your blog has discovered your blog (not always a bad thing, though ;)) 91. Been in a movie 92. Crashed a party 93. Loved someone you shouldn’t have 98. Made cookies from scratch 105. Got flowers for no reason 109. Performed on stage 110. Been to Las Vegas 111. Recorded music 112. Eaten shark (technically I think they use shark for the fish ’n chips in New Zealand) 120. Been on a cruise ship 135. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge 140. Wrote articles for a large publication 147. Been fired or laid off from a job 153. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100mph 154. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced 155. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol (do bebe guns count?) 157. Ridden a horse 161. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (if you count the Havasupai part, yes ... and beat all my friends to the top coming out) 162. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing 170. Eaten sushi 171. Had your picture in the newspaper 178. Petted a cockroach (if killing baby ones bare-handedly counts, yes) 179. Eaten fried green tomatoes 180. Read The Iliad 181. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read him/her. 191. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream 197. Been a DJ (burning your own CD counts, right?)

Coming soon...
Sexless does DC! AN Urban Outfitters photoblog, sidewalk tawk in Georgetown, and more.

Friday, October 08, 2004

The name game

First off, a few business matters. Blogfather readers, the post on wedding-guest blues that brought you here is probably this one. To find out why you should consider me for a “handbagger swap” (as my delightful friend from Down Under has termed it), see here. Sexless readers, don’t miss the Blogfather’s parallel wedding-dilemma post, “Wedding bells and light blogging.”

Secondly, regular readers of this blog may notice a new, um, addition. Please let me know what you think of the PayPal gimme buttons now concluding each post, K: Are they obnoxious? Should I relegate these to the side column? Etc. And speaking of obnoxious, how do you prefer I handle intrablog hyperlinks — should they open in a new window, or stay in the same?

A Sexless reader forum
But enough with the blog-related blah-blah. Although it does set up the fact that today I’m hoping my readers will sound off. More than usual, that is. You see, tonight a good friend called me for some advice. Her issue? She’s going back to e-dating. And she needs a good handle. But clearly names like “Craig595”* don’t quite have the needed pizzazz when everyone else is also trying to craft the persona of world-weary hipster in search of romance. (Though WWHISOR595 might at least make people go “huh?!”)

So ... we started with the keyword she had in mind, amber. And from that tried to craft a name that indicated something about her. But this didn’t prove very productive, so finally I called for a round of Pop Sexology 101. Her results:
favorite color = view of self: purple
why? She likes purple/sees herself as: creative, warm, unique, special, cool, tasty, fun and happy ... obviously we threw out the three-word limit.

favorite animal
= ideal mate: puppy
why? She likes puppies ’cuz/seeks a man who’s: playful, warm, loving, happy and adorable. Basically: makes her feel good. Not quite what Rhoads would say determines a good mate, or — more importantly — survival of one’s children — but that’s by-the-by.

favorite body of water
= ideal sexual experience: ocean
why? powerful, beautiful, rhythmic
With these useful adjectives in hand, I went to the thesaurus. Here are some possible names we came up with, along with our initial assessment:
  • amberwhimsy - a maybe, but too vague
  • amberfire - possibly too redundant
  • ambervixen - sounds like a hard-to-handle redhead who’s short and curvy
  • amberprofessional - could connote either a sex worker or a geologist (or that “Dr. Christmas” character from Bond)
  • brandiedamber - might suggest an alcoholic
  • glowingamber - not necessarily apt to stir the imagination; just conjures up the fruity New Age crystals in a spirituality shop
  • freakishamber - the Goth-chick moniker (now that’s an ad that Lickwit’d probably click on)
  • ineffableamber - good for words-he-won’t-know points, but maybe not so good for creating evocative mental images and therefore curiosity. Speaking of which ...
  • ambercurious/curiousamber - possibly too suggestive of a “bi-curious” woman? (a phrase I think the Ad Weasel used on Christmas party invites, the first year I went)
  • prodigiousamber - more for the words-he-won’t-know chic column, but maybe not that good for getting click-throughs — and remember, folks, e-dating is all about salesmanship
  • amberuncommon/uncommonamber - my fave, but you decide
So readers, thoughts? What’s your secret for a catchy handle? Online nicknames ya still can’t forget? Mine, as you might guess is usually danzfool, though that’s not short for Dan’s fool, but dance fool. And then there’s swinglover. That usually gets their attention — but as I’ve recently noted, not the right men’s attention. When all else fails I’ve also used the high-school flashback, frumasarah007. Don’t even ask about my gmail handle-from-hell (grrrr).

And that’s today’s blog! Sorry to be a little on the short side, but in less than 10 hours I catch a Chinatown bus for DC to see my sister. Woohoo! Check for possible live-debate blogging on my other site. Or not. I’m also working on an entry for that site, partly inspired by Poster Boy’s very interesting piece on poker.**

And finally***
Yes, you could say I’m a little slow, but this is still worth mentioning. Turns out “Sex and the Witty” blogger Dawn Eden got the Gawker write-up earlier this summer. Luckily her answers are timeless, even if my getting-with-it’s considerably behind the beat.****

Pun me baby, one more time
*Um, yes, I knew one; very bad 22nd-birthday story, though it is related to how I met the O-Zone King
**No, that’s not a sex game, but well-timed use of such term the night of the infamous Morrissey concert did prove very amusing to Lickwit, who deemed it yet another of my very-clever-but-unintentional puns.
***Because a woman’s never done when you expect.
****Ah, another Lickwit pun memory (darn him, anyway). Dunno why I’m such a sucker for good banter ...