Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Dating Tips

I've been out on a few dates lately, and I have some tips for success.

I'm going to try not to make this gender specific, so I didn't title this post Dating Tips for Men. Much of this will apply to both sexes. But, because I'm a woman and have dated a few very nice men recently who seem clueless about a few dating basics, this may have a bit of a slant. C'est la vie.

1. Don't talk about your ex. In particular, don't talk about her for 45 minutes, mentioning frequently how "passionate" your relationship was, how you wanted to marry her and blend your families, and how you only broke up a month ago. After all that don't tell me you're over her and ready to move on. I know better, and I've already moved on.

2. Don't ask your date "Why are you still single?" in an accusatory tone. This makes your date defensive and prone to say things like "Well, you're single too." In particular, don't follow up with a tale about how everyone who is single at your age has must have major issues or they wouldn't still be single. Would rather go on a date with a married woman?

3. Don't practically force your date to valet park when she'd rather find free street parking. In particular, don't tell her that you'll pay for valet parking and then not pay for it. Also, don't "get a ride" to your car from the valet in your date's car just so you can get her in the car alone and make a move on her, especially after you haven't paid for the valet. Your date saw through your ploy from the beginning and caved because you were just so transparent. Also, if you are a man and get in a woman's car at the end of the first date, she is going to pretend to be nice until you get out and shut the door, no matter what she thinks of you, just in case you turn psycho.

4. A date should be fun. Don't spend fifteen minutes bitching about how crowded and horrible a location is. Don't get morose about the horrific state of the world. Repeat this to yourself - dating should be fun! Your attitude has everything to do with it.

5. Don't call your date early the next morning, telling her how amazing the date was after she dodged your kiss and ran off at high speed the night before. Wait at least until the afternoon or evening to call. That way you seem only hapless rather than desperate.

6. Listen. Interrupt the monologue on your amazing accomplishments with occasional questions for your date. Actually pay attention to what she is saying. Share information rather than lecturing.

7. Don't email headless, shirtless photos of yourself to your date before you've met her. Or even right after you've met her. Save that for later. If there is a later.

8. Don't text your date every five seconds as you are on your way to the date. Don't text other dates during your date. Don't answer your phone. In fact, turn off the phone. If you can't because you are expecting a call, explain this to your date so she is prepared. If you must take a call, keep it quick, apologize the way you wish politicians would when they're caught, and don't do it again.

9. Relax. There are a lot of fish in the sea.

What Book Are You?

So I took a test online that determines what book you are. Apparently, I'm Huckleberry Finn. But my straw hat is shaped like a cowboy hat, gosh darn it.

You're Adventures of Huckleberry Finn!

by Mark Twain

With an affinity for floating down the river, you see things in black
and white. The world is strange and new to you and the more you learn about it, the less
it makes sense. You probably speak with an accent and others have a hard time
understanding you and an even harder time taking you seriously. Nevertheless, your
adventurous spirit is admirable. You really like straw hats.

Try it!
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Stacy Zink - Artist in the News

Fiber artist, weaver extraodinaire, and smart cookie - that's Stacy Zink, who, as I mentioned a few posts ago, is currently in Baltimore at the "grandaddy" of crafts shows to show her gorgeous, handmade designs to wholesalers and retailers alike.

The local Baltimore news station featured Stacy heavily in a recent broadcast of the show. You can catch a glimpse of her poise and her sense a humor, as well as learn how she makes her scarves, shawls, and ponchos so exquisite. Check out this clip.

Stacy's one who is truly living the creative life here in Los Angeles. But make no mistake, she works twice as hard as most people I know. The odds are against you in this town, but Stacy's proof that it's possible.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Wearable Art

My friend and fashion maven Stacy Zink has new photos of her weaving artistry up on her site.

Click here.

The stuff is gorgeous. She's off now to the big, prestigious Baltimore Crafts Show to hopefully sell out.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Fresh Yarn from Valerie

Okay, it's another Christmas story, but my friend Valerie had her memoir/story "The Christmas Secrets" published online in December in a magazine called Fresh Yarn. It's intimate, candid, horrifying, and funny. But that's Valerie.

Click here.

Great Short Short Story

"Christmas" by Tao Lin. Check it out at Monkey Bicycle:

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Whale of a Valentine

This year the Japanese government aims to hunt more than 1,000 whales in the Southern Ocean whales sanctuary. And once again, Greenpeace will be there to defend the whales. Last year Greenpeace saved 82 whales by confronting the whale hunters on the sea. Eight hundred whales still lost their lives. Ninety percent of the female whales killed in the Southern Ocean last year were either pregnant or nursing.

This Valentine's Day, make your love count. Save a whale. You may not be able to be on the boat that gets between the whales and the Japanese harpoons, but you can help. Greenpeace makes it easy with online actions that involve just a few minutes of your time and involve typing a few words and clicking "send." Go to

(And check out the kindergarten skills I used to combine an icon of myself with Greenpeace's latest poster/message to Japan, above. Pretty rickety, ey?)

My valentine this year is to the whales, and to the Japanese who oppose whaling. Greenpeace is reaching out to them, and you can too. Kiss someone you love, then go forth and make a difference. Happy Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Night Hiking

I'm finally feeling better after nearly three weeks of flu. I haven't shivered like that since I was a child. But, back to nearly as good as new and grateful for it, last night I went on a night hike in Griffith Park with my friend Valerie.

We'd done it once before, thanks to the Sierra Club, which attracts dozens of people three times a week to various level hikes through the scrubby hills of the park. It is eerie and delightful to wander through the black and gray world of the wild, right next to the 5 freeway. On overcast nights, the lights of the city bounce off the overhanging clouds with an alien orange glow, providing more than enough light to wander up and down the dirt roads and trails. Clear, moonless nights are dark and require both a level of focus and a trust in your group to find the pitfalls and scare off the predators for you. Is that a rock or a rattlesnake? Well, that elderly lady with the walking stick stepped on it and it didn't bite her. Must be safe.

Strange rustles in the fallen leaves hit your ears just that much sharper when you can't see very far. Once, hiking above a picnic area, we looked down and saw two coyotes playing tag amongst the wooden tables and garbage cans. They romped through our territory while we pushed further into theirs.

Last night we tried a level three hike, which is moderately difficult and lead up a trail apparently called AnkleBreaker. Hmm. The guide, a hearty man in his sixties who left us in the dust, explained that it was much tougher going down AnkleBreaker than going up. But we were treated to a spectacular view of Los Angeles, a conversation with fellow hikers that revealed a new place in Silver Lake to go wine tasting, and yet another coyote, this one making quite a racket near the parking lot. Not the sort of stealth you'd expect from these supposedly crafty canines.

It's exhilarating to wander through the center of a town and feel close to the wild. If you're in LA, you can check out this hike and other fabulous Sierra Club outings, most of them free, at: