Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sex and (Baltimore) City?

I was inspired to write this by a blog I read on b the site
that asked what Sex and the City would look like if it were set in Baltimore (my current residency). Where would the characters live, play, eat and of course drink? For the most part the blogger’s suggested background was quite cleaver. But seriously can Baltimore be a real fifth character? It may have some similar neighborhoods and a store or two like New York but the comparison only adds to how slow the city is. However, it also shows how Baltimore has more going on than what The Wire might show you. Heck, we get so many movies filmed here because it’s a city that can mimic practically any city in this country and if it was a warzone producers surely wouldn’t be risking their actors to film here. See this site for list of movies made here- pretty impressive (Silence of the Lambs, Beauty Shop, Live Free or Die Hard just to name a few)

Anywho, Baltimore is no New York and if Sex and the City were filmed here… well the series would be short lived. Don’t get me wrong, Baltimore is trying to step up (Step Up, another movie set and made here) but it’s not doing it fast enough.

The good that could provide a New York vibe:
1) Housing, it’s really coming up with some sharp looking condos and houses I must say. Although pricey it is in no way as expensive as New York! The gals could feel right at home in Bolton Hill/ Mt. Vernon, Federal Hill, or near the Inner Harbor. But uniquely we have comfy, quieter spots like Hampden, Charles Village or Canton and up and coming spots like Washington Village, Fells Point and Locust Point to consider.
2) The girl’s gay friends could find their scene in the artsy Mt. Vernon district.
3) Shopping is improving dramatically. So many boutiques in Canton, Fells, Federal and Mt. Vernon and even the Gallery Mall has improved (now put in a M.A.C. store, H&M and Sephora and I’ll love ya for life!) And the prices? Very NY cause I know I can’t afford them. But we do have quite a few awesome vintage spots (checked out Hampden lately?)!
4) Art lovers like Charlotte won’t get bored. If nothing, we are an artsy city, with some of the best spoken word to boot, I must say and festivals galore!
5) Pretty good dining scene. There is a great effort to put out new places to eat on a regular basis and I have to say, although it can be pricey, it’s worth a look around and try and the environments- very trendy.

The bad:

1) Our nightlife sucks to high heaven. The girls will only be drinking their cosmos in some very limited spots (Red Maple, Cosmo bar and Grill, Sky Lounge, Pazo). No clubs here really and no new hot spots that open every month like our dinning venues (hint, hint). We are a city heavy in bars with a side of lounges (at least there aren’t many cover charges). I suppose the girls could check out the hotel bar scene (there is the Belevedere). But beware we close so darn early here you gotta go out practically right after dinner (and an early one at that, hehe).
2) Everyone would end up dating the same people (Smalltimore that it is). With a very limited dating scene (Bigs, Aidans, hell Steve’s are hard to come by round these parts) the gals might get bored pretty quickly or else change up partners.

Okay, so maybe the girls won’t have such a bad time here. Provided there were a few more of the male sex here and a bit more exiting night life, I believe Baltimore could be a good fifth character in a Sex and the City life…I’m still moving though.

Too Ugly to Work?

I heard this on the radio today that there is an increase in plastic surgery from the unemployed. The belief is that if they look better they’ll be able to get hired or avoid firing. This sounds horrible yet I have to wonder: do pretty people have a greater chance at success in the work place?

We all know that a cute girl can wink her way into getting a discount or a free service. And if beautiful people also have the upper hand in the entertainment industry (Jason Castro, of American Idol, proved that VERY clearly as he couldn’t sing a lick but made it to the top friggin 4! And David Cook suddenly got real popular when he ditched that original comb-over contraption on his head and got the sexy rocker look (although he does have talent)).
But seriously, if you are a better looking lawyer will you have more success on your cases?

Will more patients come to you if you look like Christian Troy from Nip/Tuck?

Further if a company has to downsize, and they have two employees with equal talent, are they going to kick out the Brad Pitt look alike or the Oscar the Grouch looking dude? I’m betting on the latter. Is it that better looks means a more positive environment (I know that sounds horrendous but I’m simply playing devil’s advocate here) or more customers?

But seriously, if you’ve got an intelligent worker who produces well but looks like Bill Gates you’d be a fool to fire him over the dumb bell Pam Anderson look alike.

But we simply can’t make light of the situation. People who aren’t defined as what our society would deem attractive don’t have it easy and now to think that they might be placed more at risk for their jobs is even more disheartening.

I admit, some days I might come to work looking a little tired or have a bad hair day but no one wants to think that their looks might mean the end of their job.

I had a coworker who was told by the boss one day that she had to come to work looking better because her hard to control hair looked sloppy. Well at least she could fix that. But what if it was something harder or more expensive to fix? Who needs the added stress?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Love and the City

I am not in love with the city I live in. Provided I had the money I’d move to New York, Boston or LA, provided I loved the winter I’d move to Chicago, provided I looked like a model I’d move to Miami, provided I could stand those hair destroying rainy days I’d move to Seattle, provided I found a worthwhile job there I’d move to Philadelphia, provided it was diverse enough I’d move to Denver.

Needless to say I’m ready to go! But why you might ask?

I’m bored.

You’ve heard my rant in the Now What blog but more to the point I’ve reached a level with the city I live in where I am not curious by it. Nothing new. Sure a few new spots open up but it’s the same thing with a different name. Same people there. Same flavor. I’ve done all the museums, been to different clubs/bars/lounges, done sports, dance classes, 5ks, volunteered, checked out many a restaurant, shopped in the boutiques, been to spoken word, plays, checked out every type of festival in town, did outdoor movies and concerts, hosted parties/been to parties, been to wine tasting/ food tasting, themed events. I went to school, college and law school here.
In addition, darn near 80% of my friends are married so our interests are now limited.
I feel like Bill Murray in Ground hog Day at times.


Would I feel this way if I was in a relationship? At the very least does a relationship effect the way you see your life and its surroundings. I’m thinking yes. You can tolerate a lot more if there is someone you love refocusing the attention. I’ve seen people determined to leave their city suddenly shift when finding true love.

This is the stuff of movies, as my sister reminded me (for proof see In the Land of Women, Under the Tuscan Sun, The Holiday). People can move for a “change of heart”.
Your relationships with others effects your daily life no doubt.

In Sex and the City they never grew bored of the city because they had each other and active dating lives, not to mention it was in NY people, which is ever exciting. But in the final season when all her friends were in relationships, Carrie decided to pack up and leave with her beau to Paris, telling her friend Miranda that she needed to move on as her friends were doing.
I understand my feelings about this city and I’m not so sure that if I were in a committed relationship my feelings would change, I would simply just tolerate it. Or does a relationship equal change and ,therefore, things you took for granted in the city or experienced as a single person take on a whole new look when you are part of a couple?

I guess, ultimately, when you make a move, know that you are doing it for the right reasons (a new job, better environment) and not to find love or escape it. That wouldn’t bring true satisfaction nor would it provide a guaranteed resolution to your love problems. For me, I want to leave for a new experience (provided I have a job there of course). I’m a writer and for me new environments and experiences feed my creativity so it’s time to find a new city to fall in love with…wish me luck!

Now Entering: The Now What Phase

You ever accomplish something, reach a goal or certain level and bask in the shine of making it only for it to quickly be overshadowed by thoughts of “what’s next?”. My coworker termed this the “now what” phase. People, I am in that phase and holding strong.

I’m still in my twenties but it will be leaving me sooner than I’d like to have it and I feel like I need to prepare. Please God, don’t let me hit 30 still in the same place I was in my 20s (unless of course you’re talking weight/figure, that I wouldn’t mind holding on to, not to sound vain). I made a list of things that NEED to occur in my life by 30 for me not to fall into an immediate depression. Okay, not all these things need to happen but at least one of them occurring might keep me out of therapy:

Buy a new house,
Move to a new city,
Marriage or something heading towards it
Obtain a certain salary/job level,
Have a trip to South Africa or Italy already in the works,
Publish one of my novels.

Change is good and I need it. I can foresee myself at the end of a proverbial cliff. Not challenged by my job, ready to move, dying to live in a new city if only for a couple of years and of course I would like to get married (not yet really into the kid thing yet- I just saw a make over show on Oprah and all the women looked so old and they all had one thing in common- they had kids- granted they were single mothers, but it was not an advertisement for having kids I tell you! But one day).

Anywho, I am not sitting here drumming my fingers on the desk and talking with no action. I am a woman on a mission and I am trying to get my dreams realized. I have started a housing saving account, applied to jobs in other cities (including some in Europe- DYING to live in London, studied abroad there and big thumbs up to that town even with it’s craptacular weather- how those people remain so darn chipper is beyond me but it was infectious!). I am working hard on my novels and forcing friends to read it for feedback and plan to start sending my work out (for the hundredth time) to agents by summer’s end, my current job will give me the salary I’m looking for by 30 but it’s all about the challenge and not taking the easy route (which only leads to my laziness which is a no-go). Finally South Africa and Italy are still on my radar and have researched the cost. Would love to visit one for my 30th B-day. The marriage thing- well, that’s out of my hands. I can be the best me and just hope along the way someone else (who I’m into) sees the best in me too.

In any event I had to make the decision to, as us colorful southern’s like to say, “Piss or get off the pot”. So I’m making moves people- see ya on the fly!

P.S.- Have you ever been in the now what phase and if so what have you done or plan to do to make a change?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Cuddle up

So, I heard this on the radio and had to do some research on it.
Apparently there are about 14 cuddle parties going on this weekend. So what the heck is a cuddle party? Well here's wikapedia's information about it:

In general, it's a party where adults give and receive non sexual contact, although sometimes kissing can be involved. They come in their pajamas (but they don't take them off) and there is a fee. There are rules and boundaries and no one has to give someone a hug or what not, if they don't want to. There is a coach or "cuddle life guard" and it really seems to be set up like a workshop instead of say some party with music and drinks where people come up to each other and hug. They actually lay down and cuddle.

It's a way, says the creators, for humans to get back in contact with each other in a world of technology that separates us and "deprives us of touch". See also

Sounds like some hippy dippy stuff to me but whatever floats your boat. And hey, there must be something into the party because it is in New York, LA, London, Toronto, Melbourne and few other major cities across the US (including one in Maryland and one in Virginia) and the world. It was also featured in an episode of CSI.

Seriously, are we that damn lonely? And don't you wonder who comes to these parties? Pervs or just lonely people? And do only the "hot" people get cuddled? So does poor balding Stanley not get any love there either?

I won't judge but here is the website to the cuddle party: And I love the FAQ part: which have some very valid questions. Like is it in fact an orgy? Do clothes stay on? What if something comes "up" (you know what I mean guys).

I'm uncomfortable...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Why's of the Week

The next season of the real world will be shot in Brooklyn- Well if you’re going to do Brooklyn why not shoot it in D.C. or Bmore next time? Can’t get much realer than that. Especially now that the producers are hoping to return to the original format where “real” people interacted with each other instead of a bunch of models and actors.

Sarah Jessica Parker at the Sex in the city Premiere- Why? My friend alluded me to this attire and although she may be channeling her inner Carrie Bradshaw for this, it simply looks like a wedding center piece got stuck on her head to me. Sorry SJP!

Hilary takes West Virginia- Why, as I keep asking, for the love of God and all things sacred, won’t this end!? At this point I don’t care who gets it just as long as they are strong enough to whup on McCain. Interesting side note, Obama is now attacking McCain in his campaigning and remaining mum on Hilary. I think that is a good move. Right now, people should be focusing on who is strong enough to beat McCain right now. Obama’s change platform and Hilary’s experience platform won’t mean a hill of beans if they can’t take out McCain.

People wanting to hold conversation at the crack of dawn- Why won’t you let me chill a minute? I get to work before 7am. I’m tired. I barely have enough energy to crack a smile and you want me to hold a full fledge discussion? Let me drink down some caffeine and get my life right.

Lebron James telling his mother to sit her butt down during his game this past weekend- Why- are you still alive? If I had ever said that to my mother, even now, I’d be wondering how I ended up in a hospital room with a bandage on my forehead? I know she was acting out of place but come on, it was Mother’s Day and you could have gotten your point across in a more tactful way. Not cool. Happy freakin Mother's Day! (photo courtesy of yahoo sports)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Why's of the Week

This is something I might try to start…

Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey married…Why? Mariah, you know you upgraded that boney B- lister big time.

Whitney Houston and Ray J back together…Why? I’m glad you’re doing better Whitney but Ray J? I won’t comment on the fact that you are old enough to be his mother and that I’m not even convinced his voice is done developing yet!

American Idol- Why… don’t you take off that cute little dreadlocked boy, Jason Castro, who can hardly sing! I tend to go do chores around the house while he sings and come back to the TV when he's done.

Flava Flav’s son to take over Flava of Love- Why? What did we do wrong to deserve this next generation of horror?

The San Diego college fraternities who were selling every type of drug out there- Why? Don’t you get into drugs if you (incorrectly) feel there is no other way to make money? Isn’t college supposed to be another way? Tuition money down the drain!

Obama and Hilary each win a state this week- Why… won’t this Democratic battle end so the winner can fully take on McCain?!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

To the Lookouts- Thank you

Sometimes I like to give a special thank you or shout out to those I think deserve it. Today I'm doing a public thank you to my neighbors:

Thank you for staring out your window at me and my roommate every single day.

Never a day goes buy when we don't hear a blind or window go up so you can look out the window and stare at us.

Never a moment when we step outside that you don't stop your conversation to stare at us like a dog does a bone the whole time until we get into our cars or house. We're totally comfortable with that.

Oh, let us not forget the time a friend came to visit us but we were not there. No need for her to call us, one of you called out the window that we were not there and had been gone for about 10 minutes. That was helpful and not unnerving at all! We appreciate your looking out for our time and attendance. If we get a break in though, don't say, you don't snitch!

Thanks to the teenage boys who call out the window and try to flirt with us. No we don’t find that bothersome.

Thanks to the guy who opened my roommate’s car door when she forgot to lock it and put in a stuffed animal. That was sweet and not creepy in the least. But thanks again for not stealing her car!

Thanks to the neighbors who watched my roommate and myself struggle to lug a big ass TV out of our house to the curb for trash collection but never offered to help. I appreciate the gentlemanly manners.

Thank you to the guys who commented on my friend's and my anatomies as we came back from a long walk/exercise down the "wrong" street to get home. It made us feel all fuzzy inside and not annoyed at all!

So again, thank you neighbors, without you, we might actually like the neighborhood!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Show Me the Money

So people are starting to get their economic stimulus checks and I wonder- How do you plan to use your $600?

Some financial advisors might say the most personally responsible way to use it might be to pay down some debt, pay bills, invest or put it in your savings account.

But none of these ways will actually help the economy.

The idea is to use that money to buy, buy, buy. But if you are broke, broke, broke putting 600 bucks into a new flat screen tv, a car, jewelry, vacation or a new wardrobe seems a bit financially rebellious.

And then, seriously, after you use it you're right back where you started from except for some with a new debt/expense to pay off!

We still, after getting our one time check, are going to be faced with high gas prices, high food prices, high plane tickets, high gas and electric, high damn near everything! Oh, and then there still will be foreclosure issues, big business bankruptcy and the dollar being worth crap internationally...

This simply seems like a way to put a bandaid on a gushing wound to calm America until Bush gets out of office and then whichever soul takes over is left with a festering sore to heal (gross I know but that's how I feel).

But maybe I'm wrong, I'm no economist, perhaps this will get us back on track (and hey who doesn't like free money?). But if not, our position in this world is going to get pretty ugly...

(illustration from