Monthly Archives: January 2011

Off On Another Adventure

So I’m leaving today on a trip to Alaska. Yes, Alaska. In the winter.

I met a guy on OkCupid (hi Andy!) and we realized early on that we’d be better as friends. We’ve hung out and gotten to know each other. He lived in Alaska for 14 years and wanted to go up there to celebrate his birthday. He misses it, I guess. Well, he mostly misses his favorite strip club, The Great Alaskan Bush Company. Anyway, he asked me if I’d want to go to with him. I’m sure that it’s partly because I’m probably one of the few women he would feel comfortable taking to a strip club. (And I’m sure he’ll correct me if I’m wrong!) I still miss Billy’s Topless. It’s probably also that I’m the kind of person who never says no to an adventure!

So in a few hours I’ll be flying to Seattle and connecting to my flight to Anchorage. I’ll be spending a few days there but we’ll also be flying up to Fairbanks and driving to Chena Hot Springs, where I’m hoping we’ll be able to see The Northern Lights. Seeing the Aurora Borealis is pretty much the only thing on my “bucket list.” Fingers crossed! So stay tuned!

Idiotarod 2011

Yesterday I was an anonymous member of Corporation X. As a conglomerate, we “ran” the Idiotarod. Actually, a bunch of people in wacky costumes did the running. We just provided the bureaucracy. (Heh, I just mistyped that as bureaucrazy, which was probably more fitting!)

Teams met up at 10:30am in Maria Hernandez Park. The mounds of snow provided a scenic backdrop to the colorful costumes: bumble bees, pastel papier maché monsters, techno Vikings, Mardi Gras jesters and more. We corporate whores were dressed in professional attire, basic black, white shirts with black ties and dark ski masks marked with our logo, a white X. All employees of Corporation X also sported Henry McGovern name tags.

We strolled around, shaking people down for bribes. The Mardi Gras folks had Hurricanes and beads, the Disasterpiece people had Jell-O shots and someone handed me a brownie! I was also asking participants to pose for group shots. Everyone looked awesome!

The competition began when racers were given their first destination, and we piled into a car, headed for our checkpoint, “Meg,” a bar somewhere in Brooklyn. The purpose of checkpoints, beyond the obvious, is to slow people down and generally fuck with them. We took our jobs very seriously and provided enough corporate red tape to frustrate, confuse and delay.

Ruth and I were in charge of “The Rat Race,” basically creating workplace-type irritation. I instructed racers to “Run to the other end of the bar and brown nose.” When they didn’t quite grasp that, I got more specific. “Go to the other end of the bar, find the right Henry McGovern, and come back with a brown nose.” Ruth was the right Henry and she had chocolate frosting to smear on everyone’s noses. We made them run back and forth with boxes, too, but the best part was making them get on their knees and beg for their jobs. Listening to a bunch of people groveling made me feel surprisingly good! I was drunk with power! And alcohol…

The checkpoints are also an opportunity for races to rest, warm up and have a drink or two. When upper management showed to let us know that maybe people were doing a little too much resting and not enough racing, we wrapped up our operation and headed to the last stop. More drinking ensued before we all headed to the afterparty. By that point I was so drunk I didn’t know where the hell I was. And when things started getting blurry, I jumped into a cab with one or the Black Swans (er, he was a White Swan…) and came home. I think that cab ride cost me way more than it should have but it was definitely better than the subway ride would’ve been. I had a blast!

Going Negative?

Dating isn’t as easy once you hit 40. Or 50. Hell, nothing’s as easy. Accepting that you’re less than thrilled about being single — which is why we put ourselves through the dating process and subject ourselves to singles’ events — can feel like admitting a deficiency, something we should all be used to by now but that never gets any easier.

Chances are pretty good that anyone who is, let’s say, over 45 has been through the ringer. A few times. Whether that ringer is a failed marriage or just a failed relationship (or two…or three), it has probably hardened them in some way. We are a sum of our experiences and if there have been disappointments, it can be tough to separate our identities from those disappointments, to talk ourselves into feeling like winners when we feel more like losers. Eventually our failures can overwhelm us. Life, in general, may be weighing us down, of accumulating on us.

In addition to all the other crap that comes along with getting older, consider laying your ass on the line with a stranger — or a whole sequence of strangers — in search of elusive true love. It’s enough to make someone become a hermit. Or at least throw in the towel. But if you’re desperately resisting slipping into pessimism, if you’re one of the people bucking hermit-tude, and you’re dabbling in dating in your fourth or fifth decade, you’ve probably dragged along a good deal of baggage with you. I know it’s difficult to check that baggage. But if you don’t, you might be better off on your couch.

Many of the men I’ve met lately, either as potential dates or merely fellow singletons, have struck me as being somewhat sad sack. It isn’t a good look. I can’t say I blame them for being unable to put on a positive face. I’ve been finding it difficult to be positive myself.

One gentleman was an OkCupid date and we met for a beer. Somehow we started talking about his divorce and the conversation sort of spiraled downward. It’s tough to keep things happy and positive when you’re discussing custody battles or who’s to blame for the end of the relationship. I wound up wallowing a bit myself. Even when I attempted to lighten things up, the pall had already been cast. I eventually wrote to the guy and apologized for a not-so-great date and gently suggested that perhaps he wasn’t quite ready to enter the shark tank of dating quite yet. He never responded.

Another instance, another OkCupid dude: After chatting on the phone a while, he suggested that we meet at a wine bar. Never mind that it says right on my profile that I hate wine. I was willing to overlook his disregard as an indication of nervousness. But when we met, he hardly said a word. I do believe one of his utterances was along the lines of “I’m probably not exciting enough for you.” Even though that was, in fact, totally true and incredibly obvious, it didn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy his company, there, in that moment. Why did he need to sabotage himself?

And then there’s the sad sack who just can’t seem to crack a smile. A recent acquaintance at a recent event seemed like a totally cool guy. For a few moments I managed to engage him in something that excited him. But he spent most of the evening with a long face. I don’t think he was miserable; he could’ve left at any point. He just looked…beaten down by life. It’s tough to explain. I think maybe he could’ve used a pep talk…or some sort of ego boost!

At least these men are putting themselves out there. They haven’t given up or abandoned their sense of optimism. They haven’t completely succumbed to staying at home…alone. However, sometimes they aren’t necessarily doing themselves a service. They certainly didn’t get a second date.

So what to do to avoid coming across like a sad sack? If you aren’t feeling particularly social, it might be a good idea to stay home, because the you you’ll be putting out there won’t be the best. If there’s something you aren’t comfortable with — your weight, your employment status, even your wardrobe — fix it before you enter the fray. Sharing your insecurities once you’ve established a relationship can be endearing; sounding less than confident on that initial encounter, not so much. Keep whatever conversations you start as upbeat as you’re capable of. Don’t discuss your divorce, your dreaded ex or your crappy day at the office — if you still have an office. No need to keep all the ugly stuff a secret; just do your best not to dwell on it.

Well those are a few gentle suggestions. I have plenty more to say about how to show up for a date or at an event, so stay tuned!

Unique Theater Experience to Debut in West Chelsea

I wrote this for NearSay.com. Love them!

NearSay has just gotten word about an exciting new theatrical experience that will soon be taking place in West Chelsea. New York City-based production company, Emursive, is bringing the internationally acclaimed theatre team Punchdrunk’s premiere show, ‘Sleep No More’ to the Big Apple. Opening night is March 7th, 2011.

Their press release reveals a few tantalizing hints: “A legendary hotel… Shakespeare’s fallen hero… A film noir shadow of suspense… Punchdrunk’s ‘Sleep No More’ is an award-winning theatrical experience that tells Shakespeare’s classic tragedy.”

I was fortunate to be among a group that was given a preview tour of the recently re-appointed space. Formerly Twilo and Spirit nightclubs, as well as psychedelic artist Alex Grey‘s Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, over 300 into artisans have totally transformed the six-floor venue into “The McKittrick Hotel.” More than 100 rooms will amuse and confuse theatre guests, including a hotel lobby, lounges that will serve alcohol, trompe l’oeil extravagances and many other impressive feats of set-building. The sweeping installation is nothing short of incredible.

More from their press release that I can’t explain better myself: “Since 2000, Punchdrunk has pioneered a game-changing form of immersive theatre in which roaming audiences experience epic storytelling inside sensory theatrical worlds. The company’s infectious format rejects the passive obedience usually expected of audiences.”

In other words, the experience will be unlike anything you’ve ever attended on Broadway – or any other theatre. “Free to encounter the installed environment in an individual, imaginative journey, the choice of what to watch and where to go is theirs alone,” the producers invite you, adding that “audience members are encouraged to move freely through the epic world of the story at their own pace, choosing where to go and what to see.” This free-form format ensures that “everyone’s journey will be unique.” Guests wishing to view the entire production may need to return a number times or more and take a different route each visit. And perhaps even better than presenting a new and unique way to enjoy theater, the show will employ potentially dozens of actors!

Book in advance and be the first among your friends to experience all the surprises! Tickets and more information about the show can be found at their web site. And for more information about Punchdrunk theatre company:www.punchdrunk.org.uk.

Sleep No More
The McKittrick Hotel
530 West 27th Street

 

Win the FUTURE!

I watched President Obama’s State of the Union speech last night. Not because I’m interested in politics; I couldn’t care less. I don’t have cable and it was on every channel that I am magically able to receive through the airwaves.  (Yeah, I know, it’s like living in the Third World!) One phrase that he kept repeating, in various contexts, was “winning the future.” Since when did the future become a carnival game? Is it really something that can be “won?”

I get what he was trying to say but it reminded me of the current trend to use “WIN!” as a general positive exclamation or in regards to things that can’t, in general, be “won.” To win something there needs to either be a competition or an actual prize. You can’t just randomly win something. Life, for example, cannot be won or lost. No one gets sent home from life with a blue ribbon or a consolation prize; you just get to die, regardless of how awesome your life was. You can’t win at a day or a date or a holiday or an experience. You can enjoy it. It can be a success. It can even be super awesome! But unless you set some parameters beforehand with at least one other person — ie., “Whoever gets laid wins happy hour!” or “Whoever spends the most money wins the shopaholic prize!” — there really aren’t any winners.

You’re more than welcome to believe you’re a winner. Or a loser, if that’s your preference. You can win at chess and lose at checkers, you can excel at one thing and be less than excellent at something else. But you can’t win the future. And if you do manage to win the future, maybe you can win another one and trade up for the past!

“BioChemistry” Party Debuts Friday, January 28th

In support of Chemistry‘s mission of “Illuminated Eroticism,” event producers Sheila and Kenny are proud to announce the premiere of their “sensual, sophisticated party celebrating bisexual and bi-curious men, and the women who love them;” ladies and gentlemen, BioChemistry! If that intriguing new angle on their erotic soirees isn’t exciting enough, the BioChemistry debut will be in a gorgeous Manhattan loft.

For the past five years, the kinky couple have been co-hosting their bi-monthly Chemistry parties in a slightly off-the-beaten-path Brooklyn location. Being the borough snob that I am, it was often difficult to make the trek, so their move to Manhattan is most welcome!

The Chemistry parties are private events for members only. So how does one become a member? It’s really just a matter of registering. There is a screening process that may seem somewhat onerous at first but, believe me, it’s worth your time. Members’ collective commitment to creating a sensual ambience ensures the events success. In their quest to “change the paradigm for modern relationships,” – a lofty goal, indeed – Kenny and Sheila utilize a selective alchemy to guarantee a good time. The break-outs of “singles,” “casually dating couples” or “friends with benefits” also contribute to the calculated balance.

Augmenting the sexually charged atmosphere, DJ $mall¢hange will be spinning the evening’s sensual soundtrack. Little Miss Lusty and Peter Peter will provide the eye candy with a bawdy burlesque performance. Salil the Sexual Magician enters with his magnificent and amazing feats. The Transformational Warriors’ tantric massage will help you forget all about your work week. Become a walking work of art with Irina’s alluring body painting. Work yourself into a lather with seductive Acroyoga by Intimate Evolution. And to tantalize your taste buds, enjoy complimentary champagne from 9 to 10 p.m. and gourmet hors d’oeuvres by Janna.

When word went out to existing members and friends there was an overwhelming response and the sexy guest list is filling up fast! Don’t miss out on your chance to say you were there to experience the big opening night! Ticket sales will be limited to 100 guests and advanced sales close on Wednesday evening, January 26, and the cover charge is based on membership. If tickets are still available at the door they will, of course, cost more. And if, at first blush, this particular soiree doesn’t sound like it’s for you, yet your interest has been piqued, I recommend you visit their website for other events. They’re working on a night of fun in Philadelphia, a lighter look at S&M and, hopefully, more lust in Manhattan lofts.

BioChemistry
Friday, January 28
Doors at 9:00
Midtown Venue to be disclosed upon confirmed registration.
Cover varies upon membership.
Purchase tickets and read more at www.chemistry-nyc.com.

 

Alchemy, Algorithms and Leather Pants

I hosted my second singles’ mixer last night and thought it went pretty well! There was an almost even balance between men and women, new and familiar faces, and a pleasant blend of ages. In my introduction, I assured them all that by merely being in the room they were already being proactive in manifesting their desires. Yeah, new agey blah-blah-blah….but true!

I invited Shanti and Arjuna, The Transformational Warriors, to be my special surprise guests. It was nice to offer an activity and give everyone something to think about other then their next drink. They led the group in a number of eye-opening interactive games and I was sincerely impressed by how willing people were to communicate.

As my soirees grow — and I hope they do! — I may need to “segment” people out into different areas of interest. I spoke with a few of last night’s guests about a vague “leather pants vs. never-leather pants” sort of thing, meaning inviting people who would leather pants to one event and people who never would to another. I realize it seems arbitrary, but there does need to be a certain amount of “curating.” Perhaps separating the sober folks from the tipplers might be advisable as well. There are as many things that make people unsuitable for one another as there are that make them suitable, I suppose!

I hope I am able to eventually create my own palate of “algorithms.” I’m sure every profitable matchmaker uses some sort of magical alchemy to determine who might vibe with whom…Just gathering an interesting group together with the intention of meeting new people is a good start!