Bullet Point Tuesday: When in Rome…Or BoysTown…

www-sidetrackchicago-com

You know how after you’ve been immersed in a culture for awhile, you start to pick up the habits of that culture? Well, I’m especially prone to this. After a weekend in Nashville, I developed a drawl and an affinity for barbed wire bicep tattoos. After a week in London, I started putting an upward inflection at the end of my sentences and drinking beer out of larger glasses. And, after just two days in Barcelona, I was wandering around beaches topless and shouting “Olay!” (They fucking loved me there.)

I can only assume it’s my assimilation to culture that has caused the recent confusion with my sexuality as of late. Before I get in trouble with everyone, let me explain. Or just let me explain.

  • Friday

It was Elliot’s birthday, and as he is my gay husband, he is the only man I will leave my apartment past 11:00 P.M. for. Marie and I met him and his friends in BoysTown, a part of Chicago I haven’t frequented on a Friday or Saturday in quite some time. And now I remember why. Because, while BoysTown is a great time for the dancing and confetti (yes they have fucking confetti and it’s amazing), it’s a complete aquarium. Gorgeous man after gorgeous man walking in the bar and all I could do was press my face against the glass and drop fish food into the tank. Which was just more confetti. And not well received.

As you may recall, it was the start of the winter chill on Friday night, so I dressed accordingly. Accordingly to me meant leggings (re: #thisisthirty), a black sweater, boots, and black, puffy vest within sequins on the front. My sister Fran is currently shaking her head.

Our group danced in a semi-circle to the strobe light [Note: Yes! They still exist!] and a guy passed by, making conversation with one of the girls, Dionna, from our group. “Honey. You. Are. Beautiful,” he gushed.

Dionna smiled, said thanks, but homeboy went on and on about how gorgeous she is while I stood there, now feeling incredibly feminine in my vest. 

When he was done with his love fest, he turned to me. “She’s a keeper. Nice job.”

 I stared back blankly, then threw my arm around her and said, “Thanks.” 

  •  Saturday

We had a Friendsgiving, which I’ve never been to before and now I know why. Not only do I not know how to cook, but I don’t even know how to cook easy stuff. I tried to make one of the easiest appetizers of all time, but showed up with something that looked like congealed cheese and leftover tarter sauce. Thank God I know how to purchase alcohol well. 

Daisy wanted to play this game called Utter Nonsense. It’s a new game out and you have to say super weird and funny phrases using various accents. Accents range anything from British to Mime to Orgasm. So less like accents and more like ways of life.

I felt a lot of pressure to do well at this game because, well, I’m a comedian, so I should be able to be funny. Not only was I not funny, but the group determined that no matter how many accents I tried, I always came off sounding like an angry lesbian.

And I wasn’t even wearing my vest.

  • Sunday

As mentioned on last week’s blog, I’ve outsourced my dating life to Lexi and Daisy. But more to Lexi because Daisy keeps asking me if it’s ok to set me up with guys who look like serial killers.

Lexi set up a date with a guy for Sunday at 6:00. She sent me his pic, number, and the brief conversations they’d had. All I had to do was show up. Brilliant, people. 

I tried not to be too quick to judge when he first spoke and his voice was on the feminine side. But, having dated a gay guy before, I’m always a little wary. The following did not help this dude’s case:

  • “Yes, I live in BoysTown.”
  • “I was out in BoysTown on Friday, too! And Saturday.”
  • “When I lived in Cincinnati, I lived in the gay part of town then, too.”
  • “My favorite movie is Pitch Perfect. And Love Actually. But Pitch Perfect is pretty much the greatest movie of all time.”
  • “I can’t wait to get my first paycheck.”

That last comment has nothing to do with the gay factor. Just not helping any person’s cause when on a date.

 

So back to the dating pool I go. Or rather Lexi goes. She told me I’m not allowed to go near vests or accents. Fair enough. 


Monday Jams: “Tell Me” by Allah Las

As many of you know, my sister Fran is infinitely cooler than me, and thus she is responsible for this jam that is infinitely cooler than anything I’d ever be able to pick out without supervision. Apparently these guys are coming to Lincoln Hall on the 29th, and we’ll be seeing them there–a scene I imagine in which I’ll pull off something like this: 

74aac891fedbae171f66d49cd7786d65

Man I want that shirt. Anyway, enjoy the jam, peeps. And tune in tonight to Her Monthly radio show (8 CST) to hear me talk about the 4 Bullet Points of the First Date and other shit I’m not an expert on.


Shit To Do This Weekend!

Need something to do this weekend? Here’s where I’ll be. Which I suppose is an odd invitation for stalkers. Ok, so let me start over.

All of these things are super fun things you can do this weekend. I may or may not attend some of them. (See, stalkers thwarted.)

chillfestlogo-2014-200px

Saturday: So Chillfest is happening. And the fact I know about it makes me sound much cooler than I actually am. Apparently it’s this all day acoustic music fest at various locations in Bucktown. So color me hipster because one of my fave bands, The Midnight Kicks, is playing at 2:30  so I’ll be there. noon-6:00, FREE, locations vary

1016949_10205171683154487_1796927953685658271_n

Saturday: MPAACT Solo Jams: Kat HerskovicI’ve seen Kat do stand up before and it is one of the best things I’ve ever experienced. Which includes the time when I saw two dogs sing “My Heart Will Go On” in harmony. Shut up, it happened. Go see this show. She’s fucking hysterical, and you’ll want to be her best friend afterwards. 11:00 P.M., Greenhouse Theatre, $12. For tix, click here.

staciejam1

Sunday: STACEJAMShe does improv, she does Zumba, she does puppets. And I want her to be my spirit animal. Check out Stacey Smith in STACEJAM, her solo show. 8:00 P.M., The Public House Theatre, $5.

 


Bullet Point Tuesday: Not Another Datervention

meangirlsSo a few days ago, I was over at Lexi and Daisy’s apartment. Just hanging out with some pizza and beer. Then they glanced at each other and gave an understanding nod.

Almost in unison, my two friends set down their beers and gave me look that said either “You’re puppy just died” or “You’re about to be roofied.” (It’s hard to tell with them. They’re sneaky. And since I don’t have a puppy, I was quite on edge.)

Lexi started. “So, have you gone on any dates recently?” Her tone was weird and soft. Almost like a high school counselor that you couldn’t tell was high or not.

I looked back at the two of them. They knew the answer to this question. And then it hit me. This is was an intervention. But I stopped drinking my beer just in case I was wrong and they had actually roofied me.

“So why haven’t you been on any dates?” Daisy asked gently.

“Um, I don’t have time,” I said and took a swig of my beer.

They looked at me with the same pity you’d give to a squirrel that had just been hit by a semi. “You need to make time,” Lexi said.

Aaaaand just like that I was in hell. Because, as a single, 30-year-old gal, I expect the dating questions at family parties or from my tax guy. (Apparently there are some tax breaks for married folk? That’s the best incentive I’ve ever heard!) But when you’re friends lure you to their house, under the guise of pizza and beer, only to kindly encourage you to “get out there”…that, dear reader, is rock bottom. (Well, if the pizza had been plain cheese it would’ve been rock bottom. It was pepperoni, so I was still winning on some accounts.)

Luckily for me, I have a mom that seems to be one of the only people who understands why I’m single. Unlike most moms, who take the ever-so-self-esteem-boosting role of encouraging their daughters to land a man, Mama Cline gets me. So much so that she had me watch a clip of an Andy Cohen interview, in which he outlined several reasons why he didn’t have a boyfriend:

“So why don’t I have a boyfriend? Pick one or two:

  • I’m shut off.
  • I’m happy as I am.
  • I’m selfish and set in my ways.
  • I put my job first.
  • I meet people that I’m more attracted physically than mentally.
  • I use my friends and job to replace a relationship.”

(Um, Mr. Cohen, can I pick more than two?)

Time is such a precious commodity in anyone’s life. (I’ve heard that money is, too. Still waiting on that one…) And the time it takes to seek out a man is just time I’m not willing to give up right now. Another friend asked if she could set me up with someone, and I was totally onboard. If getting ready is the only effort I have to put into the first date, then I’m game.

But weeding through guys on Tinder or OkCupid, only for them to say, “Wanna cum over and hang out with my D?”* I’m tired. I’m thirty. And there’s a bottle of wine and Marina Franklin** stand up calling my name.

I presented Lexi and Daisy with my case, and of course they had a solution. They are now in charge of all my online dating accounts. Finally. Personal assistants. Although I think we can all pretty much agree I’ll only be going on these dates for material. Which goes right back to Andy’s point of putting my job first. You’re welcome.

*With his dog? I can only assume that’s what he meant.

**Check out her performance on Women Who Kill on Netflix. She’s fucking hysterical.

To see Andy Cohen’s full interview, click here. It’s great. 


Monday Jams: “Tiny Soldiers” by Milo & Otis

This song is just, well, the fucking best. I’ve listened to it on repeat so many times that my neighbors most certainly know it as well. You’re welcome, guys.

After you’ve listened to this and want more (you will), check out their full albums here: http://hellomiloandotis.bandcamp.com


Guest Post Wednesday: Terrible First Date Ideas by Hot Mess Stiles

 

Danielle Stiles is the hysterical vlogger of Hot Mess Stiles, wearer of adorable glasses, and girl crush of many. Subscribe to her YouTube channel now. Like right now. Here ya go: Hot Mess Stiles.

[Editor’s Note: It’s just adorable how she thinks I’m an expert, huh?]


Bullet Point Tuesday: Bad Ass Nana, Part II

nana & me

So this past weekend, my mom, Nana, and I went to Florida. We had some business to take care of that I’m not sure I’m legally allowed to disclose, but we took care of said business on Day 1 and spent the remainder of the trip lounging, reading, and eating potato chips. I know, I’d hate me a little, too, had I spent Halloween in horizontal sleet.

I’ve always considered Nana a bad ass because, after being widowed at 47, she moved Up North by herself, reestablished an entirely new life for herself, which has involved becoming a critically acclaimed artist and living in the woods. Alone. Kinda puts every 20-something to shame who thought moving to the “Big City” was a big deal. Oh, you thought the el was scary at first? Try bears. Literal bears. In. Your. Backyard.

But this trip, I realized Nana’s badassness is multi-faceted. Because not only is she the ultimate Annie Oakley, but she’s also the ultimate lady. Every morning in Florida, Nana would come to breakfast fully dressed in a pressed cotton top, nice slacks, and a silk scarf to accent the outfit. [Note: “pressed” and “slacks” are definitely Nana words. I’m clearly not sophisticated enough for those.] I thought I was doing everyone a favor by coming to breakfast in a cami that had a built-in bra. You’re welcome.

In recent years, there’s a lot of chatter about the modern-day woman “having it all”–the career, the family, the bod. And while I don’t think Nana’s goal has ever been to “have it all,” she certainly emulates a woman of “being it all.” I’ve had so many people take me aside and tell me how elegant and graceful my Nana is. And I’ve had equal amounts of people approach me and say, “That woman has balls.”

Examples of Bad Ass Nana Being Her Bad Ass Self

  • On reading material…

me: Nana, would you like a magazine?

Nana: No, thank you. I brought the Wall Street Journal.

  • On squirrels in her shed…

Nana: I need to buy a bigger gun.

  • On my future…

Nana: Were you singing in the shower?

me: [smiling broadly] I was.

Nana: I remember when you used to do that as a kid. And I’d turn to your mom and say, “Well, she’s not going to make it in the opera.”

  • On animal cruelty…

Nana: See, the thing to do with geckos is when you see one running by, just stamp down on his tail with your foot. Not too hard, though. You don’t want to crush him–just catch him. Then just pick him up and take him outside.

  • On weather preferences…

Nana: Oh, yes, well the best is in the winter when you can turn off the heat at night and crack a window. [Note: Nana lives in Up North, close to Canada, in the woods, with wild turkeys as neighbors. That’s not a metaphor. Literally. Wild turkeys.]

[pause.]

Nana: But once it hits zero or below, I shut the window. I mean, that’s just crazy.

  • On our relationship statuses…

Nana: The three single ladies! [She would just proclaim this randomly–while we were sitting by the pool, out to dinner, at the grocery store, watching the news. It. Never. Got. Old.]

Aforementioned single ladies.

Aforementioned single ladies.

*To read Bad Ass Nana, Part I, in which she helps me weed through Tinder, click here: http://chloecline.com/bullet-point-tuesday-tindering-with-nana/


Monday Jams: “All About You” by Hilary Duff

If you hadn’t heard, she’s back. I’m not sure what I love more about this video: the choreographed line dancing with her friends [does anyone want to do that with me??], the Mercedes they get to drive around, or how it openly promotes creeping and stalking to find your crush. Where were you on that one, Match.com?

Also, is it just me or is she standing on Thunder Road from the Grease drag race scene at the end of this video?


Guest Post Wednesday: 10 Things Alpha Men Find Attractive in Women by Karleton Thomas

suitMost men can agree on the obvious: long legs, intelligence, sense of humor, etc. These are a given when discussing the finer points of being attracted to the opposite sex, but what about the not so obvious? The characteristics, behaviors, and mannerisms that did not make any top 10 lists? Below we have compiled a few of the not-so-obvious. Not all men will find the below attractive, but the right one might.

1. Trash Talker/Competitive – She thinks she can win and has the mouth to make it sound believable. Even when she loses, there is always next time. Gotta love her.

2. Touch of Crazy – Yeah, Yeah, Yeah…I know what my male counterparts have been saying, but it’s not totally true. Since most of us cannot discern the extreme from the justified, we’ve adopted a blanket policy. Truth be told, we love a little nuttiness. It makes life that more interesting.  Just so long as it leads to great sex and can be laughed at over wine.

3. Game for Whatever – She likes a nice dinner and special occasions, but that one bar over there by that one place, she’s cool with that, too. Fun can be had anywhere.

4. Ball-Buster – She pokes fun at you, though never in a mean way. Knows embarrassing things about you and readily queues up the zingers when in private. Best thing about it all, she keeps you laughing, which was the point in the first place.

5. Beer Drinker – We don’t think we care what brand you drink; Blue Moon to breweries– it’s attractive.

6. She Can Eat – Gets excited at the thought of going to try a new spot. Possibly overeats when it is really that good. I even had an ex who was protective of her favorite foods, like a lioness after the kill. That woman was serious.

7. Fuzzy, Warm Adjectives – Passionate, caring, affectionate, sweet, humble, etc. You get the drift. At first, they seem obvious, which they are, but alpha males appreciate them even more. It’s the contrast. Most alpha males operate in a cold world; the aforementioned are warm. It makes for a soft place to land after a long day with the vultures.

8. Know It All – So she doesn’t really know it all, but she knows enough. And when she knows she’s right, she makes for a formidable debater. Big plus if she nags about the “little things,” like seeing a doctor regularly and taking a break from work.

9. Solid – Not her body, but as a partner and problem-solver. Very few things are as attractive as a woman who can handle herself. When it hits the fan, the wheels in her head start turning. There is no need to talk her down from ledge; she’s sitting next to you working the problem.

10. Contrast – I mentioned it above. It takes on different forms, such as the naughty librarian fantasy.  A prim and proper woman on the outside with a mountain of sensual energy bubbling to get out. This is the modern day equivalent of the hard-working career wife or super mom forgoing undergarments at this year’s big social event. More importantly, it’s number 7. None of the above works without 7. That contrast, behind closed doors, is glue.

Disclaimer: Of course, this does not pertain to all alpha men. Definitely does not pertain to douchebags, idiots, narcissistic or misogynist men.  I’m willing to bet on the rest.

Karleton Thomas is the co-founder and COO of LocalLux, an online marketplace to discover unique, local fashion. He’s also a big fan of scotch and bacon anything and apparently women who are fans of both as well. 

[Editor’s Note: If a homeboy can get down with my pizza guzzling, then I think it’s a match.]


Bullet Point Tuesday: Act Like a Lady

sabrina-carpenter-video-cant-blame-a-girl-for-trying-march-21-2014

Maybe it was because I grew up wearing Umbros and playing in the woods every day. Or because my older brother was my best friend and idol growing up, so I spent my developmental years watching Jim Carrey movies and playing whatever Mario was the game of the moment.

I found out that my mom was pretty concerned about me because, come 8th grade, I still didn’t brush my hair or give a shit about what I wore. “Do you think she’ll ever care?” she’d ask her friends with daughters, many of whom were my friends, and liked me in spite of the fact that I thought Looney Tunes high tops were acceptable.

Whatever the reason, I somehow missed the very pink, girly, and put-together boat that so many women seem to understand so effortlessly.

And it was never so clear as it was this past weekend.

My Attempts at Acting Like a Lady

  • The Chanel Make Up Counter

Until last Friday, the closest I’ve ever come to Chanel was a former student of mine, who shared the name and was so incredibly adorable that I just wanted to pinch her cheeks all the time. But she was 14, and I imagined that would embarrass her horribly, so I didn’t. Also, it’s kinda frowned upon for teachers to touch students at all, even if it’s to say, “Ohmigawd you are cuter than the golden lab puppies I saw some chick selling on Milwaukee Ave. from her backpack.” [Note: Nothing makes you want to buy a puppy more than some hippie pawning them from her North Face. Because those pups are clearly off some puppy black market. And I like my puppies like I like my maple syrup: sweet and exclusive.]

So when I heard that Chanel was offering champagne and makeovers (the brand Chanel, not my former student–that would be weird), I made appointments for Lily and me. The woman doing my make up was this super bad ass lady who likes to ski and told me one day I’d mind the creases around my eyes. She asked me what brands I use for facial moisturizer and wash. When I told her Trader Joe’s, I could see her try to hide an endearing smile. I suppose my bougie is adorable.

After my make up was applied and I’d had a few glasses of some champagne I assumed was nicer than Andre, my make up gal walked me through the list of products currently on my face. As she went down the list, I was like…Oh wait, they want me to buy something… Which I aways thought was a Mary Kay thing. See, this is why I like Walgreens. There’s no pressure.

When I asked homegirl to list off the prices with the products, I almost fell off my Chanel chair. $225 for an eye cream; $150 for moisturizer. We were not in Trader Joe’s anymore.

I settled for lipstick, because I’m a sucker and can’t just take the damn free champagne and make up and be on my merry way. It was $38.50. Which is more than I spent on groceries last week.

I’ve since returned said lipstick and spent said $38.50 on beer and pizza.* Because I’m a lady.

  • Spanx

This is by far the best invention since the women’s right to vote. But what this product has in freedom, it lacks in sexiness in any sort of way. It’s a good thing that I know that no man is going to be taking off my dress, because what he’d find underneath would require whiskey and roofies for anyone to find attractive. And a pair of pliers to remove. After which, I’m too exhausted to do anything but watch the next episode of The Black List and eat Teddy Grahams in bed.

  • Hair

I’m terrified.

I had to get headshots done on Sunday, which is a much more glamorous statement than the reality of it. But I realized that the only thing I have close to a headshot is a picture of me from two years ago, slightly tipsy, standing in front of a door with a creepy reindeer ornament hanging on the knob.

So I was a little nervous about, you know, looking like a girl because I’m completely inept when it comes to looking polished. I thought curlers sounded like a solid option to class it up a bit. Except I’ve never tried curlers. And if there’s one thing I could learn from 7th grade picture day, it’s do not try pigtails for the first time, no matter how cute Jewel looks in them.

  • Being Sexy

During the photo shoot, I was asked at some points not to smile, I think to try and be sexy, but they came out with me looking like I was about to murder someone. Probably myself.

  • Flirting

A cute guy approached me at the bar on Saturday. He said he liked my hair. I made fun of his Burberry shirt.

I went home and ordered a large pizza. It. Was. Delicious.

 

*I have not returned it. Yet. But I have plans to do so tomorrow. Which will reimburse me for said beer and pizza.