Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My parting words for my last blog

Almost two years ago, Deirdre and I started "We Can Relate."

The title of my first entry was: "My parting words for my first blog."

The title for this one? Seems logical to go with "last blog."

Sunday was my final day as a journalist with Charlotte.com and The Charlotte Observer.

I've moved on to a new job -- I'm now an Associate News Editor for Sportingnews.com -- and with my new gig comes the issue of saying goodbye to this blog and to the loyal readers who kept us on our toes and fed us with some great insight into their own relationship struggles, moments and victories.

I cannot give you all hugs (big embraces rock) and I cannot write each of you a personal letter (hand-written notes rule), but I can say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Oh, and if you read my very first blog (see link above), then this should make sense:

I love you, Charlotte.

Monday, July 21, 2008

If you left, what would you take?

While I was out for a walk today I listened to a podcast of NPR's "Fresh Air," featuring an interview with Rhett Miller, singer and songwriter for the band Old 97's.

During the interview, host Terry Gross asked Miller to recall his experiences on Sept. 11, 2001. Miller and his wife lived only a couple blocks from the Twin Towers in New York. Miller described going up to his apartment building's rooftop and seeing the first tower on fire, and people falling from above. He and his wife rushed back down to their apartment, only to be engulfed in smoke when that building fell. They managed to get away just before the second building fell, then, two months later, were allowed back into their apartment for five minutes as a National Guardsman watched from the doorway, machine gun in hand. Miller described his wife standing their closet holding six or seven pairs of high heels, crying. She was overwhelmed, and couldn't decide which pairs to take. Miller reminded her there was a man with a gun waiting on them and grabbed his guitar.

The interview got me thinking: If I had to leave my house in a hurry, what would I take? The first two things that popped into my mind were my cat, which didn't surprise me, and my passport, which did. But then it didn't. There are family keepsakes I would mourn the loss of, but most items -- clothes, furniture, etc. -- can be replaced. I've never really been big on collecting photographs or souvenirs; memories of life experiences are more important to me. So the gut reaction of grabbing my passport reinforces how important the ability to travel and gather more life experiences is to me.

What about you? If you had to leave NOW, other than your purse/wallet and family members, what would you take with you?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Perfecting the art of cuddling

A little quibble that my husband and I seem to have ... OK, OK, it's more an issue I constantly bring up (happy, dear?), is the fact we don't cuddle when we're asleep.

We have a king-sized bed, and every morning I find myself on the Antarctica side of the bed while he's camped out in Greenland territory. I've always thought it romantic to wake up in the arms of my husband, but alas, it just never happens.

In my search to see if cuddling is an issue in most relationships, I dug up this comical YouTube video (above) on the "art" of cuddling.

Do most of you couples out there fall asleep and then wake up with arms and legs interlocked? Or, are my husband and I not alone when it comes to waking up facing opposing bedroom walls?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Use Internet to research your dates?

The dreaded first date just ended. It went smoothly and you’re kicking yourself for being nervous. But before you pick up the cell to inform that handsome fella or gorgeous gal what a lovely time you had staring into their eyes … you first turn on your laptop.

That’s right. It’s time to get ol' Google rollin’ because you’ve got work to do.

With the onslaught of social networking sites, powerful search engine capabilities and access to more personal information than ever before, it seems more and more single people are flocking to the Internet to do their own “background checks” on potential dates.

I’ve talked with several singles lately that have uncovered startling facts just by spending a little time online, including: arrest records, messy divorce cases, children, spouses who are current and holes in people’s stories (i.e., he said he graduated from Dartmouth but his Facebook profile has Wake Technical Community College).

Now, I realize it’s been almost eight years since I was single, but I would have never thought to look up a potential significant other to see what I could unearth about his past. Then again, eight years ago in Web years is like when the caveman first rubbed two sticks together.

Are you using Facebook, MySpace, Ning, Twitter, Google, LexisNexis and a bevy of other sites to do background checks on your dates? If you are, and you find out some juicy information, is that a deal-breaker for you or do you bring up your self-explored research to your potential date? Tell us. Enquiring minds want to know.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Thumbs down for 'How to Be Single'

I was excited when one of the book mavens at the paper came over with a copy of Liz Tuccillo's new novel, "How to Be Single." Tuccillo co-authored the self-help phenomenon "He's Just Not That Into You," and even though I thought she was the book's weak link, and even though I'm not a fan of chick lit, I was still interested. The protagonist is the same age I am and I thought it would be fun to read a single point of view from the same place I'm in.

Here's the first paragraph from the book cover:

"On a brisk October morning in New York, Julie Jensen, a single thirty-eight-year-old book publicist, is on her way to work when she gets a hysterical phone call from her friend Georgia. Reeling from her husband's announcement that he is leaving her for a samba teacher, Georgia convinces a reluctant Julie to organize a fun girls' night out with all their single friends to remind her why it is so much fun not to be tied down."

I shoulda known when I saw "samba teacher."

You guys, I only made it to page 17 -- and that was out of sheer stubbornness. It's obvious Tuccillo got to write this because of the success of "Not Into You." The start of the novel reads like a first draft before the editors get to it. Like she was just writing to get the story idea out of her head and then she'd go back and punch up the prose, but never got around to it. It's a lazy effort. Sophomoric sentences. Non-compelling, cookie-cutter characters. In short: NO.

I think Tuccillo may be felled by what snags lots of other authors: Singlehood is hard to get your arms around. There are so many angles to take and most of them fail. But I've got to hand it to the author -- the main character travels to find out how women around the world are dealing with being single. That means Tuccillo had to travel around the world for "research." I wonder if I could use that trick on my bosses?