You asked, I wrote more than 4,000 words in an answer. Yeah. You'll never ask again!
If you could only continue to read one blog, which blog would you choose?
Um, hello, mine? I am so sort of joking. Kind of.
This is a bitch of a question, because I’m sure I’ll forget some wonderful blogger or look like I’m trying to suck up. So I’ll name some I love love.
My favorite of those who date are This Fish, I am, Therefore I date and CityFlirting. (I was a huge proponent of A Singular Man, as he did a great round up of the Dating Blogosphere, but he left and never came back.)
My favorite Southern blogger (even though she lives above the Mason-Dixon now) is Belle in the Big Apple.
That’s just for now. Stay tuned, they change a lot.
I’ve been really into whites lately. I don’t have the money to drink the expensive stuff, so I usually go with Chateu Ste. Michelle Riesling or Eco Domani Pinot Grigio. This weekend I was all about the Sauvignon Blanc. But I also really like this one kind of inexpensive wine from South Afria, KWV Chenin Blanc Steen. (The Banker turned me on to it, even though she’s more into reds right now.)
The Beatles or Elvis?
The Beatles. Duh.
What exactly ARE grits?
Girls Raised In The South … everyone together now, “Ooooh.”
I actually looked this one up. I’ve eaten a grit or two in my day, but I’ve never had to explain them to anyone. They’re actually parts of a broken corn kernel, apparently. Quaker has a good explanation.
I eat them mostly for breakfast, although they are acceptable side or main dishes as well. (In New Orleans, they eat Grits and Grillades, but I don’t eat meat, so I pass.) A lot of people do grits with red eye gravy or cheese grits, but I like mine plain with maybe a small pat of butter mixed in. Really hot. And, yes, I make them in the microwave even though they are best made over the stove.
Mmmmm. Now I’m hungry.
What's the big appeal with Crocks?
Ok, I have to say that I was so anti-Croc until I got my pair. I mean, I thought they were so crazy stupid looking. But yes, they are that comfortable. They are. I think it is because the material is firm with some give and really light (unlike some tennis shoes). Plus, I love anything that slides on like a slipper. And the colors are great. If you’re wearing ridiculous foam shoes, you should get them in the loudest damn color possible, right? Mine are bright pink.
Do you keep anything under your bed?
The bodies of the boys who don’t call.
No, I am serious.
Actually, usually there’s a missing shoe, a random pair of panties and my day planner.
What's your favorite color?
I know half of you think I’ll say pink, the color of girlieness.
And the other half think I’m going to pick clear, the color of vodka.
Well, it’s actually blue. A really deep bright blue.
Where is the absolute best place to get an inexpensive (less than $50) handbag?
Can I just say that I loved this question because it gave me a chance to shop online in the name of research?
Ok, I have to say that I have found some cute, inexpensive purses at department stores on the sale rack. Sure, there are a lot of duds and leftover "Mrs. Kutcher" purses or bags with your zodiac sign on them (That was a trend? Why?), but you also catch the occasional gem, like a Kenneth Cole mini bag. The change of season is a great time to shop these sales, especially if you are like I am and your every day purse is big and black.
If you're looking for inexpensive, you can also try Target, because it has a large array of styles. The problem I have with Target is that some of the bags look pretty cheap. You get what you pay for.
So, it is kind of touch and go sometimes. But there are some generally cute finds, like this in bright white, this small straw clutch and this cute blue East West tote. Also, Target has really embraced designer lines, like Issac Mizrahi, Luella and Fiorucci. (Although the Luella bags are totally not my style. At all. That cherry coin purse is okay, though.)
I think the key to finding inexpensive handbags is to watch the fabric of the bags. A faux leather bag is going to look a lot cheaper than a microfiber, straw or canvas bag. And thankfully canvas totes and straw bags are great for spring and summer. (Oh! And I must say that I do not like the cute little laptop bags that everyone gets from Target. I brought mine back because, yeah, my damn ThinkPad didn’t fit. Well, the laptop did, but the cords and wires and headphones and my camera didn’t. So why bother? I actually use old every day purses to carry my laptop in now. My retired Chinese Laundry Hobo is a perfect fit for the computer, cords and camera.)
Also, since we’re talking shopping on a budget, one way to get good deals is to register online with the chains or designers you frequent and for sites like Bluefly. I have a junk e-mail address for this purpose. You can get free shipping, special coupons and notification of online sales. And, if you shop a lot, pay attention to things you’d like to buy if only they weren’t so expensive and then watch for them to go on sale online. I know people hate junk mail, but I promise I have saved a lot of money using promo codes and coupons.
And, you know, I want a damn Paddington bag as much as the next girl. But I'm realistic and I know that I simply cannot afford it if I want to be able to eat and not be evicted and live. The converse of this is that I don’t feel bad about spending more than $50 on a big bag I will carry every day. It certainly isn’t necessary, but don’t beat yourself up if you have nice taste. I think I’ve maxed out at $100, but if I had the money I would have no qualms about spending more on a nice bag.
What's your best memory?
I have so many awesome memories, but one of my favorites is stepping off of the plane at Charles de Gaulle when I was 18 for a 10-day whirlwind trip to France. I’d paid for almost every penny of the school trip (and the one the year before to D.C.) myself with babysitting and summer life guarding money I’d saved all throughout high school.
I’m the oldest and my parents would have given anything to be able to just give me the money, but there was no way they could afford it and still have me and my siblings in private school and buy a new car so I could drive the old one. (They did give me the last $100 for my plane ticket and a great all-weather coat for Christmas. And many relatives and family friends gave me small amounts of money, like $10 or $20, on the sly in the days before I left.)
I didn’t have a ton of extra money to spend on fabulous shopping or to buy anything more as presents than cheap trinkets of the Eiffel Tower. But I appreciated those 10 days more than any of my classmates who had their parents’ credit cards for limit-free shopping. I remember every sip of wine and bite of crepes and Croque Monsieurs and poulet frites and Orangina and even the dry beef dish on the airplane ride over there. I could tell you that they showed reruns of “Home Improvement” and “An Officer and a Gentleman” on the plane. I cried when I lit a candle at Notre Dame (and a little again now) and when we passed where Princess Di was killed. I would have just STAYED in the Louvreif they’d let me. Each time a chaperone offered to take us for an evening coffee at a café or for a night stroll through whatever city we were in, I went.
I pissed off French shopkeepers because I couldn’t quite figure out the money. One woman even reached in my wallet and pulled the money out for me because I did not know how much to give her. I tried in earnest to speak as much French as possible, which I think people appreciated.
I may never go back, but I hope I do. Those 10 days were worth every diaper changed, every sunburn earned and every obnoxious child refusing to go to sleep. And my parents did more for me by making me pay for it myself than they would have done if they’d put me on the plane with a thousand in “fun money” in my pocket.
My mom still has a picture of me in front of Chenonceau on the shelf in our living room.
If you have to be out of the house at a moment's notice, what's the one item of make-up you refuse to leave without?
Uh, wow, so I leave the house without makeup a lot. A LOT. And I was going to say Burt’s Bees Chapstick, but I actually don’t consider this makeup at all. It’s part of my maintenance and upkeep.
The truth is, I keep three products in my purse for quick polishing. Clinique Stay Matte Sheer Pressed Powder in Stay Neutral, Clinique Glosswear For Lips Sheer Shimmers in Sunset and BadGal Lash mascara by Benefit. So, I’m cheating again, but that’s it.
Incidentally, I’d like to go on record as saying that some the most beautiful women I know aren’t terribly made up or overdone. I don’t wear much base during the day. I have a basic five- minute routine that serves me well. (Sure I take more time when I can, but I am almost always runing behind schedule.) I do a light application of Clinique concealer to cover blemishes and even out underye circles, a light dusting of the aforementioned powder, a light pink or perhaps a violet shadow all over my eyelid and a swipe of light white on my brow bone and in the corner of my eye. A few swipes of Bad Gal Lash on the top lashes (and maybe the bottom), lip gloss and go.
At night I may add a bit of base or more conceler. And I also add either a rosey-brown or a deep purple to the crease of my eyelid and a dusting of blush (I actually use one of those cheap Covergirl blushes is a rosey color). And maybe a darker lip (Almost Lipstick in Sheer Blackberry by Clinique), but otherwise that’s it.
And I don’t mean to shill for Clinique. I’ve been wearing Clinique for years (my mom wears it and when I was young I always took her cast-offs from the fabulous Clinique bonuses) and I find it applies well, it doesn’t irritate my skin, the colors compliment my skin tone. While it isn’t drug store cheap, it is worth the little bit of money you spend on it.
And I’m serious. The lady from the Clinique counter at the mall called me to tell me it was "Bonus Time" a few weeks back. And you so think I’m joking and I’m not.
OK, you seem to be an interesting and fun person on the page? In what big way are you different in real life?
I’m actually not fun and interesting?
In the “real world,” I think I’m less confident, less willing to speak my mind, more fearful of rejection. The blog allows me to do two things. First, it allows me to just get out an emotion and be done with it. And it is allows me to edit myself and not share every little aspect of everything. At times, in real life I am even more neurotic and fall into those painful single-girl traps. (“If I go to his favorite bar, maybe he’ll stop by!”)
Also, I get in these moods. This weekend, I went out for three nights in a row. But I’ll go weeks without social occasions and ignore my cell phone and just brood.
I can be really catty and bitchy at times. I am a loud mouth and terribly inappropriate at times. I don't think before I speak, especially when I am drunk. And I definitely hold a lot of stuff in to avoid conflict. I am not always Charming. Sometimes, I am just super unfabulous and cranky. It is not all wine and heels and manicures, trust me.
While I am infinitely more confident than I was years ago, I still have these moments of sheer terror where I worry that I’m making an ass out of myself or that people are laughing at me and not with me or that I really really really am going to wind up totally alone and living in a retirement community with no visitors ever.
And my kitchen is always a mess.
Top five worst pick-up lines (or attempts, whatever you like) you've unfortunately been forced to endure.
Oh, this should be fun.
Well, one time a guy leaned over and gave me a soft kiss on the lips and then pulled back and said, “What was that? Let’s find out!” and then totally went in for the full-on lip lock tongue attack. It was. Just. Wow. And not in a good way.
Another night a very intoxicated dorky friend of a friend was talking (I use the term “talking” loosely as “slurring” would be more appropriate.) to me and trying to be all cool. I don’t know what I said or didn’t say, but the next thing I knew, he had extinguished a lit cigarette ON HIS TONGUE. And he was proud of himself and thinking I would be impressed. I just paid my tab and left.
“Are those real?” I’ve gotten this more than once. Assholes. All of them.
“I need love. S, we all need love,” said a male friend of mine who unfortunately is nowhere near my type. He was drunk, we were dancing at a bar and he leaned in and was going to go for the full-on kiss. Fortunately I don’t think he remembers that I just smiled and grabbed another male friend of mine and thankfully the song changed. Or if he does remember it, he doesn’t say anything about it. He’s a nice boy, so I didn’t make a big thing about it. (Although I will admit that there was some bitchiness shared with my girlfriends in private.)
One hysterical night I made out with the same (younger) boy as my College Roommate. We’d just moved into a new complex and had been bragging about our hot tub all night. The younger guy we’d both kissed was so impressed by this and it took him awhile and a few minutes of bad conversation to realize that, under no circumstance would he be getting roommate-on-roommate action in the public hot tub at our apartment. No way.
Those are in no particular order. And actually, they’re just the first five I thought of.
As someone who has no idea what they want to be when they grow up, i'd like to know more about what is involved in PR work--it sounds like it would be right up my alley. I have thought about getting into it. Any advice? Things I should know?
PR is awesome work because you get to be involved with the hustle and bustle where you are working. You have to be in the know in order to do your job. I've never worked for a firm, but I enjoy working in my current job because I get to work with a lot of people across different departments and specialties and I have greater access to the decision makers here than the average mid-twenties staffer in an entry-level job. I get to write and do some light graphic design and some media relations work.
I guess what I think aspiring PR people need to know is that there are A LOT of different kinds of marketing and communication jobs. Sometimes you're doing PR for a company or an organization or an issue and you do a little bit of everything. But you can also work in a more "event planning" role and work on specific functions for different clients. I knew someone who did fundraising and event planning and she LOVED it. I would hate working with caterers and florists. Bo-ring!
I think some people watch Samantha on "Sex and the City" or PoweR Girls on MTV and think, "Fun! Celebrities! Big paychecks! I want to do this." And while that may be the reality in small subset of PR in large cities like New York or Los Angeles, I would wager that most Public Relations professionals do far less exciting things, like write articles for the company newsletters and prepare correspondence for the high ups.
That said, I love my job. And I think I play an important role, because it doesn't matter how great your company, organization or client is if no one knows what you do or understands how you fit into the larger picture or if you just don't communicate your goals well. (And I have NEVER wanted to be the person promoting the charity golf tournament. Ever.)
There are a lot of ways to get your feet wet. If you are in college, I would recommend getting some practical experience however you can. Too many people don't do anything in college and then expect to get great jobs and it isn't going to happen. Colleges have A LOT of opportunities for aspiring PR people in addition to just classes. Some schools hire students as interns in their public affairs departments. There are PR student organizations you can join and some local professional PR organizations have a student rate (especially if they're in a college town).
Also, some large college organizations have a PR person for their club who promotes membership and helps plans events and fundraisers and may even deal with local or college media some. (I know this sounds lame, but say you go to a large college and you are a member of a organization with several hundred members. Chances are you have a Web site (which you can help maintain and produce content for) and an award or scholarship fund and ALL of these things have to be planned and promoted well. And if you can go into an interview for an internship or job and say, "I helped plan this fundraiser for the Young Business Sharks, designed this ad about our Jaws party that ran in our college newspaper and we had two news items published about this and raised $5,000 to help pay for our members to attend an Eat or Be Eaten business competition, where we placed third," then you are going to be much more impressive than someone who just got a B in Campaigns, but really “is, like, a total people person.” Because colleges are like little cities and if you show that you can do your job well within a small community, then chances are you will be more likely to duplicate that success than someone who just went to class and that's it.)
Also, you have to be able to write well. You have to be able to explain complicated things (your company's financials, your organization's position on an issue, D'orsay heels versus slingbacks) clearly and quickly. While smiling. (Unless smiling would be inappropriate, like if you were doing PR for that mine that collapsed or something.) I would actually recommend writing for a local publication or college paper if you can. You want to be able to bring something into an interview to show that you've got skills. I CANNOT stress the importance of honing your writing skills enough. As a PR professional, people in your organization will look to you for well-written, effective messaging.
If you're not in school and are just considering a career change, I would keep my eye out for volunteer opportunities. Civic organizations and nonprofits often need some PR help, which may be a good way to get some experience part-time AND will help get you connections. (For example, if you're helping with a fundraiser for a group, you will probably have to deal with the PR people for companies making donations.)
Ok that's a long answer. But yes. PR rules. Dude, we should so start a PR chicks blog ring or something.
Favourite shoes? Describe to tiniest detail please. Possibly with a picture. Where you found them, why you love them.
I’m going to go with my favorite right now, because I change my mind a lot. You will see pictured a pair of black, high-heeled, pointy toe boots from Nine West. They are black with a side zipper and an almost stiletto-like heel. They come up about two inches above my ankle, so not quite mid calf.
I bought them in October at the Nine West boot sale. I think I paid $50 for them on sale, so they were probably originally between $80 and $100, I suppose. They are definitely a great purchase because they are very comfortable and have a really classic shape. I imagine I will be able to wear these next fall and winter just as much as I wear them now.
The heel is high. It is probably less than three inches, but more than two. But I like it because in the past I’ve had boots with such clunky heels that were big and square and not ladylike at all. And so I still feel slightly dainty with the stiletto heel instead of a thick, stacked man heel.
Also, you might not be able to see it, but there are very small treads on the ball of the rubberish sole. They’re tiny little raised bumps and you really cannot see them at all when I have them on. But they give the lightest bit of grip, which makes it easy to walk. I don’t slide or slip and because the sole isn’t hard and it gives some, it took me an almost negligible amount of time to break them in. They’re great with trousers or jeans, so I can wear them to nights out at the bar (as I did this weekend) but also to dinner with nice black pants.
All around, worth every cent I spent.
Has anyone found out your identity?
Uh, no. What have you heard?
What's your favorite drink?
Anything vodka-based is fine by me. But lately I’ve been drinking a lot of wine. Although I do still shake up a Cosmo every now and again.
Would you wear socks with sandals?
Only if I had some terrible foot-related disease and I was required to cover my feet en route to the hospital and all I had to wear were sandals. But, otherwise, hell no.
Do you like Metro cards?
Metro cards? As in the things you use to ride the Metro in DC? I mean, sure, I guess I like them as much as people in New York like subway tokens …
Who's your pick on American Idol?
Would you like fries with that?
Only if they are baked sweet potato.
What is the story of losing your losing your virginity?
I contemplated answering this. I really did.
But ultimately, I’ve never wanted to be a sex blogger and I’ve never wanted to dish too much about this particular activity we all enjoy so much. (Go back through the archives, you’ll see that I always stop before it gets too steamy.) Some people mix in details with their stories, and I envy their ability to be so frank.
Also, I am a lady. A LADY! ;P
What’s your funniest date story?
I went on this terrible set-up one time. We saw “Cruel Intentions” and he was not cute and there was a trailer for the South Park movie and the guy spoke in his best Cartman voice FOR THE REST OF THE NIGHT. And I was miserable because he was just very dorky and awkward and should have been at home playing Magic: The Gathering or something. Afterwards we went to get snacks and hang out at someone’s house and the guy was so lame, so cheesy and just terrible. He kept saying, “I want some CHEEEEESY POOOOUUUFS!” and insisted that we get root beer in the bottle because “it looked like we were buying beer.” (I think we were 19 at the time, maybe.)
I bought a mini container of Ben and Jerry’s and suffered through the rest of the evening by starting my routine of erasing the memory of a horrible date with ice cream BEFORE THE DATE WAS EVEN OVER. And the guy so leaned in for a kiss when he dropped me off at my dorm and I ducked really obviously and gave him a hug and all but ran into my dorm, never to see him again.
Have I told that one before? I think I have. It is funny now, but it was terrible at the time. I still convulse when I think of “Cruel Intentions,” which is ironic because I took a class on Laclos and Les Liaisons Dangereuses in college and I have seen four or five versions of the “Dangerous Liaisons” story told via movie. And my final paper compared how different filmmakers interpreted an aspect of the book and why. So I actually own “Cruel Intentions” now. But I still shudder when I put it on.