Friday, April 29, 2011

the royal BLOW OFF

PLEASE DON'T EVER GET DIVORCED.

BLOW OFF Song of the day: If You Leave by OMD



"If you leave I won't cry
I won't waste one single day
But if you leave don't look back
I'll be running the other way."

-OMD, 1986

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Top ten things you should have in common with your lovah

The old adage "opposites attract" is total horse shit. I mean, seriously. If this were true, I'd be in love with a gay, blonde hair, blue-eyed, Republican, racist, mormon, with no fashion taste, and an affinity for cats and John Mayer. Opposites do not attract. Have you ever heard someone say "OMG, you'll never believe it. I met the perfect girl. I'm Jewish and she loves Hitler." NO. Of course it's good to not have everything in common, but here's our top ten list of things you should have in common with your lovah to best avoid a BLOW OFF.

10. Wallflowers and social butterflies do not mix. If one of you loves to go out and party and one of you loves to hit up video on demand A-Z, then you're fucked. For reals! That's like the number one reason celebrities break up (aside from their busy schedules)-- it's always, he liked to stay in and she liked to go out. (AKA she's a coke head, he's not.) That's precisely why Tara Reid and Carson Daly never made it down the altar.

9. Nobamas and Obamas must not procreate. If you're a die-hard Democrat, how can you really fall in love with a die-hard Republican? And I'm not just talking about those fiscally conservative Re-Re's, I'm talking those "I hate black people, Obama's a muslim born in Kenya, Planned Parenthood can suck it, what this country needs is Sarah Palin" re-re's. Just because it works for James Carville and Mary Matalin does not mean it'll work for the rest of us.

8. You have to both be famous. If one of you is just a normal person and one of you is on the pages of "stars, they're just like us" then you have no future. (Unless you are Matt Damon and Luciana whatever her last name is, because Matt Damon is perfect and can do no wrong.) In all seriousness though, even famous people dump their less famous significant others. Why else did Blake Lively BLOW OFF Penn Badgley?

7. Opposing sexual orientations are not a good idea. Gays need to stick with the gays and heterosexuals need to stick with heteros. Heteros that are secretly gay are SO annoying. And bi-sexuals need to eventually pick a sexual organ and stick with it. Our transgender friends can do whatever they want. They've earned it.

6. Tall people should stick with tall people and short people should stick with short people. I'm 5ft and my f-f-f-f-iance is 6'2". We're kind of a freak show. I guess what I'm trying to say is...I wish I was a little bit taller, wish I was a baller...actually, I'm only saying this b/c I have a recurring nightmare that I get kidnapped and tasered to death by a bevy of tall single women.

5. Type A's belong with Type A's and Type B's belong with Type B's. I am as type A as it comes and I'm not ashamed of it. And there's nothing I find less attractive than a person that not only lets you, but wants you to call all the shots. You know what you get when you put a Type A with a Type B? An abusive relationship.

4. Food is your friend. As far as I'm concerned, we should create an internment camp and fill it with picky eaters, so you people can stop ruining our dinner parties and first dates. If you love all kinds of food, then you will never truly deeply be able to love a vegan. Trust.

3. Don't put the ex in sex. If you're Pervy Perverson then you can't make it work with Prudey Pruderson. You need to at least find someone you can meet in the middle with. Like...you can only stick it in my pooper if we can cuddle after...for like ten hours, while I shake and cry from the trauma.

2. Lazy people belong with lazies and workaholics belong with workaholics. There's nothing more offensive to a lazy than someone who's out busting their ass and there's nothing more offensive to a busted ass than a fat ass.

1. If you are a human, then you should not attempt dating an animated cat. Sorry. No exceptions. Don't believe me? I heard Paula and her cartoon cat were constantly fighting and sleeping in separate bedrooms by the time they shot this video:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

SAF: Best Birthday Email Ever (BIRTHDAY CAKE!)



Subject line: Happy 31st Birthday!

OkC, please consider another marketing strategy as this may cause a spike in suicides by your users on their actual birthdays.

Luckily, I have a good sense of humor. Yes, I'm 31 now--let the marathon dating begin!

pop culture BLOW OFF of the day: to Bridget, just as she is.

If someone put a gun to my head and told me to pick my all time favorite romantic comedy, I would most likely answer: Bridget Jones's Diary. I know, such a girly response, but I can't help it. This movie = the perfect rom/com formula.

British accents: check.
Love triangle: check.
Surprisingly non-annoying female lead: check. (Is it just me or does Renee Zellweger look way less squinty when she's playing Bridget?)
Peppy upbeat soundtrack: check.
Men fighting over girl: check.
Hugh Grant playing a narcissistic hottie pa-tottie: check.
Inspired by a Jane Austen novel: check.
Fun quirky supporting cast: check.
Subpar sequel: check.
Swoon worthy dialogue: check. (Mark Darcy: I like you very much. Just as you are.)
Scene where female heroine sticks it to her ex-boyfriend: check.

Speaking of which, I've been searching for this clip for months and I finally found it (minus the Aretha musical cue. sucks.) It's still one of my favorite moments from the movie. If you've never seen it, netflix that shit (even if you're a dude.) Here's a plot summary up to this scene. Bridget starts boning her super-cadish boss and he's totally into her, but then she finds out he's cheating on her. She's stuck working for the A-hole, then finally manages to quit. The punch line is a bit dated, but I still love it anyway.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

the anti-BLOW OFF: the kindness of strangers

As I write this, I have just washed down a beet salad, plate of risotto, and three mini desserts with a glass of champagne...while sitting in my comfortably reclined seat in first class. I can't afford to be sitting in this seat, but I am due to the kindness of the man sitting in the first class cabin all by his lonesome. I already gushed about him on Facebook, but I think this bears repeating. The fiance and I were boarding our Virgin America flight from Orlando back to LAX after visiting his parents for a relaxing weekend. Upgrading to first class would have cost us $270 each and even though we are both impulse spenders, we weren't about to pay that much on top of our normal fares.

As we're boarding, I point out all the empty seats in first class (only one occupied by our future benefactor) and mention that they should make upgrades less expensive so people would actually splurge on better seats. The flight attendant tries to convince us it's not too late to upgrade and I joke that we will if he can give us a good deal or if we can share one seat the whole way home. We end up in our seats in coach and within a few minutes, that flight attendant comes back and tells us he has good news: a passenger, and he can't tell us who, just paid for our upgrades to first. Apparently, he didn't want to be all alone in first class. Everyone on the plane gasped. We were completely speechless. Maybe the polite thing to do would have been to say we couldn't accept his gift, but instead we grabbed our things as quickly as possible, headed to first, and thanked our new best friend as profusely as possible. He just smiled and said he had nothing to do with it (wink, wink.)

I decided to write about this, because A. I love my life, but this kind of stuff doesn't happen to me. And B. It got me thinking of the kindness of strangers. When we think of "blow offs" we think of big things, like a break up or getting fired from a job...but how many little blow offs do we all experience (or do we all cause) throughout our day? Maybe something as small as not letting someone into your lane or not saying "thank you" when a person holds the door open for you. Just prior to boarding the plane, I was pretty much astonished by how friendly and accommodating the airport employee was at our gate. She actually seemed happy to be dealing with people. My degree of straight up confusion regarding her sweet demeanor made me realize: we're not nice enough to each other. What our friend in first class did completely blew me away, but we don't have to be wealthy to show our generosity to strangers. The little anti-BLOW OFFs go a long way. (and trust me, the big ones do too!)

Monday, April 25, 2011

the "i want you to want me" BLOW OFF

Usually when two people break up, one half of the relationship isn't ready for things to be over. That person has two choices: they can either take the end in stride and move on OR they can continue to pursue their ex and try to win them back. Thus, the dumper tells the dumpee to let them go and often resorts to cruelty to make it clear that the relationship is really truly over for good.

David Arquette and Courtney Cox's separation is the perfect example of this kind of break up (at least from what I've seen and heard on the likes of Oprah). Apparently, she wanted out, he didn't. He wants her back, she's not into it.

I believe Courtney's in for a rude awakening. Eventually, when you push the dumpee away enough times...they'll actually listen to you and move on. And then all of a sudden, you want them to want you again. When you get so used to someone falling at your feet and wanting to be with you, it can be a shock to the system when they suddenly fall for someone else. This is what I call the "i want you to want me" blow off. You don't actually want to date the person anymore, you just don't want them to date anyone else and stop fawning over you. Once they disappear, it's an unexpected ego blow.

I crawled back to an ex-boyfriend after I broke up with him only after he started dating someone else. There was a period of time after our break up that he kept begging me to reconsider, but I refused. Then, suddenly--- the emails and phone calls stopped and I found out he was dating a new girl. Before I knew it, he was all I thought about. I HAD TO HAVE HIM BACK. stat. We ended up getting back together and it was sick and wrong, because I didn't really want him, I just wanted to win.

So, readers--- have you ever been annoyed about that lingering ex, only to suddenly have serious feelings for them once they backed off? If so, comment below. And David Arquette, if you're reading this...if you really want her back, pretend to fall madly in love with someone else.

Friday, April 22, 2011

BLOW OFF Song of the day: Lonely by Akon



"Can't believe I hadda girl like you
and I just let you walk right outta my life
after all I put u thru
u still stuck around and stayed by my side
what really hurt me is I broke ur heart
baby you a good girl and I had no right
I really wanna make things right
cuz
without u in my life girl I'm so...
Lonely (so lonely)"

-Akon, 2005

Thursday, April 21, 2011

the pregnant BLOW OFF

I've been with the BF for over five years now and I'm happy to report that we have had no accidental (or intentional) pregnancies in that span of time. But somehow, he still manages to give me friendly reminders to take the pill. Even though his tendency to do so gets under my skin, I get it-- since the pill is our chosen form of contraception, the only control he has in the whole birth control debate is reminding me to take it. I'm totally willing to turn a blind eye to the fact that if he was the one taking hormones to avoid getting preggers and I reminded him to take his pill, he'd roll his eyes and say "yes, mom".

But he's not the only pregnancy paranoid boy I've dated. I seriously think guys are taught by their parents that a girl's favorite hobby is getting pregnant on purpose. It's not! Do I look like I want to get fat or have an abortion or be on teen mom? (What, I'm 30? That's too old to be on teen mom? Fucking age-ists!) It pisses me off that men assume we heart them so much that we're willing to BLOW OFF our bodies and the rest of our lives to hold on to them with a baby. Sorry, dude. You're not that special.

But sadly, for every rational woman out there, you always find some dumb fertile bimbo to fuck it up for the rest of us. Cause apparently there are chicks out there who get pregnant on purpose to hold on to a man. They're not just characters on soap operas (RIP). I've heard a couple stories recently about women who have done this and yes, it's totally possible their pregnancies were complete fluke accidents, BUT do you know how hard it actually is to get pregnant? There's a whole science to it that involves taking your temperature and doing a fertility dance on the altar of a slaughtered goldfish. And do you really expect me to believe you danced on the altar of a slaughtered goldfish and had no idea you were doing it?

In closing, here's my advice. Ladies, don't get pregnant to hold on to a man. No penis is worth the stretchmarks and the stretched out vagina. Gentlemen, put the paranoia to rest--- if you're engaging in sex with an ex, for the love of God, use a condom!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

the "shit or get off the pot" blow off

How do you know when to forge ahead or call it quits in a relationship? Here's a handy time line to go by from professional shit or get off the pot detectors here at the BLOW OFF.

If it's been two weeks and you haven't gotten a call or a text back, you're not even on the pot and if you don't move on, you'll just end up shitting your pants.

If you've had three dates and you haven't even kissed yet, tongue or get off the pot.

If you've had 4+ dates and the other person hasn't offered to treat or pay for anything, get off the pot. Don't even bother taking a shit.

If you've been dating for three months, there's been no sex, and you're not saving yourself for Jesus, shit or get off the pot.

If you've been dating for six months and you're not using the words "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" and claiming you hate labels, your sig other forgot about the pot and just took a giant shit all over you instead.

If you've been dating for one year and you still haven't said "I love you", take a laxative or get off the pot.

If you've been dating for two years and you're above the age of twenty-five and you're not roman catholic and you still haven't discussed moving in together, shit or get off the pot.

If you've been dating for three years and you're above the age of 25 and you've never had a single marriage conversation and it's legal for you to get married, shit or get off the pot.

If you've been dating for five years, are above the age of 25, and you want to get married, but the other person doesn't, take a shit on their face while they are sleeping.

There are exceptions to all these rules. Just remember, relationship constipation only leads to pain and discomfort.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Glossary of a BLOW OFF: Relationship Water Boarding

Relationship Waterboarding
function: verb-noun
Origin: from the folds of my brilliant mind
Definition: A process in which you are a total dick to the person you're dating until they say uncle and break up with you.
(I was so in love with Lisa, but she relationship waterboarded me with her increasingly bitchy attitude. I felt like I was drowning, so I finally ended it by dumping her...which was what she wanted all along.)

I don't believe in torture, but I have totally relationship waterboarded significant others before. I knew a couple months into my relationship with my NYC boyfriend that he was more invested than I was, but I felt too guilty to call it quits. He was so nice to me and whenever I mentioned that I didn't think the relationship had staying power, he'd tremble and chain smoke. So, what to do except be a completely miserable girlfriend to be around? I criticized the poor guy left and right--- anything from the articles of clothing that were too small for him to the fact that he showed no signs of doing anything with his life beyond cater-waitering to saying things like I would never introduce him to my parents. OUCH. Okay, maybe I just thought half those things and didn't say them, but either way, we didn't have much of a honeymoon phase. When we eventually did break up, he was the one that put it out there first and I immediately jumped on the bandwagon. It was what I wanted all along and I not only tortured him into wanting it to, but I also made him do my dirty work. Just call me Dick "motherfuckin' " Cheney.

Monday, April 18, 2011

the soap opera BLOW OFF, part 2: A fan's perspective

I was in 7th grade the first time I took a trip to Pine Valley. It was my second week of middle school and, after seeing me eat lunch alone for the first several days, my advisory teacher, Opal (remember that name), plopped herself down at my side and asked if I liked soap operas.

“Never watched one,” I told her. “My mom watches one. I’m not sure what it’s called, but she tapes it every day.”

Opal stood up and asked if I’d like to join her and a few other students for lunch in the classroom. With no better offers, I accepted — and my world was forever changed.

I know it seems silly to credit a soap opera for dragging me out of my shell, but it’s the truth. On that day, Opal introduced me to Agnes Nixon’s world of make believe. A world where a wife and mother can survive for four months with little food or water at the bottom of a well while her sister undergoes reconstructive surgery to look like her and take her place. A world where you can get to Manhattan, Pennsylvania, the ocean or the mountains in a commercial break. A world where one woman can be a model, actress, cosmetics tycoon, Vegas showgirl, magazine editor, author, talk show host, run a multi-million dollar electronics conglomerate, marry nine times, have three kids(two of which she didn’t know about until she was in her 40’s), be convicted of murder and acquitted more than once, and still be considered America’s sweetheart.

I know some of what was happening on All My Children wasn’t terribly appropriate for me to be watching at 11 years old (I think someone probably should have better prepared me for the rape storyline that fall), but with no friends my own age I could really relate to, the citizens of Pine Valley became my friends.

I didn’t stay in Opal’s classroom at lunch for long. I started making friends and eating lunch with them. But by the time that happened, I was hooked. Whenever I could, I’d sneak back into the classroom for 15-20 minutes of drama. Or I’d watch with my mother at home (yep — that’s the soap she watched, it turns out). It bonded us. My mom and I had been going through a bit of a rough patch — we weren’t exactly close. And while talking about the trials and tribulations of Erica Kane’s love life seems like an odd way for a mother and son to bond (I’m gay — it makes so much more sense now), it worked. It became our thing — during dinner, on the weekends… we watched every day, without fail, together until I graduated high school.

I stopped in college for a while… working your class load around a full time job, social life and Susan Lucci can get hectic, so I decided to pick up roots and leave Pine Valley for four years. By the time I graduated, I’d almost forgotten about Brooke and Hayley, Ryan and Opal (the red headed psychic/beautician/restauranteur/birth mother to Tad the Cad, not the seventh grade teacher), but my mother managed to get me hooked again when she told me there was a gay character in Pine Valley — Bianca Montgomery, daughter of Erica Kane.

What? Seriously. Erica Kane’s daughter is a lesbian? I tuned back in just in time. Bianca Montgomery came out on All My Children months after I’d come out to my own mother. My mom handled it better than Erica — Erica eventually came around, but in true soap opera fashion, after she’d attempted to force Bianca to start dating men again and pushed her to talk to a counselor about her “problem.” But the storyline was real, the acting was stellar — it was honest, it was raw, and it was daytime television at its best.

There are weeks when I cannot miss a moment of All My Children. There are weeks when I’m a passive viewer, fast-forwarding through the storylines I don’t care about. But through it all, All My Children has been a part of my life. And while I know it’s “just a TV show” and many of these actors will pop up other places, to say I’m losing a part of me is an understatement. And I am relatively certain die hard fans of One Life to Live feel the same.

As of a few weeks ago, I am testing the waters in Port Charles. I like what I see — juicy storylines, great acting. But as a long time resident of Pine Valley, it’s going to take a while for me to call this new town home. But I’m hoping.

the soap opera BLOW OFF: a former executive's take

When I heard last week that ABC Daytime had made the decision to cancel All My Children and One Life to Live, I was surprised by how sad I felt to hear the news. Having worked at the network for seven years (prior to leaving last year), I knew both shows were hanging by a loose thread. I was privy to many behind closed door conversations where cancellation was not referenced to as a matter of "if" but a matter of "when." And yet, after not working at the company for over a year, I was still somehow stunned to hear both soaps were officially ending.

Unlike most viewers and fans, I did not grow up on either show. The likes of Erica Kane and Victoria Lord were not a part of my childhood, high school, or even college years. I grew up on Days of Our Lives which was the soap my grandmother loved. But after high school, I stopped watching soaps all together and was more or less indifferent to the genre. After college, and after several months of unemployment, I took a job in what was called the "youth marketing department" at ABC Daytime where recent college grads were hired to watch the soap line up for twelve weeks and give their feedback on the shows. Needless to say, it was the easiest job I've ever had. During those three months, I watched the soaps every day with five other colleagues, most of which knew the on-goings of Port Charles, Pine Valley and Llanview like the back of their hand. By the end of the gig, I was an expert. After the marketing job, I landed an assistant gig to the SVP of programming and before I knew it, three years later, I was moving to LA to be the creative executive on General Hospital. Soaps were not only a huge part of my life, but now they paid the bills.

As a former executive, my sadness over the cancellation of AMC and OLTL is two fold. For starters, we're not just talking about two television shows ending, we're talking about the loss of two institutions (combined, the shows have been on the air for almost 85 years, with well over 20,000 episodes!) Agnes Nixon who created both shows is quite possibly the bravest storyteller of our time. She wrote plot lines centered around the war in Vietnam, abortion, and interracial romance when those topics were beyond taboo.

On a more personal level, I'm also very sad to see many of my friends and former colleagues lose their jobs. Some of which have worked on these show for 20+ years. These are people that worked their asses off even when low ratings and cancellations rumors were looming. I hope they all land somewhere worthy of their talents.

Whether we like it or not, television is a business driven by advertising dollars. ABC is not a public access network. You can't keep shows on the air if they're not making money. The ratings on the soaps declined faster than any of us anticipated. When I first worked at ABC, general consensus was that each show had another good fifteen years ahead of it, but we overestimated. Soaps are much cheaper to produce than your average primetime show, but they're still significantly costlier than a talk show that could potentially accrue higher ratings. If you were investing your own money, wouldn't you opt for a cheaper stock with a greater return VS the more expensive one with a smaller return? It's kind of a no-brainer.

That said, I believe the network and specifically Brian Frons (President of ABC Daytime) have gotten a bum rap these last few days. In the time I was at ABC, we tried EVERYTHING to save the soaps and increase the ratings. We brought back legacy characters, we brought in younger characters in hopes of raising our teen and 18-34 demo, we cut costs, we executed high concept action driven storylines, we executed high romance emotionally driven storylines, we started a cable network so women could watch their soaps at night, we produced webisodes, we used CGI to raise production value, we did endless research to figure out what was working for viewers and what wasn't, we went back to focusing on social issues, we went HD, we traveled all around the country so soap stars could meet their fans, we hired Latino actors to attract the telenovella viewers, we went more salacious in our narratives, we went more true to life in our narratives, we went multi-platform, we did shorter close ended story arcs, we sat in rooms for hours with writers and talked in great depth about every single character on each show and what their objectives were, we took risks, we played it safe, we sold an All My Children perfume in Wal-Mart, we published books "written by" our fictional characters, we killed off beloved characters, we brought back beloved characters from the dead, we even brought a movie star on General Hospital...and the ratings still didn't go up.

The one place we fell short in my opinion? Not adding new blood to the writing departments and instead recycling the same handful of storytellers--- but that wasn't for lack of trying. For years ABC Daytime had a talent development program that successfully trained a new generation of writers for the soaps. (Getting the head-writers to embrace those people instead of BLOWing them OFF was an entirely different issue.)

As for Brian Frons, he championed much of the above and more. And he came up with a lot of our most successful storylines (the baby switch cross-over story on AMC and OLTL, for instance.) If the fans could be a fly on the wall, they'd be surprised by how passionate and hands on he's been with every show. He loves the genre and I'm sure this was not a decision he took lightly. Not all of us liked every choice he made, but I don't think anyone ever doubted his commitment and desire to making the shows better.

Now, here are the things us execs did not do to save the soaps when I worked there: we didn't dispose of computers and additional TV sets in people's homes to get families back to one TV per household. (Teens and kids don't watch soaps with their moms anymore, because they don't have to--- they have their own TVs in their rooms or computers to keep them company.) We also didn't try to get women out of the work force and back into their homes to watch TV during the day. We didn't confiscate every single DVR in every single house and destroy it. We didn't put an end to cable TV and the 200+ channels soaps compete with, we didn't hold Telemundo and Univision hostage and forbid them from airing telenovellas, we didn't outlaw Reality TV or primetime shows that ripped off our format, and we didn't create a time machine to take us back to the heyday of soaps in the 1980s. It's been thirty years since the heyday, which means a lot of time for viewer fatigue. I love Modern Family, but if someone asked me if I wanted to watch it everyday for the next thirty years, I'd probably pass. It wasn't the network that killed the soaps. It was the progression of time, technology, and competition.

That said, I guess the "whys" behind the cancellations don't soften the blow. They certainly didn't for me and I was well versed on all the hurdles. It makes me sad that I won't share the same experience of watching a soap opera with my future grand-kids, like I did with my grandmother. Heck, my kids will probably barely know what a traditional soap opera is. There are still four Daytime dramas left, but even when they're all gone I believe the genre will still be celebrated by fans, viewers, and historians for years to come. As for the network execs at ABC, trust me when I say they did everything they could. And sadly, when every attempt to resuscitate doesn't work, sometimes all that's left to do is call the time of death.


this clip gives me chills every time, tears...

Friday, April 15, 2011

BLOW OFF Song of the day: Cool by Gwen Stefani



"After all the obstacles
It's good to see you now with someone else
And it's such a miracle that you and me are still good friends
After all that we've been through
I know we're cool."
-Gwen Stefani, 2005

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Silicon Valley Bachelor (SVB): How You Know When It's Time for a BLOW OFF

While I'm probably the last person to give good advice on how to make a relationship last, I have plenty of experience on ending them (or at least making the other party feel like they should end it). Maybe I'm a little quick to jump the gun, but here are some sure signs that you should probably end your relationship and start the New Year off right!

1. You Don't Compromise - And I'm not talking about showering when you don't want to, I'm talking about doing things that make her happy, like going to the ballet even though there's a perfectly good football game on TV. Remember that wonderful line in As Good As It Gets, where Jack Nicholson tells Helen Hunt that she makes him want to be a better person? You should always feel like you have to earn that love - too often we forget that. And if you don't feel that way - it's time to move on.

2. You Argue All the Time - If you spend at least 1 out of the 7 days of the week arguing about something, that is one day too much. I feel like the older I get, the less I've had to argue or want to argue. I like communicating and ... wait for it.... compromising! I truly feel some people spend too much time with their significant others, which will inevitably lead to a short fuse and annoyance. Spend time with your other friends, the time apart makes you appreciate the loved one in your life. (Or who knows, if you find that you are dreading going back, then: tah dah! End it.)

3. Your Values are Completely Opposite - I'm not talking about, 'she likes funny movies, I like action (preferably naked),' I'm talking about, 'she's a smoker,' or 'he doesn't want kids,' or 'she thinks George W. will be vindicated' - things like that. Believe me - I've embraced the dating of complete opposites. I enjoy learning things from people that break the mold of 'who I am' or 'what other people think I should be,' but there are just some lifestyle choices that ultimately don't work out in the long-run.

4. You Feel Insecure - If you're going out with the right person, you should never feel belittled, degraded, or inconsequential. A lot of guys will do this to play mental games with women. I haven't seen it as much with my female friends, but guys will do this because they feel insecure about themselves. Much like the military, they will try to break you down as an individual, and build you back up as a component of themselves. You will feel like you can't hang out with your friends, or you need his approval, or you aren't good enough. I despise these types of low-level thugs. Your relationship should be built on trust, honesty, and respect, and continue to grow from two beautiful minds, rather than from the will of one caveman, who will lead you nowhere, physically and mentally.

5. You've Already Broken Up Before - Finally, this is probably one of my biggest relationship pet peeves. If you've broken up with your ex in the past, not 'taking a break,' but full-on, 'it's over!' mode, I guarantee that your relationship will not stand the test of time. In all my life asking people about how they got married, how they met, etc., I've never once heard in my life a story of a couple who lived happily ever after, when they've already broken up several times. There's two things about people who break up, only to come back together. #1: They're naive, because they always think the other person has changed for the better. Give it a month of bliss, before the old demon rears it's ugly head again. #2: They're too impulsive. If you can quickly break up with someone, then you don't have the skills to make it through a relationship (or this relationship) that will face far more tribulations in life that so far doesn't include: home ownership, in-laws, children, and menopause, just to name a few.

Yours Truly,
Kevin L.
The Awesomest Silicon Valley Bachelor Ever

Want more dating advice? Check out Kevin's Blog.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

celebrity couple flashback: Sandra Bullock & Ryan Gosling (say what?)

I always forget that these two even dated. Think about it. Ryan Gosling and Sandra Bullock have had sex. That's either extremely weird or extremely hot.

In case you completely blocked this coupling out of the folds of pop culture knowledge in your brain, let me refresh your memory.

Sandy and Ryan first met in 2001 while making the movie Murder By Numbers which you probably never saw and by the looks of the trailer below, you didn't miss much. Basically, Gosling plays a creepy killer and Bullock's an investigator that gets caught in his web of murder. It's Silence of the Lambs, for teens. When they dated Ryan was 21 and Sandra Bullock was 37. Normally, I would suggest that a sixteen year age difference is gross, but I can't really blame Sandra for wanting the hot beef injection from Mr. G. Plus, she spotted Ryan's hotness before he was even that famous. We're talking pre-Notebook people.

They called it quits in 2003, citing long distance as the issue. Um. Right. The age difference had NOTHING to do with it. For all intents and purposes, Ryan and Sandra are both single right now and it's been ten years since they first dated. Maybe now that Ryan's had more time to sow his wild oats, they'll get back together and Gosling will be the proud step-papa to baby Louis. And then they'll go on a nice little double date with Rachel McAdams and Michael Sheen and do a couples swap, so that Ryan can get back to where he belongs! Noah and Allie forever!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

the "i met someone else" BLOW OFF

This blog is in its eighteen month and somehow we've never really covered what has to be the most common BLOW OFF of all--- getting dumped for someone else. If you've done this, guess what? You're a big fucking pussy. Seriously. You really couldn't pull the trigger until you had someone else to move on to right away? Lame, lame, lame.

This also happens to be the worst way to get blown off. On top of mourning the ending of a relationship, you also have to swallow a way more bitter pill: while you're crying yourself to sleep, your ex is in his/her honeymoon phase with their new significant other. Vomit. Barf. Diarrhea.

So, before you get all defensive and tell me you're not a pussy for doing this, I'm going to confess that I have dumped someone before, because I met someone I liked better. I've referenced it in previous posts, but I broke up with my high school boyfriend my freshman year of college, because I met someone way cooler. But I was an even bigger pussy about the whole thing: I didn't tell him that's why I was dumping him. I just pretended doing long distance was too hard. And it had been hard, but the only time it got too hard to stay together was when their was a guy in the wings I wanted to make out with, while listening to Dave Matthews Band.

So, what do you think peeps? If you are dumping someone for someone else--- do you tell them? Or pretend there's a totally different reason you're calling it quits? I can't decide. Yes, it's cruel to force your ex to think about you cuddling with someone new BUT doesn't that very image force them to move on faster? I wish we could ask Jennifer Aniston what she thinks.

Side note, remember this gem of a post? Sometimes the "I met someone else" reason is the perfect excuse for something else.

Monday, April 11, 2011

the top ten ways to get an on the job BLOW OFF

Last week, one of our fave contributors (Lucky D) in one of our fave posts (click here) broke down the parallels between quitting a job and breaking up with a significant other. It got us thinking...if quitting and breaking up share a lot of the same residual emotions, then so does getting fired and getting dumped. The old pink slip might even be more painful...not only does the rejection toy with all the same insecurities, but it also fucks with your bank account.

Well, here's some good news. If you work for a big corporation, it's pretty effing hard to get fired. Trust me. I worked with someone back in the day that was a crackhead (literally) and it took years 'til the company was able to fire her without risking a lawsuit. I've yet to be fired from a job, but I've picked up on a few tips on how to avoid an on the job BLOW OFF:

10. Don't dress like a whore at work. I once had an intern (it's always the interns and the aspiring actresses, btw) who dressed like she'd come to the office straight from Hollywood Blvd. We're talking hot pink midriff baring tube tops. I finally had to tell her that she needed to dress more appropriately to work, but made a mental note never to hire her again. (Plus, she asked me to borrow $20 once. Unless you're asking for a raise, don't ask your boss to spot you, people.)

9. Never hit the "send" button until you double check who the email is going to. Another colleague wrote an email venting to his friend about what a fucking bitch his boss was, BUT he didn't send it the email to his friend...he accidentally sent it to his boss. She had him fired. As a rule, always use your personal email account anytime you're dishing about how dumb a co-worker is. Work email is basically as private as writing on someone's Facebook wall.

8. Resist the urge to talk shit about your boss, period. The truth is, we all talk smack about people we work with (I, for one always used code names) but it can come back to bite us in the ass. I once confronted my boss for treating me poorly for a period of months only to find out he'd been mad at me, because he'd heard I'd said something negative about him. (Side note: I had said a lot of negative things about him, but ironically the thing he'd heard was something I'd never uttered.) I didn't get fired, but the experience was humiliating (especially since I cried like a baby in front of him.)

7. Don't get old. Seriously. Old people get fired. If you're making a lot of money and you're nearing sixty and your contract is up...there's a good chance you're going to get the boot. The majority of the people I saw get let go at my previous day job were women over the age of 45. I am so not looking forward to being the oldest person at the office one day.

6. Don't shit your pants at the company Christmas party. This could be one of those office urban legends, but did you ever hear the one about the girl that got so wasted at Tavern on the Green that she crapped her pants in front of all her co-workers? Seriously. How do you recover from that.

5. Don't completely fuck up an interview and get handed a BLOW OFF even before getting the job. My weirdest interview experience took place when I was hiring a new crop of interns. I called a guy whose resume sounded promising. Apparently, his girlfriend had also applied for the internship, so he asked if she could come in for an interview too (strike one). I decided to be nice and set up a time for her to come in even though I thought it was a weird request. They ended up doing the interview together (strike two) and he answered every question for her, while she sat their quiet the entire time (strike three). Needless to say, neither of them were offered the job.

4. Don't make your co-workers look bad in public unless you want them to refer to you as a fat C&$% behind your back. There was one person at my old job that had a habit of constantly grilling colleagues in front of the boss. (If this girl ever went on a reality show, she'd be the one who would repeatedly say shit like "I'm not here to make friends.") She very quickly became the most hated person in the office. The only thing worse than this is doing things that make your boss look stupid. Remember when Star Jones announced her departure from The View without running it by Barbara Walters? Bitch wasn't back on the show the next day.

3. Don't ever start a sentence at the office with the words "I'm not a racist, BUT..." Another terrible mistake made by one of my interns who I'd never hire again.

2. Don't put slutty pictures of yourself on Facebook. I used to Google every person I brought in for an interview and if there was sketchy shit on their social networking sites, it was a huge red flag. Not because it meant they were slutty, but because it meant they were fucking dumb.

1. Don't bite the hand that feeds you. Embezzlement ain't no joke. A family in my hometown were known as self made millionaire types...except it turned out all their money was stolen from Mom's venture capitalist boss. They were arrested for embezzlement and as of 2004 (eight years after their arrest) they were still serving time. Their poor kids were in high school when this all went down. Talk about a parental BLOW OFF. So, try to keep any on the job theft to a minimum--- like paper clips or post it notes.

Friday, April 8, 2011

BLOW OFF Song of the day: Bye Bye Bye by 'N Sync



"Don't wanna be a fool for you
Just another player in your game for two
You may hate me but it ain't no lie,
Baby Bye, bye, bye..."
-'N Sync, 2000

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Science & the BLOW OFF: the four DEADLY sins

Hold up. Did you know there's a Relationship Research Institute where like real life scientists study "healthy" relationships? When I heard this, my first thought was, how have I not been contacted by their HR recruiter yet? the BLOW OFF is like the mecca of unhealthy relationship stories. We could release our own scientific study by now!

Dr. John Gottman who founded the Relationship Research Institute recently used decades of research to come up with the "sound relationship house theory" which narrows down behaviors he observed in couples he defined as being in health loving relationships (they call these couples "masters" at relationships).

So, let me get this straight. The sound relationship house theory is basically a super fancy way of saying "how not to get dumped." Suh-weet!

According to the RRI scientists, we need to be on the look out for these "four horsemen of the apocalypse" (dramatic much?)

#1 Criticism. I'm guessing this means don't criticize your partner. (Note to self: I should stop critiquing the BF's dish washing skills. Major Fail.)

#2 Defensiveness. (but being defensive is SO much fun! Like when your partner says they hate it when you *fill in the blank* and instead of apologizing, you throw back something in their face like "you don't snuggle me enough". Check mate, motherfucka!)

#3 Contempt. (Note to self: stop locking the bf in the man cave without food and water for days at a time.)

#4 Stonewalling or shutting down communication. (Another hidden talent of mine. Here's how it usually goes. BF: what's wrong. Me: NOTHING!!!!!! Don't touch me!!!)

Now, according to RRI...here are the signs you are in a sound relationship:

#1 You genuinely care about each other's day to day lives and goals. (Yes! I think discussing our bowel movements def counts.)

#2 You ask each other open ended questions prompting for more information (Yes! We do this all the time when discussing our bowel movements!)

#3 You show signs of affection like smiling, holding hands, laughing, touching. (Yes! I cannot tell you how many times people have told us to stop smiling and laughing and touching all the time. What do you want from us? We can't stop!)

Here's one last piece of advice from RRI: talk about conflicts calmly, avoid accusations, talk about your feelings--- not the other person's actions.

WHAT?!?!? I had no idea being nice to each other was the secret to having a good relationship. Thanks RRI! You people are effing geniuses. The BF better watch out, we're about to become "masters" at the sound relationship whatever whatever theory.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Why Blowing Off Your Job is Like Blowing Off a Guy

In this day and age, there are few things that come to define us as much as our relationship status and our jobs. With relationships, it's inevitable that significant others change our pronoun usage entirely and our partners become our signature epithets (I becomes we, Jennifer and Ben morphs into Bennifer, and Jennifer becomes "Ben's girlfriend"), so it is with our jobs. Our titles, departments, or companies turn into our last names or labels - it's as if someone wouldn't know who we were if we didn't have these modifiers attached. You're never having a meeting with Kate, it's always, "Kate from Paramount", or "Just call Kate from Marketing and ask her".

I recently discovered the parallels between boyfriends and jobs when I broke up with both. First, I broke things off with my boyfriend of 6 years, later I quit my job. The two events were about a year and a half apart, and they were largely unrelated - but the more I thought about them, the more I wondered if they really were.

After I broke up with my long-term boyfriend, for reasons completely unapparent to the outside world, I was shocked by the number of women who congratulated me - told me how proud they were and how difficult that decision must have been. I couldn't believe this response - to me, it suggested that many women are stuck in relationships and don't want to fight the power of inevitability. The classic, marriage is what comes next in my life, so I'll do it.

I also couldn't believe how free I felt - people tell you that you'll have so much more time after a break-up, but I didn't really understand what this meant. For me, it meant a Sci Fi-free Netflix queue, and nights with cereal, red wine, and The Biggest Loser, instead of watching my boyfriend play video games. I felt more liberated than lonely. But your habits remind you of holes left by the loss of your partner, there are some adopted preferences that are so deeply ingrained that you almost forget what you like. It was awhile before I went back to Smooth Peanut Butter - I forgot that I liked it better until I tasted it again. Outside of preferences, there is other behavior that has to be unlearned in a break up. For us, it was pointless emailing about what's for dinner, forwarding of articles on well-liked topics, and of course pronoun usage and nicknames. My ex subconsciously called me "Baby" for 6 months after we broke up, mostly because he had done it for 6 years. In due time, I figured out what I liked to do after dinner, I stopped using "we" and more importantly, I created memories that didn't involve him. I forged an identity for myself independent of my significant other. Now you don't need to know him to understand me.

And so it has been with work: six months ago, I quit my job, which like my relationship was good on paper but broken in reality. I quickly learned how much our job acts as a label for us to the outside world. I realized that the first question a person asks you when they meet you for the first time is, "So, what do you do?" After I quit, meeting new people made me anxious because it always brought about this question. And it brought up the very same feeling of seeing people for the first time after breaking up with my ex. When people you know see you, they ALWAYS ask, "How's [insert ex-boyfriends name]?" and I would be forced to lie or awkwardly explain - this dilemma lasted for months.

And so it was with work, I'd left my cushy corporate job to work as a freelance consultant, but "freelance market research consultant" didn't sound as good as "work at Warner Bros." When I started working at Warner, my mom once said, "It's great - now I never have to explain to people what you do - I just say you work at Warner Bros." Change of job also meant massive break in routine and regular misuse of pronouns. "I wonder how we did at the Box Office this weekend" or "We [WB] never work on projects like that." Dammit, I couldn't even get my tenses right! I know it was out of habit more than denial, and it took me awhile to realize that the only person who cared or noticed the pronouns or the long, convoluted new job title was me. Most people were just making small talk, they weren't even listening to my responses.

When I left my job, without another permanent position to go to, I was again surprised by how many of my peers told me they were proud, impressed and envious. Of course there were the few, "I can't believe you're quitting your job in this economy" comments, but they were the minority.

I learned as much about myself in ending my relationship with my job as I did in ending my relationship with my live-in boyfriend. I set my own schedule, only worked on projects that interested me intellectually, and most importantly, started to care a little bit less about what people thought. As a result, I built more confidence in myself. I was beholden to no one: the only person who benefited from my success or suffered from my failures was me. I learned that quitting my job isn't the end of the world. Despite my lack of regular paycheck or company-sponsored health care, I'm the least stressed and most fulfilled I've ever been. There's no better way to build up your own personal strength than standing on a ledge, pulling out the safety net and jumping anyway - you'll see you get some cuts and bruises, but you survive, and next time you can jump from a higher bough.

The hardest part about break ups or job moves, is that it changes how we define ourselves infinitely more than it changes how others define us. We are forced to define ourselves without using easy labels, like "Marketing" or "Jack's girlfriend." And it can be painful, like defining "the" without using "the." In my best cases, I was described with adjectives instead of just nouns: funny, ambitious, resourceful. I'm of course not advocating that you quit your job, I'm just suggesting you realize you are greater than it, you have an identity that is completely independent from it - make sure you know what that "job-free" person looks like. For me, it took quitting my job to get to know her.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Reunited and it feels SO bad

You know when it feels like enough time has gone by between a BLOW OFF and you actually start having fond feelings for an ex again and you decide...why not grab coffee or grab lunch and catch up? I can handle it. We're here to tell you:

DON'T FUCKING DO IT.

Here's the thing. We all lead relatively busy lives. If we really have the urge to fit an ex into our busy schedules, it's because we still have some nostalgia or romantic notions about them. Or we're looking for closure or a better ending than the one we got. Or we have residual guilt and we want to make amends. I'm not sure it's worth it. Any time I've had reunion coffee or drinks with someone I've dated...it's left me feeling shitty. Either I feel sad, because I realize that so much has changed and we've both moved on (i.e. Love is so fleeting) OR I realize I still have feelings for the person and they've moved on (this feels like a BLOW OFF acid flashback). OR we end up having sex. and that's just confusing and comfortable all at the same time...and usually leads to yet another BLOW OFF.

Maybe sometimes the whole reunion-slash-closure exchange is necessary. The BF and I were long distance for a year and right before his move to LA, he had reunion coffee with his ex-girlfriend. I was jealous at the time, but I kind of understood his need to leave that relationship on a good note. The truth is, at one time or another we cared about that person and it's hard to stop wondering how they're doing (which is pretty much the only reason any of us are Facebook friends with people we've dated, am I right or am I right? Curiosity is a very powerful drug.)

What do you think, readers? Better to put the ex to rest or better to reconnect from time to time (at least so they can see how much hotter we've gotten since the break up)? It's a tough call. Here's the litmus test...if the last scene in Annie Hall makes you cry (like it makes me cry)--- don't see the ex. If it makes you happy, then by all means--- send them a text.



"I guess we keep going through it, because most of us need the eggs." SIGH.

Monday, April 4, 2011

the why aren't you psychic BLOW OFF

(The New Yorker, November 1, 2010)

Pop culture BLOW OFF of the day: Michael proposes to Holly

For those of you that have not been watching The Office this season, you're missing out on one of the best TV couples ever. Yes, it's true. Michael and Holly are the new Pam and Jim. Only better.

Holly (played by Amy Ryan, who totally deserves a guest star Emmy) first arrived on the scene in season four as an HR rep. She's equally as dorky as Michael, they end up falling for each other, and what follows is a string of BLOW OFFs. Their office PDAs gets Holly transferred to Nashua and after a failed attempt at an LDR, Holly and Michael call it quits and she moves on to AJ (a sales rep). Holly returned to Scranton this season (to fill in for Toby's who's off on jury duty) and she and Michael finally rekindle their romance. On the last episode of The Office, Michael proposed to Holly--- which should make it an "anti-BLOW OFF" except that their engagement means Michael's blowing off everyone else at Dunder Mifflin (not to mention us viewers since it's Steve Carell's last season on the show. Boo.)

Anyway, this clip gives me the warm and fuzzies. Hope all of you in office romances get a little Monday lovin'.

Friday, April 1, 2011

BLOW OFF Song of the day: Rolling in the Deep by Adele



"The scars of your love, remind me of us. They keep me thinking that we almost had it all. The scars of your love, they leave me breathless, I can't help thinking we could have had it all."
-Adele, 2011