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November 30, 2006

Jagillionaires in Suits. Not Dancing. Or Smiling. It's Dealmaker, the Mag!

That would be me (er, my ... rear) next to the Dealmaker sign, in this shot by Huffington Post scribe Ms. Sklar.  Photojournalism at its camera-phone best!  In any case, she chronicles the new magazine launch's party much better than I could, reciting actual boldfaced names and whatnot.

The whole thing just confused me - dour men in suits as far as the eye could see, and then a random - and I really have to emphasize RANDOM - Chinese dragon-person-thing moving throughout the room smashing a giant gong.  WTF?  Is this what makes i-bankers feel virile?

I was there because my two girl friends (see photo below) knew the founder, Magnus Greaves, which is pretty much the most awesome name since Lockhart Steele, and I think they should have a wrestling match.  Although if you've ever met either of them, it's staggeringly obvious who would win (Hint: not Lock).

Anyway, a year or so ago Magnus started a little magazine called Trader Monthly, which apparently did quite well, because now he's launching Dealmaker.  Both of these mags are for people just like you!  And by "people just like you" I mean people not at all like you in any way, but instead men who earn jillions of dollars in jobs that don't involve actually making or building anything and wonder whether they should, in fact, keep their case of 82 Margaux or just chug it already.

I just look at the mag to salivate at the private jet ads and think "if they can get PJs, maybe one day I'll have health insurance!"

Non-jagillionaires Julia, Cortney and Elisha

November 28, 2006

Fox News, D-Cup Divorce Special

UPDATE:  Producers changed topics at last moment and I ended up talking about Snoop getting arrested, Tracey Morgan's DUI, K-Fed having sex with a porn star and Brit/Paris/Lindsay being hos.  Just another day at Fox News: The Morality Channel.  The best part?  I got to say "Well, [name of newscaster], you can't teach an old Dogg new tricks."  Which was awesome, obvs.

Was it the vest?

Will be on Fox News today (Wed) 11:48 am talking about GQ's Newlyweds 18th Celeb Couple to Divorce of the Year (awesome, really, to have that big interview/photoshoot on the newstands concurrent with their separation papers).  So, unless something more pressing than their split comes up, that's what I'll be discussing.  But what could be more pressing than that?

Oh.  Right.  This.

November 27, 2006

How I Spent Thanksgiving or Why There's No Column Today and I Actually Have a Good Excuse

I don't get sick EVER (well, unless you count PMS), but last Sunday I got hit with a massive case of strep, escalating to a Tuesday night - Wednesday day funfest at the ER.  What I learned:
1. Swallowing is totally underrated.  No, you sickies, get your minds out of the gutter.  I'm talking, like, the ability to swallow, you know, water.  Or your own saliva.  Food is nice, too.
2. Nothing like JUST NOT EATING the four days before Thanksgiving to make you completely willing to gorge.  Of course, by then your stomach has shrunk so much you can't.  I think I'm the only person in America who LOST weight over the holiday, despite all attempts to the contrary.
3. Thank goodess for camera phones or my editors probably wouldn't have believed me when I called repeatedly, insisting in a strangled voice that, really, I was going to try to get my column in, but, um, it wasn't looking likely.
4. I love morphine.

November 25, 2006

WTF?? No, seriously. WHAT THE FUCK?

Would you go to an ob-gyn who believes the following?
- "Sex with multiple partners alters brain chemistry in a way that makes it harder for women to form bonding relationships."

- Contraceptives are "demeaning to women, degrading of human sexuality and adverse to human health and happiness.”

- And by the way, "abortions cause breast cancer."
I'm gonna go with ... fuck no.

Luckily for masochistic poor women everywhere, a certain Asshole in Chief thinks the dipshit doctor who believes that lunacy would be just PERFECT for heading family planning.  You know.  For the whole nation.

I'm actually - literally - physically ill thinking about it.

November 20, 2006

Today, Fox News, 11:48 am, blah blah etc.

UPDATE: CANCELLED!  Producers think "TomKat" overplayed.  Uh ... you think?

Will be on Fox News today at 11:48 am discussing the TomKat wedding, box office returns, serious middle east policy concerns, Bill Hemmer's hair.  If you're at work or doing something similarly unproductive, TIVO it.  Or not.

Cold Turkey: A Special Thanksgiving Shoutout to the Asshole Who Dumped Me in Seventh Grade

Below, the entirety of this week's AM New York column, all about thanking your exes.  And if you can't find it within yourself to thank them, just think about how fat they're getting.  That'll make you feel better.

NOVEMBER 20, 2006

This Thanksgiving, we should all give thanks – to our exes.

Thanks for the jewelry!  Thanks for the therapy bills!  Thanks for the chlamydia!

Okay, okay - or we could really thank them.

Most people have a tendency to dismiss relationships that don’t end in a successful marriage as garbage in, garbage out – worthless wastes of energy and emotion.

That sort of perspective is absurdly shortsighted.  After all, every person you date has taught you something, whether that’s “Never date trust fund babies with alcohol issues” or “hyper-intelligent women can be very sexy.”

“Every (and we repeat, every) relationship brings a gift, in the form of personal growth, a deeper understanding of life, and respect for both the difficulty and the joy of the relationship process,” say husband-and-wife relationship authors Barry and Joyce Vissel.  “It is often the pain of our past that serves to open our hearts the most.”

Although it’s a little 12-step-y, Thanksgiving is the appropriate time of year to put aside the grudges and thank those exes who have helped us – sometimes unwittingly!

“Thanks for accidentally forgetting your Italian leather shoes here when you left,” said Peg Samuel, Founder of SocialDiva.com.  “My Shih Tzu needed something new to chew on.”

Maybe they were a jerk and broke your heart, maybe you tired of them and broke theirs.  Either way, you gained something from the relationship – if only a firm understanding of the kind of person you don’t want to date.

“I’d like to thank my ex’s wife for taking him off my hands!” says Lainie Friedman, a PR manager on the West side.  “After 10 years of dating him on and off, he still wouldn’t commit.”

Repeat after me: “Dodged.  A.  Bullet.”

It’s not easy to go back to examine your old relationships – especially ones that ended painfully (and don’t most?) – but thankfulness, which usually entails forgiveness, is certainly cathartic.

“It takes a while for the wounds to heal and step back,” says Jon, a lawyer in California and, coincidentally, my ex-fiancé.  “But after you do, you can certainly thank your exes for a multitude of things.”

“For example, thanks for telling me that I wasn’t The One!” he added good-naturedly.

And – as difficult as it may be to admit – sometimes our past relationships weren’t even that bad.  You can thank your exes for being good partners, even if they weren’t the right partners for you.

“I am thankful for being shown that there are guys out there who are sweet, romantic and put you first,” says Lizzie, 25, a journalist in Atlanta.  Although dumped by her ex the day before Thanksgiving last year, she’s not bitter.  “Even if it didn't last, it was nice to know that kind of guy really does exist.”

That’s the cheerful attitude taken by Susan Silver, the 50-something author of “The Search for Mr. Adequate,” a weekly column for NewYorkSocialDiary.com.

“Having been divorced a VERY LONG time, I am very thankful to my ex for having married me in the first place,” she said.  “At least I can say someone wanted to.  It's looking difficult to get anyone else to do it!”


November 17, 2006

Breaking Not At All Breaking In Any Way: Guys Want Hookups, Girls Want to Date, Geriatric Pillowfight Ensues

"I thought I told you 'No more hooking up without commitment,' you old-ass motherfucker! ... My oxytocin is acting up again."

An adorable senior at Columbia rang me the other month to ask a few questions about "hooking up" for an article she was writing.  Big mistake; I'm difficult to silence after I launch into the subject.  After listening to me ramble for what must have been at least an hour (the poor thing) she actually managed to derive something mildly coherent out of the mess.  Impressive.

Here's the result:  How the Hookup Changed Since 1969, by Jennie Morgan

Although I highly encourage you to read the engaging and well-researched article in its entirety, I'll paste the excerpt in which I was quoted below:

Today's dating process has given rise to a great deal of confusion regarding the difference between a relationship and a sexual encounter. Judging from the phenomenal success of blunt self-help literature (The Rules, by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, and He's Just Not That Into You, by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tucillo), much of the confusion is apparently felt by women. For the most part, the aforementioned manuals advise a return to the courtship rituals that flourished in America between 1920 and 1965 (dinner dates, playing hard to get), which relied on the belief that a man who is offered sexual intimacy too quickly loses respect for a woman.

"Girls think, 'I can hook up with a guy and care just as little about it as he does,' but they try that, and realize it's not biologically possible to feel that way." said Julia Allison, a sex columnist for AM New York and formerly The Hoya at Georgetown University, who is a proponent of old-school dating. Before graduating in 2004, Allison took a year off from college to work full-time on Capitol Hill.

"That's how my column in the Georgetown paper came to be," she said. "When I was in the working world, I saw something I had never seen on campus - men courting women. When I went back to college, my friends all said, 'The most a guy can do is get you a beer from the keg.' I said, 'That's the most he can do if that's the most you ask of him.'"

Allison cited a discovery by Sue Carter of the University of Illinois: the hormone oxytocin, which bonds sexual partners to one another, exists in much higher quantities in a woman's brain than in a man's. "Women feel like crap that the guy is blase about this casual hookup, even though they may have been blase about it too at the beginning," she said. "There is a discrepancy between theory and practice."


Despite the lack of documented evidence on today's trends, it's undisputed that young men and women in the present are as intimate physically as they have ever been. Still, observers have noted that this physical closeness has failed to inspire greater emotional commitment.

The reasons for the departure from emotional free love toward emotionally detached hook-ups are varied. Most obviously, the free-loving '60s have been presented to our generation uncritically. In the mainstream media, we've seen Austin Powers shag happy-go-lucky girls and been charmed by scores of Bond women. Through the lens of the Hollywood camera, free love looks fun rather than awkward. Furthermore, because our generation was raised by parents who made casual sex commonplace in their youth, current students may lack a parental model for formal dating. Allison added that "most girls only have friends who hookup or don't date at all, so they've never seen anything else that can work."

"There are dozens of stories about hookups turning into relationships," she added, "but it's a crapshoot. There are also dozens of stories about people winning in Vegas."


Mmm.  Vegas.

November 16, 2006

Puppy Langdon Gets His First Gawker Mention; Concerned about "Overexposure"

Yeah, I look like crap when I get up in the morning.   But Langdon (and Lilly) pretty much look suave no matter what time it is.  Especially when they're pimped out in blue and pink tee shirts.

Oh, like you thought I wouldn't dress up my dogs??

November 14, 2006

U Penn Columnist Throwdown. Ho-down?


I actually tend to agree with young U Penn columnist Chloe Hurley's assessment - "Reading (or writing) about sex is about as titillating and fresh as microwaved lasagna. Which is to say, not."

She goes on to ennumerate all of the problems she has with sex columns, especially sex columns in the Ivy League (whew, one time I'm glad Georgetown didn't make it in there, those Jesuit SOBs!):

For some reason, people seem to think that coupling an Ivy League setting with sex is the most riveting and raunchy combination ever. I think it's getting pretty stale.

On top of it, every chick who's tasted a Cosmopolitan thinks that she's Carrie Bradshaw. Baby, just because you sit at home in front of your laptop in your underwear and can slur out some hackneyed puns don't make you no Carrie Bradshaw. Drop a few pounds, take a journalism course, and try me again.

Hmm ... Is she referring to Miss Jessica "Out of Your (Ivy) League" Haralson?  The Cosmo, the underwear, the ... drop a few pounds??  That bitch!  Jessica, you could totally take her.  Catfight!

Damn, where's Joe Francis when you need him?
I have to add that Miss Hurley is the same columnist who insisted, in her November 9th column, that Latin helps you "make sense" of yourself.  LATIN?  Ummm ... therapy, maybe.  Self-help books.  Yoga.  But Latin???

"If we all took Latin at Penn, we would understand dignity and humility. Truth and beauty. The most influential stories in Western thought were first recorded in Latin (or Greek). You could buy a translation, but it’s not the same as reading it directly. If I were taking Latin, I would have a stronger backbone and a clearer purpose in life."

Oh dear god.  And here I was, thinking she was a voice of reason.  No, Miss H, after seven and a half years of Latin, I can safely assure you that it does nothing for one's dignity or humility.  Trust me.

November 13, 2006

Dating Columnist Just Not Very Good At Dating

At some point I'll get into the hysterical rebuffs that led to today's AM New York column - for now, suffice it to say that my track record since August is like, 1 for 5.  And yes, the irony of a dating columnist being bad at dating has not escaped me.
NOVEMBER 13, 2006

A few weeks ago, a young guy who had once eagerly asked me out emailed me a shockingly straightforward “I’m just not that into you (so please stop stalking me)” blow off missive.

In the three months since I’ve been officially single, I’ve gotten several rejections like that, all for disparate reasons.  Oddly, my response to each of them has been identical; previously uninterested, now I was hooked!  I wanted them all to fall madly in love with me and propose in Vegas, preferably next week.

Which of course makes no sense.  I’d much rather go to the Caribbean.

But the more I thought about it, the more confused I became.  Why was I was once again susceptible to the irritating and completely masochistic “If He Doesn’t Like Me, I Like Him Even More” syndrome?  Why did my retarded brain fan the flames of desire every time a guy shot me down?  What evolutionary or practical purpose does that serve, if any?

I put that question to several dating and psychology experts, who at the very least made me feel normal, if still rejected.

“People are naturally drawn to similar levels of attractiveness,” Brown professor and psychologist Dr. Scott Halzman emailed me.  “We assume the person who doesn't seem attracted to you must be at a higher level of desirability themselves.  If we can get them to become attracted to us, they seem more precious, and we, by extension, also feel worth more.”

Ah-ha.  That makes sense.

Apparently, most of us (myself definitely included) have an overabundant need for approval.  Who knew??  Consequently, we look towards others to validate our perceived level of self-esteem, and if we don’t find what we’re looking for (ie, they don’t like us), we try even harder.

“We want to be liked,” author Debbie Mandel says.  “So, if 50 people in the room adore us and greet us, it’s the one person who doesn’t that gets our attention. This undermines our self-confidence, and we need to restore it with a win.”

The idea of needing to “win” touches upon the maddeningly persistent game-like element to dating; loving “the chase” may be a giant cliché, but as any bachelor can tell you, it’s alive and well – and thriving – in Manhattan.

“It’s human nature that we don’t like what comes easily,” says Ronnie Ann Ryan, an author and dating coach.  “We want what we can’t have.  So when a potential romantic partner is not interested or shows resistance, the pursuer comes alive and the chase begins.”

How very … zoological.

Or you could look at it the way my friend’s husband did, who told her that the French have a saying about these relationships: “One lover offers the lips and the other, the cheek.”

Can I just air-kiss?


November 09, 2006

Fulfilling my Media Whore Quota for the Week Month Year?? ... Nah. Just the Month.

Julia and Brooke
We were going for "Smoldering Temptress."  Brooke won.  By a LOT.

10 Things I Accomplished Last Evening at the Spy Magazine Retrospective Something-or-Other-Book-Party-Thing:

  1. Put on real clothing (not pajamas) and actually left apartment (getting cookies at bodega notwithstanding).
  2. Discussed the pain-in-the-ass-ed-ness of buying aforementioned "real clothing" with one now-4-Times-Square-worker Jess Coen.  Mentioned for the fifth time how, when drunk on Halloween, I begged her to be my friend.  She told me to drop it, already.  Crap.
  3. Admired the headband (??) tribal gear (??) of Mediabistro's Dylan Stableford.  No banal baseball caps for this guy, unlike #9!
  4. Eschewing normal boundaries of "personal space," hugged Gawker associate editor Doree Sharfir to thank her for the SUPER-sweet posts last week.  Awesome!!  Maybe we can hang out sometime and braid each other's hair!!!
  5. Speaking of hair, gazed at Graydon Carter's from afar.  Wondered if he's just adverse to cutting it or maybe channeling an older-whiter-version of Malcolm Gladwell?  Hmm.  Cute wife, though.
  6. Stood within one foot of Anna Wintour, clad in boots and fur-ish coat-ish.  Felt a little shaky.  Hope she didn't notice I was wearing Bebe.
  7. Babbled to Kurt Andersen about how I "circle the words I don't know" in his NY magazine columns.  Him: "Well, at least you read them."  Uh, hel-lo, Kurt, I didn't say anything about reading them!
  8. Ran after Candace Bushnell to thank her half-sarcastically for getting me into this stinking profession.  Me: "I can't seem to get any respect!" Her: "No attractive woman gets respect until the age of 35."  And I'm sure wearing condom costumes for Halloween doesn't help either.
  9. Stood by as Ron Perelman, clad casually in a non-descript orange baseball cap, ran some game on my rather buxom blonde wingwoman Brooke Parkhurst (see photo above) ... Him: "Don't I know you from somewhere?"  Brooke: "Um ... no?"  Him: "I'm Ron Perelman."  Awww, Ron!!  C'mon.  REALLY??  I mean, he could have said "Wow, you look like a younger version of all four of my ex-wives!!  Want to date me?  And by the way, I'm Really Really Rich!"  But he didn't.  In any case, being rather incorrigibly obnoxious, I stood between Ron and his chosen one, and egged on by my one cocktail, proceeded to TOTALLY DOMINATE THE CONVERSATION.  Ron immediately asked if I was Jewish.  I took that to mean he liked me.  1/2 counts, right?  Score one for the Tribe!
  10. Finally, I slapped Radar gossipista (and I do mean "ista") Jeff Bercovici multiple times for confusing "on" with "off" the record. Then we made up.  Because when it really comes down to it, I'm a spineless pussy.

Take that, gossip bitch!

Okay, now let's be friends again.  But I'm NOT smiling.

November 06, 2006

Today's AM NY Column:
See Me Write About Seeing Alyssa Date!

Full disclosure: I wrote something more or less nasty about Alyssa in August when she started "See Alyssa Date," her dating blog for Glamour.  But after reading months and months of what amounts to a very-censored version of your most boy-crazy friend's diary, I've changed my mind - she's a doll.  Who knew The Observer's engagement section could make normal people look like such assholes?  Oh, wait.  Yeah.

Here's the column, or read it below, continuing after the jump.

NOVEMBER 6, 2006

You know that one friend who whines constantly about her love life, repeatedly asks for your advice, and then invariably refuses to take it?

Alyssa Shelasky is not that friend.
Of course, that’s because she’s bound – contractually – to follow the advice of her friends, and by “friends” I mean anyone who reads her 3-month-old dating blog for Glamour magazine.

Simply titled “See Alyssa Date,” it should really be called “Hear Alyssa Ruminate About Various Boys, Then Tell Her Whether She Gets to Sleep with Them or Not.”  But that might be a little lengthy.

Shelasky, a 29-year-old Massachusetts-raised Columbia grad and erstwhile US Weekly reporter, heard about the Glamour gig while going through a particularly difficult relationship crisis.  The “love of her life” told her he could never marry her because she wasn’t Greek Orthodox, and she was at an impasse.

“First I was like ‘no way’ – then I thought, no, I’m going to take the job, end the relationship, move to LA, just start fresh,” Shelasky says, “It was kind of a blessing.”

A blessing which has required the naturally outgoing and self-described “crazy-outspoken” Shelasky to write five entries a week about her man-adventures.  With a colloquial, confessional style, she doesn’t disappoint.

There’s “Greek Dentist,” “Edgy English Teacher,” “23-year-old,” “Sexy Euro,” “Jeremy Piven” (yes, the real one) – and that’s just one week.  The woman gets dates like a female Hugh Hefner, no Viagra necessary.

“Meeting guys is easy for me,” says Shelasky, who was voted “Class Flirt” in high school.  Still, despite being an attractive, petite brunette, she’s almost 30, lives in LA, and not a model, actress or even a D-cup … How does she do it??

“Well, I’ve kicked it up a little,” she admits sheepishly.  “I literally have to go in search of guys because I can’t exactly write about the fact that my jeans feel tight.”  Hmm.  Good point.

Having a job that forces you to meet men is a good start, but there’s no denying that Shelasky really does know how to get a date.  Her readers notice it too.  “What’s your secret?” they ask her again and again.

“I just talk to them!” she explains, “I'm hardly perfect, but definitely friendly. I believe that guys, even grown men, are still afraid of girls, and just need a little coddling.”

She’s absolutely right.

The men she meets aren’t in clubs or bars (“Honestly, I hate going out,” she insists), but on the street, in grocery stores, at coffee shops, in her building.

“I like strangers and I will totally initiate conversation,” she says to me over the phone.  “And confidence is everything.  If you meet a guy, just be your friendly, sweet warm self and any good guy will want more.  That’s my secret.”

Hmm … maybe this dating blogger doesn’t need advice after all!

November 03, 2006

Gawker + Julia = BFF

Dearest Gawker,
Kiss my ass.   :-)
Your Best Friend

PS.  I got a B+ in journalism class, bitches.
Okay.  Maybe it was a B.