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Conversation while seating customers at the restaurant tonight:
“Where are you guys from?”
“Colorado.”
“Oh, whereabouts in Colorado?”
“About 50 miles outside of Denver.”
“Oh. So…do you get the Denver Post?”
“We do.”
“Its my favorite newspaper. I know that sounds crazy, but it really is my favorite paper.”
“Its a pretty big paper, I guess…”
“And on weekends, its has that weird joint thing with the Rocky Mountain News!”
“Yeah…”
“I’m sorry if I sound crazy, I just really like the Denver Post.”

Friends, the time has come. I need your opinion. I have a friend of mine, who, for the sake of his own embarrassment, will go unnamed. One warm summer night, he walked a brilliant, gorgeous girl back to her apartment to make sure she got back safe and sound. Then he kissed her.

Cute, no?

Then he tried to high five her. Yes, friends, a high five. Her eyes wide open in shock, she simply said, “Absolutely not.” So the poor bewildered girl goes up to her apartment, then signs online and asks the guy what the hell he was thinking. His response? “It was from Boy Meets World!”

So, my friends, here is my quandry. Cast your vote and help me out.
Poll: Is high-fiving a girl after kissing her a legit move?

Well, really just Last Holiday. Ever see that? Its the movie in which she plays a woman who finds out she’s dying, so she jets off to Europe to live out her days and changes lives and falls in love and at the very end, finds out she was misdiagnosed and is actually not dying at all.

So her character, Georgia Byrd, hits up my old stomping grounds, the lovely and picturesque Czech Republic. More specifically, she goes to the spa town of Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad). Embarrassingly enough, I’ve seen this movie several times, but get distracted each time, because all I can think is, “I was there! I stood in that spot! I was on that bridge! I was RIGHT THERE!” And then I get this horrible pit in my stomach because at certain moments, the only thing that I want to do is go back to the Czech Republic. It’s that keep-you-up-in-bed-tossing-and-turning-at-night kind of longing that cannot be satisfied or quelled by anything except, of course, going back.

Speaking of movies bringing up that horrible, intense longing, I see posters for the sequel to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 EVERYWHERE. One of the promo pics is a shot of the four girls chilling on a rock overlooking the Aegean Sea in Santorini, and all I can think about when I see it is, “Damn it, I need to get out of my parents’ basement and go back to this.” Sometimes I look through my old pictures and that big mental Pandora’s box of memories opens, and all I can remember is whizzing up and down the cliffs overlooking the sea on our four wheelers after watching the sun set, with moon’s reflection on the water the only light guiding us back to our side of the island. It was one of the few things we did that week that just couldn’t be captured on film.

Why can’t globe-trotting be a real profession? There are plenty of ridiculous jobs out there, yet I can’t find a one that will let me travel the globe. How the hell did Samantha Brown and Anthony Bourdain do it? At the end of the day, I just get so frustrated that I’m at home working the 9-5 (and then some), and not off gallavanting with friends in the streets of Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda, or clutching onto a Greek guy as he speeds down the highway out of Athens in the middle of the night, or stumbling around the Amsterdam’s Red Light District, asking prostitutes if we could put down the cash and just watch television.

Forget horrible exchange rates, lost passports and language barriers. The real problem with traveling is that you leave a little bit of yourself wherever you go, and therefore it is impossible to ever really feel complete.

I’m just saying, Christian Bale, while in the Batsuit, sounded an awful lot like I did in early weeks of my bout with mono.

On this rainy, gloomy Thursday, I sat at my desk at work, idling the afternoon away on gchat and reading the Style section of the Times.  With no errands to run, no letters to run up to City Hall, no cannolis to eat, I turned to the best website in the world: Wikihow.

Wikihow to tame a free spirit

Wikihow to make macaroni and cheese

Wikihow to hug someone shorter than you

Wikihow to whistle

Wikihow to have fun on Superbowl Sunday if you’re a girl

Basically, Wikihow tells me how to do everything I could ever want to do.  Which is awesome for some people.  Some people need to know exactly, minute by minute, how to make an eclair or how to pick a lock.  In fact, I could have used Wikihow to Pick a Lock last year when Rachel, Alex and I tried to break into the spare bedroom in their Commons apartment.  In retrospect, I’m very surprised at how mature we were, using a wire hanger to try and get that door unlocked, instead of staging fake illegal abortions (…again)

But I digress.

Wikihow is fantastic, but if you follow a guide step by step, the charm in doing whatever it is that you’re doing is lost somewhere along the way.  The journey to the endpoint becomes infinitely less exciting, because you know everything is already mapped out for you.  I guess some of the pages are helpful, such as How to Cheat a Polygraph Test and How to Remove an Ingrown Hair.  I certainly wouldn’t mind having a play-by-by instructing me how to remove a hair from under my skin so as not to get the area infected.  But Wikihow to Be the Most Irresistible Woman at a Party?  I mean, come on.  Do I really need instructions for that one?  My vote is no.  How about Wikihow to Think for Yourself? The second step is to “consider Agnosticism.”  Well, in going along with thinking for myself, I’m gonna decline that one.

Note: The most popular Wikihow is How to French Kiss.  As if describing each “step” wasn’t gross enough, there are pictures. I think this should have been titled “Wikihow to Gross Melissa Out”

If you’re just as gross out as I am, I’ll stop here, but not before leaving you with something better than two Asian people and their tongues.

Precious!

Precious!

Yes, her name is really Precious.  Shut up, I was 10 years old when I named her.  BUT ISN’T SHE ADORABLE??

(yes, I’m going to be an old cat woman)

If I had a dime for every friend of mine who has a JDate profile, I’d be rich. Well, maybe not filthy rich. But financially secure enough not to have to troll JDate looking for a doctor/lawyer husband.

But I’m on there, albeit with a free account, which means I can’t access my JDate messages (of which I have several). And that’s probably a good thing. God only knows what trouble I’d get into if I had unlimited access to young, single Jewish men. Really, God knows what trouble I’ve already gotten into.

The concept is simple-pay for a monthly subscription (it should be humorously noted that JDate’s membership fee is slightly greater than other online dating websites), and connect with Jewish singles. According to the Web site’s most recent statistics, only 18 percent of its members fall into the 18-25 age range bracket. Considering the fact that most of my not-yet-graduated and recently graduated Jewish friends are on JDate, and several have even met their husbands/wives/fiancees on the site, one would think I would show no hesitations and dive in head-first at the chance to sign up. In fact, when I first told friends, both Jewish and not, that I had registered for the free membership, none were surprised. NONE. I’m not sure what that says about me. Perhaps that I have an open mind? That I take a modern view on dating and courtship? Or that I am quick to jump on the bandwagon? Whatever the case, I surprised the world by rejecting this unconventional path to betrothal. In truth, I’m a little creeped out by JDate. There is nothing fun or exciting about being IMed at 1 a.m. by a balding 29-year-old ESL teacher (note: not a doctor or lawyer) in Queens who first asks me if I want “naughty or nice conversation,” then asks me my feelings about beer and the New York Yankees. As if that isn’t enough of a reason to shy away from virtual J-love, here are my additional reservations:

1. I will be in South Korea by the end of summer, and JDate doesn’t operate in Asia (I already checked).

2. Maybe this would be more fun if I lived in a major metropolitan area, where more than a handful of young Jewish singles live. But here I am, in upstate New York, and I think its safe to say I know nearly every Jewish guy between the ages of 19 and 23 who lives in this town.

3. On that same note, I live in a pretty small town. During my freshman year of college, I learned about JDate for the first time and did some digging. Just wanted to see who was on there, you know? Well, in the first five minutes, I found my high school boyfriend’s recently widowed father, an old Hebrew School teacher and various others I’d surely bump into when I came home for the next year’s High Holiday services. And if I can see them, they can surely see me. Not to sound like the bird watching hospital patient from Grey’s Anatomy, but I like to watch people, not have them watch me.

4. My screenname is pretty lame and makes a poor first impression. I’d change it, but going through the process of notifying everyone on a buddy list is time-consuming. Then again, so is blogging…

I know I buy into stereotypes all the time, but this one takes the cake. New York City consultant Darren Sherman went out to dinner with a woman he met on JDate. Apparently she didn’t feel the same sparks he did, because she didn’t return his calls or e-mails in the weeks following the dinner date. He then badgered her for weeks, trying to get her to pay for her share of the meal, which apparently amounted to around $50.

As if I didn’t have enough reasons to stay away? According to the JDate News Center, “22% of JDaters say their mom has paid for their JDate subscription.” If that’s the case, then thanks but no thanks, JDate. I think I’ll stick to the real world. And if the only nice Jewish fish are in the JDate sea, maybe its time to find a different body of water. I’m thinking the Pacific Ocean.

I’ve been thinking about starting up a blog again for quite some time now.  But after the Blurty that followed me through high school, and the Livejournal that evolved into haphazard “friends only” posts detailing the events of Thursday night frat parties, I figured it was time for a change.  A more grown-up change?  Maybe.  But probably not.  Anyhow, here are the rules of this blog, learned from the previous two.  Make sure I adhere to them.

1. No updates on my day-to-day life.  That includes lists of what I’ve done each day, hour by hour.

2. Good grammar, good grammar, good grammar.

3. Absolutely no crazy fonts or color.

4. No blog wars.  I’m not kidding.  If anyone threatens to kill me with a .22 through a weblog comment again, I don’t even know what will happen.  But it won’t be pretty.  Though it might be pretty funny.

Lastly, 5. No writing bad poetry to ex-boyfriends.  I only did this once, but once is truly enough.  And unless you know the name of my Livejournal, you’re not going to see it.

So, with those rules, I give you, The Blog.