America's Smartest Girl

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America's Smartest Girl, Nicole Georges, channels her powers for good as she drums up answers to the world's most complicated questions.

Romance, Career, Health, Pets, Finance. Send questions to Nicole via twitter (@nicolejgeorges) or addressed to her via No suicidal inquiries. Please limit all questions to 150 words or less.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Newsies ask Questions, Senior Citizens Respond

Dear Readers,
This week I took my show on the road and posed your questions to the folks in my Senior Citizen Zine Group. Each week we have round table discussions, and I asked for their help in solving your problems. Below you will find not only my own standard answers, but as a bonus, the wisdom of Diane G., and people aged 70-77. I hope you don't mind that I told everyone your problems.

Dear Nicole, Smartest Girl in America:

How do I tell if my girlfriend is cheating on me (already established as an unfeminist act)?

We’ve been together for along time now, and recently, maybe the past 4 months or so, she’s been acting crazy. All of a sudden she's gotten really jealous and possessive. She keeps accusing me of cheating on her with this girl from my school, but I can’t figure out where she is getting that. It’s driving me crazy. I’ve never given her any reason to suspect me, I really love her and would never think of cheating, but I’m scared by her jealous outbursts and she freaks out if she sees me talking to this girl after class (about class related stuff, all totally innocent).

My brother keeps telling me that crazy jealousy and possessiveness like this are a big sign that your partner has cheated on you because their guilt makes them suspicious of everyone else. Is that true? I know she’s cheated on a few of her other girlfriends in the past, but I also know that she really loves me and would never do that to me! Please help.

Can you tell me of other signs that your partner is cheating on you? Can you tell me how I can convince my girlfriend that I am not, and would not ever, cheat on her? I’ve been doing everything she asks, short of ignoring my classmate, but it never seems to be enough. I just want things to go back to the way they were before all this crazy stuff started happening and I'm scared we're going to break up.
I just want us to be really honest with each other, and maybe if she needs to sleep around we can try being polyamorous, but I just can't handle this jealousy crap!


Double Doubt (in Dallas)

Dear Double Doubt in Dallas,

I have some harsh words for you, my Doubtful Dallas friend.

In my experience (and through years of intensive studying) I have found that people who aren't brave enough to end a relationship outright and in an honest way tend to sabotage things instead. It's easier. It's like throwing a bomb into the scene. So instead of someone having to say "I can't do this anymore" or "My feelings have faded" and risk hurting you directly, they just chuck a bomb into your relationship and make you sift through the debris and wonder what happened. What I'm saying is... sometimes people cheat and this is the bomb. This is them blowing a hole in the wall and sneaking out instead of just taking the door.

1. I know she’s cheated on a few of her other girlfriends in the past, but I also know that she really loves me and would never do that to me!

The fact that she's cheated on a few of her girlfriends in the past is a gigantic RED FLAG!
If you're imagining that because she loves you she would never cheat on you, then you are wrong wrong wrong.
Let's be real here: she had to have something going on with her other girlfriends in order for them to BE girlfriends. Like.... love. So in theory, she loved them, and then cheated on them. And in reality, she loves you, and .... she could cheat on you. She would do that to you. Because she HAS done that to other people.

People are not incapable of change, but the simple fact that she's In Love doesn't mean that she's a Different Person. So... hope for the best, prepare for the worst!

2. I just want things to go back to the way they were before all this crazy stuff started happening

It's really important to be honest with yourself and see what you're getting out of this relationship Right Now.
Not how it was when you first got together, not what it could be with some hard work and honesty. What is happening Right Now?
Are you being treated fairly? Are you happy on a daily basis? What percentage of the time are you happy in this relationship and when you're together? Like, not co dependently relieved that you're not alone, but actually enjoying each other's company. Are you happy more than you're stressed out?

She is not choosing to show you the side of her that she was "before all this crazy stuff started happening".
She is also not choosing to reveal to you what has changed In Her to make this "crazy stuff start happening". You know?

As far as i know, you didn't do anything to facilitate this change in mood and "crazy stuff". You can't Make somebody act like that. It's all on them. And with that in mind, it's her responsibility to take (I'm sorry to throw in lesbian therapy speak here) ownership of her feelings and be honest and clear with you about what's going on.

3. I'm scared we're going to break up.

Is this relationship really that fun for you right now? Maybe some space would clear things up?

4. maybe if she needs to sleep around we can try being polyamorous

No no no no NO! Polyamory is the K2 of relationships. It requires Twice as much honesty and Thrice as many communication skills and good boundaries as a run of the mill dating situation.
If you can't trust the person you're with, and they are acting like they can't trust you, then Noooooooo. Stay out of the polyamorous neck of the woods my friend! It is a jungle in which your weapon is trust. If you don't have that shit locked down and trusty, then stay out! The weed that is jealousy will kudzu on your ass.

I'm sorry, sweet Dallas, and I hope everything works out for the best.

and now, the wisdom of my Senior Citizen Zine Group:

Walter: If they're saying You're Cheating, accusing you, then they're not the person for you. If my sister in law lived closer, I think it'd be okay to marry her. My brother's widow. My thought was, he's already dead, so I'm free to marry so it's alright. But she lives far away.

Henrietta- To me , if a person's gonna 'scuse me with my coworkers or classmates all the time I wanna get away from 'em, because that ain't fair. Because if you wanted to get with them (your coworkers or schoolmates), you would've already. So if you're talking funny to me, then No No . You goin to 'scuse me, then you ain't my man.

Diane- Why can't people be honest?

You wouldn't wanna get married to nobody like that.

you'll find someone to marry. Like my sister in law, she might not even be the one for me. We have some same interests, bible and all....

I'm for peace. If you can't get along with me, you get along with nobody. You gotta be free. You 'scuse me? What're you doin? You gotta trust Somebody.

You have to get somebody that she don't know and spy on them!

Diane- spy on them! go for it!

Estelle- Oh Crud.

Our Beehived Helper:

i have been devastatingly single most of my (albeit short) adult life. in the past, i had some of what one might call "self-esteem issues", which i convinced myself were my barrier to sweet sweet lovin'. but i feel like I've grown up and over those, to the extent that we can, and would be a totally awesome date.
the problem is that my preferred activities (i.e. watching "coal miner's daughter" while drinking white wine spritzers, hanging out in Scapoose, & dressing up like a Newsies character to go to safeway) don't usually involve me meeting lots of hot dykes. and i don't really want to change my life over-much on the off chance that I'll meet someone worth it.
I've tried a couple of internet dating sites and had pretty paltry results. and it's not because i can't write a really good why-you-should-date-me synopsis. i think the sites I'm looking at just don't have enough queers on them.

so my questions has a few parts:

1. what are your general suggestions for datelessness of the shy and hermit-like variety?

2. any hints for internet dating specifically?

3. will you please tell me which internet dating sites have lots of gay?

- much obliged

Dear Obliged,

When i read your letter this week, the first thing i thought to myself was, "If this person is dressing like a Newsie, they'd better bring that act on over to New Seasons instead of Safeway, and they'll be all set! In fact, let me know when you get there!"

The second thing I thought was: How's your hair? Get a new haircut. A new haircut can bring magical results! You could be the most introverted fellow on earth, but with the right haircut (see Christian Bale in Swing Kids) you will find it hard to manage the many dates that will come your way. I really think this is the truth. Sometimes a new haircut can even add a few weeks of rejuvenation to an otherwise dying relationship. It's like magic.

Getting serious for a moment:

There are plenty of people who would like to watch videos and drink spritzers, hang out in scapoose, and indulge your paper boy persona.

However, you are NOT going to meet anyone at Safeway! Even if you can only afford one specialty item, I have to recommend Shopping at New Seasons if you're looking for lesbians.
Okay, so you have your basket and you're at the grocery store. You're perusing the yogurt and you see somebody cute. Maybe you even make "meaningful eye contact". Try to do something , cough, ask them if they'd like to buy a newspaper, something so that they remember who you are.
THEN, when you get home, write an I Saw You ad for them and post it on craiglist or in the local weekly paper. I swear this might work! I even tried it the other week (!), and though this did not result in marriage or even first base, the person definitely wrote back. Because they were flattered that somebody remembered them and sieged with curiosity.

Internet dating. I have to reveal that for the most part, i think the w4w section of craigslist is a grisly dog pound. If i were you i would try the Mercury personals. Why? Because i know some people who are upstanding , handsome citizens who have posted on there to good results.

Ask. Your . Friends. "Set me up."

Go to a terrible gay dance night and set up a booth in a corner selling flagging kerchiefs or telling fortunes. Then people will come to you, maybe they'll give you money, and you'll get to suss out the heroes from the zeroes.

Good luck, and I'll see you at the grocery store.

And now... for some older advisers:

Dear Shy,
Though I'm more of an extrovert, my brother was shy. One thing his teacher did him as a favor was make him read out loud.
- Walter

I wouldn't know because I'm so chicken myself. I just go to church, fishing, the grocery store...
Nowadays if you give a person a smile they think you want something! But i don't' mean it that way, I'm just friendly!

Di - Dress good, put yourself together and go to an activity. Say hello and make eye contact! Don't give up! Don't feel sorry for yourself. At least not in front of your date.

What? I don't know. I don't go anywhere either.

Dear Nicole,

I feel like my pizazz and spark and intelligence cannot be appreciated by anyone in a romantic sense. I'm constantly being broken up with in favor of the plain. The boring. The ponytail. The let's-get-take-out-and-stay-in. The lackadaisical. My last two boyfriends are now dating slugs with no personality.
I talked candidly with the last man I was with, and he told me quite frankly that my cleverness and personality was overwhelming and that he began sleeping with a much younger stoner girl because "she was an ear for me to talk to." This girl is as dull as a ten year old nail file. I didn't know whether to thank him for his honestly or weep for his directness.
I never in my life thought that having interests and goals and an education would be so detrimental. I'm feeling this terrible pressure to conform and to normalize and to dumb myself down. Can creative, worthwhile people get down with a lady like me? I know that I deserve better but I am getting impatient. Please let me know there is hope!

Yours Very Sincerely,

Tiny Firecracker in Texas
P.S. I am a Leo.

Dear Firecracker,

1. I know you are a proud Leo, and that you probably are a fantastic catch and can see that in yourself. I applaud your self esteem and self assuredness.
I want you to brush down your lion hair for a moment (just for a moment!) and look deeper into this dilemma.
What other warning signs were there in these relationships?
What was it about your vivacity that got these dudes down?
My only wondrance is, were you a good listener? Were you okay at sharing the spotlight?
Just a wondrance, after hearing what your ex boyfriend had to say.

2. Pick better dudes.
You must know that if a man would choose an adolescent stoner girl over you , then he's not your man.
You need someone clever and cute and creative and worthwhile. Look harder. These guys sound like duds. Your soul mate is not going to think you're Too Sparkly or Intelligent (but make sure you give your soul mate room to shine!).

or you could always....
3. Go Gay!
What better way to feel appreciated than to communicate with someone who can truly understand you? ... a Same Sex Lover!

And now, some words from the elderly:

Walter- You gotta get the right person...

Henrietta- Ice cream and cake. I don't like violence. I wouldn't wanna fool with her because I wouldn't wanna argue.

A man married someone i was sposed to marry but he didn't know the Facts of Life, if you know what i mean. You know, sexual stuff.

Dear Nicole,
Is it wrong for a grown up (77 year old) person to play pin the tail on the donkey or pinata?
- Walter

Dear Walter,
I don't think so. As long as you're playing it with other 77 year olds, i guess.
Readers, do you have any comments?
Please give me feedback!

love Nicole

Should I Remove My Cat's Teeth?

Dear Readers, I am a dog person, as you know. After I received this very serious question about feline health care , I called upon Guest Blogger Diane "Macho Man" Gasperin for help in answering this reader's cat-related woes. Read on.

Dear Nicole -

About 3 years ago during a routine vet visit, I learned that one of my two orange tabbies has the gum disease stomatitis. Stomatitiis is essentially when your body is allergic to your teeth (?!?!?!), and at age 3, my now 5 year old Oliver, already had advanced gingivitis. The vet who assisted me that day happened to be a DOUCHEBAG 2 THE X-TREME and was incredibly condescending when informing me that Oliver would have to have all of his teeth pulled eventually. He also told me that feeding him a dental diet was futile and I could do that if it made me feel better. (he said the same thing about having his teeth cleaned periodically) This before saying that he will get really sick at some point, so would I like to start him on a course of steroid treatments that may or may not work and would last his entire life? Oh and that after finding a treatment that did work, it would only work temporarily and then the whole process would have to start over again. (This particular vet also mentioned that before becoming a veterinarian, he worked in a lab testing things on animals!!!!!)

I have since taken him to separate vet clinics, both of whom confirmed this condition. I have learned that once cats have their teeth removed they can lead a very happy life, usually happier than before because they have no more pain. And I have also learned that having cat teeth removed is INSANELY expensive. I can't remember how much exactly, but it would be over a thousand, and that's a lot. (Also I hate the idea of him going under for surgery because cats are more sensitive to anaesthesia)

The last clinic I went to with my other orange tabby Cornelious, is a University Veterinary hospital near where I live. While there, I ended up talking to the vet student mostly about Oliver. She seemed to actually understand my hesitation towards putting my cat through the extreme anxiety of repeated vet trips, putting different types of harsh (and expensive) steroids in his body all before inevitably having all his teeth pulled. She even mentioned that there's a Holistic Health club in the veterinary school which made me trust this place all the more.

I am hugely into alternative medicine; but it's hard to cure something that is already a major health issue using these methods because they are more for prevention. I am already giving him a daily kitty sized dosage of coq10, and I hope that it's doing some good. Oliver acts healthy and happy, but his gums always look inflamed and I notice that he barely chews dry food so I mostly give him wet food. (Also nasty side effects of stomatitis include drooling, and CRAZY bad breath that smells like dirty butt crack!!)

I guess what I am asking is, should I just take him in and get an estimate for how much the teeth removal will cost? I DREAD taking either cat to the vet for any reason because they get soooo upset and think I am rejecting and abandoning them. I am also worried they might force me to get his yearly vaccinations. (I am very opposed to getting indoor cats vaccinated for the same diseases every year!!) As much as I am concerned for my cats' health and safety, I guess I'm also scared what they might say because Oliver hasn't seen a vet in probably 2 years. And even though I am nervous and apprehensive to get his teeth removed, even if I did fork over the cash, I have been advised by multiple vets not to remove his teeth until trying to fix it with treatments first!!

I wanted to get a fellow doting animal mother's perspective on the matter.


- Wishing Cats had Health Insurance in Philly

Dear Cat owner in a Quandary,
First of all, here are my credentials: I am an ex-vet tech, I currently work in human health care and miss my animal friends. I am close friends with a veterinarian with whom I used to work, and I have a friend who has a cat who had to have her teeth removed due to stomatitis.

And, before I tell you my thoughts on this immune-system-gone-wacky disease, I'd like to let you know that there is really no reason for cats who are entirely indoors to get vaccinated. That's just bullshit.

But as for the more difficult issue of the stomatitis, it's really true that once this problem has occurred, the cat's teeth will eventually need to be pulled. It's an immune response, and once the immune system has decided that something needs to go (even if it's not true), it's pretty much not up for discussion.
Treating your cat with expensive, and potentially side-effect-producing medications is just buying time, and keeping your cat uncomfortable. That one day under anaesthaesia will be stressful, but it will solve the problem for good.

I should mention that I am also very into alternative, natural remedies for pets and people, and I have a very dear 12 year old cat who was diagnosed with diabetes about three months ago. Scout was put on insulin and a special diet was recommended, but I had a hunch that the pet food industry was to blame here. So I said a big F U to the traditional over-processed cooked pellet formulas that people have come to think are essential to feed their felines, and I tried the raw food diet. My vet thought I was a kook, but when I called him to tell him "In your Face! It worked!" he was all ears!

It took a month and a half (and yes, this doesn't always happen), but Scout actually went into remission from diabetes, and currently remains healthy and non-insulin dependent. Her coat is shinier than ever, she runs and plays again, and she is at a "perfect weight" according to my vet.

This digression brings light to two very true facts about feline nutrition and health:
1) While we humans don't need to eat this way (go veggie!), our cat friends are obligate carnivores. This means that feeding them anything else besides raw protein is essentially unhealthy for them, and causes health problems like diabetes, etc.
2) the pet food industry sells food to humans who want convenience and who don't necessarily know all about cat nutrition.

With your cat Oliver's advanced health problems, it may be too late to reverse his problems with the raw food diet; but it's never too late to start him on it, which (although more expensive than dry or canned food) will help improve overall health from a preventative perspective.
Once his teeth are pulled, he can go back to a healthier way of life with the diet that nature intended. It may be a bigger investment now; but improved health could mean big savings in the long run.

So, I guess it's time to organize a benefit show for Oliver!

Also, there are many vets...if your vet is a condescending a-hole, fire them and find a new one!

And finally, if you don't believe me, here's a book about holistic pet nutrition that I have found very valuable:
Dr.Pitcairn's complete guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats
by Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, PhD

Pet nutrition nerd
here's the name of that book...

P.s. I also wanted to add that my friend who had the same problem got all her teeth removed and she's now happy and healthy once more. Also, she's all gums so no worries about being bitten.

S.S.S. (Sorry So Slow)

Hi There. I've been at the coast. I'm back. I'll answer your questions by the end of the day!
I have dating advice, cat advice, and hair advice in store.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Correction, re: Gaydar

Dear Readers, When M in Minneapolis asked me about Gaydar, I assumed he was referring to gaydar when seeking women. Ho ho, Not So! I have since been corrected by M in M , and, since i have no experience in the subject, I have called in a professional Gay Man Spotter, noted expert Lucas Taylor, to field this question for me.
Read on!

Dear Nicole,

IS there such a thing as Gaydar? How do you tell if a person is gay or not? I have never been able to do so with any success and it's caused me much embarrassment when asking for dates.
-M in Minneapolis

Dear M,

Let me step in for Nicole on this one, as a queer man I have done much field research relating to this exact question. I fear my answer is neither simple, short or precise, but know this, gay men are tricky.

Just because a handsome gentleman has a large beard, hairy forearms, a stout frame and a penchant for well designed furniture... he does not a bear make.

Similarly, an androgynous wisp of a boy in skin-tight jeans and an ironic vintage t-shirt does not always spell twink, this could easily also spell B-A-P-T-I-S-T, the key here is wether or not he's holding a sign that says "God Hates Fags!". Well, that's also tricky... because even though them baptist boys know that God hates fags, they still might love blowjobs... from friends... who are guys... but it was just that one time, and it was only on a dare, and they were drunk... and had eaten a lot of skittles earlier in the day on an empty stomach... which led of course to an acute interest to "taste the rainbow".

Also shoes, look at his shoes... if he has skinny jeans on and some all-white new balances on... straight.

Then we are led to this whole "Metrosexual" problem, even that word is a problem to me, I think I just tasted my own vom in my mouth. Anyways, all these straight dudes, who obviously aren't gay, but admire us for our well maintained appearances and our glowing skin, well now they are all becoming total boner blockers.
There used to be a time when it was easy to "spot" a gay man, his over-use of hand gestures while talking, his catty sarcasm, his fabulous clothes, his collection of shoes and hair products... and now, now we have straight men who have stolen our gay identity away from us, and then hide their machismo in their girlfriends vaginas.

As confusing as all of that is... you just have to start learning to read body language, I've noticed my gaydar is more connected to my boners than it is to my rational thinking. Just because a guy is hot, does not mean that it's on, you have to see if he's making eye contact with you, how long his glances are. Is he sitting near you? Does he have his leg crossed? Is the crossed leg pointing in your direction? Where are his arms? Are they crossed or open? Pay attention to his pose and how comfortable he seems around you. And now this is the most important part... make sure he's drunk. When he's good and liquored up you can suavely place your hand on his leg during conversation, how does he react? Does he touch your hand? Or does he throw up... now this gets tricky because it all depends on precisely how drunk you've gotten him... but the drinking is a fail safe, if you totally screw up and it turns out you've just made an advance on some douchebag who is a total "gaycist", well, he probably won't remember the next day, and you can always be like "woah.. dude, I was like, so drunk, I can't remember anything" and hope that he takes a cue from you.

Without liquor involved, you could casually ask about his girlfriend, as in "That's a nice american apparel deep v-neck you are wearing, did your girlfriend buy it for you?". Or I would just hope for a common friend or acquaintance and just ask about his sex life behind his back. I know I know, it's not perfect... but it's all I've got.

Lucas Taylor

Monday, August 18, 2008

Slapping noises, home wreckers, retail and the E.R.

Dear Nicole,

I am a Woman Who Has Sex With Other Women. Currently, I am a Woman Who Has Sex With Other Women having sex with a Woman Who Has Sex With Men. Does that make sense? What I mean to say is, I'm sleeping with a straight girl. And there's the curious thing that happens in gay lady sex--that farting sound from the suction between hot, sweaty legs and/or other body parts (and I'm not talking about queefing, which is another bag of bones entirely). Anyway, even though I laugh it off (cause it is funny) when it's happens during sex with girlfriends or other experienced queers, for some reason it embarrasses me when it happens during sex with this "straight" girl. So my question--does this happen with boy/girl sex? If so, then she's surely heard it before and I can Get The Fuck Over It. And I know I should GTFOI regardless and I'm really not that concerned in the first place, but is there a way to avoid this when partaking in scissor sisters, if you know what I'm saying?

--Goldstar in NC

Dear Goldstar,

You've come to the right place. As a tin-star myself, I can tell you from experience that there are unique and equally as hilarious (if not foul) sounds that come from heterosexual sex. For every lezzie suction sound, there is a Weird slapping noise. For every queef, there is the sound of a dude groaning "Oh Shit" or "Uh Oh" before he climaxes. In straight sex land, that happens, like, every minute.

So basically, your new lady friend is no stranger to the auditory drawbacks of intercourse.

And Besides, she should be so stoked to be having sex with you that it just doesn't matter.

love nicole

p.s. How to avoid those noises? I don't think you can avoid all of them. Especially if you're into fisting or whatever this "scissor sister" nonsense is. Turn up the stereo and have some more sex and don't worry about it.

Dear Nicole,

After a recent night of imbibing with friends and loved ones, I forgot my bike helmet at the bar and proceeded to ride home--against my better judgment, yes, but not against my impaired judgment. Soon after shakily mounting my trusty Bianchi, I ate drunken shit, hit my head, and came to in a beautiful first responder's arms under the glow of flashing red and blue lights. And though I tried to convince the beautiful first responder (as well as the EMTs and officers of the law who were called to the scene) that I was fine and just needed to go home, they
(forcefully) convinced me that medical attention was a good idea. So I agreed. But the thing is--I'm decidedly lacking in a) health insurance and b) expendable income, so when they asked my name, I told them the first thing that came to mind: my ex-girlfriend's name.

ANYWAY, the whole story is long and blurry and ends with me discharging myself from the hospital when no one was looking (after the CAT scan results, of course, which were fine... I think) and trying to hitch a ride home and falling asleep on the side of the road and being rescued by a benevolent city bus driver who dropped me off at my front door. ANYWAY, since then, I've gotten in two other bike wrecks--one my fault and one not. Both times I walked away with some nasty cuts and some harm to my poor Bianchi but no lasting damage to either of us. ANYWAY, here's my question--can I go back to the hospital after giving them a false identity, including name, birth date, address, and social security number? (The name, by the way, was the only thing taken from real life. The rest was completely made up, which I stress so that you understand that my ex-gf will not be billed for this, much as that would give me pleasure.) SO, back to the question--what if I HAD gotten a concussion when the douche on a mountain bike ran a red at the bottom of a hill and smack into me??? What then??? How do I procure the services of the ER after falsifying information, refusing to give them a urine sample, and peacing the fuck out when the nurse turned her back?

--Uninsured in Orange County

Dear Uninsured:

I don't know the answer to this question.
Here's what i do know about the success of giving a fake name to the E.R.:
I knew a guy in Kansas City whose prescriptions from the hospital were all made out to one Benjamin Weasel.

Do you look particularly memorable? Do you think they'd remember you months and months later?
What if your ex girlfriend goes in sometime to get a new kidney and they give her a hard time b/c you committed "Identity Theft" on her?
Why don't you wear your helmet and take a taxi from now on?
You should go to a party where Michelle Howa is. When i was trying to ride my bike home drunk from a party, she fastened and adjusted my helmet onto my head so snuggly, I could barely get it off when i arrived home.

To summarize:
Don't be dead, and also, I hope that your ex girlfriend moves out of state before she needs that kidney or you will be in some serious karmic trouble.

love, nicole.

Dear Nicole,
As a woman,
Why is cheating with some body's boyfriend/girlfriend anti-feminist?
Curious Capricorn in California

Dear Curious Capricorn,

Cheating is anti-feminist because
it perpetuates girl jealousy and competition.
It devalues another girl's feelings.
It fucks with the mind of another girl.
we as feminists should be supportive and trying to build each other up and help each other out in this world whenever we can.
This is not the message we are given on a day to day basis from the media, school, or the workplace. It's something we have to
remember on our own.
I think the punkest thing you can do sometimes is to support each other.
Not be shady fucksters!
Shadiness is for squares.

Love, nicole

Dear Nicole,
You mentioned before that you make ends meet just by drawing... does that mean you're a freelance artist or just insanely booked for the next few years to publish even more invincible summer books? And, how in the world did you get to this point?

-Wannabe freelancer

Dear Wannabe,
Truly, I am a freelancer.
I do zine workshops with young people as a contractor, I do pet portraits, I'm working on a graphic novel, and i do illustration work for books, magazines, individuals, and organizations.
From cobbling all of those things together, I make enough money for this one bedroom shack where I stay with Beija and Wishbone Georges.

Here is how it happened;
After eight years of zine making, I decided to get serious about drawing for a living, so I wrote to people whose things i wanted to illustrate and asked them to give me a chance. I started a website , and I posted art on the website that I'd already made for other purposes.

I had two part time jobs when i started, and then when i got a chunk of money for a big project, I quit one of the jobs and made a deal with myself that by the time the project money ran out, I would have a plan on how to make up that section of my income.

The thing about working for yourself that blows is that you work all of the time and have intense guilt when you're not working. And you're pretty broke for a while, and your friends don't understand why when they show up at your house in the middle of the day, you can't hang out.

You can do it.
Find people you know who work for themselves. One of my favorite people to look at for this is Jenn from . She and her partner Jenny both work full time at home making coasters , stuffed animals, and crafts.
Good luck.


p.s. maybe you could work as an artist's assistant for a little while and see how the person you're working for operates as freelancer.

p.p.s. remember if you're a freelancer you don't have any medical insurance. So if you break your tooth on a bagel you might lose ten pounds while you wait for the nerve to deaden before you can eat again because you don't have one thousand dollars to get it fixed. Consider!

Dear NG,
I live in a studio that shares a kitchen and living space with 3 other studios. The other studios are inhabited by 50 year old single straight men. My studio is fantastic and l love it however I often overhear drunken chats about "fucking cunts" when referring to cashiers at grocery stores and other such disgustingness. They are loud and negative and I overhear everything in my room when they are in the kitchen. Its gotten to the point where I feel paralyzed in my room until hours of yelling goes by and I am finally able to go out and make my dinner in peace. Is there anything i can do? should I tell my landlord (who lives downstairs)? Should I tell them something directly? What should i say?

Paralyzed in Portland, Or

Dear Paralyzed,
Yuck. After staring at the wall and imagining myself in your position, here is what I suggest:

1. Talk to the landlord. let him know how unpleasant this situation is, and that you feel intimidated to confront a drunken group of grown men about their aggressive behavior. Ask him/her for some help.

2. If the landlord is a tool and won't help.... I wish you could move.

3. If the landlord is a tool and won't help, and you can't move, and you like your apartment, i would try either a brave and direct approach, a wacked out crazy bitch approach, or a lying approach:

- Bravery: Go into the kitchen while they're talking and put on some tea and take up plenty of personal space.
guy: "This cunt at the grocery store..."
you: "WHOA. What?"
guy: "This.. cunt at the grocery store."
you: (shake head) "No. No way. Please don't say that while I'm around."
guy: "har har"
you: "Seriously."

(Maybe include "I Can Hear You In there, you Sick Monsters." )

- Insanity: When they're in the kitchen yelling about cunts and you can hear them, then they can probably hear you when you start screaming
"SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" over and over again and start pounding on the kitchen wall.

- Fakery: Tell them your little sister is visiting and she's trying to sleep. You're babysitting. Thanks, guys.

( Looking at these, I guess talking to the landlord is probably the very best approach. It's the landlord's responsibility to handle this situation, not yours. Good luck, friend!)

Dear Nicole,

I was working a temp job about a month ago and my friend helped me get a job at her work. (She is a training and development supervisor there) I was very thankful for her favor and putting in a good word for me. My problem is that after a month I find myself not liking my job. I work at a huge Department Store and I'm on my feet all day which kills my back and I have an insane altering schedule. My friend has now taken the roll of boss lady and is super duper professional towards me and I feel like she sees me as a inferior while at work. I hate how awkward it is to try and conversate with her at work, but I try my best to be super polite and be the best friend I can and support my sister!

I want to look for another job, but a part of her work evaluation is keeping their turn-over rates low. I want to help my friend with her evaluation, but I also want to be happy with my job and be somewhat comfortable (having to work 8 hours on your feet and ride your bike home is no easy task).

Am I being a jerk by wanting to find another job? I don't want to ruin my friendship, but she already has made me feel bad by her change of attitude towards me while at work.


Hesitant In Utah

Dear Utah,

You have to remember that at work your friend is not your friend, she's your boss.
If she keeps you at arm's length at work, that sounds like a good boss boundaries to me.
I know it seems rough, but you really don't want to have a boss whose attitude to you at work is in anyway linked to your social relationship.

If she can be icily professional , then so can you.
Here's your icy professionalism: Her evaluation is not your problem.
If this isn't the job for you, then I advise that you find another job.

Give your friend your two weeks, and explain how grateful you are that she gave you a chance and that you really appreciate it ,
but that an *amazing* opportunity came up and you have to take it (this is fudging the truth a little bit,
and is in regards to the job that you have lined up once you quit, so you'd better make it a good one).
Don't complain to her about the job she gave you. This is one battle that will not be worth winning in the long run.

You guys might need to take space from each other for a few weeks while she cools off and you can shake off her bossy weirdness,
but after that time maybe you could send her some cookies with a note that says "Please Forgive Me, I Miss You!" and you can be friends again.

Take the high road, swallow your pride, and then get a new job!

Good luck.

Dear Nicole,
Should I sell at Crafty Wonderland in September?

Thank you kindly,
Sock Stuffer in Southeast

Dear SSS,
Yes. You should table at Crafty Wonderland in September.
Unless it costs too much.
But i bet you'll sell a lot of stuff.
If you hate the act of tabling, you could always hire somebody like your friend Nicole Georges to sit at your table in exchange for having her/their stuff there too.
I bet she/they'd do a good job.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Of Pigs, Pot Heads, Dirt Bags, and Roommates

Dear Nicole.

last night - actually 4:15 this morning, I woke up to the sound of a pig having a complete mental breakdown outside of my bedroom window. I live on the second floor in an urban block near a very busy street so this was, by no means, usual. I was in a deep sleep and rather bleary eyed at the time- - the pig continued to scream bloody murder until 4:20 am but I stayed asleep because I was on my delicious new latex-blend mattress from Mattress World in Jantzen Beach who are, by the way, very gay friendly. I was convinced that it was part of my dream, which was actually about me writing an R&B mega-hit( a recurrent dream).

Anyways I finally dragged my ass over to a window and looked out to see what the heck was going on. I saw what I THOUGHT was a couple of people trying to load a a screaming pig into the back of a red minivan. However my eyes were coated in the cotton candy of a deep summer sleep and I really had no idea. I lay back down and called 911 with my eyes closed. I said, " I think someone is abusing an animal in front of my house." ( please understand that this new mattress is like a drug - I had no idea if I was dreaming or what- I mean I should have been yelling a the people but I was trying to remember the line to the song I was writing in my dream ( Hey boy -why you gotta leave me!? La LA LA LALA) - anyways the cops were en route and i texted my post-goth neighbor " yo girl. what up? are you killing a pig in your front yard?) and passed back out hard.

When I woke up in the morning my cell phone had erased all of my text messages and call log. Blank. All gone. So I had no idea if anything was real. I was worried that the cops were in on a conspiracy with my neighbor and had used the patriot act to erase my phone. No, too nuts, I chalked it up to an elaborate dream. I showered, drove to work forgot about the whole thing - but around 11am I started to think that maybe I should check. What if my post-goth neighbor had actually been murdering a child in the front yard in some pagan ritual! ( not totally out of the question) I called T-mobile and told them I was having trouble remembering if I called 911. The person on the phone seemed pretty uncomfortable but told me that I had!!!

I called my neighbor and asked her what was up and she replied, in a very matter of fact tone,: "it was no big deal - just a couple walking their pig and the pig sat down and decided he didn't want to walk anymore - and then they were trying to get him to walk - but he didn't want to and started screaming so they "called a van to come pick him up." ( is this a normal service i don't know about? 1-800-pick-up-my-screaming-pig-in-a -van?) I asked if they seemed cracked out, given that it was 4am. She said "No, not at all- just having a hard time with the pig I guess."

Uhmmmmmmmmmmmm..... do I believe her? What the fuck is going on?

love - pigging out in Portland

Dear Pigging Out,

That is one amazingly woven tale, my friend.

I know that pigs can be very loud, from my days working on a farm. My job was to spank them out of bed every morning. They didn't want to leave their warm straw beds, and so screamed like the wraiths from Lord of the Rings. If you were here I'd do my impression for you. Really scary! Really intense! The point is, if a pig doesn't want to do something, he will be vocal about it. He will scream and dig his little hooves into the ground.

It's plausible that somebody who didn't know about pigs (i am guessing they didn't know about pigs since they were walking down the street in PORTLAND with a pig on a LEASH) tried the trick of walking their pig (who was undoubtedly rooting up their plants and carpeting with his nose because he was a PIG in an urban environment who was trying to do natural PIG things and since pigs are NOT MADE TO BE PETS...) down the street in the middle of the night and did not have the mental abilities ,charm, or the brute strength to get the pig to move.

So, it could have been a pig.
You need to trust that if it was NOT a wayward swine, the police handled the situation. That's all you can do. Tuck this story in your pocket for parties, and don't worry about it.

P.s. Do you remember the episode of Seinfeld where Kramer is obsessed with a Pig Man he saw at the hospital? This is a lot like that story.

P.p.s. If you haven't yet caught on, i HATE the idea of urban pigs as "pets". A pig wants to be on a farm with other pigs. Not on a fucking LEASH walking down goddamn Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard at 4:15 in the Morning!!!! If you are a pig pet owner , go find some land and another pig for your pig to befriend and stop torturing them (and yourself) by keeping them indoors because they are a novelty. They are a pig. They are a barnyard animal. Fuck you, get a dog.

P.p.s.s. I just remembered that I know some people who live near your neighborhood and adopted a stray pig last year. Maybe it was them. Is that a weird detail to throw in at the end of my three paragraph long diatribe?

Dear Nicole-

I am 25 and have been w/ the same person since I was 14 (yup- 11 years). Now, right before we got married, my partner started smoking pot every day, stopped bathing on an every day (or even every-other day) basis, and I found these new habits disconcerting and unattractive. It's been 2 years since this started, and although the bathing has since been improving (mostly), the pot use is an every day occurrence. (Let me say I don't have a problem w/smoking pot, however, I do mind it as an every day habit when I wholly dislike the personality that comes through in the smoker). Even though I've voiced my concerns and my feelings (ie "I don't like your personality constantly high. I like you less..."), I was told that I, "don't have a right to say what,or how much of something goes in [his] body". SO...

It's continued ever since. I feel very separate from my spouse because I need to block out his personality and annoying behavior when he's high, and I don't feel sexually attracted to someone who throws hygiene to the wind (which I've told him). What should I do? Do I stay in a very long term relationship because we still like each other, or... what? *I've never been single, and wonder, what if this is the best I could hope for?*

-Bummed and Confused

Dear B&C,

Today I was listening to The Doctor Laura show while walking my dogs.
A woman called and told Dr. Laura that her fiance was nice, etc etc, but could not stop staring at other women when they were out.
This bothered the caller.
It got to a point where she would intervene and say "Are You Undressing Her With Your Eyes?".
"It almost feels like adultery, Doctor Laura!" the woman cried.
When confronting her fiance about this transgression, he would say something like "it's none of your business" or "you're being controlling" or something.
Basically, d.L.'s advice was "Fuck that guy. He's not ready to be married to you, because he is being so inconsiderate of your feelings. He doesn't care, and in order to have a marriage, you need to compromise and have some communication and trust with your partner, not a toddler-ific I Can Do What I Want attitude."

While i may think that the woman caller was making a big deal out of the looking, I DO think that in general, d.L's advice was correct.
If you bring up an issue with your partner (who you want to marry) and they are cemented into their position, even though it hurts you, then it's time to go.

It sounds like you don't want to be married to a marijuana addict.
I think that is a fair thing to want and to expect for yourself.
If marijuana (and all the trappings that go with pot addiction, including lethargy, depression and no showering) is a non-negotiable and he refuses to compromise on the issue or seek treatment, then this does not sound like your soul mate.

In your ideal situation, does your soul mate treat you this way? Does your life partner have trouble with hygiene in your wildest love fantasies?

If i were you i would give it a last go by asking him to enter Couples Therapy with you. Because you've been dating for such a long time and it would probably be comforting to know that you tried everything you could think of before making a final decision.
If he's unwilling to go, then I think you should find the partner you deserve, who is willing to work on things with you.
Sometimes it's such a giant act of bravery to leave a long-term situation that's gone sour, but you have to live in the present (what he's giving you now) and go with it and as uncomfortable as leaving might be, you'll ultimately be better for it (when you're saying "Schwoo! I'm so glad I'm not married to an addict!" someday).

Good luck.

As shitty as singlehood probably sounds right now, it is an amazing relief and breath of fresh air if you haven't breathed it for a while. Especially if you've been carrying around someone else's baggage. Take off that heavy back pack and let your shoulders do some breathing!
you may not think there are better fish in the sea right now from where you're standing , but keep in mind that you haven't even thrown your pole up in that ocean for ELEVEN YEARS! And you're still so young! There are so so so so sooooo many fish in the sea. Some of them will blow your mind and your expectations. I promise.

Dear Gorgeous Georges:

I’m a single lady juggling 3-4 Gentleman Callers in and out of my luxurious bed. If someone I fucked is described as “a total dirt bag” by my girlfriends, does that mean I should go for it anyway if I’m attracted to him? Perhaps with an extra ounce of heads-up-caution, but… total dirt bag is code for “person who has lived life”, right? And if I’m not even “dating” the guy, how much does his dirt bag status even matter?


Town Whore Open For Business CLANG CLANG CLANG.

First of all:
"Person who has lived life"?
Town Whore, I've "lived life" and I'm not a "Total Dirt bag"! You've "lived life" and I've never heard you described as a "total dirt bag"!
Don't you use those platitudes with me , miss. I hate 'em.

Sure, nobody's perfect, but most people do not have a reputation as a Total Dirt bag.

If you have so many gentleman callers, why soil the batch with a chode? There's no need! You can have hot sex with plenty of people who are not guilty of douche-baggery, i promise you.

Close your eyes and imagine your ideal self. Seriously, your #1
"Here is What I Want For Myself. Here is Who I Want To Be".
Does that person settle for a-holes?
Does that person reward Dirt bags by letting them sweat all over her? I imagine, from wayyyyy over here in Portland, that she does not.

One time i was This Close (imagine my fingers really close to each other) to having a sugar mama, but the person who wanted to do the sugar mothering was a Dirt Bag who had gotten my number whilst still monogamously attached to another girl. I had to stop and think
"does my ideal self go to dinner with someone i think is gross just because they're going to buy that dinner for me and give me an expensive gift afterwards?"
The answer was no.

So. That's it. Don't settle. Do not fuck a dirt bag.
Be a feminist who supports other women by listening to their stories about what dudes have done to them or are capable of.
I believe in your powers of good, and, knowing that you are probably an awesome "lay", i say bestow that gift of Laying on somebody who's a decent human being.

Dear Nicole,
I am a shy person that warms up to people once I've known them for a little while. I am about to move to a new city and am very nervous about meeting new people, especially those I want to live with. Do you have any tips for acing housing interviews and keeping myself from becoming a trembling, stammering mess? My uncle thinks LSD would help me become more open, but I'm going to say no to that for now.

- shy-la

Dear Shy-la,

I would have to agree with you that LSD is not the best way to ace a housing interview.
But speaking of drugs, have you ever tried Kava Kava? It is this really trippy herb that is 100% legal and chills your jitters out intensely. Careful- if you take too much it has the opposite effect and gets you high. But if you take just some or put it in a smoothie (you can get it as a powder from a hippie retailer of fine herbs. {seriously, I'm talking about herbs, not "Herb"}) it will cool your bones down. (Once i had a crush so bad i could not eat and had butterflies in my stomach for weeks straight, and the Kava Kava let me exist as a normal human being until the crush subsided.)

Other than that,
I would preface your interview with "I'm sorry if I'm acting weird, I get SO NERVOUS! " or "i am really , super duper 100% shy at first, so forgive my quietness."

The fear with a quiet person at a housing interview is that they are either a snob, or really really dull. It's your job to somehow convey to them that you're not this way, but to do it in a fashion that won't give you a heart attack on the spot

Is there some creative thing you can do or show them that will win them over? Kill them with kindness?Like, could you make some cupcakes or cookies beforehand or bring them a copy of your zine or some other art project that you've contributed to? "Here's a mix tape i made. Thanks for the interview.I really want to live here. "
These are non-verbal things that are international symbols of Someone You Might Like To Have Around.

Do you have good references? If not, do you have a friend whose number you could put down as an old landlord or roommate who'd fake it for you? Like that Uncle of yours?
"Ahhh yes, Shy-la was my very favorite tenant. Always paid her bills on time and was such a charming individual. Yes, anyone would be lucky to have HER as a roommate. Yessir."

I believe you will find an excellent house, Shy-la. LSD Free. For every quiet person, there is a house with too many loud people. For every loud person, there is a quiet person who doesn't mind listening. Good luck!

my adult content disclaimer

hi there.

i just want to let everyone know that i chose to have an "adult content" screen show up before you enter my blog because i do a lot of work with young people, and since we talk about sex here and use adult language, it seemed best to give them a chance to back off before clicking into a mind blowing adult universe.
That's all.

Unfortunately it was not placed there by anyone but myself thinking my blog was too scandalous.

send me questions and take care!


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A sick rabbit, a misanthrope, and the sailing ship of Romance

Nicole, how are you?So it's midnight, and i'm getting into bed in my new apartment in sf. it's so cute, i love it! it even has a backyard. and my sheets are clean, and i'm kind of excited to get under my covers and fall asleep- it's going to feel so good- and i have a big day ahead of me tomorrow. but holy fuck nicole, the guy who lives above me snores like a goddamn jackhammer. he just moved in this week and is our landlord's grandson, and last night i barely slept.
so what do i do? i need my sleep.
i have my fan on high for noise pollution and radiohead playing, too, because they're nice go to sleep music, but i can still hear it. it's so loud and once i hear it, i can't ignore it. it's like pg&e is outside my bedroom drilling. did i mention, i'm wearing ear plugs- these foamy things. i hate them. and they don't work all the way because i can still hear the low rumble (it's like subterranean), and they hurt my little ears. nicole this snoring frequency could be on a sitcom. what do i do? if i don't get sleep, i might kill him.
thanks! Sincerely, Sleepless in San Francisco

Dear Sleepless ,

I'm tired, but luckily i live alone with no snorers to be heard, thanks for asking.

What a mess! Well, my friend, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that you have options in this situation. The bad news is, they all involve a level of discomfort on your part. It's just a matter of choosing which discomfort you prefer.

1. Emotional Discomfort:
The first thing i would try is calling the landlord. I would ask them if they could help you find a solution to a problem you've been having, and then explain that there's a loud snoring sound coming from their grandson's apartment every night and it's been keeping you up. Is there anything they can think of ? Would they mind talking to him? I would completely roll over on my back for this one and try to sound as non threatening and polite as possible. You could even lie and try to sound like you're completely understanding : "Yeah, my dad used to snore like that!" . Something to take them off-edge.

If this fails, then go on to options 2-5

2. Financial Discomfort:
You could try an actual white noise machine (there's a psychiatrist in my office building who has a white noise machine outside of his door and it really does work. i never hear anyone talking, crying, or screaming in his chambers.) and some high quality earplugs. The earplugs are $15.00, which seems like a lot for earplugs, BUT they provide more comfort and sound control than the foamy kind. Take a friend with you to the store for these items and try them out. Stick some plugs in your ear (if that's possible) and have your friend mimic the snoring noise as loud as they can while your back is turned. Do you hear it? Do the same with the noise machine. If you take it home and it doesn't work, please be a bossy grandma and take it back to the store to get a refund. "I demand my money back!" . Because those are expensive.

2.. Emotional Discomfort:
I would put on my most non threatening and peace-seeking face and walk downstairs with some cookies or something.
"Hi", i'd say, "I'm Nicole. I just moved in Upstairs and wanted to introduce myself."
Maybe at this point he'll mutter something about a hello.
"I know this sounds crazy, but can I ask you about something?"
"I need your help. I'm having a hard time sleeping because there's a snoring sound coming from your apartment at night. And i know it's none of my business, but i was wondering if there's anything we can do to work this out. What do you think?"

4. Feng Shui Discomfort:
Put your bed in the living room and put your t.v./hostessing supplies in what used to be your bedroom.
Unless you live in a studio apartment, i guess.

5. Financial Discomfort:
Find a new place to live.

Dear Nicole,
I have been single for 6 months and want a girlfriend.
Unfortunately, I have a chronic case of misanthropy and tend to only
leave my house for food or when bribed. Also, the mere thought of
being flirtatious with someone new sends me into a panic-induced
frenzy. How do I transcend my fear of getting acquainted? Did I
mention I don't like dating and have IBS (Incapable of Being Slutty)?
How do I meet an attractive lez who loves cats and all things
domestic? In addition to the above issues, I also have a very specific
type. Am I hopeless? Where do I find intelligent/cute/available andros
who are looking for the same? Help!

Sincerely yours,
Single and not loving it

Dear Single,
The good news is that you get to use my favorite slogan : "I'm Single and Ready to Mingle!!!"
Print up some tee shirts, make one of those giant buttons, get a visor, and tell the world that you're ready to take it on!

That advice probably sends your body into convulsions of discomfort,
so, here is some different advice.

If you want to find a mate, and assuming it's somebody you don't already know, then you're going to have to Man up (or Moman up, as it were) and deal with the discomfort and awkwardness of getting to know somebody brand new. Tuck some Rescue Remedy in your cheek, swig some wine or a grail of mead, and just do it.

1. Do you have any trusted friends who could set you up on a blind date? Just ask them. The lesbian circuit is very closely connected. Somebody has got to know a person with whom you could be a match.

2. I know you're going to hate this, but.... look on the internet. I know, I know. That's why i suggested this second and not first. If i were you I would sign up on a reputable dating site, but also go low (and accesible) like craigslist. I would be incredibly specific, so as to sift through the many heinous e-room dykes that will undoubtedly respond to your query. I happen to know at least three decent people off the top of my head that have found excellent dates through the internet.
At best, you find somebody you like. At worst, you have a fun new hobby of laughing at the people who responded to your ad.
Make them send photos with their emails. Seriously.
And if your friends find out that you have an online profile.... So What. Who gives? It's not like they caught you staffing a glory hole or something. It could be worse.

3 &4. Take some downers and go out with your friends (or a friend you feel comfortable with).
Go to a party. Go to Homorobics. Volunteer somewhere with a high lesbian quotient.

Make sure that you are flagging "available" when you do go out. If i even see people together in a grocery store i imagine they're married

For example:
If you need someone to go to a gay club with, go with a fag. That way , nobody will presume you're boning the person you showed up with, and they'll feel more comfortable talking to you.

5. You are going to be nervous and shy and bumbling. It's a fact. If you are on a first date with the right person, they will find this endearing and it will put them at ease in some way, because at least you're not a stone cold Rico Suave Player (friend, the person for you is not going to want to date Rico Suave. They're going to want to date somebody who has "IBS" and gets nervous when trying to flirt with strangers). Also, the right person will put you at ease somehow.

If they decide not to date you again, who cares. They obviously can't hang with the awesome jam you are providing, so it's for the best.

6. Open up your "type". Everyone has a type in their mind. BUT you might be shutting out somebody awesome that could become your New Type if you're not careful. Keep in mind your core value deal-breakers, of course, but if somebody has Blonde Hair instead of Black, or wears a skirt sometime instead of pants, and they still want to date you, jump on that shit and see if it works. Open your mind, man.

7. "My grandmother always says 'Never Refuse an Invitation' "
somebody told me this once and i think about it when people invite me somewhere and i'm on the fence. accept generosity and friendship. It will lead you to good things.

8. Stop focusing on finding a date and build yourself up more so that when you do meet somebody, you're a total powerhouse of treasure.

Through the return address on your email combined with my mental powers of psyhic-osity , I can see that you are a Catch! A very cute and charming human being for whom the right person will come along. Mark my words!


I have a f*ck buddy etiquette question.

I am a lady who usually has sex with men. I have a good guy friend and we've been pals for five and a half years. We live in different cities and visits are scarce, however, this January a trip to his town unexpectedly turned into a mega-sex fest. It was awesome, and we discussed that it was okay and wouldn't mess up our already solid friendship. A few months go by, I date a few folks, but upon my next visit to that town in May, I am suddenly single again, and a sexy weekend is ours once more. This Monday, I was dumped via text message (rude!) by a guy here where I live and I am suddenly single yet again. I am heading back up to the town in a little over two weeks, and even though I have my heart set on hot action with this guy, I don't want to get my hopes up.


I want to make sure my special friend is single and is still feeling the whole hot-action-with-me sort of thing before my plane lands in town. How do I delicately (he is kind of a sensitive guy) ask him, "Hey are we gonna do it this weekend or what?" without making him feel obligated or weird and without me looking like all I want from him is sex. Because I don't! In fact, I have the utmost respect for him and might actually be madly in love. But that's a side issue. Or is it? Oh brother.

-- Bewildered in the Bay Area

Dear Bewildered,

Why do you need to know in advance?
Just curious.

I think that you could be fairly straight forward here.
"I'm coming to Portland next week. Do you want to get a drink?"
"I'll be in town next week and I have a hotel room. What do you think? Consider it! Just saying..."
"You are so hot, i can't believe i go to have sex with you when i was in town last time." (and see how he responds)
"It sure was fun doing it with you when i was in town last time." (and see how he responds)

If he's engaged or something he'll tell you so, and you can plan accordingly.

Good luck. I'm sure he'll want to bone you again, even if he does have a girlfriend.
Just kidding, i think home-wrecking is anti-feminist.
But yeah, he'll probably want to do it with you again.
And feel free to put something more appropriate or adult than "Doing It" in your texts if you think that's a dumb way of saying "Intercourse".

Please wrap your giant brain around this problem.

I have always been the type of person who keeps strong boundaries between lovers and friends, so as not to get pulled in to the lesbian dating trap, until I broke up with my Long-term girlfriend. After the hideous bar crawling that required long dark nights of the soul, I accidentally ended up in 'romantic therapy' with a good friend of mine. It was fine and lovely for the first couple of months, but now I feel my feelings waning. What is the best way to deal with this situation, hopefully not hurting my friend (whom I bloody love), make my other friends mad (they all love her too), or generally ruin my life.

Thanks for yr time,

Lost in London XX

Dear London,

I can't remember the exact situation, but i know that i have sent somebody a text message saying this:

"I'm so glad to have you in my life, but I think our romantic ship has sailed."

and it seemed to work out okay.

If you need to be more specific, I'd say
"I'm going through a hard time right now processing my break up and everything, so I think that we have to cool it sex-wise. I really like having you around, but I'm going to need a couple of weeks to get my head on straight before we jump back into our day to day friendship. I hope you understand. "
You could also give her some flowers to express "no hard feelings".

The bravest thing you can do in this situation is to be honest with your friend (while considering her feelings).

Dear Nicole-


I like reading your column, thank you for doing it! I have a question that is a total downer and awful and actually pretty resolved but I feel crazy that so few people talk about this and it is hard to balance my sense of animal rights with my desire for life to be a little more natural with love. And I feel like these are all things you feel pretty strongly about and am certain that you would be a great help.

I have lived with a very dear rabbit for seven years now, he is nine years old and one of my oldest and absolutely my truest friend. Recently he was struck by a parasite called E cuniculi which most rabbits are exposed to during their lifetimes but only 1 in 10 are affected by. Anyway, it's affected his nervous system in a way that he tilts his head all the way to the right, like he has water in his ear that he's trying to drain or he's trying to get a real good look at the ground. For the first couple of weeks he had a terrible time getting around, stumbling and falling every few steps. It was heartbreaking to watch and a onetime energetic rabbit was spending hours curled up on the floor. I took him to the vet immediately where after a series of xrays and bloodtests determined that he was infected with E cuniculi, and they prescribed five different medicines for him. They also charged me $1200, which is a lot of money for me. At the end of the cycle of
medicine, he seemed more active, happier, and healthier, but he still holds his head with the tilt. The vet has offered to see him again and suggested a CAT scan, but also said that many rabbits keep their tilt after being cured from the parasite. He still gets off balance every once in awhile but I feel like he's adjusted to the tilt and worry that the trauma of another vet visit with no guarantee of a change isn't worth it. I also have no idea how to come up with $2000 for the CAT scan. I'm also very aware that at 9 years old he has reached the expected life span of a rabbit. Of course I would like him to live forever, but I am more concerned that he's happy during his life. What are the ethics of pets and medicine? It kills me that I can't just ask him what he'd like to do.

Nicole I'm sorry to go on for so long. Thanks for your attention.

Dear Rabbit Lover,

Honestly, I wouldn't get the CAT scan if i were you. He's more active, happier and healthier, and he's come to accept his new tilt.
His career as an animal actor is probably over at this point, but it sounds like his quality of life is as good as can be expected considering the circumstances.
He is so lucky to have you.
It's time to let him relax and live out the rest of his days at a tilt as long as he is comfortable.

Now i just want to throw some general pet advice out there for my reader friends:

The first thing to remember is that your pet is counting on your, one hundred percent, to take care of their health.
They have been domesticated and put into our hands. It's a big responsibility!

Questions to ask yourself when dealing with a pet medical situation:

- Would you do the procedure if money wasn't an issue?

- Would you do the procedure if it was for a human?

After answering these questions, you need to equate in the animal aspects. Those being:

How close is my animal to their life expectancy? Will this improve their quality of life? Is the procedure worth the discomfort it will bring on my animal?
If you've done all you can , sometimes you're just postponing the inevitable by chalking up more and more vet time.

Last summer my 13 year old dachshund Lambchop died very quickly, and I was devastated.
That weekend while he was sick i was making mental plans to sell my car, thinking of who i could beg money off of, phone sex, anything for the money to fix him once we found out what the problem was.
What i realized in all of this was that, though he hadn't spoken up, Lambchop had a sense that he was dying a lot longer than I did.
So while i was running around traumatized and trying to solve his medical issues at the last minute,
he was quiet and calm, resolved and had accepted what was happening.
It was me that couldn't accept it.

I'm not trying to imply that you should throw up your hands and take a "That's God's Will" stance on pet care,
but that you need to stop and think about the big picture and your animal's life versus your own wishes in the situation.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tuesday Entry...

Your Tuesday Entry is coming. It will be up by the end of the day. I am busy whittling replies to all of your questions! Thank you.