America's Smartest Girl

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portland, oregon
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.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Live Advice from Gridlords, Part I

Dear Nicole, 
My mom is a scrappy & obstinate 59 year old. She plans to move soon to a smaller, easier to manage and maintain home due to health issues and gradually waning physical strength. I am her only remaining child & will be doing approximately 90% of the grunt work involved in the move. How can I appeal to her (should I?) to jettison the 100+ bowling balls she has obsessively & randomly collected over the last 10 years? I will have to pack, move, & unpack these goddamned things! WHAT TO DO?

Dear Bowling Ball Child,
You need to say: "Mom, I love you. I am happy to help you  move, but I cannot move those bowling balls. I just can't do it. They are unwieldy and it is stressing me out. I'll help you with everything else.
If you want to keep them, we need to find you some movers."

 Dear Nicole,
I was raised without a t.v., and up until now, lived as an adult without internet, or most technologies. However, I just got and iPhone. I realize I have no ability to tune out media. How do I learn to not be constantly sucked in?

Dear iPhone K-hole,
First of all, buy this print by Dan Moynihan, because TIME IS FLEETING. 
 Then get off the internet.
A few rules: when you are around other human beings, especially ones you don't see every day, stay off your phone. Keep your ringer off. At meals? Stow it. Having a conversation? Ignore it. At home and want to commune with loved ones instead of zone out like an alien? Keep the ringer off and put it in a drawer.
If  you have a real problem, like you can't get any work done or you think it is effecting your relationships, enlist someone (your spouse or friends) to remind you to quit it if you slip and use your iphone when you are supposed to be working or communicating with physical humans.
There is a guy who hired a woman to come to his house and slap him across the face whenever he looked at Facebook instead of doing his job. Get that, only don't pay them.
Also, there are programs you can download to shut down your internet while you are working. Check it out!

Dear Nicole, 
How do I tell a relation (whom I love) that he's selfish and a big sponge, without ruining our relationship forever?

Dear Truther,
You can't!
All you can do is make boundaries and take care of yourself so that person can't sponge off of you.
Accept that they are a lovable mooch, they're not going to think about you (because as you said, they are "selfish"), and that you just aren't going to do them copious favors or give them money. They'll be fine, they'll survive, and you won't have to give them anything that makes you uncomfortable or resentful.

Telling that person your harsh judgments of them is not going to strengthen your relationship or make them a better person.

Dear Nicole, 
Sometimes when I wipe my butt after pooping, there's blood. Is that what being a woman is like? Should I bring this up on dates so I seem more relatable? Please help. 

Dear Everyone,
Do you see the kinds of "questions" I have to put up with when I do live advice? People testing my knowledge of math and physics, people asking personal questions about my love life, people asking hogwashy philosophical questions to be cute. and now this. A man asking me if blood coming out of your butt is what it's like to be a woman.
Dear Person,
No, that is not what it's like to be a woman. THANKS FOR ASKING!
Never mention this to a woman. 
Go see a doctor, stop straining so hard, and gimme a break. That is my advice.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Speed Advice from Short Run: Part II

Good Morning, Advice Lovers!
I present Part II of live speed advice given at the Short Run Small Press Fest in Seattle, Washington last month. Read on. 

How can I make shoes at home?

Staple a strip of cloth to a piece of wood and then slide your foot in there. Voila, it's a shoe!
Or, use empty Kleenex boxes.

Dear Nichole, 
The ghost of my dead cat keeps visiting me at night when I sleep. How can I tell her spirit that it's okay to rest now? 
Signed, Haunted

Dear Haunted,
I think it's more a matter of you resting and letting go. Do you know what I mean?
It is important, once the initial grieving process is over, to take down the giant shrine that you've made to your dead cat. A photo (or pet portrait, ahem) is fine, but if you have many kitten and cat photos strewn around the house, or her collar on your bedside table, you are haunting yourself with the ghost of feline past, and it will not help your brain move on to the present and put your sweet cat to rest.
Tell her, audibly, that you loved her so much, but it's time to go now. She'll understand. 
If your cat persists, then perhaps she is a part of your psyche that represents something else.
But what?

Name one song based on crows. NOT BLACK BIRDS!

This is not advice.
But how about any song by Counting Crows? Mr Jones? I know that doesn't count, and I'm sorry for reminding you that that song exists at all.

What do you think of Cross-Fit? Is it a fad, or a good exercise program?

I think Cross-Fit looks very difficult, which is great. It doesn't matter if it's a fad or not. It probably is a fad, but so what- it's better to vary your exercise routine and work out different muscles at different difficulties than to do non-fad things endlessly for your whole life. What's not an exercise fad, walking? Zzzzzzzz.
All of that said, please be careful if you do Cross-Fit. If you are not used to the crazy things they make you do, you may damage something, so make sure you are honest with your self and your body, don't try to be a hero about it, and listen to your instructor.

Who let the dogs out?

Who? Who, who?

How do you get WiFi up in this piece?

I never found out- I just used 3G.
Ask the front desk.

What should I do to kill time at Short Run when my bf is wandering for hours?

It depends if you are at a table or not. If you are stuck at a table,
construct narratives in your head about each person who approaches your spot.
Imagine a story line for them, and how they are related to the person who walked by before them.
Are they swingers? Step-brothers? Co-workers at a rat milking factory?

I also like to imagine how much better every person would look with a good haircut.
I used to do this when I went to Midnight Mass with my family on Xmas. I would give every lady a black bouffant hairdo in my mind, like Michelle Mae from the Makeup. She had some of THE BEST hair I had ever seen on a contemporary person. They looked great.  

If all else fails,
Go buy the Bad Roommate Zine from my table, hole up somewhere and read it.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Speed Advice from Short Run: Part I

I'm back! 
My dog/horcrux had cancer and it felt like I was dying, so I couldn't wrap my brain around your advice questions for a time, but now she is back up and running and thusly, so am I. 

I am here to deliver fast answers to burning questions received during the Short Run Small Press Fest in Seattle Washington. 


How do you deal with Mother-in-laws? Am-I-Right?

You treat them kindly, respectfully, and politely and you do not burden your husband/wife with what an a-hole you may think your mother in law is, because it is THEIR mother and they have to deal not only with her but also you (!!!) and it will stress them out.
You can minorly vent, but seriously don't make it his/her problem.

 What should I do when I give my cat rabies?

Put your cat to sleep, because now it has rabies.

What should a person do when they are right and everyone else is wrong?

Great question. Well first you should check and make sure your name isn't Nicole J. Georges, because that is technically the space *I* occupy, but after that, be polite to people and don't tell them they're always wrong or they won't want to be around you any more. Just pretend like what they are saying is right some times and then go home and tell your dog or your girlfriend how righteous and correct you are about all things.

How can I bring a chicken into my life?

1. Ask your neighbors
2. Ask the landlord
3. Build/obtain a high-security coop (VERY IMPORTANT)
4. Scope some chickens on Craigslist.
5. Go get them from a chicken-hoarders house and make sure you have a security plan in place in case you get trapped in a chicken cage and sold as livestock.
5.5. Do not get chicks from a random store- they probably come from a hatchery, which is as good as buying a Butterball (tm) turkey from the market, cruelty-wise. There are plenty of chickens around who are from reputable places where their mothers are not kept in battery cages and whose little brothers don't get ground up alive. Seriously, people-  LOOK IT UP. 
6. Bring home chickens, feed them, water them, collect eggs & clean their home once a week or more.

Who is going to win the election?

President Obama.


Sure. Not advice.

Do you think 30 years old is too young to give in to only wearing stretch pants 4 EVA?

Not if the stretch pants are leggings. Leggings are very "in" right now, and offer the comfort of a stretch or sweat  pant without the unsightly sight of actually wearing a sweat pant in public. I recommend leggings and tights, young 30 something.

How does one keep from being consumed by jealousy when people are getting more money for their inferior zine?

Just know that money doesn't always follow talent, and fewer people will want to buy your zine is you look like a bitter old jealous shrew. Plenty of untalented people get rewarded for their art all the time. Have you ever heard of Gallagher?

 Just do something that you like and that makes you happy so that when you go home with a stack of 10000 unsold zines at the end of the day you'll at least be able to enjoy them.

That's all for now, folks. I will post the rest of these in Speed Advice from Short Run: Part II next week! 


Order my new calendar and support my dog's life!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ergh, Rapists.

Dear Nicole, 
I am having an ethical crisis: I met this guy and we have amazing chemistry, it makes me dizzy. I don't want to date, I just want a booty call for brutal raunch and for this he seemed perfect. Then I told a friend about it and she told me she knew him and that he raped her. I believe her- it's the kind of "acquaintance rape" scenario that happens all the time- but I still think he's hot. I feel terrible. Is it condoning rape and rape culture to sleep with him? 

What about just thinking he's hot? 

When I told a different friend about the situation, she said she thinks most guys would bone a sleeping girl. Is that true?!

Someone with a Boner for Bad Guys

Dear Someone,

This question is upsetting! Here's the short of it:

1. Do not reward him for his bad behavior by sleeping with this guy.

2. There are so so many handsome dudes who would love to have brutally raunchy sex with you who are not rapists.  Move on.

3. I don't want him to rape you! Tell him to buzz off!

4. If I was your friend and I knew you'd continued to bone my rapist, it would make me physically ill.

5. Can you still think he's hot? I'm not going to play Portland Mind-Police here. You can thinking whomever you want is hot. Even if they are the worst person in the world.
Black hearted sociopaths are sometimes handsome and have a dangerous thing going for them.
They, like all feral animals, are for looking but not touching.

In real life, find someone nice and then just pretend they're a BHS from time to time.

Au revoir!


P.s. Your friend who said that "most guys" would bone a sleeping girl is TRIP-PING. Ugh! Argh! Blargh! I am rolling around on the ground Argh-ing and hitting my head against the wall right now just thinking of the idea that she even told you that.
What! What planet.... Who.... What!?
Was she born in a garbage can and raised by rats??? No! Not true. Girlfriend needs to splash some water on her face and break free of the scum bags who made her think that.
What is this, Elm Street? 9, 10 Never sleep again, or your might get RAPED? Jesus Christ!

Dating As the Dust Settles

Dear Nicole, 
Me and someone have a longtime crush. They just broke up with their partner. 
Both of these revelations came at the same time. 
How do I stay out of the breakup shrapnel zone so I don't get ripped
up and can have my own dang relationship?

Trying to Keep it Cool

Dear Cool,

Do you want this to become something other than a fling?
If so, I advise you to cool your jets.

Take some physical space for at least 2 weeks (preferable
two MONTHS)  to give your
crush some room to be sad and not fill that feelings-hole with
Then start slow, like actual dating.

A Side Note, Confidential to Lesbians across the U.S.:
"Dating" is a prolonged series of short hangouts intended for you 
to suss out if someone is a good romantic fit before you 
spend every waking moment together & dive into a 
super-bonded faux marriage.
Sometimes *some* people become overwhelmed with their feelings
(or p*ssy) and chain themselves to someone whose 
faults they don't even know yet. To those I say, 
chill! Date! Date around!

Anyway, back to Cool,
Be strict! Your crush will be lonely and you will be
excited, and it will be tough to say no,
but chew a stick if you have to and wait it out.
If your crush has lasted this long, it can sustain
another couple of weeks/months while the dust is

Last but not least, think of the feelings of the
person your crush is breaking up with. You need
to respect their space, the relationship they've had
that is falling apart, and give them some time to
have a proper funeral.

Good luck!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Relationship Rock, with input from Katy Davidson!

Dear Nicole, 
My boyfriend and I are in a band together. He's been playing
in bandsforever, but this band is the first band he's played
in that takes it seriously and tours a lot. 
I've been in a somewhat a little popular band, and I'm a lot
more recognized in town. For this band, my boyfriend writes 
almost all of the music, and I mostly write the
vocal parts and sing and play keyboards live. 
He also does a lot of the design. 
He does a lot of work for the band.
Because I'm more established in town and in the rest of the 
country, I get recognized a lot more for the band than he
He feels like I overshadow him, even though he feels like he 
contributes more, and I think he resents me for it. 
He gets credit for everything on the albums, and I try to 
give him credit when I'm in conversations with other people.
 It's making him feel bad that people are excited that
"I" have a new project, and they often overlook his 
contributions and give me more credit than I deserve. 
Is there anything I can do about
either other people's perceptions, or his perception 
that his work goes unrecognized?
Reluctant in Rhode Island
Dear Reluctant, 
You deserve whatever respect you are receiving from music 
fans in your hometown and across the nation. 
This IS "Your New Project". 
You are involved, people who like you get to hear your voice
and influence. You should be able to enjoy the attention you 
are receiving for hard work you've done in the past and today. 
It's also your boyfriend's New Project, and if he is getting
people to listen to his music and support his art because 
they are already a fan of yours, then he should be glad.
What's the big deal? He is getting more attention 
than he would have before because he has teamed up with you. 
Let's pause for a minute to note: This problem has nothing to
do with music and everything to do with ego. 
People can read. If they read the album notes they can see 
that he writes the songs.
It's fine if they're still excited about your involvement. 
I have been on music tours with band-mates who were
(deservedly)more recognized than myself for their art. 
I have been on literary tours with authors who were
(deservedly) more recognized than myself for their art. 
I received the benefit of a wider audience based on these
people deciding to work with me or take me along. I had no
reason to resent them for their past accomplishments.
I just felt grateful and lucky to be involved. 
Do you think everyone in the Corin Tucker band is just 
seething at all times because she's getting attention for 
the band? No! That would be insane. 
They are happy to be PLAYING MUSIC TOGETHER.

I asked musician Katy Davidson her input on this question,
and her answer was simple. To paraphrase:
 "Tell the dude to take his ego out of it and
focus on the music." 

I concur. 
Regarding credit:
It is great that you make an effort to give your boyfriend 
credit where credit is due, both personally, in public, and 
It is great that you validate his contributions to the band. 
That's all you can do. Keep doing it. 
The rest is up to him. 
Please don't apologize for your success. 
Katy Davidson has been playing music professionally for a
long long time. Her most recent musical project is called
Key Losers. She is also one half of the groovy duo 
Lloyd and Michael. 
She is currently touring the globe playing keyboards
in Gossip. Find out more about Katy here. 
By the way, the Corin Tucker Band released a new video
TODAY! Check them out, they are on tour right now!   

Monday, September 3, 2012

Gossiping and the Poly Perspective

Dear Nicole, 
When is something considered gossip? Can there be positive/nice gossip?
-Gilly in Germania

Dear Gilly,
Here's an anticdote that may or may not resonate with you: 

Several years ago I was talking to a friend (let's call her Gomer) who'd been hanging out with a new group of partying queers.
Gomer said, "I don't understand why they are friends with each other- all they do is talk behind each others backs".
I hadn't ever heard anyone actually say this out loud before and I thought it was important:
If you choose someone to be your friend, then you are saying you like that person, and you should treat them as such. Which might mean not saying mean or weird things about them behind their backs.
 If you are saying nice things behind a friend's back, it's not gossip- it's just talking nice (which is very feminist).

If you are talking about a friend's problems or behavior behind their back and it's not for a specifically helpful purpose  (i.e. you are rallying the troops to have an intervention or getting advice you WILL USE when dealing with a difficulty that's arisen), then you are gossiping.

Now listen- some people are unabashed gossips and they don't care. Hey- if you want to talk bad about everyone you know and cultivate weird vibes, that's your business. Own it!
Don't pretend like you were doing something inherently therapeutic by spreading other people's business. "VENTING" ABOUT YOUR FRIENDS TO OTHER PEOPLE THEY KNOW IS NOT THERAPY. It's gossip.

If you must vent, I think it is okay for you to speak freely about your friends with one intimate partner who can listen to you and keep their nose out of it. If you don't have that, then one friend who (ideally) does not know them is fine.

Because you know what is the worst? When you've been a party to some gossip about a friend and then you see them and you have this film of weirdness over your entire body because you have just been brewing and stewing bad vibes behind their back and now here you are trying to have a kind conversation to their face. No thank you.

Another thing about gossip: If you are traveling or working in close proximity to other people (i.e. You are on tour or in an office together), I recommend you do NOT gossip about them to other people you are traveling/working with!
This is a tour "Do" that I learned along the way- if you need to vent, save it up and do it at a friend's house on a day or night off. It's better then being in cahoots with someone else in the van/office and sullying the good vibes of the team.

Take care, Gilly, and don't you DARE say anything behind my back!


p.s. I admit to being a full-fledged frothing at the mouth gossip sometimes. But not always. I try! 

Dear Nicole, 
From a poly perspective:  Should I tell my current sexual partners that one of my partners is pregnant with my child?
 -Knocking Up in Yonkers

Dear Knocking,

I don't think you  need to tell a sexual partner that your current partner is knocked up unless you are planning to sleep with them more than three times, and/or get into something more significant than a short term bone-sesh. If you find yourself gazing dreamily at them after encounter number two and suspect this may go further than a roll in the hay, I say disclose. You don't want them to pin any hopes on you that you can't fulfill.
Good luck, and tell that baby "Hello" for me.


p.s. I am advising you with the assumption that your pregnant partner knows and is totally kosher with your polyamorous ways.

Groat Techniques for Football Players and You

Dear Nicole,
 You once said you made a great raw breakfast dish with groats, tell me how! 
 Sincerely Groatesque

Dear Groatesque, 

I'm glad you asked!
Buckwheat groats (hulled buckwheat) are unroasted, whole, raw, or white buckwheat kernels

"Consuming groats has become increasingly popular among NFL players, who often cite the sustained energy that groats provide. " -Wikipedia

I eat groats every single morning. 
Many people dehydrate their groats. I do not. 

Here is what I do:

First, Soak a cup of groats in a bowl of water (covered) overnight. That's 8 hours to you. 

Next, rinse the slime (yes, slime) off the groats in a colander. 

Keep them in the colander! Put it over a bowl so they can drip their slime into it. 

Cover the colander with a lid or a towel, and keep the groats moist for another 4-8 hours, 
or until they grow the smallest of tails. This may require you re-rinsing them every 2 hours or so.

DO NOT LET THE TAILS GET TOO LONG. It's not the end of the world if you do, 
but if they get long tadpole tails they will start tasting like a sprout, which is a bit strong and earthy for a morning cereal, don't you agree?

This photo shows groats with tails that are too long. Try for ones that are short. Short little white tails that haven't had the chance to curl yet.

After they have short tails, you can keep them in a tightly sealed Tupperware in the refrigerator for (in my experience) 3-4 days. I keep extra sprouted groats in the freezer and defrost them when I'm ready to eat them. 

The groats will have metamorphosed into something different than a grain, they will now spread their wings and become a vegetable. 

"When you sprout groats they become a vegetable instead of a grain. That transformation makes them easier to digest."-A commenter whose photo made them look like they knew what they were talking about

I prepare my morning groat-meal (har har) by spooning some groats into a bowl with soy yogurt and fruit. Add sweetener if you must.
Here is a photo some stranger posted of their groats with fruit and rice milk.

Note: A lot of people dehydrate theirs. I like the texture of a soaked, hydrated groat, so I don't.
If you see a vine coming out of my nose at some point, then perhaps I was wrong.
In the meantime, I'm fine. I think they are tasty, toothsome little bits. Add them to a raw parfait with cashew cream and fruit and die of happiness.

I will be honest: I got most of this advice from a blog called Raw Love .