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, April 17, 2013

4 Geniuses for the price of One! Borderlines, Bi-Phobia, Crush-killers and more!!!


Now that we've taken care of that...

Dear Readers,
This week I am delighted to offer advice from four certified geniuses instead of just one.

We are here to tackle your advice questions from our respective hometowns in California, Oregon and New York. 

Kirk Read (San Francisco) is a performance artist, all around great guy, and author of the book  How I Learned to Snap .
Tara Jepsen (Los Angeles) is a comedienne, and a brilliant writer. She & Kirk Read previously hosted Kvetch in San Francisco. Photo by Amos Mac.

 Amos Mac (New  York) is a photographer at large, and editor of OP: Original Plumbing  and Translady Fanzine.

and me (Portland), literally THE smartest person in America, aside from these three. 
Photo by Amos Mac.



Dear  Nicole,
How do I stop having a crush on someone? I legit wanna be friends with this girl because she's awesome in a particular way that other people in my life aren't and she's said she cares a lot about me and really wants to have me in her life as a friend (and I believe her - don't think she's being polite), but I can't kill this crush I have on her. We've hooked up several times, had romance-y things, but she's on the other side of the country, in grad school, and not available for any of that anymore. Under different circumstances, I'd wanna be girlfriends. Right now I'm just not talking to her, but I don't wanna cut her off forever and I also don't wanna be in hard crush agony. Help!
Hard Crush Agony

Kirk Read:  Have anonymous sex because it will help you shake off this cross country emailing friend.

Amos Mac: Watch a few seasons of a favorite guilty pleasure t.v. show within 48 hours to "get your mind off of things" then post 3 different Craigslist casual encounter posts using 3 of your most diverse personality traits, but allow them all to go to the same email address.
It works. At least for like 3 days.

Tara Jepsen: Just stop it. Don't over-think. If you won't let go, it's a surrogate for other feelings.
Call it what it is and keep it to yourself. Don't make it the other person's problem.

Nicole J. Georges:
"The quickest way to get over someone is to get under someone else."
It is true! It is wise.

More remedies for heart-sickness include:
-Loud punk music
-Really good books
-Hanging out with old friends who can give you a little perspective on how small a blip this is on your   epic timeline
-Volunteering at a place where you are interacting with other humans and can't think of the person.
-Throwing yourself into something you're good at.
-Parceling out how much of this crush was projection and how much was reality.
-Look at really awkward photos of them online.
-Watch the saddest movie of all time, Grave of the Fireflies, and remember that there are bigger problems in the world than your love life.
-Falling asleep really early
-Make a list of all the people you've ever had crushes on, so you can get a little perspective.
 Ask an old friend to help you compile this list so you can feel the hot shame of having been head over    heels for some truly rank individuals.

Dear Nicole,
Is it true that Portland lesbians will not date femmes who dated transguys?  if so, what is the reason?

Potential Pariah

Kirk Read: It's true. Portland is full of ruined women and these lesbians are just holding a line.

Amos Mac: This is a true or false question? I have no idea what Portland lesbians do. Sounds complicated and none of my business. Who cares who dates who... date who you LIKE regardless of gender... or don't. Did I even answer that?

 Tara Jepsen: That is stupid shit that doesn't matter in the world. When the right person comes along, you guys choose each other.

Nicole J. Georges
: My research indicates that having dated a trans-dude is not a barrier to dating lesbians in Portland, Oregon. The greater issue, in my opinion, is the idea that having dated dudes, you could identify as bi-sexual. *That* can be sticky when it comes to the Gold Star crowd.
In my experience, this community is more bi-phobic than they are trans-sensual-phobic.

At the end of the day, whomever you are dating or wanting to date needs to Take You or Leave You as you are.
You are not going to change the past, and you don't need to spend all of your time calming someones anxiety about it.
If you wanted to be with a dude you'd be with a dude, but instead you chose to date the person at hand,
so they just need to be able to sit with that and absorb your awesome summertime love vibes while they can!



Dear Nicole,
My friends always try to set me up with unmotivated slackers who work in the deli at New Seasons. What gives?!
Where can I meet a tall hot motivated guy who likes it rough?

Tara Jepsen:
Don't let your friends set you up. Wait for the right dummy to knock on your door like the rest of us.

Kirk Read: Don't try to marry hot sex, have it on the side. Dress more slutty if you want someone to be rough.

Amos Mac: What is "New Seasons"? Where do you live? Deli guys can be hot AND rough... maybe you just need to find a more motivated deli guy, or move to Brooklyn.

Nicole J. Georges: I think the deli counter at New Seasons could be JUST the place to find a tall hot guy who likes it rough. Am I wrong?
As for the motivation part, welcome to Portland. I'm afraid I may be the wrong person to ask about where to find motivated men. The City Grill????
I'm sorry I've failed you, kind reader.


Dear Nicole,
What if after many years of very questionable borderline behavior on the part of your parent, you just can't take it any more and you need to cease communication?
How would you say that without triggering your bad boundaries parent into acting out worse and showing up at your work?!

TJ: You can't control your parent. Do what's right and if they show up at your work keep doing your job. Let your manager knock when and if it happens, but not before.

KR: Parents are important. Figure this out with them without burning the bridge.

AM: A mediated break-up therapy session with the parent and a therapist.

NG: I suggest a certain anonymous fellowship whose members have sometimes had experience cutting troublesome parents out of their lives in order to maintain their own sanity.
Make boundaries, keep them, and steel yourself to the results. She may freak out but you do not have to react.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Some More Questions From The Road

Us with Sally Madden in Baltimore.

Questions from tour: Part 2
All questions were submitted lively and anonymously during my book tour with Cassie J. Sneider. We read them & responded in a rapid-fire manner. 

Dear Nicole, 
How do you be abiding toward someone you don't like to be around? 

Ugh, how long do you have to be around them? Can you go somewhere else? On a walk around the block or maybe face a wall for a while?
If you have to be around someone you don't like, for a short period of time, be polite. Just be polite.
Just smile stiffly, nod your head, make the most basic small talk if you need to, and be kind.

If you have to spend a lot of time with them, spend some of that time trying to have compassion for them. Think about what their situation might be, and how that is adding to their current behavior that's making you uncomfortable.

What is the best way to worm an 8.5 foot boa constrictor?

Get some wormer, I suppose. Visit the reptile vet.

My 9 hens create their own special aroma. Personally, I do not enjoy it, though I am convinced they do. How often do I have to clean their coop?

It depends on how big the coop is, but with that many chickens, probably twice a week.
They do not like the smell. When I worked at a farm, we cleaned out the chicken's nests every day.
Chew on THAT.

One of my cats is a "tub pooper". She poops in our bathtub 1-3 times a month. How can we convince her to reform her practices? 

Keep the bathroom door closed.
Or, Leave a couple inches of water in the tub. Cats hate water, right? There you go.

Should I get an asymmetrical/disconnected haircut?

There are some really beautiful, fantastical human beings with that hair-do, but in my opinion, the ship has already left the dock. Those on board are happily riding the tide of asymmetry.
 If you aren't already on the asymmetrical deck, then consider staying on dry land. 
The show's already started, the set's winding down, and it won't be worth the price of admission. 
(But I do always recommend getting a Tootie haircut. Why not?)

Should I give my miniature weiner dog preventative supplements for spinal health?

Sure, why not. While you're at it, get some doggy steps to protect the little guy's back when he's getting on and off your bed or the couch. Don't let him leap from great heights!

How do you know when it's time to change cities or is it even necessary?

When a place doesn't feel like a home, you have nothing on the horizon, it feel stagnant, and THEN opportunities open up to you in other places. "The Universe" will tell you where you need to be.

How do you let a friend know you're interested in them and still stay friends regardless of their response? 

Well. To answer the second part of your question first: you can't get aggro or mean if they say No.

That's the part that ruins friendships after crush confessions. No performative sighs or doe eyes.
If they're not interested, can the romance, turn the page and move on.
You may need to take a little friendly space from them if they say no, get over the disappointment, and then jump back in the hanging out game.

How to let them know?
Say something like: "I *like* you. Would you like to go on a date with me some time?" ,
OR the more round-a-bout, "What would happen if I asked you on a date some time? Just wondering." and then they will be baffled and say, "What the fuck are you talking about?"
and then you say, "Oh, uhhh,,, psych! J/k j/k. Um.... what?"
and then say you're going on a trip and you'll call them when you come back, and pretend to have a really great date in the Niagara Falls area, so obviously things won't be weird.

I recently read that hair parted to the left indicates weakness. I have a left part. Should I change it? Is there any validity to this hypothesis?

I don't know. You should change your part every once in a while to give your bangs more volume and pizazz anyway. Be a bangs switch. Everyone likes that.  They'll think you're versatile.

Why is it so hard to ask someone (a babe) out? 
p.s. There are babes in this bookstore right now...

If memories serves, there were no infants present when this question was asked, but still. What If.
Anyway, good looking adults, why is it hard? That's not advice, that's opinion.
I guess it's hard because you fear rejection, but what's the worst that could happen? You're embarrassed for a minute? Who cares. You'll survive, the world will keep turning, and you can use the practice.

It hurts when I pee. Thoughts?

First thought: UTI
Second thought: Go to the doctor.

Hi. I get very deeply & emotionally attached to animals, especially cats, since my family was fucked up when I was a kid and the only creature I felt loved me was my cat. 8 years ago I got a cat whom I loved more than anything; immediately I began having anxiety. 5 years ago she was diagnosed with a chronic illness and I spiralled into a deep anxiety for years. She died in September and I loved her truly, but I don't know if I should ever get another cat. What do you think?

I think you should get another cat.
I think you need some time, and I think you need to work on your anxiety. Once you have some anxiety management tools in place, I think a cat could be great for you. They are energy healers, you know...