Posts Tagged ‘bars

10
Jun
09

the un-date date

I am in Montreal for a couple of days, and being here has me wondering why it was that I moved to Halifax. There are hot men everywhere. Beautiful men that make eye-contact, smile at you and touch you gently on the arm with a ‘pardon’ if they bump in to you. I swear I haven’t stopped swooning since I arrived. Of course it helps that they all have sexy accents too. I am here for a job, I’m writing a story on ‘hippy Montreal’ for a women’s magazine, and I’m traveling with my daughter and a lovely friend, who is offering babysitting back-up, which allowed me to go for an evening out with a very handsome man.

I met this man, lets call him Francois, on a press-trip a few years back when I was six-months pregnant and thought him the most charming man that I had ever met. When I walked in to a room he would stand, he opened doors for me, and was incredibly chivalrous. I was totally enamored with his behavior, and loved his flirtiness. Francois and I stayed in touch thanks to Facebook, and when I knew I was coming to Montreal, his hometown, I asked to meet for drinks because I knew he would show me a side of Montreal I couldn’t discover alone.

We had a really lovely time together. He was just a charming as I remembered, told me half-way in to out first beer that he had never found pregnant women attractive and then met me, “You were there with a big-belly, chubby, and very sexy” he said. I think the word “chubby” was meant as a compliment and took it as a lost in translation kind of thing, because obviously its not an entirely flattering word! Anyway, we drank more, he was fantastic company and I had the best night out that I’d had in ages. Here comes the catch.

Francois has a girlfriend. A beautiful, young girlfriend who he is madly in love with. So, our evening together was not a date, even though it felt a lot like one, especially at 1am with three beers and a couple of rum and cokes in my belly.

A picture Francois took on our un-date. Yes, I am flirting through the camera lens.

A picture Francois took on our un-date. Yes, I am flirting through the camera lens.

We both laughed at how much fun it was to be on such a date like un-date and I cursed the fact that I don’t meet men like Francois who are single. Francois is quite a catch, I think that his girlfriend must be a very lucky woman (and have the patience of a saint considering what a flirt he is!) Being the victim of infidelity made it easy to draw very clear boundaries and know precisely what this was, and the fact that we were able to completely frank about so many things made the evening feel very mature and responsible, and I never felt like it veered in to anything inappropriate despite the fact that under different circumstances, I would for sure be falling for this charming man.

It was a fun and perfect evening. All the best qualities of a really perfect first date, with none of the expectations. I was reminded of how fun it is just to flirt, and realize that I should try to do so more often, which probably means that I need to drag my lazy ass off my sofa and go out in Halifax more often. Perhaps in the future I’ll just target French-Canadian men though, fortunately there are a fair few here in Nova Scotia so it shouldn’t be that hard to find some.

09
Apr
09

He looked good on the dancefloor, but….

I ventured out on Saturday night to go to a club here in Halifax for the first time, the Paragon (which used to be the Marquee) where Skratch Bastid was playing. It was a fun night, Skratch Bastid played an incredible set and I danced for hours. There were lots of hot boys, and one in particular kept dancing near me and eventually we locked lips and made out. Thrilling! He was super cute, but it turned out he was only 26. He thought it was no big deal, and we kept hanging out together. I had an overwhelming urge to drop the ‘I have a kid’ bomb to save wasting my time, or his, and when I did he responded with interested questions. I liked him.

So, he and his roomie were having a little party after the club closed and my posse of six decided we’d go. More beer? For sure! I fully took advantage of the fact that my neighbor who was babysitting said to stay out a late as I wanted, although I was feeling a little guilty every time I saw a clock. I held hands with the boy in the cab on the way home and everything was going well, until we got to his place.

We walked in to his sparsely furnished bachelor pit and I realized that his lifestyle was so far from mine that nothing was ever going to happen between us. We’re talking a framed picture of dogs playing poker (I’m pretty sure it was supposed to be ironic, but maybe not) above a thrift-store sofa, and very little else in the room. The floor was bare tiles. There were four garbage bags full of empty beer-cans on the balcony. It was like student digs, but he wasn’t a student. It wasn’t just his place that was shocking; once in the cold harsh light of his apartment, the appeal of him had worn off.

I sat there for half an hour, but I just wanted to get home to bed. Suddenly I felt too wasted to even pretend to be interested in the drunken conversations going on, and I was feeling REALLY guilty about my neighbor there waiting for me to get home (who I assumed was asleep, but it was 3am now, what if she wasn’t?)

I made for the door. The boy got up and asked if we could exchange numbers. I said with as much sincerity as I could muster, “Sure, give me your number and I’ll call you,” and he asked if we could go out next Saturday. I said yes, then I felt really guilty, but there was no way I could cope with seeing him again (but being in Halifax I believe the likelihood of this happening is pretty much 90% going to happen). I wrote his number on my hand and went downstairs to wait for a cab in the lobby. Horror of horrors, I was waiting an hour for a cab, and didn’t make it home until 4.30 am. It was the latest I’ve been up in years and years.

Once home, I had a bath and sat there scrubbing his number off the back of my hand. In my drunken state I started thinking that I missed my ex-husband. But then I remembered seeing him recently and that ridiculous “Dumb and Dumber” haircut he has now, and it made me smile, and I realized that no matter how lonely I feel, or how much I want a man in my life, I don’t want my ex-husband any more than I want the interior design challenged 26 year-old. Better off alone than in another crummy relationship.

12
Dec
07

sinister magic messes with my saturday night

On Saturday night my friend Wendy was enchanted. At least, that’s my best explanation for what occurred. I didn’t actually see the enchantment taking place, but I was there for the fallout, and it was exhausting.

You know in the fairy tales where an evil witch casts a spell on someone and makes them unable to recognize their heart’s desire? Yeah, well that was Wendy.  Pissed off, confused, and questing throughout the entire kingdom in vain.

Even before the night officially started, there were hints that something was amiss. We had planned to go to a party, but en route, my girlfriend Nadia received several frantic calls from Wendy, who was already there. She was ready to leave, pronto, stat, the second we arrived.  We wondered what could be so terrible. It was only 11PM–shouldn’t people just be rolling in?

The second we got there, an effusive blond man in a Santa suit hugged us and pointed out where the drinks were. Meanwhile, several perfectly decent-looking people hung about chatting and dancing to old-school hip-hop. It wasn’t very terrible. Nor was the next room–indeed, it proved to be well stocked with liquor and crunchy snacks and attractive, friendly folk. I was curious to see what the patio might hold, but I never made it out there, because Wendy herself came rushing up, wearing a cream-colored sweater dress and a fierce frown.

“We’re getting out of here,” she said. “There are no guys at this party at all.”

Inadvertently I glanced up at the four 6-foot South Bay jock types who had overheard her. They looked away politely.

Then I turned back to find an olive-skinned, buffed-out, tattooed man hanging on Wendy like a puppy dog. 

“This is Miko. We work together,” she explained, before disappearing in a poof of unhappy smoke. I decided to finish my drink and chat with the jocks, but didn’t get to because within seconds Nadia began dragging me to the door.

“We’re going to 304,” she told me.

“Ehh?” said I.

304 turned out to be a lame Manhattan Beach dance club with cheesy lighting, crap music and TONS of people squashed in wall-to-wall. There, we embarked on an insane wild goose chase all around the room, bumping into strangers and splashing drinks everywhere. It ended with the same verdict: there were no guys there. Zero. The options were hideous, disgusting, pathetic.

“Wendy just wants to find a cute guy to make out with,” Nadia explained to me.

This confused me because in 304, just like in all Manhattan Beach bars, you could literally throw an ice cube and hit a cute guy.  I’m not saying that they were take-home-to-mama material, but they were definitely kissable. And a few were more than down to kiss Wendy. Only she couldn’t see it. Seriously, it was like she had selective blindness.

Soon enough, we were all squashed into a two-door Honda hatchback, en route to the Hermosa Pier at 1:30 AM. (California stops serving alcohol at 2AM). Then came a sorry walkabout to find a bar that would let us in after last call. With help from two random dudes who took pity on us, we managed to actually find one. There, I lost track of Wendy. On purpose. I needed to rest.

Soon, though, we were politely forced back onto the street, where lo and behold, there was our girl, talking to a crew of the skinniest, gawkiest, spottiest-looking boys imaginable. They wore checkered shirts, and looked to be about 19 years old.

She was thrilled. I mean, glowing. Swiftly, a plan formed. We would all go over to their house and play Nintendo Wii. This sounded only slightly better than a root canal to me, so I said I’d get a ride home with the guys who’d gotten us into the bar.

“Nooo!” Nadia howled like a wolf. “You came with us, you’ll leave with us.”

I can respect that kind of stick-together female attitude. It’s enough to make me hang out in a share-rental in Redondo playing video games with strangers. For about 20 minutes.

Yet ironically, when the popular vote overwhelmingly ruled “home, Advil, sleep, NOW,” there was one dissident voice. You know whose it was. And Nadia did NOT stop her. She didn’t even try.

I guess there’s no point in reasoning with someone who’s under an enchantment. To her, cute guys are invisible, teenagers look like princes, and no one in LA County is worth kissing.

I need a counter-spell, and I need it before next Friday night.

20
Nov
07

At Midnight We Fed the Giraffes….

 Yes, it’s true, we did. I’m not sure why this seems so bizarre to people. Surely it’s no stranger than the midget who dresses up like a leprechaun and pours free shots off the bar at O’Sheas in Vegas.

Anyway, I was up in Sonoma, where stranger things than giraffes can be seen on a daily basis. Somehow we ended up staying on a wildlife preserve in the mountains, which was absolutely freezing cold in the wee hours, but still quite entertaining. Definitely not your typical night out at the clubs–instead, my sister and I and a couple of friend/colleagues sat around a fire, drank port and South African wine, watched some tourists from Oregon smoke weed, and finally went into the giraffe barn at midnight and fed ’em baby carrots. Good times.

giraffefeeding

 Giraffes are the cutest 12-foot-tall creatures I know. They’re also the only 12-foot-tall creatures I know, but that is not the point. I mean seriously, check this out.

sologiraffe

 I personally did not have any romance drama this weekend, but certainly other denizens of the safari preserve did. For starters, there was this horny little zebra who kept coming up and putting the moves on all the other female zebras, only to be screeched at, snapped at, and finally kicked for his troubles. (Gentlemen, you think women in bars are brutal…you have no idea.)

horny zebra

Then there was this bird named Delilah. She’s super-cute for her species, as you can see…but fat lot of good it does her. She is in love with a man. A human man. She croons at him and nibbles him gently with her beak (a beak that can break a person’s finger with no trouble whatsoever), but does he reciprocate? Oh, hell no! Instead he gets someone else to distract her, and then he runs away and hides. Don’t hate the player, hate the game…this is what happens when a bird decides it’s a human.

delilah

 And finally there were these two ostriches. I typically don’t like ostriches because they are foul-tempered, violent, bigger than me and uglier than all get out. I’d rather eat them than hang out with them, any day. However, this pair was cute enough to soften my cynical soul. Though I still wouldn’t want to go on a double date with them.

smoochingostriches.jpg

 So yeah, that was pretty much it for the weekend. Not so exciting, and I’m sorry for that, but my next posts will be from Jamaica mon, so I’ll try to make up for it.

 xoxo,

Lena

lenaamy.jpg 

P.S. All the good photos on this post are on loan from Amy Paturel, who accompanied me on this surreal journey and has a really amazing…camera. (Amy and me on the safari wagon, pictured above.)

13
Nov
07

Torture by Construction

It is one of the great ironies of my life (circa 2007) that I–possibly the worst insomniac/vampire bat I know–have been randomly selected by the universe to live cheek-by-hairy-jowl with a team of 20 construction workers who clock into work at 8AM. These dudes are redoing the balconies of my entire building and ruining my life in the process. Not that they try. It’s just that I am used to going to sleep at 4AM (conservatively) or 5AM (normally), and when 20 kooks start banging on the walls with hammers at the crack of 8, it DRIVES ME MAD!!

Anyway. So. Where were we? Thu., 8PM, I arrive at a wine an cheese tasting 2 hours late, shmooze with a nice man from Frank Family Vineyards (yum! to the fabulous ’98 sparkling) who lives part-time in LA, part-time in my Nor Cal homeland. I meet 3-6 Mafia (spelling?) and various other folks, but fail to recognize them. I taste Frank Family sparkling wine, Cab and Sangiovese, and determine that it’s delightful.

Thu 10PM I arrive at Katana, the see-me-oh-please-see-me spot on Sunset in LA that’s frequented by visiting execs, European birthday parties and suchlike. On the way up, a man asks me, “Are you nervous?” I answer: “No, just really stressed out, been running around all day and have no idea what my friends look like.”

Lena Giles 

10:15PM meet friends thanks to miracles of mobile technology, as truthfully couldn’t pick them out of a crowd. Actually have only met a cpl before: Giles (see photo) and his friend Jackson. Giles is a muckety-muck for Bombay Sapphire; Jackson owns a film distribution company in London. Then there is a friend, and a brother. All are complete gentlemen, thank goodnesses…. it’s never good to go on drinking rampages with people who are less than gentlemen. Prior to the real rampage, however, I have meat skewers and many cocktails and a bit of chocolate this-n-that, and we speak of business.

12AM or thereabouts we head to Skybar, which is entirely overrated and just for tourists, in case you’re wondering. Since Giles, Justin etc. are tourists (albeit of a posh British sort), they tend to hang out there often. I, however, am never impressed by it–even less than usual tonight by 1:45AM, when the women’s toilet overflows and I have to high-jump onto the counter in 4-inch heels, after countless lemon drops, to avoid the flood. On that lovely ending note, we depart Skybar.

2AM. LA sucks. It closes down completely at 2. And I always have to hear about it from any friends who are visiting from anywhere else in the world. Tonite is no different. Two of the boys are still awake and raring to go. What can I do? Our choices are 7-11, a strip club, or someone’s hotel room. I opt for A) and then B). At the 7-11, I send Justin in to purchase me Marlboro Lights (I only smoke about 4 a month), and a four-pack of AA batteries for my camera. When he returns, I realize that my camera is no longer with me. Oh. Oops. I take the batteries anyway and deposit them in my handbag. One can never have too many AA batteries.

Trashy 1 trashy2.jpgtrashy3.jpg

2:30AM We arrive at the strip club (right across from Trashy Lingerie) and sit as close to stage as possible. This proves to be a bad idea because almost no one else is there, and the few folks who are, are kind of tucked away in corners. So we get the strippers’ full and undivided attention… and in the middle of the night on a weeknight, when the talent isn’t all that great, this is a mixed blessing. Throw in the fact that they’re totally nude, and it’s no blessing at all. We sit uncomfortably, clearing our throats and feeling abashed, as girl after girl wiggles her business in our faces. Finally, when Andy Dick arrives and begins to ‘Hey baby’ me, we leave.

(Photos are of the Trashy Girls, who are hotter than the strippers I saw, but tend to keep at least a bit of their clothing on in public.)

4AM. Safely back in my house. In my bed. Had a snack. Want a snooze. As always, it’s tough to drift off. But I do, around 5:30. Ahh! Happy sigh.

8:30AM *BANG. BANG. CRASH.* the construction workers have arrived, once again.

 Note: Trashy Girls photos copyright Trashy Lingerie, 2007




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