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Archive | July, 2012

How to Attract a Man: Perspective for the female reader and lessons for the male reader

29 Jul

It is a breach of journalistic etiquette and form to informally address the reader using sheer opinion and refutable evidence, thus any good writer is ambivalent to say the least when it comes to writing a column.  Having said that, I hope that you, the reader, will forgive me, the author; for this “Note From the Editor,” as it were.

 

People are by nature, fickle, insecure, hypocritical, superficial and narcissistic.  We are capable of achieving and creating greatness and yet too inhibited and scared to ever know our own true potential and/or greatness.

If this reads as I intend to write it, it will help, at least to a degree, the reader, to either find someone to love or at least find someone who loves her.

A few semesters into college, I walked into my seconds class, “Logic: Argumentation.”  Being an oppositional, antoganistic human being, I expected to achieve greatness in this course.  I was, as always among the first to arrive to class.  I surveyed the room, approximately 40 desk/chair apparatuses were laid out in the form of a square with the professor’s desk and the whiteboard about 7 feet from the front, center desk.

Naturally, one instinctively notices the desk that is front and center, when I glanced at it, there was a young woman seating herself at the very one.  I went through all the subconscious calculations that one experiences when sizing up another person upon seeing them for the first time.  She was well dressed, young looking– perhaps 19.  Her eyes were almond shaped, borderline Asianic; “Russian?”  I wondered to myself.

Her eyes were a very unique brown in colour, not the usual, generic type, but a light chocolate brown with a warm, golden, honey glow that radiated from them.

She was well dressed, pale, makeup, hair and eyeliner pristine.   Beneath the long purple peacoat that protected her from the harsh winter weather, she was wearing a black skirt and a white blouse, un-creased and with a perfect, pressed look.  Her clothes fit her healthy, 5′ frame in a perfect manner, they were not tight and tasteless, they were not loose and carelessly flung onto her person.

I seated myself at a tangential angle one row behind, so that if ever we were learning something that I already knew, I could see her perfectly, but unobserved.

As the semester went on, we noticed each other.  That is all that could be said of our interactions.  Later in the semester she mentioned that she saw me walking back from the grocery store; I wondered if she lived with her parents or if she, like myself and like very few other students, had her own apartment.

Every morning we sat in the same classroom, virtually alone.  Every morning, I read my newspaper and when turning the page, stole a glance at her.

About mid-semester she changed her hair to blond.  It was an interesting change, but not a natural one and in my opinion, detracted from her appeal.

Toward the end of the semester she walked into the classroom looking disheveled and carrying a tennis racket, her shoes were a bright pink and somehow, on her they were the most adorable thing I had ever seen on anyone; so much so, that after class I asked her shyly, nervously and maybe even awkwardly, if she would go for coffee with me, hoping at best for her company for a few minutes.

Without further narrative, let me explain that she was, and is the most amazing girl I had ever bought coffee for and that the investment was worth the price as were all the future ones to follow.

Did I love her at first sight?  No.

Did I love her after the 200th?  I lost count, but probably.

Was I scared to ask her out?  Certainly.

What was the first thing we discussed over coffee, philosophy?  Science?  Literature?  No.  She said, “my head hurts, I think I might have this thing my neighbour had that made her paralysed.”  I did not know how to react to that, but you must admit, it is a hell of an opening line and makes up for her lack of proficiency in all the former topics.

 

Look ladies, it sounds like a cliche, but my point is that the important thing is to be yourself.  A very polished version of yourself if you want to make a good impression, but for what it’s worth, that does not mean putting  on an act, that does not mean modeling yourself after celebrities.  You really have nothing to do, no responsibility, no effort to put in, if you want someone to like or be attracted to you.

Gentlemen, you never know until you ask.  It is that simple.  I would suggest a little more gusto than I had at the time, remember that as nice as they look and as great as they may be, as worth it as they are, so are you.  Confidence, confidence, confidence.  Once you have them, work to keep them, work on yourself, work to respect them and do not dwell on your losses.  Move on and remember that if she is happy, the likeliness is that you will be too.

 

Maybe you are not looking for love, I know I was not, my life was thriving in that area and I happened to pick the one person who made me happy just to deal with relationship stress and turbulence.  The person who was able to give me the perspective to say, “maybe once I am happy with someone it is worth putting in the effort to improve myself, rather than moving on to the next person.  Maybe excitement is possible daily with one person, rather than seeking cheap excitement by cycling from one to the next.”

 

It may seem like I took the easy way out by not just listing steps on how you can improve yourself, but I assure you and I hope you trust me on this, no self-improvement article could ever give you advice better than what I have told you.  I will outline the three basic ideas: Be yourself, be confident and if need be, buy some pink shoes.

 

 “Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone”

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

 

 

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Weekend Movie: Robin Hood-Lincoln Green

29 Jul

New Category Added: Travel

27 Jul

Some of our readers may have noticed that there is now a “Travel,” section added to our site. This will be as blurred and ambiguous as the rest of our categories and will have plenty of miscategorised, helter-skelter topics. So never fear, we are also afraid of change.

All that aside, we will try to add topics of interest to readers and cover all things pertaining to travel from the travelling itself, local destinations and things to do to hotels, motels, inns and lodging.

Please do check back and as always, reader requests will always be appreciated.

Review: Artesano Mead- Essence

27 Jul

Artesano is a small mead company whose facility is located in Groton, Vermont amid the beautiful, flowery landscape of the Green Mountains. They are a small scale operation and by no means competition for bigger companies such as the Londonderry, New Hampshire company, “Moonlight Meadery.” Artesano may occasionally be found at retailers, health food stores and Farmers’ Markets.

“Essence” mead, the company’s only dry variety, costs 16.99 USD for 500ml. It is packaged in a stout looking bottle and sealed with a swirled wax stamp on the cork.

Essence pours smoothly. Thin and silky, it does not coat or adhere, but rather sinks to the bottom of the glass.

The smell is robust, semi-sweet and slightly tangy. It is difficult to sense the dryness through the fruity and effervescent smell. It is pale, with about two more shades of light than a typical chardonnay.

It touches lightly on the tongue and disappears without linger. It is dry, but still allows the distinct taste of honey to surface. By no means is essence as full bodied as it’s smell, it’s effect on the palate is airy, smooth and lacks the fullness that the smell imbues.

Superficially tasteful, but lacking in complexity, this spirit is by far not the finest in it’s class. It is not, “at the top of the game,” but it is enjoyable.
This is the mead that one would not serve at a dinner party, nor use to celebrate a special occasion, but rather one which may be brought on a picnic, sipped to compliment a weekday dinner or paired with light cheese while enjoying sunshine and outdoor scenery.

Not a spectacular value and not a remarkable product, but by no means a poorly made product, Artesano Mead, still up and coming, has a lot of coming up to do.

Review: Ash Street Inn, Manchester, NH

27 Jul

A quaint and peaceful escape from the clutches of the city to a rustic and cozy bed and breakfast. Surrounded by trees, a lake perhaps, outdoor activities, friendly proprietors eager to make one’s stay comfortable and carry bags to the room. A place with merits equal to or beyond those on the website, worthy of the 169-229 USD/night.

Sound nice?
It would be, if you find the place described please do write a review.

The front page of the Ash Street Inn website features a bald, bearded man and a short haired woman standing in front of the main door sneering into the camera, if one were to give the innkeepers the benefit of the doubt they would assume that the sneers are not there in real life; that is half-accurate.

“Coffee, tea, water, and soft drinks as well as fresh-baked goods and fruit are available 24/7 and are included in the rate.” boasts the website.

To clarify, tea bags are available, a noisy Keurig alerts the entire house when you make yourself a cup of mediocre “k-cup,” in a town only a couple of hours away from the Green Mountain Coffee factory and many other purveyors of fresh coffee. “Baked goods,” are available, fruit is not. The “fresh-baked goods,” consist of Pillsbury cookies and some strange scone-esque item that have been there for days and will remain for the entirety of one’s stay. They are not replaced until that final cookie is snatched by some poor, unsuspecting fool.

Please keep in mind that this refutation, though a paragraph long is only one out of many possible using information from the Website.

“You have arrived at your destination on the left,” squawks the GPS, the travellers look incredulous until seeing the sign in front of the building across from the gas station. Turning into the lot, the travellers notice two doors, one parallel to 7/11 and one on the side near the parking lot; uncertain of which one to choose as both are unmarked, the latter is chosen.

Eric Johnston, the sneering, alopecia-plagued, bearded man from the website opens the door and stares. He stares at the travel-worn two, standing weary and perplexed and says, “Yes?”
“We are here to check in.”
“You can’t use this door, from now on use the other door. And you can’t park there, you are going to have to move your car.”
“Ah… Alright.”
“Ok, if you will come with me I will show you the inn.”

All three stand in silence until he starts frantically gesturing implicitly that he prefers giving tours while addressing the rear of his guests.

The room is nice, clean and air-conditioned, though the, “flat screen TV,” is roughly 16×8 and there is nothing spectacular about the small, somewhat monastic space.

One may get the feeling while staying at the inn, that they are being watched.  Every drink in the refrigerator, every bag of pretzels and every toiletry, appears carefully counted and laid out so that those missing can be easily accounted for.

Do not bother wearing nice clothing when you go out, the neighbourhood is filthy and the main inhabitants of the city are loud, brash and wearing oversized, dirty pants and t-shirts. In fact, don’t bother going out at all, restaurants close early and the ones that are open are not worthy of the endearing, colloquialism, “greasy spoon.”

On summer nights, the AC is turned off around 11 to save money, which means that the visitor will likely awake, unable to sleep and if you have brought a travel companion, well, godspeed.

When one from out of town envisions New England, the predominant image is probably quaint towns, lighthouses, lakes etc. Manchester is like any small, dirty city. It is not unique, nice or special. The inn is physically comfortable but mentally unsettling. It evokes a melancholia to know that you just spent $200 a night to stay in a town that is a proverbial septic tank.

The inn itself is not bad as far as the architectural value, cleanliness and linens, but paired with an eye-sore location and awkward, grotesque ambiance, it is far from being a good value.

Local Review: Prospect Park Gelato-Caramello

13 Jul

The question everyone is afraid to ask: What is gelato? The answer: An ambiguous sort of ice cream [generally] with lower butterfat content.

To properly examine this shop, let us first examine the area. Is this a place that will remind you of where you used to go with your friends after school years ago? No. Is this a place where everybody knows your name and there is always a smiling face; the dairy version of, “Cheers,” if you will? No.

Is this a place with snotty hipsters who over-enunciate all the wrong parts of words in a poor attempt to sound like they are not ordering from a store with all American speaking clientele and employees? Yes.

If you are uncomfortable with pretense, then you will have nothing against this store, it is a wonderful place with wonderful and friendly people behind the counter. The consumers, however, as in many adjoining establishments, are filled with pretense- among other things. You will hear people order “pawna coTTAH,” instead of, “panna cotta.” You will hear people order, “cho-koe-lawT,” instead of, “chocolate,” and you will hear people order “jay-lah-toe,” instead of, “gelato.”*

That being said and not to minimilise the discomfort of hipsters pretending that the trip through the storefront having turned them into Italian natives and transported them to Naples; the place is absolutely terrific.

The flavours are made in-store and are unique and delicious. There are classics like mint chip and chocolate as well as other more unique ones such as tiramisu, toblerone and even olive oil and corn, all made with authentic ingredients.

The ordering process consists of choosing the size desired upfront at the counter and then following the person behind the desk down to where the ice cream is to choose your flavours.

Not to call out any other overrated, underachieving establishments similar in neighbourhood and demographic, don’t think I mean say, Blue Marble Ice Cream, for example; but this place offers a punchcard which entitles you to free ice cream after 9 purchases, they will not refuse to take your order because they want to close early, a pint of gelato costs less than one minuscule soft serve and one root beer float with a single paltry scoop of vanilla ice cream and there seems to never be a big crowd.

The interior is clean and as mentioned before, but is worth emphasis, the staff are polite, friendly, cheerful and willing to deal with annoying clientele and difficult orders. Orders are expediently delivered to the customer in quite ample portions. All in all, despite any claims that convenience must be sacrificed for quality or vice-versa, this place proves that overall efficiency and quality can be succinctly combined to merge great experience and terrific products.

The Caffe Crunch and the Panna Cotta gelato are specifically worth mention. Caffe Crunch is not that much different than coffee ice cream, the true distinction is in the “crunch.” Bits of delicious hard toffee coated in chocolate embedded sporadically within the ice cream, which is inexplicably exciting when one starts out with the belief that they just made the mistake of getting some plain old coffee ice cream.

The Panna Cotta is creamy and sweet, as may be expected; if you ask about it, the misinformed staff behind the counter will tell you that “panna cotta is an Italian pastry and they make it into a gelato like this.” This is not true, panna cotta is more similar to a custard, pudding or flan than a pastry and the consistency of the gelato is very much like a very well made custard, not too sweet, not chunky, just smooth, sweet and pleasant.

Overall, food industry experiences are subjective, one may love this place or not, but the odds are that anyone who dislikes one thing about it can find another two that they like. A clean and friendly atmosphere, with beautifully arranged confections and a taste that is worth the markup from Carvel or Baskin Robbins, Caramello is a great place to satisfy your hunger for human flesh. Or ice cream. Or gelato. Whatever. Same thing.

*To anyone who reads this and says, “that’s so cool, that’s what I do!” Here is what comes to mind to most people who are not you: http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/digital-shorts/video/enchilada/1353699/

Weekend Movie: Robin Hood: The Christmas Goose

13 Jul

This version of Robin Hood features English actor Richard Greene in a 1950s television series. He is a bit less jaunty than the usual depiction, but he definitely plays it off well, with his own distinctive rather influence-free style.

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