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Choosing Civility: The Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct Blow Me Blow Me Half Broke Horses The Glass Castle Steve Jobs

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Welcome to my blog on dating in Los Angeles.  I hope you find my real life stories and anecdotes on being smart, sexy and single in the City of Angels as amusing (and tragic) as I do.  If you enjoy reading my posts, please share this blog site with your friends, family, loved ones, and less loved ones.  

Please check out my Sex and the City style novel Blow Me—available now in e-book and paperback on my website and lulu.com. Also available in ebook on amazon.com and Google books.

Entries in Money (5)

Saturday
Mar242012

Crazy, crazy for loving you...

Popeye and Olive Oyl in A Date to Skate (1938).

When I was young, I used to love watching Popeye cartoons. Popeye was in love with Olive Oyl, and they had their pet "Eugene the Jeep" and a baby, Swee'Pea. It was all very romantic, even to a kid. But, I should have paid more attention to what Popeye said. Not just the "strong to the finish, cause I eat my spinach" song, but Popeye clearly stated over and over again, "I yam what I yam and you ain't gonna change me..."

It is said the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. If that's the case, I'm a certifiable nut job. I've chased a writing career for 20 years, convinced every time that the next project will provide my big break. I've dated the same type of man over and over—a guy who is irresponsible with money and not driven to succeed—believing that if he had me behind him, supporting him emotionally and financially, he could (and would) be my Popeye.

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Saturday
Mar052011

Checkmate. Check Please!

My girlfriend and I had planned a girl’s night out to drink some wine and catch up on every single detail of each other’s lives. We were seated at the bar of Bouchon where she was having a glass of Triennes Viognier from Provence and I, a glass of heavily-oaked Molnar Chardonnay from the Carneros, while enjoying the salmon rillettes. There were two men to our left, not together but obviously single. The one closest, and next to my friend, was ordering far too much food for one person so my all too naïve and friendly girlfriend struck up a little benign food chit-chat. Evidently, he was a chef from Dallas. I had lost her attention.

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Saturday
Jan292011

Don’t Die Tink! He’s Just Another Peter Pan.

In 1983, pop psychologist Dan Kiley coined the term “Peter Pan Syndrome” in his book, Peter Pan Syndrome: Men Who Have Never Grown Up.  Not only have they never grown up, they have all migrated to Los Angeles – Never Never Land.  Kiley was ahead of his time, as the “Peter Pan Syndrome” appears to be on the rise.

A wannabe Hefner, Peter Pan is an aging Playboy in his mid-fifties that throws “lingerie” parties at his Venice beach house. His entire life revolves around training for Ironman competitions, sticking his butt cheek with a daily dose of HGH, and dating women 20-30 years younger than him. He has never been married, or has been married several times without duration, and says he may want to have children in a few years. Despite his desire to remain young forever, in a few years Peter Pan will be a grandpa. While men don’t lose their ability to reproduce the same way women do, there are health concerns (downs syndrome, for example) that increase drastically when a man reaches the age of 55. The Botox, mini facelift, and celebrity-style hair transplants by the notorious Dr. Walter Unger cannot disguise the fact that he is genetically old. Why is this man even considering having children, to pass on his superior personality traits?

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Wednesday
Dec082010

Chelsea Handler’s Hand-Me-Downs

Photo: Joe ShlabotnikChelsea Handler has two things that I lack:  blond hair and big breasts.  She used to have another thing: Ted Harbert, President and CEO of Comcast Entertainment Group, the company that owns E! Entertainment, which airs her show Chelsea Lately.  In Los Angeles, talent and a dime will get you ten cents.  There are three unwritten rules to achieving success as a woman in Hollywood: one is dye your hair blond, two is get breast implants, three is sleep your way to the top.  When I arrived here from Canada, I was too young and naïve to subscribe to any of those philosophies.  Although at one point I did have blond hair, it was not Playboy blond with down-to-the-ass extensions like that of most Hollywood starlets.  My breasts were a solid 34A on a cool day with a stiff wind.  I was shot down at countless auditions by casting directors who openly confessed that the network would not hire me unless I had a 34C chest.  I will not say which network (hint: small animal that makes for a beautiful fur coat), but I think that kind of discrimination is lawsuit material.  As for sleeping my way to the top, at the time I was sleeping my way sideways while financially supporting my bartender/actor boyfriend who drank as much as he poured and popped antidepressants and Vicodin out of a Pez dispenser.  That relationship ended well.

I recall buying every breast enhancement device from jelly inserts to some Victoria’s Secret crank-em-up bra and driving three hours to an audition in San Diego for some cheesy show like Silk Stalkings or The Chronicle.  The role was a Russian hooker, which I could do well as my grandparents were from Russia and I heard the accent my entire life.  After I aced the audition, the casting director said I had a callback the next day which meant either sleeping on the couch at my aunt’s place and going to dinner at some overpriced, mediocre strip mall Claim Jumper or driving all the way back to L.A. and back to San Diego the next morning.  “Oh, and one more thing,” she said as I was walking out the door.  “They want someone with large breasts.  Could you stop off at Victoria’s Secret and buy a padded bra and crank those babies up a bit?”  Sure, no problem.  Couldn’t she see they were already cranked as far as they could go?  I was breast-fallen, I mean crestfallen as I said "Dasvidaniya" to the role of Russian hooker.  From that moment on, I knew that without plastic surgery, hair extensions and the desire to sleep my way to the top, my acting career was doomed.

Photo: Carter Smith for ElleIn the November 2010 issue of Elle Magazine, 38-year-old actress Gwyneth Paltrow spoke out about one of the industry’s dirtiest secrets – the casting couch – as did Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren, Megan Fox and Lisa Rinna.  Of course, none of them were willing to kiss and tell about whether the men who propositioned them actually succeeded, but it has long been rumored that Sharon Stone traded sexual favors to advance her career.  Just look at the press Monica Lewinsky got after getting it on with President Clinton and tell me that Nicole Kidman’s career didn’t hurt from her marriage to the questionably straight Tom Cruise.

While I am not accusing the raunchy comedienne of sleeping her way to the top, it certainly didn’t hurt her career to swap spit with the CEO of a major network.  To set the record straight, Chelsea and Ted started dating in 2006 and were living in sin prior to the inception of her show Chelsea Lately, which debuted on July 17, 2007.  Whatever Chelsea is or isn’t doing seems to be working: her books are selling and she has a contract with E! until 2012 – I admire her for that.  

Chelsea is one of my favorite authors.  I loved her first two books, My Horizontal Life and Are You There Vodka, It’s Me Chelsea?  Obnoxiously funny, taking no prisoners when it comes to humor, Chelsea Handler is a total joke slut; someone who will go to any length for a laugh, even if it means berating her ex-boyfriend Ted Harbert (who presumably paved the way for her show) by calling him a “giant toddler” in her latest book Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang.  Maybe Ted is a giant toddler, but if you’re done with him Chels, you mind paying it forward and giving me his number?  Perhaps he just got sick of you trashing him every chance you could and is looking for a more nurturing, appreciative woman.  One thing's for sure, it couldn’t hurt my career to date him.

Friday
Dec032010

Now I ain't sayin' she a gold digger…

But she’ ain’t, and here’s proof…

I recently agreed to a date with a man from Vegas who dabbles in real estate (to the tune of several hundred million) and has a house on the water in Newport Beach, approximately an hour drive from L.A.  As he was driving up from Newport to meet me at the Roof Garden Restaurant at The Peninsula Beverly Hills, he called from his Maybach (one of two he owned, along with a long list of other penis cars including two Bentleys, a Porsche racing car, a Ferrari, and my personal favorite – a Cadillac Escalade, or as like to call it “The Compensator”). Evidently he had no idea how to use the GPS in his $430,000 toy, as he normally had a driver.  Today was my lucky day.  I got to give him block-by-block directions from the 405 freeway to the destination, a mere 1.2 miles away, and he still managed to get turned around a half dozen times.  

© Glenn Francis www.PacificProDigital.comHe finally arrived and ambled over to the table where I was seated – smack dab center of the patio.  A towering 6’4”, he looked and sounded like a distant relative of Herman Munster with long gangly arms, nails bitten to the quick, and saggy alcoholic eyes like Larry Hagman, circa 1995, prior to his liver-transplant. At the time, Larry Hagman was 64 and not well; my date claimed to be only 52.  I was a huge fan of Larry Hagman in I Dream of Jeanie and Dallas, but that didn’t make me want to date a celebrity look-a-like. Despite Munster’s stated youth, he kept talking about his bucket list, which included going to every Nascar race in the world, every major league baseball stadium in the US, the US Open, The French Open, Wimbledon and the Australian Open, and pretty much every sporting even under the sun.  I could take the tennis matches and the Monaco Grand Prix would be kinda cool, but it is a rather lame bucket list if you ask me.  If that was the list and he wanted to do it with me, I would hope that he’d kick the bucket sooner than later.  It certainly doesn’t match my bucket list, partly because I’m too young to have one yet.  Other than talking about his list, he talked about his real estate holdings – thousands and thousands of acres in Vegas, Dallas and Dana Point.  He admits to having barely graduated high school (like I didn’t notice) and learned everything he knows about business from reading books by Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and the likes.  Mr. Munster never asked me one thing about myself.  When he did refer to me, he made asinine jokes, such as “Did your mother lift weights, because you’re a real dumbbell.”  Now, that would be marginally funny, if he weren’t such a dumbbell himself and if I actually were a dumbbell.  But, since my IQ registers at least double his, it was rather pathetic.  He then bragged about how many one-line zingers he had stored in his head and I thought that is exactly where he should keep them.

During the agonizing two-hour brunch, the service staff all but vacated the premises and got me wondering if I had overlooked a fire alarm drill.  Finally brunch ended and we made our way to the valet parking where he waited for his Maybach, which was parked out front on proud display. As I was paying for my parking (he did not offer to pay), he asked me how much it was and made a comment on how he’d have to give the valet more than a $10 for his car since that would only be a $2 tip.  He pulled out a twenty.  Still not offering to pay for my valet.  I guess he left his manners in the glovebox of the Maybach.  In this era, it is standard dating protocol for a man to pay for a woman’s parking or taxi, as it is no longer acceptable for a man to pick a woman up at her home on a first date (due to safety reasons, though it is always polite to offer).

With a house in the best development in Summerlin, the most elite suburb of Vegas, a waterfront home in Newport Beach, and his various toys – I can only assume private jet was on the list – this guy would be a magnet to the multitude of blond haired, tits-on-a-stick, aging plastic surgery Playboy bunny retirees who grace the streets of Hollywood and Beverly Hills in their Ugg/miniskirt combos and stripperesque clothes with their nipples barely covered covered, but he is repellent to a woman like myself.  I would be popping pills, shooting heroin in the bathroom and have alcoholic eyes myself if I spent more than a day with this man.  How one woman married him for 15+ years and another for 7 years, is beyond me.  Oh, right… the 15-year marriage landed the wife and mother-of-two a 12-million dollar settlement, and the 7-year marriage, well she walked out one day – loaded up the moving trucks and tossed the keys on the front porch – while he was boating on Lake Mead.  That divorce is pending.  I have to admire these women for their tenacity and endurance.  Were I a gold digger, I would have been married seven times over and would be commuting via private jet from my vineyard in Napa to the Van Nuys airport where my driver would await me in my Mercedes sedan (I would never be so nouveau riche gauche to own a Maybach) and take me to my 3-acre waterfront home on the cliffs of Point Dume, Malibu. 

Snob, yes, most definitely I am.  Stickler for manners and social graces, agreed.  But, gold digger?  I wish.