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Mix Tape Blues

So a lot has happened since last I blogged…I’ve got a literary agent, the wonderful Jim McCarthy at Dystel & Goderich, I finally got a halfway-decent haircut and, well, Catch came back.  Guess I owe Robert Rodriguez and his horrible Sin City 2 trailer for that one.

But now I’m tasked with making a mix CD for Catch and that’s harder than I expected.  I had a whole CD planned as a last-ditch effort I was never going to make, an assortment of pleas and sorrowful tunes perfect for playing on a boombox outside his office window–Tom Waits, “Bad Liver & a Broken Heart” The Cure’s “Cut Here,” The Smiths, “Bigmouth Strikes Again” (I am nothing if not melodramatic).

But now he’s back and I am at a complete loss for songs.  Do I put my whole heart on my sleeve, reveal to him seven awful years of heartsickness, or do I celebrate his return, play for him all the songs I’ve heard over the years that I thought he would like–the Replacements, Tenpole Tudor, the Magnetic Fields?

And harder still is that so many of my songs are already taken up–I can’t very well give him “Midnite Cruiser,” that’s Matthew & I’s song.  “I Will Dare” makes me think of Thor, and “Choked Up” was the song that was playing the night Ian and I first kissed. Where’s your advice for that, Arlene?

I think I’ll keep “Bigmouth Strikes Again,” though.  It’s still appropriate.


Geek Girl Celebrates, and Bids a (Temporary) Farewell

Today is Ian & I’s 9th anniversary.  It’s amazing, in a way, when I look back on how much time has gone by and how happy we still are.  There have always been challenges and will continue to be many, but one of the things I’ve really learned is how important my relationship with Ian really is, and how important it is to nurture that–and all the other relationships in my life–every day.

Though this blog officially ends on Dec. 31, this will, in all likelyhood, be my last “official” entry.  It’s been an interesting year; I’ve found a lot of things that work (being nice to people, (regardless of gender) putting on a little makeup as a means of pampering myself, cross-stitch) and some that don’t (ice baths, beets as blush, curlers).  I got a haircut I hated and one I loved.  I got engaged.  I learned to dress a little better and trusted myself to throw out clothes that just weren’t working for me.  I ate Cajun food I would have never tried on my own. 

But what I really learned was that I really like being a woman.  It’s something I take for granted a lot, but being feminine is a real pleasure.  I like looking nice.  I like having pretty hair and wearing perfume and cooking dinner. But what I really liked about all of it was that it was a choice I made because it made ME feel good about myself.  If Ian or Dave or Eeon or Pete or Matthew or any of the other wonderful men who took me out and put up with me liked it, well, that was just extra frosting on the cake.

But for all the wonderful men I had the immense pleasure of spending time with this year, I also got a chance to really connect with some wonderful women.  From Jamie and her fabulous French ways to hearing all the details of my grandmother’s wedding, this wouldn’t have been any fun without their assistance.

A handful of fedora-sporting twerps favorited this blog over the year, writing comments about how women aren’t feminine anymore and how that hurt their poor little man feelings and blah blah blah.  They can all go cook a radish as far as I’m concerned.  Every woman, whether she’s in Spanx or sweatpants, is beautiful.

The blog will probably be quite for a bit as I get my new year’s bearings…but I’m about to buy a house and plan a wedding, so keep an eye out for more from the Glam Geek.

Until then, stay glamorous! XOXOXO, darlings.  

Now About That French Twist…

“A special fragrance is a most effective expression of femininity” Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man

Finding a “signature” fragrance has, like getting a good haircut, been a year-long challenge for me.  Betsey Johnson fragrances are too cloying, I don’t want to smell like Beyonce, Taylor Swift or Justin Beiber’s prostitute, and nothing else I found really smelled like…me.

Well, the long search is finally over.  And a man, in his own way, helped.

ImageIn “New Frontier,” off 1982’s The Nightfly, Donald Fagen sings, “She’s wearing Ambush and  French twist/She’s got us wild and she can tell.”  I wasn’t sure what he meant by “wearing Ambush,” so I did a quick search–turns out, it’s a fragrance launched in 1955, with notes of lavender, bergamot, orchid and jasmine.  Not too floral, not too woody, all scents I adore on their own.  It’s still around; my bottle on Amazon cost $14 bucks with shipping.

But when that bottle arrived and I opened it up, I KNEW I had my scent!  It was perfect–sweet, mysterious,  vintage.  Not heavy or cheap-smelling.  Classy.  Classic.  The scents I grew up with on the dressing tables of my mother and grandmothers.

Now every morning, as part of my beauty routine, I dab a little on in all the right places. The only downside is that it’s a little light, so I have to douse myself pretty heavily if I want anyone to notice.  But Ian did say, “You smell nice,” when I soaked a cotton ball and tucked it in my camisole.

Beautiful TMI

“Just because chorus girls have to shave their legs and underarms is no reason why women in general should turn their nose up at the practice” Florence Courtenay, Physical Beauty (1922)

One of the things neither HGB or Arlene discusses is how to take care of body hair.  I imagine they trust that ladies are shaving their arms and legs, but they don’t give any discussion to maintaining the downstairs carpet.  Of course, every modern ladies’ magazine in the whole universe treats you as if you’re some kind of monster if your batch is anything but smooth, and it’s one of the few things I actually have image issues about.  I just can’t bring myself to shave it all off or wax–trim, yes, but not yank it all out by the roots–and I occasionally panic that this means I am an unsexy freak.

ImageHOWEVER, they both say to give a man what he wants, and I’ve found a quote from one of the sexiest men in the entire universe, Walton Goggins, that puts my anxieties to rest and pretty much settles the discussion forever: “Can I tell you how much I miss pubic hair? To me, if the size of a penis dictates virility, the length of a woman’s pubic hair dictates her femininity.” (New York Magazine, Jan. 14 2013). 

This, of course, from a man who once uttered the words, “Eatin’ ain’t cheatin’,” securing my permanent spot on #TeamShane,  so his declaration to let it all grow is that much sexier.   After all, isn’t the real heart of this project to be feminine for the man I adore?  (So what if we’ve never met and probably won’t ever–a girl can dream, can’t she?)

Geek Guy Goes Glam

“Give a man a flattering image of himself, and chances are, he’ll live up to it.” Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man


Ian has been wonderfully patient through this whole process.  He’s let me go on dates with other men, helped me wrangle out of my Spanx, complimented all of my haircuts (even the ugly ones) and STILL asked me to marry him.  But while I’m still seeing the influences of this project on my life, I didn’t realize that it would influence his as well.

Ian has always dressed nicely–funky printed tee-shirts, soft sweaters, button-downs.  But lately, he’s upped his game by adding a hat to his winter ensemble.  Not a beanie or a polar-fleece cap, but a real damn HAT.  It adds a nice level of sophistication to his outfit without making him look like a twit.  He’s started rocking his vests too, which I’ve always adored him in.  Because you can’t just slap a hat on your head and think that makes an outfit classy–you actually have to wear a classy outfit.

He likes hearing that he looks handsome, so I tell him as often as possible.  And really, how could I not?

Guest Post: 50 First Dates

Since I am now an engaged woman, I have to leave it up to readers like Michelle to do my dating for me!  Michelle is a modern-day Helen Gurley Brown, except she cooks and eats and I don’t hate her.  But Michelle adores men, and men adore Michelle, and she’s happy to see as many as them as possible–sometimes I’m surprised she can keep them all straight!

I think I literally went on 50 three minute dates. It was exhilarating.


Michelle, Kissing Her Boyfriend in Copenhagen!

Naturally, at a speed dating event with absolutely no filter I was expecting to leave my 50 dates with at least 5 horror stories. And instead I have none.

There was one guy who couldn’t continue a conversation with me (and I am pretty good at conversing- it’s stopping me that is usually the problem.)

A few guys were invading my personal space too much, but it was also much louder than one would expect (a crowded bar with no music but 50 conversations going on does require raising ones voice).

Some guys were kino-escalating too much. (

For a few the three minutes seemed a bit too long.

But all of the rest of them were positive interactions with decent conversations and a lot of laughing.

I did not meet the love of my life.
My friends and I all liked the same five guys most.
But the fact that there were actually FIVE cute and personable men seems like better odds than usual.

There were a variety of backgrounds- it was in Manhattan-different professions (teacher, cops, business, pilots, engineers) a number of foreigners (Israel, India, Austin) in addition to the natives. I could see myself being friends with many of them and wish we had a little more time to talk in general.

I think the success lies in the fact that at a bar most guys are not comfortable coming up to girls unless they are so used to rejection they don’t care (and they will continue to be rejected because they are weird). This actually created a comfortable environment where everyone had a fair shot. I assume all the girls acted like I did- being personable and friendly to all of the guys so they actually had a chance to show their personality. In a normal bar, a guy has to worry about a girl not being single, being surrounded by friends, or being scared. Since we’re all asking to be here the approach is much easier and people can actually be the best version of themselves for three minutes at a time.

Of course, during the break I talked to a couple of guys and it wound up being a girl who bought me a drink (she was interesting- too bad I didn’t get her number since she clearly knows how to have a good time!) I was kind of awestruck by the guys still not being what I consider a gentleman, but it was a fun night overall.

Next time I would definitely try one of the less dates with longer times mostly because by the end I had forgotten who everyone was and it was a big blur. But since I was expecting to be entertained by imps and was instead entertained by charming conversation it was still a win.

Con Men

One of the things I’ve noticed in all my books is that they treat men like some precious mythical figure, a perfect being of grace and glory who exists only to compliment you, hold doors, pull out chairs and buy presents (if only we would let them, seems to be Arlene and. HGB’s battle sigh) Nowhere do they mention, for whatever reason, how to handle a guy who is an absolute pinhead.


Pictured: Winning.

Ian and I took our internet-winning Barbara and Adam Maitland costumes to the Albany Comic Con on Sunday to meet my best friend Heather and her boyfriend Alex.  We went last year in our Alien costumes and won the contest, so we thought we’d try our luck again this year.  It’s a fun convention, full of vendors and cool toys and piles of stuff I used to buy on pilgrimages to Anime Crash and Tower Records (RIP) and it’s always awesome to see Heather, who’s been my best friend for over a decade.

People mobbed us for pictures and we happily obliged.  “Awesome costume!” rang through the halls.  We actually saw a Beetlejuice, who was as happy to see us as we were to see her (she was with an Edward Scissorhands.)  But right as we were leaving, some guy in a pretty weak Captain Hammer costume looked at me and said, with a reed-thin smirk, “Your costume would be perfect if you were a foot taller.”


If I had been wittier, perhaps I might have said, “Your costume would be perfect if you weren’t so damn ugly.”  If this project hadn’t been so ingrained, I might have spit out some combination of vulgarity and violence.  But HGB and Arlene never tell us what to do in these situations, when the guy is being less than gentlemanly.   I was on my own to sort this situation out.

So instead, I looked him in the eye and said, “Actually, my costume is perfect” and kept on walking.  Behind me, he stammered something akin to, “Uhh, I just thought…the actress…duh….”

Con guys are notoriously creepy.  I’ve never had that happen in Albany, but the internet is full of horror stories of girls being forcefully touched, photographed and, if they say no or ask someone to stop, they’re harassed and cursed.  There’s a sense among many of these men than your body belongs to them just by being there, like you are nothing more than an action figure brought to life by a magical fairy.  Captain Neckbeard didn’t make body comments to Ian, who is a few inches shorter and a thicker than 1980’s Alec Baldwin, and I’m sure he didn’t say “Batgirl doesn’t wear glasses” to the adorable towheaded tike who asked us for a picture.  But because I’m an attractive woman and therefor can’t be a “true” geek, it seems like he felt it was okay to shout comments about my physical form as I was walking past, minding my own business, off to get pizza with Heather and Alex.

I’m sure Captain Neckbeard didn’t intend for it to be an insult.   I’m sure in his head, he was saying, “Wow, that costume is flawless” and it just came out wrong because he’s a dope.  But here’s a hint, gentlemen.  If your “compliment” has any variation of “if” “except” or “but” in it, it’s no longer a compliment.

And for all the con-men out there–when you see someone in a costume, no matter how good or bad it is, you say, “Hey, nice costume,” because it takes guts to wear a costume in public on any given Sunday.  They didn’t wear it for your entertainment.  They wore it because it makes them feel awesome and helps them have a good time.  So if you can’t say anything nice about anyone, how about you keep your trap shut?

Geek Girl Gets Engaged

“A happy marriage is the true test of your skills in the art of femininity” Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man.

I guess something in this crazy 10-month long experiment has worked, because last night, during the annual Halloween parade, Ian asked me to marry him.

I had no idea this was coming.  We’ve been together 8 years, so I assumed it was coming at some point, but we were walking in the parade with the Teen Center Grim Reaper puppet, and we came to a stop in front of the plaza.  We posed for a picture for his parents, and when he turned me around, the teens holding the puppet had unfurled from it’s hands a banner that read “Libby, Will You Marry Me?”


Spoiler Alert: The Answer is Yes.

Ian then got down on one knee, took off his hat and held out a ring from Wolfe Wilde jewelers.  “You’ve waiting long enough,” he said.  “Will you marry me?”

I was absolutely breathless.  Everybody, including the mayor, cheered.  People took pictures and I finally managed to gasp in the affirmative.  More cheering.  We walked down the rest of the parade route in a cloud.

He designed the ring; a garnet with four diamonds; two from his grandmother Inez’s watch and the one from my mother’s engagement ring (this fun fact made my mom cry).  I’ll post pictures later.

Glam Girl and Reader Jen, who played in the band and goes to the teen center, summed the night up thusly–“Is the blog going to change?”

No, dear readers, I’m determined to finish out this blog as I started, but starting soon will be a spin-off blog Glam Geek Gets Wed, chronicling our planning this whole crazy thing.  You don’t think I’m going to have an un-glam wedding, do you?