Meet Your New Vocal Coach, Emma Michaelsen

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Dear Errybody.

You like singing, right?  Sure you do!  We all like singin’!

Are you singing at your full potential?

Meet Emma.  Emma is a badass Swedish black metal singer with formal jazz vocal training.  She can teach you to sing any style.  She’ll help you figure out where your range is, and how to improve it.  I’ve been working with her for a year and have increased my range by a whoooooole octave, and solved a lot of my problems!  Not all of them!  Just the ones about singing!

Hit up this amazing vocalist and coach today- it’s Emma Michaelsen!

Meet The Never-Readies

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What Does It Mean When He Says He’s Not Ready?


We never had a conversation about this, casual or otherwise. Is he hallucinating?

I recently got two questions that had a good amount of crossover, so I’m going to publish them both and address them.  I wish I had a cutesy columnist name to go by rather than “Virginia”, like “lovey hearts” or “agony aunt”, but I guess it’s too late now.

Lady 1 says:

Dear Virginia;

I’ve been seeing a man for six months, and recently I spent a holiday with his family.  We have never had a conversation about the state of the union or where we were headed.  In the last few weeks, I noticed that he was frequently not returning my texts, and when I asked him about it and said it hurt my feelings not to hear from him, he said, well, I’m not ready to be a boyfriend, didn’t we agree that we could just stay casual?

We never had a conversation about this, casual or otherwise.  Is he hallucinating?  I am furious that I’m the last one to know that I’ve put six months into nothing.

Also, do I absolutely have to stop sleeping with him?  I’ve gotten used to him.

Lady 2 says:

Dear Virginia

I’ve been dating a guy for five months, and when I had an accident on the streets of NYC last month, and broke my arm and was rushed to the hospital and called him, he wasn’t sure what I was talking about- the first time I needed anything from him at all, he shrugged and wandered off, telling a nurse that he wasn’t family, he was “just a friend” and he “wasn’t sure he could help.”

When was I supposed to find out I was sleeping with someone who regarded me as only slightly closer than a workmate?  I am furious.

Dear Ladies; 

First of all, I am so sorry.  You ladies have been, either directly or indirectly, misled.  One thing about the hookup culture that these guys are missing is that: it is, by its nature, temporary.  To sleep with a nice person once to half a dozen times with no expectation of a future is sort of normal, but to drag it out over half a year and introduce her to family members in an attempt to look like an adult is kind of cruel.  I’ve been thinking for a while about drafting a list of things you can’t get in a supercasual modern dating relationship:

  1. You don’t get exclusive claims to weekends
  2. You might not even get to sleep over
  3. You don’t get a date to weddings
  4. You don’t get input on important decisions such as: what to name the dog, what tattoo to get, or whether to go to grad school.
  5. You don’t get to take anyone home for Christmas
  6. Actually, most major holidays are out for you: Valentine’s day, Thanksgiving, New Year’s. You can go out with your casual hookup on Halloween, St. Patrick’s, and Cinco de Mayo: the drinking holidays.

But!  Neither of you get to continue dating without some communication.  If you have expectations in the relationship, you have to keep clear on what they are.  If you want more and they say they’re not ready, you might ask what that means.

Here are some possible things they mean when they say there’s not ready for a serious relationship:

  1. They’re not ready. When you leave, they’re going to go find another girl to annoy for six months or however long they put up with it, and then they’ll look for another one.
  2. They are ready, but not with you. They might be ready for the next girl they meet, which sucks and which is why it might be a good idea to drop them on social media.
  3. They (and this comes up more than you’d think) Will Never Be Ready. They will always be Single and Ready to Mingle.  I have met men in Los Angeles who’ve had longer relationships with a car lease than they have with a lady, and find this to be Super Normal.  I call them Never-readies, but unlike batteries, they’ll just drain you dry.
  4. They’re ready, but they won’t know it until you leave them and they have a chance to think about what a special person you are and they’ll cry into their pillowcase and think about how nice your pillowcases smell and they’ll come running back, tripping over their untied shoelaces because they pretty much just woke up and came running over to your house.

I know that number 4 sounds very romantic, but it’s probably one of the other three.  I’m sorry.  I’d like it to be number 4.  Keep in mind that whatever the number is, it’s not your fault.  It’s not the way you wore your hair or how good you were in bed or how interested you pretended to be in fantasy football or garage rock.  You can’t make him ready, and you can’t trick him into being ready.  If after being with someone as quirky and wonderful as you are for half a year, if he says he’s not ready, 1. He’s an idiot and 2. He probably isn’t going to be ready.

In any case, your only option is to set them free, back into the dating pool and out of your hair and, lady number one- DEFINITELY stop sleeping with him.

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Highway to the Friendzone

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Welcome To The Friendzone!

It sounds like way more fun than it is.  It sounds like there will be a waterslide.  There is no waterslide, just hurt feelings between people of all genders and sexual orientations.

The nicest definition of the Friendzone is: two people meet.  One person is interested in the other person romantically.  The other person is not interested that way, but says they want to be friends.

Sometimes that person doesn’t really want to be friends, but it seems easier to say that than to make up a boyfriend or to say “I have no space for you in my life, and I’m not going to return your texts.”

Sometimes two people will go on a few dates before one person will say “I like you as a friend”, or “but we’ve become such good friends.”  Women are trained to be polite and deferential to men, and not to say things like “I just flat out don’t find you attractive.”  Also, women are worried that if we are crystal clear that we are not interested in sex, men will stop talking to us, because we are only worthy as a sexual partner/conquest/etc.

This is one of the hardest things about being a person with feelings: sometimes those feelings are not reciprocated.  This happens to everyone, even Johnny Depp and Ariana Grande.  Everyone.  Everyone you know has liked someone who did not like them back.  President Obama.  Channing Tatum.  That lady on Instagram who is famous for her butt.  Everyone.

Sometimes men, especially men new to dating, will complain vociferously about being Friendzoned.  It doesn’t sound so bad, except when you start peeling the first onion layer you find a really misogynist onion.

Fallacies of Friendzoning-First Men, Then Women:

I met someone I am attracted to.  There’s a fifty-fifty shot that she’ll choose me. 

It’s actually a lot lower than that.  If women slept with everyone who wanted to sleep with us, not only would it be unpleasant, but we’d never get anything else done, like laundry or higher education.  The Friendzone is the default zone.  Almost everyone goes there.  It’s not so bad.  We like you, we value your company.  We just don’t want to date you.

There’s something I could have done or said that would have kept me out of the Friendzone.

I’ve heard several versions of this- if a man didn’t act dominant or aggressive enough, a woman would stop thinking of him as a romantic partner.  This happens with snakes and prey- if you drop a mouse into a cage with a snake who’s just eaten, the snake will get used to the mouse, and just cohabitate with it and will never get around to eating it.

This attitude heaps guilt and more anger on the rejected party.  Probably there wasn’t anything you could have done.  You’re just not the guy she likes.  Science says it might be as much smell as anything, so it doesn’t matter what bands you put on a Spotify mix for her or whether you were wearing your nicest Scarface shirt that day.  If it makes you feel better to think you could have done something different, maybe try that approach next time, but if the chemistry doesn’t go both ways, you’re gonna be right back in the Friendzone.

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Jerks always get the girl, nice guys like me get Friendzoned.

Well- if you feel entitled to have sex with everyone you like, or think if you’re a good friend to a girl you deserve sex- you’re also a jerk, you’re just a jerk she’s not attracted to.  Hope this helps!

Now I’m her friend and I have to listen to her complain about how there’s no good guys and it’s killing me!

If you don’t want to be her friend, don’t.  If you’re only being her friend in case one night she decides to sleep with you, don’t.  Be her friend because you think she’s cool and you like her company.  If you liked her so much, but she’s not good enough to be your friend: what did you like about her, again?

Women and Friendzoning:

Whenever a guy I liked didn’t like me back, I pretty much assumed that either I was too fat or he was threatened that I was smarter than he was, depending on how I was feeling that day.  I never blamed him for not liking me back, and I never said “MAN IF I’D BEEN HELLA AGGRESSIVE I WOULDN’T BE IN THIS STUPID FRIENDZONE.”

Pretty in Pink Friendzoning:

In the film Pretty in Pink, Duckie is pretty thoroughly Friendzoned by Andie.  He spends the movie romantically pining and pretending that she doesn’t know that he’s interested in her as a partner, but when he freaks out on her in Cats for being on a date with someone else, it’s clear that she’s known all along.  The audience sides with him in the movie and wants him to get the girl, even though she has never acted interested in him or misled him in anyway.  “But he’s been such a good friend to her!” So what?  She’s a good friend to him, too.  Why is his time worth her sexual interest?  And in the end he was just as interested in a random blonde at prom, anyway.

Jon Hamm Friendzoning Me:

Because I am a Hollywood type person with a modern a go-go lifestyle, last Wednesday I was in a room with Mad Men’s Jon Hamm.  He is incredibly handsome and caught me looking at him in the dark.  We had a brief exchange, I was friendly, I was charming, I was wearing a dress and everything, but he definitely treated me as a friend, or, even worse, as a stranger at a comedy show.  That’s right: I was friendzoned by Jon Hamm, which is HORSEFEATHERS because I KNOW HE DOESN’T HAVE A GIRLFRIEND RIGHT NOW.   I WOULD BE SO NICE TO YOU JON HAMM.

So, like I said.  Crossed signals happen to everyone.  Stop talking about the friendzone.  Be as honest, kind, and open as you can, and also dress up when you go out, because people are attracted to that.

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New Open Microphone in Echo Park!

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Virginia Jones and Olivia Haidar bring you a comedy open microphone time at a sociable hour in a fantastic bar in Echo Park. Have a drink and sign up for some time! We’ll pull names at 8 and start a rotating draw at 10. It sounds great, doesn’t it? It does.

Storytelling, poetry, and music will be tolerated but not encouraged.

Romance, Cat Photos, And Emojis: How Texting has ruined every poetic moment you’ve ever known!

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Romance, Cat photos and Emojis

I go out walking after midnight
Out in the moonlight
Just like we used to do
I’m always walkin’ after midnight, searchin’ for you”
– As sung by Patsy Cline, written by Alan Block and Donn Hecht

In Walkin’ after Midnight, Patsy Cline sings about walking around her neighborhood, thinking about her ex lover and wishing to be with him.  She seems to be hoping that the energy of her desire will draw him out of his house and bring them together.  This song is so sad and full of longing, and it couldn’t happen today.

She’d just send him a text: ‘sup?  And if he was up, he’d write “u up?” and they’d start sexting and eventually hook up at her place, or behind a P.F. Chang’s.

Going back even further, you may not know that the legendary lantern signal one if by land, two if by sea was actually the way that colonist Paul Revere let his mistress know if his wife had gone to bed and she could come over.

Now he’d just Instagram a picture of two lanterns and caption it “Hey ladies”.

Classic romance films An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle both had a scene where a man waits atop the Empire State Building for a woman to meet him, his heart filled with hope and anxiety and longing, but not today.  He’d wait five minutes and send her an emoji of a clock and an angry face, and she’d text him back with an eggplant and a thumbs up, or something.   The main twist to all romantic films from here forward will always have to include a broken phone, or losing battery and not being able to find an outlet to charge.

Technology has completely changed the way we communicate, and late night communication in particular.  If Lord Byron wanted to send a secret missive, he had to wake a servant up to hand deliver a handwritten note, and that servant had to wake up her servant, and what if your servants are sleepy, or, worse, you don’t have any?  You’re limited to throwing rocks at a window or moaning out on your balcony, “Romeo!  Wherefore art thou?”

Now, it’s almost too easy.  Once you’ve had a couple drinks and watched Magic Mike XXL, you might reach out to a friend or ex or acquaintance in a more direct way than you would at lunchtime on a Tuesday.  That’s ok, or at least, it’s normal- but if you do find that you’re embarrassed by your late night phone behavior, use my friend’s policy:  he doesn’t write anyone between midnight and 7am, less it be construed as a sext.  “Anything I want to say can wait until it’s daylight,” he says.

young couple in kitchen drinking coffee and using smart mobile phone

We communicate via text much more than in any other method.  It’s easier than ever to use messaging to reduce physical distance between people- but be careful once you start dating, because it can make you feel more distant.

In a study published this year, Pew Research found that 25 percent of cellphone users in a relationship believed that their partner was distracted by that person’s cellphone when they were together, and 45% of internet users ages 18-29 in serious relationships say the internet and phones have had an impact on their relationship.

What do we take from all this?  It’s great to get in touch on your phone, it’s great to stay in touch, but try to prioritize the people you’re actually with and have a better connection with them.  Try the following:

Treat your date or outing like a job interview, and keep your phone in your purse or pocket until you’re leaving.  Try leaving it in your car’s glove compartment.  That’s right.  Turn it off and put it in a box.  It’s not your friend.

Try logging out of Facebook, so when you do decide to check it, you have to log back in to see how many people liked your cat picture.  It’ll make you more aware of how often you just check in, and are able to consider how often is really necessary.

At the very least, pop into Airplane Mode to silence the delicious little buzzes and bells that let you know someone somewhere has done something.  Try to live in the moment, and pay attention to the person you like doing that with.

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