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2003-09-01 - 8:54 p.m.

Q: What is the difference between a girlfriend, a best friend that is a girl, and a friend with benefits? My ex boyfriend didn't know the difference and i'm hoping you could clarify this.

p.s. He also thought it was ok to take me on dates to burger king. That is worse than getting a carnation!

A: i am going to define these in the opposite order. i think it would be easier that way.

FRIEND WITH BENEFITS: "i want to fuck all the time, but i do not like you so much that i don't want the option to sleep with someone else whenever i want without having to explain myself to you." basically, if you are a friend with benefits, you are not really friends, and hopefully you don't harbor any feeling for this person. they are going to ditch you sooner or later, but probably sooner.

BEST FRIEND: "i like doing stuff with you and hanging out with you. i like how you are always there or me when i need you, and i like you enough that i will always be here for you if you ever need me."

GIRLFRIEND: its just like BEST FRIEND, only you also have sex and kiss and all the gross stuff. basically, it is BEST FRIEND + SOMETIMES HAVING BODILY FLUIDS ON YOUR FACE.

and if a guy asks you out, and then takes you to burger king, it is not going to go well. guys may be broke sometimes, but for the price of burger king for two, he could make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, save the heels of the bread, and take you to the pond for a little picnic and duck-feeding. if he takes you to burger king, he is just doing the bare minimum that, in his mind, will result in him getting his knob waxed. FUCK THAT, you are right, it is worse than carnations.

Q: i get really frustrated when i'm drawing or painting. does that mean i'm not good at it..or i just get frustrated and i should keep doing it?

A: here is the key... either take some classes and get technically better at doing what you want to do, or try drawing and painting things that are actually within your ability. (ie. if you do not know perspective and all that jazz, do not try to draw the eiffel tower or something.) the quickest way to get frustrated is to not do stuff within your realm of ability. may i suggest starting out drawing anthropomorphic cardboard boxes? that is what i did, and it seemed to work out for me just fine.

Q: My Grandma has just died today... her funeral is tomorrow and i am having a really hard time facing the facts. My father will be there and i am not to keen on seeing him. I have not spoken a word to my father for 3 years .. due to complex family reasons. Heres where my question comes in. Do i go to the funeral? Even if it means seeing and speaking to my father - whom i fear being in presence of - and go out of respect of my grandmother. Or do i not go like one of my sisters is doing and mourn for her in my own way along with paying tributes a different day?

A: i'm sorry to hear your grandmother died. i think you should go to the funeral, though. not for her, but for the rest of your family. funerals are for comforting each other and remembering people who died, not for trying to prove a point. yeah, your dad will be there. yeah, you don't want to see him. but there will be a lot more family there who would want to see you there, and who would be able to help you come to terms with your grandmother's death.

Q: in the last year of seventh grade, there was a teacher that was really nice to me. so naturally he became my favorite teacher. then later in the year, i wrote a love poem, but not addressed to anyone. my friends took it from me and gave it to him, saying i wrote it to him. he made a big deal in front of the class and now my whole grade thinks i have a crush on him. it's nasty, but it's true. i really don't want to go into eighth grade like this. any advice?

A: i bet you a thousand bucks nobody will even remember anything that happened last year. just go to school and don't think about it. it is really not a big deal in the least.

NATALIE HINT OF THE DAY FOR ALL OF YOU CATS: if something happens and you are all mortified or whatever, ask yourself "is this gonna affect my life at all in ten years?" if the answer is no, get on with your life because it is not important. if the answer is yes, then get in the stick and do something about it.

Q: im a senior in highschool. pretty much all the non-druggy friends that i hang out with all the time are now on the west coast. so i have no one to hang with this school year...and to complicate matters, my mum and step-dad are impossible to live with, honestly, they are pretty much insane. and don't think that's what everyone says 'bout their parents, cuz mine are really impossible to live with. really. how am i gonna survive the next 12 months?

A: you just will. you don't really have a choice. either make new friends, hang out with the druggies, or don't hang out with anyone. be nice to your parents even though they are "insane" and do you homework. crimeny.

Q: do I have still a chance of winning an original of yours, even being too chicken to tattoo my skin or writing down my love for you in a public wall?

A: nope. the contest is officially over. stay tuned for the results.

Q: i tend to be somewhat shy romantically and i was wondering how u recommend making the first move because whenever i am interested in a guy, i always get nervous and just act cool like i dont feel anything and nothing happened. any thoughts?

A: just go up and talk to them. if you are old enough, get drunk first. that always seems to work for me. you have a 50/50 chance of it going well, and those are pretty decent odds. if you make sure you smell good, the odds only get better. you don't have to throw yourself at them, but be friendly and act interested in what they say. smile at them. it is really not hard at all. the first couple times might feel kind weird and forced, but in no time, you will be romancing the men like nobody's business.

Q: My son Trever doesn't want to go back to school because he has a problem with his teeth. He doesn't have braces but he is missing 3 teeth and I don't what to do. I tried vampire teeth from halloween, but it looks fake. Please help!

A: what do you think you should do? so obvious, i am not even going to answer this e-mail.

Q: I recently started going out with a guy that I've gotten really close to over the past few months. We started off as friends, and then he went away for the summer to work. We've kept in touch through letters, e-mail, and on the phone all summer. About a month ago, we decided to try a relationship. He comes home in a week, and university starts soon after. I'm 19 and he's 22, but the age difference isn't an issue at all. We're just worried what people will think about us, because he broke up with his girlfriend only a couple of months ago, and she has a lot of friends where we go to school. We're afraid that people will think he was cheating on her with me, or that he broke up with her because of me. Neither is true. We care a lot about each other, and we don't want to have to keep our relationship a secret. So basically, my question is, how should we deal with the people who will think and say bad things about us when we get back to school?

A: it doesn't matter what other people think about what you are doing. do whatever makes you happy, mind your own business. as long as you are not hurting anybody, it is not anybody's business but your own. people can talk all they want. IT DOENSN'T MATTER WHAT THEY THINK. YOU ARE LIVING YOUR OWN LIFE.

Q: I think I may have brewed the strongest coffee in the world. First I use ground espresso in the percolator, filter it once and then put fresh espresso in and filter coffee back through the percolator. It's good coffee and has to be drank black with one spoon of brown sugar, this is the law. Anyway, so it makes my mouth pretty numb and was wondering if you knew how to stop this because I don't like the numbness but I do like the taste/experience.

A: that sounds really gross. i think the best way to make it stop is to quit drinking it. man, that just sounds mad nasty.

Q: both my boyfriend and i suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). in fact, we met last winter when we were both pretty shifty with it. we've been together 7 months now, and the summer has been so rad it's easy to forget what it was like when we weren't happy. with this approaching winter, what should we do maintain our relationship while we both deal with our depression problems?

A: get one of those lamps, the ones they put the SAD people underneath that makes them do whatever with their vitamin D or whatever the hell it is. get one of those lamps, and you guys can spend the winter making out underneath it. problem solved. either that, or make a date to get some prozac or paxil or wellbutrin or acid or something. ta-da! next question, please...

Q: how do i achieve great internet super stardom? here are the steps i've taken: started a web page drawn pictures every other day waited WHAT AM I DOING WRONG? how do i bask in the wonderfulness that you and your brother share?

A: man, i don't know. i pretty much did the same thing, only i didn't draw pictures everyday, and i didn't wait around for it.

"INTERNET SUPERSTAR" is kind of a lame thing to shoot for anyway. i'll tell you what you get if you are an "internet superstar".... nothing. nothing. nothing but a crap load of obnoxious e-mail from people you don't know and even more spam, cause the people who don't e-mail you think it is really cute to sign you up for mailing lists. the only reason you should be putting stuff up is because you like what you are doing, and you like having people looking at it, but like your stuff enough that even if people don't look at it, that's cool too. not because you want recognition.

if you want recognition for stuff you do, put your stuff out in some kind of forum that get some respect, like the real world.

Q: hey uh how do i get a girl to like me and get laid with out spending money? and how do i ask a girl out ? also how should i impress one?

A: why don't you grow up? you are asking me how you can con a girl into sleeping with you. you don't deserve to have sex.

a real man wouldn't need to try to impress a girl, and would be okay with TAKING HER ON A DATE FIRST or at least buying her a fucking soda or something. i'm not saying you need to spend money to get with a girl, but you at least need to have enough respect for women to not be planning your slick moves before you even get some broad in your crosshairs. honestly.

Q: my boyfriend just moved into his own apartment.  he already has all the essentials (dishes, cookware, band aids), so what can i get him for a kick-ass housewarming gift?

A: sigh. finally a question i can sink my teeth into without getting all irritated.

it is very nice of you to want to get your boyfriend a housewarming gift. i would suggest painting him a painting or making him something similar that really has no use, but would make his house more home-y. if you are not the creative type, buy him a poster of his favorite band or artist. or, give him something that is more a luxury than something that you need like band aids or a toaster. get him a nice warm throw blanket he can have on his couch in the winter time in case his legs get cold when he is watching tv. get him a really nice big bath towel. those are always really nice to have. or get him a couple new bed pillows. new bed pillows are always sweet. just get him something really simple that you don't really need, but that makes things a little nicer.

Q: alright, this one's a big one. Me dad surprised me with two sex pistols tickets for 23 august, and i flipped a bullock the night i found out the news.

But (dont be snobbish) i forgot that me first day at band camp is the 23. I need to go to this but me pop wont take me because he feels it is more important to go to band camp. I talked with me band leader, he says maybe he could speak with me dad but i highly doubt that wanker will change a damn thing. Its probably their last Concert too! I think me band leaders sexist. Help me loosen up these cunts and please tell me what i should say!!!

A: go to band camp. at least that way you will learn to actually play an instrument, which is more than the sex pistols could ever do. also, quit talking like you are some working class brit when you are obviously just some girl who goes to high school in the suburbs. it just makes you sound like you are trying to hard.

also, i seriously doubt it is going to be their last concert. as long as johnny rotten sees the opportunity to milk a bunch of cash out of a bunch of people who confuse the sex pistols with a band that was good, he is going to keep hoisting his old wrinkly ass onto whatever tour bus is willing to let him on.

Q: Why do people never ask about anything but boys and girls? There are many other problems. For example, I live in a townhouse, and my girlfriend wants to plant some vegetables or flowers outside, but I am afraid the groundskeepers will destroy them with their power tools. What should we do?

A: that is a good question. i wonder that myself. i guess worrying about boys and girls is more interesting trying to solve actual problems in your life.

WHAT A COINCIDENCE. i also live in a townhouse and have been talking about planting an herb garden or some flowers in the yard, and my boyfriend seems to think they will just get mowed down. i think, though, that if i kept my garden well-labeled, the groundskeepers would leave them alone, unless they are total assholes.

Q: every time i get into a relationship with a guy, i sort of freak out and run away, i'll just never call him again, and ignore him completely. Im beginning to think i just miiiight have a problem with commitment, or something of that sort. At first i thought it was because of my parents divorce, but then i realized, that im over that since it was 5 yrs ago... or am i? anyways, have i just not found the right guy? do i even like guys? im so confused right now.... what is my problem!?

A: maybe you have commitment issues. that is fine. these issues will work themselves out once you find someone who is super-awesome. you will not do that to a guy who is totally wicked.

its not your parents. everyone's parents are divorced anymore. you're not gay, unless you leave guys cause you wish they had pussies. you're just a freewheeling lady who will be more than happy to stick with some dude as soon as you find a dude who is worth sticking with. trust me.

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