Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Rudy Way

Sorry I've been gone and distracted so much lately. My stepfather's passing last Monday has been somewhat traumatic and been keeping me busy. I will be back in full form next week, although I am leaving town again around the middle of October--going on a trip with my mom that her and my stepfather were supposed to take. Here is my latest column:

I apologize for not having last week's column up on-time. It was supposed to go up on September 21st and instead it went up on September 26th. Unfortunately, on Monday, September 24th, my mom called me in the night to inform me that my stepfather--Rudy--had passed away. I packed a bag and headed out to be with her in Ohio the next morning. I only got access to the site again today. As such, it will be the column for both September 21st and 28th, in honor and memory of Rudy.

I learned some key things about women and relationships from Rudy. They bear repeating.

"If you try to understand a woman, it's your own damn fault." Rudy told me that when I was in my early twenties, upset about a woman who had hurt me. ("Laura" in the book.) What he was really saying was that women are emotional. There will be many times when a woman acts out of emotion instead of rationale; don't try to understand it. Accept it. Empathize with it. Ignore it. Be pissed about it. But never, ever, try to understand it; because, as a man, you won't.

"A lot of people like me. A lot of people don't. I try to spend as much time as possible with the ones who like me and as little with the ones who don't." When you think about it, it's surprising how much time we spend trying to make people like us. Why? Spend that time with people who do like you. Dating isn't any different. If you find yourself spending a lot of time trying to convince a guy to like you or chasing a woman who keeps turning you down, open your eyes; re-invest that time in someone who shows interest.

Here's a catchy little line that gets a laugh and starts a conversation. I haven't used lines in years but I did use this one a few times and Rudy swore by it. It's very laid back, which is a big part of why it works. Approach a woman and ask, "If I won millions in the lottery, would you run away with me?" The woman almost always replies positively. "Can I borrow a dollar?" When she looks at you inquisitively, reply, "To buy the lottery ticket." This gets a laugh and then leads to a conversation. On the off chance that she says "no" to running away with you, reply, "See, this is why you're single. How much would I have to have for you to run away with me?" Banter with her. Chances are she'll mumble something about there not being enough money in the world for her to run away with her. Tell her, "Good, because I don't have enough to even pay for the drink I'm about to buy you." As long as you get a laugh somewhere along the way, you can get a conversation going. If you don't get a laugh, hey, read the entry before this one--"A lot of people like me. A lot of people don't..."

Dirty jokes work on women. Rudy told tons. Women always fell for them, including my mom--who supposedly hated dirty jokes. It's all about the timing and delivery. Here's one that's actually pretty clean: Three couples go to see a priest about joining the Catholic church. He tells them in order to join the church, they will have to give up something dear to them to show their loyalty to God. He decides that they must give up sex for thirty days. After thirty days, the reluctant couples return to see the priest. He asks them how it went. The first couple replies, "Man, it was tough; we had a really hard time, especially on the twentieth day. Wow, she was looking hot that day, but we hung in there and we didn't have sex for thirty days." "Welcome to the Catholic Church. And you?" "It was tough, really, really, really tough, but we did not have sex for thirty days." The priest welcomes the second couple, as well. He then asks the third couple, "How about you?" The guy shakes his head, "Man, we were doing really well but then on the twenty-third day, she dropped an apple. When she bent over to pick it up, I just snapped. I took her right then and there. It was the most passionate, hottest, loudest lovemaking we've ever had." "Okay, well, I'm sorry but you're not going to be able to get into the church." The guy scuffs, "Pfft, yeah, we're having trouble getting back into the supermarket, too."

What I learned most from Rudy was that when it comes right down to it with relationships with women, it's not about money, looks, or style. It's about showing them you are thinking of them. You do that by surprising them with a gift or date that relates to something they mentioned in passing, which they thought you never even noticed. Do something romantic every now and then. Rudy faired far better with women by surprising them with a picnic in a park or with roller skates to go on a surprise skating date, than other guys who dressed sharply, dropped a heavy dime, and spent their time talking about their own accomplishments. Pay attention to the woman. It really is that easy. (That doesn't mean be a sap or "nice guy.")

Here's a little trick Rudy used that might work in your area. He found out where the airlines put up stewardesses. He became friends with the desk clerks of those hotels and they gave him a call whenever a few strikingly girls landed. Rudy then went to their room and offered to show them the town. Of course, that was years ago. Nowadays, you'll have to put a spin on it in order to make it work; you probably won't be able to get hotel room numbers flat out. Use your imagination; maybe you can find out where the flight attendants eat or what time their flights are landing--that would be key because you could be in the lobby when they arrive.

Most of all from Rudy, I learned that life is short and to enjoy it. I live everyday to its fullest and discovered after his death, from his good friends and neighbors, that he thought highly of me and my approach to life. He was happy for me, that I was able to travel as a comedian during my "early years" and that I have a book out, which is selling well and helping others lead happier lives. It makes sense, since, in a way, I'm really trying to teach people what he taught me. "Tomorrow is not another day; tomorrow is today's backup plan." That philosophy of mine came from a combination of myself, Rudy, and "Carpe diem" from Dead Poets Society. I thought highly of you, too, Rudy. Thanks for all the advice and for being there when I needed it. I will do my best to spread your philosophy and keep it alive.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Stepfather Passed Away

"If you teach a man to fish, he'll take your best spot." That was one of Rudy's many favorite lines. Who is Rudy? For all practical purposes, my stepfather. He and my mother have been together for over 22 years, making them married under common law. Both had bad first marriages and figured why jinx their relationship by buying more rings? If you think of Santa as a beer drinker and teller of dirty jokes, you've got Rudy. On Monday, at age 79, he unfortunately passed away, sitting in a chair, flipping through old limericks he had photocopied, out in the garage. Ironic, since he always complained to my mom--who bugged him repeatedly to clean out the garage--"if this is my last day on Earth, I don't want to spend it cleaning out the garage." Well, that's what he was doing--cleaning out the garage.

I drove out to Ohio, where my mom and Rudy live, Tuesday morning. I've been here since, with very limited Internet access. (I hack a signal from a neighbor but usually it's not strong enough to gain access.) So for those who have been emailing me, sorry I haven't replied; I probably won't get a chance to until next week.

Rudy had the life, man. He retired young after owning a pool hall and inheriting some money. He made wise monetary decisions and was thrifty. He traveled extensively, living in his favorite places at their peak times of year--Florida in the winter, Chicago in the summer, and so forth, until he met my mom. He was the guy everyone knew and everyone liked. He always went out of his way for people, taking time to bring them things or do work for them. For me, it is a huge loss, leaving a great void. Rudy was my advisor. When I had questions, he had advice. I spoke to him only a few hours before he passed about a situation with work.

I don't really know what else to write just yet, I just wanted to get some thoughts out and let you all know why I've been absent recently. I'll be back soon...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Signature Project and Sites Down

Sorry I haven't posted in nearly a week; things have been crazy busy. The celebrity signature project I have undertaken has been going well. I started to contact celebs, mostly via myspace and direct emails, this past week and three have already responded that they are in--John Caponera, Rocky LaPorte and Brett Butler. I will update as I hear back from more.

Also, my site is down this morning. I just got word that the server hard drive crashed and my host is currently working on the problem. It will either be back up on its current server or I will move it to Go Daddy, assuming I can figure out how that works! I hope I don't have to move it, though, because it could be done for a few days if I move it to Go Daddy; it takes some time, as I understand it, for that to get set up. Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for your patience.

Monday, September 10, 2007

YouTube Videos of Trip

Here are the two YouTube videos from the trip I've put up; one is a grizzly with four cubs, the other Bison crossing the road. Both were taken at Yellowstone.

Enjoy and have a good one, everyone.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Latest Article - Defending "Game"

Here is my latest article, which explains and defends "game." I happen to know some articles will be coming out soon attacking pua's and game; I felt it pertinent to beat them to the punch and explain what can easily be misunderstood and ridiculed. Before you get your panties or jockstrap in a bunch, I do discuss the problem with game; fortunately, I give the solution, too. Hey, what can I say? I'm a nice guy.

For those too lazy to look it up, here it is written out (like I said, I'm a nice guy. Is anyone buying that?):

Approach your target within three seconds of making eye contact with her. Get her number within five minutes of talking with her and then leave. Wait five days before calling her. We’ve all read these purported general guaranteed approaches to meeting women reiterated tirelessly in numerous articles and books by pick up artists, alpha males, and other dating experts. Rubbish. Quick question—what about her?

The general problem with both the alpha male and pua philosophy is that there is little focus, if any, on the woman. The techniques are far more concerned with dominance, being cool, meeting lots of women, and racing against some imagined clock. I am pleased to see the communities and to see them growing because they’ve created open dialogue among guys about women and sex, which are topics guys don’t explore outside of a quickly commented, “She’s hot,” “I need to meet her,” or “I still gotta give that girl from last week a call,” or a similar blurb. While the pua and alpha male societies tend to get a bad rap from women and society, they are actually good guys. Most of them aren’t looking to get laid or abuse women; they’re simply looking to develop socializing skills with women and date. Perhaps the biggest reason people frown upon them is because they have created terminology which sounds cold and degrading; in order to better teach guys, and communicate amongst themselves more effectively and efficiently. Outsiders erroneously interpret their language as meant to degrade or trivialize women. Examples include terms like “negging,” “skills set,” and numbering women on a scale from one to ten. It’s easy to see how an outsider could quickly perceive these terms as negative. The overall terminology and approach are described as “game.”

Therein lies the most glaring problem with the preached approach—the focus has become on the game, forgetting about the women. Participants focus on developing an arsenal of opening lines, rehearsed moves, and counter-responses to expressed disinterest by the “target” (woman). The point of game should be to develop confidence, people skills, and sense of humor, all leading to improvisation—being able to handle interacting with women in any situation. Once that is achieved, the game should be cast aside, no longer needed. I always like to use my own personal experience to illustrate.

In my late teens, I often found myself unable to speak more than a few words to women at bars or clubs, even though I wanted badly to meet many of them. I pretty much got in a quick hello and smile, asked a question or two, followed that up with awkward silence, then said, “Well, it was nice meeting you.” I then returned to a corner of the bar and people-watched. If I really liked a girl, I would approach her again with another couple questions. Once answered, I returned to my corner and thought up some more questions. I then returned and asked her those questions. It was a sad, totally ineffective approach; in fact, it couldn’t be called an approach. I needed something to say after “hi;” something that was interactive and engaging.

One day I worked with a comedian who performed a riddle on me while we were at a bar. I quickly began to use what I now term the “2 to 9”-bit. I would introduce myself to a woman after a quick hello and then implement the riddle. It went something like this (follow along by choosing a number and following the instructions, too; at the end of the article I explain how it works):

“I bet I can guess what you’re thinking.”

“Oh really?”

“Yeah. Choose a number from two to nine but don’t tell me the number . . . Got it?”


“Multiply the number by nine. You now have a two digit number, right?”


“Add the two digits together.”


“You have a one digit number again, right?”


“Subtract five.”


“Take that number and make it equal to a letter in the alphabet. For example, one would be A, two would be B, and so forth.”

“Okay, got it.”

“Think of a country beginning with that letter.”


“Take the last letter of that country and think of an animal beginning with that letter.”

“All right.”

“Now take the last letter of that animal and think of a color that starts with it.”

“Okay, this is kind of getting long…”

“I have no idea what your number was but why are you thinking of an orange kangaroo from Denmark?”

“Oh my God! How did you do that?”

The woman would usually touch or punch me while expressing her disbelief, putting me more at ease. I would play it off that I was just talented and touch her back. We’d discuss the riddle for a moment, occasionally I’d give it away or tell her that if she was good to me, I’d tell her how I did it. That move quickly developed my flirting skills, as most women replied, “And what do you mean by good to you?”

“Oh, I’m sure we can think of something.”

“Uh huh. I bet you are already thinking of something.”

I got bolder and bolder, which led to more and more flirting. “I am actually more wondering than thinking.”

“What are you wondering?”

“What color your panties are.”

It was surprising how women reacted to such a statement. Some laughed, some told me if I was nice to them maybe I’d get to find out, and some even showed me on the spot. My favorite times were when women replied, “What makes you think I’m wearing panties?” I quickly learned that women liked flirty banter and became a master at it.

After several months and using 2 to 9 to meet many women, I found myself phasing it out. I became more and more at ease with discussing whatever was on hand—improvising—no longer needing a trick or opener. Soon 2 to 9 was gone, replaced by what I term the “common denominator,” named only to explain it better so that other guys can use it. The common denominator is the thing or things you and the woman have in common; it could be having seen the same guy trip in a bar, ordering the same drink, standing next to each other in line, whatever. As I used the common denominator more and more, I paid more attention to my surroundings and what the women said and did, as opposed to having an arsenal of ready-to-use responses. I truly learned to interact with women and dropped all game; I was able to see things from their perspective and develop sensitivity. I was no longer, as women call it, “clueless.” The point is, game should lead to no game; it should lead to a true change in personality.

If you want to date a woman, who have to develop sensitivity and think about her; you must be able to see things from her perspective and get inside her head. Women do not tell guys what is bothering them or communicate well, despite generalizations to the contrary. Don’t believe me? Ask any married man and he’ll set you straight before your next blink. Again, that is where game is lacking; there is no true account for the woman’s feelings and thoughts, outside what might get you laid. Game does not account for women’s feelings and thoughts, not really, which is perhaps the biggest reason why non-participants scorn it.

A quick visit to message boards will find many discussions about women in which guys exchange numerous ideas about how to get those they’ve met, or had some success with, to date them. Like I said, most of these guys are good guys just trying to date a woman they like and they’ve turned to game; unfortunately, many get stuck in the game and don’t get past it. I was shocked to see on Neil Strauss’ site, renowned pua and author of The Game, that he still uses and is developing lines. Huh? He should have discarded game long ago. Other practitioners of game (pua’s, average guys, alpha males) I’ve talked with have moved past it, grateful that it served its intended purpose.

Why can’t many guys get past game? They rely on it too much, instead of taking risks by improvising. It was only through discarding game that I came to truly realize why game works . . . and why it doesn’t work all the time, which is a lot with practices such as approaching a woman within three seconds of making eye contact or focusing on getting her number within five minutes. (A lot of phone calls to those women don’t get answered or returned, so what purpose was really served? Certainly not getting a date.) Also, just like most chick lit., there is an underlying bitterness toward women for many of these guys. I went through the same feelings. I was bitter toward women for my lack of success, blaming them. If I didn’t have good social skills, why should I expect them to have those skills? If I didn’t know how to gage and create interest, why should I expect them to see my interest, or simply have interest for me just because I came over and said hello? I couldn’t; it was unfair and only getting in my own way. Again, I realized this only as I started to discard 2 to 9.

As an example, consider an entry on a message board in which a guy fooled around with a friend he’s liked for years. She and he got drunk and he got her top off in a park, where they rolled around and made out. He called her the next day, excited about what he expects to be a new relationship. He has not heard from her at all since that day, going on one month now. (I could have used any number of entries like this one as an example.) Dozens of guys have responded to his thread. Some have called her a “heartless bitch,” others “not worth your time” or “a tease.” Many have given advice on how he can get her back by using some game techniques; he has replied that none of them have worked. What gives? Not one guy replied, “What about her?”

What about her? Could it be that she’s embarrassed? Fears she may have screwed up a friendship? Feels slutty? Thinks she made a mistake and doesn’t want to mislead him? Is afraid he’ll want to just have sex if they get together again? To his one frustration and confusion, she’s going through dozens of thoughts and feelings. It’s probably too late now, but had he just taken a little time to consider her perspective, he would have anticipated her inevitable emotional reaction. He would have been able to address the issue right away, even on the spot with a simple, “I’m glad this happened but I’d like to slow it down. Can we just get together and talk in a few days? I don’t want to lose our friendship but I like being close to you, too. It’s kind of weird, you know?”

Wow! She’s thinking the same thing and now feels a greater bond and connection to him. She didn’t make a mistake; she can see that they are in the same place or at least having the same confused emotions and thoughts. He actually has the stated concerns but guys tend not to realize such things until it’s too late. We’re not good at analyzing our feelings and don’t do it; women do and to truly be successful with them, guys need to relate to that trait, even without having it ourselves. Again, I speak from direct experience.

When I was going through my severe jerk stage (I tell this story fully in my book God is a Woman: Dating Disasters), I hooked up with a woman who I had spoken to all of fifteen minutes and once on the phone. I met her while she was part of a bachelorette party entourage. It turned out she lived en route to a gig I would be driving to in a few weeks. I pushed hard, even though she herself was engaged. While she declined to give me her number, she did track me down the week before my drive past her town; she had dumped her fiancé and moved in with her older brother. To make a long story short, she ended up naked under me on one side of a blanket hanging from the ceiling in a studio apartment; on the other side of the blanket laid her brother. We called it before technically having sex but as you can imagine, everything else happened.

It took me two days to realize why she wasn’t returning my calls. It finally occurred to me that she was completely humiliated, embarrassed, was probably walking around avoiding her brother as much as possible—if she was even speaking to him—and so forth. Dah! I left her a message that I wanted to talk, that I didn’t want to leave the message on her and her brother’s answering machine, but I would if I had no other way to reach her. That got her to call me back and we discussed the situation. It wasn’t that I was insensitive or clueless; it was that I am a guy and guys don’t operate the same way as women. A guy’s mind and his emotions line up; if they don’t, he doesn’t act. We don’t sit there thinking, Okay, I have all these feelings and impulses that feel great; I can’t act on them, though, because the situation is wrong. My mind is telling me not do it. No. Our minds tell us Great, it feels good, she’s into it, experience each other. Guys don’t do things we don’t want to do; period. Women do and then later will blame the guy. There’s no use being upset about it as a guy, it’s simply the way it works. In her mind, she was thinking I shouldn’t be doing this, I shouldn’t be doing this but her emotions were saying I want him so badly and this feels so good. We ironed it all out but only because I became sensitive to “what about her?” that day.

I break all the rules of game when it comes to meeting women because I no longer need them. Consider the woman I just started to see. I met her on a pub crawl on a Friday night. I caught her eye a few times as she sat at a table with her friends, comprised of both men and women. They all laughed boisterously every few minutes. She wasn’t sitting on the end, so she wasn’t accessible. I shrugged it off and went about my business. Later the seat near her opened up and I went and sat down, commenting that it was obvious they were having the most fun of anyone in the bar and hence, I wanted to be with them. I didn’t ask for her number until we hit the last bar. In fact, I didn’t ask for her number at all; instead, I asked her out for the next night after learning she didn’t have plans. (This is supposedly desperate and makes me look socially non-busy; I’m supposed to appear very busy.) She gave me a maybe. We did not go out the next night but we did go out Sunday night. I broke every rule and yet it has worked out well. Why? Because those rules weren’t the right fit for her. They are not the right fit for anyone, really; they are just tools to be used to develop skills to get comfortable with women. Once you get experience and are comfortable, the techniques and lines should be phased out. Eventually, you will find that you are a new person. I am not the Ian Coburn who couldn’t talk to women armed with skills now; rather, I am a completely different person. That’s the real goal; to change your personality to an effective one, not to rely on rules and lines the rest of your life. Too many guys following game out there aren’t new people; they’re the same people with the same awkwardness and thoughts about women, only they are now armed with tools that, while helpful at first, are now in their way.

Work your game. Get comfortable. Add making a point of trying to see things from the woman’s perspective, anticipating her concerns, and evaluating things from her point of view when things aren’t going the way you expected. Lose any bitterness; the only person responsible for your happiness is yourself. It is no one else’s fault that you struggle in the dating world. Soon you will be a new man; one who women respect and like and won’t label as being a player or pua, or not want to date. The ultimate goal is to get comfortable with women not your game.

How 2 to 9 works: Every number between two to nine multiplied by nine results in a two-digit number that’s digits add up to nine. Subtract five and you end up with four, meaning “D” is always the letter; orange kangaroo from Denmark is almost always what people choose. I got so good at 2 to 9 that I could even call it when someone was thinking of a tan cat from the Dominican Republic. Once a woman did snub me by choosing teal (what the hell is teal?); she’s still in the trunk of my car . . . remember, lose your bitterness . . . Get comfortable with women not your game.

Comedian Ian Coburn is the author of God is a Woman: Dating Disasters, which offers fresh, original dating and sex advice to both men and women via stories of his hilarious failures as a touring comedian and what he learned from those stories. The book spawned his dating advice column--"Lunch is Not a Date" and earned him a new gig as a relationship expert on Lifetime. You may visit the following for more information, including excerpts from the book and his column:

God is a Woman: Dating Disasters is available wherever books are sold.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A Little Charity

I was watching television Monday night while getting ready for bed and a commercial for the war came on the air. It featured a mother who informed me that her son died in the war and that if we pulled out now ("surrendered"), his death would mean nothing. "Defeat," she said, "is not an option." It had something else in there about needing to achieve "victory."

If you're like me, as most Americans seem to be these days, you are against the war in Iraq but support the troops, and you are tired of the administration trying to tell you that the two cannot be separated--if you are against the war, you are against the troops. I'm sorry, when did we vote for Stalin? I don't remember his name on the ballot, does anybody else? It sickens me that the Bush administration tries to bully us around and trick us into supporting what seems to be an endless war. A heartfelt statement from a mother is hitting way below the belt (when did politicians start doing that?) and insulting to mothers of other soldiers. It's like saying to them, "My son died in the war and your sons should continue to risk death for that reason alone."

You can't stay in a war because soldiers died. If you did, no war would ever end. It's not fair to ask other soldiers to die because soldiers before them died. This seems to be the only platform for the war the administration has currently. "Well, some soldiers died, so we should keep fighting to make their deaths mean something." Okay, then more and more soldiers die. Where does it end? Bush also compared Iraq to Vietnam. Yeah, that's a war you want to reference to gain support. If our adversaries in Iraq have the same attitude about their soldiers dying, we can be certain they will never stop attacking as long as we occupy; they've lost a lot more lives than we and thus have a lot more deaths to make count.

Where I stand on the war is a moot point; I just wanted to state it so everyone knows before I discuss the real issues, because people seem to want to always know these things. Do I vote democrat? Republican? Neither. I vote for whom I think would be best for the job. I would vote for Colin Powell in a heart beat if he were running for the Presidency. I wouldn't hire George Bush to clean my tub. The current candidates stand somewhere in between but most of them closer to the tub cleaning position.

Okay, hopefully we've cast political and war views aside. Now, we can discuss the real issues.

Two things really gall me about the statements the Bush administration makes. One is that the death of every soldier in every war counts, not just the deaths in a war that is won. Soldiers of the Vietnam War don't matter? The Korean? If you're going to stand by Bush's argument, you must argue that the deaths of U.S. soldiers in those wars were meaningless and didn't count because we didn't win. Two, while the Bush administration calls upon us to support the troops, he signed bills cutting Vet benefits early on in the war. This drives me absolutely batty and I am furious at the media for not being all over that; they should constantly be reminding us that Vet benefits were cut early on in the war. (I don't know the specifics of the cuts but will look into them. I spoke to an Iraq Vet who says the benefits are pretty good right now medically, at least in Illinois. He believes this to be more for political reasons than support of the troops and he is, sadly, most likely correct. He is an advocate of the war, for the record, and we had a good discussion about it; of course, he has firsthand knowledge on which I can't comment or relate.)

It is not soldiers fighting for their beliefs which makes their duty admirable; rather, it is that they put those beliefs aside. They are willing to go into battle regardless of opinion. They put their lives on the line; their faith in the hands of their government and citizens to decide how their lives are best served. They trust both completely and unquestionably, unfettered in their decision to serve. It is a soldier's willingness to waive opinion and decision-making that makes him or her worthy of nothing less than our highest respect and admiration. I could never give up my right to have an opinion, which is another reason why I greatly respect those who do in order to serve. It is our duty as citizens to make sure that our government does not abuse or misuse soldiers' trust. It is our duty to make sure their needs are met when they return home, having served us in the greatest way possible. We have dropped that ball.

I believe the Internet to be a great way for everyday average people like me and you to make a difference. More so than ever before, we can impact decision making and raise funds for charity. You don't have to be a wealthy philanthropist to help those in need; yet, you can do more than send a few dollars. I thought about this after seeing that commercial for the war. I thought about it all day Tuesday. What can I do to help vets? How can I assist them? What skills do I have that I can offer them in service?

The answer hit me Tuesday afternoon. Ebay. It occurred to me that I can solicit any celebrities in my book, whether part of a story or just mentioned in passing, to sign a copy. I can then auction that copy off on Ebay and donate the proceeds to a VA fund. Will I raise a lot of money? Any money? Who knows but it is my duty to try. I also want to do this because my father died a few years ago. He was a Korean War Vet and the soldiers at his service, none of whom knew him, were very honorable and respectful to me. This is a way I can help repay their kindness.

I will keep you posted on this project as it develops. I will try contacting the celebrities via their agents and myspace sites. I may post on the blog, asking if anyone knows who someone's agent is; it's not always easy to find out! (I also plan to get a copy signed by them all for NAMI's March 2008 auction--The National Alliance for Mental Illness, and donate the proceeds specifically to children with mental illness. I've been supporting NAMI as often as possible for the last few years.)

Speaking of charity, I've been getting emails from fans of the book asking how they can help spread the word about it and my "Lunch is Not a Date" column. I've been thinking about that, too. I grew up hanging out in libraries, often taking my little sister there and reading her book after book in the children section. It was really cute; she'd go choose a bunch based on the pictures, then return and shove her fingers in her mouth as I read them to her. Libraries don't have a big budget and accept donations. They are a great place for readers to discover a book. If you want to help the book out, please take a moment and help a library out, too. Simply order a copy of God is a Woman: Dating Disasters off Amazon and have it mailed to your local library. Choose "gift" and write "donation" on the card. You'll be helping your library while you spread the word. Thanks everyone for your continued support. It is all very flattering and again, most of the book's success is due to your word of mouth.