TOURNEY WINGMAN: THE TOP 5 WAYS FILLING OUT YOUR BRACKET IS LIKE DATING

Face it – your NCAA bracket is not going to win. Probably. No, not probably. Likely. In fact, even if you made every single one of your selections based on choosing the better-seeded team, the likelihood of that bracket being perfect is still 35 billion to one odds.That’s billion with a “B.”

In other words, you’re about seven times more likely to be killed by falling debris from space than you are of beating those bracket odds. Feel better now that the pressure’s off?

Good. But even though March Madness is Miss Wingman’s favorite time of the year, better even than my birthday, the beginning of summer or the days leading up to Christmas, that doesn’t mean I fill out a bracket with any reasonable expectation of winning. But damn if watching teams vie for glory in the tourney doesn’t make losing a hell of a lot of fun.

That said, there is an obvious link between the process of filling out your bracket and how you should approach dating. Yes, the bracketology-to-broads parallel is a strong one, and one that can be used for your educational purposes, gentlemen. And if there’s one thing Miss Wingman prides herself upon (other than being an unabashed smartass), it’s schooling dudes on how to navigate through our crazy and land the woman of your dreams.

So, even though I thought it wasn’t possible to beat last year’s “Selection Wingman” posting, I will try to elevate my game. I give you The Top 5 Ways Bracketology is Like Dating. Ready, set, go…

#5 Do Your Homework: From figuring out what Florida’s 3 pt shooting percentage is, to nailing down who Louisville has beaten out of conference, to analyzing the kind of defense Minnesota runs, it’s all about the research, boys. Stats and figures are your best friend. Just as, if you meet a girl you might be interested in, you should e-stalk the bejesus out of her like you’re recruiting a player. Hey, in fairness, we Google you, too.

There’s a reason Facebook is so useful, and it doesn’t involve being subjected to your high school friends’ baby’s photo shoot, engagement announcements or viral videos of the Harlem Shake. Incidentally, if you post any of that shizz, I’ve definitely blocked you from my news feed.

Do a little digging, find out what she’s into, and try to handicap the likelihood of your compatibility. And if it doesn’t look good, you can always scope out her friends.

#4 Use Common Sense/Instincts: If it seems like a long shot that a 16 seed will win, it is (and incidentally, it’s never happened). If she seems too high maintenance or over-dramatic for your liking, listen to your gut and cut your losses.

I know it’s better to check your emotions at the door when fill out your bracket, like ignoring your love for your Alma mater in favor of their actual hoop skills, but try to get a clear picture of their prowess free of bias. It’ll eliminate misleading distractions. Unless, of course, you’re me and your team just dominates (Hoya Saxa, b*tches).

But seriously, listen to the logical voice inside of your head. If you have a history of dating girls with dependency issues, or if she’s never been able to sustain a relationship long term, this is telling you something. Past performance is a powerful predictor of the future, so don’t forget to factor that in. Um, that said, ignore what I just said as an air-tight rule and…

#3 Don’t Ignore The Dark Horse: Sure, the numbers usually don’t lie. I’d love to imagine that UAlbany will take down Duke, because the only thing stronger than my hometown pride is my full-on hatred of the the Blue Devils. But it’ll never happen.

Back to my point, though – there are exceptions. Every year there’s always that long shot that achieves an upset none of us saw coming (Butler, anyone?). Those Cinderella stories that make us love the Madness, rip up our brackets, and ask, “Where the hell is Liberty University, anyway?”

You should approach the unlikely dating candidate the same way. Does she seem a little nerdy or serious for you? Maybe she’ll end up being fascinating. Physically not your type? She might make you laugh so hard she wins your heart. All I’m saying is, she may not be the prettiest girl at the dance, but entertain the possibility that she could be the Lehigh to your 2012 Duke team. Just as long as you stay open-minded.

Sorry, another Duke cheap shot. Like I said, aversion.

#2 The “WTF?!” Factor: Some things in life (and basketball) are unexplainable. Why does the clueless girl who picks teams based on cutest uniforms or favorite mascots win the office pool every year? Why do your douchiest friends always seem to land amazing girls and yet you’re single? You know what I’m talking about here, guys.

I wish I could explain it, but I’m a writer, not an effing magician. Just accept that there are going to be outliers, and that you should ignore what everyone else is doing and just focus on yourself. Process of elimination can be a crazy thing.

#1 Enjoy The Dance: In college hoops and in life, truer words have never been spoken (Thanks, MB). If the name of the bracket-slash-romance game is surviving and advancing to the next level, the only way to do that is to roll with the punches and leave it all out on the court.

Because in the end, dating is a lot like the tourney – everyone’s full of advice, but ultimately you just have to go with it. Things just have a way of coming together, so try not to forget that it should be fun. A lot, a lot, of fun. Good luck, gentlemen, keep your eyes on the prize, and as I’ve said before but it bears repeating – remember, it’s anybody’s game. THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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DRUNKEN PICK UP POINTERS: THE ART OF THE ST. PATRICK’S DAY SEDUCTION

It’s that time of year again, gentlemen. The Irish-fueled equivalent of New Year’s Eve, Halloween and Superbowl Sunday all rolled into one sloppy, joyful, day drinking event. It’s one giant green-clad amateur hour…and it’s outstanding.

At least in NYC it is, or any major city and it’s environs (although I’d wager a guess that sidewalk vomit-dodging is the toughest here). But what St. Paddy’s also means, in addition to copious amounts of green beer, Guinness and Jameson shots, is that everyone will be out and about and in a good mood. Prime opportunity for picking up some cute lasses at the bar, boys.

Granted, you might argue that trying to spit game while 10 beers deep is a bad idea, I’ll remind you that A) liquid courage is sometimes a good thing and B) Miss Wingman hates the idea of “game” anyway. Just be your charming, leprechaun pin-wearing self, and it’ll all fall into place. If you do it right, she may just kiss you…not because you’re Irish, but because you’re awesome. But first, remember these guidelines…

1) Know your goal for the day. Are you looking to capitalize on the many social settings where you could spot a cute friend-of-a-friend type you might actually be interested in pursuing? Or are you just looking for a drunken fling to cap off the revelry? It’s OK if it’s the latter, just don’t approach the two the same way, boys. We know the difference.

2) Look extra handsome. This one seems obvious, but in order to offset your head to toe green attire and (most likely) beer splattered shirt, you should class it up a little if possible. Try layering a button-down shirt over that Guinness tee, or at least wear your least hideous shoes. It’s hard to look dapper on a novelty holiday, but as a favor to me, kindly try.

3) Play the numbers game. If you spot a cute female parade-watcher nearby, or think the girl ordering shots seems like your type, assess your condition – and hers – and assign it a number.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “Why the hell are you sober?” 10 being “Where’s the nearest E.R.?” and 8 being the teetering, getting-tossed-out-of-bars kind of drunk, please play it safe, gentlemen. Don’t approach her if you’re above a 6.5…or if she is, for that matter. Slow blinking isn’t sexy, kids. Neither is having a virtual stranger puke on you.

4. Remember her name, remember her name, remember her name. Nothing will kill your game when calling her mid-week like not knowing if she’s a Danielle or a Desiree, trust me. Make sure to commit your target’s young lady’s name and her digits to your phone, even if “Jennifer” looks like dJnnifeR with drunken typos.

And just hope her name isn’t close to an actual word, or else Auto Correct is your worst enemy.

And finally, 5). Pay attention to the signs. Did she offer to buy you and your friends a round to thank you for bank rolling her drinks all night? Thoughtful. Was she down with late night pizza or even (gasp!) suggest it herself as a solid end to the evening? Low maintenance! If she’s seen you sloppily devouring a drunken slice whilst slumped on a curb and she still likes you, this girl’s a keeper.

But on the flip side, if your day ends in girl tears after someone spilled a drink on her, she lost her hoodie, whatever – this is not a good sign. Drama’s still drama, drunk or not. You deserve to set the bar higher.

So that’s it, fellas. My heartfelt suggestions for finding a female to sham-rock your world this weekend. Hopefully she’ll intoxicate you with her beauty & wit, and you don’t wake up finding that her appeal was just plain old intoxication. Either way, may the luck o’ the Irish be with you. And if not, there’s always college hoops to cheer you up. Slainte –MW.ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

*Miss Wingman note: I leave you with one of my favorite St. Patrick’s Day themes, though forgive me, it’s for sentimental reasons. So if your Irish drinking songs tend to be more bandwagon, then here you go. (And psst! There are other bands than Dropkick Murphy’s, fyi). If you’re more of a St. Paddy’s purist, a la Pogues & Dubliners, then here’s an authentic little link of your own. To everyone else, enjoy.

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BIRTHDAY WINGMAN 2.0: MORE LESSONS, SOME WIT, POSSIBLE WISDOM.

Hello there, my faithful procrastinators. I’ve returned after a lengthy break, indeed it’s true. Please forgive me my absence, but Miss Wingman had to recharge her batteries and soak up all the best things in life before returning to a New York state of mind, freezing temps and milestone: another birthday.

Yes the calendar pages have been torn off to reveal that I am, despite my best efforts, getting older. But, lucky for me, with each passing year the only thing I know for certain is that surrounding yourself with all good things is a surefire way to be happy.

Eh, scratch that – that’s not the only thing I know for certain. I’ve actually amassed quite a collection of truths and ruminations, as evidenced by my single favorite written post thus far – last year’s “Birthday Wingman: Life Lessons and Wisdom From The Smartass Mind.” If you managed to miss it the first time around, kindly correct that now. I promise it’ll be worth the detour.

But back to what this past year has shown me – other than that guys gravitate towards ugly footwear, and that playoff beards and exit interviews are awesome…man-gagement rings, not so much. In taking inventory of the myriad blessings in my kickass life, I’ve decided to continue the tradition and impart some more insight onto reading masses.

I give you (drum roll please)…

Fifteen Things You Should’ve Learned By Your 30′s. It’s useful for both men and for the ladies, since so many outstanding females seem to read this site, too.

Thirty what, you ask? None of your damn business.

*Friends are not one size fits all, and reconnecting is never accidental. Figuring out what each of them brings into your life, however small, is the key to staying happy.

(So is vodka. And DVR. And a solid playlist on a long drive. Just don’t mix the first with the last, obviously).

*Hard as I try, the Kardashians aren’t going away any time soon (ugh). Neither is the Harlem Shake, LeBron James, Kate Upton’s boobs, or people who still say “bling” after 2003.

*Try every day to be the person who dresses your best, complains the least and offers the most kindness to total strangers.

*There is nothing that some belly laughter, a Giants/Yankees/Rangers win, a long run or live music can’t fix. Oh, and truffle fries. Truffle fries heal, too.

*The best pick up line is, “Hi, I’m ______.” Accompanied with a smile. It’ll almost always get you a foot in the door.

*Timing REALLY IS everything. We could’ve all lived a dozen different versions of our lives if this or that played out a minute later. But it happens how it happens when you’re ready, and not a moment sooner.

*Eat dessert. Even if it means extra cardio miles. Life’s too short not to indulge.

*Don’t believe in luck, there’s no such thing. There is, however, divine intervention, serendipity, and solid preparation. The first two are easier to believe in, it’s that last one that tends to be the hardest.

*Read a lot. Even if it’s just the articles in Maxim. Learning new perspectives or vocab words will compensate for all the time you didn’t spend paying attention in high school English.

*Know what to do if you find the (possible) love of your life, but don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work out. Sometimes having “the one that got away,” helps us learn how to hold on better the next time.

*If you don’t like where you get up and go every morning, find a new landscape. No amount of money or security is worth your peace of mind, despite what the world tells you.

*Avoid posting TV spoilers on social media. It makes the rest of us hate you.

*Life will break your heart, count on it. Whether from a sports team, unfulfilled dreams, or saying goodbye, you will be leveled more than once. The best way to bounce back is to grieve, use the pain to launch yourself forward and upward, then hug the people who helped you get there.

*Pay attention to people’s names when introduced, announcements on the subway, and when a woman gets her hair done. We want you to notice.

*Never make anti-Red Sox or Patriots comments in mixed company. Someone’s always from Boston. Same goes for off-color ethnic jokes, but for entirely different reasons.

And there you have it. The factoids & falsehoods I’ve sifted through over the years. Sure, I could go on about the benefits of always carrying Purell, never watching FOX News and not asking about ex-girlfriends, but this is the gist of it, for the most part.

I leave you now with the same closing words as last year, as they’re just as true today as they ever were. “And finally, what I’ve realized only now but have probably known all along: I’m not getting older, I’m just getting more awesome.”

My love to you all. –MWTHAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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THIS GUY’S AN IDIOT. PERIOD.

Some people just shouldn’t be allowed to speak.

I awoke this morning ready to delve into one writing topic that had been swirling around in my head. Then I saw this ridiculous article, and I had to respond. It’s written by John Corrigan – Temple University college student, budding columnist, and certifiable jackass. Please, take a moment to read his mindless drivel – this post will make a lot more sense if you do.

Go on, do it. I’ll wait…

OK then. For the truly lazy or time constrained, I’ll give you the Cliff Notes version. Kid has girlfriend. Kid’s girlfriend, by virtue of being female, has her period. Kid decides to write about this “phenomenon” as if he has some brilliant dude wisdom to impart on other males. Kid pats himself on the back. The end.

Honestly, judging by the author’s photo, I’m still stuck on how he even got a girl to sleep with him at all. But I digress…

Photo courtesy: Temple News

Rarely will you hear Miss Wingman write about things as private and, frankly, icky as periods, bodily functions, or bathroom-related humor on here. Why? Because I believe certain things are better left unsaid. Plus, I believe in preserving a modicum of girliness and tact. Also, it’s lazy. Never go for the cheap laugh – and that’s what low brow humor is all about.

But for you, John Corrigan, I make an exception.

Newsflash, man: There is no brilliant wisdom in there. There is, however, a lot of juvenile stereotyping. “You better duck those mood swings or else she’ll knock you out. When your girlfriend suffers, you sure will, too.”

(*Chuckling to myself*) Oh John. Silly, sil-ly, foolish little John. If there’s one thing I KNOW, it’s that your girlfriend in particular must suffer enough, just by virtue of holding that title.

Also, it’s that no male was left better off having read your column (which is loathsomely close to the title of my own, grrr). And females? We learned everything we need to know on the subject from Judy Blume books, health class and years of experience. So sit down, junior.

Here’s what I would tell men about their girlfriends/wives/sisters/females in close proximity’s time of the month. Get out your pencils, boys, and take some notes.

1. It’s nothing that guys “deal with.” On the contrary, we’re the ones dealing with it. Are you the one using a tampon and taking Midol? No? Then shut the f**k up. Please, and thank you.

2. For many women, and I fall into that category, it’s just a thing that we manage. A minor detail. An afterthought, really. It doesn’t cause violent mood swings, bouts of hysterical tears or moments of pure rage. Men often cause those things though. Hormones? Eh, only occasionally.

3. For some of the female population, a statistically smaller but highly unlucky group, their period causes real agony. Like, doubled over in pain, nauseous, unmanageable discomfort. I first learned this being around other women in college – and I felt really, really badly for them. And you should too. Where’s your sensitivity? Dick.

4. The way to cajole sexual favors out of your girlfriend during this week of circling the no fly zone is NOT to make her feel like a pariah or guilt trip her for neglecting your needs. Or to write about it publicly. Good strategy, bro. Let me know how that works out for you. And finally…

5. Do all women a favor and approach our time of the month in the following way: Yes, we have it. No, we know you’ll never really understand it. No, we don’t need you to tiptoe around us. And yes, we think it’s better not to talk about it either.

Oh and one last thing: Please discontinue use of all ridiculous menstrual euphemisms. Like visits from Aunt Flo. Or riding the crimson wave. Or several others that are so vulgar and unsavory that I won’t repeat them because it simply wouldn’t be ladylike. Here’s hoping you learned something, boys. And that a meteor falls on that kid’s dorm room. Cheers  –MW.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID


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WHY HOLIDAY PARTIES ARE THE HOLY GRAIL FOR PICKING UP WOMEN

Let’s face it, half the reason we tolerate working all year is for the chance to blow it out at the annual office holiday party (the other half being that silly paycheck thing). Salary? What’s that? So, when the opportunity approaches to get all spiffed up and hit the holiday party circuit, you better be ready to break out your most clever conversation – and some breath mints – and work your charm.

The good news is, in the realm of places to pick up women, holiday parties – whether work-related or just friend-related – are as female friendly as the grocery store or the gym. Why? Because everyone is liquored up enough to take the edge off. Because the holidays are a reminder to single people (ahem, girls) of their solo status. And also, because we probably just bought a new outfit to wear and shaved our legs and wanna make damn sure not to waste it.

Also, the biggest thing working in your favor is the fact that you have ready-made conversation topics with which to woo us. And why? (damn that’s a lot of “W’s”…) Because you either work with us, work with someone we know, or have friends in common from overlapping social circles.

See? It’s practically a lay up, boys.

The single biggest thing Miss Wingman gets asked most frequently is how to approach women. So, having a host of unforced conversation topics with which to disarm us is pure gold. Assuming you can muster up the pair to chat us up, here are some Do’s and Don’ts of Holiday Party Romance.

(Or just “How to Score A Quick Hook Up At A Holiday Party,” if romance isn’t your thing, I get it).

*DO: Pay attention to the room. Single (or just morally flexible) women looking to hook up will be doing the same thing, and, making eye contact with any guy we deem a worthy target. Women are not subtle in this regard. Spotting the girl who will be open to advances will be like scanning for the giant neon sign above her head. Incidentally, if she actually did have a flashing sign above her head, it would probably read “Ply me with Pinot Grigio and take me home.”

*DON’T: Forget to do a mental checklist before you approach us. Zipper up? Check. Drink in hand? Check (hey, you need something to fill in any awkward silences man). Breath somewhere on the unoffensive end of the spectrum? Check. Now you’re ready to win us over with your personality and (hopefully?) good looks. Sounds simple, I know, but you don’t want her to be distracted by food in your teeth or your boxers sticking out should you actually get our attention.

*DO: Use your resources. Ask your buddy the host if the cute girl is single. Find out from your friend who works with her in Biz Dev if she seems cool. You’ve got leverage here, guys.

Conversation topics that could serve as ice breakers with us? “Hey, I’m _____. I haven’t seen you around the office before, what department do you work in?” Or maybe, “(fill in the blank friends hosting the party) are great, how do you know them?” Or even, “I was just about to get myself another drink, can I grab you something from the bar?” Talk about how cold it is out. Talk about the A-hole in the office who burns popcorn in the break room or replies all to company emails. Hell, compliment her outfit if you want. Like I said, she got all dolled up for this and is probably even wearing pantyhose. If you’re charming enough, I bet she’ll be practically dying to take them off later. Girls hate tights, what can I say?

*DON’T: Insult or make jokes about anyone else in proximity at the party just to seem witty. You never know who people know. Joking about the cheap bastard who throws this thing every year could backfire if that cheap bastard is, say, her dad.

*DON’T: Drink too much, either. There’s a fine line between liquid courage and blowing your chances because you’re slurring your words. We do like dynamic, outgoing guys. We don’t like guys who sway and slow blink.

*DO: Ask her to dance, if dancing is your strength. If there’s music and you’ve been known to have rhythm, she might welcome the opportunity to get a little closer to you…so long as it’s an environment where other people are dancing, too. But if you’re afraid your moves will work against you, do us all a favor and refrain.

*DON’T: Forget your audience. At friends’ holiday parties, behavior will be a lot more liberal, therefore the worst you can expect is some embarrassing Facebook photos to surface Monday morning. But in the case of work holiday parties, you don’t want to do anything that will either A) jeopardize your job, like THIS or B) embarrass the hell out of her. Don’t forget you have to see these people every day, after all.

So that’s it – the holiday party gospel according to me. Enjoy this time of year, boys, it truly IS the most fun. Bars with fireplaces, cozy sweaters, spiked eggnog…and booty. Lots and lots of booty, if you’re lucky. Here’s ho-ho-hoping you score her digits,  –MW.ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

***MISS WINGMAN NOTE***: Should your holiday party flirtations appear like they might carry over into 2013, you’ll need to procure a gift for said lucky lady. And if you have trouble finding the right gift for her (or a girlfriend, wife, mistress, whatever), I’m here to help. MISS WINGMAN IS AVAILABLE FOR CONSULTATIONS via phone/Skype and, geography permitting, accompanying men on their shopping quest to make sure your gift is perfectly suited just for her for a small fee (hey, I gotta earn a living somehow, right?) Email me at misswingman@gmail.com for more details.

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PICK UP POINTERS: BEHOLD! YOGA CLASS.

They say good things come to those who wait. And, if you’re a diehard Miss Wingman fan, then you’ve been waiting a pretty long time for another edition of “Pick Up Pointers.” We’ve delved into the world of The Approach at the gym differently before, and also within the grocery store aisles. But this time, I suggest you put down the produce and pick up a spongy floor mat, because yoga class is where it’s at, boys.

I’ll admit, I’ve never been a fan of yoga myself, (Miss Wingman prefers to wail on a heavy bag. Namaste, my ass) but last night my sore muscles drove me into the land of trippy music and cleansing breaths. Apart from the fact that the workout itself is beneficial to everyone, if you can get past the bizarre meditations (I don’t do “zen,” apologies to my Yogi friends), there’s another obvious bonus to taking a class: The women.

Men of the world, I’m sure common sense dictates that you’ve thought of this before, but allow me to emphasize how RIDICULOUSLY STACKED those classes are with women – hot women – wearing tight clothing, and doing bendy things.

I felt euphoric, like I’d found the promised land for guys. Much like the time I found a bar overflowing with a sea of dudes watching hoops at the Garden, or stumbled upon a good after-work spot in the finance district (so that’s where you’ve all been hiding…) Hitting the mother lode is fun, especially if I can spin it in your favor.

If you don’t need any further convincing, allow me to help you navigate the proper way to approach a woman in yoga class. Here are The Do’s and Don’ts of Fitness Flirting:

Do: Hit up a class in a normal gym, not a yoga-only spot. Why? Because there’s a difference between seeming like you just want to try out this yoga thing, and appearing that you’re either A) Mr. Sensitive Ponytail Man B) blatantly creeping on women or C) of questionable sexual orientation. Regular gym yoga classes are harmless and could just have landed you there out of sheer curiosity (hey, it’s plausible enough).

Don’t: Go the Bikram yoga route (read: hot yoga). Why? Because the only thing less sexy than having your own sweat pour off of your body is having someone else’s sweat drip on you. Plus, it’s a little hard to work up your charm when you feel like you’re breathing through a cocktail straw.

Do: Wait until before or after the class to chat up any cute women you spot. They’re pretty serious about the whole silence/mood music/soothing lighting thing, and you wouldn’t want her to think you have no sense of self-awareness. Etiquette is key.

Don’t: Stare. Yes, many of the poses involve putting your ass in the air or spreading your legs far apart, but that doesn’t give you license to skeeve us out (Down Dog, anyone?). Be crafty in the quick glances that you steal. Kind of like how you check out our cleavage when we’re “not looking.” Remember – eyes on your own paper, boys.

Do: Casually establish why you’re in the class in the first place, if you feel self-conscious about it. Asking the girl on the next mat over if she likes the workout because you “have this sports injury in my back that I’m trying to fix, and someone suggested trying yoga,” isn’t a bad idea. Sure, it’s lying, but it’s the little white kind. You have my permission.

Don’t: Be too good at it. If we wanted to date a guy who was Gumby-flexible or could hold a difficult pose indefinitely, we’d date a principal dancer in the New York City Ballet. There’s a difference between being open-minded enough to try yoga, and chipping away at your masculinity. Walk that line at your own risk.

Do: Be adorably clumsy – which probably won’t be intentional. You’ll likely have a hard time with yoga at first anyway. Watching the few guys in the class around me struggle to keep their balance was endearing, actually. And it gives you a good excuse to chat a girl up afterward if you catch her chuckling.

Asking for pointers or making a joke about how much your skills are lacking is a harmless way to get our attention. Just don’t ask her if she can do that thing with her legs in other places, too – unless you want to hear her tell you to “Nama-stay away.”  Far less amusing, boys.

Also, Do: Take care of your feet. Yoga involves being barefoot, and nothing will kill your game faster than if she looks over and sees your mangled, gnarly man-hooves. You don’t have to go full pedicure, but for the love of God at least trim the nails.

And finally, Don’t: Be afraid to say nothing at all. If you can tolerate a few weeks of going to the same class (you might actually like it), you’ll develop enough of a rapport or familiarity with the people in it to strike up a conversation with them elsewhere. If you’re too shy or just don’t feel confident that you’ll say the right thing, try just putting your mat in close proximity to hers for a few classes, so she gets to recognize your face.

But be mindful of personal space, don’t crowd the poor girl. Then, if you want to chat her up at the water fountain or arrange an “accidental” run in arriving at or leaving the gym, you can use the “Hey aren’t you in that yoga class?” line without sounding like a D-bag. It’s a slow strategy, but still effective.

But all of this is to say that it should, theoretically, offer you the opportunity to showcase your personality and allow her the chance to get to know you. Once you’ve got our attention, it’s up to you to be yourself (which is charming, I assume) and let things play out naturally. Pick up tactics only work if they’re only used to get your foot in the door, not to guide the whole process.

So go ahead – bust out your best spandex (please don’t), take some deep breaths, and don’t forget to limber up, boys. If you do this right and get lucky, you just might need it.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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WEST COAST WINGMAN: AN OVERDUE UPDATE

Where in the world is Carmen San Diego Miss Wingman? Well for starters, I’m still alive…so we’ve got that going for us.

My apologies for the radio silence, Wingman faithful. I’ve been traveling-slash-putting-in-work (of the non-sexual innuendo kind) out here in “Los Angeles”…which I think is actually Spanish for “Plastic Surgery.” True story, look it up. The object of the trip was to cut a Sizzle Reel (that’s promotional, for the uninitiated), and if all goes well there will be more video on the site in the future. See? Birthdays, basketball and now this – I told you March kicked ass.

Having only recently finished my west coast revelry (cut me some slack, got in at 1am), I’m back in the saddle again, and to make things right I offer you this recap of the last few days. I hope it’s sufficiently riveting to forgive the lengthy lag…

Friday: Awake before dawn, hit the airport. While there, try to get to the bottom of the mystery, “Why does the general public insist upon wearing ridiculous outfits when traveling?” Being comfortable is one thing, but the only excuse for wearing a full-blown track suit is if you’re a founding member of Run DMC or Sue Sylvester on “Glee.” People, please.

Saturday: Hit a cafe to do some work prior to crashing a holiday-themed house party. While there, overhear the guys at the table next to me say two inexcusable things. First, that they’ve never heard of a Hot Toddy before (um, it was St. Patrick’s Day) and then they declined the bartender’s offer to put on whatever NCAA game they preferred because, “it’s OK, we’re not really into basketball.” Seriously, LA?

Sunday: Continue to curse the traffic, parallel parking (or more accurately, how much I suck at it), and every person who drives like a Formula One racer on the 405 while en route to dinner. The highlight of the meal was getting accosted by two guys who ask if we want to play with their puppet… No, really, they had a marionette with them. And here I thought NYC had cornered the market on crazy.

Monday: Arrive at the sickest house for my promo shoot (thanks, Dana!) with a view of the Hollywood Hills so enviable that it almost makes you forget that you have zero cell phone reception up there. Also, since it’s been a minute since I did an on-location shoot (Miss Wingman used to be quite the video veteran in my pre-Wingman days), I also committed a rookie mistake on set: forgetting to turn off my mic when I hit the ladies room. Yup, I’m sure it wasn’t the first time the audio guy has picked up someone peeing, and I doubt it’ll be the last.

Tuesday: Trade the killer view for some Man on the Street interviews at fun (read: touristy) spots all around town. In between getting hit on by Sponge Bob and a very uncomfortable hug with Spider-Man (thanks for replacing my childhood nostalgia with creepiness, street performers), I met some fun and fascinating people. (And a dude named Hamish…if you love “Braveheart” as much as I do, you’ll appreciate the significance).

Most notably though, the dude who is currently running across country (like, literally running – and yes, he’s heard the “Forrest Gump” references before) in support of Fallen Heroes and disabled veterans returning to civilian life. The overachiever in question is named Albie, and his project, Operation Amerithon, includes being flanked by an entourage of his younger sister (give that girl the Sister of the Year award) and their courageous friend, covering thousands of miles, some entertaining video blogs, a lot of iced legs and what I can only assume will be some seriously questionable hotel rooms as the road unfolds.

If you’re as enthralled by this undertaking as I am, get involved. OA is looking for support in the form of donations or just a sincere, “Holy sh*t that’s impressive. Keep up the good work!” on their Facebook page, but I think they probably prefer money (just a hunch). I’ll be tracking his progress on the site in the coming weeks as he heads towards his end point of Washington, D.C. Because let’s face it, we can all use a bit of perspective and motivation, can’t we? Way to go, Albie. How thoroughly badass of you.

Wednesday: Revisit my days wearing the producer hat as we edited our dating-themed footage. I believe the final tally for me making, “Ack my hair looks crazy there,” or “Please use a shot where my arm/ass/miscellaneous body part doesn’t look so huge” comments was at about 50 at last count. If you’ve ever felt really confident in your physical appearance, I invite you to watch yourself on camera to put your ego back in check.

Thursday: Finish up schmoozing and overall landscape ogling.

Friday: Pack up the dog and pony show and take it back to the 212 with me, but not before relinquishing the keys to my rental car (damn I miss living in a driving city) and waving a tearful goodbye to a place that is way prettier to wake up to every day than the people in the conference room across the street. Sigh…(both for missing the beach, and for the fact that said people have no doubt seen me naked).

So that’s the state of things. At present, I’m cramming as much basketball watching and unpacking as I can into my life, and with any luck I hope to be able to see the floor of my apartment by April or May. There are several pieces of good news though! First, if you ever need a stellar production company in the Los Angeles area, hit up my friends at Backlot Productions. If Dana Richie can’t make it happen, it can’t be done.

Secondly, if you like the scenery in the above shot (or the sit down interview), you’re in luck. The house we shot at is actually for sale. Though it might be slightly out of Miss Wingman’s price range, it is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking it up. Marge, the lovely realtor, will fill in the details (310)927-1049.

And lastly, this. The fruit of my west coast labor, and a damn good way to spend 4 minutes. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

 

 

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