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The Advice Goddess: June 2016
Monday, 06 June 2016 11:51

Irreconcilable indifferences

Q:  My girlfriend of two years seems to be gradually moving me out of her life. Seeing her two or three times a week has dwindled into maybe once -- and no overnights. She’ll meet me at the movies and then ditch me afterward, saying she’s got a bunch of things to do. She denies anything’s wrong, claiming she’s just “very busy.” I think there’s more to it.
— Left Hanging


A: It seems you’re right; she’s really looking forward to your dates  the way a cow looks forward to a personal tour of the slaughterhouse. 

People talk about what a high falling in love is, and they aren’t wrong, because their body’s basically in the throes of a biochemical drug binge. 

University of Pisa psychiatrist Donatella Marazziti looked at blood samples of people who’d been madly in love for less than six months and found that they had serotonin levels comparable to people diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Luckily, obsessively having sex is more fun than obsessively washing your hands. 

Falling in love also alters testosterone levels — though differently in men and women. Men’s drops — making them more cuddlywuddly — and women’s goes up, increasing their interest in sex. 

Unfortunately, this increased interest is temporary. Marazziti found that T levels went back to normal between the one- and two-year mark — which is when the feeling “We’re perfect for each other!” can start to be replaced by “We’re perfect for other people.”

This may be how she’s been feeling. To get an answer — beyond knee-jerk denials that anything’s wrong — email her. Ask her whether you two have a problem, and tell her to take a couple of days to think about it. 

Upon reflection, she should either decide to try to fix things or break up with you — and not in a way that mimics continental drift.


For whom the belle tolls

I know my boyfriend’s into me, and he’s generally very loving, but I get far more compliments about how I look from guys I’m not dating. How do I get my boyfriend to let me know that he likes the view?
 — Uncomplimented


There’s a reason that the Miss World pageant lacks a mathematics category, in which contestants come out smiling and waving and then do one of the world’s great unsolved math problems in their head: “And now, ladies and gentlemen, we’ll watch as Miss Uruguay proves that the 196-algorithm does not terminate when applied to the number 196.”


Obviously, beauty isn’t everything. In fact, according to research by economist Jeremy Greenwood, a smarty-pants, highly educated guy is more likely than ever (compared with, say, 1960) to require his bride-to-be to be similarly smarty-pants and highly educated. What hasn’t changed is male sexual desire. Because it’s intensely visual, it’s reassuring for a woman to hear that the way she looks is driving a guy wild — as opposed to driving him to pluck his eyes out with barbecue tongs.


Men like to know they’re making a woman happy — or at least how they might have some hope of that. So, put it in those terms: “Baby, you know what I’d love…?” rather than “Buddy, you know how you’re failing me…?” (Gently remind him until he gets in the habit.) 


A positive approach like this tends to be the most effective, tempting as it may be to hint that noncompliance will lead to severe sanctions: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, if you ever want a blow job again, you’d better say something nice about my outfit.”


 (c.) 2016, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA  90405, or e-mail ( 


High-energy California Honeydrops create a vibe
Monday, 06 June 2016 11:09
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The California Honeydrops had the crowd swinging and swaying to its high-energy, infectious, horn-driven, dance-party vibes during a three-hour concert May 6 at Isis Restaurant & Music Hall in West Asheville. 

About 270 people attended, with a highly unusual mixed demographic that included mostly 20-somethings — but ranging up to those who might have been 50 years older.

The Honeydrops, with a barrelhouse-style rhythm section keyed by pianist Chris Burns, played two sets — 70 minutes and 90 minutes each — punctuated by a 30-minute break.

A major highlight was the rousing conclusion of the concert, finishing the night off with a most definitive bang.

Indeed, the six-member band — while playing a jam of its song “Hanging out With the Street People” —boogied off the stage and into the very center of the crowd below ... like a traditional New Orleans band at the end of a swinging, joyful jazz funeral.

The throng of fans made way for the band members, who set up in a circle, facing one another, as the revved-up audience danced and cheered on the periphery.

The Honeydrops, who formed in 2007 and busked in the subway stations of Oakland, Calif., said during the Isis show that they — about five years ago — had played a four-day stint “on the streets” of downtown Asheville, earning them a performance in Lexington Avenue’s now-defunct BoBo Gallery.

The Honeydrops are led by Lech Wierzynski, a dynamic lead singer with a golden voice and multi-instrumentalist. The group draws on diverse musical influences from Bay Area rhythm and blues, funk, Southern soul, Delta blues and New Orleans second-line.

The show opened with an original, “Superman Is Dead — Goodbye Whiskey” and then virtually soared with a cover of Wilson Pickett’s “Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You” that featured a wild saxophone lead.

The Honeydrops, a humble band that has recently served as an opening act to Bonnie Raitt, praised Asheville as “our new hometown,” extolling its many virtues, but added that “we still love Oakland.”

The band included lead singer Wierzynski (most of the time playing guitar, and sometimes on trumpet), along with a bassist, keyboardist, saxophonist, clarinetist and drummer. On certain songs, the clarinetist would play saxophone instead. Several group members also provided stellar backup harmony.

Wierzynski, who was born in Warsaw, Poland, has a voice that has been compared to that of late-great soul singers Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson, among others.

The concert featured a mix of originals and covers of songs. At least twice during the concert, several of the group members would stand side by side at centerstage (while the others would leave the stage) and play songs that especially featured top-notch washboard-playing.

Other highlights of the first set included renditions of “Like You Mean It,” “Everybody Gets Brought Down” and “When It Was Wrong,” the last of which included an extended vocal jam at the end that delighted the crowd.

Memorable songs from the second set included renditions of The Impressions’ “People Get Ready” (with gorgeous three-part harmony), “Crazy Girls,” “Miss Louise” and “Just Because.”



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