If I’ve learned one thing from writing this blog, it’s that you need to be thick-skinned-and thank God I am, because people will say almost anything in an open forum if they can remain "anonymous." Try spilling the details of your personal life with your name and face attached! In spite of a few nay-sayers, comments have been mostly positive; some have even inspired me. I was especially encouraged by the woman who wrote that she’s "in the best exclusive relationship of my adult life with the most loving, tender, and sexy man." Wow. I’m intrigued! Since I’ve never been one to follow "the rules," I’ve decided to just go with the flow about where and when and how to meet and date men (like my brother originally suggested). Whatever happens, happens. Most of my past relationships have started out as friends-I’ve never really been a "traditional" dater-and I’ve always felt that great things will happen when you’re least expecting them.

That said, I spent most of the weekend with The Boys. A little more about them, since I think I sold them short. They are fun, smart, successful, social, athletic, well read, and generally laid-back. Oh, and good-looking, too! They’re all great catches in their own right, but most of them just aren’t ready to settle down or haven’t met the right girl. I even enjoy watching them in their element with the ladies; it’s a good source of entertainment-and great insight into the male mind, filling in any holes Neil Strauss’s The Game might have glossed over.And so much for New Year’s resolutions; we hit The Underground Friday night. OK, and Saturday too. On Saturday, we also celebrated my friend T.W.’s 38th birthday at Avenue M (one of my favorite resto-lounges-you know, restaurants that take you from dinner to drinks in one seamless destination spot) and my friend M.B.’s 33rd birthday at Five Star on Chicago Avenue. Birthday celebrations are basically just reasons to bring friends together to drink-not that we ever need an excuse.I had no intention of making it a late night on Saturday-Friday night sort of did me in-but the guys wanted to go back to The Underground. You know how it is: When a new place opens it becomes the only place to go until the next new nightspot takes over. Thanks to all of the buzz, right now it’s all about The Underground. But a word to the wise: If you’re a guy, plan on bringing some girls with you as your entry ticket. A couple of my guy friends arrived early and were turned away at the door after they had already valet parked their car. They were told guys aren’t let in unless they have girls with them. I guess, in clubland, it’s a woman’s world.Sunday is traditionally my day of rest (even this party girl gets pooped); I usually spend it curled up on my friend’s couch, watching mindless movies, reading, and recapping the weekend. But this particular Sunday, there was a viewing party at Rockit for the premiere of The Apprentice. A friend of mine, Aimee, is on the show. She’s the one from Elmhurst: hot, blonde, smart, and savvy. The Boys and I headed to Rockit for dinner, then upstairs for the show, which also served as a charity event for Imerman Angels.About 150 people showed up, a great turnout for a Sunday evening. Aimee looked great (and she didn’t get fired!). If you watched, you saw that this season takes place in L.A rather than in the show’s usual setting of New York. This season is also spiced with good-looking people and nice accommodations (each week’s winning team hangs out in a mansion, while the losers sleep outside in a tent). Aimee was on the winning team this week; she’s the one you might have seen in a teeny bikini in the hot tub. Of course, what you don’t see on television is what really transpires during the filming process; about 400 to 500 hours of footage go into each 42-minute episode. For example, when Martin (the guy who got fired) asked The Donald if he could use the bathroom during their introductions, the contestants had already been standing there for two hours, not the two minutes it looked like on TV.Speaking of spicing things up, Heidi, the attractive brunette who was this week’s project manager, appeared in a Playboy Wet & Wild: Slippery When Wet video that came out in 2000, according to IMDB. Leave it to Mr. Trump to go for beauty over brains for this Apprentice. The man’s a publicity genius, in case you haven’t heard about his ongoing and very ugly feud with Rosie O’Donnell. But he did do our city justice by picking not one but two charismatic gals to represent the Chicago area (the other is Nicole from Naperville). The Donald is no dummy: With his super-luxurious Trump Tower slated for a 2008 launch here, my guess is he’s strategically promoting it on the show. So, will he pick a Chicago gal to be his next apprentice-or will he go with Heidi the Hottie? What do you think?