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8B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend Hagazine - Thursday, November 20, 2003
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By Rebecca Ramsey Daily Weekend Editor
Congratulations, you've got yourself a date for
Saturday night. Now, all you have to do is come
up with something inventive for you and this spe-
cial someone to do. Easy, right?
That may be the case with the tried-and-true dinner
and a movie jaunt, but face it: While that plan certainly
does not go out of style, it dramatically loses its hip fac-
tor after a certain point. It's hard to design a creative
night out when you're busy being a student, but that
shouldn't give you an excuse to be boring.
Whether it's a first date or another night out with your
steady of two years, you still want to start the evening
with an impressive bang and keep things exciting. A trip
to Blockbuster and a bag of popcorn may be a comfy no-
brainer, but Ann Arbor offers a selection of perennial
dating hot spots that beg to be explored with a partner.
So, clear your calendars and plan for a pleasurable out-
ing. Here's the ticket.
FOR THE TONE DEAF AND SELF-DEPRECATING
Thanks to Cameron Diaz in "My Best Friend's
Wedding," it has become socially acceptable to be really,
really rotten when rocking the mic. Now virtually
immortalized in film as a flirting "do," karaoke can be
considered a definite way to snag the affections of your
date, even if your voice is more Britney than Christina.
Just watch Bill Murray's character in "Lost in
Translation;" he is completely enthralled with Charlotte
(Scarlett Johansson) when she sings a novice rendition of
the Pretenders' "Brass in Pocket."
Simply put, karaoke is the ultimate ice-breaker for a
date. If partaking in an engaging conversation is nerve
wracking, why not sing? Karaoke provides couples with
the opportunity to come out of their shells and laugh at
themselves in a vulnerable situation, which is a promis-
ing sign, even though it initially sounds frightening.
Still, the question remains: Who sings first? This can
be a difficult decision, for one may feel awkward about
giving a solo performance and thus submitting oneself to
the judgment of his or her date. Or, if your date belts out
a fabulous "Respect," you will surely feel like an ass
when it's your turn and you cannot carry a tune.
To solve this problem, we suggest that you go at it
together, as a duet. Be sure to avoid any songs that will
immediately cast you as a serious couple - anything
from "Grease," Captain and Tenille, Broadway love bal-
lads and any Disney song featuring Celine Dion. Stick to
safeties such as Motown hits, a la Diana Ross and
Marvin Gaye (however, "Let's Get it on" can wait a few
Even better than laughing at yourself and/or your date
is laughing at the other people who are terrible singers.
At the Blind Pig on Main Street, said by many to be the
best place for local karaoke, patrons can subject their
ears to "American Idol" wannabes and still have a good
time. Every Monday, Stoo's Karaoke kicks off at 9:30
p.m. and goes rather strong for the entire evening. Others
can opt for karaoke and bowling at both Bel-Mark Lanes
and Colonial Lanes Bowling Center.
For those couples who wish to get out of Ann Arbor
and avoid being caught singing off-key, Ypsilanti prof-
fers a number of establishments for singing along to
guilty pleasure tunes by Guns N' Roses.
The Tap Room on W. Michigan Avenue and Powell's
Pub on North Huron Street also feature karaoke nights
and practically ensure that you won't be seen by your
peers. Let's just hope that you can carry on a good tete-
a-tete when the singing is over.
Put on your shoes and polish your ball. We're going bowling.
FOR THE SAVVY SOPHISTICATE
Creatures of habit who are in the know are well familiar
with the swanky interior of Goodnite Gracie Jazz and
Martini Bar and will surely tell you to bring a date to this
locale. The classy decor rich in violet hues, the live perfor-
mances and the glitzy bar are chic characteristics that will
widen your date's eyes and stir a great impression.
When you bring a date here, you are not only showing
him or her that you are an aficionado of fine beverages
and music, but you are also displaying a maturity that
shows you know the "in" places where Ladies Night and
dollar pitchers do not reign supreme. At Gracie's, you
can leave your worries of extremely inebriated oafs at
home, and you are invited to cozy-up in the dimly lit
environment. You and your date will feel like the only
ones there, or at least, the only ones there who matter.
The martini menu alone is worth checking out, even if
you aren't a big drinker. The names of the drinks
("French Silk," "Vanilla Sky") will provide a good con-
versation and they are quite tasty trifles (try the "Garden
of Eden"). If your date is not going as well as you had
hoped, you can still treat yourself to a fine libation.
However, the drinks here can be on the more potent side,
so be careful as to not become too drunk if you are try-
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