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Behind the stick: Allison Webber and the Winter Solstice

Being a judge at a cocktail competition is one of the best things in the world to do.

Not only do you have a series of talented bartenders make drinks for you (and four others) to sample, but you get to watch the entire fascinating creative process as the different ingredients are meticulously blended and balanced.

Tom Cruise in Cocktail made something of a mockery of professional bartenders---and hes not very popular with most bartenders as a result. They generally sneer at him, because they take their trade seriously. They are intensely aware of what theyre doing, and they are impressive to watch---not for Allison Banks the pyrotechnics though, but for the consummate craft of what they do.

In turn, the judges have the responsibility of taking the bartenders seriously as well, and of paying close attention to what they do, how they do it, and how good their creations are.

At the Northwest Food & Wine Festival 2010, a lineup of some of the most talented bartenders in Portland competed with original cocktails. Only one took home the money; but all ten were talented winners, for they showed they were amongst the best of their trade.

Here's one of them: Allison Webber, from the Irving Street Kitchen.

They say a great smile can light up an entire room. Dont know about that, but Allison Webbers incandescent smile can sure light up an entire bar!

When Allison steps up behind the stick, the little temporary competition bar in the corner of the vast hall filled with a throng of people at the NW Food and Wine Festival instantly developed a Cheers-like vibe, the kind of warm and welcoming place where everybody knows your name.

And with Allisons outgoing personality, if she doesnt know your name already, she soon will; and shes almost certain to remember it the next time she sees you at the bar.

Allison eagerly launches into the construction of her planned cocktail, the Winter Solstice. The spirit she selected, Edgefield Hogshead Whiskey, is a robust, full flavored, aged whiskey made from malted barley on the banks of the Columbia River in Troutdale.

To the 1.5 ounces of Hogshead Whiskey she adds what is the key ingredient to the cocktail, .5 ounces of her hand-made apple cider, honey and thyme reduction syrup; .75 ounces of Meyer Lemon juice (Meyer Lemon is a softer, sweeter, more pungent and orange-like style of lemon); .5 ounce of Carpano Antica Formulae Vermouth (a n antique and heartier original vermouth); and .5 ounce of Anchor Steam Holiday Ale, a spicy secret-formula ale produced only during the holidays.

Allison mixes up the concoction, shakes it thoroughly, adds a bit of egg white for a foamy head, and serves it up.

Its visually appealing in a sophisticated and elegant wide mouthed coupe glass, and just as gorgeously appealing to the taste as well, a wonderful combination of flavors in perfect balance, with excellent fruit, citrus, beer, spice, malty spirits, a woody vanilla and caramel warmth, a touch of herbal mystery and a silky soft mouthfeel.

The garnish of organic rosehips is the perfect finishing touch for this festive holiday drink. With this stunning cocktail, polished technique, and her beguiling smile, Allisons points total up to come within a single point of challenging overall winner, Tommy Klus, for the competition.

Stop by the Irving Street Kitchen in the Pearl District and Allison will doubtlessly bestow her incandescent smile on you, along with her Winter Solstice. It might be enough to get you through the winter blues this year!

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The “Loaded Weapon”


Ever since I started living with my boyfriend I've caught him masturbating. At the beginning he would watch porno and masturbate, I told him this really upset me and he asian tranny webcams said that he wouldn't do it again. He also eventually got rid of all the porno.

Well everything was good - or at least I think it was, until recently I have caught him masturbating. He doesn't do it to porn, he does it when he goes it bed. (We don't go to bed at the same time; I go to bed much later) Anyways I confronted him about this and told him that it hurts me that he would rather masturbate than be with me. Than a week later, I caught him again. I explained to him again, that I feel that I cant trust him (not that he would cheat, just that he is going to masturbate again) and I told him that it really hurts me and upsets me that he chooses to do this, than be with me. I feel like its my fault. Maybe he doesn't find me attractive. He says that he does, but I am unsure. I doubt our relationship now. Don't get me wrong, he is an amazing man and I love him more than anything. Really the only thing wrong is this. I just don't know what to do. I don't really have anyone to talk to about this.

Please help. Thank You.



Ok, reality time: you're NEVER going to get him to stop masturbating - NEVER. All you'll ever do is to drive him underground with it. Is that really the type of relationship you want to have? One where your guy is hiding himself from you? I'd sure as hell hope not, but that's exactly where you're going trying to get him to stop it. Eventually, he's going to start hiding all sorts of things from you - and he's going to get so good at it you'll never even know. Trust me on this one - I see it all the time!

His masturbating isn't hurting you at all and he's not doing it to avoid you at all. Stop being such a self-centered, insecure little child and wake up! You're going to tear your relationship apart over absolutely nothing!

Here's more reality: masturbating isn't about love or caring or anything like that. It's about tension relief, pure and simple. It has nothing to do with you - other than the fact that you've made it an issue by being so insecure (and immature) about it! That doesn't bode very well for you, now does it?

In fact, you should be HAPPY about him jerking off! You should even encourage him to do this! Let's face it, making love is incredible, but it's also a lot of hard work. Sometimes, we just need some time alone to explore our own fantasies. This is how we safely grow our own sexualities, and frankly, if YOU aren't masturbating regularly, you're cheating HIM because you can't explore your deepest, most personal sexuality when you're with him either.

Here's even MORE reality: by preventing him from being sexually relieved and living in a comfortable sexual environment, you're actually helping him to cheat on you! (No shit!) Trying to get him to not masturbate means he's walking around with a loaded weapon! He's not going to live with that sort of tension for very long and if he gets the chance to unload that weapon - even if it's not with you - he's going to take it. After all, if he hides a little from you, it's not hard to hide a lot.

GET OVER IT ALREADY! More important: go to him and apologize for all of this! Tell him right away that you realize what's going on and that you never want him to hide anything from you ever again. You made a mistake by demanding he stop masturbating because you were thinking only of yourself and relationships aren't about "ourselves" at all. They're about the people we're with - and their comfort and happiness too.

You might even add this to your sex lives as an adjunct. You can masturbate together and get off on watching each other if you haven't already done so much damage here that he can't. I just hope for your sake (and the sake of your relationship) that's not the case.

Relationships are fragile things Vanessa! They can easily be destroyed with such ridiculous things.

Best regards...


Have a love, dating, relationship, sex or man/woman question? You can write to me by going to: for answers. For more information about my books, "Being a Man in a Woman's Worldtm" (volumes I and II), and other products visit: Check out the discussion group at:

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Author's Bio:

Dr. Neder is known around the world as a tough, but fair relationship expert, dealing with all sorts of dating, sex and relationship issues from a man's perspective. Having written 3 books ("Being a Man in a Woman's World" series) and is working on others, hundreds of articles, been on hundreds of radio and TV shows, he is funny, direct and intuitive.

Do you have a burning question that needs an answer? Are you a man that wants to better experiences with women, or a woman that wants to better understand men? To learn more, go to

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Pamela Brown – Anderson Cooper 360

The FBIannounced a major crackdown on malicious software known as Blackshares. It is nicknamed'creepware,' foragood reason.This program can remotely hijack victims' computers, secretly turning on web cams, compromising hard drives and even capturing every keystroke.

Cassidy Wolf is Miss Teen U.S.A. and she is also a victim of 'creepware.' A former classmate installed Blackshares on her laptop, triggering an unimaginable nightmare.Ms. Wolf had no idea that herattackerwas spying onherfor about a year. She only learned about the violation whenhe e-mailed her compromising photos of herself, along with ablackmail threat to make the images public.

He was sentenced to 18-months in prison. Cassidy Wolf spoke to Anderson about her ordeal.

Cassidy Wolf also offered her tipsto help you stay safe on-line:

Delete your browsing history and cookies often.

Make difficult and unique passwords for each account with both symbols and numbers.

Never click on an unknown link or open an email from an unfamiliarsender.

Put a sticker over your web cam.

Always be cautious of what you are doing on and around your computer.

Pamela Brown takes a closer look at Cassidy Wolf's ordeal and the FBI's crackdown on 'creepware.'

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Crayola adult coloring books: Dirty coloring pages, mature content or harder?

When you read "Crayola adult coloring books" what was your first thought? C'mon admit it--you wondered are these dirty coloring pages with mature content or just harder coloring pages that require adult skills. Were you hoping for the latter? Those "sexy" adult coloring pages do exist, but not in Crayola adult coloring books. CNN Money reported Nov. 10 that these adult coloring books contain intricate designs that are more challenging to color. This is not to say that children cannot color them, only that children with as-yet not fully developed fine motor skills may struggle to color in the lines of the complicated pictures.

Oh darn--no dirty coloring pages? Thanks Crayola for raising hopes! But really, aren't you glad to know that if you, as an adult, find coloring therapeutic--and many do--there are coloring pages for your level of skill? Crayola knows, from its 112-year history in the coloring business, that coloring books don't have to contain "mature content" to be adult. And seriously, isn't that a hilarious contradiction in terms? Adult subject matter is often puerile, juvenile content. "Mature content" often translates to doing immature things. Mature content may mean challenging themes which may be too upsetting for young children. But more often than not it's foul language, bed-hopping and middle school humor.

But these adult coloring books truly are mature content. They're meant for grownups stressed out from too many adult struggles. And for relaxation, art therapy can't be beat. Adult coloring provides the "full gestalt" as Crayola spokeswoman Erika Merklinger so aptly put it. Crayola released 5 adult coloring books that retail for $9.99 each. Ahem, think adult gift exchanges. These would make good presents for the company work party. Or how about those silly extended family gift exchanges where you have to trade gifts with people you don't know? Pick up adult coloring books for cousin Maude whom you haven't seen since you were three. Grab a few for gift exchanges with your hard-to-buy for brother or your sister who has everything! $10 isn't a bad deal for 80-page adult coloring books. They have perforated pages so you can frame your masterpieces, too. Crayola even offers free samples of adult coloring pages from their new books. Why not print "Through the Rabbit Hole" from the book "InSPIRALed" and give coloring a try? Look for Crayola adult coloring books at Target and similar stores.

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