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On mental health, Boots & Bikinis 

Last Tuesday, I went out with the purpose of going to a benefit for the Mental Health Association at the Wachovia Atrium, and somehow ended up judging Whisky River's Boots & Bikinis contest ... I swear I am not a mental health patient. Although my friends may beg to differ.

When they saw me mix together a Bud Light and Diet Coke at the MHA's Lift Your Spirits benefit, they asked me if I had driven the short bus to the Atrium. So I stood up for my shortness -- "5 feet 2 inches baby!" -- and made them try it. I may have reiterated their point, but they thought my concoction tasted like a root beer float.

The party wasn't insane, but it was some fundraising fun and everyone there was totally normal. The band, Liquid Pleasure, sang rap songs by DMX and Nelly ... and it sounded good.

One of the bartenders that served up the silly serum plays for the Carolina Queens, a professional, full-tackle women's football team -- one of 42 in the national league. And I am proud to announce that I was unofficially recruited as the back-up quarterback.

"Do you have a good offensive line?" I asked. She said they did, but she also said she broke her neck in one of the games. Yikes.

On my walk home, I passed the EpiCentre and saw former Panthers player Drew Carter who came all the way from Oakland to judge Whisky River's Boots & Bikinis contest. OK, I made that up. But he did return to his old stomping grounds and we both ended up judging boots and suits. Turns out it's hard to judge a bikini contest based on personality. Drew was concentrating on his score sheet so hard, it looked like he was doing geometry or something. I couldn't help but notice all the older men there ... at college night?

I think there may have been some confusion between the Lift Your Spirits party and Boots & Bikinis because a couple (or two people that just met, I don't know) were hardcore making-out against the wall at the Atrium as if the party was so crowded no one could see them. I felt inclined to start serenading them with, "I wanna make love in tha club!"

But I did get some great tips from the Mental Health Association party, which I feel inclined to share with you all:

Get 30 minutes of exercise every day, eat something new (variety is the spice of life), talk with family and friends daily, stay in once in a while, make the most of leisure time and take things one at a time. I think they left out one about avoiding dating completely inappropriate men.

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