The Best iPhone Feature No One Knows

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Amid iPhone 6 rumors and iOS 8 developer notes, there’s one iPhone feature no one is talking about.

After three years being an iPhone super user, I’ve read all the articles on secret tips and tricks buried in iOS. The Genius Bar calls me for support. All the articles outline how to use accessibility features to make your phone light up when you get a text or the myriad of hacks to take your beloved selfies (using the headphones button or the volume up/down buttons).

Everyday my news reader features an article on secret tips to unlocking the full potential of the iPhone. But there’s one feature I found that no one has written about in all the articles I’ve read. A feature so cool that my friends have responded “Oh my god. That’s so cool.”

What is this amazing feature you aren’t using?

FaceTime Audio call.

FaceTime Audio quietly rolled out with the iOS 7 update. Next time you go to call your bestie or Tinder-ella or whoever it is that you call, select FaceTime Audio instead of Voice Call. You can make calls from your contact list, iMessage or from the FaceTime app. As an added bonus, the ring is an amped up ring that makes the European ring seem humdrum.

The call quality is shockingly amazing. You’ll think the person is in the room with you. It is the HD of phone calls. You’ll never make a standard call again. Less people use the iPhone for the phone function, but this feature may just change that.

One other tip for those who don’t have unlimited data: Switch you settings so you don’t use Cellular data for FaceTime.


It’s Not Delivery, It’s Pizza Date Night

Last summer I intended to make pizza from scratch. I’d looked up a few recipes. Watched America’s Test Kitchen. Read more recipes about grilling pizza. But I never got around to trying it out. Many know my devotion to burritos, but I also love pizza. If asked to choose between which food I could eat for the remainder of my life–until succumbing to high cholesterol and morbid obesity–I’d be torn to choose.

Pizza date night is by no means an original idea, but it still counts as an idea. If you’re looking for something fun to do with a lady friend or gentlemen suitor, I suggest a pizza party. While it won’t rival the parties of our youth that included germ-filled plastic ball pits and potentially puking before the ghost story portion of the sleepover, it will have booze. If you play your cards right you could still yammie before it’s time to turn out the lights. The only difference is your mom may not come to get you this time.

The upside to making pizza is it’s relatively easy.

The hierarchy of pizzas is (most complex to easiest):

Completely homemade

Semi-homemade (I’m coming for you Sandra Lee)

Take and bake



I opted for semi-homemade. Trader Joe’s had everything we needed for a pizza party. They have pre-made dough, pasta/pizza sauce, cheese, organic and non-organic veggies, meats, meat substitutes. No matter what dietary restrictions your date has, you can accommodate their nom nom needs with one store visit. We went for a straightforward, traditional pizza pie. We got two crusts: whole wheat and herb. Then loaded up on veggies and arugula. Don’t forget to pick up some cheese. We bought fresh mozzarella.

You’ll have to roll out the dough, which is relatively easy. Then it’s an assembly job. Bust out that Slap Chop you bought off an infomercial and get at it. Crust/sauce/veggies/cheese. While the pizzas baked, we tossed up a salad with the extra veggies and made a balsamic salad dressing. 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. So, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Shake it in a Tupperware then put on the salad.

Get crazy with your toppings. Whoever came up with bacon and pineapple clearly was an outside-the-pizza-box thinker.

Let me know your favorite pizza combinations in the comments.

Scenes from a Mexican Restaurant II

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“One lengua taco,” he said enthusiastically. “And I’m torn between steak and chorizo. What should I get?”

The cashier shrugged his shoulders. Then the man continued, “Which is better? Which would you get?”

“The steak,” the cashier said assuredly, but in a way that conveyed that it was an obvious decision.

“OK. One steak taco.”

Mr. Indecision was on a date. I wondered if his matchmaker was Tinder, OK Cupid, eHarmony or a site I’ve yet to be told about. Judging by the lack of mentions of Jesus, I’m ruling out eHarm. He was about 5’9″, had a reddish-brown beard and wore glasses. His date had curled, dark brown hair and looked like she’d dressed up for the 9 PM fourth meal.

Their conversation hit all the usual notes of a first date: music, comedians, smartphones. Despite his earlier indecision, the timbre of his voice when talking about potentially getting Spotify to listen to comedians was assured and confident.

The taco date lasted about 20 minutes. He kept trying to find commonalities with his date. Her answers were abrupt and I felt sorry for the guy, who was trying far more than his date.

As they went to leave, the guy had gone first out of the booth and his date trailed behind before opening the door for him.

They headed out into the blustery spring night, each going a different direction, in search of their next taco date.

What to Wear to an Orgy

old school gang bang

An excerpt from my dating memoirs.

“BRING BOOZE” is what her text message said.

After replying with a reminder of how to phrase a question and the effectiveness of “please,” she half-assedly acquiesced with “BRING BOOZE NOW, PLEASE.” Who doesn’t love a woman who know what she wants and clearly communicates it?

I’d been trying to meet this girl for a while. She was the niece of a singer I really admire and she was pretty. As is always the case, she was incredibly busy. She was in the process of moving. By some miracle she never asked me to help her move, likely because she heard how strong I was from Beatrice and Eunice at aqua-robics.

We had arranged to meet at yoga before I got that demonstrative text. Late that Monday afternoon, it had begun to snow, the type of snow that turns a 20 minute commute into a 45 minute commute and tries your will to live.

There’s a moment when you look down and discover every part of your body is glistening. In all my years on this earth, I can safely say that I have never had sweat emanate from the top of my knees.

I had a use-it-or-lose it situation with my vacation time at the end of the year and decided to do some things that I don’t prioritize while working. Yoga is a great stress reliever and flexibility booster. Plus, I’m often one of two guys in a class. Should any of those women need someone to clean their pool or cook them delicious meals on a semi-nightly basis…

I changed into my gym clothes and entered Studio 2. I was greeted with a warm bitch slap to the face. I rolled out my mat and started to sweat profusely, not in anticipation of meeting her, but because I had wrongly entered one of Dante’s circles of hot yoga hell. It was more than warm. It was more than just humid. It was sultry. I rolled out my mat and started to stretch. So we are all clear, when I say stretch, I mean I flailed my arms around gingerly and reminded myself just how far my toes are. When I practiced regularly I could get the heels of my palms on the ground. Now, I’m like a little kid desperately wiggling to reach the candy on the shelf. I looked into one of the the many fun house mirrors and saw that most of my forehead was moist. I apologize to the ladies reading this post. I know how you feel about “moist.”

“How am I sweating and I haven’t really exerted myself in any capacity? This doesn’t bode well.” That’s right. I had already begun talking to myself. I cracked the seal on one of two water bottles I brought to class. I toweled off before we started our practice. I’m not entirely sure if calling this class a “practice” is appropriate. At no point in my life do I want this degree of perspiration to be acceptable.

We started class with some cat/cow poses before some sun salutations: forward fold, forward bend, plank, lunge, warrior, chaturanga.

“I’ve done these before. This isn’t so bad,” I thought. This would be one of the last moments I could form coherent thoughts.

The instructor, who was a great motivator, picked up the pace and intensity of the class. The torture session incorporated free weights to the session. So, a warrior pose would include a bicep curl, shoulder press, or tricep extension. At first I did the poses without any weights, then I grabbed the dumbbells for a few reps.

After one of the series, she asked the class if she should pump up the heat. The masochists and sadists loudly shouted “YES!” Could no one see I was wasting away on my blue mat that was quickly turning into a Slip ‘N Slide?

It was at this moment that I discovered I was standing directly under an air duct connected to hell’s furnace.

“And let’s bump up the humidity!” she exclaimed from the thermostat.

I swear on all things holy…Lord, I’ll do whatever you ask of me. Or any god, saint or deity. Can anyone hear me over the bumping Top 40 jams?

I made it about 45 minutes before visions of the sweet, flexible baby Jesus doing downward dog and happy baby started popping into my head. Then I had to sit down for a spell. It was at this moment that I observed that every inch of my body was soaked. I looked in the mirror and wasn’t really sure who was looking back at me.

The last minutes of class, and potentially my life, were burpees and squats before stretches.

While laying in savasana waiting for my heart to find its way back into my chest, I parted ways with baby Jesus the showoff. The instructor came around with cool, lemon-scented rags. I’ve never valued anything so much in my life.

Eventually I peeled myself off of what once was a yoga mat and gathered my things to exit. In the locker room, I observed that my sleeveless, navy gym shirt transformed from a Rorschach of sweat to one continuous, soaked rag of all impurities I’ve ever ingested. I rang it out, got in the shower and dry sobbed. I left all my fluids on the mat.

In my life, I have treated Dante’s Circles of Hell as a checklist, reserving the secret 10th circle for myself. I learned that night that there’s an 11th for hot yoga.

On my way out they asked how I liked it. I shared that it was quite warm. “Oh, that wasn’t even the hot class. It was only 103.”

I checked my phone after class and read a text that my date wasn’t going to make it. I called her and she invited me to her friend’s apartment. This was already the night of bad decisions, why stop at hell yoga? I informed her I needed a shower and requested her friend’s address.

After showering I got the “BRING BOOZE” demand. I was famished after sweating for 60 minutes, so I headed to the grocery and grabbed a frozen pizza. Then I was standing in the liquor section. Luckily I was able to flag down one of the workers.

“What type of alcohol should I bring to an orgy?” I asked.

“How many people?” the staffer asked.

I vacillated between a regular bottle of wine and the alcoholic 1.5 liter variety. No one wants to be sober at an orgy, so I put the big one in my basket to join my frozen pizza, green pepper and romaine lettuce. The only things missing from my basket were a kama sutra book and massage oils.

Arriving at my destination, a large apartment complex, I called my orgy mates to find out which one they were in.

Lest I misread any of the context clues, my date greeted me in pajama pants and a tshirt. “Had I known this was a pajama party…” I said. Once in her friend’s apartment I met her friend/coworker, sporting Batman pajama pants and a tshirt. And here I was wearing a long-sleeve shirt with buttons and jeans. Way overdressed for the orgy. While waiting for the pizza to cook, I opened the wine and sat with the ladies at the dinner table.

Quickly I learned that my date’s friend had too much to drink at their company holiday party, ended up going home with her boss and sleeping in the same bed with him. She asserted that was all that happened. She also didn’t want any wine. She did, however, want the green pepper, which she ate like Mr. Peepers on SNL.

She spent the entire evening texting her boss who wanted something more than a one-night slumber party. If his night was anything like mine was turning out, I’m not sure I’d sign up for a second round. She asked for my advice, which I liken to a combination of Dr. Drew and Steve Harvey. I told her to tell him she needed time to decide what she wanted to do and to put down the phone. Problems are never solved over text message.

After dinner I moved the therapy session to where it belonged: the couch. “I slept with my boss and regret it” girl reposed to the large bean bag sack with her phone and texted the night away. My “date” and I sat on the couch, turned on the TV and fired up Netflix.

Bachelor Tip: You know a date is going well when your date picks a rape episode of Law & Order: SVU. It means one of two things: she’s slyly suggesting something or, more likely, she’d like you to go home.

After realizing that was the entirety of what I’d get for the evening, I did what anyone would do. I got their insurance information for billing, took my lettuce and left.