Do you have a question about relationships and flirting?

You can email me about any of your relationship and flirtation questions, and I'll be happy to address them in my blog. Won't that be fun! Its very Dear Abby, but hey...I'm just as good as she is! Just put "Dear Ottis" in the subject. Make sure your letters are annoymous though, to protect you and me. Send all questions to

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder
1 pkg of bacon
1 onion
2-3 clove garlic
2 carrot
8 russet potatoes
1 can vegetable broth
2 can whole kernel corn
2 can creamed corn
1 quart heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh sage
Tabasco to taste
cayenne pepper

Cut bacon in to diced cubes. Put in large pot and cook until done. Cut onion into 1/8 inch dice. Add to bacon and cook until caramelized, using the bacon fat. Smash 2-3 cloves of garlic with knife and add to pot. Salt. Cube potatoes and carrots and add to pot. Pour in can of vegetable stock. Bring to simmer and cook covered until potatoes are tender. Taste for seasonings, add salt when needed.

Season with Tabasco liberally and with cayenne pepper. Add cans of corn and slowly incorporate the cream. Bring to a simmer. Taste for season. Add more salt, pepper, tabasco or cayanne as needed. Rough chop the sage and add before serving.

Notes: Remember the onion chopping technique. It is also vital that you taste every step of the way. If it doesn't taste good, that means something is missing, and it needs to be seasoned better. Also remember to always use different cutting boards for meat and veggies. We don't want transference of bacteria. This would be wonderful served in a bread bowl or with toasted garlic bread to dip in the soup. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Oh, isn't that just touching...

Recently I've noticed a disturbing and completely destructive trend beginning here at BYU. For some reason people are no long comfortable touching each other, even at those times when touching is most appropriate. As if . . . it were wrong or something. It makes absolutely no sense. Indulge me as I explore this issue in a little bit of detail.

The following is an excerpt from a conversation that I recently had. While the conversation may contain some specific points just for the person involved, the general idea is one that I've had with so many. Please note that I have changed the name of the girl to protect her identity.

Zelba: He says he feels he needs to learn how to build a friendship with a woman first...and see if he is ready for another relationship then. His last serious relationship was 8 months and apparently went really slow. Then he got really scared after a little fling with this girl last November. In his terms, it was "too physical." Basically, he's confused on what he wants.
Ottis: oh dear...
Zelba: He was planning on dating around and easing back into things...
Ottis: Hmm. I think some guys here are WAY too cautious. Its not like holding hands constitutes a future marriage, nor does it make you slutty. It just kills me.
Zelba: I know. It drives me crazy too.
Ottis: There is nothing wrong with being physical, as long as its appropriate physical, innocent physical.
Zelba: I agree. Considering my interest with this guy, I would have held his hand on the first date even.

Now don't get me wrong, I think that physicality such as hand holding, cuddling, and the likes should be reserved for people that are . . . worthy of it. Not just any Joe or Jane. But, if you actually have feelings for someone, why hold off? Why reject the urge and notion to touch them? It can only add to the intimacy and connection that you may already be feeling.

Now, you might wonder when this is appropriate. That brings me to what I call "The Rule of 3s." The Rule of 3s deals primarily with what should happen in a relationship and when. The first 3 deals with hand holding. By 3 successful dates/encounters its completely appropriate to go for the hand hold. Note that 3 is on the slow/conservative side of things, you may want to go there sooner.

So, how do you do it? How do you touch people? There are many ideas and thoughts on these questions. At the end of the day, I say just do it. I have my fleeting/lingering rule that I enjoy. There are zones that are more appropriate than others including the back, shoulder, arm, top of the hand, and knee. However, at the end of the day we all just need to get comfortable touching people. This note goes out especially to the girls in the audience. Men need to be touched. It's how they know they're being flirted with, and how they know you're attracted to them.

It should be said that there are people who feel uncomfortable being touched too much, or at all. They will most certainly let you know--if not verbally, by body language and neuro-linguistic cues. So, be aware.

Touching is one of those great things that can bond people together. Even missionaries hug to preserve that bond in their own special way. Let us all learn to be more bonded through touching. Let us all remember that sharing those moments with someone we care about is important to the growth of that bond. Let's remember that I'm right, because after all . . . such is life.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine's Day

"Love is in the air everywhere I look around. Love is in the air, every sight and every sound. And I don't know if I'm being foolish, don't know if I'm being wise, but it's something that I must believe in and its there when I look in your eyes."
~John Paul Young

Valentine's Day is one of those special holidays that comes around every February 14th. As spring slowly begins to blossom and the birds and bees begin to flutter about--couples end up needing a day when they can show each other they care. You see, they don't need to show it on a daily basis or anything. Rather they need a special holiday to do the job for them. Interestingly enough, this tells us something indisputably clear: Valentine's day was created by a man. A man that didn't want to have to be all mushy with his wife regularly. He'd rather just have one day when he can go all out. Now, don't get me wrong, the logic is ridiculously followable. It utterly genius even. Especially because back in the day, it was normal for an 18-year-old boy to marry a 14-year-old girl, thus minimizing the effects on the already microscopic single adult population. Unfortunately, in today's society, that is no longer the case.

Here at BYU when in the realm of singledom, Valentine's Day is often referred to as "Singles Awareness Day" a day when each and every single is bombarded by visions of BYU lovers, sharing their...-ness with one other. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a big hater of PDA. I think that it has its uses and benefits. But, it gets to be a little overwhelming on Valentine's Day. Indeed, one can scarcely even go outside without being reminded of one's status as a single at BYU.

I was at Smiths on Saturday night with my friend Andy. He forgot his wallet and ran out to his car to grab it, meanwhile I stood inside waiting, observing, contemplating. Near the entrance of the store there was a huge Valentine's section/stand, where people could buy flowers, cards, chocolates, and other such nonsense. Each man was awkwardly looking for the perfect arrangement of flowers, the perfect box of chocolates, that perfect card to share his sentiments. A little beyond this stand stood the embittered single lads glaring caustically at the men at the stand. Their disdain was palpable. I was in observational heaven. The single men were increasingly aware of the ones at the stand, while the ones at the stands were completely oblivious to the vibes of hatred being sent their way.

I'm not afraid to admit that Valentine's Day is not one of my favorite holidays. I think its damaging to the psyche of so many. Mine as well, and I even had a valentine that I spent the evening with! Let us each become more aware of the damage being done, and acquiesced to being more gracious in our dealings to the singles in our lives on Valentine's day. And while we're doing that. . . lets show our love more often than just V-day. . . huh. I mean. . . come on people! I will continue to struggle to overcoming the damage caused by this horrendous day but--such is life!