Thursday, January 31, 2008

Vote Chooser

Need help deciding which candidate to support in 2008. has a 10 question quiz that makes it pretty easy. Whoever your candidate of choice is, I encourage everyone to get involved in the election process. You need to vote to make your voice heard.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Let Them Eat...Dirt

For all the complaining we are doing about the economy, we should be lucky that we are blessed by the best we don't live in Haiti (or any 3rd world country for that matter).

In hungry Haiti, dirt is food

By JONATHAN M. KATZ, Associated Press Writer 21 minutes ago

It was lunchtime in one of Haiti's worst slums, and Charlene Dumas was eating mud.

With food prices rising, Haiti's poorest can't afford even a daily plate of rice, and some take desperate measures to fill their bellies.

Charlene, 16 with a 1-month-old son, has come to rely on a traditional Haitian remedy for hunger pangs: cookies made of dried yellow dirt from the country's central plateau.

The mud has long been prized by pregnant women and children here as an antacid and source of calcium. But in places like Cite Soleil, the oceanside slum where Charlene shares a two-room house with her baby, five siblings and two unemployed parents, cookies made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening have become a regular meal.

"When my mother does not cook anything, I have to eat them three times a day," Charlene said. Her baby, named Woodson, lay still across her lap, looking even thinner than the slim 6 pounds 3 ounces he weighed at birth.

Though she likes their buttery, salty taste, Charlene said the cookies also give her stomach pains. "When I nurse, the baby sometimes seems colicky too," she said.

Food prices around the world have spiked because of higher oil prices, needed for fertilizer, irrigation and transportation. Prices for basic ingredients such as corn and wheat are also up sharply, and the increasing global demand for biofuels is pressuring food markets as well.

The problem is particularly dire in the Caribbean, where island nations depend on imports and food prices are up 40 percent in places.

The global price hikes, together with floods and crop damage from the 2007 hurricane season, prompted the U.N. Food and Agriculture Agency to declare states of emergency in Haiti and several other Caribbean countries. Caribbean leaders held an emergency summit in December to discuss cutting food taxes and creating large regional farms to reduce dependence on imports.

At the market in the La Saline slum, two cups of rice now sell for 60 cents, up 10 cents from December and 50 percent from a year ago. Beans, condensed milk and fruit have gone up at a similar rate, and even the price of the edible clay has risen over the past year by almost $1.50. Dirt to make 100 cookies now costs $5, the cookie makers say.

Still, at about 5 cents apiece, the cookies are a bargain compared to food staples. About 80 percent of people in Haiti live on less than $2 a day and a tiny elite controls the economy.

Merchants truck the dirt from the central town of Hinche to the La Saline market, a maze of tables of vegetables and meat swarming with flies. Women buy the dirt, then process it into mud cookies in places such as Fort Dimanche, a nearby shanty town.

Carrying buckets of dirt and water up ladders to the roof of the former prison for which the slum is named, they strain out rocks and clumps on a sheet, and stir in shortening and salt. Then they pat the mixture into mud cookies and leave them to dry under the scorching sun.

The finished cookies are carried in buckets to markets or sold on the streets.

A reporter sampling a cookie found that it had a smooth consistency and sucked all the moisture out of the mouth as soon as it touched the tongue. For hours, an unpleasant taste of dirt lingered.

Assessments of the health effects are mixed. Dirt can contain deadly parasites or toxins, but can also strengthen the immunity of fetuses in the womb to certain diseases, said Gerald N. Callahan, an immunology professor at Colorado State University who has studied geophagy, the scientific name for dirt-eating.

Haitian doctors say depending on the cookies for sustenance risks malnutrition.

"Trust me, if I see someone eating those cookies, I will discourage it," said Dr. Gabriel Thimothee, executive director of Haiti's health ministry.

Marie Noel, 40, sells the cookies in a market to provide for her seven children. Her family also eats them.

"I'm hoping one day I'll have enough food to eat, so I can stop eating these," she said. "I know it's not good for me."

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You Have No Power Over Me

Someone write that on a box of donuts. Considering how close we are to New Year's and resolutions, it's very a propos. But you know what it made me think of? It made me think of this:

and this

and this

Still don't know what I'm talking about. The movie is Labyrinth with a very young Jennifer Connelly and not so young David Bowie. I loved, loved, loved that movie. Gonna have to add it to the queue on NetFlix. For those that still don't remember, check out the trailer.

National Mental Health Care Week

I know it's not nice to make fun of those who have mental problems but this made me smile. So I apologize in advance for laughing but if you laugh too, that makes you just as bad.
This coming week is National Mental Health Care week.

Please post this new menu near the phone for the Voice Mail service on our switchboard has changed. This new menu allows for faster response to your special needs.

Mental Hospital Phone Menu

Please select from the following menu options:
  • If you are obsessive-compulsive, press 1 repeatedly.
  • If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2 for you.
  • If you have multiple personalities, press 3, 4, 5 and 6.
  • If you are paranoid, we know who you are and what you want, stay on the line so we can trace your call.
  • If you are delusional, press 7 and your call will be forwarded to the Mother Ship.
  • If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell you which number to press.
  • If you are manic-depressive, it doesn't matter which number you press, nothing will make you happy anyway.
  • If you are dyslexic, press 9696969696969696.
  • If you are bipolar, please leave a message after the beep or before the beep or after the beep. Please wait for the beep.
  • If you have short-term memory loss, press 9. If you have short-term memory loss, press 9. If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.
  • If you have low self-esteem, please hang up our operators are too busy to talk with you.
  • If you are menopausal, put the gun down, hang up, turn on the fan, lie down and cry. You won't be crazy forever.
  • If you are blonde, don't press any buttons, you'll just mess it up.
You can do your part by remembering to contact at least one unstable person to show you care.

Well, I did my part. it’s your turn now.

Know the Signs to Save a Life

Sometimes a little knowledge can make a difference.
STROKE: Remember The 1st Three Letters.... S.T.R.

My nurse friend sent this and encouraged me to post it and spread the word. I agree.
If everyone can remember something this simple, we could save some folks. Seriously... Please read.

During a BBQ, a friend stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) .....she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes.

They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Ingrid went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening.

Ingrid's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 pm Ingrid passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps In grid would be with us today. Some don't die.... they end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.

It only takes a minute to read this...A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke... totally . He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.

Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR . Read and Learn!

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
  1. Ask the individual to SMILE.
  2. Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE - Coherently. (i.e. It is sunny out today)
  3. Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 999/911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue
NOTE: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue.. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Delete, Delete, Delete

On another note, don't use company-issued electronics to conduct your extra-marital affair. Apparently, this is just one of the texts they found on Chief of Staff Christine Beatty's city-issued pager:
'You made me feel so damn good'

The Detroit Free Press obtained nearly 14,000 text messages from the pager of Christine Beatty, chief of staff of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, many of which describe a sexual relationship. Excerpts posted on the paper's Web site:

9/28/2002, 11:53 p.m.
Beatty: Where are you now?
Kilpatrick: At home waiting for all [executive protection unit officers] to leave. Where are you?
Beatty: At the residence inn in Madison hgts.
Kilpatrick: What rm?
Beatty: I'm in room 311 in bldg 3 in the back.

10/7/2002, 11:20 p.m.
Beatty: OK, I'm feeling like I want another night like the most recent Saturday at the Residence Inn! You made me feel so damn good that night. As you can see I can't let it go!

10/16/2002, 11:48 p.m.
Kilpatrick: I've been dreaming all day about having you all to myself for 3 days ... relaxing, laughing, talking, sleeping and making love.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for getting your freak on. It helps to be single or being freaky with your significant other.

Don't Hate the Playa?

This is an interesting story. Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick appears to have gotten "caught up" as the young folks say. According to my Detroit folks, Mayor Kilpatrick has all the attributes of a playa playa so I am interested to see how this situation pans out.

Detroit mayor's steamy texting puts him in Clinton-style scandal

PERJURY? | He swore he wasn't having affair with aide

January 25, 2008

DETROIT -- Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick bristled in the witness chair last year when asked whether he had an affair with a top aide. No, the mayor confidently told jurors, the two were never romantically involved.

But a trove of 14,000 text messages that emerged this week tell a different story: The mayor and his chief of staff carried on a flirty, sometimes sexually explicit dialogue about where to meet and how to conceal their numerous trysts.

Now the mayor's indiscretion has landed him in a Clinton-style scandal that could cost him his job and his law license and even bring perjury charges.

The Detroit Free Press did not explain how it obtained the messages, which were sent or received in 2002-03 from Chief of Staff Christine Beatty's city-issued pager.

The mayor's denial came last summer during testimony in a lawsuit filed by two police officers who alleged they were fired for investigating claims from two former bodyguards that the mayor used his security unit to cover up extramarital affairs.

'Profoundly embarrassing'

On the witness stand, the mayor also went on the offensive about the allegations, defending his reputation and that of Beatty. ''I think it was pretty demoralizing to her ... but it's demoralizing to me as well,'' he testified. ''My mother is a congresswoman. There have always been strong women around me. My aunt is a state legislator. I think it's absurd to assert that every woman that works with a man is a whore.''

Late Wednesday, Kilpatrick issued a more subdued statement. ''These five- and six-year-old text messages reflect a very difficult period in my personal life,'' he said. ''It is profoundly embarrassing to have these extremely private messages now displayed in such a public manner.''

Kilpatrick is married with three children. Beatty was married at the time and has two children.

Last summer's lawsuit ended with the jury awarding $6.5 million to the officers.

Judge Michael Callahan, who presided over the lawsuit, said it is up to prosecutors to decide whether to seek perjury charges against the mayor. The county prosecutor's office declined to comment on Thursday, but scheduled a news conference for today. AP

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Surprise! Surprise!

Actually, this isn't a surprise. This is a relief. If I had gotten a message that Amy Winehouse was found dead (instead of Heath Ledger), I wouldn't have been shocked. I know it's sad but it's true. Her problems with controlled substances are well documented. I hope that she is truly able to get the help she needs. She is a talented artist. In fact, she is one of my daughter's favorites.
Amy Winehouse enters drug rehab program

By DAVID STRINGER, Associated Press Writer

Amy Winehouse, beset by allegations of substance abuse, entered a rehabilitation facility Thursday to battle drug addiction.

The announcement came just days after the 24-year-old singer was pictured in British tabloid The Sun inhaling fumes from a small pipe. Police have launched an inquiry into the matter.

"Amy decided to enter the facility today after talks with her record label, management, family and doctors," Universal Music Group said in a statement.

"She has come to understand that she requires specialist treatment to continue her ongoing recovery from drug addiction," the statement said.

Winehouse, who is nominated for six Grammy Awards for her acclaimed "Back to Black" album, seems to be as famous for her drug problems as for her music. Since the album's U.S. release last year, she has canceled a slew of appearances amid reports of drug use.

The album's most popular song, "Rehab," references her struggles, and is a defiant anthem against entering a treatment facility.

"Amy is the most talented and important musical artist of her generation and has made huge strides on her road to recovery," the statement said.

Universal said it hoped Winehouse would "come back to full health and fulfill her incredible potential with the label."

The statement also indicated Winehouse still planned to attend and perform at the Grammys, to be held Feb. 10 in Los Angeles.

She canceled a scheduled appearance Saturday at the NRJ music awards ceremony in France, Universal said.

According to The Sun, video of Winehouse apparently using drugs was shot before she attended a court hearing to see her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, appear on charges of assault and lying to police.

Winehouse was photographed walking outside her London home last month wearing only a bra and jeans, with no shoes, looking distressed.

Too Little, Too Late?

Not that I'm one to knock getting a tax rebate. I'm enthusiastically looking forward too it, I wonder if this will really be the shot in the arm that the economy needs.
Tax rebates deal announced

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer

Congressional leaders announced a deal with the White House Thursday on an economic stimulus package that would give most tax filers refunds of $600 to $1,200, and more if they have children.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress would act on the agreement — hammered out in a week of intense negotiations with Republican Leader John A. Boehner and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson — "at the earliest date, so that those rebate checks will be in the mail."

The rebates would go to 117 million families, according to a Democratic summary. That includes $28 billion in checks to 35 million working families who wouldn't have been helped by Bush's original proposal, the analysis estimated.

Republicans, for their part, were pleased that the bulk of the rebates — more than 70 percent, according to an analysis by Congress' Joint Tax Committee — would go to individuals who pay taxes.

Individuals who pay income taxes would get up to $600, working couples $1,200 and those with children an additional $300 per child under the agreement. Workers who make at least $3,000 but don't pay taxes would get $300 rebates.

The rebate part of the plan would cost about $100 billion, aides said. The package also includes close to $50 billion in business tax cuts.

The package would allow businesses to immediately write off 50 percent of purchases of plants and other capital equipment and permit small businesses to write off additional purchases of equipment. A Republican-written provision to allow businesses suffering losses now to reclaim taxes previously paid was dropped.

Pelosi, D-Calif., agreed to drop increases in food stamp and unemployment benefits during a Wednesday meeting in exchange for gaining the rebates of at least $300 for almost everyone earning a paycheck, including those who make too little to pay income taxes.

"I can't say that I'm totally pleased with the package, but I do know that it will help stimulate the economy. But if it does not, then there will be more to come," Pelosi said.

Boehner said the agreement "was not easy for the two of us and our respective caucuses." He added, "The two caucuses have to come together and to work in a bipartisan way and to reach a compromise that I think is in the best interest of the American people."

Paulson said he would work with the House and Senate to enact the package as soon as possible because "speed is of the essence."

The Treasury Department has already been talking to the IRS about getting the checks out "as quickly as possible, recognizing that the tax filing season is ongoing," said Treasury spokesman Andrew DeSouza.

The rebates would phase out gradually for individuals whose income exceeds $75,000 and couples with incomes above $150,000, aides said. Individuals with incomes up to $87,000 and couples up to $174,000 would get partial rebates. The caps are higher for those with children.

The agreement left some lawmakers in both parties with a bitter taste, complaining that their leaders had sacrificed too much in the interest of striking a deal. Many senior Democrats were particularly upset that the package omitted the unemployment extension.

"I do not understand, and cannot accept, the resistance of President Bush and Republican leaders to including an extension of unemployment benefits for those who are without work through no fault of their own," Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., the Ways and Means Committee chairman, said in a statement.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the Finance Committee Chairman, said leaving out the unemployment extension was "a mistake," as he announced plans to craft a separate stimulus package in the Senate.


Stimulus package: What's in and out

By The Associated Press

Congressional leaders have reached a deal with the White house on a bipartisan economic stimulus package that is expected to move swiftly through Congress and give most tax filers rebates of $600 to $1,200.


_Tax rebates: Checks of at least $300 for almost everyone earning a paycheck, including low-income earners who make too little to pay income taxes, so long as they earned at least $3,000 in 2007. Families with children would receive an additional $300 per child, while those paying income taxes could receive higher rebates. The full rebate would be limited to individuals earning $75,000 or less and couples with incomes of $150,000 or less, but a partial rebate would go to individuals earning up to $87,000 and couples earning up to $174,000. The caps are higher for people with children.

_Business tax write-offs: Spurring business investments with so-called bonus depreciation and more generous expensing rules.

_Housing rescue: Allow more subprime mortgage holders to refinance into federally insured loans by raising the limit on Federal Housing Administration loans from $362,000 to as high as $729,750 in expensive areas. Increase the availability of mortgages by providing a one-year boost to the cap on loans that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy, from $417,000 up to $729,750 in high-cost markets.


_Permanent tax cuts: Republicans conceded that their top priority would have to be left out.

_Unemployment insurance: Democrats wanted to extend benefits past 26 weeks.

_Food stamps: A boost for benefits.

_Medicaid: Democrats gave up on including Medicaid payments to states.

_Low-income heating subsidies: Democrats are surrendering the fight to include them.

_Infrastructure spending: Spending on transportation or repair projects already under way is off the table.

_Republicans' proposal to allow businesses suffering losses now to reclaim taxes previously paid was dropped.

(This version CORRECTS housing numbers in paragraph 6.) )

New candy bar offers more than just a sugar high

As if Snickers needed more than peanuts to satisfy, now there's this:
DENVER – If you thought your kids got a sugar high from other candy bars, wait until they get their hands on this one.

Snickers announced its new candy bar which promises to wallop a kick of energy. No longer just packed with peanuts, the new Snickers Charged also contains caffeine, along with taurine and B-vitamins.

The bar contains 60 milligrams of caffeine. By comparison, it would be about two-thirds the amount of caffeine found in a cup of coffee, which contains about 95 milligrams. The average soft drink has 20 to 30 milligrams of caffeine and an energy drink usually has about 160 milligrams, according to Snickers.

The new candy bar has the same taste as a traditional Snickers, according to officials with the company, and is a low glycemic index food. The company says the new candy bar provides a slower release of energy that has a stable effect on blood sugar.

The new bars will hit selected stores this month.

(Copyright KUSA*TV contributed to this report. Copyright Associated Press, All Rights Reserved)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

His Breakup Excuses - Decoded

I heard the following on the Tom Joyner Morning Show yesterday and I had to post about it. This piece was written by Lisa Lombardi. Lisa is a writer and editor in New York.

How many of us have gotten these lines? How many of them have you given? I hope this is useful information for someone so that you can grow from your newly ended relationship and move on with a clear conscience.

Here, we reveal what men really mean when they use these five lines.

“It's not you, it's me.” “I need some space.” “It’s a crazy time at work…” Ever wondered what guys are really thinking when they toss out one of those hackneyed breakup lines? To find out, we asked experts and real guys to give it to us straight.

He says: “It’s not you, it’s me.”
Translation: “This means: It is you,” says Scott Haltzman, M.D., a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Brown University. “You’re not to his taste, and you might as well move on.” By dusting off this George Costanza classic, he’s trying to soften the blow (as if an amazing woman like you needs the blow softened!). But before you get too steamed, consider this his attempt to shoulder the blame—which he wouldn’t do unless he really respects you, says Rick Blaiser, 31, a writer in New York. “We save this line for girls we consider cool and maybe even want to stay friends with.”

He says: “I need my space.”
Translation: You’re, um, kind of driving him nuts. Yep, he feels smothered, but the good news is it may have absolutely nothing to do with you. “Many men have a fierce independent streak, and when they start to feel that they’re losing their autonomy, they do what any caged animal naturally seeks to do—escape!” says Haltzman. It could be that the relationship is moving too fast emotionally or sexually, or you're seeing each other too often, adds L. Joan Allen, author of Celebrating Single and Getting Love Right. (In some cases, backpedaling and giving him space may ease his relationship claustrophobia.)

Sometimes, however, a guy feels suffocated when you’re not even coming on too strong. “Being in love is a form of losing control,” explains Haltzman. “If your guy’s not used to it, there’s a good chance as he starts to get too close he may feel an instinct to pull away.” (So that explains those dudes who call you three times a day, drop by every night—then tell you you’re crowding them!) This breed of breakup sometimes doesn’t stick, notes Haltzman: “If he’s balking at making a deeper emotional connection, sometimes a little space will change his mind.” So if you’re hoping for a reconciliation, your best bet is to get on with your life—and let him figure out for himself how lonely his life is without you.

He says: “Work is crazy—I don't have time for a relationship right now.”
Translation: He’s just not that into you. Work may be busy, sure. But “if you’re important enough to him, he’ll find a way to fit you into his schedule,” says Haltzman. Lots of important men manage to juggle a job and a relationship: Look at Donald and Melania! Ah-naald and Maria! “Ask yourself this: If Halle Berry came to your guy’s door in the middle of his ‘crazy work schedule,’ would he send her packing?” says Haltzman. “If the answer is ‘no’ then you’ve got to wonder why he could find time for Halle and not you.” You also have beauty, brains, talent—the only thing she has on you are a few stinking statues. If he can’t see your worth, he’s not worthy of you. Next!

He says: “I think we should see other people.”
Translation: He loves sex with you, but he would like it with other women, too. Take it from John Brown, 36, a screenwriter in Los Angeles, who admits to having a “friend” who has pulled this stunt. "When a guy says he thinks you should see other people, he wants to ‘see’ if you'd be willing to let him sleep with other girls, guilt-free," he explains. “He thinks you’re hot—if he didn’t, he’d completely end things—but he doesn’t want all the obligations that come with being your boyfriend.” Ouch! (Remember: John Brown’s just the messenger, people…)

He says: “You're too good for me.”
Translation: He’s a dog—and he knows it. When a guy says you deserve a better boyfriend, run—yes, run—the other way. “Most people overestimate their value,” notes Haltzman. “They think they deserve the raise or to be chosen as the next American Idol. So if a man tells you he’s not worthwhile, he’s probably right.” This bad-news dude is flat-out telling you that he doesn’t put much stock in what it takes to make a relationship work: honesty, trust, little things like fidelity, says Haltzman. Bottom line: “Believe him and thank him for saving you from a lifetime of misery," says Allen.

A Poem About Our Girlfriends

I don't think we always realize how important our girlfriends are to us. I thought this was great and wanted to share.

Someone will always be prettier.
Someone will always be smarter.
Some of their houses will be bigger.
Some will drive a better car.
Their children will do better in school.
And their husband will fix more things around the house.
So let it go, and love you and your circumstances.
Think about it!
The prettiest woman in the world can have hell in her heart.
And the most highly favored woman on your job may be unable to have children.
And the richest woman you know, she's got the car, the house, the clothes might be lonely.
"If I have not Love, I am nothing."
So, again, love you.
Love who you are.
Look in the mirror in the morning and smile and say,
"I am too Blessed to be Stressed and too Anointed, to be Disappointed!"
"Winners make things happen, Losers let things happen."
Be "Blessed" Ladies and pass this on to encourage another woman.
"To the world you might be one person, but to the one person you just sent this to, it could mean so much."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New Year, New Look

I was tired of my current look. I saw some other blogs had nice set-ups and I was jealous. I wanted a nice set-up, too. Thanks to Mia over at The Blog Cafe, I am no longer jealous. Now others can be jealous of me. Let me know what you think. I'm still working out the kinks but overall, I'm tickled pink!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Under construction

My blog is going to get a facelift so I will be on hiatus for a little bit. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Mama Ain't Jokin'

This is awesome!
Looks like Mama is going to make him stand out there for a long time!
Ought to be a pretty good lesson, one not easily forgotten! Don't ya think?
He doesn't look very happy, like, maybe the lesson is already working, huh?

Be sure to look at all 3 pictures.

Now this is a seriously strict mom...

Don't mess with her...

We need more parents like her...GO MOM !!!

Friday, January 04, 2008

10 Tips For a Healthy Romantic Relationship

I didn't write these but I could have. My friend sent them to me from a message board on The author goes by the handle "dubfly". Thanks dubfly for your words of wisdom.
  1. COMMUNICATE- Relationships fail because couples talk about their relationship with everyone except one another. Your partner is not a mind reader, so always say what’s on your mind in a manner that will get through to them. Some people need communication to be point blank, most people need a sit down conversation, and others need the delivery to be nice and sweet. Once you know your lover, you’ll know how to communicate with them.
  2. GET WITH SOMEONE ON YOUR LEVEL- Relationships falter when people are on unequal planes. If you’re a lawyer, marrying someone who’s unemployed won’t work. The unemployed person won’t know what your job entails, and will start suspecting that you’re cheating on them, don’t love them, don’t like them, hate them, etc. In reality you don’t have much time for them because you have a significant amount of work to do. This is why entertainers get with entertainers, white-collar workers get with white-collar workers, and blue-collar workers get with blue-collar workers. Your mate must understand what you go through on a daily basis so that jealousy and tension don’t arise. The last thing you need is for your partner to say “ you ain’t shit” because your careers, and ultimately your lifestyles, aren’t parallel. If you work at McDonald’s, find a mate who does something similar to eliminate the jealousy, envy, leeching, and other problems that come with dating above or below your level. Research shows that couples who are on the same level, stay together longer than couples who aren’t, simply because they understand each other’s grind.
  3. KEEP YOURSELF UP- If your mate met you and you looked a certain way, you have an obligation to keep that look up or improve upon your looks. Nobody wants a dime piece to turn into a penny just because they got comfortable and then got sloppy.
  4. HAVE A DATE NIGHT- Whether you’re dating or married, set a night each week where you and your mate can have one on one time. We’re all so busy with functions, kids, work, and friends, that we neglect our partners. Your partner is a priority in your life, and should be treated as such. Schedule a weekly date night where it’s just the TWO of you. Date nights can be dinner and a movie, or it could be a night where the kids are with their grandparents, and you all are in a hotel room with a “DO NOT DISTURB” sign on the door.
  5. SHOW INTEREST IN YOUR PARTNER’S DAY- We are so consumed by our own daily successes and failures that we forget to ask our partner how their day went. Even if you don’t care, just ask!! It will make your partner feel valued, loved, respected, encouraged, and appreciated. Nobody likes conversations that revolve around one person, so stop being selfish and ask your mate how their day went. Try to care about your partner’s day if you currently don’t. I find this hard to do myself, but it’s not all about me in a relationship!!
  6. KNOW WHAT YOUR MATE WANTS OUT OF THE RELATIONSHIP- Does your mate want cohabitation? Does your mate want to casually date? Is your mate looking to tie the knot? Does your mate want to be friends with benefits? You must communicate with your partner about these issues before you catch feelings, and then catch heartbreak. Two major issues couples don’t discuss, is whether they want to get married, and whether they want to have children. By the first or second date these issues should be clarified. If a person’s answers aren’t sufficient for you, move on. One wasted night is better than one wasted year. Often men don’t want to get married, and often women don’t want to have kids. Know what you both want before you officially become an item.
  7. DON’T DISCUSS YOUR EX- Keep the past in the past. Nobody wants to hear about what your ex would have done, did do, or could do for you. Talking about your ex will make your mate jealous and suspicious, and it’s unnecessary. Discuss previous relationships in the beginning of your courtship to clear the air, but until your mate asks you a question regarding your ex, keep your mouth shut. Don’t get a person’s mind ruminating when you don’t have to.
  8. DON’T USE SEX AS A WEAPON- Too many of us use the **** and the ***** as a weapon against our mates. When they upset us, we withhold what they desire most. This is wrong. Talk your issues out. If you’re not in the mood for sex, be upfront about it, but don’t say, “because you forgot to pick up the dry cleaning, you aren’t going to hit it tonight.” Making love is an intimate event, and your genitalia should not be withheld just so you can get revenge on your significant other. If your mate can’t get it from you, they will eventually go elsewhere, and you’ll be to blame. Everyone has sexual urges that need to be fulfilled. Using one’s hand or one’s fingers for a few nights might be ok, but after a week of making your mate self pleasure, consider your relationship a wrap.
  9. HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON- Too many couples get involved with each other based off looks alone, and then realize that they have nothing in common. You may both be on the same level in terms of beauty, but if you have no interests in common the relationship won’t last. If you like to shop all day and your man enjoys going to football games, it won’t last. If your women likes to go to art exhibits on a Friday night and you’d rather sip Old E, the relationship won’t work. If you’re both into sports, the relationship will work. You can go to sporting events together, workout together, plan hiking trips together, shop for sporting equipment together, etc. You must have a lot in common with your mate for your relationship to grow. This includes professional ambitions as well. Are you trying to build an empire, while your mate is comfortable at the glass ceiling? This would be a problem. Know your mate, communicate, and try to have as much in common with them as possible.
  10. DON’T TRY AND CHANGE YOUR MATE- The saying “you can’t turn a hoe into a housewife,” is true. You can’t change people’s personalities to fit a mold that you want to caste them in. If you meet a woman who’s overweight, don’t make her join Weight Watchers just because you think she should shed a few pounds. If you wanted a skinny woman, you could have found one if you looked hard enough. If your man is undereducated when you meet him, don’t force him to go back to school just to impress your family and friends. If you wanted a highly educated man, you could have found one if you stepped up your dating game, and had a little more patience. The point is, none of us wants to be changed by our mates, especially over superficial bullshit. Trying to change your mate will cause resentment, which will ultimately leave your relationship like Michael Jackson’s current career.
  11. Bonus Tip: STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF- Don’t front folks. Always keep it as real as possible. You come first before any other person on earth. Too many of us get so wrapped up in our mates that we lose ourselves in the process. A lot of us are left with nothing when a relationship fizzles. We are left with no friends, because we neglected them to be with our lover. No family, because we cut them off to be with our partner.

Mother apologizes for ‘Hannah Montana’ hoax

I wasn't going to comment on this story because part of me thinks this is just S.O.S. (stuck on stupid). However, part of me gets really, really angry. What exactly are you teaching your child when she cheats and lies on an essay and wins a fantastic prize? That it's OK to lie and if you get caught all you have to say is sorry? Well I'm sorry because it's not OK and sorry doesn't fix everything. Essentially, this family committed fraud. On top of that they robbed some other deserving child of a well-deserved prize. I'm sure they have learned their lesson but parents the world over can use this as a great example to teach their children about how lies can hurt. OK - soapbox over.

I Believe in Miracles

If you didn't believe in miracles, here is a reason to do so:

Window washer talking after 47-story fall

Considering most people that fall more than 3 stories have a 50/50 chance of survival, I acknowledge this as an act of God. Nuff said!