The Mask of the Fumanchu

What happens when you give one hundred and fifty 14 year olds 45 cans of shaving cream? Possibilities are endless…you black out, you play with them, you eat it, you smell like shaving cream for a week, and the list continues. That is what happened last night, some may call it a lapse in judgement, but in the end its just big, fun, and messy. So next time you’re shaving, think about what else you could be doing with that white creamy foam.

-The average shave will trim away somewhere between 20,000-25,000 hairs from a man’s face.
-Shaving cream tastes bad and stings when it gets in your eyes.
-November is National Beard Growing Month. There are 35 types of beards.
-The Pharaohs of Egypt liked a good shave every now and then with their gold and silver razors. It is said shaving was a fetish of theirs.
-Only about 30% of men who shave use an electric device to shave.
– Men take note: If you wet shave, it’s as good as using an exfoliating product because the process removes dead skin cells promoting healthier skin.
-It is believed that caveman used clams and shark teeth to shave with in the Stone Age.
-Nearly 70% of American women prefer a clean-shaven man. That includes myself
-Some archeologists think that warriors shaved their heads before battles so opponents didn’t have any hair to pull…and didn’t allow for scalping, maybe?
-Percent of men who shave once a day? 90%
-Men spend about 5 months of their lives shaving = 20,000 individual shaves. I bet it is more for women, but no website wanted to help me out.

Interview: Part 2

A common complaint that we hear from our women subscribers is “where are all the good men?” Some of them seem frustrated, lost, confused and have even lost hope that they can find a decent man to share their life with. While part of this could be attributed to past relationship disappointments and hurts, some attribute their lack of success with their own feeling of self-worth and physical appearance. Even when they find a man that they are attracted to and they really like, the lack of self belief along with their inner skeptic tends to drive the man away from them. How can women overcome this negative mindset and lack of belief that they would ever be able to find a decent man for themselves? What are some things that they can do to improve their self worth so that they truly believe that they deserve a quality man rather than feeling unworthy when they happen to meet one?

We deserve the best and should not have to settle, but unfortunately we believe the lies we see all around us. Everyday we are inundated with images of thin, tan, perfectly toned hotties and we believe we are supposed to somehow look like her. It is everywhere and we can’t get away from it. So what happens, we see these images enough and we start to think that is what everyone looks like. Then we start to look at our own selves and notice that we aren’t as young, pretty, rich, skinny, and our hair isn’t as shiny. We are falling in the trap. We see more, we fall farther. It’s a cycle and the only way out of the trap is to change our pattern of thinking and our ideas of who culture tells us we are.

Stop looking at others and turn your eyes on yourself. You have a lot to offer but until you believe you are worth it and change your outlook you won’t believe you are good enough and neither will the kind of man you want to attract. What are you good at? What do you enjoying doing? What are your values? What do you like about yourself? Know who you are and what you want because if you don’t then it doesn’t allow you to set the bar for the kind of man you want to meet.

If many of the women we see in media everyday had true self worth, they wouldn’t be all over the media. What we see everyday dictates what the norm is. We let culture tell us what it means to be beautiful. The problem is, is limits the idea of beautiful to a thin and narrow road. Celebrate what makes you who you are. Just like we all have different taste in men, men have different taste in women. Find your worth not in what society tells us to but in what makes you feel alive. Our true self worth comes from our identity. Once we can find our identity that allows us to know who we are, increase our self worth, boost confidence, and give us a reality check that we are worth it.

Women are constantly falling into a trap because we don’t believe in who we are and that we are good enough for a great man. When the truth is we are absolutely good enough for a man, especially a well deserving one.

 

It’s the EYE of the Tiger

Eyes are important. I have learned that the last two weeks while suffering from some allergic reaction in my eye lids that I picked up while riding in the back of a truck across the country of Uganda. The doctor said I must have been around a lot of dust. As a matter of fact, I came home covered in an orange tint each day from the dust. So I have been sporting my glasses the last two weeks which I have grown quite fond of. In the spirit of my spectacles I’ve decided to dazzle you with EYE facts.

-The largest eyeball in the whole Earth is on the Giant Squid and is 18 inches across. Picture a beachball. Then imagine the squid chasing you in the depths.
-An ostrich may lay the biggest egg of all the birds, but it’s eye is only 2 inches across and weighs more than it’s brain.
-An ant has two eyes, and each of those is composed of many smaller eyes
-A worm has no eyes at all, and that is why you find them dried up on the pavement
-A chameleon’s eyes can look in different directions at the same time. Little cockeyed.
-Guinea pigs are born with fur and with their eyes open. Amniotic fluid in the eyeballs! YIKES
-Babies cry but don’t produce tears until 1-3 months after birth.
-Each of our eyelashes has a life span of approximately five months
-The eye muscles are the most active muscles in the body
-A blink of the eye lasts 1/10 of a second
-A frog uses its eyes to help push food down its’ throat.

Watch out! The yellow ones don’t stop!

Spring Break as an adult is even better than being a child. It gives me the freedom to take excursions to places like DC, NYC, and Sea Island. I think the worst decision I have made to date was paying $26 for a stupid bike taxi that didn’t even get me to where I needed to go. Not to mention, my life was in danger as he weaved in and out of traffic then cut a bus off. I got better at hailing yellow taxis after that.
-The bike taxi (Rickshaw) was invented to transport a ministers invalid wife. I almost became an invalid.
-According to the planetarium I visited, the Moon was created in a month.
-On average, during a 12 hour shift a taxi driver will cover 180 miles.
-Chinatown is the largest Chinese enclave in the Western Hemisphere.
-Cabs are the color yellow because a study was done that yellow is the easiest color to spot.
-There is a $200 fine for taxi drivers found using their cell phones while driving.
-There are 8,968 benches in Central Parks. There are also $2 hotdogs that make a good breakfast.
-Average fair for a taxi passenger is $6.  My average was probably $15. Leading to the reason I would walk 70 blocks each day.
-There are 102 floors in the Empire State Building. Cousin John and I only made it to 86 in the drizzle and fog.
-From 1789-1790, NYC was the US capitol. That didn’t last very long.
-Broadways official name is Highway 9 and is one of the world’s longest streets at 150 miles. And the most congested part of that is probably at Times Square with all the solo picture takers.

Interview Series: Part 1

Over the next several weeks I will share a series of interview questions I was asked regarding relationships for a relationship blog. I have spread them out so it’s not a lot of information all at once and you can absorb one before moving on to the next. They are also short enough so you can still read in those brief moments you have waiting in line at the bank, for a train, or waiting on that chronically late friend at Starbucks. I’ll go ahead and give you the first one so you have an idea what you’re waiting for 🙂

A common complaint that we hear from our women subscribers is “where are all the good men?” Some of them seem frustrated, lost, confused and have even lost hope that they can find a decent man to share their life with. While part of this could be attributed to past relationship disappointments and hurts, some attribute their lack of success with their own feeling of self-worth and physical appearance. Even when they find a man that they are attracted to and they really like, the lack of self belief along with their inner skeptic tends to drive the man away from them. How can women overcome this negative mindset and lack of belief that they would ever be able to find a decent man for themselves? What are some things that they can do to improve their self worth so that they truly believe that they deserve a quality man rather than feeling unworthy when they happen to meet one?

We deserve the best and should not have to settle, but unfortunately we believe the lies we see all around us. Everyday we are inundated with images of thin, tan, perfectly toned hotties and we believe we are supposed to somehow look like her. It is everywhere and we can’t get away from it. So what happens, we see these images enough and we start to think that is what everyone looks like. Then we start to look at our own selves and notice that we aren’t as young, pretty, rich, skinny, and our hair isn’t as shiny. We are falling in the trap. We see more, we fall farther. It’s a cycle and the only way out of the trap is to change our pattern of thinking and our ideas of who culture tells us we are.

Stop looking at others and turn your eyes on yourself. You have a lot to offer but until you believe you are worth it and change your outlook you won’t believe you are good enough and neither will the kind of man you want to attract. What are you good at? What do you enjoying doing? What are your values? What do you like about yourself? Know who you are and what you want because if you don’t then it doesn’t allow you to set the bar for the kind of man you want to meet.

If many of the women we see in media everyday had true self worth, they wouldn’t be all over the media. What we see everyday dictates what the norm is. We let culture tell us what it means to be beautiful. The problem is, is limits the idea of beautiful to a thin and narrow road. Celebrate what makes you who you are. Just like we all have different taste in men, men have different taste in women. Find your worth not in what society tells us to but in what makes you feel alive. Our true self worth comes from our identity. Once we can find our identity that allows us to know who we are, increase our self worth, boost confidence, and give us a reality check that we are worth it.

Women are constantly falling into a trap because we don’t believe in who we are and that we are good enough for a great man. When the truth is we are absolutely good enough for a man, especially a well deserving one.

 

I bless the rains down in Africa

I have always wanted to disappear (like Alexander Supertramp without the ending) and that’s kinda what I did three weeks ago. I went to rural Uganda (East Africa) with 13 other people for two weeks with no electricity, running water, or anything ” ‘merican”. Our group spent 3 days training YoungLife leaders, 8 days living in a village, then the last few rafting The Nile. We kept a running list of “Ugandanisms” and I would like to share my favorites so you can stay up to date on Uganda, the Motherland. (It’s long but it can count for the last two Fridays)

I knew I was in Uganda because…

1. Your circa 1968 van breaks down and the guys have to get out and push/run along side the van to get it into “town”. Later, the axle breaks in half. May be time to put the van into the classic car museum.
2. When you feel like you are in a high-speed chase while driving down a one-lane dirt road with a big IZUZU truck tailing you only to pass you on the right with a 6-inch margin. Safety first.
3. You take a big bucket of water to the outhouse to wash down anything that may not have made it into the big hole
4. The police come to your New Years celebration not because of a noise ordinance (those don’t exist) but because they want to join the fun. And they continue to stop by every night
5. When your trip leader doesn’t want to be called by his name anymore but insists on being called “Daddy”
6. Shower time (a basin) is a community affair with all the village children watching.
7. When you start blending in with the Africans because of the dirt caking your face after truck rides. And your hair sticks up making you look like a lion.
8. You are greeted at a Young Life club with 50 people swamping the truck and then getting hoisted into the air in a parade through town
9. When you try to go to the bathroom but the only semi private place is next to a feeding hog and people are still able to watch (and they do). You go anyway.
10. Picking your nose at any time is acceptable. And brown boogers are normal..
11. You are able to differentiate each rooster’s cock-a-doodle from the chicken coop starting at 4:30 a.m. each morning.
12. You go to the well to collect water and all the women laugh at you while you try to put the 70 pound bucket on your head
13. It is not against the law to ride 20 deep in the bed of a truck meant for two
14. You don’t look twice when you see someone walking down the street carrying an AK-47.
15. You always carry a headlamp and toilet paper
16. When they say 30 minutes, it usually means at least an hour, but probably 3 hours—it’s called “Africa Time”
17. When the taxi horn is used 61 times within 5 minutes to warn pedestrians of the approaching vehicle. As if the cloud of dust stirring up isn’t enough.
18. When your raft flips over a class 5 rapid and you find yourself scattered across the monstrous river Nile in whirlpools without any sense of direction.
19. When you feel accomplished after you look at the 12 foot waterfall you just dropped down
20. When it hails for the second time in 11 years on the river and you have to get in the water to protect yourself against the gumball size pellets.
21. The first time you have the option to shower in two weeks you opt not to because the river put you though a freaking washing machine

Another Yuck, Resentment

Yuck, resentment. That’s not a word you want to describe you or your partner in a relationship. Not to mention, those are pretty intense feelings to have towards someone you are intimately involved with. Do you feel locked into a relationship you don’t want to be in? Or do you feel like you’re in it because that was the best option at the time and now you don’t know how to get out? And is the resentment something you can work through or not? All million dollar questions and ones you want to take a close look at and figure out where to go from here.

First, what is the resentment stemming from? Was someone unfaithful? Or one thing led to another and now you have a child together and getting married was better than raising a child alone? Is there an addiction? Is there abuse? Or, you’re just not certain, you just really resent this person right now? Pin down whatever this reason is. If it is a case of your safety, find a way out immediately. Talk to someone. If it’s not a question of safety, why is this causing you so much anger towards your partner? And remember, this is in your control, only you can change the current state of things. Holding onto resentment will not only affect your relationship with this person, but everyone else as well because resentment is that powerful.

Is the resentment something you have communicated at all or is it silent resentment? Talk about it. Nothing will be resolved as long as no one is working towards a resolution. Or maybe it is something you both acknowledge but don’t talk about it. That’s a poison and will only grow stronger.

Can you and do you want to work through this? If you do want to work through it, I suggest professional help because it will only get worse and resentment is so strong it can tear you down. If you aren’t willing to work through it, do something about it. There is no sense in living this way because it is stealing your well being. Make a change because this is your life and you control how you handle it.

A fried egg on top and Spam

The other day I got to thinking, I have never tried SPAM. I mean really, why would that have ever been a staple in my diet or would I have any reason to try it. That all changed last night. I had kids make Spam sculptures at Young Life and decided to try some of the spam at the end. Let’s just say it does taste like meat, its bright pink, kinda peels in layers, and looks like playdoh. All that being said, I didn’t swallow very much and spit the rest of it out in chunks. Then I learned much more about Spam that I will share…

-Spam was developed by George A. Hormel & Co. and first marketed in 1937. When real meat was hard to come by why not eat chopped pork shoulder.
-Residents of Hawaii eat an average of four cans of SPAM per person per year, more than in any other place on Earth. Probably in the galaxy too.
-SPAM is sold in over 99% of U.S. grocery stores. Want to find it, look on the Peanut Butter/canned drink aisle (next to the canned sardines)
-Over 60 million people in the U.S. eat SPAM. Most of them shop out of 7-11 where they play elevator music.
-SPAM is made in two U.S. locations – Austin, Minnesota, and Fremont, Nebraska (typical) – and seven other countries: England, Australia, Denmark, Phillipines, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.
-The 1 billionth can of spam was sold in 1959. That means that they have sold more than McDonalds.
-Who knew that Spam had a mascot? His name (they’re creative) Spammy, the miniature pig.
-Richard LeFevre holds the world record for eating SPAM by eating 6 pounds in 12 minutes. And he probably ralphed it all up about 2 minutes later.

So what’s in it? Ingredients:

Chopped pork shoulder meat with ham meat added.
Salt (for binding, flavor, and firmness)
Water (aid in mixing)
Sugar (flavor)
Sodium Nitrite (color and as a preservative so it can sit on shelves for years at a time)

13 Reasons Why, why?

As an educator, counselor and a cheerleader for mental health, I’m disheartened at the momentum of the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.” I know it’s based on the book 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, and he meant no harm in writing the book just as Netflix as intended no harm in picking up the popular book and turning it into a series. I was so curious what the buzz was about I spent 13 hours of the past week watching the series to see what exactly teenagers are latching onto. What I saw was vindictive, graphic, and an inaccurate portrayal of depression as an illness. I had to cover my eyes at parts because it was too gut wrenching to watch.

The issues in this series, suicide, sexual assault, and mental illness are worth discussing and opening up dialog about, but not in this way. What I saw was the glamorized Hollywood version that sensationalizes these topics. It doesn’t bring the awareness component (I think/hope) Netflix may have been striving for. It missed the mark. It doesn’t discuss what to do when sexual assault occurs. Or when you have a friend who you think may have an alcohol problem. Or, maybe most important, how to help a friend who may be in danger of harming themselves. 13 Reasons Why simply masked it all.

Pain is something we are meant to feel. However, there are points when it seems to be too much and there are always other alternatives. Talk to someone, write, listen to music, get outside, volunteer….if you have tried everything, you still have options. Below are some resources:

Table for 1, please…

Single. Just one. On your own. It can be a scary thought. Especially when you feel like couples are all around you. Maybe you are one of those couples and you think staying together unhappy is better than being single. Or dating someone who is lackluster is better than dating no one at all. Happiness and singleness can’t go together, BUT they do.

So you’re single; there is power in being single. Think about it. Your time belongs to you. If you don’t want to go home after work, you don’t have to. If you want to make a last minute decision, you can. If you want to go to dinner with a group of friends, go for it. You make your schedule. You control what you do, who you see, what you spend your money on, and you get to go on all sorts of dates. It either goes well or it doesn’t and now you have a good story. Being single offers you freedom.

Maybe you’re in a relationship with someone you know you’ve got one (or two or three) up on. But being with him seems to make more sense because at least you still have someone to bring when you have that +1 option. You’re probably less than satisfied and leaving your happiness in this dudes control. Sure, getting out means you’ve got to start over somewhere new, but at some point you’re going to have to do it. Why not now before the water gets any deeper?

I had a talk with a friend recently who has been having trouble in her relationship and she felt alone. Being alone on an island by yourself is one thing, but when you feel alone on an island with someone, that is worse. Don’t be afraid of what singleness means, it’s opportunity for growth and your own self discovery.