He’s 75 Today, But His Contributions are Timeless

by Kristie LeVangie

Seventy-five years ago, a woman gave birth to one of the most influential icons of American fashion.

Born in New York in 1939 as Ralph Lifshitz, Ralph was the son of a house painter and came from humble beginnings. His first foray into fashion began in high school where he sold neckties to his fellow classmates.

At age 16, he would change his name to the iconic Ralph Lauren.  He didn’t like his given name because it had the word “shit” in it as he would tell Oprah in a later interview.  He was often made fun of for this.

After high school, Ralph went on to Baruch College where he began to study business.  Two years later, he would drop out and serve in the U.S. Army.  He left the Army to work a brief stint at Brooks Brothers before landing a job in a tie company as a salesman.

At age 26, he was inspired to begin designing his own ties and pitched an idea for a wide European-style necktie to his company.  It was rejected, so he left to break out on his own.

Working out of The Empire State Building, Lauren took rags and turned them into his own designed neckties.  He would then sell them to small New York shops until his fate turned when Neiman Marcus placed an order for 100 dozen!

Just one year later, he would open his own necktie store where he would sell ties under the label of “Polo” with the backing of the famous clothing manufacturer, Norman Hilton.

Four years later, Ralph expanded his line and opened a boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

In 1970, Ralph Lauren would go on to win the COTY Award for his menswear line and enter the realm of women’s fashion introducing a line of tailored suits.  This was also the debut of the iconic Polo logo.

His famous Polo shirt would be unveiled in 1972 and was available in 24 colors.  Today, this is still a classic staple of the Lauren line.

Fast forward to 1997, the Ralph Lauren Corporation became a public company.

Ralph_Lauren_2013Today, one man’s dream to sell neckties has turned into a billion dollar business, and Forbes places Lauren as the 19th richest person in the world with over 35 U.S. boutiques and many other retailers carrying the Ralph Lauren label.

Ralph Lauren exemplifies an individual who strived to reach his goals despite the obstacles and haters placed in front of him.  He knew what he wanted, and he set out to get it through hard work and raw talent.

Ralph Lauren, we salute you as an inspiration and raise a glass to 75 years of awesome!

clothing-brands-for-mentop-10-costliest-clothing-brands-for-men-flavors-of-thought-qeww5fld

0918ralphlauren

Chicken and Biscuits Casserole

Pitmaster Jimi James

 

 

by Pitmaster Jimi James

 

Well this week, I’m feeling a little under the weather with a sinus cold, so I decided that instead of chicken noodle soup from a can, I would be more creative and make something that would stick to my ribs.

Ribs– now that’s a previous article, you can check that one out here.

Back to this dinner though.

This is a meal that is quick and easy, packed with flavor, and everyone will love it!!!

The best part is you can put it together in a matter of minutes. This is the perfect dish for fall, the cold weather that is ahead, busy evenings, or you could bring it to a friend/family member just for the hell of it.

Here is what you’ll need:

First, let’s grab an 11×7 baking dish and a cookie sheet.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and grab these:.

  • 1 (10.5 oz) can of broccoli cheese soup
  • 1 (10.5 oz) can of cream of potato soup
  • 2/3 cup of whole milk
  • ½ tsp. seasoning salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 cups chicken, grilled and diced
  • 1 package biscuits (I used Pillsbury Grands)

Okay, let’s put this together, and you’ll be bashin’ before ya know it!!!!

1.)  Grill enough chicken for 2 cups. I used two breasts. Make sure you cook the chicken until done. Check with a thermometer. The internal temp should be 150 degrees.

2.) Once the chicken has cooled down a little (about 15 minutes), dice into bite-size pieces and set aside. Now, let’s move on to our next step.

3.) In a medium to large bowl, combine the broccoli cheese soup and cream of potato soup.

Soups

4.) Next we’re going to add the whole milk.  Then fold it together. Don’t over-mix, or you’ll break up the potatoes too much.

Milk

5.) Add in all the spices. I measure all my spices out on a paper plate and then add them to the mix I have started all at once.

6.) Add the mixed vegetables and carefully fold them in.

Vegetables

7.) Next, add in your diced chicken.  The mixture will look thick and creamy.

8.) Now get your 11×7 baking pan.  Pour the mixture in the pan, and level it out.

9.) Bake the mix for about 20 minutes, or until it’s bubbling.

10.) Now get those biscuits out, and put them on a cookie sheet. Follow the directions on the can of biscuits.

Biscuits

OOOOHHHHHH…it’s almost done at this point. Who’s hungry???

Let’s plate our meal.

I put my biscuit or biscuits on a plate and spoon the chicken casserole mixture over top.

Plate

That’s it!!!!! Now you can make something quick, easy, and delicious, and it won’t take you all day in the kitchen.

 

Stay hungry, my friends!!!  Until next time…

Dirty, Sexy, Monogamy: Scott and Laura’s Infinite Playlist

 by Laura Wize

Dating in your twenties teaches you to adjust your expectations…or at least it did with my experience. It taught me all the things that I didn’t want to continue in my thirties. I also had really awesome, scandalous, dirty, hot sex.

It’s true, and I can’t deny it.

I described myself much like Julia Roberts described herself in Pretty Woman– “A bum magnet. If there was bum within a file mile radius, he was mine”.

Strangely enough, some of the best sex I ever had was with those bums.

My twenties are coming to a close, and I finally found a great guy, Scott, who is not a bum. We’re in love and planning our future together. So what is wrong with me having a great guy? Nothing is wrong; I just had the expectation that we would be having this life-altering sex.

Don’t misunderstand.  We have good sex. I just want more.

If I plan on potentially marrying him, then it was on me to admit I needed more.

I got frustrated at the thought of even bringing up the topic.

I even began to wonder why is good sex attached to bad people. I always thought that when the stars magically aligned themselves, everything would be perfect.

Well, we had “the conversation,” and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. The conversation went something like this:

Me: I want to write about sex, but I feel like it will make you uncomfortable.

Scott: Why would it make me uncomfortable? You write about sex all the time.

Me: ‘Cause it’s about our sex life.

Scott: What you are you going to say?

Me: It will be about how to have a better sex life with your partner, and I’m my own test dummy. It’s not that it’s bad; it could just be better.

Scott: What will we do to make it better?

Me: Well I have some exercises in mind, books to read, and maybe go to an adult store.

The possibility of a trip to the Hustler store put him on the road to happiness, and I got his full consent as a test dummy. The thing you need to understand about Scott and I…we are total opposites.

I am upbeat, and he is a realist. My favorite movie is Moonstruck, and his is Last of the Mohicans.

I also think we have two different expectations of what should happen in the bedroom.

music_is_my_boyfriend_by_klamczuchaOur first small step towards understanding and big step towards multiple orgasms is Scott and Laura’s infinite playlist. We both love music, and I personally believe that what you listen to says everything about who you are and what you want. I think once we hear what the other person wants, it will make it easier to know what works for them. I asked him to come up with a playlist of five songs to describe what his ideal sexual experience is, and I would do the same.

Scott asked, “What if they are all raunchy songs?”

I just laughed and thought, “That will explain a lot.”

The playlist theory is to further explore each other’s unconscious needs. The things we want to describe but can’t because it is too hard.

Sexual expectations are similar to having an island mentality: you aren’t aware of what is happening in other places because, hell, you live in paradise.

I wanted to get a mutual understanding of our latitude and longitude as a couple.

Scott’s List:

  • Kelly- Sex Me
  • Teddy Pendergrass- Close the Door
  • Johnny Gill – Love in an Elevator
  • Eric Benet- Chocolate Legs
  • Silk- Freak Me

Laura’s List:

  • Maxwell- Sumthin Sumthin – Mello Smooth Mix
  • Raheem Devaugn- Garden of Love
  • Prince- Scandalous
  • Nine Inch Nails- Closer
  • Joe- Love Scene

After listening to Scott’s playlist, I came to the conclusion that he is eager to please his partner. He thinks of sex as a private intimate act that he wants to share with someone special.

Overall, the exercise was like reading the opposing team’s playbook– only in this case cheating is totally acceptable.

I think he liked it too.

And I think you have to be willing to make the sex in your relationship what you want.

As for Scott and I, only time can tell if our infinite playlist will get us from good to explosive. I feel like admitting we had a problem was the first step, and we’re better already.

More Than Sensual Massage

Johnny Jackhammer

 

 

by Johnny Jackhammer

 

Massage creates connection.

I don’t see massage as therapeutic and non-sexual, but I haven’t chosen to get a massage from a licensed therapist. I prefer to sooth my sore muscles with a hot whirlpool over a deep tissue grind.

I do, however, see massage as a sensual connection between people; an exchange of warmth and electricity through the touch of skin and firm caressing. And the best massage is focused on the experience and not any notion of a “happy ending” (more on that later.).

This leads me to sensation play, which is a fun twist to add to massage. My GoodWitchNorth and I have brought more variety to our practice over time, using different materials and tools to create unique sensations. I find things in surprising places – craft fairs, carnivals, sex shops, etsy . . . and “Google is your friend.”

Common Sense Moment

I recommend you try all of these on your own skin before you ever put any of them to the body of another person (your thigh can be a great playspace). You need to know how much pressure creates fun sensations and how much takes you too far.

Also, these items are not intended for blood play, but there is a danger of piercing thin skin. Be prepared for accidental blood. With the right touch, you won’t break skin but can give the sensation of being ripped. With the wrong touch, or if you inadvertently curl your hand, you might be able to draw blood in a thin scratch. Safety is paramount, so be sure to have aftercare items on hand like paper towels, cleansing wipes like you’ll find in a first aid kit, and antibiotic cream such as NeoSporin.

Vampire Gloves

DSC_0393

Slip these on and your partner will coo with a mix of caution and eagerness.

This is a leather glove that has thin needlepoints imbedded in the palms. With the right light touch, it creates a scratch sensation that tickles the nerves. Be sure to adjust the pressure of your touch to alternate between a teasing tickle and a good, hard scratch.

Start slow with a light touch, methodically getting firmer to match the reaction of your partner. Follow his or her feedback as you massage and apply.

They are designed for sensation, not blood. They are tough to clean, so if you plan to use them on multiple partners, please get multiple gloves.

Fingertip extensions

DSC_0397

I have seen several types of nail extenders, but I like this simple metal model. It isn’t particularly Goth, and it is clear that you intend to build a scratch.

With the right touch, these won’t pierce the skin as easily as the gloves. But a strong hand certainly can. One cool effect is the long red welts that you can bring up with a steady pull. Hot, sexy, and gives the right stimulus.

This is good once your massage partner is nicely warmed up and you need to give the sensations an extra kick. Drag your hand down their body in a steady pull, and you’ll scratch a nice sting wherever you go.

Use with caution, though. If you go too light, you’ll stimulate the nerves so much that any touch will result in a ticklish recoil. If that’s what you’re going for, you’ll have fun. If it’s not, then you’ll want to return to some firm hand massage to bring their sensation level back down again. You can have some fun with this ebb and flow.

The Talon

DSC_0391

I came across a talon hand brace while cruising the leathergoods at a Renaissance Faire. It caught my eye instantly and went on my hand for the rest of the day. I dreamed of ways I would rub down my lady, adding the scratch of the hard plastic nails at intervals and key moments.

When it came to massaging her, however, the talons were difficult and ineffective. It was close to a failure. Because they were connected to my hand but not my fingers, they couldn’t be easily controlled or directed. And because my fingers were curled underneath them, it was difficult to find the right pressure for a long, even scratch pattern. I thought I could learn to master it, but I wasn’t sure that the end result would be close to what I imagined.

Then I realized, while toying around on my lady’s back, what real life talons are used for. Their primary purpose is not for scratching. Their primary purpose is for holding something (or someone) in place. Oh, baby, now I was onto something!

Pressing my folded hand down, she could feel the tips of the talons pin her down. Any attempt to rise would result in a sharper piercing.   And putting myself at just the right angle gave me a delicious combination of control and opportunity.

Use the talon on your lover. Pin them down, whisper in their ear about how you are going to take them, and then take them. Then, use your cock (or strap-on), free hand, mouth, etc. to carry out your whispered promise.

Yeah, the talon is a fast favorite.

Happy Endings

My focus is on sexual expression, not massage therapy. In my viewpoint, you are doing it right if you and your partner become aroused. What to do with this is up to you, but the session is always better if orgasm is not the goal.

If cumming becomes desired, however, try to match the activity with the play that led up to it. If you back off of sensation play into traditional sensual massage, then honor that energy with a nice finger or hand job.

Maintain the mood.  Keep the pace. If you are massaging slowly, then work your hands on their sweet spot even slower. Let them build to a peak so softly that they cum in intense waves. If you are wrapped in intense rapture, say by pinning him or her down with your talon hands, then drive into them like there’s no escape. No matter what, match the mood and have a blast.

Pun intended.

Back to Basics: Boiled Eggs

Pitmaster Jimi James

 

 

by Pitmaster Jimi James

 

I know we are going into fall, which by the way is the best season of all the seasons we have (if I haven’t told you enough yet).  Of course, where I live it can change seasons four times in the same day!

Welcome to Ohio

 

One question for recipes that comes up more than any other is:

“How can I make perfect boiled eggs?”

Well, you’re in luck.  I’m gonna share my way to make perfect boiled eggs, and it’s simple and very easy. Your eggs will peel easily, come out soft and the yolks will be a nice bright yellow color– not that greenish Sam I Am color!!!

So go grab these ingredients, a pot, and a timer, and then come on back!!!

Pot

Get a pot with a lid, big enough for 6 eggs . . . .

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tsp. distilled vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt

 

1.) Put the eggs in the pot and cover with cold water. Turn the heat on medium high to slowly let the heat build in the water.

Eggs in Pot

2.) As the water heats up, you’ll notice bubbles starting to form. Once you start seeing little bubbles, add 2 tsp. of distilled vinegar and 1 tsp. of salt.

Eggs in Pot Boiling

SaltVinegar

3.) Now you will want to grab that timer I talked about earlier when you grabbed that pot.

Timer

4.) When the water comes to a rolling boil, set your timer for two minutes.  (Not one minute like shown above…two!)

5.) When the timer goes off, put the lid on the pot and take it off the heat.

6.) Now set the timer for 15 minutes and just walk away.  When you return, they will be done cooking.  What you are doing is finishing the eggs without overcooking them.

7.) After the timer goes off, dump out the water carefully and run cold water over the eggs until you can hold them in your hands. This should take about 10 minutes or so.

8.) Now just crack the shell on the side of the sink and peel.  At this point, you’ll see why we added the vinegar and salt.  They help the shell come off the egg so easily.

Boiled Eggs

The eggs on the left are what we are creating. The eggs on the right is what many of you are used to.

Follow this recipe to a “T”, and you’ll always have perfect eggs from now on.  And yes, I do hear some of you out there already asking: “So how do I turn these into perfect deviled eggs?”.

I’ll get on that soon.  Baby steps.  It’s a Back to Basics lesson.

Final Egg Pic

 

Stay hungry, my friends.  Until next time!!!

Education of the dreaded “G” word

by Teddy Sephina

Education: when you grow up having no choice but to have an absolutely, terrifying aversion to the public restrooms because your grandmother taught you that you simply must hold in your insane desire to pee, until you have fully decorated the public toilet with half a roll of toilet paper–not to mention the toilet handle, the toilet tank, and even the bolts on the floor.

That’s education for you.

Trap_the_Germs_Art.IWMPST14134

Education: when you have finally elevated yourself to just mere balking at using the public restroom, and life is slightly less stressful, you meet someone who strikes up an easy friendship with you. Little do you know, slowly will your sanity be also taken away. My roommate has a serious, and I mean, serious aversion to the common Germ. Yes, that horrible, fretful, nasty four-letter word that starts with (shudder) a “G.” But sadly, and this has caused me great changes in my former simple life, I now am deathly afraid of the public restroom. Not only there, but even in my own home.

You see, here’s the ritual: You have a strong desire to pee, only not with Grandma there to decorate the toilet; you have to do it yourself. So now, you’re standing there, with your legs crossed at the knees, with a bottle of Purell or Germ-X in your one hand, a saturated wipe in your other, leaning precariously over the dreaded toilet whose life has been touched by millions of heinies, and you, with eyes closed as much as you can, begin to wipe down this porcelain throne. When you finally decide you can pee, you still think of Grandma, smiling down on you, and you still decorate the toilet with half a roll of toilet paper.

Now, you can commence peeing. But!

That’s not all.

When you finish with everything, and get ready to leave the stall, you have to take a piece of toilet paper, not used, to open the stall, and then you manage to weakly make your way over to the second dreaded station: the sink.

First, since you feel dirty anyway, you yank the lever on the paper towel holder, and leave the paper hanging. You will, of course, use the first sink next to it, so no one can take your paper towel. Then, you proceed to wash your hands. Now, your hands are clean, so you’re not going to touch the faucet, no no. You take that paper towel, dry your hands, and then, using that same paper towel, you turn off the faucet you just used. Dispose of that paper towel with every germ known to man on it, and you take that long, head-hung-low walk to the door. You pray, with each step you take, that someone else will venture into that slimy place we call the public bathroom. And if you don’t have time to stand and wait for the unknowing, naïve next bathroom guest, you hark back to the days of being lithe, athletic, and into yoga, and you rear your leg up and open the door with your foot. And then, in a way that would inspire awe in the most trained contortionist, you wrap around the open door and slip back out to where your waiting party is.

This, my friends, is the education I have gained from my friend.

Black Lie

me

 

 

by Kristie LeVangie

 

Newton’s 3rd Law taught us that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Rensis Likert trained us that any collection of responses has two opposing sentiments at either end of the continuum.

And I trained my children to always look at both sides of every situation.

So am I surprised when my daughter asks me thought-provoking questions out of the blue? I mean she IS a researcher’s offspring, you know? She has a knack for getting to the core of understanding. It makes her both brilliant and intellectually dangerous…in a VERY good way.

Last week, she hit me with this question:

“Mom, is there a such thing as a ‘black lie’? I mean there is a ‘white lie’, but I’ve never heard anyone use the term ‘black lie’. Is there such a thing and what would that even look like?”

I put on my serious contemplation face and started the wheels a-turnin’.

sunburstWell, I’ve never heard anyone use the term “black lie.” But it goes to reason that it must exist. We have black and white magic.   In Western culture, Black and White represent the dichotomy of good and evil. Black-and-White in visual art is expressed in monochromatic shades of gray from very light (white) to very dark (black). Some people “look” at things in black and white. This naturally assumes there is a polarization in thought.

First, as all researchers would do, I went in search of the term’s origin.

I discovered it was first referenced in The Gentleman’s Magazine in 1741.

“A certain Lady of the highest Quality … makes a judicious Distinction between a white Lie and a black Lie. A white Lie is That which is not intended to injure any Body in his Fortune, Interest, or Reputation but only to gratify a garrulous Disposition and the Itch of amusing People by telling Them wonderful Stories.”

A black lie would then need to be an opposite on the continuum from a white lie. Choosing the right scale can make all the difference.

To dissect the definition, we may wish to classify a black lie based on its intention. If a white lie is not intended to injure, then a black lie must be one that is intended to injure. It must be a lie to hurt someone’s feelings, reputation, chances at success, or even one’s emotional well-being?     A black lie would require a total disregard for another’s feelings. “Black” would seem to imply an absence.

This line of thinking would naturally lend to the assumption that there are shades of gray (no reference to the book…lol) all along the continuum as well. Gray lies would then also have that capacity oftentimes be very hurtful.

But…so can white lies, should the person lied to find out they were indeed lied to.

Degree of injury would be quite a subjective measure. Some people tend to have a softer disposition than others, and further emotional injuries will often fade in time. Devastation now may equal growth at a later moment in life.

Should the continuum then be result? According to The Gentlemen’s Magazine, a white lie would be created for the purpose of entertainment or “amusing others”. By this, a cocktail exaggeration would be a white lie meant to amuse guests with stories of wild ridiculousness. A black lie then would mean to sadden or bore guests?

Perhaps the continuum isn’t result at all, but instead the amount of exaggeration. If a white lie is an exaggeration for amusement, would a black lie be void of exaggeration at all and therefore seeded in only truth?

By modern definition, a white lie would imply that the falsehood is intended to spare another’s feelings. Should the continuum be motive? Rather than a small trivial mistruth to spare another, would a black lie seek to tear them completely down? Would it be the most serious aggression imaginable?

In my professional life, I run into these philosophical dilemmas every day. If research is to seek the ultimate truth, science teaches us that the measure by which to get at that truth must be objective. But the real world is not necessarily confined by absolute truths.   Humans and their behavior are most certainly not confined by absolutes. And sometimes it takes human insight and philosophy to ponder the deeper issues in social science. The science of classification then gives way to the art of discernment, and while we may never know if we are right, we will know we have applied a level of thinking and evaluation that merits a fresh view.

Trying to Be A Girly Girl is Not Working Out For Me

by Teddy Sephina

One day, I thought maybe I should try to be a little more feminine. Even though I’m not exactly overly boyish, I’m not exactly magazine cover material either. In other words, not girly enough to be standing in front of a motorcycle with a Hell’s Angel straddling the bike, but not too tomboy either to be the Hell’s Angel straddling the machine.

I thought maybe I should try this eyebrow thing all the girls do these days, since apparently gone are the days when Brooke Shields’s eyebrows were sexy. I have Brooke Shields’s eyebrows. Not sexy at all. So I got a little mirror and some tweezers and I tried to do the old-fashioned plucking, since I remembered all the times Grandma would stand under the bright kitchen light, and pluck her chin hairs and eyebrows out. I used to think this a very odd morning ritual until I noticed my mom do it too, years later.

Now, in my mid-thirties, I’m having to do it. Cripes.

So, I laid out on the couch, angled myself in a way that the large lamp would shed enough light onto my face, and began the art of plucking. Unfortunately, not being educated enough in the trials and tribulations of being a cutesy girl, I plucked too much. Fed up with it all and too embarrassed to show my roommate at the time, I ran into the bathroom, and had a little freak-out session.

Whoopi_Goldberg_Cannes_1992Then, I promptly took up a razor and shaved what was left off, thinking if Whoopi Goldberg could get away with it, why couldn’t I?

I couldn’t get away with it. It was now extremely hard to tell what facial expression I was using, and it was very disturbing. So I rooted through my roommate’s make-up kits and found an eyebrow stencil and eyebrow pencil and proceeded to draw on some eyebrows. Well, more like “colored in” a stencil I was holding over my hairless brow. Then, it didn’t look so bad.

…Or so I thought.

When my roommate showed up, wondering what I was up to, she started howling with laughter at my work of art decorating my lower forehead. I was humiliated. She asked what the hell happened and I told her, which again reduced her to a loud fit of giggles. When she finally could be mature again, she told me she would draw in the brows for me, as I definitely had no sense of symmetry in my work. I was offended. After all, I had gone to art school. But I guess I must be a Picasso, and if I wasn’t careful, I would next be drawing a nose on my chin.

So the next day, I forced myself to go to work, but not without first wearing a bandanna so low on my head, it came down to my nonexistent eyebrows, and I pulled out from underneath the bandanna some strands of hair.

Then I switched out my glasses to the bigger, chunkier retro black glasses, and I got away with it for a few days. Thank god my eyebrows grow quickly. I would have looked like Grandpa Munster if I let myself go a little too much. It’s really a darn shame.

Today, I let someone else do the eyebrows. I learned a painful lesson from all of that.

Another way I wanted to be more chic and feminine was to get highlights in my hair. One time I got it done, years ago, when I had shorter hair, and it looked really good.

So years later, with slightly longer hair, I decided to go for it again. I went to a decent salon and requested the “Highlights for Lowlife Hair Special.” When everything was finished, I looked in the mirror and recoiled in horror when I saw that my once dark brown hair was now black, and the highlights that were supposed to be a dirty blond color, were now in fact bright orange!

I looked like the Princeton Tiger! I was horrified.

I told them to do something. They said they couldn’t. I refused to pay and tore out of there and ran to the car as fast as I could, lest anyone would actually see this abomination that was my head.

I went home and cried. I thought how ugly I already was and this made it worse. I recalled that the lady who screwed this mane up told me to wait 24 to 48 hours, and then use a home coloring kit that was to be two shades darker than my natural color, and it would make all of my hair one good, darker brown color. So I tried this. I followed the directions, after wearing bandannas or hats for two days, and when the time came to see how it looked, the black was still black and the orange was even brighter!

Well, I hung out that night with a bunch of girls, lamenting my latest stroke of bad luck, with intermittent fits of giggles on their parts– certainly not mine– and by the end of the evening, the girls had shaved my head.

I now had no hair. Not one strand of long, dark brown, wavy hair graced my naked head.

Man, I have to break out the bandannas again. After a while, I had a crew cut look as the hair was growing back in, and I very briefly had a serious case of gender identity crisis.

Years later, today in fact, I have long dark brown wavy hair that will never ever get a coloring job done again by a salon or even a barber.

I put make-up on myself, and I look like I work at a fair, giving face painting jobs to little kids’ faces.

I pluck my own eyebrows, and I look like a white Whoopi! It’s not a pleasant look.

I try to get a nice hair dye or something done, and I look like I’m wearing a rainbow wig that is usually only donned by professional clowns.

I finally had to face it. I’m a tomboy. Through and through.

And I’m finally okay with that.

FASHION: Males Are Now Going to Great Lengths

by Kristie LeVangie

Hair extensions used to be reserved for women.

Well…not anymore.

Celebs like Justin Bieber,

Bieber

Harry Styles,

Harry_Styles_Sydney

and David Beckham

14554195133_11dbda1a5c_h

have men feeling as self-conscious about what they have “on top” as they are about what’s on the bottom.

Salons in the U.K. are reporting as much as a 200% increase in male hair extension interest.  Whether it’s length, texture or volume, men are seeking ways to emulate the stars and enhance their coiffure beauty.

One of the companies leading this revolution was Great Lengths.  Check out some of their amazing transformations here:

Extensions aren’t just for men who want to make a statement.  They are for any man who wants to maintain his youthful mane, and for some can be a viable alternative to the scary “plugs” or surgical hair replacement procedures.

We say two thumbs up to this male beauty trend.  What do you think, men?  Would you ever?

Liv’n The Single Life: Five Reasons I Hate Relationships

Liv 'n The Single Life

 

I go back and forth on relationships.  There are times when I’m not in one– which has been the majority of my life– that I long for someone to talk to, someone to cuddle with, and a consistent sex partner.

But when I’m in one…there are days I can’t stand one more minute of incessant questioning, obligatory pet names, and routine hand holding.

Relationships kill passion, or at least that’s been my experience.  I think those stories of long-lasting lovers are urban myths more than anyone’s reality.

In my relationships, the man always ultimately loses himself.  I end up making all the decisions, and I lose what spontaneity I need to feel challenged and surprised.  I grow bored. He feels lost, and it ultimately leads to failure.

The top 5 reasons I hate relationships:

1.) ‘I love you’s become routine rather than any expression of feeling.  They’re mere greetings of comings and goings.

2.) Both of you stop caring about your appearances.  You become a rain forest of leg hair, and he goes days without bathing.

3.) Anything becomes a reason NOT to have sex.  “It’s late.” “I’m too full.” “I’m just too tired.”

4.) You tell each other everything, and you start to tune one another out in your boredom of it all.

5.) Time alone is a rare and delightful gift.  When you are always together, you become smothered.

I only have to look at this list to remind myself why I would rather microwave dinners than share my bed with his toenail clippings.