Category Archives: Ideas

Quick-Fast Book Review: Learn to recognize and drop a jerk in less time

Person: John Van Epp, PhD.
Thing: Book—How to Avoid Falling in Love With A Jerk
Place:  The Human Heart
Idea:   Van Epp says a love-interest’s jerk-like tendencies will manifest themselves within a set amount of time. And by following his suggested Relationship Attachment Model, budding relationships can maintain thoughtful balance, which decreases the likelihood of falling for a jerk.

Ahhhhh, February! Black History Month, heart health month, and the LOVE month!

Well this week’s Review is especially for all of you lonely souls—who look forward to growing to love the man or woman of your dreams! Maybe you just want a February Valentine.

This book is meant to prevent you from falling in love with a pendejo, an “a$$hole.” The title is more genteel…. “How to Avoid Falling in Love With A Jerk”.

I read the e-book version. Having fallen for a jerk or two in my past lives—when I read this, my aim was to avoid doing that again!

A few years ago, a man I went out with a few times alerted me to this book—along with one of the book’s major premises: That there is no substitute for TIME when trying to avoid falling for a jerk. How much time? Ninety days. And the author contends that 90 days is plenty good time for jerk-like patterns to reveal themselves.

Side note: In hindsight…the guy who recommended the book——was he warning me about himself? Hummm…

Van Epp says the principles in this book are part of his PICK program—that’s right—for folks trying to literally PICK a partner. If followed, the author pretty much guarantees you won’t marry a jerk! This book is chock full of acronyms—mnemonically friendly devices for you to keep handily in mind as you date.

For example:

FACES are critical in getting to know your partner:

  • Family Background
  • Attitudes and actions of the conscience
  • Compatibility potential
  • Examples of other relationships
  • Skills in relationships

Use these areas to get to know your partner, while using the RAM model—which is supposed to strip jerks clean. You’ll see a jerk for who he—or she—is. By taking time to examine FACES, you will be well informed about potential partners.

RAM stands for Relationship Attachment Model, and essentially states that there are five dynamics intrinsic to all humans. They concern how deeply one knows a person, how well you trust, rely, are committed to them, and have sexual involvement with them.

As you get to know a potential partner, you’ll find out about their background, attitudes, compatibility, etc.—and as you do, and the relationship grows. ALL relationships are based on knowledge first.   And if any of the other steps get ahead of knowledge—that puts relationship parties in a precarious situation—not necessarily physical but emotional.

You’ll have to get the book for the other nifty examples, and visual models that help make some principles easier to remember.

How to Avoid Falling In Love with a Jerk is a highly recommended read.

Next review—another love book!

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Day 6: Days off! Yes, Lord!

Who isn’t’ thankful for these?  They are a gift from the workhorse gods.

Working in the news business can be exhilarating!

But there are some days I want to bury myself in the stupidest TV shows or movies to ditch reality–even for a few  hours.  Some days life’s happenings are extremely disheartening.  By workweek’s end, I’m ready to turn off, tune out and drop away from all news reports.  I try to use my vacations to catch up with loved ones,  unplug from all news, read inspirational books and catch up on my fave reality-suspending television shows.

I am also thankful for weekends and days off so I can connect with friends.  I also  take care of the mundane… like running run through my laundry list of errands and chores—which always includes, well, loads of laundry.

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Day 5: Light-blocking curtains deserve a day of observance

When I moved into my place, blinds were all I had shielding my eyes from the outside light of day or streetlights of night.  They kept the glare off, but mercy me!  Slumber was jacked up every night!   These half-baked sleeping patterns continued for many months, and included  snoozing during daylight hours.  I actually thought I was sleeping well–at the time.

Then a Wonderful Soul bought me light-blocking curtains and offered to install them.  Awesome sauce!

Glorious was that first night of sleep without the glow of streetlamps worming in between the blind slats!

Then I slept during the day.  That, too, was glorious!

As the India.Arie song says–“It’s the little things… and the joy they bring.”

[*Insert “church hands” or “jazz hands”*] Hallelujah for the small things!  I declare today a personal day of thanks for light-blocking curtains!

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Day 3: Grateful to learn

I’m grateful for the ability to learn new things.

Not everyone can. Time and disease can erode this ability. Neither asks for permission.

Sometimes willingness wanes, which is also tragic. In my humble opinion, as long as you’re willing to learn something new, you’ll never be washed up. Who knows if someone said this before, but I’m saying it today.

Can’t help but think about how refreshing it was to read about the retirement plans of a Los Angeles-area judge.

Lance Ito was thrust into the national spotlight during the O.J. Simpson murder trial in the 1990s. When Ito retired, it was reported his plans didn’t include much outside of learning to play guitar. Other than that, who knows what he’ll do during his retirement years. Who cares? He plans to learn and grow. And even if guitar learnin’ is all he does, that’s a-plenty.

My guess is skills like that take years to master—and practice to maintain. There’s no shortage of songs to learn, either. So guitar learning, learning different styles of play, and song learning will take up plenty of time.

I’m thankful for the ability to learn new things. Yes, people can become experts or masters, but I also think [IMHO] it’s healthy to maintain a sense of wonder and to remember education is an ongoing process—no matter how much a person thinks he or she knows. There’s always something else out there to learn. If you can learn, do learn.

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Day 2: Pleasure in a warm blanket

I’m grateful for warm blankets on cool fall days. It’s a plus if that blanket is fresh from the dryer. What a comforting sensation to have while self-swaddling in covers on crisp days or nights. The feelings of warmth, security, exhilaration, relaxation, joy, and cozy thankfulness are most welcome. It’s so beautiful to keep re-discovering such a simple pleasure still has the same effect as it did when I was a child. As an adult who is determined not to grow crotchety, such reminders are appreciated-always.

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Day 1: I’m grateful for decent health.

It seems life is a collection of great memories, friendships and lessons. It’s also a collection of ailments and pills as people march toward death. Yes, time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping… nudging away my youth while hoary strands keep pushing through more hair follicles. Even while thinking about what I would change about my life if I could re-live the past 10 years, I’m still so grateful to have decent health. Even with prescriptions and supplement orders through the years, I’m grateful for decent health. I walk. I talk. I laugh. I love. I live. And I appreciate it all.

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Today: A good day to start a new habit

It takes 21 days to cement a habit, so I’m deciding to try a new one: The habit of gratefulness.

Every day someone gets shot, stabbed, raped, killed or hurt in some other way. Some perverted cad takes inappropriate liberties with a minor; some jealous person hurts an ex-girlfriend or boyfriend… then commits suicide.   Sometimes folks find out the arrangement with a sex buddy isn’t as exclusive as he or she thinks it should be—so the person somehow threatens the “wayward” buddy… and catches a case.

It gets overwhelming at times, but I refuse to get salty.   I don’t want to forget  life’s niceties:  family, friends, and simple pleasures like memories of  warm sunshine on my face spiked with the perfect breeze, which can create a perfect temperature. Other niceties include hearty laughter after a witty joke shared with friends, and outdoor concerts with music I really vibe with down to my bones. Observing smiley parents and carefree children frolicking with newly twisted balloon animals, and having conversation with folks who ooze kindness complete that experience.

There’s so much bad news everywhere, but I’m determined to maintain a grateful attitude no matter what I hear, read, or see every day.

It isn’t always easy.

To stave off and eliminate encroaching cynicism, I decided to undertake the gratitude challenge. I don’t even know where I got this idea. It was probably from a mixture of places: random inspirational readings, Facebook posts, and the constant back-of-mind reinforcement from my childhood (I went to church almost EVERY week growing up).  During those early years, I learned that gratitude is key to the Christian life, and later learned it’s woven throughout other viewpoints as well. I don’t recall if I read a social media challenge somewhere that encouraged folks to  find one thing to be grateful for daily, and I decided to write three—or if I encountered a challenge that encouraged folks to jot down three things for 21 days to inspire the habit of choosing happiness.

Whatever the case, I started writing three a day in October.  It was my intent to only write three things for 21 days, but I’m still going with this. Must be a habit.

Anyway, these humble entries represent some of my self-reminders to stay grateful, to cherish the simple things, to know there’s something to be grateful for at all times.

Might as well start on Thanksgiving.

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Quick-Fast book review-Austin Boyd-Nobody’s Child

20140311-153900.jpgPerson: Austin Boyd
Thing: Book—Nobody’s Child
Place: West Virginia
Idea: Austin Boyd explores the complicated possibilities that could stem from human seed donations, when a single, pregnant attorney in this story, seeks out her egg donor when she learns she has a life-threatening medical condition. Plenty of drama in this easy-to-read bioethics suspense novel.

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Storify: Learning, growing for life

Met up with a mentor figure yesterday after five years of social media sightings, which makes it very easy to think you are up to date with someone, but aren’t–totally. Yes, the general details are there, put there’s nothing like face to face contact to fill in a few gaps.

It was an interesting conversation–part catchup, part live tweet he was involved with for the #NPRBlacksinTech Twitter thread, found here:

My handle for this chat was @planetnoun. Continue reading Storify: Learning, growing for life

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