Category Archives: Things

Don’t get jacked! How to: Fall, stay and renew on love’s pathway

Person: Joe Beam
Thing: Book—The Art of Falling in Love: Four Steps to Falling in Love, Staying in Love, Renewing Lost Love
Place:  Your life, my life, and the mind of anyone looking to find or maintain a love relationship.
Idea:   Love isn’t a willy-nilly concept for the weak-minded or faint of heart. In my humble opinion, love is a state of mind, state of being, and there are practical steps to fall, stay, and renew lost love—at any stage of the love cycle.

We’re continuing our sappy love salute with books that could be categorized as “How not to jack up your relationship.”

For those folks lookin’ for love—some suggestions that may help you—while decreasing the likelihood of you losing your mind in the process.

This week’s book–“The Art of Falling in Love” is for anyone who wants to know how not to get emotionally jacked up while seeking a relationship.

There’s one chapter that really resonates with me—the one called “Craving for Caring.” Beam breaks down the ways to satisfy that craving on what he calls the “Pathway to Love.” Those four steps are:

  • Attraction
  • Acceptance
  • Attachment
  • Aspiration

Everyone wants someone with appeal—emotional, physical, intellectual—and from that attraction, we then accept the person as they are. But in order to find acceptance from another, you must accept yourself first. Not the picture you want to be, but the person you actually are. By accepting you, hopefully those attracted to you will actually like you, and not a snapshot of your highlighted best angles… that that carefully constructed persona meant for public consumption.

However, we still have no control over the picture of us someone else may paint in his or her own mind. It is up to that person to ask him/herself if they are attracted to the real person or who they perceive this person should be.

Beam says one thing that seems to contradict prior information I have read about keeping relationships alive—the idea that communication is the most important element in a relationship. Not so, says Beam. Respect is. Without respect, there can be no path to love.

He also discusses a concept called Limerence—which is that almost obsessive, emotionally charged high over—not a joint—but over a person, or the limerent object. And limerence is powerful. It’s only based on passion and perfection. Passionate feelings and a blemish-free view of the object. Sometimes limerence happens when two people are single. Beware though—because a limerent may also be married—and if this passion is not held in check, a man or woman in limerence may destroy a long-standing union in favor of the temporary high this infatuation brings.

Another discussion:  The bonds needed to form long-term attachments. Beam  addresses the need to understand a partner’s differences in order to meet his or her needs, and what happens if those needs are not met. Equally important, is a discussion of what sends people back down the love path—in reverse—away from love. Beam contends that any couple along the love path can restore a fractured relationship by revisiting what sent them on the path to begin with.

There’s even a chapter on productive anger, how to process it without weakening a relationship—and the role forgiveness plays in a working relationship. Follow the steps on Beam’s love path and you might find yourself aspiring together, dreaming, planning, and working to meet each other’s needs. That intimacy is where some say they want to be, but Beam says—and I agree—It. Is. Work. It’s totally intentional.

Another highly recommend read!

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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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From bubble butt to Giant to TV powerhouse: Michael Strahan’s tips for happy living

Once upon time, his brothers and their friends called him Bob.

Yes, his name is Michael.
No, Bob isn’t an obscure, ages-old shortcut.

But a younger Strahan was a little fluffy around the edges, but didn’t realize it until one of their friends asked Michael if he knew why they called him “Bob”.

He didn’t.  So this friend, Anthony, told him.

Bob stood for “Booty on Back.” Anthony informed Michael it was because he was fat.

Wow. Kids can be cruel.

In his book Wake Up Happy, Strahan shares his road to transformation from that boy with the bubble butt to NFL star…

It was followed by another reinvention after he retired from football and slid into a television career. Don’t get it twisted… This dippy slide was peppered with bumps with lessons.

But no matter what, Strahan contends it’s possible to wake up happy. He shares 18 ways to do so that are supported by lessons from his life.

Here are three that stand out most:

“Rule #1: Help can—and will—come from the most unexpected places. Be open to everything around you.”

“Rule #3: Grit, desire, and discipline are free and the only equipment you need to start just about any endeavor you’ll set out to do.”

“Rule # 12: Listen to other people, but don’t take their opinions for fact. Have your own experiences. Draw your own conclusions.”

I recommend this book because Strahan isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel with this read. He’s just sharing his man’s journey to happiness… Through bumps and bruises, pain, mistakes; and openness about the areas  he still wants to improve.

Seems it might be a tad cumbersome to remember 18 different rules for navigating life, but these rules could serve as handy reminders to stay persistent if you want to do more, achieve more.  It’s natural to  sometimes have doubts or feel stuck in doldrums, but it’s also possible to still live smack-dab in happy’s face even while yearning and working for certain aspects of the life you desire to fall into place.

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Quick-Fast Book Review | Something New

This week’s book is part of a charming series by Beverly Jenkins called the Blessings Novels.

          In Something Old, Something New, former teen sweethearts Trent July and Lily Fontaine, who are now reunited adult sweethearts. They’re also engaged.

This third installment in Jenkins’ Blessings series is rife with activity from page one.
• A reverend in Florida learns her tiny church is closing—the latest victim of gentrification.
• Trent and Lily are planning their wedding. They want something  simple, but haven’t really checked in with the other townspeople in Henry Adams who also have visions of how the wedding should transpire.
• And two of Henry Adams’ adopted children Devon and Zoey are enduring a changing relationship. Zoey is mute, however she has discovered she loves working with her hands. Specifically, she has a knack for working on cars. Devon’s knack is pretty much knocked–he doesn’t have this gift, and feels left out. So there’s that drama… a girl can outdo him fixing any car.  Devon’s also a tad confused because no one wants to hear his rousing Sunday sermons anymore. His delivery is quite electric, but the content is flat… and it seems folks have discovered hearing two or more of his sermons is like a church version of the movie Groundhog Day.
• And then there’s the town owner, Ms. Bernadine. She bought the financially beleaguered Henry Adams on the Internet, and is working to restore the town and establish it as a model community and a safe haven for foster and adopted children.

Something Old, Something New was my first introduction to Beverly Jenkins, and I’ve been hooked on Henry Adams ever since.

I like this book because even though a reader may not pick up the first Blessings novel, Jenkins’ fills in enough details about her characters to that it doesn’t take away from the present story. However it made me want to read more. So when I read the previous installments in the series, I got to understand the character history a little more, and why some of them acted as they did in Something Old, Something New.

If you want to take a journey that’s not quite out of this world, but far enough away from your daily grind, consider Henry Adams, Kansas. You’ll find history, hard workers, jokers, recovering drunks, hogs and swindlers, and adorable children—all sprinkled with a bit of drama and humor.

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Quick-Fast Book Review: Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

Issa Rae and I seem like two peas in a pod… Except she’s famous and I’m not.

And her dad’s a doctor, and she went to school in Brentwood and to Stanford… And my dad isn’t, and I didn’t attend a snazzy Brentwood school or Stanford.

At my high school, we held assembly programs called “Chapel.” We  sang songs about Jesus.

We also had folks who could rap like nobody’s business.

I was NOT one of them.

But I was plenty awkward. And though some folks thought me cute and told me so, it wasn’t enough to get anyone to ask me out in high school. So even thought I didn’t THINK I was ugly, I assumed folks didn’t find me attractive.  Honey, there were no boys  beating a path to my door, or keeping my parent’s phone line busy trying to hear my voice.

By reading The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, I felt somewhat at home within the awkward experiences of Issa Diop, also known as Issa Rae.

Socially awkward? I so got that as a kid.

Heck, I get that as an adult.  I still occasionally say things that elicit uncomfortable silences.

Bad dancing? Jury’s out on that. I just move to the rhythm and don’t try too hard. Nothing inspiring.  Let’s move on.

Trying hard to impress? When I was younger, occasionally. I can’t recall the moment I realized how stupid that was and stopped. I can only be me.

I enjoyed the escapades and familiar landscapes of the Awkward Black Girl web series. Also enjoyable, reading about some of Issa Rae’s defining moments.

Here’s the joy of this book: It seems so incomplete. And that’s awesome! Her story’s still in progress. I’m looking forward to more from Issa Rae, whether via web series, book, TV, radio or if packaged in podcast or comic book forms.

She’s a talent with a unique voice that can speak to everyday nerdy awkward black girls—and anyone who dares to just BE.

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Ziggy Marley and ‘Fly Rasta’ tour swing through D.C.

ziggy on wtop
Click image for more on wtop.com

WASHINGTON — Even though Bob Marley has been gone 33 years, the reggae pioneer remains legendary within the genre. His influence lives on through his children and fans around the world.

One of his sons, Ziggy Marley, continues to make a stylistic imprint in the reggae realm and beyond. He’s won six Grammy Awards – three with The Melody makers, a group that included brother Stephen and sister Cedella, and three for solo projects, including his 2009 children’s album, “Family Time,” and for last year’s live album, “Ziggy Marley in Concert.”

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Quick-Fast Book Review | 32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter

Person: Ernesta T. Carter

Thing: Book—32 Candles]

Place: Mississippi; California
Idea: Ugly ducklings can become swans — and just might get the handsome guy. Well–maybe.

This week’s book is by Ernesta T. Carter—her first book titled “32 Candles.”

It’s about an awkward ugly duckling named Davida—who also has an abusive whore-mother. Davida was a fatherless child—at least she didn’t know the man. Her mother definitely didn’t spare the rod—and at school, Davida’s fellow students whipped her verbally. You know how mean kids can be. They called Davida Monkey Night—because they said she looked like a monkey and was dark as the night. Yeah, her life was like THAT. Her clothes were ugly, and her hair matted. That was in elementary school. Eventually Monkey Night died—and Davida remained—at least that’s what I thought…

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