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A self-made man by Norah Vincent

Image from GoodReads.Com, find quotes from this book here.

Self-made man: My year disguised as a man is a book written by journalist Norah Vincent. Before discussing the book further, it must be said that this is a kind of experimentation which women have thought of doing to invade into traditional male spaces and know more about what happens there. Vincent recounts something similar in her book. She states that: 

  • Infiltrating male-dominated spaces: She did an 18-month-old experiment where she discussed herself as a man who she named “Ned” and integrated herself into traditional male-centric places or venues. This includes places like the bowling league as well as a monastery. In the book, she talks about what she and experienced in other men only places like strip clubs and such. She also details her experiences in men’s s support groups and on dates as well. 
  • Not a transgender but a lesbian: While some may construe this activity as her coming out or becoming a transgender but she stated it clearly in the book that she isn’t a transgender but only a lesbian. 

How did she do it?

Vincent got a buzz cut to pose as a man and even used a sports bra to flatten her chest. She got makeup artists so that she could have a fake beard shadow. That’s not all, she also trained her voice for months so that it sounded deeper and bulked up to gain more upper body muscle. 

What did she found out?

She said in an interview that: 

“Men are suffering. They have different problems than women have but they don’t have it better. They need our sympathy, they need our love, and they need each other more than anything else. They need to be together.” 

Apart from this she also states that many thought that her butch qualities (in female spaces) were considered to be effeminate in men’s circles. 

In the book, she expands more on how men suffer under older men and there is a very toxic cycle that continues. This results in the misogyny of course but it also results in depression and other issues in men who can’t even articulate it properly due to traditional unspoken male laws. …

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How Massage Chairs Help While Relaxing And Reading?

Massage chairs must seem like a gift from heaven after a long day at work. It helps one relax and some time in it seems to get rid of all kinds of body issues. While you were relaxing in that chair, you must have often wondered how did it manage to do it. So let’s talk about it along with all the benefits of it: 

It helps one heal quickly

Relieving tension from the body is very important if you want to function fully on an everyday basis. But this tension should be relieved in a harmless manner so that it doesn’t accidentally add on to your pain and worries. Massage chairs are able to do just that with the different kinds of settings that it has. You can gauge your own stress and tension levels and then proceed to set the level of massage which makes you the most comfortable and relaxed. This is certainly more effective than going to a masseuse who you won’t be able to dictate to about the speed and strength to be used. 

It costs less

Buying just one massage chair will be enough to last you for years. You can use it according to your wants and then get it tuned up when needed. This will certainly cost less than going to a masseuse and that too periodically. Moreover, a massage chair will relax your whole body but a masseuse might not be able to do so. 

Doesn’t disturb

You can easily take a book and then settle down in your massage chair. The vibrations or movements of the chair aren’t so powerful that it will disturb your reading rhythm. In reality, you will be fell relaxed, be able to read a book and then probably be able to go to sleep there as well if the chair setting is on low. Using a massage chair is a really great way to unwind after a long day. 

Get ahead and foot massage

One of the best parts of all massage chairs is that you will be able to get ahead and foot massage at least. Of course, there are massage chairs that allow you to get shoulder and back massage as well but a head and foot massage are common in all. This is possible due to airbags in the massage chair which moves in several different directions so that it gives your head and feet a full massage. These airbags commonly move in the S and L track as well so that you can get a variety of head and foot massages. After all, it’s your head and feet which bears the brunt of the day’s labour mentally and physically. 

Basically, in a massage chair, you will have a remote controller with you that will allow you to get the massage intensity you want. It will also allow you to set the timer so that you get to be in the mood and intensity you want. 

The whole massage session is always a deeply comforting and pleasing experience. In this, massage chairs will satisfyingly improve your mental well-being. The massage sessions will certainly help uplift your mood, help in ensuring you have better blood circulation and help you relax as well. …

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Family and Buddah

Buddah photo Photo by Mennonite Church USA Archives

Tathagata
Holding the hearts of men so patient
Patience is key
The great emptiness of massice living things
Always become calm
The stars can be of dreams
When reticent living things are born
Did the Buddah know an old pair of shoes
No, he simply walked as you and I will
Did he see the triviality of life
Perhaps, but he did not make mention
The East becomes the West
Gladness comes form in only one
The thought of another person
The thought to live and love knowledgeably
Lotus forms in no arbitrary fashion
The bloom is of itself
It knows nothing of permanence of fashion
Only sleeps as it is told
Blooms when it blooms
The mind of you, Tony
Practices the prayer of the ancients
Ones that taught meditation is as essential as
The beating heart in your chest
Fancies do not exist ever in moments
The truest of times are spent in concentration
To have the central mind is to amaze
Others with non-false conceptions
As you walk the ego-personality fades
The night becomes as a silk handerchief
All becomes the brightness of mind’s helpful ground
And you walk
And you walk
And people see that you
Practice what you talk
The thinking mind can be as a foggy night
And clear it
And clear it

This was written for me, Tony, and my cat! There are three pics here. Please look at them. 🙂…

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Family Dinner

family dinner
no one talks

temperature dropping 
icy frost

deadly stares 
heaving breathing

quiet fuming 
deadly planning

throwing 
punching 
kicking and screaming

family dinner 
no ones eating…

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Family Time

FAMILY TIME

Of all the times of my life, I most enjoy family time. When I can get away from my 9 to 5 and just be me. When I can relax and enjoy my husband and three little boys. We always have endless fun.

We might decide to play games or with their toys. We might go on a picnic or to an Amusement Park. Whatever we decide, its just great being together.

This particular day we are in the Park and the two oldest boys are romping. The baby is just learning how to walk, so my husband and I are helping him with that. Of course my two oldest need more space to play than our little cramped apartment, so they are very, very happy.

This is just what our family needs. That’s why there’s nothing better than family time.

My sister, who is single and childless, feels sorry for me. She is focused on her career and has no intentions of settling down or having a family. I tell her, “girl, you don’t know what you are missing! Just wait until you meet Mr. Right. ‘Cause once you do, its going to be on like neckbones”. She just laughs and says, “no thank you”, she is happy just the way she is. No need for any major changes in her life. But “whatever floats my boat is fine with her”.

Now don’t get me wrong, she loves her nephews. In fact, they are one of the main reasons she visits me. But she just seems to be a free spirit. So I say, “whatever floats her boat is fine with me”.

My husband laughs at our lighthearted banter. Whenever she visits it’s the same thing. We always seem to wear out the topic of her singleness. But we all love each other, so life is wonderful. God is good and He will provide.…

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Life on the Outside: Five Jobs for Ex-Cons

Americans love an underdog. At least in theory. In real life, underdog equals loser. If your legal issues have left you an underdog, you’re going to find out fast that in a tough economy, underdogs lose out. And it gets worse. Ex-cons are more likely to end up back in prison if they aren’t employed. It seems employment of any sort gives those who have served their time on the inside a chance to stay on the outside. So, what is someone who has done time supposed to do?

The competition is as fierce as it has ever been, and everyone is bringing their A-game. The trick for recently released inmates is not to bring your best game in the wrong league. Most of you won’t be employable by mainstream standards, not at first. So, look outside the mainstream. Here are a five potential sources of work that most folks would pass by, but which might be your ticket to a long life on the outside:

  • Local performing arts theaters might seem a bit out of your league, but look closer. These small-scale theaters (and even the larger ones) hire people to the unload trucks carrying stage sets and costumes. Look in your local phone book, or do a Yahoo! search to find the theater near you. Often, the performer or show will have their own “roadies,” but find that they need an extra pair of hands for one or two local shows. This is a perfect way to develop a reputation as a hard worker
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  • The carnival always needs help when it comes to town. Most are willing to hire people with a criminal record as long as they haven’t been convicted of a sex crime or a violent crime. Call the county clerk and ask for the name of the company they hire for the county fair and the name of the contact person. Give them a call and let them know you want to talk to them when they come to town. Once you have experience in the carnival business, you’ll be able to land a permanent position.
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  • Many people, including ex-cons, believe that fast-food restaurants are beneath them. They don’t want to wear a paper hat and ask everyone in sight if they would like fries with their order. But before you rush to judgment about the job, remember how employers rush to judgment about you. Fast-food restaurants allow you to establish a solid work history, and most have opportunities for promotion. Granted, the pay isn’t great at first, but the company is putting a significant amount of resources into your training, and you get promoted, you learn more and more about business management. It can be a valuable experience if you decide to give it a chance.
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  • If you’ve been incarcerated for any length of time, you might not have heard about jobs “Americans won’t do.” Jobs in like this include jobs on large commercial farms. If you live near one of these facilities and speak English, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to get hired. Commercial milk producers and vegetable growers will hire ex-cons who are willing to work. No experience necessary. You don’t even need to know the difference between a cow and a stalk of celery. If you’ll do the work they’ll show you how to do it.
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  • No one wants to clean toilets for a living. That’s good news if you’re an ex-con looking for a job. Someone is always in need of a bathroom cleaner–event organizers, portable toiled suppliers, truck stops, gas stations, and every other business that has a pit stop open to the public. Put in applications with event organizers and sanitation providers, as well as individual businesses hiring for cleaning, maintenance, or janitorial work.


Don’t fall prey to the darkness of rejection. Even if it seems hopeless, you can still secure a job and earn an honest living if you are realistic about your prospects and willing to trade an honest day’s work for an honest, albeit low, wage.…

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Facing Life’s Obstacles with an Upbeat Attitude and Fierce Determination.

Our third child a son, whom we named Timothy, was a normal newborn with a sprinkling of red hair in January of 1992. Things went well with him until the third month of age when he got quite ill. He was admitted to our local hospital with respiratory distress. He would spend a week there most of the time in an oxygen tent.

It’s important to note that prior to going into the hospital he was on target as far as weigh and development goes. Being that he was my third child I had none of the worries that I had with my other two children. Timmy’s pregnancy went better then the first two did. So the whole experience went smoothly, until he went into the hospital at the end of his third month of life.

After he got home things started to go downhill and we were at the hospital more often then not with this tiny little boy who seemed to be very atypical of my other children or any other child I had known.

Things continued to go from bad to worse that first 2 years of his life and he spent more time in the peds unit in our local hospital. There were times we didn’t think he’d live, yes things were that critical. Ninety Nine percent of the time he was in there for respiratory distress, and once it was for the flu. He was delayed severely because he didn’t have the energy to do as he should be doing. He was also very anti- social but I think that stemmed from having too many people do medical things to him. Those things had to be done to save his life.

We were dealing with failure to thrive, as seemed to be too tired to eat, perhaps he just didn’t care. I know people will say all babies eat when you give them a bottle but Timmy would not eat, no matter what we tried. His formula was fine and did not give him gas, and sometimes he’d eat baby food but not most of the time. He screamed when people would hold him, and it didn’t matter who held him. He was very content to sit or lay next to you as long as you did not make direct eye contact or touch him.

Sometime during the middle of the third year of Timmy’s life I got tired of being told by the pediatricians that he was just slow but would catch up on his own. So I took him out of there and into family medicine at our local hospital and the first doctor a sports medicine doctor named Donald Phykitt, we seen was outstanding. He finally listened to me and a development specialist was contacted. He seen everything I was seeing and he knew Timmy needed help.

When we met with the development specialist I was floored to say the least. Some how our pediatric department missed some serious delays that I as a parent seen. An early intervention team was brought in to work with Timmy in our home. On their first visit here he was tested thoroughly and was found to be 22 months delayed on average across the board. I was floored cried for days; I questioned how God could do this as I am sure many parents do when they find out devastating news such as this do.

Then I got determined to help Timmy grow to his potential and be all that he could be. Everyday there was some sort of therapist at out home and I sat and watch them work with my son and I learned much. I used what they did and did it when they weren’t there and I did my share along with my two other children. His physical, occupational and speech therapists were excellent no doubt and they came once a week, but his general therapist Chris Little would work with him on everything and was here often. His speech therapists set a goal for him for 6 months in the future and Timmy met it in just 2 months. Within six months all the therapists except for the general therapist were gone, simply because Timmy was excelling with all the help.

When Timmy was almost 5 Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder was added to his diagnosis with a trip to a neurologist. A friend suggested I take him to see a chiropractor for the fine motor skills which were not coming …

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Life Lessons Learned: How My Three Siblings Helped Me Grow

I am the youngest of four children and one of only two alive today. I had a protective older brother and two older sisters. Life with older siblings growing up allowed me to get away with some things that an only child would not get away with, but it also taught me some things that guide me even today.

  • Never take someone for granted because you never know how long they will be with you.
  • It is okay to be right but it is also okay to be wrong.
  • Try to resolve disagreements quickly and be willing to let them go.
  • There is nothing like a sibling who has your back.
  • Family is forever.

Never forget to cherish your time with a person and accept them for who they are. Before I started Kindergarten my brother was responsible for giving me a nickname that has stuck to this day (Chip). He kept me safe when I rode my tricycle down the side of the main highway we lived on even though I was not supposed to. He also was there for an argument over taking my tricycle off the back of dad’s truck. He tried to keep me from taking it off and when I succeeded my brother made sure dad got me to the Dr. quickly (dropped it on my little hand and cut it wide open). His fast action resulted in the Dr. stitching up my hand (I still have the scar). I also learned that it can be very painful to lose a brother. In 1969 I witnessed him being hit and killed by a car from the porch of our home.

It is okay to be right but is also okay to be wrong. My sister Leslie and I argued all the time but no matter who was right she had my back when it counted. Some arguments were tough to resolve but most of them were.

Try to resolve disagreements quickly and be willing to let them go. I held onto a disagreement with my sister Leslie and did not resolve it in time. Shortly after she graduated, a car accident took her from my life. Like losing a brother, it is hard to lose a sister.

There is nothing like a sibling who has your back. Today only my sister Merle remains of my siblings and she like my brother and sister when I was young has been there through some tough times. She always has my back and when she needs me I’ll try to be there for her too.

Finally, family is forever! Each of my siblings has helped to make me who I am today and I am forever changed because of each one.…

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The Departed Troubles Relatives of the Real-life Boston Irish Mobster ‘s Victims

The Oscar awarded “The Departed” has recently triumphed at the star-sudden award ceremony last month, but not without causing up set for real victim’s relatives of the real Boston based mobster who terrorized so many. While the mob drama wowed moviegoers the world victim’s relatives reflect on the horrific crimes committed against their family members by the cruel mobster.

The extraordinary tale of the Irish Mobster and the Police force whose task it was to infiltrate the mob has Hollywood singing “The Departed” much praise. Director Martin Scorsese received his first in five previously nominations Oscar Award for Best Director of the critically acclaimed mob film. This Hollywood adaptation of real life Irish mob life has proven to be the highest earning film in the Scorsese filmography to date

It even saw the likes of Mark Wahlberg receive his own Oscar nomination for a superb depiction of a superior officer in the Massachusetts Police Force. The actual realty of the film is that there is a real-life Boston Irish mobster named James “Whitey” Bulger who grossly tortured his victims. The relatives of his victims are speaking out about the unpleasant and even horrifying memories “The Departed” film resonates for them.

Bulger was indicted for 19 murders, but has evaded prosecution since December 23. 1994. His disappearance was believed to be in connection with his acting as a government informer along with links to corrupt federal agents. He is listed with the likes of Osama bin Laden on the America Most Wanted. A massive manhunt has been undertaken to apprehend the fugitive who has not surfaced in several decades.

Christopher McIntyre, 47, whose brother was murdered by Bulger’s gang in 1984, said of the Bulgur characterization in the film, ” The movie gives this hero worship to this creature.” He verified that he and other relatives of Bulger’s victims were simply unable to watch the mob drama because they found it all still “very painful.” The real life fugitive mobster has scarred the relatives of his victims for life. The film version of his life has left some of these relatives with a feeling of exploitation.

“For eight hours, they strapped him in a chair and cut pieces off him. He begged for a bullet in the brain,” McIntyre said. Many are still affected by the threat and loose ends of Bulger’s gang. In 2001, McIntyre’s family filed a federal lawsuit claiming top-level FBI agents at of the Boston office knowingly shielded Bulger’s crimes from prosecuting, because they were informants against the local Italian Mafia. FBI has not responded with a comment, but did confirm that the Bulger investigation was very much on going.…

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Homemade Lava Lamp Craft for Kids

It is important to spend time with your children and do things with them besides the basic parenting tasks we all have to do like teaching our children basic hygiene, to use their manners, reading and writing, etc. We also need to do other things like play board games, outdoor sports, outings to museums, fairs, cooking and crafts to name a few. There is so much that children can learn from these activities and helps strengthen the bond between parents and their children as well as gives everyone lasting memories of these fun learning experiences.

Doing crafts at home with the kids are great family projects. It helps build children’s artistic skills, boost their creativity and some craft projects help children become more interested in science. A fun craft that also dubs as a science project is making homemade lava lamps. There are a few different formulas you can try depending on what you have around the house.

You will need:

Formula A:

A glass or plastic bottle with a cap (soda pop bottles work great, make sure you clean them well) 
Water 
Vegetable Oil 
Alka-Seltzer Tablets or Generic Brand

Formula B:

A glass or plastic bottle with a cap 
Water 
Vegetable Oil 
Salt

Formula C:

A glass or plastic bottle with a cap 
Water 
Vegetable Oil 
Baking Soda

There are other formulas that you can find by searching the internet that use alcohol or vinegar. I prefer the cooking oil because there are no harsh odors when working with it.

First fill the empty bottle ¼ full of water. Next add food coloring, this will change the color of the water to whatever color you added. (An added fun step here…on the back of most food coloring boxes there is a chart that shows you how to mix the colors to make even more colors like purple, orange, lime green, etc. You can take this opportunity with your kids to learn about mixing colors and have some fun with it!)

Fill the remaining ¾ of the bottle with vegetable oil, leaving about 1″ empty from the top of the bottle. Now comes the fun part…break the Alka-Seltzer tablet into about 6 pieces and drop them into the bottle. If you are not using Alka-Seltzer tablets, drop in about a heaping teaspoon of salt or baking soda. Sit back and watch the lava lamp like display! Afterwards, put the cap on the top of the bottle and you can have fun moving the colored water around the oil or add more tablets later and watch the lava-works again!…