Well, it seems the celebrity world has been rocked with another scandal. You might say it's just another day in Hollywood. But this time, it affects the fans of the Twilight series, and if you've seen any of their videos on Youtube, or read any of their blogs, you know they mean business.
News broke this week that Kristen Stewart has cheated on her co-star, Rob Pattinson. So. Bella has cheated on Edward. Or at least, that's how the Twi-Hards are seeing it. And right now, the Twi-Hards ain't happy.
For the longest time, the duo were quiet about their off-screen romance, and the tabloids were constantly publishing pictures and asking the question, "Could they be in love…?"
Then it was official. There was actual video footage and pictures of them in public, engaging in a little good, old-fashioned PDA. The Twi-Hards rejoiced. Their on-screen romantic heroes were officially a couple off-screen as well. All was right in Forks, Washington.
But then K-Stew cheated. With a married man. Somehow, that makes it even worse. It's bad enough that she would cheat on her sparkly vampire, but with a married dude? Come on.
Kristen has issued an apology, saying she still loves Rob. Rob has reportedly packed his bags and moved out of his own home – the home he has shared with Kristen.
Rob was once asked in an interview at what point he knew he and Kristen would have good on-screen chemistry. He said, "I knew before I met her." Maybe it's the romantic in me, but there seems to be much he knew before he met her.
What he didn't know was that she would shatter his heart. Look, the dude may play a soul-less vampire in the movies, but he does have a heart.
I'm not so sure this one can be fixed. Sparkly hearts are not easily mended – with or without an apology.
Southern women. We're not all dressed in dresses made from our drapes, poking our bottom lips out and pouting about not enough gentlemen callers. Today's Southern woman is so much more. But the beauty of a Southern woman is that she has retained enough tradition to mark her uniquely, well, Southern.
Southern women know how to carry themselves. They know how to dress for hot weather, while maintaining their dignity. They know how to look, act and speak elegantly, while maintaining a devilish charm. Here's some other things Southern women know...
• Southern women know their weather report: humidity, humidity, humidity.
• South women know where to go on vacation: the beach, the rivuh (river) or the crick.
• Southern women are wonderful at remembering the first names of the people they meet – Shugah, Dahlin' or Honey.
• Southern women know the best movies: Fried Green Tomatoes, Driving Miss Daisy, Steel Magnolias and Gone with the Wind.
• South women know the three types of religion that matter: Baptist, Methodist and football.
• Southern women know the best Southern cities: Chawl'stn, S'vanah, Foat Wuth, N'awlins and Addlanna.
• Southern women know an elegant gentleman when they see one: men in uniform, men in tuxedos and Rhett Butler.
• Southern women know prime real estate. The best is the mall, the country club and the beauty parlor.
• Southern women know the three deadly sins: bad hair and nails, bad manners, and bad food.
If there's one thing that's considered truly Southern, it's our tea. We like it sweet, on ice and served often. But if you ain't from around here, you may not get it. And if you leave 'round here, you won't get it.
In fact, if you go anywhere outside of the South, you'll get unsweetened tea. You may get that served with or without ice. You may even get hot tea. But you won't get the elixir of the gods we enjoy here in the South.
Dubbed the "house wine of the South," by Dolly Parton in "Steel Magnolias," sweet tea and its consumption is one of the oldest and most common of all the Southern traditions. That's because us Southerners know a thing or two about sweets.
In the South, we like our pecan pie and pralines so sweet the dentist develops a nervous tic. All of the major soda companies, including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Dr. Pepper, got their start in Dixie. Bourbon, a sweet whiskey, was perfected in Kentucky. The mint julep, a classic Southern cocktail, is basically sweet tea with some extras and is a staple on Southern front porches.
Then there's the tradition of a glass of sweet tea. Offering an ice cold glass of tea is a welcoming gesture, one that is expected in Southern homes. It is always on the table at picnics, barbecues and church socials.
Whatever your take on this traditional beverage, to a Southerner, nothing says home like a big glass of sweet tea on a hot summer day. When it's made just right, and is just the right shade of amber, and served in a glass filled to the brim with ice, there's nothing that hits the spot quite like it.
So, whether you are serving shrimp and grits, fried fish and hush puppies, collard greens and ham, or just snacking on some boiled peanuts, there's nothing better to wash it all down with than sweet tea.
Anybody else feel thirsty all of a sudden?
I remember reading a few weeks ago about actress Ashley Judd's puffy face. Apparently, she was photographed looking a little pudgy around the face, and suddenly, the debate was on.
Did she have work done? Has she gained weight? There aren't enough wrinkles there, so she must have had work done, right? Is she on drugs…don't some drugs make you look puffy? Is she ill…some sicknesses can make you look puffy, right?
Judd, who normally ignores media speculation about herself, released a statement that said she'd had a sinus infection, and had been taking medication which made her appear puffy.
But she didn't stop with the statement. Judd has hit the news outlets, slamming what she calls "hatred of women" perpetrated by the objectification of women everywhere, every day.
"I think it's the objectification of girls and women and this hyper-sexualization of our society that invites criticism," she said.
Judd's got a point. It's everywhere. Any talents, virtues, intellect, or skills a woman might have is often ignored in lieu of her more obvious assets. I believe, back in the day, these assets were referred to as "T and A. " These days, things are no different.
Women are criticized for their body size, their skin, their hair, their weight, their overall demeanor, and even for being too feminine or masculine. It would seem, then, that women can't win for losing.
It's time to stop looking at the magazine covers, ladies, and stop comparing yourself to what you find there. Beauty doesn't come from a makeup kit, nor does it come packaged with a good push-up bra. It comes from within.
Anyone who tells you differently deserves to be photographed on a puffy day.
Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
There's a new online art project called "Webcam Tears," which features a string of webcam videos of girls crying. Yep. Crying. The videos range from girls all-out sobbing to silent tears running down their cheeks. There are videos as well as animated GIFs.
According to reports, the project was inspired by a New York video artist who recorded her sadness for a whole year. Of "365 Days: A Catalogue of Tears," Laurel Nakadate wrote, "In a time where showing genitals on the Internet is not shocking anymore, tears are a new form of pornography."
The new project is intended to portray contemporary sadness in a "voyeuristic Internet culture." The project does not actively seek out teen girls, but the site is full of them.
Clearly, teenage girls have way too much time on their hands. Take a look at the project here: http://tempuri.org/tempuri.html
Our take on it? Well, it's good to know that teenage girls finally have a place to call home for all their drama. They can now cry it out in front of a webcam, then post it for all the world to see and share. How wonderful
Where's the site for bad young actresses? Perhaps the two Tumblr sites should link up?
It looks to me like the world has gone meme – there are memes everywhere. Literally. They've taken over Facebook and Tumblr, and I'm sure other social media as well.
What is a meme? According to Wikipedia, a meme is an "idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture." The word is defined as being something imitated. Online, it's often some pop culture reference done in a hipster fashion.
Memes are being shared, liked, tweeted and reblogged by the millions. I was shocked the other day when a meme I had posted was re-blogged more than 200,000 times – overnight.
So I started to think…why are memes so dang shareable? And why do we even care about them?
Memes run the spectrum; there are good ones and there are bad ones. But nearly everyone likes to pass them on, regardless. It makes us all a part of something universal – like we're all in the same club.
Aside from that, they're just funny. And it takes no time for them to go viral, particularly if they're good ones. If they're very good ones, there will be copycat memes, which no one seems to mind. Copycats only add to the life of the meme and, well, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
So while it is highly likely that I won't be coming up with the next great meme, I will continue to enjoy whatever the newest and best is.
Some say you can learn a lot about a woman by what she's wearing. I say you can learn a lot about a woman by what she's not wearing. Just check out her underwear drawer.
When it comes to bras, all women are basically hoarders. One survey said that each woman has, on average, nine bras in their underwear drawers at any given time, half of which they actually wear.
Where did they find that group of women? They must be men in drag, because no self-respecting woman I know would have less than 15 bras in her drawer. That's because we have some for comfort, some for work, some for play, some for dates, some for "getting lucky," and some for special occasions. We have some for support and some for no support. We have some to wear with halter tops, some to wear with criss-cross strappy tops, and some to wear with tops that have no straps. We have some that fit and some that used to fit.
We also usually have weekend bras, boost-the-bosom bras, bras in every color for every outfit, birthday bras, anniversary bras, and even revival bras, for when the flame is flickering toward extinction in our relationships.
In short, most women keep an ungodly amount of bras.
In the 1970s, lots of women burned their bras. It was all about feminine liberation. All it did was liberate saggy breasts. I'm convinced that those women had a drawer full of replacement bras at home, so burning one didn't really inconvenience those bra-burning chicks.
I still remember my first bra. It was white with a blue bow nestled between the girls. I thought it was so pretty that I ran into the other room and lifted my shirt to show it off to my two brothers. They're still in therapy for that one.
My euphoria didn't last, however. I soon learned to hate the thing, and as soon as I got to school, I ditched the bra and stuffed it in my book bag or desk. And just before school was out for the day, I'd make a bathroom run and put it back on. No one was the wiser.
I'd go on, waxing poetic about my memories of wearing pretty bras or even those basic ones that are made to only lift and separate – nothing else. But I suddenly feel the need to head to Victoria's Secret...
March 2 was the 108th anniversary of Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel's birthday, but you probably remember him simply as Dr. Seuss. The latest incarnation of Dr. Seuss' work, "The Lorax," is in theaters now and is kicking butt at the box office. The man is unstoppable even now.
But why is this? It's because everything you need to know in life you can glean from Dr. Seuss' writings. Here are the life lessons I learned from the creator of the cat in the hat and many other awesome creatures…
• "Why fit in when you were born to stand out?" Oh, so true. If you are different in any sort of way, and you've ever tried to fit in to what society has deemed "normal," then you know how futile it is. Celebrate your different-ness.
• "You'll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut." Walk through life with your eyes wide open and you'll see more, do more, learn more and be more. Dr. Seuss was one smart cookie.
• "Teeth are always in style." Smiling doesn't hurt anyone. Including yourself.
• "I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do. And that enables you to laugh at life's realities."
• "Everything stinks 'til it's finished." Yep. Finish what you start, and don't judge the project in the works.
• Dr. Seuss taught me to be myself and love who I am. "Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You."
• The good doctor also taught me to "carpe diem" or "seize the day." Live in the moment, if you will. "You have brains in your head, You have feet in your shoes, You can steer yourself in any direction you choose; You're on your own, And you know what you know, You are the guy who'll decide where to go."
Perhaps my favorite bit of advice from Dr. Seuss is this: "Live with intention. Walk on the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regrets. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is."
That just about covers it, Doc.
Anybody else remember the whole valley girl thing? It was so, totally like, gag me with a shoe, right?
But think about it…those valley girls had power. They influenced an entire generation to talk like them. It was like, totally outer limits. I admit it. I did it, too. But then again, I was young and easily influenced. But are the only ones affected young and easily influenced?
Not at all. We're all influenced in the lingo we use. And it can come from the teenagers around us to celebrities on TV to, well, just about anyone. We hear a phrase that sticks, and suddenly we're peppering our everyday conversation with, like, stuff.
Some of the more recent trends include uptalk, where you complete every sentence as if it's a question; slang words, such as bitchin', ridic, or like; and today's latest, the vocal fry, which is where you add a little growl to whatever you're saying or singing.
These vocal trends are often associated with the young, and are seen as immature or even stupid. But are they? Many linguists, say this is, like, ridic. The trends that we see and hear each day are used as an interactional tool and a stylistic end point.
Women are also associated with these trends, much more so than men. Vocal fads seem to have their roots in the feminine set. But a recent study showed that men tend to use "like" more commonly than women in everyday conversation.
But the good news is that these trends are around for a while, then they're gone. So like, don't get all mental. It will all be ending soon right?
Apparently, those guys with the bikes, freshly-pressed white shirts and black ties are at it again. The Mormons posthumously baptized Anne Frank. Allegedly.
Don't know who Anne Frank is? She's the Jewish girl who wrote a diary during her family's time in hiding from the ***. Her diary and death in a concentration camp made her a symbol of the Holocaust.
Frank was supposedly baptized into the Mormon church at a temple in the Dominican Republic by a member of the Mormon church. Frank's name has been submitted at least a dozen times for a proxy baptism, and the ritual has been done at least nine times since 1989. This time is different, according to a witness, because her name has been added to a database that can be used for genealogy.
The Mormon church has vowed in the past to stop proxy baptisms, and made a pact with Jewish leaders that the church would not conduct the ritual for any more Jews. The ritual last Saturday at Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple violates that pact.
A statement from the Mormon church reads: "The church keeps its word and is absolutely firm in its commitment to not accept the names of Holocaust victims for proxy baptism."
Officials of the Mormon church have said they are distressed that an individual would willfully violate church policy. Church officials have also issued a formal apology for the posthumous baptist of Holocaust victims.
Here's the thing: this is more about those alive than dead. Those who are being posthumously baptized could not possibly care less. Those who are doing the baptizing are doing it for the notoriety, not for the "good" of the deceased. And those who are arguing about it are arguing because they like to argue. Simple as that.
Get over yourself, people. Stop trying to get 15 minutes of fame off a dead person. It's disgusting.
Smartphones are, apparently, responsible for the diminishing of the use of Braille among the blind youth of today. Who knew?
For about 200 years, Braille has helped the blind read and live independently. But there are those who say that smartphones and other technology have made it so much easier for young people to get by without learning it – these critics say there is an ever-swelling surge of Braille illiteracy.
According to the experts, only about 10 percent of the blind population can read Braille. Not surprising, when you consider that a blind person can easily download an audio book from iTunes. And smartphones can be equipped with screenreaders that turn text into spoken language.
But will smartphones and the like be the end of Braille? Who knows?
Helen Keller must be rolling over in her grave right now.
When contemplating what I could write about this week, it occurred to me that I haven't written about my Southern heritage in a while. When I lived in Oregon, I used to teach my students in Sunday School a new Southern phrase or word each week. I had them speaking like they were from the South, y'all.
Here are some of my favorite Southern phrases:
• He's finer than frog hair split four ways.
• If you don't stop, I'll knock you in the head and tell God you died.
• He's so confused he doesn't know whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt.
• She's madder than a mule chewing' on bumblebees.
• He could even depress the devil.
• That boy's more slippery than snot on a glass doorknob.
• Well, they're off like a herd of turtles.
• He's so cute I could put him on a plate and sop him up with a biscuit.
• He stinks so bad he'd knock a buzzard off a gut wagon.
• He fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.
• She's as pretty as a speckled pup.
• He's drunker than ol' Cooter Brown.
• Last night sure was a frog strangler. (lots of rain)
• Well if that ain't true, grits ain't groceries.
• You better watch out or I'll cream your corn.
There's just something wonderful about being from the South. There's no other place in the world like it. I think Carlton Riley Smith got it right when he said, "A person doesn't have to live in the South to share good food with friends at the end of a warm day, when the breeze is just right, or to bask in the rewarding afterglow of a hard day's work in the garden. Southerners didn't invent these sorts of simple pleasures – we just refined them."
Back during the Christmas holidays, I went gadget shopping online for the perfect Christmas gift for a gadget-happy brother. And where do you turn for the perfect gadget someone hasn't got but can't live without? Why the SkyMall catalog, of course.
If you've ever flown, you probably are familiar with SkyMall. It's the catalog they place in the pocket on the back of the seat in front of you. You know, so you'll have something to keep your attention while you wait for the pilot to get clearance for take-off. It's filled with all sorts of goodies – things no one ever really needs. They are overpriced, but you can bet, no one you know has these items. Here are a few of my favorites…
• The Underwater Cellular Phone System – It'll come in handy when you need to call for help during a shark attack. And it's only $1,790.
• For those who have no friends or family, and who need reminding of that fact, there's the Box of Applause or Box of Laughter. It's only $24.95, and each box can provide hours of reassurance that you are loved and funny. Oh yeah…and the batteries are included.
• If you are tired of being teased because you are tan everywhere but your feet, then you need the Solafeet Foot Tanner. For only $229.99, you can get rid of your golfer's tan…finally.
• If you know someone who's a dinosaur buff, but doesn't have a dino head to mount on his den wall, then the T-Rex Dinosaur Trophy Sculp is for you. For a mere $79.95, you get a T-Rex head mounted to a lovely round frame – and it features the poor T-Rex's useless little front legs, which were obviously no help during the attack that led to its current state. Does not sing like that bass thing, though.
• If you're tired of bumping into things when you get up during the night to tinkle, then you need the Brightfeet Lighted Slippers for $39.95. These puppies feature a bright light mounted in the front, so you'll never have to fear the Boogie Man again when you get up for that 2 a.m. drink of water.
• Got a playlist for when you do No. 2 but sadly no way to blast your tunes? Then sob no more, because you can get the Toilet Paper iPod Holder for $99.99. It's billed as "the king of all iPod docking stations," and features speakers and a toilet paper holder. You'll have the dirtiest iPod in the world, but your ears will be happy.
• If you are a gardner, you know how difficult it can be to find garden sculptures that really speak to you. Gnomes are so overdone, and cupids, well, everyone's got 'em. But I bet no one in your neighborhood has the Big Foot Garden Yeti Sculpture. You can purchase this conversation starter for $98.95 – and it's in the classic Big Foot walking-through-the-forest-casually-captured-on-camera pose.
• Books are great. They can entertain you for hours. But all that reading can really tire you out. Thank goodness for the Levo Book Holder, that you can purchase for a mere $165.95. It's a stand that holds your book up in front of you. You'll have to hire a kid, however, to turn the pages for you.
I noticed it in the first movie…there was just something about Severus Snape. I found him, oddly enough, hot. As the movies from the Harry Potter franchise continued to be churned out, I continued to find Snape hot. I feared that not only was I alone, but that friends and family would disown me and label me completely mental.
I mean, after all, I read the books. The character of Snape, as created by J.K. Rowling, hasn't got a single drop of sexy on him. In fact, he's described as mean and ugly. But I have discovered that I am not alone. In fact, there are women all over the world, by the millions even, who are all hot and bothered for Snape. While many have embraced their obsession, there are those who are just downright confounded by it.
There's no doubt that ladies love Snape. Here's why, in my humble opinion, so many of the fairer sex want to get into Snape's robes…
• One of the biggest reasons is, without a doubt, Alan Rickman's voice. It is like velvety chocolate that wraps around you, warms you and then gives you that come-here index finger thing. Many would say that Rickman is average looking and, well, the man is 65. But his voice triggers a primal mating instinct in women everywhere. Don't believe me? Get on YouTube, and search for Rickman reading anything. Listen to it, then try and tell me what the plot was in what he just read. You won't be able to. Trust me. And besides…you know what they say about men with big noses.
• He's tall, dark and mysterious. What woman doesn't fantasize about that? Cliche? Yes. True? Ever so. Women in general like to discover what lies beneath the men their hearts beat for. And if he's mysterious and a tad bit on the scary side, all the better. Besides…Snape said, "I shall attempt to penetrate your mind and you shall attempt to resist me." Enough said.
• Women don't like nice guys. There are lots of nice guys out there who would attest to this, but the fact is, most women do like nice guys. But they also like the bad boys. Snape is the consummate bad boy. Women look at him and think that if they could only bite into the hard candy shell, they could get to his sweet chewy center. It's a total turn-on.
• Every woman likes a tortured soul. Let's face it, we women have a nurturing attitude. Who better to comfort than a man who has endured years of torture, ridicule and inner turmoil? We all know Snape hugs his pillow and cries every night because he's wounded and sensitive.
• Smart is sexy. Snape is, without a doubt, brilliant. Women find this attractive. Very attractive, indeed.
• Sarcastic is funny, and a dark sense of humor is strangely alluring. We all like our men to make us laugh – but if they add a little bitter, well…bitter chocolate has its own allure.
• Snape is noble. He does the right thing. He chooses to protect the son of the woman he loves, even though he knows he can never have her, and looking at her son with another man just reminds him of that fact. Girls love us some noble dudes – and there's no more noble dude than Severus, honey.
• Perhaps the No. 1 reason Snape is hot is that he is a romantic. Oh, you do have to bite into that hard candy coating to find this, but once you do, you find a love that is white hot. Snape loved the object of his affection until the day he died, despite everything. And everything he did was for her. This is what every cheesy romance novel is built on, right?
Snape was scorned by his peers, hated by his students and dissed by the woman he loved. He did all of this, knowing he would never be recognized for the hero he was. He sacrificed it all, willingly.
The question, therefore, is not, "Why is Snape hot?" It is, instead, "How long will women everywhere be obsessed with Severus Snape?"
The answer is simple: Always.
"Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual resolutions. Next week, you can begin paving hell with them, as usual." -- Mark Twain
Mark Twain was a smart man. He knew what the rest of us just won't admit. New Year's resolutions just don't work. Why? Because we are all human. It's also because we usually set goals that are way too lofty – we couldn't reach them if we actually did try.
So this year, I propose that instead of wasting time making New Year's resolutions, instead determine what you can do to make a difference – and not just in your own life.
Sure, it's easy to look at your own life and determine what needs to be changed. But why not take a look at what you can do to make a difference in your own life? For example, rather than focus on the pounds you need to lose, look instead and what you can do to make a difference in your overall health. Instead of focusing on the fact that you need to cut out sugary treats or caffeine, just make a difference by eating more fruit and drinking more water.
What's not as easy is looking at the world around you and determining how you can make a difference there. For example, is there a mentoring program in your area? Perhaps you can find some time each week to mentor a child. It's a proven fact that children who are mentored are less likely to drop out of school, they do better in school, and they are more likely to further their education after high school.
You don't have to do something big to make a difference – in your own life or in the life of someone else. Just do something.
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