Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Letting Folks Down Easy Is Possible, Right?

Rejecting someone you're no longer interested in romantically can be a challenge. I'm in my 30s and while I'm better equipped to turn someone down or reject them, it still is hard and can often hurt myself as much as the other party. Perhaps that is why many folks lie, avoid the issue, or ignore the person they're trying to let go. They genuinely do not want there to be any hard feelings.

However, this isn't always the case. Even when you're truthful, someone still feels hurt or slighted. That beautiful woman you had your eye on for some time has crushed your heart. Now you must recover and collect yourself.

Nevertheless, honesty is basically the best policy. Honesty with tact of course. There is no need to beat around the bush, tell a white lie, or make up a fake relationship. Just tell them you are flattered and appreciate their interest. However,you only see them in a friendly, platonic way.

Now people can be funny, and once again still feel crushed. Continue to be their friend and converse and interact like nothing ever happened. Should this person not get the hint and try to harrass you, then you may have to get harsh. You can ignore them then (but not for no good reason),  ask them politely to leave you be, and keep your distance.  The next step would be to contact the police for a restraining order, and some of your closest friends so you will not feel harrassed. You should not have to change your phone number, address, or daily life just because a rejection has gone ugly. Protect yourself, don't be a victim, and live your life. It's not always that serious anyways.

So yes ladies and gentlemen it is possible to gently and tactfully turn down a crush or admirer. I'm a very grown man now, I left the games on the playground. I feel those that haven't and cannot reject me in an adult manner have some maturing to do, plain and simple. I know that seems harsh, but its true. A true man or woman knows how to handle and properly socialize with other folks in different ways. It doesn't cost a thing to be nice and polite, but honest about it. Act the way you want to be treated. One has to behave like an adult to be respected as one.

Finally, treat them with respect with each passing day.  Things may have gone completely south and you two no longer speak. However, you two should still be respectful and cordial when you see each other. It's all about respect, honesty, and proper communication, which are important elements in any relationship.

No one likes to be rejected. However, that's part of the game, the law of averages. Everyone will not like you. Just make sure you stay likable in the process of the rejection, whether you're on the giving or receiving end.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Top 7: Vacation Spots To Try That Aren't The Beach or The Mountains

It is that time: finalizing savings and hotel reservations and such for that long anticipated and earned vacation. Many folks have one of two places that they go to annually:  the beach and the mountains.  Well here are 7 other places to consider that are a nice change of place from that tradition and/or routine.

1. Charleston, SC

This is one of my favorite places to go. I will try and go at least once/year, even if only for a weekend. This town has so much culture, festivals, and aquarium, some of the best seafood you will find, and even a beach (Folly Beach). They even have the Tanger Outlets to fulfill that shopping desire. Charleston is just one of the major positives about the state of South Carolina.

2. Cruise

There are three major cruise companies, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Disney. A vacation on a cruise across the beautiful Caribbean sea provides lots of excitement. It's like being on a big hotel on the water. All the food you can eat, shows, karaoke, sushi, casino, even putt putt golf, a gym, and a nightclub. The places you stop, such as the Bahamas and Jamaica, are exciting as well.

3. DisneyWorld

This is awesome for folks with children. DisneyWorld in Orlando, FL offers awesome deals and packages. You can even visit Universal Studios theme park while you are there. It has become a ritual for many families with young children to go to Disney. I know of older folks that even ring in the New Years there.

4. Other cities (Savannah, Atlanta, Miami, NY, LA, Vegas, etc)

There are several other cities in the USA that provide an exciting vacation. Its hard to beat Vegas for various reasons. Miami has lots of excitement and great weather. New Orleans has Mardi Gras.  Cities such as New York, Dallas , Atlanta, LA, and Chicago also offer up plenty of fun for whatever you're looking to get into.

5. Hawaii

This is obviously a very expensive vacation, but a worthwhile one.  I haven't been but I want to go. Perfect weather, great food, and hospitable natives. Hawaii is a dream place to vacation.

6.  Cancun, Mexico

This is another great weather place to vacation that offers many of the elements listed previously. You also get to vacation out of the US, much like a cruise. Have your passport ready!

7. Camping at the lake/staying at a lake house.

Staying at the lake, especially if you're camping out, offers economically sound entertainment. You have fishing, jet skis, boating, and even cooking out. The lake is one of the most relaxing places to go, and a vacation is supposed to relax you.

So think outside of the box and consider a different vacation for this year. You may find a new family tradition, ritual, or routine!

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cornhole: Catching on fast, and leaving horseshoes in the crosshairs

This game once seemed like one for young children, or even for yuppies. However, it seems folks of all ages, walks of life, and even races are playing cornhole.

Cornhole is a game similar to horseshoes in many fashions, including the scoring.  Two boards with a hole near the top are placed a few feet from each other, just like horseshoe pegs. One, however, tosses beanbags with corn in them, attempting to hit the hole at the top of the board.

This game has really taken many areas by storm. There is recreational and competitive play.  You can now see people playing this game at bars, cookouts, tailgates, birthday parties, and even family reunions. There are also many local, regional, and even national competitions everywhere. Competitions can be held indoors or outdoors. The outdoor competition seems to be the most popular, especially during spring and summertime.

I have many friends and relatives that not only play, not only buy their own cornhole boards and bags with sports logos of their choice, they make them as a side hustle. I know of a couple of people, including family members, that construct cornhole sets and pocket anywhere from $150-$200 per set. Not bad if you're good with your hands, wood, and can paint.

So where does this leave horseshoes? I know many horseshoe players that will not go near cornhole. Others play both, liking the new thrill cornhole offers.  Horseshoes is more of an old school game but relies more on strength than cornhole does. Cornhole is more of a game of accuracy. However, you can play cornhole virtually anywhere and it is overall safer than horseshoes. It basically has more versatility than horseshoes, but not necessarily a better game. That is all a matter of perception.

Nonetheless, cornhole doesn't seem to be going anywhere soon. Horseshoes will always be around as well, but appears to be to cornhole what pinball machines are to video games.  It is simply the next step in recreational and competitive gameplay.

So now what will the next big game be like?

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Top 7: Ways/Hints that you are getting a female to go the distance late

Ok this started with a conversation in one of my FB groups. Many of you know I'm old school. However, I try to stay hip to new lingo, especially when it comes to sex and love. Back when I was in my teens and early twenties, asking a female to"chill" was simply that. Now it almost always implies sex, ESPECIALLY if its late night. Remember the old saying "Nothing good happens after midnight" I'm also starting to realize this as I grow older.

I decided for this week's Top 7 to compile a list of inneudos fellas often use to get into a woman's drawers during the late hours. Don't worry fellas, I'm not Steve Harvey, I'm only giving away scraps, not our entire repertoire. Some things should remain sacred.

1. Chill.

This is obviously #1. Ladies, 9 times out of 10, a guy is not telling you to come chill late at night for company. He wants more, and the later the hour, the more he expects, especially if he's known you a while.

2. Coffee

This is age old, but still a goodie. A guy will often invite a gal in for coffee after a late night date or party. This of course is designed to keep you awake for potential extracurricular activity, plus still give you enough juice to drive home that night if you're sober.

3. Movie marathon

He may invite you over to watch a few movies in the early evening.  This could turn into a movie marathon, and then a sex marathon. If the guy has like a stack of 10 DVDs and later starts playing Luther or Marvin in the background, another marathon may begin.  Have on the appropriate shoes, whether you're ready to hop in the bed, or run for cover out the nearest exit.

4. You're drunk, sleep it off here.

Due to excessive partying, drinking, and strict DUI laws, this is also effective. The guy may also be genuinely concerned. However, if he was helping you get to this drunken state, he may have had an agenda. Our judgment is obviously impaired when we're under the influence, so please be careful and take precaution beforehand.

5. Waffle House/Dennys

This could apply to any after hours joint. The two of you decide to go to Waffle House, Dennys, White Castle, or somewhere open late to fill that craving. This craving you're filling could also lead to another craving the guy is having. Don't be caught off guard, it does happen.

6. It's Too Late For You To Drive Home.

A number of scenarios, even some previously mentioned could lead to this. You have been up studying late for a big exam, partying, movies, or "chilling" for real. This time, though, the guy doesn't brew any coffee or have any energy drinks available. He would rather you stay the night and not be out alone as a single female. This may be true, but this is also an opportunity for him to seduce you. Your judgement is still in tact so use it.

7. Late night house party

It is definitely the season for these. Cookouts, bonfires, and just drinking parties. Rather than go home, the host may offer that some of the guests stay the night (especially if its a small party). This could quickly turn into an all night orgy, or just where folks pick and choose who they wanna be we.

The reality is, casual sex still does happen. More often than naught, if you're a woman and you're with a man late, sex is almost inevitable or anticipated. We do have other techniques and tricks for getting the cookie, but these are 7 basics to watch for.

Finally, be careful who you trust and "chill" with

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It All Started With a Gold Nintendo cartridge

Video games have been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. I can recall playing Combat, Asteroids and Pitfall on the Atari as early as the age of five. My love for games continued into adulthood with Playstation and Xbox games, especially the sports related ones. I'm even big on smartphone games.

The game that really made myself into a gamer, however, was The Legend of Zelda, the Nintendo (NES) version in the vintage gold cartridge. I fell in love with that game and that series. My gameplay level intensified once I discovered this game.

The Legend of Zelda was the first game where I sought out the help of strategy guides and Nintendo Power magazine. It was also the first one that I stayed up all night on weekends playing. The goal for Link to finish quests, defeat Gannon, and rescue Princess Zelda was extremely appealing to me. I can recall running up the long distance phone bill calling the Nintendo Power help hotline. 

The choice of weapons, the adventure, challenges and depth of the game grabbed my attention, although the graphics were primitive by current standards. Plus, you had to blow several times into that gold cartridge to keep it functional. I would be so livid when a power outage would come or the game would freeze before I could save it. It was that intense.

I felt so awesome when I finally beat the game and defeated the evil Gannon. I even went back and played the 2nd quest and beat that one as well. I also played the sequel, The Adventure of Link, and again was victorious. 

The last game of the Zelda franchise I played and completed was The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for the Super Nintendo. I bought that game in high school, and still played it for 3 years, even after beating it. The storyline and the graphics were much sharper.

I grew older and focused my attention on sports games such as Madden and NCAA football, and later on the Grand Theft Auto series.  I'm a non-traditional gamer, as I don't do a lot of of the RPGs or online play. I'm also not big on the 1st person games such as Halo or the Call of Duty series. However, I take the games I play seriously. It's in my competitive nature. 

It's hard to believe looking back that one game could have that type of long term impact on me. It has and it did though. The Legend of Zelda raised the bar for gaming and helped inspire other quest related games such as Final Fantasy and even World of Warcraft. It is also a game series that never seems to grow old. It only improves.

My advice to gamers and game designers is to not forget games such as Zelda. It truly transcended all of gaming, and gave many gamers such as myself sleepless nights and excitement.

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Top 7: My Favorite Romance Movies (not necessarily chick flicks)

I'm actually becoming more of a fan of romantic movies as I get older. I'm just a fan of good cinema period.  Some love stories, or chick flicks, are clique and predictable. I actually prefer romantic comedies.

Here are my 7 favorite romantic movies (chick flicks and non), and even a list of honorable mentions. Once again, I love movies!

1. Love Jones

Being a huge fan of poetry and of Larenz Tate and the beautiful Nia Long, it's natural for me to love this movie. It also came out in the 90s, during the time where I was becoming a man. I can watch this movie over and over and it always redeems my belief in true love.

2. The Notebook

Yes, yes, I know and realize this is the quintessential chick flick of chick flicks, and many women's favorite love movie. However, this is an awesome story of loving and true love, for better or for worse. Nicholas Sparks has just become a master of Southern love stories. Many of his other movies, however, such as Dear John and The Vow, simply haven't lived up to The Notebook. It is his version of "Thriller" if you will.

3. Love and Basketball

BET played the heck out of this movie for years. It was also one of the first DVDs I owned. I believe it has a good balance between love and sports, showing two athletes who always loved each other even when at different points in their life. Brown Sugar can be called the hip hop version of this movie.

4. Friends With Benefits

This is a good spin on the traditional love story. Awesome romantic comedy that you can watch over and over and feel good, even if you do not believe in the concept. Watching both Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis give up on love, then realize they were catching feelings was interesting and refreshing.

5. Titanic

The #2 highest grossing film of all time was recently re-released in theaters. Many women (and even men) watched this movie several times in the theater. I believe the appeal of the haves and have nots helped make this movie such a timeless hit, although most folks already knew the end result going in.

6. Rocky

This is not only one of the best sports movies of all time, and extremely inspirational, its a love story in every sense. Rocky tried to get noticed in the ring and by the local pet store clerk, Adrian. They really loved each other and it was a gradual love, growing through his training and culminating with his big fight.  Adrian!!!!

7. You've Got Mail

This was literally an upgrade on "Sleepless in Seattle" and even included the same actors (Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan). This was released at a time when internet dating was not only taboo but new. Now its more commonplace with e-Harmony, Match and even ole Facebook.

Honorable Mention: Jungle Fever, Sixteen Candles, Crazy, Stupid, Love, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Treat It Like A Bill: Setting Aside Funds to Spoil and Reward You!

Many folks know how financially sound I am. I budget every penny and every dollar. I also am always on the lookout for extra money in the form of discounts and legal side hustles/additional income sources. All that being said, I do try to spoil myself every week. Whether its a movie, buying a new shirt, or even something really inexpensive like a shake from the Cookout, I believe its important and healthy to reward yourself.

Several people work hard and sacrifice valuable time from family, friends, and other things we love. Therefore, occasionally spoiling yourself shows your self-value, self-worth, and gives you gratitude for a job well done.

Now of course I don't mean go bananas, like buy a 60 inch flat screen, or an expensive weekend trip to Miami. Those are nice also. What I mean is something you personally enjoy, but within reason of your personal finances. Simply set aside a few extra dollars for this. Heck budget for it, and treat it like a bill! Your health will thank you later.

Many folks already give 10% of their earnings back to the Lord in the form of tithes. What about budgeting for an additional 10% for yourself? Your choice, night out, dinner at your favorite restaurant, a new pair of shoes, a massage. You have earned it. 

It's nice when you can gain enough discipline to even get an ice cream cone or a Frosty from the dollar menu, or go bigger and take a road trip. It helps you to unwind, and it will be money well spent. 

Robert T. Kiyosaki actually talks about in "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" about paying yourself first. Consider my advice as similar to that.

What will be your reward for what you've accomplished? Any accomplishment, big or small, should be celebrated. It can be simple. We do only have one life.

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