I suppose that I’m always on the look out for a story. But I don’t know. A story is a lot more than a string of words strung together to form a, more or less, linear, dramatic arc. That’s Aristotelian story. That’s Joseph Campbell and the foundation of myth. But stories don’t often come to us in tidy packages. Most don’t. A beginning, a middle, and an end. That’s Hollywood and Madison Avenue. The true stories, the real stories, come in pieces, out of sequence, and are often scattered in time.

The stories that matter to us, the ones we hold and keep the longest, are the stories that build, organically, with no boundaries set in theme or time. Who we are, each of us. What our lives mean. Who we love and count among our tribe, our family. What be believe, truly in our hearts. Why we strive. These are…

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Nine circles of hell

Strong Language

For all of its eternal damnation, hell can seem pretty weak when it comes to strong language. Fuck and bitch, say, can rain down some serious fire and brimstone, but hell? Religious-based swears may not bring the same heat they once did in English, but hell still hath a lot of fury if we look at the many ways it bedevils our tongue. From hell yes! to hell-to-the-no, let’s take a tour of some of the linguistic uses—er, circles—of hell. 

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I Have Not Actively Worked. I Have Sat Quietly.

Teri Carter's Library


In times like this, white people are quick to throw their hands up and dissociate themselves from racism and the person accused of the racist act. But how many of them can say they have actively worked to challenge the racism in the people around them? How many folks have sat quietly as Uncle Jimbo tells the story of the time he put that one nigger in his place at work?       ~~ Jamilah Lemieux, Ebony Magazine

Within minutes of seeing it, I send a message to his mother, my cousin. Have you seen your son’s new tattoo?

There is a flag. There is a noose. There are the words Southern Justice scrolled across.

 I’ve seen it, she says. But he just turned 18. He’s an adult. What am I supposed to do? I want to scream, You are supposed to act like his fucking mother! and You’re…

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Guns, pythons, Old Thunder n’ Lightning —
whatever you call your arms, a muscular set will
definitely demand attention. Arms are
traditionally one of the first parts of the body
people try to build up when getting in shape, as
they are right out front for everyone to see.
Thus, it’s important, at least for some people, to
pump “Rock” and “Roll” up; you know, to send a
There are three major muscle groups that lifters
target when exercising the arm: triceps, biceps,
and forearms. Of course, your arms are
intricately related to other muscle groups in your
body as well — notably the chest and back, and
even your abs. For that reason, arm exercises
will also give those muscles a workout, and build
additional resolve in your core.
There are a multitude of arm exercises , and
corresponding workout programs available for
perusing. You can build your own routine too,
but the trick is to figure out which exercises will
help you bulk up, build definition, and grow
significantly stronger. To help you get there, in
true Cheat Sheet style, we’ve put together a
short list of some of the most effective moves to
give you a head start.
Read on to see five exercises that will help you
build those arms into the lethal weapons you’ve
always wanted.


Relationships are hard. They take a lot of
dedication, focus, and work. Finding the right
person to settle down with can often feel like a
very frustrating game of chance. And even when
you do find the right one, you’ll still have your
work cut out for you as you make an effort to
maintain your relationship.
If you’re looking for a little guidance when it
comes to love, you’ve come to the right place.
The Cheat Sheet spoke with eight top
relationship experts to get some of their best
advice. So pull up a chair and read on for more.
1. Take it easy
The best relationship advice I’ve ever gotten,
and that I give, is “easy does it.” Too often we
get caught up in fear-based needs to control
our partner. This pull becomes a destructive
compulsion that corrodes the integrity of the
relationship. It replaces respect and
compassion with anger and resentment. It
destroys the quality of our lives and over time,
the relationship.
This advice impacted the way I approach
romantic relationships in that I allowed for a
lot more space, which in turn allowed for less
reactivity, more peace, happiness, and
respect. The classic struggle of all
relationships is finding the right calculus in the
togetherness-and-autonomy equation.
Typically, when a relationship is under stress,
one of the partners asks for physical space to
break the tension. This is suboptimal. The
best way to incorporate space is by being
proactive and providing emotional rather than
physical space. To do this, partners need to
allow each other the space to be themselves
and to have their experiences without trying to
control the outcome or think that you are
responsible for their lives and reaction. It’s
hard work and takes practice, but the rewards
are well worth the effort.
Dr. Paul Hokemeyer, J.D. licensed marriage and
family therapist and senior clinical adviser to
Caron Ocean Drive .
Source: Dr. Gail Saltz
2. Give 90%
My parents advised what they did in their own
marriage: “both of you always think about
giving 90% to your partner and you both will
be very happy.” They meant it’s so important
to think about how your partner is feeling, to
stand in their shoes, to be giving and
compromising, and emotionally generous. That
10% is for the understanding that sometimes
it’s also OK to be a bit selfish, to place your
needs first, or stand firm on something. They
also made clear that this only works if you are
both giving 90%.
I just celebrated my 26th wedding anniversary.
I definitely think about my spouse’s needs and
feelings the majority of the time and try to be
compromising. In return I feel he is 90%
thinking of me and how to consider my
feelings and be supportive and loving.
Sometimes this means giving something up,
but actually most times this means we both
get what we want and we both feel very loved,
supported, and that we are in each other’s
corner. I don’t feel afraid to be giving, because
he really has my best interests at heart. We
are a terrific team and often we agree on what
we want. And when we don’t, we tend to take
turns supporting the other’s wants.
Dr. Gail Saltz , clinical associate professor of
psychiatry at New York Presbyterian’s Weill-
Cornell Medical College .
Source: Thinkstock
3. You are responsible for your own
It’s not my partner’s job to make me happy.
It’s my job to make me happy. Of course it’s
easy to feel good when my partner is acting in
a way that I want —but needing them to be a
certain way in order for me to feel good —
that’s bondage. Thinking that they’re always
going to be in a good mood and directing their
affectionate attention towards me — while that
may be possible during the initial stage of a
relationship, is impossible to sustain long-
term. I’m responsible for my happiness. My
partner is responsible for her happiness. We
deliberately focus on things to feel good in our
lives and for things to appreciate in one
If you’re looking for someone to complete you
—or vice versa—you’re looking in the wrong
direction for the lasting happiness, wholeness,
and fulfillment that you truly seek. Wouldn’t it
be better if you could find a way to feel how
you want to feel regardless of what you’re
partner is saying or doing?
This advice transformed every relationship in
my life – not just the romantic ones. Before I
knew these things, I was unintentionally
holding my partner responsible for my
happiness. When I learned that I’m
responsible for my own happiness and when I
learned how to consistently align with it, my
entire world transformed. I now have the
freedom to choose if and when I spend time
with someone else, and I deliberately choose
to spend time with others who get this, too.
My relationships are more meaningful, more
loving, more free, and most importantly –
more fun! And my overall happiness continues
to grow, too, regardless of whether I’m in a
relationship or not.
Jeff Bear, life coach and founder of Bear
Source: Lisa Steadman
4. Stop waiting and live your life
When I was single and stressed about finding
love, my good friend, Scott, a confirmed
bachelor, told me this. He said, “Lisa, you
need to calm down, chill out, and stop
expecting love to be here already. Your sense
of entitlement is killing your ability to attract a
good man.” When I realized he was right, I
stopped waking up every day feeling angry
that love hadn’t found me yet. I stopped being
resentful that my friends were married and
having lives that felt out of reach to me. I
stopped feeling like my life was on hold. As
cliché as it sounds, I stopped waiting and
started living . Overnight, my outlook changed.
My results changed, too. I started meeting
men wherever I went. I went on dates, had fun,
didn’t give my heart away foolishly, and met
my husband. I knew he was The One when he
told me, “I’ve always been too nice for the
naughty girls and too naughty for the nice
ones.” That had been my experience with men.
My advice for singles who are struggling in
their search is to look within and ask
themselves what part of their own life still
needs work. When you clean up your side of
the street, you make room for a perfectly
imperfect person to see you, celebrate you,
and love you. And remember that Mr. Right [or
Ms. Right] will not be perfect, but will be
perfect for you, just as you’ll be perfectly
imperfect for him [or her].
Lisa Steadman , relationship expert and author of
It’s a Breakup Not a Breakdown .
Source: iStock
5. Love yourself
You can’t love anyone more than your
willingness to love yourself. Through this
advice I learned about the importance of
caring for my mind, body, and spirit. I liken
love to the oxygen mask on a plane. You have
to apply it to yourself before applying it to the
person next to you. This advice improved my
chances of winning my wife’s hand in
marriage. She was searching for true love. She
wanted someone to spend the rest of her life
with. Conveying to her that I loved myself
signaled that I could be a pillar of strength
and compassion.
Paul C. Brunson, matchmaker and author of It’s
Complicated (But It Doesn’t Have to Be): A
Modern Guide to Finding and Keeping Love.
Source: Thinkstock
6. Don’t put boundaries on others
You can’t put boundaries on someone else—
only yourself. If someone is treating you badly,
you can’t change their behavior. But you can
ask yourself why you accept it and how you
can put a boundary on yourself so that you
won’t accept it again. It made me take more
responsibility for my role in bad relationships.
Instead of feeling like a victim of
circumstance, I was empowered to reject bad
treatment and choose a different person. Also,
[remember that] life is a self-fulfilling
prophesy. If you believe you are undeserving of
happiness, love and prosperity, that’s what
the universe will give you.
Dr. Wendy Walsh, relationship expert and author
of The 30-Day Love Detox.
Source: Martha Swann
7. Sometimes love is where you’d
least expect it
The hottest, most fun, sexiest, interesting,
growth-stimulating, spontaneous, most
romantic, most eye-opening relationships or
experiences all were not with people that I
thought I would end up with. Just because a
relationship has a shelf life doesn’t mean you
shouldn’t enter into it. This advice allowed me
to enjoy each interaction for what it was and
not try to make it something it wasn’t. And at
the end of the day, our life is just a
conglomeration of memories and I have many
happy memories to think on. This gives me
the freedom to experience all life has to offer!
Other good advice: “Always be unexpected.”
This doesn’t have to be in grand gestures, but
predictability in a relationship = boring = death
of romance. Worst Advice? “Don’t worry, it’ll
happen.” If I wanted to learn French, if
someone told me “Don’t worry, it’ll happen,”
how stupid does that sound?! Dating is a skill
set like every other and you get out of it what
you put into it.
Hunt Ethridge , certified dating coach.
Source: Thinkstock
8. Put in some effort
First, you simply must put time and energy
into dating. A combination of online dating
and socializing (perhaps including speed
dating or singles mixers) is ideal. And second,
you must go about dating the right way—from
a positive attitude and an effective online
dating profile (I can help you with that at ) to behavior on dates and
communication with potential partners. If your
approach to finding love is waiting for it to
just come along, you’re taking a huge risk and
will probably be single for a long time.


Everyone has been waiting a long time for dudes
to finally get more consistent contraceptive
Right now, guys have two reliable methods of
birth control: vasectomies and condoms. (Pulling
out doesn’t work nearly as much as you think).
Condoms work very well, if they are stored
properly and are worn correctly. They halt
pregnancies and are good barriers against STIs.
However, a lot of couples eventually decide not to
use them once they enter into a long term
monogamous relationship because they can dull
the sensation.
The advent of effective contraception methods for
ladies was a huge step forward. It helped us to
take control of our lives – to leave home and
pursue interests until families can be planned for.
But on the male side of things, progress was all
but halted. This means that month-by-month,
making sure babies aren’t conceived during the
act is the prime responsibility of women.
Ladies have a few options for having fun without
needing to worry about pregnancy. But many of
these types of birth control, like the pill, nuvaring,
and some IUD’s have a serious impact on
hormonal balances. These methods also placed
the entire financial burden on women as well.
Until Now!
Vasalgel, a semi-permanent male contraceptive, is
in the process of going through FDA testing. A
one-time injection of polymer gel goes into your
vas deferens (the tube your sperm swim through)
and then you’re baby-free for an entire decade!
This type of birth control has been in use in India
for a decade – but Vasalgel is being developed by
US companies with a different formula. The
process is entirely reversible if you find the right
partner. The best part? The company wants to
keep it as low cost as possible, as they are
committed to making it affordable to everyone
that’s interested. A low-cost, low-impact birth
control that lasts for a decade? Sign us up!
This is great news for everyone!
Bringing a beautiful baby into the world is a
wonderful thing. But it’s a decision best made
with preparation and intentionality. Tools like
these help us to plan better, so we can give our
future children the best possible life that we can,
at the time of our choosing.

Putin plots for Texas to scecede

N athan Smith, who styles himself
the “foreign minister” for the
Texas Nationalist Movement,
appeared last Spring at a far-
right confab in St. Petersburg,
Russia. Despite roaming around in his
cowboy hat, Smith managed to keep a
low-key presence at the conference,
which was dominated by fascists and
neo-Nazis railing against Western
decadence. But at least one Russian
newspaper, Vzglyad , caught up with the
American, noted that TNM is “hardly a
marginal group,”and quoted Smith
liberally on the excellent prospects for a
partial breakup of the United States.
Smith declared that the Texas National
Movement has 250,000 supporters—
including all the Texans currently
serving in the U.S. Army—and they all
“identify themselves first and foremost
as Texans” but are being forced to
remain Americans. The United States,
he added, “is not a democracy, but a
dictatorship.” The Kremlin’s famed
troll farms took the interview and ran
with it, with dozens of bots instantly
tweeting about a “Free Texas.”


Obamacare looms over Kasich’s
presidential bid
In a field of Republican candidates who detest
Obamacare, the Ohio governor’s embrace of the
law’s Medicaid expansion would stand out.
The Republicans running for president
have practically made careers out of
skewering Obamacare — so when Ohio
Gov. John Kasich makes his expected
entry into the race, he’s likely to have a
giant Obamacare target on his back.
Kasich says he is no fan of the
president’s health care law. But he
fought his own party to implement one
of its core components and is now
gearing up to face GOP primary voters
who want to rip the health law to
shreds. His decision two years ago to
embrace Obamacare’s expansion of
Medicaid to provide health coverage to
low-income adults — a move that
offered bipartisan cover to the White
House during a tumultuous period — is
likely to dog him in Iowa and New
Story Continued Below
Kasich made both a moral and economic
case for covering the poor with mostly
federal dollars. Many in his party
“We were deeply disappointed at Gov.
Kasich’s actions on the Medicaid
expansion battle in Ohio,” said Tim
Phillips, president of Americans for
Prosperity, a conservative think tank
supported by the Koch Brothers.
“Obamacare is a core issue at this point
for so many Americans who will most
likely be participating in primaries and
caucuses. The question of expanding
Medicaid is arguably the most
important state-level aspect of
Obamacare that’s in play.”

Love your wings

love your wings
Now that I walk this life
I’ve never felt so much alive
With you am so less alike
Unlike you am less agile
But it’s your wings I watch now in awe
When you fly you seem so much at ease
I admire your new look
I want to read your book
I want to be with you by a hook
Am getting a bigger flow, no more a brook
Because as I watch you I want to hold that miracle
That makes all your flaws treatable