Posts tagged ‘love’

Meet the Man of your Dreams! Coming up this summer… Part Second

In my past post, I evaluated seven of the 15 ways to pick up a guy this summer. But not just any guy. The Man of Your Dreams. The One.

These ways included such skills as acting like a total fool, and staring dreamily out of windows, waiting for your prince to come.

So let’s start where we left off: with Way 8.

238018488_bd983937faWay 8: Get sweaty! No, not the way you think. Which is probably X rated anyway. The authorities give an example of a young woman who found a fabulous boyfriend after joining a kickball team. If it worked for her, chances are it will work for you too. Plus the teams are full of athletic, fun-loving guys. Plus you can play off stress that stems from not having a boyfriend while giving yourself a chance to meet a boy.

Way 9: Hit offbeat dating sites. <insert picture of woman kissing laptop>

If you’re tired of seeing the same disappointing profiles, don’t give up on online dating all together.

You just haven’t been looking in the right places. You’ve got to find some weird, geekier places. Try searching “online dating” plus your favorite hobby. You’ll be guaranteed to find some mighty interesting people that way. Have fun, and don’t let the herpes get you down.

When all else fails, bring on the laptop LURVVVV just like the blissful lady in the stock photo.

320632482_6b423be995Way 10: Learn how his stomach thinks. According to another woman, the best place to meet guys is a restaurant. Chances are there will be a line of cute guys. And thus the chance to strike up a deep and meaningful conversation with a total stranger. While gazing deeply into his eyes over some chicken pot pie. And leaving, gazing longingly at the other while promising to keep in touch and exchange phone numbers.

By the way, learning how his stomach thinks implies that you have a guy in mind already. To strike up a conversation with him which would ultimately lead to love and a lifetime of gazing into each other’s eyes over a chicken pot pie dinner, one must know which restaurants he frequents, and follow him there.

Way 11: Make more female friends. Girl friends are awesome. They can help us out in the recycling plant business, among other things. However, they’re a stepping stool to a brighter future. You can actually use your female friends as a way to get to the man of your dreams. So when you go to a party, make a beeline for the most social, outgoing woman you can find. Not the hunk hanging around the hors de’oevres. (I think I spelled that wrong, too.) But the lady.

… An outgoing girl can be a fabulous gateway to a great guy.

Girl friends are not only the women we cry on after devastating breakups. They are recycling plant members, stepping stools, and gateways to a brighter future.

You can also stalk their Facebook pages searching for hot guys.

2194369053_5fa76afb66Finally, here are the last four additional ways, which are separate from the slideshow.

Way 12: Go to a coffee shop at 8 AM. According to blogger, it’s a “no-brainer way to make friends.” Like, duh. *bonks head*

Like, guy friends, in case you didn’t realize.

Because of the early time, guys won’t hit on girls. They’ll just be friendly and cute. Because there isn’t any alcohol, they won’t do bad things. Who knew how alcohol could change a person? You might want to reconsider the Twitter/Bar arrangement.

The only challenge is being chatty. But after 3 cups of coffee with 10 packets of artificial sweetener, you’ll have no problems.

Way 13: Conversation pieces are great things. Like the lady in the blog post who carried a cello around and ended up striking conversations with random people. While this was more of an accident than anything, it also works if you do it on purpose.

Because like girl friends, conversation pieces are a stepping stool to a better world.

Puppies are also good. They’re cute, fluffy, and people like to pet them. While they’re petting your poor innocent pup, you with your bright red lipstick (I am not making this up) will make a move on the hunk. Word for word, the blogger states, “So borrow a friend’s dog, put on red lipstick, and you’re good to go.”

Did they say “borrow”?

Yes, you read that right.

3281376114_0f2ba97780So if you have a talkative girl friend, that’s great. If you have a talkative girl friend with a puppy, that’s even better. Two more stepping stools to the gateway of heaven in one go!

Meanwhile, as I have no talkative girlfriends who have puppies, I’m going to walk around my town and carry a toilet. Anyone care to join me?

Way 14: Movie night. This is sort of like the recycling plant idea, or the Tweet Bar idea, but more overt. You have to each invite five people that the other persons have not met. So start it with two people, and end up with 11. You can either stare at each others’ friends awkwardly, or you can talk about general stuff, or you can hit it off famously, or you can just sit and watch the movie and binge on popcorn. As you can see,  you have lots of options.

I have no idea why the girl in the picture they used looks naked.

They recommend three movies: Surfwise, Man on Wire, and American Teen. Never heard of any of them.

Anyone up for a good ol’ Star Wars marathon?

You can eat all the popcorn yourself.

141406508_28f6f04506Way 15: Email all your friends. Say, “I’m single. I would like to date someone awesome. Do you know anyone funny and nice who would be up for an adventure? I’d love to meet him!”

Because this email conveys all the desperation and loneliness of a woman near to cracking point. And spam is the way to a man’s heart.

The funny thing is, all her friends emailed her back with suggestions, willing to set her up with some men. Though she was worried about sounding desperate (hehe, um, haha), she came off as honest instead. People were willing to set her up as a result.

Honesty is the best policy in such a case. If you’re desperate, be honest about it. If you are tired of being alone, be honest about it. Maybe some kind person will have a little pity on you and set you up with the Man of your Dreams.

So now that you have all the ways to meet the man of your dreams this summer, what are you waiting for? Go out there and do it, girl. Guys, play along. Who knows what will happen? Some of these ways may look pretty foolish, like carrying a borrowed puppy, but hey, they supposedly work. Who am I to question the love bloggers? And if you meet a girl who looks overloaded on caffeine at 8 in the morning at a random coffee shop, do not blink your eyes. Do NOT. It is all in the quest for the man of her dreams, who might be well be you.

Happy summer!


September 9, 2009 at 9:46 pm 17 comments

The Man of Your Dreams: Coming up this Summer!

Glamour recently blogged about 15 ways to meet the man of our dreams this summer.

I clicked the link, hoping for sage advice and tried and true wisdom.

Imagine my disappointment when I saw a short paragraph that only listed one way to meet the man of our dreams.


In the sentence after that short paragraph, the blogger linked to an awesome slideshow of 10 more ways to meet men. Then she quickly listed another four ways to meet men in yet another short sentence:

Plus, four more ways: Go to a coffee shop at 8 a.m., carry a conversation piece, start a movie night and email all your friends.

I suppose that counts as 15 ways. Way to go, blogger. Get all our hopes up with the title, then show us one measly little way, and then link to 14 other ways that someone else wrote about. Now we have to go click click click through the website to get to read about all the different ways there are to meet the man of our dreams. Grumble grumble.


47265805_46efb20c5fBut all that aside, maybe there’s some merit to what she’s saying. But what’s she saying?

Here are the first seven ways to meet the man of your dreams.

Way 1: Host an outdoor summer picnic. You can make it obvious that you just want to pick up a guy by inviting all your very best girl friends and instructing them to bring their cute single guy friends AND their male friends so you can give them the once-over. Cover this up by saying, “The more [single guys] the merrier!” This picnic is not complete without PBJ sandwiches and juice boxes. Or hula hoops. Or bubbles. Or frisbees. Or water balloons and egg spoons. Bring out your inner goofball!

But why?

The key is to break the ice, so you can really connect with the guys.

Which, loosely translated, means “act like a desperate idiot so the guys will look at you all the time.”

It’s all in the name of Love.

Everyone will loosen up, laugh and have an awesome time — and you just might make a love connection!

3229744082_8e4e0f900aThen I went to the slideshow of Ten Best Ways to meet the Guy of your Dreams. Yup. And I had to do some sleuthing around because the blogger messed up when she linked to it. Boo.

Way 2: Shop your friends’ friends. This involves some casual but crafty Facebook shopping. “Combine your love of online shopping with the best way to meet great guys.” You can play a cute game called “I Spy a Cute Guy.” Simply stated, look for some who is cute but also single. If his profile is private, and all Facebook profiles are typically private unless they’re that desperate, check with your friend. “Teehee, can you introduce me to him?” *insert vacuous giggling* The pressure is supposedly off because Facebook isn’t an online dating site (but now it is, since you made it so). Know each other as friends and go from there.

There’s a slight risk that your girl friends will know you as the “gal who asks about all their single Facebook guy friends.” But that shouldn’t matter in the quest for love. At all.

Way 3: Brush up on the news. Gather information. This isn’t to impress guys, though they do like smart girls. This is for your own good. No, really. Try to at least appear smart for goodness’ sake. This includes making CNN your home page on the internet (so when you happen to casually browse the web in front of a cute guy…) and subscribing to a magazine called The Week which takes each week’s news stories and makes them fascinating “talking points.” You can start a conversation with just about ANYONE. Guaranteed. Yup.

697493041_61ab8b8a45Way 4: Send a love-sparking tweet. All good women should have a Twitter account. For not only is it a wonderful way to know what’s going on in the world, it is a wonderful way to strike up a romance that will last your life. I use it to talk to myself, but that’s a different story altogether.

Send a tweet on Friday afternoon that you’re meeting friends at your favorite pub for a spontaneous happy hour… tell your “followers” to bring their friends. You’re bound to meet new people, and even if they’re not single, they might know someone to fix you up with later.

This will work perfectly for me, because all my followers are not from my state or my hometown, with the exception of a female blogger and one guy I’m well acquainted with. In fact, most of them are the nicest sort. They’re creepy stalker people who like seeing videos of Britney Spears naked.

119531609_8d3190bfe3Way 5: Spend some quality time alone. <insert picture of happy, beautiful woman staring dreamily out a window at a restaurant> Spending time by yourself is a good way to meet some wonderful guy. The key is looking happy and content.

I’ve heard that thinking happy thoughts will help. That or practicing a fake happy smile.

Here’s another way why it works. Packs of women scare men. Really.

And I’m sure that guys will notice the woman at the restaurant who always sits, dreamily gazing out of the window, with a happy smile with much promise of romance and love. Day after day after day after day. It is so normal, and totally not weird.

Way 6: Just say yes. Accept those invites to the parties you don’t want to go to. And even if the weird old guy at the party you met asks you out, do NOT say no. For all you know, he may be the one, even though he smells like the inside of a garbage can. Remember all those women who met their true love, thought he wasn’t cool, but fell in love with him and ended up marrying him? “He just may surprise you.”

You’ll be surprised. Yes, you will.

3200570499_420713a136Way 7: Recycle the single guys you know. A single woman is nothing if not a recycling plant. Men are nothing if not bottles that go through the recycling plants we and our very best girl friends run. You know that guy who was nice but so totally not right for you. Host a get together and bring you extra bottles, um, guys around so your friends can meet them. Then watch the sparks fly.

But you have to set a one-single-guy minimum. “Spread the wealth!”

To summarize, practice your “I’m an idiot” skillz, your Facebook shopping skills, brush up on your news, use Twitter to meet cute guys and not just to talk to yourself, and spend plenty of time staring dreamily out of windows in restaurants.

Finally, don’t forget to say yes next time weird guy next door asks you out, and remember that you are a recycling plant.

Stay tuned with the next eight ways to meet the man of your dreams this summer!

August 5, 2009 at 12:03 pm 7 comments

How to be happy: Cosmo style! Part 3

If the cheap and easy ways to be happy and the Seven Secrets to happiness weren’t enough, you can now have 24 shortcuts to a happy life. You don’t have to take the long way around, thanks to these rules. You can just take 24 wonderful shortcuts and get there much faster.

Maybe before you read lots of magazines (Cosmopolitan is a good example) that told us that we could become happy by trying a new life-changing eye cream (the writer there has been searching for the One, meaning the perfect eye cream), finding true love with the hunky lifeguard person, or getting the perfect job (note: I searched for “dream job” on the website, and most of the stuff I got were shirtless bachelor pictures). Some even told us that we could find happiness by moving to Sweden, of all places. (WOOHOO! Men pushing baby buggies!)

2771481569_efd4a0ae95But contrary to what they say, those things — true love, eye creams, and dream jobs — are not what true happiness is all about. True happiness, instead, is about 24 easy little shortcuts. In fact, Cosmopolitan, to quote, has “unearthed piles of research on the power of positivity to show you just how easy it is to put yourself on cloud nine in an instant.” Knowing people in general, it’s generally understood that people love instant stuff.

Instant coffee is pretty awesome. So is the tea that you just put in a cup of hot water for a few minutes. We love instant. Maybe that’s why the idea of getting something good instantly appeals to us.

Or maybe it appeals to that part of us that is tempted to steal the free ketchup packets at McDonalds.

Since there are 24, I will not be able to go into them at much detail. However, I shall do my best. Do notice that there are 24. These 24 correspond to the hours in a day. If you try to do one an hour, you will be in Happiness Land on a day.

Don’t believe everything you think. Like when your inner voice (no, not the same voice as Oprah’s inner voices, though it could well be the same. I don’t know) starts blabbering about how much of a fatty you are. You might be a fatty, and then again you might not.

462395183_656afdaa27Quit spying on yourself during sex. Just… don’t. I don’t have anything else to say.

C0py the catwalk. If you walk like a model, you’ll be happy. It’s proven. Think like a runway goddess. By the way, in my church there’s a family where the women walk like models. The mother wears very tight clothes so that it seems like she’s wearing a corset. I’ve concluded that she doesn’t know how to breathe anymore. But anyway, she and her daughters walk like models. The sway of the hips, and the foot in front of the other.

Cosmopolitan says that this way of walking is the reason that Gisele Bundchen is so happy. Not because she’s rich or because she has such a beautiful body.

You know, runway models look so darn happy all the time. I’ve always wondered why. Now I know.

Pad your time. Don’t run late. Not only will you be happy, but so will others, too. Like your date who’s been waiting at the restaurant for the past hour.

Get engaged. Not the wedding bells way, but rather getting really absorbed in something. Like a raunchy romance novel. Those things are easy to get absorbed in, or so I’ve heard. True to form, Cosmopolitan does say mention that thumbing through their latest issue is very absorbing and thus happiness inducing. I wouldn’t know. When becoming absorbed in a project, example being thumbing through Cosmopolitan, you boost your sense of competence and well-being. Yay! Another excuse to read that magazine.

2784838186_6ae8146c43Grin, even if you don’t feel like it. Remember the forced grins? Apparently some of you commented saying that you wished it worked for weight loss. Sorry, ladies (and guys), it doesn’t. Though I understand why you think it should work.

Go out on a school night. I wouldn’t know because I like to stay home on school nights, but people have shown the blahs staying alone by themselves. Sometimes it’s great to just go out to a bar and get picked up by a random guy…

Shorten your “I wish I’d…” list. No objections.

RSVP “no” to invites that feel like obligations. You don’t like them, you don’t even know them, and you don’t even speak to them. Believe me, they did it out of obligation as well, to be nice, and they’ll be all over themselves once they see the “no” on the RSVP card.

Paint a wall, rearrange your furniture, or take the curtains off of your windows. WHAT THE HECK? What kind of phrase is “off of”? My grammar book says it’s VERY WRONG. *mutter* But yes, this is why I have so many bumps and bruises. And this is also why you hear lots of banging when I’m in a bad mood. And also why my house looks like a wreck.

Listen to elevator music. … ok.

437210611_6dca8b1cfeOwn your screwups. Again… claim some responsibility here. It’s not the evil forces’ fault. It was yours for not reading the sign that said “cars parked here after so and so will be towed at owner’s expense.” Though if you do live in the city of Boston, I can’t help you here. Sorry.

Dump your diet. Screw Cosmopolitan! Screw Glamour! REBEL!!!

Always have something to look forward to. Dinner reservations. Blind dates. Concert tickets. What would make me happy is music. So I buy music CDs. It’s fun waiting for them to come, especially if they ship from Britain and take a couple of weeks to come. Right now I’m waiting for a Switchfoot CD and a Casting Crowns’ Lifesong CD.

Blow off a grudge. I think this is the smartest thing Cosmo has said, since… since… I don’t know. I didn’t think they had it in them. But you know, bad energy and all that. Karma. Whatsitcalled.

Get dirty. Go back, back to your days of being a toddler playing in dog doo… back to the nostalgia of feeling the happiness of the poo sliding through your fingers, before the big ones came and snatched you away with a loud voice. You cried. But you can still go back to those days.

Line your favorite and famously uncomfortable stilettos with moleskin. Huh? (By the way, I intended to put a picture of someone’s high heels over here, but WordPress was being annoying and wouldn’t show it. Stupid wordpress, sometimes.)

Create a ritual. Because life is just so unpredictable, we need an oasis in the desert, an island in the midst of the roiling oceans of life. It keeps you grounded. And makes you happy. I’m not sure how, but hey…

Don’t flake out. You probably know the girl who always cancels at the last minute. Don’t be like her. You will become friendless, lonely, and possibly die single. Or become one of those crazy women with cats. It’s nice to cancel once in a while (like in the case of saying no to obligations you really don’t want to attend) but not all the time.

Perform a bad-mood intervention on yourself. Out! Out, you demons of PMS! It says that covering your eyes help a lot. So does deep sighing.

Treat yourself to a massage. There’s nothing like the feeling of skin-to-skin contact. Really. It sends happy signals to your brain. Touch is awesome. So much that there’s a Touch Research Institute somewhere in Miami.

Visit O-Town today. Not Oprah town. The other one. Open the floodgates of … um…

Then think LSD...

Then think LSD...

Try color therapy! With Sesame Street! Cosmopolitan tells us that there are four certain colors that provide “major mood-boosting benefits.”

  • Red increases your heart rate. It also makes you want to sleep with anything that’s human, male, and is breathing.
  • Orange will give you energy. “It’s the Energizer Bunny of brights.”
  • Yellow can relieve depression and make your memory better, so you can think about all the bad times that you’ve had before.
  • Green is soothing. Especially mint green. You’ll be too relaxed to think about how horrible your life is.

Remember these colors for the next time you’re in a bad mood and are tired of rearranging the furniture. You can always buy a bucket of paint and redo all the walls by yourself.

In closing, Cosmopolitan has helpfully provided the five symptoms that show that you really need to start following all 24 shortcuts. In fact, if you find yourself thinking HALP or OMG or a variation of any of those, and you most likely will, you have to start using those shortcuts NOW.

  1. 954585106_a454a5126cThe sight of a kissy-feely couple makes you physically ill. Physically ill meaning that you want to throw up. Your stomach feels bad, and you are deeply regretting that bag of colorful (yet happy inducing) Skittles you ate for lunch. This might be a sign that you need a man and have been lonely too long.
  2. The only time you’re in touch with Mother Nature is when you’re walking to your car. I have no idea what this means. It probably has something to do with the wonderfully fresh city air. Or something.
  3. When a coworker asks “Is somebody having a bad day?” you actually growl. Or grunt. I grunt. Like a man. Do you?
  4. Your boyfriend gave you a new sweatsuit for your birthday. Because exercise is so totally fun, and there’s no pressure at all. So why do you want to bite his head off? You need a new boyfriend, STAT.
  5. You blow off your girlfriends because you’re too busy… doing a whole lot of nothing. It’s a horrible thing to be busy doing nothing… though that’s kind of an oxymoron.

Do you show any of these symptoms? You are a very diseased individual who needs plenty of help. Start following the 24 shortcuts to happiness right now, before you get any worse.

Have fun! With these 24 shortcuts, you’re guaranteed to be a very happy woman! And maybe you won’t be single anymore!

August 3, 2009 at 11:19 am 3 comments

How to be Happy: Marie Claire style

In my last post, I looked at Oprah’s tips on how to be a happy person. It involved thinking of yourself as a golden statue and avoiding bathrooms that needed cleaning, among other things. In this post, we’ll see how Marie Claire magazine handles their tips for happiness.

As far as I can see, they have two main topics.

The first one is “How to be Single and Happy.”

The second is about “The World’s Best Country for Women.”

I’ll look at both.

2450891473_0bae641976How can one be single and happy? According to those at Marie Claire, it is possible. For those who have believed for a long time that happiness means having a man at your side, you are sort of right, unless you’re dating the wrong kind of guy. We live a world where we have been conditioned to believe that happiness does not come to those who are single, and Marie Claire certainly adds to our impression of this on certain occasions.

At the same time, how are you going to attract someone if you’re always unhappy?

It’s impossible, unless he has a grouch fetish.

So for the sake of your future Facebook relationship status, please be happy.

Maura Kelly, a blogger for this magazine’s website, talked to Gretchen Rubin, who is the author of a blog called The Happiness Project. Does being in a relationship make you happier? She asked for advice on how to feel all right about her single status.

Remember how much freedom you have, as a single person. You don’t have to coordinate your schedule with anyone else’s. You have all the time you want to go to the gym, see old friends, make new ones, take classes, meet new people—whatever you feel like doing. Don’t focus on what you think you’re missing. Focus on all you can do.

2227187658_fb2bd0915aOk, that’s great. Then Kelly asks, “Are people who are in relationships actually happier than those of us who aren’t?”

Gretchen concedes that there is much happiness that comes from having someone there. However, there are ways to find the same benefits by having some strong relationships with friends. If you have trouble finding friends, just put yourself out there. Find a club with something you’re interested in. I like books, so I should go to a book club. (Too bad the only book club around here is for romance novel enthusiasts.)

Kelly suddenly recalls that saying to herself, “I should be on the look-out for someone to flirt with” makes her want to talk to people. She realizes that to be able to flirt well, she has to be happy and confident about herself. Gretchen tells her that if Kelly wants to be set up on a date, she has to set other people up on dates. Someday someone will return the favor.

To be good at flirting, you can’t be gloomy. Set people up on dates, and someday someone will set you up. To be released from the curse of singlehood, be happy. Come on. You can do it.

2664937922_3dd0f205e2Finally, if that doesn’t work, move to another country! Marie Claire states:

If you want to be happy, healthy, and powerful, you might consider packing your bags and moving to a picturesque country on the other side of the Atlantic.

No subtlety there. But where?


Somewhere reported that Sweden was the #1 place for ladies like us to live. There is reference to some Swedish girl named Ebba who is the woman who has everything. She’s the perfect example of what women become when they go to Sweden.

Part of it is because Sweden has a pro-female culture, with equal rights and female politicians and stuff like that. It’s Barbie’s dream. Male toddlers are encouraged to play with dollies, while females play with toy tractors. (I would so have had the toy tractors have relationships with each other. No kidding.) They have to learn metalworking, woodworking. Both sexes.

Do they allow the little girls to play with dolls?

And girls outperform the boys in college. Girl power!

Which of course leads to the men pushing the baby buggies, as a website quoted in the article states.

I have pictures of my friend when he was in Sweden. He was here, and was sitting around there somewhere.

I have pictures of my friend when he was in Sweden. I think he actually was here, and was sitting around there somewhere. He's not in this picture though.

Before you pack your bags, though, there is a dark spot in all this flawless whiteness.

Drugstore lipstick costs 15 bucks.


After stating that fact, the writer goes on to say that families watch Sex and the City together. It’s a perk. Right? Right?

Sweden’s acceptance of women as the aggressors in relationships has its perks: Anna-Maria regularly dates three or four men at a time without social disapproval.

Oh, ok.

In conclusion:

So is Sweden the ultimate sisterhood heaven? The verdict, of course, depends on your point of view: Japanese women live longer, American women earn higher salaries, Greek women have lower rates of breast cancer, and according to one poll, Italian men are better kissers. Overall, though, Swedish women seem happy with their lot. “I’ve traveled to many countries,” says magazine editor Ebba. “But life in Sweden is truly special for women. There’s nowhere else I’d rather live.”

My friend took this picture of an escalator in Sweden.

My friend took this picture when he was on an escalator in Sweden.

So here’s reasons why you should move to Sweden.

  1. People are happee there, so you will be happee there.
  2. Female friendly.
  3. Little kids play with tractors and dolls.
  4. Girls get better grades than boys.
  5. Men push baby buggies.
  6. You can date as many men as you want.
  7. Women are cops and are good at it.
  8. You can finally pay for dates.
  9. You can hit on guys and no one will blink an eye.
  10. You can date as many men as you want and no one will think you’re weird or a slut.
  11. Sex and the City is a family show.
  12. You can sleep with whomever you want, as often as you want to. (I hope that they have a program against STDs.)
  13. If you get preggers you have more time off.
  14. Toilets there are unisex. No lines. But the chance to do stuff in there. Like, stuff. Use your imagination.
  15. But we’re just… just… so happy!!

And there you have it.

July 15, 2009 at 12:48 pm 7 comments

How to be Happy: Oprah Style

Part of the ingredients for Perfection is Happiness.

However, this particular brand of happiness is quite elusive. Many have tried to pursue Happiness and failed miserably (no pun intended). Without finding the happiness that they have sought, they have died without ever getting a significant other, finding the perfect facewash that banished their Miley Cyrus acne, or finding a bra that fit them correctly.

304916374_5449336482Is there any hope for any of us?

Yes, there is. The magazines have all put their individual heads together and thought about what happiness means, and how to get happy, and how to stay happy. We have Oprah, Marie Claire, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Real Simple, and Shine! Yahoo. Surely with six major authorities thinking about this matter, we can’t miss out on our chance of happiness. Right?

Well, you’ll see.

In six posts, I will write about these individual magazine/places’ tips about happiness. In this post, we will look at Oprah.

Oprah says that there are five things every happy woman does. Read the writer’s tips, and you’re sure to find their special secrets for happiness! Yay!

It starts with,

Sages going back to Socrates have offered advice on how to be happy, but only now are scientists beginning to address this question with systematic, controlled research… we canvassed the leading experts on what happy people have in common — and why it’s worth trying to become one of them.

First, they start off by finding their most golden self. Upon reading this, I thought of self-tanner, which is supposed to make people feel good about themselves. But no. Think of yourself as a “golden figurine that would be revealed by cracking away an outer layer of cheap pottery (the person’s baser exterior).” That line was followed by some stuff that sounded like it was in a different language. But yes, I get that. I’ve thought about it for some time, though not in such flowery terms. I think they’re saying that if you try to take on new challenges, the pottery that is your baser exterior will fall away to reveal your inner goldenness.

1128041331_b2943ac6a7This can also be taken as a metaphor. Say you don’t look like a model. However, after climbing some more mountains and stuff, you will look like a model and be happy. The fat will melt away, revealing a thinner, more beautiful you.

<—- Somehow I can’t help thinking of this. Ugh.

Next, you design your life to bring in joy. You have to analyze your life. Your happiness is something that you and only you can control. So by designing your life in a way that an interior designer would design a beautiful house, you can call in the happiness to live in you. Or something like that.

It’s a well known fact that unhappy people do not design their houses beautifully and so need people like Oprah to tell them how to design it beautifully.

But come on, it’s as easy as not doing the things you don’t want to know and doing the things you want to do…

28399359_91c7a37218… right?

Schkade says that if you transfer even an hour of your day from an activity you hate (commuting, scrubbing the bathroom) to one you like (reading, spending time with friends), you should see a significant improvement in your overall happiness. Taking action is key.

Forget the grungy bathroom that needs scrubbing! Forget the toilet that needs plunging! Forget that the sink isn’t going to clean itself! Just lose yourself in a romance novel! Come on girl, take action!

I can see a lot of visits to the gas station down the road in your future.

Also, don’t think “if only” fantasies. Those are useless and can only get you down. “If only I cleaned the toilet” is just going to make your life better, not worse. The toilet is not going to be cleaned in the pursuit of happiness anyway, so just forget it. “If only” isn’t going to make you any thinner. Thinking of yourself as a golden Buddha statue is.

2644741652_6a2c1ce6dbThere’s something about hedonic adaption which I didn’t quite understand. Maybe if I understood that would be the key. I don’t know. Reading about the brain’s natural dimming effect is making me all woozy. So you’ll have to forgive me.

Happy people put their best friends first. After themselves and redesigning their lives, of course. You must always come first. Take the time to talk to that cool friend instead of running around trying to talk to everyone.

The last point: allow yourself to be happy! Don’t feel guilty for having fun. Don’t feel guilty about that toilet that is so clogged with poo that you will need a bulldozer to unclog it.

By being happy, you’ll make other people happy too.

Just forget about that bathroom … oh shoot.

July 13, 2009 at 11:52 am 5 comments

The Perfect Lady and Lists

We love making lists.

Really love to make lists.

3531718174_085f76f575For a while, I’ve been fascinated by this trend. We make lists, buy software to make cool lists, buy pretty memo pads to make more lists, and occasionally follow lists. Don’t forget the little tear-out list sheets at the end of most women’s magazines. Magazines have the most lists. Open any magazine, and you will be bombarded with lists. How-to’s, what not to do lists, and essential checklists that every woman should follow to be happier. Even better, these lists are supposedly formatted by experts, with the intent of making you live a fuller, happier, and more organized life.

Even I can’t deny that lists are useful. My most famous list so far is regarding perfect men. What qualities must the perfect man have? It’s a short list of 18 items that you can print out and place into your 30 pound handbag for easy handling.

The good thing about lists is that they’re so easy to make. They’re easy to look at as well, letting you know exactly what needs to be done, and when. Magazine lists are the best, because they’re made by experts. Experts meaning that the lists tell you the best things that need to be done, and when is the best time to do them. Plus you can just tear out a page or two to read at your leisure.

Real-Simple-Jan-2009-CoverIn fact, the January 2009 issue of Real Simple is called the list issue. THis issue contains 20 essential lists that will make you feel calmer, as well as help you organize your life. There’s “make dinner faster,” “save on home repairs,” “find time to exercise,” and much, much more. And remember: essential means important. Very important. More important than playing the NOM NOM NOM 4 FUD cheezburger game.

Over the course of many magazine readings, I’ve noticed that there are 3 main types of lists. The first one is the list of things to do, mainly known as the “to-do” list. We put all the undone chores, laundry that hasn’t been done, and broken household equipment over here. Cosmo‘s 30 things to do with a naked man goes under this listing. So does Glamour‘s 3 things to do to get that perfect first kiss. They also have a handy picnic checklist for that perfect summer picnic that you’re kind of dreading.

postThe second type of list is the “things” list. It’s a list of the editors’ favorite things, and as a result, should soon become a list of YOUR favorite things. Or it’s a list of various ways to… get stuff done. For example, we all know that Oprah has many favorite things. Well, here is a list of her favorite things for the summer. Or look at Glamour’s list of 101 ways to have the best sex of your lives. That is, if you pretend that you’re going to spend the whole summer naked. Now wouldn’t that be nice? Cosmo has a list of 7 pairs of shoes for the summer. You’re guaranteed to love these shoes. Don’t forget Oprah’s list of life-changing beauty products.

141803571_66382a3e1dThe last type is the “not to do” list. Similar to the 10 commandments (well, probably not) this type tells us about all the things that we’re not supposed to do. Under any circumstances. No matter what. Real Simple asked its readers of the January issue to give us their lists on what not to do at all. One woman said that she was never going to diet again, climb Mt. Everest, or line her kitchen drawers. Another was not going to worry (good one, that). Another was not going to squish her fat.

1427558855_520b6176c3A Glamour blogger has a list of things not to do on a blind date. Apparently, she showed up late, drunk, acted stupid, semi-open-minded, and fed her feelings. Cosmo has a list of 10 things not to do on spring break (for you college girls out there). Among them, you must not pick up crabs, pole dance with no underwear, update Twitter every time you drink Tequila, and work on your thesis.

But why are we fascinated with lists? Is it because we feel calmer putting the items that have yet to be done on a list, knowing that we’ll take care of them sometime even if we don’t? Or is it because we feel that our lives are more in control simply by making a simple little list?

All we know is that if we follow the lists that art given us, we shall live a longer and happier life.

All because of one little list.

Or two.

Or three.

Or twenty.

Happy list making!

(There’s even a list on how to rethink  your lists. Here.)

June 29, 2009 at 11:52 am Leave a comment

The Perfect Bride for Red Loincloth

The woman most likely to fall for the forceful embraces of your typical Stout Heart/Strong Wind/Red Loincloth is a redhead.

It seems that over the years, red hair has come to be a sign of strength, loveliness, strong-willedness, and more.

dva0539I only wondered when the umpteenth romance novel I read had a heroine of red hair. It was some Christian romance. Called The Knight and the Dove. The main character, Megan, was strong-willed, brave, spirited, and more than a little stupid in zee head. She, of course, had red hair. Beautiful red hair.

And then there was the Westernish romance about a woman who was falling in love with some dude who was supposed to protect her. It was the typical strong-willed/brave/spirited heroine in the wilderness who needs a man to protect her innocent soul. I forget the title now that I think about it. But I remember that she had RED HAIR. Beautiful curly red hair.


And was more than a little stupid in zee head.

And my favorite redhead, Mara Jade Skywalker from the Star wars books by Timothy Zahn, was strong-willed, tough, spirited, and beautiful. But she was NOT stupid in zee head. She was one of my favorite characters in the whole Star Wars series: ever. She could fight, she was strong, and she did not cling to a man. Jade was the perfect woman for Luke Skywalker.

She was fierce, loyal, stubborn, and wielded a blaster like no other.

The picture on the right is one of my favorite pictures of her.

I was sad when she died.

But where did the redhead = strong willed/spirited/more than a little stupid in zee head trend start?

Cassie Edwards, who writes mostly Native American romances, has shown this trend multiple times. Her heroines are strong-willed, lovely, innocent, and have red hair.

Some of them act a little stupid in zee head, but since I haven’t read them for myself I can only ask my friends here to review a couple for me. Sarah and Candy have reviewed Savage Moon. The heroine here is more than a little stupid. But yeah.

The award-winning Savage series is set on the untamed frontier, where rugged warriors share tantalizingly sensual adventures with young and innocent heroines.

Perhaps with a Savage Surrender in the year of 1987.


The heroine, Brenda, has very vivid red hair. In fact, it’s so red as to look a little like one of those theatre curtains.

Strong-willed Brenda has escaped her family’s murderers, only to have her anguish and fury challenged by the wilderness. Her only hope for survival lay in the forceful arms of an Ojibwa warrior–the kind of man Brenda had been raised to fear.

It takes a strong woman to escape murderers, and rush into the wilderness. However, her spirit is not enough for the challenge, as she is yet young and innocent. She needs a man. What better man than an Ojibwa warrior person? With forceful arms? Was his name Forceful Arms?

One year later, a Savage Eden was released.


The heroine, beautiful Pamela, has red hair as well. She is also quite strong-willed and spirited. You need those qualities to challenge social constraints and have a “forbidden” romance with some guy named Strong Bear. She also wears puffy blue dresses that are pulled down with gravity.

Which leads us to Savage Bliss.

book cover of   Savage Bliss    (Savage Secrets, book 5)  by  Cassie Edwards

Entranced by her beloved and virile Gray Wing, Amelia is torn away by her family from her proud and magnificent Susquamish chief and taken to a an exotic shore, far from his touch but her hidden longings cannot be denied when he claims her as his forever.

Oh mulleted warrior with a headband, my heart is thine.

Says the blissful redhead in the photo.

Then there’s Wild Embrace which I talked about in the last post. I don’ t want to put the title here because, because, because it’s just so… scandalous…

For years, Cassie Edwards has been satisfying her fans with authentic tales of bold beauties, exotic braves and the untamed wilderness. Now the author of Wild Rapture captures a lost age of romance when Seattle was a rough frontier. Flame-haired Elizabeth is abducted by the noble Indian brave Strong Heart, who shows her freedom and passion the wilds can ignite.

She does have red hair. It’s sort of a maroonish color though. With pink highlights.

The next title shows you the power of brilliant red hair.

Savage Embers probably refers to the brilliant red hair of the heroine in this tale.

book cover of   Savage Embers    (Savage, book 9)  by  Cassie Edwards

After setting his eyes on Maggie, a scarlet-haired beauty, Falcon Hawk, a mighty Arapaho chieftain, is determined to protect her from her fiercest enemy.

One look at her scarlet hair, and Falcon Hawk (by the way, his parents couldn’t figure out what to name him so they took their two favorite birds and put them together. That’s why I will name my baby Broccoli Cabbage), his chest jutting out majestically, is determined to protect her from anything that might come by her way.

Not only can red hair mean that you are strong willed, brave, spirited, and maybe a little stupid. It also means that you will be protected from all dangers.

Breaking away from the Savageness of these titles, Cassie Edwards goes for the Wildness in the year of 1994. I won’t give you the title because it has a boring picture of a guy with closed eyes and a blank look, but here is the plot synopsis.

Railroader’s daughter Stephanie Helton and the tall, darkly-sensual Runner, adopted by the Navajo as a child and now destined to be their leader, were sworn enemies. But he drank deeply of the copper-haired, grey-eyed beauty’s forbidden kisses, and surrendered to the savage desire of their love.

‘Nuff said.

Apparently red hair can make grown men slaves to desire.

book cover of   Savage Spirit    (Savage, book 1)  by  Cassie Edwards

In the book Savage Spirit, written in the same year, Chief Cloud Eagle falls under the spell of red hair.

In Savage Spirit, Chief Cloud Eagle has tamed the wild beasts of his land, yet one glimpse of the flame-haired Alicia makes him a slave to desire.

Flame/copper hair is untamable. Sorry, Cloud Eagle. Just look at your Choctaw friend Red Wing.

In Savage Pride/Wild Whispers (yes there are two books with different titles but same story by this lady unless someone got confused):

The mighty Choctaw warrior Red Wing is powerfully drawn to a beautiful red-haired hellcat, Malvina, but it will take more than his caresses to tame her–it will take a love as pure and stunning as her beauty.

Does the woman on the cover of Savage Heat have red hair? I can’t tell. It would explain a lot of things.

book cover of   Savage Heat    (Savage, book 6)  by  Cassie Edwards

Ever since the sweltering summer day when Zoe Hawkins pinned on her father’s tin star, she’d sworn to uphold the law in rough-and-ready Gracemont, Oklahoma. But how could the lovely sheriff maintain order when she couldn’t even subdue her own wayward feelings for the mighty Kiowa chief, White Shadow? Every time he showed up at the jail to bail out his wild young braves, Zoe forgot the oh-so-correct colonel she was supposed to marry, and longed to surrender to forbidden desire.

This woman is amazing. She’s strong, tough, fierce, but at the same time still lovely. However, she has fierce passion.

An Amazon review gave the book one star out of five. (It’s the first one on the list.)

I hardly know where to start with this book. Maybe the fact that the romance felt non-existent? There was no chemistry between the hero and heroine. The author says they’re in love very early on in the book, but the reader never feels it. We also never get to see the “falling in love” part of the story, either. The characters never bother to communicate with each other, just constantly jump to conclusions and get offended all the time.

Another reviewer called it a Savage Mistake. She also described the heroine as a twit.

I read this book when I was new to romance reading and it’s a wonder I kept reading the genre after this. The research is
halfbacked, the plot ridiculous, the heroine a twit, the
hero a jerk….don’t waste your time.

The cover of Savage Grace disturbs me.

book cover of   Savage Grace    (Savage, book 11)  by  Cassie Edwards


In this story, it is a beautiful redhead named Shylee who rescues the mighty Cherokee warrior Standing Wolf, instead of the other way around. Unlike the other books, it received five stars on Amazon.

Savage Devotion involves a beautiful red-haired heroine. And by the cover, you can see that she really has it. Her hair is as red as red can be. Ketchup colored red.

However, the synopsis made me laugh.

book cover of   Savage Devotion    (Savage, book 12)  by  Cassie Edwards

Sailing the deep, clear waters of the Puget Sound, beautiful red-haired Janice Edwards is bound for a new beginning. Leaving behind the wealth and luxury she’s known in San Francisco, she hopes to find a simpler, sweeter life in the towering forests of Tacoma . . . and a man who will love her for who she is, not what she has. But when the steamer Hope is wrecked by a sudden storm, Janice is rescued by a man like none she’s ever known. Tall, with muscular limbs and a powerful chest revealed by his buckskin clothing, he is a Skokomish Indian-from all she’s heard, a savage to be feared. Yet in his gray eyes she sees tender caring, in his strong arms she discovers untold passion, and in his wild heart she will find . . . savage devotion.


Tall, with muscular limbs and a powerful chest revealed by his buckskin clothing…

Sort of makes you wonder if he did it on purpose. I’m kind of worried because their hair is blowing in opposite directions. His hair is blowing to his left, and her hair is blowing out behind her.

This collection would not be complete without Savage Moon.

book cover of   Savage Moon    (Savage, book 15)  by  Cassie Edwards

Misshi Bradley knew two lives. As a settler girl, she’d seen her family die, one by one, on the grueling trail west. Stolen by renegade Indians, she’d grown to womanhood with an Indian family. Now that the Indian maiden she’s become is ready to wed, she longs for only one man, Soaring Hawk, whose golden body and raven hair fill her nights with dreams of passion. She sees in his eyes that he longs to awaken her to womanhood in his arms. But, even as she gives her heart to him, her mind questions the wisdom of her actions. For, if his father destroyed all she held precious so many years ago, how can she trust Soaring Hawk to give her lasting love now?

It’s all about the hair, baby.

Sarah and Candy proclaim that this story SUCKS. Really badly. Horrible writing. Plagiarism.

The girl is spirited, has wild red hair that she dyed black with the stalks of a root called we sha sha. She was so very fond of her life… and is a dimwit.

brain_bleachFrom the review:

Ten years later, when Misshi is conveniently 18 years of age, the book reveals that she’s been miraculously adopted by a neighboring Shoshone tribe and made the adopted daughter of the chief. How this was accomplished, no one knows, least of all me because the book didn’t tell me, but Misshi is a happy, dimwitted dipsh** of a heroine in the Edwards mold, and has dyed her hair black with some random but powerful weed so she can blend in better with the other Shoshone.

Which is all well and good, I suppose.

This is one case in which the plot synopsis is so much better than the book itself. If you check the link, the bloggers include several quotes from the book — the worst ones — with their own commentary. It’s really funny. You’ll either laugh hysterically, like me, or go around searching for brain bleach.

So there you have it. Most of Cassie Edwards’s novels involve tanned, hairless men. They also involve redheaded ladies most of the time. Red hair means that you are strong-willed, fierce, stubborn, and  maybe a little stupid. It also means that a redhead can make a grown man a slave to desire.

At least now we don’t need the random we-sha-sha. We can have red hair that comes out of a bottle.

June 25, 2009 at 11:57 pm 3 comments

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