Julie Rath: Simple Home Blemish Treatment

No matter how tempting it might be to squeeze, dig or pick at a pimple, word life: don’t do it. It will only irritate the area and make it more likely to spread. Below is an anti-zit concoction I discovered a few years back, and it always comes through. It’s made up of items that are probably hanging around your kitchen already and is super easy to assemble.

cotton swab
hydrogen peroxide
1/8 cup powdered oatmeal
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 c egg whites
3 drops honey

1. Dab cotton swab in hydrogen peroxide and clean blemish area (this keeps the pimple from spreading).

2. Mix everything else in a small bowl to create a paste.

3. Cover pimple with mixture and leave on for twenty minutes.

4. Rinse with warm water.

5. Apply twice a day until zit disappears. (Leftovers will keep in fridge for up to one week.)

-Content provided by Rath & Co. Men’s Style Consulting. Read more: http://rathandco.com/2011/07/simple-home-blemish-treatment/#ixzz2vU55SVRk

Is Mitch McConnell Trying to Lose?

Is Mitch McConnell the real-life version of Bulworth?  Here’s an excerpt from my piece from yesterday’s The Daily Beast:

Mitch McConnell has thereby found himself in an unprecedented situation — the master politician is running an embarrassment of a campaign.  And there is little that is tougher to survive politically than become a laughingstock, particularly with 24/7 cable news and social media replaying your humiliations on a virtual endless loop.

Veteran Kentucky political observers are shaking their heads at McConnell’s sudden loss of political mastery.  Some blame his lack of traction on the high level of difficulty of running his traditionally scorched earth strategy against a young female opponent — early sexualized GOP attacks on Grimes as an “empty dress” and an “Obama girl” backfired and perhaps have led to a heightened defensiveness from the McConnell camp and a more desperate effort to reach outside of their comfort zone into, yikes, positive advocacy.

Others blame the campaign leadership, specifically campaign manager Jesse Benton, a Ron and Rand Paul confidante and family member.  The manager’s hiring was seen as a bold strategic move by McConnell to blunt Tea Party primary opposition; but after a recording emerged of Benton claiming that he was “holding my nose” while he worked for the establishment icon — and then after McConnell’s refusal to fire or even discipline Benton for his insubordination — it appeared that the powerful Senate leader was being held captive by insurgent forces that lack the professionalism and experience to run a top-tier Senate campaign .  And perhaps some of the campaign’s mistakes over the past month might be attributed to a manager whose head and heart aren’t really in the race.

But my theory involves none of the above.  I believe that Mitch McConnell is having a Bulworth moment.  Just like the suicidally disillusioned title character of the 1990s Warren Beatty feature, Kentucky’s senior senator has simply had enough of Washington.  Why, after all, would anyone want to return to the polarization, the hyper-partisanship, the paralysis that has engulfed the nation’s capital?  And with some sense of responsibility for helping create that status quo, I believe McConnell now desires to leave on his own terms — smirking on camera, sticking it to the liberal media, and poking the eye of absurd traditions such as our undeserved ardor for a bunch of teenagers running up and down a hardwood floor.

Click here to read “Is Mitch McConnell Trying to Lose?

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Patting Myself on the Back

I did excellent work the past hour and fifteen minutes “working” one of the emergency exit doors on my flight from Clevelend to Charlotte, if I may say so myself.

My exit door, I am pleased to report, was “without incident.” And this is the third time this year I have taken on the responsibility of manning the emergency exit door in the event of an accident or emergency landing.

And it is not a role for the faint of heart.

Why do I compliment myself? Because frankly I have found it to be a thankless job. Not once has a member of the flight crew thanked me for my able, focused and fastidious work in this flight leadership role. Not even an “atta boy” wink or appreciative thumbs up gesture.

Should I need the affirmation to take on this kind of role? Probably not. And as long as I can give myself the occasional Facebook shout out for my aviation safety, that ought to be enough.

jyb_musingsAnd even though you probably weren’t on any of the three flights with me when I was in this important role, just know that if you had been, you would have landed safely and soundly. Thanks to the work of the crew and their volunteer staff, including me.

And although this isn’t a nice thing to say, the person opposite me working the other emergency exit, in my opinion, didn’t have her heart in it and hadn’t really read the flight rules and protocols and lied to the flight attendent when she pretended she had. At times I felt like I was doing her job as well as mine! As far as her side of the plane went, let’s just say we got lucky tonight.

Josh Bowen: How Bad Do You Want It?


how bad do you want it

Let’s be straight with each other, nothing in life is easy. It never has been and never will be. If you watch the video above, the voice overs talk about greatness, insatiable desire and not letting ANYTHING stand in your way.

“Your motive will push you, with no motive there is no push.” So what is your motive? What is your why? And is your why powerful enough and do you believe in it enough to propel you to greatness. Or will you make excuses?

Most people’s roadblock falls into three categories:

1. Afraid of failure- So many people are afraid to fail so they fail to try. Failure is inevitable but it’s not final. You fall on your face, you get back up. You fall on your face again, you get back up, again. No excuse for not trying. If you are afraid to fell you don’t want it that bad.

2. Afraid of success- What happens if I am successful? Then what? More responsibility and expectations shy people away from trying. Do not let this be you, keep pushing and when you start to succeed push harder. Do it for yourself…you’ll thank me one day.

3. No initiative- How many people do you know that walk through life with no plan and no direction, never capitalizing on their unique talents? In every person is the capability to be great at something. That something takes massive initiative and a specific game plan. For example in 2007 I went from training clients to operating 23 fitness clubs in 3 states…at the age of 23. Initiative is what allowed me to take that position, for which I sacrificed money, time and spend 275 days on the road…but I wouldn’t be where I am without taking that step.

The greats in every industry in every corner of the world have failure…many times. The difference between those that fail and those that are successful is very simply picking yourself off the ground and going back at it again. Driven by your why, consumed by your purpose and invigorated with enthusiasm, these are things that get you to any place worth going. Do not short change yourself, do not sell yourself short. Go out in the world and dominate it. There are no shortcuts. You want something bad enough? GO. GET. IT. Let nothing or no one stop you.

My rant is over…

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Who says basketball isn’t like life?

(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

I want to go out of this world like the Wichita St Shockers lost to the University of Kentucky Wildcats yesterday in the NCAA tournament.

I want my last shot to be potentially the one I’ll be remembered for –if it goes in.

And all I ask for is three seconds and one good look at the basket.

And I only want there to be 0.2 seconds left before I realize it’s… all over.

jyb_musingsAnd I want to feel grateful for the incredible run I was privileged to experience

And I want to leave the floor knowing I did everything I could have done during the time I was in the game

And that I exceeded all expectations–not out of good fortune– but because I played with the heart of a champion and never gave up

And that I played pursuing what I believed was my destiny

And I want my loss to be remembered somehow as Kentucky’s gain.

I only ask that I not be in St Louis when it happens.

And that where I am going is someplace much better than Indianapolis.

Lauren Mayer: Modern Jewish Mothers and Same Sex Marriage

Most of us are familiar with the cliche of the Jewish mother, who urges everyone to eat, nags her adult kids who don’t call her, and who is the butt of dozens of jokes that make people groan instead of laugh.  (Although I do love the one about the mom who gives her son two ties for his birthday, the son immediately puts one on, and the mom says “What, you didn’t like the other one?”)

Of course, I’ve always thought I was way too hip for that cliche, but as I find myself nagging my own sons about their eating habits (which are mostly terrible, and would it be so hard for them to eat something green besides green Skittles?), I can hear echoes of my mother and grandmother.  Yes, I’m a Jewish mother – but that isn’t as inconsistent with liberal political views as one might imagine, particularly when it comes to gay rights.

For example, many reformed synagogues (including ours) have offered same-sex commitment ceremonies for years.  And Jews are disproportionately represented in entertainment (just listen to “You Won’t Succeed On Broadway” from Spamalot), with a gay-friendly environment.  Plus we’re far more likely to live in urban areas, or suburbs near large cities, which tend to lean more Democrat and thus more tolerant.  (In fact, at the large suburban high school my kids attended, the biggest issue with their Gay Straight Alliance club was that it was mostly filled with straight teen girls who, thanks to Glee and Smash, wanted their own gay best friend.)

When my kids were young, I tried to impart this tolerance by making sure my boys spent time with my wonderful gay friends, and urging tolerance whenever I could.  (My older son was about 11 when he asked me when I thought he’d be ready to start kissing girls.  I responded, quite earnestly, “Your body will tell you when you’re ready, and it will also tell you whether you want to kiss girls or boys, because both are okay.”  He rolled his eyes and said, “Geez, mom, give it a rest.  I hate to disappoint you, but I’m straight.”)

At any rate, it makes perfect sense that a Jewish mother would not only welcome, but actually want, a gay son – because that way she’d never be replaced by another woman.  (Cue rim shot.)  But to my surprise, when I googled “Jewish Mothers For Marriage Equality,” there were no exact matches.  So clearly, a song was waiting to be born (and now, if you google that phrase, this one will come up!)


John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Battle of the Sexes

Third party politics and the sexes

Every few years public disgust with the two major political parties bubbles over to the point there is talk of a need to develop a third party.

As soon as the possibility of such a new entity starts to seem real both major parties tend to start behaving more responsibly and cooperatively.

The threat of a third party, in other words, seems to serve as a corrective on the behavior on the two major parties.

Which made me wonder if the same dynamic would occur between men and women –and they would get along better–if every few years there was talk of the threat of creating of a third sex.


jyb_musingsLove grades

I can tell how I am doing with my wife by the way she ends her texts to me. When I am doing well Rebecca ends each text with a complete “Love.” When I am doing well but could use improvement I get the abbreviated “L.” When I am on the bubble I get a lower case “l.” And when I am really struggling and moved into negative territory I simply get her first initial “R.”

R’s are bad and can sometimes–if not remedied immediately–devolve into no close at all. That is very, very bad. A failing grade.

Today I am getting capital L’s

But trying to move up by this afternoon to a full-fledged “Love.”

Christie Mitchell: Laments of the Unemployed Millenial – While We May Be Raised To Feel “Special”, We Are Also Honest

I am 27 years old. I can sugar-coat things by saying I am single, free-spirited, and full of optimism when really I live under the security blanket of those words.  So let me be clear: I am alone. I am, at times, spirit-free. I am unemployed and more than I’d like to admit, feel the glass is half empty. Being honest and showing vulnerability is not to win some sort of Purple Heart, literary or otherwise. It is, justly and in fact, the truth.

I don’t want to earn or gain sympathy. Exercising my right to free speech and type will always bring the bearers of bleeding heart and bleating doubt. So it is essential that I assert through this brief dissertation that I have said and done these things by choice.

I have made many decisions that have led me to this fork in the road. I have no blame to point towards myself or others. I have no regrets either. Instead, I have nothing but time to learn. Quaint as my living quarters may be, the vast and unknown are things I am facing…as I should in my twenties.  I have no doubt the evidence of struggle and the peace I find with this time in my life will line my pockets one day. I am, of course, the quintessential millennial with high hopes and dreams. The only question now is how.

It would be nice to contemplate my navel with this time away from the working world. I did for a couple of weeks after the hangover wore off from the perpetual hamster-spinning and mind cluster crap I became accustomed to in my previous position.  Now, I only wish for an opportunity that would make the wheels in my brain turn, a new thought, a new idea, a break from the monotony, a way out…a paying job. At this point, it doesn’t have to be the job.  Just A job.

There are moments in my wallows of self-pity that I do find comfort and the ability to think positively.

Christie MitchellI find being unattached at this juncture a blessing. I hear stories of those who have lost jobs and are working hard to provide for their families and I find my scenario as a single female and tiny dog in tow much less harrowing. He eats out of one bowl, poops outside, requires less attention and is always happy when I come home. Also he sleeps. A lot. It is my disturbed sleep schedule that puts a wrench in his day.

As free-spirited as I used to be as a younger tot (yes, Baby Boomers, there is a complete shift in mentality from the ages of 22-27…just go with it), I have become indebted and feel power from the responsibilities that keep me yearning for more.  To meet a cute boy and hop on a tour bus at 27? Well, that’s stupid, painfully unaware, and desperate. I lived those days. I loved those days. Although I have time to spend on whatever my heart desires, my spirit leads me towards watching Tom Brokaw, not Tom Petty. The days of free falling are over. I loved them, I thank them for being in my life, and I don’t miss them.  I like the news now.

I have learned by age and experience that it is also okay to not trust everyone, everything, and every situation.  Sometimes it is okay to be a little weary. The glass may be half-empty at times because I realize there is a glass half-full waiting for me somewhere else. I would not trade the wisdom and the newfound ability to trust my gut for anything in the world.  It has given me the most mature outlook on the world I have possessed thus far in my life – one that keeps me from diving in head first. I have learned to be patient and cautious enough to check the temperature of the water.  I also avoid hot tubs. Another habit rid from the early twenties.  I hear those things have lots of germs.  Gross.

So I show this vulnerability.  Why?

Didn’t you know?  It’s the age of the Internet.  People love to scan through this stuff and make judgments either in favor or in contempt. Or to give some other opinion that makes voicing it on the Internet a special experience for those deprived of human contact and self confidence. I am, at times, lacking in both as well. Why take to the vast and unknown and divulge my inner feelings?  Again, Baby Boomers – it’s just what we do.  Go with it.

I do know that I am not the only one.  And I, along with many of my millennial brothers and sisters out there struggling to figure it all out, will have lined pockets one day after contemplating our belly buttons, watching educational programs, searching our souls, calming our too-free of spirits (sometimes), buckling down, earning – and loving – the next move in our journeys. Interesting enough – it won’t take Journey or Tom Petty, but we Don’t Stop Believing. We are resilient little twerps, aren’t we?

Career, life, and love are like really great bourbon.  They’re fun when they’re young, but there is something sweet and powerful when they get a little age on ‘em.

Oh, and they’re more of a commodity – because they’ve grown to become something very special. The days of boxed wine and cheap seats are over for this gal. At least that’s the metaphor.  I will be drinking boxed wine and looking on from the nosebleeds until I find a job to soothe the pockets…and then line them.  Love? I assume that may be next.

Life? Well, that’s what I’ve had all along. I won’t be waiting for wrinkles to become special. This is one thing I’m confident of; a sweet gift I do have in my half-empty pocket that’s sure to surprise – Tom Brokaw and all.

Erica & Matt Chua: How to Visit Tibet Without a Permit

Are you interested in Tibetan culture, want to meet the Dalai Lama, do monks make you shutter happy?  Then I have news for you, Leh is the place, not Tibet, to get your fix.  Why head to India instead of Tibet you ask?  It’s much more affordable and less restricted.  Here is a quick comparison of Tibet vs. Ladakh

Having your own transportation makes Leh much more accessible than Tibet, our choice the iconic Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle


The biggest barrier to visiting Tibet are the requirements for entry including a guide and permit.  It took us a painstaking 10 days and many sleepless nights to obtain the appropriate papers and arrange guides for Tibet.However, Leh requires nothing more than a long bus trip or short flight.  Leh is the perfect place to visit for non-planners, the budget conscious and independent travelers.  There’s nothing like the magic of discovering the charms of Tibetan culture at your own pace with your own transport in contrast to being tied to a guide’s schedule.  (Want to learn how to visit Tibet?  Click here to learn how we did it).

The gigantic Sakyamuni Buddha at Thiksey Monastery


The history and culture in Tibet are incredible, Potala Palace’s gold and gem encrusted stupas alone are worth the trip.  However, the monasteries in Ladakh are stunning.  Thiksey Monastery in particular not only looks similar to Potala, but offers a 14 meter high Buddha that the Dalai Lama himself purports to be the most beautiful statue he has seen.  In addition, you have plenty of time to explore the monasteries rather than being ushered through with a guide.

Read the rest of…
Erica & Matt Chua: How to Visit Tibet Without a Permit

“No Bracket, No Pay” NCAA Hoops Update

Printable NCAA Bracket 2014It was the best week of college hoops since James Naismith emptied out a peach basket.

No let me go further:  It was the greatest week in the history of the world.  Consider:

1. My home team — my favorite squad in all of sports — the University of Kentucky Wildcats — overcame all of its freshman jitters and poor play to advance to the Sweet Sixteen, by upsetting the only 35-0 squad in the history of the game.  I haven’t rooted so hard for an underdog like this since 1992, and we all know what happened then.

  1. 2. My alma mater — Harvard University — which I don’t believe had a basketball program when I attended in the late 1980s, announced itself as a legitimate, gritty basketball school on the 25th anniversary of my graduation by coming thisclose to beating Michigan State, which many of predicted to win the whole thing.

3.  The source of all evil in the world — the Duke Blue Devils — lost to Mercer in the first round.  With all apologies to anyone who went to Mercer, I still don’t know where it is located.

Meanwhile, our popular, No Labels-co-sponsored “No Bracket, No Pay” prediction tournament saw nearly 100 entries.  We have 5 people tied at the top (I’m respectfully tied for 15th place): check out the full standings here.  And don’t forget to vote on the prizes to be awarded to our winners.

So, it will all be a letdown from here.  All we have going on in Kentucky is THE BIGGEST GAME IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE on Friday.  Go Cats!

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