Victoria Beckham ‘Never Gave Up’ on Marriage to David ‘When Someone Else Might Have,’ Says Source

As Victoria and David Beckham approach their 19th anniversary, the couple is once again battling rumors of trouble in their marriage – and speaking out to squash the speculation.

“Over the years, Victoria has fought hard for her marriage, and for David,” a source tells PEOPLE. “She never gave up when someone else might have.”

After shooting down social media speculation about a divorce, the former model and designer, who shares four children with the soccer star, 43, spoke openly about how she balances her personal and professional life.

“I try really, really hard. I try hardest to be the best mother,” Victoria, 44, said at the Forbes Women’s Summit in New York City on Tuesday, according to Hello!.

“I am trying to be the best wife and the best professional. When I get home I try to put the phone down and spend time with the children and spend time with David,” she added.

“I have the support of an incredible husband,” Victoria continued. “We really are equal with everything we do at home with the children. When I’m away he’s the one doing the school run and doing the cooking.”

Her comments come just weeks after her and David’s rep told PEOPLE that the two were not heading for divorce.

“What nonsense. Journalist Chinese whispers and fake news fueled by social media,” the rep said. “There is no impending statement, no divorce!”

The power couple, who recently attended the royal wedding together, share children Brooklyn, 19, Romeo, 15, Cruz, 13 and daughter Harper, 6.

The duo met in the Manchester United players’ lounge in 1997. David was playing for the team at the time, but had not yet become one of the team’s most recognizable stars.

He has said he knew Victoria was ‘The One’ before even meeting her in person. While watching a Spice Girls music video on TV, Beckham proclaimed to a pal: “See the girl in the dark short dress? I’m going to marry her.”

The designer echoed her hubby’s statement: “Completely love at first sight. He told me he went home and wrote my number on so many other things in case he lost it.”

The duo married in a lavish 1999 wedding at an Irish castle, and despite often praising each other in interviews, they went on to endure speculation about the state of their union for nearly two decades.

“We’ve had our ups and downs,” she admitted to Vogue in 2013, adding, “but we’re so proud of each other.”

Two years later, the former Spice Girl-turned-fashion designer said she had effectively learned how to tune out the haters.

“I have never listened to, or commented on, the rumors about any aspect of my life,” she told Grazia magazine in regards to murmurs about a split.

“I am blessed to have a wonderful husband and beautiful, healthy, happy children,” she continued. “Yes, we travel a lot with our respective businesses and charitable commitments, but we always make time for each other as a couple and as a family. David and I have nothing to prove. We love each other, look out for each other and are strong as both partners and parents.”

She also spoke about how much she admires her husband. “My husband constantly inspires me and guides me – he has done so much good work,” she said of the man who serves as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. “I look up to him and have the utmost respect and admiration for all that he has achieved.”

In 2016, Victoria included some marriage advice in a letter addressed to her 18-year-old self published in British Vogue. “In marriage: have patience. Bite your tongue. Be supportive. And preserve a bit of mystique,” she said.

“Never let yourself go completely (at least brush your hair, clean your teeth, have a bit of a brow going on because you will always want him to look at you and feel attracted),” Victoria added.

Last year, the couple renewed their vows in a relatively private ceremony. In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, David opened up about the special day, while also admitting that “marriage is difficult at times” as he and his wife continue to work hard at their relationship.

“We have renewed our vows since ,” said David, who didn’t elaborate on when the ceremony took place. “It was a lot more private, about six people there in our house.”

The former soccer star said the secret to their 18-year marriage is making his relationship with Victoria a priority and working together through any hard times.

“We’re a strong family unit. We’ve got strong parents. We were brought up with the right values,” he said. “Of course you make mistakes over the years, and we all know marriage is difficult at times. It’s about working through it.”

He added, “We know each other better than anybody. People have talked about, ‘Do we stay together because it’s a brand?’ Of course not. We stay together because we love each other, because we have four amazing children.

“Do you go through tough times? Of course. That’s part of relationships. It’s part of marriages. It’s part of having children. It’s part of having responsibilities.”

Earlier this month, as rumors of a split began to circulate on social media, Victoria sent her “love” to David on Instagram with a photo of Harper.

“Morning cuddles x So much love 🙏🏻 We love and miss u @davidbeckham 💕💕💕💕,” she wrote in the caption.


PEOPLE.com

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8 Things You Shouldn’t Say If Someone You Love Has Depression

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These Comics Will Ring True If You’ve Ever Dated Someone Younger

Age ain’t nothin’ but a number ― until you start dating someone younger and then suddenly everyone has an opinion.

Artist Cassandra Calin, a 22-year-old who is currently in a relationship with a younger guy, captures the highs and lows of this dynamic in a new comic series for College Humor.  

“This is the first series I’ve done where I introduce my boyfriend and our relationship,” Calin, who is based in Montreal, told HuffPost. 

The artist says her boyfriend enjoys teasing her about the age difference. (We’ve asked what the age difference is but haven’t heard back yet.) 

“He enjoys reminding me that when I turn 30, he’ll still be in his 20s,” she told HuffPost. “And sometimes he calls me ‘granny Cassandra’, especially when my joints crack out of the blue.”

Check out the rest of the relatable moments below. To see more of Calin’s work, visit her website, Tumblr, Facebook or Instagram

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Someone Trolled A GOP Senator By Signing Him Up To Nickelback Emails

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) is not diggin’ this at all.

On Friday, he tweeted that someone had signed several of his email accounts up to Nickelback promotional newsletters. “It’s. Not. Funny,” he wrote:

While signing people up to spam email is never to be condoned, Sasse does have major form in trolling the Canadian rock band himself.

Over the past 16 months, he’s repeatedly used Twitter to poke fun at the group:

It’s also not the first time someone has added Sasse to the band’s mailing list:

Sasse said the office of Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) was behind the latest prank:

Hatch’s office hasn’t confirmed its role in the joke, but did use the opportunity to indulge in some more trolling:

Sasse saw the funny side, as did many of his Twitter followers:

Some Twitter users, however, used the exchange to quiz both Sasse and Hatch over the GOP’s health care reform:

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What You Should Know If You Love Someone With High-Functioning Depression

Everything feels a lot harder when you’re dealing with high-functioning depression ― including relationships.

Experts say the condition often isn’t noticeable to most people, because those who experience it tend to mask it well. This arguably makes the disorder difficult for partners to detect and the people who deal with it hesitant to speak up in the first place.

The symptoms are aligned with those of depression, including irritability and extreme sadness. But the average observer wouldn’t necessarily know it based on how the sufferer is acting.

Luckily, knowledge is power. Education about mental health issues helps people who don’t experience them understand the disorders a little bit better. And in a world where only 25 percent of people with mental illness feel like others are sympathetic to their condition, compassion can go a long way.

We asked our Facebook communities to share some truths they wished their loved ones knew about high-functioning depression. Here’s what they had to say:

1. High-functioning depression zaps energy.

“I wish my fiancé understood that some days, I can’t turn my depression off. I can’t always just get out of bed immediately and take on the day like he does. I need to motivate and really push myself to do so, and it takes a great amount of effort.” ―Lindsey Diamond 

2. Just because the condition is hard to see, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

“I may seem happy and I am able to joke, but when I get home, the mask comes off and I cannot function beyond basic necessities … Everything is difficult.” ―Theresa Allen 

3. Sometimes it stands in the way of social gatherings.

“[I want them to] stop demanding that I attend every party with them because they need to know I want some time alone.” ―Samra Suleman

4. Other times it helps to stay distracted.

“For me, it is having to be busy at all times. The point is to mentally exhaust myself so the bad thoughts don’t creep in as I lie in bed each night.” ―Katherine Deubner 

5. The condition isn’t anyone’s fault.

“I wish he knew when I’m at my low points it’s no ones fault. Sometimes I’m just sad, sometimes I just need to lay in bed, sometimes I need him to do what I normally do around the house.” ―Sandra Ringle 

6. There’s often no explanation for why it’s happening.

“I wish my partner knew that there is rarely (if ever) a specific ‘cause’ to my depressed states. I do not have a tangible answer to the question, ‘What’s wrong?’” ―Beranger LeFranc

7. It feels like an internal battle.

“Basically it’s like an argument between my heart and my brain. While I’m crying my heart out my brain thinks, ‘What the hell is wrong with you. Look at how great things are!’ And my heart says, ‘If you can’t figure it out, we’re going to die.’ That’s what it seems like when for no obvious reason I find myself in a total emotional meltdown.” ―Michael Aldieri 

8. High-functioning depression is unintentionally isolating.

“I wish he knew that I don’t want to shut him out, I just don’t know how to let him in.” ―Liv Kerr

9. An affectionate gesture goes a long way.

“I just need to be held and then left alone for a while. What I’m feeling is as if I’m underwater and my lungs can’t get air.” ―Sandra Ringle

10. It’s hardly in a person’s control.

“I wish my partner understood how little control I really have over my depression. I can do every little thing correctly, eating right, taking care of myself, exercising daily, centering my mind with yoga and all it takes is one trigger to undo all that work.” ―Emily Maia 

11. You’re not doing anything wrong.

“I wish he knew that even though he is the most amazing man I’ve ever met, there is a piece of me that is broken and it has nothing to do with him. He could make me smile every day, but as soon as that switch gets flipped I will have a really hard time being able to pump the brakes on my depression and anxiety.” ―Emily Thomas

12. Your support is so important.

“I wish he knew how overwhelming being sad during a depressive state is … sometimes it would be really nice to get a hug, instead of just the cold shoulder and being ignored because it is difficult to understand. Support is worth more than words could ever say.” ―Avarie Downs 

The bottom line is this: Don’t give up on someone with high-functioning depression. Your love means everything.

Some responses have been lightly edited or condensed for clarity.

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As part of May’s Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re focusing on treatment and the stigma around getting help. Check out our coverage here and share your story at strongertogether@huffingtonpost.com.

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Someone Rewrote The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Album As A ‘Star Wars’ Parody

Thursday, May the 4th, better known as “Star Wars” Day, is almost here. But if you love both “Star Wars” and, say, the Beatles, then prepare for a treat.

YouTubers and self-proclaimed “hobby musicians” Jude and Dan have done something truly spectacular. They covered the entire Beatles’ album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and rewrote it as a “Star Wars” parody.

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Someone Threw The ‘Veep’ Music Over That Awkward Trump Non-Signing, And It’s Fantastic

President Donald Trump had an awkward moment on Friday when he left his own big executive order-signing moment without, you know, signing the executive orders

While Trump tried to leave, the scene quickly took a turn for the chaotic. A reporter tried to ask Trump about one of his tweets from earlier in the day about his former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Vice President Mike Pence rushed over to the commander in chief before grabbing the unsigned executive orders and whisking them away. In a video, people can be heard confirming what they just saw.

“So he didn’t sign them?” one man asks.

”He did not sign them,” a woman replies.

“He did not sign them,” a third man confirms. 

It was a bewildering moment, one that gave BuzzFeed’s Brandon Wall an idea. “Could someone please mash this up to be in the style of a @VeepHBO closing credits scene? PLEASE,” he tweeted.

Luckily for him, BuzzFeed’s Jesse McLaren was ready and willing to do just that. And ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you: The video he create is wonderful. 

HBO’s “Veep” has made its comedic reputation on portraying Washington, D.C., insiders as a little more than a gaggle of bumbling incompetence ― something that they have said has become harder to parody with the rise of Trump.

Nevertheless, the cast and crew of the show appeared to be more excited about the video than maybe anyone. 

”Veep” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus and executive producer David Mandel retweeted the video as well. As Kumail Nanjiani of “Silicon Valley” put it:

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Someone Made Donald Trump’s Speeches Into An Early 2000s Emo Song

Who knew President Trump’s speeches were so similar to the emo songs of the early 2000s? 

Super Deluxe did. And they seem to have gone back in time to find the perfect emo singer to bring the whole thing to life.

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If Only Someone Had Deflated Tom Brady’s Poufy Hair In High School

All-American Uggs wearer and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady hasn’t always been so ridiculously good-looking. Like us mortal humans, he went through a bit of an awkward phase in high school. Never fear, we have photographic proof! 

The five-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback recently posted a picture from his freshman year in high school and his hair is everything.

“Time to bring it back?? #hairgoals” Brady wrote.  

Time to bring it back?? #hairgoals

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

USA Today’s “For The Win” section called Junipero Serra, Brady’s high school, and they confirmed that the photo is real. We just want to know what kind of hair products gave his ‘do this kind of gravity!  

Below are some other looks Brady has sported over the years: 

1. This backwards cap and earnest smile. 

2. A slightly longer haircut and scruff. 

3. Hair with a lot of product in it. 

4. Short on the sides and a little longer on top. 

 

5. Some more gelled hair! 

6. A longer look than we normally see: 

7.  This fluffy ‘do. 

 

8. Something that looks a bit like a mullet… 

9. A slicked back look for this slick couple: 

 

9. This helmet hair look he likes to sport all the time. 

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How To Love Someone With Opposite Political Views

Just two weeks into Donald Trump’s presidency, news hit of the first divorce triggered by the election results (or at least, the first to go viral). 

In an interview with Reuters, Californian Gayle McCormick, 73, said she and her husband of 22 years decided to split up after he mentioned that he planned to vote for Trump

Though her husband ended up writing in former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich at the ballot box instead, the damage was already done.

“It really came down to the fact I needed to not be in a position where I had to argue my point of view 24/7,” she said. “I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life doing that.” 

Though an extreme example, the story highlights how hard it is to love and maintain a civil relationship when you’re at odds politically. Like the McCormicks, 30 percent of married households contain a mismatched partisan pair, according to data site FiveThirtyEight

If those couples weren’t getting into arguments before the election, chances are they are now, with each day bringing fresh executive orders, cabinet confirmations and emotionally charged POTUS tweets. It’s all too easy to get upset if your spouse is your political opposite.

How do you avoid the McCormicks’ fate if you have different political views? Below, couples who’ve been in mixed political marriages for years share their advice.

Rule #1: Don’t look at your partner as a surrogate for his or her party’s candidate.

Kerry Maguire, a left-leaning dentist who serves as the director of the children’s outreach program at the Forsyth Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been married to her husband Thomas Stossel, a right-leaning hematologist and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, for over 20 years.

In that time, she’s tried to not confuse Republican leaders’ views with those of her spouse.

“Tom has nothing in common with Donald Trump except they both belong to the Republican party,” she told The Huffington Post. “Still, I have occasionally ― and unfairly ― dumped my frustrations over Trump in Tom’s lap. Not surprisingly, that can evoke a defensive response in him, which I sometimes interpret as Tom being in agreement with Trump.”

Highly charged events like the Women’s March in January have definitely triggered some emotions in the couple. When arguments get too heated and Maguire is responsible, she takes full ownership for stirring things up. 

“His response to the Women’s March was, ‘Didn’t these people vote?’ And I wanted to tear my hair out and start talking about parallel universes,” she told us. “Then I realized that I was the one who set us up for the fight.” 

Rule #2:  Keep things in perspective. 

Stossell, meanwhile, recognizes that President Trump’s actions offend his wife far more than they offend him. Like any supportive spouse, he takes it in stride and actively listens when his wife is unnerved by the latest executive order or Kellyanne Conway’s most recent claim of “fake news.” 

“Kerry complains about him from time to time and that’s OK with me,” he told HuffPost. “The 20 plus years I’ve been married to her have been the best of my life and there’s no way political disagreements could compromise my affection for her.”

Rule #3: Remind yourself that winning isn’t everything.

They may have appeared in a pre-election video titled “Donald Trump Is Ruining My Marriage,” but New York magazine columnist Mandy Stadtmiller and her Trump-supporting husband, comedian Pat Dixon, are still very much married.

That’s partly because both realized that winning an argument about Trump means very little compared to their growth as a couple. 

“If we disagree on a political issue, America’s future is not going to be determined by who wins a single argument we are having in our tiny Chelsea apartment,” Stadtmillter said. “It might determine our future, though.” 

She added: “Challenge, disagreement and adversity can make a good couple grow stronger, more emphatic and more sensitive if you never lose your respect for each other in the process of spirited debate.”

Rule #4: Don’t bring politics to bed.

Alicia Chandler, a left-leaning attorney who lives in the greater Detroit, Michigan area, has endured four presidential elections with her conservative, Trump-supporting husband. In that time, they’ve learned to avoid placing campaign signs in their yard (”We do not need to let the whole neighborhood in on our dysfunction,” she joked in a blog prior to the 2017 election) and to avoid talking about politics or unsettling world news before bed.

“You have to give each other safe spaces ― and I’m not simply suggesting that term because the mere mention of it infuriates my husband and most other conservatives,” she said.

To protect her marriage, Chandler tries to avoid looking at social media while in bed.

“When I do, I have the bad habit of getting into a heated conversation about whatever the political crisis of the day, which is horrible because my brain has already shut down for the day,” she said. “Basically, I am more likely to lose any argument on an intellectual level and it ends the the day on a negative note.”

Talking about news of the day with your spouse is important, but Chandler stressed the importance of designating times of days where the conversation is politics-free.

Rule #5: Recognize the core beliefs you do share. 

Micah Leydorf is a former congressional staffer and a conservative married to a liberal. When the divide between her and her husband seems great, she reminds herself that they ultimately share a common belief system. 

“We may not agree on many important national policies, but we agree that loving people and loving each other are more important,” she told HuffPost. “We don’t argue when we discuss politics because we are united in our focus on living out our common belief in a loving God. You have to focus more on living out your core beliefs every day instead of just talking about them.” 

Rule #6: Value the experience of listening to the other side. 

In these hyper-partisan days, most of us consume a media diet that feeds into our preconceived beliefs and biases. Being married to your political opposite forces you to consider the other side’s opinions and hear their latest talking points, said Julia Arnold, a Minnesota-based blogger who’s been married to a conservative for nine years. Yes, she said, sometimes that means she’s forced to watch Fox News. 

“The truth is, you may or may not believe that the media is biased, but either way I still find value in spending time with a variety of news outlets,” she said. “The way I see it, it’s helpful, not harmful, to watch and read a variety of media.” 

Arnold added that being being married to your political opposite compels you to look at your beliefs and sometimes, even question them.

“Our relationship has made me more open-minded and less judgmental,” she said. “I hope my husband feels the same way. My marriage has made me look at things through more than one lens and I feel lucky for that opportunity.”

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This Is Why You Meet Someone When You Least Expect It (And How To Make It Happen)

Most single people can attest to hearing this advice at least once in their relationship-free lives: “You’ll meet someone when you least expect it.” 

Common? Yes. Totally unhelpful? Also yes. For people who are interested in coupling up, “not expecting” to find someone can feel like a seemingly impossible feat. 

But why do people say it? According to matchmakers and relationship experts, it’s because it’s true. 

“When you’re focused on meeting someone, that stress can be seen from a mile away,” Kelli Fisher, certified life and relationship coach and one half of “The Matchmaking Duo,” told The Huffington Post. “When you don’t have that at the top of your mind and are just enjoying yourself in the moment without any preconceived notions, things can progress organically.”

Instead of actively looking, experts say to focus on these things instead.

1. Pursue your interests and hobbies.

“Get more involved in things that will bring you happiness or peace like hobbies, connecting with friends, family, traveling or reconnecting with your faith. When you’re more fulfilled, the law of attraction kicks in, so people see you with that joy and want that for themselves,” Fisher said.

2. Reconnect with old friends.

“We always see people reconnecting with faith, joining travel or sporting groups, learning something but also being around people with similar values and hobbies as you and also reconnecting with old friends,” Fisher said. There are always “friend-troductions” to be made when you surround yourself with different circles of friends ― you end up meeting people without really even thinking about it. 

3. Rethink what you want in a relationship.

Taking a break from actively seeking a partner also gives you the opportunity to figure out exactly what you want from your next relationship, Tana Gilmore, a life and relationship coach (and Fisher’s matchmaking partner), explained. “You can course correct issues and challenges you’ve had in the past with making bad relationship decisions and in turn, attract the kind of mate you deserve and want.”

4. Abandon your checklist.

“I’d tweak the sentence to ‘You find love where you least expect it’ ― in this case, with someone who may not be ‘your type’ or who you were looking for,” Andrea Syrtash, the author of “He’s Just Not Your Type (And That’s a Good Thing”), said. “So many of us get tied to our paper checklists and sometimes overlook great matches who don’t add up on them. But then, you don’t marry a piece of paper.”

5. Look around you.

“In some cases, [the women I interviewed] realized they had chemistry with a friend or officemate they didn’t originally consider romantically, but who made them happy,” Syrtash said. “In other cases, some of these people found love when they took the pressure off of themselves to meet a ‘perfect match.’ They were more present and it made organic connections with people when they weren’t overthinking it.”

6. Don’t deactivate your online dating profile just yet.

Fisher and Gilmore said it’s good to “periodically check” your accounts in the event that while you’re off doing things that make you happy, “someone may be looking for you.” 

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Someone Threw a Homemade Explosive Through the Front Door of a Crowded Cheesecake Factory

Authorities are searching for a man who they say threw a homemade explosive into a crowded Cheesecake Factory in Pasadena, California, on Thursday night — a jarring incident and possible prank that did not result in injuries.

Shortly after 6 p.m., the man opened the restaurant’s front door and threw the device inside, where it landed under an empty table, police say. The suspect then fled as the device exploded. 

No one was injured in the incident, but the scene quickly devolved.

“People were jumping over one another, fighting to get over bar stools. People were tripping, falling,” one witness told NBC Los Angeles, adding, “Stuff going everywhere. It was very chaotic.”

Police evacuated the scene, and a bomb squad removed the device. While its exact nature hasn’t been released, authorities described the explosive as a “homemade pyrotechnic device” that was seemingly designed to create a loud noise and not “injure or maim,” police told NBC L.A.

It reportedly contained gunpowder, and Pasadena’s mayor told the Orange County Register it was more like a firecracker than a bomb.

Pasadena police told NBC L.A. on Friday that the incident appeared to be “a really bad prank.”

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

In a news conference, Pasadena Lt. Mark Goodman explained the device wasn’t a pipe bomb or a Molotov cocktail, and that it contained no projectiles or shrapnel.

Goodman told the Pasadena Star News that the man’s motive remains unclear. “It could be a dissatisfied customer, a disgruntled employee,” he said.

Pasadena police confirm to PEOPLE that they have notified the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as detectives continue to gather information. The Cheesecake Factory confirmed the incident in a statement and said the Pasadena location would reopen Friday.

“Thankfully, none of our guests or staff was injured,” said Alethea Rowe, a company spokeswoman. “Law enforcement is actively investigating the incident.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Pasadena police at 626-744-4241 or L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.


PEOPLE.com

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Someone Made Tomi Lahren A Website She’d Definitely Hate

Tomi Lahren is a contentious political commentator.

The host of “Tomi” on TheBlaze has spoken out against abortion, the Women’s March, President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and so-called liberal privilege. She’s asks the hard questions, like, “Can white people do anything?” and delivers advice like, “If you don’t want to be attacked, keep your clothes on.” 

So, naturally, someone made her a website that fits her beliefs quite perfectly: TomiLahren.org.

The site is a single page that has links to donate to the Environmental Defense Fund, the ACLU, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and Planned Parenthood ― all overlaid on a wallpaper of a Tomi Lahren tweet that reads,”Anyone else need a drink?”

TomiLahren.org was created by 23-year-old Sam Hopkins, a software engineer, who was inspired to put this whole thing together after listening to Kellyanne Conway’s post-inauguration talk about “alternative facts.”

“I spent a good amount of time on Sunday looking up political themed domain names to buy and stumbled across TomiLahren.org,” Hopkins told The Huffington Post. “I originally wanted to buy alternativefacts.news and turn it into a satirical site.”

Because alternativefacts.news was taken, Hopkins bought TomiLahren.org for $ 18 and here we are.  

Currently, the site has more than 191,000 visitors and counting.

The irony here, of course, is the organizations the site links to. Lahren is passionately pro-life, committed to the Second Amendment, has a distaste for the “liberal agenda,” doesn’t believe climate change is of high importance, and frequently criticizes Black Lives Matter along with those who speak out against police brutality.

Well, like many other things in the world, Tomi will most likely hate this website. Nevertheless, Twitter seems to like it: 

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Someone May Have Put Razor Blades Inside Kids’ Shoes at a Texas Walmart

Because there isn’t enough wrong with the world.

Style – Esquire

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What It’s Like to Have Sex With Someone With Two Vaginas

Spoiler: It’s not all that different. 

Lifestyle – Esquire

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Someone at Fort Bliss Travel Organic Kids T-Shirt by CafePress

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Looking for ‘The Real Thing’? Find Someone Comfortable

Ask him for a date, or let him pursue you? Respond to the text immediately, or let her wait? Tell him you love him, or stay mum until he says it first?

The early days of a relationship are thrilling, but also stressful. That heavenly new-love high can feel pretty precarious, as if one false move could unravel the whole thing.

So, you plot and plan and strategize — discussing every move with a panel of your 12 closest friends. In some ways, that’s part of the fun, but a new book by Washington Post reporter Ellen McCarthy says it’s probably a waste of time.

McCarthy was the Post’s wedding reporter for four years — a gig she landed on the very day she and a former boyfriend broke up. McCarthy thought that covering weddings while heartbroken would be torture, but she discovered that it actually inspired her.

“All of these people — young, rich, poor, plain, beautiful, sophisticated, and simple — they’d all found someone. I was reminded again and again that love happens every day, in all kind of ways, to all kinds of people,” she writes in her terrific new book, The Real Thing: Lessons on Love and Life from a Wedding Reporter’s Notebook.

By investigating real relationships rather than the ones in rom-coms or dating guides, she discovered that a lot of conventional wisdom about romance didn’t jibe with her fieldwork.

For example, we all love a good origin story, those tales of lovers whom fate brought together through snowstorms or missed trains. But McCarthy says that people who meet in less goosebump-inspiring ways, like online dating, are just as likely to have high-quality relationships.

“All of the couples who got together with a little help from technology feel the same sense of fate as couples who met while serving in the Peace Corps mission or while sharing a wall as next-door neighbors,” writes McCarthy, who estimates that 35 to 40 percent of the couples who apply to be featured in her column met online.

McCarthy also discovered that the happiest relationships didn’t require obedience to antiquated dating maxims:

One of the things I’ve heard over and over again from couples describing what was different when they met ‘the One’ was that for the first time, they didn’t feel like they were in the middle of a romantic chess match. There was no guessing whether or not the other person was interested. They didn’t worry about ‘the rules’ on how long to wait before calling or setting up the next date. The whole thing felt relaxed and transparent, not fraught with the typical ‘Does he or she like me?’ anxiety.

In fact, McCarthy often stumped college classes when she asked them to guess the most common word she heard when couples described their relationships. It wasn’t “love,” “laughter” or “chemistry” — it was “comfortable,” a word 70 to 80 percent of her couples used.

The students thought this sounded like a drag, but I think it’s great news. “Comfortable” doesn’t mean you aren’t also counting down the seconds until you can see your beloved again. It just means that when you find the right fit, you probably won’t have to stress about the precise wording of your latest text — or spend much time decoding his or hers. If he says he’s going to be late because he got stuck in a meeting at work, that means he’s going to be late because he got stuck in a meeting at work.

In other words, winning someone’s heart doesn’t require employing a lot of complicated schemes. You’re more likely to find lifelong love by listening to your instincts and sticking with what works. That might be bad news for those who earn their living peddling strategies and tricks, but it’s great news for everyone else.

Sara Eckel is the author of It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single. You can get a free bonus chapter of her book at saraeckel.com. You can also find her onTwitter and Facebook.

This post first appeared on eHarmony.com.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Weddings – The Huffington Post
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Someone Save Me

Someone Save Me


Someone Save Me” is a real life account of singer songwriter and motivational speaker, Kole Hansen. Follow this drug abuser turned beauty queen as she picks up the pieces after a drug overdose nearly took her life. She takes you through the sexual abuse, rape, and school bullying that fueled her self destructive behavior. The pages are hard to turn as you watch the evil unfold and envelope this innocent girl. Find out how she learned to love, to trust and to smile after breaking the patterns of suffering she had created. By sharing her story she hopes she can offer support to anyone struggling to turn their life around. After completing the book she realized the drugs weren’t what was killing her, she was. They offered her a place to relate to other tortured souls and that seemed worth any risk the abuse offered. To her, anything was better than the depression and hopelessness she felt. Art work by artist Frank Germano http://mofdesign.com

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Someone Requested All Of The FCC Complaints Against ’30 Rock,’ And They’re Magical

Ain’t no filth like Liz Lemon filth.

Tiny Fey’s “30 Rock” ran for 138 episodes, garnering more than 100 Emmy nominations, but apparently it should’ve been taken off the air far sooner, thank you very much.

The fine people of MuckRock requested every FCC complaint lodged against the sitcom — there were only nine, but some viewers took strong offense to the “crap” broadcast by NBC.

Many people were upset with the show’s language, including moment’s where Fey’s character Liz Lemon “called someone a son of a bitch” and an unidentified actor said, “Kiss my daughter’s ass.” A particularly dismayed viewer was offended by the line “Have you been soaking your tampon in vodka?” and ended their complaint chastising the character Jenna Maroney for “kissing a man dressed as a woman.”

And of course the network sensation “MILF Island” was mentioned by a foul-mouthed complainer: “M-I-L-F is acronym for ‘Mother I’d Like to Fuck’ This is shameful … Where in the WORLD is the decency rules and why are they not being enforced.”

Maybe the network should’ve run with “Queen of Jordan” instead.

Take a full look at all of the complaints below:

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Someone Special

Someone Special


Gracen loves Christmas. It’s his favorite time of the year. So much so that he works as a mall photographer for the season, taking pictures of children with Santa. There’s something about seeing all those happy families that he finds satisfying, which may be slightly odd since he’s so very alone, himself. Working three jobs is never fun, but when Jesse takes a part time position as a greeter elf at Santa’s Workshop in the mall, he meets Gracen and realizes that maybe job number three isn’t that bad, after all. The handsome photographer appeals to him, even with all Jesse’s family issues. Two lonely men, one Santa’s Workshop, elf costumes, curl-toed shoes and a camera. They aren’t exactly a recipe for finding that someone special. except maybe they are.

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22 Terrifying and Magical Capabilities Someone Has When You Fall For Them

Love is terrifying, and terror is love.

How exceptional is falling in love? How breathtakingly incredible? How painful and enchanted it is to have your heart opened. It presents so many chances for overwhelming pain, and also for captivating joy. It’s a double-edged sword that can release your innermost desires and also your deepest fears.

Oh, love. How petrifying and wondrous is the single most infinite component of human life. Here are 22 powers your beloved has when you first fall for them:

  1. They see who you really are. Your insecurities and flaws lie exposed like an open wound.
  2. They want you, regardless. You know that what you see as ugliness is lovable to them. You know you’re perfectly imperfect to them, and few things in life match that comfort.
  3. They can leave you and you know you’ll feel a little lost if they do.
  4. They can stay. They can be there when no one else is.
  5. They can hold you back in life when you focus too much on them.
  6. They can support and push you. They can directly aid in the pursuit of your dreams.
  7. They have expectations for you that you could not be able to meet, and you worry you could become a disappointment.
  8. You could fulfill every hope of theirs and then some. You could be gratifying and refreshing in all that you are.
  9. They could be unfaithful to you and embarrass you.
  10. They’re choosing you and only you. Being with you means they want you. You’re wanted solely and exclusively, which is worth the risk.
  11. They can hurt you.
  12. They can heal you.
  13. They can expose and exploit you.
  14. They can listen to and keep every one of your secrets. They can be your safe home and endless confidant.
  15. They can take you from the people in your life.
  16. They can encourage you to spend time with the people you love, and also introduce you to new and exciting people.
  17. They can painfully reject your opinions and beliefs.
  18. They can open your mind to new perspectives.
  19. They can easily break you down.
  20. They can easily build you up.
  21. Everything could change.
  22. Or, they can change everything.



For more, check out my personal blog at Serendipity and Creativity.

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It Wasn’t a Fairy Tale for Someone on Dancing With the Stars Disney Night: Here’s What Happened Backstage

I don't normally get excited over Disney week, but tonight's performances totally won me over. Can you imagine Dancing With the Stars pulling this off in season one? From Rumer's Little Mermaid-themed underwater adventure to…




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Why You Shouldn’t Laugh at Someone Who Stutters

The bar is packed, and I have to lean across the table to introduce myself. “Hi I’m…” The usual mouth-gapping, eye-opening silence. Followed by the repeated putter of “Ka” “Ka” “Ka.” She stares for a second, maybe two. And then she laughs. She looks around the table, reaching out for someone to join her private joke. Met with blank faces from my friends and half-smiles from strangers, she turns back to me, still braying. My mouth is not ready to smile. Even if I wanted to, I’m not able to save her. I’m mid stutter, still reaching deep inside of myself, clawing down into my lungs and my throat, to drag my name out of my mouth and into the open. I greedily inhale a fistful of air and try again, “Hi, I’m K K K.”

Improbably, her laughter continues. I watch as one of my friends, the one who knows her, leans over and whispers something. The distraction loosens something in me and finally I spit out “Katherine.” My friend pulls away from her ear. The girl looks confused. I hope that my friend has told her to stop being so rude (I honestly hope for something more expletive-ridden), but I know she has told her I stutter. The first thing she says is “sorry.” And in that silence it doesn’t sound like she is apologizing for her insensitivity — it sounds like she is sorry that I stutter. Sorry that I have a name that has never escaped my mouth unscathed. Sorry that I am who I am.

As the writer Benson Bobrick once wrote, in those moments my heart hardens against her. She is an adult who has been through years of education, someone who has all the capacity necessary for empathy. She is a magazine editor, a label she had thrown around like a badge of honor moments before. She should know better. We all should.

I don’t say, “that’s okay.” It isn’t. Instead, I smile and I tell her that I stutter. Before she says sorry again, I tell her that my name takes me a while. She nods. Mute now. The hurt, angry side of me wants to tell her off, to make her feel small and repentant. The stronger side of me wants to educate her, to teach her about stuttering. Instead, I motion towards my other friend and she introduces herself. It is over in less than five seconds. I pipe up as she finishes, “That was far too easy.” We all laugh. It sounds different.

The thing is, I believe in laughter. I believe in smiling in the midst of a stutter, in telling someone that there is nothing to be afraid of and bringing my listener towards me. I believe in laughing at all the ridiculous situations that my stutter creates. And yet, I know that there is something cruel in laughing at the spectacle of stuttering.

So why do people do it? In all honesty, it is rarely done out of malice. More often it is done out of surprise. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, we expect the world to be a linear and predictable place. If we hear someone speaking “fluently” one moment, we expect that to continue to the next. When it does not, when it is interpreted and broken apart, we are shocked. I know I am. And so, in our surprise, we laugh. It is a natural reaction.

Yet, it is a response that we need to curb. We need to be kind. We need to resist our most basic and uniformed urges.

I spent years of my life expecting my listeners to be mind-readers, expecting them to react in the perfect way to my stutter. And yet, I realize that I’m not at all sure that I would know the best way to respond if I did not stutter myself. It is not always an easy thing to behold and there has never been a manual for our audience. It is not as simple as it could be, not everyone wants the same reaction. Some stutterers like people to fill in their words when they get stuck; others can’t imagine anything worse (I fall into the latter category). The best our listener can do is to ask, but that requires a level of trust that is not present in every interaction.

And so, we must be our own ambassadors, we must lead the way. Having interviewed hundreds of stutterers I know that there is no one single correct response that we require from our listeners. And yet, there are standards that seems to be largely universal. These are the best guidelines that I know:

  • Look beyond the mask of stuttering. Listen to our words, not how we say them. React to us, just as you would to anyone else.
  • Keep coming towards us. Don’t frown or turn away. Don’t make us feel too monstrous to behold.
  • Keep eye contact, but don’t turn it into a staring competition.
  • Be patient. The words will come, they may just take a few extra seconds. Don’t give up on us and shut down the conversation. Definitely don’t walk away.
  • Don’t laugh at us. Don’t pity us or mock us. If you smile out of kindness that is something else. That is wonderful. If you laugh alongside us, we will all feel less alone.

Above all else, show your compassion.

Katherine Preston (www.katherinepreston.com) is the author of “Out With It: How Stuttering Helped Me Find My Voice.”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Someone Built His Rabbit An Iron Throne Made Of Carrots, And It’s Glorious

Will Wallace the Mad King be a fair and just ruler? Or will he hop jarringly from one decree to the other? How will he ensure hay quotas are met?

These are the questions Wallace the rabbit’s owner should have asked before handing over the keys to the seven kingdoms.

Alas, the mad king now sits atop the Iron Carrot Throne, holding tight to power. We think “Game of Thrones” author George RR Martin would be proud.

King Geoffrey is dead.

All hail Wallace the Mad King!

A note for the new king, who should keep an eye on his waistline: per the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, carrots are high in sugar and should only be fed to rabbits in small amounts as an occasional treat.

H/T Time
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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How to Help Someone Who’s Sad | Super Soul Sunday | Oprah Winfrey Network

Tune in Sundays 11am/10c

The Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor, author of Learning to Walk in the Dark, believes we can transform ourselves by facing the challenging times and situations in our lives head-on. That includes moments of profound sadness.

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“Super Soul Sunday” is a two-time Emmy award-winning series that delivers a thought-provoking, eye-opening and inspiring block of programming designed to help viewers awaken to their best selves and discover a deeper connection to the world around them. The series features exclusive interviews and all-new conversations between Oprah Winfrey and top thinkers, authors, filmmakers and spiritual leaders. Exploring themes and issues including happiness, personal fulfillment, wellness, spirituality and conscious living. “Super Soul Sunday” presents an array of perspectives on what it means to be alive in today’s world.

Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand — and the magnetism of the channel.

Winfrey provides leadership in programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable. Depth with edge. Heart. Star power. Connection. And endless possibilities.

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Note of encouragement to someone on a diet or weight loss program. Greeting Card

Note of encouragement to someone on a diet or weight loss program. Greeting Card


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If Someone Makes You Mad, You Should Throw Down With These Shakespearean Insults

Okay, so, the next time somebody grinds your gears, you should definitely throw down with a clever retort like “swaggering rascal.”

Yes, that’s right: some serious metaphorical barbed wire from the Bard himself.

In the most recent episode of the YouTube series “Anglophenia,” Siobhan Thompson shows off some Shakespearean slander that should absolutely reenter the modern vernacular.

And the best part? You can find out what plays and scenes the insults came from on BBC America.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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Someone Else’s Shoes (3rd Period Edition)

Someone Else’s Shoes (3rd Period Edition)


Someone Else’s Shoes (3rd Period Edition) : Paperback : Createspace : 9781499696349 : 31 May 2014

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What Not To Say To Someone With Low Self-Esteem

When you have a friend with low self-esteem, it can be hard to know the right thing to say.

Is it better to commiserate? Encourage? Show some tough love?

According to a new study, for people who have overall low self-esteem, certain attempts by others to boost self-esteem may actually backfire.

That’s the result of a new study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The findings suggest that people with low self-esteem may be resistant to their friends’ efforts to help them feel better about themselves, particularly a strategy called positive reframing, which is a recasting of a situation in a positive light.

“People with low self-esteem always feel more comfortable and prefer to interact with people who see them as they see themselves,” says study researcher Denise Marigold, Ph.D., an assistant professor in social development studies at the University of Waterloo’s Renison University College. “If I’m speaking negatively about my life, I don’t want someone to argue with me.”

To people with low self-esteem, phrases like “No you’re wrong, I think you’re great!” or “Life is good!” can feel false and as if no one understands or accepts them for who they are. When “other people try to lift their spirits, it could feel invalidating,” Marigold tells HuffPost. “They could feel there’s something wrong with the way [they’re] feeling or thinking.”

People who are low in self-esteem tend to be more vulnerable and sensitive and are more aware of their environment, explains Celeste Gertsen, Ph.D. a Long Island-based psychologist in private practice, who was not involved in the new study.

“They often magnify the negative statements which people say to them versus the positive statements or events which come their way,” Gertsen explains to HuffPost. So, if someone says something hurtful to a person with low self-esteem, that person will internalize it more than a person who has a higher sense of themselves.

While everyone goes through moments in life that completely tear us down (break-ups, layoffs, etc.), people who are overall high in self-esteem have a more resilient self-image — thereby making them more receptive to positive reframing than people with low self-esteem. But what do you say to your friends who are overall low in self-esteem, who are going through a tough time? Here are some phrases to steer clear of:

In the aftermath of a break-up…
“You’re so wonderful, you’ll find someone else soon.”
When a person isn’t feeling particularly optimistic after a break-up, an expression of optimism may not be so welcome. If your friend is upset about being apart from Joe, or Dave, or Marie, in particular, then saying “You’ll find someone else soon” isn’t going to help. “There’s something that can feel dismissive and false about that,” Marigold says.

“It’s not that big of a deal, you’ll move on before you know it.”
Again, a phrase like this can come off as dismissive. “It’s minimizing the significance of it,” Marigold says, even if you were only trying to put things into perspective.

“It was a great learning experience.”
Sure, trying to find the silver lining in an experience might seem like it would be helpful. But even if it’s true, “that’s not necessarily something you want or need your friend to point out,” Marigold says.

After a layoff…

“Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll find another job soon.”
But do you really know that your friend will find another job soon? “You don’t know that, actually — you don’t know if another great partner or job is just around the corner,” Marigold explains. To that effect, saying this “can feel kind of false and dismissive.”

When feeling lonely…

“Well you could try joining this activity to meet new people.”
This is surely well-intentioned — you’re encouraging your friend to be proactive by offering some solutions to the loneliness problem! But sometimes your friend is “not necessarily looking for solutions,” Marigold says. “They can come up with those themselves. They can figure out how to meet people if they were motivated.” All your friend may really want from you is someone to commiserate with him or her.

After receiving a bad grade on a test…

“It’s just one test, it doesn’t matter.”
Just because you say something doesn’t matter, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter to the person who’s affected by it, Marigold says.

So what should I say instead?

Sometimes, it may not involve saying much at all. “Just being there and letting them talk and lead the conversation” can be the best route of action, Marigold says. That can sometimes be hard on the receiving end — especially if someone is spewing a lot of negativity — but just letting someone talk can be exactly what they need. Plus, “if you have your own sort of similar experience, you can say, ‘I related to that,” or ‘I know how difficult that is,'” Marigold suggests.

Gertsen also recommends being genuine in any attempts to build up someone with low self-esteem. “If you compliment somebody, it should be a sincere compliment, something that the person knows is a positive and that you’re not just saying it,” she says.

If the low self-esteem is tied to not being able to accomplish something, Gertsen suggests giving the person the opportunity to accomplish something that is at or only slightly above their ability level so that they can feel a sense of mastery about it.

And overall, it’s important to acknowledge the upsetting or difficult situation — and convey to a person with low self-esteem that it’s OK to experience negative feelings about it, Marigold adds. It’s also important to remember as a friend person that “it’s not necessarily our job as support providers to make their situation better or bad things go away,” she says. “Ultimately, what’s better for their self-esteem and what can give them a confidence boost is [to know that] someone truly understands and cares and accepts them as they are.”
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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Cataract Surgery a Plus for Someone With Dementia, Study Says

Besides better vision, patients and caregivers report improved quality of life
healthfinder.gov Daily News
SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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When Someone Dies: The Practical Guide to the Logistics of Death

When Someone Dies: The Practical Guide to the Logistics of Death


Scott Taylor Smith, a venture capitalist and lawyer, had plentiful resources, and yet after his mother died, he made a series of agonizing and costly mistakes in squaring away her affairs. He could find countless books that dealt with caring for the dying and the emotional fallout of death, but very few that dealt with the logistics.In the aftermath of his mother’s death, Smith decided to write the book he wished he’d had. “When Someone Dies “provides readers with a crucial framework for making good, informed, money-saving decisions in the chaotic thirty days after a loved one dies and beyond. It provides essential, concrete guidance on: – Making funeral and memorial service arrangements- Writing an obituary- Estate planning- Contacting family and friends- Handling your loved one’s online footprint- Navigating probate- Dealing with finances, including trusts and taxation- And much, much moreFeaturing concise checklists in each chapter, this guide offers answers to practical questions, enabling loved ones to save time and money and focus on healing.

Price: $
Sold by Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

Reach Out and Touch Someone

When people think about artistic achievement, many focus on an individual’s triumph in winning an award, a trophy, or some honor to recognize his talent, effort, and skill. The truth, however, is that the road leading up to that person’s moment of glory was paved with the input and contributions of many others. If you don’t believe me, try listening to a series of acceptance speeches from the Tony, Emmy, Golden Globe, or Academy Awards ceremonies.

In her 1996 book, It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us, Hillary Rodham Clinton tried to show how, for better or worse, many people outside the nuclear family can influence a child’s growth and behavior. While most folks are quick to recognize the kind of teamwork that leads to victory in sports or politics, few grasp the collaborative effort required to bring many forms of art to fruition.

From the intimate communication required between a recitalist and accompanist to the full-throttle grandeur of Brunnhilde’s immolation scene at the end of Der Ring des Nibelungen (when a soprano’s voice must carry over the sound of a large, Wagnerian orchestra); from the sensitive ensemble work of a string quartet to the full impact of an orchestra, soloists, and chorus performing the final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, a great deal of rehearsal, discipline, informed choices, and collegiality is required to deliver an ideal musical experience.

Two new productions focus on the teamwork that goes into bringing a piece of art to life. While their stories take place on different continents, in different eras, and within vastly different cultures, each work manages to shine a light on the need for cooperation and attention to detail.

* * * * * * * * * *

Theatre Rhinoceros recently presented the Bay Area premiere of Alan Bennett’s play, The Habit of Art (2009). In the following video clip, Bennett describes some of the inspiration for his play, how he arrived at the play’s peculiar dramatic structure, and explains how the character of Stuart (the young rent boy) embodies some of his early (albeit nonsexual) emotions as an undergraduate at Oxford.

Some may say that Bennett’s drama employs the old play within a play gimmick, but he takes matters much further than that. Several actors pretend to be a talking chair, bed, and mirror. At one point, an actor in rehearsal has a hissy fit after being referred to as “a device.”

With Tamar Cohn doing double duty as Kay (the stage manager) and a talking chair — and Kathryn Wood appearing as George (an assistant stage manager) — the supporting cast includes the following actors:

  • Seth Siegel appears as Charlie, a young actor portraying a rather clueless boy soprano working with Benjamin Britten.
  • Michael DeMartini appears as Neil, who portrays a frustrated playwright struggling to cope with a group of actors in rehearsals (who are doing a stunning job of trashing his play) while he is commuting between Leeds and several other cities.
  • Craig Souza appears as Donald, the actor who portrays Humphrey Carpenter (the author who would eventually write biographies of both W. H. Auden and Benjamin Britten). In a curious turn as an actor trying to puff up his role, Souza appears in drag while attempting to play a sousaphone.
  • Justin Lucas appears as Tim, the actor who portrays a young hustler hired by Auden for some casual sex.

2014-05-11-habit1.jpg

Justin Lucas as Tim in The Habit of Art
(Photo by: Kent Taylor)

The two meatiest roles are reserved for the men portraying the actors attempting to play two of Britain’s greatest 20th century creative artists. Each grew up during a time when homosexuality was barely mentionable in public; when their attraction to younger men showed up in their art in ways that might have surprised them.

  • John Fisher appears as Henry, the actor portraying Benjamin Britten, whose most powerful operas — Peter Grimes (1945), Billy Budd (1951), and Death in Venice (1973) — had strong undercurrents of repressed homosexual lust.
  • Donald Currie appears as Fitz, a popular voice-over artist who is attempting to sink his teeth into the role of Auden. As Fitz, he is nervous and crotchety about receiving changes in text and stage directions; as Auden he is an aging poet in the early stages of dementia who is prone to perseveration.

I found the structure of Bennett’s play to be a refreshing challenge for the audience, which allows them to contrast each actor’s inner thoughts with the thoughts and emotions of characters they portray. While Justin Lucas gets a rare chance to ruminate on whether the clients of the rent boy he is portraying might be famous (or someone he could tell his grandchildren about), his approach to giving his clients what they want often delivers unexpected comic moments as he attempts to deal with an eccentric old man whose impending dementia and obsession with time could frustrate the most accommodating hustler.

2014-05-11-habit2.jpg

W. H. Auden (Donald Currie) and Stuart (Justin Lucas) talk
about cock in The Habit of Art (Photo by: Kent Taylor)

Without doubt, the evening belongs to Donald Currie, who gives a glowing performance as Fitz/Auden (even when it requires him to don an ape-like mask that can suggest the aging poet’s heavily wrinkled face.

In recent years, I’ve found myself having increased difficulty when forced to listen to music while someone is speaking (I can no longer process both forms of communication simultaneously). Thus, in a key moment when Auden was reciting his lengthy poem entitled “The Sea and the Mirror” (1942), the music from one of the sea interludes Britten composed for Peter Grimes was competing for my attention. Because I love that music so much, I don’t think I heard a word of Auden’s poem. Listen to the following performance of all four sea interludes and I’m sure you’ll understand why.

* * * * * * * * * *

I’m a sucker for the kind of movie that has no explosions, no car chases, and no CGI scripting. Instead, this kind of film tells a story about real people with an emotional acuity that quietly disarms the viewer and seduces him into following a slow-moving story to its end.

Yuya Ishii’s delightful new film, The Great Passage (which was screened at CAAMFest 2014) is a joy from start to finish. Bottom line? I can’t recommend it strongly enough.

Ishii’s protagonist, Mitsuya Majime (Ryuhei Matsuda), is a painfully shy introvert with limited social skills who loves to read. As the film begins, he is failing spectacularly as a sales executive for a Tokyo publishing house.

Majime lives at the Sou-Un-Sou Rooming House, where his closest friends are the elderly landlady, (Misako Watanabe), her fat cat named Tora-san, and the piles of books that fill his room. With his post-graduate degree in linguistics, Majime soon attracts the attention of Masashi Nishioka (Joe Odagiri), whose editor, Kouhei Araki (Kaoru Kobayashi), is eager to retire so that he can spend more time at home caring for his ailing wife.

It’s 1995 and, with the Internet growing in importance as a research tool, the publishing firm’s dictionary department could easily become irrelevant in the growing presence of online databases. The only way to save the dictionary department is to come up with a revolutionary new project.

The editorial team eventually decides to create a new dictionary (“The Great Passage”) which will take several years and long hours of teamwork to complete. Majime’s new boss, chief editor Tomohiro Matsumoto (Go Kato), describes the project as a modern “living dictionary” which (as opposed to standard dictionaries) will include new terminology, Japanese slang, and the spoken vernacular.

2014-05-11-passage1.jpg

Kaguya Hayashi (Aoi Miyazaki) and the shy dictionary editor
Mitsuya Majime (Ryuhei Matsuda) fall in love in The Great Passage

Working with a script by Kensaku Watanabe (which was adapted from Shiwon Miura’s novel), Ishii’s film also follows the budding romance between the shy Majime and his landlady’s granddaughter, Kaguya Hayashi (Aoi Miyazaki), who is determined to be taken seriously as a chef in a profession dominated by Japanese men.

After 15 years of work (with a few deadline-related setbacks), The Great Passage is ready for publication. By this time, Matsumoto has taken ill and been confined to his home. He and his wife, Chie (Kaoru Yachigusa), are occasionally visited by Majime and Kaguya. On one of their last visits, Matsumoto asks the mature Majime to write a contemporary definition for the word “love” to be included in the new dictionary.

2014-05-11-passage2.jpg

Kaguya Hayashi (Aoi Miyazaki) and the shy dictionary editor
Mitsuya Majime (Ryuhei Matsuda) fall in love in The Great Passage

The Great Passage is one of those gentle gems that takes viewers into a world where words are far more powerful than guns or money and a person’s eccentricities are what make him most appealing (from both a personal and professional perspective). Here’s the trailer:

To read more of George Heymont go to My Cultural Landscape
Arts – The Huffington Post
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Adults Playland today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

Reach Out and Touch Someone

When people think about artistic achievement, many focus on an individual’s triumph in winning an award, a trophy, or some honor to recognize his talent, effort, and skill. The truth, however, is that the road leading up to that person’s moment of glory was paved with the input and contributions of many others. If you don’t believe me, try listening to a series of acceptance speeches from the Tony, Emmy, Golden Globe, or Academy Awards ceremonies.

In her 1996 book, It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us, Hillary Rodham Clinton tried to show how, for better or worse, many people outside the nuclear family can influence a child’s growth and behavior. While most folks are quick to recognize the kind of teamwork that leads to victory in sports or politics, few grasp the collaborative effort required to bring many forms of art to fruition.

From the intimate communication required between a recitalist and accompanist to the full-throttle grandeur of Brunnhilde’s immolation scene at the end of Der Ring des Nibelungen (when a soprano’s voice must carry over the sound of a large, Wagnerian orchestra); from the sensitive ensemble work of a string quartet to the full impact of an orchestra, soloists, and chorus performing the final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, a great deal of rehearsal, discipline, informed choices, and collegiality is required to deliver an ideal musical experience.

Two new productions focus on the teamwork that goes into bringing a piece of art to life. While their stories take place on different continents, in different eras, and within vastly different cultures, each work manages to shine a light on the need for cooperation and attention to detail.

* * * * * * * * * *

Theatre Rhinoceros is recently presented the Bay Area premiere of Alan Bennett’s play, The Habit of Art (2009). In the following video clip, Bennett describes some of the inspiration for his play, how he arrived at the play’s peculiar dramatic structure, and explains how the character of Stuart (the young rent boy) embodies some of his early (albeit nonsexual) emotions as an undergraduate at Oxford.

Some may say that Bennett’s drama employs the old play-within-a-play gimmick, but he takes matters much further than that. Several actors pretend to be a talking chair, bed, and mirror. At one point, an actor in rehearsal has a hissy fit after being referred to as “a device.”

With Tamar Cohn doing double duty as Kay (the stage manager) and a talking chair — and Kathryn Wood appearing as George (an assistant stage manager) — the supporting cast includes the following actors:

  • Seth Siegel appears as Charlie, a young actor portraying a rather clueless boy soprano working with Benjamin Britten.
  • Michael DeMartini appears as Neil, who portrays a frustrated playwright struggling to cope with a group of actors in rehearsals (who are doing a stunning job of trashing his play) while he is commuting between Leeds and several other cities.
  • Craig Souza appears as Donald, the actor who portrays Humphrey Carpenter (the author who would eventually write biographies of both W. H. Auden and Benjamin Britten). In a curious turn as an actor trying to puff up his role, Souza appears in drag while attempting to play a sousaphone.
  • Justin Lucas appears as Tim, the actor who portrays a young hustler hired by Auden for some casual sex.

2014-04-02-justinlucasunderwear.jpg

Justin Lucas in The Habit of Art (Photo by: Kent Taylor)

The two meatiest roles are reserved for the men portraying the actors attempting to play two of Britain’s greatest 20th century creative artists. Each grew up during a time when homosexuality was barely mentionable in public — when their attraction to younger men showed up in their art in ways that might have surprised them.

  • John Fisher appears as Henry, the actor portraying Benjamin Britten, whose most powerful operas — Peter Grimes (1945), Billy Budd (1951), and Death in Venice (1973) — had strong undercurrents of repressed homosexual lust.
  • Donald Currie appears as Fitz, a popular voice-over artist who is attempting to sink his teeth into the role of Auden. As Fitz, he is nervous and crotchety about receiving changes in text and stage directions; as Auden he is an aging poet in the early stages of dementia who is prone to perseveration

I found the structure of Bennett’s play to be a refreshing challenge for the audience, which allows them to contrast each actor’s inner thoughts with the thoughts and emotions of characters they portray. While Justin Lucas gets a rare chance to ruminate on whether the clients of the rent boy he is portraying might be famous (or someone he could tell his grandchildren about), his approach to giving his clients what they want often delivers unexpected comic moments as he attempts to deal with an eccentric old man whose impending dementia and obsession with time could frustrate the most accommodating hustler.

2014-04-02-audenstuart.jpg

W. H. Auden (Donald Currie) and Stuart (Justin Lucas) talk
about cock in The Habit of Art (Photo by: Kent Taylor)

Without doubt, the evening belongs to Donald Currie, who gives a glowing performance as Fitz/Auden (even when it requires him to don an ape-like mask that can suggest the aging poet’s heavily wrinkled face).

In recent years, I’ve found myself having increased difficulty when forced to listen to music while someone is speaking (I can no longer process both forms of communication simultaneously). Thus, in a key moment when Auden was reciting his lengthy poem entitled The Sea and the Mirror (1942), the music from one of the sea interludes Britten composed for Peter Grimes was competing for my attention. Because I love that music so much, I don’t think I heard a word of Auden’s poem. Listen to the following performance of all four sea interludes and I’m sure you’ll understand why.

* * * * * * * * * *

I’m a sucker for the kind of movie that has no explosions, no car chases, and no CGI scripting. Instead, this kind of film tells a story about real people with an emotional acuity that quietly disarms the viewer and seduces him into following a slow-moving story to its end.

Yuya Ishii’s delightful new film, The Great Passage (which was screened at CAAMFest 2014) is a joy from start to finish. Bottom line? I can’t recommend it strongly enough.

Ishii’s protagonist, Mitsuya Majime (Ryuhei Matsuda), is a painfully shy introvert with limited social skills who loves to read. As the film begins, he is failing spectacularly as a sales executive for a Tokyo-based publishing house.

Majime lives at the Sou-Un-Sou Rooming House, where his closest friends are the elderly landlady, (Misako Watanabe), her fat cat named Tora-san, and the piles of books that fill his room. With his post-graduate degree in linguistics, Majime soon attracts the attention of Masashi Nishioka (Joe Odagiri), whose editor, Kouhei Araki (Kaoru Kobayashi), is eager to retire so that he can spend more time at home caring for his ailing wife.

It’s 1995 and, with the Internet growing in importance as a research tool, the publishing firm’s dictionary department could easily become irrelevant in the growing presence of online databases. The only way to save the dictionary department is to come up with a revolutionary new project.

The editorial team eventually decides to create a new dictionary (“The Great Passage”) which will take several years and long hours of teamwork to complete. Majime’s new boss, chief editor Tomohiro Matsumoto (Go Kato), describes the project as a modern “living dictionary” which will (as opposed to standard dictionaries) include new terminology, Japanese slang, and the spoken vernacular.

2014-04-02-kaguyamajime1.jpg

Kaguya Hayashi (Aoi Miyazaki) and the shy dictionary editor
Mitsuya Majime (Ryuhei Matsuda) fall in love in The Great Passage

Working with a script by Kensaku Watanabe (which was adapted from Shiwon Miura’s novel), Ishii’s film also follows the budding romance between the shy Majime and his landlady’s granddaughter, Kaguya Hayashi (Aoi Miyazaki), who is determined to be taken seriously as a chef in a profession dominated by Japanese men.

After 15 years of work (with a few deadline-related setbacks), “The Great Passage” is ready for publication. By this time, Matsumoto has taken ill and been confined to his home. He and his wife, Chie (Kaoru Yachigusa), are occasionally visited by Majime and Kaguya. On one of their last visits, Matsumoto asks the mature Majime to write a contemporary definition for the word “love” to be included in the new dictionary.

2014-04-02-kaguyamajime2.jpg

Kaguya Hayashi (Aoi Miyazaki) and the shy dictionary editor
Mitsuya Majime (Ryuhei Matsuda) fall in love in The Great Passage

The Great Passage is one of those gentle gems that takes viewers into a world where words are far more powerful than guns or money and a person’s eccentricities are what make him most appealing (from both a personal and professional perspective). Here’s the trailer:

To read more of George Heymont go to My Cultural Landscape
Arts – The Huffington Post
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Adults Playland today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

The Only Time It’s Acceptable To Sleep With Someone Other Than Your Spouse

For married folks, getting cozy between the sheets with anyone other than your husband or wife is, by and large, frowned upon by society.

But there is one very furry and adorable exception to the rule…

We’d be super jealous if these adulterers weren’t so doggone cute.

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Mobile Playboy today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

Send A Christmas Text To Someone You Sort Of Know

‘Merry Christmas Exclamation Point’ by Jon Lajoie is the hit new Christmas song that perfectly captures the spirit of the season. This is how you say you sort-of care to all your casual acquaintances this year.

Via Tastefully Offensive
Comedy – The Huffington Post
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Mobile Playboy today for the hottest adult entertainment online!