Let the Wine Do the Talking This Thanksgiving

For this most predictable of meals, our wine columnist selects 10 wines that will surprise, delight and give everyone at the table something to talk about (and nothing to argue over).
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Rites of Passage: Talking Sex With Dad (in the Ford Taurus)

You know that scene in “Lady Bird” when Saoirse Ronan throws herself out of a moving vehicle to avoid talking to her mother for another second? That was me, at 14, in the car with my father.
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David Spade Reveals He Stopped Talking to His Absentee Father After Becoming a Dad Himself

Becoming a parent changed David Spade‘s life — and his own family dynamics.

In his newly released audiobook, A Polaroid Guy in a Snapchat World, the actor and comedian opens up about how his relationship with his father Wayne, who goes by the nickname Sam, changed after he welcomed his own child, daughter Harper, with former Playboy Playmate Jillian Grace in 2008.

“This one’s going to be a little tricky — this is a chapter about my dad, and the way that it fits into this audiobook is I’m a dad now,” he says. “And the difference — and why it caused some complications with my own dad — is because he was sort of a ne’er-do-well, which is putting it mildly. I think f—up is more on the nose.”

Spade, 54, describes his father as “cool and funny,” but also “a bit of a skirt-chaser, times a thousand million,” and “a bit of boozy Suzy.” When he was 4 and his brothers Bryan and Andy Spade were 8 and 6, respectively, Spade says his father suddenly vanished from their family home in Michigan.

Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter.

RELATED VIDEO: David Spade Breaks His Silence After Sister-in-Law Kate Spade’s Death: “I Still Can’t Believe It”

Growing up, Spade says he saw his father about two or three times a year.

“We’d be sitting at the doors with our bags because he would call us and say he wanted to see us,” says the actor. “What I didn’t realize back then was that it was a control thing. We never had his phone number. He would call us when he felt like it.”

Nevertheless, the actor says the duo maintained a relationship and even moved in together in Arizona at one point. But years later, when Spade became a father himself, everything changed.

“I have a daughter now, and she came out of a situation with a girl I was dating and it was not planned,” Spade says. “And I get angry, because my brothers and I were planned. Now, I’m so happy that I have a daughter and she’s the best thing in my life, but I couldn’t picture my daughter being sick and calling me and me not answering.”

RELATED: David Spade Opens Up About Daughter Harper

“Or just calling her without any way for her to call me,” he explains. “That would be too much, it would be too rough. So when I had her, I got this new tidal wave of resentment towards my dad because of his irresponsible behavior and manipulative mean streak. So I stopped talking to him.”

“I know it sounds crazy, but I just thought, ‘Holy s—. You really played your cards the way you did when we were kids,’ ” Spade continues. “I mean, I like to have fun too, but it can’t be 24/7 and literally nothing else. The only thing my dad really did was give me an excuse to be nuts. I can always cry and go, ‘It’s my dad’s fault. He left me when I was 4! Now I’m crazy.’ ”

Though he has not divulged any recent details of his co-parenting relationship with Grace, Spade posts photos and videos of Harper on Instagram and sometimes shares sweet anecdotes about her while appearing on talk shows. In 2015, he joked about navigating the ropes of parenthood while appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

“I’m new at this — how long ’til I can school her in tic-tac-toe?” he said. “Because I am really good at it, but I’m faking it so she can win. But now I’m getting frustrated because she thinks I’m dumb. She laughs so hard when she wins and then I think, ‘Well, I could beat you.’ I want to say that, but I don’t.”

“I think when she turns 6, I’m really going to turn it on,” Spade quipped. “I’ll start really winning a lot. I’m going to sweep every category.”


PEOPLE.com

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Yvette Nicole Brown Replaces Hardwick as Interim Talking Dead Host

Yvette Nicole Brown is set to become the host of AMC’s Talking Dead and The Walking Dead: Season 9 Preview Special, at least for now.

AMC released a statement that read, “Yvette Nicole Brown will step in as an interim guest host of ‘The Walking Dead Season 9 Preview Special’ on August 5 and ‘Talking Dead’ when it returns following the premiere of ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ on August 12, as we work to complete our assessment related to Chris Hardwick.”

This news follows AMC’s announcement that Brown will also be replacing Hardwick as the panel moderator for The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead at San Diego Comic-Con, taking place next Friday, July 20.

Continue reading…

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Camila Mendes Is All Smiles Talking About New Boyfriend Victor Houston

Camila Mendes, Los Angeles BeautyconCamila Mendes is happy being single no more.
The Riverdale actress was all smiles when asked about her new beau, Victor Houston, in an interview with E! News’ at the 2018 Beautycon…

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Harper gets talking to after jogging to first base

After Nationals star Bryce Harper failed to run to first base after a ground ball Friday, manager Dave Martinez said he spoke to the star about the incident and that there were no lingering issues.
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If It’s on ‘Love Island,’ Britain’s Talking About It

A reality show featuring young Brits hooking up and breaking up is attracting millions of viewers to a second-tier network, and no small amount of finger-wagging.
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The Controversial Met Gala Dresses We Can’t Stop Talking About

ESC: Kendall Jenner, Met Gala 2017, ControversialHere’s the thing about Met Gala fashion: It’s meant to provoke discussion.
The over-the-top custom creations are designed to bring awareness to the year’s specific theme…

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The Controversial Met Gala Dresses We Can’t Stop Talking About

ESC: Kendall Jenner, Met Gala 2017, ControversialHere’s the thing about Met Gala fashion: It’s meant to provoke discussion.
The over-the-top custom creations are designed to bring awareness to the year’s specific theme…

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Roberto Luongo on Parkland: ‘We need to keep talking about this’

Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo is also a parent who lives Parkland, Florida. Two weeks after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Luongo has another message: “I want the [students] to keep fighting. And I want everyone to pay attention.”
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Vero is the anti-Facebook social network everyone is talking about

Vero is the anti-Facebook social network everyone is talking aboutVero is a social media app that's seen its popularity shoot up out of nowhere after nearly three years on the market.



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LeBron doubles down on talking social issues

LeBron James made his first public comments Saturday since Fox News host Laura Ingraham criticized the Cavaliers star for speaking out on the state of race relations in America and his view of the leadership in the White House.
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Books of The Times: ‘Scarlet A’ Wants Less Shouting About Abortion and More Talking

Katie Watson says that with so much focus on “extraordinary” cases, there is something “unreal” about the American conversation about abortion.
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After the Curtain Falls: Talking to Suzanne Farrell, Artist and Muse

Ms. Farrell talked to our critic about George Balanchine; her life as a dancer; and her company, which closed shop this month.
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Tony Goldwyn on Sexual Harassment: ‘We Have to Keep Talking About It’

Tony Goldwyn says he has been “surprised” by the response he’s gotten since coming forward with his own story of sexual harassment. The “Scandal” star had shared his experience while on a recent red carpet, in light of Lupita Nyong’o’s story in the New York Times. “I thought [Lupita’s story] was so powerful and was […]

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Review: In ‘Principles of Uncertainty,’ Talking and Dancing About the Weather

The artist Maira Kalman and the choreographer John Heginbotham have made a diffuse, agreeable, evasive study. (But a study in what?)
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London Fashion Week: The highlights and talking points

As London Fashion Week nears a close, take a look at the stories behind the clothes.
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Whitney Port Breaks Down in Tears Talking About Breastfeeding Pain

Whitney Port, CryingWhitney Port is experiencing the not-so-wondrous aspects of motherhood.
The 32-year-old Hills alum gave birth to her and husband Tim Rosenman’s first child, son Sonny, in late July….

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Report: Irving ‘not talking to anyone’ from Cavs (Yahoo Sports)

Kyrie Irving (AP)

It’s been nearly 3 weeks since Irving expressed his displeasure and asked to be traded.



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Ravens’ Harbaugh: I’ve been talking with Kaep (Yahoo Sports)

Colin Kaepernick

John Harbaugh and Colin Kaepernick has spoken by phone several times this year, the Ravens coach said on Thursday.



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Nick Carter Fights Back Tears While Talking About Family On ‘Boy Band’

“I understand exactly what you’re going through,” the Backstreet Boy told a contestant.
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After 3 Years Of Talking, This Tinder Match Is FINALLY Meeting IRL

Tinder had to step in and close the deal.
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Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez Are Talking Marriage

Things are getting very serious for the former Yankees player and singer–and J.Lo wants a future with A-Rod.
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Mayim Bialik on How She Tackles Talking Puberty with Her Sons: ‘We Don’t Want Them to Have Shame About Their Bodies’

Mayim Bialik is answering all the questions every young girl has about growing up in her new bookGirling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular – but how does she talk to her own sons about puberty?

The Big Bang Theory star and neuroscientist tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue, “We’ve always spoken to our children very frankly and in biologically appropriate terms.”

“We don’t want them to have shame about their bodies or fear about women’s bodies,” says Bialik. “While we tend to be a pretty socially conservative house in terms of how we dress and how we talk about modesty for boys and girls, we’re very matter of fact with them. We know that a daddy cell meets a mommy cell and all those things. ”

Bialik – who shares sons Frederick, 8, and Miles, 11, with ex Michael Stone – addresses female puberty taboos, as well as teen sexuality, body image and stress in Girling Up.

Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter.

The guide to how girls grow up was, in part, inspired by Bialik’s own youth as a “late bloomer,” and, she says, being “raised in a house where no one talked about any of this stuff.”

RELATED VIDEO: Anna Chlumsky Reveals Why She Had to Pull Back from Show Business as a Teen

Now, as a trained science communicator, Bialik says she approaches things with her kids matter-of-factly.

“ know all about genetic signaling, and when sex is determined and we’ve talked about the hormonal basis for gender identity and things like that,” she tells PEOPLE.

“And they have plenty of questions – my ex-husband tells me they only ask me and he’s grateful for that. I’ll text him late at night, like, ‘Guess what I was just asked!’ and he’s like, ‘They don’t ask me those things.’ ”

And, luckily, keeping things “frank” seems to have worked. Says Bialik, “Miles was my first editor!”

Bialik’s book, Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular, is on sale now.

For more from Mayim Bialik, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.


PEOPLE.com

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McDonald’s Invented ‘Frorks’ And The Internet Can’t Stop Talking About Them

We already have spoons, forks, knives and sporks, McDonald’s. We didn’t need “Frorks.” 

And, yet, here we are: living in a world where Frorks exist.

Frorks came about as part of a McDonald’s campaign to “get the word out that sandwiches in its new Signature Crafted Recipes line-up are so packed with toppings that you’ll need a special utensil to deal with it,” according to NBC News. A Frork infomercial has also surfaced. 

“Will the Frork change your life? Probably not,” says TV pitchman Anthony Sullivan in the video. “Will the Frork improve your Signature Crafted Recipes eating experience? I mean, sure … maybe.”

At first glance, the Frork doesn’t seem real, but apparently you can actually own one. A limited supply of Frorks will also be available with the purchase of a Signature Crafted Recipes sandwich on May 5 ― but only at participating restaurants. You can call 1-844-McD-FRORK or visit McDonald’s Frork website to find out where to snag yours.

Are you confused? Do you hate the idea of forks being anywhere near your fries? Do you want some reaction tweets to ease your pain? Well, here you go! This is what Twitter had to say about Frorks:

We don’t know why they’re here, but, hey, what the Frork! Let’s go get some fries!

— 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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New York Fashion Week: Six talking points

As New York Fashion Week draws to a close, here are some highlights from the catwalk.
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2011 Clip Of The Obamas Talking About Their Marriage Will Make You Miss Them Even More

In today’s edition of Obama Relationship Goals, let’s take a look back at the first couple’s 2011 Oprah Show appearance, when then-president Barack Obama reminded all of us about the love and respect at the foundation of a solid marriage.

During the interview, the president and first lady Michelle Obama sat down to talk about their lives, their relationship and their time in the White House. Reflecting on his lead-up to the presidency, President Obama gave due credit to Mrs. Obama, his equal partner in every sense of the word.

“Obviously, I couldn’t have done anything that I’ve done without Michelle,” President Obama said.

The 44th president continued with a response to one of Oprah’s questions earlier in the interview. “You were asking earlier what keeps me sane, what keeps me balanced, what allows me to deal with the pressure. It is this young lady right here and our two daughters,” President Obama said, taking his wife’s hand. “When I come home, no matter what I’m dealing with, I know that I’ve got people there who, not only do I love, but whose company I just enjoy and who will bring me down to a level of basic humanity and humor.”

President Obama then summed up the couple’s relationship in two beautiful sentences.

“Not only has she been a great first lady, but she is just my rock,” he said. “I count on her in so many ways, every single day.”

Original airdate: May 2, 2011

See also: What Michelle Obama tells young couples about marriage

— 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.

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Circa Now: These Booths Are Made For Talking: Soothers Hit the Streets

Street preachers. Huggers without portfolio. If stores and restaurants can pop up, why can’t the helping professions?
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This Sweater Is Perfect For Anyone Who Is Done Talking About Politics

If you’ve had it up to here with talk about the election, the president elect and the sheer volume of news surrounding both of those things, boy have we got the sweater for you.

The “Leave Me Alone” sweater, designed by Pinterest engineer Ruth Wong, appears at first glance like a regular old sweater but can, according to Wong, be worn three ways: cowl neck, off the shoulder and “leave me alone.”

What does a leave-me-alone sweater look like, you ask? Picture a turtleneck that just keeps going and is then zippered shut, like so: 

Wong wrote on Instructables, along with the steps to make it, that the leave-me-alone mode “is more of a statement than a functional piece of clothing,” and that she “can’t see anything through my sweater.” She suggests that if you’d like to wear it more often and in more situations, to “add eye holes.”

The sweater is just a DIY for now, but after it started getting attention Wong posted it on Betabrand, where it could eventually go into production. 

 Hey, it’s less work than getting into a Facebook fight, right?

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Style – The Huffington Post
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How To Avoid Talking To People, As Told In 2 Genius Comics

Engaging in small talk sends plenty of people ― and introverts especially ― into panic mode. For others, small talk just feels shallow and aimless, like so:

In the College Humor comics below, illustrator A.C. Stuart gives us a fail-proof defense against dreaded stop and chat:

Problem. Solved.

Head to Stuart’s Facebook page for more illustrations. 

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How to Talk Dirty. Talking Dirty Expert Sex Guide for Women with 200 Dirty Talk Examples. Includes Talk Dirty Tips to seduce your man in bed, online,

How to Talk Dirty. Talking Dirty Expert Sex Guide for Women with 200 Dirty Talk Examples. Includes Talk Dirty Tips to seduce your man in bed, online,


The must have guide for women passionate about learning to talk dirty to their man, boyfriend, husband, guy, or men, over text, in bed, over the phone and online. This guide includes 200 dirty talk examples and phrases. In addition it includes an excellent section on sex toys. Have you ever wanted to learn how to talk dirty to your man but do not know where to start? In a straight no nonsense fashion DK Overbaker covers all aspects of taking dirty. You will find out why your sexual fantasies play a very important role in improving your dirty talk skills. You will also discover some squirting and G-spot tips you never knew about! By the time you finish reading this e-book you will become very comfortable talking dirty to your man both outside and inside your bedroom, during phone sex, during Sexting and online. Of course role play and BDSM are also covered. This e-book is also about improving your sexual health and education. You will learn about your female sexual anatomy and Kegel exercises. These will help you improve your sexual health. You will also discover some dirty terms you can use to increase your dirty talk vocabulary. This guide also includes the addresses of adult sex shops in a number of major cities.

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This Guy Talking in His Sleep Will Crack You Up

“That’s where all my farts go.”

Lifestyle – Esquire

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Lady Gaga Tears Up While Talking About The Downsides Of Fame On ‘Sunday Morning’

In a revealing new interview with CBS’s “Sunday Morning,” Lady Gaga opened up about the downsides of fame. 

The pop star, who made a name for herself by dressing up in outrageous outfits in public, got candid as she spoke about the lack of privacy she experiences as soon as she steps out her front door. 

“I’m very acutely aware that once I cross that property line I’m not free anymore. As soon as I go out into the world, I belong, in a way, to everyone else,” she said to CBS’s Lee Cowan. “It’s legal to follow me. It’s legal to stalk me at the beach. And I can’t call the police or ask them to leave.”

“I took a long hard look at that property line and I said, ‘Well, if I can’t be free out there, I can be free in here,’” Gaga explained, pointing to her chest. 

The “Perfect Illusion” singer also spoke about how much she misses regular, everyday human interactions.

“I miss people,” the artist said as she began to tear up. “I miss, you know, going anywhere and meeting a random person and saying ‘Hi,’ and having a conversation about life. I love people.”

The 30-year-old spoke about fame’s negative side earlier this year, saying, “I don’t think I could think of a single thing that’s more isolating than being famous,” during a discussion with Jamie Lee Curtis for Variety magazine.

Gaga also told The Guardian in 2013 she used to hide in her house “to preserve my image as a superstar to my fans.”

“I don’t mean I am a superstar, I mean that they only ever see me at my best,” she said. “And it really drove me crazy.”

You can watch Gaga’s entire interview from “Sunday Morning” in the video above. 

— 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.

Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Oregon Scientific Talking Blood Pressure Monitor with Bluetooth BPU321, 1 ea

Oregon Scientific Talking Blood Pressure Monitor with Bluetooth BPU321, 1 ea


Monitor Connects Wirelessly to Transmit and Store Your Data for Easy Access Track Your Records Anytime Anywhere Convenient Talking Function Speaks Readings Aloud in 5 Languages Spares You the Hassle of Trying to Read Gauges or Screens Built-In Hypertension Indicator Irregular Pulse Detector You Can Stay On Top of Potentially Serious Health Problems without Constant Visits to the Doctor Saves Up to 100 Readings to Memory Per User for 50 Days of Twice-Daily Health Checks Morning Evening Average that Lets You Check Your Current Readings Against Previous Readings Convenient People-Friendly Design Includes a Storage Dock Attached to the Monitor Itself to Store the Cuff Where You Need it for Easy Access Oregon Scientific BPU321OS Talking Blood Pressure Monitor with Bluetooth will transmit your readings conveniently to your compatible smart device. Stores up to 100 readings with a date

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Old Folks Talking: Historical Sketches of Boxley Valley on Buffalo River

Old Folks Talking: Historical Sketches of Boxley Valley on Buffalo River


This work endeavors to present some of the history of the people who settled Boxley Valley, a cultural landscape some seven miles long, located on the upper Buffalo River, Newton County, Arkansas. The historical sketches of this book are taken mostly from oral histories of the valley’s residents. Product DetailsAuthor: Jim Liles, Buffalo River NPSSoftcover; 434 pages ISBN: 1-59091-052-4
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Snapshot: Q. and A. With Ellie Kemper: Talking Kimmy Schmidt, Jon Hamm and Tarantulas

The star of Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” talks about the character’s future — and that time Jon Hamm was her ninth-grade acting teacher.
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Culture Podcast: We Can’t Believe We’re Talking About #OscarsSoWhite Again

Culture Podcast: We Can’t Believe We’re Talking About #OscarsSoWhite Again

This week on WIRED’s culture podcast we’re talking about diversity in the Oscar nominations. A lot.

The post Culture Podcast: We Can’t Believe We’re Talking About #OscarsSoWhite Again appeared first on WIRED.

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Talking With Emily Tarver About ‘Donny’ And Her First Big-Time Role

 

“Donny” is a new comedy following real life ad-man, TV personality, and single father Donny Deutsch. Deutsch plays himself as the moronic host of a “Dr. Phil”-style daytime talk show under the direction of his executive producer/adult nanny, Pam (played by Emily Tarver). The show has a unique structure. It’s loosely scripted, and as a result, reads half reality show, half single camera comedy. I had the pleasure of talking to Emily Tarver about the real Donny, her character in the show, and what it’s like getting her first big time recurring role. 

This is so cool! We used to hang out at UCB and now we have cool jobs!

Yeah, we’re not poor improvisers working for free!

Is this your first recurring role in a TV show?

Yes, this is my first recurring role that actually turned out to be a recurring role. I’ve booked other recurring roles that didn’t turn out to be recurring. So this is nice!

Tell me about the show and your character. You’re Donny’s executive producer?

Yes, I play the EP of the show within the show. She’s also the person in Donny’s life who keeps him in line and cleans up all the messes that he makes. The show is like “Seinfeld,” where the topic of the show within the show is normally the topic or the theme of the episode.

What has been your favorite topic?

Without giving anything away, he does one where the topic of the show within the show is about men of a later age coming out of the closet after being in a heterosexual marriage. Donny tries to be supportive of that and, in being supportive, he kind of announces that he is gay. That isn’t what he’s saying but while he’s trying to be brave for these people, he sounds like he’s coming out. So I have to clean up that mess. Not that it’s a PR nightmare; it’s just that he isn’t gay.

What’s your character trying to do on the show? Is Pam trying to get out of the show or this is her big shot as a producer?

Donny sees something in her and tells her that she is to come with him wherever he goes. And, over time, she grew into this position of alpha female and his producer of things. In real life, Donny surrounds himself with very strong women who put him in his place. And so I’m the shining symbol of that. I don’t put up with his shit and he doesn’t impress me. But she enjoys the challenge and she enjoys smacking his hand when he does something so Donny.

The show has a different type of look to it. Parts of it feel like a reality show. Others feel like “The Office.”

I definitely think that was done on purpose. A lot of people don’t know Donny or what he is about. People are like: is he an actor? A host? So the show’s trying to represent a lot of different genres. And because he’s playing himself, that reality feeling you get is because you can’t pin him down. It might be confusing for some people, but I think it’s cool to watch a show and go, “What is this?” Because the only answer is: Oh! It’s something new! 

It does read very new because when you watch it, Donny doesn’t feel like an actor. He feels like the real thing and everybody else is acting around him. Was it weird acting with a guy playing himself?

Yeah! And I don’t want to toot Donny’s horn too much, but he’s just a genius and he’s so good at everything he tries. I think a big part of it is his extreme confidence. When we filmed the pilot presentation, he was giving me notes on my acting. And I was like, “Ahhh, OK.” And he was right about a lot of stuff. Being on set with him, he’ll have notes for actors and production and story and he’ll he right a lot of the time.

I also noticed that this season of TV is centered around older, distinguished antiheroes, like “The Grinder” or “Grandfathered.” “Donny” seems like a different take on it. Do you think this is a wave?

I think people are quick to categorize things because that’s how our brains work. These shows are so different and so good. And I don’t think “Donny” can be put into that category based on the lead because he’s surrounded by so many women. And Donny himself is such a feminist. He wants to tell women’s stories and have female perspectives on his life at all times. And the show reflects that. Donny doesn’t even have a male best friend.

How is doing press? Is this your first time doing big time junkets and stuff?

Yeah, we went to LA. It was just Donny and me. It was really fun.

What’s that like?

Well, you sit on stage in front of a bunch of long tables with people from different blogs on their laptops. And they have a bunch of questions. Then you go to a little room with 12 cameras. And a person has a bunch of questions. Luckily, Donny is used to it. I’m there as Emily, but also as Pam. Emily and Pam are very similar in terms of how they treat Donny. And our interaction is very organic. It’s actually been that way since my callback for the show. I had to do it with Donny while everybody on the show watched.

Are you and Donny on a texting basis?

I actually don’t have his number. And I haven’t asked for it, because I don’t want him to think that I want it. I want him to ask me for my number. And then he can be impressed that I have a 212 number.

Well, that’s a Season 2 thing.

Yeah, Season 2 for sure.

That’s odd. He seems like a guy who would need to be in constant communication with the people working close with him.

Well, I think he’s scared of me. I think he thinks I’m way cooler than him. I bet he thinks if he texted me it would bother me. I’ll never tell him that I think he’s cool. He can read it in your article.

Emily Tarver stars as Pam in USA’s “Donny“ premiering Tuesday, Nov. 10th at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Also on HuffPost:

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Friday Talking Points — Every Sulfurous Belch

OK, I fully admit I stole that title. Well, maybe not “stole,” since I’m about to give it proper credit, but it certainly wasn’t my own original idea. The line comes from George Will, and (of course) refers to Donald Trump. Part of the fun for Democrats this summer has been watching the angst of serious-minded conservative columnists as they realize how large a portion of the Republican base doesn’t really care what serious-minded conservatives inside the Beltway think about much of anything. Will was the best (but by no means only) example of this last week, as he started his column off with a real humdinger of an opening paragraph:


Every sulfurous belch from the molten interior of the volcanic Trump phenomenon injures the chances of a Republican presidency. After Donald Trump finishes plastering a snarling face on conservatism, any Republican nominee will face a dauntingly steep climb to reach even the paltry numbers that doomed Mitt Romney.

Ah, c’mon George… tell us how you really feel about Trump! Heh.

The entire Trump phenomenon reminds me of a basic rule from the world of magical/fantasy fiction. It’s not quite Asimov’s “three laws of robotics,” but it’s still been used my many authors who write about wizards casting dangerous spells. The rule of thumb among wizards? “Do not call up that which you cannot put down.” Don’t summon demons or otherworldly forces if you’re not strong enough to defeat them, in other words.

You can probably see where I’m going with this, in relation to Donald Trump. The Republican Party has called up a force of nature that it is, quite obviously, completely incapable of controlling or defeating. Hey, couldn’t have happened to a nicer political party! All those decades of dog-whistle language, coded references, and wink-wink-nudge-nudge that the Republican Party has benefited from are now coming home to roost.

George Will isn’t the only one freaking out by this new reality. Bill Kristol, who is famously always wrong about pretty much everything, wrote a column this week proposing eight or nine new candidates for the Republican presidential race (the most absurd: Samuel Alito). Because, obviously, seventeen is not enough. Frank Luntz, famous Republican pollster and spin doctor, held a focus group of Trump supporters which left him (according to his own statement) weak in the knees, with his legs all a-tremble.

Of course, not everyone is horrified at Trump’s success. He just picked up the endorsement of David Duke, for whatever that’s worth. Trump also tossed out Jorge Ramos from a press conference, and called two of his supporters “passionate” after they beat a homeless man with metal pipes, in support of Trump’s position on immigrants. All the while, Trump’s numbers continue to improve in the polls, where he’s now edging towards 30 percent of all Republican primary voters. If he manages to top 35 percent, then he may become absolutely unstoppable (much to serious-minded conservatives’ collective dismay).

Some Republicans are now even contemplating rigging the primary so Trump’s name doesn’t appear on their state’s ballots. As usual, when Republicans can’t win at the polls, their fallback position is to cheat. State-level party bigwigs in Virginia and North Carolina are considering taking this route, and South Carolina already has the rule the others are contemplating — every Republican candidate must sign a “loyalty oath” to support the party’s eventual nominee and not run as an independent in the general election, or their name doesn’t appear on the primary election ballot. Obviously, these sorts of pledges are utterly unenforceable, so it’ll be interesting to see how Trump plays it. But the mere fact that the state-level party honchos are even considering this sort of thing is an accurate measure of the desperation which exists among establishment Republicans right now.

Trump continues to roil the Republican waters on the immigration issue. The other GOP candidates are being exposed as complete cowards when it comes to reacting to Trump’s grand “ship them all home” plan. Scott Walker probably stumbled the worst, as he floundered around for days trying to figure out his stance on the Fourteenth Amendment. He was for changing it, against changing it, and tried to brush the entire question off; none of which made him seem even one tiny iota presidential.

Jeb! Bush thought he might tap into some of the Trump anger by tossing around the term “anchor babies,” which was almost as spectacular a failure as Walker’s vacillation. Jeb! then tried to explain that anchor babies were really more of an Asian problem, thereby offending two minority demographics at once. Boy, it’s fun to watch the Republican “minority outreach” effort in action, isn’t it? As George Will so accurately predicted (most especially on Latino and Asian vote percentages), Republicans “face a dauntingly steep climb to reach even the paltry numbers that doomed Mitt Romney.” Jeb! also (you just cannot make this stuff up, folks!) marked the ten-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina by releasing a new ad this week showing Jeb! standing right next to Mike “Heckuva Job” Brown, the disgraced former head of FEMA who fiddled while New Orleans drowned. As the image is shown, Bush intones: “We have the best emergency response team on the ground, in the country, and in the world.” Heckuva job, Brownie!

Over on the Democratic side of the race, there was an explosion of interest in a new candidate that might be labeled “Bidenpalooza.” Joe’s obviously seriously considering a run, and the Wall Street Journal even reported he is currently leaning towards throwing his hat in the ring. Don’t expect an announcement any time soon, though, as Biden says he’ll make a decision by the end of next month.

Bernie Sanders got a front-page story in the New York Times this week. Of course, being the mainstream media and all, it was a total hit piece full of the snarkiest language possible. It absolutely ignored Bernie’s entire message and platform (of course), and absolutely refused to analyze why so many people are flocking to support him. Cornel West just endorsed Bernie’s candidacy this week, but very few political reporters noticed, since it doesn’t fit in with their “only white liberals support Sanders” go-to storyline.

That’s enough from the campaign trail for one week. In other fun news, the oldest message-in-a-bottle ever was returned to its sender recently, after a journey of more than a century. A British scientific group sent out a thousand postcards in bottles from 1904 through 1906, to study the currents in the North Sea. A couple just found one on a German island, and sent the postcard back to the group (which still exists). The Marine Biological Association made good on the century-old promise on the card, and sent a reward of one old shilling to the couple for returning the postcard. I don’t really have any reason for including this story, but it did make me smile, in an otherwise Trump-filled week. Maybe Sting or The Police can write a song about it, or something!

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

We’re changing the title of this award this week, because they’re not technically Democrats. So we’re handing out the Most Impressive Activist Group Of The Week to Neighborhood Legislature, for their amusing and entirely appropriate political theater in California. From the story:


A group of protesters in California took a stand against the influence of money in politics Wednesday by imagining what it would look like if lawmakers had to publicly advertise their campaign donors on their clothes à la professional stock car drivers.

The protesters placed cardboard cutouts of all 120 California state lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown (D) in front of the state capitol in Sacramento. Each legislator wore the logos of the corporations that back them in the style of NASCAR drivers’ brand-filled uniforms.

The photos alone are worth clicking that link to see.

We’ve long been an advocate of this idea, although we certainly can’t claim to have thought it up ourselves. As far back as FTP [189] (scroll down to Talking Point 7), we’ve been big fans of plastering donor logos on congresscritters and other politicians. If America is going to be run by bribery, the least we should be able to do is see who is forking over all that money to buy the politicians!

For taking this idea and running with it, and for an absolute brilliant piece of political theater, the Neighborhood Legislature is hereby awarded the Most Impressive Activist Group Of The Week. This is one of those ideas we truly wish would go viral, on a national level.

[Congratulate Neighborhood Legislature on their official webpage, to let them know you appreciate their excellent stunt.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

Before we get to the main award, we do have one (Dis-)Honorable Mention this week, for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, for waging a silly war on boobies. Laws banning topless women from appearing in public were changed a while back in New York, and some enterprising women are using their newfound right to bare their breasts in Times Square. Among the people dressed in Elmo suits or dressed as Captain America, there are now women wearing nothing but a thong and body paint. All of these folks are there for the same reason: to separate the tourists from their money. Charging ten bucks (or whatever the traffic will bear) to appear in a photo has long been a tradition in Times Square, so this is really nothing new.

Now, Times Square does have an even older history of being a sex district with triple-X theaters and whatnot, which was all cleaned up (so as not to scare the tourists) a while back. In other words, Bill de Blasio wanting to ban topless women from Times Square isn’t happening in a vacuum. He doesn’t want a return to the “bad old days,” but at the same time he seems to be overreacting to the perceived problem. If Hizzoner truly does want to end this practice, there’s really only one acceptable way to do so: change the law back. Ban boobies everywhere. This, however, might be a political problem for him.

In fact, the whole fracas really nothing short of knee-jerk “Won’t someone think of the children!!!” overreach. You know what? I bet children who see a painted lady’s chest won’t actually be as traumatized as all the pearl-clutchers think. Bill de Blasio should have stayed out of this fight, which is why he earns a (Dis-)Honorable Mention this week.

But, for the second week in a row, Hillary Clinton is the recipient of our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week. Clinton, like all presidential candidates these days, is struggling to be heard among the thousands of “Did you hear what Trump just said?” stories. So she apparently thought she’d use some shocking language of her own, and compared her political opponents to terrorists, because (by her logic) they both treat women badly.

Where to begin? First, there are hard lines in politics that should never be crossed. You don’t call someone a traitor, for instance, under any circumstances short of them being legally accused of actually selling the country out. Another of these rules is that you don’t call a political opponent a terrorist. Clinton crossed that line, almost flippantly.

Did Clinton have a point to make? Yes she did. Planned Parenthood and abortion are about to be the focus of an enormous political battle in Washington — one that might even result in another government shutdown. The battle has already been joined, and it is going to get fierce next month. Clinton was jumping in to this fray in an admirable fashion, rather than waiting on the sidelines and mouthing vague platitudes. She’s always been a champion for women’s rights, so it is entirely within her wheelhouse.

Even so, Clinton went too far. This is American politics, folks, and terrorist groups aren’t a part of it. The Taliban is not on any American ballot, to put it another way. While there are indeed many groups and countries around the world with horrendous records on women’s rights, it really has no bearing on domestic politics.

A final point: almost all American politicians are gigantic flaming hypocrites on the issue of women’s rights around the world, including not only Hillary Clinton but everyone else running for the presidency as well. If we really want to get up on our high horse about the way the Islamic State treats women, then it would require us (if we’re not going to be gigantic flaming hypocrites) to immediately suspend all ties with Saudi Arabia. The Saudis execute people by publicly beheading them, after all, and women in their country are not even allowed to do simple things like driving on their own. They’re about to have an election where — for the first time ever — women will be allowed to vote. If our gold standard for who America remains friends with is that women’s rights be respected, then our relationship with Saudi Arabia would be the first to go. If Hillary Clinton — or anyone else for that matter — speaks disparagingly about how terrorists treat women, then we would really like to hear someone ask her what her Saudi policy would be.

So for multiple reasons, Hillary linking her political opponents with terrorists was more than a little disappointing. Just because Trump is sucking all the oxygen out of the room right now does not mean Democrats should be stooping to his level (or even lower). Clinton can fight for women’s rights as fervently as possible without making such odious comparisons. She needs to back down on this one, but for now it has earned her another Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award.

[Hillary Clinton is a private citizen, and our longstanding policy is not to provide contact information for candidate websites, so you’ll have to search her contact info out yourself, sorry.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 359 (8/28/15)

It’s still the Silly Season in Washington, so we don’t have a whole lot of substantive political talking points this week. When Congress returns, we’re in for a number of high-profile fights, but until then we’re just making do with what we’ve got. Just to warn everyone in advance.

 

1
   Making America Grate

Every so often, we are so struck by a clever turn of phrase that we have to give it a standalone talking point. This is one of those times, as Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post ran an article this week under the best headline we’ve yet seen to describe the Trump phenomenon — a play on Trump’s own campaign slogan. It’s a cheap pun, but that doesn’t make it any less funny:


How Donald Trump Makes America Grate

 

2
   From denial to anger

This framing of the Trump situation is likely going to appear again and again, but Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post gets credit for being the first to point it out.

“The Republican Party seems to be destined to go through the classic ‘five stages of grief’ as they come to grips with Donald Trump’s success. Most establishment Republicans are still in the first stage, denial. Some have already moved on to anger — the second stage. I mean, did you read George Will’s ‘every sulfurous belch’ column this week? The third stage is going to be problematic, since it is bargaining — and Trump is a notoriously tough bargainer. This will inevitably lead to depression, and sooner or later to the final stage, acceptance. You might call it the grief of watching the Republican Party die, right in front of their eyes.”

 

3
   Strong growth

This is one to hit Jeb! with, in particular.

“Jeb Bush is running on a promise to achieve four percent growth in America’s economy. I wonder if he saw the most recent numbers, which showed the economy grew 3.7 percent in the second quarter of this year? Seems like President Obama’s doing almost as well as what Bush is promising, which reminds me of Mitt Romney’s promise to get unemployment down to six percent before 2016. Remember that one? Obama managed to achieve that in about half the time Romney promised. Seems like Republicans can’t even promise they’ll handle the American economy as well as Democrats routinely do in the real world.”

 

4
   $ 200 million and counting

Data to use in other state-level legalization fights.

“Colorado and Washington have so far taken in over two hundred million dollars in marijuana tax revenue. We don’t yet have data for Alaska and Oregon, but you can bet they’re raking in millions as well. By legalizing recreational marijuana use, these states have turned a big drag on their state budgets — policing, prisons, clogged courtrooms, and all the rest of it — into a huge asset. I’m sure there are other state governments out there who are paying attention. The success of legalization continues to benefit the states which have implemented it. $ 200 million ain’t exactly pocket change.”

 

5
   President Barack Obama Highway

This is going to be lots of fun for Democrats, for years to come.

“I see that Riviera Beach, Florida just voted to change the name of a road from ‘Old Dixie Highway’ to ‘President Barack Obama Highway.’ Personally, I can’t think of a better way to get rid of institutionalized racist memorials than to rename them after the first African-American president. In fact, I would bet that after Obama’s term in office ends, there will be a lot more things named after him all across America. Call it the revenge of Democrats after the orgy of naming so many things after Ronald Reagan a few years back.”

 

6
   Maybe Amazon will step in

This one is pretty funny.

“Among the many creative uses of drone aircraft we can now add their use to deliver banned things inside prison walls. An attempt was made in Maryland recently to fly in some drugs and pornography aboard a drone. While this attempt was foiled, it seems such an obvious use of new technology that we’ll likely see more and more of these attempts in the near future. How exactly are the cops going to keep the skies over prisons clear of drones? Skeet shooting?”

 

7
   Jade Helm invasion a total flop

This qualifies as rubbing salt in the wound, really.

“I notice that the predicted invasion of Texas by the United States military seems not to have materialized. It wasn’t so long ago that the Texas governor was issuing dire warnings of the nefarious intent of America’s own military in carrying out an exercise called ‘Jade Helm 15,’ which did nothing but stoke paranoid delusions within the state. Well, the summer’s drawing to a close and I still haven’t seen one headline about the Army taking over Texas, or confiscating everyone’s guns, or rounding up its citizens for concentration camps, or any of the rest of the nonsense the rightwingers were spouting not so long ago. If Jade Helm really was a planned invasion of Texas, I have to say it’s been a total flop so far.”

 

Chris Weigant blogs at:
ChrisWeigant.com

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant
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Full archives of FTP columns: FridayTalkingPoints.com
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Why Everyone Is Talking About Fan Bingbing’s Amazing Style

Students of red carpet glamour have certainly become familiar with Fan Bingbing—but everyone else? Get ready to have a new red carpet fave. The 33-year-old Chinese actress long-ago conquered international best-dressed lists (she was on Vanity Fair‘s tony Best Dressed list in 2012), but now she’s poised to get a bit more mainstream—Forbes just handed her the number four spot on its list of the year’s highest-paid actresses, reporting that she’s net a cool $ 21 million in 2015. For movie stars, there’s a pretty legit correlation between salary and red carpet know-how, so it’s no surprise that the well-paid actress has had plenty of time to nail formal wear, typically picking super-glam gowns.

fan-bingbing-marchesa-dress-cannes-2015

We fell in love with her fairytale princess, blossom-covered Marchesa gown at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, but trust: It wasn’t an outlier, by any means.

fan-bingbing-ralph-russo-cannes-2015

A busy festival schedule had her packing multiple showstoppers. This Ralph & Russo couture beauty, with a long train and sleeves that draped elegantly behind her, was one of the red carpet’s most stunning numbers. Her jewels were by Chopard and clutch by Louis Vuitton (she’s an ambassador for the brand).

fan-bingbing-red-velvet-dress-shanghai-film-festival-2015

For the Shanghai Film Festival this summer she picked a velvet Stéphane Rolland couture gown with a partly sheer skirt. Her jewels are Chopard.

fan-bingbing-pink-marchesa-dress-oscars-2013

She wore Marchesa again to the Oscars in 2013, picking a vivid fuchsia ball gown that had walked down the label’s runway just days earlier.

fan-bingbing-dress-elton-john-oscars-party-2013

And because two gorgeous gowns are always better than one, Bingbing changed before heading to Elton John’s post-ceremony party. Her peach Elie Saab couture gown had a regal embellished capelet that covered her shoulders and a skinny belt worn right at the waist. Her clutch is Roger Vivier.

fan-bingbing-elie-saab-yellow-dress-cannes-2013

For the Cannes red carpet that same year, she picked another strong solid-colored beauty. Her Elie Saab gown was a dusty goldenrod hue and featured an embellished top and belted waistline.

fan-bingbing-elie-saab-cannes-2012
At Cannes the year prior it was more Elie Saab. This time, the gown relied on heavy beading and a high-necked cape rather than a princess skirt to make an impression.

fan-bingbing-pink-purple-dress-shanghai-film-festival-2011

A purple-pink strapless gown with a frothy skirt helped her make an extra-elegant appearance at the Shanghai Film Festival in 2011.

fan-bingbing-pink-skirt-tokyo-film-festival-2011

Bingbing pushed the sartorial envelope a bit more at that year’s Tokyo Film Festival. Her two-piece Jason Wu outfit paired an off-the-shoulder top with a high-low ball skirt (the raised front showed off super-high sparkly Christian Louboutin platform pumps). Her jewelry was Cartier.

fan-bingbing-green-oscar-de-la-renta-dress-cannes-2011

She picked a lime green Oscar de la Renta gown for the Cannes festival in 2011. Viewed from the side, the generous pick-ups all over the dress made for a stunning silhouette.



Dressed
Shop Women’s Sales & Values at macys.com

Why Everyone Is Talking About Fan Bingbing’s Amazing Style

Students of red carpet glamour have certainly become familiar with Fan Bingbing—but everyone else? Get ready to have a new red carpet fave. The 33-year-old Chinese actress long-ago conquered international best-dressed lists (she was on Vanity Fair‘s tony Best Dressed list in 2012), but now she’s poised to get a bit more mainstream—Forbes just handed her the number four spot on its list of the year’s highest-paid actresses, reporting that she’s net a cool $ 21 million in 2015. For movie stars, there’s a pretty legit correlation between salary and red carpet know-how, so it’s no surprise that the well-paid actress has had plenty of time to nail formal wear, typically picking super-glam gowns.

fan-bingbing-marchesa-dress-cannes-2015

We fell in love with her fairytale princess, blossom-covered Marchesa gown at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, but trust: It wasn’t an outlier, by any means.

fan-bingbing-ralph-russo-cannes-2015

A busy festival schedule had her packing multiple showstoppers. This Ralph & Russo couture beauty, with a long train and sleeves that draped elegantly behind her, was one of the red carpet’s most stunning numbers. Her jewels were by Chopard and clutch by Louis Vuitton (she’s an ambassador for the brand).

fan-bingbing-red-velvet-dress-shanghai-film-festival-2015

For the Shanghai Film Festival this summer she picked a velvet Stéphane Rolland couture gown with a partly sheer skirt. Her jewels are Chopard.

fan-bingbing-pink-marchesa-dress-oscars-2013

She wore Marchesa again to the Oscars in 2013, picking a vivid fuchsia ball gown that had walked down the label’s runway just days earlier.

fan-bingbing-dress-elton-john-oscars-party-2013

And because two gorgeous gowns are always better than one, Bingbing changed before heading to Elton John’s post-ceremony party. Her peach Elie Saab couture gown had a regal embellished capelet that covered her shoulders and a skinny belt worn right at the waist. Her clutch is Roger Vivier.

fan-bingbing-elie-saab-yellow-dress-cannes-2013

For the Cannes red carpet that same year, she picked another strong solid-colored beauty. Her Elie Saab gown was a dusty goldenrod hue and featured an embellished top and belted waistline.

fan-bingbing-elie-saab-cannes-2012
At Cannes the year prior it was more Elie Saab. This time, the gown relied on heavy beading and a high-necked cape rather than a princess skirt to make an impression.

fan-bingbing-pink-purple-dress-shanghai-film-festival-2011

A purple-pink strapless gown with a frothy skirt helped her make an extra-elegant appearance at the Shanghai Film Festival in 2011.

fan-bingbing-pink-skirt-tokyo-film-festival-2011

Bingbing pushed the sartorial envelope a bit more at that year’s Tokyo Film Festival. Her two-piece Jason Wu outfit paired an off-the-shoulder top with a high-low ball skirt (the raised front showed off super-high sparkly Christian Louboutin platform pumps). Her jewelry was Cartier.

fan-bingbing-green-oscar-de-la-renta-dress-cannes-2011

She picked a lime green Oscar de la Renta gown for the Cannes festival in 2011. Viewed from the side, the generous pick-ups all over the dress made for a stunning silhouette.



Dressed
Shop Women’s Sales & Values at macys.com

Nyrius LT12 12 Language Global Digital Talking Translator Foreign Pocket-Sized Electronic Speaking Dictionary

Nyrius LT12 12 Language Global Digital Talking Translator Foreign Pocket-Sized Electronic Speaking Dictionary


Where travel guides end, the LT12 begins! This talking translator is small enough to fit in your pocket, and contains 8,400 travel-related phrases in 12 different languages. Eight conversational categories allow you to find your desired phrase quickly, and the LT12 both speaks and displays the translated phrase. You also have the ability to save frequently used phrases. This pocket translator will give you confidence when communicating in a foreign language.This handheld translator is the modern answer to paper dictionaries. It is smaller, fashionable and you only need one in order to speak many languages! With the LT12 there’s no need to worry about communicating in countries or cities that use more than one language. This device cross-translates 12 international languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Turkish, Dutch, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Swedish.This device contains over 8,400 travel related phrases and keeps them organized in categories so you can find them quickly and easily. Each category has its own button so you can easily find your desired phrase. The LT12 categories are General Speech, Emergency, Entertainment, Sightseeing, Direction, Restaurants, Transport, and Hotel & Accommodation. If you find yourself repeatedly using the same phrases, you can add them to a list of frequently used sentences. Recalling saved phrases is just as easy – simply press a button to display your customized list! The LT12 also has a backlit screen, allowing you to use it at night and in dimly-lit rooms.Since this device speaks the phrases aloud, you can be sure you are pronouncing foreign words correctly, making for a more enjoyable holiday or business trip. If you aren’t sure of the pronunciation of a specific phrase, the LT12 can help! The LCD screen displays the translated phrase while the built-in speaker pronounces it for you. The LT12 also comes with an earphone so you can hear clearly in busy areas or avoid disturbing others while in quiet situations. Being able to hear and see your phrases will help you become more familiar with the language’s pronunciation and also help in identifying text on signs while traveling.You can use the LT12’s electronic phone book to add new contacts you meet on your trip or keep track of the phone numbers of hotels, embassies, and other important places. The LT12 stores up to 60 phone numbers and can protect your data with a password protection function. Keep track of time zone differences by using the home and world time display feature. By setting a home time, you can use the world time display to see the time and calendar for 24 worldwide cities and time zones. The LT12 also has an alarm clock that can be set and reset as needed. This translator is the perfect pocket-sized companion that will help you communicate and stick to your busy travel schedule!Features:Cross-translates 12 international languages – English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Turkish, Dutch, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Swedish8 conversational categories with 8,400 travel-related phrases allow you to find the phrase quickly
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Friday Talking Points — Trump’s Immigration Roundup

Another week has gone by, and Donald Trump remains the Republican frontrunner in the presidential nomination race. We’ve noticed that all the inside-the-Beltway pundits who so confidently predicted Trump’s imminent and inevitable downfall are now slowly starting to revisit their predictions. This is making them extremely nervous, of course. Some are still finding solace in the “Trump’s going to say something any day now that will sink him like a stone” way of thinking, but their numbers are getting smaller as time goes by and Trump defies political gravity once again.

Last weekend, Trump released his very first policy paper. It was, naturally, on immigration (Trump’s signature issue). Reduced to tweet-length, this policy could be summed up as: “Build a big wall. Repeal birthright citizenship and 14th amendment. Round them all up and send them home.” Of course, it was immediately popular with all of Trump’s supporters.

The rest of the Republican presidential field, once again, was caught scrambling to respond. All of the other Republicans running for the highest office in the land routinely quake in their boots whenever Trump opens his mouth, because nobody’s yet come up with any great ideas as to how to respond. Take Trump on directly? That hasn’t worked out so well for the three notable candidates who have tried it (Rand Paul, Rick Perry, and Lindsey Graham), who are all polling below five percent. Agree with Trump no matter what comes out of his mouth (in the hopes of picking up all his supporters if he stumbles)? That’s working pretty well for Ted Cruz, which is why Scott Walker is now giving it a try. Ignore him completely? That’s what Jeb! Bush would really like to do, but again this hasn’t worked out so well for him (as he watched his own poll numbers sink into single digits).

So far, most of the candidates have at least tentatively supported parts of Trump’s immigration plan. More and more of them are just throwing up their hands and saying “OK, let’s build a giant wall, what the heck.” This week, at least half of the Republican field has expressed support for overturning birthright citizenship, which would require an amendment to the United States Constitution (since it’s expressly part of the Constitution, in the Fourteenth Amendment). This is now the default Republican position, in fact. I guess conservatives only revere certain parts of the Constitution, even though they all carry a copy around with them in their pocket, as a talisman.

Jeb! Bush once again proved he is just as clumsy at being a politician as his brother, in response to Trump. Jeb! was trying to distance himself from Trump’s position on birthright citizenship, but then he royally stepped in it by using the phrase “anchor babies.” When called on the offensiveness of the term, Bush doubled down and tried to defend it, while he tried to channel some sort of weak-tea version of Trump taking on political correctness. “Anchor babies,” Bush said, is a term Democrats use, to beat up on Republicans. He didn’t explain how Democrats can only do so after Republicans use the term, of course. But watching him flounder around answering all the questions must be painful for all those folks who have already tossed over $ 100 million into Bush’s campaign chest. This is really the guy who is going to vanquish Trump? Hey, good luck with that, Establishment Republicans!

Outside the presidential race, the rabid Republicans on the airwaves are pushing the issue even harder than Trump (hard as that is to even imagine). One radio host is essentially calling not just for repealing the Fourteenth Amendment, but also that pesky Thirteenth Amendment as well — you know, the one that outlaws slavery. Seriously. His position is to give all undocumented immigrants a 60-day warning, and then round them up and stick them in concentration camps. They would then “become property of the state,” after which the state would “start to extort or exploit or indenture” their labor. When a caller pointed out that it “sounds an awful lot like slavery,” the host responded: “Well, what’s wrong with slavery?”

Yes, this is the state of the Republican Party today, brought to you by none other than Donald Trump. Mitt Romney winning 27 percent of the Latino vote may turn out to be a high point for the party, which could put the White House out of Republicans’ reach for the foreseeable future, at least until they purge this sort of nativist nonsense from their ranks. Which doesn’t seem likely any time soon, of course. Things are probably going to get a lot worse before they get any better.

In other amusing news from the Republican campaign trail, Bobby Jindal has apparently been reduced to showing Planned Parenthood videos to crowds on his lawn (no, really), and Marco Rubio hit a kid in the face with a football (which was, of course, caught on camera for everyone’s amusement).

We’re going to skip over the Democratic campaign trail news for the moment, because we are going to address it all in the awards sections.

President Obama is spending his summer whipping (and counting) congressional votes for his Iran nuclear deal. When Congress returns from their excessive six-week summer vacation, they’ll be voting whether to disapprove the deal or not. If they put such a disapproval on Obama’s desk, he’ll need to defeat a veto override in at least one house of Congress for the deal to go through. Most Washington wonks think he’ll be able to clear this bar, but there is even one interesting possibility few have yet noticed: Obama may not even have to veto anything, because Republicans may not be able to pass it in the Senate. There are currently 54 Republicans in the Senate, plus two Democrats who have said they’ll vote their disapproval of the deal. But 60 votes will be needed, meaning Republicans still need four more Democrats. As of right now, there are 13 Democratic senators who have not indicated either their support for the deal or their disapproval. If 10 of them ultimately vote to support Obama, then the disapproval bill will die in the Senate, and no veto will even be necessary. It’s a fairly long shot at the moment, but the possibility does exist. As we get closer to the vote, we’ll be paying a lot more attention to the whip counts, pro and con.

And finally, in amusing marijuana news, Novak Djokovic — ranked number one in the world of tennis — had to complain to the umpire in not just one but two recent matches in Montreal. His problem? The clouds of pot smoke drifting over the court. From the story:


“Somebody’s getting high,” he says to a smiling umpire. “No, honestly… The whole stadium smells.”

Djokovic later makes a toking gesture as if he were holding a joint.

Who knew Canadian tennis fans were such stoners? C’mon, guys — bring a brownie to the match instead, eh?

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

We’ve got two Honorable Mention awards to hand out before we get to the main event. Both of these go to Democratic presidential candidates, for different reasons.

First up, we have Martin O’Malley, who deserves credit for his plan to expand Social Security, rather than cut it or raise the retirement age. His plan might be called a timid version of the “scrap the cap” idea, since he would impose Social Security payroll taxes on incomes above $ 250,000 for the first time — which would go a long way towards ending the regressive nature of this tax (which I detailed, with charts, a few years ago). O’Malley is to be applauded for being so specific in his plan, and for beginning to address the problem of the income cap on the payroll tax. However, his plan leaves a “doughnut hole” between roughly $ 120,000 of income and $ 250,000. So someone making $ 10 million a year would pay roughly the same tax rate as a nurse or a firefighter, but someone making $ 250,000 a year would pay less than half that rate. There’s no real mathematical reason for this regressive doughnut hole, but there is a political one — the portion of Americans making between $ 100,000 and $ 250,000 a year is one of the biggest groups who donate money to politicians. That’s really the only reason for leaving such a hole in what by all rights should be — at the very least — a flat tax rate on all income. Still, O’Malley’s plan goes further than other candidates have committed to, so he does deserve some applause.

I wrote about this earlier in the week, but Hillary Clinton deserves at least an Honorable Mention for how she answered the Black Lives Matter protesters (the video of their meeting was publicly released this week). Clinton pretty much agrees with the group in principle and goes out of her way to validate their positions, but she also challenges them to come up with some solid policy proposals that Democratic politicians can get behind. Clinton did an excellent job being both respectful and pragmatic, at least in our opinion.

Which brings us to the winner of the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week. We’re not entirely sure this is within the boundaries of our own rules (since they don’t exactly claim party membership), but rules are made to be bent at times. But the Black Lives Matter folks have finally come up with a very solid and reasonable policy platform (call it an “agenda” or a “list of demands” or whatever else, if you’d like).

The policy agenda is called Campaign Zero and includes such things as requiring body cameras on all police, better police training, and much stronger community oversight of all police. The list is an excellent one, and the policies should be embraced by all Democratic candidates for president as well as all progressive voters.

The Black Lives Matter movement has been controversial on the campaign trail, notably for disrupting Democratic presidential candidates by taking over speeches. They’ve always had a brilliant tactic, in the world of political theater. After all, they’re protesting police violence against black people, so what are Democrats supposed to do — call in the cops to physically remove Black Lives Matter from their speeches? That would reinforce the point the activists are making, and it would make the candidate look bad. It’s a “Catch-22” sort of tactic, because neither siccing the cops on them nor allowing them to completely hijack a campaign event is a very good outcome.

But what they’ve been missing, even with such a brilliant tactic, is any sort of overall strategy. Sure, you can grab the microphone and address the crowd, but if all you do after being given the microphone is to insult your audience and the candidate, then you’re not going to gain much support. Many people (I am one of them, for the record) have called on Black Lives Matter to come up with an agenda so that their natural allies — Democratic politicians and the Democratic base — can support the movement in a concrete way, instead of just being annoyed by their tactics.

This is precisely the point Hillary Clinton was making in the video, and we are glad to see Black Lives Matter respond in such a constructive and forward-looking fashion. This is part of what killed Occupy Wall Street — not being able to agree on much of any plan for change — and we firmly believe that the Black Lives Movement will find that their movement will in no way be limited by having a clear agenda, but in fact that it will grow as more and more people agree with and openly support the items listed by Campaign Zero.

So, whether they identify as Democrats or not, the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement who put together Campaign Zero are more than worthy of this week’s Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award.

[Contact the Campaign Zero website to show your support.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

Hillary Clinton had a rough week. Perhaps we’re guilty of piling on, but we’re going to add a Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week to her problems.

Much like Donald Trump, the Hillary Clinton email server scandal is not going away any time soon. We’ve still got months of drip, drip, drip, as each new group of emails is released to the media and each development with the server itself plays out. The F.B.I. now has Hillary’s server as well as the backup her lawyer had been holding onto for her. As many have pointed out, “F.B.I. investigation” is not something any political candidate wants to see in the headlines, while running for office.

Clinton, so far, hasn’t done a very good job of addressing the issue, either. She held a very brief presser, got into a spat with a Fox News reporter, tried a silly joke to brush the whole thing off, and then left after about five minutes. The Washington Post has a rundown of five mistakes Clinton made during this appearance, but they missed one big one. You might call it “orange is the new orange.”

Now, we realize (before we even explain that) that politicians shouldn’t really be criticized on how they look in the first place, and in the second place, female politicians especially shouldn’t be subject to snark about what they’re wearing. Hillary Clinton has faced this time and time again. Still, whose idea was it to have Hillary Clinton appear in front of the press to answer questions about an F.B.I. investigation wearing the same shade of orange as prison jumpsuits? That is just breathtaking sartorial stupidity.

Hillary Clinton needs to take a few days off from campaigning. She needs to go on a retreat with her husband, in fact. During this time, Bill should coach Hillary relentlessly on how to successfully brush a political issue aside. There’s a reason why Barack Obama joked at the 2012 Democratic National Convention that he should appoint Bill Clinton “Secretary of Explainin’ Stuff.” He is a master at it, in fact — the best America has seen since Ronald Reagan. And Hillary — obviously — needs a little coaching from Bill on how to handle these things.

Start by laying out your viewpoint of the situation, in as simple terms as you can manage. Explain the motivations of those making claims of scandal. Then end with a rhetorical flourish in an attempt to lay the issue to rest. Hillary tried to do so, with her “wipe it down with a cloth” joke, but it fell awfully flat. She needs a lot of practice with Bill, and her campaign should devote a few days to it. Lock them both in a cabin in the woods, and let Bill school Hillary on how to deal with scandal and crisis. At this point, it couldn’t hurt.

There are many Democrats — even some Bernie Sanders supporters — who feel deep down that Clinton will likely be the Democratic nominee and has a clear path to the White House next year. They just wish she was campaigning for it better, that’s all. Team Clinton has got to learn to shift gears smoother and how to respond quicker. Clinton proved she’s got a long way to go this week, which is why she’s getting the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award.

[Hillary Clinton is a private citizen, and we have a longstanding policy of not linking to campaign websites, so you’ll have to search her contact page on your own to let her know what you think, sorry.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 358 (8/21/15)

The talking points this week were influenced, once again, by Donald Trumps magical mystery campaign, which sooner or later we’re just going to stop apologizing for. Hey, he is the Republican frontrunner!

We’ve got a few others mixed in, and two hilarious ones at the end, because we thought everybody could use a laugh after the past week of presidential politics.

 

1
   I support Campaign Zero

This one’s easy, for both Democratic candidates and voters.

“I strongly support the positive and constructive agenda Black Lives Matter has laid out, which they’re calling Campaign Zero. Their list has many excellent policy ideas which should be enacted at both the state and federal level. All police should have body cameras, because seeing is believing when it comes to what actually happens in confrontations. Police should be required to get much better training for conflict resolution, so the most violent response at their disposal isn’t always their first choice. There are many such ideas contained in the Campaign Zero platform, and I call on all Democrats to not only endorse this agenda but also to immediately begin working as hard as possible on enacting these changes across the United States.”

 

2
   Anchor babies!

To her credit, Hillary Clinton led in pushing back against Bush’s slip of the tongue.

“I’m sorry, but Jeb Bush was supposed to be some sort of moderate guy on both immigration and Latino issues. He’s married to a Mexican-American, after all, and speaks fluent Spanish. Previously, he has called for Republicans to avoid being intentionally offensive and to speak of immigrants in non-inflammatory terms. He used to be a voice of reason in a crowd of extremists. I guess now that his poll numbers are sinking like a rock, he’s decided that offending Latinos is the way to go. If Jeb’s not sure whether the term ‘anchor babies’ is offensive or not, I would suggest he ask a few members of his own family what they think about it.”

 

3
   Selective constitutional worship

This, from politicians who swear up and down their fealty to the Constitution?

“In the entire history of the United States, we have only ever amended the Constitution to restrict rights a single time — and Prohibition eventually had to be repealed by another amendment. Now Donald Trump and most of the rest of the Republicans running for president have come out in favor of overturning the Fourteenth Amendment because they don’t like one phrase in it. This amendment was passed because racists were insisting that people born in the United States — ex-slaves — were not citizens and therefore could never vote. Republicans today want to make it impossible for undocumented immigrants ever to be eligible for citizenship for the exact same reason — they never want these people to ever have a vote. And now they’re attacking the Constitution itself to ensure that only those children born on American soil whom they deem acceptable can be citizens. To do so, we’d have to pass only the second amendment to the Constitution to ever deny rights rather than expand them. This is just a bad idea all around.”

 

4
   Round them up? Really?

Pro-big government rears its ugly head in Republicanland, once again.

“So I see that Donald Trump is in favor of the biggest expansion of federal power ever, because his ’round them up and ship them home’ plan to deal with undocumented immigrants would change American society forever. We’d have to create an enormous federal police force who would then go around knocking on every door in American and demand to see ‘your papers, please.’ Those without proof of citizenship would be forcibly rounded up and shipped out. Experts estimate this effort — should any Congress be stupid enough to enact it — would take hundreds of billions of dollars and have to last at least two decades. So Trump is in favor of spending an enormous amount of money to pay for jack-booted federal agents to round everyone up and ship them off, by knocking on every door in the country. Sounds like an explosion of ‘big government’ and creating an enormous federal army to be used for domestic purposes to me. Funny, I always thought Republicans were against those things, on ideological grounds.”

 

5
   Rapists’ baby support

At times, we are accused of creating talking points that are nothing short of hyperbole. Last week, we ran one that might have fit into that category (scroll down to talking point number five). We’re going to repeat this talking point this week, with the addition of Mike Huckabee’s name, since he has now openly admitted exactly the attitude the talking point was referring to.

“An 11-year-old girl just gave birth in Paraguay. She was 10 when she was raped by her stepfather, but the government denied her mother’s request she be allowed an abortion. These are the real-world consequences of the position taken by many Republican presidential candidates, including Mike Huckabee. They want to outlaw abortion even in the case of rape and incest. That leads directly to 11-year-olds having to bear their stepfather’s child after being raped. Mike Huckabee openly admitted that he wants to see that sort of thing here. He actually said: ‘Let nobody be misled, a 10-year-old girl being raped is horrible, but does it solve a problem by taking the life of an innocent child?’ Yes, 11-year-old mothers forced to deal with their rapist’s baby for the rest of their lives is exactly what we can expect if Huckabee ever got his way on outlawing all abortion. No rape victim should ever be forced to bear her rapist’s baby. No 10-year-old should have to carry a baby to term against her will. Yet that is exactly what happens when abortion is outlawed.”

 

6
   Deez Nuts for president!

We normally wrap these up with one amusing final talking point. This week, we’re going to do two instead, just because.

“Have you seen the recent polling? A fake candidate named ‘Deez Nuts’ is polling at a surprisingly high level among voters. For some unfathomable reason a few state-level polls included ‘Deez Nuts’ in a few of the questions they asked poll respondents about, and he’s now getting nine percent in North Carolina, eight percent in Minnesota, and seven percent in Iowa! As the candidate explains: ‘I am a 15-year-old who filled out a form, had the campaign catch on fire, and am now putting up the best third-party numbers since Ross Perot.’ Right now his poll numbers are better than most of the Republican field, in fact. In a year when Donald Trump is the frontrunner, somehow it seems entirely appropriate that ‘Deez Nuts’ should be approaching second place in the race, don’t you think?”

 

7
   Limberbutt McCubbins for president!

And finally, one from the Democratic side.

“Deez Nuts isn’t the only amusing candidate out there. A self-proclaimed ‘Demo-cat’ feline candidate has also thrown his furry hat into the ring. That’s right, Limberbutt McCubbins is running for president, on a platform that includes legalizing both catnip and gay cat marriages. His campaign website and Facebook page boast some catchy campaign slogans, including ‘Meow is the time’ and ‘Together we cat.’ His owner states the main reason Limberbutt entered the race: ‘Me and my friends have begun to realize how easy it is to run for office, and have learned about the way the F.E.C. and campaign finance work. Not that we don’t want anyone to run, but I personally don’t think that if I’m applying to run for the most important position in the U.S.A., that I should be able to do it in 20 minutes. Or less.’ I don’t know about that, but I do know that if it came down to Limberbutt McCubbins in the general election, I’d certainly vote for Limberbutt over a lot of the hairballs running on the other side.”

 

Chris Weigant blogs at:
ChrisWeigant.com

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant
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Full archives of FTP columns: FridayTalkingPoints.com
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Chatty Cathy and Her Talking Friends By Sean Kettelkamp (Paperback)

Chatty Cathy and Her Talking Friends By Sean Kettelkamp (Paperback)


Overview Chatty CathyTM and Her Talking Friends, an unauthorized history of Mattel talking dolls, documents the famous dolls that were the rage of the 1960s. When you pulled the string they talked! They’re all here in this first book devoted entirely to talking dolls-Chatty Cathy, Chatty Baby, Beany Boy, Matty, and Barbie, to name just a few. Read along year by year as Sean Kettelkamp lets you see for yourself why these dolls were so popular. Over 240 color photographs illustrate the adorable dolls, their clothing, accessories, even the talking mechanisms. You’ll have great fun looking back at the era of talking dolls. This comprehensive book includes a value guide, making it an indispensable addition to a doll collector’s library. Product details Isbn-13: 9780887409547, 978-0887409547 Author: Sean Kettelkamp Publisher: Schiffer Publishing Ltd Publication date: 1996-12-15 About Wordery Wordery is one of the UK’s largest online booksellers. With millions of satisfied customers who enjoy low prices on a huge range of books, we offer a reliable and trusted service and consistently receive excellent feedback. We offer a huge range of over 8 million books; bestsellers, children’s books, cheap paperbacks, baby books, special edition hardbacks and textbooks. All our books are dispatched from the UK. Wordery offers Free Delivery on all UK orders, and competitively priced international delivery. #HappyReading

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FKA Twigs ‘warns KStew to stop talking about RPatz’

FKA Twigs has become boyfriend Robert Pattinson’s ‘fiercest defender’ according to reports.
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Disney Pixar Toy Story 3 Woody [Talking Action Figure]

Disney Pixar Toy Story 3 Woody [Talking Action Figure]

Replicated from Disney/Pixar’s digital data, this Woody comes with a Sheriff badge, hat, boots, bandana, belt and holster. Pull string to hear him talk.
List Price: $ 59.99
Price: $ 59.99

The 2 Things Women Want In Bed That We’re Not Talking About

A month or so back, I found myself in a gay club dancing with lovely men who made me feel fun, sexy and beautiful, but had absolutely no interest in tempting me away from my domestic haven.

However, I came home from that experience feeling restless and mid-life crisis-y.

I realized my 17-year relationship (now-marriage) had some predictable sexual patterns, which happens in any long-term relationship. But suddenly, I felt a strong compulsion to break free of those patterns. (Could it be turning 50?)

Though I wanted to shake things up, I knew swinging, polyamory or, in turn-of-the-century Lady Mary/”Downton Abbey” vernacular, “taking a lover” would be the death knell of my treasured marriage, therefore not the kind of “shaking things up” I wanted to do.

So, I turned to my man for help.

What makes my husband so incredibly badass is that when I said, “I think I’m having a midlife crisis. I’m sexually bored.” He instantly replied, “Let’s do something about it!”

Realizing it was my issue, not his, I went to see my former font-of-wisdom (a.k.a. therapist) and admitted that I didn’t want the intimate, tender lovemaking that typified my bedroom. Instead, I found books and movies where women are sexually ravished and even aggressively taken exciting. And that I judged myself for it.

I’ve been a sex columnist, which suggests Sexual Libertine, but in many ways I’m repressed. I was raised Mormon, so my psychological, sexual landscape has definitely been impacted by the sexual repression in that culture leaving me to to frequent battle with the Morality Police, priggish Jacques and Ferrar, that live inside my head.

My therapist, who is often a place of temperate permission, explained that she believes, and I quote:

“The ravishment fantasy is most likely the rule for women, rather than the exception.”

 

She cited a recent documentary on the endangered big cat, the Canadian Lynx, where she described how aggressive the male is with the female during the mating ritual.

The male will bite the female’s neck, scratching her and holding her down forcefully. My doc surmised that humans most likely have a genetic or biological sexual impulse that is very similar to that of animals.

After my session, whilst googling the keyphrase: What do Women Want in Bed? I stumbled on a recent Ask Men article titled, 5 Things Women Secretly Want In Bed. Two of them made my Morality Police, irascible Jacques and Ferrar, take note.

The author wrote:

#1 Get Aggressive In Bed: Just about every woman I encountered had the words ‘more aggressive sex’ rolling off her tongue. From being tied up and spanked to having their hair pulled and being mildly asphyxiated, the women were quite enthusiastic about aggressive sex. Of course, I’m not implying that you should go home and smack your (lady) up, but instead, maybe a little roughing in the bedroom can work wonders for your sex life.

#3 Treat Her Like A Prostitute: (Shannon here: this language might offend the feminists in many of us. But I agree with the spirit of the note.)

Ah, fantasies, the beauty of them lies in the fact that many are not realized. But as one woman put it: ‘I am tired of being that precious lady in the bedroom. I’m tired of making love and doing things gently all the time.’ (Shannon quietly raises hand)

‘I want him to have raunchy sex with me and talk to me as though he just met me and cares nothing about what I want. I want him to ravish me like an animal and tell me to be quiet whenever I try to say something.’

I guess, in the end, there are plenty of women who want to be, for lack of a better word, slutty in the bedroom. They simply fear that if they behave in such a manner, then their men will think less of them, and some are even afraid that their men will mistakenly begin treating them differently outside the bedroom as well. All the same, many women are big fans of scenarios such as the one described.

In the last quote I particularly appreciate that the author has made a distinction between what women like in bed versus what they prefer in real life.

All of this is food for thought and a catalyst to ex-communicate the puritanical, prudish, Victorian Jacques and Ferrar with regards to my midlife ennui.

I recognize that my sexual relationship with my husband hasn’t stopped growing. It’s been stunted a bit by the last 13 years of raising children, but there is nothing that says we can’t pick up the reins and continue to grow and even surprise each other as the years unfold.

I think the ace we have up our sleeve is genuine goodwill toward each other and a willingness to communicate, even the trickiest most vulnerable, uncomfortable stuff.

If you want to keep up with Shannon you can Opt-In to her Relationship Sensei Newsletter HERE.

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

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Globalization, Communication and the Workplace: Talking Across the World

Globalization, Communication and the Workplace: Talking Across the World


The global developments in Information Technology Enabled Services have transformed customer service encounters which were until recently face-to-face. The major business areas of healthcare, insurance, banking and media are increasingly moving their customer processes to call centres, web based interaction, and email. ITES is set for explosive growth over the next decade, alongside being increasingly outsourced to non-English speaking destinations. The need for good English language communication skills is becoming ever more acute.This book looks closely at interactive communication in customer-facing services, featuring the voices of both academics and those in industry. It aims to integrate the work of applied linguists, teachers, trainers and businesses. After an initial discussion on the value of research to applied training, the major issues of ITES communications are addressed with either an academic analysis being followed by a training example derived from it, or with an analysis of a workplace problem followed by a research-based solution proposal. This volume should appeal to a wide readership in academic, business training and HR departments.
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Chatty Cathy and Her Talking Friends

Chatty Cathy and Her Talking Friends


Chatty CathyTM and Her Talking Friends, an unauthorized history of Mattel talking dolls, documents the famous dolls that were the rage of the 1960s. When you pulled the string they talked! They’re all here in this first book devoted entirely to talking dolls-Chatty Cathy, Chatty Baby, Beany Boy, Matty, and Barbie, to name just a few. Read along year by year as Sean Kettelkamp lets you see for yourself why these dolls were so popular. Over 240 color photographs illustrate the adorable dolls, their clothing, accessories, even the talking mechanisms. You’ll have great fun looking back at the era of talking dolls. This comprehensive book includes a value guide, making it an indispensable addition to a doll collector’s library.

Price: $
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Fisher-Price Julius Jr. Talking Plush

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Julius Jr. comes to life with fun phrases and music! Just squeeze his tummy to hear him say signature phrases like “Eureka!” and “The best inventions are the ones that help your friends.” Julius also plays fun music. Over 10 sounds in all! Soft, plush Julius is approximately 12 inches tall.

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Sources: Celtics, Mavs talking Rondo trade

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Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes PlayStation Experience 2014: Diffusing a Bomb with Project Morpheus

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The Book We’re Talking About: ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’ By Marlon James

A Brief History of Seven Killings
by Marlon James
Riverhead Books, $ 20.00
Published Oct. 2, 2014

The Book We’re Talking About is a weekly review combining plot description and analysis with fun tidbits about the book.

What we think:

James’ third novel is one of our Best Books of 2014 for good reason — epic, immersive, acutely observed and deeply moving, it’s worth every long hour it demands of the reader.

In 1976, Bob Marley was in Jamaica to play a concert before the upcoming general election in hopes of quelling unrest and calling for peace. Two days before the concert, seven gunmen burst into his home and shot Marley, his wife, his manager, and several others, leaving all of the victims fortunately alive but wounded.

This earthshaking event forms the cornerstone of James’ vast, ambitious novel that stretches from 1976 Jamaica to 1991 New York, examining the ripple effects of American colonial interference, Jamaican turf wars, the rising drug trade, and, specifically, that 1976 assassination attempt on the world-famous singer.

James narrates through a wide array of characters, drawing from the perspectives of a dead former politician, an American journalist from Rolling Stone, Jamaican dons and gang members, a girl who hoped her one-night-stand with Marley would be her family’s ticket out of the conflict-wracked country, and even some of the doped-up, desperate kids conscripted to carry out the assassination attempt. Marley and his family don’t speak for themselves and even recede to the background; this story is predicated on the reggae star, but it’s not his story.

The cacophony of different narrators can be overwhelming, as James captures each speaker with a unique cadence and perspective distinct to his or her identity. Delving through the assorted vernaculars and streams of consciousness — often those of deeply frightened, traumatized, or heavily drugged people — can range from tough to harrowing reading. It’s undeniably worth the work, however, as James’ meticulous characterization makes his writing exceptionally vivid and compelling.

Through his speakers, James shows the planning of the assault, the immediate fallout, and the attempts at retribution — highlighting a dark side of the singer commonly seen as a peaceable figure. As time goes by, and the shooting drifts into the past, however, the consequences linger; not every shooter has come to justice. As the fragile, post-shooting peace between the two dominant gangs in Kingston inevitably crumbles — one character notes, “Peace can’t happen when too much to gain in war” — the remaining assailants have become pivotal figures at the heart of the burgeoning cocaine trade between Colombia and the U.S.

This dangerous, but profitable, turn to trafficking solidifies the status of central character Josey Wales, don and gang leader, but exacerbates the renewed, cascading cycle of poverty and brutality surrounding him. In the bleak neighborhoods of New York where his enforcers prowl, and the streets of Kingston, the infusion of crack and, eventually, heroin — and the accompanying profits — provide a new pretext for casual violence and constant squalor.

Meanwhile, the past continues to haunt the central characters — including journalist Alex Pierce, who can’t stop digging around for the true story of what happened in 1976, when he was in Jamaica on assignment for Rolling Stone; and Nina, a local girl who scrabbles for years to escape her past, leaving her name, her home, and eventually her country, because of what she saw that night.

James’ long, sprawling, masterfully woven together novel finds its redemption in the indomitability of the human will to live, and its light in a sly, sardonic humor that finds its way in amongst the horrific violence and grinding, Sisyphean cycle of misery. Though it by no means makes for a brief read, or an easy one, it’s a brilliant, heartbreaking and searing one that will burrow its way deep into the reader’s soul.

What other reviewers think:
The New York Times: “It’s epic in every sense of that word: sweeping, mythic, over-the-top, colossal and dizzyingly complex. It’s also raw, dense, violent, scalding, darkly comic, exhilarating and exhausting — a testament to Mr. James’s vaulting ambition and prodigious talent.”

NPR: “A Brief History is, with dozens of characters and motives, impressively dizzying. Ultimately, it’s also a beautiful mess.”

The Independent: “This is a book the energy, intelligence and intellectual range of which demands and rewards attention.”

Who wrote it?
This is Marlon James’ third novel. His previous novel, The Book of Night Women, was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. His first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist for first fiction and was a New York Times Editors’ Choice book. James was born in Jamaica and now lives in Minneapolis.

Who will read it?
Fans of complex, multi-narrator epics and challenging stream-of-consciousness prose stylings. Also, readers interested in fiction that digs into the thorny issues of race, class, drug trade and political corruption.

Opening lines:
“Listen.

“Dead people never stop talking. Maybe because death is not death at all, just a detention after school. You know where you’re coming from and you’re always returning from it. You know where you’re going though you never seem to get there and you’re just dead. Dead.”

Notable passage:
“Jamaica never gets worse or better, it just finds new ways to stay the same. You can’t change the country, but maybe you can change yourself. I don’t know who’s thinking that. I’m done with thinking, quite frankly. Every time I think it takes me to a bus exploding or me looking down the barrel of a gun. Shit, all that shaking is me, not the couch. I mean, settee. Goddamn, that man is changing me. I like to act like I don’t like it. But I don’t think I fool him.”
Arts – The Huffington Post
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The Quotable Actor: 1001 Pearls of Wisdom from Actors Talking about Acting

The Quotable Actor: 1001 Pearls of Wisdom from Actors Talking about Acting


Collecting advice, quotes, essays, and observations from hundreds of famous actors and highly regarded acting teachers, this book covers a wide range of topics on the art and history of acting. Entertaining, instructive, and informative, it is organized into specific, easy-to-search categories, such as On Why We Act; On Auditioning, Struggling, and Building a Career; and On Gender Differences and Aging in the Biz. From art and technique to business and lifestyle, entries include fascinating anecdotes and advice from some of the greatest actors in history–Marlon Brando commenting on the rehearsal process, Meryl Streep’s advice on building a character, Al Pacino recalling what it was like to be a starving young artist, beauty tips from some of Hollywood’s leading ladies, recollections of horrible auditions from A-list stars, and musings from Jack Nicholson, Edwin Booth, and many others. Additional contributors include Constantin Stanislavski, Daniel Day-Lewis, Ellen Burstyn, Julie Andrews, Paul Newman, and Peter O’Toole–providing insights into the actor’s craft that are equally useful to young actors just starting out and accomplished professionals looking for inspiration in the words of peers.
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The Quotable Actor: 1001 Pearls of Wisdom from Actors Talking About Acting

The Quotable Actor: 1001 Pearls of Wisdom from Actors Talking About Acting


Collecting advice, quotes, essays, and observations from hundreds of famous actors and highly regarded acting teachers, The Quotable Actor covers a wide range of topics on the art and history of acting.

Entertaining, instructive, and informative, it is organized into specific, easy-to-search categories, such as On Why We Act; On Auditioning; On Struggling and Building a Career; and On Gender Differences and Aging in the Biz.

From art and technique to business and lifestyle, entries include fascinating anecdotes and advice from some of the greatest actors in history:

Marlon Brando commenting on the rehearsal process
Meryl Streep''s advice on building a character
Al Pacino recalling what it was like to be a starving young artist
Beauty tips from some of Hollywood''s leading ladies
Recollections of horrible auditions from A-list stars
Musings from Jack Nicholson, Edwin Booth, and many others

Additional contributors include Constantin Stanislavski, Daniel Day-Lewis, Ellen Burstyn, Julie Andrews, Paul Newman, and Peter O''Toole-providing insights into the actor''s craft that are equally useful to young actors just starting out and accomplished professionals looking for inspiration in the words of peers.
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Let’s Talk: Mistakes You Probably Make When Talking To Your Spouse

By Katie Parsons for KnowMore.tv

If you’re married, then you’re probably familiar with the knot you get in your stomach when you have to bring up a sensitive issue with your spouse. Discussing difficult topics — whether it be about money, parenting, sex, etc.– is never easy, and there are many things you can say or do that make the situation worse.

Tension arises over an array of issues, according to Catherine Bronza, an Orlando, FL-based psychotherapist who uses a short-term structured psychotherapy approach with clients called the Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy Model (EFT). But no matter what the hot button topic is, Bronza says that there are seven conversation habits that you should STOP doing so your discussion doesn’t spiral into a heated argument.

1. You’re ready for combat.

Avoid combat mentality when you enter, or are invited, into a difficult conversation with your spouse. The discussion isn’t about winning points by cutting down your opponent. It should be about working together to find a solution to the problem.

Both parties need to feel safe and supported in order to take the risk and muster of the courage to present a tough topic. “It takes vulnerability, honesty, courage and a bit of risk to get difficult topics aired out and addressed productively,” says Bronza. Put down your boxing gloves and navigate the conversation with care.

2. You blame your spouse.

It’s not easy to take responsibility for problems in a marriage, especially if you don’t feel that you’re at fault. But don’t assume that your spouse is completely to blame either. You need to listen with an open mind and heart and remember that there are two sides to ever situation. Marriage is a partnership and you need to play fairly.

3. You resort to name calling.

Please don’t act like you’re 9 years old when you’re not getting your way! Respect for your partner is the first step toward resolution, says Bronza. This means knowing what topics may be super-sensitive and not reacting harshly. “Even if your spouse resorts to name calling, try to keep your cool and bring the discussion back to a positive place.”

4. Your tone is nasty.

Your approach to the conversation is just as important as the message. “What’s more, the message will be completely lost or misinterpreted if the other person feels attacked,” warns Bronza. Remember that you’re not scolding your spouse; you’re looking for a way to find answers together.

5. Your timing is off.

Even if you’re ready to boil over with all that you want to say to your spouse, pick the right time to have the conversation.

The topic should be addressed as an invitation to discuss something that’s important to you, and you should be clear-headed and calm. “It helps to start with an ‘I statement,'” suggests Bronza. “This is when a person will say something like, ‘I’m struggling with something right now. I need your help in figuring this out. Are you open to talk for a little while?'”

If your partner isn’t in a space where he or she can be fully engaged, then plan for a time to talk when he or she is totally available.

6. You bicker in front of others.

Keep your struggles between you and your spouse… period. “Bringing up negative issues around others, even children or other family members, brings a natural defensiveness that can be difficult to break down later on,” says Bronza.

7. You use negative body language.

The way you feel on the inside will manifest itself in your facial expressions and the way you carry yourself, so be conscious of this barrier. When possible, be on the same level as your spouse (so you’re either both sitting or standing) and even try to hold his or her hand if the moment feels right. “Show that you’re not walled off from your spouse, but that you’re open to working through the problem together,” advises Bronza.

Couples should never completely bottle up negativity out of fear of backlash, though. It’s important to keep the lines of communication clear and open in order to grow together.

“When issues are left to simmer, they eventually boil over and cause damage to the relationship,” warns Bronza. “It really helps to stay in the moment with each other and talk things out as they occur. Relationships thrive on good clear communication.”

More from KnowMore.tv

3 Clues He’s a Keeper
What to Say to a Friend Who’s Having an Affair
Weed and Weddings: It’s Really a Thing?!
5 Tips to Dating a Divorced Guy
Weddings – The Huffington Post
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Talking About the Future With Your Significant Other (Without Ruining Everything)

Let’s just get this out of the way: This post will not tell you how to talk about the future of your relationship without ruining everything. What it will do, however, is walk you through a few ways I have almost ruined everything and why I continue to insist on almost ruining everything when I talk about the future with my long-term boyfriend, Josh.

People go bonkers about this. Perfectly reasonable humans turn into walking rom-com tropes when it comes to the future of their relationships. The non-married, long-term couples I know tend to fall on a spectrum:

At one extreme, there are those who are obsessed with their future plans. They have timelines. They have rings and baby names and curtains and grave plots picked out. They have built their Tunnel of Love and they are just so excited to live in it forever you guys and tell you all about it… whether you like it or not.

At the other end of the spectrum are the couples that turn into mob witnesses when asked about their future plans. Are they thinking of getting married? They can’t recall. Do they want kids? No comment. They haven’t thought about it. They’re playing it by ear. They’re seeing where things go. They’re perfectly happy right now, and that’s good enough for them, alright, Mom and Dad?! Jesus…

And where does my relationship fall on this spectrum?

I live in a Tunnel of Love with a mob witness.

I’ve always been a planner. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that I’ve always been a dreamer. My idle mind is constantly concocting elaborate fantasies about all the things I really want to — or even just think in passing it might be cool to — do with my life. I fantasize about having a beautiful apartment. I fantasize about winning a Tony. I fantasize about getting married and having kids. I fantasize about being on Chopped. I fantasize about traveling and working abroad. I fantasize about quitting jobs dramatically and telling off bosses and stupid coworkers. I am very rarely, if ever, thinking about tonight or tomorrow. Or even next month. I tend to be thinking one-three years in advance most of the time. That’s my default mind-wandering horizon.

My boyfriend Josh is the opposite. Concrete plans for the weekend elude him, let alone plans for going home for Christmas, getting our own place next year, the possibility of living anywhere other than New York or having a family ever. It’s not right now, so it’s not taking up space in his brain. Dinner? Yeah, we can talk about dinner.

I envy him in a lot of ways. This kind of ever-presence is a brand of Zen I am incapable of achieving. He can be Here and Now. That’s a powerful paradigm, and one that probably grants him a good deal more mental peace than I have. Because while I’m scheming and planning so far in the future that I cannot possibly anticipate the outcome, I am also worrying and stressing and gnashing-of-teething about all the uncertainty– the uncertainty I have created. In most cases, it’s not helpful. But it does modify how I conduct myself in the present.

For example, knowing we are both theater artists (read: chronically impoverished) in different capacities, I try to cultivate additional revenue streams outside of theater. I am acutely conscious of how much more money I’m making than the year before and how much I can save in anticipation of our next security deposit or to start a Roth IRA or to buy health insurance. Right now, we’re getting by, which means two things: Josh isn’t stressing because we’re actually getting by, and I am stressing because we’re only getting by! Same reality, different reactions.

Over the years, my attempts to engage Josh in conversations about our future have mostly been lessons of what not to do. Don’t assume we’re on the same page. Don’t assume we’re not on the same page. Don’t expect him to initiate a conversation, but give him a chance to have a conversation before jumping down his throat. I’ve gone into a tailspin more than a few times in my paranoia that we must not actually be as happy as we seem because we can’t have functional conversations about when we might (hypothetically) want to get married(?) someday. We’ve spent long, frustrating hours talking about how we talk about the future. I’ve learned a lot about how to talk to him to find out how he really feels, and he’s learned a lot about what I need to hear him share to avoid existential meltdown.

Knowing that he wasn’t building a little Tunnel of Love felt — and at times still feels — so personal. He couldn’t possibly be as serious about us as I am! Look at all the work I’ve (imagined I’ve) done! But over time, over late-night Skype sessions and meandering text threads and good, old fashioned hashing it out with the door closed, I came to an ah-ha moment: realizing (and reminding myself) that simply because we look at the future from different angles doesn’t mean that we aren’t looking at the same future.

Josh is serious — in a language that is hard for me to understand. Same reality, different reactions. I’ve had relationships tank as we’ve both been busily engaged in constructing an elaborate Tunnel of Love… only to find that our relationship couldn’t fill the vast space we’d carved out for our life together. We came up short of our blueprints. Having two architects does not automatically ensure success.

No, he doesn’t daydream on the subway the way I do. He doesn’t have many full-term ideas about what the future looks like. But he’s sure that it’s with me, and that’s the most important plan of all.
Weddings – The Huffington Post
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Morgan Freeman And Jimmy Fallon Talking On Helium Will Make Your Day

Earlier this year, Morgan Freeman almost blew up the Internet with a video of himself talking after sucking down some helium, and now he’s back to finish the job.

During “The Tonight Show” on Thursday, host Jimmy Fallon and Freeman went through the second half of their interview while inhaling helium from balloons, and the results are everything you dreamed they would be.

All that’s left to say is, “So long, Internet. You will be missed.”

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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How To Throw A Wedding That Everyone Will Be Talking About

2014-07-02-brides_logocopy.jpg

By Elizabeth Mitchell for Brides

Obviously lush flowers and a gorgeous venue are some of the elements of a beautiful wedding, but picture-perfect décor doesn’t ensure an epic party. Score a 10 out of 10 for overall experience by following these simple yet effective tips that will have your guests talking about your wedding for years to come.

1. Ask for song requests.

To ensure everyone is having a great time and dancing the night away, have your guests request a song via the invitation response, recommends Key Largo wedding planner Lynn D’Ascanio of Dasignerevents.com. “Give this list of songs to your DJ, along with the name of the person who requested each song. That way, if the dance floor starts to thin out, the DJ can play songs off of the request list.” This pretty much guarantees that the person who requested the song will get up and dance and encourage others to do so as well.

2. Don’t let your friends and family talk forever.

“Many fun events have been driven into the ground by deathly long speeches,” points out Lynn Jawitz, owner of Florisan Wedding and Event Design in NYC. To keep the party popping, ask your speech givers to keep their toasts short and sweet.

3. Remember to thank your guests.

Speaking of speeches, it’s important to let your guests knows how much you personally appreciate them coming. “It’s hard to believe how often this simple step is overlooked,” notes Jawitz. “Bite the bullet, make a speech (keep it short, of course) and just genuinely thank your guests for dropping their lives that day to share it with you.”

4. And keep them in the know.

According to D’Ascanio, the best weddings are the ones that are organized and follow a timeline. “When the events of the day unfold in a timely manner, and the bridal party and guests alike are not left standing around wondering what’s next or where they should go or what they should be doing, the entire day seems flawless.”

5. Add in an element of surprise.

Who doesn’t love a special surprise at a wedding? “You could hire a group of singers or dancers disguised as wait staff to break out into song or dance during dinner,” suggests D’Ascanio. Or you and the groom could perform a practiced dance routine yourselves for the first dance, offers Greg Jenkins, founder of Bravo Productions. “A ‘wow’ factor can be memorable and will ensure your guests have a blast.”

6. Opt for a short ceremony.

If possible, try to keep your ceremony simple and short in length. “A long, drawn-out ceremony takes away that guest energy level at the onset, and sometimes it cannot be recovered for the reception,” warns Jenkins.

7. Give birthday shout outs.

Does your BFF have a birthday on the same day as your big day? Or is it his parents’ anniversary too? “Have your MC acknowledge any birthdays and/or anniversaries with a dedicated song during the reception,” advises Daniela Grafman, wedding & special events coordinator at Vision Entertainment Group LLC. People love attention. Plus, it’s just a sweet gesture.

8. Hire a great band or DJ.

After all, they can, in fact, make or break a party. Florida wedding planner Aviva Samuels of Kiss The Planner, recommends looking for a high energy performer, while being careful not to choose an annoying personality to be your MC. “Great vocals, great dance moves and great spunk will have everyone up on their feet until it’s time to go home. Seamless song transitions and the ability to read the crowd when they want to hear more of the same sound or a desire to switch to a different sound is where a DJ’s talent also comes into play.”

9. Provide transportation.

If you’re hosting a destination wedding or your wedding is in a remote location, be sure to provide transportation for guests from their hotel to your wedding and back, says Lauren Randolph, founder of My Hotel Wedding. “This way people don’t have to worry about driving home drunk, which guarantees that they can party harder.”

10. Allow your guests plenty of free time.

This is particularly important if you have a destination wedding or a bunch of guests in from out of town, says professional wedding planner Sandy Malone of Weddings in Vieques. “Back to back activities after a long trip will run them into the ground. Let them have some time and space to explore and they’ll be refreshed and excited at all of your events.” We concur.

More from Brides:
The Most Flattering Wedding Dress for Your Body Type
Couples that Found Love on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette
The Most Creative Wedding Cakes of the Year
Gorgeous Colorful Wedding Dresses
Expecting (and Engaged!) Celebrities
Flattering and Affordable Wedding Dresses

Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Weddings on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Sign up for our newsletter here.
Style – The Huffington Post
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You talking to me? Ash Grey T-Shirt Pets Light T-Shirt by CafePress

You talking to me? Ash Grey T-Shirt Pets Light T-Shirt by CafePress


mixed doberman pincher with a humorous look….perfect for lisense plates,mugs,bumper stickers and baby items Pets Light T-Shirt Tee, TShirt, Shirt This light t-shirt will be fashionable even after the zombie Apocalypse. In fact, this shirt might be the very reason you’ll survive said Apocalypse. The light color shows you aren’t worried about getting stains – and even if you were, those stains show t
List Price: 32.5
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Excalibur Electronics Talking Planetarium

Excalibur Electronics Talking Planetarium


CLOSEOUTS . Bring the night sky inside with Excalibur Electronics’ Talking Planetarium! The voice of andquot;Einsteinandquot; can be turned on or off to narrate descriptions of the universe as you marvel at the projected images of stars and constellations. Available Colors: SEE PHOTO.
List Price: $ 29.99
Price: $ 12.95

Dog Forgot What Swimming Is, But Not What Talking Is

You may have seen that video going around of the dog that just doesn’t understand the concept of a pool.

Well, in case you were wondering what was going through that dog’s mind, the Internet is here to tell you, because the Internet has the power to tell us everything.

He just didn’t want to get his fur wet because he didn’t have any gel.

Plus, it would get all fluffy if it got wet. Gawd!

Via Tastefully Offensive
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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George Clooney Just Can’t Stop Talking About Brad Pitt

It’s official: George Clooney is totally obsessed with Brad Pitt.

Whether talking about his looks, talents, girlfriend or children, Clooney just can’t seem to stop gushing about his famous BFF. Apropos the “Gravity” star’s recent Esquire interview, let’s take a look at some of the many, many other times Clooney has name-dropped Pitt to the press in a feature we can only call: “Hollywood Bromances: 10 Signs George Clooney Is Really, Really Into Brad Pitt.”


Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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