Archive for the ‘how to’ Category

How to Improve American Idol

May 24, 2009



As Simon Cowell reiterated throughout Season 8, this is a talent competition. Yet the American public has all sorts of reasons for voting for their candidate, often having nothing to do with talent. The judges are professionals who recognize it when they see it, yet their professional opinions are not factored into the voting  results. This is not fair to the contestants.

For the first time in Season 8 we saw the show give the judges a little more clout in the results by giving them a “save” to use one time to help a losing contestant, Matt Giraud,  who they deemed to have promise.  Whey not give them more influence on the results, to balance politics vs a true talent search? 

These professional judges should be part of the voting process. They would have to unanimously agree on their candidate, just like they did with the pass. Then a formula should be created where their vote factors in with the public vote…Say 50%? 

This would at least help to prevent travesties such as we witnessed in the Lambert/Allen fiasco.


Soul Sketching

February 13, 2009


This wonderful collaboration grew  from my two friends at Cafe Crem,  Susan Cornelis and Kevin Moore.  There’s so much more to discover about their talent:

Artist: Susan Cornelis

 Website: Imagine with Art

Art Blog: Susan’s Art and Sketchbook Blog

Composer and Musician: Kev Moore


Blog: Cafe Crem

Great Parenting DVD

October 29, 2008

A couple I’m working with blew me away with a DVD they have of a pediatrician who teaches mirroring to young parents. Mirroring is literally just that, imitating the communication of the child so that he or she feels you’re speaking their language. The toddler then  feels understood, and cooperative.  He is Dr. Harvey Karp – the DVD is The Happiest Toddler on the Block.

Among other things he teaches mirroring of facial expressions, body language and sounds. His basic tenet is don’t talk to toddlers like they’re little adults because they’re not; their language skills are far more primal.  You have to literally  get down to their level. He also has another one, The Happiest Baby on the Block which I have not yet reviewed.

The results looked startlingly effective to ward off and/or stop tantrums.  His website is I can tell you one thing for sure. When my kids present me with grandchildren, this will be one of the first gifts I give them.

Here he is in action:


The Present for You

October 17, 2008


Here is a present for you:

Focus solely on the present below, thinking of nothing else but the image of that present…the colors….the shapes…focus for as long as you can…and then, when you’re ready, open the present and see what you find…



In  doing this exercise you are already practicing being present…experiencing peace and release from worries about tomorrow.

What did you find when you opened your present?

What Do You Do When You Can’t Sleep?

July 10, 2008

Me?  I: 

1. Reach for my laptop.

2. Catch up on reading other people’s blogs.

3. Try to write a post of my own. Can’t. Creativity is still sleeping.

4. Attempt to clean out my mailbox. Realize I have a serious email hoarding problem.

5. Pick up that boring novel I’ve been reading, then wonder why on earth I’m still reading it if its so boring. Do I have to know the ending? Will the world stop if I never find out? 

6. Listen to the birds begin their morning chirping and wonder, really cranky now, what on earth there is to to sing about when you’re up at 5:30 a.m. ?

7. Write a silly list like this which actually IS putting me to sleep – and probably you too…

8. Keep pushing because it just feels like there should be ten things here…

9. Notice my two cats snoozing happily at the foot of my bed and, not for the first time, feel jealous of the life of a cat. At least, my pampered cats. Though, on second thought, I wouldn’t want to have to eat their stinky cat food. Ew.

10. Consider learning more about my new mac, which is so easy that its hard, and decide I’d rather be sleeping…

What do YOU do when you can’t sleep?  

Nite all…No, correct that to Good Morning….

Abuse & Disease: A New Spin

July 1, 2008

Chronic illness feels like an abusive relationship. I should know, I was in one. 

I only just made this analogy  yesterday. A friend was talking about a controlling relationship which her daughter, M.,  is stuck with until M.’s child turns 18. Every time she gets thru one crisis with the father of her child, who feeds on her angst like a shark feeds on a flailing, tasty human, calm returns and for a while she feels some semblance of normalcy.  

She goes on living as if no further emotional assault will occur, and is truly re-traumatized each and every time.  How could this be happening again????…..the raging powerlessness I know she feels as he uses their child as a pawn between them, a pawn in a game she cannot win.

She will not use Solomon’s sword. He would.

Jump back to me, stuck in bed again with my lupus flare. Like it or not, stuck with it. My body, my life, my work, my marriage,  my family –  all affected by this nasty disease. Assaulted by it.  And I feel powerless, and furious…. so furious….  a  raging powerlessness in a fight I cannot win. A fight which will probably kill me. An abusive relationship doesn’t get much worse than that.

And then I feel better again, a semblance of normalcy is restored (key word semblance) , until the next assault by the disease.  At which point I feel shocked and traumatized that the flare has flattened me again.  Just like M. feels. 

There’s nothing we can do about it, right? 

Wrong, actually. I heard myself advising M.’s mom that M. needs to accept that it is what it is. He will never change. His tactics will never change. I would imagine any boxer would tell you its the punch they didn’t see coming that knocked them out.  So…umm…when are M. and I going to admit to ourselves that she had a child with a power and control freak, and I have a very serious medical condition which does not go away just because I get remissions? 

What we both need to do is to see it coming, know its coming, but accept the breaks in between with  the grace,  joy and  wisdom to appreciate the present.  When you know its coming you can have a back up plan. For her it might be disengaging from his game and gathering  the support she needs. Not to detail her victimization but to go out with her friends for a good time,  or treat herself to a day at the spa. It won’t change a blessed thing about the situation, but regardless of whether she suffers or pampers herself while he does his thing- nothing else will change. So since it is what it is, I vote for pampering at such times. Nurturing herself rather than berate herself because she can’t win.

So, as is often the case, in giving my friend advice I gave it to myself. I stopped fighting this flare today and accepted the reality that I need to take a week off from work even though  I HATE canceling clients. I decided to take advantage of the abusive (insert your favorite curse word here) lupus and treat myself. I mean, just because I can’t go to work doesn’t mean I can’t work on my hobbies which I never have enough time for.  I can decoupage, make jewelry, plan craft projects, read, watch movies, all from the comfort of my nice snuggy bed.  It won’t change anything, but…to tell you the truth… I am actually looking forward to my week off now… 

It is what it is.  😉



Couples Clue Phone #5

April 2, 2008


Artist: Dante Gabriel Rosetti

I hate when I hear clients or professionals talking about having to “work at” a sexual relationship. That sounds about as exciting as cleaning the bathroom. Maintaining (or resurrecting) the sexual chemistry in a relationship is an art. Repeat: art. Its about flirting and seduction. 

I ask you, does this lovely lady look like she’s working?

10 Ways to Save $ on Food

March 1, 2008

I ran across  this article and thought some could find it helpful:

When the Woman in Your Life is Crying

February 26, 2008

I just ran across this wonderful piece by lirone.  Please, men everywhere, do read what to do When the Woman in Your Life is Crying . Women should read it too, both to feel validated and maybe to send it to your man.

Couples Clue Phone #2 by Psychscribe

February 19, 2008


 No matter how much your partner criticizes or complains about his or her extended family, don’t chime in. If you do, your partner will turn on you like a wolf foaming at the mouth.  We can’t help it. Its our nature to defend our blood kin. Must be some kind of evolutionary thing for safety.  Better to wait for another time to tactfully complain about a particular behavior to the person who bothers you. That way you keep your partner out of a nasty triangle which cannot do your relationships any good at all.

Copyright 2008 by Psychscribe

How Ear Plugs Saved My Marriage

December 10, 2007

I do NOT snore. Women don’t snore. It isn’t feminine. Its embarrassing to be told the whole house shakes like  its been hit by a mack truck when you sleep.

So I’ve insisted he is delusional, despite the fact that my husband’s morning smile  has morphed over time from a frown, to a snarl, to a downright nasty growl. The kind, protective war hero I’d married had been making me feel like it was every man for himself. He’d been threatening to sleep in the other room which neither of us wants since we are both cuddlers.  We’ve always said that if our marriage ever got to that sorry state of affairs we might as well split. I was kind of, sort of worried…not really…

But finally I noticed, over time, that his acting out behavior had stopped. His disposition was better in the morning. The smile was back.  Today I went into his night stand looking for something and came across  foam ear plugs.  He never said a word to further assault my dignity now that a solution had been found. And neither will I.

My hero is back.

How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Relationship

December 4, 2007

Several years ago Pat Love Ed.D. and Sunny Shulkin Ph.D., two Imago trainers and therapists, published a book titled How to Ruin a Perfectly Good RelationshipBelow is part of their list of some behaviors they identify which can, indeed, ruin a relationship:

  • Control everything and everyone
  • Never take the blame yourself; instead, make your partner wrong
  • Make it a habit to spend more money than you have
  • Win every fight, even the ones you couldn’t care less about
  • Keep score
  • Use threat often
  • Find your partner’s weak spot and use it against him/her
  • When your partner tries to please you, find fault with their efforts
  • Hold fast to the belief: “If you loved me you would know what I want”
  • Demand your partner remain faithful but refuse to meet his or her sexual needs
  • Use silence as a weapon
  • Pretend that you don’t hear
  • When your partner tries to apologize, bring up more complaints
  • Refuse to give information
  • When you realize you haven’t given your partner some important info, insist that you did
  • Claim to be the only one interested in the relationship
  • Never ask for help
  • Confide only in friends
  • Take it personally when your partner wants time alone
  • Discount your partner’s physical complaints
  • Give advice where it isn’t welcome
  • Never pick up after yourself
  • Refuse to seek help for your depression
  • Refuse to talk
  • Focus on changing your partner
  • Focus all your needs on sex
  • Take all problems as further proof that the relationship will not work
  • Put your friends before your partner
  • Keep romantic gestures to a minimum
  • Focus on your partner’s faults and deny your own
  • Let days go by without a kind word or loving gesture
  • Practice verbal abuse
  • Do not listen to your partner’s ideas or suggestions
  • Ask your partner to share feelings and when s/he does, EXPLODE
  • Start conversations when your partner is busy, or better yet, exhausted
  • Let disagreements fester
  • Say what you think your partner wants to hear, then do as you please

What do you think? Do you find yourself here?