Getting Back Into Skateboarding to Stay in Shape While Having a Blast

Way back when I was in high school (over ten years ago), I loved to go out and ride my skateboard deck all over town! Those were some truly fantastic times, my friends! There were many blissful moments where you would land a fat trick that you had practicing for eons, and actually pull it off. Tantamount to that was the learning process—where some bump, scrapes, cuts, bruises, and even the occasional broken bone came into the picture. But you bit your lip, ground your teeth and kept riding. That was the skateboarding mantra: Don’t skate if you couldn’t take it.

My friends and I all adhered strictly to our skating ways, and we loved to skate away the days, especially during the summertime. Even though the heat left us dilapidated, and really made it feel like you were riding your skateboard in a sauna, nonetheless we bore the brunt of those hot summer days and kept riding. Now, years later, I have found that my passion and affinity for this sport has been renewed again. Alive it is inside of me, and one huge plus is that I have found skateboarding to be a wonderful cardio workout that is enabling me to keep my body trim and toned, as I enter the third decade of my life on this planet.

Now just getting back into this intense sport, I have realized how shoddy that I have become over the years gone by. But, with each passing day, I am slowly but surely making strides towards getting my skills back to what they once were. This time around, I am wise and always wear protective gear when riding. The last thing I need to deal with is another broken bone and some costly medical bills that mommy and daddy won’t pay for, because I am a full grown adult.

For that matter, X Games rock and sock, too! In my opinion, and for the life of me, I am unable to comprehend how skateboarding is not in the Olympics, but twirling some fancy silk batons and playing volleyball is? Go figure, right? However, that just gives all you avid skateboarders out there even more motivation to skate on.

And skate on we shall!

Going With the Short Hair Style (Finally!)

I did it! I finally parted ways with my old hair style (all puns fully intended). I used to, forever and day, have very long hair, most often to my shoulders. However, after getting sick and tired of all of the maintenance—and I am sure that most girls out there can agree with me here, or men who have longer hair—I was burned out on always having to manage my thick locks. There are just so many different things that you have to do in order to really take care of long hair.

Now mind you, I did take excellent care of my hair. And having four brothers with male pattern baldness in the family, one could easily deduce that I did indeed dodge the hereditary genetics bullet. But, once you get tired of always having hair in your face, sweating profusely on hot summer days (especially in Arizona where I live, where it easily tops triple digits several months out of the year), and then spending hundreds of smackers at salons to get it cut, styled and colored—well, sufficed to say that short hair has welcomed me back into its loving arms.

In case you are wondering, I used to have hair that went past my shoulders. The climb up the ladder to the short hair that I sport now was a lengthy process that spanned several years. Over the past five years, or so, I have been going a little bit shorter each year. The other day, however, I decided that I had enough, and it was time to take the sheers to my head and get to cutting. From the very moment I left that hair salon, sexy women were looking my way; a lot more so than usual.

Could it be the new hair style I am sporting? I think so, my friends. Then, to confirm my suspicions, my sister and mother met up with me for lunch, and they would not stop yapping about how handsome I look. Now, I have updated my online dating profile with my new, shorter hair style look, and voila: I am getting bombarded with emails from very attractive women looking to go on dates with me. (That simply put: Rocks!)

I wish I had known that dating tip a while back. But knowing is half the battle (I know: GI JOE!). However, the lesson has been learned for me. Shorter hair is the best look for my melon, and I intend to keep it that way. Now if I could only get free premium cable channels, I think I would be on to something truly grand!

It’s Almost Time for FOOTBALL!

Well the first week of September is upon us all, and you know what that means for all of you football-loving neophytes out there: It’s nearly time for the most elite of players in the pro leagues to get locked on the gridiron and get down to business. For me—and many other football fans out there—this denotes the marking of our most anticipated time of the year. This is a very special time when we can host football parties at our homes, while getting belligerently hammered on cheap domestic beers, and tossing crunchy chips down our gullets, as we jeer, cheer and talk smack about our favorite teams and their arch rivals. It also marks the commencement of the NCAA football season, too. That means that we fervent football fanatics get our own tastes of both worlds; the best of the two, indeed!

For those of you who are not football fans, or who think that soccer is the ‘real’ football, welcome to the USA: Where football comprises big men, kicking the crap out of each other while trying to score big plays in the endzone. I for one am very excited. But, the next few days until the official first kickoff seem like eons from the present. However, that just means that I have to exercise a little bit of patience, as I eagerly await the first whistle from the white and brown, zebra-looking referees.

Talking about the officiators, man am I sure glad that that they added that overtime rule. If you are not familiar, it stemmed from the Vikings losing by three in overtime to the Saints—who went on to win it all last year. Not that the Saints, and the iconic man under center, Drew Brees, were not deserving of such accolades. But a new OT rule in the NFL means that if a team kicks a three point field goal, they don’t win, necessarily. The other team still gets one shot at it before the final stats are tallied.

Now, if the NFL would only adopt the NCAA overtime rules, where each team gets a shot from the 20 yard line, and similarly, if the NCAA would stop being so freaking money-hungry and adopt a playoff system, we would be in for a real treat. For that matter, you would not hear me complaining about an 18 game regular NFL season. The 16 games are okay. But preseason is so boring that I have to grab the tissues to mop up the tears streaming down my face. Two games is enough. Give us more action!

PLEASE? Yeah, Goodell, I am talking to you buddy!

Defining the Term ‘Bromance’ & Why I Think it so Complacent & WRONG!

One day, about four years ago, back when I was still married, my then wife and I were driving down Scottsdale Road, in Scottsdale, Arizona—and we saw two young men walking down the road laughing and goofing off. She turned to me, pointing at the men and exclaimed, “Aw, look…they are in one happy bromance.” I nearly skidded the car to a halt, one because I had never heard that terminology applied to two men, and two because it sounded so wrong right from the get-go in my mind. ‘Bro’ and ‘mance,’ combined to make one sick word: Bromance.

We actually had a little argument that night, about the connotation of this popular culture superlative and adage. I adamantly defended my stance on the topic, which was that bromance sounded like the term brother and romance combined, and really equated to some sick form of intimate, brotherly love gone WAY too far! She argued as to what the real popular culture definition is: Two guys that share an affectionate bond, but that are in no way intimate with one another. Still, if you ask me, the term mentally strikes me as the latter. But definitions are definitions, no matter how wrong they may seem.

Curious, I pulled up the term on Wikipedia, and she was right. They say on there that it can be defined as the following. “A bromance or man-crush is a close but non-sexual relationship between two (or more) men, a form of homosocial intimacy. Coined in the 1990s, the term has typically referred to a relationship between heterosexuals influenced by the effect of second wave feminism in the United States or related movements elsewhere in the world as a lot of the younger males, who are more emotionally expressive and responsive than previous generations, were brought up by feminist mothers of the 1970s.

“Bromance” is a portmanteau of the words “bro” or “brother” and “romance.” Editor Dave Carnie coined the term in the skateboard magazine Big Brother in the 1990s to refer specifically to the sort of relationships that develop between skaters who spent a great deal of time together.”

Turns out she was correct in the end. But still, I have trouble envisioning or using this word whatsoever. It is just because I feel it is wrong to combine brother and romance into some offbeat grammatical concoction that even though it has no harm, it sounds daftly mistaken. But then again, that’s just my two cents.

Funky Hair Colors Can Rock—But They Can Be Messy, Too!

Once upon a time, I had hair that was a bit longer than my hair is currently. I was always playing out in a band, and I was constantly changing up my hair dew, nearly to the point of that of which a young girl in high school who has a cosmetologist for a mother would do. (No really, I knew some girls like that in high school, and they always were changing up their hair styles and colors; nearly on a weekly basis.) Today, however, I would like to dip into the remuneration that you can experience if you decide to go with a crazy color for your hair style – like this girl in the drawing to the upper left has – and just what you can expect if you do opt to dye your hair using one of those funky-colored hair dyes.

For me, I decided that I wanted black hair with blue streaks in it, and all over the place, for a really big show my band was playing. So I phoned my stylist, who is still on my cell phone’s speed dial, by the way, and made an appointment. About four hours later, I left the hair salon with smoking hair that was blue and black, streaked and chic, and ready to rock out at that show like a real star. That was the fun part, then I was made aware of why most people do not use fancy colors, like blue—and in my case this really deep midnight blue hair dye—to upgrade their hair styles with. You want to know why? Because they get all over the freaking place, that is why!

I recall being at that show and watching blue beads of sweat drip everywhere. By the time the show was over, I was covered in blue on my neck and face. Everywhere I went to for a few months following, the same thing: Blue, blue and more blue! I am unable to recant how many towels, bed sheets and shirts I destroyed during my stint with a blue hair style. But sufficed to say, it turned out to be quite a costly endeavor for me in the end. I suppose that the moral of this story is rather simple at heart: Make sure you know what you are getting into before you go for an outlandish blue hair style like I did. And yes, I was quite frequently called a smurf when I was sporting those dark blue locks!

People of Wal-Mart

Imagine my horror when I opened up an email from one of my friends and it featured a very heavy set woman wearing a pair of hot pants and a halter top. I continued to scroll down this email and found several other pictures of people who simply threw on whatever they had and walked into Wal-Mart. I was completely blinded by what people thought was appropriate and what they thought fit them!

I thought about it and remembered what a friend once told me. She said that if the outfit makes you feel good, then you should wear it. I am here, now with proof, that this is not the case. Sites like www.PeopleofWalmart.com would not exist if others did not judge you by your clothing. Is it right to judge by your appearance, no. However, there is no other way to make a decision as to if we are going to talk to you or not! You DO NOT have a sign above you that says “I really am nice, friendly and put together.” Instead you have a wardrobe that speaks for you.

One such outfit that I saw on the website was a woman wearing leggings and a little tank top. This in itself is a fashion no-no, but it was the condition of the leggings and tank top that shocked me. Both of them had holes all over them and in the most erotic locations. The woman may have been the nicest person on earth, but dressed as she was, there was only one thought in my mind. Remember, if you wear the uniform, you will be taken as whatever the uniform is, even if you are not that type of person. If you want to be respected, wear a respectful outfit. If you want to be taken as a cheap woman, then dress like it.

How do you avoid getting on a website like People of Wal-Mart? Well, it’s actually not that hard. Before you step out the door, take a good look in the mirror. Do not look to see if it is just an outfit you like, but look to see what the outfit says about you. Just because the outfit is bright doesn’t mean it says that you are cheery. If the cut is haphazard, then the outfit is saying that you are childish, rather than a put together adult. Do not walk out the door with ill fitting clothing or things you would expect to see on a child. Do not walk out with clothing that you would expect to find standing on a corner.

Another common mistake is to wear the wrong gender clothing. Women, men’s jeans may have wider legs and more exact sizes, but they are not designed for a woman’s body. The men’s jeans will make you look like you have a man’s crouch, rather than a woman’s. Men, you cannot fit into women’s clothing. Please stop trying. Please wear gender appropriate shoes and shirts as well. It’s really not hard and it does make you look so much better. Really.

Mullets Everywhere!!!

I do have my fellow blogger, Michael, to blame for this one. He brought the mullet back to my attention. If it were not his sharp eye for the bad fashion sense of the 1980’s and the south, then I might not have noticed it this past weekend. Instead, I noticed this eye sore all too often. And it was not just the men who sported it, it was their children and their women as well. God help us if the mullet ever actually makes it back to the “popular” hairstyle.

While I can forgive the mullet on men as simple poor fashion advice, I have a harder time forgiving the women. Children get an automatic pass, but the parents should be condemned for subjecting their children to such a hideous hairstyle. What is even worse than the original mullet is when it is allowed to grow, providing the person with the shaggy appearance.

A mullet was originally designed as being a haircut for those people who are interested in having a “business” look in the front and a “party” look in the back. This made it a man’s hair cut. The business look meant a very short and well kept. The back, or party side, was meant to be long but well trimmed. This side could easily be pulled into a low pony tail and tucked under, providing the appearance of short hair. While the theory behind this style is commendable, it was never applied right and never went off like it was thought that it might.

Instead what typically happened was that the front was cut too long and the hair was allowed to curl up. This gave it the appearance of a cheap perm. The hair in the back was allowed to come too far forward and the hair was allowed to go too long without a trim. This gave the person split ends and damaged hair. This was made worse if the person tipped their front hair or dyed their hair at all.

Women have the benefit of not needing to wear the short front and still looking professional. Most people expect women to have long hair, although the short hair is also very professional. The mullet gives women the appearance of being unable to decide what they want to do with their hair. If a woman cannot make a decision about her hair, how can she function in a professional environment? If you have a mullet, cut the hair in the back to a modern pixy and get out of the 80’s please.

Children should never be subjected to the mullet. Even in the 80’s the mullet was thought to be a bad idea for children. It used to be common to allow the kids to grow out their hair during the summer and have it cut again at the beginning of the school year. To send your child to school with a mullet is only opening the child up to teasing and torment by his or her fellow students who are a little more fashion aware. Please parents, spare your child the pain of the mullet. It does not do them justice. And really, please quit the hairspray in your kid’s mullet to make it “bigger”. It is not the ‘80’s any more. No one wants the big hair and the mullet was never cool.

Ode’ to Beer: Top Ten Reasons to Suck Down Some Suds Tonight!

Most men that I know love to drink beer. I also have been known to greatly appreciate the tingly tickle of a rich lager pouring softly down my throat. Beer seemingly has been around for ages, and it has many different forms, tastes and history in our society. For me, I have loved beer since the day I first turned 21 years old, and could start bar-hopping and buying it legally. So I feel it of some sort of significance to explain why I enjoy this frothy, bubbly brew so much. And perhaps to offer you other beer protagonists out there with even more ample fodder so that you can justify popping the top on that brown bottle and enjoying a delicious glass of beer tonight!

Top Ten Reasons to Drink More Beer!

  1. We all know that a few beers give you a nice buzz; at least for most people. So if you have had a long day at work, chances are you can hear those bottles whispering in your ear in soft voices all day long. Once you get home, there is no shame, pop one open and enjoy it!
  2. Sports broadcasts. This one is nearly self explanatory. However, if you love to watch sports, beer is a timeless staple to this drinking endeavor.
  3. Beer goggles. I think that more men and women have made sexual mistakes due to beer goggles. Then again, is there really any harm in having a night of fun, even if you wake up regretting it the next day? Blame beer, and then drink another one down as you shake off the memory.
  4. Weddings. You love your best pal, and you are happy he or she is getting married. But let’s face it, weddings can be very long, drawn out and boring; even if they are beautiful. So all the more reason to get a few beers in your system, and start the reception early.
  5. Back country bug zapper competitions. There are some places in the US where there literally is nothing to do. That being said, beer can really make a night hovered around the bug zapper quite an interesting affair.
  6. You just got fired. Man does that suck for anyone and just about everyone, unless you were planning on quitting already. Go ahead, slam a few beers. You deserve it!
  7. Boredom woes easily resolved. There can be those never-ending days where you are just bored to tears. But beer can make everything better. So what are you waiting for?
  8. Beer is healthy for your heart. According to an article on Forbes, beer is actually healthy for your heart. They say, “a number of studies are showing that moderate consumption of alcohol, including beer, can have similar heart healthy effects, including making men 30 to 35% less likely to have a heart attack than those who abstain.”
  9. The classic clanking of bottles. There is just something about the resounding clank of beer bottles banging together when toasts are made that is second-to-none.
  10. And the top reason to drink some more beer today: Getting hammered. Let’s face the facts: We can all have some really cruddy days. But beer is your best friend during such tumultuous times. Forget about why you are seeking escapism with a controlled substance like alcohol. Go ahead, crack a fresh bottle open and enjoy—as your worries melt away in the foamy goodness!

Fall Fashion

As much as it pains me, the summer is almost over. This means it is time to start looking at a fall wardrobe. There are some fundamental differences between the summer wardrobe and the fall wardrobe. This does not mean that you cannot incorporate pieces from your summer wardrobe into your fall wardrobe though, providing that the pieces are temperature appropriate.

Texture and Weight

Fall is a time in which the temperature begins its decent into the realm of the cold. This does not mean that it is cold yet, but that it could easily become cold. Fall is the time of layering pieces to ensure that you do not freeze. Some of the best pieces for fall are light weight sweaters that feature the short sleeves and wider neck lines. These pieces can be layered with a small wrap or a tank top under them.

The texture for clothing that is fall appropriate should be cotton and a knit. This does not mean that you should be wearing a heavy sweater, but rather that the knit should be a thin and light weight knit material. Be careful that the outfit does not allow you to see through it. Look in a mirror under bright light and low light. Look for bra out lines or shifts in color that would be where your undergarments are located. If you can see your skin tone, then the knit is too open to be used alone. If you see this, put a tank top under the piece. Knit should only be worn on the top, not as a bottom.

Color

Fall is a more drab time of year. This is not to say that there is not burst of color in the fall time. The trees are alive with the fire colors and the sky can frequently still have the beautiful blue color to it. The grass may not be as green as it was, but it is not yet covered with the white of snow. There are some flowers that bloom in this transition time and will appear like oasis of summer and light in the fall world.

Take your que from nature. Wear colors that are vibrant in reds and browns. Small amounts of glitter or sparkle can be worn in your outfits to help to draw more light to you. A great way to get this look is to buy sweaters that have a single strand of metallic thread laced in with the threads used to create the knit. This helps to add a sparkle to the outfit with out over doing it.

Your bottoms should be weather appropriate. If it is cold, please skip the short skirts and hot pants. These outfits are more appropriate for summer. The skirts should be a little longer and walking shorts or Burmuda shorts are much more appropriate for this time of year. On damp days, consider wearing a pair of light weight jeans. Browns and blacks promise to be very popular this year as people are becoming more utilitarian clothing this year.

Cut

As we have discussed before, the cut of your outfits is very important. It helps to define your shape and define the outfit in general. Since it is fall, the ¾ sleeve is going to be more appropriate than the French cut sleeves. The V neck is very popular this year and I suspect it will remain popular as the season shifts. The great thing about the V neck is that it is a great shape for people with ample and not so ample bosoms.

The A line skirt is going to be a big hit this year. This skirt will provide people who do not have a lot of hip some additional shape. Those who are not lacking in hip will find that the skirt will help to balance their shape better than skirts that are pencil shaped. The mermaid skirts are not in this season.

Accessories

There is never enough talk about the accessories. This fall, the accessories are taking a card from the summer look. This includes big and bold pieces. Expect to see a lot of bold colors and clunky styles in the stores. Purses will act as the pops of color and the pieces of jewelry will have a brilliant look. Shoes should also act as pieces of interest. Jackets are not for warmth in this season, but rather as fashion accessories. The Pea coat is still the top of the line jacket and the large buttons help to add a balance to the outfit. Skip the hats early in the fall and allow a bright hair color or modern cut stand out.

First Fridays Twin Cities

First Fridays and Wenso Ashby featuring Zsame and the Brothers of Alpa Phi Alpha Inc. bring you
Summer Sounds Of Soul at:

om
401 North 1st Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 338-1510

On September 3, 2010, FFTC is collaborating with
Wenso Ashby featuring Zsame and the Brothers of  Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
We will start networking  at 9pm until 2am.

10 PM: Wenso Ashby featuring Zsame will perform
11 PM Faces of the Month Presentation
Dj Glenn Spinnig Grown folks music continuously all night.
21+ Event – No Athletic wear plz!

More updates to come….. Stay tuned.
http://www.firstfridaystwincities.net/