Manic Monday and Top Cat’s Tuesday Top 10: Top 10 Most Common Annoyances/Pet Peeves

So the other day I was reading the incredibly popular and inspiring information website Huffington Post and found an article that they had published on a topic that hits close to home for me: Pet Peeves. We all know that I have an affinity for writing about them: Here, here, and here are some examples. The article from Huffington Post showcases a chosen 76 Incredibly Accurate Pet Peeves That Will Drive. You. Nuts. After reading this article, I realized that not only do I feel good about the particular Pet Peeves that I have; but I’m pretty sure that 75% of the population is walking around with a vein popping out of their forehead due to the stress that is being inflicted by our pet peeves. So to make the people afflicted by these pet peeves feel less alone (and the fact that I guess I’m addicted to making Top Ten lists), I’m reviewing this article and integrating two of my blog types. So here are my Top Ten Pet Peeves that are Guaranteed to Drive You Nuts! 

10. When you let a car cut in front of you and they DON’T WAVE TO THANK YOU!!!! Same goes to you ‘Ms. I stopped at the cross walk even though I didn’t have to so you could walk across the road at the mall/Walmart’.

9. People who talk over you when you’re clearly still in the middle of a sentence.

8. Slow drivers who stay in the ‘fast lane’ and don’t allow you to go past them. This also goes for groups of people or people in general who walk slowly or stop suddenly in the middle of a sidewalk or aisle. MOVE!

7. People who constantly say ‘no offense’ as if it takes away from the extremely mean thing that you just said!

6. Strangers who listen to their music through the phone’s speaker, instead of headphones.

5. People who purposely use bad grammar and do not correct their spelling.

4. People who don’t cover their mouths when they sneeze or cough.

3. People who smoke cigarettes or use electronic cigarettes around non-smoking. And your e-cigarette or ‘vape’ is still smoking. Smoking is smoking.

2. People who scuff their feet as they walk down the street, especially if they’re wearing flip flops, boots or UGGs. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST…

  1. Loud chewing, or people chewing with their mouths open. This also covers people who chew gum loudly and attempt to blow bubbles in confined quarters.

*Maybe this list will make you and your quirks feel a little bit ‘less weird’. Don’t feel ostracized by your pet peeves. You can’t help that you want to smack your friend in the face when she’s chewing her gum with her mouth open. 😉

The Obligatory Thanksgiving Blog

Thanksgiving is a time of mixed bag of emotions for most Americans. There are those of us who are privy to the ugly truth of the original Thanksgiving dinner wasn’t that pretty for the Native Americans. Then you have the sadness of loved ones that aren’t with you this year. Ultimately Thanksgiving time should be a time of giving Thanks. A time to realize the blessings that have been bestowed upon us and spend time with those that we love.

This year, I make a choice to say some of the things that I am truly grateful for…since we know that I love to make a list of things. 🙂

I am thankful for my salvation and for God. Whether you are a Christian and believe in the Judeo-Christian God as I do, a Pastafarianism who worships the Flying Spaghetti monster, or if you are an atheist; I respect your belief in something (or nothing at all) and I hope that you respect mine. God has blessed me beyond belief and I would be remiss to not include God in this list.

I am very blessed to have a lovely family (both immediate and by marriage). I am very thankful for them and the beauty that they bring to my life. I am thankful for a beautiful and supportive wife who has blessed me with a son that no one could have ever told me would bring so much pride and happiness. I am thankful to have parents who are not only wonderful, supporting people but they are my biggest fans. They are proud of everything that we do and support the decisions that we make.

I am thankful to have a small yet amazing group of friends and acquaintances that bring a joy to my life that is inexplicable. Their presence in my life brings balance to anything else that might lack. Over the years, we may not always see one another like we want to but know that I love you all and do thank God for you.

I am thankful to be an American. I am thankful to be an American despite any embarrassment that I am might feel due to the negative political climate in this country. I feel that I am blessed to be able to enjoy these particular set of freedoms that I think that we sometimes take for granted.

I am thankful for relatively good health and sanity. I may not have the perfect body but I am so blessed and so glad to have my health and sanity. I never look down on anyone with a disability but it makes you realize just how lucky we are…..just being able to wake up and walk around. These little things are taken for granted and it is a blessing and a privilege.

Along with being thankful for sanity, I am thankful and oh so blessed to have had an education. My parents worked extra hard to send me to college and I am so thankful for that. I am thankful for the education that I received which fueled a lifetime love for reading and writing. For the education which led to a degree that allowed me to work in a job that stresses me to no end….but I do love it.

I am thankful for entertainment. As corny as that may sound; I am thankful for the things that I have in my that make me happy. Without He-Man,  Washington Redskins football, music, comic books, Doctor Who, Wrestling (aka Sports entertainment), and any other random fandom or part of pop culture that entertains me; just imagine how boring life would be. These forms of entertainment help keep me sane and gives a welcome break from the mundanity of our every day lives.

I am thankful for you. The select few that chose to read these blogs. No matter how few of you that there are….I am thankful you. I am thankful that you search for knowledge and entertainment in other places. I am thankful that you believe in me. Thank you for allowing my voice to be heard!

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Top Cat’s Top Ten: 10 Ways Men can Help Make their Wife/Girlfriend Happier

equalsSo I recently watched the movie Equals starring Kristen Stewart (Twilight) and Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: Apocalypse, Warm Bodies). The movie takes place in a dystopian, Orwellian like future in which all emotions are not only outlawed but are medically sought to be bred out. Emotions are viewed as a disease in this futuristic society. The illegal love (which was WAY too reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984) made me think about the way that some people are emotionally and sometimes quite literally out of it in a relationship. Since I do love making Top Ten lists, I figured that today’s list would be the Top Ten ways in which Men can Help to make their wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, lover, or whatever you have happier in your relationship.

Just listen: It’s not always easy to listen to someone else’s problems but it is viable to us all to have someone that we think cares about the things that we have going on in our lives. If we don’t make our significant others feel as if they can communicate with us then they will be something important that is lacking that in your relationship. And chances are they will seek that attachment from someone else.

Know and respect that Women are Different: It’s good to acknowledge and appreciate the fact that a woman is not only physically but emotionally different than their male counterparts. Most women are more emotional and more ‘touchy-feely’ than you are. And just like our section on listening, women usually tell stories that will be longer than your stories. Women explain things differently than men. That’s a fact. If she is out shoe shopping, she’s thinking about 8,000 different scenarios…so don’t give her a hard time. You should relish in the fact that she actually wants to spend time with you. Know her differences and the nuances that make up YOUR partner. Just by remembering the specific things that she looks for in your relationship will keep her happy. And by God isn’t a good thing?

Pay Attention to Your Partner: A good relationship is built on getting along. You have to get along with one another. So it helps to also be your partner’s best friend. I often see meme’s around the time that football, basketball, or hunting season is going to start that say “We interrupt this marriage to bring you Hunting Season.” or “I’m so happy its hunting season!” Said no wife with young children, ever.” These are said in jest but I can imagine that no woman wants to feel like they are a second choice: TO ANYTHING. With that being said, a partner should allow their partner to do things that make them happy with moderation. If you’re happiness comes at making everyone else around you miserable, then your happiness comes with too large of a cost. This time of paying attention is not just in regards to the sexual realm. While the physical aspects of a relationship are important, the emotional aspects of a relationship also lie deeply important to your partner. When they talk to you, they might not be looking for you to solve the problems that they bring to you. They just want to know that you care. Sometimes just spending that moment with them is worth a lot.

Sexual Healing: Country singer Brad Paisley knows that sometimes a back rub means only a back rub. And men especially need to remember that affection does not always mean sex. Foreplay doesn’t always take place in the bed. Foreplay is sometime that starts in the morning and lasts throughout the day. How do you talk and or treat your wife? Do you treat her as if she’s the most beautiful woman in the world even when her hair is up in curlers and she hasn’t brushed her teeth yet? Do you come home in the afternoon and speak rudely to your wife just because you’re still fuming over what your boss said to you at work? Sometimes you never know what your actions can do to someone’s feelings. We all get complacent in our relationship. We get comfortable and this comfort can come between us. Don’t take that person for granted. Treat them like a princess or King. The Bible says that “Love is patient, love is kind.” If you’ve been to a Christian’s wedding, you’ve more than likely heard the section from 1 Corinthians chapter 13 verses 4-8. Even non-Christians can find truth in this section of text. And just a side note: your happiness for the week may be a foot massage away. It is the little things.

Spend some time with them: To go along with what I said about paying attention to your partner, it is equally important to spend time with them. Depending on what your partner is interested in, take them somewhere that you know will matter to them. If you really hate the ballet but she loves ballet…TAKE HER! Suck it up and take her to the ballet without complaining. Be involved in your partner’s life. Even the boring, mundane parts that you think are so inconsequential. Taking time to be involved and care about the things that your partner loves makes the difference in a happy relationship. Now this goes both ways. Your wife may hate football, but it wouldn’t hurt her to sit down and watch a game with you every now and then. With that being said, if she’s in her craft room don’t crack that third beer. Go sit with her for a while and do something with her. FYI: Being in the same room, even sitting on the same couch, IS NOT SPENDING TIME WITH THEM. Do something. Go out if she’s social. Do something at home if she’s a home body.

Just KNOW Her!: As my dad’s favorite musician Percy Sledge says in one of his most famous songs, “Take time to know her. Its not an over night thing.” There is a reason that people had such a long courting ritual long ago….its because it allowed the two to respectively get to know one another. Now I know that some of them used that time to settle dowries and arrangements but it was mostly intended for the potential bride and groom to get to know one another. In a world of Facebook and instant potatoes, we are used to getting things as soon as we can and I think that we rush relationships. We need to take time to realize the nuances and things that make your potential love….them. Some women want balloons, flowers, chocolates, and jewelry for Valentines but my wife doesn’t see the point in spending all that money for something like that. My wife would rather me take that money and make an extra car payment. The key to this scenario is to know her. Take the time to know what makes her happy.

A Woman’s Work is Never Done: Ever sat back and realized how hard that a working mother or woman actually does work? Most of the time we expect food to be on the table, the kids to be washed, and for our wife to be smiling at the door awaiting a kiss. But that’s not realistic. The working mother ((as the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated in their yearly survey) over 60% of married mother’s work outside of the home) usually is the ‘soccer mom’ that hauls kids to soccer practice, karate, or t-ball. To expect the house to be spotless and food prepared on time after the woman of the house has also worked an 8 hour work day is preposterous. So not only should you appreciate what your woman (or partner) does, but you should be willing to help. Like my wife says, there is nothing sexier than a man washing dishes.

Make her Laugh: Andrew Carnegie said, “There is little success where there is little laughter.” This is especially true in relationships. Ever heard that a woman loves a guy with a good sense of humor? If you make your wife or partner laugh then they will enjoy spending time with you and wanting to spend time with you is pretty important. Being light-hearted and allowing yourself to get closer to one another is such a vital part of any relationship.

Tell Her that she’s Beautiful: Everyone wants to be wanted. Every man and woman wants to feel not only appreciated but they want to feel as if they are attractive. They want to not only feel it but to hear that you find them that way. So….tell her that she’s beautiful. Notice her new haircut and compliment her on it. Be observant! Take her to get a manicure and pedicure and tell her how beautiful she looks. Walk by her as she’s sitting in her chair, kiss her forehead and tell her that she’s beautiful. Do these things….but mean them when you say them or do them. There are a lot of people that are not affectionate and your spouse understands that but you can find a way to do it…in your own special way.

Take Care of Her: Respecting your wife or partner is key. If you she has a headache and you know that she’s trying to relax on the couch, go to the fridge and get a cold rag to place on her forehead. Know that she has a long trip to take the next day? Make sure that she has gas in her car. Know that she has had a tough day at work? Take her out to eat or prepare something for her at home. Just taking the weight off someone’s shoulders is such an important thing to keep them happy. Keeping someone from being too stressed will allow them to keep a sane mind. Taking care of her is not just financially.

(((—)))

Note that I am not a perfect husband. I’m not a perfect man. I’m not a trained sociologist that has training with relationships. What I do have are these suggestions. Take them with a grain of salt but more than anything show love, have respect and now true affection.

God Bless.

Thor’s Thursday Tour: Mama Dips of Chapel Hill

carolina-thorInside one of the three corners of the Research Triangle Park in the piedmont region of North Carolina lies a quaint yet legendary southern food restaurant that has been serving Chapel Hill since 1976. Thor had heard of the legend from fan’s of his favorite college football team: The North Carolina Tar Heels. The restaurant has been an after game ritual for many Tar Heel fans and Thor had to experience this himself.

Thor sadly witnessed his beloved Tar Heels lose at the hands of the much-loathed Duke Blue Devils; so he and his fellow Tar Heel Fans were in need of some food that would bring happiness to tattered hearts. mama-dips-logoIt was a good thing that Thor was within walking distance of Mama Dips. The southern food restaurant was waiting with open arms to greet the defeated Tar Heel fans and the smell of their home made sweet potato biscuits permeated the air as they walked through the door. Thor ordered their juicy fried chicken and as many fixings as he could imagine. The delicious home cooked taste warmed his heart and refueled his Godly body. Thor devoured his meal and two baskets of those delicious smelling sweet potato biscuits which he liberally slathered with butter.

mama-dips-foodAfter his meal was disposed of, his waitress brought forth a platter of deserts to assuage the sweet tooth that he thought could never be satisfied. Upon his request the chocolate pecan pie covered with a heavy dollop of vanilla ice cream satisfied any assuaged sweet tooth. An opportunity to experience such stupefyingly delectable fare brought joy to his defeated heart and made the Tar Heels defeat taste a little better in his mouth. He flew back to Asgard to tell his brethren of the goodness that he had experienced at Mama Dips. He knew that he would return as soon as his next group of adventures relented and allowed him the free time to wander his beloved Earth realm once more.

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Thor was called to wield Mjolnir into action due to one of his compatriots trying to steal his sweet potato biscuits. 

That Breathe of Fresh Air doesn’t always have to be taken Outside.


Most of my Monday posts are my manic complaints about how aggravating that the things around me can be and my Tuesday’s are riddled with my lists of things that I love; but today I figured that I would take a different approach.

It wasn’t too long after the first that I met my wife, Chastity, it was very evident that she had a green thumb. She hit it off well with my grandmother whom I always said had two green thumbs because my grandparent’s closed in garage was not for my grandpa’s Mercury; the car port was for my grandmother’s deep freezers (full of food to keep her family fed) and tables overflowing with beautiful plants and flowers of all shapes and sizes. So that I don’t reminisce too much, I’ll just say that I knew about the benefit of some plants before I met my wife through my grandmother. Have a sun burn? Break off a piece of the aloe vera plant. To liven up a stuffy house during the winter months? Bring inside your snake plant. It wasn’t until the beginning of the school year (a couple of years ago) that I was about to start and I wanted a plant for my classroom that I truly started to realize the positive impact that having a ‘plant’ inside can have on your life. Funny what happens when you actually start listening to your spouse when they know something.

office-plants-1I feel that it would be a travesty to not share something that could be pivotal to your health. So, the air quality of your office building, apartment or upstairs bedroom might not be your number 1 priority but it should be something to think about. Air quality of enclosed spaces is important enough that NASA itself does an immense amount of research on the topic. The indoor air pollutants that we encounter every day is staggering. The indoor environment does not have the freedom that our outside environment does (think wind blowing away dust, fresh air, rain washing away pollutants, etc). The stagnant indoor environment is a breeding ground for contaminants. Being that most adults spend about 90% of our working hours indoors; it is a good idea to care about good quality air. The

plants-for-health-nasa

Picture credit NASA’s Plants, for your Health study.

furnishings, upholstery, building materials, cleaning products and various machines can emit a variety of toxic compounds like formaldehyde, house bacteria and mold and cause contaminants like trapped car exhaust. The fact that most of the office buildings, schools, or anywhere else is made worse by small spaces and poorly-ventilated spaces. For example; that upstairs window that your mom painted shut last year that you never fixed. Or how about the exhaust fan to the attic that they have never gotten around to replace? So the beauty of our current predicament is that God gave us a way to inflict Rambo-like force upon the disgusting stuff that is in the air that we breathe, and it comes right from nature. That’s right….I’m talking about plants.

SO you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Chris, how in the crap do you expect me to believe that putting a potted plant in my bedroom will help me sleep at night?” Well friend…the answer is simple. Plants absorb most of the particulates in the air. They ‘breath’ in carbon dioxide, which is then processed into oxygen through photosynthesis. BUT that’s not all!!!! The microorganisms that are present in the potting soil, and the microbes there in also contribute to the cleansing. And besides…..plants just make people feel happy. For example, why do you think that we bring flowers to people to show that we love them? BECAUSE PLANTS AND FLOWERS ARE AWESOME. Why do you put plants in hospital rooms? Because hospital patients with plants in their rooms have statistically been more positive and had lower blood pressure and stress levels. It is also statistically proven that indoor plants will make you smarter by allowing you to stay more alert and reduce your mental fatigue.

I admit that I have always been afraid of killing plants. I admit that my wife is by far one of the most intelligent people that I have ever known and her knowledge of plant life astounds me but if you don’t have one of these people in your life, just look at the little label or tag that is stuck inside the soil of the plant or printed on a label on the container that the plant is growing inside. Remember some plants need to be repotted over time. Some plants need new potting soil every now and then. Some plants need to be watered. Some plants need to see sunshine from time to time. It’s really not that hard. 🙂

So here is my list of plants that are beneficial to your life just by having them in your enclosed space. I am giving you my preferred list of what they can do for you and also if there are any specific troubling things that you need to know.  Please note that I am not a horticulturalist nor am I an expert. SO don’t sue me if you don’t like having an aloe plant in your basement.

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peace-lilyPeace Lily – The peace lily is my wife’s choice for best inside plant. The peace lily blooms fragrant flowers throughout the summer and can grow in shady areas. It can not be in direct sunlight but indirect light from inside the room is great. It removes ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the area. It’s small but powerful air-cleaning ability overpowers the downfalls. Like all flowers, the flower of the peace lily will contribute some pollen and floral scents to the air which you may want to eliminate having too many of them in one room. Other than that…enjoy their beauty and benefits.

 

 

Chrysanthemum aka the garden mum – The chrysanthemum is my grandmother’s 
chrysanthemumfavorite flower and I even got it tattooed in part of my half sleeve in memory of her. Besides being beautiful the inexpensive flowering plant can be planted outside if need be but if placed inside is an air-purifying champion. It removes ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from indoor air. Like the Peace Lily, you will have a small amount of pollen during spring but this will not be a problem as long as you don’t have too many in one place.

Aloe Vera – The aloe vera plant is not pretty but it will remove formaldehyde from the air. Besides its pollutant removing qualities, it probably isn’t safe to be around small children. The greatness of the Aloe plant is multiplied by fact that the aloe plant is AMAZINGLY easy to take care of is amplified still by the clear fluid that hides within its leaves. The leaves are full of vitamins, enzymes, amino acids and other compounds that have wound-healing, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. This makes up for anything that you may think about the prickly plant. It is amazing to use when you have sun burn and has been known to be useful for people who suffer from psoriasis.

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Snake plant aka Mother-in-Law’s Tongue – The snake plant is something that I remember my grandmother having in her collection of potted plants. She prided herself on the size of her snake plant. Despite preferring to be in drier conditions, needing a little bit of sun and an occasional watering; the snake plant is one of the hardest houseplants to kill. And it will be worth whatever trouble that it may cause because it removes benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene from your indoor environment.

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Bamboo Palm – When you think of the bamboo palm, you more than likely think of Japanese culture or part of the selective diet of a panda. What you don’t think about is the fact that this benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene filtering palms thrive in sunlight and the bigger that they get, the better addition that they are to your inside environment. They can be really big outside and can grow as high as you will let them inside your home.

 

 

boston-fernBoston Fern – The Boston Fern is what you usually think of when you think of a fern. The Boston Fern likes to set up shop in a cool location with high humidity and indirect light. So that hall bathroom would be a perfect spot for a fern. While the fern removes formaldehyde and xylene from the air, you will need to check its soil almost daily to ensure that the soil is moist.

dracaenaDracaena – The Dracaena is an easy addition to your home or office. Their gorgeous looks are only multiplied by their pollutant removing powers. The dracaena can remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene. My grandmother had a dracaena that she had kept alive since my father was a child (my dad hasn’t been a child for over 50 years by the way). My cousin now has this plant in her home and it is still thriving and doing well. The only downfall to the dracaena is that the leaves are quite toxic to cats and dogs. So….pet owners might want to steer clear of this wide leafed plant.

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Ficus aka Weeping Fig – Okay, so I know that ficus sounds like something that you cough up when you’re sick with the flu but a ficus is actually a tree that originally came from southeast Asia. The low maintenance plant can grow up to ten feet tall. The ficus can be taken outside during the summer months and brought back inside when its cold to remove benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. Guess this silly sounding name packs a big punch.

 

Daily Prompt: Copycat

via Daily Prompt: Copycat

The followers laugh as the leader of their chosen crew. Among the wood topped desks the followers laugh when their chosen chief laughs. Their eyes bounce judgingly off of the little boys shrunken frame. His pale skin is highlighted by the dark circles around his sad eyes. He sinks farther in under his desk; pleading with his chair to allow him to sink further and further down. His pleads fall on def ears and the eyes of his peers provoke their perched lips to provide punishing blows to his already battle torn ego.

I do my best to shield him. I do my best to make him smile by being his friend. I do my best to help him come out of his shell but I am just a teacher. I’m just a teacher watching a student that I only can interact with in passing. His sad reality is not different from many students that I interact with. Tough home lives, leading to a tough time in school which leads to a tough time in life. I can only pray. I can only hope. I can only try to help.

Bullying must stop. Bullying in all forms. Whether the bullying comes in the form of a copycat following a ‘cooler’ student or it might be a parent who takes out his frustrations of the day on his innocent daughter. The pain that is felt by someone being bullied ripples throughout their entire life.

Think….before you speak.