Ken Starr on Manafort: Cooperation with special counsel ‘significant breakthrough’

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

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Experiencing homelessness for longer than six months can cause significant damage to a child

Researchers found that children who experienced both pre- and post-natal homelessness and those who experienced homelessness for longer than six months were at highest risk of negative health outcomes. These findings illustrate the urgent need to intervene and rapidly house children and families experiencing homelessness to minimize the negative health outcomes.
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Private equity giant KKR sees ‘significant’ opportunity for ‘outsized’ returns in China amid trade war

Executives at private equity giant KKR recently visited China and came away believing that a powerful investing opportunity awaits, due in significant part to the ongoing trade war.  
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Why the ‘Voltron: Legendary Defender’ White Lion Is So Significant

Season 5 of Voltron: Legendary Defender includes a very special easter egg: the white lion. First seen in the ’80s series, Voltron: Defender of the Universe, the white lion returns in the Season 5 episode, “White Lion.” Lotor and Allura encounter it several times on their journey to Oriande to discover the secrets of Altean alchemy. While Lotor explains some of its history, there is much more to consider to truly understand the significance of the white lion.

A Lion Reincarnated


Allura and the white lion in 'Defender of the Universe'

The white lion first appeared in the Defender of the Universe episode, “Secret of the White Lion.” Haggar creates a vision of a white lion for Princess Allura, who believes the lion is her father reincarnated, to follow into her trap. With Allura wanting guidance from her father only to end up deceived, is a heartbreaking tale. Given its history, fans were concerned when the white lion’s brief appearance in the Season 5 trailer could spell trouble for Allura once again.

Fortunately, Legendary Defender recreated the white lion into its own unique version, without the heartbreak. The lion does provide guidance, but it also adds a new layer of world-building and character development that the show has become known for.

The Legend Explained


Allura and the white lion in the psychic realm

The white lion and its magical realm of Oriande tells us a lot about Voltron. According to Lotor, Oriande is where King Alfor “mastered the secrets that helped him create Voltron.” As we learned in “The Legend Begins,” Alfor created the lions from a trans-reality comet using Altean alchemy. So since Alfor visited Oriande and encountered the white lion before creating Voltron, we can assume that this is where he got the idea to make lions, which is a cool and tangible explanation.

The white lion also gives us insight into two interesting aspects about the Voltron lions themselves. First, Lotor calls the white lion a “guardian.” This is likely why the Voltron lions are the Guardian Spirits of the Sky, Forest, Land, Fire, and Water. It could also imply that the spirit of each robot lion looks similar to the white lion.

Second, when Allura and Lotor each face off against a white lion, they are in a psychic realm similar to the one where Shiro faced Zarkon in “Space Mall.” Considering that these realms respectively match the white and black lions and are distinct locations from each other, it’s possible that each of the other Voltron lions has its own psychic realm too.

Another theory to point out here is that many fans thought this white lion was going to be a sixth robot lion. While that didn’t happen in Season 5, it could still be a possibility for future seasons. The white lion is a guardian spirit and has its own psychic realm. It bonds with Allura right before she learns the secrets of alchemy. So with her newfound skills and the comet that Lotor still has, will Allura build the White Lion of Voltron?

A Symbol of Worth


Lotor notices his Altean marks

The last thing to consider about the white lion is its significance for our characters. Lotor says that the white lion at the beginning of Oriande will let the worthy pass through into the realm. He and Allura can do so since they have the “mark of the chosen.” Allura fulfills her journey in Oriande by offering her life to the white lion to learn the secret of life. It’s another moment that proves she is the heart of Voltron and that she is worthy and capable of doing great things.

Meanwhile, when Lotor faces off against his white lion, he yells out “Victory or death!” and then kills it with his sword. This sends him back to the beginning of the temple of Oriande, begging the question: can we actually trust Lotor? Everything he does in Season 5 seems to show that we can, and he appears regretful after killing the lion. Perhaps it was his Galra instincts coming to his defense for his life. But what if he’s thrown out because the white lion knows he still has sinister intentions? At this point, it’s anyone’s call.

The Future of the White Lion

Will we see the white lion again? It’s possible. Haggar announces her intentions to go to Oriande at the end of Season 5, so we may see her face it in Season 6. If not, then there’s still the possibility that Allura could build a sixth robot lion. Regardless, the white lion’s appearance gives us a lion’s share of knowledge to pore over, and for that, we are grateful.

Haggar’s Next Move Might Bring the Biggest Plot Twist For ‘Voltron’ S6

Could Lance Become Voltron’s Black Paladin?

The post Why the ‘Voltron: Legendary Defender’ White Lion Is So Significant appeared first on FANDOM.

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With cord-cutting on the rise, Comcast’s broadband business sees significant gains

Cord Cutting Comcast

While the number of viewing options cable TV provides is nothing short of astounding, the harsh reality is that cable companies have been price-gouging consumers for years. Even The Onion got in on the fun a few years back with a pointed headline that read: “Nation’s Cable Companies Announce They’re Just Going To Take $ 100 From Everyone.”

With cable prices on the rise, streaming services like Hulu and Netflix have been steadily chipping away at the cumulative number of cable TV subscribers. In turn, we’ve seen industry veterans like DirecTV roll out more wallet-friendly services, with DirecTV Now being one such example. And while many cable companies are seeing their subscriber numbers take a hit, Comcast arguably finds itself in a win-win situation on account of its broadband service.

Continue reading…

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  1. The $ 30 home security cam that sells out every time we cover it is even cheaper right now
  2. $ 18 device ensures your family’s huge downloads never interrupt your Fire TV or Chromecast streaming

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  1. Monkeys have been successfully cloned in China, but you might not like the reason why
  2. Netflix has 30 new original shows and movies premiering in February – here’s the full list
  3. The amount of data Google tracks from your Android phone is staggering

With cord-cutting on the rise, Comcast’s broadband business sees significant gains originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 24 Jan 2018 at 23:04:26 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Apple COO Jeff Williams on tech and health care: ‘we can’t think of anything more significant’

Apple's COO speaks out about the company's interest in AI, on-device computing and health care.
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Now is the Time to Buy Real Estate and Create Significant Wealth

wealth

Despite the explosive outcry against the political sentiment and executive orders being pushed under the Trump administration, Shawn Baldwin, chairman of the AIA Group, says there are plenty of ways for African Americans to prosper in our current economic and political environment. In fact, Baldwin explained 4 Ways Black People Can Thrive Under the Trump Administration earlier this month. In a follow-up phone interview with Black Enterprise, the internationally renowned investor discussed how and why African Americans should purchase property while Trump is in office as a means to generate wealth.

“For most people, the acquisition of real estate is one of the best ways for them to become wealthier,” he told BE. “For the average person, their wealth is concentrated in their home and non-depreciating assets,”—unlike a car or “retail jewelry, which is purchased at a markup and not worth as much as fine jewelry. However, now is a prime time for people of color to invest in urban re-development, which he says will be a primary focus under Trump’s administration. In turn, this will create opportunities for people of color.

“The acquisition of additional real estate can create wealthmainly because [Trump] will try to make the focus of the development of communities a prioritythis is going to create two opportunities: One, to add to your balance sheet, [and] two, to create places where other people of color are going to want to come and live.”

According to Baldwin, rather than just applying for a small business loan, people of color should invest in property and then use it as a stream of revenue to fund their business ventures. “Systematically, we have been denied loans, but we can do other things that can create significant wealth,” he said. “It’s more difficult to get a bank to fund you as a business.”

He continued, “They’re not going to give us money that they deem is risky. [Banks] are going to want to give a loan that is based on collateral,” he said, adding that 25 percent of all bank activities are commercial real estate based. “Most of the time, the loans that most people of color can get is a home or real estate loan.”

Rather than applying for a business loan, he advises entrepreneurs to what he calls the “backdoor method.” After you accumulate real estate, he says you can mortgage it and use that money to fund your own ideas. “If you acquire a bunch of real estate and it’s cheap, then use it as cash flow by leasing it out to people,” he adds.

Baldwin also suggests that people of color focus on areas “where there have been significant mortgage defaults because the banks will have pressure to lend in those areas. They don’t have pressure to lend in development because it is incredibly risky.”

“We’re not going to get back to prices that there were set in 2007, but the prices will climb and if you can get the properties on a discounted basis, then you can make significant wealth doing that.”

Money – Black Enterprise

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Chief marketers have ‘significant’ fear on ad fraud — here’s what media agencies need to do about it

The relationship between brands and their media suppliers has been in the spotlight since the start of the year when one of the world's largest advertisers attacked agencies for being untrustworthy.
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7 signs your significant other’s negativity is messing with *your* mental health

7 signs your significant other’s negativity is messing with *your* mental health


7 signs your significant other’s negativity is messing with *your* mental health

Everyone goes through rough patches, but when you’re in a relationship, your partner’s mood swings can become your problem so quickly. It’s one thing when someone is suffering from actual depression or another mental health problem. That’s not negativity, that’s a legitimate health issue that can (and should) be worked through with the help of a professional. As you know, it’s definitely not something to blame someone for. What we’re talking about is when someone just has a — what’s the technical term? — a super sh*tty attitude. Eventually, your significant other’s negativity can affect your relationship and your mental health.

Sometimes it can be hard to tell what’s just a hilariously dark and twisted sense of humor or worldview and what becomes actual toxic negativity that can bring you down. A partner’s negativity can destroy relationships even quicker than lying or cheating can.

Here’s how tell that things have taken a turn for the worst.

1. Nothing is ever fun anymore.


There’s something to be said for bonding with someone through snark and making innocent fun of things together, but when you start to realize that that’s just how this person is all the time, it can be a little shocking. Whether it’s making reservations at a new restaurant or going to a concert you thought they’d enjoy, when it seems like there’s something wrong with every single thing you guys do together, it can start to wear on you in a very real way.

2. You’re not allowed to have a good time either.


When you have good news to share or have a really great day, they’re super quick to point out the not-so-perfect aspects of it. If you’re looking forward to something, they knock it down or point out all the ways it could wrong. It’s one thing if they want to walk round rolling their eyes at the world, but you don’t have to live like that, too.

3. You edit what you say to them.


Because it seems like no one can have any fun around your beloved, you think long and hard before you share something with them. Instead of rushing in with good news of, say, an upcoming job interview or fun weekend plans, you think about how to best present things to them so that they won’t rain on your parade.

4. You don’t look forward to being around them.


It’s really bad when you start to dread their coming home for work, just because you know that you’ll have to spend some serious time trying to cheer them up or talk through their complaints (which they will inevitably have). It’s not like they make your skin crawl or anything — it’s just hard to be around them for too long a time without mentally preparing yourself first.

5. And you get away from them as often as possible.


You definitely love them and so many things about them, but since being around them is starting to get exhausting, you try to make sure you spend time away from your couple-dom every chance you get. Uh, can we just say that something might be wrong if you’re referring to your night out with friends as a “break” or “getting away” form your partner?

6. It’s getting ugly — literally.


Negativity can be so unattractive. It wouldn’t be uncommon to start to feel really far away from your partner or not want to be intimate with them when they’re being super grumpy about every little thing. When their negativity is messing with your sex life, something has to change.

7. They don’t notice that anything’s wrong.


When you approach your partner about anything that’s up with your relationship, they should at least take some time to hear you out. If their negativity is really toxic, they might not have any idea what you’re talking about when you tell them that they’re bringing you down. Sometimes it’s just a matter of calling out their bad attitude, but if they can’t make simple compromises to lighten things up a little bit, you have to make a choice about what you can handle going forward.



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Superhero Buzz: James Wan Shares a Significant ‘Aquaman’ Location; Cyborg Readjusted in ‘Justice League’ Reshoots

Superhero Buzz: James Wan Shares a Significant 'Aquaman' Location; Cyborg Readjusted in 'Justice League' Reshoots

Today, we have a few items to share about the DC Extended Universe:

 

A Significant Aquaman Location 

James Wan, director of the upcoming solo superhero feature Aquaman, posted a photo of a location they're shooting at (see below). Why? Because this one is pretty significant to the title character's origins and the social media share has fans very excited.

What we see in the photo is a lighthouse at Hastings Point in New South Wales, Australia….

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12 Thoughtful Gifts From Significant Others Who Really Listen

It really is the thought that counts.

And, tired as that saying may be, it still rings true. The gifts we treasure most are not the most lavish ones, but rather the ones that came straight from the hearts of the very people who know us best. Below, HuffPost readers share the most meaningful present they’ve ever received from their partners. 

1. The 100th date puppy

“I have always been a bit of a crazy dog lady. When me and my partner Mike first met, we had this silly running joke that after 100 dates I would come home one day to a puppy. I had never really thought much of it but a couple of years later, I came home to a tiny dog collar in a gift bag and was told our cocker spaniel puppy would be on his way to us in a few weeks. I initially wanted to kill Mike for buying a dog without us discussing it, but then he reminded me that he always keeps his promises and it was our 100th date that night. So now not only do we have our gorgeous dog Rupert, but I couldn’t believe Mike had remembered our silly ‘100th date’ promise after all that time.” ― Katy D. 

2. The nostalgic Christmas book

“Our first Christmas together my now-husband got me one of those books where you can record someone reading it. He got my dad to record ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas which he always read to me and my sister as kids. It was the sweetest gift I ever got. The fact that he went through all the secrets with my family, whom he had only met a few times, to get the recording for me made it the best gift I ever got.” ― Darcy T. 

3. The coveted Happy Meal toy 

“Last year, my boyfriend of nine years and I were talking about feel-good moments from our childhood, I was reminiscing about ‘The Little Mermaid’ toys that came in Happy Meals in the early 90s. My brothers and I only had Happy Meals as a special treat, so that made the toys all the more coveted. Flounder was the most fought over toy between my brothers and me ― he was so cool because he spit water out of his mouth. I just remember always having so much fun playing with these toys. So I was telling my boyfriend this, we laughed about it and that was that. A month or so later, a package came in the mail. He opens it and says, ‘I forgot I ordered these!’ Out comes a complete, still-in-the-individual-plastic-wrappers set of the original ‘Little Mermaid’ Happy Meal toys! And TWO Flounders! He had gone on eBay and ordered them after our conversation. For no reason but to make me smile, he went out of his way to hunt them down.”― Bre G. 

4. The sentimental butter dish

”My husband does not go shopping ― ever. He got me diamond stud earrings for Christmas 1981. They were perfect, so he called it done, which I was okay with. The year my mom died, he accidentally broke her butter dish. I accepted it and let it go. We have a couple blocks of antique stores on the old side of town. He went through all of them and bought the one closest to the one that broke. That was the sweetest thing.” ― Nancy S.

5. The handwritten recipes straight from Grandma herself 

“My fiancé coordinated with my grandmother to have her write two of my favorite recipes of hers down on nice paper and framed them for me. They now hang in our kitchen. I’m not usually an emotional person but I just about cried opening them on Christmas morning!” ― Darryl Ann G.

6. The cross-country move

“My then-boyfriend moved to California from Chicago four years ago in December 2012. We spent our first Christmas together after meeting in June while on vacation in Miami. His physical presence that Christmas was one of the best gifts he has ever given me. We’re both very family-oriented and the thought that he left his family behind on that particular holiday month still hurts my heart. However, our loved prevailed and we’re now set to spend the rest of our lives together. Our families are so excited.” ― Alma R.

7. The motherhood gift that was four years in the making

“I received the most meaningful gift from my husband moments before we met our son first the first time via adoption. We had made the long drive from Iowa to Florida and had finally arrived in the hospital parking lot. I was rustling through paperwork, bags and tissues in a hurry so we could quickly make it inside and not miss our son’s delivery. My husband calmly grabbed my hands and handed me a gift. He said, ‘I’ve been waiting 4 years to give you a gift to celebrate the day you became a mother’ after many years of infertility. I opened the box, and inside was a beautiful necklace with our son’s initials and his birth stone. My heart overflowed knowing it meant so very much for him to give it to me.” ― Amy L.  

8. The heart-shaped bench 

“My now-husband built this bench out of wood from his childhood playhouse. We sat on it at our wedding and now it sits in our dining room. It is hands down the most beautiful gift he has ever given me.” ― Kate E.

9. The sweet scrapbook

“He made a scrapbook and on each page was a different saying. One page said, ‘Because you are beautiful,’ and there was a gift card to Sephora. Another page said, ‘Because you are smart’ with a card to Barnes and Noble. And so on.” ― Donna S.

10. The enchanted rose

“I love ‘Beauty and the Beast’ so he made me a replica enchanted rose. He bought all the items separately and then used string to tie the rose in. I almost cried when he gave it to me!” ― Bethany W.

11. The romantic wall art

“My then-boyfriend and I had just said our ‘I love yous’ when HuffPost Weddings ran this adorable article about Philippa Rice’s “Soppy” illustration series. I instantly fell in love with it. He must have remembered because I was given a book of her drawings for Valentine’s Day. When he was the best man in a wedding, he found a wonderful poem he shared with me by Sherley Anne Williams while researching for his toast. For my birthday at the end of May, my lovely now-fiancé presented me with this amazing gift ― a combination of these two pieces of art.” ― Brianne J.

12. The picture blanket 

“My husband got this blanket for me for Christmas one year. It’s a collage of us and our fur babies. I love it so much.” ― Ashleigh P.

**Some responses have been edited and condensed for clarity. 

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

Weddings – The Huffington Post
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Feeling Pressured to Find a Significant Other? Here Are 5 Ways to Deal

This post originally appeared on ThisIsQuaterlife.com

As someone who has spent the vast majority of his adult life single, I like to think
I’ve come up with useful tactics for combating what seems like constant pressure to
find a significant other. At times, when it nearly breaks me, I’ll remind myself of all
the reasons I’d rather be single than take up a hasty courtship with someone I’m not
certain about. While I’m all for dating and dating often, I’m also for reflecting on
what I want out of my dating life and honoring my answer. If you’re like me,
faced with albeit well-intentioned outside pressure to leave your single life behind,
but just aren’t ready to budge until you feel you’ve met someone of importance, here
are some pointers to help you stay the course.

1) Remind yourself that good things happen to those who wait

Once you hit your mid-twenties, your Facebook feed no longer provides the usual
litany of drunken photos and complaints about finals, but is replaced by engagement
announcements and snapshots of newborns (I personally loathe the ultrasound
photo. TMI IMO, ok!). Suddenly you feel the pressure of time. All these friends of
yours are transitioning into new stages of life, and here you are, single, eating pizza
in bed. It’s important to remind yourself that everyone’s life progress at it’s own
pace. While we may think we can just fabricate big life transitions whenever we
please, my personal experience leads me to believe it’s more effective to set your
intention and let life follow accordingly. Be patient. I promise you good things
happen when you wait for it — don’t force it. We all know how often relationships fall
apart and marriages fail. Wait until it feels right, not when the clock tells you it’s
time. Your life is a very long marathon, not a sprint to the altar.

2) Take pleasure in preserving your free time

We hear it all the time — your twenties are your time to be selfish and explore. As
someone whose dreams are constantly shifting, I am beyond grateful that I have
been able preserve some free time to actively pursue them (such as making time to
write these posts!). While it’s right to be open to letting new relationships into your
life, I hold the personal mantra that spending time with me-myself-and-I offers the
most return. Sure, in the beginning of a new relationship, it takes a few dates to
sense compatibility. But if you begin to feel that the time endowed will not lead to a
satisfying relationship, consider chalking up your loses. You and your time are
valuable. Invest it wisely.

3) Consider all the negative relationships you’ve observed

We all have that friend — whenever you see him/her out with their
boyfriend/girlfriend you think to yourself, “Really?” I’m not advocating judging a
relationship that you’re not in. But I am emboldening you to pay attention to your
friend’s relationships and how you interpret their emotional status to be when they’re with a significant other versus when they are not. You may scoff at your friend’s
obvious relationship of convenience, but consider all the factors that brought
him/her there. Life can be lonely and monotonous at times and as such, it’s tempting
to find someone, anyone, to share these day-to-day struggles with. But unless that
person truly brings you joy and eases your aches, tread carefully. What may bring
temporary relief could lead to heartache down the road. Revel in your security and
self-confidence in your singledom. Surely, when you do enter a relationship, it will
be that much better — because you will know you can handle life both with and
without someone by your side.

4) Redirect your energy into something new

It doesn’t do anyone any good to dwell on what you don’t have. Instead, focus on the
immediate opportunities available to you. Now could be your chance to throw all
your effort into that new project at work, accomplish your new years resolution
you’ve almost given up on or sign up for those art classes you’ve wanted to try. Take
that anxious energy spent lamenting on your single status and redirect it fully. I find
that I learn tremendously, gain the most ground and surprise myself with my own
abilities when I wholeheartedly invest myself in a new project. It really is the perfect
way to not give any of your negative thoughts even the slightest breath — all your
emotional energy is busy being recruited for productive and exciting endeavors.

5) Reinvest in existing relationships

Being single is the perfect time to focus on all the good, quality, long-standing
relationships already present in your life. When we concentrate on who we don’t
have, it’s natural to downplay the support of all the magnificent, ever-present
people in our lives. Make a commitment to see your parents more, gather together
with your old college pals or reach out to that long-lost friend. I find that the further
I invest in strengthening all of these types of relationships, the more confident and
strangely, invincible I feel. When you know you have people who will stand by you
no matter what, you’ll feel more apt to take chances and fight hard for the life you
want. Hopefully, in the future, you’ll have that significant other who will also
provide this sort of enduring, trusted support. But it should never come at a cost to
those of your current allegiance. You shouldn’t have to, or be expected to, decide
between the two.

Hopefully these pointers will help you think more positively about your single life.
Remember, it won’t always be this way, so enjoy all the opportunities being single
affords you. Eventually, someone will recognize you for all the fabulousness you
have to offer.
Weddings – The Huffington Post
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13 Reasons Wine is Better Than a Significant Other

1. Wine will watch whatever you want to watch on TV without complaining. Keeping Up With The Kardashians, The Voice, The Mindy Project, Homeland, a Lifetime movie, OITNB… Wine doesn’t care. It will watch anything.

2. You can bring wine anywhere and it will never have a problem fitting in. No need to babysit wine in a corner all night because wine doesn’t know anyone at the party. Wine knows everyone at the party. And even if wine didn’t know everyone at the party, wine would be totally social because no one has a problem talking when wine is involved.

3. Wine is never “too tired” or “too drunk.” Wine is always up for a good time when you are, and it’s always down to chill on the couch doing nothing when you are. It will do whatever you do and it will never complain. Talk about THE BEST RELATIONSHIP EVER.

4. Wine tastes good. And you never get sick of it. Ever.

5. Wine has no problem opening up to you. It always opens right up, no nagging necessary.

6. Wine never makes you choose between it and your friends. Wine does what you want to do all the time, and if you don’t want wine to tag along, wine will do it’s own thing sans complaining. You can do you all the time, no choices necessary. Not to mention, your friends don’t care when you bring wine along anyway…

7. Wine gets you drunk with no ulterior motives. It ain’t trying to get in your pants. It’s just trying to hang.

8. Wine never asks you what’s for dinner. Wine is what’s for dinner, actually.

9. Wine will never judge you. Literally, it will never judge. It’s seen you cry listening to a One Direction song and it still comes back for more. No one knows why. It just happens. I’m not complaining.

10. Wine can make you smile without even trying. Try having a glass of wine without blushing… Just try.

11. Wine always knows what you want. And what you want is wine. Wine is what you want. What relationship could be better?

12. Everyone loves wine. You don’t have to worry about your friends or your family or your co-workers disliking wine because everyone loves wine. Maybe wine isn’t their type (perhaps they prefer beer or a vodka soda), but no one hates wine. You’ve scored someone (or something) that everyone loves. You go girl.

13. Wine is always there for you. When the going gets tough… there’s always wine. Rough day at the office? Wine. Bad fight with a friend? Wine. Maxed out your credit card? Wine. Ex got married? Wine. Wine will be there for you in ways that no man ever could be. Seriously, girl. You’re not going to do any better than wine…

This post originally appeared on Forever Twenty Somethings.
Comedy – 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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