Schock Your Abs into Summer Shape (and yes, I know how to spell shock!)

By: Julie Manriquez (jamwritingservices@gmail.com)

Congressman Aaron Schock's abs on the cover of June's Men's Health

Last week freshman congressman, Aaron Schock, opened his shirt for the cover of the June issue of Men’s Health. Holy House of Representatives, Batman! There’s no denying that even with the airbrushing and Photoshop® removal of every bodily hair, this 8-pack (yes, with the transverse abdominus, it’s an 8-pack) is worthy of some superhero Spandex. But, Mr. Schock is 29-years-old and a Republican, which means that gravity is currently working in his favor and he enjoys sporting at least a couple of guns at all times (I’m pretty sure I see them under the shirt sleeves!). Some of my best pals are Republicans and occasionally I find myself wavering in a moderate or even (gasp!) right hand direction on issues, but these conservative abs and hyper-masculine peacocking are simply not enough to urge this mostly leftwingin’ mother of two to inch my pinkie toe across the aisle. Mr. Schock’s stance on women’s rights (he voted to defund Planned Parenthood) and global warming (opposes the reduction of coal and oil usage and believes there is little, if any, evidence of global warming and it’s effects) does not fall in line with his reported desire to reach out to the MTV generation.

Not much makes me waver from my usual news sources (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central, and Chelsea Lately on E!), but this kind of hypocrisy offers the kind of intrigue that even the most credible installment of TMZ might miss. Read more of this post

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One day they won’t

My kids are very, very educated in the art of persuasion.  You should see these two sales geniuses at night, at work in their laboratory trying to figure out how to stay up five or ten more minutes.  First, my daughter with “Dad, can you give us our vitamins?”  That’s usually my first trip down the hallway to each of their rooms.  Then my son chimes in.  “Mommy and Daddy!  Hug and a Kiss,”  our cue to lovingly tuck them both into bed.   But it’s not that simple.  They each want us to tuck the other child in first so they can get the last hug and kiss for the night.  And finally, my daughter asks me to lie with her for a little bit.  No sooner had I accepted her invitation than my son screamed from his bedroom, “Daddy, can you lay with me after?” Read more of this post

Requirements for Parents

I HATE roller coasters!

Parenting is not for the weak or faint of heart.  I mean that.  As any parent could tell you, the responsibilities are enormous.  The offspring of human beings are the most dependent for the longest period of time of any mammal.  As our children’s guardians through life, it is our duty to feed them, to clothe them, to protect and lead them.

But the most underrated of our jobs, in my opinion, is to keep the slate with which they’re born as clean and for as long as possible.  Children are born with no (mis)conception of what to expect from the world.  While this naivety can be dangerous (we don’t want them to learn the bad way that running with scissors is bad or that being hit by a car really, really hurts), it is also quite refreshing when you think about it. Read more of this post

Just Like Bowling! (Monday’s Workout)

I have a saying: “Once you knock that first pin down, the rest will fall!”  I normally use it a the gym in reference to my Monday workouts, but you can apply it to a lot of areas in your life.

So, I just got back from ‘Bowling” and aforementioned ‘first pin’ has been knocked down: Read more of this post

100th Post! (Nobody gives a sh*&t!)

This is the 100th post on BobbyBluford.com. (I’ll be back in about an hour; I have to run to the emergency room because I think I just sprained my AC Joint patting myself on the back.) When I committed myself to giving everything I had to this blog a few months ago, my goal was to write a post every day. Luckily my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder lost this battle. But while my initial objective may have been a little ambitious, I’m proud of how far I’ve come, how far we’ve come together. And 100 posts is a big achievement, however you slice it. Because of that, I want this one to be extra special. We’ll see how close I get.

I had a few thoughts on what to discuss today. Heck, I have a lot to choose from since I currently have about 50 drafts that I’m working on. After some careful deliberation, though, I thought the best way to celebrate this milestone was to finally finish a post I started at the very beginning, but couldn’t (or actually just didn’t) quite finish. The delay has been due in part to the less than positive feedback I’ve gotten whenever I mentioned the idea. Everyone to whom I’ve mentioned the blog post has said my view is twisted, that my theory of how the world works is glum, troubled, or cynical. And those were some of the better terms used to describe it. Still, even amidst that, I move forward. Because although I admit it is rather blunt and candid, the lesson I’m about to share is one I believe to be absolutely true, as much a fixed part of life as physics and chemistry. More importantly, and just so you know I’m not really saying I’m absolutely certain I am right (I hate people who are rigid—and usually wrong—in their points of view and opinions), what I really mean to say is that this law is one of the tenets on which much of my life philosophies are based.

Ok, brace yourself. The lesson: Read more of this post

Gas for the trip

Stop getting just "Gas for the Trip"

My wife goes to the gas station and, instead of filling up, will put $20 in her tank.  It drives me crazy.  After fifteen years together, it’s one of a very short list of items that she does that bugs me.  Her list for me, by the way, is much longer.  In fact, I think she’s hired a consultant to build a database around it.

But this affliction is very, very prevalent.  We all suffer from it in one way or another.  It affects us personally, as well as professionally; emotionally and even physically.  It may very well be one of the main barriers toward sustainable success in our lives.  Taking shortcuts, it should come to no surprise, is as destructive to growth as any other actions or thoughts we have. Read more of this post