For women on their way to becoming rulers of the known universe.

What Budding Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Scotland’s Bid For Independence


What Budding Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Scotland’s Bid For Independence

In light of Scotland’s historic vote for independence, what can we learn as prospective entrepreneurs learn about the pros and cons of going it alone?

Build Your Brand

Like an independent Scotland, your new business will need a charter or mission statement. You will need to know what your key objectives are and how you plan to execute against that vision. No viable nation exists without a charter and no business will succeed without one. This in an important component to laying a sustainable foundation for your business and it shows your customers that you are building something made to last.

Don’t Alienate Adversaries

The vote on the 18th will be close. There are strong adversaries on either side and both are mobilized and getting their voices heard. After the vote is over, those opposing viewpoints won’t disappear. Like the two previous American Presidential elections, Scotland may be left polarized. In the same way polarizing opinions can impact a nation they can do so with your business.  It’s important that within your business you create an environment that can support multiple viewpoints. You have to remember that it is those differences that enable us to  build a better product, service or position. Don’t alienate those who may disagree with your process or your vision, instead find a way to leverage them to make your business better. If you surround yourself with “yes men” you will fail.

Secure a Seat at the Table

As an independent Scotland will need to secure a seat within the EU, you too will need to join a local chamber of commerce, identify industry groups and professional networks to assert visibility and legitimacy for your new business. These linkages are essential in that they work to create credibility for your new business and put you in touch with other business leaders who may work in non-competitive spaces and can promote your vision and/or leverage your services.



If Scotland yields a “yes” vote they may have to create their own currency; when you start your own business, you too will be in the position of having to generate your own currency. Sounds simple, but remember, invoices don’t generally produce revenue in two weeks’ time. You need to have reserves to hold you over until the payday arrives. While creating a brand new currency won’t be your cross to bear, it may feel just as complex when you first dip your toe into the world of accounting and calculating expenditures. You may not need a federal monetary commission to assist you, but you will need tax professionals to guide you in the best ways to set up your financials.

Have Faith

Come September 18th one thing is for sure, no matter the outcome, Scotland will be a nation divided. At this point those in favor and those opposed to an Independence bid are nearly neck and neck. Whichever way fate would have it, the other half of the country is going to be left feeling a loss. Your decision to start a business can be met with similar discord by those in your camp. There will certainly be forces that believe strongly that you should or should not venture out on your own. You have to accept that these divergent voices will emerge and you must be prepared to diplomatically handle those conversations without letting them alter your decision. When encountering this opposition you have to factor in the person’s appetite for risk, if it is low then you can predict their desire to support you. No matter the case, it is important not to let other’s fears or opinions impact your decisions. Have faith that you will make the right choice for yourself based on your experience and desires.

Passion and Vision

Scotland is a beautiful country rich with history and oil reserves just off of its shores. The Scottish people are renowned for their love of their country, perhaps that’s why nearly half of the nation is voicing a desire to go it alone. You, the budding entrepreneur, need to have as much passion for your own entrepreneurial vision as the Scots have love for their country. Without vision and passion your business will fail.

Timing is Everything

The climate has to be right for change. Scotland’s previous independence bids dissolved due to the political climate of the time. Now, for the first time in decades the political landscape seems more amenable to the option. In the same way that timing will affect the bid for independence, make sure that if you decide to take your leap of faith that you do so at the right time. If you decide to launch a business you have to assess when the right time is for that transition. If you are a parent with two kids in college, perhaps that’s not the right time to take such a leap. Be methodical and realistic about your timing and you may fare well.

Legacy systems and patterns abound

The Scots and the Brits have been intertwined for centuries. Old habits die hard. Heck, the Queen vacations in Scotland every year, these are real ties that bind. Know that when you begin a business you bring to it all of those years of good and bad habits learned from working within other environments. As an independent entity you must evaluate which of those habits are working under the new regime and which ones will not and must be discarded. It is your job to evaluate your entity with neutrality and only invite into it those elements that will help it to succeed.


No matter the outcome of tomorrow’s monumental bid for independence the people of Scotland should feel proud that they have generated such an important dialog within their country and abroad about the pros and cons of freedom and going it alone. While starting a business isn’t exactly like nation building, the same type of deliberation and planning must be executed in order to succeed. The results of this work can be equally exhilarating and provide you with tremendous life experiences, ones which may shape your identify for many years to come.

Brandon Kelly, CEO NYCVanity, home of the Palit

@NYCVanity   http://www.nycvanity.com

Author of “Why Women Are Their Own Worst Enemies!”


The Importance of Being Mean

First off, relax. I am not implying that we should all walk around punching people in throat at the slightest recrimination. Nor do I advocate base and rude culture, for people who do not say excuse me and thank you, in my opinion, should be sent off to Siberia indefinitely or worse Cleveland.  But…I am encouraging us all to get in touch with our mean streak. I despise rudeness in common culture so let’s not be confused. But if we really think about it, there’s so much compromising and negotiating and accommodating going on that very few of us are getting anything close to what we want out of this life. But I have the answer, get mean. Not only do nice guys finish last they also usually end up paying the tab. This applies to women more so than men because overall men are far more comfortable screwing other people to get what they want and while there are plenty of women who do the same, the numbers are slightly fewer.

So, how can you get mean? Think of a person or a character in fiction that you know that is mean. What is the first thing to come to mind, beyond the fact that every fiber of your being tells you not to cross them? Perhaps that they do not smile much or that they generally have certain expectations that must be met or else all hell breaks loose. Anything else?  Personally, when I think of a mean person I think of someone who makes it their life’s work to put their needs first and above anyone else’s. This is a good place to start. But before you can go there, how many of you really know what you want? Not just casually as in “I would like the window table at Chez Poo Poo’s,” but big picture, what do you want? How do you want to live your life? What kinds of freedoms do you need to be happy? Ok, and while a super nice person might also know the answers to these questions, I guarantee that they have let other people get in the way of these goals, way more often than a mean person would have ever allowed.

I especially want women to consider this idea of “getting mean” as we are so conditioned from a very early age – at least in America – to place “being nice” above our own desires. To be “ok” with someone else getting that promotion, to “not need more money” because the work I am doing benefits others. I am calling upon the God’s of BS to strike down all of these notions in one massive lightning strike of Bull Shit! This way of thinking is really akin to self-loathing because if you really loved yourself you would require more from others and yourself.

But for those of you who want to start getting your needs met today, making the money you deserve today, here’s to bypassing five years of over-priced therapy with two words: GET MEAN. The definition of the word mean is: “Unwilling to give up or share.” Giving up and over-haring is precisely what women do far too often. We give up so much of our time, our devotion, our affections and love and very rarely receive the same in return. We work hard at the office and make 30% less than our male peers. We are everyday giving up so much that the only way to get us on track today is to get mean. But how? I am not promoting becoming a bully or demeaning others in the process, I am simply asking that you stand up for yourself in every situation and encounter. Make certain that your needs are being met and not compromised. This may take some practice especially if you are someone who has consistently never done stood up for themselves.  Try saying no to a request without providing the slew of reasons why you are declining. Men are very good at this, while women often feel compelled to explain their reasons. Say no. Try saying no three times in one day, it’s a revelation, I promise you. Suppress the need to smile immediately after, for those are mixed messages, a “No” does not precede a smile, unless you are being especially off-putting, which is unnecessary, because remember while it ok to be mean it is never ok to be rude. For it is the mean, not the meek, that have already inherited the Earth.

Brandon Kelly is the author of “Why Women Are Their Own Worst Enemies!” @BrandonNKelly www.whywomenare.com

Why Eating Alone At Your Desk Can Kill You…Professionally.



As often is the case, many young upstarts throw themselves into their new jobs with wild abandon. They work late and come in early. The raise their hands for crappy assignments (like fire marshal or baby shower party coordinator) and sit as close to power as is permitted during key meetings. What many also do is make a habit of eating at their desks. Above and beyond this will be their undoing.

Women especially pack lunches and eat at their desk, often muting their conference calls in order that the last bite of a pretzel or chip go undetected.

But I beg of you to put down your smelly tuna fish sandwich for good and get up and away from your office for lunch. The key reasons you must do this are the following:

Out of sight out of mind; often the first to be let go are those…

View original post 471 more words

Ladies, Never Pay To Put Your “Man” Through School – Here’s Why.

I know this comment is going to take a lot of heat, however, I just thought I had to put it out there if only to prevent one more woman from getting the shaft.

There seems to be a trend going on wherein certain gentlemen stay in relationships where their partner supports their educational endeavors and upon receiving the fruits of that labor and investment the men promptly abscond; taking the time, money and sacrifice that went into helping him achieve his goal with him. Many women have sacrificed their own paychecks, and in some cases taken on additional work to support their families and the unit while these men worked to attain additional education or skills.

While in concept this tact sounds positive, since the act of achieving additional education could propel that party into a better financial sphere and hence better the lives of the entire family unit, however, in actuality what is happening instead in many cases is that these men are taking the hard earned benefits of their new stations right out the door and leaving their partner and families in the dust.

While there are no hard and fast statistics on this trend, over the years I have heard of this happening more and more. It even happened to a close member of my own family whose parents put their son-in-law through medical school only to have him start cheating on my relative very soon after starting his own practice and run off with a woman he met in Atlantic City.

What do we make of this phenomenon? Does this mean that men are selfish and opportunistic? I prefer to use the term self preservationist. Men are the quintessential self-preservationists – bottom line. There’s no judgment in that statement, it simply is a matter of fact. Knowing this fact might give clarity to women’s decision making.

Think of your partner as a business in need of capital. Imagine it, if a venture capital firm invested 50,000 in a business, if it succeeds they not only stand to recoup their initial investment but will also become paid partners within the newly formed organization and draw a hefty percentage of the profits indefinitely.

If you partner dumps you right as they have begun recouping your initial investment and you have not made the necessary contractual arrangements; well, frankly, that’s just bad business.

Think of it this way, adding another feather to his hat is like paying for him to have a makeover. If it is done right he is going to view himself differently afterwards and in some cases, may think that he has outgrown his current partner, sad but true.

So does this mean that you shouldn’t support your partner in their endeavors to improve themselves and acquire additional education and skills which may have the downstream effect of providing additional income to your family unit? I mean, perhaps… But if you do go this route there needs to be a contract written up, one which states that if the party does not share the rewards of the benefit that you singularly helped to provide that they will need to reimburse you for the time/money and overall hassle that you endured while you were supporting their process and residuals.

Think of it in terms of opportunity cost, what might you have been able to achieve if instead of putting that effort into your partner you put it into yourself instead? Sounds like a better investment to me, at least one for which you will be able to reap the rewards indefinitely.

Brandon is the author of “Why Women Are Their Own Worst Enemies!” 2012 Ajani Publishing@BrandonNKelly, http://www.WhyWomenAre.com

Why Eating Alone At Your Desk Can Kill You…Professionally.


As often is the case, many young upstarts throw themselves into their new jobs with wild abandon. They work late and come in early. The raise their hands for crappy assignments (like fire marshal or baby shower party coordinator) and sit as close to power as is permitted during key meetings. What many also do is make a habit of eating at their desks. Above and beyond this will be their undoing.

Women especially pack lunches and eat at their desk, often muting their conference calls in order that the last bite of a pretzel or chip go undetected.

But I beg of you to put down your smelly tuna fish sandwich for good and get up and away from your office for lunch. The key reasons you must do this are the following:

Out of sight out of mind; often the first to be let go are those who work remotely and don’t have face time with their leadership or colleagues. Hiding in your cubicle lumps you into this same category as the faceless, nameless people who work from home. By eating at your desk you are squandering the advantage of face time.

If you aren’t out and about mingling with your peers and people from other departments you are most certainly not going to be in the know. Information does not always travel as you would expect, sometimes it’s that person in procurement who knows first about the development of a new department, perhaps one that you would like to be part of. So, get out there and hobnob.

If you are cramming food down your gullet in your cubicle how will anyone know about all of the exciting work that you’ve done! You must be out and about selling yourself and your accomplishments to anyone that will listen. If you expect your boss to sell your accomplishments, then friend, you aren’t as smart as I thought you were. Often times, managers are too busy selling themselves to worry about their minions, I know it ain’t right, but it’s true.

If you are hiding in your cubicle during the one hour that your boss’s peers are free, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!!!  If you didn’t know this, your boss’s peers are the ones who decide whether or not you get a promotion. You see, most companies have this thing called a calibration session where they all sit around and talk about the little people. It is during this session that they decided who gets a promotion and who doesn’t. If they have no idea who you are (because they’ve never seen you in the cafeteria) it won’t matter that you’ve saved the company millions with your new concept, you will be passed over in favor of that brown-nosing cad with whom they are familiar.

Finally, how can you profess to be a team player when by all appearances you eat like a lone wolf? The herd likes to travel in packs.  So take lunch with your fellow co-workers. Blow off some steam talking about how clueless your boss is or gossip about the upcoming reorganization. If you do, you will strengthen your relationships and that’s always a bonus.

So, put down that sandwich and get with the program, the one that will lead you closer to the success that you are working so hard to attain, but don’t do it alone at your desk for crying out loud! Now get out there, beyond the cubicle wall and leave your mark. Invest in your career during lunch time. At any rate, it beats eating tuna fish sandwiches.

Brandon Kelly is the author of “Why Women Are Their Own Worst Enemies!”Ajani Publishing. @BrandonNKelly, www.whywomenare.com, brandonkelly@whywomenare.com

Stay in Your Lane?!%

I am a Yankee. I am a feminist. I am a feminist Yankee, so it is no surprise that my 18-month tour of duty (if you will) in the South has been “interesting” to say the least. The people are super friendly, at least the ones in the city limits, given my background I don’t venture too far out of the city since a friend of mine who went to college here recommended that I “stay on the highway”. All in all, barring  one time that I did not stay the course and saw a back roads bar with an “Obamaque” banner out front during the election, all in all things have been normal. You may omit the time that my husband and I went camping and hit the local convenient store for supplies and were greeted kindly by the attendant, but had to literally close our mouth shut and withhold a snicker when a native fellow walked in behind us and was greeted by said attendant with a very loud and sonorous “Hello Booger!” That was a good time, but not the only time that I have been compelled to keep quiet. During that same camping trip (again, leaving the “stay on the highway” advise aside just that once) a camper stopped over to chat with us by our campfire. Roughly about ten minutes in he had shared his views on homosexuality and also how “black people are, ya know, different” and just before my feminist, Yankee mouth went off on said camper, my husband ever so astutely and may I say just damn well-timed asked what kind of holster the gentlemen was wearing. When asked, the camper raised his sweatshirt to reveal a handgun. Que? Yes, remember how my big ole feminist Yankee mouth was about to go off and rail and educate and put some small-minded country folk in his place? Yeah, I pretty much just changed the subject.

(@BrandonNKelly, http://www.WhyWomenAre.com)

Beyond those events, I have learned to accept the dominant role that religion plays in the day to day life of the South, the dearth of restaurants and the fact that besides the City of Charlotte, this State went Red in the last election. I have forgiven all of these things save for one comment that was made to me in the state run liquor store. My husband and I were there to buy spirits for a party we were throwing.  At the checkout counter the older, fatherly clerk carded me and was being very complementary about my looks- to- age ratio, albeit in a very respectful way which did not get as much as an eyebrow raise from my husband. After my husband paid I went – almost instinctively – for the bag while he was wrapping his receipt around his credit card, at which time the clerk raised his hands and said, “no, you’re in the South now, stay in your lane” and proceeded to hand the bag to my husband. “Stay in your Lane?” I thought. I mean, I am totally fine with dudes holding the door open for me and I even like it when my husband pulls out the chair for me when we are in nicer restaurants, but to be discouraged from carrying my own flippin bag out of a store? I am all about the grand gesture, trust me when I tell you that I LUV gestures, but if we dissect this whole stay in your lane business was the clerk really throwing a veiled warning my way?  Was his fatherly demeanor really a mask for some old school business? I wonder now if I should have even been in the liquor store?! What his commentary has done is show me that perhaps, albeit a random event, that people are out there every day in the South and also perhaps elsewhere encouraging people to stay in their lanes. By not having more examples of women in leadership roles is that not a subliminal message that we need to stay in our domestic lanes and bag out of the “game”? Think of the ways that you have been encouraged to avoid a certain path and by so doing made to take another one. What is a woman’s lane?  Is it pink? Is it slower or faster than a man’s lane? Are their extra lanes for women with kids vs. those without? Do the cars have cameras which monitor our choices and progress? Can men drive in our lanes if they want? Can we drive in theirs? What happens when we do? Do clerks in liquor stores mask their disgust when we veer out of our lanes and might they call the cops on us if we appear to be repeat offenders? Can we pull off the road completely and walk or ride our bikes? When I think of lanes I think of only one, the fast one, the one where I blow past the people who are holding me up, the mini vans or the absent minded cell phone talker behind the wheel.

(@BrandonNKelly, http://www.WhyWomenAre.com)

If I am to stay in my line, rest assured it will be a lane that I define and create for myself. As a woman of color, and according to the National Geographic Genographic test (41% Sub Saharan, 22%Mediteranean, 22% Northern European, 3%South African and 11% Southwest Asian) to be exact – my lane is not one easily defined. I am a woman, I am a married woman, I do not particularly like authority, I do not particularly like Michael Buble, for I find him to be a sterile facsimile of the real thing, Sinatra, who is one of many dead musicians I listen to regularly.  So what precisely is my lane? I vote democratic, but had considered John McCain before he embraced his crazy and lost his own voice. What is my lane exactly? And for that matter what is anyone else’s? To hell with it all I say. Let’s eliminate lanes, like in India where my husband tells me the concept of lanes is really more a guideline than a formality. But without lanes where would we be? Like the plight of the transsexuals, to occupy both lanes. I think it would be a beautiful dilemma being everything. In the same way that an adopted child can imagine fantasy birth parents, ones with majestic wings who can fly or at the very least pay bills, as opposed to the more stolid reality. To transcend a definition, to bypass your lane altogether, that must be something. Becoming your own America, settling the new land, tabula rasa, making it what you want. But don’t forget that there are always natives in a new land. Baked inside of us there is a path, there is a path for madness, there is a path for greatness and there is a path that will lead some off of the road altogether. In some there are silent voices within that signal beyond the lanes a predetermined outcome; a marker for cancer, a marker for madness. But how to bypass what lies beneath? Might it be far easier to block what lies outside just beyond ourselves? What is the road to transcendence? Is it the Autobahn where there are no speed limits? Is it forgoing that DNA test, the potential sheet of black ice that may or may not be in your path, the right way to go? Or should you choose instead to wait idle at the wheel for signs of a thumb tremble to begin in your fifties, a harbinger of the tsunami to come. Is it conditioning out and away from your true tendencies with discipline? Is it letting your husband take the bag of spirits from the fatherly clerk’s well-intentioned hands? This is what we all must determine. The lanes are really only a guideline, know that you can go wherever you want no matter who tells you to stay in your lane, know that you are behind the wheel, you are in control, as much as any of us can be while on the road.

@BrandonNKelly, http://www.WhyWomenAre.com

Lane Image

Kim Kardashian: Mother of the Year!

I am not from Los Angeles nor am I wrapped up in that Hollywood hullabaloo. I do not idolize anyone other than my accountant and maybe some dead jazz artists and also Lena Horne, beyond those people I do not care nor do I spend money or time following their trips or trends or sex tapes. At the apex of this bizarro universe is Kim Kardashian. I do not know Kim, all that I have observed from her photographs is that she has pretty looking hair, a big ass and knows how to pose really well. Kim is after all, second only to J. Lo as the woman who legitimized (within the mainstream) gigantic asses. I may have seen a snippet of her sex tape and perhaps by so doing I have also surmised that she likes sex. Good for her I say! I perhaps wouldn’t have filmed myself and sold the rights of this footage to anyone, but hey it’s America right? I am not sure how she’s going to hide the tape from her child but maybe Kanye can figure that out, he’s a genius right?

Anyway, I believe anyone who is writing about someone should at least be able to claim that they were in the room with the person for a period of time; fortunately I can make this claim.  Kim and I have shared a space twice, both times at concerts. Once at Prince, yes that Prince concert where she got up on stage and attempted to keep up with him, and did not do so very well. But honestly, who could really? In my bones I know that I would have tried but I probably would have been so star stuck that I would have completely lost my shit too, so no judgment there. I saw her again at a Beyonce concert, and yes, Beyonce sang at the concert, the entire concert actually and well. Anyway, at the Beyonce concert she was in Beyonce’s inner circle section and there were a lot of photos being taken of her, again, maybe that’s where all that posing comes in handy. So, Kim, a high school grad with no additional education, is at the epicenter of this new brand of show business and has taken the beast by the horns and slayed it. There are many people who envy Kim’s success; success in this equation meaning (endorsement deals, press, fame and of course money). So why with all of her showy LA “success” do I think Kim Kardashian is going to be a great mother? I mean this is a woman with limited education, a sex tape (that is still available for download) and two failed marriages under her belt why pick her? Because, while Kim may flaunt her face and other assets, today, while she’s preggers she’s keeping her pregnancy private. This is the line in the sand that she has not crossed for the benefit of her brand; an approach which runs contrary to all of her other maneuverings; reality shows, televised weddings, and televised break ups. But now, when it comes to her prospective spawn Kim has said “no thank you” to the glaring eye of the media. Bravo, I say.

But what’s so telling is that the one thing that makes Kim Kardashian go into protect mode flips the completely opposite switch for most of the women that I know. Women who shy away from group photos, women who have never posed for one of those cheesy sexed up photos at the mall, women who gather a cover up (even when in shape) for any photo taken at the beach. These same women, women who occupy as I said the “Real world” completely lose their shit and turn into their own brand of fame whores at the first sight of a rounded belly bulge. These women Facebook about ironing their babies three-month old clothes while they are in their second tri-mester and for the love of God all of those belly shots and “I can’t believe I’m already so big and it’s only been two months!” The sharing of this specific brand of intimacy is perverse.  Maybe it’s just a Facebook trend but I doubt it. It’s baby as status symbol. Like the thick gold chains the early rappers wore around their necks to show their street cred, babies are the new hood ornament. Maybe this isn’t new. Maybe it’s just that with all of the social media touch points out there you can’t help but be bombarded by these images and postings.

While Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy has made her go into “protect mode” why have all of the other mere mortals out there gone in the complete opposite direction. Is it that the baby bump is a visible sign that makes them stand out? Is it that they glow? This is all great and I am happy for people who want to get and be pregnant. But what is most upsetting to me is the vanity play. Is pregnancy everyone else’s Kim Kardashian moment in the sun? There I said it. HEY LOOK AT ME I’M PREGNANT! To which I think so what? I had sex this morning only unlike you I didn’t get knocked up, winning! Since when is getting pregnant considered an accomplishment? You didn’t exactly do anything special, you just allowed yourself to get pregnant during sex. So in a sick way are you celebrating your sex life? Isn’t that supposed to be private?

Unlike these women who flaunt their baby bumps and go on for days and days about the prospective arrival of their spawn, Kim is – perhaps for the first time in her entire life – keeping mum. Can we as a society take the hint from one of the biggest reality stars in the world and cease advertising our pregnancies and our children and our nurseries? Can we keep our domestic lives private? Can we protect our children from the onslaught of this new perverse culture of voyeurism? In a world where our mishaps can go viral and where our malapropos can stick and forever chisel away at our hard earned reputations; running in an endless loop for all to see and relay and repost. In this new world where every bad date is archived, where there now exists revenge porn, where every wrong turn is illuminated, it is our duty to protect our offspring until the very last moment. But how can you protect them if they’ve already been outed to the world before they were even born? What chance do they have of creating a private life for themselves when you have already outed them in utero? I commend Kim for deciding to keep her pregnancy under wraps, at least as of 1/30/13 which is when I am writing this piece.

I can’t help but think back to the “before times” where there used to be some discretion about this whole baby game and for good reason. You know why? Because the baby game is a messy business. Shit happens to pregnant women (between 10% – 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage), shit happens to unborn wanted children, things happen to women during childbirth (poor Sybil), things can happen to children the day after they are born, things can happen to children a week after they are born. So traditionally you don’t count your eggs – sorry for the pun – but you don’t count your eggs before they are hatched.

So I beg of you, follow Kim’s lead and take down your baby bump photos from Facebook, take down pictures of your kids too. It is your job to protect your children and not parade them around like little circus freaks or glorified mini-you’s. They are there to be protected.  You do know that monsters use computers and find their prey online.  You are their parents. Don’t post about their wrongdoings, don’t post about their successes, and leave them out of your vanity play. They are powerless in this decision. While the future most undoubtedly will consist of future Kardashians running around with their own TV shows, clothing lines and DVD’s, the rest of us mere mortals need to tread lightly. We won’t have the same protections as a multi-millionaire when it comes time to enter college and get hired by a multi-national corporation. Our histories will not be erased. Those imprints will be there forever. Your side comment about your babies behavioral problem will be misconstrued and will remain in the ether and unlike Kim Kardashian will not continue to rake in millions of dollars long after she has closed down her reality TV shows and sold off her clothing lines and DVD licenses. You are giving it all away and for free no less. While I admire Kim for keeping mum about her baby, there’s still a good chance that she will be coerced to publish photos of her newborn but if that happens trust me when I tell you she ain’t giving them away in a free Facebook posting. Kim and her progeny will be just fine it’s the rest of us that I’m worried about.

@BrandonNKelly, www. WhyWomenAre.com, BrandonKelly@WhyWomenAre.com

Things to do when you’re stressed out and “on a budget”

As is usually the case, life happens to all of us. Life, I call him Mark (which is my least favorite name, probably because it ends with a K that strikes the back of my throat – an area only engaged on the rare occasion that I find myself puking, Mark).

When Mark happens and you’re on a budget which is just a fancy way of saying you’re broke, I have some ideas that might relieve some of the tweak from your britches.

1)      Call that funny friend. We all have a funny friend, sometimes it may just be your friend who drinks too much and is generally always a little buzzed, but either way, they are funny. Sometimes they are funny without trying to be. Either way, it’s a chance for a quick chuckle, which you’ll notice didn’t cost you a dime. Some may feel that to better manage Mark, you must find someone having a worse time of it and then leave the call feeling relieved, this will not help and frankly is an amateur mistake. When you call a Debbie Downer, you will get sucked into their Markness and usually stuck on the phone for at least 40 minutes hearing about how bad their Mark is. DO NOT CALL DEBBIE, call the drunk!

2)      IF you have a job and it’s a Monday or a Friday, call in sick. Sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. But if you call in sick, don’t end up in the following places:

  1. On the local news, even just walking by one of those reporters could get you fired as you will no doubt end up on the evening news and will be spotted by your least favorite co-worker and then the jig is up.
  2. DON’T go to your favorite Thai lunch spot, because that would be near your job dumbass.
  3. Don’t get arrested. That’s more a general don’t but also applies here.

3)      If you are within two hours of a coastline, go to the beach. Nothing can enhance your mood like the ocean and beyond gas money to get there, it’s free! If you are landlocked find a state park, pack provisions and go for a walk – I hate to call them hikes because that just sounds too intense. Bring a book and just sit outside and let the sun give you free vitamin D.

4)      If it’s winter and it’s too cold to go outside OR if you hate it outside go to the movies (sneak in your own popcorn, drink and candy. If there’s nothing playing that you want to see – which is usually the case – check to see if your community is sponsoring any free concerts. If they are not, check in with a local university to see if they have any plays or concerts going on and while they may not be professional quality, free beats perfection any day. If nothing is going on where you live, drive to someplace that has something going on, even just a poetry reading – which should be free, because it just should be.

5)      While you’re out, pick up some fresh vegetables and maybe an ingredient that you aren’t overly familiar with, maybe a new spice. Try to make a new dish one that is unfamiliar to you. There are thousands of free recipes online to choose from.

6)      When you come home, put on some music from a different time period or culture. Make it a theme night. Since you can’t jet off to Rome, put on some Italian opera music and make an Italian dish from scratch.

7)      Change the lighting around in your house, there’s nothing more renewing than entering a new space, so refresh your surroundings. Move things around, change your comforter cover and maybe light some candles.

8)       I think the TV should be completely off limits. It’s a distraction and it can ruin the experience and it’s also a part of many people’s daily routine and since this is supposed to be a sort of mental vacation, turn the tube off.

9)      IF you have a bathtub run the water, put some bubbles in there, if you’re a dude, bubbles are ok for you too. Soak. Bring your music into the bathroom with you but don’t put the radio directly over your bathtub or else you might end up on a permanent vacation.

10)   If you have no bathtub, put on some super relaxing music and lay on your back in a room that you do not use very often. Focus on your breathing and imagining the life that you want. Don’t limit yourself. Seriously, take your mind on a journey. Imaging living in the place you will feel most content, perhaps it’s a little fishing town in Spain, maybe Detroit, probably not Detroit, wherever it is, put yourself there. Imagine feeling excited to slap your feet down on the floor first thing in the morning and going off to do the thing that most energizes you. What is that thing? Imagine being surrounded by people that bring positivity to your life and do not drain your resources. I am basically asking you to craft a new Mark for yourself. When you are done. Write down what you saw. Put this on your refrigerator and begin to build a plan to get there.

11)   Once you’ve done that and your back is sufficiently stiff, get your ass to bed since you can’t call in sick two days in row!

The whole point of this de-tweaking plan is to get you out of your head and into a different space. Once the location has changed then it’s important to take a look at what’s going on in your head, peeling back the layers to determine what you want. Chances are you are tweaked because you are not living the life you want. People tend to use vacations as a tool to achieve this, but in a difficult economy many, many people cannot afford to take the time off to take a vacation, or simply don’t have the disposable income to do so. What I’ve offered above is a way to game the system and take a free vacation, if only for the day. Good luck.

@BrandonNKelly, http://www.WhyWomenAre.com

I’ve Got Binders Full of Women and My Momma Ain’t Home!

But I love my family and my God. And I’m too important to go to Vietnam, my dad told me. And he was right. I worked hard.  I did. Got two degrees, didn’t really even need the one with his connections but I knew better. It would be easier to disregard me without them. And I had her at my side; the strong jaw, the immigrant’s daughter, the origin of their tongue long gone, washed away with the tide of the American tongue and obscured with time, American now. Soon there were sons, then more bounty.


But I had a secret. If they nick me they will see it, the void. My father fills it most days. Long gone as he is, he is still in my memory bay, plain as day, and stern as ever. I love him. I want to be him. I know the steps. I practiced his stance, his smile, his carriage in the mirror as a boy. As a man now I remember. But at times, when I forget, when the system overloads the other appears, the one who forgets names and boundaries and that his station is a station occupied by the few and not the many. My beach house must grow. I don’t care about the neighbor’s view. They have no power for they have not sought it out, not rooted it out of the Earth like a dog in search of truffles; that rare pleasure, power. But I have.

How dare she ask me a question like that? I told her “No”. Maybe that wasn’t right to do, but when he starts I can’t always stop him. I can’t always hold him back and remind him that the station his father bought him and that he has worked to keep and grow is a privilege. But he yearns so. He feels his yearning around his neck and beneath his tie which constricts him just near the pulse. That’s when I can’t stop it. I just can’t stop it. You know he’s got a lot of gall that one tonight. He showed no fear. Doesn’t he know who I am? I bet he wouldn’t be so composed with me alone in a conference room. I forget things sometimes, like my faith. There was that kid in school that they keep bringing up, the kid whose hair we cut. Ok, I cut. So what? He was a wimp. And that’s what happens to wimps. They get it every time. My dad taught me that. He taught me to be strong. He made me that way. He mined the steel that built my legs. He divined the sheath that is now my skin. My father made me. He made me in his image. Are we not all just a reflection of someone?


But at times, I get stuck. They forget that I need oil, since it has to be done in private. I’m not proud of this flaw, this defect. Why do you think she only has boys? That is no accident. When I am serviced regularly as outlined in the manual, everything works out. But when they forget when the reporters are too close and we can’t apply maintenance…it’s not fair. They have no idea how hard it is to keep me running. But there are enough people with enough money invested in me to do so. Not all of them know. Sometimes I forget to sleep. People talk about sleep a lot. I’ve learned what to say but even now I almost chuckle at them, what a flaw in their systems….sleep. What did Shakespeare say about it, oh I forget. You see how I can forget?

I knew not to say “binders full of women” but HE wanted me to. He has a need to be in charge. That woman moderator made me say it. How dare she cut me off! Born from that frustration was the binder comment. You wonder if I think women are equals. I don’t really care either way, I don’t have any female children. My wife is of a different era and is content. So no I don’t care. I know I shouldn’t say that but this is just for my eyes only so it’s ok. I don’t care about the 47% and I don’t care about women, though I love my wife very much, they tell me that is apparent. I am glad I didn’t have to compete with them when I was working. They would have found me out.