Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Why Are More Men Getting Ripped?

I've really enjoyed this summer.  How can you not when you live in Scottsdale, AZ?  The entire town is like one giant resort.  Palm trees, fine restaurants, and beautiful people are the norm and one cannot help but become caught up in the happy, healthy vibe.

As a result, I have found myself feeling better than I have felt in years.  Just like the Huey Lewis tune, "I'm workin' out most every day and watchin' what I eat."  It's quite a contrast from living in Boston where beer and clam chowdah are what is to be expected when a friend asks you out for dinner.

I can't wait to hit the stage when The Price Is Right Live! tour kicks off next month because I know my suits will be fitting me just fine.  It was that same confidence and enthusiasm that led me to spend a few hours at the pool the other day.  The Arizona sun was beating down and it seemed like a nice way to get some color on my face.  No dad bod here.  I was ready.

But so was every other dude.

Is it just me or do men seem to be in really great shape lately?  There's no shame in such an observation.  It's simply that...an observation.  And apparently I'm not the only one to notice as eurakalert.org has devoted an entire study to finding out why today's man is stripped, ripped, and well-equipped.  And, like all else, it boils down to money.

According to the research, the poor economy has caused an overwhelming number of men to seek validation in ways other than a fat wallet.  In fact, a slim waistline seems to be the ego stroke of choice.

In a world where poor economies seem to affect many countries in detrimental ways such as chronic disease, unemployment, and higher rates of poverty, America is taking a drastically different approach to coping.  Since the recession of 2008, guys are hitting the gym.  Looking at the years from '05-'15, the most significant number of new gym memberships belonged to men ages 16-25.  And we can tell.  Just look at the number of pictures of guys with their shirts off appearing on social media!

There's even a term for it:  "spornosexuality" refers to men seeking validation from their bodies rather than their work.

Based on the research, this new trend may not be good for business but it should continue to be good for morale.

Jamie Hakim, a professor in the UK who oversaw the study claims, "the projection of what constitutes a 'good life' has become so spectacular even while the means of home ownership, a prestigious career, and a high income are radically diminishing."

Whatever.  Happiness to me is not being the chubby guy at the pool.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

You Know You're Getting Old When...

Remember the infamous Chris Rock routine where he says he just doesn't want to become the old guy in the club?  It was so funny to me at the time because I was working in nightclubs as a disc jockey and we routinely had male clientele who were slightly past their prime clubbing days.  Now I may have more in common with that guy than I'd like to admit!  I mean, I started to write this post while sitting on my bed but my back was getting sore.  I had to move to my desk!

The truth is, there are a lot of things that I used to enjoy that I'm a little "out of the demo" of today.  Age is something we all face, some of us more gracefully than others.

I enjoy getting older.  No longer am I the driver that people are wary of or must I endure the awkwardness of being too young for dinner party conversation.  Being treated as a veteran more so than a rookie is nice.  So is being addressed as 'sir' rather than 'dude.'  Not to mention the fact that the gray in my stubble draws the occasional compliment always that seems to put a skip in my step.

Yeah, the age thing is fine by me.

But if there is one thing I have learned about life it is that you can't reach for tomorrow while still holding on to yesterday.  It ain't easy to do and we often appear foolish when we attempt it.  In fact, a recent poll surveyed 2,000 people and asked at what age should people stop doing certain things, wearing certain styles, and acting in certain ways.

Now, before I reveal the results, please understand that no one escapes unscathed.  We are all guilty of at least one violation of the list.  With that being said, here we go:

  • Women should not wear a mini-skirt past the age of 39.
  • No one should be on Facebook past the age of 49.
  • No one should be out past midnight past the age of 52.
  • No man should wear a professional sports team jersey past the age of 42.
  • No one should go to a nightclub past the age of 44.
  • No one should wear skinny jeans past the age of 47.
And my two favorites from the list:

  • No one should get a tattoo past the age of 38.
  • No one should watch reality television past the age of 41.
I'll let you discuss amongst yourselves.  But for the record, I do not violate the skinny jeans rule.  Tattoos?  Well, that's another story.

You may be relieved to discover that those surveyed agreed that one is not officially considered "old" until the age of 65.  And 78% believe that we are feeling and acting much younger for much longer.  

That God for that gene that allows us to care less and less about what others think the older we get, right?

One thing I care very much about is staying touch with you.  Please follow me on Twitter and Facebook before we get too old!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Is It The End of the Duckface?

I'm not one to point my perfectly manicured game show host finger at another, but I must make an exception in this case.  When it comes to the overused and virtually abused phenomenon known as the Duckface, I blame Kylie Jenner.

As soon as the lovely fashionista began posting photos of herself puckering those luscious lips, girls of all ages began blowing Instagram and Twitter up with dimly-lit and out-of-focus imitations.  Whatever happened to just smiling?  Maybe I'm starting to sound like my father now that I have kids of my own, but why must everything have a sexual undertone?  Damn those Kardashians and all of their extended family members!

I'm sure Kylie is a sweet girl.  And who could blame her for getting a little rush off of causing a social media windstorm?  But just when it seemed Snapchat and all of its many funky filters may have rescued us from the need to contort our facial features for selfish selfie reasons, along comes Kylie...again.

Fingermouthing is now a thing, good people.  You've seen it.  I've seen it.  You're scrolling through photos of people you do not even know on Instagram and every third or fourth woman seems to be carelessly caressing her lips or just letting her fingers dangle around the outskirts of the mouth.  It's almost as if she was caught off guard by the photo.  This, of course, is not a plausible theory seeing as how she is the one taking the photo.

Yes, fingermouthing is running rampant online.  It has become a "must" for today's "stylegrammers", style bloggers, and self-proclaimed "Influencers."  This too must be credited to Kylie Jenner who claims it was unintentional.  In fact, it seems to stem from the deepest, darkest corner of her psyche.

"I was so insecure about my lips," claims Kylie in a recent issue of Elle.  "Even now I always post photos where my finger is always in front of my mouth...it's a habit.  I would always cover my lips.  I couldn't talk to people.  Or guys."

Well, guys are...never mind.  That's an entirely different post.  But she must have really had some deep-seeded issues with her mouth because even with her now-perfect teeth and lip injections the hands are never out of the shot.  Must be the similar to how I hated peas as a kid and still-to this day-avoid them at all costs when dining in a restaurant.  I feel you, Kylie.

In 2013, Mihn-Ha T. Pham, a professor of media studies who reports on fashion bloggers, explained in Hyphen magazine:

"While there is no single definitive fashion blogger pose, there is a loosely bound set of gestures and postures idiosyncratic to fashion bloggers and their subjects...vulnerable-looking stances, oblique glances, and a single hand on the hip (the teapot)."

So young woman of today somehow believe that appearing vulnerable and checked out is sexy?  I say we sit them all down and bing watch old Charlie's Angels episodes to show girls what being a kick ass chick is all about.

Oh well, I suppose this too shall pass.  But I suspect it will be replaced with something new and equally as seductive and comforting to selfie enthusiasts.  Maybe I'll post a photo of myself standing against a brick wall with my thumb up my nose.  Think that would catch on?  Hey, if girls are still working the teapot anything is possible.

Please join me on Twitter and Facebook.  To order any of my books please click here.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Is Facebook As Powerful As People Say?

I am quite envious and beyond respectful of Mark Zuckerberg.  The guy is a flat-out genius and an undeniable entrepreneurial wizard, right?  On that we can all agree.  At the age of just 32 he is worth a reported $51.8 billion and his philanthropic work is going to benefit millions over the next several decades.

Setting his fortune aside, I am also envious of the man's foresight.  While sitting in his dorm room at Harvard over a decade ago, he realized a need and a want that would, in a relatively short amount of time, change the world as we know it.  But placing an accurate label on that need/want is where I begin to stray from the pack.

On Thursday of last week I sat in on yet another meeting in which yet another young "marketing expert" spouted Facebook as the golden ticket to business success and the ultimate in exposure.  We have all heard this time and time again and seem to have come to accept it as gospel, but this time I had to speak up because hard-working people are being led astray with regurgitated information.

I have a Facebook page and do enjoy the occasional exchange with folks who enjoy a show I've work on or have read one of my books, but I have never felt the social media site has led me even one step closer to great fame or fortune.  In fact, since joining the site in 2004 or 2005, I don't think my career has benefited at all from my presence.

In my opinion, a personal Facebook page is nothing more than a place to stay in touch with people that you don't really want to take the time to call or visit in person.  By "Liking" a photo or comment we are able to jump in and put forth the image of a caring friend or interested colleague when, in fact, we have little or no interest at all in what they wrote or posted.  Nonetheless, we make our presence known because we are aware that billions of people around the world consider the responses they receive on Facebook to be their moment in the sun.  It is the acceptance they as humans so crave and who are we to deny them of such satisfaction?

Of the 1,511 "friends" I have on my personal Facebook page I believe I actually know less than 200 of them.  Scaling it down even further, I may have a phone number for half of those. To me, a friend is someone you actually care about and have an emotional or, at the very least, professional connection with.  I enjoy being a part of their lives and take pride in the fact that news-good or bad-is delivered between the two of us privately rather than online.  If you seek solace through an online post, you clearly do not have enough true, meaningful relationships.  If you did enjoy that type of bond with another you would not feel a need to seek comfort from other social media junkies in the form of an emoji or an overused motivational quote.

On a business level, I have promoted the books I have written, my charity, and live appearances on Facebook many, many times and have never seen a spike in sales.  Why?  Because Facebook is a place people go when they do not want to spend money.  Advertising on Facebook-unless you've budgeted for a targeted marketing campaign-is like fishing in the desert.  It is not a consumer-based platform. It costs nothing to look up an ex-girlfriend or cyber-spy on your neighbors.  Your Facebook companions are people who already know what you are all about and if they wanted to buy what you are selling they'd be on Amazon.  As previously mentioned, I have a fan page and a business page for Newton Luxury Realty but they are simply for added online exposure.  They do not, nor have they ever, place any jingle into my pockets.

I see some value in other sites.  YouTube, for instance, has given us wonders like Justin Bieber and Jenna Marbles.  Unlike Facebook, YouTube encourages the development of actual content.  Still, I believe a well-crafted website that incorporates SEO, the aforementioned content, and a solid mission statement is the true symbol of online professionalism and should be considered the corporate headliner.  As sexy as the word algorithm may be, Facebook is, at best, a mediocre opening act that we pay attention to only because we have nothing better to do.  Sadly, it has escalated to point of addiction for many.  A recent study revealed that Americans log on to social media sites seventeen times a day.  That's at least once every waking hour!  GlobalWebIndex found that the average social media use among us is now more than 1.72 hours a day.  Don't look at me...I got rid of the app more than a year ago.

Facebook is fun.  Facebook is cute.  But a must in business?  No.  Believe me, I am a self-promoting junkie and have done everything from passing out flyers on Sunset Boulevard to barking on the pier of Atlantic City to get passersby to come see me do my thing over the years, but I've yet to come across a post that beats hustle and talent.  However, when it comes to finding out what your second cousin's hairdresser had for lunch while on vacation in Cabo then FB cannot be beat!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Laziest Cities In America

Allow me to be very, very clear...this post does not-I repeat, does not-apply to you.  I mean, you're a hustler of the highest order.  You're up before the roosters mapping out your day, envisioning the dialogue of that big meeting, and sending out emails your colleagues will enjoy waking up to.  You are the one to get it done, right?

But admit it, every now and again it feels good to let the machine wind down only so it can fire back up again.  

Sunday night is my lazy night.  I enjoy ordering my favorite curry takeout dish from the Thai joint across the street and allowing myself to to get lost in exaggerated dialogue of those premium channel shows we all discuss on Monday.

"Lazy" is a subjective term.  It's not in our nature move in any speed but full.  But just because you and I don't understand what it takes to be anything less than a mover and shaker does not mean we set the standard.  The data analysts at realtor.com have compiled a list of cities where one might travel to observe the laziest of the lazy in his/her natural habitat.  The list takes into account such factors as number of restaurants that deliver, number of day spas, average hours of work per week, average hours of sleep, and he average cost of a cleaning service.  Basically all of the things that allow us to engage in the non-hustle.

Here they are:

1.  Boca Raton, FL
2.  Orlando, FL
3.  Boulder, CO
4.  Las Vegas, NV
5.  Miami, FL
6.  Provo, UT
7.  Berkely, CA
8.  Ann Arbor, MI
9.  Pasadena, CA
10.  San Francisco, CA

San Fran's appearance on the list is ironic in the sense that it is where a slew of do-it-yourself apps originated.  Nonetheless, this study begs the question:  are residents of these cities really lazy, or have they simply figured it all out ahead of the rest of us?

Please take a moment to follow me on Twitter and remember my new book, The Host with the Most: Tales of a Tattooed Television Personality, makes the perfect summer read.  It is available now on Amazon.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Would You Give Up The Internet To Save A Stranger?

We are all hooked on the Internet.  Please don't deny it.  We justify it in many ways.  We say it is vital to our careers, which it is.  We say it is a wonderful way to gain knowledge that we had no access to not so long ago.  Which it is.  And we say shopping online beats driving to the mall.  Which it does.  All very valid points.

I'm extremely reliant upon the Internet.  I'm not ashamed.  In fact, I'm grateful for it.  It allows me to reach new levels of productivity that, without it, I never would have achieved.  With a few simple clicks on my laptop I can share my books, speak to friends in other countries, and stay on top of business wherever I may happen to be.  The Internet is nothing short of a life changer.

All of this being said (and agreed upon), if it came down to it how far would you go to keep your Internet access?  I don't mean for a day or even a week...I mean your access.

Last month, researchers at AT&T conducted a study in which they asked 2,000 Americans what they would give up to stay connected.  The results show just how vital the Internet has become to our day-to-day existence.

55% would choose Internet access over saving a stranger's life.

35% would rather keep the Internet than cure cancer.

33% would rather give up their sense of taste than give up online access.

30% would cut off a finger.

15% would give up human interaction.

Actually, I've met some people who are so addicted to their smartphones that I think they already have given up human interaction, but the point of this blog is not to judge.  It is simply to info-tain.

While you still have your online connection, I invite you join me on Twitter.  And don't forget my new book, The Host with the Most: Tales of a Tattooed Television Personality is available now.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Why We Lose Socks In The Dryer

Finally!  One of life's greatest mysteries has apparently been solved and it took a genius to answer one of mankind's most lingering questions...

Where the hell is my other sock?

To be honest, I've gotten to the point of just tossing a lone sock when its mate disappears.  I can't handle the frustration and I'm all about making life as stress-free as possible.  At 6'2", I'm not about to bed over and stick my head inside of the dryer like some goofy search party out of a National Lampoon movie.  Though I would never classify myself as a quitter, wise is he who recognizes defeat and sets out on bigger missions.  Yes, I just waxed philosophy in a blog post about laundry.

Psychologist Simon Moore and statistician Geoff Ellis have taken it upon themselves (apparently during a slow point in the world of research) to break down the factors that lead to missing socks.  They refer to it as The Sock Loss Index and in an effort to ease your mind, beloved reader, I proudly share the equation with you.

The first step is to multiply the number of people in your household and the frequency of washes.  You also multiply the types of washes (darks, whites, delicates, etc.) times the number of socks you wash within the course of one week.

Next, add those numbers together.

Now here is the magic factor, if you will.  You must incorporate the attitude of the person doing the laundry.  For instance, are they scrupulous when it comes to the chore?  Meaning to they look in pockets, unroll sleeves, etc.  What is the degree of their meticulousness?  Not surprisingly, men are found to be less attentive to the details than women.

The next step in the equation is to multiply attitude times attention to detail and subtract it from the other number.  Make sense?  If it doesn't you see the point of the study.  We make doing laundry way more complicated than it needs to be.  Perhaps that explains why the average person loses approximately 15 socks per year.  That translates to 1,264 missing socks in a lifetime.

The top three reasons people give for losing socks are:

-They fall behind furniture
-They don't make it into the dryer in the first place
-They blow away while drying outside.

I don't understand how someone who participates in an online survey could still be drying their clothes outside, but I'm not here to judge.  I am, however, here to invite you to join me on Twitter.

Make it a great day!