Humor – Basic Joke Construction

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I highly recommend that you read the first article in this series before continuing, for obvious reasons.

In the last article we talked about the key ingredient in humor – the element of surprise – and how creating humor doesn’t start with finding the funny in life, but rather finding the truth in life. Today we are going to start there and travel down the road of joke construction.

Finding the truth

Humor starts with the things we find to be true about life. At this stage of the game we aren’t looking to get a laugh. We are looking for the things we find to be true of life that other people can relate to. That’s a broad topic. So let me make it easier and tell you to look for those things in life that you think are weird, hard, scary or stupid. These are attitude words and I’m not the first or the last to use them. Just find a topic and ask yourself what you find to be weird, hard, scary, or stupid about that topic.

For example: What’s hard about marriage?

If you’re married, I would imagine that several things come to mind.

How about: What’s scary about drinking and driving?

Or: What’s weird about television commercials?

Let me remind you that the goal is not to think funny, but to think truth. The funny will come later. Stick to your attitude words. I recommend that you get a spiral notebook to start collecting all these random thoughts because you will do a great bit of writing before you hit on something you’ll want to keep. When I sit down to write, I like to think of a topic and just let the creative process go. Sometimes I write about what it was like being an overweight teenager – what was weird, hard, scary or stupid. Sometimes I write about being the oldest kid, or being an older parent.

Two things to help you when you go through this process:

1. Think of things other people will relate to. They don’t have to have gone through that exact situation, but you want to find something they can sympathize with. You might not want to talk about what is hard about growing up owning a camel because chances are good nobody in your audience can relate to that. But they can relate to losing a pet, or wanting some kind of strange animal as a pet.

2. The more specific you get your topic, the better. Instead of talking about dating, why not talk about internet dating. Instead of using the topic of parenthood, why not talk about what it’s like to be a lazy parent. When you pick a general topic, keep in mind that hundreds of other comedians are falling on that same general topic. To be unique (which is key in comedy) you need to get more specific.

I have found that some of the best topics are those that make you annoyed, irritated, angry, etc. Chances are good that you’re not alone in that way of thinking. Again, pick the topics that most people will have experienced.

This is actually the topic for the next article, so let’s leave this and jump into joke construction and later we’ll go back to the process of finding topics, which is better done once you’ve learned to craft a standard joke.

Basic joke construction

Let me begin by saying there is no standard joke. There are many different formulas floating around out there created by different people as they explain their own creative path to joke construction. Find the ones that work best for you. Read the books. I recommend Judy Carter’s The Comedy Bible for starters. Then get Greg Dean’s book on Standup Comedy. Those are two of my favorites, but you have a lot to choose from. Study. Practice. And WRITE!

Jokes are told and delivered in millions of different ways – almost as unique as the individual creating the joke. But if you peel it all away, you will find that every joke consists of two parts: the setup and the punch. You will hear it called different things by different people. But it still means the same thing – two parts, the setup and the punch.

The setup is the serious part of the joke. This is where you set your audience up. This is where you force them to make an assumption. Many comedians will mistakenly try to make their setup funny. Don’t. Make it true.

For example:

I lost fifty pounds.

There is nothing funny about this statement.

Here’s the punch:

Oh, not all at once. I lost ten, gained twenty….lost five, gained two….

Okay, so it’s not the best joke in the world, but it’s an example of how a joke has two parts. And, by the way, the setup can be one line or a whole paragraph. Whatever it takes.

The punch is the second part of the joke where you surprise your audience. Remember in the first article where I talked about shattering expectations? Well, here you go. The punch is where you say what they didn’t expect you to say. This is the funny part. And there is more than one way to surprise your audience.

And that’s it. I know, sounds too easy to be true. Trust me, it is anything but easy. It takes work and a lot of writing. It takes writing twenty bad jokes to get to one good one. But if you continue to work through the process, you will get better at it. So let me leave so you can get to work.

But before I go, here are some quick jokes that I’m constructing right here on the spot, simply by creating a setup and then adding a punch. Keep in mind that some won’t seem as funny on paper as they would be delivered on a stage.

My boyfriend and I have been together three years.

Oh, he doesn’t know it yet.

I bought a cream that was guaranteed to get rid of unwanted bulges.

I put it on my husband.

I finally got my son to sleep in his own bed.

About time…..the kid’s fifteen!

Okay, I know I said I was leaving, but one more helpful hint before I go. Write a setup (any setup) and then stop (before you try to think of funny things) and think about what we assume to be true of this setup. When I said above that my boyfriend and I have been together for three years, you assume that he knows it.

The more you start writing setups and punches, the more you will start to see ways that you can tweak your setup to create a better or different surprise. Find words that have double meanings. If you’re a pun man, then start playing with your puns.

Here’s an old old old joke. I can’t remember who wrote it, but it wasn’t me. And I’ve heard many people do it.

The doctor told me I had two weeks to live. I said, “Doctor I want a second opinion.” He said, “Fine. You’re also ugly.”

Okay, I’m really going now. At the count of three. One….two…

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Source by Kelly Swanson

Removing Your Stretched Painting From Gator Board

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These simple instructions will allow you to remove your stretched painting from Gator Board and leave your board without any damage:

Ensure your painting is bone dry first.

Take a look around your tape to see if you can find an area where there may be a slight lift/air space in the area where the tape meets the watercolor paper? I use a kitchen knife that has a strong but thin blade. Holding a knife at an angle to ensure you don’t pierce the board too – simply pierce a small hole so you can gently slide the knife underneath the watercolor paper. Ensure your knife is held as flat to the board as possible so you don’t disturb the surface of the board – of course.

Once you have the point of the knife underneath the w/c paper – you simply slide the knife around the edges of the watercolor paper (I like to hold the knife reasonably low and flat to the board. It is just like opening an envelope with an envelope knife.

Voila! Now your painting is separate from the board!

Do I remove the tape on the edge of the painting?

You have some choices:

You have taken your painting from your board and this will leave part of the stretching tape still adhered to the white margin of your painting. (I always ensure I have an inch or more white margin around my painting).

You can cut the tape off if you don’t like it. Or leave it on the edge of your painting for stability. The decision whether to leave your tape on your paper is a choice for you.

One thing to consider

Is the tape you use archival? This will influence your decision.

If you use Lukas Wet Adhesive Tape

The Lukas tape I use is archival so it should not be a problem to leave it on the edge of the painting.

If you use Brown Gummed Tape

I know the brown gummed tape I used to use is also archival. (But unfortunately the tape does not have a brand name or identifiable markings so I am not able to recommend a brown gummed tape).

Because I can’t speak for the numerous brown gummed tapes available – I would recommend you cut the tape off the edge of your white margin around your painting.

How to remove the tape from your Gator Board

The remainder tape is of course still on your Gator Board. I throw my Gator Board in the bath with the taped side of the board facing downward. I leave it 10 minutes or so and then simply pull the last of the tape off. Sometimes I may need to use a blunt knife to get the stubborn pieces off – but generally it comes off without much effort at all.

Remember to wipe around the area where the tape had been to ensure you have wiped off any remaining gum. We don’t want your next painting to stick to the board.

This sounds involved but in fact it is very straight forward and easy to do. I have explained it in fine detail to help you understand every scenario. Once you have tried these suggestions you will find it all very logical and easy to do.

Now your board is fresh and clean and ready for your next painting. If you look after your Gator Board it will give you years of service. It is a fabulous product.

Happy painting!

Susan

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Source by Susan Harrison-Tustain

Chinese Herbal Formulas to Treat Brain Symptoms and Disease

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Quantum Brain Healing uses Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) along with other therapies to heal the brain. TCM utilizes both acupuncture and herbal medicine to treat disease. Modern medicine of the future looks to enhance brain function and intellect as well as treat existing diseases. Family history of certain brain diseases like senile dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s will be treated with herbal medicine prior to the disease’s onset to prevent or diminish the severity of the disease. Quantum Brain Healing hopes to have diagnostic testing that can do cellular testing of herbs in a laboratory to pinpoint which herbs and herbal formulas will best treat the patient’s disease.

Quantum Brain Healing often uses TCM herbal formulas for treating brain related symptoms and diseases. Below are several of the Chinese herbal formulas that may be used to treat and prevent brain diseases. The formulas are not intended to be purchased by a patient. These formulas are meant to expose people to the unique symptoms and diseases which can be treated or improved with TCM and direct patients into seeking an appointment with a TCM or alternative medicine doctor to receive the correct formula for their individual diagnosis. The Chinese formula descriptions are based on classic Chinese disease patterns. As patients take formulas, their symptoms will morph and formulas will be altered to these changes. It is possible that person’s chronic illness will require the same herbal formula for an extended time period, but one should not assume this to be the case.

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang He Sheng Mai San Jia Jian (Blue Poppy) is an antiaging formula which can treat stress, dizziness, fatigue, stimulate the immune system, and increase brain circulation to enhance the memory. The Chinese diagnosis for this formula is that it boosts the qi, enriches yin, and arouses the brain, but, because it upbears the clear and disinhibits the qi mechanism, it supplements without stagnating. In particular, this formula supports the organs that provide energy to the body which are the lungs, spleen, and kidneys. It boosts immunity, improves both physical and mental performance, and improves adaptation to stress. It is indicated for the treatment of qi and yin dual vacuity resulting in fatigue, lowered immunity, and aging. Immortal Qi can also be used as a sports performance-enhancing supplement as well as for the prevention and treatment of altitude sickness

Chai Hu Long Gu Mu Li Tang (Plum Flower or Blue Poppy) treats complaints such as stress, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, irritability, anger, nicotine withdrawal, drug withdrawal, alcohol withdrawal, frustration and schizophrenia. The Chinese diagnosis for this formula is liver-spleen disharmony with depressive heat, phlegm dampness, and disquieted heart spirit.

Jie Yu Ding Mian Fang or Resolve Depression & Stabilize Sleep (Blue Poppy) treats insomnia with irritability or emotional depression. The Chinese diagnosis for this formula is insomnia lasting for longer than three months and where patients may not sleep at all or sleep for one to two hours per night. Patient has a combination of liver depression qi stagnation with possible depressive heat and blood stasis with malnourishment and disquietude of the heart spirit.

Modified Eleven Flavors Warm the Gallbladder (Blue Poppy) treats symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, depression, PMS, and perimenopausal syndrome. The Chinese diagnosis includes heart-gallbladder qi timidity with depressive heat in the heart, liver, and possibly stomach and intestines. Heart-gallbladder qi timidity is the shorthand name for a more complex pattern. The entire disease pattern is based on the liver and spleen being out of balance with one another. This is liver depression and spleen qi vacuity with depressive heat and phlegm harassing the heart spirit. It also includes heart qi and blood vacuity due to enduring spleen vacuity.

Suan Zao Ren (Plum Flower) treats stress symptoms including migraine headaches, dizziness, insomnia, and mental agitation. The Chinese diagnosis for this formula includes nourishing the blood, clearing excess heat and calming the spirit

Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan (Plum Flower) or Emperors Teapills treat mild to moderate cases of anxiety, irritable, concentration problems, senile dementia, memory problems, restlessness, and occasional insomnia. The Chinese diagnosis for this formula is that it nourishes Yin & blood, tonifies Heart & calms spirit.

Xiao Yao Wan (Blue Poppy) treats symptoms of neurosis, insomnia, irritation, panic, vertigo, anxiety, stress, dizziness, and depression. The Chinese diagnosis for this formula includes liver depression and spleen vacuity with blood vacuity and possible dampness.

Yi Nao Jiao Nang treats brain complaints of neurasthenia, insomnia, poor memory, profuse dreaming, brain arteriosclerosis and dizziness. The Chinese Diagnosis for this formula includes qi and blood deficiency with deficiency of kidney essence and liver and kidney yin.

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Monet's Water Lilies: The Healing of a Nation

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In the summer of 1918, Claude Monet, the great French Impressionist, was facing disaster. In the distance, the 78 year old artist could hear the guns of the German army, signaling the advance of the enemy. World War I was in its fourth year and it was becoming increasingly likely that German soldiers could be at Monet's beloved estate at any moment. The paradise he had created during the last thirty years near the French town of Giverny. At its core, the miraculous water lilies pond that was perhaps more important to Monet than his own life.

For Monet had refused to leave his home at Giverny, even when the majority of his family members had deserted it back in 1914 at the beginning of the conflict. As he wrote to a friend, Gustave Geoffroy, "Many of my family has left … a mad panic has located all this area … as for me, I'll stay here, all the same … in the middle of my canvases, in front of my life's work. " (1)

Giverny had always been near the war zone, close to some of the heaviest fighting of the war, but Monet had remained. Demonstrating the stubbornness and resolve that had enabled him to help found the new art movement of Impressionism in the earlier days of his artistic career. However, as the war continued, inflating a level of unpresented death and destruction, Monet was inspired by a cause greater than he had ever known: to heal his people. To paint a vision of beauty that would restore the spirit of his French countryside after the debacle was over. A water lilies cycle that would cover the walls of a vast room, and according to Monet, in an interview for an arts magazine, offer "an asylum of peaceful meditation in the center of a flowering aquarium." (2)

By 1918, Monet had already created twelve water lilies murals which he called his Grandes Decorations. Measuring over six feet in height and nearly fourteen feet in width each, they dominated the space of his new studio. An accomplishment probably not possible without the support of the Prime Minister of France, Georges Clemenceau, who was also the artist's long time friend. For Clemenceau believed just as fervently in Monet's mission, even at times allowing materials for his friend's studio to take precedence over the transport of military supplies.

Now, as the Germans appeared to be winning, all would be lost. "I do not have long to live and I must dedicate all of my time to painting with the hope of arriving at something that is good, or that satisfies me if that is possible," (3) he told Georges Bernheim Jeune, one of his collectors. But, after a counter-offensive by France and its allies in September, the course of the war suddenly changed and Monet's country was saved.

Clemenceau visited Monet on November 12, 1918, the day after the armistice was signed, when the painter dedicated two works of art to the state of France. But the artist and the statesman had greater ambitions: the Grandes Decorations would represent Monet's ultimate gift to his nation. As leader of France, Clemenceau would employ his influence and power to transform the Grandes Decorations into a national monument.

It would take, though, almost another decade to accomplish this dream. First, Clemenceau was voted out of office in 1920, inevitably slowing the project, especially the funding. Then negotiations stalled, regarding the location of the Grandes Decorations which was not decided until 1922, when the Orangerie (once the greenhouse of the French kings), next to the Louvre, was chosen as the final site. Next, the number of water lilies panels was expanded, from the initial twelve to nineteen (and indeed twenty-two).

Undaunted, Monet at the age of 81, agreed to this massive undertaking that would absorb the last years of his life, until his death in 1926. Yet, it almost never happened. Because Monet had to face another war: the battle for his eyesight.

In 1924, Monet had to end three cataract operations on his right eye, in which he was legally blind. (The left eye with only ten percent vision remained untouched.) Despite the surgery, still a difficult and often excruciating procedure, restored much of his sight in that eye, Monet's perception of color was distanced for more than a year. During this period, he saw everything in blue and could no longer perceive red or yellow.

With the help of special tinted glasses, Monet did persevere and finally completed his Grandes Decorations, just months before he died of pulmonary cancer.

Today, Monet's refugee of "peaceful meditation" in the Musee de L'Orangerie in downtown Paris draws millions of visitors. Where the individual viewer, surrounded on all sides by the spacious murals of endless water lilies, floating in dream-like colors, can escape the tumult of the outside world. Time no longer matters and every day pressures disappear. One can finally relax and revitalize within Monet's painted universe.

For absolutely, the Grandes Decorations is a place of healing, not only of the French people, but of the world.

To view the highlights of the water lilies panels of the Grandes Decorations and other masterpieces of Monet, go to http://www.artseverydayliving.com To discover more about Monet and how to incorporate his vision into your own life, read Through an Artist's Eyes: Learning to Live Creatively .

Excerpt from Monet's letter to Gustave Geoffroy (1) and quote from Monet interview (2) are from Monet by Carla Rachman, while the excerpt from Monet's letter to Georges Bernheim-Jeune (3) is from Claude Monet : Life and Art by Paul Hayes Tucker.

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Source by Joan Hart

The History Of South Asian Food And Why It Is Treated As An Art

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In human food history, cooking traces its way back among the oldest activities undertaken by man. It was so simple as ancient men were hunters and gatherers, and they would hunt, skin and toss their catch into the fire and eat when ready. As time went by, methods that are more intricate were invented and foods were sub-divided into cuisines. In this article, we will focus on the development of one of the Asian cuisines, namely the South Asian Cuisine.

South Asian cuisine is a combination of many cuisines popular in the Indian sub continental region. As its name suggests, it has its origin from the South of Asia, and it is influenced greatly by some Hindu practices, as these are the dominant people found in this region. Other cultural influences also come from the Muslims.

Popular Ingredients And Staple Foods

One of the things that is very popular with this cuisine is a flat bread known as Naan and is usually taken in combination with many meals. Beans, barley, rice and chapatti, made using wheat, are also very common cuisine foods.

One characteristic of foods in this area is that they are highly flavored using black pepper, chili, cloves and various spices and herbs used in combination with butter ghee. Including ginger in them usually enhances Sweet and savory foods. In meat, the ginger is chopped while it is used as pickled ginger in rice. The popularity of ginger is huge, as the same is boiled to make concentrated syrups that are used in preparing desserts. Curries are made using cumin and turmeric.

Meats such as chicken, goat and lamb are very common but beef is unpopular as a food since it has a sacred place in Hindu worship culture. The severity of the special status of cows is emphasized by prohibition of buffalo meat, as it greatly resembles cows. The same case applies to pork, as Muslims and Hindus avoid it as well. This cuisine has very sweet desserts that are made from dairy products. The most prevalent dessert ingredients are grounded almonds, milk products, sugar and ghee.

Down Memory Lane

Much of Indian food dates as far back as five thousand years. The earliest civilization was composed of people known as Indus, and they hunted alligators and turtles. That civilization is modern day Pakistan. In addition to hunting, they were gatherers of plants, herbs and grains and many food types from this period are still popular today.

A variety of these foods consist of eggplants, cucumber, rice, tamarind, wheat and barley. The use of spice in Asian cuisines dates back to this period, as the Indu people would use ginger, green peppers, salt and barley. An orange colored flavoring and coloring powder was made from grinding the turmeric root.

More Contributors

More contributions into this cuisine were the Aryans, who introduced the using of green vegetables, milk products and lentils into the diet. Spices such as coriander and cumin were part of the Aryan diet at around 1500 BC. The Portuguese popularized potatoes, red chilies and cauliflower around 1600 B.C. One thing that led to the diverse development of this cuisine is that the Asians treat food and cooking as an art, so many precision cooking tools and methods are used.

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Source by Lamar M Mejia

How to Use "Brute Force" Tactics to Make Any Girl Love You – "Confusion & Fractionation"

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If you have ever been rejected by a girl, you will know how painful it is. Come on, guys – fess up – have you ever met a woman who simply just wants to make your life difficult no matter how hard you chase her? If you ever get caught in a situation where you are rendered powerless against the girl – it will be extra hard for you to make her like you in return. But take heart – if you are at your wits end on trying to get her to like you but cannot seem to win her over – it’s time for some no-nonsense, “brute force” tactics that will compel her to get attracted to you. Read on on discover these tricks and get fast results…

2 Brute Force Tactics To Make Any Girl Fall For You

Tactic Number One – “Confusion”. This is the dirty little secret of the seduction community – getting a girl confused is a surefire way to make her lower her barriers to you. If she is too busy figuring our your intentions and trying to ‘read between the lines’ of what you say, she will not be able to consciously reject your advances. How do you do this then? Simple – send out ‘mixed signals’ and make her wonder if you truly like her, or is only playing her.

(Advanced) Tactic Number Two – “Fractionation”. Stolen from the field of hypnosis, this technique involves bringing the woman through a ‘cycle’ of emotions, and associating her happy feelings with you. It is said to be able to make a woman want to sleep with a man in as little as 14 minutes. Deadly powerful stuff.

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Source by Derek Rake

The Concept of Tattoos: A Quick Look!

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When talking about Tattoos, the first thing comes in our mind is attractive designs that will stay with us forever. Tattoos are one of the most accepted forms of expression and art. If you go back to the history of Japan and India, you will find that tattoo exists, since ancient times.

However, Tattoo does not oblige itself to a distinct ethos. Today, there are many people who are inking their body, just for the sake of fashion. Many Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities have also inked their arms, legs, back and other part of their bodies to add a charm to their persona.

Tattoo is a popular body art in which colored ink is inserted in your upper skin layer with the help of special needles. Undoubtedly, this body art is marvelous and the artist who carried out the whole procedure is not only proficient but holds an amazing knowledge of creativeness and inventiveness. Though, before planning for a tattoo, always consider such design, which you think is worth inking. Many times tattooing device ruptures the skin and there are possibilities of skin infections too. So before going to add ink in your life, make sure that:

· Your Tattoo artist must have sufficient knowledge and is proficient in tattooing.

· He/she is professional and has ample knowledge in the field.

· Uses sterilized or fresh needles

· Uses good quality of ink

Tattooing is a famous and well-liked trend among the people of every age. It plays a vital role in one’s life; it can be a simple design or a refined merge of different designs and patterns.

Everyone has different preferences when it comes to inking their body part. Where some people prefer temporary tattoos, some are interested to get inked permanently. In many countries, the favorite tattoo designs among the masses are Indian gods and goddesses. Also, there are many people who love to ink their or their beloved name on the body to show their obsession.

Having tattoos on any part of body not only make one feel stylish and exclusive, but are also used as social status symbol. I do have a Tattoo of Shiva eyes on my wrist, though it is not exactly what I was looking for, so planning for a cover up! When you first Tattoo is not up to the mark, it looks horrible. So, it is essential to keep three things in mind before going to wear any tattoo permanently – meaning, timing and right tattoo artist.

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Source by Triveni Thakur

The Benefits of Painted Wall Murals

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Wall murals are a creative and fun way to liven cold, bare walls. And the best part: anyone can do them – you do not have to be an artist. You can design your own wall mural using your imagination, artwork, greeting cards, or picture books. You can purchase a wall mural stencil kit to help you, or you can find a local artist to design and paint the perfect wall mural.

Painting a wall mural is not difficult, but it does take some work. Before you begin, tape off your woodwork and cover your furniture and carpet to protect them from accidental spills. Depending on the condition of your wall, you may want to apply a neutral base coat to the area where your mural will go. Interior latex paint is a good bet, but you should talk to a paint specialist at a home improvement store to make sure it will work for you. You can use interior latex paint in large blocks of color inside the mural, but acrylic paints work best for the mural's small areas. Acrylic paints are thin and will probably take more than one coat to get the right color.

You will need a variety of brushes for your painted wall mural. Large, broad brushes are best for wide areas of color. Small, rounded brushes are best for small areas. Do not be afraid of getting messy. Mix the colors with your fingers, sponges, or clothes.

Faux finishes can make a painted wall mural unique. Many are easy for beginners. Experiment with some techniques on extra drywall before you start painting your wall mural. Use joint compound and paint to create a fossil rock look or make a stencil pop from the wall. Get directions and other ideas from painted wall mural Web sites, or check out the paint center at your home improvement air. Start with simple techniques, be creative, and have fun.

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Source by Steve Valentino

What to Do When Your Husband Wants a Divorce

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I have a blog in which I share how, with a bit of hard work and good luck, I was able to save my marriage and thwart my husband’s attempts at a divorce.  My husband was dead set on splitting up and was just not interested in anything I had to say regarding preserving our marriage.  This story seems to strike a cord with women, because I so often get comments and emails from wives who tell me that they found me because they desperately want to know how to respond to their husband’s request for a divorce.  They can’t concentrate on legal issues or worry about getting an attorney, because they don’t want this divorce, and more than anything else, they want to save their marriage and put a stop to this whole downward spiral.

I can completely identify, as I was in this same place a few years ago.  I tried every trick in the book to get my husband to change his mind about the divorce.  I tired to call his bluff.  I tried to play hard ball.  I tried to shower him with attention and affection – and none of it worked, but here’s what finally did.

Why What You’re Doing Now To Change His Mind About The Divorce Probably Isn’t Working: Husband’s hate to feel that they are being manipulated.  If you are at a point where your husband wants a divorce, then this was probably not a split second decision that happened over night.  There have probably been a lot of issues that were brushed over, hurts that were never healed, promises that were not kept, and attempts of reconciliation that have repeatedly failed.  You husband likely feels that your marriage is at the point of no return and there’s nothing that can be done to change or rescue things.

So, when you come in all full of promises and plans as to why this time is going to really be different, or if you argue and try to convince your husband why he is wrong, he’s only going to dig in his heels, determined and convinced that there’s no good reason to change his mind.  In not so many words, you’re communicating to him that he’s dead wrong, being selfish, and causing a great deal of problems and pain for all involved.  So, he’s on the offensive, and as a defense mechanism, he’s tuning you out. 

This is obviously a major problem.  You’ll never be able to get him on board with saving the marriage if he won’t listen to you or give you the time of day.  But, please resist the urge to pull out all of the stops and act desperate or panicked.  Don’t follow him around, beg him, engage him, threaten him, or participate in any behaviors that are just going to confirm to him that negative things happen every time you are around.  You want him to think positive thoughts when he thinks of and interacts with you.  So, here’s how to reverse this trend.

Validate Your Husband And Jump On His Side:  As long as the two of you are on opposing sides, your husband is going to do everything possible to emerge the winner.  No one likes to lose.  So, you have to set this up where no one is going to be the loser.  You have to “side” with your husband and agree with him – (or at least make him think you are).  Of course, you know your husband best and you should use your own words, but it goes something like this. 

The next time you interact with your husband, tell him that you have been thinking about your situation and you now agree with him.  Yes, the marriage is in a grave place.  Tell him that this hurts you deeply because he remains the most important person in your life.  Assure him that you are finished participating in negative interactions and want to concentrate on improving your interactions, no matter where the relationship is going.  Tell him that you’re no longer going to engage him or try to change his mind.

Your husband will not believe this, probably.  He’s going to think this is another ploy on your part, but when you make good on it, over and over again, he’s going to be disarmed and see that you’re telling the truth.  Then, the tension will diminish like a popped balloon and he’ll have no reason to avoid you anymore – and this is when things will start to get easier.

Don’t Rush Things. Let Him Be The One To Call The Divorce Off:  Now, if you pull this off right, you’ll usually find yourself in a little better position.  The tension will start to fade and you’ll find that your husband is a little more receptive to you because he no longer sees you as a threat.  But, even if you are experiencing little victories, you must move slowly.  You can never allow your husband to suspect that you are really trying to change his mind and the outcome.  You want to keep busy, see friends, and do the things that put a smile on your face. 

What you’re doing is showing your husband that you are still the exciting, busy, vibrant, woman he first fell in love with.  Take the time to remember who this woman really is. I’d bet that she’s not clingy, threatening, or the walking wounded.  She’s likely happy, upbeat, open hearted, and easy to be around.  You want him to want more of her.  So she (you) should not be the one to initiate anything with him.  Let him be the aggressor, because this puts you back on equal ground.  The best case scenario is that you show him the woman he fell in love with, he wants more of her, and you continue to move slowly.

In the end, what you’re doing is showing, (not telling him – because he is not going to believe you anyway) that things really can and have changed.  Never hurt your progress by asking for reassurance, commitments, or a definition of your relationship too soon. If you continue to move slowly, you’ll get these things eventually, but you don’t want to scared him off and waste all of your hard work by pushing too hard. 

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Source by Leslie Cane

How To Draw: 3 Tips To Drawing With Graphite Pencils

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Before you begin to draw with graphite pencils, it is helpful to learn what each pencil grade means. Graphite artist pencils come in so many different grades it can be hard for a beginner to grasp and remember what each pencil grade indicates. Graphite pencils are coded universally, so that they are more easily identifiable.

The makeup of graphite art pencils is a combination of graphite and clay, usually in a wooden cylinder case.

The percentage of clay versus graphite in the mixture determines the grade of the graphite lead. A harder lead is denoted with an “H”-this mixture contains more clay than graphite, where as a softer lead is denoted with “B” for black-this mixture contains more graphite than clay. The HB pencil is in the middle and has equal amounts of clay and graphite.

You can use a harder lead, such as a 4H, to draw the lightest outlines and the most subtle gradations and a softer lead such as a 4B, for the darkest shadows in your drawings.

Even though there are nearly 20 different grades of graphite pencil, each producing a different range of value, if you utilize your pencils properly, you should only need to use a handful of the grades of graphite.

Some artists teach that to get the widest range of value all of the grades should be used. However when drawing with the 5-Pencil Method, only five pencil values are used. These are the pencil grades that will provide you with all of the range of value that you will need for realistic portraits and drawings, without compromising the quality and texture of your paper.

The technique uses the these five pencil grades-4H, 2H, HB, 2B, and 4B- and layers them one on top of another, until the intended value is reached.

When your graphite drawing turns out flat and overworked try these three tips to help give your drawing back its life.

Stroke

Place the heal of your hand firmly on the drawing surface and hold your pencil at an angle of about 35 degrees. Your pencil should lightly sweep onto the surface of the paper as you make your stroke. It should land like an airplane and then sweep back off the surface with a follow through past its point of contact. The stroke should only be pulling in one direction, toward you, as the point of your pencil just grazes the surface of the paper. Be sure that you adjust your drawing to accommodate your stroke, but not necessarily your stroke to accommodate your drawing. To do this, rotate your drawing to take advantage of the natural curve and angle of your stroke. This will help you see the angles and shapes that are so important for creating correct proportions.

Taper

Make sure that the slightly curved and contoured line that you make with your stroke has a taper at both ends, This means that the line should be thinner and lighter at the beginning and end of your stroke with a gradual increase in value at the center as your pencil makes full contact with the drawing surface. This will also allow you to seamlessly extend lines of the same value, as tapered end overlaps tapered end. The taper is important to tackle, because it will make it much easier as you apply it to many aspects of your drawing. It will allow you to create incredible detail and bring a realistic quality to your rendering.

Pressure

Instead of depending on pressure to make darker lines and values, you should add stroke on top of stroke to build values instead of merely pressing harder. The more pressure you add with a hard (or soft) pencil the more you increase the possibility of scoring or damaging your paper and it will become less likely that you are able to remove (erase) your mistakes or make modifications.

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Source by Darrel Tank