What Miss Plumcake Is

What Miss Plumcake Is Image
Hey gang, in a continuing theme of bringing back favorite features, it's time to find out What Miss Plumcake is:

READING:The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

I've only just started this novel about chubby Dominican (as in Republic not Order) school boy because its title is obviously a reference to Hemingway's great short story The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, which manages to be both brilliantly written and almost embarrassing in Hemingway's transparent hatred/fear of women and emasculation. Diaz won a mess of awards including the Pulitzer for this little gem and although it's a bit boggy at parts, it will be interesting to see where this work fits in the spectrum of Latin American Magical Realism and gritty American industrial fiction.

WATCHING:Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work I was never a Joan Rivers fan. I didn't dislike her per se, but the red carpet fixture never exactly struck me as anything but a Catskills comic better suited to the center square than center stage. This biopic chronicling a year in the life of the groundbreaking (seriously, she was making abortion jokes on TV when it was still in black and white) comedian changed all that. I'm still not a fan of her comedy but I admire her as much as I admire anyone in the entertainment industry today because Joan Rivers hustles. She always hustles. She works constantly, is completely dedicated to her craft and providing for herself and her many dependents, including the children of her employees, who go to private school on her dime. She tells of Johnny Carson, who gave her her start, blacklisting her from NBC when she dared get her own show, how her husband committed suicide and left her a single mother with a ton of debt and over and over (and over) again you see the usually-unspoken bias against female comedians come into light throughout her career. I can't recommend this doc enough for anyone interested in feminism and the entertainment industry, and it should be required viewing for those of us who attempt to ovulate and make people laugh at the same time.

HEARING: Lyle Lovett - Road to Ensenada

A classic from the Long Tall Texan himself, I pulled this, quite naturally, for this weekend's drive down the road to Ensenada. This immaculately crafted combination of big band blues (well, it's not big, it's large) and Texas-twinged singer/songwriter fare is one of my top 50 albums of all time. Oh, and when Lyle sings the road to Ensenada is plenty wide and fast, he's using artistic license. It's a beautiful winding deathmaze as twisted as Charlie Sheen's psyche and twice as dangerous.

SMELLING:Demeter Fragrance Library - Bulgarian Rose

Y'know, I've been feeling a little old school lately. Simple, pared down. My highly exclusive masterwork fragrances seem a bit out of place at the open air market where I buy my produce and get abused by the little Oaxacan lady who works there. A sunny stroll along the beach attempting to count the unattended naked children running feral on the shore does not require an almost architectural opus of scent composition and for this reason I've been feeling Demeter's Bulgarian Rose. You don't get much more old school than Bulgarian Rose, but with typical Demeter style, this isn't an old lady perfume; it's merely a precise if breathy reproduction of the scent of a hearty pink Bulgarian rose. Nothing more, nothing less. It's also one of the rare rose scents that doesn't turn into pickles on me and it's cheap enough to use up in two months spraying it on everything from bed linens to tablecloths for a classically pretty but not at all cloying finishing touch.

LOVING:Cake Beauty Products

Were you to ask one of my perfumista pals to describe what your devoted Plummy does NOT want in a fragrance they'd probably say something like "Nothing foody or fruity or twee." and okay, that's true, which is why Cake Beauty products, particularly their Lemon Cupcake moisturizer are such guilty pleasures. I got this liter bottle of Lemon Cupcake lotion on sale somewhere and it smells straight up like Froot Loops. Now, there's probably something wrong with a grown woman wanting to smell like Froot Loops, and I certainly don't want to Loop it up in public, but for the after-shower, pre-bedtime moisturizing, this product is ideal. The scent isn't long-lived and it doesn't have any parabens or nasty stuff. Plus it's inexpensive as all get out so I can afford to slather it on, enjoy my Froot Loopiness and wake up in the morning with hydrated skin sans the breakfast cereal scent.

HATING: Tardiness

I believe my two friends I took to Ireland with me last year will attest how I feel about tardiness. They nearly made me miss our plane from Heathrow and as soon as we landed in Shannon I marched myself directly to the reservation desk and tried to book myself a ticket to Spain because I sure as hell wasn't going to spend a week with those no-time-keeping fools. In the intervening year I've managed to calm down a little, but Mexico, where it's the cultural norm to be two hours late to a party, is working overtime on my delicate last nerve. Totally hypothetical situation: let's say one person threw a party that started at four, and spent a lot of time and money making sure everything went off without a hitch, which is pretty darn difficult when your power inexplicably goes out for almost 24 hours the day before. Two and a half hours roll by, the barbecued brisket is turning into shoe leather and the first guest has yet to arrive. Four hours later several invited guests (plus even more uninvited ones) show up and don't leave until midnight. That hostess should be allowed to spend the next day in bed eating grapefruit and drinking bourbon until she doesn't to kill anyone anymore, right? Right.

WANTING:ReVive Serum Presse

Got this little potion in a Barney's goodie bag last year and have just started to use it and wow, it's great. Spendy but great. Maybe the magic gift with purchase fairy will wend a full-size sample my way when next I load up on my favorite Barney's-only scents.

BUYING:Weighmax Electronic Kitchen Scale

Man, I was surprised at my reluctance to buy a food scale. Most recipes here are done by weight not volume so it's a necessary evil, but it roused a whole mess of latent fat girl feelings in me. I don't know if my eating disordered grandmother or my pudge-prone mother ever used one of these things, but it FEELS like deprivation. Like I should be measuring out my 200 grams of lean protein and breathlessly waiting to see whether I'm allowed six or seven almonds as my healthy mid-afternoon snack. Living so near the sea and working with unfamiliar familiar ingredients (refined sugar isn't white here, and flour has a slightly different texture) using a food scale is crucial, but I'll admit I bought it online because I didn't want to be the fat girl with the food scale standing in line at the supermercado. Weird, huh.

Suggested free e-books to read:

Linda Martz - Erotic Massage Oil
Ken Lingu - Shiatsu Massage

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Confidence With Girls Where It Starts

Confidence With Girls Where It Starts Cover
I've never taken anything but straw polls on the matter, but ask any woman what she wants in a man, and "confidence" is sure to be one of the top three or four character traits. So it's worth spending some time asking ourselves what it is and how to discover it inside of yourself in order to pick up women. Our Unbreakable program really drives into the heart of it, but I think we can do the subject matter some service here without spending 30 pages on it.

Let's start with a definition. To me, confidence is a feeling you have that drives bold actions towards things you want. It is having some faith in yourself that when you speak up, people will listen, and when you go for something, you'll get it. It's trusting yourself, but beyond that, it's a force that drives action.

When you make the approach, or go for the kiss, or invite her back to yours, it's because you trust that she's going to like you and want to go along with it. And if she doesn't, confidence is having the faith in your skills to overcome her protestations. And if she rejects you, confidence is having the feeling that you're still an awesome guy.

Confidence builds on a lot of things. Knowing that you have skills to pick up women gives you confidence. Knowing that you have more important things in your life - a solid foundation - gives you confidence. Knowing what you want and being clear about it gives you confidence. So does having a sense of entitlement.

Ahh, and that's the rub, right there.

Confidence doesn't actually have to be based on any great soul search - it can merely come from feeling like the world owes you twenty times over, then going out and collecting that debt. Some people are just born and/or raised that way.

Now, what usually happens in life is that we keep on going after what we want, until a roadblock is thrown in front of us. If we manage to avoid that roadblock, or blast right through it, we build some confidence. But if it stops us, diverts us, or worst of all - if we crash into it and body parts go flying - we have to have a serious think about both the direction we were headed, and how quickly we could get there.

Let's consider this in practice. When a third grade boy goes to hold a girl's hand and, after casually slapping him away once, she then accepts his romantic little overture, something clicks inside his head and reinforces the notion that he can get away with such behavior. By fifth grade, he's planting kisses on the cheeks of any girl he can convince to join him under the jungle gym, and he's full-on smooching (no tongue, of course) six months later. Ladies men are made, not born... and this one just happened to get a head start on the rest of us. He encountered a small roadblock in third grade, drove right through it, and every subsequent time that he's seen a similar looking roadblock, he knows what to do.

You can probably imagine the flipside of this story. The boy who got held up by that roadblock convinced himself that women didn't like him, and continued to tell himself that story well into his early adult years. Then one day, he realizes that he's not very confident around women and finds himself reading this article.

Lack of confidence doesn't always have such obscure causes, though. Sometimes we gather a fairly large head of steam, then run into a roadblock sizeable enough to compel us into a Come to Jesus moment. Again, we can use a story to illustrate - I'll volunteer one from my life.

In the late winter / early spring of 2006, life was humming along nicely for me. I had a great circle of friends, was the CEO of a promising beverage startup, and was dating a really hot model. But within a three-week period, everything turned around - my company failed to clear a critical regulatory hurdle, leading to a battle with my partner that caused me to lose my stake in the company, and left me nearly six figures in debt. My girlfriend left me, and took with her big parts of our mutual social circle. And my best friend stopped hanging out with me... and started spending a lot of time with my then ex-girlfriend.

I've had my share of humdingers, but nothing this acute in such short a timeframe. And it perfectly illustrates the point; I was a cocky mofo in the months leading up to this experience. But the subsequent months were spent reflecting upon what had happened, and more importantly, what mistakes I'd made that led to such circumstances. Had I failed to surround myself with the right people? Had I been careless in managing my business? Had I seen warning signs and ignored them?

I'm a bit more confident these days - you can be assured of that - but it comes from knowing himself a little bit better and trusting himself more.

One common thread in any story about confidence - whether it be those illustrated above, or those from any other confident person you'll talk to, is the following: their confidence came from clearing the roadblocks.. That's always how it is. You can prepare to clear the roadblocks if you see them ahead, or you can scout for alternate routes, or you can be lucky enough to have great reflexes so that you're able to adopt on the fly. But at the end of the day, true confidence comes from getting past them and getting closer to your goals.

The metaphor here should be obvious. Becoming confident with women, and being able to effectively pick up women, ultimately requires that you become successful with women. There's no shortcut or instant, Matrix-style brain download that can compete with real experience and real success. The neural pathways in your brain have a way of wiring themselves through experiences that no amount of cogitating and preparatory thinking can achieve. In that way, it's a sort of weird Catch-22. So how do you get around it?

Of course, there are lots of things that can boost your confidence with women prior to achieving of all-out pimpdom. Success in any other part of your life has spillover effects into your pursuit of the feminine. Dressing better, making cooler friends, getting in shape... those all help, and we'll be getting into them in a bit. Even hypnosis CDs and other such self-help programs can contribute. But if you spend too much time dwelling on the periphery of the issue of confidence with women, without dealing with it directly, you're just postponing the inevitable.

How to break the logjam? Well, it's kind of weird... but you just start doing the things you need to do. The things we'll cover later in this book. And even some things we don't cover. You just go do it, and all of a sudden, good stuff starts happening. You feel better about yourself for going after it. You stop having those regretful nights of "what if I'd talked to her?" or "what if I'd escalated?". Whether you succeed or fail, you know you went for it. Then you regroup, figure out how to overcome the next roadblock, and go back out there.

You just keep doing. You get out there and you do some more, until those roadblocks aren't stopping you anymore. It's frustrating sometimes, and depending on how well you learn and how devoted you are, it could take a little bit of time or a lot. But the confidence from being a man who does, who takes action, is a force to be reckoned with.

Action is all that matters. Repeated, disciplined action and eventual success breeds confidence like nothing else.

Suggested free e-books to read:

Brian Caniglia - Online Dating Secrets
Steve Scott - Supreme Confidence With Women

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