Episode 6: You Might be Bougie

Producer: Jill Cox-Cordova
Music: Gifford Ivan Cordova III
Podcast Art: Nick Zinkie

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In All Seriousness

Be Yourself

In this podcast, Tony advised you to be yourself and not pay attention to others’ perception of you; Jill expanded upon that tip by urging you to resist labels.

Those tips led to more advice. Here is what Jill offered:

  • Don’t be afraid to show who you really are from the beginning. If you’re dating someone and they don’t like the real you, move on. Be with a person who appreciates you for you.
  • If your loved one shows behavior you truly cannot tolerate, don’t think that marrying him or her will change that. It may get worse after that.
  • Trust your instincts about people. It’s usually right.

Tony has more advice to give, too:

  • Remember that if you are being your true self, it doesn’t matter in the big picture.
  • Show people who you are, not who or what you think they want to see.
  • Do your best to be kind and loving to everyone you know and meet.

Which relationship advice is your favorite? Leave your comments.

Episode 5: Is the Title of Husband or Wife Enough?

Producer: Jill Cox-Cordova
Music: Gifford Ivan Cordova III
Podcast Art: Nick Zinkie

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In All Seriousness

Just Don’t Do That

In this podcast, Tony and Jill had a first: Tony actually admitted that Jill was right! They both even gave the same advice to just stop saying or doing something that the other person in your relationship doesn’t like.

Both have other relationship advice. Here are Tony’s tips:

  • If you are married, do the type of things you did with your partner when you were dating. You might find that you enjoy it even more now, than when you were dating.
  • Keep your relationship fresh and fun.
  • Remember that what is most important is their happiness and yours.  

Here are Jill’s suggestions:

  • Don’t be afraid to speak up if your partner is saying something that bothers you. You don’t have to yell or scream, but don’t let it fester.
  • Give the person a chance to explain what they meant by what they said. You may have misunderstood.
  • If it is a misunderstanding, laugh about it together later. It will make you both realize that not everything is a battle and how far you’ve grown as a couple together.

Do you agree with any of these tips? What do you do when your loved one says something you don’t like? Leave your comments.

Episode 4: Is There an Instigator in Your Relationship?

Producer: Jill Cox-Cordova
Music: Gifford Ivan Cordova III
Podcast Art: Nick Zinkie

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In All Seriousness

Spread Positivity

In our podcast, Tony advised those of you who feel a need to talk to people to do it with positivity; do not insert negativity into it at all. Jill agreed with that, but suggested that the best way to do that is to stay out of other people’s business anyway.

That discussion led to the two coming up with more tips. Here are Tony’s:

  • Make sure you’re happy with yourself before you butt into another person’s life. If you give advice when you’re not happy with yourself, you will probably give them bad advice.
  • If you are indeed an instigator, accept that, but also understand that nothing good will ever happen if you instigate in a negative way.
  • Assess the situation and the people you approach. Sometimes it is best to just stay out of other people’s business.

Jill agreed with Tony’s last tip, of course. Here are her other tips:

  • Remember that everyone has a certain timeline and way they want to do things. Just because you wouldn’t do it how and when they would doesn’t mean their approach is wrong.
  • Spend more time determining how to improve yourself, not everyone else’s life. Chances are they didn’t ask for or need your help.
  • If they do ask for your input, give them your honest opinion without being harsh or critical of who they are.

So, do you have an instigator in your relationship? Is Tony an instigator? Please leave your comments.

Episode 3: Is There a Flunky in Your Life?


Producer: Jill Cox-Cordova
Music: Gifford Ivan Cordova III
Podcast Art: Nick Zinkie
 

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In All Seriousness

Don’t be so Serious in a Serious Relationship

In our podcast, Jill said to not call or make the other person in your relationship feel like a flunky. She does not believe anyone should be called that.

Instead, she has other tips for those who want to gain or maintain a healthy and happy relationship:

  • She mentioned it earlier in the podcast, but to reiterate, admit when the other person is right, even if that is true only a few times. The other person will still appreciate your acknowledging those rare occasions.
  • Recognize each of your strengths and weaknesses, then work to enhance or complement each other. Chances are you’ll become better together. Teamwork.
  • Respect each other’s roles and positions in the relationship. No one should feel inferior.

Tony told you to accept your partner’s words that you are not a flunky. He has some other good advice, too:

  • It is not always that important to prove that you’re right. Yes, we do it often enough, but we don’t take our disagreements that seriously.
  • Consider that you might be wrong…even though you believe you’re right.
  • Above all, remember that all of these small disagreements don’t matter in the big picture of life. Loving one another is more important than all else.

What tips do you have for those who are trying to determine which roles to embrace in their relationship? Let us know in the Comments section.

Episode 2: What Makes a Person a Writer?

Episode 2- What Makes a Person a Writer?
Producer: Jill Cox-Cordova
Music: Gifford Ivan Cordova III
Podcast Art: Nick Zinkie

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In All Seriousness

Love and Decisions

In this week’s podcast, Jill advised listeners, especially those in a new relationship, to avoid changing a person. She said that if you feel the need to do that, then that person probably isn’t the right one for you.

To elaborate on that thought, she has more tips:

  • As Maya Angelou said, “If someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” If that is someone you do not like or cannot tolerate, move forward in your life without that person in it.
  • Speaking of tolerating people, remember that no one is perfect. Assess if you can tolerate the things they do that drive you crazy or whether it is truly a deal breaker.
  • Understand that you cannot–or should not–try to change a person’s personality. Trying to get them to change bad habits, however, is an acceptable practice.

In our podcast, Tony talked about the importance of listening, not letting your ego get in the way of hearing.

To expand upon that, he has more advice:

  • When you are truly listening, you can work together. Do that on all things that you can.
  • Find someone that you believe is a little better–whatever way you define that–than you. You can only become stronger and better together.
  • It is essential that you are actually in love with the person you’re with and that they are your best friend. Just loving a person isn’t enough. It’s hard to have a happy, long-lasting, loving relationship if you’re not truly in love. Apply the golden rule: love and respect your mate the way you want to be loved and respected.

What advice do you have for maintaining a relationship? Tell us in the comments section.

Episode 1: When is a Date a Date?

Episode 1- When Is a Date a Date?
Producer: Jill Cox-Cordova
Music: Gifford Ivan Cordova III
Podcast Art: Nick Zinkie

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In All Seriousness

Dating Do’s and a Don’t

Yes, we like to joke a lot about relationships, but we can also be serious enough to offer real advice.

In our podcast, Tony suggested that you bend your knees when you kiss a woman that’s 4’11. He has some great tips, however, if you’re just starting to date–whatever way you define that–someone:

  • Pay attention to the person you’re pursuing, for example.
  • Listen to what he/she says, and what he/she doesn’t say.
  • Look into the person’s eyes as he/she talks. If you’re really paying attention, you’ll learn a lot.

Jill also has some tips:

  • Don’t focus on what the person does for a living; be open to learning who the person really is by asking questions.
  • Know not only what your deal breakers are, but also what you can tolerate. No one is perfect enough to match everything on your list of criteria (everyone has one, whether they admit it or not).
  • Look for someone who can make you laugh. That comes in handy on your bad days.

What relationship advice do you have to share? Post your comments.

Book Review: Orchid & the Wasp

orchid.wasp.cover

As a member of First to Read, I am able to read and review galleys. Caoilinn Hughes’ ORCHARD AND THE WASP was my first selection.

I found that the book has three strengths that would appeal to  readers who want to get lost in a land or situation that may be foreign to them: 1) its sense of place and setting 2) its universal themes; and 3) its poetic language.

Hughes’ tale of a fragile family begins in Dublin, Ireland, but the author—through the lens of protagonist Gael Foess—takes the reader on an unsettling adventure in London and into to some jaw-dropping scenarios in New York. The first time the author describes the setting of each of these places, the reader is treated to the attractions and flaws of each locale, a clear sense of place.

Yet Hughes’ choice to connect these three vastly different places by weaving universal themes—family dysfunction, secrecy, deception, and wealth status—works.

At the start of the book, Gael is living with her parents and younger brother, who suffers from a condition no one in the family initially understood. Hughes shows the reader that Gael is his caretaker since both parents are rarely at home because of their careers. When Gael’s financier father leaves them during an economic crisis, her mother lapses into a depression, crashing her own career as a conductor for a professional orchestra. This causes Gael to take care of her too, or so that is her desire.

It is the paragraphs about music that offer readers language that is lyrical and tight. For example, Hughes writes, “Chordal strokes and a pair of harps stippled like rain” (32-33). Later, Hughes writes, “This symphony? So brief…reduced…like something that’s been boiling too long” (33).

The changing point of view (sometimes it was Gael’s and sometimes it was the all-knowing omniscient) might confuse or even put off some readers, but the satisfying ending is worth pushing through to get to the last page.