7 Habits of a Highly Effective Bad Bitch: My Dad


#1 Health
Maintaining your health allows you to gain the superior edge over problems. This bad bitch meditates every day. He doesn’t judge what happens during it, he just sits down and does it. Have a mantra to focus on. When a thought crops up push it away. This prepares you for the rest of the day, energizes you, calms you, and enhances what you encounter next. He recommends following meditation with a shot of espresso for the ultimate elevation.

My dad declared that he won’t let things “get“ him, and it’s a solid way of maintaining a progressive attitude. Don’t let ailments define you or even associate themselves with who you are. Treat them and live your life as usual.

You can have the TV on, but stay active somehow. Pump some weights or read during the show.

Jogging in nature is the perfect exercise. Bad bitches like my dad don’t need to show off muscles at the gym. He’s focused on his body and his mind and needs no equipment to clutter the process. Jogging is free, solitary, tones the heart, focuses the mind. This too is a meditation. When jogging you focus on breathing or listen to music—other thoughts come and go like soft clouds on the wind. Fishing can be another Zen practice, where at the end of the day you are left with peace of mind.


#2 Beauty
Most dads keep the beauty routine simple, if existent at all. This bad bitch styles his hair using just water. He knows that sunscreen should be used religiously on the face so that he can enjoy his time in the sun and not emerge looking like a baboon’s ass. If you have no sunscreen, tear off a small piece of paper and lodge it under your sunglasses to form a nose tent. Floss and work a toothpick into your gums every night until they bleed a little. It brings circulation to the gums and keeps your teeth in place. Stress shows on the face, so stay relaxed. A cool mind creates a cool face.


#3 Food and Drink
My dad always says, “Take all you want but eat all you take.” A measure of self-control adds to the enjoyment of food. And you know this bad bitch pairs wine with everything. He really tastes his food and wine by sniffing it, holding it in his mouth, breathing it in, swishing it, savoring it. Meals should be created improvisationally—throwing in unexpected colors, textures, dried fruits, seeds, or the odd hot peppers from the garden. My dad can whip together a meal with almost any three ingredients, transforming leftovers, Iron Cheffing the oddest components into a masterpiece. Bad bitches are confident about innovation. Recipes are for inspiration only. After dinner, a handful of granola or spoonful of peanut butter is the perfect dessert.


#4 Create Art
Music is a crucial component of every day. It sets the tone, changes the mood, alters the perspective, and creates discussion. Playing musical instruments exercises the mind, hand-eye coordination, and it can be a meditation in and of itself. Expressing emotion through music is cathartic, and hearing it can be the same as it is one of the purest forms of art. This bad bitch works hard to constantly expand his musical taste, and he’s never embarrassed about what he listens to.

Absorb yourself in art, hobbies, physical work, and reading. These activities fire up the brain and foster tons of ideas for creating new things.

#5 Be Amused
My dad can find something to compliment in anything and anyone, and you should too. If someone is getting on your nerves, this too shall pass. Everything is transient. The annoyance or pain will not last. This bad bitch turns it around and finds something amusing about the situation.

Be amused! Not irritated. Have some wine and enjoy every interaction. It means you are never bored. You are always learning. The baddest bitches know that every moment of life is meant to be enjoyed. With each interaction you can find an authentic connection. Be confident in your amusement. Your happiness is under your control.


If you are kept awake at night by loud neighbors, don’t fret about it (and glorify your misery). A bad bitch joins the party and at least has a good time being conscious. Once again: wine.


#6 Organization
Bad bitches like my dad are fully focused on doing what they want. The best way to stay on track is to stay organized and make lists every day. You need lists for long term, short term, and daily thoughts. A master system of lists generates focus and can organize your whole life. He doesn’t need an assistant, a calendar, or phone reminders—just lists. To ensure productivity, create a timeline of short deadlines to accomplish your goals for that day, week, year, etc.

#7 Self Acceptance
Have your own style, do your own thing, and you don’t need to prove anything to anyone. Open-mindedness is another key to enjoying life. Seek to understand others—it is an extension of truly understanding yourself—and know that gaining a diverse perspective brings personal improvement and growth. Appreciate what you have, work with it and enjoy the fuck out of it.


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Lessons of Wisdom and Beauty From a Cool Mom


She doesn’t allow the word “bored” to enter her vocabulary or her consciousness. She knows that her creative imagination and witty intelligence provide plenty of self-entertainment fodder no matter where she goes—the isolated woods, floating on a raft in the middle of a reservoir for hours, or even a crowded hospital waiting room. Even before the advent of mobile phones and portable devices she would invent games in her head to keep her mind busy.

Independence is one of the strongest virtues taught to me by my wise mom. You are responsible for making yourself happy. It comes from within, and no one else can give it to you.

A cool mom spends some time each day in the sun, touching the grass and the soil, connecting with the earth and appreciating its gifts. She absorbs vitamins and minerals by simply soaking in the elements of nature.


When my mom is in this state, wild creatures are inherently drawn to her. Neighbor kitties come to play and she indulges them with sticks to chase for hours. Birds practically land on her forearm like Snow White, falconer of backyard finches and sparrows. She orchestrates bird feeders and baths in the yard so that one species isn’t too vulnerable as prey for another. She instinctually understands life and death cycles, and builds her ecosystem accordingly.


My mom has the simplest of beauty routines. Shower infrequently. Scrubbing your whole body with soap every day is wasteful, damaging, and very American. That shower water should be reserved for the plants that need it much more. Moisturizing is essential and should be done with lavender-infused oils. Sunblock is important when you want to spend long periods of time outside, which is frequently. Nails may be kept slightly long and clear. Manicures are pointless since they will be ruined by the (more rewarding) experience of digging your hands in the dirt–plus, you really don’t want someone fussing over you.


More beauty tips from my mom: sleep and rest whenever you need to, think happy thoughts, and most of all: don’t worry about it. Lots of stresses can show on your face damaging it permanently—you may as well get those lines from sun and smiling. My wise mom once told me, “Don’t fret about how fat your upper arms are—flaunt them now—for they will only get worse.”


Growing a lifelong sustainable garden is one of my mother’s grandest achievements. She is well versed on the politics of modern agriculture and has applied her wisdom to creating a diet that she can control. Organic produce travels from her yard to her plate, and she transforms much of it into a gorgeous jewel-toned salad every evening. Her creations are rampant with complex texture and explosively juicy flavors. The unused compost is returned back to the garden to continue the life cycle.


A cool mom says quality wine is good for you! Drink as much as you want, but know when to rein it in. My mom enjoys red wine for its pleasurable effects as well as its fortification. If she finds herself dozing off on the couch after dinner, it’s time to move onto a pitcher of water infused with cucumber and lime.


High impact exercise is not only unnecessary, it incurs too much wear and tear on the body. Years of Jazzercise classes in the ‘80s proved that to be true. My mom swims. She grew up swimming, using nature’s bodies of water as a gym. It’s low impact and works every muscle. Swimming makes you feel lifted and hugged, then afterwards you feel as if you have run ten miles.


However, exercise classes such as Pilates should be taken mainly as a bonding experience with friends. A weekly place to meet up with bosom buddies is the perfect way to maintain friendships as well as your core strength.


A mom can tap into her coolness when immersed in the peace and tranquility of nature. On special outings my mom enjoys sitting in a float-tube on a lake, fishing pole in one hand, beer in the other. This ritual incorporates exercise, meditation, relaxation, and if she’s very very lucky, scoring dinner for the night. But always scoring.

Daily exercise? A wise mom knows that gardening and sex are two (usually mutually exclusive) stress relievers. They are both cathartic and meditative and generate a well-being that benefits everyone in her midst. Gardening is motherhood. Digging deeply into the earth, feeding life forms, cultivating your harvest, giving away seedlings. She reaps what she sows. She puts her sweat and blood into the plant kingdom and it gives back a hundredfold. She perpetuates life, fuels the cycle. She is woman.



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The Greek Body

The Ancient Greeks are thought to have had rather short lifespans, often ending in their 20s and 30s due to the chaos that was Ancient Greece. Yet, we know that many Greek philosophers lived into their 90s. Whether reaching their final days or the third-way mark, like us they suffered the multitude of physiological ailments that become upsettingly apparent by our 30s.

The Great Hippocrates of Kos, crackerjack of Western medicine. (Image by Wellcome Library)

The Great Hippocrates of Kos, crackerjack of Western medicine. (Image by Wellcome Library)

The Greeks focused their medicine on balance of hot, cold, wet, and dry, and of the four humors: phlegm, blood, yellow bile, and black bile. Hippocrates of Kos (460-377 BCE), the Grand Poobah of Modern Medicine, introduced some illuminative concepts to the world, such as the idea that diseases were caused by natural origins, not spiritual. How could he believe such heresy? A pox on him!

Hygieia, as daisy-fresh as the day she was born. (Image by  Alexander Handyside Ritchie)

Hygieia, as daisy-fresh as the day she was born. Image by Alexander Handyside Ritchie.

Hygiene comes from the Greek term hygieine techne, meaning ‘healthful art.’ The art is based on the discovery that keeping your parts clean is vital for health. Hygieia was the Greek goddess of health and cleanliness, but I’m sure even she had her moments where she let things ride in the same underwear for a few days. As we get older we ponder more about whether or not we should be licking doorknobs and subway poles, and whether to eat something off the floor (in front of someone). Hand sanitizer becomes something we purchase instead of just using a pump-full for free at the doctor’s reception desk.

Greek physician cutting to the chase. (Image by Marie-Lan Nguyen)

Greek physician cutting to the chase. (Image by Marie-Lan Nguyen)

Cholesterol comes from the ancient Greek terms chole, meaning ‘bile,’ and stereos, meaning ‘solid,’ describing the state of cholesterol first discovered in gallstones. The lipid cell is fundamental for biosynthesis in all animals. It builds membranes and maintains their fluidity. The issue that causes concerns is hyper- or hypocholesterolemia, an imbalance of cholesterol levels. In our 30s we begin to pay attention to conditions that affect cardiovascular health because we know our tickers’ days are numbered. Good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, HDL and LDL—which is which? Elevated LDL basically jams your arteries with fat and hardens them into pink strips of rebar. The Greeks used flaxseed to lower the bad cholesterol, and the guys in the Whole Foods HABA aisle will tell you to do the same thing.

Just let your blood flow like a mountain stream. (From England or Netherlands, 12th century.)

Just let your blood flow like a mountain stream. (From England or Netherlands, 12th century.)

Hemorrhoids, from the Greek haimorrhoides, meaning ‘flowing blood’ (also known as piles, which is actually from the Latin pila, meaning ‘balls’), are a delightful condition your aging body will get to know eventually. ‘Rhoids are the most common anal pathology and they love to make jokes about you—their favorite being, “Rectum? Damn near killed him!” Dear readers, I know it feels like the hemorrhoids are trying to kill you, but rest easy. They are now with you for the long haul. If they really bother you, you can traipse down to the druggist and have him do a loud-speaker stock check for Preparation-H, Tucks pads, or Anusol. Or you could opt for the Hippocratic method of treatment, burning, cutting, and drying with a hot iron.

Ring it proud! (Leper with a bell circa 1400.)

Ring it proud! (Leper with a bell circa 1400.)

Psoriasis, Greek for ‘itching condition,’ is an itchy, scaly rash that will drive you mad for the rest of your days, and may be one of mankind’s oldest skin diseases. However, this chronic, non-contagious, and usually genetic condition remains difficult to treat. Most people who are going to have it show signs by their 30s. Hippocrates introduced the usage of pine tar and topical arsenic to treat the unbearable itching. Prominent Greek physician Galen (133-200 CE) opted for a broth of boiled vipers—and I say, to each his own. Historically psoriasis was often confused for many other conditions. We now know that most biblical accounts of leprosy were actually psoriasis, but treated with the further stigma of shame. Patients believed to be lepers were forced to ring a bell or clapper to announce their unclean arrival, speak in only a whisper, and avoid touching anyone else. The good Ol’ Testament, spreading truth once again! It actually took hundreds of years to sort out the distinctions between the signs and symptoms of psoriasis and leprosy. If you are stricken with this malady, get yourself a good bell anyway. It’s your way of taking back the ailment and saying, “I’m here, I’m itchy, get used to it!” Cousin to our friend psoriasis is the illustrious Eczema, Greek for ‘something thrown out by heat’ or ‘to boil over’ referring to the boiling bubbling blisters. Eczema is another chronic, noncontagious skin condition characterized by itching, oozing vesicular lesions. Oh, the weeping!

Hippocrates also believed that sex cured diseases. Orgy for the cure!

Hippocrates also believed that sex cured diseases. Orgy for the cure!

Gonorrhea is a condition that may be more likely to strike you in your 20s when all caution and clothing are tossed to the wind, but still a formidable disease for 30-some-odds. The word comes from the Greek terms gonos (seed) and rhein (to flow), back when the copious flow of mucus was believed to be excess semen. So the next time you or your mate excretes a copious flow, you can exclaim, “Gonorrhea!” As one of the two ‘rrhea’ ailments we will discuss today, gonorrhea, (or ‘the Clap’ from the Old French clapoire, meaning ‘brothel’) can be treated with an antibiotic offensive. You may choose to do as the Greeks did and treat with liquid alum, dried figs, and wine, but please, research the ancient texts for dosage before self-medicating. Also worth a mention are Herpes and Chlamydia, the two Greek characters in the theatrical production of your genital tragedy. Herpes, a Greek word meaning ‘to creep,’ is an inflammatory viral condition that skulks through your body until a weakened immune response allows it to erupt. What a creep! Chlamydia, Greek for ‘mantle,’ cloaks all kinds of beasts with all kinds of infections.

It's just a shame, that's all. (John Arderne, circa 1425)

It’s just a shame, that’s all. (John Arderne, circa 1425)

Last, but certainly not least, we have diarrhea, the most common ‘rrhea’ of them all. Hippocrates is credited for coining the term diarrhoia, meaning ‘flowing through.’ Gastrointestinal conditions are just the tip of the malady iceberg that will give you grief in your 30s. You may find yourself pondering, what is “being regular” and how do I achieve it? If you have diarrhea, it could be the result of a number of health factors, as it is a symptom of numerous diseases and a byproduct of the guilty pleasure diet. Hippocrates recommended spontaneous vomiting to cease the fecal flow. Imodium is another route, albeit less dramatic. Either way, please wait a couple weeks before entering a public pool.

What about all the other oozing bodily fluids? (Image by Suzanne Alexander)

What about all the other oozing bodily fluids? (Image by Suzanne Alexander)

What else can we do but embrace our bodies’ imperfections and deterioration. As we breach the period of ‘middle age’ we learn that some of these horrid Greek disorders are here to stay. Proudly purchase your salves and creams and know in your hearts that Hippocrates would have wanted it that way. And whatever you do, do not image search any of the aforementioned conditions.



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