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Having a dog is one of the greatest joys in the
world. There is almost nothing like the feeling the love of a dog can bring to
a home. If your home happens to be an apartment, enjoying life with little Sam
Dogg is going to be a little more interesting and exciting. Part of this
excitement will be going through potty training with your new puppy.
Potty training a dog is never easy. Even when you
have the convenience of a yard, teaching an animal how to go potty can be a
long and tedious chore, but when you live in an apartment, that chore can seem
like a fight to the death of wills and waste. It doesn’t have to be this way,
though. While there is no quick and easy way to ensure a simple time potty
training your new puppy, we have put together some tips from the top dogs in
the potty training biz to help make things go a little smoother for you and
little Sam Dogg.
How to Potty Train Your Puppy in an Apartment
There are a whole host of new challenges that
come with potty training a puppy in an apartment. Logistically, it seems like
the world is against you, but with a little work and patience from everyone
involved (including little Sam Dogg), things can be a little less stressful and
you can enjoy that awesome feeling that can only come from the love of a dog.
Have a Little Patience
This cannot be emphasized enough. The one thing
both you and your new puppy will need is some patience. Potty training is not
an easy task and it is definitely not an overnight one. There will be ups and
downs during this new adventure in puppy parenting, and there will be
It doesn’t matter how well behaved your new dog
is, during the course of his potty training, he will have an accident or two…
or ten. No matter how many, the key is to show your puppy the love and support
you’d show your own child. Go into this experience with a smile on your face, a
sense of humor in your heart, and a willingness to just shrug off the mishaps,
and you will more than likely come out alive and in one piece on the other
Welcome to the Internet Age of Potty Training
The internet has been the superhero for many
people looking to perform nearly any task you could possibly think of. Potty
training a new puppy is no different. The first thing you should do before you
even look at puppies is research the potty training and caring for a new puppy
and dog. Remember, this little Sam Dogg will one day grow up and be an actual
dog who will still require your love and care.
As you have likely seen by now, there is no
shortage of information out there on how to potty train your pets. Much of this
information is just general info aimed at pet owners with homes, but there is a
lot of info to help those pet owners living in smaller spaces. While it may
seem like the more information you have, the better off you are, too much
information can actually be a bad thing sometimes. Making something as
straightforward as potty training overly complicated will just confuse you and
Look at joining groups on Facebook or other
social media platforms. There is no end to the amount of dog and pet groups you
will find on social media sites. Find some active ones that you enjoy or are
local and see what tips they may have. Knowing you are not alone during the
stressful periods can really go a long way to saving your sanity the next time
there is an accident in your apartment.
Develop a Routine
This is a very important part of potty training a
puppy in any type of home. As a puppy, your new family member is unsure of what
the world has in store for him and what you expect of him. Giving him a routine
can give him stability and confidence in knowing what he is supposed to do and
when he is supposed to do it. This will help him develop strong habits early
This routine should not only cover potty breaks,
but it should encompass everything that you and your pet do on a daily basis.
Begin by feeding him at the same time every day. No matter how many times you
feed your new puppy, be sure it is done at the same times every single day.
This will ensure that your dog knows when it is time to eat, but it will also
help you both know when it is going to be time to avoid an accident in your
Next, make sure you are taking your puppy out at
the same times every day. This also means in the middle of the night, if you
choose to not crate train your puppy. Again, this will help nail down those
good habits, but it will also help your new dog know that if they do have to
go, a trip around the block is not too far off.
Take Your Puppy Out Early and Often
Just like little kids, puppies always seem to
have to go to the bathroom. To make things worse, they always seem to have to
go at the worst possible times. Believe it or not, this is not being done on
purpose. The truth is, puppies just really have to go to the bathroom often.
At first, neither of you will know what to think
about this. Without proper guidance, your puppy’s first instinct will be to
find a spot to make his bathroom in your home. This is obviously not a good
idea, so show your new dog where they should be going by taking them out often.
Start this routine right away after you get home.
Depending on the breed and other factors, your
new puppy may need to go out as often as every twenty minutes or so. If you
want to avoid accidents, this is the walk/outside schedule you should be
keeping with your new puppy. As they become better potty trained and a little
older, this can be reduced a little, but you want to ensure you are giving your
puppy more than enough chances to go outside like they are supposed to.
Give Your Puppy Their Own Space
Puppies will have accidents when you’re potty
training them. Nobody wants puddles of doggy pee and piles of poo all over
their apartment. The easiest way to prevent this is by stopping your new dog
from going all over your home.
At first, you may want to find a place where you
can give your new dog his own space. He doesn’t need his own master bedroom or
anything, but a bathroom or kitchen area that can be blocked off is ideal for a
new puppy. Always use a baby gate or something similar that allows your new
puppy to see and interact with you and the rest of the family. Never lock them
inside a room with a closed door, especially for long periods of time. Locking
them up inside a room alone will only make them anxious and bring about more
accidents and possibly even cause more serious issues for them.
Giving your new puppy a little space like this
ensures they are not running all over the apartment leaving little surprises
for you. Choosing a room that has a tile or other hard floor will also make
cleaning up much easier.
Learn the Potty Signs
It’s amazing how predictable puppies can be, even
during their most unpredictable years. When you first bring your new dog home,
you two will still have to get to know each other. There are some things you
can know about your new puppy before you even bring him home that will
definitely help you potty train your puppy in an apartment.
Learning the signs that your puppy has to use the
bathroom will help you make sure you get them out when the time is right. There
are plenty of signs that your dog may need to use the restroom. While not every
dog will act in the same ways, these are some of the more common signs that a
dog will have to be taken out:
Sniffing around the ground
Circling a particular area
Pacing back and forth
Whining or crying
If you see any of these signs, the safest bet is
to take your puppy out as soon as possible. Even if it is a false alarm, the
extra time outside together will only help your bonding. Build trust with your
pet early for a lifetime of loyalty.
Prepare for the Worst
It has been said before and will be said again
because it is important to remember that all puppies will have accidents.
Remain calm and train on. Knowing this does not make things any easier to deal
with every day, but it does help to prepare for these accidents ahead of time.
You have already done that by giving them their own space and doing a bit of
research on pet ownership and potty training.
To prepare for the actual accidents, use puppy
pads, pee pads, or wee pads in the corner of their space. These potty pads are
meant to catch and absorb moisture and wetness the same way a baby’s diaper
would. These flat pads can be laid out wherever your puppy likes to go when he
has accidents. The top layer is absorbent to catch the waste and the bottom layer
is waterproof to avoid leakage. It is highly recommended that you be sure to
place puppy potty pads wherever they are likely to go first thing in the
morning to stop them from getting used to going potty anywhere else but the
Turn Your Balcony Into a Lawn
Just because you aren’t lucky enough to have a
yard of your own does not mean your dog doesn’t deserve their own yard. If you
have a balcony, you can easily turn that little drab slab into something green
and amazing for your pooch to enjoy each day with a dog porch potty or just a
simple dog grass pad.
Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, it is
now as easy as can be to have a doggy litter box on your balcony. This handy
gadget can be purchased in stores or made at home. In a nutshell, it is a patch
of fake grass for dogs that they can
use to relieve themselves, and you can easily clean. The dog would do their
business on the fake grass and the liquid waste would make its way through a
drain for easy disposal. Cleaning is as simple as hosing it down or pouring
some hot water over the grass.
You can also choose to simply provide a grass patch for dogs. While not as
elegant as a doggie porch potty, providing a realistic and safe alternative to
your apartment flooring will help teach your new puppy where they should be
Catch Them Red Pawed
You know the signs that something is going to
happen. That doesn’t mean you will always make it in time. In the chance that
you catch them in the act of actually doing their business, make sure they know
that you have seen them. Either clap or make a loud noise to signal your
displeasure. Then immediately take your dog outside or to their doggie porch
potty to show them where they should be doing their business at.
When you find a mess after the fact, do not
punish them for it or rub their noses in it. Dogs do not understand why you are
so upset as they cannot make the connection minutes or hours after they have
gone to the bathroom. Pick up any poop that your dog has left for you and take
it outside or to their porch potty. This can help them make the connection that
this is where their poop is supposed to go.
Praise and Rewards Go a Long Way
Your dog can be looked at as a sort of sponge.
They are eager to soak up everything that you want to teach them. You can use
this to help reinforce the behaviors and habits that want to see more of.
Whenever you see your dog go outside or on the grass pad, make sure you shower
them with praise. This will reinforce the good behavior and make your puppy one
This also goes for the times when you catch your
puppy in the act. After they are brought out where they are meant to go potty
and they actually do, praise them and offer them a reward. No matter if they
just went inside your kitchen a few seconds ago, show them that going outside
or on their pad is the right thing to do and make you very happy. They will
remember this and want to see you happy again.
Plan for Those Long Work Days
Let’s face facts. There is no way you will be
able to be home with your new puppy every minute of every day to ensure they
are being taken out. Leaving them alone in a room can end up causing even more
trouble for you and your dog. If you are going to be gone for a long time,
think about investing in a training crate.
A training crate is a dog crate that you can keep
your dog in for the time you are gone. Dogs do not like to go potty where they
sleep, so leaving them in a crate for short times will help promote less
bathroom activity. Over long periods of time, they will obviously go wherever
they have to, which is why it is not recommended to keep your dog in a crate
for too long. If you are going to be at work or out of the house longer than
expected, have someone you can call to let your puppy out and clean up any
Familiarity Is Always Helpful
When you do take your new dog outside, it can be
helpful to find a spot you can always walk him. This is just another way to
help little Sam Dogg remember when and where he is supposed to do his thing.
Apartment life means you may not always have the chance to find a nice,
spacious park for your dog to relax and go to the bathroom. You can look for a
patch of grass nearby or set up a doggy porch potty on your balcony. Your dog
doesn’t need much to be able to do his thing, but he does need someplace to do it.
You could also add in a command gesture that will signal to your dog that this
is where they are supposed to go to the bathroom.
It is good to remember that dog urine does not
typically help plants and flowers grow. Make sure you are using a patch of grass
or land that won’t land you and your pooch in hot water with neighbors or the
city. Always check with local ordinances and pick up after your dog. Not only
is it nasty and illegal, but it can also be harmful to the local plant life.
Extra Tools and Resources to Help Train Your
Nobody can do this alone. You and Sam Dogg are
going to need some help from a few very useful tools and resources during this
Puppy Potty Pads
The most important item you will need to keep stocked while potty training a puppy or dog is puppy potty pads. These potty pads can go be a number of different names (pee pads, wee pads, puppy pads, etc), but they are the most useful tool in your potty training toolbelt. Using these pads will not only save you countless hours of frustration, but it will make cleaning up after the inevitable accident easier on you.
While it is not necessary that you rush out and buy treats specifically for training, training treats are designed to be small and easy for a quick reward. You can use any type of treat to reward your puppy after they go potty outside or on their doggie porch potty. You should not use full-size treats as rewards as they are too large and too many are not good for their health.
You will also need to make sure you have a cleaner that is specially formulated to handle pet urine. There are a number of products available that can clean well enough, but for the most bang for your buck, you will want to invest in some enzymatic cleaner. An enzymatic cleaner has special enzymes in it that can bond with biological molecules like those in urine, making the urine easier to clean and less likely to cause smells or stains.
A training crate may not be necessary for everyone, but if you are going to be working or gone for long hours, it is definitely an important tool. These crates are only to be used while potty training your new puppy and only while you are gone or at work. While you’re home, your puppy should feel like a part of the family and not locked away from everyone else whenever possible.
This June marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the third anniversary of the Pulse shootings. It’s the perfect time to re-examine our relationship with Pride. So often we take Pride for granted. Sure, it’s a time to day-drink, dodge your exes, and oggle at guys and girls in sequined, yet, theoretical underwear. But it is also a time for all of us under the LGBTQIA umbrella to get together, show up, and shine.
Let’s be honest – as queer people, we internalize a lot of trauma. It could be from bullies on the playground. Perhaps it’s rejection or abandonment by our parents. We’re even hated by total strangers based on their hypocritical take on religious texts. We can brush it off all we want. But those negative feelings have to go somewhere. That alienation can often cause us to continue alienating ourselves from each other. As queer people, we have so much more in common with our LGBTQIA brothers, sisters, and genderless siblings but tend to focus on our differences.
Pride is a chance for us all to come together. We get to celebrate life, love, and being “gay.” While some may bristle at being labeled gay due to their particular identity politics. It does mean happy. What’s so wrong with being called happy. We can get so divisive because of our political differences, personal triggers, and problems in our lives. But Pride is the perfect time to get back to basics and be happy again. It’s a time to reflect on what we are proud of and how far we have come.
It’s likely not a coincidence that the word gay is used to describe us. We have the biological imperative to keep our world from becoming basic, stagnant, and a fiery ball of trash. We are artists, innovators, and iconoclasts. We make people happier, make the world prettier and are a force for change. For some of us, our simple existence is an act of protest to the status quo. That elicits change and change inspires growth. We spread inspiration and healing through our art, humor, politics or a truly intuitive read. Our flag is a rainbow not just because we are made of so many colors but because like a rainbow we come together to bring light to the world.
To celebrate the full colors of our rainbow flag, here’s a shout out to, and a not-so-subtle reminder of, the amazing people who will be at Pride that you might miss if you’re in the thirst trap or had too much sauce. But if you open up, their presence just might cure what ails you.
1. Couples & Families
You may not see them at the clubs, on the apps, or out and about. That’s because they’re busy living their best family lives. It’s easy to get a little teary-eyed when you see elderly couples with signs advertising relationships that have lasted decades. There was a time when having a partner was not a legal option, let alone being allowed to raise a family. Seeing long-term couples, and queer parents are inspirations for the next generation. But it’s also a reminder that we not only deserve love but can find it.
2. Newbies & Baby Gays
Whitney Houston believed our children were the future. It’s easy to forget that just by being our authentic selves we are paving the way for the next generation of queer youth. We can forget our first Pride. The excitement of being overwhelmed by throngs of people like you. The rush of the freedom to be yourself can dull as the years progress. But every year is someone’s first pride. It may be a preteen with their parents, a late-in-life lesbian, or a newly transitioned person ready to celebrate their new life. Heartbreak, drama, and jadedness can dull our excitement. But look to those fresh faces. Pride is a great time to reconnect with the baby gay in all of us and remember that joy. If you’re having trouble mustering the excitement, think of the people at their first Pride. Many of us were robbed of mentors because of the AIDS crisis. But now we can be those mentors. So muster up a smile or live your full fantasy because you just might be inspiring someone.
3. Supportive Parents
As far as we have come, there are still parents who throw out their LGBTQ children. Some cut off their kids financially, or worse use abuse and shame to suppress their children. A lot of people are walking around pride with their own Daddy or Mommy issues. But Pride is a chance to see all the supportive parents who show up for their kids. Some offer free hugs or support. Some wear shirts to show their love of their queer children. Let’s not forget all the great work of PFLAG who is marching at a Pride near you. Seeing these supportive parents can be healing. We don’t all have the best relationships with our parents but seeing these parents lets us know it is possible. It may not heal all of your issues with your mom or dad but seeing that love can help your heart thaw a little.
4. Supportive Politicians & Celebrities
Taylor Swift - You Need To Calm Down - YouTube
Anyone who takes time out of their schedule to show up as an ally may just be worth your vote or attention. And if you’re a Jaded Judy who thinks politicians may just show up just for votes. You may be right. That’s why we all must do our research. Given our current “President” now is an important time to research our local politicians, their voting records, and hold them accountable. We can influence change by showing up to our voting booths, community meetings, or on the phone with our Congressional representatives to ensure we are heard. Pride is a great reminder we are powerful together.
Sure Pride attracts straight looky-loos but it’s also nice to think that we do have allies. It’s also important to remember, so much of our community association is about what we do behind closed doors. As frustrating as it can be to see Deborah and Jeff being messy at Pride. They may be card-carrying queers. It’s also important to realize when the chips are down they are likely to be by our side. We must check some of our past pain at feeling excluded and remember to let everyone join the party. There are more people showing up to Pride to party rather than to protest it. That’s a huge win for our community and a sign of our changing times.
6. Trans Women
Our trans sisters are getting murdered. We must honor them not just with social media posts. We must show up for them, spread the word, and respect them in real life. We must make conscious efforts to help them get employment, respect, and visibility. We must look out for them. Trans women of color were in the fight at Stonewall yet 50 years later they are the only community in America still being lynched. That is egregious. We are a community of people that span various races, ages, gender identities, sexual proclivities, economic backgrounds, and life experiences. But we all could stand to check our various privileges look for each other. So let Pride be a reminder of all the people who do not look like you that you can help. When we help others we help ourselves…spiritually.
7. Our Ancestors
Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, there are people who have come before us. Marsha P. Johnson. Harvey Milk. Oscar Wilde. James Baldwin. Frida Kahlo. Mathew Shepherd. The people we have lost to HIV, hate crimes, and police attacks. The people who died nameless and alone. Whether you believe they are there literally, energetically, or just in memory. People have paved the way to let us walk down the street in rainbow regalia. On some level, their memory lives on with us. It’s a good moment to remember all the people who couldn’t and still can’t live as freely as we do. In those moments, we should put aside our petty problems and be Proud for them and of them. We can have gratitude for our freedom. Because you simply can’t be unhappy when you are grateful.
Pride is a magical time where we all are nicer to each other and more outwardly happy. We get to reconnect with friends, hook up and be extra AF. But Pride is more than just a parade. It’s a rallying cry. It’s a privilege that was paved by and paid for by the lives of so many. So the least we can do is do our best to heal ourselves so we can help heal our community. We can learn to love ourselves more so we can help spread more love. And we can truly embody Pride all year round because we are here to make the world a better place. And if you’re not part of the solution then you’re part of the problem. To quote singer Heather Small from a vintage Pride anthem, “What have you done today to make you feel proud?”
Over the years, I have met many secular Jews longing to reclaim their
Jewish heritage. They often recall a grandparent who was particularly observant
while their parents tended more toward the secular. This has led them to become
more secular themselves. In fact, they become fully immersed and integrated
into a society that knows little of Jewish heritage beyond what is shown to
them in movies and on television.
Nonetheless, many of these secularly-minded Jews experience some sort of
awakening. They realize through reading or talking with others that they may be
missing out on something. A feeling of being adrift or without roots is not
uncommon. They start to wonder, “How can I reclaim my Jewish heritage?”
That sounds like a daunting task, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be.
Think of reclaiming your heritage as being more of a journey than a
destination. Throughout the years of your study and exploration, you become
increasingly knowledgeable and more connected to your ancestors and the lives
As all journeys must begin, this one starts with a single step.
1. Interview Your
Oldest Jewish Relatives
The earlier generations of your family may have vivid memories of
celebrations and observances from their childhood or their years as a young
adult. Sit down and have an in-depth interview with them now so that you can
capture those memories. Be sure to get at least an audio recording so the
interview, or series of interviews, can be preserved for future generations.
The more you know about your family’s personal observances and traditions, the
more you’ll feel connected to your Jewish heritage.
2. Create a Family
Resources like websites Jewishgen.org and Ancestry.com provide marvelous
resources to anyone who wants to connect with their heritage. Using them is
incredibly easy, as both websites have plenty of tutorials and “how
to” pages. If you are traveling to Europe on a heritage expedition, then
make a point of visiting the Jewish Genealogy & Family Heritage Center in
Warsaw. You’ll find a vast treasure trove of records that may provide even more
insight into your Jewish heritage.
3. Purchase a
Now that you’re familiar with the branches of your family tree, take it
a step further by purchasing a DNA kit from 23andme.com. The ancestry service
will reveal amazing things to you about your family. Often, you’ll discover a
few surprises along the way. Of particular interest is the “Ancestry
Composition” factor, which tells you from which of the 31 major population
groups around the world your DNA derives.
4. Create a
Multigenerational Family Photo Album
Photographs are precious, and they only become more so as the years go
by. Unfortunately, as older family members pass away, the stories told by the
images become blurry. Now is the perfect time to start a multigenerational
family photo album that is complete with in-depth captions. Remember to record
who is in each photograph, where and when it was taken and any special events
or observations that were occurring. This will become a treasured family
heirloom that provides you with a pictorial history of your Jewish heritage.
5. Learn Hebrew at an
Ulpan in Israel
“Ulpan” is a Hebrew word for “instruction,” which
makes it a fitting moniker for a place to learn Hebrew. Several of these
institutes are found in Israel. Mainly, the programs offered are aimed at
helping new immigrants integrate into Israeli society. Learning Hebrew is the
main focus, but other classes touch on Israeli history and culture. When you
immerse yourself in one of these courses, you may gain an entirely new
perspective on your family history.
6. Learn Yiddish
Devote yourself to a summer of learning Yiddish at one of the many
excellent language programs in New York. You can choose from programs at
well-regarded institutions such as the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research, The
Workmen’s Circle and the Yiddish Farm, which has particularly dynamic
Yiddish-language immersion programming that is combined with Jewish education
and sustainable farming. If you’d rather travel farther afield to find a
Yiddish classroom, you’ll find similarly well-recommended programs at Tel Aviv,
at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute in Lithuania or Lviv, Ukraine.
7. Become a Member of
Your Local JCC
Jewish Community Centers are found in major cities across the U.S., with
some of the largest cities boasting several different Centers. Each one is
unique, but they all offer a wealth of educational, social and cultural
services. You may attend lectures, observe or participate in theatrical
performances or enjoy a few laps at an indoor pool. The offerings really are
that diverse, and all the while, you’ll be associating with other Jewish
community members who can enhance your understanding of and appreciation for
your Jewish heritage.
With the summer approaching and the
possibility of your lifestyle changing, there’s no doubt it will be important
to be conscious of your grooming habits as you spend more time outdoors, with
friends, and doing other activities.
Whether you’re obsessive about your appearance
or just looking to maintain your overall look, there are some simple ways you
can keep yourself looking clean and sharp.
1. Keep your
facial hair looking neat
Sculpting your facial hair to fit your
appearance and personality is one way you can add a little extra flair, but
keeping it under control can be a whole different story. A great way to stay on
top of this is first figuring out and mastering what kind of look is best for
you. As they say, practice makes perfect, so the amount of repetition and
dedication you put into your facial hair routine will help improve the results.
It’s also important to take into account what
you’re using to style your look. Choosing a razor
blade that doesn’t irritate your skin and that delivers the results
you’re looking for can save a lot of energy and experimenting.
Growing a beard is a great responsibility, and
nurturing it is just as important as the hair on your head. Beard oils are
great investments if you’re serious about your facial hair, and can help with
the growing process of the hair and health of the skin underneath.
Not forgetting about an accompanying mustache
and sideburns will be key to creating the perfect trim and look. It’s important
to think of all your facial hair as
one project, so be sure to give a little TLC to all parts.
2. Take care
of your skin
Your skin, particularly the face, is one of
the most important places on your body to take constant care of. Although this
can be difficult to make time for, especially for those with busy lifestyles,
cleaning and maintaining your skin is a great starting point to kick off all of
your grooming habits.
Like anything in life, creating a daily
routine surrounding your skincare will show results almost instantly, but where
do you start? For clear and healthy skin, start your mornings by washing your
face. Choosing a good cleanser may take some time, but you will be sure to find
one that works best for you. Be careful how you dry your face as well;
oftentimes towels or washcloths can have a rough impact on your face and can
lead to irritation. Pat yourself dry gently with a towel after washing your
face or showering.
Likewise, at night, it’s best to exfoliate
your face and even use a bit of moisturizer. Many men think that
laying off of moisturizer actually decreases their chances of breakouts,
however sticking to a daily moisturizer will add “good” liquids to your face
that will prevent dry skin and acne.
Other simple lifestyle changes can unknowingly
improve your skin and appearance as well, like getting good rest every night
and avoiding a sugary diet. If you’re a night owl or love your sweets, these
habits may be hard to break at first. However, once you’re in the routine of
your new lifestyle, they’re an easy first step in approving your overall skin
appearance while doing minimal work.
thought and effort into your hair
A hairstyle should be important to you for
keeping your look clean and fresh; this will help give you an overall groomed
appearance. Much like your facial hair, be sure to master and understand what
hairstyle and length look best for you, and be sure to communicate this with
your barber. Developing this kind of relationship with your barber and setting
routine haircut appointments (every 4 weeks, every 6 weeks, etc), can take the
hesitation away from waiting too long to get it cut.
For your hair’s health, be sure to find
products that best work for you. From gel to shampoo it’s important to be
receptive to how your hair reacts to different products. Certain shampoos and
conditioners can cause many men’s hair follicles to become dry, so try
experimenting or asking a doctor about which option may be best for you.
If you have dandruff, test out special
dandruff shampoos, deep exfoliate your scalp and don’t itch your head. It’s
very common among men, and it can be handled, so patience and healthy habits
will help you combat it over time.
A heavily debated topic among men is how to
approach body hair and its removal from your body. The most important tip when
it comes to this is to find the perfect
trimmer and tools that work for you. Especially around the pubic area, it
will be important to take extreme caution and thought when it comes time to
trim up these parts of your body.
Starting with your chest, it’s best to stick
to trimming rather than shaving it all or waxing because of potential
irritation. Plus a clean shave can be a bold look for most, so if you are
aiming to trim, go for a just a few centimeters. However, if you want a bare
chest, be sure to see a professional waxer or stick to a proper shaving
technique to avoid any nicks, redness or scarring.
Moving on to the back, this is arguably the
most important part to mastering the perfect manscaping plan. Your back should
be shaved/waxed or if you can afford it, lasered. This will notably be the
toughest part of your body to groom, so exploring outside options will probably
be better in this case in order to stay looking good.
In terms of shaving your pubic area, extreme
caution will have to be used when trimming the hair around the area. Start by
trimming your pubic area with trimmers that will cut the length but will not
clean shave it all. Using shaving cream around sensitive areas is essential and
shaving with the grain of your hair will prevent cuts and rashes. As it comes
to pubic shaving, be careful, shave and trim as you feel is right, and don’t
overthink it or try too hard.
In terms of hygiene, this area of grooming
will take a majority of your dedication to executing faithfully, however it can
also be the easiest to keep track of. For starters, many men are constantly
searching for a cologne that will make them stand out. It’s definitely not a
bad choice to experiment with several fragrances until you find one that
However, it’s important to remember not to go
over with the top with cologne. Don’t overapply and be cautious with the amount
you spray because having too much on can be just as bad as body odor.
There are tons of other ways that you can take
care of yourself on a daily basis. For men, showering is a huge part of
maintaining your look, however, for your own safety, try showering with warm,
or even cool, water because hot showers can burn and irritate your skin. Again,
find shampoo and conditioner that nurture your hair and help keep it luscious,
but similarly to cologne, be sure not to use too much. Finally, regularly
cutting your nails and replacing your toothbrush are easy tasks that can make a
huge difference in your overall look and wellbeing.
Face masks aren’t just the province of women.
Men’s skin has unique needs that must be met in order to maintain the smooth,
supple skin that is an indicator of overall excellent health.
Whether your skin is oily or dry, prone to acne
or sensitive to the slightest environmental changes, there’s a face mask for
you. If you’ve never used a face mask, that’s ok. It’s never too late to start
to address the issues that are making your skin red, inflamed, uncomfortable or
even downright painful.
Exploring what face masks are and what they can
do for your skin is an excellent place to start. Following this discussion is a
list of recommended face masks for men, which are divided into categories based
upon specific skin concerns.
What Do Face Masks Do?
Most guys were brought up just using plain soap
and water to clean their faces. By now, you may have discovered that hand soap
or the soap you use in the shower probably isn’t the best method for cleansing
the more sensitive skin on your face. That’s because these soaps tend to strip
the skin of essential oils, leaving it dried out, stressed and prone to
numerous common skin complaints.
In addition to using a proper face cleanser, more
men are becoming interested in using face masks. Think of these treatments as
being like a deep cleaning for your skin. The active ingredients in these
products work their way far into your pores to remove dirt, toxins and excess
sebum. At the same time, they provide your skin with necessary vitamins,
minerals and hydration, all things that it needs to be healthy, supple and
Generally, face masks are formulated to meet
certain needs. Before choosing one that’s right for you, you’ll need to
identify the kind of skin you have.
What Is Your Skin Type?
Use this reference guide to determine your skin
type so that you can choose the best face mask to suit your needs.
1. Oily skin
Men who often see a glossy sheen on their face typically have oily skin. This means that their sebaceous glands are hyperactive, producing far more sebum than is necessary. A clay-based mask that helps to absorb excess oil and control shine is a good bet for this skin type.
2. Dry skin
Does your skin flake, itch or crack easily? If so, then you may have dry skin. Your skin effectively isn’t producing enough sebum to provide adequate hydration. You probably need a mask with plenty of moisturizers to correct this issue.
3. Normal skin
This middle-of-the-road skin type is partway between oily skin and dry skin. It’s already fairly well balanced, and you can use just about any mask to deep cleanse or to provide extra hydration.
4. Combination skin
If you have some oily patches and some dry patches on your face, then you probably have combination skin. You’ll likely have to balance your approach with face masks so that you get both the oil control and the hydration that your skin needs.
5. Sensitive skin
Does your skin get irritated from shaving or changes in the climate? Maybe it reacts poorly to certain laundry detergents, and you already know that you need to be careful which cleanser you use. If so, then you need a gentle yet effective face mask that will soothe and calm the skin. Look for one that avoids moisturizers that have an alcohol base.
6. Acne-Prone skin
Men everywhere are plagued by acne well into their adulthood. With the help of ingredients like salicylic acid, a face mask can help to get this complaint under control.
Once you have identified your skin type, you’re
ready to choose a face mask that will help your skin to thrive. From oil
control to essential moisture, there’s a mask that’s perfectly suited to your
How Often Should You Use Face Masks?
The good news is that face masks don’t have to be
a part of your daily routine. Most are suitable for use on a once-a-week basis.
More frequent use may even have unintended consequences for your skin. That
said, there typically is no harm in using a mask twice per week, especially if
your skin is particularly oily or dry.
How Do You Apply Face Masks?
Applying a mask is easy, even if you’ve never
done it before. Follow these steps as a general guideline, but always remember
to read the specific instructions on the packaging for the mask you are using.
Those instructions may differ from these and should be followed to achieve the
1. Wash your hands with soap and water
2. Use your typical facial cleanser and water to wash your face
3. Dispense a portion of the mask onto your fingers, then spread it on your face and neck, taking care to avoid the area around the eyes
4. Use the recommendations for the time limit on the packaging for your mask. Generally, you’ll leave the mask in place for between 10 and 20 minutes.
5. Relax. Try to avoid moving your face too much.
6. Use a washcloth with warm water, then use it wipe away the mask using a circular motion. You may have to rinse out the cloth occasionally.
7. Splash a bit of extra water on your face to remove any remnants of the product
8. Pat your skin dry with a clean hand towel
9. Complete your usual skin care routine with toner, moisturizer and sunscreen
How Long Do Face Masks Last?
If the jar or tube of face mask is tightly sealed
and stored in a cool, dry place, it should be viable for between one and two
years, with 18 months being the general rule of thumb. Of course, if the
consistency of the substance changes or it becomes dry and cracked, it should
be thrown away. Changes in the face mask indicate that the ingredients in it
are breaking down and may irritate the skin.
Best Face Mask for Acne1. Asarai Earth Tones Face Mask
Acne-prone skin requires special care, and that’s
precisely what this product from Asarai delivers. Its ingredients smooth and
detoxify the skin while also alleviating dullness. Pores are unclogged and
tightened, and less inflammation is evident with regular use.
Among the active ingredients are two clays.
Australian red clay rids the skin of impurities while Australian white kaolin
clay boosts circulation, which helps to combat redness.
Also included in the ingredients are aloe vera
juice and sunflower seed oil for soothing irritation and rainforest lime fruit
extract to provide gentle exfoliation.
Users who are fighting acne swear by this product. They state that their skin feels clean and refreshed after every use and that they are seeing fewer breakouts.
This is an innovative product that features
microcapsules. These tiny particles burst as they are applied to the skin,
releasing a chlorophyll-rich substance that controls oil while refining pores
and minimizing lines.
Regular use provides smoother, brighter skin with
less prominent pores. The skin is clarified to remove excess sebum and dead
The secret-weapon ingredient is the chlorophyll
microcapsules that clean and detoxify. Toxins are drawn out and absorbed to
leave skin fresh and clean. A papaya enzyme exfoliates the skin’s surface to
help with cell renewal while hydration is provided by a copper complex.
Users love the lightweight, non-greasy texture and the way the mask softens the skin. Smaller pores and reduced redness are frequently listed among the benefits of this mask.
The name of this product really says it all. If you’re looking for a wash, scrub, spot treatment, and of course, face mask that will eradicate your acne and soothe your inflamed skin, this is probably what you’re looking for. Inside the jar, you’ll find all-natural ingredients like kaolin clay for absorbing oil from deep inside the pores. Bentonite clay is in the formula as well. This ingredient is capable of absorbing negatively charged toxins. Moreover, it forms a barrier that prevents your skin from picking up more environmental toxins.
With natural ingredients like sugar for sloughing away dead skin cells and unclogging pores, you’re likely to see fewer breakouts when you use this product.
Users love how this formula soothes their skin while reducing redness and irritation for cleaner, healthier skin.
Best Face Mask for Dry Skin
4. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque
This mask works all night to provide intense
hydration so you wake up in the morning with soft, supple skin. All you have to
do is smooth a thin layer onto your face before retiring for the night.
What makes this product particularly effective is
the ingredients. Perhaps the most essential ingredient comes from the fountain
plant. This all-natural extract provides an immense amount of hydration while
also promoting the skin’s natural barriers to help it retain even more
Other ingredients include a glycoprotein called
Antarctine that hydrates and protects skin. A desert plant extract called Imperata
cylindrical, which contains massive doses of potassium, further contributes to
the ultra-hydrating results.
Many fans of this mask call it an absolute life-saver. Dry, thirsty skin can be remedied overnight.
5. WODA European Skin Care Celebrity 24 Karat Gold Mask
If your skin is in serious need of hydration and
you want to enjoy an indulgent, spa-like experience, this 24-karat gold mask is
Dermatologists say that few things are better
than gold when it comes to soothing inflammation. The substance even reduces
lines and dark spots.
Within the formulation, you’ll find organic aloe
vera. This ingredient is like a miracle for skin that’s thirsty. It’s loaded
with enzymes, vitamins and minerals, all things that are essential to healthy
Most of the other ingredients in this product
also are aimed at hydration. Coconut oil, sunflower oil and glycerin produce
radiant, younger-looking skin.
Fans of this mask say that although it contains tons of moisturizers, there’s nothing greasy or heavy about this product.
This product will make your skin feel amazing.
It’s a cooling gel mask, so you’ll feel it working immediately. This mask is
recommended for combination skin that needs protection from over-drying in hot
Key ingredients in the mask include turmeric
extract, which is a known skin rejuvenator, and olive leaf extract and squalane
to bring extra hydration. You may even notice less visible lines with regular
Many people say that this product hydrates, refreshes and tones skin in one step. They also say that their skin looks brighter and feels far less dry.
Best Face Mask for Blackheads7. Beau Brummel for Men Charcoal Facial Mask
This product from Beau Brummel contains kaolin
clay, which draws impurities out of pores. The result is cleaner skin and
noticeably fewer blackheads.
Another ingredient in this formula is charcoal.
Like kaolin clay, charcoal is known for its powerful effect on acne and
As toxins and dirt are drawn out of your pores
and absorbed, your skin is left feeling suppler and looking more radiant. Faces
that are regularly treated to this mask feel tighter and fresher.
Men who have tried this mask say that it leaves their skin feeling refreshed and clean. Skin that was once flaky, rough and prone to breakouts is now soothed and healed. With smaller pores and fewer lines, many men wouldn’t live without this mask being part of their weekly routine.
This natural formulation relies on bamboo
charcoal to target and remove substances that clog pores, causing blackheads
and acne. Another powerful ingredient is white China clay, an ingredient that
absorbs environmental toxins. Working in tandem with these components is
Lecithin for dissolving impurities. Guys who use this mask are left with
purified skin and cleansed pores.
Fans of this mask say that their skin is always left feeling clean and fresh but never too tight. Moreover, some declare that it has the power to make blackheads disappear. If your skin is prone to being dry in some spots, use this product with care as it may over-dry your skin. Consider using this as a spot treatment on blackheads instead.
9. Kyoku For Men Lava Masque Acne Treatment For Men
This mask is a winner for your skin and your
budget. Despite costing less than $10, you’ll discover that your skin is
incredibly clear with regular use of this mask.
With the ingredients in this mask, you’ll get
everything you need to prevent blackheads. The components provide exfoliation
and deep cleansing. Among the most remarkable ingredients are the nearly 75 sea
minerals, which are rejuvenating for the skin.
However, it’s the Japanese volcanic mud complex
that works to eradicate blackheads. It sinks deep into the pores to get rid of
harmful bacteria and other toxins. Your pores will be visibly reduced with
Many guys who have used this mask have obtained miraculous, skin-clearing results. This product even prohibits excess oil and shine.
On this season of Drag Race, we’ve seen more drama than we
have of previous seasons, with Queens fighting over wigs, memes, feelings,
truth, lies, justice, catchphrases, photographs, social media, transphobia,
racism, freepasses and flat out being annoying. What will the show choose to
focus on? Will the show finally acknowledge its race problem? Will the Queens
Find out below. We’ll split it up by Queen.
Oh Soju. Why didn’t
you stay on Youtube? Soju’s screentime this episode is dedicated to her barely
being in the show. None of the drama Soju indicated she would be bringing was
shown to us at this reunion. So, that was a bit of a bust. There’s not much to
Poor Kahanna attempts
the Reading Challenge with some bizarre convoluted “jokes” and
terrible delivery. Not even quite “so bad, it’s good” like her mother
Coco’s All Stars 2 reads… Kahanna also attempts some bizarre drama with
Mercedes Iman Diamond who looks bewildered. Apparently Kahanna took mortal
offence of Mercedes posting their lip sync online. Mercedes took it down on
Kahanna’s request thinking it was due to time delay, but posted it again a few
weeks later. We’re Team Mercedes here. Of course if you are in a tv show, it
makes sense to post clips of it. Opulence, you are everything. Mercedes handles
it well and just brushes it off.
Honey receives a total
one second of extra time than her entire appearance on this season bringing her
grand total up to four seconds of screentime.
Mercedes Iman Diamond
Aside from the random
Kahanna drama, Mercedes talks about her family and how some of them have come
to accept drama. It’s one of the nicer moments from the show and really shows
that Mercedes deserved a lot better on the show.
We still don’t know
what Wiggate is and we still don’t care. Ariel comes off as someone who is shit
stirring behind backs but cracks when actually faced with confrontation. Her
segment is of minimal interest, though Ra’Jah hilariously tumbleweed-throws the
missing wig back to Ariel.
revolves around Brooke Lynn Hytes saying some rather nasty stuff at a viewing
party – namely that everyone hated Scarlet and were happy she was eliminated.
Brooke apologizes that she should have not spoken for everyone but that Scarlet
really was feeling her oats hard. We suspect Scarlet really was more annoying
in real life than the camera showed. All viewers should be aware of how the
editing can really change perspectives.
Ra’Jah D. O’Hara
Ra’Jah is this year’s
Vixen which means she gets blamed for nearly everything and RuPaul tries to box
her into a corner for television drama. It is not pleasant to see, but Ra’Jah
handles it incredibly well when she’s basically being told she’s an evil bitch
with no heart. Ra’Jah honestly talks about how she was stressed and in her own
head and learnt a lot seeing herself on the show. Ra’Jah seems better adjusted
and we’re happy for her. There is an odd moment where Yvie cries that Ra’Jah
got personal with the insults on the cameras, despite Yvie doing so to Ra’Jah’s
face. But, we’ll get to that.
Plastique stuns in the
best outfit of the night in traditional Vietnamese attire. She perhaps has the
best run of the night, she grandly forgives her foes like Ra’Jah talking about
how she didn’t fight back with Ra’Jah because she could see how much Ra’Jah was
hurting. The issue of Plastique’s accent is addressed, but whatever the case,
it’s Plastique’s life and voice, let her live it.
This season continues
to gaslight us into wondering whether Shuga Cain actually exists at all. Zero
screentime aside from everyone making fun of her ugly Troll look (her other
amazing looks are not mentioned). Shuga’s argument moment from the promotions
is not featured in this episode. Hmm…
The show continues its
love for Nina West and there’s no drama here. Nina’s rather uncomfortable tweet
where she took an unconsented photo of a random Asian person on a plane and tagged
it as Manila and the fanning of the flames of Silky-hate by liking everything
saying she was robbed and not speaking up is a bit suspicious.
Vanessa Vanjie Mateo
#Branjie gets a fair
bit of screentime. The shocking relevation being that Branjie has been over for
months (we been knew) and they were playing it up for the fans. Brooke doesn’t
come off well here, though not being ready to commit while your partner isn’t,
is a totally valid reason for a break-up, the whole “maybe in the future”
hang-up line doesn’t seem fair on Vanessa. To all you readers out there, you
don’t owe yourself to anyone, but don’t let people think you might in the
future and give them false hope. That’s not cool.
Silky Nutmeg Ganache
today which makes us wonder whether she was putting all the extra-ness on
during the season for a top 4 free pass. She seems on good terms with Yvie, her
primarily source of contention, so the drama has sort of dried up.
A’keria C. Davenport
Ru apparently does not
like A’keria who is portrayed as the secret potstirrer of the season. Though
A’keria had her finger in a few of the dramas, the pinning of a lot of it on
her seems a bit unfair. These girls are tired and stressed. Miscommunication
and talking without thinking runs rampant.
In a cute bathrobe
number, Yvie comes off with the best edit. RuPaul bends over backwards to
justify her behavior and actions throughout the series to the point where it’s
a little bit ridiculous. We like Yvie’s passion and honesty, but there’s a time
and place and she frequently missed the mark and further upset people who were
already upset for no real reason. It’s not cute, but the show praises it while
chewing out the other girl (whatever happened to reading is fundamental?).
Brooke Lynn Hytes
Our presumed winner
comes off bad in her Vanjie relationship and with little else to counteract
that, Brooke comes off badly in the reunion. Cool hat though.
For a drama-full
season, this Reunion was light. It wasn’t the emotional-exploitation-carnival
of season 10 or the cutthroat calamity of season 9, it was just a bit eh. None
of the really big issues were properly address like Shuga’s robbery or the
show’s race issues, social media hate and so forth. But we suppose it would
undermine the show to do so.
Over the past three years since we launched The Authentic
Gay, we have done our best to uphold our mission of inspiring LGBTQ audiences
to examine what it means to live truly authentic queer lives. To us, queer
authenticity means a lot of things, but to be specific, the idea for our name
was born out of a psychological theory known as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Without getting too heady, the basic concept is that in order to live
authentically (or experience self-actualization, meaning achieving one’s true
potential), humans have certain basic needs that must first be met. These are
stacked up in order of priority, such that if the basic needs are not met
first, fulfilling the others is not possible. The structure is as follows:
Physiological needs (basic needs such as rest,
water, food, and warmth)
Safety needs (security, safety from immediate
Belongingness (need for intimate relationships
Esteem (feelings of accomplishment, prestige,
Self actualization (self-fulfillment needs, or
feeling of authenticity)
The impetus for our website was founded on the basic concept
that due to the way our heteronormative society makes queer people inherently feel
inadequate and different, our own personal hierarchies get really fucked over.
Unfortunately for many gay people who get kicked out of their house for their
sexuality, this means the deficiency of the most basic need for safety,
security, food, and a roof over their head. I would extend to say that even for
gays who are out, proud, and self-sufficient, poor self-esteem and
belongingness are still ongoing struggles that ladder back to the queer
One of my favorite books for gay men is The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs. As a psychologist and a superbly relatable writer, he discusses the internalization of shame gay men experience as a byproduct of growing up in a straight world. Throughout his analysis, he discusses the idea that gay men often mask their shame by hiding behind severely fit bodies, material success, and why gays are more prone to substance abuse problems. One basic concept he continues to return to is that by overcoming shame, gay men (and all queer people, really) can break through to authenticity and self-actualization.
Here at TAG, our mission has always been to meet our queer audiences wherever they need help within the hierarchy of needs by sharing information, sparking conversation, and trying to make them laugh. However, one of our favorite things about running a gay blog is the opportunity to partner with other organization and individuals who share our same mission. Throw in some serious laughter, creativity, and superb storytelling, and we’re sold. Enter the Shame On You podcast.
Shame On You: The
Unapologetic Guide for Giving Zero Fucks
On You podcast is run by two best friends, Jordan and Brad, who decided to
start a podcast about gay shame. Their mission is ingenious and genuine – to
examine the shame that gay men experience across the age and ethnicity
spectrum, and use humor and relatable storytelling that helps the listener
contextualize and recognize their own shame. Through extreme oversharing,
surprising vulnerability, and a whole lot of laughing, these two are pushing
gay men toward a place where they can comfortably overcome the barriers that
are holding them in patterns of perpetual shame.
But what really makes this podcast so relatable is the way in which Brad and Jordan offer a truly hilarious stream-of-consciousness narrative. They talk to each other and their guests as if the listener is their next door neighbor, going out of their way to mask the identity of people they reference in rather funny banter. While both hosts are based in Toronto, much of their conversation touches on pretty typical gay drama that could really happen in any boystown. As a listener in West Hollywood, I feel like I know every guest they introduce and every character they reference. They touch on everything from dating closeted gays and porn addiction, to interviewing exes and replaying the lifecycle of a gay relationship. At nearly every turn I’m right there with them, in full recognition that I’ve gone through similar experiences.
I’m not one to start books from the beginning or TV shows
with the first episode, and podcasts are no exception. I started a few episodes
in with Momma Ben – a conversation
with an individual the boys describe as an icon, former party monster, and
mother-bear of sorts in the Toronto gay scene. But before jumping into the
episode, Jordan discusses how he was propositioned on Grindr by a trans man,
how he reacted to the situation, and perhaps how it could have been handled
differently. The listener quickly picks up the general format of the show, with
the first segment dedicated to general topics or events that have happened to
either Brad or Jordan that week, and then jumping into a loosely structured interview.
Again, taking a step back to contextualize as the listener, I have no idea who Ben is. In fact, I don’t have any gay connections in Toronto. However, as Ben begins to describe his experience as a maternal figure in the Toronto gay community while touching on what it means to be an Asian man in a Caucasian-obsessed culture, I immediately realized who he represented in my own West Hollywood life.
My favorite segment is when Ben describes his first entry into gay life in Toronto, comparing it to that scene in the first episode of Queer as Folk (ironically filmed in Toronto) in which Justin experiences his first night out in boystown. He spares no detail in recounting the energy, the imagery of shirtless men gyrating and making out, and the excitement he felt to finally feel at home. Jordan immediately chimes in, adding that alongside the novelty and exhilaration of experiencing gay culture for the first time comes the feeling of overwhelm, overstimulation, and anxiety. I was immediately reminded of my first experiences going out in the Castro in San Francisco when I moved to the bay area at age 19, and taking in a severe amount of stimulation, imagery, and intensity that I had never experienced before (the readily available ecstasy likely exacerbated these sensations, but you get my point). Over and over I find myself reminded of experiences that I’ve had and continue to have that routinely get brought up in every episode. And while this recall of memory is often enjoyable, many of the discussions Jordan and Brad provoke make me reexamine my own actions, thought patterns, and have even helped me to recognize my own forms of shame that I continue to work on.
Do You Smell Poo?
Probably my favorite episode so far, even in spite of the
fact that the boys take magic mushrooms before turning on the mic. In this
episode, Jordan shares a letter he once wrote for a former boyfriend, and gets
rather emotional while reading. Was I at the gym while listening to this
episode? Yes. Did I start tearing up while doing squats? Yes, I did. Jordan
talks about years he spent on an emotional bender following the end of a
significant relationship, bettering himself and his own self esteem, and then meeting
the person to whom the letter is addressed. He covers what essentially sounds
like the experience of falling in love again after a long period of emotional
unavailability, and having that love returned for a short amount of time. And
while the overarching story the letter tells is unmistakably sad, it is at the
same time genuinely heartfelt, beautiful, and in many ways uplifting.
One of the things that amazes me about this podcast is the
hosts’ ability to touch on serious topics and expose the most vulnerable parts
of themselves, and turn around and talk about Grandpa sending nudes. I’m
Dangling by A Thread
I’m going to start by saying I’m so excited this is going to
be a thing! Toward the beginning of their episode entitled Guard That Feces with Your Life, Jordan introduces a new consistent
segment that is grounded in the idea that all adults are really just children
who are just barely making it by, but creating the illusion that everything’s
I. Can. Relate.
They then discuss their first use case of a 60-year-old man
who offered Jordan a substantial amount of money for his poop (over Grindr, of
course). And when Jordan refused, the man suggested that he would still pay for
the specimen if Jordan simply left it somewhere for him. At this point, I’m
dying of laughter. THAT’S SOMEONE’S SON, godammit!
Liiive! Werrrrrk! Give Zero Fucks!
Yes, the conversation in Shame On You often
gets crude. No, the hosts aren’t tiptoeing around like politically-correct
Nazis. But the tone, entertainment value, and importance of the topics they
cover and the delivery they employ is captivating and addicting. I am so
excited to hear what they have in store.