The Steelers (7-6), who are fighting to make the playoffs and face Dallas this week, signed Baron Batch from the practice squad to replace Mendenhall on the roster.
He has just 113 rushing yards this season.
The Steelers (7-6), who are fighting to make the playoffs and face Dallas this week, signed Baron Batch from the practice squad to replace Mendenhall on the roster.
He has just 113 rushing yards this season.
Eastin is a replacement line judge who will make her NFL debut in Thursday night’s Green Bay at San Diego exhibition game. The regular officials are locked out by the league after their contract expired.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for her, and for us,” Goodell said Wednesday at an ethics in sports seminar. “She deserves the opportunity, she’s well prepared for it, and I think she’ll do terrific. So we’re excited about that.
“And there are more coming, by the way. We’ve been working along this path to try to properly train and prepare a female official, and now we have the opportunity.”
Eastin is a referee in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (FCS division) and also runs a company that trains officials in football and basketball.
“There are probably not as many women as I like” attending her classes, the 42-year-old Eastin said on a conference call Tuesday. “I want to encourage women: Don’t be afraid. Pursue and have dreams. This is my dream. With very step I hope to show it really doesn’t matter if you are male or female.”
Goodell didn’t specify if future women officials would be hired on a regular basis or as replacements during the lockout.
“They could be replacements, or they could be – hopefully this is not going to be long term,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll get this resolved sooner rather than later. But we’re prepared to go forward with the season, and that’s what we’re going to do. We’ve prepared our replacement officials.”
(Phatforums News / Match.com) — I once went on a first (and last) date with a guy who broke the ice by telling me that he had been deported from England on drug charges. There was more — something about a scheme to steal money from his wealthy parents — but I was hardly listening by that point. All I could think was: “Why are you telling me this?!”
Because, truth is, most of us know what you should never say on a first date. Words like “felony” jump to mind. But what about the more subtle subjects you’re best not broaching right off the bat? We polled both experts and real men and women about the other deal-breakers — those topics so deadly they guarantee there won’t be a date #2. Here, four subjects usually thought to be acceptable, but in truth are likely to scare off a potential love:
Deal-breaker #1: Your romantic past
Here’s the problem with bringing up your former flame (let’s call him Brad): If you trash Brad, it sounds like you’re not over him. If you talk him up, it sounds like you’re not over him. And if you mention that you’re still in touch with the guy, what your date hears is, “You’re OK for free steak, but if Brad is drunk and calls me at 3 a.m., I am so there.”
Guys are just as likely as women to make this first date faux pas, as Maria Amor of San Diego found out. “I went out with a guy who had a broken leg, so we had to hang out at his apartment. I asked him what he did all day and he said he played Xbox — a gift from his ex-girlfriend!” Maria recalls. “Then he went on about how she was so supportive during tough situations (meanwhile, I’m fluffing the pillow under his feet!). I had to sit there and listen to how wonderful that girl was. Right then I decided I would be his ‘pillow-fluffer’ no more.”
Jill Kleiner’s date never got a clue, either. “He kept telling me all the great places he went with his ex-girlfriend,” says the Stirling, New Jersey, resident. “All night I had to hear about all the fantastic things they used to do together.” So Jill just happened to be “busy” when he asked her out a second time. Jill’s (wisely) holding out for a guy who wants to plot future adventures — with her.
Deal-breaker #2: Talking about kids
Want to scare the bejeezus out of your first date? Say this word: baby. Or this one: pregnant. Or these two: biological clock. In fact, there are only three times you should ever bring up kiddos when out with a new guy: if you have one, if he has one, or if one’s screaming so loudly you need to leave the restaurant.
“There’s no such thing as small talk about kids; it’s always a loaded subject,” says Laura Leu, a relationship expert at Stuff magazine. Chris Suttile, a single guy in Chicago, says amen to that. “I barely know what I’m doing after lunch, let alone next week,” he says. “Kids = pressure, pressure, pressure… and pressure = no second date.”
Heck, once you’ve got a few great dates under your belt, you can mention that you love buying your niece clothes at BabyGap. By that point, he’ll be comfortable and know it means that you’re a proud aunt, not that you’re planning on having your own baby ASAP.
Deal-breaker #3: Using pet names
So you and he are really hitting it off — by the time your entrees arrive, you can’t take your eyes off each other and you’re finishing each other’s sentences. It may feel like you’re an old married couple, but better not say, “How’s your tuna, Pookie?” unless Pookie is what’s printed on his driver’s license.
Less creative terms of endearment are also no-no’s, according to Mike Adams of Chicago. “On one date, by the end of dinner, I was being called ‘sweetie’ and ‘honey’ — repeatedly,” he says. “I’m all for pet names once you know someone, but never on a first date. It makes you feel trapped in a relationship that hasn’t even begun and probably just crash-landed before leaving the gate.”
Deal-breaker #4: Talking about your pets
You say, “I have a cat.”
He thinks, “That’s cool.”
You say, “You have to meet Mr. Fluffum! I hope he likes you — he gets very jealous of other men! He does this thing where he sleeps on my tummy — it’s sooo cute!”
He thinks: “Did she just call her cat Mr. Fluffum?!”
Unless you met your date at the dog run or a PETA rally, it’s best to keep conversations about furry friends to a minimum, says Charlotte Reed, a pet expert in New York. “Trust me, your date will think you are crazy if you say too much,” she says. Part of the problem is it’s hard to talk about your precious little Fido without talking in a squeaky baby voice — which sounds certifiable to everyone but you and Fido. And amazingly cute/heroic/gifted pet stories don’t translate well (we know, you had to be there!).
Plus, first dates are all about looking for subtle signs of weirdness — or not-so-subtle signs, such as teaching your cat to use the toilet. Pet talk can land you in the “rather odd” category before you have a chance to show what a cool person you really are. Bottom line: Let your new sweetie discover the magic of Mr. Fluffum in his or her own sweet time.
Lisa Lombardi is a New York-based writer and editor. Her work has appeared in Redbook, Child, Marie Claire, and Cosmopolitan. Her cat’s name is not Mr. Fluffum.
(Phatforums News / Match.com) — How lucky we are to be in an age where men and women alike are encouraged to express their feelings! We share what’s on our mind to family, friends, coworkers, therapists, and last but not least, our dates. The thing is, while our family, friends, coworkers and therapists have all known us long enough to roll with some of our beyond-blunt comments, our dates have most likely not had that luxury — which is why you may well have completely offended someone without even knowing it. Such is the price of honesty: you think you’re just being candid, but another person thinks you’re rude. Let’s take a closer look at how to wrangle this tricky territory in dating and relationships.
Why criticism is rarely constructive
The irony of honesty is that people usually feel 100 percent justified in expressing their feelings. Well, he did need to stop complaining about his job! She would look better with longer hair! And hey, that person did too need to lighten up a bit! Newsflash: everybody could stand to undergo a little self-improvement. But self-improvement starts from within, not with a near-stranger you’re meeting at Starbucks. It’s not that those always-honest people are inherently wrong, per se, but rather, it’s that they’re offering opinions that the recipient didn’t solicit from them. David, a 35-year-old from San Diego, recalls a first meeting where he got into an intense discussion about the Iraq war with his date. “Instead of agreeing to disagree,” David recalls, “she couldn’t stop reminding me how argumentative I was being. But I was the one who wanted to end the conversation!”
There’s a big difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism — one that David’s date couldn’t discern. Naturally, most of us think our criticism is constructive; when others take offense, we cry: “I’m just trying to help you!” But in my opinion, most criticism is the destructive kind. We tell others what we perceive to be wrong with them for our own benefit rather than theirs, as if they’re instantaneously going to change. “I was really interested in this guy from our email exchanges, yet the second we sat down for dinner, he told me point-blank that I should let my hair grow longer,” says 49-year-old Jane from Seattle. “As if he had some sort of say in the process!” Janet’s story, unfortunately, is as much the rule as the exception. We offer our thoughts even if our dates don’t ask, even if they don’t agree, and even if our words fall on deaf ears. It’s as if the criticism is a weight to be carried around, and we can only unburden ourselves by dumping it on our unsuspecting dates.
The secret to treating your date with tact
So how can you tell if your negative comments are constructive or destructive? Simple: if your date didn’t explicitly ask you how he/she could improve something, you’re being destructive — yes, even if you’re completely correct in your assessment. It’s not your job to tell someone how he or she can be better. It’s your job to smile, be generally pleasant, and decide if you want to see this person another time. That’s it. Miami resident Andrew, 27, recalls a woman who laid into him for showing up late and failing to open the car door for her. “It’s not that she was wrong,” he says, “it was that her tone was something I’d only take from someone who was already my girlfriend. Getting yelled at on a first date doesn’t give me much incentive to come back for a second one.”
Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to be a doormat on your date or carefully monitor every word that comes out of your mouth. Nor does it mean that you can’t talk about anything interesting or provocative. It just means that the cliché you heard from your mom when you were six is still applicable today: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.”
A road paved with good intentions…
We — real, human, flawed people — take a risk every time we go out on a date. We hope to impress the other person, yet half the time, we fail to do so. And that’s OK. The problem is when we decide to offer some free analysis with each venti latte for our own selfish reasons. Unadulterated honesty may not cost a thing monetarily, but being candid at all times is expensive in terms of connections and compassion. After all, why would anyone want to date you if that person is only going to be made to feel bad about himself or herself?
Let me give you an example: Karen, a 33-year-old psychologist from Los Angeles, believes in full-tilt honesty — and she feels that if everyone were a little bit more like her, this dating thing wouldn’t be that bad at all. “Some of my dates probably think I lack a bit of a filter, but the way I see it, if a guy can’t take my honesty, he’s probably not the right guy for me,” says Karen. Although I respect her integrity, I couldn’t disagree more with her approach. “Honest” may be the label that people like Karen grant themselves, but others (who may be a bit less abrasive) probably use another word to describe their behavior: tactless.
Having restraint doesn’t mean you’re a liar. It just means you’re not saying every single thing that crosses your mind. There’s tremendous grace in being courteous, and what you gain from being kind to a date is far greater than what you gain from being honest. So, next time, try a little kindness…and watch as your dates warm up accordingly.
Dating coach Evan Marc Katz is the founder of profile writing service E-Cyrano.com and the author of the book Why You’re Still Single: Things Your Friends Would Tell You If You Promised Not to Get Mad. Reach him directly at evanmarckatz.com.
Height: 5′ 4″
A natural performer, San Diego native Jewels Jade first hit the stage at age 5, singing and playing the accordion as well as acting in plays and musicals. In her late 20s, Jewels started stripping at Pacers Showgirls in San Diego, enticing customers for six years before meeting porn legend Peter North, who naturally asked if she was interested in getting into porn.
Jewels was a natural on camera and filthy, too. Her first credit was an anal scene in 2002’s Puritan Video Magazine 35: Escape to Sex Island. She was also the winner of that year’s Wildlife Anal Contest (AVN’s review of the DVD called her performance “inspired” and Jewels a “nasty slut [who] doesn’t stop.”) After a few years of only sporadic appearances, Jewels returned in 2010, shooting for dozens of companies, including Wicked, New Sensations, Reality Kings, Zero Tolerance and others. Without slowing down, she got 2011 off to a roaring start by being named the February Penthouse Pet.
In January 2011, Jewels was voted The Hottest MILF in Porn in the Hottest Girl in Porn contest. She has made appearances on The Man Show, Jenny Jones, Playboy TV and commercials for Spice. She is actively into physical training, which can be credited in part for making her the eldest beauty in the history of Penthouse Pets.
Find Jewels Jade online at:
Bio provided by Rising Star PR
‘The Golden Girls: A XXX MILF Parody’
On the Set of New Sensations’ ‘The Golden Girls’
Movies Cast In
Casting Couch Confessions 9
Babysitter Diaries 2
The Golden Girls: A XXX MILF Parody
Sex and the City the XXX Parody: In Search of the Screaming O
Freaks of Boobs 2
Cougars Crave Young Kittens 05
Gotta Love Those Big Tits
Seasoned Players 14
Whitezilla is a Mother Fucker 3
Fucked Up Facials 10
Fucked Up Hand Jobs 10
MILF Strap 2
Fuck My Mom & Me 11
Lesbian Beauties Interracial
My Dreams of Shay
Knee Pad Nymphos 5
Blowjob Fantasies 15
Stop My Ass Is On Fire 7
Balls Deep 5
Beach Bunnies with Big Browneyes 12
The Fans Have Spoken 5
Masturbation Nation 11
LOS ANGELES — Andy San Dimas fought back tears of joy. Tommy Gunn stood speechless. So many XBIZ Award winners displayed a range of emotions on Wednesday night backstage at the Hollywood Palladium after their names were announced.
“This is so amazing,” San Dimas said. “I can’t believe I won Female Performer of the Year.”
San Dimas’ outstanding body of work included lead roles in several high-profile feature movies as well as some 30 gonzo releases in 2010, capping a memorable year for the former adult store clerk from Baltimore, Md.
Gunn, who is in his eighth year as one of porn’s most reliable studs, was humbled by his win for Male Performer of the Year.
“I’m just happy to be doing what I do,” Gunn said. “I just showed up and did my best. I’m kind of speechless to be honest, but this is a great day.”
Winners were crowned in more than 100 award categories covering every major sector of adult at Wednesday’s event. The ninth annual gala was the largest in XBIZ Awards history.
After the star-studded parade of red-carpet arrivals generated national media coverage, the show unfolded in front of a crowd of more than 1,000 adult industry professionals at the iconic Palladium. Digital Playground exclusive Jesse Jane and naughty comedian Whitney Cummings kept the mood lively as the hosts for the evening in between live entertainment that even included professional pole dancing.
But perhaps the most lasting images of the night were the looks on the faces of the victors, such as the Best Acting winners Kayden Kross and Keni Styles, who both told XBIZ that careful preparation went into their performances.
Kross won Acting Performance of the Year-Female for her lead role in Digital Playground’s firefighter epic “Body Heat.”
“This is so rad. I’m so excited. This is freakin’ sweet!” Kross said, adding “my feet hurt!”
“‘Body Heat’ was the one movie I really cried for — real tears — so I think that says something,” she continued. “I worked with an acting coach with this specific script. I didn’t feel like I was doing porn, I felt like I was playing a role.”
The Asian sensation Styles was ecstatic with his triumph for Acting Performance of the Year in the Miss Lucifer Production “Malice in Lalaland” that was distributed by Vivid.
“I wish [director Lewis Xypher] could have been here,” Styles said. “I put a lot of work into researching Johnny Depp’s character in ‘Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas.’ I watched the movie again and again, trying to get down his characteristics. A lot of people just said it came naturally to me. I put myself into the role. And I’m already a zany character.”
Styles continued, “Working with [Sasha Grey] was really good. She helped me raise my game so much. I learned a lot from Sasha. … Lewis just had his first son and he is celebrating that [in Belgium]. When I call him up on Skype later this will be the cherry on top of the cake for him.”
The night was just as sweet for Wicked Pictures, which took home Feature Movie of the Year and Best Cinematography for their all-action, motorcycle drama “Speed,” in addition to Feature Studio of the Year honors. When “Speed” director Brad Armstrong & Co. took the stage, he said, “Thanks to the Wicked Girls, to my editor Scott Allen, to my videographers Francois Clousot and Mark Nicholson and to all the people who worked so hard on the cast and crew.”
Armstrong directed what will be remembered as one of the finest ensemble casts in adult film history in “Speed,” which was lifted by the acting and sex performances of numerous established stars who each had equal screen time and billing.
Director Lee Roy Myers, meanwhile, collected honors for Director of the Year – Body of Work and Parody Movie of the Year for his New Sensations smash hit “The Big Lebowski: A XXX Parody.”
“I really love my job. I love directing, writing and producing, and the people I get to work with. I literally get to work with my best friends every day on my shoots. How can you beat that?” Myers said. “My crew made me. I’d be nothing without them.”
Myers added, “‘Lebowski’ is my baby. This project is based on my favorite movie. Everything just clicked on it, from the acting performances to the sex. I’m so glad it’s being recognized.”
Nominees traveled from all over the country to attend the XBIZ Awards.
“I literally just arrived [in L.A.],” said Gisele of GotGisele.com, who was named Web Babe of the Year and had just stepped off a plane from Houston a couple hours earlier. “I was the first winner of the evening. I’m completely shocked. I was not at all expecting this.”
The former Hooters waitress started GotGisele.com 10 months ago after working for five years as a popular web cam model.
“I always had a fascination for nude modeling,” Gisele admitted.
R.J. from the Bay Area-based SexEntertain told XBIZ when he was on stage accepting the Content Licensor of the Year award, he thought simply, “I’m glad I dressed nicely.”
“I’m appreciative,” R.J. said. “I’m glad and I’m honored. … We are the largest and longest lasting content syndicator on the market.”
IVD/ECN founder Frank Kay, who traveled from his headquarters in Hightstown, N.J., thanked all his vendors for contributing to his company’s award for Distributor/Wholesaler of the Year.
“I’m very happy to win a great award like this,” Kay said. “We couldn’t accomplish this without all our staff and vendor support.”
Shap, the owner of Twistys.com, will bring a trophy home to Toronto after accepting the award for Solo Girl Affiliate Program of the Year for TwistysCash.
“This is awesome, a lot of hard work,” Shap said. “This is our first award as an affiliate program, and our second award overall. We pour our hearts into this. We’ll have our 10-year anniversary in 2011.”
Nicholas Steele, the director of ambitious parody “Bat FXXX: Dark Night” for Bluebird Films, was accompanied by “Bat FXXX” star and Bluebird exclusive, Madelyn Marie, in accepting his Best Director – Individual Project honor.
“Twenty years later, this is the first time I’ve won an award,” Steele said. “And this is my first digital movie.”
“Bat FXXX” later was awarded Best Special Effects for its cinematic quality.
Meanwhile, Chanel Preston, a native of Alaska who resides in Hawaii, completed a fantastic first year of performing by earning the coveted New Starlet of the Year award.
“When I look back I feel so lucky that I’ve had an extremely successful year,” Preston told XBIZ, adding that she’ll be going to the Magic Mountain amusement park to celebrate the victory. She gave a special “thank you” to Wicked Pictures and Brad Armstrong and Jessica Drake who “shot my third scene” and “really helped me a lot.”
Erik Teno and Cathy Beardsley of CommerceGate won for Billing Company of the Year – Merchant Services, a company is based in L.A., Miami and Barcelona.
“This was a big surprise,” Teno said.
Beardsley added, “Our whole focus is taking care of our clients. Customer service is No. 1. We’re listening to our clients and we’re adapting.”
Justin Ross from the Screaming O recalled how six years ago he and Keith Caggiano started their company out of a garage and guesthouse, and now they run a 20,000 square-foot facility. For their mainstream friendly marketing endeavors they earned the award for Crossover Novelty Company of the Year.
“We have a product that is unique and able to cross over to different areas where others aren’t. It takes a lot of energy and effort,” said Ross, a former finance executive. “We knew if we executed our strategy right we would grow and we have even bigger plans than where we are now.”
Speaking of crossovers, Digital Playground’s Riley Steele said her win for Crossover Star of the Year means that “all my hard work is paying off right now.”
“And with ‘Top Guns’ and everything that’s coming this year I feel it just gets better from here,” said the blonde San Diego native, who had a memorable role in the feature film Piranha 3-D last summer and will star in a new season of Cinemax’s “Life on Top” this year.
Burning Angel founder Joanna Angel, who won Specialty Affiliate Program of the Year for Joanna Angel Bucks, said her award was especially gratifying.
“I’m so honored. This really feels amazing. I don’t know what to say. I’m shocked. There are so many incredible affiliate programs out there and to know we stood out,” Angel said. “I do it all myself. This is the root of my company. I’d be nothing with Joanna Angel Bucks.”
Another standout was the 6-foot-6 Flash Brown, who won New Male Performer of the Year. Just a few years ago the Memphis, Tenn., native was playing professional basketball overseas.
“I feel privileged. I’m very honored and grateful,” said the 29-year-old former shooting guard.
Dale DaBone, who starred in Axel Braun’s hot-selling “Batman XXX” for Vivid last year and most recently played Elvis, won the award for Comeback Performer of the Year after returning to the industry in 2010 after a seven-year hiatus.
“I’m proud of ‘Batman’ and all the other stuff I’ve done,” said DaBone, who did professional motorcycle stunts, coached tennis and played drums while he was gone. “I told you about some of the mistakes I’ve made in the past and I’ve tried to make amends and it’s still going. Now I think ‘Elvis’ is going to be bigger than ‘Batman.’”
PORN VALLEY—Tiny blonde Nikki Charm got into the adult industry as early as she could. According to an interview done a dozen years ago, after a poseur claimed that she’d worked underage in the industry, Nikki countered, “That was never the truth. I planned and prepared to come into the industry. I planned it from March, 1983 until I came into [agent] Reb [Sawitz's] office in May of 1984. I knew I needed to be 18 because my brother’s fiancée, Mercedes Perez, was working as an actress in the industry. I told her I wanted to get into it. She said, ‘Great; wait until you’re 18. You can get into a lot of trouble if you don’t. Not only that, but you’ll make a lot of enemies.’ I waited, planned and prepared. I worked out two hours a day, tanned my body and came into Reb’s office at 18, just about the time when Ginger was over at Vivid and they were doing the big videos. At that time Reb was really excited, ‘Watch out Ginger Lynn!’ He verified my age at the time. I never worked underage.”
But now Nikki’s back and ready to assert herself as one of porn’s premier MILFs, even though she admits she’d settle for an office job at one of the production companies—”something in sales and marketing, writing, directing”—to re-involve her in the business while she pursues a possible screenwriting and journalism career.
“What I’m doing now is starting a blog called xxxrant.com,” she recently told AVN, noting that the blog is not yet operational. “I realized, into my adulthood, that I have some strong opinions and some writing talent, and I decided to put those two things together and try to showcase them on the blog, highlighting adult topics and events. I’m really concerned about a lot of the legal and medical issues that our industry is facing right now, and I’d like to comment on that from a performer’s perspective, and also get some more information, questions I have unanswered, from a curiosity standpoint, so some of it has kind of a journalistic edge, but some of it kind of a more fun edge, like attending events and getting little interviews with the girls and guys.”
“The other part of the blog that I’m working on, that’s really closest to my heart, is my screenwriting project that I’m trying to get a major motion picture studio interested in,” she continued. “I wrote a screenplay treatment called ‘Homeless Waif’ that I registered with the Writers Guild, about the nine months before I went to prison and how I lived on the streets for those nine months, literally, and what the struggle was and what I went through, to just really finally put away all those painful issues. I came home early [from prison] a much more whole person, so it’s kind of a story of redemption, really. I’ll be attending the Santa Barbara Film Festival for the weekend. I’m just trying to immerse myself in that world a little bit. I’m totally a novice; I don’t want to push my way around or offend anybody; I’m just trying to get information and do research right now, so I’ll be looking for a writer and an agent for that.”
Nikki appeared in about 50 productions between ’84 and her leaving the business in 1991, but unlike some ex-performers, she was never bitter about the industry.
“When I got out of porn, there was really no reason,” she admitted. “I just wanted to have a different kind of life, and I had my parents where I was like, ‘You know, that isn’t going to last forever,’ and I didn’t really have the commitment or determination to really work towards any kind of directing jobs; I didn’t really believe in my writing ability at that point, so there was really nowhere else for me to go, and I wanted to get married and all that, and so I did that, and it worked out really, really good.”
She returned to performing briefly in 2000, at roughly the same time that she also took a “day job” in AVN’s advertising department, but “the pressures were just too much,” and she once again left the adult business. However, this time, her life took a downward spiral that ended up with her being charged with 13 counts of burglary.
“I pleaded guilty to one commercial count and one residential count, and a grand theft auto, so they were threatening me with a lot of time,” she explained. “I got sentenced to five years and four months. I did the cushiest time you could possibly do, in a fire camp down in San Diego for about 25 months. Well, I was actually there for about 14 months; the other time was going through the hard places to get there, but it was a fantastic experience; it was fulfilling and rewarding and really helped me rebuild myself. It was awesome. It was physically intense, and being on the fire crew is such a cherishable experience that people that are not in prison don’t even get the opportunity to do, so I felt it was a real privilege.”
The “fire camp” was the Central California Women’s Facility at Chowchilla, where she worked in the office of the administrative captain, dispatching emergency crews to fight nearby fires on public lands (such as 2003′s Cedar and Paradise fires) which burned over 750,000 acres and nearly caused the evacuation of the camp.
So … did her fellow inmates know about her porn career?
“Not early on,” she said. “It was really funny, because I wrote to Paul [Fishbein]; I kind of wanted people to know where I was at and everything. My whole life, I was kind of an open book, and I just wanted people to know, this happened, that happened, but you’re okay; you work through it and you’re strong and you move on. When I left porn, it was okay to print a story about it because I wanted to get some letters from my fans, and I actually did; I had one fan who was writing quite regularly and was going to come visit me, but he backed out for whatever reason, probably because he lived in Connecticut; that was a little far away.”
“But when those letters started coming in,” she continued, “my lieutenant called me up to the office and—because I worked in the office, any time they paged to the office, all 100 girls thought we had a fire, so they would all start getting dressed and saying, ‘Which crew? Which crew?’ So I went into her office and she said, ‘So… you know we open all your mail, right? We have to; it’s legal—right? Right?’ And she showed me a photograph that somebody had sent in. It was an old photograph of me from my porn days, and the lieutenant had questions for me, and all the other officers, they all thought it was funny and exciting and they wanted to know all about it.”
Nikki got out in November, 2004, and began trying to put her life back together.
“Life is so weird now!” she exclaimed. “I tell my friends it’s like I had a stroke or something. I’ve just been working and living my life, raising my daughter and just being a good mom; joined the PTA.. When I first came home, I worked with my brother for a while doing kitchen and bathroom cabinet installation, which I loved; I have that need to create and have the instant gratification of seeing the creation completed. I did a couple of odd jobs here and there, and I just really—I don’t know; I didn’t feel comfortable in the things I was doing, the cabinet work, data entry operator for a church, which turned out to be nothing but a real scam, so it paid the bills, but it was hard to make peace with. I felt like I was ripping off people who believed in something and it didn’t feel right, so I left that company, and then I was really just floating.”
“In 2009, I was very sick—don’t know why; don’t know whether it was stress or maybe a little depression,” she continued. “But 2010 came around and in April, something happened, and all these stories just started popping into my head, and one of them had been haunting me since I was a kid, and they were practically writing themselves; I just had to get them down on paper. So finally I had to start doing some research on how do you organize those? How do you take them from the vision in your head and put them on paper in a visual way that’s juicy enough for someone to want to read? So it was a real learning experience, and the writing was very cathartic.”
But Nikki’s taking her reentry into porn seriously. She’s already been signed to appear in an upcoming volume of Tom Byron’s Seasoned Players, and was recently seen as the production manager for Exquisite Films’ latest parody, Reservoir Dogs XXX—which also has Byron in a leading role.
“I like to work with him, so when I found out he was still doing things, I was like, ‘Whoo!’” she enthused. “I was very nervous, even before, working with people I didn’t know very well, so coming back into it and thinking of that—I’m just a very intimate person and so I need that intimacy with my partner in the scene.”
“But there’s a couple of select projects I’d like to do,” she continued. “I’d love to do something with Nina [Hartley]—absolutely will do something with Nina. I saw that Inari [Vachs] was coming back; I never got a chance to work with her, so we’ll see what I can work out, but it’ll be just some select projects.”
One of those “select projects” will be creating a sort of visual diary on her blog.
“I’m going to take it from the performer’s perspective,” she explained. “If AIM will let me, I’m going to videotape my test, I’m going to blog about it, I’m going to go through the whole process and just uncover it and let people see, this is what it is. This is how we do it and we’re comfortable with it, so I just really want to open up that part of it a little bit.”
So look for Nikki in movies to be released this spring, and for more up-to-date info on her, check out her blog posts at xxxrant.com as soon as it goes live, which should be within the next month.
More rain, more flooding in California
* NEW: 100 vehicles involved in North Dakota incident
* NEW: Arizona transportation officials believe worst is over
* California’s acting governor declares an emergency in Mariposa County
* A missing snowboarder is found dead in a Lake Tahoe ski resort
Los Angeles, California (CNN) — A strong storm system made driving dangerous in the Rockies and the upper Plains and contributed to a pileup involving about 100 vehicles Thursday near Fargo, North Dakota, officials said.
“It is not fit for anyone to be out there,” North Dakota State Highway Patrol Capt. Eldon Mehrer told CNN radio.
Snow, ice and rain plagued much of the West, and North Dakota officials closed Interstate I-94 between Jamestown and Fargo and the north-south Interstate 29 from the Canadian border to South Dakota.
The I-94 chain-reaction wreck a few miles west of Fargo occurred when two semi trucks jackknifed in the treacherous conditions, Some 100 vehicles were affected by the mishap, with about 30 involved in crashes.
One person was critically injured amid four injury incidents, Mehrer said.
Clearing the accident was difficult, said the patrol officer, who had a simple message to motorists: stay home.
Across much of the state, rescuers gave up trying to get vehicles out of ditches and concentrated on picking up stranded motorists using snowmobiles and buses.
In California, acting Gov. Abel Maldonado declared a state of emergency for Mariposa County Thursday because of extreme weather and storm conditions.
The central California community becomes the 12th California county declared to be in a state of emergency because of this month’s punishing rain and windstorms. The others are Kern, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Tulare, Kings, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Inyo and San Diego counties.
Officials in Mariposa County, which describes itself as the home to Yosemite National Park, had earlier declared a local emergency, Maldonado said in the proclamation.
This month’s winter storms have been so punishing that the flood damage to homes, businesses and roads require “the combined forces” of state and regional aid for providing relief, the proclamation said. Maldonado is serving as the chief executive while Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is away from the state on vacation.
Meanwhile, a missing snowboarder who had been enjoying the fresh snow was found dead Thursday morning in the Alpine Meadows ski resort in Tahoe City, California, said resort spokeswoman Rachael Woods.
Shawnte Willis, 25, of Tahoma, California, had been missing since Tuesday when snowboarding with friends, and her body was found in a tree well about 400 feet below the Pacific Crest Trail in the Granite Chief Wilderness Area by search and rescue team supervised by the Placer County Sheriff’s Department.
A series of Pacific storms have created the wettest December ever throughout southern California, according to National Weather Service recording stations in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Camarillo, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria.
Arizona was rebounding Thursday from the storm, with I-17 and I-40 open in both directions. Crews were using de-icers to keep them safe, officials said.
“We think we passed the worst of it,” said Department of Transportation spokesman Timothy Tait, indicating clear skies Friday will help after a frosty overnight.
Snow, ice and low visibility snarled traffic, and parked cars made it difficult for some of the nearly 300 state snowplows to do their work, Tait said. Suburbs of Phoenix reported flurries.
U.S.180 remained closed north of Flagstaff, and 89A between Sedona and Flagstaff was mostly out of commission.
This week’s storms were also “a contributing factor” in the death of a 70-year-old woman in a northern California exotic wildlife preserve, authorities said Wednesday.
The woman was reading a bedtime story to her 7-year-old granddaughter Tuesday night when an oak fell on their safari-style luxury tent in Santa Rosa. The grandmother was killed instantly, authorities said, but the child was unharmed.
“Obviously, the weather was a contributing factor to this tragedy,” said Cyndi Foreman, a spokeswoman for the Rincon Valley Fire Protection District in Santa Rosa. “It was heavy rain in a short period of time and heavy winds and back-to-back storms.”
The death occurred as a strong and cold storm system from the Gulf of Alaska moved into the West. Ice was causing headaches in Arizona and the National Weather Service said additional rains, heavy snow and winds would make the going rough over the next several days for residents in much of the region.
Weather specialist Stuart Seto said this week’s rainstorms, pushed by a cold front out of the Gulf of Alaska, didn’t produce major debris or mudslides on Tuesday or Wednesday.
“It was a fast-moving storm, so we were lucky. No major debris flows (but) there were some little ones,” Seto said.
The Alaskan front brought low temperatures to southern California Thursday and is expected to bring freezing temperatures to the Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills, which could see 31 degrees Friday morning, Seto said. The record low for that day was set in 1972 at 27 degrees, Seto said.
In New York, snowbound residents said their streets remained clogged days after a massive holiday blizzard.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday he will investigate whether sanitation workers intentionally delayed cleanup efforts over frustrations regarding citywide budget cuts.
The slow cleanup effort hampered morning commuters, delayed first responders and even prevented aircraft service personnel from reaching airports where 29 international flights were stuck on the tarmac for more than three hours, officials said.
With the close of 2010 just days away, many of us will plan for the arrival of 2011 by making a new year’s resolution or two.
But given the fear — and past experience — that our best-laid resolutions will fade away before they even get off the ground, we often dismiss new year’s goal-making as irrelevant and useless.
WHAT TO DO: Now, in January, in February and beyond
Still, experts say that we tend to do better with our resolutions than we give ourselves credit for, and that with a few tweaks our resolutions can become part of a valuable annual self-inventory that can have a major payoff.
“Many institutions do an end-of-the-year strategic analysis, where they take stock before going forward into the new year,” says Temple University psychologist Frank Farley, a past president of the American Psychological Association.
Likewise, this is the perfect time for us as individuals to take “a personal assessment of ourselves and decide how things have gone in the past year by asking, ‘How are my relationships going?’ ‘How’s my work life going?’ ‘How’s my health?’ ” he says. In this culture, we “pretty much accept that a fresh start will occur in the new year and that we can put the old behind us.”
The new year represents a tremendous opportunity for self-improvement, agrees psychology professor John Norcross of the University of Scranton.
According to research by Norcross and colleagues, 75% of resolution-makers will be successful in mid-January, 50% will still be sticking to it by the end of the month and 40%-46% can claim success six months out.
“If you look at it as the glass being half full, that nearly 50% are making their resolutions stick for at least six months is impressive,” says Norcross, whose research examines self-change in general and new year’s resolutions in particular.
And it’s even more striking, given that the typical new year’s resolutions deal with smoking, exercise, finances and similar “life-sustaining issues,” he adds.
Research also shows that even when people give up on a resolution, whatever initial success they have achieved helps lay the groundwork for later improvement. “People build on the small successes,” says Norcross. “They learn how not to relapse quickly, they learn what works and what doesn’t work” to keep them motivated and on track.
Still, many of us will fail early in our resolution attempt, and one of the most common culprits is unrealistic expectations. “We set our goals way too high,” perhaps because we “get carried away at the moment we make them,” says San Diego psychologist Tracy Alderman.
“Anything sounds possible when you’re celebrating on New Year’s Eve, even losing 30 pounds in a month,” she says. “But it doesn’t happen that easily. You have to keep your goals realistic.”
Setting short- and long-term goals helps, she says, as does developing a plan to achieve your goals and recording the plan on paper. Documenting your effort “helps to keep you on task.”
Also, consider enlisting a co-conspirator or two — family or friends or even an online group — to support and encourage you, Farley says. “Sharing your goals is helpful. Often it’s hard to keep to these goals long-term on your own.”
Finally, because “there’s only so much time we can bring to each commitment,” Norcross says it’s best “not to dilute” your effort with a laundry list of resolutions. Research shows you have more success with just one or two.
People we know in?uence how we think and act when it comes to sex. To begin with, both friends and strangers affect our perceptions of a prospective partner’s attractiveness, consciously and unconsciously. These effects go beyond basic tendencies that men and women have to make judgments about appearance; for example, it has repeatedly been shown that men ?nd women with low waist-to-hip ratios more attractive, and women value certain facial features in men. Until recently, most research on partner choice and assessments of attractiveness has focused on an individual’s independent preferences. However, there are good biological and social reasons to suppose that perceptions of attractiveness can spread from person to person.
The power of suggestion
An experiment suggests how. First, investigators took pictures of men who were rated equally attractive by a group of women. Then, they presented pairs of pictures of two equally attractive men to another group of women, but between each pair of pictures, they inserted a picture of a woman who was “looking” at one of the men. This woman was smiling or had a neutral facial expression. The female subjects were much more likely to judge a man to be more attractive than his competitor if the woman interposed between the photos was smiling at him than if she was not.
The attractiveness of attached men
In another study, a group of women again rated photographs of men for attractiveness. The photos were accompanied by short descriptions, and when the men were described as “married,” women’s ratings of them went up. In still another study, men in photographs with attractive female “girlfriends” were judged to be more attractive when the “girlfriend” was in the photo than when she was not. Having a plain “girlfriend,” however, did not enhance a man’s appeal as much. Astoundingly, women’s preferences for men who are already attached may vary according to where the women are in their menstrual cycles. When they are in the fertile phase of the cycle, they have a relative preference for men who are already attached to other women.
This makes perfect sense from an evolutionary perspective. Copying the preferences of other women may be an ef?cient strategy for deciding who is a desirable man when there is a cost (in terms of time or energy) in making this assessment or when it is otherwise hard to decide. While a woman can, with a glance, assess for herself various attributes of a man that might be associated with his genetic ?tness (his appearance, his height, his dancing ability), other traits related to his suitability as a reproductive partner (his parenting ability, his likelihood of being sweet to his kids) can require more time and effort to evaluate. In those cases, the assessment of another woman can be very helpful.
Men don’t like competition over a woman
Perhaps not surprisingly, men react differently to social information. While they clearly have shared norms about what is attractive in a woman, contextual cues in men can actually operate in the opposite way. College-age women were more likely to rate a man as attractive if shown a photograph of him surrounded by four women than if shown a photograph of him alone. But college-age men were less likely to rate a woman as attractive if she was shown surrounded by four men than if she was shown alone.
Differences in Attraction
This makes evolutionary sense: When selecting mates, males tend to be less choosy than females and so are less concerned with the opinions of anyone else to begin with. However, the presence of other men conveys information of a different sort, namely, that there might be time-consuming (and stressful) competition to secure the woman’s interest.
This is an excerpt from the book Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives, by Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD and James H. Fowler, PhD. Dr. Christakis is a professor at Harvard University and was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2009. Dr. Fowler is a professor at the University of California, San Diego in the Center for Wireless and Population Health Systems and the Department of Political Science.