Contact Robert Manni:
robert@robertmanni.com
GUYS' GUY'S GUIDES
RSS Subscribe

On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

5 More Guys Who Are NOT Guy's Guys

Robert Manni - Wednesday, December 23, 2015


What happened to people? 2015 has been a year marked by really bad behavior, and it’s been a challenge for Guy’s Guys all over the world to stay the course without lowering the bar.

If we look beyond obvious deplorable acts like terrorism, there still is an underlying ugliness in how our society continues devolving. It’s rare when we hear someone authentically take responsibility for their mistakes or say they’re sorry. And our win-at-all-costs mentality has decreased our standards for acceptable behavior.

So what’s a Guy’s Guy to do? Good question. I’ve decided to stuff your stocking with my updated list of Anti-Guy’s Guys— individuals who are not creating an environment where men and women can be at their best and everyone wins. The purpose of my list is not so much to condemn these public figures, but to generate awareness for how we can make more circumspect decisions and raise our collective consciousness in 2016.  Here goes…

1. Donald Trump – He is the leader of what many consider a clown car of Republican candidates for President. On the positive side, The Donald has brought some important issues to the forefront including our broken borders and immigration system, costly mismanaged wars in the Middle East, and the growth of terrorist acts that threaten our country internally and externally. The good news stops there. Like him or not, there are problems with his candidacy. His tone is harsh, his words can be vulgar and at times hateful, and his isolationist rhetoric, lies, and fear mongering has deepened the chasm between races, religions and sexes in our country.

Many fail to understand is that Trump’s core base has a ceiling, and even if he wins the Republican nomination (it’s not a sure thing), he will never become president. Let me repeat that. Never. Become. President. Instead of heeding the words in his best-selling The Art of the Deal book, after making salient sales points to generate interest Trump has failed to shut up long enough to close the damn deal. He keeps talking and that’s a killer for sales people. It’s all about his ego. Sir, you are not a Guy’s Guy.

2. Odell Beckham Jr. – It’s sad when one of the great young talents in the NFL experiences a meltdown during a game that threatens to derail what could be a Hall of Fame career. At a time where head injuries and concussions are on top of the NFL’s problems, what does ODB do? He repeatedly uses his helmet as a weapon to spear an opposing player who has his back turned. Compounding the thoughtless penalties he incurred for spearing, OBJ put his ultra-valuable wide receiver’s hands at risk by slapping at the same opposing player’s helmet and facemask, which could have easily resulted in a broken finger or hand. After the game, our hero failed to own up to his ridiculous actions or show the slightest remorse. But what tops the list of his anti-Guy’s Guy behavior was his jeopardizing his team’s chance to win the game through his selfish actions. And, to compound that error he’s also been suspended for the Giant’s upcoming contest—their most important game of the season. Nice going, amigo.

3. Eujin Jaela Kim, NYC school Principal in Sunset Park, Brooklyn – Yes, ladies can be anti-Guy’s Guys also. It’s about making the world a place where men and women can be at their best so everyone wins. And she didn’t. A guy’s Guy or Gal believes in inclusion, not exclusion. So when a principal takes it on herself to deny any references to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, your Guy’s Guy cries foul. A principal has many tasks and it’s a tough job. Principals are stewards of our schools, but they are not empowered to negate federal holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Say what you want about the Pledge of Allegiance. I recited it for years and here I am, a proud American. Yes, it mentions, “one nation, under God”, but if you don’t want to say it, you don’t have to. No one is listening anyway. What the pledge does though is align us all as being Americans. Is this a bad thing?

Back to Christmas and Thanksgiving. Instead of eliminating them, it’s far better to expand the season by recognizing Chanukah, Kwanza and other end of year holidays. America is not a country where we exclude holidays or whitewash our culture. That’s called communism. As principal of a public school, you do not have the authority to decide which federal holidays are acknowledged. Please write that on the blackboard one hundred times.

4. Martin Shkreli, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals - This guy makes Donald Trump look like Mother Theresa. This swarmy 32-year old investment tycoon recently bought the rights to the AIDS drug Daraprim, and through the kindness of his heart raised its price from $13.50 to $750 per tablet, a whopping 5,085% increase. What a guy! His rationale was predictably about our free market, and he stuck to his guns when the pressure was turned up for him to ease the pricing for a drug that helps those afflicted with a deadly disease. Nice dice, folks. His product, his pricing. Fast-forward a few short weeks ahead when our hedge fund hero ironically gets busted for fraud. We see him on the news being led off to the pokey dressed in his trendy hoodie, but again without remorse. No sir, his only response was that they were out to get him. Maybe so, but he may have broken some laws. For now, let’s see how he acclimates himself to a possible extended stay in the slammer.

5. Steve Harvey - I thought about this one and did my best to give Steve a pass, but nope, he failed. As emcee of this year’s Miss Universe pageant, your number one job task is to announce the winner of the contest. By now we all know what happened. Steve-O unfortunately read of the name of Miss Colombia as the winner.  After she was crowned, Steve skulked back up to the stage and informed the worldwide audience that Miss Colombia was in fact, first runner up. Miss Philippines, who by now was standing off to the side wondering why she came in second, was announced as the actual winner and waved back to the main stage to receive her crown, which was perched atop Miss Colombia’s trusses. Talk about an uncomfortable moment. As the crown switched heads, Steve sucked it up and accepted blame for the error before the show abruptly ended. Wasn’t Steve being a Guy’s Guy by taking the hit on global television for his boo-boo? At first I thought so too, but not so fast, amigos. What else could he do? I am sure that the producer told him to get his butt back on stage and make the change before time ran out on the broadcast. With the results card clearly stating the correct placing and winner, Stevie had no real chance of avoiding his taking the hit. The clincher was a report that Steve had missed rehearsals for—wait for it—naming of the winner without the use of the teleprompter. Maybe I am being too harsh because Harvey did take his lumps in front of a worldwide audience. Still, missing rehearsal is unprofessional and reading the wrong name is pretty lame, so in this instance he was not a Guy’s Guy.

2015 was a banner year for bad behavior so excuse me for excluding the likes of ungracious winner Floyd Mayweather, Greg Hardy, Tom Brady (c’mon, how did the air get out of those footballs?), the NRA, hypocritical politicians from both parties and a gridlocked Congress, Vlad Putin, the Kardashians (just being themselves), and of course the misguided, cowardly terrorists who believe that murdering innocent people is a religious act that makes the world a better place. Really.

But it’s not all bad news, amigos. This week’s GUY’S GUY of the Week is a fellow named Bairan Gomez, who you may have recently read about. His fiancée has been on dialysis so gave one of his kidneys to her. That’s a real man, and of course a true Guy’s Guy.

Happy holidays and see ya’ll next year!

Image via Shkreli's Instagram.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Holiday Parties

Robert Manni - Friday, December 18, 2015


The holidays. They're the best of times and the worst of times.

Whether it’s working like mad to finish up year-end work projects or trying to come up with a gift idea for Uncle Jerry, for many, stress reigns supreme at this time of year. But doesn’t that defeat the concept of celebrating with your colleagues and loved ones? Guy’s Guys take things one step at a time and do our best to savor the fun from mid-November through the New Year. Whether you're single or married, if you’re invited to your partner’s family or friend’s home, there are ways of easing the pain. Same goes for finessing those tricky business parties where it’s too easy to get sloppy after loading up on the free booze.

Over the years, your Guy’s Guy has made his share of mistakes during the holidays, so please accept these tips as lessons from one who has learned the hard way. In no particular order, here are my Guy’s Guys tips for handling the holidays.

Arrive On Time.

"On time" means within a half hour or so of when you are expected. If you're meeting your new partner’s family for the first time at Thanksgiving, you don’t want to be standing around in the kitchen while a frenzy of cooking is taking place around you. And you don’t want to plop down in the living room glued to the Lions-Packers game while others arrive and wonder who the guy is that is eating all the chips and salsa. If it’s a corporate party, if you show up too early it’s too easy to get a head start on the cocktails. In an hour or two, this can backfire. Keep the thirty-minute rule in mind when planning your arrival and you should be okay.

Manage Your Intake of Alcohol.

We’ve all seen chumps who drank too much at the holiday party while the head of HR stood by taking mental notes. That can be tough if you work in advertising where I’ve seen tray after tray of shots attacked by a thirsty mob. It all depends on your company’s culture. If you are buzzed and see the crowd thinning out, grab your coat and leave. It’s that simple if you want to protect your professional reputation.

When it comes to visiting your partner’s family or friends, same rule. Watch your drinking, eat moderately and leave with the others, especially or when you’ve had too much wine and have had your fill of your partner’s drunken uncle that insists Obama is from Kenya or something equally polarizing. You don’t want to get into a heated argument at this time. You’re a guest and it’s just not worth it.

Bring Something for the Host.

Of course this refers to gatherings of friends and families, not the company party. It’s hard to go wrong bringing a bottle of wine at the holidays unless you are entering an alcohol-free household. If that’s the case, dessert (cookies, cup cakes, pie) or a homemade appetizer is always welcomed. Unless you're asked, avoid bringing entrees. That’s the host’s domain.

Make Small Talk.

 For me, the perfect Thanksgiving used to be a quick greeting, three hours of non-stop eating and drinking before watching the Dallas Cowboys and falling asleep on the couch. As a single guy with all married relatives, I got pretty good at this over the years. In my family, no one asks how I am doing anyway. Might as well put on the feedbag while listening to everyone else’s problems. I’d ask a question or two between bites, but that’s it. Now that I’m married and have an infant child, we’re more integrated and the attention is on the baby. That said, I learned (slowly) to focus on the others and their lives. It takes away the burden of thinking about myself and gives me insights into how they see the world.

Know When To Go Home.

I’ve stated clear warnings about making your exit if you drink too much at a gathering. But, even if you're stone cold sober, there is a proper time to move on. First, do something to help the host clean up; even it is carrying a few plates into the kitchen. Enjoy your coffee, try those cookies your niece brought, and be mindful of when people are leaving. If you’re at your parent’s house, of course you can hang around, but if you are visiting someone else’s home for the first time, you do not want to overstay your welcome. Just pay attention and you’ll be fine. Drive defensively while driving home to catch the fourth quarter of the game.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week are all the travelers that brave the stress of trains, planes and automobiles to visit their loved ones over the holidays.


Will you manage the holidays this year or will they manage you?

Image courtesy of Klock Entertainment

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Holiday Hacks

Robert Manni - Thursday, December 10, 2015


Let’s face it; our culture has sucked the fun out of the holidays. Between our bowing to political correct greetings, decorations on display in October, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, tipping everyone from the dental hygienist to the dude who bags your groceries, and those omnipresent holiday musical playlists, this time of year can be tough. How can we deal with the calamity without turning into a Grinch?

Take heart, amigos. There is a bright side to this holiday story. Your Guy’s Guy is stuffing your digital stocking with his helpful hints to give you a firm handle on the season before it can rise up and devour your soul. And it makes no difference which holiday you celebrate. Everyone needs a strategy and flawless execution to help make the holiday season joyful

So, here is my not-so-secret Santa gift — The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Holiday Hacks.

1. Plan early and often.
This critical first step requires only a modest investment of your energy, but pays off handsomely in dollars and hours saved by the time Santa squeezes his big butt down your chimney. December flies by at the speed of a reindeer on PED’s, so it’s important to plan in advance. A good first step is to begin a mental checklist in September and October of things to consider for the upcoming season. In fact, it’s never too early to plan or be on the lookout for things you’ll need once we enter the season to be jolly. My wife buys wrapping paper whenever she sees a pattern or material she likes, regardless of the time of year. Sounds crazy, but it saves her time in December.

For the rest of us, the best way to get started is by asking a few key questions. Where will I be celebrating and with what people? Who do I want to (and need to) exchange presents with? How much can I (and do I) want to spend? Mull this over during your commute, on the treadmill or even when showering. Then, grab your iPhone, jot down a few notes and let them it sit. Subconsciously, you’re laying the groundwork for a successful plan and execution. Over the coming days, you’ll come up with things you omitted and revise your checklist, and that’s good. Soon you should have your game plan mentally mapped out and documented. Although it’s just a guideline, you’re getting off on the right foot start.

2. Do your research online and offline.
There are plethora of digital apps for price comparisons and tools to find the best deals and best times to buy. A quick walk through a few selected retailers before Thanksgiving can also give you a good idea as to what items are hot and in ample supply. For instance, UNIQLO is the king of lightweight down jackets and vests, so you know they will be a few mega-sales during December/Christmas. The point is, if you are mindful and invest a few minutes into research both online and offline for ideas and deals, I assure you that you will spark some ideas and score bargains. Gone are the days of frantically marching through big box retailers the week before Christmas.

3. Consider themes.
After compiling your list of the peeps you want to buy presents for and your budget, consider a common theme for the bulk of these gifts. By the time December rolls around and we’re on the clock, buying one theme that fits all actually levels the playing field and prevents hassles about who got what because everyone's getting something similar. Hey, I’m just being practical here.

Let’s say you need to buy gifts for a bunch of kids. Unless there has been a special request or there's something you specifically wanted to give one of your nieces or nephews, themes save a lot of time. My nephews live for the Dallas Cowboys so last year I bought them both Cowboys caps and shirts and they were happy campers. This year I decided on polar tech across the board, including gifts for siblings and cousins, etc. I’ll drizzle a few more tasty items on top if I see something I like for someone. Of course you will want to be more selective for the people that are closet to you. And the spirit needs to come from a place where there is joy in giving.

3. Booze – Who doesn’t like a select bottle of wine, tequila or rum? If your loved ones indulge, they are probably putting out the full assortment of beer, wine and spirits throughout the holidays. Although it’s not an exciting gift, a nice bottle of wine or spirits comes in handy, for guests or even for (Gasp), regifting. Hey, we all do it and booze is perfect for passing along holiday cheer.

4. Tips and gift cards – You can find tipping guidelines online for everyone from your hairdresser to your doormen. But really, just give an amount that feels right. When time is running out or you’re not sure what to give someone, you can’t go wrong with gift cards. You can find them for everything, if you can’t come up with an idea; all of the credit card companies offer gift cards.

I realize it’s already getting late, and that not all of this is news to many of you. My goal, as a Guy’s Guy, is to help you in whatever way possible, to be at your best during the holiday season. It’s a time for giving, but also a time filled with stress. Have a safe, healthy holiday season and remember the true meaning of all these holidays is bringing loved ones and mankind together in peace.

This week’s Guy’s Guys of the Week are the retailers who did not open on Thanksgiving.

Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Managing Fear

Robert Manni - Tuesday, December 01, 2015


Fear runs rampant throughout our culture. If you don’t believe me, check out our newspaper headlines, evening news, movies and scripted television series.

Tales of terror, hate, murder, looming economic collapse, disease, and death fill our headlines. Listen to the language used by your friends, relatives and people on the street. In many of these casual conversations doom, gloom and threads of fear are etched in the subtext. And it’s true—the world can be a scary place, and there is a lot to worry about if we decide to focus on the negative. But is that how we want to live our lives? Of course not. So, this week I humbly offer my Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Managing Fear as a way to escape this omnipresent perceptual trap.

Like Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “We have nothing to fear except fear itself.”

Those immortal words have never resonated more than right now. Fear is mindset, a perception, a decision to claim anxiety and potential negative outcomes lurking around every corner. This is a myth. When bad things happen, if we don’t immediately succumb to fear, we get a better handle on the situation and can make better decisions. For example, if you lose your job, you can freeze up, shut down, or panic. Don’t do that. Take a step back. Breathe in. Exhale.

When change comes abruptly, it’s better to study the situation before making any unnecessary moves that can be driven by fear. Be cool, amigo. You might be out of a job, but most of time life’s twists and turns eventually turn out for the better. Think back on when that job went kaput. Were you happy? Was it your dream job? Probably not. Now, what can you do with the down time? You can reassess your future and life’s purpose or go barreling into the first job you get offered because you are afraid that you will never get another job if you don’t take the first one you’re offered. Hey, I know the market is tough, but I’ve been there and I’ve done that and it was not a good move. Sure you’ve got bills to pay and you need that cash, but if you can hold out, don’t let fear control decisions on your life’s work. You may wind up in the same situation a year later, all because you let fear get the best of you.

Are you a spiritual person?

Most of us think we are spiritual. If that's the case, there is no reason to be afraid. Because if you have a spiritual foundation you believe that God or the universal consciousness has your back and is on your side. So why are you afraid? And most importantly, if you do have a spiritual underpinning pointing the way, you know that you’re exactly where you need to be and at the perfect place and position to learn whatever need to learn right now. This may sound like a convenient way to brush aside the seriousness of real life (and sometimes death) circumstances, but if you really think about it, how can you live in fear if you believe in God? Don’t be afraid. Believe.

Turn off the television.

Because of my inner work and meditations, I’m finding that I start to feel ill if I watch too much television or ingest too much media in one sitting. Hey, my background is in marketing and advertising so I appreciate a well-told story or an engaging advertisement. I also like to keep up with what’s going on in our world, so I like to check in on the news now and then. That said; the news and our media thrive on fear. The news stories scare the shit out of us. The movies and television shows show us how dysfunctional we are, and the ads sell us what we need to feel better about our lacking selves. Need I say more? Be careful of what your mind consumes, amigo. Which leads us to…

The mind is our most powerful tool.

The more you can control your thoughts, the more you can control your life and manifest or actualize what you want. In other words, if you spend your time thinking about what you fear most, you may end up getting exactly that. So let’s spin it another way. If you focus on what you want and your intention for it as being the highest good, you’re putting yourself on a positive track.

Gratitude works.

Mentally expressing appreciation and thanks for all my blessings upon awakening and right before falling asleep has created a less fearful mindset. It clears my mind and creates space for good things to come into my life. After all, if our minds have been choked with fear, we need to make room for the things we want. So again, each morning and night I mentally express thanks for everything in my life even experiences of loss or rejection. Somehow it calms me down and slows my mental chatter. If you don’t believe me, give it a try for a week and see if you don’t begin to experience a shift in your mindset from fear to feelings fueled by positivity, abundance and gratitude.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Pope Francis. He’s fearlessly taken on the conservative, static framework of the Catholic Church, world leaders intent on power, people’s prejudice, hypocrisy, and warring factions across the globe.

Image courtesy of Stu Mayhew on Flickr.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Thanksgiving

Robert Manni - Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Why am I thankful that my ex broke up with me?

Life is a trickster. It always seems like it’s running two steps ahead. By the time we catch up and process what’s happened, it’s already off making more mischief that we don’t understand. That’s why along with the great food and family sharing, Thanksgiving is a great time to take a half step back to review our lives and be thankful for all of our experiences. The trick is finding the lesson to be learned from what is happening in our lives.

Getting back to the headline, no one likes being dumped. And like most guys, I’ve been dumped a number of times. At the time it seemed like my world was crashing down. But now, although I wish nothing but the best for all of my ex-girlfriends, I’m glad that they are my ex’s. Over time I realized that there was a missing component in each and every one of these relationships. Should either of us have known about this missing link and moved on sooner? Probably, but we didn’t.  We shared some good times and hopefully learned something about ourselves from our time together. I’m sure you have been there and I know it can be daunting for the heart to look into the endless abyss. But there is a reason for hope. That reason is you. 

Okay, it took me an extra decade or two, but I stayed focused and optimistic and continued to work on myself to be a better partner and a better man. I remain a work in progress, but things are coming together and I’ve never been happier. I’m very appreciative this Thanksgiving and accountable for my choices. And, I’m alive and have a new opportunity each and every day. That’s all I can ask for.

Here are a few reasons live in a state of constant appreciation.

No one else can make you happy.
Happiness comes from within. I think you’d agree that it is difficult to love another if you do not first love who and what you are. At times this is easier said than done, but it’s sagely advice that we’ve all heard a thousand times. And, it’s true. Loving yourself does not mean being selfish, but knowing who you are and what you are makes a difference in how you celebrate each day. We are all one consciousness.

Letting go can give you a better handle on your life.
Sometimes a setback can be a step forward. Living in New York is a trip. There are so many super-intelligent, talented, and successful individuals here, yet many of them walk around looking quite displeased. You can see it in their faces. People invest a lot of their energy trying to control every aspect of their experience. Although we are responsible for our actions, we cannot control everything that happens to us. We all know that shit happens. If you loosen up that death grip on your day-to-day world, you’ll probably be in a better position to shake off and move on from the setbacks that inevitably occur. Maybe you didn’t get that guy you thought was right for you, but you ended up with another dude that suits you far better. Or you are blessed with the time to get to know yourself better. When we can relax and have faith in ourselves things work out for us in a way that allows us to grow. If you’re not feeling it, try digging down deep to find what you need to learn. It’s there for you if you can let go, quiet your mind, and ask for it. And when you get that insight, be thankful and keep moving.

Make every day Thanksgiving.
Everyone has to do what works for them. I’m no Dr. Phil, but I’ve found that when I begin each day in a state of appreciation and end each night the same way, I feel blessed and sleep like a baby. We all have to find our own methods and path, but being thankful works for me.

I thank you all for being in my life and for the lessons our connection is bringing forward.  Have a great, restful weekend. I’ll be back at you with more Guy’s Guy musings next week.   

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Image courtesy of iStockPhoto.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Style DON'Ts (Part 1)

Robert Manni - Thursday, November 19, 2015


Guy’s Guys take pride in their style and swagger. That doesn’t mean we’re vain or narcissistic. We’re simply comfortable in our own skin and we like looking good.

But with fashion and culture evolving at breakneck speed, sometimes it’s not so easy to keep our hands firmly on the style wheel. The world has changed and it’s not all about khakis, loose-fitting jeans and goatees anymore. We’re tempted to stretch our stylistic limits by what we see on social media and celebrities. Girlfriend jeans? Man buns? Meggings? What’s a Guy’s Guy to do? That’s where I come in, amigo. Although I firmly believe that as long as you are feeling it, in most cases it does not matter what you wear, there remain certain no-nos when it comes to dressing in the timeless Guy’s Guy style. So here is my first list of things guys should NOT wear.

Drum roll, please.

1. Too many sports logos – You’ve all seen this guy. He’s sporting a Packers jersey, a Yankees cap, a pair of clunky Nike running shoes circa 1995, even though he’s not a runner. Oy. Or the guy dressed in the orange Denver Broncos hat and Peyton Manning jersey. Oy, again. Guys, too much is too much. Unless you are heading to the Giants, Jets, Mets, Yanks, or Rangers game, limit yourself to one, that’s right, one sports merchandise item. When it’s cold or rainy, I top off my outfit with a Yankees cap. Living in Harlem, you can never go wrong with that interlocking N and Y on a navy blue cap. Classic. But, that’s it, amigo, one item only.

2. The hipster uniform – You seen this guy, too. Tattered skinny jeans, soiled white v-neck t-shirt, chains and beds around his neck, scruffy or urban woodsman beard, wayfarer shades, beat-up leather jacket, and the prerequisite sock hat dangling off the back of his man bun, regardless that the temperature is in the 70’s. Don’t be this guy. You are not Johnny Depp. Although it seems cool, it’s a uniform and it shows little imagination or classic style. In my opinion, you can rock any two items in this outfit (except the man bun), but not the whole enchilada. Ever.

3. Zubaz pants and the sweats culture – Remember those baggy zebra striped pants weightlifters wore in the eighties? Yeah, the ones that make you look like Hans or Franz. I see guys still wearing them out when walking their dogs or on the way to a sporting event. If you insist. But, on a date? Oy. I know sweats are damn comfortable, but please only wear them in the house. But, if you insist on wearing sweats when you are out, find something that fits you, not sized 2XXL that you get all comfy in on the couch.

4. Baseball caps indoors and on dates – When you are folically challenged wearing a cap feels secure. But there comes a time when you need to take that sweaty thing off your head. In particular, I am referring to not wearing a cap when you are on a date or in a restaurant. I get it with the caps if you are out with the boys at a bar watching the game, but not at a sit-down restaurant and not ever when you are on a date. It makes you look like an overgrown frat boy, and we know you're better than that. So, take the hat off when you are with a lady or when you sit down at a nice place to eat. It’s not so bad now, is it?

5. Big chunky, fat sneakers/running shoes with giant logos. Hey, I dig the Swoosh now and then, too, but old school running shoes paired with jeans is a dated look. You are better off rocking a pair of Chucks, chukkas, or Tretorns, my personal favs. Big cushiony running shoes are for running, not styling, amigo.

6. Old school khakis – I'm referring to the baggy kind from the nineties that may even have—gasp— pleats. We all know that many fashion staples come and go, but don’t expect pleats to come back on the scene anytime soon. If you need a break from jeans in your casual wear, there's a wide selection of slim khakis from brands like J. Crew in various shades that fit just snug enough around your naughty bits and bum to make you look fly.

7. Baggy nineties suits - I watched the new James Bond film, Spectre, the other day, and damn, Bond’s suits were freaking tight. This is the style now, amigos, and it’s a tough one for guys with that American “athletic” build to pull off. But if you stay fit, you will look damn good in those little suits that are all the rage. Do you best to find a suit that looks right on your frame, but whatever you do, take a look through your closet and get rid of those suits and sport jackets with the loose fit and big lapels.

I think we're off to a good start, but there is more to come. In the interim, check your closet and do the necessary pruning. You can thank me later.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is actor, Daniel Craig. His version of James Bond is masculine, feral, and brimming with timeless style. And, he rocks some great outfits throughout the film. Hey, Bond is a Guy’s Guy!

Photo courtesy of Peace on That.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Getting Out From Under the Weather

Robert Manni - Tuesday, November 03, 2015


No one likes getting sick. And I’m one of those people who rarely gets under the weather.

But when I do, I usually come down with a real doozy of whatever ails me. Since I had my two robotic surgeries a year ago, I have not had so much of a cold. In fact I have never felt better in my adult life. That is, until about a week ago…

Recently, I’d noticed that all the kids in my toddler’s daycare group were sneezing, sniffling, or coughing and had runny noses including my little guy. Over time, thislet’s call it a bad cold worked its way through their system so I forgot about it. Then, early last week I awoke with an inner ear headache and a stuffed up nose. No problem, I told myself. I’ll run it off in Central Park. Bad idea. I ran the 6.2-mile outer loop a bit slower than usual. That night I sipped a vodka drink, which is a rarity for me these days. It knocked me out cold like a hammer. The next day I woke up feeling lousy. I had the chills, an upset stomach, and an achiness behind my eyeballs. Having spent the past week battling this pesky viral demon and only now being steadily on the mend, I thought I’d gift you with some insights on how I deal with getting sick and recovering, especially when you can’t afford to be sick. Of note, this is my approach. You know yourself, and you know when you need to see your physician.

Drum roll, please…

1. Hydrate. I’ve been a big fan of starting each day on an empty stomach with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed into a tall glass of water.

I’ve written about the wonders of ACV in the past. Google it and you’ll be amazed at what you uncover. It’s great for managing the body’s proper ph balance, which keeps us healthy. I drink my ACV following twenty minutes of oil pulling with coconut oil, where I swish it around my mouth before spitting it in the trash. Both of these practices kill a lot of bad bacteria. While under the weather I added another evening ACV drink before bedtime and it’s really helped me sleep. Most people walk around dehydrated so you can rarely go wrong when you consume lots of healthy fluids like coconut water, kombucha, rooibos tea, or filtered water. Forget the soda and the alcohol when you are sick. It will only make you feel worse. Another trick is peeling organic ginger roots, dumping them in a pan of water and brewing tea. I inhale the steam and then drink the tea. Ginger is anti-viral so it kills the bad germs in your nasal cavity and throat.

2. Rest and sleep. As obvious as this may seem, most of us live our lives on overdrive, rarely getting enough sleep when healthy, much less when we are under the weather.

As I have aged, I’ve put my health before anything. So if I need to work at home for a day, I will. We have email, texts, Dropbox, Skype and so many digital meeting apps that it’s really not really necessary to show up in the office unless there is a major client presentation. While at home, I rest and sleep. A lot. I nap (two or three hours in the afternoon) and hit the sack by 9pm. My body needs rest to heal. It’s not that complicated. I also set time aside for self-Reiki or meditation, both which work wonders for clearing one’s energy and allowing the body’s chi to flow.

3. Avoid media. My first day of being sick this week found me curled up on the couch watching bad television and scrolling my laptop.

Frankly, between the ads, violence, pre-game hype, reality shows, sports talk shows, fear-based news coverage, Facebook feeds, and stories about Donald Trump, it’s easy to get sick right there. I don’t listen to music when I’m sick. In fact, as soon as I shut off my television and computer, my mind and heart let out a sigh of relief.

4. Eat clean. Sugar is the enemy. It feeds sickness.

But, it’s everywhere and we crave it. My advice for eating when under the weather is to stick to organic and unprocessed foods. Lots of hot homemade soups, wild caught fish, and spicy foods that help you sweat out the toxins. I also take mega-doses of vitamin C, B12, and probiotics when I’m under the weather.

FYI, I left meat behind eight years ago and I will never go back. My energy has never been higher and my body does not have to work so hard breaking down animal tissue. The more energy I have for resting and recovery, the better. Face it, a bacon cheeseburger may taste great, but is not going to get you well.

5. Keep it simple. When you’re sick, your physical and energetic bodies should NOT take on any additional challenges.

In fact, the opposite may be a better tonic. Pare down your activities to the pure necessities and use as much of your time as possible for rest and recuperation.

These are a few of the basics for dealing with being sick. Did you notice that I did not mention any over the counter, prescription, or on the shelf symptom suppressing tablets or medicines? See a doctor if you need one. And there is probably a CVS close by. But whatever path you choose, make sure to take it easy, eat well, hydrate and get as much rest as possible.

It’s been a week now and I am still not one hundred percent better, but I’m on it looking out for my body and getting lots of rest. What else can a Guy’s Guy do when he’s under the weather?

This week’s GUY’S GUY OF THE WEEK is Constantine Hering, the father of American homeopathy medicine.   


Image courtesy of Ripped Science.

Guys' Guy's Tips for Your First Marathon

Robert Manni - Thursday, October 29, 2015


Running a marathon means running and completing the 26.2 miles.

Too many runners do not train properly and as a result have to drop out early or look like death if they make it to the finish line. Having completed three marathons, I’m no expert, but I do have real experience to share that will hopefully make your special day one of real achievement, personal satisfaction and injury-free. There are numerous books, online resources and clubs like the New York Road Runners or New York Flyers that can help you train for success. Consider this a topping of marzipan on your training cake, Guy’s Guy style.

Train in Advance.

I was listening to the New York Marathon broadcast on WFAN a year before running my first marathon. I was on a five-mile run and decided that I would train for a year and find a way into the race. It turned out the training was easier than actually getting a number. It was pre-9/11 and a female friend gave me her number, so I carefully made my way past the security checks and got on the bus, into the marathon compound, and up to the starting line at the Verrazano Bridge without a hitch. Don’t do this. It was nerve-racking.

Technically anyone can run a marathon. The key is putting in consistent training, staying healthy and managing minor injuries, and really wanting it. Runners need a foundation. That means logging lots of miles as a base prior to adding necessary mileage needed to be able to run a marathon. Beginning your training early will keep you healthy and focused. I highly recommend allotting a minimum of four months for training, even if many plans call for three months.

Proper Diet.

Face it. We are what we eat, and what we’re offered by the big food companies these days is not so good. If you are serious, you’ll buy a juicer and use it on organic veggies and fruits as part of your daily regime. If not, at least cut out the junk, booze and fast food. You’ll recover from your long runs a lot faster and it will keep your energy up. During the race I ate constantly (fruit, pieces of bagels, energy bars and gels) and slowed down at many of the water stops to grab a cup so I would stay hydrated.

Manage Your Injuries.

When you are logging in so many training miles—including a minimum of two twenty-mile training runs where no one is cheering you on— you learn a lot about your body and its capacity for pain. I suspect you will experience some discomfort or minor injury. Don’t ignore injuries, no matter how small. They can get serious quickly. You may need to take a day or two off to heal. All the more reason to begin your training months in advance. A marathon is a long haul, not a sprint. Treat your training the same way. Long and slow. If you want to amp up your strength and endurance, work in speed intervals, but regardless of your approach, pay attention to your body and your mental state. You will need to keep both in top shape.

Don’t Overtrain.

Your body needs rest so few days off after a twenty-mile practice run is a good thing. One reason is that you’ll do another twenty-miler in a few weeks and before the marathon. Get to bed at a reasonable hour and take advantage of naps whenever you can afford the time. Stress is your body’s archenemy, so do your best to keep your mind relaxed. I mentally mapped out the plot and necessary revisions for two novels while running. Let those endorphins be your ally.

Enjoy the Race.

When marathon day arrives, make it a time of celebration. If you’ve put in the proper amount of training, you should have a great time soaking in a once in a lifetime experience of competing at the level of an elite, world-class athlete. It is a real accomplishment. Here is my number one tip for the race—go slow. You are embarking on a twenty-six mile (plus change) journey. It’s long, really long and you are only competing with yourself. Focus on enjoying the day, the experience, the spectacle and the people. If you are full of pep with less than ten miles to go, you can pick up your pace. I assure you that while you are making up time, others will hit that wall and bonk out after mile twenty.

My first NYC Marathon was my favorite. I ran with a good friend, took my time, had lots of energy after we entered Manhattan, and actually sprinted through Central Park and across the finish line. That evening I went out with friends, devoured a plate of Mexican food and pounded a few celebratory tequila shots. Yeah, I was sore as hell the next few days, but I felt great. I ran my race exactly as I planned it. I completed two more marathons, but it wasn’t the same, for me at least. I became too concerned with my time and as a result struggled both times in the last third of the race. Take it slow and you won’t be sorry, friends.

Are you ready to run your marathon?

This week’s Guy’s Guys and Gals of the Week are theparticipants in this year’s NYC Marathon. Have a blast and stay safe. 


The Guys' Guy's Guide to Love - An Exploration of the Heart

Robert Manni - Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Jagger had it right when he sang, “Love, it’s a bitch”.

Sure, it makes the world go around and can make your heart go pitter, patter, but love can also break your heart and cause a lot of pain. How can we maintain a loving heart in a world filled with so much hateful behavior? At times it’s hard to love our fellow man. But, it’s not all bad. If you look deep inside, there is a light that shines. It’s a spark, that part of you that comes from God. And it keeps burning no matter what.

This week, your Guy’s Guy is taking on love, with all the hurt and happiness that accompanies it. This one’s is not about my novel, The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Love per se, but it runs along a parallel path by exploring the different kinds of love we experience—romantic, friendship, family love, and the love of humanity and all its flaws. Hopefully, we’ll come to the same conclusion; ultimately love is all we have, and we need to do everything we can to express it every day.

Let’s take a look at the various forms of love, to see if we can find common ground, and ways to understand how we can keep our love alive.

1. Family - The old saying states that you can’t choose your family. But I’ve also read in spiritual texts that before incarnating we choose our parents and family based on lessons we need to learn.

This makes more sense to me, because human ascension requires certain experiences for growth. I’m sure many people would welcome the opportunity to choose their families again because not every familial situation brings joy. Throughout history, family members have done horrible things to their relatives. Not all, but some. That’s just how it goes. And I think you’d agree that at times, everyone’s family seems like it’s totally screwed up. But however we became connected to our families, we’re here now and in it together, so we need to find ways to make the best of it. I’ve learned this the hard way.

Maybe your family is like mine. I like speaking my mind, and for years I assumed you could talk to your family honestly about anything. But I was wrong. My family is made up of good, well-intended people. The problem is, they don’t get me—at all. Compounding the issue, my brood doesn’t share its feelings. Over the years, this has created frustration and occasional outbursts. Over time, I reluctantly decided to shut up and look elsewhere for understanding, validation, and honesty. At family functions I bite my tongue (for the most part) and I’ve learned that it’s better to simply love them than try to get them to understand me. There wasn’t one incident that switched on the light. It took time, lots of time, to understand that although these nice people are my family, it doesn’t mean that they think the same way I do or live their lives the way I do. And, it’s okay. I’ll love them unconditionally regardless. In my heart I thank them for their love and the lessons they are teaching me. I love them.

2. Friends – What’s the old saying? Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. At times, they can feel like one and the same.

I’ve done my very best to maintain long-term friendships, and as you know, that’s not always easy. Some people change and evolve, and others travel a different path. But that’s okay. If my friends and I remain on the same page with how we relate, laugh, and treat others, we’re good. But of course, that’s not always the case. Everyone relates to their friends differently. Some never initiate a call, but they are always there if you come up with an idea. There can be misunderstandings, and for some, it’s easier to talk behind a friend’s back than engage in an honest conversation about a point of contention.

I have a friend of over thirty years who for some reason did not respond to my wedding invitation. Ironically, I had been his best man. Eventually I called him two days before the wedding. When I asked if he was attending, he danced and dodged about things that were going on in his life. He couldn't bring himself to just say “no”. Instead he said, “I might stop by.” WTF? Initially I was understandably irked and cut him out of my life. But over time, he began reaching out and acting very cordial and differential to me. Still no mention of the wedding. I finally got together with him this summer when he arranged a road trip and bought concert tickets for our old crew. I showed up and had a nice time. Still no mention of my wedding. I had to make a decision. We’d been friends for decades, but it just wasn’t in him to deal with that issue. Like me, he is a flawed individual, although we do things differently. So, although I don’t go out of my way to see him anymore, I let the ”issue” pass. In my heart, I love him as a person, and for the good times we shared. I’ve moved on. That’s all there is.

You have to make smart choices about friends and which ones are worth keeping. You’re not going to change them, so you either accept them as they are or move on. Sometimes, the choices are tough, but if you use your heart as a guide you’ll make the right decisions. And, you can still love them for the times you shared.

3. Romance – Love hurts. No matter how you look at it, we’ve all felt the pain of a broken heart.

The good news is that relationships are great teachers. The practice of opening our hearts is a great practice. I have loved and lost, loved and lusted, and simply loved. I most enjoy loving and lusting. The biggest challenge for most people when it comes to love is letting go. In retrospect, every time I got dumped turned into ultimate good fortune. I managed to avoid marriage until a few years ago, and I am glad I did.

My last long-term girlfriend dumped me. I suspect she was cheating on me with a colleague. She didn’t cop to it, but all the signs were there. They took unnecessary business trips together and then he and his wife, at the time, took us to a concert, and it felt weird. When the end came, I was at initially devastated. My heart did not want to let go. But, it was time, so I shed a tear or two and moved on. They got married and I dated like crazy before finally meeting my wife. Now I’m beyond grateful that all of this happened. I had my fun, got away from an unfulfilling relationship, and met the right person for me.

Looking back on all of my relationships, I can honestly say that at the time I loved all of these women and regardless of the dirty details of the break-ups, I harbor no negative feelings for them. In fact I love them as people and hope they are happy. We had our good times and I am grateful. It’s so much easier this way. After all, who wants to be in a relationship with someone who does not share the same feelings toward them? It’s easier to simply love.

4 . The Human Race – People do screwed-up, crazy, mean shit to each other every day.

It upsets me, especially the little stuff, because it is so unnecessary. Here's an example: I hire a plumber to replace my water heater. They do the job, but while at my place, promise to come back a replace a cartridge in my leaky faucet. Since he did not have one on the truck, the guy who did the work said he would come back in a few days, give me the plastic cartridge for free and charge me 15 minutes time to fix it. I’ve been calling the main office on a daily basis for over a week now to get this done. Unfortunately, I’m forced to deal with the same repressed, passive-aggressive person who always answers the phone. She keeps finding reasons for why the work has not been scheduled yet. “I told my boss”. ”He doesn’t come in to the office much”. “I gave her the message”. “We’re very busy right now”. She’s got a new excuse every time I call. And she never calls me back. It’s obvious that she has no interest in helping me. In fact, in her own strange way she’s getting off on exerting her minuscule bit of power in life by preventing me from having my faucet repaired. What can I do?

I decided to thank her internally for helping to teach myself how to control my temper and develop patience. I’m almost choking on my words, but I love her. I may feel like giving her a wedgie, but I realize that she has her own issues. I recognize that we both come from the same loving spark of God. And so, I will love her, no matter how difficult it feels. And, I’ll check out YouTube and most likely fix the faucet myself.

There’s so much more to love. For me, the key is to recognize that we all come from the same spark. It’s not up to us to decide who is worthy or not of love because we are all equally deserving. I know it can be a challenge, but love is why we are here. Learn how to love everyone.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is ex-Beatle, John Lennon, who so aptly said, “It matters not who you love, why you love, when you love or how you love, it matters only that you love”.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Beating the Blues

Robert Manni - Friday, October 02, 2015


Face it, amigos. Life is tough, and even a Guy’s Guy catches a case of the blues every now and then.

Maybe your girlfriend dumped you via Facebook, your job interviewer was late, rude or just a plain douche, or you forgot to play the right QB in your fantasy football team. It’s okay, amigo. Like the song says, the sun really does come out tomorrow.

Your Guy’s Guy is offering a few tips to get your mind out of the gutter and your sights set on the heavens. It’s not that difficult if you approach each day with an open mind and a sense of humor.

Life has ups and downs, and like a professional athlete, some days we’re just not feeling it. Every now and then we wake up uninspired. That’s to be expected. If your life is anything like mine, you are probably smack dab in the middle of a roller coaster ride and don’t know what’s waiting for you around the next bend. Take heed. You are not the only one who has caught the blues. In fact, there is an entire musical genre dedicated entirely to it. I’m not referring to clinical depression here. I’m talking about the malaise that accompanies our media-driven culture and the negativity and feelings of lack it eschews.

It’s easy to get down on yourself. But when shit happens or when we’re just not in the mood for the nonsense, it’s okay to kick back, lick your wounds and learn from our experiences. That doesn't mean wallowing in sorrow over why things haven't worked out as planned or on your timetable. The Universe is on your side amigo, but it’s not on your schedule. So be patient and not too hard on yourself. Remember, Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school basketball team. So the next time you hit a bump in the road, even one that knocks you off your high horse, be cool. Dust yourself off, take a deep breath and never, ever stop believing in yourself. If you don’t, no one else will.

Here is my GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO BEATING THE BLUES:

1. Cut back on media- It’s never a good idea to watch too much television, especially when you have a case of the blahs. Television is built on an advertising or subscription-based model. Content is secondary and it’s really there to sell us stuff we don’t need. At the same time, the news selectively hits us over the head with a few select topics of the week, usually built around fear. The ads sell us everything we “lack” or that we need to counter our feelings of helplessness, futility and impeding doom. In fact there were many blog posts or articles about a series of cataclysmic events that were supposed to happen in September. But nothing happened, did it?

It’s a vicious cycle and to top it off, most of the shows are either very dark or about dysfunctional people and families. It’s enough to make you sick, so watch out for what you watch and how much time you send starting at a screen.

2. Get outside – We’ve got lot of creature comforts and it would be easy to shutter ourselves behind locked doors plinking away at your laptop or binge-watching shows or sports. I suggest making sure you get your butt outside every day, even if you are not working and feeling down in the dumps. Go for a walk, a run, meet a friend for lunch, anything that gets you out in the fresh air and your blood flowing. I assure you your mood will perk up. Circulate, amigo, circulate.

3. Shake it off - I know that depending on the circumstances, this can be easier said than done. But, it’s important that we put things into perspective and focus the big picture. You lost your gig? Well now you have time to create. You’re low of fund-age? Now you can feel compassion for those less fortunate and learn how to stretch a dollar. Okay, this isn't something you want to do on a long-term basis, but the point is you can learn from every experience and improve yourself as a person if you keep an open mind and maintain your sense of humor.

4. Meditate – When things are not going well, staying focused can be challenging. So it’s critical to keep a relaxed mindset at all times. I have found that sitting quietly with my eyes closed and following a steady meditative practice for fifteen minutes a day works wonders for my mental outlook, productivity, and interpersonal relationships. There are myriad ways to meditate. Find one that suits you and be diligent in your practice. It really pays off.

5. Do something you like – When I’m feeling blue I occasionally treat myself to a movie, ballgame, a long run, a good book, some rocking sex, or even a short nap. It’s important to not allow our monkey chattering conscious mind to get the best of us. Remember, the E-G-O likes to whisper negative, fearful things into our ears. Now and then it’s healthy to tell your conscious mind to f--k off and go hit a pail of balls. If that’s what it takes to change your mood. No worries, pal. It’s going to be all right.

6. Believe – That’s right, amigo. Things will work themselves out if you believe that they will and you believe in yourself. It’s really that simple, but even now you are probably allowing your monkey mind to dredge up fear and doubt about what you’ve just read. That’s up to you, friend. Take it from a Guy’s Guy who has had his share of ups and downs. Life is what we make it and a lot of it happens right between the ears and in your heart.

This week’s GUY’S GUY OF THE WEEK is Pope Francis. His openness, tolerance, and love really made a difference in the energy of New York. I felt it while running in Central Park the morning after his short swing through the park. Hopefully his message and vibe will help our planet and people ascend. He certainly did not have the blues…


Recent Posts


Tags


Archive

Connect with The Author

Visit my profile on YourTango Experts

Buy THE GUYS' GUY'S GUIDE TO LOVE Now!

Watch The Sizzling GGG2Love Video

Listen to Guy's Guy Radio!

What if you knew men's deepest, darkest dating secrets?

Sign up and find out *



Subscribe to: Pre-Launch Signup Form

*You'll receive three tasty chapters of The Guys' Guy's Guide to Love.

What People Are Saying

"THE GUYS' GUY'S GUIDE TO LOVE is the man's successor to Sex And The City
~ Dan Wakefield, author of Going All The Way
"GREAT book, fun read, very 'real'"
~ Janis Spindel, founder of Janis Spindel Serious Matchmaking, Inc.
"Prepare to man up and hunker down for this exuberant guided tour of the male sexual psyche."
~ Ian Kerner, NY Times best-selling author of She Comes First
"A contemporary look at "Mad Men". Very compelling, almost addictive. Manni knows too much about women."
~Judy Wald, "the master manipulator and undisputed leader in the ad placement scene for forty years," according to New York Magazine
"Manni astutely captures the mindset of guys when it comes to dating and relationships. A well-written parable of lust, greed, and ego."
~Brad Berkowitz, author of The 21st Century Guide To Bachelorhood
© All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy