Wednesday, April 27, 2016

How men talk to women in sports

In light of yesterday's post, it should come as no surprise to you that I follow a lot of sports fans and personalities on Twitter. Among them is Julie DiCaro, who does a fantastic job of covering Chicago sports. She's also very vocal about women's issues and especially rape culture. I've been aware of some of the harassment she endures online, and I've always been in awe of her ability to handle it.

Yesterday, Julie shared a video featuring her and Sarah Spain, another female sports writer (who I immediately began following on Twitter after watching this video).


Per Julie, these are JUST the tweets they felt comfortable having guys read aloud. They've received much worse.

How does anyone think it's OK to say this to another human? Even through a computer screen?

After the video was out, Julie and Sarah received lots of support from people (including men) who were appalled by the things said. They also had a lot of unsympathetic responses:

"They're just jokes."
"Male sports reporters get it just as bad."
"It's just the Internet."
"When you're a celebrity, this will happen. You should expect it."

Seriously?  You're going to justify someone saying, "I hope you get raped again"?


I just can't comprehend people who think this behavior is acceptable in any form.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Meet my winter sports boyfriend

By now, you know about my love affair with baseball. I used to write a blog called "Baseball is my Boyfriend," and in fact, I still tweet about baseball under that name (@baseballismybf, actually). I live for Opening Day, and look forward to nearly daily visits with my boys of summer. And I'm always sad when they go away in the winter, even when I know we definitely need a break.

And, now, I have something to fill that off-season.

Hockey. More specifically, Iowa Wild hockey.

A year ago, I knew nothing about hockey. I was interested in learning more, but I hadn't yet taken the leap to really engage with the game. So when some friends suggested purchasing a five-game package to the Iowa Wild last summer, I eagerly agreed. Little did I know what was in store for me.

:: I went to 15 games. And most of those were solo outings, which was great as I was able to really focus on the game when I went alone. I also met some great new people this way.

:: I found a group of fans I now refer to as my hockey family. Have you seen "Fever Pitch"? All those season ticket holders that sit around Ben? Yeah, these people are a lot like that. And they've taught me so much about hockey already. Mostly some ornery chants and a few things about the penalties.

:: I picked a favorite very quickly. Brett Sutter captured my attention almost immediately. I honestly think it was the first game. I loved the way he skated and played. And then I met him. Before we snapped a photo, I told him he was my favorite and the main reason I had gotten excited about hockey. He was flattered. And then he was traded, and my hockey heart experienced its first break. It was a rough Leap Day. (P.S. I'm still following his career with the Ontario Reign, who are currently in the Calder Cup Playoffs.)

:: I witnessed the first hat trick in Iowa Wild history (this was only their third season of life). That was pretty fun! Thanks Christoph Bertschy!!

:: I purchased a 21-game package for next year. The ticket rep barely had to twist my arm, but there are a lot of perks with my ticket package. Mostly, though, I'm looking forward to catching all those games with my hockey family (yep, I bought a seat down near them).

:: I bid on and won a game-used warm-up/practice jersey in a charity silent auction. It's huge (he's the goalie, so ...), and I can't decide if I'll ever wear it, but I'm so happy I have it.

:: I won an autographed stick during the last game. I didn't even have to bid on this one. I just got lucky and went home with a Mikey Reilly signed stick. (And it was a nice companion during my six-block walk back to my car.)

I am now decidedly a hockey fan.  Iowa Wild hockey has filled a place in my sports heart and life that I didn't even know was empty. They won me over in one season, and I look forward to seeing more great games and learning even more about the sport next season. I casually cheer for the big club too, but the local boys are my favorites.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Music Monday: My next two weeks

I have a very music-filled calendar in the next few weeks. It's kind of ridiculous, honestly.

Need proof? Here are all the tickets I'll be using between now and Mother's Day:

- Kacey Musgraves - 4/29
- Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood - 5/1
- Book of Mormon - 5/3
- Parachute, Jon McLaughlin, & My Red + Blue - 5/7

Oh, and there's a Cardinals/Pirates game in there too because Busch Stadium is still among the ballparks I haven't yet visited.

I am beyond excited about all of this.

So, here are some songs I'll likely hear live in the next few weeks:

I cannot wait!!! Lots of good times ahead.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Weekly Reads, Vol. 71

I had a very busy Saturday. After getting my hair done (it needed it so bad), I worked a seven-hour shift at the brewery. And apparently a lot of people wanted beer. We were slammed for most of the afternoon.

Earlier in the week, I'd contemplated taking advantage of a free Saturday evening to go out, but after I got done at the brewery, I was done being around people. I stopped for groceries and then spent the evening catching up on shows on Hulu and painting my nails. It was perfect.

I'm striving for more balance this year, and while I don't always achieve it, I think I did this weekend.

Too many times, I've bought a player t-shirt only to have that player get injured, get traded, or simply begin tanking in every game. Those t-shirts are now workout and sleep wear. That's a lot of money. Maybe I should follow Sarah's advice when it comes to purchasing a player's jersey.

I am guilty of looking at a goal and wondering how I'll ever get there. It's hard for me to see the little steps I can take to get there. Rena has a great piece about this phenomenon titled "How do you eat an elephant?"

Speaking of goals, Stephanie has some tips on how to use psychology tricks that can help you reach your finish line. And, yes, one of those tricks is more thoroughly explored in Rena's post.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, April 22, 2016

80s/90s 5K Run recap

I know, I know. I was only going to do one race a month. But then I saw this one:

Seriously? Nostalgia and running. Two of my favorite things. Heck yes, I was doing this race.

The Facebook page promised costumes and fashion from the era, and I began debating what to wear. I rarely dress up fully for the theme of a race (I don't want to mess with my running too much), but I definitely wanted to fit in. I ended up buying a New Kids on the Block t-shirt with a design from their early days. I figured that'd cover the 80s AND the 90s.

When I arrived at the race grounds, I got to pick any year between 1980 and 1999 for my race "bib." Since it was a fun run without any timing, it was fine if multiple people had the same number. I ended up choosing my birth year because ... well, it was a pretty great year.

While I waited for the race to start, I enjoyed the C + C Music Factory, Will Smith, and Michael Jackson jams being pumped out of the sound system. There was also some pretty good people watching. Some people really went all out -- Miami Vice-esque outfits, guys in metal hair band wigs, and lots of side ponytails. There were even two girls in leotards in tights that they said they borrowed from their moms (and, no, they weren't comfortable for running).

Finally, it was time to run. Temperatures were in the mid-70s, which felt a little warm to me. I was glad I'd skipped the "Flashdance" sweatshirt and leg warmers as I trotted along the flat out and back course.

Even though the race wasn't timed, I wore my watch because I'm kind of obsessed with knowing my times. As usual, I like to set pre-race finish times so I can rate the race.

My finish time scale:
Good - 36:00 or above
Great - 34:01-35:59
Awesome - 34:00 or faster

(Un)official time:

Finally!!! An AWESOME finish. And I really didn't even see it coming. The weather was warmer than I would have liked, so I felt a little sluggish. The course was mostly flat, so that probably helped. I also wonder if the fact that I didn't have music in my ears made a difference.


Last week's workouts
Friday: Off
Saturday: 80s/90s 5K
Sunday: Off
Monday: Off
Tuesday: FitFusion
Wednesday: Yoga + a walk during lunch
Thursday: 2-mile run

Thursday, April 21, 2016

That time I "unfriended" someone on Facebook

It takes a lot for me to "unfriend" someone. This is true of real life, but today I'm just talking about on social media. When I "friend" someone, I typically keep them on my list forever.  Sometimes I'll "hide" someone from my feed (I love that feature, by the way), but that's the extent of it.

Well, yesterday, I unfriended someone. And this was the post that did it:

His comment is at the top of the post. I cut out his face/name to keep it anonymous.

I almost commented. I almost called him out. But I decided to just hit that "unfriend" button instead. I have absolutely no room in my life or Facebook feed for someone like this.

Even if you object to the change because you think Jackson should stay on the $20 bill, the comment is completely ridiculous.

"No one will want to look at that ugly face!!!"

Since when did someone have to be attractive to be on money? Last I checked, individuals were selected based on their achievements and contributions to our nation's history. Harriet Tubman lived an extraordinary life and accomplished much against great odds. She deserves to be recognized for her contribution to our society.

Who cares if she doesn't have model looks? 

Let's be honest, it's not like Andrew Jackson is that much of a looker either. And he was kind of a terrible person when you get right down to it. But apparently we can over look that because (at least in the pictures above) he's deemed more attractive than Harriet Tubman. Then again, it seems women's value hinges solely on their looks. We've been told that for decades. It hasn't changed yet.

As you might be able to tell, I'm still angry about this whole ordeal, and it's hours after I first read the post.

What makes you "unfriend" or "unfollow" someone?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Confessions about TV habits, writing, and more

Linking up with Nadine and Kathy

:: It seems like I only have Netflix so I can binge watch TV series. Namely, TV series I've already seen. I've watched "Friends" in its entirety twice in the last 14 months. I also blew through "Life Unexpected," and I'm currently working on "One Tree Hill." For some reason, the shows are more appealing to me than movies. Maybe it's my short attention span.

:: I'm thinking about joining the Romance Writers of America. Total geek, right? I think it might be nice to have a network of other authors in the genre.

:: My spring and summer wardrobe is severely lacking. And I don't even know where to start shopping. Will someone come style me?

:: My hair is driving me crazy. I'm so glad I have an appointment to get it done this weekend.

:: I am paying somewhat close attention to hockey playoffs for the first time in my entire life. Some of my Iowa Wild boys are up with the big club, so I suppose that's part of it. I mean, who wouldn't want to keep tabs on this guy? (His name is Kurtis Gabriel, and today is his birthday!)

What do you need to confess today?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

If you're quirky and you know it ...

Everyone has quirks, right? I tend to think I'm weirder than most people, but I'm also my own worst critic. Check out a few of my idiosyncrasies and tell me what you think.

I save my favorite thing on the plate for last.
If there are meat, potatoes, and vegetables on my plate, I'm going veggies first, then meat, and then the potatoes. Yep.

I will not swim in water that is not completely clear. 
If I can’t see the bottom, I’m not going in.

At concerts, you will (almost) never catch me in a t-shirt bearing the name of the performer. 
I don't know why it's weird to me. It just is. 

Even though I love bone-in wings, I don’t eat them in public. 
Or in front of other people, really, because I feel like a caveman … er, cavewoman.

I eat grapes kind of like apples.
I gnaw at the skin, removing it completely before eating the inside of the fruit.

I hate listening to the sound of my own voice.
Don't get me wrong -- I enjoy talking.  But if you make me listen to myself talk --- ew, no. I recently filmed some videos for one of my jobs and even though I like how they turned out, I hate the sound of my own voice.

I sleep on a specific side of the bed (the side closest to the door).
I have a bed all to myself. I could totally starfish. But I usually just end up in the same spot.

I tell myself stories in my head.
I'm the star of said stories, and I call them daydreams. Oddly enough, they're a great way to shut my brain off so I can go to sleep.

My cats have middle names. 
Cleo Joy and Casey Hope.

Yep ... I'm weird and I own it.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Music Monday: Rixton - "Hotel Ceiling"

Music videos used to be such a bigger deal. I remember waiting impatiently for them to debut on MTV, usually on "Total Request Live," better known as "TRL." These days, YouTube and Vevo are the place to find the latest music videos. Or even not-so-new ones.

My favorite kind of music videos are the ones that tell a story. I've re-watched this one from Rixton so many times. And I still have so many feels.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Weekly Reads, Vol. 70

Yesterday was my first day off since Easter Sunday, and I really needed it. I'm feeling more relaxed and happy this morning.  Of course it's a beautiful Sunday -- I have the windows open and laundry in. I work this afternoon, but I'm trying to get a few things done before then.  Hopefully you have time to read the posts below.

I've had a lot of people ask me how to get started running. I tell them how I began, but I'm not sure I'm a great source. Monica has some great tips for making running easy.

I still haven't fully embraced Snapchat. I post, but I'm not sure I'm very successful. I enjoyed Taylor's list of the 13 Types of People You'll Find on Snapchat. I wouldn't mind being #4. Oh, and she also wrote this week about the stages of grief while registering for wedding gifts. So many chuckles.

I want to travel more, but I always think it's too expensive. Dani has some great advice for saving on travel. I'm going to employ more than one of these.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Loop the Lake 8K recap

One thing I wanted to do in my running this year was try a different distance. I saw the Loop the Lake 8K advertised, and I decided that was perfect. Plus, I enjoy running at Gray's Lake but don't do it very often. It's only a 15-minute drive, but it's just not as convenient as some of my other running trails. It was an ideal spring race.

The temperature at the start was in the lower 30s and there was a brisk wind off the lake, so it was kind of chilly as we waited for the event to start. I ran into a co-worker and chatted with him. And, as always, I ended up chatting with other random runners. I have a habit of doing that. When we finally got started, the first mile was really smooth. The second and third where a little rough, but then something else kicked in. And for the last half-mile or so, I seemed to have found an extra gear. Check out my pace there at the end:

By the way, I'm still learning how to dress for all the different race day temperatures. The internet told me pants with a fleece-lined top would be good for this. I think I could have gone with a thinner top, honestly. I got a little warm about halfway through the race.

Of course, after I signed up for the race, the rest of my Saturday started filling up. The race started at 10 a.m., and I had to work at 1 p.m. and then head to a football game. I knew squeezing in everything would be a challenge. I figured it'd take me at least an hour to run and then another 20 minutes to get to my car, which would leave me less than an hour to shower for my shift. I was more than a little nervous about this timeline. It turns out I had nothing to worry about.

While I'm not overly concerned with my speed, I like to set benchmark finish time goals for each race. Here were my goals for this event:

Good = 1:00:00 - 1:05:00
Great = 55:00 - 59:59
Awesome = 54:00 or faster

My official final time:

My watch was slightly off, and I'm not sure how they determined my time (there were no chips involved), but oh well. Either way, it was a GREAT race, and since it was a new distance, it was an automatic PR. I love that feeling. 


Last week's workouts
Friday: Off
Saturday: Loop the Lake 8K
Sunday: Off
Monday: 3-mile run
Tuesday: Yoga at home
Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 2-mile run

I had laid out a workout plan on Monday, and then it fell apart as the week went on. But I'm still happy with the workouts I did get in.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Blank over blank

I've seen a few other bloggers do this recently (shout out to Karen and Sarah), and I thought it looked interesting. It was very tough deciding between some of these things.

Food & Beverage
Craft beer over wine over mixed drink
Steak over chicken
Vanilla over chocolate
Green tea over black tea
Breakfast food over anything

Baseball over football
Concert over movie
Game night in with friends over night out in the clubs
Netflix over Hulu (although I won't get rid of either)
Fiction over non-fiction

Fictional male characters

Pacey Witter over Jack McPhee over Dawson Leery ("Dawson's Creek")
Mike Hannigan ("Friends") over Josh ("Clueless") over Ant-Man (my favorite Paul Rudd characters)
Dr. Jackson Avery over Dr. Alex Karev over McSteamy over McDreamy ("Grey's Anatomy")
Coach Eric Taylor over Deacon Claybourne (Connie Britton's TV husbands)
Matt Saracen over Tim Riggins (might as well stick with the "Friday Night Lights" love)

Nick Jonas over Joe Jonas over Kevin Jonas (If we're going only on looks, swap the first two. I just love Joe's eyes.)
Anna Kendrick over Mindy Kaling (Two funny women, and I want to be BFFs with both of them.) 
Zach Gilford over Zac Efron
Taylor Swift over Katy Perry
Liam Hemsworth over Chris Hemsworth 

 No pants over no bra
Cats over dogs
Cardio over strength training 
Daisies over roses
Younger guys over older guys

This was too much fun.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Myths about libraries and librarians

It's National Library Week, which is the kind of holiday I can get behind. Sure, there are lots of days out there honoring different foods, pets, and siblings, but a whole week of celebrating libraries is pretty awesome.

I love books, and I'm a writer, so that makes sense. Remember, of my two side gigs is at a library. I'm technically a circulation clerk, but I like to call myself a part-time librarian. Since I started my job there, I've had a lot of people make generalizations and false comments about libraries and librarians. I figured today was a good day to debunk three of them.

Myth #1: No one goes to the library anymore.
My library is very busy -- particularly in the summer months when we have summer reading programs going on. There have been many days when more than 1K books circulated in and out of the building. Youth are probably our biggest demographic, but I see all ages there on any given day.
This is what the overnight dropbox looks like on any Sunday. It usually fills at least one cart.

Myth #2: You must get so much reading done at work.
Apparently, people picture me sitting with an open book and my feet up during my shift. I wish. I stay plenty busy assisting patrons with checking in and checking out materials. The only reading I do is spine labels.

Myth #3: Everyone uses e-readers now instead of reading real books.
There are still people who prefer a physical book over a digital one. And plenty of individuals who like to "rent" books instead of filling their bookshelves at home (or maybe they do both). Plus, the library has more than books.  My library, in particular, also has movies, video games, puppets, learning tools (a globe, a brain model, a geocache GPS device, etc.), and even cake pans and candy molds.
Here are just a few of the items available for checkout at my library.

Myth #4: Librarians wear glasses and cardigans.
Hmm. This one is half-true for me. I don't wear glasses (and haven't had any form of vision correction since I was 20), but my cardigan collection has grown since I began my employment at the library. So ... maybe we're on to something here. 

Do you have a library card? (I'll try not to be offended if you say "no.)
What is your favorite use for the library?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Show Us Your Books: March

Life According to Steph

After only reading one book in February, I really wanted to step it up in March. I managed to finish four books, which was definitely an upgrade. It wasn't easy though as I was also trying to edit my novel. That should count as reading a book too, right? 

I finally finished the series. There were lots of tears as I read this installment. I don't know how J.K. kills so many of her characters. I don't have that in me.

An author I like posted about this book and I liked the concept, so I picked it up. I'm still not sure what I think about it though. Bored by her sex life with her husband, BB takes to her journal, detailing past exploits to help spice things up. It seemed really far out there, but the writing is honest and real.

I finished reading this book a few weeks ago and it's still with me. I thought I had a good idea about how Alzheimer's can affect a person and their family, but this book really brought it home. I can't even imagine going through this with a loved one. In line with my reading challenge for the year, I also watched the movie adaptation. Julianne Moore was perfect as Alice.

I plucked this off the library shelves at random. It took me a few chapters to get into it because I didn't find the characters very compelling. But the writing was good, so I hung with it, and it paid off.

What are you reading?

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