Monday, September 8, 2014

Morally Conflicted

Generally, I think I'm a good person. I wave to my neighbors, I recycle, I teach my daughter manners and politeness. I'll even stop on a busy street and let the person waiting to exit the gas station in front of me.
I eat free-range eggs and hormone-free chicken. I rarely eat fast food. I don't shop at Hobby Lobby.
I was never promiscuous. I may not go to church but I have faith and beliefs.
I believe women should control their bodies.
I am disgusted by what happened to Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown and horrified that this is 2014.
And don't get me started on how college campuses mishandle sexual-assault cases.
In short, I have morals.
But what do I do when something I love so dearly and means so much to me and how I was raised and how I spend time with my family has become so morally reprehensible?
I'm talking about the NFL.
I love football with every fiber of my soul. As a kid raised in Pittsburgh during the steel curtain era, it's hard to imagine a life where the Steelers were not a part of my everyday existence. As I've grown away from Pittsburgh, I still spend my Sundays on the couch watching whatever games are locally-covered while maniacally re-loading my phone to get updates on the Steelers score. I can spout statistics like I'm being paid by CBS. I know the ref calls based only on their hand-signals.
I'm one of the women that makes up the NFL's increasingly, gender-split fanbase.
But after seeing this, I don't know how much of a fan I can be anymore.
That video shows Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens punching his then-fiancee-now-wife in the head. As she slumps from the impact, her head hits a railing in the elevator and she's knocked unconscious. Instead of freaking out and begging her to wake up, what does Ray Rice do? He moves her around, tries to get her shoes on and basically acts like this is an everyday thing and he dropped a bag of groceries.
You can watch for yourself. I can't do it again.
I sat by and continued to support my team even when our starting quarterback was accused of rape – twice – and I felt sick about it then. But there was never enough evidence blah blah blah and I black&gold-washed the situation to myself, naively, so that I could keep supporting my team via my morally ambiguous high road.
I don't know if I can do that this time. Believe me, I am no fan of the Baltimore Ravens. But the fact that the NFL commissioner saw this footage and gave Rice a 2-GAME SUSPENSION is sickening. I just can't support a league that will suspend a dude for four games for partying during the Kentucky Derby yet gives a player half that for caveman-dragging his fiancee across a hotel lobby after he punched her lights out.
I don't want to have to explain to my daughter that I love this game but the players who play it beat women the same way they plow through defensive blockers on a 34-yard carry.
I shouldn't have to.
I have prided myself on being the type of wife who is NOT a football widow. I love watching football with my husband and he loves that he can go to the bathroom and I can tell him what the previous plays were. But how am I – as a mom of a little girl – to support a sport that doesn't care about women except for the amount of money they spend in the NFL for Ladies shop?
I honestly believe that the only way the NFL will take domestic abuse cases seriously is to lose revenue. Sorry family, but you won't be getting any Steelers merch for Christmas this year.
As for still tuning in, well I don't live alone. Watching football together is a family tradition and I need to weigh what is more important: the importance of family time or my moral outrage about what goes on in a league that doesn't care what I think or do anyway.

Update: A few hours after I published this post, the Baltimore Ravens cut Ray Rice and the NFL suspended him indefinitely. It's sad that it took a TMZ video being released to make that happen but it's at least a step in the right direction.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Dog Ate My Blog: All of My Excuses for Not Blogging

  • I had three jobs
  • I had two jobs
  • I had two jobs plus a new job
  • I now have just one new job
  • It's too hot
  • Swimming lessons
  • Life has been too crazy
  • Life has been too boring
  • I'd rather watch "Archer"
  • I'd rather watch "House of Cards"
  • I'd rather watch "Helmock Grove"
  • I'd rather watch "Golden Girls"
  • I'm Dorothy
  • Or am I Sophia?
  • I'm so not Blanche
  • Though I'm sometimes dumb like Rose
  • I couldn't unlock a padlock on my first day at my new job
  • Is anyone even reading this?
  • I'm tired
  • I'm hungry
  • QUESO!
  • I spilled queso on my laptop
  • It was from Torchy's
  • Or was it from Kerbey Lane?
  • My air conditioning broke
  • My wifi is out
  • I've been doing extensive research on beer
  • I've been doing extensive research on barbecue 
  • I had to wash my hair
  • Tacos!
  • Dr. T went out of town
  • Have I already said I'm tired?
  • Marketing
  • Social Media
  • BuzzFeed
  • Lack of inspiration
  • It's a hobby

Monday, July 14, 2014

Confessions of a Popsicle-Mold Hoarder

I have a very tiny kitchen. To call it a "galley kitchen" is doing a disservice to real boat galleys. But it's my kitchen and I love it. Drawer and cabinet space is a premium; we don't buy superfluous appliances due to a lack of space. So when my friend was over and discovered an entire drawer full of popsicle molds, she started to wonder about my sanity. But to her I say, "Who's crazy now with a freezer full of delicious homemade frozen fruit pops?"
Rocket Pops, muthaf**ka!

And she would probably say, "You are, because that was months ago. You need to let things go!"
I made homemade popsicles. I had a bunch of fruit that started to turn after two days because organic! and I didn't want to waste it. So I put my trove of molds to good use.
There's no set recipe, just common sense. And a hand blender. Just mash the fruit in a bowl, add some liquid for consistency, mix and pour. Super easy, right?
For Peach-Mango ones, I mixed in vanilla yogurt. Since I seem to always buy the worst-tasting yogurt, I added some honey for a little extra sweetness.
I made Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Banana ones using my secret stash of peanut butter meltaways. Melt the chocolate first and blend with the banana. You may need to add some milk if the chocolate melts too thickly.
Finally, I made Strawberry-Blueberry-Banana pops. For these, orange juice helped sweeten it since my blueberries were pretty tart.
L.E. hasn't decided whether or not she likes them but I'm OK with that. Because that means I get to eat them all! A popsicle is so much more fun than a smoothie, though you don't have the same self-righteousness that goes along with drinking a smoothie. Maybe this is my way of changing that.
"Oh, that's a smoothie you have? Well I'm eating a fresh fruit ROCKET POP!"
I may have problems.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Unsolicited Marital Advice

I look like a teen bride!
One of my friends from Reno is getting married tomorrow. I couldn't be happier for her because I've known her for a long time and lived vicariously through her as she navigated the treacherous waters of dating. I was never one to offer her advice because let's face it...I can't relate to modern relationships. When Dr. T and I first started dating, we both lived with our parents. There was no cell phones, no texting, no internet stalking...we had to call our HOME PHONES and LEAVE MESSAGES! But after almost 20 years together and 15 years of marriage, I think I'm somewhat qualified to offer some words of wisdom.

  • Like is more important than love. When you're old and feeding each other soup, you need to like the person you're spoon-feeding.
  • Lower your expectations a little. Marriage isn't the end-all be-all solution to happiness. You're going to be disappointed by your spouse. So maybe expect a little less so you're pleasantly surprised when they do things like the extra load of laundry or take your car for an oil change.
  • A hug can end any argument. Keeping this blog PG-13 ;)
  • Have your own interests. Keep up with your friends. Have a hobby that's separate from your spouse.
  • Separate. Bank. Accounts. Have a joint savings but keep the day-to-day things separate.
  • Kids really will change EVERYTHING. Be prepared because you really will see the dark side of each other. The first six months of parenthood are ridiculously hard but remember that you're in it together. And that baby can't take you both down no matter how hard she tries with her manipulative streak of refusing to put on shoes when she knows you're running late and you can't find her sock and you have to hold her down to brush her teeth while she flails...whoops, I'm losing focus.
  • You are the most important person to your spouse. Never forget that.
  • Break up the routine every few weeks. Take this as you want; in keeping it PG-13, I mean go to a different restaurant, take in a play or sporting event. Just something different than your normal routine.
  • Try at least one thing that you don't like but your spouse does. For me, it's camping. For Dr. T, it's live shows for bands he thinks are "lame."
  • Let some of the little things go.
  • Your friends and family are here for you no matter what. We all love you both to the moon and back.
I couldn't be happier for you both! Thinking of you and sending good vibes and energy your way as you start your new life together.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

I Made Some Stuff

I have no idea what's wrong with me today.  For one thing, I haven't been very hungry which is weird unto itself. But what's exceptionally weird is that while scrolling through my Facebook feed this morning, I saw this:
41 Awesomely Easy No-Sew DIY Clothing Hacks
I couldn't resist clicking on it because BuzzFeed but it had some really cool ideas. So I got out my scissors and my old too-tight big t-shirts and started chopping.

First up was this:
Multi-Strand Scarf
I used a t-shirt that I never wore from the Texas Rollergirls because Dr. T was nice enough to think I am a Ladies' small shirt. Even though the tutorial had the twist and knot on one side, the seams of the shirt drove me crazy. So I did the twist on both sides. With a different shirt. I love the way it turned out even though I'm not a "statement necklace" person. I like a good scarf. When it's 90 degrees out.
Moving on...
Cute, right?
Since I'd already cut up a dark grey Texas t-shirt for the strands above, I decided to make this:
OK, I seriously want to make a million of them. I love it so much! Of course, I didn't bust out my hot-glue gun to finish like the tutorial suggests but that's because I'm lazy and I have no idea where the glue gun is or if I even have glue.

My sweet friend complimented me on it so I'm going to make one for her tonight while I'm still in my inexplicable DIY mood.

Finally, I got really crafty. I used an iron. *GASP* When Dr. T saw me taking it off the shelf, he said he never would have guessed that I even knew where it was. Har-dee-har-har.
I love a good cardigan and I seem to have a surplus of long-sleeved t-shirts. Also, I had some Stitch Witchery that I'd bought while I was still in my sewing phase.

First of all, I'd never used Stitch Witchery before. So I opened the roll and started using it per the instructions on the back of the package. The instructions that didn't say anywhere UNROLL THE PLASTIC COATING FOR TWO YARDS BEFORE YOU GET TO THE ACTUAL PRODUCT BECAUSE THE PLASTIC COATING IS NOT THE STITCH WITCHERY. Seriously, it took me an hour of ironing and thinking I had expired stuff. Fortunately, I'm not the only person who ever did this, as you can see by the Amazon reviews. Anywho, I made two new cardigans. I love the open fit and as I always say, you can't have too many black cardigans.
Purple Gap long-sleeve

Black v-neck waffle-knit
Overall, I enjoyed my little DIY fantasy day. I feel like I can actually upcycle things in a cool and unique way. Plus, people might actually like getting a cool homemade gift from me, the anti-DIY queen!