Friday, December 31, 2010

Blue Year's Eve

My friends decided to throw a Noon Year's Eve brunch (since one of them has to work at 4:30am tomorrow), so of course, fancy dress and mimosas were a must. I decided to wear my black sparrows dress that I wore to chaperone junior prom last spring, and decided to coordinate my eyes.

My eye look is inspired by Urban Decay's BOS III look, but I definitely needed to adapt it to my eye shape, because my crease is not as high or deep as the model's. So this is what I came up with:



Here's how I did it:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Trying to be rock star-ish

Dear Urban Decay,

I want SO BADLY to love your Black Palette. By all accounts, this should've been THE palette for me, the former-bass-guitar-chick-turned-derby-girl:
But every time I try to create a look using more than one of the shades, they just all look like a muddy black together.

Here is attempt number one:


The "I wish I was a rock star" Look


Thursday, December 23, 2010

New derby photos!

This group photo will have to be redone, since we've changed since then, but it's still a great shot!
Solo photos:

Monday, December 20, 2010

I love my new needle roll!

I've been wanting a good needle roll to store my entire set of DPNs lately, because right now, ALL of my needles are sorted by size and then just lumped together into zippered pencil pouches that are made to fit into a binder. It's not a bad system, but when you have to look for five DPNs among a huge tangle of circular needle cords and what have you, it gets to be a pain.

So I bought this needle roll from Green Planet Yarn today, because when it's your birthday, you can come in any day that month and "make your own sale" by pulling a chip out of a bucket that will either give you 20%, 40%, 60%, or rarely, 100% off your purchase. Obviously, you don't get to add to your sale after you've already chosen your chip. :) I bought some other things too - yarn AND needles, but I was most excited about this one, because it fits ALL my DPNS nicely, and is really cute rolled up.

Rolled up

Frickin' Crystal Palace!!! My 10.5's are longer than all my others (which are Takumi, Brittany, and Chiaogoo)

So, I'm quite pleased. The company that makes this roll is out of SoCal, and is called Shameless Knits.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A living legend

As I was leaving his house, JERRY SELTZER gave me a hug and told me, "You're going to be one of the stars someday. I can just tell." I don't know why he said it, because I didn't think he knew me, but hey, I'll take it :)
It's like meeting Vince McMahon, only nicer and cooler and not scary. 

 *ETA* Here's Jerry's blog post about our evening :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Finally went running!

So, I'm tackling the Couch to 10k program. Why that one and not the Couch to 5k program? Because it'll take longer to do C25k and then another program afterwards to get to 10k. I'd rather do it all in one fell swoop. I figure, I'm pretty much starting from "couch" anyway.

So looking at the running plan, I decided to skip the first two weeks. I've never NOT been able to run a full minute repeatedly, even after a long layoff, so I felt it would be a bit redundant. So I'm starting with Week 3, Day 1. It's not too bad, only when I tried to post my workout to my various sites afterwards, the app froze on me. FAIL! I had to delete the app and then re-sync it, which erased my workout. But hey, I know I did it!

So it felt good. The workouts in C210k are longer than the ones in C25k (because obviously, you're training for twice as much distance), and as always I enjoy my alone time. I think that as long as I continue to run, and not allow myself to make excuses to skip workouts, this should proceed along swimmingly.

I also registered for a 10k, to help me cross an item off my 30 Things list. I'll be participating in the Go Green St. Patrick's race, in late March! It's in Los Gatos, which is pretty familiar territory for me because of all my time spent there training. (Attempting to train. Ahem.) So, I'm pretty excited.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Why we need to forgive Paris Hilton

As a teacher, one of my biggest fears is that people will dig up some dirt on me that will end up getting me fired. I have to maintain strict lines of propriety to make sure that I don't get myself in trouble. This is one of the unfortunate parts of being a teacher - you are a public figure, so you do not have the same license to misbehave - or, well, not even misbehave so much as cut loose, as people in other professions.

In a way, it's a bit like being a celebrity (but without nearly as much money). I have to be really careful about how I present myself in ALL public spaces, even online, because I never know who is watching or whom I'm going to run into. I have to make sure that I'm dressed appropriately, that I'm not too grungy, that I'm not swearing, drunk, or anything worse.

With the advent of social networking, Youtube, and the vast advances made in cell phone technology, it is easier than ever to spread bad news really fast. So when you have, say, a well-meaning girlfriend who chooses to take a provocative photo for her boyfriend, and she pisses him off somehow or one of his friends gets ahold of his phone with the photo on it, she's in big trouble. Within minutes, she is branded a slut, and no one will look her in the face as she walks by, unless it's to call her names.

And for many girls, this is not something that can be overlooked. It's easy to tell people just to turn the other cheek, but it's far harder to do that when everyone who sees you is trying to spit in your face.

The whole idea of slut-shaming places the blame on the girl - it's HER fault for taking those photos or making that video for her boyfriend. (And yet, if she DOESN'T, she's a prude or she's frigid, right?) How DARE she trust that her boyfriend could be a mature adult about whatever they're fighting about? How DARE she expect him to behave like a decent human being? And much worse, how DARE she view sex as something other than a vehicle for procreation - as, GASP, something that can be fun and enjoyable, for HER?

Why don't we get mad at the boyfriend? Why doesn't anyone slap HIM on the wrist and tell him that he was being an a-hole? Why doesn't anyone get on HIS case for being an awful human being? And why don't we get mad at all of the people who play their part in furthering the slut-shaming? The people who pass along the photos, the people who call her names in the hallway?

Instead, it's HER fault. She was asking for it by participating, right? If she didn't want people to think she was a slut, she shouldn't have taken those photos.

Well, that's bull. I will dare your disapproval and allege that SHE is the victim here, and that you should leave her the hell alone.

I have a major problem with the word "slut" in the first place. What is that word usually used in reference to? Women (well, girls, really - I hear that word more from younger people than from adults) who have a lot of sex. Whether it's because they really, truly enjoy the act of sex and want to gratify their own pleasures, or because they have a warped sense of self-worth where they think that's the only way to gain approval - I've heard the word "slut" used to apply to both. And usually it's used to refer not to women who have a lot of sex with one person, but women who have a lot of sex with a lot of people.

The word "slut" exists as an insult because a lot of people adhere to an antiquated code of sexual morality. Guys are considered studs if they sleep around, but girls are sluts. Girls should be fairly pure - if she has a lot of sexual partners, it's frowned upon.

Now, this idea isn't as strict as it used to be - shows like Sex and the City have gone a long way towards making it okay for women to have sexual agency. But it still exists in different forms, such as slut-shaming and victim-blaming. It's okay in theory (or in entertainment) for women to take control of their bodies and make decisions about their sex lives, but in practice, apparently it's slutty. In practice, society still ascribes to the virgin-whore complex more than they would often like to admit. And that, in combination with a pre-existing tendency towards schadenfreude, can unsurprisingly lead to lives being ruined or even ended through suicide, as recent news headlines have demonstrated.

You know, I have no doubt that there are plenty of people out there who are purely good and want to do good things, but in general, I have to believe that human beings have an infinite capacity for evil. And that that evil doesn't necessarily have to take the form of serial killers and car-bombing terrorists, that that evil is MUCH more prevalent in the form of bullying.

As a high school teacher, I worry more about bullying than I do about whether my students can write essays. I believe it's far more important to be a decent human being than it is to be an intellectual, and that if my kids walk out of here having learned only ONE thing, that it is how to treat other people with respect. So it's quite dismaying to me to read about accounts of bullying. Like most teachers, I have to wonder where it comes from - where do kids learn how to treat each other this way?

And then I look at pop culture. I look at the media, at gossip columnists, at TMZ, at supermarket tabloids. And I realize that it's the ADULTS, who should know better, that are modeling this behavior. Was there a single person in the entire world who felt sorry for Paris Hilton when her sex video was leaked? Okay, okay, she doesn't help her own case much by being an airhead socialite... but did anyone think to be disgusted with her boyfriend rather than her? Did anyone think to make HIM feel ashamed? No way. SHE's the slut. It's her fault for taking control of her own sexuality, right? Regardless of how I feel about Paris Hilton's intellect and the unfortunate amount of media coverage she gets simply for being rich... I tend to think that she really trusted her boyfriend, and he really violated that trust. And yet, she ended up being the bad guy in this situation.

So I think we need to forgive her, at least for this particular situation. I think we as a society need to come to a place where we can issue a giant apology to all the girls of the world who have been victimized by their douchey bastard boyfriends. And we need to make those douchey bastard boyfriends feel SORRY for what they've done.

But will that ever happen? Even Samantha Jones was viewed as a slut in some episodes that I can remember. (Not that she let it bother her much.) This is what leads me to believe that we are in NO way near eradicating sexism and misogyny, that feminists have a loooong way to go. Yeah, women can have professional careers and attend college now, but that's not going to be of much use to the girl who commits suicide because everyone at her school calls her a slut behind her back AND to her face. Just saying.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Squeeeeeeeeeeee

I'm going to Rollercon this summer!!!!

Just purchased my ticket!!!!

I'm waiting to see the schedule of events before booking my flight/rooms, if possible. Also waiting to see who else might join me, so we can book together.

Tell me all your thoughts on God, 'cause I'd really like to meet her.

1- Yesterday morning, I was shaking my head, dismayed, at the Phelps family's (aka, Westboro Baptist Church) latest headlines. They are famous for (among other things) claiming that God is punishing the US for "harboring gays" by allowing US soldiers to die overseas and by sending Hurricane Katrina. They also protest at people's funerals and have a website called God Hates Fags.

2- Last night, I watched The X-Files: I Want to Believe, in which the parents of a young boy with a terminal disease told Scully that they wanted to discontinue treatment for their son and just "put our faith in God now." Even though Scully had a course of treatment (though, experimental) that could possibly help. Also, the main plot of the movie involved a former priest who was a convicted pedophile who keeps praying and praying for forgiveness and absolution, and who tries to help the investigations through his "psychic visions," which may be true or may just be his desperate attempt to get back in with God before he dies.

3- This morning, as with most Sundays, I drove Jolie to her grandma's house. The short drive takes us past St. John's Catholic Church, just down the street from our building, and as always, their parking lot is packed and the street is lined with cars and people trying to get in for the Sunday morning services. It is usually enough to slow traffic.

4- An hour or so ago, in the latest issue of Bitch magazine, there was a short piece on a survey set up online by two brothers of a famous pastor/author, in which thousands of (Christian) males of all ages sound off on what sort of clothing they find to be too inappropriate or sexually provocative, ranging from things like wearing a bikini in public to habitually allowing your bra straps to show. One man even said that wearing a tshirt under a spaghetti strap tank top is too provocative, because it makes (my emphasis) men start imagining what is being hidden under that tshirt. The implication, of course, is that women are responsible for men's urges, and it's our fault if they act like animals, because obviously they are not intelligent human beings who are capable of learning to control themselves.

So... I've had God on my mind a lot this weekend. And what I've come to realize is that I don't understand religion. I really don't.

I did not grow up with religion. I attended Christian school early on in my life, and attended a Catholic high school. My extended family is Buddhist - my grandparents regularly go to a temple, and the few funerals I've attended (knock on wood) have been in the Buddhist tradition. But when it came to day-to-day, week-to-week life, my parents chose not to raise us with religion. I think that maybe in fact they were against it, though they've never actually said that when we were younger - when my brother decided that he wanted to become a Christian a few years ago, they were really uncomfortable with the idea. And they are not happy with the fact that my MIL wants to have Jolie baptized.

When we were discussing a possible baptism, my mother said that she's never wanted to commit to a religion because there are too many bad people doing bad things in the name of God for her to want to apply the same label to herself. And I think I pretty much feel the same way. The bad connotations are too great. I can't just overlook them and only focus on the good - in fact, as much as I love and respect the people I care about who follow certain religions, I think there's something flawed about being able to "pick and choose" what aspects you endorse and which you don't. It reminds me of my junior or senior year of high school: my friends and I were at the mall during prom season, and one of my friends said, "Hey! This is what my dress looks like!!! Only it doesn't have this and that and it's a different color. But otherwise, that's totally my dress!" And one of my other friends said, "So, in other words....... it's NOT."

I understand the importance of spirituality. I understand the idea of cosmic forces governing the universe and the idea of fate or destiny. Obviously I understand the idea of morality. But I can't fathom living my life as a woman who came of age in the 21st century according to a book written thousands of years ago by a bunch of men from the other side of the world from me. To me, that's as crazy as believing in Zeus or Hades. (Actually, Greek and Roman mythology makes a lot more sense to me than Christianity does.) Obviously there are some good tidbits of wisdom in there, but there are a lot of parts in the Bible that have no place in my life, in ANYONE'S lives. We're not allowed to wear man-made materials? Well, I guess God will be smiting everyone who's ever knit with acrylic yarn.

"But everyone KNOWS those aren't the parts we're supposed to follow, Thu." Really? How do you know? Because everyone came to a consensus that they wanted to wear acrylic and eat shellfish, Bible be damned? I don't understand why people can arbitrarily choose to ignore those instructions at their convenience, but they can cling so stubbornly to, say, the idea that homosexuality is evil. Or that women need to be subservient to their men and that they shouldn't be allowed to use birth control. Honestly, I have never understood the concept of religion as a giant Vegas buffet where you can fill your plate with whatever you want.

Labels exist. Stereotypes exist. I'm a woman, which means that I am going to be labeled as contentious, catty, obsessed with my appearance, and constantly insecure. I'm Asian, which means that I will be labeled as bad at driving, eating weird-smelling food, and being really good at math. I have an English degree from a liberal arts college. I knit. I do roller derby. Every choice I make about what I do comes with both negative and positive connotations, but I have to accept and acknowledge them all. I can't claim a label for myself and then turn my back on everyone else who also uses that label. They're all part and parcel of the whole damn puzzle. So that's one thing I don't understand about religion - how you can call yourself such-and-such, but choose to ignore all these other aspects of it. Doesn't that just make you... NOT?

On my Facebook profile, I had "atheist" listed for a long time, but then I finally changed it because I don't think it is a precise enough description of what I believe. "Agnostic" isn't exactly right either. I DON'T believe in God, but more specifically, I don't believe in God-the-way-the-books-tell-it. I believe that God (which may be male or female or both or neither, which may not even be called God-with-a-capital-G, but god-with-a-lowercase-g, or neither of those two), along with the devil, exists in all people and all things. That it can't be described, not in thousands and thousands of pages of writing, that there just aren't words, and that if you can find words to define it, then maybe you're not quite getting it right - kind of like trying to define love or beauty. Or trying to summarize Mike Leigh's movie Naked to someone who's never seen it before.

You know, as a joke, I changed my FB profile to say "My own. Personal. Jesus." (a reference to Depeche Mode), but the more I think about it, the more I'm realizing that it is true. It's my own personal god, my own personal religion, and it's the only one I can live with, because it means that the only person's actions or decisions that I have to answer to or justify are my own. I can't detach from myself the way other people might detach from, say, Reverend Fred Phelps, and say that that's not who I am, because I am me, and I have to be able to look myself in the mirror every day and be able to sleep at night. The only person acting in my name will be me.

So I will continue not being able to understand organized religion. I will continue not to understand when I watch people closing their eyes and raising their arms to the sky while listening to a televangelist. I will continue not to understand why people keep trying to give things up for Lent even though they've tried to give it up the last few years in a row and it's never stuck. It's never going to make sense to me, but I will be secure in the fact that really, it doesn't have to, because I've got my own little-g to be concerned about.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

So, yesterday was my birthday.

I turned 28. I have 2 years left before my tens' digit turns over.

I've been thinking a lot about where I thought I would be and what I thought I would have accomplished by the time I turned 30, and I'm not sure I'm quite satisfied with where I am. We only have so many decades in our lives - have I done everything I wanted to in my 20's? Is my life as full as I want it to be?

Pandamonium, skater and coach for SVRG, has a blog where she details her list of 30 things to do before she turns 30, 30 Candles. (She also recently turned 28.) Inspired, I've decided to do the same thing. That way, rather than saying "I do not regret the things I've done, but those I did not do," I can simply say, "I don't have any regrets."

So here's my list. (It's also one of the tabs above.) I'm looking forward to getting started.

Let me know if you want to help/participate!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Jammer beanie!

So, I'm pretty proud of this project! It was a white elephant gift for a holiday part amongst my derby friends. (Yes, the Jack Daniels was part of the gift!):



I wanted to write up a sort of pattern, because I have a feeling I will be making quite a few more of these. It's not a well-written pattern, so sorry :) I'm not a designer.I wanted a grown-ups' version of smallsmallfaery's Tiny Jammer hat, but I wanted it to be quick and easy and not involve intarsia like the Know Your Jammer hat from Knockdown Knits. (Sorry, if you're not on Ravelry.com, you won't be able to view those links.)

FAST LIKE A JAMMER beanie!

Materials (which can all be found at your local Michaels, btw):
- 1 skein Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in the color of your choice
- 1 sheet of felt in the color of your choice (even though below I recommend using fabric adhesive, I do not recommend using the felt that is self-adhesive, because it is really stiff)
- Two-sided fabric adhesive sheets (optional) - I used Peel n Stick Fabric Fuse. These come in a small pack of 5 sheets. In my original beanie above, I used 1 sheet per star, but when I make this again, I plan to use only a small bit of adhesive - maybe less than one sheet for the entire beanie. So, if you buy one of these packs, they'll last you.
- Embroidery floss in the color of your choice (I like to match the thread to the hat)
- Tapestry needle
- 16-inch circulars in sizes 13 and 15
-  DPNs in size 15 (this is for the very end when you've decreased too much to use the circs anymore. I don't actually own size 15 DPNs, so I used my 13's, and they were fine)

Gauge: I have no idea. I could make another one and tell you later.

Hat directions:
- With the size 13 circs, cast on 44 stitches and join for working in the round.
- Knit 1.5-2 inches in (k2, p2) rib. (Sorry - again, if I still had it, I could tell you what I did for sure.)
- Switch to the size 15 circs and knit in stockinette stitch (knit every round) until the piece measures 8-9 inches from the cast-on.

Begin decreasing (switch to the DPNS when you feel you need to):
Round: (K 2, k2tog) around - 33 sts remain
Round: (K 1, k2tog) around - 22 sts remain
Round: (K2tog) around - 11 sts remain

Break yarn, leaving a 6" tail. Thread tail through all the loops. Cinch and secure on the inside. Weave in ends.

Star directions:
 - Trace and cut out two identical stars, one for each side. I drew it on paper first, and then cut it out of the felt.
- If you have the adhesive, cut out some pieces just to hold the stars in place on the beanie while you sew. You do not need to go edge-to-edge with the adhesive - in fact, it is preferable not to, because it's REALLY hard to sew through, and my needle was coated with sticky by the time I was done.
- Affix your star in place. Using the embroidery floss, stitch around the edge of the star. I just used a regular straight stitch. I was also thinking that if your thread color is different from both your star and hat color (let's say, red thread on the hat I made above), it would look really cool to use whip stitch as well.



The most important part:
- Be a part of the derby world. Either strap on some skates and join a league, or support your local derby league by attending a bout or scrimmage, or helping to publicize.

For reference, the knitting part took me maybe two hours, and the star part took me about an hour (because I had to figure out the star shape and how to arrange it and all that). I would anticipate it taking me less time in future attempts.

Want to order one from me? Please click on the tab above that says "Crafty Like Ice Is Cold" and fill out the form :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Takin' care of (holiday) business

This year's card :)

Picture Joy Christmas
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Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

THE GREAT MAULERS OF MILPITAS

Derby is finally coming to Milpitas! We have an awesome rink here, Calskate, that has been devoid of derby because no one was willing to take on the hours (9:30-11:30pm - yeah, brutal). And now, finally, my hometown has derby!

The founder is named Jennifer, and she skated for a year-ish with Nor Cal. We spoke on the phone Wednesday, and she seemed very friendly, very welcoming, and very eager for assistance and input. I felt comfortable with her right off the bat. After having a not-so-great experience with another league's founders, I wanted to be sure that any league I check out from now on has "skater-owned, skater-operated" as their vision, and Jennifer does.

So, last night I went to their practice, along with a friend who is interested in coaching. The coach is Kelly (male), a speed-skating coach who has a lot of champions under his belt, so he knows his stuff. A lot of the same principles apply in terms of basic skills, but it was interesting to learn them from that different perspective. He is tough, but he is fair - I think he has something like over 40 years of skating experience. He emphasized skating at a controlled speed.

The other women in the league seem really nice, and though they are relatively new to skating, I can see that they are determined hard workers - no slackers here. I was glad to see that. Nothing is more frustrating than girls who want to be in derby but don't actually want to DO derby. These women seem like they're definitely in it to learn the sport, not just to have the image, and I appreciate that a lot.

Practice included some core/cross-training (no slouching in that department!) and going over some basic skills that I definitely needed to go over (duck-walking, weaving around cones, etc) - nothing I've never done, but things I would like to brush up on. The floor at Calskate is maple wood, and a little stickier than San Jose Skate, but not too much - I definitely felt comfortable on it.

I know SVRG tryouts are coming up in a couple weeks, after WFTDA testing is done, but to be perfectly honest, there are at least a dozen girls who I think are better skaters than I am (not saying I suck, just saying they're better), and I'm fairly sure that there will not be a dozen spots open in their league. I am pushing all I can to be the best that I can, but other people's ability levels are not something I can control, so even if I am at my personal best, I can't do anything about the fact that other people's personal bests are better than mine. So I don't think I have a shot at making it in. Since leaving the Mizfitz, my plan has been to try out for SVRG because, well, what other options do I have? But now I have an option, and it's right in my own hometown. And I actually like being in a new league starting up, and watching it grow - quite frankly, it's exciting. I feel like I can contribute more to the Maulers than I would be able to with SVRG, just because they are already huge and full of girls who are doing awesome things.

So, I'm really excited for derby in a way that I haven't been for a long time - honestly, I was on the brink of quitting derby entirely because I was very soured by my previous experience and I just wasn't sure I enjoyed it or saw the purpose of doing it anymore. But now I feel like I'm "back," and more excited than ever. I think this could be the start of something awesome. So, I'm a Mauler now :)

BTW - the name (which was my idea, yay!) comes from the fact that Milpitas is home to the Great Mall of the Bay Area. Jennifer had already been throwing around some ideas with the word "Mauler" in it, so it just clicked in my head - the Great Maulers :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS, MY FRIEND!!!!

I can't believe this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I remember watching the 2002 World Series in Portland with Jimmy, who'd driven up to be with me. We were just kids then, watching it on my friends' tv in our on-campus apartments. I wasn't really a baseball fan at the time, but Jimmy was teaching me all about it, and I was crushed when we lost. I remember wondering if we would ever see the Giants in the World Series ever again. We were not yet 20.

I remember the heartbreaking end to the 2004 season, the first season I'd truly followed the Giants, not realizing that that year would be the first of 6 years that the Giants wouldn't even make the post-season. Jimmy and I were so stunned, we couldn't even talk.

Now, we are 27, and we have a baby. And the three of us watched this post-season together. Even Jolie cheered with us. Right before Brian Wilson threw the last pitch to get the final out of the game tonight, Jolie portentously pulled herself off the floor, raised her hands high and yelled "EHHHHHHHH!" And I had to say, "Shh, Jolie, not yet! Not yet!" And then of course we all cheered together. What a moment to share!!!

Call it destiny. Call it "particles." Call it torture. It was fantastic. Congratulations, Giants!!!!!

WORLD CHAMPIONS 2010!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died

I apologize for neglecting you all so long - it's been a busy couple of months!

But what better way to resurrect (haha!) my blog than with some good ol' Halloween fun... allow me to present Ophelia, dead:

He is dead and gone, lady,
He is dead and gone;
At his head a grass-green turf,
At his heels a stone.

Ophelia, from Shakespeare's Hamlet, drowns towards the end of the play, possibly as an act of suicide after the man she loves rejects her and (unrelated to that) kills her father.

I used a makeup kit from the Halloween store to do most of the look - I did set my face makeup with UD's Razor powder, and I used a couple eyeshadows on my lips (Kiddie Pool and Revolver). I also put on some MAC Zoom Lash mascara haphazardly (after I took the above photo) and then sprayed my face with UD's All-Nighter setting spray, just to make the mascara smear a little. I also put TONS of gel in my hair to give it that wet look, without actually, you know, giving myself a cold.

If I have a more updated photo, I'll post it later :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fat! So?

(Yes, I realize that that is the actual name of someone's book. But it's so clever!)

Today, I am discussing the idea of fat acceptance with my sophomores. And it's only natural that it gets me thinking about my own attitudes towards fat people and being fat myself.

I am fat. No two ways about it. I don't remember the last time I checked my body fat percentage, but I remember that it was in the high 40's. My body is almost HALF fat. It's just a fact. However, because I am also in fact big-boned and muscular, I'm probably a little smaller than other people who are my same height and weight. But yeah... it's the truth: I'm fat.

That's a loaded statement of course. I have said "I'm fat" to other people, and been greeted with responses of, "No you're not! You're just big-boned!" or "You're not skinny, but you're not, like, fat fat!" Fat has become such a dirty word, and being fat brings on a whole host of negative associations. This may be a controversial conjecture, but I daresay that we are moving towards that point where LGBT individuals will be more easily accepted than fat people.

Fat people are lazy and unmotivated ("If they would just TRY, then they wouldn't be so fat"). Fat people are unclean ("Look at them sweating buckets just from climbing the stairs! Gross!"). Fat people are unhealthy ("Being fat leads to heart disease and diabetes"). Fat people are ugly ("Eww, look at all the rolls of fat!"). Fat people are stupid ("How can they keep eating that way when they KNOW it's making them fat?"). Fat people have no self-control ("Why don't they just eat less?")

But really? Weight, like many other aspects of ourselves, is a combination of nature AND nurture. It is a combination of our habits as well as our genetics, the way our bodies are hardwired to respond to food and exercise.

I wish I could accept my body for what it is, but I cannot. As much as I would like to be able to rise above the media's constant "thin = the best!" message and just be glad that I have a heart that ticks and a body that lets me run and skate. But... I can't. As much as I would like to insist that all my weight loss efforts are in the interest of staving off obesity-related medical issues, the truth is that I want to be the hot girl. I want to be the person that people look at and instantly say that I am beautiful, instead of being the person that people might think is beautiful after they get to know me (if even that!). I'm tired of hearing stuff like, "You could be so beautiful if you lost weight," as if the only things standing in the way of me being a total goddess is the 24-pack of coke in my fridge and my penchant for carne asada.

Oddly enough, even though I apparently feel like I cannot be beautiful and fat at the same time, I recognize that others can - there are so many women who are gorgeous, period, not despite of their fat but maybe even because of it. Their total package is beautiful. I however do not feel like my total package is "complete" until I lose weight.

You know, the only time I ever felt beautiful and comfortable with my largeness at the same time was when I was pregnant. In fact, I remember wanting to be bigger, wishing my pregnancy was much more obvious to the world. (And then I ended up having to watch my diet EXTRA carefully because I developed gestational diabetes. Why hello, irony.) But after having the baby, all my old insecurities crept back up.

I wish I knew how to learn to love my fat. I wish I COULD just tell myself, "Yeah, I'm fat. So what? I'm great!" but it's a very hard thing for me to do, and if I'm being completely honest with myself, I bet that my fat is a way of keeping myself from examining my other flaws. Like if I blame my fat as the reason why I feel so worthless and unloveable all the time, then I don't have to look at deeper issues like my selfishness or my shyness or other inside things like that. People don't like me because I'm not beautiful and thin, not because I'm heinously awkward in social situations. (Ooh, self-awareness is such a bitch.)

Maybe it's not my fat that I need to learn to love, it's something else entirely.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Couch to... anywhere other than the couch

I've decided to start running again. Being at the Nike marathon and being passed by old ladies and little girls in tutus made me realize how much I want so badly to be a badass runner. I DO want to do a marathon someday, but it's stupid of me to bank on that when I can't even run a full mile right now.

So I'm going to do what I always tell other people, and start slow. If I do the full Couch-to-5k program in its entirety, I should be able to run a full 30 minutes in 9 weeks. There are 9 weeks left in this calendar year - how about I achieve a New Year's resolution before the new year begins?

And I'm not going to commit to anything larger than this right now, beyond those 9 weeks. I tend to set very high goals for myself, which I guess is a good thing (because at least I'm ambitious), but I inevitably fall short of them because my body's limitations cannot stretch that far that quickly. I know I can run 3 miles because ONE TIME I actually ran a full 6 miles, and I know I can get back there again.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oh, what have I gotten myself into with this girl...?

Yesterday afternoon, Jolie was climbing on the couch when she bumped her head really lightly on the wall - REALLY lightly. (I've seen her hit her head harder than that and crawl away without even a frown.) She probably wouldn't have made a fuss if I did suddenly gasp... once she heard me, she made a sad pouty face and touched her hands to her head, as if to say, "Oh, my poor head!" So I went over and gave her a hug, and put her back down, and she started playing again.

A couple minutes later, she called me over and pointed at the tv - she wanted me to bring her over to the tv so she could mess with the stereo equipment. I said, "No, Jolie, I'm not bringing you over there." She whined a little bit, and when I still wouldn't do it, she touched her hands to her head and made a sad pouty face again, "Oh, my poor head!" :) Trying to milk her "injury" to get my pity!

I think Jimmy and I couldn't stop laughing for ten whole minutes. That girl is such a faker!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Turn and face the strain

I've been contemplating a career change for a while now. At first I thought that maybe teaching somewhere different - a school less crowded, or a school with a more motivated students, perhaps - would make things better, but the more I think about it, the more I want to leave the classroom completely.

I love making connections with students and I love sharing my love and knowledge of literature with others, but I'm not entirely sure that this is the life I want to lead. I find myself struggling to fit the mold of "teacher" because I am not what a teacher is traditionally supposed to be. And I don't think there are enough people like me to start some sort of revolution of non-traditional teachers.

- I'm not a stickler for rules and discipline and forcing children to behave. I hate it, I really do. Maybe I'm more college-y when it comes to this point, but I'm very much of the "If you don't like it in my class, get the hell out" way of thinking. But, of course, I can't just toss out anyone who doesn't want to be here. They're entitled, by law, to an education.

- I hate homework. At least, I hate busy work. I see homework as an extension of what we're doing in class, and most of the time, I will manage to try and fit everything into class time, so there isn't usually homework. And I refuse to assign arbitrary homework.

- I'm no angel. Teachers are public figures and "role models," and I don't want to be anyone's shining example of good behavior. I have tattoos. I use profanity. I enjoy rated-R entertainment. I'm opinionated, and I don't like to stifle my opinion: I'm atheist, I'm pro choice, gay marriage, and legalization of marijuana AND prostitution. I'm a believer in sex education and readily-available contraception. I don't believe in sugar-coating important issues, and I don't believe in hiding who I am. Maybe a lot of people actually agree with me on these points, but I can imagine that there are many students whose parents would prefer that their children are not taught by someone like me.

- I don't like all my students. (I like most of them, but not all.) No teacher likes ALL of his/her students. I guess what I mean to say is that, I hate having to be nice to the students that I don't like, just because it's my job. I'm not allowed to tell the kid that's totally being an a-hole that he is a total a-hole, and he needs to change. It doesn't mean that I would give him less of an education or slack off on my job; I just feel like I am at his mercy because it is MY job on the line. I can at least get away with ignoring coworkers that I don't like. But not kids. I guess this is similar to having to work customer service - another thing I really hated.

But the thing is, I don't know what else I could do with myself. The job market sucks right now anyway, but even if there were a ton of jobs available, I have no clue how to proceed. I'm not in a position to go back to school or do further training - I've got a household to support.

Ideally, I would love to remain in academia. I've ALWAYS dreamed of becoming an English professor - it's all the things I love about teaching without the things I listed above, mostly - but even before the downturn in the economy, tenure-track positions were scarce. And I am technically qualified to teach at community college right now, but it's not the same thing. And I'd get stuck teaching a lot of the same types of students that I teach now, I bet.

Other than that, I can't think of anything that I am qualified to do that would also be enough to support a household (yarn store owner, makeup artist, freelance writer, etc). I would love the idea of doing some sort of non-profit work, but again, I don't know what sorts of positions I'm qualified to take on.

I wouldn't mind teaching for longer, but I don't know how much longer. I don't want to be here so long that I start hating it, because this is absolutely the type of job that you have to be in LOVE with to want to do. And I just don't think I love it enough.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Trying to be an adult about this

As I'm sure most people do, I have an angsty teenage girl lurking in my psyche. Sometimes when I get upset about things, she tends to come out.

Right now, I'm upset about some friends. Now, we're all adults, and I should be an adult about this, but the hurt little girl inside me is stamping her foot pretty persistently. I have these friends who I used to be really close to, whom I would talk to all the time and see all the time. When I was going through some tough times, I really depended on them, and they were absolutely there for me.

We're not so close anymore. Not because of any falling out - they're just really busy, and they live further away now, and we don't see each other as much. But now we don't even talk as much, either. No particular reason, we just... don't. And it makes me sad. But I'm so afraid to bother them, because they're so busy all the time (by their own admission), that I don't extend any invitations or anything or try to call. And they don't extend invitations or call either, I assume, because they're so busy.

So what does it mean when they are spending tons of time with other friends of ours, but not with me?

I can't help but feel hurt and left out. And I would feel dumb saying anything about it to them, because hello, how needy and insecure does that sound? "Hey, why don't you like me anymore?" But I AM feeling insecure. Like, what did I do? Why DON'T they like me anymore? (Correction, they do like me, but I guess not enough to want to hang out with me on any regular basis.)

The adult in me is like, "Hey, just let it go. Do your own thing. You have your own posse now anyway, from derby, and you adore them, so just let these ones go." The angsty girl in me wants pout and cry and be sad. I hate to lose friends, especially when it's for no reason. We didn't fight. We still like each other and say hi. We've just... drifted. But I can't help but take it personally that they're willing to make time for our other friends (who also, by the way, don't make time to hang out with me anymore), but not for me. No one from that particular group of my friends wants to make time to hang out with me. The angsty girl is crying, "Woe is me!" and she means it.

Of course I'm not going to say anything to them about it (which is why I'm writing about it here, because I need to express it somehow), but it bothers me deeply. I guess I could try calling or inviting them over - it's not like I'm doing anything productive here that would improve the situation. I'm not saying I'm doing all I can. And it's not like I'm lacking friends to hang out with (I've been spending lots of time with my fellow ex-Mizfitz and we have been having a blast), but... I really miss these friends.

I don't have a resolution or a conclusion here. I just needed to get this off my chest, because I feel really crappy about it. I'm not like this about ALL of my friends... it's just that these friends were (are) particularly important to me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

If Eternal Sunshine taught me anything...

Looking back at everything that's been going on these past couple of weeks, I'd have to say that I do not regret my time spent with the Mizfitz. I don't regret leaving either, but I don't regret being there in the first place. I did improve my skating, and I met some really wonderful people, who ended up becoming my really good friends. It's not every day that you meet girls who are willing to hit other girls for you :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Is there any such thing as too many knitting bags?

Jordana Paige's new LJ Kaelm's bag!
I SO want this bag. It'll be the perfect way to carry around my grading AND my knitting AND my iPad and still look cute. If it could fit my laptop as well, I'd cry tears of joy.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Onwards and upwards.

I have to try to word this delicately. I don't have, like, a large blog audience or anything, but the fact remains that it IS public, and that ANYONE could be reading it.

I have decided to part ways with my derby league. Without getting into any detail about it, because I want to respect league confidentiality, suffice it to say that I was not happy, and felt that my only course of action was to remove myself from what was turning into a volatile situation.

There are many I'm leaving behind whom I adore and have come to respect and trust, and those individuals have been very supportive of my reasons for leaving. I am disappointed that the non-derby part of derby has gotten in the way of my enjoyment and my participation, but apparently this is not an uncommon phenomenon. (I refer you to the derby documentary, Hell on Wheels.) In leaving, I have caused some individuals to be very upset with me, and I guess that's to be expected. No one's safe from conflict, especially in matters of roller derby.

My immediate plan is to pass the WFTDA test at the end of bootcamp and actually try out for SVRG - I feel like I owe it to myself to try out, since I've wanted to skate with them for so long. If that doesn't pan out, then I will hunt around for other new derby leagues - I know one of my fellow repeat bootcampers was trying to start a league on the peninsula, so I might see how that's going, or if there's anything else nearby. (Hey, how about Milpitas? We even have a rink already! =P)

I'm saddened and disappointed about how things have ended, but I think everything happens for a reason.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Down for the count

I'm sick. I have a cold and a sore throat, which sounds fairly harmless, except that colds and sore throats make me loopy. I'm in a total haze (and I'm not even medicated). I cannot wrap my head around anything that needs to be done right now - grading, updating my book with new students, planning ahead, none of it. If it were acceptable to do so, I would put my head down on my desk and nap while my kids are watching their movie.

I've been exhausted and stressed out lately (lack of sleep, lots of work), which I would guess weakens my immune system, and everyone knows that school is a germ fest. So now I'm sick and muddled and I can't take a day off because I really do have to be here to teach things - I can't even begin to formulate something a sub can do.

Monday, September 13, 2010

To bootcamp or not to bootcamp?

Dear Blog,

I am faced with a difficult decision. SVRG's bootcamp is starting up again in three weeks. Now, before you get upset, I definitely have no plans to abandon the Mizfitz. They are my team, and I don't walk out on my team. Rather, the reason why I'm interested in doing bootcamp again is because 1) it's more opportunities to skate coached practices (because you know how much I suck at going skating on my own and making it a worthwhile workout), and 2) it's another crack at passing the WFTDA minimum skills test, and sooner - the Mizfitz are aiming for February to test everyone.

My reservations are as follows:

- We already practice three nights a week, and fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), the bootcamp practices fall on two nights where I wouldn't have Mizfitz practice. That means five days a week of hard, intense workouts, and they all happen to be five days in a row (Sunday through Thursday). Now, if it were summer, it wouldn't be a problem. But school has just started up again, and I'm already trying really hard to stay healthy (I'm sipping tea and honey as we speak) and I'm doing everything I can to stop nodding off in the middle of traffic. I'm exhausted. Can I handle it? Or will I be stiff and achy and complainy every day of the week?

- This is a busy time of year right now at school, as we have homecoming coming up, and that dance is a senior class responsibility. But then again, after that's over, we have no major events to be responsible for until after winter break.

- It's another two nights a week away from Jolie. This is my major one. I don't want to be an absent mom. And even though my parents LOVE having her over, I feel guilty having to depend on them to watch her so much already. Again, if it were summer, at least I'd have the whole day to spend with her, but now I don't. I'm gone ALL day, I come home for maybe an hour or so before I have to drop her off at my parents' before I go to practice. I feel like I miss out on a lot already.

- It's more money that I could probably use elsewhere - buying new knee pads, paying off my new skates.

But... it's bootcamp! I LOVED bootcamp - the bonds of being put through the gauntlet are strong. It's a chance to better myself as a skater and learn and grow and progress and possibly kick WFTDA's ass. And that means a lot.

I really don't know what to do, but I have to decide soon, because they only have 50 spots open, and at last count, at least 250 girls who also want to do it. So... I just don't know.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I've got a brand new pair of roller skates, you've got a brand new key



... And these will go right back in the box until my Rebels completely wear away. I'm not introducing my Wickeds to that crappy asphalt until I absolutely have to!

I feel like Gollum/Smeagol in The Lord of the Rings, whispering in that evil voice, "My preciousssssssssss..."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Weekend o' Derby Ahead

Tomorrow is SKATES day. The day I finally buy new skates, the Riedell Wickeds, pictured at left.

This is a pretty momentous occasion. These aren't just new skates to replace my beat up Sure Grip Rebels - these are an UPGRADE. Rebels are an excellent entry-level package, and I wouldn't be sorry to buy them again.

But the WICKEDS... they are definitely stepping up! They are a commitment - you don't buy skates this expensive unless you plan to stick with derby (or unless you don't have any other options). This is me saying, I'm going to be doing this a while, and I need some better skates!!!

So this is what I'm up to tomorrow morning. In the evening, I'll be volunteering for the first game of SVRG's last home bout of the season. And then on Sunday evening, the Mizfitz have a league meeting :)

Oh, the excitement!

Here's what's coming to me in the mail:


OH YES!

Reviews to come when they arrive!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hello world, I'm your wild girl!

(I know, it's been a while! Been busy with work, baby, and roller derby.)

So, I've had the Runaway's "Cherry Bomb" stuck in my head for a couple of days (LOVED the movie!), so today's look is inspired by that song. It's PINK eyeshadow - pink with an attitude!


Here's how I did it:

- UDPP (not pictured, because I ALWAYS use it)
- UD eyeshadow in Woodstock (bright magenta pink, from the Sephora-exclusive summer collection) all over lid and just slightly above crease with a wide soft blender brush
- UD eyeshadow in Free Love (peachy-colored, from the same collection) patted on top of the pink and then blended upwards into the crease
- UD eyeshadow in Skimp (vanilla-colored with gold flecks, from the UD Beauty in a Box, also Sephora-exclusive) as a highlight, and blended into the crease slightly
- UD Ink for Eyes in Empire (deep purple) as a liner on the upper lid
- UD eye pencil in Lucky (copper-colored) on the lower rims
- MAC Zoom Lash mascara

I know, it doesn't help that the three eyeshadows I used are Sephora-exclusive, but they ARE available right now! It's not like I used discontinued, hard-to-find ones :)

This isn't a look I would wear normally to work, but I kinda like it. It's unusual, especially for me, since I don't usually choose such vibrant colors.




Friday, September 3, 2010

That went pretty well, I think!

So, that was probably the best first-week-of-school I've EVER had!

And I'm saying this cautiously because I don't want to jinx myself - so far, my kids are nice, and mostly attentive, and mostly open-minded. I haven't had any (*knock on wood*) jerks who give me attitude or who just won't do anything; there aren't any kids I'm afraid will cut me; there isn't even a particular period that I am afraid of teaching. Even a few kids who look like they really don't want to participate in things were cracking a smile at a couple of the activities we're doing.

Am I doing things differently? Yes. I'm trying to be more attentive. I feel like I was such a horrible teacher these past two years (with the pregnancy and then Jolie's first year), that I need to be extra dedicated to at least attempt to make up for all those days that I wasn't there for them. I want to be there for these kids.I want to love my job again. And right now, I do. I haven't dreaded going into work in the morning this whole week - I was actually excited today, because my sophomores were performing skits that I knew would be hilarious.

I'm not saying it's going to be easy for the rest of the year - I've got lots of, um, very chatty and energetic kids - but it makes it easier to get up in the morning knowing that I don't have to dread anything.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Oh god, oh god.

First day of school tomorrow.

I don't think I will never stop getting nervous the night before the first day. But I think that's a good thing - maybe it means that I still care enough about doing my job. (I do! I'm really going to try and keep my crap together this year.) I think that, when I stop feeling anything, it will mean that I should be looking for a new job.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Month of Blog, Day 29: Hopes, Dreams, and Plans for the next 365 days

So, by August 24, 2011:

Hopes:
- Lose at least 30 pounds, if not the full 50
- Pass all my WFTDA skills
- Find a home for the Mizfitz to skate in (that's my hope for the whole team, not myself personally)

Dreams:
- Skate in a bout!
- Find a job in Portland and move?

Plans:
- Attend my 10 year high school reunion
- Watch my officers graduate *sniffles*
- Celebrate Jolie's 2nd birthday

Best kids ever! They make everything worth it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Month of Blog, Day 28: What's in my handbag/purse

Literally, right now, there's nothing in my purse, because most of the time, I grab my wallet and carry it in my pocket or in my hands, and my phone/keys are usually in my pockets. But, assuming I had no pockets, and I was going somewhere more important than just Target:

Wallet - yes, it matches my purse.

iPhone

Philosophy's Be Somebody lotion - but since they only sell big bottles, I had to put some of it into a travel-sized bottle in order to be able to carry it around with me. I love the way it smells

Fresh Sugar lip balm - AWESOME stuff

Keys - that's right, I drive a Toyota. My key fob, though, also has a button for my hatch.

Canon Powershot SX120 - you never know when a photo op will present itself, especially with Jolie around
But like I said, most of the time, I roll with just my wallet, keys, and phone, and everything else stays home. I travel light because most of the time, I am carrying Jolie AND her diaper bag around with me.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Month of Blog, Day 27: My Worst Habit

No surprise here - I'm an emotional spender. Actually, I'm an emotional eater too. (And there have been lots of studies linking overeating with over-spending.) My upbringing is that deadly combination of privileged, upper-middle-class self-entitlement and Asian family party feasts! Unfortunately, I am a lowly teacher, and high blood pressure and diabetes run in my family. So I'm fat and poor.

I know I need to make changes in my lifestyle, but it's SO hard for me. You can't JUST STOP. It doesn't work that way. It's like trying not to scratch an itch.

Official skater photos!

I have to pick one of these for the website. I think I will do the second one, which is the same one that's currently my FB profile picture.

Major props to Crasharella, who was the photographer. She actually made me look gorgeous!


Friday, August 20, 2010

Month of Blog, Day 26: Your week in great detail

I don't think I can be as detailed about this as I was about my day. I'm going to have to look at my calendar and see what I did.

What I did this week:

Monday and Tuesday were my first days back at school, but not even in an official paid capacity - I am an assistant coordinator for our school's Link Crew program. Link Crew is a national program designed by The Boomerang Project, in which incoming freshmen are "linked" in groups to an upperclassman Link Leader - it's kind of like a peer mentoring thing. The point is that if the freshmen all have SOMEONE who has been through what they're about to go through, they will be better able to adjust to life at the high school level. The BFD for Link Crew is Freshman Orientation, which has a component that is completely student-led - each Link Leader takes his/her group of freshmen to a classroom ALL BY THEMSELVES and leads them through various icebreakers and thoughtful activities, and there is definitely a set process and kind of a script for how these activities are presented.

Anyway, my job is to help train these kids. Yes, it takes a lot of work - you can't just stick 12 freshmen in a room with a junior or senior without any preparation. So we had two days of training, 8am-1pm, and it's all VERY high energy, high enthusiasm sort of stuff. We had about 90 Link Leaders signed up this year, so imagine trying to teach to a room full of 90 high school juniors and seniors all by yourself, and you're trying to teach THEM how to lead discussions with freshmen and deal with possible negative behavior and all that stuff. So I'm doing lots of LOUD talking (which I don't usually do - I'm a quiet person) and climbing on the table and "If you can hear me, clap once!" sort of things. It makes me sweaty and tired.

And then on Monday night I had practice, so I was totally wiped. BUT... not too wiped to stay up late watching Troll 2 with Jimmy. OH MY GOD. It is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO bad, but SOOOOOOOOOOO awesome. It's badly acted, badly written, badly directed... I think it has the lowest rating on IMDB. But I totally loved it - it just totally won me over.

Tuesday, after Link training, I went mattress shopping, and ended up getting a Cal King Simmons Beautyrest. (Firm, please!) I've never had a bed that big, and I was excited to have space to stretch out instead of sleeping at the verrrry edge of the mattress. It arrived on Wednesday, and I was so excited to plop Jolie down on it and let her crawl around.

Wednesday's practice began with a photo shoot! Crasharella, one of our skaters, is a photographer, so she offered to take our official skater photos for the website. I was super psyched. Okay, I admit it, I'm vain - hello, I have a blog where I take pictures of myself in makeup? I was excited to have some official derby photos. I really wanted to have something to show for my skating efforts - we're not bouting yet or officially skating publicly (not counting the fact that we do in fact skate in public, at a public park), so having a professional photo taken as a derby girl was extra fun for me :) Crash posted them, like, immediately after practice, and Facebook was all abuzz afterwards as we checked out each other's photos.

Thursday, you've already heard about :)

Today was Freshman Orientation. I had to be on campus by 7am, and I did not have time to get breakfast, so I went most of the day without getting food. I'm just the assistant coordinator, so I don't lead the assembly - instead I'm in charge of taking care of the stragglers, the late-comers, making sure things run smoothly so Joanna can focus on leading the assembly and doing all the other big stuff. It was interesting to see the freshmen come through - a lot of them do NOT look like freshmen at all! I saw some really big guys come in! A lot of them looked like they DID NOT want to try anything or do anything silly or energetic, but I guess you can expect that from 14 year old boys. I was tasked with walking around campus to check on all the small student-led group activities, so more sweating. I think Orientation went pretty well, and I'm really going to miss the senior Link Leaders - they're all really good kids.

Afterwards, I came home, had lunch, took a short nap, and then watched the episode of True Blood that I'd missed earlier in the week. Then Jolie needed to be fed, and we played around for a while until I drove her to my parents' house to spend the night. I just spent an hour and a half at Borders trying to find a book I wanted to read (I'm in the mood for some intelligent, cute, romantic chick lit, but I just didn't have the patience for anything I found), so instead I bought the new Rolling Stone, the new Bust, and the new Giants magazine. I picked up some iced coffee and cinnamon buns, and here we are!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Month of Blog, Day 25: My day, in great detail

I'll try my best! I'm getting old, my memory is not as good as it used to be.

Got up at 6:30am. Took a shower. Wanted to wear my new derby shirts that I made, but the letters need to be ironed down some more (peeling at the corners), so that was out. Made a bottle for Jolie - we snuggle together in the morning while she has her bottle, so it's nice lovely quiet time. Occasionally she offers me her bottle, which I pretend to drink and she laughs at me when I make exaggerated smacking-my-lips sounds. Then she threw a crying tantrum when I had to put her back in her crib so I could leave to go to school. (As soon as I leave the room, she pretty much stops crying. She went right back to sleep.)

Got to school by about 8am. Supervising at senior registration - we are selling senior class sweatshirts and senior packages (the package includes tickets to Grad Nite at Magic Mountain and to our senior picnic, as well as a senior class t-shirt). Stood around in the sun until 11:30, when we finally got to leave. I think my face has gotten tanner, if possible.

Went home. Picked up lunch at Erik's on the way - I had a Thai chicken wrap and Jimmy got a Marrakech Express with a cup of chili. We split a strawberry shortcake. Jolie crawled all over the couch behind me while I tried to eat. She likes to play with the picture frames on the table. She's a total wiggleworm! I finally sat her on my lap, and gave her a couple bites of strawberry and of shortcake (which I put Cool Whip all over). Of course she loved that.

I put her down for her nap (crying, again!) and I was feeling pretty tired as well. We just got a new mattress yesterday, so I loooooooooove it. Both Jimmy and I ended up taking a nap. I got up again around 4 and packed up my stuff to go to practice. I had to drop Jolie off at my parents' house first, so I had to go pretty early.

My dad lets me drive his Prius to Morgan Hill because it saves me gas and because I get to drive in the carpool lane, because he has the stickers. I'm glad of this, because I don't have time to go fill my own gas tank right now. It usually takes me close to an hour to get to practice and I like to get there early enough to get a close parking space to the court and because I like to gear up leisurely and catch up with the girls, instead of throwing everything on and just jumping out there. I like to have time to settle down. Also, my shoelace on my right skate got torn up again yesterday, and I needed to re-lace it.

On the way there, "November Rain" comes on the radio, and it really is just so awesome.

I ended up getting there in record time (traffic wasn't nearly as horrible as normal today AND I got to be in the carpool lane), so a bunch of us sat around chatting about various things while other girls arrived and we all geared up. It's extra hot out, and we're all feeling pretty beat up from endurance night yesterday, and then Terribelle (as in, Terribelle Demise) tells us that we're doing MORE endurance! I wait until the last minute to finally get up off my butt and do warmup laps. My legs feel like spaghetti, and I feel a blister forming on the inside front of my foot because yesterday I skated with (footed) tights under my socks, and the friction from the tights against the socks was bad for my feet. So today, everytime I pushed off on my right foot, it hurt. It still hurts right now.

After warmups and stretching, we practice t-stops and plow stops. Terribelle blows a whistle to signal us when to stop. Apparently this really disturbs the dogs over at the leash-less area, because one of the dog owners comes over to give us an earful. Whatever, lady - it's a PUBLIC OUTDOOR PARK. I bet that if it were a basketball team practicing with a whistle on the basketball court, no one would complain. But since it's a bunch of tattooed girls on skates, apparently we're getting complaints. Terribelle does NOT put away the whistle. :)

We do a mix of a bunch of different drills, and then we do a pace line, with EVERYONE, which wasn't a whole lot of people, but there was a wide range of skill levels all in the same line, so that makes it a bit difficult. I have a hard time skating slow and maintaining proper form, and since a lot of the girls are newer skaters and aren't so fast yet, it takes a long time for them to weave through, so I feel like I'm skating awkwardly for what is a longer time than normal when it's just all the faster girls in one line. But we get through it all, ALL of us (SO PROUD of the new girls!), and then Terribelle has us do this relay where we have to essentially nudge an empty milk jug around cones around the track, like soccer players, but of course we're on skates. We ALL have a hard time doing it, but we all had fun.

Then we did core as usual, and Kathleen gave us cupcakes. I took a few, and borrowed her cupcake container to drive them home. (We know each other from high school, so it's okay.) On the way home, a car in front of me braked REALLY SUDDENLY and therefore, so did I, and the container flew off the front seat and landed on the floor. One of them actually fell out of the container onto the floormat (remember, it's my dad's car, so of course I have to be extra good about cleaning it), and two of them just smooshed into the side of the container. I was pretty pissed about the cupcake casualty. (Later on, I just scraped off the frosting that had touched the ground. What? The cake part itself was fine!)

Jolie was still awake at my parents' house, and about to eat. I grab myself some dinner (they always save me dinner on practice days), and watch Jolie eat hers. She keeps looking at me and saying "MAMA! MAM-MAM-MAM!" And my heart swells, like, Oh my god, my daughter can talk! She knows who I am!!! So then I go over to hug her, and then she looks at me and says, "DADADADADA!" and I'm like, WHAT? NOOOOOOO!!!!! So, I still don't know if she knows me as MAMAMAM or if it's purely coincidental. But I feel like she's been yelling that at me, specifically, a lot lately.

Took Jolie home, put her right to bed, and here I am. I make the rounds on Facebook - we Mizfitz always seem to get on FB to message each other because we have to talk to each other all the time! - where I explain to a student why I hate Katy Perry and where I see the new Rolling Stone cover with Eric, Sookie, and Bill from True Blood - naked and covered in blood. Yeah, that one's getting covered with black plastic at the book store for SURE. I had a cupcake and I gave some to Jimmy and now I'm blogging and I'm about to go to bed because I have to be at school tomorrow by 7am for Freshman Orientation.

Is that detailed enough? It better be, because the one about my week? Is not going to be as detailed, because then I would have to sit here FOREVER typing.

Month of Blog, Day 24: Where I Live

Right now I live in a condo, and I can't stand my neighbors. Since I can't think of anything nice to say, I won't say anything at all.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Month of Blog, Day 23: A Youtube video



I'm posting this because we were talking about it recently at practice.

This block is legendary. Beyonslay is a blocker for Gotham Girls Roller Derby, and in 2008 at the East Coast Extravaganza tournament, she takes the jammer, Rice Rocket from Texas Rollergirls, for a little Slay Ride. BEST BLOCK EVER!.

(And please note that Rice Rocket takes it like a champ and just gets right back up. Because that's how we roll in roller derby.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Month of Blog, Day 22: A website

Our mission is to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers.
Our vision is to build a new economy and present a better choice:
Buy, Sell, and Live Handmade.

Etsy is no secret, but I think it's worth highlighting all the same. It's an online marketplace to buy or sell handmade products, crafting supplies, or vintage items. Hence, you can see why it's very well known among the crafting community. For sellers, it's very easy and very cheap to start your Etsy store and list your items for sale.

For buyers... oh, it's SO easy to lose track of time browsing the awesome, gorgeous items people have for sale. You can buy jewelry, you can buy knitted items (or even handspun or handpainted yarn, or handmade needles!), you can buy clothing - one of my good friends found her wedding dress on Etsy! And it was not ridiculously priced!

Here's a sampling of some of the awesome things that have caught my eye. (If you're reading this entry waaaaaay after it's been posted, it's possible the links/photos won't work if the items have been sold or removed from their listing.)


Month of Blog, Day 21: A Recipe

I'm really not much of a cook. All my recipes are from, like, Food Network. However, I love making sweets, and I especially love doing holiday sweets - on more than one occasion, I've done goody baskets/boxes for my friends and family at Christmas time.

The holidays are a huge deal for me (as I'm sure they are for a lot of people). The air just feels like magic. (Well, once you are clear of the manic, stressed-out shoppers suffering from tunnel vision.) Twinkling lights, cinnamon in my hot chocolate, the huge spreads of food during our holiday celebrations, watching my little cousins eyeing the presents... it's a fun time for me because I'm very big on family. And eating. And also, December is my birthday month, so in the midst of all the holiday-ness, I get to celebrate being alive as well. 

This white chocolate peppermint fudge has always been a big hit. I wish I could say it was my recipe, but alas, I got it from a holiday baking recipe magazine that I spotted in the checkout line at the supermarket. It ended up being one of the best purchases I've ever made :) The fudge is absolutely buttery and decadent and sweet, so if you're planning on making this to give away, you don't have to cut them into very large pieces, because really, any reasonable person could probably only eat this a bite or two at a time (unless you're my dad, who swigs really strong coffee with all his sweets), so one batch could go a long way. The only downside is that with all the peppermint candy pieces, it's very crumbly and a big sticky, unless you've pretty much crushed the candy into a fine powder, which isn't as fun, because seeing the red and white pieces stuck amidst the vanilla-colored fudge is really, really pretty.