This is my favorite song right now. You should listen to it.
Fellow bloggers, I am in the mood for some new music. What song do you have on repeat this week?
This is my favorite song right now. You should listen to it.
Fellow bloggers, I am in the mood for some new music. What song do you have on repeat this week?
Technically yesterday was the second time I went ice skating. In middle school, I was on a church retreat in Estes Park, and the camp we were staying in offered ice skating. You got your skates in a building at the middle of the campus, and then you had to carry them what felt like five hundred miles down the hill to a “frozen pond.” And by that I mean, it was an area of grass with a bunch of solid ice on it. I have no idea if that forms naturally or if they purposely freeze water there somehow, but either way, it was no good. It was lumpy and pretty much impossible to actually skate on. I ended up just taking the skates off and sliding around on my shoes, and I only stayed there long enough to do that because my friends didn’t want to leave.
That was more than ten years ago. Yesterday I finally went again. Being a hockey fan, you’d think I would have skated since then, but no. I’ve wanted to, but I didn’t want to go by myself the first time, because while I can do things like go to movies by myself or even drive cross-country sans companion, there are some things that I get anxiety about doing alone. So I got my dad to go with me.
We went to the Edge Ice Arena during an adults-only two hour skating block they have on Friday mornings from 10-12. When we paid for our skate rental the guy called it the “Coffeehouse.” I guess because it’s for adults, and only adults drink coffee…?
This beautiful thing was in the lobby.
Isn’t that reflection pretty? I love how it makes it really hard to notice that he signed it. Definitely what I was going for. I’m a great photographer.
My skates, obviously very stylish.
There weren’t many people there, which was awesome. Less people means more room on the NHL size arena for me to fall down. We were easily the most inexperienced people there. It was mostly other women having what appeared to be a skating social club of some kind, and they were all very graceful in their figure skates. There was one guy there though who skated in hockey skates, just zipping back and forth and skating the lines of the faceoff circles and making it look like it was the easiest thing in the world. It reminded me of how the pros skate. I was jealous of how good he was. He even had some pretty fancy skates; I know I’ve seen the same kind on guys in NHL games.
Someday I will be able to skate like that dude.
My dad, skating backwards. The last time he went ice skating was when he and my mom were dating. So… 1984, he said. He grew up in Chicago though, and said he went skating a lot as a kid. According to him, it was like “riding a bike.” And he was definitely a lot better at it than I was, but he told me I was doing really well for it being my first time ice skating ever (on actual flat ice that is mean to be skated upon). It was a very nice thing for him to say.
Apparently for him it used to be easier to skate backwards than forwards, which I do not understand at all. But that’s what he was doing in that picture.
View of the bench.
So here are my tips:
1. Make sure your skates fit you. They didn’t have half sizes in the hockey skates, so I went for a 9 instead of an 8. This was a mistake, because my skates kept getting loose, and apparently, when your skates are loose, it’s a lot easier to fall down. I actually only fell down once, but it was because with looser laces it got a lot harder to keep my ankles straight. I mean… I’m pretty sure that’s the only reason I fell, and it wasn’t just because I suck.
2. Prepare to be sore. Okay, so we were there for like, forty minutes tops, and today I feel like I’m gonna die. The only part of my body that isn’t sore is my back. My ARMS are killing me the worst. My ARMS. You don’t ice skate with your freakin’ arms! Even part of my hand is sore (but I think that’s from grabbing the boards so often). But I guess it makes sense, because I was trying really hard not to be a loser and hang on to the side of the rink the whole time and that meant my arms were flying around everywhere as I tried to keep my balance. I must have been really tensed up that whole time because good lord. I remember sitting there on the bench (after tightening my skates for like the third time) and thinking, “I wonder if I’ll be sore tomorrow? I mean, right now I feel fine!” I no longer feel fine. (I guess the flip side of this is that I have found a fun way of working out that does not feel remotely like working out at the time.)
3. Also prepare to get sweaty. Ha ha ha I failed at this really badly. I should have known from watching hockey for a million years and seeing how sweaty the players get but no. I am dumb.
4. Confidence. The more confident I felt, the easier it was to keep myself from toppling over or having to slam into the boards to keep myself upright. By the time we left, I was able to get almost all the way around the rink without needing any help from the boards.
That’s it. What? ONE DAY VETERAN here, people. I don’t know what I’m doing.
I’m definitely going to go back. Next Friday. Book it. By then my muscles may have recovered themselves enough for me to assault them again.
The more frequently I blog, the more productive I feel, which is probably ridiculous, because isn’t most blogging a form of procrastination? I mean, I’m not getting paid here. And if blogging WAS my job, I would probably start to hate it, and then I would quit, and then the nobody that reads my blog would be super sad, maybe (don’t worry, I’m aware no one cares) (except Elizabeth) (I think I mention her in literally every post I write) (whatever, she’s my best friend, so… deal with it) (too many parentheticals).
Anyway, since I’m currently an unemployed loser, I tend to sleep in. Yes, it makes me feel lazy and like I have wasted many days over the last few months, but look, I’m writing this post at 12:23 A.M., so obviously I’m better at doing things at night. I need a night job (that isn’t stocking shelves at Sam’s Club or equivalent). I already feel partially nocturnal, so why not?
I keep getting away from my point. I sleep in. I usually try to get up before 10 or 10:30 so I am at least rising in the morning, though it depends on when I go to bed. Sometimes I stay up late chatting with people online (who I’m friends with! NOT CREEPERS, okay? Geez, stop judging me) or reading A Storm of Swords (I just started this book actually, before yesterday it was A Clash of Kings). So yeah, if I’m staying up that late, I’m gonna want to sleep through most of the morning, typically.
You know who doesn’t sleep through most of the morning? These guys.
This is the view from my window. I took it sitting on my bed. Though really… “sitting” is a bit generous. I was lying down, poking my head and iPhone through the curtains just barely. I felt like a peeping tom or something, even though… they’re fully clothed and in the front yard of my neighbor’s house. They’re building what looks like it will be a pretty sweet porch. It started out looking kinda gross, just some grey cement blocks stacked up, and we were like, “wow, why would they do that, that’s pretty ugly,” and it would totally have been if that was how they were planning on leaving it. Turns out we were the dumb ones because of course that was just a foundation for a porch! OF COURSE! And I’m sure that our neighbors will enjoy this beautiful porch for years to come!
However, I am not going to be able to enjoy sleeping in for the immediate future, because these guys show up super early with drills and saws and other tools that make noise right under my window. Sometimes they whistle. Sometimes they sing. And I feel bad being annoyed, because they’re just trying to make their job more fun, and no one can fault them for that! But seriously, it’s annoying.
Maybe I should just go sleep in my sister’s room for the rest of the week. I’d just be sharing it with Dora, and she’s nice enough.
Oh hey, if any of you like listening to some good comedy… okay, STOP RUNNING! I’m not one of those weird obsessive comedy nerds! Have you heard of Jim Gaffigan? Yes. You have. The Hot Pocket guy, the bacon guy… he talks about food a lot…? Yeah. Him. Well, he has a new comedy special out and you can download or stream it from his website for $5. And one of those dollars goes to The Bob Woodruff Foundation. So basically, if you like hearing people say funny things, and you like giving money to charity, you should go for it. I would quote you my favorite line from the special (I haven’t finished it yet, but I trust that the rest if it will more than equal the hilarity I’ve heard thus far) but it’s just him quoting a Beyoncé song, so that would be pointless.
I used to love this word. Awkward. Wow, that was awkward. Now this is awkward. Lolz awkward silence.
But then the internet arrived and killed it. Which is like, awkward.
This is the revolution. I, along with Elizabeth, have compiled this list to help you navigate the Sea of True Awkwardness.
Here we go.
Things That ARE Awkward:
1. Encountering any type of LARPer.
2. A guy who messages you online and tells you you’re so young, you make him feel like a “man cougar.”
3. A hilarious inside joke that no one remembers but you, but you don’t realize that until after you’ve brought it up.
4. When a drunk stranger mistakes you for someone with whom they have a complicated relationship.
5. When someone asks you for your honest opinion about their terrible poetry/vocal abilities/fashion sense/cooking.
6. Forgetting someone’s name after you’ve met them several times.
7. Being cat-called.
8. Anyone who overshares, especially if they do it loudly and in public.
9. When little kids who are with their moms in public restrooms crawl under the door of your stall and say hi.
10. Mall kiosk employees who will not stop harassing you.
11. Watching certain scenes in Game of Thrones with your parents.
12a. When someone makes you feel stupid for liking something you think is awesome and now that thing is tainted by this moment in which you felt judged by the cruel fluorescent light of societal norms.
12b. When you accidentally cause that moment for someone else and then have to live with it.
13. Things that happen TO you that are uncomfortable and that you cannot control, not things that are just straight up embarrassing (though embarrassing moments can sometimes lead to legitimate awkward moments.)
Things That ARE NOT Awkward:
1. Pretty much everything you have said was awkward in the last 5 years.
2. This especially includes 97% of the things in the “that awkward moment when…” meme. Especially that.
Go forth and be educated.
So this morning I woke up to hear my mom yelling at our two cats, Leo and Pippin, who had managed to find their way into my dad’s train room. They were up on the layout and everything. This is bad because the layout looks like this:
So, lots of tiny things for cats to knock over and and break or put in their mouths and eat… this is pretty much cat Disneyworld. As far as we could tell, they had yet to actually do any damage, but I will let you know if we find any barf with fake tree tops in it, or poop containing little plastic people. I know you’re very interested and concerned.
Meanwhile, here’s a video of Pippin I took a couple nights ago.
Someone on the Avalanche reddit page said this 2011-2012 season felt special, “like they were our team.” They were youngest team in the NHL and had the lowest salary, and it felt like they were constantly getting shafted and written off by the league and the critics and even the referees (seven games without a single power play. SEVEN GAMES). I realize there are probably fans of other smaller market teams that could argue with me about how their team is more underrated and overlooked, but there were times when it felt like the Avs weren’t even part of the NHL – not because they didn’t play like they were, but because no one paid them the attention their play was asking for.
But it’s fine, because we saw them. After last year, the worst season since the team came to Denver, the fans came back. The raucous, dedicated crowds filled up the Pepsi Center game after game, because the team was exciting again. There was less whining about missing the glory days, because finally, for the first time in a while, we saw glimpses of glory days to come. Every win was exciting and fun and deserved, and every loss was an apology, a vow to learn from it and not make the same mistakes again. Our consolation prize for last season wasn’t just future – or really, current – superstar Gabriel Landeskog. It was the growth and maturation of passion. Players who went through last season together learned to hate losing more than they love winning. They took the bad and remembered what it felt like, for them and for the fans, and they decided they never, ever want to be there again. They learned how badly they have to want it.
No, they weren’t perfect. They don’t have all the right pieces there yet to contend for a championship. But it’s coming. And we’re not going to have to wait that long.
More and more teams are doing the salute thing – where after wins, they all skate to the center of the ice and raise their sticks to the fans. I like it. I like the acknowledgment that the crowd is a part of why they won and why they play. Without us, they wouldn’t be there at all – another reason why I don’t feel strange saying “we” when I talk about my team. This was the first season Avs fans got the stick salute from them, and the timing of that is what grabs me the most. Last season flat out sucked. I went to games in a building that echoed. Games that were enraging and depressing and actually sort of horrifying, at times. The stick salute, to me, is not only a thank you for being our fans but also a very, very grateful thank you for not abandoning us when we were at our worst.
The ending to the 2011-2012 season was less than great – a 6-1 loss to Nashville (who could very possibly be playing into June this postseason). But if you’d told me last year that we would be in the playoff race that late in the season, that we would only be officially eliminated in game 81 of an 82 game schedule, I would have snatched that up in a heartbeat. I would have cried overwhelmed tears of joy. Sure, you can choose to look at this in the most negative way possible – “This is the first time since moving to Denver that the team has missed the playoffs in consecutive years! In the last four years we’ve only made the playoffs once! FAILURE” – but these are growing pains. Look at the Nordiques. Look what they went through for years to become the Stanley Cup winning team we were lucky enough to have handed to us on a platter in 1995.
I’ve seen a lot of complaining about this missed playoffs appearance. Can I just say something? We’ve missed the playoffs four times. Four times in seventeen seasons. Four. That’s it. You can count that high on one hand and you won’t even run out of fingers. Take a look around the league for a little perspective on how much worse it could be. We could be… the Oilers, who seem to be collecting first overall draft picks. The Blue Jackets, who have never won a playoff game, much less a series. The Leafs, who haven’t even been in the playoffs since before the lockout. We could be any number of teams (Canucks, Blues, Capitals, Sabres) who were founded in the late 60s, early 70s and have yet to win a Stanley Cup at all, let alone twice.
I mean, I’m just saying.
My favorite John Green book, The Fault in Our Stars (and I can say I have a favorite now, because I’ve read two of his books) talks about how you don’t have to understand sadness to be able to appreciate joy. The exact phrasing: “The existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.” Putting aside the fact that I love broccoli, I have to say that I agree with this in every facet of life except for sports. A lot of fuss is made about your validity as a fan if you only show up when the team is good. Congrats if you become a fan when they were ruling the standings year after year, but you only get brownie points for sticking around when the team is in the toilet. If you’re a bandwagoner, if you lost interest when Roy and then Sakic retired and the playoffs stopped being a guarantee, you don’t get it. You can’t appreciate what this season meant to those of us who last year stayed to the end of games they lost 3-0, 5-1, 9-1. You just don’t get what it was like to see Ryan O’Reilly come to life and lead the team the way he did; what it was like to see Gabriel Landeskog tearing into opponents and performing even better than everyone predicted; what it was like to see Peter Mueller return to the lineup, finally free of the concussion symptoms that had plagued him for so long; how fantastic it was to finally have goalies again that we could count on to be there, and be there, and be there.
Ellen Etchingham (my hero) wrote an article about why it’s worth it to be a fan of your team even to the bitter end, and you should read it. When she writes, “at least my story was about something,” I know exactly – exactly – what she means.
This season, this period of Avalanche history, is about something. It’s about the fanbase growing and learning what it’s like to not be at the top, it’s about the players and even probably the management learning how much they hate being an afterthought. It’s about striving for something. Yes, we’ve been eating brussels sprouts for a couple years now (like I said, I love broccoli), but this season we were in the process of making some chocolate.
Don’t get angry that we missed the playoffs this year. Get excited that this is the beginning of something beautiful, and that you’re here for it.
The sign I brought to the last game.
Happy National Grilled Cheese Day. Though for me, that’s pretty much every day.
I celebrated by going to Steak ‘n Shake for the best fast food grilled cheese sandwich available from somewhere not called Health Camp or Memorial Cafeteria.
Now I’m at home watching some playoff hockey (go Blues). I hope your day went as well as mine did.
For some reason I always forget I have Instagram. So while this linkup is supposed to be “the best of this week’s Instagram pictures” (hosted by Jenni), what it ends up being for me is “the only Instagram pictures I have taken recently.” But that is okay, because the pictures I took this week are awesome.
Mainly because of Leo, who is a constant source of amusement for me.
Here he is getting on top of the fridge and being super distracting and adorable during the Baylor-Stanford Final Four game.
This is my favorite picture of him in a while. He is so pretty. Or handsome. Whichever.
I went downtown on Monday hoping to run into some fellow Baylor people in town to watch our women’s basketball team be awesome, but it ended up being FREEZING that day. It even snowed that night, which I’m sure was thrilling for the people visiting from Texas, but it was really annoying. I spent most of that day being really miserable and trying not to look like I’d been crying, thanks to the piercing wind trying to rip my eyeballs out of my head. Anyway, I’m still glad I went down there because these signs were everywhere and I loved it.
A sign for a book club that meets at the Tattered Cover on 16th Street.
An engine parked by one of the light rail stations. I took this on the way back from that downtown trip. It says “I am tired of waiting for your revolution! I will start my own.”
From the last Avs practice of the season. The next chapter in the battle of Matt Duchene vs. the tires will have to wait until September.
Leo again. Look, he’s just really cute, okay? And photogenic. And hilarious, pretty much at all times.
Finally, here’s Leo trying to help me make my sign for the last Avs game of the year. More on this later, since I’m going to write up a post about my experience at that game and my feelings on this season sometime this week (with pictures, of course). It will have to wait a little bit because there are a lot of ~feelings to process. (Not like any of you are going to read that post anyway. It’s fine. No, really. It is. Whatever. It’s fine. I DON’T CAREEEEE)
I hope everybody had a happy Easter, and if Easter’s not your thing, then just a good weekend. :)
How to make a doily lamp. I am totally doing this someday.
Hair tutorial for more natural looking curls. I can’t wait to try this. Plus this makes me a little less antagonistic towards Karmin.
Pictures from what might end up being the last Avs practice of the season. (Okay, so I took these. There aren’t too many, but there are some of Gabriel Landeskog with his helmet on backwards, so.) (Here are a couple videos I took as well: One, Two)
Disney Princesses in accurate period costumes. I’ve seen these before but I recently rediscovered them and I still think they’re super pretty.
Oh, this happened Tuesday. No big deal. They’re only the first college basketball team in NCAA history (men’s or women’s) to go 40-0 on their way to a national championship. Whatever. And the starters were all only juniors so it’s not like they’re about to do it again next year or anything. And I totally did not cry watching this game happen in my favorite arena in the city I live in. Nope. Not me.
April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Elizabeth, who is planning several posts on this topic throughout the month, showed me Project Unbreakable (definite trigger warning). It's sad but very powerful and very necessary.
If you haven’t heard of You Can Play, you should check it out. Makes me proud to be a hockey fan.
Epic frisbee trick shots. Bored college kids are awesome.
Good job Arizona. Really. Bravo.
Finally, a trailer for a movie I can’t wait to see.
So, I saw something on Pinterest the other day that really upset me. I'm not going to repost it or link to it, because I don’t want to make anyone to feel as crappy as that thing made me feel. The topic of it, however, was body acceptance. The general gist of it was "I’m naturally skinny… if fat girls are allowed to love their curves, why aren't skinny girls allowed to love their bodies too?"
I've spent the last couple days trying to forget this, continually telling myself that to try and fight ignorance on the internet is a Sisyphean task, but I can't let it go. If even one person can benefit from a post like the one I'm writing, then it'll have been worth it.
Here we go.
Let’s get one thing straight: Body acceptance IS FOR EVERYONE. It is. No true advocate of body acceptance has ever said otherwise. The culture we live in is constantly telling women their natural shapes are not good enough, and that's just a complete lie. If you're naturally skinny, great. If you're naturally fat, great. If you're skinny and you work really hard to stay skinny, or you’re fat and you've tried really hard not to be but you can't do anything about it, you're both okay too. If you’re somewhere in between all of that, you are great and beautiful and fine, seriously. You’re fine. You only get one body – you might as well not waste time hating it. (This is one of the reasons I'm not super fond of Dove's "Real Women Have Curves" ad campaign. The sentiment is a nice one, as the message is basically "it's okay that you aren't a supermodel" – but there's an unintended implication in there that says naturally skinny women are somehow not "real." Which is not true at all. If you’re a woman, you’re a real woman, regardless of your size.)
That said. There is a reason there are campaigns trying to get women to "love their curves," and that is because our society almost universally preaches that they shouldn't love them and that they should in fact be ashamed of them.
I like my body. I'm not the skinniest girl, and I never have been. I have been trying to lose weight recently, and I've been working out more and (sort of, for the most part) attempting to eat healthier. (My ultimate goal is to get into shape so I can join a hockey team at some point. I’ll just be up front about that being my main goal.) Through this process, I've started to like myself more, because I can feel myself getting healthier and stronger, and I'm pretty sure I've dropped a pant size. But I still have days where I hate myself because I don't look like someone on the cover of Cosmo.* I still have flashbacks to cruel things people have said to me over the years. Particularly the time in tenth grade when, after saying to a friend that I was cold, a boy nearby said, "Why? You have all that blubber to keep you warm." Like… I was fifteen. I was fifteen years old. And yeah, high school, kids are mean, but seriously? That was more than nine years ago and I remember it like it happened yesterday. That kind of thing haunts a person.
I can't speak for every single woman on the face of the planet. But I can say with relative certainty that most women who are curvy and are able to love themselves despite that and/or because of it have worked really, really, really, REALLY HARD to get to that place. I know that because I went through years of trying to get to that place, and at 24, I'm still trying. And I'm sure I'll continue to deal with it for the rest of my life. The fact of the matter is, if you’re a person who has been skinny your whole life, and you have a fantastic metabolism and you can eat whatever you want and not gain weight, this is just not something you understand. And your perspective on this issue comes from a place of privilege.
Being skinny is celebrated in our culture. It is the ideal, it’s what everyone is taught from an early age to strive for. Being curvy, fat, overweight, heavy-set, big boned, or just different somehow is not. It is a deviation from what is universally accepted as “normal.” To pose questions like “why aren’t skinny girls ‘allowed’ to love their bones?” is to completely miss the point, the same way people who ask why we don’t have a White History Month are missing the point.
I'm not saying that skinny girls don't still have insecurities and shouldn't be encouraged to accept themselves as they are. As long as there are people who starve themselves to the point of emaciation and then can still look at themselves in the mirror and think they’re too fat, this will be a problem that extends to all women everywhere. I’m also not saying that skinny girls don’t get teased in high school or told they are freakish or ugly or somehow imperfect by ignorant bullies. I know that this happens to a lot of people, no matter how much they weigh.
But you cannot come up to me and tell me you, as a naturally skinny person, feel persecuted because you don’t have body acceptance movements dedicated to your exact form. Your body is what is idealized by our society. Mine is not. That’s why. That’s really the long and short of it.
Ultimately, though, it shouldn’t be about whether you’re skinny or fat anyway. It should be about being healthy. Which, by the way, is not something you can decipher by looking at a person, and should never be a topic anyone should feel free to comment on.
I don’t plan to talk about this on my blog again, because I prefer to operate under the assumption that we are all enlightened on topics such as these and don’t need to be told about them. I made an exception this time because this hit far too close to home for me. I just generally like to think that maybe someday we’ll live in a world where literally no one cares about this, and everyone is accepted for who they are and not immediately judged on outward appearances.
Here are a few good body positive blogs you should check out if you’re interested in reading further into this topic:
Finally, here’s something I really like, written by one of my favorite actresses when she was 17.
*Which is insane, because the girl on the cover of Cosmo probably doesn't even look like the girl on the cover of Cosmo. I wish magazines would stop using Photoshop for evil.