Friday, May 29, 2015

Like a kid in a candy store...

This has been me the two days following The Whole 30. Epic Whole 30 Fail!!

Seriously, I did every wrong thing possible the day after finishing. Of course, I swear it was temporary insanity for having all the things again at my fingertips. Let's see...

  1. I had creamer in my coffee.
  2. I went out for drinks
  3. I ate popcorn.

So, this added in dairy, sugar, alcohol, grains, more than likely some preservatives.

Woke up Thursday feeling like shit with my right eye puffy (partial quasi eye).


  1. I had creamer in my coffee.
  2. My mom took me to lunch where I splurged on a sandwich and fries. 
  3. Had some wine at a friends.

© Keith McDuffee
More dairy, sugar, alcohol, grains, more than likely some preservatives in there. Plus french fries are the devil. The french fries made me sick. No more restaurant french fries for me. (even the picture to the left makes me want to barf).

Today I woke up with a puffy eye again and generally feeling like doodoo.

So, what am I going to do about this? Take it all back out of the diet, except the dairy. I'm reintroducing dairy for a week starting today. I'll continue drinking this coffee creamer (which is all natural), but I'm actually thinking I liked the putrid coffee with coconut milk and cinnamon better. Weird, huh.

The Whole 30 changes your body. You grow accustomed to eating clean. I mean, I was already set to continue eating this way, I think maybe I just needed to sow some oats in the form of everything bad for me for a couple days. I DO NOT recommend this. Follow the program. Follow the directions. When you're done with The Whole 30, do not act like a frat boy at Partyland. This shit isn't good for you and you've been off it so long it will have a giant adverse affect on your body.

I mean, I lost weight. I lost inches. I have more energy. I'm sleeping better.  I haven't felt this good for a long time. Why on earth would I want to jeopardize this for a few pleasures that really aren't that pleasurable, and are not good for me? I don't. I won't. You shouldn't either.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I am not sucking at life

No, I'm not. I'm drinking coffee with creamer. It's not the best tasting creamer I've ever had, but it has natural ingredients. And I'm not blending my coffee with coconut milk and cinnamon in my Magic Bullet. Why am I telling you this? Because yesterday was my last day on The Whole 30.

If you know not what the Whole 30 is, visit the link above. If you're sluggish all the time, want to change your relationship with food, want to look younger, want to sleep better, want to lose a little weight, you might want to give it a try.

How I feel after having done the Whole 30...
Food: Food and I are friends again. For awhile we had this weird relationship, It was mostly good,
sometimes I cheated on it. Sometimes I ignored it altogether. Other times my love for it was so intense I had to have it all. Also, I found myself having a quickie for dinner way too often.

Now I eat every meal, 3 a day. Sometimes I have a snack in between lunch and dinner, or after dinner if my stomach is a little grumbly. I'm cooking again. Sometimes I still need the quickie, but instead of turning to my longtime friend, Popcorn, I'll grab leftover meat (I always make enough to have leftovers) cook up some sweet potatoes and throw a salad together. Okay, it's not the 2 minute meal I've grown accustomed to, it's more like 30 minutes, but it's healthier, it's delicious and it treats my body good. I think I can handle an extra 28 minutes for that.

I buy most everything fresh except my coconut milk. I don't mind reading labels now, but if I buy fresh, I don't have to. I'm getting my fill of veggies and fruit, which I'd been neglecting for a while. I'm eating all good fats, almonds, ghee, avocado, olive oil. No more butter or margarine.

Alcohol: Alcohol and I used to be tight. You see, with me, alcohol is that friend that pesters you into hanging out until you cave. I mean, you love it, it's that friend you can lean on when you've had a hard day, or been given some bad new. Sometimes you'd just like to say no, but it always seems to be hanging around. Sometimes it overstays its welcome. I put alcohol in it's place. I made it go away until I'm ready to be friends again. Do I miss it sometimes when it's not around? Sure. But I'm confident that when we become friends again, I'll just see it socially and not be so dependent on it all the time.  Besides, I have a new friend that treats me better - sparkling water.

Sleep: A few years ago, sleep decided it didn't want to be friends with me anymore. I mean, it came around from time to time, but not as much as I wanted it too. Sleep and I have improved our relationship. Now it comes around every night and stays until morning. It usually leaves early, but I'm okay with that. Usually I've had enough to the point that I feel good and am ready to face the day.

Weight: My relationship with weight has been a rollercoaster ride in the past. Lately however, it's like I'm stuck at the top of the hill and no matter what I try, I can't get down. The Whole 30 helped me get down the hill. Just a little hill, but I'm hoping to get down a bigger hill soon enough until I can get off the ride for good. I don't think I'll share how much weight I've lost since the program isn't about that, it's about everything else. I'll just say, I look better and my clothes fit better. If I'd exercised more (I do, but I need to step it up) I'd probably have lost more. I actually had the meat guy at the grocery store flirt with me yesterday. It's been awhile since someone flirted with me.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: I've never liked CFS. Our relationship is parasitic. CFS is the friend who is always complaining and always miserable and after you've been with them for a while you just want to crawl into a hole and die. This relationship has also improved. Am I cured? No. But I get through the day without a nap (which is BIG for me). My energy level is higher during that time and I'm more productive than I have been in a long time. It still hits in the early evening though, 7 or 8 o'clock. But I'm okay with this because it's better and I can just crawl in bed with my phone or a book or my computer to watch Netflix.

What comes next?

Happy Hour. That's right, tonight I celebrate this achievement because to me, it's big. Don't worry, happy hour is not going to get me back into my old habits. I like the way I feel, I like the way I look, I like the way I eat. I will keep eating this way for the most part. I don't miss cheese or really any dairy (except my coffee creamer) for that matter. I'm not missing grains. I may have a glass of wine or a drink from time to time. And hey, I'll probably eat some popcorn, but not as much as I did at one sitting and not for dinner.

What am I hoping to gain from all this?

I'm hoping to shed a few more pounds. I'm hoping to have the energy to get to the gym regularly. I'm hoping to get another book published. I'm hoping to be more productive around the house and in the yard. I'm hoping I can be there for my kids and my parents when they need me.

I'm hoping this lasts a lifetime because I feel and look better than I have in years.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Christian Defense: Supporting Josh Duggard

Yes, people make mistakes and can be forgiven. Child molestation is not a mistake. Child molestation is an abhorrent crime that dehumanizes and demoralizes victims. It's a power play,  bullying, and an abuse of trust. These types of crimes should be punished by law. However, Josh Duggan has skirted his way around it. Read on...

His apology?

“It is not mine to forgive but nonetheless I do and look forward for you to use this opportunity to work with others who have struggled with similar or like actions and educate them on how to turn away from such behavior. I’m sure it is the last thing you want to revisit but you can help so many boys and girls and probably already have by making this public statement. Be strong and don’t let the negative reaction play over and over in your head. You have a lot of supporters, lean on them, let their words wash over you as you all pick up and move forward.”

He barely apologizes for his actions and makes himself sound like a victim.

 “Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God. We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family."

Never choose to go through? That's exactly what you did. And thank the good Lord you molested your sisters so your whole family could be closer to God.

“The media can be shameless & so hurtful. My family has experienced the media’s lack of knowledge and truth trying to make something out of a mistake & it was so incredibly hurtful to our family. To feel as though you have truth and you’re fighting a massive giant such as the media can be so frustrating.”

Yes, your family is hurt, especially the sisters you molested. And I'm sorry, this is the job of media, to uncover and expose, even the ugly. And lack of knowledge? They dredged up a police report buried years ago. What exactly are they lacking? And the truth is you inappropriately touched young girls, including your sisters, and are hardly repentant. You seem more apologetic about being found out than actually committing the crime.

His fans are defending him, politicians..."he's an example of humility and redemption." Really? He spoke about it because he had to, because some journalist did their homework and dug up this ugliness. He would have gone his entire life not exposing this if it hadn't been found out.

One of his fans actually said something to the affect, "he only molested them, it's not like he raped them." O.o Okay, how about you get molested, then raped, then tell us what the difference is? Do you feel less violated? Less demoralized? Fuck me. No pun intended.

Some are comparing this to the Lena Dunham commission of molesting her sister. There's a difference.  Is what she did wrong? Yes.  And honestly, it did change my opinion of her the way she so flippantly spoke of it in her book. Of course, she was seven to Duggan's 14, and hers was one instant compared to repeating the offense over the course of years against 5 different girls. And Dunham doesn't shroud herself in a veil of propriety and righteousness.

Apparently, if you believe in God, all is forgiven. No need to spend time in juvee or get "real" therapy (I will talk more about that in a minute). Christians are above the law of the land? They only are accountable to religious law?

Let's talk about the parents...

His parents should have been arrested for waiting so long to report the offenses. I mean, convenient to hide the truth until the statute of limitations had run its course, right? And when Jim Bob does report it, who does he go to first? The police...oh wait, no, my mistake...the church elders. Are you fucking kidding me? Your child has just sexually violated children, YOUR OWN CHILDREN, scarring them for life, and you go to the church instead of the authorities? I'm sorry, I love my kids, but if they EVER did that, I'm sending them to the authorities, hoping they get the help they need, because for me, child abuse, in any form, needs to be dealt with.

How about setting them up for disaster? The kids, at least a few of them, definitely the molester and victims, slept in a common room. Um...14 year old boy, hormones raging, with sleeping girls. Parent Fail. Even if I trusted my kids to the ends of the earth and back, I would not put them in that situation. Boys do stupid shit, especially at an age where their libido leads the way. 

Jim Bob also refused to let police interview Josh. Helpful, no? Of course he let all of his daughters go through that torture. No report was filed either. Could it be because Jim Bob knew the state trooper he'd reported it too? The trooper gave Josh a "stern talking to" and decided that the "therapy" he'd undergone was enough. about looking into that "therapy" before making that decision? Oh wait, you probably didn't care that much since you,  yourself were a pedophile, now serving 56-years in prison for child pornography.

About this so called "therapy."

Jim Bob didn't want poor Joshy in a place where there were other offenders, he must be so fragile. Of course, that meant no sexual assault counseling for him. Nope. Jim Bob instead sent him to a good Christian program. But wait, there's more. For part of his "therapy," Josh ended up working for a family friend who was in the business of remodeling.  No counseling for sex offenders there. No counseling at all. I bet that was helpful. The other part of the time he was at the Basic Life Principles Training Center run by friend of the family, Bill Gothard. Their website contends that they are, ...dedicated to giving clear instruction and training on how to find success by following God’s principles found in Scripture." I guess God's principles includes sexual grooming and groping young women. Last year Gothard resigned his post from the center after allegations of sexual grooming and sexual harassment of over 30 young women and teens surfaced. This was the man offering his counsel to Josh Duggard. SMH.

Duggan has traveled the country bashing the LGBT community and calling them sexual deviants.  He's pronounced how doing bad things to children is evil in "one of its worst forms." He blasts
Muslims for their treatment of women.  He claims that marriage equality destroys the American family.  He stated that his family is the epitome of conservative values. All if this is hypocrisy at its finest.
  • Sexual deviant, check. 
  • Molesting children, check. 
  • Demoralizing sisters, check. 
  • Hiding his past from the public while maintaining the image of the "perfect American family," check. A child molester who never paid his time living under the guise of conservative values, check.

Has Josh Duggan lived a good life since? Supposedly, but how do I know? The public sees what their television show wants them to see. I've never seen an episode. A family breeding like rabbits and praising God isn't exactly my idea of good entertainment.

I do think people can rehabilitate with HELP.
I do believe in forgiveness.

However, what I don't agree with is this:

  • Hiding behind Jesus to suit your own selfish needs. 
  • Praising the almighty dollar.
  • Hiding the truth. 
  • Waiting until the statute of limitations runs out to report sexual assault.
  • Not getting a sex offender the right kind of counseling and treatment.
  • Not filing a report on a repeat sex offender, friend or not.
  • Apologizing without admission.
  • Acting as a role model in the public eye when you have darkened your religion and the legal system.
  • Being a hypocrite.
The most frightening thing is that this is all about Josh. What about his victims? His sisters are voiceless amid this revelation. Josh got "help." Did they? Did the Duggars send their daughters to counseling? A doctor even? Probably not. It seems they've been hushed instead of standing up for themselves. Of course, this goes along with the home school teachings in sexual assault, which focuses a lot on victim blaming and is nothing less than appalling. How refreshing it would be to see one of them speak out? Sadly, I'm sure that's against their "family values."

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Hollywood Double Standard

Maggie Gyllenhaal
Maggie Gyllenhaal was recently told that she was too old to play the lover of a 55 year old man. She's 37. It's a never ending trend in Hollywood that men get lead rolls well into their *cough* senior years, while as women age, their choice of rolls get smaller and smaller.

A quote by Lillian Gish, "Lionel Barrymore first played my grandfather, later my father, and finally he played my husband. If he'd lived I'm sure I'd have played his mother. That's the way it is in Hollywood. The men get younger, the women get older."

The following was detailed in, but I'll do a little summary of their findings.

Denzel Washington: Ages were fairly close in Mo' Better Blues (35), Malcolm X (37) and The Preacher's Wife (41), then as he ages, his love interests get younger. He Got Game, he was 43, his love interest Milla Jovovich was 22. Training Day, 46 to Eva Mendez's 27. Deja vu, 51 to Paula Patton's 30. That's just naming a few, but the trend is the same.

Harrison Ford: The difference in age for Mr. Ford starts as early back as Empire Strikes Back with him at age 37 and Carrie Fisher 23. From there his onscreen love life ranges from Sean Young at 22 (to his 39 in Bladrunner) to Virginia Madsen at 44 (63, Firewall).

Now Richard Gere has had an older love interest. Once. In 2004 with Susan Sarandon. The rest of his love interests range from 5 years younger (Debra Winger, 27, An Officer and a Gentleman) to 29 (Laetitia Casta, 34, Arbitrage).

Liam Neeson by Karen Seto
Ok, one more. Liam Neeson. He actually  had two older love interests. Jessica Lange and Meryl Streep, I mean, hello. Of course, that last one was back in 1996 and those two were still lead actresses at the time. Other than that, his onscreen love interests range from 5 years (Frances McDormand, 33, Darkman) to a whopping 32 years (Olivia Wilde, 29 Third Person).

The site also runs through Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Steve Carell, George Clooney, Tom Cruise. Some of them don't have huge differences and have dated older women in films, but for the most part, the trend is the opposite.

What is this teaching us about society? What is this teaching our children? Girls, you better land a man before you hit 40 because after that you'll be lucky to find someone your own age. Boys, don't worry about your age, there will always be a woman out there for you, probably 20-30 years your junior, if you know what I mean.

Um, really?

Seriously, I think this translates to real life sometimes. When I was doing the online dating thing, most men my age were looking for women at least 10 years younger than them. Wow. Does that mean I have to go up 10 years to find someone to date?

There are plenty of actresses over 40 who can still carry a lead  and realistically get a younger guy.
  1. Monica Belluci
    Monica Belucci by Tsui
  2. Cameron Diaz
  3. Gwyneth Paltrow
  4. Julianne Moore
  5. Sandra Bullock
  6. Catherine Zeta Jones
  7. Framke Janssen
  8. Halle Berry
  9. Jennifer Aniston
  10. Jennifer Connelly
  11. Julia Roberts
  12. Meryl Streep
  13. Helen Mirren
  14. Naomi Watts
  15. Nicole Kidman
  16. Salma Hayak
  17. Cate Blanchett
  18. Jane Lynch
  19. Diane Lane
  20. Jodie Foster
There are SO many more.

Lara Flynn Boyle before & after plastic surgery
It's no wonder these already beautiful women get plastic surgery to keep up with Hollywood standards. Some of them in their 20s and 30s!  And some of these ladies look much worse for wear or totally unrecognizable. Go look up before and after pics of Daryl Hannah, Lindsey Lohan, Lara Flynn Boyle, Rene Zellwegger, Melanie Griffith, Kim Novack, Goldie Hawn...unfortunately, this list could go on and on too.

So, Hollywood is telling women that natural beauty is not enough. You need big boobs, and artificial beauty to be taken seriously. Looking at these photos, all I see is a bunch of beautiful women that now look like some semblance of the Joker - high cheeked, fat lipped clones of each other.

This trend is a complete double standard. Hollywood needs to stop being a bunch of mysoginistic sexists and let the ladies have some fun with a younger lover. What do they think is going to happen? Armageddon? Do they really think they're going to kill sales? Wrong. Women will eat this shit up.

Hmmm, maybe there's a book in there somewhere.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Rape Culture and the Religious Right

I'm so tired of people, mostly right wing middle aged men, trying to find the "positive" side of rape so they can advance their anti-abortion laws. Rape is a brutal, violent, traumatic crime that can leave victims with lifelong problems. There is no "positive" side.

In 2012 U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock of Indiana thought that “...even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

I'm pretty sure no one's God would wish that on someone.

Or how about the Former Representative  Todd Akin stating that  "...if a woman experienced a “legitimate rape” she wouldn’t get pregnant because “the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”

Hmmmm, what exactly is a legitimate rape? Are there different levels? This one is implausible, this one absolutely fake, this one is invalid...Really? 

Washington Congressional candidate John Koster noted on what he called the "rape thing," " does putting more violence onto a woman's body and taking the life of an innocent child that's a consequence of this crime, how does it make it better?"

First, "rape thing" sounds like he doesn't even believe the crime exists. does it make it better? I don't know, how about ridding yourself of the reminder of being brutally violated instead of carrying it around every day for the next nine months? I think that makes it better.

Photo by Gage Skidmore
And we all know good old Mike Huckabee, right? Well, "Ethel Waters (who is a singer by the way), for example, is the result of forcible rape."

Wow. Okay, firsts off, like "legitimate rape" is there any other kind of rape than "forcible?"  Of course, that doesn't matter because you've sold me. I won't abort my rape baby because it could become famous! (I have no idea who Ethel Waters is).
Representative hopeful Tom Smith compared having a rape baby to having a baby out of wedlock because, "Yes, it is similar."
And oh, good lord, is this a good one. "The facts show that people who are raped - who are truly raped (againt, "truly" raped. WTF?) - the juices don't flow, the body functions don't work, and they don't get pregnant." - former Representative Henry Aldridge.

I would like to see these "facts." Were they published in a medical journal? Complete bullshit.

"As long as it's inevitable, you might as well lay back and enjoy it." Another former Representative contender, Clayton Williams, comparing rape to the weather.
Let's see if you would be able to "lay back" or in your case "bend over" and enjoy it if it were you.

And just recently, "Obviously rape is awful. What is beautiful is the child is that could come from this." Delegate Brian Kurcaba.

There are SO MANY MORE! Some from women. This disgusts me. The ignorance these politicians display is truly sickening. Here is a site that has some posted.

I'm so happy that many of these people are no longer in Congress or lost their bids. These are not the people that should represent us, especially women.

There is nothing "beautiful" about rape. Not even a baby conceived as the result. It's violent. It's traumatic. It's an invasion, an assault, a desecration of the female body.  Forcing a woman to carry the reminder around for nine months would be agonizing, tortuous, and morbid.  There would be mental and emotional consequences for the rape victim, again, probably life long.

What if the victim is a child herself? 17, 15, 13? You want a child having to bear that responsibility? What if it were your daughter? Or, what about a baby conceived as a result of incest? What then? Should we just expand the family tree?

These politicians have no way of stepping into the victims shoes to see the damage a forcible pregnancy would cause. So why should they have the right to determine what choices we make with regard to the fetus? 

I'm not for or against abortion, I'm pro-choice. I think abortion should be available for those who choose that option.  You could be a child, impoverished, too old, your health is at risk, a victim of rape or incest - the reason shouldn't matter. I will say that I do not think it's a good alternate to birth control. If you're having sex, you should be protecting yourself. But the fact is that people don't, and who am I to tell them what they can and cannot do with their bodies. 

If I was a rape victim, I would more than likely choose abortion. I have enough problems, mentally, financially, physically...I don't need to add another to my plate. You may not agree with my opinion, but I expect you to recognize that it is mine. I own it.

My life. My body. My choice.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Since I blogged about Thing Two yesterday...

Yes, I don't want to show favoritism, as both my daughters are cool, talented, beautiful and annoying. So today I'm writing about my older daughter, Mary. Mary isn't "classically" cool. She's funny, fun, friendly, goofy, a little on the airheaded side (sometimes I wonder if it's real of fake). This makes her incredibly likable. I can't say I appreciate her taste in music, but I'm sure a lot of people do. 

Her talent lies in soccer. At one point, I didn't think she'd excel in the sport. She was shy and lackedconfidence. She was a defender at first, and she got better. When she expressed a desire to play up front, I told her, "You have to prove to your coach that you can do it. You have to be aggressive and fight for the ball." The next practice, she did just that. She moved from defense to forward and in the next years she became one of the team's top scorers.

Now she's an excellent team player. Put her up front, she can score. She weaves in and out of players so smoothly she makes it look easy. I think her real talent lies in the midfield. She has a strong foot and can move the ball forward. Her passes are spot on. Plus, she can shoot for the goal from that position if she's open. I love watching her play. She's dedicated too. She eats fairly well, never misses practice, and exercises outside of practice. At her last physical, her doctor told her she was "pure muscle."

Let's talk about beauty. Mary is beautiful, there is no question. She has a confidence that I wish all teenage girls possessed. Her hair is always done when she goes out, unless she's going to work out. She dresses impeccably, when she's not in soccer shorts. And like I said, she's fit.

 There 's more though. You may not know it by looking at her, because she looks like any other popular girl, but she's as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. She's sweet, kind and thoughtful.

Now for the annoying part. She usually doesn't complain when I ask her to do chores, but it sometimes may take a day...or two...or three...or a week. She constantly has friends over and I can never enjoy my TV room when she's home (because she's bingewatching Gossip Girl or Vampire Diaries, or something similar). She is an exhibitionist to a fault. That's all I'll say about that.

She's really a loving person. She visits her grandparents. She misses me when we've not seen each other in a couple days and tells me so. She also tells me she loves me every day. She helps me when she knows I'm struggling. We talk to each other about everything. 

There you are Mary. No need to be jealous of your sister now. Love you girl.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Blog me

"What should I blog about today?"

I posed this question to my daughter as she walked out the door for school today. She said, "Blog about me."

"What should I talk about?"

"How cool I am. How talented I am. How beautiful I am. How annoying I can be. How humble I am." Okay, I made up that last one.

She told me about Childish Gambino. I'd never heard of him. If you haven't, apparently he is a comedic rapper/singer. I watched a couple videos's funny. He raps silly shit, but it makes sense, in a way, I mean, hard to explain. Here's some lyrics.

This one is from Sweatpants:

Hip deep in the Pepto, I got five on her like Ben Folds
I got more tail than that PetCo, you faker than some Sweet'N Low
Yeah, you got some silverware, but really are you eating though?

Here is some from Freaks and Geeks (warning, nasty nasty lyrics):

 Gambino is a mastermind, fuck a bitch to pass the time
Mass Appeal, orange rind, smoke your green, I'm spendin' mine
The beat is witches brew, but beware this shit is potent
E.E. cummin' on her face, now that's poetry in motion.

In his songs you can tell, or at least I can, or maybe I'm imagining it, what rappers he's making a parody of. But he does it so subtly, it's genius. He got his name from the Wu Tang Clan name generator. By the way, mine is Mad Scientist and Rachel's is Master Destroyer.

So, my daughter, Rachel, she introduces me to new things. New music, videos, interesting people. She's cool like that. She has great taste in music. I remember her first favorite band was the Beatles (she still likes them). She listens to many different genres, hip hop, rap, rock, alternative, indie...She plays songs that she's discovered for me all the time. She keeps a poetry notebook. She likes to draw.  She loves photography. She has many unique and different likes in this world.

Rachel is uber talented. Her talents began with sports. She could probably have played any sport she
wanted, but we put her in soccer and basketball. I don't know basketball very well, but I think her position was guard? She brought the ball down the court, great at passing. She was also a great shooter, but she was short. Get her at the free throw line though...golden.

She was an awesome keeper in soccer. I've seen that girl stop goals that looked impossible. From the time she was in about 3rd grade on, that girl was a menace on the field. Also, she could play any position on the field. The last year she played, she was reluctant. But I was coaching so I talked her into it. Her usual position, if not keeper, was defense. She had a great foot and could clear that ball with no problem. Same at midfield. Her passes were so accurate!! And she could score. She'd
sometimes get frustrated on the field and say she didn't want to go back in. I gave her a pep talk and told her exactly what I wanted her to do. Sometimes it was to  pass it up to the forwards. Other times, I would tell her to take it as close to the goal as possible and shoot. Other times (depending on team and keeper we were playing) I'd tell her to shoot when she got close to the 18. She had a strong foot, her shots were great and she wasn't afraid to shoot. I think she was my 3rd highest scorer that last year.

Her interests turned to music however. I was sad to see her quit soccer, but her musical talents rivaled her athletic ability. I put her in lessons for guitar and voice. Very soon, her teacher had her playing keyboards/piano and drums. One day she came home and said, "I need a bass."

Um...huh? "I'm in a band now. I'm the bass player."

"Do you know how to play bass?"

"I'm learning."

I think you could stick any instrument in that girl's hand and she could figure out how to play it. She even played the cello at an acoustic performance.

So, in this band she played mostly bass and  a little rhythm guitar. She also has a beautiful voice. She sang on some of their songs. And she writes originals. She fucking rocks.

At her high school, she's in both Jazz Choir and Concert Choir. Her Jazz Choir just took a gold medal at a competition in Seattle last month.

Okay, let's talk about her beauty. Yes, I think she's beautiful. Obviously the boys do too as she usually has a string of them waiting to be her next boyfriend.


 And she just recently went from long  hair to short. I was worried, but when she came home, it really did suit  her.

And yes, she's annoying. She's about the worst cleaner in the world (but the best mess maker). She doesn't always get her homework in on time. She's not found a job. She rolls her eyes when I ask her to do chores. But this is only a small part of who she is.

My daughter is cool and talented and beautiful. She walks to the beat of her own drum. She doesn't care about trends when it
comes to music, clothes. She doesn't care how people view her as long as she has friends and is happy. In many ways, she is my mini me.

So here you go Rachel. Here's your blog. You know I'm going to have to write about your sister tomorrow now.

Love you girl.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Well, it's 40 below and I don't give a...

Me, Jordan, & Deann
If you don't recognize what my title is in reference to, it's lyrics from the Rodeo Song. Look up the entire lyrics for a laugh, but only if you're not offended by swearing and inappropriate content. It's hilarious.

I use the song for my title because this last weekend I went to my first rodeo. The reasoning behind my traveling five hours away in a camper to a dust bowl filled with all the animals I'm allergic to is two-fold. 1. One of my best friend's daughter does rodeo. I've been wanting to watch her for awhile and rodeo season is almost over. 2. I've been thinking about writing a book about rodeo life. My friend, her name is Deann, moved to Wyoming way back after graduating college. She lived there for 20 years and now she's back in my hood, like, literally, she lives about a minute away from me.
This was the real traffic on our way out of town

On very very long drive, she and daughter, Jordan, schooled me on rodeo phrases, events, etc. I diligently took notes in a small notebook. During the rodeo, I continued to take notes and pictures so when I write this book, I can make it as authentic as possible.

Rodeo is an eye-opening adventure. You really have no idea about the skill, the danger, and the environment as a whole until you experience it, full force. Here is a run down of events:

  • Barrel Racing - This is done by females. They race their horses around three barrels in a clover pattern. 
  • Bareback and Saddlebronc - Males ride bucking horses until they fall off or reach 8 seconds. One with saddles, one without.
  • Bull Riding
  • Bull riding - Males ride bucking bull until they fall off or reach 8 seconds. With this and the Bareback and Saddlebronc, they are scored by certain actions they do while riding. That's how they get different scores.
  • Tie Down Roping - Males chase a calf, rope it, I hate to use the word throw but I don't know how else to say it...they throw the calf to the ground, and have to tie three legs together, The ties have to last for 6 seconds to get scored.
  • Breakaway - This is the females version of Tie Down, however the girls only have to rope the calf, then the rope between the calf and their horse "breaks away." The time stops after the rope breaks.
  • Steer Wrestling - Males chase a steer on their horse, when they're next to it, they lean over and grab it and leave their horse, then they wrestle it to the ground. They have to have all four
    Steer Wrestling
    legs in the air for time to stop.
  • Team Roping - There are two riders, can be all females, all males or one of each. They chase a calf. One of them ropes the horns, after that is accomplished, the other ropes the back legs. 
  • Goat Roping or Goat Tying - This is a female event. Same as Tie down for the men, I think. I never got to see this event. 
  • Pole Bending - Same as Barrel Racing except instead of racing around barrels, the contestants weave in and out of 6 poles.
I'm not the biggest animal lover, but I don't want harm to come to them either. I was assured that the animals used don't really feel the pain it appears they are enduring. Cows have a lot of fat on them, so when they're laid on the ground, it doesn't really hurt. They put protective gear on their heads during the roping events.  To make the horses and bulls buck, a strap is placed around their flank area, which is uncomfortable, but not painful (which is better than what I was led to believe, that their balls were cinched up). I was also told that when they're not doing rodeo, these animals are spoiled and have great lives. I hope this is the case.

Jordan competes in Breakaway and Team Roping.
Jordan doing Breakaway
Jordan & Team Rope Partner Jacob

It's not easy. You can probably tell that from the pictures. In fact, many of the riders don't get times at all because they fail in their tasks. Bull, Saddlebronc, and Bareback riders don't get a time if they don't last 8 seconds. Pole Benders and Barrel Racers don't get time if their horse goes off course. Those who do Breakaway and the Tie Down events don't get a time if they fail to rope, their rope comes off, or they don't finish in the allotted amount of time (latter is for team rope only).

In Jordan's events only 9 out of 26 got times for Team Roping and 11 of 35 for Breakaway.

The Rodeo World is pretty tight. These same kids compete at the same rodeos all over the state. So they all know each other. Cliques form  just like with any other environment, and the kids are in competition, so there's bound to be conflict. The parents all seemed friendly and supportive, and there were many tight knit groups. It was a positive atmosphere.

Aside from learning rodeo skills, these kids are taught responsibility and manners as well. They were all very polite, they treated their horses well. It was up to them to feed and water them and clean the stalls when it was all over.

Our home for the weekend.
I enjoyed the rodeo. It was interesting. It was fun to be a part of that environment for the weekend. Even staying in the camper was a blast, though close quarters. Over the weekend I was able to plot out some of the storyline of my rodeo book.

I think I'm going to go back with them in two weeks, when the kids compete for state championships. I'd like to see what it's like for these kids to win or lose.

    Tuesday, May 5, 2015

    4 years

    Last night I came to a realization. I was looking through this blog of mine, for what I don't remember, but I was scanning through posts past. I came across one about the tornado book. I noted the date. It was 4 years ago!

    I can't believe I started writing that back in 2011. That means I've not touched any other manuscript since then.

    I'm absolutely melancholy over this. I mean, granted, I've been busy. Never Eighteen came out, then I released Dissected, but that was a year and a half ago!!!

    So now I'm determined. I NEED to finish revisions on the football book and decide whether I'm going to query it out or self pub. I'd sure like to get another book  traditionally published, but my GOD, the process takes so long. I mean, either way takes a long time, but we're talking 2 years for traditional, whereas I could probably get it out by the end of the year *fingers crossed.*

    Ugh. Where does the time go.?

    Friday, May 1, 2015

    Whole 30: Day 5 - How I get by

    I'm still supposed to want to "Kill All The Things," but I still don't. That's a good thing. However, I think I may feel myself slipping right into "For the Love of Gosling..." A little bloat in other words.  I still feel good though. I went to bed WAY late last night, but still woke about around 6:30 feeling pretty well rested.

    I've been exercising too...again...finally. I really love the way I feel right now. I'm happy, clear-headed. I like the idea of getting healthy again and love seeing all those nutritious foods in my fridge.

    A challenge

    It's the weekend. Which for me usually means going out at least one night (which I won't be doing), and watching Game of Thrones at my friend Heidi's house where we usually eat a fabulous dinner and drink wine. I'm still going to Heidi's house, but I told her I would have to bring dinner for us so I could stick with my program. And I'll be bringing a sparkling water mocktail. And Thank God GOT is on at 6 and I can just watch and go (well, not rudely, but you know, I won't be staying and drinking wine for hours before the show starts like

    AND A SPIDER JUST CRAWLED ACROSS MY TABLE!!! I had to shove things on the floor to knock him off!

    Okay, sorry, what was I saying? Oh yeah, like we did with The Walking Dead. So, that's how I plan to stick to the program.

    Here are a couple...I don't know what to call them, they're not cheats because I'm not cheating on the program...tricks? Wait, I'm going to come up with a good name for them. Talk amongst yourselves, BRB...

    The Whole 30 Megan Method, or  TW3MM.
    Yes, I know, I'm a dork.
    Huh? What do you think?


    • I eat on a salad plate instead of a dinner plate. 
    • The other day, I was wavering between coffee with coconut oil or coconut milk. I've decided to go with the coconut milk. The taste is pretty bland for both, but the  milk doesn't have that oily texture that kind of made me want to barf. Anyway, blend the milk with your coffee in your Magic Bullet or Blender. It blends it really well and you get a nice frothy head that makes you feel like you're drinking cappuccino.
    • My go-to spices: Fresh ground pepper, sea salt, garlic powder. After that base, you can add anything. Last night I added rosemary to my chicken. You could do curry for spice, red pepper flakes or cayenne for heat,etc, etc.
    • If you don't want to fork out the cash for Tessamae's salad dressing and you get tired of oil and vinegar, do hot sauce. Many of them are Whole 30 approved. I like Tapatio. Make sure you read the book, It Starts With Food, or check labels before using hot sauces.
    • I think I may have mentioned this the other day, but go to your store's discount meat section. I've found awesome deals on the London broil (which was grass fed), other grass fed meats, seafood (which is soooo expensive these days). It makes a big difference and you usually have a day or two to cook it.
    • The other day I talked about my vegetable go-packs. If you're going somewhere and you know you may not be able to eat for awhile, take one with you. Or if you get hungry between meals, these packs will already be ready so you don't have to think about it, make something, or make a bad choice.
    • I use leftovers in the next day (or two or threes) meals. Like the London broil I had the other night, I've been using in salads for lunches. The buttload of chicken I made last night I'll probably be eating in different meals through the weekend.
    • Speaking of salads, this is a good lunch. You can mix it up with different types of proteins each
      © Rainer Zenz
      day, steak, chicken, tuna, ground turkey or beef, etc. Add your different veggies. Use different types of lettuce or spinach. Make a taco salad, or a chop salad. Mix it up. It would be hard to get tired of it (unless you hate salad, then you're on your own).
    • Tessamae's dressing. These are really good. But they're fresh so the oil base coagulates while it's in the fridge. Take it out of the fridge 15 minutes to half hour before you  need to use it. Or a few minutes before you eat, run it under warm water.
    • When it comes to balsamic vinegar, they are not all created equally. Vinegars have sulfites in them. Some have naturally occurring sulfites, others have added sulfites. Only buy the former. It will say right on the label in the ingredients. The bad ones will say "sulfites added" or "contains sulfites."
    That's all I can think of right now. 

    So yesterday this is what I ate:

    One egg with spinach and mushrooms
    Pineapple and strawberries

    Green salad
    Leftover London Broil
    Balsamic vinegar and oil
    Coconut water (I really do get tired of plain water all day, and I'd just worked out)

    Chicken thigh roasted with my basic spice mix from above and rosemary
    Roasted asparagus (I like mine crispy. I know, I'm weird)

    I made another mocktail for the evening. I used black cherry Arrowhead Sparkling, added frozen
    berries and smooshed a fresh strawberry into it. I called it Megan's Cherry Berry Mocktail. It was okay, but not the best, and I added way too much fruit. Had to dump it down the sink.

    You can really add any fruit, even to regular water to give it a nice flavor. Cucumbers are good too. I like cucumbers and lemon together, pineapple, strawberries...

    On other notes, I had my unemployment appeal yesterday, so send me good vibes. I'll find out in a few days if they accepted it.

    And I've put my tornado novel aside for awhile. Going to edit Girl in Motion. I need to do something different for awhile.

    Happy Friday!!

    My Dad. He's awesome.

    John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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