Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Pearl Jam: another canceled show

this pearl jam concert has got me thinking.

if you are not aware pearl jam canceled their raleigh show. if you are surprised, well, you shouldn't be. especially if you are a fan of pearl jam. as a fan you might know a little about about eddie vedder and pearl jam's stance on social issues, human rights, or any of their philanthropic involvement and charitable causes. they are deeply rooted in community, activism, arts and education, and social change. a simple google search will provide you this information [it's even on their website]. they are involved in not only their own foundation [vitalogy], but over a dozen others.

however, many fans are upset. i can understand at a superficial level being upset that my favorite band canceled. sure. i won't get to see them this year. bummer. but this happens all the time. for much seemingly more stupid reasons. a sore throat. illness. transportation issues. come on, like any of those aren't completely manageable!?!? yet, we as fans, and humans, whereas upset, are understanding.

yet when a band cancels a show on their morals, ethics, and the foundations of their band...ALL HELL AS BROKEN LOOSE. a true fan understands and appreciates why pearl jam [and any other band] canceled. it is a solid "fuck you" to north carolina. it is the strongest message a band can send to the state. the message is heard not only throughout north carolina, but throughout the country, and maybe the world.

some people said they should play and donate their money to grassroots efforts, lobbyists, and LBGT groups. a wonderful idea. and i support any band or organization that does this. this money can then be used to fight HB2.
however, when a band does this NC is still earning revenue on their show. people still traveled, stayed in hotels, ate at restaurants, and went out to bars and breweries. NO MONEY WAS LOST.

our government and governor has said they have no interest in repealing HB2. if this state keeps losing revenue and business, then they might reconsider. as i have said, i hate all of this for our state. i really do. we have been set back 50-100 years. our reputation is shit. the only way our government will work to fix things is through solid numbers and action. they have to see that businesses, organizations, concerts, festivals...NO ONE wants to come and invest their money here. they have to see the numbers. they have to see their state losing money.

at the end of the day, i think it is up to the band [or whoever] to make the decision that works best for them. either decision truly only helps us out. if they cancel, even though it may suck, it makes noise. and if they play a charity concert, that can help to get this law repealed.
i also think, as citizens of this state, we need to be prepared for more canceled events [weezer, please still come!] to continue to happen. we can't be angry with pearl jam for making a decision that aligned with their beliefs and principles. after, that is how we each live out our lives too. the people we can be angry at are the ones who made pearl jam feel forced to make that decision in the first place - our state government officials. remember that in november.



Sunday, April 17, 2016

HB2: the post i didn't want to write

i wasn't going to write anything about this. because i have said and posted enough already. but, if everything doesn't already bother me about HB2, there is an issue that hasn't been discussed much.

the women's bathroom.

HANG ON. i know what you are going to say: "we've heard enough about the women's bathroom!"
you've heard how this law keeps psychos out, right? it keeps predators out of your bathroom. it keeps women and children safe. RIGHT?

does HB2 really do that? is that even the point of the law - bathrooms?

this place has always caused me a bit of hesitation upon entering. especially the bigger ones that have stood empty for awhile (i’m talking about you, rest stops and public parks). as a woman, i don’t know who may linger behind those doors. i’ve always been cautious and on alert while in public bathrooms. who could be in here? a woman. a sexual predator. a criminal wanting to steal my things. children. teenage girls. an assailant.

i think about how i would respond if someone tried to attack me. scream. run. kick. punch. what if i was trapped in the stall? would i have to fight for my life? more often than not, keith is with me at these public places. thankfully, if things went wrong he’d be there to help. he’d notice if i was in the bathroom for too long.
that makes me feel better, a bit safer. but should it have to be that way? should i require my husband to be with me to feel safe?

the point is, i never know who is in the bathroom when i enter. it’s a bit unnerving. however, i will say, i have yet to encounter a male in a woman’s bathroom. and i have been in plenty of public bathrooms.

i will also say that that HB2 hasn’t changed or protected women and children anymore than before this horrible law went into effect. it is unenforceable, you know. the way i felt yesterday walking into this large empty bathroom was the same as i always have felt. a bit unhinged. because a criminal will break the law, no matter how it is written. that is why they are criminals, they do not care about the laws. it's cute that mccrory attempted to make HB2 about the safety of women and children when that part of the law no one can enforce. and those who want to commit crimes in bathrooms, will keep doing it, just as they always have.
and that is what i think has gotten lost in all of this - the law cannot be enforced thus the bathrooms are just as safe [or unsafe] as they have always been.

HB2 is far more than just bathrooms. in fact, the bathrooms are just smoke, a distraction from all of the far more atrocious things this sweeping law contains. if you haven’t read the bill, i encourage you to do so. because the other pieces of this law, minimum wage and discrimination lawsuits, those things the government can enforce. and they do and will affect you [more than the bathroom law ever will]. oh, and the executive order mccrory signed, didn’t change much regarding HB2. you can read it if you want. it’s truly not that important. just more smoke.

at the end of the day, HB2, has done [and will continue to do] so much damage to our state. all at the expense of our LGBTQ community. having a governmental power that will past their agenda into law, without citizen input and at the expense and discrimination of others is cowardly. it is disgusting. and unfortunately, happens too often.

our state is hurting financially. our reputation is tarnished. people don’t want to come here. the only way to fix this is to repeal HB2. nothing good has come from it. nothing.



Monday, March 14, 2016

Moments in Life

yesterday i posted a seemingly meaningless blog about my workout regimen. today it appears meaningless because i read this beautiful blog about joey + rory. prior to reading this post last night, i had seen their names on my newsfeed several times. it didn't mean too much at the time as i had never heard of this couple. however, i kept seeing post after post about them. last night i finally read rory's blog. the post i read was about his wife's funeral service. she had recently passed away due to cancer.

it is so beautiful. every paragraph. every sentence. every word. it is so thoughtful. it is lyrical. it should be no surprise that his blog is so elegant being that him and his wife were singers and songwriters.

their story is painful to read about, but to read it through his eyes, is magical. to experience their love story through his eyes is earth shattering.

it made me feel ridiculous for writing a lengthy blog about working out.
who fucking cares?

life isn't about your diet or workout plan. it is about the moments we share with others - our family, friends, and loved ones. the wonderful moments. the adventurous moments. the painful moments. the confusion moments. the maddening moments. the silly moments. the scary moments.

life is about moments.

at this very moment, as i sit here and write this post, i am watching my sweet puppy lay in the grass enjoying every bit of warmth and sunshine this day has to offer. she is living in her sweet puppy moment.

keith and i often talk about how we only get this one life. one shot at it. so we might as well make it great. we better enjoy it. our life's memories should be filled with the moments we want not the moments we wish we had.

enjoy today, for there will never be another.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

semi-organic life: what is HIIT?

welcome back!

and i say that to myself, not to my dear readers. gosh, writing has been difficult. i make no excuses nor do i offer any more lame attempts at an explanation. i have not been active in my blogging, and for that i apologize.

but i am here now, so now we blog.

i have a header on my blog called "semi-organic" life. this may come as a shock, but i do not post much there. due to how much i blog, i know this is truly mind blowing. i want to post more about that topic, but part of me holds back, mostly in fear. i don't want to appear to shove my lifestyle down your throat. i don't want to suggest that my lifestyle choices are better than yours. and i don't want to come off as a self proclaimed expert.

i want to share my lifestyle because it has been so successful to me. my goal in sharing is that anyone can take away any of the pieces from it. if you struggle with a workout plan, maybe what i do will help you find motivation. if you find that shopping for organic foods is overwhelming and expensive, maybe my tips could help.

i simply want to share because i believe in what i [we] do for our lives. i am not selling anything. i get no incentives by sharing my journey. but i am passionate about it. and i think that is a good starting point when it comes to sharing, writing, and blogging.

since spring is in the air, i want to touch on my workout regimen. we gotta work on those beach bodies! i feel that adopting a workout plan is easier than changing your diet. HEAR ME OUT. most people, when they decide they are ready to start a new workout plan, already have a general idea of what they want to do. or at the very least, what they are not willing to do. when it comes to food, eating healthy is so damn difficult. that is because the FDA doesn't give a shit about you. they just care about who is sending them paychecks [i.e., monsanto]. so when you make the decision to change your diet, you may think you've made good choices, but who knows, that granola bar could still be complete crap and full of sugar. you could still be filling your body with garbage. knowing what food is healthy, especially food from a box, is like solving a murder mystery. it really is ridiculous.

ok, i've gotten a bit sidetracked.

my workout regimen has been a very active part of my life for almost three years. i mostly do HIIT [high intensity interval training]. i like to include walking, running, and biking too. HIIT combines strength training + cardio in one workout. pretty great, huh? so you are not spending two hours at the gym trying to lift weights and get that treadmill time in. i can reap the benefits from a workout as short at 12 minutes [!!!!]. since it is interval training, i complete the workout in a continuous cycle of REST:WORK. the intervals just changes depending on the nature of the workout.

sample intervals:
10 sec rest, 50 sec work - repeat 12 times [total of 12 minutes]
15 sec rest, 45 sec work - repeat 12 times [total of 12 minutes]

sample exercises:
tuck jumps
clean + press
bike abs

if you have ever heard of beachbody, insanity, 21-day fix, shaun T, P90X - all of those are based on HIIT. keith and i did insanity several times.

currently, i utilize bodyrock.tv [it's free]. they do offer add-on programs and equipment you can buy. however, the core programs are always free.
and if i want to change or manipulate anything, i do. i make it work for me.

it can be difficult to articulate what exactly HIIT is to someone who has never done it. you can start from scratch. you don't have to be in shape to do it [that is the point of exercise, right?]. i've had friends/family look at some of the stuff i do and say, "oh, i could never do that." well, i didn't use to be able to do that either. BUT NOW I CAN.

HIIT will teach you to move your body in ways you never expected nor thought you could. i encourage you to try it. what i love about it is, on days when i lack motivation, i always tell myself, "i can find 12 minutes, right?" or "i can make it through just 12 minutes...i got this." and once those 12 minutes are over, i almost always want to do more.

Friday, January 29, 2016

montessori: special moments

i want to share with you guys something special that happened yesterday at our school. as most of you already know, i work at a montessori school. each year we host an evening for parents or other important grown-ups [grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc], to come to the school with the children so that they can show off and perform a work they are really proud of and confident in. i am sure other schools offer a similar event, such as an open house type experience. however, this event allows children to go into their own classroom, utilize the materials in order to show their family a work [or skill] they are most proud of.

us teachers are there, but mostly, if not entirely in the background. it is a night completely about the students. they come into the classroom, quietly, yet filled with excitement to show mom and dad around their space. they take a work to a table or get out a mat. most parents watch with anticipation. some students will complete the lesson in complete silence others will walk their parents through the work with verbal instructions of each step.

what is so amazing about this evening is that parents truly take it all in. they allow for their child to show them around their classroom, to prideful show off their environment and work. this night is not about correcting minor mistakes or suggesting to chose a more challenging work. it is about the time spent together. the engagement of adults with their child is enough to bring one to tears. it is moments frozen in time. parents can see independence, confidence, and leadership in their children no matter what works they choose off the shelf.
as a teacher who gets to witness all of these sweet moments, it melted my heart. it is reminder of why i am doing what i do. and why our families have chosen to be a part of our school community.

these precious moments are often hard to articulate if you don't understand it. if you are not a part of it. it is hard to even comprehend that a school family can be so united and feel like just that, family. when you and your children spend most of their day at school, shouldn't it be a community? shouldn't the people you share it with feel like family?

Montessori offered so much through her teaching, methods, and theory. the very least i can offer is an inspirational quote. i have worked with children since i was 17 years old. i cannot tell you a more amazing environment to work in. i know that i am a part of a pretty awesome school, it is due to the people that make up our school [staff and families], but also because of our very strong montessori philosophies. we create and live in this environment of grace, courtesy, respect and community.

these misty-eyed moments, tug at your heart moments...are what it's all about.



Monday, January 11, 2016

beer advent: december 16-25, the end of the flight

happy new year! i will get to all the wonderful things i want to share with you about our holiday, but first i must finish this beer advent blog. it was something i was so excited to do and share. but you know, the holidays got in the way of any personal time being used for personal time.... ;)

it is a bit exhausting to drink a half a beer a day. yeah, i said it. it is kind of ridiculous that half way through, i am getting a bit tired of beer every day. after the last group of five, i needed a beer break. i think we got two or three days behind. and i was totally ok with that.

december 16: troegs, mad elf, belgian strong dark ale
this is an excellent beer, but by this time in our advent i was spent on christmas ales. i was worn out on spicy [cinnamon/nutmeg, etc] flavored beer.

december 17: samuel adams, chocolate bock
this sweet treat was a very pleasant surprise. i am not a huge fan of sam adams beers, but this one was very good. it was not overly sweet nor overly bock-y. it was a wonderful mix of the two flavors.

december 18: firestone walker brewing company, double jack, imperial IPA
imperial IPAs are always better. hell, imperial anything is always better. the flavor is typically stronger, which is always more delicious. excellent beer.

december 19: lonerider brewing company, pistols at dawn, stout
it had a weird smell, but the flavor was good. typically if a beer has a weird or bad smell, that will ruin it all. however, this beer was able to recover from the odd nose on it.

december 20: new belgium brewing company, salted caramel brownie brown ale
it wasn't bad, but it was a pretty standard brown ale. there was nothing truly special about it. there were small hints of salt and caramel. so, if you are looking for big sweet notes, this is not the beer for you. however, if you are looking for a solid brown ale with hints of sweet, check this one out.

december 21: sierra nevada brewing company, ovila abbey saison [with mandarin oranges and peppercorns]
we bought this bottle back in august when we were at sierra nevada. this beer was so, so good. it was exactly as it was described - hints of citrus and pepper, with the pepper hitting you at the end. neither were too overwhelming. it was definitely worth the wait.

december 22: troegs, javahead, stout
i guess we really like what troegs has going on. we had a bunch of their beer. and why wouldn't we? it's good shit. a coffee stout? um, yes please.

december 23: triple C brewing company, 3C IPA
this is one of our favorite beers. OMG. it is a completely solid IPA. if you are in search of a go-to IPA, search no further. it is light, crisp, full of flavor and hops. i am drooling just thinking about it.

december 24: great divide brewing, hibernation ale, english style old ale
i wasn't sure what to expect with this one, but it is a good beer. it is malty with a slighty hoppy finish. a very nice winter warmer type beer, without all that extra spice.

december 25: mother earth brewing, silent night, imperial stout
we knew when we set up our beer advent calendar that this beer was going to be day 25. how could a beer named "silent night" not be? also, it is just so damn delicious it is worth having on our very last day of this amazing beer journey. it has a slight coffee taste and aroma with a rich malty flavor. it is another beer that sits on my top ten list.


we made it. the flight of 25 beers is over. it was certainly fun. but i felt like a gained 10 pounds throughout the month. but for the love of beer, it was worth it. maybe next year we can mix it up a bit and combine something else with the beer in our advent calendar....like beer + chocolate. or beer + pizza! or beer + garden vegetables. haha, totally kidding on that last one.

i hope you all had a glorious holiday season. our was fantastic. i will post about it soon!

health and wellness to you all this new year!


beer advent: december 11-15

so, i wrote this a few weeks ago and told blogger to publish it for me the day after i wrote it. seems like blogger doesn't follow directions very well. sorry for the delay. i know you all have been waiting on pins and needles to read more about what beers we drank! so without further ado...the treats continue!

every day has been a bit more fun knowing we have a delicious treat to unwrap. i think everyday of the year should be this way - filled with a small treat to make your day just a bit more delicious.

anyway, moving onto days 11-15...

december 11: troegs, hop knife, harvest ale. 
presents like an IPA. light and refreshing.

december 12: terrapin, moo-hoo, chocolate milk stout.
this was delicious! there was just the right amount of chocolate flavor and "fullness" from it being a milk stout. it was wonderful.

december 13: terrapin, wake-n-bake, imperial coffee oatmeal stout.
i think yesterday's and today's are my two favorite beers by terrapin. both were excellent. plus, how can you go wrong with an imperial. coffee. oatmeal. stout? i mean, seriously? it has all the components that make an excellent beer. well, in my opinion anyways.

december 14: firestone walker, union jack, IPA.
decent beer, but not much flavor. first one that i am really disappointed with. [sad face]

december 15: atwater, bourbon barrel aged shaman's, baltic porter.
this beer was awful. i know that baltic porters taste a bit different than regular porters. however, this one was supposed to have bourbon flavor. it didn't. it was supposed to taste like a porter. it didn't. it was sour. it smelled bad. we ended up pouring it down the drain. it was so awful i didn't even take a picture of it.
oh no! two bad beers in a row! i guess that can happen with experimentation. however, the atwater beer we think was just infected or a bad batch. we honestly hope that is not how the beer was meant to taste.

oh well. we are still having fun. ten days left!