Category Archives: Randomly

Did We Blame The Consumers When Target Got Hacked?

This is a bonus post for today just because I’m devastated at the way the media/public is handling this horrible breach of privacy with female celebrities. I’m basically just screaming my anger into the void so it can be released. If you don’t want to read me blather nonsensically, feel free to just stick with the first post of the day and come back tomorrow for tomorrow’s post. You can skip this one entirely. (Unless you are looking at stolen naked pictures of someone, then you should read this because YOU NEED TO STOP DOING THAT.)

Remember back when Target had a security breach and so many people had their credit card numbers stolen? Remember how everyone said, “Well! If you don’t want your numbers stolen, don’t use your credit cards! Ever!”

No. Because no one said that. Everyone bashed Target, and Target had to apologize for the breach in security. Not the customers’ fault to assume their data was safe. Not the customers’ fault for using their credit cards even though there’s always a risk the data gets stolen. And if there were pages on hacker sites somewhere with lists of customers and their credit card numbers would you look at it? NO! That’s stolen information! Of course not!

So why are people looking at naked pictures of Jennifer Lawrence? Why are people so casually blaming these women like it’s THEIR fault to trust the data? Why are they stupid for trusting photos but we’re not stupid for trusting storage of our credit card information?

When there was a chance Facebook Messenger was being creepy with some of our phone data/information (they’re being no more creepy than any other app) – the world was in an UPROAR about privacy and security and it was INSANE. People everywhere were outraged at the potential invasion of privacy!

So why are we saying, “Well…their fault…” at the female celebrities whose photos were STOLEN and DISPLAYED for the world to see? Would people be more outraged if the photos were stolen through Facebook?

Where is the outrage over privacy issues and data access now?

If you were spewing hate about your boss/mother-in-law/neighbor in a text message to a friend, and then those text messages got hacked and published for the world to see…wouldn’t you be outraged? Wouldn’t you beg the world, “PLEASE DON’T READ THOSE MESSAGES!” because they were private and maybe painted a picture of you that you didn’t want the world to see? Don’t you have a right to that privacy? If your neighbor’s texts got hacked and published wouldn’t you avoid reading them out of respect for their privacy?

Listen. I get it. I tell my oldest child all the time: Don’t take pictures you don’t want the world to see. But I don’t tell him that because I worry about it getting stolen or hacked, I worry about him sending it to untrustworthy people who may some day want revenge and do it with those photos. And I get it, I would never let photos like that be taken of me because it would be my worst nightmare for them to be seen by anyone else.

BUT. BUT. BUT.

These women have the RIGHT to take these pictures and trust the data storage security.

If I suddenly dumped my body issues to the wayside and wanted to send sexy pictures to my husband, then YOU BETTER FREAKIN’ BELIEVE I would assume that the photos would stay between me and my husband. I would TRUST the data like I TRUST my bank data and my texts and my credit card information. And if we’re going to be outraged over privacy concerns with apps on our phones, then we should be outraged over this situation. If I wanted to have sexy pictures taken by someone with a digital device, I have the RIGHT. And if those photos got stolen and leaked? The publishing of those would be an ASSAULT on me. And I would be livid if anyone looked at them. And I would be livid at the theft/breach of security in the first place.

There are a bunch of other women who have written about this better than I have. I’m kinda just blathering nonsensically because I AM PISSED OFF.

This is why you shouldn’t click on the naked photos of Jennifer Lawrence

If you deliberately seek out any of these images, you are directly participating in the violation not just of numerous women’s privacy but also of their bodies. These images – which I have not seen and which I will not look for – are intimate, private moments belonging only to the people who appear in them and who they have invited to see them. To have those moments stolen and broadcast to the world is an egregious act of psychic violence which constitutes a form of assault.

Laci Green is unfollowing anyone who reblogs the photos

have unfollowed 20+ blogs on here already and i will unfollow anyone else who reblogs nude photos taken NON-CONSENSUALLY from these women. it is sexual violation (fueled by the objectification of women) and anybody who participates that is the literal scum of the earth

I don’t know. I just don’t see it as a bad thing to take sexy pictures of yourself. Why not? I wish I loved my body enough to do that. And it makes me angry that people are looking at these pictures like – now that they’re “public” – it’s no longer creepy? IT IS VERY CREEPY. These women did not intend for you to see those pictures. They did not get naked in a movie or a magazine spread. They got naked for someone they were intimate with and YOU are NOT THAT PERSON. Quit looking at the photos.

BAH. Okay. I’m sorry.

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It’s A Bullet Point Monday, People.

I decided to change my WordPress theme to the Twenty Fourteen theme that comes with a clean install. I wanted to check it out, explore it a little, see how easy it was to manipulate it and my blog is the best starting ground I can thing off. So! New theme! And as always, when I put in a new theme I have to do a bullet list so I can tweak the bullet styling how I like it!

  • I feel like I’ve been run over by a damn truck. Both of my kids have had some sort of started-with-allergies-but-never-had-a-fever cough going on for about a week. Nikki’s has been significantly worse than Wes’s, but they’ve both had it. I kept her home from school on Friday because she was exhausted, not having slept well all week. And then yesterday it just got a lot worse. Like, sounds like she is actually going to cough up a lung. She starts these coughing fits she can’t stop and is just miserable. At one point do you take YOUR kid to the doctor for a fever-less cough? I know things like bronchitis and walking pneumonia exist and don’t usually have fevers, but I also have a pediatrician that sometimes makes me feel stupid for bringing my kid to the doctor, so I’d like to know your litmus test. When does a cough warrant a doctor’s visit?
  • photo (1)My husband did a local Olympic distance triathlon for the FIFTH TIME yesterday. People who have met him in the last two years just assume he’s always been fast. But he has NOT. He’s always been athletic, that comes naturally to him, but he started off at average. Or even below average if you like at his first marathon time of 5:07 (It’s now down to 3:14). The first time he did the Rocketman in 2010 he did it in 2:58:59. Yesterday? 2:15:40. He placed first in his age group, which is a HIGHLY competitive age group. If he had gotten that 2010 time this year? He would have been 18th out of 25. THAT’S how big of a jump he’s made. Which, to me, is way more awesome than just always being fast. So proud of that guy.
  • Nikki did another Kid’s Triathlon this weekend but in “open water”. It’s a chlorinated man-made pond, but it still freaked her out because it’s dirty and not shaped like a rectangle with clearly marked sides. She also was worried about sighting and making sure she swam the right way. But she did it fine! Even though she was way more terrified of that 50m than of the 400m the weekend before. Fears are a funny thing.
  • I missed another long run this weekend. It is very hard this time of year when my marathon training picks back up but Donnie’s triathlon training is still in full force. Ironman training is a 12+ hour a week commitment and when you work full time, have kids in sports, and like to sleep sometimes, it’s hard to work another set of training around that. We’ve worked out the morning runs okay mid-week, but the weekends are still a struggle. Especially because, this time of year, no one wants to run at noon. I could have run Saturday afternoon but that was NOT happening! I had a friend who did 16 miles on the treadmill this weekend. That’s another option, if I had a treadmill, but that sounds like a fate worse than death to me. SIXTEEN MILES on the treadmill? BLURGH.

Okay. That’s it. Still doing my “post every morning” challenge so if you missed the awesomeness that was this weekend, check it out. Right now I think here is a “previous entry” link at the bottom of this entry’s page, but I’m hoping to add other ways to navigate archives as well while I dig into this theme a bit.

Happy Monday!

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My Hero Gets Her Cape Tomorrow

When Nikki did her first triathlon, it did not end well. She ran and biked fine, but she panicked in the water and had to be helped across the pool. When she got out of the water (it was a reverse-order tri, the swim was last) she lost it and started crying and could not stop. She was embarrassed, she was scared, but mostly – she was disappointed in herself. It was a very hard thing to watch as a high-anxiety Mother who – especially at that time – was struggling with her own triathlon/swimming fears. I wasn’t sure how to help her because her fears were always different from mine. Hers came more from a, “I want to be AWESOME at this!” place and mine came more from a, “I just want to finish alive!” kind of place.

But I did everything I could to encourage her and she never once…NOT ONCE…considered not trying again this year. And this year went much better! I am over my fears, so I worked with her in the pool a lot more. We practiced the distance several times and she was able to do it almost fully Freestyle every time. But on race day? She panicked again and did most of it on her back. WHICH IS FINE! And way better than last year! But still…the mental hurdle was not moving, it seemed. YET!…She let me sign her up for her first real Sprint Triathlon. A 450+ participant race where there are probably less than 20 kids in the 14-and-under category. She took the tears from last year and the terror from this year and somehow still enthusiastically jumped on board to try her first grown-up race.

And do you know when that race is? TOMORROW.

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She and I have worked very hard for this race coming up. We’ve done several two-a-day workouts where we swim and run, or swim and bike in one day. We tacked on late night laps after cross-country runs. We did long bike rides to the river. We shared lanes at the Y. We have filled the weeks since her Kid’s Triathlon with real training for a real race. She and I would get in the pool together, she would swim her 8 laps and then go play while I swam more. She has gotten so confident with her swim it’s hard to believe she’s the same girl from June who had to swim 75m on her back because she panicked. She jumps in and goes now, and if you start she and I at the exact same time, I have to work VERY HARD to beat her. And I’m not certain I could every time, it’s a close race.

I am just amazed at how far she has come.

But I’m mostly amazed she never gave up.

I have never finished a race in tears from anxiety or fear before, and not said – at least once, “I’m never doing that again.” But No, she never said that. We never had to convince her to try again, even if her first attempts weren’t great. Never once. She always knew that one day she would get it and so she just kept trying. And that’s where I think we could all use a little bit of Nikki in our hearts. She never doubted that if she stuck with it, she would get there eventually. And I really believe we’re there.

My only concern tomorrow is actually with the run, something she’s been doing for years. Nikki hates the heat more than the average runner. And since we’re slower racers, we’ll start latest into the pool, so we will be doing our run during the hottest part of the day. And she becomes VERY grumpy and whiny in the heat. And I become very grumpy and whiny when she’s grumpy and whiny. SO! We’re going to do run/walk intervals – Running 5 minutes, Walking 1 minute, to get us through that 5K. But the swim? Not worried about it even ONE BIT. I’ll be right there with her the whole time, so I can talk her out of a panic attack, but I’m not really worried. She’s done this distance so many times now she could do it in her sleep.

I’m just beyond proud of her.

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We did a mini-triathlon last weekend to practice riding our bikes wet (something she’s never done before since the Kid’s Tri was reverse-order) and we pick up her race packet today. She wants to get a chocolate Gu to take before the run and we’re freezing water bottles and gatorade tonight. She asked if she could wear my FINISHER shirt from last year’s race to school today, to help her get into the spirit, and she wants to get to the race AS SOON AS TRANSITION opens tomorrow so she can set up her stuff properly.

This race is a great one for a First – it’s very much geared to newbies. I’m not sure I would have gone back for more if I had tried a more “serious” one for my first one, so I’m really glad it worked out this could be her first official Sprint Tri. All of our friends are going to be enthusiastically cheering her on and Donnie will be on #TeamNyoka for a change. (We call ourselves #TeamDonnie for his races, if you’re not privy to our Instagram documentation.)

I can guarantee you two things tomorrow: 1) Nikki will kick that race’s ass and 2) Her Mom will be sobbing as she crosses the finish line.

(Her Mom might actually be crying now, while she’s typing this entry.)

Keep us in your heart, tomorrow. And keep my daughter in your heart if you decide to ever brave a challenge that terrifies you. She seems to have something most of us could use to get over our own fears.

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60 DAYS

photoI have been a “vegan” for 60 days now.

In case you’ve missed the explanation – I put “vegan” in quotes as an indicator that I’m not living to the letter of the law. I periodically eat honey from the local farmer’s market because I support their beekeeping practices. I don’t freak out about every ingredient on ever label. I stay educated, eat mostly unprocessed foods, but I’m not throwing away my favorite running socks because they’re made with wool.

So…”vegan”.

Or, as I’ve been using more lately, “Herbivore.” That word seems to stir up less of The Crazy from either side. (BOTH sides of the vegan discussion are bad, I’ve been accosted for eating something “not actually vegan” by people who say they’re vegan, and people who are omnivores.)

So! 60 Days the Herbivore!

The best result that I think will be what keeps me here well past the 90 days is the following: A Dramatic Drop In Food Related Guilt.

Even on days where I stress-eat and binge (like yesterday, oooohhh, yesterday was ugly) I’m still doing it vegan. I ate 42 bean burritos and a large order of french fries. Did I eat way more than my caloric limit? YES. Do I hate myself for it? No where near as much.

I don’t think I realized how much guilt I felt over some of the animal-based foods I ate. I listened to a podcast once where a Raw Vegan (Couldn’t do that, my stomach would leave my body) said that he believes we all push aside the “truth” we know every time we eat a chicken nugget or a plate of nachos. Before I started this experiment? I would have said, “Nope. I know that stuff is true, but I don’t really think about it.” But now? Now that I live without pushing aside that knowledge of what I’m eating, how the animals were treated, and what it’s doing to my body? Now that I’m NOT stepping over that information in my subconscious with every bite? I now realize how prevalent it was. I don’t think I realized how much the back of my brain said, “Oh, man. We’ve seen the videos of how these dairy cows are treated, yet here we are…cheese dip and tortilla chips by the bucket load…” whenever I ate.

Because I did know all of that stuff. I have researched it and watched the documentaries. I know how crappy of lives these animals lead. I know how horribly processed the food is. I know the practices/additives we use that are illegal in other parts of the world. I know how bad it is for me. I know all of that in the back of my head, I don’t think I realized how much I had to quiet those voices before, not until I stopped.

So, the absence of a HUGE amount of food-related guilt? Best part of this experiment. I can see articles posted about health factors, and processing rituals, and animal cruelty and I can look right past them guilt-free. “Not me. Nope.”

(Sidenote: I do still experience guilt related to feeding the stuff to my family. But that’s another article for another day.)

I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by how easy it’s been. I eat the hell out of bean burritos now, WITHOUT CHEESE. That’s blasphemy! A bean burrito without cheese? WHO DOES THAT? Me, evidently. And it’s not a big deal. I really expected to miss the stuff more than I do, but I don’t. It’s strange.

The hardest part has been my digestive system. I’m very sensitive to raw or undercooked vegetables or nuts. I knew that before, but since my encounters with that stuff was periodic, I didn’t think about it too often. Now? I encounter that stuff daily. I’ve made myself sick by eating too much raw almond butter (ONE SANDWICH) and guacamole on chips one night made me want to jump off a bridge. The same issue arises: Intense abdominal pain. I’ve dealt with this for years, same triggers, but now that I’m eating vegan those triggers pop up more. And since I can sometimes get away with a little bit of the offending food, I’ll try it. And often regret it later.

Also – I have to make sure I get a variety in my diet. Too many veggies in one day, or beans, or fiber, and my stomach is UNHAPPY. I have to make sure I mix things up which is hard since I tend to cook a meal for lunch and eat the same thing for Second Lunch (I’m a Hobbit) and Dinner. I have to watch that practice to make sure I’m not getting too much of ONE thing. But again – all of that relates to my own sensitive stomach when it comes to things like fiber or raw veggies.

So, yes. I’m still sticking with it. I’ve found some great treats like Coconut Milk Ice Cream, and I get this killer tea from a local tea shop and some vegan truffles/chocolates from a local gourmet chocolatier. There are plenty of “splurge” type things I can still do which I really enjoy. And because I leaned vegetarian a lot I still can eat a lot of my favorite meals at a lot of my favorite restaurants. I even discovered vegan pizza recently and it was GOOD. No cheese but still DELICIOUS.

All in all? I’d call this a permanent change. But I think a lot of people would doubt I could stick to it so I’ll still give it the full 90 days of the “experiment.”

Oh. And I’ve lost 6lbs of the 10 I had put back on after my ultra-training season ended. That’s nice. I’m not stressing TOO much about weight loss/gain though because this is an experiment regarding a lot of other issues I have with food, no need to bring the body image issues into the mix too.

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Things I’m Loving Right Now

There’s a few things I’m loving lately that I thought I could maybe write about in other entries, or their own, but I decided the lazy/easy way would be the blogger crutch: THE BULLETED LIST! So! Three things I’m loving lately!

  • heyusaIt’s no secret that I love YouTube comedians Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart, but I honestly wasn’t expecting to love their new YouTube travel show. I don’t know why, it just seemed like it wouldn’t really showcase the parts of their humor I love. BUT IT DOES. I love it SO MUCH! The show is put on by the chanel Astronauts Wanted and they put out new videos Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays I believe. So far they’ve been to Alaska and Louisville and it’s basically just them trying to do iconic things while being goofballs and it cracks me up. What also cracks me up? That they freak out over adorable animals as much as I do. When they discovered the miniature horse farm in Louisville I thought they were going to DIE. It was awesome. I’m loving their videos so much that I made Donnie watch some of them with me, and I never subject him to anything on YouTube, it’s just not his beef. See the entire playlist here.
  • Baby Food. It’s my new running fuel! Well, I’ve discovered a brand/packaging that does not LOOK like baby food, but it’s baby food. It’s the Simply Balanced Fruit Pouches and I’m using them as running fuel and they’re GREAT. I found out that Gu is not vegan, and obviously none of my running gummies are, so that leaves me mainly to the Clif brand which is the closest you’ll get to “whole foods” (I think they actually have a few organic varieties) in the form of your typical running fuel. My favorite Clif gel is the strawberry with caffeine, but I can only handle those things about once a run. These fruit pouches are a GREAT supplement. I run with my hydration pack so they fit in there fine (they aren’t as portable as gels without a hydration pack) and I don’t feel so gross eating them. It’s just applesauce! YUM.
  • Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers. I have NEVER been a late night talk show fan. Obviously I don’t stay up late, but I can watching Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers in the morning on Hulu an I have not missed an episode of either since they started. I don’t always watch all of the interviews, but I definitely watch their opening. Especially Seth. Jimmy has better production but Seth is just funny. He takes time to tell personal stories (the ones about his World Cup habits were great) and they’re always hysterical. He’s also a GREAT interviewer. He had Sarah Jessica Parker and Anna Wintour (is that who those people were?) on one night to talk about the Met Ball. I could not care LESS about two people or an event if I tried, yet…YET…he had me TOTALLY interested! I’m stressing that his ratings are “not great” whatever that means for a late night show, because I love it SO MUCH. It is now my morning ritual to watch both of those shows and it’s a great way to start the day.

What about you? Anything awesome floating your bloat right now?