Sunday, January 18, 2015

What I Mean When I Say I'm Not A Sports Fan

I live in the Seattle area, so I'm surrounded by rabid Seahawks fans, literally everywhere I go. I LITERALLY cannot escape it.
 As I was relating to a couple of friends my struggle to find a place to eat that would NOT be showing today's game, I was asked why. Was I just not a Seahawks fan? Did I not like the noise? When I said I am not a sports fan, I was asked to elaborate further, and the analogy I used was, "When I say I'm not a sports fan, it's like Richard Dawkins saying he's "not really a religious man", and for many of the same reasons".

Now, I do try to keep my mouth shut about how I feel about Sportsianity. I like to treat other people's religions with the same respect I'd like my own to be treated with. But for these past couple of years, living where I do during football season makes it hard not to let it out.

So why am I not a sports fan?


Opiate of the Masses: Karl Marx referred to religion as the opiate of the people (  "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" ). There can be little doubt that pro sports serves the same purpose in American society. Racial injustice? Environmental degradation? Rape culture? Who cares, there's a playoff!


Domestic Abuse: The past year has seen serious questions about how the NFL deals with domestic and child abuse among it's players. The questions remain. Perhaps this shouldn't be surprising from a game where men violently slam into each other.  Like other high profile, lower level sports cases sch as Penn State and Steubanville, one can easily feel that a player or coach can have a blind eye turned on them or get a mere slap on the wrist if the teams' performance is at stake.


 Brain Damage :  Again with the slamming together. Football players of all levels have a high level of concussion risk: the NFL last year paid out $765 million to settle cases against former players who suffered lasting effects from these concussions. This is such an issue, that the question has been repeatedly raised about the ethics of watching a sport so detrimental to the health of it's players. (Christians, read this also.)

Disrespect of Indigenous Culture: That team from the other Washington. Enough said.

Disproportionate Pay: IN 4/5 of our states, the highest paid employee is a coach. This makes coaches the mega church, gleaming mega pastors of our country. 


This doesn't seem quite right to me.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

In support of giving a ...care

It's a current trend to not give a ...care. Care is not the word people use, but I work in children and youth ministry, so I watch my language. Not giving a ...care is seen as a good thing, a thing we should admire. I know my visceral, negative reaction has something to do with my image of the person who doesn't give a care as a rude, sweatpants wearing slacker. I've tried reading essays on the subject-I really have- but they lose me with their language usage.

I did get through enough of one essay to hear that , at least in the words of one writer, it's not about indifference, but about not letting the little things get to you.
It still seems a bit dispassionate and unenthusiastic to me.

For me, I'll risk caring too much.



I'm sure in the eyes of some, I care too much, about too many things, and about things not worth caring about. But that's OK. I wouldn't trade it, because I have an an energy and enthusiasm that comes from giving cares. (Or I may just be implacable). I'll keep caring. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Noise is wonderful- a reflection

I know some people hate noise- such people count among my family and coworkers. I love noise, and I'm reflecting on why I love the noise today.
Right now, in my house, the dishwasher, clothes washer, dryer, and heater are running. So is the fan in the bathroom where I just took a hot shower. There's noise from the game system we can provide our children, and just minutes ago noise from the vacuum cleaner I used to make our room clean. We live in an area that has at least one power outage a winter, and I am grateful when I can be surrounded by this noise again. May I never take it for granted.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Maybe Christmas sucks less when you're not quite as poor

     Ah, Christmas. That magical time of year when people with more money quote" How the Grinch Stole Christmas" at people with less money. It's important to make sure, when you festoon your entire house with lights that you'll leave burning for a month, that you make sure people who's children are shivering in the cold remember that you can't buy Christmas joy.

     Until this fall, our family has spent most of the last 15 years dancing around the working poor line. Some years were better than others, and we always had food and housing and it was usually kind of warm enough, but it was HARD. We had many beans and rice years, put on lots of extra sweaters, and thought twice when we were sick (My kids went 4 years without a well child visit, until insurance companies were required to cover them at 100%). And Christmas lists? Pretty long, and often filled with things people with more money would just pick up when they needed them.

     And we were lucky. We were never homeless and never skipped a meal, never had our power turned off.

     This year, we have had much more money than we have since I was pregnant with my 15 year old. What has that meant for our Christmas season?

When two of my kids had bad coughs, I took them to the doctor without thinking about it.

When hip and knee pain from a running injury made walking painful and slow, I went to a chiropractor.

Guess what? It's easier to enjoy a holiday when you're not sick and in pain.

     I just turned my heater up to warm, we are having a vehicle repaired, and tonight when I make dinner, I will have an extra half hour because I'll just throw some pre chopped organic vegetables in a pan. This will give me more time to enjoy with mt family, maybe watching a Doctor Who Christmas Special while knitting a present.

     And our Christmas lists? Much shorter this year- just a few items each (if you count all individual Magic cards as one item). While talking about it with one of my kids, we came to the conclusion that we didn't feel that old feeling that we had to ask for necessities as gifts anymore, ,and we could focus on time together.


     So yes, if you have a warm house, food, medical care, and clothing, and bunch of plastic crap won't make your holiday better. But hunger, cold and illness make it hard to enjoy anything, and you CAN buy happiness when you can afford to be comfortable.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Preschool, school, and changes!

I haven't blogged for a while, and that's because I have been very busy with some incredible life changes. I'll try to keep it brief while not missing important details.

About mid August, I saw in my church's bulletin that the church preschool was hiring. My first instinct was to dismiss it- part of me always figured I'd end up working there, maybe as an aide, because who would hire me as a lead teacher, but that was years in the future. I knew what the year held: homeschooling my younger two while working once a week with my two MOPS groups.

But the position wasn't so easy to forget, and my mind kept returning to it all day. While I was making dinner, my daughter asked when MOPS started and....the position spilled out, along with my sadness that it was opening at the wrong time. My husband immediately told me I had to apply, and my youngest quickly offered to go to school if I got the job.

By midnight that night I had created and sent off a resume, I interviewed on Wednesday, and I was offered and accepted the job on Friday. Meantime, I was busy getting Turbo enrolled in school.

I next had to take the state certification course for child care basics. The course normally takes up to 6 months, but I finished it in one, with a gold star for excellence/

So. I am now teaching 3 year olds 3 days a week in a private preschool, I still work MOPS on Tuesdays and Thursdays. My youngest child is in public school- something I never forsaw happening. (A friend told me near the start of the year that God didn't just open a door- God shoved me through) My teaching hours double tomorrow when I go from a morning class to a morning and afternoon class. Luckily, it's the same curriculum as one of the overwhelming things is taking past curricula, adding and making it my own, and turning it into something that's MINE and usable for years to come. It's really true what they say about the off clock time teachers spend working! I'm having to be even more organised, making more use of my crock pot, and even making compromises like using jarrred garlic.

I am still feeling the whirlwind.  LOVE what I am doing. Sometimes I sit back in amazement that this is my life.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Gremlins! #firstworldproblems

If you're on the internet, you probably know that Facebook was down for a while today. Sadly, that was the least of my technical difficulties.
The Xbox wouldn't connect to Youtube. This is the second time in three days. In order to do my workout, I then went looking for my strength and cardio DVD.
I found the box, but it was empty.
I decided to use my Xbox Kinect workout game. I got it booted up and tried to put in a CD (Rush) for some workout music.
The player wouldn't recognise the disk.
I played music on my phone.
By the time I managed to work out and shower, it was time for lunch. I made lunch and sat down with my laptop...and my cursor was stuck. After rebooting twice, I finally realised the F5 button had been pressed somehow, and was back in business.
Here's to hoping nothing else electronic goes wrong today!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

What have I done this summer? Not nearly as much as I planned.

When we ended our school year for the summer. Organising all the cabinets. Blogging multiple times a week.Going fun places with my kids. Lots of reading and knitting.

I have done a little of all those things. Plus I have done a lot of many other things: working, laundry, sending my middle child off to ten days in Korea, my eldest to 2 weeks in Mexico, a few concerts, and a fair amount of working out and running. I kind of organised one of the kitchen cabinets, and have funneled bags of clothes to the clothing bank. I'm part way through the year's second dredging of the girl's room.

Still, I feel I should have done much more. Next week, I will juggle participating in G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. with ferrying my eldest to college admissions and job applications. I plan to make it fun. To try and give myself more time, I've winnowed my social media, mostly eliminating negativity. And I DO plan to blog more.