Tag Archives: sports

Picky Eaters, HerGameLife, and Book Two

My daughter, Jessie (almost 12), has always been a picky eater.  Her dad and I used to joke how Jessie only ate 5 things, growing up, and one of them was ketchup.  I’m pretty sure she would have starved if it weren’t for chicken nuggets and apples.  When she decided she didn’t like chicken nuggets anymore, at about age 7, we scrambled to find something to replace her source of protein.

For a while there, I thought Jessie was becoming a vegetarian: she just wouldn’t eat anything resembling meat.  It’s not the worst thing in the world, for a child to become a vegetarian, but since Jessie didn’t like beans, eggs, or most dairy products, I was a little concerned about her protein intake.  How much milk can one little person drink?

Once again, Janet came to the rescue.  She ran across a recipe, in Rachael Ray’s magazine, she thought Jessie might like.  It’s the recipe for Turkey Pucks made with ground turkey, corn flakes, evaporated milk, cheese and spices.  Janet said, “Maybe if we have Jessie help us make dinner, she’ll become emotionally invested in the food and like it before she even tries it.”  Brilliant.

Jessie had a great time mixing the meat and cheese, forming little patties, and dipping them in the milk and corn flakes.  She even helped Janet fry them on the stove (I was allowed to break up the corn flakes with my mallet) and pat the excess oil off.  Jessie loved every minute of it and ate two whole pucks that first night.  Our new meal was a success!  This success led to another experiment, also thought of by Janet (the brains of this operation): Destination Dinners.

“What if,” Janet surmised, “we pick a country, found their national dish, and made it for dinner.  That way, it will be new and interesting for all of us.”  When I asked Jessie how she felt about destination dinners she said, “Great!  I pick Italy and pizza!”  I was momentarily stunned and Jessie laughed hysterically and said, “Just kidding, Mom!”  I’m so glad she’s developing a sense of humor; she was a very serious child for a while there.

So, Jessie picked Morocco and we researched their national dish.  The Moroccan national dish is tajine, a lamb or poultry stew, served over couscous.  The only thing I did was cut up the chicken; Jessie did everything else.  It turned out to be delicious and Jessie realized, not only that she liked tajine, but she also really liked chickpeas.  We will definitely make this dish again in the near future.

Janet and I stumbled upon another great way for Jessie to try new food: CostCo.  We love going to CostCo to try new and interesting things and if we don’t get filled up on freebies, we head over to the deli for a hotdog and soda meal for $1.50.  You gotta love CostCo!

We went to CostCo last month, probably for cheese and 5 hour energies, and Jessie wanted to try a meatball a kind woman offered her.  She absolutely loved it and mentioned it several times while we dragged her around the store.  She convinced us to go back for another try and then asked us if we would buy her a package for home.  Jessie wants to buy food with protein in it?  You betcha!

We asked the woman where we could find the meatballs and she replied, “You can find these delicious Chicken Pineapple Teriyaki Meatballs just to my right in the freezer on the end.”  You should have seen the look on Jessie’s face: it was the ‘What did she say was in them?’ look.  Jessie scrutinized the packaging, looked over at me, shrugged, handed Janet the package and said, “Oh well, I still like them.”

Now, if I would have asked her, “Jessie, honey, would you like to try a teriyaki meatball made with chicken and pineapple?”  She would’ve not just said no, but given me the look: the ‘are you just meeting me for the first time?’ look or, as I like to call it, the ‘what? Are you new here?’ look.  I can’t blame her: I know I give her weird looks, too.  I mean, she is a pre-teen.

HerGameLife

I started writing blogs, this week, on a website for women who like sports and like to talk about them.  There are quite a few of us out there.  I wrote my first blog, titled ‘Thank You, Seahawks, for Giving Me Hope’ and posted it on Tuesday.

I wasn’t sure how easy it was to find my blog posting so I went to the website, www.hergamelife.com and tried to find it myself.  I couldn’t find a spot to search so I was scrolling through the front page when I saw a blog titled, ‘Thank You, Seahawks…’.  I thought, “Hold on!  You thief! That’s my title…Wait a minute!  That’s my blog!  Holy Crap, I’m on the front!”

I would like to think my post is on the front because it’s pretty good and not because they rotate posts, or because the Seahawks are hot, or they always put your first one on the front.  If you want to go and read it, just click on the link above and scroll down to the Hot Topics section and it should still be there.  Hot Topics…I know, right?!

Book Two

I originally started this blog to talk about my writing and in particular the book I was working on at the moment (but it’s evolved into a blog about things I find interesting, or funny, or scary.  That way in case I ever have fans they’ll know a little bit about me, if they so desire.) There’s a lot of blogs on the hows and whys of writing and I didn’t want to get into all that…I just wanted to write about my work and what I’m doing at the moment.  Then I realized how boring that would be after a little while.

“So, today I sat down to write and was stymied by my imagination for a while.  I decided to play a game of spider solitaire to get the juices flowing. (Scratch that, Janet reads these.) I wrote several paragraphs, read them over, and deleted them as they were crap.  I think I’ll write an essay on the joys and sorrows of Sudoku.  I’ll call it Sudoku: The Bane of Erasers Everywhere or Sudoku: Can There Really Be 3 Sixes in This Box? How about: Sudoku and The Pivotal Moment Where You Realized ‘Oh Crap, I Screwed Up Somewhere’.”

Now, some of you might find this interesting (please, get help) but I’m pretty sure, after I sent it to Janet, she would reply back with just the one word: Really?  Followed closely by: This is what you do all day?  Luckily, my ego can handle harsh criticism.  Oh, you didn’t know that?  What?  Are you new here?

Jenn

p.s. There I go forgetting about the book again.  I finished the first draft of book two, Alex’s Story, before we moved back to Washington and just started the second draft this week.  It’s coming along really well, although I am biased, and I should hit my target of somewhere between Feb 1 and Feb 10 for a release date.  I’ll let you know the closer I get to being finished!  Book one, Devan’s Story, is out there if you want to read it before book two.

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Advertising Mayhem

I was downstairs this morning, on the treadmill, feeling sorry for myself and watching TV.  I was feeling sorry for myself because: 1) I was on the treadmill and not sleeping, 2) my calves love to cramp up when I’m moving, 3) last night’s debates didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, and 4) according to the ads I was watching, the advertisers thought I was a bleeding heart liberal who needed a lawyer, a 4 hour erection and a catheter (hopefully not at the same time).

Having a TV on the treadmill is a wonderful thing, in my humble opinion, and I thank the person or company who first introduced the concept.  I enjoy concentrating on a TV show instead of only concentrating on staying upright or on the hairy guy at the free weights trying to amaze me with his manly strength.

When I’m watching TV on the treadmill, versus in my living room with its various distractions, I’m a completely captivated audience for advertisements of all kinds.  I’m just glad advertisers haven’t figured out a way to bombard my treadmill with commercials.  I understand the concept of targeting commercials for specific groups you think are watching specific shows, but it’s a little annoying when you don’t fit into that little box.

Just so you know, I was watching NOW with Alex Wagner, so the ad agencies knew, generally, who they were dealing with but it seemed like they couldn’t tell if more women or men watched Miss Wagner’s show.  The ads started out geared toward women in the beginning showing long, tear inducing commercials about atrocities in the world aimed squarely at children and animals designed to get the checkbooks out.

About half way, I noticed more commercials specifically for men: Viagra commercials and a lot of showings of an ad dealing with self lubricating catheters for men.  Apparently, they come in discreet sizes you men can slip into your pockets and we’re none the wiser!  I wish TV ads were site specific and had a Hulu-like question:  Is this ad showing an older man and his wife in bathtubs relevant to you?  No, it is not.  Thanks for the input!

I don’t dislike every ad I see, I must admit.  Ever since I saw the little Darth Vader magically starting up the VW, I have marveled at the ability of an ad to give me a warm fuzzy feeling about a particular product.  That ad made me realize a great commercial doesn’t even need to really be about the product to be good.  The little Darth Vader could have been promoting anything: electric fireplaces, stereo systems, fans, etc.

Ever since little Darth Vader made his premier on Super Duper Sunday, I’ve been paying attention to ad campaigns and there are quite a few out there I really enjoy.  Why?  Probably because I’ve always thought it might be fun to work in the advertising business.  Here are a couple I enjoy:

Mayhem:  Hands down, my favorite series of ads.  Dean Winters, BKA ‘Mayhem’ puts himself in hysterical and perilous positions to mimic accident causing detriments.  From a filthy rich executive in a $90k car, to the young girl ‘OMG’ texter, to a raccoon chewing up the house, to (my favorite) the blindspot mayhem yelling, ‘you’re good!, these Mayhem commercials make me laugh out loud.

Allstate must have a million of these commercials in their arsenal.  All they have to do is look at their claims, right?  Allstate has made a seriously funny attempt to explain how one must be prepared for crazy stuff because, just look, crazy stuff does happen.

VW: Not only is little Darth cute, but most of the ads for VW are interesting and entertaining.  From the ‘is it fast’ guy (Janet and I have talked about putting flames on the Prius) evolving over his lifetime; the commercial with everyone, from young to old, laughing called ‘it’s not the miles, it’s how you live them’; the ‘rockin’ out’ commercial where the guy is stopped at a light playing the air drums; to our new favorite commercial of the moment: the ‘bad dog’ commercial where a guy’s dog eats his keys.

These ads are trying to depict owning a VW as more than just owning a car to get you from A to B; owning a VW is as much a part of your life as laughing, and growing up, and evolving.

Play Madden NFL 13: featuring Ray Lewis and Paul Rudd.  Okay, I might like this group of ads because I’m a football fan, but I find them really funny.  Ray & Paul make me laugh out loud, especially when Paul is taunting Ray.  I’m glad these are scripted because I’m pretty sure Ray Lewis would stomp on Paul Rudd in real life.  I love it when athletes can make fun of themselves and Ray giving Paul credit for teaching him the ‘squirrel’ made me grin from ear to ear.

Another great example of athletes making fun of themselves is Peyton Manning.  Peyton is such a serious football player, everything on the field is so by the book, so, when I see him in his commercials and he’s poking fun at himself, I just love it.

Do these ad campaigns work?  Who knows.  I don’t own a VW or a Madden NFL game, nor do I have Allstate as my insurance carrier.  But if I was in the market for a car or new insurance and two companies were in a virtual tie…I might lean toward a company whose ads make me laugh and feel good, even for a fleeting minute.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a couple of checks to write.

jenn

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Lebron James vs Kevin Durant

Right off the bat, I just want to say I’m not much of a basketball fan.  They run around and sweat way too much for me.  My preferred sport is baseball followed, very closely, by football.  Sports with long mellow periods interrupted with short bursts of crazy energy.  Kinda like me!

I found myself watching some of the basketball finals because I’d heard so much about the matchup between Lebron and Kevin and wanted to see a little myself (I hope they don’t mind if I use their first names).  I did a bit of research on the two, during the game, and it seems Lebron isn’t liked by many people and I couldn’t find anything bad written about Kevin.

I don’t know Lebron or Kevin at all, but my perception of them seems to follow closely with the opinions of many other people and I wondered why.  Since I don’t know them at all, why would I perceive to like Kevin and dislike Lebron?  Maybe it has to do with how they approach life and the personas they project for others to see.

Basketball:  They’re both terrific basketball players, no one can dispute those facts.  Lebron didn’t even pretend to go to college like Kevin did.  Lebron went right from high school to Cleveland where they treated him like a God.  Not only was he a gifted player but he grew up in Akron!

You can’t really blame Lebron for leaving Cleveland, he honestly didn’t feel the team had the drive and desire to win championships, and that’s exactly what Lebron wants.  He wants to be a champion in the record books.

I read a Q&A when Lebron signed the 3 year deal and the question was: Will Lebron leave Cleveland after the 3 years is up?  The answer in a nutshell?  He will leave if he’s not supported during those 3 years but he would be stupid to leave because he is a GOD in Cleveland.

Lebron didn’t feel supported so he left, I understand that part.  But the part where he holds a news conference in Miami, on live television, and calls it “The Decision”?  I don’t understand that part at all.  I’m sure you’ve heard the term, “don’t burn any bridges”?  Maybe Lebron hasn’t heard that one because he didn’t even bother to do the ‘one and done’.

If Lebron had issued a statement, before The Decision, to the people of Ohio, thanking them for their support, explaining his desire to win championships, explaining how he didn’t feel management was doing enough to create a winning team; he probably wouldn’t have hurt so many people who did view him like a GOD.  There would have been a lot of upset people, but, after reading people’s responses to The Decision, it seems like everyone in Ohio was brokenhearted and mad.

Kevin, on the other hand, signed on with Seattle and is still with the same team.  Don’t worry Kevin, yes I’m from Seattle, but I’m not mad at you for leaving, I’m mad at Clay Bennett for ripping the SuperSonics away from Seattle and dropping them into Oklahoma as the Thunder.  Not Ohio-Lebron mad, but pretty mad.

Kevin signed a deal with Nike instead of Adidas, not because it was bigger (actually it looks like it was $10 million smaller), but because he had worn Nikes all his life.  He recently signed a 5 year contract extension with OKC and I hope he becomes the face of that city like Andre Agassi (Las Vegas) or Lance Armstrong (Austin).  He may leave after his contract is up, but it just seems like he is a loyal guy who has a lot of support in OKC.  Plus, now that they have the Thunder, Oklahoma is the proud owner of 1 professional sports team.

Tattoos:  I have tattoos and I’m a big fan of the artwork coming out now.  I enjoy seeing other people’s tattoos and have no problems with anyone just because of their tattoos.  Having said that, there’s a huge difference in Lebron’s tattoos and Kevin’ tattoos.

I didn’t even know Kevin had tattoos until I googled him (I’m sorry Kevin, I don’t mean for that to sound nasty…it just does).  He has quite a few on his chest and back.  You don’t see them until he takes off his shirt, a huge difference from Lebron’s tattoos.  Lebron’s are up in your face, you can’t miss them, doesn’t matter what he’s wearing on the court, tattoos.

Lebron has a big tattoo on his back which says: The Chosen One.  I read Lebron’s explanation of the tattoo, something about the phrase makes him push himself more, but to me it just seems to be arrogant and childish.

Kevin has a brand new tattoo on his back of the word Maryland, a praying angel holding a basketball and two hands: one holding up three fingers, the other five fingers.  Kevin wears the number 35 in honor of his mentor and his old amateur Athletic Union coach, Charles Craig, who was killed at age 35.

Social Butterfly:  After Miami won the championship, Lebron posted on Facebook the following: OMFG…I’m a CHAMPION!!! I AM a CHAMPION!!!  He didn’t say “we are champions”, he said I am a champion.  That goes along great with his The Chosen One tattoo.

This is how Kevin starts his blogs: What’s good everyone?  And his first blog?  It was about him eating sour patch extremes.  That sounds like something my daughter, Jessie would blog about.  Kevin seems more innocent…he probably isn’t…but I like thinking about a basketball player who wears a backpack, is humble, is loyal, and doesn’t flaunt his millions of dollars with a row of lavish cars and mansions in every major city.

Janet and I talked about the differences between Lebron and Kevin and my surprise at the seemingly depth of those differences.  I can’t fathom why two young men, both turning pro at an extremely young age, could turn out so very different.  Janet feels you are who you are from a very young age and no amount of growth opportunities will help if, deep down, you’re an immature person.  I tend to agree.

jenn

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Things I Don’t Like

I wrote a list of things I liked, a while back, so I thought I’d write down a list of things I don’t like.  Since there are many, many, many…well quite a few things I don’t like, I’ll only share the short list.  I left off the obvious: poverty, mean people, politicians, materialism, illness, extremely fit people, (damn fit people out there exercising ALL THE TIME, who has that kind of time anyway) etc.  Here they are, in no particular order:

Sour Candy: When did kids start liking their candy sour?  I don’t know what the draw is for putting things in your mouth that make you cringe:  are kids really that masochistic?  I was so annoyed, around Valentine’s Day, when I accidentally bought sour conversation hearts.  They were terrible:  I don’t know how I managed to eat the whole box.  It made me a little queasy.

Mushrooms:  Am I the only person who realizes these are a form of fungus? Seriously, I would not be happy if a doctor told me I had a fungal infection; I certainly wouldn’t scrape it off and put it in soup for flavoring.  (Janet Note: Auwck! Tongue sticking out! I USED TO LIKE MUSHROOMS.)

Child Pageants: This is a creepy one and it bothers me more than I can ever express.  I think of parents who put their kids through beauty pageants as similar to parents with Munchausen by Proxy.  Have you heard of this?  It’s where a parent, usually the mother, will poison their kids to draw sympathy and attention towards themselves.  Jessie and I were in Las Vegas, by the pool, when a woman came up to me and asked if my daughter was in the pageant.  I said ‘no, of course not’, before I realized the woman’s daughter must have been; that’s what I gathered from the look on her face.  Oops, no response editing, thoughts just slip right out before I realize.  And curse these facial expressions of mine, they never work when I want them to, no Texas Hold’em for me in Vegas.

Tomatoes: I’ve tried to like tomatoes.  I love ketchup and tomato sauce; I just don’t like the consistency of certain foods.  Tomatoes are a prime example.  I like crunchy things.  Is there such a thing as a tomato chip?

Television: I mostly don’t like TV.  I have a serious love/hate relationship with it.  Several years ago, my one TV broke down and I took it to be fixed.  The gentleman told me it would take 2 weeks and I was heartbroken: how could I go that long without watching anything?  (Okay, this was a couple of decades ago, before all this tech stuff.)  Those were the best two weeks.  I read and went for walks and had long interesting conversations with friends.  And my house was very clean.  Basically, I was a productive human being.  When the repairman called and said the TV was done, what do you think was my response?  Exactly.  I yelled, “Oh, Thank God!” and ran down to get it.

Romance Novels:  I’m sorry. I just don’t like the romances.  I’ve tried reading several, I just can’t enjoy myself.  I don’t like the flowering prose or the ‘build-up’ to anyone’s throbbing members.  I originally thought I could write a romance.  Then a friend read a rough draft and told me there wasn’t nearly enough sex in the book to be called a romance.  I’m okay with that.  Now I’m a ‘fiction’ writer geared towards the LGBTQ crowd.  Okay, really only the L part.

Loud People:  Even though I’m losing my hearing at a rapid pace, loud people still annoy me, especially when they live above and below me.  Whose idea was it to live in the middle apartment?  Oh…me?  I don’t know what the people upstairs are doing but it sounds like a combination of zumba/horse training/pole vaulting/cage matches.

People who leave their grocery carts in the middle of the parking lot: These sure aren’t the fit people.   Seriously, I’m an incredibly lazy human being, but I always put mine in the cart corral.  It’s strategically placed every dozen cars or so.  When I’m feeling extra spunky, I take it back up to the store.  Okay, that doesn’t happen very often, only when I’m doing a step competition and I’m desperate.

February as a sports month: I’m not a big basketball fan.  I usually reserve my energies for baseball and then football: my two favorite sports to watch.  Janet and I went to a Trailblazer’s game last month and that was a lot of fun, but I don’t like to sit around and watch basketball on TV, which is truly saying something since I love to sit around and I love/hate my TV.

jenn

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