sports

Can’t Stand Sports? Here’s What You Should Know

As most of you know, I’m a journalism major, which means I have to have a broad understanding of current events. Now, I’m all about current events! Educating myself political and culturally is a pretty good time. In addition to the research I do on my own time, my family and friends help me along. My mom loves awards shows (and especially the dresses), so I’ve usually got that covered. And, in some gender traditionalism, my dad really loves sports.

I do not love sports. I especially do not love watching sports.

play-sports.png
#sports

I swam in high school, and I enjoy watching the most aesthetically pleasant parts of the Olympics (figure skating in the winter, gymnastics and anything synchronized in the summer). But when those current events quizzes in classes come around, I really struggle when it comes to sports. Because (shh! don’t tell!) they are boring.

So, if you’re like me, to get the yearly briefing on sports, you text your dad a million questions about pro athletics about once a semester. If you’re in my position, I hope that the answers (and my little twists on them) are just as helpful for the next time you find yourself desperate to make small-talk online for the unisex bathroom at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Unknown.jpeg
Shout out to Mr. Met!

 

  1. The Kansas City Royals beat the New York Mets in the 2015 World Series.

The World Series is the baseball one. Baseball is the only sport I kind of follow, because it’s my dad’s favorite. Similarly, the Mets are the only team in any sport I’d say that I favor. I have a thing for their whole underdog vibe, especially considering their extraordinary and multigenerational fan base. I also think their NY on their caps is way cuter than the one on the Yankees caps. Additionally, as a conflict-averse child, being a Mets fan meant that it was way likely for a second-grade classmate to attack you for being a Red Sox or Yankees fan. (Literally calm down, pals.)

How to remember this: Replace “And we’ll never be royals/ It don’t run in our blood” with “And we are the Royals/ And guess what we won.”

 

2. The Superbowl is next weekend.

  • The Superbowl is the football one. It’s famous for the commercials and the halftime show as well as the football part.
  • This year’s teams are the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. The Broncos can kind of work in my brain, since there were probably cowboys in Colorado at some point.
  • Carolina’s QB (sportstalk for quarterback, who seems to be the famous one on the team) is Cam Newton. Simple to remember: Cam from Modern Family mentions being a former football player? And Cam probably also likes Fig Newtons, which are objectively the least-appreciated delicious processed cookie.
  • Denver’s QB is Peyton Manning. He has a brother also in the NFL and there’s a picture of him on the windows of some Dunkin’ Donuts locations.
    • Also, one time we were watching a movie in fourth- and fifth-grade Library Club (a not-so-popular extracurricular I was proud to be a part of) and Peyton and Eli Manning were in it telling us not to damage our books and some boys were like “PEYTON MANNING!” but it was mostly girls in the club who did not care, and most of the boys didn’t care either, and I remember wishing it was a famous author instead of some guys holding footballs. They did not know their market for that VHS tape.

 

  1. The summer Olympics are this coming August in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Like all cities, Rio has a specific host of issues that could impede its ability to host a solid Olympics. These include:

Clarke-Sailing-Through-the-Trash-and-Sewage-of-Guanabara-Bay-1200.jpg
Ew.
  • Pollution in the bay where some water events like windsurfing will take place—not good, not safe. Officials have promised to reduce pollution in Guanabara Bay by the time the events take place, but who can say if it’ll really happen?
  • Many families being evicted from their homes in order to make way for the Olympic stadium—classism, much?
  • Lots & lots of street crime!
  • The mosquito-transmitted Zika virus is spreading throughout Brazil. It can lead to some serious birth defects; women in northern South America are being told by their governments to delay having kids for a few years, if they can.

 

4. NCAA football: Alabama beat Clemson.

  • Longhand: For the National College Athletic Association’s football championship this year, University of Alabama’s consistently-successful team (which is called the Crimson Tide #lolperiods) beat the Clemson University Tigers. (Clemson is in South Carolina.) The game was on January 11.
  • This is pretty easy for me to remember because my best friend Cate goes to the University of Notre Dame, which is also pretty into that whole football thing, but her little brother goes to U of Alabama, and she was pissed about this. Also, the Crimson Tide always prevails!
  • Sidenote: The NCAA is that same crew that does March Madness, the college basketball bracket championships, comin’ up in March.
Unknown-1.jpeg
I literally cannot believe that this is still the logo of that team. When will people stop being used as mascots? It’s revolting. They should take one from Mr. Met and just have a guy whose head is a hockey stick.

5. The Stanley Cup happened last June, and the Chicago Blackhawks won! I am including this because ice hockey strikes me as a winter sport, with the ice and all, but the Stanley cup won’t be coming up for five more months.

Hope this preps you at least until the summer– who knows how we’re going ot keep up with the Olympics!

 

Images via Pinterest, the New Yorker, the Chicago Blackhawks, and top10base.com

book reviews, books, children's lit, Uncategorized

Winter Reading!

It does not come as a shock that I am going to continue logging what I read, though now it will be interspersed with what I’m reading for classes, too. Here goes, starting from #1 all over again!

51jvfaRNFYL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

  1. MY LIFE ON THE ROAD by Gloria Steinem (2015)

PROMINENT ASPECTS: feminism, travel, Ms. magazine, India, Indian Country, organizing, father-daughter relationships, journalism, writing, the ’70s

ALSO READ: Throughout this book, in the chillest way, Steinem frequently mentions excursions with two of her best friends/two of the baddest bitches of feminist organizing in recent history, Alice Walker (writer of The Color Purple (!), among other works) and Wilma Mankiller (first woman Cherokee chief and also author of many things.) Read their books!

2. WE ARE ALL MADE OF MOLECULES by Susin Nielsen (2015)

PROMINENT ASPECTS: stepfamilies, broadcast journalists, when your dad comes out, gifted children, friendship, teen drinking, being the school mascot, death of a parent, Schrodinger’s cat, what character arcs!

ALSO READ: This book (middle grade? YA?) blew me away. It’s pretty unlikely you’ve read this, so just read it! My second idea is to ask your youngest friend for a recommendation on their favorite book. My wonderful 1o-year-old pal Scarlett recommended this one to me. It doesn’t matter if it’s Pinkalicious (my friend’s 5-year-old’s current fave) or if your youngest friend is 30! They’re still probably reading different books from you.

3. I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson (2014)

PROMINENT ASPECTS: twins, superstitions, old wives’ tales, sculpting, painting, closeted queer love, astronomy, recovering alcoholics, modeling, boycotting boys, death of a parent

ALSO READ: This book was wild. The alternating chronology and perspectives made it a fascinating web to untangle. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan has a similar puzzle of narration, but Egan’s isn’t meant to be tied up neatly; Nelson’s book is.

4. RUBYFRUIT JUNGLE by Rita Mae Brown (1973)

PROMINENT ASPECTS: lesbians, poor white people, Florida, sex, so much sex, homelessness, moving abruptly to NYC, college, oppression of queer folks, bluntness

ALSO READ: I’m taking a class about queer young adult books, so a lot of books about queer youth are coming your way! Rubyfruit‘s narrator, Molly, is very blunt and matter-of-fact about her sexuality, despite the fact that no one in her life or community is even vaguely open to questioning their sexual orientation, and Annie, in Annie on my Mind, takes a similar view; she knows what she is (although she’s quieter about it than Molly Bolt!)

5. ANNIE ON MY MIND by Nancy Garden (1982)

PROMINENT ASPECTS: lesbians!, teachers, private school, opera, first love, contraband ear piercing, New York City, Italians, socioeconomic class, art, the Cloisters

ALSO READ: This is the beginning of the #lesbianlife books I’m reading for my queer YA class! Rubyfruit (#4) and I’ll Get There… (#7) are both other NYC queer books.

6. WE WERE LIARS* by E. Lockhart (2014)

PROMINENT ASPECTS: Martha’s Vineyard, private islands, cousins, love, when your mom and her sisters (all super-rich) are fighting for the family’s estate, PTSD, migraines, golden retrievers, amnesia, thrillers

ALSO READ: This book has QUITE the ending, which I keep hearing compared to Gone Girl. I’ve never read Gone Girl, and I’m almost certain you have, but that’s still my rec.

7. I’LL GET THERE. IT BETTER BE WORTH THE TRIP. by John Donovan (1969)

PROMINENT ASPECTS: divorced parents, death of a parental figure, a daschund named Fred, NYC, alcoholic guardians, Episcopalian private school?, the late ’60s, new friends, queerness, kind of

ALSO READ: So, this is like the first LGBT YA book, apparently, which is sort of cool, but it barely mentions queerness/queer identity ’til near the end, but the kid is 13, keeps saying “I’m not a queer!,” and it takes place in the 1960s, so I guess we’ve gotta cut it a break. For another early LGBT YA book that involves major NYC sightseeing, read Annie on my Mind (above)!

8. PARROTFISH* by Ellen Wittlinger (2007)

PROMINENT ASPECTS: trans, ftm, new friends, nerds, Christmas pageants, gender roles, school TV crew, bullies, homeschooling

ALSO READ: My friend John knows all about this crew of books, and one he recommended is Beyond Magenta, a narrative and photo book profiling trans youth’s experience.

9. LUNA by Julie Ann Peters (2004)

PROMINENT ASPECTS: trans characters, sisters, lifelong BFFs, computer geniuses, having chemistry with chemistry lab partners, babysitting foibles

ALSO READ: I used to really love the book Define Normal by her and it’s probably still really awesome! Read that!

10. RAINBOW BOYS by Alex Sanchez (2001)

PROMINENT ASPECTS: swimmers, unprotected sex, biracial identity, abusive parents, little sisters, starting a gay-straight alliance, LGBTQ support groups, having a crush on your BFF, undiagnosed eating disorders, being unsure if you should keep dating your girlfriend, supportive moms, unsupportive dads, supportive dads

ALSO READ: This book really runs the gambit of Shitty Things That Can Happen to Teen Boys While They Are Also Struggling with Coming Out. I would recommend the beautiful  LGBTQ YA anthology Am I Blue? if you’re interested in coming out stories!

11. PANTOMIME by Laura Lam (2015)

PROMINENT ASPECTS: circuses, acrobats, intersex identity, transition, running away from your noble family, older brothers, corrupt leaders, probably being descended from the gods

ALSO READ: Ok, the concept of this book is so cool — intersex character runs away from being a princess in royalty and joins the circus — but I honestly did not like the execution of the book very much at all. Intersex people deserve way better YA lit representation. For books about circuses, however, I’ve heard The Night Circus is amazing.

     *        *      *      *     *     *

Summer reading list here, autumn list here, winter reading list here! 

*= I’ve read this book before

Image by Ezra Jack Keats via Amazon. (This is my all-time favorite winter book, and it’s probably some of yours too!)