Friday, July 29, 2016

Texas A&M Chalk Talk: An opportunity to do better

Since a picture I took at the event is now on several news media outlets's websites, I guess the opportunity for the Texas A&M Athletic Department to deal with the issue directly has passed.

I want to stress that overall I enjoyed the event. The event raised money for a local charity and the interactive portion of the event was fantastic. It was awesome to see the locker room and walk out of the tunnel onto Kyle field. There were drills and we saw the weight room, the indoor practice facility and the auditorium where team meetings were held. Several players were there and were great. They were all polite and had wonderful things to say about their trip to Haiti (for those that went) and the team chemistry.

I addressed my concerns directly with the athletic department and received an almost immediate response saying the issue would be addressed.

I've seen a lot of people saying "there are more important matters to worry about," and while there are a lot of important things to worry about, sexism is an important issue. It's fine to think this is funny, obviously the coaches presenting did, but it's not fine to dismiss my (and other people's) feelings because it doesn't bother you.

The wage gap is real. The fact that only 5% of CEO's of Fortune 500 companies are women is real. Sexism is real. Yesterday I wrote the letter below and last night I watched a woman accept the nomination for president of a major political party. Progress is real and I'm hopeful speaking out will be constructive.

Below is the letter I sent regarding the event:

To Whom It May Concern,

Earlier this week I was thrilled to read a press release from Texas A&M regarding A&M being named a top university for women. Attending A&M was one of the best decisions I have made and my enrollment had a strong impact on the woman I am today. As a proud alum with a successful career, I celebrate the successes of the school and point to them when speaking about my beloved alma mater.

Unfortunately, my experience at yesterday’s Chalk Talk for Women has slightly dampened my enthusiasm for A&M. This event was a great opportunity to embrace female fans and instead it was full of sexism and misogynic statements. While the event was for fans of all knowledge, it did not seem to address levels of knowledge so much as gender. The coaches could have spoken to a room full of women as people with an interest in football, but instead we were met with comments implying that we only needed to know about football because of our husbands and we were shown slides with jokes referencing cleaning and feminine hygiene products. 

The events following the presentation in the Hall of Champions were very enjoyable. The assistant coaches and other members of the athletic department that I interacted with were polite and informative. The tour of the facilities made the experience worthwhile, as was the charitable contribution to Twin City Mission.

Overall this event is a great opportunity for A&M to embrace female fans and I am hopeful that my feedback will be used to make future events more successful. I can be reached at xxxxxx if you would like to discuss further.

Karen L. Weinberg ‘01

Indoor practice facility 

Size 17 shoe
Locker room, so cool!

Kyle Field selfie!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I think lazy isn't even the right word at this point

First of all, I can't believe it's been a year since I quit drinking Diet Coke. I do occasionally have one now and then, but I am definitely drinking way more water and unsweetened tea than I did in 2013 and way less Diet Coke.

Secondly, I'm feeling inspired to write something. Which really is code for "I don't want to do any of the work that I should be doing right now." I am definitely in a summer funk and need to crawl out of it. I'm on week two of regular gym visits after a few month hiatus so hopefully that will help with the not sleeping and everything else. I think I may try Zumba tonight. I've been saying that I wanted to try it since I joined 24 Hour Fitness, but honestly, I was so out of shape I was too nervous to go. I'm not exactly running marathons now, but I should be able to make it an hour without dying. I hope at least! If I do die, there will be no update. If I survive, I'll be back to let you know how it went.

Update: I went and it was a lot of fun. And then I went into a super lazy period where I only went the the gym once in 2 weeks. I need to get back to Zumba. All of those years of drill team came in handy when it came to catching onto the routines.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Being less lazy, step 1: The Diet Coke Addiction

I've been off and on diets and in and out of workout kicks for the last 15+ years. But I'm inching toward 35 and carrying a lot of extra weight. I'm leaving for my first cruise on Halloween so that provided a deadline to have a weight loss goal and to begin the process of being less lazy. And being less of a hermit. Being a hermit is part of the being lazy thing. It's a lot of work to go places when you want to sit on the couch and read.

Maybe more importantly, I want to be healthy and fit. Losing weight is definitely a major goal for my health. But so is ridding my diet of junk and eating more fruits, vegetables and non-processed food. So a few months ago I started slowly making over my diet. I started with skipping foods with high fructose corn syrup and adding more vegetables into my regimen (preferably organic fresh veggies). And I began the process of curing my Diet Coke Addiction (DCA from this point on).

My DCA was exasperated by the fact that the fridge at work is full of Coke. And they are free and begging to be drank. I started slowly by being cognizant of how many I was drinking and limiting it to one or at most two. I started buying sparking water by the ton. Topo Chico was the first one that I really liked and that led to lemon and grapefruit La Croix, San Pellegrino and Perrier. I bring a 12-pack of La Croix (or the HEB version) to work with me and keep them in the fridge to have when I get a fizzy drink craving. I'm drinking more "still" water as well.

After a few weeks I noticed that when I did get a Diet Coke out of the fridge, I was drinking less than half before I didn't want any more. At that point I decided it was time to quit. No more Diet Coke.

It's been 8 days since I've had a sip of Diet Coke. That may seem ridiculous to someone without DCA. But let me tell you, it wasn't that easy. I'm rarely eating out right now but when I do, there aren't many choices for people who don't drink soda. I like my tea sweet and when you're counting calories, 180 in a drink is a lot. Much like I slowly started incorporating sparking water, I'm trying to drink unsweet tea. I've found that the addition of lemon and lime make it much tastier. Maybe in a few months I'll actually love unsweet tea.

Curing the DCA is only Step 1, part A of the overall plan. Part B is to stop using artificial sweeteners totally. This has so far been the hardest in my morning coffee. But it's coming along. I do like black coffee but I much prefer it sweetened.

Anyway, I'm making a lot of other changes in my diet and working out but that's another post for another day. I haven't blogged in so long this one took forever to write!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lazy, party of 1 checking in!

It's been forever! I should have something fun and exciting to share. But all I really did between September and March was work all the time. My last post is kind of depressing so I'm just checking in to say hi and that things are going well. I'll update with a real post soon!

While you're here, here is a picture of individually wrapped Jelly Belly Sugar Free Jelly Beans. That's just mean!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I'm just a girl who has struggled with life

I'm not sure I know what happy feels like. I've felt good and fine and sad and depressed. But I'm not sure I can pinpoint a time in my life where I would say I was happy. That's not to say that I'm continually depressed, I am not. I just feel kind of "there" most of the time. Although maybe I am looking for something that doesn't exist. Maybe the absence of depression is happy? I don't know.

This blog entry isn't meant to cause any worry about my mental state. I'm not currently depressed, in the clinical sense. I'm sad. And depression is on my mind a lot right now. A friend of mine took her own life two weeks ago. She and I had several conversations about depression and suicide. We commiserated in the bad things that were happening in our lives over the last 5-6 years. I've been on antidepressants and seen a therapist. This year I've anxiety-induced chest pains. She knew she could talk to me honestly about things.

Sara and I met through an Aggie message board years ago. We rarely saw each other in person but we chatted and texted back and forth several times a week. Mostly about non-important stuff like TV shows and queso. She said nothing in the last few months that worried me. But it turns out she wasn't been very truthful with me the last few months. And although I know I shouldn't feel guilty, I do. I finally had some good news in my life. I got a big promotion at work. So I wonder if she didn't share her bad news because of my good.

Sara was funny and bright and smart and we had a lot in common. It's hard to type "was" when discussing her. A few times in the last two weeks I've wanted to text her about something that I know would make her laugh or interest her. And I can't bring myself to delete the texts between us. I was kind of hoping that when I set up my new phone on Friday it wouldn't transfer the texts. When I scroll down looking for something, I see her name. And one of the last texts she sent me was "I'm a horrible'd your first week go??" That is what really tears at my soul.

And I know in my brain that shouldn't make me feel bad, but it does. It makes my heart hurt that she didn't talk to me about what was going on in her life the last few months. It's still a fresh wound so everything reminds me of Sara: Diet Coke, HEB, blue Mustangs, Sonic Grilled Cheese, Vampire Diaries, Crown Royal, etc.

This blog has been quiet lately because I haven't had much time to spend writing and haven't felt very funny with all of "life" getting in the way. Five or six people regularly read it. The other page hits come from random Google searches. If any of you are here reading now because of a random search about sandpaper pedicures and are struggling with life, please know that no matter how bad it seems, you should talk to someone. A friend, a parent, a stranger on the internet. The internet can be a hateful place but it's also a great way to connect with people outside your geographical area that are like you. And trust me, there are plenty of people like you out there.

Sometimes it does look like there is only one way out. I never quite felt that way. A little piece of hope always was there but I can see how quickly that could have changed. And although I can't sit here and say I'm happy every day and that everything is amazing, I am still here. And my family and friends are happy about that. Things are better than they were 5 or 10 years ago. There are some great places to get help. Please reach out to someone. I know it's easy to say, especially when you're not depressed. But one conversation about how you're feeling can start the process of changing your life.

I wish Sara was still around to read this. I wish I'd been more proactive in asking how she was doing and not just chatting about teenage vampire shows and chocolate wine. I wish a lot of things but really, I wish I could still pick up my phone and talk to her.


Talk to a trained professional: 

Read a blog by someone else that struggles:

World Suicide Prevention Day was earlier this month: 

If nothing else, email me. I'm not a trained professional. I'm just a girl who has struggled in the past wanting everyone else to make it through. Maybe just writing down how you feel will start the process of getting help:

Thursday, May 31, 2012

I'm going (I mean, I went) to Disney World!

Earlier this month I was at Walt Disney World for a week with my entire family. Parents, sisters, brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews. We had an absolute blast. We rode rides, went to the pool, and ate. A lot.

Since this is a lazy blog and I'm extra lazy these days, this will mostly be food pictures of all the yummy stuff you can eat at Disney World and pictures of Cinderella's Castle. (By the way, I'm extra lazy because I have actually been going to the gym but that's another blog post.)

Before we left on our early flight to Orlando, my BIL picked up some Shipley Do-Nuts and made sure they were in the Disney spirit.

Delicious indeed!

First off, how come no one told me about Dole Whip before we went to Disney in 2010? I probably would have ate it every day then too. If you aren't familiar with Dole Whip, it's pineapple soft serve ice cream and it's heavenly. You can get it at Disney World, Disneyland and in Hawaii at the Dole Plantation.

I've been saying Dole Whip like Stewie says Cool Whip

I'm normally not a huge dessert person. I'd rather eat meat and potatoes and cheese. But I defnitely had my share at Disney.

Mickey ice cream bar

We had Mickey waffles and yummy dinners. My favorite meal might have been at the Polynesian. We had breakfast complete with Kona coffee served in a French press. My choice was pulled pork hash with hollandaise and poached eggs. It was amazing.

Besides taking pictures of my food, I took probably 20 pictures of the Castle. I was obsessed! It's just so pretty, especially at night. We had lunch inside the castle one day. It was so neat.

Cinderella's Castle

Instagram Castle

Castle at night
I never went to Disney World as a kid but I think even if I had, I'd still have as much fun as I did as a grown up. It was amazing and exhausting and I can't wait to go back.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I have a really good excuse this time ...

Not that I need one. I mean, I put that I was lazy right in the name of the blog so it shouldn't come as a shock when I don't blog for a couple of weeks. I mean, months.

I moved in March and we haven't had internet access at home so it's been more difficult to update the blog. I sometimes blog from work (shocking) but it's been very busy there too. I found a few minutes to pop in and say hello.

I need to go through the pictures and write a post about the trip to Disney World I took with my family earlier this month. We had an amazing time and I really did not want to come back to work. But it turns out I'm a total control freak at work and when I'm not here, I feel like things won't be done correctly.  Of course, when I got back to work last Wednesday, something wasn't done that I expected so it kind of reinforced the control freakiness. I think this is what being a grown up must feel like.