Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Trolling

I've gotten quite addicted.  Half of the times these days I don't even read the article... I scroll straight down to the comments.  I read the comments until I am so ridiculously frustrated that I can't take it anymore and I move on to stalking someone or something else.

I was particularly more concerned about trolls when my dear cousin Erica had a post that blew up with 100,000+ readers over a couple of days.  It was a beautiful, loving post.  It was trying to build, trying to enrage.  But still.... the trollers came.  Clearly Erica is a tough girl, clearly she can handle it.  But still it probably bothered me even more than if someone was saying those comments about me/my blog.  (I am overly protective of people I love.... ask my poor little brother at his high school basketball games...)

Anyway.

I've often wondered who are these people?  These people who get online and spend their days moving from article to blog making terrible, mean, cruel, or just straight up nasty comments. Who does this?  Who is such a nasty person that they would leave such hurtful words for the whole wide web to read?

Then I saw this article on Buzzfeed titled "Girl Goes to Jail for Trolling."  I clicked on it hoping to get a glance inside the world of a troller.  They had a picture of the girl.
I felt like this picture told a thousand tales.  It made so much more sense.  I looked at this picture and I understood.  I saw an unhappy girl who spends her life tearing others down.

I actually had a conversation about these type of people with HRG.  I've often noticed how she always throws things like, "While my daughter was napping" and wondered why she always feels the need to say that.  Or she put a video of her 18 month old daughter "running" on her treadmill.  She bolded the statement, "The treadmill was turned off and unplugged."  I thought I understood... you know thinking that with over 200+ comments on her blog a day there is bound to be a few negative comments every now and then....  But then I talked to Janae.  I had no. idea.  There is a whole website with 368 threads dedicated to bashing on Janae... possibly one of the nicest, sweetest girls I've ever hung out with at the gym.

So of course, curiosity got to me and I started reading.... threads dedicated to everything from her ongoing divorce to her "child neglect' to her eye lashes!  It blew my mind.  Finally I had to stop because I was getting so mad.

WHY!?! Why would people dedicate there lives on tearing people down so publically?  Even if I thought any of these thoughts I would never ever post them anywhere online.

That's when it hit me.  Slap.

How many times have I said something just as mean, nasty, or hurtful about someone else.  Sure, I didn't post it anywhere.  Sure more than likely that person will never hear it.  But when I saw the picture of that troller, I started thinking about what negative comments are doing to my insides.  Sure it might not affect my physical appearance but what about my soul?

So I'm making a new goal that I am sure I will struggled with for the rest of my life.  I'm sure it's a struggle for a lot of us.  But I'm really trying.  Trying to search for beauty rather than the flaws.  Trying to build rather than wreck.  It's nothing new.  Nothing novel.  But I feel like thinking of my insides.  Thinking of my soul and what I want it to look like it changes my perspective or why it is so important.


And I guess I'm not the only person with trolling on my mind.... my old roommate's sister wrote this today,
5 questions to ask myself before I post a comment online.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

SOTU

This is not a blog post bashing on Obama, so if you are looking for that, you'll have to look else where.  If you are an Obama fan, I hope you won't be offended.

This is a lesson in history.  (I know, what a snore right?)

But yesterday when my 15 year old students stared at me with huge eyes and a concerned look on their face and asked, "Mrs. B, why don't they get it?  Why do they let it happen???"  It seriously hurts.

If history has taught us nothing else we can easily see one common theme no matter the time period, no matter the civilization.  There is one thing that we can learn and easily not repeat.  I think often times we are turned off to this concept because whenever anyone tries to teach us this principle they try and scare us.  They talk of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Bloody Mary, Che, Ivan the Terrible, Nero, Castro, Napoleon, or even Genghis Khan.  They speak of greed, genocides, famines, mass murders, corruption with this one central theme.  Sadly this is a very important principle but often times we are so turned off by evil that we start to tune out.  But today I want to talk about this principle through the example of one of my favorite heroes, totally cliche, but a amazing all the same.

George Washington.

Now I'm sure you've heard the tale that at some point people begged George Washington to be king.  Now whether this tale is true is debatable.  But we've heard this classic theme both in the Old Testament and Book of Mormon.  People begging for a king.  As far as George is concerned we really don't have very much documentation on whether that really did happen frequently or not.

But we do have one letter.  In May 1782... so almost a year and a half before the Constitution was created and ratified there was a Colonel Lewis Nicola.  He wrote a letter to George talking about the poor conditions of his army.  He was upset with Congress saying it was too weak.  His solution was quite simple, establish a strong monarchy and put George as king.  (Now clearly this guy had no right or power to do such an act, but he was just suggesting that it was a good idea.)

George's response:

"No occurrence in the course of the war has given me more painful sensations than your information of there being such ideas existing in the army and these I must view with abhorrence and reprehend with severity."  He went on to say that these ideas were "big with the greatest mischief that can befall my country.  You could not have found a person to whom your schemes are more disagreeable."  "If you have any regard for your country, concern yourself or posterity, or respect for me, banish these thoughts from your mind, and never communicate, as from yourself or anyone else, a sentiment of the like nature." George Washington to Lewis Nicola (22 May 1782)

George Washington understood something that sadly we as Americans are forgetting.  We don't want a king.  Even if it is the most benevolent man that has ever lived, we don't want him to rule as King.  I could talk about how power corrupts, I could tell the horror the power of one man can create.  But even if he made the best possible decisions for our country we still don't want him to rule with unlimited power.  Even if he can create laws that could end world hunger, provide world peace, and make everyone happy... it would not be worth it.    Because I know enough of history to know what could happen next.  Eventually power is transferred.  Eventually power changes.  And when one person has that much power nothing can stop him.

So no, this is not a post bashing on Obama.  I don't blame him.  I truly hope he really is trying to do what he thinks is best for this country.  I really want to hope.  But I am bashing.  I am standing from the top of every soap box that I possibly can stand on to scream, Do we not know history???  Have we learned nothing???  When a President of the United States clearly states, for the entire country to hear, that he is going to completely break the laws created in the Constitution and usurp power and he gets a standing ovation from those whose responsibility is to make sure he doesn't overstep his power as president.... I hang my head low.  How can I teach history?  How can I keep going?  How have we forgotten so quickly?  How have we become like those from times before that beg for a king?  How have we learned nothing?

No, I don't want to talk of starvation, deaths, or bondage.  History has done enough of that.  I want to talk of a piece of light.  Power is evil.  The more it is spread out the better.  One man who understood that.  One man who I believe God protected to teach this very important lesson.  George Washington would have made a wonderful king.  But luckily for us, he knew better, he knew history.

If only America did the same.

Workout Clothes

For the past week when I am at the gym I think of my cousin Erica's post about the new girl at the gym.   It's hard to remember what it was like to be the new girl.  But after Erica's post I've tried to look at the gym through a "new comers" eyes.  Probably the most intimidating thing to me..... is the clothes!  Maybe it's because I grew up in a small town where it's cool to where the local high school's t-shirts to the gym or maybe it's because I became a gymer at BYU-Idaho where we had to wear the most hideous cotton blue Rick's College Smerf clothes straight from the 80's.... everyone was wearing them, so it didn't matter.  But now I go to the gym and with my 'new girl eyes' it's insane!!!!

And of course because I am pretty obsessed with workout clothes... I thought I'd share my favorites from head to toe.


Head: I wear a headband every day.  My favorite headbands are actually from Walmart... kinda like this but I can't find them anywhere any more!!!

But I also have 2 Lululemon headbands....

The first... I hate.  After washing it once it shrunk so it doesn't stay on and is kinda bulky.
The second, I love/hate.  It's big, really big, probably too big.  But it does the job amazingly well.  Biggest downside besides the hugeness...  It gives you a line on your forehead for at least an hour after you take it off.

Bras.
I hate stretchy material bras.  I feel like they look cute but don't work.


Like this from Target or this from Old Navy.  I keep buying them hoping that if  I get a smaller size or something they will work.  They are tempting because they keep their color and they are cheap.  But I have finally given up.

The bras that I have found that I like best are Nike cotton unflattering super supportive bras.  (couldn't find a picture... I think the ones I get are only at the Nike outlet stores.)

Tops:

What I want in a top: long enough, not baggy, but not so tight that you can see my heart beat.  Sadly.... I haven't found any tops that I love more than Lululemons.  If you didn't read.... here, I have a very strong love/hate relationship with Lulu.

But right now here are my two favorite tops that I have in multiple colors.

I wish I could find cheaper tops that I love... but sadly I can't.  So I always look for either of these to go on sale, then I get 15% off because I teach PE.  So they end up costing me around $30-35.   

Jackets.  Currently my two favorite.

The first from Fabletics and the second from Gapfit.
(I don't wear either of these jackets to stay warm, I wear them to put on after my workout so I don't get my coats sweaty.)  
Bottoms:
Shorts: 
I still wear the same Nike Tempo Track shorts that I have worn for years... I tried to venture out and got these from Fabeltics, but they are too balloony. 
 Capris:
I used to spend 70+ dollars on Nike Capris.  I have multiple pairs and love them.  But never again will I pay that price!

My two new favorite capris are the compression capris from Old Navy and these from Lime Flex Fabeletics.  They are both wonderful!!!  I love that the Old Navy capris come in tall, but I would recommend getting a size smaller if you do get the talls.  At least mine are baggy...
Fabletics

Socks:
I fell in love with the Pro Compression socks.  I have 2 pairs of the socks and one of just the calf sleeves.  I would recommend getting the sleeves first.  I like that I can wear a more comfortable sock (the compression slip a lot) but still get the support on my calves and achilles.  Also you can always find a 40% off...
Also I love that these keep my legs warm when running outside if I don't want to wear tights.

And last........ shoes.  I am very loyal to my Nike Frees.... I have 6 pairs?  But I have also loved my Nike LunarGlides 
Yes... now more than ever I can understand why a new girl would be intimidated by the gym.  But man oh man it is a fun addiction.