The CSA shares seem smaller this season

We’re doing the Avalon Acres winter CSA again this year, and I have to say that the boxes have been pretty sparse so far. I know they were hit hard last winter with all of our crazy weather, but I’m not too impressed with what I get for about $30 a box (every two weeks).

I’m trying out a new farm-fresh service that lets you order weekly; there’s no minimum order and no membership fee, you just pick up what you order each week. If this works out and is cost-effective, I think we might go with that instead of continuing on with the CSA each season.

State Rep. Richard Floyd, the latest winner in the “Make Tennessee Look Like Assholes” contest

There are a few things that immediately jumped out at me regarding what Tennessee State Rep. Richard Floyd said, besides the obvious fact that it’s so unabashedly discriminatory I had to check my calendar to make sure we hadn’t been transported back to the pre-civil-rights era in this country.

1. For someone claiming to be concerned about the welfare of women, why is he creeping on the women’s dressing room? As a woman, I would not be worried by someone, regardless of gender, bringing a pile of clothes into a fitting room area where I’m also trying on clothes (in a private stall, for fuck’s sake, so NOBODY can see me try to jam myself into skinny jeans). However, I would be unnerved by an old man loitering outside, taking note of who goes in and out. That’s a call to mall security waiting to happen.

2. He’s an old guy, so I’m going to assume that his wife and daughters are adults. Why is he even accompanying them to the dressing room? Does he not think they can handle shopping for clothes on their own? That they need his protection? This whole “I am man, I must protect my womanly property” shtick is so tired. I feel sorry for his wife and daughters that they have to deal with someone in their life who obviously thinks so little of their ability to perform regular adult activities, like go to the store and try on clothes, without needing him present to hold their hands.

3. Why the violence? There’s a huge difference between “I am made uncomfortable by this” and “I WILL FUCKING MURDER YOU UNLESS THERE IS A LAW THAT STOPS YOU FROM DOING SOMETHING THAT MAKES ME UNCOMFORTABLE.” The fact that this isn’t just some random weirdo ranting on an Internet forum but an actual elected official, chosen to represent the views of people in this state, is beyond scary.

From STFU, Conservatives:

[TRIGGER WARNING: Transphobic Violence]

I believe if I was standing at a dressing room and my wife or one of my daughters was in the dressing room and a man tried to go in there — I don’t care if he thinks he’s a woman and tries on clothes with them in there — I’d just try to stomp a mudhole in him and then stomp him dry.

Don’t ask me to adjust to their perverted way of thinking and put my family at risk. We cannot continue to let these people dominate how society acts and reacts. Now if somebody thinks he’s a woman and he’s a man and wants to try on women’s clothes, let him take them into the men’s bathroom or dressing room.

What grinds my gears: Gym edition

I am the last person who should be creating anything resembling a rule for working out, so I’m going to call these “suggestions.” I will say, though, that as a gym member for going on six months now (longest gym commitment ever!) I feel like I am in the position to discuss (read: bitch about) some of the etiquette breaches and plain old stupidity I see on a weekly basis.

So, listen up, douches:

  • Re-rack your weights. For the love of god, Beefcake, you are in this gym as often—probably more—as I am. You are not blind, so you also see that not everyone in here can lift/bench/press/push/kick/groan at 800 pounds. So for fuck’s sake, when you’re done working on your chiseled man-boobs or thighs of steel, can you please put the goddamn weights back on the rack? This is Gym Rat 101, by the way. I might be willing to assume you can’t read the signs posted everywhere, but I know you had to fill out a three-page contract to get in here so that’s not going to fly.
  • Wipe down the equipment after you use it. I don’t care if you just did two squats, you touched the handles of the machine with your sweaty hands, therefore you should wipe them off. There are containers of sanitizing wipes stationed all over the gym, too, so it’s not like you have to bring your own towel. Don’t be gross.
  • Don’t use your cellphone in the locker room. There are signs posted about this, too, and while I can’t speak to how well the rule is followed in the men’s room, I can tell you that the women blatantly ignore it. And I am not pissed about this rule-breakage because I think someone is going to snap pictures of me mid-pants-change. What irritates me is when I am trying to change into my workout clothes and all of the benches (and sometimes standing room) are occupied by teenage girls texting or Facebooking. You’re at the gym, for fuck’s sake. Go make use of that membership and use your phone on an elliptical like everyone else does.
  • Don’t spend all day on one machine, especially when you see people are waiting to use it. I get that you want your pecs to look bitchin’, brah. But if you’ve been at a non-cardio machine for going on 30 minutes and you notice the same three people meekly circling you, that’s a sign that you’re being a douche and should maybe get up and use something else for a while. Your overworked muscles will probably thank you, too.
  • Don’t work out in jeans and hiking boots. I know that clothes marketed as “workout clothes” can be crazy expensive, and maybe you just want to try out the gym for a while before committing to a new wardrobe. But jeans and hiking boots? Not cool. Hiking boots can potentially damage the machines, and jeans restrict your movement. I’m definitely not making a case for having to buy into the whole workout-outfit bullshit, but come on. If you go to the gym more than once, you probably should invest in at least one pair of sweatpants, one t-shirt and one pair of gym shoes. No matter how old or ratty they are, they have to at least be more comfortable to exercise in than denim, a polo shirt and Timberlands (or the giant construction boots I saw someone in the other day).

And that, my friends, is what grinds my gears at the gym.


I hate to say that I’m making New Year’s resolutions because that always seems like such an invitation for failure. (A therapist might have a field day with this proof of my rejection of authority going so far as rejecting my own, I know.)

But there are some things that I would like to focus on to improve my state of being, and I suppose this would be a good time to put them in writing. So:

  1. Write in a paper journal once per day. One of my friends at work is pursuing a degree in psychology, and we often discuss memory. One such discussion revolved around the connection that is made between the mind and what is written and how the connection is stronger when the writing is done by hand. As in, with a pen or pencil, not on a computer. And so while I also want to blog more often, I’m going to make it a point to jot down at least one paragraph—hell, one sentence even—per day in a journal.
  2. Take one picture every day. I’ve attempted Project365 twice before, and each time failed to take a picture every day. I’m going to lower the standards this time even further and allow myself to take every freaking day’s picture with my iPhone if that’s what it takes. No pressure to capture the entire day’s atmosphere in one shot, no post-processing necessary. Just one snapshot per day. Uploaded to Flickr here.
  3. Eat healthier. Weight-loss isn’t really a goal here, though I can’t lie and say it wouldn’t be nice. But my main goal here is to get my guts to stop revolting against me, something that was basically cured in my first year being vegetarian. But then I stopped getting my food from a CSA, which inevitably led to consuming a lot of frozen pizzas. I’ve rejoined the CSA this winter and paid in full up-front, so I kind of need to be committed to eating all of the great fresh food that they bring me or I’m going to be the kind of asshole that wastes several hundred dollars. And I don’t want to be that asshole. I want to be a healthy eater who doesn’t get sick after every meal.
  4. Read more. I used to devour books when I was a kid. By the time I made it to high school, I was asked repeatedly by teachers if my parents had sent me to speed-reading classes (they hadn’t) because my retention was ridiculously high for the amount of time it took me to finish books. (In middle school I finished this 181-page book in two 45-minute class periods and the teacher didn’t believe me that I’d read it until I gave her a run-down of the entire story. I then gave my copy of the book to a classmate who couldn’t buy his own and who had been having to borrow the teacher’s after school to stay caught up. The rest of the class finished the book in about two weeks. I spent that time reading a few other books of my choosing. Yes, I was a nerd.)

    Anyway, as I grew older I got busier, and even today I mostly prefer video games to books when I have a chunk of free time staring me in the face. But then I bought my iPad and installed the Kindle app, and I remembered how much I loved getting lost in a good story. I’ve been reading a lot more lately, and I’d like to keep up the momentum.
  5. Move to Nashville. Ian and I carpool every day for our 80-mile round-trip commute, and while I enjoy having time to spend with him, whether it’s spent sitting silently watching the landscape roll by or chatting, the drive is getting old. Traffic sucks, and even when it doesn’t I’m still looking at a minimum of 90 minutes in the car every day. We’ve been threatening to move for years now, but I’m hoping that this will be the year. I will miss Murfreesboro, but I won’t miss the soul-crushing commute (especially when the weather is bad and I have to wonder if driving in to work ahead of a storm will mean I won’t be able to make it back home that evening).

We’ll see how it goes, I guess.

Let’s do this, 2012

I feel more energized at the first of a year than I have in a while. I’m not entirely sure why, and I’m not sure there really is a reason, but I’m going with it.

2011 was a great year. Ian and I took several great trips (New Orleans for St. Patrick’s Day, Bonnaroo with my sister Emily, Asheville for our anniversary in October, and several camping excursions in state parks), spent a good amount of time with our friends and families (mostly his family, though mine came down to visit for an epic Thanksgiving) and were generally healthy.

After some time of feeling I was in a rut professionally, I was offered a job in April (without even interviewing!)—and after about a week of hardcore obsessing and analyzing, I took it. And while I was sad to leave my great co-workers at my previous job, I joined an amazing, innovative company with new great co-workers. Who upped the nerd ante by like a billion. And teach me stuff. And drink a lot of beer. It’s awesome.

The year wasn’t all good, though—my 94-year-old grandmother died in May after being in declining health for several years. And while I miss her at the oddest times still (hearing O Come All Ye Faithful in Kroger almost brought me to tears at least twice this holiday season), I know that she wasn’t happy laying in a nursing home bed. She was ready to go.

But! All in all, it was a pretty good year. I didn’t take pictures every day, but I did take a lot. And looking back on the year in pictures, a lot of great stuff happened in 2011:

January: Welcomed in the new year with awesome friends at a party that included me getting $100 for cleaning up a friend’s vomit. (It’s OK, I was at a level of non-sobriety where I couldn’t smell anything.)

February: There was, according to Nashville standards, a horrible snowstorm and it took me FIVE HOURS to get home. Two and a half hours were spent drive five miles to pick up Ian, and the last two and a half hours were spent driving 30 miles home. This doesn’t really count as a great thing that happened, but it was the most notable thing in February.

March: St. Patrick’s Day in New Orleans. Oh yes.

April: The new wedding band that Ian ordered me was delivered. It’s still perfectly me. Oh, and I accepted a new job.

May: Started my new job. And Ian and I went to the Renaissance Festival!


July: Bought my MacBook Pro! With CASH! And Ian, Scott and I completed the Paddle of Destiny at the Mellow Mushroom.

August: Emily and her friend Steph came to visit. We went to the Bell Witch Cave, hung out in downtown Nashville and played Rock Band.

September: Successfully replaced the hard drive in our PowerBook, a beautiful machine that someone dropped on the floor.

October: Ian and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary in Asheville. My favorite place with my favorite person.

November: My family came to visit for Thanksgiving.

December: Ian had his promotion ceremony at work. Got all my Christmas shopping done well before Christmas. Celebrated the holidays with Ian, his family, our cats and our friends.

Here’s hoping for an equally great—or better—2012. (And no Mayan apocalypse.)