Thursday, October 30, 2014

being a fan shouldn't be a complex

Baseball season has come to an end and while my post-baseball depression has started to sink in, there’s one thing I’m not going to miss – my A’s friends posting hate on social media and throwing shade to my team. Sigh. It seems that this year has been worse than previous years. The hater side of me would say that this is because the A’s should have had a postseason and they’re subsequently just jealous. But, I really don’t want to assume that. I honestly don’t know why the hate was so much stronger this year. But, whatever the reason, Giants’ fans have come to expect the hate and we’ve taken it in stride.

I came across this article on Facebook that a few of my A’s fans have shared and I’ve read it a few times. This isn’t the first time I’ve read an article and had a some kind of response to it. But, this is the first time I’ve felt strongly enough to reply. Why? Because most of this article is simply whining and disappointment from an A’s fan. There’s absolutely nothing factual in this article; it’s a lot of generalizations, assumptions, and, no offense to the author, but a lot of sour grapes.

So, as not only a Giants’ fan, but a baseball fan, I’ve decided to respond to said article. (You can read the full article here.)

1. We all know them. Those fans that know nothing about the Giants pre-2010…we know much more about their team than they do.

Okay, first off, this is one of those “facts” that I’ve heard from so many people, and not just about baseball -- the fact that if you liked something after it was popular, you're automatically a "bandwagon fan". (Just in case you were wondering -- I exited the womb wearing orange and black.) Whether it’s about the A’s or about people who started liking the Backstreet Boys in 2006 when they've been popular since 1998 or about people who just started watching “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” (please don't do this) and claim to love Kim, but there are people who have been watching since they beginning, so they are the real fans. Etc, etc. So, the point here is because you have liked something longer, that makes you a “real” fan and anyone else who likes something after you – or after it’s become popular – isn’t? That’s like saying someone who just tasted a Hershey bar for the first time and loves it isn’t a real fan of Hershey bars because they haven’t loved it as long as someone else and can’t name the year it was first created or the name of the creator. What’s wrong with people liking something they haven't before or being introduced to something new? The Giants aren’t the only team to have new fans. Even your A's have their share of fans who only show up when they're doing well. I mean, look at the Yankees. I know so many people who like the Yankees simply because they are the Yankees. And WHO CARES? Let people like who and what they like. Judging the validity of someone’s fanaticism is as pointless as judging someone’s love of chocolate.

2. ‘Well we have the best park in Baseball.’ ‘At least we can fill our ball park.’ And this is what apparently makes them the best fans in baseball?

Actually, no, what makes us the “best fans in baseball” is the energy you feel at EVERY game in AT&T Park. Have you ever been there? I’ve been to games when the Giants were sucking and had no chance of a postseason and that park was just as energetic and buzzing and full of excitement as it was when they were winning. Even the talking heads on Fox said this about AT&T Park – and they hate the Giants and had nothing positive, besides this comment, to say about them. To us, our park IS the best because when you’re a Giants fan, there’s nothing better than going home to your team and being surrounded by thousands of other people that feel the same. Isn’t that what makes the Coliseum – I’m sorry, – the best park to you?

3. …I feel respect is due a fan of the opposing team who will represent in hostile territory. But you may want to think twice over at the fancy AT&T (or whatever it’s called). A lone female Royals fan was booed and cursed at, told to get the f…out…All I know is, that would not happen at the

Really? I’m pretty sure this happens at every Major League Baseball park. Your isn’t immune to this, just as AT&T (yes, it is called AT&T, by the way) isn’t. My parents have season tickets and their seats are in a section that’s known to house family, friends and fans of the opposing team. And never once have I been to a game and sat in those seats and witnessed anyone cursing at those fans, booing them, or telling them, to “get the f out”. Every team has stupid fans because stupid people exist. And, no team is immune from stupidity.

4. Then there are those fans that profess allegiance to the A’s, but if the A’s are out of the postseason, they will root for the Giants…You root for a team not a region! If you root for both teams then you are really not a fan at all.

First off, there’s a difference between rooting for a team and wanting to see a team do well. If the roles had been reversed, I wouldn’t have rooted FOR the A’s, but I sure would have loved to see them win. Why? Not because I’m not a “true fan” or because I’m a bandwagon A’s fan. But, if my team is done for the season, why wouldn’t I want to see a neighboring team do well and bring something positive into our community? Why wouldn’t I want Oakland to bring people together and to celebrate something good? Being a true fan doesn’t mean hating on a neighboring team, especially when they aren’t even our rivals. I can surely be a diehard fan and not wish ill on a team whose success has nothing to do with the success of my own team. I can love the Giants and want to also see Oakland be successful because I LIVE HERE TOO. And, it’s not up to you or anyone else to decide how true or untrue my fanaticism is.

5. I’m just slightly sick of seeing the same bay area team in the post season when the A’s have been fighting tooth and nail to no avail.

Firstly, and that’s the Giants’ fault? Again, the success of the A’s has nothing to do with the success of the Giants. And, sorry, but the A’s aren’t the only team in the MLB who has fought tooth and nail year after year. That’s the whole point of a baseball season; every team fights tooth and nail to get a postseason. It’s silly of you to make this statement as if the A’s are the only losing team who hasn't won in the past five years. Look at the Royals. They haven’t been in a postseason before this year in over 20 years. And, yet, here they are with a young team, new managers, and the same amount of fight as every other team, and they not only got their long-wished-for postseason, but they gave us a run for our money. And, I can bet you they didn’t hate on any other team when they were losing as a result.

I love my Giants. I love the players, I love their heart, I love their bond, their friendships, the respect they give their managers and coaches and owners, and the love they have for their fans and their community. But, my love of the Giants doesn’t turn to hate for anyone else when their season is over. I don’t hate someone else because of their shortcomings or complain when others do well instead. My love for my team turns into my love of the game and of the excitement it creates; the way it can bring a city together and create nothing but good news on the TV instead of bad. My love turns to the game, because isn’t that what baseball is all about, anyway?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Beverly Hills, What a Thrill.

I read that today marks the 25th year of the best movie to ever grace American history, and that is Troop Beverly Hills. As kids – you know, back in the late 80s and early 90s when you didn’t own movies or stream them but you actually went to a store and picked one to rent – my sisters and I would go down to Rodeo Family Video  every weekend and choose the same movie every single time. Yes. Troop Beverly Hills. We saw it dozens of times and it never got old. We loved it. I mean, what’s not to love? Rolls Royces (a fancy car we had never heard of), b-list celebrities we would not have otherwise known (Pia Zadora, Robin Leach, and a tiny cameo from Annette Funicello), comedy (“They didn’t have outlets.”), and, best of all, outrageously 80s, rich-people outfits. I mean, Phyllis’ wardrobe consisted of everything from giant fur coats to larger-than-life pleated shorts to fully sequined dresses, complete with fully sequined birds.

I loved everything about that movie, but secretly Shelley Long’s extensive wardrobe is what I loved most. I would look forward to the scenes where she would wear the outfits I loved the most and cringed when she would arrive in the outfits I loved least. I, like every other Phyllis-loving creature, had my favorite outfits and the outfits I couldn’t wait for her to not ever wear again (that is, until the next time I watched it).

In honor of its 25th anniversary, I’ve complied a best and worst dressed list that has been 25 years in the making for me. All starring our favorite divorcee-wilderness-girl-fashion-plate, Mrs. Phyllis Nefler.

Best Dressed:

1. Just Hanging Out in my Killer Satin Jammies and Matching Kimono Phyllis

Phyllis makes bedtime the place to be. I mean outside of the faboosh kimono (WHERE DID YOU BUY THAT), she’s topped off this black number with a metallic headscarf and oversized earrings. Killin’ it.

2. Revamped Wilderness Girl Troop Leader Ensemble with Matching Cape Phyllis

Who cares if you eventually have to pitch a tent in the dirt and cook squirrel meat over a fire started with two sticks? This masterpiece is all any troop leader needs in life.

3. Trimmin’ Trees in Animal Print and a Bitchin’ Hat Phyllis

Werk Bitch.

4. Casual Tweed Stay-At-Home Mom Phyllis

Makin’ sandwiches has never looked better. I don’t know what’s better: the tweed culottes one-piece, the sheer puffy sleeved-blouse or the matching red head-scarf-turned headband. If this is what not working looks like, sign me up.

Worst Dressed:

1. Yellow Mom Shorts with Matching Shoulder-Padded Blouse Phyllis

The Man With the Yellow Hat Called. He wants his outfit back.
* Bonus Points: Pre-Rilo-Kiley Jenny Lewis is killin' the popular matching floral shirt and blouse ensam. She makes banana Phyllis a little more bearable. Now, about those couches...

2. Easter Egg Tuxedo Dress With Layered Marshmallow Train Phyllis

I mean, why. That much pastel should be prohibited. Even during Easter. And the messy up-do, massive rose choker and bicep-length gloves? Listen to your own wilderness girls, Phyll: Too many accessories clutter an outfit.

3. Icing on the Cake Wicker Skirt Tee-Pee Dress Phyllis

 Just. No.

4. Every Shade of Purple Hot Mess Victorian Tea Party My Daughter Hot Glued Flowers to My Hat Phyllis

The least she could have done was choose one shade of purple and stick to it.

(Props and major thanks go out to the inspiration for unleashing my childhood fashion critic, Lindy West, who wrote this way-better and ultra-thorough article. While I don’t agree with (most) of her rankings, any one who can create a masterpiece as she has done is my heroine. Lindy, I hope you don’t mind my version. Thanks for the inspo.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Four Things I Wish I Could Go Back and Tell My 20-Something-Self:

      You are in control of the people in your life.

I used to think that I had to give up everything to keep the people in my life happy. I felt like I had to bend over backwards to get the people in my life to like me, to feel accepted, and to keep people happy. The friendships in my life started to feel more like a burden than anything else, and what fun is that? The whole point of friendships is to have people surrounding you that support you, listen to you, and that you have fun with and laugh with and, most importantly, can trust. I pretty much had those things every other day, and the rest of the time was spent keeping them as happy as possible and spending time trying to walk on eggshells so I wouldn't disturb anything. It wasn’t until it was almost too late that I realized I didn’t have to do that and not only did I not have to do that, I had it in my power to let those people go. When I figured out I had that kind of control, things felt freer; I felt more free. I had power and it felt GOOD to use it.

You don’t have to settle when it comes to romantic relationships.

Oh, boy. I look back at the guys I dated and don’t understand how or why. Well, that’s a lie; I do know why. It was because I didn’t think I could do any better and because I thought that I couldn’t find any better or I thought I was being too unrealistic about what I wanted. Newsflash: I wasn’t. I settled for someone who I wasn’t in love with because I thought I would be stupid to give him up. I settled for someone who made me feel badly about myself because I thought I wasn’t as good of a person as he was. I settled for a man who didn’t know what he wanted and constantly made me question our relationship because I thought no one else would love me the way he did and because I thought love had to be hard to be worth it. Don’t do that. You don’t have to question your relationship, you don’t have to feel badly, you don’t have to want or settle for less than you actually want. Even if it means waiting, you can have what you want. And it will be worth every second of your wait. Super promise.

Not caring can be a good thing.

I mean, obviously not when it comes to people or your job or relationships. But, when it comes to what people think about you. Or when it comes to the brands you wear or the things you own. I used to be one of those girls who wouldn’t be caught dead out of the house without make up on and now, if I get mascara on my eyelashes, it’s a good day for me. And It’s not because I don’t care about myself or I hate makeup (actually, I love makeup) but it’s just because I realize I don’t care what people think about me. I’m confident enough in myself to go out of the house with naked eyes. I don’t care anymore about being perfect for anyone. I don’t care if I come across as demanding and if I may rock the baot, but I speak up when my order at a restaurant is wrong. I don’t care if I make someone mad, but if they treat me badly, I don’t put up with it and I tell them so. Stop caring about the things that don't matter and pay more attention to the things that do. Yourself included.

Let the future worry about itself.

Super easier said than done. And not to say that we shouldn’t THINK about the future or make any kind of plans for it. But, as someone who spent most of my twenties worrying about the future and trying to make things happen and do things a certain way I can tell you it was a complete and utter waste of time. And time really is precious. I look back and wonder what I was so worried about. My life is NOTHING like I wanted it to be or thought it was going to be or tried to make it be and – oh my goodness – I’m not dead. And, not only that, but my life is even better than my expectations were. Of course, I have the gift of hindsight, but honestly, if I had just let my life play out instead of forcing things to happen or stressing out about what wasn’t happening, I would have saved so much time, so much effort and energy, so much of my own sanity and my own happiness. Just, LIVE. Stop worrying, stop stressing, stop feeling sorry for yourself because you don’t have what you think you want or think you’re supposed to have and love what you do have. Your life will work out in the end.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

thirty is the new 20. or something like that.

People keep asking me what 30 feels like, and I keep responding with “Just like 29.”

And, I’m, not even trying to be funny; really, it’s not as if on the 18th of February, everything for me changed. I woke up and felt the way I felt the day before.

I’ve felt “30” (or, how ever I think 30 is and was supposed to feel) a while ago, actually. It was the moment I woke up and realized I was comfortable in my own skin, which is something I can say I never felt in the first 28 years of my life. When I realized how blessed I truly have been and truly am and stopped focusing on everything that was or could or might go wrong, everything changed.

Being an adult is sort of a funny thing, especially when you don’t realize that it’s happening. And, when you become an adult, you realize it has little to do with age and more to do with experience. I still wake up and wonder when it happened: when I started to enjoy going to bed at 9pm instead of staying up until midnight; when I started to prefer a night in with a glass/bottle of wine than go out to a loud bar or lounge or restaurant; When I started to enjoy balancing my checkbook and filing my paperwork and organizing my drawers and creating a schedule; when I started to love doing laundry and writing thank you cards and buying crap from Home Goods. I mean, seriously, who am I?

But honestly, for me, being an adult has become less about the things I do and the time I go to bed. It’s really about the person I have become. Well, first, just KNOWING who I am and not spending all of my life feeling lost and sad and insecure; just being comfortable with who I am and where I am. Being an adult, to me, is feeling productive and responsible with my time and my choices. Being an adult is realizing that I don’t have to spend time with any one who doesn’t make me feel good about myself, who doesn’t care about me, or who makes me feel anything less than like a good person. Being an adult is also knowing that if it means I only have a couple good friends, I’m still better off.

This place in my life is way more exciting than my 20s ever were and not because nothing exciting happened in my 20s, but because I’m in a place in my life where I can understand the exciting things and enjoy them and LIVE. I’m living and not just trying to get by or get through. I’m enjoying being with my friends, hanging out with my parents and being able to have that kind of relationship with them, watching my friends have babies and get married. I’m enjoying being in a relationship with a man who works hard, opens doors for me, doesn’t judge my craziness, and who doesn’t ever make me question how he feels or what he wants. I’m enjoying working at a job that I’m good at, that I enjoy, that I feel productive at. Mostly, I’m enjoying where I’m at and looking forward to the next decade of my life and what it will bring.

Monday, February 3, 2014

bon voyage, 2013. (a month late.)

So, it’s February already (umm, what?!) and this was supposed to be posted a month ago, but hey, better late than never, right? (Sure.)

A year ago, I started a Graditude Journal and started 2013 with the mindset of being grateful instead of being upset or worried about the things in my life that I didn’t have or things in my life that were going right. While I’d love to say that every day of 2013 was spent being super thankful, that would be a blatant lie. There were days when things just seemed desperate and frustrating and forever stressful. There were many days in 2013 where I wondered if my heart would be broken forever, if I would ever be able to open up to someone so wholly and completely again, if I was the kind of person who could be loved, if I could ever trust anyone ever again.  Really, what I can sum 2013 up as is this: I wondered a lot if I could trust myself again.

Going through a break-up with someone you placed 100% of your trust in and who you talked about your future with, planned a life with – there’s something in you that breaks that you don’t know will ever be put back together. It would be easy and cliché to say it’s your heart that breaks, but it’s more than that. You feel failed by the one person who promised would never fail you and you start to wonder who else in your life will fail you. You question every decision you’ve ever made in your life, wondering if you were so confident in placing trust in this person who ended up letting you down, what else in your life is actually real? What other decisions in your life were good ones or not? You begin to wonder if you can really trust yourself to make decisions, if you really know anything about your life or life in general.

Depression is a silly thing. It makes you feel things and do things and think things that aren’t reality. I realized that every time in my life I thought I was “better” – that I was over being depressed -- all I was doing was taking all the positive things happening and using them as a cover. Being hurt in a way that seems inhumane made me realize that there was no such thing as cured, but there is a thing as better, and I needed to figure out how to be better.

In the end, what this break-up was was a chance for me to really find myself. After being in the lowest place in my life, I got the courage and the strength to ask for help to figure out how to climb out of the hole of depression I had been living with my entire life. And what happened was amazing. In a year, I went through a journey where I really did find myself. I learned how to trust myself, how to work through bad times, how to love myself, how to be optimistic and hopeful and positive and grateful. And, here I am, a year later, with so many things to be grateful for that I don’t know where to start.

When 2013 ended, I really felt like myself, and for the first time in my life, I felt like I knew who myself was. 2013 ended and I realized I had been chasing happy my whole life, when in reality, happy isn’t a permanent feeling. What I found was contentment. I found myself content with my life, even though there were things I still wish were different. I learned how to stand up for myself, how to be a better friend and sister and daughter, how to put things into perspective and how to take care of myself. I learned how to be proud of myself. I learned how to take time out for myself without taking anything away from someone else. I learned how to be confident in the decisions I made. I learned how to love myself.

I ended 2013 with a masters degree (I never liked school very much and here I am with not one, but TWO degress. Wwwhhhhhaaaattt?), with great friends who I enjoy spending time with and who treat me with respect and care, with a job where I’m respected and where I feel good about myself and that I love (despite having to drive 120 miles everyday). But, more importantly – and most surprising – I ended 2013 in a relationship with a person who has restored my faith in everything I had ever lost faith in.

This year, for the first time, I don’t feel like depression defines who I am; I feel like I define who I am. I’m in control of how I feel, who I allow to hurt me, what I allow in my life. I’m confident, more sure of things, less afraid, and enjoying where God is taking me instead of being impatient to actually get there.

2014? You’re going to be a good year.