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Who are the Nuclear Cowboyz? Win some tickets and find out!

 

NC _Show
photo courtesy of Feld Motor Sports

Have you ever watched freestyle motocross on the X Games?  To me, the X Games are like watching all the stuff your mom always told you not to do because it is so super dangerous.  It feels almost sneaky and taboo to flip on the TV and see these guys flying through the air on dirtbikes.  It makes you turn your head for a second to see if Mom is going to yell at you.

Well, the Nuclear Cowboyz are like the X Games times a million.  Not only are the same guys who you know and love from the X Games right there in front of you- flipping around and doing stunts you never thought possible- they are performing a very well-choreographed show with an actual storyline, costumes and pyrotechnics.

It... Is... Amazing!

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photo courtesy of Feld Motor Sports

My family and I went to see the show last year.  We have honestly been waiting on the edges of our seats for the Cowboyz to come around again because the show was THAT good.

Here's an excerpt from this year's press release: 

Nuclear Cowboyz®, the only high octane-fueled freestyle motocross touring production in North America, is coming to IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J. on March 16-17. The action-packed narrative is the legend of two powerful freestyle motocross tribes whose survival in their futuristic world is told through an amassed compilation of fearless freestyle aerial feats, gravity-defying stunts, and electrifying pyrotechnic and laser displays synchronized to an energizing soundtrack. 

Sound like fun?  Well, here is a little more to sweeten the pot for you:

Nuclear Cowboyz 2013 has the greatest cast of freestyle motocross, trials and quad riders ever assembled, including recent X Games 2012 medalists Ronnie Faisst, Mike Mason, Taka Higashino and Winter X Games gold and silver medalist Colten Moore. The tour also includes former gold medalists Adam Jones and Matt Buyten as well as award-winning freestylers Derek Garland, Brody Wilson, Jimmy Fitzpatrick, Wes Agee, Nick Dunne, Geoff Aaron, Keith Wineland and Marco Picado in this action-packed freestyle performance of pure danger and raw combat.   

 I was given TWO (yes, two) family 4-packs of tickets to give away for this year's show and I want YOU to have them!  

All I need you to do is enter to win.  I will be choosing two winners at the end of the giveaway and will contact you to let you know you've won.  I've set up this nifty Rafflecopter form for you to use.  You can enter as many ways as you'd like, but you MUST complete the task in order for your entry to count.  For example: if you enter by choosing to leave a blog post comment, you have to actually leave a comment on this post.  

 Easy enough, right?  OK!  Go ahead and enter.  I hope you win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hey, even if you don't win you can still get tickets for your family through Ticketmaster.  If you are feeling really saucy, go for the VIP Fallout Zone passes (Saturday only) which will get you in the same room as the riders before the show for autographs and photo ops.  It's a great time for everyone!

Disclosure: I was given tickets to see the Nuclear Cowboyz.  All opinions are my own.  They really, really DO rock.  


The Harlem Globetrotters are coming to Prudential Center - Want to win some tickets?

709194560_62d66c9d5f_zI am SO excited.  The other day, I read that the Harlem Globetrotters are coming to Prudential Center in February with their "You Write the Rules" world tour.  Coincidentally, I read it on the same day that Whatever Work's Facebook page reached 300 Likes.  

I love writing my own rules, I love the Harlem Globetrotters and most importantly I love YOU!  

...So guess what?

It's giveaway time! 

I am proud to announce that Prudential Center in Newark, NJ has offered me an awesome giveaway prize of 4 tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters in action on February 16th.  

This year, the Globetrotters are trying something a little different:

The Globetrotters’ 2013 “You Write the Rules” World Tour will allow New York area fans to choose the rules of each game. New rules include playing with two basketballs at once, getting double the points for each basket, and more. Fans can vote for their favorite rule at www.harlemglobetrotters.com/rule.

I am a HUGE fan of the Globetrotters.  I remember watching the commercials as a kid...trying to emulate their moves out in my driveway next to my wooden basketball hoop...whistling Sweet Georgia Brown for the rest of the day.

I even learned to play it on the clarinet.

I always felt super cool whenever I got the basketball to spin for more than one rotation on my finger tip or I could dribble two balls for more than 3 seconds.  I thought for SURE a Globetrotter scout would be driving by, slam on the brakes and immediately knock on our front door to talk with my parents about jersey size and the need for a tutor while we're on the road.

Of  course, that never happened.  But a girl can dream, right?  

Here is a little more about the show:

FIRST FEMALE HARLEM GLOBETROTTER IN 20 YEARS LEADS
WORLD FAMOUS TEAM INTO PRUDENTIAL CENTER

Globetrotters bring six games to NYC-area from February 15-18

TNT Maddox will inspire all girls in the NYC-area when she leads the world famous Harlem Globetrotters into Manhattan, North Jersey, and Long Island for six games from Feb. 15-18, including her Prudential Center debut on Saturday, February 16 at 1 p.m. 

As a former standout at Temple University, TNT joined the Globetrotters in the fall of 2011 as the ninth woman to play for the team in 87 years. She is the first female Globetrotter since 1993. The first woman to ever play for a men’s professional basketball team was a Globetrotter – Hall of Famer Lynette Woodard – who signed in 1985.

Sponsored by Howard Johnson Hotels, Wonderful Pistachios, Greyhound Lines, Spalding, and Russell Athletic, the Original Harlem Globetrotters are celebrating their 87th consecutive year, continuing a world famous tradition of ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry, and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that continues to thrill fans of all ages. Throughout their history, the Globetrotters have showcased their iconic talents in 121 countries and territories on six continents, often breaking down cultural and societal barriers while providing fans with their first-ever basketball experience. Proud inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Globetrotters have entertained hundreds of millions of fans—among them popes, kings, queens, and presidents—over more than eight thrilling decades. For the latest news and information about the Harlem Globetrotters, and to purchase tickets and team merchandise, visit the Globetrotters’ official Web site: www.harlemglobetrotters.com.

I am so excited about this giveaway.  To enter, all you have to do is follow the prompts within the following Rafflecopter form.  You can choose as many entries as you like, but you MUST complete the task required in the form.  Example: if you choose the "Leave a blog post comment" option, you MUST leave a blog post comment in order for that entry to be included.  I hope you win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About Prudential Center:

Prudential Center at Night (2)
Prudential Center is home to the three-time Stanley Cup Champion and 2011-2012 Eastern Conference Champion New Jersey Devils, Seton Hall NCAA Division 1 Men's Basketball, the WNBA’s New York Liberty, over 200 events a year including major concerts, the 2011 NCAA East Regional, the 2011 & 2012 NBA Draft and the 2013 NHL Draft. Opened in October 2007, the arena now welcomes over 2 million guests through its doors annually, ranking tenth overall in 2011, according to leading industry publication Venues Today. The Rock provides the ultimate live sports and entertainment experience for fans, featuring unique dining options and superior customer service in seven premium lounges. The Acela Club showcases a custom-made mahogany wine cabinet and unique seating overlooking the ice and court. Ice Lounge is furnished with an ice bar and features center bowl views. The exciting sports bar atmosphere is the centerpiece of Bud Light Goal Bar, also with center bowl views.

What’s more, the fan experience begins outside Prudential Center in Championship Plaza, a brick paved fan message-driven courtyard that features a 22-foot tall, three-ton metal “Ironman” hockey player statue. The Plaza plays host to live entertainment with a block party atmosphere during FanFest celebrations before events. AmeriHealth Pavilion is Prudential Center Center’s second ice rink and is the official practice facility of the New Jersey Devils and home to Brick City Boxing, youth, high school and adult hockey programming and Hockey In Newark.

A pro sports first, the Devils created Mission Control which features a Digital Command Center located inside the Prudential Center designed to more effectively manage, monitor, and measure the franchise’s online brand engagements. Mission Control is fueled in part by the Devils Generals, a team of two-dozen socially-savvy fans who utilize Twitter, Facebook and other online channels hosted by the team/arena to extend the organization’s reach.

Prudential Center is located in downtown Newark just two blocks from Newark Penn Station, accessible via NJ Transit, PATH and Amtrak, while at the heart of cross-roads for five major highway access routes and 12 miles from midtown Manhattan. Prudential Center’s charitable arm, Devils Care, in partnership with the New Jersey Devils, was awarded the 2011 EPA’s Environmental Quality Award for its Rock and Wrap It Up! Program.

*This post is sponsored by Prudential Center.  All opinions are my own.   


Flash Giveaway by Elite Martial Arts in Rockaway, NJ!! Ends tonight at 10!!

Free Event Giveaway!  

 

This year, Elite Martial Arts is giving back by giving YOU a FREE event!

 Just call us tonight, Tuesday, November 20th by 10pm and you will automatically be selected to win ... totally FREE!  Call 973 361 5425!

*for non-students only

Greetings!
Your child is invited to join us for fun and exciting ALL DAY Camp at our school!
We'll teach kids team building exercises, karate classes, watch movies, play games and break for lunch and snacks! Open to all participants - you don't have to be a martial arts student to attend! Enrollment is limited so sign-up today by completing the form; click sign up now!
 
Time: 9AM - 4PM
(with a  6AM and/or 6PM extension!)
Cost: ONLY $45 (normally $80ea)
 
There's MORE! Enjoy 3 hours - a Parent Night Out event - for only $20! This time it's a Black Friday Black Out!  Karate classes... in the dark! Team building activities! Pizza & Juice dinner! Just click sign up now to register! 
 
Time: 6PM - 9PM 
CostONLY $20
Sincerely,
Elite Martial Arts Rockaway
208 Enterprise Drive
Rockaway, NJ 07866
(The Wal-Mart Complex)
   
Sign Up Button



Use whatever works to get through...

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I'm dazed.  For almost two weeks now life has not been normal.  I have been sitting in this bubble next to all these homes demolished by hurricane Sandy.  Nothing happened to my home or family, so I am eternally grateful for that.  But I am sad.  I don't understand it all.  I keep pushing that thought back because I don't really think I would ever want to know the reasoning behind all that has happened.  It has happened.  That is enough.

I have been getting mad a lot lately, too.  I don't normally get mad.  But I have been lately.  I have been focusing my anger on this chair I see on the side of the road.  This chair has been sitting there for a few days now.  It looks like someone threw it out for special pick-up.  On normal days, it would be an average sight.  But now, the mere thought of it is making me cringe.  It's a beautiful recliner.  It looks almost new.  

If you were to go across town, you could probably find the same recliner on the side of the road, but it would be soaked in bay water from the massive flooding along with every other ounce of its home's contents.  That twin recliner would have been thrown out because it had to be, not because someone just didn't want it.  This one over here was probably replaced by an even newer recliner in a nice warm house.

How silly is that?  I'm getting mad at a chair?  I don't even know WHY it was thrown out.  Maybe it has a pee stain.  Maybe it IS broken.  Yet, I'm still mad.  There it sat through a rain/snow storm.  There it still sits...  if I had the ability I would bring it across town myself.  

But anyway... I don't know what to write.  I thought writing about the tragedy would make me feel better.  But the truth is, I'm not ready to feel better.  People need help.  Standing beside them and helping to get them back to normal is the only way to go.  Getting mad at a chair and helping in any way I can is whatever works for me.  Use whatever works for you to get through it.

I made up this Facebook page for people to check if they want to help in any way.  I hope you can check it out.  

Hurricane Sandy Support Page- South Jersey

If you can help, it would be greatly appreciated.  In the very least, please say a prayer for everyone.  I believe it works.

Thank you.


National Bullying Prevention month: A Letter for Lucia by Perry Vision Divirgilio

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flickr.com/mondi cc 2.0
The other day, I came across this piece about bullying.  It flashed across the screen on a friend's Facebook timeline and I almost scrolled right by.  Something caused me to click on it, and I'm really glad I did.  As a person who has stood in both the writer's shoes and Lucia's shoes from time to time, it moved me.  I, too, am sorry for ever being a secret bully...talking behind anyone's back...shifting the insulting laserbeams onto someone else.  It's not fair.  It's not right.  

 

I contacted the writer and asked if I could share his beautifully written piece here for all of you.  Print it out.  Read it to your kids.  Let them know that being a secret bully is just as wrong as outwardly hurting someone.  It will haunt you. 

Maybe he will find his Lucia.  I told him after reading this that I would forgive him, if I were her.  I would.  Would you?

 

A Letter for Lucia

by Perry Vision Divirgilio

I'm almost positive she was in love with me in 8th grade.

Maybe it was just infatuation

Either way she had a crush on me

She'd always find a reason to touch my arm

She asked for hugs everyday

Smiled whenever I walked near her.

She considered me a friend.

I considered her a friend...

When no one was watching.

When we were alone we shared hugs

Laughs

Conversation

Witty acknowledgements of a phantom friendship.

When all eyes were on us

I treated her like an interloper trespassing in caliginous waters

I pretended she was nothing more than a circumstantial happenstance

An apparated acquaintance.

My secret friend was a little girl who wanted nothing more than an ear and a warm smile reciprocated

 

Her name was Lucia.

She was recognized as the poorest girl at John H. Taggart Elementary

Realistically, we were all poor offspring 

Some parents were just better at cloaking poverty than others

She was an easy target.

Her name was Lucia.

A perpetual patsy with average grades

I imagine it's hard to study when there's a gauntlet of browbeating bullies feasting on your insecurities

Her name was Lucia.

She smiled at me every morning.

I returned covert smirks and nods when the coast was clear

But more often than not I pretended not to see her.

Reconciled my savage neglect like it was for the best

Until the mob turned on me.

Until the jokes were on me

Until my dirty Air Cortez Nikes were the spotlight of vicious a snapfest

My faded turtleneck under an off brand sweat shirt garnered the attention of the cruel cabal

I skated on thin eggshells every time I walked into school not wearing an outfit Tino passed to me.

But I was always able to quietly throw verbal rocks at Lucia and hide my hands

Shift the scrutiny to the little girl with the hand me down lace dresses

Her name was Lucia.

A sneak attack

Friendly fire.

From plate tectonic whispers so she'd never know I was the catalyst for a room full of pre-teen vulgar volcanoes erupting in laughter

"Eh y'all, look at Lucia's socks."

 

Everyone laughed every time.

Kids pretended to pass around a collection plate for the "Lucia Sock Fund"

I breathed sighs of relief

Avalanches on my self esteem averted

Lucia offered as lamb to the lions again and again

I stood as the signifying monkey happy to swing from her dignity.

It was premeditated.

Conspiracy in the First Degree

Aggravated Assault 

Corrupting the Mind of a Minor

Was like Irish & Italian immigrants who learned the word nigger for the first time 

The reminder that no matter how bad things got I was better than someone. 

It was my ace in the hole

Lucia

My Fila straps were scuffed but look at Lucia.

People called my jacket a Triple Fat Pigeon but look at Lucia.

My Jordache Jumper was busted as hell but look at Lucia's!

Lucia

That bus was always on time.

Lucia

The get out of pre-teen hell free card.

The guilt I felt was never enough to make me stop pointing the finger at Lucia

Lucia

A little micawber queen who wanted hugs and approval from a boy who was just as battered as she was.

She never tried to shift the attention

Just bore a cross of unwarranted opprobrium like it was tattooed on her back.

Her name was Lucia.

 

Two decades later I still feel like Judas.

Like I sold Lucia's self esteem for silver linings.

And all I wanna do is apologize.

Hug her.

Tell her how wrong I was 

How strong she was for surviving a classroom full of jackals.

Her name is Lucia.

Lucia I'm sorry.

Only a coward finds a bigger bullseye when his glabella is the target.

Sorry I wasn't strong enough to divvy the burden.

I wasn't the person I pretended to be

Your friend was nothing more than a sycophant for psychopaths

I was too self-preserving to be your anything.

I never deserved your smile

Your hug

Your touch

The corny jokes you'd tell that made us laugh with liberated lungs

Lucia, I'm sorry

I hope this guilt burden is never lifted from my prefrontal cortex

I dont deserve to be forgiven.

I never deserved your friendship.

Until I can find you to tell you in person,

I'm sorry.

 

Sincerely,

The grown version of a boy who was too nervous to be your knight

Too hurt to be your hero

 

P.S. After graduation you told your friend how great he was going to be. He never forgot. I still try to live up to that prediction.

 

Perry Vision Divirgilio is the artistic director and mentor at the Philly Youth Poetry Movement.  He is a poet with no boundaries who tells it like he sees it.  Check him out at spokensoul215.com.

Thank you Perry.  Thank you.

 


National Bullying Prevention Month: Little Punk People prove it can't rain all the time

October is Bullying Prevention Month.  Coincidentally, my friends at Little Punk People recently made a promotional video for their awesome company, but the underlying theme is about bullying.  Check it out.
 

 

Little Punk People is made up of husband and wife Justin & Daniela Fullam.  They have this really great son Elliott who is featured in the video.  Daniela and Justin are both tremendous artists with a knack for making even the most macabre subjects seem less frightening - more "normal".  

I love this video for a lot of different reasons.  Not only does it have a good message, it utilizes Little Punk People's style and uses characters and visuals I can relate to.  I personally like things that are out of the ordinary.  Things that are just slightly off kilter from the every day.  This video could be a dream I once had.  It's so similar to my thoughts.  

I also have always been a firm believer that outside appearances mean close to nothing.  Nothing.  I know nothing of fashion.  I couldn't tell you if a pair of jeans were Lees or Lucky Brands.  I buy clothes stictly because I have to and only wear things that make ME happy.  Sometimes, I'm sure I get funny looks because I don't necessarily match...or my blue nail polish is cracked up...or my hair might not be styled just right.  But ya know what?  It doesn't bother me.  I come home to my family who loves me for who I am.

This video is a testament to loving families everywhere- no matter what type of family you have.  The real world can be frightening when people treat you unkindly.  But if there is a place to come home to with loving parents who know you, it can't be bad all the time.  Your family can give you power to overcome any bully out there.

The whole point is, love one another.  There will be people out there that will try to do your children harm for no reason at all.    It's heartbreaking.  While we can all work on trying to fix that, we need to have a respite for our kids in the meantime.  Support your children.  Give them solace when their worlds turn upside down.  

To remind you of this, Little Punk People has given me a couple of their fansatical shirts to give away.  The two shirts they sent over are of the Boo Crew - which is a depiction of Elliott and his friends.  Please enter to win, but also check out Little Punk People  online.  Their artwork is truly amazing and beautiful.  Some is for kids, some is for adults, but it's all for fun.  

Here are the shirts:

P1020478 P1020479 P1020477

 

 

 

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway Best of luck!  I hope you win. 

Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions @ Prudential Center- Ticket Giveaway!

Prudential Center at Night (2)

I admit it.  I have only recently become a huge sports fan.  I never really understood the excitement until about 3-4  years ago ...right around the time my daughter started playing sports.  I swear, having children has opened my eyes to SO many new experiences.  I mean, I played sports my whole life, but never really felt it.  I went through the motions and got through each sport by the skin of my teeth. 

Until seeing my daughter play her heart out on the soccer field, I didn't get it.  Now I know the feeling of determination.  I know why she sometimes cries after games - even if they win.  It's a very emotional thing and I cry right along side her.  She feels it, so I do too.

I felt that way watching the Olympics this summer.  In particular, while watching the U.S. gymnasitcs team.  Not only did they prove they can handle themselves on the mat, they proved they can handle themselves off, too.  There were so many times I was on the edge of my seat waiting to hear the outcome of a challenged call or wiping tears from my eyes when someone fell off the beam.  It was truly a remarkable site to behold on the television screen every night.  I often wondered how it would feel to see these athletes in person... doing their thing right in front of me. 

Well, here is some good news for all of you that have wondered the same thing.  The US gymnastics team is coming to Prudential Center in Newark, NJ with the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions on Saturday, November 10th.

"As our 2012 Olympians head to London to represent their country, we are proud to announce they will be an important part of our cast for the 2012 Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions, which serves as the perfect stage for Americans to celebrate and welcome our Olympians home," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics.

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Below is the complete list of athletes scheduled to perform during the Kellogg’s Tour of Champions. Due to athletes’ schedules and personal commitments, the cast will vary from stop to stop.

 •     Rebecca Bross –2010 World Championships Team silver medalist; six-time World medalist

•     Gabby Douglas –2012 U.S. Olympic Trials champion and 2011 World Championships Team gold medalist

•     Brenna Dowell –2010 Pan Am Championships team gold medalist

•     Sarah Finnegan –2012 U.S. Olympic Team replacement athlete; 2010 Pan Am Championships team gold medalist

•     Anna Li –2012 U.S. Olympic Team replacement athlete; 2012 U.S. uneven bars bronze medalist

•     Nastia Liukin –2008 Olympic all-around champion; five-time Olympic medalist

•     McKayla Maroney –2012 U.S. Olympic Team member; 2011 World vault and team gold medalist

•     Chellsie Memmel –2008 Olympic Team silver medalist; World gold medalist in all-around, team (twice), uneven bars 

•     Elizabeth Price –2012 U.S. Olympic Team replacement athlete; 2011 City of Jesolo Trophy team gold medalist

•     Aly Raisman –2012 U.S. Olympic Team member; 2011 World floor floor bronze medalist and team gold medalist

•     Kyla Ross –2012 U.S. Olympic Team member; 2012 Kellogg’s Pacific Rim team gold medalist

•     Alicia Sacramone –2011 World team gold medalist; 2008 Olympic team silver medalist; 10 career World medals

•     Sabrina Vega –2011 World Championships team gold medalist

•     Jordyn Wieber –2012 U.S. Olympic team member; 2011 World all-around and team gold medalist, balance beam bronze medalist

 •     Chris Brooks –2012 U.S. Olympic Team replacement athlete; 2012 Kellogg’s Pacific Rim Championships all-around and team gold medalist

•     Alex Buscaglia –2010 Pan Am Championships Team gold medalist

•     Jake Dalton –2012 U.S. Olympic Team member; 2011 World Championships team bronze medalist

•     Jonathan Horton –2012 U.S. Olympic Team member; 2010 World all-around bronze medalist; 2008 Olympic team bronze medalist and horizontal bar silver medalist

•     Glen Ishino -2010 Pan Am Games team gold medalist

•     Steven Legendre –2012 U.S. Olympic Team replacement athlete; 2011 World Championships team bronze

•     Alex Naddour –2012 U.S. Olympic Team replacement athlete; 2011 World Championships Team bronze medalist

•     John Orozco –2012 U.S. Olympic Team member; 2012 U.S. all-around champion; 2011 World Championships team bronze

•     Paul Ruggeri -2011 Pan Am Games team bronze medalist and high bar champion

•     Brandon Wynn -2011 Pan Am Games team bronze medalist and still rings gold medalist

1996 Olympian John Macready and 2004 Olympian Mary Sanders will also be part of the Tour. The cast of gymnastics champions will be joined by local gymnasts at each tour stop. Acrobatic, rhythmic and trampoline athletes participating in the 2012 Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions will be announced at a later date.

WOW, that's a long list!

And here's some even BETTER news - we want you to go so badly, we're giving away a four pack of tickets* to go see them!

There are a few ways you can enter.  Choose one, or choose them all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 "USA Gymnastics has produced countless memorable moments throughout the history of the Olympic Games and Kellogg's is excited to help bring the incredible athletes who create these moments to fans, even after the Games have ended, as part of our official partnership," said Kellogg U.S. Morning Foods President David Denholm.

*Tickets are being provided by Prudential Center.  Winners wil be chosen by random.org.


Breastfeeding vs. monkeys in love..?

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flickr.com/foolstopzanet cc 2.0
When I breast fed my kids, I always felt a little funny about doing it in public.  I don't know why, but I did.  I should have OWNED it.  But instead I let everyone who looked at me funny decide how I felt.  I know I'm not the only one that feels that way and that's kind of sad, isn't it? 

Nursing is such a hot topic these days.  Why?  Instead of being a beautiful thing between a mother and her child, it's an unnecessary debate between many different people.  I don't understand it.

Fellow blogger Paola Deininger of Modestly Chic Style had a very interesting experience yesterday at the zoo.  I wanted to share it to show how skewed some perceptions of breastfeeding can be. To some people it's an inappropriate thing to do "in front of children".  But read to find out what those same people think is AOK. 

Personally?  Both are natural to me and really don't need to be judged either way.  I'm not alone, am I? 

Here's Paola's post:

I read a post back in December about a woman who was harrassed by a Target employee for breastfeeding her child while out Christmas shopping . I remember being annoyed by the way this was handled by the employee and the company and sympathetic to the mother who was only trying to feed her child. At the time I was only a couple of months pregnant with my second child and remembered the stares I got from time to time when I would nurse my first child in public.  Normally I was too preoccupied with my daughter and trying to stay covered up to look around and see if this was bothering anyone, but no one ever game me any grief or trouble for breastfeeding in public before. And to be completely honest, I'm the type of person who doesn't really care what others think. I'm going to do what I'm going to do and if you don't like it, well tough! That's always been my attitude towards everything. Call me hard-headed I guess.

My family loves the zoo and we're there just about every week. If the weather is nice and it's my husband's day off, it's pretty much a given that we'll be taking a trip to the zoo for the day. It just so happened that on yesterday's trip fell into my son's feeding time. I thought nothing of it and told my husband I was going to take the baby to the theatre in the lion exhibit to feed him. It was a dark room and air-conditioned. I could easily find a space out-of-the-way where I wouldn't be bothering anyone to feed him in peace. I made my way there and found the room to be somewhat occupied by a couple of families watching clips fromThe Lorax that was playing. I made my way to the back corner of the room, put on my shield and started nursing my son. The short film ended and the families made their way on to the next exhibit. It wasn't too long before the next group of people made their way into the theatre and took their seats. With this group were a couple of men and their children. I guess I caught their attention because the entire time, rather than watching the film or even their own children, they continually looked back at me making disgusted faces and exchanging snide remarks about how inappropriate it was what I was doing. I even heard them say "doesn't she realize there are children around?"

I tried to just keep my cool and focus on the sweet little boy who has to hold my hand while he's in my arms nursing, but these men were taking away the satisfaction I felt for providing my son the best nutrition possible. I wanted to tell them to turn around and mind their own business, but I just sat there quietly stewing over everything they said. They made me feel like I was doing something wrong. Correction, I was LETTING them make me feel like I was doing something wrong. Eventually they left, still making snide comments and looking back at me while telling their kids not to look back at the "inappropriate" woman. So I finished what I was doing, met up with my husband and daughter and we made our way over to the monkeys. And there before me stood the men and their kids watching two monkeys going at it. They laughed and make jokes but never tried to get their kids to look away. They encouraged it. It's a natural thing. So it's ok for their kids to watch monkeys having sex but seeing a mother nurse her child was "dirty"? Really? I think there's something wrong with that message.

Although I don't normally care what others think, I'm still not one for confrontation, so I kept my feelings to myself and only shared my experience with my husband when we got in the car. He knew the way those men acted wouldn't discourage me from nursing my child in public. I do what I do for my child and for no one else. If you don't like it, LOOK AWAY! All too often society makes public breastfeeding seem dirty and inappropriate when in reality it's the most natural thing.

What do you think??


Street League Skateboarding Championship- This Sunday Aug 26th!

015My daughter has seriously been bitten by the skateboarding bug.  For her birthday last year we got her a Dyrdek board with little doves all over it.  She started by sitting down and traveling down the driveway.  Then she saw her friend skating for real and could NOT let him show her up.  Since that day, she's been a fiend. 

I recently had the fortunate experience of catching up with YuLin Olliver at Street League Skateboarding.  This was extremely cool to my daughter, because the founder of Street League is none other than Rob Dyrdek - the one and only skater who (Gasp!) designed my daughter's board. 

We talked about this year's Street League Skateboarding Championships that are taking place on Sunday at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.  She filled me in on the incedible event that's going to take place.  I wanted to write about it here, because I reeeally wish I could go.  I was hoping some of you readers would check it out and report back about how AWESOME it was!

 

Here are the details taken directly from Street League:

  • Street League Skateboarding (SLS) is the premier professional skateboarding contest series worldwide. Founded by 20-year professional skateboarder and entrepreneur, Rob Dyrdek, Street League features 24 of the world’s top street skateboarders competing exclusively for a groundbreaking $1.6 million prize purse in a nationwide tour. The series will be available live on ESPN2, ESPN3, Street League’s official website, and distributed to over 198 countries via the ESPN family of channels. Driven by the need to enhance the experience of live professional street skateboarding, Street League utilizes the ISX™ instant-scoring format that makes every single trick count.
  • Top 24 street skaters in the world, only 8 remain for the Championship August 26th
  • $1.6mm purse, largest in history
  • Street League’s $1.6 million purse is the largest in skateboarding history and almost double the combined winnings for all other skate contests. The SLS tour culminates in a winner-takes-all Championship in Newark, NJ at the Prudential Center on August 26. The SLS Championship will feature the Golden Ticket winners of the first three stops of the 2012 tour along with the remaining top six qualifiers who will compete for $200,000 as well as the title of Street League Champion. The Championship will air LIVE on ESPN2 on August 26 at 5pm ET. Check www.streetleague.com for complete webcast schedule.

 

And here's the competition:

1. Paul Rodriguez – This young dad is on a contest hot streak including his first Street League win last month in Arizona and is a fan favorite to contend with Nyjah Huston.

2. Nyjah Huston – has won more in contest prize money than any other pro skater in history. He has won more Street League contests by far than any other skater. To date there have only been 4 pros to ever win a Street League and of the 10 contests, Nyjah has won 7 of them. At age 17, his talent is almost unbelievable.

3. Bastien Salabanzi – the only one of the 6 new pros to join Street League to make it to finals. Coming from France, with a close 2nd place finish at Stop 1, Bastien wants a win as much as anyone.

4. Chaz Ortiz - Coming fresh off the release of his amazing solo video part for Zoo York, and with a brand new private skatepark in his hometown of Chicago, Chaz is as on point on the board as he's ever been. Always nipping at the heels of the top spot. New Jersey could definitely be the time where he walks away with a win.

5. Chris Cole – Always giving the winners a run for their money with a mix of technical innovation, big tricks and some outside the box approach, this could be the time for Chris to get his first Street League win.

6. Ryan Sheckler – Always a crowd pleaser, Ryan goes big and is one of the most exciting skaters to watch. He had to place 3rd or higher in the last stop to make it into the Newark Championship and he did it. He always skates hard to the very end.

7. Luan Oliveira – This is Luan's first appearance in a Street League Championship event . He is fast and technical. Coming from Brazil, is one of the most technically skilled and consistent skaters in the Street League.

8. Sean Malto – Coming from Kansas City MO, Sean is the defending 2011 Street League Champion so you know he wants to take home another Championship win for the Red & Yellow.

 

So who do you think will win???  I'm making my pick right now - PAUL RODRIGUEZ will take it all.  Although I will  be rooting for everyone. 

Get your tickets right now at www.streetleague.com/tickets.

Also, check out Street League's Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @STREETLEAGUE

 

 

 


Why are we so quiet?

 

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flickr.com/gottgraphicsdesign cc 2.0

 

The other day, my friend Todd and I were having a conversation about Facebook and social media.  We were discussing the dynamics of post popularity, commenting, Likes, sharing...all that.  We were trying to determine what makes a post like-able. Why do some posts get a million hits while others just sit there with only crickets chirping behind them?

 

My point was that when people go to Facebook, it's like happy hour.  They go to chat up friends and get some little blips of conversations about daily happenings.  Check out some pictures.   Maybe make some plans for the weekend.  Reading a heavy headline sometimes brings down the light airy mood you're looking for when you sign onto your profile.

But the truth is, all that heavy stuff does that in real life, doesn't it?  Every once in a while something smacks you in the face that pulls you down into the heavy with no warning.  It just grabs you.  You can try to ignore it, but it takes you anyway.

Seeing posts on Facebook that are unsettling feels bad in my gut.  They make me cringe and wish they weren't there.  But there they sit - Posts about people dying.  Posts about love lost.  Posts about sad things we don't like to talk about.

I comment my condolensces on everything that I can't change, because I'm sad for my friends who feel pain.  But why don't I comment on the things that CAN change?  Because I'm scared.

I'm glad Todd and I had that converation, because it made me realize how silly that is.

When someone posts a heavy status, it's most certainly because they need help.  I'M scared?  How ridiculous.  The person who posted it is scared.  And brave.  Why not give a minute to try and help?

The reason I was having this conversation with Todd of all people is because HE is the ony who has been posting about the heavy.  He is the one that needs help.

Todd has been working really hard to get two bills passed in NJ that will change the statute of limitation laws for filing charges against sexual predators.  Right now, the law states that if you were abused as a child, you can not file charges past 2 years after your 18th birthday. 

So what this means is, once you turn 21, you can no longer bring your abuser to justice.  I can understand that type of law if you are talking about someone dinging your car door in the grocery store parking lot.  It makes no sense in the case of child abuse. 

When you are 18, 19 or even 20, you're adult life is in its infant stage, if that makes sense.  You THINK you know what you're doing, but it really is a farce.  Being 37 now looking back, it was all a dream.  In your late teens, you are at the stage where you crave independence and can actually get it. It's surreal.  But if you were abused as a child, that stupid statute it telling you that you will need to relive your past immediately.  You can not wait until you are ready to face it. 

How is that possible when most young adults have either blocked out their abused past or are trying to run from it?  Why should there be any type of limit on when you can press charges against your abuser? 

Some apposers claim that lifting the statute will cause an influx of accusers to come forward bringing up cases from the past that will be difficult to solve.  Well, yeah.  Isn't that the point?  Isn't it the point to stop child abuse? 

 So I want to help Todd.  By commenting on his posts.  By actually DOING something about it.  He has asked that we call our local assembly persons and senators to ask them to support bills A2405 and S1651 which will lift that statute of limitations and allow abused children to report the abuse on their own time - when it makes more sense. 

I'm calling today.

And from now on, when I see a post that might be a little heavier than I would like, I'm going to take a minute to read it and comment.  Enough with this Being Quiet bologna.  The only way to eliminate the heavy posts is to help try and lift up the one who posted them.  Help when you can.