Home » Lifestyle

Category Archives: Lifestyle

Blogging Your Friends Away

I like to post about a variety of things.  My blog is kind of all over the place.  The posts that always get the most views are the ones that are controversial in some way.  Sometimes I choose controversial topics on purpose in order to get more views.

But a lot of things that seem like no-brainers are controversial now.  Things like “camel toe is inappropriate for work” and “holding Republican politicians to one standard and Democrats to another is hypocritical” have gotten me some very strong backlash, both on WordPress and on Facebook.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to say them anyway.

So far as I know, only one person on Facebook has unfriended me over the views I express in my blog.  But I have noticed something interesting about some of my Facebook friends: they only comment on my posts when they disagree with me.  Not on my posts about travel, movies, the funny things my students say, or any of my other benign topics.  Nope, only (or almost only) the political ones, and only to disagree.  It’s very disagreeable.

Granted, there aren’t very many such friends.  I don’t plan at this time to unfriend them, but it does make me wonder why I friended them in the first place.  I think the lesson from this is that quality matters over quantity, and I’ll only friend people on Facebook that I truly connect and want to keep in touch with.

Mashed Bananas on Toast

You’re going to think I’m totally weird.  Okay, I am totally weird, but keep reading anyway.

This might change your life.

I am about to explain to you how to make mashed bananas on toast, or, as I usually call it, “mashed nanas on toast.”  I learned this from my dad, who learned this from his mom.  I don’t know if it goes back any farther than that, but that’s far enough to say it’s been passed down in the family.



Use bananas that are ripe, and even heading towards overripe.  Add a glop of the fruit spread of your choice.


Then you mash it all up.  I ended up adding a third banana.  You can add more banana or more fruit spread as suits you.


Then you spread it on toast.  I grew up on wheat bread, but once I started buying my own groceries, I found I rather preferred sourdough.  You can also spread butter on the toast first, but I didn’t (sorry, Dad).

This made enough for 6 pieces of toast.  On average, one banana yields enough for two pieces of toast.  You may need several napkins.

Go ahead, try it.

It may change your life.


A Happy Period?

Have a Happy Period . . . | Don't Date That Dude

No period is happy.  That’s right, I’m looking at you, Always.

Periods range from incapacitating pain and uncontrollable tears to functional (but still lousy) discomfort and crankiness, with possibilities everywhere in between.

But a period is never, ever happy.

That is all.

Fitness Blender: A Review

As I’ve said before, I hate exercising.  Passionately.  Over the last year, however, I’ve started exercising regularly, mostly because I want to eat food that actually tastes good and still be skinny.  (No, vegetables will never taste as good as bacon.  Salad will never taste as good as pizza.  Fruit, though enjoyable, isn’t a substitute for ice cream.)

I’ve tried a lot of different exercise videos (I refuse to go to the gym) and didn’t find anything I could really stick with until I found Fitness Blender.  They also have a YouTube channel, which is where I found them.  Daniel and Kelli are a husband and wife team who both work in fitness and created this site to make fitness more accessible to average people.  I recommend them to anyone who is trying to get in shape but is struggling with sticking with a fitness program.

Their videos offer many advantages:

  • Time – Many of us struggle with finding time for a workout.  Many of the fitness programs out there include hour-long workout videos, and, frankly, I do not have time for that.  As it is, during the school year I had to get up at 4:30 to find time to workout.  Good news is, Fitness Blender has videos as short at 5 minutes long!  I typically use their 10 minute abs workouts and 15 or so minute cardio workouts.
  • Variety – I don’t know about you, but I get bored really easily.  I don’t want to do the exact same workout more than once or twice a week. Fitness Blender has so many workout videos that I don’t even know how many there are.
  • Adaptability – New to working out or have bad knees?  Fitness Blender has numerous low-impact cardio workouts.  Bad back?  There are gentle lower back workouts.  Bad posture?  There’s an upper-body workout especially put together to help with that.  No matter what your physical need, there is probably a workout to help you work around it.  Unlike the hour-long super-intense workouts, there are numerous workouts from Fitness Blender that allows you to create a workout that accommodates your needs while still getting enough exercise.  Plus, in many of their videos, they explain ways to make the exercises easier or more challenging.
  • Clarity – The camera stays put.  Clear instructions are given for each exercise, particularly ones that are more complicated.  I’ve seen some exercise videos that become nearly impossible to follow, probably because the cameraman is dancing, too.  Fitness Blender is never like that.
  • No background music – Allowing me to listen to whatever music I want to while I workout.
  • No fake encouraging crap – In one of the videos I use regularly, Kelli even says “Do what you can” instead of the typical “You can do it!”  Seriously, after doing one of Billy Blank’s tae bo videos a few times, I wanted to punch him for his annoying pep talks.  The attitude of Fitness Blender, when they comment on your motivation at all, is more like, “Yes, we know it sucks.  Do it anyway.”
  • Cost – Oh, and did I mention it’s free?

Seriously, Fitness Blender is awesome.  I don’t even like exercising, but I’ve been able to stick with regular exercise for a year now because Fitness Blender helps me make exercising work for me.

Their website: https://www.fitnessblender.com/page/about-fitness-blender

YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/FitnessBlender

Ad Hominem Attacks

Today I wrote a blog post, after almost a year of not blogging.  I wrote about the need for dress codes at schools and in the workplace.  A friend of mine posted a link on his Facebook page (which I really do appreciate), and within hours the comments there were filled with ad hominem attacks.

This type of attack is the reason I stopped blogging.  It’s infuriating, disheartening, and exhausting to deal with people who act like they want to discuss the topic, but actually resort to calling you names.

Here are some verbatim examples from commenters on my most recent post:

  • I think we are tired of 50s clothing Macarthyism
  • I really, REALLY tried to read it with an open mind but the writer lost me really quick. Not that we disagreed, but the condescension towards youth and the logical failures.
  • This treads into the territory of blaming the victim of rape for wearing revealing clothing or blaming the unconscious person at a party for getting sexually assaulted because she or he dared to be present when a sexual urge came about.
  • I’m surprised a woman wrote that

Also, accusing me of saying something I didn’t say: “COME ON! Deciding against wearing a bra does not make one a pervert! Criminy!”, when actually I was pointing out that it’s unfair to call the teacher a pervert for observing reality.

So, did you get all that?  I’m backwards, condescending, illogical, a traitor to my sex, and perpetuating rape culture.  All because I think underwear should be worn and camel toe is inappropriate for the workplace.

Earlier post: https://selfeducatedconservative.wordpress.com/2016/06/25/on-dress-codes/

On Dress Codes

I do not care what you are wearing when you are lounging around at home.  If I see you out in a public place looking like one of the People of Walmart I will simply shudder and turn away.  But, for the love of all that is good and decent in this world, dress appropriately when you go to school or work.

I recently read on Facebook an article about a high school senior who went bra-less to school.  A male teacher complained to the principal that it made him feel uncomfortable, and the girl was called into the principal’s office.  The girl’s reaction was, naturally, to complain on social media.  A torrent of comments denounced the teacher for being a perv for noticing and/or feeling uncomfortable and against the sexual objectification of young women in school.

So…the teacher is a perv for noticing a female student isn’t wearing a bra.  Then why isn’t she a perv for not wearing one?

Her justification for not wearing a bra was: the school dress code doesn’t say she has to wear a bra.  Reasoning like that is the reason for dress codes to begin with!  If you can’t figure out that you should wear a bra when you go to school, then someone needs to teach you how to dress appropriately, because clearly you don’t know how.

I’ve been a teacher at three different private schools, and all of them have ridiculously specific dress codes.  These dress codes detail the necklines, fit, cut, and sometimes even pattern of appropriate clothing for work.  Some even specified that you must wear the appropriate undergarments.

At first, I was shocked at being told I must wear underwear to work.  Isn’t this just common sense?  I wondered.  Are there really people who have to be told to wear underwear to work?  My experience has taught me that yes, there really are such people.

They are the reason dress codes are so long and minutely detailed.  It’s because there really are large numbers of people out there who don’t know how to dress themselves.

I have lost count of the number of young women I’ve seen wearing leggings so thin that I can see their underwear, sometimes even to the point that I can see the pattern on their panties.  I’ve seen a kindergarten teacher show up to work sporting camel toe.  And yet people wonder why leggings aren’t considered pants in most dress codes.

If you actually have to be told that camel toe is inappropriate at work (particularly when teaching 5 year old children), perhaps you should find a new line of work better suited to your fashion sense, such as stripping.

In conclusion, do not complain about dress codes while amply demonstrating why you need one.


National Local Explorers League

Feb-Mar 2015 289

I love going out and doing things.  I love travel and experiencing new places.  It’s even more fun to do them with other people.  But not everyone has the time and money to travel the world, myself included. (Yes, I get summers off, but my husband gets a grand total of one week of vacation days.)

So my solution is “daycations.”  I’m fortunate to live in an area with lots of parks, hiking, museums, monuments, and other things to visit.  The museums can be pricy, but there are plenty of hiking areas, wildlife centers, etc. that are inexpensive and even free.  I’m the kind of person who hates going places alone, so I always find someone to join in the fun with me.  My usual candidates are my husband, nephew, parents, and youngest brother.  I’ve sort of become the unofficial family activity planner and family historian.

Feb-Mar 2015 316

On President’s Day my brother and I hiked a local peak.  (We dubbed it the “Everyman’s Mountain.)  We’ve always liked to invent grand schemes, like theme parks and movie plots, and we got thinking about an organization that would encourage people to explore their local communities.

And so we created the National Local Explorers League.  Well, thought it up, anyway.  It would be really cool to make it real.  We modeled it after the ranks and merit badges of the Boy Scouts.  It sounds kind of like a name out of World of Warcraft, which was not exactly intentional but not exactly unintentional.

Feb-Mar 2015 317

The purpose of the NLEL is to, as previously stated, encourage people to explore their local communities.  This would give people a venue for meeting people with common interests, and fostering feelings of community and civic pride in our communities.

I envision a national organization with local chapters in various communities.  Each chapter would have their own webpage linked to the NLEL website.  On each chapter’s webpage would be blog posts, pictures, and “travel guides” to the sites in their community, and members can share pictures and blog about their explorations.

All members are known to one another as “Explorers.”  The NLEL has five ranks: Junior Explorer, Adventurer, Navigator, Pathfinder, and Trailblazer.  There are six areas of achievement.  These are:

Epicure: eat at (non-chain) restaurants

Connoisseur: attend concerts, plays, and other cultural events, at the professional, community, and school levels

Historian: visit history museums and historical sites/monuments/landmarks

Scientist: visit science and technology museums

Hiker: visit regional parks and hiking trails

Mountaineer: climb every mountain (You totally just sang that.)

Explorers must complete a certain number of explorations in each category to go up in rank, but are encouraged to work on them in any order.  The lifetime achievement award is the “Been-There-Done-That Award.”  (My brother and I thought that was particularly clever, and, I must admit, the credit for that one totally goes to him.)

The lifetime service award is the “Surveyor Award,” awarded after 20 years of service to the organization.  All explorers are eligible for this award, regardless of rank.  Service to the organization consists of writing blog posts and creating travel guides, and organizing explorations for others, particularly kids and youth.  (So someone could hike the same mountain over and over, bringing different people every time, and all that would count towards the Surveyor Award.)

Separate from the ranking system are the Fellowship Achievements.  Explorers earn a star for every achievement they earn in the Fellowship tree.  (“Tree” here is used in the gamer sense of talent tree, not an actual tree.)  Examples of these are:

  • Go somewhere new with a friend
  • Introduce a friend to one of your old favorites
  • Make a friend on an adventure
  • Create a secret handshake with your adventuring friend
  • Share your adventure in words and/or pictures on your chapter webpage
  • Randomly run into an old friend on one of your adventures

There are three yearly get-togethers:

  • January: Goal-setting – If you make specific goals about how many/what kind of adventures you plan to have, the more likely you will actually do something.
  • June: Goal check-in – Having a mid-year check-in will help members stay motivated and hold themselves accountable for achieving their goals.
  • November: Celebration – Held in November rather than December because everyone is way too busy with a zillion things to do around the holidays.  Members have a chance to share their experiences and feel good about what they accomplished.

Each get-together will consist of a dinner.  Dinner should definitely come before anything else.  Otherwise, you will just feel irritated the whole time and wonder why you came in the first place.

After dinner there could be a speaker, at the discretion of each chapter’s leadership.  The topic might be a motivational speech, or about the history or opportunities in the community.  Whatever.  Most chapters would probably be best off skipping this part.

Each member would have the option of creating a table display of their adventures that year at the midyear and end-year meetings.  After dinner, members can circulate around the tables, socializing and taking a look at what everyone else did.

Then would come the roundtable discussions.  There would be one for each area of achievement.  In the roundtable, members discuss the best places of explore, for example, on a budget, with kids, etc., and any other helpful information.  In small chapters, the areas of achievement can be grouped as follows: Epicure & Connoisseur, Historian & Scientist, Hiker & Mountaineer.

Now I need someone to read this, think it’s an amazing idea, and actually found a chapter.