Tag Archives: women

Join Me At Chicago’s SELF Workout In The Park June 2

30 May

This is the 19th year SELF magazine has been putting on their workout in the park.  It is suppose to be a fun filled day of building community with other ladies.  A ton of activities will be on hand such as the newest workouts.  Ahh, that’s the key word in this activity WORKOUT.  I’m not exactly a consistent workout person.  I don’t have a daily fitness routine.  My workout is made up of walking or riding my bike.  I’ve always wanted to find an enjoyable fitness class that I would be able to attend consistently.  A class where I could make new friends and look forward to going to.  A workout that would help to feel good mentally and physically.  I’m sure it exists maybe I’ll find it at the workout in the park.

I’m not a person that likes fast exercise so cardio is out for me.  I once attended a ballet boot camp class and almost died. Of course that’s an exaggeration, but that is how I felt during that class.  It was the arm and ab exercises that really killed me.  I was just not capable of doing half of them so I would just take a break when I needed to.  I think that it’s really important to listen to your body and stop when it tells you to instead of feeling pressure to continue because other people may be watching you.

The classes I will definitely not be taking part in at this event are the Rock Bottom, Ab Attack, and Tabura.  What is Tabura?    The description actually completely terrifies  me and assures that it is an exercise I will never take part in. “Inspired by Swahili military endurance and strength training, this class uses kickboxing combos and basic West African dance moves.”  Excuse me, but no even though I am curious about the dancing part.  I think I will make sure to be an observer, but gladly not a particpator in Tabura.

Dance to me is the perfect workout though!  There will be plenty of dancing going on at the park.  I want to check out Fly Girls inspired by those girls from In Living Color, it will be bumping to 90s pop music.

There will also be Masala Bhangra inspired by Bollywood and La Blast created by Louis Van Amstel of “Dancing With The Stars”.

Since a balance is necessary to working out there is the Quiet Zone.  These classes focus on yoga and pilates.  There will be stretching and sculpting.  I will be taking the path of least resistance and that means more relaxing and stretching for me.  I plan on taking part in Sunrise Salutations since I want to maintain flexibility and increase my strength.  Hippie Yoga will be going on, but not that kind of hippie yoga.  This is yoga designed to open up your hip area.

What I’m most looking forward to is the pampering and the food samples.  Working out is nice and all, but after I like to treat myself.  There will be beauty consultations and style workshops.  Spa services will be provided-perhaps a mini facial?!  And of course there will be give aways and who doesn’t like free things.

If you’re in Chicago this Saturday you should come check it out.  It will be held downtown at Grant Park from 11-3.  All the details can be found here.  What could be more fabulous than working out downtown outside in a park making friends with other fabulous ladies?

Comparing Nutella To Frosting Is Like Comparing Cocaine To Crack Cocaine

1 May

Everyone has secrets.  There are things about ourselves that we hide from others because we feel ashamed by them.  I use to eat frosting out of the can…all the time.  The whole can.  Not at once of course.

It started when I was 14.  I really wanted something sweet to eat and there was a can of chocolate frosting in the cupboard.  It hadn’t been opened yet, so I opened it and got a butter knife to sample the frosting.  I determined that this would indeed fix my sweet tooth and took my new found treat back to my room to continue watching tv.  About every 5 minutes I would scoop out a little frosting to eat.  When I felt satisfied, I put the lid back on the can and put it back in the cupboard.  It took about a week for me to finish a can of frosting.  I thought it was so good.  And then my mom found out I was eating frosting out of the can.  She just didn’t approve of me eating just frosting.  “Make a cake, make cupcakes and frost them.  Don’t eat just frosting”, but she didn’t get it.  I didn’t want cake and cupcakes with frosting, I just wanted the frosting.

Now I had to be sneaky about eating frosting.  It was a secret to keep from my mom.  This is when I started to feel shame about eating frosting, but it certainly didn’t stop me.  I just didn’t eat the frosting that was in the cupboard, instead I ate the extra frostings that were kept in the pantry.  You would think if my mom really wanted me to stop eating frosting she would have just stopped buying it right?

Eventually I outgrew my fondness for eating frosting out of the can.  I still very much enjoy eating frosting, but now I prefer it on cake and cupcakes.  I mean, do you know what is in frosting from the can?  It’s basically sugar and hydrogenated grossness.  I’m too disgusted to eat frosting out of the can now that I know what that stuff is, but it doesn’t stop me from eating it on a cupcake.  It’s all mind games I play with myself.

For now I have found a replacement for the frosting.

Nutella!  I shamelessly eat this out of the jar.  It was my new favorite thing for a while.  It is healthier than frosting.  It doesn’t have that sickening sweetness that frosting does that stops you from eating too much at once.  Oh, wait that actually may be it’s one real drawback- I can eat almost all of it in 1 day.  It only lasts one day *tear*.

Nutella is on to the mind games people play, but I’m not that gullible.  It’s not that healthy.  Do not take advice on back of jar.  Unless of course you are on the diet to diabetes.

Do you have any weird eating habits?  I sure hope I’m not the only one.

Fashion & The Kitchen. Or That Time I Microwaved My Yoga Pants.

6 Apr

I was recently thinking about what I wanted to write about next.  I’ve combined fashion and feminism, but neither with food.  I wondered what results I would get upon Googling feminist food.  And then a memory popped into my head.  The time I microwaved my yoga pants and THEY CAUGHT ON FIRE.  Ok, I know you are probably thinking why would you try to microwave yoga pants and what kind of idiot are you?!  I’ve never claimed to know my way around a kitchen.

It all started one really cold winter day.  In Chicago it’s necessary to wear layers.  So, I would often wear leggings or yoga pants under jeans.  This day I had spilled water on the only clean pair of yoga pants I had.  In effort to dry them so I could wear them, and since I had to leave soon, I decided to pop them in the microwave while I continued to get ready.  I was in the bathroom when I heard sparking and sizzling sounds coming from the kitchen.  I wandered, not rushed, into the kitchen and saw fire in the microwave.  I yanked open the door, pulled out the pants, and stomped out the fire.  If you ever find yourself in a similar situation I would recommend throwing water on the fire instead of stomping it.  There was no saving the yoga pants.  The fire had burned away the butt of them.  And the apartment had an awful burnt smell.  I left to go to campus and took the pants with me. I didn’t want to keep that smell in the apartment.  I threw them away in a trash can as soon as I got outside.  Hours later the smell still clung to me.  I spent a whole day smelling like burnt toast.  This is only one example, there are other fire stories,  of why I need supervision in the kitchen.

How can you not love yoga pants?  They are more flattering than sweats and super comfy.  Can you however wear yoga pants outside of the gym?  I think you can and of course other women do.  But is there a way to wear them so it doesn’t look like you are going to work out?  Definitely.  Here are the best examples:

The key to pulling off yoga pants other than as work out gear is balance and proportion.  Remember, tight yoga pants are like leggings.  Try to keep your camel toe to yourself.  That is why tunics or flowy, longer length tops are best.  Define whether you are going for a dressy yoga pant look or a casual yoga pant look and accessorize accordingly.  I haven’t tried wearing cropped yoga pants with heels yet, but it is on my to do list.  I know some people think it’s a definite no to wear your work out clothes for a night out, but rest assure:

George Carlin Was A Feminist

13 Mar

I adore and admire George Carlin.  I think he was a very wise man and will one day share with you his life philosophies, but today is about George Carlin The Feminist.  Some people may find this an outrageous claim, but I’ll prove my point.  Let’s first discuss the above video which is actually just audio.  George talks about rape and claims that rape can be funny depending on the exaggeration.  What he is doing is giving an intro into a discussion about rape, but he does it with a touch humor.  I feel humor is an effective tool for getting people to let their guards down and not put up defenses immediately.  Through his comedy he was able to reach a wide diversified audience.  And when he is joking about rape he is basically saying what the fuck is wrong with this guy?  He is putting the blame on the rapist and not the “victim”.  Oh, and he was completely right about there being a higher incident of rape at the North Pole.

He also jokes about feminists and language and I agree with him on this.  My big issue is with the word girl being used for adult women and how we shouldn’t do it because it infantilizes women.  Many of my female friends use the term such as hey girl or you’re my girl.  And I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.  We aren’t trying to put each other down or be demeaning.   For us it’s a term of affection, a closeness, a bond.  I think women using the term amongst ourselves is ok.  A guy however should never say hey girl to me (or any other woman).  I have a name, use it and if you don’t know it hey hey is not the way to go about it.

This is one of my fave clips of George’s comedy.  He tackles all the issues of abortion with humor!  What’s more entertaining than that?  Everyone should watch this video regardless of their view on abortion.  My favorite moments are when he asks the audience to name 6 ways humans are better than chickens, homosexuals, the Catholics, and how periods make women serial killers.

“We declare war on the things we don’t like about ourselves”.  His observations on our society were so astute.  He was for the people.  He has the perfect solution for homelessness.  He thought golf courses should be turned into housing for the homeless and that it should be referred to as houselessness.  Does that not sound like a feminist to you, a radical feminist at that.  I completely agree that way too much land is used for golf courses and that it is an elitist, sexist, and racist “game”.  Golf is NOT A SPORT.  CHEERLEADING IS A SPORT.  Golf is the fat, white guy’s so called sport.

Even though George passed in 2008 he was always a good judge of character.  He totally got Rush Limbaugh.  I mean, Rush has been married 4 times and doesn’t have any children yet is completely clueless about birth control.

Family Friday: Moms

9 Mar

I could probably write a whole book about my relationship with my mom. It wasn’t up until a couple years ago that we got along.  This was also around the same time she realized things were pretty serious between the bf and I. Coincidence? I think not. Most of my childhood was spent in fighting matches, half in Korean and half in English, with her. It would end in tears and hateful words. That’s the past; here in present day, we get along quite well. Most of our conversations revolve around what I’m going to do with my life, when I’m getting married, and how I can lose weight.  And, of course, like all stereotypical mother-daughter relationships, we like to shop, we watch crappy TV together, and wear each other’s clothes. We DON’T get our nails done together; it’s just bad (she’s much too critical). In all seriousness though, my mother is the reason why I love fashion and food; she’s also the reason why I’m a feminist.

My mom immigrated to the US in the early 80’s and went to fashion school. Before this she was a business owner in Korea and made her own clothes. In the US, she lived the life of a woman who spoke English as second language and faced the realities of being an immigrant later on in life. While my mom talks about marriage there isn’t a time where she    doesn’t follow up her statements with “you have to be independent! Have your own money! Never rely on a man!” She is also the biggest proponent of higher education for women. My mom, in her own funny way, is a feminist to me. Even while she’s feeding me kimchi chigae and telling me to lose weight at the same time.    ~Vera~

*The picture is from a trip to Korea. This post made me miss my mom. A lot.

My mother and I have always had a somewhat contentious relationship.  It’s not so much that way now, but when I was younger I was a difficult child.  As the oldest child I was thrown into the role of my mother’s little helper, which I kinda resented.  I would do most of the things my mom asked of me, but not without questioning her as to why I had to do it.  When I was 9 my parents started to divorce, I say started because it was an ongoing battle for 2 years, and I felt like my mom relied on me even more.  However, this is also the time period where I got to start spending time one on one with my mom.  I’ve always had to “share” my mom with my siblings and I always felt like I didn’t get any attention.  I was never the one being coddled or soothed.  Since I was the oldest I was taught I had to be strong, my parents wanted me to be mentally and emotionally tough-this is what I resented.  Needless to say once I hit my teenage years I was feeling very angry at my mom.  I accused my mom of being selfish because she worked at a job that she enjoyed rather than the highest paying one she could get.  I hated her for moving us to a different state and the suburbs after the divorce.

Now that I’m older the things I disliked about my mom as a teenager I now admire as an adult.  I admire her choosing a job that she likes over a job that just pays well.  I appreciate her generosity and kindness; she is the most giving person I know.  She is intelligent, open minded, and non judgmental which she encouraged all her children to be.  The biggest lesson I learned from my relationship with my mom is you can’t put expectations on people, you can’t expect them to be something they are not.  My mom isn’t an affectionate person at all and I had to just accept that about her.  She tries though and she is just so awkward.  It took awhile, but I’m glad it didn’t take me too long to realize what an amazing woman my mother is. ~Phaydra~

*This pic was taken when I was 4, I’m the one in blue.

O,  my mother and me….all the things I could say! But I’ll stick to describing our relationship as electric. I wrote a whole paper about my mother, yes, talk about the personal is the political is the academic, is the everyday…. I consider her one of my best friends, no, I don’t tell her everything… I don’t think she could handle it, but we’re close. She’s over protective and pushy, but very loving and thoughtful. I think the best thing she has ever done is to be somewhat open about sex. She got pregnant with me at 16 and became a parent much too soon. She constantly reminded me of how difficult this made her life and so she always reminded me to use condoms. She drew diagrams to explain to me how my reproductive organs work and what was happening when I had my period. I am so lucky to have had this education, especially from my mom. So needless to say she rocks my socks. But I did say our relationship is electric which means that we can make sparks both in the positive and negative spectrum. So as much as we laugh, we shout. But recently, we have done much less shouting…  🙂 :::sigh::: I miss her.  ~maria~

I love you, Leslie Knope!

7 Mar


Let me count the ways:

-she loves waffles

-she ran a camp called “Pawnee Goddess camp”. they made feminist role model crafts and made korean food around a campfire

-she puts her job first and her man second

-her man works for her!

-she don’t stand for ANYONE calling her a bitch

-she loves her lady friends

-she’s a feminist!

and then this:

leslie knope is beyond awesome

Women’s History Month

1 Mar

~Adrienne Rich~

March is that time of year designated for celebrating how lovely women really can be.  Did you know it didn’t even exist until 1987?  Read more about it and this year’s theme Women’s Education-Women’s Empowerment here.

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