Saturday, June 25, 2011

Toeballing Through Teams

This morning my sister and I were discussing my now day-old blog. After reading my last post she exclaimed "And you say I'M a girly girl!" She is. I just like some of the stuff. To balance out the "girly" energy I've put out into the universe, I decided to talk sports.

You may be screaming at your computer "But she's a girl! Girls only claim to like sports when they're talking to cute guys!" False. In first grade, I once told a boy that I thought football was stupid, since that's what I had heard other girls say. He made some sort of argument for how awesome it was, but I decided that I had to see for myself what the hype was all about. Flash forward a few years, and I now watch more football than should be humanly possible.


But let's talk fĂștbol. I started playing soccer after I moved to Alabama. I was never an amazing player or anything, but I was a part of some pretty great teams that I still brag about today. After playing for a few years and watching my siblings' games, I decided that soccer was something I could really get into.  

For those of you who watch or play soccer, you know that a "toeball" is where you end up kicking the ball with your toes rather than the top or sides of your foot. These usually result in the ball zooming in any direction except the one you intended... and sore toes. Veteran players often refer to new teammates as "toeballers." For years I've attempted to start following soccer teams, but as of yet I've failed miserably. I'm a toeballer of a fan. A noob. *sigh*

My first attempt at soccer fannery (fandom, fanage?) was to root for the Chicago Fire (the MLS team, not the mass destruction). But I didn't live there anymore, so it was difficult to find matches on TV. Plus I never knew when they played. So that didn't last long.

During the World Cup I'm an awesome fan. Especially last year. I knew when each match was, what the final scores were, and what the most outrageous red cards were for. But I didn't know a lot of my own players! I hadn't followed the US team until they arrived in South Africa. Fail.

This year, I'm turning a new leaf. I'm determined to follow the US team through thick and thin. I'm starting with just one team, since I think if I tried to pick up an MLS team as well I'd be overwhelmed. In order to be a good fan, I'm going to have to get rid of my two major excuses for not watching in the past: 1. not knowing when matches were 2. not having time to watch.

Solution #1: Google Calendar
I'm a devout Google fan, since they make apps that are really easy to use. A year or so ago they added public calendars to Google Calendar for things like US holidays, Facebook birthdays, and... sports schedules! Hallelujah! Although each team has a schedule on their website, they're often difficult to find and navigate. Plus, if you wanted to add them to your calendar, you had to find them, hope they had an iCal download option, and import that to your calendar. I don't know about you, but I like to do things in as few steps as possible. With my new Google Calendar for the US team, I can no longer use the excuse that I don't know when matches are.

Solution #2: DVR
DVR is perhaps the greatest addition to television ever. Watching television online is great, too, but it also has a lot of drawbacks. Some channels don't allow online content, others haven't quite figured out Hulu and force you to watch only on their site (which I forget to do if Hulu doesn't remind me!), episodes expire after a few weeks, but worst of all - you can't watch sports! Yes, ESPN360 let's you watch some stuff online, but only if you have the correct subscription and most of it is live only. And there are other sites that stream games, but they're also live only. And illegal. This didn't used to bother me, but as of late I'm attempting to reduce my piracy to necessities only (like True Blood!). Long story short, I bumped up my AT&T Uverse subscription so that I'd get a DVR.

"But Laura, watching recorded games is dumb! It's only legit if it's live!" Ordinarily I'd agree. Watching a game after it's over makes me feel like all of my yelling at the TV isn't helping my team. But let's just be honest with ourselves for a second. Even if you're watching it live, your team still can't hear you. This fact hasn't silenced me yet, so why should it matter if the game is already over? Plus, the games right now aren't of life and death importance. Chances are that no one will be trying to tell me the score, so the surprise won't be ruined. The point is to get to know all of the players and how the team tends to play. Knowing the back-story about a team really helps me get into later matches.


If you're now strangely motivated to follow the US soccer team, there's a game tonight at 8PM versus Mexico. It'll be on FOX Soccer (which I don't have) and Univision. I'm actually kinda excited to hear the Mexican commentators, since they seem to have the whole "GOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!" yell down pat.

Polish Them Piggies

My (former) roommate, Maggie, and I like to fancy ourselves on the cutting edge of nail polish creations. I own every color imaginable and some that you would never guess in a million years (I have one that looks like a holographic card background. Fo rizzle.) Many people seem to pick really boring, neutral colors once they enter the workforce. But I am determined not to be one of those people.

OPI Shatter
One of the coolest things to come out in a long time is OPI's Shatter line. If you haven't seen these yet, get on that shit. Maggie and I were nagging the people at Ulta, asking when this would be in stores months before any of them had a clue what we were talking about.

Basically, you apply one color of whatever polish you like, allow this to dry completely, and then add a layer of Shatter. As the Shatter layer dries, it begins to shrink and crack. Why, I am not sure. Once that's dry, apply a clear top coat so that it doesn't look leathery. This also helps keep it all from flaking off really quickly. There's a bunch of videos on YouTube and the OPI site explaining how different brush strokes can create a variety of shatter effects. From my experience, Shatter seems to work best if the base color is also from OPI, which is kind of disappointing, since I have zillions of others. And OPI is expensive-ish.

Originally Shatter was available only in black, but now there are 6 colors: turquoise, navy, silver, blue, red, white, and black. It can be purchased at Ulta for sure, and I've seen it around at a few department stores, like JC Penney's. Although the demand isn't as crazy as it was a few months ago, you still might want to call ahead to see if they have the color you want in stock.

Sally Hansen Crackle Overcoat
One night at 1AM-ish, Maggie and I wandered around a Walgreen's in search of flip flops. A few hours before this, I had lost the only pair of shoes I had with me in the Guadalupe River. Shoe-less or not, I cannot enter a drugstore without passing by all of the nail polish, just in case they miraculously have a color I don't have yet. Although I usually end up buying something that's just a TINY bit different than one I already have, this time I found something totally new! Sally Hansen has already come out with Shatter-esque line called Crackle Overcoat! They had some pretty bright, neon colors, which is pretty sweet since the OPI ones are a bit tame. I bought an intense neon purple and intend to go back and get some more. Once I get a paycheck.

Sally Hansen Salon Effects
During a midnight snack run to CVS (yes, I do a lot of my shopping at drugstores) Maggie and I discovered Sally Hansen Salon Effects, which are basically flexible nail polish strips (stickers!). They look really intimidating to apply, but it's pretty simple. Even someone as challenged as me got it perfectly on the first attempt. What's cool about them is that they allow normal people to have crazy nail designs without having to pay an arm and a leg (or a pinky and a thumb) at some salon. Or if you're into solid colors, they have many shades that you can use if you just want a flawless-looking regular manicure. There are currently 23 different designs, which can be purchased in various drugstores and grocery stores as well as the usual Ulta, Sephora, and Sally Beauty Supply.

Del Sol Color-Change
During a spring break excursion on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Maggie and I (sounds like I'm around Maggie too often...) discovered a store called Del Sol that sold things that changed colors in the sun - clothes, toys, sunglasses, and... nail polish! I was slightly skeptical about this, since I had been sold a glow-in-the-dark nail polish in the second grade that never quite worked right. But the store actually has UV lights all over, so you can see how the colors change for yourself! As soon as I walked out of the store I tried it immediately. And it was awesome! It still works really well if you apply a clear top coat, which I would suggest, since it's not shiny enough for my taste. There are currently 23 different colors, which can be purchased at the store or online.

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
This is the only thing so far that I haven't tried personally. I just heard about it today. Gimmie a break. From what I've heard, Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat is just a clear top coat that dries your nails really fast. Like 5 minutes. For someone like me, this sounds like an absolute necessity. I tend to spend a while painting awesome designs on my nails, get bored while they're drying, and then smudge them beyond repair. And then cry. I plan on heading over to Sally Beauty Supply to buy one ASAP.

**TIP**
I also just heard about this today, but I plan on testing it soon. Apparently if you stick your newly-polished fingers in very cold water for a bit they'll dry really fast. Sounds sketchy... but I will try almost anything that claims to dry nails faster.

I heard about this tip, and a few others, on HelloGiggles.com, a blog dedicated to comedy for women. Don't laugh just yet, it's actually pretty interesting and hilarious. One of the weekly posts is called Get Yo Nails Did by Molly McAller, one of the site's founders. I've liked all of the stuff she's done so far (although I've already been doing a couple of them for years). I think the site has only been around for 3 or 4 weeks, so you should hop on over and check them out!


Schwat is a Quinnie?

If you don't understand how the title should sound, go listen to some Group X.

Alrighty, so this first post is mostly going to be spewing random info about who I am and what I like, just in case someone I don't know ever reads this (or anyone at all?). Hopefully this might help to explain the strange combination of things I like. Spoiler Alert: this is long. 

I grew up in the Chicagoland area, in a tiny town in Indiana that no one except citizens can spell without great difficulty. My mom is an avid fan of all Chicago teams - Cubs, Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, Fighting Illini - and I adopted her love for all things sports at a young age. If you're ever at our house during baseball season, you'll hear two women cussing out the umps and clapping deafeningly for double-plays. Once people hear I'm from Chicago, the tend to picture me living someplace hip and trendy. Alas, I lived on a farm. And I loved it! We had sheep that followed you around like puppies, half a dozen cats who lived in the barn, and 35 acres to play in. Our tiny 3 bedroom house was built around 1850, had no A/C, and only one tiny bathroom (an addition added in the '80s) for 5 people. Looking back, it's probably a good thing that we moved away, since most of the people I knew back then are in gangs or prison.


My sister and I modeling next to some giant squash that my mom grew.


Sledding next to the sheep. In October. Ah, snow...


We moved to Alabama after my dad got transferred. Now, when I tell people this tidbit, they usually assume that everyone I met there was a racist, toothless, uneducated hick. Which couldn't be further from the truth! Yes, parts of the state do include some unsavory characters, but I lived in a town where everyone I met had parents who either worked for NASA, Boeing, the Army, or were an engineer of some sort. Unbeknownst to most of the rest of the world, there is a major college rivalry in Alabama. I constantly swapped allegiances, depending on which friend I was talking to at the time. I met some of my favorite people in the entire world there, and was heartbroken when I had to move yet again.


Stephanie's ice skating extravaganza.


Camping out for the midnight release of the final Harry Potter book.


My last day at BJHS.

Final move (so far) was to the "great" state of Texas. As soon as I moved here, I dubbed it the "Armpit of America" because of the unbelievable heat and humidity. But after 7 years this place is growing on me. I met the remainder of my favorite people in the world here!


Sexy saxes.


Tiny houses.

From what I've seen of this massive state, Austin is the best place to live by far. Four glorious years there were not enough.


Roomies! 


Hokie dokie, I believe you are now caught up on the basic Quinnie facts. I hope you like pictures... I do! Obviously. Future posts may not have quite so many! So far, there's really no plan for what I'm going to write about. As of now, I'm thinking I'm just going to talk about whatever I'm obsessing about at the moment.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? I haven't blogged since Xanga (anyone remember that?).