Negotiating Modernity with the Catholic Church (NDB, LGBT and My Sister)

DCIM120GOPROThis morning I was deeply saddened by a poorly written article I read on my newsfeed regarding my alma mater, Notre Dame Belmont High School (not Notre Dame Namur despite what it says), and a particularly inspiring guest speaker, Gregg Cassin (I refuse to write the publication or author, who obviously wasn’t man enough to leave his name in the byline, as they deserve no such recognition whatsoever). As I’ve said multiple times on this blog, I was raised Catholic, attended Catholic schooling until I left Villanova University after my freshman year of college, and still identify, somewhat as a Catholic. However, personally, my idea of being Catholic probably varies from others’. I do not believe in the Catholic Church as an institution and hierarchy, but I do believe in Catholicism as a spirituality. DISCLAIMER: ITS ABOUT TO GET PREACH-Y UP IN HERE. Continue reading

The Quantified Self… and Advertisers?

The Quantified Self[1] is a movement to incorporate technology into data acquisition on aspects of a person's daily life in terms of inputs (e.g. food consumed, quality of surrounding air), states (e.g. mood, arousal, blood oxygen levels), and performance (mental and physical). Such self-monitoring and self-sensing, which combines wearable sensors (EEG, ECG, video, etc.) and wearable computing, is also known as lifelogging. Other names for using self-tracking data to improve daily functioning[2] are “self-tracking”, "auto-analytics", “body hacking” and “self-quantifying”.

Lately I’ve been reading a lot on WIRED and FastCompany about “The Quantified Self”. We first saw its upsurgence with the Nike FuelBand, which was then proceeded by wearable tech like the Jawbone Up, or the Fitbit Flex.

When the FitbitFlex came out and was available to consumers I immediately reserved one at Best Buy. I was psyched. As a runner, I would routinely track my runs through Nike+ Running (and still do). I loved being able to see the distance I was running, MPH, my average speed, calories burned, etc. For me, Fitbit Flex would provide another source of data that I could use to monitor how active I was – and where and how I could improve. I wore it every day for a year (until I developed a gross rash on my arm due to wearing it in the pool and thus creating a chlorine rash… TMI, whatever) and became hyperaware of whether or not I walked/ran/elipitical-ed my 5miles a day, and how much sleep I was getting. It borderlined obsessive, but in a good way, you know? Because youre trying to stay fit. NOTE: I have concluded that wearable tech like FitbitFlex, NikeFuel band etc. are for those who aren’t already fit. Because if you exercise on a regular basis, are decently active (say, taking the stairs two flights instead of the elevator), then what is there to monitor? How great you’re already doing? Just my take on it.  Continue reading

Coping With Writers Block For Real

The NYPL, my computer and a flask is my go-to.

The NYPL, my computer and a flask is my go-to.

I have tried to make it a point to write every day. Whether its a paragraph, a new blogpost, a draft of a blogpost, a new section to my book, or even a ridiculously, unnecessarily long email/text to an unfortunate person that probably didnt deserve a multi paragraphed reply to their simple email.

I write because I love writing. Duh. It keeps me sane and it keeps my creative juices flowing like a goddamn waterfall. But mostly because it keeps me sane and puts my thoughts and emotions on paper (because I know a lot of you wonder why I have such a dark soul… I do have emotions and feels, okay?).

Every so often, however, I encounter what is commonly referred to as “writers block”. Those days when it just isn’t happening. When, despite how many hours I scroll through the Internet, I am still unable to get inspired. It’s exhausting. Not having something to write about or not being able to write is far more exhausting than having something to write about or actually writing. Any self-respecting writer knows this. It can last from an hour to a week. Yeah, its rough. Continue reading

MLB’s Identity Crisis & Female Fans

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 11.56.33 PMLast week began the most wonderful time of the year, for me at least… that is, baseball’s opening series. It may come as no surprise that I’m a sports fan, and many of you know I’m a huge baseball fan. So much that I can describe a dream job as working public relations for MLB, and even interned last year with the MLB Fan Cave.

The composition of MLB’s female fan base is complicated to say the least. In recent years it’s been reported that female MLB fans account for anywhere from 45-47% of all MLB fans, which has risen within the decade. What’s more is that this makes baseball the most gender-balanced sport (in terms of fans) of the top four professional sports. This is fantastic for MLB, apparently evidence of great inclusion and advancement for the female fan… except not. Continue reading

Sorry, But Cersei Lannister is my #SpiritAnimal

[Disclaimer: I don’t give a flying f*** if you haven’t watched the Season 4 premiere so don’t expect to see any **SPOILER ALERT** indications here to tell you to stop reading. Grow up.]

Bottoms up.

Sure, Arya is a downright badass, literally slaying men and shit… I could identify with that. Just being outright brutal. Maybe Ygritte is more my style, except a bout with Jon Snow and going all out commando under a fur coat, does not a lady make (but I wouldn’t mind me some Jon Snow). And Brienne of Tarth… not my style either. Though my parents often call me a “princess” (complete with rolled eyes and dismissal), I can’t say I can identify with Sansa Stark either.. somehow I can’t see her emerging as a strong heroine in this season, but who knows. Then there’s Kahleesi, Mother of Dragons, who’s not only badass but also shows an inkling of a gratuitous heart (plus she’s effectively friend zoned Jorah for-fucking-ever and has no qualms about it). She’s the mother of dragons… and as my Twitter bio says, I’m the mother of food babies. But alas, it’s none of these women I best identify with. Continue reading