Super Bowl, Super Broke, and Six Times a Bridesmaid

Well, the Super Bowl is tomorrow.

The Super Bowl is tomorrow. 

Holy cow, the Super Bowl is tomorrow!!! Yeah!!!!

So I’m off to the grocery store in about ten minutes, just as soon as I finish this blog to get my supplies for sausage balls and the Super Bowl party I’m going to tomorrow.

Sometimes, it’s hard for me to go to a Super Bowl party. I’m a little nuts when I watch football. If you’ve ever read this blog, you might have noticed I’m a bit of a fans. Just a bit. However, the last three times the Patriots won the Super Bowl I was at a church Super Bowl party. The other two times? I was at a party at a friend’s house. 

Yes, I know that where I watch the Super Bowl has absolutely ZERO impact on the game. Rationally, I know that. However, like the good sports fan that I am, I am totally and irrationally superstitious. I will be wearing the same jersey I’ve worn all playoffs. 

So, anyway, that’s usually why I watch at home. Mostly because I have to control myself around the general public and I don’t have to do that at home. I might or might not yell at a the TV, talk back to the announcers (my go to is “shut up, Collinsworth, you’re an idiot”), and insult the intelligence of the refs…

So what am I making? really, really bad for you (but mostly clean!) sausage balls.

I’ll make my own bisquick out of wheat flour (yay clean eating), then combine it with two pounds of sausage and cheddar. Then I’ll bake them in little balls and they will be delicious. 

That’s okay, as all the cross-fit, paleo girls who are coming to the party are saying that the Super Bowl is a diet “cheat day”. I’m down with that. I’ll probably go to the gym tomorrow so I don’t feel like a total pig because I can guarantee some stress eating will happen. It’s the Patriots. I’ll indulge my tendency to stress eat a little tomorrow, since there will still be no retail therapy.

So I’m a solid month into the Total Money Makeover. And I’ve already goofed. 

Here’s how, so you can avoid rookie mistakes like this. I get paid on the 15th and 30th. So I did my budget based on that. But I neglected the whole surviving from the 30th to the next paycheck thing. So I had budgeted to have used every last cent of my paychecks on the 15th and 30th during the month of January.

See the problem? 

I would have had no money (I mean NONE) until February 15th. So I added something new: flex money. On the 30th, I will pull out $100 to cover anything that there isn’t money left over for until the next paycheck comes and I can replenish the envelopes. 

I’m sure this “flex money” will eventually not be needed as I get better at planning ahead and sticking like super glue to my budget. But until I adjust, this is just how it’s gonna be. Plus I can use the flex money to cover things like baby shower presents and bridesmaid dresses (I’m going for my 6th trip down the aisle NOT wearing white.) instead of having to figure them into the budget every month as they come up. 

Yes, I just found out like ten minutes ago that I would be bridesmaid dress shopping on Monday night. 

So I guess I better go easy on the snacks at the Super Bowl. There is NOTHING worse than trying on bridesmaid dresses when you’re all bloated and feel gross. I mean, some of them are hideous enough as it is. You don’t need the added bonus of bloating and grossness to add to the chances of trying on some truly awful dresses.

I actually enjoy dress shopping and there are some really wonderful dresses out there, but I have never been dress shopping for these things where I didn’t try on at least ONE dress that was hideously ugly. Seriously, what bridge puts her friends/family in dresses like that???? 

Guys, the movie 27 Dresses was only mild hyperbole. There are some really bad dresses out there. And some really regrettable wedding choices. Can I just elope please? (can someone just ask me out, please???) 😉

In all seriousness, I am very happy for my cousin, and hopefully we will get good dresses. I haven’t had any truly hideous ones, just a few that weren’t my taste. Though I’ve tried on some doozies (including one that we now refer to as “the shiny poop dress”). 

I’ll try to find time to break down the game before tomorrow, and if not, there will be either a euphoric post next week or a post next week about the glories of hockey and baseball with a side of depression. 

And I know I said I’d review Sons of Liberty. You have to actually watch it to review it…I’ll get to it eventually. It’s chilling in the DVR. So when I watch, I will review. 

For now, Go Pats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Here’s a video from Jimmy Kimmel that is hysterical followed by some blatant homerism and gifs. 

#doYourJob #OnToSeattle #onToSB49 

I Resolve. Sort of.

So, dearest blog, what’s new?

Other than my SUPER long rant about that-which-shall-not-be-mentioned-about-balls, I’ve neglected this blog. 

First year teaching = less of a life than grad school. I didn’t think that was possible, but it is. 

But it’s January, time for the oh-so-trite resolutions. Note, I still have my resolution to lose weight. I went through Christmas without gaining any, which I think is a win. So that’s still there, but I’ve learned to do baby steps with my weight loss goals. I don’t really count that as a “resolution”. 

One resolution I’ve had is to be more organized. The other is to do Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. 

To do these, I knew I needed some supplies: 
For my budgeting and organizing, I chose an Erin Condren planner, a cute binder (thanks Hobby Lobby!) and a bunch of Pinterest printables. I would list them all but I honestly don’t remember which ones I ended up using and which I did not. They’re all on this board: 

So I got my binder ready, I used cardstock and my circle cutter to make tabs for financial things, for health things, and for my to do lists and grocery lists. 

Then I got Dave Ramsey’s book Total Money Makeover from the library. I read it cover to cover. It was a very interesting read, actually, not at all what I expected. And it kicked. My. Butt. 


I thought I was making decent financial decisions. And then Dave tells you this and tells you why this is the truth and it makes sense and it’s totally a “duh, why didn’t I think of that before!” kind of thing. Granted, not everything was like that, but he lays it all out, logical and without any nonsense or business-ese mumbo-jumbo. 

So now I’ve got a budget for the first time ever (shocking, at 28, I know, but true!). I’ve also got envelopes with cash and I’m not allowed to use my debit card. I’m focusing with gazelle-like intensity on getting rid of my debt (the book explains that little nugget…) and it’s…hard.

I mean, really, really hard. I wanted a “Do Your Job” t-shirt from the Pats pro shop (here…it’s wonderful, fits great and is super soft!) so I had to sacrifice ordering lunch with my fellow teachers for the entire month. I cut my grocery budget so I could buy things for my classroom. I know I have money and I can’t spend it because it’s earmarked for my debt. 

It sucks. 

Like, a lot.

A whole lot. 

But what’s getting me through (other than my super-cute binder) is the idea that after next month, this debt will be gone, and by April this one will be paid off and the car is done by this and student loans will be done in two years. TWO YEARS. How many people can say that? Though I might have to stretch mine out to five because I work in a low-income, high-need area and can get some of them forgiven. But those are questions for when my Student Loans are my only debt and I can start saving for a down payment and become a homeowner. 

For reals, y’all. 

That’s an awesome thought. But I’m not going to deny it’s hard. I’m going through a lot of things right now where my prayer is just “Jesus, you take control”. I’ve even found myself singing the line “Jesus take the wheel” whenever I get down about my singleness (not too often) or my debt issue (more often) or my weight (almost daily). 

What was it that they say in The Princess Bride? Oh yeah “Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something”. And that’s totally true but not true. Yes, there is a lot of pain in life. Some small, some soul crushing, but it’s there. I try not to let it get to me. 

I usually have a sunny outlook and disposition, and really, the things that pain me are totally what you would call #1stworldproblems. But they’re still problems. And that’s why I’m trying to constantly say “Jesus take the wheel” because when I drive, I drive like a crazy grandma who can’t stay on the road and is likely to wreck the car before I get to my destination. So it’s better if someone with a little more experience and grace takes over. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Oh no. 

Not for this girl. 

I am a straight-up, Monica Geller style control freak. I mean, I have a planner where I write down LITERALLY everything I have to do. From dentist appointments to making my bed to laundry. It all goes in the planner so that I have a schedule and I know what I need to do.

Yes. I am that bad. But it is helping. And being this crazy organized is helping me get through my first year of teaching (halfway there!!!!!! wohoo!!!) and it is helping with the whole budget “no you can’t buy that” thing. 

Why am I struggling so much? I’ll tell you. My default stress things are shopping and food. I can’t shop because I’m on a budget. Gizelle-like intensity and all that. And I don’t want to do food because I’ve worked too hard to get where I am and I’m not going back. 

My solution: reading, working out, cleaning, and Pinterest. Whichever one strikes me at the time. It’s not perfect, because sometimes all I want to do is go to target and buy myself a cute shirt or a pair of workout shorts. But I have to tell myself “no”. I’m 20 days in to the whole Total Money Makeover. I’m not used to it yet, but I hear it gets better. And easier.

Just like my TV watching. I used to have, like ten shows that I never missed. Now? Now I’m behind on Big Bang Theory (I’ll catch up this summer),  I have the final 5 episodes of White Collar still in the DVR ready to watch. I just caught up on Once Upon a Time over Christmas break, and I’ve got two episodes of Gallivant and four episodes of The Librarians chilling on the DVR. Not to mention I’m an entire season behind on two shows that I usually kind of keep up with. But I’m not dying to see them or freaking out because I don’t know. I guess grad school and 1st year teaching have kind of…broken me of my TV habit. That, and a bunch of my shows ended last year (White Collar, Psych, Burn Notice).

I will be watching Sons of Liberty which I DVRed and will eventually get to. It comes on too late for me to watch it live (#teacherlife) but it looks really good. I’ll review it hopefully by the end of the week.

With that being said, it’s time to start gearing up for the Super Bowl. #GoPats #OnToSeattle #DoYourJob

So much awesomeness right now, with the Pats in SB49, the Bruins finally playing well, and baseball is coming soon (pitchers and catchers report 2/20!!!!) so I’m one happy sports girl right now. As long as no one brings up balls…

A Lot of Hot (and Cold) Air: My Take on "Deflategate"

I have kept my silence all week. But no more. I can’t. This week has made me question any faith in humanity I have and has ripped to shreds any remaining respect I had for the news media. That’s well and truly gone, now. 

First, I am a Patriots fan. Die hard. And I am so excited for them to play in their 6th Superbowl with Brady and Bill B and watch my 7th Patriots Superbowl (remember, there was life before Brady…1996. They lost to the Packers). I expected this week to be full of discussion on the awesome matchup between the Seahawks D and the Patriots offense. Instead, I have been subjected to the most insipid, ridiculous, non-story ever. Let me also say that if the EVIDENCE (remember that stuff?) comes out and proves the Patriots guilty of tampering with the balls, they deserve the fine stipulated in the rules. 

May I also add that the NFL clearly needs to monitor this whole game-ball situation more closely as Aaron Rogers (see the story here) admits to over-inflating his game balls. And Brad Johnson PAID someone to tamper with the footballs for the SUPER BOWL (read that story here) so this is kind of a league-wide issue. And it’s been going on for a while (Brad Johnson played in the Superbowl more than 10 years ago).

Now, I will address the rantings and ravings of the lynch-mob media/fans that are determined to hang the Patriots for the slightest infraction because of “Spygate” (insert sarcastic shudder) and now the unending vitriol that is “Deflategate” (insert eye-roll). 

Let me be clear. What the Patriots did filming the Jets sidelines was WRONG. It was wrong because the league sent out a memo following the 2006 season saying “stop doing it”. Up to that point, ALL the teams were doing it. Don’t be naive, you know it’s true. Moving on. They were wrong, it was cheating, and they shouldn’t have done it. They took their punishment and we all should have moved on. 

But let me also be clear, Bill never once lied or covered it up. And to back it up, here’s an article from September 14, 2007, which contains quotes from Bill Bellichick: (this is what you call evidence, ladies and gentlemen)

Belichick, however, accepted full responsibility “for the actions that led to tonight’s ruling. Once again, I apologize to the Kraft family and every person directly or indirectly associated with the New England Patriots for the embarrassment, distraction and penalty my mistake caused.”

“I also apologize to Patriots fans and would like to thank them for their support during the past few days and throughout my career,” Belichick said in a statement issued by the team. “As the commissioner acknowledged, our use of sideline video had no impact on the outcome of last week’s game. We have never used sideline video to obtain a competitive advantage while the game was in progress.” (original ESPN article here)

He owned up to it. Immediately. So you really can’t say that Bill Bellichick is a “liar”. In fact, I dare you to find me a time where YOU CAN PROVE, with FACTUAL EVIDENCE, that he lied about doing something or not doing something. 

In the same article, Gooddell (who needs to be fired so badly for his mishandling of virtually every “scandal” during his tenure has been atrocious) stated that the Patriots received no material advantage for doing that. As for the “supposed” filming of the Rams walk-through, here’s the Boston Herald’s retraction statement: 

It reads: “On Feb. 2, 2008, the Boston Herald reported that a member of the New England Patriots’ video staff taped the St. Louis Rams’ walk-through on the day before Super Bowl XXXVI. While the Boston Herald based its Feb. 2, 2008, report on sources that it believed to be credible, we now know that this report was false, and that no tape of the walk-through ever existed. 

Prior to the publication of its Feb. 2, 2008, article, the Boston Herald neither possessed nor viewed a tape of the Rams’ walk-through before Super Bowl XXXVI, nor did we speak to anyone who had. We should not have published the allegation in the absence of firmer verification.

The Boston Herald regrets the damage done to the team by publication of the allegation, and sincerely apologizes to its readers and to the New England Patriots’ owners, players, employees and fans for our error.” (read more here)

So those of you who are still on that, it wasn’t real, it didn’t happen, it’s over, please move on. 

Since then, the Patriots have done NOTHING to incur the NFL’s ire. Nothing. Except, of course, win. Which we all know that winning breeds contempt and this whole ball-deflation witch hunt is just that: contempt. over-blown nonsense and contempt. 

Because I am a rational human being, I like to look at things logically. So lets do that, shall we? 

“fact” 1: 11 of the 12 Patriots balls were found to be under-inflated by 2 lbs PSI. Let me say this, it’s from ONE SOURCE (unsubstantiated) and just look at how the whole “Rams filmed! We have one unsubstantiated source that says so!” fiasco turned out for the Herald. Not so good. I mean, being realistic, how is it possible that the footballs were under-inflated by EXACTLY 2 pounds each? And was it 2 pounds from 13.5 PSI? Because the acceptable range is 12.5-13.5 PSI. Is is possible that the one UNSUBSTANTIATED source wasn’t correct? Gee…that never happens. (eye roll…I need to stop being so sarcastic, it’s hard to write that way.) In Bill’s Best Press Conference Ever (keep reading for more on that) he stated that what they do to affect the TEXTURE of the ball artificially raises the PSI by 1 lb. They found that once the balls moved from inside the building to the oh-so-lovely 50 and below, freezing rain conditions that were in place Sunday night for the AFC championship game, the pressure in the ball equalized and lost 1.5 psi. Once they brought the ball in and let it set for a bit, it had come up .5 PSI, leading to an overall loss of 1 lb. Now, that’s assuming that the balls were properly inflated to between 12.5-13.5 PSI once they went off to the refs to approve them. That is up to the refs to determine, NOT the Patriots, thus the onus is on them, not the team. 

“fact” 2: Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are LIARS and CHEATERS and they ALWAYS WILL BE (I feel like I should add “nah nah nah nah nah naaaaaa” at the end of that one). Well…that’s not true. Bill owned up to the filming. He never once denied it, and doesn’t deny it to this day (see: 1/24/15 press conference, we’ll get to that gem later…) Tom Brady was never even implicated in the whole “Spygate” nonsense. 

People like to bring up baby-momma Brigit Moynahan as proof of TB’s shadiness. Let’s set that record straight, too:

Moynahan was in a three-year relationship with screenwriter Scott Rosenberg.[2][46] She dated NFL quarterback Tom Brady from 2004 until December 14, 2006. Her representative confirmed their split to People in December 2006, stating that they had “amicably ended their three-year relationship several weeks ago”.[47]
On February 18, 2007, Moynahan’s representative confirmed to People that she was more than three months pregnant and that Brady is the father.[48] In August 2007, she gave birth to a baby boy.[49][50] In a July 2008 interview in Harper’s Bazaar, Moynahan discussed her willingness to raise her son as a single mother.[51] Despite media reports that Moynahan and Brady have an acrimonious relationship, it was revealed that the two have maintained a civil relationship since the birth of their son.[52]
So…there’s no proof (I mean real, factual proof, not trolls on the internet) that either of them is a liar. So when they said Thursday that they had no knowledge of the issue with the balls, we have no reason to believe otherwise. (see more info here). 
“fact” 3: the deflated balls give the team a competitive advantage. It actually gives the team a competitive disadvantage. I’ll post the link to the article and the video that ESPN has since taken down (not sure why that is…oh yeah, guilty Pats means better ratings…) 
Here’s the article. And the video:
I’m getting irritated even writing this, because it is 100% a non-story that has been %1000 blown out of proportion by the media. The Patriots actually played better in the second half with the properly inflated balls (which, when tested after the game, had not lost as much air, thus eliminating the theory that they were tampered with in any way). 

And all of you crying about the “pro QBs being able to tell”, let’s break that down, hmm? Sure the ones on ESPN who have reasons to hate the Patriots (Brunell, seriously?) are all going to say they can feel the difference. In his presser today (what a fountain of information that was!) Bill said that the QBs couldn’t tell with any consistency which balls were inflated 2 lbs lighter, and couldn’t tell the difference AT ALL when on deflated by 1 lb or less. 

Now onto the ACTUAL facts of this story.

Fact 1: We have not heard from the NFL’s investigation and DATA (details, evidence, choose your own synonym) about: 
     a. how deflated the footballs were (exact amounts for each football – come on, were they all really deflated EXACTLY 2 lbs? ALL 11 of them?) 
     b. definitive evidence that the weather COULD NOT have caused this drop in PSI OR definitive evidence that they were tampered with.
     c. There’s all these reports that the “Ravens told the Colts” or that “Mike Adams noticed it in November”, but I can’t find evidence (actual evidence, not “a source” from an article written after the AFC Championship game) of either thing actually happening. And I do mean NO EVIDENCE. Nothing. I looked. I’m thorough like that. No actual word from the NFL on any of that, and I feel like that would have been reported to them (and leaked to us) if it was true. 

Fact 2: The Patriots played BETTER with the properly inflated balls. BETTER. If they were trying to cheat, and if, as all the lynch-mob has been screaming that “they’ve probably done this for years!”, then don’t you think they would have known that under-inflated balls are not so good? That’s been my question since the beginning. It makes absolutely no logical sense, especially given the EVIDENCE (there’s that darn word again…) 

Fact 3: apparently, the refs inflate the balls, because they were handed two them 2.5 hours before the game and the Patriots asked for them to be inflated to 12.5 PSI (the lower end of the scale). That’s the chain of custody, so once the Patriots hand the balls over to the zebras, I say it’s on the zebras. It’s not exactly shocking, the refs did NOT have a good playoff run, making major, game-changing mistakes in pretty much every game. 

Fact 4: Bill’s presser today was awesome. And telling. What he said was fascinating and you can think he’s lying all you want, but answer me this question: why would he get up there and lie his butt off like that? If it does come out that they tampered with the footballs and he knew about it, that press conference would guarantee him a suspension at minimum and might get him fired. Why would he risk it if he didn’t genuinely believe that this is all a bunch of nonsense and the Patriots did not cheat? 

Fact 5: there is adequate scientific evidence that weather could be a logical explanation, not even using Bill’s simulation he discussed today (See the epic presser here, and listen to the Q&A for more gems.). I present to you THREE (yes, THREE) scientific explanations. Lots of math. Lots of science. All the same answer: weather could have done it.

Teenagers recreating conditions and testing the balls (video)
Head Smart Labs article  (you have to scroll down a bit)

But there are some unanswered questions:

1. Why is the NFL moving so slow on this? Is it because they have no evidence or don’t want to admit that it was the officials who goofed? I think Gooddell doesn’t want the scandal on the refs so he’s throwing mud at everyone’s favorite villain. Why Bill B is a villain I’ll never know. He may be the greatest coach ever, so again with the whole success breeds contempt…I guess I could see that. I don’t get it, but I can see how people would feel that way.  

2. why weren’t the Indianapolis balls under-inflated? I don’t know. Perhaps Andrew Luck likes his footballs the same way Aaron Rogers does, so that even though they lost pressure, because they were inflated toward the higher end to start, the loss didn’t matter. Or perhaps the Colts footballs were stored in a cold luggage area on the team bus before the game instead of a nice, room-temperature building, giving them time to acclimate to the weather well before being checked and thus, reached equilibrium, or a better equilibrium, to the elements. Maybe they don’t rub the footballs and do what the Patriots do to get them set for TB. Maybe the refs didn’t check the footballs thoroughly. Don’t know. 

I just can not even understand how this has become such a big deal. At the most, it’s an over-zealous ball boy or negligent refs and it’s far more likely that the real culprit was the 50-and-dropping temperature and the freezing rain. In any case, the Patriots could have beaten the Colts playing with a beach ball, so it’s a non-issue. And IF, as it’s been claimed by so many “Off With Their Heads!” members of the sensationalist media, that the Patriots have been doing this, why haven’t we heard about it before? Why haven’t we heard from the Chiefs or the Dolphins or anyone else who intercepted Tom Brady this year? Where is the PROOF that the Colts said something in November? Where is the PROOF that this was anything other than the weather? 


Where’s the ACTUAL journalism? My goodness, the guys who broke the big stories of the last century are rolling their eyes and turning over in their graves. You can’t call this journalism. It’s biased, bitter, sensationalized propaganda at best. Give me proof. Give me something other than quoting each other’s “reports” from “sources” as substantiated facts and do some actual reporting. Dig. Get to the bottom. Because I’m done. I’ve said my piece, I’ve backed it up with evidence, and I’m done. I’ve lost all respect for a lot of media guys I used to love, (Jason LaConfora, you’re still okay) 
And one final thought. I know the internet trolls are bringing up that the Ravens suggested the K-Balls were flat during the divisional round. No one touches the K-Balls except when kicking them, they’re shipped straight to the refs. (for more on NFL ball protocol, read here)
One more closing thought, as for other Patriots “scandals”: the formation with a receiver declaring himself ineligible is completely legal. It’s not the Patriots fault the Ravens weren’t prepared to deal with that. 1000 percent legal. So was the Tuck Rule game (at the time – the rule has since changed, but that wasn’t until 2013 and the Patriots knew it back then because they lost a game to the Jets because of it). So don’t bring those up as evidence of the “cheating culture”, it just makes you sound stupid.  
And now I’m really done. Drop the mic, I’m out. We’re on to the Super Bowl. On to the Seahawks. Go Pats!