Orioles Invite Kids To Attend Games Free With Paying Adult
Fulfilling a child's request to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" is going to be cheaper at Camden Yards this season.
Free Adult Stories The Baltimore Orioles have launched a program that will enable kids to attend home games free of charge. Every adult who purchases a regularly-priced upper deck ticket can bring up to two children, age 9 or under.
It is believed to be the first such initiative offered by a major league team.
"That's pretty cool," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Monday. "Nobody else is doing that."
The "Kids Cheer Free" program begins for the March 31 game against Minnesota. Tickets are currently available for games through April 29; tickets to remaining games will be made available on a month-by-month basis, as the season progresses.
"Baseball is the bedrock recreational institution in American life, where childhood memories are born and family bonds are forever formed," said Greg Bader, the team's vice president for communications and marketing. "It is our hope that this unprecedented program will bring the magic of Orioles baseball to families from all walks of life and ultimately grow our game."
Baltimore ranked 23rd in the majors in home attendance last season, attracting 2,028,424 fans — down from 2,172,344 in 2016. By letting kids attend games free, the Orioles hope to bring more adults to the park and entice more families to enjoy a day at Camden Yards.
"The Orioles' mission, and that of the national game of baseball, is to cast a broad community outreach. That effort starts with thoughtfully expanding our initiatives benefiting kids and families," executive vice president John Angelos said. "The Orioles are committed to sustaining the access for families from all walks of life to our great game, and that commitment is reflected in the Kids Cheer Free initiative and our many other family-focused programs."
The Orioles last year allowed kids to run the bases after Sunday games and invited scores of Little League teams to march on the field and meet players before several Sunday games. This season, they have an enhanced Kid's Corner, which will include an interactive treehouse activity center, a jungle gym, a moon bounce and Skee-ball.
Here's How A Lesbian Disney Princess Could Be Great For Kids
Way back in 2013, when Frozen’s “Let It Go” was the song on practically ever 3- to 8-year-old’s lips, a controversial theory emerged: that the story of Elsa — the shunned and self-flagellating princess of Arendelle, who was forced to hide the icy powers from everyone in town — was actually the story of a closeted lesbian princess.
After all, Elsa’s father warns her early on, “Conceal, don’t feel.” By the time Elsa — who is single with a secret — sings “Let it Go” as an outcast rebel, she belts out, “No right, no wrong, no rules for me, I’m free.” That was enough for the song to be embraced as a gay anthem (complete with club remix).
Although there were plenty of horrific outcries over the suggestion that Elsa could possibly play for the other team — Free Lesbian Stories namely, from religious extremists who called the movie’s perceived subtext to be “evil” and “a way to normalize and promote the gay agenda” — plenty of queer folks embraced the theory. Idina Menzel (the voice of Elsa) gave approval to the possibility of Elsa’s gayness, and eventually, a supportive hashtag emerged: #GiveElsaAGirlfriend, along with petitions with the same goal and even an actual Twitter page of the same name.
Now, with the much-anticipated release of the movie’s sequel, Frozen 2, coming next year, the sapphic discourse is back. The movie’s writer and co-director, Jennifer Lee, gave friendly-if-vague fuel to the fire when she spoke with HuffPost earlier this week.
“I love everything people are saying [and] people are thinking about with our film ― that it’s creating dialogue, that Elsa is this wonderful character that speaks to so many people,” said Lee, in a discussion pegged to the release of her A Wrinkle in Time. “It means the world to us that we’re part of these conversations.”
She added, “Where we’re going with it, we have tons of conversations about it, and we’re really conscientious about these things. For me … Elsa’s every day telling me where she needs to go, and she’ll continue to tell us. I always write from character-out, and where Elsa is and what Elsa’s doing in her life, she’s telling me every day. We’ll see where we go.”
The decision to make Elsa a lesbian would certainly be a radical one — especially considering that a character touted as gay by filmmakers in 2017’s Beauty and the Beast was largely seen as a disappointing blip. It would be very welcome news to a wide swath of the population — gay and lesbian people of all ages who never see themselves reflected in the realm of Disney romance narratives.
There was plenty Pegging Erotica of renewed excitement about the prospect in the Twitterverse:
At the Family Equality Council, a national nonprofit supportive community for LGBTQ families, chief program officer Amanda Hopping-Winn was thrilled by the possibility. “I’m overjoyed that Disney is considering walking down this path — which shouldn’t be a controversial one, but is,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I think the hashtag really speaks to this response from the [LGBTQ] community that wants to be seen and wants to be heard, and wants to see media value all types of love and all types of families.”
Hopping-Winn, a mom who has two young children with her partner, notes that they read a lot to their kids, but that “on our bookshelf of 150 to 200 books, we have maybe 10 to 15 that have families that are similar to ours. We just don’t see ourselves represented in mainstream media in a consistent way.” Although not seeing yourself can imply reason for shame, seeing yourself, she says, “is empowering and validating, and lifts up our voices and show[s] that not only are we here but that we are worthy of being normalized.”
According to the latest annual media report card from GLAAD Studio Responsibility Index, which tracks the representation of LGBTQ characters, people, and storylines in film, Disney was given a rate of “failing,” with the explanation, “Walt Disney Studios has the weakest historical record when it comes to LGBTQ-inclusive films of all the major studios tracked in this report.”
It further noted, “In 2016, Walt Disney Studios released 13 films, one of which [Zootopia] included appearances by LGBTQ people, amounting to 8%.” That film, however, did not pass GLAAD’s Vito Russo Test (named for the celebrated film historian behind The Celluloid Closet), which says that a film must contain an identifiably LGBT character Single Mom Blog, that the character not be solely identified by his or her sexual orientation or gender identity, and that the character must tie into the plot in such a significant way that his or her removal would be problematic.
“Historically, media representation of LGBT people has been very negative,” Caitlin Ryan, director of the Family Acceptance Project and a social worker with more than 40 years of experience working with LGBT young people, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “This would help normalize LGBT identities for families and their children.”
Seeing oneself represented in mainstream media, Ryan says, is powerful and vital for everyone. “It tells LGBT people that we’re worthy of love and respect,” she says. “And it can prevent bullying, as it normalizes being different and being a gay person. It builds self-esteem and undermines what bullies are able to do. … This would be a really important step: Disney is a cultural icon, and Elsa is so widely loved.”
I just googled “Single Parent Awareness Month” because I didn’t know if there even was one, although for six years I have raised my daughter as a single parent. This is typical; single parents don’t have much time to think about themselves. It turns out there is a Single Parent Awareness Month. As of today, we’re in it.
Vesty2 / Creative Commons
My partner died when my daughter was three. I have raised her in a town where I have no relatives, no nanny and no financial assistance from life insurance, child support or alimony.
What I do have are friends. I am raising my daughter with the help of a village, and I absolutely need to be. Ariel picked her up from school every Monday for a year. Bjorn lets her hang out with his girls every Thursday. When my daughter was very little and sick, I couldn’t leave her at night to pick up Pedialyte or children’s Tylenol, so I’d call my friend Dave and he would drop them off for me. Joe and his sons shovel my sidewalk every time it snows. If I am running a little late, I have neighbors who will pick her up from school; in the mornings when I’m rushing to work I have neighbors who will walk her to school.
According to the 2016 U.S. Census, there are around 12 million single parent families in the U.S., and a quarter of all U.S. households are headed by single mothers. It has been more than two decades since the sitcom Murphy Brown depicted the female journalist choosing to parent alone, causing a cultural stir and helping to widen notions of family. Today, 25 percent of never-married women in their 40’s are following her lead, and she’s coming back to the small screen.
But single mothers still face significant challenges managing childcare and work. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook CEO and author of the book Lean In, admitted to the steep difficulties of single parenting after her husband passed away from a heart attack in 2015. “Some people felt that I didn’t spend enough time writing about the difficulties women face when they have an unsupportive partner or no partner at all,” she wrote in a Facebook post on the anniversary of her husband’s death. “They were right.” This new awareness has led her to advocate for family leave and childcare benefits for single, working mothers.
While our definitions of families are shifting, policies to take care of families have not kept pace with the change. Women, married or not, mothers or not, still make 79 cents to the man’s dollar to do the same job if they are white, 60 cents to the man’s dollar if they are black and 55 cents if they are Hispanic—and according to the Pew Research Center, single mothers earn only 60 percent of the salaries of married, working mothers, a number that represents the millions of mothers forced into part-time work in order to simultaneously care for their children. Traditional two-parent families earn an income more than three times that of households headed by a single mother, but only 42 percent of single mothers receive the child support owed to them.
These disparities—and the fact that the U.S. is the only country not to mandate paid, family leave—are why the U.S. ranks 23rd in inequality out of 30 developed nations, according to an index by the World Economic Forum. The U.S. scores particularly low on providing social safety nets that protect the most vulnerable of our society, including our children.
Today, 57 percent of babies born to Millennial Mormon Erotica are born to unmarried mothers, and 67 percent of these births are to college-educated Millennial women. These figures suggest that this current generation of single mothers will continue to work while raising children—which means that paid family leave, equal pay, child tax credits, full-time benefits and childcare reimbursements will become even more essential in the next decades.
The challenges of single parenting disproportionately affect lower-income women, wage workers and women of color, and these women deserve the social safety nets that will allow them and their children to succeed. But single mothers in every profession face hurdles that remain invisible to outsiders. Even with hard work, good benefits, a leadership position and a loving community, it is very difficult to parent alone and simultaneously “lean in.”
I teach full-time at a prestigious university, where I direct an academic program, but a few years ago, as I was listening to an NPR story about saving for college—while I made my daughter’s lunch, put on my makeup, scrambled her eggs and helped her find her homework—I heard a numbers breakdown and realized that we were nearly a low-income family.
Oftentimes, childcare costs prohibitively outweigh the costs—or pay—of attending conferences, yet my absences from such conferences have significant professional fallout. Even my absence at evening workplace events, because of childcare costs or my need to re-center my daughter as her only parent, have career fallout, since these social gatherings result in new ideas, personal visibility and networking opportunities.
If you are the employer of a single mother, give her a raise. Do not take advantage of how much she needs her job—which, along with her gender, will make it far less likely for her to negotiate or job search like a person with the safety net of a spouse. If you are her manager, you may advocate for her, teach her how to negotiate or inform her of opportunities for career advancement. If possible, provide her with professional development funds to use at her discretion.
When I look back at the heart of my daughter’s childhood, I can see that it hasn’t been all struggle. I see us all crowded around our little pine table during potlucks with our friends in the neighborhood. I see myself picking up my daughter after a long day, and then staying for soup and conversation in Ariel’s cozy kitchen. I see myself learning gratitude, humility and connection in the face of so much receiving.
I see how single mothers and their children could thrive if our businesses, institutions and lawmakers learned from our communities.
Rachel Jamison Webster teaches at Northwestern University, where she Directs the Creative Writing Program. She is a 2017-18 Public Voices/Op Ed Fellow.
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A Pioneering Single Mom Created Liquid Paper, And It’s Been Fixing Typos For 60 Years Now
Bette Nesmith Graham was in a terrible fix. It was 1954, and the Texas Bank and Trust, where she worked as a secretary, had just replaced its old manual typewriters with new IBM electrics. Graham had never been a great typist in the first place, and the IBM machines’ feather-touch keys caused her to make even more mistakes. Worse, thanks to the machines’ carbon-film ribbons, the goofs were nearly impossible to erase.
Graham’s solution was of her own crafting: a little bottle of fast-drying fluid that, today, we know as Liquid Paper. The stuff has made the lives of millions of clerical workers tolerable. But just don’t take our word on that.
“I have been in the administrative profession for years, so I recall Liquid Paper very well,” says Patricia Robb, keeper of the blog Laughing All the Way to Work. “It was a lifesaver. It was wonderful just brushing on the white Liquid Paper to magically remove a typo and correct it without anyone being the wiser.”
“When I discovered Liquid Paper, I was ecstatic,” adds longtime admin-turned-novelist A. Elizabeth Westmoreland. “Bette Nesmith [Graham] knew what she needed and, since it didn’t exist, she made it happen.”
Indeed she did, and she overcame considerable obstacles to do it.
Born in Dallas in 1924, Bette Claire McMurray married Warren Nesmith, her high school boyfriend, at 19. The marriage fell apart when Warren came home from WWII, leaving Bette to raise her son, Michael, on her own. Shelving her ambitions to become an artist, she found a job as secretary for W.W. Overton, chairman of Texas Bank and Trust.
Little did she know then, her artistic skills would wind up serving her in an unexpected way as she faced the smudged pages on her dreaded IBM electric. “An artist never corrects by erasing, but always paints over the error,” Graham later explained. “So I decided to use what artists use. I put some tempera water-based paint in a bottle and took my watercolor brush to the office. I used that to correct my mistakes.”
When her fellow typists began clamoring for her invention, Graham realized she had a thing going. In 1956, after tweaking her formula in her kitchen using an old blender (Michael’s chemistry teacher served as an unofficial consultant), Graham began producing Mistake Out, which she and Michael bottled at home by hand. After patenting the formula, Graham changed the brand name to Liquid Paper.
The rest wasn’t history—at least, not right away. In 1957, IBM turned down her offer to market the product. As far as her bank job, Graham lost that—over a typing error. On a letter she prepared for her boss to sign, she typed the name of her own company by mistake.
But it didn’t matter. By 1968, Graham’s own factory was cranking out 10,000 bottles of Liquid Paper a day. (Michael Nesmith had already found his own calling—as a guitarist for The Monkees.) Gillette bought the brand in 1979 for a cool $47.5 million.
Graham barely had any time to enjoy her fortune before her death less than a year later. But her invention endures, despite computers having replaced office typewriters decades ago. So why do people still use Liquid Paper? Well, the much-ballyhooed paperless office never really materialized. Plus, notes Brad Dowdy, Pen Addict blogger, Liquid Paper had fans far beyond the office world.
“We students used Liquid Paper more for artwork than actually correcting our work,” Dowdy remembers of his 1980s schooling. “Funny thing now is that I still see Liquid Paper being used more as art supply than a correction fluid. Some things never change.”
It's 9 a.m. on the fourth and final day of the porn industry's AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas, and both the talent and the makeup artists in suite 911 of the Paradise Tower are exhausted. The porn performers, cam girls, and dominatrixes gathered here at the Hard Rock Hotel have been contracted to appear at the booth for erotic clip platform iWantEmpire, and they've been signing autographs, taking selfies with fans, and being "on" for at least eight hours a day since the event began. If the performers at the expo have been working hard, the professionals getting them ready have too. Today, they're sharing their behind-the-scenes stories and beauty secrets with me.
"All makeup artists start somewhere, and they have to take any type of work they can get," Rebecca Lee Castro tells me. Rebecca is a makeup artist and the owner of True Virtue Beauty, a collective of certified freelance makeup artists based in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. She says that when she started doing makeup professionally twelve years ago, many of her gigs were as an assistant to established makeup artists in the adult industry. "Eventually, I started getting my own clients in the industry, as well as mainstream TV and film."
This morning, performers are preparing for their longest day yet: After the expo closes at 4 p.m., they'll head to the 35th annual AVN Awards, nicknamed the "Oscars of porn." It's a marathon evening that starts with an hours-long wait to parade down a red carpet winding across the Hard Rock's main floor, followed by an award show where industry luminaries present awards for categories from "MILF Performer of the Year" to "Most Outrageous Sex Scene." Special guests are invited to perform (this year's headliner is Lil Wayne), but dinner is unfortunately not a part of the five-hour program. After the ceremony, many performers are contracted to attend after parties till the wee hours of the morning.
Even for adult performers, whose job is to look amazing through rigorous and athletic days on the sets of their films, today will be a test of their mettle. But their fans have come from all over the world to meet them, and that means they can't slack.
And neither can their makeup artists. This week, Rebecca and the three other beauty professionals she hired for the AVN Awards and attached expos have been doing makeup and hair for ten adult performers over long days, applying full faces in the mornings and touch-ups in the afternoons. Tonight, they'll do further touch-ups before stars hit the red carpet.
Rebecca tells me her clientele is about sixty percent mainstream, with the other forty percent coming from porn. This week's frenetic pace aside, "The adult industry isn't too intense," she says. "There's not much of the 'Oh, make sure they're not shiny,' like there is on mainstream TV and film. Because on these sets, if they're sweaty, it's fine, because it's part of what's going on for the day."
Raised Mormon, Rebecca has embraced the professional opportunities the adult industry provides, but she doesn't stick around to see what goes on after makeup. She arrives early, prepares the performers, and leaves before the action starts: "I normally leave a touch-up kit for my talent, so when I leave they have sufficient amount of product to touch themselves up on their breaks."
There's not much of the 'Oh, make sure they're not shiny,' like there is on mainstream TV and film... On these sets, if they're sweaty, it's fine.
"I feel like this is just like any other job," she adds. "I have fun doing makeup, and I can't let everything around me affect me. I deal with each client as they come, and whatever the situation, I make sure that I'm prepared for it." The quirks of working in porn still make an impression, though. "I'm used to craft services tables on regular TV and film sets," she tells me. "But most of the time when I go on set for an adult project, it's like, crafty, lube, toys, douches. I'm like, 'Oh, so, the apples go next to the dildos?'"
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