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Not All Periods are Created Equal

There is a British company that is allowing their female employees to take days off while they are on their period. You can read the story here: http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/99904536-story.

A few of my male friends have been up in arms about this, because they wouldn’t get those days off. However, if you have not experienced what it’s like to have a period, you can’t ever know just how bad they can get, so let me help you out.

If you go to the feminine hygiene aisle of your local store, you will see a selection of mostly tampons and pads in different sizes or absorbency. For example, o.b.tampons go from “Regular,” for light flow days, to “Super,” “Super Plus,” and “Ultra” depending on how heavy your flow gets. In pads, you can typically choose from thin or normal thicker pads, and also with or without wings, which help affix the pad to your underwear and save your panties from overflow leaks around the sides of the pad. There are also different sizes to choose from, regular, heavy flow, extra heavy flow, and overnight. So, you choose the product you will need for the way your period flows, and change them as needed. I prefer to use pads instead of tampons, because I don’t like having to insert the tampon and take it out.

I am currently on my period, which started Thursday. My period usually starts off fairly light, then gets heavier for a couple days, then gets lighter again until it vanishes for the next month or so. However, sometimes, a period will be particularly heavy flow, and this is indeed one of those times. Since yesterday morning, I have gone through over half a pack of “overnight” pads with wings. These pads are HUGE, cover a lot of panty space, and are supposed to be for the nighttime when I’m asleep so I don’t have to worry about leaking onto my bed or anything. However, I’ve had to change these overnight pads about every two hours, because my period is so heavy that I’m soaking these pads. And along with the super heavy flow, there are also clots that come out onto the pads, too. And along with that, there are also cramps, pain, and general discomfort. And grossness, let’s not forget how disgusting it can be. It is horrible when I feel a clot flowing out and seeing it on the pad when I change it, and equally horrible when I’ve been asleep and go to change my pad and it has NOT protected me for the last two hours, and I’ve leaked all over my panties and bed sheets, so I have to change those, too.

Now, let’s add work into the equation. First, you have to successfully leave the house and make it TO work without leaking all over your pants, because with a flow this heavy, you certainly aren’t wearing a skirt. If you do make it to work, then you also have to make it through your entire shift, and have enough pads or tampons with you so you CAN. If you are having a super heavy flow, you may need almost an entire BAG of pads to make it through the day, which means you have to somehow bring them with you to work. And if you have to bring that many pads with you, chances are someone’s going to see them, which then makes you self-conscious about it. Then, depending on the job you do, you may not even be ABLE to take the required number of bathroom breaks you need to in order to change your pad often enough so you don’t leak all over your clothes. Some union positions only allow a certain number of breaks per shift, so you may be leaking even if you’ve taken all the precautions you can.

So, instead of having their women come to work with all this going on, one British company has acknowledged that period can be a huge problem, and are allowing women to deal with them at home instead of at work, and I for one applaud their decision.

Hey Parker Abrams, how about trying honesty instead of a line?

In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, our heroine meets Parker, a guy who seems smart, kind, and sensitive, and who is very cute. Buffy and Parker spend time together getting to know each other, and eventually have sex, but after that when Buffy tries to talk to him or date him again, she sees that Parker has already moved his attentions to a new girl, and was really only interested in a one-night stand. Buffy was hurt emotionally, and Parker really didn’t seem to see anything wrong with his action.

The thing is, Parker, if you were just honest about wanting to just have sex with a girl, you might have been pleasantly surprised by the reaction you’d get. Sure, you may not have landed Buffy, because she’s not really a one-night kind of girl, but there are plenty of people around who are totally comfortable with just having sex with someone for a night and then moving on. And, if you are honest about that being what you want, you don’t have to work so hard trying to convince the girl that you’re actually interested in her as a person. And the same goes for the girls out there. Some of us don’t necessarily WANT a relationship, but we do still want to have some physical intimacy, and don’t have a problem with just sex. And again, if you are honest about what you want, you don’t have to worry about taking the guy out to dinner and a movie, you can just suggest sleeping together and see how he feels about it.

I have a really good friend who is amazingly beautiful inside and out, and is EXTREMELY good in bed. However, he’s far more into the hippie/Burning Man kind of lifestyle than  am, and we would definitely NOT be a good couple if we tried to date for any length of time. But, we can get together for a few days now and then and have a really good time together, and some mind-blowing sex, and then we go back to doing our own things by ourselves.

Even the guy I date most often isn’t the ideal match for me. We are around the same age, at similar points in our lives, and get along really well. We get each other’s nerdy geek references, even if he has NOT watched Doctor Who yet, and we have similar taste in music and both have kind of a warped sense of humor. And yes, we have AMAZINGLY GREAT sex. But, our sleep cycles are totally different and I think we’d probably drive each other nuts within a week if we tried staying over each other’s place for longer than a week or so. Neither of us want to get married or have kids, and we each still see other people sometimes, and we’re HONEST about it. Yeah, we like each other a lot, but that doesn’t mean we have to get married.

So, guys and girls, instead of trying some pick-up line about how much you’ll respect the person and how much you want to get to know them, why not try being honest and see what happens?!

#YesAllWomen kind of pisses me off.

Yeah, I guess I’m a feminist. I’m a female, and I believe that my rights matter just as much as men’s do. And women definitely deserve equal pay and opportunities in the work force.

However, it seems like many people who use the #yesallwomen hashtag are into male-bashing, or reposting/re-tweeting things without adding anything to the discussion, or are people who want to bash the females who have valid points when using the tag. Fucking trolls.

I used to spend a lot of time with my Grandma and Grandpa Robinson when I was a kid. I was the first Granddaughter on that side of the family, after Gma and Gpa had four boys and the first grandchild was also a boy. I was Grandma’s favorite, for sure. I stayed with them for many days and nights at a time, and always had a lot of fun. Since I spent so much time there, I took baths during my stays. Grandpa liked coming into the bathroom and helping me wash myself. He really liked making sure my female parts were clean. When I was about 7 or 8, I told Grandpa that I did not need his help anymore and that I was perfectly capable of washing myself, and he got REALLY angry that I didn’t want him “helping” me in the tub anymore. He tried giving me a major guilt trip about it, but I went and talked to Gma and she put an end to him coming in the bathroom with me, thank goodness. And I made sure I looked out for my little sisters when Grandpa was around.

Some years later, we were at a big family party for Grandpa. One of my sisters had weight issues, but she was my sis and we all loved her no matter what her weight was. I went over to say hi to Grandpa because I had just gotten to the party, and I said something about feeling bloated and fat because I had just drank an entire soda, and he said, “So what’s your sister’s problem?”

My dad cheated on my mom while they were married, and she finally kicked him out. However, while they were married, he had sold one of his companies for something like $10,000,000. During the divorce proceedings, she used his lawyer and agreed to all of his conditions, at least partly because she was still in love with him. I was 17 and told her she was being stupid, and she could have gotten a MUCH bigger divorce settlement. Years later, after Dad had been married and divorced a second time, we were all again at a family party, and Dad was talking to some of our male relatives at the table next to where I was sitting. One of the guys asked how he managed to keep all his money while getting divorced twice, and Dad replied, “Because i told the bitches they’d agree with the settlement or I’d go blow it all in Vegas and they’d get nothing. I can always make more money.”

Years later, I enlisted in the US Navy as an Electronics Technician, a predominantly male occupation. I was one of the very few women in Basic Electronics school, and in my first “C” school for SHF satellite tech, I was the only female in with about ten males. And while I had the highest score in our classes, I was not treated like the best student by ANYONE in the chain of command. I was treated very well at my first duty station in England, as was everyone else there. But then I got assigned to a ship, and my Chief and I were the same age, and I was the first female sailor he had ever been in charge of in his lengthy Navy career. He obviously had not dealt with many women at work, and also did not seem to understand that different people have different temperaments and different ways of dealing with things. He was bitching me out for something I hadn’t even done, and afterwards I walked away to compose myself, and he kept coming after me. I told him that I just needed a minute to myself to calm down and then I’d be fine, but he did not listen to anything I said.

I was a single Mom at the time, and he told me multiple times that my kids didn’t matter because they weren’t issued in my sea bag. His wife was pregnant and he wasn’t even going to take leave the the birth of their first child until the Captain told him he was indeed going on leave. And, I was terribly seasick and asked if I could go see Doc, and he said no because he thought I was faking it, even though I had lost about 30 pounds in two weeks and couldn’t even keep water down. I did not go see Doc, and instead stayed in the workcenter and then went to lunch with the guys I worked with. I passed out, got carried over to medical, and then had an IV in each arm and each ankle because I was so dehydrated. But yeah, I was completely faking it, right, ETC?

My ship’s home port was Pearl Harbor, HI, and it was amazing being there. I volunteered to work at the Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium, and the day started off great. I worked out in the parking lot directing cars, and met some very fun, interesting people who were tailgating. All the volunteers also got tickets to the game, so after my shift in the parking lot, I went to find my seat. I think I was the only female from my ship who worked the game, so my seat was among a lot of my male shipmates. That probably would have been fine, except that many of the guys were drinking too much. (Yeah, it’s the Navy, so the drinking is not surprising.) One of the Chiefs from my ship was sitting next to me, and was quite drunk, and kept putting his arm around me and asking me what I was doing later and if we could get together. I kept trying to nicely turn him down, until I finally left the stadium and went home, before halftime.

I worked at Domino’s Pizza as an Assistant Manager, and did a darn fine job of it, too. The franchise owner I worked for came into the store one day to see how things were going, and as usual, things were going just fine. We were standing by the orders that needed to be delivered, while waiting for my drivers to come back and take them, and he put his arm around my shoulders and slid his hand down to grope my breast. Luckily one of the drivers came back just then as I was puling away from the boss, and totally backed me up when I called the corporate office to report the owner. However, I was told that trying to go to the police or a lawyer or something wouldn’t make a difference or matter, and to this day I kick myself for not reporting him to the authorities.

These are only some of the things that I’ve gone through as a woman. And yes, I do believe that ALL women have experienced harassment, discrimination, or worse. But being given pepper spray by your parents instead of a watch is not the worst thing that could happen. I wish they’d given you ALL both the pepper spray and the watch. I’m GLAD your dad taught you self-defense skills, and I hope he taught the rest of your siblings, too. But when you act like it’s unfair that you were given pepper spray or taught skills, that makes me mad. I wish I had had some fucking pepper spray to use on the assholes who groped my breasts without my permission. I WISH I had known enough to fight back during some of the things I’ve gone through. And I truly wish that you never NEED to use your pepper spray or defense tactics.

 

 

 

Fuck the stupid VA and trying to get an appointment there.

You know what? Fuck the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) – U.S. Department of…​. I’m supposed to see my eye doctor every 6 months because my eyes are so screwed up. So, last time I left the clinic, I said the doc wanted me back in 6 months, and they said, oh, yeah, we’ll send you an appointment card in the mail. So, I got the appointment card, which says to call and make an appointment. But when I call, I’m told Dr. Lee doesn’t have anything available until 2016 and I should have made the appointment when I left the clinic the last time. “You’ll have to just make the appointment for the next time Dr. Lee has available, next year. I’ll transfer you to the appointment line.” Get on the appointment line, where the expected wait is over twenty minutes. Well, I already waited over half an hour this morning trying to get the stupid appointment in the first place. Fuck all of you people and your conflicting information, and thanks for NOT getting me in to get my eyes checked.

Crochet at Maker Faire San Diego

I love to make stuff, and I do a LOT of crochet. So, I thought that having a booth at San Diego Maker Faire would be an awesome way to show people what you can do with crochet, and it’s not just making afghans like your Grandma did. I want to be able to teach people how to crochet a little toy for themselves, too, so in order to buy supplies and yarn to teach with, I started a kickstarter campaign. So, if anyone out there wants to help me teach at Maker Faire, here’s the link. If you can donate, even as little as $5, that would be awesome. And if you can’t, please share my link and visit my page and comment with your support. Thanks so much!

Hotel living… residential hotel in San Diego, not scary.

For about a year now, I’ve been living at a friend’s house, sleeping on the couch. This week I’ve been living at a San Diego hotel, and I’ve gotta say, living by myself again has been SO good. I am one of those people who really likes being by myself. At the house, I’m in the living room pretty much all day every day, and since the other adult in the house is not working, the only time I get to be alone is when I’m in the bathroom, or if he ever actually leaves the house, which is not often. And since I’m still healing torn tendons and a sprained ankle, it’s hard for me to get out and about alone. However, even though I’m not going out much, and I don’t even have a microwave in my room here to heat food in, it’s still very nice not having to deal with other people in my space. I enjoy knowing that if I want to go interact with other people, I can, but if I want to just sit here and watch the NASCAR race and Game of Thrones all by myself, I can do that also. I’ve missed my Gwen-time, and I am REALLY enjoying it while I can.

As for where I’m staying this week: The Embassy Hotel on Park Blvd. is a LONG block from the San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park, and is an older building with a lot of character. It’s a nice walk from here to the zoo and park, or to downtown Hillcrest. There are grocery stores and restaurants within easy walking distance, and there’s a bus stop right out front if you want to take public transportation, which is pretty darn good in San Diego. The best part about this place, though, is the price. You can get a room with a queen-size bed, private bathroom, and fridge (and in most rooms a microwave) for $225 a WEEK, plus a $50 deposit. I’m unhappy that I somehow got a room without a microwave this week, and the person in the room next to me is a smoker, and I can smell the cigarettes through the vent in my bathroom. Unfortunately there are no other rooms to move to this weekend, but tomorrow (Monday) morning I’m going to ask at the front desk again. And, even though I don’t have my own microwave, there are two downstairs in the lobby, which are clean and available for use. There are coin operated laundry facilities in the basement, as well, soda and snack machines in the lobby, and since this is a residential hotel, a lot of the same people have lived here for years, so you get to know some of the neighbors if you do spend any time downstairs. I’ve been told they offer monthly rental rates, too, but I’ve not asked about them yet, but I’ll post what they are when I do. Overall, the Embassy is very comfortable, though not fancy, and you can’t beat the price.

Thanks a lot, BDubs.

Back in the beginning of February, I stepped off a curb badly and sprained my ankle and tore the small tendons next to the Achilles. I didn’t do anything bad enough to require surgery, just bad enough that the doc said I should stay off my feet for a while. I still tried to work my job, which I loved, at Buffalo Wild Wings, but walking 3-7 miles a day on a sprained ankle proved impossible, and the doc gave me orders for as little weight as possible on my foot for at least a month, and crutches, until I could go to an Ortho consult to see what was going on. Limited walking + crutches = no work in the restaurant until medically cleared. After my first Ortho appointment, I was told I’d need an MRI to see what was really going on with my foot. After the MRI, I had a followup appointment with Ortho, where they told me I’d have to wear a big ugly boot for a while, and do physical therapy, but I could go back to work wearing the boot, and I didn’t have to use crutches anymore. I was quite happy with the news, and immediately took the doctor’s note to work. This was on the weekend, and my manager said he would call me on Monday and let me know when/how I could come back to work. Monday and Tuesday came and went with no call, so I called on Wednesday, and the girl who answered the phone told me that the manager said he’d call me right back. And he did not. I’ve called multiple times since then, and he won’t take my call or call me back. And I’ve also gone in to the restaurant, and again, no response. I finally filed for unemployment and got approved, thank goodness, because it’s now been 3 months without pay. I’m really angry about how the BDubs management treated me, because I believe I was a good employee, and I really liked working there. I actually thought that I could make Buffalo Wild Wings a career, but now, I am just angry and disillusioned. On the occasions I went in to talk to management, most of the other employees were really happy to see me and asked repeatedly when I was coming back to work, because they needed my positive attitude there. While I would still like to go in on occasion to enjoy the food and see the people I worked with, because I miss them, I don’t really want to spend my money at a restaurant that would treat me so badly. So, I miss you, employees of BDubs Mission Valley, but I do not miss Robert Jones or any of the other managers there.