Tag Archives: love

Valentine’s Day Year #10 [Sex Edition]

13 Feb

I think this topic may be my most consistent post.  Happy decade of annual posts to me!  TEN years in a row I have managed to address the ills of this “holiday.”  That’s exciting, and even though I’m very tired and short of time, here’s me making it happen.

I try each year to convey why Valentine’s Day is fake and ultimately negative.  See my “Valentine’s” Tag for prior topics which include feminism, environment, and capitalism among other things.  I really do hate this “holiday” and hope I won’t have to be inundated with it at work Saturday.  Hair salons are the WORST on Valentine’s day, followed by schools, but I imagine the YMCA will not be able to ignore the day, and I’m dreading that.  This year I will focus on. . .  Sex.  The inevitable conclusion of the day.  How could I have just remembered to write about THIS?!  

-the holiday emphasizes the man wining/dining and spoiling women with gifts. This emphasizes women as receivers, and passive. It also is a little prostitution-positive = You give me (women) valuable things and I’ll have sex with you (men)!

strange to see Bunny Ranch on my Facebook wall
-more prescriptions are written for Viagra around Valentine’s Day than any other time of year.  Which should tell you everyone is gearing up for the final moment.

– See more at: http://www.redhot.org/news/national-condom-day/#sthash.uRJgwOua.dpuf

Kidron's NV pics 069
-the condom industry sales increase by 20-30% around this day (it’s also national condom day–no joke)

So we can ascertain that all the Valentine’s hype DOES in fact lead to this logical conclusion:  Sex.  And as we know there are a lot of consequences of sex, and contemplating and preventing those issues is notoriously not our strong point as humans.  Here is some information about some of those–which do play a part on February 14th.

Amazing_Electron_Microscope_Photos_Mosquito_Head-1mdCU
-In their study, Grimley and her colleagues focused on 224 men — all with STD symptoms — who sought treatment in a Birmingham STD clinic. The average age was 26. In face-to-face, private interviews, each was asked the same set of questions. Among them:

How often have you used a condom in the past month?
How long have you been using condoms?
Do you have any intention of starting condom use?
Why do you use condoms?
Do you wear condoms for STD prevention or to protect your partner from pregnancy and disease?
Why don’t you use condoms?
And the results:

80% reported that most people their age did not use condoms consistently. They also said that 61% of people their age had gonorrhea.
81% acknowledged sexual contact with two or more partners during the preceding six months.
45% reported sexual relationships that overlapped.
65% said they had been diagnosed with one or more STDs in the past.
Of those men with one main sexual partner, two-thirds were not motivated to use condoms.
http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/news/20040126/many-men-dont-use-condoms?page=2

http://www.companiesandmarkets.com/MarketInsight/Consumer-Goods/Global-Condom-Industry/NI8052

610

STDs are not only a social ill, but they are financially costly to everyone:

-CDC’s new [2/13/13] estimates show that there are about 20 million new infections
in the United States each year, costing the American healthcare system
nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs alone.
America’s youth shoulder a substantial burden of these infections.
CDC estimates that half of all new STIs in the country occur among
young men and women. In addition, CDC published an overall estimate of the number of prevalent STIs in the nation. Prevalence is the total number of new and existing infections at a given time. CDC’s new data suggest that there are more than 110 million total STIs among men and women across the nation.
-STIs place a significant economic strain on the U.S. healthcare system. CDC conservatively estimates that the lifetime cost of treating eight of the most common STIs contracted in just one year is $15.6 billion.
http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/sti-estimates-fact-sheet-feb-2013.pdf

Is it any accident that National Adoption Month is 9 months after Valentine’s Day? Only speculation, here. . .

So that’s really icky.  Also, let’s not forget HIV/AIDS is an ever-present threat on the scene and any holiday that emphasizes that we must copulate threatens to make this scare even bigger than it already is.  How about a day in which caution is practiced?!

33621_456830357625_596627625_5259997_1855811_n
-at-home pregnancy tests also see a spike in sales in March (early at home pregnancy test month–for reals!).  It’s the highest sales month all year, as a matter-of-fact.
-Consumers spend more than $15 million on pregnancy and infertility test kits during the second, third and fourth weeks of March, with the third week of March ranking number one in sales.
http://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/nielsen/en_us/documents/pdf/Press%20Releases/2008/Feb/Nielsen%20U.S.%20Consumers%20Sweet%20on%20Chocolate%20for%20Valentine%E2%80%99s%20Day.pdf

Another obvious conclusion to romantic nights are the pregnancies that stem from them.  Many of them unplanned, unaffordable, or at worst–unwanted.
-Currently, about half (51%) of the 6.6 million pregnancies in the United States each year (3.4 million) are unintended.  In 2008, there were 54 unintended pregnancies for every 1,000 women aged 15–44. In other words, about 5% of reproductive-age women have an unintended pregnancy each year.[6]
• By age 45, more than half of all American women will have experienced an unintended pregnancy, and three in 10 will have had an abortion.[7].
• The U.S. unintended pregnancy rate is significantly higher than the rate in many other developed countries.[8]  In 2008, two-thirds (65%) of the 1.7 million births resulting from unintended pregnancies were paid for by public insurance programs, primarily Medicaid. In comparison, 48% of births overall and 36% of births resulting from intended pregnancies were funded by these programs.[13]
• In 14 states and the District of Columbia, at least 70% of births resulting from unintended pregnancies were paid for by public programs. Mississippi was the state with the highest proportion (83%), and the District of Columbia’s proportion was 90%.[13]
• Total public expenditures for births resulting from unintended pregnancies nationwide were estimated to be $12.5 billion in 2008. Of that, $7.3 billion were federal expenditures and $5.2 billion were state expenditures.[13]
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/FB-Unintended-Pregnancy-US.html

crabby

So though I did much cut & pasting this year (I apologize) because of my work schedule and residual tiredness, I’m sticking with my opinion, Valentine’s day is full of bad side-affects, among them STDs and pregnancy along with all the fallout that goes along with those two things.  Please reconsider supporting such a day.  And if you must celebrate, and have sex, remember to be responsible and take so many precautions.

A Look Ahead–2015 Goals, Not Resolutions

1 Jan

Last year, having a monthly post with my goals already written out was really helpful.  I liked doing a monthly accountability check–even if it was boring for you to read.

This year, I think I’m going to have less goals, but no less important.

Gorge N1 2014

2014 Maintenance Goals–keep these going!

The key is to be specific, but not box myself in a corner.  And to be mentally prepared to do it, have a plan, and establish a routine.

A]  run at least 1 mile 1st thing in the morning every day.

B]  For school I would like to read and outline all my textbooks before school begins in the fall.  Additionally, I think it’s worth mentioning (to myself) that I want to keep up on making my flash cards and study sheets as close after class as possible–for every class.  All semester.

C]  I want to be better about collecting my positive moments in a jar (minimum of 2/mo), as well as listing (in my head) what I’m thankful for daily.  As part of this, I want to appreciate nature, love, and things I already have.  Worrying can only take up a maximum of 15 minutes/day.  EVERY day.  Also, I need to remember to do my very best, but not stress out and look for perfection.  It’s a fine line.

D]  Dental health.  Floss daily, brush twice daily for an adequate time, and find a way to make the dentist happen at least once in the next year.

2015 Aspirations (in no particular order):

#1:  Get the money.  Make it, keep it.money

a)  I would like to do the 365 day money challenge where you save a dollar +1 every week of the year.

b)  Sell a minimum of 1 item on Craigslist per month and have one yard sale.

c)  Apply for every funding opportunity at UU, and go for scholarships once I’m eligible for them.

#2:  All about the AuD.Audiogram-Familiar-Sounds

a)  read the journals, e-mails, forums–and the national news (minimum of average of 1/wk)

b)  practice and prepare for the interview (at least 1 question/wk)

c)  really follow-up on observing an AuD.  I need at least 3 hours for admission to UU, and of course it’s important that I get more.  It would also be ideal to get it in a variety of settings, but I’ll start with the minimum of 3 hours and scale the goal up from there if I can accomplish it.

#3:  Cool.Spring Finals 001

This is highly dependant on Cool’s bipolar, anxiety, and medications.  I want to be more affectionate, dare I say, sweet and less judgemental.  I will look at this as a continuum though since this is very dynamic area.  I’ll try to be one level more than the responsible that I always am then Cool’s current mood state.   I define this as:  tolerant = overlook silliness, don’t engage or poke the bear.  Affectionate = say random I love yous, introduce touching (nuff said, and you get the idea).  Sweet = make a spontaneous grand gesture, do something for her, that I maybe don’t normally like or do.  So if she’s having a terrible month, being a real jerk, irritable, mean, and lazy–I’ll try to be both responsible AND tolerant.  If we’re having an awesome month without problem, I’ll try to not only be affectionate, but go the extra mile to sweet.  So I’ll rate Cool’s behavior on a level of 1 (awful) to 3 (beautiful) and try to be tolerant, affectionate, sweet in accordance with that.  This way the goal is more in my control and works with whatever is happening to Cool.  Mental illness complicates things, but I want to rise above it.

#4:  Make a menu, do a grocery list, grocery shop, and cook. I think if I start out simple in order to establish a routine, this will go better.Easter 022

a)  I thought of the 7 easiest meals I know how to cook:   quesadillas–>tacos, spaghetti–>fancy pasta, mac & chee–>add-ins, PB&J–>grilled chee, oatmeal–>add-ins, eggs–>scramble, pigs in a blanket–>snake bites.  We can start with the easiest version, then move to the more complex as we get into the groove.  If we really find success, we can branch out with new dishes.

b)  I’d like to start with 5 days of cooking per week (with opening a can of chilli, stew, hash, soup, or bag of salad for a cheat day) and hopefully grow it to all 7.  So that takes care of the menu and helps the cooking.

c)  We can grocery shop once weekly, let’s say optimally Sunday morning, but if that’s not possible Sun-Tues (to save time).  I WANT this one, it’s just hard to make it a habit.

#5:  Prepare, but don’t stress out.Laurel's pics 026

I want to do everything in my power to set myself up for the move, for school, and excelling throughout the school year.  I want to work continuously on this one, doing at least 1 thing every week towards the future.  I’ll start with a big 3:

a)  Starting all these goals

b)  Completing my taxes and FAFSA just as soon as I receive my paperwork.

c)  Finally cleaning, organizing, and packing (pick one new area every non-work day).

d)  Then set a monthly deadline for at least one additional task.

To help me accomplish these 5 new goals and maintain the 4 older ones, I’ll do a monthly accountability post like last year and make a poster I can see daily.

Sunday: Redemption DAVE (+ forgotten details) [4 of 4]

15 Sep

See what I did there?

SUNDAY:

First thing in the morning I went for my run down River Road.  I however, did not repeat Saturday’s mistake.  I started my mile going up hill so that I could finish on a downhill and things worked out much better!  Also, it was beautiful running near a (un-poisoned) river, surrounded by forest and orchards.  Central Washington is very beautiful.  Too bad there’s no jobs.

33rd birthday camping 021

We hung out with Cool’s friend awhile longer before getting ready to go back to the Gorge.  I tried to fix my hair as I had planned and practiced, but traveling always makes my hair icky.  Maybe my travel shampoo is crummy. . .  My hair was very fly-away and I could tell I was going to have to stand there fighting with it for 40 minutes to get it to do what I wanted.  Instead, I took the easy way out and asked Cool’s friend (who owns her own hairdressing business) to do 2 french braids.  She asked if I wanted 4, and not wanting to take advantage or suck up her time, I said I thought 2 would keep my hair out of hair sundaymy face alright.

The wind was Kra-zzzy! It was reminiscent of Nevada. I wished I had asked for 2 more french braids because my hair would not stay out of my face for 0.2 seconds. I hate that!

Our tailgating was fun–Cool beat me in 3 straight rounds of Go Fish and even let me draw an eyeliner Firedancer on her forearm.  I looked at the sticker on her car window for proportions, but it’s hard–and you can’t (easily) erase errant marks when working with skin and eyeliner.  I did the best I could, and Cool looked a little skeptical of the results and said she might remove it.SEATS-the gorge 042

We continued to eat and drink our snacks, having plenty left over for the ride home, and the next week even.  It was fun and everyone was on their best behavior and getting along.  Soon, random people parked in our vicinity came over to ask about Cool’s home-made arm tat.  They exclaimed at how awesome it looked!  I was like, “Thanks for coming over–she didn’t like it!”  And the gal said she’d tried to draw one too, but it proved very difficult–even though the Firedancer looks simplistic.  The guy agreed it was a good rendition, and they walked back to their car.  After that Cool seemed proud of it.

I had to change out of my super-cute flip flops.  Because my feet were still boneless, skinless chicken from the plastic damage Friday.  And they matched my outfit and necklace PERFECTLY!  But alas, I had to put on my sensible running sneaks, and thankfully they were orange and matched my outfit.  Though They were certainly not as cool or cute.

no more flops

We went into the venue early again to check out that night’s poster and merch.  Before we went in I should mention that I checked, confirmed, and double checked with Cool whether we should bring the poster along.  It was very, VERY windy and gusting terribly, and if she wasn’t going to hold it, I didn’t want to bother around with it.  As a matter of fact, had we actually held it Friday, I wouldn’t have taken it around again, because the wind was so severe.  She said she wanted it, so I carried it around, in the wind, again.  That night’s special collector’s edition poster was a dinosaur!  So we bought it to commemorate the occasion, as well as a shirt for whoever would win the setlist game(I knew I would!)  that night.

We went looking for our seats knowing these would be further back (row 22 vs 13 on Friday) and realized that our section was much closer!  We were actually front and center, rather than skewed to stage right, and 22 rows counted the pit!!!  We were actually 7 chairs back 😀  These were amazing tickets (thanks Mom and Dad!) and this was going to be a good, good time.

They also have a (new?) viewing area we had never noticed before.  It was immediately adjacent to the stage and overlooked the gorge canyon and Columbia River.  It was a beautiful view except for 3 things:  They made you wear an alcohol arm band to get in, after checking IDs (apparently kids are not allowed to look at nice scenery), the wind was crazy on an edge, with no wind barriers, and there was so, so, so much TRASH.  People from the venue had tossed or lost their empties.  Or the wind caught it and the staff didn’t bother to pick it up.  It really marred the vibe and made me disappointed in humanity.  Such a nice spot ruined by beer cans. . .

20140829_15523620140831_163117

Dave always does this really cool thing and comes out to personally introduce the opener.  It makes the audience feel like Dave likes them so we should give them more of a chance–which is neat.  Because usually, the crowd is a little disgruntled and unaccepting of whoever is keeping them from the headliner.  Dave came out (per the usual) to warm us up to Brandi.  But I was unimpressed by what he said about her, “She’s hot.”  Instead of saying how talented she is, or how nice, he decided to objectify her.  Which I’m sure he did for the testosterone-fueled fratty staple fans, to get on to her.  After all, the dude knows his audience–but I didn’t like it all the same.  And he did this both nights we attended, adding in Sunday the twins were also hot and he’d follow the band around to look at them *gag*.

Brandi played almost the same setlist all 3 nights. Which was good, but she has a large enough catalogue that she didn’t have to. And even if she wanted to stick with covers instead of all her own material I think Johnny Cash would have gone over well. And John Denver. But no complaints here–she is always a treat to watch. I just wondered about the rationale.  But the crowd caught on big-time to her (they always do) and filled in much earlier then they had Friday.  I was glad to see Brandi had made so many new fans.  Though also unhappy because the more fans she gets, the harder it will be to meet her–and the more crowded and expensive her concerts.  She’s no longer our little secret.

Cool and I did some swaying together during her set, but the wind was outrageous, and kept blowing my hair in my face.  Which I can’t stand.  And Cool wanted to hold the poster instead of propping it under a chair as we had Friday, so she really had to work to hold it.  But we had fun together anyway.  We were out to have an exceptional time on Sunday.

We held our “Raise Hell Brandi” sign up high and since we were close and center, she actually saw it and pointed at it, Brandi with our sign 2acknowledging us!!!  What a moment!  I gave her a thumbs up, not knowing what the procedure is supposed to be when a famous person points at the sign you worked so hard on, carried through gusting wind for an afternoon, and held up with a death grip to keep from blowing away.  After that, I got cold and wanted to put on my sweatshirt–but just in case Brandi saw us later or wanted to meet these fans who made HER a sign at a DMB concert, I wanted to be sure I was wearing the same, recognizable bright tank I’d been wearing when she pointed at our poster.

I needn’t have worried, because I did not see Brandi after she left the stage.  Of course.  But the DMB fans were filtering in, and I was really hoping the crowd around us would not be pushing and smoking this night.  Dudes sat next to us.  One was asking me all kinds of questions, and I couldn’t tell if he was a friendly sort or getting his flirt on.  But then he asked me who I came with (Cool was in the bathroom at the time) and I said my mate.  Nobody understands what the Fu(k that means, but I like it.  And I absolutely HATE “partner” or worse, “lover.”  And “girlfriend” doesn’t really do us justice anymore, so “mate” it is–confusing or not.  Another drunk dude stumbled slowly down our row, and my neighbor said he was surprised when rainbow 8that dude passed us, as he thought it was my mate.  I had to explain that oh no, my mate is a short gal.  And my neighbor immediately turned to his friends–I’m pretty sure to say how unlucky he was that the chick he’s trying to scam on is gay.  But I couldn’t hear the, so maybe not.  When Cool came back, he of course made some suggestive jokes about a threesome–as ALL dudes do when confronted with lesbians.  But he was more funny than disgusting or offensive so we took it light-heartedly, and continued joking around with him throughout the night.  He didn’t come off as an aggressive creeper, and we were determined to have a better night.  And none of the people around us smoked!  Thank goodness.

I forgot to mention in the first writing that I got up to get water between acts.  The Gorge water is in some kind of milk carton.  It’s recyclable, and they can ship it flat for efficiency, and it was a huge hit in our seating area.  Everyone first wanted to know if I was drinking milk at a concert, then wanted me to read the carton’s benefits off the side for them.  When I came back to my seat, I thought somewhere along the line I might have stepped in $hit?!  I even checked the bottom of my sneakers (thank goodness no flops), but they were clean.  I looked about, thinking there must be poo about because it smelled.  I never did find it.  Maybe it was always there but the wind had been so wild it carried away the odor.  With all the people surrounding us the wind wasn’t so drastic, and I think it was settling down toward the evening.  But the smell–was awful!  Some super-drunk dude went down our row, talking as he stumbled.  When he was passed, one of our new seat buddies said his breath smelled of vomit.  He puked on the ground behind us apparently, and the venue did their best to clean it up amongst all the people, but could only do so much without chemicals and a hose.  I wondered what you have to eat for vomit to smell that bad.  It smelled like he ate $hit and vomited back out.  And that sort of lingered throughout the concert, lucky us.

Right before the show, of course, a tall, broad shouldered man stood immediately in front of us.  I’ve come to expect that, but this dude was like 6’5″ or taller, and his wife was an amazon too.  It pretty much obscured our view unless we craned around them one way or another.  Still, we were going to have fun, and going to see the stage since we got such stellar seats!

stage--gold light-blueDave came out and we held our sign up several times.  We played the setlist game and the people around us offered their inside knowledge of Saturday’s setlist and suggestions for what would get played this night.  Also, the people around us were quite excited about our sign, wanting to know what it said, encouraging us to hold it up, spotlighting it with a flashlight, and offering to get us Carter’s drumsticks if he threw one toward our poster.  It was a great vibe.

Ugh–the Lovely Ladies showed up. I can’t stand the way they change the sound of DMB, and they were a huge factor when I wasn’t an earlier fan of the band. Crash was amongst my 1st 12 CDs ever, but I hated Lovely Ladies and thought they were permanently part of the band’s sound, so strayed away from their music. I could ignore them on 2 songs, but they absolutely ruined “You and Me” which is normally one of my faves, and Cool and I were swaying to it–having a moment.

Cool and I danced, sang,  and got along famously throughout the whole show.  At one point we laughed and laughed because as Dave was singing “Squirm” the lyrics went “open your mouth and $hit comes out” which reminded us of the vomit.  And it was much better then Friday.  I had a DMB blue green lightsreally nice time at the show, and with her.

They ended the encore with “Shake me like a monkey” or as we like to call it–kick in the dick. Sorry Dave, you just can’t force a closer. If a song isn’t encore material, no amount of playing it last will make it so. Next time–“2 step.” Or just stop at “The Stone” because that would have been different and awesome.

I had to clean Cat’s Meow one last time, and thought I might try to get it done Monday.  And I thought I should do some studying the next day.  The concert ended at 11:35 PM (I just checked my FitBit step time to confirm this).  So instead of camping again (though it’s lovely) I decided to be a big-girl and drive us home that night.  What I didn’t anticipate was all the (drunk) traffic.  It took us a literal 20 minutes just to get out of our parking spot.  Then, it took another half hour to slowly wind through the dark, unmarked roads to I-90.  With normal traffic it takes about 15-20 minutes total.  So we didn’t really get going until 12:40AM (I know this because we stopped at the first rest stop to get snacks within reach and pee–and my FitBit recorded those steps).  It’s a 2.5 hour drive, but I can never fall asleep in a non-bed situation.  Cool stayed awake and talked to me the whole time, which is unusual and awesome.  Having company without nagging for it worked out a lot better!  I started getting really tired around 2:30AM, but we were IN Spokane, so we didn’t have far to go at all.  And I have to say, that drive was much better in the dark.  Between Mosis Lake and Cheney, there is nothing but dirt, so I actually felt like the time passed faster.  Maybe we’ll drive in the dark again next time we have to go through there. . .

I wasn’t as productive as I had hoped Monday, and of course I couldn’t clean work because the book-keeper was already there when I showed up.  But it was nice to be home and have a whole day to rest before school and work resumed.

Sunday panarama

So there it is–the whole Labor Dave Weekend + Brandi Carlile story of 2014.  Cool has been to the Gorge to see DMB 24 times–and saw him in CA an additional 3 times) so she’s a big fan.  And these were my 3rd and 4th shows.  I wish it could be an annual thing, but I’m afraid this might be our last year.  Next year, we’re (barring school rejections) moving to Utah, and it’ll be too far, and too expensive to go during the school year.  Maybe DMB or Brandi or both (are you guys reading this???!!!!!  Hint, hint.)  will play Red Rocks and we’ll get to go there instead. . .

Broken Heart [Anti-Valentine Part 9]

14 Feb

This may be the only annual post I’ve completed every year since I began blogging.  THAT’S how important I feel it is to spread the message the Valentine’s Day is nothing positive.

2007:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/my-opinion-of-valentines-day-posted-2-14-07/

2008:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/where-is-the-love-posted-2-13-08/

2009:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/valentines-dread/

2010:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/nix-the-red-pink-and-save-some-green/

2011:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/blood-diamonds-and-valentines-day/

2012:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/valentines-day-part-4-gender-roles/

2013:  https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/shove-it-down-your-throat/

It’s all hype and phoniness, and contrived to SELL merch.  This year, I’ll be focusing more in the feelings of inadequacy and loneliness the “holiday” can foster.  Sure, I’ve mentioned it before, but I never talked of adult and teen depression and the very real consequences of these emotions:  Divorce and suicide.

blacks birds

Valentine’s Day is a day of those who have it and those who don’t.  “It,” being commercialized, overt, expressions of love.  This is not to be confused with actual love, friendly-love, or compassion.  Those are all very real, and intangible feelings that can’t be bought or paraded around for the admiration and envy of others.  And though they’re different then the passionate type of love flaunted on Valentine’s Day, I’d argue they’re even more important.  And substantial.

For those who feel left out of the Valentine’s commotion, life can feel pretty empty.  And just try to get away from all the hearts, flowers, and gifts that day.  The advertising and parading is ubiquitous.  And teens are imprisoned at school, can’t find an escape.  People who are already having relationship woes find them exacerbated by the great expectations of February 14th.  A product of failed expectations can be a ruined family unit.  Teens with low self-esteem or who are still testing relationship waters and don’t have that ONE special person–can get down.

Also written by someone else, but very pertinent to MY point:

Some students left school with armloads of gifts, while many others sat empty-handed. Some girls sent flowers to each other, and I knew more than one who sent flowers to herself. I remember seeing girls cry in the restroom after their boyfriends failed to send them a gift, and I remember watching boys cruelly snicker as they watched an unpopular girl react with joy as she received a flower supposedly from one of their buddies, but which was really just a mean hoax.

Facts from other internet sources (take the validity as you will):

-Forty percent of people have negative feelings towards Valentine’s Day.

-A recent poll found that one in ten young adults admitted to feeling lonely, insecure, depressed, or unwanted on Valentine’s Day. And that’s just the ones that admitted it.

-divorce internet search/lawyers increase around this day

-Research suggests that 75 percent of suicide attempts are attributable to relationship problems.

-Last year, the Missouri Suicide Crisis hotline had extra staff on duty because they expected approximately 50 percent more calls on Valentine’s Day.

Laurel's pics 189It breaks MY heart that our commercialistic society whole-heartedly endorses a holiday that’s so hurtful to so many people in order to sell a few teddy bears.  It’s hard to feel good about a holiday that leaves so many adults left feeling lonely and disappointed.  A day that leaves students feeling miserable about themselves, and drives them to take drastic measures.  

I like the idea of GALentines day or PALintines day a lot better.  I fine those all-inclusive and based on making Leslie Knopeeveryone feel good.  Much better than just thrusting “love” in everybody else’s faces to feel superior and special.  And to the detriment of those that don’t.

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Snowboard to Backboard

23 Jan

This is more the bipolar part of the story, then the finale of a snowboard injury.  The whole episode was really caused from mental illness/medication stuff, not actual injury.

We got to emergency after another hour–and in that hour I got more and more exasperated.  My Sunday study time was gone, work preparation time taken away, and my relaxation time now impossible.  I could also see our financial resources disappearing with each medical act. At that point, I didn’t have any sympathy for Cool, because I was certain the ambulance and emergency were unwarranted.

I have cut out the meat of our discussion (which I had detailed at first) because it just made us look bad.  I’m OK with sharing what may be construed as unfeeling, unsympathetic quotes from myself.  I’m not ashamed, and I stand by them.  But I don’t want you to think Cool is some sort of loser, crazy, or $hithead.  It’s not that way–there are just extra considerations when working with a mentally ill person.  She thinks and reacts differently then most people.  And so some of our relationship is me trying to explain why it’s sometimes impractical or detrimental to her or US.  But to you–it would just seem lop-sided and portray us in a certain light that I do not intend.  So I just skipped it and sort of jumped into the next paragraph.

It seems mean way to be, but you have to understand–I suffer the consequences too. We are always dealing with bipolar issues, anxiety, irritability, medications, responsibility, extreme situations because of highs and lows. All the time.  I want to convey that day in day out with a person with mental illness requires patience, constant monitoring, coaching, vigilance. And that can get tiring–who wouldn’t be exasperated when things like this spiral all the way out of control? I guess that’s just part of mental illness. And I hardly ever think of Cool as a mentally ill person, she’s just Cool to me. My mate, and I love her. But the anxiety/bipolar does have an impact.

And it was difficult for Cool to SEE how this happened or take any responsibility in the matter.  Which is frustrating.  She told me, the doc at the ski hospital tricked her by saying I had agreed to the ambulance–which I never had–so she hadn’t fussed and refused treatment.  Reactions need to be much different next time, and we formulated a plan to avoid THIS.

Cool gave her pain as a 5 and took some pain relief. She was taken to x-ray for a long time. An hour after the initial pain score, Cool said her pain was still at 5–unchanged. Her wrist had recovered–because it had only ever been normal fall discomfort. The PA came in–x rays were completely normal. Cool was fine. She was cheering for football the next hour. In the morning when I asked how she felt and she said her. . . HEELS hurt. Not even part of the big emergency injury–but that’s Cool for you. Welcome to MY life.

I AM happy that Cool is still going to snowboard. She will get back on the horse, so at least our non-refundable EZ-123 package won’t be wasted. And we practiced what she would say next time she took a fall: Are you OK, are you hurt?! Cool says, “I just need a minute.” And she sits on the sidelines, gives me a hand signal, then together we can assess if she’s just being a wuss or if she’s actual-hurt. And if she is, I’ll drive us home where we will decide if the injury needs IBU and ice or if we need to involve diagnostics and doctors. Things will go better this weekend!

Arapahoe--rooster tails

 

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“If It’s Important You’ll Find a Reason…

21 Jan

If not, you’ll find an EXCUSE.”

What a day!  It was my big work evaluation and I was really stressed about it.  Mostly, because I’m never on the same page as my work, so these things never end well for me.  Despite, spending a lot of time (in my head, on here, and on my portion of the eval) thinking about my strengths and weaknesses–I was terrified to go over them with my boss.  I guess just because I didn’t want to be surprised, upset, or disappointed?  I’m not certain why, actually.  I was just. . .  Overwrought.  And it’s never awesome.  I told myself I would not be emotional.  I sad eyeswould remain neutral-faced and professional.  Well, automatically my care bubbles out in the form of teariness/crying grimace-face.  And I’m not the crying type.  Not at all, actually–which makes it all the worse.  The almost-crying stuff is just emotion/nervous energy–not cry baby or sadness.  But it couldn’t be stopped, despite trying to prep myself and visualize calmness beforehand.  And despite deep breathing before and during.  That stuff is not the image I want to convey–but knowing it will happen, and that it’s silly, doesn’t equate with stopping it.  So there I was.  Cool was very entertained by my recap of the event.

Anyway, it went better then I expected, they gave me much the same marks that I gave myself (after MUCH gold-starconsideration) and the first marks I got when I began work in 2010.  And the (verbal) comments were–expected, more pleasant then I thought, and typical.  All three of those things.  And sometimes I’m cynical and think complements are more of a “softening the criticism” leadership strategy then completely truthful, but I’ll take what I can get I guess.  I put 3 such items into my positivity jar also, making a total of 5 great things that have happened in 2014.  [Sidenote–I feel severely underappreciated on  daily basis at work, but 4/5 items in my positivity jar are positive statements from my boss,hmm–perception is funny.]

black_dragonfishI did NOT, however, look at the other doctor’s comments.  Not yet.  We have different philosophies, and I knew whatever she said would more then likely make me upset–and I know they are probably based in simmering resentment over my schedule change.  Maybe I’ll have Cool read them first, and if they’re better then I’m thinking, I’ll look.  And if they are much what I expect, I’ll just file them away–I don’t need a bunch of negativeity, and even MORE bad feelings between that doctor and myself.

And that was a long introduction to say that I’m always looking to improve myself, even if I only present that to myself, in private (and you of course).  Here is WHY my 2014 goals are important for me to accomplish to better my life, which will provide me with more motivation to follow through on the small daily steps in order to master them:

putting on the board

-add in exercise AND produce (subtract bad things)

This is important, because I want to FEEL better.  I want energy, less fatigue, and no health issues.  I love my emotional state when I’m running and abstaining from alcohol as well.  It takes some anxiety away and helps me have a more positive outlook.  Plus, being hot never hurt anyone’s self esteem and feeling strong is a good way to feel.

-have gratitude, say nice things

I under no circumstance want to be phony or an eternal optimist.  That isn’t me–I think it’s OK not to grasshoppercompletely hide the darker sides.  It’s authentic–everyone has that part of themselves and the world isn’t all roses.  That said, there is nothing wrong with nothing small things.  I like that quote about it’s not the person who has least that is the poorest–it’s the person who wants MORE.  And as a go-getter, it’s easy to get bogged down by where I’m going, instead of loving simple pleasures.  This also takes time from worrying, and trains my brain to stop being greedy.
-straighten out my sleep

I hate being tired, feel guilty when I’m dragging and unproductive, and my temperament and emotions are more unruly when my sleep isn’t regulated.  Even though finishing everything by 7PM is a pain sometimes, the next da is ALWAYS better when I do.
-min. extraneous spending and save a small amt $ every paycheck for moving to CO

Because I want out of HERE.  It’s among my most important goals to make a difference in my work and improve my surroundings.
-volunteer

It’s something good people do.  I’m a big believer in giving if you have something to give.  And secondly, that’s where the scholarship money is–community service.  But that’s not the primary reason.
-Judge Cool less and show her more kindness and love

DMB at the Gorge 012Our love is special.  She is one of the only people who truly understands me.  And she tolerates my “stuff” and I love that about her.  We are just meant to be.  It is important to me to convey to her how much I appreciate her and love us, because we get bogged down in reminders, details, and shennanigans.
-Take pride in my appearance: Wear contacts more, use makeup, wear jewelry

Not in a sorostitute, capitalistic way, just as a taking care of myself and caring about myself.  It also shows I care about where I’m going and gives a picture into my health and mental state.  Which is improving all the time.
-worry only 30 min/day (instead of all day & night) AND think positively for at least 10 min/d

Because worry makes me sick inside.  And stressed and tightly wound and unpleasant to be around–for both others and myself.  And I feel 100x better when I don’t worry.  I feel like gratitude is the thing that cancels out worry and I’m on board with that.

rainbow cloud 1

-make a list, grocery shop, cook ahead

This is just better for scheduling, money, and health purposes.  A little planning helps a lot of areas.  The follow through will stop restaurant eating and munchie grabbing.  And when the pantry is stocked I feel like a productive adult, AND it saves valuable study time.
-Don’t over-pluck eye brows.

Emma Watson dark eyebrowsBecause I’m 30 now.  And I have full brows >:-{ It’s happening and I’ll like it and have to work at them less when I work more with nature instead of fighting against it.
-increase eye contact

This not only helps me look less like a suspicious criminal or autistic socially-inept person, but I can see more intent in other people if I look at their eyes.  It instills trust, it’s professional, and it’s a good feeling, mutually.

So as you can tell, I put more effort into some of these than other, more more the afore-mentioned 7 PM bed time then anything.  Maybe I’ll edit a little later, but now I’ve GOT to go.

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Goals: Love

11 Jan

Love D-, probably F, but that looks too horrible to write

-Remember that it’s not my job to be responsible for Cool. I can love and support, and make sure things don’t end up affecting ME–but I can’t do everything for her. This year, as long as I am still OK, I will let her fail. Though, I will continue to talk up the calender method of organization. Fail. I just don’t have it in me to ignore problems, watch someone I care about make poor choices, or disengauge someone I love. I was all up in Cool’s grill, helping, being frustrated, wading through bipolar and childhood issues. Maybe that’s just a part of us. I have pressured Cool to really make an effort to get her $hit together and conveyed it’s not my job to always be responsible. This one, now, is more of Cool’s resolution then my own.

-On a lighter note, I will remember to do nice things often for Cool. Just because. Fail. Because I go from picking up pieces, to reminding, to feeling resentful and frustrated–the little things tend to slip. This next year, I would like to do at least one positive relationship thing daily. I’ll make this into a less overwheling task by breaking it into smaller pieces.

-Appreciate at least one thing daily. Fail, and it goes on the list for next year. I’ll have to spell out a more detailed plan to accomplish it.

-Get back to weekly massage. B- We did remember and actually rub sometimes. And it was wonderful when we did accomplish it. I think we need to work a little longer to get this into our normal routine though.

-Get back to more frequent cooking. Fail cubed. I just really don’t make this a priority with work and school making me so tired and stressed. This next year, I’m going to plan NOTHING on Sundays. Maybe we can do a weekly cooking then.

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