Thursday, October 30, 2008

Long time no write

So, here we are again. I'm still in Texas. Got a new job where I get to spend my mornings from 5 am to 1:30 pm knitting quietly and playing on the internet. I am actually at work right now with the cast on for a slipper or a sock sitting right next to me. If you're looking for a new job, reception work is probably the way to go. I just wish it was a permanent position instead of a place where the facility is closing in 2 months. Bummer, right?

Anyway, I've been meaning to make this post for awhile so you'll have to forgive the random topic. My mom doesn't really read magazines anymore, but apparently when she first moved she did. During the power outage, I started reading a Woman's Day or Woman's World or Good Housekeeping or one of those magazines. Anyway, they had an article on health concerns your doctor might miss. One of those listed was hypothyroidism. Now, I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I actually have hypothyroidism. Shocking but true. Anyway, apparently it's incredibly common for people with this illness to not be diagnosed. Apparently about half of everyone suffering from it doesn't know they have it. The symptoms are crazy obscure. Things like insomnia, constipation, dry skin, and mood swings.

The thing is, I actually suffered with hypothyroid for about a year or two before I caught it. I am so incredibly lucky. I went for my first OB/gyn appointment and my doctor asked if my neck was always that swollen. I'd never thought about it before and said I just assumed I had a fat neck. Since I'd wanted an STD test anyway (I'd just broken up with my ex and even though we'd both been virgins I believe people should always get STD tests before they get a new partner) she went ahead and ordered a blood test. My gynecologist caught my hypothyroidism. I am so glad she did! My hair was falling out, my skin was getting acne for the first time in my life, I couldn't focus, everything just seemed insurmountably difficult, I was depressed, I was sleeping a solid 16 hours a day, and my weight was fluctuating. My periods had even started becoming so severe I was forced to take days at a time off from school because I couldn't physically walk to class. I couldn't even walk to the cafeteria, I had to rely on whatever groceries I had sitting around in my dorm. All I did was sleep. I got put on Yaz and Synthroid and after taking those for a few weeks, everything got better. I got a job 3 weeks after starting on my pills when before that the very idea of waking up in the morning, going online, and putting in applications was so strenuous that I would become so exhausted I had to go back to sleep. Not actually even putting in the applications, mind you, just thinking about doing it. I could not function. Now I function. I'm healthy and happy and exercising, for God's sake. Hell, I even got a job!

So the thing is, I was really really really really lucky. I got caught early, got medicated early, and now I'm healthy. I'll probably have to take a little pill every day for the rest of my life, although there is a possibility that having children could fix the problem. I'll have to be monitored if I DO get pregnant to make sure my thyroid doesn't hurt the baby. I have to have blood tests every year to make sure my levels stay constant. I can never take diet pills. Otherwise, I am completely and totally normal. I'm one of the lucky ones. I am thankful for that.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Musings During a Blackout

Sunday, September 14
The storm came Friday night.  Hurricane Ike came straight through Texas.  It hit Galveston and the gulf coast hard (NOAA warned residents ignoring evacuation orders faced "certain death".  Ike cut like a knife up through Houston.  I am north of Houston.  Everything south and east of me was pretty much trashed, everything north and west is fine.  We may not have power for a month.  We lost a transformer, apparently that's not the kind of thing they just keep laying around.  It will be 3 weeks to get another one at least.  It's funny, but a few days ago we were looking forward to this.  We thought power would go out for a day or two, but would come right back.  A blown transformer was not in our plans, but it was in the plans for us.  The question is:  What do I learn from this?

It's easy to forget how reliant we are on technology these days!  Even now, I'm spoiling myself by listening to the Smashing Pumpkins on an iPod.  It won't last much longer.  Other than that, I am on the porch writing with a pen on paper by candlelight.  Oddly, I feel this is a good experience.

Your priorities shift slightly when you begin to feel fortunate that you have a tub of  clean water to bathe in, even though it's cold, because it will be your first bath in 3 days and it's so hot you begin to smell.  Since the power is out, we're lucky the water pressure remains so the toilets work, but the water could be contaminated so we can't drink or bathe in it.  I filled the tub on Friday in case we did lose water.  Thankfully, we were able to get bottles to drink.  Many people were not that lucky.

Since we expected to lose power, we froze our bottles and put them in a cooler.  We were able to save lunch meat for 2 days like that.  We also remembered to charge our phones and I have a wind up flashlight and we had some candles as well.  Our only crisis has been that Step-Dad has a coffee addiction.  Today, a neighbor with a gas grill made a pot.  We've been able to get enough of a cell signal to call my dad and let him know I'm alive and find out what's going on.  Almost nobody else has been able to call out.

I've decided this is an excellent test of my new beliefs.  I was beginning to get annoyed that my mother was refusing to acknowledge that we could be without power for 3 or more weeks.  She can't handle that amount of time mentally.  I don't blame her entirely, but we do need to accept that this could be a long term situation and make plans for that.  If the power isn't back tomorrow, I'll try and go find a library on Tuesday.  I'm going to ask myself everyday:  Can I handle this for one more day?  As long as the answer is "yes" I know I'll be okay.  After all, this can only get easier to adjust to.

I've been making a conscious effort to see this as assisting me on my path to lead a more simple life.  What do I truly need?  I'd like to see my boyfriend.  This isn't a daily necessity.  I can email him once I get to a library and my dad emailed to tell him I'm alive.  I do need to do my homework, but I can also do that at the library.  Otherwise, my needs are met.  We have food, water, and I'm able to meditate.  I even have yarn and needles.  I do wish I had more books, but I'll get some soon.  If The Boy were here, I'd be content.

We'll be alright.

Thursday, September 18
The problem with most major religions as practiced today is their self-centered approach to salvation.  It becomes about me and my relationship to G/god; or, at best, we the elect and our relationship to G/god.  There is rarely more than lip service paid to the idea of me and my relationship to the larger community and the world we all share.  I am as guilty of this as anyone.  What have I done for the world community lately?  What have I done to earn my salvation today?  I have been judgemental and self-centered.  I continue to cause suffering through my inaction and implicit approval of exploitative labor practices.  I realize that I am partially to blame for the suffering in the world today, and I must now begin steps to rectify those past wrongs.  I will have to meditate on this and figure out ways I can begin to practice this.  One cannot rashly say, "I will give up all animal products, stop-buying non-fair trade products, start a letter writing campaign and feed the homeless!"  There is no way anyone would do all that after 30 seconds to think about it!  You would become overwhelmed and inertia would take over and you'd do nothing.  What I can do is continue my boycott of Nesquik, stop shopping at Wal-Mart again (once the power comes back and the other stores open), and do some charitable knitting easily.  I can encourage those around me to become more conscientious consumers.  I can go to farmers markets and try to eat locally.  I can patronize small businesses.  I can cut back on meat even if I don't cut it out completely.  I can avoid speaking ill of people.  I can do lots.

I just want people to remember that it takes more to be a good person than going to church once a week and singing "Praise Him!" as loud as you can.  You can go to weekly services yet still ignore a homeless man on your way home in your SUV, buy yourself some slave labor chocolate while wearing your Nikes.  You may be a nice person in general, but you are not a good person if you don't expend some effort to those around you.

What have you done to earn your salvation today?

Friday, September 19
I may start making shawls for cancer patients.  I have the prayer shawl book, bought while trying to find a shawl pattern for my grandma.  I could probably get the shawls blessed, too.  Even if I don't believe necessarily in them, who am I to deny their comfort to others?  I think shawls might be nice, just because I know chemo can make you quite cold.  Blankets for premies would also be fun. 

Saturday, September 20
The nature of deprivation is that as it draws out, your desire for the lacking numbs but also becomes more painful.  As it stands, aside from being able to locate a Stitch n Bitch and some patterns I would be okay not having electricity again (if The Boy lived here anyway).  But at the same time, the buildings across the street have power.  We found out last night which gave us hope we'd get it soon.  Unfortunately, there's a massive tangle of wires preventing that.  The hope is the worst, though.  I am typing this from a hotel.  We know we will have power on Thursday, but this will be my last day online until this weekend at least.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Like Ike!

Just in case anyone was worried since I moved:

1)  Yes I'm in Texas
2)  Yes I probably will get hit by Ike
3)  I'm far enough north that I should be safe
4)  If anyone wants to panic, I'll be updating my Twitter as the storm develops and if the power goes out, I can text updates there
5)  I've got a flashlight that's windable and doesn't run on batteries, a few books of word puzzles, and all my knitting.  Worst case I end up texting Twitter and knitting by flashlight.
6)  We've got a cooler and a lot of bottled water as well as some cold cuts and bread

Good luck to everyone else in the wake!  I'll catch y'all on the other side.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Howdy from Texas!

I am finally in Texas. Woooo! I'm sunburned and got bitten by an ant and by another, unidentified bug. I'm generally settled in, though. I'm getting incredibly bored by not working right now, but my mother wants me to wait to put in applications until she can look at the temp agencies with me.

I've also gotten past the worst of the homesickness. I really just miss being in North Carolina, but Texas is hopefully going to get me financially independent and get The Boy over here.

My mother keeps pressuring me to join her church. She's a Presbyterian. I've not had the guts to tell her I'm a Buddhist yet, primarily because she'd cry and scream and possibly call me a satanist. It just doesn't strike me as being worth the effort as long as we live together. Maybe once I've moved out. I'm okay with going to church, but I'm afraid it would give her too much false hope if I went with her. I wonder what to do about this.

Oh and P.S. I am safe from the hurricane. I may get some rain, but I'll be alright.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Farewell to Customer Service

So the thing about customer service is that it's a universal. I can talk about my job with any person who has ever worked customer service and we will always have something to talk about because we will have all the same customers. Not necessarily the same people, but since we all know that customers aren't people the archetypes will be the same.

Everyone who ever works with customers will have the psycho who can't understand why you won't violate state or federal law to get what they want. They'll have the person who wants you to bend space and time to get them something that you physically have no control over. The people who yell at you over company policies like you have some control over them. The people who expect you to be psychic about their special things (allergies, the fact they don't want the handles of their soda cases punched in). The people who hand you copies of Watchtower magazine and give you Chick Tracts. These are universal truths.

I had a customer today who I have never had before in my years of working a register. This one was a special breed all her own.

I first encounter Dingbat because it's 15 minutes to close and she is standing in the juice aisle bent over in half not moving. I ask her if she maybe needs help because I'm kind of worried she's not entirely okay. She tells me she's fine, she's just reading the juices to see which one is on her WIC. I am a little perturbed but tell her that the Juicey Juice is all okay.
Finally, a couple minutes after I make the finally "we're closed!" announcement, she gets to the register. I look through her vouchers and realize she has a pound of cheese on the voucher she didn't get. Since I am a good person, I ask her if she wanted the cheese. She's starting to freak me out, because she's mumbling to herself a lot but she goes off to get her cheese. She walked down an aisle and bumped in to the meat case and just stopped and started staring at it. The manager went and got her and told her where the cheese was and she finally came up and I got everything rung up and put through. This took 15 minutes. Then she stood there for another 5 minutes asking us why we didn't

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Family Snapshot

I'm moving to Texas. I don't want to say where exactly, but I'll be outside a large city. This is a particularly horrifying realization for me because I've lived in the same 90 mile radius my entire life. Plus, I've never been to Texas and hate hot weather. This could quite possibly be a brand new bit of crazy in my life. We'll see.

To celebrate my running away to hell, I went to visit my father and brother and step-family a few days ago. The following exchange took place.

Me: I got a Debit Card ledger with my new bank account!
Brother: $5 says you'll never use it.
Me: $5 says you're a douche. Ooooh I win!
Dad starts laughing uncontrollably.
Step-Bro: What?
I recount the conversation, Dad starts laughing uncontrollably again.

Suddenly, my sense of humor suddenly explains itself.

I also set up a Twitter account just in case you want to know what I'm doing all the time every day. And you know you do.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sex Blogging and Me

So I am now officially a sex blogger. I am the founder and admin of Stimulating Conversation as well as the Women's Sex editor (a feature I like to call Girly Bits).

This is really cool for me, because it's something I've thought about doing a lot and have been encouraged to do by friends for awhile and now I'm doing it! It's hopefully going to be a daily blog. Girly Parts on Monday, Man to Man on Tuesday, Hump Day Reader Assistance on Wednesday, a yet-unnamed sex diary on Thursday, Fetish Friday, Saturday I'm hoping to have a gay/lesbian column (we've contacted a gay and a lesbian to see if they're interested in writing bimonthly alt lifestyle columns for us), and Cyn's Sins on Sunday which will be random meditations on sex. I'm irrationally excited about that. I'm waiting to hear back from the potential Saturday columnists we've approached and may end up doing a casting call to try and find them. We also may end up having reader submitted fiction on Hump Days. Basically, I just want Hump Day to be something fun and reader-centric.

This blog has a fun little story behind it. I've been giving sex advice on a babyname board and they kept pestering me to become a sex therapist of some variety since I keep giving the advice. Then a few days ago, I started talking in a chat room about how much I really, really hate Cosmo. To the point that when my options are reading a parenting magazine and Cosmo, I'll read the parenting magazine. My main complaint is that Cosmo sexuality is basically how to fuck a guy into liking you. To me, female sexuality needs to be based on more than getting a man and then being SUPER HAPPY. Female sexuality needs to be about experiencing yourself in a pleasurable way and how to do that while staying safe. Cosmo honestly wouldn't bother me AS much except there is no equivalent magazine or source of advice for men. If women's magazines aren't telling us how to enjoy sex, then who will? So we decided to start a place for sex advice that is safe and clean and focused on making sure that everyone in any sexual encounter has the best possible time. Basically, the entire thing is focused on making sure everyone gets the most out of sex. My goal in life is to get the whole world to have better sex. I don't know if that makes me utterly shallow or a sexy sexy Mother Theresa, but feel free to swing by and drop us your questions, fiction, ideas for columns, product reviews, and general mail.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Lifetime Movie Drinking Game

If you're not familiar with Lifetime: Television For Women, you should be. Lifetime produces the campiest, most hilarious made for TV movies (for women!) to be had. You can watch Tori Spelling and Tiffany Amber Theissan be murdered in the same 4 hour block if you're lucky. It's nothing but cheerleaders getting whacked and women being beaten. It's good old fashioned campy entertainment. For women.

Anyway, imagine my surprise when I found out that there was no Lifetime Movie Drinking Game available on the internet! At least not when you only look at the first four results Google displayed. I decided it was my God given duty to fill this gap in the drinking game industry. So, without further ado, I present...

The Lifetime Movie Drinking Game

Every time a woman cries, take a drink.
Every time a man cries, take 2 drinks.
Every time someone dies, take a drink.
…take 2 drinks if they were murdered.
…take 3 drinks if they died of a chronic illness such as AIDS or cancer.
…take 4 drinks if they died of a mental illness such as anorexia, bulimia, or a drug overdose.
Take 1 drink for every TV or movie actor you notice before their career took off.
Take 2 drinks for every TV or movie actor you notice from after their career sunk.
Take 1 drink every time you see someone who was involved in an Aaron Spelling project in the 90’s.
Take 1 drink whenever a teenager becomes pregnant.
…take 2 drinks if she becomes pregnant by a rape or incest.
Every time a man beats a woman, take a drink.
Every time a woman beats another woman, take a drink.
Every time someone beats a child, take 2 drinks.
Every time a woman beats a man, take 2 drinks.
Every time someone falls into the seedy world of drugs, take a drink.
Every time someone comes out as a homosexual/transgendered person, take a drink.
Every time the main character gets divorced or abandoned, take a drink.
Every time the main character is interviewed by the police, take a drink.
Every time a baby is given up for adoption, take a drink.
…take 2 drinks when the birth mother makes a surprise appearance in the older child’s life.
…if this turns out to have been a bad idea, take 3 drinks.
…if the child is unhappy with his/her (oh who am I kidding, of COURSE it’s a her) adoptive parents and likes the birth mother better, take 4 drinks.
…if this somehow ends to murder, finish the bottle.
Every time a cheerleader appears on camera, take a drink.
…take 2 drinks every time one of them dies.
…take 3 drinks if one is murdered.
Every time a character is raped, take a drink.
…if it was a date rape, take 2 drinks.
…if the character was drunk, take 3 drinks.
…if the character was drugged, take 4 drinks.
…if this leads to a pregnancy, take 5 drinks.
…if this results in a legal battle, take 6 drinks.
…if the case ends favorably for the victim, finish your bottle.
Every time you see a subtitle to a movie (ie. Moment of Truth: Not Without My Handbag: The Lucious Divine Story) take a drink for each individual title.
Every time a main character becomes a prostitute or stripper, take a drink.
…take 2 drinks if she’s forced into it by circumstances.
…take 3 drinks if she’s forced into it by a man.
…take 4 drinks if this some how leads to murder.
Everytime a woman has A Past, take a drink.
...take 2 drinks if this is obvious foreshadowing if what is about to happen.
...take 3 drinks if it's foreshadowing her involvement in A Cause.
...take 4 drinks if it's foreshadowing her future involvement with another woman who has a similar Past.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Crazy People are Everywhere

So, the thing about working in customer service is that 90% of the people you will come into contact with on a daily basis are crazy.

Take, for example, this true life anecdote from my day:

I am coming off of break and a woman at the self-checkouts waves me over and asks for help. I am aware that I probably won't be able to do anything unless it's a stupid question, but I go over anyway.

"These were supposed to be buy one get one free, but they're not being taken off!"

"Okay, well you see how they were both $2.80 and after you scanned each one, it took $1.40 off?"

"Well, that's not really buy one get one free!"

"Well, this way you get the same discount if you buy an odd number of the products. It's the same price."

"But that's not right! It's NOT buy one get one free! I should get one free!"

At that point I managed to excuse myself and run fast for my register where at least the crazy people usually don't notice when things are rung up differently than they expect.

But it's not just customers. Sure, the customers are absolutely fucking psycho, but my coworkers are just as bad. I've already done a post on my whacko boss, so I'll leave him out of it for now. My coworkers are just as bad. I've had one normal coworker since I started at Food Mart. A bagger/cashier with spina bifida who actually did his work quietly, chatted between customers, was friendly to a fault, and got paid a dollar less an hour than me after 3 years with the company. He ended up transferring to a higher paid department and was replaced by Sexy Bagger who transferred in from a different store long enough to cause every teenage girl who works the front end to become absolutely smitten with him and then transferred to a different department. We finally ended up with BigTall, who has yet to get a better job so he's stuck with us.

I work in what we in the business call "the front end" which basically means we're the lowest paid people who have the most contact with the customers. Everybody who spends the majority of their day between the candy racks and the plate glass windows is considered the front end. We mostly spend our time getting yelled at and trying desperately to avoid actually dealing with the customers. That's right, everything you've ever suspected about the people behind the register? It's all true. We really ARE thinking sarcastic things about you even as we smile at you. Well, that's not ENTIRELY true. Basically, you just don't want to be a memorable customer. That's not to say we don't have good customers who we enjoy very much and remember from day to day, but unless you're particularly funny or have really cute kids or have the word "HOOLIGAN" tattooed across the side of your shaved skull, I'm not going to remember you unless you were a terrible person who I made a mental note to avoid at all costs.

There are lots of ways to be an asshole I'll remember you for. You could be the creepy 50 something who insists on leaning over the counter and whispering things in my ear and whispering to the girl who may or may not have FAS that you'd like to take her on a date. That'll cause me to close down my register whenever I see you walk through the door, but it'll make you memorable. You could be the dude who tried to trick me out of $50 by trying to get weird change. Or you could do what the majority of people opt for and be a raging bitch.

All this crazy customer interaction tends to drive us targets into using our own language to communicate with the customers and with eachother. For example, me smiling like a crazy person while talking and leaning forward while moving back means "holy shit you're insane and I'm just going to get as far away as possible before you start throwing things oh my god oh my god oh my god where the hell is the manager?" I am including a sample interaction for your convenience.

The Scene:

I am doing a WIC transaction with one of my favorite regular customers. A youngish hispanic lady with 3 little boys. They're quite charming and she's friendly and has the prettiest accent and always gets in my line when she sees me, so I generally just love working with them. There's an older white woman standing in line behind her with a full cart. For those who don't know, WIC is how the government makes sure pregnant women and children under 5 (too young for school lunches) get their basic nutrition needs met. They're just vouchers that get them free eggs, milk, cereal, peanut butter, juice, beans, and cheese. You can also get formula. The problem is that our local office is crazy strict about what exactly you can get. You can only get ONE size of eggs, a certain type of cheese, a specific size jar of peanut butter and everything only applies to certain brands. The office just decided that the women can no longer get extra large eggs and have to get the large ones. This is a rather recent development, so on this occasion I had to send a bagger out to get the right size eggs for my customer. It's worth noting that I was already in a pissy mood and was an hour late for my break at this time. Favorite Customer and Mega Bitch were my last two customers before I could leave.

Mega Bitch: WHAT exactly is taking so long?

Me: I had to send him to get her eggs. It'll just be a moment. (translation: shut up, you stupid bitch)

Mega Bitch: And you can't just ring her up?

Me: (translation: I COULD tell you about how WIC works, but you'd probably complain about the government giving freebies to Mexicans, so just go fuck off now)

Mega Bitch continues to fume, I finish up with my customer and send her on her way. I then finish up Mega Bitch's order and she realizes her coupons are missing. I then smile and feel gleeful while she spends more time than she had to waste waiting for the eggs to show up digging around her witch's bag looking for her coupons and then one was from a different store and another was expired. Hehehehe. Karma!

I was planning on telling about BigTall and "eyes up" but this entry got out of hand, so that will have to wait for tomorrow or later.

Stay sparkly.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Bitcherina's Guide to Condoms

So somebody on a message board I love posted asking how to use condoms "correctly" since every webpage and instructional manual in existance says they're 99% effective when used consistantly and correctly but tips on how to properly use them are few and far between. So I wrote my own!

Disclaimer: This blog is not a medical professional or a substitute for one. Please consult a doctor if you're REALLY concerned about avoding disease and pregnancy. But since you're a lazy cheap skate or a scared 15 year old and probably WON'T consult a doctor, this is what I do whenever I have to put a condom on a guy and no babies so far on this end. But do not confuse this for professional advice. Seriously. I suck.

Anyway, most guys do not put condoms on properly. They just grab them and pull them on which, while it will put a condom over a wang, does not necessarily prevent breakage. So I don't even bother asking the guy anymore, I just do it myself.

Bitcherina's Tips for Proper Condom Placement:
1. If your dude is uncirced, ask if he wants his foreskin up or down. This is a tip from my friend Boo, so if your guy is like mine, he'll go "I dunno..." and then you just procede to step 2.
2. Unwrap the condom by holding the package in both hands and tearing CAREFULLY to the side of the condom. Don't use your teeth or any other tearing instruments besides your fingers. This can only end badly.
3. Place the condom at the tip of the peen so that the "resevoir tip" is facing up and it will roll downwards.
4. Pinch the tip (DO NOT USE FINGERNAILS!!!!). The fingerprint part of your fingertip is the preferred pinching method and it's not a pinch so much as a squish. Mind the penis as most men tend to get a little testy if you pinch any member of their anatomy.
5. While holding the condom over the top of the penis (if you line your fingers up with the urethra, you're in the right place most likely) use your OTHER hand to carefully unwrap it straight down the participating wang. My favorite method is to make an OKAY symbol with your thumb and forefinger (or middle finger depending on the girth) above the condom and slide down to pull it down all the way. As sexy as it is when strippers do it, this is not the time to practice the oral application technique as it can cause tearing if you use your teeth and condoms generally taste like ass.
6. Repeat steps 2-5 as necessary until one of those suckers stays on.
7. Commence forking.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Simple Pepper Spray Case

The inspiration for this project is simple: I bought the wrong color red yarn for the Dr. Who scarf. So what's a girl to do with a full skein of bright red Red Heart Super Saver yarn? Well, I guess I could make Christmas decorations or something. OR I could make myself a super cool bright red (for safety!) pepper spray case.

This pattern takes less than a day to complete (unless to spend 5 hours playing Rock Band, in which case you might have to finish the strap at a later date) and is super simple. It's a circular knit stockinette sock. My pepper spray is the brandname Whoop-ass. It is approximately 7/8 inch diameter and about 4 1/4 inches long. It has a removable keychain ring at the bottom. With simple adjustments, you can modify this to fit almost any standard pepper spray container. The strap is easily adjusted to fit any size hand.

Needles: Knit with 4 DP needles, US 8
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver (although any worsted weight yarn will work)

Start by casting 15 stitches onto 3 of your needles
Work purl in stockinette until approximately 3 1/2 inches long (IMPORTANT: Do not extend case above this length unless using a larger size pepper spray as this will block the stream of the spray should you need to use the pepper spray for its intended purpose)
P2tog until you have 3-5 stitches left on your needles
Knit stockinette until the strap is long enough to fit snuggly across the back of your hand to the top of your case. This will vary depending on how big your hand is.
Bind off
If your pepper spray does not have a keychain ring, skip the italicized directions
Remove the keyring from your pepper spray and insert it into the case
You should have a small hole in the bottom of your case
Insert the hook for the keychain ring into the hole and then reattach the ring. This will give your spray a firmer hold into the case.
Insert the pepper spray into the case and hold it the way you will need to hold it if you need to spray it. Note which side will be against your palm. This is the side you will be attaching the strap to.
Stitch the strap to the top side of your case that will be against your palm (closer to your thumb is probably a good idea)

That's it! Isn't that easy? Now, slide the case over your hand and you can easily take it jogging or slip it on if you know you'll be outside without worrying about dropping it. This is the way the man who sold me this can suggested I wear it for exercise.


Better pictures to come. My camera decided to crap out right after I got these and they're not great.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Also, Allergens!

Today was Day 1 of my allergy testing.

No wonder I never had this done when I was a kid. I cannot imagine hyperactive needlephobic 5 year old me agreeing to lie still on a table while somebody stabbed her repeatedly in the back and then STAYING still for 15 minutes while the reaction begins to itch and burn uncontrollably. It was all 22 year old me could do not to scream.

So far, I'm allergic to cats (duh), cockroaches (also duh), dust mites (well freakin' DUH!) and feathers (that's actually one I didn't know about going into this). Tomorrow, we're going into food and metals! Hooray!

Twisted Sister Shrug

This is immensely frustrating. I'm attempting to make a shrug using some white fuzzy baby yarn I've had for aaages. I want it to be just basically a fuzzy tube top that fits snuggly around the shoulders. I also want a twist in it in the front for a little glam and cute.

It's my own pattern, so if I can ever make it WORK I'm going to try and post it. Especially if it turns out half as cute as I think.

It's driving me absolutely BATSHIT. The yarn is really soft but it's so fuzzy that it's nearly impossible to see what I'm doing and it keeps getting messed up. The only circular needles I have in a larger gauge aren't long enough for what I'm doing, so I might have to buy more. And even IF I had bigger needles, it's a 275 stitch project, so it's not like it's easy to cast back on.

This is going to be a definite character building experience...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fierce Broad Seeks Chris March for BFF

21 year old nerdy straight girl seeks funny-bitchy gay/lesbian/straight bff for watching crap TV, eating pizza, and helping me plan a wedding. Early to mid-20's preferred. I work odd hours and have frequent days off. Student at local community college. Own transportation preferred, but hardly necessary if living within 15 miles. Addiction to ANTM, Food Network Challenge, Project Runway, campy movies, and sci-fi a definite plus! Will be planning a wedding during the course of the relationship and down 1 attendant due to a cousin being out of the country, so a willingness to go dress/decoration/flower shopping extremely helpful to the course of the relationship.

Am fun loving and good at making bitchy comments about others. Very interested in life-long commitment. Let's have coffee and be awesome!

Please contact me by email if interested.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

My Web IQ

bedroom toys
Powered By Men and Womens Toys

Monday, March 10, 2008

True Friend Test

I made a test! It's about me! Take it and get onto the leaderboard!

Create your own Friend Test here

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I owe my life to Coke!

Damn skippy! Take THAT health Nazis! "Ohhh but soda is sooooo bad for you! It stunts your growth and gives you wrinkles!" yeah whatever. I'm 5'9, so anything it wants to stunt I am very much okay with.

Regardless, I have a brand new food allergy. As in, I was eating some Chewy SweetTarts (From the Wonderful World of Wonka! What will they think of next?) and drinking a regular Coke, minding my own business and suddenly my throat seized up, my neck was itching and I couldn't breathe through my mouth. My initial reaction was "shit! Did I inhale some dust or something?" since I'm incredibly allergic to cats and dust, if I managed to get some stirred up and inhaled it, I'd be itching all over and making this cool little whistle when I breathed.

But no, wait, my eyes didn't itch and my nose was clear. I could breathe through my nose just not my mouth. Then I started choking and I could kind of feel little bits of candy shell. This is what we in the industry call Very Bad because I had no allergy meds in the house and my cell phone battery was dead. At this point if it gets worse, my best bet is to stumble out my front door and bang on the door across the breezeway and pray somebody is home and finds me before I die. Not great odds. Then sudenly, as though my uvula was Moses reincarnated, my throat opened. I could actually feel it relaxing.

Well, that was scary.

So I jump over to a forum I frequent and ask some food allergy questions, omitting my copious Coke (the -a Cola, not the -aine) consumption prior to the throat-spasm. A few people reply discussing friends and relatives who had the same type of thing happen and they had been given coffee or tea because the caffeine made it relax.

I'm thinking, no effing way. No way do I owe my life to a soft drink. So I popped online. Caffeine releases theophylline. Theophylline is a low-level anti-asthma drug which prevents bronchial tubes closing.

Dr. William Walsh connected anxiety and severe allergic reactions. Dr.Walsh maintains that allergic anxiety stems from a choking sense, and loss of air; not a psychological deficit (24). Caffeine converts into many byproducts, including theophylline. Theophylline keeps the bronchial tubes open. Allergic individuals are less likely to suffer respiratory collapse, during an anaphylactic reaction.
Source: CAFFEINE ALLERGY: Past Disorder or Present Epidemic?

Dude, I TOTALLY owe my life to a soft drink. That passage I just quoted? From an article on the dangers of caffeine. Not exactly the kind of source that's going to be telling me to drink more soda.

So yeah, I hopped on down to the CVS and bought some Dye-Free Benadryl to celebrate and tomorrow I'll call around to a few doctors and buy a case of soda from work until I can get an appointment.

So far, my allergens are most likely Red 40, coconut oil, or egg protein. There's also the outside chance it's related to Carmine, because these were Wonka candies and Wonka uses carmine in most of its products.

Until then, I'm going to be eating a lot of rice and chicken just to be on the safe side.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

This is my personal bubble, you are currently inside of it

So I'm fairly sure my new boss is insane. I only recently started this job after leaving Ice Cream Palace for greener pastures when one of my co-workers got me the interview for my current job as a cashier for Food Mart. I like my job. I like being a cashier. I'm good at being a cashier. I get to engage with people for approximately 5-10 minutes and then they go on their way and sometimes tell me nice things about myself. Some of my favorites:
"You have very good customer service." Aww thanks! Customers like this are one of the main reasons I don't randomly decide to give up worldly posessions and become a nun!
"You know, you're really quite pretty." Um, thank you man I just met who whispered this to me and leaned in as far as he could. That's...only mildly creepy!
"Girl, you're a trip! You've got a great personality!" Lady, you're quite possibly crazy according to one of my co-workers, but you're fun and I love you!
"That's a great...necklace!" Uh, thanks. Now please take all your purchases and leave the store and stop coming back through my line. And for God's sake, stop staring at my chest, dude!

Those are just a few of the gems. You also have the people who get irrationally angry at you because they couldn't find the Nesquick or their brand of beer because it was out of stock.
"They blamed it on the vendor, but you know, the vendor doesn't own the store!" Well shit dude, neither do I! If I owned this store, do you really think I'd be dealing with your sorry ass?

Whatevs, I have my rage. Everyone who works in the service industry does. Or else they go slowly insane. Anyway, so now I'm working at Food Mart which is a nice large corporation. I'd forgotten how much different a chain store is from a small business. My manager is seriously starting to freak me out. I haven't really worked a full shift with him since I started, but last night I closed with him. He kept making calls for "Security" to scan the store and "rollback cameras." The thing is, we don't actually have a security team. And I've never seen a control room for the cameras. He does it every 30 minutes or so. Last night, though, he called for them to report back to him. Then all of a sudden he's got his phone to his ear, but he was standing not 10 feet away from me the entire time and I never heard it ring or saw him answer it. I suspect he was talking to nobody.

Maybe I'll get offered a better job by one of my nice customers.

Nerdy Knitting

It may someday prove not to be to my advantage that I am encrusting The Boy in hand-made nerdy knit wear. But it's so funny to watch him squirm in the cold.

There are only so many iconic hand-knit pieces of clothing from Sci-Fi series, right?