Calling Inventors

Calling Inventors

It’s 2018. I feel we could use technological improvements in these areas.  Feel free to use these ideas!

  • Hair coloring – it stinks and burns my eyes.  I know, major first world problem, but I’m still going to complain about it.  Us ladies need better than this.
  • Birth control pills minus all the risks like blood clots, cancer, etc.  Again, ladies, we need to demand better for our bodies and lives.
  • A garbage bag holder/opener so when u collect garbage the bag doesn’t fold over and stuff gets everywhere.  There HAS to be an invention around the corner for this.
  • A baby diaper pail product that actually controls odors. Nothing has worked. Ever.  We tried them all and air fresheners only go so far.  Best solution: use grocery plastic bags in a regular garbage can and dump twice/day.
  • A fold up bike. I feel like I may have seen this on shark tank but I have yet to see it in stores. Unless you have a massive SUV or long trunk or put on a bike rack, you cannot travel anywhere with your bike. I have to drive to most bike trails to get my workout so it doesn’t end up happening.
  • A glaucoma eye test that doesn’t involve the air to the eyeball that makes me cringe and squirm and takes 15 minutes on wimps like me.

What would you add to this list?

One-offs: Netflix View Worthy

One-offs: Netflix View Worthy

I’m always looking for new shows to binge watch on Netflix and wanted to recommend some recent shows that have been really interesting and different.

Abstract – A series for art lovers, covers all mediums and documents the best of the best in each medium.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams – Fascinating documentary about cave paintings discovered and what was learned from them

Gypsy – A drama that has a really different take on client-patient relationships with a therapist and her patients.  Makes you think, has twists and turns.

Black Mirror – Each episode is it’s own show.  First one was intriguing.  Second episode not worth watching.  I’m half way through the third.  I mention this show just because each episode poses some interesting questions to the viewer.  Still undecided overall if I actually LIKE it.

The Stand Ups – I love comedians and the first season of them are funny as hell.  The second season, not as much but still worth checking out.

Suicide Prevention 

Suicide Prevention 

Prompting another post about mental health awareness and suicide prevention, was the loss of Chester Bennington of my favorite band Linkin Park.  I was devastated by this news.  Such a talented young man at the height of his career, gone in an instant.  It serves to tell us once again, that mental health issues do not discriminate.

suicide prevention

Whether you have childhood traumas, chemical imbalances in your brain, chronic stress, an addiction, going through a rough time, dealing with loss, have anxiety and/or depression, or the many other mental health disorders, mental health care has never been so important.  It is easy to tell those suffering to “get help”.  It is a whole other ballgame to get help when you are in the throes of depression.

We not only need mental health care for EVERYONE but it should also be readily accessible with experienced professionals.  It should not be $150 a visit (b/c they only take BCBS-and there’s only 1 specialist in your state!), and you should have an ample selection to choose from. No more of this closed panel or 2 yr pending statuses with Drs trying to get in-network. Also, there should be a reasonable limit on visits, based on your doctor’s discretion. It often takes 3 “getting to know you” visits and at least 5 to start really tackling whatever is going on.

I cannot tell you the hurdles it often takes just to get an appointment to see a therapist. You’ve finally made up your mind that you need to talk to someone. You go online to look at in-network providers. You get a list of 20 from the insurance company. Six are men. You want a female. Two no longer take your insurance. Oopsie on the insurance company’s part. Five aren’t taking new patients. Five are booked solid for the next 2 months. One isn’t a psychologist and you’ve tried social workers in the past with little luck. One left. You finally get a slot a month from now. And it took 3 days to stop playing phone tag. You see her and you just don’t click with her. It happens. And it’s so important that you click. Then you begin the process all over again. There are also many doctors, in general, whose office hours are 10-4, 9-5, 11-5 so if you work, getting an hour+ off of work once a week isn’t viable.

If you are someone who is in dire need of help, this can be a truly overwhelming, exhausting and disheartening process. I would not be surprised if people gave up after the first couple calls.

Having said all that, please do not get discouraged if you do want professional help.  You will get that appointment, you will find a therapist you love and begin the process of healing.

If you need to talk to someone immediately, never hesitate to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.  They also offer an online chat option.

13 Reasons I’m Torn About This Show

13 Reasons I’m Torn About This Show

13 Reasons Why is all anyone can talk about recently so I decided to tune in.  I admit I got sucked in rather quickly and wanted to see how everything unraveled.  In a nutshell, there is a high school student who has a run of bad luck, then is bullied and taunted, and eventually horribly raped.  She ends up committing suicide and leaves 13 tapes behind to all those who contributed to her outcome.

I am incredibly torn on how I feel about this show.  Having dealt with depression for most of my life, I find it a bit refreshing that the topic is being addressed.  As a huge advocate of removing the mental health stigma, I think this is so important.  However, the main audience who is watching this are pre-teens and teenagers.  I personally feel this is entirely too much for anyone under 16, and should be watched and discussed with parents if they do watch it.  I agree that mental health, bullying, depression, rape, drinking, and suicide all need much more awareness brought to them.  So for that, I think the show is a good thing.  On the flip side, I think this show can be dangerous for those who are battling severe depression, and possibly even glorifying suicide.  Allow me to explain.

The main character who kills herself ends up getting community-wide attention. Through these tapes, a wide circle of students are constantly talking about her and reliving things that happened, reflecting in their part in it all and figuring out how to cover their asses.  Parents in the community are offering sympathy, and the entire school is shaken up by it all.  The message portrayed is suicide=attention.  If someone is bordering on suicide, this just may push them over the edge.

Hannah, the main character, also takes things WAY too seriously.  Being put on a list for having a great ass is not the end of the world.  Granted, the only social media we had growing up was MySpace, so it was a different time.  But the photo of the girls kissing was not a big deal to me.  Or people spreading rumors.  I’m not saying it’s always easy, but we dealt with things like that ALL the time in high school.  Sometimes you had a bad week or two and then everyone moved on.  You either laughed it off, cried or hid as much as possible, and I’m pretty darn sensitive so that is saying a lot.  Here is some of what I went through:

I was bullied by a gal named Lisa in one semester.  She was a total bitch to me for absolutely zero reason.  She went out of her way to humiliate me on a daily basis in our class together.  I seriously had no interactions with her EVER.  She just decided she was going to target me.  I hated her.  I wanted to kick the shit out of her.  I really did.  I threw out one of her class projects when no one was in the room.  I messed up another.  I had a friend who had a car and we gave her house a “lawn job”.  It was my small way of exacting revenge.  I’m not saying it was easy.  I cried, often.  I shrunk down at the beginning of each class and prayed today wouldn’t be too bad.  I ignored her.  I had a great time with those at my table.  But inside I was cringing and counting the seconds until I could get out of a class that I actually loved.

I also was bullied, badly, by this shithead named Danny if I remember correctly, on the bus, who was like 2 years younger than me and a total waste of air.  Despite me being older, despite me having plenty of friends, despite me ignoring him or swearing at him, he still made fun of me every day, out loud, for the whole bus to hear.  So I ended up walking to school.  It was like a 2 mile trek everyday, but I did it just to avoid him.  I’m pretty sure he’s in prison now.

There were 2 Amy’s that taunted me.  One was on the swim team, one was in my gym class.  The latter was a fat ass (at least compared to me at the time), loud mouth who wanted to be an actress or something.  She was the definition of obnoxious.  So when she went to town on me, the entire room heard.  They both teased me when I would change in the locker room because I’m Hispanic and therefore hairy.  I had hairy arms and hair on my back.  I always shaved everywhere else.  I tried bleaching my arm hair, using Nair, wax, nothing really worked.  I eventually shaved my arms.  Actually, I was teased for this since 5th grade and to this day, am still self conscious about it.  We’d be on the pool deck during a meet, and the other Amy would start on me.  She was nothing to write home about so I figured it was her own insecurities but it still sucked.

My point to all this is that so many of us dealt with shit growing up.  It’s par for the course.  It’s a rite of passage.  Were there kids who had it a lot worse?  Absolutely.  Was I an asshole to some kids?  Sure, I definitely wasn’t perfect in high school.  I tried to be nice to everyone who was nice to me, and I had friends in all circles because I didn’t care about that crap.  Everyone wants to fit in on some level and high school can be brutal and drama filled.  However, if I let every one of those instances haunt me to the point of being suicidal, then they win and I was NOT about to let them win, nor was I ready to give up on life.  The show portrays Hannah as having 2 loving, caring and supportive parents.  Yet it made no difference to Hannah when I think in a lot of cases it would.

I do remember vividly how certain athletes, especially male, could do no wrong.  They got away with all sorts of things.  The show has a whole lot of people covering up for a rapist, who is a top athlete.  It’s extremely disturbing to me and although I wish this was far from the truth, we’ve seen plenty of examples of rapists getting away with it in real life.  Brock Turner, David Becker, Nicholas Fifield, and John Enochs anyone?

The show portrays 2 graphic rape scenes.  I personally did not see these as necessary.  You can get the point across without showing it.  But the show has a lot of shock value, and I think the intention was to show just how traumatic it is for women who have been victims.  Possibly to make someone think twice.  Possibly to encourage someone to come forward.

The show also graphically shows Hannah slicing her wrists open in a bath tub, bleeding out and her parents finding her.  This literally traumatized me on some levels and I’m 36. I’ve known at least 6 people who have tried to commit suicide.  To see it in action was horrific.  Was it a scare tactic to show how awful suicide is?  Was it to show how much pain she was in?  Why show her slitting her wrists?  This could be so triggering.

The show never addresses any mental conditions per se.  I think it is implied that Hannah was severely depressed.  I wish it would have explored this a bit more on a deeper level.  I did appreciate how the show showed her visiting her guidance counselor in an effort to seek help.  That sadly did not go anywhere.  But I wish they would have showed her maybe talking to her parents about it or talking to Clay, trying therapy, trying medication, calling a suicide line, something else to emphasize she saw it as absolutely her last resort.

My hope in those young, vulnerable minds watching the show is that they see suicide as a very last resort, if not an option at all.  If they are engaging in self destructive behaviors such as self mutilation, heavy drinking, etc. maybe this will be an opening to seek help.  Maybe guidance counselors and teachers and students know what signs to look for now.  It isn’t always so black and white and obvious.  Maybe kids will think twice about what they say and do to others.  The potential impact it could have.  Overall, I’m glad discussions are taking place around these serious and all too common issues.  I just hope the second season brings about more understanding and education.

I don’t know if that was 13 reasons or not, but who’s counting?


Good People Still Exist

Good People Still Exist

We are bombarded every day with people hurting other people, committing crimes, people who want to do harm to others, people disrespecting every type of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and a president who represents xenophobia. 

It’s hard to remember sometimes that there are good people in the world.  It’s hard to focus on kind deeds the people who really do hold this country together do, and the people who make this the best place in the world to live. I have seen remarkable kindness, especially in the last year that I would like to share. 

These such kindnesses have been overwhelming.  As a new mom, as someone who has struggled with postpartum depression, with someone who has had a preemie, someone who lost her job, someone who is in a constant state of financial worry, and someone who has had one really, really, trying and tough year, I’ve been able to keep my head above water because of the kindness I’ve been shown. 

Family has been tremendous. Truly coming to the rescue on so many occasions. 

What surprises me most is how virtual strangers have come through to help. Tons of moms have come forward to help another mom in need; another mom struggling.  Not only do I have 2 wonderful groups of women who I met this year, some only virtually, who offer comfort and advice and encouragement, but they’ve also been so generous. Moms in Facebook groups I’m in, who don’t know me at all, giving me bottles or toys or sending gift cards. I’ve gotten bags and boxes of clothes, jugs of formula that weren’t going to be used anymore, a jumperoo and so much more!

I’ve been helped by organizations that are dedicated to assisting new moms who are struggling, offering free support in a variety of ways from diapers to therapy to even some free shopping fun. 

My therapist who is amazing!!! is now out-of-network with my new insurance which has a $6K deductible. She has offered to only charge me my copay so I wouldn’t have to find a new therapist. This meant THE world to me. 

People that gave away their moving supplies. I got about 40 boxes, bubble wrap and foam wrap for free. Saved me not only money but time going store to store asking for their boxes. 

A landlord who knew of my struggles and why I had to move, who let me out of my lease early with no penalties and an offer of a reference for the future. 

People offering to review my resume, keep their eyes peeled for positions for me. 

People offering to babysit while I unpack our new place, or go for an interview or if I just want some “me time.”

When there was an issue with my WIC check at the grocery store and an older gentleman in line behind me offered to pay for my baby food. 

I truly believe there is still good in this world. You sometimes have to search for it or be present enough to notice when it’s happening, but it is there. And it is not just in big gestures but the smallest of kindnesses that need to be acknowledged. 

I wish for a day when the news is filled with more good than bad. When the media decides to focus the shift from celebrities and killings and just the most ridiculous stories to things that matter, acts of kindness, people saving one another, and true American heroes. 

I do partially blame the media for this intense negativity that seems to just bombard us from every direction, on every social platform, every TV station, every magazine you open; it’s everywhere. Seek out the good stuff. The stuff that makes you smile. The stuff that encourages you. The stuff that makes you believe in humanity. So I wanted to do my little part to remind everyone that there are good people in this world and to have faith. 

What in the holy hell is happening?!

What in the holy hell is happening?!

Let me get this straight. Trump and his republicans dont want abortions. They pass an executive order basically making it almost impossible to get an abortion.
But wait! They also want to defund Planned Parenthood who provides contraceptives, educates on safe sex, helps will family planning (whether that involves having a family, adoption or abortion).

Then they also want to get rid of the ACA which would mean contraceptives for women would no longer be covered by insurance as it previously was.

Let’s not forget how crazy expensive adoption is, and how difficult they make the process.

Then the systems that support new mothers who need help, they do not want these either.

Guess what? You cant have it both ways. Are you going to pay for my $25-35/month birth control? I thought not. Are you changing adoption laws? I think not. Are you providing other organizations similar to Planned Parenthood sans the abortion stuff? Nope.

I dont hear anything about sterilizing men or saving precious sperm. Why is all this on the women? All these laws restricting what we do with our bodies, our lives? Are we not allowed to engage in sex anymore because the consequences are too dire?
So best of luck ladies.