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.

TUber Cherry Popped

TUber Cherry Popped

Tried “TUber” for the first time despite being completely skeptical of the service. I’ve heard stories of fake background checks, overcharging and crimes taking place. Not a ton, mind you, but enough to scare me away until today. I was with a good friend so I figured “If I’m going to be kidnapped, I’m happy it’s with her.” We needed several rides throughout the night so I said “What the hell” and threw caution to the wind. 

I will say it’s a cool service. You know upfront how much you’ll pay, who is picking you up (complete with photo if you’re searching for a hottie), the car they’re driving and how long it will be until they arrive with real-time updates. So far I was impressed. I struggled a bit looking for a big “Yes, I want to use this car and now” button in the app, realizing I already selected a price and that was all I had to do. Tricky tricky, TUber. 

I was entirely too excited with the live updates counting down the minutes until our chariot would arrive. And then there he was. At least we were pretty sure. Without the big “taxi” light on top and decals covering the white/yellow car it was hard to tell for sure that this guy was ours. 

So we hop in, I verify with a quick glance that this is in fact our driver as pictured. He already knows our destination.  He is ready to go. The car is clean, smells good, nothing odd (as I scan for duct tape, plastic sheets, axes).  I watch too many horror movies. So far so good. 

But then I start to freak out a little and my mind, never disappointing, starts spouting off one concern after another. Thanks mind; it’s too late now. You could’ve spoken up BEFORE I inadvertently ordered the car. 

– What if he’s a terrible driver?

– What if he has been drinking?

-What if he’s high?

– What if he’s a stalker and now he knows where I live? (At which point my friend said, let’s use an address near you. I didn’t know any. She suggested looking one up on Google Earth. I decided I could live with a stalker.)

– There aren’t child locks on these doors right?

For real though, I’ve seen like 200 horror films. 

I take a deep breath and hope for the best. We survive. He did careen down that one full parking lot aisle and I was just waiting to be called as a witness to a reckless driving charge after he hit someone walking to their car. But again, we made it and I don’t think any turtles trying to cross the road were harmed. 

But wait, have I paid the driver? How do I add a tip? Do I just walk out of the car now? The answers are: yes, still don’t know, and yes. This feels so odd. Just leaving without paying even though we did pay. 

I did at least know that you review each other. I was hoping I was a good passenger but who knows what good passenger standards are. “Did I stumble into some bad lighting?” (If you get that reference btw, you are a rockstar.)

Would I use TUber again? Yes. Would I use it alone? Nope. Unless I was downtown, it was pouring and I was desperate. Maybe I’m old school but that’s fine by me. 

Company name changed so I don’t get sued for libel. 

Workplace Email Etiquette

Workplace Email Etiquette

At work, I regularly receive emails that contain no etiquette.  Allow me to explain.

If a co-worker emails you and you’re in the office and you do not respond that day, it can be seen as inconsiderate.  It is completely okay to reply with “I got your email, super swamped, will respond tomorrow.”  Or call up the person saying the same.  They just want to be acknowledged back.  If you never respond, you have horrible email etiquette, are showing a lack of respect and you need a dunce cap and a timeout.

If you start an email with “I need you to do this” or “what is the update on this” and you are not 3+ emails in a chain, you have bad email etiquette.  Emails should always begin with a greeting of sorts: hello, hi, hey, good morning, greetings, top o’ the mornin’ to ya.  You get the idea.  If you just say the person’s name as a greeting, it’s acceptable but a little more direct and not as friendly.  It also makes a difference if you put the person’s name and a comma or a dash after it.

  • Hello Ellie, = perfect
  • Good morning, = perfect
  • Ellie, = polite
  • Ellie- = demanding, I don’t care for you much

The closing is just as important as the greeting.  Don’t just end an email abruptly with your name, initial or signature.  Close it out with a salutation of some sort.  If you’re back and forth, you don’t need it except for the 1st email and the last you communicate.  You come across as either rude, mad or that you do not want to give an extra 3 seconds time to the person saying ‘you are not worth my time’.

  • Best Regards, = perfect
  • Best, = polite and quick
  • Sincerely, = perfect
  • Thank you, = sincere, grateful, perfect
  • Thanks, = casual, grateful, perfect
  • Thanks. = I’m not actually thanking you, I’m saying ‘get it done’
  • Thanks! = I’m really grateful for you
  • Have a good [day, night, weekend] = perfect

It also helps to take 30 seconds at the most to reread an email before sending.  Those grammar and spelling errors make you look bad, and if it happens frequently, shows you don’t care about how you come across to people or your job for that matter.  The one exception to this is if someone is often writing from their phone.  Those are typically acceptable errors.  As annoying as those ‘sent from my samsung’ messages are, at least you know they responded in a hurry, on a little screen with little copy editing tools.



I will admit I am an anti-dentite.  If you have never seen this Seinfeld episode, this means you are anti-dentist, hating of all things dental.  I’ve had some pretty awful experiences at quite a few different dentist offices.  One involved being drowned in a sea of my own saliva and the water sprayer that left me gagging and drenched from the chest up.  But this isn’t about my loathing of dentists.  This is actually about germs.  Germs at the dentist.

Dentist Germs

I know they sterilize the instruments that they put in your mouth.  They take them out of the sealed packaging, lay them out in a certain order and on it goes.  What I’ve noticed time and again however, is dentists and their assistants put on their gloves then proceed to touch everything in the near vicinity after they’ve put their hands in your mouth, and again, after they have touched everything.  They touch the switch that lowers and raises your chair.  They grab the handle of the big light above you and adjust it.  They grab tons of drawer handles to get things out.  They grab the computer mouse and keyboard to make a note or check something.  They touch the xray machine thing that touches your cheek.  They adjust the stool they are sitting in.  They adjust their glasses, head light, face mask, hair.

I seriously doubt they wipe down every single surface in that room between each patient.  I cringe after every cabinet closes and back in my mouth that gloved hand goes.

This is a request to anyone working in my mouth for any reason.  Please do not put your gloves on until you have everything you need in front of you and ready to go, and if you do need to touch a non-sterilized surface, for the love of God, change your gloves after you do.  I will pay for a new pair.


This Anti-Dentite

Figuring People Out

Figuring People Out

There is nothing more difficult in life than trying to figure people out.  It is something I have struggled with for as long as I can remember.  With everyone feeling the need to be politically correct and putting on a façade for work or whatever the case is, people are strange.  I’ve had friends who I thought I was really close to only to have a horrible break up and not have them be there for me in any way, shape, or form.  I had a friend who I would always fight with, over everything.  I found myself competing with her for no reason at all except to keep up with how competitive she was with me.

I had friends who I talked to and/or hung out with all the time, they got married and poof, never heard from them ever again.  Same thing with friends who have had kids.  They act like they can’t relate to you on any level anymore when you’ve known them forever.

I’ve had so many co-workers who will bitch to the high heavens about someone then pretend to kiss their ass 5 minutes later.  Or even be nice to me, then talk behind my back.  I get being polite and respectful to your co-workers but don’t put on an act either.  People can see right through it.

Or we go out after hours and hang out with the team and everyone is having a great time and getting along and then come the next day, they act like you weren’t chatting it up for hours the night before.  It’s so difficult to tell who is genuine and who isn’t.  It’s also exhausting trying to figure out if someone likes you or not.  As much as I try not to care, I can’t help it.  I wish people would just be honest and not two faced or contradictory.

No Love For Working Parents

No Love For Working Parents

Growing up I had 2 amazing parents who worked full-time to provide for me and my brother.  Because they both worked, it was difficult if not impossible to be a PTA mom, attend field trips as a chaperon, pick me up from practice or come to games.  I think it is even worse now at days with so many stay at home parents, there’s few opportunities to get involved outside of 9 am-2 pm, Monday-Friday.

If you open up your local Park District booklet of activities and events, 99% of them are during the day, during the week.  Same goes for child related library activities.

Some schools don’t offer buses so the parents have to find a way to get their kids to and from school on a daily basis, then when the kids get out of school they need someone to look after them until the parents get home.

Doctors are another guilty party of rarely catering to working parents.  And if you need to see a specialist, forget about it.

I’ve also heard of moms who criticize working mothers for taking an easier way out.  For example, one mom made an underhanded comment to another about how she makes her own baby food.  Implying she cares more about her child vs. the working mother probably not having the time of day to blend up baby food.  I’ve also seen how cliquey and judgmental a group of stay at home moms can be which is really unfortunate.  I think it’s more difficult for working moms to meet other moms as well.

working mom

I’m always hearing about how amazing stay at home parents are and how it’s the hardest job on the planet.  I have an amendment to that: being a working parent is the hardest job on the planet.  Period.  And here’s why.

Well before I get into that, I need to say that being a stay at home parent is difficult in and of itself.  I get it.  This is not to discredit any stay at home parent.  Keeping a child entertained all day every day is a task in and of itself.  I would just like to see working parents get a little more love.

I’m sure that the large majority of mom’s would love the opportunity to spend even 1/2 days with their children much less how lucky stay at home moms are that they get all day with their loved little ones and get to raise them fully vs. their kids being in the hands of virtual strangers 8+ hours a day.  You don’t have the worry of leaving them at daycare or with a sitter, leaving them when they’re sick, or the guilt trips that I hear from parents constantly about their children clinging to them, begging them not to go to work.  The one that almost brought me to tears was from a friend who said her young daughter hugged her, looked at her with admiring albeit sad eyes and said, “Mommy, you’re my best friend.  Why do you leave me every day?”  Can you say heart wrenching?

Aside from the emotional strain of being a working parent, there is the obvious, which is you have to work a full-time job.  You have to function 8 hours a day (at least), impressing your bosses/clients/prospects, while making yourself presentable every morning and putting on a happy face after little sleep.  THEN you have to commute home, spend the little bit of precious time with your children that you have left after you finally make it in the door, possibly make dinner, wash them up for bed, clean, prepare for the next day, put the kids to bed, maybe spend time with your partner, get yourself ready for bed and still try to get to sleep by 10 pm only to get up at 5 am the next day and do it all over.

I’m exhausted just typing it out.  I honestly don’t know how working parents do it day in and day out.  I respect the hell out of them.

Some companies are very family friendly, read: flexible.  They allow for school visitations, work from home days, PTO, flexible hours, flexible spending plans for things like daycare expenses and so on.  But as budgets grow tighter and tighter with companies, these benefits seem to be becoming less and less.

Don’t even get me started on the lack of company maternity policies that exist in the United States.  That’s for another post.

My hat goes off to all you working parents.  Know that when your kids are older and they understand the sacrifices you made and all your hard work, they will not only appreciate it but strive to be that amazing themselves as parents.

What to Call Lady Bits

What to Call Lady Bits

Ever since hearing the term Va-jay-jay on Grey’s Anatomy, quickly followed by Oprah repeating it, I’ve been paying attention to how lady bits are described in books, magazines and on tv.  And let me tell you, they are all cringe worthy and ridiculous.  Having said that, I have yet to come up with a better solution.  As someone who wants to one day write a book, has a knack for words and loves her thesaurus, I’m on a mission.  This is more difficult than coming up with a name for a new baby!

Vagina is very technical sounding and doesn’t fit well into most sex scenes whether in a book or in a film so I understand why some don’t want to use it.  A frequent one that I despise and find frequently in books is “mound”.  They’ll say “her mound ached for him”.  Bleh.  That was me throwing up in my mouth.  Here’s a ton of others I have seen and heard and why I dislike them:

  • womanhood – duh, it’s what makes a woman a woman
  • hump – hump is an action you do, or a boob
  • pussy – we’ve all heard the kitty references
  • cooch – low class
  • muff – hello SNL
  • nether regions – multi-definitions
  • privates – for kids only to use
  • cunt – fun but prefer to use as a derogatory term
  • beaver – why????
  • love tunnel – I couldn’t make this up if I tried
  • twat – only hear this used as another term for ‘bitch’
  • hoo ha – used this for a while, not too bad
  • clit – let’s be clear, not the same area
  • vasheen – Kardashian speak
  • gash – this is a type of cut
  • snatch – what?
  • crotch – more for males, as in ‘i nailed him in the crotch’
  • a slew of others involving meat that are entirely too disgusting to even repeat

Until I come up with something better I just look down and do two whistles that sound like ‘hoo ha’.  It makes people chuckle and requires no words at all.