Come out come out wherever you are

Earlier today I had a wonderfully long, easy, fun conversation with Kacie, my best friend and fellow Vagenius.  A little back story for those who are unfamiliar with Kacie and I (pretty much the entire population besides Abby and Nan).

Kacie are I are the opposite sides of the same person.  I don’t feel completely myself if I’m not around her or I haven’t talked to her for a while.  When we do talk it feels as if my whole life was underwater and I am just now coming up for air.  She is my mental and spiritual oasis.  When we are together, whether literally or just through the magic of cell phones, I able to remember who am I; like she holds a mirror up to my soul so I can take a look at what’s missing or just to say hello.

Anywho, we were talking today and she was telling me about this person she has been spending time with.  He is a wonderful person, very kind, exciting, blah blah blah.  So she tells me that he Googled her name to see what came up, as one does when they need to find out about people.  I highly recommend doing this for anyone or anything.  For instance, did you know that when you Googled my name (it’s a secret) that you get a lot of sites about a French Erotica writer.  That’s right ladies and gents, I have the same name as a porn writer and SHE’S FRENCH!  So exciting.  Back to the story, Alina focus.

Well, he found this blog when he searched her name.  I couldn’t believe it, I had completely forgotten we started this thing almost 5 years ago!  And what an awesome name too, Vageniuses.  We had started this as a way to keep in touch with each other (I had just moved to Washington) and share things important to us with the most important people in our lives.  And it was so neat!  Going back through this blog and rereading our old posts was like digging up a time capsule.  Maybe people do this all the time with their social media sites like facebook and twitter or even instagram but I have none of those so this is really strange for me.  Hearing Kacie read to me things that I wrote was like hearing a different person.  Because we are all different people.  We’ve all been through more than any of us could have imagined in five years.  And how amazing is it that we can share with each other for everyone to see (or not).

So here I am Vagenuises.

Hands touching hands, reaching out, touching me. Sweet Caroline bah bah bah good times never seemed so good. So good! So good! So good!

If you are reading this and are thinking this lady is a lunatic then you’re probably right. JK YOU’RE crazy! Everyone loves that song!

But I know you have stories to tell and I want to hear them. So come on Kacie, Abby and Nan tell me something new.

 

I’m listening

 

Advertisements

a short treatise on disposable cameras

i know it might be very antediluvian of me but i do not have a smart phone. i don’t even have a picture phone. so the world of instagram and the like is pretty much unknown to me. i can appreciate the camera phone/smart phone revolution but i want to write a blog about something that i grew up with. the disposable camera. i was a kid in the 90s when the point and shoot cameras came out with a new model every single year and before the affordable digital camera was around. if you were a kid like me in an average lower middle class household your parents probably had a point and shoot viewfinder camera that they used for special occasions and vacation pictures. Polaroids were still around although less common and popular probably due to the cost of the film. there weren’t many toy cameras that i can remember anyone my age using. what we used were disposables. they were cheap, relatively sturdy and absolutely user-friendly. they were our cameras. we could write on them, use them for whatever and for me at least they were the first things that were really mine. i explored my world through those disposables. i would ration my shots and rarely let other people shoot. they were the most basic form of photography. you couldn’t control anything expect the framing of the picture. not the film, exposure, development or paper. i look back through my pictures and so many were taken with disposables. the washed out, out of focus, un-sharp pictures that were quintessential disposable. i know technology has moved on for the most part and camera phones are to my younger siblings what disposables were to me. but damn if there aren’t some good pictures from those wonderful disposables.

Tagged ,

Information Biatch

If you are left dismayed, confused, and frustrated by the nonclarifying nature of our country’s national presidential debates then do not worry, you are not alone.  While I admit that I have not literally watched either debate so far, I listened to them on the radio and consequently got a much different perspective of the tone of the first debate. I also admit that I did not listen to the debates in their entirety due to other engagements and simply because I got tired of hearing so many stupid statistics that contributed diddly squat to a coherent helpful answer. God knows they are politicians after all but damn it gets old. So if you, like I, are in need of some clarification on issues then go to your friendly neighborhood newsstand (grocery store) and pick up the lasted edition of The Economist magazine.  In the October 8th-12th edition which went to press before the second debate, there is a special 20 page report on the candidates and the issues that is very very informative and respectably concise. It covers many of the important topics such as healthcare, taxes, and jobs and other ones not yet elaborated on such as crime, foreign policy and social values.  That report alone would rectify the purchasing price of the periodical but you also get tons of other information concerning news around the world and practically everything under the sun. Also, it is a British publication and tends to give a clearer unbiased view on American politics, in my opinion that is. The Economist is one of my favorite magazines and it has so much freaking information in it that I barely have time to finish one before the next comes out 2 weeks later.  There is also an overview of the report at the Economist online but if you want the good stuff you gotta get the magazine.

For more online information just visit the special election section at their website right here http://www.economist.com/world/us-elections-2012

 

Tagged , , , ,

Blinky

20121015-185403.jpg

I hate with every fiber of my being people that don’t use their blinker. If you are one of those people, I hate you.

A man cut me off on Poplar and did not use his blinker which made me want to murder him, but this happens often. However, this man had a Mitt Romney Believe in America bumper sticker. At that moment, I realized what I believe in more than America is using a damn blinker!

You slapped a Fish

My little sister showed me this on youtube this morning. It reminds me why these movies are so terrible and stupid yet amazing for all of the ways they can be rehashed and made fun of. Watch it, it’s great and made my morning

Tagged ,

Your UTI Survival Guide

Let’s be honest. This is embarrassing. Nobody likes to talk about the dreaded UTI, but it’s real, and it affects 1 in 5 women in their lifetime. Men get them, too, but much less frequently than women. It’s easier for bacteria to get to our parts, and we have a shorter urethra than men. I happen to be an expert on the Urinary Tract Infection, which is not a title I enjoy having. However, my experience with UTI’s makes me want to pass on my knowledge of how to survive one with others because…they are HORRIBLE. THEY SUCK BIG DONKEY BALLS. If I can help anyone get through a UTI as quickly and painlessly as possible, then at least I can say my experiences have led to some good. So let me drop some knowledge on ya.

First off, the name is pretty self-explanatory. It’s an infection of the urinary tract. So if you have an infection anywhere along your urinary tract, i.e. kidneys, urethra, bladder, ureters, then you have a UTI. Yay!

How do you know that you have a UTI? You fucking know. There’s no way to not know. There’s some shit going down. I mean peeing with a UTI is incredibly painful. You feel like no matter how many times you pee, you still have to go. You not only have to go, you have to go right god damn NOW. Like…the worst you’ve ever had to pee and also it hurts really badly. Isn’t that fun? So that’s basically the gist of a UTI, but other symptoms can include cloudy/bloody/smelly urine, low fever, aches in your abdomen or lower back. Now when I get a UTI it’s usually just painful urination + strong need to urinate.

Why, you may ask, am I an expert? I have suffered from chronic UTI’s pretty much since 2009. I had 7 UTI’s in 2010 and then 4 at the beginning of 2011. It’s embarrassing to say that, but there it is. It sucked so much ass. I felt dirty and gross and stupid because I kept getting them. I mean, WT fuck?! Why God, why do I continue to get these fucking horrible infections that ruin life?

I was incredibly paranoid about cleanliness, constantly worried about getting anything even remotely dirty near my poonanny. My boyfriend LOVED that, let me tell ya.

Me: When was the last time you washed your penis?

Boyfriend:…really?!

So I had been going to a Minor Medial clinic for my UTI’s because when you have one, you want it treated urgently. You don’t want to make an appointment and wait. So after treating me for my last UTI, they finally suggested that I see a specialist. So that’s what I did. I made an appointment with a urologist and she discussed with me what usually causes a UTI. UTIs result from bacteria entering your urethra. Having sex, not wiping properly, not peeing after sex, etc, etc. But I was doing EVERYTHING right. I was majorly paranoid about avoiding bacteria causing stuff…so what was the deal? Well, apparently some people are just lucky that way! My doctor informed me that they don’t know a lot about what causes people to suffer from UTI’s over and over when there are no other issues (like diabetes, STD’s), but they think it has something to do with genetics. Some people are just more prone to getting them, and that includes me. Also, my mother as I later learned. Most likely it has something to do with the way my junk is shaped. It’s easier for bacteria to get up in there. Thanks mom!

So on to the important stuff: How do I get through a UTI? What should you do?

1. The second you get one, you will know. Most likely you will go to the bathroom, and peeing will hurt like a mother. After you finish peeing, you’ll still feel like you have to pee. The most important thing at this point is to be calm.

2. Get you some drugs. Drugs drugs drugs. You need medicine to treat the pain. AZO Extra Strength is usually what I go for. In fact I recommend that you just keep a stash in your house always. Like advil, everyone will need it at some point. So if you don’t have any at hand, then I’m sorry. I’m truly sorry. You’re gonna have to go to the drug store. Get some, take immediately. Hopefully you’ve got a friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/mom handy to go get that shit for you. Cause what you’ll wanna be doing is…

3. Sit on the toilet. Just sit there. Wait for the AZO to kick in. Have someone bring you some water or juice. Drink ALL of it. Keep drinking constantly. I find that sitting on the toilet is helpful because you’re just going to keep running back and forth to the bathroom anyway. Apologize to your family or roommates, and just sit on the toilet…crying if you must.

It’s okay to cry. It’s not baseball.

4. Once the AZO kicks in (and thank GOD), you will know. It’ll take the pain and urgency away. Your urine will also be orange or blue depending on what medicine you use.

5. Go to the doctor. You have to. It’s not a virus, and it won’t just run its course. It’s an infection that has to be treated with antibiotics. Otherwise the infection will spread from your urethra to your bladder and then your ureters and finally your kidneys. Kidney infections are bad. BAD. Chills, fatigue, high fever, confusion, abdominal pain, bloody urine, nausea, vomiting…it’s serious. Go to the doctor before all that happens. The doctor will ask you about your symptoms and will have you pee in a cup.

6. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. When peeing in the cup, you will most likely see some directions somewhere in the bathroom. FOLLOW the directions. Don’t touch the inside of the cup or the rim. Don’t touch the inside of the cap on the cup. Wash your hands before you touch the cup. Use the sanitary wipes to wipe your hooha. Wipe it really well – front to back. Pee in the cup without touching the rim to your hooha. You must do this exactly BECAUSE if they don’t get a good sample from you then they might catheterize you in order to get a pure sample. And as anyone who has ever had a plastic tube shoved up your urethra knows, you’re gonna want to avoid that at all costs.

7. If you indeed have a urinary tract infection (you could have an STD, which is why you have to see a doctor), then your doctor will prescribe you an antibiotic and probably some heavy duty pain medication.

8. Go fill prescriptions immediately. Now, the last time they prescribed me heavy duty pain medicine, the copay was like $80. So I said fuck it and just stuck with the AZO. Works just as well, but use your own judgment.

9. Take the antibiotic as directed. You have to take ALL of it. Even after you start to feel better. The antibiotic will probably make all of your symptoms disappear in 2 or 3 days. So after that you can stop taking medicine for the pain but you have to continue with the antibiotic until it’s all gone. Otherwise the infection will not totally leave your body, and you’ll be back at the doctor with another UTI within 2 weeks.

For the chronic UTI sufferer (like me), you will be prescribed a suppressant. Basically it’s just a low dose of an antibiotic that you would take to treat a UTI. So whenever I start to feel symptoms coming along, I just pop one of those pills. If I have symptoms more than 3 days in a row while taking the suppressant then I have to go to the doctor. But I gotta tell you, I haven’t had symptoms for more than a day since they gave me the suppressant. It rules. It kicks all the ass.

I’ve also got some handy tips for preventing UTI’s in the future.

-Drink water. Drink a LOT of water. You know you’re drinking the right amount of water when your urine is almost clear. Drinking water means that you pee more frequently. When you’re peeing more frequently, then your urinary tract is flushed of all the bacteria more often. Also avoid alcohol and caffeinated stuff. It tends to dehydrate you, leading to less pee. Less pee is bad.

-Don’t hold your pee. Pee freely people! Let it flow. Holding your urine for long periods of time makes it difficult to pee all of your pee out. It sounds silly, but it just happens. When you don’t totally empty your bladder, then bacteria gathers, causing ruin and destruction. It’s especially important to totally empty your bladder before you go to sleep at night. Don’t want that staying in for 8 hours.

-Eat right. The reason you’re told to drink cranberry juice when you have a UTI is because cranberries have a lot of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is acidic and destroys bacteria. So if you’ve got all the right amounts of vitamins and minerals in your system, especially Vitamin C, then you’ll prevent bacteria from screwing up your life.

-Wipe front to back. I mean…you know that.

-Pee after sex. No one had told me this before I first started having sex, but it’s a must. I also now usually wash with soap and water before and after sex, too. Washing before is extra important. We all get busy, and maybe you haven’t showered in a couple of days. Avoid the sexy until you clean up. Better safe than sorry. Peeing and washing get rid of the bacteria that’s around your sassy friend down there. Clean it up so that it won’t enter your urethra while having sex. There’s a lot of sweat and friction and grossness going on….ew. Clean it up.

-Showers are better than baths if you suffer from UTIs frequently.

-Some people say to go with pads instead of tampons. I’ve never found that tampons are a problem really. Just make sure that you wash your hands before handling a tampon. Don’t like do some farming and then immediately put a tampon in. That’s silly.

So remember that you’re in good company. 1 in 5 women, people. You’re going to get through it. Go to the doctor, follow these rules, feel better.

First comes love, then comes…

When I began dating my ex, I knew, even then, we would never get married. I knew we wouldn’t last forever. However, there was a moment, a year or so after being together that I looked at this person, the first person I had ever been in love with, and I thought (for some emotionally driven reason) Yes, we should get married and be in love and happily ever after the end. In fact, I don’t think anyone knows this except for he and I, but I proposed to him. I literally got on my knees and said we should be married one day. He said no.

I can hear you collectively ask, “You asked him to marry you, he said no, and you stayed together? For 3 more years?!” That sure is a judgmental tone you have there, nameless collective I’ve made up for this blog.
But yes, I thought of marriage as a mystical end all be all that young women are supposed to work toward. Tyler, as I said, is my first love, and naturally I assumed he was it for me. It’s been four months since the break up/move out/life change, and I’ve been thinking a lot about the night I asked him to legally and spiritually merge himself to me… forever. I’ve been thinking about this and I can’t express the happiness I have that he did say no.

Many people I know are married. My parents have been married since they were teenagers (literally), my sister is married, most of the people I work with are married, and so on. I have nothing against these people. If people want to be married, do it. I think it’s beautiful they have met someone so special they want to make a promise to only be with that one other person for the rest of the time they are alive. Myself, however, will probably not do it.

This statement will probably upset a lot of people, but here’s what I think. The concept of marriage is outdated. Extremely so. The idea of attaching yourself legally to one other person, promising to grow at the same rate, in the same way, not make a mistake with another person (even if it doesn’t feel like a mistake and feels natural)… FOREVER.

Glad to put this into perspective for you.

That’s a long ass time. It’s your entire life. The whole time you were given to live on this planet and experience absolutely everything you possibly can. And you are making an oath to do this with ONE other person. And what kills me is that a large number of people that marry (first marriage, that is), do it very early in life (the average age for women in the U.S. is 26 which has gone significantly up since 1950’s where the average was 20).

Also, and this is simply my opinion, I do not understand the appeal of joining into a legal act that does not allow everyone to join. I am a firm believer in equal human rights. If everyone isn’t allowed to join the club, then I don’t want to. In fact, that brings me to an incredibly complicated and intricate question…
Why can’t gay people get married? Seriously. I don’t get it. Does not compute. If marriage were to be a strictly religious communion, then I could understand. This religion believes homosexuality is a sin. Therefore, if you are homosexual, you cannot be married. I can wrap my mind around this concept. I don’t agree, but I get it. However, marriage is a government supported legally documented union. If there are two legally aged consenting adults that would like to be married, then… they should. Period end of story your opinion is not valid.

I rest my case.

As stated before, I don’t judge or look down on anyone that is married or wanting to be married. If it’s something that you feel as though will make your life better and happier, then please do it. That is what life is about, striving for happiness. I guess my point is that in what I’ve seen, marriage tends to put an extraordinary amount of pressure on couples, and that pressure seems unnecessary. I believe two people can commit to one another without needing the law being involved. If the commitment does not last forever (which is fine, because that commitment alone is huge), it won’t cost both parties copious amounts of money to break apart. Divorce is scary and sad and on top of everything, it costs a fortune. Way to rub salt in the wound.

All in all, I don’t wanna, and you can’t make me!

120

Last week I took 2 rolls 35mm and a roll of 120 film to processed and printed at Blue Moon Camera in Portland. The 120 roll I had found not completely finished in a Yashica camera I haven’t seen in over a year. It was still packed in a box I thought I had lost along with my Rolleiflex. So many things were still in storage, mainly my things, that I hadn’t seen since the big move from Tennessee. Anyway, I couldn’t believe that I found them safely packed away and the yashica with film still in it, so I finished the roll and brought it in to be developed. I didn’t think I would get anything good off of it, I wasn’t sure if the film would be fogged or what was even on it. So I got it back and I looked at the pictures, only nine were old ones, and it felt like I was looking at ghosts of myself. It was so surreal to see these strange prints of a place I left only a year ago but seems as if it were decades. It’s a place that I can never go back to even though it makes up the biggest parts of me.

here are a few of them. i didn’t print them so sorry for the average print quality. it’s weird having someone else print your prints. I suppose it’s like a female gynecologist getting a pap smear. if she could do it herself she would. maybe not the best analogy but do you get my drift. a dentist getting a tooth pulled. an executioner going to guillotine. a cab driver taking a taxi.

kacie, abs, nan. i miss you

Tagged , ,

No d in refrigeration

My family and I have recently moved into a new permanent home.  It’s a good property and plenty of space for everyone.  I’m sitting in the living room writing this post surrounded by boxes full of things we still have yet to put away.  I’m from a military family so I’ve moved many times during my childhood. When you’re a kid, however, moving is much more of an adventure.  You pack some things, your parents do the most packing, and you wait until it’s the night before the move.  That night almost feels like christmas eve.  Everyone is sleeping on mattresses on the floor or in sleeping bags.  There’s no TV so we play card games while we eat our delivered dinner of pizza and drink from plastic cups.  We run through the empty house and marvel at all of the space that was cleverly hidden beneath our stuff. One last slide down the stairs in our pillowcase sleds and we go to sleep ready for the new house, the new place, our family adventure.

Oh how things change when you grow up. Moving sucks. Everything about it is stressful.  It’s so much work and even more so when children are involved.  You spend half of your energy just trying to get them to help out and stop whining. So you have twice as much crap to pack and none of the help. And we have horses and dogs and cats to boot.  Well, I’m not going to go into the nasty details.  I just wanted to illuminate what my life has been like for the past two weeks.

As we were moving into our new place we realized we were lacking in some of our regular daily necessities. We did not have the internet hooked up yet so that meant I could not get online at all unless I went to the local library during library hours.  I never had the occasion to do this, so for the past 2 weeks I could not mindless scroll through news sites, check my emails, or google every little question that popped into my head.  That wasn’t too bad, although, I terribly wanted to write emails to my friends. I also could not watch Netflix which I had an unhealthy addiction to anyway. So no TV, no internet. Not too bad.  I never had time for any of that anyway because I was either unpacking, building fences, rehabing stalls and chicken coops, walking the dogs, or doing normal daily chores from the moment I woke up till the moment I went to sleep.  All of this wasn’t the worst though.  Even with the manual hard labor, and yes it’s very hard labor, it wasn’t as bad as the fact that we have been without a refrigerator this entire time.

Just think about it for a minute.  Think of when there’s a bad thunderstorm and the powers out for like a day or two.  How much it sucks that you have no food besides that random can of soup. Well we have been living in that surreal fantasy land for 2 weeks. Finding something to eat for one person without using any perishables is challenging and a nuisance at worst.  Finding 3 meals a day for 4 people without access to refrigeration is stupid.  It brings a sobering meaning to living off the land and creative cooking. The main staple of our family diet is now bread and peanut butter. The chickens are super valuable for the eggs because besides nuts, eggs are our only good source of protein.  I have made homemade applesauce numerous times. We go out and pick up apples and pears from the ground for food. I can’t make anything in bulk that will go bad in a day, so basically nothing. If it’s cooked it has to be eaten. And we have to go grocery shopping almost every other day. The list goes like this: bananas, bread, oatmeal, peanut butter, coffee, baby bell cheese.  I did eat a zucchini for 3 days straight because it keeps fairly well on the counter. Now when I go grocery shopping I look at root vegetables and citrus fruit.  All of my frozen berries are being cared for in a neighbor’s freezer (thank god) and I count the minutes till we finally get that big beautiful chilling appliance.  The greatest household invention ever, because I wouldn’t mind shitting in a hole outside if I could come in to a well stocked fridge.

I leave you with some pictures of the move and of the kids cleaning out the stalls in the barn and ask you to think about how fantastic it is to live with refrigeration.  so fucking fantastic.

Tagged , , ,

sailor’s swig

Yes I know, I’m lame.  First post and everyone else has posted very in-depth, insightful, highly researched posts about important issues.  Well I’m not going down that road at all at the moment. My first post is going to be about something that has been on my mind for nearly a week now. That’s right folks, it’s a food post and more specifically it’s a smoothie post. Whoo Hoo! Get ready kids cause I’m gonna put the mmmm and oooo back in (wait for it….) smmmmoooothie.  haha oh i love myself.

Living as I do in Washington and/or Oregon, there is an abundance of fresh wonderful food, especially now at the end of summer. I mean it’s literally all around me.  Let me paint you a little picture.  I step out into the cool summer morning, fog is slowly creeping across the top of the evergreen trees, the birds are chirping, the horses are grazing in the pasture, and the chickens are shitting everywhere (free range is a bitch). And now I’m hungry. But soft what light through yonder window breaks. Why it is the light from our apple trees.  Okay they don’t glow but come on we have apple trees, that’s pretty cool huh. And if apples aren’t your cup of tea well we also have a yellow plum tree. I never even knew there were yellow plums!  Still not satiated? Then please direct your attention to the abundant blackberries that grow everywhere around here. I have literally been slapped in the face by these plants (on a run down the road).  They are begging to be eaten and around the northwest they grow all up and down the roads. But don’t eat those ones because they might have been sprayed. Luckily, this frugal lady has picked some (8lbs) from our yard  just for you to enjoy. And that my friends brings me to my smmmoooothie.

Ingredients:

1 Banana (fresh or frozen)

2 or 3 Kale Leaves (no ribs)

1 cup or so of Blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1 cup or so of Blackberries (fresh or frozen)

Splishy Splash of Milk (almond and soy are my personal favorites. If you use coconut milk then use a splish and not a splash, that shit is strong)

Directions:

Like you really need them. It’s a smoothie. But for you beginners out there, here they are:

Put all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor, put the lid on, and press the button.

Yay!! You’ve made a smoothie! Now just put a straw in it and enjoy.  Now some things to be said about this smoothie. It tastes great, no bones about it. However, if you are a child you might have problems with the texture as blackberries have seeds and kale doesn’t get pulverized into oblivion unless you have a juicer or a really n$ce blender. If you are an adult and have a problem with texture, grow up. If you are a child then feel free to strain the smoothie. I don’t because it’s a bitch and I’m an adult. Smoothies are not milkshakes.  Smoothies are a great way to enjoy amazing food like kale or spinach or fruit in liquid form. Give it a try, you will like it. Not because I’m a magician but because things like berries and kale are a really good combination. Nature makes it good, smoothie makes it fun.

I want to mention that this smoothie was made with no added sugar, no dairy products, and one fucking fantastic vegetable. So be proud of yourself, you made a great decision to make this smoothie and yes it tastes so good. Now I know some of you out there are like,” Alina what the fuck. Blueberries are expensive and blackberries don’t grow in my yard, you braggadocious skank.”  Yes I know, my grandparents have a blueberry farm so I’m sitting on 30lbs or so of blueberries in my freezer. But don’t let the high price of blueberries stop you from enjoying your smoothie! Smoothie is synonymous with substitute.  In other words, fuck that shit I’m using strawberries. Or fuck that shit I’m using cantaloupe.  Anybody got a mango? The possibilities are endless.  Experiment and try things out.  Now my children go forth into the great wide world of food and fuck some shit up.

Berry Kale Smoothie

Berry Kale Smoothie

Tagged , , , ,