Thursday, May 23, 2013

The (Sometimes) Importance of Being Blunt

It had been a few days for us.  If you've been paying attention, you know that we don't do well with dry spells.  They make us cranky and eventually we fall into a rut that takes effort to get out of.   Husband was busy being a little stressed over what (if anything) vacation may entail this year, plus extra stuff at work and trying to find the mystery noise in the car.  Needless to say, he was a bit distracted.

"We plan on having sex tonight, don't we?" I asked him one afternoon.

"I think so," he replied.

That evening nothing happened.  Work and stress and chores got in the way.  Eventually we just watched TV.

The next afternoon, I said, "We're having sex tonight, right?"


"Good, because I could really use some time with you."


That night was a repeat of the night before.  The next few days were the same.  More stress, more work, more exhaustion, and a stunning lack of sex.

Finally, while sitting next to him one afternoon, I said, "If you don't have sex with me, I'm going to kill you."  Yeah, I get that it looks a bit dramatic on the screen.  Of course I was being factitious.   I don't want anyone to get any strange ideas.  Stay with me for a minute.

Husband looked up from his computer screen.  "Well, finally!" he huffed.  "It took you long enough!  Why didn't you say anything before?"

There isn't an eyeroll big enough for my feelings.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

I always have weird feelings when it comes to Mother's Day.  It's partly because my relationship with my mother is not really that great for reasons I won't go into here.  I remember a few years ago sitting in church on Mother's Day and crying.  I felt like my mother was lost to me.  It's complicated.

Today's Mother's Day wasn't too shabby.  I mean, the kids don't seem to understand the concept of sleeping in, and right after breakfast Husband asked me to help fix some sort of pulley thing on the car. I'm pretty sure pulley thing is the technical name.  Oh, wait, Husband tells me that it's actually called a belt tensioner, not pulley thing.  He may or may not have laughed at me when he corrected my phraseology.

Side note: Shut up.  I'm not actually stupid.  In fact, I have a very high IQ.  I just know nothing about useful things, like cars.  However, if you'd like to discuss Shakespeare, psychoanalysm as it applies to literature, deconstructionism, or play a nice game of chess, hit me up.  Only I suck at chess. 

Roughly 3/4 of my "helping" involved standing by and praying that Husband didn't smash his fingers and lose use of his hands forever.  Then I'd have to do everything for him.  It would be hard, but we'd adjust.  I also tried to plot what I would do if he did smash his fingers.  Did I even remember how the jack works?  But he didn't smash his fingers.  Then he asked me to help him get the belt thingy back onto the pulleys.

"Time to get your hands dirty," he said.  I didn't move from my spot.  "Did you hear me?  I said it's time to get your hands dirty."

"Oh," I said.  "I thought you meant the general 'you' and were just announcing what you were doing."

Husband laughed.  "You, Kif!*  You get your hands dirty!"  And so I did.

We finished up and Husband went to pick up some ingredients for lunch.  He brought the grocery bag in and set it on the counter, then disappeared.  In the bottom of the bag, I found this:

Nom.  My favorite.
The day was looking up until I voiced some concern about some suspicious looking spots on the coconut I was about to crack open.  He looked at me, chuckled a bit and said those were the eyes where you poke the holes to drain the water.

And I just looked at him.

You see, I know exactly what those depressions in the shell are for.  They were not what I was talking about.  I tilted the coconut and showed him a few small, grey spots on the shell that were the cause of my trepidation.

"Did you really think I was talking about those eye things?  I know what those are.  You must think I'm some special kind of stupid if you think I was talking about the eyes.  I know what the eyes are for." (No offense to those that have never had or seen a whole coconut and don't know what those eyes are for.)

"It's just that you've led a very sheltered life," he said defensively.  "I didn't know you knew."  Well, he had me there.  We weren't allowed out much growing up.  But I don't so much call that sheltered as...well, there's no word I can find to stick here that quite means what I want.  Let's just stick with sheltered.

We had a lovely chicken dinner made from a Jacques Pepin recipe with mashed potatoes and roasted carrots from our garden.

And then, and then, something horrible happened.  You see, I've recently started to write again.  I don't mean blogging.  As the kids are getting older, I've decided to make another very serious go at being a novelist.  Before you snicker and say my writing isn't nearly polished enough, I'd like to assure you that it is.  See, to me, blogging is like talking.  It's informal.  It's how I would speak to you.  Novel writing is something completely different and I assure you that I'm capable.  Being a novelist was always the plan.  It's been the plan since high school.  Except now I am able to carve out the time needed.  But back to the terrible thing.  My laptop died.  Like, died.  So long, bye-bye, it is no more.  It's been making some wheezing sounds, then occasionally would turn itself off, then finally it no longer recognized the internet or its own power cord.  It's dead, Jim.  And it's horrible.  I don't have to fight the kids for the use of my laptop because it's, well, my laptop.  And Husband wouldn't have to come find what I was up to because I was right there, in my big chair, with my laptop.  Very visual.

The good news is that I had a feeling this was coming.  The same way I felt the washing machine was about to bite it and started researching the crap out of replacement models.  So one of the very last times I used my laptop, I backed up the partially finished novel previously mentioned.  I don't have to start over.  That'd be awful.

So, we're winding down Mother's Day with a pretty nasty headache trying to turn into a migraine that I'm managing with ibuprofen, herbal tea, and diluted peppermint oil.  After 15 years of chronic tension headaches, I've learned a few tricks.  Also, Husband and I spent some time snuggled on the couch and watched Storm Chasers.  That was awesome.  The cuddling I mean.  Storm Chasers is OK.  And then Husband made me eggs benedict just because I was cranky and had a craving.  The man loves me.

*For you non-geeks, it's a Futurama reference.
Zapp Brannigan: "Have the boy lay out my formal shorts."
Kif: "The boy, sir?"
Zapp Brannigan: "You, Kif!  You lay out my formal shorts!"
The "You, Kif!" meme is something we say a lot in my house.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Abercrombie & Fitch can, quite frankly, bite me.

I'm going to start off by asking you to think back to 2006.  Remember 2006?  Not a whole lot has changed since then, so it shouldn't be too hard.  I think Silly Bandz were about to come into fashion for youngsters.  Good.  They needed something they can look back on with shame and horror like we look back on snap bracelets.  If you don't remember snap bracelets, you are either too young to be reading this blog or older than I am.  If the latter is the case, feel free to think of a once popular but now infamous fashion accessory from your childhood.

Wait, where was I?  Ah, yes.  2006.  That's the year when Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries gave a rather unfortunate interview to  In this interview, he said some things that, well, weren't that awesome.  Among the words he uttered were gems like:

In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids ...Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."

And then there's this, about building his business around sex appeal:
"It’s almost everything. That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that."

Abercrombie doesn't carry any women's sizes above a size 10.  XL and up are completely out.  However, they do carry XL and up for men, just not women.  I guess women above a 10 just aren't pretty.  Or cool.  Or have sex appeal.  The thing is these statements probably would have been lost to time if not for an article in the Business Insider reprinting them recently.  News of Abercrombie and Jeffries's feelings have spread across the internet, prompting parents to refuse to buy clothes for their children there and even removing previously purchased items from their closets.

Honestly, a size 10 really isn't that big.  When I discussed this with a tall, very trim friend of mine, she said, "I'd barely be able to squeeze in."  Need a visual reference?  Check out model Jennie Runk.  She was featured in H&M's beachware collection and is supposed to be a "plus-sized" model.  She's reportedly a size 12.  Go take a look.  Go ahead, I'll wait.


That beautiful, healthy, completely not overweight woman would technically be too fat to shop at Abercrombie.  Does that seem right to you?

I want to say something to you, A&F.  I say this as a former uncool kid.  I say this as a former outcast.  I say this as a former fat kid that grew into a healthy adult.  I say this as a person that apparently never belonged in your clothes.  Bullying in schools is already ridiculously horrible.  Do you understand what I'm saying to you?  Children are killing themselves over the kind of sentiments you are so flippant about.  Not being able to be cool.  Not being able to be thin.  Not being able to belong in the supposed golden fleece that is Abercrombie & Fitch clothing.  Are you insane?  How can you possibly think this is OK to publicize?  You've given struggling children one more thing to struggle against.  Shame on you!  On what planet do you think these kinds of statements are responsible?

Here's the thing.  Us former outcasts?  We're grown-ups now.  Our completely uncool hitting of the books and making good grades and caring for our minds paid off.  And now we have...wait for  And we have children.  We have children and money.  Do you see where I'm going with this?  We, as parents, won't be spending money with you.  We remember what it's like to "not belong" in  your clothes.  But I guess I shouldn't expect any sensitivity from a company that actually thought it would be a good idea to sell a line of girls' t-shirts that said really winning statements like, "Why do I need brains when I have these?" and "I had a nightmare that I was a brunette."

You want to cater specifically to a set range of sizes?  Do so.  Lot's of stores do it.  Some stores are specifically for tall, or short, or full breasted.  All you have to say is, "We specialize in clothes between sizes ____ and ____."  You won't be faulted for having a specialty.  But don't you dare, don't you dare even pretend for one minute that your negativity somehow makes you better.  Don't you dare try to teach children and teens that those that wear your clothes are the cool ones and their peers are losers.  Don't you dare feed the self-esteem poison that is causing misery across the country.  Just...just shame on you.  I'm horrified.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

It's May: Masturbation Month, Star Wars, and Safety Testing

Apparently May is Masturbation Month.  I am totally not kidding.  Masturbation Month was originally started by the adult shop Good Vibrations in 1995 after Jocelyn Elders, who was then serving as Surgeon General, was asked about masturbation and whether it could keep young people from being involved in riskier activities.  She replied, "I think that it is part of human sexuality, and perhaps it should be taught."  This statement was the last straw for the administration at the time, and she lost her position as a result.  Since Masturbation Month started almost 2 decades ago several companies, bloggers, and just general people have been on board with the idea that masturbation is part of sexual health and celebrating the merry month of May in that regard.

Today is May 4th.  Star Wars fans everywhere are greeting each other with "May the Fourth be with you."  However, I got in trouble this morning when I misspoke something about Star Wars (actually, I spoke correctly.  My conversational companion misunderstood), which I explained away by saying it was wibbly wobbly timey wimey.  He told me I was destroying it.  But then he said, "Mr. Fett, engage," so I think we're even. (Note for those not a part of Geekdom: I combined Doctor Who with Star Wars.  He shamed me for it, then responded by mixing Star Wars with Star Trek.  It's funny.  Shut up, it's totally funny.)

Big news from the sex toy world! launched, and this is a really big deal.  Consumers and reviewers have been growing more and more suspicious of sex toy materials and their safety, but up until now there was no way to know for sure that the toy material being advertised is the material you get.  Remember, sex toys in the US are not regulated.

From the Dildology press release:
“In an industry that is largely unregulated, consumers have been relying on the manufacturers to disclose the materials used in any given sex toy,” says blogger Dangerous Lilly, the organization’s marketing director. “But the fact is no governing body requires full disclosure, or even any ounce of truth. We think it’s about time consumers have reliable information on the toys they’re using so intimately with their bodies.”
Pretty dang admirable, if you ask me.  Not sure why this is needed?  Go do some research on jelly toys.  Find out about the questionable materials and reactions, how fast they break down, and how they can't really properly be cleaned.  Find out about phthalates and other potential carcinogens in toys.  This info is important.  We, as consumers need to have access to safe products.  Since there is no official regulation (which would have certain pitfalls even if we had it), we have had no other option than to simply trust that what the company says it is is actually what it is.  Until now.

To find out more about, visit their page.  If possible, donate.  They are a nonprofit organization and are relying on donations to keep their doors open.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Rocks Off 7 Speed RO-80 Review

~I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.~

Generally, I don't like hate despise bullet vibes, with the exception of luxury rechargeables like the We-Vibe Salsa or Tango.  At the same time, I love compact vibes.  Trying to find a vibe that is small but doesn't succumb to the same pitfalls that most buzzy, weak bullets fall into is not that easy.  When Vibrator Kingdom was kind enough to offer me a bullet from Rocks Off, I had to admit that though I've tried a lot of bullets, I've never tried one from that manufacturer.

I'd like to thank Vibrator Kingdom for sending me the RO-80 to review.  Also, check out the wrapping job they did.  Nice, yes?  I love the little touches they do.  Seriously, I can get lost in their site.  In a good way.

A little bit about it: The RO-80 is a small, bullet vibrator made for external use on the clitoris.  It's waterproof, runs on one N battery, is operated by one button, has 7 settings, and comes in a range of colors.  A cute little black storage bag is included, which is a nice touch.

Packaging: I have to say the packaging is fairly nice.  Not a porn star to be seen.  It's not discreet, but it is classy.  I have seen toys around this price that come in boxes covered with women with giant, bare breasts before, and occasionally toys that come in nothing more than a plastic bag with an informational card.  Nope, not kidding.  Rocks Off clearly took some time in designing a package that didn't go overboard, but is still nice.

Also, I'm easily amused.

Ten points if you can find the punctuation error that's driving the grammar nazi inside me insane.

What I didn't love: Yep, today I'm doing this backwards and telling you what I didn't like first.  Trust me, it makes more sense in this case.

First off, one of the 7 Speed RO-80's selling points is that it has, well, 7 speeds.  I thought that's pretty darn impressive.  7 speeds?  Really?  Unfortunately, it actually doesn't.  Not the way I think of it, anyway.  Instead, it has 7 settings: 3 speeds and 4 patterns.

Let's talk about the 3 intensities for a minute.  The first setting is low, somewhat weak (of course, it's on low) and rumbly.  The second setting feels like a cross between rumbly and buzzy.  It's nice, but not strong enough.  So, bumping it up to the third setting, which should be enough, I encountered a big problem.  The vibrations went right to buzzy.  I hate buzzy.  Buzzy makes me go numb before I ever reach orgasm.  For that point alone, the RO-80 is not for me.

Husband and I tried to use it together during intercourse, placing it between us like we do with the Touch or Salsa, or even the Hitachi, but the vibrations aren't strong enough.  It just sort of got lost between us.

What I loved: I wrote this backwards because even though *I* didn't like the RO-80, it does have redeeming value that I think other people will like.

So many people start off using vibrators by purchasing a bullet.  Bullets, though buzzy, are cheap and you are not out much money if you don't like it or it breaks.  That's both the great and horrible thing about them.  So what sets the RO-80 apart?

I'm not going to lie.  The vibrations are buzzy.  I think that's just what you are going to get without a serious jump in price.  But the RO-80 has some things going for it that other bullets don't.  For one thing, the company appears to have actually put some thought into it.  They even seemed to understand that not every woman goes nuts over pink, so their RO-80 comes in a variety of colors and patterns including gold, purple, and--I kid you not--pinto (which may be referring to the cow or the horse.  I'm not sure which).  I have scads of respect for companies that understand this very simple idea of individual aesthetic value.  Further, even though I hate buzzy vibrations, not everyone does.  Some people like them and will absolutely love this toy.

The RO-80 can be used as stimulation by proxy.  Since I didn't like these vibrations directly on my clitoris, I tried using it with a silicone dildo.  I turned the vibe on, and touched it to the bottom of the dildo (externally), which then came to life with a very pleasant hum.  It was a different sensation than you get with a typical vaginal vibrator, and really rather nice.

Final thought: So, here is who I am and am not recommending the RO-80 to.

Beginners:  This is a great starter toy.  It has both buzzy and rumbly vibrations, so you can see the difference.  It has patterns, so you can see if patterns are your thing.  This will help you in future purchases.  It's relatively cheap at 13.99 GBP (around $21 USD).  If someone came up to me today and said they are looking for their first vibrator and have a tight budget, I think I could be comfortable in recommending this one as a starting point.

Advanced users: As a clitoral toy, you are not going to love this unless you have a preference for buzzy vibrations.  However, it's not a bad foreplay toy.  A combination of movement with the vibrations on the clitoris actually feels pretty nice, even if not quite orgasm inducing.  Also, I noticed the vibrations carry very well through toy materials, so if you have a dildo with a bullet hole, the RO-80 is great for that.  Not only can you have your inexpensive bullet to use alongside  or inside other toys, but have it in style.  Purple Python, anyone?

~I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.~