Thursday, January 21, 2016

lois lane and superman

...or how a fellow Geek Girl and an undergarment most people take for granted changed my life.

First of all, the disclosure: I am not a paid reviewer of any product. If I'm reviewing it, it's because I parted with my hard-earned money to acquire it.

It all started with an Epbot post. Go. Click the link. Read. And then come back here. I'll wait.

Back? Ok. So I read that post when it originally aired back in 2013. I paid it no heed. Learn from my mistakes. Go back and read through all the embeded links. I'll still be here.

Now that you've read the entire post and all the links including the Reddit one on to the good stuff.

I hate shopping for clothes. I've got my reasons, but the clothing I hate shopping for the most are the "unmentionables". I hate it because they never fit right. I always feel worse after a trip to the "fitting room" - a total misnomer by the way since most off-the-rack clothes don't actually fit and there's no one there to fit them to you, but I digress...

I hate bras. With the fire of 10,000 burning suns. I've gone through phases of shopping at Victoria's Secret and being "fitted" there (hahahahahah) and just grabbing whatever utilitarian thing of the rack at Target in an attempt to cover the hoobies. For years, I've gone without and just worn a thick tank top underneath whatever shirt I'm wearing. But some things require a bra and there we are.

I sew clothes for myself and have for quite a while and I was always confused as to why my clothes never fit correctly in the top and I always had to grab 4-6 inches from the back to make everything fit properly. When I finally read through ALL the links in the Epbot post and actually measured myself for a bra, I had an epiphany. The secret is that my underbust is 35" and my actual bust measurement is 44". That is a 9" difference, yo. I should have been making a "full bust adjustment" to my clothes to account for my larger (yet smallish) chest.

So I obeyed my geeky overlord and duly ordered a bra from using my actual measurements converted to UK sizing (I'm a 36F, BTdubs). The first bra I ordered was too small. I went with a 34" band because I'm between sizes. Yeah, nope. FULL of nope. Had to send it back and Brastop and pay return shipping but that's the price you pay for living in the USA and ordering from the UK. The return process was super easy and since the replacement bra was actually less expensive, I got a refund via paypal. Sweet!

I eventually ended up with the Fantasie Lois Side-Support Bra in nude. You can get it here.
from Fantasie's website
That's not me in the picture. I'm not quite that good looking in person but pretty darn close.

Style: It's a bra. I don't know what I expected it to be based on the picture, but when I received it, it looked just a little sad being all flat and stuff (no padding whatsoever in the bra). But who cares what it looks like? It FITS!!!

Fit: This thing fits like a glove. A very supportive glove. The band is 36" and fastening it in the first set of hooks is a perfect fit. Snug without being squeezy. Generally speaking band size affects strap placement. The straps are set very wide on this bra. Which is perfectly fine for me because I have broad shoulders for someone so small (I'm 5'2"). It also means that all the side boobage gets confined in the cups.

Bonus: The center part where the little bow is comes up very high in the center. This is good because it holds my posture erect. I don't know about you, but I tend to slouch a bit and this is like a teeny ruler down the front of my shirt saying "Don't do it, missy!" It also causes me to hold my shoulders down and rolled slightly back - another posture improver.

Overall, I'm thoroughly pleased with this bra. It fits my hard-to-fit boobs. And that was worth the price of admission AND the wait for international shipping.

Friday, January 08, 2016

How To Survive In Jakarta

was not something to which I gave much thought when I boarded my first flight to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. In fact, "survival" is not something I ever think of when I'm travelling internationally.

My thoughts revolve around seeing amazing things, meeting new friends and generally immersing myself in wherever I happen to be and enjoying the experience to the fullest.

So when this video popped up in my Facebook feed, I was... confused... a little put off... and I'm still trying to quantify what it is that bothers me... Maybe it's because Jakarta is my "home away from home" and I have family there that I love.

When I'm in Jakarta it's because I want to be there, not because I "have to". There have been sad times & happy times, but I never found myself worried about my safety (which as an American I was warned about!) or out of place.

I've travelled around the world and the one place I feel most at home is Jakarta. It's a city of contradictions with slums near shopping centres but also a blossom that is slowly opening to show it's inner beauty. You just need to be able to see it.

I remember Jakarta in 2002 when the canals were so filled with styrofoam trash that rats the size of cats were cavorting on them. I remember the flood that meant we had to leave our home on bamboo rafts. I remember the presidential election of 2014 and the nail-biting vote count that was televised for the entire nation to see.

What I remember most about Jakarta is spending time with my family, shopping on side streets (she has a point about sidewalks!), eating amazing food you can't get anywhere else and just sheer happiness.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Yo! 2016...


After 2015, I'm ready for you.

Dear 2015...

This one is for you.

I won't miss you, 2015. You were the hardest year I've ever lived.

We lived through:

  • job loss
  • bullying at school
  • hospitalization in a behavioural health facility (TWICE)
  • insurance issues
  • medication issues
  • elderly family-member being hospitalized twice
  • and more...
I don't ever want to go through it again.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

It's Not About The Money

But it sure is nice for my better half to be re-employed!

When I went to post on my other blog about my Halloween makeup test-run (Hello, Ursula!) I saw that I hadn't updated this one in months.

So here's the update...

Roughly 3 weeks after being let go from his former employer, he was re-employed, still in the high-tech field, still writing software, but doing something completely different from what he had been doing before (metrology). He took a tiny (really small) paycut, but it's ALL good.

He has a smile on his face coming home from work and is excited about what he does now. And that's something I haven't seen in YEARS.

Friday, May 15, 2015

We're Paying With Love Tonight

Two days ago, my better half's company decided to completely eliminate his entire department. It wasn't completely unexpected, but was still pretty shocking to get the news. 

There's a ton of emotions involved when something like this happens... But the overwhelming emotion right now is RELIEF. In the last 17 years, my better half has weathered no less than 6 rounds of layoffs. They had to close an entire department to get rid of him. ;)

When we started looking back...

It was his first job out of college.
Now, he has 17 years of experience in a very specialized field that means he is very bankable.

It was how he got sponsored to work in the US. 
Now, he is a naturalized US citizen and can work anywhere and for anyone without worrying about employment-based visas and green card issues.

It was how we qualified to buy a house.
Now, we have the freedom for him to find the *perfect* fulfilling job and we aren't strapped financially thanks to their appreciation of his almost 2 decades of service.

Five years ago (give or take a few), I really didn't have many friends outside his work friends.
Now, I have a circle of friends who I know I can call on if I need support.

When I posted the news on social media, the outpouring of love and support was overwhelming and it helped me through a pretty nasty panic attack. That and my better half being the rock that he has always been. Truthfully, he took it WAY better than I did.

The funny thing is, I'm not one to ask for help. I prefer to GIVE it. But just knowing that if I need it, I can call for help means the world to me. To all my friends, you are loved and appreciated more than you know. I thank God every day for all of you!

And now we move on to another chapter in our lives. Where it will be? That chapter has yet to be written. I just know that wherever we go, whatever happens, it will only be up from here.

We had been stuck in a serious rut for a while. We'd bandied about the idea of moving jobs, moving cities, yada yada, but we never really did anything about it. We'd prayed for a sign...

Apparently we're really dense and haven't seen previous signs, or it needed to be a REALLY BIG ONE to have us realize it as actually being a sign. Either way, we saw it.

I know this is sort of rambly, but it's real. I'll leave you with this thought: Life isn't about the money, money, money. It's about your support system and love.

PS: The KonMari Method really is magical. His job wasn't really sparking joy and it KM'd itself right out of our lives.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

{Insert Witty Title Here}

After almost two years' absence from blogging, it feels weird to write anything. Truth be told, I've been using facebook as my platform of choice to post photos, muse a bit and generally give the world a piece of my mind. The thing is, my facebook is set to friends only, so sharing my musings with the world at large is rather tedious.

Most blogs die a lingering death when the author loses interest. And so it goes with this blog which was my savior for a vey long time. But I feel the need to Muse a bit here because... Well... Just because. I'm prompted to blog about a new book I finished last night... It's the "Japanese tidying up" book by Marie Kondo. That's not its proper title, but it distills the essence of it down and if you google the author you'll find it. It was a short read, really. I finished most of it while soaking in the tub.

Cleaning has always been my nemesis. It's a well known fact in my family of origin that I am the messy one. For decades, the tidy, peaceful space has been elusive. The quest for "cleanliness" has been as fraught with disaster as any quest for the Holy Grail. After reading this diminutive book, I realized why.

I had been pursuing the wrong goal and going about it all wrong. The common wisdom says "start with one room" and "do a little every day". The KonMari Method outlined in Ms. Kondo's book starts from an entirely different premise. Instead of starting with a place, you start with a category. You corral all the items of that category in one location and from there you determine whether or not it "sparks joy" when you hold it in your hands. If it doesn't, thank it for its service and dispose of it. It sounds a little out there, but truly, it works.

The above photo shows the entirety of my clean clothes in a pile in the floor. We won't talk about what's in the dirty clothes. When I started, I felt overwhelmed looking at it. "This doesn't include the dirty stuff!", my mind cried. And I really doubted whether or not I could make it work. After all, I had been programmed to believe I could NEVER be a tidy person. But I plugged along while working on a client project (machine embroidery) and the breaks I took to swap out the stuff in the machine made it seem like not so daunting a task.

At the end of it all, I was left with this.
That's right. ONE laundry basket to fold and put away. What became of the huge pile? Some of it went to a trash bag to toss. And some of it went to Goodwill. 4 garbage bags FULL, actually. It felt GOOD. I'm a big fan of Goodwill anyway, and we'd already donated what felt like tons of stuff in the last few weeks, so I did it really believe I had all that much left to give. Hah! Never say never, I guess.

I still have shoes and handbags to sort through. But that's ok. Some will be super easy since I've already donated their matching outfits, lol. #TidyHo

We have decided to erase the word "clean" as a verb from our vocabulary. It brings up a host of negative emotions while the word "tidy" is, according to my 12 year old, a "brighter" word. Tidy conjures up a peaceful space, a restful space that needs minimal intervention. "Clean" only brings To mind endless drudgery and a nagging sense of inadequacy.

As I navigate this new territory of tidying, I will be updating periodically, sometimes here, sometimes facebook, sometimes Twitter and sometimes Instagram. I need the accountability.

Keep Calm and Tidy On

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Duck, Duck, Goose

Otherwise known as "Technorati asked me to put this code (YH3Q47P95FPA) somewhere in a post". And since I'm trying to get all my techie duckies in a row, I complied.

As you can see, I've updated the blog look and feel. You can find me on Pinterest, DeviantArt (no comments about how I'm such a deviant!), Etsy, Cafe Press and elsewhere on the Interwebz. Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep all this stuff straight?

It reminds me of 2000 when I had 15 different email addresses... And a GeoCities account. Y'all remember those days of sprakly internets, right?

Anyways, I'm getting all hip to this new technology stuff.





Is that a freaky music video or WHAT? But I can't help but move to the beat. Even if it is Chucky at the wheel.