Let’s talk about IUDs, baby

Well, I’m pissed. And I give zero fucks about oversharing on FB now. Ladies, this one’s for you! Let’s talk about birth control and reproductive rights!

Our next administration includes a vice president who signed a law requiring funerals for aborted fetuses, and a president who wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This is terrifying. But they don’t take office until January. So what can you do before then? Get an Intrauterine Device, the birth control method that will last you through this regressive, hatful regime!

In 2014, I switched my birth control from the pill to an IUD, and I love it. I am obviously not a doctor, and you should consult your gyno, but I wanted to share my experiences with anyone who is considering an IUD. I’m also happy to answer any questions anyone has.

There are two types of IUD – Hormonal and non-hormonal. Both work in a similar way: the device is implanted in the uterus and the device changes the way sperm moves to prevent pregnancy. IUDs are effective for 3 to 7 years, depending on the type. The hormonal IUDs are progestin only, instead of progestin and estrogen combos like most pills. Planned Parenthood’s site has a great informational page about them.

I have the Mirena IUD, which is a plastic device with hormones that lasts for 5 years. My experience with it has been great. I immediately noticed an improvement in my daily mood with the lower hormone dose, and it’s liberating not taking a pill everyday. I still get a period, but it’s much lighter and my PMS is less severe than no pill. I opted for the Mirena because research has shown the copper, non-hormonal IUDs can worsen PMS symptoms. The one downside is I’ve had more acne with the lower hormone dosage, but I’ll take that over the estrogen cloud.
Cost: It of course depends on your insurance. My insurance copay for the Mirena was $60, and then I had a $25 copay for the appointment to get it inserted. This is substantially cheaper than the pill, which cost me $30/month with insurance, and up to $75/month without.
Let’s talk about IUD insertion! Insertion hurt like a mofo. There’s really no other way to say it. If you have not had a child, your uterus is going to be tight. But the procedure is quick – it takes less than ten minutes from start to finish. Your doctor should also give you a numbing shot and pain medication. I was crampy for a few days, but no other side effects. The benefits and cost-effectiveness far outweigh the temporary pain.
So ladies, talk to your doctor now while Obama is still our president and your insurance has to cover it! (Don’t even get me started about the birth control mandate exception. Health insurance is a part of employee compensation. Employers have no right to tell employees how to use their compensation).
I’d also like to end this by saying, I will always and forever stand with Planned Parenthood. Between the Planned Parenthoods in Oregon giving free birth control and the Planned Parenthood in Ithaca offering free STI testing, I had the priveledge of worrying about my coursework for four years, instead of an unplanned, poorly timed pregnancy. I will stand with any organization or provider that helps women, and men, decide when and if they want to start a family.

Madame President if yah nasty

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I just voted and it feels damn good! In the closet thing I have to a pant suit and in a white dress, I voted decked out in spirit of the candidate I chose and to honor the women who fought for my right to cast a ballot. While I waited in line, I got teary that I was finally going to get to vote for a woman for president. That’s not the only reason I voted for Hillary. I voted for her because she is the candidate whose values most closely align with my own, because she has made her career in shaping policy and fighting for people, and because I think she will be a great president. I know she is not without controversy and she is not perfect, but I think she is the best candidate on the ballot.

I am happy with the progress our country is making. Paid parental leave conversations are happening. Bans on asking about salary history. Models with special needs in national ads. This year, my little sister got married to the woman of her dreams, and their union is legal in all 50 states. I could go on. I voted for Hillary because I believe she will be the leader through more progress.

Today, I also grabbed Donald Trump by the ballot. I do not believe he is qualified to run this country. I don’t believe he understands how our government works. From the moment he announced his campaign, his platform has been of hatred, bigotry, and ignorance that is profoundly disturbing and anti-American and anti-democratic to me. He has demeaned women, insulted people with disabilities, promoted blatant racism, and suggested war crimes. To me, these are all deal breakers in a leader. His ideas and temperament are dangerous to our national security and identity. I will not vote for someone who is supported by North Korea and the KKK. Donald Trump is the poster boy for white, patriarchal bullshit from the past that should not be here in 2016.

I think one of the most haunting examples of Trump’s influence is this article from the times interviewing teenage girls on how Donald Trump’s comments on women have made them feel. Anti-women sentiments are built into our culture enough, the last thing we need is having a POTUS who makes anyone feel like they are a lesser than. This doesn’t even stratch the surface of all of the groups that the orange ass clown has insulted, but I’ll end with this quote from the article:

“Watching Mrs. Clinton has made Sarah Hamilton, 17, of Portland, consider politics, or at least being ‘a boss.’ But if Mr. Trump wins, ‘I really would feel like the leadership in my country doesn’t want me to succeed,’ she said. ‘And even though I know the things he says about women aren’t true, I can’t help but feel disrespected and just kind of bummed out by it.'”

You should feel bummed out and disrepcted, Ms. Hamilton. Trump does not respect anyone but himself. He does not deserve the highest office in our land.

#imwithher.

Jury Duty – a photo essay!

My summons told me to dress appropriately. I threw on one of my comfiest business casual dresses, and then I was conflicted about shoes. I thought wearing a pair of Toms would somehow hold me in contempt. I put on a pair of cheap metalic flats I hadn’t worn in a while, and threw the Toms in my purse. As soon as I walked outside, I remembered why I hadn’t worn them. They were stabby uncomfortable. I changed my into the Toms outside in the courthouse. Once I was inside the jury waiting area, my fears of inappropriate footwear vanished at the sight of my fellow jurors. They were wearing gym shorts, sandals, stained jeans, etc.

I found a use for my uncomfortable flats at lunch, though.

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This is the soda machine in the jurors lounge. Despite its apperance and apparent age, there was no Tab inside.

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Also, don’t expect change from this rad 80s skiier.

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There was also a coffee vending machine. I’m unclear on the availability of French Vanilla.

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I do not appreciate these 80s clip art women telling me there’s one defintion of a lady. I also don’t like rhymes about cleanliness.

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After I got dissmissed from a potential jury, I found got as comfortable as I could in the one room with a window. It was a really scenic view.
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Fabric storage boxes – how to!

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“I’m not buying anymore fabric until I sew through what I have, ” is a statement I make at least every three months. One day, I might actually follow through with it. I have no problem with hording art and craft supplies, but I was running out of storage space. We’ve got a great sized apartment, especially for Brooklyn, but it’s no suburban house with a basement and extra rooms. I have to keep my fabric in the small second bedroom we turned into a craft room, in the company of tubs of spray paint, power drills, and extension cords. For years, I’d been keeping my fabric in boxes sorted by color, the fabric piled in and somewhat folded, but really more wadded up. Searching for fabric involved digging and pulling everything out, which made it difficult to find anything or get ideas. I poked around on the internet and pinterest for storage solution ideas, but most of them seemed to assume I had a large suburban house, or a house at all.

I tested a version of Makezine’s filing cabinet and hanging file folder fabric storage, but I thought the hanging file folders were too flimsy to hold up any substantial amount of fabric. As an alternative, I designed a sturdier version using dowels, and it doesn’t require an actual filing cabinet. My hanging fabric file boxes have totally revolutionized our craft room and made fabric digging so much easier! Here’s my instructions for making your own fabric file box.

Hanging Fabric Storage Boxes 

Supplies:

Plastic hanging file folder boxes with lids, like these. (I used clear ones so I could see my fabric easier and because clear boxes would take up less visual space in the room).

Wooden dowels. I used dowels that were 3/8″ in diameter. How many dowels depends on how many fabric hangers you’re making. You’ll be able to get about three hangers from one full sized dowel.

7/8″ Washers. You’ll need two washers per hanger.

6X1/2 sheet metal screws with a flathead. You’ll need to screws per hanger. It’s important to get flathead screws because rounded screws will bump the edge and prevent easy gliding.

Tools needed:

-A ruler, a saw, a drill, and a screw driver.

Instructions:

Here’s a photo of how my system works: the fabric hangers are dowels with a screw and a washer at the end. The fabric is draped over the dowel. It’s a pretty easy process to make, but can be time consuming depending on how many hangers you need. (I think I made about 100). I’d also like to give a quick shout out to the company who designed and made this amazing duck fabric – De Islas.

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Step 1: Measure and cut the dowels. 

Plastic file folder boxes have two grooves instead that are designed for the metal hooks on hanging file folders to hang in. You want each dowel to be slightly wider than the width of the inner groove, so it will rest on the edges with a bit of over hang. I made each dowel 12.75″ wide, because that’s the width of a file folder.

Make a mark on your full sized dowels every 12.75″. (You should be able to get three hangers out of a full dowel). After you’ve made all your marks, cut the dowel into pieces using a saw. Use some kind of clamp to hold the dowel in place.

measuring-collage

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Step 2: Drill guide holes for the screws

This will save you lots of time and frustration later. Using a small drill bit (I think I used a 3/32 bit), drill a hole in the center of the end of each dowel, about 1/2″ into the dowel.

 

Step 3: Insert the screws and washers 

On the each end of each dowel, put a screw into the washer hole. Then put the screw into the guide hole you created. Using a screw driver, twist the screw tightly into place, until you can’t twist anymore.

 

Step 4: Put your finished hangers in the boxes and add fabric!

I made six of these boxes, and I kept my fabric sorted by color. No more digging! I just have to open the lid and I can see exactly what I have.

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Look how neatly these boxes fit on our shelf!

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My emotional reaction cycle to the Mountain Jam Music Festival

This headline appears in FB news feed:  “Mountain Jam: music festival announces line up for event  in upstate New York” 

Reaction: “That’s a terrible name for a festival. What musical abominations will be playing this?”

Clicks link. Sees Beck as headliner. 

Reaction: “Oh shit, I love Beck. Maybe this won’t be a jam fest full of unwashed pseudo-hippies.”

Reads rest of line up. Sees it would be really exciting if I was still in my obligatory (as a northwest  jam band phase. 

Reaction: “Wilco – bleh. Avett Brothers – good. Gov’t Mule – hell no. Umpree’s McGee – UGH. Yes, that does sound like a Mountain Jam. I’ll wait for Beck to play a city jam, or something that doesn’t involve the word “jam.”