Monthly Archives: May 2010

Fashion and Beauty

Another random-thoughts post today… well, not perhaps completely random since it was inspired by a conversation my friend and I had, but parts of it is! How many of us has ever had a significant other ask us, “Do I look fat in this?” and there never is a proper answer that doesn’t result in a punishment, lol. Yes yes, it’s very cliché, but, it leads into the thing I pondered today, about fashion and about our special-someone… male or female! (although males tend not to ask the “fat” question).

I ask of my readers to think or even comment… when in a relationship, do you have certain expectations of fashion for your significant other? Do you want your s/o dressed in a certain manner because he/she appears more attractive in that type of style? To be honest, I’ve never been “big” on the whole fashion thing… when I was in elementary school, sweatpants was my thing. Yes yes, I received quite a bit of laughs from peers, but whatever, I wrote them anyways… when I went to school, I had the mentality that I wasn’t there to become a fashion statement, I was there to be educated. By the time high school arrived, I switched over to the “cool thing” to wear, which were jeans. Then oddly enough, when post-secondary came around, going to school was no longer a fashion competition… some people were late/tired enough to walk into class in their PJ’s (and you can tell those who purposefully wear PJ’s as a fashion-statement versus those who seriously weren’t prepared). People didn’t make fun of one another because they were wearing the latest styles or fitting in with the trends… just having clothes on was good enough!

Since I began working, my clothing styles have changed considerably, moving away from the more “younger look” to the more “professional” look and my dresser definitely reflects that. Many of my t-shirts, jeans, shorts, etc. have all been stashed in farther-to-reach corners or in the “weekend” section of my closest. Although my workplace has extremely loose dress-codes (and enforcement, or lack thereof), I prefer to still follow by them and also because I feel I look much more presentable in business-casual. Knowing that my girlfriend prefers jeans and t-shirts, I remember going on a date once in a very casual clothing. Honestly, I didn’t like it… but hey, whatever makes her happy 😛

On one of our more recent dates, she casually mentioned that she really liked my business-casual style, because I appear to be more well-kept and I’d have to say it was quite a flattering comment and from then on, I dressed in the way she liked… a more professional look, even for casual dates. Obviously when girls say these things, it takes an idiot not to remember, lol. My only big gripe about going from work to her house is that generally I’m not smelling my best … after all, I just finished a day of work and the deodorant only takes you so far… lol and guys.. trying to cover up your smell of shit with cologne is not effective 😛 Although I’m not rancid because I’m not a labourer and tend not to have to break a sweat, but I sure as hell don’t smell like I just came out of the shower. She has never commented on my dress style much and it’s really nice of her. I know I don’t “dress the best”, don’t have the “best fashion sense” and I don’t have impeccable hygiene (just GOOD hygiene). I don’t have crap stuck between my teeth, my breath doesn’t reek, my pants aren’t ripped and my hair doesn’t appear to make me look I just came off the street (minus the dry-flakes from the hair growth formula I’m taking… I wish it didn’t shed like that).

Suffice to say, I also don’t have huge expectations that my girl would go “above and beyond” for me either. I can’t (nor would I) force her to wear “something sexy” – I simply maintain a standard that as long as she doesn’t look too much like a guy then we’re good – lol… that’s not a lot to ask for, right? I don’t want her to wear loose jeans or something like those “gangster” guys who have their ass-cracks revealed because their pants are so low and honestly, I wouldn’t want my girlfriend wearing extremely revealing things anyways. I’m afraid I’d have to rip too many guy’s eyes out for staring at her.

Here’s a conversation a friend and I had yesterday on this topic (thus the inspiration to write this) and here are some excerpts of it which will help stimulate your mind into thinking about this topic…

[Black text is my friend’s message… red text is mine]

hey wana ask u something
[…]
ummm
would you expect her to dress up , lets say when you take her out to join your friends?
she’s a jeans girl rite
she doesn’t really dress up now anyways, lol.
would u expect her to wear more make up(if she does?), and pretty herself more? like wear a cute skirt
nope, she doesn’t
she does wear stuff i like though
i have certain things i prefer she wears
like?
she does that
like?
well just certain t-shirts make her look better
LOL
and certain tops
that’s all
i asked her about wearing skirts before and she only has once
[…]
she said this might change in the future, but for now, she’s just a jeans and t-shirt girl
which is fine
[…]

lol
in a way, she does “pretty herself up” since she always smells good, looks nice and will choose clothing i like
but nothing extreme
just maybe “more than usual”
but most of the times when i see her, it is me coming from work
so i usually smell and don’t look my best
HAHAHA

umm
so you dont pus her to wear skirts or dress more often?
like on dates with you?
nope.
of course not
it’s her body
her choice of clothing

hmm
i’ve made mention of it, but she says no skirts probably
since she doesn’t HAVE any
makes it rather hard
i mean, yes, it’d be nice if she was girly-girl sometimes
but i can handle the way she is

lets say, you have an nformal gahtering with friends, YOUR friends, n u bring her along
*informal
i’d want them to see her the way she is
omg
u’re so damned nice
the only time I told her i’d expect her to dress up
is if the place we’re going to
enforces dress-code
like a nice restaurant

omg
i repeat, ur so damn nice
my ex wants to show me off to his friensds
but u two aren’t dating O.o
like: “see my gorgeous gf?”
no
in the past
im just analysing
my ex told me to dress up wheever we go for gatherings
but i said his frens dun dress up
its informal
we hang at each others(freind’s) houses
why shd i dress up?
he said he’d like to show me off
as tho im a freaking show girl, a crowd pleaser, entertainment girl?
i hate wearing skirts at gatherigns at houses because we all sit on the floor, n such
in a relaxed manner
not a formal, stiff meeting
so chances for me to chao kong is alot
so i avoid skirts
his friends wear simple old shirts – he expects me to dress uP?
Wtfart
well every guy wants to show his girl off
well
LOL
it’s a normal guy thing
haha
we like to compare EVERYTHING 😀

but u dont?
why do u think we measure our dicks?
u said u dun make her wear skirts
i’d show her off, but show her off with whatever she’s wearing
she’s beautiful in every way
so why does she need a skirt?
haha

exactly
😦
ohh
this is a great blog topic
gotta write this down
haha

ok, i know guys like to compare
but
arent you supposed to be happy with yr girl, hwv she wants to dress?
i mean, thats her
thats why ur with her in the first plce
i tried to discuss this issue to my ex
but he said “if u think im bad for asking you to look pretty, up to you”
i was sad back then
most people say im good-looking, in my jeans
wihtout a speck of make up
it seemed everyone except him saw my beauty
au naturel

Anyways, after some food-for-thought, how much do couples cater to each others expectations of dress-wear? Do we often expect too much, only to find disappointment? How much of a “right” do we have to expect our s/o to dress a certain way? Would you change your (or to what degree) of your fashion if your s/o asked you to?

Which then leads me to the next topic of beauty. Beauty is an extremely LARGE topic, so I’m going to choose one particular one today that I pondered while watching a Chinese show. Growing up in an Asian environment, there is a large emphasis (err.. maybe I should say this is quite common around-the-world now, but more so in Asia) on being thin. I don’t mean being “slender” or “toned” or “fit” – I mean thin as a stick. I was talking to Poh Ching today on how I crave to be thin again because I am too fat to which she replied she didn’t think I was fat. Perhaps being submersed in an extremely Asian family, my definition of “too fat” is any guy who weighs over 130lbs (which I would be categorized over that weight). Likewise, I have read many blogs on WordPress about Asian girls who have posted their “success” on becoming size 0 (zero). To me, a girl like that is stick-and-bones and although I dare not ask what my girlfriend’s size is (or risk getting a swift kick to the nuts), I’m not particular to girls who have barely any meat left on them. I’m not into necrophilia, so I have no interests towards a girls’ skeleton.

With that said, a female chef who was a regular guest in this show called “Beautiful Cooking” or 美女廚房 definitely caught my eye the very first time she showed up. Her name is Kit Mak (麥潔兒) and while she may not be voted Miss HK by any means, I found a lot of beauty within her, through her in-show personality (which I’ve seen her on shows other than Beautiful Cooking), listening to other actors/actresses speak about her and from her physical appearance. To Asian standards, a lady of this size is considered “large” and many Asian guys will likely “overlook” her due to her “large” body size.

Picture of Kit Mak (麥潔兒)

Perhaps in this picture it is not apparent because of the coverage by her clothing, but she falls under the “larger” side of typical Asian women, and it’s particularly noticeable on her face, arms and legs when revealed. Her beautiful smile along with her tomboyish voice will definitely changes your “at-a-glance” opinion of her. She’s not one of those girls that I drool over or pass-out if I were to meet her in person, but I’d definitely say that just because she’s large, doesn’t mean she can’t be beautiful.

Our society, particularly in Asia, our ideals of “big” and “small” are quite extreme. Many of my girl-friends in Hong Kong continually tell me that they want to “lose weight” when I already tell them that if they already look superb. Setting health-complications aside from being overly thin, I think it actually looks (what I personally call) “unhealthy” when I see a girl who are disgustingly thin (to my standards). I fear any type of action upon them would result in them being crushed. Heck, even my girlfriend who’s not stick-thin, but super duper cute n’ small – even I’m afraid of crushing her if I were to bear-hug her or something 😆 .. wouldn’t want to kill her now. With that said, Asian standards place a large percentage on what we perceive as beauty as the body size of a woman. As you can see with Kit, she embodies beauty without a size 0 body.

With my girls, I prefer to think of their body size in terms of healthiness and not so much using raw numbers as a measurement. My greater worries of a “large” girl would be health complications, much more so than her just being a few pounds heavier. Likewise, an extremely thin girl can also suffer the same problems and don’t kid yourself, someone on either end of the scale can be extremely fatal. Whether a person is underweight or overweight does not necessarily determine all their health statuses, but certainly, is a decent indicator.

In many places of the world in ancient times and even as recent at 1930’s and 1950’s, ‘big women’ were considered beautiful. How much our society has changed in defining beauty through an abnormally slim waistline! Personally, I find it appalling when I see girls with “assets” that are large, but with an extremely small body. I’m a believer of proportions and it really ruins the eyes when you see bodies that seem disproportionate to the rest of a person’s body and this holds true for guys and girls. A girl I knew in high school had these extremely large breasts… “large” is probably an understatement… but she was bent on keeping herself under 110lbs. Goodness… her breasts probably weigh half of that and yet she wanted the rest of her body to be the other half! As much as all the guys drooled over these huge honking tits, I wanted to throw up, because she had no body left after her breasts consumed it all.

I know every once in a while, I’ll tease my girlfriend (in a completely-joking capacity) about the foods she eats, the sedentary lifestyle she has and worry that she’s going to be “fatter than I am” – but in reality, she’s very beautiful. Although she may change in the future, body-wise, for better or worse, who she is inside doesn’t change. Do we as humans, often look for beauty in all the wrong places? Do we crave for the women who walk down the streets half-naked or shirt far down enough to see her nipples? Do girls crave for guys who have this nice ass (Poh Ching… LOL!) only to realize that’s where we take our shits from? There are so many forms of beauty and as humans, we are often blind to things until people point them out for us.

To wrap it up… I’m a big fan of “Bubzbeauty” (a.k.a Bubbi) or Lindy Tsang, a well-known online beauty expert… and since we’re on the topic of “beauty”… god damn. Heck, my girlfriend is beautiful too, but I’m sure she’d shoot me for posting her picture up, so let’s just go with someone who doesn’t mind having her pictures plastered over the internet 😛

Lindy Tsang (Bubbi) - Bubzbeauty

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Motherly Worries: Rogaine and Side-Effects

Just wanted to drop in to note a funny conversation with my mom today.

My mom just finished listening to a radio broadcast about rogaine which I have been taking to combat my unfortunate hereditary hair-loss (in which I thought about getting a hair transplant if it gets bad enough or I can’t get a decent cut that fits my face-shape).

Aside: Although I’m far from becoming bald, I certainly notice having “less hair” than I used to. Obviously my first approach was to seek my doctor in which he reported there were no abnormalities with my body. Phew! He recommended if I really cared that much about my hair (which I really don’t, but my girlfriend does), then to start on this topical cream. I’ll tell you, it isn’t comfortable either and causes a bunch of reactions like itchy scalp, flaking and signs of dandruff, all quite embarrassing… for the sake of her – bleh, the things us guys do for women, LOL.

Anyways, she came to me very worried, indicating to me that it would affect my ability to “have babies.” My mom is one of those people that will “half listen” to a story and “half not”… and she’ll always pick things out and turn it into a worst-case scenario. She came to me and told me after my year of using it, she wanted to me to stop because she was worried I wouldn’t be able to have kids. She knows that I “plan” to have kids and she warned that if I still wanted them, that I should stop using it. I smacked my face and I told her that using rogaine doesn’t reduce sperm count, it may (MAY – keyword) cause a reduction in sex drive as well as the inability to maintain an erection but does not necessarily cause the “inability to have kids.” My mom grew up in a very old-fashion family where sex was not a common topic and where her exposure to “facts” of about sex may not be very high. For those who do not know, it is actually possible to ejaculate without having an erection. On that note, it also means it is possible for a guy who has erection-issues to still possibly cause conception as long as his sperm-count is not an issue. Although I certainly wouldn’t want myself not to be able to maintain an erection, my mom also needs to clear up the facts as well 😛

Obviously the conversation ended there, but rest assured, I don’t appear to have any problem with my sex-drive. Speaking of which, even if it did reduce it a bit, I really wouldn’t mind, LOL. I’m a 2x-year old guy, do you really think I have a problem with a lack of sex-drive? My greater problem would be having too much versus not enough 😆 From what I recall, this is probably one of the most annoying thing about being a guy! Furthermore, I don’t appear to have a problem maintaining an erection and yes, spontaneous erections are not fun either. Getting a few less of these wouldn’t kill me, nor my to-be-kids…. Anyways, if these side-effects do become apparent one day, stopping it for 2 weeks to a month seems to clear up any sexual dysfunction issues from using rogaine.

Don’t worry mom, you’ll have grandchildren one day….. HAHA 😀 Oh mom… poor mom….

Prexus’ Friday Thoughts

This post has no educational value (nor is it period-related… unless I slip something in there). I just figured after a string of some period-posts, that I’d stick one of my random-thought posts in here.

For the past while, I’ve been playing a game called Just Cause 2. It was extremely addicting and playing for 5-hours was not exactly healthy – although it did kill time on days that I did not have side-work. Oh right, speaking of which, my past two weeks have been nuts. Other than my regular day job, I also do I.T. work on the side and almost every other week-day, I had a client who required my services. Oh yes, I absolutely love making money, but when every night you come home at 8-9PM, it isn’t so “lovely” anymore.. mind you I also worked 8 hours prior to that. So after calculating this month’s “additional income,” I am fairly happy with the results.

Every month, I worry about wanting more business and I don’t see why life can’t space things out for you, lol. I mean, last month was just crappy and all of a sudden the last 2 weeks of May, I’m bombarded. It’s funny, I guess humans can never be satisfied (or maybe just me :lol:).. either we complain about having too little or too much. However, I do have some extra dollars now to line my wallet with, especially because the past while I admit I have been on a spending spree. My girlfriend and I spent a lot of time eating out, which consequently other than probably not being great on my waistline, it also costs money. Rest assured, I am not complaining, I love spending time with her, even if it costs money XD – after all, money is made to be spent! Second, I bought a camera a while ago, for those who follow my blog… then third, I had to get a new computer case and power supply, so it all adds up! Well, I suppose at least I haven’t bought pads for a while, so there has been no expense for that (yet) 😛

So anyways, a few days at work, we had a breast cancer awareness day at work (not the “official” breast cancer awareness day) where workers were asked to wear an article of pink to show their support. I was holding a meeting in the meeting room outside of my office so a few of the attendees arrived and since my office is right there, I sat in my own office to wait.

Since I enjoy conversing a lot, a couple of the staff who I’m particularly closer to invited themselves in just to chit-chat (a guy and a girl). The other guy and I immediately noticed the girl wasn’t wearing anything pink, so we inquired. She replied, “Sure I am, you guys just can’t see it!” and the other guy and I both knew what that meant. This girl is a complete tease though. She plopped herself up on the corner of my desk and since I was sitting down and she was wearing a skirt, the eye-level was perfect. The other guy grinned and sat down next to me, but I totally turned away and looked at my monitor. Mind you, I dislike doing something while someone is talking to me, but I couldn’t very well be looking between her legs at her pink panties because that is EXACTLY what I’d see if I was facing her since I’m ‘lower’ than she is on the desk. Rest assured, if I were single, I’d probably be looking, lol, yes – I am a guy.

The other guy got a kick out of it and I was sure I could see a little drool on the side of his mouth, but I was totally trying to avoid looking ‘there’. Girls probably get a kick out of teasing guys like that 😛 For some reason, I have this obligation to “be a good boy” and not do something that would compromise my loyalty to my girlfriend. After all, I should not be looking at another girl’s … err.. crotch area, EVEN if she completely intended to let us look. The point is girls definitely know how to play our desires against us and I’m pretty sure I would’ve gave it a 2nd.. 3rd.. maybe even 4th look had I not been in a relationship, haha. The thing was the other guy was married and he still had no qualms about looking 😆 – damn it, why must girls do such things?!

This morning, I had a lot of fun talking to one of my authors, Poh Ching, for quite a lengthy period of time.. or well, more than we normally do! It made me really think and take time to cherish the way humans connect with one another. For those who don’t know, I met P.C simply through my blog when I started… she was my first subscriber and consequently, the first commenter on my blog. In the past, we do not spend much time talking because of our opposite time-zones and her field-of-study requires her to concentrate a lot on school. We get sporadic chats if we’re lucky, maybe 10-20 mins every week, yet, we have a fairly unique friendship and connect in ways that doesn’t seem plausible for people who have never met in person and quite literally a random person off the internet.

Nevertheless, we often share things we don’t with anyone else, talk about many personal things and enjoy each-others company. It certainly feels weird to feel so close to someone who we know “little about” – yet in a profound way, know a lot of things. It’s hard to describe the feeling, but it makes me ponder the bonds which tie humans together. There have been times she’s kept me sane at work, like that time I was talking to her over MSN in the middle of a meeting because I was ready to fall asleep, haha. Speaking of which, P.C, I loved the convo today 😀 lololol. Not only do I really enjoy talking to her, she brings a sense of happiness to my day, especially the past few days after she has finished all her exams and truly have time to dedicate herself to an entire conversation! We talked from morning, to afternoon, to even when I got home from work 😀 She made my day with a nice little comment… wish I got to hear this more often 😆 :

Blue text is mine, black text is P.C's

For Victoria Day, my friends and I visited this newly opened restaurant at a nearby city and it was amazing. I’m pretty picky about my food quality, especially when eating Japanese food because when it comes to sushi and sashimi, it must be fresh and sanitary, otherwise, you risk catching food poisoning very easily due to the nature of the ingredients. For those who are unaware, most all-you-can-eat Japanese food places do not offer sashimi for lunch but will for dinner since the cost for dinner meals tend to be a lot more. This restaurant though, offered sashimi at lunch too and oh my god did I ever over-indulge 😛 Let’s just say we had our lunch at 12PM and I didn’t have to eat dinner or anything that entire night, haha. Wow, now I totally crave it… URG!

Oh… right, back to today… if you can’t tell, I’m one of those really messy writers because I have thoughts in random places and time, so things never seem to be in chronological order, hah. This morning I also had a monitor-swivel arm installed! I no longer have to use an old server book I had to boost up my monitor, lol.. and my desk looks much neater with extra space now! Yes yes, I get impressed by small things, hey, why not… since I generally don’t get a lot of “big things” in life that make me happy… unless I also happen to win that lottery ticket our staff pooled together 😛

And finally… today… the game I’ve been waiting for for a while finally became available! I should mention I played about 4 hours of it.. yes, that’s totally bad. However, for those who are interested in games and such, definitely take a look at Alpha Protocol! It is addicting and I really didn’t want to put it down, but I also told myself I have to get back to watching my Hong Kong TVB drama series before I fall behind! I have to conclude this random-ass-post so I can get back to watching it as a distraction for me from playing AP again, haha. Speaking of Hong Kong… I suppose I should start spotting out flights for my end-of-the-year trip back home! From what I hear, the prices are supposed to be nasty. Oh well, it’s a vacation, so who cares about the money! I work damn hard for my money, now it’s time I get to enjoy it before I have to spend it on the wife and kids, lol.

Alpha Protocol screenshot

Night night everyone, thanks for enduring my ramblings 😛

Tampons are Not a Status Symbol

Thanks for modelling the display for me girl! XD (Tampax Pearl Regular's w/Bonus Always Pantiliners)

This weekend, it was a rare moment that I had a conversation with one of my guy-friends about a period-related matter or more precisely, tampons. I’m sure those who follow my site closely (or not) pretty much sees the dead giveaway that I’m a pad-lover, much more so than tampons. Hell, I don’t need to use them, so I guess it doesn’t really matter what I like more 😆 but suffice to say, I don’t hate tampons. Anyways, back to the story… my guy-friend, let’s call him “G” complained that with the summer creeping upon us, that he’s getting frustrated his girlfriend doesn’t go swimming with him whenever she’s on her period because she doesn’t use tampons. One of the remarks he made which made me think about writing this entry was, “[His girlfriend’s name] is being such a little girl. Why can’t she grow up and use tampons?

You can imagine thereafter I gave him a 25-minute lecture on the subject of tampons and that tampons is not some kind of status symbol or a way of differentiating girl from woman because that is just absurd. However, this notion was not only by him, but even some arrogant-tampon-using-girls say the same thing, they believe tampons are a sign of “being a big girl” when in fact, I can’t see how the choice of feminine hygiene products is a way of defining “being a big girl.” Perhaps my views are a bit different, only having 2 of my (ex) girlfriends who use tampons, one actively and one who tried upon my recommendation. Reading a lot of chats or forums, I have found many girls will chastise fellow-females who do not use tampons – it’s amazing rather than encouraging and being supportive, they ridicule pad-users. It is as if for guys, buying one type of condom makes you a better/lesser of a man!

Let me reiterate to guys if you’re not clear (and I suppose those arrogant girls too) on the matter, but whether your girlfriend/wife/significant other uses pads, tampons, menstrual cups, sea sponges or even rags does not define her womanhood. As much as I hate to use wikipedia as a “good source” of information, I should note that…

A woman (irregular plural: women) is a female human. The term woman is usually reserved for an adult, with the term girl being the usual term for a female child or adolescent.

and furthermore…

Womanhood is the period in a female’s life after she has transitioned from girlhood, at least physically, having passed the age of menarche.

As you can see, at no point is being a woman, grown-up or brave being attributed to the use of tampons or other forms of internal protection. As far as I understand, the use of feminine hygiene products is a matter of personal preference, although there are some women who are against/cannot use/afraid of tampons, it doesn’t make them any less of a person. I happen to think all my pad-using (ex)girlfriends are perfectly fine women, in fact, I’d be more likely to be strict pad-users as opposed to strict tampons users… although using both is a total winner 😆

I think it must be very tough for a girl to have to deal with menstruation and also having to deal with friends/classmates who place a lot of pressure in her to using tampons because it makes her a “big girl”. I swear sometimes it is like a “cult” where girls feel the need to assimilate one another. Although I recognize that tampons are an excellent feminine hygiene product due to its size, allow swimming during menstruation and discreteness when inserted, I would not use the word “superior” to describe it. Every form of menstrual hygiene has its advantages and disadvantages and I think it’s extremely obnoxious for men or women to define for one another what is “better” because after all, it is the individual him/herself that’s using it.

I advised “G” of several ways he could attempt to persuade his girlfriend to use tampons if her swimming on her period is a huge concern. Naturally, it is outside the rights of a guy to force his girlfriend to use something she doesn’t like, but it is always valid to express your opinion and see if she feels comfortable with the idea. It took me about 3 months of persuading my ex to try tampons for once and she was pleasantly surprized with her experience. Although she has discontinued using them, at least now she can make an informed decision on her choice of menstrual protection. I wish “G” best of luck in talking with your girlfriend and seeing whether she is willing to use tampons so you two can spend the summer together actively for water activities 🙂 If not, at least you got yourself an awesome pad-girl 😀 because they rock anyways, lol.

It probably does, but unfortunately I don't know anything about it 😛

Meet India’s Tampon King

Oh yay, I managed to squeeze something in! The guest are outside watching Ip Man 2, so I had time to do a very small update! 😀

Found this news article… absolutely amazing. I discovered this article as it was posted by “Scoo” @ Kayo’s FF2. All credits and acknowledgments remain that of the article author as I have made no additions/modifications to the content posted in between the quoted areas.

———————–

Critics called A. Muruganantham a “psycho” and “pervert.” Who’s laughing now?

By Jason Overdorf – GlobalPost

Published: May 20, 2010 06:46 ET
A chandelier made of tampons, entitled “The Bride” and created by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos, hangs at an arts festival in Venice, June 9, 2005. (Chris Helgren/Reuters)

NEW DELHI, India — Not long ago, women in the small south Indian town of Coimbatore were convinced that 47-year-old A. Muruganantham was some kind of pervert.

After a failed attempt with his wife and sisters and a cockeyed do-it-yourself effort with a football bladder full of goat’s blood, he’d finally hit upon a surefire way to test the low-cost sanitary napkin he was developing for India’s poor. He was passing out free pads to college girls and collecting their used napkins for study. And he had a storeroom full of them. When his mother saw it, she burst into tears and packed her things to move in with his sister.

“Everybody claimed I am a psycho, [that] I am using this as a trump card to get close to girls,” said Murugantham, who taught himself English in the course of his research — partly to get past the telephone answering systems he encountered when he called U.S. suppliers. “Before going across that automatic, it will cost 300 and 400 rupees. The moment the operator starts speaking, it will cost 300 and 400 rupees. Then the person will speak in slang English, ‘OK,’ because this is a material that is only used by big companies.”

Nobody thinks he’s a psycho anymore.

In 2006, Muruganantham, a high school dropout, perfected a machine for making low-cost sanitary napkins against all odds. Along the way he’d taught himself English, recruited local college professors to help him draft letters and surf the web for suppliers, worn panties (not to mention a sanitary pad and a football bladder full of blood), and spent many times the cost of his TVS Motors moped on laboratory analyses. He even invented an alter ego to get past the gatekeepers at the U.S. firms that supplied the pine wood-based cellulose — not cotton — that he discovered was the raw material he needed.

“The moment they hear that somebody is calling from some remote place, in India, they will ask, ‘Who are you?’ So I said I am a millionaire in Coimbatore. We are going to start the napkin company, so we want raw materials,” said Muruganantham.

Eventually, he triumphed. Capable of producing around 120 pads per hour, the machine Murugantham developed costs only about $2,500 — a tiny fraction of the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Procter & Gamble (P&G) spend on their plants. And while output of 120 pads an hour hardly offers much in the way of economies of scale, Muruganantham’s invention has created its own business model for small “self help groups” of low-income women — creating jobs that earn them twice what they made as ordinary laborers.

“It is an innovative way of addressing the issue of female hygiene and is accessing a market that the Kotex product made by Kimberly-Clark currently does not access,” said a spokesman for Kimberly-Clark.

But even as Muruganantham has intrigued multinationals, earned accolades from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (Madras) and the National Innovation Foundation and inked a deal with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to supply his machines to women’s self-help groups in Africa, a controversial Indian government scheme threatens to squash his grassroots movement.

According to local newspaper reports, the government is finalizing plans to supply free and “highly subsidized” sanitary napkins to India’s poor. The program is being designed to cover 200 million rural women, using 100 sanitary napkins each per year, at an estimated cost of around $450 million. No details are available yet regarding the supplier, but in India, as in the rest of the world, virtually the only major manufacturers of sanitary napkins are multinationals P&G, J&J and Kimberly-Clark.

“This is a ‘first of kind’ program where public-private partnership is being explored to bring high quality products to rural poor at affordable rates,” said the Kimberly-Clark spokesman. “The proposed model would envisage a complete reworking of the value chain to drive costs down. The intent is for the project to be self sustainable over a period of time. The Indian government is in talks with all the major sanitary napkin manufacturers — and nothing is finalized as yet.”

Muruganantham doesn’t see it that way.

“What I am telling is that if the government permits me we are able without subsidy to provide the napkins,” Murugantham said. “Already, we can make napkins for 1 rupee, 50 paise. If the government comes, we can reduce that by 50 percent.”

And if the government guarantees orders from rural women, the scheme won’t cost the state a penny, Murugantham believes. With orders in hand, the women will be able to get small-business loans from local banks, enabling local entrepreneurs to set up 100,000 manufacturing units across India.

But can a grassroots invention really compete with some of the world’s largest multinational companies?

Because of poverty and social stigmas surrounding menstruation, today, most Indian women use rags or even scraps of gunny sack instead of modern sanitary napkins — which are unavailable or too costly. For the government, this represents a public health crisis, raising the likelihood that millions of women will suffer reproductive tract infections or even cervical cancer. And for the big napkin makers, it represents a huge, untapped market that promises to keep the business growing for decades.

“Realizing the huge business potential of converting the homemade napkin users to branded napkins,” J&J launched its Stayfree Secure brand in India in 1997, and the low-cost product was the largest selling sanitary napkin in the Indian market within four years, according to the company’s web site.

Riding on its Whisper brand, first launched here in 1989, P&G’s feminine hygiene division notched growth of 26 percent last year, according to the company’s annual report, generating sales of around $100 million.

The future lies in cracking the market comprising the urban and rural poor. Describing a partnership with the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to teach rural women of Rajasthan about reproductive health — now set to be expanded in Muruganantham’s home state of Tamil Nadu — P&G’s annual report concludes, “Significantly, the program has been able to convert 85 percent of cloth users to sanitary pad users who used WHISPER.”

“P&G and Johnson and Johnson look at this issue merely in terms of sales turnover,” said PC Vinoj Kumar, a crusading journalist. “But as a social entrepreneur Muruganantham’s business model has socio-economic objectives. It creates employment for thousands of rural women, apart from promoting use of sanitary napkins.”

One of the first to discover Muruganantham’s invention, Kumar recently launched a Facebook campaign against the government’s plan to subsidize sanitary napkins, which he suspects will be sourced from one of the three multinationals that control the world market. In March, one of his campaigners filed a Right to Information (RTI) request seeking “copies of all files related to this scheme right from the initiation of the scheme, to any consultations held with any external agencies, the basis on which the scheme was announced and any other relevant details.”

But according to Kumar, the government’s reply simply stated the obvious: “This is to inform you that currently the Ministry, Health & Family Welfare does not have a scheme to provide free sanitary napkins for women living below poverty line. Further, discussions for formulation of the same as well as an assessment of various modalities is taking place in the ministry, after which, the scheme would be proposed.”

In case you’re not fluent in the lingo, that’s bureaucratese for buzz off: The ministry provided none of the files related to the plan or any other details requested under India’s RTI law. Now Kumar plans a letter-writing campaign to approach the president, the prime minister, the health minister and the finance minister and ask them to consider Muruganantham’s proposal before finalizing the free sanitary napkin scheme.

Meanwhile, Murugantham’s not standing still.

His napkin machines are already in place in more than 200 locations across India, where they are empowering local women, and taking the stigma away from menstruation and feminine hygiene by turning it into a lucrative trade. Though many have flourished, some self-help groups have floundered without management expertise — raising doubts whether a legion of grassroots organizations could truly handle the mammoth job of supplying sanitary napkins to the country. But Murugantham argues that if the government supports him instead of P&G or J&J, his machines cannot only solve India’s feminine hygiene crisis but also provide employment for a million women.

That’s radical thinking from the bottom of the pyramid. The question is: Will the government squash it and make a mockery of the much ballyhooed “decade of innovation?”

What an inspiration…. 🙂 I wonder if I’ll ever do something awesome like this, lol. It wasn’t long ago my ex said I should perhaps go work for a feminine hygiene company or design my own pads… I have a feeling if I did, they’d be very good 😆 OK, I have to have an ego sometimes, haha!

Victoria Day Weekend

Yay, it has been a while since there’s been a long weekend for me!

It looks like it’ll be a busy weekend, so there’ll be a lack-of-updates until the following week. I may decide to squeeze in some pictures with captions over the weekend of miscellaneous period-related stuff, but there won’t be any extensive posts unless something incredible happens, lol.

Victoria Day Fireworks @ The Marriott in Niagara Falls, Canada ON

For those who live in Canada, I wish you all a happy and safe Victoria Day Weekend! For those who don’t get to celebrate it, enjoy your weekend anyways as I’ll be sleeping-in on Monday 😆 This weekend will include some BBQ’ing, so hopefully the weather cooperates, even though the weather-people claim there’s a degree of rain. But… something like that shouldn’t be a dampener! I’ll just close the grill while things cook and bring it all inside when it’s done.

Have fun everyone, don’t drink and drive 🙂

Salvation From My Noisy Computer

Well, I finally did it… I dished out the money to get a new computer case and PSU (Power Supply Unit). For those who are into computers know exactly how expensive gaming-level PSU’s and cases are so for me to afford this, I’ll have to cut back on luxuries for a while. On that note, my following 6 months of food will consist of Mr. Noodles, 3 packs a day 😆 HAHA.

Thermaltake V3 Black Series Computer Case (Airflow Design)

So for those who have been following my blog, you’ll know that I recently acquired a new video card and was quite excited. Upon trying to install it 2 days ago, I noticed my wires were extremely tight. It wasn’t that I couldn’t get the card in or even hook it up because I managed to do all that… however, there was just that little voice inside me that told me to reward myself given I was using a sub-par case/PSU for the past 5 years. I remember when I was young, I’d always ask my Dad for a new computer (or parts) and his response was usuallyWe have no money or That is too expensive and my response was to him, Dad, why are you so cheap? It isn’t until I got a job and really had to start paying for things out of my own pocket did I understand the implications of really thinking things through before buying it.

The box is already impressive enough... XD

I flipped the back to read the features... this really should be something I do BEFORE I buy things, lol.

I was so excited to see my card... but then realized there was still one more barrier!!

The treasure inside the chest revealed...

All pictures on this entry are clickable as usual for a larger display. I scaled all images down to 1440×900 (or multiple of the aspect ratio) and compressed them using JPEG to avoid overburdening my site and people’s internet connections.

XFX HD587XZNFC Radeon HD 5870 in all her glory! It's mine... ALL MINE!!

Maybe you can say that I may be “better off” than my parents were or perhaps I’m a bit of a “reckless spender”, but yesterday when I walked into my usual supplier of computer parts, I walked in and told him I wanted a nice case and a decent power supply. I rarely have the patience to look for specific models unless it is something I’ve been eyeing for a while. I got the Thermaltake V3 Black Edition case along with a 650W Seasonic PSU. OK, when I heard about the whole Seasonic brand, even the guy behind the counter was laughing his ass off. Neither of us has heard about this brand and thought it was crappy. After reading a review of their products, I was shocked to see it was some crappy off-brand that was going to explode my computer. Not only will it not blow up my computer, I also found out this brand of power supply was extremely power efficient, meaning it will save on my electricity bills!

Card requires two 6-pin Molex adapters to power it up... good lord, lol.

The back of the card really wasn't all that exciting...

Now if only I got myself a monitor that had HDMI support... hah.

I just forwarded reviews I found of them to my supplier and perhaps we’re not going to laugh at this brand anymore 😐 I went for this PSU because it was $30 cheaper than the Thermaltake equivalent. I’ve already spent a lot of money on the Case/PSU, so I wanted to save money wherever I could, lol. The one thing I wanted to ensure was a decent warranty and this particular model comes with a 36-month warranty which is more than sufficient should anything bad happen. My biggest surprize with this particular model of the PSU is the fact it’s extremely silent. My old 430W Thermaltake which I used to power this rig previously was loud and I actually need to turn up my speakers when watching a movie or something to mask out the noise. All I have to say about this PSU so far is that I’m impressed with it even though it is not a “big brand name” for gamers. I may very well start recommending this brand to my customers too if all is well 🙂

Top-down view of the case... pretty awesome vents!

The not-so-exciting side of my case.... it isn't bullet-proof titanium like the one I have in my computer room, boo.

The back of my computer... the scary thing is that once I plug all my parts in, 100% of the rear USB ports are used :S This is also my first computer case with the PSU on the bottom

The more exciting side of my case boasts a vent and a window to all me to see the yummy insides

The case has many vents, some on the top and some on the sides, allowing for optimal air-flow. The inefficient case-fan and hot PSU in my last “computer” made my room really gross. This was also another reason why I decided to buy a new case/PSU because summer weather is closing in on us fast and the last thing I want is to roast in my room when my computer is on. Oddly enough, I wouldn’t need heating in my room whenever my computer was on in the winter… ya, it is THAT hot. Only issue is with this type of heat, I don’t think it’s exactly “healthy” so I prefer something that has optimal venting to keep the computer cool while maintaining a degree of temperature-healthiness in my room.

Front view of the case... the flash worked out well because it is only then you can see the "honeycomb" design

The guys did a great job getting my wires organized and such... it'll help keep the case cool and tidy! I can't do that... that's why I pay others to, lol.

See the fan on the top? It lights up when the machine is powered on and then spinning of the fan causes a "strobe" effect... not a good idea for those who have epilepsy! I am SERIOUS.

Drive bays... plenty of extra room now for "breathing space" and future expansion.

Although I’m a “computer guy” and a “gamer”… I definitely don’t have the nack of building machines and getting hardware to ‘work’ with each other. I can do some minor parts swap, but when it comes to full systems, motherboard n’ all, I prefer to defer it to the “experts”. To me, paying someone a couple of dollars to build it means I don’t have to take the responsibility of a part blowing up. If someone messes up my computer, they pay for it… if I accidentally do something myself then I have to pay for another one or lose the part – ouch! I know where my limitations are and hardware just isn’t my specialty!

The side panels back on and system powered up!! You can already see the nice blue glow from my case-fan... sexy!

And a close-up through the window-of-magic to see the internal parts lit up by a nice blue flash! Well... it would be flashing if this was an animated picture.

There we have it folks… all I wanted was a simple video card upgrade and I ended up needing to get a new case and power supply, lol… things can never be easy, can they? I guess given the video card was given to me as a gift, I shouldn’t be complaining about having to buy a case/PSU. The only thing that totally makes me steam sometimes is that I saw this crazy pre-built system the guy was selling for $699 .. here I am spending 1/3rd of that price buying only TWO parts of a system… these prices of computers are falling like nuts. I wonder if I should buy up that unit and resell it… wow, that’s actually a good idea 😆

No more noisy GPU fan (I can now tune it down and it’s dead-silent @ 20% and still quiet at 35%).. no more noisy PSU fan… no more noisy case fan… all peace and quiet! I love it 😛

Overwhelming Depression

Today, there’s a lot to be happy about….. actually, just being alive is a blessing everyday, one that many of us, take for granted. When we’re alive, we have just as much to moan about as we do worrying about dying. Those who are enlightened enough not to fear death are truly the ones who live to the fullest extent. With that said, these are one of the less happier days even though there is so much cause for happiness.

Waking up in the morning today, I felt tired as usual, much due to the fallout of Thursday last week. From then to today, my sleeps have not been as energizing as they once were. I do not wake up each day with a sense of strength each day but instead, another day of fear… fear of the negativity surrounding our relationship, fear that she will do something hasty, fear that I cannot control myself and fear that if I keep stressing over things, I’ll end up causing myself to get cancer or something. The #1 cancer-causing agent in the body, is stress and I have plenty of it.

I remember the days where my Mom and Dad would be in the living room or in the car where they’d retell their love story. My dad would always leave out one part of the story, but which my mom had to dutifully fill in. My maternal grandmother at the time, disliked my father. Although my mom and dad played very much “by the rules” – picked her up, had her back home on time and safely, made sure to bring gifts when visiting, my dad was not very well liked. Remembering when my dad proposed the idea of marrying my mother to my maternal grandmother, she initially was against it. However, we all know the power of love and that the fact both my mom and dad was going to do it whether it was consented or not. However, my dad once did say to my grandmother that he would kill himself if she did not let him marry my mother.

I always thought to myself, what foolish man would suicide over a lover. Today, the 2nd time of relationship despair, I wondered if what my father said is not so crazy anymore. No, I am not suicidal and I’m not about to jump off a building, there’s still rationality within me. Nevertheless, I can fully understand what it feels like to be hurt so deeply by relationship that one would consider life not worth living. It was only a month or two ago that her and I began to talk again and already, we have stepped backward. For all the progress we made, she has reverted to hiding in her little cubby hole. I am frustrated to no end and I’m not sure hitting the boxing bag really gets the anger out of me anymore. Firing 80 shots repeatedly until my fingers hurt don’t seem to give me that stress relief. Even if someone were to cut me off and I went road-rage on them and killed them, I would still not feel satisfied. I am in a deep state of wondering how one human could inflict so much damage on another one, including the damage that has been done to me. Why should I not hurt others when it is so rightful for someone else to do the same to me? Yes, this is completely irrational and I’m sure by the time I finish this post, this will no longer apply.

After work, I drove to the top of the mountain today and screamed as loud as I could and that gave my mind time to wind down. I hate the world right now, I hate the idea that there is a God because if there is an his intention was for humans to suffer, he’s got that right. I am suffering in deep misery right now and it has made me question whether life is really as grand as we all make it out to be. Is it so fun that I have to be ignored by a girl who I deeply care about, is that what my life is supposed to be? Tell me oh-God-of-infinite-wisdom why I was born, why was I not one of the lucky ones who never learned to feel pain and just have died when I was born (or even before)? Although I am not suicidal, I would be lying if I told people that killing myself to rid me of these relationship pains have not crossed my mind at one point. I always watched those TVB series where people would stand on top of a mountain or beach and just scream until they could scream no more. I thought one would have to be crazy to believe that brings relief… but it does.

Rewind a bit was my slightly happy moment when I got to work and opened my office door… there she was in all her glory, the XFX Radeon HD 5870 I’ve been waiting for, sitting on my desk – put there by my boss! Yes, that’s right, I’ve been drooling for days and I think had it not been for all my relationship troubles the past few days, I would have been a bit more excited. I did thank my boss for such a wonderful gift, but I wish I was in a better mood to really feel the moment of happiness. No, it is not possible… it is consumed by the overwhelming desire that I wanted to throw to box out the window because all these materialistic things that we think bring us happiness truly don’t. What is this… this item mean to me, when I don’t even deserve to be spoken to by my girlfriend? I spent most of my day staring at my monitor as that’s all I could bear to concentrate on.

My happy moment of the day was when one of my coworkers caught my less-than-cheery mood. We closed the door and she sat in my office for an hour and we talked and I poured my heart out to her. I think by the end, she looked like she could cry too from being so touched at all the things I had to say. She’s a young and beautiful woman who has gone through a divorce and has finally found out the realities of a relationship. She said that when people are young, their goals in a relationship is much different than between two matured individuals. What you look for is more practical than through the fairy tale dreams. She said she wouldn’t’ have it “any other way” to her current relationship where her husband is 10 years older, the total opposite of her and where they get into long and heated arguments… but at the end of the day, they’re proud parents to two lovely kids and a loving marriage. She brought into perspectives the reality of two individuals forming a family and that what people expect of each other is much different than every little girl’s dream of being whisked away to the “Happily Ever After” world.

She does not deny that the chemistry and dynamics are what uphold her and her husband’s relationship, even though they have very differing views. Likewise, I apply it to my own relationship such that there is an irrefutable amount of chemistry, albeit the disagreements and arguing. At the end of the day, I can vent as much as possible through my blog, to friends or to the sorry punching bag that has to deal with my rage, but I care about her very much and she simply is the way she is. She inspired me to think about whether my relationship with my girlfriend is simply out of lustful desire or true compassion and understanding. I felt empowered after chatting with her, because through the past 5 days of me being brushed aside once again, she’s reawaken my powers to carry on. It is not easy and those who have fought tooth-and-nail for your significant other can relate to my pain. Some relationships comes together easily and some come together with a FUCK LOAD of work – but both have a common ground – to love and care for one another ’til death do them part.

I for one, have decided I will not quit although I have thought about it. My coworker shared many of the advice that many of my concerned readers gave me – commitment and patience. Words make it sound easy, but after going through 6 months prior to this of being cast aside, I could tell them anxiety, pain and DAILY mind-fuck that she has caused. There is a Chinese saying, “食唔安, 坐唔落” (Can not eat peacefully, can not sit peacefully) and imagine going through that for half a year, while still trying to go about daily-life and you can feel just a morsel of my pain. And now you wonder why I feel life is not worth living? I breathe in hard though, her words were clear to me… “Do not give up.” … and I shall not! Perhaps in a way, I am mad at myself for over-spoiling her and allowing her to think it’s right to treat me like this.. but no amount of blame ever softens the pain that the heart feels. Every day is a living hell until we can speak normally to each other again… when that will be, I don’t know… I do not wish to act hastily and I want to wait until a time of her choosing, but I will not stand idly by either.

It is almost laughable that in a way, I’m glad my workplace has a comprehensive medical coverage policy. Maybe seeing a psychiatrist isn’t all that bad of an idea, not because I have a psychological disorder, but just someone to listen to me talk. There’s only a few of my friends who I involve in my relationship ups/downs and they are certainly not always available. Perhaps a bit of encouragement, motivation and giving me back a sense of self-worth as a human-being with feelings is what I need from a doctor, haha. Suffice to say, I don’t need a psychiatrist… all I need is my family and her, that is all I ask. In a way, I find it freaky that I feel more PAINED over this than I do with the deathly absence of my father. Although I miss him greatly, I feel rather guilty that she can bring so much more pain than the death of my own dad.

I tell myself not to give up, not to think too much, go about my daily life normally, not to take my anger out on others because they don’t deserve it and a bunch of other “positive motivators” but it’s not as easy as it sounds. I have to endure this a day at a time and quite frankly, I actually realized why it is so easy to want to take the easy-way-out. I think after all this, I ought to work at one of the kids help hotlines because I have gone through all this. It suddenly dawned upon me why (as invalid as it may seem) kids would ever want to do self-inflicted injuries. Today when I sat there looking out my window, I wanted to punch it so I could feel the pain of hurting myself. I wondered what idiot (yes, me) would actually consider doing that? I remember one of my friends who went kind of nutty one time told me that because he was so depressed that he’d often enjoy cutting himself, smashing himself in the face or jumping off high places and I thought it was weird that anyone would WANT to feel pain… and now I realize, when you go through emotional pain, that physical pain seems like a walk in the park. I never quite understood why I hear about people who willingly hurt themselves and now I understand.

I suppose many of those people who end up on those hotlines are those who have suffered it first-hand before. It takes someone who’s really been there to know how these feelings feel. It is not something that can be taught in school or described in a seminar, one must feel and have experienced it to know the damage that distraught can cause. This isn’t even close to a scenario of a 1-day argument, this is long-term damage that will take a long time, if ever, to mend. Although at some point or another we will begin to talk again, in the back of my mind, I wonder if she’ll revert to the same state like this now. How many times will she do this to me? What will it take to stop her from doing this? Does she need to learn? What influences her to make such rash decisions like this? Is there someone influencing her and talking bad things about me? How can I help her so that her obligations to other things don’t affect us? We all have obligations, I need to go to work, but doesn’t mean I can’t balance her in my life. She has school, but it doesn’t mean she can’t balance me either… she just chooses not to, i.e ignoring me and then the second some other obligations comes up, then I’m just a piece that gets “set aside for later”. It is frustrating that I’m even starting to view myself as being so insignificant that something like watching a movie, playing a game or talking to her friends has more value than I do. I truly hope she will not play the ignoring-game as long as she did last time. I was once such a self-confident person… what has happened to me….?

The only thing that made me smile for longer than 5 seconds today were these pictures I caught in my front yard…. I’m not a photographer by the way, so I’m not asking you to share your mind with how crappy my pictures are. If you do, expect shit thrown back in your face. The pictures are clickable for full-resolution and I think they’re worth seeing in full-size at how beautiful the bird is…. much more beautiful than my current mood no doubt.

I wish I could be as carefree (and I don’t mean the pantiliner) as this bird… Now if you’ll excuse me from my blog, perhaps I will resume crying as I have been previously… Ya, I’m not the big macho-man. I want her in my arms right now… everything will be perfect then….

Incognito (Fempro/Vania Maxi Pads)

I actually wonder how many people are going to end up on this post as a result of it being entitled Incognito while trying to search up the Google Chrome feature. Just for laughs, I’m going to stick in the description of what Google officially describes Incognito Mode to be…

Explore Google Chrome features: Incognito mode (private browsing)

For times when you want to browse in stealth mode, for example, to plan surprises like gifts or birthdays, Google Chrome offers the incognito browsing mode. Here’s how the incognito mode works:

  • Webpages that you open and files downloaded while you are incognito aren’t recorded in your browsing and download histories.
  • All new cookies are deleted after you close all incognito windows that you’ve opened.

With that said, this post about Incognito is actually referring to the Fempro line of feminine hygiene products, and not Google Chrome (sorry for the unfortunate people who ended up here looking for that :P)

Other than Giant Tiger, I currently have never seen another place stock the Incognito line of products at any other stores I know. Being the type to always be on the look-out for new products, I found this one in a small corner of the GT store in my local area. I had expected a bunch of weird no-name pads/tampons, but to my surprize, I did see an assortment of Always (even Always Infinity) and Tampax products there. However, in the mix of the shelving were Femtex Tampons and Incognito Maxi Pads. I’m skeptical of store-brand pads only because I question their quality, however, I am not the type to shoot something down before experimenting with it!

They were $2.97 for a pack of 18 Maxinight pads and unfortunately, the store did not offer the winged edition (called “Comfort Tabs” by the company). Nevertheless, both pads with and without wings have their own advantages, so no complaints on the fact the GT here didn’t have that version for the overnight pads. They did however, have the winged editions for the super pads, but that’s for a future opportunity! I actually thought that $2.97 was pretty steep, especially for a “non-brand name” product, but I was proven wrong. Pictures are clickable as usual, providing a larger depiction of the figure… however, resolution is still as crappy since I am using my iPhone camera. I know that people are wondering why I bought a new camera and don’t use it, but there are two reasons… 1) these pictures were taken before I got my new camera, and 2) I don’t want to take the risk of leaving “these type” of pictures on my camera accidentally.

Front of the Incognito Maxi Pad package

For a while, I really was trying to figure out why looking at this package gave me this massive sense of deja vu and it wasn’t until I read on their site that I found out that Incognito was actually Vania! Oh my god, did I ever get hit smack in the face by that whole thing called age! I still remember when I was 5, I remember still seeing Vania being shown on TV commercial and still seeing Vania packaged pads on the shelf. For YEARS I had thought they “ran out of business” or got “removed” by one of the larger feminine-hygiene makers but sure enough, they simply marketed their products under a different brand name! Talk about small world and what the chances of me bumping into long-lost Vania products.. or should I say, Incognito.

The side of the package shows the variety of pad sizes/absorbency

Although the list does not appear large, Incognito boasts a large line of 23 pad products and this isn’t even counting their tampon-line and cleaning cloths!

Features of the pad... yes, it is not clear

Sent all the way from Quebec! No wonder they are so expensive... Love the warnings on these damn bags.

The pad was simply wonderful! Not only did it have superior absorbency in comparison to their generic/no-name brand counterparts, it also put a “fight for their money” to the big 3 in Canada (Always, Stayfree, Kotex). I must admit, I was totally shocked at the comfort, design and absorbency offered by this particular pad (opinion pending on other version of the pad, but I would not expect any different)! The curvature of the pad reminds me of the old Kotex Curved Maxi’s which acts as a great contour to the body. The package was simple and much akin to the Stayfree maxi pad packaging. The pad simply sits in a 3-way folded pouch and when opened, the pad is revealed and the plastic used to compose the pouch is quite sturdy for what I would imagine non-name brand products to be!

Pad still inside the pouch/wrapper - very similar to Stayfree and surprizingly strong plastic material

The pad revealed within the wrapper when wrapper-sides are opened

Suffice to say, just the initial opening of the pad already had me smiling from what I could see, but it wasn’t until I fully opened the pad did I realize the glory that it held! From what I know, this has been the only pad I have seen in Canada that has “elastic sides” which really provides that flexibility a pad needs to conform to the shape of the user’s body and help prevent bunching in panties while maintaining absolute comfort! You’ll notice the picture appears to have “humps” in the pad… but that’s because of the shape the pad is formed, similar to a “U” shape which is adopted by Incognito. I considered the the picture would appear much better if I completely FLATTENED the pad, but that would completely throw off this demonstration!

Bottom of the pad, adhesive-side - single strip

Since this version of the pad is wingless, the removal/usage of the pad is very simple. The adhesives are simply covered by a single-strip of sticky material. The sticky material has an excellent composition allowing for great grip on fabric to keep the pad securely fastened to underwear and at the same time, allowing for easy removal. However, I’m not going to lie about the fact that if you’re the type easily embarrassed by the sound of ripping the pad off your panties that THIS pad in particular does make quite a bit of noise. Luckily, the pad itself is not extremely long, therefore the “ripping action” is loud, yet SHORT.

If it LOOKS comfortable... that's because it really IS comfortable!

As you can see, the design of the pad is intended to channel flow towards the centre and also has these grooves along the side, front and rear which acts as a “wall” to contain flow in the strongest area of the pad. Furthermore, the front and back also is designed as a “maze” format to act as a last defense of rear/front leakage by attempting to distribute period blood which have reached the extremity of the pad. Unlike most pads designed for menstruation, the maxinight pad in particular is also capable of dealing with light incontinence – hot damn! I suppose they kept in-mind from the Vania-days when they made products catering to post-pregnancy and maternity pads!

The elastic-type edges of the pad is one-of-a-kind and the only time I’ve ever seen this is from the Laurier (蕾妮亞) and Sofy (蘇菲) pads found in Asia or Asia-import stores. The elastic edges help support the shape of the body, especially during large movements and allow the pad to be extended to cover the body when it is in “full reach” and also when relaxed back into the original body position and “bouncing back”. I can see this being great for the changes in leg movements when standing up and sitting down. The pad is 1.2cm (or 12mm) thick and 27.5cm long. The pad top-cover is made out of very comfortable cotton, and maybe of good consideration to women who have sensitive skin. The pad itself locks wetness in well, leaving the skin relatively dry.

The only gripe I have about this pad (other than the fact I couldn’t find the damned wings version, but that’s GT’s fault, not Incognito… lol) is the fact the pad has a smell (not good nor bad, just… a smell) and that it does not have any particular feature for odour control. However, with diligent pad changing for hygienic reasons anyways, this should not be an issue. When the pad is well-saturated, it also becomes quite heavy (well.. obviously), more-so because of the cotton-composition of the pad, unlike more proprietary methods used by larger brands. However, since it is going in the garbage anyways, it doesn’t matter… and also, it acts as a great “reminder” to change when it starts to feel heavy!

If you can’t tell already, I’ve totally RAVING about this pad. Even though I found out it is Vania and therefore, not completely a “generic” or “no-name brand” – it sure as hell isn’t one of the big 3 either and to make a pad of this quality simply amazes me. I had always seen that the stock of Incognito goods had quite the number of buyers due to the gaping hole I see in the shelves all the time. I couldn’t figure out why so many women would opt to buy (this once presumed) crappy pads, but I sure as hell zipped my mouth/thoughts fast on that one! Maybe because I had assumed they were akin to dollar store pads that I was already prejudice to them! Now I fully understand why last time I saw a girl load up her cart with 4 packages of these when they were on sale! I thought she was just one of those “cheap girls” but now I know she knows her pads well and go for a pad with good quality!

I don’t particularly like advertising, but for women (or fellow flow-lovers) who are interested in testing the pad for yourself, drop by your local Giant Tiger (hopefully you have one) or another retailer which stocks this line and prepare to be amazed! I hope next time I’ll be able to test one with wings, but I was not disappointed at all with the Incognito Maxinight Maxi Pad (a bit redundant eh?) Ohh.. one more thing to mention is that the packages are male-friendly as they have something similar to what Always did a few years ago, to have symbols for each size of pad so that it is easy for them to find! 🙂 It might even help the women who don’t have the patience or time to rummage through all the different sizes/colours and to find what she wants based right off the symbol!

Laugh of the Day: Motherly Concerns

Today, I definitely got my kick-of-the-day! A few days ago, I had asked whether I could purchase a new video card as a “reward” for all the efforts I’ve put in at work lately. It was a fairly expensive card and before I submitted it, I was very hesitant, worried that I might be chastised for choosing that one. For me, my most expensive video card I’ve ever bought came to $260 CAD – which to me, is already at the “limit” of what I could pay for personally to buy… I seriously cannot justify to myself (or my wallet for that matter) forking out more than that to play games.

Given that I’m always the “silent one” at work and while everyone else has asked for tons of stuff all the time, I thought I’d finally try my luck! Sure enough, with a bit of ass-kissing and letting my boss borrow one of my games, he put the order in right away. I asked him at 1:20PM and he replied at 2:52PM telling me that it has been ordered and that it’ll arrive in my name in 5 days! God damn – it was a shock and I just saved myself $550! This year, I was finally planning to buy a new computer, so I’m slowly building my “collection” of parts to do over the summer. It has been many years since I’ve gotten a “new computer” and I find myself earning a lot (not “a lot” as in the actual amount, but the quantity of the act) of money and yet, not really spending it. After all, money is useless if it is not spent and ONLY saved. It isn’t until when the money is used for a product or service, that the value of the amount is actually realized, since that is what (hopefully) brings us pleasure, happiness or relief. Certainly over the past while, I have spent more money than I normally would since my girlfriend and I are eating out more often, going to more places (thus gas and maintenance) and whenever I see things she may like, I buy it. Certainly, this money hasn’t brought me joy directly, but seeing her happy sure as hell does! I digress… like I always do.. but anyways, this is my FIRST part for my new computer coming this summer!

This video card that was purchased it outrageous… yes, it really is and I went “over the top”… heck if I’m going to ask for something so rare, I mind as well make sure that it is going to last a while since it isn’t every day my boss is willing to dig into the budget and get me something, lol – although I should mention I’m extremely grateful and I will certainly put more effort into my job when he asks me to do something! Call it a bit of employee bribery sometimes 😛

This is what I got…

XFX Radeon HD 5870

Oh yes baby, I’m drooling! 😀

But this totally wasn’t the point of my post. My mom, makes me laugh a lot….. because what she said today was totally unexpected coming from MY mom in particular. As a result of getting this new video card (which I spent more than enough time talking about, LOL), I had to measure the inside of my computer tower to make sure it would actually fit. According to what I’ve been reading, the video card is 11 inches in length – holy shit and I thought the card I have now is long! The one I have now is already at the “edge” of my hard drive plug, making it a very tight squeeze so I am quite worried I will actually need to upgrade my case. Only time will tell when I actually get it out of the box!

I dismantled the side panel of my case with the intention of checking the clearance and whether the card would actually fit (based on the dimensions I have). Unfortunately, I have this really poor estimation of sizing, so I prefer to get a more accurate measurement. Nevertheless, I don’t keep a ruler in my room because… well, because I don’t have a need for one. I went out to my home-office to grab one from the drawer. Just as I was walking back into my room, my mom sees me walking into my room with a ruler. Today was fairly hot here, so I only had my boxers on.

So here I am… wandering into my room, ruler-in-hand with one piece of clothing away from being completely nude. My mom just looks at my hand and then quietly says (Oh, I should mention the conversation was completely in Cantonese, but I’ll translate it to English for the sake of most of my readers), “[My name], I heard a lot of guys your age like to measure their penis to see how long it is…. it is ok, close your room door, there is nothing to be ashamed of..” — MY MOM THOUGHT I WAS MEASURING MY OWN PENIS – holy shit, lol. The damn ruler was the measure the clearance in my computer case to see whether or not I could fit my video card in!!! 😆 I suppose grabbing a ruler, walking into my room and being 90% naked didn’t exactly appear “innocent” although I had absolutely not intentions of measuring my cock 😛

So here I am now, writing about it because it is still making my laugh. My mom, although bringing me many moments of anger and frustration, also brings me great laughter during the day. I could not help but feel weird and I’m glad it wasn’t like I was having this huge erection which would’ve made the situation even more awkward. I told her it was to check my computer and I don’t think she believed me… because when I came out of my room, she offered to wash the ruler. Oh god, LOL. 😀

—————–

Anyways, I found this blog entry pertaining to an artist who had her work-of-art censored at an art gallery as a result of her “questionable display” of used tampons. Ok sure, it isn’t the most welcome scene in every-day life, but given there often is a large variety of “grotesque” scenes in art galleries depicting worse-than-a-bloody-tampon displays that should have been “covered” rather than hers. I can imagine being an artist what she feels like, being “supressed” by a societal taboo while seeing other ones displayed openly. It is amazing that in 2010, our society still finds a used feminine hygiene so disgusting that it must be sheltered from the world. Surely, if there was any place “acceptable” to find something like this would be at a ART GALLERY.

Please feel free to read: http://ncacblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/tampon-photo-incites-controversy-at-the-fashion-institute/

and also the official artist @ http://blog.jessicachowdesign.net/post/588334701/viva

Please note that both the above links will take you OUT OF MY BLOG – which means you may be subject to the otherwise deemed “inappropriate” pictures (they are non-pornographic) as posted by the respective authors and I bear no responsibility henceforth.

Please drop by and show your support, especially if you happen to go to the same institution as her!

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