Category Archives: Personal

Where all my personal postings will fall under…

Dreams Becoming Reality with a Twist

Yay finally, I have time to blog and for my general readers, that is great news… for my period-readers, not so much. My cute lil’reader Alyson asked me why I hadn’t blogged in a while and it was just a matter of finding that inspiration kick. Today after an exhausting day from work, on the drive home, a bit of inspiration for a post did arrive and a reflection of why sometimes when dreams become reality, it never is as simple as it seems. Now, being a “grown-up” (and I quote that, lol) I already know that everything comes with a twist and that even the simplest of things become complex. Now I’m just being paradoxical instead of jumping into the main topic.

About half a year ago, I was transferred to another sub-department. Our “main” department is divided into 3 sub-departments, each with its own miniature management team. This department is known for being the one involved with the “hardest” work (how ever that is even defined) and that upon joining I knew I was going to be in for a good ride. I expected to take up a mediocre role, where I wouldn’t be doing anything extremely importantly and literally being the grunt that gets everything thrown at them, but with little actual responsibility.


I always used to tell myself to look forward to when I could be the guy who “gets to go to all the meetings” because in my mind, that’s where all the ‘important’ stuff happens. Previous to my department change, we had very infrequent meetings and in all honesty, nothing important were ever decided in those meetings. They were informative (if that) and because most decisions were made at the higher echelons, nothing we did/said really meant much in the bigger picture. Finally in this past 6 months, I’ve been to more meetings than for the years I’ve been working at this organization. So initially, I thought to myself, “Oh wow, this is a dream come true, I finally get to go to all these meetings!!” I figured because I was the “junior” of out the group of attendees, that I wouldn’t even be the one making the decisions. I’d sit there, smile and pretend to be part of the group. When you walk out the meeting room and everyone around you looks up, it gives that sense of pride to be “with the suits” with your head held high.

After a month or two, they began the see my performance and trust my work. To a degree, one could say they even relied on it. Within the past month, I have been heavily involved in an assortment of projects. Being one of the 4 project managers in this department and working within an organization of over 5,000 people, we’re definitely against the numbers. In the previous sub-department I worked for, most of the decisions often only impacted a selection of individuals. In my current sub-department, the decisions we make affect THE entire organization, including external stakeholders (and damn let me tell you, there are LOT of them). I suddenly realized the pressure in making decisions because the impact was at such a large scale. Before, if I screwed up, I may be the joke of the department for a couple of weeks and maybe make a few people disgruntled, but now, I am easily the target of the entire organization and stakeholders. Suddenly a screw-up is irreversible and likely something that could be devastating to one’s reputation.

That “dream” I always envisioned, being the person sitting at the big round table to call the shots suddenly made me a bit hot under the collar. They have passed down a lot of responsibility to me in the past few months, the better the performance they see, the more they lead me to take the bull by the horns. I do not regret performing well, after all who does not want to be a shining example at work and have a brighter career path? I enjoy AND fear the responsibility as it puts a lot of weight on your back. While the dream has come true, there’s a lot I didn’t bargain for, such as the pressure, obligation and responsibility that comes with ‘being the decision maker’. I told my friend this and he smiled, telling me this is always like that, “Beautiful woman you look for in your life, you find her and she’s gorgeous but dumb as a mule.” 😆 Now, I have to be careful about every word or idea I propose at these meetings, because they do make a difference and that a mistake may be costly for our entire organization. Committing millions of dollars to the “wrong product” is as devastating to our coffers as it would be to my reputation. Though in our organization luckily poor decisions (unless they’re out-rightly retarded or illegal) has never gotten anyone fired, but it’s definitely not a burden you want to carry.

So now on a daily basis, I sit at the big round table, drinking our coffees, keying on our laptop while people talk and occasionally staring up at the PowerPoint that the presenter is talking about, but now being at that table means committing yourself to a degree of responsibility which you must burden. I used to see the executives coming out, looking more disturbed than happy… I envied them, because they drove the direction of departments and organization. Now, I get to be the one that (even to a lesser degree), drive the direction of departments, but now I understand the look on my face when we leave. People are often poker-faced for a reason. Meetings often mean more work, more problems and more money (not in our pockets). I leave having to do and delegate more work, than going there to resolve things. I used to think the meetings were where everyone happily sits down and talks about the “successes” rather than failures and remedial steps.

It always is nice to think about success without the sandwich effect. It’d be nice to be “the people who make the decisions” IF those decisions didn’t have consequences. It would be great if I could walk into the meeting room, make all sorts of suggestions, paid big bucks but not be accountable for the decision made. However, that is not reality and nor should I expect it to have been. With every “dream” that comes true, something has to give…. and there’s always a twist!

Goodbye Pads & Tampons – Hello Menstrual Cup!

You’ll find this title picture very amusing after you read the entry… (or at least if you know what’s in the theme of the picture)

So yesterday I participated in a grand celebration of a one-year anniversary of Bepreparedperiod tweet chats! It was a fantastic party, again, reminding us that the menstrual cycle is a perfectly natural bodily process and we should not be ashamed to speak about it. It’s also important that both guys and girls have equal opportunity to be educated through books and dialogue. During the tweet chat, I mentioned the excitement of introducing a menstrual cup to one of my girls which @bpreparedperiod suggested I blog on. What a wonderful idea, it totally didn’t cross my mind to write about it! It only happened less than a week ago so it’s still fresh on to my mind on how it happened!

So pretty much the highlight of this entry is that I managed to convince one of my girls to try a menstrual cup, although it was definitely an interesting method… one I would not recommend you employing unless you really know the person is comfortable with it and can take a hardy joke. Last weekend, I was over at her house and recently, I had purchased a menstrual cup from a nearby “green” store. It was in the trunk so I thought, “Hey, why not try to persuade —- to give it a shot?” As with most of my girls, the idea of reusable menstrual products do not sit well, particularly when it comes to the question of, “How do I clean it?” Unfortunately the second I have to say “dump and wash it” or “throw it in the laundry” I get that exasperated look already. I may be a person who likes to poke and prod here and there to see if they’ll change their minds, but I never force… after all, menstrual products are all personal preference and I hate the idea that one is “superior” to another – each has its own merits.

My friend just got her period the day before, so it was a perfect opportunity for me to give her a prod to try out the product. I know she’s weary of it, but she’s also one of my girls who is the type to be persuaded with a wee bit of pressure. We were about to head out to shop, so she went into her room to change. I snuck upstairs to her bathroom and took the basket where she keeps her pads and tampons. I emptied out the pads/tampons into my laptop bag temporarily because that’d be the last place she would assume I’d hide them! I brought the basket back into her bathroom and in place of the 20 some-odd products she had in it initially, I replaced it with one item – a menstrual cup.

Heck, I could be an Olympian assassin being able to pull that off without her noticing my movements and within record time! I see all this running and exercising of mine is paying off 😆 I ran back downstairs and sat on the couch and waiting to hear her reaction from upstairs. I could hear her room door opening and she trotted toward the bathroom, likely to change herself before we left the house. I could hear her screaming my name and I burst out laughing. I’m sure some of my readers will consider this a cruel act, however, I know her well enough to not cause any hard feelings and in the event she really asked for pads or tampons back, I wouldn’t withhold them from her. I expected her to come rushing down and scrounging for her products back, but to my surprize, she didn’t. She called me upstairs and asked me to help her (through the door) to figure out how to use it. Now obviously I don’t have a vagina and have never inserted a menstrual cup in my life, but I guess conceptually I know it as well as I could. I talked her through it and she managed to get it in after about 15 minutes (or at least what FELT like 15) of fiddling with it and came out smiling.

She did ask for a pad to put on just-in-case the cup leaked since it is her first time using one, so I just gave everything back to her. I asked her if it felt anything like using a tampon and she said, “Not at all – feels even better and more reassuring.” I was really pleased that she took an opportunity to try it out and whether she continues using it, she at least gave herself the exposure to reusable menstrual products. A few hours into shopping, she was worried it would start to spill as it was day 2 for her and she doesn’t exactly flow on the light side either. She asked me to wait outside the “family” washroom for her just in case she ran into some major trouble. It took her some extra time (compared to when she uses conventional pads/tampons), but I heard the toilet flush so I assumed everything was ok. She emerged, smiled and told me everything was fine and that the cup wasn’t even close to full. She even happily touted that she doubted any pad/tampon she used could’ve withstood so many hours without leaking when she’s this heavy! She was so pleased with the cup that she even told me she ditched the pad because she felt secure enough.

She did mention that at first, when she had to rinse out the cup it was rather disturbing to see how much menstrual flow there was because she’s never seen the true amount of flow whenever it was absorbed into disposable pads or tampons. She also had to be quite careful upon removing the cup as to not spill the entire content all over the place. Understandably, there are all concerns that many of my other disposable-loving girls have. I always like to give opportunities for my girls try new products, disposables and reusables. I will never force the issue, though it can be quite fun and amusing (person-dependent) to pull something like this off and end up with a great reward. Now I have one more of my girls who has at least tried using a cup and that may perhaps create a path for her to try other reusable products like cloth pads.

While writing this entry, I exchanged a few text messages with her to see if she had any additional thoughts. She doubts that she will adopt the menstrual cup as a permanent replacement of her menstrual hygiene options, but definitely will be replacing her tampon-use overnight as it prevents the worry of TSS risk when sleeping beyond 8 hours. The cup will also be more convenient at home to use, though that doesn’t necessarily mean she won’t use it outside of the house either… however, using disposables can sometimes prove to be a convenience. On her VERY heavy days, pairing the cup with a pad backup would buy her a lot of time in between changing if needed or would give her a peace-of-mind to sleep in. Finally, she can immensely cut down purchases of pads/tampons since she has an extra option to rotate with and generate less trash every month.

I hope you found as much joy through this entry as I did with my little joke – which turned out great. I have to reiterate that this is not something everyone should try, unless you know your ‘target’ well. Though it sounded like I did this in the heat-of-the-moment, there was a lot of contemplation and consideration before pulling this off. Remember that you should never force menstrual hygiene options on someone, but encouraging and providing options through a friendly and helpful manner will bring you a better response. You can never understand another person’s needs, comfort level and feelings, so you should ensure not to press the matter beyond what is reasonable between the two of you! 🙂

Ubisoft – Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (Fail) Mouse/Control Problems

I have to plop in my thoughts on a game I’ve been all excited in playing, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier on PC even on a menstrual blog because of how outraged I am. Having tweeted in the past about Ubisoft’s failure with a game called ANNO 2070 where it would require you to have a persistent internet connection to play, their commitment to failure has not ceased. In ANNO 2070, being offline would kill a variety of critical game mechanics and features. Though this is supposed to act a deterrent for those who illegally download the game, it also serves as a huge inconvenience to those who purchase it legally. With that said, those who pirated the game were much better off because it allowed people who didn’t always have a permanent internet connection to play. Point noted is that their aggressive attempts failed miserably… in fact, it solidified many opinions of my friends and I on why we should bother paying a company to release a game in which we didn’t have the “right” to play anytime, anywhere. Doesn’t it make more sense to pay $0 and have MORE rights to the game than those who paid $50?

In the past few days since the release of GR:FS Ubisoft has been “so-called” listening to the feedback of fans about the game and bugs which have cropped up. These “grand production” of games somehow pass QA when basic functionality such as keyboard/mouse fail to operate correctly when playing the game. Some people have mentioned that having any additional controllers plugged in may supersede the keyboard/mouse controls, but having unplugged all my “accessories”, the game continues to act as if I have a XBOX controller plugged in an refuse to allow my mouse to move the directional facing of my character. How did QA/Testers not see this bug? 2 patches which I’m aware of has been released, 1.1 and 1.2… none of which truly addresses the controller issue. I understand that fixing other components of the game is important, however, when your fans can’t even play the game – what does it matter if you’re “improving performance” and “enhancing gameplay”? WHAT GAMEPLAY?

Many sites such as this one recommend people hold off on buying the game, particularly for the European launch happening tomorrow (Friday). Why would you even want to support a company which screws you for your money? They’re making futile attempts to “smooth things out” with many of their customers by offering this game a one-time DRM activation requirement. I have not had any fun with this game at all, why? Because I can’t even play the game unless I’d like to only be staring straight in front of me at all times while getting shot from the side and not being able to retaliate.

Ubisoft is exactly the reason why consumers should be looking to their local pirating sources for the game, rather than paying for a product which you are crippled from using. Shit, the pirates might provider a better fix than the game maker would! Porting a game is bad enough when there are so many remnants of the console configurations lying about, but it’s worse when a game detects things that aren’t there or refuse to accept input from other devices.

I like how a Ubisoft publisher representative has ‘pledged to fix a critical bug which prevents PC users from playing the game’. Did you really need to pledge or promise something like that? This isn’t just a nuisance/bug that can be overlooked, this makes the game UNPLAYABLE. If they didn’t bother addressing it and addressing it damn soon what makes them think that consumers are stupid enough to pay for a non-working product (ok well there will always be a few fan-tards)? Even just by DELAYING a fix like this they’ve probably lost tons of customers who were going to pay for the product instead of downloading it.

Congratulations to all the people who “acquired” the game through alternate sources than paying Ubisoft.

As we all know UBI loves to blame PC game delays on piracy. Clearly it’s not a piracy issue, it’s an incompetence issue. This game is NOT finished

– Forum User

I must point out their lovely “workarounds” as well… oh right, because they’re too incompetent to release a product which works for gamers computers (probably their target market) who usually will have multiple input devices attached. In order to play the game, I will need to:

  • The game is running with keyboard/mouse OR gamepad. In order to lay with the Keyboard/mouse you should remove all other peripherals (game pads, joysticks, wheels etc).
  • If you had a controller installed on the PC please try to uninstall the controller drivers.

So…. it’s bad enough I have to go to the back of my computer cabinet to unhook/hook up any other input devices than my keyboard/mouse before and after gameplay, but I even need to uninstall my drivers? Good lord!

Fix your god damn product and because of your incompetence, I really hope most people will avoid buying your shoddy software and just pirate it… just like you deserve. They’ll probably use this as an excuse to go back to DRM… lol!

Eyes on SOPA/PIPA and the US Government

Though this post is hardly period-related, I thought I’d bring alight an internet concern that has plagued news headlines for the past while across the world. I’m sure some of you have guessed this is related to SOPA and PIPA legislation which is passing through congress in United States. As much as I am not exactly a “fan” of Americans to begin with, the actions of their chosen government promotes even more reason to hate their country. I’m not sure how far I stand on the “anti-American” scale and judging from many of my visitors probably being from the US, this is not going to be a very popular stance I’m taking, but since people have a right to enjoy/not read my blog, I allow myself to make a less-than-nice statement about the country which brought forth such a devastating blow to internet freedom.

For those who are aware of these legislation, you’re probably also well aware some of the worlds biggest online presence websites such as Wikipedia, Boing Boing, WordPress, Reddit, Imgur, Mojang, and Tucows will be blacking out their sites on January 18th in opposition to these bills. Below is Wikipedia’s letter to its’ users on their intent to support the blackout and denounce the direction which the “industry” and American government wants.

You can read the original post here.

To: English Wikipedia Readers and Community
From: Sue Gardner, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director
Date: January 16, 2012

Today, the Wikipedia community announced its decision to black out the English-language Wikipedia for 24 hours, worldwide, beginning at 05:00 UTC on Wednesday, January 18 (you can read the statement from the Wikimedia Foundation here). The blackout is a protest against proposed legislation in the United States – the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate – that, if passed, would seriously damage the free and open Internet, including Wikipedia.

This will be the first time the English Wikipedia has ever staged a public protest of this nature, and it’s a decision that wasn’t lightly made. Here’s how it’s been described by the three Wikipedia administrators who formally facilitated the community’s discussion. From the public statement, signed by User:NuclearWarfare, User:Risker and User:Billinghurst:

It is the opinion of the English Wikipedia community that both of these bills, if passed, would be devastating to the free and open web.
Over the course of the past 72 hours, over 1800 Wikipedians have joined together to discuss proposed actions that the community might wish to take against SOPA and PIPA. This is by far the largest level of participation in a community discussion ever seen on Wikipedia, which illustrates the level of concern that Wikipedians feel about this proposed legislation. The overwhelming majority of participants support community action to encourage greater public action in response to these two bills. Of the proposals considered by Wikipedians, those that would result in a “blackout” of the English Wikipedia, in concert with similar blackouts on other websites opposed to SOPA and PIPA, received the strongest support.
On careful review of this discussion, the closing administrators note the broad-based support for action from Wikipedians around the world, not just from within the United States. The primary objection to a global blackout came from those who preferred that the blackout be limited to readers from the United States, with the rest of the world seeing a simple banner notice instead. We also noted that roughly 55% of those supporting a blackout preferred that it be a global one, with many pointing to concerns about similar legislation in other nations.

In making this decision, Wikipedians will be criticized for seeming to abandon neutrality to take a political position. That’s a real, legitimate issue. We want people to trust Wikipedia, not worry that it is trying to propagandize them.

But although Wikipedia’s articles are neutral, its existence is not. As Wikimedia Foundation board member Kat Walsh wrote on one of our mailing lists recently,

We depend on a legal infrastructure that makes it possible for us to operate. And we depend on a legal infrastructure that also allows other sites to host user-contributed material, both information and expression. For the most part, Wikimedia projects are organizing and summarizing and collecting the world’s knowledge. We’re putting it in context, and showing people how to make to sense of it.
But that knowledge has to be published somewhere for anyone to find and use it. Where it can be censored without due process, it hurts the speaker, the public, and Wikimedia. Where you can only speak if you have sufficient resources to fight legal challenges, or if your views are pre-approved by someone who does, the same narrow set of ideas already popular will continue to be all anyone has meaningful access to.

The decision to shut down the English Wikipedia wasn’t made by me; it was made by editors, through a consensus decision-making process. But I support it.

Like Kat and the rest of the Wikimedia Foundation Board, I have increasingly begun to think of Wikipedia’s public voice, and the goodwill people have for Wikipedia, as a resource that wants to be used for the benefit of the public. Readers trust Wikipedia because they know that despite its faults, Wikipedia’s heart is in the right place. It’s not aiming to monetize their eyeballs or make them believe some particular thing, or sell them a product. Wikipedia has no hidden agenda: it just wants to be helpful.

That’s less true of other sites. Most are commercially motivated: their purpose is to make money. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a desire to make the world a better place – many do! – but it does mean that their positions and actions need to be understood in the context of conflicting interests.

My hope is that when Wikipedia shuts down on January 18, people will understand that we’re doing it for our readers. We support everyone’s right to freedom of thought and freedom of expression. We think everyone should have access to educational material on a wide range of subjects, even if they can’t pay for it. We believe in a free and open Internet where information can be shared without impediment. We believe that new proposed laws like SOPA and PIPA, and other similar laws under discussion inside and outside the United States, don’t advance the interests of the general public. You can read a very good list of reasons to oppose SOPA and PIPA here, from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Why is this a global action, rather than US-only? And why now, if some American legislators appear to be in tactical retreat on SOPA?

The reality is that we don’t think SOPA is going away, and PIPA is still quite active. Moreover, SOPA and PIPA are just indicators of a much broader problem. All around the world, we’re seeing the development of legislation intended to fight online piracy, and regulate the Internet in other ways, that hurt online freedoms. Our concern extends beyond SOPA and PIPA: they are just part of the problem. We want the Internet to remain free and open, everywhere, for everyone.

  Make your voice heard!

On January 18, we hope you’ll agree with us, and will do what you can to make your own voice heard.

Sue Gardner,
Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation

It seems like America has too much time on their hands or perhaps, just want to find ways to mess with the world legal system (because really, why should other countries care or abide by your shitty laws?) or rob citizens of their money. I wonder how many people they hire to spin this to make it sound like it will “benefit the average person” rather than hinder. I think America right now needs some more natural disasters to deal with, because the government sure has a lot of petty time on their hands. Perhaps they need more terrorists attacking them or something similar to 9-11 to let them know people aren’t happy with this. Whatever catastrophe’s happen to the US in the near future, they’re totally deserving of it. I’d be happy right now to wake up tomorrow morning and see not SOPA-related stuff on the news, but that perhaps that their country has been hit by cyber-criminals from China or a nuclear meltdown. In my prayers tonight, I will not be praying for a sound sleep, but in hopes that the US will be taught a lesson by the world not to try to break the world as much as it already is and perhaps concentrate on fixing the economy (by not robbing your citizens money due to “copyright” crimes) and creating a respectful country like it once was. I wasn’t born hating Americans, in fact, Americans used to be who I considered to be Canada’s greatest friend (beyond military and trade means), but that when I saw Americans in Canada, I’d be nice to them. Now when I see them on our highways, I try to run them off the road (especially if they’re speeding/driving recklessly because they think as an American, they can ignore Canadian-law), when I see them at tourist locations, I give them no respect, when I see “bad things” happen to the US, in the back of my mind I’m grinning and thinking “those suckers deserve it.” I loved Americans at one point in my life, but they have shown me too many times they’re not worth respecting.

Yes, perhaps I’m petty as well, but so is the US when they come up with things that stop the world from advancing. Sooner or later, they’ll turn into North Korea and China who monitor the breakfast you’re eating in the morning to how many shits you take a day. Hey wait, aren’t those countries the one that US detest the most for oppressing their citizens of free speech and uncensored internet connectivity? If the laws do get passed, US, you’re welcome to govern stuff in your own shitty country, but don’t impose laws on Canada and internationally where you don’t own dick all. I need to see if I can find toilet paper with the US flag printed on it so I can wipe my ass after I take a rancid shit.

Seasons Greeting & Merry Christmas 2011

I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone Seasons Greetings and/or Merry Christmas from the Men In Menstruation team.

For those of you who got or already have your period today, congratulations! I hope your period treats you well as it’s a beautiful gift to have over the holidays. If your partner starts her period today and you’re a menstrual fan like me, I’m sure that this is a better Christmas present than anything money can buy 🙂

If you’ve delayed getting gifts, consider buying some reusable feminine hygiene products this year or perhaps to vouch that in the new year 2012 that converting or at least trying a reusable menstrual protection is on your list of things to do!!

Have a safe one, everyone!

Interesting Thoughts For Holidays

You know, holidays always brings along interesting thoughts. It’s Christmas Eve here in Ontario, with only a mere few hours away to 2011’s Christmas.

Last year, this time, Bebe told me (she was in Malaysia at the time and I was visiting in Hong Kong) that she’d come to Hong Kong to meet up with me. When she sent me her itinerary, I seriously thought I was in heaven. I was blessed, excited, thrilled and felt like I was on top of the world. For the 5 days which Bebe stayed in Hong Kong with me, it was amazing and undoubtedly for the my entire lively existence could be the best week so far. Holidays, draw upon many of our memories thinking of the past and potential futures. Likewise, this will be the 5th year that my dad has not been with us. Though his physical presence is no longer here, his memories still live on in all of us and as well a reminder not to be sad, but to cherish all the time we had.

This year, will also be my first year that one of my ex’s has decided to ignore me. I know I skipped out on plans with her as a result of my mom’s health issues. I tried explaining to her, but apparently that wasn’t enough to convince her that I had a legitimate reason to lose a plan. I understand her being upset, particularly because I’m one of those people who absolutely hate it when people lose plans on ME or aren’t punctual with a set time. I can definitely give grace for situations where there were uncontrollable situations or changes with matter of life-and-death. To be honest, I do quite miss my ex’s presence and though we only touched base once in a while, she was and is still a very important person in my life. Though we may be separated for many years again, perhaps one day we will meet up again.

Christmas is a time to rejoice, both to enjoy happy times but also to reflect on the bad. Not everything in life is happy and I know several friends and family who have even lost someone special in their life this year. However, we can continue to make the best of our life and to honour those we have lost by keeping them close to our hearts.

I also want to make this Christmas great, by reminding myself that one year ago, how special Bebe made me vacation to Hong Kong (which normally rocks already) by visiting me. She took the time, effort and money, to come meet me and make my holiday a shining one. I also want to thank her mother and father, for raising such a wonderful daughter and hope one day, they will entrust me with her in my arms. I also want to remember my deceased father who along with my living mother, gave life to me to enjoy and make this very blog entry this day. I want my ex, “L” to know that despite her ignoring of me and being upset with my lack of responsiveness to plans, that I still do miss her a lot and her status within my heart hasn’t changed.

On a happy note for me, I went to visit one of my god-sis’ today and when I got to her house, she jumped on my back (because she’s considerably younger than me) and told me excitedly she got her period this morning. She loves it when she can give me good news like that, so I smiled and gave her her present 🙂 It made my day nicer! 😆

Seasons greetings and have a safe & happy holiday!

Making Your Washroom “Girl” Friendly – Toilet Etiquette

With the holidays arriving quickly upon us, many of us will be traveling from location to location, either hosting a party or being a guest of a party. One thing that one of my friends recently approached me about, was how to make a washroom “girl-friendly”. I do attest that with many of my male friends, particularly those who lived off-campus with a bunch of guys or on his own, that their washrooms tend not to be girl-friendly. Of course washroom etiquette goes beyond whether the toilet is friendly for females, but just general hygienic practice is equally important. Unless that particular bathroom is not going to be available for guests, it’s important that guys keep some thoughts in mind if you plan on having girls over, or rather, if you plan on having them over ever again.

One key thing that most “male” washrooms neglect is a trash bin. Other than just the obvious disposal of tampons, tampon applicators, pads and pad wrappers, many women also opt to discard used toilet paper (non-excrement ones) in the trash rather than in the toilet. This is more true for those who have older houses who know that one-too-much toilet paper into the commode will usually get it clogged. Most of the girls I know and have actually ran this by do say they prefer disposing their pee-wipe toilet paper into the trash rather than in the toilet. Only 2 of them told me they “dispose it in the toilet all the time”. As I have noticed, washrooms in male-oriented living quarters tend to lack trash bins… I suppose one could argue that we have no ‘need’ for one for ourselves as any time we need to wipe is usually when we defaecate and not generally for pee-wiping.

Many of my girls have told me they dislike going to male-only households for this reason, because while pitching used toilet paper in the commode and flushing is a reasonable expectation, I can definitely tell you that pads do not belong in the toilet whatsoever. I have had to help a friend unclog a toilet before because his girlfriend couldn’t find a trash in his washroom, so she attempted to flush it down the toilet. Though most modern toilets and sewage systems will marginally deal with pads, you’re not going to get lucky every time. By providing a trash bin, you allow a girl to discretely dispose of her used products rather than trying to ‘hide’ it by flushing it down the toilet. If you’ve never had the experience before, plumbing work is very expensive. Please provide a trash receptacle of some sort in the washroom, better yet have a lid on it. Speaking of which for the guys, for your own trash emptying sake, you might want to use a bag so that you can close your eyes, tie it up and take it to the trash after.

The following recommendation doesn’t necessarily apply just to making a washroom girl-friendly, but might even be applicable for the guys. If you plan on having guest over, particularly when there are lots of women (because let’s face it, most of us would agree/admit that households with more women tend to consume toilet paper at a MUCH quicker rate than an all-male household). As long as you have space to spare in your washroom, ensure the toilet paper roll is regularly available and to always keep 1-2 in an accessible and open area, unless you know the guest well enough where they’d rummage through your drawers to get spares. I will usually keep 2 extra rolls of toilet paper right on top of the commode, above the water tank. Here’s an extra thought for you too, though I kind of experienced this (sadly) in a public washroom. Before using that particular stall, I didn’t check to see if there was actually toilet paper available – or well, enough of it. After finishing up my duties, I went to get toilet paper and sure enough, there was a questionable amount left. If you’re hosting parties at your own place, try to always ensure that there is an ample amount of toilet paper available, because no one wants (or wants to see someone) to waddle or scream from the washroom for toilet paper to wipe!

If you can, provide a fixed air-fresheners or a spray. Many of us would say we “over eat” during the holiday seasons, so then we all know, “What goes in, must come out.” In a house that only has one or two available washrooms for guest, make sure that the revolving doors of visitors don’t have to face the last persons stench. I know, I know… our bodies shouldn’t be shunned, but most of us don’t excrete rose-petals either. Pads or tampons which are not properly disposed and allow prolonged contact with open-air may emanate a smell, so if you’re not providing a close-lid trash, then the air freshener will help to mask any dried-period smell coming from the used products.

Clean up after yourself, because I’ve seen some very raunchy male toilets before. We, I’ve seen toilet seats covered in pubic hair and toilet bowls that doesn’t seem like they’ve ever been cleaned. Also, as a penis-owner, I can say we don’t always have “full control” – or rather, water dynamics can be a very interesting thing. For girls who don’t have brothers/father/male family members living in the same household or who are just super-hygienic will sometimes cringe at the thought of pee-droplets all over the toilet. I remember one of my girls came over had to actually ask my mom to wipe the toilet for her before she could go – because apparently, it is OK for my mom to taint her hands wiping it, but not her. Of course I knew it wasn’t my pee because I have a habit of making sure “pee spray” is cleaned up due to training by my bebe 😆 Even bebe having 4 brothers, she still can’t stand when pee flies everywhere so I’m also extra diligent about splash-back when using her toilet. Don’t forget that many girls sit on the toilet when they go, so clean up the seat to the point where even you would sit on it (unless you’re a really dirty person). If you can’t do that, perhaps consider providing those toilet seat covers.

Looking to be extra girl-friendly then consider leaving accessible pads and tampons in the washroom so that one of your visitors caught off-guard doesn’t have to make it “public knowledge” that her period has arrived. Plus, no one wants to spoil the mood of the party or have to leave just because their visitor dropped in for a visit! I know 2 of my friends who really dislike having girls over who don’t seem to know how to “wrap and dispose” their stuff properly, so they even provide small brown paper bags for girls to throw their stuff in before dropping it into the trash. To me, that’s overkill and probably being environmentally unfriendly – but to each their own. I can stand the sight of a used, opened-pad and tampon without getting all queasy, but I can also understand that people don’t generally like looking at someones (or even their own) liquids. For the girls: If you consider flushing your tampons or if you’re on your period, please try to make sure the tampon is actually whisked away on the first flush and that your menstrual flow and clots don’t come back up. Again, not something that bothers me, but something that definitely bothers most guys to see 😛

Keep your ‘questionable’ products hidden. I know that in the end, your washroom is your washroom, but if you have girls visiting (and particularly if you’re trying to make a good impression), it is a good idea to “keep it clean”. If you normally leave stuff like porno magazines, lube, sex toys or whatnot in the washroom, it may be a good idea to conceal them well. I’m sure not too many girls would imagine you don’t masturbate, BUT, sometimes it is a matter of “out of sight, out of mind” – because a girl probably doesn’t want to be going pee and seeing your lube and toys on the counter top.

I know that when you live alone or with other guys, letting things get “out of shape” can be very easy and reversing that, takes a lot of work. I remember going to my guy friend’s house who had 4 guys living in it, sharing a single bathroom. I was afraid to touch anything in that bathroom, worried that if I did, I’d probably get a handful of pubes or that white soap may not actually be… soap. There were clear indications that no one wiped anywhere after peeing, since there were dried pee-spots all over the floor and splashes against the seat. That washroom was barely me-friendly, let alone for most girls (and I have a pretty high tolerance as it stands) to even think about relieving themselves there.

If you have any further thoughts or considerations, please feel free to comment or let me know 😀

DON’T TOUCH That Feminine Hygiene!

So the title is probably bit more “umpf” than the entry that’s to follow… I told Bebe this morning the story and she got a kick out if it – she even gave me one of those really mischievous smirks (which are damn rare) so I thought I’d share with the world if it’s enough to amuse her. For those who are not aware, Shoppers Drug Mart, had Sunday & Monday sale for Stayfree Pads, Carefree Liners or O.B. Tampons for $1.99 (up to a limit of 4 I believe). By the time most people read this, the sale would already be long over, lest places that have time-difference or you’re willing to scrounge a 24-hour one.

Anyways, yesterday night I went with my mom to SDM to buy some eggs and milk, the typical “household fridge necessities” and then as we were lining up for the cash, I noticed one of those “bargain bins” where it listed that any items contained within were either $1 or $2. I started to sift through them and then I picked up a box of the new “Kleenex Cool Touch” tissue. I had ordered some samples in the mail so thought I’d just point it out to my mom that these were the ones I was talking about. She started getting all wound up about it and was like (hard to explain the actual reaction), “What?!! Why are you touching that box? Stop playing with feminine hygiene products! Are you buying it for bebe? If not, put the box down.” Obviously this is a translation since my mom was freaking out at me in Cantonese. I was like, “Umm… what are you talking about? This is tissue.” The funny thing though is when I picked it up, I had already known it was tissue, but when she began to freak out on me, for just a moment, I actually doubted myself whether I actually DID pick up a box of feminine hygiene products (because since I do buy them), but then I double checked and realized I picked up just a tissue box. My mom starts mumbling because I proved her wrong and she got all wound up about nothing.

Now to be honest, the box DOES look rather like a pad or tampon box, but I think she should’ve actually looked closer before raising hell about it. Trust me, it wasn’t just a simple thing she said, I could tell by the tone, loudness and speediness of her voice that she was wondering why I’d be buying feminine hygiene products, but luckily even if I was, now that I have bebe, I can at least put it on her tab and say I’m buying for her 😆 Here’s a picture of the Kleenex Brand – Cool Touch tissue:

Kleenex: Cool Touch (Facial Tissue)

Kleenex: Cool Touch (Facial Tissue)

I was slightly annoyed that she’d get all worked up over that, whether it was feminine hygiene or not, but conservative Asian moms will always be, conservative Asian moms.

On another note, today I had to travel to 5 SDM’s to get the pads and liners which bebe wanted (yes, they are actually for her this time 😛 – not for my girls to test). She wanted 3 packs and I managed to find 2 at one of the initial stores. Finally I went to one by my house, in a “smaller” and “less populated” area of town where luckily the shelves were still very much intact. The other 3 stores ran completely out-of-stock, just for the kind she likes… seems rather popular I guess. It seemed like there was every other Stayfree pad available, all except our fav as there was a huge hole in the shelf where they were placed, bummer… and at this price, it hasn’t happened in like 4 months so time to stock up while we can! I even went to SDM with one of my female coworkers so that was rather fun. She did want to buy some O.B. tampons, but she didn’t really have a place to hide them as she forgot her purse and her car was driven by her husband today. I suppose if she really wanted to, there are tons of places to hide them until the end-of-the-day, but she also had preference towards the U by Kotex tampons so even at such an attractive price for O.B. she still couldn’t take the dive.

Well I accomplished a lot today anyways, got 3 packs of Stayfree pads and 1 pack of Carefree liners to stock up bebe’s pad drawer! Counting down the days already to my sweetie’s period already 🙂 Just wish she had shorter cycles, lol!

Looks of Disgust, Jealousy or Perversion?

For those of you who are avid shoppers and have access to a Walmart, you would know that this past week was Walmart’s anniversary. As such, they featured many low-price products and paired with back-to-school and back-IN-school sales, they attracted many shoppers of all ages and gender. As I was walking through Walmart, it was almost like wading through the streets of a busy night in Hong Kong, pushing through throngs of people to get at the “sale bins”. Clearly Walmart was prepared, because many of the sale items were constantly available as I watched the associates fill the shelves again and again as the masses of people stepped away, revealing gaping holes where products used to sit. Of those sales, Walmart featured an assortment of Always pads, liners and Tampax tampons for $2.87/ea – however, with a limit of 6. Obviously if you have those families that have many females in the house, whether living with relatives or with many daughters, girls had stacked boxes and packages at the checkout counter. Let’s face it, a family with 3 girls (let’s just say a mother and 2 daughters), that’s already EIGHTEEN packs of pads/tampons that they would be eligible to buy within the limits.

I swear, while the prices of pads or tampons haven’t decreased, it seems like the quantity of them slowly get chipped away. For instance, the original Stayfree line had more pads per package than the current Thermocontrol series, even though the overall pricing structure hasn’t changed. I can understand developing newer products and technology costs money and that shoppers may be turned off at a price hike, but let’s not assume people buying stuff are blind. We know that every package, there’s a few less before and the price of the package is still the same. That morning, when I got to work, I noticed my Brandsaver coupons had arrived, one of which was a 75-cents off any Always product. Given that the only other sale of Always products I’ve seen so cheap was $2.77 (only on 2 days of the week though), I figured $2.87 -0.75 would be a pretty good price to pick up some pads and tampons. Since the other day I only recently stocked up a variety of pads to revisit and tampons to have one of my girls test for me, I was not in need of them. But as usual, I always have my girls and girlfriend in mind and since bebe isn’t a big Always fan, I decided to check up on some of my other girls to see if they needed a restock!

While I always feel comfortable when it comes to being in the feminine hygiene aisle or that I’m a part of my girls’ purchasing decision, I never flaunt my status loudly. Again, I love the fact my girls allow me to be part of their menstrual lives, so in public I never make a huge deal out of it. I also respect the general public where I know that menstruation and purchasing products is a very taboo thing, particularly when there’s a male presence. Therefore I still try to ensure that the people around me aren’t affected by undue pressure or embarassment. I picked up my cell phone while standing in front of the Tampax bin and quietly, but audibly asked one of my girls if she needed tampons. A few heads turned and because this was in the open-floor and not the aisle (because they were in bargain sections, not in the usual feminine hygiene “corner”), there were young, old, male, female and everyone in between who took a double-take to what I said over the phone. I know I’m Asian, but I also didn’t shout in my phone, but in such a tight environment because of such a busy day, people were close enough to hear. I remember my exact words, “Hey [friend’s name], I’m at Walmart right now and I noticed they have some Tampax Supers on sale… the umm.. cardboard ones, are you interested in me getting some for you?

The looks I received, I couldn’t quite make out the thoughts running through people’s heads. I know that people depending on upbringing, age and culture, all see male-participation in menstruation very differently. I know for one thing my dad would go with my mom to buy these products, but would not carry them and would often tell my mom to stop swinging her bags if they had pads in them, because it would attract too much humiliating attention. Likewise, the older guys in my family would definitely not even be present to buy such products or even recognize the existence of feminine hygiene supplies. For me, periods are something to be loved, cherished and an opportunity for us guys to show a bit of care and extra pampering. Suffice to say, my friend said she was actually running low and would love it if I could buy a few boxes for her and she’d pay me back. While some finished looking, others pretty much watched me and listened in on the entire conversation I had over the phone… perhaps they were interested in why I seem to have no gripes about buying tampons so openly or that I would be the one to initiate an offer to my friend if she needed some. I smiled and said, “Sure. After I get them, I’ll drop them off in an hour or so, is that ok?” and then the call ended. I picked up 4 boxes, cradled them in my arm and walked around for a bit more before going to checkout and getting in my car.

Throughout that time, I asked myself, when people looked at me, was it a look of disgust, jealousy or even perversion? There’s been a few times when I’ve had female sales clerks or cashiers, that they seemed pleasantly surprized seeing my proactiveness or just willingness to carry around pads/tampons without sheltering them. On the occasion where the staff are feeling brave, they’ve even commented on how “lucky your girlfriend or wife must be” even though there are times I were buying them for myself, for one of my girls or whatnot. Surely, I know bebe appreciates that I can openly purchase these products with her and that she never needs to be afraid to ask me to buy them, or buy them in my presence. Ask yourself, the last time you saw a guy buying feminine hygiene products: what were your thoughts? Was it, “ewww, that’s so gross…” or “Aw, that’s nice of him…” or “Gee, I wonder what he does with those..”

If you’re an Always or Tampax fan and have access to a Walmart, the sale ends in 2 days so get them quick!

Thunderstorm/Tornado Warning for Ontario – August 24, 2011

RED ALERTS
August 24, 2011 9:53 PM
THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO HAS ISSUED A “RED ALERT”

DUE TO A TORNADO WARNING IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO

Emergency Situation: Environment Canada has issued a Tornado Warning in an area described as:
  • RODNEY – SHEDDEN – WESTERN ELGIN COUNTY – ST. THOMAS – AYLMER – EASTERN ELGIN COUNTY – CITY OF HAMILTON – BURLINGTON – OAKVILLE – HALTON HILLS – MILTON – MISSISSAUGA – BRAMPTON
  • WOODSTOCK – TILLSONBURG – OXFORD COUNTYBRANTFORD – COUNTY OF BRANT
  • SARNIA – PETROLIA – WESTERN LAMBTON COUNTY
  • MOUNT FOREST – ARTHUR – NORTHERN WELLINGTON COUNTY – HANOVER – DUNDALK – SOUTHERN GREY COUNTY
  • STRATHROY- KOMOKA WESTERN MIDDLESEX COUNTY  LONDON – PARKHILL – EASTERN MIDDLESEX COUNTY
  • LISTOWEL – MILVERTON – NORTHERN PERTH COUNTY.
  • WATFORD – PINERY PARK – EASTERN LAMBTON COUNTY WINGHAM – BLYTH – NORTHERN HURON COUNTY SAUGEEN SHORES – KINCARDINE – SOUTHERN BRUCE COUNTY
Recommended Actions: Emergency Management Ontario recommends that persons in the area described above IMMEDIATELY shelter. Everyone in this area should immediately move indoors, and away from doors and windows, preferably into a basement area if that is possible. Do not pick up family members from schools, daycares and institutions such as hospitals and nursing homes. Plans are in place to protect them. People currently outside this area are advised not to enter this area until further notice. If it is safe to do so, pets and livestock should be removed quickly from outside.
Do not call 911 for information about this emergency.

Information is quoted from: http://www.emergencymanagementontario.ca/english/home.html

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