Saturday, November 08, 2008

2106 Freeze

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's 55 outside. There is no wind, the air is still. I am inside, in the den, laboring over a hot laptop. I am wearing a long-sleeved turtleneck sweater, slacks, knee socks, and closed shoes. The thermostat says it's 73 in the living room, right around the corner.

I'm FREEZING! My hands, feet, and nose are icy. I'll need a thicker bra if anyone visits.

I don't understand.

I'm gonna hate winter.

2105 Ladies Only

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Males who found their way here should wander away now, or pass it over to their ladies.

[Later edit - On second thought, men should read the material at the links, here and most especially absolutely here. The Man seems to know this stuff by instinct, and you should too. Highly recommended.]

I'm sure this rates as TMI, but it's the surprising results of a little research I did today, out of curiosity, engendered by some experiences I've had over the past 18 months. I wish I had known some of this stuff decades ago.

Like most women, I wondered if I was "average", or "normal". Did I look right "down there"? Like most women, I'd never seen what other women looked like. There were photos and drawings in "your body" type books, but, uh, they never looked like me, so instead of helping, they made me wonder even more.

I had asked a few men along the years, and they all said yeah sure, you're just fine, but first off most of them had very little experience, one, two, or three other women, and second, I suspect that's considered a question of the "do these pants make me look fat" variety, which made me rather shy about anyone getting close enough to actually look at the fool thing.

I had asked some female doctors during the Pap test, and they always assured me I was perfectly normal. But then, they were the same ones that told me that the long curly black hair that I had to tweeze from around my nipples was normal, too. It felt too much like "there's nothing we can do with this mess anyway, so let's just pat her on the head and send her on her way, poor disfigured thing".

With the internet and Google, now we can check out lots of pictures, and read all kinds of things we'd never know how to find in a library.

And guess what? It turns out I'm not normal, in several ways, and mostly not the ways I thought.

My labia majora are unusually large and thick. I remember that when I was young, I always wore bathing suits with a straight modesty panel (which doesn't exist any more), or with a skirt, because when my tummy is flat, the mons is very obvious, prominent.

My labia minora are almost non-existent. There's a lot of tissue up around the clitoris, there's a lot of hood, perhaps even an excessive amount, but then they thin and disappear almost immediately. They don't reach even as far as the urethra. This is apparently very unusual. I've found nothing similar anywhere.

In all those other pictures or drawings, you could see the clitoris. Mine is invisible, so well buried that when it's asleep, it's difficult to locate, so I assumed I was unusually small there. It turns out it's the large thick labia majora and excess hood that hides it. In actual fact, according to the size ranges here, mine's not small at all. In fact, the head and shaft are more than twice the length and twice the width of the top numbers of the "average" ranges.


The article says that they get larger with age, but I haven't noticed that much change since I first discovered it, and I think their numbers include post-menopausal women anyway.

So yeah, I'm not "normal".

I found out something interesting that I didn't know before, but should have expected. I was aware that the clitoris contains the same corpus cavernosum arrangements as the penis, and recently discovered it's capable of quite impressive erection. And we all know that the male penis doesn't stop at the junction of the penis and belly - it keeps on going and can be felt for some distance behind the scrotum. But I never wondered how far the clitoral corpus cavernosum extended.

Both versions of the corpus cavernosum bifurcate near the far end. I don't know where the male version bifurcates or where the ends go, but the female version splits near the base, passes on either side of the urethra, and extends along the sides of the vaginal entrance. That's cool! And it explains that firmness and swelling I'd noticed in those areas down the sides when things get interesting.

This site (which is also linked from the earlier one) addresses female ejaculation, the what, why, and how, the female prostate and the G-Spot, better than any other explanation I've seen.

Explore. Then, "Ladies, start your engines!"

Friday, November 07, 2008

2104 Stories Behind the Curtains

Friday, November 7, 2008

When I travel at night, I look at house windows as I pass. Sometimes the curtains are open and I can see decorations on walls, a flickering television set, or a dining room chandelier. Rarely actual people, unless there's a party with people standing around.

But the ones that fascinate me are the houses with lights on, and closed curtains. I always wonder what stories are behind the curtains. Every house has a story, and some of the stories are horrifying, and very likely no one but the people in the house knows.

When I was young, I was always surprised at how many people really liked my parents. They were very popular. They described my father as funny and intelligent, and my mother as beautiful and caring. They didn't know what went on behind the curtains. There was no fun, and no caring. Quite the opposite.

It has affected my reactions to people. I don't trust my first impressions when people seem just too nice. I can't help but wonder what they're hiding. Sometimes people have curtains inside, too.

When I first met Jay, I thought he had lived an idyllic childhood - in the same house the whole time, in a beautiful neighborhood, neighbors he'd known all his life, the same schoolmates, a close financially comfortable family who took family vacations and did things together, parents who wanted the best for him, a mother who was a gourmet cook and magazine-perfect housekeeper. It sounded like a '50s family sitcom.

It was so different from my childhood, I was foolish enough to envy him.

That was just how it looked from the outside. Behind the curtains, Jay's mother had experienced postpartum depression, and had rejected him for most of his first year. It looks like his sisters weren't very involved with him either, because they can't remember much of his youth. His father belittled him whenever Jay made a decision or did something in a way different from the way he would have done it. If Jay didn't think exactly the way his father did, his father told him he was stupid (literally! I have heard him say "That's stupid" to comments from Jay) and took the decision or project away from him, and did it himself, including school science fair entries. Going through the files after Jay's father's death, I discovered that Jay's father had filled out all the applications, and had written all the letters and all the essays for all the various summer classes and internships, camps, and schools Jay had applied for, including college. Jay then copied them over in his own handwriting. Obviously Jay was incapable of doing it himself to his father's standards.

I suspect the glow on the curtains hid a very cold atmosphere inside.

The result was that the adult Jay had great difficulty making decisions, and very little confidence. If he could hold something close to his chest, he was confident that it was good, but if he had to turn it over for someone else's judgment, he wasn't so sure. That's why he blew Company schedule after schedule. He was never sure his work was good enough to call it finished.

Jay also was not sure that he was worthy of love. At first, I saw that he was very attached to his mother. She died several years before we married, and later I came to realize that it was not so much that he was attached to her, as that he wanted her to be attached to him. The 45 year-old Jay had nightmares about her walking away from the child him, and not looking back, turning a corner and disappearing so that he couldn't find her.

Behind the curtains they weren't such a perfect family after all.

I wonder if there are any perfect families. I don't mean perfect perfect, I mean families where people aren't being damaged over and over.

In fact , I was fortunate in a way. My childhood home was so extreme that even as a child I knew it was wrong, that it wasn't at all the way it was supposed to be, so that eventually I was able to dump the feeling that it was all my fault. Jay's family's disfunction, on the other hand, was more subtle, and it was more difficult for him to push the faults and blame away from himself. He never did, actually. He died too soon. At least before he died, he did learn that he was worthy of love and admiration.

I was aware when I met The Man that because of my total lack of a tan and the depth of his tan, we would have had very different experiences, and that it would affect our different attitudes and responses. It does. We are both fairly intelligent, so there are a lot thinking patterns we have in common, and we are sometimes able to address the superficial things we don't. What I didn't realize is that some of those differences are very deep and pervasive, and I am having difficulty with them. He probably is, too. For example, he's very closed emotionally. He doesn't trust easily. He doesn't "let you in" easily. He withdraws when he's pressured or under stress. He's fiercely protective of himself (and me). I tend to see him as paranoid, until I back up and remember some of the things that have happened to him, and I understand where it comes from. That doesn't make it any easier, especially when a criticism of those patterns is taken as an attack on him. If it doesn't work out between us, it will be because of my need to be "inside", and his need to defend himself from that.

His curtains are all inside. It's probably not safe to open them.

2103 Thursday in Newburgh

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Man and I met in Newburgh last night, at one of his favorite karaoke bars. There were some other guys there, about the same age as The Man, who were very good. They kind of knew The Man from previous evenings, and last night they started having fun, backing each other up or dancing around whichever was singing.

I think he had a good time. I know I did, watching them.


I called Piper this morning, because we'd had a tentative lunch meeting set up, but mainly because yesterday I received a letter from New York State saying that I owed more on my taxes, and they're assessing penalties. I can't believe the 2008 tax crap isn't over YET!

He said he wasn't up for lunch, and would probably be leaving the office soon. Said he had terrific abdominal cramps. He said he'd call me in the afternoon to let me know how he was, but he didn't call. I drove past his office a little over an hour ago when I went to the post office, and his flag wasn't out, so I guess he did go home early. I hope he's ok.

Everywhere else, my world is completely blah.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

2102 Explanation of the experiment

Thursday, November 6, 2008

If you didn't listen to the previous post, the experiment, please do. I don't know how long it will be up.

He didn't tell me he was going to sing a second song that Saturday night, he didn't tell me what he was going to sing, and he didn't tell me it was recorded. It was a surprise on Monday, my birthday. This one is not one of the songs he usually sings, he said it's not one that karaoke crowds go for, so I guess it was 'specially selected. Forgive me if I think it has meaning.

He has an amazing voice. His speaking voice is soft, deep, and slightly rough, but when he sings, he takes on the voice, phrasing, and accent of the original artist. I don't know how he does it. When he sings Barry White, he sounds just like him. He sang Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" for me once, and sounded just like her. It's pretty incredible.

This is an experiment

I hope everyone can hear this - click on the inner "file" box (not the X!) - you may have to click twice.

(It'll repeat until you tell it to stop. I don't know how to change that. Also, the comments got lost when I replaced the previous experimental post with this one, so feel free to comment again if you like.)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

2101 Election night

Wednesday, November 5, 2008 - 1:10 am

I've been following the election results on network TV and online on CNN. The one state I'm very curious about is Alaska. I'd love to see how that one goes, but their polls didn't even close until ten minutes ago. I'm not going to wait up for them.

Something interesting I noticed. On the CNN website, at, they show the states in red or blue. You can click on a state and see the counties in that state in red or blue.

The very interesting thing is that in many states, whether it ended up red or blue, the rural counties are almost always red, and the metropolitan counties are almost always blue. Go to the site and click on Pennsylvania, and you'll see a stark example of what I mean. Erie, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Allentown, State College, all blue. The rest of the state, all red.

It would be easy to say "Oh, that's the Black vote" - except that Blacks are still a minority on a county basis. It really does look like city and suburban folk in general went blue, and country folk went red.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

2100 Crazy eBay

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'll go months with no problems on eBay, and then all of a sudden things go crazy, even with people I've bought from over and over. I don't understand. It's happened like that several times - months of no problem, then one problem after another over a short time.

I bought some sew-on doflinkies. The description said there were 30 in the package. The "hang on a display hook-type" package arrived still sealed, and it says "count: 30" on it. But I counted the doflinkies through the plastic, several times, several ways, and there are only 28 in the package. Three stacks - 9, 9, 10. It's obvious that the one stack is higher than the others.

I contacted the seller. He sells hundreds of these things, and he says he'd never heard that before. He wants me to send the package back and he'll replace it.

I bought an orange silk sari with gold stripes on the pallu and gold butis on the body. What arrived was an orange artificial silk sari with a turquoise and gold zari pallu.

I contacted the seller, and sent her a photo of what had arrived. She says she can't locate the sari I had bought, and she can't understand that I received a sari with a turquoise pallu, because she has never owned a sari with a turquoise pallu. I know it came from her, because there was a second sari in the same package that I HAD purchased from her. And it's not like I've mixed it up with another, because it's unlike any other I had ordered. She has refunded my payment, and said I can keep the sari, but I'd feel guilty about keeping it. I intend to return it to her. Maybe when she sees it she'll recognize it?

I bought a turquoise kurta with beading around the neckline. It arrived with beads missing, threads hanging, right at the front of the V-neck. I can't repair it easily by moving beads from the back, because the facing covers the stitching.

I sent the seller a scan of the damaged section, and she has refunded my payment in full and said I can keep the kurta anyway.

I bought a large number of bars of Coast Original Blue soap as a gift to The Man, who loves the stuff. Coast had replaced the Original Blue scent with Pacific Force scent a few years ago, and he doesn't like Pacific Force. Original Blue is next to impossible to find, so I was in extended communication with the seller as to whether she was sure it was really Original, and I checked with several other of her buyers who verified that what they had received was absolutely the original scent. When it arrived, the outer packaging said original blue. I gave one test bar to The Man a week ago, and he says it's Pacific Force, not the original. I guess I'm stuck with that purchase, because all I have is a handful of conflicting opinions. I've been trying to find Coast Pacific Force so I can conduct my own sniff comparison, but neither my local grocery store nor pharmacy seem to carry it.

This has all happened in the past week, after months of nothing but perfect transactions. Some of them, like the kurta and the sari, leave me feeling vaguely guilty.

Maybe the eBay gods are trying to tell me something?


Breaking news - the news station I'm watching has Obama taking Pennsylvania and Florida, which are significant to the outcome. On the other hand, that's with like 5% of the precincts reporting. I don't know how they can predict a victory on such a small sample.

2099 Election Day, TBBT, Boston Legal, other bits

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

12:42 pm. I overslept. Woke at 11 this morning. I went to bed at 11 last night, worked some crosswords and logic problems and fell asleep at about midnight, and had several nightmares. Strange. I woke myself up crying twice, choking once. I can't remember the dreams, but at least I'm certain they were not political.


I cracked up at Denny Crane's explanation last night on "Boston Legal" as to why he was voting for McCain: "salmon and sex". The northern salmon is in trouble. If McCain wins, all the intelligent people will move to Canada, thus raising the general IQ level of Canada, and all those smart people will figure out a way to save the salmon. And if McCain wins, all the women left in the US will be depressed, and "everyone knows" depressed women are easy. So it all comes down to spawning. Salmon and sex.

I love that show. But I strongly object to the depiction of the Asperger guy, Jerry. Asperger's Syndrome shows up in a variety of ways, but the show's writers have concentrated on the odd physical patterns, which they have carried to excess, while ignoring the low empathy, emotional paralysis, and inability to pick up social signals. He's not a typical Aspie any more than Denny Crane has Mad Cow. In fact, I think there's a lot more Tourette's syndrome and OCD than Asperger's in Jerry.

Viewers get the Mad Cow joke, but I'm afraid they don't see through the exaggerated and inaccurate Aspy depiction. For a better depiction of Asperger's, see Sheldon on "The Big Bang Theory" (Monday at 8 pm on CBS).


5:02 pm. I'm back. I voted. I'd heard so much about the long lines, but there were only three other people in line when I arrived. We're still using the mechanical lever machines, which is comforting (and the place I went to had only one machine). I split my vote all over the place. In the state and local elections I voted not so much for a particular candidate as against the one that had the nastiest commercials - sending my own message that nasty doesn't work with me. It happened to work that way in the presidential vote, too, but that wasn't the main criteria there.

I dropped off some dry cleaning - five silk sweaters, one silk blouse, $37. Ouch!

I arranged to have my snowthrower picked up for service. (I hate winter!)

I also stopped at the post office and the grocery store.

I forgot to stop at the bank. Well, I'll be fresh for that tomorrow.

Monday, November 03, 2008

2098 Bits

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tomorrow I have to yell at have a discussion with my bank (actually it's a credit union). I have multiple checking accounts there, which I use for different purposes. They require that you have a savings account for every checking account, so I opened the savings accounts and put a small amount in each. According to their documentation back when I opened them, they require a minimum of $5 in the savings. I have about $150 in each. I don't use savings accounts for savings - there are better places to put savings. I also have a money market account with them, which I use occasionally when I need to park large amounts of money that will be dribbling out over a few months. There's about $600 in that account right now.

Today I discovered that they have been assessing a "Low balance fee" of $1 a month on all those savings accounts, and $10 a month on the money market account! That's a load of bull poop, especially since they never mentioned any increase in the minimum!

Yeah, I get quarterly statements on the savings and money market, but I file them without looking at them, because there's no activity on them. I guess one has to look to make SURE there's no activity.


I went shopping today in a large store, at about 3:30 pm. I wandered around a long time. When I came out of the store I almost panicked! There was a TV show I wanted to watch on at 8 pm, and it was cold and full dark in the parking lot. I was sure I was late and wouldn't get home in time for my show.

Then I looked at my watch. 5:30. I hate winter.


I listened to NPR on the way home from shopping. They were talking about a gorgeous $260M glass cruise ship terminal built in Shanghai. The hope is that it will encourage tourism. Unfortunately, they built it inland above a bridge, and, um, it so happens that one third of the world's cruise ships won't fit under the bridge, and most of the others have to calculate tides and fiddle schedules to get under. Worse, of the newer ships currently being built, two thirds won't make it under. Story here.

I think it's a riot.


Another topic on NPR was an initiative somewhere, California?, on the ballot to legalize prostitution. A prostitute said that she had once been raped, and could not report it to the police, and since rapists know this, protitutes are always in danger. If her profession were legalized, then prostitutes would be safer.

My mind wandered off. I have to wonder about the conditions. Granted that there's a difference between on duty and off duty, if she's on duty at the time, at what point does it move from theft of services to rape? That's an old question, but I haven't heard a good answer yet.

2097 Mac on Vista

Monday, November 3, 2008

I'm starting to get really bugged by the Mac commercials that go on and on about the "problems" with Vista.

I've been on Vista for a bit over 18 months now, and I've had no problems, and have no complaints. None. Zero. Zip. **

I went directly from 98E to Vista, so I don't know what's different from NT. All I know is I'm quite satisfied. Granted, I don't do a lot of fancy stuff, but I'm all over the internet, and Vista has protected me just fine. The one time that I approved a download that I shouldn't have (and Vista warned me not to), and ended up with a supposedly unremovable virus, the backup/restore facility, which was very easy to use, got rid of it in short order.

I suspect that a lot of the "problems" are from people using applications that have not been upgraded to and are incompatible with Vista.

Mac is starting to sound a lot like McCain. If we have nothing to offer beyond history, well, let's just scare the customers away from the competition with vague "problems".


** Later - Well, actually, I do have one complaint. When you search for a file, the result presents the file to you, but doesn't tell you where it resides. Of course, that could be my problem - I just don't know how to find things, and haven't been concerned enough to find out.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

2096 Self Portrait, How To

Sunday, November 2, 2008

People often take their own picture by pointing the camera into a mirror. They usually end up with something like this (scarfed off an online dating profile, and yes, that was his only photo) -->

Hint: If you have a digital camera with the screen on the back, so you have to use a mirror somehow, do not point the camera at the mirror. Hold the camera to the side with the lens toward yourself, and the display screen toward the mirror. You can look at the screen in the mirror to frame, zoom in or out, and focus, and then click the button. Ta rah! No flash on the mirror.

2095 Cat Photos!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I took the new camera's book to bed with me last night, and installed the software this morning.

The photos are huge, 1.5 to 3.5 megabytes each! Now I have to figure out how best to size them. The camera will do it, but the photo I reduced in the camera according to their recommendation for posting on a website came out tiny. Gotta experiment a bit. Oh, and the card I bought is 4 G, not 4 M.

This is Jasper, under the buffet in the dining room (click on it to enlarge the photo). That's where he takes his toys for serious destruction. All that glitter behind him is the remains of a foil ball. The rolled up rug is a silk oriental waiting to go under the table. Note the nick in his right ear (Ears! We've got EARS!), and that he doesn't have stripes on his back - just salt 'n pepper. Tiny feet.

Jasper on my bed. Glorious whiskers. Yeah, he's getting fat. I'm surprised to see some faint striping on his back. Must be the flash brings it out.

Miss Thunderfoot, grooming.

Miss Thunderfoot. Her irises are unusual. Sometimes they're white, as in this photo, sometimes pale blue, pale green, or light yellow, depending on her mood and the ambient light. They always have the brown spots near the bottom. Note the long ear hairs - they get longer in the winter, and almost meet curled around the back of her head.

And that's my housemates.

2095 Patriotism

Sunday, November 2, 2008

On CBS' "Sunday Morning" today there was a discussion of patriotism, what it is, how it is defined. A poll showed that more Republicans than Democrats consider wearing a lapel flag pin, or saying the pledge of allegiance, to be patriotic, that one who does these things is by definition a patriot.

The focus of the segment was a man who defined patriotism as doing things to make the US a better place. It's not wearing a symbol, or saluting a flag, it's what you do.

There seems to be an attitude among conservatives that one has to support the government, right or wrong, to demonstrate patriotism. So Vietnam war protesters back when, and Iraq war protesters now (who are mostly quiet because of fear of retribution) are, by their definition, unpatriotic.

I am reminded of an incident in 1967. I was teaching math in a high school in Hanover, Pa., substituting for a teacher who'd died mid-year. A very bright girl, a senior with straight As, had declared in a speech given at a school assembly that she considered herself first and foremost a citizen of the world, and secondly an American. That the only way to achieve world peace is for everyone to realize that they are first and foremost citizens of the world, that we should all work for the health and happiness of all our fellow world citizens, and that blind insular local patriotism is detrimental to world peace.

She said that she knew everyone would forget her words as soon as the assembly was over, so in order to remind them, for the remainder of the school year she would not rise for and would not speak the pledge of allegiance with everyone else, not as an expression of disdain, but as a reminder that there is a higher call.

A few weeks later, the faculty voted her unanimously into the national honor society.**

The principal freaked. He called an after-school compulsory faculty meeting and ordered the teachers to vote her out. He pointed out that grades alone did not an honor student make, that citizenship and service to the school and community counted just as much, and he did not consider her a good citizen or an example for others to follow.

The teachers refused to change their votes.

That stupid principal called a one to two hour meeting after school every day! for something like a month and a half, during which we were not allowed to check homework, prepare lesson plans, grade papers, or anything else that teachers do every evening. We had to just sit there (children waiting at home be damned), and every half hour or so he'd ask if we were ready to change our vote.

You know, I don't remember the outcome, whether he finally prevailed or the teachers stood firm. But that was 1967, and back then, unlike today, people were ready to sacrifice for what they felt was morally right. What I vividly remember is that toward the end of the siege, the principal offered me the position full time for the next school year, and my response to him was, "Work for you? You have GOT to be kidding!"


**This was back in the days when honor societies meant something. I don't think it means much any more. There are local schools with 900 students, and when the newspaper prints the honors lists, 700 of them are on it. That "everybody gets a prize" mentality. I don't know what's wrong with the other 200. Maybe they're all in jail.