Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Top Books from 2008-2017

I've kept records on the number of books I read starting in college (2011-I apparently read 144. Ah, the joys of working a low stress retail job that let me read at the register.)

And with the end of the year coming faster than ever, here are some recs if you need some good reading.

2008
1. The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much?-Leslie Bennett
2. On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance-ed. Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar
3. She’s Not the Man I Married: My Life with a Transgender Husband-Helen Boyd
4. The Little School-Alicia Partnoy
5. Krik? Krak!-Edwidge Danticat
6. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle-Barbara Kingsolver

2009
1. Babylove: Choosing Motherhood After a Lifetime of Ambivalence-Rebecca Walker
2. This Common Secret: My Life as an Abortion Doctor-Susan Wicklund
3. Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics-Jennifer Baumgardner

2010
1.The Prisoner’s Wife-asha bandele
2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows-J.K. Rowling
3. A Year of Mornings: 3191 Miles Apart-Maria Alexandra Vettese
4. Are Prisons Obsolete?-Angela Y. Davis
5. Room: A Novel-Emma Donoghue

2011
1. American Vampire Series-Scott Synder/Rafael Albuquerque/Stephen King
2. Haiti Noir-edited by Edwidge Danticat
3. Locke & Key Volume Series-Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
4. Are You My Guru? How Medicine, Meditation, & Madonna Saved My Life-Wendy Shanker
5. the terrible stories (American Poets Continuum)-Lucille Clifton
6. Fat! So? Because You Don’t Have to Apologize for Your Size-Marilyn Wann
7. Shit My Dad Says-Justin Halpern

2012
1. Built Like That: The Word-Alix Olson
2. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World-Vicki Myron & Bret Witter
3. Etched On Me-Jenn Crowell
4. The Hunger Games series-Stephanie Collins

2013 
1. The Zero Waste Home-Bea Johnson
2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks-Rebecca Skloot

2014
1. Tiny Beautiful Things-Cheryl Strayed
2. You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too-Tammy Strobel
3. The End of Eve-Ariel Gore
4. Wild-Cheryl Strayed

2015
1. Dark Sky Society-Ailish Hopper
2. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up-Marie Kondo

2016
1. Spark Joy-Marie Kondo
2. Here’s the Plan-Allyson Downey
3. How to Have Your Second Child First: Kerry Colburn

2017
1. When Breath Becomes Air-Paul Kalanithi
2. March-Series-John Lewis
3. Cabin Porn
4. Station Eleven-Emily St. John Mandel
5. About What Was Lost-Jessica Berger Gross
6. Beautiful Ghetto-Devin Allen
7. Life’s Work-Willie Parker
8. We Were Witches-Ariel Gore
9. Expecting Better -Emily Oster
10. The Liberal Redneck Manifesto

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Top Re-Watchable Shows

In these absolute shit times, you need quality watching that won't let you down.


1. Ghost Whisperer-Come for the closure stories, stay for one of the best love stories ever. Jim Clancy & Melinda Gordon 4-ever






2. Leverage-Come for the boner justice, stay for the group dynamics.





3. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries-Come for the fabulous feminist detective, stay for the hilarious sass.





4. White Collar-Come for the great stories, stay for brothers Neal and Peter. Also, Neal's body.




5. Burn Notice-Come for the interesting spy tips, stay for friendship. And Bruce Campbell.





6. Marvel's Agent Carter-Come for the badass Hayley Atwell, stay for the badass Hayley Atwell.




7. Marvel's Agents of Shield-Come for the Marvel Universe, stay for Phil Goddamn Coulson.




8. Brooklyn 99-Come for Jake Peralta, stay for all of them.




9. Sherlock-Come for Benedict Cumberbatch, stay for Greg Lestrade.




10. The Walking Dead (Season 1 and 2 only) Come for the amazing pilot, stay only for the first two seasons because the rest is garbage and the writers are terrible and goddamnit, why couldn't they have kept Frank Darabont?!?





11. The Adventures of Brisco County Jr-Come for the Western feel, stay for Lord Bowler's sass



Sunday, May 27, 2018

Sunday Snippets: First Mother's Day

I had my first Mothers Day with a living two legged child recently. I have been a fur mom since 2011 and last year, I was still mourning the loss of a very wanted pregnancy. Motherhood is a mind fuck for sure but seeing my son coo and smile, even while tired, was beautiful.




Australia's 'Man With The Golden Arm' Retires After Saving 2.4 Million Babies

White Woman Calls Security on ‘Suspicious Man With a Baby’ at Park in Washington, DC

How to Break Up With Your Phone

Thursday, May 17, 2018

A birth story

It's been almost three months since I gave birth to our son and I wanted to get down some more feelings on the subject.

I didn't have the overwhelming rush of love that my mother had and logically, I knew that was okay, but emotionally I felt guilty. The weeks after I gave birth, I knew I liked the kiddo and I had the biological urge to make sure he didn't hurt himself, but I didn't have the gushy feelings.

I have them now, but not all the time. When he smiles delighted at me, as though I'm the most interesting person in the world. Or when he coos at me. Or grips my fingers while he's eating. Hubs and I both came to the same conclusion; that once he was born, we were supposed to transfer all of our love for each other, our hobbies, etc to him. When in fact we still very much like each other and our passions and our son is just another addition. I'm still Jillian, with another identity. Not Son's Mother, who used to be Jillian.

Not to mention that I was so raw from exhaustion and healing from the birth. Healing from a tear is awful. I had to have help to stand and the nurses warned me not to look. Not a problem, since I already knew what thrice diced lasagna looked like, although my wonderful husband assured me everything looked fine.

I think part of the issue was that I really really didn't like being pregnant. I liked feeling him kick and the hilarious shirts that I found. But being so sick at first, the horrible headaches, round ligament pain, etc, I mourn both the fact that I didn't get an enjoyable pregnancy experience and the fact that I feel like a jackass for being upset about it, since many people would love to have been in my shoes.

And I think the other part was I felt like I didn't deserve him, that he wasn't quite real. I've wanted children since I was 20 and now that I've had the experience, I feel like a hypocrite for possibly not wanting more since I didn't enjoy the experience. Not to mention the miscarriage. Every single appt, I went in expecting not to hear a heartbeat anymore. I was terrified to commit and love him because I thought he'd be snatched away.

Now I tease him that I'm going to sell him to the highest bidder when he wakes up for the 4th time at night and he just smiles. I think we'll be okay.



His birth story:

My "due date" was March 1st. I had my last appt with him still in utero on March 2nd and the doctor asked if I wanted to schedule an induction.


Kiddo was going to make his appearance when he wanted and inductions are no fun, no matter how you slice them.

Saturday, March 3, I started feeling intermittent contractions and started to get really excited. I slept till 4am Sunday March 4th and that was the last solid sleep I got till Monday night. They started picking up in intensity around 6:30 am so I woke up the hubs and we started timing them. We got to the hospital around 9:30 but since I was only 2 cm, they sent us back home. I was sorta glad because the doctor on call was my least favorite doctor in the practice. He checked me in triage so fast and so rough, even the nurse was like Uh, buy the lady a drink first?


So I relaxed at home, napping and Netflixing. By 9pm, I had to pause Netflix for each contraction and stand up for them. I ended up on the couch around 11:30 and the hubs stayed with me, holding my hips until 2 when I told him to get some sleep. Our oldest cat hopped up after he left and licked my arm after each contraction and pawed at my face to make sure I was ok. I couldn't lay down for any of them, the pain forced me back up. They were one on top of the other.

At 5:30 Monday morning, I woke him back up because my hips were in agony. He would press on my hips through each contraction. I called the doctor around 8:30 and they told me to come in right away.

Slight problem. Monday morning before 9am? All the mutherfreaking traffic. So I had to give directions to the hospital, using the back roads, in between contractions. I was clutching the seatbelt holder, to have something to grab and was honestly worried (because I didn't know it at the time that he was sunny side up and his big ol' head was pressing into spots that it shouldn't) that I was going to shit my pants. I seriously thought the child was going to be born via my asshole, the pressure was so intense.

We get to the hospital and the valets take one look and scream for a wheelchair. While checking in at triage, I started to cry again because I was so exhausted and in pain and the intake person snapped Don't cry, you need to breathe.

My face:


I'll cry if I fucking want to. Got checked and was so grateful to hear that I was 7cm. Because if they had tried to send me home again, I would have looked like this:


They wheeled me back to a room while hubs parked the car and we ended up with the most wonderful Labor and Delivery nurse. She asked if I wanted pain meds and I was like how many ya got? And honestly, I was willing to give it a go without pain meds. But I was exhausted and labored almost 6cm without anything so yeah, gimme that good shit.


Actual footage of me with a blessed epidural

The hubs stood by my side the whole time, except for the epidural part. He waited till he knew I was okay and then proceeded to nearly pass out on the couch. Him and needles, not so much. The nurses were lovely and brought him food and drink.

By 1pm, I was fully dilated and allowed to push (which trying to hold back that urge? Damn near impossible). I even requested a mirror, tried the squat bar and pushed with hubs holding up both legs. And yes, you shit while pushing. It's a thing and you really don't care in the moment.

By 4:45, I was exhausted. They said I could try forceps or elect for a C section. I said forceps, because why not? Those couldn't hurt as much as a C section, right?


They even gave me a top off of pain meds, but I felt like I was being split in two while on fire. And I had to push with each contraction while those oversized salad tongs were inside me. The doctor had him out in three contractions, with the first one turning him right side up. Upside was that it was done, downside was that the doc needed 45 minutes to stitch up what turned out to be a third degree tear.

(And post script, I had to get some additional...work done in the vaheen area because while he was stitching, some of the muscle under-layer got caught up and was present on the surface, which caused nerve over-stimulation. So I willingly watched as the doc put silver nitrate on the little skin tags, to basically cauterize them and yes, this is the shit new moms do not talk about because how in the ass has the human race sustained itself for this long when this kinda shit happens)

For the record, these are forceps:


It was incredible, watching him be placed on my chest. I was so concerned with trying to get the pain to stop, my brain stopped for a sec and was like Oh, a baby, I get one of those? His head was all coney from the forceps, but he was real. He was alive and he was here.