Thursday, June 25, 2015

Overwhelmed on Some Days; Just "Whelmed" on Others

Some days, especially when I'm working on the flightline, it can seem quite overwhelming.  The sheer amount of details to keep track of, the amount of work to supervise, and the many folks going in many directions can seem like herding cats that are chasing chickens.  Add to that, preparing for a new chapter that is *just* ten months away--in five days I can say "nine months and change"--as well as my reinvigorated passion to open up my own store--see that endeavor here--while getting through the everyday, mundane stuff...Ugh? Whoa? Crazy, for sure.
It'll be nice to step away from it for a short period next week when I head to Sparks, NV for my brothers wedding.  I won't have to worry about anything but keeping the door closed of the room I'm staying in so that my parents don't have to see that unmade bed.  I'm not looking forward to the heat but, hey, it's a dry heat.  lol.
Before then, though, I'll be emptying out my office.  I've been trying to sell stuff on ebay but that is just so tedious.  I think I'd rather just donate it and be done with it.  My office will be clear and I'll feel a little less cluttered because I'm looking at it every day.
On the total plus side, my credit card debt is half of what it was back in November and on track to be obliterated before the year is over.  Definitely worth looking forward to.  That'll leave me with five months that I'll have practically my whole paycheck to do something with; something other than pay off debt.  I see quite a bit of saving coming up.  Maybe I'll save up for a 40th year birthday present.  :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Nostalgic About Love

I spent a good three hours going through my hope chest last night.  There were a few things in it that I knew I wouldn’t care if I had them when I was 80 and I had to dig to the bottom of the chest to get to them in order to get rid of them and make room for other things.  While doing so, I came across old love letters…from Eddie, when I was 17 and 18; from Brian, when I was 19 and 20; from George, when I was 24.  I don’t have anything more recent than that.  There was only one more man that I loved and who I’m pretty sure loved me—Damien, when I was 28 and 29—but no letters from him.  There was also a boy—Scott, when I was 15—but I can’t find the letters from him.

It did my heart good to come across those memories.  To see the words of someone who loved me, all of me, for who I was.


From a letter that Brian wrote in April 1996 (he kind of missed me while I was at Basic Training):

Monday, June 15, 2015

Letting Go

Woke up from a dream and felt compelled to share it or, I should say: it and my takeaway from it.  I was attending some sort of conference about money management and it had various vignettes, featuring ways that you can make money and ways that appear you can make money.  I, with all kinds of crazy irony, was in one that had to do with home based businesses.  It was supposed to be one that illustrated how you could make money but I knew it for the deception that it was.  However, I was supposed to be going along with its intended message.  It was quite a draining experience, to go along with that kind of lie.  When the vignette time was over, I confronted the woman who was hosting it.  She was heavily into this particular home based business—it was either mary kay or a jewelry one, both types of products were there.  I was all spun up to say something.  And I couldn’t.  At least not the extent that I wanted to so I walked away, comfortable in the knowledge that I was no longer involved in any such deception.  That wasn’t where the message lay, for this dream, though.  It came after.

The setting of the vignette was in some sort of enclosed car port.  I left that, headed out to the lawn that surrounded it where, crazy as it sounds, my fella waited for me.  But there were two fellas there.  They had been the whole time.  One was a man that I’ve known for more than a decade now.  He’s loved me for many, many years.  I fell in love with *him* just a few years ago.  He never showed his love though.  Not to the extent that I wanted him to.  And I couldn’t show him.  I couldn’t just show up on his doorstep and he was choosing to not do that.  See, he was married.  Still is.  So you can see how it would have been quite awkward for me to just show up at his home.  And he never fulfilled the storybook romantic gesture by swooping me off my feet with the declaration that he’d left his wife to be with me.  We were never together, physically, but there were some very deep, shared conversations that had me tearing down some personal walls.  Unfortunately, because of the lack of gesture on his part, I had to sever contact with him, in order to preserve my heart and sanity.  As a result, those walls went up quicker than I’ve ever seen before.  I never let my guard down now.  I don’t trust that I—just me—will be enough reason for a man to see a reason to love me.  But, I digress.

In my dream, when I left the vignette, I headed to meet my fella…one of them anyway.  I saw the first man--I called him Black Behr in this post—but realized that it was never to be.  I turned away.  I searched for the other man.  He saw me looking for him and came jogging over.  He hugged me.  He kissed me.  Then he expressed some trepidation that I would choose the first man.  My response: “He had his chance.  It’s gone.  I’m moving on.”  I wrapped my arms around him, cradled the back of his head in my hand, and kissed him.

And I realized: My head is letting Black Behr go.  I will always have a place for him in my heart.  A small part of me wishes that he would drop his encumbrances and tell me that he’s mine but I have to be realistic: he’s too entrenched in the life that he has built; it’s not going to happen.

I love you Black Behr but I release you.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Helping a Friend with a Class Project

Please take her survey about tattoos, if you're so inclined.
Tattoo Survey

Sunday, June 7, 2015

For More of My Bra Related Posts (and to Follow My Fit Journey)...

I've created a new blog just for that.  Please bear with me as I populate it and bring it up to speed.  Here's the link: http://ifthebrafitswearit.blogspot.com/
This way you can choose to just follow the bra stuff or check out what's going on with me on the personal level.  They won't be combined any more.

Bra Fit Follow-Up

Even though my previous entry may seem like I’m sending the message that I’m an expert, I’m not.  I’m very new to this portion of the journey of finding what fits.  I’m hoping to bring folks along with me on this journey and help them find what fits as well.  Maybe they don’t have the resources to acquire a whole slew of garments to try on all at once and maybe they don’t have the time to try on just one at a time.  What I’m trying to say is: I know that there are a lot of folks who can’t plop down the initial investment to get a wide selection of bras to try on all at once and they don’t have the time to order only one item, try it on, find out it doesn’t fit, send it back in exchange for another size or style that will probably, also, not fit.  I want to help those folks.  The first go-round will be easy because I already have two collections of sizes on hand—36FF/36H, from what I ordered to try on and 28E, from what was acquired for another person to try on—in quantities of more than 20 different styles.  I’m extending an opportunity for those who are neighbors to me to try on any of the ones that are on hand before I send them back.

In some cases, it may appear that I’m competing with my place of employment but that won’t be the case.  I can’t compete with a company if I’m not offering anything that can be found at their store.  That being said, I wouldn’t be offering bra fit events for those who can shop within the “bra matrix”—that range of sizes that most every bricks and mortar store carries and/or has on hand.  I’m talking about the 34Bs and the 36Cs and the 38Ds—those are the ones that I WON’T be doing these for.  The ones that I WILL—the 32FFs and the 36Is and the 40As and the like—are the ones that you can find only online.  It will take some time and it won’t be something that will happen all that quickly because there’s only so much that I can acquire at a time and there are a ton of underserved and unsupported (pun intended) sizes out there.  How many?  Just check out the range of sizes that are carried at
 I intend to start with the most common band size, whatever that may be (and to be determined by a poll on an easily accessed page), and get started that way.  I won’t be offended if folks try on at my place and then opt to purchase elsewhere.  I’m not a business.  I’m not looking to make any profit.  I’m aiming to help folks find their fit.  If they choose to take a product off my hands by reimbursing me for its cost (and therefore saving me the effort that it will take to return it, even better), they can do that too.  Because, seriously, the less that I have to return, the better.  J

I will keep you posted on my own fit journey.  I posted the link to the previous entry to the reddit page that I referenced in said entry and received some excellent feedback on the fit of my new calculated size.  It’s a work in progress and I’m just glad that I was able to find anything that I even liked on the first round of try-ons.

I’d love to read any comments that you have for this or any other blog entry that I’ve made.  Please don’t hesitate to leave ‘em.
Photo by Stacy Hart of Stacy Hart Photography-- www.stacyhart.com 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

How to Ensure a Bra Fits (Revised (and NSFW))

Last week I got an urge to research the history of Victoria’s Secret and the multitude of scents that the company has put out over the past few decades.  I came across some really great information.  I even created a new Pinterest board for all the articles that I was coming across:  https://www.pinterest.com/nidena/well-informed-is-well-armed  (Want to see a listing of all the perfumes?  Go here: http://victoriassecretfragrances.blogspot.com/p/list-of-fragrances.html)
But it was what I found when I was searching for bra fit and tips that I really came across a wealth of information that had absolutely nothing to do with Victoria’s Secret except that our fit measuring procedures are…well…incomplete, at best; totally wrong, at worst, which is how it is when there is such high turnover in the company.  Said turnover is even higher now but that is a whole other blog post that I’ve yet to write. 

While looking up bra fitting, I found a whole discussion board for that very thing.  You can find it here: http://www.reddit.com/r/ABraThatFits and read to your heart’s content.  I will try to summarize the key aspects to finding a correct fit and link you to a few places that were instrumental in my learnings thus far.
Let me just tell you that finding this information, and realizing that what I’ve been teaching my customers about fit, made me have an emotional experience much like I did when I discovered that I was not wrong regarding my misgivings about being a Mary Kay consultant.  (Read that story here: http://www.pinktruth.com/board/index.php/topic,361.0.html)   
Like back then, I knew something was missing.  I’ve known for some time that I wasn’t providing all that I could to my customers.  I’ve had to refer so many to online retailers but I knew that they would just be guessing at their size because the information that I was giving them really did feel incomplete.  I want my customers to feel empowered; to come to me having an idea of what they’re looking for; and, if that isn’t the case, to walk away with the knowledge that they needed so that they could shop online with confidence.

It’s in this blog post that I hope that I can do that.

The first step was getting the measurements and inputting them into the online calculator.  Now, mind you, I’ve sized myself in the DD and DDD range for YEARS.  Sometimes a 34 band, sometimes a 36.  The only thing that I had correct was the 36.  See, VS bras have really stretchy bands.  That’s why it’s easy to think that a 36 is quite roomy.  It’s really not all that stretchy in a bra that fits correctly but I digress, sort of.  The calculator called for FIVE measurements.  If you’ve ever read the “bra fit” post of mine (http://nidena.blogspot.com/2008/10/to-ensure-bra-fits.html), you’ll know that VS measures three locations MAX.  All these years…incomplete information.  To really get your correct calculated measurement, you need to take a measurement in all five places (maybe positions is a better word).

Do you have your tape measure?
I’ll wait.  :D
Okay, now you gotta free the girls to take the measurements.  That's right!  Take off the boulder holder and let them feel the breeze.

  1. Snug underbust
  2. Tight underbust (The underbust is just what it sounds like: right under your boobs, in the “crease”)
Okay, stand up now.
  1. Standing overbust (wrap that tape gently around your torso and across your nipples.  I know…it’s cold…and a little sensitive…but endure it)
Got that?  Now bend over.  Let them puppies dangle for all they’re worth.
  1. Leaning overbust (and you thought standing overbust was difficult lol)  I totally understand if you need help with this one.  Some ladies just have a lot of boob and might need to phone a friend.
Are you tired?  That’s okay ‘cause now you get to lay down.  Yep, the next measurement is flat on your back.  Well, unless you have a butt that doesn’t let you lay flat.  Lol
  1. Laying overbust (don’t fret if this is smaller than the other two.  Mine was too)
Now…and I really hope you remembered to write all those down otherwise you’ll have to do them again…go plug those numbers in here: http://www.brasizecalculator.tk/
I hope you didn’t pass out when you saw your new calculated size.
I was Wow’d also.  
Are you overwhelmed?  Take a breather.  Then come back for just a few more things.

Once you get over the “sticker shock” of your new size, you’ll want to learn about:
--Projection—Shallow vs Projected breasts (Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about this to be able explain it so I will suggest checking out this page: http://www.reddit.com/r/ABraThatFits/wiki/shallow and the links on it)
--Fullness—on both the top and bottom  (A great guide can be found here: http://i.imgur.com/VPH5K0E.png  think of the spot where the red and blue lines meet as the spot where your nipple sits)
I have to also say that www.venusianglow.com is a great resource for this information.  Just click on *Bra Matrix* on that site and you’ll encounter a whole other world of stuff about boobs and bra fittings.

Now, I know you’re probably thinking: “But my bra fits just fine.  Why do I need all this information?”  I thought the same thing.  After all, I have nine years experience of bra fitting from working at Victoria’s Secret.  If I was a pilot, I could wear one of those patches that have cumulative hours on it.  Mine would be, easily, 500+ hours.  I mean, doesn’t it look like my bra fits?  Except maybe that little bit of pudge under my armpit but everyone has that, right? 




Wrong!
My life was changed when I read three little words and employed the action that which they describe: SWOOP AND SCOOP.
While wearing the bra, you reach in and pull that flesh that we've always thought was "pudge" forward so that it's back where it's supposed to be.  Why?  Because that "pudge" is breast tissue that has been exiled from the ill-fitting bras that we've worn all these years.  That's right!  Reclaim that additional breast tissue with pride.
Here’s the same bra with breasts swooped and scooped:



Doesn’t fit so well after all.  Note the "muffin top" above the cups.  When I realized that, I sought out that bra calculator (here it is again so that you don’t have to scroll up to the top: http://www.brasizecalculator.tk/ ), took all my measurements and plugged them in.  I about had a heart attack when I saw the new measurement.  36FF?  That can’t be right.  And that’s not even a U.S. size.  36H?  What the heck!!!  I had to test this theory.  There’s no way that a 36FF/36H is going to fit me.  It’ll be too big.  I couldn’t be more incorrect.  Here’s a correctly fitting 36FF/36H:




Now, maybe you're wanting to rebutt with: "But that's a full coverage bra!"  It is; however, the demi bras fit just as well.  Unfortunately, they were a little too sheer/lacy for me to feel comfortable putting pictures of them on my blog.  I hope you can understand that.
My life will be forever changed.  Unfortunately, unless I lose a whole lot of breast, I won’t be buying bras at my place of employment any longer.  I prefer bras that fit over ones that are readily accessible. 
I plan to help a few folks local to me find both.  See my next post for how I plan to do that but FIRST go get your new calculated size.  You're gonna need it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I've Been Incomplete When Doing Bra Fittings.

For the past nine years, I've been doing my bra fittings very much like what is described in this post: To Ensure A Bra Fits and, come to find out (due to the recent discovery of recent of new information), I've been incomplete and fairly inaccurate in my tallies.  How incomplete?  Well, I had sized myself at a 36DDD before I lost 20lbs and, since then, at a 34DDD/36DD..  I was a bit wrong.  Three cups wrong.  I'm actually a 36H.  I will share the the information that I found, as well as a link to how I calculated my size in a post later this week.  In it, I will also share the size that I thought I was by showing you (unknowingly) ill fitting bras that I have bought in the past few months at VS and the bras that I just tried on last night in the size that actually fits correctly.
I'm headed to sleep now but please check back later this week for that next post.  It'll be lengthy and informative.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Having My New Roommate is Good for Me

I am confrontational.  I posture.  I can be combative.  None are things that I like about myself and all are things that I’m going to be working on lessening as character traits.  To be able to *do* those things is not a bad characteristic but when they’ve become a large part of my personality, that’s not good. 
I had an inkling that they were there but it took the observation of my roommate to bring them to my attention.  Her description: “You stand up with the guys.  You interact with all guys the way that you do the guys at your work.”  And she’s right.  I developed a machismo, of sorts.  Just as boys and men will inherently engage in a “who’s the got the biggest…” challenge, so do I.  And I, in all my righteousness, would win.  Cause I’m the biggest and the baddest.  The toughest.  I show no vulnerability but I sure as hell show weakness by displaying such a high level of “tough as nails” when I don’t need to.
I’m going to blame the development of it on the male dominated career that I’ve been a part of for nearly two decades.  I can’t let it continue though.  Thankfully, there’s only 11 months of that career left.  I can, then, truly let go of a good portion of the armor that I applied, link by link, during my time working with too much testosterone.  I didn’t choose this career, not really.  It’s hard to make an educated decision, at 20, about what field to choose when the job description is so glowing.  All I know: If you don’t like to get a mechanical kind of dirty do NOT choose a 2A career field in the Air Force.
So…back to the character traits…You know how Alpha males tend to put each other down as a show of force?  Yep, I do that.  You know how Alpha males tend to try to make the not-Alpha males feel or look stupid?  Yep, I do that.  I don’t call them stupid but I sure as hell ask a lot of loaded questions.  That can’t be a good way to teach someone; to train them to be better at their jobs.  I *know* there’s a better way and I’m going to work on finding and using it.

Thank you, roomie, for holding up that “mirror”.  I appreciate it more than you know.