Thursday, March 30, 2017

A-Z Challange

Alright, so I am going to try a blog Challenge. The A-Z Blog Challenge. Basically I will be posting every day except Sunday for the month of April. I am supposed to have a Theme for what I will write every day.....but since this is my first year my theme will be "say what I gotta say in less words". So all of my posts this month will be more then 100 words but less then 400. If you have read anything I have posted ever before, you will know what a challenge that will be for me. My Mother calls me "Wordy". So here it is, my participation badge!! (whew, only 110 words. This is gonna be hard.)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Tragic news is killing me

I'm all about the political news. To me its like reality TV but it actually has some sort of effect on my life. I can read a political story on and then switch over to and read about the latest Beiber trash story, totally seamless. I don't know what that says about our politics right now other then its a crazy hot mess, but whatever. Actually, I really don't think it says that much. Do you think when Ron Reagan became president everyone wasn't like "what the hell, he is an actor!" Hes not the only one, there was drama when Roosevelt served for 4 terms, or when Taft was elected chief justice after serving as president. I'm just sayin, there has always been a little drama mixed in with the politics, this isn't a new thing, its just the way works.
What I am having trouble with these days is the horrible news. The sad, the tragic, the angry, the intentionally inflammatory shit. I mean come on. There are good things happening around the world too, I mean really great things! Literacy is at an all time high, teens are less likely to smoke and drink and get pregnant, way less people are dying of cancer, entire counties are Malaria free for the first time! Don't get me wrong, I know that tragic news has been around just as long as political drama has. But if our faces are going to be stuffed with news all the damn time, sprinkle that shit with some happy, please!
I read trashy sci-fi fantasy books, Hunny asks why I read such mind numbing crap. My answer? Cause everything else in the world is so damn serious, I need a break. I need to let my mind sometimes go to a place that has no effect on me, that doesn't have some underlying horror that could eventually lead to me choosing death instead of paying for a doctor or surgery cause my health insurance is bullshit, or a life where it will be totally OK that I am disrespected cause I happen to have 2 X chromosomes instead of a penis. These things are real and could actually happen, Chicago isn't just the Broadway play or the movie that has the old Renée Zellweger face in it anymore, now is the real life murder town that people are really getting shot on the courthouse steps after another trial is over.
We know that getting the information out there is important, so the tragic news is kind of good to have out there. That's WHY teen pregnancy is down, that's WHY the bees are (probably) gonna be OK, and that's WHY so many animals are off the endangered speices list these days. Its cause we know now; when before, most people didn't even realize that a lot of these things were a problem. But some days I just cant do it, I just cant read the news or watch the Daily Show or listen to Bill Mahar's panel. I just cant handle the horror all day every day. Some days I just want to hide my head in a book and pretend that the heroin on my book can slay the dragon or defeat the Dark Fae lords and I can watch it all from the safety of my home.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Letters to my Past and Future self

My parents told me that every 7 years you are like a fresh new person. Your skin is not the same skin you had 7 years before, your mind has changed dramatically, you are a brand spanking new you. I always sort of followed along with this idea; in my experience I usually am a totally different person then I was 7 years before. I'm 31 now, I'm thinking (hoping) my major changes of self will start to slow down now, but who knows what the next 7 years will hold. So here is 3 letters I am writing to myself. 2 past one and one future one.

Letter to my past self, 14 years ago, Age 17:
Dear 17 year old Katy,
First off: IT IS GOING TO GET BETTER! Trust me. Right now you are a gypsy without a drivers licenses and a you have total lack of direction in life and you think that is a big deal. First of all, its not. Second, its going to be OK, seriously. High school is almost over and nothing so far has been worse then that, thank goodness right? The things you are going through now and for the next couple years are going to feel huge and tragic and unreal. But everything you experiencing is going to make you a better person, and you will be thankful for it.....eventually. Just remember, soon, you will have ice cream for breakfast and it will be awesome.
Just hold on. Much Love, 31 year old Katy.

Letter to my past self 7 years ago Age 24:
Dear 24 year old Katy,
You feel good about yourself? No? Yea I know, its OK. You're learning a lot right now, even more then 7 years ago. Your learning how your not so damn smart, and you aren't the person you thought you were. Your seeing what people are like in the real world, not the world you had erected around yourself. Smashing those Rose Color glasses pretty hard now, am I right? Not everyone is good and kind and there are a lot of moments that have happened and are coming up where you are going to have to rely on yourself. No one is going to save you this time and that's a good thing, trust me. There are very bad people in the world and, sure, some of them aren't bad because they mean to be, but it doesn't make what they do OK, that is a lesson that is being pounded into your head right now because its important. You need to stay true to yourself and you need to put yourself back together once it all falls apart, don't wait for someone to come along and do it for you. Pretty soon your world is going to explode (it might have already, I can't remember exactly when that happened.) Either way, if it has or it hasn't already, what I am saying is, take it all in. The good moments, the bad ones, and everything in between. Very very soon, if you put the pieces of yourself back together the right way, the down hill spiral you are living on will go be going way way up.
Just hold on a little longer. Much Love, 31 year old Katy.

Letter to my Future self 7 years ahead Age 38:
Dear 38 year old Katy,
Oh my god your almost 40! Is it scary or did you really not realize that until just now? What color is your hair? Blonde? I knew it, you boring old lady! I'm not sure what your life is like now, I don't even hope to guess. But I have something I want you to remember. Remember when you bought your first house (maybe your still living in it, I don't know). Remember when you got those keys and you opened the front door and it smelled like wet dog. You and Hunny looked at each other, walked into the kitchen and put the keys on what was now your counter. You stood and talked about what the heck you were going to do about the smell and then started rolling up the nasty carpet to throw it out and saw the magical wood floor underneath it. Now, don't focus on that smell, it was horrific, I remember. But remember that pride you had when you first opened the door. Remember that feeling you had as you put the keys on the counter, the feeling of a million open possibilities of the future. Remember that sense of purpose and feeling like you could do anything now because you had done what you didn't think would ever be possible for you. You were a successful person! You had checked off that last box on the list of things that successful people do in life! Remember how, as you rolled up that nasty, greasy, wet dog smelling carpet, you realized how far you had come from being that 17 year old and 24 your old person who was living in a hell spiral going down and down. No one and nothing can take what you have accomplished away from you. I hope your life at 38 kept going on the upward trend and you have accomplished even more, maybe there has been some set backs, maybe things seemed to go back downward again for a bit, but you will never be what you were before, you fought your way to be where you are now and you already won. Stay smart, get smarter, and never forget to keep learning and growing.
You already won, it just about keeping on that upward trend. Much Love, 31 year old Katy.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

My week

So this week on my Blog post Thursday, I wrote something real good early this week, but it doesn't feel like the right thing to post today. I don't know how other people do it, but I can't just post something unless it feels right that day. Whatever, leave it in Drafts and I will post it a day that that feels right, its a good one too, wait till you read it one day (teaser, its a letter to my past and future self). I think the reason it didn't feel right this week, is cause it has been a crazy busy/messed up week for me. So I am just gonna tell you about that instead.

Last Friday: First of all, Hunny is STILL working Night shift. It STILL sucks and and I am beyond over only seeing him for 10 min in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening. Hate it. Hopefully its over soon.
Anyway, woke up bleeding and hungry and wanting to stab everyone with a spork. What the hell, I have like 5 days before this shit is supposed to happen. Maybe I'm pregnant ::proceed googling everything I can think of that may be a symptom:: (welcome to the life of a person trying to get pregnant. Anything and everything is a 'maybe I'm pregnant' and its a constant cycle of utter disappointment).

: Tim Burton movies all day and 7 loads of laundry with my giant size washing machine. I'm still friggen bleeding, what the hell! Big Eyes was an awesome movie.

Sunday: I went to my sisters, and she did my hair with a curling wand, which I LOVED and is now my go-to style! Then I watched my 7 year old Nephew play basketball. My sister is very enthusiastic about the game. Its cute and she is so into it that the whole crowd was basically forced to be into it too. My sister is a Leader among 7 year old sports watching parents.
Then we went to Ulta Beauty. I have this newfound love of makeup. I didn't wear makeup at all until this past Christmas when several people gave me makeup as a gift. After that subtle hint, I started wearing it and now its like an addiction. Love makeup and I love trying new things and making my face look all different and fun. If ya'll want, I'll do one of those awkward up close videos about how I do my makeup and hair. No one has ever asked me, so I haven't done it.

Monday: Woke up at 2:30 in the morning puking my guts up and had the fever shivers. I was SICK. I had thankfully requested the day off already to take my mom to the Doctor. I ended up taking her anyway even though I was sick because by 9:30 am I was feeling a little better and cause my mom needed me. ::proceeded to google 'are you supposed to be throwing up this early if I'm pregnant.' And why am I still bleeding!!::

Tuesday: Oh look my period! Guess that answers that question (utter disappointment cycle completed for this month). I was still a little sick and had to drive an hour and a half to work in Delaware. Made all the way to the office before I threw up though, yay for small accomplishments! And this time it was one of those times your body says "This is it, we are forcing out everything you have ever eaten or drank and then when we are done, thats its, done with this shit". Which was kind of good because by the time I left Delaware that day I was feeling much better.

Wednesday: Oh good, cramps! But, I get to try my awesome new period undies!! If you are not a women, I am sorry about the TMI, but look how adorable these undies are!!, check em out, they have shirts for men too.

Today: Finally finishing a project up at work that I have working on for months, involves staying super late today at the office, but whatever, I get to hang out with one of my favorite people/vendors while we work. Yay, for getting to pay a person by the hour while you hang out with them and do work! Thank goodness I feel better. Check out my good hair and makeup day today! First time doing the curling wand alone, much to learn.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Being a Women in IT

I have been doing IT for about 10 years now. I started out in the shipping department at a company that sold printing press parts, and I was very very bad at it. I will tell you that story how I ended up doing IT there another time. But, what I didn't realize when I started down the career path I ended up on was that IT was a "man's job". Who the hell knew fixing computers could belong to a gender! The first place I had started at had never ever shown any sort of gender discrimination, they had male and female sales people, I had done the same job in shipping that a man did and was yelled at often for sucking at it just as any man would have been. They truly did not care if you were male or female, they just expected you to do your job, no matter what it was or what gender you were. I had gone to school online, so I never entered a class room and got to see that I was a minority. So when I moved onto my second job doing IT, and before I was promoted to "Big Shot" status and was just the lowly help desk girl, when the HR person said "You were the only girl that applied, so its cool that you got the job", I just thought "huh, that's weird I wonder why I was the only girl." After a while, I got to go to a few IT seminars, and I started to meet other IT people and work with 3rd party IT vendors, and I was working in an environment that had worked with IT people before, and I started to notice......the comments started. It wasn't much at first, a couple "oh wow your a girl" remarks, and a few quirked eyebrows when I would talk and actually know what the hell I was talking about. I didn't pay attention though, I was confident in myself and I knew where my knowledge was solid and when I needed to ask questions and I was good with it. For 5 years at the press parts place, I had been the only person in the office that knew what to do on a computer, those years with them had forced me to rely on myself, Google, and YouTube, and my lack of penis had never been a factor in any of this. Then I got promoted to "Big Shot" at my second job. At first my magic ability to be female and know stuff was largely avoided, sometimes stubbly, sometimes less so. I was treated with kid gloves, no cursing in front of me, no showing obvious anger when I could overhear it, conversations went quiet when I walked into a room. Again, I ignored it and even took advantage at points. Why the fuck not take advantage, I was in my first Management position and I needed peoples patience so I could figure out my way.
Then one day I couldn't ignore it any more. They had a "Managers" meeting and I wasn't invited. Not only was I a manager, my predecessor had always been invited and it was detrimental to my fucking job that I wasn't there. So I went first to my boss and asked why I wasn't invited. He said something like "you being there is distracting to everyone else. Its a very testosterone heavy environment, you don't want to be there." Now please imagine my most sqwinty eyed pissed off bitch face when I replied "are you telling me I wasn't invited cause I have fucking tits?" to which he actually said "Yes". Now I wish I could tell you in that moment I gave a very smart stinging reply that blew him away, but really, I was just so stunned I couldn't even believe it. I stiffly said OK and walked out of his office back to mine and I closed my door. I couldn't believe this was happening to me. This was something I had read about in big cities and big corporations with glass ceilings, this was something that was detached and not real to me, it was a newspaper story, not something in my life. But here it was, I was being discriminated against. I was smart, competent, I was good at my job and everyone knew it, but I was being held back because of my fucking gender! I then got up, walked to the owner of the company's office (who was and is a man I deeply respected and truly enjoyed working for) and I asked him first why I was not invited to the meeting, and he gave me a few sentences of malarkey, then I said "Paul said it was cause I was a women, is that true?", "Well I definitely wouldn't have said it like that" he tells me "but yes that's a big part of it." So I looked him right in the eye and I said "Fine, but soon, you guys are going to beg me to be at that meeting" then I walked into my Bosses office and told him the same damn thing. Guess what? Within 6 months, they did. And I am proud to say by the time I left that job they all had started cursing around me, conversations didn't end when I walked into a room, and I truly believe all the men in that company had a change of view on a women's place, not just in IT, but at work and life in general.
Now that was just one of the big obvious instances of what happened at that job, there was more at that place and there has been many more at other jobs and dealing with vendors and in my work life and real life. But when I talk about what its like to be discriminated against, that situation stands out because its obvious. What people don't understand about discrimination is that most of time its not big obvious things like that. Its more about the kid gloves they treated me with, and the quirked eye brows when I would walk into a meeting and they said "Oh, sorry I didn't realize you would be a girl". I largely ignored these things because I thought, what are you gonna do, I cant change the world. But after that big incident I realized its not about changing the world, its about changing MY world, and the people around me. I also realized that fighting the discrimination against me wasn't going to be done by gathering all the women I knew and marching with cleverly worded signs and putting Pussy cat hats on and marching down the street. Me, Katy, I was going to make a difference by being the difference I wanted to see in the world. Seriously, I know that sounds kitchy, but its true. I changed the mind of a large group of proud testosterone driven men by being me. I didn't do it by wearing pants and acting like a man, I did it in a skirt and well fitted bra and didn't give a fuck. I stood in front of them as a women and proud to be a women and dared them to listen to me. I gave them a chance to see what a strong powerful women can do if you give her respect. I gave strong handshakes and looked them in the eye. I learned to become prepared and I held on to what I knew I was good at and expanded on it.
When I look back, I question if I got the big shot job in the first place because my predecessor was kind of a perv and wanted work closely with a women (many signs pointed to this). Being discriminated against makes you question everything like that. Have you accomplished things because they saw you as a women and let you pass, or did you accomplish it in spite of their seeing you as "just" a women? Should I have ignored the signs of discrimination or did I handle it right? Should I have made a bigger deal out of it? Did I get paid less because of being a women? Would all the hard core feminists have agreed with how I handled it and been proud of me? Answer: I don't care. I am super proud of myself, and every day I continue to fight gender discrimination at work, online, every time I meet someone that quirks their eyebrow at me. I tell my story and I try to empower other women every chance I get.
This is me. I am just Katy. I am a special ed student who was hospitalized twice for mental issues as a teenager. As an adult I had worked my way up to be an IT Manager at a nation wide company despite being discriminated against for being a women. I started out in IT without a college degree and then only going to school online. I own my own house and pay my mortgage on time, I have bought and paid off a car on my own, I have lived by myself in the past and I paid the down payment on my house out of my own savings. I am in a healthy marriage to a Union Boilermaker and we are planning on starting a family soon. I have good friends, I have a family and in-laws that love me. I curse, I get crazy sometimes, and I often make mistakes. I have a lot to learn about life and everything, but I am a strong, proud women and I don't give a fuck what anyone else thinks about me.