stranger danger

I have pretty severe social anxiety. Meeting new people is my kryptonite; strangers are terrifying and rhyme with dangers for a reason.  They often have candy and vans with blackout windows, and according to the year 2000, every single person on the internet is a deranged sex pervert who wants to chop me up for some sweet Canadian stew. Pretty scary stuff, right? It only makes SENSE to be wary of people you’ve never met. Every one of them is chockfull of BAD DECISIONS.

I’ve been experiencing a low-grade panic attack for the last three days, and it’s getting worse. On Monday morning at 4am, I’ll be making my way to Orlando for a week of meetings. I’ll also be meeting my co-workers in meat space for the first time. We’re all staying in a couple of resort houses, so socializing will be done in a hot tub. And I’m the only woman.

So, let’s recap:

  • Flying to a country in political turmoil
  • With skin an indeterminate shade of brown
  • For work
  • To meet people for the first time
  • In a swamp
  • Filled with alligators
  • Staying in a house with 9 men I work with
  • That has a pool and a hot tub
  • So bathing suits are happening

I am legit terrified. People are scary. What if everyone hates me. What if I say really stupid things and people think I’m an idiot. What if I forget I can’t go in hot tubs and pass out and break my head open on tiles. What if Florida has no Diet Coke. What if crocodiles eat me. What if I get brave enough to put on my bathing suit and everyone laughs at me. What if people realize I have no idea what I’m doing at work and out me as a big faking faker who fakes. What if I didn’t pack enough cardigans. What if I forget my medication and revert to my original form.

WHAT IF.

I hate anxiety. It is a twat.

we are judging you

make your whites whiter

swag

This gif if bringing me a great deal of joy, but even so, I have ass marbles.

The kids in the original video are half-Korean. The woman that desperately tries to wrangle them is their mother, and is Korean. However, every (adorable) piece of art about the now-infamous video depicts the children and family as white, as though people couldn’t possibly be entertained by the shenanigans unless skin tones matched their own.

This on the heels of the upcoming Ghost in the Shell movie in which the Japanese main character has been replaced with a caucasian Scarlett Johansson (and scene of a delightful marketing campaign that is backfiring spectacularly), a Bruce Lee biopic focusing on a fictional white guy instead of, you know, Bruce Lee, Tilda Swinton (love her, but come on) playing a Celtic mystic to replace the original Tibetan mystic in Dr. Strange .. all within the last year.

It’s frustrating. It’s infuriating. It’s disheartening.

So, yeah. Even when it comes up in a fantastic gif that makes me happy, I can’t help but feel a twinge of “this too?”.

I-Am-Major

ETA: see?

NP6fLR9

 

 

 

who runs the world

It is International Women’s Day (and contrary to the beliefs of our .. first lady? Do we have that in Canada? The Prime Minister’s wife. Seems like she ought to have a title. Anyway. Contrary to her beliefs, I will not be using this day to celebrate the men in my life, because what the ever-loving fuck, lady.), and I am celebrating women – myself, the women I know, and the women who walked this path before me so that I may do the things I do, wear the things I wear, and be my best, uncompromising self. It is also the day of the International Women’s Strike, which I am less able to participate in – not because I don’t believe in it, but because a day without me isn’t really anything anyone would notice. I mean, I refuse to do housework today, but it’s also Wednesday so that’s not really out of the norm. I am not raising any children today (or ever), so that one is out. A day without me at work .. well, if I’m not there, the world won’t end. Some commas may appear where there ought not be any commas, but my absence would not make any sort of resounding statement, so I’m working. I AM working topless, though, and wearing a red bra. Because I CHOOSE to do these things. Breasts aren’t political, they’re just awesome.

Happy International Women’s Day, everyone! #persist #resist #slay #glue

 

forever in blue genes

MORE TESTS! MORE DATA! MORE HYPOCHONDRIA!

Mutual Friend Ian™ shared a service called Promethease, that:

builds a personal DNA report based on connecting a file of DNA genotypes to the scientific findings cited in SNPedia.

It asks you to download your raw DNA data from the testing site you used, and upload it to their magical cloud box, then spits out a report that you can view for $5. It analyzes your spit data for the good, the bad, and the ugly: things you may be susceptible to, a carrier for, or have advanced immunity from. It is very cool! I did it this morning (it took ten minutes, based on processing and queues), and have learned that I am:

  • 1.5x~2.7x more likely to live to 100: you’re stuck with me for a long time!
  • Optimistic and empathetic; handle stress well: I am optimistic that I will live to 100 and feel bad for those who will not!
  • Bad at cancer: In addition to being at higher risk for “a number of cancers”, I am also bad at metabolizing cancer medication, and am more likely to get prostate cancer
  • Totally validated in not having children: I’m a cystic fibrosis carrier, and also carry the Von Willebrand gene which is like hemophilia for poor people
  • Not supposed to be fat: This makes sense. I’m the only fatty in the family.
  • Have the “Asian Flush”: lol, and yeah no kidding
  • Have a “Possibly impaired folate metabolism”: can’t absorb cancer meds!
  • Have stronger cravings for alcohol: On the plus side, if I AM alcoholic, naltrexone treatment will be twice as successful!
  • 1.74 times more likely to get gout, and if given gefinitib to treat said gout, will get 4 times the diarrhea: O_o
  • Super good at caffeine: Fast Caffeine Metabolizer

This is all super interesting, and well worth the $5. I am still thinking about doing the more expensive DNA test down the road, but only because data is awesome and allows me to worry that every little pain I feel is an impending heart attack.

Thanks for the share, Ian!

the results are in

I purchased an Ancestry DNA kit for myself and a friend late last year, and after some procrastination and queuing, I got my results back today.

I am somewhat disappointed to learn there are no Maury Povich-style reveals in my past – my results did not show that I am secretly African, or mysteriously uncategorizable, or any anything at all that I didn’t expect, with one exception:

I am 1% more Great British than I am East Asian.

They HAVE to let me in now, right?!

klwdna

damn ethnics

This means I’m definitely not adopted and living a huge lie like I always hoped feared – it’s pretty much spot on with what I’d been told all my life. Some of the smaller percentages were interesting, too – at some point, several of my ancestors dipped their dingle in places far from home. The complete breakdown is as follows:

  • Asia East: 41% Primarily located in: Russia, China, North Korea, South Korea, Mongolia, Myanmar (Burma), Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Palau (and Malaysia, which isn’t on this list but is included in the big blue blob)
  • Asia Central: 9% Primarily located in: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Pakistan (all those letters! #blessed)
  • Great Britain: 42% Primarily located in: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Italy (YEEEEEEEAH and also I’ve often claimed I’m half Malaysian/half European mutt, so hooray for proof)
  • Polynesia: 4% Primarily located in: Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand (Maori), Micronesia, Philippines, Melanesia, Hawaii
  • Trace Regions: 4% These are listed as tiny amounts appearing in your DNA and possibly by accident, and include Ireland, Iberian Peninsula, and Europe West

This was a pretty neat exercise. The Ancestry DNA test isn’t as detailed as the 23 and Me test (which covers health conditions you may be at risk for, genetic traits, potential drug responses, etc), but it’s also half the price. I might give the other test a try down the road, as I don’t know much about my medical history .. but for now, this is just one more piece in the “lemme in the UK” dossier I’m building just in case. Also, is cool. And I got to spit in a tube! Totally worth it.

i done fucked up now

Now this is the story all about how
My life got flipped, turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there
I’ll tell you how I completely fucked up booking routine airfare

I’m going to Orlando in March for a work event. I’ve never been to Florida, so I’m pretty stoked for a new adventure with alligators and crocodiles and David Caruso dramatically taking off sunglasses. Plus, I get to meet all my co-workers for the first time, so that won’t be stressful at all.

I was left in charge of booking my own flight to Florida because Canadian and passports and all sorts of complications. No problem, I literally book flights in my sleep – this will be simple. Fly in, go to a Waffle House, fly out. Simple!

Naturally, I had to go and make it extra complicated. I made several mistakes, a dozen or so wildly incorrect assumptions, a little of bit of hubris for good measure, and BAM I am stuck with a ticket that cost double what it should have and a whole lot of idiot guilt.

Let’s recap!

  • Find a flight that’ll work
  • Get approval
  • Wait two days to book the flight
  • Press buttons while asleep
  • Congratulations, you’re booked! oh and by the way the price went way up and it’s non refundable lol
  • Shiiiiiiit.
  • Also realize that my flight gives me 46 minutes to make my connection in Minneapolis
  • Call Expedia to sort this out
  • End up paying an additional $165 to increase my layover to 4 hours
  • Be annoyed
  • Sheepishly share flight info with team
  • Bosses freak out at how expensive I am
  • Feel terrible for being expensive
  • Start looking for ways to resolve this
  • Post to Facebook and get super helpful advice from people
  • Start researching
  • Realize I called Expedia 23 hours and 45 minutes from the time I booked my flight, so I should have been entitled to a refund on a 24-hour cancellation policy
  • Find two other important pieces of information saying a) Delta gives you until midnight the following day to get a full refund, regardless of where you purchased the ticket and b) the minimum connection time for an international flight into MSP is 1 hour, meaning I shouldn’t have been able to book a flight with a 46-minute connection time, meaning Expedia screwed up and definitely shouldn’t have charged me $165 to change the flight
  • Feel all Sherlock
  • Get my hair did
  • Submit a refund request directly with Delta
  • Call Expedia to be all “wtf dudes”
  • Get schooled:
    • Expedia’s flight cancellation policy is good until 11:30pm of the day you purchase your ticket, not 24 hours as is often assumed
    • Delta no longer honours the 24+ hour cancellation policy if you purchase the ticket from anywhere except Delta directly
    • I don’t go through customs in MSP, I go through in Vancouver – meaning the 46 minute connection time is perfectly valid, since it’s over the 40-minute MCT for that particular airport. This was a complete surprise to me, because my only frame of reference is the dozens of flights I’ve taken to and from Europe in the last five years – you ALWAYS go through customs when you land, so I assumed it was the same for the US. I haven’t flown into the US on purpose since .. 2007? It’s been a while.
  • I have two options: take the flight as is and enjoy the fine taste of the extra $165 I didn’t need to pay after all
  • Cancel the flight in exchange for a voucher that:
    • Can only be used by me
    • Must be used within 1 year
    • Is only good on Delta
  • I thought I could live with the latter option: I’d just rebook my flight to a more expense-report-friendly flight, and stash the rest to use later!
  • Hahahahaha no
  • If you use the voucher for a flight that is less than the amount of the voucher, you forfeit the remaining balance
  • AND Delta will charge you an extra $200 because using the voucher counts as a flight change
  • In theory, I could make that work .. but I have no idea where I’d go via Delta for that much money, and in the meantime I’d be out the original cost of the flight + the cost of the replacement flight. Either option means I’m losing a ton of money because of my fuck up.

So, this sucks. I feel terrible about it for multiple reasons: that I’m gonna get fired because I’m clearly super bad at Florida and/or at the very least get in trouble and people will be stern at me; because it was such a colossally stupid situation to get myself in; because I pride myself on the details and I fucked them up so laughably badly that I’m kicking myself with pointy boots; because it’s going to cost a ton of money that I didn’t need to spend; etc etc etc. Last night was a bad night. There were tears of frustration and quasi-illogical worry. I AM SAD.

On the plus side, my hair is hella cute.

p1150126

i do not handle failure well

going green

I am trying to be logical about this. It wouldn’t have worked out anyway. I’ve known for months it wasn’t going to happen. I’m super busy, and have a whole lot of things I need to take care of during this time. I just got back from London, which wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

But GODDAMNIT am I ever bursting with envy that we are not in Barcelona right now with half of the people we know and love.

I know that I am ridiculously lucky to do all the travel I do, and I’m super happy I got to spend two weeks in London in January. We just got back from a weekend in Victoria (which doesn’t count), I’m going to Orlando in a few weeks (this doesn’t really count either, it’s for work), and we leave for Japan in 37 days (in a row). Doing Barcelona again was always a long shot, and this year it didn’t happen .. but many of our friends are there and I’m seeing their posts and I am greenish with envy. Facebook’s helpful new “hey look at these memories” feature is not helping, because I was in Spain this time last year. Also complicating my endless jealousy is Steph’s pictures of London – I know I was just there, but I ALWAYS WANT TO BE THERE.

I grew up a practical sort of dreamer. I spent a lot of time inside my own head dreaming about amazing things (mostly robots), but there was never any sort of longing for what others had that I didn’t. I endured my mother moaning and whining about all the things she would do when she “hit the big one”, and it always seemed incredibly distasteful and a huge waste of time. I don’t spend time thinking what I would do with a lottery windfall, because the odds of that happening are so infinitesimally small. Plus, it just seems .. rude, like you’re not satisfied with the life you have and can only be happy when presented with MORE. I know that’s my broken childhood talking, but it still stands: I’ve never wasted time on jealousy for what others had/have that I don’t. If I want it badly enough, I can make it happen.

That’s all fine and good, until I discovered the one thing that makes me ache with longing: BEING SOMEWHERE ELSE. I am jealous of people who are SOMEWHERE ELSE. It is a weird and uncomfortable feeling complicated by the knowledge that I am frequently SOMEWHERE ELSE myself, and should focus on my own trips instead of being wistful about others. The logic isn’t really helping though; it’s just making me petulant and cabin fevery. Which is dumb. I best check myself, lest I wreck myself.

Victoria was half dutiful and half super fun. Our hotel room had ants. I am still hella torn on whether I want to move back to the island. I sometimes wish I had a more traditional relationship with my mother, who is apparently Catholic now. I got to spend some time in front of some crashing waves, and I could have happily stayed there all day edging ever closer to the water. Once again, we swore we’d ride our motorcycle/scooter to Victoria some time this summer. We found a new favourite breakfast joint, took my mother out for dinner twice, and met her Gentleman Friend. We drove past my old house and I creepily took pictures of it. It brought up a lot of weird conflicting feelings.

I am hungry.

p1160411

mrw i think about SOMEWHERE ELSE