I DID SCIENCE!
Several weeks back, a friend told me about tinctures. I am nothing if not easily swayed by complicated arts and crafts, so I did some reading and set about to make some tincture. And I did! Here are words:Continue reading
Yesterday evening I had my first hug in 13 days.
My COVID became less detectable with every test I took, and last night’s test was totally clear. Ed’s tests have remained negative throughout my COVID, and so with our matching double negative (the only acceptable kind of double negative) results, we threw caution to the wind and hugged. We hugged hard, guys.
I won’t lie: when I first tested positive, I was terrified. I’m clinically extremely vulnerable, according to our local health organization. My comorbidities have comorbidities. I ended up having COVID for a total of ten days, and it was hard. I was tired, headachy, and once I coughed up a gross wad of grey stuff.
.. and that was fucking it.
Thanks to my three doses of the Pfizer vaccine, when I finally caught COVID, it felt like a cold. An extremely minor cold. In the grand scheme of Diseases I have Experienced, COVID ranks somewhere between “bad week for allergies” and “pulled a neck muscle sleeping”. It was nothing.
I didn’t come out of it unscathed, though: I still have a (tiny) cough, and my appetite and subsequent blood sugar levels are fluctuating wildly. And .. that’s it. Two years ago, this would have killed me. Thanks to the vaccines, all I went through was a week or so of mild headaches, and no hugs for 13 days.
I don’t think I’m doing a very good job of explain just how much of a nothing my covid experience was, because I’m frankly amazed. I’ve had paper cuts that were worse. Science is incredible. Thank you, modern medicine, for developing a vaccine that kept me alive through a global pandemic that has killed millions. We don’t deserve you, but you’re basically our only hope.
The end of May is around the corner, and for the first time in over two years, I’m excited about what lies ahead.
I never understood the appeal of colouring books. The perfectionist in me was horrified that I’d be responsible for, let’s face it, ruining how the image looks with my clumsy colouring skills, and my hands cramped in protest: I can’t physically write or draw or colour for long without my weird elf hands just seizing. I loved the aesthetic of beautifully coloured images, but hated the pain I’d have to go through to not even come close at making anything pretty. Nice idea, but not for me.
I also fucking love building pretty Lego sets.
There’s something deeply, intensely relaxing about letting go and following instructions for the sake of beauty and joy. If I do it right, my reward is this odd, colourful little piece of art that fits right in with my entire aesthetic and I can’t kill it. I am in control of the speed at which the project is completed and the preciseness of instructions followed, but not the beauty of the outcome.
Assembling Lego is my colouring book. It makes my world a little bit quieter and a little bit brighter at the same time. It keeps my hands occupied. I can listen to music. I don’t have to think or listen or focus or create, I can just tune out and accomplish something for fun. The end result affects, and is for, no one but me – and there is no pressure about it. It is, or it isn’t. That’s it.
Is that what true relaxing is?
Anyway, if this is the same reason people love colouring books, I totally get it. This is niiiiice. My brain is napping.
The irony of finding following instructions the most relaxing thing is like 3 extra layers of fucked up that I am not yet ready to face thank you.
Welcome to the
Black Parade Pity Party!
First is first: my COVID is progressing mildly. I’ve had some instances of Feeling Gross, but for the most part it’s a chest rattle and some
l33t light hacking. I’m still infected (extremely and immediately, according to the last two rapid tests), but otherwise fine.
That doesn’t mean I’m not not ENTIRELY MISERABLE, though. My entire week has been a towering inferno of disappointment and salad dressing, the details of which I will now describe in agonizingly inane detail.
So, this COVID thing. I can’t leave the house even more than I usually don’t leave the house, and it’s giving me significant cabin fever. Amongst my COVID angst:
- Ed’s been home since Wednesday, and we haven’t been able to hug or kiss or make an mockery of procreation. I need hugs! Although tbh I really like the separate bed thing as it turns out I enjoy getting enough sleep.
- I had plans for tomorrow that included three things I was looking forward to:
- Hanging out with Shan (Shanging)
- Breakfast at Deacon’s Corner which is my favourite and it’s been so long and I’ve been ever so good
- Running around downtown Vancouver on a spectacular spring day, just existing
Side note – missing out on any one of the three items above would have been keenly felt, but all three of them together is just a dick move, universe.
On Monday, I’m missing lunch in Vancouver again (!!) with friends I haven’t seen (in SIXTY YEARS no lie at) my other favourite, Anton’s, to celebrate Shan’s belated birthday. I’m extremely sad to miss this for basically the same reasons as above, except with pasta for daaaaaaays. I’m actually double missing this one: even if I didn’t have COVID, I’m doing an online conference all day Monday. The COVID just makes it extra layer of fun, because Ed probably shouldn’t go either even if he’s negative, just in case.
That’s all bad, right? WELL THERE’S MORE!
- An interesting development I was courting fell through and it made me sadder than I had anticipated
- A pair of shoes I ordered are too big and an item was missing from the order (sold out and oops)
- I’m insanely busy at work and this is the worst possible time I could have picked to get sick, so I’m stressing out about my work not getting done
- .. and the same time, I’m still working except now I have guilt that I’m not working at my best or quickly enough which Jesus Christ woman pick a neurosis and stay in one fucking lane
- .. and that whole “stressing and working myself into Scary COVID” thing hovering back there somewhere
- *ahem* all that to say I was supposed to go to a work retreat thingie the week after next and I was nervous but really kinda excited about it – but because of my covidity AND my workload, I decided it be best if I didn’t go
I think that’s it. All the big ones, anyway. I could probably go on for an hour, but that sounds exhausting.
Basically, I am a very sad duck and I am allowed to be so. Feeling sad is a natural reaction to disappointment, and no one is judging me for my sadness.
Anyway, join me next time when I explain how my special flavour of damaged is a paradox and that’s so on brand I could just fucking spit !
Last night I tested positive for COVID. Twice! Well, maybe 1.5 times.
I had a really bad headache last night, and my throat felt a little weird. Both of these things could be easily explained away: I went outside in the bright sun and forgot my sunglasses, I had blood drawn earlier in the day and didn’t eat enough after fasting for 12+ hours, there’s some weird weather rolling in and I’m susceptible to pressure changes, and I had A Day at work. As for my throat, I smoke a lot of weed. Sometimes it irritates my throat, especially when I go from an ice bong to a not-ice-bong and forget that fire is hot. It’s a whole thing, and not all that unusual. Still, I worried. Worrying is like my #1 hobby.
The BC government finally started handing out home COVID tests earlier this year. It was two years into the pandemic at this point, but we can finally test ourselves!! .. except they’re not collecting test data anymore, so it’s mostly FYI. Thumbs up. Great planning. Anyway, because I actually have some tests on hand, I decided it would be prudent to give myself a nasal swab and see if anything unusual was going on. The first test I opened up expired in March of this year (did I mention the great planning?), but I used it anyway because I honestly expected it to be negative.
I then thought maybe the expired test was wonky, so I took a fresh test immediately after the first one, and .. positive.
I lasted two years, two months, and 9 days into the apocalypse before catching anything. Is that good? Is this sort of thing rated? Will I get a passing grade, or be thrown into remedial apocalypse until I fix myself?
I’m trying really very hard not to lose my shit entirely. There is some freaking out happening. I may have measured myself to see if I would fit into a garbage bin. There’s a chance that I am utterly, entirely doomed.
Tiny shreds of common sense are all I have holding me together: I’m triple vaxxed, I have a huge list of safe words for all scenarios, I don’t go indoors without a mask on (outside of #halfwack of course). I don’t go to concerts or parties or anywhere that people gather. Norovirus aside, I haven’t been sick at all throughout the pandemic. I’ve done literally everything I could have possibly done to keep myself safe. It clearly didn’t work, but I did it.
And actually, I feel .. fine?
My throat is still a little weird and my insides are growling, but that’s because I haven’t eaten. My headache is mostly gone, my thoughts are as coherent as they ever are, and I’m actually getting a lot of work done (which is good because holy shit I am fucking drowning at work). Right now, the biggest problem I have is that I can’t join my friends for a belated birthday lunch at Anton’s on Monday (and that is a really big fucking problem, I love Anton’s and I am hungry). If this is as bad as it’ll get, I can live with it.
That’s probably not going to happen though, so I’m just in a holding pattern as I wait for my body to shut down. But maybe it won’t? I’m a medical anomaly. Maybe COVID will give me super powers. Maybe it’ll kill me dead. Maybe I’ll have minor symptoms. I hate not knowing things, like how bad this’ll be or how long I’ll be out of commission. I have a ton of upcoming plans I was really looking forward to, but now that I’m a walking pathogen, I’m back at square one and I am not happy about it.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be wallowing on my balcony.
You are never going to believe this, but I have things to say about Turning Red.
The framework in which I make it all about me (part 1 of 2 – I have so many words): I don’t watch sad things. A whole lot of Pixar’s catalog is off-limits to me, but I made an exception so I could watch Turning Red. I actually timed how far I could make it into the movie before I started crying: 27:09:11.
Man I love data.
As a Chinese-Canadian woman, I am exercising my right – nay, my DUTY – to provide my unsolicited opinion on Turning Red:
Honestly, I did love it. It was spectacular to see myself represented as not only the main character in an animated film, but one set in Canada! My icy heart melted, and please excuse my Divine Ya-Ya squirting here but I’m so happy for all the women and girls that’ll experience the sheer delight of representation. It’s such an important thing. You can tell, because of all the white men losing their absolute shit at the movie. It mentions periods! The movie isn’t even ABOUT periods – it’s an analogy – but periods are MENTIONED and there are PADS and THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
Obviously everyone’s first period story is different, but I honestly don’t understand any of the outcry. It’s a biological function that affects 50% of the population – that’s over 3.5 billion people – yet it’s “too personal” a subject to discuss. Yeah, get the fuck out of here with that bullshit. We were taught about periods in grade 5/age 10. Mine came in at age 11. Still waiting to turn into a panda, though.
I also watched Encanto recently, and while that movie made me cry sooner than 27 minutes in, I *sobbed* throughout Turning Red. Full on ugly cries. I wiped my tears away with a hot dog bun. I don’t recommend it.
It’s not just the main story that made me cry, though – so much of the film is so well done (minor spoilers ahead):
- The friendship between Meilin, Miriam, Priya, and Abby: I wish I had friends like that when I was 13. Hell, I wish I had friends like that now. Note: if anyone is looking to start a friend group, I will gladly be your Abby: I’m short, round, weird, and enthusiastic, and I probably already own pink overalls.
- The relationship between Meilin and her mother made me sob because I also had a Skydome-destroying fight with my mother, but we didn’t get our happy ending. And it was in Victoria. Ever wonder why they replaced Memorial Arena with the Save-On-Foods Arena? Yo.
- Elder relatives! I don’t know any of mine. More crying.
- Being “different” yet beloved? How does that even work? I cried because I want to light up rooms I’m in.
- Absolutely no big deal being made about Tyler being an annoying shit bully who is secretly probably gay and becomes the 5th member of the friend group by the end. I cried because it was cute.
- I skipped the boy band craze of multiple generations, so I cried because I was confused. This may have been where the hot dog bun came in, but my memories of the evening are soggy.
If you haven’t yet watched Turning Red, I recommend it. I love that Pixar is finally starting to tell stories from BIPOC POVs and from women – Domee Shi previously won an Oscar for the Pixar short Bao. I’m going to reuse a trick that went around at the height of Black Lives Matter campaigns – even if you aren’t watching the video, stream it in the background so it registers the view. More viewers = more chances for people to tell their stories. Hollywood is finally starting to realize that brilliant things can come from people who aren’t cis white hetero men, so let’s help that along any way we can.
TL;DR: Movie good. Feelings bad. Therapy coming.
Back in March of 2020, all we wanted was for things to go back to normal.
It’s February 2022, and “normal” is no longer a thing. We’ve all been told that this – whatever “this” might mean to you – is the new normal, so buckle up and sit still.
I don’t want 2020’s normal anymore. I can’t imagine actually going out into the world without a single worry about other people’s vaccination status or viral load. Crowds – even crowds full of my favourite people – are an alien concept. I’d no sooner volunteer to be in any kind of crowd than I would, say, gather up a station wagon full of idiots and caravan into the nation’s capitol to proudly declare on a global stage that I’m really *that* stupid.
What DOES bother me is how quickly the rules change, and how badly I want things to go back to .. something. Not “normal”. Each week, it seems like I’d be happy with what we had last week because it keeps being taken away. This time two months ago, we had plans to finally see our friends and were talking excitedly about spending Christmas together for the first time in two years. The week before Christmas, all gatherings were cancelled due to the surge in Omicron. Thanks to another climate disaster, we had a tiny loophole that allowed us to cross the border for essentials – in my case, packages and a long-awaited trip to Trader Joe’s. Then TJ’s was too risky – so many people! – but I could go to Safeway, right? Then that became too much, but at least I could get my packages and some yogurt from the dairy store and it was so little but it was good enough, until it changed again – now I can’t get packages OR yogurt OR groceries OR see my friends and fuck all I want is the few freedoms we had 6 weeks ago. Or two weeks ago. Or yesterday.
What’s left to take?
I’m speaking strictly from my own pity party, of course. We’ve all been negatively affected by the last two years of confusion and fear and mixed messages. I’m not blaming anyone for this current mess (except you, anti-vaxxers and mandate protesters – go fuck yourselves!), and I’m fully aware that it’s my own sense of mortality actually stopping me from just doing whatever the fuck I want. There are no physical barriers to me packing shit up and going .. anywhere. It’s logistically complicated, but I thrive on the logistically complicated so that’s not the problem. It’s that annoying little sense of “for the greater good” that I can’t seem to shake, which is not really a bad thing as that’s basically what separates us from them, good from evil, true Canadians from the freedom convoy, etc. I wish things were different. I don’t think we’re going to get there with trucks and nazi flags and ignorance.
At the end of the day there’s nothing left but patience but it’s so hard and I’m so lonely and I miss everything.
But I’ll keep calm, I’ll carry on, I’ll listen to a lot of sad weepy songs, I’ll cut some fancy vinyl signs with giant cocks, and this too shall pass.
I’m sad and tired and lonely, but I’m alive and loved and safe. What more do I really need?
If you know just one thing about me, know that I am pro orgasms. On the controversial topic of climaxing, I am all for it. As often as you want, anywhere you want*. Go orgasms! Manual, digital, analog, solo, group – it’s all good! Hooray for sex juices!
THIS IS WHERE I DRAW THE LINE.
I was looking around the internet, minding my own business, when I stumbled upon a website that sells .. cum sponges. They’re small absorbent cotton rolls on a stick. You use them to extract cum from your vagina (or anus, I suppose) for that fresh, not-just-cummed-in feeling.
Toilet paper is still a thing, right?
I love cum (there’s no way to say that without being entirely awkward, but I’m just gonna own it), but this is awful for several reasons that you better believe I’m about to share with you here:
- Buying a specialty product to do a specific task that LITERALLY ANYTHING ELSE could do: toilet paper, socks, a discarded t-shirt, your cat (don’t do this), etc
- Buying a specialty product that is entirely unnecessary: there’s a lot of shame and shade being thrown about over needing to “waddle to the bathroom”, but the ungainly post-coitus shuffle to the bathroom is part of the miracle of going to pound town
- If you’re too embarrassed to get up and attend to your needs after sex – fix your hair, get a drink, give yourself the orgasm your partner didn’t – you shouldn’t be having sex
- If anyone gives you a hard time over the hasty, unsexy clean-up walk, they don’t deserve the orgasm that created the need
- THIS IS SO BAD FOR THE PLANET holy shit you made a disposable, plastic, boxed, possibly individually wrapped item that is in no way necessary or useful
- THE REVIEWS oh my god these women are so happy that there’s a “solution” that doesn’t involve rolling over and going to sleep and dealing with the aftermath in the morning (“the trickle”) – basically, implying that these women don’t do the post-sex pee thing. YOU HAVE TO DO THE POST-SEX PEE THING! It’s like the third most important part of sex!! Not only does it eliminate the need to put more garbage in landfills, but it’s necessary for health and safety! ALWAYS PEE AFTER SEX!
- This gif:
8. These reviews:
I like opening up the conversation about the realities of sex. I don’t like the implication that these women previously just walked around full of baby batter and went about their day, constantly worried about wads of semen causing a social faux pas. I also don’t like the founder’s tee hee humble brag about the sheer volume of her husband’s sex pudding. Is volume something people look for in a partner? “I really like Stan, but he only deposits up to 10ml of creamy risotto into my snatch at a time. I wish he was more like Johnny – he’s an asshole, but he cums like a firehose!” And don’t get me started on the “mistaking last night’s milky leftovers for my period” thing, or we’ll be here all fucking day.
Look, if you take only one thing away from this post, let it be this: ALWAYS PEE AFTER SEX. Even if you use a condom, or toys, or food (don’t use food). If anything whatsoever gets all up in your lady garden, go to the bathroom afterwards. If your partner makes fun of you for the necessary cleanup, a) don’t sleep with that person again, b) limit your sexual activities to the bathroom so there’s no waddle involved, c) I don’t know, maybe keep some tissues by your bed or something. Don’t buy a disposable product to splunk out your flesh cave. It’s bad for the environment, bad for your hygiene, bad for women, bad for impressionable youth who aren’t being taught to ALWAYS PEE AFTER SEX, and bad for my mood.
I’m all for the betterment of society, but not like this. Never like this.
Disclaimer: The preceding post is Not Safe for Work. Please exercise the necessary precautions.
We don’t generally celebrate Halloween. Giving our religious background, we don’t feel right worshipping Satan and hahah yeah that’s not it. Honestly, in-office Halloween celebrations were the only real “celebrating” we did, and once the office went away, October 31st was just another day. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Halloween – I just didn’t have an excuse to dress up, because I had nowhere to go. For the last 6 years, my default costume has been “Sexy Technical Writer”, because I wear it so well.
My last actual attempt at a Halloween costume was in 2014, when I went to work dressed as an anachronism: Han Solo outfit, Star Trek crew badge, phaser, and Starfleet Academy class ring, Firefly’s Independents flag, a wooden stake, an ADAM syringe from Bioshock, and a dozen other nerdy bibs and bobs from assorted universes. I thought I was brilliant and hilarious, but I had to explain it a lot and any costume that requires a lengthly explanation is probably not the success you’re hoping for.
Last year for Halloween we were on Salt Spring Island. This year we have no plans that don’t involve sitting on our balcony, but for the past year or so I have been all about the overkill: let’s do something, but let’s do it BIG and COMPLICATED. Things that start out as a simple “wonder if I could do this” turn into productions, with logos and labels and quality control and databases. Forgetting simple things led to digital display boards and spreadsheets. Reorganize the spice cabinet? MAGNETS. So, when I decided I wanted to do Halloween for realz this year, shit got chaotic.
It started out kind of simple: if I got a specific wig and dress, I could call it a day and it would be a low-effort but decent costume.
Then I remembered a) we have a door, and b) the door is yellow. It, like everything else in my life, snowballed from there.
All I needed to do next was stand in front of the door:
I did a pretty good job standing, but it was missing something:
WAIT this is Halloween – where’s the candy?!
Pumpkins are not just for Halloween, but you can’t have a Yayoi Kusama costume without at least one pumpkin:
.. or a dinosaur:
Or everything all at once:
I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to spend most of November attacking my door with a paint scraper and some Goo Gone, but I don’t care – it was worth it. I may never do another costume – this was surprisingly expensive to put together because I kept having ideas – but I did the heck out of this one and the pictures make me laugh.
Also did I mention that I BUILT A FUCKING INFINITY
Thank you to Ed for indulging my idea and helping with the picture taking and grosser parts of the pumpkin carving process!
I wonder how long I could keep my door like this.
Happy Halloween from #halfwack!