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.

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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

milk pulp

What. The fuck. Is “Milk Pulp”.

Google fails me on this. I found some at a local Chinese-disguised-as-Japanese grocery store, and was too curious to pass it by. Plus, super cute:

img_5506

i ate one before i realized i didn’t know what it was

Also, discounted. If there’s one thing I love, it’s mystery food on sale because it’s about to expire! Sign me the fuck up! I bought a fresh one, then the two remaining price-slashed orange ones because tiny jars featuring faithful elephants are my fucking JAM.

Which is appropriate, as these mysterious things were labeled as “Milk Pulp with Jam”. What does that mean? Nothing in my random Asian heritage foretold of milk pulp, or why it was served with “jam”. It wasn’t really jam, it was more like a compote. Milk Pulp with Compote, Nature *AND* Human.

Every search for “milk pulp” resulted in information about almond milk and what to do with all the dry, dusty almond schmutz leftover from the milking. This was definitely a dairy product (and almonds weren’t a listed ingredient), so I didn’t think I was dealing with some sort of vegan goo. The lack of available information annoyed me, so there was really only one thing left to do: eat it and see what happened.

Nothing really happened, other than my still being alive and not knowing what milk pulp is. Near as I can figure, it’s .. Chinese flan? Maybe a little more solid than flan. Chinese pannacotta? Is that a thing? Whatever it was, it was pretty good. The orange goo turned out to be mango (always a bonus), and the dark stuff is blueberry. I was worried it was going to be cottage cheese or something because of the fruit, but was pleased at the (still mysterious) reality. Would totally milk pulp again, if I can get over my frustration at not knowing what it is. Good practice for Japan, I suppose.

We’ve been experimenting with different foods around the house, and last night I roasted some brussels sprouts. They turned out fucking amazing, so I’m posting what I did here mostly for my own memory:

  • Turn oven on to 425
  • In a bowl:
    • Buncha sprouts: wash ’em, trim off the ends, and cut them in half
    • Lots of garlic
    • Olive Oil
    • Salt and pepper
  • Stir them up until they’re all coated and junk. If you like things hot, add peppers. I used crushed chilies because I use them in everything, and it was lovely.
  • Spread the oily spouts out onto a baking sheet.
  • BACON! Add lots and lots of bacon. I don’t actually buy rashers anymore, we get these from Costco. They’re pre-cooked, but not as cooked as I would like – so I just tossed a couple of handfuls right onto the sprouts so they get extra crispy and delicious. Also, the fat from the bacon lubricates the brussels sprouts, so you can use a great deal less olive oil than usually recommended (I’ve seen anywhere from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup; I used a couple of tablespoons worth)
  • Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until the sprouts are tender and charred
  • Squeeze lemon juice on the sprouts
  • Drizzle with a balsamic glaze which is super handy to always have on hand because it’s delicious and goes with everything
  • Liberally apply parmesan cheese (fresh grated if you’ve got it, but anything other than the cardboard shelf cheese)
  • Sprinkle fresh cilantro on the whole mess (sorry Shan)
  • Chow the fuck down

They were super easy and so, so good. Will definitely be doing them again.

Adulting with vegetables!

a medical degree in fashion from france 

Over the weekend, I passed my two year anniversary of that time I almost died all over the place.  

I actually didn’t give it a single thought until it popped up on my Facebook feed as a memory I might want to revisit (thanks .. ?), which is actually kind of excellent. I mean, I’m not totally fixed yet – I’m still taking 85 pills a day (aka 7, three of which are not even related to my heart) and experiencing an occasional side effect or two – but my forgetting the Incident means that my health continues to be so much better that I have the luxury of not dwelling on it. Does that make sense? It does to me, but I have a headache and words don’t make sense anymore, so ymmv. 

I continue to be grateful and hashtag blessed that my life not only continues, but is filled with so much fun and ridiculousness that a lesser Kimli could literally not even. 

the amount of pleased i am is the precise amount this carved ivory baby is not.