Pizza for Dinner
Sunday, October 25, 2009
ASHG and Oahu
I finally went to another professional conference! It was interesting, especially since my degree is in cellular and molecular pathology and not genetics.

I did take some time out for enjoyment, of course. I had a nice flight, though long, and filled with EPIC struggles with the stewardesses over the fact that I can't eat gluten. It's like they thought if they insisted hard enough I could eat wheat. If only, ladies. It was a little "who's on first" there for a while when I was saying "wheat allergy" and they were hearing "meat allergy". You'd think this would have been cleared up after I said I can't eat stuffing, pasta, flour, bread or croutons. Or at least by the time I ate chicken ... I had similar issues on the island and really only managed to get one real meal a day. Luckily I had brought snacks.

My room was right on the ocean so I had a great view and could run downstairs to the beach or serenity pool when I had some time. I never really got on the Hawaiian time schedule, which is 6 hours earlier than EDT. I wasn't able to sleep very well on the plane rides either, so I should sleep well tonight and hopefully not be too tired tomorrow. At any rate this meant an early bedtime for me since I was somewhere between Pacific and Eastern time.

I took time for a tour of some of the island including Pearl Harbor, the Dole Plantation, Sunset Beach and the Pali Road up in the rain forest. Pearl Harbor was very moving. Oil was visible and smellable on the water. Large parts of the USS Arizona were visible above or just under the water. Other ships in Battleship Row that were sunk were also marked. I learned that survivors of the Arizona who died later had asked to be interred with the ship. Oddly there were a lot of Japanese on the tour. I'm not sure how the attack is viewed in current Japanese culture, I'd be interested in a perspective. I don't think anyone there spoke English though.

Dole is currently the only pineapple company on the island although they only grow the pineapples there, they're canned in Asia. Other produce includes coffee, macadamia nuts and taro root. Cousin Walter the tour guide was very amusing and informative.

I think those are the highlights. My hotel was right near VERY upscale shops so I window shopped at Cartier and Ferragamo. It was very muggy so I was thankful for the conference shuttle. It was only about a mile or so walk but I worked up quite the sweat the first afternoon. The next time I travel to Polynesia I'll bring more than n+1 days of clothes.

Sunset Beach
USS Arizona Memorial

I love this poster
Waikiki Beach
A replica of a 900-year-old temple in Japan
Bird of Paradise

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Thursday, October 08, 2009
Reality of life
I've had a lot of personal development lately. It's something I'm happy about and proud of. In American culture we're brought up believing hard work will get you the stars. Anyone can be president or an astronaut, everyone has a true love they'll meet in some romantic circumstance. It's a load of crap. I feel foolish for not having really accepted this earlier, cynical as I am, but it was so ingrained in me that trying hard and doing the right thing leads to your dreams that I haven't accepted this until now. Simple dreams can be out of reach even if you do everything right. On the other hand you can do everything wrong and still have more than you deserve (see reality TV). I don't mean to take any accomplishments away from people who have earned them, this whole post is on a general level. I am certainly impressed by the friends I have.

It's freeing to realize this. It sounds like it should be depressing but it's not. I have few expectations so I'm able to be content with what I have. I'm not happy with my career but I can go there every day and not be completely miserable. I can appreciate people that I care about who care about me even when they hurt me. It still hurts, but I'm not going to expect perfection from people.

I will still be me, I will still do my best. I will still care about the people I care about totally even knowing they may not return the sentiments the same way or as much. That's just how things go, people will do what they want to do.

I think I'm amazing. I think I'm above average in most ways (clearly the most important ones). I think I'm intelligent, funny, sweet, fun to talk to, easy to be around, sexy, reliable, interesting. I think I'm good at my job, much better than some people around me. I try hard to be the best I can and fix my faults. I know I can be hard to get to know, I'm shy and reserved at heart. I'm trying to not let that happen as much.

I still get frustrated sometimes and don't understand things. It's still new to me. I can accept that at work my age and marital status will come up every week but I'm not exactly ok with it. I think I perform better than I get credit for because people look at me and see 'the new girl' even though I've been doing my job longer and better than the expert resource they turn to. I don't see why the fact that I'm unmarried has anything to do with my job or maturity. And I'm offended by women who say I'm lucky to live alone because they have to make 2 extra lunches in the morning and pick up socks from the living room. I think a loving family is a good thing and don't understand these stereotypical women. I'm fine on my own but I am on my own. There's no one to take care of me when I'm sick. I can't switch cars with my husband if mine is having trouble. I have to do everything for myself.

I'm not passive-aggressive, nagging, shrill, I don't use sex as a bargaining tool, I take care of my appearance, I don't ask stupid questions to hear myself talk, I don't point out problems and insist someone else solve them, I'm not so girly I make a commotion over a fart, I don't insist on my way all the time, I'm not two-faced or manipulative or anything I would call bitchy. Maybe I'm a bitch because I point out that the sweet woman who wouldn't hurt a fly is a two-faced manipulative bitch. I feel like this stereotype---maybe not all of those qualities in one person but that type of woman---is the woman most people are comfortable with, the expected woman. The woman who will move forward at work and fall into having a family. The woman who is seen as strong and a leader somehow. I feel I'm easy to be with, I don't nag, I certainly love sex, I might be girly in some ways but I also enjoy sports and know how to work a drill. I'm not going to make a meeting run 30 minutes over or make a project miss its goal so I can do things my way and point out problems everyone sees but offer no solutions.

I don't get it but I am who I am and I'm happy with who I am.



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