binary girl: the secret blog

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shh!

Spontaneous cuddles!

July 22nd, 2014



Spontaneous cuddles!

Originally uploaded by alibee09


… and then I suddenly understood something about Shanley Kane.

July 21st, 2014

I’ve been a software engineer in the professional world for 19 years. I’ve had my share of experiences with other software engineers and managers, shared in both this blog and it’s former incarnation, which have clearly been based in abject sexism, but it has happily always felt like it has been the exception, never the rule.

Recently, my husband sent me this article, though, and I was suddenly filled with RAGE. It suddenly occurred to me on a very basic level just how rampant and deeply-held some of the behaviors we experience are, and how much I’ve normalized them as part of my long-term experience. I’ve changed in real, measurable ways, in terms of how I react to certain situations based on some of this; some of those ways I’m fine with (I’m very one-of-the-boys in terms of what I consider acceptable conversational topics, but that generally fits with my personality and is something that I think attracted my husband to me, besides my HUGE BRAIN OF AWESOME), but others honestly bother me (any time someone tries to help me in a way that I believe reflects on their opinion of my skill or how I can do my job will cause a knee-jerk “I CAN DO THIS, ASSHOLE” reaction; I have terrible impostor syndrome).

Anyway. That article, and my rage as a result, led to a really awful interaction with a guy I used to work… click to enjoy (for certain values of “enjoy”). But, in the midst of all of that, I suddenly had a stark realization about Shanley Kane, who always seemed to me as an extremist who didn’t accurately represent my experience and who, in fact, sometimes made it harder for me to do my job: she is that blind rage, and she is feeling it all the time in order to afford me the places where I can relax and exist and do my job in this environment without constantly seething about things that are so deeply-rooted that it will take generations to undo. What I saw as the things that make her dangerous to me personally (“guys will have reactions to me because they will think that I’m off-the-handle in the same way because we are both female engineers”) are actually important (“guys should check their reactions as being part of a deep-seated need for reflection and change” — because if people group us together because we are both female engineers, THAT IS THE PROBLEM RIGHT THERE). She is choosing to have this rage (as much as anyone can choose how they feel) because the only thing that will possibly have any affect here — if anything can have an affect — is constant pressure on people to see how their behavior is responsible at all levels for the current state that we’re in.

So… that was a weird paradigm shift for me — not about Shanley in specific, but in admitting to myself that my experiences count for something and I am not the only one having them. I’m not a special snowflake in this way, and knowing that … well, knowing that sucks, because I hate thinking about other people having the same ones.

“Is anybody home?”

July 20th, 2014



"Is anybody home?"

Originally uploaded by alibee09


Pool time!

July 13th, 2014



Pool time!

Originally uploaded by alibee09


Pre-swim class photo of cute short people

July 12th, 2014



Pre-swim class photo of cute short people

Originally uploaded by alibee09


fourth of july!

July 7th, 2014

My new job is amazing in many ways. Besides the fact that I am super busy and loving every second of it, they also gave us an extra day off before the Fourth of July, so Brandon also took it off, while the kids enjoyed being at school that day, and we ran errands and had lunch and spent too much time at Costco and enjoyed time together doing things that are super hard to do with kids in tow.

The Fourth itself was a “high needs” kid day, especially for Max — about every third word from his mouth was my name, but it wasn’t as much as he wanted to tell me something as much as he wanted my constant attention. It was a very family day, and we didn’t do anything specific beyond “spend time together”, including time at the school riding bikes and playing. Both kids wanted to stay up for fireworks, but because it gets light so freakin’ late, we thought it would be smarter to watch the NY show on TV… but even though it started at 8, there were so many frickin’ musical guests that the fireworks didn’t start on TV until 9:30, which is when the local show is anyway. I stole outside and found that we couldn’t see anything through the trees, and Katie fell asleep while they were going off, while Max told me that he was tired (this never happens) so I took him to bed and he fell asleep immediately (also never happens). Nicky was fine with the local fireworks because he’s pretty much deaf, but Ash was extremely restless, especially when the particularly loud stuff was going on at the school across the street. He tried to hide in both Max’s and Katie’s room, as well as under the sheets with me, before laying down between the loveseat and table in the front room.

Saturday was our normal routine, for the most part: gymnastics, Home Depot for their weekly kid building stuff event (first Saturday of the month, this time they made bug houses), lunch, swim class, then date night! Woot! Since we’d recently seen all the movies we wanted to (X Men: Days of Future Past, Malificent, The Edge of Tomorrow), we opted to see 22 Jump Street, but because we knew it would be sub-optimal, pre-medicated with a drink at the only place with a bar open pre-5: The Old Spaghetti Factory. Dinner was at Quinto Sol (an old fave) and then we went to the Living Room afterward. The kids were sort of awake by the time we were done but fell asleep painlessly enough.

Finally, Sunday! We took the kids to see How To Train Your Dragon 2, which ended up with me on one seat with Max in my lap (when he wasn’t constantly climbing on the railing ahead of us, good lord that kid can’t sit still at the movies), Katie next to me so that half of her seat was empty, then the rest of that seat and another empty seat between us and Brandon, who ostensibly sat there enjoying his movie and popcorn. Then we went to the mall for some errands and lunch, then ended up at Alex and Patty’s house to swim! Which was fairly amazing because Katie spent most of the time independently swimming by herself, diving for rings without floaties or anything. Max was floatified, and … all I had to do was sit there and watch them. It was amazing.

Happy family! :D

We have lots of Cars cars.

July 7th, 2014



We have lots of Cars cars.

Originally uploaded by alibee09


Lunch date #1

July 6th, 2014



Lunch date #1

Originally uploaded by alibee09


Lunch date #2

July 6th, 2014



Lunch date #2

Originally uploaded by alibee09


Out on a date… with a giant head.

July 5th, 2014



Out on a date… with a giant head.

Originally uploaded by alibee09


meyers briggs updated

June 30th, 2014

In 2003…
(my meyers-briggs)

In 2006…
(my meyers-briggs)

In 2014…
(my meyers-briggs)

From the last test to now, it looks like I’ve stayed extremely extroverted, moved slightly more intuitive than previously, become slightly less feeling and more thinking, and moved more strongly into perceiving. Apparently these aren’t supposed to change… but I think the fact that I’m typically borderline across S/N and J/P is what causes the apparent shifting.

influencer TLC vox box: Avon Anew

June 30th, 2014

Influencer sent out VoxBox for moms and people who needed a little TLC last month, and I was one of the people lucky enough to receive one! So, I thought I’d do some quick reviews.

20140603_203600

The most interesting and exciting part of this VoxBox was, for me, the Avon Anew Express Wrinkle Smoother. I am SO lucky that thanks to my excellent genetics and commitment to daily SPF on my face, I’ve not got many wrinkles… but I do have the requisite crow’s feet starting up, mainly on ONE eye (the left… thanks, driver’s side window). They don’t bother me too much but I was willing to try this stuff…

So it looks essentially like a pale, creamy foundation:
20140603_203737
(You can tell that I already had touched it.)

It was incredibly soft, which makes sense since it markets itself as a “cream to powder”, and the idea is that you take a little on your finger and then pat it over the offending area. What it seems to be, essentially, is a light diffuser; it doesn’t change the feeling of the skin that you apply it to other than to make it feel more powdery. (I wasn’t sure if it was going to plump up the area, or what.) It did seem to have an effect, however, which I was surprised by — I doubt that it would work for deep wrinkles, like those that can develop around the mouth, but the instructions target the eye area anyway! I definitely would find myself using this if I was going for a formal, finished look… my kids, husband, and coworkers can deal with my very slight wrinkles on a daily basis! HA!

More reviews to come. :D

I got overly nerdy with this one…

June 27th, 2014



I got overly nerdy with this one…

Originally uploaded by alibee09


Future intentions

June 27th, 2014



Future intentions

Originally uploaded by alibee09


On to kindergarten!

June 27th, 2014



On to kindergarten!

Originally uploaded by alibee09


lying liarpants

June 24th, 2014

(potty talk)

Jaimetime!

June 24th, 2014



Jaimetime!

Originally uploaded by alibee09


Tooth #4!

June 16th, 2014



Tooth #4!

Originally uploaded by alibee09


i got hurt NOT doing tae kwon do

June 16th, 2014

I was watching Max doing his TKD class the Thursday before last (so 11 days ago) and sitting on the floor. The instructors were having the kids do double kicks into shields, and because it was the under-five class, they were all falling very dramatically every time a kid kicked well. The teacher closest to me, who is also a judo instructor, very dramatically double-rolled backward, right into me. I felt something in my ankle, under the ankle bone, snap somewhat, and tears instantly sprung to my eyes, but I didn’t want him to interrupt the class, so I knee-walked out (thank goodness for the mat) until I got out front, where I told Brandon that I was in quite a bit of pain.

I have no idea what happened, but my ankle still hurts — the side, when I twist it weirdly, but mainly the arch and top of my foot when I’m walking. I don’t know what I did but I’m starting to get bummed out and thinking I might need to see a doctor (although I would like to avoid that as much as possible). So, I’m wearing one of B’s ankle braces today from his ankle pre/post surgery, and it hurts a lot in general right now as a result. Grr!

we went to disneyland

June 16th, 2014

And all I did was forget to write about it.

Okay, that is not entirely correct. I’ve been thinking about our trip, and I did post an entry about the rides we went on (here), but I certainly failed to write anything in depth about it, so here are a few things I can recall.

First off, we decided to stay at the Grand Californian this time, and do a five-day park stay, partially because we were treating ourselves to a vacation between my jobs, and partially because the other resorts were all sold out of the reasonable rooms, so it was actually cheaper. We had a two bed setup for the first half and then moved to bunks, which was awesome, because they had told us they wouldn’t have bunks at all and then I went and begged (mama needed sleep) and they were able to move us. The hotel is really nice and has a lot of cool amenities, although we didn’t take care of the childcare because Max is too young and I didn’t really see the point in only leaving Katie — we were on vacation as a family, after all.

This trip I was smarter about dinner reservations, which was to our benefit. I also booked us the World of Color seating at the trattoria in California Adventure one night, which was THE BEST IDEA. We had dinner and a virtually front-row seat to the Pixar Play Parade, and then we had a little time to do a few rides before hitting up the show, where we were afforded front-row, get-yourself-drenched seats to the World of Color. (IT IS SO FAB.)

Speaking of that… a great story! Max was FINALLY 40″ this trip, so we went on a bunch of rides that we didn’t during our trip at the beginning of the year — Radiator Spring Racers (we went this an obscene amount of times because it was one of their favorites and that ties in nicely to the fact that when it’s a Magic Morning, we can get on it early), Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Star Tours, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Soarin’ Over California, etc. Also, relatedly, Katie, and Max in particular, have always been obsessed with talking about “scary” rides — ad nauseum. So somehow the Tower of Terror came up (probably the fact that it’s this huge thing in the middle of the park) and Katie decided that she was ABSOLUTELY going to go on it after dinner at the trattoria. (Recall that this is the same girl who was so terrified of scary rides the first time that we went to Disneyland that she could barely handle the Ariel ride, or Peter Pan.) Having never been on it myself, I said… well, let’s go stand in line and see what it’s like. Max declared that if Katie was going, he was too, and while we stood in line, I queried the people around me about the amount of psychological content of the ride: was it scary because it fell fast, or because there was “scary” stuff surrounding the ride itself, like in the Haunted Mansion? Hands-down, to a person, they told me that there was no psychological element to the ride.

LIES.

We were in the line for a long time because only one elevator bay was running and we were continually pre-empted by Fast-Passers (and we used Fast Passes a lot on this trip, just not in this case). Turns out there is a Rod Serling Twilight Zone introduction, and then the ride itself, which I was hoping would be fun but was instead vaguely nauseating. As I realized what was happening, with all the talking and whatnot, I started talking to the kids and trying to normalize it a bit, and then as the ride commenced, I was covering them and trying to make them feel safe. For their parts, both of them were stone silent the entire thing. Then, the ride ended and I told them it was over, and they both BURST out in hysterics. It was absolutely awful. Max was hyperfocused on the part of the ride where Serling impersonator said something to the effect of “Say goodbye to your family”, but I got him into a good mental state faster than I could with Katie, who needed a lot of close attention before she could calm down. I felt totally horrible (as I should have), and I can’t be thankful enough that we walked directly to World of Color after that, and erased most of their upset… but ugh. Really bad call on my part.

The next day we tried to go on the Haunted Mansion because the line was short but at the end of the elevator section, which we had to really really work to get the kids to go on to start, Katie said, “I can’t HANDLE THIS!” so we all exited before the moving walkway; I wanted them to understand that we weren’t going to force them to go on any ride, and that helped them believe us.

Other neat moments:
- on the pirate island, Max asked me to tell the pirate band that he wanted to be a pirate, so they surrounded him and danced and sang and then thought up ideas for how he could be on their crew
- Indiana Jones, Ariel, and a Small World were closed for most of our trip, but we randomly happened upon the first two when they were doing “test” openings, meaning that B and I both got to go on Indy (although it broke down during his ride so he got to go twice) and we all hit up Ariel
- relatedly, the Matterhorn did a weird switching thing when I was on it (where they pull out a car to try to speed up tracking) so I got to go on it twice.
- this is sad because that means I went on B’s fave ride twice, and vice versa
- we went on Star Tours 2x in a row and that was bad because I wanted to vomit
- the kids each got awesome costumes; Max got a pirate outfit that he wore every day for a month after we got home, and Katie got an Aurora costume. I also snagged two Olafs and two two-sided Elsa/Anna dolls (so that Riley and Tyler got a little something from DL, too)

I’ll add more as I recall it.