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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Into the Mind of Anxiety and Shyness

Getting into the mind of someone with anxiety and shyness can be difficult for some people to understand. I'm going to write about this now because I currently have less than an hour before I have to head off to a party.

A party that my boss's friend is throwing at her house.
With about 100 people.
Most of them her family.
And this particular boss is not fond of me.

I'm pretty sure I was only invited because the entire clinic was. It wouldn't be fair to single some of us out, you know?

So anyway, lets delve into the mind of an anxiously [introverted] shy person.

What if I can't find the house? (I'm using google navigation)
Where am I going to park? What's that situation going to be like with 100 people?
What if I get trapped in a space and I want to go home?

Most of the time I freak out about arriving too early, but I'm a compulsively early person because I hate being late. Even though logically I know I should probably arrive a bit later, I will probably be one of the first people there, which will make things even more awkward, especially if none of my other co-workers are there yet. And then my car might get trapped behind someone else's car. It's inevitable.

I'm going to just stand in a corner and not talk to anybody. I'll find Beverly or someone else to latch onto and follow them around so I won't look awkward and lonely being by myself.

I'm wearing my boots for style but I definitely won't be able to stand in them all night.

I hate it when there's nowhere to sit.

Will there be food? I'm probably going to be hungry. I hope I like it. 

I wonder how fancy it's going to be. I'm not a very fancy person.

I just painted my nails and they look very unclean around the edges.

There better not be party games. Oh god.

I can't embarrass myself if I don't talk to anyone. Please don't make me talk to anyone.

I'm going to be meeting my boss's family. This is creepy as f*ck.

Dr. Saffari and Dr. Bidus is going to be there too. Just greeeeaaaaat.

I'm going to need some alcohol to loosen up but I'm driving. So I'm either going to allow myself one drink, or stay there for a really long time.

I wonder how long I need to stay before leaving becomes acceptable.

This isn't going to be a dinner, is it? Oh god.

There better be somewhere to sit.

Where's the bathroom? I'm too embarrassed to ask anyone. But I really have to pee. Why did I drink all that water?

I have to mentally prepare for a lot of people and a lot of cacophony. My brain can't stand cacophony. 

My head hurts.

I'm freaking out about embarrassing myself. I can't even explain how this might be accomplished, but it's 110% likely.

I'm going to be highly anxious and completely dead bored at the same time since I won't be participating in anything or talking to anyone. It's a very strange mix.

Breathe, just breathe.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Orca Experience 5/31/15

Wow, I put this off for a really long time, which isn't like me at all. After all, seeing Orcas was on my not-quite-yet midlife crisis list, and I finally got to see them!

My mother and I had already attempted to see them once before the previous year, and we'd only gotten a glimpse of some Humpbacks, which put whale watching on my spite list. So, with another Groupon at my disposal, we attempted again, this time using a different company. Groupon is filled with deals for whale watching, however most of them start on the San Juan Islands and you first need to get yourself to them which can be a hassle, so I had to find one that starts on the coast instead. This one started in Port Angeles, and we took a 3-hour boat ride up to Friday Harbor. It included a 2-hour layover at the harbor and then a return trip for $50/pp and that was a great deal, especially considering all we got to see.

The only real issue I had was my motion sickness. It doesn't tend to be a problem as long as I can look out a window, but unfortunately we were seated 6 to a table, 3 on each side, and I was on the isle. I tried looking out the window from my position but my brain said that wasn't good enough. I didn't get ill, however, I just felt generally crappy and and dizzy. Another unfortunate issue was that this trip started quite early in the morning and despite having a record-breaking heatwave of a summer, it was only about 60 degrees and the sun hadn't broken through the marine layer yet. Some people braved the cold to be on the outside of the boat but I was not one of them.

On our way up to Friday Harbor we saw a lot of wildlife including a bald eagle and a sea lion. And then, the word came. Orcas. Our boat was the first of the day to spot a pod of Orcas (all the boats of all the companies share information so that everyone can see the whales when they're spotted.) so they were not yet identified. What we knew from general knowledge was that while resident Orcas tend to spread their pod out, transient ones tend to stick in a tight group, which these ones did.

Turns out these were Transient Pod #127 which was also captured (for free! grrr lol) moving along under the Tacoma Narrows Bridge the next day.

I was so stoked to see real Orcas. I did a report on them in high school (had been my plan since day one of joining Marine Biology) and they are one of my favorite animals. Definitely my favorite marine animal.

Anyway, after we got our fill of Orcas, the boat headed to Friday Harbor to spend a couple of hours. Mom and I walked around and found a decent restaurant to eat in, and did a little shopping. Two hours was definitely not enough time!

I think I want to do this trip again. Hopefully next time we'll run into playful Orcas that are jumping out of the water. That would be epic!

Last Day in Alaska Night 3

I'm going to try to fit the last bit of my trip into this one blog post. Man, I've never written so much about a trip; not even New York City! If you need to catch up, here are some links:

We had decided to check out the International Ice Scrupling Festival at night because we heard that was a cool time to go with all the pieces lit up. They weren't wrong. I'm glad we picked night time to go. 

I think we all (there was a small line of people that Mom and I were following through) thought that there was a walkable path where all the super big sculptures were being created (none of them were done yet - sad pandas) that turns out to have been an off-limits area as they were using cranes to unload large blocks of ice.


So, after my hands officially froze off, we headed back to our hotel for a decent night's sleep.

Our plane doesn't come until the evening the next day and we had nothing officially planned, so I was sorting though all the little pamphlets and found an interesting shop called the Knotty Shop (pun surely intended), but it was made of all these knotty pine logs. It was in Salcha, which was probably 40 minutes from Fairbanks, so we head down there. Turns out they are closed on Mondays (I'd spite this place but I never want to visit Fairbanks again lol). FINE. BE THAT WAY.  We drive all the way back up, and I'm randomly driving through streets in Fairbanks like I know my way (but it's not that easy to get lost) and we stop at this bowl shop that's super cool and I was able to knock some more things off my must-have list:
Elk, Caribou, and Reindeer meat. No moose though. Damn!

We spent a bunch of time shopping in Fred Meyer and Walmart for souvenirs. Fairbanks is an industrial town... I don't think their tourist rate is that high... we never saw any small dinky curio shops around town, really. And still, not one shot glass said Fairbanks. Luckily, however, I'd caught that a gift shop at the Fairbanks Airport (Lolz, the only gift shop) was selling them and that was my last resort. So, after returning our truck to Enterprise, they dropped us off super early at the airport and I got my shot glasses (thank goodness!).

And that was it. We took our flight home and I was never so happy to be comfortably warm.

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