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Bombshells

Three Hundred Forty Six.

There are very few women in my workplace. In my specific research group, there are two researchers, plus me. Out of about 15 people. So we’re pretty darn outnumbered.

Now, in the last year, I’ve definitely learned that scientists are quiet people. Maybe it’s just chemists? (I hear physicists have quite the personalities.) But I have to say, the female scientists are the quietest of the bunch.

When I started my job last November, I thought I might get along with the ladies the best. Maybe because I am a lady,* or just because I’m used to working with ladies.

I was off to a really good start with one of the girls in particular. She and I would always stop in the hallway and say hi, have a little chat, all the usual stuff. She was quiet, but really nice, and I thought we might become work friends.

But then I did something stupid.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Andrea, you never do anything stupid at your job. (Not like I’ve ever locked myself in the stairwell or parked my car on the sidewalk or anything…) But this was a total accident – something I could have never seen coming.

I walked in on the lady scientist in the bathroom.

They’re private bathrooms – as in, a single room, not a room with multiple stalls or anything – and she hadn’t locked the door.

Here’s the thing: it could have been way worse. I didn’t see anything. She could have been buck naked or something,** but she wasn’t. She could have been having sex with someone. But she wasn’t! She was just sitting there, and as soon as I noticed, I apologized and shut the door.

That was at least six months ago. The girl still will not make eye contact with me. When we’re walking toward one another in the hallways, she keeps her eyes on the floor. She never says hi. She never talks to me. I’m fairly certain she actively avoids me. Hell, in the last six or whatever months, I think I’ve only seen her like, six or seven times. It’s insane.

Yesterday she needed something from me and she used as few words as possible to ask for it, again without making eye contact. I tried to start a friendly conversation and she basically ran away. And that was that.

Well, guys, lesson learned: I’ve always thought of myself as somewhat easy to embarrass, but BOY WAS I WRONG.

Will we ever rekindle our work friendship?

xA

*Arguable, depending on how you define “lady.”

**One time, a lady walked in on me in a fitting room while I was pantsless and bending over to try on jeans. So there you go. An eyeful of Andrea’s underwear-ed bum, bent over, close-up. That’s much worse, but still not as bad as it could be, right?!

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Three Hundred Forty Three.

Last week, Andrea was out looking for new jeans when she came across a really cute, really simple dress. It had a nice, flattering scoop neck, an empire waist, and it was dark teal, AKA it was perfect for her. Oh, and it was also on sale for $10, so how the hell could she say no?

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This morning, Andrea was feeling beyond exhausted. Her dogs had kept her up for a good portion of the night, and her hectic schedule had left her drained. She decided that one way to battle feeling so down in the dumps was to dress up a bit. She immediately thought of her new teal dress. It would definitely do the trick.

Being that teal is one of Andrea’s favourite colours, she was able to put together a stylishly matching ensemble, complete with a light teal bra and underwear set (even though no one would see it). Who does that, right? Andrea does.

What a gal.

Andrea was feeling sassy and confident in her outfit. She had been right: dressing up had made her feel a little more lively.

Then, at approximately 11:52am, Andrea went to the bathroom to, well, pee and wash her hands before lunch, if you really want to know. But as she went to leave the bathroom, something caught her eye.

What was that sparkle? Where was it coming from?

She lost it.

Hmm. Maybe it was nothing.

She moved again, and again a sparkle caught her eye.

Okay, seriously, she thought to herself, where is that coming from?

Then Andrea took a long, hard look at herself in the mirror.

That was when Andrea realized that the top half of her new teal dress was see-through. Not just a little. Almost entirely.

And the sparkle?

That was the charm* on her Victoria’s Secret bra, catching the light. Her dress was so see-through that the charm was plainly visible and capable of catching light.

photo

Oh, shit.

Andrea did up the buttons of her cardigan and got on with her day, but from that point on, Andrea learned to ALWAYS CHECK TRANSPARENCY BEFORE WORK.

Oops.

xA

P.S. Still a totally cute dress. Just definitely not work appropriate.

*Why do they put those on there, anyway? I mean, I guess they’re sort of cute, but really.

Three Hundred Thirty Nine.

Ah, family outings.

When I was growing up, our family outings were modest. We weren’t going off to Disneyland or anything, but we had fun times. (Remember when I barked at those dogs? Good stuff.)

This particular trip was to a place called Half Moon Lake. I was probably seven or eight years old, maybe younger.

Here’s a photo I found of Half Moon Lake via Google image search (as usual…)

Half_Moon_Lake_Resort_10

Not breathtaking, but nice enough.

I have to admit, I’m biased. I mean, our whole day at Half Moon Lake was a bit…doomed. First of all, we got ice cream from this cute little ice cream stand/cabin thing, which was super exciting, but then my brother Bryan dropped his strawberry cone into the sand and the day was effectively ruined. Like, he was so upset that not even a new ice cream cone could soften the blow.

Then it got worse.

We – that is, my mom, dad, brother, and I – were all playing in the sand. I think I was working on the tower to a sand castle, which just means I was packing somewhat wet sand into a small plastic bucket. It was warm and sunny. I’m pretty sure I was even wearing a bathing suit. (Probably one of the last times I ever wore one.) It was almost like being on what my mom would call “a real beach.”*

Then it happened.

A little girl screaming.

I looked up, scanning the sandy area around me, trying to place where the desperate screams were coming from.

Then I realized that the little girl screaming was standing about waist deep in the water.

Oh, shit.

Look, at this point, I was already not a fan of water. And now I was watching in horror as a girl who was basically my age was SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER while standing in the water.

I was certain it was a shark and we were all going to die. Yes, even those of us who were not actually in the water.

Sharks have their ways.

The girl’s dad or mom or whoever ran to her rescue. As it turned out, it was not a shark

It was a leech.

Sucking_leechNow, at the time, I had no idea what leeches were. I just saw a black thing on her leg and as far as I was concerned, it was some sort of tiny sea monster that was somehow killing her slowly.

As an adult, I say LOOK AT IT. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT IT IS.

So, we didn’t go into the water at Half Moon Lake that day. And now that I think of it, we never went back to Half Moon Lake, either.

Lesson learned: Sharks aren’t the only reason to be scared of the water. Leeches are also a valid concern.

xA

*What qualifies as a “real beach,” you say? I don’t know. You have to ask my mom. She’s from Mozambique. She knows her shit.

Three Hundred Thirty Four.

A few weeks ago, I finally opened up to you all about something very close to my heart: my eyebrow woes.

SIDENOTE: You all just read that sentence, and by the time you got to the end of it you were like:

B Eye Roll

That’s okay. That was my intention.

Anyway, that blog post was a long time coming. As I mentioned, I’ve been trying to grow my eyebrows back for like, 10 years, which is crazy. In the last two months or so, I’ve really been trying to thicken them up so that I could maybe have a face that looks like it has eyebrows, even when I’m not wearing any makeup.

Well let me tell you something, people.

photo

Patience pays off!

SIDENOTE: I look OVERJOYED in that photo. I think I was high on low iron.

SIDENOTE TO THE SIDENOTE: One day, when I’m a well-known writer, that photo will resurface and the haters will be like, “Ew! Andrea Beça without makeup!” and I’ll be all secure in myself and be like, “Who cares?” and everything will be cool.

SIDENOTE CUBED: Geek alert.

These are almost full-fledged eyebrows, wouldn’t you say?

Screen shot 2013-09-15 at 09.41.25

I’m here to tell you people that dreams do come true.

In another couple months, I think my eyebrows and I will be like, totally ready to woo.

post-10625-Jason-Segel-Leads-gif-Dance-Pa-sJjv

xA

P.S. This isn’t really related, but it’s related to my LIFE:

Screen shot 2013-09-15 at 09.48.12

Three Hundred Twenty Nine.

Last night I started a new session of private Zumba classes, which also included teaching my first Zumba Toning class ever.

SIDENOTE: Holy shit, was I scared. But it went so, so well. Thank goodness!

I had a lot of prep to do leading up to it. Sometimes I’m not sure that anyone except other instructors understands how many hours of practice and prep go into one 60-minute class.

So today (well, between Sunday and today) I learned that nine hours of Zumba in a three-day span is A LOT.

Excuse me, I just have to…

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kthxbai.

xA

Three Hundred Twenty Five.

When I was in Dublin in 2006, I would say I went on what was a bit of a book shopping binge. You see, a lot of my favourite writers are from Ireland and Scotland, and their books aren’t readily available in Canada, so when I started wandering the streets of Dublin and finding all sorts of amazing books at cute little used bookstores for WAY cheap, I nergasmed. And bought many.

On one particular day, I had just found a very cool first edition of Trainspotting, as well as a copy of an Enda Walsh play I hadn’t read before. I was stoked. So excited. I decided the obvious best thing to do would be start reading Trainspotting immediately. While I was walking back toward my guesthouse.

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Now, it was a summer afternoon in Dublin, and I was staying pretty close to O’Connell Street just north of the Liffey (A.K.A. right in the thick of things), so the side street I was walking down was FULL OF PEOPLE. And it was daylight. Sunny. Beautiful. Not the time you’d expect anything weird and/or scary to just happen.

But shit happens when you least expect it, I suppose.

I was weaving my way in and out of people when all of a sudden, I saw a man getting pushed to the ground just across the street from where I was. In fact, being that it was a pedestrian-only street, I think it’s impossible that anyone didn’t see him getting pushed to the ground. But nobody stopped walking.

I froze where I was, trying to figure out what was going on. The man on the ground, whose hands were both bandaged up as if he had been tossed a hot iron as a cruel prank (so let’s called him Bandages), started screaming and holding onto his head, sheltering himself from the man who had pushed him down, who was now kicking the shit out of him with giant combat boots (so let’s call him The Kicker).

“Hey!” I yelled – or “yelled” (because I was terrified).

1743-AnneSt

I had no idea what to do. No one around me seemed to care about what was going on. Tourists took note and sped up their pace, turning a blind eye. I was flabbergasted.

When The Kicker started stomping his boot down on Bandages’ face, I pulled out my cell phone and started trying to figure out if I had to dial a country code in order to dial 999 for the police.

STOMP.

“Arrrgh!” Bandages screamed.

STOMP.

I panicked.

Just as my concern shifted from “this guy’s getting hurt” to “this guy might get his skull smashed open on the pavement,” I heard it.

“Hey! Hey! Hey! Knock if off, you fuck!”

Two young women had inserted themselves smack dab into the middle of the confrontation.

Not only were they young women – maybe 25 or so – but they were each pushing a baby in a pram, and the one doing the yelling – a super cute, tiny blonde – was also holding hands with a tiny (maybe four-year-old) boy.

“Stop it! What’s wrong with you?! Get out of here, you!”

And The Kicker listened! He spat on Bandages and then ran away, quickly disappearing into the crowds of people.

The women let go of their prams and helped Bandages into a sitting position on the curb he had just been getting stomped against.

“You all right? Up you come.”

He looked like he had no idea where he was (and I can’t blame him), but he was still alive and in one piece (an accomplishment, given what I had just seen).

And just as quickly as they had intervened in Bandages potentially being killed in the middle of a beautiful summer afternoon in Dublin, the two women gathered their children and went on with their day. I looked up and down the street for The Kicker, but he was nowhere to be seen, so I decided to move on with my day, too. But not before looking at Bandages one last time to make sure he was awake.

He was wavering a bit, sitting on the curb and adjusting the bandages on his hands, but he was alert. I hoped he was figuring out the next step he had to take to never see The Kicker again. In reality, he was probably trying to process what had just happened, and he probably couldn’t even hear never mind think after all of the impact his skull had just suffered.

After a silent well wish for Bandages, I kept walking.

That was the day I learned that Irish mothers are not to be messed with.

And also that the scariest things in life often happen in the blink of an eye.

xA

Three Hundred Eleven.

Well, since I told you about some of the men I thought I would marry when I was a child, I thought it would only be fair to also tell you about some of the women I loved most.

What’s really funny, though, is that – no, you know what? Let’s just take a look.

WOMEN I WANTED TO BE WHEN I WAS A SMALL CHILD by Andrea Beça.

SIDENOTE: By “small,” I mean like, 13 and under, but some of these dreams have never died. You know what? Basically none of them have.

Catwoman
Catwoman.

I mean, hello? Obviously. Obviously. I watched Batman like, every single day on TV after school. I was obsessed. So naturally I dreamed of being this feisty, sexy woman.

SIDENOTE: I would look killer in that outfit today. And I would love to have a reason to rock it.

Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman.

Again, mega-DUH.

SIDENOTE: I feel like my response to most of these is going to be, “DUH!”

Morticia Addams.
Morticia Addams.

I’ve already talked about how much I hoped and dreamed about being adopted by the Addams Family as a kid, but while Wednesday was closer to my age, I always really wanted to be Morticia. She’s pure class. Stunningly beautiful. And those giant eyes. Get out of here with those eyes, Carolyn Jones!

Storm.
Storm.

My brother collected all sorts of superhero trading cards when he was a kid. I wish I had easy access to them, because I would totally find the Storm card I was so in love with.

I just thought she was the coolest, okay?

Chun Li.
Chun Li.

Noticing any trends? It took A LOT for me to not play as Chun Li when my brother and I would play Street Fighter. (I had a soft spot for Blanka and Guile – no idea why. I liked Ryu, too, but my brother was always Ryu.)

SIDENOTE: Always secretly wished I could do that with my hair.

HONOURABLE MENTION GOES TO:

Xena.
Xena.
The Pink Power Ranger. (Kimberly Hart)
The Pink Power Ranger. (Kimberly Hart)
The Spice Girls.
The Spice Girls.

SIDENOTE: We’ve been through this.

Lesson learned: I like ladies who kick butt and TCB.

And now I am one. Bam.

xA

Three Hundred Nine.

This is a pretty girly post, but hey, if I’m impressed, I’m impressed.

The last time I went to Sephora, I got a 100-point “perk” – it was a liquid eyeliner from the Kat Von D collection.

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I didn’t try it out for ages because If often run right from work to Zumba classes, so I tend to keep my makeup minimal, both for my skin’s sake, and so that I’m not crying black eyeliner tears by the end of class from sweating so much. (It happened a few times and it was NOT a good look for me.)

But yesterday I was in the mood for a sexy little cat-eye sweep of liquid liner, so I thought what the hell? I was already planning on having a night at home practicing choreography, so I figured I could really put the product to test.

This was me about five minutes into my workout:

Pre-Sweat

And here I am after over an hour of Zumba and a pretty intense legs and bum workout:

Post-Sweat

Dripping wet, but the liner didn’t budge!

In fact, I rubbed it (not crazy hard, but enough) afterward and it still didn’t smear. I washed my face in the shower with face wash and after that I still had a bit of liner on.

There you have it.

That Kat Von D knows her shit. No wonder it’s called “Tattoo Liner.”

xA

P.S. It’s also super easy to apply and it only costs $18, so it seems like a pretty good buy to me.

Three Hundred Six.

Yesterday I got to spend the day in a beautiful location watching two of my favourite people get married.

Holy cow, guys, it was perfect. I feel so lucky to have been there, and so lucky to know the happy couple (Hi, Mandelle and Adam! I love you guys!).

It happened in a small town just outside of Calgary – a quaint, storybook country setting.

DeWinton

My friend Caitlin and I got dolled up and had basically the best time ever.

Cait and Ang

We laughed, cried, ate, and danced our asses off. I don’t think I have ever had that much fun dancing at a wedding. My friend Caitlin’s a damn good date. I highly recommend her presence.

I’m not going to go into great detail on the wedding today, though I might talk about it more another time. For now, I’m just setting the scene for a hilarious moment.

When I say we were dancing our asses off, I totally mean it. We danced like crazy people – air punching, shimmying, jumping, shaking our butts, scream-singing along to the Spice Girls and scream-rapping along to Run DMC (shout out to Keith, our friend and DJ, for taking my song request). When “It’s Like That” came on, our shoes came off and we really went for it.

Right at the end of the night, a guy we had met throughout the wedding day and night hopped onto the dance floor to dance with us. We were all having a great time when he dropped into a dramatic dance move, really low to the ground.

Cue the sound of a record scratch and the music going dead silent. (But only in our minds, because in real life the music kept playing.)

His face flashed from “having a great time” to “oh my fucking god” faster than any of us could even process.

“I ripped my pants!” he shouted over the music.

“Ha ha!” I laughed. I thought he was joking.

“I ripped my pants!” he said again, scurrying off the dance floor.

“Oh my god!” Caitlin and I said to one another, feeling both extreme sympathy and extremely amused.

It soon became clear that he wasn’t – ahem – properly attired to continue dancing despite the rip. If you know what I mean.

AND THEN I HAD A FLASHBACK TO:

A night in Glasgow. A few of my classmates and I had been out to see what was the worst production of Othello I have ever seen in my life. It was so bad, in fact, that we ran away at intermission. If you know me at all, you know that a production/movie/anything has to be horrendous for me to leave before it’s over, because if I can avoid being disrespectful of the work being presented to me, I will. I’ve been a producer. I’ve been a director. I’ve been an actor. I teach Zumba classes all week. I know what it feels like to watch people walk out of your work.

But it was that bad.

Now, all of my classmates are like me, so we all felt guilty for leaving, but we were desperate. So naturally, we didn’t leave the theatre calmly. Well, we left the auditorium calmly – but then we ran. Why did we run? I don’t know. I still run to the parkade every time I leave work early, even when my boss tells me to leave work early. I guess my instincts tell me I may be caught and chastised or something.

Regardless, we hurried.

I was speed walking down a dark, narrow street next to my classmate Carissa when we all heard an “OooooOOP!” and our friend Janice disappeared from our peripheral vision.

There was a thud.

Our first instinct, of course, was to say, “Oh my god, are you okay?”

The only response we got was laughter, which started small and built up to straight up maniacal. Janice was beside herself; she could not stop.

“Guys! Guys!” she tried to talk between gasps for air, “It’s a banana! It’s a BANANA!”

We looked around, trying to determine what the hell she was talking about.

And there it was.

banana-peels

Janice had slipped on a banana peel.

Need I say more?

Lesson learned: Sometimes those quintessential “movie moments” happen in real life. And boy, are they ever entertaining.

xA

P.S. Totally just shared the link to this post on Facebook only to have my friend Janice tell me that it was Carissa who slipped, not her! I guess I remembered it backwards because I was LAUGHING FOREVER.

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