The Weird Feeling

That weird feeling when the kid you used to fight for toys and who kept stealing your outfits as a teenager gets invited to mentor at the Women In Tech Mentorship Program at Google’s Startup Grind Global Conference in Silicon Valley. . .


This training is just out of this world nuts. There is a whole segment on how when you see a student at a party getting very drunk and being groped by another student, you need to come up to the groper and tell them off.

Of course, the chances of me hanging out with drunk and groping students are less than nil. What are the students going to say? “Hey, I know what will make this party real fun. Let’s invite the middle-aged non-drinking Professor B to the party so that she can hover around, barking ‘Speak Spanish!’ and ‘Have you started working on your lab yet?’ at us!”

So why am I being quizzed on behaviors I’m beyond unlikely to observe?

My Weird Valentine

Valentine’s is such a weird holiday. We still can’t figure it out. N and I thought it was supposed to be a holiday for romantic couples. The roses, the big red heart-shaped candy boxes. But then I’m seeing tons of photos on FB of little girls with huge bouquets and red hearts whose Daddy is their Valentine. N says it looks creepy.

So now we are completely confused. If it’s a day of friendship and non-romantic love and you are supposed to give gifts and cards to friends, then why are all the cards so clearly romantic in nature? I couldn’t find any for Klara’s little friends at school. I’m not getting it. What is it that we are supposed to be celebrating?

From Ukrainian Facebook

A guy shared this story on Ukrainian Facebook.

There is a tax office where he lives. And next to the tax office there is one of those kiosks that abound in Ukraine. People who visit the tax office constantly come up to the kiosk to ask if they have a Xerox machine. Eventually, the owner of the kiosk got so fed up that he put up a notice “There is no Xerox here!”

Two weeks later, a new notice appeared: “THERE IS NO XEROX HERE!!!!!!”

A month later, there was a new notice: “No Xerox!!!! And I don’t know where you can effing find one!”

And a couple of months later, yet another notice: “If you ask me about a Xerox, you’ll be fined 10,000 hryvnya!!!”

Then a Chinese guy bought the kiosk.

On the next day, the Chinese guy installed an old beaten up Xerox at the kiosk.

Two months later, the Chinese guy installed a new color Xerox at the kiosk.

A year later, the Chinese guy opened a small copy center.

Two years later, the Chinese guy started building a hairdresser salon next to the kiosk and began coming to work in an old beaten up Porsche Cayenne.

So the Ukrainian fellow publishes the story in Facebook, right? There are thousands of comments. The very first one is, “Fuck that fat bugger Poroshenko! It’s all his fault!” The second one is, “If this were a normal country, we’d have a government that would put copiers in all tax offices, and we wouldn’t need any effing Chinese to come open copy centers.”

The funny thing is, when a Ukrainian emigrates someplace, s/he also starts opening metaphorical copy centers and driving metaphorical Porsche Cayennes. So hey, fluidity, right? It’s a funny thing.