good news, everyone

It’s an auspicious day here in Vancouver, as every single social problem – housing, hunger, drug abuse, resources for those at risk – has been solved!

At least, that’s what I assume has happened .. otherwise, why else would a church have the available funds for multiple high-profile billboards in the city, promoting themselves? Surely it means there isn’t a single thing they could spend the money on that would, as per their own missions and that of that book they follow, help those in need. And that’s great! They’ve successfully solved the housing and hunger problems in the city, so they can spend the extra money on advertising! A job well done, chaps!

.. this has been bugging me for a while. Billboards are not cheap. Wouldn’t all that money spent on not just one or two but a whole lot of giant posters be better spent actually helping people? You say you want to spread the word. What’s more effective, do you think? Huge ugly advertising along busy streets and in bus shelters, or actual shelters for those who need them? How do you compare the number of hearts or minds you might change by showing a picture versus the impact you could have by, oh I don’t know, actually doing as Jesus did and reaching out to your fellow man?

I don’t get it, and it bothers the hell out of me.

this is helping.

this is helping.

coming up milhouse

January is a terrible month for a lot of people, myself included. It’s been a little rough around these parts – Ed has some sort of Mysterious Illness that is like the heartburn equivalent to last year’s Not Asthma, and I’ve been elbow-deep in misery for a variety of Reasons, some even based in reality. However, tomorrow is the start of another month, and I’m looking to get past these winter blahs and into some Epic Adventure.

Things are looking up ’round here, though. Ed is slowly getting better thanks to some timely medication and cutting back on the intravenous drug use, and the things that were hanging over my head have taken a turn for the great, with the best possible outcome. Stuff is getting good again, and even though I don’t own holographic glitter lamé pants (I’m writing this while half-watching the NHL All-Star game), I am pretty excited about what the rest of 2016 may hold.

For the past several months, I’ve been really unhappy at my job. I didn’t have enough to do, and although I continually pestered people for work, there just wasn’t any that could be readily handed off to me. While some people may enjoy being paid to do absolutely nothing, I find it discouraging and exhausting. I like being proud of the work I do, and when there’s nothing .. well, you kind of lose any sort of passion for being awake from 9-5, Monday to Friday. Things came to a head over the last couple of weeks, and I was ready to throw the towel in and look for another job. I even posted as much on Facebook, while taking care to hide the post from people I worked with (or so I thought). As I worked on my resume and looked for things I might want to do outside the nest, I got a little cocky in my despair: I wrote an email to the VP of another team at work, and basically demanded to be put on his team to cover a bunch of things I knew needed doing. The VP talked to the CTO who talked to my boss who talked to the VP, several goats and chickens and a bag of tobacco were exchanged, and as of last Friday I am officially on a different team at work; one with things for me to do. I have to attend meetings! And DO THINGS! This pleases me greatly, because I was so fucking bored and miserable. It was nothing against my boss, he’s great – but it’s a “finding your fit” thing. It took me much longer than usual (and not for lack of trying) to find my fit, but I think we’re there now. I am looking forward to being challenged again, and maaaaaaybe doing a little less online shopping.

I went for coffee with my department’s HR rep last Thursday, and I found out I’m not nearly as clever as I thought I am – the Facebook post I made putting feelers out for another job definitely made it back to management, and apparently it freaked them all out. Certain people were told to FIX IT (meaning my despair), so when I went ahead and proposed a solution that would make me happy, it was agreed to with great speed. This makes me shuffle my feet and go “aww, shucks”, but I’m secretly tickled that people were worried I would leave. Even though I didn’t see any value in the few things I did, others apparently thought differently. That’s nice! I know I undervalue my skills a lot, but it helps a hell of a lot to get some validation that your work IS noticed, even if you feel there isn’t enough of it. That’s already started to change, though, and I’m super glad to have areas to own again. Feeling like I’m contributing and making a difference is crazy important to me, and when you get to do that with good people .. well, it makes for good times.

The last few days have been pretty great, actually. I found my son in Fallout 4, a group of us went to the Shameful Tiki Room to celebrate Renee’s new fancy job last night and we got excellently drunk (after which we successfully hunted down some delicious cake). Today, I was King of Castle Sensible for a mighty reign, I made some delicious popcorn, and John Scott scored twice. We will be debt-free in less than two weeks, we’re going to friggin’ Barcelona in 19 days, and I like my haircut. That’s some good shit, yo. Everything’s coming up Milhouse.

so sayeth your royal majesty, me

so sayeth your royal majesty, me

Milhouse

anxiety sucks

I’m hungry, but I don’t want to eat. I feel like crying, but the tears won’t come and there’s nothing to cry about anyway. My chest is kind of tight – oh god, my chest is tight. Is this it? Am I destined to die on the couch, half dressed and surrounded by cornnuts that missed my mouth? No, that isn’t it. I’m just being silly. So what is it? What could be filling my lungs with all this dread and noise? Why am I screaming? Where did the light go? 

someone’s at the door

Does anyone remember the short-lived CBS series “American Gothic” that aired in 1995? It was creepy as hell, and to this day the phrase “someone’s at the door” gives me pee shivers of fear (instead of pee). No one I ever mention this to has any idea what I’m talking about (which is basically the story of my life), so I have to make my own fun with references. Anyway, I was having a conversation with a co-worker when he saw my phone ring and said “someone’s at the door” and then Gary Cole showed up and was all menacing at me and possibly the devil and now my day is just shot to hell. TO. HELL.

Other random thoughts for this grey, resolved Monday:

  • I’m getting real sick of your shit, Preston Garvey. I’ve got him stashed at Tenpines Bluff, and last night he TWICE was all “another settlement needs our help! there are ghouls at Tenpines Bluff, you have to save them!” and I’m all “bitch we are AT Tenpines Bluff how about you get your damn trench coat out of the mutifruit bushes and KILL THOSE GHOULS YOURSELF oh man you are so useless no wonder everyone hates the Minutemen” (I have many conversations at the television, most of which involve me mouthing off to NPCs)
  • The only thing worst than Preston and his settlements that need “our” help: the Brotherhood of Steel, flying around in their fancy helicopters that can be brought down by a mean glare and their lack of being any help whatsoever
  • I finally saw the new Star Wars on Saturday night and it was awesome. I managed to remain mostly spoiler-free before going in, so everything was a pleasant and/or heartbreaking surprise. I enjoyed the novelty of a bad guy who can take off his mask when he wants to “rap” or “get real” with people, was appropriately terrified by the impotent-with-rage ginger, think the Big Chair guy is compensating for an awful lot, and want a remote-controlled BB-8 NOW.
  • The only thing I had seen Poe in previously was this, which made things pretty funny inside my head
  • Our next adventure is in 39 days and I am excite
  • I am also homesick for London
  • Which is weird
  • The TV we ordered on Black Friday arrived on Saturday and it is big and intimidating
  • Ed: “.. we could have gone bigger”
  • Me: *cough*

Right. Back at it, then. So busy! So much to do!

 

looking back

Oh, 2015. You were an interesting creature, weren’t you? That isn’t to say you were bad, not by any stretch of the imagination – at times you were challenging, but for the most part you were a lot of fun. If 2016 can live up to the bar you set (with one large exception), then I’m in for a pretty good year indeed.

What happened in 2015?

The year started out kind of lousy, because I was sick. Very sick. So, so, so sick. We thought I had sleep apnea, so we tried to get me tested .. but the equipment never worked properly so it was basically just a huge hassle for no good reason. I kept getting sicker, so the list of possible diseases I had grew exponentially. When I wrote the post, I threw “Catastrophic Heart Failure” onto the list as a joke – yes, it came up almost every time I researched my symptoms, but that can’t possibly be the cause. It’s my lungs that are the problem! In retrospect, this is darkly hilarious:

I can’t sleep because my lungs keep filling with fluid. I Googled furiously to see if I should go to the hospital or not, but all that did was convince me that I am experiencing heart failure which makes me panic and then my breathing sucks even more. All things point to getting immediate care, but I don’t want to bother anyone. That seems so rude and unnecessary.

FORESHADOWING!

Also, I found out I was not an octopus, went to Seattle for a mini-vacation and a bathtub that filled from the ceiling, and clung precariously to life; a minor spasm of hyperbole that turned out to be far closer to the truth than anyone anticipated.

After my Adventures in Hospitalization and impatience in not getting better immediately, life continued on. I never did tell my mother about my health issues, because frankly I don’t want to deal with the fallout or um make her worry. Yes, that’s it. I’m just sparing her feelings, is all. March was all about getting better, realizing I wasn’t going to make it to London in May, deep thinkie thoughts about death, vainly hoping for Half Life 3, and going to Ucluelet for some storm watching. All of these weren’t necessarily great things – I really wanted to go to London in May, and I was sad that my mom lost a friend – but I was still alive, so that was pretty super.

April was dull, but May was pretty great. Went to Seattle for a show, went to a wedding reception for awesome people, traveled to Portland for Write the Docs 2015. All fun things! I got continual updates about my health during this time, and was pleased to see that I was definitely getting better bit by bit. We spent some time on a boat with friends, was disgusted by my neighbours and their rampant NIMBYism, and was generally a whole a lot of uncomfortable because I was STILL itchy from the penicillin I took the previous November to cure my streps. That sucked. Not nearly as much as being asked when my baby was due, or having to skip a party because I had germs – July was a big pity party all ’round. People were grumpy at me for various reasons. I countered with glitter glue and paper umbrellas, and the Manic Pixie Dream Girl starter kit. Also, I was going to London! I think I started packing in July, for my departure in September. When I wasn’t planning my trip, I was loitering with my youth gang and generally being a menace to society, as we tech professionals often are. You know how it goes.

In August I learned that the “don’t use a hot tub if you have a heart condition” signs weren’t merely for show, and I got attacked/threatened by an asshat in an SUV in front of my parkade door. Neither of those were very good. However, right around the corner was September and that meant it was time to go to the UK!

Man, I love the UK.

I don’t remember much about November and December, other than I wasn’t in the UK. It was good to be home, but I wanted to still be traveling. I did find out that I was going to Barcelona in February, which is kind of insane but very exciting. I did a lot of Things for Other People, such as the Christmas Wish breakfast and the Shoebox Project and the Hour of Code. We went to Seattle for a 2-day, 3-unicorn party, had many Good Times with excellent people, went to Edmonton for some much-needed Family Time, and then back to Seattle and our favourite Americans to ring in the New Year. Oh, and I started gaming again: I finished Assassin’s Creed Tea and Crumpets, and I’m 32 levels into Fallout 4.

2016 has barely begun, but it has some fairly big shoes to fill. I can’t wait to see what the year has in store for me, and I am BEYOND EXCITED about the 2 (TWO!) international trips we have planned (one booked, one in the planning stages) .. plus a third, yet-to-be-determined thing to happen in the fall. I have a health checkup early next week to find out how my heart is doing (today is the 11 month anniversary of my almost-dead), exciting fun times are planned for various weekends this month, and things are mostly really excellent (Stockholm Syndrome aside). Let’s do this, 2016! I have a brand new passport to fill!

i earned this.

i earned this.

busy night

Things that fell out of my bra when I went to bed this morning:

  • Two large glitter hearts
  • A stegosaurus
  • $0.21 USD
  • A small green rubber man
  • 1 (one) cashew
  • A Twinkie wrapper
  • iPhone cable
  • A torn-up-then-reassembled letter claiming I will be shot by terrorists at 1:30am on the night Marty travels back in time
  • Beef jerky

My breasts had an excellent start to 2016.

Happy New Year!

#first

#first

 

live from bed

It’s just after 1:30pm on a Tuesday afternoon. The sun is shining, birds won’t shut up about it, and I am buried under a mountain of blankets with no plans to get out of bed anytime soon. This is how you vacation. I have figured it out. 

We’re in Edmonton, at the parent’s house. It’s been quite lovely – outside is cold and frozen and made of ice, so we’ve spent most of our time inside the warm house being all family-y. Today is our last full day here, and so I’m spending it in bed like an adult. Even taking our whimsical carefree lifestyle into account, this level of sloth is a luxury – I’d forgotten how easy/nice it is to sleep like a lump when no one stands on your bladder and yells in your face when the food dish is only half full instead of overflowing. 

For the entire week leading up to Christmas, we were busy. There were outings, friends in town, dinners to attend, and rum-based cocktails to chug – it was all wholly excellent, but also exhausting and expensive. Even getting to Edmonton was complicated: we missed the checked baggage cutoff by three minutes (my fault, I HAD to backup my phone before we left the house and iTunes decided it would be a great time to transfer 1992 ID3 tags to my phone) and weren’t allowed on our flight. Thankfully, we were flying Westjet and they happily put us on the next flight without issue. We got in to Edmonton barely an hour later than intended, which was pretty sweet. We lucked out big time – there was a massive detour on the way to the airport thanks to a warehouse fire, the park n’ ride lot was completely full (even tho I prepaid because that’s how I roll) but Ed sweet-talked the attendant into allowing us to park our tiny car into a spot that had been blocked off for construction, we flagged down a shuttle that was leaving the lot so we didn’t have to wait for the next one .. and we STILL missed the bag cutoff, but it all worked out. We basically had two options: the 7:45am flight, or a 10pm one, as every other flight to Edmonton in between was full. Between this and the overly complicated train to Edinbugh, I’ve used up all my allotted travel karma for 2015. 

We head home tomorrow afternoon, spend one night making the cats love us again, then head out in the morning: it’s New Year’s Eve, and Seattle beckons. Friends and loved ones and alcohol (but NO POT COOKIES) await! 2015 has been an interesting year, and 2016 is shaping up to be ridiculous (in a good way). 

Happy holidays to all of youse! 

  

happy new yarrrrrrrrr

 
  

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