an ongoing list of people i have shared a coke with this summer

  • Barry
  • Joshua
  • Michael
  • Samantha
  • Shannon
  • Andrew
  • Frank
  • Stephanie
  • Amanda
  • “Co-Worker”
  • “BFF”
  • “Dad”
  • Adam
  • Caleb
  • Isobel
  • Anil
  • Sarah
  • Doug
  • Harry
  • Liam
  • Kayla
  • Sam
  • “Sister”
  • Tom
  • Seth
  • Erica
  • Becca

This is entirely fictional, in that I don’t share Diet Coke with anyone – but I’ve gone through a lot of names. None of them mine, of course. I’ve earned my name on a bottle of Diet Coke a million times over, but there is no love for Kimli. Only Diet Coke. So much Diet Coke. And I’m okay with that, because delicious.

crab du soleil

 

selfie

Today I bought a Selfie Pole.

Ed and I had seen people with these all around Europe, and we were both confused and irritated on account of being hit in the head by some dumb girl taking selfies atop the Eiffel Tower. Still, I was intrigued at the possibilities of the idea, and today when I stumbled upon The Selfie Guru, I thought “hey let’s do this” – so I ordered one.

And an hour later, I had it in my hands! Turns out one of the people behind Selfie Guru works for the same company I do, so when I entered my work address to be the shipping address, she just looked me up. All things should be like this, because INSTANT GRATIFICATION. Thanks, Stephanie!

I’m waiting for the Bluetooth remotes to come in (my plans for this monopod do not allow for timers), but in the meantime I tried several remote control methods at home. First up was the Belkin Live Action Remote, which was incredibly frustrating. I bought the remote some time ago, but never really used it because a) it only works with the Belkin Live Action app which sucks so much I can’t even form words to express my disdain and b) the app is so, so, so bad that it has no option to switch to a front camera, which kind of negates the whole “selfie” aspect of this experiment. After I burned the remote in a fire, I remembered that I have a Pebble that can do all kinds of neat things like tell the time and play music and control most of the things in my house. I researched, and sure enough there are several Pebble apps that’ll let you take pictures. Yay! I downloaded one called PebbleCam, and set it all up. For being the future, it works pretty well. You can’t really wear the watch while using the app and the pole, because you’d need three hands – but if you remove the watch from your wrist, you’re good to go. You can even switch between front and rear camera, turn on the flash, set a timer, and more. You still can’t use the default (or other) camera app, but at least it’s miles better than Belkin’s horror.

Using the monopod, my Pebble, and my iPhone, I took some invasive pictures of my cats:

a hot and frightened hobbes (rear cam)

a hot and frightened hobbes (rear cam)

photo 2 (1)

a hot and pissed off lemon (front cam)

I amused myself by tormenting the cats for a while, then used the selflie pole to take some actual selfies (which you don’t get to see because I may have been mostly nude). Works great!

And then I realized my destiny.

See, I’ve been online for a very, very, very long time. In all my life spent on BBSes and the STS and IRC and Twitter and beyond, I skipped one rite of passage in particular – that of nude pictures. I often stood on my tiny high horse and said that naked pictures were stupid, but my scorn was actually hiding the embarrassing truth: my boobs were too big and my arms were too short to take any topless pictures. Oh, I wanted to – I have a great rack, remember – but there was literally no way for me to take a decent naked picture that would encompass all my bodacious glory.

UNTIL NOW. 

I am going to take SO MANY BOOB PICTURES. I have decades of lost time to make up for.

Thanks, Selfie Guru!

badurday

Today sucked.

Now that we’re back from vacation and settled into a routine, I’ve started looking around for my birthday kitten (that you were all around to witness Ed agreeing to). I found three adorable kittens that are exactly what I’m looking for (criteria: kitten, female, calico, adorable), and sent in applications for viewing. Two of the three are at an SPCA Education Centre, so today we drove 8 million miles away from civilization and into Port Coquitlam to meet the kittens.

I really wish I hadn’t done that, because of course I fell head over heels in love with a tiny calico currently named Ariel 19. I would have taken her home with me then and there, but there were complications – both Ariel 19 and her sister, Cinderella 21 (I have no idea, don’t ask), had recently recovered from kitten colds and were marked as best suited to being the only cat in a household. We do have Hobbes and Lemon to worry about, so I asked what the deal was. Turns out that the whole litter had Feline Calicivirus (calici for short and incidentally how people who don’t know how to spell “Khaleesi” enter it into Google) and even through they were over their colds, they could shed the virus for up to 6 months afterward. The SPCA told me this on Friday afternoon, so I did some research: everything I read suggested that if your cats are healthy, there’s nothing to worry about. Our cats are indoor only and healthy and could use a little exercise in the form of kitten chases, so I forged ahead with the meeting.

Ed obviously wasn’t thrilled with the idea of potentially introducing a virus to our cats, so I suggested he call our vet and ask questions. As I assumed what I read online would be what the vet said to Ed, I suited up and went into the cat area to meet the kittens in meat space. Both kittens were delighted to have a person around, and they started purring and chirping as soon as I said hello: Ariel was gorgeous and adorable and loved being held and she reminded me so much of Sasha that there were waterworks .. I could easily see Ariel in our home (albeit with a less dumb name), and in my head she was already mine.

You can probably guess where this is going based on the title, but the vet did NOT say what I thought she would say. Ultimately it was up to us, but she recommended seeing both Hobbes and Lemon for updated shots first, then waiting another 10 days before introducing the kitten so the vaccines had time to take hold .. and beyond that, she didn’t think it was a good idea. As well, the SPCA doesn’t hold animals, so the vet visits and waiting period wasn’t in the realm of possibility (and other people were inquiring about Ariel while I was falling in love with her) – I had to withdraw my application, and it broke my heart a little.

I know I have to think about H&L first, but .. she was so, so sweet. Everyone has assured me that it’s Kitten Season and I’ll be able to find and love all the kittens I want, I just can’t have *this* one. And I know it’s for the best and that someone will adopt her and love her and she’ll be adored and happy .. but right now really sucks. I can’t stop thinking about her ridiculous ears and the sound of her purring. There’ve been a lot of tears today.

*sigh*

*sigh*

settling in

After a month spent galavanting around Europe like someone deep in the throes of a mid-life crisis, I finally returned home and started my new job this past Monday. So far so good, but there are definitely things I have to get used to (like having direct deposit again! you have no idea how much you take magic money for granted until you’re forced to go to an actual bank every two weeks). Everyone I’ve met has been really nice/disturbingly excited to hear I’m a tech writer, and it’s been great seeing a lot of my former coworkers in the same place (I’ve already resumed my usual method of greeting one guy in particular by walking up and kicking him).

So, what’s the low down?

The Good:

  • Fun people, fun product, tons of potential to get all up in here doing all kinds of different things
  • Free parking! I was super worried about how I was going to get to the office – it’s a two-bus minimum with no parking lots nearby – but there’s free parking under the building! That is amazing, and I GET TO SCOOT TO WORK!
  • I sit two seats down from a pug:
PUG omg so cute and puggy

PUG omg so cute and puggy and also there’s my foot

  • I have nested nicely, and my desk is tastefully ridiculous
  • Seriously, people get *really* excited when I tell them what I do and what team I’m on. I wonder if I should worry.

The Confusing

  • I desperately hate not knowing things, and as this is my third day on the job, I don’t know a damn thing. I am impatient to become some sort of expert in something, and will be frustrated with myself until that happens.
  • I am a perpetual One-Off, so I’m not getting the traditional onboarding experience .. because there’s no one I can shadow to absorb knowledge.
  • I can’t find a fridge (but I brought my own, so I’m good)
  • NO ICE CUBES ANYWHERE
  • I don’t know where to pick up my Mandatory Work Puppy
  • I have no walls! No one has any walls. How do I decorate things if I have no walls?
  • After a month in Europe, I think I forget how to do words
  • How can I keep my drink cold if there is no ice? :(
  • Open concept offices are kinda loud

The Bad

  • Sitting this close to a pug that is not mine is pure torture
  • Fluorescent lights are the devil
  • WHERE ARE THE ICE CUBES

I have high hopes for doing good stuff here .. fingers are crossed!

functional!

functional!

murder by death

What do all of these things have in common?

They all tried to KILL ME DEAD in London.

I’ve never had any problems with breathing or using my lungs – they’ve always been top notch. Air goes in, air goes out. I have a system, and it’s never failed me before.

At night, while trying to sleep, I noticed my chest rattling a little like it does at the tail end of a cold. I didn’t have a cold or cough, so I thought maybe it was the pollution in the air and tried to ignore it. After all, everything was fine! Nothing to worry about!

.. except for that Thursday night I COULDN’T BREATHE. I couldn’t take a full breath, and when I lay down on the bed, my chest would rattle like a car 20 years past the replacement date. I wasn’t getting enough air, the sound coming from my air hole was terrifying, and my lungs were full of fluid. I tried multiple times to relax and ignore it, but the instant I was horizontal, the game began again: no breathing. Bad noises. Fluid. Panic.

After an hour of this, I woke Ed up. I was in full blown freak out, and couldn’t calm down (which didn’t help the breathing thing). I didn’t necessarily think that Ed was going to be able to dry up all the extra fluid in my lungs, but it helped to have someone else awake and making sure I was still alive. He could hear my chest rattle from across the room, and we tried a number of different things to ease the pressure on my chest .. no go. Eventually, we drugged me up with Benedryl, which eased the symptoms somewhat and I passed out. I managed to sleep until morning, but the same can’t be said for Ed who stayed up all night to make sure I didn’t stop breathing. Aww!

The following day, everything seemed fine. I knew something was going on though, and Heather and Renee forced me to track down a doctor. I’ve never had to look for a doctor overseas, and was pretty resistant to the idea – the only way they could get me to go was to promise I could visit the Greenwich Market after my lungs were looked at. We walked all over Greenwich trying to find a pharmacist (who couldn’t help me because I’ve never had an inhaler or any kind of breathing issues before) and eventually a clinic of sorts – a Polish medical office that was the most Polish thing ever. The doctor I saw had to ask me to repeat my air saga multiple times, because I talked too fast and had a weird accent. She listened to me breathe for a long time, but couldn’t hear anything because my lungs are fucking jerks – but I was obviously in distress, so she wrote me a prescription for an inhaler and sent me to the pharmacy. Success! The visit cost me £70, which wasn’t nearly as bad as I had feared (plus we have insurance so I’ll get reimbursed eventually), and the inhaler was £8. I would pay that much to be able to breathe.

Things never got nearly as bad as that night I had to wake Ed up, but I still needed to use the inhaler a bunch of times throughout the trip. This was my first trip to London in the summer, and all those wildflower gardens I love so much generate an IMPERIAL SHIT TONNE of pollen. Throw in the increased air pollution, and .. Kimli can’t breathe. Hooray! I got asthma for my birthday! Second worst present ever.

I was hoping that once I got home to Vancouver I’d be free from breathing problems, but yesterday I had to use the inhaler: I couldn’t breathe. And umm I coughed up pink stuff in the shower. I should *probably* go to the doctor to find out what the fuck .. but I survived London trying to kill me, just as Ed survived a death attempt by the Eiffel Tower (heatstroke is a biiiiiiiitch).

I’m still going back to London, though. Pollen will not stop me from moving there.

Oh, and the Mona Lisa tried to kill me with crowds of idiots taking selfies – I was getting crushed and panicky, and had to be rescued by museum staff. And in the Tate, an old lady tried to glare me to death when she thought I was trying to take a free seat at the counter. I wasn’t – I just wanted to take a picture of the epic view. I’m a survivor!

(s)pots of tea

Europe makes me buy tea towels. I don’t drink tea, I don’t eat tea cakes or tiny sandwiches, I’ve never held or been to a tea party – but something about Europe makes me mad for tea towels, and I came home with seven eight of them.

It all started during our trip in 2012, when I bought this in tea towel form. Come to think of it, that’s the reason right there – I loved all the London-themed art I came across, but a) don’t have room for additional prints and b) know that posters are the single worst thing to try and bring back from a trip. I bought the towel instead, because it can be folded and was a great deal cheaper than a print or tote bag. LOGIC! Sometimes I have it!

Just look at all my lovely tea towels!

I don’t really know what I’m going to do with them all, though. Perhaps it is time I take up tea, or towelling off tea. Something like that. Tea!

if you live here, drinking tea is mandatory

if you live here, drinking tea is mandatory

never wear yellow in brighton

Our trip to London and surrounding areas wasn’t just for fun – along the way, we learned some Life Lessons I will now share with you bit by bit.

The first lesson: Never wear yellow in Brighton. We woke up ridiculously early on the morning of my birthday, and made our way to the train station to spend the day in Brighton. Things were going well – we wandered the town, found an amazing market lined with quirky shops, saw some incredible graffiti, and had lunch at Bill’s. We were full and happy and making our way towards the pier when we stumbled upon the Royal Pavilion Gardens, complete with gorgeous wildflowers, a huge castle-thing, and lush inviting grass just begging for bare feets. The sun had finally come out, and we strolled through the gardens basking in the sheer delight of being in Brighton. It was good.

Then the bugs happened.

See, one of the things I love about the UK is the many, many flower gardens all over the landscape. These aren’t groomed gardens meant for looking at and/or smelling, but rather specific pockets of pollenating plants and flowers set up to entice insects to do their thang. They’re gorgeous, and the fact they almost killed me aside, are awesome.

My birthday started out a little cloudy, so I wore my favourite dress and a bright yellow sweater to make some artificial sunshine. As we were walking through the garden, I noticed a tiny beetle trying to pollenate my sweater. I gently brushed him off, then another, then another, then another, then .. shit. I was *covered* in tiny beetles trying to have sex with me. Ed and Heather helped me brush all the bugs off while Renee laughed at me, and we continued our walk. I looked down while pausing to fountain, and .. more bugs. More manhandling of myself to get them all off. We eventually reached the waterfront, and I figured I was in the clear: no more gardens means no more bugs, right? Time to do birthday pier things! Except .. no, I was still covered in bugs – more than ever. Ed counted as he flicked them off me, stopping when he got to 30 or so. The bugs LOVED my yellow sweater, and were crawling all over me in an attempt to feed off my delicious juice. I gave up at this point – it was warm outside anyway, so I took off my sweater and shoved it in my bag (after shaking it out for a solid 60 seconds). Wearing yellow in Brighton was evidently a huge mistake, one I won’t be repeating anytime soon (not because I know better, but because I am too far away). Also, bugs love me. I am delicious.

Next Life Lesson: that time the UK almost killed me!

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