be the most me

Gill posted a link to this really good article about travel writing as a woman. I leave for my trip in 63 days, and while my trip isn’t really long enough to generate a book’s worth of content, I’m really looking forward to writing while I’m gone.

I’m aware that the writing I do isn’t travel-book-material – I couldn’t begin to tell you where to find the best martini in the city, or where the beef carpaccio is so thin and tender it melts on your tongue and leaves behind only a whispered promise of sun-drenched Tuesdays – but I’m pretty sure there’s no danger of my falling into the privileged white world of eating, praying, or loving. I haven’t fooled myself into thinking that anyone would read an entire book of my words. It’s a fun daydream to have, but at the end of the day, who am I writing this for? If it’s not ultimately for myself, then I’ve failed whatever vague and unknown goals I may have had.

I find myself torn between wanting to classify my trip as an attempt to find myself in 25 days or less, or laughing at the whole damn genre and just going with “vacation”. It’s true that I’m feeling a little lost and aimless these days – my health and inability to participate in life has affected me in ways I hadn’t expected – but I don’t know that this adventure is going to be the thing that makes everything come into focus. I’m excited as all hell to go, planning on getting out of my comfort zone as often as I’m able, and will be giddy with freedom and possibility the entire time. I could probably produce 400 eeee-heavy pages on my every thought during those weeks, but why? No one needs that.

I’m going to write whatever comes out, and you’ll get random updates about what went on around me. There will be swearing. I might get lost. Maybe I’ll find myself on the cliffs of Dover. I’ll definitely get too close to the edge and will try hard not to fall off. I’ll take a train to another country and maybe retrace my steps to the Eiffel Tower dildo I regret not buying the last time I was in Paris. I’ll hang out on bridges and wonder about the things that brought me to that place at that time. I’m going to be the best and most Kimli I can possibly be, and see what happens. That’s enough, right? It’s gonna have to be.

welcome to kimterest

Hey, parents! Looking for a fun, easy craft project for your kids this summer? You’ve come to .. well, not the right place but more like the temporarily SFW place. This is never the right place to come for good kid-friendly content of any sort. That being said, I made a thing and I thought it would be super fun for little kids, so I’m sharing it even though I really must stress that I am not normally crafty OR kid-friendly in any way.

Make a Fabulous Glitter Parasol!

You’ll need:

  • A paper parasol. These can be found in your local Chinatown gift stores. Look or ask for paper ones, which’ll come in many colours and sizes and sometimes patterned. I used plain white parasols, but this would work well on any colour and look pretty cool over a pattern too. These can range from $2-3 for small ones, up to $10+ for umbrella-sized one. I bought medium-sized ones that would be perfect for a kid, and they were $5 each.
  • Glitter Glue! Hit up a dollar store and grab big bottles of glitter glue in many colours. Don’t forget to get gold and silver, because they look super awesome. Skip the small bottles, the bigger ones (125ml/4oz) are way better. Some craft stores even sell chunky glitter glue with big pieces or shapes! Glitter is the best.
my glitter was plain and less fabulous than this. i am calling for a do-over.

my glitter was plain and less fabulous than this. i am calling for a do-over.

  • Foam Brushes! You can get an assorted pack of 5-10 foam brushes at the dollar store. Easy to use and washable and they work out to like a dime each, so who cares.
your personal foam guy is not needed, for once

your personal foam guy is not needed, for once

That’s really about it. You may want to lay some paper down on your table so stuff doesn’t get destroyed, but that’s up to you. Glitter glue is washable, so it scrubs off pretty easy – ask me how I know.

Make Stuff

  • Squirt piles of glitter glue onto plates or small bowls. With your umbrella either open or closed, dab your brush into some glue and start painting. The paper will darken as you paint and may get soggy, but will firm up again when the glue dries. It dries clear!
  • Go nuts! Paint as little or as much glitter onto your umbrella as you want. Because you’re painting paper suspended between sticks, don’t use too much force with your strokes. If things are getting too wet, let that section of umbrella dry for a bit and move onto another part.
  • Using the foam brushes is great for all-over glittering, but you can do fancy stuff, too. Squirt the glue straight from the bottle onto your umbrella in circles or shapes. Do this last, because this will need some time to set and dry. You can leave the glue as is from the bottle, or use your fingers to smoosh it around in your desired pattern.
  • When your umbrella is complete, open it completely and set it aside to dry. We left ours overnight (they were pretty damn soggy), and this is how they looked the next day:
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sparkle sparkle

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:D

industry professionals hard at work

industry professionals hard at work

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glitter is hard to photograph. this is a tiny cute umbrella, but the overall glitter wash turned out great.

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close up of the blue glitter

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silver!

My co-workers and I painted these up, because we are terrible adults. It was really easy and fun though, so I figured that if a bunch of software engineers could do it, then it’d make a great afternoon craft project for kids. It’s relatively inexpensive, delightfully messy, easy to clean up, and you get a fabulous parasol out of it for sassy sun shade. What’s not to love?

If anyone actually tries this, I’d love to see what you make! Hit me up in the comments!

Now, if you need me, I will be disco-glitter-awesome in the park.

details.

Time to put on my ranty panties!

My boss messaged me this afternoon, asking if I was working from home. I am, and I’ve gotten a lot done! It was an odd thing to ask – his official policy is “work from Rome if you want, just get the work done” – so I asked him what was up. Apparently, someone “noticed” that I hadn’t been in the office “all week” and “brought it to his attention”, so he just wanted to make sure I was still alive.

That really grinds my gears.

Yes, I’m working from home. I’ve got the blessing of both my boss and my boss boss to do so when needed, which I appreciate because I do need to often. I’m in the office each week for at least three days, but work from home the rest of the time for reasons both medical and productivity related (you try editing articles when surrounded by howler monkeys). I do know this is a privilege I’ve been given, and I don’t abuse it. When I work from home, I am both available and visible – more so than when I’m in the office, actually – and today in particular, I’ve been making noise in at least half dozen work related tools.

If my bosses are okay with where I am, why is it anyone else’s business to inquire as to why they can’t see me in meatspace? I don’t like feeling obligated to share every single medical issue that keeps me at home, but if I have to, I will:

The smoke from the fires happening all around Vancouver is making breathing really difficult for me. In fact, I’ve been coughing non-stop since Friday. The coughing makes me throw up. In addition, I am presently virally compromised with some sort of throat grossness that is not an infection. I am potentially contagious, and have been at home to protect people from me, and me from people. I took a vacation day on Friday to go away for the weekend, but instead stayed in town being sick, so there’s that. Also, the air is really dry. For the last two nights in a row, I’ve woken up in the middle of the night with catastrophic nosebleeds that go on for 30 minutes or so. Gross, bloody things are coming out of my face. One of the chunks had tentacles. I named him Martin! He’s really disgusting, but I’ve almost come to terms with the fact that my periods have been replaced by geysers of blood erupting from my nose. I say “almost”, because I generally try to take care of all my fun party tricks at the same time, and so will often throw up while dealing with my nose. Funny story: last week I threw up the baked potato I ate for dinner, in the sink. Some of the potato didn’t go down the sink as much as I had hoped, and was actually stuck in the fancy drain stopper thing. Not only did it stop other things from going down the drain, it was collecting matter like nose blood and pieces of Martin. All that lovely stuff was starting to rot in the sink, which made things smell really bad .. which then made me throw up even more, when I discovered what the smell was! Haha! Anyway, due to my sore throat virus, my difficulty breathing, the overall lack of sleep I’m getting, the sore muscles from throwing up, and startling amount of blood loss, I’ve been working from home. If you really wanted to know why I wasn’t in the office, you could have just asked – I’m always very forthcoming with the disgusting details of my life. I probably would have made it a little less gross for you, but since you didn’t ask me directly and instead went to my boss and made me feel as though people perceive me as someone who doesn’t do any work because I can’t always be seen in three dimensions, you can have the whole story.

Today is my one year anniversary, too. Me and Martin are there in spirit.

 

 

gone viral

I’ve had a sore throat for 5 days. I thought it was caused by whatever the precursor to Korean Fan Death is, but when it didn’t let up I booked an appointment with a clinic. I was mostly in “wait and see” mode, but the online doctor requested I go see someone in meat space because she interpreted my blood results as my body trying to fight something off that likely wasn’t related to my slacker heart. Tired of not being able to swallow without making faces, I caved and booked myself in for a prodding.

The appointment was an epic shit show from the beginning. I hate walk-in clinics, but they’re my only real option in cases like this (even though we all know how well that worked out for me when I was trying to diagnose why I couldn’t breathe). Luckily, the clinic I use has an online appointment system so you can skip the wait. I booked myself an appointment last night, but when I arrived, I was told the doctor I was supposed to see wasn’t even in today, and there was an hour wait to see anyone. I was pretty furious at this, because I didn’t exactly want to sit in a crowded waiting room full of sick people – it’s why I used the goddamn booking system in the first place – but I didn’t have much of a choice: my sore throat had progressed in alarming and disgusting ways. I sighed, and took a seat to begin my wait.

.. and that was when an elderly Japanese lady asked me when my baby was due.

I stammered that I wasn’t pregnant, and I know the lady felt pretty terrible about asking me, but it still took all my willpower not to cry in the waiting room. The tears welled up several times, but I held fast onto my towering anger at being in this situation at all to keep them at bay. Finally, my name was called, and I was whisked away to see a doctor for a total of 96 seconds.

She looked at my throat and took my temperature, and came up with a verdict of virus. It’s not the Return of Strep, which is good – I was more than a little terrified that the cycle of slowly dying aloud was going to start all over again – but other than that, everything sucks. There are no drugs they can give me for this. I’m just supposed to wait it out, but in the meantime, I’m in pain and am sad down to my very bones. We’re supposed to be leaving for Seattle in an hour or so, but I don’t know that I should go – technically I’m contagious AND have a weakened immune system, both of which point to a sequestering. I could get other people sick. Other people could make me sicker. But .. I’ll miss Ali’s birthday and partying with people and having fun. I don’t know what I should do.

I’ve never before been asked if I was pregnant, and MAN does that sting. I made it home before collapsing in a puddle of tears, and now I am literally sobbing into some cheesecake. It is perhaps a little clichéd and counter-productive, but if there was ever a time that called for cheesecake, this is it. I am a sad, sad Kimli.

oh, you

In British Columbia, there’s a website called myehealth.ca that allows you to view your test results before you see a doctor. It’s pretty cool, and leads to a lot of Googling to find out exactly what you’re dying of. I had blood drawn yesterday in an attempt to find out why I’m so damned itchy (going on 8 months now, it’s getting worse, and it’s spreading), but before I had even viewed my results I was having an excellent time:

I forgot my password. No big deal, that’s what password reset functions are for. Submitted my email address, got the recovery link, opened it. Website wants me to verify my identity by answering a security question.

“What year did you graduate high school?”

Okay, that’s simple enough. Enter the year, and click OK.

“Incorrect, please try again.”

Well, shit. There’s only one answer to this question, and I know I didn’t enter it wrong. What could it be?

Hmm .. I wonder.

“What year did you graduate high school?”

I typed in “I didn’t”, and pressed enter.

“Thank you! Please enter a new password.”

Past me is fucking hilarious!

I’ve been trying to keep myself away from my blog, because I’m not very much fun to be around at the moment. “I’m itchy” seems like such a small thing, but when it’s a third of your body, intensely uncomfortable, and nothing gives you relief .. well, you’d be pretty cranky too. A great man once roared at the top of the stairs “I’M AT MY LIMIT! I’M AT MY LIMIT!”, and that’s me right now. I’m quite figuratively at my wit’s end, and have sobbed myself to sleep more times in the last few weeks than I’d like to admit. I’m hoping that my blood will show that I’m full of bees or something, but I’m far more terrified that it’s not going to show ANYTHING and I’ll be told that nothing can be done to ease my extreme discomfort. I think people who avoid going to the doctor generally fall into one of two categories – those who are afraid something will be discovered, and those who are afraid nothing will corroborate their symptoms. I’m in that second camp. Don’t tell me my itching is nothing, I have dozens of bloody welts that beg to differ.

I still have some Googling to do, but so far my blood says I have too much potassium, slight lipemia, and high C Reactive Protein sensitivity. I also have a high white blood cell count, a teensy bit more RDW than the norm, too many monocytes AND lymphocytes, extra neutrophils, and too much ferritin. I have no idea what any of that means, but the internet tells me all those things could be elevated due to …….. a viral infection. Which is what I have in my heart. So yep, that checks out.

A running theory about my itchiness (other than the penicillin allergy) is that it’s just my body overproducing in response to all the bad shit going down. I’m not a doctor, but those results seem to lean heavily in that direction. Unfortunately, that’s the diagnosis I’m most afraid of because I don’t know what, if anything, can be done to make my cells stfu and calm their tiny cell tits already. Antihistamines do jack shit, so this isn’t a traditional allergy. I dunno what it is. Perhaps I will let someone who can actually read those results tell me what the dilly is, instead of wildly gesticulating about my fate.

So itchy.

How’s by you?

+voice

This article made me laugh: it’s Liam Neeson‘s famous speech from Taken re-written in the style of seven famous authors, from Dr. Seuss to Chuck Palahniuk. I love exercises like this, because it drives home the whole point of The Voice (not the TV show) – something I encourage people to develop in their writing to set themselves apart. Having a voice and knowing it is a powerful thing – most popular authors write in a very specific way. Hell, even ones who aren’t popular. Like me! I have a voice. It’s not that great, but it’s mine and I kind of like it.

If you need a refresher, here’s the original speech:

I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you’re looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money; but what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career; skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you. I will not pursue you. But if you don’t…I will look for you…I will find you…and I will kill you.

Just for fun, here’s the speech re-written as one of my own blog posts:

Who are you? Seriously, dude. I don’t know a) who you are, or b) what you want. What I DO know:

  • I’m poor as hell (so if you’re looking for ransom, you are SOL)
  • I have mad skills (because I’m awesome)

No, really. I’ve been in this business for a long time, and when I wasn’t making a spectacle of myself, I acquired some skills that make me a pedantic nightmare for people like you. Gauntlet: thrown down, bitch!

So clearly, you should let my daughter go (now would be nice). If you do, super! That’ll be the end of all this .. unpleasantness. I won’t look for you (my eyesight is lousy), I won’t chase you (outside sucks). If you don’t, though .. well, I WILL look for you. And because I’m awesome, I WILL find you. And then?

I will totally kill you.

Hah! I make me laugh.

nimbyism

Across the street from my home is a hotel that has been converted into social housing. People in the neighbourhood have had their collective panties in a bunch since the plan was proposed, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better – the housing has been in operation for almost two years now, and every communication I receive from the neighbourhood speaks of the housing as though it’s the source of all evil in the world.

The truth of the matter is that crime and police incidents have dropped in the area since the housing opened. There have been far fewer random occurrences that require police intervention since the hotel was converted, but no one is paying attention to that – they’re too busy actively looking for ways to close the shelter down and put people back onto the streets in the name of “thinking of the children”. If they truly wanted to set a good example for the children, why not teach them that everyone deserves a home and that some people need help? People in the neighbourhood have been quoted in the news saying “we believe in social housing”, but it’s painfully obvious that their sentences end in “.. just not in our neighbourhood”.

According to the organization that runs the place across the street:

[The former Ramada Inn] is a 40-room transitional housing centre, operated in partnership with the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society. These buildings have adopted a Whole Life Housing approach to wellness which features: affordable rent; assistance with addictions and medical issues; a breakfast and community kitchen program; housekeeping services; employment support; free laundry; and, an advanced pest control and room maintenance program.

Oh, the horrors. People living near us, learning how to become productive members of society. Recently, it was announced that the city is trying to make the housing a permanent thing instead of the temporary solution it was initially proposed to be. Naturally, people in the neighbourhood are panicking, thinking no doubt of how they will possibly explain the lower crime rates to their children. I’m really disgusted with most of my neighbours – who the hell are we to interfere with other people having a roof over their head? What makes your home so precarious that the thought of someone different than you living nearby puts it into actual peril? The people in the housing program have waited for months or years for the luxury of a stable home – they want to be there, they’re getting help to overcome their issues, and they want to be a part of the neighbourhood. Remind me again how that’s a bad thing?

The emails I’m getting from the neighbourhood association are just the best. In the last few weeks:

  • I received an invitation to the Community Block Party that excluded both our building and the social housing across the street, but we were given an exception and extended an invite
  • A neighbour had an incident with a housing resident. The last line of their email was a threat: “If I ever have another experience like this or hear of another neighbour who has,  I will immediately resign from the [community alliance] and will become a strong opposer instead of a supporter.”
  • Someone living in my building sent a list of all the times and dates that police, fire, or ambulance vehicles were at the hotel over the last six months, and demanded an explanation for each incident (holy fuck are you kidding me)
  • People are freaking the fuck out over the marijuana dispensaries, with emails like (everything [sic]): “I personally find it extraordinary that the Mayor thinks he can trump Federal law. And I am sick and disgusted over what the blocks of xxxx-xxxx East Hastings look like, and the businesses they support. Not only do we have at least two pot shops.. I refuse to call them dispensaries, but we have the Ramada social housing and we have the government office where social assistance cheques are picked up.” GASP! WON’T SOMEONE REFUSE TO THINK OF THE HUMANITY!
  • Everything the “community association” does is because “if we don’t do XYZ, the housing will become permanent”

Gross. Truly, horribly, gross. I don’t understand people at all. HOW can you be so against someone having basic human rights? For that matter, how can you be horrified that there are heavily regulated, no-minors-allowed weed stores in your area, but not give a rat’s ass that men are buying sex next door? People have gone on record saying they’re worried that the screened and monitored housing residents will include pedophiles looking to diddle their children – why aren’t they worried about the guys getting hand jobs instead? After all, the massage parlour closes at ten pm. What if someone come by at 10:30pm wanting a bbbj and ass-play only to find the parlour closed .. but little Jimmy and Susie are hanging out in the McDonald’s parking lot, and they got real purdy mouths? Why is no one concerned that someone going by the name “sex monster” is thinking about visiting the parlour and wants to know if the girls are any good? What if that person is truly a monster and goes all Godzilla on the precious neighbourhood? What if they’re Ed Gein? No, who cares about any of that – let’s instead threaten the people across the street who are simply trying to make a home for themselves. Makes perfect sense to me.

Do you want to know the biggest impact the housing across the street has had on me, personally?

It no longer makes sense that my wireless networks are called “Ramada Wireless” and “Ramada Guest Wi-Fi”.

That’s it. Oh, and no one threatens to snip my spine on a regular basis. It takes some getting used to.

NIMBYs, you are fucking disgusting and you should be ashamed of yourselves.

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