jennymanythoughts

Like most of the internet yesterday, I watched the trailer for the upcoming Cats movie. The reaction of the collective is kind of funny, because the movie cats look pretty much the same as the theatre cats. It’s part of why I never got into the musical in the first place – the humanoid cats scared Little Kimli, and Big Kimli is too aware of furries to feel entirely comfortable around lithe people in animal suits. I’ve read the source material, and while I do appreciate the poetic aspect of it all, I was never a big fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber (aka Father of Emotive! Over! Acting! in the name! of DRAMA!). I won’t be lining up to see this movie, because parts of it are sad. That might be okay, but it’s SAD about CATS and it would legit screw up my emotion peptides to the point of incapacitation. I don’t have time to be a sobbing mess over Jennifer Hudson, okay.

All of the Cats talk reminded me how much I always loved the name “JennyAnyDots”. It’s got a nonsensical lilting quality that appeals to the silliest parts of me. Last night while I couldn’t sleep, I tried to apply the same scheme to my own name with varying degrees of success – turns out there isn’t a hell of a lot that rhymes with “Kimli”. I did the best I could, though:

  • KimliPrimlyHops: daintily leaping over puddles and potholes while holding my skirt up to keep from tripping over my own excess
  • KimliBrimleySpots: insulin injection marks
  • KimliGrimlyJots: Angrily taking notes for a new process I don’t entirely agree with; natural reaction to scope creep
  • KimliGimliShots: People making fun of me for rhyming with a dwarf/small town in Manitoba

Sorry, t.s. eliot. I tried.

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cats, but with chickens.

the boom boom into my heart

I am jittery, and I don’t know why. Is it excitement? Anticipation? Caffeine overdose? Sentient worms from a truck stop vending machine egg salad sandwich? Yes to all of the above, plus a healthy amount of cabin fever and a large double double of anxiety. Huge tracts of anxiety. A vicious, never-ending story of sadness swamps and horses that simply can’t go on of anxiety. I am not so much wallowing in it as I am utterly mired and sticky.

I’ve had a surprisingly full social calendar since the end of May, and it extends (so far) into the first week of August. This is great, because I am often angrily bored during the summer months because it’s hot and I have nothing to do. The weather has been very moderate so far this summer (for all two days of it) – I know this won’t last, but I’m enjoying the hell out of being slightly chilly while I still can.

Basically, I’m trying. If I sit down and apply the dreaded logic to my situation, things are seriously fucking great. I feel like a giant asshole for not greeting each day with a smile and a boner. This stresses me out, which turns into anxiety, which makes me restless, which makes me sad, which turns into moping, which becomes a pep talk, and the whole goddamn thing starts. all over. again. If I were not myself, I would be very understanding about things. They’re kind of a mess! My hypertension is off the charts! My doctor keeps insisting my life will have value once I lose weight! I have a mammogrammo scheduled for today and I am vainly nervous that the procedure will artificially flatten my magnificent bosom! And – all of these things aside – WORK, you guys. It is a thing. A thing that is causing at least 75% of my not inconsiderable anxiety.

Long story slightly less long: I’m still dash trash. I hate it. I am the lowest of the low, doing menial tasks that no one else wants to deal with. I have been pleading with my handlers for more advanced work and responsibility, because I am frankly super bored, but my requests are ignored. It’s such a stupid situation: I get paid a ridiculous amount of money to work from home, doing relatively brainless work, with little to no supervision. I do my job, make the real employees meet their KPIs and look great to management, and have zero responsibility when I’m off the clock. No one cares what I do.

.. except me. *I* care about what I do. I care deeply. I am being massively wasted as dash trash. I am squandered potential. My current role would be perfect for someone who wants to succeed by basically being alive and upright, but I want to do so much more. I miss working miracles. I miss owning things. I miss feeling like an actual team member who contributes. Even with my towering imposter syndrome, I know that I am way too smart and talented to be doing what I’m doing. I am sad and disconnected, and the longer I stay here the more I fear that this is what the rest of my life will look like. It feels so stupid to complain about it, because this is the dream situation for so many people .. but it makes me so sad, and I feel so worthless. For the last two years, I’ve fought so fucking hard to prove my worth and make traction and land permanence, and where has it gotten me? Arguably worse off than before. Working as a temp. Literally where I started out, over 20 years ago. I feel like a huge failure, and I’m so ashamed.

Well, this turned dark. I should end it here. Off to rebuild Fantasia with this grain of sand and a whole lot of Oxford commas.

 

baggage whine and beer

Summer hasn’t even started yet, and I’m over it. I really dislike being hot. Our house has no AC. Fire season is about to begin, and they’re predicting a bad one. When I open all our windows to get some air, the entire province can see me in the altogether and I CHARGE people for that shit. Summer: I am not a fan.

In addition to being a petulant whiny bitch about some mild discomfort on my part, summer denotes the annual period of NO TRAVEL. We don’t stray very far from home in the summer, because while it is hot here, it is significantly hotter everywhere else. Sweating in Europe is only slightly more desireable than sweating in North America, and not by a large enough margin to overlook. Also, the rest of the world travels in the summer and I am not a fan of the rest of the world. I am a reclusive hermit with wanderlust. Could I BE any more contrary?

We have two upcoming trips that I am looking forward to, but they’re not for another 3 months. I’m very excited to be Somewhere Else relatively soon, but I’ve got a pretty wicked case of cabin fever going right now. I know it’s wholly irrational – hi, have you met me – but I’ve come to really be grumpy at summer as a whole because I feel STUCK. It’s too hot to nest in Halfwack, I can’t go anywhere, and my impatience for September to arrive has me on edge.

Yes, poor Kimli. I should start a GoFundMe for my pain and suffering.

two steps forward

.. and one step back. Look for my debut video with an animated cat.

I’ve been feeling almost pretty good about myself lately: I’ve accidentally gone down a dress size. The items I’ve ordered recently in my usual size have all been strangely voluminous, to which I attributed a thousand other things than the most obvious one: I’ve somehow gotten smaller. The situation came to a head when I ordered a dress that shouldn’t have fit me, but it was the closest size available without going in the opposite direction .. and it actually fit perfectly. Neat! I patted myself on the back (carefully, because both of my shoulders are completely fucked due to repeat dislocation), and went about my day.

Yesterday, I had an appointment to meet a new doctor because my previous one is trapped in a tower somewhere. We briefly discussed my medical history, and he set about writing up a thousand prescription refills for me because I am running hella low on the drugs that keep me alive and upright. He wants to change up my current diabeetus meds, because, “it’ll make you lose weight! it’s so great!”. I mean, I HAD been feeling good about myself for the first time since 1987, but sure. Tell me repeatedly that these new meds are so great because I’ll lose weight. Like, 50 pounds of it. I think I was supposed to be excited to hear this, but dammit – I’m FINALLY in a place where I fully acknowledge my extraness, and these days I rarely break down crying when I look in a mirror. Could I stand to lose 50 pounds? Sure. Do I WANT to? I could take it or leave it. I’m already finding that many of my clothes are fitting strangely due to whatever incidental weight I’ve lost, and if these “so great!” miracle drugs make a portion of me disappear, I’ll have to buy a whole bunch of new clothes. I know that’s a silly argument for not wanting to be the best and thinnest Kimli I could possibly be, but see above re: dammit – am I not allowed to be satisfied with my person as I am?

I’m going to try these miraculous shrinking drugs anyway, for science. I’m apprehensive for additional reasons, though: these are the drugs I was taking the last time I almost died and stuff. That could be interesting, so I’m going to give it a go and see what happens, because what are the chances I’ll go into ketoacidosis TWICE? Except for the whole near-death thing, they actually worked really well (too well) to make me pee all the extra sugar out of my blood. While I’m rather ambivalent about the potential for weight loss I apparently so desperately need, I’d like to get my blood sugar down even further. I’m still trying to make up for a really fucking horrible 2018, which saw my A1C spike to outrageous levels (aka 0.7%), so if this will help, I’ll try it. What’s the worst that could happen?

Don’t answer that.

Being at a hospital when I’m not a complicated medical anomaly is interesting. Ed’s upstairs getting a camera inserted into his nethers (throat) to see what is happening all up in there, so I’m waiting in a cafe and writing all about my woes, working, and ruing this tart I bought that is made of horrible horrible raisins. Also, I scheduled myself for a mammogram for the sheer fun of it, aka my previous doctor told me to go get myself all squished in the tits, but the only way to book an appointment was over the PHONE like some sort of busty neanderthal so I didn’t do it. On my way to the cafe to work, I noticed that the mammograms actually happen in this building (we’re not in the actual hospital, just an outpatient centre) .. so I went to the desk and booked myself in for some squishin’. For science. I hope they’ll let me take pictures.

Sounds like Ed is done with his butt (throat) scope, so I’m going to go collect him and take him home. I am an excellent wife. An excellent, super fat, wife.

living dangerously

Yes, even more than usual.

My Mirena IUD – the only thing between me and an entire flock of verbose, busty children – expired in February. I’ve written before about the very real danger of a lifetime of sperm ingestion catching up with me in one fell swoop (that’s how it works, right) – but I haven’t had the time to Do Anything about it.

It’s not my fault. When my palm flower lit up, I was halfway around the world. Also, my doctor went and gave birth and subsequently closed her practice because her damn controlling baby won’t let her work (that’s how it works, right). So not only did I literally run out of time to get my vaginal wheels aligned, I have nowhere to go to get it done.

I wasn’t entirely foolhardy about my expiring IUD, though. I did some internets, and found that while the Mirena has a uterus-life of 5 years, *technically* it can work for up to 7 years. That’s two more years! I could USE those years!

Naturally, there are capital-C consequences. You see, the scientific term for the Mirena is Fancy Baby Gate, which means in addition to making my womb a hostile environment for baby juices through the sheer toxicity of copper alone, it also has a medicinal element: for the past 5 years it has happily dispensed hormones like Pez, obliterating all negative or icky activity from my lady cave. Like, all of it. Nothing goes on down there but fun, and the party don’t start til I walk in. Do you know the last time I bought feminine protection that wasn’t literal and lethal? Okay, it was less than a year ago – but it wasn’t for me, it was a bulk purchased to donate to WISH. Hell, I’m on my second Mirena. The last time I had to buy myself items for *down there*, I was still going through the stash acquired when I worked at Procter and Gamble a lifetime ago. It’s been a while, okay.

What was my point? Oh right, consequences. Because my little friend (say hello) is end-of-life dead, it’s run out of the good stuff. This means that I am once again having SYMPTOMS. Of a menstrual variety. Things are happening that have not happened in more than a decade, and IT SUCKS.

It’s not just the physical discomfort of shedding my uterine lining for sport: I am having FEELINGS. Big ones, ones that I am wholly unprepared and unwilling to deal with. Everything is making me cry! I am literally writing this on a plane, from an aisle seat, with no one between me and the dude in the window seat, with enough room to actually use my laptop for once, on my way to my favourite city for no reason other than “I wanted to fly somewhere”, and I have CRIED. More than once. I cried at a sad song on my phone. I cried because Ed and I had a Long Boring Talk About our Relationship last night (literal this time, and not just a discussion about the power bill). I cried because I said something uncharacteristically sappy-sweet to Ed when he dropped me off at the airport this afternoon. And the worst of all? The lady across the aisle and a row up from me was watching a shitty Mark Wahlberg family comedy with subtitles on, and IT MADE ME CRY. What the FUCK. This is bullshit!

Until I get this *situation* dealt with, these feelings and symptoms are only going to get worse AND they’re going to happen every 28 days like goddamn clockwork. I am fairly certain I did not agree to this. I want a do-over.

When I get home, I’m going to have to go to the women’s walk-in clinic and throw my vagina across the counter in a desperate plea for help. Worst case scenario, they’ll prescribe me another (surprisingly expensive, even with benefits and the horrors of socialized medicine) Mirena that I will have to arrange to get shoved all up in my business after the other one is unceremoniously yanked out (which fucking HURTS, to the point of thinking “is pregnancy and the resulting 18+ years of parenthood really all THAT bad”). Best case, they’ll agree that I am too fucking old to deal with gas station pregnancy tests and worrying that my mom’ll kill me if I come home knocked up and scoop my goddamn tubes out with a spoon already. I mean, I’ve only been asking for 23 fucking years. What’s another two decades (eat a dick, science) of worrying about an unplanned pregnancy?

Vaginas, am I right? Yeesh.

The preceding post has been about the inner workings of my female anatomy. If you are at all uncomfortable with talk of the female reproductive system and the fluids contained therein, please do not have read this post.

it looks like you are trying to avoid procreation! do you need assistance?

dearly beloved

As we age, we’re starting to come to terms with our mortality. Verdict: it sucks. After a conversation in which our Friend Collective all admitted to not having any sort of formal will or care documents, we decided to dedicate one of our Dinner Club evenings to doing exactly that: writing up our wills and dictating what we want to happen should we be faced with an end-of-life situation. It’s easy to say “I don’t want to live hooked up to machines”, but unless that’s actually written down and notorized somewhere, you too could become the subject of an invasive national debate regarding gawd’s great plan vs your own bodily autonomy. It’s no secret that I long for my 15 minutes, but not like this. Never like this.

So, armed with laptops and Indian take-out, we started writing up our wills. That was the easy part. Everything goes to our spouses to deal with (sorry Ed). All of my belongings are truly awesome, but I can’t think of anything in particular that anyone else would like to own over my literal dead body. This is your cue, by the way: if you want any of my junk, let me know. I will gladly bequeath the World’s Dirtiest Smutton (or any other specific item I own) to a random internet person – one less thing for Ed (or his cousin: sorry, Cliff) to deal with.

The living will portion of the night was more difficult. I don’t talk about it often because a girl’s gotta have SOME secrets, but I am terrified of death and all associated topics. I can very easily work myself up into a complete state of panic by thinking about Ed or myself being all dead and shit. Hell, even writing that out was difficult. I’m grateful that we wrote the documents as a group, because I wouldn’t have been able to get a single paragraph in before I dissolved into a weepy mess. It also helped that Shan, who is clearly a more advanced adult than the rest of us, already had her living will written up and notorized, so we could cannibalize some of the wording when it got too difficult to be auto-eloquent.

Unfortunately, a living will is a document with words .. and I am 100% unable to be reverent in any situation, ESPECIALLY ones where I am scared and awkward as fuck. I started out with good intentions, borrowing the Official Death Wording in Shan’s legal document so I had a base to work from (the end-of-life documentation I am more familiar with is not applicable in this situation, unfortunately). Then .. well, it all went to hell. It didn’t help that the others assured me that this is a legal document dictating my wishes should the unforeseen become seen, no one but me can write it, and what I say goes.

My living will is mostly normal. Some parts of it are not. If nothing else, I hope that my executor (which is not pronounced like “executioner”, I learned) will smile through the inevitable tears (because they are required to be devastated, it’s in the documentation) when they look into my final wishes, only to have to read through the long-winded and spectacularly-Kimli section on the state of bionic technology and cryogenics and the possibility of turning me into a slightly-less-evil version of GLaDOS. I should probably tone down some of the sarcasm in the document overall, but this is my one chance to do it my way. If I’m already picky and weird about how I do things, it’s only natural that it carry through to the very end. If that means someone is going to be tasked with making me a fabulous glitter death mask, so be it. These are my final wishes. Ignore them, and I will haunt the shit out of you.

I’m still not okay with any of this, but if I have to go, I hope I’ll be remembered as someone who tried to make it all fun.

bless the rains

Ever since my friend Lani told me about a whirlwind trip to Marrakech, it’s been on my mind. Last year, when I learned we (well, Ed) would be going to Barcelona for the conference, I put on my planning hat and did what I do moderately well: start planning a complicated trip. I like planning things. When I don’t have any plans brewing, I get anxious and cranky.

Several spreadsheets later, I had drawn up a couple of different itineraries that would take us to Marrakech. Going to Madrid was sort of an afterthought – as we’d already done Barcelona, I really wanted to go somewhere new. It was also cheaper to fly to Morocco from Madrid than it was from Barcelona, AND we’d get to take the train. It was a solid, if somewhat convuluted, plan.

On Monday, Ed and I woke up early to grab some breakfast and get to the airport. The flight to Marrakech was only two hours or so, and it went by fairly quickly. Our flight landed on the tarmac, so when I tripped down the stairs I got my very first view of an entirely new place:

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i never said it was a GOOD first view

I had been worried (because it’s what I do) about two specific things when landing in Marrakech: how do I get money, and how do I get internet. These two things were literally addressed within the first ten feet after exiting passport control: there were two booths set up with girls offering free SIM cards, and data at about €1/GB. €20 later, Ed and I were armed with 10GB of internet each for three days, which is probably enough.

Getting cash was simple, as well. The Moroccan currency is the dirham, 1 of which is around $0.14 CDN/$0.10 USD. Two large kiosks were set up in the airport: one for cash exchanges, and one for credit cards. A short queue later, we were on our way to the taxi stand with a fistful of dirham so Ed could try to haggle his way into town (it didn’t work – taxis are pretty much the only way out of the airport, so they’re pretty firm on the price. Getting back to the airport cost a great deal less.).

Because this was our first trip into new territory, we didn’t have any grand plans to explore outside of the Red City. Our taxi dropped us off outside the medina, and gave us vague directions to our riad – most of the hotels and inns in the centre of Marrakech are within the cramped, twisty walls of the old city, and cabs cannot get you there. It wasn’t a far walk, and it gave us some ample gawking time at the activity buzzing all around us.

We reached Riad Jona (picked at random) around 3pm, and I was delighted to see that the riad closely resembled my only previous experience with Moroccan architecture – the second level of the video game No One Lives Forever. The staff sat us down in the lounge, and prepared Moroccan mint tea and cookies for us to enjoy while we filled out some paperwork:

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just like the videogame!

We got a full tour of the riad while our bags were taken to our room, then were given some tips on how to navigate Marrakech. This was super useful and provided the answers to a lot of questions that we had, so we really appreciated it. It was also explained to us that meals were available in the riad, but dinner had to be requested several hours in advance so they could prepare it. We scanned the menu, and ordered several things for dinner that night – never having had Moroccan food before, we really didn’t know what to expect so we choose what looked interesting and hoped for the best.

Okay, that’s all the boring logistical stuff – now for the reactions.

You guuuuys, Marrakech is FUCKING AMAZING.

The food – especially the meals we had at the riad – was incredible. We ate dinner there every night, because the food was so good there was no reason to go elsewhere. Our favourites were this chicken, almond and cinnamon pie thing that tasted like a sweet, savoury, flaky, cripsy miracle, and a stew baked in a tajine with monkfish and other things that weren’t monkfish but crazy delicious. Both of those were ordered twice during our stay. The riad also served breakfast each morning, full of fruit and tea and delicious crepe things with homemade yogurt and jams. In the afternoon after walking our feet off, we’d find a random cafe in the souk and have a snack while people watching. We ate SO WELL in Marrakech, and everything we had was incredible.

The market in the centre of old Marrakech was enormous and beautiful and chaotic. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of colourful displays of pottery, leather goods, fabrics, and spices – oh god, the spices. Everything smelled so good, thanks to the incense burned at various stalls. I could have happily spent a week getting lost in the winding, twisting streets of the souk, finding stray cats and narrowly avoiding the donkey-pulled carts and scooters coming from both directions. It was amazing. Both Ed and I agreed that between Madrid and Marrakech, this was the best and most exciting vacation we’d ever had.

I had a done a lot of reading on Moroccan culture and the things to do and not do, so armed with that knowledge and the information given to guests at the riad, we were fairly well suited for our trip. I had done a lot of worrying (again, because me) about my wardrobe – I didn’t want to call attention to myself and I definitely didn’t want to offend anyone with my tendency to wear clothing cut nipple-low, so I had purposefully chosen dresses that were long enough to cover my knees, high enough to hide my huge rack, and light enough for the weather (which was sunny and hovering around 24C/75F the entire time). It was cooler in the evenings, but the clothing we both packed was perfect for the environment.

Haggling was interesting. It was the thing I was least looking forward to, because I am very bad at talking to people. Ed handled most of it, but I was starting to feel comfortable going back and forth towards the end of our trip and even attempted to haggle for myself a few times (but likely still paid way too much for things because I don’t want to insult anyone or not give them what the item is worth). Many of the shops in the souk sell identical items, so it’s easy to find something you love, not come to an agreement on the price, then find it elsewhere with someone more willing to bargain. We walked away from several places, and were either convinced to return or simply found the item somewhere else.

Shopping in the souk was so much fun. Everything is bright and colourful and smells good. I wanted to bring so much stuff home with me, but I was limited by the size of our carry-on bags and Ed’s watchful eye. I still brought home a lot of cool stuff and gifts for friends, but had to acquiesce on things I logicistally could not manage: gorgeous brass lamps, tajines for Moroccan cooking, tea sets, donkeys. Luckily, the internet is beautiful thing, and after we returned home I was able to find several Moroccan websites that would ship the things I couldn’t bring home with me. Take that, wallet!

We did have a couple of small run-ins with really aggressive people in the marketplace. We had been warned about the Henna Ladies, and the only one that managed to get close to us had an iron fucking grip on my hand that required both Ed and I to free myself from. The Henna Ladies will trap you by applying henna to your hand unasked, then extort money from you. Ed still has a smudge of henna on his hand from where he intercepted her brush on its way to my skin, but we got away relatively unscathed. The other incident was an overly friendly shopkeep who kept hugging me, calling me princess, begging for a photo, and ultimately kissed my neck – all of which I was/am HELLA UNCOMFORTABLE WITH. Ed once again ran interferance for me, and afterward I needed a stiff drink (of orange juice) to calm my nerves. Did not like. F—–, would not be mauled by strangers again.

However, the rest of our time in Marrakech was lovely as fuck. Ed describes it as “relaxing chaos”, which it really was. If you ever get a chance to go to Morocco, I highly recommend it – I’m already planning another visit to see Fes and Casablanca in the future. As much as I loved it there, it’s probably not a place I’d go to on my own .. I’m sure I could manage, but I don’t wanna. So I won’t. And it gives me an excuse to plan another magical trip, which is always a great thing.

Also I didn’t see a single fucking Tropius so clearly I need to go back to Africa.