back in the saddle

The saddle is made of words!

I’ve been hinting at this for the last few weeks now, but now all my beans are being spilt: I am indeed leaving Hootsuite for a position elsewhere. My last day in the nest is October 28th.

While I very much enjoy my team and other assorted owls at Hootsuite, I’ve made no secret of the fact that JIRA Administration was never amongst the things I wanted to do when I grew up. What started out as occasional maintenance (and only because JIRA was tied to our documentation tool, and then only because I didn’t want to wait for someone else to have the free time to do what was needed) gradually became an all-encompassing struggle to keep the system running with limited resources, which then snowballed into supporting all things Atlassian. I’ve spent the last 15 months elbow-deep in support and operations, which is a really weird place for a technical writer to be.

That was the other half of my problem: on paper, I was still a technical writer. My day to day duties had very little to do with technical writing, but I didn’t have the slightest idea what my title SHOULD be. Don’t get me wrong – I was happy to be busy and have actual things to do (a far cry from my first 6 months at Hootsuite doing nothing) – but I wasn’t doing the things I thought I was hired to do, and worse yet, I saw both no exit and no possibility for advancement. I supposed I could have just JIRA’d harder, but at the end of the day, it was a pretty frustrating waste of my abilities. And what about my resume? How do you explain that you’re a Technical Writer who technically does not write? I worried that my skills were fading faster than the purple dye on my hair, and that I’d never be able to successfully sell myself as a tech writer because I’d spent the last x months doing glorified support and operations and student-essay-editing.

I didn’t actually DO anything about all these fears I had – I mean, I talked to my bosses (and anyone who would listen) about my title and position, but I sat on most of my worry like a phone book. I got as far as updating my resume, scared witless the entire time that I had no marketable skills and having detailed visions of Very Old Kimli hunched over a TV Dinner at a nursing home, VPN’d into Hootsuite so I could answer help tickets about workflows and issue types. It was not Good Times.

I must have sacrificed exactly the correct number of chickens, because something fortuitous happened around the height of my despair: someone (who wasn’t a headhunter) contacted me about a tech writing opportunity (that wasn’t a 3-month contract in fucking Winnipeg). We chatted via email, video interviews were had, and on October 6th, I was officially offered the position of Documentation Engineer. I’ll be working for a US-based software company that specializes in high performance computing in the cloud, meaning I get to stay in tech (which is hugely important to me). Oh, and the job is 100% remote: it even says in my contract that I can work from anywhere. ANYWHERE. The world is included in ANYWHERE. I fully expect to pop up in random places around the world, engineering up some documentation for everything I can get my hands on.

I am beyond excited about this new opportunity. I will miss some awesome people at Hootsuite, but this is a massive leap forward in my career. I get to work from home with the cats and without pants. I get to write. And I’ve been promised there’s no JIRA administration involved, which might be the very best part of all.

Strap in, y’all. We’re heading back into space, and I can’t fucking wait.

they absolutely wear sweatshirts in space, shut up

they absolutely wear track jackets in space, shut up

tantrum dance

I can’t handle very much at the moment. So far today I have thrown my hands up in the air and yelled “I QUIT” for the following reasons:

  • I accidently threw out a co-worker’s lunch and I feel terrible about it
  • There were 18 points of failure in the information I just audited
  • The English Muffin on my desk looked like a chocolate chip cookie all day, but wasn’t ever a cookie
  • I’m hungry, but not for cold non-cookie English Muffins
  • WestJet still has not addressed my claim regarding the infamous flight fiasco
  • The announcement that my last day at Hootsuite will be October 28th has officially gone out
  • Someone created a service account without a paper trail
  • I really want to be at home, playing Portal 2 in my underwear

So many tantrums. Everybody cut loose!

grumpy about portals

We have almost every console imaginable in this house. PS2, PS3, PS4. Xbox 180, 360, One. At least 4 Nintendo DSes in varying states of 3D. Two Gameboys. A PSP. There’s a Dreamcast in the closet, and a Sega Genesis in storage. We have a Wii in a box, and I think there’s an NES in a bag somewhere. Basically, lots of consoles. Almost every console. Tremendous consoles. Only two are hooked up, though: the PS4 and the Xbox One. We don’t have 19 TVs, you see. The others are in the bedroom, holding up shelves. We keep them mostly for nostalgia, and because nothing in the fucking universe is backwards compatible.

For each dusty console taking up floor space in the bedroom, there’s a shelf of games to go along with it. Throughout the purging over the years, only the absolute favourite of all games have survived: for example, we’ve only got one Xbox game. Normally I’d just let the console go and reclaim the 15 square feet of floor space, but the game is Jet Set Radio Future and it’s my ultra super favourite so .. we have to keep it. Same with the PS2. And the PS3 games are still great (and most likely not finished), so we have to keep the system.

I woke up wanting to play Portal 2. It’s a cold, rainy, grey Sunday, and I have nowhere I need to be until tomorrow morning at 9. The house is stocked with food, there’s Diet Coke for days, and even though my ice machine is dead (RIP) the freezer has enough to last me a couple hours. A perfect gaming day!

I own Portal 2, but it’s for the PS3. PS3 games can’t be played on any system except the PS3, because Sony is evil. I don’t want to hook up the PS3. It’s big and I don’t know where all the cables are and I don’t want to wait through 14 hours of system updates to play a game offline. The Portal series is super popular, so surely it’s available for download, right? Nah. Doesn’t exist for Playstation outside of the PS3. Super.

Okay, Xbox. Maybe it’s available for the One? Ooh, it is – but I can’t download it on the console itself, I have to use a computer. Sure, that makes zero sense. About as much as my buying a game I already own – twice I think, I just remembered I bought it on Steam a while ago. Download says 360 only. What. Try to load it up – the One comes with a 360 emulator of sorts. Weird, but okay. Finally! Now I’m thinking with portals!

The lack of backwards compatibility is a ridiculous, unfair monopoly. Screw you, Sony.

I should just buy a fucking PC and be done with it.

WAH. First world problems, and all that – I just want to buy a melon.

these are their stories


Homicide: “Cause of death was clearly blunt force trauma, but we can’t find the murder weapon.”

Forensics: “Body’s been here for at least 4 hours. Probably died around 4pm.”

Officer: “We’ve interviewed everyone in the house, no one saw anything. The body was discovered in the basement when the host went down to get more wine.”

Detective: “Okay, tell me what you were doing tonight and how you came across the body.”

Me: “We were having a dinner party with some friends. We had finished up dinner and moved into the den to play some board games. We ran out of wine at one point, so my husband went downstairs to get more and that’s when he found the body.”

Detective: “Do you know the victim?”

Me: “Only in passing. He lives in the building, but I don’t know his name.”

Detective: “The security tapes show that he followed you into the parkade with his car this morning. Do you remember seeing him?”

Me: “That was him? I know a car followed me into the parkade – which is against the rules – but I didn’t know who it was. I stopped my car so he couldn’t get in, but he drove around me honking and gave me the finger.”

Detective: “Interesting. Okay, we’ll be in touch. In the meantime, here’s my card – call me if you think of anything else.”

Me: “I will. Thank you, detective.”

Detective: “By the way, it smells great in here. What did you serve for dinner?”

Me: “Oh, thank you. We had Murder Ham!”


2778 words about ireland

I KNEW there was something I was forgetting to do – write about the trip. I’ve been incredibly scattered (more so than usual) since we got home, for reasons I am vaguebooking about. All will become clear soon, but in the meantime: hey, we went to Ireland!

Our flight(s) there were long but uneventful, with the exception of some EXTREME TURBULENCE between Toronto and St. John’s. Seriously, I have never experienced turbulence like that. It was fucking terrifying. People screamed, like in movies! Me, I almost ripped the back off the seat in front of me because I was gripping it so hard. Scary stuff. F——, would not turbule again.

We arrived into the Dublin airport just after 7am local time on Friday morning, and made our way through customs. Because of the early hour it was easy to grab a cab – lucky for us, since there was a bus strike going on and options into the city were limited. We were at the door of our AirBnB around 8:20am, perfectly on time.

Read the rest of this entry »

there are balls and they are in courts

I PROMISE that I’ll recap the amazing time we had in Ireland soon – but for now, here’s the letter I’m sending to Westjet as soon as they give me a method of communication that isn’t a 2000-character-limited text box on their website.

Read the rest of this entry »

a series of unfortunate events

Instead of getting ready to board our flight from Toronto to Vancouver, I’m currently sitting in a dark hotel room just off the freeway in the Dublin county of Swords, waiting for 2am to arrive so I can head back to the airport.

Don’t get me wrong – our trip to Dublin has been awesome and we saw so many really cool things and experienced awesome people and I tried very hard to drink beer – but right now I’m feeling kind of petulant and sorry for myself on account of this terrible cold and the fact that I’m in this hotel room at all.

We arrived at the airport just after 6 this morning, and were greeting with a departure board telling us our flight had been cancelled. Why we weren’t notified of this earlier I’ll never know, but it turns out a nasty storm in St John’s grounded our flight and there was no plane to take us home. Since the Westjet’s Dublin/St. John’s flight is a once-a-day thing, we were screwed. Double screwed, even, because it’s not like they could just bump us to the next flight as that would then displace everyone else and it would be an endless cycle of shit with no one getting home.

Westjet shuttled us all to a hotel in the middle of nowhere, gave us some food vouchers, and told us to call the airline to see what was going to happen. Turns out it’s this: they’re bringing in a plane for us that’ll leave Dublin at 0350, getting us to St. John’s around 5am local time. We sit there for 7 hours, then leave for Toronto at which point we’ll have 45 minutes to make our connecting flight to Vancouver. On paper, we’ll get home 22.5 hours later than intended. Whee!

I do know that they’re making the best of a bad situation, but the fact that our hotel friggin’ LOST POWER an hour or so ago isn’t making things any better. My brain is fogged over and it won’t let my body sleep. I’m sitting here in the dark, tethered to my phone and burning through data, with all my batteries (both literal and figurative) draining away, trying to breathe through all the rustic Irish mucous I’ve collected, and wondering if we’ll make it home. I’m out of Diet Coke, ice cubes, Advil, and patience. And clean bras.

We’ve had an awesome time in Ireland, but thiiiiiiiis suuuuuuuuucks. It’s also expensive, as I’m petulantly shopping on Etsy to pass the time.

I miss my kitties and bed and ice machine.

oscar wilde and eduard vilde both agree that, while things could be worse, this has turned out to be a most unfortunate day.

oscar wilde and eduard vilde both agree that, while things could be worse, this has turned out to be a most unfortunate day.