noseworm

Everyone’s experienced the earworm: when a song or melody is stuck in your head and endlessly repeating no matter what you do to shake it out. They’re annoying, but usually disappear once you stop focusing on the fact that you’ve had three bars of the Thong Song echoing in your head for close to 9 hours.

I am experiencing an earworm, but in my nose. Last night before bed, I smelled cigarette smoke. This isn’t unusual; our neighbours smoke and there are benches outside our bedroom window where people like to gather and argue/fight/laugh/sing/smoke/break up at all hours of the day. However, the smoke smell didn’t go away. It was inside my nose, and everything smelled like smoke. I really hate the smell of cigarettes, so I was equal parts annoyed and grossed out that everything reeked. It kept me awake, and when I did eventually drift off, the smell would irritate my nose again and I’d wake up. I figure I got maybe two hours of broken sleep throughout the entire night, and my nose and throat feel raw. When I got out of bed to start my day, I could still smell it – so I asked Ed, who smelled nothing and confirmed there was fresh air coming in from the window. The smell is all in my head (nose), which fucking sucks. It stinks. I’ve tried everything to get the cigarette smell out of my nose, including blowing my nose, using peppermint oil, lighting a scented candle, and burying my face in a cat. Nothing has helped. Everything stinks.

In other news, I am devastated by the results of the US election and fear for the future. All of last week was brutal, from the pre-election anxiety to the awful results rolling in and the terrible aftermath that followed (and is still happening). I wallowed in tears for days, before resolving that I was done with fear: it’s time to fight. I donated to Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and the Centre for Reproductive Rights, and will do so again once I start getting paid. I wear a safety pin, regardless of how useless some vocal hetero cis white men think it is. I haven’t encountered any open hate because I don’t really leave the house – but when I do, I am paying attention. I don’t really care what is said or done to me, but I will gladly step in and fight for others – I am short, but I have a fierce glare and ample vocabulary and I am not afraid to use either.

It is also extremely disheartening to realize that you yourself are a target: I am a non-white, queer-leaning, overweight, unattractive woman of advanced age. In Gilead, I’d be sent to the Colonies. I feel guilty for my unwoman status and associated worry though, because others have it so much worse. I don’t know what to do with either the guilt or the fear, so I’ll just fight. Fighting is good.

My new job is going well. I’m having a lot of anxiety because I don’t know everything yet, and the fact that it’s been less than two weeks is not an acceptable excuse for my ignorance. I’m learning as fast as I can, but I’m terrified that I might be disappointing people. The additional anxiety is not doing me any favours, that’s for sure.

In “look, we’re grownups” news, Ed and I had three of the closets in our condo redone. We now have an actual coat closet with ample shoe storage, an entire storage system in the walk-in closet in my office, and bedroom closets that don’t make me want to kill people. The work was done crazy fast and was all built to spec, and we’re very happy with the home improvementing. It feels a little silly to be so very excited about well-organized closets, but goddamn they were terrible. And now they’re not! We keep opening the doors and marvelling at the non-chaos within. Things are on SHELVES. You can actually walk into the walk-in closet. Frankly, it’s amazing. Everyone should come over and hang out in my closets with me.

We’re off to Seattle this weekend to see friends and have some fun. I am looking forward to this, because November has been so rough. I would like some Good Times.

.. dumps like a truck, truck, truck
thighs like what, what, what
all night long
let me see that thong

i should know better

That thing when you read the comments and then get super sad at the entire internet:

Today I was chatting with my new co-workers, and the topic of video games came up (I think I brought it up, because me). Turns out I work with someone who used to be a competitive Counter-Strike player back in the day, so we traded war stories and videos. He shared a video of a match from 2001, and I dug up the Q3 1v1 finals from QuakeCon 2004, which someone had posted on YouTube. The game was between Zero4 and czm, and featured Ali and myself doing commentary.

QuakeCon was 12 years ago. The video was uploaded three years ago. And yet .. the comments.

  • “MY GOD BITCH SHUT UP!!!” – four months ago
  • “Wow .. that bitches [sic] voice and speed is fucking frustrating. Nobody needs that.”
  • “Females? In MY Quake?!” – two weeks ago
  • “The girls make mistakes!” “Yep, she makes sound” – a year ago
  • “fucking annoying woman!!!” – 6 months ago
  • “why dat girl talk so much”
  • “lol, females”
  • “Lousy commentary, they say everything that’s happening, we can fucking see that it’s not a radio broadcast” (actually, in 2004, this WAS a radio broadcast. Not everyone was able to log into the server to watch the game, and video streaming was not a thing back then. so .. yeah. we described the action.)
  • “It’s pretty obvious that the girls don’t know much about the game or duelling, but what do you expect?”
  • “does she ever breathe?!” (this one made me laugh – my casting was fast as hell, and I didn’t breathe often)

It’s more than a decade later, and tiny little manboys are still yelling that women have no place in their video game worlds. I loved casting, and was super proud of what I did. I miss it like hell, but I cannot – will not – subject myself to the new world of video streaming. I remember what the comments were like, and I’m not going to let it happen again. Doesn’t mean I don’t wish things were different, though. And it’s crazy disheartening to find people trashing things you did years and years ago, all because you dared be a woman in a place where boys play.

newb

Today is the second day at my new job. I spent most of yesterday getting myself set up: credentials for ten thousand new tools, a whole heap of docs to read and tear apart in my head, and being totally overwhelmed by all the things I don’t know. Now that I’ve started, the frustration at not knowing everything already has set in – I feel dumb, and I hate feeling dumb. I want to be useful NOW. Why haven’t we invented Matrix-like knowledge transfer yet?

I gave myself a tour of the office yesterday, noting where the essentials were. Diet Coke can be accessed at my feet, in the kitchen, or in an emergency, across the street at the gas station. Ice is found both in the freezer, and in the ice machine I set up in the kitchen last week. Again, in an emergency, ice is available at the gas station. Except for the constant danger of explosions, living across the street from a gas station is quite handy.

There are three office cats, all of whom are varying degrees of a pain in the ass. My office mate wears too many clothes and listens to a lot of screaming dragon metal, which is kinda weird. Luckily, I have a door that can be closed when his music/constant state of dress get to be too much.

Snacks are plentiful and lunch is provided as long as there are leftovers in the fridge. If not, my options are gas station sandwiches or McDonald’s. When the weather is less gross, I’ll be able to get lunch from anywhere within a 20-minute scooting distance, so I can really get anything depending on my laziness level.

So far, the most difficult part of this whole transition (other than the fact that I don’t know a damn thing about anything) is not being audibly gleeful that I do not have to go outside in the cold November rain.

Okay, back to learnin’.

it looked this neat for about 10 minutes

it looked this tidy for about 10 whole minutes

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

DUN DUN

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!”

DUN DUN