Lots of memes going around about this decade ending in X days, asking what you’ve done in that time. Ten years is a solid chunk of your life, and this decade saw me go from my 30s to my 40s in several million blinks of an eye. I stopped blogging daily somewhere in the middle of the decade, so large parts of my life have not been dutifully documented for prosperity’s sake – this will inevitably come back to bite me in the ass when I am super old(er) and someone says “hey, what did you do on August 15th in 2017?” and I don’t know because the only thing I have to go off of is an Instagram post of a picture of 10-year-old Kimli holding a pigeon. That is not helpful. Why did I stop blogging? This is terrible.
I am supposed to be in Nara, feeding tame deer and watching a fierce mochi pounding. Here are some thoughts I am having as I am not doing those things:
- It’s nice outside
- I really hate scooting Highway 99
- I need gloves
- I have gloves!
- I sure wish I hadn’t dropped that glove
- I need gloves on a string
- My right hand is fucking freezing
I went for a scooter ride while Ed is having quality time with one of his Mikes. He has a lot of them.
Okay, roast beef sandwich time.
I have had more metaphorical waffles in the last three days than I’ve ever had in my life. Here are some of the things I am waffling between like it’s a goddamn sport:
- I’m totally fine with being at home!
- No wait, I am filled with angst and sadness!
- Let’s go to Vegas for a few days to keep ourselves entertained!
- Vegas is not Japan and I don’t gamble or drink so wtf why Vegas!
- We can rebook the trip for next month!
- It’ll be a rushed, truncated version of our original trip and that will not be as satisfying!
- New York?
- New York!
- But I would have had New York ANYWAY, so I’m still missing out!
- Did we make the right decision in cancelling?
- Everyone else is going ahead with their Japan plans!
- The pictures of all the flooding look awful, and a lot of infrastructure is still shut down
- But I am so miserable being at home!
.. and so on, and so forth. No new developments on the Refund Saga, but a thousand piecemeal suggestions have come and gone in the last three days. I keep changing my mind. Yesterday, I wanted to go to Vegas. Later that evening, Operation New York was a go. This morning, I wanted to make late November work for a shorter Japan trip. After doing the dishes, I decided on requesting a compromise for travel in 2020. I’d like to say my last (excellent) suggestion is the best one and will definitely be what we do going forward, but I’d said that at least half a dozen times in the last 72 hours. I no longer know what the fuck, because the fuck keeps changing. I am a soggy, gluten-free waffle made out of quinoa and squash. I am a poor approximation of food.
We do have plans to go to New York in early November. It was going to be a working trip – fly in, work during the day, then explore at night like Tourist Batman. One suggestion I had early on was to instead take time off while we’re in NY, making it a real trip instead of one where we work out of someone else’s house for a few days so we don’t use up vacation time. This is actually a really good idea, and one we’re probably going to go ahead with. New York is a fun city, we’d get to have some daytime adventures and food, and it’s ultimately less time off work than Japan would have been (I don’t have paid vacation, so everything I do is carefully balanced with “how much is this going to cost me”). Win win, right?
Mostly, yes. I’m still a little angsty, because I would have had New York (albeit on a lesser scale) ANYWAY, so I’m still out the whole of a vacation to Japan. I thought on this a little bit while jamming forks into the dishwasher, and realized I could maybe use the situation to my advantage. See, our trip to Japan was to have been 10 days. This never really sat right with me, because it seems like a really long way to go for less than 2 weeks, but Ed uncharacteristically put his foot down and insisted we take a slightly shorter trip than I like. I agreed at the time, because let’s face it, Japan was international trip #4 of 6 in 2019 alone so sure, I could give up a few days. I want a longer trip though, so I suggested another compromise on top of the other 50 compromises we’ve both made over the weekend: I will stop attempting to cram a do-over Japan trip into our rapidly dwindling 2019 and be satisfied with upgrading New York from Working Trip to Actual Vacation, in exchange for a minimum of two full weeks in Japan in 2020.
This was agreed to. We hugged on it. It’s the plan at the moment and I like it, but it will probably change 7 more times before we get anything resolved with the airline regarding our unused tickets for last week.
I am so good at compromise, you guys!
I’ve been slowly unpacking my suitcase, and it is very sad times. I’ve been hitting the pumpkin pie a little harder than usual to help me get through it. Thank god for whipped cream.
I’m sure there’s some sort of interesting psychological reason behind my feeling like I must always apologize before complaining, but I’m not really in the mood to examine the science behind my emotions .. so I’ll just jump right into the justification: I know things could be so much worse and I feel awful for complaining, BUT.
I’m so, so, so sad. We are supposed to be in Japan right now for our vacation – not a working vacation, not a few days tacked onto the end of work trip, but an actual vacation, with hotels and spending money and tickets to see things. I’d been planning this trip since at least January – the flights were booked in March, hotels and train routes researched, half a million things scheduled and arranged and paid in advance – and we were supposed to have left yesterday, to fly into Haneda Airport. We didn’t go. And instead of being unable to sleep at 2am in Tokyo, I’m sitting at my desk trying to care about work and being awfully fatalistic about every little thing that comes my way.
The night before we were supposed to leave – literally 16 hours before our flight departed – we got wind (harrr) of Super Typhoon Hagibis bearing down on Japan, effectively shutting the country down for at least the weekend (and possibly longer, depending on the amount of damage the storm does). It’s not traditionally typhoon season in Japan (I researched this!), but Hagibis started out as a tropical storm that quickly grew into a Serious Situation faster than anyone thought possible, bypassing the “typhoon” title and going right into “Super Typhoon”. Windows are boarded up, store shelves are empty, hatches have been battened, and all flights and rail service has been cancelled for October 12 (with warnings that the cancellations may continue into the 13th and beyond). The Rugby World Cup and Japanese Grand Prix have cancelled games and races this weekend. The entire country is planning for Bad Times Ahead.
Who the fuck are we to fly into a country in the middle of a natural disaster and expect to be entertained? Personal safety aside, I can’t justify that level of entitlement. Ed and I armed ourselves with cats and blankets and made some fast decisions: we cancelled our trip. We didn’t know if our flight would even make it off the ground, and we weren’t comfortable with just waiting around to see. And even if it did, what then? We land in Tokyo and will either be trapped in the airport if trains have already shut down, or we’d get to our hotel and be unable to leave. That isn’t what I want out of a vacation, and I don’t want people to have to cater to me while concerned for their homes and lives .. so we got on the phone and started making calls. First up was Expedia, who understood the situation and got us full, immediate refunds for the pre-paid and technically non-refundable hotel bookings. I contacted our pet sitter to cancel the week, cancelled our parking reservation, and looked into the other things I had obsessively planned. The biggest hurdle was going to be the flight reservation, but we were unable to do anything about it because all the call centres were closed.
The following morning, we gathered in the living room to continue the Cancellation Spree. Unfortunately, this is where everything went to (even more) shit: the flights were booked partially with reward miles and partially cash. We had to contact the agency we used to redeem the miles, who tried in vain to contact the airline (their lines were crazy jammed for some reason) but ultimately had to give up when she couldn’t get through after an hour. Without the airline’s authorization, the agency could not issue us a refund, full stop. We had her cancel the fights, and she advised us to contact the airline ourselves after the storm had passed to see if we could get their authorization for the refund. Without it, we’re boned. Hooray!
The airline’s website does acknowledge that shit’s all fucky thanks to the typhoon, so their website says that people should call from the 15th onward to talk about refunds. That’s good! They specifically call out flights that were disrupted on the 11th, 12th, and 13th. That’s .. good? That’s the catch, though: our flight was on the 10th, and landed on the evening of the 11th. Does that qualify in their refund timeline? Also complicating matters: our flight DID LEAVE. It departed YVR at 1640, and landed in HND at 1833. We technically could have flown to Tokyo without issue, and just had to deal with that little super typhoon thing while there.
That’s where I sit right now. I have no idea if we’ll be refunded for our flights or not, or if they’ll stick to the rules and say nope, sorry. Without that information, I can’t reschedule us for anything else. At the moment, I could rebook us on the same flight to Tokyo for next Thursday, try to find new hotels in Tokyo and Kyoto, and cross my fingers that the country isn’t hit too badly by the typhoon, but I need to wait to see if we’ll get the refund or at least credit for the flights, or potentially be out another $2k. Our JR Rail passes are another issue: they’re good for three months past the issue date, which means have to be used by November 15th or returned before that date for an 80% refund. By the time I get this information, it’ll likely be too expensive to book the flight for two days out, and the 17th is the only other day we could possibly leave for this trip. I am in limbo, which is the place I hate most in the world (even more than Calgary). I am super sad and laden with the unknowns. I am freezing my ass off at work instead of being on vacation. We have no food in the house, no Thanksgiving plans, and no idea what we’re going to do next. EVERYTHING IS THE WORST EVER.
Oh, and the landscapers destroyed my Tower of London poppy and took the shattered pieces. It was in our yard as a tribute to my grandfather’s service in WW1. It’s literally irreplaceable – they sold the poppies from the original exhibit, and they’re all gone. Ed discovered the destruction yesterday morning, which just added to the overall assessment that the universe is garbage. All of the things are made of suck.
I feel like a brat for being so upset over a ruined vacation. I know it’s not the end of the world. I know I’ll probably get to go to Japan again, even if I have to wait until next year. I know I travel a lot, and if I have to miss one trip out of a dozen, boo hoo for me. But .. I was really looking forward to this trip. I’d spent the last 6 months being excited for yesterday, and in the course of an hour, everything went to hell. I am sad.
Back to work, I guess.
It’s been said that to be successful in life, you must learn something new each day. If this is truly the case, then yesterday I was SUPER SUCCESSFUL at life because I learned not one but several very important things:
- That thing where people faint at the sight of needles or blood is called a Vasovagal Syncope (which is also the name of my Gogol Bordello cover band)
- It can also be caused by a traumatic experience
- .. like getting DONKEY PUNCHED IN THE CERVIX
My Mirena 2.0 officially expired in February. I took my sweet ass-time getting a replacement for it, but everything came to a head yesterday afternoon during the Swappening: the removal of 2.0, and insertion of 3.0.
I was already not looking forward to it, because I remember how much it hurt during the previous Swappening. Still, the very real dangers of unscheduled sperm showers haunted my every step, and I felt it was probably time to put on my big girl pants and just get it done already. After all, it’s been over five years. Surely it wasn’t as bad as I remembered it!
Yeah, no, it was SO MUCH WORSE.
I was given the option to allow a medical student doing her rounds to be present during the swap. I said yes, because it wouldn’t be the first time my vagina would be on display for rotating groups of strangers. They then asked if I minded if she did the first part of the procedure, to which I also said yes – I was half naked, in stirrups, and as compromised as I could get on a random Tuesday afternoon, so why the hell not. This may have been a mistake, as her snazzy white lab coat belied her level of experience: she was pretty green. Greener than I was about to be. Her bedside manner was quasi-soothing, but her actions were jerky which is never an adjective you want used when someone is all up in your business with clamps and industrial lubricant. There were issues locating my cervix, long pauses for explanations, and several comments about the weather as I just sort of laid there with my nethers flapping in the wind.
Then everything went sort of grey and soggy.
Apparently I am triggered by my cervix being manhandled, and I went into a classic vasovagal reaction: my pulse dropped like a hammer, I broke out into a full-body sweat, and things got real tinny and bright for a good long time. My doctor actually stopped the procedure when he noticed sweat pouring from my shins (did you know shins could sweat) and attempted to bring my pulse back up. This apparently was the best possible time for the student doctor to pipe up and say “okay, so I’m gonna take off now, bye”, and she left. Okay then. I’m sorry my troublesome vagina was not interesting enough for you to stay through the entire procedure, but you do you (and half of me).
The medical assistant came in to take her place, and I sort of pathetically asked her to fetch Ed for me (since this was all his fault, what with the penis and all) but he wasn’t in the lobby – he had gone out Harry Pottering. I endured an eternity of being asked to scooch in various directions while barely hovering on this side of consciousness before grabbing my phone (and dropping it on my face) to text Ed to get his ass back in the office. He eventually arrived to crack some jokes while I asked my doctor to just ignore my plummeting blood pressure and shove that thing all up in there already so I could go home and die in the dignity of my own home. The IUD was inserted, I almost fainted several more times, and then I got to listen to a monologue about what to expect with the Mirena and what could go wrong in the next 24 hours when all I desperately wanted was to recover some of my shame and lost fluids and leave this fluorescent hellscape for good.
Then I came home and slept for approximately one million years. I am now awake, full of cramps and baby-preventing hormones, and still feeling quite woozy about the whole thing. If I stop too long to think about it, I start to get really faint and spinny again. I’m told I’ve got another day of this, then things should mellow out in my uterus considerably.
F——, would not vasovagal again.
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.
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.