let’s have another round tonight

Like every good tech company, the one I work for has a lot of swag. In addition to the usual range of t-shirts and stickers available to the public, there’s a series of limited edition, staff-only swag that gets handed out from time to time: bottle openers, beer koozies, flasks (so many flasks), growlers, martini shakers, kegs, beer bongs, jugs of moonshine, shot glasses, stomach pumps, etc. There’s a theme. Can you guess what it is?

As someone who doesn’t have an apparent drinking problem, I’m confused and annoyed by all the drinking-related items. To be fair, I’m confused and annoyed by almost everything – but honestly, it’s awkward being a non-drinker surrounded by a culture of binge drinking. I don’t get it. And I’m nearly always left out, because every event or celebration is centred around alcohol. Hit a milestone? Shotgun a beer! Building camaraderie? Ice someone! Team events? To the bar! Company outings? Booze is provided! And thirteen orders of fries, is that it here? WINE AND BEER!

That’s why, when I found a piece of company swag that I could actually use, I was excited. It’s a little reusable pouch with a first aid kit in it, and and someone who is frequently injured in stupid ways, I was happy to have a cute little safety kit to throw in my bag if I was feeling particularly perilous that day. During a fundraiser last week, the kits were available to purchase, so I bought a bunch to give to my friends and share my glee over having cute, usable swag.

I am so adorably naive!

Each kit contains:

  • Bandages! (super useful!)
  • An antibacterial wipe! (clean them germs!)
  • A vial of Blistex! (dry, chapped lips are unpleasant!)
  • Aspirin! (cures what ails ya!)
  • Breath mints! (not exactly medical, but thanks for thinking of my breath!)
  • A packet of Vitamin C drink powder (wait a second ..)

They’re not first aid kits. They’re hangover cure kits.

*sigh* At least the pouch it comes in is cute. If I find out you can dissolve the pouch in water to make emergency wine, though, I quit.

I promise I’m not straightedge, a teetotaler, or some freaky booze-eschewing evangelist. Drinking is fine. I even do it sometimes – in fact, just last month I had an alcohol. I don’t care if people drink. I’m simply struggling to find my place in a job that revolves around booze, and feel more left out than usual because I can’t relate. It’s by far the most difficult scenario I face in the tech world: not trying to navigate all that technology in spite of my uterus, but trying to advance in a culture that I can’t partake of.

pictured: one alcohol.

pictured: one alcohol.

unsatisfactory

When last I ranted about the pathetic state of scooter parking affairs in the city of Vancouver, I made special effort to not appear crazy or be myself in any way. My intention was to write something that I could send to the city and to the local papers to try and bring attention to the major hypocrisy regarding two-wheeled vehicles, but ultimately, I wasn’t happy with my post and didn’t forward it anywhere else.

Enter Darren, who apparently felt otherwise. He took it upon himself to write a letter to the Mayor of Vancouver, quoting parts of my post and linking them to the site. Darren is awesome! He copied me on the letter he wrote, and he was far more eloquent and coherent than I could have been:

I’ve been debating buying a scooter for commuting to work but downtown seems less than friendly towards scooter parking. A local blogger put it quite well in a post today:

Other cities are doing their part to encourage people to consider alternate forms of transportation. In Toronto, scooters are allowed to park on sidewalks. In San Francisco, entire blocks of the downtown core are reserved for motorcycles and scooters at $0.25 an hour, for a maximum of ten hours

https://blog.deliciousjuice.com/2009/08/10/4-wheeled-respect/

I’m glad to see more bike options opening up such as the recent Burrard Bridge bike lanes but I’d like to see more encouragement for scooters and motorcycles since they help cut traffic congestion and CO2 emissions. Are there any plans to address the inadequate scooter parking situation in downtown?

He sent the email on August 10th, the day I wrote the post. I’ve never written to the mayor before, so I wasn’t sure of the protocol – do they usually respond to email from their constituents? Would anyone notice that I totally didn’t swear in the post? Would the lack of pop culture references end up costing me credibility?

The mayor and his people work on a different calendar than the rest of us do, and finally on August 28th, Darren received a response to his email. It was interesting to note how many people it bounced to before a response was written, but even *I* usually respond to things sooner than 18 days out.

At any rate, the Parking Programs Supervisor of the Parking Management Branch of the City of Vancouver responded to Darren’s email and my post:

Thank you for your email which was forwarded to my attention for review and response. We welcome feedback from the public as this can often provide the opportunity for us to improve our service to the community.

I would like to assure you that the City of Vancouver recognizes the use of scooters as a viable means of transportation.  Although scooters are smaller than cars, they are still subject to the same traffic and parking regulations as automobiles.

In your email, you ask “Are there any plans to address the inadequate scooter parking situation in downtown?” I’m pleased to inform you that the City of Vancouver launched our ‘Motorcycle Parking Program’ downtown back in 2006.  We have installed 40 on-street parking spaces designated for motorcycles/scooters only.  These spaces have been installed within existing marked oversized corner clearances and are identified with special signage and road markings.  The cost to park a scooter in one of these authorized spaces will be ½ the cost charged to automobiles in adjacent meter spaces. Please note these spaces are intended for short term parking and therefore, they will be metered for visits of 2 hours or less. They can be found at the following locations:

1600 Alberni
1600 Davie
500 Cardero
1100 Burrard
400 Hornby
500 Hornby
1000 Hornby
900 Cambie
1000 Dunsmuir
400 Howe
800 W. Cordova
900 W. Cordova

In addition, the vast majority of downtown curb-side spaces are allocated to short-term parking (for visits of less than 2 hours).  Vehicles used by persons looking for ‘all day’ parking are encouraged to purchase off-street parking all day or monthly parking. In this regard there are a number of options available.  ‘EasyPark Vancouver’ (jointly owned by the City of Vancouver and the Downtown Vancouver Association) offers discount parking to motorcyclists.  Working together with the British Columbia Coalition of Motorcyclists, Easy Park encourages motorcyclists to park downtown by offering discounted parking at three of their locations (150 W. Pender, 535 Richards, and 520 W. Georgia).  There are plans to expand this program to other locations in the future.  Motorcyclists using the ‘Unattended/Meter Lots’ and parking in motorcycle stalls can save over 50% off regular vehicle rates.  All these designated motorcycle stalls are covered, clearly signed, and most are located near the parking lot entrance. Motorcyclists can pay the meters by using coins or credit cards.

Should you have any additional questions or concerns regarding our ‘Motorcycle Parking Program’, please call Leanne Toderian at 604-873-7340.

Let’s look at this more closely, shall we:

I’m pleased to inform you that the City of Vancouver launched our ‘Motorcycle Parking Program’ downtown back in 2006.  We have installed 40 on-street parking spaces designated for motorcycles/scooters only.

Well, that sounds promising – 40 spaces is quite a few.

The cost to park a scooter in one of these authorized spaces will be ½ the cost charged to automobiles in adjacent meter spaces.

That’s fair; we range in size from tiny to almost car-sized, so half price is a good medium.

Please note these spaces are intended for short term parking and therefore, they will be metered for visits of 2 hours or less.

Wait, what?

This in no way addresses Darren’s emailed concern, or my blog post. He specifically said he was looking at a scooter as a means of getting to and from WORK. Who works a 2 hour work day? Perhaps the city does; that would definitely explain the 18-day response time. This is NOT a solution, it’s a joke. They did this in 2006 – what has been done since then?

The email goes on to address the longer-than-2-hour parking issue that currently has me swearing in Klingon:

Vehicles used by persons looking for ‘all day’ parking are encouraged to purchase off-street parking all day or monthly parking. In this regard there are a number of options available.  ‘EasyPark Vancouver’ (jointly owned by the City of Vancouver and the Downtown Vancouver Association) offers discount parking to motorcyclists.  Working together with the British Columbia Coalition of Motorcyclists, Easy Park encourages motorcyclists to park downtown by offering discounted parking at three of their locations (150 W. Pender, 535 Richards, and 520 W. Georgia).

These three locations are on the far east side of downtown, and not in the core (where most of the office buildings are).

Assuming you wanted to park there (all three locations are a 20 minute walk to my office), how much would it cost?

Motorcyclists using the ‘Unattended/Meter Lots’ and parking in motorcycle stalls can save over 50% off regular vehicle rates.  All these designated motorcycle stalls are covered, clearly signed, and most are located near the parking lot entrance. Motorcyclists can pay the meters by using coins or credit cards.

Well, that’s nice – discounts are good.

How much will it REALLY cost you, though?

Easy Park Vancouver’s website has two sets of information for motorcycle parking. The first is for metered or unattended lots – we can park for $.50/h, up to a maximum of $4. However, this only applies to the FOUR lots that have motorcycle stalls:

Lot 2 – 150 West Pender (GM Place) – 10 stalls
Lot 3 – 535 Richards (Harbour Center) – 6 stalls
Lot 5 – 520 West Georgia (White Spot) – 10 stalls
Lot 21 – 688 Cambie (QE Theatre) – 4 stalls

So we get discounted rates at 4 lots, for a total of 30 spots. 30 spots for all of the GVA’s motorcycle and scooter riding population. I can practically taste the love!

Easy Park also allows us to park at attended lots for a discount:

Lot 1 – 535 Hornby – $9/day
Lot 7 – 180 Keefer – isn’t actually downtown
Lot 19 – 900 West Cordova – $11/day
Lot 27 – 775 Hamilton – $4.50, if the 50% discount applies
Lot 31 – 160 Water Street – $4.50, if the 50% discount applies

Maybe some of you can use these spots, but I can’t.

The last section on Easy Park’s website is my favourite: Monthly Parking! Motorcycles receive a 50% discount at 5 downtown lots (out of 39), subject to waitlists and availability. Even with the discount, these lots START at $125/m. What a deal!

This is such a joke.

Hey, Vancouver. How about some affordable, usable parking options for 2-wheeled riders? Offering us 10 spots in a lot 6 blocks from the downtown core is not acceptable. 2-hour parking options are not acceptable. Graciously allowing us to pay $1500 a year or MORE on parking in 5/39ths of your lots is not acceptable. Refusing us entry in the majority of your lots, even when we are willing to pay, is not acceptable. There’s got to be a better way – other cities have figured it out; why can’t you?

Fail.

putting on my ranty pants

What is it, exactly, about my lack of desire to force human beings out through my vagina that makes me less worthy of receiving medical care than the next woman?

I am looking for a family doctor. The clinic is finally catching on to my game of “only coming by when I need prescriptions”, and as I clearly look like some sort of drug-abusing psychopath with a lot of free time on my hands, they’re doling out my anti-crazy pills in one-month prescriptions. This is a huge pain in the ass; one that can supposedly be resolved by getting myself a family doctor who can monitor my extensive drug use (and probably keep me from experimenting with my dosage which is apparently frowned upon for some fascist reason).

You may not know this because I am very keen on privacy and anonymity, but I am female. As such, I would prefer a female doctor – not because I think men don’t know anything about vaginas, but because the male doctors I’ve had in the past are less inclined to take my word for it that my girl parts need inspection immediately so please break out the damn speculum already and I will drop trou. They usually send me off to get blood tests and x-rays and ultrasounds and psychological examinations before giving me an internal exam, which just seems like they’re wasting time and avoiding the issue at hand (ie: my vagina). The female doctors I’ve had are less squeamish about slipping on the latex and getting to know my uterus on a first-name basis. I don’t LIKE going to the doctor – trust me, if I’m in there and saying “I think I broke my vagina”, you better believe there’s something wrong down there.

So, I’ve been shopping around for a new physician. I looked online and found a BC site that will give you a list of doctors accepting patients based on your location. Sweet! I picked a name at random, and started calling.

Every single female doctor’s office I called is accepting new patients .. if you’re full of baby, trying to make baby, thinking about having baby, have already had baby, or ARE baby.

Fuck you guys.

Do you get kickbacks from diaper companies for every squalling infant you bring into the world? Are you in some sort of competition? Do you run on energy absorbed from the glow of pregnant women? Are you a maiesiophiliac? Why are breeders any more deserving of quality health care than those who do not want children?

FUCK you guys.

I’m so pissed off about this. I really want to know why preference is given to breeders, to the point where it is impossible for those who have made the choice not to reproduce are having trouble finding a physician. I know I’m not the first person who’s run into this problem, which is just disgusting.

I have an appointment this afternoon to meet a potential new doctor. It’s a male doctor. I’m not thrilled about this, and if I’m still feeling pissy this afternoon, I may just confront the office and find out why the esteemed Dr. Heather wouldn’t see me unless I said I was thinking about signing up for 18 years of servitude. I loathe discrimination in any form, and I’m definitely feeling it here.

Angry Kimli is a force to be reckoned with (in my own head).

represent

represent

too busy to make nice

Work is kicking my ass. You’d think there would be nothing for me to do what with being gone for 11 days, but nooooo. People keep asking me for things, and then I have to do stuff. Don’t they know I’m busy trying to figure out my life? Piss off. Your routers can go die in a fire.

I think I need to disconnect for a little while. Funny stuff coming from someone who can’t pee without checking her email, but every little thing involving other people – any people, actually – is pissing me off and making me cranky. Things like Twitter can be great for looking out at the world, but it’s also a shocking view at how shallow and self absorbed some people can be. When I get in moods like this I just want to shake people and yell nasty things at them – you, over there: you’re a sloppy unattractive drunk who dresses poorly and is not nearly the hot shit you think you are. And you – you’re a jerk and those quotes make you look like a pretentious ass. That one person over there: you’re a complete snob with an undeserved superiority complex – seriously, get over yourself. And YOU – your shock value Tweets are pathetic, no one cares about your boobs OR your blog, and stop whining already; it’s no wonder you’re unpopular amongst people you can’t stand anyway.

Okay, that last one was me.

It’s the routers that are making me this catty. I don’t normally feel like this – I try to like or at least be apathetic about most people, but today .. I just need a do over. Or some alcohol. Maybe I can borrow some from the drunk.

I should scoot to the Sunshine Coast this weekend!

all day i dream about sex

I never wore Adidas shoes when I was a wee Kimli, but last weekend I found a pair that was green and orange and 73% off. They’re terribly comfortable and very cute, and as far as my 1987 self is concerned, I am incredibly cool.

Yesterday’s massive power outage in downtown Vancouver came within a ¼ block of The Lab, so we weren’t affected at all. I suppose this is a good thing, but on the other hand, BOO! I could have used the time off to, oh I don’t know, finally go to the doctor and have my lady parts examined so I can go back on the pill (that’s how stubborn I am, folks – I so badly do not want to open my legs for a random stranger that I’ve gone off the pill in protest) or maybe see a podiatrist to deal with the fact that I can’t sleep at night because my left foot/leg hurts so badly. You know, important things. Things I certainly don’t want to do on MY time. Pay me to maintain my health, damnit!

Speaking of random urine, I am SO SICK of looking out my window at home and seeing strangers pissing in the bushes across the street. It’s happened three times in the last two weeks, and it’s fucking disgusting. Guys, what is it about being male that compels you to whip out your dingus and whiz all over whatever’s handy when the urge strikes? Is this something all guys do? If so, why are they doing it across from MY window? I’m particularly disgusted by this because the bushes across the street happen to be blackberry bushes, and people (including us) enjoy picking the berries when they’re in season. I don’t know that I’ll be able to do that this year, knowing that the berries are very likely covered in skanky man piss. Fuck you, random pissers! I’d put up a sign asking you to not urinate in public, but I’m afraid you would just piss on that too.

Just .. eww.

powerless

When I started work at The Lab, I was terribly excited to note that there was a hair dryer in the women’s bathroom. As someone who is frequently a) wet and b) sporting truly horrible hair, I was pleased to note that someone had taken steps to alleviate any potential follicle mishaps that may occur.

Today, I desperately needed that hair dryer. My hair is actually quite tame at the moment, but my pants are too-slowly recovering from an icy and sopping scoot into work. I am wet and frozen and highly uncomfortable, so I went into the bathroom to use the dryer on my thighs.

Hair dryer: check. Frozen Kimli: check. Wet denim: triple check. Power outlet: …

There’s no outlet anywhere in the bathroom.

Well, shit.

I am wet and cold and grumpy.