doom and gloom

It’s been a hell of a week.

After a luxuriously long weekend, I awoke on Tuesday ready to take on the world. First up: a call with my cardiologist! Okay, not what I was hoping for, but away we went. I have to go back in for an echocardigan, and next week I get to wear a Holter monitor for 24 hours. Turns out my heart is somewhat all fucky again, spiking randomly for no apparent reason and beating way, way too fast. That is .. not good. Thumbs up, heart. You have ONE FUCKING JOB.

The face crud I was left with after my ophthalmologist appointment 12 days ago is FINALLY starting to clear up. I had to resort to basically moisturizing with an antibacterial ointment for my skin to stop flaking and hurting, but I’m at a point now where I can go outside and not scare children or the elderly. It was a miserable not-quite-two-weeks. I’m looking forward to using normal moisturizer again.

On the vaccination front, I’m officially a Pfizer baby. I got my first dose on Wednesday night, and it took about 20 minutes total (with 15 of those minutes just sitting in a chair as they make sure you don’t keel over and die after you get poked). I spent the time talking about cats with a delightful volunteer who estimated my age to be around 24. I would basically die for her at this point. Just sayin’.

Overall, I feel .. okay. I’ve heard that the second and third days after your shot are the worst, and I’m definitely feeling kind of cruddy today (which, to be fair, could also be caused by my EXTREME DISAPPOINTMENT and/or the fact that I haven’t really eaten today). No sign of any super powers emerging, which is disheartening, but I’m more concerned at how incredibly slow the Canadian rollout is. I’m glad my US friends have their shots, but most of them seem to already have their next round scheduled for sometime within the next month (and some have already had both doses), when Canada is barely at the 65+ age group. I’ve been saying for months that the US is going to close the border to Canadians before we get around to opening it back up again, and with the CDC’s travel advisory against going to Canada in place, it’s just a matter of time. It’s frustrating. Every day the people in charge of getting BC sorted make baffling, insulting decisions: open the churches! open restaurants! oh wait we’re up to 1250+ new cases a day? okay, close the restaurants! except if you sit outside, then that’s fine. And also outside still counts if you put a tent around it. And people between the ages of 20-35 are to blame for everything, and also aren’t eligible for vaccines yet even if they’re a frontline retail worker. Don’t worry! We got this, everyone just needs to dig deeper! And if we don’t, our leadership will shake their heads and be very disappointed, but what else do we want them to do?

Basically, we’re fucked. It’s hard to keep optimistic about this. I want Ed vaccinated, I want my friends vaccinated, I want my entire fucking country vaccinated. I want my life back. I want YOUR life back. My rage has never been this impotent and I didn’t get that flavour a Pfizer shot so I’m just stewing helplessly.

This is a much less fine Friday than last week. It’s grey and gloomy outside, and my mood is no better. This is not the exciting future we had envisioned, and no amount of fairy lights will make things better any time soon. Doesn’t mean I’m not going to try, but my heart really isn’t in it (because it can’t keep a fucking beat, apparently).

a pretty place from which to watch canada crumble

normalize normal eyes

The good news: my eyes are super. No sign of impending death by diabetes in any of my eyeballs. The tiniest suggestion of an inkling of a whisper thinking about maybe becoming a cataract one day, but it isn’t even a solid thought let alone anything that can be treated at this point so it might as well not be there. Hooray!

The bad news, and you knew bad news was coming because I am the very model of a modern medic mystery: I appear to be having a pretty severe allergic reaction to the gamma rays they dosed me with yesterday.

When my vision eventually returned (sorry, Wanda), I was startled to see my face (beyond the usual reasons): from my eyes to my upper lip is bright red and puffy, at times really itchy, and rough. It’s sort of like I’m experiencing two summer’s worth of eczema all at once, which .. I dunno, is that how they look at the back of your eyes? Is this just a weird sunburn rash thing? I originally thought this was caused by the eye drops they administered, but those didn’t go anywhere near my cheeks. Lights and lasers did, though. Shit. I think I have a radiation vibe burn going on. I don’t like it.

Still no word on what beats betwixt my heaving bosom, nor when to expect the hemogoblins to come a-callin’. No vaccine appointment scheduled yet, because the Fraser Health website runs on decaf hamsters. Have spent so much time talking about words I’ve forgotten how to use them, which is becoming somewhat of an issue at work. Making a flowchart to outline my plan to get over my wordnesia for fun. Thinking about bleach – not that one, the other three.

Still alive.

words aplenty, guess who’s twenty

Twenty years ago today, I sat at my enormous CRT monitor in our gaming room in Calgary and desperately wished that, 20 years in the future, I’d be basically doing the exact same thing.

Good news: mission accomplished!

Delicious Juice Dot Com is officially twenty years old today. I feel like I should write a big eloquent page talking about where we started and where we are now, but my emotions surrounding this milestone can basically be summed up as “wtf”. How the hell have 20 years gone by? The passage of time both confuses and enrages me.

Okay, if I’m going for totally honesty here I’m a little chuffed that I actually made it to 20 years with this thing. I’ve almost shut the site down so many times, but there’s always that little voice that says “but what if something happens and you want to tell a story?” and I back off from the plan. Weird stuff happens to me all the damn time, and I think if I didn’t have an outlet – no matter how infrequently it’s used, although I’m trying to change that – I might explode. And in the process of exploding, I would want to share my thoughts about exploding. It’s a vicious cycle, but what is over-sharing if not love in word form? Nothing. I overshare because I love you. You’re welcome.

So, hooray for Delicious Juice Dot Com making it 20 frickin’ years on this series of tubes. It’s been a wild ride, one that I hope continues for years to come. I’d love to, in 2035, randomly wonder what was up with my genitals way back in 2011, and have a readily available answer. I envision a future where knowing what was up with your junk two decades ago will be very valuable information. It’ll still be a dystopic world struggling to return to the prosperity of the Before Times, but in between the nightly hunts for food and supplies and dodging the hostile brain-eating aliens that caught us all unaware and unprepared in 2027, I’ll be able to see what was up down there in the not-so-distant past. I’ll be a cannibal, but an informed cannibal. What more could I ask for?

Happy anniversary, website. I’d have exploded long ago if not for the outlet you provide.

how it started
how it’s going

girls, what’s my weakness?

Soup.

I really love spicy Tom Yum soup. Tom Kha is okay, but the coconut milk cuts the spicy and tang and those are the two things that make me live (along with aspartame and low-cut dresses). When we live in the Big City, I had a favourite Thai place I’d order from at least once a week, if not more. Yes, I would like two family-sized portions of soup, please. No, I only need one spoon – actually, just give me a straw.

Since moving out to the middle of nowhere, the options for good Thai food are severely limited. The most popular place around us puts bean sprouts in their Tom Yum, because apparently they were raised in a barn. I also really hate bean sprouts (and sriracha sauce) because of trauma, so there’s that whole .. thing. Basically, I’m not a fan of the local favourite – soup aside, the rest of their offerings are just not good. I can make better stuff at home with some paste and a handful of mushrooms.

Thanks to the pandemic, we’ve been abusing food delivery options like no other and I did manage to find a decent, “local” option for good soup. The catch: delivery from this place costs $6.49 each time, + Skip fees, + the “you’re in BC” fee, plus tip, plus taxes – a bowl of soup for me and some Pad Thai for Ed can easily come out to a $50+ order. I’m a rich bitch, but I’m also a cheap bitch and I just don’t want to pay $50+ for what I used to be able to get for $25 in Vancouver (and it was better – I miss Thailicious so much dammit). And yet, I crave. What’s a girl to do?

Find and try every single “instant” Tom Yum option there is, of course.

I’ve spent the last few weeks ingesting an inhuman amount of soup. I’ve tried kits and mixes and pastes and cartons and packets. I’ll find something with a decent broth but awful ingredients, or instant noodles that look promising yet taste like boiled asses in a paper cup. I’ve mixed store-bought with homemade to try and find the perfect balance of so-spicy-my-tits-fall-off and so-tangy-my-cheeks-go-numb that is so enticing yet so elusive. I get so close, but not close enough. Frustrating. I have soup blue balls and I need to release my seed.

During one of my drug-fueled fits of pantry organization, I found a box of instant Tom Yum packets that I bought years ago and promptly forgot about. The best before date passed sometime in 2018, but yolo so I boiled up some water and made a mug of soup. As usual, it wasn’t right – not even close actually, as Tom Yum broth isn’t supposed to look or taste like chicken noodle soup. Still, it had a promising aftertaste and I’ve gotten quite good at adding things to not-quite-right broth to make it .. still not right, but closer. I added more boiling water and a heaping spoonful of Tom Yum paste, some galangal powder, lime leaves, and a liberal amount of True Lime crystals and ..

It was great.

Spicy, tangy, warm, full of flavour, deliciousness.

YES!

The box had 5 packets of instant mix in it, and they did not last long. I went online to look for more, but because this is me and nothing whatsoever in my life can be simple and full of joy, I discovered the packets have been discontinued for some time now. There were a few places online that had it in stock, but they were all in Europe and didn’t ship to Canada, the US, OR to the UK so I couldn’t even order a case and redirect it to Friend Jen. I used every ounce of my Google-fu and kept coming up soupless, until I thought to try an internal tool at work — and found a gourmet ingredient store in Ottawa that still had the boxes in stock.

Reader, I bought them all.

I used the last packet I had yesterday, and upped my game by preparing it on the stove in a significant quantity then added an entire forest worth of mushrooms. It was wonderful, and I enjoyed my lunch very much, until I didn’t – I had hit the soup wall with a very loud splash. Tom Yum soup is actually pretty healthy, but having too much of anything is a bad idea and for the rest of the day I suffered greatly with soup belly, unable to eat anything else. I have no regrets, though, and as soon as my 30 packets of soup arrive, I’ll do it all over again with a smile. I really like this soup, y’all.

Even if my tummy hurts.

it me
chaos magic is nothing more than dried galangal

story time

Hey Kimli! Why are you so anal about RTFM?

When I was in Grade 4, our teacher handed out a test. He told us to carefully read the test first before we started filling in the answers. This was also printed on the top of the page. Naturally, everyone immediately started completing it, including me .. until I got to question 9 or so, which was to “stand up and shout ‘I’m first!'”.

I’ve always been a very fast reader, and I’ve always had social anxiety. When I got to that question (first, because speedy teacher’s pet), I froze. I couldn’t do it. I scanned the rest of the questions, and they all involved making some sort of spectacle of yourself: sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star aloud, run around the room backwards, do a dance beside your desk. I was horrified. Nine-year-old Kimli was not there for any of that shit.

I read until I got to the end of the page, where the full instructions were. The test was 20 “questions” long, but the directions specifically stated you were to fill in your name and answer the first two questions, and STOP. That was it.

After the test (which I’m sure was just an excuse for “quiet” time for my teacher), he asked the class “okay, who finished the test?”. Everyone put their hand up except me. “And who DIDN’T finish the test?” My hand went up, and the class went “whaaaat” because I was the best student in the class (remember this is grade 4 so basically it meant I could do basic multiplication and conjugate things). I was the ONLY ONE who read the entire quiz and followed the instructions*. The quiz wasn’t testing our ability to sing off key, it was testing our ability to RTFM.

I never forgot that lesson, even if I only “succeeded” (test didn’t affect our grades obviously) because of extreme social anxiety.

And that’s why you always leave a note read the fucking manual.

*: I did actually complete the first 8 questions, but in pencil and I had a really good eraser. When I realized what was up, I erased my answers past #2. So the lesson here is really “RTFM and cover your tracks”.

Apologies if I’ve told this story before. My blog is nearly 20 years old with around 15 years of DAILY content, so I’ve long since run out of things to talk about.

photo bomb!

dee’s nuts

I ran out of Appropriate Nuts while baking banana bread over the weekend, so I went through the pantry in search of more. No more Johnny Goodnuts, but I did find a variety of other nuts to use in lieu. Here, at long last, are my conclusive findings on NutGate 2020:

  • Slivered Almonds: Pointless. They disappear in all the banana goodness. Might be a good way of murdering someone.
  • Hazelnuts: normally enjoyed and might have been used but the bag said “from Oregon” and there is bad shit going on down there right now so no thank you
  • Macadamia Nuts: Sadly irritating. They did not add anything to the banana bread or take from it – they were hard little balls of bland. These were raw, unsalted macadamias I had purchased accidentally when looking for a decadent snack, but the packaging insisted they were “great for baking” and you can’t lie about things like that so I kept them around. They were so disappointing that I’m beginning to suspect Hawaii has a surplus of these too-weak-for-tools, too-ugly-for-jewellery, utterly-unhealthy-which-is-surprising-for-a-nut-no-good-fats-or-anything fleshy things and decided to heat them up, cover them in salt, and sell them by the billions to all the gullible tourists from the mainland. The scheme has gone over so well that they sell them covered in chocolate, in Spam (the other Great Scam), in all kinds of “good for you and fun to eat!” “health” foods bought by Soccer Karens all over the globe, and more. I’m onto you, Hawaii. Aloha.
  • Corn Nuts: I was not allowed to use these. Ed never lets me try the salty nuts.
  • Walnuts: the only acceptable banana bread nut. I will take no further questions on this matter.

Now that you know my thoughts on this crucial matter, I hope you are put at ease. At long last, we as a nation can exhale and begin to heal.

this is not my beautiful house (anymore)

Living in Halfwack was nice – I’ll miss it.

Ed just came inside, saying “don’t go out there”. I was about to be an inch thick into the banana bread I baked this afternoon, so I had no plans to go out there or anywhere else. I grunted something non-committal (mouth full of banana bread), and heard a hurried and harried reply of “That was the biggest spider I’ve EVER SEEN! I’m gonna go take a pic of it!”

So, I gotta burn it all down. It’s a shame, because all my stuff is here. All my stuff, and the biggest spider Ed has ever seen.

Burning it now.

UPDATE: He came in to reassure me: “it’s gone, it’s gone – I killed it and the rest of them!”

Reeeeally gonna miss all my stuff and also all of British Columbia.

hoarder of obsolete tech

For marital reasons*, Ed has moved into the spare bedroom downstairs (so uh Steph and Alistair that honeymoon might have to wait a bit). We never got around to setting up any of the electronics down there (we’ve only been moved in for 29 months, give us some time), but now that the room is seeing regular action, we thought it might be a good time to outfit the room in the best technology 5 years ago had to offer.

Unfortunately, we were unable to locate the only truly essential power cord: the one needed for the TV. I checked the four separate dedicated mystery cable boxes and found everything needed for the Xbox 360, the Xbox 180, the Wii, the old broken PS2, the functional PS2, not one but two PS3s (?? where did the second one come from), and a half dozen different cheap Chinese security cameras from when we were concerned enough about safety to outfit our house in surveillance but not yet wise enough to maybe avoid the third-party bad-English no-name equipment with full access to our home network, but nothing for the TV itself. I have adapters in every imaginable format, USB extension cables so thick they could be used on the ocean floor, dongles upon dongles, a complete Pipo X9 I had forgotten about, and fourteen or so Nintendo DS systems, but no TV power cord.

As usual, as soon as something shiny caught my eye I forgot what I was doing and started doing something else. I dug out a cable for the DSi and plugged it in, happy to see that it immediately started charging. It’s tiny and so old that I can’t connect it to the internet (which, to be fair, was a problem when this thing was brand new – Nintendo didn’t immediately embrace wireless internet with open arms, and actually sold a specialty device that you needed to get online if you had any kind of internet security set up whatsoever), but it still works and will very likely play the many, many DS games sitting in Ed’s new room. I’m pretty excited about the find, and now I want to dig out my other DS systems and set them up to race. I really loved the format of the DS, and while the Switch is much more powerful, it doesn’t have that same “toss into bag and go” feel that the DS/DS Lite/DSi/DSi XL/3DS/3DS XL/New 3DS had. I would happily buy my 21st DS system if Nintendo released a new, updated version that had like .. horns, or a special smell. I’m not picky. I love buying the same device multiple times, because it’s the same as the old version but with NEW THINGS and that is very exciting.

Where was I? Oh right, cables or some shit. Anyway, I found the missing cables needed, along with the old Apple TV and a pile of remote controls. We should be able to get things set up downstairs, at which point I will kick Ed out of the room and entertain myself with old PS2 games until the world stops ending. When I’m done with those, I have my DS games to fall back on, and then some original Xbox titles. Who needs the outside world? Not me, I have old consoles with power cables. Life is great!

*: “marital reasons” = keeping a 24/7 eye on Hobbz so I don’t murder the entire household the next time I step into an ice cold puddle of cat pee with both bare feet

Between my collection of outdated MP3 players and handheld consoles, I’m going to be a fucking kingpin when the apocalypse gets to the Max Mad stage.