spice world

All jars are hung and alphabetized because I am anal retentive:

plz do not judge my kitchen. or do, i’m not your mom.

18 jars on one side, 24 on the other. All jars are labeled except for one jar full of Mystery Spice – I think it’s basil, but there was already a basil jar and it doesn’t smell the same. If anyone knows of some sort of spice rain man, send them my way.

The jars are hung with magnets. I bought some crazy strong rare earth magnets that came with exact-sized 3M sticky tape and attached the magnet to the space between the cupboard door and the goodies contained therein, and they’ve held up beautifully.

So, to do this or something similar, you’ll need:

  • Tiny jars. I used these wedding favour jars by Kate Aspen (designer jars are apparently a thing) in lieu of the insanely expensive but really cool Gneiss Spice ones. I ran them through the dishwasher before putting spices in them.
  • Magnets. Splurge and get the fancy rare earth ones, as they’re able to hold a lot of weight and might come in handy if you encounter some enterprising dwarves while adventuring. Also helpful if they come with double-sided tape for the stickening.
  • Tape for stickening if your magnets come naked
  • Spices. You probably have a lot of these already, but in a thousand different jars. Annoying.
  • Some sort of labelling system, unless you live life on the edge and spice your food all willy-nilly

Wash jars, fill jars, label jars, stick jars. Time consuming but simple, and afterwards you can look at your spice collection and admire your DIY skills and marvel at how much cumin you have.

This is my last post about spices, I promise.

staycation project #3

My vacation productivity took a rather large nosedive on Wednesday afternoon:

wheeeee!

Meet Dorian. She’s a 2021 Vespa GTS SuperTech 300, boasting an all-new engine design and smartphone integration. There’s (finally) a USB port onboard for most of my charging needs, and a 4″ LCD screen that displays vehicle stats and GPS info. She’s lightning fast. Dorian is fucking glorious.

I hadn’t planned on upgrading my scooter. Lola is a 2008 GTS 250 IE that I bought in 2009 and have put just over 15k kilometres on. I was going to hold out for a Vespa 350 or more, but a) it’s not coming anytime soon (if ever), and b) why the fuck not. I had been idling looking at the new SuperSport models, but Ed spied an article about this one and basically sold me on it the instant he said “bluetooth” – I love me some technology. The model only comes in one colour (in Canada – I think it’s available in black overseas), but that’s okay – it’s a really pretty grey, and I think we’re going to get some decals made to make it more “mine”. There aren’t very many of these scooters in Canada let alone in the ass-end of Surrey, but you know me. I MUST STAND OUT, even if I am already standing out by virtue of who I am.

Dorian is missing a top box (and about a hundred stickers) for the time being – I ordered it when I ordered the scooter, but the entire world is delayed thanks to the apocalypse. I hope it comes soon, because I’ve already done a TON of riding and errands on her and it’s difficult to get things without storage. Lola is for sale, but in the meantime, Ed has been riding her around – we’re a scooter gang of two. I really wish we could keep her, but with two scooters and a motorcycle and two cars and 4 bicycles and a thousand reusable grocery bags there is no room in the garage. Ed doesn’t want to give up his motorcycle, so having a third vehicle to sometimes ride around doesn’t make any sense. I feel really bad about selling Lola because I assign personalities to inanimate objects, but also because she’s an awesome scooter and I’ve loved riding her for these 11 years. Don’t ask me how I’m going to react when we finally sell the Mini. It’s not going to be pretty.

So, this was my third official project of my not-a-staycation. While I’m glad she arrived when she did and the weather held out for some awesome riding, I didn’t accomplish most of my to-do list because I was out riding around. I’m back at work now. It is what it is. And hey, when my contract ends at the end of the month, I can ride around all I want! Hooray!

My relaxing week came to a crashing halt last Thursday afternoon, when my handler called me to tell me my contract was expiring and the budget to extend my pathetic existence has not yet been approved. They’re working on it, but who knows what’ll happen. Not me, that’s for sure! What an exciting year 2020 has been so far! Can’t wait to see what’s coming next!

Happy about the new scooter. Less happy about my work situation. Missing my friends and also London. Feeling like I’m stretched to the limit without actually stretching at all. How’s by all of you?

PS: wear a goddamn mask or 2020 will never fucking end ok

staycation project #2

The entire point of my not-a-staycation was to be off GitHub for as long as possible. I’ve been mostly successful with that, but Tuesday’s project required me to clone a couple of repos. I survived. Yes, I am a trooper.

I wanted to accomplish something a little more technical than spice jars, so I purchased a Raspberry Pi and a tiny monitor and built my first project:

tiny screen shows tiny music!

It was super fun and the instructions were easy to follow. I’m so pleased with my non-spice project! It’s cute and responsive and now I want a dozen Raspberry Pis so I can build ALL THE TINY FIDDLY THINGS.

In the meantime though, the additional tiny jars and magnets for the Extended Spice Remix have arrived, so I need to jar up the remaining spices. I’m also debating taking another week off. The downtime has been very good for my mental health, but the thought of going back on Monday is making the Bad Times creep back in. I don’t think I’m ready to spend that much of my vacation fund, though. Maybe I’ll space it out and take some time next month. Until then: MOAR PROJECTS!

i should be mask exempt

I admit it. I can’t breathe when I’m wearing my mask. To be honest, it is cruel to say I must wear it in public – after thirty seconds, I have extreme difficulty breathing. I get dizzy, disoriented, and there’s no way I’m getting enough oxygen. I simply don’t understand why I have to wear the mask at all. Sure, I might protect someone else from my germs, but at what cost? My dignity, freedom, ability to breathe? No sir. I’m a proud, independent woman, and I refuse to wear my mask in public. Just look at how restrictive this is, and tell me this won’t cause me any physical or mental difficulties:

my body, my choice

Thankfully, the face masks meant to protect from/against COVID are nowhere near as restrictive as this crow mask. I have no problem wearing a medical mask, because I am not a massive asshole who doesn’t care about other people. I mean, I’m a massive asshole, but I do care – I’m just an asshole while I’m caring, as is my government-given right.

DOWN WITH MANDATORY CROW MASKS. THUMBS UP TO MEDICAL FACE MASKS!

Seriously, wear the fucking face mask. You can get ones with sequins, or swearing. I have both! They’re great. Avoid crow* masks, though. They’re really hard to wear and smell kinda bad inside.

*: crow, horse, giant baby head – all rubber masks like this stop being fun after the first 45 seconds.

processing

I live in a happy little bubble. I like what I like, do the things I do, harm none, try to love all. When I like something, I REALLY like it. Ride or die with the things that I like. These things become a part of my overall makeup. “There’s Kimli”, they say. “She likes Diet Coke and Transformers.” They are not wrong.

So when I hear about something I really, really like – say, a musician or two – being problematic as fuck with accusations and admissions of misogyny, abuse, gaslighting, cheating, assault .. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to process these feelings.

I’ve never been one to fan girl or get excessively excited about art. Actors, musicians, celebrities, artists, writers – they’re all just people. I might like someone’s work or feel affinity for a character, but the creator of that work is a human being, just like me. I know several people who go all in on their fandom to a degree I find really unsettling, and have always tried to not do that – one because it’s really weird, and two see above re: just human. Yes they have a talent I don’t have and or do something that satisfies a part of me or are just plain fun to look at, but the person is just a person.

No matter how hard I try to be cool about the shit that I like, sometimes it spills over. There’s a musician that I really, really like. You probably know who I’m talking about. Their music and live shows have been a huge part of my life for the last 10 years. I follow everything this person does, travel internationally to go to shows when I can, and just generally love the fuck out of this person, like I would a really good friend. Being able to swing by the merch table and say hi and be greeted with a warm hello or hug was just .. satisfying. It made me happy.

This weekend, a whole lot of artists from a particular scene were denounced on Twitter for horrible behaviour. Disgusting things that turn my stomach and make me want to cry for their victims, the multiple women this guy and another musician he works closely with, that has become the second most-listened-to artist on my Spotify account, that I’ve traveled internationally to see perform, have badly hurt. I am so, so disappointed. I’ve actually thought in the past “man, I’m so glad my favourite artists don’t have any #metoo accusations”. I don’t know how to process these feelings I have over a situation that really has nothing to do with me .. but I hurt, not only for my happy memories that are now tainted, but for the people left in the wake of their behaviour.

Normally when things get all up in my head and I need to muddle through stuff, I listen to music to try and lose myself and come out clean on the other side. A good idea in theory, but well over half of my favourite playlists are of these two artists, with one being part of 3 other groups that I listen to a lot, and is otherwise connected to most of my favourite music. There’s no escape to be found there. Right now, it just makes for more pain.

How do you process something like this? I’ve been low-key in love with a predator for years and I feel so gross. It’s not a matter of separating the art from the artist – there are some things you just can’t sweep under the rug or excuse away because your comfortable routines might be shaken up. There’s no “getting over it” – I need to actually process this, and I don’t even know where to begin.

wish i could trust that it was just this once
but i must do what i must
i can’t adjust to this disgust
we’re done and
i just wish i could stay
wish i could stay

#notallswedishcatholics

I’ve gotten better at this over the years, but I still tend to forget that people don’t live inside my head and will just smile and nod when I say things that make absolutely no sense and don’t provide any backstory. I really don’t want to deal with the 73 pull requests in my queue, so instead I will attempt to explain:

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a farewell to arms

A really long time ago (August 20th 2007, if you want to get specific), I bought a desk chair from Staples. I had recently started working from home and wanted to a good setup from which to get fired then paid EI under the table in exchange for not reporting my employer’s many (many, many) labour violations to the government.

2007 was a weird year.

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isolation report day 73

Bored. Cranky. Playing a LOT of Animal Crossing.

Outside of that, I do believe I have encountered a first for all of mankind: I have received not one but TWO refunds for my COVID-canceled Prague trip.

Like, what.

When I booked the trip (in November of 2019), I was still living in a happy bubble in which travel insurance wasn’t a useless and frustrating option; still holding out hope that we’d be refunded for our Super Typhoon-canceled Japan trip (we weren’t). Since that time I’ve come to realize that travel insurance is simply a waste of money that could be better spent on literally anything else, but since I had purchased the insurance for Prague, I thought I’d go through the motions of making a claim because let’s face it I have nothing but time these days.

I submitted a half-hearted insurance claim with the info I had. Logically, I qualified for coverage: trip cancelled through no fault of my own, complete with documentation. However, logic rarely has anything to do with insurance claims, so I was fully expecting my claim to be denied because COVID was outside the purposefully-vague policy conditions. I quickly forgot about my claim, going so far as needing to be prompted twice by the insurance company to send in any corroborating information. I did and heard nothing, which is what I expected.

In the meantime, I was able to cancel the hotel and excursion bookings with no issue, and received prompt refunds for the bookings. The airline, though, decided that people shouldn’t get money back: instead, they would give people credit for their cancelled flights; credit that expires at the end of August. And has to be used for travel before the end of 2020. Thumbs up, Lufthansa – the world will absolutely be recovered from the apocalypse by August. What excellent business sense you have!

I have lost literally thousands of dollars in the last 8 months because of fucked up travel circumstances out of my control, and this was just one more feather in the ugliest cap that ever did exist. Fed up, I contacted my bank and started the chargeback process. It took several hours to get through, but I was eventually able to talk to an actual human who got the process rolling for me. All that was left to do was sit back, play some more Animal Crossing, and wait for the airline to inevitably deny my claim and claw the money back.

True to the bank’s word, the initial cost of my flight was applied back to my credit card approximately two weeks later. This is a temporary thing – the bank has to give the airline time to review my request, and nine point nine times out of ten, they deny the chargeback. Once that happens, the bank will take the full cost of my flight back out of my credit card. To make sure I had the funds to cover this, I put the “refund” into a separate account so I could throw it back on the Visa when Lufthansa played their dirty game.

The clawback hasn’t happened yet, and the money is still sitting in my Swiss bank account for untraceable money crimes. While it would be awfully nice if the airline decided to stop fucking people over, I realize they probably can’t and many airlines will go bankrupt due to the apocalypse. Sucks, but not my problem or responsibility, so I feel no guilt at demanding my money back. There is a nation-wide fuck shortage, and I don’t have enough extra fucks to generate pity for giant corporations receiving government bailouts.

So, here we sit: refund (temporarily) received from Visa. It could be months before the airline is able to wade through the thousands of chargeback requests they’re getting and deny them all.

Then, last week: a cheque arrived from the insurance company for the full amount of my flight. My claim had been paid in full.

What the fuuuuuuck!

I deposited the cheque (into a different offshore banking account; I really do commit a lot of money crimes) and sat on the situation over the long weekend. At present, I am on hold with my bank (going into hour 2) to get them to reverse my chargeback claim. As fun as it would be to keep both refunds and go on some sort of spree, I really don’t want this to come back and bite me in the ass down the road when I might be less able to pay back an ill-gotten $1500. Is this what being a reasonable adult is like? Frankly, I’m not a fan.

The RBC hold music is driving me batty, and I’m rapidly running out of patience to sit here much longer. From what I remember, it took well over two hours for my initial call to be answered, so I’ll reluctantly give it a bit more time – beyond that, though, how much effort am I required to put in to Do the Right Thing? I’m pretty confident that Lufthansa is going to claw this money back any day now, but I was also pretty confident that the insurance company would deny my claim because I wore mismatched socks that one time in 5th grade, so I’m not holding much faith in my intuition these days. If I can’t get through to the bank (aka give up on this fucking awful hold music), can I just sit on the money until I hear .. anything? Banking is still stuck somewhere in the 19th century, so there’s no online option for me to go through to deal with this (and I somehow doubt “take back this money” would be something they’ve built an interface for) – I have to use my Mouth Words and talk to an Actual Human, which is among my least favourite things to do.

When they come to throw me in jail in 2023 because of this money I’ve stolen through no real effort, at least I can say I TRIED to do the right thing. That’ll count when I’m begging for leniency, right? I’m way too awkward to go to jail, and too much of a shit disturber – I’ll form gangs. Weird ones. No one wants to deal with my weird prison gangs, trust me.

Yesterday I experienced my first thunder storm in Animal Crossing, so that was fun. How’s everyone else holding up?

95864695_10163574256515603_5746074030482391040_o

sure, jan(et).