all better now

I’m feeling much better now. I had a long nap and a big messy cry and sang the song of my very sad people to anyone who would listen, but. Today is a new day! I have very many good things in my life that I am grateful for. I try not to dwell on the negative or the impossibly badly handled, but yesterday was just fucking difficult and my secret inside thoughts spilled out all over everything and created a slippery mess on the floor. It’s true that being the Only One sometimes gets to me, but let’s face it: I enjoy being different. For someone who is afraid of people and things, I kind of like standing out. I would be miserable if I was exactly same as the others, and most of the time I find the complications that come with the territory of being me truly hilarious. Heart failure that appears for no reason? Hah! Diabetes that defies medical science? LOL! Discovering flaws in the system by accidentally being such an incredible edge case that no logical person would ever think it a potential issue? I was voted most likely to do exactly that in high school three years running! So, yeah. Suffering all them slings and arrows of outrageous fortune is not a new thing. Sometimes, it – and by extension, I – get sort of built up, like lime scale on a shower head. I just need a good dip in CLR, or something. Or OxiClean. But wait, there’s more!

Only no more, please. We move in less than three weeks. I do not have time for another round of unbelievable, could-only-happen-to-Kimli bullshit in my life just yet.

Thank you for all the comiseration and good thoughts sent my way. Y’all good people. <3

I know what you dream of, I dream of it too. #yvr #granvilleisland #netloft #paperya

no more angst. only winged unicorn donkeys hanging from cotton candy and pooping out rainbow balls.

the only one

I’m the only one.

The only girl.

The only half-breed.

The only Canadian.

It doesn’t stop there: I’m the only editor. The only sysadmin. The only support. The only analyst. The only writer. I’ve been a team of one in every job I’ve had. There’s no policy that applies to me. I’m in a unique situation. We don’t know what to do with you. You don’t fit into the promotion matrix. You have no career path. You’re a unicorn.

I got a new job. I’m the only writer, the only Canadian, the only contractor. “In name only!”, they reassure me. I’m not offered the same company shares all employees receive when they are hired. I’m not onboarded the same, so I don’t know to ask. I’m the only one.

The company is sold. Every other person receives a windfall when the shares are sold. They’re all brought on as a real employees. “We don’t know what to do you”, the new company says. “Sit in this corner until we figure it out.” I’m a contractor, for real this time. I submit timesheets. I get paid weekly. No sick days. No vacation days. My badge is a different colour. My email address has a flag. I’m the only one.

Everyone else attends new hire training. They receive equipment and get onboarded with the company. I do not. I ask for credentials. I ask for information. I ask for help. I ask for equipment. “Sorry, contractors don’t get equipment.” I’m the only one.

I use my personal laptop and monitor. Eventually, I get a laptop. It is outside the company inventory, and not connected to the network. I can still log on and work. I don’t mind.

My user name is changed to have a different flag. I don’t know why. I’m not told when it happens, or given any information about what to do. I’m the only one. I figure it out on my own.

My password expires. I can’t reset it. My ID does not know who I am, since my name changed. The help desk cannot help me: I don’t have an employee number. No one knows what to do with me. If I manage to get all the pieces, they can give me a temporary password. It’ll only work on corporate computers, though. I don’t have one of those. I’m the only one who doesn’t.

I finally get a resource for equipment. It’s shipped to the wrong location, so I go pick it up and take it to the original location. It has no credentials. It has to be reimaged.

Oops, sorry. The laptop is actually broken. Go talk to procurement.

P: Why don’t you have a computer?

K: I’m a contractor.

P: So am I. So is he. We’re with the same company you are. When we got onboarded, we got computers.

K: I don’t know what to tell you. I joined in September, and have received nothing. I didn’t get onboarded.

P: Well that’s stupid. Let me look into it. [makes phone calls] Oh. Apparently the “no equipment” policy is just for you. Huh. We aren’t able to give you one.

K: How ’bout that. So, how can I reset my password?

P: You can’t. Your system name changed. You need a new ID issued. Here’s a loaner laptop, though. You can’t log into it, and you’ll eventually need to bring it back here. Good luck. We’ve never seen this before. You’re the only one.

Eventually, my temporary equipment is sorted. I jump through all the hoops and get a temporary password. It’s successfully reset. A small victory.

I have a pounding headache. I have no resources. I am beyond demoralized. I have a thousand questions and no one to turn to. I am alone. I am unhappy.

I’m the only one.

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elvis was a hero to most

As the rhythm designed to bounce
What counts is that the rhymes
Designed to fill your mind
Now that you’ve realized the pride’s arrived
We got to pump the stuff to make us tough
From the heart
It’s a start, a work of art
To revolutionize make a change nothing’s strange
People, people we are the same
No we’re not the same
Cause we don’t know the game
What we need is awareness, we can’t get careless
You say what is this?
My beloved lets get down to business
Mental self defensive fitness
Bum rush the show
You gotta go for what you know
Make everybody see, in order to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say
Fight the power

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this is what the song’s about, right?

instagram: a romance

It’s a tale as old as time: girl posts giant ass picture. Fellow ass-posting girl compliments the ass. Boy sees second ass girl and tries to get her attention, but wackily misfires. Non-ass-posting girl takes the bait. Boy doesn’t get it. Non-ass-posting girl calls him stupid. Boy doesn’t get it. Boy keeps trying. Non-ass-posting girl is annoyed, but resigns herself to her fate because at least the Korean Christians have stopped mistagging her in their non-stop Instagram blessings.

Boy never finds out girl’s ass size.

~ fin ~

don’t tell me no

It took 7 phone calls (me to mom, me to my bank, me to mom’s bank, and several being chastised by some guy my mom sicced on me), one Visa application, a new email account, several enraged screams of frustration, two visits to the meatspace bank, a $300 trip to Victoria, and a heaping serving of Reverse Fraud, but I beat the fucking system.

All to save myself the hassle of writing and mailing cheques a few times a year.

Okay maybe my effort in was a bit of overkill, but I really fucking hate it when something so completely simple – take money from R and put it in 9 – cannot be accomplished with technology. I am a hermit. I don’t WANT to go to a bank, or a post office. I don’t own stamps. And envelopes? I don’t have an office I can steal supplies from. Where the fuck am I supposed to get envelopes? Also – and this is probably the biggest driver of my behaviour – I really fucking hate being told “no”. What do you mean, “no”? Did you pronounce “yes” wrong? I do not accept your “no”. I will go through a ridiculous amount of effort to make it work. I’m tenacious, stubborn, and not above using Sneaky Petery to get what I want – which, in this case, is to not have to deal with cheques or people.

I’d tried to set mom up with an online banking account in the past, thinking that I could pretend to be her and handle transfers that way. Unfortunately, although I had all the required information, the system wouldn’t let me create the account. Today with mom sitting beside me, we called the bank and tried to do it over the phone .. but she got every single verification question wrong, so we didn’t get very far. We had to go into a branch and talk to someone. Well, fuck. I packed mom and all her ID up in the Mini, and we drove off to the bank that is by the old house and nowhere near where she currently lives. There was some slight alarm, as they know my mom at that bank and didn’t understand why she suddenly wanted online access (I’m pretty sure the bank employs people just to deal with the non-technical), but I was able to explain it away – honestly, I was envisioning ACTUAL alarms, with people asking my mother if she was being coerced by this weird looking stranger into accessing her money. Depressingly, we look enough alike that they accepted my story (also, she told every person who walked by “this is my daughter! from vancouver!”) so we got in.

After the teller reset the account and added a temporary password, he started to tell my mother about all the things she could do online or with a smartphone. My mom listened politely for several minutes, until I stagewhispered “SHE HAS NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT” to him. He laughed, and said “We’ll get her on a smartphone in no time!” to which I replied “the hell we are – I’m the one who has to support it”. We quickly left, before he could convince my mom she needed a computer.

There was a brief side-mission in which we picked up groceries: organic bananas, organic bok choy, organic cat treats. Someone told my mother about “organic”, and now she insists that all food be organic. No, mom, I don’t think those Temptations cat treats are organic. Yes, I know it says “natural” on the box. No, I don’t think Sam can taste the difference.

Once we were home again, I tried out the shiny new bank password and managed to get in. From there, I set up her account along with an email address on my domain that forwards to me. I discovered a very handy new feature, too: you can set your account up to automatically deposit all e-transfers sent to a specific address without needing to answer a verification question first. This is perfect, because I can simply email money to the address I created, and it’ll automatically go into her account without requiring intervention of any kind. Where was this feature when I tried to set all this shit up a year ago? Nowhere, that’s where. I’m glad it’s here now (and I set it up for myself – feel free to email me money at any time!), because while I was prepared to respond to the e-transfer emails from “mom’s account”, it’s several less steps for me. This is good.

So, that takes care of the cheques thing. Next up is sending off a form to redirect mom’s insurance payments to come out of my account instead of hers – I’ve already got the account set up using the email address I created, but all that can do is tell me how much her dental claims are for. I don’t care. I don’t want to know. Just take my money and leave me alone.

I also made her use the Visa I gave her to ensure it was activated properly. She’ll hang onto that, and use it for emergencies. I’ll auto-throw money at her account each month for sundries, and pay for her dental insurance in addition to her cable and phone bills. The only snag in my setup is that you can’t set up recurring e-transfers, so I’ve had to add a calendar reminder to get it done each month. Other than that, though .. it’s done. I don’t have to talk to anyone, or put on pants to go into a bank, or give my credit card information to strangers over the phone. I fucking WON. It’s like triumphing over Windows Vista all over again!

I am pleased with my reverse fraud.

At some point, I will stop blogging about money and cheques and insurance. Someone once told me there’s more to my life than just freaking out over my mother being dumb, and there’s some truth to that – like, we just sold SPARTA. That’s news too! News for later!

insurance?

For the last year or more, we’ve been sending my mother post-dated cheques each month to help her out with whatever she needs. It is a royal pain in the ass, because who the fuck uses cheques anymore. I’ve done the research, and it is literally the only way to get the money to my mother because you can’t e-transfer cash to someone who has no e.

The cheques ran out this month, and I had a brilliant idea: why not replace the cheques with a credit card that mom can use whenever she needs anything. Several times this year I’ve had to provide my credit card information to strangers over the phone, because mom needed my help paying for something. I’d have her go and get/do what she needed, then have them call me for payment. It, like most things involving my mother, is a royal pain in the ass. If mom had a credit card she didn’t need to worry about, she could get these things herself. Less ass-pain for me, more freedom for mom. It’s win win!

I just spent half an hour on the phone with my mother, walking her through the complicated scenario of “use this card whenever you need to buy anything”. See, she used my monthly cheque to pay health/car/whatever insurance – how would she pay those without the money I give her? Easily, I explained: use the new card for anything you buy. You won’t be spending your money, so when your insurance payments are due, it’ll just come out of your account like normal.

“Okay so I take this card to my insurance and pay there?” No, you don’t need to do that. Because you aren’t spending the money in your bank account when you do groceries or go shopping, you can pay for insurance. “How will I do that without your cheque?” When you use the card, you’re spending MY money, not your own. “So I can use this card and pay my insurance?” No, mom. You don’t use the card for insurance. You use it for everything else. “Oh so I can buy whatever I need, like insurance?” NO, MOM. “I take the card to the bank and they pay my insurance?” WHAT. NO. “But then how do I pay my insurance?” MOM. LISTEN TO ME. THROW AWAY YOUR BANK CARD. USE THIS CARD INSTEAD. “For my insurance?” NO, MOM. FOR EVERYTHING ELSE. *explains how money works* “Why couldn’t you just give me cheques? This is so complicated!” Mom, we’re giving you more money this way. It’s not complicated. Cheques are complicated. “Well, I’ll take this to the medical office and see if they can pay my insurance with it.” .. sure, mom. Let me know if it works. If you need more help, tell [current elderly man friend] to call me and I’ll explain it to him. “Hah! He doesn’t understand anything, that won’t help!”

As we said our goodbyes, I was slow to hang up the phone. The last thing I heard before my head exploded was “aye yi yi!”, said to her cat and the TV.

Please do not let me have any further brilliant ideas when it comes to my mother.

[end scene]

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a racist christmas adam

I was caught up in an argument with a racist yesterday, who insisted he was not a racist because his comments of “I hate how Asian my neighbourhood has become” and “.. tearing down Vancouver for Chinese and Asian restaurants and bubble tea” are referring to *businesses*, not people. Then it trailed off into a cute little side argument in which he claimed the only reason I thought he was racist was because *I* was racist (against him), and that my calling him racist was abusive. Okay, then.

I wanted to see if my gut reaction of “oh look at the adorable little racist” was off the mark, so I asked Ed for his opinion. It led to a discussion in which he agreed that the asshat was in fact a racist asshat, but he understood how he could make the distinction of “I’m talking about businesses, not people” (even if he didn’t agree). I countered with the following logic:

The English language is one of the most nuanced languages on the planet. There are an almost infinite number of ways you can say something. I know that I have a better handle on language than some people do, but it is not difficult to rearrange your thought to present it in a way that doesn’t make you look like a piece of garbage. The instant you boil your argument down to a descriptor that is generally applied to a race or group of people, it becomes if not outright racist, at least highly questionable. It’s a far smaller leap of logic to go from “oh, you don’t like Asian businesses, which have a mainly Asian clientele, so you must not like Asians” than it is “oh, you don’t like Asian businesses, probably because houses were torn down to accommodate those businesses, so you feel like your city is disappearing”.

I personally have an ongoing issue with Vancouver because the instant I find a new favourite restaurant, it’s replaced with a sushi joint. That statement isn’t racist. However, if I were to says that I’m mad because my favourite places are replaced by Japanese stuff, it takes on an entirely different context – it’s suddenly not wasabi I have a problem with, but “Japanese stuff” – which is a much broader category than just raw fish and rice. I actually love all things Japanese, with the only exception of sushi. And damnit, I still miss that grilled scallop and pineapple dish.

It’s entirely possible that the asshat in question did not intend to sound as utterly reprehensible and racist as he did, but he then doubled down on the argument, pulled the “no, you’re racist for calling me out” card, used the “I have Asian friends” line, and accused me of trying to censor his right to an opinion .. all of which are the hallmarks of a racist upset about being called a racist. Oh, and posting a picture of a For Sale sign written in both English and Chinese, with “Welcome to Vancouver?” on it. And that thing about driving down Kingsway – which has been a predominately Asian corridor for as long as I can remember – and saying “that’s the new Vancouver”. Yep. Not racist at all. My bad!

Anyway, my point here is twofold:

  1. Don’t be a racist asshat
  2. If you’re about to make a statement that directly references a race or group of people and you truly don’t mean for it to sound racist, consult a friend smarter than you are to ask for some wording help. Maybe use thesaurus.com. Or, you know, your head.

these fish are not racist. be like these fish.