life hack

If you’re anything like me, you’re completely awesome. Also, you have an iPhone and use Apple’s Safari in Private Mode as your porn-only browser. This, plus the fact that every single link you open on your phone will open in Safari by default, means you may have hundreds of tabs open. This isn’t really a big deal – the tabs aren’t clogging up your phone tubes or anything – but I like having a clean browser (content browsed notwithstanding). Closing each tab is a pain in the ass, and simply leaving them open is not an option. Sure, you can jailbreak your phone to force the device to accept Chrome as your default browser, but jailbreaking isn’t for everyone. What do you do when you need to close all your Safari tabs in a hurry (say, when the afterglow has worn off and you need to hide the shame of getting off at from even yourself)?

I stumbled upon a neat feature one regret-filled evening not too long ago. If you long-press the tab button in Safari, an option to close all tabs at once appears:

Tap and hold that button to remain in denial about your fetishes. You can even do it with one hand, which is helpful when mistakes are made. Sticky ones. Ones that seemed hot when you read about it on your coworker’s secret Tumblr, but really require a level of expertise you are sorely lacking. Or, you know, whatever.

Go forth, my lovelies, and pound yourselves furiously! You’ve earned it! Just remember to clean up when you’re done, including your browser history!

today only: free shattered dreams

I am never going to be a flight attendant, and I am devastated.

Let’s back up a second. I never actually wanted to be a flight attendant – the thought of having to be nice to everyone even when they’re being horrible is why I work from home, alone, in the dark, without pants – but because I’ve specifically been told that I cannot do it .. well, now all I want to do is be a flight attendant. But that will never happen. Because I am never going to be a flight attendant.

We were several hours into our flight to Japan when I needed to pee. I untangled myself from all my cables, shuffled past a sleeping Ed, and headed up to the bathroom. It was in use, so I leaned my tired self against a wall next to the galley to hide the fact that I was doing the pee-pee dance.

I was probably staring blankly at my phone wishing I had internet access when I heard a voice to my left: “ooh, is that London?”

One of the flight attendants was doing galley things, and struck up a conversation about my tattoos. I showed her the skyline tattoo and those of Sasha and Cheddar. She marveled at the work Darci did on my arms, then commented “you know, I just love your hair. And your dress! The whole thing! *gestures at my everything*”. Her voice dropped to a conspirational whisper at this point: “You’ll never be a flight attendant, though.”

I didn’t have time to think about what she just said, as the bathroom finally became vacant and my bladder insisted upon being dealt with. When I had finished, she was nowhere to be seen; undoubtedly disabusing some small child of the dream of being a firefighter or astronaut.

I returned to my seat to think about what she said. Sure, she was very complimentary about my everything, but at what cost? The hopes and dreams I didn’t even know I had? It was like peeking at a whole new world, only to have the door slam shut in my face before I could take it all in. What good is my fun hair, epic cleavage, ridiculous wardrobe, and awesome tattoos if I can’t be a thing I don’t want to be? None. None good.

This could have been me:


picture the exact opposite of this in every way, and that’s me

but now instead this is me:


again, think in opposites

with a lot of this:




a fantastically boring update

It’s frickin’ AUGUST. I am officially panicking about the move. I had planned to be half packed by now, with most of my belongings neatly stored in (labelled, documented) boxes and ready to go into storage. I have .. not done this. I half-heartedly packed some boxes this week, but it’s just stressing me out even more beccause I’ve barely made a dent in the sheer volume of STUFF in my office alone. Also, it’s hot. Sifting through the chaos of my life is sweaty business.

I really need to kickstart myself into gear. I am overwhelmed, but I know if I can just get into a groove it’ll be easy (and fun, because I’m weird like that). I think some deadlines will make things move faster: I’ve booked a junk truck to come haul away the things we can’t rehome, I’ve got some boxes ready to be packed, and an upcoming long weekend with no plans. I did pack up five boxes of stuff so I could deal with the furniture, but that’s just depressing: my Optimus Prime shelf is all packed away, and the death cubes in my office are almost empty. Still, it’s a start.

In other news, I finally got my trip to Seattle in. I had planned a weekend away so I could see the Kasuma Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, and the weekend went off without a hitch. We stayed in a hotel in downtown Seattle, did a lot of walking, ate some foods, and saw some art. The exhibit itself was really cool: I love Kasuma’s work, and the infinity rooms were super awesome. Some downsides, though: long, long lines and a very short amount of time in each room (like, 20-30 seconds each). This was by design and made sense given the sheer volume of people, but I wished for a less rigid experience: there were so many RULES. Every Art Guard in the place had a huge list of things you couldn’t do, from touching (obvious) to leaning against a blank wall while waiting in a long line (what). I was lucky to find a way to game the system, by being a loser with no friends: because I was by myself, the Art Guards would let me skip the lines and go to the front to join a smaller party in the room. I got into the light room multiple times this way.

The exhibit was cool and totally worth the membership I bought to the SAM, but it doesn’t really compare to the Kasuma exhibit we saw in Tokyo. For starters, it was about 8 times the size, had a lot more paintings and sculptures, and the infinity room was more of an infinity hallway that had no time limits (and is probably one of the coolest things I’ve seen, period). I feel ridiculously lucky that I got to see both exhibits within four months of each other.

We stayed in Hotel FIVE, which has a weird backstory. When we checked in, I had this overpowering dejavu thing going on. It bugged me all day, until I had a fleeting thought and chased it down. Many many years ago – like, in 1999 or 2000 – there was a LAN party at the old Speakeasy office in Belltown. It burned down in May of 2001, so LANsanity would have had to have been well before then. Ed and I flew to Vancouver, then drove down to attend the LAN with Heather and George – Heather was a clanmate in QGirlZ, and George and Ed were both fairly well-known Quake players. This LAN party was the first for a lot of things: the first time Ed saw Vancouver, his first time meeting people who would become life-long friends, the first time a half-naked Ed was dogpiled by three girls with body paint, etc. You know, typical LAN things. Anyway. The reason the hotel was so familiar was because we had stayed there before, during LANsanity. The hotel changed hands a bunch of times and had been updated all over, but the shape of the building had remained. The memory is a funny thing.

Also, if you’re ever in Seattle looking for some good eats, Max’s Cafe in Hotel FIVE has these incredible waffle sliders on the breakfast menu. SO GOOD and totally worth a visit.

Healthwise, things are getting better. There were more crossed wires, but eventually people realized I wasn’t on any medication outside the nightly insulin. That has since been remedied, and my blood seems to be improving: I went almost two straight weeks of green single digit numbers (until yesterday, when my blood was having a tantrum) and while I still have the occasional bout of uncooperative blood, I am within the normal range more often than not. This is good, but instead of getting sad when I have a bad day, I get angry. Fuck you, blood! I feed you salad and protein all the damn time! How dare you be full of sugars?!

I also went for an ultrasound for my heart in late June, and I haven’t heard anything from the doctor so I’m assuming this means my heart is totally awesome and all healed and stronger than ever. Who wants to test this with me?

We leave for Ireland in 43 days. It can’t come soon enough. I am wallowing in limbo for a number of reasons, and it’s stressing me out a lot so I could really use some epic views of an angry sea. Yes, I can see the ocean from here, but it’s not really angry – just sort of perpetually peeved, like when the coffee shop is out of agave nectar and you have to use honey like a commoner. That sort of thing.

if the acronym fits

Two years ago, I wrote about the collectively bunched panties of the people in my neighbourhood regarding the social housing in the area. A new facility is being built, and people are freaking the fuck out – “NOT IN MY BACKYARD!!!” they’re literally screaming, then turn around and are SUPER OFFENDED when someone says they’re going all NIMBY. It’s hilarious to watch, if only because it’s fucking disgusting and I want to burn them all to the ground. Figuratively, that is. I do not condone the burning of selfish assholes who are more concerned about their property values – in Vancouver, where the average stand-alone house is worth close to 2 million – than human lives.

So, the new situation: a house was purchased a few blocks over, and is being converted into a small halfway house for teens. It’ll be staffed 24/7, and house no more than 5 patients at a time. The ages range from 16 – 18, and all residents have been through detox and rehab – it is a literal halfway house, to help them readjust to normal life. Residents cannot leave the property unless they are accompanied by a staff member.

Here are some comments from the petition (of course) that went up to protest the facility (everything is [sic]):

This city staff have approved many site or addiction house around our area with out resident agrees. This city staffs stripped our human rights “freedom of choice”,who we can live with; mental illness people? Drug users? Drug dealers around? It is time to let all of these residents stand up , we want our Human Right back ! We want freedom of choice! We want this city staff know what residents want!

My niece lives in this area and should not be subjected to such sites on a daily basis. Horrendous idea.

We want a safe neighborhood for our kids. No more drug/mental health related facilities please!

And here’s what’s been going on behind the scenes in the community email thread. The bolded comments are just the best:

The children in our home area are too heavily weighted with these “social problems” I think the city should spread the issue around the city. These addicted kids should be in an area that is more isolated, not near transport, pot stores, and temptations. A more nature filled location where they can hike, exercise, focus and learn how to behave in a “normal society: anger management, deep psychological help.

The city is just bullying our neighbourhood, they got away the homeless shelter despite massive response against,now we have begging at all the intersections, begging outside the shops, petty crime but they assured us that all would be well.  then park the next outcry and many against, they just went ahead, . I used to see many little ones with their families at the jungle jim play set at <name> park on hot days and evenings, now it is virtually abandoned, it is 40 ft from the front door of a mental health/addiction facility. What mother is going to take her kids to play there?

I am completely opposed to the use of <address> as facility for recovering youth addicts. There are many reasons including;

  •  The wrong zoning,
  • Lack of proper public notification
  • A neighbourhood already forced to deal with very large shelters and the issues they bring (and they do)
  • Proximity to an elementary school

There are even more reasons but please do not call NIMBYISM one of them. I take great offence when this term is thrown around when we are trying to have a rational discussion on this issue.

But of course it is so easy to call us NIMBY’s as a red herring to steer the conversation away from the real issue – pathetic public consultation.

BTW, <name> Liquor Store is opening up on the <address>, in the <name> condo.  In the same block, you have a massage parlour, two marijuana dispensaries and a liquor store.  One can smoke pot, have sex, and drink booze all in a one block area.  What’s our neighbourhood becoming?  We need a clean and safe neighbourhood!

I too spoke to <name> at the CoV.  Poor woman.  Fielding lots of calls.

I told her there are lots of families that would love to live in such a nice house! Would the CofV considering buying them one, too?

I told her if I was a neighbour and this happened?  I would be so pissed off.

It doesn’t improve OUR neighbourhood or land value, or provide our kids with other kids to play with.. Or babysitters to help around the ‘hood.  

BUt the really really important thing?  It is across the alley from the <housing>… a no barrier, low income (no income but assistance) housing project.  The dope can be tossed over the fence.  This is NOT the place for this house.

Find a farm. 

I absolutely Do Not agree with the statement that we are acting NIMBY and take offence to that.

I think this neighbourhood is doing it’s fair share to “give back” to the community.

Please let’s stop concentrating it this way and spread these facilities across Vancouver in a more thoughtful manner, if you truly believe that “It takes a village”.

Such beautiful sentiments. Such an incredible display of humanity. Definitely not NIMBYism, how dare you call it that? I simply want the filthy undesirables to not be in my back yard, is all. Is that too much to ask? What about my HUMAN RIGHT? Won’t somebody think of the children? But not those children. I mean MY children. The good ones.

Put all the bad ones on a farm, where I don’t have to look at them. Or think about them. Until I or someone I love needs help, at which point I will scream about the lack of services and housing.

Fuck these people. I’m so disgusted with humanity right now, and it’s not even 10 am.

down south

Ed and I moved into Sparta in December of 2009. It’s been a great home for us, and we’ve had some excellent times here – but now that we both work from home, it’s become a bit cramped. We’ve idly been talking about looking for a bigger place for some time now (me with the “LET’S MOVE NOW” and Ed with the standard “in a year or two”), but things just sort of happened: we did some math, looked at the market, toured some neighbourhoods, and the next thing you know, our piggy banks are hella empty and we have a lot of scary, official-looking documents covered in signatures.

This all happened really fast (like, the span of maybe three weeks), but we found a place that met all of our requirements:

  • Big (+765 sqft over current home)
  • 3+ bedrooms (actually has four)
  • Many toilets (4 of them!)
  • A deck we can actually USE holy crap I will be able to go outside but stay inside
  • No pedestrian-controlled crosswalks anywhere in sight
  • No horrible upstairs neighbours with stompy feet and elephant offspring
  • Double car garage
  • Corner unit (neighbours on only one side! wooo!)
  • Greenery! And a community garden!

It’s a townhouse in a new development outside of Vancouver, surrounded by green space and with a friggin’ creek running through it. We’re going to have a YARD. That someone else has to mow. It will be glorious.

As excited as I am, there are definitely things I will miss about Sparta and Vancouver. Among them:

  • Being able to say “I live in a McDonald’s parking lot”
  • Living above a rub n’ tug (it’s for the best – we never used it because Ed is squeamish)
  • Out of milk, eggs, or $9 pints of $4 ice cream? The gas station across the street has what you need.
  • Having an address that says “Vancouver”
  • The mailman, because it took 8 years but we FINALLY have an understanding about the fact that I do not go outside and he will be bringing me many things and also we are always home (except when I forget to tell the post office to hold my mail, and he’s ringing me in the middle of the night because I’m halfway around the world)
  • Getting free passes to the PNE each year for the inconvenience of other people
  • Proximity to Deacon’s Corner, Scandalicious, and the good Dennys

There’s a list of things I WON’T miss, but I am not posting them because I need someone to buy our place. :D

I am still a little torn over the loss of my Vancouver address, but this is slowly changing. Don’t get me wrong – this is not one of those obnoxious “Dear Vancouver, I’m breaking up with you” posts. If anything, I’m taking my own advice. It’s true that this city is unsustainable, and if we want more out of our home, we had to look outside the central Vancouver area to one that actually has additional perks beyond those listed above. Yes, I will miss living a ten-minute drive from my friends, but it’s not like I’m moving to Connecticut: that ten minute drive is simply now a 30-minute drive. Oh no. We’re actually in a better position to see our friends regularly, because we’re not the only ones with a new address and the group has instituted a regular date night (which has been a smashing success and means we get to see people far more regularly than just “whenever it happens”).

Some habits die really hard, though: I try not to think too hard about the fact that we’re moving to Surrey. Not regular Surrey; nothing will stop me from stressing that we live in SOUTH Surrey. Not Stabbin’ Surrey. We’re west of the 99, like 5 blocks outside of White Rock. Totally different. I doth protest a lot.

I haven’t started packing yet, but I’ve made an excellent spreadsheet. We’re getting rid of a lot of our stuff to prepare for the move and eventual staging of Sparta (if you’re in the market for any furniture or Pac-Man lamps, let me know), and I’m going to have to pack up almost all of my stuff to made this look like a nice, normal home in which no crazy Peter Pan horders live. Should be totes easy. I have just under three months to pack, purge, sell, or donate most of my belongings. When we return from Ireland, we’ll have three weeks to deep clean the place, then stick it on the market. Ed’s confident that we won’t have an issue selling – Sparta is a corner unit with the second biggest floor plan in the building, has two bathrooms, upgraded closets, and comes with storage and two parking spots. Those are all excellent things. Hopefully someone will give us a lot of money for them, which we will give to the bank because we are responsible like that.

Okay, now I’m just rambling and stressing myself out. There’s so much to DO.