we’re off!

Adventure: Ireland begins today! We leave for the airport in a few hours, flying first into Heathrow and then taking a short hop into Shannon where we pick up our rental car and drive to Galway. I’m not looking forward to flying into London and then immediately leaving – there will likely be tears, because I am a ridiculous creature. Still, I’m very excited about our upcoming trip. We’ll be driving around Ireland for 10 days, then hanging out in Dublin for a while before coming home. ADVENTURE!

We’re also celebrating some milestones on this trip. On September 10th, Ed and I will have been together for twenty fucking years jesus christ that is a long ass time. If that’s not scary enough, the 21st of September will be our 15th wedding anniversary. We are celebrating with literal shamrocks and shenanigans (this remix is better than the original).

The hashtag for the trip is #kimligobragh. I’m not crazy about it, but let’s be honest – nothing will ever top #kimlichiwa as a trip tag. Also, the future is weird. Follow along on Facebook and Instagram, where I will undoubtedly post a zillion pictures of epic cliffs and roaring seas.

In other news, I am in a good spot right now. August was made of stress around here, but things have resolved themselves to managable-if-not-outright-satisfactory and I can breathe heaving sighs of relief. I’ve also had some fun: last Saturday was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. I spent the weekend in Seattle with Ali, and our day started out with breakfast with the girls (complete with avocado theiving) and a trip to the new Funko store in Everett which holy crap that place is made of awesome. I was fairly proud of myself for not going nuts in the store and buying everything in sight, but Ed saw through my ruse and knew it was because I actually own most of it already. Still, the store is packed with life-size Funko figures which are super cute. The Japan section has a great Godzilla scene going on, you can visit Hogwarts and Gotham, and .. just go check it out. It’s worth the trip, promise.

That evening, Ali took me to Art of the Table for my very first visit. Ed has been to AOTT many times, as have most of our friends – but somehow, I’d never gone in the 10? years it’s been a part of our social circle. I was getting pretty grumpy about it, but this past weekend I got to experience the whole thing.

It was probably the best meal I’ve ever had. I wanted to try everything as it was meant to be enjoyed, so I didn’t let any of my food pickiness dictate my meal. We had the tasting menu, in which small plates come at you continuously until you basically can’t move – and as a special request Barman Mitch gave me an introduction to the world of Gin (as I have previously decided that I am going to enjoy gin). I got very drunk but in a sophisticated way (there may have been some drunken facebooking about my boobs, sorry about that), but I managed to keep myself upright and thoroughly enjoyed each of the drinks Mitch made for me. Ali had a paired wine with her plates that I also tried and actually liked – that brings the total number of wine I enjoy to TWO. Yeah, I’m all fancy now.

If you’re a foodie or just want to try something special, I highly recommend a visit to Art of the Table. Seriously, I can’t really do the experience justice with mere words – it was SO FUCKING GOOD.

After food, it was time for burlesque! One of my favourite people ever was performing in a show in downtown Seattle, so we went to see some beautiful people take off their clothes. We were a bit late and missed part of the first act, but the show was three hours long so there was plenty for us to take in. Also, burlesque raffle: I won! Boobs were involved, and other substances. It was great. We were there to see Lauren perform, and her act was so great – completely different from the other performers, it was hilarious and adorable. I love Lauren. Have I mentioned that?

It was such a good, good, day. It’s been way too long since I’ve had quality Ali time.

Oh and on Tuesday, Ed and I went to a live sex demo. It was live! Live sex! Demonstrated!

More on that later, if I remember: I need to go triple-check the number of cardigans I’ve packed, and probably put on some clothes for the plane.



cliffs for daaaaaaaays.

ready, set

T minus 3 sleeps until GO.

My excitement and trepidation are nearing unbearable levels. I am mentally and physically ready for a vacation (I forgot my laptop at home two days in a row last week), and although I will desperately miss Ed and the cats (this will be the most time we’ve been apart – I think the longest to date has been 6 days), I’m looking forward to this time of quiet reflection all the goddamn adventure I can cram into 25 days.

I have a big list of things I want to do, but beyond the list I’m looking forward to:

  • Being on my own schedule. If I wanna sleep in, I can. If I wanna spend 3 hours in the V&A garden, I can. If I wanna go to a spooky-ass cemetery and walk amongst the dead, I can (and totally will).
  • No helmet hair for almost a month.  I love my scooter, but goddamn I’ve had some wicked helmet hair recently.
  • Eating all my meals at M&S
  • M&S in general
  • Pretending I’m a wealthy lady of leisure; an International Kimli of Mystery
  • Angry shoulder dancing
  • Asking for a large Diet Coke and getting a North American medium
  • Finding out the deal with Stonehenge
  • Pret.
  • Sharing my adventures both here and on Instagram #shamelessplug #unitedkimdom

Just .. all of it, really. I’m even looking forward to the 9+ hour flight, which is a sure sign of ocean madness (aka “Aqua Dementia”, the deep down crazies, the wet willies, the Great Moist). I’m hoping this trip will kickstart my heart my desire to write again, but even if it doesn’t, I won’t be beating myself up over it. No agenda. Just good times.

I am grateful for this extremely lazy caturday, but I can’t help but wish Sony picked any other time to do maintenance on their servers – I have to get enough underpants video game time to last me for a whole month.




I spent much of Saturday trying to escape Richmond, but not in the usual way – this time, I was locked in an Egyptian tomb. And then a prison. And each time, I couldn’t get out.

I had heard about this thing called EXIT on Twitter a while back, and after sharing it amongst my friends it was decided that a group of former co-workers and special guest stars would try it out on February 1st. Knowing my meat space friends wanted to check it out as well, I arranged for them to join me after the first session was done so we could all do a new one together, because I am excellent at planning things and such.

Even after reading the website and reviews thoroughly, none of us had any idea what to expect. At the core, EXIT is a video game without the video part. You choose one of four scenarios, get locked in a room, and .. you have to get out. Each available scenario will be immediately familiar to anyone who’s played any kind of first person game: you’re locked in an Egyptian tomb, and need to escape. You’re trapped in a sunken ship and need to reach the surface. You wake up in your prison cell, only to discover you’re all alone. And the last scenario, which I’ve played dozens of times in more games than I can count, is the dark dingy laboratory of untold horrors and inadequate security. While it may sound like something you could handle with your eyes closed, you’ll soon learn otherwise – you’ve only got 45 minutes and up to two hints provided by the staff if when you get stuck. And it’s hard. We got most of the way through Egypt, but only a third through the prison .. and if we want to solve it, we have to go back. Which I want to do. Because it was awesome.

I don’t want to give any secrets away, but if you like puzzles and intrigue I suggest you check out EXIT for yourself. It was really cool (even though we failed spectacularly), and definitely a unique experience – I don’t know of anything else like it that isn’t on a computer or on the Holodeck in the 24th century.

Some tips if you’re interested:

  • There are four scenarios that are updated pretty regularly
  • You get 45 minutes
  • They range in difficulty – from easiest to hardest:
    • The Sunken Ship
    • The Egyptian Tomb
    • The Prison
    • The Laboratory
  • Don’t be afraid to use the hints
  • Each scenario can fit 2-6 people, but four would be an ideal group size (we felt crowded in the prison)
  • If at all possible, find out before you go in (or use a hint) how many digits are expected to open the keypad(s). We wasted WAY too much time in prison trying to figure out which four digits we needed out of the eight we deduced, when in actuality we needed all eight (all the locked doors we’ve ever encountered in the real world, not to mention the tomb, only needed four). This is the only complaint I have about the whole thing, and in the feedback I gave the to the team .. I don’t think we would have escaped the prison even with the time we wasted, but we definitely would have gotten further.
  • You can’t bring anything in the rooms with you, which is why I have no pictures to share. Those sessions were the longest I’ve been separated from my phone since .. well .. ever.
  • It’s $24.change per person which is pricey, but it’s such a neat experience I didn’t mind the cost – I’ve paid more to be locked up, and it wasn’t nearly as entertaining.
  • Even abject failure can be fun!

we make it look so good

seattle adventuary

Seattle, you are pretty:

pier 46

downtown times

on the waterfront

smith tower

the impossibly gorgeous carved ceiling of the chinese room at smith tower

my favourite building in seattle

More pictures over on the Flickrs.

We couldn’t have picked a better weekend to go Seattling. The weather was the nicest I have ever experienced in any January ever, and we spent the entire glorious day outside looking down on things for miles around. Our first stop was at Smith Tower, which turned out to be our favourite of the two: the lookout is on the 35th floor and you can GO OUTSIDE! Outside is amazing. It’s fenced off For Safety, but it was so gorgeous outside that we were giddy with fresh air and epic views the entire time. The inside of the lookout floor turned out to be a treat as well – it was set up as the “Chinese Floor”, and outfitted with a carved teak ceiling and fancy carved furniture like the Wishing Chair that I made Ed sit in. Legend has it that “any wishful unmarried woman who sits in it would be married within a year”, so we shall see if Ed was sufficiently wishful and womanly enough to be married soon. Here’s hoping! If that doesn’t work out for him he can go work for Uber, as we passed their HQ on the way down in the fancy brass elevator. They were hiring!

After the Smith Tower, we had lunch at the Pike Brewery and I bought an amazing hat. We wandered the Seattle Art Museum, Ed had an early mid-life crisis in the Harley Davidson store, and then we were off to the second tower of the day: the Sky View Observatory on the 73rd floor of Columbia Centre. Sky View was a lot more crowded than the first place, and while it offered some impressive views, it wasn’t really built with viewing in mind: the glass is thick, tinted, and highly reflective (making photography difficult), and you can’t go outside probably for safety reasons but that is dumb. I still managed to get some good shots thanks to Ed the Human Shield, but we definitely liked the Smith Tower better because OUTSIDE and INCREDIBLE CEILING and the awesome elevator operator and so much more.

All the amazing views of Seattle aside, I finally got to meet the new kittens at Doug and Ali’s:



THEY’RE SO SQUISHY!! The kittens were a little unsure of me but they were so fun to watch – and I got plenty of lovin’ from my boyfriend George anyway:


I am now obsessed with getting a squishy-faced kitty to quell my pug lust, but Ed isn’t going for it (gasp). What’s a girl to do, other than run away to London?

Some adventure done. More adventure needed. Up next: escaping from prison!

getting high

Last weekend when Ed and I were at the Vancouver Lookout, I activated my membership. At any point in the next year, I can go up the tower and see awesome views of Vancouver like these:

vancouver harbour

east van

stanley park

I enjoyed looking down on the world from above so much that this weekend, I’m going to do it all over again .. in Seattle. Ed and I are heading to the Sparkle Castle for some fun and visits, and while we’re there I’ve decided we should go up some really tall buildings and look around. I bought us passes to the Smith Tower (35th floor with an open deck), and to the Sky View  Observatory (73rd floor) for weekend good times. The second tower is open past dusk, so there should be ample opportunity for some great night time photos. I am excite! And glad I don’t have a fear of heights!

I have three solid weekends of Adventure coming up (and the fourth weekend is earmarked for Hardcore Adventure Planning). I am happiest when I am outside experiencing things exactly like this, so I couldn’t be more pleased that things are happening. It will go a very long way in ejecting me from the funk I’ve been in for the past few months!

As an added bonus, here is a Nerd Totem Pole!

not to be confused with a shame pole

not to be confused with a shame pole


By this time next week, Ed and I were supposed to be halfway through Oregon and marvelling at the wonders along Route 101. We had planned to drive through Washington, then take Route 101 south to California and spend a couple of days in San Francisco before heading north to do time in Portland and Seattle – basically, a repeat of our 2009 road trip, but in the Mini because it is super fun.

We’re not going, though.

I’m not a superstitious person, but something about this trip didn’t feel right. What started out as a weird gut feeling was quickly accompanied by all these SIGNS that I should listen to my insides:

  • Ed’s mysterious throat-based illness that has not yet been solved or cured
  • The check engine light appearing on the Minibator for no raisin
  • I have done zero planning, which is highly unusual – I love travel planning and start as soon as I possibly can
  • I haven’t been packed for a week
  • We weren’t super excited for the trip

Our general apathy and Ed’s malfunctioning nodes all came to a head last week, and we officially decided to 86 the trip. We may go later in the summer, or go somewhere else, or go not at all. It doesn’t matter. We can do anything (fun) or nothing (terrible).

Unfortunately, I now have to deal with the sole reason the trip was scheduled for when it was: my birthday. In order to escape the yearly angst I have mid-June because no one wants to play with me, I purposefully decided to be on Alcatraz on June 18th to celebrate my birthday with prison walls and a boat ride. Now that we’re not going, I have to figure out what I want to do on my birthday. I could do nothing, but then I would be super sad. I could do something, but what and when? I hate planning my own fun, but I want cake.

At first I was relieved that we cancelled our vacation, but as is my fickle nature, I’m suddenly sad about it: I finally got excited about the thought of cruising down the 101, taking a million pictures, being in San Francisco, eating the bowl .. and now we’re not going. Is it too late for take-backsies? Probably: even without my gut feelings, all the other reasons we canceled are still valid.

Maybe I should just abscond with the vacation fund and go to London.

I am in desperate need of some kind of adventure.

looking at pictures from our last trip is NOT HELPING

london times (days 7-10)

Sunday was a baffling mix of creepy and SENSORY OVERLOAD. It was a nice day out, so we walked from our place towards Leather Lane to pick up some coffee for friends. We had been in London for a week at that point, and had gotten more or less used to being surrounded by all of humanity – which is why we were so weirded out by the completely deserted streets and faint echoes as we walked. There were no traffic noises, no voices, no crickets; just our footsteps and the occasional British tumbleweed whispering a ghostly ‘pardon me, so sorry’ as it rolled by. Also, there was no leather at all to be found on Leather Lane, which was HIGHLY disappointing. Still, we managed to find our objective with no more trouble than a mere wiggins, and after finishing the quest (for 4000 xp and a scone) we walked out of Leather Lane and towards civilization to find ourselves a tube: it was time for CAMDEN MARKET.

.. where we were promptly squished, trampled, squashed, breathed on, and eyeballed. Camden Town is a very popular place to be on Sundays, and while logic would have us go on another day when there weren’t so many people about, we had yet to stumble upon Logic Lane (because it’s in Oxford) so off we went. We drank freshly squeezed orange juice, bought some trinkets (and – you’ll never believe this – a BAG), then made our way to the Stables so I could experience Cyberdog first hand. It gave Ed a headache, but I found it utterly brilliant – chaotic, loud, ridiculous, and riddled with tourists; much like myself on a good day. It was great! Exhausted by the sheer number of people and things to look at, we had a late lunch at Frog and Hound and Cock and Whistle and Fox and Trout and Olive and Horse and Swan and Hare before heading home. Sunday was supposed to be our “take it easy” day, but we still rolled back to the hood well past dark and too tired to think straight.

Unfortunately, the second week of our trip hasn’t gone as smoothly as the first. On Monday after we visited St. Paul’s Cathedral, I started to feel kind of sick. I tried to shake it off as we soldiered on, discovering that our London Passes only allowed us access into each venue ONCE – something that vastly decreases the usefulness for me, and a fact I wish I had known prior to purchasing. When we visited Shakespeare’s Globe last week, we were unable to see the theatre because it was only open until 12:30 that day. On Monday it’s open all day, so we thought we’d go again to see the theatre in all the rebuilt glory while we could. It was then we learned of the not-at-all-mentioned condition on the passes, which sort of killed our other plan for the day (revisit the Tower of London). Disappointed, we did the only thing we could .. go shopping. Ed’s been on a bit of a rampage this trip, and bought himself more shoes. I stumbled upon the Kid Robot shop, and managed to make it out without buying everything in stock. We headed home afterward, because I was still feeling sick – truthfully, I felt like hell but I was determined to keep going.

Tuesday was both awesome and an utter fiasco. Our plan for the day was to take a coach up to Oxford, to visit Jen Neil and Isaac and go to the Mini Plant there for a tour. I was still feeling like crap, but didn’t want to miss out on the fun so I cleaned myself up as best I could and we (eventually; it was hard to find) hopped a bus to Oxford. We met Jen and Isaac, who showed up around the town – Oxford is much larger than I thought, and totally beautiful. Jen showed us some awesome places such as Blackwell’s (which makes Powell’s look like a cute little corner bookshop) and the original Alice in Wonderland shop, as well as pointing out all the colleges that I am not smart enough to get into, and some of the town’s history. We met up with Neil and went to their place (which has enough room for EVERYONE TO VISIT but me first) to drop Isaac off with the sitter and get some love from Sasha before heading out: it was time to go on a Mini Tour!

.. at least, that was the plan. We couldn’t actually FIND the tour, and not for lack of trying – J&N graciously offered to give us a lift there, which saved our asses because we would have been even more fucked on foot than we were in the warm dry comfort of a car. Even with GPS and printed instructions, we couldn’t find the right gate – oh, we found gate 10, as an extremely helpful windshield installer told us, but he didn’t know of any other gates, because he only went to gate 10, which was this one right here. We drove around some more, found ourselves in the yards of a different company entirely, then headed back to gate 10 to try to find someone with a little more smarts than the gentleman who worked at gate 10 and clearly had not attended any of his town’s famed colleges.

We did get some directions which had us going the right way, but we found ourselves in another yard with a slightly (but just barely) more helpful security guard who sent us one yard over .. which was completely and utterly deserted. There was not a person or reception area in sight that was open or looking in the least bit welcoming for a tour. I did find the building our confirmation emails told us to go to, but it was under construction and completely locked up with no one around.

It was raining quite hard and we had been looking for the tour for almost an hour at this point, so Ed and I decided to throw in the towel and go for dinner with Jen and Neil instead. This turned out to be a riotous affair, with our getting shushed in a pub because we were being too hilarious for the general public to handle, and almost getting into an imaginary brawl with berobed quiz masters in powdered wigs and elbow patches.

Also, Isaac kissed a snail and then hit it with a stick.

A short while later, Ed and I got on a coach to head back to London. It was great seeing the Watkii clan, who have settled into the English countryside quite nicely. Their place is great, Isaac is awesome, and (stupid Mini Plant side) it was a fantastic way to spend a Tuesday.

Unfortunately, throughout all of this I was still feeling relatively awful. I am nothing if not a trooper though, so today Ed and I headed out towards Marble Arch to find a statue we saw from the bus on our way to Oxford:

awesome scooter art is awesome

We also stopped at the Mini dealership in the ritzy part of town to scratch our itch and fall in love:


We walked past all the fancy car joints (the Mini place was the only one we felt comfortable going into) before going to see what all the Primark fuss was about. I had been seeing people with big Primark bags all over the UK but had never heard of the place, and there was one close by so we went in: imagine H&M, Forever 21 and Topshop all mashed together and only open on Boxing Day, and you’ll get the gist of Primark. It was intensely chaotic, but I did managed to find some cute and ridiculously cheap items before we escaped by the skin of our teeth – it was a fucking madhouse in there.

I had planned for us to walk towards Trafalgar Square, but Ed started to feel kind of sick too and it rapidly got catastrophic, so we nixxed our plans and hopped the tube back to our flat where we both promptly became sick as fucking hell. That’s where we are currently; alternating between lying in bed moaning pitifully and going to bathroom to throw up in a fantastic and disgusting display. I have no idea what’s wrong with us: when it was just me I assumed it was something I ate, but now we’re both sick and the symptoms are coming hard and fast. This bloody well sucks – we have two full days left in London and a list of things we want to see (including the damn V&A; we haven’t gone yet and if I have to miss it I will be the SADDEST GIRL EVER), but we feel horrible and barfy. There’s not much we can do but lie here pathetically and hope whatever we have leaves our systems as quickly as it arrived, because I have plans before our flight on Saturday and not a single one of them involve being in bed clutching a bucket.

i’d tell you not to look her in the eyes, but SHE HAS NO EYES