a sucker for free

I got a present today!

The Vancouver 2010 website was offering personalized journals for free, so I signed up – then promptly cancelled my order when I realized “free” actually meant “pay $18 for shipping”. A month or so ago an email went out saying that the shipping rates were vastly inflated in error, so please come back and get your free journal. I decided to give them a second chance, and went back to collect my free book of memories. Shipping was around $10 this time, which was more reasonable – so I signed up and forgot all about it.

The idea was pretty neat – you could upload your own pictures to the site which would then be printed into your book. I was at work and didn’t have time to put a lot of thought into it, so I uploaded one picture for the cover, added my name to it, and called it good.

Receptionist 3.0 brought a mystery package to my desk this morning, and lo! My Olympic Journal! It’s actually pretty neat, and I love the picture I used for the cover:

i believe in the power of mukmuk and i

The book is obviously meant for little kids, as it suggests things to take pictures of and provides writing area for your own stories and memories of the games – but I am a sucker for all things notebook, and this one is pretty spiffy. It’s got some great pictures of Vancouver in it, and I will endeavor to fill it with hastily written grocery lists and future blog post ideas throughout the rest of 2010.

You still might be able to get your own journal for “free” – here’s the website; the code I used was either “journal2010” or “shipping2010”. Go nuts*!

*: It is not advisable to put a picture of your nuts on your journal cover to be printed by unsuspecting people in Ontario

In other news, I’m thinking about dropping my last name altogether and just going by Kimli – I’m totally famous like Madonna and Cher; I could pull it off.

sharing the olympic love

I got the equivalent of a Twitter fortune cookie (or possibly a demand; it’s all in how you look at it) suggesting that I do something to help others today, so here:

If you’re looking for official Olympic souvenirs, you’ve got several options. The official online store has some neat things, and offers free next day shipping to people in BC. It seems like VANOC slapped their name all over everything, and as absurd as some of the products are – you can get an official Olympic pepper grinder for only $63.99 – people seem to be snapping them up like mad. The most expensive thing I found on the site is a $500 14k gold coin, which is out of stock so someone is buying these things. You might as well get in while you can.

If you’re actually in Vancouver, people are selling things on almost every street corner. The big draw for official gear is the Olympic Superstore in the Bay, but bring a Visa and a lot of patience – there is a lineup to get into the store all day long, and it’s even worse inside. I can’t imagine how they’re keeping things in stock, because people are grabbing everything they can get their hands on. I wanted to poke around and see how much the cool Canada quilted jackets are, but I couldn’t get anywhere near the place without a long wait in a line with pushy people so I gave up and headed elsewhere.

“Elsewhere” turned out to be the 5th floor of the Bay, which is where they’re keeping the Olympic gear for other countries. There’s also a small selection of Team Canada stuff, so if you were just hoping for a hoodie or hat, try the 5th floor – the crowds are much, much more manageable and you can be in and out in minutes as opposed to hours.

I’ve heard some people complaining about the price of the Olympic goods, and I agree – some of the items are really pricy for what you get. However, don’t disparage the price of the Team Canada gear: believe me when I say we’re actually lucky that the Canadian gear costs what it does, because it could be a LOT worse.

Remember how I was coveting the Team Russia line? It turns out I can’t afford to defect to another country; not when the hoodies sell for $298 apiece. There’s something seriously wrong with buying something to advertise another country when people actually living there would never be able to afford it. Team Russia has a large booth set up on the 5th floor of the Bay, and everything is outrageously expensive: $79 for a t-shirt. $50 for hat or scarf. $159 for a cheap-feeling polar fleece vest. By contrast, the Team Canada gear is so much more reasonable: $20 t-shirts, $50 hoodies, and hats starting at $15. Don’t forget our mittens, either – those are $10 and are being bought by the literal armful by tourists and residents alike.

The other countries aren’t faring much better when it comes to affordable pride: $198 will get you a bright orange Netherlands pullover, or $150 for a long-sleeved t-shirt. However, those prices are NOTHING compared to what it costs to be a fan of Team China:



$545 for a puffy, floor-length, (faux) fur-trimmed, red and gold coat. $695 for a Team China track suit like the ones they wore in the Opening Ceremonies. How many people in China could actually afford these things? 1%? Maybe 2? Wow.

If you’re not picky about which Olympics you’re cheering for, you actually have another option: the 5th floor has a section dedicated to historic Olympic gear. I wasn’t expecting this, and was pleasantly surprised by the variety and price points. I was sorely tempted by the sleek navy jacket commemorating the 1924 Olympics in Paris, France for $120, or the snazzy red and white track jacket from the Sapporo, Japan games in 1972. The focus was on the Winter games so I wasn’t able to find anything from Montreal’s ’76 games, but Calgary ’88 was representing all over the place. I’m still giving some serious thought to the Paris ’24 gear – no one said I had to be celebrating THESE Olympics. So what if I want to cheer for 1924? Who’s going to stop me, you?

these prices make quatchi sad and sweaty

If you’re truly on a budget but want something cute to remind you of the Games, I suggest you head to a McDonald’s. They’re currently doing a series of mascot-themed Happy Meal toys (in Canada only, apparently) that are friggin’ adorable, and only $2 each. Mukmuk gets no love, but you can get toys of Quatchi, Sumi and Miga doing various winter Olympic sports and being all cute and licensed and stuff:

taken by sonson

SO! After all that, I thought I’d try to bring a piece of the Vancouver Olympic Games to you, the general public. I’m giving away two pairs of the Red Mittens because I love my readers and maybe sometimes your hands are cold and full of love for a country that may or may not be your own. Leave a comment below to be entered in the draw, which I will make on Sunday – two winners will receive a pair of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Mittens and some Delicious Juice Dot Com pins! Hooray! Free stuff! Spread the word! Enter below!

there are no kittens in these mittens

keep the secret

“Keep the secret!” the uniformed man chirped at me as he ceremoniously escorted me out of the Olympics Opening Ceremony dress rehearsal.

I got kicked out of BC Place tonight, for attempting to send a text message to Ed.

We weren’t allowed to have cameras; that was made painfully clear. Cell phones, however, were NOT on the contraband list – and we weren’t asked not to use them. Don’t spill the beans, the Artistic Director begged us. You’re here because of someone else, and that person has sworn to uphold the VANOC blah blah blah. Behave! Or else!

Contrary to everything I wanted to be doing at that time, I DID behave. I tweeted vague observations – along with other people; I certainly wasn’t the only one – and tried to text Ed. I wasn’t breaking any rules, but I got kicked out anyway. Hooray! It wasn’t in any way totally humiliating! Boy, I certainly want to keep the secret NOW!

But I will. Because I promised.

I’m annoyed. Very much so. As multiple people are pointing out, I was warned twice to stop doing whatever it was I was doing – but remember how we weren’t told we couldn’t use our phones? I assumed they thought I was taking pictures, so I didn’t fight it. Honest mistake. Especially since the man who kicked me out said “Do you have your camera? We’re going to go delete your pictures”. Except it wasn’t a camera, and I WAS trying to text Ed. What difference does it make, though? People are going to think what they want. I know what I did and didn’t do, and I know I haven’t uttered a word to anyway. Details are already coming out, but they’re not from me.

I have a list of non-specific opening ceremony observations I wanted to share. I was in a much better mood when I wrote them, but here they are anyway:

  • The Olympics are an exercise in waiting in line
  • Seriously, if you have tickets for Friday’s opening ceremonies, you should probably get in line now
  • It will help if you break a bone and/or have small children – broken people and those with spawn got advance entry, as though I wouldn’t poop myself and have a tantrum too if I thought it would get me inside any faster
  • I hope your tickets were worth the thousands of dollars you probably spent, because they’re going to put you to work – this is Canada; I figure the budget for the opening ceremonies was so small they need the audience to do all the work
  • We didn’t get to see many of the key players, but their stand-ins were very inspirational – I felt like I could hold a fake candle all night long
  • One of the MCs made a comment to the audience about this being the only Canadian Olympic games during our lifetime – what does the VANOC know that we don’t? Also, this is my third Canadian Olympics. Yes, I existed during Calgary in ’88 and Montreal in ’76.
  • They shilled merchandise at us during the pre-show – stay classy, VANOC!
  • I CALLED IT! I totally called it! I can’t tell you what it is I called, but be assured that I completely nailed it!
  • Someone in our row answered the call for more cowbell for some reason
  • I am only half convinced that this entire thing is just an elaborate test of my character. I can’t tell you why, but you’ll know what’s killing me the instant it goes live. Vancouver will definitely be remembered for this, but I doubt it was exactly what they had in mind

The Opening Ceremonies will be very cool. Check it out on TV if you’re able. As pissed as I am, I can’t ignore the fact that it was very well done and it will be a grand spectacle when it all unfolds.

That’s all I was planning on writing, VANOC. Call off your dogs.


Thanks to everyone who weighed in both here and on Twitter – I’ve decided what I’m going to do.

While I am still bristly at the whole “being censored” thing – I *hate* being told what I can and cannot do – I will not be giving a play-by-play recap of what I see this afternoon. I’m not doing this for the VANOC or for to keep the element of surprise or because I’m afraid of the IOC – I’m doing it for Shan. I would have to jump off a bridge if she lost her spot in the closing ceremonies because of me, and there isn’t much I’d be able to write about if I were paste on the Trans Canada.

Those of you hoping for all the dirt on what Vancouver has in store for you on Friday will have to get your spoilers elsewhere. I won’t write about specifics – and I won’t write about the security measures, because that would probably bring Big Brother down on me even harder than if I were to spill – but like Miranda pointed out, I’ve got ways of sharing information without .. you know, sharing information. I’ll be good. Yes, I was temporarily swayed by the possibility of being a breaking story for once and seeing my hits climb – but in the long run, doing right by people I love is much more important than fleeting e-fame.

delicious juice dot com: we have integrity when we absolutely have to

spoiler alert

I’m playing by all the rules: I left my camera at home. I’m wearing white. I won’t conduct myself in any way contrary to what Big Brother has posted. I will refrain from taking any cellphone pictures of the TOP SECRET ACTION, and I will keep my clothing on. Isn’t that enough?

This afternoon I’ll be at BC Place, attending the first public dress rehearsal of the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. The ticket is courtesy of Shan, who received them as a perk for being in the Closing Ceremonies later this month. I didn’t think I’d get a chance to see ANY Olympic events, so even though this is a dress rehearsal and likely won’t be the complete ceremony,  I am excited.

I fully admit that some of my excitement comes from being one of a select few who get a sneak peek at what will happen this coming Friday – I’m planning on blogging it, because I blog everything. This is a rare opportunity, and I want to take advantage of it in my usual way: sharing what I see with the internet at large. I may not be able to take pictures, but I can write. Oh boy, do I like to write.

Unfortunately, I’m the devil for doing so.

CTV posted this lovely article pointing figures at we social media types because we make keeping things a secret hard. They don’t see it as sharing, they see it as spoiling: the world wants to be surprised, and I am single-handedly RUINING IT FOR EVERYONE. I am a bad man. I am why we can’t have nice things.

Obviously, I’m on the other side of the coin here – I think the sharing of information is vital and fun, and I try to bring value to my seven readers – a story, an opinion, naked pictures of people I know. I share EVERYTHING, including things that should probably be kept to myself: if it happens to me, I will write about it.  It’s what I do; what I have done for the past 9 years. I get to experience some of the opening ceremonies, so I will share my experiences for those who can’t be there with me. What’s so bad about that?

Everything, says traditional media.

Ed agrees with them, saying I shouldn’t ruin the surprise for those who plan on watching the ceremonies live or on TV. He thinks I should just go and enjoy the spectacle, and leave it off my blog for the greater good.  I’m already full of angst because I can’t take pictures, and now I’m being told I can’t write about it either? Where’s the fun in that?

I can’t trust my own judgment on this, because I am a big fan of spoilers and I hate surprises. I like having some idea of what to expect. I actively search out movie spoilers, and will read plot lines of things I’m watching at that very moment. I like knowing what’s coming. So why *wouldn’t* I “spoil” the Opening Ceremonies? Maybe other people want to know too!

.. but there’s a chance that they don’t, so I’m leaving it up to you: should I blog what I see today, or just keep it to myself so I don’t ruin it for everyone?

I *hate* being censored, no matter how little.

Here is some art. I hope I’m not spoiling it for anyone who has not yet had the chance to walk down Granville Street.

to this day i wonder why i still think about you

sadly, this has nothing to do with the enigma song of the same name

double happiness chicken!

part of the giant mural at the vag

it’s toasty warm in sparta

Before I write about last night, I must add a footnote to this post about the Vancouver 2010 app: GET IT GET IT NOW! Last night I was showing Shan (she of the woeful Blackberry) the app and gesticulating as though I were Darren. The next thing we knew, the app was DOING SOMETHING! I couldn’t figure out how it make it go again until I flailed a little – it was the shaking! Shaking your iPhone with the 2010Guide app running DOES STUFF! I won’t spoil it for you, but GET THE APP NOW AND THEN SHAKE IT. Seriously, I feel like fucking Edison over here. Hands down the best discovery I’ve made since that time I stumbled upon America when I was really trying to get to China instead.

Last night we warmed our house! We’ve successfully lived here for 7 weeks now, and figured it was time we had some friends over to check out the digs. I confess that it was extremely weird throwing a party in my own house instead of Miranda’s, but I think we pulled it off without a hitch. There were awesome people, so much cheese, and drinks a-flowin’. I had a great time, and even met some new people (I have a habit of inviting people I talk to on Twitter to things, forgetting that I haven’t *actually* met them – but what’s social media without a little bit of potential danger? Luckily, I’ve been mostly serial killer-free so it’s all good). Thanks to everyone who came out and those who sent regrets but regards – I hope you had as much fun as I did! One of the many highlights of the evening: watching people show Ed’s co-workers the gay porn. All MY friends and co-workers know about the gay porn, but this was the first time any of HIS people had been in our house – an education was had last night, and I really wish I could be their watercooler on Monday morning because HAHAH.

One of the joys of living in a house that wasn’t built in 1918 the convenience of modern appliances – we’re all but cleaned up, leaving the rest of the day to relax and eat leftover cupcakes. Hell, there’s enough beer and goodies left to throw a Super Bowl party, but this is Canada and I have far better things to do.

You’ll want to stick around this week, people. In addition to the Olympic excitement building at an alarming rate, there will be an upcoming post about Super Gonorrhea that you do NOT want to miss. Trust me on this.

Yay for excellent people and a fully warmed house!

do the olympics in style

  • Do you live in Vancouver?
  • Do you plan to be in Vancouver for the Olympics?
  • Do you what to know what’s going on in the city?
  • Do you not give a flying fuck about the Olympics at all, and want everyone to get out of your way?
  • Do you have an iPhone?

If you’ve answered yes to any of the questions above, you absolutely have to get this app:

it's officially official - officially!

Look for 2010Guide in the iTunes store. It’s a free app, and it is absolutely vital.

“But Kimli, didn’t you hear me? I don’t give a flying fuck about the Olympics! Look! Not one single flying fuck! I don’t give even a REGULAR fuck, let alone a fancy-ass flying one! What on earth gives you the idea that I would want or care about an Olympic iPhone application? That’s 6.3 MB better spent storing gay horse porn! You suck!”

If you’d just shut up for half a second, I’ll give you two very good reasons why you need this app regardless of your love (or lack thereof) for the Olympics:

  • It doesn’t just give sporting event schedules; it also covers every “cultural event” (aka big fucking party)
  • It will give you an excellent idea of where not to be during the Olympics, if you’re really gung ho on avoiding all the fun

note to self: avoid richmond

I downloaded this thing last night, and I have to say – I’m really, really impressed by it. It has schedules, event descriptions, maps, venues. Items are broken out by – City or Whistler – and by type – Sport or Culture. Even if you hate sports, you have to admit that the city is throwing one hell of a party:  every day during the Olympics there are dozens of different kinds of things going on all over the place, and most of them are free. Don’t want to go? Then don’t! Check the schedule to see that on February 14th at 6pm there are two large outdoor parties planned for Yaletown and Georgia@Beatty, so maybe that would not be the best time to go for your daily walk with a scowl on your face and your hands jammed into the pockets of your skinny jeans as you listen to The Smiths and think about how much life sucks.

There are several other Olympic apps available, but some cost money and others are too specific (there’s an app that’ll give the NBC coverage schedule on TV). For people actually in the city, you absolutely need to get this thing. It’ll save your ass, and think how useful you’ll be when you’re trapped on a bus in the middle of the day with 300 tourists who don’t know where the Luge events are.

Also, it’s pretty.

you should see the icon for the masturbation olympics

They even built in an RSS reader for Olympic news, a bunch of related Twitter feeds, and medal counts. Seriously, check this thing out. Whoever created this thing really deserves a pat on the back – it’s kind of awesome.

I’m starting to get excited. For your safety, I will let you know when I am about to lose control – and if you know what’s good for you, you WILL like it.