Yesterday evening I tol’ my brO that I was marking up the margins of Stephen Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature, what mOm loaned me.

She was okay with it, just like I expected, but when he learned of my gaffe Jeff looked at me like I’d produced a minute long Giardia fart with bean and beer top notes.

Keith gets it next.  Hope he doesn’t mind my markups.

My response to a post about a gun being marketed with a bible verse on it (this in Floriduh, natch):

And the arm has got a hand
in it’s habitual place
these days you understand
why it ends up on my face
You’ll say something indefensible
and in the worst of taste
and that is why my hand
will end up on my face

Facepalm facepalm facepalm

Jeremy Corbyn has been elected head of the Labour party in the UK.  He is being decried with tweets like this ARRANT HORSE MANURE coming from David Cameron’s office.

The Labour Party is now a threat to our national security, our economic security and your family’s security.

So, about the couple ‘living Victorian’.  Three comments.

As you may know, my mOm is transcribing our ancestor’s diary. He was a lower middle class Victorian Englishman with pretensions, since he was an antiquarian and took tea with Carlyle (more than once, I’ll have you know.) He spends an inordinate amount of time diarizing about the weather, and how they had to break the ice on the wash basin in the morning, when they had infant children in the house. Damn right skippy, it freezes hard in jolly old England. Comfort was hard to come by and made much of when it occurred.

When people want to live their cosplay, I have no objections and am in fact quite envious. When I find out about their lack of technology in an article she wrote for the internet, I laugh quite heartily and my envy melts away, unless I missed something and she’s powering her server with a steam-engine. Then I’m envious again, although not of her neighbours.

Victorian birth control. Until you’ve done nappies the Victorian way (ancestors did vaccinate their kids, for what it’s worth) you have a contortionate and dreamily inaccurate view of a Victorian married woman’s life.

a visit

Woke at 4:34 with a bug crawling on me.  Sigh.  I’m sure I have a mild case of RLS because I very often get ‘the crawlies’ but my crawlies don’t move, and bugs do, so that’s how I tell the difference when lying in bed at night.

I’m getting a new mattress.  This one is shite.  I don’t feel like spending any money.

Patricia and I got together downtown to (briefly) discuss my potential job application but mostly to drink a few sophisticated beverages, in the jungle that is the café at the VAG (no fewer than 4 species of bird and mammal came through).  We scored the best seats in the house. She asked to look at baby pictures.  I am extraordinarily proud of Alex (also Katie, who is doing a more than creditable parenting job under circumstances that are more difficult than what I experienced), but I don’t spend a lot of time talking about him, because his accomplishments have more to do with the quality of his vocalizations and his digestive processes than anything grownups consider remarkable.

Our server, Claire, a charming woman, talked to us a while about how people freak out about there being animals and she’s like, duh, it’s outside with 25 years worth of very dense foliage and food, and if you see mice there’s no rats, so whatevs.  Her attitude was very bracing, and damn us if we didn’t use the last of the pita to tempt Sir Sparrow and the Sire de Mousey.  And Patricia said something so complimentary I ain’t repeating it,  but it’s one of those things I’m going to be pulling out and mentally burnishing every once in a while for the next couple of weeks any time I have the Thrumps.

After two beers (Sunsetter Summer I b’lieve, and normally I LOATHE wheat bears and they give me an immediate headache but this was delicious and carried no such freight) and some hummus it was aff hame, except I said at Granville (exaggerating somewhat) CRYFACE O WHY IS IT I MUST LEAVE YOU MY FRIEND I WISH TO CONTINUE BEVERAGING.

I pointed to the nearest pub, and she had a better idea (she lives blocks away) and we went to a very nice bar called Uva, with extremely loud music (I need to find a bar downtown with music at a comfy level) and exceptionally nice washrooms and kindly servers, and I had a Raven, because I don’t get to go to Jericho Folk any more because they stopped (rent and exhaustion trending upward as I recollect) and that was the only place I ever drank it.  It was very, very good, even better than I remember although that might have more to do with how often the beer taps were cleaned at the Galley than anything else, because it was in a bottle.

So we chatted a while longer and I went home. Very pleasant to discuss the interface of domestic life with contemporary feminism, and on that subject I need make no further public remarks.

And now Jeff’s up and there’s tons on the PVR and it’s another smoking hot day in Vancouver and we are going to a family picnic tonight, yay! Also, it’s a resumé day, and I know better than to try to write more than one kind of fiction on resumé day.  I have the job description to hand, which will make things easier.

Writing will commence after the family picnic.  I am sure of it.  I was a little underfriended, and by the time I’ve done catching up with my dear ones I’ll be much closer to having a full tank.  Thank you Mike, Patricia and Alex for that!!


Roxane Gay rules and this post is TMI


So my very favourite Bad Feminist Roxane Gay, who has to deal with so much more intersectionality than I do, has participated in a puff piece in stylist.co.uk talking about her hygiene routine.  I told her I would follow her example.

At this point I can hear Jeff saying something, and then when I ask him to repeat it, he says, ‘Oh, nothing, nothing.’

I probably should shower more frequently than I do, being about three times a week, but as I get older I get dryer, and I feel like I’m turning into a desiccated old piece of sod.  I use Belle de Provence Honeysuckle soap because it smells very good, lasts a long time and is the one piece of luxury in my hygiene routine. Hardly anyone carries it and since it’s 6 bucks a pop I tend to buy in bulk when I find it.  I use Head and Shoulders brand shampoo/conditioner and buy it in the large pump size as it’s cheaper.  I use no other soap products.  I wash my hands every time I handle the cat, before I prep food and after I come in from being out in public as well as after I groom myself or go to the toilet.  I didn’t give a shit about washing my hands before I ran a restaurant.  Now I really, really do care about it, and it’s the simplest, fastest and easiest way to prevent illness, so why the hell not.

I hate all deodorants but I stink if I don’t use them.  When I’m feeling radical I wash, dry thoroughly and apply baby powder to my pits, but that’s good for about 12 hours before Jeff’s eyebrows do something improbable (the fan in the basement blows my effluent in his direction when we’re watching tv, so … yeah.)  Otherwise I use whatever kind of bo juice isn’t loathsome, and I’m like a lightning rod for deodorant being discontinued, so I try to be cool, but right now it’s a pretty loathsome vanilla smelly thing.  Gak.   Still better than the alternative.

I use two different kinds of eyedrops, thanks to the amazingly practical and super unjudgey Lady Miss Banjola, one for day, one for night, and I am not consistent in their use but by gar it’s a good thing to have them, because when you need them you’re like ACK MY EYES MY EYES I CAN’T GET MY EYES oh thank goodness I can see!  Also, thanks to her I found out that dryness amidships can be ameliorated by the twice weekly anointing of der ladygel, and she made brand recommendations, and I can get them reasonably cheap on line.  With that one small recommendation she made my life go from a meepy, withered parody of what Beeker sounds like after he’s been mugged, to me being able to contemplate having a boyfriend.  I don’t actually want a boyfriend, and the men in my life who squire me around do not wish to fill this or candidly any other vacancy wheresoever situated, but at least the prospect shifted from being painfully impossible to being ludicrously improbable, and only the Rumi’s Beloved could parse that shift in meaningful terms, but I view it as an improvement.

I pluck my eyebrows every day.  I watched the best eyebrow guy on the planet do a tutorial on youtube, and I thought “Hey, my OCD and some grooming tips wa-ho!” but I tell you my brow game is fierce, and it helps with the performative feminity, although I have not recently been mistaken for a man (it only happened the once, and I think the person was altered.)

This upping of the eyebrow game was subsequent to Keith picking out to extremely flattering and stylish frames for me.  I was looking really hard for a job and I wanted to be ready to interview at a moment’s notice, and now, provided I have a clean dress, I really am.   I pluck my chin hairs, and my (sigh, fuck my life) chest hairs.  I do not shave my legs or pits and anybody who wants me to can shave his or her legs and pits all they want but this lovely, amazing, FEATURE of adult life called BODILY AUTONOMY does not stop being awesome just because you are creeped out by my hairy legs, and the next time somebody calls me on it I’ll just say that sexism is uglier than hairy legs and any sensible person knows that.  Body hair sure makes men who have basic issues with mansplaining and feminism go away right quick, and smell ya later, ya squirrelfondling preverts.

Also, I got really really bad frostbite on my lower legs when I was in public school, so bad that the skin on my lower legs (the shaving zone) is burst-into-tears sensitive, so yeah, no, fuck your leg shaving.  It HURTS.  I bleed, and then all the little hairs growing back in catch in my bedding, so fuck you and go AWAY if you think I should shave my legs for any reason whatsoever.  As for my armpits.  When more than 50 percent of north American men shave their armpits, I’ll sign up for one of those monthly boxes of shaving gear, but until that day (bwa ha ha, coming soon!) yeah, just no.

I used to use Garnier number 60 hair dye and I still have some tucked away, but it really really bothers Jeff and I’m not a fan of doing it, I am a fan of having it done. Fortunately the colour is almost exactly the same as the two remaining stripes of colour I have in the mounting nest of grey that is my hair so even when I let it grow out it looks reasonably okay.  If I get another interview, which will be hard, as I am officially as of this moment no longer looking for work since hey we’re in a recession, and nobody would want to hire me even if I wanted to trade the best part of me for 24K net a year, which I don’t, and which makes me an elitist asshole. Ok.

I make my own perfume, which is called Cyprus, and has a secret blend of floral oil ingredients, and which smells fantastic on me (to the point where other women have demanded I sell them some, which I did) but everybody from my mOm to my brO thinks it smells like I’m hanging truck stop air freshener from my pits AND about 40% of my friends have chemical sensitivities and find it overpowering even when I’m using it gingerly so it’s only for special occasions.

My last pedicure made me limp for THREE FUCKING MONTHS and I am never paying for one again as Hecate may bear witness; now I cut off the parts of the toenail that stick out and abrade down the rest with a number of different kinds of pedicure gear.  I occasionally soak my feet and use footrub on myself or get somebody else like Katie to help out.  I am very very on top of my toenails because I can go from Happy Feet to ballerina outtakes (thankfully not shown here) in less than a week.  My hair, feet and nails grow at a tremendous rate, which is great because I get rid of heavy metals that way, but I must cut, hack, saw and file away with vigour.

I used to be an assclown about dental hygiene but I brush and floss every single day now (occasional lapses, but not many) since I can’t afford to lose the use of any more teeth when toothpaste and floss is so cheap.  I buy firm or super firm brushes and brush whatever way feels right and I pay for getting my teeth cleaned professionally once a year.  I am seriously considering investing in dental picks.

I have incredibly clean ear canals.  I hate the feeling of anything in there except air, but I no longer scrape them out with anything hard because it removes the hair that grows in the canal and I’m so clumsy I might deafen myself.

I wash my face with soap once a week.  Any more and I dry out like something that went with Scott to the Pole.

Once every three months I apply a clay facial mask.  I like how my skin feels afterward.

Once in a very long while I get a massage or a spa half day, but I can get the same results from rolling around on Wreck Beach and probably get exposed to the same amount of coliform in the process.


And there you have it.  Nobody asked for it, but that is my hygiene routine.

I am not worthy

Best commentary by a man on the subject of maxipads that has ever been written in English.  Required reading for all men who consider themselves to be feminists, and for any woman who has ever had a period.  ALSO VERY FUNNY.  I said in my facebook post on the subject:  This is one of the funniest, truest, most ah-ha pieces I’ve ever read. By me, he’s got a man card the size a phone book – far too big to be casually ripped up!

Justice for Cindy Gladue

I am very sore today because merely standing triggers my pelvis pain to the point where I drag both my feet.  Also, Paul very efficiently tricked me into mowing the back lawn, so I was really, really sore by the time I was done. 2.0 hours on the cpap – keep forgetting to put the mask back on.

I wrote this in my notebook over a rather lavishly irrigated lunch yesterday.  I went to the rally, which was triggered by this.  As is my custom, I did a square search count of the crowd. It was never fewer than a hundred people and swelled to 150 around 11 am.  Knowing that we were gathered in 20 cities across Canada (including Saint John’s NFLD, where it was ass freezing cold and blowing snow) made me very proud.  And sore, as I mentioned.  I am going to pick up another one of those mini-chairs from Lee Valley, I simply cannot stand for an hour and a half without problems.

So I was angry when I wrote this.  I am still angry, but it’s the quiet, smoldering kind.

April 2, unceded Coastal Salish land.

Canada is the kind of country where a sex trade worker deserves to die for being a sex trade worker.  If she’s indigenous, and ‘somehow’ ends up with an 11 inch stab wound in her vagina, a vagina which is paraded through the courtroom in a specimen jar in a grotesque parody of a ceremonial object, she had it coming.  Somehow the fact that a misogynistic piece of sh*t named Bradley Barton murdered her in a drunken stupor gets dropped from the equation, and he left the trial a free man.

I’ve been angry at the Canada ‘justice’ system before. Lots.  But I don’t normally get off my ass to protest.

Cindy Gladue did not deserve to die.

She didn’t get justice.

Her children and her family and loved ones did not get justice.

I am enraged that Cindy Gladue and her 1200 and counting indigenous sisters are being treated by the justice ‘shitstem’ as entirely disposable human refuse.  The UN has asked Canada to investigate.  Harper says it isn’t even on his radar.


It’s gotta come down.

Let it come down.

With unity of purpose and steel in our veins, let us BRING IT DOWN.

There were 150 of us in front of the Courthouse yesterday. We were FN and white and mixed and ‘other’.  We were men and women and children.  We wept and drummed and sang and screamed our disappointment and anger that indigenous lives are so entirely devoid of justice, or even its prospect or possibility.

Justice for Cindy Gladue.

My response to an fb post about Paul Elam

Who is a noted MEN’S RIGHTS ACTIVIST. Who doesn’t want women to work outside the home at all.

No matter how much work of what type women do, they are going to get told that it isn’t real work, because real work is what men do. I hear what he’s feeling – he feels useless, he feels like his role has changed and nobody told him, he feels like that uselessness has to be somebody’s fault, the fault is society allowing women to work outside the home.  What his emotions are doing to him is pretty ghastly. Too bad all the crap about women working that bothers him so much is a consequence and outgrowth of where feminism met the needs of the permanent war economy and of capitalism, and he’d rather hack his feet off and eat them than critique that.  He’s not rational, and nobody in their right ****ing mind should even think about trying to refute him, because he’s too emotional.  It’s a free country and he can say whatever he likes, but don’t waste a calorie on thinking about him; he’s the ineffectual and drunken uncle at the family reunion who wants attention for his divorce story and surrounds himself with the guys who don’t question him, and I’d rather party with the cool shiny haired dyke and her new wife, the guy who’s training to be a doula, and the spectrum kid who’s helping me learn to crochet, all of whom are better exemplars of humanity.  Murmur ‘sh*tplatter’ and pass on.  And yes, Jim, I totally agree that men need their own space.  Men who don’t get the support and socialization of other sympatico men suffer, and many are too stoic to complain.

Shot my mouth off on twitter this morning – bottom to top.

  1. …as false rape accusations, but that’s a margin of error I’m prepared to live with, how ’bout you?

  2. So I feel quite comfortable with accusing trolls who say that of being rapists. I’ll only be right about the same percentage of time….

  3. So every time a troll says a woman is too ugly to rape, he’s saying that given the opportunity and a victim, he’d be only too happy to rape.

  4. If you flip that statement, the troll is saying, I HAVE seen women that I wanted to rape, but she’s not one.

  5. Let’s work through the logic. says she’s been raped. A troll says: Have you seen her? That’s impossible!

Round up

Now that is a very nice use of the gif format.

I haven’t seen Alexander yet.  Katie called yesterday and she’ll call me when she’s ready to receive visitors at home.

This infographic on prayer made me alternately very uncomfortable and amused.  As an atheist, I can’t separate prayer from ‘wishing so hard that you’re practically grunting so that an imaginary being of its infinite kindness rearranges causality and the laws of physics for your personal benefit’.  As a church lady, I have to say I understand the benefit of GROUP prayer, which is a form of prosocial entrainment.  Personal prayer, the petitioning kind unencumbered by meditation or humility, is just plain gross.

Somebody on Reddit said that Gilbert Gottfried and Fran Drescher “should have children. The marines could use them to clear public areas.”

Stop motion parkour fight. I laughed out loud watching this.

The pet relationship is very important to humans and now of course we have the science to prove it.

Dealing with bullies changes with the technology. Professors deal with bad reviews.

Am I jealous because the last time I was catcalled I was 36?  No, it’s one of the best damned things about getting older.

Gosh, if only dealing with conspiracy nuts was this easy. Cause it really isn’t.

22 ways rapists hurt men

  1. They reduce the number of women interested in sex.  Then they blame women for not being available.  They drag you along for that ride.
  2. They damage women physically and sometimes give them long term health problems which your taxes help pay to ameliorate.
  3. They spread diseases.
  4. They make men who don’t rape look bad by association.
  5. They use men who don’t rape as camouflage.
  6. They can sometimes leave psychological damage resulting in some women have a hard time being open and honest about their sexuality.  Some women vomit, cry or go limp during consensual sex because they’ve been raped.  If they won’t tell you why, it can leave you devastated about your own sexuality.
  7. They are convinced that women deserve to be raped, and con younger men who look up to them into believing the same thing. That younger man could be you, your brother, your son.
  8. They mess with your reality, your life, your future and your trust by raping women you love and continuing to be your ‘friend’. THIS HAPPENS WAY MORE THAN MEN REALIZE.
  9. They are the men who invented the friendzone, and try to convince you that the way out of the friendzone is rape.
  10. They tell women you love that no-one will believe them as they rape them, with the end result that the women you love will lie to you about what’s happened to them, by omission.
  11. They hurt people and spread the blame across all men.
  12. They expect you to stick up for them if they are caught.
  13. They trick you into agreeing if they say she deserved it, so you can be reduced to their level of selfishness.
  14. They gloss over how much of rape is rape PLUS child abuse PLUS mental cruelty PLUS messing over the reproductive futures of the women they rape, and possibly, as a consequence, you.
  15. They honestly believe that what they are doing is merely ‘having sex’, ‘getting laid’; their inability to feel remorse or consequences mars the relationships between and among men.
  16. They prop up the notion that sex is something women have that men want, rather than sex being a continuum of desire / consent / ability / availability.
  17. They misuse science to prop up their belief systems and turn up the volume when they are repeatedly proven wrong, to the point that any evidence that rape is not a ‘natural state of affairs’ gets shouted down.
  18. They turn men who don’t rape into faceless villains.  It’s hard to be the hero in your own life when you’re the bad guy in literally thousands of other lives.
  19. They kill the ability to be sexually spontaneous in some women, one of whom may end up being your partner.
  20. They rape your sisters, daughters, mothers and friends.
  21. They kill discourse by threatening rape to women who say things that irritate or refute them.
  22. They make it possible for human trafficking for sexual slavery to occur by making rape part of the breaking in process, hurting every close family member of the victim.


for a callback

for the onset of a period of adjustment – I’ve finally bought my machine.

for inspiration about esthetics for sunday

for inspiration to make my comments on the minister’s Rite of Ordination

but despite the waiting there has been movement; I made supper for breakfast this morning; chops and fresh green beans and fresh brussels sprouts, quartered lengthwise, both steamed together, and quartered purple spuds done up in rosemary and garlic and salt like last time since they were a spectacular hit if the comments were any indication.  That you get to watch them disappear and get thanked for them… that’s rooted in the place happiness comes from.

and I have my machine.  It smells plasticky, but that is really hard to avoid.  There are a number of lovely features, preheated moistened air, a quiet period so you can sleep before it fires up and then just sleep through that part, really quiet fans, a really nice LONG and robust power cable for those times when you really have to string it aways across a floor and he gave me a good long walk through the features.  The mask I’m already used to; it is apparently a medium and covers both nose and mouth.  It’s of a milky silicone hue, and sensorily I must report with all gravity that it feels like somebody’s upended a little hovercraft over my face. Before I figured out how to seat it properly, there’d be blasts of icy cold air going across my eyebrows, evenly on both sides, until I (once again I am not exaggerating) thought my eyebrows were going to freeze in the act of fleeing as far up my forehead as they could fling themselves.

In other acts of random candor, I must report now in a spirit of feminist self criticism.

I recently started plucking my eyebrows so that about half their normal mass is now yielding before the first pair of tweezers I ever owned that was worth a docken.

I am pleased with the results and believe it makes me look, along with new stylish glasses, and a short neutral haircut, and me resting in the ammoniacal arms of Garnier number 60, reasonably well-kempt in a low key way.  I no longer care to wear contacts even though I own a relatively recent prescription pair; the capacity to wear makeup except in the context of a miracle play or other public event, or possibly dressing up for an awards show I got invited to by accident… I wouldn’t even wear makeup to my own wedding, were my life to break out in bizarreries of that nature; no creature who loved me would countenance it, let alone ask for it.

But I must now say that every ravaged follicle under both eyebrows rose up and said in one voice, as the arctic blast from my cpap mask chased my denuded brows into the heather, “Bet you wish you hadn’t plucked us now, you sellout!” I can’t say how much warmer I would have felt, but their ghostly cries interrupted my five minutes of thinking of this and that before I fall into my nightly ‘sleep’.

I’m amazed I remember that; my sleep is like a special case of amnesia, where all my bad memories go down dark hallways and get conveniently throttled, while all the sunshine and fireworks and gleaming new bicycles and a pair of pantyhose that lasted ten years lived.

My Mac died, and I’m sad.  I have another machine, so I’m happy.

There is a balance in everything. Sometimes you’re at the pivot point, and sometimes you’re hanging on for dear life off the end. Sometimes the only thing you care about, as you fly through the air frightened and alive and hyperaware, is that the right kind of music is playing.  That is the rather neurasthenic and precious point I find myself at, and I’ve tied myself into this wildly swinging rope in the hope that inertia reasserts itself and the rope quits moving soon. I have a sack of popcorn, a tarot deck and a small stringed instrument.



What kind of man are you, Robert?

Here’s the offending document, from Skepchick.

Here’s my response.


Dear Robert,

I was interested to read your email to skepchick.  I have a number of questions.  I am sure that your email box is full, so I’ll give you a couple of weeks to shovel your way out from under the uptick in mail volume to respond.  There is always the possibility you were pranked, so I am keeping my questions civil. Here they are.

Are you implying that your reaction to a woman’s appearance is more important than what she has to say on the subject of atheism?

Are you implying that because you do not like a woman’s appearance you have an obligation to ask her to stop commenting on atheism?

Are you implying that your personal preferences regarding a woman’s appearance should factor into whether she continues to make comments about atheism on youtube?

I ask to confirm that you were indeed serious.  If so, kindly direct me to your youtube account so I may critique your videos regarding atheism in the light of your personal appearance.  If you have none such, allow me to express disappointment, as the world of atheism would undoubtedly be better off with your contribution to it more readily accessible.  If you weren’t serious, please advise how I was supposed to know you were joking from the context of the email.

In the spiriit of tolerance and inquiry,

Allegra Sloman