I made an art yesterday!

This is to describe the rhodopsin visuals.  There are two tricky things about the painting.  One is that I used fabric paint, and the other is that the centre colour, this sickly orangey yellow, has both copper and glow in the dark paint in it.  Hopefully it will look very odd if you come upon it in the middle of the night.  I decided to leave the teal parentheses out, as they would actually be very hard to render on top of this lumpy paint, and I already like the effect.



Church at the beach

Well, I took those 478 steps yesterday to Wreck.  When Mike and I got there, there was an immense fog blowing across Marine Dr.  For maybe thirty seconds we debated going down to the beach, as it appeared a breezy and clammy time was to be had, but by three o’clock the fog had moved across the inlet where it formed an amorphous but solid appearing wall, 15 stories high.

There were alcohol and food vendors there and no cops.  I got a little singed but the sun wasn’t very fierce. Mike brought his Taylor and I brought Otto, and we sang and played, Dylan and other gods and goddesses.  There was a very light breeze and all in all it was very very pleasant.

We took it easy going up the stairs.  I concentrated on breathing and body mechanics to ensure that I didn’t strain anything.  I got home and because I am no fool I showered and changed before bed; that beach at the end of the season is like a very scratchy petri dish.

Damn, it was nice. I tripped on rhodopsin for a while, experiencing that wonderful progression of colours and geometry that happens when you stare at the sun with your eyes closed for at least ten minutes and then cover your eyes.  First, your visual field goes an inky, depthless black.  Then purple, a colour so strong and overwhelming that you gasp as it comes on, fills from the centre to the periphery. Then the centre turns a malignant orangey copper, and from that springs a deep magenta, so it looks like a pop art eye. Expanding out from the magenta is that same inky depthless darkness, now almost deep blue, with teal semi circles radiating out from that centre.  Very gradually, everything turns a pale silvery green; then brittle diamond shaped lozenges of fiery orange, yellow and red, march up and down your visual field like the very finest mushroom high. Unlike every other time I’ve done this, the colour progression repeated thrice before the last of the visual effects died off (obviously nowhere near as strong, but it was interesting to look at even as attentuated as it was). As always, I feel as strong as Jack the Bear after I do that, and I am much refreshed both mentally and physically.

A week or so ago I listened via NPR to the new Leonard Cohen album, so his voice was still in my head when I was in the shower last night.  Michel, one of the characters in the novel, still didn’t have a song, so I was thinking… Michel lived in Montréal for years, maybe a song in the style of Leonard Cohen?  Michel is staying in town simply and solely to get his mitts on Kima, so I thought ….  (and this is not a song a Sixer would ever write.  They do not infantilize lovers; they don’t smile, they don’t wear hats.  So this is what happens when pop culture gets through with Michel.  In real life, he’d say nothing, sing nothing, present her with nothing except himself.)


I just might stick around, baby

I just might stick around

Normally after a week I see

Nothing new in town

A light is glowing in your eyes

My very breath is bound

I just might stick around, baby

Maybe I’ll stick around

If you didn’t know you were special, baby

If you didn’t know you’re great

I’d hop a freight, jump aboard a freighter

Tip my hat, say see ya later

But no one else has quite your style

Not your figure, nor your smile

Yes there’s something new in town

I just might stick around


Once there was a man who when his girlfriend was moving out had to wait another week because the elevator broke.

Then the truck broke down.

SRSLY.  WTF.   For a while there we thought maybe this move wouldn’t happen, but after about 6 hours the truck magically appeared.

Anyway, Mike and I had already run away to the Paddlewheeler Pub during Fraser Fest and people watched and ate snax and drank beer.  We went back to his place and met up with the ex and it was reasonably civilized (I left the room).

I have absolutely no tolerance for fun anymore, I came home and collapsed. Now it’s three in the morning and I’m awake.  Heavy sigh.

Don’t expect much out of me in the next little while.  I’m axtually gonna read Piketty’s Capital in the 21st C because apparently you’re nobody until you do. It’s a doorstop.

More family visiting

Last night Leo and Linda feasted us at Balkan House; the server tried to get us to eat dessert and we’re all looking appalled and Linda said, “None of us finished dinner” and we got leftovers. Then Jeff walked home, not feeling too great,  (we had all walked there, it being quite manageable) and Leo and Linda and I proceeded on foot to Planet Bachelor, where we caught up with Katie and Ayesha while waiting for the Bachelor Brothers to return home.  Keith arrived first and Paul arrived quite late (late arrival AGAIN just like what happened for his birthday) and we had a nice visit. By ten pm I was so tired I was toothpicking and practically snoring against Katie’s shoulder, but Paul was giving Katie a ride home anyway, so I did not actually have to walk home.  What a relief, I was pretty torpid at that point, but I did get in 2.8 k of walking.

Leo and Linda visited the motherhouse of the Daoist Tai Chi society yesterday, so not only did they have exercise in the morning, they walked for yonks down at the Quay and then walked that additional 2.8 k… so I think “Not Slowing Down Just Because First Grandchild, Thanks” pretty much describes it.

The folks had lots of fun at the Quay, which is an interesting place to spot boats and whatnot.

Now Leo is making Finn Pancakes and bacon, and coffee’s dripping.  They will be heading out later this morning.  I really really hope that their flight isn’t affected by the meshuggas in Chicago this morning, where a deliberately set fire in the ATC utility room is causing chaos across the US.


It’s always interesting to go for a walk in the neighbourhood with somebody who’s never been around the ‘hood.  I look at gardens and cars mostly.  Leo took a gorgeous cloud pic which you may be able to see here.

Tonight we’ll head over to Planet Bachelor to catch up with Paul and Keith and Katie, after supper.  Keith and Paul don’t get home until late so we’ll have to eat first.

Jeff barbecued a salmon yesterday for us.  I tried to set the veggies on fire but managed to extract them just before the moment the burning pot smell would have gotten into it (I forgot to turn it down from HI).  Jeff mournfully noted that I was in the process of destroying all his kitchen equipment; all other things being equal I’ll buy him replacement items at Sears if and when we break up our household, because I kind of have.

It is so wonderful that the folks and kinder are enjoying this phase of their lives (well that granddaughter is so sweet…).  They are off to Tai Chi this morning.  Leo, aware that parking can be the pits, carefully plotted the route and determined where to park.  You’d think it would be easy enough to just drive down the Kingsway, but no.  Vancouver is not a fun place to drive around.

Linda and Leo are here!

They arrived yesterday evening.  We had slideshows, conversation and pizza.

I hope to get some of Leo’s pics to post here, as some of them are quite stunning.  They took a tour of Meares Island which sounds amazing and produced some memorable images.  Definitely worth it.

Of course, they’ve had most clement weather so far; the instant they get here the skies open and the wind starts to blow.

Later today we will get some foodicles.

Unsettled arguments

Porn has permanently altered the relationship between men and women in North America.

Jeff is under the impression that research (most of this is non scientific precis) here, here, here, here, here, (showing how public health problems arise from porn familiarization) here, and here, (part of this research is more about how young women are affected by partners’ porn use) and cultural commentary like this is of no consequence.  My observation that men are experiencing sexual dysfunction in eyebrow raising numbers and women are being forced to emulate porn stars just to keep the interest of their partners is dismissed by Jeff as anecdotal.

If it wasn’t for porn, why have stats on word frequency for certain sex acts skyrocketed in the last thirty years?  If it wasn’t for porn, why would Brazilians be so popular?  If it wasn’t for porn why would women and men my kids’ age tell me about how porn and hookup culture have come winnowing through their lives like tornados, leaving busted relationships, shame, sexual dysfunction and very bad vibes in their wakes?  And let’s not forget the contribution of porn to misogyny.  Some poor schmucks watched their way through a lot of contemporary porn, and 90% of the sex acts depicted had the men verbally or physically or sexually abusing the women while the women either stayed blank or appeared to enjoy it.  Young men are often (and yes, anecdotally) surprised when the women they have sex with object to having their faces ejaculated on, or don’t want to have unprotected anal on the first date.  You can say this is poor socialization.  I think it’s porn. Porn changes behaviour.  Monkey see, monkey do.  Monkey do, monkey think.

Let’s get our feet under us, shall we?

I am a pro porn feminist.  I like and consume some forms of porn, and have publicly discussed my porn preferences on this blog, although it was a while back.  There is evidence to suggest that porn availability has dropped the rape stats; that legalization of child pornography decreases child sexual abuse; that pornography can be liberating, enjoyable and a perfectly fun part of whatever the hell it is that passes for a normal sex life in these parlous times.

I do think there is enough evidence to suggest that the inescapability of porn is harming the brains and manners of young people, and that an activity that’s really designed for adult brains is injuring young ones.  I’m not going to try to ban it or bag at the people who make it.  I am going to say that we are, as a culture, participating in a large scale uncontrolled social experiment about the effects of porn, and I predict the long term results for the sexual health of a hefty percentage of Canadians is going to be really, really shitty.

Jeff, given that your contention that porn isn’t a problem for men’s sexual health, would you care to provide the evidence that supports this?


1. Chocolate cake.  Wish we could find Granny’s recipe.  Sifting cake flour for the recipe I use makes verra nice results.

2. Sole, boiled corn on the cob and fresh steamed organic carrots for dinner.

3. Leo and Linda will be here today!

4. Paul took me for a walk in Oakalla yesterday.  We heard green frogs call, and saw bush tits and flickers and a towhee.

5. Still feeling all the feels from our nice afternoon sitting on the deck with Mike.

6. Katie emailed me pics of her two latest paintings. Wow!

7. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have people get out of their cars to yell at you for giving them the wrong GPS coordinates, but that’s what Sandra has to deal with. There is something really fucked up about how GPS handles her location data; but I can assure you SHE knows where she is.  She has made many fine and accurate comments about the map reading abilities of post smartphone people.  At this point the swift death of the human race is the only fix.

8.  The teacher’s strike is over.  I dislike Christy Clark.

9.  Not a single American TV network covered the climate change march even though hundreds of thousands of people attended in New York.  Of course the real existential threat will probably come from another direction since fate is such a witty mofo, but even so.

10.  I am thinking of putting together an Orphans’ Thanksgiving.  I am putting it out there that Katie’s going to go long, but I don’t think I’ll tell her that because she’s ready for the balloon to go up ANY DAY NOW.  Her tummy is itchy and the damned stretch marks.  I remember feeling very put out by them, but it’s a family trait, both sides of the family….


Lighter hearts

Listen children and let me tell you a story.


Once upon a time there was a man who loved a woman but didn’t want to live with her.  She was okay with that.  She had to move and at the last minute the landlord said no and at the last minute she had to make arrangements to move in with the man who didn’t want to live with her.  They lived together for years.  Their love ended.  Their living arrangement did not.  Six months went by.  The woman made arrangements to move into a shelter because she figured out that accusing a man of being abusive would move her up an intake list.  She called movers.  The day was set.

The elevator broke.

The man looked out across his life and wondered why despite all his rationality he believed that this event wasn’t random. Couldn’t be random.



Mike, Keith, Kate, Jeff and I got together yesterday.  Keith put too much pressure on one part of the hammock and it split.  We congratulated him on taking one for the team, because if it had broken when Katie was it in we all would have been very sadface, although an eight months’ pregnant woman would not get in a hammock.  Keith was uninjured.  Mike demonstrated yoga.  Keith rode off in search of beer.  I massaged Katie’s feet.  We mostly stayed on the back deck, as brilliant afternoon turned into brilliant evening.  Keith rode home after dusk; Mike drove home; I put Katie in a cab.  We ordered pizza and talked and were together and laughed.

So blessed.  I told Mike that we’re part of his tribe.


Chris O’Shea, filker, is responsible for this charming instafilk.


“I woke up ever so slightly later this morning …
… And I was feeling ever so slightly more blue.
Yes I woke up ever so slightly later this morning…
… and I was feeling ever so slightly more blue.
Hard to tell the difference from yesterday.
I’m sufferin’ from the Delta Blues.”

The Pirate’s to do List

It’s talk like a Pirate Day!


THE PIRATE’S TO DO LIST (For Talk Like A Pirate Day, Sept 19)

I’ve heard that there’s an island full of sugar cane for rum
My reputation goes before But I have never come
I have heard that there is a market fair where gold is flowing free-ee
And it’s on my list of things to do
and I’ll get there eventually
I will get there
I will get there
I will get there eventually
It’s on my list of things to do
& I’ll get there eventually.

I’ve heard that there’s a convent school of lasses of fourteen
The men speak of it oftentimes but I have never been
I have heard their beauty dismays the sun
& jealous is the queen
And it’s on my list
of things to do

I’ve heard there’s a ferocious beast
that lurks among the reefs
whose tears (if you can make it cry)
will cure all ills and griefs
I have told the crew that it’s just not true
but they stick to their beliefs
and they stuck it on my to do list
and I’ll get there eventually etc

I’ve heard that there’s a hidden spring
A bubbling font of youth
The men go on like anything
as if it is the truth
I tell them please don’t buy maps and keys
from a fortuneteller’s booth
They can swim there for all I care
And they’ll get there eventually
they will get there they will get there
they will get there eventually
They can swim there for all I care
And they’ll get there eventually

Cristy’l ball

From 9/17/2004.

Allegra predicts the future.


I see Christy Clark is off to look after her 3 year old son Hamish. I think she’s off to look after Christy Clark, personally. Christy Clark, for those of you who don’t follow BC politics, is the deputy premier and generally considered one of the sharpest (in a political sense) of Gordo’s Merry Band of Troughlickers. She’s been stuck in the McFamilies portfolio with no hope of parole and has said so in public, so you know she’s choked.

So supposing you’re young, and well-connected, and energetic, and you’re hanging around with a bunch of guys who hate women and are too smart to say so in public? And your connections tell you something entertaining – get the f*ck out of cabinet beFORE scandals that will permanently taint you come rolling out of the Basi investigations? She hit a convergence – all the motivation in the world and a keen understanding of her life span as a politician – and she’ll be back in politics in a few years as the familiar-but-fresh-faced, has her priorities straight, untainted by scandal small-l liberal to prop the party up after Gordo’s gotten too smelly to approach. Mark my words, Christy Clark will be Premier during the 2010 Olympics. If that isn’t what she’s planning, I’ll eat something leathery; and I was going to put something rude in here, but my lawyer said it was a bad idea, although within the bounds of satire. Had something to do with Dick Clark.