dramatis coworkerae

Bart – the former CEO shaved his head and scared me with it (not what I remember), talked interestingly about poker (he plays top league)
Antonio, the former CFO (also shaved his head and made him look younger how the hell does that work)
Amanda Looking good!
Katie – didn’t talk to her
Klaus – No change. That smirk never dies.
Venu – So lovely to see him! He was always a sensible and hardworking individual.
Christine Three kids under ten and taking her masters GOOD GOD WOMAN
Dave D – such a happy guy. I’m following his parenting joys and hiccups on fb.
Haakon – lovely talk with him
Silvana – gave me job hunting pointers
Bert – He’s a brutally private person so let’s just say I was *really* happy to see him and I think he’s a goddamned trooper.

AND APPARENTLY A GABRIOLA CAMPING TRIP IS ON THE BOARDS FOR 2017. Or mebbe Tofino? Mike and I spoke to the Dalai Jarmo last Friday. HHHHHmmmmm they are running a B&B.

I guess it tells you something about what kind of place it was to work that literally fifteen years after we last all worked together we wanted to see each other again. At least two of the above noted people look younger and healthier than they did when I last worked with them, which just seems bizarre.

I had a really good time, and some lovely conversations with some great people.

I hope the surgery goes well today. Odds are it will all go slick.

Foggy Dew

Off to the Dew tonight for an old workplace gathering; Mike and I are going.

Today is a laundry and sweeping the garage and dishes and tidying kinda day. I have also been filing, throwing stuff out and I just realized that something I took out to mend is actually too threadbare to be successfully mended so into the bag went it, went it.

I light a candle for those people undergoing surgery – strength to them and wisdom to their surgeons and caregivers.

Covers for the first three books are done. I’m putting together a visual checklist for what has to be done regarding the rest and it’s really a lot.

The salmon of wisdom

Mike fed me and Jeff dinner last night. I branggg salad (with sunflower seeds, cranberries, avocado, olives, green onion, red onion, celery, iceberg lettuce, caulifower, snap peas and strawberries) and we had a lovely time chatting and watching videos and looking out at that freaking dismal weather which dumped more than an inch and half of rain in our neighbourhood yesterday. Bleugh.

Mike cooked mushroom risotto, a beautiful hunk of salmon, and stir fried bok choi. It was all absolutely splendid, and I sneakily doubled the salad so we have a nice fresh salad here, which I think will go very well with tuna.

Laura R. from church has made me covers for the books. I will be only to happy to pay her for the work, I think she did an amazing job.

Today I’m going to finish clearing up the living room and perhaps see if I can work on a sewing project if I’m feeling especially motivated.


After we went for a walk at the Quay (I sent mOm a pic)

Paul  @ New West Quay May 2016
Paul @ New West Quay May 2016

and Paul fed me a lovely meal at Original’s, we came back to Geekhaus and got my bike tires pumped up and then Paul volunteered to cut the grass, which was just wonderful. I thought well I can’t stand around sighing so I got out the weed whacker and took care of all the lawn bits that the mower can’t reach. Phew.

And my bike is now rideable and I got rid of the fuzzy mold growing at the bottom of one of the panniers (I wiped them both down with vinegar and let them dry in the sun.)

Today’s card is the seven of cups… profusion of choices!

Mike will be dropping by after work.

Rewatching Dark Matter. Marc Bendavid doesn’t annoy me as much this time and I love errybody else.

much fold many laundry

So yesterday I interacted with the church sibling who’s going to be doing the covers for my books (I’ve picked the art, she’ll do the pixel-shifting.) Google did not send a bunch of my attachments. I have an annoy, but not with her, she’s awesome, and prompt, and all that good stuff.

Downstairs bedroom is now ready for guests again. I still have laundry to haul upstairs but it’s all folded. I’ve matched all my socks and pitched the same grim solo socks that keep turning up like Banquo’s ghast.

Did you know Consumer Reports only charges $30 per year? and $6.95 for a month’s access? Jeff if you want to put a sub for that on the household account, please feel free. We are in the market for a breadmaker. After the success with the toaster…

The new Krups toaster is excellent and I’m wondering why we didn’t replace that big white half useless busted failure of industrial design and cleanability earlier. The Krups even has a bun warmer on top and it has a stop button, which is along the lines of “This new science amazes me.” We spent an additional $20 above the base model and I’m liking our choice a lot. Plus it’s SHINY. And takes up less COUNTER SPACE. See how easy it is to make me happy? and it turns out that Consumer Reports (we did it backwards) really likes Krups toasters.

Today I’m going to research engines for space vehicles.

A little late

Apart from feeding Ayesha and ingesting a lovely breakfast with Jeff at Coming Home, oh and there was some laundry in there, I did nothing today. Oh, I did recopy an essay. I’ve never posted it before. I wrote it in November 1998 when I was living in this house the first time.

It’s about Katie. I wrote it during my Artist’s Way course with June Swadron.


There is no grit like the grit of a pre-teen girl. It is a combination of testing her own power and mute ignorance, of not knowing what she is or is not capable of. When I look at my daughter, who turned ten this past week, I see the way she constantly flings herself at life, how she can be so serious and responsible one moment and so goofy and intemperate the next.

Already her downy skin contains a crone. Sometimes she is very patient and wise. Life has already taught her how to choke back fear and grief in case she upsets adults. There are times when things family members have done will make her cry in bed at night, and she won’t say anything for fear of offending.

We tried hard not to hide the good and bad things about adult life from her. I try to stay one step ahead of that agile brain. It’s hard to judge when you’re doing a good job, but every once in a while Kate will do something that will tell me that I’ve not done badly.

When her brother was home sick and I had to work, she kept him hydrated and gave him a wet washcloth and made sure he got some sleep. She’s amazingly sweet to her frail great grandmothers, and when one forgets who she is, she’ll say things like “I’m one of your descendants”, and then her ancestor will ruefully laugh and keep guessing. Katie has the strong stomach of a healer and the keen eye of a naturalist, always looking for something special and interesting on our walks, a western garter snake or a purple mushroom. She is very observant, when it suits her.

And when she decides she wants something or is going to do something, she’s able to show an unearthly tenacity. She has four different volunteer jobs at school. She monitors the kindergarten class during brief teacher absences, she is a library monitor, she’s a crossing guard and two weeks out of four she helps with the lunch program. The first time she described what it’s like on soup day she had me and Paul in hysterics, but she was as serious as anybody gets, talking about a bad day at work.

She didn’t do her math homework the other night and Mr. Tanner, her teacher, suspended her from serving on the lunch program. From her reaction you’d think WWIII had been declared. It was her intention to march into school the next day and tell him to jam it in his ass. Paul and I whipped around, and she smirked delicately at our expressions. “I won’t say it like that!” she said, “I’ll ask him to reconsider.” And he did, and she was reinstated the next day.
I think of the other times she has shown grit, as when, at the age of eight, she watched her beloved cat be anaesthetized to have her teeth cleaned and two extractions. The vet nearly said no. I told him, “This is not an ordinary eight year old girl,” and that I’d whip her out of there in a heartbeat if she caused him the least bit of trouble. She ended up helping the technician.

She shows her grit all kinds of ways, the way she defends her friends and her own rights, and reminds me, sometimes yelling and sometimes very quietly, when I am overstepping my authority. I hate it, but it’s part of my own growth, letting go in the right places and times. I do sometimes wish to be a domestic tyrant, and right now I am the stand in along with her dad for every authority figure who will ever try to injure her for her own good or dominate her for the sake of being able to. If she cannot defend and articulate her rights to me, how limited she’ll be when the big moments come.
They say in teen girls, the grit dies around 12-13 in the face of grim social pressures to ‘feminize’.
I want Katie to have grit forever, even if I have to get a bit ground up myself in the process.

Still feeling rather… you know. Sessile.

Some thing done

Yesterday, I mended three pairs of pants on the sewing machine, thank god, but see below.

Fended off a potential thief who walked up to our house and TRIED THE DOORKNOB without knocking or ringing the bell and then he walked away pretending not to speak English. Drove a truck, didn’t see a helper. On the off chance he was a legitimate housepainter who got shitty instructions I didn’t call the cops.

Made a ‘bead curtain’ out of huge wide multicoloured (purple and green) ribbons $2.75 from the Value Village that isn’t there any more. And man of all the things that have disappeared in the last while, that’s the thing that hurts the most. Plus something like 2 bucks for dowel I had lying around, and it wouldn’t have taken me so FUCKING LONG if I’d had the tension set correctly from the get go (I redid all the threading from beginning to end but the instructions for the critter are pretty bad) and believe me it would have taken longer if I hadn’t gotten it mostly where it needed to be previously and put it away before I killed someone.

Asked and got Jeff to make a mount for it so now we can leave the back door open without attracting the hordes of flying insects. Yay. I couldn’t handle spending any money on an insect curtain when I knew I had the stuff lying around, also I think I told Jeff I’d make it like eight months ago at least. And the day to do it is a nice cool one like this so it’s actually ready when the sun comes out again, which it will with intent quite soon.

Transferred the rest of the cat food into the bin. Loaded the dishwasher. Made coffee. Took my vitamin D and probiotic. Flossed my teeth. Put on deodorant. Brushed my hair.

LEFT THE HOUSE. Went to London Drugs and bought a toaster the same day our old one died and man does the new one smell plasticky, hoo-ee!

also personal care items for us both plus parsnip chips, we’d never seen them before and we like the brand, so screw it, and carrot chips too.

Had a nice chicken burger for lunch. Put away all the garbage and bags from the shopping tirp. Watched telly. Had one beer and will likely have another with supper, which will likely (again) be rigatoni bolognese which will likely (again) blow through my colon without touching the walls, so once again I pray with atheistic fervour (“sod Kegels, I want a miracle!”) for the strength of my pelvic floor.

two rants one post

Great moments in memery: Hong Kong authorities gluing down paving bricks in advance of arrival of Zhang Dejiang.

The article bringing me this information DID NOT tell me what Zhang does for the old National People’s Congress of China.

A quick scan of the internet shows he has all ten fingers inserted firmly in a nested set of large pies, including Hong Kong.

For whom Zhang Dejiang is the top official, full stop. “k guys let’s make sure top boss doesn’t get clarned.”

and this is why CNN and much of the MSM is so frikkin useless; news items are floating around in a context-free zone.


THE BELOW NOTED IS just me twirling my hair.

The best way to fight fascism is to fight shame.

That seems like a BSS – a broad, sweeping statement like my fOlks warned me about a long time ago. So first let me define my terms, and then take you on a little journey through my lazy, inept thinking, at the end of which you’ll wonder why you bothered.

By fight I mean resist, reverse and permanently disable.

By fascism, I mean any system of human organization which claims to put societal benefit first but can only seem to accomplish that benefit with tools including mandatory military service, state worship of the sanctity of marriage and every last one of its stultifying and inhumane and culturally sensitive strictures, institutionalized racism up to and including genocide, environmental destruction in the pursuit of military and economic strength to be able to enforce that societal benefit first (they are coming for our WayO’Life!), mass incarceration of religious, personal and political enemies, state religion, and militias composed of human beings who couldn’t otherwise be expected to find employment, given that a lot of them are violent sociopaths. By fascist I mean anybody who thinks these tools are great and is either using them now or plans to as soon as feasible.

By this definition the Canadian government isn’t fascist to me, but it is likely to be perceived that way by First Nations and other people of colour. So I’ve defined fascism so that it includes Daesh and the Third Reich without a hiccup, kinda includes Saudi Arabia and Israel and the US, only includes Canada if you’re on the pointy end of the stick and doesn’t include Iceland unless you’ve already granted civil rights to whales.

By shame, I’m not talking about the mass wave of public shaming that seems to have swept over the whole planet like a sickness. I’m talking about shame so deep, so personal, so unspoken, so unspeakable, that the person feeling it cuts it off, pastes it to an enemy, and then tries to kill that enemy.

If Hitler had taken his shame about his alcoholic father, his anger, fear and hatred of the crazy old female relative locked in the attic, the whispers about having a Jew for an ancestor (never borne out in law but certainly there was circumstantial evidence if you looked) and kept it to himself, he might have disappeared from history except as a valiant warrior in the Great War. Instead, one last and overarching civic shame, that touched every part of postwar life, so that he could go nowhere and do nothing without its influence, animated him into political life. The reparations forced by the allies made every part of him long for revenge. And as long as he was going to revenge himself, he might as well mercy-kill the weak, exterminate the verminous jews and cleanse the Aryan bloodline to expunge his own family history.

Let us think of a world in which that man was not ashamed.

So ashamed he had the energy to force the world to his will, or a damned big chunk of it.

That’s what I mean by, the best way to fight fascism is to fight shame.

Once you grant that there may be some truth in this broad sweeping statement, the question is, how do you fight shame? In modern culture you fend off shame by splitting it off, pasting it onto someone else, and then hating them to prevent the emotional load of actually naming it and healing from it.

Now suppose, for the sake of a good story, there already exists on this planet tools for dealing with shame, separate from the private and shameful meetings well-heeled and court-appointed folks have with mental health professionals.

And it’s in the rituals of expulsion and re-inclusion, which are part of the languages and folkways of indigenous peoples everywhere, that we will find it, not in our courts, and not in our public media contests, and not in the conscienceless babblings of our politicians. The justice system automatically others. Long practice of indigenous peoples is to draw people back in when they have done something injurious to public safety and morality, and to kick them out only if they prove to be an intractable problem. The drawing back in process is filled with ritual, and enables a space in which injury and restitution are heard and processed in a dignified and meaningful way, one that reinforces one’s sense of belonging to a group of people where all are honoured and shame can be lived down because the people you live with understand injury and restitution, without othering. You may be brought back in right relation with the world. It is hard, and for some offences, hard for everyone in the community. But the ability for human beings to live like that has been established. It is part of our way of being, had we but the language to speak of it. To make justice is the highest use of language, at least if you’re not young and trying to get some.

Of course there’s some major ‘don’t wear white shoes after Labour Day’ stuff in ritual, old and modern, indigenous and pagan; it’s not my intention to romanticize injurious or scientifically suspect beliefs or ones that are, to my atheist-raised heart, ludicrous on sight.

But I know that as well as being the innocent victims in the major, ongoing, genocide-inflected civil rights issue of language expungement, the languages of Turtle Island and the people who carry them are precious because they make a more human-scale and humane justice possible. English doesn’t have the capability, in its current form, to bend toward justice. Only a language untainted by two hundred years of having advertising plastered all over its public spaces could handle justice now; English has been cranked through history’s mill and emerged as the pander of capitalism and the thief of serious thought.

Perhaps I’m kicking English, my home away from home, a little too hard. I suppose we could have the kind of world that can properly deal with injury, shame, offence and forgiveness in English. It would be hard. We’d have to change our language, and that makes people very angry, and very anxious, and very afraid that the ghosts and demons of childhood indoctrination will get them. That is what people kick at when they kick at political correctness. They are fighting the fights of their parents, even though they are in the ground. They don’t want to be ashamed of their parents. That is what political correctness is asking them to do. Feel shame. We have no mechanism for dealing with it, no way to acknowledge fault and be re-accepted by our tribe. There is no ritual. There is merely English, with more holes in it than Clisson had when he reported to King Charles how he was doing: “Feebly, sire.”

Think for a moment of the kind of shame that Adolf Hitler experienced as a child, and how his injuries would have been addressed in a culture where justice is inclusive rather than othering. Where someone could have recognized his injuries at all. Where he could have gone to live with kinder people instead of the father who beat him, and away from the crazy old lady who screamed in the attic at night and frightened him. Where the rumour that he had Jewish ancestors wouldn’t have held any sting, nor the bastardy in his bloodline.

Tell me that I’m wrong when I say that the best way to fight fascism is to fight shame.

Laundry and housefilk

Got some laundry done. Some day it will all be put away.  In this case I had to put that load away because it was my bed sheets and duvet cover and I wanted to sleep.

Jeri Lynn and Jeff C were there, as well as Paul and Keith, so it was a small and intimate affair.

Paul IS SO ENJOYING his new eyeball.  Never met anybody quite so ebullient in his enthusiasms.

I did not in fact do any sewing yesterday as I promised mOm. All my effort was put into getting the damned machine set up properly, as apparently I hadn’t managed it.  Then I was so bummed out I put it away. Try again today.

Today Mike’s cooking me dinner. I have no idea what it will be except yummy. I’m going to be prepping something…. I defrosted some chuck.

850 words on a new story “The Invoice”

Mike invited me to the beach today and I can’t go because I have a housefilk to go to this afternoon.  I’m a bit choked candidly.  I’m thinking of my social life of late (“Ten percent of nothin’ is, let me do the math here… nothin’ and a nothin’, carry the nothin’… ” comes to mind) and of course two big events in one day. One involves carrying Otto down the Numberless Stairs of Ts’ats’lhm (like holy fuck, if that isn’t a fantasy story title of great white entitlement, since that is as far as I have determined to date the Skwomish name for Wreck) while I ask my guardian spirits to prevent me from having a) a dizzy spell b) leg cramps c) oopsydaisy trip and destroy Otto d) an encounter with a profoundly altered and antisocial half naked man when I’m finally RELAXED and who doesn’t know that I’ve promised myself that the next half naked fucked up guy who bugs me is going to get clownsprayed (see my twitter feed for what that’s all about) e) you get the idea


I can get a ride to Tom and Peggy’s and commune with a cheering proportion of my favourite filkers, although I’ll have to take my own beer.


Hafalda is Kima’s ‘approved name’ in Iceland. Half an hour of research yielded nothing closer to Benthesikyma, and now I’m rolling around in glosses of translations.

Saw Keith and Paul yesterday and went for a little walk in the neighbourhood.


later… found the reference.

xwayxway = Mask place = Lumbermans Arch. Elksn = Point of land = Point Grey. Ts’ats’lhm = cold place = Wreck Beach. P’e’kwcha = Flat back = Spanish Banks. kwekw7u’pay’ = Lots of wild crab apple trees = Locarno Beach. Uy’a’l’mexw = Good Land = Jericho Beach. i7iy’al’mexw = Good Camping Ground = Eastern Jericho Beach. xepxpay’em = Having red Cedar = Kits Beach.


One of my facebook friends may lose her house to a wildfire in Gold Bar WA. That’s a two hour drive away.  The future is yellow skies and ash.

It got bigger

I edited and added an interview with Michel to book III.

Yesterday was almost entirely taken up with helping Paul.  I also unplugged a restaurant toilet (it came pre-plugged) and helped a bunch of hard working nurses and techs avoid dealing with the mentally ill husband of one of the cataract patients (“Does your husband wear a hat? May I take you to him?” after I’d heard him screaming at the caregivers. They were abjectly grateful. srsly.).  My day-sign told me to be kind to everybody today and I really tried hard to do that, including being kind to me.

Paul on Ativan.  He’s basically a very cheerful fella, yanno? I could hear him chaffing with the doc and he unsterilized the sterile field and got a right talking to.

Then we couldn’t leave for 45 minutes because his BP was ludicrous. Calmed down nicely after a while.

He took me to LA Sushi for lunch, which happened around 4 pm. Then I walked home since, er, he couldn’t exactly drive. Although he offered to. Blind in one eye and cheerfully inflated with Ativan, no thanks I’ll walk.

I am disappointed on his behalf that brO is not getting his gaming weekend with his buddies and hope that the reason his friend bowed out is resolved soon.

I’m desperate to start writing again but I can’t find the chapter précis for the Midnight Moving book although I know it’s in my room, probably in one of these here boxes. I think I could probably reconstruct it and I probably should.

All those hand lettered brush fonts that look so cool now are going to be ghastly and sucky in five years.

I am TOTALLY IN WRITING WITHDRAWAL. And I want to work on XENOLEGUM instead of editing or working on what Jeff asked me to work on.  BANG HEAD HERE SUFFERING BASTARD.

Progress: cheat sheet slash glossary

I’ve made a start on the glossary Diane suggested I do. I am only just reading her comments on Sweep off those waves and I am somewhat downcast.

This morning I’m driving Paul to where he’s going to have his first cataract surgery. Stooging about hospitals, yay!!! All things being equal and this being the land of polite lineups we’ll probably be 5 hours total in transit and stooging. We did a dry run yesterday, and I’m glad we did, since we combined it with a visit to Al and Katie which was exceedingly pleasant and included visiting with all the furbabies (Toes & Tigger the kitties, who are sleek and Lizzie the dog, who is getting very old and itchy) and talking about canoeing.

After we went to Planet Bachelor, where Keith greeted us and we ate a very pleasant lunch.

I wrote another 200 words, but they don’t belong here, because they were essentially hate speech against someone who’s not capable of defending himself.

Ah, to be an ally and white is to learn to stop finding excuses to interrupt.



Day 1 post writing

Now that I’m not trying to grind out something to edit I have to do the following:

Get everything copy edited that hasn’t been.

Make final drafts of the edited manuscripts.

Make PDF versions of the final drafts for comments by beta readers.

Learn how to prepare e-books and turn all the books into e-books and test them quite thoroughly.

Prep the cover art in accordance with the requirements. (ISBN number etc etc.)

Figure out how to make a instant print file.

Continue to try to find an agent.

Yeah I’m going to be busy.