this space for rent (or rant)

Erk.

Anyway, Katie and I plan to haul the squirming evidence of my parents’ reproductive fitness to Victoria at some point in the next two weeks. But wehn??? weeeehn? is the issue at hand. There will be much discussion I’m sure.

I am writing between 2500 an’ 5000 words a day of fanfic. There, I said it. I should be ashamed of myself. Instead, I am viewing it as how the difficult gets out. I have a lot of difficult. It’s rather abundant. This is draining it, somewhat. It’s also a very high order of pantsing, and I’m liking that too. People are telling me they enjoy it, and I’m tired of writing very hard and not getting cookies. There, I said that too. There are good and bad physical consequences to writing fanfic. There, I said that too.

I’ve seen the dentist. My front tooth is fine. If I have leaky fillings, that’s not where they are. MOar dentrification in August.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about lately (along with Marxism, the second and hopefully final resignation of Christy Clark, twitter statistics, coffee and do I have enough cream, laundry — hey I WASHED AND REPLACED THE LINENS on the downstairs bed may I have a cookie please — my will, my finances, how when I called Paul’s second Echo, which is Katie’s car now, her ‘sanity machine’ she agreed with me – my daughter’s negotiations with the whining necrotic skintag who quite against all expectation — ed that’s quite enough of that — how pleased I am with the last tweezers I bought for the one piece of performative heteronormativity I do, which is pluck my eyebrows, how I only seem to be able to manage one hard thing a day these days — which is not sufficient to help save the world — and how on fucking earth I’m going to keep a fresh smell in the washing machine — because it sits with a bunch of water in it all the time and it gets funky like, all the goddamned time, and now I have to add to my list of things to do hosing it down with vinegar at least once a fucking month, o joy — and how I’m supposed to cope with the large piece of furniture that magickally appeared in my living room, and Joe of all people suggested what, and why I’m such a lazy disorganized sod, and how mango lassi is almost but not entirely proof there’s a God, and where we should buy land in northern BC to try and deal with a place to live during climate change, and how the landpeer is really nice but, wow, not exactly bumping fists with the laws of physics, and how Tom Hiddleston is just heart-jumpingly sexy) is the shape of family.

The shape changes. And when the shape changes we get a change to chance ourselves.

various

Lovely not long enough but I was falling asleep conversation with D last night. Three lines are a good days’ work for him so you can imagine that I have to use a different granularity for comparing output, not that writers ever do that.

Left messages for various other people; Tam-tam is gonna call later. Got in touch with Katie, who showed up bearing two pairs OF EXCEEDINGLY COMFORTABLE PANTS (I don’t know if they’re a dead woman’s pants so DON’T ASK ME) and Alex. Alex is so so so so  so    so        so

very cute.

Today is a day that I shall cherish in memory, for today is the day that Alex learned how to use both flippers on the Bally Star Trek TOS pinball.

I have started asking for comments on Ao3, and I have gotten them. I write sparkly dialogue, who the hell knew?  Jeff is thinking “I can’t even understand her half the time and the other half of the time she grunts and waves her arms to communicate so this sparkly dialogue bit is …. nope.”

 

Happiness

We (Jeff Mike and I) had a lovely meal last night at Taverna Greka, and then went to Rogers Area for the Dylan show. Here’s the setlist.

Let’s just say Mike did not expect to hear Bob Dylan sing Tangled up in Blue and Blowin’ in the Wind on his 50th birthday. Spent the night and got back around two, Mike cooked brekky. We watched the world go by from the balcony at the Aerie and all was good.

I was entirely blown away. Great concert great sound great venue.

Katie is back home safe. Haven’t seen her yet. Paul and Keith here for a couple of Expanse episodes.

I’m really happy right now. It won’t last, which is why I’m enjoying it so much.

Hanging out and memories of Mike aetat 50

Hung out most of the weekend with Mike, and now he’s on vacay this week. (Basically he woke up from his partay solidly the worse for wear and even though I drank pretty much continuously from one o’clock on that day I was not hungover, at least not painfully so, so the first order of business was to get Phở and nap in the sunshine like capybaras.)

He cooked me a couple of meals; brekky yesterday was the best goddamned farmer’s sausage I ever et plus eggs and toast and a latte; dinner the night before was cold soba with chicken and steak cubes with bok choi and enough garlic to make shit levitate. It was all really, really good.

Like the asshole friend I am I recorded Jim, Mike and I attempting to sing Acadian Driftwood during the party while we were drunk and I played it for Mike the next day sober; it had the desired emotional effect, which was horrified horror and childish gales of laughter. Believe me, I didn’t come off well. AT ALL. Couldn’t remember lyrics, held notes too long, it was like a speshul kinda agony.

In a less asshole-like fashion I tried to put together a list of top ten Mike moments since I first started hanging with him in 1997 – yes it has been that long – and while I can’t share all of them –

  • The time he slipped on an icy walkway on the way to his hot tub, which at the time was set up in Jarmo’s yard, and not only did he spring up again in a fashion so untoward that the laws of physics got a black eye, he didn’t spill a drop of his wine. Honestly… if I hadn’t seen it, I woulda called bs.
  • The time he broke about a hundred light sticks and smeared them all over a Tyvek suit and went walking around the Lantern Festival. Like a multicoloured glowing stain.  Right. It didn’t last but it was amazing.
  • The time the fam had been hot-tubbing at Mike’s old place across from Trout Lake and I couldn’t find my undies when it came time to change and he deposited them on my desk the next morning in front of scandalized coworkers. so.funny  god I smirk every time I think of that….
  • The time we and the fam were walking back from the hot springs at Ahousat and Mike slipped and came off the walkway and came (I’m not exaggerating) perhaps ten centimetres from impaling himself through the heart on some cleared brush. For years he would show the double hole in his fleece jacket with a laugh until it finally got too tatty and he threw it out.
  • The big one, the one that sits parked at the top of the ‘everything Mike means’ pile, how he took me in for a day three days after John died and reminded me that even if John was dead I wasn’t; he tended me (literally, with a spa treatment and 90 minutes of extremely required massage) and was continuously and quietly sweet to me at a time when I needed love and support like I rarely have.
  • Mike doing the Surrey Macarena at a party and me laughing too hard for civility. If you know me, it’s a constant fricking trial how hard and loud I laugh.

Mike and I and Jeff are going to see Dylan tonight.

Daysign card is Death. I guess it rally *is* time to clean my room and do the prep so Jeff can post Upsun.

 

partay

attendees Trent, Jim, Hal (and his spectacular gluten free southern style peach cobbler which was outeffinstanding, Cassidy, Joe (and his SPITBALL GUN), Jean, Keith and Paul. Not everybody was there all the time. The sun came out after a grey day, when things got underway.

It was lovely. Eat Drink Talk Laugh. Finally everybody left except me Mike and Jim, and we sang and played, and then Jim got a mischievous look and we sang my partay song “An Evening of Serious Drinking” and then I crashed. Mike’s sleeping in the basement.

The outside is tidied already; the inside shouldn’t take too long. Keith volunteered to help clean up today, isn’t that sweet of him? Anyway, today looks wonderful.

So in rant

It’s four-something in the morning, a little note.

 

The day sign is the Ten of Pentacles. Little happy dance. In a minute the shoving of the furniture for the party will commence. I have to make a list.

Looking forward to seeing the folks tonight!

Alex

Katie and Alex and Paul are off to Edmonton. I hope she has a healing trip and much laughter and fun with her friend Julie.

Keith said that he’s never been happier, since Alex moved in.

Katie and Keith are getting along really well. Paul’s in his glory.

This is my new favourite picture.

I’ve put on ten pounds since I stopped working. Time to run around a bit more.

Emendation and improvement

I feel much better. Seeing Alex (his little head on my lap as he watches tv; his busy little feet as he crashes his ‘car’ into various objects in his Poppa’s back yard) makes me unreasonably happy. Seeing Katie getting ready to go visit a friend in Edmonton for a week. Hearing Keith say that he’s never been this happy in his adult life (after having a toddler move in with him, what does that say to you). Hearing Katie say “Notice how clean the place is” and me giggling.

Things that hurt quit hurting. Seeing Katie happy.  Something’s been missing for ten years.

Seeing Keith and Katie so mutually supportive. I’m crying on the inside, because you never know, right?

Sunrise at the Aerie yesterday – I should have been writing or editing and played computer games instead, lazy sod. Lovely lunch at Mr. Ho. Very lazy day, apart from the walk to see the kids (Paul’s in Seattle).  I think now my tank is filled back up I can work.

 

blah

wrote about 150 words yesterday, did a couple of loads of laundry and ran the dishwasher and went for a walk and did a small shop but other than that it was kind of a nothingburger day

Deer Lake Park is beautiful as always, but I cannot seem to shake the brown study.

I need to go for another walk… the walls are not my friends right now.

Rectify

This truly remarkable show – which Jeff and I are kinda binge-watching at the moment – is a love-letter, low-key and kind and intelligent, to nuance.

A man is imprisoned for 20 years for a crime he did not commit. He comes back to the small town in Georgia he grew up in, and everyone in town and all of his family are affected by what happens.

Everybody in the show, whether you first see them as a saint or a sinner, turns out to be more *complicated*. The dialogue is like following a butterfly alighting on various bushes as it dances in the sunlight. Truly exceptional.

Ray McKinnon, who played the preacher with the brain tumour in Deadwood, is the show creator. A special call out to Adelaide Clemens as Tawney Talbot, Aden Young as the star (playing Daniel Holden), J. Smith-Cameron as Janet, Daniel’s mother, and Bruce McKinnon as Ted Sr., one of the best played “anything you say dear” middle aged married men I have ever seen. We’re talkin’ subtle, folks.

When it’s funny – and the humour is almost all kindly and situational – it’s clever and funny. And when it’s sad, you feel it.  It’s so unpredictable, and yet after a while you get a feel for what’s going to happen next….

 

On another note, D just emailed me a do it yourself mix tape. Life’s good. And if you follow the whole Supernatural #destiel thang you know why this is so very wonderful.

 

long and hard

go give your dirty mind a bath as one of Leon Uris’ characters once remarked. I am going to have to have a painful and hopefully brief convo with a non-family member about a matter which will impact, uh, stuff that’s impactful. It’ll probably go better than I imagine will be case at the moment but I hate conflict of any kind and that’s why my bed seems like such a particularly lovely spot to park. A lot. Mind you I can write and make phone calls in bed so maybe it’s not so bad? I don’t know. I’m feeling it and hating it and wish I could be over doing it and dealing with the outcome, even if it’s –

what?

What would happen if this person stopped speaking to me? I voluntarily stopped speaking to somebody this past week and I felt terrible about it (briefly – let me be clear – briefly.) But if THIS PERSON stopped speaking to me I’d turn my face to the wall for a couple of days.

And then I’d get up and be nicer to the people I had left. I guess that’s all I could do. I just can’t. I can’t do that conversation right now.  I’m happy right now and I want to stay that way for a while. Editing with Jeff was FUN I LOVED IT.

white and precious

There were three people of colour in that room yesterday. All the presenters were white, and all of them were women. Festivities opened with an acknowledgment of Musqueam land.

They mentioned the UBC MFA program about a hundred times, as if it was some kind of talisman for getting a book advance.  On the basis of what I see regarding Canadian publishing, they may fucking well be right.

There was some good advice and parts were interesting, but it was almost completely and nearly totally an expensive waste of time with 1.5 hours of transit on either end.

It seems obvious the traditional pipelines for books and publishing are collapsing slash drying up.

I’m still going to try to find an agent, but honestly I have even less faith in that now than I did before.  Upsun is too niche.  I know it and I’m going to suck it up. Nothing happened in that room to make me want to stop writing.

a day

Crashed at Mike’s Friday; dinner was leftovers given the Mike spin and it was really really tasty; breakfast, which was closer to lunch, was mixed veggies at Mr. Ho (we walked, and that was wonderful.) It was a really glorious day.

Henleys are great but they tend to be warm. I’m thinking of customizing the two I bought to make them more form fitting and buying mediums in future.

When we got to Desi Turka for Keith’s birthday celebration, we were shy Keith’s boss, Jeff and Mike, all of whom had other plans, so it was just the five of us.  I love interacting with Alex.  He says the most hilarious things and he’s an affectionate little dickens.  I asked him (when I took him for a run so his mama could eat) if he wanted to watch the car wash and he said yes. The woman washing her car in the stall I had him perched in front of burst out laughing when she saw his little face over the concrete wall.

Today I’m here.

So probably not much writing.