twangy box aka Rowena

Oldfud version: Allegra’s not writing fiction so she’s playing music instead. It’s annoying, but ok.


I buy new instruments to encourage me to hear music differently and write songs.

It’s working.

The twangy box now has a number of tunes to go with it.

One is “Form a Line (a protest song)”

One is “Elder Funeral Song”

One is “Horseback Song” <—- newest as of last night

One is “At the Aerie” <—- oldest – started working on it as soon as I got Rowena

One is a new version of an old instrumental “Grieg”

One is “I’m too cheerful for my pants”


The damned thing is virtually impossible to tune and the frets are in the wrong places. I shall check with a luthier. But I don’t care. When it’s close to being in tune, it’s a remarkably plangent and docile instrument and it doesn’t hurt me to play it. Otto, unfortunately, is putting my shoulder out of kilter when I play, and guitars are approaching impossible.


day before yesterday

Jeff heard Alex and Katie arrive so I went upstairs to greet them (the family door is the back door, the company door is the front door) and Margot of all things decided to join me in the formal greeting on the back deck and Alex zoomed up toward her and she, of course, made tracks.

We did the traditional “mama and zizi R getting coffee you must wait FIVE MINUTES before you get PINBALL”. Slow motion chase of Miss Margot ensued. Then he announces I AM PLAYING XENON FIRST. VVVVVVery cute.

We jumped on the bed (ALEX IS SO INSISTENT THAT I SING THE JUMPING ON THE BED SONG) and we went to the park and we played in the sand and I carried him and he weighed himself in Jeff’s room (still 32 pounds Jeff said. still 32 pounds Jeff said. still 32 pounds Jeff said). Like Keith at the same age he is CRAZY FOR GAUGES.

Then something truly remarkable happened. I have possibly mentioned my fondness for the Western Family branded Chicken Korma dinners OH MY THEY ARE TASTY and I nuked one up for myself while Alex was there. This was an extremely selfish and stupid thing for me to do but I was starving and Katie had already announced that they were going home for macaroni.

ALEX INSISTED ON EATING IT. And the thing about Alex is that he has two food settings “I don wanna” and “Human intake valve” so he motored through about two hundred calories of chicken korma (he insisted on feeding himself, which was like watching the candy droop in Mr. Hulot’s Holiday) despite the fact that it has, LIKE, SPICES IN IT in about, oh, I don’t know, maybe thirty seconds.

He ate Chicken Korma with enthusiasm and the toddler version of finesse.

Katie and I looked at each other trying to cattleate how far our gobs been smacked.

Then Katie called me and asked me to go to the pool, and going to the pool with Alex is wonderful, and he comments on everything, and it’s very civilized and funny and huggy.

After we picked up some dins and Katie took home a couple of Chicken Kormas. Just cause.

shit I’ve learned doing anti racism work on myself

  1. Referring to the rape victims of previous American presidents as ‘black slave mistresses’ makes the rape sound less rapey and more consensual. Please the fuck do not sit still for it.
  2. Yes I’m a racist. I have biases toward people of colour which I can only clearly understand and can frame when I take something like the Harvard Implicit Bias test. That said, I also hated certain European accents back when and assumed the worst of people who spoke with it when I was living in TO and it wasn’t until I had a Polish coworker (thank you Wieslaw) that I finally stopped being an ass about Polish people. The point is that I have some nuance about my own racism and bias. I try not to find it funny, because racism is a kind of social death, but I do make allowances and I don’t wander through the world failing to interrogate my bias. Your senses will deceive you, and your feelings even more. Gotta challenge those bastards
  3. Despite the protestations of some of my friends to the contrary, the language you choose around racism is important. It’s irresponsible to think my words can’t hurt people who are already disadvantaged. If your only disadvantage is that you don’t want to challenge your bias, I’m not going to be tender with your feelings.
  4. I’m still mad at AJR for saying that the personal isn’t political. How a secular Jew could say that blew my fucking mind. <—– bias. On my part. People from disadvantaged groups have more experience of the pointy end of racism and discrimination, but not necessarily the desire, capacity or time to speak eloquently about it. My ire with Alan’s political views had more to do with his refusal to see any sexism in his behaviour than any of his other problematic behaviours, which I could go on about at great length. I learned a great deal from him, but I must acknowledge that the desire to judge badmouth people for not being perfect exemplars of whatever political stripe they own is an ongoing sore trial in my heart and a facet of human behaviour that appears impossible to root out.
  5. There are a lot of statues that need to come down. Ten years ago I thought the statue of Lord Stanley was the best thing ever (because of the words written on the base.) Without understanding the implications of What and Where it was. Now that mofo needs to quit standing on Musqueam land.
  6. I’m a coward. I do not want to tell other white people what to think and I do not want to quote the ‘my black friend says’ and the last three times a white person used openly racist speech I sat like a goddamned idjit and said nothing.
  7. I no longer use Turtle Island black slang to the maximum extent possible. I try to ensure all of my humour codes white. “Ermagerd.”
  8. I no longer tone police angry BIPOC. I used to. Even like two years ago. Now I understand it for the social violence it is. I really, really really had to have my nose rubbed in this.
  9. I never ask BIPOC for an explanation of what they say any more. If there’s something I don’t understand I look it up, get context, and stay out of their mentions. (this means not replying to the BIPOC when I have questions because Black, Indian and Persons of Colour are not my magical mentors, they are human beings living in the world and they don’t owe me anything let alone a gold star for participation in what for me is an intellectual debate and for them is an existential threat)
  10. If I need to go slap a person upside the head for racism and sexism on social media – for the lulz, or for the grandmotherly kindness it represents, who the fuck cares – I talk to them and them alone. I do not drag the person of colour back into the debate looking for cookies about what a great ally I am. In the first place I’m NOT THE GREAT WHITE ALLY AND in the second place it’s harassing the wrong person.
  11. Nothing in the world looks the same and I fucking hate it. I’m crying as I type this. When I watch TV and it’s the stock magical negro warrior, or sassy black friend, or stone faced FN warrior in greasepaint, do-ragged felon, high-cheeked shaman in feathers and leathers, I see the blood in the gears of a finely meshed racist capitalism. I see the hushing of uppity women and the crushing of tender-hearted men. I see the eradication of humans in the desire to simplify life for lazy people. I see how any exploration of gender and class and race is compressed to soundbites and aphorisms; MLK quotes hang around the necks of confederate generals and there’s neither irony or history involved.
  12. speaking of history, white Canadians got a really ghastly, edited, racist, Christianized and genocidal version and finding something better isn’t easy


oldfud version: Who the hell knows what Allegra is angry about now. Hope she feels better, lancing that boil.

better weather

Keith, Paul and I went for a walk down at the Quay and picked up lunch (which was also dinner for me – two shrimp Pad Thais one each for me and Paul. They aren’t the ketchupy noodlescapes of ordinary, they’re like real Thai street food from Yellow Tail Kitchen. Keith got bbq brisket from Re-up and he got something for Jeff for takeout, and then we watched two episodes of the Expanse and one of Miss Fisher’s.  Very pleasant afternoon!

I also ran the dishwasher, which has started leaking again, and a load of laundry, and hacked away at various writing projects.

My will is 20 years old, I should probably revise it.

Huskies are work yall  Please do not buy a large, active, working dog without space and temperament for it!!! Huskies have a tremendous urge to be doing things and if you don’t run their asses off they get snappy.

writing agin

Really not surprised that a couple of days after the smoke dissipates I can finally feel comfy enough to write.

WIP 1 – Honey on the Moon <—- mostly

WIP 2 – Tarot for Atheists

WIP 3 – Earbuds

WIP 4 – The Dark Under the Door (ooh, horror genre, haven’t gone there)

WIP 5 – Why yes, I’m going to continue to work on the anti-racism curriculum.

Three destiel fics, using the tropes instant roommate, castmates, and doppelganger love/hate after Major Character Death.

I have found two SGA Rodney/Sheppard fics that I adore so much I’ve re-read them three times apiece. ADORABLE and HILARIOUS. One of them makes much comedic hay from a very very overused trope and I love it when something so tired can experience the inflationary glee of revival.

I found an SGA/SPN crossover fanfic that completely did not suck.

I am working on an NCIS LA/ POI crossover called ‘BAD DOGGY’. I’m never going to actually write it, because it’s mostly an excuse for bad obedience puns, but I suppose dragging Sameen Shaw and Kensi Blye into (that’s quite enough of that, ed.)


Katie emailed me looking for help on wording on an email about access to Alex as babydaddy is being a pisher about it.

Jeff started watching Mountain Men and I’m kinda enjoying it.

I made chocolate rice pudding, so that should tell you everything you need to know about my state of mind at the moment.

Brain melt

as requested short version: If I didn’t have any friends, I wouldn’t feel obliged to fight with any of them. PROBLEM SOLVED.

Allegra version: I don’t want to administer an ideological means test to my friends. Generally I don’t have to. Is it intellectual laziness or me being butt hurt that caused this problem? Why not both?? At times when you pick up the threads of a friendship that’s been dormant for years, you’ve changed too much to be a comfort to your friend any more. I’m old and I don’t bend. The responsibility for the rupture is mine. Perhaps it can be healed, but the implication was that with friends like me, he needs no enemies.  PROBLEM SOLVED.

Air quality is going to be good for the next 36 hours and passable after that. TIME FOR OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES. Paul is going to be field managing at the soaring club today and he hates it with a passion since he hates paperwork, but strapping the aircraft together is a nice non-controversial activity and he can get behind that. Then he’s going to be partying and picnicking, so lucky him and it will be a great weekend to do it.

I got a text message from Alex’s father yesterday that was an absolute masterpiece of finely honed masculinist special pleading. It was meticulously written, as if I had not experienced the last 15 years of him being a complete fucking brute to Katie, his mother, his siblings and common sense.  I blocked without responding, which is kinda how things are going in my life right now. I’ve already forwarded it to Katie.

All of his choices appear to be based on making Katie feel bad and not parenting his son; now comes the time to say tell it to the judge and nothing else.


second of two

I’m really pissed off about John dying. Most days I’m sad. Around the time he died, and during Worldcon, and FilkOntario and Conflikt, I get an extra specially crispy toasted feeling of pain, grief, loss and anger.

Words cannot describe and will never be able to describe how angry I am about the restaurant. The money lost was inconvenient. The damage to my relationship with Katie is, FOUR YEARS ON only beginning to be repaired, whatever you may think of our surface interactions.  The damage I took to my idea that I’m a competent individual pretty much destroyed my life until I was desperate enough to start writing in earnest. I suppose I should be thankful for that, but the pain and the misery and the feeling that I want to be ill every time I drive by the old place is horrible.

I’m pissed at Paul for suggesting that we all move to the Island. (I got all excited, we could move as a family unit with kids and grand to Courtenay, blah blah. ) When I asked him if Janice or the soaring club knew about that, he said no, which meant that moving to the Island as an idea has reset to zero, since he’s not going to reduce the amount of time he spends with Janice (nor at this point would I want him to), he no longer flies alone (that was an interesting and candidly heartening piece of news), and there’s no soaring club on the Island. We all got briefly excited for nothing. piss me off.

I’m pissed at the landpeers for thinking that attaching the awning to the deck with poly cord is something worse than our nightmarishly slippery demonic hellslide of a front stoop. And not doing anywot about the roof, which can’t possible go more than another year in its current state of rot and that mofo better not come down over the server.

I’m pissed at Justin Trudeau, but I guess I don’t need to fill that in.

I’m being pretty much beyond, over and far past the line of being pissed off about Trump and his cronies, and now it’s just boredom mixed with terror, cause this is war.

I’m pissed off about…. damn. I’m done.

first of two

This is the first post today. I am up. I have had coffee. I am contemplating the sea of options and being irritated.

I read an article about how when you’re depressed counting your blessings is dopey. Count the things you’re pissed off about instead. RECLAIM YER RAGE.

Except I’m s’posed to keep my blood pressure down, you know, just on general principles.

Walked again in Oakalla. Saw cheerful people walking who were willing to talk to Paul, which never happens. Then back to his place for singing and playing and a lovely convo with Katie. Obliviously I ain’t talking about the next stage in the liberation, but the email I send (will send) the fOlks will likely be happy making.


longer walk

Paul and I went for a lovely (mostly in the shade, so we didn’t go up the hill) walk at Oakalla (which Katie spells Ocala, which makes me laugh). While we were there we saw a badly proportioned slap fight between a kind of wasp I haven’t seen before and could not subsequently identify and a kind of ant I didn’t identify.

The wasp was more or less minding its own business and scraping up moistened dirt, presumably for nest building activities, while an ant located it and started attacking the wasp. This it accomplished by running up to the wasp’s thorax at full fucking chat and booting it in the non-equivalent of the ribs. I saw it happen about eight times, Paul about three.  It was thrilling, and frankly hilarious, because the wasp outweighs the ant by about 20 to 1, and yet the ant gave much better than he got.

Dishwasher’s running. It wasn’t quite full but if you wait too long you have no coffee cups, so there.

I am feeling a little less messed up today, we shall see. I do manage to practice on the twangy box every day.

brief walk

Walked over to the 7/11 to get cream for my coffee and a small treat for Jeff. Walked at Lougheed Mall yesterday with Paul since the heat and air quality were not great. Air quality is going to suck for the next little while.

My gumption machine is broken.