In the box at the new confessional

I like stories set in bars because I can smell them. I sit on the train pretending I’m going to work and I can smell the cheap lemon soap in the bathroom in some stupid story, and I don’t have to be where I’m going quite yet.

In this story, someone else is paying. I wanted to establish that, even though it’s a spoiler, because spoilers aren’t the worst thing that can happen to you. For example, no animals are hurt. If I consider what that sentence means, I start to feel uncomfortable, because I’m an animal who can’t be separated from her thoughts. Do you understand what I’m talking about?

I’m one of those people who gets up too close. There’s no way to consider bad form about personal distance an accomplishment. You’re not born full of bad habits; they’re chosen for you and they call the frame they stitch you into a culture, and that’s okay, babies have to be trained, right? I trained two babies; imagine, the trust total strangers put in you, to be able to do that without making a mess.

Then when your parents or guardians or however you want to call them finish with the training and you pass a bunch of surly unheralded tests of adulthood, and amid the bad choices your parents lovingly presented and less lovingly enforced, there’s beer, and strangers to bother in a bar. You have to stand outside to smoke, but if you have cigarettes there’s always someone willing to pass the time.

And that’s another great thing about bars, another story comes in, all the time, but when the money and smokes are gone, the stories leave too.

Cheap and greasy food. I love a bar for that. After you go out into the street into the evening and there’s street food.


Maybe a game of chance. A man who laughs at the right time. Maybe there isn’t concrete paved over the bones. Maybe the inert gases trapped in glass make us happy, as they smear onto the wet roads of memory. Look at all of those miserable critters, huh, but how they shine under the lights. They were someone else’s children. Let the coloured lights on the ground be tucked around them like a perfect, insubstantial shroud.

So in this story there’s a sad man who’s making no sense. He sits at the bar and says that all the words have been stolen from his mouth, all the ancestors have been stolen from their graves, all the land has been stolen from under his feet, and now the sky is sad.

It’s true. The sky hasn’t been the sky in weeks. There are three different problems; the volcano seventy-five kilometres away is rumbling out ash, there are wildfires in the Interior, and a freak cyclone threw a hundred million tons of mildly toxic Chinese agricultural soil into the air over the Pacific, and some of it is precipitating out over Vancouver right now.

My role in this disaster has never been hard to play. I am the nibbler of worlds. I broke off a chunk of coal and burned it to heat my house, and the sky, and I siphoned a tank of gas and burned it to move my car, and a little bit of the sky, and I split an atom or two to heat water for turbines, and a little bit of the sky, and I did it a little at a time, a little at a time. I drowned a thousand million trees for dams. I killed a million sharks for collagen and threw them back in the sea. Was that all me?

How much of it was you. But I can’t blame you. I only have shame for me; you were just doing what came naturally.

Natural selection only works when you have nature.

I don’t know what this is now.

Little drops of water

   Will I ever know

Little grains of sand,

   I wonder

Make the mighty ocean,

   How many litres of pure good water

And the splendid land.

   I turned into sewage


And the little moments,

   Will I ever know

Humble though they be,

   I wonder

Make the mighty ages

   How much carbon dioxide

Of eternity.

   I poisoned my mother with


I am one little person. I wanted garlic from China. Freesias from South Africa. Oranges from Florida. Almonds from California. Hearts of palm from Brazil. Balsa wood from Indonesia. I wanted dream catchers and boomerangs and coffee table books.

But I don’t know what my great grandchildren will be making paper from.

If they do.

I wish to make confession. It makes other people’s lives worse, but mine gets better, briefly.

Who will care?

I return my attention to the man on the stool. I have seven dollars from busking, enough for a beer and to make a claim on some bar snacks and leave a tip, because I have the pride of the poor and I don’t wish to hurt a working man. The bartender nods and the man on the barstool looks back at me with groggy disinterest.

I have been boiled in the shell of my class and now I’m waiting for a rich person to eat me. I ate a lot of poor people in my time. That little boy picking cacao who died, what was his name?

I have been roasted in the body of my womanhood and eaten by men, and the children they’ve put in me, all my life. It’s okay. It’s just my body. It’s my soul that’s important, after you’ve eaten me.

I have been pinned to a butterfly board by sad thoughts and anxiety; I am a pretty butterfly, dead the instant I think something new. You will steal my scales and turn me into sparkly makeup for another dead girl. We steal things from one coffin to put them in another and call it real life.

I am an exemplar of a dead species. I think I was a feminist. The sky is telling me I’m something different these days. The man clunks down his beer bottle and begins to sing. It is a mourning song, and the bartender tells him to shut up.



Busy day yesterday, driving church folks around and going to Osteofit and the Lunch Bunch. Hung out with Paul briefly. Today we’re going for a walk in Oakalla.

Hope is a strange thing. I’d like to acquire more but I don’t know if I’d use it wisely.

Gag of the day : Food positive people are nom-denominational

Pinker’s lucky 13

  1. Reverse-engineer what you read. If it feels like good writing, what makes it good? If it’s awful, why?
  2. Prose is a window onto the world. Let your readers see what you are seeing by using visual, concrete language.
  3. Don’t go meta. Minimize concepts about concepts, like “approach, assumption, concept, condition, context, framework, issue, level, model, perspective, process, range, role, strategy, tendency,” and “variable.”
  4. Let verbs be verbs. “Appear,” not “make an appearance.”
  5. Beware of the Curse of Knowledge: when you know something, it’s hard to imagine what it’s like not to know it. Minimize acronyms & technical terms. Use “for example” liberally. Show a draft around, & prepare to learn that what’s obvious to you may not be obvious to anyone else.
  6. Omit needless words (Will Strunk was right about this).
  7. Avoid clichés like the plague (thanks, William Safire).
  8. Old information at the beginning of the sentence, new information at the end.
  9. Save the heaviest for last: a complex phrase should go at the end of the sentence.
  10. Prose must cohere: readers must know how each sentence is related to the preceding one. If it’s not obvious, use “that is, for example, in general, on the other hand, nevertheless, as a result, because, nonetheless,” or “despite.”
  11. Revise several times with the single goal of improving the prose.
  12. Read it aloud.
  13. Find the best word, which is not always the fanciest word. Consult a dictionary with usage notes, and a thesaurus.

So, the above noted are Pinker’s rules for writing. Three, Five and Nine are tough.

Paul’s back today

Had a feeling yesterday I should phone Keith. He’d had a bad day at work (it would have been discombobulating for anyone,  but for someone with social anxiety it was extra crispy). So I was actually able to, you know, parent by being a good ear and helped with some advice, not much.

This morning we’re going out for brekky and then a shop.


ha ha! There are crows nesting in the bird spikes at the SaveOn at 6th and 8th in New Westminster.

a low ebb

I’m really missing walking with Paul. He’s in Ontario helping clear out his mom’s apartment. I hope he has his sisters helping; I certainly assume so.

Had a lovely visit from Alex on Sunday. His hair is getting so long! he insisted on spending time alone with Smokey (a guitar) so he could write a song.

Watching Vera. Mostly those tales are very sad.

nodding sagely

The sage went to the people and said “DO!” and they did, in all the ways of the people. They returned to hear his next words and he gently picked up a toddler and loudly said, “DO DO!” and the child soiled itself in terror. The people were not happy with the sage and a drummer, speaking from the crowd, rebuked his next message, “DO DO DO!” by saying, “I really hate waltz time.”

The sage was sent for neurological assessment.

The people swore off sages.

There was nothing wrong with the sage.

long stupid rant, please ignore

A couple of days ago, Misha Collins, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki got on social media to announce that the TV show Supernatural is ending next season (season 15, over 320 episodes) and the finale of all finales will thus be next season – their choice, most likely. A couple of them had been crying, which doesn’t bother me, I’d be crying too if I moved along from the best job I’d ever had even if it was my choice.

Inside the fandom, for the show, there is a substantial chonk of LGBT and straight cisgirl fans who absolutely love on the idea of a romance between Castiel the angel, who appeared season 4, and Dean the Hunter, who, along with his brother Sam the Hunter, carries the show week to week.

There are also Supernatural fans who write fanfic in the A/B/O universe (don’t look, it’s a concourse of poorly realized paraphilias and it’s even worse when you realize that (never mind, just more fandom bs) and I have read precisely one decently written A/B/O fic so I know it’s possible but Jesus it’s GROSS) and write explicitly incestuous fic (it’s called Wincest, and I haven’t even let my eyes roam over one of them, thanks).

Neither of these two things are supported by the show; Destiel, which is the mashup of the names of Dean and Castiel, while not supported word for word in script canon, is teased at, at least once a season, all through the show. I won’t go into the list of specific callouts as to there being romance in the air, just go to the Dean/Castiel page on Superwiki, where it’s all laid out in prim detail.

It’s my belief that the show would rather kill one of the characters than let any of them wander off into the sunset, encoupled. From a strictly ‘whose body is this’ standpoint, there’s no longer any squick about who Castiel’s vessel is, which removed a lot of the hassles about a canonical romance. But


it doesn’t fit the show. And Castiel, although he can be briefly physically affectionate, has not been represented as a sexual being, at least not successfully.

So yeah, I’ll write fanfic because it looks like love, romance and lifetime commitment to me. But anybody who thinks Destiel is gonna be canon is a fucking idiot, because the lead actor, the gold standard of a richly successful franchise, is happy with how things are.

The queer-baiting will continue until you make your own art, folx. (Definition of queer-baiting on the page linked to above.)

slept all day

Up at 1 am. Back napping at 10, up at noon, back down at 2, up at 7:30, back down a little after that. Now it’s 2:41 in the am and I’m still awake.

I don’t know if it’s allergies or a cold but unless I start feeling much better soon I won’t be going to Osteofit.

Rewatching GoT and I’m doing a complete watch of Vera with Jeff. It’s been renewed again for 2020, so there will be 10 seasons of it….. so far.


20 degrees today????

I’m off to Mike Beach!!! At least we arranged yesterday to get together today and it’s my intention to let the sun hit my bodday.  What a strange month for weather, snow and sun in abundance.

I have my first cup of coffee and I have trawled the interwebs for various kinds of news. Burnaby one bedroom apartments average to 1500 a month, did you know that? it’s insane what these things cost, and here I am in a tear down house… we could lose this joint at any moment, although we got our re-up lease for next year already.

I know what a roundy is now. My attempts to understand at least the words and concepts of Indigenous culture in what is now Canada continue.

(It’s a round dance.)

Ontario is using the honour system to keep track of vaccinations, don’t you feel better?


why laundry not stop a poem

Katie took me out to breakfast and I was most breathtakingly rubbed into my stupid whiteladyness and I’m sore about all what happened as a consequence (all I did was go to the fucking bathroom!!! that’s all I did), and everything went sideways. I came out and the waitress was telling the Haida guy, who had been conversing with us, to leave since he hadn’t ordered anything and then she asked him to prepay and shit got ugly. No yelling, just dark clouds of ugly.

Katie’s fine, our convo fantastic.

Then we went back to our previously scheduled lives.

Then we reformed for a Value Village run. Got a box of books out the door. Got out the house. I finally got an old lady friendly nightgown that is literally two sizes too X for me so it’s gonna be like a big blue gunny sack and happy I am about it. Also picked up a bunny hug for brO and wild socks for me and then.

Ran a laundry.  Tried to grok that I had experienced a racist incident, that I feel like I could have done something about and I fucking froze, I froze like a prey animal.

Capitalism is preying on me, it’s preying on my will and my mind.

The short version of the homily is done. I’ll leave it another week and come back at it, but it’s done, and I’m not going to have any last minute changes of heart on that subject. Writing for pay is a different proposition, yanno.

Now I must transfer laundry from wet place to dry place. NEW NIGHTY YAY.

And Jeff et my leftovers, per plan.


Wow. Upsidedowndulous day.

Hoping to get a nap and then get out tonight for the Capilano Review ish launch; the art in this issue is so wonderful I LOVE IT. It’s so feminist. So unruly and unflinching and playful and bitey.

I need to take myself on an ‘artist date’ and see it tonight from 7 to 9 but maybe a nap first.




I am getting some.

Talked to a family member about additional therapy time; we’re waiting for an appropriate time.

Jeff is helping me with my taxes. I’m probably owed something like ten grand over five years of returns so it’s very kind of him to wade into my bs. I shall have to think of something nice to do for him. And yes, this was completely stupid behaviour on my part, I don’t need a pile on.

My laundry’s put away, the dishwasher is running, and later on today it’s Lunch bunch and exercise; hoping to hear from Peggy.