Yesterday I

– loaded and ran dishwasher

– tidied kitchen

– showered and brushed teeth

– policed up my picks, they end up everywhere so I had to round up the herd

– practiced

– ran a load of laundry

– gave blood

– lunched with Paul

– STILL NO FREAKING ENVELOPE FOR MARY’S LETTER and I could not wait fifteen minutes on the phone for a doctor’s appointment so I’ll try again today and also the Visa issue still isn’t straightened out, and it’s annoying because apparently I can use my card on line but not in person? like what the hell, people.

Paul called around ten and asked if I wanted to donate blood. He arranged it all, since we normally go together, or with another family member and I hate the website with everything in my gristly heart. I pounded fluids and ate lightly, and I felt fine after the donation (I drove home) until bedtime, when I felt a little woozy and highly strange. I’m more or less fine this morning, but sore (not at the donation site, more in my joints, which is weird). It takes even longer than usual to donate blood with all in-person questions and on screen questionnaires! It took about half an hour to process me, and even longer for Paul, likely because he couldn’t stop joking around with the pretty intake nurse (just my speculation, but definitely classic Paul), but I only had to wait about twenty minutes in the car while I hosed back 400 ml of mango juice and a mini oaty chocky bar, and Paul (who was driving, much against my wish) managed to find a lovely spot in the shade.

Made the unwelcome discovery that the CD player is no longer functioning in Paul’s Toyota; he only ever listens to CBC radio anyway so it likely would have been another year before he noticed a problem.

After, Paul declared himself desirous of a shrimp banh mi and I thought, “It’s the Pho Hong, there’s gotta be something there I can eat even if I don’t want banh mi,” and realized as we entered that they had been closed back in May/June for renovations. The Pho Hong used to be an Italian restaurant and when the first owners moved in they didn’t touch the decor; wish I had pictures, the walls were festooned with classic Italian tacky shit, as were the rickety booths, and there was a dropped ceiling.

The next renovation cleaned up the walls. All the character was gone, but the food did not change.

This renovation is all black melamine plates and dark woodgrain plastic booths and no more fabric anything (this will be a feature, post pandemic – only the most luxe places are going to have fabric anything, because otherwise everything is a ring tailed bastard to sanitize for fomites) and the ceilings are higher. ALSO, they are competing with Pho Boi further down the Kingsway toward Metrotown and they are open all night – yup, I have a 24 Pho place a five minute drive from the house now! If I was feeling energetic I could walk there in about an hour.

I remembered you’re supposed to have something salty so I had a small number 15, no noodle, extra veg, and (ripping swears) it was good! Paul had veggie spring rolls as well. It was most pleasant.

Now, one thing you have to know about the Pho Hong is that the women’s bathroom is designed for Vietnamese women, and not traditionally sized settler ladies. The stall is narrow AND compressed; doors swing inward AND JUST BARELY MISS THE TOILET I mean they clear it by a couple of cm, no, I’m not exaggerating, and actually I think it would be pretty funny to hang a camera at the top of the stall and video me getting into and out of the stall, because I collected bruises on many surfaces as they impacted the wall, the tp holder, the door and the toilet, so I was collecting whatever substances and materials previous occupants had left in a right jolly way, mostly with my ass. To say this is not an accessible washroom is the understatement of the century. I mean it’s not the ‘worst toilet in all of Scotland’, but it’s fucking small, is all. I wriggled out of the stall and contemplated how they could have, during the renovations, moved the fucking stall door one foot that away and fixed the worst of the problems for fat able bodied people, but these days I look at everything through a “What would a fat disabled Indigenous trans person say about this” lens and believe you me the least you’d get is an eyeroll and sigh of disgust.

Then I drove us back to my place and we parted, with many kind words of thanks and expressions of pleasure at the company, and I basically collapsed and went to bed early. Called mOm to tell her I’d given blood and to hear her talk about how wonderful Jeff is. I mean, I know, but it doesn’t get old.

Woke up after five am, which is marvellous, since I only remember waking once at ten o’clock to have two very sad and odiferous consultations with the john, got up and made tea (there’s already tons of iced tea in the fridge but I want hot tea) and an everything bagel with mascarpone cheese. Buster wanted to be brushed and wasn’t in the mood to train, so I gave him treats anyway and brushed him.

Not much is happening with writing; song writing continues, always, in the background.

I keep telling myself that I’m not a useless eater if I can donate blood. Paul said I was being too hard on myself. Also, this is ableist thinking on my part and must be expunged, but how? Out of all the horrific bigotries I carry it’s the one that is the most thoroughly internalized. I have to work on it; I have to work on it as I get older and more disabled; that will be difficult, for sure.

Long time fans of Paul’s driving style may be amused to learn that he doesn’t wildly change lanes or speed any more, and he doesn’t bolt out from behind buses and trash trucks or burn out from traffic lights or tailgate or apply the brakes as if he’s trying to flip the vehicle like he useta. His devil-may-care attitude toward centring his vehicle in a lane remains unchanged.

And sometime over the next while, a house filk and a family picnic. Life is not going back to normal. But some things from the before times will return.

Today I am going to see how I feel later this morning and try to find some envelopes of suitable size and robustness for Mary’s letter.

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Born when atmospheric carbon was 316 PPM. Settled on MST country since 1997. Parent, grandparent.

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