Year end round up 2022

January I had 35000 reddit karma points, we got four days of fog, Suzanne moved to the neighbourhood, the Russian war of aggression hadn’t started yet and Putin was under the impression that the west would abandon Ukraine again like it did in 2014. Somebody methodically read all 350K of my fanfic. Jeff started the whole long process of getting a tooth implant. I had a bizarre neurological symptom, not since repeated (and it’s a damned good thing, too, it was deeply weird and troubling.) I also had weeks of abdominal and joint pain thanks to not swallowing my pills with enough water and shovelling snow. Mike got COVID.  It became clear that the BC government by plan and insufficient staffing was underreporting COVID deaths by as much as a factor of five. The lies and propaganda about COVID have continued alas. It’s still airborne. It’s continuing to wiggle out from under vaccinations. Mike bought the Delica. The Tonga Tsunami occurred with great suffering as 85 percent of the islanders were impacted but there thankfully only three recorded deaths. I kicked Wolf Tivy’s ass deconstructing an essay he wrote about ‘work’. Jeff finished decrufting and assembling Alex’s computer and took it to him and he received it with great joy. Rude amounts of snow and shovelling, another atmospheric river, couldn’t find walkway salt, no fun.


Jeff brought my borrowed Nokia non phone back from the dead for the nth time. I threw out my collection of racist humour. Why would I want to make my kids look at that when they clean out my shit. Got incontinence underwear and it CHANGED MY LIFE. RUSSIA INVADES UKRAINE.


Jeff was exposed to Big Star Sandwiches and it CHANGED HIS LIFE. I got my first proper haircut in years. Family started openly worrying about Paul and driving. We learned he hadn’t been taking his BP meds, and it was in consequence of high bp that some months later he was told not to drive. He was in and out of hypertensive crisis but always refused to go to hospital. I held Ryker at the pool and my arms nearly fell off but it was so much fun. Paul had his cat Ayesha euthanized without telling anyone in the family, which set off many of the events we’re all living with now with respect to a diagnosis for Paul. Paul was a lot of things, when he was healthy, but wantonly cruel was not one of them. Personality changes are a sign of dementia. Jeff and I had what would turn out to be our last ever Swiss Chalet meal.


Bought a FluentPet starter pack, turns out I never used it. I’ll try to repurpose it. I have ideas, they don’t last, but the kitty is still here. Tried to spring clean my bike and the tire exploded in my face, traumatizing me. Learned that Elon Mustard wanted to buy twitter and WAS UNHAPPY. CONTINUED THUS. Established that Russia is and was committing war crimes in Ukraine. Stopped eating our favourite mint chocolate because the manufacturer supported Russia. Got called for jury duty, reported my brain trauma (from the skull scan) and got excused. Ontie Mary gave me an illustrated museum book about a Scythian exhibit and I nearly died it was so up my alley. Ryker met his mother’s grandparents and it was the single nicest family visit in history.


Leo and Linda visited, and how good to see them. Most incredible camping trip with Mike, he did all the cooking and cleanup and I had a magnificent time. I love my friends so much.  Donated blood for probably the last time, didn’t realize it at the time. Got a mammogram. Found out that ALL THE SCYTHIAN GOLD IN THE MUSEUM BROCHURE my Ontie gave me was stolen out of Melitopol by the FUCKING RUSSIANS. I received validation for activism I had done a decade prior and it was amazing. Renee Spakowski and Jean Donaldson passed and I learned of it. They were my church comrades, their names should be remembered and their accomplishments and merry laughter cherished. Suzanne was falsely arrested and the love of her life died. I have no idea how that woman keeps going sometimes. Roe v Wade overturned. Keith caught COVID.


Roasted Air Canada in a memorably vicious post. Saw Slash/Back and loved it. Tenth anniversary of Kaitlin Schmidt’s passing. May she be remembered for how lovely and helpful she was, how her presence was a gift to us. May her parents be comforted. Another painful conversation with Paul about his cognitive losses and how it was impacting his housing security (x 2). Housefilk at Peggy’s. After searching for years FINALLY found Trainwreck at a weed store. Yes it’s as nice as advertised.  At some point Dave encouraged me to write more poetry, so I did. Lots of progress on Totally Boned which I had started earlier in the year. The Downton Movie was watched and the last ten minutes spiralled into horror. We drove to Alice Lake and my incompetence caused us to miss the turnoff multiple times. Doug Ford returned to office as Premier in Ontario. Breakfast with Leo and Linda at the Foreshore.


‘nother mini house filk at Peggy’s. Jeff fixed my ‘how to get the Kaossilator to talk to the computer’ problem with a piece of tech he bought for me. Fucking hot nearly every day. Air Conditioner kept working. Feasted Mike for his 55th. Otto went and returned from the krankenhaus. I seemed to be temporarily allergic to peanuts. Made paneer and it went bad in the fridge. Alzheimer research was bullshit for two decades. Heard a great blue heron honk like a goose, repeatedly, for the first time. Record corporate profits during a toxic drugs, COVID and housing crisis. Finally saw ‘The Trouble with Harry’. Continued to play with my Kaossilator. I’ve regretted many things but never that. Terry G came to town and I spoke to him on the phone and never saw him. First noticing swelling ankles. Katie got COVID. She never tested positive. Height of Alex’s Among Us craze. Watched a hummingbird attack every other bird on the street. Received first word of Jim P’s illness. Cindy hosted a barbecue the FOOD AND COMPANY WERE CHOICE.


Paul brought his girlfriend home without giving his housemates a headsup. I won’t say what the kids said to me in public. Later that month, the diagnosis – and the unfolding consequences. Broke the news to his sisters via phone. Watched Nope, was blown away. Played my first coop game (PvZ) with Alex. They grow up so fast. Made a family spreadsheet to help manage Paul’s illness. Neil Gaiman mocked the people who hated his Sandman casting and I was THERE for it.  Road trip to Big Bar with Suzanne, it was beyond wonderful. Et moose for the first time. Katie’s reconciliation with Daxus starts to take shape. Alex got friendly with a baby goat in Saanich; all part of another LOVELY family visit. We took custody of the family viewmaster and the first slide I looked at was the Addams Family IN COLOUR (squee). Read ‘On Rotation’ still haven’t reviewed it. Anne Heche died in a single occupant car crash and after months of speculation including mine it turned out she didn’t have a single drop of alcohol or any drugs in her system at the time of the accident. Nearly broke myself falling on the back steps, bruised for weeks. Hexavalent chromium spill into the Huron River…. there’s another one in October. Reporting on this was/is sparse. Watched 13 Lives, it was amazing. Wrote a poem for the peyote plants in the house but set it to private. Watched ‘Prey’ and loved it.


another negative COVID test for me. Visitation Dream of Tom; Bonus dead guys Ralph and Dennis. I miss them all so much. Their wives and loved ones must as well. Watched Everything Everywhere All at Once with Mike and Jeff. Second bout of COVID for Peggy. Got another COVID booster for myself (4th shot). Started watching Gentleman Jack. Watched ‘Confess Fletch’, Jon Hamm was great in it. Eye exam showed that my blood pressure hasn’t caused too much problems in my eyes. Queen Elizabeth II dies. Saw ‘Three Thousand Years of Longing’ and loved it. Lovely visit to Bowen Island. Paul’s girlfriend came to town and literally did not interact with anyone in the house. Suzanne said WHO’S THAT, startled, when she saw her. Wonderful meal at Big Feast with Suzanne, Katie and Ryker, followed by an even more wonderful day at Whonnock Beach.


Washer died. We went a long time without one and then the landlord bought us a BRAND NEW IMMENSE ONE in November. Watched the Hornblower series (we were also watching Sharpe). The Epic of Gilgamesh got another chapter when it was discovered. Accidentally traumatized myself by watching the video from the day Wally and Paul and the kids and I were in an airplane crash. Got locked out of twitter, either for saying something crusty ’bout the CPC or something crusty ’bout Zibethicus the muskerat. Bouts of terrible air quality on and off all month. Started working on the Elementary theme on ukulele. I confess that I cry every time I go grocery shopping. Buster came back from catting covered in blood. He turned out to have a couple of gashes but didn’t need a vet. Watched and loved Andor. Housefilk at Peggy’s. No family thanksgiving meal.


pOp trekked to er/hospital, got home okay.  Housefilk at Peggy’s with BONUS JEFFREY AND JERI LYNN yay yay. Loaned Alex the Kaossilator. Katie back at work. Her exhaustion is great. Continuing slides in Paul’s cognition and my ability to deal with it. Doctor formally told Paul not to drive reason given blood pressure. He’s in hypertensive crisis half the time. Finished Sam Cooper’s Wilful Blindness, most depressing read in yonks. Started watching Farscape. Tammy confirmed I’d be seeing her Boxing Day. My beloved Dogwood tree in the back yard was knocked down by a storm. I cry every time I think about it. Even now.


Brief and lovely visit from Ruth and Lois. Got the Kaossilator back unharmed because Alex takes care of his devices and kept it away from Ryker. Survived another month. Jim P. stepped into eternity. A season of grief descends. No family Christmas meal.








clean house

Feeling calm and rested. Suzanne’s car is toast so she paid for a cab here and I back – it all worked out.

mOm and Suzanne exchanged phone greetings via me, which was awesome.

One of Suzanne’s youngest son’s friends overdosed in jail this past week. This makes three people who have died of toxic drugs, known to our family, in the last two years.

I was going to have insomnia, so at 10 pm I took a Robax and slept until a little before 4. Done with my brain exercises. Time to face the day and run the dishwasher.

I want to cuddle Ryker and Alex but I am patient.

another fine morning today

I did absolutely nothing yesterday except

one load of laundry

production of two meals, both of which involved standing and cooking, which miraculously I am now able to do after weeks of having trouble standing for any period of time

calm avoidance of invitation to Jerome’s (Mike called around 4 and I told him to drop by after if he went). I just thought my lack of social contact would turn into me autistic gabbling for hours while being worried about COVID and RSV and I couldn’t hack it

creating that L.M. Sacasas quote from yesterday using the absolute stinkpot software ‘paintbrush’ although it IS simple enough for my grandchild to use, so…

training, cuddling and brushing Buster repeatedly over the course of the day, including holding paws with him when his feets were cold (he genuinely likes holding paws with people, it’s adorable)

realizing that the balm from the bee place did actually heal the crack in my heel (I’d started bleeding, most distasteful) and now I need to reapply to the dry bits (face hands elbows etc.). It spreads well and smells lovely. Looking forward to getting more, stuff’s miraculous.

Realizing that it’s time to do Paul’s feet again. I’ll call him today and try once again to find out what he wants me to do about the car.

Checking if I have enough money to pay Suzanne, I do. However her car has been totalled thanks to this fucking weather we had last week so we may need to go get her.

continuing to produce coughs/mucus – substantially noisier than yesterday though I feel no worse, and in fact my mood continues to trend good although I had quite a crying jag yesterday evening thinking about how I’m likely to survive Buster and HOO BOY but I def. feel better today.

a complete review of Part II including copy edits and clarity edits

bringing the mail in… hey, there was mail!

Talking to Dave on the phone, and how lovely to hear his voice. He awaits word of a launch for his book. It continues to emit its own vibrations in this ever renewed universe.

posting in multiples to facebook, tumblr, twitter and dispensing goo on reddit

cheating to get the Wordle of the day after four guesses(Suzanne never cheats but she has a better starter word and doesn’t just guess, she has a system)

doing my Lumosity training, my scores have risen dramatically thank goodness

rewatching Here There Be Dragons (Expanse S2E11) which has SO MANY OF MY FAVOURITE LINES AND SCENES from that show

falling on the treats that Jeff brought back after his dental appointment with the savoir faire of a starving seagull           I M SNAKKY

taking a call from Tammy at the airport. It was an absolutely lovely conversation, she was SO sweet to me, and helpful too. That convo was everything about why I love her so much even if we slide past each other once in a while in terms of understanding – we talked about the book she gave me (about Henrietta Lacks) and the rest of the visiting she did, about what she’s going home to (she never takes ten days off so she’s expecting… a lot of emails, overflowing cat litter since the housesitter won’t have done it etc.) and she told me about the last hour of Banshees of Inisherin after I told her that brO and I bailed on it and you know what??? I’m not sorry we did; as much as I ADORE the two principal actors it was just too fucked up for me. Colin Farrell can do shit with his eyebrows that funambulists drool over.

Calling Rex Murphy a ‘harrumphosaurus’ on various social media platforms. I mean I could call it a day just with that one comment, I M JEENYOUS

Emailing my mOm a picture of a parrot perched on a bird identification book and looking with interest at a picture of a conspecific.

This morning I’ve done my Lumosity, cheated once again on Wordle (I should just stop doing it, it’s morally hazardous), mentally congratulated the Ukrainian forces for fending off every single fucking rocket the Russkys sent toward Kyiv yesterday, made coffee and consumed it, made peppermint tea for Jeff, shuffled stuff in the kitchen and started thinking about eggs and toast (again) for brekky. It’s easy and the cast iron pan’s perfectly seasoned now; how I love hearing the snap of eggs in butter on a nice hot stovetop.

I’m thinking of ordering more no-drip undies today. I don’t have much planned, but do I really have to? Do I?




stuff I said on twitter


Cops don’t love the unhoused, but they sure do love how much rich people will agitate for more money and equipment for cops when there’s lots of displaced humans. More homeless more money.



zibethicus is all like the world’s shittiest bf, always giving you things you don’t want and whining when you don’t say thank you with the appropriate amount of genuflection, taking away things you truly need, mocking you to his friends and laughing when he gets caught cheating.

A word or two

We tried to watch Mad Heidi and the first ten minutes were quite funny and then the script turned up its toes and it slithered itself into a misogynistic ragoût. However, if you want a ridiculous pastiche of what Switzerland would be like if it was a fascist dictatorship based on CHEESE, watch that part because Jeff and I laughed quite immoderately.

For the first time in weeks I feel well rested and cheerful, waking up. All the things I was sad about yesterday are still true, and nothing has improved, just my brain not giving me such a hard time. It’s all good.

Anyway, the proof of my improvement will come from some kind of productivity, but Oh Look I have an engagement in my social calendar…. AM I GOING? I have to call Mike and see if I’m getting a ride….

Brief visit

It was lovely to see Tammy, however briefly. I met up with her in the appointed place and time. The shifter in the Echo seemed to be acting up, so no surprise when the check engine light came on and stayed on the instant I started to drive home. My response was to drive home along Kingsway and never exceed 45 kph (ducked out around Metrotown on the way back, twas a monkey howl of a nightmare around there) which angered the never ending supply of black Mercedes SUVs that seemed bent on sliding up my tailpipe the entire way. Sorry fellas, lassies.

Tammy asked me are you sure you’re not depressed? and I …. of course I’m depressed, I’m okay with that. What I’m not okay with is being so physically weak that I can’t walk a kilometre, being winded after climbing stairs, and experiencing crushing fatigue from standing for five minutes. That’s not depression. That sounds like long COVID to me. How I would get a diagnosis I have no idea. I’ll talk to Katie, she had a friend diagnosed, and of course make an appointment with my doc.

Today I’m thinking about moral hazard. There was a post on reddit about someone who works with the homeless in a large Canadian city, and they’re so burned out, underpaid, and subjected to having clients die, over and over again, that the person reports severe mental health issues and nothing available from work to assist.

I cried into Buster’s fur this morning. He knows I sometimes give fairly tight hugs just to feel something alive, and he tucks his claws away so he doesn’t hurt my lap. I miss Jim and can’t think of Jan and Nita and Carly (and Glenn, hi Glenn) without being hurt again by their loss, ever so much more than mine. I was standing in the kitchen and I thought “Captain Blackberry is gone” and waaaah I’m missing Tom. I think of John every time I walk through what used to be his bedroom (It’s the pinball room and Jeff’s workbench now). I should call Peggy. I don’t have the strength. These days I have to marshal myself just to do the absolute bare minimum of anything, and the slightest setback turns me into a wreck. I’m managing, but I want to skip this part. Jeff of course has been the soul of kindness.

Music and writing are impossible. I think about them, but can’t settle to work. I’m scared to call people in case I start making my mood – frangible, changeable, subject to betterment, but not necessarily – a friend’s problem.

I was supposed to go with Paul for a walk today. I may take a cab over there so we can do that… now that his car’s not supposed to be driven. Jeff and I are going to have to figure out what to do if someone didn’t show up in the middle of the night to tow it, as Paul mentioned might happen. I told Katie about it.

Heard from Tammy

I’m about to leave to go get her.

And I’m back. We had a lovely Vietnamese meal on Main Street. I drove like the granny I am. Even so, the check engine light came on on the way home. Paul is using this as a reason to get his car back. I have no further public comment.

I am shrugging. I have no control over this situation and I know it. I got home safely before dark, that’s all I care about. I saw more bad driving (lane changes, violent u tURNS ACRosS free lanes I mean three lanes AFTER SIGNALLING THE OPPOSITE WAY. Fuckt, absolument.

Just ordered chicken and ribs. I have control over that. I also get one forkful of Jeff’s dessert, I can’t eat the whole thing, it’s enormous. Also got warm potato salad and a nice big caesar salad. It is coming.


I’ve heard from Tammy and have a rough idea of her itinerary. Hopefully she’s able to fly from Seattle to Vancouver with no difficulty.

It is unbelievably slippery out there and the rain keeps falling in bucketloads. It’s well above freezing on the ground.

We’ll be staying home again today, except I still have to get my prescription. The inderal is out of stock until April… or February, so I guess some discomfort is to be expected.

Holiday greetings

In no order:

Merry Xmas to the dude on reddit who asked an uncaring universe if he was a nutbar for not taking the Coquihalla this weekend to make it for a family Christmas. I assured him he was not crazy; nothing’s impossible for the person who doesn’t have to do it. When an atmospheric river meets an arctic outflow, wild shit falls from the skies.

To my brother Jeff I wish the very best the ‘holiday’ allows him – which is hilarious given that he’s a phone call away from having to work at any moment – and a wish that at some point over the next couple of days we settle in for some ‘real’ Christmas telly: Die Hard, a Call the Midwife Christmas special, maybe a Lord of the Rings or Hobbit binge. Maybe even watch the King’s Broadcast, if only to mock him roundly. I disdain that boorish manchild.

Love and social distancing to the fOlks; we’re not seeing you this Christmas. Remember when the kids were little? and we were somehow obliged to drive hither thither and yon in The.Worst.Fucking.Weather that Southern Ontario could shove in our faces at the end of its tobacco-stained arm? Those days have passed. We can all thank The Grand Joculator for that blessing. Of course I’d rather be there. But the great thing about being a member of this family is that we don’t chivvy each other into social occasions by nagging and guilting the shit out of each other or trivializing each other’s safety; I find this of more comfort than whatever I can derive in a ferry lineup after four cancellations.

To my Ontie Mary and all of her kin of the Niebuhr line, even the ones that are still convinced Jesus in a UFO is comin’ for the righteous, I extend greetings and best wishes for a quiet, joyous and safe Christmas. Cousinly greets to Shauna, John and Katherine.

To the spirit of Jim P, and his surviving family; I hope you have the best Christmas you can. I love you guys and wish I had something other than my own grief to offer as a gift.

To my friend Peggy, whom I haven’t even called in a month because I’m such a bum, Warmest and Brightest wishes of the season. I don’t think I’ll get those biscotti to you before Christmas. I haven’t been busy; I just keep forgetting to buy almonds, and when I looked at the prices at Rave-on yesterday I damned near died of fright.

To the crows and wee birdies; yes I got peanuts and sunflowers; I will put out feed during the worst of the weather event.

To my friend Dave, shifting on his laurels as a soundly published poet, I offer hopes for a spark of cognition which becomes a flame of output. Yeah, right.  You and I have always been at opposite ends of the word spigot….

To my pharmacist YOU ARE THE FUCKING BOMB. Happy holidays! To any pharmacists reading this, thou as well.

To my doctor; thank you for the latest scrip; after many months my blood pressure is now pretty much normal whenever I record it.

To Sue: may the year ahead be filled with family, love, and the work you have chosen with such distinction and success.

To all my former coworkers at the House of X – even if I didn’t like you very much when I was working with you, how I miss you now! It’s a reminder of how familiarity, and time, shifts all things in our feelings. Thinking of you all at midwinter, with particular effect for Mike (of course, special mention), Jerome (seeing him on the 28th weather willing), Stephanie, Sarah, Glenda, Mohammad, Arzina, Jim, Brian, Tom, Ryan, Carlos, Darryl, Ngoc, Patricia and many others whose faces are clear and whose names I cannot now recall.

To my landlady Kim F, who is currently training her replacement and I cannot tell you how sad this makes me since she is literally one of the people I’ve known longest in this town, I’ll probably never see her again after she quits— You were a really good landlady. Sure glad I didn’t have to call you about a plumber. I hope you have a lovely holiday and your daughter brings you nice presents.

To Tammy, whom I’m supposed to visit with on the 26th. O darlin’, I hope your trip to Vancouver (she’s flying in from Hawaii on Saturday) goes smoothly, but I really don’t think it will. Even so, I wish you the best of this season and my earnest hopes for a lovely day of tooling around the lower mainland seeing sights for Boxing Day. That’s what I wish for us. (We were thinking of getting together with the fam but holy cats with the amount of respiratory crud going through that house I can’t see that being a good idea a-tall.)

For Paul, hopes for a better sounding chest; for Keith, well he already got several denominations of my best wishes for a great Christmas (and promptly spent it on groceries, foreign editions please copy); for Katie, grace and peace for 20 minutes in the middle of her bustling household. In the spirit of Christmas I publicly acknowledge that Daxus is back with Katie and we’re all trying to hold grace for someone making an effort. Katie’s happier. I don’t know what else to say. We’re allowed to change our minds.

To Alex and Ryker; a grandmother’s blessing on you. You’re not getting anything else from me, by order of mammabear.

Ah Suzanne! I have enveloped you as a family member and it’s a wonderful thing. I hope you have the peaceful, joyous and family filled Christmas of your fondest wishes. (Note. Suzanne is Dax’s mother. Suzanne knows how to do blended families and I am doing my best to learn from her.) I hope you have all the gluten free treets yer belleh can hold!  Hope three days a week of Rykercare doesn’t prove too much for you.

Fond greetings to Bonnie.

To Leo and Linda and their lively agglomeration of kids and grandkids: merry and joyous best wishes of the season to you all!

To Catherine C, Bob W, Colin H, Jan & Soon and their kinfolk, my Seattle filkfen, Cindy, Jaz, Elias and Kaitlyn (sp), Lois and Bob, kids and grandkids, Ruth and John & their kids, Juliana & household, Al P., Lorna @ IHOP, all the Doordashers who’ve brought food over the last couple of years (and the nameless kind souls who cooked it), to the people processing images from the JWST, Michael Balter & the rest of the gang on twitter, I wish health, strength, and fortune at Christmas and for the year to come.