what a day

My day started at a little after 1 am. I tried to keep as quiet as possible while I packed and showered and readied and flailed about in prep mode; I made salad for Jeff to put in wraps while I was gone; and finally at 5:45, just as promised Katie appeared with her two children and we roared off to the ferry.  I did not take any musical instruments, and given how little room there was in the car (Katie has a sizeable amount of mutual aid gear, rope, bungies & First Aid in the trunk) it was the right call.

We got a simply smashing view, as we closed the distance between us and Victoria, of the entitlement, skill-free behaviour and misunderstanding of how physics, especially inertia, works, thanks to our fellow Vancouver commuters. Seriously I don’t care that a recent survey found that Vancouver drivers were among the safest in Canada; Katie never cursed at anyone but she was left perplexed at a panoply of weirdass lane and speed changes in a most comical way.

Ryker, who as I perhaps have mentioned, farts like a much larger human, did himself JUST as we were supposed to get onto the ferry (it was a nail biter, since despite all Katie’s efforts we were ONE MINUTE LATE to get secured boarding, which is NOT going to happen on the way back) and there’s Katie, doing a thorough clean change while the loading starts, with the efficient and relaxed mien of someone who will not panic no matter how much her mother is encouraging her to. (I did not distinguish myself with my handwringing.)

Ryker doesn’t seem to consider coldness to be something to cry about. He is vigorous and happy even when he’s being changed at the ambient temperature of an April morning.

We stayed in the car for the crossing except I had to take Alex to the washroom once. If you’re a middle aged woman, hanging around the mens room door is not a fun place to be for five minutes, especially when part of the floor show is a pair of polished Instagram wannabes setting up shots of her midriff – and his I don’t know what – but they didn’t notice me gurning at them in the background so that was okay. I just told Alex about me making faces at them and we had a good laugh.

Ryker literally smiled the instant he saw pOp. Great moments in bein’ a grandma. My mother was cold with dread that he wouldn’t like her and of course that was the opposite of what happened. He scoped her out in seconds and then her arms got tired and she handed him back, a little dripping with happiness (and I’m like OH LOOK I’M ONE EIGHTH RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT CUTENESS the way I always insert myself into glory if I think I can get away with it.)

Garry and Dianne were here as well but I did not see them for their health and safety. I am sorry that our appearance put a spanner in their visit, but they’ll be back Wednesday.

I sold the SFF books for a reasonable price and met a simply lovely (masked) young man. Alex insisted on insinuating himself into the transaction and that was lovely too; always fun to show your SF drawings to people, right? So Michael found out about “Remain Indoors” my favourite of Alex’s drawings, which I brought with me to leave with the great grands. Transaction took place strictly outdoors, and I wrapped the books in a strip of cloth with busty ladies of classic SF on it and Michael immediately started figuring out where to stick it in his apartment, so that was both profitable and fun.

Alex has a Five Nights with Freddie plushie. It’s worth a young fortune by all accounts so he wrote his name on its ass and the idea that El Plusho got Alex’s name tattooed on his ass is very funny to me.

Alex is a big brother. He takes his responsibilities in his family extremely seriously and helps in material and emotional ways, all the time, without fanfare. I knew when I saw the picture of him holding baby Leo (Katie’s best friends second child – there are some names in our extended family that are just there! lol hope you’re reading this) that he would be a good big brother if he got the chance, but I really didn’t expect to be this impressed. He is completely attuned to his little brother’s state of being and he’s an enormous and consistent help to his mother.

And Ryker adores him. His smiles and wiggles as his brother holds, entertains and loves on him (and locates his soother) are balm for my wounded soul.

Today, ONTIE MARY oh lord. Haven’t seen her in at least three years, and we’ve been corresponding irregularly but amusingly (her last two letters had me slumped over the kitchen table, howling with laughter) so it will be most diverting to see her emerge from a taxi, fling books at her sister, fling something, I will be amused and amazed to see what, but probably books, at me, and then flee back into the taxi to Esquimalt.

Today, after Mary, there will be a trip to various countryside establishments for tea, and possibly at Alex’s request, a trip to the Butterfly House, and then home.

I am so happy. Nothing lasts, but I wrote it down, and I can go back to this whenever I like and remember something perfect and family and sweet, even as the world I grew up in dissolves in the acid of war and climate change. And we didn’t take any pictures, but neither did our ancestors, and they got along on their memories just fine.

 

 

 

that’s bigoted speech

LOL someone said something enbyphobic and (essentially) transphobic at lunch yesterday. I said, as loudly as polite, “That’s bigoted speech,” but no one heard me. At least I didn’t say nothing.  I won’t repeat what she said but it’s the standard VARIANT on ‘please make up your mind about your pronouns’ and when I think how hard I’ve mentally fought to have a genuinely gender fluid character in my stories without all my icky cis assumptions on them maybe I should have been more gritty… but what good would it do? I mean when do you get a white woman to change her mind.

The meal was delightful (jerkwad comments aside) and I admired Ingrid’s amazing wine coloured hand knitted alpaca dress (she let me fondle the hem, thank goodness, because it was like an enormous red cloud of patterned softness) and listened to Jan burble (she is a burbler, and a damned good one) and do you know what, she took my sf recommendations AND SHE’S READ ALL OF MARTHA WELLS’ MURDERBOT STORIES and we all talked about how much we love the  Expanse (book and show)

and instead of going to bookstores afterwards like a realio trulio Dunnetteer I headed to the weed store to buy CBD gummies, because pain management is real, you know.

I did consume one glass of Glenfiddich in Dunnett’s honour. AND I have pain behind my right eye today in consequence, it’s my standard response to alcohol consumption.

I love how the background TV was formula 1 so I got to watch Lewis Hamilton get interviewed with the sound off.

Everyone in the restaurant was an old, like me. Like, without exception. Made me wonder about the local demographics.

Took a taxi there, came home via transit, curled up, watched TV, remembered to completely dry my laundry, put the split pea soup away.

Saw one of my all time fave “Vancouver interactions” –

d’ohccasional randomness

This is a review of a book I want…. no probably need to read.

I have had a story added to a Destiel collection on AO3. I am absolutely thrilled and it means more people will read it. It’s 12500 words of fluffy and mildly porny madness that ends with an ILY scene at an airport. I also think it’s got some of the funniest dialogue of any of my stories. Email me if you want the link.

I stopped taking cough medicine at 11:30 last night to try to let it clear my system, but the crackling in my chest has come back. Low grade fever, productive cough, crashed appetite, really an effort to push fluids but I keep hearing mOm’s voice encouraging me to do that thing.

Buster scrapped with another cat THROUGH the cat door last night. I locked it and expected him to whine about it all night and he didn’t let out a peep until I woke at 8:30 this morning.

Left hand is still bruised but all the mobility is back and normal function has resumed. I am now thinking that I did crack a rib, but there would have been nothing that an ER doc could do but hand me a little envelope of T3s anyway after a chest xray in a freezing room so I really dodged 8 hours of ER time during the largest surge of infections in over a year. Knowing that Paul would have come with me is extremely comforting though. What a fine and life affirming thing it is to have friends.

Tom is closing the speaker shop (Halloween is the last day) and going on line! I may get work doing data entry loading skus. He was only in hopsital (deliberate typo) a day for the pneumonia and when I was talking to him on the phone today he was on the skytrain which means that Peggy is not actually driving him everywhere any more. Also that the phone call dropped three times before we gave up.

The only social media I’m on now is here, AO3 and Reddit. I’ve added 400 karma points in the last week alone so you can tell I’ve been busy. When Reddit gives me free awards I always use them within five minutes, usually for other women.

I can definitely state (from what I read on reddit, among other things) that feminism has lost big over the last 40 years. What a time to be alive.

ADDED LATER: SOMEBUNNY is running a jackhammer within a block radius and WOW what an annoying sound!

t’aint funny M’Gee

on the subject of white guys who don’t know when the fuck to shut up, imagine being Jordan Peterson getting this review for his latest JUST OUTTA REHAB special.

While 12 Rules for Life was a snapshot of an intellectual moment, however paltry, Beyond Order is the literary equivalent of colonoscopy by cake shovel, writes Richard Poplak.

arise ye prisoners of doomscrolling

Did a small shop and made borscht. Paul came by with some of John’s filk books, and best of all was Peter Alway’s Introduction to Mountain Dulcimer so I now have a picture of one of my filk friends on a pamphlet about an instrument I own. I’m going to review it again today with the instrument in hand.

Chuck Norris was at the insurrection event in Washington. What a cruel and grasping individual.

trending on twitter

Header media

this coffee table book is currently trending on Twitter

mOm and pOp of course recognize it – it’s been floating around their living room since the year it was published. At the time, the concept did not exist – that hundreds of photographers, professional and otherwise, were supposed to go forth and take a picture on the same day for curation and collection as a snapshot of the zeitgeist.

Since then, dozens upon dozens of books have been published along this theme, for dozens of countries. This kind of omnibus album became popular.

People have been posting pics from inside the book and making hilarious, occasionally anxious comments about them. It’s great. And that poor cat. And what is the baseball for? is she going to talk to the priest about his handsiness? it looks like a confirmation dress…

and Canada, it was qwhite something then

Also from social media, figureoutthesea AKA Nicolas Demers on Instagram took this at Deer Lake – quite the action shot eh??? He has tons of amazing bird photos, the abovenoted link goes to his blog with better res pics hint hint mOm.

Hummingbird @ Deer Lake, credit figureoutthesea

THE INTERNET HAS A CAT AND IT PURRS headphones or good speakers required.

 

Dunnett group and instrument acquisition

Interesting. mOm you may find this diary entry provokes some feels about HTW and how he had v. progressive views.

Dunnett meet at the Sandbar on Granville Island was absolutely wonderful; met a woman I felt like I’ve known my whole life, and she’s moving from the bay area to Bellingham in MAY!!! Good news for me anyway – I told her about the Unitarian outfit there and she told me about the Bellingham ukelele orchestra. Then we all mocked Bellis Fair Mall, which, being an American mall constructed in 1988 which I drive by every time I go to Seattle and NEVER ENTER, is extremely mockable, and turns out anyone who’s been there feels the same way.  She’s been to Findhorn twicet! She told me I look younger than 61! Jan wasn’t there but Ingrid and Cheryl and Rob were.

Anyway I had shrimps and scallops and they were so goddamned good words can’t cover it. I did NOT have alcohol, for once; I had raspberry lemonade instead. In consequence, I felt better and did not muck up my digestion. Trip home was dented by wetsuweten protesters, who’ve been fucking up Vancouver for days.

Then I bought a pan drum – think a portable (not fantastically…) steel drum. I shall forward a sound file later, mOm.

This is me with baby Yoda earrings.

A startled looking white woman displays her baby Yoda earrings.

That feeling when

Jeff calls the new Hulu show “Burn Tarot” and expects Jeffrey Donovan to be doing voiceovers “When you’re a psychic,” and you laugh so hard you pull a rib.

Some irritated person threatens to call the Site Leader (basically GOD ON CALL) when you warn them that work requests will be slow tonight because you’re at 50% staffing and your response is OH WOULD YOU PLEASE we’ll need her help sorting through all the work requests that were in the system AHEAD OF YOURS. That was 3/4 of an hour ago.  Yeah, you guessed it, no call. Just as an aside I actually paged the Site Leader yesterday and she didn’t answer, so make of that what you will. She probably pulled an Allegra and when she didn’t recognize the number didn’t pick up lollllol.

People who work nights and complain about the workload and do a shitty job and sleep in the ER until 5 am when they wake up and pretend to do more work are on the receiving end of one of your pointier emails.

I have 64 likes on my Supernatural fic and 4 kudos and I’m thinking I KNOW SOMEBODY LIKES MY WRITING and Jeff says my interest in slash fanfic for a show I don’t watch equals zero, interest in MMCo = 100% and you just think squee.

You’ve invented a fanfic universe in which you have a McGuffin to make any character pairing possible (with a lot of effort, but possible).

Your daughter calls and tells you she got a job, a good job, in a union environment, close to home and you’re dancing around like an idjit.

You think ‘I’m actually going to miss this job’. I mean, I quit a month ago and I’m still working here, it’s insane. And some of the people are so much fun, I come in early just so I can interact with them.  Others, well, you know how it is.

I’ve almost paid off my credit card debt and I did it with money I earned.

You forget to tell your mother that you received and deposited the cheque she sent you… a month ago.

You watch the Wrong Box again.

I’m putting it in my pile of movies to watch when I’m feeling icky. Because watching it put a bounce in my step. Figuring out that John Larroquette based his performance in the Librarians in part on Ralph Richardson’s tremendous turn as Joseph Finsbury; (so many classic lines among which ‘the playing of games, with balls of varying sizes’ never fails to crack me up), marvelling at Peter Sellers’ false nose and moggy filled apartment (at one point he mops up an ink blot with a kitten’s ass); drooling over the set dec and costumes, which are lovely, and the script (done in part by Larry Gelbart whom you may also know as one of the creators of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and M*A*S*H the tv show, also family faves), the hilarious and stylish music, with a score by John Barry, also a fave of mine (his theme for the Persuaders was one of the highlights for me on tv when I was a teen); John Mills’ voice; the ridiculous train derailment; Tutte Lemkow, the professional villain, and his entirely mute performance as the knitting mad Bournemouth Strangler. Anyway, if you haven’t seen it, and would like a film that amuses without cloying, it’s really, really good.

So yeah… all in all I’m having a good week, and writing 15k words in 4 days was… interesting. Graphomania is a helluva drug. I was literally pacing when I wanted to write and couldn’t, and that’s PSYCHOMOTOR AGITATION folks.  Perhaps the sun is coming back and making me twitterpated.

 

 

 

Ringing in the New Year via snow shovel

Dug out  the front stairs, walkway and sidewalk, the back stairs, side walkway, garage walkway, and the snow blocking passage to the laneway.

New Years Writing Resolutions:

 

Publish 5 books (4 out of 5 are written) block out five more, e-publish my book of homilies, write two more of fiction and two of non-fiction. Finally assemble all my filk songs as of the end of 2016 into a big pdf file. Dig more deeply into Scrivener and see what else it can do to help my work flow. Learn more about e-publishing. Print at least a small run of physical books (probably locally) so I can put them in my mOm’s hands. Put everything for free on my website so people who are broke can read it. Develop a mailing list for book marketing purposes. Learn to spam LinkedIn since it’s all they’ve ever done for me. Figure out if it’s worth it to put any version of the ‘trilogy plus bookends’ on Amazon, given all the hassles I hear about. Start a Patreon account. Move 1500 units. Start submitting to publishers once I have some sales. And remember that 1000 words a day is 4 books a year!

I am completely and utterly sober. I have five minutes to pour myself a toast of something before I greet the new year with some Moar Wrdz.

365 Daily Affirmations for the Revolutionary Proletarian Militant

I’m not a prole by virtue of upbringing, education and unemployment, so I really got it in memory of John.  I do like it, even if I don’t agree with all of it.  I supported the Kickstarter and it arrived yesterday and it’s gorgeous.

Yesterday the weather was so yeesh Paul and I mall walked at Brentwood instead, and I came home with more soap and more undies and much sorer feet than normal since we normally walk on more yielding substances than the terrazzo floors one finds in malls. I picked up a dark chocolate Sweet Georgia Brown for Jeff.

THE FOLLOWING RANT TRIGGERED BY THIS.

The novels I am working on honour and name some women’s experiences that don’t get spoken of much in fiction, and while I meant to write something overtly feminist and goofy (there is a LOT of goofiness in all of the novels, also stuff that’s really sad or formal or media-crunchy or just kinda sideways to the normal flow of contemporary novels) I wanted to deconstruct a lot of issues I find with fiction.

The first novel is written almost entirely from the points of view of the main characters.  They lie, they address the camera with every show of sincerity, and in some cases they go off into wacko country to expose themselves and their feelings to demonstrate how real and how weird they are, on purpose, kinda like a performance piece that you can’t look away from despite how terrible it is.  Later, you hear from a sympathetic female character that she doesn’t believe a word that our heroine wrote on the subject of her relationship with the lead alien, to which her sad response is, “I can’t believe the things that really happened,” which is me saying that erasure happens at every level of human life, fictional or not. Not everyone in your lifeboat is your friend.

What we are willing to consider unbelievable defines us.  When we open the floodgates to unmediated human experience and see with our x-ray eyes the patterns and radiating webworks of connection and alienations, our prejudices will define what we see, our linguistic traffic patterns will define how we talk about it OR IF WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT AT ALL and what springs into the foreground for me as a writer is how crabbed and censored and tied in moneyed, legalistic, sexist knots all of my life is, including, overwhelmingly, most of the media I consume.

I am over the side of a little boat, trying to get a big damned net off a whale that has begged for my help BY BEING IN FRONT OF ME AND NEEDING MY HELP.

And if I’m really lucky, I will experience that moment of success. I’ll get the net off ONE WHALE. The whale will leap into the air and take me to the place of gratitude that belongs to all thinking creatures – at least the mammals.

I am trying to free language so that we can speak about things that mean something to us.  Women, men, everybody. We are all in a net of clunky concepts and ambiguous words.  It’s my job to jump over the side and free the whale.

So no, I’m not going to be a revolutionary militant, but I’m going to hold myself to my goal.  I want my readers to laugh and cry and think and shake their fists. And when they are done, to think about their own lives, all the risks untaken and all the kind words left unsaid, and all the fucking homophobic narcissistic sexist racist assholes who, every time we rub up against them, take a little of our skin and humanity with them.

My son said that the idea of reading ‘a book about alien pregnancy’ made him squick.  Paul laughed uproariously.  Nine months in my body, but disgusted by pregnancy, was his comment.  What a kid. The pregnancy is less than 10 percent of all the words in all three books but see what he has chosen to believe defines it.  And so, in the words of the black activists I follow on twitter, this is me shaking my damned head. (SMH)

Blerg

I am reading Patton Oswalt’s Silver Screen Fiend and IT’S OUTSTANDING.  Borrow it or buy it and read it.  Won’t say more, don’t have to.

And I have Caitlin Moran and the Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines to look forward to after this.

I can feel the well of my writing soul going dry, and there’s nothing to do but fill the cup at someone else’s spring.

Or have some more Great Blue Heron coffee. Yeah.

I have a couple of potential songs in the queue and since I’m ahead of schedule I’ll pause.  I practiced a good long time yesterday, it was very pleasant.

Paul and Keith are off to the Island this weekend.  Yay for family visits!

Today is Keith’s nth birthday, and glad I am I gave birth to him n years ago, about three hours from now.  I am more glad that we live in the same town/time zone, because he continues to be a good soul who takes no shit from me, and that is a good thing.

Back to Mr. Oswalt, who in his book is lodged firmly in the midnineties catching up on classic cinema.