Kitundu took this picture

Image

It’s a song sparrow. Gentleman who took this is a Black birder residing in the US – among MANY other things, me calling him a birder is like calling Miles Davis a trumpet player. His website is kitundu.com, and it is full of wonders. Including the video of a phonoharp study. I had no notion there was such a thing as a phonoharp until today. It’s great music. Nature photos galore. A thought-provoking designer too.

Hannah Gadsby

Many thanks to Alex for taking me to Hannah Gadsby when her good friend C. couldn’t make it. Told her to make sure Darwin sees “The Compleat Practical Joker” the next time he’s at the fOlks in Victoria.

If you haven’t seen Nanette, her earlier show which took the internet by storm, I’d advise it, but pack tissues.

Funny fandom note; Misha Collins, whose graceful corpus (along with the rest of the Company of Mad Bad Boys in Plaid from Supernatural) has inspired hundreds of thousands of words of smut’n’otherstuff from YersTruly, mentioned yesterday morning on social media that he’d rewatched Nanette with tears rolling down his face and then about two hours later Alex texts with hey wanna see Hannah Gadsby, and I thought ‘that’s interesting, I thought I was going to the Heritage Grill for the Jam tonight but guess not!’

It was a fantastic show. Superlatively intellectual, emotional and FUNNY on all cylinders.

She doesn’t like antivaxxers. SHE ADDRESSED THEM DIRECTLY and it was SOMETHING I ASSURE YOU

Her little rip through art history, much as in the previous show, was fucking hilarious.

Alex and I didn’t spend longer than two minutes at any point during the show without laughing. HARD VERY HARD XQUUEEEEZE ME

Alex and I both contacted each other after the show to ensure we got home.

Went to see a feminist comedian…. yeah

the end of a perfect day

apart from misgendering Cade Tinney when I introduced them, yesterday, for which I apologized and was forgiven by them and the con com I had the best possible con.

Thanks to my fellow judges for the songwriting contest.

Daniela Festi was an amazing choice as an interfilk guest, like flat out fucking amazing. Her musicality, professionalism and versatility was mindblowing.

Vanessa Cardui has a beautiful voice and penetrating wit and verve as a lyricist.

Rhiannon’s Lark, aka Alyssa Yeager, a zero defect singer, a great and funny lyricist, a good guitarist and hoo boy can she run a harmony looper like nobody’s biz.

Eric and Lizzie of Cheshire Moon were great guests and entertaining as heck.

Sunnie Larsen IS A GODDESS fight me.

It was so good to see Beth Runnerwolf.

Hung with Chaos for a while.

Emailed Jesse my Cthulthu Mars Bar story.

JOHN AND JEN ON SOUND my goodness HOW LUCKY ARE WE as Paul said, on both sides of the mic!!!

Ecumenifilk was great, played Lift Every Voice and Sing on the ukelele AND when I talked about how I would never sing it (just play it) the only poc in the room thanked me for my sensitivity.

BEAUTY AND HAPPY MEMORIES ALL ‘ROUND.

gaw damn

So the government having spun and ground and popped its neck vertebrae has now coughtèd up another 2700 dollars this time for GST/HST.

Unbelievable. Jeff suggested sending fleurs to the woman at RevCan and I’m seriously considering it… anonymous, of course, so as to not have the appearance of a bribe.

Her voice – so peaceful and kind.

The exact opposite of what you’d expect.

Finally did a word count on HOTM can you believe it the rewrite is now almost 30K long!!!

Sad Puppies

A regressive bunch of almost entirely guys has hijacked the Hugo nominations so that their slate is most likely to win.

Info here, here and here (one of the puppies, just to be fair).

 

My response on facebook:

 

They can game the system for a couple of years, and then they’ll be back to crying. The test of their horsemalarkey will come from sales. If the almighty free hand of the market makes it rain for their publishers because the Sad Puppies widdled on the Hugos, then they get to gloat. If, as I predict, all this posturing means nothing to the bean counters, their victory will be virtual and ephemeral. In the meantime, it’s never been easier to find whatever kinds of fiction you enjoy, and even to find ways to avoid bad cover art, which seems to be a problem with the Pupsters.

I intend to write contemporary SF that messes with intent with every one of the Sacred Tropes of the Golden Age of Privileged SF, torches the evidence and makes sidewalk chalk with the ashes.

And my last word.

 

Ordination

I am still processing how beautiful the rite of ordination was.  UU churches ordain ministers, not other ministers or entire denominations, as is the case in other forms of Christianity. There were people from all over the Pacific northwest; the aesthetics team OUTDID themselves in coming up with a stunning, relatively inexpensive and mobile layout; there were enormous swathes of colour contrasting nicely with the shining wood of the hall.

Emotionally, it was a roller coaster.

Anyway, like I said, still processing.

Margot was calling for me after I left

… Or I should say squawking, according to Jeff.

I bought and brought back two packs of specially blended tea from Friday Afternoon, the Serenity blend and the Inara blend.  The Serenity blend is extremely tasty (I’m consuming it right now) and the Inara blend we’ll have to wait to drink.  Jeff and I have both now quit coffee so I’m looking for less caffeinated beverages to enjoy.  It was Friday’s daughter who was the littlest filk wench.  TTTO Away in a Manger

 

The littlest filk wench no corset she has
She jumped into the wenching with verve and pizzazz
With hair all of gold and eyes of bright blue
Just try not to bid when she’s gazing at you.

Mom’s in the dealer room all unawares
how her girl’s superpowers she now freely shares
The littlest filk wench said “LET’S DO THIS THING!”
and Douglas and J. heard the coffers ka-ching.

Seanan McGuire took the stage for a bid
Showing how a fan’s name she had cleverly hid
She said “and he might die quite horribly”
And the littlest filk wench cried “NO SPOILERS!” with glee.

She said “SAY ONE HUNDRED!” and the adults all quailed
We all came with a budget and once more we failed
Twas all for a good cause and we all shared a laugh
But how I wish I’d gotten that girl’s autograph!

Happy Birthday mOm

Tonstant weaders will believe that I have a rather rose coloured view of my mother; those who actually know my mother will know that my pen is a feeble reed in limning all of her sterling personal characteristics.  So to prevent this little screed from becoming a full on panegyric, I’ll take the first three words that come to my mind when I think about her, which are kind, intelligent and industrious, and attempt to fill in the gaps a little.

The grimmer aspects of childrearing aside (for my mother was not kind when she wanted me to clean my room) my mother is kind.  To the extent that she knows of the feelings of others, she doesn’t tread on them.  I had her example in front of me during my growing up and it’s great – also a burden, because the world is full of assholes and sometimes I’d like to go join that party, but my mother’s lingering influence prevents me from going full bore asshole for more than short periods.  My dad is also kind, but he specializes in unemphatic demonstrations of practicality, punctuated by full on goofiness.  My mother’s kindness consists of superb discernment in conversation and a finely tuned ability to see and experience the best in other people; hospitableness; a really amazing ability to take people as they are without immediately rushing to judgement; and most of all taking her own needs seriously while making the people around her comfortable.

That she’s intelligent can be, I suppose, demonstrated by the degrees on the wall, but we’ve all met educated fools.  My mother’s intelligence is woven fine; it encompasses the practical and kinesthetic skills of what used to be called the womanly arts as well as the ability to be curious and ever learning about archaeology and cosmology and sociology; the ability to grow things and be in nature with joy; to envision and execute a multiplicity of ongoing writing and craft projects; to keep the more eyeglazing aspects of family history firmly in hand; and most important, to understand the limits of her intelligence with humour and candour.

Oh, the industriousness.  I don’t envy her kindness or her intelligence.  Both of those things are part of her makeup at least in my view.  But people CHOOSE to be industrious, and that my mother has done.  There’s been a lot of bs in the internet press about ‘having it all’; how hard it is for a woman to have a career, husband, children, house, garden and restful sleep at night.  The reason I think it’s bs is because I’VE SEEN IT DONE.  I know how it’s done.  If you have a supportive husband and reasonably cooperative children, it’s possible.  You just can’t do anything else and not have things go SPUNG.  Oftentimes I think that the whiners are saying “I want all that stuff but I still want exotic vacations and drinks with the girls and 45 minutes of working out every day.”  My mother did not, and does not, give a tinker’s cuss about any of that stuff.  Her priorities were as plain as a three by five card.  It was “Husband, kids, career, home, family, friends” in some order, but not necessarily that order.  And in order to do that, she cooked a lot of meals, and burned a lot of midnight oil studying, and got woken up a lot by puking or nightmare-frightened children, and scrubbed a lot of tubs, and filled in a lot of incident reports, and sewed and knitted a lot of clothing, and pulled a lot of weeds, and took the pager (disproportionately a lot, thanks you sexist asshats) as administrator on call for the hospital, and wrote a lot of letters, and put long hours in at the office, and worked (discreetly and without fanfare) on keeping the magic in her marriage.   (All of this makes it sound like my pOp didn’t do anything; believe me, he was in there working his butt off, but much of what he did was less visible to me as a child.)

So there you have it.  My mOm, in brief.  Happy Birthday, mOm!

frabjous news

I have simply spectacular good news but I can’t say anything about it until I receive authorization.  It has to do with me and music.  I’ll leave it at that.

Board meeting was excellent and productive.  We had a board meeting/potluck and Jeff grazed on leftovers.  One of the joys of Unitarianism is candle wax, and I got some on my gran’s linen tablecloth but sing HA I have already ironed the wax out and I’ve run the tablecloth through the laundry.  So no harm done.  We had to make some hard choices, but Debra is an awesome minister and she is completely unFaZed by organizational change, is a great communicator and gosh darn a nice person.  She told her partner recently that she’s falling in love with Beacon.  I dearly love Rev Katie and really enjoy her posts (and her hubby’s) on facebook (the only way I keep track of her as there is meshugas about a retired minister poking head back in to a church for a couple of years) but she is a reserved individual and Debra is a gregarious individual and it’s obviously playing out in an interesting way in congregational life.

I’m seeing Katie for lunch today – her treat, yippee.

TAMMY IS COMING THIS MONTH.  So looking forward to seeing her and her mum, whom I usually see at the festive season.

Sue is playing Santa Claus in a play which I am going to go see.  She says playing Santa Claus is hot and hard, which kinda makes it sound pornographic now I write it out like that.

I got a completely unprintable and exceedingly welcome compliment from somebody recently, to the point that I must now quote Mark Twain: “I can live two months on a good compliment”.  I may have to stretch it out even farther than that.

I have a very obnoxious complaint to make about somebody and I am not going to publicly state it.  I want a medal or something.

I think Jeff is thrilled we had company; there’s whipped cream in the fridge and the kitchen table is now clear.  Oops, just put laundry on it.  O well, it was nice while it lasted.

This afternoon after my Katietime I will do something productive, just haven’t figured out which of my piles of shit I should attempt to render into something useful first.

I love Lockout.  Guy Pearce is A GREAT SMARTASS. Man after my own heart.  Here’s a quote from him: [2007, on his music] “I don’t want to make music to get into the pop charts and make a career out of it. I just want to play music with other people. Sometimes I record it. I think there is a value in recording it in the same way that you might write a diary. Writing a diary does not mean that you want to publish it. If this is my diary, I’m not sure that I want it to be read. And anyway, I think there is an automatic disdain for somebody who is too ambitious. People think as an actor you are gifted and don’t have any troubles in life. You are lucky to be doing this thing where all you have to do is go around telling lies and you get to kiss beautiful women. So how dare you want to be able to do this other thing. I am not interested in releasing music to a skeptical audience.”

I mourn the passing of Dave Brubeck, and light a candle also for the victims of the Montréal Massacre

The hell I do all day?

I completed two steampunk craft projects today (Distressed Cogs handbag and Steam-Bling Parasol (finally used the peel-and-stick copper foil)), got my repaired shoe back from Fluevog, practiced mandolin, hit Dressew for some sequins and some reflective piping, & had many people on E Hastings try to sell me smokes.  It was 18 months ago today I quit smoking, I fervently hope for the last time. Oh, and I saw the Brian Jonestown Massacre/Dandy Warhol doc(ew-drama), Dig.  Courtenay Taylor makes my widdy heart sing.