moar food

Made a Southwest style pork and beans this morning. Beans were soaked and soaked and soaked (16 hours) and rinsed and rinsed and rinsed (I rinsed them three times) and then Instant Potted for 30 minutes. I cooked them in chicken broth. The results are bland but you can always add salt and pepper.

Alex is apparently sleeping longer and not grinding his teeth as much. This is very happy grandma news. I knew Katie would like the blankie, but as much as I enjoy making her feel better this was all aimed at Alex.

Paul and I were supposed to go walking yesterday but you know what happened? He said can we run errands and I said BUT OF COURSE. I helped get Katie’s new car back to their house and I used to opportunity to fetch Jeff some pie from the Pie Hole (Dean Winchester’s business in another AU) and to buy some meat from the butcher then we drove to Oakalla (the old name for one end of Deer Lake Park) and there was FUCKING ICY SNOW EVVYWHERE. Paul said, shit I’m wearing Crocs and I said shit I didn’t even wear socks and we just sadly put the car in reverse and went back home and I said I wanna go to Langley Farm Market but … so we did, and we ran errands and I don’t care, I got out of the house. Day before I got my new Library card from Burnaby… so the replacement of ID continues.

Today, a brief foray out into the world for an errand in the AM, then Lunch Bunch and then Osteofit and mebbe some laundry.

 

blanky part le deux

Success! I slept an additional 2 hours with the blankie, garnering almost 7 hours of (almost) uninterrupted sleep. I think Katie will be pleased when I hand it over to her this morning for non-destructive testing on Alex.

This is me 30 seconds before I found the box on my step. This is the weather their delivery company dealt with. We got two inches of dense, slippery af snow pounding down over about four hours, then it abruptly stopped and a watery sun came out and said oops.

When that snow all turned to water at once, that was an interesting moment.

Katie took me to breakfast – it’s a grey day, but much warmer and the snow’s off the walkway.

Stanley Donen is dead. The man who directed Charade is gone. But here he is being fucking amazing in 1997.

No MMCo today

Jeff and I hosted Paul’s birthday last night. I got tired and went to bed at nine (folks came by at two, which is fine, because the Alex was one of them.) Also that might have something to do with the fact I was up at 2 am YESterday too.

Watching Paul with Alex. Alex pretends to feed him chili, Paul pretends to eat it, the two of them laugh like drains. This went on for about ten minutes.  I got one decent pic, which mOm already has.  He’s laughing so hard his face is almost blurry.

Alex refers to himself as Ack. This is charming. He is now speaking in perfectly intelligible sentences of two or three or four or even five words. Then the next thing he says is gibberish, right about the time you were thinking of boasting.

Nita, Keith, Alex, Katie, Peggy and Tom, Mike and Cassidy and Rob Warner all came by.   Plus Cassidy gave preserves to Paul which he will enjoy mightily.  Her southern rellies put magic in that woman’s kitchen….NOM.

Alex on his belly watching Jeff fix the deck with a screwdriver, and calling him Unca Jeff quite clearly. Playing with the hose and running all over the yard. Playing with the posture ball.

He was so busy he never even got to play on the pinballs!

Extra special hugs to cousin Lindsay for singing happy birthday to her uncle! That was very cheering.

Happy people eating chili. I made vegan chili and I’m glad, I tell you.

Much very good beer including Dageraad.

Heart full of gratitude, mind full of I HAZ NOT ENOUGH SLEEP.

Thus the pause today on the writing.  Back tomorrow, have no fear.

a brief response

When you come out of the gate calling responsible use of language “ideologies of victimhood” you *know* who’s gonna love what follows.
Men, mostly.  That was my facebook experience.  I was going to respond on facebook and thought fuckit I have my OWN blog to rant on, why poop on the self-congratulatory parade of men who lined up to agree with every word? Oh, the mean things they said.
Not that any of you care, but I laughed my ass off when she said “For example, homosexuals have been hideously abused through much of history.” This is such a Canadian thing to say it’s quite amusing. You think she’s sticking up for homosexuals, but is she? Who’s she putting down in the process?
(I would argue the whole piece is full of these ideo-logic bombs but I just grabbed one.)
 
I can’t speak for anyone who’s First Nations, but it is a matter of documentation custom AND LANGUAGE you know that SOCIAL CONSTRUCT WE HUMANS USE TO THINK WITH that people who are gender non-normative have been living uncircumscribed lives here for hundreds of generations; the *assumption* of hideous abuse is a colonial use of language, all the more hilarious because McElroy identifies as an anarchist. She thinks she’s covered herself by using ‘much of history’ but no, she’s just revealing the ‘structural swiss cheese’ of her argument in her choice of words.
 
People are at different points along the justice spectrum. Yelling at them to move up doesn’t help and any sensible person with a long term view of social justice knows it. But some social justice enthusiasts are wont to yell, because they want a cookie for how hard they’ve worked on their isms and get shouty and irrational when unappreciated. I am that person.  Except when I’m not.  Wendy’s taking a normal human reaction to cognitive dissonance and trying to ‘other’, denigrate, condescend to and belittle SJWs by saying they’re mean sometimes.  Fuck yeah. Get me drunk and in the same room as Wendy McElroy and I’ll be a right arsehole, you betcha. 
But I’d rather be the arsehole defending the rights of those whom the state has deemed less worthy than white men, than the public intellectual who calls herself an anarchist and then sides with the oppressor with every sign of glee.  Jumpin’ Jimmy Christmas, woman.
 
Oddly, personal experience and testimony to those who think they aren’t privileged do work to move the needle toward justice, but they are really inefficient strategies being one on one, and they put a lot of emotional pressure and expectation on disadvantaged people. If you are immune to the effects of sexism and racism and all those isms, you’re lucky in your life, and cursed in your head, because you aren’t seeing and feeling the world of your fellow humans except in the narrowest way, and while you can’t tell, other people can, and that is among many things an annoying feature of do gooders.  Oh yes we will call you on your bullshit, yes we will.  Who’s a good reactionary? Who’s a good reactionary? You are. Yes you are. You know you are, fuzzums!  

walkies

Ran into Kirsten at Deer Lake Park yesterday.  Her sister has a three legged dog too, which is very kind of them both.  Keith and Paul were accompanying me.  We saw a coyote as we entered the park which makes all the people who ignored us because they were wearing headsets rather amusing in a sick way.  Hey, we tried to tell them but they just wouldn’t listen.

After I got back I mowed the whatever it is that’s growing on the property.  It is no longer grass in the front yard, and the mere act of turning the mower around created immense divots in what’s left of the turf. The back isn’t so bad but it doesn’t get so dry (we never water). The house is a tear down, so we’re never going to get new sod. C’est la vie.

I got the orthotics, and twice crossed the Pattullo Bridge, which is under construction and an amply proportioned clusterfuck at the best of times. WHILE I was trying to get across the mofo’ing bridge northbound, a guy leaned out of his truck and said in a heavy Arabic accent “I give you three thousand dollars cash right now for your car” and I casually explained that it wasn’t going to happen, and he started upping the bid, reaching five thousand, leading me to explain that it a) it wasna my car and b) it was not for sale for any price. Then the traffic shifted and I stopped having to deal with him. Wish I’d taken the camera, Jeff might have been entertained by the convo.  Entertainingly, these convos always happen more in the summer.

Went and got beer and groceries and a few treats, and we ate store chicken, home made salad and corn on the cob for dinner.

Forgot to mention that we saw a grouse by the side of the road when we went up Mt Washington last week.

I will be adjusting to the orthotics by wearing them about two hours a day until I’m completely used to them. They feel pretty comfortable but I’ll know better how they are later.

Watched Eye in the Sky and Wave. Very much enjoyed both movies, but I liked Wave more since it is a classic style disaster movie, leaving no trope unturned, but effectively and non-cheesily played out.

 

 

Walking distance – a consultation with the spirits

Back in my 20’s I read a book or a manifesto or something about how you should walk every inch of the city within a five km radius of your house.  Yesterday I learned to recognize that as wise, yet again, having forgotten it.

Slept over at Mike’s after a wonderful supper of the salmon of wisdom, the preserves of friendship and the taters of sustenance.  A deep, roborative sleep.  Then astonishment, as the whole city was fogged in and we were above it all in the Eyrie, watching it burn off. Then a brekkie of coffee, hash browns, bacon and eggs. We went a-walking in Byrne Creek Ravine park.

The day signs were most impressive; the Trickster appeared, facing the sun. Then three black dogs.  The first two were on leashes; the third was free walking with her owner. Then a Korean family, joking in English and Korean. Then a troupe of dancers rehearsing Chinese opera on the tennis courts.

THEN a dry big-leaf maple leaf, in the shape of a death’s head, lodged against the ivy twining up a snag.

Then the old man.  He came down, down down the steep incline to the water, and as soon as he saw us he BACKED UP THE TRAIL, never taking his eyes off us.  When I saw him later I tried to acknowledge him, but he would not meet my eyes, although twice I caught him staring at me. Most unnerving.

Each leaf swayed and sang; there was a deeper stillness in the plashing of the water; I could feel my brain trying to calculate things, all the tiny incremental movements, as if they could be calculated.  My vision cleared.  It was a wonderful feeling.

As we paused, walking back, looking down at the ravine from the railing on the other side from Edmonds station, a young First Nations family walked by.  The mother was saying to the toddler while the father pushed an infant in a stroller, “You can’t go climb down to the stream! You’ll scratch your bum on the blackberries!”

Safe back at the Eyrie I asked the spirits if they could help me find my family crest. I’m not knowing what to do about the answer.

At first it was all random stuff, a doodle in white letters against my closed eyes; it looked like Kufic script, and then script in no human language.  I was sad, because I could not interpret the dancing, ever shifting letters.

They gave me the bones of a salmon, the curl of a fern, the head of a vulture, a toad, and strange, gap-toothed cogs, fitting into all these things.  Ground and figure were constantly shifting, but it all felt fitting, and as I’m receiving these teachings, I’m thinking, yes, this is right, this is as it should be.  The salmon and the fern are how the land and the sea connect, the head of the vulture is the acknowledgement of the cycle of birth and death, the toad is welcoming the stranger and the orphan, the cog is the knowledge that all things fit, the gaps the incompleteness that comes with being human.  Then the last part.

It was the outline of a subdivision.  I think I know what it means – that I’m a colonial born and bred and living on the land on sufferance, but damn it is NOT what I wanted to hear, and so it is probably the most valuable part of the teaching.

All these things were interwoven.  As I looked at one thing, it turned into something else.  Everything kept shifting; animal faces into letters, into stylized hands and fingers, curving railroad tracks with swaying ties. All rendered in brilliant white, as if the world’s most skilled tagger was drawing it on my sensorium at the speed of light.

At this point, on behalf of Cousin Gerald, I would like to interject, “Wot, no MOOSE?”

I remonstrated with the spirits, who laughed very heartily at my tears (I was weeping pretty much continuously at this point).  A great woman’s voice said, “It’s nothing for you to parade around! You have no family crest! You couldn’t draw it even if you could understand it!” Then, after a pause, as if reconsidering, the same voice said, more quietly, “It will be there when you close your eyes,” and I’m back to myself and Mike’s handing me Kleenex.

It never ceases to amaze me, what’s in my head.  None of this was real, but I assure you, it happened.

Today I’m going to go keep a promise, but this time I get to drive.  Paul and I are going to Nanoose Bay for a restorative justice conference, or at least the part of it he is presenting at.  I had meant to bail, but all things considered I have a few things to tidy up before I get back to writing.  The characters are once again speaking, though. Theo came and sat with me while I was in the forest.

“I was not a philosophical person, and now I am.  At first I was angry, because I did not need to think about what it all means.  I was happy to move around in the space my people occupy, which is life and death and reproduction, and possibly looking at beautiful things. Then I was angry, because all my previous understanding was not wrong, just too small. I had thought myself as big as I needed to be.  But since I got philosophy I can only think of myself in relation to others, and that makes me angriest of all, for I don’t like most Sixers and hate most humans, and now I am stuck with them all, and I really don’t have the temperament for a philosopher.”

Poor Theo.  There’s nothing worse for a hard-core narcissist than waking up one morning and finding out you’re too small.

Meltingly grateful to Mike for his most restorative and sacred hospitality.

I’d also like to thank mOm for her bracing phone calls of late.

Tom U. is back working with Mike again, isn’t that wonderful? One half of the lunch bunch is back together.

whatevs

I am in a super strange mood, as I often be when the migraine (atypical) is pending (which it can do for weeks and then go back into its hole).  I shall make no decisions heavier than what to order for dinner (Mike’s treat) for the next 24 hours, and somebody please shoot me if I start making meeping noises about how nobody loves me, cause it just ain’t true.  Also, I’m doing laundry, because no matter what I do I get food on mah clothes.

Bwa ha ha, mistook Mike’s voice for Keith’s on the phone today.  I blame my brain chemistry.

I made word count yesterday (500 words a day is the recommended minimum) but continue, even after cleaning it with serious thoroughness to rassle with the cpap.

Wrigley!!!! omg Chipper you are the best.  I wish you could have heard me scream when I read that, you would have laughed your ass off.

Sometimes the cops have to use deadly force.

But sometimes it really seems like they don’t.

Back to naming babies.  Michel is NOT THE PERSON FOR THIS JOB.  Which is why he volunteered for it.  And of course he has ulterior motives, which add up to “The sooner the babies are born the sooner I can go back to making time with Kima hurrr durrr.”

Paul is supposed to collect me mid-afternoon to go walkies.  I am having trouble even making 2 k, but I suspect if I stick to someplace flat I’ll be fine.

 

Stan Freberg

I could spend a lot of time talking about how Stan Freberg was an integral part of my childhood, but I won’t.  I mourn the man.  

You can call me the Queen of Denial…. Keith and Paul conveyed me up and down the Fraser Foreshore in a canoe yesterday afternoon. The tide was slack. We had a brief picnic on very soggy and clay-ey ‘beach’. Of particular note (beside the weather, which was glorious) was the immense sea lion carcass on the log boom. There was a live sea lion swimming by the railway bridge; he or she chose to surf the waves generated by a fishing boat. We had a few beers and sang and played on the deck afterward and Paul mowed our front lawn (I ran outside when I heard the mower fire up to get the parade of “I live close to a public school so my lawn has lots of junk food wrappers on it” policed up.)

Sundry and various

Got a package ready for ex MIL Phyllis so she’ll finally have pictures of her new great grandbaby.  Didn’t manage to get it into the mail, that’s for today.

3.9 hours on the cpap, in two stretches.

Jeff texted me to remind me about the garbage and if you can believe it I was already done!  I have brushed up my toes.

Went to see the gals who gave us Autumn, who transmoggified into Buster, and gave them all the contact deets so they can come and see him anytime. Rode over there on my bike to feed Ayesha and on the way back and JUST MISSED the vet’s office so I couldn’t pick up kitty malt for Margot, who seems to have quite a hairball to deal with.  She’s quite clingy and for the first time in about four years spent the night with me on my bed. Buster tried to scare her off but she wasn’t having any.  While I was riding (in the pouring rain, meh) a four year girl chided me for not wearing a helmet.  Everyone’s a critic.

Paul seems to be in the best mood you can imagine possible, which probably has something to do with retiring.  Yup, he put in his paperwork and joy was exceeding unrefined-like. They gave him money to buy his own goodbye eats with and he said POSITIVELY NO DONUTS and fed everybody about $150 of healthy food, which he says his soon to be former coworkers fell on like piranhas.  Nope, not even a deli tray – all healthy stuff.

He is currently in Seattle and he’s promised to bring me home some craft beer.

Watched one of the Bourne movies last night and noodled along to the music trying to deconstruct how you make a tense soundtrack.  I don’t normally write in modulations but soundtracks are full of them.  I will have to think on this thing.  It’s definitely a skill.

Did not go to church.  Sue was rehearsing in north Van and I just could not get my ass out the door.  But I did go cycling later, so I’ve got that going for me.

I practiced mandolin quite a bit yesterday. I did not do any writing or editing.

All is merry and bright

  1. Paul gave me and Jeff motion detector lights; the upgetting to pee is now a lot easier.  Paul’s approach to Christmas gifts is to buy a bag of useful objects and let you pick which one you like – this year the theme was light, so it was headlamp, motion detector light or keychain flashlight.
  2. I was really resentful about ‘having’ to do Christmas dinner, and then I asked myself what it would take to be less resentful.  I immediately thought “If I don’t have to buy the turkey and lug it home!”  To which Paul happily agreed, and Keith lugged it over here.  Resentment vanished, I went to Granville Island with Tammy for the rest of the veg and happily lugged that home.
  3. I made vegan squash soup – there wasn’t enough for everybody and it was damned good.
  4. so much good beer – pumpkin ale, winter ale, shipwreck IPA! Tammy brought some nice wine.
  5. The turkey was good – the meat delicious, the skin like an advertisement – but what was really amazing was the gravy. I ended up eating it cold as a side for leftover pie, and it was SO GOOD.  It was pan dripping gravy.  I stuck the pan drippings in a blender, added a tablespoon of cake flour and about half a cup of milk, blended the shit out of it and then nuked it for a minute.  From such pedestrian beginnings came a voluptuously smooth gravy with a meaty and almost nutty flavour.
  6. Mike and Tammy and Paul and Katie and Keith and I sang and played afterwards, and Alex grooved along.  He really really likes music, and he is most fabulously strong.  He apparently likes his Christmas present, which was a stuffed T Rex. Paul introduced Tammy to Never Set the Cat on Fire, which was wonderful.
  7. Wine was spilled on Granny’s linen tablecloth… horrors! and it came out again the next morning with some Amaze.  Tablecloth is clean, folded and ready for use.
  8. Earlier this week I got the lobster dinner I have been drooling for, except it was lunch, and it was with Tammy, so it was pretty much perfect.
  9. Although the kitchen is once again the habitation of orcs this morning, I HAD cleaned up and ran a dishwasher and got rid of the empties and straightened out the living room the next morning and returned some sanity to the proceedings.
  10. Today I hope to get cat litter.  With two cats, more shit.  It is the law.
  11. Autumn is a boy.  He is now Buster.  Jeff and I are fine with this, but not fine with not noticing earlier.  He will be snipped in a week or so.
  12. He has been to the vet for suturing because he’s already gotten in fights. Margot was disturbed by him before, but with a cone on his head she is Miss Hissy each time he approaches.
  13. I am really enjoying everybody’s pics of how happy their Christmas has been.  The various traditions from around the world and around the various ethnicities of my friends and flist make me happy in their variety and conviviality.
  14. I am sad to have missed Christmas Eve service because it was the last time a certain church member will ever provide music for us, because he is awesome, but also sick.  As sad as I am about this, I made happy memories in my own home with my loves and kin.
  15. Keith was sober, and he was Mom’s taxi.  He: ferried Tammy to and from Edmonds, drove his sister home, drove Rob to Church and drove Mike and his Dad home.  As happy as I was to see Alex, Keith did a lot to make the evening perfect, and I am now considering (which I can do here, since he never reads my blog, haw haw) how I shall appropriately reward him for his service.
  16. A car was stolen from in front of our house at 3:30 am Christmas morning.  I spoke to a Burnaby RCMP officer about it… Jeff and I were asleep at the time, or in no position to see what was happening.  I thanked her for working Christmas Day and wished for her to stay safe out there.
  17. I made chocolate cake.  I am thinking perhaps cinnamon rolls later. The turkey soup is made and in the freezer.

This concludes my report….

aw naw, snaw

As they say in Aberdeenshire.  We got two inches (5cm) yesterday and then 5 lovely local lads banged on my door and offered to shovel, so right now I am EXCEEDINGLY WELL PLEASED with the youth of Burnaby.  The fact that it was a black kid, a couple of Asian kids and a couple of white kids was the wonderment on top of the pleasedness.

Off to Gadget House tomorrow for a week of writing and making mOm alternately furrow her brow, laugh uproariously and say meep.  What pOp will have to say is anyone’s guess but I’m sure he will enjoy me describing to him what prank Paul intends to play on him the next time he has an overnight in Victoria. (It is a wonderful prank, one of the best, actually, but some preparation is likely required).  I may or may not post so worry not, I’ll be back.

Autumn is lovely, lively, noisy and her farts will bang your olfactory bulb like a big brass gong. Margot only hissed at her WHEN I WAS WATCHING, so I think she’s a little busted up still but will figure out she’s not the only cat anymore soon.  We may have left it a little too long after Eddie died, but I can’t complain with the results.  Autumn is everything we wanted in a cat and has already demonstrated that she is lap ready.

Totally loving the Danish Swedish coproduction The Bridge / Bron / Broen. The plotting is nutso but I love the characters.

Sue’s going to pick me up for church in about 20 minutes so I should fix ma hair and change into church duds. I am bringing biscotti to the church lunch and I plan to charge for them for the coffee fund.

It’s been a week since I saw Alex, sadface, but he’s apparently doing well.

 

Reporting from the front – Marilyn Medén

Hi, friends, and some relatives.  This is what I did today. (Thursday November 29th)

Up Burnaby Mountain to The Protest

 

Just go! I thought as I tried to find information about where to go, how much walking, what to expect.  Just show support by arriving … somewhere.  But Burnaby Mountain covers a large area, and if I went up it the way I knew, up to SFU, the only satisfaction I might have would be that I tried.  Not much support for the protest against Kinder Morgan.

After much trial and error I found a mapPark near Curtis and Ayrshire, and just head UP, and UP, on a paved walkway, across Burnaby Mountain Parkway, and UP a little further to an information tent where you are told where the action is.

I saw Karl Perrin [of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver] at the tent.  I had heard he was arrested the day before.  Was he out already?

The drilling had moved, and the gathering was now down a very steep deeply muddy path, slippery, winding, intersected by thick roots and unexpected holes.  People said it took 10 to 15 minutes to get to the gathering.  It took me at least 30 minutes of hanging on to branches, tree trunks, people. The demographic was young.  A guy tore a dead tree limb from the ground and handed it to me for a walking stick. Everyone wanted to help.

I could hear drumming: the First Nation presence.  Speakers. Singing of an adaptation of We Shall Overcome. 

Sliding, slipping, holding on, I reached a place where I could see the yellow ribbon.  To go past that meant arrest.  Gentle arrest it seemed.  The police were friendly.

Someone was speaking.  She was telling of her arrest the day before.  The police carried her to a van.  Solidarity Notes had been singing, and some of them were arrested at the same time.  There was singing in the van.  Singing again in the room they were taken to, and yet again in individual cells.  Kraft dinner was provided.  She signed a statement. I gather that at that point they were released, with trial was set for January 12th.  That was it.  I could have done that!  But what would the arrest mean?  Would one then be a “person of interest”?  Well, if I could interpret it as interest in not having oil pipelines, in avoiding oil, that would be all right with me.

I headed back up the trail.  Home to wash my mud soaked shoes and pants.  Home to warm up.

 

Marilyn

 

 

PLEASE NOTE COPYRIGHT FOR THE ABOVE POST BELONGS TO MARILYN MEDEN

Weird clouds this morning

IMAG0711_1Random Hallowe’en notes:

Bought $28 worth of candy, got rid of all of it.  Most of the kids costumes were store-bought, but one made a Mardi Gras like impression.  No pic… but she said she was a peacock fairy, and yes, that is what she was.

NO MUSIC.  But lots of convo with Lois, and I even dragged the coffee maker upstairs from its place of banishment in the basement.

Birds are too shell shocked to sing this morning.

Score!  One of the kids recognized my mask as being from Assassin’s Creed.

Score! Keith came over and he announced that pufferfish are back in stock.  I loves my boy.

Score! Chili was a massive success, and as it proceeds through the colons of my loved ones, it will move from success to success.

Score! Paul brought apple pie from the Mexican bakery in the Quay. And Lion Winter Ale, duh.

Score! Wrote a filk to Robin in the Rain.

Riding in the rain
I don’t mind the weather
I have got a 12 volt heater
underneath my leathers
dodging all the bicycles and trucks and cars
weaving ’round the drunks as they come out of bars
Riding in the rain
I don’t mind the weather
even when it’s getting dark
I am a commuter in a first person shooter
but I have a place to park! (with apologies to Raffi).

Now I must write.  It’s NaNoWriMo, kittens!