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.

angry gesticulating and inarticulate howling

So I found out that one of my fave former church siblings is dead.

And I want to complain about it.

Not because she’s dead, but in consequence of how she was treated before she died.

Now, she had mental health problems, and she was forever going back to her doc to get her meds adjusted.  She started feeling poorly (she was well into her 60s); tired, digestive upsets, dizziness. They adjusted her medication.

She ended up in hospital, and while she was there they found out she had stage 4 lung cancer. They sent her home and she died four days later.

 

F*ck you you *sshole who didn’t check her physical status. You’re a f*cking stain on medicine and I’d stake you to a f*cking anthill in the noonday sun if I had a chance. You decided that a mentally ill woman, a beautiful, sweet, hard working bundle of awesome, was having mental health problems INSTEAD of physical problems and you didn’t even so much as give her a proper workup.

She was ANGRY BEFORE SHE DIED.  She’d been totally f*cked over by the medical establishment.

SO. I know for a fact I have mental health problems, many people do. I don’t take prescription medication because I’m one of those awkward people who hates the seven zillion side effects more than the cognitive relief I might get. And did get, for the four months (WHICH COMPLETELY F*CKED ME UP WITH SIDE EFFECTS) I was taking Prozac. Wellbutrin triggered dissociation and the desire to pick up knives and sink them in my family members, which thank the little fishies went away as soon as I stopped taking it.

And because I don’t go to church anymore I couldn’t go to her funeral, and because everybody assumes I’m connected to the church on facebook nobody called me.

I’m okay with that. I’m not okay how this beautiful person was treated.  Misogyny (oh she’s always complaining about her meds like old biddies do) and ableism (who cares, she’s anxious) KILL WOMEN.

The world can really suck sometimes.

I will remember you, church sibling, as a lover of beauty and a faithful servant of our community. And a super sweet lady. God damn it.

 

Isn’t it the strangest thing?

So there was a fooferaw in the press after the service for Rev Clementa Pinckney at which Barack Obama sang a few staves of Amazing Grace.

I don’t give a shit about what the white conservative pressgong said; they all lick rich naughty bits for baubles and won’t leave a lasting mark on human affairs.  I was much more interested in what the black & activist voices said on my twitter feed, being spoken in what are individual and human voices.

A lot of them were mildly approving, but a bunch of them said, “It should have been “Lift every voice and sing” instead of pandering to sensitive whites with Amazing Grace”, which as a song, in memetic terms, has long ago gone beyond parody and flown up its own semiotically charged ass.

Now, being a Unitarian… Marcy I hope you’re reading this, because it should give you a chuckle…the first thing I do, ten days later, but I did follow up, is go to the internet and check the U*U hymnal and make sure the damned song is in there.  O committee of U*U musicians, what hath thou wrought???? yup, it’s there, and my easily clenched shamey bits relax somewhat. Good work folks!

Then I go unto the internet, o weary ones, and read the lyrics.  Because that’s how we DO.

Then I go to youtube and randomly pick a rendition with lyrics.

It wasn’t until the second time through on the lyrics that I realized that the words native land appear in the last verse.

SETTLER COLONIALISM enshrined in a black hymn.

Yar.  Arg har.  Bleeble bleeble.

Okay, so first off I’m giving Barry a hall pass, the ****er’s unsingable, so he picked Amazing Grace as being a sound compromise in an emotionally and politically volatile public event.  I got no problem with that.

Second I’m thinking wow I’m going to filk that.  A better tune is coming, but the lyrics, except for the last verse which is where the song makes a right turn from social justice into God this and God that and God on every line, are OUTSTANDING.  I mean it.  Read the lyrics and tell me what you think.

It is now two in the morning.  It’s possible I’m cool enough to sleep.

 

side note, ever see that using U*U as a short form for Unitarian Universalism makes our symbol look like you’re mooning someone and showing your asshole?  I couldn’t love Unitarianism more now if I tried.

I am a Toddler – 2 of 50

Glitter and dirt
Hugs and destruction
Tears that will dry as I laugh
Booboos that hurt
Squeals of affection
I am a toddler
I’m here to learn
And if you can’t help get off my path.

I am a toddler and I like my boots
But I will not like them tomorrow
Guessing at meanings and playing with words
that cause my folks wonder and sorrow

Parents:

“Will she say F*ck I love it in front of the grands?
Or that the big wind will breathe her away?
Will he curse at his boots and make silly demands
Returning relentlessly every day
To eating non-stop and most int’resting play
And only a fever puts toddlers away
and not even then if they’re stubborn today
and they’re stubborn ‘most every day.”

Glitter and dirt
Hugs and destruction
Tears that will dry as I laugh
Booboos that hurt
Squeals of affection
I am a toddler
I’m here to learn
And if you can’t help get off my path.

 

I don’t think I’m headed to church today.  There’s so much smoke – I could see it coming in last night and tinting the moon – that it’s not a good idea to be outside and apparently the service is to be held outdoors. 

 

New Horizons went into Safe Mode last night.  I’m not feeling good about this.

 

520 words yesterday.

Wreck

Mike brought the UV shelter, without which I would have fried to a crisp.  I had a presentiment not to take Otto, so I didn’t.

It was a lovely day, trickily overcast, but lovely.

After the rather exhausting trip up the stairs Mike turned the aircon on in the car and what a relief that was.  It was even hotter on the beach day before yesterday; I can’t imagine Katie hauling Alex in the frame backpack up those stairs, cazart, but she did.  I haven’t even got out of bed yet so I don’t know how bad it is… my back, strangely, doesn’t hurt.  Anyway I didn’t skip leg day yesterday.

Also 300 words before I left.

Rozo has a gorgeous apartment across the street from Pacific Spirit Park.

David H at church passed away on Thursday and the announcement came yesterday afternoon while I was on the beach.  He was an intelligent, kind, highly musical, funny-dry-droll, heart centered man, and my heart aches for his lovely family.  Normally you don’t die of prostate cancer, and it’s just so damned sad.  He had a gift for congregational accompaniment that I likely won’t hear in this life again.

 

Justice is what love looks like in public

Here’s another take on the Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Three hundred words yesterday.  I really kinda did take the weekend off.

Yesterday I went to Mike’s AGAIN for lunch and he fed me andouille sausage with red pepper and asiago and the salads we had yesterday.  Then we exchanged body work (for me my back, for him some muscles I can’t pronounce because his martial arts training as a 20something included snap kicks which literally pulled the femoral head out of its normal spot and he’s got pretty much permanent pain 20 years on, plus he had a family meal Saturday and it was a cascade of underslept monkey vs. weasel family meshuggas). Then we napped.  Like adults do when they are two beers drunk, well fed and laying about in the sun. Mike hadn’t slept for an atrocious length of time and he was much refreshed.  Then I got up and rode my bike home (it was around 7 pm) and it was deliciously cool since it was mostly downhill, and then I asked Jeff if he wanted to go to Sunset Beach with us (he was too sleepy) and I grabbed Otto and Mike grabbed his parlour guitar and we traded instrumental and lyrical songs and addressed the bay while the sun went down, and the light made rippling rows of Loch Nessie clones roll up and down the bay. We toasted each other in beer in plastic cups. I thought of John, and how proud of me he would have been for all the song writing I’ve been doing, and how he would have laughed his ass off at the books I’m writing, and mocked me roundly for my many errors and just how jeezly much I miss him.  I will never hear him wheedle me again “Dear sweet, kindly, agreeable sister in common law…” when he wanted a haircut or some assistance wrangling his succession of massive and inconvenient cats.  Then mosquitoes the size of hummingbirds silently arose from the ground and swarmed me and we fled to the exceedingly conveniently parked car, because Mike’s parking-fu is of a calibre to excite the comparison “Magical”.

For a while our only audience was a Canada goose, who booked it when a dog named Jack got too close to him, and a pair of mallards, who sat right at our feet.  I knew they were hoping for schnacks but still it made me feel good, as did watching a pair of herons fly over 4th Avenue. Then other people sat down without crowding us so we had company.   This is the weird bunch of signs from behind where we were sitting.

IMAG0968_BURST002

Going there we went through Richmond, and we didn’t hit a light until we were were on Granville. Going back we went through town and we counted the number of pot dispensaries on either side of Kingsway after Main before Boundary and there were four on his side and three on my side and one hydroponics shop.

Then he took me to Phó Boi and I had a small number 3 and ate ALL of it. An insanely attractive interracial couple was having their first date at the table next to us and Mike and I tried to drown their inanities out with soup slurping, but there’s only so much you can do with the audio when the man next to you is mansplaining how he doesn’t know how to order phó.

Mike was shaking his head as we left.  “Phó for a first date is a terrible idea.”

In the morning yesterday I was in church, Sue came and got me, and John H. was there, first time he’s come since Anita died, and we many of us wept to hear him mourn her, and Debra, who has her earned her bread with us with great skill, asked us to be silent for a while after he spoke.  We gave a cheque for $2700 to a local charity which helps homeless people and I took what were probably not very good pictures of the handoff.  We mourned the deaths in Charleston, and thanked all our volunteers, and broke for the summer recess.

It was a good day.  Today I have no plans but to write.

 

Back on the cpap

1.7 hours last night, and 200 words so far this morning.  Off to Sapperton days later this am. Hopefully I won’t expire of sunstroke or boredom.

…later

596 total for the day.

 

Sue and I nearly fried, but I looked at her after we’d been there for 2 hours and said I bet you want me to bring your car around and she said o would you please when the time comes and I fetched it and there was much rejoicing since we didn’t get a serious conversation in three hours.  I’m reconsidering going to pride New west… It’ll be another frying day almost for sure.  I bought beer on the way back to the car, I had a thirst that could throw a frikkin’ shadow by the time I got home.

Church was the blessing of the animals, and of course the only animals there were dogs.  I lit a candle for a men’s group and a UU movie group.  The youth did a beautiful meditation and all in all it was very pleasant.

 

Grr bleugh

Well it’s a good thing the transpeople I know personally aren’t assholes, because  the idea of having a transwoman tell me I’m oppressing her for occasionally mentioning that I have a Gold Star Darwin Approved Vagina would really really piss me off.  And I wouldn’t be nice about it.

The transpeople I know would roll their eyes and ask us to return to a more useful discussion.

Some woman who is not a professional medical person on the internet put up a 7 minute video on exercises for Pubic Symphisis pain, and in a shocking development, they really help.  Mike took me for Yellowtail Thai food last night down at the Quay  (I just ate the leftovers for breakfast… there is something of decadence in being able to have deep fried oysters for brekkie) last night and I crashed at his place.  He was still sawing logs at 5:30 am like any sane human so I let myself out and walked home.  MAN WHAT A DIFFERENCE.  I can honestly say that’s the longest and fastest walk I’ve had without pain in probably a year. And the sun was lovely, and the fresh breeze, which will probably resemble a damp blanket by midday, was restorative.  So I had a 2K walk in perfect weather as a start to my day.

Still sad about Anita.  She was a good woman.  I’ll post her obit later; she was a public figure in BC so there should be one in the local papers.

Sue comes to get me at 9:45.  I FOUND MY CHURCH NAME TAG more or less in time for the last service of the year.  Go me.

I think I already mentioned I wrote 1024 words yesterday, but here I go again.

New deadline for completion of the manuscript first draft is the end of August.  If I keep up my current rate that will be accomplished.

Going well

562 words already this morning.  Poor Theo.  But not poor mOm, who is going to get the most recent production pretty much immediately.

CHUNK STYLE

I’m doing church outreach today for SAPPERTON DAYS.  I’ll be with Sue, and there will be chairs, so that will be fine.  I’m thinking of taking Otto.  What the hell, eh?

Anyway, back to the grind.

Jeff and I are still messing with the font size.  Let us know if the change is NOT an improvement.

And thank you Jeff for continuing to be the best, most honest and most unobtrusive IT professional ever.

Weeping with joy

So I wanted to whiff on church yesterday because hey no surprise I always do. But it was very very worth it.

Preamble: I walk in the front door grouchy because having left it so late I had to park in the Gods up on Keary Street. The Minister approaches with a look of what I interpret as horrified concern, but she tells me to kick the rock away from the door so it can close and then says “Oh and good morning!”  (He is risen, he is risen, he is verily risen).

One, I need to put my Secret Buddy letter in an envelope (it’s a church thing to help us get to know each other and make stronger intergenerational bonds.)

Two, it’s new member Sunday, and old members should show up and show how happy they are FRESH MEEEAAAT FOR COMMITTEES.  Or BRAAAINZ, I can never figure out what I should be moaning…..  I couldn’t – I was too busy crying.  Because I was so happy that 9 ADULTS AND 5 CHILDREN joined our church.  I got intensely drippy, and it was wonderful. Yeah sure they mostly came from other congregations but the two sets of young families did NOT.

Three, I always like to light candles.  I got up during the service and was grateful for the thought provoking meeting yesterday.

Then Luc and Carol got up and announced that they had ELOPED and BROUGHT CUPCAKES.  You can well imagine (I hope you can) which of these two announcements stirred us most.  The cupcakes were freaking awesome. Oh, and congratulations Luc and Carol.  (Hopefully the out of town Unitarians who occasionally read my blog and know the principals will be dancing around, much as I did.)

Rob W. came late, as is his wont, (this from the woman who looks every week for an excuse NOT to go to church) sat next to me, and as part of our ritualized sideways hug when he sits down, we accidentally bonked heads realllly hard, and then both cracked up because it was funny. Hugs n concussions r us.

Two of our beloved church elders are dying of cancer, and it makes me really sad.  One of them I loved since the first time I spoke with him, and the other kinda grew on me, until now I’m just as sad as if two of my relatives are dying.  We were talking about that at the meeting on Saturday, how good it is that people are joining, because people are literally dying out of the church.  We sing “Gathered here in one strong body” but sometimes the body ain’t so strong.

The choir mistress got a lovely  bunch of fleurs for her service.  She has really moved the choir along in terms of dynamics and intonation.

The sermon about moral beauty had me nodding in a couple of places.

I talked to a couple of people after church and then went home and very late in the day wrote about 650 words.

I made curried pork chomps.

The carafe of cold coffee is calling my name. I have an interview at noon and see the financial advisor at 9.

church meeting

We put together the themes for worship services next church year, and then had a really interesting conversation about livestreaming our services.  I had an awesome time, although getting there practically ran me through a sieve.  AND parking at condominiums SUCKS.

Now I don’t want to go to church this morning!!! I feel like I already gave at the office.  I will anyway, if I can figure out what to wear and have a shower and like that.

167 words yesterday, 360 words so far this morning.  I fleshed out the Michel and the Nonna squib, and have been adding to the Pharos and Theo sections.

Mike called me twice from Wreck Beach during the meeting.  As much as I would have loved to, I think my time was better spent where I was.

Meeting with financial advisor tomorrow, second interview in the afternoon.  I sure hope those clauses end up being connected in real life.

Not everything is a confused mess

Yesterday 0 writing and 2.0 hours.

Church in the morning, took the bus to get there and it all worked out perfectly, except drinking that Timmy Ho’s coffee I bought coming up the hill from Sapperton Station made me so uncomfortably warm I spent the service in a state resembling that of a dish of colloid.  It was a good service, and would have been even better if the person living next to the Hall hadn’t been running a fucking weed whacker at irregular and annoyingly loud intervals during the exact time the service was running.

After the service I went to New West Station and waited in front of the Landmark for Mike and he was frantic about being late and I told him to relax.  When we bought the tickets, we went to the theatre, sat down, and the movie started, so nobody had to sit through the trailers.

Age of Ultron is a colourful, noisy, spirited MESS.  There are a couple of funny lines, and that’s it; it achieves spectacle without providing more than a tiny nod to anything resembling emotional connection, or pulling more than cursory nods at performance out of the principals.  I have no intention of watching it again.  I was an idiot… we really should have gone to Mad Max, but there’s no point wailing over spilled digital.

After the movie we had a late lunch at the Hub.  Great food and a wonderful view from the deck, but I’ve now lowered my expectations of their service to the point where I’m tempted to give my food orders to the manager rather than the assortment of Sand Snakes (think stunning, raven haired and sorta hostile) they seem to have hired as servers. But it was a yummy lunch, srsly.

After that, we saw Katie and Alex.  Happy sigh.

Then we went on an errand for Mike.  While I was sitting in the car looking through the hole in the roof at the brilliant green of the tree and the glorious blue and white of our unforecasted sky, I completely missed the accident; two bicyclists got into a rear ender with each other cause, hey, no brake lights, and all I could hear through the roof was two dudebros saying, “Sorry, man, jeez I’m sorry.” No injuries except to pride.

Mike was laughing when he came back the car, “Can’t get more Vancouver than that.”

Then we went to the Astoria and I had a grapefruit flavoured beer and no word of a lie I used to think I’d drink any beer, but this stuff was, in the memorable phrase of Dr. Filk, AUTHENTICALLY VILE.  We have reached peak craft beer, son.

Then we went to the Hastings Sauna.  My spidey sense (I’ve had something resembling prodrome for a week now) told me to stay the hell out of the sauna for more than a few minutes at a time. I did that and I believe I was wise. Even so the heat and eucalyptus made me feel very relaxed, and they play spa music in the front room, so I just lay there like a dead thing listening to desultory harp music with the oscillating fan blowing over my sweating and corpulent form while Mike roasted himself.  Ah, English.  It can make anything sound beautiful.

Then Mike gave me a lift home and I collapsed, while I realized I’d left my phone at Mike’s place when we stopped off there to get Mike’s bag.  He’ll drop it off sometime after he achieves consciousness today.

And then I couldn’t sleep, and couldn’t sleep, and couldn’t sleep.  It was one before I slept and seven when I woke up.  I feel okay though.

Today writing, laundry and cleaning, and ignoring the stuff on the PVR until Jeff gets home.

I didn’t even drink that much

Gosh it’s been ages since I was hungover, I really can’t remember – and I was tipsy enough when I came home last night I fired up the computer and wrote another 200 words on top of what I’d done that day, which was approximately 500.

Now I get to take this wackiness to church, oh doodie. Alex and Katie are threatening to be there.  We shall see.

This morning Katie ponied up incredibly cute pix of Alex playing in fingerpaint.  His expression makes him look like a tagger in training. Our little anarchist.

No cpap.  Freaking allergies.

If brO gets to the lawn this afternoon I’ll do the weed whipping.  It’s not for us, it’s for a) the landlord and b) the neighbours. I’d love it if the grass got tall, and so would the cats. Also the rats.  The deluge of vermin has halted – the last one was while brO was gone.

Yay, I have the chords for Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked.

 

Here are some deep philosophical questions by way of Mary Bennett, from James Hollis PhD:

1) Where do my dependencies show up in my intimate relationship?
2) What am I asking my partner to do for me that I, as a mature adult, need to be doing for myself?
3) Am I taking too much responsibility for the emotional well-being of the Other? Am I taking on his/her journey at the expense of my own, and if so, why?
4) In what ways do I seek to avoid suffering?
5) What fears, lack of permission or old behaviors block me from living my life?

I wish I had asked these questions of myself 10 years ago.

 

Sunday

I wasn’t feeling the sermon, but the meeting afterwards (soup lunch, AGM) was worth it.  Two of the elder church ladies gave me a moment (one administering side eye to the other) that will have me giggling at all hours for the next couple of days.  I wish I could explain it.  But dadgad it would be hard hard hard to explain without many derailments, so no. The meeting itself proceeded with few snags. Yay!

2.4 hours.

Something statistically improbable happened yesterday.  I was flossing and chunks came off the most recent crown and my top left incisor, which completely sucks. I have a call in to the dentist for an appointment as soon as one may be.

Sue took me to and from church and I thank her.

I forgot to record word count for yesterday before it reset, but it was less than 200.

In a continuation of boring career moves, Will Smith is staying out of Independence Day II.  Everybody else is going back, which you have to admit means that he’ll be finding new ways to be conspicuous by his absence.

We are rewatching PoI and I am loving it.  That show sticks the landing for how to grow an origin story for a team in the first half dozen shows.

We are watching Daredevil.  I really like it and any show with Deborah Ann Woll and Rosario Dawson in it can’t be all bad merely from a consideration of contemporary aesthetics and ability to do a lot with wacky material.