CASPELL, Phyllis – Unexpectedly at her residence on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, Phyllis Caspell of London, in her 95th year. Dear mother of Paul Caspell (Allegra Sloman) of Burnaby, B.C., Ruth Caspell (John Suline) of Toronto, and Lois Schmidt (Robert) of Duchess, Alberta. Much loved grandmother of Keith, Kate, Jesse, Kaitlin, Jessica, Lindsay and Caileigh and great-grandmother of Ava, Meadow, Roman, and Alexander. Predeceased by her son John Caspell, parents Colin and Kathleen Palmer and brother Allan Palmer. Cremation has taken place. Friends will be received by the family on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 from 1-2 pm at St. Paul’s Cathedral, 472 Richmond Street, London, ON N6A 3E6, where the memorial service will take place at 2 pm. Interment in Woodland Cemetery, London. In memory of Phyllis, donations may be made to the St. Paul’s Cathedral Memorial Fund. Arrangements entrusted with A. MILLARD GEORGE FUNERAL HOME
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.
Yesterday I emptied the dishwasher, prepped raw veggies, baked buns and cookies and turned down offers of exercise.
I also spoke to Keith’s counsellor on the phone hoping to help straighten out this communication thing we have (not) going on. That went well.
AND I SAW BABY ALEX. Also baby Ellie, who is so food positive that she makes me howl and her mama Jessica obviously. There is nothing in the world like pulling food from the oven and taking it to your grandson to eat. Everybody was in a really good mood.
John Caspell would have been 64 years old today.
Yesterday there was a windstorm, of the kind that’s going to happen earlier and later in the year but normally happens in November. It was violent and destructive and while we did not lose power nearly everybody else did, it seems. Winds gusted to 117 kph, which is over 70 mph, and there are videos all over the internet of the carnage, including the first ten minutes of local CTV news which shows some very tall trees coming down. Trees down everywhere, traffic lights, restaurants closing for lack of power, Katie still doesn’t have power this morning. Welcome to the future.
Keith came over briefly after walking in the storm. We watched a West Wing.
And containment on the bears at the Zoo was breached. I wrote a bit yesterday about critters and aliens at the Greater Vancouver Zoo and learn this morning that the bears got out because of a windstorm, not because an alien with mental health issues let them out. I’m relieved I wasn’t at the Zoo when the bears got out.
BAD NEWS about climate.
350 words yesterday, but it was mostly infill, and teasing apart two chapters that got jammed together, and fixing pronouns for my gender non-conformist Slider, who is turning into a lot of fun to write.
RIP Oliver Sachs, may you live forever in the healing you brought, the lives you touched and the words you left us.
I have a job interview Monday. It’s an admin position at an established restaurant supply company. I’ll report back after I go.
Paul and I were very moved by the service for David Hamilton, who in death seems even more quietly mythic than he was in life. A genuine, humble, intelligent, thoughtful, listening kind of man, with music in his very soul, the eulogies were funny and moving and real and the comments by his daughters-in-law particularly stood out as coming from two very different women, but uttering the same grateful praise.
We spent a lot of time catching up (I refused to look at my watch.)
So we were late to the restaurant, but it all came out okay.
Then back here. We played Cards Against Humanity and had so much fun. I haven’t heard Jeff laugh that hard in company since high school. Both of us laughed until we were leaking, and at the point when we thought our ribs couldn’t take it any more we’d start laughing again. Keith played games master. Also in attendance Cassidy, Mike (birthday lad), Joe and his gf, whom I’ve probably been introduced to four times but whose name I cannot remember, Brian and Chari, Paul of course. Paul had the advantage, with Keith, Mike and Cassidy, of having played it before, and he came up with some combos that were hilariously unprintable. I won a round with the best and simplest two card combo.
“For my next trick I will try to pull HOPE out of MY SEX LIFE.” Keith was the judge that round, ya shoulda seen his face.
I also won a round with “Dick Fingers”. Since there was also “Five Dollar Foot Longs” coming up as a card in that round the group immediately came up with a band name of Dick Fingers and his Five Dollar Foot Longs.
Yes, we had fun.
Jeff wore his Stargate “No Place Like Home” hoodie, squee.
I don’t even know who won and I don’t care. It wasn’t the point.
Keith noted that you aren’t supposed to play it with family members but we managed all that quite nicely. It’s an extremely rude game, and you may learn, as Jeff remarked, things you really didn’t want to.
Thank you to Jeff for getting the pinballs going – Joe and gf, who is apparently a pinball enthusiast from way back, went downstairs and made pinging noises for at least an hour and then dropped into the middle of the CaH game.
Around 9:30 I realized I could no longer stay upright so I went to bed. Also, darkness equals bugs.
Thank you to all the beautiful people, friends and Beaconites, who made it such a perfect, and perfectly exhausting day. Now I can’t sleep.
Final word count for the day was over 1500 words. (This included editing, since I was ripping adverbs and adjectives out with vigour.) I still have not commenced the new chapters. Also worked on the chapter entitled Exit Interview.
Today a memorial service for a church member and a birthday party for one of my closest friends. I find that often happens to me, two big events in one day; I imagine I’ll be ready to get my drink on by a quarter to five.
We blasted through the rest of the Bojack Horseman season. I really enjoyed it, especially the stuff going on in the background and the non-stop shellacking of all manner of Hollywoo ‘types’.
One of these days I’ll talk about the process, but in the meantime I’ll just say I love Scrivener.
The latest theatre shooting in the States was at a feminist movie and the people who were shot and killed were all women. There IS NO WAR ON WOMEN MOVE ALONG PLEASE. Right wing radio gave him a platform for his hate. And thank you for killing yourself you fucking scumskin, your parents and ex-wife probably got their first night of sleep in ages, despite their grief and horror.
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.
Six hundred forty-five words yesterday, all praise to moving around and trying to write in a different location.
Sad news, Joe W’s dad died this week. He was a frequent guest at parties at the old place and part of the Trent/Joe/Mike gang. It’s very sad and Mike will get me funeral details.
Also, the son of a friend who was in rehab checked himself out by destroying property and making threats, and I feel so sad and sick about it that I’m almost on the ground. But we must rise, and rise and rise again.
Swimming with Baby Alex tomorrow, plus mamma. Today I’m thinking about a trip to the New West Farmer’s Market this afternoon.
I made tomatoes and scrambled eggs and toast this morning for brekky.
Now to find something to either write or edit.
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.
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.
Pentium, Tammy’s remaining kitty, was euthanized yesterday. I am so glad Mike was in Toronto. I’ve supported him through a pet death so this seems like karma sneaking in.
Got to talk to Paul and Phyllis on the phone yesterday. They and Katie and Alex were taking the sights in Port Stanley, always a family favourite with the folks. Phyllis (to be candid) sounded exhausted so I hope he’s not chivying her too hard. Phyllis seems smitten with Alex, although how things could go differently is hard to figure.
Keith came by yesterday. Being on the spectrum – both of us – makes our communication extremely intense, haphazard and painful at times, but this turned out well so I’m going to characterize it as a win. He’s enjoying the mix of work that he has right now, including supplying eyeglasses through his company to X-Files.
Buster’s back/butt wound should get veterinary attention in my view, but I don’t own him. All I know is that had Margot received such a wound I’d have her into the exam room in 12 hours; portions of the wound are now 72 hours old and not crusting over so I am quite concerned about an abscess. Fortunately Margot is only subject to persistent eye goobers, thanks to her allergies, and I’m trying to stay on top of those by removing them every time her eyes get droopy. She does not thank me, but she usually quits running and lets me pick her up when I’m persistent.
It’s been deliciously sunny and breezy and not too hot.
412 words yesterday, mostly on Pharos.
Mike is planning on renting an entire commercial sauna for his birthday. Man o Man, that’s gonna be some party.
There’s this woman in Spokane who is white and has been pretending to be black since she was in University. This is what I have to say about her:
Libertarians are calling Rachel D. the ultimate manifestation of white guilt. I’m calling her as a gender-flopped urban Grey Owl. Her romanticization of black culture without living through a black childhood isn’t guilt, it’s a minor mental disorder.
Further: SHE EMBODIES WHAT MY TAG RACEFAIL IS FOR.
I know he was knighted, but I no longer acknowledge the right of the so-called Queen of England to bestow honours. Yes, I know she’s been a benevolent spirit during my life, but only for me. Seeing what she represents in terms of the people whose land got stolen opened my eyes.
Ron Moody has likewise made his last exit, stage left.
418 words yesterday, mostly infill.
No bead curtain.
MOTIVE HAS THREE SEASONS? Yes. And we are watching them. I adore how it twists one aspect of the police procedural so that the tension is evenly balanced throughout the show, and I adore even harder how instead of making three or four episodes a season arc-heavy, it spreads the arc out like breadcrumbs throughout the season. No GARBARCAGE here.
It’s kinda cool to be watching a show starring Canadian actors without constantly thinking how awful they are. (quite the reverse…) Kristen Lehman was born in New West, after all, and Louis Ferreira was born in the Azores and moved to Toronto when he was a tad. The guest stars are usually pretty good as well, including Molly Parker and Charles Martin Smith, who also directed. Actors from SG1 pop up with amusing regularity, sometimes causing Jeff and I to pause the show to try and figure it out, before we give up and go to imdb.
A church elder died last evening. The elder leaves an immense gap in our spiritual life, for the elder was a person with great institutional knowledge, practical wisdom and a steadying presence.
I’ll say who when all the family and everyone else knows.
BUT Battery is coming today, and he always brings happiness with him, so that is good.
I will try to write today, and work on other projects if I can’t.
We are come upon a time of death, a time when Mortality scales up and lays out everything at once. In your life, it is a news of a death of someone close, and then another, and then another, and then your facebook feed is full of deaths of friends of friends, people you’ve shared a meal with, people who are a voice and a way of seeing things and not merely a statistic.
People I love from church are already diagnosed and dying at home. Now we have news of more, another elder, again, cancer. We have our protocols and our way of dealing with it.
In our church, we sometimes delegate another to take our calls when the first stinging news hits, how like grit in a high wind. We can’t take the deluge of calls. Someone we love steps in.
There has been a lot of death in my life lately, but I’m not sorry for any of the dead. I’m sorry for the grieving and the dying, and I’m very sorry for myself, for feeling these things more than I should. When the feeling doesn’t turn to action, it’s sounding brass all the **** over again. I can grieve in service or I can stay quiet.
So I will admit that I’m sad, and that I have reason to be so, but I will also say that having snerted my little snert into the hem of my thankfully washable dress, I will try to write a funny scene, hopefully full of delicious slapstick and horrified parents. I can’t be of service, but I may at some point entertain.
Also, Mad Max is not all that great a movie. I’d give it a solid B+, although there are some indelible images in it.
brO and I are waiting for MR2 to come back from the krankenhaus so we can do a proper shop. We went for a walk this morning and I picked up some milk and cream so that if the car doesn’t come back today I don’t have to leave the house again,
which is fine,
cause I’ve already written 500 words today and I think today will be furtherly productive. Kima’s first pregnancy chapter “Someday it’ll keep you” is maybe a couple of pages from done, and I’ve got a good start on Brendan’s first chapter “Check unheard messages” which is all about what happens when you let the Sixer version of nepotism determine who your collaborators are.
And the great thing about writing English goodest is bragging rights.
Ayuh. All I know is that when I think of the ideas I want to introduce and the hearts I want to break MUAH HAH HAHHHH! choke gargle.
Fuel oil spill at English Bay. I’m sickened by it. The province says “It’s a federal matter” and the feds have killed all the funds for boats for oil spills. Harper won’t be visiting I’m sure and the boat responsible can’t even be pinned down and fined f’chrissakes.
The grown child of a friend of mine (and a facebook friend) was metres away (indoors thanks be) from the police incident at 5 last afternoon. Perp got all stabby with two dudes rendered more topologically complex and one woman clinging to life as of this morning; and when bean bag shot didn’t slow him down they gave him summary justice, lead punctuation edition. Vancouver seems to be abloom with police shootings. IA is all over it.