A mental health post

Woke up from my first COVID nightmare this morning at 6:30 am – I was trying to get on the Seabus and realized that I was alone, and I wasn’t wearing a mask, and Noone Else Was Either. My awakening was unpleasant but at least I was oriented pretty quick.

I want to believe I’ve been able to weather this thing but I haven’t, it’s weathered me. They’re saying now (Kapil Komireddi in Foreign Policy) that the death toll in India may literally be ten times higher than whatever Modi is allowing the press to report. Modi has already done more to destroy India than Trump did to the US, and that’s SAYING something. The media are lapdogs, the supreme court is silent, and Hindutva types are FOAMING at the opportunity to ‘drive the Muslim dogs’ out of their beautiful pure brahmin New India.  So sure, it could be worse in Canada, let’s hope it doesn’t go there, but the world is a dumpster fire right now.

I’m going to let my mental health go there.

For the next week, I’m on vacation. Don’t know where I’m going, besides this house, but I am going to just ignore everything until I feel calm enough to get back on the goddamned Seabus. No writing, no practicing, no moving, no thinking. I’ll update my blog but try to stay off social media.

For my mOm, a historical titles document for her reference.

using the concept of niceness to tyrannize the authentic is one of the folkways of whiteness
It’s always one breath away from calling the cops.
@gindaanis on twitter today
aanikoobijigan is the Ojibwe word for great-grandparent (or ancestor) and the word for great-grandchild. It’s a connective way of thinking, cyclical rather than linear time. And as I step into writing a chapter on restoring human relations that’s an interesting thing to think on

Prince Philip isn’t dead

I announced his death on my blog but it was just wishful thinking.

He’s probably got many minutes of rich life left in him.

I very much enjoyed having home made mac and cheese for breakfast.

I need to spread the joy of biscotti this am.

700 words on UPSUN

I have a doc’s appointment for my prescription renewal tomorrow, and I have called the clinic to confirm my scan appointment. I won’t get a call back unless they’re confused about something.

thinking of continuing the dietary excess

I am not prepared to publicly say what I’d do for an xlarge doble doble and a honey dip right now.

There’s fantastic (potential) family news right now about housing for the Planet Bachelor people. A house rental apartment a block from the school? CAN SUCH THINGS BE? Alex gets his own room PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE and the atheist wears out her knees.

Mailed off another letter

One of the ways to fight anxiety is to think about other people, so I’m trying to write entertaining letters to relatives and friends.

Anyway, if you want a letter, private message me with your mailing address.

Katie dropped by for a visit. Alex was with Suzanne, Dax’s mum, and Katie had just dropped Paul off at the airport – he never, ever, tells me when he’s going to the US, it’s always been startling to me, no matter how many times I learn about it after he’s gone, which has literally been dozens of times, which just goes to show that I am a slow learner. He’s agreed to quarantine after he comes back, and if he misses his friends and girlfriend in the US who can blame him.

She said her car had a mind of its own and she ended up in my driveway. We had a very long and very necessary chat out on the deck. There was laughing, crying and swearing, and she is such a dear person to me. She was feeling a bit low, but she managed to cheer me up, and that was helpful.

Last night I had my first nightmare that I can remember in years. It was horrifying because my subconscious was saying that it’s better to be dead (or to kill someone else to spare them) than to go through whatever was happening (some unspecified apocalypse). I can’t actually say what it was about because the internet is forever, but let’s just say it was nauseating and disheartening and framed me as an entirely heartless and cruel person with no connection to the future of this earth.

And it was all so calm. HORRIBLE things were happening, and myself and my unnamed conspirator proceeded through our horrible response to them as if neither of us had a hair out of place or a care in the world.

Very slowly, as I realized what we had done, I decided to call the cops, and then I woke up.

 

Made chicken breasts, bok choi and onions in ginger and garlic, and green salad for supper last night. Practiced lots, still working on arrangements.

17080

user chewmynails posted this on reddit saying the MIL crocheted this

r/aww - My MIL crochet my cat her own couch

Speaking of kitties, Buster has been training HARD. He’s a good chonky boi.

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from @gabrielsherman on twitter

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This is quite the poem, eh? Inglorious in Excelsis by Brian Bilston

two week experiment

Per life coach Mark Reklau

3 things I’m thankful for

3 things that made me happy today

3 things I did well today

2 Affirmations

How could I have made today better

What’s my most important to do tomorrow?

I am thankful for my mOm and pOp and brO.

  1. food in the freezer 2. tea in the cupboard 3 I have enough printer ink to print out the book mOm wants

1 I made fried bread 2 I slept like a boss 3 the weather’s glorious again

Every day in every way I am getting deader and deader

I affirm that affirmations suck and they really only work for people who don’t have Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria LOL

I could have made today better by staying off social media

Tomorrow I will continue to clean small focussed areas of the house.

Domestic blitz

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.

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.

Meeping

I meeped at Chipper for a while yesterday and she expertly diagnosed my problem and helped me get back on the rails. I’ve been sessile for a couple of days but I’ll be back to writing today. For background, coming up on 2nd anniversary of breaking my arm and losing the shop, so that’s probably feeding into the other issues.

I have a strong cup of coffee beside me and Jeff’s making more.

PLUTO FLYBY!!!! SO HAPPY.

I finally went on a trip through the Stargate with Jack O’Neill last night.  Woke up with a big smile on my face, with his strictures ringing in my ears.

LATER

Buster just climbed the dead tree in the back yard.  I could barely see him through the blinds.  Wilde kittye!!!

the casting game

Of course, having designed the books to be turned into a tv series (well, I did, right from the outset and if not a tv series then some other form of episodic televised joy), I get to play the casting game.

George.  I have not run across the actor who could play George. Andrew Scott is fairly close to him in body type, shape and sizewise, but he’s not quite eastern European looking enough. Think a more hooked nose and higher cheekbones.

Kima.  Kima would mostly be a voiced character.  Some skinny young thing who’s a dancer could play her on the rare occasions (mostly in the first book) that she’s bipedal.

Michel.  Ditto, alas.  If he ever settles on an appearance he could be played by a Big Scary Bald Black Dude, since that’s the human form he likes best, kinda.

Raven.  Unknown Canadian actor. She’s fat, so it would be a plum role for a qualified lassie.  (No older than 25).

Jesse.  Unknown actor from anywhere, since his physical qualifications are going to be tough. (Jesse is big, tall, dirty blond, pumps iron and does not take steroids). Jesse’s the same age as Raven, give or take three months.

Grandmother.  Sue Sparlin. After seeing my friend in Lost in Yonkers, playing the evil old grandmother, I went, yup, that’s her (both for the performance and for her grip on the accent).  I know for a fact that she would be deliciously narcissistic and crunchily fun, and she would be able to portray confusion and dismay with more than enough style. Photo credit her daughter Aura McKay.

Avtar, Winnie and the Tornado: All unknown actors. Avtar is subcontinent extraction (and furry), Winnie is Chinese and Caucasian, and the Tornado is (obvs) a loud and interesting blend.  Vancouver is a town full of marriages and liaisons between every ethnicity on earth, so I thought it would be good to show one.

Brendan: Just about any competent actor in his 30’s could manage Brendan, but a 9/10ths scale model of Chris Pratt with the gut back on and some acne pitting would do the job.

Ruby, either Michelle Thrush or Columpa Bobb.

Gwen the publicist.  Maggie Gyllenhall. Hands down.

Farah Jalali.  Well of COURSE I WANT ARCHIE PANJABI but I think Rekha Sharma (who played the assistant in BSG and is a local) would do better than well. Actually now I think of it she’d be awesome.

 

892 words yesterday .4 hours. 319 words today so far.

I went downstairs, Jeff’s watching F1, and I say “Monaco?” because I like guessing which track it is before I sit down, and I was right.  First, you look for the palm trees…. then you look at the architecture.

Sure hope I get a job soon

  • Got mah hurr did yesterday.  Tried not to stink up the joint too bad, Jeff says I did well – Garnier Nombre 60 ftw.
  • Got out the new sewing machine (it’s been two months) and repaired a dress and made a blankee for Alex when he comes over here out of the fabric mOm gave me. THE NEEDLE THREADER IS MADE OF WIN. And I put it away afterward.  So happy.
  • Off to see the financial advisor today … backspaced over the rest of my comments.  Privacy yall.
  • X Company is a really good show – there will be eight episodes in all, but it’s nice to have a show about the only spy camp in Canada in WWII.
  • 1.2 night before last and 2.1 last night on the cpap.  I will keep trying – it’s obviously worth it at this point as I feel much better in the morning when I do manage to keep it on my head.
  • Somebody used the word pillock on facebook today.  It does apply quite nicely to the person it was applied to, so that all worked out.
  • I have an urge to work on a side project right now, so I think I will.

Mask acne

Cpap again, woke up with two painful active zits on my face. How delightful!  But I woke up at 6 instead of 2 and had a delightful nightmare – I don’t normally remember my dreams – about hanging around with a family and having my racial prejudice demonstrated to me and then going to another location and having a different kind of racial prejudice demonstrated to me, and then realizing that the dream was probably just as much about class as race.  I’m not describing the dream even though it was extremely detailed, it’s just too embarrassing.  Fortunately at the end my girlfriend Carrie showed up, found the item that had fallen out of my purse into a tourist trap with no railings, and despite her fear of the ghastly, ricketty, bannister-less stairs, rescued me from the darkest portion of the interior.  What a thing it is to have friends!

Yesterday I ate junk food, watched tv, had a bath and stayed in bed. I think this morning I’ll get up and walk around the block and then make coffee when I get back.

Katie said she had a delightful time at Gadget House and Alex is in fine form.  Both the kids were good travellers after three months.

I can do hero pushups too, but the damned dog won’t leave me alone.

 

 

Haunting

I find this haunting. Someone has tried to reconstruct Babylonian song.

Yesterday I saw Sue in Little Women the Musical.  Unfortunately the book was not as good as the actors and musicians.  Fortunately I was able to argue my points with the actors afterwards without being dishonest or unkind, and it widened into a broader discussion of the challenges and rewards of musical theatre.  Ten years ago I would have said, Oh it was great, it was great.  Now I have the brains to respect people enough to be honest and the social intelligence to be honest without being a cad.

It was in Granville Island.  I had half an hour to Christmas shop.  I got an Alexosaurus (stuffed T Rex) and a kazoo.  Strangely, that is what I wanted.  I have rarely had a briefer and more pleasant Christmas shop.  The weather was crisply glorious and I likely won’t get to Granville Island again until Tammy comes.

Jeff and I walked to IHOP and back for breakfast.  It was very pleasant.

I think Riddle Number II is a cloud.  What do you think?

Work on the trilogy continues. Kima is pregnant – with more than 100 zygotes  by three fathers of two different morphs. This presents any number of social, emotional, physiological and ‘race’ issues.

I had a pleasant recent conversation with Dave JD.  He has joined the ranks of the unemployed.  I tried to get Facetime to reduce the expense of talking to him and repeated and lengthy attempts to purchase it were fruitless.  I really loathe anything to do with Apple customer service.  When I want an Android app or book I press a button, and free or not, it appears on my phone in about five minutes.  (I’m still on the first chapter of the Piketty book -if anyone wants to mock me… go ahead).

I can’t really deal with heeled shoes any more so I took two pairs of Fluevogs into church yesterday (the bus DIDN’T COME at 10:03, or even five minutes earlier according to the guy I ran into so I was 25 minutes late for church, screw you translink).  Anyway the teenaged co-congregant who had admired my steampunky shoes got about 300 dollars worth of footgear in a little bag, and if I did nothing else yesterday I made her very happy.  Her socks MATCHED the second pair of shoes, in a most gratifying way.

How do you detect an extrasolar planet? With objects found in hardware stores and Nikon lenses and software and a little something something to remove blur.

Yesterday morning I awoke to a dream in which Hitler’s mustache was crawling up my door frame.  I woke up for real and spent a disoriented couple of seconds looking for it.  Very odd, and not a little disturbing.

Breakfast of writing champions! Peanut butter cookies warm from the oven and fair trade coffee with real cream.  Ha!

We think Autumn may be knocked up.  It’s always something.

Increments

Sandra posted a pic I sent her of the Chanterelle mushrooms; it’s at the FAQ part of her site. I am also thinking of her these days; a mutual acquaintance is a professional German translator so maybe since all of her best customers are German tourists we can get her site translated.

I am getting fairly nasty arthritis pain and loss of mobility in my finger joints; practicing each day does not improve it, but I’ll lose all my skillz if I don’t keep on it. I’ve been practicing almost every day for a year now and everybody including me can tell. Bless Interfilk for sending me to Georgia! I had such a good time. I’ve got Conflikt 8 to look forward to… I’ve never missed one!

Paul took me walking in Oakalla (otherwise known as Deer Lake Park) yesterday. It was a simply gorgeous day, and we saw a green frog sitting up in one of the little ponds next to the walkway. Thanks be, they’ve put in a portable potty in the parking lot on the Royal Oak side, I sure needed it as I was exiting the walk. Then back to Geekhaus for beers on the back deck. Paul brought jello! it was a welcome respite from the heat. I got the ceiling fan fired up in my room and it’s been much more pleasant sleeping… most mornings these past two weeks I’ve woken up collared in sweat, bleaugh. I swapped parsley salad and nuts for the jello.

This morning I’ll be off to a late breakfast with my friend Sue.

Weird dream

Last night I dreamed I went to the house of the man of my dreams and met all 8 of his roommates, pronounced the mess in his house at least 85 percent worse than mine, was introduced to an extremely large and disturbing mechanized sex toy, the configuration of which was like nothing I had ever heard of or imagined, (pleasant anticipation of adult entertainment was replaced with a mounting sense of unease and horror), after which I was given access to a passageway which gave on to my own room at this house, which was empty except for the dresser and the bed, and which disgorged a live rat-kinkajou cross  *I went to the internet, and yes, it DID look like a cross between a rat and a kinkajou, I was right the first time* and a dead hummingbird, which attracted Miss Margot’s immediate attention and which freaked me out in the dream no end because it’s one of the symbols of my parents’ happy household and it was obviously symbolic because as disgusting as my housekeeping is it does not admit of dead chordates.  We posted a lost notice for the critter, since it was obviously not mine, had a very large nude cuddle pile, including with roommates to whom I had not actually been introduced, after which I discovered that all my bags were missing and I was not actually expected to ever get dressed again.  Consciousness beckoned and I returned to it with relief.