Pop at the London Ont house

There were a pair of chairs that we brought to London from Ottawa. They were nasty red velvet upholstery and quite beat up, but the fOlks liked them so they were reupholstered, as seen. pOp is sitting under a lithograph of a woman ‘petit maman’ who looks like she might be a retired sex worker, and facing her is a brass rubbing of a grand lady that our friend Elizabeth made during a trip to the UK. That’s the door to Jeff’s room (aka the games room) behind him.

Elders are so precious

OMG my ontie Mary just sent me $25 in the mail to help defray my costs for sending her letters. SHE DEMANDS AT THE OUTSET THAT I AM TO ISSUE NEITHER COMPLAINT NOR DEMURRAL LA!

Someone should tell that rare and precious woman that she’s basically too good for me as a rellie and having said that I will top up the envelope supply; I’m fixed for stamps at the moment.

weird non coincidence

I called Peggy to ask if now was convenient to deliver some food.

Peggy said, “It’s remarkable that you called.” Peggy had a dream that I made her some fruit bread and I had to apologize because what I actually made her as soon as I got home this morning from the shop was shirazi salad (one container for her, one container for me and Jeff and probably Paul because he loves the stuff). I offered to deliver it and she counter-offered to pick it up because she has a lengthy car appointment and will be by later this afternoon. Technically tomatoes are a fruit. Isn’t the message on the wind the strangest thing?

My recipe:

five on the vine tomatoes

one English cuke

half a white onion

all the above chopped fairly small

juice of half a lemon

two sprigs of fresh mint chopped fine

two sprigs of fresh parsley chopped fine

The thing I love about this salad is that it is entirely devoid of salt and pepper, and maybe someday I’ll get some sumac (the spice, not the poisonous shit) and make it more authentically. This salad comes from Iran/Persia, after the introduction of tomatoes as a crop.


Poor Keith has had his first migraine. His migraines are pure pain that drugs don’t touch and light sensitivity – the classic. Not like me and my personality changes and auditory hallucinations!!!

Katie is very tired of being pregnant, but very much enjoying only having one child… so that’s fun.

Paul is about the same as always, but he’s seeing a therapist, which is great, because couples therapy was always super gross.

I still feel massively stuck and unreplenished, which is stupid, because I had a very good time last night in a painful way (we were talking about therapy, anger, parental and childhood experiences, and it got…. well how do you think discussions like this go? except we all stayed civil.) I cried of course but it wasn’t in response to anything the kids said, I just burst into tears describing the worst moment of my childhood. And I kept trying to stifle the tears and finally I grunted I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M STILL MAD ABOUT THIS.

Since mOm and pOp will be reading this with horror, it’s about the move to London, which (for an autie kid with trouble making friends meant that the entire cohort of public school kids I was supposed to go to high school with VANISHED and I walked alone at the age of 11 into a 2000 student high school although I never was schooled in a portable thank the living Christ) seriously messed me up for years. I am over it, but we were talking about childhood, and with Tom being so recently passed away I’m four seconds from tears at the best of times. I mean, normally I look at it from the parents’ perspective “EH wot can you DO ?” but this time I reexperienced it from my childish perspective and WHOOPPPPSy

Alex was playing in his room the whole time.

Jeff is SO GLAD he didn’t go for supper, although let me tell you brO Keith put on a helluva feast and there was PIE not PUMPKIN afterward.

Then I came home and practised for a while and started hacking around on a song.

Didn’t mean well
when I said those things
I’ve got a talent
for making sure it stings
It’s no cause for pride
I say sorry a lot
sometimes it seems
Spite is all that I’ve got


Delightful visit and some news about that chat

All my relations, I acknowledge my unpayable debt to the peoples, lands and waters of MST country.

For Paul’s bday his double cousin Jim and spouse Jan cooked dinner; a pink salmon (they are hard to cook right and you need a meat thermometer), corn on the cob and a delicious greek salad with veggies from their garden.

Katie turned up later after dropping off Alex and Keith was supposed to go gaming but didn’t and was too upset in the tummy to eat with us. It’s all good, it was the perfect amount of food, no leftovers.

While we were talking, as we do, Jan was curious about my encounter with a yellow breasted chat.  I had read that they live in BC so hadn’t worried too much about where it appeared, but it turns out that they are rare in the lower mainland, possibly not regulars at all. She found something on line about the chat – how it was the subject of habitat rehabilitation in the Okanagan. It needs a bunch of stuff to breed. A wild rose bush in a clearing of a forest with willow and cottonwood is their idea of a home in Heaven. If you clear the wild rose bushes for development bye bye chats. Also, they just got themselves into a new bird family because they’re chonky, among other things. The one I saw was monosyllabic, but in the spring the wee bastards never shut up and have as many as 40 separate calls. Also the boys dangle their feet and shake their booties to attract girls, who watch from underneath, and they have big goddamn marks on their plumage only visible in UV. All in all a wonderful evening of natural history, family love and damned good food.


what a thing to have a brO (and friends)


With thanks for the many simple pleasures of MST Country, with thanks to the people and the stories that make this place, for the sky, land and water, for all the beautiful creatures herein. It is a good day.

Jeff has (like Thorkel) stood in the ‘undeviating stream of my complaints’ as I whined about my health (okay the rumours about brain damage are true! what it is!) and survived!

Also I called Dave and wordsaladed all over his uncomplaining ear. He’s got to haul himself off to a doctor as well, shortly, and he’s looking forward to it about as much as I did. I have to go into the clinic 14 days hence.

Today I am going to wander down to the drugstore and find out what manner of side effect lies in wait for me there. DO NOT WANT a YEAR OF NAUSEA.

Tomorrow I’m going to the Junction to help Katie set up the baby room and nag her dad about how old he got, since he’ll be 72 tomorrow. Last time I was there we had a talk about the things that could have killed him, like the time he hit a wall on his motorcycle at 50 miles an hour, then (limping four ways from Sunday) rode what was left of it to Ron M.’s place in London and crashed on his couch. Shook it off and beat most of the dings out of it the next day. The shit we get up to when we’re young! and then after we’ve survived it we wake up in a cold sweat decades later going HOLY SHIZZBALLS OF RECKONING. I still get a chill when I think about the plane crash. Surviving stuff like that should make you a better person, but as best I recollect the only thing that came out of it was that we should have wills, although we didn’t actually DO anything about it until years later.

I’m up to 2700 words on the haunted object story and I’m loving the dialog, it’s most hilarious and effective (and yes I do say so myself, dialogue is one of my writing skillsets).

I now veer wildly off into Schadenfreude land. He was a cruel and evil and anti-science man, and now he’s fondling Satan’s dick in hell, and GOOD. For when the link disappears:

(Ed Mazza, Yahoo News, Monday September 13 2021)

Bob Enyart, a notoriously homophobic right-wing radio host who refused to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, has died of COVID-19.

The death was announced on Facebook.

“It comes with an extremely heavy heart that my close friend and co-host of Real Science Radio has lost his battle with COVID,” wrote Fred Williams, co-host of the ironically named show, which routinely pushed anti-science talking points, including creationism.

Enyart was 62, according to Newsweek.

My age. LOL Fred do tell me your vaxx status

after all, repulsigans, you have taught me that the cruelty is the message as “Cops” returns to Fox Media

later that morning – Mike called and told me about the Reddit Herman Cain award and it’s all for vile people who said covid was a hoax and then died of it so I was able to tell Mike I already had an award recipient on my blog this morning DOUBLE LOL

fill the cup

For the beauty of the lands and waters and the strength of the people and creatures, I give thanks. To walk on this land is a great gift.

Got a plum cake over to Tom and Peggy, it was still warm in the pan, yesterday morning. Mebbe it wasn’t biscotti (me yelling over the phone at Tom I’M NOT A ONE HIT WONDER YOU KNOW while Peggy was no doubt rolling her eyes) but it sure is edibibble.

Walked in Fraser Foreshore Park and received the gift of a new bird; it was a yellow-breasted chat. I got a good long minute of him, yellow underneath like a waistcoat, over pale trews, and browny-green on top, and then my goodness he flew so I got his flight pattern and then there was his call, which was what got my attention in the first place.

I walk those woods, or I should say that little strip of biodiversity jammed and vulnerable between Sto:lo and Burnaby South’s industrial zone, often enough that I know what the background noise is like; nothing but crows and possibly eagles on a really hot day in August. A pleasant sunny day with a bit of wind in May and the woods ring with everything avian that has the capacity to sing, pretty much all blowing up their syrinxes at once. But this fellow was alone, and he said chak, like a bird four times his size and bellicose, and I thought who the hell is that? for he is not much of a conversationalist and I have not heard him before.

He kept making noise, that irritating chak! noise, until by great good fortune he turned out to be as yellow as a goddamned Minion and thus almost comically visible to an amateur such as I. (Less than five metres off the trail, less than five metres up a tree, and in bright frikkin sunshine. HULLO. He flopped from branch to branch and he didn’t care who saw him. And I could have stood there a while longer but chose not to, because I don’t persist in standing as well as I used to, and I had enough markers to be able to figure out what manner of critter I was looking at (I’d also clocked the eyestripe). This species is omnivorous. He’ll do well in that park if he eats millet, someone is feeding the ground birds.

I offered to take Paul to lunch and he deferred to Keith who was on another call. We were on the way back to my place and heard from Keith, so we went over for a late lunch there and I got to see the whole family including Alex, which was very pleasant. My plum cake was well received. Paul and I then spent an hour singing and playing (I of course, even with my recent illness, am well rehearsed, so I made it hard on myself by picking up an instrument I do not regularly play at this time, a standard sized mandolin. I felt like butterfingers and clumsy had come to live in my hands, it was quite comical.)

THAT BUILDING IS CONCRETE. I sang as loud as my body can when I’m sitting down and Katie didn’t hear a thing.  It was so good, so very good to see her. Alex had a new game which he was playing with his oldest friend on line, which is in my view cute as hell. How else are kids supposed to sustain friendships without some technology I esk you.

I ate the bean chili that Keith made, and drank beer, and came home.

Doc appt today

mOm have you seen this birding site?

little bits of happiness

I’m still working through the throes of coming out of a twitter addiction but the results over the past two weeks are:

1 I’m no longer subject to strangers hitting me up for cash

2 I’m no longer getting live feed of people being killed by ‘their’ governments, drowning in floods, being shot by police, wildfires and other up to the minute disasters

3 I’m posting more to my own blog

4 My mental health has improved marginally – I feel less desperate and less oppressed by the state of the world

5 I’m writing more

6. I miss Pebble in the Sky and so many other people on twitter, I want to hear their voices in my head, I miss them so much. But I’ve been telling people on twitter for years how to get hold of me, so if they don’t, they’re busy, and that’s okay, or they didn’t make a note, and that’s okay too. I miss the funny ones, the writing ones, the dead serious about the working class ones, the technoweenie anarchists and the Ottawa grannies and the filkers and the local journos.

speaking of writing more, out of the 1500 words I sent to my mOm the other day, she unerringly picked out the single sentence of dialogue that encapsulated it and I just want to say publicly that mOm can claim to be suffering from mental deficits and I’m going to repeat what the cognitive scientists say; old people get to the same place as young people when given time for the tasks they must solve…. and when not subject to be hassled while they’re thinking.

I am old too, you know. I’ll get there eventually. And in the meantime I’ll quit telling her to respond fast, I’m stepping on my own cloak there.


I am feeling much better than I did yesterday. Most of the sprung ribs have gone back into their little detents but I still have abused tendons and one very bruised left hand to deal with. It no longer hurts to cough or laugh, but rolling over in bed, bending over to pick anything up, and getting up from and sitting down in a chair hurt like billy-o. I don’t feel much like typing, that’s for sure, it hurts.

We’re having a super quiet time, just talking in the sunroom. Alex is being quite civilized. He’s an amusing lad.

do not whack the simulacra they’re running subroutines as fast as they can

Truly, one must have survived two heat domes to enjoy the humane temperature and humidity currently blanketing MST country. I popped the front door open at about 4:30 am to see what I could see, and the soft light and welcome light breeze were balm for my overheated soul.

This morning I’ve run the facecloths through the wash; they’re in the dryer. I have trained Buster and brushed him TWICE (we have two brushing stations in the house and he wanted me to hit him up in both); I have popped some clear plastic face shields and clips into a bag for Mike as spares -he uses them for eye protection, not COVID protection and why not since the delta variant goes through air like cigarette smoke – I wear mine when I’m doing the lawn (which reminds me, I should do some weed whacking once it’s not quite so damp, and now I’ve written it down, so it’s on the task list). Jeff loaded and ran the dishwasher. I cleaned out my purse again, and found something in it which I will not report but made me laugh like a drain. Something-something, a certain morning after at Statpower, my desk, and that’s just to remind me what it really was. I put additional sterile masks in a clean bag and into my purse; I counted my pills to ensure that I had enough until my next GP appt on September 13 and put a weeks’ worth into my purse so at least I’ve got my BP medication if I’m on the wrong side of a bridge if/when that fault lets go; I practiced octave mandolin and dulcimer and kazoo, and you’d know when by the moment Jeff rolled his eyes, put his headphones on and turned up the EBM; I found a shade for the light behind the TV (there’s supposed to be an extremely expensive sun-spectrum light there and after 12 years of faithful and continuous service, except during power failures, it expired, so there’s an ordinary incandescent bulb there now and it was just too fucking bright so I wandered lonely as a person with ADD around the basement until I realized THERE WAS ALREADY A SHADE FOR THE LAMP thank you Granny and swapped it off a lamp we aren’t using for the one we are, so now the light level in the media room is back to semi-Stygian, instead of having an ambience like someone’s training a Klieg light on me for an interrogation); I played a whole bunch of Sherlock (as mentioned in previous posts, my all time favourite puzzle game, available for a very reasonable price from Mr. Everett Kaser please pay the full retail thank you) but never got my 8×8 time below 8:30 (best time under 5 minutes, and I’d like to see YOU get that time) which leads me to believe that my cognition and processing time today will, sadly, not be excellent; and I even got dressed if you can believe it. Now I’m waiting for the various water-using machines to quit cycling so I can make pancakes, and in the meantime I should probably go downstairs and fold laundry until I get bored.

SO LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING IN VICTORIA WITH MY MOTHER (also my dad whom I love just as fiercely as my mother, just not as mushily); SO COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY REFUSING TO EVEN CONTEMPLATE THE CLUSTERF …. THAT WILL BE THE JOURNEY TO VICTORIA. Well, really, it’s Saanich, but most people call it Victoria. Full marks if you get the reference.

I spoke to Tom, who sounded hoarse and thrawn but lively af (he was at work when his phone said he’d missed a call from me, which, strangely, he had not) on the phone yesterday, no housefilk today. The shop will be moved into his garage; (this is his NON side gig, not that anyone but he can keep it straight at this point); his sole employee entered into a state of nullibiety under ‘unforgiveable’ circumstances, and given that grumpy ol’ Tom has a fuse (for important matters, on trifles he is …as people are) of ample dimension and remarkable length, I refuse to even think about what the employee did to earn that particular word from Tom. Also Peg’s got relatives in from out of town, it all seems like too much work and fuss for them.

Still pissed about the mailbox. I feel like every time I take a step forward from being a selfish ass, in this case by writing friendly bracing letters to friends and relatives, for which I need a mailbox, the social environment says FUCK YOU! try harder ADD person, use your executive function for something you shouldn’t have to, because some fucking bureaucrat is trying to save money. Always and continuously, capitalism pushes governments so they are rent collectors instead of service providers. And that, mes soeurs, mes hypocrites lecteurs, is a rant for another other day.

Yesterday and today

First, have a bear from the Capilano neighbourhood of North Van, as of about last week.

AND we don’t deserve dogs. Nor cats. (Buster when he see WOMBAT he CRAZY). NOR ORANGS.

Yesterday Paul and I walked in Fraser Foreshore. I had a dizzy spell coming out of the house so I didn’t drive, and thus nagged Paul freely the entire way back and forth.

Virtually no birds singing, none of our usual animal companions, not very well attended, nobody but us and an Asian couple bothering to wear masks. I told Paul the Delta variant is like cigarette smoke and even outdoors on pathways where we have to pass close by to people you can can get a whiff…. also I’m getting REALLY MIXED PRESS on how good Astra Zeneca is on suppressing Delta. Apparently, the word is now that it’ll keep me out of hospital if I get a breakthrough infection but I’ll be more likely to be contagious to other people if I’m asymptomatic. Not exactly the shit ya wanna hear when you’re going to visit your parents, who while not frail are elderly (sorry guys but you are over 80 after all.)

We bailed on pho as soon as I mentioned Schnitzel, by gar, and I got three takeout schnitzel dinners from Balkan House so Jeff could enjoy our celebratory meal too. Paul took exactly the same amount of time to get beer from the Oliver Twist, which faces Balkan House (I suspect he actually used the crosswalk, since jaywalking across Edmonds is something only silly young people do) as it took for the food to arrive. It was fantastic… much better than the last time, although the food portions on the rice and potatoes were smaller than I’m used to. The breading though… always a classic.

That plus beer (Red Racer Vanilla Stout, a total rip off of Granville Island Winter Ale) and a blueberry turnover for dessert, and we had a lovely meal.

Finished Swan Song and loved it. I think it’s a one-watch but it was a lovely, heartfelt movie with lots of great bit performances, the young gay bartender being a standout. Wish I had his name but imdb is oooooosssssssslessssss.

We’re really feeling the Lack of ‘Wanted’. They made three seasons and stopped, like sensible people, but we are not sensible people and want more. As always, we are salved by Elementary and the inhuman perfection that is Lucy Liu in that show.

Danny DeVito’s been locked out of his Twitter account for supporting the Nabisco strike. LOL