this is just a test (bones of a new song)

This is just a test!

No, of course not.

You don’t have to.

You don’t need to say it.

Not if you don’t feel it.

You embody it, that’s all.

The way you hold me

kiss me

pass me pepper

bring me coffee

(five long beats) disagreeeeee with me

throw popcorn at me

throw your arm around me

This is just a test!

 

(Think that clunky 80’s 86 bpm dance beat)

 

Just a test

In all the fuss and fury

Just a test

of modern life it comes

Just a test

no speed but hurry

Just a test

no percussion but taiko drums

 

when performing romance

Just a test

a pirouette or two

Just a test

you line out a paraph          (note, you can pronounce it either way, I prefer   

                                                           second syllable emphasis)

on your paragraph

mess it up

with a pedestrian ‘I love you’

Now maybe once in fifteen

Just a test

years I get those magick words

Just a test

Mostly unforeseen

Just a test

it comes out like a blurt

Just a test

I get to wondering

Just a test

Is it really real

but I’m a materialist baby

I’m all about the way you make me feel

extremely horn and reed-intense instrumental, including a bass line that makes you want square up conga style and wend your way through the neighbourhood

This is just a test!

No, of course not.

You don’t have to.

You don’t need to say it.

Not if you don’t feel it.

You embody it, that’s all.

The way you hold me

kiss me

pass me pepper

bring me coffee

(five long beats) disagreeeeee with me

throw popcorn at me

throw your arm around me

This is just a test!

 

 

 

obviously I updated it. The instrumental part is coming along fine, it will all be kazoos very pleased with it so far. Only 13 more songs to write for the end of the month ha ha

 

My concert went well

The Tapioca Song singalong and recording beforehand went reasonably well, but I was sweating my god.

The concerts were recorded and livestreamed. I will provide links if and when I find out what they are. John Seghers has indicated he’ll provide wav files recorded from the board, which would be nice. BUT I HAVE TO EMAIL HIM FIRST hint hint I have to remember that.

Paul sat in the back and provided comment afterward. He said my stagecraft has improved and I was entertaining as hell. Also, and he was really surprised, he is used to being the first person who hears a new song (sometimes it’s Mike, but 90% it’s Paul) and he DID NOT KNOW I had learned the Lousy Cutters on dulcimer and so sat with his mouth hanging open, which was fun to hear about afterward. I COULD SEE CINDY SINGING ALONG FOR HALF OF MY STUFF IT WAS AWESOME. Also, there was some guy in the audience – new to me, youngish by filk standards, who started smirking as soon as I fired up Alexios and laughed aloud repeatedly so goodie.

I played Way up in the Sky, (everybody laughed in the right places and the ONE PLACE I WANTED TO GET A LAUGH made the whole room shout with laughter – such a lovely feeling – the line is “The sun’s hot (semi longish pause) … don’t touch it”,  Gelis and Nicolas, Zero-G (the Bed), Dishing with Joyce, The Friend who Gave Me This Ukelele, The Lousy Cutters, The Anarchist Parade Marshall, An invocation to my ancestors, Alexios the Murder Hobo, Pardon me is that stool taken, and possibly one other song that currently escapes. I had a good time and it really showed, according to BL Chiffon, whom I ran into along with Frank Hayes in the Con suite after. Also I said, “I play the song of my people” and blasted the slide whistle and cracked everyone up.

I forgot to take my meds so that probably explains why I was sweating like a pig.  I took them late, apparently suffered no problems.

I AM THE TOASTED MASTER.

In an hour I have to do a seminar.

I have a long long day ahead but I et my brekky and I’ve had my coffee and I’m ready to go more or less.

 

Vanessa Cardui’s concert was fantastic. Her song “Made it” which is an intense family history song that is completely a true story made me want to hug my fOlks and brother so damned hard you have no idea, and her song from Data to Spot was SO WONDERFUL I must obtain a copy for Jeff. She sang in OCCITAN F’CHRISSAKE don’t let anyone tell you that filk isn’t educational. Anyway wonderful guitarist and vocalist. Her only song not self written was about the Molasses Flood of Boston and despite the horror we all laughed.

AND I wrote and delivered a land acknowledgement which covered all the territory I could. I didn’t use the word unceded because this is their land, and I’d prefer to just call it what it is, stolen, if I have to.

 

I live upon and come to you from the shared lands of the Sto:lo and Coast Salish, and we are gathered now on the lands of the Coast Salish, Duwamish and Puget Sound Salish peoples. May our time together at Conflikt 13 be a living memorial to the values of sharing and community, and to our deep appreciation for the beauty of this land and its first peoples. May we especially honor the frogs and all the creatures of the wetlands, the salmon and all the creatures of the ocean, the wolves and all the creatures and plants of the forests, the elders and the children in all their beauty, and all the remaining Sasquatches. Dear ones, let us make a memorable festival, and let us be thankful.

Poor Paul

Paul picked up a minor infection and so all of the delicate balance of stuff that has to happen for his bday celebration on Sunday is toast. On the plus side that means Jeff can go to Victoria but blerg. I need to make sure I contact everyone to cancel, even people I might not have been expecting to show up. Jim and Jan are coming anyway, but they are always welcome!!!

Paul didn’t sound good on the phone last night. He’s under a doctor’s orders, though, he went straight for the antibiotics.

Keith’s back from Ireland today.

October 2004 now complete

I’ve copied everything over to WordPress.

I was a different person then.

A worker was trimming roses at New West Quay yesterday and I got some to take home. We had a lovely walk, and I got a teensy bit of shopping in.

Paul’s 70 next month; we’re having a shindig at his place. I have a short list of people to call to invite. He wants sushi and something in the Instant Pot so that will be easy to wrangle. I’m slowly assembling a list of things to do.

It’s been four years since I stopped talking to Sandy. I miss her, but not enough to pick up the phone or email her. She’s still plugging away at Red Deer according to social media.

It’s been almost 18 months since I quit facebook. I’m good with that.

I didn’t realize I’ve actually quit church three times now. I’m not going back and this time I think it took.

Weird to review 2004.

a feast and amusements

Dinner was set for 6:30, but our table was waiting when we got there early. “Early!” Mike said mildly, as if such things never occur on his watch. We walked through the restaurant and stepped down onto the patio, where we were transported to a world of attentive and kindly service, and got to watch a wedding out on the lawn. Some violinist, undoubtedly one who had not thought of such a living in music school, sawed away most competently on the exact traditional and classical airs which a) have no ducking copyright and b) are least likely to induce violence in the listeners/gathering. Well done, violinist.

We were bothered by no importunate birds or unpleasant insects as we chowed down on the fresh halibut and lamb tenderloin and west coast risotto (Haida Gwaii halibut, steelhead salmon, capers and lemon which was of surpassing nom, believe me). Dessert would have been folly – Mike and I rolled out of there with bug eyed slowness, such was our state of repletion. We got the charcuterie tray, too, which was so fucking good I’m having flashbacks. It’s also the exact wrong thing for me to eat with my blood pressure. I suggested it but only because I know Mike likes that kind of shit too and there’s not a damned thing wrong with his blood pressure. ( I had zero alcohol )

Mike took pics of my updo – it was held together with 20 bobby pins, 3 hair elastics and enough product to turn the prow of a ship ice-breaker capable. It also held together like grim death in the convertible (Mike’s driving the Mustang again, after many adventures in muscle strain and industrial accident getting the critter operational, all in Trent’s Man Cave, which is much like Tom’s Man Cave and other Man Caves of story and legend in that it has damned near anything you’d need to fix anything.)

Anyway, Mike was in Denver and like me he has trouble finding clothes that fit locally which is FUCKING LUDICROUS because he is an averagely proportioned man of Chinese descent WHO LIVES IN VANCOUVER but because merchandizing buyers are racist, there’s never enough size 28 anything (he’s a perfect size 28) so you can imagine how he felt when he found a designer suit in his size for 99 bucks US.

The suit is gunmetal grey and shiny; put together with a black dress shirt and Daytons elevator cowboy boots with silver chains he looked like a fucking whale at a casino. He looked so sharp I was splodey with pride.

I stepped out of the house and Mike said “You look smashing.” (I intend to share this comment with Teresa, the gal who put my hair up while we had a lovely convo.) I sure felt like it. We were also going for the monochrome look, me in solid burgundy and him in shiny dark grey. Nobody else at the restaurant dressed up. I just wish I could have gotten one of Elyse’s tiaras/necklaces as well, but Eshakti did me up fine with this outfit.

Wrong colour of course and also I got it on sale in the closeout colour. Let’s just say you won’t find an outfit that stylish, comfy and cheap at Penningtons. I’m never going to a classical fat lady store again, the chains can bite me.

So Hart House dins while dressed up for Mike’s birthday went exceedingly well. I am going to remember this meal as the height of company, location, food and basic happiness, because I don’t think I stopped smiling for the entire meal.

And in a less formal way we’ll be doing it on Saturday at the Thai restaurant in New West with the rest of Mike’s friends and Jeff and I are hosting the afterpartay. LET THE GRAND CLEANING BEGIN mebbe with the cat puke in the living room.

IT’s a beautiful, beautiful day. Cloudless and bright.

thangs my mOm taught me

House filk

attendees: Cindy, Peggy, Paul, Tom, Mike

Songs: Alexios (the Murder Hobo), Frobisher Bay, Lousy Co-pilot (original and SG Atlantis version), That God-forsaken Hellhole I call Home, Dandelions Dreaming, Blues for Dumuzi, The last page, Two Worlds, Those Magic Changes, two songs from the Skyrim soundtrack, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, a filk song we found by accident in my Canadian women’s folk songs book called Susan COD, It takes a lot to laugh it takes a train to cry, Gentle Arms of Eden, Lady of Komarr, Some Other Planet, and there were more but you get the general idea.

monch food sing choons

It was absolutely loverly

At conflikt 12

Travel was excellent, border was a lark; on Friday we stopped in Greenwood and ate ‘za from Razzi’s – expensive but VERY FINE PIZZA with tremendously high quality ingredaments.

Checked in without difficulty, comfy room with a balcony, not too noisy (faces SEA so there is aircraft noise.)

Last night filked with Cindy (Lady of Komarr) and sang Murder Hobo:Odyssey so that was fun. (Paul was paying attention to people’s reactions and he said people laughed their asses off… you know how it is when you’re too busy singing and playing to pay much attention.)

Steak din with Lemming and Paul tonight, we had a good time until my credit card barfed. Since Paul’s did too I’m not too upset because it sounds like a system issue – we use the same bank – but as is often the case my emotional balloon was punctured and I don’t feel great about singing and playing and I now owe Lem 137 bucks, although he was a total sweetheart about it.

We talked about John a fair amount. It is good to have good memories about him.

Today it was announced officially, I will be the Toastmaster for Conflikt 13!!

This means staying at the hotel Friday through Sunday at mininum, doing a concert, being at the Guest Lunch and doing the instafilk, judging a song contest, contributing to the Interfilk Auction (of which I have previously been a beneficiary), songbook and lunch CD, host open filk for at least a couple of hours, doing a panel or workshop, emcee for performer concerts.

I’M THRILLED, I’M HONOURED, I’M GONNA WORK HARD AND DO MY BEST

and I intend to book off the following week to collapse into con crud and exhaustion, because I’m going to be 61 and I’m not completely altered in the head.

 

They have an electrified toastmaster badge NOM I love it so.

 

I have a year to plan outfits!.

 

today’s non-events

Got into a beatdown with a bunch of one of the most self-righteous pot activists (like there’s another fucking kind) on twitter today.

Come ON I smoke, but I don’t smoke and blow smoke in the faces of the allergic and the elderly, and they’re announcing it’s their RIGHT, because this is VANCOUVER, home of TOLERANCE. Yeah I’ll believe that when Canada gives back the unceded lands, you unregenerate failure of logic. I’m like a homophobe for harshing their mellow. Srsly. Got accused of equivalency to homophobia for objecting to people dousing the entire west end in pot smoke for their stupid fucking 420 festival (which leaves heaps of trash mounded everywhere and they’re all cryface because they didn’t get a fucking permit.) F*ck me!

I realized that when you put asterisks in f*cking swearwords you’re putting a leedle asshole right in the meedle of the word and since when you’re swearing there’s usually an asshole involved, it’s mesmerizingly poifect.

I love Buster, he’s an amazing cat. And he loves me too, I know it. I don’t think Miss Margot cares if I live or die, but Buster does.

My latest piece of fanfic smut has more than five hundred likes (it’s cute and hot, so there)

I’ve written a BDSM scene in the same ‘verse but I’m not happy with it yet. I had to put in about 200 words about how the scene is ‘necessary but non-consensual’ which kinda blows (or not!) since scenes need consent if they’re to resonate with me writing, at all. So it’s like “We’ve talked about this – I hate it when you want me (and need me) to top you but I’m s’posed to read your mind – and topping when you’re angry at your partner is a bad bad bad idea” followed by “Do what ya gotta, man, just hit me really hard.” Oh, and there are minor children in the house while this sh*t’s going down, just to make it even more like real life, and our heroes must deal with the domestic consequences of Daddies fighting. I LOVE A CHALLENGE. After all, continuing to have interesting sex after kids *is* a continuing challenge in real life. People want carefree smut? they can look elsewhere; to me smut always has a cost. Who bears it depends on who’s being responsible, or not.

Not that anybody wants to know, but I’m really not into any of those behaviours in real life. Nagging at volume is sort of where I max out, ask any of my exes.

Continuing to have the poly life discussion with someone. It’s painful. Really painful. I feel like I have my nose up again a particularly interesting window. I can smell bread baking. But no. G*ddamned heteronormative uncommunicative bushwah (on their end, not mine.) But at the same time there’s NO F*CKING POINT to becoming an elder if you don’t understand that real life takes time, opportunities for growth don’t wait, and if you don’t consider who’s going to be impacted by your decisions, your years, your grey hairs and and your learning means squat. I am still 22 in some corner of my persona, for my enthusiasms still have all the joy of my youth; I just can’t write everyone affected by my behaviour out of the script any more. I do from time to time, but not all the time.

Fortunately, since I’m pushing 60 with a broom, I can contemplate my greed like the gorram caged bear that it is. Still here, but not running the show.

Katie is still having a rough time and she and Alex are both sick again.

I am not having a rough time. I feel pretty good, all things considered. I have another two weeks of full time work. If that changes, I’ll deal with it. I actually have a plan to deal with it that I think will make almost everyone happy, at least temporarily.

Rogue One is a fucking fantastic movie. Getting eaten by Disney was the best thing that ever happened to the franchise.

Now to check if my money transfer has come through.

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.

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.

dramatis coworkerae

Bart – the former CEO shaved his head and scared me with it (not what I remember), talked interestingly about poker (he plays top league)
Antonio, the former CFO (also shaved his head and made him look younger how the hell does that work)
Al-Karim, the former CTO ….YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO LOOK THAT GOOD.
Mike
Me
Amanda Looking good!
Katie – didn’t talk to her
Klaus – No change. That smirk never dies.
Venu – So lovely to see him! He was always a sensible and hardworking individual.
Christine Three kids under ten and taking her masters GOOD GOD WOMAN
Dave D – such a happy guy. I’m following his parenting joys and hiccups on fb.
Haakon – lovely talk with him
Silvana – gave me job hunting pointers
Bert – He’s a brutally private person so let’s just say I was *really* happy to see him and I think he’s a goddamned trooper.

AND APPARENTLY A GABRIOLA CAMPING TRIP IS ON THE BOARDS FOR 2017. Or mebbe Tofino? Mike and I spoke to the Dalai Jarmo last Friday. HHHHHmmmmm they are running a B&B.

I guess it tells you something about what kind of place it was to work that literally fifteen years after we last all worked together we wanted to see each other again. At least two of the above noted people look younger and healthier than they did when I last worked with them, which just seems bizarre.

I had a really good time, and some lovely conversations with some great people.

I hope the surgery goes well today. Odds are it will all go slick.

CARNAGE

Buster brought in 4 RATS yesterday, laying them all out in a row downstairs.  He’s killing them all so Jeff doesn’t have to deal with rats which have died in locales where they are like to rot or little bits’o rat everywhere, just secure tail and trash.

THE HEATER IS NOT BROKE.  It merely has an absurdly sensitive orientation sensor and Buster probably knocked it off its flatness while jumping down from my desk.  Everything a-ok there.

Took a walk down to get cream yesterday morning.  It was a crisp crisp morning so I wore the mitts my mOm knitted for Katie that I somehow ended up with and the cute animé hat Keith got me a couple of years back.

Later I went to the interview.  It’s always interesting seeing myself and all my imperfections as a potential employee reflected through someone else.  The poor little gal who interviewed me.  I hope my pity for her didn’t show.  She’s probably just barely making a living at what she’s doing, but she was wearing a thousand dollars’ worth of clothing and a freaking expensive watch and had the coldest, limpest handshake I’ve shared in probably years. I thought that when she shook my hand it was probably the first time her hand had felt warm since the last interview.  Stupidly big office, in one of the industrial/office complexes on Still Creek. The entire courtyard had so much bird shit in it I felt ill walking through it and you all know me as being somebody who can deal with disgusting with fewer collywobbles than most socialized women. Drove away thinking what an incredible waste of time it was, but I’m still going to send her my references.

Then got beer and various foodicles, why not, it was on my way home.

Then we caught up on the Librarians and Robot Chicken, etc.

I have no idea what will happen to my writing energy if I get a job.  We’ll see. I know I can work and write, but it needs a ‘specially calm kind of job to allow me to think about stuff and write.

Jeff is awesome.  He has been helping me with technology (backups), when he’s not trying to pull info out of third parties and disposing of rats.

Word count over 7000 as of today.

Tomorrow the bday party for Katie. I already got her her present, and I’m not talking about it in a public forum, but most of my friends already know and so my expression of precarious and secretive amusement is thus explained.

Guru Purnima

Today is a day to celebrate spiritual and academic teachers:

Jeff, because he’s both.

My fOlks of course.

Doug Bain and John Hamilton, two of my high school teachers who are most responsible for shaping how I think and why I bother to.

Sue Sparlin.

Patricia!  So pithy, so witty, so wise.  If you ever decide to write a book of life advice, I will be ripping pages out of the typewriter as they come and killing myself laughin’, I’m sure.

Mike and Jarmo.

Dorothy Dunnett.

I won’t say all the Unitarian ministers I’ve ever had dealings with, but most of them.

And the Grey Hymnal, a haven from the stupidity of the world.

All the black, trans*, differently othered and First Nations activists who have kicked my ass and pointed my thoughts in a different direction.  Without their clear voices, without their clear vision, I’m just another temporarily-abled settler colonial gender essentialist living the good life on unceded land.

 

Happy birthday Jeff.