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.

the delayment of the inevitablelike

I AM NO QUIT I AM EXTEND SON

I’ll be working until the end of January. The woman I was hired to temporarily replace for medical reasons and to be a casual is now not working for the company, reason unknown. My reasons for not wanting to be there are still in place but I’m getting paid and I don’t have to work weekend days so I don’t care.  Steady middies for me!

It’s amusing that I’m awake now.  The world is white and quiet with snow, and if I was working tonight my shift would be about to start…. I just woke up.

I could use the money, although I’d forgotten the extent to which commuting in the wintertime is such a fricking drag in this burg.

Getting to and from work the last week has chewed through a bus station mop. But… it only took an hour to get home yesterday.

My characters are sad and so am I.  It’s the pathetic fallacy folks.

Also one of them is quitting drinking and I’m walking alongside him for portions of that, which I loathe.

Although I did think of THE MOST DISGUSTING SIXER RELATED GAG I mean I burst out laughing when poor Jeff was trying to watch the Dallas/Tampa game, which was ugly and beautiful and what the hell’s going on with the zebras, and mah God Dak Prescott, but I just had this vision of Sweetie, who is like 3 kilos, being the security guard for the whorehouse, and controlling a patron with the vilest impersonation of Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry one could possibly imagine, and I couldn’t stop laughing because the joke grows organically out of the situation and at this point we could all use a laugh,

because Trump sailed through the Electoral College, and the Republic, tottering after decades of hacking at the Constitution and weak from never dealing with racism and the Civil War, is in full kleptocratic collapse.

What to watch for over 4 years in the US:

Moar racism

Moar war

Higher infant and maternal death rates – this has actually been going on in slow motion over the decade I’ve been keeping track, it’s sickening…

More prison rioting (underreported) as the food in prisons gets worse and worse under Trump’s prison owning buddies

Higher violent death rates, across the board, all kinds – vehicles (road rage), guns, knives, stranglings.

More alcoholism and alcohol related death

More needle drug abuse and higher rates of AIDS HIV infection. More people dying of ODs, pills and otherwise.

Zika running wild in South Florida and the gulf coast and women being forced to carry the fetus to term with no health insurance for a lifetime of need thanks to Republican state legislatures

Hundreds more deaths each year from white people carrying guns, being scared of black people and shooting grandmothers and toddlers but mostly teenage boys who are existing while black

Muslims being burned alive in their mosques. Hasn’t happened yet but it’s going to happen and more than once.

Tripling of deaths in custody. (The statisticians just learned that the number of people who’ve died in custody in the US in the last five years is ACTUALLY DOUBLE what they thought because there’s no reporting mechanism and now the cop unions are trying to prevent any oversight of this statistic at all…)

Diaspora people – Jewish, black and Muslim – who have family and opportunities in Canada, moving here, although they’ll probably need a couple of years of Trump to realize it’s time to get out of town.

Tourism tanks across the US and Trumpites CELEBRATE America for Americans.

Confederates bringing automatic weapons to Pride Days and killing grandmothers and toddlers along with some queers.

Open war on First Nations Land; mass incarcerations and arrests, and Trump’s buddies making money on it.

More legal weed.

Secession talk from more than California.

The Left NEVER calling him President Trump. Just Trump. Or Cheetolini.

Patton Oswalt falling in love again and remarrying.  Because honestly, that man deserves happiness.

Sad family note. Young cousin got a bad (not what he specifically and carefully asked for) haircut… but we have a hairdresser in the family and our relations did not have to have that experience.  I wish it were otherwise but how often does adult convenience drive the nightmares of small children. I speak from sad and memorable experience here, thinking about Katie and the earring back. I still cry when I think about that, tho’ Katie has long since forgiven me.

A friend asked me what my Christmas Day plans were and I said “Reheating takeout and watching Die Hard with my brother” and now we’re eating at Hal and Cassidy’s, go team!

At some point Jeff and I have to leave the house for supplies, but the urban slushy streets are too disgusting….

 

 

Burn Notice Minific

When you’re a spy, you don’t have many friends, and the friends you have are not likely to help you out on a lonely Saturday night. You won’t likely be partying with high priced callgirls either, even if you weren’t suspicious they are trying to steal classified intelligence documents while demonstrating reverse cowgirl. Anyone you have sex with can be turned against you, and the honeypot is the oldest trick in the book. Humans are social creatures, and it’s hard not to get fond of someone you’re sleeping with. It’s best not to have sexual entanglements at all.

So …you are going to be masturbating.

The trick is to do it like an op; be quick, clean and quiet, and leave no evidence.

Wha happen?

Yesterday was the Solstice Feast, and it was wonderful.  Julie, Brandon, Baby K, Mike, Paul, Keith, me, Kate and Alex attended. Kate and Paul did all the heavy lifting for cooking. The one thing I made was gravy, not my best effort but still damned good.

We had turnots and carnots mushed, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, roast turkey with homemade stuffing, cranberry sauce, home made brown bread, steamed green beans, and OMGOMGOMG the brussels sprouts were so amazing I declare it a family standard festive dish.  Mike declared he was going to preempt the normal way of doing brussels for his family festive meal later this week.  You steam them, them pan fry them and then drown them in fresh parmesan and garlic. KEITH HAS NEVER EATEN BRUSSEL SPROUTS before last night.

People were getting seconds, it was unreal.

Alex was mostly fine but when he was hours overdue for a nap he was pretty fragile.

Then Mike drove me home and we stopped off at the one place in the lower mainland he knew for sure he could get Crown Royal Northern which the Whiskey Bible author says is the best whiskey in the world this year…. for less than 35 bucks a bottle.

It is really rather good, and for the price point it’s insanely wonderfully good.

The liquor stores are out but the Oliver Twist had two bottles left. Trouble was Mike had already blown through his 2 bottle limit, so there I go with my stupid hat and buy some more, and that’s it, it’s probably gone in the Lower Mainland.  Helping Mike with Christmas shopping was an awesome way to end the day.

Then home and after a contemplative couple of hours winding down I went upstairs to bed AND STARTED REVISING THE SECOND NOVEL which meant that I was actually writing. Four hundred words or so – since mOm will want to know it’s the longish chapter about the pregnancy close to the beginning of the novel. There were two particularly tangled and compostian sentences and I killed one and inverted and broke apart the other, so, yay me.

THEN Ulrika on Livejournal this morning SHARES THIS WITH ME. I am absolutely gobsmacked and will immediately implement some of her suggestions.

 

Current count 5813

What an amazing 57th birthday I had!!

I ate a meal I didn’t cook for brekky (left over Desi Turka chicken tikka masala with rice pulao), I ate a meal I didn’t cook for lunch, for Jeff feasted me at Switzerland Chicken, and I ate a meal I didn’t cook for dinner, as Mike feasted me with pan fried oysters and new potatoes.

We watched all the rest of Black Sails more or less because we couldn’t help ourselves.  Then I watched the season 3 teaser trailer just to drive myself nuts; god willing and the crick don’t rise I’ll have more in January around Conflikt time.

I brushed and degunked Margot and avoided being killed on the stairs by Buster.  My rapid increase in wordcount you can tell for yourself and I shipped off some new stuff to mOm.

I got phone calls wishing me a happy birthday from Mike, Katie, my mOm and ewishes from Patricia and DJD. Absolutely nobody on facebook wished me a happy birthday.  258 facebook friends and you get a prompt for friends’ birthdays, but not a sausage (hey I needed the message about social media not being as important as my flesh and blood friends…)

I slept over at Mike’s so we had just enough to drink to be festive but not to drive, and I do not feel muzzy headed this morning so I think I titrated the dose properly.  ASBACK BRANDY BE GREAT YO. Tecate Beer tastes like a man complaining of an unhappy marriage.  I shall not drink that beer again. I even wrote 185 more words last night while I was here.  It was a particularly writing sort of day.

I got prezzies! A foot soaker tub and a headrest pillow for air travel.  SO HAPPY and so very unexpected, but I’m not too old to appreciate it.

I wrote a letter to my MP and ran a load of laundry and backed up my documents.

am I not awesome!?

Lots of writing yummy food and yes I know I am a big kid. And we’ll feast again on Katie’s bday on Friday, yay!

Weather’s the pits and the wind’s going to come up but I’m snug where I am and it’s wonderful. Vitamin D and probiotics make me a better person.

 

OH AND ONE LAST THING. I have an interview with a job agency on Wednesday.  Just came right out of the blue.  Isn’t that a perfect thing to happen on my birthday?  Nothing likely will come of it but you never know, and I got all those nice new work clothes from EShakti, and nicer bras and underwear too over the last six months so if I DID get a job I wouldn’t be going O M F G what do I wear tomorrow. So really, a spectacular day.

While I’m all bubbly and babbly….

TOBY STEPHENS PULLS HIS BEARD AND IT MAKES ME HAPPY gratuitous Black Sails reference. Especially since it’s really his beard, and did you know he’s Maggie Smith’s younger son, and married to that Plowman actress who played Sarah/Osiris for 4 seasons on SG1?  Screw Kevin Bacon SG1 is where the connections really fly.

The Giant Squid has Not

Cake, Pudding and Cheese are the three alien babies who named themselves after food because food is always popular among humans.  Apex predators aren’t supposed to name themselves after food, that is just wrong, but some of the babies have names like Doofus (“Nobody will be afraid of an alien named Doofus” and Etazonia (which is a variant of États-Uni, so one of the kids named herself after the United States, which is also pretty bizarre.)  They have briefly shown up at a family reunion – just long enough to mention that they’ve been rehearsing, and to sing a three part version of “The Giant Squid has Not” – with animations, sound effects, and stage business – on their way to a gig on the Island.  So I didn’t really write 500 words yesterday, it was 500 less the words I quoted from Brooke’s song, which was just the first verse. Hey, their dad’s a filk fan, and why the hell not.  I’m going to write about what I know, right? bwa ha, ha ha.

Some of the babies were named by their mother and their mother’s current squeeze (Kima and Michel are a very cute couple.)  But when you’re having 175 babies at once some of them get away on you before you can name them.  Hey, it was an accident.  It’s hard to do something right when you’ve never done it before and there’s no precedent.

Jeff, who is a life-saver, got treats yesterday AND got malware off my Mac, which is very very happy making.

Margot jumped up onto the sofa to say hi yesterday and accept skritches when we were watching some tv… She rarely does this when both of us are there.  Buster is usually sitting on my side of the sofa and I must threaten him with the Giant Setting Bum of Allegra which usually means that Jeff rescues him from being crushed milliseconds before he gets mashed into the cushion because he is unconcerned by impending doom.  He is the least ready-to-take-offense-or-be-frightened cat I’ve ever met.

Hell on Wheels continues to entertain, the new Patrick Stewart sitcom (Blunt Talk) is uneven but when funny EXCRUCIATINGLY so, Brent Spiner shows up in a guest slot that will make all the fans go squee, and if you don’t want to watch Walter Blunt /Patrick Stewart down three Ambien when he was expecting three Provigil while sucking back marijuana edibles like an East Burnaby ‘hood rat and washing them down with scotch, you shouldn’t watch it. Jeff and I were both very entertained by the opening shot.  Patrick Stewart doesn’t just have a bald head, he has an ICONIC bald head.

It seems clear that a new generation of comedy writers is taking on the half hour sitcom format and making it new.  Grace and Frankie, the Brink and Blunt Talk (and bunches of others we haven’t seen because we’re not fans of the writers or stars) are sophisticated, funny, humane, well-acted, written and directed and they move like screwball comedies on rails.

Did you know that JFK was accidentally shot by his own security detail?  Many things about the shooting now make much more sense in the light of this new theory.

The Mr. Robot season finale didn’t air because some content was too similar to a shooting in the US which happened during the same news cycle, so they had to can it – we’ll see it later.  And props to the show runners and network for giving it a rest.  The fans will wait.  The Rick and Morty was okay, there were some good laughs and Keith David as a voice actor is always worth the listen.

also.

Almost every single episode of West Wing that we’re watching is pulling its news from CURRENT headlines – and the show’s been off the air almost a decade.  Sometimes the overlaps are so freaky that Jeff just look at each other all o,O like what the HELL man.  Last night it was ‘we’re really close to curing cancer’ and it was so similar to the recent news it was surreal. And people torching AME churches and school shootings, it’s all…. yeah.

Everybody drive safe this weekend.  There may be flash floods and overwhelmed streams and sewers may make for trouble in low lying areas. We’re still going to be on water restrictions.

Mike has returned from South Africa, the single most brutal business trip he’s ever been on, and Jarmo had his last day yesterday at Evilcorp.  Mike took me to supper last night.  Just for future reference, the steak sandwich special for 10 bucks on Thursday night is totally worth it; best beef for the price I’ve had in ages.

 

Went for a walk

Paul called very late in the day, probably around 8, and we went for a walk down at the Quay and saw adult and juvenile bald eagles and harbour seals waiting for a salmon snack because they are having a tiny little run in the mighty Fraser.

Then I picked up some Blue Buck and we consumed a beer apiece on the back deck – it was deliciously cool after a stinking hot day – and while we were sitting there (Paul was planning his next trip to ON which we hope will include Chipper’s campground) a greater brown bat flew over our heads but under the clothesline.  I actually heard the whoosh of its wings as it flew by.  A great end to the day.

I wrote 697 words yesterday, they’ve all gone off to mOm.

Catching up

It’s been a lively couple of days.  I’ve been writing hard, practiced almost enough, played at church to sincere and life affirming compliments, showed the shop, made the decision to hand the keys over to the landlord, got into last minute negotiations with guys that came in at Christmas, had a spider drop onto my keyboard and scare the shit out of me, I’ve stopped having nightmares but the insomnia has fired up again, we finished watching Jazz, which made me unhappy because it was SO wonderful, and I received some Buddhist wisdom which allowed me to release a lot of stored animus toward my life and situation.  I learned that my travel plans into the US are probably going to be completely fucked up by the INSANE weather ongoing in most of the US – shit, it’s warmer in Alaska – which reminds me of the time that I wanted to get to a con which would have been crucial to my development as an SF writer and 9/11 intervened, except this time it’s all expenses paid and guess what, they’ll WAIT for me, as I don’t imagine I’d be stranded more than two days so I’ll still get to do it.  I learned that Pearl, Cat Faber’s octave mandolin (ALSO by Peter Cox) experienced technical difficulties and is now in the shop, meaning I do not have an octave mandolin as a back up if United destroys or loses Otto. (And I know that as sad as that might be, I would just ask for the bits back or get Peter to make me another one, him being obliging that way, if remunerated.  Who’s to say the replacement wouldn’t be even more amazing?)  This means I would have to do the entire concert on a regular sized mando – which I DO NOT WANT – or transpose EVERYTHING to a guitar, which for a couple of songs would be fine and for everything else would probably cause my nervous system to implode – or sing the entire concert a capella, which would be extremely wearing for my audience.  I will be taking Lemming’s advice about packageration seriously.  I reproduce it below.  Jeff invented the word garbarcage to describe when tv shows are shitty because they have too much arc and too little of what we watch the shows for.  Eddie is needing fluids at least every other day, he has started to refuse his meds and he’s gone off his food, although he’s still making the trek to the litter tray.  Margot has gotten very sucky, which is unusual.  I’m making plans to travel after the shop is gone.  I found out that the Squamish name for Thomas Mulcair is “Angry Beard” (okay it’s just one Squamish dude who is calling him that, but DID I LAUGH when I read that) and that it’s too cold outside right now for the Lincoln Park Zoo Polar Bear. I’ve been applying for jobs every day, no response. However, I am relaxed about it.  What will be, will be.  No use flinching or being rebellious.  The leathern thong descends whether I’ve been a good girl or not.

 

Tip #1: Depending on size of body, sometimes banjo cases work for octave mandolin type instruments. Tip #2: A way to save money on a case AND protect the instrument: Call guitar stores in area and see if one will give you an instrument-size box. A banjo box would probably work. Check airline regs for box measurements before proceeding. They’re supposed to allow some leeway for musical instruments. Invest in some bubble wrap. Loosen strings. Wrap instrument in bubble wrap, inside soft case. Wrap case in bubble wrap. Stuff bubble wrap in bottom of box, put in instrument, put bubble wrap on all sides and top filling box, seal box with heavy 2″ wide packing tape, about twice as much as you need. Pack one roll of packing tape so you can re-pack before you leave to go home. Add handle (easy to make one with tape, or tape on a handle, or tie on some rope. Mark stuff on package with large black magic marker “THIS SIDE UP! FRAGILE: DO NOT BEND. CONTAINS ANGRY ELVES WHO WILL HURT YOU IF YOU WAKE THEM UP” or some such thing. Tip #3: First, find out if the planes you’re flying on all have closets. Second, carry the thing with you, in the soft case, but do wrap it in bubble wrap inside the case. Make sure it’s small enough to fit in the overhead. Go up to the counter and ask if they’ll find space in the closet for your instrument. If they’re crazy enough to want to gate-check it, well, that’s what the bubble wrap inside the case is for, but if they do that, ask them if they’ve seen the “United Breaks Guitars” video, nicely. If you have to put it in the overhead, stuff a large coat or something all around it so no one tries to smash it with their luggage. Again, bubble wrap. Bubble wrap is your friend

Oh, and don’t forget the loosen strings part. Most of the time, no difference, but the changes in air pressure in the luggage compartment plus string tension will eventually cause the neck to break at the nut.

And take along spare strings because one often breaks when you retighten.

Not another project, cheezy Pete

Yes, I am now working on a number of different projects.  I’m trying to concentrate on stuff I enjoy.  Anyway, the most recent one is called Tarot for Atheists, and it’s a radical revisioning of the Tarot in light of contemporary life.  For entertainment purposes only.  It’s loads of fun. I have already invented a pi layout and a Fibonacci layout and an x bar layout and a delta layout and will find other mathematical and scientific layouts I’m sure.

George and Kima also continue to chew thoughtfully on my brain.  Kima just ran down Denman street like a Catherine wheel in octopot form.  George is chasing after her apologizing to the pedestrians.  The next day signs appear all up and down the street Beware of Runaway Squid.

Margot is suffering dreadfully from allergies, her eyes are getting gunked up every day.  Eddie pulled a Margot last night and did something he’s never done the entire time I’ve known him … he got under my feet when I took my eyes off him.  I’m lucky I didn’t boot him across the room.

Used the cpap loaner for the first time last night.  YUCK.  It’s supposed to get easier, but it smells like ass and I can only sleep in one position or the mask shifts.  This will hurt my back.  Shoulder quite sore today, but I will press on through the exercises.

Today I go deal with business winding down things, hopefully.  We shall see.

I have now read a substantial portion of the Benedictine Rule to support my learnings in watching the Cadfael mysteries.  St. Benedict was an interesting dude.

 

I have had a very restful and yet sociable weekend.

This is a lovely combinertation in my view.

 

(Excerpt from The Warlord’s Cook)

I had this story from my mother.  She said it was from a book that was burned, but she read the book many times before she was fifteen and swears this is how it went.

Once upon a time, there was a man seeking employment speaking gibberish.  He could have gone into guild politics, and it would have been easier yet to go into religion.  He was an honest speaker of gibberish, nothing more, and he asked only that he be given an opportunity to practice his trade.

It was his job to hang around a certain rich man (actually, it was a group of rich guys who took him on as a kind of time share court jester but that only becomes relevant in a different story)- and while he was hanging around a certain rich guy, he was brought into the company of those who, for whatever reason, the rich guy wanted to mock and bewilder and otherwise mentally mess about with.

In those days – which weren’t that long ago, truth be told, although how far away it seems now for those of us too young to have been there – the rich man would have business meetings and the man who spoke gibberish would sit in a corner of the room, out of the way, and occasionally say something quietly but clearly in gibberish, and the rich man would pause, and say, “I will definitely have to consider that.”  The negotiations, of whatever form, would stagger along for a few moments and then there would be another outburst from the corner.  The rich man would pause, and say something soothing again. The fourth time this happened the rich man looked at him and paused long enough to eat a whole nut, and then said,

“Now Blib, you’re disturbing the work we’re doing. You’ve given me enough advice for tonight.”

Glaring (he had a ghost white face and big googly eyes) Blib would leave the room, looking like he was ready to kill someone.

“I hope he doesn’t mean to come back,” the rich man would say and then only the strongest minded individual would be able to continue along the path he had set for himself prior to the meeting.

Blib had similar sorts of jobs with other rich men, and he would sometimes pretend to be a soup-spilling waiter who also spoke gibberish, which caused no end of hijinks.

Abruptly one day the rich men all decided they wanted to spend the same amount of money for different things.  Blib had no work. One by one each of them turned to paying someone else to amuse them.  One preferred sex with men, one sex with women, one took up exotic drugs, one consumed more alcohol, and the last became depraved in the company of sheep. The moral of this story is very simple.

Depending on rich people is like building on sand.

 

If I think the warlord is being an ass I tell him one of my mother’s Blib stories.  She had a lot of them and they all ended the same way, hell for Blib.  He always managed to get another job though; Blib had a facility for survival that I always admired.

 

Mozart, moods and metal origami

I was a complete frackup this weekend.  I did manage to get some cleaning and laundry done, and I did cook some meals, so I didn’t entirely lay about and do nothing – but mostly I did, while feeling sorry for myself.

Saturday I bought work clothes for our dreaded new overlords have high standards in these things.  I even bought stuff that matched, which is just weird, and it was all solids or stripes, no tie dye. All of it makes me look older than my mother, buy which I mean that it’s all like polyester pantsuits.  Saturday night Jeff and I went to the opera.  It was a masterpiece but the chairs are BRUTAL at the Queen Elizabeth theater and the perfume was a-waftin’.  At half time, despite it being a superlative performance with amazing direction and one tight orchestra, we bailed.  If we could have watched it without being gassed by the fancy lookers in the audience, that would have been grand.  Jeff and I want to go back but we’re thinking a matinee.  The opera was Marriage of Figaro, and honestly, a better introduction to the opera isn’t possible.

Sunday, despite the fact Joy sent me a reminder email that I was supposed to do set up for church, I forgot and came to church late and Jason did all my work for me.  I did a penance afterwards which consisted of drying every last dish that had to be washed out for the annual congregational meeting.  I came home in full bore collapsing mode, I was so upset, and watched Talladega for a while.  Many crashes and a nailbiter finish.  I finally hauled myself up and tidied a bit.  After supper Paul and Keith came over.  I got all weepy and tragic on Paul, who very sensibly responded by hauling out the massage table and working me over until I quit whining, at which point he tucked me into bed (trust a dad to know how to do that right) and went home and then I slept for ten hours.  This is so much more sleep than I normally get that I am thrilled out of my mind.  I haven’t had any beer in the last two days, either.

And just to prove I haven’t stopped taking an interest in cool stuff.  …. metal origami.

Why I blog

Take that, people who say it’s nothin’ but narcissism.

Also, I have a terrible memory and a blog helps me remember when things happened.

Also, Katie has used my blog to help her remember when distressing and horrific things, as reported by me, happened.

Yesterday Paul and I drove up-island to visit his cousin Ruth in Nanaimo.  She’s living on an acre of land and she got it for a steal of a price, and she and her fisherman spouse are living very happily.  She has to walk fifteen minutes to get her mail, and another ten to get her eggs, but she’s a five minute drive from a yoga studio and she has her own well, so there.

She made us a fabulously warm welcome, and soon we were deep in talk about cob houses and straw bale houses and the Cuban 5 and the amazing local arts and politics scene, and after Paul re-strung her guitar I said I’m getting my mandolin, and she hauled out her Indian drums (sounds like tablas but they weren’t) and we had a fabulous 90 minutes of jamming.  I kept nervously checking the Malahat webcam.  Long about 4 we decided to head back.

And it snowed.  Paul and I were bemoaning our lack of cameras, because the snow slid down the road signs and just hung there, and some of the visual effects were quite funny.  The snow was worse in Victoria than up the Malahat, go figure.

Paul went off to hang with Dr Filk for the evening (more music, somewhere, and a meal in there too) and I grabbed some Mayan Chocolate Haagen Dazs and a small round of Brie (my god, they fell on it like animals…. well behaved, queuing animals) and Darwin had a noisy bath and went to bed and we ate pizza and I started reading The Caryatids by Bruce Sterling and at 7:30 I collapsed.  See what a day without coffee can do to me?  Also I did all the driving, since Paul has come to the realization that he can tolerate my tailgating and random lane changes way better than vice versa.  A couple of hours in the car also allowed us the opportunity for an airing of the grievances (or was more usually the case, the bragging of the amazingness) re the kids. Sometimes it’s good to have a chance to bash away at this stuff so we can present a united front when the next issue comes up….

Woke up at 4, edited the sound files I recorded yesterday of Darwin’s charming vocalizations, finished the Caryatids (three stars but I still want to know where the food of the future will be coming from), showered, and now I’m looking forward to a meal at my Granny’s place of residence and a nice ride home on the ferry, probably late in the afternoon.  And I can haz new quilt, which is actually a quilt that my mum made when I was tiny, so I am extremely happy about my ‘haul’.  Oh, also my grampa’s memory book (two thick tomes) has been delivered to me in duplicate for Jeff.

So far an AWESOME weekend, and watching Katie motor her way – reading, my god, she’s reading! – through the Sookie Stackhouse books is making me very very happy.

Movies

So, there are three movies I should mention which have wormed their way in front of me:  Jane Austen Book Club, La Vie en Rose, and Blast from the Past.

Jane Austen Book Club was goodhearted and fun, and there were definitely some good lines in it.  It could also have been entitled “Managing Multiple Fandoms in a Testosterone Reduced World” but that I guess is being too cynical.  I liked it because there was a character in it called Allegra, so every time her mother called for her or a character mentioned her name I’d sorta jerk reflexively.  And she’s a babydyke, just to add to the wonder…. Anyway, nautilus3 recommended it and I finally watched it with Jeff. He likes Emily Blunt (so do I) and there’s a scene where her character Prudie is being a ****ing pain in the ass, and I said, “I’ve been that woman, and Christ she’s annoying” and occasionally Jeff would pause it, waggle his eyebrows and go “That was a classic chickflick moment.”  Definitely a better script than you usually get with these kinds of outings, and the morals are delivered like the bill in a good restaurant, in a leisurely and tactful way.

La Vie en Rose I’m not going to talk about much.  If you like Edith Piaf, see the movie.  It’s great, and the lead performance is nothing short of mesmerizing – I can understand the Oscar nod. One of the best biopics ever, that I’ve seen anyway, possibly nosing out Ray as being the best I’ve ever seen.  And tasteful.  AND THE DUBBED SINGING IS AMAZING.  The lip synch was incredible.

Blast from the Past…. If you like Alicia Silverstone and Brendan Fraser, you’ve probably already seen it.  If you’re looking for a nice little comedy, undemanding, charming and steadily amusing, this will be a good companion.  I must mention the guest spot by Christopher Walken, who was just starting his streak of being in all movies in a supporting role.  I must own to liking Brendan Fraser – he was AWESOME in the first Mummy flick (I haven’t bothered with the others) and I really liked him in George of the Jungle.  He’s a goofy looking guy…  At one point in the movie I burst into tears and sobbed a couple of times.  After the movie I explained what was going on (Brendan did something for Alicia that somebody did for me once, and I lost it) and Jeff just said, “Oh, I just thought you’d gone crazy.”  Thanks, bud.

On another note, have you ever spent a fair amount of time with somebody, on a casual basis – like somebody you eat lunch with – and then one day he comes out and says something that everybody else at the table, including you, finds rather disturbing, and when somebody calls him on it he doesn’t notice?  I had one of those moments yesterday.  Rather than get into details, I’ve decided to turn the spotlight back on myself.  Mocking the afflicted IS NOT A NICE THING TO DO.  I should stop doing it.  I should recognize when I’m doing it.