In a grotesque act of cultural imperialism

I’m turning a west African harvest and birth celebration song into a choral arrangement about the Ambien Walrus. Brian Tate taught me Kakilambe and it’s a good thing I’m too smart to try to reproduce it in public.


I’m a lolrus (1 bar)


Ambien Walrus in my head (2 bars)


Here I go to the internet, here I go spending cash that I don’t have (4 bars)


Ambien is a prescription sleep aid/anti anxiety drug which makes people do things like get up from a sound sleep and order ten thousand mixed beads in a bag from the internet. I do not consume Ambien.



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.


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!.


Don’t let them see.

I have met somebody who wears her heart on her sleeve. I’d like her to tuck it away, but I don’t get to make that call.

She got stuck at the airport. She is in the sf/horror fan community, knows about 30 people in common with me and since it’s her story to tell, how she got stuck there, I will stay quiet.  Katie let me borrow the car to unstick her, and now she’s either asleep or colouring mandalas. A few of the designs are straight up eyepopping.

Got Keith’s Christmas present to me set up – I regifted the Instant Pot from Mike to Katie; I’ll get it back at Litha.

It never ceases to amaze me how much better my life has been because of the people I’ve managed to get close to. Sometimes I think coupling up is an extended magical joke of some kind. Now I’m old and I want completely different things from partners; less excitement and more being there.

I talked to Katie last night and after I got home and started tidying up a bit I was standing at the sink and I just started crying because despite everything, all the stupid anger I’ve been holding onto, she gets me. And so does Keith and so does Paul. I’m glad they didn’t see me crying. They would have been upset on my behalf, and I’m feeling better than I have in ages.

Now I’m going to check if our houseguest is up and start singing like a chicken if she is because I can get away with that, and Jeff’s not ‘hear’ to plead for the sanctity of his eardrums. He’s supposed to be back today; hope the 5 to 10 cm of snow we’re getting (Erie PA got 6 inches of lake effect snow yestreen, how droll) doesn’t hurt his chances of getting back here safe from Victoria.

I salted all the walkways, I’ll salt the driveway before the predicted snow flies too hard. I put so much salt on the back deck that I can now hear it creaking as the compressed snow/ice starts to let go its grip.

twangy box aka Rowena

Oldfud version: Allegra’s not writing fiction so she’s playing music instead. It’s annoying, but ok.


I buy new instruments to encourage me to hear music differently and write songs.

It’s working.

The twangy box now has a number of tunes to go with it.

One is “Form a Line (a protest song)”

One is “Elder Funeral Song”

One is “Horseback Song” <—- newest as of last night

One is “At the Aerie” <—- oldest – started working on it as soon as I got Rowena

One is a new version of an old instrumental “Grieg”

One is “I’m too cheerful for my pants”


The damned thing is virtually impossible to tune and the frets are in the wrong places. I shall check with a luthier. But I don’t care. When it’s close to being in tune, it’s a remarkably plangent and docile instrument and it doesn’t hurt me to play it. Otto, unfortunately, is putting my shoulder out of kilter when I play, and guitars are approaching impossible.


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.

Castiel filk – The Sheltering Tree

I recall the day of my creation
Breathed into being for my Father's plan
I have been so many people
But I have never been a man

Will you teach me, as you have from the beginning
How to be friends, how to be family
For when you put down roots in somebody
You will grow into a sheltering tree

And by that tree you honour all Creation
Though in the storm-tossed dark you may not see
The nest you hold within your arms
Within which dreams the bird
Whose wings will some day set you free.

My Father's gone away but all His lessons
are written in my sinews and my heart
I've risen and I've fallen
I've heard the darkness calling
And in the chaos I have played my part
Will you teach me, as you have from the beginning
How to be friends, how to be family
For when you put down roots in somebody
You will grow into a sheltering tree

And by that tree you honour all Creation
Though in the storm-tossed dark you may not see
The nest you hold within your arms
Within which dreams the bird
Whose wings will some day set you free.


I love my virtual friends

To the tune of Home on the Range.  Starting with Bucky Fuller’s quote from Heather S.:

Let architects sing

of aesthetics that bring
Rich clients in hordes to their knees;

Just give me a home,
in a great circle dome
Where stresses and strains are at ease.

R. Buckminster Fuller

Within minutes…. the next response.
Edward G.
Dome, dome with no strain,
Where the vectors of force are in play …
Where seldom is found
Such a structure so round,
And where four pi r squared equals A !

Then the ever remarkable Tim Griffin, minutes later, which I think is FUCKING BRILL.
Oh build me no pile in postmodernist style
For it’s ruder than Tudor by far
And the worst on the street is the house of concrete
I’ll not brood where the brutalists are!

No, I’ll hang up my reins where geometry reigns
Where the lightness and brightness prevail
Where I’ll not be ashamed that each panel’s the same;
Equilateral tri’s tell the tale!

Blues for an orange sky

I don’t want to die here
not if I have a choice
took almost three months for NASA to know
I still had a voice
First day was bad, got inside
half urine and half blood
Then I set myself on fire
to make a little mud

I got blues for an orange sky x2

You think you know alone?
I’ll give you alone
standing at sunset under two moons
upon this barren stone
Captain o my captain come back and make it right
get a steely eyed missile man to calculate your flight

I got blues for an orange sky x2


At the convention, having a lovely time.  Missed Cade’s concert but caught the deliciously English Jacquie Mitchell’s do, and she did this operatic Star Trek song that had all of us on the floor. ALSO Jeri-Lynn and Shawna singing harmonies for the long song about fairy tale lies and I GOT ARM CHILLS LISTENING TO THEM.

Then Jacquie sang a song about Mills and Boon and GOD mOm I wish you’d been there, it was wizard.

Lem was in a state of bliss after this concert. He was scarcely intelligible he was so happy.

I sang in songbook circle last night just the once (Invective) and said, “This is a song about my ex’s girlfriend, and about how she’s the worst person on earth and how badly I hate her guts, even though she’s not a bad sort really” which got a big laugh. The song made it into the Conflikt songbook thanks to Cindy, and hey she asked for it even though I’m not particularly proud of that song anymore, so I sang it with all the music hall gusto (pace Jacquie) I could muster and got a kindly response.

I had a nice long sit in the con suite yesterday.  I showed up just before lunch which allowed SaladofDoom to make a soda run, and I cleaned up after an elderly fan who left SO MUCH FOOD DEBRIS ON THE FLOOR That I, Even I, felt compelled to clean up after (them). But that was okay because I got the full story on the Death Of Forry Ackerman, which is about as sad and internet messy as things get. Then Frank showed up.

I have to admit that I would listen to Frank Hayes back up to a microphone and fart. I might even pay for it. He played a hilarious song about reincarnation last night in the big room in open circle and yes, he pretended to forget the lyrics.  Yesterday he held forth on the n dash and the m dash, the Oxford comma, one or two spaces after a period, and provided me with some insight as to why things are the way they are in editing land.

I defended my punctuation choices by stating that I come to prose through poetry and give punctuation points not because of ‘the rules’ which are arbitrary place markers of contemporary taste and the laziness of typesetters and the ongoing rear guard of bitching assholes about how English must be defended against all comers at all costs, at which point someone, I think Lem, said, “Which English, there are rather a lot of them…”

I’ve shown a lot of people the cover mockup for Hair Sinister.

Tom and Peggy came from a funeral.  Tom lost a best friend and I feel for him so. His friend was a sailing partner and now that part of life (including the shrimp traps NOM) is much truncated for him. LIFE SUCKS YO.

Got the front pew scoop on the polyamory shitstorm at the Newton church in Maine. VERY INTERESTING STORY and I kept thinking, as I listened, Oh this would never happen at Beacon and then realized that it already had when John S. shut me and Peggy down from putting polyamory on the table for our Welcoming Congregation efforts back in the day. I was ecstatic when he and his wife quit the church over not getting their way about the minister.  Which is sort of what I did, so I’ve got a big crunchy cud of reflection on that when I have the strength. But really I was tired of people who are demented asking me if I have a job yet.  You’re not allowed to yell at demented old ladies, it’s not nice, and since I can no longer guarantee that I’ll keep my temper or not cry (probably more to the point) under those circumstances I’m going to stay home.  Oh, and I had a long time church member tell me WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU’RE NOT HAPPY HERE WE LET YOU BE ON THE BOARD AND WE KNEW YOU WERE POLY.

Helluva thing to say to someone WHO WAS ACCLAIMED. I’ll just let you sit with that two seconds. And they begged me to be Treasurer, so it’s all a bit much really. When your welcome is contingent on a positive answer for “what have you done for us lately” it’s no welcome, it’s a fucking scam. Which is not to say I wouldn’t recommend the church to a young family or an older seeker, but in many ways it’s become a closed religious club for those who still survive of the founders.

But the really big news from yesterday is that one of my all time fave coworkers – Sandy P – with whom I never got to actually work since she mostly worked from home in WA while I was in BC, drove to see me at the hotel and we had beers and LAUGHED OUR ASSES OFF.  She is a total mensch and I loves her.  It was a great day, and I was in bed by midnight, so I’ve essentially missed all the good filking for YET ANOTHER CONFLIKT.  Ha. Time to get some brekky – I may walk up the street to Denny’s.



OMG the grind I need a change of scene. OH WHAT’S THIS I’m going to Conflikt at the end of the week for the weekend! so don’t expect that word count to move much until next week. I’ll be gone Friday and back sometime on Monday.

No word on whether Mike is joining me yet. Paul plans on day trips but staying with Janice to dodge hotel feels, I mean fees. I’ve rented a car for Friday just in case.

I haven’t been practicing much but I’m so looking forward to just being there and listening.  I’ve been very tense with waiting for my turn to play in the past but if I go this time with no expectation except The Traditional Steak Dinner with Blind Lemming Chiffon (which he may dodge this year, he says he’s dieting) and the Filkenchantment Orchestra that is the luncheon, so more food than singing. And I get to see bunches of people I don’t normally get to see.  Happy sigh.

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.


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.


No I did not write this

Undead Cat
Lyrics by Rob Wynne
(TTTO: “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel)

Undead cat
It’s not living now, and that is that
But somehow it still can move around
No you’re never gonna keep it down

You’d better run from the undead cat
You won’t win if you get in a spat
And if the sight of it should give you pause
You’re gonna die by its undead claws
And drooling maw

And when you see where it is
It’s too lay-ay-ate
And when you wake up
You make up its play-ay-ate

You’ll see that you now are dead
Your poor sod
You’ve been fed to the undead cat
And your flesh has made it sleek and fat
And when it’s tired of its catnip toys
It will go hunting for more girls and boys
Because they’re moist

Undead cat
In Spanish, viviendo muerto gat-
O, maybe someday when you’re on your own
Out in the woods, you hear a yowling moan
Won’t make it home

And where it’s stalking
You’ll find you’re its prey-ay-ay
There’s no use talking
Unless it’s to pray-ay-ay

You’ll see that you now are dead
Your poor sod
You’d should’ve fled from the undead cat
You won’t win if you get in a spat
And if the sight of it should give you pause
You’re gonna die by its undead claws
And drooling maw