In keeping with the Victorians

…. who, for the most part, did not take photographs 18/7, I shall attempt to keep a written record of yesterday.

After a morning during which I sacrificially avoided vaping, and turned my room from a tip to a tip that’s been through a willy-willy as my brother will attest, a willy-willy that FORTUNATELY did not reach all the way downstairs to the dead bird that is quite literally stinking up the joint – I have removed dead things before but I’m already doing cat chores and I BALK I just do – I made phone calls for the unfound T4s, kicked myself for not loading up my compass card (bus pass) when I had the chance, I walked to the 123, which went by in front of my face, so I spun on my heel to the obvious bug-eyed unhappiness of the Chinese assassin lady gardening in her back yard in a mask, Jacquie Kennedy sunglasses and a hat of such dimensional strength as to encourage the pitching of a Patagonia tent upon it, and proceeded to the 112, during which walk I got to watch in all of nature’s panoply the spectacle of two crows killing a fledgling starling while it protested loudly and vigorously and to mine ear quite angrily, with its mother in full cry upon the telephone wire above, until it was no longer making any noise, although its mother continued in the screeching obsequies marking her offspring’s death, which, given my parlous mental state, I took to be a terrible, terrible daysign regarding my visit with Tammy, which I was proceeding downtown to effect.

TLDR; felt like shit, the commute downtown was a blunt punt even before I got on the fucking bus.

While on the bus I was once again entertained by the kindness of bus drivers – although the first one I ever encountered in Vancouver was a shithead, most of them I’ve encountered since have been observant, fit for their jobs, and either good humoured or so conducting themselves in the course of their employment that their mood was of no relevance to me.

I proceeded downtown without incident although I briefly had to stand on the Waterfront train, which made me tired, and then some pert little madam tried to sit down on a seat I was about to occupy. I looked at her and said, “Do you really need to sit? I would be happy to stand,” because it was the first thing out of my mouth (literally, I did not consider my words before I spoke) and I have no idea how sarcastic I sounded but her lips compressed and she assured me she was fine. Let it be noted I could be her fucking grandmother and I have long.grey.hair, and that I don’t speak Punjabi but I think both her companions briefly roasted her piglet ways immediately after this encounter, which I did my best not to overtly enjoy.

In such fashion I proceeded through all of the stations until Granville was reached. As is inevitably the case they’ve IMPROVED (seriously what the fuck, people) the Granville station so that you are now herded through a completely different pathway so I was pummelled and pitched forward by the crowd through a hallway NARROWER than the previous one…. yes, you heard me. I wasn’t even there at rush hour, but nevertheless it was completely fucked, but I did note the Timmy Ho’s for the return trip.

I waited, wandering about since I wasn’t fit to stand, while a Franco-something-or-other diasporatic Black man DRONED ON BOUT JESUS calice tabernac. I wished to silence him and instead turned my attention to how he was like the rest of us a poor crathur making his way and at least he wasn’t hurting my ears with the volume; he wasn’t blowing cigarette smoke in my face; he had rights, which he was using, rather more than I was at the moment; eventually the fucking #50 bus would come, which it did.

To the obvious horror of my travelling companions, I expatiated upon the most remarkable wildlife scene I have witnessed during my sojourn in Vancouver, which occurred some years ago, and consisted of fifteen rats of various sizes feeding in the open in daylight in the park immediately adjacent to the south west end of the Granville Bridge. Noting their horror, I allowed the American tourists to take over the conversation long enough to be prevented from getting off at the wrong stop by a fine young fat gentleman in rather chic clothing.

Having received Tammy’s mom’s incredibly good directions, I walked with confidence to my destination and achieved it.

After a sit down and convo we proceeded from the condo to our visit to Granville Island, where we acquired tomatoes for Tammy’s supper and ate at Bridges. It was nourishing, delicious, gave me no enteric regrets, and I didn’t pay. We could have eaten outside but enough of my foolishness regarding the sun has eroded that I thanked Tammy profusely for choosing indoors; I am lightly pink today and I didn’t need more.

We had a lovely long convo about lots of things, mostly stuff we’ve learned the hard way, and I bought a wedding present for a wedding I learned about yesterday that will be in less than two weeks and a pOp’s day gift which is so entirely pointless and useless that I think he will love it. Picture how I went into the children’s market at Granville looking for stuff for Alex (none of which his mamabear would have appreciated me buying) and emerged with shit for adults instead. I TRIED THEM ON, okay, I’m not stupid.

Today we’re going out for dinner, possibly at some joint on Homer, and then going for a walking tour. This is a big deal; she has a new knee and SHE CAN WALK seriously folks physio is important and Tammy made the commitment and she’s fine on her pins. Also, and I should have told her, her outfit was gorgeous; subtle, comfy and very nice detailing.

Had a visit with her mom after we got back around 3:30 and then left since I didn’t want the commute back to be too horrific. Pell mell through the station, held up at Timmy’s THANK GOD THERE WAS A WASHROOM, bought treats for us. Commute was shaping up to be a white-gloved stuffing standing nightmare. And then a Black guy in his mid twenties looked at me and saw how tired I was and gave up his seat and I’m a goddamned atheist but after thanking him most sincerely I prayed for the next three minutes for that guy. I prayed all the crazy (problematic) stuff in my head “May your hair remain lush and you never go bald. May your parents or guardians be blessed every day with the knowledge of what a good kid you are. May you never break any bones—” you know, crazy (problematic) random shit.  I pushed good feelings out into the universe for him, and watched as some asshole stepped on his foot on the way out the door.

Took a cab from Edmonds because I was burnt fucking toast at that point and said, as I got in, I just want you to know I think Uber and Lyft are the very devil and he began, calmly, to enumerate the ways in which the travelling public would be poorly served by Uber and Lyft coming to Vancouver. Cabs are cleaned once a day. That was the first thing he said, and I just went…. oh. Then he talked about the insurance situation. That was interesting. Well, I hope the next time people I love take an Uber there are no insurance consequences. Cause that would suck.

No pictures. I really don’t mind. I have a clear picture of Tammy with a glass of rosé and a cheerful smile as we tucked into our seafood.

Get enough sleep and it’s amazing

I am well rested, and in an hour or so will be off to the brekky place with Katie and possibly brO.

Mike’s at Trent’s ManCave™ finishing off the Mustang so he can get it back on the road. I was hoping to see him tomorrow but scuffed knuckles come first. He told me he bought a looper and now I’m mad chuffed to see it. His forearms were so sore they were in spasm the last time I saw him, poor guy.

Started watching the UK show Coroner, really liking it! the coroner/cop investigative team is very well done.

Some woman on reddit wants to know Am I The Asshole for breaking up with a man who admitted he had sex with sheep. My comment : How do you explain to a man with that kind of interior landscape that the real issue is not that he 3x interfered w/ sheep, (although “pick a gif for squick”), but that he doesn’t seem to understand the concept of informed consent, which would make any real life they had a mess.

If he was serious about never doing it again he shoulda kept his muttonhole shut.

I will try to work on Cuffs some more today but I need some kind of narrative hook that doesn’t involved 7 point fucking three billion dollars in money laundering. The fact that my novel has now collided with reality is fucking me up.

Was looking for a weapon from my Scythian heritage (the first blue eyed red heads!!!) and found this tasty store.

2019 commitment to not being an ableist fleshwad

So I’m working through my Youtube videos and captioning them. Already done: my most popular effort, at 14.2K distinct views! How to Cut Up a Pineapple. Lemming’s Twofer, Neener Neener and Blasteez (my advertisement for laxative coughdrops which, as you can likely imagine, work as poorly as advertised).

I shall continue with the making my videos more accessible until they are all done.

moar food

Made a Southwest style pork and beans this morning. Beans were soaked and soaked and soaked (16 hours) and rinsed and rinsed and rinsed (I rinsed them three times) and then Instant Potted for 30 minutes. I cooked them in chicken broth. The results are bland but you can always add salt and pepper.

Alex is apparently sleeping longer and not grinding his teeth as much. This is very happy grandma news. I knew Katie would like the blankie, but as much as I enjoy making her feel better this was all aimed at Alex.

Paul and I were supposed to go walking yesterday but you know what happened? He said can we run errands and I said BUT OF COURSE. I helped get Katie’s new car back to their house and I used to opportunity to fetch Jeff some pie from the Pie Hole (Dean Winchester’s business in another AU) and to buy some meat from the butcher then we drove to Oakalla (the old name for one end of Deer Lake Park) and there was FUCKING ICY SNOW EVVYWHERE. Paul said, shit I’m wearing Crocs and I said shit I didn’t even wear socks and we just sadly put the car in reverse and went back home and I said I wanna go to Langley Farm Market but … so we did, and we ran errands and I don’t care, I got out of the house. Day before I got my new Library card from Burnaby… so the replacement of ID continues.

Today, a brief foray out into the world for an errand in the AM, then Lunch Bunch and then Osteofit and mebbe some laundry.

 

blanky part le deux

Success! I slept an additional 2 hours with the blankie, garnering almost 7 hours of (almost) uninterrupted sleep. I think Katie will be pleased when I hand it over to her this morning for non-destructive testing on Alex.

This is me 30 seconds before I found the box on my step. This is the weather their delivery company dealt with. We got two inches of dense, slippery af snow pounding down over about four hours, then it abruptly stopped and a watery sun came out and said oops.

When that snow all turned to water at once, that was an interesting moment.

Katie took me to breakfast – it’s a grey day, but much warmer and the snow’s off the walkway.

Stanley Donen is dead. The man who directed Charade is gone. But here he is being fucking amazing in 1997.

today

Today will be laundry and throwing things out.

Yesterday I fell, hard, on the front walkway, so did Katie when she came to rescue me. After recovering our breath we continued on to de Dutch and had brekky.  (I had the bacon onions apple cinnamon pannekoek.)

This morning I’m a little stiff, but I essentially landed all my weight on the fat pad of my dowager’s hump and didn’t even bang my head, so here’s to me not twisting as I fell.

Jeff took care of the salting, after. He said the onset of black ice was so subtle it was no surprise I went flying.

Practiced the valentine for muscae song and all six verses of Alexios this morning.

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!.

 

embarrassed (the previous day)

Jesus, what a buttload o’ driving we did that day. Back really took a beating.

Anyway, after a fucking brutal amount of driving we were in a Martian landscape with fumaroles. Pics including video when wifi stops barfing. Stench appalling, colours weird – off kilter. Don’t know how else to describe it really.

Then a briefer but still brutal regime of driving and we were at a waterfall or foss as they say in these parts. Pics to follow. I can’t remember what the hell it was called, and I don’t have to, we’ll all get a map with a pronunciation guide at the end, so I’ve been told.  It was big, it had multiple parts, I bought stamps to go with the postcards I acquired from the night before and jesus that reminds me I should post those two I wrote out and stamped.  Wonder if I’ll remember, I doubt it. Anyways it was compared to Niagara Falls and all of us who have seen Niagara Falls laughed our asses off because Niagara Falls would pick it up and love on it for being so goshdarned cute.

Trip to north of ghastly WC, avoided spending any more tourist money cept for stamps.

Then we went to a farm to table restaurant and I paid forty fucking dollars for a very small fraction of a humanely slaughtered and lovingly raised cow nestled in a tasty goulash that gave me an eyewatering case of heartburn. Or maybe it was before the fumaroles. Only the roll of digital pics will give me the gooooddddammned timeline here. I’m just trying to move it along here so I have a minute to repack.

In the middle there somewhere or who knows really it’s all the most excellent blur, we saw FALSE VOLCANOES. These are formations which happen when a certain viscosity/composition/density of lava rolls out over wetlands. You get these miniature cones which are … well, miniature. I loved them. Pics later, relax.

Okay I’ll try.

Nope, barfed again.

Then we went to a real forest. Some enterprising farming family planted trees on their property overlooking The Lake of Midges for the best part of half a century and when the old lady died she deeded it to Iceland. FUCK I LOVE ICELAND. Short hill, nice view, incredibly tame birds and there will be pics, yeah whatever.

Then. The Darkwood.

I had a really really really bad feeling the entire time I was there. The landscape is effin’ creepy. I took pics, including one I think is the jewel so far, but anyway, it’s not a wood. It’s crumbling towers of evil looking stone, as if ogres and trolls had really been frozen in place and then were subject to ten thousand years of weathering. Another kind of formation from lava on wetland. I could not fucking wait to get out of there and felt much better the second I was gone. The equivalent of Santa lives there but in Iceland the Santa’s Mom will eat you if you’re naughty so I guess…. well anyway things are a little less scary in Iceland now since the government asked people nicely to stop telling stories that made their kids not want to leave the house in December. Wish I was kidding.

Then another foss, including a closeup of a piece of ice melt the size of a school bus, long freaking walk in the wind, unpleasant trek to a WC which the guide said was the worst rest stop in Iceland (ten portapotties, five a side back to back ) – cheerfully – and after viewing the digestive output of a hundred strangers at much closer range than would made any but the most scatologically devoted happy, I was forced to experience something I’ve never had to before; the sensation that some mofo was trying to tip the loo over. I was so terrified I braced my hand against the wall, always the worst possible idea in a port a potty, but it proved that the violent rocking motion which so disturbed my attempt to commune with nature was merely what happened when a two hundred fifty pound man bounded up onto the wooden walkway surrounding the loos.

Imagine that despite my description…. there was virtually no smell. THAT WAS HOW HARD THE WIND WAS BLOWING.

I slunk back onto the tour bus last, kinda wishing I could be hosed down in Dettol first.

Then a long long long long longass drive and we climbed a mountain and took pics and we saw a thousand migrating birds and then came down the other side good god my tummy and came to the city of Elves and saw puffins. SLEEP.

Anyway it was a long day, long driving, much walking and many definitive Experiences.

 

 

amazing fish soup in Dalvik

mulligatawneyish, plus salad plus really decent coffee and cream *not like this morning **** me*

The restaurant is really cute, all barn boards and home made fishing gaffs. It’s named after three brothers who lived and died in Dalvik and were regarded by the locals as the holy trinity of village idiots.

They decorate with baleen in Iceland. Just ponder that for a mo.

Jeff & mOm, forgot to mention that the crosswalks in Iceland have …. *a green man*. We’re so used to the orange man that to see a green one is kinda cool and weird.  I am now going to add that in to Jesse’s part of Honey on the Moon.

 

awake, of course

Mike feasted me at Yianni’s last night, and the lamb shoulder was quite splendid. I even drank alcohol last night, and for my trouble I have a faint pain behind my right eye. Back to sobriety!  I love the stuff, but it doesn’t love me.

Since I’d already had five solid hours of sleep, I’ve kipped for a  couple of hours and now I’m awake in the dark and quiet, but I shan’t repine despite my wakefulness; I have the LAST CHAPTER of the current book, which is going to be a monster, in prospect; the book will be somewhat shorter than I intended, but I may plump it up during editing, since I invariably put more in to be clear than I take out avoiding repetition or extraneous stuff.

Jeff has produced (I do not know how many hours he put into it, but it was work) a wonderful cover for MMCo, which you can all see when it goes live on Leanpub. My only contribution was the basic design idea (which Jeff immediately improved, by adding an unmarked white truck), a creative commons picture of a man against a starfield, the font and a suggestion re the basic shape.

Back to work….

More surgery for Paul

Man, to have dental surgery on your birthday.  I walked him home yesterday at his request (and Keith’s, the text I got from him was so nervous granny-like it was sweet as heck), and we hung around his place for the afternoon being lazy. Molars make damn big holes.  Now he has to wait a month to get the sutures out, and then be healed enough to get a post and implant.

140/82 is my blood pressure, I checked yesterday.  I won’t say what Paul’s blood pressure was since it was somewhere between ouch and boing.

I made pulled pork.  It is nommy.

 

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.

Just bizniss

Kenny Gu and the housing blues. I knew the Vancouver market was fucked up, but holy shit.

Dinner with Mike last night.  It was such a spectacular early fall evening we ate on the patio at the Quay. I had the prawn pad thai and Mike had the glass noodles with chicken from Longtail Kitchen, and the meal was so good my eyes couldn’t focus for a while afterward. I drank a Tiger beer.  I should get it for Jeff. It has ABSOLUTELY NO TASTE.

Now I’m hongring for coffee and thinking about Starbucks.  I don’t normally want to have anything from Starbucks, but the alt-right wants to boycott them, and I do fancy their chocolate croissants.

 

Feeling weird and bilious NO MMCO TODAY

I find out about the job interview today.

Alex was over yesterday.  He climbed up on the sofa to sit next to me, played with a cat toy, and was pretty much the crab man from Mars the entire time because he had a little cold previously this week. At the same time he was wonderful playing on the pinball.

Buster left a metre long scoot streak on the kitchen rug. I said angrily why does he do that when I’m just washed it??? Once he literally watched me put down a fresh rug straight from the dryer and he scoot motored across it within seconds.

After that lovely visit I heard from Mike; we had a really subpar meal at Brooklyn but damn that view makes up for it.  There’s also help wanted signs and I haven’t had the same server there twice.  There was eggshell in the burger and chicken bone in the quesadilla and it’s like Who is in the Kitchen and Why are they So Sad.