the indescribable parking meshugas at Burnaby Farmers Market

I’m not even going there; I got out of the vehicle to make faces at the dash cam about how ludicrously inattentive, rude and incompetent the other drivers were and we parked and then immediately trotted back to the car and left due to the lines. Good thing something so bad is free, ‘s all I can say. Stopped off at the equally sloth-tastic experience of the Save-on at Liquorgate and now I can console myself with a medicinal amount of Pepsi (a 2 litre bottle usually results in colonic blasting so we go for the small one) and apple turnovers.

 

a letter

26 June 2020

Provincial Agricultural Land Commission

 

&

Hon. Lana Popham

Minister of Agriculture

 

 

Hi! I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe or recovering well.

 

My name is Allegra Sloman and I’m a science fiction writer, musician and blogger/essayist, living on Coast Salish land in Burnaby. I believe that fertile, well-watered land that is put aside by the Province of B.C. for agricultural purposes should stay that way.

 

Earlier this month I learned from Cedar Isle Farms that a small chunk of land in Agassiz, (the ‘Teacup Properties’,) which has been earmarked for residential growth for almost twenty years, may be removed from the ALR, since there is tremendous housing pressure on the entire lower mainland. This is in part thanks to the naïve / corrupt succession of provincial governments, which, ably assisted by the Harper Government and the absence of any credible federal investigative oversight, enabled a multi-billion dollar property bubble to develop hereabouts.  Of course there are many, less provocative, reasons why building-lot land is scarce and expensive in Agassiz and why the city government would want more of it. 

 

In 1948, Agassiz, indeed the very part of Agassiz which concerns us today, was underwater for a month, during what is referred to as a ‘century’ flood of the Fraser River.

 

If residential land is flooded, especially for that period of time, all the houses must be razed or remediated at extortionate cost. If farmland is flooded, next spring you plant again. Farming is the appropriate use for this land, if we’re using a risk/reward model.

 

Given the climate instability staring us all in the face, is it possible that anyone charged with making the decision to build on this land may be subject to legal action for knowingly allowing residential or business construction? We can expect that ‘century flood’ any year now. It is a reasonable thing to both foresee and wish to mitigate.

 

Was the permission of the local Sts’ailes people to change the use of the land from reserved to development asked? 

 

Until these and other questions around food scarcity and sovereignty are answered, I believe that changing the land use is unwise.

 

Best regards,

a nested series of sad realizations

I saw Tammy at her Airbnb yesterday. It’s very nice; hilariously, out of all the buildings in downtown Vancouver she could have ended up with (her booking was changed twice before she settled) she ended up in the same building as Patricia used to live in, in a mirror image of that same apartment.

Her life is very trying right now; as a provider of psychological counselling to half a dozen front line health care workers she’s hearing and processing stuff that’s hard, cruel hard, and the fact that it isn’t happening directly to her doesn’t take the pressure off trying to do her best for them.

Thanks to Justin McElroy for the tip about Chambar, the food was fantastic. also to keep my self honest I had two 5% beers

DUCK AND LAMB, DUCK AND LAMB GOD IT WAS YUMMY DUCK AND LAMB the tajine was mmmmwaaaaaah and the duck was PERFECTLY COOKED also asparagus and olives and pistachios and nomnomnom

but in some respects the visit was a bunch of painful realizations that I’m simply not the same person I used to be. And that I’m a coward.

I’ll see her again on Thursday, she’s going home on Sunday, Paul is apparently seeing her today.

 

life is not returning to normal

Sadly, Katie has put the kibosh on an visits by Tammy to Planet Bachelor because she does not support Tammy coming out from Toronto, that known festering pit of COVID. If she comes to Geekhaus she’ll be on the back deck and only coming inside for the washroom.

I don’t know what she has planned but I hope to get together with her SHOOOON in some reasonably social distancing way. Jeff took me to Cockney Kings and we ordered takeout (people were eating on the patio) and my god that haddock was so good.

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MAZEL TOV COCKTAILS are one thing, the comments were something else. @pjcarey11 said, Next, scream at the police: “Why don’t you call your mothers? Would it kill you to visit once in awhile?” anyway usually the comments thread is a trash fire but the comments after this post were a howl.

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This morning we had to shut off the smoke detector, it blasted off at 4 am and Jeff climbed onto a chair and killed it. I guess I’ve set the fucker off so many times that the battery died.

 

schnitzel, not korean

Paul and I went for a walk. New Generations Grocery is closed except for pickup orders so that didn’t pan out, but Paul found the last of the Granville Island Lion Winter Ale and I succumbed to one and a half of them when I got home. We also picked up schnitzel from the Balkan House restaurant and so that was a 2k walk, half of it under load, so no surprise I was tired. We ate on the deck for social distancing (I got SO HOT in the mask, how will I cope in hot weather, I have to think of a dodge pretty soon or I’m going to be quite circumscribed in terms of what I can do and where I can go.)

I was fine for allergies for a while but I’m now feeling tender in the brain again.

Damn that schnitzel was good. Literally just got up and devoured some out of the take out container for late lunch or early dinner. The spuds were fine as well. NOM.

Painted on Oh! Zzhu Sam restaurant on Edmonds

 

 

 

Impossible pie

I have here, in Sue Gillespie’s handwriting, a receipt for Impossible Pie.

4 eggs
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1 cup feather strip coconut
1 tsp vanilla

blend ingredients in blender
pour into 10 inch greased deep pie dish
sprinkle with coarsely chopped pecans
bake at 350F for an hour

NOBODY CARES BOUT MAH POOP

except me, of course.

So I was communing with my output in the water closet this morning as one does when one is a hypochondriac like I, and thinking TERRIBLE THINGS ARE HAPPENING TO MY LIVER and then I chanced to remember two facts. One, I’m looking at a perfect 3.5 on the Bristol scale, (so firm, so cylindrical, so fully packed) so relax, ya cheesewit, and second, I’ve been eating nothing but leftover pizza, egg salad with a ton of paprika and half a dozen mandarin oranges for the last two days, so that dreffle bright orange colour is…. nominal.

ah, the relief.

I stopped making masks for a while because Jan in Toronto nearly put her fucking eye out when a needle broke while she was making masks. Mask making involves really large changes in the height of what you’re sewing together and if you go too fast it’s super easy to break a needle. (She’d never had one break….fortunately spouse was home and dealt with the bloodination.)

I realized I was doing it bare-eyed because I don’t have functioning bifocals (I hate them) and realized I was asking for an industrial accident. Fortunately Jeff had a pair but he said the elastic had perished. I learned that I had THE IDENTICAL elastic and both cleaned and maintained the glasses, which are now waiting for me by the sewing machine, so I have no further excuse for my dilatory mask making ways. I also found a bunch of still useful stamps from my granny.  They were on a poster like this.

John H. Talman - Stamps for Sale - Auctions and Retail

courtesy John Talman stamps for sale

I thought pOp would like to know that when I mail him some masks the stamps will be from his mOm, who continues to look out for him, the way mOms do.

 

Starting to think about UPSUN again. Couple hundred words on latest fanfic.

Made raspberry scones this morning.

East Van love

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Jennifer Yaeger LPC in Newnan Georgia has this to say

lutte loose

‘Twas thirty-nine years ago this summer, that I first laid eyes upon the comic masterwork, ‘Green Tits and Fur’, a adult-oriented Suess rip off set at a furry convention. I thought it was hilarious and have since realized it was arguably exploitative and totes appropriative.

Better arts in the now soothe (in sooth!) the sting of not-that-great arts when you were young and impressionable. If you’re lucky you got older and stayed impressionable. I know I have. It’s what the ADD will do to you.

—–

I think I’ve talked before about mOm and pOp and brO as being my way of customizing my own family into English. I like the visual pop of the words. I find it amusing —–I found some evidence today that the design of a piece of my childhood might have had something with pOp’s moniker as in looooook belowwwwww. But as I was looking at them again today, and why not, my thought processes have galumph and will travel, I thought how Jeff and I were inside the ring of being cared for, so the m’s in mOm are hands, like one hand out for each of the kids or caring for them. And the p’s in pOp are arms. Also guns. Pew pew. Facing forward. mOm is books. When you look at the m’s can you see books open, being read, the curve of the pages in the m’s. And brO is for the solid unassuming wholeness that Jeff is. brO is a goofy looking word, and he is goofy, though that’s hardly his distinguishing characteristic. That O is the emblem and stamp and sigil and symbol and visual hug that says you can say bruh or brah or bro or mah brother but this is my brO there are many brOs but this one is mine and I just wanted to make that entirely clear.

Image result for pop shoppe logo

As for the goofy, I have recent evidence. They closed the playground equipment at the end of the street; Jeff makes his feelings known. Isn’t it a handsome hoodie she hinted hintingly with lollopping Monty Python eyebrows.

 

roundup for Thursday

Throwback Thursday picture:

 

 

Roberta on Melody Maid, 1949. south end of barnyard; the circular water trough is downslope and right.

mOm has consumed by latest little puff pastry of a fan fic story and enjoyed it, so there. I cannot bear touching or looking at UPSUN right now so I won’t.  This is a temporary state of affairs.

Lovely walk in the neighbourhood yesterday with Paul; came home and fed him Flower Bread (Balkan style pullapart rolls) and lentil soup, which he removed entirely.

Here’s Helen Branswell on our plague year.

Jesus Fucking Christ, said Jesus Fucking Christ, looking down from heaven at the Korean woman who went to church TWICE AFTER HER DOCTORS TOLD HER TO BE TESTED FOR CORONAVIRUS

Discovery of Witches has been renewed for two more seasons YAH but no release date BOO and of course the whole world will be up in the air as COVID does its thing

brekky with Alex

It’s by no means guaranteed, but we are probably going out for breakfast with Katie and Alex this morning. LATER YES IT IS GUARANTEED they will be here to pick us up in 20.

I got almost eight hours of sleep last night. It was absolutely wonderful. I definitely sleep better when it’s cold in here.

Cousin Alex is not having a good time sleeping these days. Well do I remember my early fifties and I probably have dozens of blog posts complaining about how much I sweated….. menopause is hard, but most of the parturition crowd would say it’s eventually worth it. Don’t forget the Replens, it makes a huge difference.

Feetsball today. Jeff will be thinking of our pOp.

Wrote lots yesterday, trying to get a fic finished.

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This is Anastasia Baburova, murdered a decade ago by fascists. She was a student anarchist and journalist. I think she was one of my people… does she look like a Scythian warrior woman to you?

I have learned not to immediately respond to news on Twitter. If it’s accurate someone smarter will have a better assessment and if it’s not you’ve not made a fucking idiot out of yourself at least more than normal.

 

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.

Allegra’s food foibles part 1

Allegra’s food foibles, all of which will just seem like entitled craziness 20 years from now.
(background noise of Good Omens, which is a love letter to foodies everywhere)
Commencé 6 juillet 2019

Hot drinks should be just shy of damaging. Cold drinks should be as cold as possible. Water should be drunk at whatever temp it comes out of the tap.

The mouth-feel of butterfat is one of my favourite things.

A juicy beef steak also.

I love chicken eggs. I found duck eggs too rubbery to enjoy, when I tried them.

Cheese is my accommodating and tasty friend.

Chicken feet in Chinese restaurants make me anxious. There’s more than one mode of the anxiety. One, they’re scary reminders that we’re all made out of meat. Two, they are scary looking. Three, I tried to eat one once and telling myself that it was a preserved dinosaur foot didn’t help. I could not find anything to consume on it. Four, being made anxious by them makes me look racist, which makes me anxious. Five, being more concerned with how I look than not actually doing and saying racist things also, no surprise, makes me anxious.

Getting a boss to pay for alcohol is always on my bingo card.

When will climate change make it possible to grow cacao in Canada.

I enjoy virtually any format of peas.

Carrots eaten straight out of the garden are your absolute best source of h. pylori, wash your veggies, you clod.

Raw cookie dough keeps you strong.

I like Shirley Temples, and I especially like how different they are from place to place.

I usually order salads in restaurants without dressing and either eat as is or put a tiny bit of salt and pepper on them.

I love brown rice and gravy. I could probably live on it.

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.