famjam inbound

Forecast for Sunday is partly cloudy and 21 degrees at this point, which seems favourable for a picnic. So unless that changes, the famjam is ON for 4pm Sunday.

THIS FROM ALEX

WE ARE GO FOR FAMILY PICNIC ON THE BEACH ON SUNDAY

I’ve got a *tiny* red spot/bruise in the crook of my left arm. The phlebotomist was very good. I always donate on the left. It felt weird the other day to have a nurse check me for track marks. I don’t feel off but I’m not 100 percent perky again yet – I had another very solid and reborative (*not* rebarbative lol) sleep.  Yesterday I ran two loads of laundry and made tuna salad for a late lunch (ingredients, tuna, real mayo, capers, scallions and artichokes all chopped into the tuna, over iceberg lettuce salad and I’ll thank you very much to nod when I tell you it was good) and watched a fair amount of TV – two episodes of Elementary, can you believe we started a rewatch again so soon after the end of the last rewatch? We did a shop in the morning and bought no chicken, pork or beef. I watered the dogwood and the cedar hedge. Kim the Landlord had the cedar hedge put in and she’s attached to it and I try to help keep it healthy.

Now I know I’ve been mentioning mascarpone cheese a lot, because we’ve been eating it every week. I got it for myself as an eating treat for the first time about six months ago and now it gets used for any number of wild purposes, like being added to Indian food to take the heat down or being used as dip for crackers. My current favourite treatment for it is to chop pecans and dried apricots into it and add home made chocolate syrup and whomp it up and eat it like a parfait, but mostly I just put it on bagels, a truly lovely application, especially for a sweeter bagel like a blueberry bagel. I have converted Jeff into a mascarpone fan. The other day he referred to it as ‘massacre pony’ cheese and I thought I was going to die laughing, because it sounds exactly like the kind of mishearing I applied to many things when I was a kid.

I have learned – directly from Katie – that she anticipates the birth of a boy child. The happy couple is fine either way. “I’ll raise strong men and get awesome daughters in law” she said and I laughed.   I don’t have facebook or I would have known a couple of days ago. She calls me on the land line, all apologetic, because I don’t have a cell phone or she’d have texted me. Isn’t modern parenting wild?

Now I got myself all wound up over mascarpone cheese, so I toasted a blueberry bagel, and one half of it is on Jeff’s desk for when he comes back from looking for something downstairs and the other half is being consumed with tea, Yorkshire Gold, hot, by yours truly.

Did I ever tell you guys that for months and months I could hear what sounded like somebody tunnelling under the house, but it’s stopped? I don’t know what it was but it kept me awake LOTS and now it’s gone. Hopefully their ‘extra space for renters’ or ‘panic room’ or ‘torture chamber’ or ‘sex dungeon’ or ‘man cave’ is all finished now. Still I persist in wondering. I figured it couldn’t be real since Jeff couldn’t hear it. Maybe it was particular power tool oriented rats?

Still no envelope of suitable size and robustness for ontie Mary. I need to get up off my ass and go ‘into town’ (lol less than ten stops on the 123 bus more like) and get some.

Did I ever tell you guys that like most people who are on the spectrum and or have ADD I have tons of sensory issues around food and drink? because I grew up in a household where ‘suffer in silence’ was actually a family motto I’ve long since learned to power through the overwhelming majority of them (not painfully or ruining my day, just as a going to the dentist kind of powering through it), but one thing that has stuck with me since m early teens is that tea is supposed to be as hot as you can make it and to be drunk just shy of scalding; I sometimes reheat tea five times if I keep forgetting to drink it when it’s the right temperature…. the spectrum makes me need it a certain way, the ADD prevents it, it’s like there’s two witless mofos trying to control my sensorium all day. Spectrum makes me want to be upstanding and meet my commitments or SHAME of GREAT SHAME will ensure; ADD says fuck ya, smokes weed and ends up hitting the twangy box in the guest room while Jeff flees to the safety of his EBM Dark Club Music on headphones.

 

leafhopper earrings from @kanakirisuzume1’s twitter feed

Yesterday I

– loaded and ran dishwasher

– tidied kitchen

– showered and brushed teeth

– policed up my picks, they end up everywhere so I had to round up the herd

– practiced

– ran a load of laundry

– gave blood

– lunched with Paul

– STILL NO FREAKING ENVELOPE FOR MARY’S LETTER and I could not wait fifteen minutes on the phone for a doctor’s appointment so I’ll try again today and also the Visa issue still isn’t straightened out, and it’s annoying because apparently I can use my card on line but not in person? like what the hell, people.

Paul called around ten and asked if I wanted to donate blood. He arranged it all, since we normally go together, or with another family member and I hate the blood.ca website with everything in my gristly heart. I pounded fluids and ate lightly, and I felt fine after the donation (I drove home) until bedtime, when I felt a little woozy and highly strange. I’m more or less fine this morning, but sore (not at the donation site, more in my joints, which is weird). It takes even longer than usual to donate blood with all in-person questions and on screen questionnaires! It took about half an hour to process me, and even longer for Paul, likely because he couldn’t stop joking around with the pretty intake nurse (just my speculation, but definitely classic Paul), but I only had to wait about twenty minutes in the car while I hosed back 400 ml of mango juice and a mini oaty chocky bar, and Paul (who was driving, much against my wish) managed to find a lovely spot in the shade.

Made the unwelcome discovery that the CD player is no longer functioning in Paul’s Toyota; he only ever listens to CBC radio anyway so it likely would have been another year before he noticed a problem.

After, Paul declared himself desirous of a shrimp banh mi and I thought, “It’s the Pho Hong, there’s gotta be something there I can eat even if I don’t want banh mi,” and realized as we entered that they had been closed back in May/June for renovations. The Pho Hong used to be an Italian restaurant and when the first owners moved in they didn’t touch the decor; wish I had pictures, the walls were festooned with classic Italian tacky shit, as were the rickety booths, and there was a dropped ceiling.

The next renovation cleaned up the walls. All the character was gone, but the food did not change.

This renovation is all black melamine plates and dark woodgrain plastic booths and no more fabric anything (this will be a feature, post pandemic – only the most luxe places are going to have fabric anything, because otherwise everything is a ring tailed bastard to sanitize for fomites) and the ceilings are higher. ALSO, they are competing with Pho Boi further down the Kingsway toward Metrotown and they are open all night – yup, I have a 24 Pho place a five minute drive from the house now! If I was feeling energetic I could walk there in about an hour.

I remembered you’re supposed to have something salty so I had a small number 15, no noodle, extra veg, and (ripping swears) it was good! Paul had veggie spring rolls as well. It was most pleasant.

Now, one thing you have to know about the Pho Hong is that the women’s bathroom is designed for Vietnamese women, and not traditionally sized settler ladies. The stall is narrow AND compressed; doors swing inward AND JUST BARELY MISS THE TOILET I mean they clear it by a couple of cm, no, I’m not exaggerating, and actually I think it would be pretty funny to hang a camera at the top of the stall and video me getting into and out of the stall, because I collected bruises on many surfaces as they impacted the wall, the tp holder, the door and the toilet, so I was collecting whatever substances and materials previous occupants had left in a right jolly way, mostly with my ass. To say this is not an accessible washroom is the understatement of the century. I mean it’s not the ‘worst toilet in all of Scotland’, but it’s fucking small, is all. I wriggled out of the stall and contemplated how they could have, during the renovations, moved the fucking stall door one foot that away and fixed the worst of the problems for fat able bodied people, but these days I look at everything through a “What would a fat disabled Indigenous trans person say about this” lens and believe you me the least you’d get is an eyeroll and sigh of disgust.

Then I drove us back to my place and we parted, with many kind words of thanks and expressions of pleasure at the company, and I basically collapsed and went to bed early. Called mOm to tell her I’d given blood and to hear her talk about how wonderful Jeff is. I mean, I know, but it doesn’t get old.

Woke up after five am, which is marvellous, since I only remember waking once at ten o’clock to have two very sad and odiferous consultations with the john, got up and made tea (there’s already tons of iced tea in the fridge but I want hot tea) and an everything bagel with mascarpone cheese. Buster wanted to be brushed and wasn’t in the mood to train, so I gave him treats anyway and brushed him.

Not much is happening with writing; song writing continues, always, in the background.

I keep telling myself that I’m not a useless eater if I can donate blood. Paul said I was being too hard on myself. Also, this is ableist thinking on my part and must be expunged, but how? Out of all the horrific bigotries I carry it’s the one that is the most thoroughly internalized. I have to work on it; I have to work on it as I get older and more disabled; that will be difficult, for sure.

Long time fans of Paul’s driving style may be amused to learn that he doesn’t wildly change lanes or speed any more, and he doesn’t bolt out from behind buses and trash trucks or burn out from traffic lights or tailgate or apply the brakes as if he’s trying to flip the vehicle like he useta. His devil-may-care attitude toward centring his vehicle in a lane remains unchanged.

And sometime over the next while, a house filk and a family picnic. Life is not going back to normal. But some things from the before times will return.

Today I am going to see how I feel later this morning and try to find some envelopes of suitable size and robustness for Mary’s letter.

lovely meal

I called Keith to ask him when it would be convenient to take over his birthday presents (three different sizes of baking pan, a new paring knife and precut parchment paper (he uses it a lot for baked meals)) and his response was to invite me and Jeff over for almond crusted chicken, savoury whipped sweet potatoes and green beans. Meat and two veg, how restorative. Keith was quite appreciative of the gifts.

We picked up a tiramisu loaf from Langley Farm Market and proceeded over there. Both of us have been avoiding rush hour traffic so it was a lot like the front gate of hell, trying to get down 10th Ave yesterday at quarter to six. Fortunately we deked north onto 2nd instead of going all the way to Cumberland. Katie and Alex came out to say hi and we sat and ate a family meal at Leo M.’s old kitchen table, and man…. that was good. In attendance kMike, Keith, Kate, Alex (he didn’t eat), Paul, me and Jeff.

There’s some talk of Jeff going to Victoria; pisses me off that they won’t let us stay in our cars. I’ll be here with Buster boy.

brief walk

we mostly ended up sitting on the deck

We’ve been invited to a filk in August!

Tried Popeyes chicken and shrimp and ‘cajun poutine’. It’s all fucking terrible, don’t bother.

Watched half of A Map of Tiny Perfect Things and will finish it today.

Tried to watch that new Chris Pratt SFer but GOD THERE IS NO STORY THAT MAKES ANY SENSE

no song today

I’ll get my shit together later, or maybe tomorrow.

Lovely… and I mean absolutely life-affirming and beautiful …. walk in Fraser Foreshore yesterday. We took it easy and stopped at every bench to look at the trees and the water. SO MANY songbirds, the forest just rang with their voices.

Fed Paul homemade greek salad, the last of the garbanzo stew and homemade lemonade for lunch, also got a financial errand run.

Katie DROPPED BY AFTER WORK yesterday, I felt like a celebrity was stopping by. Love her so much. She’s just starting to show, she should be off work by Jeff’s birthday.

Live your life like this internet toddler:

Today is Juneteenth. Do not be fooled. As long as Black and racialized people are being shot, unjustly imprisoned and deported in such horrifying numbers in the US, it doesn’t matter what feel-good holidays are signed into law. It’s just more Martin Luther King Day: white people get the day off and Black people get to work two shifts, while the Republicans are doing everything possible to remove their voting rights.

So happy to see a friend

Jeff and Mike and I – having all had our first vaccinations although Mike wasn’t quite to the two week point yet – sat out on the back deck day before yesterday in the glorious sunshine and I pointed out one of the crows I freed (Curvebeak, he’s the most obvious one). I’m feeding them to the end of June until they crop off their babies. I’ll feed crows through the breeding season next year too.

We drank beer and talked in a low key way about various unimportant things, and Mike pulled out his Cordoba half-size nylon string and played some Paul Simon, and some soundtrack from Skyrim, and that really beautiful theme song from that Cantonese language gangster show (I actually have him singing it in a digital file here someplace).

He’s given up on cheap 3d printers. I’m very glad of that. As he said you don’t calibrate a hammer.

He left some beef soup and I traded him for the pork and barley soup I made the other day. IT was aMAZing to hang with a friend.

There’s still plenty of mac n cheese, and roasted veggies too, we have good food choices at the moment.

Monday’s news: The trip to the endodontist was nominal. I was really worried about it but it was fine on the day. I’m not even sore in that tooth, although I did what the receptionist said and took painkillers before the freezing was out.

two teefs

My second filling is now done – funny how I can remember the health care I’m getting CHARGED FOR – and I’m waiting on the endodontist for an appointment for that back tooth and to look at some other teeth as well. Got Indian food on the walk home. Desi Turka continues to make exceptional mango lassis. Wore my mask outside even. Got home and Jeff had picked up chicken from 7-11 but I think the naan was more of a hit lol. We do love our naan.

I’m not writing at all and I’m not practicing much so it is startling me how much I feel filled with music at the moment. The continuing loop of new songs and old ones is going hard.

Hope everyone is enjoying me going into the vaults for prose and poetry! Please note the tune is now up for “I am glad”.

just slept the morning away

wheeeee!
Now to get up and eat something that isn’t mostly sugar!

Roasted veggies and boiled corn yesterday for lunch. The veggies came out great (brussels sprouts, yams and zucchini with a spice combo I found at Save On, lemon zest, basil and thyme); the corn was a fermented disaster. Tasted like it had been held at about 35 degrees for a day or so and then put back in the refrigerated environment. No mold, but nasty af.

Actually called Keith for cooking advice about the veggies but he didn’t call me back until after I had it in the oven. The idea that I’d be asking Keith for cooking advice, LOL but that’s parenthood for you, a brace of exploding surprises.

I have now watched 5/6ths of Maximilian and Marie and it’s filmed very dark and foggy, and it just doesn’t seem right. I quite like the principals, and the costumes and fighting and horse-stuff all seems pretty good, but there’s no real understanding of how far Austria is from Burgundy and sometimes it seems to go by a little faster than the contemporary roads would allow. Also, there were a couple of points where I thought well THAT NEVER HAPPENED but it’s the usual Dorothy Dunnett fan grousing about various things. I think they once again did not represent the Spider King properly.

Philip de Commines comes across as a right asshole, too. I did learn that he wrote a huge memoir about his time with the Spider King and is considered a prime source for this period of history, so I bookmarked it in English to look at later.

The crows are yelling at me to put out some food.

stormy night

Feeling MUCH better today; so far I’ve finished a letter to pOp; emptied the dishwasher and tidied the kitchen, brushed Buster, watched another “Debris” (I’m doing a rewatch for a particular reason), and finished the shrimps I ordered yesterday and had another piece of halibut AND a bowl of cereal and a cup of tea. NOM

After the dentist warned me that this top left back tooth would be sensitive, and that the filling is in “Jeez Dave how do you hold your head up” territory as regards size, I’m happy to say that my bite was better than when she started with it (she appears to have trued up my jaw, which may help with my grinding problem) and there is no more than the usual soreness you have after getting a dental dam jammed in your mouth. And this is less than a day later, so I’m pleased.

Reddit is packed with lightning pictures from last night, in east Van – I didn’t hear or see a thing, being restfully sleeping at the time.

I’m so irritated. I printed the letter to pOp out backward, but the printer just barfed on it, and I sighingly reverted to printing it right way about. So my evil plan to make pOp read one of my letters in a mirror did not come to pass!

BISCOTTI X 4

I have made biscotti. I am still making biscotti…. quadruple batch.  Absolute units of biscotti, they are absolutely perfect.

Some to Katie’s Mike, some to Paul, some to Tom and Peggy, some to mOm and pOp, and now I have to find shipping boxes…..

Tremendous training session with Buster this morning.

Buster has started speed running the morning training session, it’s hilarious. BUMPS LEG to start game. Paw clap x 3; run and chase x 10; jump up and catch treat single-pawed; up onto the chair paw clap x 3; PAUSE ‘I’m not chasing that’ FINALE: chases treat down the stairs THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP crunch crunch crunch

This is all designed to maximize treat consumption; he’s figured out it’s piecework and now he just goes like spit. I stopped recording him because he hates the red light, but I really wish I’d recorded this morning, it was stellar.

Not much happening

Allergies are not great at the moment. Lovely weather, of course, but MAN ALIVE there’s a lot of pollen happening.

Another lovely letter in the mail yesterday, this one from Ontie Mary. I’m working on one to Dave D and then after that another letter to Jan M.

Third wave of COVID infections is engulfing this part of BC. DBH has pretty much blown through all her credibility after a solid start.

Injection site for AZ shot is FINALLY not swollen and itchy.

Spent an awful lot of the last two days sleeping, and not really being able to focus on anything at all when I was conscious, except a little food preparation. Three Cheese mac n cheese (MEDIUM CHEDDAR, HAVARTI AND FRESH PARMESAN) with fresh basil, capers and one teaspoon of chopped bacon. TOTALLY NOMS.

I have no urge to write, or practice any instruments, or move, and yet my mood is okay – I mean I don’t feel down or anything, just kinda immobile.

TODAY fart soup I mean lentil soup. Maybe. I feel a great pile of relaxation coming on.

various

I have figured out how the rest of this chapter is going to go, but I’m taking a break. Poor Slider, holding the balance in their hands!

Right foot arch hurts so much that standing, walking, are terrible. I wore non arch support shoes for one day of running around and look what it got me, I’m gimped up fierce mama.

Biscotti is in the oven for the second bake; first bake items are sitting around looming like in the kitchen. First batch will be off to the Lunders hopefully today.

Kaossilator notes: S.60 300 bpm ga10  RG1 c´   Describe triangles in the upper half of the playing board very deliberately. Result is called ” Approaching the Derelict Slowly from An Abundance of Caution “