another day of grey

Wordle in 4, Lumosity is indicating that my brain has fallen out of my ass, 22841 words.

mOm recommended Wong & Winchester and Jeff and I are liking it. We’re working our way through season three of Sinner (Matt Bomer is the villain) and it’s the usual freaky psychological stuff, but intensely interesting. Season 2 Zone Blanche rewatch yields continuing gems. Finished Last of Us season one; a really fine entertainment. Finding out that the giraffe (a local Canadian zoo provided it) was real instead of CGI was a trip… that was Bella Ramsey actually putting something in its gob, lol.

Peggy showed up with cake and soda bread, she got the last of the biscotti in exchange. Absolutely no one complaining. Love all around.

I am still feeling very small and useless.


bad friend

As much as I might think I have the mental and physical energy to hop on a plane and go to Toronto to assist Dave with cat care, I don’t. Yesterday was full of panic attacks and self-excoriation for being a bad friend. I should not have volunteered. And now I get to phone someone who’s sick, lonely and literally isolated and tell him that. Thank all the anarchist saints Catherine volunteered.

It’s not about me, but I can’t help. Just the idea of going to an airport fills me with LITERALLY existential dread. I mean, I probably just got over a silent case of COVID (I lost my most of my sense of smell and as things stand now I have to hold things up to my nose to tell what they smell like) which the Canadian government has just admitted was all part of a mass-disabling event, and now I want to get it again? Just thinking about taking my medications, or having to transit everywhere, and then having to come home; I’m on the ground wailing.

I wish I had any good news to share.



Got a couple of turns around the park in yesterday.

Suzanne came, cleaned and departed. We had the back door wide open most of the time she was here and it really felt wonderful, a ginyouwine spring clean. Should have seen Suzanne’s face when I told her that Daxus and I had had an adult conversation about something of import to both of us. (And that I ran away with my tail between my legs, yes I did, but it’s all good.)

Still feel empty and irritable but nothing like earlier this week. Jeff has news on the client front that I’ll let him share when he’s ready.

We’re rewatching Zone Blanche and my very parasocial love affair with the adjutant known as “Nounours” (Teddy Bear, which he is) is renewed.

abovenoted is a tyrannosaurus on a skateboard

Apparently Keith and Paul are off to the States this weekend.

Laundry and fridge duty today I fear.

“Margaret’s Hope” tea from Great Wall Tea tastes like frikkin soap.

(later) I just got off the phone from North York General Hospital and Dave’s been admitted. He’s in room 334 on 3 North. He’s in isolation but I’m hoping to contact him later today as he was asleep just now.

I swore I’d never get on an airplane again. I may break my vow.


Errands and Paul and biscotti fae

got a call midmorning from Katie saying that what with Paul being alone in the house while Keith and Alex are off in Saamich and Dax and Katie being at work he might be lonely.

So I used the opportunity to drop off his household’s biscotti portion, get a meal into him at Pho Edmonds, ran biscotti over to Sue and to Peggy, walked in Fraser Foreshore (JEEEBUS it was cold and Paul was definitely having mobility issues, although he perked up after a few hundred metres), and picked up a bag of walkway salt for his household after I noticed they were almost out of it (paid a swingeing great price for it too but it’s 20 kilos and who knows how long the salt will last in the stores, so I’m glad I did it, glad, I tell you), and then a couple of party favours from the Bohemian.

Once again he greeted me by asking me whose idea it was to take away his licence. I told him his license is in his wallet, same as always, and now that he’s had symptoms like chatting with people who aren’t there it’s too dangerous for him to drive. If he wants to book and pass a drivers test in BC he can drive again no matter what his doctor says, and he objected most strenuously to this and asserted that I couldn’t pass a drivers test either and my driving was terrible. As best as I can make out, he wants me to get a dementia diagnosis as well, but as long as my LPI on Lumosity is over 1400 I’m not doing any such goddamned thing. My performance stats are above 80th percentile for every game for people my age and over 95th percentile for 5 out of the 7 categories (I do worst in math but still better than 4/5 people my age). I do not have dementia. Has driving in Vancouver, recently rated the 2nd worst city in NA for traffic, RUINED my driving??? POSSIBLY. But I don’t need to surrender my licence yet.

Since Paul says this to me every time we get together in an attempt to get me to admit it’s my fault, I stopped inserting myself in the picture and told him what to do to fix it.  Thirty seconds later he tells me he keeps missing appointments and he’s anxious about his skull scan. The lack of insight which characterizes his ailment is a sore trial, but he has not stopped being loveable good company when he’s not grumping about the shitty hand he’s been dealt.

Peggy’s biscotti response:

No one seems to know where the bag of biscotti came from. I tested them for poison and survived. It was necessary to have a second test to be sure.

I am suspicious that they came from you and just wanted to say thank you

My response to this:

It was hilarious. I tried the door and came in. I said, Hello this house. Then I said Hello this house, louder, and Kali ran up barking and I assumed the sniff hand position and said in a jolly voice, relax Kali you know me. I could hear voices (?) coming from the downstairs bathroom, the door of which was closed, and not wanting to linger and loving the idea that I could just manifest biscotti in your house, I put the biscotti on the counter, ensured that the dog did not escape and the door was in fact latched, and departed, to Paul, who was waiting in the car.

Sue’s response:

I was out getting a mani/pedi and when I came home, love was at my door. ????????


That was so sweet of you. I’m sorry I wasn’t home but not sorry cause it was such a wonderful surprise. I shall have biscotti with hot sweet tea this very evening.

Pray for us sinners

Keith and I are on deck to look after Ryker today since Suzanne is ill. I didn’t get any calls or emails yesterday saying she’s coming so I’ll be heading out in an hour.

I am looking forward to it but I know I’m going to be a wreck when I get home har de har.

Keith and Paul had a successful expotition. Janice is driving Paul back in a couple of days and then visiting for a few days, and Keith as mentioned is back and prepping for a day full of Ryker hopefully by being completely unconscious at the moment (it’s 4:51 am). I’ll be asking Katie for his routine and feeding schedule when I get over there.

19207 words.

I’m blowing hot and cold on taking the laptop. I think I’ll take the new uke. Of course that will drive Keith nuts but oh well.

One of my dearest dears on twitter is an MSU grad and the shooting took place in her old dorm (3 dead, shooter unalived himself) and so I woke up to twitter this morning this dear woman who is a therapist herself needing therapy herself and literally not knowing who to call after a white night. She doesn’t think she can work today…..

bathtub dive and Alex pickup

I just found out you can sing into the extra soundhole on this Riversong ukulele and get absolutely wild harmonic effects. Also, yesterday I learned THE ORIGINAL LYRICS to the ‘2 & 20 Blues’ and they completely change the tone of the song. I shall herewith demonstrate: The very first line is “There’s evil men in this DOGGONE town” but the way my ex (and Dr Filk) taught it was ‘GODDAMN’ and that really changes things. First is worldweary, second is angry, and the song is resigned, not angry. The very last line is “You may say that I’m wrong but you know I FEEL all right.” I was taught ‘I’LL BE’. The singer is OKAY IN THE PRESENT, not sometime in the future. But right now! The song’s about grabbing life where and when you can, not hoping you’ll be happy sometime.

Thank you for attending this bathtub dive into 2 & 20 Blues by Linda Morrison, pressed 1981.

Continue reading bathtub dive and Alex pickup

more fizzling and chortling

My my my.

So the family meeting that was supposed to happen about Paul’s future did not happen because Katie wanted to be involved and she couldn’t be until tomorrer, which is now today.

“Beep beep beep” goes the alarm on the door as Jeff leaves the house to get some Timmy Ho’s.

Ah, wonder what wonders of glaziery he will turn up.

Anyhoo, while I’m over there having lunch because that was still on offer Jan phoned Keith and told him she was in town and could be at Edmonds station soon (she was a walk-on for the ferry because she cheerfully admitted she had zero stomach for driving around the lower mainland, which looks like the wild west to everyone else in BC on the media what with every truck on the road having bad brakes, thousands of people on the road driving under suspension or without ICBC coverage, and the one in one hundred likelihood that the fucker in the Audi next to you has had A FUCKING SNOOTFUL at 11:30 in the morning and will blow so far over that the cop administering the test visibly flinches). Keith of course joyfully accepted and since he’d been given back his car by Suzanne (that all went smoothly for Keith, as usual it was a gong show on Suzanne’s end because her and bureaucracy are ‘mongoose vs cobra: the rematch’), he went to pick her up and then went and picked up foodicles for supper and picked up his nephew from school and we all chatted in the living room at Caspell Junction and drank lashings of tea.

Alex came home and I briefly interacted with him before he got on Minecraft (Keith was also playing with him for a while) and then Katie got home. She was supposed to drive Alex out to be with his dad in Langley for an overnight after which hang out with Jessica for the evening and when she was making final phone arrangements with Daxus, he pointed out that it might make more sense if she stayed put and he picked Alex up and then she could go straight to Coquitlam, because I’ve done that transfer once with Katie and it’s AN IMMENSE AMOUNT OF DRIVING. (Dax is keeping his place for the foreseeable, for various good reasons.) So Katie got to stay and visit with Jan AND THEN NITA AND HER DOG ELLA ARRIVED. SWEET PUPPY. Likes people, not crazy about other dogs.

Where was Ryker in all this? Daddy Mike’s care day, safe in his other grandma’s care.

I was very emotionally exhausted by that point and also realized that I might be in someone’s parking spot so I made my way home, whereupon I was made aware that Mike had called.

He came over, bearing a brand new ukelele. He played it a bit (sounded fantastic) and then I realized he had it customized with my name – backwards. So welcome Argella, you are my latest instrument. Unlike most ukes, Argella has a spine that runs her length, so she would actually be the single most useful ukelele for a bar fight, plus she has a tuner and pickup. HEAVY tho so I need to find that uke strap.

Then we watched The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent with him and ate halibut and chips and also shrimp and took much joy in our little social gathering.

My bucket, it’s full. THEN I GOT ENOUGH SLEEP. Woke up just in time to set up my medications for the week and take them this morning and then Jeff came back from Timmy Ho’s so we had a Tim(e) Team breakfast (the Smallhythe episode, the one where Tony sprays Phil with a hose.)

I am so happy right now. It won’t last but I report it so I can come back and relive it later.


Good morning morning

I am alternately fizzing and chortling and weepin’ and wailin, so EMOTIONAL LABILITY is the text du jour.

Jan Maxwell’s package arrived and I may now announce to the world that I have a book about art, anarchists and explosions; THE SCREAM BY EDVARD MUNCH ***socks*** (Jeff got the other pair), a large original pride flag, a Star Wars doodle book, a carven penis keychain (Jeff declined but since I’ve been thinking about the amazing generative power of dicks lately I’m fine with it). Plus a letter and postcard and a yellow “Reading is Sexy” pin, which Jeff got.
In the continued spirit of giving I today delivered biscotti unto the needy (that would be Peggy, who fell on the first cookie like she hadn’t had a meal in two days in a most gratifying explosion of crunches and crumbs) and puppy-faced at the Lundervilla (this last a dig at Joe, who freaking Poured It On when he Found the Bag no seriously his puppy face could stop planetary rotation) and pounded down two cups of tea while inhaling church and family news and sharing my own.
Then to Caspell Junction, wherein I beheld my quondam husband and our very much in the present son who was cheerful over his passport arriving. I further beheld Suzanne who was returning the car Keith had loaned her, which means that Keith can now drive his pop to the States to visit Janice and housemate Hank. Since I wasn’t required to drive Paul anywhere I made my way home and fell on the Jan package and the croissant Jeff brought home after his work visit this morning. I came home floating on a pleasant cloud of most desirable and informative social interactions. (Except for some, and I have to thank Keith for standing up for me in all that, no more details on offer.)
Because it’s preferable to thinking about how today Keith and I are sitting down with Paul to talk about Powers of Attorney and care instructions because we’re getting to the point. That point. A point I do not want to get to. But it’s very very definitely in view.  Okay scratch that, full family meeting on Saturday instead; Katie is going to be there.

RIP Tom Verlaine

He passed a couple of days ago.

I once went into a record store in Toronto not knowing who he was but I’d heard him at Dave’s place and I was asking if they knew who sang a song with the lyrics, “Tonight the air has teeth,” and right now I’m listening to “Breaking in My Heart,” and weeping helplessly because I know.

I called Mike yesterday. He wasn’t able to drop by and did not want a visit, but we checked in and all our peeps are safe.

Another near miss (asteroid.)


lovely time at Jerome’s

In no particular order:

  1. his new rental is super easy to get to and I had to drive past Ralph and Ivy’s old place and that got me thinking about her. She has always been one of the people I had in mind when I wrote a homily for Beacon. I also had to drive by the John B Pub and that took me back. Many’s the time I sojourned there for the beer and the Blue Meenies, and often Jerome was there since he’s lived out that end of town for years.
  2. Nice little house on a freaking huge lot. Back deck is SQUAREDANCEABLE. Garage faces the alleyway and usually people come in through the back – the concrete walkway doesn’t even go to the street out the front.
  3. Jerome greets me with a big hug and makes me a cup of coffee (I think dang this is good coffee – had it with oat milk – and it turns out to be EXACTLY the same coffee that I taste tested to have the best price point for the coffee at our cafe back a decade ago.)
  4. We speak of many things. Obviously I spent some time moaning about Paul, and worrying about Mike (a dear mutual friend, you won’t believe it but Mike CALLED Jerome AS I WAS WALKING UP THE STEPS) but mostly we talked about ideas instead of people, because he is hyper smart and very broad of mind with lots and lots of interesting life experiences. We talked about suicide and the drug crisis, who we’ve lost. We talked about old friends.
  5. A decade ago I gave him a peyote seedling. (They’re legal now as plants or seeds, git bent if you’re going to bring stupid morality here.) It got stuck in windows with no light and bolted. It’s finally in a proper place to settle down. Now it looks like a three inch long peyote penis, sage green and crooked and skinny and so funny looking that I laughed for about thirty seconds like a cackling witch when I saw it. Honestly you’d laugh too but I didn’t bring a camera.
  6. He hauled out three new (and used ha) guitars, two of which were Seagulls, and you KNOW how I feel about Seagulls. I got off a couple of songs, Don’t You Weep and the Zero G song, which was fun. The second guitar he handed me was the one I wanted to steal though, sweetest sounding steel string I think I’ve ever held in my hands. Then he showed me new guitar tech which I now need to buy for all of my instruments, plus I need a couple of humidity readers. Then he showed me his grandmother’s violin. It is at least a hundred years old and looks amazing, so much darker than modern violins are finished it’s quite breathtaking. That felt like glimpsing a bit of family history so I got chills.
  7. Heard about his kids, and how lovely. Oldest wants to be a professional soccer player and hauls his own ass out of his warm bed to practice IN THE ROOM GIVEN OVER TO SOCCER in the basement. There’s a cushioned astroturf floor, a practice goal and – necessary for wind, I guess – a treadmill. Also told me about a thrilling match between a US team (in Seattle) that cheated (assaulting the goalie to the point he was taken to hospital – he was down on the ground and those badly coached adolescents KICKED HIM IN THE KISHKAS which only resulted in a yellow card WHAT THE FUCK REFS I mean seriously) that Jerome’s kid’s team managed to win despite the godforsaken adjudicating and the violence and pettiness of the other team. Like – as thrilling as the last world cup game in the retelling, I was on the edge of my seat.
  8. He gifted me something lovely and small and appropriate on the way out the door.
  9. I got to sit in Jerome’s sunny kitchen for most of it.

I really did feel restored. Lovely night of sleep and feeling much sounder about the universe.

All y’all have a good one, you’re good people and I’m glad you’re here.


I went to my appointment. I have lost two kilos without noticing. I only lose weight when I’m stressed. My blood pressure is perfect. I got a flu shot (my arm feels like it’s falling off and I’m tired.) My sugars continue to come down. Nurse recommended CBT but apparently that doesn’t work with aneurotypicals with a justice bent and I was so happy to read on twitter reasons why my last exposure to it made me unreasonably angry and DIDN’T WORK …that was when I was still working for company x.

I love it when people dismiss your social justice yearnings as unrealistic or childish don’t you? or actively psychiatrize them. I won’t say more. Anyway, I don’t want CBT, I want talking therapy with someone more intelligent than me and I’ll just let you understand what a simp I am from that.

After the appointment which was reasonably on time, I drove over to see Keith at his place and picked up the stuff that mOm and pOp had given him to bring back to us in Vancouver.

We had a lovely short visit. Kids were in school or at their other other grandmother’s whose name is Christine; Paul was snoozing on the sofa in the LR. I came home and having performed two whole errands, including driving, I enslothed myself. Called Dave, and that was a lovely call. I’d gone looking for William S Burroughs Jr. on line and found David Ohle and from there found ‘Motorman’ his first novel and read to Dave 2 descriptions of the work which were so intriguing I decided I may actually purchase it.


In an hour or so we’ll fetch groceries. Off to Lumosity to see about that brain of mine.

This afternoon I’ll be visiting Jeromie in his new homie.


Visit from Mike

/ the great Guilt Trip. more on that later.

He brought a bag of perfect mandarins and little oranges for new year.

We ordered from Fusioncore Japanese, the three of us, and watched some TV and hung out and talked. After Jeff went to bed Mike asked the my uke that he just restrung with very plangent strings and he played (in rapid succession) about ten tunes that I had no idea he knew on ukulele, all the way from Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out to Who’ll Stop the Rain. I mean, he only just BOUGHT a uke. He’s absolutely loving the instrument.

All in all a good day, even if I left a message for Paul and never followed up so I never got him out of the house. And slept more than I should. And didn’t pick up my inderal.

And after Mike handed the uke back I said, I have something unpleasant to say and I have to get it over with.

“I tried so hard to love the Blue Lava guitar you gave me. I tried playing it, playing with the cool electronics, compose on it. I couldn’t love it. I know usually when I get a new instrument the other instruments are mad and they are left alone while I have New Instrument Energy with My New Fave. But it never happened with this guitar. May I give it back to you?”

And he said thank you for telling me.

I knew where all the bits and bobbles were, and packed it up along with the Instant Pot insert and Bouillon he left her from New Years. I felt so relieved because Mike just didn’t take it the wrong way.

I am so fortunate in my friends.

everyone have a hellafine day. Wordle and Lumosity done, I’m in good shape today.

COVID data resource for Canadians.

14678 words



is this contentment

Just wanted to state that Jeff is a peerless housemate and my good fortune in this last decade plus of cohabitation CANNOT be overstated. He knows why I’m posting this now, but it need not be the business of the world.

The Echo is in at the krankenhaus, Paul is all wanting to drive again, and I’m going to tell him the same thing I did last time; Don’t. Unless your doctor okays it, no. The CT happened and we’ll know more when the film’s read. Keith picked us up after we dropped the car off. Keith is being such a dear one these days.

Then I got a return call from Tammy and we had a lovely phone call, chugging through the ever changing panoply of tasks and concerns. I am very happy she called.

Suzanne is here and the rugs are in to be washed.

I carried Kevin (the vacuum) downstairs. He is a very substantial minion and awkward. I wanted to be reminded.

I think it is possible that I am gestating a poem. Could be gas. Could be the samosa. Could be that Magpie (twitterfren’) was talking about how a poem ambushed them with a philosophical demand that (as they currently construe themselves) was antithetical to their wellbeing.

This means that my friend has identified something interesting to me, of which I was not previously aware, in my poetry.

If you read David Dowker’s poems, and you should if you enjoy being bewildered in a very high-toned way, only to be poleaxed by a phrase which welds itself to your sensorium, you will not come across a single one that would require the modern day ‘scourge of both literature and the flow of ideas in virtual spaces’ by which I mean (and for the one person reading this who’ll enjoy it) the TRIGGER WARNING.

A content or trigger warning is the signed, finger-signed, audible or readable advisory that potentially painful, objectionable, psychologically harmful due to pre-existing conditions, or just plain offensive to contemporary acceptance of decency wat dat content is imminently inbound.

I think the poet has to consider the audience. If you want your poetry widely accessible, that means actually taking accessibility into consideration. Oh, one possibly probably almost certainly says, such a small part of the market.

fiendish grin

I am not marketable. Oh my offense is rank, it smells to heaven – that I have RSD and CAN’T FUCKING BEAR TO BE EDITED or even gently remonstrated with regarding usage. Of course if it’s dead wrong I don’t have a problem, but anything with wiggle room and a slice of daylight a photon wide and … I be the spiny puffer fish stuck in the throat of my own self-improvement. So I’ll never be a commercial author. I won’t improve as a poet. My best songwriting days are behind me anyway and I’m fine with that. When I have a back catalogue like what I’m sitting on… ?  just staying on top of my own top 40 compositions in terms of performance readiness is all I fucking need to do. Everyone who likes my tunes already has the sheet music or a recording and nobody else matters. When Tom Lehrer, one of the greatest song writers of the 20th C, PUBLICLY POSTED HIS ENTIRE CATALOGUE, I thought I don’t even need to say anything, I’ve been vindicated with the kind of vindication that counts, one artist heart sending up a flare to another while putting the audience first. WHO ELSE could respect his audience that much? Who is unbossed enough to do it? Of course he’s not a perfect human but it’s the single most amazing piece of direct cultural action by a white guy I’ve seen in fucking years, it’s amazing!

I used to think I’d have to die first, to be a successful author, but everything about modern publishing culture is done thanks to climate change; the industry is too busy doing an HR Giger style cannibalizing fetishistic blowjob on itself and offering its youngest workers to Moloch to have it sussed yet. Publishing is yet one more of the many things that won’t survive climate change. Books that haven’t already been digitized will disappear, burned for heat, burned in fascist and religious purges or repurposed as tp or recycled as paper for other purposes. Everything that survives will either be expensive or pirated, sometimes both depending on local bullies’ attitudes toward the arts. So yeah, I’m going to keep my dignity and not wade out into that swamp. Am I making a virtue of necessity? It’s neither virtue nor necessity. I just don’t want to get any on me when it’s a swamp I can’t win.

Having given ‘the market’ all the fcking consideration that it currently deserves, and probably to all of your minds much more than it deserved even before I wilfully dragged it out of its niche in the columbarium of western thought (barf gag), I return to the issue of the consideration of the audience. I will in future be providing content warnings for my poems. On the page, the CW will state “CW is at the bottom of the poem.” People can then choose to skip ahead or read the poem. CW are often for sexual abuse, self-harm, violence, eating disorders but since I hardly ever write poetry about that, it won’t be necessary. But sometimes I mention things like death and going to the hospital, and yes it would be good to either make the title the content warning or give sensitive people a heads up. I wrote a poem about a dying man called Tom in Hospital. So easy to do. I could have called it something else. But anyone walking up to the poem who just had a relative or friend die will know: I rilly don’t need to read this right now. Or I must read this right now. But at least they know!

I identified an artistic problem with the help of a friend. I identified a number of ways to solve it. I will take the rest of my musings on the subject off line, partly because I need to pee but also because I rilly want another samosa and a smoothie to go with.