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!.

 

year end round up – all the best up to the number of 50 which is so freaking arbitary

  1.  Jeff
  2.  Recovering a normal digestive schedule after getting rid of my ulcer last year
  3.  Wrote a lot of songs (melodies, airs and instrumentals) this past year
  4.  Published Upsun
  5.  Alex
  6.  Mike
  7.  Peggy
  8.  mOm and pOp
  9.  Keith continues to challenge himself and the results are wonderful
  10.  Katie is a safety officer and if someone had told me that when she was 15 I’d have fucking choked to death laughing, or possibly crying, or walking into a door from just the utter strangeness of such a happening
  11.  Reconnecting on twitter with my second oldest friend, Liz GOD WE ARE LAUGHING NOOOOOW
  12.  The Black, Latinx, trans, disabled, Indigenous and combinations thereof activists and academics on twitter who hold me to my oath to improve my understanding of gender and race every damned day
  13.  @GreatDismal is great on twitter (William Gibson of Neuromancer fame) because he supports his wife and children in their endeavours, reposts the coolest damned stuff, and is fucking hilarious in that standard low key way of his.
  14. @DecolonialBlack – his tweets are one third pure fire, one third reasoned argument and one third hilarity through a very fine lens and all of it educational as hell
  15. @cricketcrocker I won’t say she’s my fave Indigenous person on twitter cause I still think
  16. @apihtawikosisan is that person mostly because of how she talks about her kids and also her clarity with language is like drinking elfin wine
  17.  @ConnerHabib is my fave male sex worker / cultural commentater on twitter
  18.  @whoresofyore is so wonderful in so many ways she gives me life ALSO she does everything she can to repost pictures of non-white sex workers and also men wearing allied uniforms in wwII which is like freaking awesome. Some of her reposts are racy as hell, and it’s very nice to see some black and white booty for a change in a full colour race toward hell
  19.  @SFdirewolf is getting me on board with disability rights – she is FYYA (FIRE)
  20.  LOVE @ZoeSTodd although sometimes I find her challenging
  21.  @StephanieCarvin is about as politically correct as a hand grenade in a barrel of refugees but she sure has a lot of well researched opinions about Canadian security and so as long as I’m writing about asymmetrical warfare in Vancouver I kinda hafta pay attention – and she is grimly feminist and no chump, so I accept her as she is
  22.  @Olivia_Graciela AKA Auntie Carpet Weed is freaking awesome. If you’re on twitter follow her and get dragged into the light Indigenous women are holding up over their challenges
  23.  @xodanix3 another amazing person worth following. She has a mean streak I quite like.
  24.  @BorschtSiouxp ‏is likewise full of bright beauty and hot takes and awesome
  25.   @IvaCheung takes on user guides, grammar, social justice and life in general and I love her with whatever my gristly heart can beat out
  26.  @Inked_Archivist who not coincidentally is my biggest fan (Upsun series) and posts fantastic SJ stuff from Europa and the Netherlands I wouldn’t otherwise see.
  27.  @GeorgMir is my dose of Austrian game making fandom – a beautiful soul who wants the best for the world and ain’t takin’ no shit in the process
  28.  @APebbleInTheSky is my favourite anarchist
  29.  @rechelon is not my favourite anarchist but I need him because he’s the only anarchist I know of who is remotely consistent in his personal and political life
  30.  @cjane87 is an amazing writer and opinion leader and her comments on sports events especially football have given me more laughs than I can count
  31.  @bogiperson ‏is an amazing writer and anthologist and I’m a better person for reading their posts and links
  32.  @SpicyTunaRo not exactly as spicy as advertised but has given me plenty to chew on regarding Indigenous rights and history
  33.  @MikeStuchbery_ is so wonderful I’m just going to tell anyone who is on twitter to follow him. He’s not always right but he’s edumacational as all get out.
  34.  Alex not drowning on my watch at Edmonds Community Centre
  35.  Paul driving back from Seattle in the rain to housefilk at Cindy’s in January and Paul in general and I hope his ears are burning over what we said about him today, all nice except his driving of course
  36.  @LuxAlptraum, not perfect always perfect for me
  37.  @gerdurhalldora is the magical Icelandic woman who showed me around a very small part of Reykjavik and I’m SO HAPPY I MET HER
  38.  The Iceland trip, all of it.  The landscape, the people, even the food although I’ll eat fermented shark in hell and not before…
  39.  This message on facebook was about me.  IFUCKINGROCK screw the haters

    This morning, I had the longest facebook messenger convo of my life and it was, with little exaggeration and without getting into personal details, a life saver.
    Technology really can overcome distance and give you meaningful connections with people far away.
    Reach out to your friends, and you will get and give support in ways you can’t imagine.
    We all need each other.
    I am grateful and thankful for the love and support of my girlfriends.

  40.  the picture of the grandson of the above noted friend HAPPY SIGH
  41.  really feeling like I’m coming around from this depressed period. writing at least 300 words a day
  42.  Starting to meditate – still not consistent at it but I am enjoying how hard it is
  43.  published 114000 words of fanfic on a03 JUST THIS YEAR if you think I haven’t been writing I basically never stop
  44.  Rawd’s package came for mOm and what a bonanza of family history
  45.  mOm fell down and got a hip 18 months faster than she was booked to, got the surgeon she wanted and got a private room — this is like hitting a hole in one from the moon even if you live in a major metropolitan area in Canada
  46.  season three of The Expanse
  47.  My mOm, just now, reading A PURE FIRE LETTER FROM FAMILY HISTORY ABOUT THE HORRORS OF FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIANITY YUP YUP YUP
  48.  Margot dying was horrible but how kind we tried to be about it was not and what happened with Deimos was a fucking tragedy but it was not made worse by the people around me and that’s not nothing
  49.  Mike, who needs two mentions
  50.  Jeff, ditto

lovely visit

So we sat around in Take Five in New West and caught up about our kids and my grandkid and at the very end of our convo when we’re walking to RCH and the Skytrain respectively she pitches me for a job starting in January. It’s maternity coverage but hey, the longest job I ever had started as mat coverage.

Needless to say…. I’m chuffed.

Thanks Dina!

 

Don’t let them see.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sigh

Was supposed to hang out with Janice L and sing and play this afternoon but she got overtime and I slept. How very exciting eh wot? Keith came over to watch Westworld with Jeff.

We started watching Hap and Leonard and I’m really liking it, although the standout to my mind is Michael K. Williams as Leonard. Liking Christina Hendricks as Trudy – still not convinced about the casting efficacy of James Purefoy as Hap.

Back at work for another five days. I’m going to try to edit tonight; I’ve had a couple of epiphanies

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….

the delayment of the inevitablelike

I AM NO QUIT I AM EXTEND SON

I’ll be working until the end of January. The woman I was hired to temporarily replace for medical reasons and to be a casual is now not working for the company, reason unknown. My reasons for not wanting to be there are still in place but I’m getting paid and I don’t have to work weekend days so I don’t care.  Steady middies for me!

It’s amusing that I’m awake now.  The world is white and quiet with snow, and if I was working tonight my shift would be about to start…. I just woke up.

I could use the money, although I’d forgotten the extent to which commuting in the wintertime is such a fricking drag in this burg.

Getting to and from work the last week has chewed through a bus station mop. But… it only took an hour to get home yesterday.

My characters are sad and so am I.  It’s the pathetic fallacy folks.

Also one of them is quitting drinking and I’m walking alongside him for portions of that, which I loathe.

Although I did think of THE MOST DISGUSTING SIXER RELATED GAG I mean I burst out laughing when poor Jeff was trying to watch the Dallas/Tampa game, which was ugly and beautiful and what the hell’s going on with the zebras, and mah God Dak Prescott, but I just had this vision of Sweetie, who is like 3 kilos, being the security guard for the whorehouse, and controlling a patron with the vilest impersonation of Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry one could possibly imagine, and I couldn’t stop laughing because the joke grows organically out of the situation and at this point we could all use a laugh,

because Trump sailed through the Electoral College, and the Republic, tottering after decades of hacking at the Constitution and weak from never dealing with racism and the Civil War, is in full kleptocratic collapse.

What to watch for over 4 years in the US:

Moar racism

Moar war

Higher infant and maternal death rates – this has actually been going on in slow motion over the decade I’ve been keeping track, it’s sickening…

More prison rioting (underreported) as the food in prisons gets worse and worse under Trump’s prison owning buddies

Higher violent death rates, across the board, all kinds – vehicles (road rage), guns, knives, stranglings.

More alcoholism and alcohol related death

More needle drug abuse and higher rates of AIDS HIV infection. More people dying of ODs, pills and otherwise.

Zika running wild in South Florida and the gulf coast and women being forced to carry the fetus to term with no health insurance for a lifetime of need thanks to Republican state legislatures

Hundreds more deaths each year from white people carrying guns, being scared of black people and shooting grandmothers and toddlers but mostly teenage boys who are existing while black

Muslims being burned alive in their mosques. Hasn’t happened yet but it’s going to happen and more than once.

Tripling of deaths in custody. (The statisticians just learned that the number of people who’ve died in custody in the US in the last five years is ACTUALLY DOUBLE what they thought because there’s no reporting mechanism and now the cop unions are trying to prevent any oversight of this statistic at all…)

Diaspora people – Jewish, black and Muslim – who have family and opportunities in Canada, moving here, although they’ll probably need a couple of years of Trump to realize it’s time to get out of town.

Tourism tanks across the US and Trumpites CELEBRATE America for Americans.

Confederates bringing automatic weapons to Pride Days and killing grandmothers and toddlers along with some queers.

Open war on First Nations Land; mass incarcerations and arrests, and Trump’s buddies making money on it.

More legal weed.

Secession talk from more than California.

The Left NEVER calling him President Trump. Just Trump. Or Cheetolini.

Patton Oswalt falling in love again and remarrying.  Because honestly, that man deserves happiness.

Sad family note. Young cousin got a bad (not what he specifically and carefully asked for) haircut… but we have a hairdresser in the family and our relations did not have to have that experience.  I wish it were otherwise but how often does adult convenience drive the nightmares of small children. I speak from sad and memorable experience here, thinking about Katie and the earring back. I still cry when I think about that, tho’ Katie has long since forgiven me.

A friend asked me what my Christmas Day plans were and I said “Reheating takeout and watching Die Hard with my brother” and now we’re eating at Hal and Cassidy’s, go team!

At some point Jeff and I have to leave the house for supplies, but the urban slushy streets are too disgusting….

 

 

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.

 

Mommishness outbreak

Keith came over last night, in a rather unhappy state.  His unhappiness made me cry – I cry at the most ludicrous things these days, but I’m not inclined to feel shame about it – and I stuck to the issue, which was his state, not mine.

We reviewed his life situation for stressors. My very flat recital of them at one point made Keith laugh, which he hadn’t done since he arrived, and concluded with, “And if I know you, not a day goes by when you don’t think, “Is today the day I’m going to lose it?” And then he laughed loud and long and said, “Got it in one.”

His feelings are real and justified against his situation.  They are not to be mocked or bulldozed over.  I listened more than I talked. I provided advice, but after 10 minutes of mom time, one beer and the first hour of The Right Stuff he was much more regulated when he left.

I told him that he should think about going back to school.  He said, “I could teach.”

I was amazed.  He actually could, he explained it. I told him to apply ASAP. And to think about school in January.  He said, “There’s no money,” and I said, “Commit to a course of action and the means will appear.” Of course that means elders conferring regarding the means, but hey.  If people hadn’t helped me out financially for no good reason at certain points during my life I wouldn’t be in the pleasant position of getting to worry about my kids.

When he was born a friend paid for a full astrological natal chart.  The results: He is an old soul.  He’ll either be a great teacher or a petty criminal, specifically a drug dealer.

Since this was the first time anybody in the woowoo divination game had said anything negative in my experience, it kinda stuck with me. I mean who predicts that your kid will be a drug dealer? Given Keith’s abstemious and cautious nature, it’s probably one of the funniest arrows ventured at the future I’ve ever heard of.

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.

Alex the wondergrand

I got to see Alex yesterday at his momma’s house (Katie is doing very well) and he smiled his face off to see me. Then I gave him my three pound barbell (after all, it SAYS Alex on the side) and he started lifting, bro, which was hilarious, (good form too, even funnier) and then he rolled it all over the floor and then he started dropping the sumbitch, more than once, and this look came over his face – every parent knows it – and after some kind and pleasant voiced persuasion (his mother doesn’t yell at him unless it’s life or death and Alex is more compliant than any child his age I’ve known, as he really really wants to keep his mother happy) Alex went back to rolling it across the floor.  He has learned to say ‘antenna’ which is very sweet.

He has crossed some kind of developmental barrier which allows him to consider things rather than assuming that it’s bad and he should proceed immediately to a-wailin’ and a-grizzlin’.  He didn’t even come close to even thinking about crying the entire time I was there.  The last month has also been amazing in terms of language development. It’s very clear that he understands virtually everything that’s said to him and his speech is becoming clear enough to understand.  I was out of the room and he was toddler-arguing with his mother so I called are you grumpy Alex? and he said, just like a teenager would, No!

No sign of being interested in toilet training.  For this summer camping trips were invented.

He played for a very long time with my Cat Alone app. BUG! BUDAFY!

“DO YOU WANT THE FINGER ALEX” is actually a question appropriate to the game. (If he presses on the magic finger that appears it vibrates and buzzes.)

No pictures. I have memories of a sunny faced toddler running like a fool all over his apartment while issuing sticky kisses and high fives. This from last summer, Prismafied, will have to do.

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There were castor bean and nightshade plants on the walk back to the car.  New West, it’ll kill ya.

Ray Donovan was awesome, Dark Matter was okay I guess (fave continues to be 5, played by Jodelle Ferland), Killjoys is ramping up with great scripts and performances and then Keith and Paul came over yesterday to watch the Sugar episode of Addicted to Pleasure, and that was very nice.

Ghostbusters is still on at the International Village Cineplex. I should have gone last night but whatever.

I bought a battery backup for my phone (since you can’t actually replace the battery on a One S, god strake them in thayre tendre partes) and then, in a sudden blinding flash of You Know the MacBook is Doomed Since the Interior goes to 84 degrees C every time you run video and components will inevitably blow you fool! I purchased a replacement in the form of a MacBook Air, from London Thugs. I backed up the old one, Time machined the new one, everything took an hour and worked perfectly (except having to enter brOJeff’s ludicrously lengthy wifi password three times, o well) and now I have a computer with twice the power, half the weight, three times the storage and a much faster video processor. Everything I need to work transferred over without difficulty including Scrivener and Finale, the two really big ones for creative work. I’d like to publicly thank Jeff for providing the backup drive.  All part of adulting….

No I can’t afford it.  But I definitely can’t afford not to, so there you go.

 

Warcraft

I expected to hate it and it was quite enjoyable. This is the movie… I only ever watched Keith play the game.

Mike called after the soccer semifinal and of course Germany finally won over Italy in the shootout. We went to pho at Miss Saigon across from Metrotown. I’m now contemplating having it for brekky.

ALMOST 3 weeks now, no coffee. Jeff says you can have a small amount every month or so, but I figure twice a year if that will be good enough for me.

New orthotics are working out well, I’m very pleased.

Elie Weisel is dead the same week Trump used AntiJew imagery on his Twitter feed. God is most assuredly an iron.

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I did not make word count, but I wrote some memorably awesome medical type stuff and got early morning greetings from Alex and Katie, so what could I possibly want from this life?

Bengal Lounge farewell tonight.  I will bus there and back again – the bus that goes by my fOlks’ house goes straight to the Empress….