Interesting

Norm Macdonald is dead and the only people I can see who are mourning him are men on Reddit…. quite interesting. Waiting for a woman celebrity OTHER THAN SARAH SILVERMAN who really is a Sspecial cKase to praise him.

When Robin Williams and George Carlin died there was an incredible outpouring from a huge range of people and with Norm… just men. And Sarah Silverman. Makes ya think, don’t it?

I have started taking the medications. I’m not experiencing side effects so far, bar being a little off my feed. The real whoopsiedoodle will be the ADD meds, but I’m going to wait a while to start those.

PLEASE DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE.

Ken Burns made a documentary about ‘the greatest athlete of the 20th c’ – Mohammad Ali. That’s funny, because by many objective measures the greatest athlete of the 20th C was Babe Didrikson, and she sewed her own fucking clothes while she was winning.

 

fill the cup

For the beauty of the lands and waters and the strength of the people and creatures, I give thanks. To walk on this land is a great gift.

Got a plum cake over to Tom and Peggy, it was still warm in the pan, yesterday morning. Mebbe it wasn’t biscotti (me yelling over the phone at Tom I’M NOT A ONE HIT WONDER YOU KNOW while Peggy was no doubt rolling her eyes) but it sure is edibibble.

Walked in Fraser Foreshore Park and received the gift of a new bird; it was a yellow-breasted chat. I got a good long minute of him, yellow underneath like a waistcoat, over pale trews, and browny-green on top, and then my goodness he flew so I got his flight pattern and then there was his call, which was what got my attention in the first place.

I walk those woods, or I should say that little strip of biodiversity jammed and vulnerable between Sto:lo and Burnaby South’s industrial zone, often enough that I know what the background noise is like; nothing but crows and possibly eagles on a really hot day in August. A pleasant sunny day with a bit of wind in May and the woods ring with everything avian that has the capacity to sing, pretty much all blowing up their syrinxes at once. But this fellow was alone, and he said chak, like a bird four times his size and bellicose, and I thought who the hell is that? for he is not much of a conversationalist and I have not heard him before.

He kept making noise, that irritating chak! noise, until by great good fortune he turned out to be as yellow as a goddamned Minion and thus almost comically visible to an amateur such as I. (Less than five metres off the trail, less than five metres up a tree, and in bright frikkin sunshine. HULLO. He flopped from branch to branch and he didn’t care who saw him. And I could have stood there a while longer but chose not to, because I don’t persist in standing as well as I used to, and I had enough markers to be able to figure out what manner of critter I was looking at (I’d also clocked the eyestripe). This species is omnivorous. He’ll do well in that park if he eats millet, someone is feeding the ground birds.

I offered to take Paul to lunch and he deferred to Keith who was on another call. We were on the way back to my place and heard from Keith, so we went over for a late lunch there and I got to see the whole family including Alex, which was very pleasant. My plum cake was well received. Paul and I then spent an hour singing and playing (I of course, even with my recent illness, am well rehearsed, so I made it hard on myself by picking up an instrument I do not regularly play at this time, a standard sized mandolin. I felt like butterfingers and clumsy had come to live in my hands, it was quite comical.)

THAT BUILDING IS CONCRETE. I sang as loud as my body can when I’m sitting down and Katie didn’t hear a thing.  It was so good, so very good to see her. Alex had a new game which he was playing with his oldest friend on line, which is in my view cute as hell. How else are kids supposed to sustain friendships without some technology I esk you.

I ate the bean chili that Keith made, and drank beer, and came home.

Doc appt today

mOm have you seen this birding site?

Yesterday and today

First, have a bear from the Capilano neighbourhood of North Van, as of about last week.

AND we don’t deserve dogs. Nor cats. (Buster when he see WOMBAT he CRAZY). NOR ORANGS.

Yesterday Paul and I walked in Fraser Foreshore. I had a dizzy spell coming out of the house so I didn’t drive, and thus nagged Paul freely the entire way back and forth.

Virtually no birds singing, none of our usual animal companions, not very well attended, nobody but us and an Asian couple bothering to wear masks. I told Paul the Delta variant is like cigarette smoke and even outdoors on pathways where we have to pass close by to people you can can get a whiff…. also I’m getting REALLY MIXED PRESS on how good Astra Zeneca is on suppressing Delta. Apparently, the word is now that it’ll keep me out of hospital if I get a breakthrough infection but I’ll be more likely to be contagious to other people if I’m asymptomatic. Not exactly the shit ya wanna hear when you’re going to visit your parents, who while not frail are elderly (sorry guys but you are over 80 after all.)

We bailed on pho as soon as I mentioned Schnitzel, by gar, and I got three takeout schnitzel dinners from Balkan House so Jeff could enjoy our celebratory meal too. Paul took exactly the same amount of time to get beer from the Oliver Twist, which faces Balkan House (I suspect he actually used the crosswalk, since jaywalking across Edmonds is something only silly young people do) as it took for the food to arrive. It was fantastic… much better than the last time, although the food portions on the rice and potatoes were smaller than I’m used to. The breading though… always a classic.

That plus beer (Red Racer Vanilla Stout, a total rip off of Granville Island Winter Ale) and a blueberry turnover for dessert, and we had a lovely meal.

Finished Swan Song and loved it. I think it’s a one-watch but it was a lovely, heartfelt movie with lots of great bit performances, the young gay bartender being a standout. Wish I had his name but imdb is oooooosssssssslessssss.

We’re really feeling the Lack of ‘Wanted’. They made three seasons and stopped, like sensible people, but we are not sensible people and want more. As always, we are salved by Elementary and the inhuman perfection that is Lucy Liu in that show.

Danny DeVito’s been locked out of his Twitter account for supporting the Nabisco strike. LOL

Alcohol abuse

Well, that’s what I call it.

Jeez, it’s almost like you can’t expect the feds to actually investigate. I have no idea where we’d be without Citizen Journalists.

OH MY DUCKING SOD. Free DNA test with application  Please note this link will disappear in 60 days. But essentially it’s just another brick in the EMPLOYERS ARE DUCKED IN THE BREAD wall.

 

Monday raining

SO HAPPY about the legitimate steady, not warm, not windy rain, but Mike is growling way back in his throat because he drives a convertible and the lower seam on the back window is verkockt. He drove me home anyway because he’s funny like that and we are walking distance apart, haw haw.

Yesterday I stepped out onto the balcony at the Aerie and Mt. Baker (Nooksak Kweq’ Smánit white mountain) was looming on the horizon, bigger (against odds) than I remembered it. It was such a blessing to see it after all the smoke.

Supper consisted of sous vide beef tenderloin, garlic shrimps and blackened peppers, rather more beer than I should, mango ice cream for dessert, evening show Suicide Squad #2; breakfast was coffee, smoked salmon with capers, buttered toasted bun and scrambled eggs with garlic and scallions, lychee fizzy to drink. Got toasted on shatter, ayoille. My back feels better than it has in ages and I pounded on those sad hip attachment points that cause Mike so many an ache, had a dizzy spell, sat down, drank some fluids, got up and finished (his shins always need work as well). I admired his new gaming set up (he three d printed much of the attachment grips in a lurid dark cherry red) and hand-wrote a letter to Tom (I didn’t bring any devices so I was looking for non electrified means of entertainment) and cleaned out my purse and wiped his stovetop and dusted a couple of his swords hand washed all the fussy glassware and updated my to do list, which thanks to my mental mobility issues, as in, I ain’t got none, looks virtually identical to the one I made the last week of July…. at least I have friends, Katie’s pregnancy is okay, and I have a safe and comfy place to live with a most congenial housemate.

wotta meal

four perfect things:

seared ahi tuna

homemade wasabi sauce

pan seared yellow peppers

thai rice with a macédoine of vegetables

Plated beautifully and served red hot.

Plus nearbeer and some OG Kush

WHAT A MEAL

THEN I slept in until 8:30. Mike bought a weighted blanket. I’ve had coffee and I think eggs are happening and life in the eyrie is once again glorious.

everyone was here yesterday

Prior to all this Paul and I had a lovely walk at Fraser Foreshore. We saw two adults and one juvenile bald eagle play fighting in the trees and making a hell of a racket at the same time, it was quite funny. Parking lots were bung full, we had to park miles from the lot.

I decided there was no reason for Paul to clean up after his own party so after a brief consult with Jeff we threw Paul’s Father’s Day celebration here.

Paul came over first, then Katie and Alex came over next, then kMike, then the kids (those three) left, then Mike came, then Paul left, then Keith showed up and Paul came back and then Keith and Paul left and then Mike left. Nobody was driving drunk at all, like, no one.

Seafood salad consisted of, here, have a green salad (iceberg lettuce, salad mix of seeds and cranberries, heritage tomatoes sliced, purple onion in relatively large chunks, grated carrot, broccolini) and put over top of it your choice of Argentinian prawns, Digby Scallops, or Alaskan Sockeye Salmon. This was 123 dollars of seafood, mostly salmon cause I got two fillets. I know, insane. There’s just enough leftovers for salmon pate tomorrow morning with mascarpone cheese, and we got lemon juice and capers. Anyway, I cooked the shellfish on the stovetop and baked the salmon for 20 minutes at 400. On part of the salmon I put a ‘ground pecans cut half and half with maple syrup’ crust. kMike hosed that shit down like a good thing, and declared it quite fine. (I had a bit.)

Alex had to go home to eat, that’s why he left.

Mike serenaded me on the back deck in the golden hour.

quite inebriated me

International Beer Day! Buy me a Beer.

On youtube, it’s here. I’m ever so much better a singer as of December 2020, when I posted this, but that’s okay. I’ve sung this at a lot of places, including as part of the entertainment at a company festive gathering at the Vancouver Aquarium.

International Beer Day is August 6 but you really want a beer now. Beer weather almost here. Beer.

The lyrics:

Buy me a beer

Buy me a beer, make it a cold one
buy me a beer, or maybe two or three
I may get to like your face
Once the goggles are in place
buy me a beer, or maybe two or three

Tell me a joke make it a funny one
Tell me a joke or maybe two or three
My heart’s been torn in half
I could really use a laugh
Tell me a joke or maybe two or three

Tell me a lie, and not just any lie
Tell me a lie, you made up just for me
There’s a lot of truth around
Layin’ scuffed up on the ground
Tell me a lie, a purty one for me

Instrumental break IN the BEST versions

Ask me to dance if I’m still sober
Give me a chance to prove I can unwind
I ain’t always hatin’ men, I just mess up now and then
Ask me to dance, I’ll dance him offa my mind

I’m leaving the bar, no please don’t join me
Cause he’ll be waiting in his car
Outside my place
And he’ll have been drinking too
what you think he’s gonna do when he sees you
That’s right, honey, bust you in the face!

Final chorus….

 

And for the most part I’ve ceased drinking, as it’s horrible for every other aspect of my health but my mood, and it only improves my mood for the briefest time… thus this song represents a youth enjoyed but left behind without regret. It makes me sound like an antique, but I can’t call myself that, or my parents might get offended. (December 2020.)

sorry about the radio silence

Basically I started drinking beer when I got there, stopped around 7 pm, started having kidney grit again around 2 am, peed into a cup at one point because I couldn’t make it from the trailer to the house, and man, continence is A WHOLE THING of beauty and you really appreciate it when you don’t have it. I woke Jeff up around 6:30 the next morning and we talked it through, whether we wanted to leave in case I got worse, ended up getting the 9 o’clock ferry, more or less, and was greeted by an exceedingly noisy Buster.

But kidney grit aside….

We had an awesome time, can’t say how much, it was balm for my soul. And Jeff is of much the same mind. Brought a PILE of guest gifts mostly to indicate how grateful I am to have access to a miniature Baumfest. Anyway why take flowers? I brought vegetation of a different kind. Also a plaque showing Percy Saltzman saying Tonight’s forecast: low standards, alcohol and poor decisions. I thought Al was about to lose his mind when he saw that. I also brought them four capshields with hardware.

Drank beer ate fishburgers and other food, listened to the waterfall – they have a WATERFALL you can hear FROM THEIR YARD listened to their incredible playlist on spotify and around ten I got to sleep in their extremely comfy trailer in the side yard. I FELL IN LOVE with that trailer, it’s incredible me-sized.

IT WAS FUNNE!

 

This little exchange on the internet may NOT GO AS PLANNED for grandpa but he’ll be dead when his grandson eulogizes him as ‘the man who really accepted my sexuality’ LOLOLOLOL

 

 

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.

 

simply glorious day

Paul, Jeff and I walked in Robert Burnaby Park; I collected trash (wrappers and butts mostly) and fogged up my shield.

picked up sushi for lunch and then Keith made vodka Caesars for the boys & we had a socially distant meal on the back deck. Keith seemed in quite good spirits and owned as how he’d like to go back to school when all this is over.

later in the day Mike came over and gave me food and I gave him a shield and we hung around and talked on the back deck – he walked over, and it was just so pleasant to hang around and listen to the menfolks quietly talk

Jeff and Buster on the back deck yesterday
Mike and Buster on the back deck yesterday

IRL

I follow so many people on twitter – approximately 500 – that it’s always wild when I know one in really-for-truly real life.

This is Benjamin Luk: a hard working and thrifty bon vivant who has several income streams but is also a wedding photographer, when the social climate permits.

He posted this.

Image

I’ve met him twice IRL, and he’s utterly charming.

delightful

after a somewhat jostled trip downtown (travelling during rush hour being a real commitment for me these days) I joined Tammy for a lovely meal at Homer and then a wonderful walking tour of “Forbidden Vancouver” which Tammy also underwrote. I took the stool so I could sit down whenever; Tammy used it as well.

Nothing like standing at the epicentre of a race riot to help you get a grip on things.

After we hung out and I looked at pics of her vacays to places like New Orleans at Christmas (lovely light displays at night) and Fiji – my god, the guest house was set in a spectacular garden – and Sydney.

Then I went home, took a taxi from Edmonds.

And, apart from Jeff accompanying me on food to D Roti Shak, which supplied all of our meals yesterday, and a couple of shows I SLEPT ALL DAY YESTERDAY.

Katie’s here! Brekky time

 

Later – life sucks but I have friends and furthermore leftovers

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….